A Letter from the Editors Here at Pulse, we sincerely hope you had an enjoyable spring break. With nine weeks left until the end of the school year, our new journalism staff has been diligently working to complete our penultimate issue of Pulse. Our new team of writers have been interviewing, researching, and writing to put together a magazine teeming with stories of intrigue and purpose. Check out the student profile article to discover how senior Ashwin Arasu pursued his passion of golf having bright plans for his college career and beyond. The future is bright in the technology and medical field; turn to Amanda Arnett’s article, “Out of Ink” to culture yourself in the world of bioprinting. Believe it or not, it has been over one-hundred days since President Trump assumed office, and flip to “Make America Great Again”, by Hunter Katz to read about the President’s first one-hundred days in office. Our layout directors, Jakob Saloner and Daniel Chekal, decided to take this issue of Pulse in a different direction. Each article is accompanied by powerful images. This minimalistic and clean design will hopefully appeal to you, our readers, and pull you in as you skim over photos of many of your peers. In preparation for our final issue of Pulse, we invite the class of 2017 to let us know where what your plans are for this fall, whether it be attending a university, community college, or taking a gap year. Please respond to the Facebook post called “CCA College Map 2017” or email us at email@example.com. We look forward to hearing back from all the seniors, and we are excited to release the 2017 college map in our final edition at the beginning of June. It is with great pride that we present to you Volume 12 Issue 3. Best,
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Editors In Chief: Kaylee Kinninger Kate Monko Creative Director: Jakob Saloner Editorial Director: Max Greenhalgh Online Editor: Ronnie Simon Design Team: Daniel Chekal Staff Writers: Amanda Arnett Libby Edwards Josh Golden Audrey Hsu Hunter Katz Derek Li Annie Lu Matthew Siemer Ali Youel Advisor: Mr. Black Special Thanks: Ella Makris David Novick Johnny Roy
Unplanned by Ali Youel
So What Now?
4-5 Make America Great Again 6-8
by Hunter Katz
Student Profile: Ashwin Arasu
Out of Ink
The Situation in 12-13 Syria
16-17 Josh’s Six Golden 30-31 Nuggets
by Libby Edwards
and American Culture)
by Annie Lu
by Amanda Arnett
by Kate Monko
by Ali Youel and Libby Edwards
by Matthew Siemer
by Audrey Hsu
by Max Greenhalgh
by Josh Golden
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Planned Parenthood. Within those two words, you can either be happy or livid. Planned Parenthood is a very controversial health care center, and pro-lifers are calling for it’s defunding or closure; however, many are ignorant of the services Planned Parenthood provide beyond abortions. Planned Parenthood offers a number of services to their patients, including breast exams, STD testing, pregnancy exams, reproductive care, and more. Cita Walsh, Vice President of Marketing and Communications in Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, commented that “20% of women visit a Planned Parenthood in their lifetime.” According to Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest Annual Report Fiscal Year 2016, they had a total of 137,231 patients, 87% biologically female and 13% male. The service given the most in the fiscal year of 2016 was STI tests. Out of 570,014 procedures completed in the Pacific Southwest Region of Planned Parenthood, 31.14% of them were STI testing and treatment. Cancer screenings and treatment were 6.8% of procedures in 2016. Breast cancer screenings are an especially pivotal part of women’s health. According to Planned Parenthood, “After skin cancer, it’s the most common type of cancer in American women. About 230,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year in the US and 40,000 women will die from it.” Planned Parenthood provides affordable breast exams, breast cancer treatment, and mammograms, saving many lives. As you probably know, Planned Parenthood also performs safe and legal abortion. Many people call for Planned Parenthood to be defunded and for Roe V. Wade, the supreme court case that made safe abortion legal, to be overturned. But what if this happens? How will that affect the America and women’s rights? Many people believe that abortion is a very important part of women’s rights. “People have a right to decide for themselves whether they have a child or abortion” said Walsh. Many pro-life organizations believe that Planned Parenthood should be defunded, and when I asked Ms. Walsh if there was one thing she wishes she could say to people who believe that, she stated that “Defunding Planned Parenthood would be a disaster for women, because 20% of women in the United States have visited a Planned Parenthood once in their lifetime.We are such an integral part of healthcare in this country. We are very accepting of everyone.”
Abortion is very controversial. According to a Pew Research article,, about 59% of US adults are “pro-choice” and 37% are “pro-life.” Pro-lifers find abortion to be murder, and because Planned Parenthood offers this service, they should be shut down or defunded no matter what else they do. They also believe that the fetus has the same rights as any of us, and they must protect these rights. The heart of an embryo starts to beat at four weeks, and the embryo becomes a fetus at eight weeks, and stopping an active heartbeat is viewed as an unacceptable moral act by those who hold a pro-life position. But what about in cases of rape? Some pro-lifers go so far as to say that they believe that the fetus should not be punished due to the crimes of the father, meaning that abortion shouldn’t be an option in this case either. Yet, can we really let a women raise a child that she had never planned, with someone who violated her in unspeakable ways? Groups of people who think like this believe that abortion is acceptable in cases of rape, incest, and if the life of the mother is in danger. Allow me to flash back to before Roe V. Wade. Before the Supreme Court made the outcome of Roe V. Wade the law of the land, untold numbers of women died trying to preform coat hanger abortions. As the LA Times wrote, “Every big-city hospital had one–a septic abortion ward, for women who had nearly killed themselves trying to abort a pregnancy.” Our Bodies Ourselves, a nonprofit organization meant to educate women, estimates that about 200,000 to 1.2 million people have died due to unsafe abortion attempts. According to the World Health Organization, the abortion death rate now, in a world with Roe V. Wade, is .6 deaths for every 100,000 procedures. Planned Parenthood provides safe and legal abortion, but also offers a variety of different services including STI tests and treatment, breast exams, breast cancer treatment, pregnancy tests, mammograms and more. Abortion is important, and frankly, people will die if President Trump or future enemies of abortion demolish Roe V. Wade. But Planned Parenthood has been around for over a hundred years and isn’t leaving anytime soon,“Our doors stay open no matter what,” said Walsh.
