Focus on The Game of Life at Mitty (see Focus, Page 10-11)
Serving the Archbishop Mitty Community
Volume 25 Number 2
Food for Thought
An Inside Look at the New Cafeteria Program By Charlie Pyle & Sophie Sharma Staff Writers few weeks before the 2015-2016 school year began, Twitter ran rampant with Archbishop Mitty students talking about the new and improved cafeteria system. In previous years, the Mitty cafeteria had been run by Evanoff Food Services. Toward the end of the 2013-2014 term, Mr. Tom Evanoff announced that he (and consequently, his company) would be retiring at the end of the following school year. Mr. Jorge Helmer, Mitty’s Chief Financial Officer, immediately started looking for a suitable replacement. Mr. Helmer began his search by putting together a survey to understand what Mitty students were looking for in a cafeteria vendor. Mr. Helmer considered it important to include the student body’s voice in the decision. The results were consistent: students wanted healthier, more dynamic, higher quality food—even if that meant increasing the cost of the average lunch. Since then, Mitty students have continued to believe that sacrificing a few extra dollars for a more nutritious, healthy, and tasty meal is ultimately a fair deal. Taking these factors into account, Mr. Helmer formed a committee to help look for a cafeteria vendor: Mr. Helmer managed finances; Mrs. Mary Ann Prescott and Mrs. Mary Jane Schmidt represented other areas in Mitty’s administration; and Activities Director Mr. Greg Walker along with representatives from the advancement office assisted in the research for a vendor. Finally, a small group of students assisted with the project. Head Chef This comCesar Guadarrama mittee only considered vendors that had already been providing high quality service to local high schools, colleges, and businesses. The process required extensive research to collect accurate reviews of the vendors. After much deliberation, the committee put together a request specifying which vendors Mitty would
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accept. Potential vendors reviewed these guidelines and examined Mitty’s kitchen. If they were able to feasibly provide cafeteria service, then the vendors gave a presentation to the committee, which eventually narrowed down the selection to four possible companies. At this point, Mr. Helmer dined with all of the prospective vendors to taste and evaluate the food himself. Though all of the potential companies were qualified, one of them stood out: The Epicurean Group. The word Epicurean comes from the Greek philosopher Epicurus, known for his distinct taste in fine wines and food. With this in mind, Mary Clark Bartlett, Rey Hernandez, and Marvin Rodriguez founded the Epicurean Group in 2003. Ultimately, Mitty selected Epicurean to be its food vendor for three reasons. First, the belief that Epicurean embodies professionalism and teamwork. All cooks are cross trained to step in and help other cooks and even Mitty students are given opportunities to prep, serve, and ring up food. Second, Epicurean earned high reviews from all of its references. Third, Epicurean has a distinct food philosophy. Progressive areas of the country like the Bay Area are gravitating toward healthier and more sustainable food, and Epicurean makes sure that the food it provides comes from local sources. Each day in the cafeteria, one can see a map with the various farms that took part in providing that day’s lunch. Transparency, after all, is at the core of Epicurean’s food philosophy. People typically eat food without knowing the food’s origins, but Epicurean emphasizes public information about their food sources. Prior to Epicurean, students and faculty/staff once ate completely different meals on the same day. Under Epicurean, however, the faculty/staff and the student body are both served a common entree. Epicurean strives to keep those entrees and their menu in general varied and dynamic. During the last three to four months, for example, the Epicurean menu has not repeated itself in its weekly plan once. Managing this everchanging menu is by no means simple. According to the executive chef at Mitty, Cesar Guadarrama, “Making food completely from scratch is difficult. Other companies can just open canned and frozen food and fry up some chicken tenders. Here at Epicurean, we have our
local vendors deliver fresh and nutritious food early every morning to ensure that students can eat fresh food that day. In the past, various chefs have requested to serve fried food. No more: We removed the frier from our kitchen. Unhealthy, pre-fabricated food is against our values as a company and, in the end, we want to ensure our customers are consistently eating healthy, fresh, homegrown food.” Though not a part of the Student Wellness Campaign, this healthier cafeteria program is yet another move toward a healthier student body. For true wellness, students shouldn’t just be sleeping more, they should be eating better too. So gone are larger portions
of unhealthy foods like chili fries. In their place is the Epicurean salad bar where all of the lettuce served is homegrown on local farms, and all of the dressings that come with the salad are made from scratch. Additionally to promote better student health, most entrees served focus on a “balance” of ingredients from the food pyramid, including a vegetable, starch, and protein. Students may have even noticed a reduction in portion size for many entrees. This reflects Epicurean’s focus on quality over quantity. They source food from local, organic, and sustainable farms that produce grass fed beef, antibiotic free chicken, organic broccoli, and free range eggs, among other healthy choices. Considering all of this, students who purchase food in the cafeteria are buying not just a healthier meal but a more sustainable and just one—a meal that helps farms and farmers who have a mission to support the environment and their workers. Of course, Epicurean isn’t just tasked with providing food service to the student body. Epicurean also provides lunch daily for the faculty and works at a variety of other Mitty events—including home Football Games, Student of the Month Luncheons, and Open House, to name just a few. And beyond Mitty, Epicurean also maintains contracts with other schools and businesses in the area such as Pinewood and Saint Francis High School. Since Epicurean’s introduction at the start of this year, the Mitty community’s response has been overwhelmingly positive to the new lunches. Many students have agreed that higher quality, nutritious food makes a genuine difference in their day to day lives—in their energy level, their health, and their waistlines. Also, the more dynamic menu means that students are not eating the same five meals every week. Clearly, the administration’s hope is that the improvement in Mitty’s food service will result in an improvement to the school as a whole, helping students to be happier and healthier.
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December 2015 • News
Work Hard, Sleep Hard An Update on the Student Wellness Campaign By Brian Chan Staff Writer Nearly 18 months ago, Mitty partnered with Challenge Success to conduct school-wide surveys, gathering intricate data on homework and sleep statistics. The results showed that Mitty students slept much less than the recommended duration: about an average of 6 and a half hours each night, compared to the recommended 9 hours and 15 minutes. Evidently, change was required. Last year, Mr. Jim Fallis, Ms. Kate Caputo, Mr. Keith Mathews, and Mr. Tim Brosnan spoke to each grade level about the results of the survey. Though many students were surprised that 9.25 hours is the recommended amount of sleep, student awareness on this issue was heightened. Students were encouraged to attempt to get more sleep, beginning with an average of a half hour more each night. The push for progress continued this year. Last school year, each academic department worked with the Academic Council and the Administrative Council to create an Expected Homework Minutes Grid that was introduced to the student body in August. The “Expected Homework Minutes” document was made accessible on myMitty, detailing the expected time a student should spend on homework for each class. Additionally, a Time Management Tool will be utilized by counselors during the scheduling process this year, to allow students, counselors, and parents to better understand how many hours their classes and extra-curriculars may take.
These tools, combined with time spent sleeping and school and commute time, indicate the approximate hours a week a student has left for free time. More changes lie ahead. The co-curricular programs are working with the Wellness Committee to create a new “Expected Co-curricular Minutes Grid” to accompany the “Expected Homework Minutes Grid.” This new document will include information about participation in co-curricular programs, such as Speech & Debate, Student Government, and athletics. The grid will differentiate between 1st and 2nd semester to reflect time spent as accurately as possible. Additionally, parents will be introduced to the Parent Education Program (PEP) that will include an updated resource section on the Counseling website and a guest speakers series that will offer helpful parenting advice on important topics of student wellness including sleep, stress, and social issues. The first PEP talk was given by Gina Biegel, an author and psychotherapist, on November 16. Overall, according to Associate Principal and Wellness Committee Chair, Kate Caputo, the Student Wellness Initiative has achieved progress. Ms. Kate Caputo states, “The student body and the faculty have shown a commitment to this initiative that furthers my belief that this is a community that genuinely cares about the health and well-being of its students and that it is a community committed to constant improvement. We still have a lot of work to do in the area of student wellness, but I believe that we have taken some important first steps that will lead to better habits of mind and body and improved student wellness.”
Ruff To Say Goodbye
9/11. Whether it Nessa be through a wag recently left By Suzanne Golshanara & Zoey Russ of her tail or her happythe Mitty campus to Staff Writers go-lucky smile, Nessa touched begin her official training and brightened the days of many Mitty with Canine Companions for Indepenstudents. Just as Nessa cheered so many of us on, we can do the same and wish dence (CCI). CCI is a non profit organization that provides people with mental or physical disabilities with a free assistance dog, whether they be dogs that facilitate her the best as she goes through her training. As Mrs. Shaffer asserts, “Dogs like to work… they like to be busy, they like to be active,” and hopefully, with her in daily life for the disabled or comfort dogs for people with mental illnesses. new companion, Nessa will be able to do just that.Since Nessa’s departure, At CCI, Nessa will be undergoing a six month long training process where she multiple dogs have been seen on campus. The most recent puppy to visit will become the best type of assistance dog she can be. Coming to Mitty was Mitty was a fifteen month old, Happy, who will be ready for advanced training merely a precursor to Nessa’s training. She came to Mitty in order to socialize in February. Other memorable puppy visits include Salute and Kongo. Although as much as possible, and socialize she did. Mrs. Ellen Shaffer, Nessa’s caretaker these pups have visited multiple times, they are not the puppy Mrs. Shaffer will be during her stay at Mitty, recalled several of Nessa’s particularly endearing moraising. She plans on getting a new ments including her visits to Mr. Michael Accorsi’s puppy soon to co-raise with classrooms on another puppy raiser.
MAP: Conviction Meets Action By Sophie Sharma twenty breakout sessions went on at the same time, each advocating for a different topic. Staff Writer At the MAP breakout session, the students educated others on how to prevent the Seven members of Mitty Advocacy Project (MAP) had an action-packed trip to Wash- inevitable influx of human trafficking that accompanies major events. The reason MAP ington D.C. last month. They attended the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice Conference, wanted to bring attention to this issue is that the next Super Bowl will be hosted at Levi’s hosted a breakout session from Friday, Nov. 6, through Sunday, Nov. 8, and then lobbied Stadium in Santa Clara—just a twenty minute drive from Mitty, and so bringing the issue on Capitol Hill the following Monday. of trafficking especially close to home. Preparation for the trip was a lengthy process. The following day, MAP students went to In order to be considered for the trip, members of Capitol Hill. There they met with the offices of Mitty Advocacy Project filled out an application. Representatives Anna Eshoo and Zoe Lofgren, The selection depended on the level of inin addition to the offices of Dianne Feinstein and volvement and commitment to the club itself, Barbara Boxer. During the meetings, the students as observed by club moderators Mr. Michael asked for the legislators’ support or denial of a bill, Accorsi and Mrs. Megan Walker. Finally, the summarizing the bill’s implications in addition to decision was made, and seven members were providing further data. chosen: seniors Jacob Isaacs, Daniel Guo, OrReflecting on the trip, junior Murad Awad says, landus Miller, and Nicole Prabhu, along with “My experiences in Washington are unparalleled to juniors Murad Awad, Elizabeth Ericksen, and any. To have the opportunity to visit the powerhouse Sophie Sharma. which runs our country and influence the opinions In preparation for the trip, MAP had chosen of our policy-makers allowed me to see the amazing four focal issues at the beginning of the year: manner with which our democratic process funchuman trafficking, the wage gap, police accounttions, and it has inspired me to further my passion ability, and criminal justice reform. Over the for political advocacy.” course of this first semester, groups researched Moderator Michael Accorsi praised not only these topics and found a bill for each. They then the MAP students who went to DC, but the entire Photo Courtesy of Mrs. Lauren Matusich created a document urging legislators to either Archbishop Mitty community: “What’s amazing MAP students at the United States Supreme Court Building. L-R: Murad Awad, Sophie support or fight the bill—and this document was about putting Mitty students in a professional conSharma, Nicole Prabhu, Orlandus Miller, Daniel Guo, Jacob Isaacs, and Elizabeh Ericksen. the one used when meeting with the legislators. text is how well prepared they are for moments like The Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice was comprised of 1,500 people from a myriad this. It comes from everything they learn in the classroom: how to be articulate, how to do of backgrounds, but all were united by their passion for advocacy. For three days, the con- groundbreaking research and, most of all, how to develop into a person of high character ference opened with a keynote speaker and then dispersed for breakout sessions. About and conviction.”
