Retiring, but not disappearing: Aragon bids four of its teachers farewell.
volume lii, issue no. 8
To see where seniors are heading next year, check out the annual college map.
After recent controversial rape cases, Outlook holds panel to define “consent.”
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Second biennial BAYS conferences educates Aragon youth on LGBT activism and bullying prevention drops in
national rankings by Annika Ulrich news editor
Sutan Amrull, also known by his drag name Raja Gemini, emceed the BAYS conference in the Aragon theater on May 11.
Outlook wins ‘Best in Show’ by Jack Herrera features editor On April 27, The Aragon Outlook was awarded the “Best in Show” award for Newspaper Broadsheet (17 or more pages) at the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention. The award was given to the paper’s staff on behalf of the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) for the April edition of the Outlook. The convention was held in the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. It was the Outlook staff’s first year attending the national convention, which is held twice a year in different U.S. cities.
On May 15, the Outlook was also recognized by the Peninsula Press Club (PPC). The Outlook won first place for “Overall Excellence” and third place for “Layout and Design” at the PPC’s annual awards ceremony for local high school papers. At the event, held in the San Mateo County History museum, multiple Outlook editors and staffers also accepted individual awards. Out of over 350 entries from ten different schools, the Outlook accepted fourteen awards and one honorable mention. The Aragon Outlook is grateful to both the NSPA and the PPC for recognizing its achievements.
‘Hoedown’ breaks down by Jack Herrera features editor During seventh period on May 17, ASB President and senior Keaton Moe came on the intercom to announce that the end of the year “Hoedown” dance had been canceled. The announcement came hours before the dance was set to be held later that day at 7:00 p.m. in the Aragon gym. With only around 50 tickets
sold, Moe says there was fear that the dance would be a failure. “There were pros and cons,” says Moe. “Not having the dance, we would avoid the embarrassment of having a horrible dance with 50 or less people there... but we’d have to refund everyone. But by not having it, all the staff wouldn’t have to waste their time.” continued on page 7
Admin: modified block schedule will continue for 2013-2014 school year by Murray Sandmeyer features staff This month, a committee composed of Aragon administrators met and decided that the current modified block schedule will continue to be used for the 20132014 school year. Throughout the year, students and faculty have continued to assess the changes caused by Aragon’s modified block schedule. The transition from a five-day, seven-period schedule to block days on Wednesday and Thursday reflects teacher pleas for continuous instruction and allots extra homework time for students. In addition to arriving and leaving school ten minutes later than last year, students have been given early dismissal on Thursdays, as well as access to teacher office hours on Wednesdays. Over the course of the year, the block schedule has given some teachers the ability to create more effective lesson plans. Says Spanish teacher Luisa Hardy, “[The block schedule] has given me an opportunity to be more cohesive with my planning.
I plan for only four days instead of five. It has helped me be more organized with how I present the learning material.” Although block classes are meant to encourage cohesive instruction, the effects of the longer periods on students can be detrimental to their ability to learn. Says sophomore Jeffrey Lo, “Block days make me more drowsy, tired or unconfident. I don’t feel comfortable in class if I’m not confident. Sitting in one place for so long causes this.” Freshman Ken Preiser adds, “I think students have some kind of limit to the time that they can be attentive, so after an hour of class, we just get drowsy.” Teachers notice the effects on students as well. Says Hardy, “I realize that some students are tired, but the block day gives an opportunity to go into the subject with more depth. This also motivates me to be more diverse with the classroom activities and lesson plans. Doing activities like games or [having] class outside breaks the monotony of the week, continued on page 8
On April 23, U.S. News and World Report released its 2013 rankings of the best public high schools in America. Of the 21,035 schools evaluated across the country, Aragon ranked 379th. In state rankings, Aragon placed 73rd out of 2,039 schools, making it the top ranked school in the San Mateo Union High School District (SMUHSD). Placement in the top 500 schools nationally earned Aragon a special gold medal distinction based on U.S. News and World Report’s methodology. To devise the rankings, the U.S. News and World Report works with the American Institutes for Research (AIR) and analyzes a school’s state test scores in comparison to the state average. In order to attain a high ranking, schools must score higher than the state average in math and reading. The ranking process also considers a school’s college readiness, which is measured through AP and IB exam scores. Despite the gold medal, Aragon’s standing dropped both nationally and within the state of California. In the 2012 rankings, U.S. News & World Report placed Aragon 55th in the state and 277th nationally. Despite this drop, Aragon’s administration is still proud of its rankings. Comments Assistant Principal Jim Coe, “One of the reasons for the drop is that we have a smaller senior class than in past years. Part of the ranking is how many AP exams are taken, so that factored in.” However, the Aragon administration is not concerned with the lower ranking. Says Coe, “We are very pleased with Aragon’s place this year because Aragon was ranked the top public school in the county. Even though Burlingame and Mills have higher API scores than Aragon does, we still came out on top. That means that Aragon is doing a good job of serving the needs of all students.”
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New theater hosts 17th annual talent show for scholarship fundraising [However], the ‘why’ of doing the Talent Show is not to just give the kids a chance to perThere was no better place form for their friends and famito see the diversity of gifts that ly but also to raise funds for the Aragon students possess than Aragon Drama Boosters Scholat the 17th annual Aragon Tal- arship, which goes to seniors ent Show. On Friday, May 3, that graduate and continue their students, teachers, and parents performing arts lives at [varigathered to watch 42 students ous universities]... Whatever sing, dance, and recite poetry. the ticket sales and concession Because of construction, the sales are is what we have for Talent Show was held at the the funding for the scholarship. Borel gym last year. Sopho- And then the applicants apply, more Katie Kilcullen, who per- and depending on [how] many formed the song “When You are accepted we divide the See My Friend,” by Mayday money up evenly.” Parade, says, “Last year we This year, $1,200 dollars had so many technical prob- were raised for the scholarship. lems. The microphones weren’t Says Vuna, “Most of the funds working, the guitars sounded that schools in California get weird... The microphones were go to science and math, so we too loud, the guitars were too [the music department] have to soft. It sounded all off.” do most of the fundraising ourDrama teacher Shane Smuin selves.” says, “I organize [the show] baThe artistic support the talsically, but I put it on each of ent show provides goes further the individual acts to do their than just financial aid, though. own outside rehearsals, with Kilcullen says, “Backstage the exception of one rehearsal people are so encouraging... that we have on stage where we It’s just a really warm environfocus the lights and work on the ment. And it’s awesome to have mics.” the support of everyone and to Auditions for the Talent come off stage and immediShow were on Thursday, April ately get ‘Wow, good job’ and 18. Kilcullen says, “[Auditions right before you go on people were] definitely different from are like ‘Good luck!’” last year because this year it Vuna says, “I thought it was was in the theater, making it a really diverse, with the Indian little more intimidating. Last Club at the end, and the kind year [they were] in the choir of more modern dance in the room where it’s a pretty com- middle. And all the singing acts fortable environment.” were really different. There Sophowas [a] guimore Reggie “You get someone who tar theme to Vuna, who it, but all the is kind of shy, and they songs were was part of a quartet that get up there and belt it different. Evsang “Lego out, and it’s like ‘Good erybody had a House” by Ed God!’” different thing Sheeran, says, Jim Daniel to bring to the “There was English Teacher table.” originally a Says Engset date for aulish teacher ditions, but I didn’t know about James Daniel, “That’s the fun it at that time. But [my friends] of it. You get someone who needed a fourth for a song that is kind of shy and they get up they were doing, so they asked there and belt it out, and it’s me to do it. So I actually had like ‘Good God!’ Like Reggie to go in at lunch the Wednesday and Kelly Chang, they are stubefore and audition.” dents in my class and I just saw Smuin says, “As usual, we them in a whole new light.” dedicate the talent show to all Many students had a purthe moms out there for Moth- pose for performing. Says Kiler’s Day. cullen, “It’s important to be comfortable performing and playing your music in front of people. The talent shows at Aragon really helped me personally because I was so afraid to sing in front of people. But now I can do it no problem... If you love what you do so much, you shouldn’t be scared to do it in front of people, especially if it means as much to you as music means to me.” by Cleo Wienbar news staff
Junior Safety Captain Priyam Das oversees the testing of the code for Aragon’s robot, “OG-9.”
ART competes in FIRST Robotics World Championships for second time by Jordan Kranzler news staff From April 24 to April 28, the Aragon Robotics Team (ART) traveled to St. Louis, Missouri to compete in the For the Inspiration and Recreation of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics World Championships. ART competed in both the Silicon Valley Regional (SVR) and Central Valley Regional (CVR) earlier this year, qualifying for St. Louis at the CVR. At FIRST, ART placed 81st out of 100 teams in the Archimedes division, in contrast to last year when they placed 11th in the Newton division, a lower division than Archimedes. ART was not picked as one of the top eight teams to enter the semi-finals. Says team member and junior Priyam Das, “Our division had a lot of top teams in it, so we unfortunately had to face against some of the powerhouse teams. Overall, we are still really happy about the way we performed because every match we were scoring almost over 100 points. We had many close matches where we only lost by ten points, so it was really tough out there.” This is a common sentiment felt by many on the team—that though they may have numerically scored lower, the heightened competition of the Archimedes division compensated for the modest ranking. Says sophomore Guy Geva, “Archimedes was the toughest division. And even though we ranked a lot lower, it’s a unanimous feeling on our team that we performed better this year than last year… Our robot didn’t break once.” This year’s game was called “Ultimate Assent” and challenged teams to build robots that could shoot frisbees into goals and climb a pyramid. Explains science teacher and ART advisor Arron Apperson, “The robot has
two main objectives: one is the frisbee toss. For that, looking at how we aim, perfecting the actual delivery system and making sure the motor is spinning at the right speed were all things that we were working on. For the lift, we had to make sure there was a plan in place for how we got it to lift effectively.” The objective was to earn the most points; different goals were worth different point values, and teams were rewarded additional points based on how high they climbed on the pyramid. The first 15 seconds were designated an “autonomous mode,” in which teams had to control robots only using pre-programmed code. Following that, drivers controlled their robots remotely from stations. In the last 30 seconds, the robots raced to climb the pyramid. During the matches, the drivers and coach ran the robot on the field, while the pit monkey remained in the pit talking to the judges. The rest of the team sat with the faculty advisors on the sidelines to cheer. One problem the team faced was being blocked by other robots during the frisbee-shooting part of the competition. Says Geva, “Since our strategy was to stay at one side of the court and shoot all the way across, it made us be easily blocked, because the other teams would have big screens and drive up to you to block you. So we would work with our alliance members to figure out strategies around that. We would have [them] do counter defense—block them from blocking us.” Senior Alvin Ho agrees that three-on-three alliances were a big aid to ART’s robot during the competition. Notes Ho, “Basically, being a full court shooter, we were hoping for an alliance with a lot of floor pickup so we could provide disks to them down the field. We didn’t have that much
versatility; we could only shoot from two positions. But if you’re on an alliance that had floor pickup, then anything you missed, they could pick up off the floor.” Ultimately there was a limit to how much the alliance could help. Explains Ho, “What we would have people do at CVR and SVR is have a team push a blocker away so we would be able to clear our shots, but at championships, every team tried to show off their own shooter ability, so nobody wanted to help us push, so most of the game we were just blocked off.” Before the competition, the team had to extensively prepare both mechanically and by raising enough money to attend, through both corporate sponsors and restaurant fundraisers. Says Geva, “We had to do a lot of fundraising beforehand. Just registering cost $5,000, but the hotel fees and airfare [cost] a lot more.” In the fall, the team had six weeks to first build their robot. After that, it was bagged up by a representative from the competition, so the teams could not make changes until right before the competition. Notes sophomore Candy Zhang, “You’re not actually supposed to work on the bot itself, but you can, for example, make a second bot or machine replacement parts.” ART worked on a number of mechanisms immediately before the competition, when the robot was reopened, to enhance Upon arriving home, the robotics team members embraced an ART tradition and sported red-dyed hair. Says junior Darrell Ten, “We dye our hair red for team spirit, for both Aragon and the Aragon Robotics Team.” For exclusive content and all of our content from this and prior years, visit our website at aragonoutlook.org