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Senior couples are about to face the dreaded question, “So what do we do now?” It is time to pack your bags and begin a new chapter of life at college, but what about your high school relationship? Some couples have been together since they first hit puberty freshman year and were kissing with braces, while others made the decision to start a new relationship senior year. While long distance is an option, it’s not always a viable one because most couples don’t end up at the same school. So, the question is, are you the exception? There are stories of high school relationships that have succeeded into college. My brother, for example, started dating his girlfriend senior year of high school. When it came time to pick a college, they agreed to make their respective school decisions without telling each other, and later discovered that they chose to attend the same school. Now they are both sophomores at Fordham University and just celebrated their two-year anniversary. They decided to not to break up, but for other couples, breaking up is the only option. I had the chance to talk with Jayden Gillespie and Vanessa Ruiz, who began their relationship five months ago. While most people say that starting a relationship senior year is a bad idea, these two made it seem like a smart decision. They made dating as seniors sound like having a partner in crime, saying that, “Senior year is a fun year, and it is fun to get to share it with somebody.” When asked whether or not they had discussed what’s to come after graduation, they both admitted that they had not talked about it, saying, “No, as of now we haven’t discussed it,” as they laughed nervously. Olivia Conrad and Anthony Hurtado faced several challenges as a couple. The first was when they met last year and found out that they did not attend the same high school. Secondly, Anthony is one grade level above Olivia and has already graduated. He is currently taking courses at MiraCosta community college, waiting for Olivia to graduate from CCA. It was last year that the couple of almost 15 months made the plan to move into an apartment in Oregon after Olivia graduates from CCA. In the fall, they plan to attend Oregon’s local community college and then both transfer into University of Oregon together. “It was always our dream,” Olivia said. “Both of our families went to University of Oregon.” They have had a plan and have stuck to it for almost a year and a half now. Mary and Jeff Raser, who met in sixth grade in 1972 succeeded in carrying a relationship from high school to college. They have now been married for 29 years and have four children. While most senior couples are just trying to make it to college and aren’t planning to getting married anytime soon, the Rasers offered their advice for couples transitioning from high school to college. “We had a really tough transition. We went for weeks without seeing each other. We were so busy. You have to make sure that you put the time into your relationship. Sometimes you have to wait for them to mature. I had to wait for him to grow up, and look at us now.” It is understandable that no one wants to ruin their senior year by having a serious talk about whether they are going to break up or not. It’s second semester, which is the time for the seniors to put minimal effort into everything, but if not now, then when? Pushing “the talk” away will only make things harder. College acceptance and rejection letters have been sent, and seniors will start making plans for the next four years. The decision of whether to carry a high school relationship into college is a difficult one, but facing the decision is inevitable. So, what are you going to do now?
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COMING SOON CONSPIRACY XIII
2017 YEARBOOK Pulse Volume 12 | Issue 3 | Page 9
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It’s a state of “in-between”. Neither here nor there. Neither fully Chinese, nor fully American. From the perspectives of those almost-outsiders—specifically, the Asian Americans whose parents or themselves were born elsewhere—cultural identity can have a multitude of meanings. CCA’s student body is considered ⅓ minority. A large proportion of that ⅓ is composed of students of East Asian ethnicity, which produces a myriad of student groups in the form of clubs. Sophomore and president of the Taiwanese Chinese Culture Club at CCA, Ethan Wang was born in the United States, though his family is from Taiwan. He is fluently bilingual and regularly communicates with his parents in Chinese rather than English, along with listening to Chinese music and watching Chinese comedy TV. Ethan described his experiences visiting Taiwan every summer: “Taiwanese schools end school later in the year, so when summer starts here, we would go immediately back to Taiwan, where they’re still in school, and experience what that is like.” He enjoyed speaking the language he was more comfortable with while in Taiwan. Mason Lin, a junior at CCA, explains how in China, kids stay in the same classroom for every single class. Teachers come to the students, as opposed to students traveling to a different room for each subject like it is in the US. The same classmates would likely stay together for the entirety of their primary education, creating a strong bond, whereas it is more traditional for American children to switch schools every few years, as from elementary to middle school and middle to high. One of the benefits of fitting into two different cultures would certainly be the ample opportunity to master multiple languages. Oftentimes children of immigrants do not fully appreciate learning another language, especially as they become accustomed to attending American schools and speaking English all the time. “Chinese school” is a notorious venue for the indoctrination-like methods used to teach the Chinese language, which a majority of American-born Chinese students undergo. People who report truly enjoying Chinese school are as rare as unicorns. This negative attitude toward learning a different language could be misguided, though. It’s through words and writing that the storied history of China has been passed down for thousands of years, especially given the proverbial wit and wisdom of Chinese writings. Education in China revolves around ancient works with archaic meanings that many Chinese Americans do not understand or connect with. There are so many quirky idioms that we, the in-between generation, do not recognize for their full worth. Understanding that is one of the biggest steps towards truly appreciating a diverse culture. A perhaps not-so-positive aspect of Chinese traditions is the perceived “Tiger Mom” stereotype. This traditionally refers to Chinese parents raising children in an overly authoritarian manner, but the image comes from education