News • December 2015
Capturing Grace Freshman International Photo Contest Winner: Grace Chung 2014 competition; this award of first place was given from among 16,000 entries received from around the globe. As the national grand-prize winner, Grace was awarded a five-day trip to WashingGrace Chung’s interest in wildlife photography grew when reading National Geo- ton, D.C., where she explored the National Geographic Headquarters and peeked into graphic magazines. She was fascinated by the small details that could be captured by a an exclusive gallery featuring photography by Paul Nicklen. Although she did not have camera. Paul Nicklen, a well-known wildlife photographer especially inspired Grace to a chance to meet the judges, she was able to meet several editors and contributors to the pursue photography. magazine. They inspired her with new ideas for her photography and encouraged her to As Grace explains, “I can see the passion within his photos. He risks his life to help broaden her dreams. draw attention to endangered animals in need, and I admire this devotion. I want to grow She also received a National Geographic-sponsored trip to Costa Rica, where she into becoming a photographer like him.” was able to focus on her main interest: taking photos Just about a year ago, current freshman Grace of wild animals. Grace was able to get a head start Chung was an average middle school student on her dreams as she learned to take photography seeking a new hobby. Searching the web, she in different environments. She explored the forests came across the annual National Geographic Kids and took many close-up pictures of wild animals in Photography Contest and decided to give it a try. action. Her trip has helped her experience first-hand The contest was created in partnership between what her favorite photographers encounter. the U.S. National Geographic Kids magazine and Looking through the photos she took for Na11 other local-language editions. Contestants were tional Geographic Kids, she concedes, “I am not a encouraged to submit their entries to one of the four professional photographer yet, but I think my photos categories: Amazing Animals, Dare to Explore, are distinct in their own way. I wait patiently for the Weird But True, and Wild Vacation. Winners in animals and snap the moment they move. I focus on each of the four categories were selected on a nacapturing the moments that will never come back.” tional level and the first-place pictures were then Grace describes that her early success in phosubmitted to National Geographic to compete in tography came solely from practice. Although she the international photo competition. did not specifically attend any classes, she picks Rachel Buchholz, editor of National Geoup her camera whenever she sees something that graphic Kids magazine (U.S.) remarks, “Photogcatches her attention. Grace continues to research raphy is a great way for people—and especially Photo Courtesy of Grace Chung photography and explains that wildlife photography kids—to show their perspective on the world. What is all about practice and timing. Chung’s grand-prize-winning image, “Gecko Eye,” was published in the they produce is funny, creative, and sometimes surIn the future, Grace hopes to participate in more May 2015 issue of National Geographic Kids magazine. prising, and we’re excited to see our contest grow photography competitions, such as the National more and more each year.” History Museum Wildlife Photography Contest. Through her photography, Grace hopes to Grace entered the contest only a week after she started photography, but she was continue raising awareness about endangered species and also hopes to expand her range awarded first place in the Amazing Animals category in the national and international of photography by depicting ordinary life in a different way. By Soo Min Cho Staff Writer
Alumna Takes On Broadway By Krista DeGuzman Staff Writer Adrienne Eller, Archbishop Mitty alumna class of 2011, continues to make a name for herself, recently being cast in the US tour of the Broadway musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, which has already received universal acclaim and several awards. It won “Best Musical” in the Tony Awards, Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle awards, as well as “Best Book,” “Best Director,” and “Best Lyrics.” As the US tour begins its run, it will also Photo Courtesy of Chicago Theater Beat mark the beginning of a journey for Adrienne, a beloved past Monarch. Adrienne Eller (right) performs as Phoebe D’Asquith. Describing her high school years, Adrienne cites Mitty as helping her further appreciate her love for acting. She explains, “Mitty was a wonderful influence on me. I transferred to Mitty as a junior because I was so attracted to a school that had such a strong performing arts program within a rigorous educational environment. At Mitty I felt like theater was an integral part of my high school education. I was able to expand my abilities and practice skills that I still use today.” Transferring before her junior year, she was warmly welcomed by the Mitty performing arts community. Performing Arts director Mr. Doug Santana reminisces, “Adrienne made an immediate impact upon coming to Mitty. It was clear from the moment she stepped onto campus that she possessed a special talent.” She was cast to play Mrs. Lovett in the production of Sweeney Todd, Poppy in Noises Off, and Janet Vanandergraff in The Drowsy Chaperone. She was even a part of Mitty’s sketch comedy group two years in a row and a lead singer for Exodus. Although she was extremely successful during her time at Mitty, her path has never been an easy one. Many tend to forget that being an actress entails endless auditions and, at times, too many rejections. Adrienne is humbled by this, understanding that the talents she developed while at Mitty have led her to where she is today. After graduating from Mitty, Adrienne now enjoys the novelty of entertaining a different audience every night, performing around eight times a week doing what she loves. Attending Mitty truly prepared Adrienne for college theater auditions, as she gained confidence in her abilities with the encouragement of the Mitty community. Her impressive college career gained her acceptance at New York University, where she joined NYU’s musical theatre program and, eventually, gained one of her most distinguished roles yet. Adrienne tells current Monarchs, “My advice for Mitty students would be to pursue what you love. If you are passionate about something, strive for it wholeheartedly. With some hard work, anything can happen.” For those interested in seeing Adrienne Eller in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, the show’s current national tour has it playing at the Golden Gate Theater in San Francisco throughout this December.
Volume 25 Number 2 Advisors Mr. Mick VanValkenburg & Mr. Craig Whitt
News Madeleine Fernando, Emily Malig, & Maddie Zenk
Opinion Jacob Isaacs, Elaine Xie, Ana Gonzalez, & Alisa Khieu
Justice Awareness Nini Bhat, Amuyla Yerrapotu, Giulia Travostino, & Margarita Zverera
Focus Sanghavi Srinivasan, Kirthana Sarathy, & Quynh-Lam Tran
Arts & Entertainment Winni Cherukuri, Kristyna Otto, Klara Barbarossa, & Mary Celestin
Sports Sam Baker, Giuliana Calia, Alec Jo, & Kushal Singh
Photo Camille Daszynski, Aditya Gunda, & Nina Myers
Art Bharathi Arasan
Archbishop Mitty High School 5000 Mitty Way, San Jose, CA 95129
Opposing Viewpoints Fight the System
By Elaine Xie Opinions Editor “Racism lives here, and so do we. If you are uncomfortable, I did my job”—University of Missouri student, Curtis Taylor, Jr. In universities across the United States, college students have begun to rise up in protest of racial discrimination they have faced on their own campuses, as well as in solidarity with the students at the University of Missouri after the recent flare of racial tensions that resulted in the resignation of Tim Wolfe, former president of the University of Missouri system. In summary, students are frustrated administrations are not doing enough to address the presence of systematic oppression on campus, frustrated with faculty being seemingly unsympathetic to these students’ concerns, particularly regarding hate crimes and hate speech. A closer look at Missouri reveals that after being pressured by Concerned Student 1950, a student-activist group formed by Mizzou students, the administration released emails detailing the presence of a swastika drawn with feces in a dorm bathroom, as well as multiple incidents of racial slurs used towards other students, including the student body president. Black Mizzou students themselves have also reported similar incidents—from being targeted with slurs and hate speech as they walk through campus, to receiving online threats from locals, who anonymously posted their intentions to shoot every black person they see on campus the next day. And in addition, it seems as if Mizzou faculty have not been prioritizing the safety of their students; while black students tweeted videos of groups of “white student unions” chanting racial slurs, waving Confederate flags, and threatening to “purge the campus of black people,” school twitter accounts maintained that there were no immediate threats to campus. One professor, even after learning of the death threats, refused to postpone or allow black students to make up an exam that he had scheduled for the next day, telling his students to “be the bigger person” and thus diminishing the racial tensions and death threats to simply “bullying.” So it should come as no surprise that these students are protesting—especially since hashtags like #BlackOnCampus have proven that the often painful narrative of being black in college is a universal one. Black Mizzou students, along with their counterparts at Yale, Princeton, Claremont McKenna, Columbia, Howard, Brandeis, and Wesleyan, just to name a few, all share these experiences of systematic and institutionalized oppression. Now, they are protesting the injustice of being subjected to this oppression in an environment that is supposed to be a haven from the ignorance and willful blindness that too often drives oppression in the world beyond ivy-wrapped gates. And yet, criticism of the protesters has come from all directions, all walks of life—from mainstream media outlets and politicians, to everyday people. The most common criticism is simply: Why? What do students attending institutions as prestigious as these have to complain about? Look at the children in developing countries, they say, see how much better you have it. Grow up, they echo. But you see, growing up is the problem. These black students are grown up, and have been since they were children. Institutionalized racism has a way of doing that—forcing parents to teach elementary and middle schoolers how to move in front of police officers so they are not presumed to be aggressive, how to behave in front of potential employers in an attempt to shake the negative stereotypes we are so heavily immersed in. The people criticizing the protesters are the ones who have been taught that authorities are there to help you; the people criticized are the ones who have been carefully instructed on how to speak clearly, move slowly, and keep your hands up when a police officer pulls you over for driving a car he does not think is yours. The protests and marches and sit-ins that are taking place in universities across the country are the manifestations of the frustration of students of color. They were told that the way to succeed, to beat the system, was to study hard, get good grades, go to college. If you’re well-educated, your existence disproves a stereotype; you are the exception. College is supposed to be a safe space, an escape from the misinformation and ignorance that drives these negative stereotypes. But through the experiences that black students have shared, it’s clear that as the Yale marchers put it, “the Yale we were promised is not the Yale we have.” As the members of the Concerned Student 1950 group chant the lines by poet and activist Assata Shakur: “It is our duty to fight for freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love and respect one another. We have nothing to lose but our chains.”
Fight with the System By Jacob Isaacs Opinions Editor In recent months, much criticism of Black Lives Matter and affiliated college protest movements has dwelled on the flawed idea that there is no such thing as white privilege, that our society is equal, that we have surmounted racism. Clearly these claims are not true. Innumerable students of color have expressed that they do not feel safe on campus. Indeed, when a fraternity in Oklahoma chants the n-word, when students have “whites only” parties, and when costumes that play on racial stereotypes are permitted on campuses, it is easy to see why students feel discriminated against. Not institutionally, mind you, but culturally. That simple distinction does alter how we should approach the issue. Protests are meant to change policy, not belief. The administrations’ faults lie in turning a blind eye to racist injustices, not necessarily in creating them outright. While some significant administrative change has come from the movement—the resignation of the president of the University of Missouri and the dean of students of Claremont McKenna, for example—one must wonder if this will do anything in the long term either. Protests cannot decide who will replace these ousted leaders, nor what the schools’ new policies will be (if they will change at all), nor how white students will view the idea of racial equality. Administrations, for all their power, cannot change student opinion. And this last point is perhaps more insidious than it seems. Civil rights is a noble cause any sensible person should support. However, like it or not, the current movement’s vehemence leads to alienation and discord. Usually the most astringent critics of the protests are the ones who say that protesters are “militant,” or “pushy,” or some other disparaging term. I do not believe those are accurate labels. However, what is true is that the continuation of protests always brings resistance to their main ideas. In the sixties MLK came to be considered the architect of civil rights, though many other people were involved. That’s because he favored nonviolence, eschewed aggression, and worked with institutional leaders, all of which drew new support to the cause. Now, Black Lives Matter is not a violent movement. That much is clear. But they have demonstrated a resolve that has, in fact, pushed away the very people whose support they need most. For instance, Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley said that “all lives matter,” a statement for which BLM activists later forced him to apologize. They also interrupted a rally for Bernie Sanders, ironically the candidate most receptive to BLM’s ideas. These events seem to reflect the broader trend in the movement—deeply held dissatisfaction, without an effective outlet or target. Increasingly, political hypercorrectness has become more valuable than substantive change. Sanders and O’Malley both support civil rights, yet, just like on college campuses, their smallest slight—real or perceived— becomes a direct threat to equality. Well-intentioned students have similarly protested the slightest, apparent microaggressions, including events as benign as discussing provocative literature. One student at Yale shouted profanities at her dorm’s supervisor, simply because she favored freedom in choosing Halloween costumes. Liberalism is fundamentally about tolerance, so why have these progressive protests far too often become closed-minded? This apparent hypocrisy brings little credit to the movement. People can be put off by a cause because of its methods, even when its ideas are sound. At the colleges most affected, students would be more effective if they took actions similar to those taken fifty years ago: passively resistant protest, national and communal organization, and direct petition to authorities. Instead, the movement seems largely decentralized. It dwells mostly online and on these campuses, without a concrete organizational structure that would better create change and involve more in the conversation. Because it is a conversation that needs to be had. I’m just not sure that protests, where the guiding principles are just misdirected frustration and an aphorism, “black lives matter,” will ever accomplish the kind of social change that needs to occur. We can start by organizing. We can grow the movement by getting new people involved in the structure. We can establish clear goals for social change. Then, we can finally create new policies of tolerance, change public opinion, and remake our society into a more just one. But as long as the movement, correct though it is, focuses solely on voicing discontentment and not on sculpting institutional policies and societal beliefs, it will have much to be discontent about.
Opinions • December 2015
families, not enemies
By Shayne Jones Staff Writer School Spirit. It’s what makes Mitty the best high school in the Bay Area. Our students roar louder than any Rage Cage or Blue Crew combined and, better than that, we are the best sports out there. We don’t boo, we don’t hiss, we don’t trash talk—we’re Monarchs. So how come when our classes are pinned against each other in class competitions, that amazing sportsmanship seems to fly out the window? We’re the same people as we were before...right? I think that we are, but I also understand that when you have the best of the best sparring off against each other, things are bound to get a little heated. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, so don’t get me wrong. However, I do think that if the competition gets too out of hand, the fun that it is supposed to spark is lost. Before I get ahead of myself, I just want to set the record straight: I believe that class competition is exactly the thing that makes our school so unique, so I would never advocate for that competition to be taken away. But I also think that there are important lessons to be learned when it comes to how we conduct ourselves when we battle. And if we can just learn from the mistakes that we make, then our school will be truly unstoppable. Cons of class competition. I honestly don’t believe that there are any cons to school competition, but I would say that there are definitely repercussions. The most egregious mistake that we all make is that we become too focused on
winning. While winning is good and fun, if it’s the only thing that we’re aiming for, we run the risk of doing anything in order to achieve that goal; we put down other classes, or our own class reps, or the reps of other classes, or even our own classmates. And that’s not right. All that does is create animosity between students that might otherwise be our friends, potentially leading to a hostile environment at school. This unfortunate aspect of any class competition is unnecessary, and if we could just learn that the high road is always the best road, class competitions would be that much more fun. But with that said... Pros to Class Competition. The pros of class competition almost certainly outweigh the cons. What does class/school spirit generate? It creates a fun school atmosphere, it produces the absolute best night to be a Monarch, it gives us the PIT, and it gives us Mr. Fallis rapping during lunch karaoke with the entire school standing on lunch tables cheering him on. It gives us Mitty. When our students find something that they are passionate about, they are passionate. For us Mitty kids, it’s go big or go home. We give our all in everything we do…if we didn’t, would we actually have all of those banners hanging in Fien gym? I don’t think so. I know that each and every one of us would defend this school until the day we die; and this is what makes our school legendary. Once a Monarch, always a Monarch. If you should remember anything about this article, it’s this: we’re Monarchs because we are good people. We’re Monarchs because it’s what we were meant to be. We’re Monarchs because we’re family. So don’t forget that—especially during class competitions.