volume lii, issue no. 8 thursday, may 23, 2013
and more.” After gathering the specific information and statistics, Lunch Lessons LLC this article is the second installment compiles their findings and presents the in a series examining the school information, along with recommended lunch program at aragon short-term and long-term plans, to the district’s school board. The school board then Although the district’s lunch system formulates future plans of actions based on meets the requirements set by the United Lunch Lessons LLC’s assessment and recStates Department of Agriculture (USDA), ommendations. many people ultimately feel that the food Cooper comments, “We’ve been pretty service could be betsuccessful in our ter, citing issues with projects, but these How often do you use the the nutritional value, things always take food service at Aragon? portion size, and the time. These things price of school lunchdon’t happen over es. However, due to night. Depending on a tight budget, imhow large the disproving SMUHSD’s trict is, investigating school lunch has its the school and findformidable chaling alternatives may lenges. take a few weeks to Denis Vorrises, a year.” SMUHSD Manager Back in 2009, of Food Services, exSanta Cruz City plains, “We run about Schools District a 1.9 million dollar (SCCS) hired Lunch budget on a yearly Lessons LLC to help basis. While our goal assess and reform is to break even, we 53% Never, or only a few times a year its school lunch syslose money each 17% Only a few days a month tem. Finding issues year.” with the district’s 16% 1-3 days a week The reality is that dependence on heat13% Every day or almost every day approximately 400 and-serve meals, the (189 students surveyed) students at Aragon insufficient kitchen alone and even more students within the facilities, and inadequate administrative SMUHSD depend on this lunch program leadership and supervision of the program, every day. If the SMUHSD is failing to Lunch Lessons LLC recommended taking serve healthful, quality, and adequately several drastic changes. portioned meals to its students, what else SCCS’s Account Technician Joyce can be done? Lund says, “Before the change, there was In the SMUHSD, limited funding has more pre-packaged, pre-made food. Howmade it difficult to reform the school lunch ever, now, the central kitchen is doing lots system. However, in California, many more scratch cooking.” school districts have sought alternative Addressing the previous issues with the help from private consulting companies management of the program, Lund also that aim to help school districts assess and adds, “The main advice was hiring a chef improve their lunch programs. [to lead the program]. So, the previous One such company is Lunch Lessons manager was removed and a new one was LLC, a consulting firm co-owned by Beth hired for the next school year.” Collins and Ann Cooper. Having Improvements were also made led school food services in on the district’s lunch menu Colorado and Michigan, to include more vegetables. both Collins and CooSome of the items on the per have had years of menu include veggie experience with the burgers, salads, tofu processed, heat-andrice bowls, and variserve lunches popuous pizzas. lar in most schools. Regarding the Forming Lunch Lessuccess of the new sons LLC in 2006, lunch program, Lund Collins and Cooper comments, “After have worked together to implementing healthier reform lunch programs all foods, the sale of lunches across the U.S. actually went down. But, since When hired by a school district, then, we have experienced an upsurge Lunch Lessons LLC’s team investigates in the number of paid meals. While the schools within the district and does a holis- parents are generally happier with the food tic assessment of all the factors that make served, the students are not so happy with up the school lunch system. the change and are eating less [of school Cooper says, “We really do look at ev- food]. I’m not sure [the sale of lunches] erything. We assess [the schools’] staffing, will ever return to the pre-change numbers food, baseline guidelines, facilities, where unless we begin giving the students items the school is now, what its strengths are, that they like…The most popular days are by Wendy Yu news staff
N TO ES PR
What other schools put on the plate, and what our district can learn from it
still pizza day.” within California have been able to conWhile SCCS students have not quite veniently bring in organic, locally grown opened up to the improved lunch menu, fruits and vegetables into schools, which SCCS still has achieved a lunch system has helped in improving the quality of the that serves the healthy and quality meals meals served. that other school districts are striving for. Jana Nairn, founder of Ag Link, states, As seen in SCCS, consulting “In our first school year alone, we firms, such as Lunch Lessons have helped more than 20,000 LLC, have proven to be cases of produce ship disuccessful. However, rectly from farmers to many would argue school food services.” that employing Lunch In the last two Lessons LLC or an years, California equivalent consultschools, such as ing firm would be Katherine Finchy too costly in time and Elementary School money. Fortunately, and the Turlock Unithere have been simfied School District, pler ways of reforming have adopted this farmlunch systems within Calito-school program aimed fornia. at supporting local farmers One such method that has provthrough Ag Link. In purchasing oren to be successful is a farm-to-school pro- ganic, locally grown foods at lower prices, gram, which aims for schools to depend on these schools have been able to ensure local farmers to supply their fresh produce healthier, unprocessed, and unfrozen meals and breads. In the last decade, farm-to- that meet USDA health codes. school programs have been increasingly Commenting on the feasibility of implepopular throughout the U.S. In fact, in menting a farm-to-school program, Aragon 2010, the USDA passed the Healthy Hun- Cafeteria Manager Diane Ynostroza says, ger-Free Kids Act, which not only made “Every month, Aragon is always in the school lunches healthier and more avail- red when it comes to food services, meanable to kids, but also has a provision that ing that we spend more than we make and allocates grants and resources to schools therefore make no profit. So, we have to that choose to participate in the farm-to- be careful on what we spend. I don’t know school initiative. what the cost of [a farm-to-school proStarted in August gram] would be. It What do you think of of 2012, Ag Link is sounds expensive, Aragon’s food prices? a California-based but if the cost of low online networking enough, it could be company created to possible.” simplify the farmOn his plans to-school process. of upgrading In the form of a SMUHSD’s lunch website, Ag Link system, Vorrises 53% Bad allows school disstates, “In regards to 27% Just okay tricts to directly and nutrition, we will be 18% Good more easily connect updating this por2% Very good with local farmers tion over the sumfor fresh produce, mer. The Obama eliminating the midadministration has dleman companies made major changes that typically supply to what it offered to produce to schools students under the (189 students surveyed) at inflated prices. Healthy HungerOn the website, farmers can post the type Free Kids Act... Because of the major of produce they want to sell and at what changes with there being many changers price. Utilizing the convenience of online over the first year of implementation, we shopping, schools can visit the website and did not want to post anything until we have order the type and quantity of produce they complete understanding of the changes want and have it shipped to the school. and make all the additional changes that Concerning Ag Link’s main goals, the government continues to make as they Ag Link co-founder Jana Nairn explains, discover what works and what does not “Kids these days are in the habit of eating work.” quick and easy and heavily processed heatDespite state and federal regulations, and-serve foods. Therefore, a migration there are ways to improve food service. back to real and fresh cooked foods will Examples such as farm-to-school and conbe a learning process. Schools are in the sulting firms demonstrate possible avenues business of education, and nutrition educa- for improvement, yet they also bring their tion for life should be a part of that system. cons. Districts must assess the benefits of What is served through the meal programs increasing health and lowering cost while is the place to start. The opportunity to in- insuring that sales do not decrease drastitroduce a good variety of seasonally fresh cally. Whether Aragon or the SMUHSD as produce to kids should be a priority.” a whole opt to try alternative processes reThrough this website, school districts mains to be determined.
volume lii, issue no. 8 thursday, may 23, 2013
Photo Spread by Alex Furuya and Sam Alavi
Top: Activist Zach Wahls discusses the power of the individual in the fight for equality. Second row: Drag queen Raja Gemini emcees the summit. Oscar-winner Dustin Lance Black shares his story and its impact on his career. Activist iO Tillet Wright shares her â€œSelf Evident Truthsâ€? photography project. Bottom half: The summit included booths and workshops from the Heroic Imagination Project, Marriage Equality USA, and others.
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BAYS hosts biennial conference at Aragon by Angela Solis news staff On Saturday, May 11, Aragon hosted the second biennial Bay Area Youth Summit (BAYS). Over 200 people attended, including students and adults of all ages. This year, BAYS focused on educating young people on topics such as suicide prevention, HIV/ AIDS, and bullying prevention. Apart from guest speakers, the conference offered many workshops from which guests could choose. Senior and Aragon GSA president Sam Alavi, who also serves as president of the BAYS Board of Directors, explains, “We like to talk about things that students don’t really know all that much about. We have workshops on HIV/AIDS, we have workshops on LGBT history, since we don’t really get to hear that in our classrooms.” Since the 2011 Summit, BAYS has grown and established its ability to make a difference in the LGBT community, especially among youth. BAYS is the only LGBT organization in the world led completely by youth, which can make it difficult for it to be taken seriously, Alavi claims. “When we call asking for donations or [ask] people to speak, they’re a little hesitant. And definitely this has been a very expensive Summit, so getting the money and making things affordable has been hard, but definitely worth it.” BAYS executive director and Aragon alumni Jason Galisatus comments, “Not only are we youth-led, we’re also a new nonprofit, so we’re kind of in a double-bind. I think in politics you are only as valuable as the people you represent, so what we’re trying to do is show the world we have a very strong connection to the youth LGBT community.” Alavi adds, “I think the 2011 Summit was Jason and I sitting in the school library every day after school planning. And this year we have a full staff of like 15
people; we’ve made a name for ourselves.” Continues Alavi, “We had more attendees than last year, and this group knew more about BAYS, so it was a more excited crowd. We’ve built our audience and our presence in the community.” Apart from two successful conferences, BAYS has also been recognized as a 501(c)(3)—meaning they are recognized as an official non-profit organization. In addition, BAYS has been elected to be Organizational Grand Marshal for the 2013 San Francisco Pride Parade on June 30. The conference featured several well-known activists as guest speakers, including Oscar-winning Dustin Lance Black, who wrote the screenplay for Milk; former COO of E*Trade, Kathy Levinson; and Zach Wahls, founder of Scouts for Equality, amongst many others. In addition, Raja Gemini, winner of Season Three of the reality show “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” emceed the event and performed a song in drag before the second set of speakers. Black is a well-known activist for LGBT civil rights. He has been featured as number one on The Advocate’s “Forty Under Forty,” a list of openly gay influential activists. Black has written several movies with sexual identity as their central issue. He has also spoken at the National Equality March to Congress in 2009. Says Alavi, “It was a good idea to have Black speak at the end. It was good to end with a powerhouse speaker.” Growing up in a conservative community, Black says, “[I felt] very isolated... I know the toll that that took on my self esteem and potentially could’ve taken a toll on my entire future... so, when I hear that there’s an organization... that’s making sure that people have access to groups where they can meet people like them and mentors that can help them figure
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out what it’s like to be part of the LGBT community in high school, it’s hopefully fixing the problem that I had in a high school in this area.” Black emphasized embracing difference and accepting others because of their differences, rather than ostracizing them. “Why are we so afraid of difference?” he asked during his speech. Levinson is an active supporter of LGBT rights. She has founded the California-based Lesbian Equity Foundation, which has headed several civil rights campaigns. Levison also frequently speaks at LGBT conferences and events, especially for professional lesbian women. Levinson specifically focuses on bringing discrimination against LGBT and women in the workplace to light. Wahls grew up in Iowa and was raised by two mothers, which he has stated greatly inspired him to become active in the LGBT community. Wahls became very involved in protesting the Boy Scouts of America’s rule against gay or lesbian members in their organization. He formed the Scouts for Equality to advocate ending the Boy Scout’s refusal to allow homosexuals to participate in the organization. Wahls insists, “When you threaten the rights of some people, you threaten the rights of everyone.” According to Alavi, the next summit may be held at a new location. Says Alavi, “We are looking at some other venues, mainly some that are more accessible with better public transportation. There were things I like about doing it Aragon, but there are also some benefits to a new location.” Galisatus concludes, “We want[ed] it to inspire people. We really want[ed] people to go away from the Summit with a renewed sense to want to participate in activism and wanting to get involved in the community to really make the difference.”