in China itself. Mason has spent nearly equal years living both in America and in China. He reflects on how teachers in China are indeed more strict and willing to impose their authority on students. That in particular outlines the truth of Chinese parents and schools placing a greater emphasis on discipline and responsibility. However, as Mason reveals, “Lots of parents in China admire the way kids are raised in the US. There is a general appreciation of being more accepting and letting children be...letting them develop on their own.” Sean Wei, who was born in the US as well, elaborates further on the stereotype of Chinese education by explaining how parents and teachers are strict, but their attitudes revolve less around discipline than they do encouragement. All of those joking stories about not getting to eat dinner if you get a B on a test may or may not be true on a case by case basis. But on the whole, Sean says, “parents won’t beat you down; [they] just motivate you to do better.” Education in East Asian countries undoubtedly stresses values like discipline and studying over independence and creative exploration, and while that attitude carries over somewhat to parents in the US, that mindset is dissipating. Still, the label of “Asian” in an American educational environment has certain downsides. As I’m sure many students at CCA can relate (whether they are part of this particular demographic or not), there are a lot more expectations to be “smart”. Sean recounts, “Whenever I do well on a test, people say, ‘Oh that’s cause he’s Asian,’ not because I studied hard.” This kind of double standard can be alienating, but in an accepting environment such as CCA, it’s not as bad as it could be. We certainly should shy away from ascribing specific accomplishments to race, but the fact that less people feel substantially threatened by this generalization is already a step forward. Historically, stratification by race was frighteningly prevalent, but a different background can now be something to be embraced, something that outlines the patchwork stories that come together to make our nation. Sean’s comment encapsulates the beauty of a cosmopolitan society: “One of the things that makes America wonderful is that it’s not really about race; it’s about culture. Doing what you want, pursuing what you want to do.” Being an Asian American to the high school-aged students of today can mean anything from forcible encouragement to attend Chinese school, to true appreciation of the rich culture of another country, to facing different educational perspectives and stereotypes. Whether we were born here or somewhere far away, raised as an “American” or not, what’s important is that we recognize the influence of different ways of life on our school and society as a whole. Cultural identity does not have to be something that sets us apart, but can bring the world closer together.
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Photo by David Novick Pulse Volume 12 | Issue 3 | Page 12
The utterly simple organisms of starfish, snails, and salamanders can recreate lost body parts as needed, so why is it that we, top-of-the-food-chain, highly evolved forms of life known as humans, cannot? Well, this remarkable ability is in the process of becoming a reality for people, and San Diego is the epicenter for the future of human body part regeneration. Bioprinting 3D human tissue, cartilage, and even organs is revolutionizing medical practice and research as we know it. This rapidly advancing technology could soon be the savior of burn victims who need skin tissue, veterans who have lost limbs in war, and the 75,885 patients desperately waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant. Scientists take cells from either deceased human bodies or pluripotent stem cells and use printers— yes, printers, similar to the one sitting on your desk— to layer them in architecturally accurate patterns, mimicking the structure of human tissue. New bioprinting companies and labs have sprouted across the country, but the leader in this technology is a local company, Organovo. Based in Sorrento Valley, Organovo already provides 3D printed liver and kidney tissues for pharmaceutical drug testing, while simultaneously developing therapeutic tissues for eventual implantation into the human body. Launched in 2007 by CEO Keith Murphy and technological founder Professor Gabor Forgacs of the University of Missouri-Columbia, Organovo began by publicizing their creation of a fully cellular blood vessel. By 2016, they had partnered with L’Oreal Cosmetics to create skin tissue for beauty product testing and with UC San Francisco to develop tissue for skeletal disease research. Organovo also commercially released human liver and kidney tissue. While bioprinting has not yet evolved enough to allow a 3D printed organ to be permanently transplanted into a patient, the liver and kidney tissues that Organovo designs are currently used to help develop and test new preclinical pharmaceutical drugs. Medical drugs are usually tested in one of two methods: on animals or on 2D cells in a petri dish. Both methods risk providing inaccurate results because neither animal tissues nor 2D cells act in the same way that tissues inside the body do. “That’s why we feel that our technology is going to grow rapidly,” explained Organovo’s VP of Investor relations, Steve Kunszabo. “There is the economic benefit to [pharmaceutical companies] in faster development time and lower cost, and there is a clear benefit to the patient because they can get the drugs faster and cheaper.”
In essence, this revolutionary process is a complex combination of proprietary printing technology which sprays what could be described as a “living ink”. Beginning with primary human cells (cells from a specific organ or tissue) donated from deceased bodies, Organovo builds blocks of future tissues. After being added to a top secret, Krusty Krab-esque formula gel material called “bioink”, these cells are placed on the four heads of Organovo’s NovoGen printer which spatially deposits the cells in the same organization and structure as in the human body. The cells then “talk to each other and form a tissue that is able to take in oxygen and last for as long as six weeks,” said Kunszabo. With one printer, the company can print 24 tissues in about 30 minutes, and although the tissues are only about a half a millimeter thick and a couple millimeters wide, this is ample space to perform the drug testing Organovo conducts. While Organovo’s primary investment today is in designing tissues for medical drug development, the company is also progressing in a therapeutic tissues service whose goal is to permanently transplant a printed liver or kidney into a patient. According to Kunszabo, however, it may be “decades” until the technology evolves to this point. He vividly describes the technology as “in the second or third inning of a nine inning baseball game.” What stands in the way is the sheer size of human organs. “What we can’t create on a scale that big is this huge vascular structure,” explained Kunszabo, referring to the human liver. “So you have significant challenges in getting blood flow to that tissue and keeping it alive.” What Organovo hopes to release within ten years, however, is a liver patch about the size of a dollar bill, that would replace 10% of a patient’s liver. This implant would help bridge patients to a potential liver transplant for a year or two and improve their quality of life during that waiting period. Since immemorial time, we have been determined to push beyond our limitations and natural capabilities. We couldn’t fly, so we made our own wings. We couldn’t breathe underwater, so we brought the air with us in a metal tube. We looked into the night and wondered what was beyond the sleepless sky, so we sent one of our own to walk on the moon. In this sense, bioprinting technology seems only fitting in human development: we needed a new internal organ, so we went ahead and printed one.