The Truth About Nuclear Power
By Abhijit Ramaprasad Staff Writer “Nuclear power” is a term that often triggers very negative images: radioactive waste, Chernobyl, weapons of mass destruction, volatility, explosions, radiation, fallout, meltdown—danger in general. And while there is genuine danger in nuclear power, these concerns are seriously overblown by the public. The resulting avoidance of nuclear power threatens our future. A common misconception is that nuclear power is unsafe. In truth, it is actually one of the most regulated methods of power generation with the most severe safety protocols because it can indeed be unsafe. But overall, disasters are quite rare, and very often due to extreme mishandling of the material. The Chernobyl disaster happened because the plant was already antiquated and poorly designed, but beyond that, the nuclear scientists ignored all safety protocol there—they literally tried to make something awful happen to get a mention by the government (didn’t work out so well, as you can imagine). A lot of the fear of nuclear power comes from enormous misconceptions—that a nuclear power plant is literally a nuclear weapon, just waiting to go up in flames. That a meltdown is accompanied by an unfathomable explosion (rather than the containers in the power plant simply melting down). The idea that deadly fallout
spreads everywhere after a nuclear meltdown. Recently, it was found that there have been absolutely no deaths in the region around the Fukushima Daiichi disaster due to radiation. There have, however, been approximately 1600 deaths due to a poorly handled and panicked evacuation, along with extreme stress due to the fear of radiation. It’s clear what the real danger was. And let’s not forget the danger of “traditional” power. 4000 people died in the Chernobyl accident, which was by far the worst in history. 100,000 people die every year due to coal and oil power generation. And imperialistic wars don’t need to be fought to secure a nuclear fuel supply either. But perhaps the most important reason to embrace nuclear power is that it produces a huge amount of energy with a significantly lower environmental impact. Nuclear power might seem old-fashioned and dangerous, but is actually the most well-developed “clean” energy there is. Of course, lobbying by oil companies and pseudoscientists have given it a poor reputation, but it’s a fact that nuclear power is, for the most part, clean, efficient, and easy (but admittedly very expensive and slow) to set up. New technologies such as thorium-fueled and molten salt reactors have the potential to produce unimaginable amounts of energy—enough to power the planet for millennia. Certainly sounds better than oil. Nuclear power is not a silver bullet, as there is simply no such thing. A sustainable future needs many different types of clean energy, such as solar and hydropower. Nuclear deserves a place with them, however, and right now, it seems like a pretty amazing and thoroughly neglected option.
So Are You, Like, Mexican?
Welcome to America, Where Race is Made Up and Your Ethnicity Doesn’t Matter By Ana Gonzalvez Opinions Editor Race in America is a lot like Fight Club: you don’t talk about it. If you’re Hispanic or Latinx (the formal term for US descendants of Latin America), however, race is more like Fight Club interpreted by somebody who’s never even seen Fight Club: you know you’re not supposed to talk about it, probably because you have absolutely no clue what it is. Race, ethnicity, and nationality for people of Hispanic or Latinx descent have been a grey area ever since the modern concept of race began to take shape around the world. The fundamental problem actually begins with those two terms I just begrudgingly used twice now: Hispanic and Latinx. Why begrudgingly? Well, because the former means practically nothing, and the latter is grossly misinterpreted due to the existence of the former. “Hispanic” is a racial identifier that came into prominent use around 1970. Before then, Cuban, Mexican, and Puerto Rican immigrants in America were considered “white.” “Came into prominent use,” however, is really just a nice way of saying “the government made up a word for people they didn’t know what to do with.” The term has only grown in widespread government usage, with the 2015 American Community Survey issued by the US Census Bureau asking surveyors if they are of “Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin,” with the addition of a second question to indicate a specific race.
While seemingly inclusive at first glance, this new grouping of ethnic identities, upon further inspection, is just as arbitrary as the idea of a “Hispanic” race. First, the word Hispanic means close to nothing in regards to race, ethnicity, and nationality. It’s not a racial group, as it includes anyone from white Europeans to Afro-Latinx and indigenous Latinx from Spanish-speaking countries. And it’s not an ethnic group—anyone from a Spanishspeaking country can tell you that we all have very distinct cultural traditions. And it’s not even a nationality—you can’t be a citizen of “Hispania.” So, essentially, the word the government created to describe race, ethnicity, and nationality describes approximately 0% of those things. Go figure. Although, I will concede that the term isn’t completely meaningless—Hispanic people do share a common language. But if we’re grouping people by language, why isn’t Portugal on the ever-expanding arbitrary list of people-who-get-thrown-under-thepoorly-defined-umbrella-terms-of-Hispanic-and-Latinx? I mean, Brazilians are just as much a part of Latin America as Mexicans, Cubans, and other “Hispanic” countries; they speak Portuguese; why isn’t there a “Portugic” race? Which leads me to the other reason why Hispanic is such a terrible term to associate with Latin America—much of Latin America isn’t even Hispanic. I already mentioned
Brazil, a country which spans nearly half of South America, but there’s also Haiti, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana—all non-Hispanic Latin American countries. This leads to problems for non-Hispanic Latinx in America attempting to classify their race and ethnicity when “Hispanic” is the only option offered. And we don’t need to look far from home to see these problems take effect: one Mitty senior I spoke with said her mother was forced to list her as Caucasian despite her Brazilian heritage, showing how alienating the linkage of “Hispanic” and “Latinx” really is. Now we’re left with a dilemma: if Hispanic is defunct, how should we categorize ourselves and others? For those of us of Spanish and Latin American descent, I strongly encourage owning your ethnicity and not allowing your identity to be watered down for American convenience, no matter what term you choose to identify with. For example, I have Spanish heritage, but I am also part Filipina and quintessentially American. And for anyone who isn’t of Spanish or Latin American heritage—just say what you mean. If you’re talking about Latin Americans, say Latinx; if you’re talking about a language group, say Hispanic; if you’re referring to race, qualifiers like Afro-Latinx or White-Latinx work, too. As with all social constructs, race will never be simple and clean topic to discuss, but remaining respectful of and informed about other’s identities will surely make these discussions easier.
All Joking Aside:
Misogyny in Meme Culture
By Anna Tseselsky Staff Writer You’ve probably heard both of her brand-new singles “Confident” and “Cool for the Summer” blasting through your radio, but what you probably don’t know is that Demi Lovato has been the source of a controversial internet meme. It began when an unflattering picture taken by a fan of Demi from a 2014 red carpet appearance began circulating the internet via Tumblr. Eventually escalating to the point of conspiracy theories, the picture was jokingly said to actually be the first photo of Demi’s secret twin sister ‘Poot’ who had been locked in a basement her entire life. Although this meme seems innocent enough, peeling back some of its outer layers reveals an ugly truth. Not only was the photo posted without her consent, but this also isn’t the first time Demi has faced scrutiny for her appearance. In 2010, she went into rehab after struggling with depression, an eating disorder, and self-harm, which she said escalated after tab-
loids highlighted her weight gain. She cites her most recent album titled “Confident” as an expression of her learning to love herself again after her recovery and weight loss. So is it just a coincidence that the moment a female celebrity starts owning her body image and sexuality that the internet answers back with a joke surrounding her appearance? Maybe. But this isn’t the only questionable source of humor that’s made its way to the front pages of social media. Nicknamed “the Zola story”, a series of tweets about two women and their trip to Florida nearly broke Twitter in one night after people shared it as one of the most outrageous things they’ve read in awhile. But, the story is about two sex workers getting trafficked, exploited, and abused. If you ask me, there’s nothing funny about that. Humor has always reflected the values and morals of a generation, so if ours is laughing at a photo of a woman who’s suffered from body image issues her entire life and at the horrors of sex trafficking, it says a lot about how we view women in general.
Targeting a New Scapegoat By Tiina Otala Staff Writer 325 shootings. 406 killed. 1,196 wounded. All by Nov. 8 of this year. Who is to blame? Mental illness, many people incorrectly assume. As the number of mass shootings continues to climb, even tripling since 2011, we have begun to look for scapegoats for these horrendous crimes, and have chosen the most vulnerable members of society. But mental illness was a factor in less than 5% of 120,000 gun-related killings between 2001 and 2010 and less than 4% of violence in the U.S. during that time. In fact, people with mental illness are much more likely to be victims than perpetrators, with those diagnosed with schizophrenia having victimization rates 65% to 130% higher than the rest of society. Yet the question remains. Who is to blame, if not mental illness? Perhaps the real question should be what, rather than who, is to blame. Then the
answer is clear: other factors. These can include drug and alcohol use, which can multiply the chances of violent crime about seven times, to relatively easy access to guns without background checks. But the possible reasons for a mass shooting are truly complex, individual to each case, and sometimes difficult to discern. The debate on the reasoning behind mass shootings should not be focused on pinning the blame on some one thing to avoid searching for a solution. Instead of pointing fingers at the mentally ill, we should be protecting these victims of violence who are more vulnerable due to the state of their mind. Instead of focusing narrowly on mental illness, we should be examining other factors such as substance abuse and gun control. We should be defenders and advocates, not prosecutors and protesters. Support the mentally ill; don’t scapegoat them.
December 2015 • Opinions
Quick Hits: Short, Sweet, and to the Point
Villain or Unlikely Role Model? By Alisa Khieu Opinions Editor She strips so shamelessly; she corrupts America’s youth with the provocative. She is former Disney icon Miley Cyrus—our fallen star, Hannah Montana—for whom we feverishly burn in embarrassment. First, she came in like a wrecking ball, pole-dancing at the Teen Choice Awards. But now? Miley Cyrus goes au naturel on the controversial cover of the latest issue of Candy magazine. Some grieve an innocent role model distorted by fame and fortune; others detest her provocative explicitness with a passion. And no, I cannot condone her behavior either. In fact, I absolutely abhor the public “selling” of her sexuality. However, in a world of mascara and masquerade to cover not only physical imperfections but also one’s personality, Miley is an exemplar of accepting oneself wholeheartedly for who one is. Whether uploading unfiltered selfies (as a smoking Disney princess for Halloween!) or stealing the stage with her sexuality, she flaunts herself fearlessly without regret, and ardently advocates for the LGBT community—a personal issue rather than a publicity stunt—with her Happy Hippie Foundation and music. In interviews, she unabashedly embraces herself despite the hatred. Thus, though the media constantly makes a mockery out of her for good reason, Miley Cyrus commands a certain level of respect in her self-confidence and sincerity. Still, I never want to see her scarring music videos again. Nor should the media ever showcase her solely because of sex, but they shouldn’t shame her either. Yes, some of her blasphemous behavior is truly unacceptable—dressing suggestively with the Star of David when she is not Jewish—but I must ultimately admire her for the undeniable beauty of her genuineness.
Give Yourself a Gap Year By Alexis Toney Staff Writer Swamped with academic pressure and college applications, and unable to pinpoint exactly what they want to do for a living—sound familiar? Teenagers are still searching for an answer to these unfortunate yet common troubles. Well, here’s a solution simpler than most would think: take a gap year. An often well-needed break taken between high school and college, a typical gap year constitutes travel, work, or study outside of a school setting—in other words, experiencing the real world. In theory, this sounds daunting for well-meaning parents and high-achieving high school students. “What would colleges think?” they ask. “Why would you need a gap year anyway?” But the reality is that the theoretical worries that come along with the concept of a gap year are often just that—theories. In practice, gap years statistically appear to have no negative effects on college acceptance. According to the Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE), the leading program of travel and exchange
for gap year participants, many high-ranking universities actually find students who have taken a gap year more desirable. These gap year students’ GPAs typically rise as they become more mature and independent and are able to contextualize their education with real life experience. The CIEE further asserts that not once has a college refused a gap year student deferment or retracted financial aid because of a gap year, confirming that any negative stigma connecting gap years with college acceptance is a myth. Most importantly, however, 96% of gap year participants highlighted personal growth and reflection as a significant outcome of their experience. The introspective aspect of gap years allowed participants to both understand themselves and realize their passions, leaving 60% of them with declared majors by the time they returned to a school setting.