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Aragon attractive to prospective transfers welfare for SMUHSD, says, “If we have exhausted the lottery we may be able to do one-on“Two weeks into the school one transfers, but that’s done year, I ditched San Mateo and way at the end of the process.” went to Aragon,” says freshMackamul says, “Participaman Danya Sandler, whose tion in the open-enrollment intransfer request for Aragon was tra-district transfer process has accepted after the school year to be unbiased and non-arbihad already started. Sandler trary. You can’t look at grades, says, “[Starting at Aragon] you can’t look at discipline... was really easy. I came in that We can’t look at race, gender.” morning, they gave me all my Hillsdale Junior Albert classes, I went straight to Eng- Chang unsuccessfully tried to lish.” transfer to Aragon. He says, Students unsatisfied with “Mainly, I wanted to transfer their zoned school have the op- [to Aragon] because [of] the tion to apply for a transfer to API [Academic Performance another San Mateo Union High Index] difference, the scoring School District (SMUHSD) difference, between our school. school. Eighth-graders com- Aragon has the better [API]. plete the transfer form online, Aragon also has a better repuand current high school stu- tation for having harder classdents fill out a paper form re- es.” Aragon’s API for 2012 was ceived from the district office 849, compared to Hillsdale’s or from a counselor. Regard- score of 810. less of their grade, all students Among all the SMUHSD fill out the same form. schools, Aragon generally reStudents wish to attend Ara- ceives the greatest number of gon for a variety of reasons, transfer applications. For the from aca2013-2014 demic to soschool year, cial. “I want- “I had a friend [who] 191 students transferred in the middle ed to meet to of the semester... They applied new people, kept calling the district transfer to and not stay office until a spot opened A r a g o n . with the same up. So I kind of got the Hillsdale, re[ p e o p l e ] idea that if you wanted to ceiving 89 I’d known transfer here you just had applications, through mid- to be really persistent.” had the secdle school,” ond highest Priyam Das number says freshof Junior requests. The man Magali de Sauvage, majority of who transferred from San Ma- transfer requests are for incomteo High School to Aragon. ing freshman. Only 13 current Junior Priyam Das, who high school students applied to tried to transfer from San Ma- Aragon for next year. teo to Aragon for her freshman Junior Aislinn Oka, who is year says, “The main reason I new to Aragon this year, says, wanted to transfer to Aragon “I wanted to take Japanese, so was because I wanted to con- that was one of the reasons [I tinue studying Japanese, and, transferred to Aragon]...The acaside from Mills, Aragon is ademics are better here.” Oka the only high school that had a was also unhappy with San Japanese program. A lot of my Mateo High School, her prefriends had come to Aragon so vious school. Oka says, “San that was kind of an added bo- Mateo had a lot of drama.... If nus as well.” Das’s application you weren’t involved in Leadfor freshman year was ulti- ership or [theater] or dance you mately denied. couldn’t feel important.” Das says, “I had a friend Yet, Oka says, “[When I [who] transferred in the middle came to Aragon], I felt like I of the semester to Aragon... was being thrown into a shark They kept calling the district tank. Everyone here was very office until a spot opened up. prepared...” So I kind of got the idea that Junior Tricia Grant decided if you wanted to transfer here to transfer from Aragon to Buryou just had to be really persis- lingame High School for freshtent.” Das applied for a transfer man year. She says, “[I wanted] to Aragon for sophomore year a change in scenery. I mean I’ve and was accepted. grown up around Aragon....I’ve Das says, “The day I got my known the same people since acceptance letter, my letter in- kindergarten. I kind of wanted forming me that I had made the to throw myself into something transfer, it was kind of the hap- I wasn’t used to.” piest day of my life.” Both Grant and Oka are Unless students have an un- glad that they chose to transfer usual circumstance or have a schools. Grant says, “School sibling at the school to which hasn’t been perfect, but I’m they are applying, potential happy I made the transfer just transfer students are entered to challenge myself.” into a lottery. KindyLee MackOka says, “I love Aragon... amul, director of alternative I feel like I’m learning a lot in programs and attendance and my classes.” by Brianne Felsher news staff
volume lii, issue no. 8 thursday, may 23, 2013
A fond farewell to retiring staff by Emily Shen news staff Four teachers will retire at the end of the 2012-2013 school year: Rich Serrao, David Martin, Susan Whitehurst, and Elsie Ritchie. They will be missed by Aragon faculty and students, but remembered for their individual dedication and contributions to the Aragon community. Rich Serrao Rich Serrao is currently the co-chair of the Math Department and teaches Algebra 3-4, Pre-Calculus, and AP Calculus BC. Serrao taught at three schools over his 34-year career as a math teacher. He has been a part of the Aragon faculty for the past 14 years. He explains, “I started working here in 1999. I just needed a change from where I was before. I had a friend who was the assistant principal at the time, and he called me and said there was an opening, so I hopped right over.” Serrao has taught all levels of math, from Pre-Algebra to Calculus. “I’ve always taught, since the second I left college. I felt a passion for mathematics, and I felt like the best way to transfer that would be through teaching. There’s so many great memories of working with students over the years. Motivating students is what I’m the most proud of.” Although he will retire from being a teacher, Serrao wants to continue working, saying that he is “too young to retire,” though he is not yet sure about what he will do. However, he plans to take a vacation first. “I’m going to take a year off and travel to Europe, Canada, and Asia, and then I’ll figure it out.” Says freshman Crystal Lee, who takes Serrao’s Algebra 3-4 class, “He has a good sense of humor and makes learning math seem less daunting. Last year, I had a lot of problems with math, and I was convinced that I would hate math...But it ended up okay because I saw a different way to approach math with Mr. Serrao’s help.” David Martin David Martin is currently the co-chair of the Visual and Performing Arts Department and teaches Chorus 1-2, Chamber Choir, Concert Choir, and Chamber Orchestra. Martin has taught at Aragon since 2000 but has taught in the San Mateo Union High School District for 33 years. For Martin, music was always an intended career. He comments, “I had a wonderful experience with music growing up, and I felt that I had a calling to share what I had learned as a musician and continue that love of music.” After he retires, Martin plans to move to Healdsburg, which is north of Santa Rosa, and travel. “[I’ll be doing] lots of traveling, guest conducting, volunteering in schools, and teaching music to underprivileged children.” Says band teacher Troy Davis, who has worked with Martin for eight years, “Mr. Martin is kind
and thoughtful and he truly cares about his students and everyone he works with. He has taught me patience.” On Martin’s personality, Davis says, “He is not afraid to take risks. He will do whatever it takes to get a student to understand a concept, from dancing around, jumping, and singing to goofing around. It’s pretty funny.” Concludes Davis, “I’ll miss his friendship and the bond that we have; we get along really well and we have a great bromance.” Reflecting on memories of teaching, Martin says, “Taking the whole music department to China in 2008 was an unforgettable experience. Performances in the community, at the Ritz Hotel down at Half Moon Bay, and just every day, just being together and having those ‘a-ha’ moments in music that you can share together. And no matter how many times I’ve seen something myself, when I see it with students, it’s different.” Susan Whitehurst Susan Whitehurst, department chair of the English Learning Development (ELD) Department, will also be retiring after teaching at Aragon for 32 years. Whitehurst still has active plans post-retirement. She says, “I’m going to continue to raise beagle rescue dogs. I want to live in the streets of Paris for at least a couple of months, and my son’s wedding is next April, so I want to help with that. My bucket list is travel, because that’s what I haven’t been able to do as much. I want to watch my grandchildren blossom. I’ve done almost everything I’ve wanted to in my whole life, and I just want to do more.” Reflecting on how Aragon has changed, Whitehurst points out the change in structure. “[When I started] it was fun and free, and there were way fewer rules for teachers and students—things like Fun Fridays and field trips to coffeehouses and poetry on the lawn. But what’s changed now is that Aragon’s teachers are even more amazing. Every group of students is different and more fun. Aragon students have always been earnest and hardworking and forthright. They speak their minds—they’re not robots, and they argue in positive ways and stand up for themselves.” Says Chinese teacher Qi Fan, “She works very hard as a teacher and she’s very kind to her students. My first impression of her was her passion for teaching. Even though she has been teaching for so many years, she still has so much energy. She is extremely patient with her students. Her students love her so much, and her classroom is like their second home. They eat lunch together; she bakes cookies for her students and she’s a mother figure for the ELD students.” The hardest thing about retiring for Whitehurst will be saying goodbye to her students. “They can come to me anytime, which is what I like best about this school. I feel like if any of these
Dons pursue different interests during summer Washington.” Although Wraa will be spending his time in the States, senior Whistles are blowing. Play- Grace Chan is one student who ers are scurrying about the field, will spend part of her summer and the heat is unrelenting. That abroad. Chan says, “I’m going is the scene that awaits outgoing to Belize and doing this National senior David Manoa, who will be Geographic program… and it’s studying and practicing with the working on marine conservation, football teams at the University and [I’m] helping with research of Hawaii before he starts his down there.” freshman year. Explaining her motivation, Manoa is one of many stu- Chan says, “I’m planning on dents with plans after the school majoring in something [related year. As finals draw to a close, to] environmental science, and I students look forward to rest and want to see if I actually like it… recovery from the grueling class- and to learn about marine ecolroom environment. ogy. Maybe it’ll tell me whether However, the term summer I want to major in that or not.” “break” may be a misnomer for Chan’s major exploration is many. Aragon students will take one example of a principle reapart in a variety of activities that son people take part in summer vary in length activities– and topic but finding one’s offer experi- “What [colleges] don’t want interests. ences extend- to see is couch potatoing Tezak says, ing beyond in the summer. They want “It helps your you to go out and spread high school. creativity and C o l l e g e your wings, whether it’s a kind of shows job, an internship or traveland career adyou what you ing. They want to see you visor Laurie do something or a couple do like and Tezak says, of things that you love.” what you “There are a don’t like. ton of things Laurie Tezak If you go to out there [for Counselor work at Mills summer]. You Medical Cencould work. ter as a volunYou could do a summer intern- teer, you could soon find out that ship. You could do a program at you’re not a good person around a school. You [have] a lot of op- sick people.” portunities.” She adds, “What [colleges] Hoping to take courses such don’t want to see is couch potaas Advanced Placement Biology, toing in the summer. They want some students enroll in Chemis- you to go out and spread your try 192 at community college. wings, whether it’s a job, an in“By taking college chemistry, ternship or traveling. They want it gives me a college-level course to see you do something or a wrapped up in a short amount of couple of things that you love.” time. It allows me to advance in Regardless of motivation, stuscience as a lower-classman… dents will carry the experiences and take more science cours- and lessons gained during the es over the four years of high summer into their future; some school,” says freshman Arianna may come in the form of lifeKan. long contacts and friends. Others will spend their time in Ho says, “[COSMOS] procollege not taking general cours- vides a networking opportunity es, but participating in summer to meet new people who share programs. Junior Chris Ho, who your interests and passion for will attend the University of Cal- learning from across the country, ifornia’s California State Sum- and lastly you have the opportumer School of Mathematics and nity to meet and befriend profesScience program [COSMOS], sors… who you can learn from is one such person. He says, and network with in the future.” “The difference or benefit of the Manoa will spend his time COSMOS or really any summer training for football season and college program is the college taking classes in a bridge proexperience and insight you gain gram so as to free up his schedule before even applying.” in the fall to focus on athletics. On the other hand, some To some students like Manoa, choose employment. Sopho- this summer will be a signifimore Jocelyn Chin is one such cant step towards fulfilling one’s person. Chin says, “I am going dreams. Manoa says, “My dream to be working at Claire’s. I look has always been to play Division forward to experiencing making I football, and to have the opporsales with costumers [and] work- tunity to live out my dream is an ing at a retail store. It will help indescribable feeling. I guess you can say that’s why I’m dedicated me with social skills.” Aside from academics and to the game. Second chances employment, sports will also be aren’t promised, so I don’t plan a primary focus for some stu- on messing up this opportunity.” dents like senior Michael Wraa, who will pursue an opportunity in baseball. He says, “I [was] For past issues, web recruited by an independent proexclusive content, and photo galleries, visit us at fessional baseball league to go aragonoutlook.org! travel umpiring throughout Oregon, California, Nevada, and by Brandon Yan news staff
Rich Serrao samantha soon
David Martin sam alavi
scanned from El tesoro 2011
From top: Rich Serrao, Susan Whitehurst, David Martin, Elsie Ritchie
kids were in trouble, they’d come to me, and that’s what makes me valuable.” Elsie Ritchie English teacher Elsie Ritchie will also be retiring after teaching at Aragon for eight years. Ritchie says, “All the students are so gracious. Just having somebody do little things like opening the door or offering help. It’s the little things like that, how caring everyone is, and I’ve never seen anything else like that at any other school. These are incredibly great kids.” Ritchie plans to fill her free time teaching dance, one of her longtime passions.