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We all know Mary Jane; you know, that feeble, senile lady with the sugary voice who bakes the world’s best cookies. There’s that Mary Jane, and there’s the 5-leaved plant that’s worshipped, rapped about, and sometimes found in brownies. I’m going to let you take a wild guess about the one you’ll be reading about… By the time you’re reading this, recreational use of marijuana will have been legalized for over 160 days. On November 8, 2016, a ratio of 56% to 44% voted in favor of passing Proposition 64—the legalization of recreational pot. This vote in 2016 happened 20 years succeeding the legalization of marijuana for medical use back in 1996. At this time, you may be thinking, “So what does this mean for a high school teenager like me?” Here’s the deal: once you turn 21, you can legally partake in the recreational use of marijuana. Any individual under age 21, which is most likely you, is not allowed to use this drug unless prescribed by a doctor at age 18. A Narcotics Sergeant from the Carlsbad Police Department affirmed that if you are caught with marijuana under the age of 21 without a doctor’s note, “The punishment, instead of being a misdemeanor, is now an infraction. It would technically be the same as getting a stop sign ticket. It doesn’t go on any type of permanent or long term record, so it’s more like a driving violation than a criminal violation.” In regards to underaged marijuana possession, the violation has taken a step down on the totem pole so to speak, but an infraction is still an infringement of a law. However, for those who are too young to possess pot and get caught by a police officer, the juvenile court system requires that individual(s) under 18 to attend a 16 hour drug counseling class. When asked how the law will affect California, the Sergeant candidly predicted, “The law will affect California by allowing more people to have access to marijuana…which obviously risks addiction and abuse…There’s likely to be more people driving under the influence of marijuana, which can cause DUI crashes and more tragedies in our community.” The future of California may just mimic that of Washington state; according to a study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, approximately 10% of Washington state drivers involved in fatal car crashes between 2010 and 2014 reportedly tested positive for recent marijuana use. The percentage of marijuana-related car crashes, however, then doubled between the years 2013 and 2014 (note that Washington legalized recreational pot in 2012). By jumping on board with Washington, Maine, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Alaska for recreational legalization, California should not be surprised to see a surge in marijuana-related crashes, as predicted by a Narcotics Sergeant and supported by statistics. When you reach the age of 21, it becomes legal to possess up to one ounce of marijuana bud and eight grams of concentrated cannabis, but they must be transported in sealed containers. As for cultivation, a 21-year-old can grow up to six marijuana plants per residence, but it is illegal for even those aged 21 and older to sell marijuana for now. However, when January 1, 2018 arrives, California will begin issuing licenses for actions such as distributing, transporting, manufacturing, testing, and commercially selling. Weed, pot, grass, dope, or whatever you may call it, marijuana is now welcomed into California by the passing of Prop 64. Just because it is deemed legal does not equate to being safe or encouraged to use. Before you set this magazine down to continue on with the rest of your day or read the next article, keep this piece of wisdom stated by the Narcotics Sergeant in the back of your mind: “If you chose to make those lifestyle decisions, then do it safely, and don’t impact your neighbors, family, and friends. I don’t recommend it, but we’re not there to stop you. We can’t stop every problem.” The police will not always be there to catch any illegal decisions you may make, so it is truly up to only you to decide if you will let Mary Jane influence you.
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While junior Safi Jafri was in AP World, he noticed how his religion and culture were represented and found it disturbing, saying, “I, a Muslim American, began to learn about my culture and religion in a light that seemed partial and sometimes inaccurate.” This made him question how students viewed Islam and how they were learning about it, as well as their own cultures. “I saw a sort of eurocentrism, and I decided to combat it since these sentiments of barbarism about other cultures reached far beyond our textbooks.” By bringing speakers to CCA and posting interviews on their website, WhiteHat aims to give a voice to those stories that may have been overlooked, ignored, or misrepresented. Since its creation in November of 2015, WhiteHat has gone from a speaker-based medium to a huge online platform. Safi Jafri commented on its purpose, saying, “WhiteHat is an online platform [created] to educate high schoolers about narratives that are overlooked or misunderstood in many cases, presented by people who tell their own story...WhiteHat is a catalyst of social change and a source for the general population, especially high schoolers.” In mid-March, WhiteHat brought in Nate Howard, the founder of Movement BE, a non-profit organization that helps young people discover their story through poetry, to speak to CCA students about how to “tell [their] own story.” Howard stressed the importance of believing in yourself using an inventive blend of hip-hop and impactful speechcraft. The first WhiteHat speaker, Dr. Angela Basnet, came and discussed the Nepal earthquake, which occurred in April 2015, to educate students on the tragedy that they might not know about. Angela Basnet spoke about the efforts to rebuild and help Nepal. The organization got its name from Shonda Rhimes’ hit TV show, Scandal. Safi was inspired by Scandal’s main character, Olivia Pope. Pope is a former lawyer and White House aide whose nickname is “The Fixer.” In one episode, Pope referred to herself as “wearing the white hat and fighting the good fight.” “[Her] fight was never black and white,” said Safi Jafri. WhiteHat is about going past the surface and finding the meaning of people’s stories, nothing in this world is black and white and WhiteHat aims to dig deeper. The overall goal is to, “make [WhiteHat] a national effort where we have a center of young leaders paving the way for students to learn more and more about the world.” Safi hopes for WhiteHat to become recognizable nationally–and possibly–worldwide. If WhiteHat becomes a widely acclaimed organization, remember where it started.