Hungry for Change Food Insecurity in the Bay
By Paulina Thurmann and Supna Kapoor Staff Writers What’s in your lunchbox? While the typical American child or teen might answer “Oreos,” “a PB&J sandwich,” or “applesauce—my favorite!”, 66 million children worldwide would answer “nothing” because their families simply cannot afford to send them to school with food. This kind of poverty is even visible right here in the Bay Area. In fact, nearly 1.2 million people in the Bay live on or below the poverty line, which is the government’s way of determining if a family qualifies for government assistance programs. Families living below this poverty line are making less than $26,000 for a family of three. The California Budget Project estimates that a family needs to make more than double that amount to make ends meet in the Bay Area. But where does all this poverty come from? Deacon Steve Herrera states that “due to the expense of housing and a minimum wage that is not livable, members of low income families can often have multiple jobs and still not make a living. This can result in workers not being able to feed their families,” causing more and more children to go to school with empty lunchboxes. Because families can barely spend money on food for their children, let alone themselves, they have little incentive to buy healthier foods, which are typically more expensive. For example, while the average cost of a pound of broccoli is $1.80, an entire burger only costs an average of $0.79 across the United States. Healthier options only make up a partial meal while less healthy options are quick, filling,
people are homeless in San Francisco
of the homeless in San Francisco suffer from addiction
In the past year, housing prices in the Bay have gone up by
people are homeless in San Jose
do not receive any form of government assistance
and more affordable. This pattern inevitably causes future health problems and more long term expenses for families. According to Mr. Herrera, hunger is a serious issue that requires wider attention and awareness if we want to alleviate it. Nonetheless, he argues that there is still a good deal that we as individuals can do. He recommends that Mitty students get involved with organizations in the Bay Area such as Second Harvest Food Bank, Sacred Heart Community Services, Catholic Charities, and HomeFirst Services. These agencies all offer food, clothing, help in paying rent, and job training. Agencies in the Bay Area that address hunger and poverty are not only limited to these, of course. Mr. Herrera’s personal favorite, Sacred Heart Community Services, not only provides necessities (food, clothing, etc.), but further addresses the issue of hunger with their Advocacy Team. The Advocacy Team works to promote more affordable housing and an increase in the minimum wage in Santa Clara County. As Mr. Herrera states, “Sacred Heart is focused on works of charity and works of justice. This is the ideal way for a non-profit to work, to not only address the symptoms of poverty but to get to the root of the problem.” In the words of Pope Francis, “A way has to be found to enable everyone to benefit from the fruits of the earth, and not simply to close the gap between the affluent and those who must be satisfied with the crumbs falling from the table, but above all to satisfy the demands of justice, fairness and respect for every human being.”
people in the Bay Area live on the poverty line
for a pound of Broccoli for an entire burger
households in California face food insecurity
of Americans have to choose between food and housing
No Place to Stay The Hidden Reality of Homelessness
By Monique Reyes and Amulya Yerrapotu Staff Writer and Justice Awareness Editor The Bay Area is known as one of the most innovative and exciting places in the world. However, all of the large tech campuses mask a daunting reality: thousands of locals don’t have a place to call home. Homelessness is defined as “the condition of people without a regular dwelling,” or put more simply, living without a home. It can be experienced in different ways— situational, when a person is forced out of their long-time home due to unforeseen circumstances such as losing a job; episodic, when a person finds him or herself falling in and out of homelessness due to long term problems such as drug abuse or mental illness; or chronic, when someone is out of a home for a long period of time and lacks the resources to change his or her situation. In San Francisco alone, there are about 6,600 people without a permanent residence, 800 of whom are children, under the age of 18. About 1,000 of these people are chronically homeless. Unfortunately, despite the U.S. having spent over $1.5 billion dollars in the past decade on homelessness reduction initiatives, the homeless population has remained relatively consistent. Homelessness has various causes and is often out of the victim’s hands due to external forces such as low working wages, mental and physical illnesses, domestic abuse, or gentrification. More than a fifth of homeless people in the
United States suffer from mental illness. Many also deal with addiction—37% of the homeless in San Francisco cite addiction to drugs or alcohol. Though such problems are manageable with proper treatment, individuals who suffer from addiction and mental or physical illness cannot pay for rehabilitation or psychiatric care. The only option many have left is homelessness. However, homelessness also affects a wide variety of people beyond those we’d expect. Teenagers and children all too commonly experience homelessness as a result of attempting to escape sexual, emotional, and/or physical abuse. Despite sometimes even going to school or work, these people are pushed onto the margins of society and cannot make ends meet. Finally, in the Bay Area, specifically, gentrification, the act of renovating or improving an area that typically leads to increased rent prices, is adding to the homelessness crisis as well. People who have lived in the neighborhoods their entire lives are forced out of their homes onto the streets, especially as housing prices have gone up 10% since last year. These rent hikes have forced many out of their homes and onto the streets. While the systemic problems behind homelessness are clearly extensive, there are still numerous opportunities for students to help alleviate the problem, such as volunteering at homeless shelters like Next Door Shelter or HomeFirst. Students can also donate clothes and food cans to food shelters.
December 2015 • Justice Awareness
Clap for UTAP
By Athreya Steiger Staff Writer
By Danning Yu Staff Writer
By Ankush Bharadwaj Staff Writer
Service Above Self
Waste Not Want Not
Everyone dreams of solving major world problems like hunger or homelessness. Mitty students are helping make this dream come to life by raising awareness about the homeless in the Bay Area. Enter: Interact. In their community project aptly called “Under One Roof,” Mitty Interact students work to eliminate the misconception that homeless people are merely lazy and not looking for work. According to the official Santa Clara County homeless census conducted in January 2015, there were 6,556 homeless people counted within the county, 71% of whom are not sheltered in homeless shelters. This means that, within our immediate region, there are 6,556 people who may not have steady access to work, 6,556 often unfilled plates, and 6,556 people without a home to call their own. Interact aims to aid these people primarily by increasing awareness and by gathering supplies to donate to the homeless. As senior Amanda White says, Interact does “a week of awareness where the club encourages people to eat less excessively, to make care packages, and to generally work to lessen the stigma associated with homelessness.” These actions serve two purposes: to remind students that there are people in our community who cannot afford food and to help encourage people to donate their excesses to the homeless. Senior Natasha Kuo adds that Interact also “helps out at homeless shelters” to work in direct contact with the people they are serving. By doing so, Interact helps combat the issue of homelessness in the Bay Area. According to the Interact website, there are approximately 100 million homeless people worldwide. By taking simple steps to raise awareness of homelessness, organizations like Interact are helping lessen the problem.
ce Justi n io n i p O
An often overlooked issue in our society is what happens to excess food. We are fortunate to be able to buy the food we need, rarely thinking about what happens to the food we do not buy. Unfortunately, some of that food is thrown away instead of being used for a better cause. In the Bay Area, there are many people that depend on food banks, free meals, and other charitable sources for their daily meals, unable to afford the cost of buying food. Waste No Food, a charitable organization started in 2010 by a Kiran Sridhar when he was twelve years old, provides a vital link between those that have excess food and those that do not have enough food. Waste No Food aims to solve certain problems related to the donation of excess food. For restaurants, grocers, and farmers concerned about liability, Waste No Food educates them about the Good Samaritan Law, which protects those who donate in good faith. Another problem is that donors and receivers cannot easily connect together. Acting similarly to a middleman, Waste No Food fills the gap by giving donors and receivers a common, online access point that facilitates an easy process for donation of excess foods. Donors and receivers go through a verification process, and then are entered into the database. When charities log on, they will see a list of donors with addresses, allowing them to find the closest one with the items they need. The charity is completely responsible for food handling, food safety, and pick-up from the donor’s location—lessening the burden on the donor. This revolutionary system is what makes Waste No Food so unique and effective. We need to bridge the gap that separates those with excess food and those without enough of it, and Waste No Food is a step towards that, helping to promote the efficient and balanced allocation of food among all members of society.
In the Bay Area, 40.9 % of children are below the poverty line and only two out of every ten individuals twentyfive years or older have high school degrees, a devastating side effect of poverty among children. Various organizations assume the responsibility of helping these children, who are silently crying out for rescue from the abuse and environment they have had to face from a tender age. The club UTAP, or Underrepresented Teen Advocacy Program, is one such group. The basic purpose of the club is to help underrepresented teenagers of the Bay Area, with a specific focus on San Jose. It helps teenagers in six categories: Health Care, Basic Needs, Legal Counseling, Drug Rehabilitation, Counseling, and Education. Through partnerships with various aid providing organizations, the club directs teenagers in need of assistance to the proper organizations for the assistance they require. Thus, these local teenagers can break out of the cycle of poverty and have more opportunity. From our insulated lives in the loving community at Mitty, it is hard to picture other people our age not managing to find food for the day or not having the support to guide them through high school and into college. However, as club member Jocelyn Woods put it, “Imagine if you were struggling to find food every day, couldn’t go to the doctor when you needed it, or didn’t have access to a counselor during difficult times on top of the immense stress of being a teenager in school.” UTAP aims to create awareness about these issues that are so close to home for many teens. Beaten down by the unfortunate circumstances of their lives, they require our crucial assistance. We should not dismiss the issues close to home. And the issue isn’t merely close to home; it’s right on our doorstep. For further information, please visit utaponline.org or UTAP’s MyMitty page.
A World in Crisis The Impact of the “Islamic State”
By Amulya Yerrapotu and Giulia Travostino Justice Awareness Editors On Thursday, November 12, Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, was struck by two suicide bombers. Many of the victims were children who were playing in Burj al-Barajneh, the neighborhood that was targeted. A bomber detonated his explosives right next to a popular bakery. While witnesses tried to aid victims and escape the area, another bomb was set off about 160 feet down the road. In the end, 40 people were reported dead and 181 injured. On Friday, November 13, Paris was rocked by a series of attacks. At around 7 p.m., explosions went off in Stade de France, a soccer stadium. Minutes later, attackers fired their weapons in a cafe, a brasserie, a pizzeria, and a restaurant. Then came the attacks at the Bataclan concert hall, where attackers entered the venue, opened fire, then held the attendees of a concert hostage until the police stormed the venue. About 130 people were reported dead and 352 injured. On the same day, Baghdad was rocked by a suicide bomb and a road blast. The suicide bomber detonated his bomb during a memorial service for a Shiite militia soldier who was killed in a battle against ISIS. A roadside bomb was also set off at a Shiite shrine. The attacks killed 26 people and wounded dozens more.
On November 20, another roadside bomb exploded next to a mosque. Amidst the chaos triggered by the first bomb, a suicide bomber entered the mosque where his bomb was set off immediately. Ten people died and about 30 were injured. The global response to these acts of terror has been mixed, to say the least. Despite a heartwarming outpouring of support for Paris, other attacks have received minimal media coverage. Furthermore, the Paris attacks have also sparked a wave of Islamophobia. There have already been several reports of mosques being threatened or defaced. In the immediate aftermath of attacks, six U.S. Governors stated that they would refuse to allow Syrian refugees into their state. While their fear is understandable, it is also misplaced. After all, security standards for travel visas are much lower than for refugees, and 6 out of the 9 Paris attackers were European nationals— in other words, they could have walked right in, with or without the refugee crisis to use as a disguise. Furthermore, refugees are running from the very group we are trying to destroy. Even more concerning are the statements of various politicians: Senator Ted Cruz and former Governor Jeb Bush have both stated that they’d only accept Christian refugees, not Muslims, therefore discriminating on the basis of faith. Donald Trump said that he would like to create a database of Muslims living within the United States, citizens or
otherwise, harkening back to historic policies of internment that are now a stain on our country. But the worst part of this Islamophobia spreading globally is that this is exactly what ISIS wants—its primary recruitment tool is anti-Muslim sentiment. It uses Western prejudice to convince young Muslims that the west is at “war” with their faith, causing radicalization and furthering violence. ISIS’s attacks on Paris are, in part, meant to inspire unwarranted hatred against the Muslim community. And indeed, this backlash is entirely unwarranted. ISIS does not have any allegiance to Islam. A vast majority of those it kills are Muslim. The self-proclaimed Islamic State merely hides behind the Muslim faith in order to legitimize its unwarranted hatred. It’s time to stop enabling ISIS’s false narrative. Let’s start with its name. After the Paris attacks, several world leaders began referring to ISIS by the name it’s known by in the Middle East: Daesh. Technically, it is the Arabic equivalent of ISIS—an acronym for the group’s full name. But ISIS has threatened to cut out the tongue of anyone who uses the phrase. Why? The name reveals the group’s true nature: it sounds similar to the Arabic word “dahesh” meaning “one who sows discord.” Indeed, that’s all that Daesh does: cause chaos and create division. We cannot allow them to succeed.
Justice Awareness • December 2015
with Anya Navar and Ivanna Yeager
China’s One Child Policy
In 1979, the Chinese government implemented a policy requiring couples from China’s ethnic Han majority to limit themselves to one child in order to combat overpopulation. On November 5, 2015, China announced that they were abandoning this policy. Previously, couples who violated the one child policy faced a variety of punishments, ranging from fines and the loss of employment to forced abortions and sterilization. For example, Wei Laojin, a Chinese citizen, gave birth to two sons. One day, she received the news that her husband’s brother was in jail and the only way to get him released was to undergo sterilization. The policy also has had an enormous impact on demographics. The preference to raise male children has led to more men than women. Because men are valued more culturally, women are often overlooked. Due to this, the policy has caused female abandonment, infanticide, and sex selective abortions. There are more than 66 million Chinese women “missing” because of the policy. We can only hope that this policy will lead to female births no longer being seen as negative, and the end of forced abortions, sterilizations, and fewer sex selective abortions.
with Margarita Zvereva
Boko Haram Attack in Nigeria The afternoon of November 17 saw two suicide bombings in Nigeria, allegedly caused by Boko Haram, leaving 49 individuals dead and more than 150 wounded. These attacks occurred mere hours after the group was labeled the most dangerous extremist organization in terms of death toll. Unfortunately, these bombings are not rare occurrences in Nigeria, where Boko Haram is attempting to install a Muslim regime with allegiance to ISIS. In the past six years alone, more than 2 million refugees have fled Nigeria for safety, while more than 20,000 have died from the terrorist group. The two suicide bombings occurred after a hiatus of only three weeks, when in late October two mosques were hit by bombs. After the two bombings, Mark Zuckerberg released a statement, saying that the Safety Check–first used with the Paris attack–would be implemented in the Nigerian bombings as well. According to Zuckerberg, Facebook does not want to create the assumption that other terrorist attacks do not matter as much as the one in Paris. Rather, the company wants to aid anyone in need, as “a loss of a human life anywhere is a tragedy.”