volume lii, issue no. 8 thursday, may 23, 2013
Worries over attendance lead to ‘executive decision’ to cancel Hoedown continued from page 1 thoughts were, and then sent While worry over atten- him to talk to Ms. Kurtz” says dance led to the dance’s can- Mahood. cellation, there was no way to After their meeting with truly ascertain how many stu- principal Kurtz, Aujla and Moe dents planned on attending. As decided to cancel the dance. a reward for winning the “Spir“They were asking us what it Points” competition Leader- the reason was to have it,” says ship had put into place, seniors Moe, referring to his interacwere to be allowed free en- tion with the administration trance to the dance. While only regarding the dance. “Basi50 people bought tickets, it was cally, they didn’t want to waste assumed that attending seniors staff’s time.” would add to that number. But Both McSheery and Borden on Friday, with no guarantee were very clear that they had no that more than 50 people would input in making the final decishow up, the decision was sion to cancel the dance. made to cancel the dance. “I don’t feel...qualified to “This was 100 percent talk about the decision because the Leadership’s decision,” I had no part in it,” says Borsays Aragon Principal Patri- den. cia Kurtz, directly following They were not alone in Moe’s announcement. “The ad- their opinions. “If [Leaderministration had nothing to do ship] is going to make a deciwith it.” sion, we would normally have a While the final decision was class discussion,” says Patrick made by the Keaton Moe and Lin, a leadership student and his fellow ASB officer, Vice president of the junior class. President Parvir Aujla, no other “There would be speakers for members of the Leadership and against, and at the end we class appear to have been con- would have a class vote.” sulted prior to the decision to “This was an executive decancel the dance. cision,” Lin says of the dance’s Senior Sharon Borden, the cancellation. “Today in class, ASB Treasurer, had no idea the most people focused on rally dance was going to be canceled [held during lunch on the same before she heard Moe’s an- day], not the dance.” nouncement during her seventh McSheery says that she beperiod. lieves the dance should not “When I found out, I was have been canceled. “All the in Spanstaff were ish, and me already “This was 100 percent the and Jenise going, Leadership’s decision. The [a fellow [and] you leadership have to administration had nothing student] pay for to do with it.” were like, the DJ rePat Kurtz ‘What’s gogardless,” Principal ing on?’” says Mcsays BorS h e e r y. den. “There was never any talk “[We] might as well have had about cancelling it, because we it.” thought seniors would go.” “We had more decorations Senior and ASB Secretary than any dance, and we won’t Elizabeth McSheery says “If get refunded for them,” adds I hadn’t been back at school Borden. to turn in my track uniform, “Either way I was fine,” I wouldn’t have even heard says Aujla, regarding whether the announcement,” says Mc- or not the dance was going to Sheery. “People who don’t happen. “[But] it was like the have a seventh [period] didn’t Cuban Missile Crisis...No one get the announcement,” she wanted to make the decision.” says. Poor advertisement was The fact that two members named by multiple Leadership of the ASB Cabinet were not students for the dance’s apparconsulted in the decision to ent failure. cancel the dance raises ques“Everything...kind of crept tions over what qualifies as a up on us,” says McSheery. “leadership decision.” Before “We’ve been...disorganized seventh period, it appeared this semester.” that no one in the Leadership While the decision to cancel class had any intention of can- the dance avoided potential celing the dance. But during embarrassment, the Leaderthe last period, Moe and Aujla ship class lost money refunding were called out of their classes ticket-buyers, paying the DJ, by Catherine Williamson, the and buying decorations. Leadership advisor, and sent “I don’t really wanna blame to Assistant Principal Joe Ma- [the decision to cancel the hood, who consulted them dance] on the admin,” says about ticket sales. Moe.“I mean, they said ‘If you “I was told that less than shut it down, it’s on Leader50 tickets had been sold. I ship.’ Ms. Kurtz wanted to keep asked Parvir [Aujla] what his her hands clean.”
photos by sam alavi
Upper left: Freshmen Michael Lanthier and Russell Cheng. Upper right: David Martin pauses during the end of the concert. Lower left: Junior Nathan Berenstein, senior Miles Allen Lang, and junior Scott Bell of Men’s Choir perform. Bottom right: Junior Alex Griffis presents Martin with a lei.
Aragon Music ends year, era by Ryan Cheong news staff On April 30, Aragon’s orchestras and choirs, directed by David Martin, performed their annual spring concert, “The American Experience.” On May 2, Aragon’s concert band, symphonic band, and wind ensemble had their semester performance under the direction of Troy Davis. Martin selected pieces reflective of the different musical groups. For example, the Women’s Choir sang a song about the women’s rights movement while the Men’s Choir sang American folk songs. Martin notes, “I really tried to take all the parts from American culture–the good, the bad, and the ugly.” This theme captured both the hardships and patriotism in America’s history through a wide array of songs and ultimately ended with a combined string orchestra, band, and choir rendition of “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Sophomore Chamber Orchestra violinist Vivian Shen says, “I thought the concert was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. I believe this was because it was Martin’s last concert, so each group tried their hardest to make the performance the best one they’ve ever given.” Senior Steven Callas from Men’s Choir notes, “The concert was special in that we prepared for it a substantial amount and had some heartfelt music. I actually didn’t realize it was Mr. Martin’s last concert, but once I did, I knew I had to sing to the best of my ability and make it memorable in the best way I can... I would describe [the concert] simply as
the best good bye. It had its happy and sad emotions.” Completing his 33rd year teaching music, Martin was finally able to perform a patriotic concert, something he has intensely aspired to do since Sept. 11, 2001. Martin explains, “I felt the country really needed to come together and that it was important to be able to play American music to invoke some national pride... The Civil War was a terrible time, and “Battle Hymn of Republic” was a wonderful piece.” He adds, “Composers like Aaron Copland really defined the ‘American music’ and cheered people up when they were depressed about war and poverty. He was instructed to write music that was uplifting and that people could relate to and [that evoked] a sense of pride. Randall Thompson is another composer like that.” Songs on the program featured selections such as “North Star to Freedom,” which captured the hardships of slavery and the road to freedom. The timeless classic, “Battle Hymn of Republic” gathered the Serra and Aragon choirs, band, and chamber orchestra together to showcase a spectacular finale. Included in the program were songs like the popular “Anvil Chorus” by Giuseppe Verdi, which featured a European influence. Junior Andrew Grant of Men’s Choir says, “The Serra choir was cool, and we performed how we practiced—enthusiastically.” “Battle Hymn of Republic was definitely one of my favorite songs of all time. I really liked how we played with both the band and the choir, which really created a full sound and orchestra
experience for the audience and us,” adds senior Chamber Orchestra violinist Alvin Ho. Freshman String Orchestra cellist Kristan Hilby says, “It was a little bittersweet because while one of my mentors was leaving, I know that he’s closing one door to open a bunch more.” At the conclusion of the concert, Davis showed a surprise Power Point presentation dedicated to Martin. Senior Connie Ngirchemat from the Women’s Choir comments, “I personally wasn’t expecting all these emotions, I was kind of crying... But out of all my years in choir, this concert was the most emotional and memorable.” Looking to the Aragon music department, Davis notes that the music department has more than doubled in size by offering more courses and “increas[ing] the depth and sensitivity of our connection to the art of musicmaking.” Martin agrees, “Before, there was a larger emphasis on band. And I really wanted to create an identity for singers and string players, so all of the groups would feel comfortable and confident in playing in public.” As a part of Aragon’s music program, an end of semeseter concert is held twice each year— one in the winter and the other in the spring. Martin states, “I think concerts are a way for the general public to really hear what their sons and daughters have accomplished and really to showcase the wonderful talent we have here. Just for ourselves, we have concerts because we are proud of our accomplishments, and music is meant to be learned.”
volume lii, issue no. 8 thursday, may 23, 2013
Aragon students and teachers reflect on a year of modified block continued from page 1 and it’s better than going to the same classes five times a week.” The modified block was implemented particularly to assist science labs and other periods of long instruction. “It gives us more time,” says science teacher Arron Apperson, “The block schedule allows us to talk about the lab on the same day as we conduct it, so the students receive more context about what they are doing.” Te a c h e r Rich Serrao fills the block periods by splitting up topics and lesson plans. Says Serrao, “ We ’ v e learned how to combine similar topics, but sometimes we have to teach a mixture of lessons. You can’t try to lecture for an hour and a half. People will hate it. We try to have one topic, then in-class work, and so on.” Sitting in one place for a prolonged amount of time raises questions about student health. According to the Oxford Journal of Epidemiology, limiting time
spent sitting can reduce obesity rates and prevent premature death, regardless of physical activity. Says Hardy, “In my class I can plan better activities for students, like getting up or going outside. I don’t think anything is more important than our students’ health.” Adds sophomore Gabby Bermudez, “I agree that sitting for a long time can be bad for your health. It seems that the longer I sit, the more sluggish I feel, and it really hinders my performance in other classes.” The 15minute “office hours” period implemented on Wednesdays has received particular scrutiny among critics, since some teachers and students view the period as an extended lunch. Says sophomore David Traver, “Mostly, I use office hours to hang out with my friends, but it’s nice to have an occasional opportunity to talk to my teachers.” Adds sophomore Elena Ralls, “Office hours are great for catching up
of students believe the subject that improved most with block schedule was science
with a teacher if you missed a day of school or left early because of a sport.” Extracurricular activities and sports have also been affected by the schedule change. Junior Erik Harden says, “On Thursdays, when students get out early, they get to their sports practice earlier and come back home earlier than on regular days. This [gives] them a little more breathing room for the usual eventful Fridays that are filled with quizzes and tests.” After the changes brought by the modified block, several students note ways that the schedule could be improved. Says Bermudez, “The block schedule should remain the same, but with a few changes. There should be a break halfway between each block period so that every 84-minute period has a five to ten minute break.” Lo agrees, “I think there should be a longer break in between block periods. An extra three or four minutes would be better.” Some Aragon faculty criticize the modified schedule as well. “We should have a full block every other day instead of seven periods,” says Serrao. “Either you do it or you don’t.” Other students and faculty agree that the modified block schedule has been a positive learning experience. Says Bermudez, “I wouldn’t go back to the original schedule. I like seeing my teachers only four times a week.” Harden agrees, “I would
not go back to the original schedule. The previous late start schedule does not compare to the block schedule. The extra sleep we got was okay, but getting out of school a couple hours early [on Thursdays] helps you get through
a stressful day knowing you have plenty of time to study and do homework.” Concludes Hardy, “I’m pleased. I like the schedule. It’s been a good year for trying something new.”
Wednesday late start preferred
Thursday early dismissal preferred
Student and staff satisfaction with the block schedule
Students (178) Staff (63)
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volume lii, issue no. 8 thursday, may 23, 2013
Free student expression should be the norm by Annika Ulrich news editor Towards the end of April, several Outlook editors and staffers had the privilege of attending the National High School Student Journalism Convention in San Francisco. Of particular interest to me was a workshop titled “Deciding Editorial Policies.” The workshop opened with this question: what is the purpose of a student newspaper? For the Outlook, that question has many answers, ranging from community awareness and outreach to the discussion of current events, all of which are outlined in our mission statement. The rest of the schools attending were either unsure of their purpose or stated that the mission of a school newspaper run by students was to serve as a mouthpiece for the administration. While I was shocked and confused, the leader of the discussion group explained that this was what he normally encountered among a group of high school newspapers. The discussion also covered censorship. After a brief discussion of what “censorship” entails, the group was surveyed for any instances of faculty or teachers suppressing content of any form from being published. While dozens of hands shot up to share accounts of principals and deans trying to exercise unfair control over articles or photos, one stood out from the rest. A girl from a public high school in Arizona explained that her principal reviewed each issue of their newspaper before it was sent to the printer. On one deadline, the principal deemed half of that issue’s content “not appropriate to publish” because articles such as the one about the volleyball team losing did not convey good news to the school community; in other words, they didn’t tell cheerful stories. While no other students shared stories that were quite as shocking, administrative censorship was commonplace. It was startling as Aragon receives so much support and respect from the administration as well as the greater community. Granted, the trust of one’s school administration comes
with responsibility; just because speech is protected for all Americans does not mean it’s in good judgment (or legal) to print articles that are libelous, defaming, or derogatory. While it is understandable for administrators to want to ensure the best interests of their schools, acting as an overbearing force can have some detrimental consequences. First, it conveys the idea that impartial journalism is acceptable. In the instance of the Arizona high school, while it may be discouraging to read about the defeats of classmates on the volleyball court, we as a society should expect the truth to be published, even if it is not the most enjoyable to read. A growing conflict today is the reliability of news sources. What better way to ensure that the next generation of journalists is impartial and unbiased than to give them the freedom to publish the truth? The suppression of content by administrators will only lead to students self-censoring, making them uncomfortable when it comes to writing anything that may provoke a negative response. Second, working on a school newspaper is both widely accessible and gives students the feeling of a real, day-to-day working environment. By giving students as little freedom as possible, administrators infringe upon this opportunity to act maturely and responsibly, as if they were in control of their own newspaper. Newspapers should promote growth in students. Instead, students are pretending to lead, but actually exclusively following the direction of an adviser and administration. Third, newspapers that are not overly restricted foster more intellectual content. When the students have the liberty to report freely on current events and issues, they will pick topics in which they find the most interest. Genuine interest yields genuine content, which strengthens the newspaper as a whole and helps give it a stronger presence in the community. In all, student journalists, when given the freedom, have the capability of shaping and informing their communities. A little trust can go a long way.