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CCA is lucky to have many exceptional athletes such as golfer Ashwin Arasu, who has accomplished many things in his golfing career. He placed fifth in the IMG Junior World Championship and signed with Stanford University in November of 2016. Ashwin hopes to someday play at the professional level. He started playing golf at an early age as a way to spend time with his family. After his parents bought a child’s set of clubs for him, Ashwin was hooked; he began playing in tournaments and practicing golf every day. Ashwin’s accomplishments during his golf career are numerous and impressive. In 2015, he placed fifth in the IMG Junior World Championship, one of the largest junior tournaments in the world held at Torrey Pines Golf Course, which is where The Farmers Insurance Open is held each year. While competing, Ashwin was tied in the lead after three rounds at one under par and was in the final pairing for the last day. He shot 75, three over par the final day and came in fifth. Ashwin had a home court advantage in this event because he has played at the Torrey Pines Golf Course many times. In August 2016, Ashwin came in second place in a tournament held in Valencia, California. Ashwin shot 71-76-67 for a total of 214, taking second place. Ashwin has always been a good sportsman. He is known on the golf course to be respectful, letting a player know when they hit a good shot and congratulating a player for something they’ve done well. Coach Lockhart commented, “He’s a very humble person. He is very giving as far as with other people, always encouraging them.” A former teammate Bennett Juwvipart felt the same way. When asked about the first time he saw Ashwin play, Bennett said, “I could tell he was good because…he always had a really good demeanor.” When asked if Ashwin has any pre-game rituals, he explained, “I get new golf balls, I mark them up with a red line and the initials of my little brother.” Most golfers mark their golf balls with something unique, and marking them with the initials of his younger brother is Ashwin’s custom, which is very indicative of his character. Ashwin is one of the few high school golfers of San Diego who plans on moving on to play college golf after high school. When asked why he chose Stanford over other schools, Ashwin replied that attending Stanford has been a lifelong dream of his, that it is a great school academically, and that it has some of the best golf facilities in the country. Stanford also has who many consider to be the best amateur golfer in the world, Maverick McNealy, as well as other top amateurs such as Franklin Huang, Chris Meyers, and Maverick’s younger brother, Dakota McNealy. When asked about his role model, Ashwin replied, “It’s hard for me to pick one person that I really look up to, other than my parents because they’ve definitely tried their best to help me in every way they can. I definitely appreciate that and look up to them.” He has people he looks up to in the golfing world but knows none of his accomplishments would have been possible were it not for his parents. Ashwin’s high school career is extremely unique. His freshman year he placed top ten in the San Diego section CIF and moved to regionals in Los Angeles. Although he did not advance past regionals, he was one of the few freshman to advance through sectional CIF. Ranked as one of the top junior golfers in the nation, Ashwin hopes to keep working at his game and one day play at a professional level.
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On November 8, 2016, Donald J. Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States of America. Some called the election a miracle that would forever change the landscape of American politics in a complete rejection of the corrupt political establishment. The masses of the blue-collar, working-class populace rejoiced the election, looking forward to campaign promises like a renegotiation of NAFTA, a withdrawal from Trans-Pacific Partnership, more incentives to keep jobs in America, and a massive tax cut to the middle and working class across the board, all to protect the American worker.
The Swamp,” or an end to corruption in Washington. President Trump has also signed a legislation to cancel two old regulations for one new regulation aiming to enhance the creation of new jobs and to boost economic growth.
A Political Whirlwind: However, many were not satisfied with the election’s result, calling the election a disaster for America. Many in opposition to Trump cited his history of misogyny, xenophobia, and fascism during the election as a disqualifier for the highest elected office in the nation. Some took to the streets to celebrate or protest the election of our new president, setting the stage for a politically uber-divided America. Donald Trump was officially sworn in as our 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2017. At his inauguration, he pledged to the nation, “We will once more have a government of, by, and for the people.”
Women’s Economic Empowerment: Not only did Trump sign executive orders, but he also met with leaders of foreign nations. One such meeting with the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, Theresa May, served to discuss and affirm United States allegiance to NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). Another one of Trump’s successful meetings was with Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. Both Trump and Trudeau established a joint North American Council called The United States Canada Council for the Advancement of Women Business Leaders-Female Entrepreneurs. The council’s purpose is to prepare and advance women in the modern workforce along with one of President Trump’s daughters, Ivanka. During a roundtable discussion with Trudeau and female business leaders, Trump stated that, “In order to create economic growth and lots of very good, well-paying jobs, we must ensure that our economy is a place where women can work and thrive.”