Weathering the Storm Hurricane Patricia: Mexico
El Niño: Somalia
By Surabhi Bhupathi Staff Writer
By Natasha Tolia and Michelle Mallari Staff Writer and Apprentice Editor
The precursor to the storm consisted of torrential rains and flooding. In Guatemala alone, hundreds of thousands of people were directly affected, and in southeastern Mexico, the flooding reached a reported 19.7 inches. Hundreds of homes were leveled, and agricultural crops were destroyed, coming to a total of 4.7 billion pesos (about 283 million US dollars) in damages. This was just the beginning. At around 6:15 P.M. on October 23, 2015, Hurricane Patricia made landfall. As one of the mos t intense tropical storms that has ever been recorded in the Western Hemisphere, the storm was expected to cause unprecedented destruction. Luckily, the storm weakened as it headed over mountains and spared much of the richer parts of the country. Unfortunately, poorer regions were not so lucky. As the hurricane moved inland, much of the damage was evident in Southern Mexico, specifically Jalisco and Colima. As a result, around 97 schools and 197 homes, as well as a number of medical facilities in Colima were damaged. Around 8,280 hectares of banana, corn, and papaya crops in Jalisco have been destroyed, putting
about five thousand farmers out of work. Although Mexico has been trying its best to support its people during this time, by giving out timely alerts, a small village in Jalisco wasn’t receiving these, and the only alerts it got were from the news reports. This village depended greatly on fishing and ecotourism, and after the hurricane, 120 out of 150 of the village’s fishing and tourism houses were destroyed. This made for about 2.5 million pesos ( about 149,000 U.S. dollars) in damage. Hillsides in this area were completely stripped of vegetation, and the lush, green, tropical landscape became as barren as tundra. Hurricane Patricia left thousands of people with feelings of loss, depression, and sadness. Many were left without electricity and medical help, and the roads that people could have used to get help were completely ruined. Given these events and their aftermath, a number of organizations are collecting donations to aid the Central American villagers who lost so much as a result of the hurricane. Donations can be made to the Mexican Red Cross, UNICEF, Direct Relief, or the Catholic Relief Services.
By 2016, between 500,000 to 900,000 people in Somalia will be hit by the strongest El Niño weather in decades. Somalia, located in East Africa, was just beginning to recover after its famine in 2011, but the El Niño is now threatening the lives of agro-pastoral families as flash floods wipe out thousands of makeshift homes and other infrastructures, destroy crops, and kill livestock. About 855,000 Somalis do not have enough food and an estimated 214,700 children under five are malnourished, says the World Food Programme. I f a ff e c t e d communities do not receive the support needed amid crop failures and lack of drinking water, more children will be left malnourished and will be at risk to fatal diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, diarrhoea, and cholera. As schools, roads, homes, and even parents are taken away from them because of El Niño, children are dropping out of school to work and beg to support themselves. Without someone to look after them, children become vulnerable not only to the harsh weather but to abuse, violence, and exploitation. The drastic effects of the sudden torrential downpours have already been demonstrated, and the United Nations and other organizations have been implementing aid
accordingly. At this point, the UN estimates that about 55,000 people have been affected already, with at least 18,000 displaced in low lying, at risk areas of the country. In regions such as these, organizations such as UNICEF have begun taking preventative measures. Aid workers are administering food, medical, and hygienic supplies, and adjustments to water systems such as the strengthening of riverbanks are meant to minimize damage. Adequate planning and sufficient funds and resources dedicated to aid will be critical in protecting populations from the impact of the extreme weather brought by El Niño. Organizations are stressing the education of people at risk in order for them to be able to take basic precautions to protect their families and property. This will not be enough, however, as the UN World Food Programme has stated that an estimated $12 million will be required to administer adequate provisions, but with decreased funding rates, the budget consists of roughly one third of that. As a result, resources and activity are being limited as time continues to be of the essence. Earlier action will prevent long term humanitarian complications entailed by the dangerous weather conditions affecting at-risk populations.
'17: We Rock the Scene By Darren Tsai Staff Writer
Archbishop Mitty is renow ned for its unrivaled athlet ics, performing arts, and academic opportunities. However, one department that fuels the undying Monar ch pride is Student Activ ities. With events such as Spirit Week an d Monarch Madness, Mi tty truly embodies the ideas of school spirit. Working behind the sce ne s as a student government representati ve to make these events successful has been an absolute privilege, and it has given me a strong, foundational sense of community. After being elected as So phomore Class President during my first year in student governm ent, I was both excited and ner vous. I had no idea what to expect, but I was prepared to devote my entire being to making sure that Mitty and the Class of 2017 would have an enjoyable year filled with exc iting activities. Soon after, I became cau ght up with the pressures and expectations of my peers, and I found myself obsessed wi th winning rather than uniting our school as one. I spent countless sle epless nights trying to juggle multiple responsi bilities, such as choreogra phing the perfect Monarch Madness dance, rather than delegating job s to the other representatives. Thus, after get ting third in both Spirit We ek and Monarch Madness, I was devastate d. It seemed as if all of my hard work was wasted. These losses cru shed my spirit, but I wa s fortunate enough to be reelected as a studen t rep. this year. I can proudly say that I have grown as a represent ative from sophomore year to now— as a current junior, my perspective has drastically changed. After an enlightening experienc e sophomore year, I was determined not to car ry the same, self-depreca tin g mentality I once had. Rather than becoming too involved with the ide a of winning, I am now focused on ensuring the best possible and fun -fil led year for the school. Mitty has becom e my love—my home—and my job now is to make sure that every single student here feels the same way.
Juniors Going Up
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By Ruhi Buddharaju and Neha Thakar Staff Writers Everyone has heard of the stereotypical sleep-deprived, miserable junior wh could go back to the days of sleeping for 9.25 hours every night. However, there to junior year than meets the eye. Being a junior does have its moments, one of them being the power and prid with being an upperclassman. A big highlight from this year has been winning Sp fourteen points. With our effort in the class dress-up days, our victory in Powder overall spirit, nothing less than a win would have satisfied us. The feeling of winnin Week is hard to replicate, and we felt like we were on top of the world—nothing ng cou us down. Being crowned champions of Spirit Week definitely added a spark of ex to the normal struggles of junior year. Moving on from our little victory speech about Spirit Week, a highlight of jun is by far the Ethics, Culture, and Justice classes that focus on both the culture and cial injustices in various countries. For us, the chance to bond with and learn mor our classmates, many of whom we would not have met without the class, makes extremely rewarding experience. The eventual trip truly is the light at the end of t tunnel that is junior year. Of course, junior year isn’t all fun and games. One of the main drawbacks of ing a junior is the sudden increase in responsibility and pressure. We are expected on top of our game, from starting new clubs to getting jobs to determining our paths—making decisions that will shape the rest of our lives. Junior year ups the a all these aspects. Expectations are raised, and we are required to step up to the pla take on these challenges. Even though the weight of junior year is immensely stressful, the pressure of c lege does motivate us to reach our full potentials and there is no doubt much to loo forward to in the future that lies ahead.
Getting Involved By Yabsera Grum Staff Writer Archbishop Mitty High Sc hool, known for its excell ent academic programs and sports teams, has also pro vided its students with such a div erse campus, allowing the m to become more involved in the extracurriculars that they enjoy. As a current sophomore, I have found endless oppo rtunities to immerse myself withi n the heart of the school by participating in several programs that have made me feel lov ed and united with others. During my freshman ye ar, I had always wante become more involved wi d to th different clubs, sports teams, and performing art programs to push my ow s n boundaries and set new goals for myself. That firs year consisted of meani t ngful experiences in both cross country and track field, an exciting time in and orchestra, and clubs, suc h as Interact, newspaper ARK, AASU, and more, , that have grounded me in bec oming the dedicated and hardworking person I am today. Entering my sophomore year, I knew that I wante d to have the same experi ence but with a step furthe r into the heart of our com mu nit y: Student Government. Contrary to popular belief , Student Government is not just nine representati who run your class to hel ves p you win titles. In reality , those nine representatives are part of a family whose job is to unite its class and love each other as one. I definitely am intereste d in joining more activitie s in my final years here at Mitty! I believe that there is no better way to involve yourself within amazing community tha this n with the programs that Mitty offers. I am so gra that I have been accepted teful with open arms by people who push me to give it my all every day. At times, managing extrac urriculars with classes and outside activities may be difficult, but there are always friends to talk wi th to give you a sense of surance and the will to per reassevere. Overall, extracurr iculars have given me mo confidence and have streng re thened the bond I have wi th my fellow students and teachers who have all ma de Mitty the extraordinar y place I call home.
A Fresh Start By Malavika Ramarao Staff Writer
the first day of orientation at a new school. ly don’t know that many people—probably ong the hundreds that you will have to face. w would you feel? Anxious, scared, terrified, le excited? n’t know about you, but this is how I felt on day, August 12, 2015: my first day as an ofchbishop Mitty student. My experience tranto Mitty is something I would love to relive. mely and welcoming feeling ever present in ol is what contributed most to my transition ng an environment in which I was not afraid self. ry teacher and sstudent was ready to help all of men. The sense of a unified community that n engraved into the school over the decades a unique atmosphere that I aspired to be a
My first day of orientation as an Archbishop Mitty student started with meeting the orientation leaders who showed us the school—and from the start, they helped break the ice between the students of our homeroom. The rest of the day consisted of a sample school day, where I was able to meet my future classmates—and friends—along with many entertaining carnival games. All of the activities helped us to bond and create new memories with each other. Throughout orientation, there was a sense of happiness and comfort that floated through the air. Orientation provided all of us freshmen an opportunity to meet each other and make new friends. Freshman orientation reminded me of why I wanted to go to Mitty in the first place. The energy, excitement, and feeling of unity in the atmosphere all helped make it one of the best days of my life, and I could not wait for high school to start.
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Spotlight on Srayva
By Sachin Vallamkonda Staff Writer Choral music, dance, drama, and instrumental music all make up the diverse and successful Performing Arts program at Mitty. With seven instrumental music groups, three choirs, three dance groups, and four drama groups, many of Mitty’s most talented students have quite a lot of room to dabble in their arts and excel in their respective environments. One student here at school has been part of the Performing Arts program at Mitty since her freshman year: senior Sravya Rallapalli is currently a singer in both Mitty’s Jazz Band and Jazz Choir, two of the most talented groups of musicians at our school. When Sravya first came to Mitty, she thought theater would be the right place for her, but quickly she soon turned to her singing talent. According to Sravya, her favorite performance has been at Black and Gold where she sang Aretha Franklin’s “Think.” Sravya recalls, “I had so much fun singing it. The audience responded positively, and I just had so much fun with the Jazz Band playing amazingly and the Royals killing it on stage.” Sravya comments that “Jazz Choir and Jazz Band are basically two families” for her and that she loves how “everyone is so supportive of one another and has something different and fresh to contribute to the group.” She also particularly gives thanks to Ms. Simón and Mr. Kimont who “have been instrumental in [her] development as a jazz vocalist.” Sravya hopes to major in music while at college.
Compiled by Je ssica Schueler Staff Writer What will yo u miss the m ost about Mit Stefan Sorian ty after you o: One thing I graduate? will miss the m graduate is not ost about Mitty be in g ab le to wake up and se day before, du after I ring, em many of the pe and after school. The reality y best friends every op of seven months, le you see every day and talk being a senior is that and I find this to will be gone qu a huge impact on me througho ite frightening. My friends ha within ve made ut these four ye clowns is the th ars, an ing I w impart to you al ill miss most about Mitty. O d being with these ne l is to cherish th ese moments w message I wish to ith your friend s. How has the college appli cation proce Medha Somay ss been? aj overwhelmed w i: It’s been stressful, obviou sl he y. of changing yo n applying for college; one es It’s hard to not get ur entire future sa y has the possib . It’s especially about myself, so ility di ffi th cu e lt for me to wri level of person require is somet te al re fle ct ion hing I’m not to o fond of. Right that college essays on the stress of now applying and no whole process t the actual impl , I can only focus seems surreal. In less than a year ications of it. The at Mitty anymor , I won’t be e, but that hasn ’t really sunk in at home or yet. What’s the b est thing abou t being a sen Therese Power ior? leaders of the sc s: The best thing about bein g a senior is be hool. You can ing th see up to you for gu idance. It’s aw as you walk around everyone e esome to see th think they still looks e ha This year I keep ve four amazing years ahea young freshmen and d of them here catching mysel at f years and can’ t help but smile remembering moments in m Mitty. y last four at how much I’ ve people have in spired me here grown and how many at Mitty.