the Aragon Outlook
Modified block worth the effort
CARTOON BY Tina Pai
Last April, the modified block schedule was approved on a trial basis for the 2012-2013 school year. In addition to creating two block days per week, the schedule also created an early dismissal on Thursday (instead of late start Wednesdays), added teacher office hours on Wednesdays, and pushed the start of the school day back ten minutes. Having completed a year under this new schedule, the Aragon administration met earlier this month to discuss the pros and cons of the modified block. After these discussions, the administration voted to continue this schedule for the 2013-2014 school year. The Outlook agrees with the decision to remain on a modified block because of the noteworthy efforts undertaken by students and faculty to transition over the course of the year, as well as other newfound benefits, such as early dismissal Thursdays and later start times. However, the Outlook believes that Wednesday office hours must be better structured in order to provide the maximum benefit for all students and teachers. While the transition to block periods proved to be a challenge for certain departments and students, Aragon as a whole made enough progress to justify continuing the schedule for next year. For the science, history, and english departments, the addition of a block period allowed for extended discussion and project time that had been unavailable in past years. Conversely, the math departments and foreign language departments voiced the loudest concerns over the modified block schedule, as the Outlook believes
that both subjects are taught most effectively when material is covered daily. While the benefits of a modified block schedule may have weighed more heavily in favor of certain departments, teachers as well as students will be able to better adapt over the next several years. Returning to a traditional schedule would cause the adaptation process that has already commenced to go to waste, and changing to a full block would rush the transition process and cause more stress for students and teachers. Despite the lamentations of many students over the loss of late start Wednesdays, the creation of a 1:24 dismissal on Thursdays has proven to be equally—if not more—beneficial. Whereas late start pushed the start of the school day back 50 minutes, the early dismissal on Thursdays gives students an extra hour and forty-five minutes to get an early start on homework or pursue other activities after school. The Outlook believes that students get more out of this free afternoon time than they get out of free morning time. Furthermore, students who are part of an athletics team miss less instructional time, as the early dismissal leads to less conflict with various sporting events taking place in the afternoon. The later start of the school day has also been a positive change at Aragon. A later start time gives students more time to get to school and also allows for more collaboration time before the start of first period. In spite of its merits, the Outlook believes that improvements could be made in
the continued use of the modified block schedule. For one, the 15 minutes at the conclusion of Wednesday lunch are currently designated as “office hours.” However, the vast majority of students do not necessarily take advantage of this time to meet with their teachers in order to make up tests or get extra help. Instead, clubs that meet during lunch on Wednesdays have had the opportunity to hold extended meetings, while most other students enjoy an extended lunch. Because this fifteen minute period counts as part of weekly instructional time, the Outlook believes that it would be best to consider implementing one of two options. First, in order to assure that all students are benefitting from office hours, teachers should be more proactive in hosting office hour sessions with small groups or individual students; for example, teachers can offer at least one lunch period a month during which they give a review lesson or supplemental activity. By opening planned lunchtime sessions, students will feel more encouraged to attend and take advantage of this additional instructional time. The second option would be to eliminate the 15 minute office hour period and add two minutes to each block period, leaving one extra minute for lunch on any given day. Depending on reactions to the modified block schedule over the course of the 2013-2014 school year, modified block should again be reconsidered so that any further transitions are made with the support of both teachers and students.
the aragon outlook staff publishes a monthly newspaper created for the students to express themselves on issues of interest and importance to them and to provoke thought and discussion within the aragon community.
ANGELA SOLIS, BRANDON YAN, BRIANNE
ANNIKA OLIVES, IAN BARRIE, JACQUELINE
co-editors in chief
FELSHER, CLEO WIENBAR, EMILY SHEN,
TANG, JAMES MURRAY, MURRAY
ISAAC WANG, JORDAN KRANZLER, MATT
SANDMEYER, NICK TOLFA, REGINA WEN,
MCHUGH, MONICA MAI, RYAN CHEONG,
SAMANTHA WONG, SHANNON THIELEN,
VICTORIA YAN, WENDY YU
TONY WANG, VIRGINIA HSIAO, WYATT
OLIVIA MARCUS PANIZ AMIRNASIRI
centerspread editor SHANNON BODEAU
centerspread copy OLIVIA MARCUS
business editor PANIZ AMIRNASIRI
features editors ANDREW SCHILLING BRANDON LIU
arts & graphics staffers
ALEX FURUYA, BRITTNEY CHEW, CRISTINA
ASHBAUGH, MELISSA MOY, SAM ALAVI,
EAVAN HUTH, KYRA FUNG, MARIA
SAMANTHA SOON, STANLEY KRZESNIAK,
MENSHIKOVA, PRESTON HARRY, TINA PAI,
photo editor JASON MAI
arts & graphics editor
media editor JONATHAN STARYUK
visit the aragon outlook at www.aragonoutlook.org, or email us at email@example.com
Aragon Seniors Begin
sonoma state university
David Koshy Garrett Tan Jason Mai Smita Jain Anthony Privitera Bruce Zhang Samantha C.
George Kujiroaka III Lauren Riffel Cheena Sakoma
dominican university of california Ashley Lentz Emily Pfleghaar
san francisco state university Abigail Arana Edgar FernandezLemus Glen Quintero-Locon Haley Dâ€™Emilio Jennifer Banuelos Jiahuan Gu Jyoshita Singh
Wong Tina Pai Jong Hyung Lim Marvin Yang Matthew Hwang Paniz Amirnasiri
uc davis Eavan Huth Haley Bartlett Sam Alavi csu chico Tammy Ng Jacquelyn Chavez Jamie Lo Valery Toribio Barrera Grace Chan Cecilia Bocanegra
lane community college Katie Aguilar
Kerri Su Mary Grace DeCastro Villaronte Olivia Chan Rebecca Noda Stephanie Monroe Youki Iwamura Brandon Mathura
Elizabeth Martinez Kaylyn Mejasich
university of oregon Alexander Bet Heimana Vaea Jennifer Winterbottom
Aldo Severson Alicia Fernandez Alisha Hussain Amandeep Bhatia Arianna Campos
Courtney Lucido Joshua Ehrlich Marcia Mendoza Rachael Banchero
academy of art Savanna Fuentes
saint mary's college of california Eddie Madrigal Anjali Joshi
chico state univeristy
Evan Erhard McKenna Hurley
university of san francisco
Greta Ruttenberg Olivia Simon
san jose state university
Brittany Pisoni Gabrielle Tompkins
uc santa cruz Camille Halley Ian Roque Casey Fitzgerald Thomas Bebbington Kayla Solomon Parvir Aujla
santa clara university Ranier Plantinos
csu monterey bay
cal poly san luis obispo Aaron Yen Eli Mayerson Quentin Bellon Rex Manu Ashley Lu
Alexia Hong Annalise Di Santo Kurtis Young Jessica Hsiao Angela Hung James Garcia
Shafer Smith Vanessa Poon
Jenna Raffo Abria Folauoâ€™o Lyndsey Gilbert
cal poly pomona Emily Penn
George Medan Gianna Mednez Luiggi Sebastiani Marc Reichenberger Hector Bonilla
Alex Kim Tyler Vanson Maribelle Cruz Samuel Halaufia
claremont mckenna colle Wyatt Cooper
santa barbara city college
Dana Pierce Lindsey Chen
Daniel Goldin Tahir Zira Deborah Grimes
azusa pacific uni
Alexis Harrington Preston Harry
Kevin D Rebecca
santa monica college Iliana Cabral
university of southern california
uc los angeles Allison Kuo chapman university Jessica Ding
Michelle Yeung Keaton Moe
college of san mateo Alex Burns Alyssa Jang Andrea Molina Arisleyda Payan Ashley Gallegos Celina Vasquez Chakk Sriloy Curtis Lim Danielle Gomez Derek Ngoon Diego Hernandez Diego Martins Eric Ta Erik Gonzales Ernie Camantigue Fabricio Perez
de anza college Lauren Matias menlo college
uc santa barbara
notre dame de namur
csu east bay
Gabriel Cano Gladis Rosales Ian Patrick Vasquez Jackelin Andrade Jared Anstett Jonathan Zuehlke Kees Stokman Kiana Anderberg Kirsten Peregoy Mariam Malik Marvin Toxcon Mary Galabay Megan Pham Michaela Keeth Nathaniel Ramil Pablo Gonzales
Adelaide Eveslage Christy Conway Laynie Mitchell Nick Frankel
university of la v Alexa Smith
Paea I Vahanoa Mau Rae-Clarence Bonrostro Ricardo Chaidez Ryan Clohessy Samuel Ross Yeo Sarah Opiel Tufumoemoe Tau Tyler Bray Yamilet Gomez Alondra Vargas Jacinto Andrew Firestone Delhia Rocha Justin Honeyman Nataly Gonzalez Nilse Velado Lomber Priteshni Lal
Susan Kim Tadju Takahashi Tara Taneja James Yi Linwei Ye
san diego state university Trevor Lahoz
uc san diego James Murray Kelly Walsh Lauren Chan Samuel Bunarjo Wendy Yu Samantha R. Wong Jaehee Park
san diego mesa college Dominick Vercelli Igor Oliveira Dominic Proia Suzanne Holman Megan Hogg
Life After High School
note: college data represented in this centerspread was collected using a naviance survey. those who did not take this survey may not have their college plans shown, as well as those who opted not to share their survey answers with the aragon outlook.
western washington university Benjamin Calvert
university of washington Nathaniel Leung
massachusetts institute of technology
northwestern university grinnell college Samuel Sokolsky
Kathryn DeWitt Olivia Marcus Sharon Borden
tufts university Carly Olson Taylor Westmont
cornell university Brittney Chew
colorado state university Melissa Matthews
northeastern university Alvin Ho Rachel Van Heteran
university of michigan Katherine Chinn Abigail Clemens
clark university Katharine Barnes
boston college Savanna Kiefer
brown university Sally Hosokawa
university of connecticut Elizabeth McSheery
princeton university Andrew Schilling
john hopkins university Kevin Huang
baltimore city community college
george washington university Robert Pollock
Samantha Bowman Sangwon Yun
university of north carolina asheville
Dwyer a Bremer
university of south florida university of arizona
Corie Stocker Kyle Kaye Makenna Cornwall Joshua Barney Ian Barrie
university of kansas Ya Gao
umpire school of milb Michael Wraa
university of oklahoma Marie Mihara
university of southern mississippi
northern arizona university Parker Huang rice university Brandon Gordon
us coast guard or navy university of hawaii manoa David Manoa
Juan De Anda Bill Danhel Fajardo
a and p mechanic school Rachel Kain
Alfredo Ramirez Joshua Busch
temple university japan Michael Castillo
Centerspread layout by Shannon Bodeau
SENIOR PROFILES TARA TANEJA What was your first impression of UCI? I actually expected a lot more, infrastructure-wise. It was really spaced out. But what really attracted me was that it was really lively. It made you look less at the buildings. I'm a people-person, and I was happy that there was so much going on in UCI’s campus. Why did you end up choosing UCI? It wasn’t my first choice, but it ended up being the best choice for me. It was highly ranked compared to my other top colleges. It also has a huge Indian community, and it's not too far from home.
volume lii, issue no. 8 thursday, may 23, 2013
university of california, irvine What is your career plan for the future? My major is undeclared, but I want to be a corporate event planner, so I'll choose a major somewhere along business or communication. What would you say had the biggest influence on your college decision? I'd say it was just me. I was on the waiting list for Amherst College in Massachusetts, but when I looked at the clubs at UCI, I saw that they have a Hindi Film dance team, and I love to dance.
What were your first impressions of Puget Sound? It’s located in a quiet area and doesn’t seem too big. It’s not super crowded and there’s a smaller community. Also, you don’t have to walk around a lot, and walking is something I don’t like to do.
What is your current major and what do you hope to do in the future? My major is Exercise Science, and I want to do physical therapy. I like this job because you get to help people get back to what they want to do. It’s super awesome. You get to help heal people and watch them progress from injured to mostly fully functioning. Has Aragon influenced your decision to pursue physical therapy in any way? I had an idea that I wanted to do something science-related, whether it was environmental or agricultural or pre-med related, but when I took AP Biology, I got
SAVANNA KIEFER What has been the most influential thing you have done at Aragon? Probably track. It’s a stress reliever and it’s something I’m really good at. You kind of have your track “family,” and you really bond. What has your experience as an athlete on the track team taught you? It’s taught me to be a leader. Freshman year, I was super shy and barely ever talked to anyone. Track taught me to come out of my shell and be more outgoing and take on more leadership roles and try other things.