New American Jobs: President Trump did not wait to make his mark on the presidency; before he was even sworn as President, he convinced Carrier Corporation to keep the brand new plant in Kentucky rather than moving it to Mexico. On day one of his presidency, Trump signed an executive order on The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) to minimize its economic burden, so that many small businesses would not be affected by the rising increase of health insurance premiums and be able to hire more workers. President Trump fulfilled another one of his major campaign promises during his first week in his Presidency by officially withdrawing from the TPP, increasing free trade among the Asia-Pacific area. Supporters of the TPP argue that free trade agreements would advance American interests abroad. Opponents of the TPP state that it would incentivize companies to ship jobs overseas, and a repeal would help America economically by keeping jobs stationed in the US.
Israel, Iran and the Supreme Court: President Trump also made repeated efforts during the campaign trail to heal US relationships with its ally Israel. Trump met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stand with Israel and defend it from terrorist and anti-Semitic attacks from the surrounding Middle East. Prime Minister Netanyahu said of Trump that, “There is no greater supporter of the Jewish people and the Jewish state than President Donald Trump. I think we should put that to rest.” Trump took action to increase sanctions against Iran’s ballistic missile program since the Iranian government has held sympathies with terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. Early in his administration, Trump announced his Supreme Court pick: Colorado 10th Circuit Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch. Gorsuch is known as a “Constitutionalist”, or someone who favors an implementation of the Constitution in the way the Founding Fathers intended it, in order to protect American personal and civil individual liberty.
Drain The Swamp: Other executive orders issued by Trump include a five-year ban on government officials becoming lobbyists, and a lifetime ban on governmental officials becoming lobbyists on behalf of a foreign nation. One of Trump’s many campaign slogans was “Drain
Immigration: One of Trump’s most controversial executive actions was an executive order called Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, also known as the travel ban. This order temporarily restricted immigrants from Iran, Syria,
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Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Iraq for 90 days. The nation was even further divided as supporters of the decision argued that the executive order was completely constitutional and would prevent ISIS sympathizers, and possibly terrorists, into the country. Opponents, however, argued that the executive order discriminated against Muslims, violated the US Constitution, and would not stop terrorist attacks. Students here at CCA showed their opposition to the executive order by holding a silent march on February 2, 2017. Some states such as California have even challenged the executive order. After the order was shot down by the federal appeals court, President Trump revised another immigration order which removed Iraq from the list and did not affect greencard holders. Another issue that has sparked controversy is President Trump’s distrust of sanctuary cities. President Donald Trump has frequently called for the removal of federal funds from sanctuary cities due to their hoarding of undocumented illegal immigrants. Those who also oppose the travel ban also oppose Trump’s position on sanctuary cities, calling it unconstitutional. The Border Wall: Trump’s campaign promised the construction of a US-Mexico border wall to stop illegal immigration into the United States. This campaign promise has been one of the hottest topics so far during his presidency. Supporters argue that the border wall will protect American lives from potential terrorist attacks and drug smuggling, and not to mention their jobs. Trump has frequently cited that Mexico will pay for the border wall’s construction so that it would not affect our budget, but that promise has fallen through as Mexico now simply refuses to pay for the wall. Opponents argue against the wall on the premises of lack of practical application, the economic side effects of inevitably paying for the wall ourselves, and the potential harm it could do to US-Latin American affairs. Trump’s Plans for the Future: Donald Trump issued his first joint session to Congress on February 28, 2017. Trump addressed many of the issues he wanted to work on with Congress, such as finding a proper alternative to the Affordable Care Act, revitalizing American infrastructure, and preventing crime. The centerpiece of the joint address was the topic of school choice and providing quality education to children, especially African-American and Latino youth. During Trump’s Joint session of congress, President Trump stated, “I am calling upon Members of both parties to pass an
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education bill that funds school choice for disadvantaged youth, including millions of African-American and Latino children.” The most touching part of the speech was the tribute to U.S Naval Special Operator Ryan Owens, who died in a Yemen air raid. The tribute was met with a standing ovation from both parties who honored Owens’ commitment to the nation. Trump’s Impact at CCA: President Trump has been a polarizing issue here at CCA filled with many Trump enthusiasts as well as with many vocal Trump opposers. Senior Matthew Tangonan, the man gracing the Make America Great Again in the photo, supports President Trump because “He is going to repeal and replace Obamacare, stop illegal immigration, and bring a lot of...jobs back to our country.” Matthew finds it important to create new American jobs. “[New jobs are] needed because you don’t want people living in poverty. You want to influence people to go back to the workforce. You want to make sure that the american people are working.” Sophomore Brianna Hall considers herself a stanch opponent against President Trump. “ I oppose President Trump because of the things he frequently states in the media, his frequent use of Twitter, and I feel like as a president, twitter shouldn’t be your main outlet to the people. It should be in different forms, and it shouldn’t just be all talk. It should be action.” Hall is also an opponent of Vice President Mike Pence because on his views of LGBT Issues. “ I feel like Pence’s views [on LGBT Rights] reflects Trump in a great way.” “We The People”: The four years of the Trump administration are sure to be filled with decisive action. With political sides at war with each other, it will be interesting to see how the next four years unfold. Hopefully, both Democrats and Republicans will put aside at least some differences and compromise in order to help guide our nation on the path of prosperity. But as of right now, whether we like it or not, we are all aboard the Trump train.
Editor’s Note: This article was written before the missile launch in Syria.