Arts & Entertainment A Rapper Named Josh
By Kristyna Otto A&E Editor
Mitty senior Josh Smith has recently released a new EP “No Challenge” online. Josh is an aspiring rapper and was kind enough to share his story with A&E. Make sure to check him out using the QR code below. A&E: How did you start rapping? What inspired you to create your own album(s)? Josh Smith: I started getting serious about rapping around the summer between sophomore and junior year. I was going through a really rough time, and since I didn’t like talking about my problems to other people, music and songwriting became a way for me to explore my feelings and simply vent about whatever was going on. After taking some time to just sit down and write out what was going through my head, I found myself with around twenty songs and thought to myself, “Why Not? I already have the content. I’m making a mixtape.” A&E: What is your favorite song that you have ever written? What is the song you are most proud of? JS: My favorite song I have written is “#PrayForLoukas.” I didn’t realize how much of an effect it would have on people when I initially released it. As of right now, it has 3,979 listens and counting. I’m so blessed to have provided such a powerful song to help people through the tough time of mourning this loss to his family and the Mitty community. I am most proud of my song “Nightmares / Lucid Dreams / Unconscious,” a three part song that really changed everything for me. The song analyzed the bulk of my problems at a time of personal struggle. Overall, I am happy I was able to find the courage put all of those feelings down on paper, because this is the song that really got me out of the slump. A&E: What are your plans for the future in regards to your music? JS: I plan to go to college and study either Music Production or Music Industry. Eventually I want to be a talent manager or producer simply so I have something to fall back on in case this whole rap thing doesn’t work out. I figure by becoming involved in the business side of it, I will be able to have a secure job and still do what I love. As for the immediate future, I plan on doing local shows. Also, I have three albums coming out soon: “Therapy,” a one year anniversary extended remake of “Underestimated”; “Hopeless Romantics,” a collaboration effort with Mikey Nicosia; and another mixtape that is currently untitled. Keep an eye out for music videos as well! A&E: What is the best part about writing an album? What is the hardest? JS: The best part of writing an album is the process. If you watch me write, I will literally jump out of the chair and start dancing around when I think of a really good line. It’s a very exciting time. The hardest part of writing is tying in a good message or story into the song. I have to really focus and put time into my work. I believe music is too powerful to waste time making songs about material things, misogyny, and drug/alcohol use. I will not put out a song unless I listen to it and can find something in it that will leave a positive influence on listeners.
Heading to Carnegie Hall
By Jenny Park Staff Writer
Archbishop Mitty High School sophomore Jason Xu won the prestigious American Protégé International Concerto Competition in early November. He was chosen as the first place clarinetist in the wind category with “Solo de Concours” by André Messager, a Romantic composer (1853-1929). The first stage of the competition required two pieces, a solo piece and a concerto. He submitted a recording of “Solo de Concours” by Messager and “Concerto No. 2, Movement 1” by Carl von Weber, a Romantic composer (17861826). And after an international panel of judges evaluated the performance, they selected him winner of his division in the 2015 American Protégé International Concerto Competition. Now, Jason will be performing in a Winners’ Recital at Carnegie Hall on Sunday, December 20, 2015. The Protégé International Concerto Competition is held every year to discover young, talented musicians all over the world in over forty countries. Many brilliant, ambitious musicians participate, aiming at a mutual goal: the respected title of first place. Jason showcased extraordinary talent to take first out of the plethora of competitors, displaying immense dedication to his music in order to achieve his personal goal. Jason has been playing the clarinet since he was nine years old, and has loved nearly every moment of it. Most classical musicians come from families with a musical history, but he is the first musician in his. Even though his family has little musical background, his eagerness and determination inspired him toward a passion for music. Music is not only technique and speed; it is also heart and soul. The natural talent of expressing deep, heartfelt emotions is a gift. Jason has proved that, through his hard work and dedication, he has the makings of a virtuoso. He practices a great deal, choosing his clarinet over free time, in order to hone his skills. He also lends his musical abilities to the wind ensemble here at Archbishop Mitty High School. So if you see Jason in the Mitty hall, wish him the best as he goes off to Carnegie Hall!
Galloping to Odysseo ByAlora Cisneroz Staff Writer Imagine Cirque du Soleil with dozens of horses galloping in meticulously executed formations as aerialists swing gracefully from the ceiling, vaulters stand on top of dancing horses, and acrobats backhand spring through hoops. Can you picture that? Those who attend the Cavalia’s production of Odysseo expect nothing less. The so called ‘biggest touring production on earth’ sets up inside their infamous twelve story white tent in San Francisco for their show, which runs until December 13. In the company’s second show, the football field sized theater will feature their newest editions—a three story mountain, a lake, and a 8,103 square foot special effects screen. Cavalia doesn’t seem to have withheld a single penny to ensure their production is nothing less than extraordinary. In total, putting the Odysseo production together cost a whopping $30 million. Cavalia performed their first production as they traveled across the United States, Mexico, and Canada and the company instantly gained loyal supporters. Unsurprisingly Cavalia’s second show is even more of a hit, and The Miami Herald raved “Odysseo is a rare sequel that surpasses the original. If Walt Disney were still alive, he might create a show as magical as Cavalia’s new Odysseo.” Obviously Odysseo is a once-in-a-lifetime experience but creating a two and a half-hour production is not as easy as the performers make it look. With over 65 horses that travel with the company, most of the work that goes into the show is with the horses. Every horse that performs in the shows is trained anywhere from six months to ten years and the horses typically have a six-year career before they retire or are adopted by loving fans. Aside from their training, the horses require daily maintenance and when traveling the horses have to fly in specialized planes or trailers. Although the show is centered around the horses and their unique talents, as a whole, the production highlights the beautiful bond and trust between a rider and a horse. It’s rare to see such a large company as Cavalia stay true to their philosophy while maintaining such quality and respect for their horses.
Arts & Entertainment • December 2015
Holiday Drink Recipes By Haley Sousa Staff Writer
Just in time for the holiday season, here are three ways to make all of your drinks more festive!
Pumpkin Spice Syrup
Pumpkin Spice Creamer
1 cup water 4 tbsp pumpkin puree 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon Pinch of ginger Pinch of nutmeg ¾ cup of sugar
1 cup Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup 2 cups half and half ½ tablespoon vanilla
1 cup strong coffee or espresso 1 cup milk 2 tablespoons white chocolate sauce 1 tablespoon peppermint syrup
1. Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan on medium high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. 2. Whisk in the rest of the ingredients and continue to stir for about 5 minutes. 3. Remove it from the heat and allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
December 12/5: Pentatonix and Echosmith at The Masonic 12/5 & 12/6: The Weeknd, Halsey and Travis Scott at Oracle Arena 12/9: Christmas Concert at the Kinkade Theatre 12/10: ODESZA at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium 12/11: Live 105’s Not So Silent Night at Oracle Arena 12/13: Kalin and Myles at The Masonic 12/17: The 1975 at the Fox Theater
January 1/15: Opening night of Boeing Boeing 1/22: Beach Boys at the Golden State Theatre
1. Stir together and use as you would a normal coffee creamer.
1. Heat milk in steamer or microwave (do not allow to boil).
2. Store in a jar in the refrigerator and shake before each use.
2. Add the white chocolate sauce and peppermint syrup.
To make a pumpkin spice latte: Mix 2 ounces of hot coffee or one shot of hot espresso with 6 ounces of steamed milk and 2 tablespoons of pumpkin spice syrup to create the perfect Pumpkin Spice Latte!
3. Froth by shaking the mixture in a jar, then microwave for 30 seconds. 4. Pour into coffee or espresso.
Mitty in the Park
For the past 36 years, Christmas in the Park has been a San Jose tradition. A family event, Christmas in the Park takes place in Downtown San Jose’s Plaza de Cesar Chavez and lasts for all of December. This year the annual tree lighting ceremony, presented by PG&E, opened with Santa Claus himself, appearing before the crowds on Friday, November 27. Full of decorative trees, fun games, and chill(y) exhibits, Christmas in the Park is bound to be a blast this year! But did you know that Mitty students are involved? It’s true; Monarchs are making their mark on Christmas in the Park! Meet junior Lucas Kernan, who helped design, build, and paint all of the ornaments, decorations, and sculptures for the Mitty Christmas in the Park tree. When asked why he joined a crew of Mitty kids who gave up their summer days to work on the tree, Lucas explained that “art is a huge passion of mine and other than this, I’ve never been able to do art in a semi-competitive setting with other people—the teamwork is very important.” Additionally, Lucas pointed out that “it is really fun to do something you love knowing you are going to make other people happy and spread Christmas spirit.” And while Mitty only has the one tree, all of the decorations are made by Mitty students. So when you make
By Mary Celestin A&E Editor
your way down to Plaza de Cesar Chavez this winter, be sure to check out Mitty’s tree—in all its glory—and appreciate the love and passion our Monarchs have put into its creation. Mitty’s Band also played a role in the festivities, performing for Santa on the annual tree lighting ceremony. Junior Somin Jo shed some light on how the band prepared for such a performance. Asked what pieces that band would play, Somin described three Christmas classics: “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, “Feliz Navidad,” and “Rockin Around the Christmas Tree.” Somin, reflecting on her time in wind ensemble, noted, “The one thing I like most about wind ensemble is being able to have time to play music and to take a break from the hectic life of being a student, especially being a junior. It’s a great time being able to practice with friends, especially with your section. I am most excited about how wind ensemble will be performing at many places. It’s such a great opportunity to be able to march and play Christmas music for Christmas in the Park’s opening day.” All in all, I highly recommend you grab your friends and take a trip to Winter Wonderland, enjoying all that Mitty and San Jose has to offer at Christmas in the Park.
By Willow Patel Staff Writer
With the holidays right around the corner, last-minute shopping sprees are a must.
Now onto the females. Daughters, sisters and girlfriends, are you worried that you
However this year, be sure to not make the mistake of sacrificing quality for quantity. No
will not choose the perfect gifts for the men in your life? The number one piece of advice
matter who the receivers of your gifts are, these selection of presents are sure to leave a
for you is to stick to your instincts. Don’t overanalyze your decisions; rather, choose a gift
that shows you know him well.
Let’s begin with the males. Sons, brothers and boyfriends, are you habitually stressing
I recommend you purchase his favorite cologne, a pair of socks with what would be
out over what ideal gifts will suit the ladies in your life? Despite contradictory opinions,
considered a “sick” pattern, two tickets to a game for his favorite sports team (or a musical
women have a tendency to care more about the meaning behind a gift rather than the brand
or play for any of you thespians out there), or even simply a gift card for Nike, iTunes or
name on it. I recommend you invest your funds into purchasing her favorite perfume, a
Gamestop. Stores such as Sports Authority, Gamestop, Target, and Sports Basement are
necklace or bracelet with a special charm, her favorite music album (believe it or not
sure to carry these items, and tickets to games or shows can be ordered online.
mixtapes are still valued) or a gift card and a reservation to her favorite restaurant. The primary stores that you should consider when buying gifts are Macy’s, Brandy Melville, Bath and Body Works, Urban Outfitters, Lush, and Rasputin Music.
Ultimately, no matter what you decide upon, make sure to express your ultimate love when both giving and receiving presents. After all, love is what the holidays are truly all about.
December 2015 • Arts & Entertainment
The Franchise Awakens By Philip Brazleton Staff Writer
“It’s true. All of it. The darkside. The Jedi...” These words are spoken by Han Solo himself; I never thought we’d see the day where the story of Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader would become a myth, where it would have to be verified by the veteran rebel himself. Yet this day has come, thirty years after The Battle of Endor at the end of The Return of the Jedi. The first Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer awoke people’s nostalgia, but it was cryptic in terms of what to expect from the plot. The most recent trailer has fans going wild, and, though it is still unspecific as to what the story or conflict will be, it reveals key elements of the movie that have inspired speculations and theories amid the buzz. We have seen Han, Leia, and Chewbacca in scenes of action, and have even seen John Boyega’s character, Finn, entering a duel with a lightsaber of his own. But fans are not concerned with what we know because all of it looks amazing so far. Fans are worrying about what is an atrocity to them, which is the lack of their favorite Star Wars franchise hero.
One of the biggest speculations pertains to beloved Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hamill. Viewers find it curious, and even outrageous, that Luke was never shown in either trailer; his voice was used for the first trailer, but they have not physically shown him, which is odd. After reading articles that discussed several theories, I think that there is going to be some major surprise with Luke in the movie. Fans speculate that Luke has joined The Dark Side, or has become a hermit like Yoda was in The Empire Strikes Back. Others have noted that Mark Hamill is billed higher on the cast list than Adam Driver is, even though Adam Driver (villain Kylo Ren) is shown more frequently in the trailer. Some are now saying that, since Kylo Ren wears a mask, and is shown saying to the broken Darth Vader mask, “I will finish what you started,” that Luke is actually Kylo Ren. This does make sense: Luke was the only one who could have gotten his hands on that mask because he held a funeral for his late father with Darth Vader’s armor. And why is it that Luke is listed first, but
never shown? Why is it that he isn’t on the poster? Fans are freaking out because their hero is nowhere to be found. Kylo Ren is even shown without a mask, and the voice that speaks from behind the mask is unidentifiable. Either there is something we don’t know, or the studio is using this mystery to heighten the anticipation. Whatever it may be, people are itching for answers. And in real life too, as the title suggests, we have seen an awakening of the force. Parents are now sharing with their kids what they once shared with their parents when they were kids. It’s a revival of the Star Wars era: Shelves will be stocked with lightsabers for the Christmas season. Vader masks probably spiked this year for Halloween, and will frequent the Halloween holiday for the next few years. Our society has met this new movie with a nostalgic embrace, though many are fearful that the movie might not live up to the hype. Maybe we should just, as it says in the trailer “let it in,” and go on December 18 to experience the power of the force once again.
Must-See Movies! We know your situation: you feel like you’ve seen every good movie out there, perhaps you are literally searching the phrase “good movies” on the internet. Fear not, we have compiled a list of four movies you probably haven’t seen to ease your pain. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: This movie is nearly perfect, and it baffles me that more people haven’t seen it. The performances from Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet are outstanding. The movie is a journey into a person’s mind where all their flaws, regrets, mistakes are shown. Everybody needs to see this movie because it is so unique and gorgeous that it will surely be remembered by the viewer. Nightcrawler: While many might know of this movie, not a whole lot of people saw it, which is their loss. From the gorgeous shots of Los Angeles to the brutal ones of blood and death, Nightcrawler works in every way. Every actor involved does their job perfectly and Jake Gyllenhaal’s haunting and intense character drives this pulse-pounding thriller. You will be glued to the screen by the magnificent performance of Gyllenhaal, the breathtaking cinematography, and the chilling story.