Is there really no such thing as a “perfect fit?” Yeah, that’s actually what helped me decide to go there. I was stuck between Biola and another college. I got really tired REPORTING BY SAMANTHA WONG and REGINA WEN PHOTOS BY JASON MAI
really into how life “works” and what happens when things start getting out of balance or malfunctioning. And since I swim and grew up playing basketball, I’ve seen some people with injuries, and I think it’s great how someone can help them speed up healing or ease the pain in some way. Other than a bachelor’s degree, what else are you looking forward to getting out of college? I’m actually looking forward to spending a lot of time on a college swimming team... you spend a lot of time together and you get really close, though you also suffer together.
boston college What’s the thing you are looking forward to the most in college? Freedom and being on my own. I want to know what I’m capable of and really find my limits. I want to discover what it’s really like to live in the world and not always be cared for by your parents. How did you feel when you were accepted into Boston College? I was so excited because that was my reach school. I wasn’t expecting to get in, and I knew other people who had applied early who didn’t get in. When I got in, I was so surprised and I screamed and cried.
DERRICK LEONG What made you decide to go to Biola? Well, it really fit most of the criteria I was looking for. Obviously, no college is going to [be] the perfect fit, but it was smaller, which I prefer, because I went to a small middle school. There were only four kids in my graduating class. Its small, its private, it’s a Christian college located just a little bit farther away from home, so it was a nice fit.
What are you most looking forward to in your college experience? Building new connections and meeting new people that I can call my best friends. Also, growing as an individual and becoming independent; I know that when I have things to do on my own, I know I'm going to do it because I have to.
university of puget sound
IVAN CHEN Why did you end up choosing the University of Puget Sound? After I applied, I got in with the President’s scholarship, which gives me $18,000 a year if I keep up my academic performance. It really helps with the tuition.
What will you miss most about home? Everything. Once my family and I left India two years ago, all we had was each other, and we've become a lot closer. I'll miss all the days I'm not going to be able to spend with them.
What is your fondest memory of your four years at of Aragon? Finishing my research paper was a pretty fond memory. Finishing my big eightpage term paper last year for APUSH felt good. Everyone was freaking out and stressing out. Also, going back to track. Last year, the varsity girls won PALs, the league championship. That was really fun to show what we had accomplished. Also, sophomore year, when I was on varsity track, I didn’t expect to do very well, but at our CCS I ended up PRing and getting a really good time.
biola university of [people] telling me what was so great about the school. They had an open talk week, and I talked to one of the current students. I told him, “You know, I’m really tired of hearing all these great things about colleges. What’s wrong with Biola? What’s something that would turn me away?” And he said they’re really strict and they have a curfew that you have to follow. Obviously, since it’s a Christian college, they expect you to be a little more moral and ethical. How has Aragon helped you become who you are? The teachers have definitely pushed me
to places that I would not have gone... They’ve challenged me academically, but they’ve also challenged me in other respects. I’m really close to Mr. Rahman and Ms. Dietz. They’ve pushed me harder than ever before. What advice would you give incoming Aragon freshmen? Take time to slow down and enjoy what we have here. Most people are all about summer... but if you look forward to the future, you kind of miss out on the present. Take time to enjoy each day and make it the best day it could possibly be... [high school] passes by so quickly.
volume lii, issue no. 8 thursday, may 23, 2013
Does the ‘dream’ college exist? does. “I think it varies. It seems like the majority of my friends were really happy with the In 2010, roughly one in schools they chose. However, I three students entering a two or do know a couple people who four year college transferred to ended up transferring schools another school at some point. because they were unhappy. With so many students transfer- But for the most part, I… think ring, one may question whether more people are happy with or not students are getting into their final decisions.” the college they think is right Hébert attributes her posifor them. But a more pressing tive experience to her college question remains: do students research process. Explains really know which college is Hébert, “[I only applied to three the “perfect school” for them? schools because] I was looking According to senior Ol- for such a specific program and ivia Simon, not everyone goes school, and I was confident I to the college that’s right for would get into all of them. No them. Says Simon, “Usually other schools really caught my [people go to the right school], interest enough for me to apply but sometimes they have this to them.” idea of a perfect college, but Adrianne Seiden, another there’s no substance behind it.” Aragon alumnus, did not iniSimon herself is very happy tially believe she had made with the college she will at- the right decision in terms of tend in the fall, Mills College, college. A freshman at Tulane although she originally had no University, Seiden says, “I exinterest in attending. Explains pected college to be this intelSimon, “At first I didn’t like it lectual renaissance, and it was because it’s an all girls school, more of a party atmosphere but my mom forced me to visit than I was prepared for.” it. I ended up really liking it.” Disappointed with TuLike Simon, college coun- lane, Seiden began to consider selor Laurie Tezak thinks that transferring to another college some students’ obsessions over she had been accepted to, Poa “dream college” lack real mona. “I actually emailed my substance. Explains Tezak, “In admissions counselor from Po[students’] minds it is this great mona, but she never emailed school, but they get there and me back,” she says. However, it’s not for them. It’s the num- Seiden began to overcome her ber one transfer reason: they initial distaste for Tulane by get there and it’s not what they getting more involved at school want it to be.” and getting to know more peoTezak says that the per- ple. “I really think it’s what you centage of Aragon students do more than where you go,” who transfer away from their says Seiden. “I think the fact freshman year college is much that I didn't follow up [with lower than the national aver- my admissions officer] that age. Says Tezak, “For the most diligently goes to show that I'm part, students are doing a re- pretty happy here; it's just a litally good job tle hard to not of researchthink about ing [schools]. what could “It’s really important [But] not have been.” that students know any school As advice there’s not a perfect fit. is perfect.” for future There are many great Counselor college applifits and some bad Trisha Liskay cants, Seiden ones, but there is no adds, “It’s resays, “I think perfect fit.” ally important if you know that students something Trisha Liskay know there’s specific that Counselor not a perfect you want to fit. There are do or study, many great definitely fits, and some bad ones, but look for a school that focuses there is no perfect fit.” on that; otherwise, I would say Similar to Simon, senior just base it on the feeling you Gordon Straughn is happy get when you're on campus. with where he will be going You want to end up somewhere next year, Menlo College. Says that makes you feel at home Straughn, “At this point in and makes you feel inspired.” time, it is [the right college for For Seiden, finding the right me] but that could change.” school turned into finding the Aragon alumnus Domi- right place for her at the school nique Hébert is now attending she chose. “I am much happier the University of Portland and here than I was at the beginning has loved her first year there. of the year,” she concludes. Though Hébert knows she “It's a matter of adjusting and made the right decision, she finding a niche.” also knows that not everyone by Nick Tolfa features staff
Photos Courtesy of Jill Watt
Above: Knitted elf feet adorn a public mailbox in downtown San Mateo. Top right: A defunct telephone booth becomes a giant iPhone. Bottom right: A parking meter is creatively yarn bombed with a knitted biker.
‘Yarn bombing’ is the new fad in downtown San Mateo by Annika Olives features staff San Mateo has received curious additions to its downtown area in recent weeks. Cute yarn “feet” adorning the legs of mailboxes, the large knitted iPhone covering the pay phone outside of Jeffrey’s Hamburgers, and other knitted items covering the area have caused many to ask: who is behind these adorable crafts? The answer is Lorna Watt, a Bay Area native and creator of Knits For Life, an online retail shop. Watt began “yarn bombing” in San Mateo after she had gotten the idea from other people all over the world. “I’m a knitting and crochet designer, and noticed yarn bombing when it started about five years ago. Unfortunately, a lot of it is—well, ugly. I didn’t like the way yarn bombing was representing knitting and crochet,” she says. Watt’s first project was the mailbox in front of the post office on Ellsworth Ave. “I loved seeing all the presents that show up before Christmas, but everyone is always stressed out and mad. I pictured the mailbox outside as this little elf who takes Christmas cards and sends them all over the world, and thought it would be a cheerful message,” she says. Watt has been crocheting similar projects for 20 years. However, she began experimenting with knitting three years ago. “Knitting and crochet have always been in the background of society, but people are starting to reclaim handmade methods and are valuing them again. You can’t get a
personal connection to mass-produced goods, just a good deal,” Watt concludes. Like Watt, Aragon students have been enjoying the crafts of crocheting and knitting as well. For example, senior Olivia Simon knits in her free time. “I’ve made about ten stuffed animals as presents. I follow a pattern to knit the head and sew the back, and then you knit the body before flipping and stuffing,” she says. “If I work really hard, it only takes me one to two days.” Simon has made around 25 projects, consisting of stuffed animals, scarves, blankets, and hats, but she has given away most of them. “I started [knitting] when I was a sophomore and self-taught myself during my free time,” she explains. Fellow senior Samantha C. Wong has been knitting since she was about twelve. “I started knitting when I was in sixth grade because my mom taught me,” Wong says. “It was interesting how you can take string and make it into something useful.” Thursdays at lunch are dedicated knitting days for Wong, Simon, and many others, since that is the day Aragon’s Knitting Club meets. “My friend and I were talking about knitting techniques one day, and we decided to form a club in our sophomore year,” Wong says. Freshman Valerie Litz is also a member of Knitting Club. “My mom and older sister took a class for knitting when I was in fifth grade and invited me to come. They don’t really knit anymore, but I had more time and more interest so I continued,” Litz says. “I’ve knit about five to seven
stuffed animals, which are my favorite to make, and I’ve also made scarves to give as gifts. I crochet occasionally too.” Although Litz usually knits during her free time, you can also find her creating her crafts in some of her classes. “I only knit in Biology,” Litz laughs. “Teachers generally have no problem with it.” Social media often portrays knitting as a common skill for old women, which Simon thinks may be a factor that keeps other young teens away. “They think knitting is for grandmas and old ladies,” Simon says. “It seems like an old-person thing, or that it is harder than it actually is,” Litz agrees. Simon adds, “I know a lot of people who started [knitting] and didn’t continue. It does get complicated if you want more intricate stuff, and it takes time. The terminology was the hardest part for me.” Knitting is a hobby some people have taken up because it is both enjoyable and relaxing. “It’s cool to create your own scarves, because you can customize the patterns and colors,” Wong says. Simon says, “It’s fun to keep yourself occupied. It’s a gratifying feeling when you finish something and give it to someone. It’s like an art form.”
Please visit our website at aragonoutlook.org to browse articles from past issues, read web-exclusive content, and view additional photos.
volume lii, issue no. 8 thursday, may 23, 2013
DRM technology initiates ‘always on’ policy to combat piracy by Tony Wang features staff Today, anyone with an Internet connection and satisfactory technology literacy can steal almost any piece of software they want. With over 52 billion dollars lost every year to piracy, there doesn’t seem to be an easy solution to this pandemic. Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies—which safeguard against illegal distribution put in place by software developers and distributors—have attempted to address this problem for decades, with little to no effect; if gaming companies put something valuable on the market, there are going to be people trying to steal it. The problem may lie in the fact that the majority of consumers—over 70 percent according to a study conducted by the Rockwool Foundation Research Unit—find nothing wrong with piracy. One new DRM scheme that has been adopted by some companies to combat piracy involves the concept of always being online. Formally known as Persistent Online Authentication, an “always online” DRM forces the user to be in a constant state of communication with the game’s servers, so as to prevent unauthorized play. The concept has not fared well, however, and has already produced disastrous results. One such example of its use is in EA’s SimCity, released in early March of this year. Built with
the restrictive DRM scheme, the want to go into the game develgame could only be played online opment industry in the future, I with a continuous connection to understand why they might want EA’s server. The inability to play to do something like this for monwith an Internet outage, how- ey.” Zhang envisions the “always ever, could online” DRM have been becoming o v e r l o o k e d “It’s completely unnecessary. “the standard” I can understand if an online for software. if not for the game implemented this type fact that EA’s of system, but for games However, servers did and products designed to the “always not function be used offline, it’s just an online” trend correctly for inconvenience.” has not fared weeks after its Quinn Manely well with conrelease. While Sophomore sumers. Earnever expliclier this year, itly stated that when Microthe “always online” restriction soft released tidbits of informawas intended to combat piracy, tion regarding its new “always there seems to be little to no rea- online” Xbox 720, gamers were son for the company to do so oth- enraged. Only after the subseerwise. quent firing of an employee for At 60 dollars a copy, the game telling gamers to “just deal with wasn’t cheap either. Senior Bruce it” and continued protest from the Zhang explains, “They are just a gaming community did Microsoft business. Their goal is to make decide to revise its original plans. money. As someone who might In an internal email leaked from
Microsoft earlier this month, engineers were instructed to make the new Xbox work “regardless of [the user’s] connection status.” The negative response towards “always online” may discourage software manufacturers from implementing similar policies. As sophomore Quinn Manely puts it, “It’s completely unnecessary. I can understand if an online game implemented this type of system, but for games and products designed to be used offline, it’s just an inconvenience.” Being “always online” supposedly prevents a user from playing a game illegally, but the software for the game itself is still easily distributed. Manely says, “This allows people to just share an account if they [want] to. The only thing that they can’t do is play at the same time, which is just an inconvenience for the consumer.” With the ease of restrictive software solutions, addressing
the cause of the piracy problem is often overlooked. As Gabe Newell, the CEO and cofounder of the acclaimed game development company Valve, told The Cambridge Student, “Piracy is almost always a service problem. If a pirate offers a product anywhere in the world, 24/7, purchasable from the convenience of your personal computer, and the legal provider says the product is region-locked, will come to your country three months after the US release, and can only be purchased at a brick and mortar store, then the pirate’s service is more valuable.” The new “always online” trend is unlikely to stop illegal gaming once and for all. In any case, the next DRM innovation, like this one, will likely only be part of the solution. Go to aragonoutlook.org for exclusive online content.