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In the daily rush of schedules to manage, grades to worry about, and other petty trivialities, the initial shock of seeing brutalities on the news has turned into a grudging acceptance. It is a sort of unconscious acknowledgement that this is how the world works, even as we rush to deny it by fumbling with the our buttons in our cars to switch the station to a peppier news reporter marveling about a 90-year-old grandmother who grew a 200 hundred pound potato. Many of us have become numb to the increasing violence that is happening “somewhere else in the world,” and the frankly dizzying implications of imagining hardship elsewhere is too tiring for many to imagine. Besides the people who deal with the woes of society such as social care workers or pro bono workers, the majority of us are the “normal people,” the people who don’t have anything to do with the world outside of our constructed bubble. It is easier to dismiss Syria as a case where there is nothing we can do to help, therefore nothing could come out of worrying for the people in Syria. But for all the war and politics, there are Syrian children, parents, mothers, and fathers who are not too different from us. When asking students around school what they know and think of the situation in Syria most responses are something like, “I don’t know”, “I know of it”, and “There is a war?” When it came to writing this article, I discovered with no small amount of chagrin, that while I aspired to “enlighten” others of the war in Syria, it was a challenge. How could something that has occupied the minds of the brains in Washington, the presidents of the US current and former, people all over America, and the world, be so obscure? Syria is the second largest refugee-producing country in the world, at 4.6 million Syrian refugees in the neighboring countries of Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt and 6.6 million more internally scattered throughout Syria. During the presidential elections, talk of the refugee crisis in the US climaxed and was thrust into the spotlight. Behind the chaos of the decision to accept or not to accept refugees is the forgotten story of why this influx of people fleeing their nations came to be. The Syrian war began in 2011 when riots broke out protesting President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. From there, the conditions snowballed downhill as government troops continuously suppressed the protests. Fueled by the anger against hegemonic rule, coalition groups formed against the regime, the most prominent of these groups being the Free Syrian Army (FSA). Small guerilla attacks escalated into larger attacks until rebel commander Riad Al Assad, a defector of the Syrian army, stated their goal
was to ultimately bring down the Assad government while protecting the revolution and working handin-hand with the people to preserve their dignity. The FSA steadily gained recognition in their attempts to upstage the militant government rule, acquiring hundreds more defecting soldiers and commanders. Numerous towns and villages came under their control with skirmishes and clashes in the streets of the larger main cities in Syria like Aleppo, Damascus, Homs, and Hama. After the FSA’s peak success in 2012, a slow decline began, and the lines started to blur between the two starkly black and white sides of the war. The rebels deteriorated under the lack of structured leadership and funds, along with corrupt power plays in the ranks. In 2014, many FSA fighters in northern and eastern Syria, including ones trained by Turkish and US officers, followed into the ranks of the rising ISIL. As a result, the Free Syrian Army further diminished to the point of irrelevance. Day to day, the fight between the government and the varying sects of self-proclaimed rebels and vigilantes continue, and these are the events that we hear on the news and on social media. However, some locals are stepping up as humanitarians. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) has helped 13,400 refugees settle into the El Cajon region of San Diego over the past couple years. The IRC is an organization that operates internationally; its goal is to “help people whose livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of the future.” Claire Bergstresser, a volunteer coordinator for the IRC at University Avenue, commented, “In these times in America where politics come into play with the decisions we make, it is our duty [to not] remain silent and to raise awareness, to be accepting and appreciative of the communities of refugees who come into our country. Students especially can help by arming themselves with knowledge [and] by supporting and educating others through writing.” Consider this the next time you watch the news or listen to the radio: there is a way to help. Keep yourselves informed about the events in the world we live in, keep discussing and bringing attention to abandoned or unsavory issues, and in the words of Bergstresser, “Be active, be thoughtful, and be compassionate.”
Editor’s Note: Attempts were made to secure an interview with a Syrian Refugee through IRC, but due to their policy, our writer was unable to speak with a refugee. This article was written before the missile launch in Syria.
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Now that I have your attention, I’d like to bring up one of the most important issues of today, one that is often shrouded in partisanship and lies. Fake news is a term that is thrown around often in today’s stratified political climate. This is due to its usage by prominent Republicans and Democrats as a slight against those who report news that fights each of their own ideological narratives. Lost in the chaos, however, is what the phrase ‘fake news’ is supposed to mean: so-called “news” that is demonstrably false and is proven as such with even minimal research. Whether these stories were created to be intentionally malicious or were allowed to reach the public eye due to incredible incompetence, here are some of the craziest fake news stories that some people actually fell for over the last several months. Heroic Donald Trump Saves the Troops Our first story was reported by the ever-objective Sean Hannity Show, the same crown jewel of unbiased and competent reporting that stated unironically that an Obama White House official advocated for compulsory abortions. In a poor attempt at fiction, one of the show’s producers, Lauren Scirocco, claimed that “a mistake had been made with the logistics unit” of the military, leaving an unit scheduled to return home stuck at a base in North Carolina. This is when one of the Trump’s airliners supposedly swooped in, saving the day and making 200 grateful future Trump supporters. Except, Trump had no involvement in sending a plane down to pick the soldiers up, as he didn’t even own that airliner at the time. The military, despite the claimed logistical error, are the ones who chartered the flight. Betsy DeVos, Grizzly Bear Huntress In one of her confirmation hearings, Betsy DeVos expressed her position on schools as gun free zones. She stated that, “I think that’s best left to locales and states to decide.” However, she supported her choice with an abnormal example: A school in Wyoming potentially needing a gun to protect it from grizzly bears. Media outlets took this out of context, with Salon being the worst offender running the headline, “Betsy DeVos Says Guns Should Be Allowed in Schools. They Might Be Needed to Shoot Grizzlies,” managing to not only misrepresent her position, but also conflate her (admittedly extremely niche) example into a policy defining statement. Neil Gorsuch, Proto-Fascist When Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch as his Supreme Court nominee to replace the late Anthony
Scalia, many conservatives in the media and across the country were thrilled with the selection. Naturally, this led to slanderous statements and articles from the left, the most noteworthy of which came from the Daily Mail. They claimed that a yearbook reference to a “Fascism Forever” club connected to Gorsuch’s name was proof enough that he was going to bring a totalitarian slant to the Supreme Court. However, the Daily Mail failed to consider that (shocker!) not all high school yearbooks are as professional as our own at CCA, and the club was a joke made up by the yearbook in reference to Gorsuch’s more conservative ideals in comparison to those of other students at the school. NATO Declared War on Russia Ah, good old InfoWars. Whether I need to learn about how Bill Gates is obsessed with murdering innocent African children, or get the scoop on the latest New World Order meeting and what it means for me, this reliable and objective site is where I go. In this update video from head tinfoil-hatter Alex Jones, we learn that NATO is declaring direct war on Russia, the corrupt and dishonest mainstream media wouldn’t dare report on this, and that we must stay with InfoWars if we want the facts on this issue. Contrary to Alex Jones’ ravings in the video, just because NATO is going after Syria doesn’t mean they declared an official war on Russia. NATO as a whole can’t even officially declare war, as it is an intergovernmental military alliance and not a sovereign nation. When reading or watching the news, it is important to keep an eye out for your own confirmation bias. After all, when something is stated on TV or online that supports our worldview, our confirmation bias leads us to believe it. In today’s age, where even professional journalists can’t be trusted to fact check and report the truth, we must investigate and find the truth ourselves if we hope to have a worldview not based upon blatant falsehoods.