Let the Words Fall Out By Alexis Rambac Staff Writer Sara Bareilles, the artist behind the a saying she has clearly followed in her casongs “Brave,” “King of Anything,” and reer by always communicating her message “Love Song,” has created a musical adap- through her music. Bareilles extraordinary tation of the movie Waitress, a story that talent make her deserving of all that she has follows the life of an abused young women accomplished. who works in a restauBareilles’ artistrant and seeks a better ry showcases these life for her new child. talents. Her powerful The songs in the voice and soulful balmusical are Bareilles’ lads announce that she is a gifted and own composition, genuine musician, and the show recently in contrast to some closed at the American artists today. Repertory Theater in In addition, BaMassachusetts. reilles has stayed While we may not true to herself and be able to support Banot transformed her reilles’ work as it heads career drastically to to Broadway, all of the keep her audience tracks from the musiinterested—a path cal are available for that Miley Cyrus purchase on iTunes. and Taylor Swift too Without a doubt, often have felt they Bareilles has grown into a great artist, and writing for a musical needed to take. Because she continues to embrace only adds to her commendable work as a her creativity, she effectively portrays her singer and songwriter. Bareilles continues to empower and artistry to her audience and definitely has inspire her audience and tells us to “say what earned the right to pen her own musical, [we] wanna say, and let the words fall out,” adding to her thriving career as a musician.
By Jose Lopez and Brad Lewinski Staff Writers
The Prestige: This could be one of the most interesting and well acted stories created in the 21st century. The Prestige follows two magicians, rivals in Old London. And in these times, technology is everything. Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman play two men fighting for the next big breakthrough in magic, and through their yearning to be the best they are forced into very difficult ethical and physical dilemmas. If you like incredible stories or shocking plot twists, this movie is for you. Th superb acting and the excellent direction by Christopher Nolan drives this movie above most films. The Royal Tenenbaums: The immense charm which radiates from this film is absolutely captivating. Wes Anderson at his finest, the alluring cinematography and excellent storytelling of this film make it a joy to watch. The film is definitely a drama, dealing with dark and depressing themes, yet there is an indescribable joy one gets just from watching it. The entirety of the large cast shines, and not one role misses a beat. The charming quirkiness, fantastic storytelling, and stellar performances across the board make this movie a must see.
Hello...it’s Adele By Julia Jannon-Shields Staff Writer
Adele is back and better than ever with a new powerful single, “Hello,” off her new album 25, released November 20. After three years of musical silence, “Hello” is the perfect comeback song and segue into the new musical style she is pursuing. Following the release of the single, Adele revealed to reporters that the sound of her upcoming album 25 is nothing like what we’ve seen from her before. She explains that in her previous albums 19 and 21, she was in a dark place, creating more melancholic and “break up” music. Now, at this point in her life, Adele feels that she has surmounted this darkness and wants to let that shine through in 25, making it more of what she calls a “make up” album. However, she admits to being a drama queen and tells reporters that 25 will still contain some of the dark and dramatic lyrics she is known for. Thank goodness. I mean let’s be hon-
est here: Is it even really Adele if the song doesn’t make you feel emotional about someone you never even actually were with? This stylistic change and spectacular return has left many fans with unanswered questions. Why was she gone for so long? What was she doing? Why now with this new sound? All answers seem to point towards her son, Angelo, born in 2012—also known as the year Adele fell off the face of the earth. Unlike the majority of celebrities, Adele admirably took time off—three years to be exact—to spend time with her son and establish a strong family bond, rather than attempt to juggle a full-time career while caring for a child. This family-focused break from the fast-paced celebrity lifestyle is ultimately what has allowed her to surmount this dark time she had been in for so long. Adele has reached stability and is no longer reflecting on how she and some irrelevant other “could’ve had it all.” Instead, she is focused on her life and career moving forward. You keep being you, Adele. We’re all loving it.
Arts & Entertainment • December 2015
Bond is Back
By Heramb Tamhankar Staff Writer “What do we do now?” Swann asks However, this is where the positives end, James Bond, right after they have defeated and the negatives begin. a secondary villain in the new Bond film Spectre’s plot is unoriginal considerSpectre. ing the central conflict of the story is that Indeed, her question calls to mind the villains have access to unlimited surveilstate in which the James Bond franchise lance of the entire world. This exact same has found itself after the critically ac- conflict has been central in multiple movies claimed Skyfall. Unfortunately, Spectre, of late, most recently Captain America: the 24th film in the James Bond franchise, The Winter Soldier. does not reach the level that Furthermore, Waltz’s Skyfall did, despite having villain is never fully develthe same director. Spectre oped; his personal vendetta is a decent enough film, against Bond seems forced. but stands a notch below its However, the worst predecessor. of all of these weaknesses Although few, the is that Spectre seems like positives of this movie a movie attempting to be are very special. Daniel two different movies. It Craig returns as the suave attempts to ground itself and classy James Bond, with meaningful character and his acting is worthy of development and modhigh praise yet again. The ern day technological and supporting cast of Spectre threats, but at the same time does a nice job as well, introduces over the top and with reliable Christoph Waltz the latest ludicrous ideas into the story. Bond villain, and Léa Seydoux holding It seems like a movie that is trying her own as the latest Bond girl. The action to be a Bourne movie and a Roger Moore scenes are gripping and are a spectacle in Bond flick all at once, and unfortunately, and of themselves. Above all, Hoyte van this results in a disjointed film. Hoytema’s cinematography in Spectre is Overall, my recommendation for this phenomenal—as good as, if not better than, movie is to see it if you are a Bond fan, but that of Skyfall. The way each scene plays to not expect anything above and beyond. out is done flawlessly to the point where Spectre is a mediocre film, and reveals that watching the movie by itself is a delight. the Bond franchise has some work to do.
The Right Direction
By Winni Cherukuri A&E Editor One Direction is everything to me. Ever throw an entire plate of chicken wings at a since 2012, One Direction has meant so much window during a 49ers’ game and have the to me and I am not embarrassed to say it. full support of his bros makes no sense. I wish others weren’t embarrassed to I promise you, the sound of that window say it either, but I understand the stigma as- shattering and my mom’s subsequent yelling sociated with loving One Direction, or any was far louder than any One Direction fan’s other boy band for that matter. Fortunately, screams. for all my boy band fans embarrassed to Furthermore, who decided that music proclaim their love, the negative connotation that makes young women dance out of sheer that comes with being a fan of boy bands has joy is somehow less valuable, meaningabsolutely no value! ful, and valid than other As a die-hard music? I want to fight this One Direction fan, I person. am fully aware of the It really says somestereotypes applied to thing about our culture “Directioners.” We when a band that brings are crazed, fervent, pure happiness to teenage and constantly crying. girls is considered stupid. The term popuConsidering all of the larly used to describe nonsense that society tells us fans is hysteric. teenage girls, if a girl can Apparently, feel beautiful and confident as the result of a band, young women who that is a wonderful thing, display an intense love something that should be and passion towards a band that gives them genuine happiness celebrated, not scorned. Ultimately, to all my One Direction fans, are crazy. That others try to shame and dismiss N’SYNC fans, Backstreet Boy fans, Boyz girls who have immense love and dedica- ll Men fans, Jonas Brothers fans, and all tion in their heart sends a terrible message other fans of boy bands: you are NOT crazy. because it is essentially saying that a girl’s There is nothing crazy about loving a band passion makes them crazy. The fact that we and support a band. If your dad can support “Directioners,” and girls in general, can’t a football team, you can definitely support have intense emotion without be labeled as a group of guys whose biggest downside is hysteric while my own brother can literally that they wear their pants too tight.
In a Nutshell
By Katherine Rejer Staff Writer Bringing every mother’s nightmares to the screen, Room recounts the story of a woman, Joy, kidnapped and locked in a garden shed, relying on her captor to bring her and her five-year old son food. Then, after seven years, she finally breaks away from her prison. The film deals with intense and thrilling subject matter. Room also exposes the psychological effects of confinement and social isolation, allowing viewers to experience a new perspective. In a world where we have complete freedom, we can’t fathom being contained in a box. Unfortunately, the film seemed to lack depth. At times, the movie seemed unrealistic and it was difficult to connect with the characters. And I couldn’t help feeling underwhelmed by moments that I thought would be more dramatic. Overall, Room is a thrilling story with many twists. While somewhat underwhelming in spots, the film still evokes a deeper appreciation for a life not limited by four walls.
By Yabi Grum Staff Writer Beliebe it or not, Bieber is back! After four long years, renowned musician, Justin Bieber, has finally released his new hit album: Purpose. With 17 heartfelt and exhilarating songs, Bieber has definitely announced his return. Released on November 13, the album is a shift for Beiber. He has collaborated with music icons like Skrillex and Diplo, Big Sean, and Ed Sheeran to create a new twist on the party music we all listen to. With songs like “Where are Ü Now,” “ Love Yourself,” and “What Do You Mean,” he brings a fresh flavor to the table which has brought him to the top of the iTunes chart. Currently 21, Justin Bieber has found a new truth that he brings to his single “All In It,” saying, “I quickly found out that I’m not going to get the recognition I wanted or that I needed... I just get my recognition from [God], and give him recognition.” Clearly, he has changed for the better leaving people across the world to appreciate him and the new music he has produced. Well done, Biebs!
By Shelby Leone Staff Writer What do you get when you mix pop punk, folk, emo, and indie rock with a hundred catchy hooks: The Front Bottoms. Famous for their tumblr-viral lyrics and distinctly unique sound, The Front Bottoms have returned to the spotlight with their new album Back On Top. And although the aforementioned folk influences have completely disappeared, Sella’s signature nonsense-based lyrics only intensify with each song. Despite the absurdity of the songs’ lines, even my most cynical self cannot help but sing along to Sella’s honest lyrics and killer hooks. This is the band’s first album on major label Fueled By Ramen and, sadly, it shows. They have certainly lost their rock edge, but there is hope in songs like “Plastic Flowers.” Though “Plastic Flowers” is ripe with Major Label cleaner, it ends the album with a sense of hope: “I believe that someone’s got a plan for me...even if I don’t know it yet.” So maybe there is hope for The Front Bottoms, even if we don’t know it yet.
By Klara Barbarossa A&E Editor If you have listened to the radio recently, you’ve likely heard Alessia Cara’s hit single, “Here.” With its clever lyrics and Cara’s brassy voice, “Here” is the ultimate anthem for young adults who “would rather be at home” instead of at a high school party. After the release of “Here” in April, Cara’s debut album, Know-It-All, is finally out! At only 19, Cara has managed to create an album filled with twelve tracks that resonate with teens. From powerful anthems like “Wild Things” to vulnerable confessions like “Scars To Your Beautiful” and “Stone,” Cara has created a feel-good album with songs that I can’t help but sing along with. A satisfying mix of upbeat pop and soulful R&B, Cara’s album is unlike most mainstream pop albums—Cara’s voice is beautifully natural (sans auto tune) and her lyrics are meaningful. Know-It-All gives a promising look at Cara’s abilities as a singer-songwriter. I only hope that as Cara becomes famous, she will continue to embrace her unique sound. Lion drawings by Bharathi Arasan
Women’s Volleyball: Digging for a Title By Harika Veeramacheneni and Nicholas Aiello Staff Writers With the Pit packed, Women’s Volleyball faced off against Presentation on Dec. 1, in the Regional Finals, both teams hoping to stamp a ticket to the State Finals. Looking to win their fourth consecutive state title, Mitty gained a quick 25-11 first set win. The Panthers bounced back by barely closing out an intense 25-22 set. Mitty next showed resilience as they secured the 3rd set, 25-18. In the final set, clutch digs and tips were crucial for the Monarchs through constant lead changes. Sophomore Kamrin Caoli came up with the game winning play as the Monarchs closed out Presentation, 25-18. Now, the team has its eyes set on yet another state banner. The match is scheduled after our paper goes to press, and so we are unable to have the result. This year the Monarchs dominated the WCAL regular season with a 5-1 league record, and then secured another WCAL championship with a decisive 3-1 win over Sacred Heart Cathedral. Prior to the state championship, the Monarch’s owned a record of 34-5, along with being ranked #2 in the state, as well as the fifth in the nation. The team proved to be resilient in difficult league wins against Valley Christian and Sacred Heart Cathedral. Now, at the end of the postseason, the team can look and cherish valuable moments together. Senior Merin Kolte reveals that she is grateful “to spend three hours every day doing the thing I love most surrounded by the people I love most. That brings me inexpressible joy.” The WCAL championship against Sacred Heart Cathedral proved to be as action packed as anticipated. The Monarchs geared up to avenge a previous regular
Photo courtesy of Mr. Luie Lopez
Senior Julia Chizanskos focuses on the ball.