volume lii, issue no. 8 thursday, may 23, 2013
Aragon panel discusses ‘rape culture’ and consent by Brandon Liu features editor In March, the trial of two rapists caught national attention. Trent Mays, 17, and Ma’lik Richmond, 16, were found guilty of raping a 16-year-old girl. Only one among thousands of rape cases each year, the Steubenville, Ohio incident attracted national attention due to the controversial involvement of social media. Subsequent CNN coverage of the trial was criticized for sympathizing with the rapists and ignited a frenzy of news and social media buzz. The Steubenville trial, in addition to similar incidents at Connecticut’s Torrington High School and California’s Saratoga High School, revealed what many believe to be a key social issue known as “rape culture.” As junior Julia Murray defined it, “In our everyday lives, rape is sort of normalized… to see women as sluts on a regular basis, to call people sluts colloquially, like your friends.” On Friday, May 10, Murray and eight other members of the Aragon community participated in a panel discussion about rape hosted by the Outlook. The objective of the panel was defining “consent,” an often ambiguous concept upon which an accusation of rape is reliant. The discussion utilized case studies to frame the issue of consent around media coverage of rape, rape culture, and changing social attitudes. Panelists agreed that the phenomenon of rape culture was an existing problem. Regarding the Steubenville case, AP Psychology teacher Carlo Corti said, “People [were] passing out pictures of passed out unconscious girls being sexually assaulted, and numerous people [saw] them before they [were] reported. That’s the best evidence we have that rape culture exists, that we’re actually ok with hearing about it but doing nothing about it repeatedly.” This recurring phenomenon may be due to what psychologists call the “bystander effect.” According to this theory, the greater the number of bystanders who witness a crime, the lower the likelihood that one of them will help. However, the issue of responsibility is additionally complicated by legal ambiguities. The ability to give consent varies in cases involving alcohol and underage youth, and states maintain different ages of consent. Junior Albert Boe said, “I feel that it’s really confusing and that a lot of people don’t understand the consent laws because [they are] so broad, and there are so many numbers involved that statutory rape gets very confusing.” Liz Siliato, the school safety advocate, added, “I think with statutory rape, the idea is to protect people who are still developing and unable to understand what consent is, so it is a protective thing and a necessary one when you talk about the potential age gaps between adults and young people.” When alcohol is involved, this “protective” philosophy also applies; an inebriated person cannot give consent. However, in the event that two people having sex are both inebriated, it is up to an individual jury to determine culpability. In effect, the issue of consent is often confounded by social stereotypes, misconceptions, and expectations. Referring to a hypothetical case wherein both minors are intoxicated, sophomore Ben Maisonpierre said, “The male can’t give consent, but [he is] supposed to control [himself]. That seems to be a bit of a contradiction.” Siliato suggested that this stems from gender role stereotypes. She explained, “The responsibility of initiating sexual contact kind of lies with men, or that’s kind of the stereotype: that men are supposed to pursue women, that men always want to say yes, and that women, in a sense, shouldn’t or can’t do that because then they’re a ‘whore’ or they’re ‘easy.’” Because of this double standard, Corti noted, steps toward intimacy are often modeled by a fear of rejection rather than a pursuit of consent. Corti said, “What’s the default if nothing is said? … ‘she didn’t say anything, she was obviously fine with it’ …for most guys, that’s [the] default mentality.” However, he did add, “They’re going to put it on the person they’re making their move on to tell them when to stop, [but] many men—I would like to think most men—will stop when told ‘no.’”
Corti also noted that even in the case of willing adults, consent in itself is loosely defined. He said, “Is consent saying yes, or is it not saying no? I mean the idea of someone not verbalizing openly that they’re uncomfortable with something makes every accusation more difficult… ‘Yes or no.’ If one of those words isn’t said, there’s a lot of grey area.” Siliato suggested that sexual partners should establish consent clearly and definitively before each act. She said, “One time is not blanket consent.” But the controversy surrounding consent goes further than a verbal “yes” or “no.” This is perhaps best illustrated by the Torrington case: following the rape of two middle school girls, local teens took to social media, posting tweets such as, “Young girls acting like whores there’s no punishment for that... young men acting like boys is a sentence” and “Statutory rape is a victimless crime.” This tendency to believe that a victim’s disposition, clothing, or other nonverbal cues qualify as “consent” can be applied to a broader context. Psychologists attribute it to the “just-world hypothesis,” which speculates why and how victimization occurs. Corti explained, “I think the problem is that we want the world to be just. We don’t want to believe that people just do bad things or do evil things. There must be a reason for it, so when someone’s assaulted, we look for the easiest reason that can be… [such as] how that girl was acting or… how that boy was acting before the assault happened.” Misperceptions also exacerbate “rape culture.” For example, the panelists noted that media had created an unrealistic visual for sex. Senior Sam Alavi said, “In all the movies, when people are having sex, nobody has that conversation, nobody puts on a condom... what if we changed it so that asking for consent was the norm, or sexy, or cool?” Indeed, change was a theme for several of the panelists, many of whom believed that sparking discussion was important but difficult with the current status quo regarding rape. Junior Nicole Sanchez said, “We don’t talk about it very much in class— sex as a topic in general. It’s always about drugs or violence or bullying, but rape has never been something that’s come up in class.” Corti offered the perspective of a teacher and parent. “There’s an inherent discomfort adults have with talking to students about anything of sexual nature... You start talking about sex, students no longer make eye contact. Everyone’s uncomfortable. The teacher’s clearly uncomfortable,” he said. The panelists did note, however, that the existing discussion of rape is too often misled. Lately, mainstream media has received criticism for its coverage. Referring to the Steubenville case, Sophomore Dawit Bairu said, “CNN, they sort of made it seem as if the boys had their futures taken away from them. It wasn’t that; it was more that they had every single opportunity to not do what they did. They threw their own futures away.” For Maisonpierre, the media’s coverage was far from ideal by failing to remain neutral. “They are there to make money. They will show whatever sells, and so in this case, it’s partly entertainment value, and it’s reflective of their viewers—or what their viewers want,” he said. Still, others like Alavi saw the reaction to Steubenville as an opportunity for transition. She said, “I think those images that were all over Facebook that were about all the different quotes [from] different news stations… really started the conversation about how we portray rape and rape culture in the media, so I think there were benefits to it.” During STAR testing week, all Aragon seniors were required to attend a sequence of three morning lectures, one of which addressed general health and sexual health. Senior teachers were also prompted to offer their students a chance to submit questions to the presenters beforehand. Senior Lindsey Chen praised the discussion but noted that talking to second semester seniors may not be an effective approach. However, she did say, “This is something that happens in high school—even in middle school. We should be vocal about it now.”
FEATURES 55% of women
75% of men
... were drinking or taking drugs before an acquaintance rape. Source: oneinfourusa.org/statistics.php
Out of every 100 rapes...
16 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
volume lii, issue no. 8 thursday, may 23, 2013
Big names to perform in Bay Area festivals, concerts throughout summer 2013 The Who, and Creedence Clearwater Revival. The concert attracted nearly half a million peoA plethora of age-defining ple to a 600 hundred acre farm musicians are busy on tour this in the rural town of Bethel, New summer, and many of them are York. coming to the Bay Area. “LegKurtz attended the concert ends of the Summer,” a concert with a couple of friends while featuring pop culture icons Justin going to college in Albany. “I Timberlake and Jay-Z, is com- just knew it was a big concert. ing to Candlestick Park in July. We were planning on meeting Timberlake will certainly be en- some college friends. We at first tertaining with his “Suit & Tie,” thought it would be easy to meet the recent staple of the former N up,” Kurtz says, commenting on Sync lead’s return to the music how crowded the festival was. scene. She says, “One of the reasons Fans of a certain UK boy band I think it was so popular was that will also be pleased to know that it was not expensive. I remember they are headed to the HP Pavil- the tickets went for about $25, in lion in July. One Direction will comparison to the price for three be playing there as part of their day festivals nowadays, that is extensive summer tour of the not very much.” $25 translates U.S. to about $161.69 in today’s monOutside Lands will be back ey, still a little more than half the with another lineup of high pro- price of the local three day Outfile musicians from a variety of side Lands music festival in San eras. Last year, legendary artists Francisco. including Stevie Wonder, MetalThe concert attracted so many lica, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, people that the Governor of New Jack White, and the Foo Fight- York considered sending in the ers headlined the concert. This National Guard to make sure year, the concert will be bringing that the festival did not descend 70-year-old Beatles legend Paul into chaos. However, the concert McCartney, the Red Hot Chili manager was able to prevent the Peppers, Nine Inch Nails, the interference. Yeah Yeah Advertised Yeahs, and as “Woodstock SUMMER PREVIEW Young the Music and Giant, along Arts Fair: 3 with many Days of Peace Fleetwood Mac others, to and Music,” a July 6, 2013 @8:00 p.m. Golden Gate big part of the Power Balance Pavilion Park. Wo o d s t o c k Sacramento, CA Outside legacy is, in Lands has fact, its simple Justin Timberlake & Jay-Z been a precombination July 26, 2013 @7:00 p.m. mier music of peace and Candlestick Park festival in music. Kurtz San Francisco, CA San Fransays, “It was cisco for during the One Direction five years Vietnam War. July 30, 2013 @7:30 p.m. now, attractIt was... the HP Pavilion at San Jose ing world peace moveSan Jose, CA famous acts ment.” for a three The concert day venue happened a that draws tens of thousands of couple of years after many major people to Golden Gate Park each events in U.S. history, including day of the concert. the institution of a draft for the Other festivals include South- Vietnam War and the massive ern California’s famous Coachel- protests like March on Washla, a festival that brings in many ington that Kurtz was actually a rock acts from across the globe. part of. The concerns about the Smaller and more local festivals war and the protesting that ocinclude live 105.3’s BFD, which cured in the previous and future featured 30 Seconds to Mars, years added much meaning to the Passion Pit, and Silversun Pick- venue’s theme of peace through ups as its headliners this year. music. Remarkably, the potential The excitement and bustle for mass violence and disaster of a huge music festival like mostly avoided, replaced instead Outside Lands conjures images by an incredibly successful three of the quintessential festival: days. Two deaths occured, one Woodstock. Regarded as a de- from heroin overdose and anothfining moment in music history, er from a tragic accident where the cultural impact of Woodstock a tractor ran over a sleeping atturned the 3 day venue into a tendee. household name. The legacy of Woodstock reAragon principal Pat Kurtz mains influential at many multiwas at the 1969 Woodstock, day concerts today, and this suma now-legendary festival that mer promises to bring many big featured acts like The Grateful names to the Bay Area as WoodDead, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, stock once did in New York. by Wyatt Cooper features staff
Fractal Quartet members Daniel Gorn and Andrew Louden practice for an upcoming gig during lunch.