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Photo by David Novick Pulse Volume 12 | Issue 3 | Page 30
1. MLB: The Cubs went over 100 years without a World Series win and over 70 without making the Series. That all changed in 2016 when Chicago broke their famous drought of 108 years and won the championship. The Cubs are hoping for the same outcome this year, but they lost two key pieces this offseason in outfielder Dexter Fowler and closer Aroldis Chapman. Additionally, they didn’t make any big free agent signings. So the question is: can the Cubbies repeat as champions, or will a new championship drought begin? 2. The Padres, the only remaining professional San Diego sports team, are expected to have a very interesting season in 2017. For the Padres, the priority this year is to develop young players like Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot. These young stars along with the current face of the franchise, Wil Myers, could lead the team to the postseason in only a few years; however, there will be an interesting twist to this season for the ballclub. Since the Padres’ starting rotation is considered weak, management has stated that their starting pitchers may only go through the batting order once before handing the ball to a reliever, causing hitters to not feel comfortable in the batter’s box and not have any sense of familiarity with the pitcher they’re facing. If they have the guts to try this, it could potentially revolutionize the sport. This could be a game changer. 3. This season will be filled with many exciting twists and turns, yet it isn’t too difficult to project who will be competing in October. Representing the American League will be the Indians (the defending AL champs) or the Red Sox. Cleveland improved this offseason by signing Edwin Encarnacion; Boston improved by trading for Chris Sale, so both teams expect improvement. I expect the Sox to advance to the World Series. In the National League, there are more teams in contention. The defending champion Cubs along with the Mets, Nationals, Dodgers, and Giants all have a decent shot at representing the NL in the World Series. I expect the Mets to face the Cubs in a very entertaining NLCS. If the Mets pitching staff stays healthy, they could pull off the upset, but asking the Mets to stay healthy is like asking President Trump to stop tweeting, so I expect the Cubs to win and face the Red Sox in the Fall Classic. Expect a World Series with many surprises, but don’t expect one as great as last year’s epic championship. The Cubs will defeat the Red Sox in six games. 4. NFL: Many teams are currently searching for some-
thing very important to help them win: a star quarterback. Certain teams, such as the Patriots (Jimmy Garoppolo) and Cowboys (Tony Romo) have a surplus at the critical position. Romo has been released due to contract issues in Dallas and retired from football, but people believe he could still return. Additionally, Garoppolo is expected to be traded since the Patriots have Tom Brady. Also, Redskins starter Kirk Cousins could hit the open market along with veterans Jay Cutler and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Finally, teams could look to the draft to fill the need at the most important position in sports. 5. The 82nd NFL Draft will be held in Philadelphia in April’s final week. This year’s draft is stacked with talent across the board and is believed to be one of the deepest in modern history. According to NFL. com lead draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah, the middle rounds of this draft are the “sweet spot” and high caliber players can be selected in the late rounds. One of the weakest positions in this draft, however, is at quarterback. The top QBs in this year’s draft are Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky, and Notre Dame’s Deshone Kizer. All come with major red flags. There is no guaranteed top pick at quarterback like there has been in recent years, so expect some QB-deficient teams such as the Bears, 49ers, and Browns to not address the position until the late rounds. 6. NBA: The Playoffs have just begun, and the top seeds will likely advance to The Finals. Many people believe it will be Round III of Warriors versus Cavaliers. Teams such as the Celtics, Raptors, Spurs and Rockets could spoil the reunion, but it’s unlikely. The Warriors and Cavaliers have stacked their rosters this season to beat the other with the Warriors acquiring Kevin Durant and David West and the Cavaliers trading for Kyle Korver and claiming Deron Williams off waivers. In 2015, the Warriors won the championship against the Cavaliers for their first title in 40 years. In 2016, Golden State went on to set an NBA record by winning 73 regular season games and was one game away from repeating as champions, until Cleveland won three straight to bring Cleveland its first championship in over 50 years. The largely anticipated Round III will be filled with incredible action and break the tie between the teams.
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