High Expectations By Shannon O’Hara and Rachel Dovek Sports Writers Following two very impressive seasons, both the men’s and women’s soccer teams are primed for more success. The WOMEN’S TEAM is eager to defend its WCAL and CCS titles. Photo courtesy of Mr. Luie Lopez As the athletes look toward Junior Makenna Pendleton crosses the ball. the upcoming season, senior goalie and captain Maya Hoyer explains how the unbreakable team dynamic undoubtedly contributes to the recurring success of the program. “Before games we always circle around a brick and say our prayers and team goals that we aim to accomplish during the game.” Such traditions allow the team to come together as one before each competition, a symbol of their unity and passion. Hoyer is also looking forward to “meeting new girls” and showing them what being a part of the varsity soccer team is all about. “Even though we lost many starting seniors last year, I can definitely see this team having the potential to be just as successful.” Just last year the varsity team regretfully said goodbye to 11 seniors, some of whom are continuing their soccer careers at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, UC Davis, and the MIT. But Hoyer, with the help of returning sophomores Sophia Mendoza and Chloe Cacoyannis, is confident that the team will be able to combine and conquer once again. The MEN’S TEAM is also looking to continue where it left off last season, one which included a 10-6-5 record and a trip to the CCS Division II Quarterfinals. Senior Aristotle Petkopoulos, three-time returning men’s varsity member, admires how “the team culture is unparalleled to any other. This organization teaches the transition between laughing and enjoying the presence of a collective team, to zeroed-in focus that enables us to perform at our highest level possible.” What makes Archbishop Mitty soccer so successful is the competitive atmosphere coupled with sheer enjoyment for the game. Petkopoulos is confident that with “the raw talent and chemistry of this group,” they will be able to “turn heads [and] win everything” this season. Junior Makenna Pendleton, who dominated on the field last season with 14 goals, is excited to come out strong once again. Along with returning seniors Jose Gonzalez and Tyler Bullock, he will strive to “stay consistent throughout the league” season. In the upcoming weeks, both teams look forward to pre-season games that will lead up to their respective season openers in mid-December. The women’s team will take on the Warriors at Valley Christian High School while the men’s team will look to “Beat the Bells” as they take on Bellarmine High School on our own turf. With the passion and support within and around the teams, both squads will surely make this season a successful one.
season loss against the Fightin’ Irish. Led by junior Candice Denny’s 4 blocks and junior Kate Formico’s 25 digs, the Monarchs brought the WCAL title back to Fien Gymnasium. As the number one seed in CCS Division II, the team faced Branham, the eighth seed, winning 3-0. In the semifinals, Mitty next defeated Mountain View with a 3-0 sweep. Presentation stood between the Monarchs and another Division II CCS Championship. Senior Merin Kolte (10 kills) and senior Tessie Powers (23 assists) led the team to a 3-0 sweep of Presentation and the CCS Division II Championship. Mitty is led by a number of contributing players. Among them are Powers, who has accumulated 614 assists throughout the course of the season. Also, senior and Marquette signee Lauren Speckman has added 567 assists of her own. Sophomore Nicole Liddle leads the team with 281 kills and Denny has 97 total blocks. Undoubtedly, the end of this postseason will bring more awards and accolades. It will also be the last run for the seven seniors on the team. Senior Julia Chizanskos summarizes these sentiments: “What we have on the volleyball team is extremely rare...I am going to be so sad leaving next year because there is nothing I love more than the Mitty volleyball program.” This season was the first time since 2007 all three levels of the Mitty women’s volleyball program were champions in their respective divisions. The freshman and JV teams took first place in the WCAL Southern Division bracket while Varsity placed first overall. With over 50 sectional, state, and national championship titles, Mitty volleyball truly has created a winning tradition.
Nothing But Net
By Justin Bui and Nathan Stelliga Staff Writers Heading into the new season of Men’s and Women’s Basketball, both teams have high expectations. The WOMEN’S TEAM is looking to repeat as WCAL Champions, CIF-Nor-Cal Division II Regional Champions, CIF Division II State Champions, and continue being ranked a top 10 or better team nationally. The team looks to compensate for losing key forward Taylor Todd, currently playing at Sonoma State. While this year’s season is just beginning, they are arriving in with more experience from last year’s season, concluding with a six-game win streak. The goal no doubt another state title. Coach Sue Phillips, who has coached her Photo courtesy of Mr. Luie Lopez teams to over 600 victoSenior Jahny Anderson drives to the hole. ries and to six state titles, observes, “The price of admission at the door is stellar work ethic and a positive attitude. Our team culture is excellent. We value hard work, quality of character, and unselfish play.” However, this team will have to work hard to overcome the obstacles in its way. The young team faces challenges as players who do not have much experience on varsity move up. Nevertheless, Coach Phillips sees the great potential and commitment these girls and this team have on the court. The Monarchs traveled to Spokane, Washington, December 4-5, to take part in the Fitz Tournament, gearing up for tough league play that lies ahead. The MEN’S TEAM is looking to again dominate on the court this year. Losing key players like guards Cameron Korb, now playing basketball at MIT, and Dakari Monroe, at San Jose State for football, a commitment to excellence on the court will be a key factor if the team wants to win again this year. With a 54-40 win over Sacramento High School last season, the Monarchs captured the CIF-NorCal Division II banner. When the team reached the CIF-State DII Finals against La Mirada last year the game ended in a nailbiting 71-70 double-overtime loss. Senior guard Mitch Newman says, “Every year, Coach Kennedy has stressed being strong with the ball. He teaches us to protect the ball so that no one can take it from us, not even LeBron James.” Senior forward Ben Kone, a recent commit to Oregon State University who was last year’s WCAL Player of the Year among many other achievements for the 2014-2015 season, will likely be a key factor in the Monarch’s success. Finishing third in the WCAL during the 2014-2015 season with a league record of 9-5, the Monarchs will have to face rivals such as Serra and St. Francis again this season on their quest for a state title. Men’s basketball began its season on November 30 in the Fien Gym in a scrimmage against Burlingame High School.
Sports • December 2015
Football: Monarchs Go Down Fighting By Henry Phan and Kaeleigh Smith Staff Writers Ups and downs are an essential part of life. The same goes for football—it comes with the good and the bad. Although the Monarchs have fallen short of their ultimate goal, the season remains a success. Among some difficult losses, there were also spectacular wins. In the end, what truly matters is that the Monarchs gave this season their all and can take home important lessons, regarding more than just the game of football. Senior Colin McKinnon states, “This season definitely shaped to be different than I expected.” Starting off 3-0 to begin the season, the Monarchs endured a bumpy ride throughout league play. Defeated by Riordan, Serra, Valley Christian, and St. Francis, the Monarchs were still able to grab wins over Bellarmine, Saint Ignatius and most recently, Sacred Heart Cathedral. Wins and losses aside, the Monarchs had impressive performances
throughout the season under the guidance of new Head Coach Keith Burns. In the opening round of the CCS playoffs, the Oak Grove Eagles would learn what every opponent who has faced the Monarchs had found out already: that this team does not go down without a fight. The Monarchs looked strong coming out of the gate—ending the 1st quarter with a 7-0 lead thanks to a 5-yd rushing touchdown by senior Matthew Tofano. However, that would be the only lead for the Monarchs in the game. Oak Grove’s Rashaan Fontennette put his team on his back. The Monarchs would grind the Eagle’s lead back down to 17-14, but ultimately couldn’t get over the hump. Fontennette would end the game—and the Monarch’s season—with 4 TDs on 145 yards. The final score was 52-35 with the Eagles on top. Although disappointed, senior Justin Collier reflects on the season: “This season was amazing. We experienced so much with both winning and losing. I’m
so grateful for the friendships that were solidified through playing football.” Hard work, guts, and camaraderie have gone a long way. Among all the scores and records, it all comes back to the team itself. Senior Johnny Trujillo expresses that feeling exactly: “Going into my senior year, I envisioned building stronger bonds with my teammates and coaches, and I feel I did so. I believe that this year’s varsity team had a great chemistry that helped us play hard, play for each other, and have fun doing it.” Mitty football is more than just a sports team; it is a family. Football teaches beyond the game alone. Mitty football learned to adapt to whatever came their way, and they ended the season intact, as a true family. A season comprised of a strong mentality, incredible support, passionate guidance, and devoted teammates leaves the Monarchs with genuine success. Every Monarch takes home a little more knowledge about teamwork, perseverance, and what truly matters: each other.
By Alex Veroulis and Sanjay Mattela Staff Writers Continuing their season, both the men and women headed to the Crystal Springs course on November 4 to compete in the 41st Annual Crystal Springs Invitational, one of the largest high school cross country events in California with about 2,700 athletes and 60 high school teams in attendance. The women’s team performed fairly well: a strong finish at the three-mile Crystal Springs course placed them at second in the WCAL standings. Although they fell just short of first place in the WCAL standings— entering the final race tied with St. Francis for first and eventually losing out by a mere two points—there were plenty of positive takeaways from their performance during the meet and, ultimately, the season. Notable individual stand-out performances included overall WCAL winner senior Julia Lemak, who beat
Monarchs celebrate win over Sacred Heart.
When looking at the CCS playoffs as a whole, the Monarch squad beat North Salinas in the opening round with a 2-0 victory, led by a goal by Sophie Hoefler and both a goal and assist by junior Morgan Peterson. This convincing victory put the team up against their CCS rivals, Los Gatos, in the final for the CCS title. In a closely contested, gritty, challenging duel the Monarchs were defeated by Los Gatos by a final score of 1-0. In spite of ending the season one step short of the championship they strove for all year, these players showed that they had the determination to fight their hardest until the very end. The passion this year’s squad showed was irreplaceable. Day in and day out, having walked to Mise for daily practices and having prepared extensively for each match, the spirit in their play was always evident. With solid future talent ready to grow and advance as leaders and athletes, the team looks prepared to take on any challenge that awaits them next year.
the rest of the WCAL field by 25 seconds, as well as top-10 WCAL finishers senior Erin Weiner and junior Abby Mangilog. The team channeled its success in the postseason, placing second at CCS and qualifying for State. Leading the way once again was Lemak, who had another strong showing, placing second at the championships. As for the men’s team, they also finished off their regular season at Crystal Springs, placing fifth overall in the WCAL. At CCS, they placed eighth overall, led by junior Eric Coyle who finished with a 15:56.8 time. Beyond results, it was the incessant support and genuine camaraderie that reflected the pride and spirit of Mitty cross country. Describing this close knit community, three year varsity member senior Justin Siu says, “As a senior, my last season with the team was unforgettable I can’t describe it. We got so much support through every tough race. And at CCS we had a bus full of people
Hustle & Heart
season run. Entering it with a 11-1-5 record after dominating during the regular season, the team was ready for any challenges in their path. The first place Monarchs faced the best of the best in CCS and continuously strove for excellence. As a result, the team had a near perfect record. At the beginning of the season, these athletes knew they needed to fill considerably large shoes of last year’s squad. With three past CCS appearances and two BVAL championships, the legacy placed a heavy burden on their shoulders. But with the continued Photo courtesy of Samantha Baker guidance of the team’s captains Samantha Baker, Hannah McCabe, Lauren Gengarella, and Coach Junior Shea Gavin passes the ball. Justina Williams, the team took up this challenge and rampaged through their regular season. By Giuliano Orsi, Emilio Zertuche, A special win was another BVAL championship Siddhant Gannu victory over Prospect in a dominating 3-0 performance Staff Writers Despite finishing the season in second place, the where junior Sophie Hoefler, junior Catherine Cecilio, Women’s Field Hockey Team had an successful post- and sophomore Jenny Kliewer scored.
Photo courtesy of Mr. Luie Lopez
Photo courtesy of Justin Siu
Monarchs huddle before a meet.
cheering us on.” Needless to say, with strong showings throughout the season, both the men’s and women’s cross country teams have plenty to look forward to in the upcoming years.
NCAA Fall Signing Day By Donovan Hart and Samantha Baker Sports Writer and Sports Editor
Men’s Basketball Gymnastics Ben Kone, Oregon State University Maya Washington, University of Washington Women’s Volleyball Women’s Field Hockey Lauren Speckman, Marquette University Lauren Gengarella, UC Davis Julia Chizanskos, University of Hawaii Women’s Diving Therese Powers, Gonzaga University Stephenie Kerkeles, Fordham University Women’s Swimming Morganne Mckennan, San Diego State University
Photo courtesy of Mr. Luie Lopez
“Playing competitive sports for years has provided me an opportunity to meet amazing people, be coached by phenomenal coaches with generous hearts, and be supported by loving parents. It’s allowed me to travel and experience extraordinary teams. Yes, signing was exciting, validating, and motivating, but more than anything it was an overwhelming sentimental feeling of gratitude toward all those who have coached, trained, pushed, supported and encouraged me to pursue this dream.” —Lauren Gengarella
Photography â€˘ December 2015
Photography â€˘ December 2015
Title Decoration by Charles Zhang
How to by David Tu Ever wonder how baristas make such lovely drawings on your lattes? They make it seem so easy but with these simple tips, you can also effortlessly decorate flower lattes during this holiday season!
Step 1: Establish a foundation Fill only a small portion of the cup with espresso and then slowly pour steamed milk directly into the center of the cup. Make sure to tilt the cup a bit while pouring and hold the steamed milk high so that it doesnâ€™t rest on top of the espresso. Once the cup is halfway full, hold the milk closer to the cup and move it in a small circular motion to help create a white circle as the base of the flower. Step 2: Draw an Outline Add chocolate syrup to the white circle in the center. Circular patterns work best to create the divisions in each petal, but feel free to experiment and create different designs. A simple pattern that you can try is a spiral sprawling from the center of the latte towards the outer edges of the steamed milk. Step 3: Draw the Petals Use a stirrer to pull outwards from the center to create petals. Feel free to draw your own designs by pulling in different directions; however, for beginners, a simple pattern could be four lines pulled outward from each division of the spiral. Step 4: Finalize the Design
By Elizabeth Mau
Now, the basic design of the flower has been completed. To finesse the petal design, use the stirrer and curve the sides of each petal inwards to distinguish it from the others. If you would like to embellish your artwork and enhance the taste of the latte, add a marshmallow to the center of the flower and add small dots of chocolate syrup around the edges of the flower.
Latte Art by Ella Garfunkel
By Tiffany Chan and Maddy Cha
Monarch: December 2015