Local Aragon band ‘The Fractal Quartet’ finds success by Virginia Hsiao features staff “We have a new vision for music,” says senior Danny Gorn, a member of the Fractal Quartet. “It’s jazz music, inclusive of multiple different genres and styles with an improv base.” Hoping to debunk the public perception of jazz as a traditional, unexciting gig, the Fractal Quartet, comprised of Gorn, junior Andrew Louden and sophomore Logan Williams, takes a progressive approach, using an electric combination of jazz, experimental, rock, funk, and hip hop to make the band’s sound more relevant to the audience. “It’s definitely designed to fit in the culture,” adds Gorn. The Fractal Quartet formed more than a year ago, when Gorn and two other members, who are not part of the current Fractal Quartet, got together to make music. “We made some extremely weird music, and Michael Jin, who was the main force behind the music, graduated, so we were looking for a new guitar player to make extremely weird music with,” Gorn explains. Gorn discovered Louden at an Aragon Jazz Festival. He says, “We talked about modes for half an hour, a music concept, and we were like, ‘Yup, now we got to make a band now.’” Williams joined as the group’s saxophone player soon after. The group practices once a week at a member’s home. “We start off, obviously, by setting up and make rangy jokes while setting up. Often, we’ll warm up by doing an improvised jam. One of us starts an idea, and we’ll all create a piece on the spot,” Louden says. As the group has a major emphasis on improvisation, the practice gets them to establish their style and warm up simultaneously. “Then we’ll go
into doing more of the traditional you,” says Gorn. “I don’t get nerrehearsal,” continues Louden. vous anymore, because I know “Danny and I just have this how to do what I want to do. I great link and chemistry,” Loud- just go up there and do it.” en explains, “If I concentrated on “What we are, are academic the bass, I’d play like him, and musicians. We are really commitif he concentrated on the gui- ted to the music. We don’t think tar, he’d play like me.” The two of it as a hobby, but something laugh, as Gorn jokes, “Bass is that we do, like an occupation,” still better, of course.” says Louden. Although they curManaging time between rently do earn money from their school and the quartet proved gigs, the group members hope challenging. Louden, as a junior, to transform their passion into a faced much work from school, consistently paying occupation in while Gorn became swamped the future. Gorn says, “Best case with athletic responsibilities as scenario is that we end up with the water polo captain and mem- a following to create the music ber of the that we want wrestling to make. We team. “We “What we are, are academic end up with a m a n a g e d , musicians. We are really group of peonot sure committed to the music. We ple, not unlike how, but we don’t think of it as a hobby, the Deadheads did,” Louden but something that we do, or Phishfans laughs. [terms that relike an occupation.” Howevfer to the fans er, the most Andrew Louden of The Gratechallenging Junior ful Dead and aspect of bePhish, bands ing a student famous for musical group was acquiring their cult followings], and we can the exposure in the real world. be creative in the way we want to “Our gigs are ‘you take what you and turn that into a living. That’s can get.’ You have to convince best case scenario.” people to give you the opportuThe most exciting part, hownity—that’s a lot of it. You have ever, remains sharing music with to be very assertive,” says Loud- others. As a unique group, the en. The group obtained its first band is able to express their viexposure at a dinner show at a sion and sound to the audience. private party. As fate would have “I love it when audiences react it, an attendee at the party loved to what you do—it’s like when the group’s sound and was able somebody agrees with you in a to book them a second gig. From conversation,” says Louden. there, the group took off, playing He concludes, “Music disat student festivals, restaurants, solves all barriers, and that is some private parties, and re- really beautiful. It doesn’t matcently debuted in San Jose’s City ter who you are, you can enjoy Lights Theatre. music.” They have since gotten over the usual nerves that affect new Be sure to visit our website performers. “Everyone’s going to at aragonoutlook.org for get nervous, but what you do is additional content, including feel yourself in the nervousness, articles and photo galleries. kind of turn it into excitement and that adrenaline actually helps
volume lii, issue no. 8 thursday, may 23, 2013
Alvin Ho tinkers with the decoders and prepares Quad City Rocket, one of his latest trains, to run on around his track layout, which he also constructed.
Miniature hobby, large ambitions:
Alvin Ho and his trains
by James Murray features staff Everyone has a favorite hobby, whether it is drawing, writing, or stamp collecting. For senior Alvin Ho, his passion is modeling. Not the Vanity Fair or Hugh Hefner kind, though: Ho makes models of anything ranging from airplanes to trains. A member of the Aragon Robotics Team, Math Club, and an avid violin player, Ho manages to fit modeling into his schedule. Ho started his hobby in elementary school. Before making trains, he modeled other, simpler things. “I originally started with military vehicles—tanks, planes, and whatnot—but these were all kind of boring, because, you know, they don’t move. My first [train] set was just like Thomas the Tank Engine; I didn’t have to put it together or anything.” Unsatisfied with Thomas, Ho started focusing on the more intricate aspects of model making. He became more involved with the finer details of the modeling
process, going for “prototypical fidelity” or the model’s accuracy when compared to the real thing. To achieve this accuracy, Ho combines parts from different model sets to make custom trains. Eventually, he became more serious about his work. He says, “About four years ago, I joined the NMRA—the National Model Railroad Association—and got involved with them. I got to see the great work that other people were putting out.” Ho was inspired by seeing others’ work. He says, “It’s awesome meeting up with people who like to do the same stuff. I get advice from some [people] and help other[s]. I went to this event hosted by the Silicon Valley Free-moN, a modeling group, and when I first went I saw people with their entire layout—local people—and I was like, ‘Man that’s cool.’” Ho’s tinkering with trains, despite requiring an incredible amount of patience and attention to detail, still remains an enjoyable hobby. “It’s sort of a de-
stressor, but for magazine models it can get stressful because then you have to meet deadlines,” Ho admits. “With your own time though, it is definitely relaxing, like, ‘Oh, I can add some detail today, or airbrush something.’” The intricacies of the model trains may seem inane to some at first. Ho explains, “Every train comes with a story, and that’s why it has certain details. Like, if a company is going bankrupt [at the time], it’s going to be obvious from rust streaks and chipped paint or mismatched parts.” For his work in detail, Ho won an award at an NMRA competition. “I got the special award for Best Finish, which means you match not just the detail but the paint and numbers and everything,” he says. “I replicate the very rough finish, like oil, rust, and dust, from trying to match it as closely to the picture as I can—again, prototypical fidelity.” Ho was approached by a representative from the magazine Railroad Model Craftsmen to write an article about his methods
and work, including his custom models. He notes, “Currently, I’m on their homepage. It feels really great to be able to write and share with the modeling community. It’s pride in your own work and being able to share what you know and learn from other people’s technique at the same time.” He adds, “A lot of the painting stuff I learned [from the magazine]. I wasn’t really into the whole airbrushing thing—it’s really hard, and there’s a lot of technique to it—so I learned a lot and modified it and made it my own.” Ho has a rather famous “train room,” which is the home of his extensive layout. Senior David Koshy says, “It’s unique because no one else has anything like it. It’s a unique hobby and he excels at it. If you look at the set, everything is meticulously made.” Ho notes, “I’ve had the room from the beginning. We had this extra room, so I asked my parents if I could use it, and they said sure. At first it was a simple loop of track, but now it’s definitely more expansive.” The layout fea-
tures an impressive amount of detail, from the scenery to the trains themselves. “When you’re taking pictures and trying to make a scene, the idea of it is to make it as real as possible, so you try to match it to its real habitat,” he says. As a senior, Ho made it through the rigorous application process to universities across the country, deciding on Northeastern University with a major in Mechanical Engineering. He admits, “I think the modeling influenced my choice in major. It was definitely that and Robotics, too, obviously.” For anyone trying to improve a skill, Ho says, “It might be difficult to start out at first, but do what you love and love what you do, and you’ll get better. It’s like the quote, ‘Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.’ So you go above and beyond and end up with something great.” Check out aragonoutlook.org for exclusive content.
volume lii, issue no. 8 thursday, may 23, 2013
Senior track athletes break their personal records
Katherine Chinn Senior 3200 meter Last Year’s PR: 12:11.41 New PR: 11:33.66
San Mateo Dual Meet
James Garcia Senior 100 meter
Aragon track heads to CCS finals
Senior Rory Beyer runs the 3,200m championships trials, which took place at Gilroy High School on Saturday, May 18.
by Isaac Wang news staff The boys track team finished an undefeated season with a record of 6-0. The girls team tied for first place with a record of 5-1. Everyone contributed to the successful season. Track and field coach Asif Rahman says, “James Garcia, who is undefeated in the 110 meter hurdle, has contributed a lot to this team, J.D. Elzie and Tyler Vanson have done well in the long jump. Parker Huang has done exceptionally well for us in the relays. There have been some instances where Huang has won the relay for us. On the girls side, Savanna Kiefer has done exceptionally well in both hurdle races this year, Alexis Smith has done
well in the 200 and 400.” Senior Addy Eveslage, who has been fighting off lingering leg injuries, claims, “I had some hip flexor problems as well as hamstring problems. Luckily this was right around the time when we got a trainer, so that helped a lot. I rested my leg and didn’t run in a couple of events, but I feel it did slightly mess up my season a little bit. However, I didn’t let it ruin everything for me. I wanted to compete, that was the most important thing for me. I’m proud of the things I achieved. It was nice to have team chemistry, and hang out with the team during practice, especially during my senior year.” Rahman commented, “One of the highlights of the season came when the girls beat Menlo-Ather-
ton, which is a powerhouse team. We only beat them by a couple of points, but it was still a big deal. Another important event came when the guys beat Carlmont in the dual meet. I was really happy with the performances the kids put forth.” PAL finals took place on Saturday, May 11 and were a huge success for the Dons. The boys track team placed first place, and the girls team finished in third place. Senior Rory Beyer placed third in the one mile and second in the two mile. Furthermore, senior J.D. Elzie won the 100m and placed second in the 200m, while senior James Garcia won the 110m hurdles and got second in the 300m hurdles. Senior Tyler Vanson won the triple jump as well. On the girls team, Senior
Savanna Kiefer won the 100m hurdles, and senior Katherine Chinn won the two mile. The top five from each event qualify for CCS trials, which took place Saturday, May 18. Beyer and Pedro qualified for the mile, and Vanson qualified for jumps. Junior Bobby Nicholson qualified for pole vault. Seniors Parker Huang, Ranier Plantinos, Garcia and Elzie, along with juniors Will Rivera and Liam Richardson, all qualified for sprints. Garcia placed second for the 110m hurdles and the Aragon’s relay team also placed second. Elzie placed first in his heat for the 100m dash, and Beyer placed sixth in the mile. All these teams will be advancing to CCS finals on Saturday, May 25.
Varsity swim finishes seventh at PALS, JV second
Last Year’s PR: 00:12.11 New PR: 00:11.64
San Mateo Dual Meet
Senior Steven Callas races in the 100m butterfly.
by Monica Mai news staff
Sarah Opiel Senior Discus Last Year’s PR: 70ft 9in New PR: 89ft 11in
Menlo-Atherton Dual Meet
After a successful swim season, the Aragon swim team placed seventh for varsity boys and girls, and second for junior varsity boys and girls at PALS. At CCS, the Aragon girls finished 35th overall and the Aragon boys finished 36th. Coach Fred Farley says, “We [took] basically everybody that [we] could down to JV this year and we had some of our seniors swimming varsity. We had a pretty young team, so we moved them all to JV.” Farley continues, “The CCS is one of the top swim leagues in the country so the com-
petition level is very high. There are 140 schools that make up the CCS, with only 78 schools who had athletes who qualified for the swimming championships.” Farley remarks, “The Aragon swimmers swam great at CCS. Their individual events and relays were mostly all faster than they swam at PALS.” Amidst Aragon’s top CCS finishers, Senior Ivan Chen finished twelfth in the 100m breast stroke and Sophomore Shannon Thielen finished fifteenth in the 100m fly. Senior Ivan Chen says, “CCS was a great day of racing. I think we performed well as team. There were many incredible breakthrough swims at CCS.” Regard-
ing improvements, Chen says, “I have improved in the 50 and 100 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, and the 50 breaststroke split in the 200 medley relay.” Freshman Jeffrey Kishiyama recalls, “I improved a lot over the season. I swim mostly backstroke and my time improved by six seconds in a one minute race.” Freshman Olivia Fong comments, “I didn’t improve at CCS, but I was close.” She continues, “We got to be social and learn about other people. That developed swim meets and competing with others.” Regarding PALS, Farley reports, “We did well. It always surprises me at the end of the
year how people improve since the first couple weeks of practice. They did very well at PALs this year.” Concerning improvements, Farley states that “their racing ability, their confidence, and their knowing that they can swim” has improved. Overall, Aragon’s swim season proved to be successful. Chen concludes, “The overall season was a lot of fun. The team got along well and had a blast at swim meets. We had some impressive swims, especially towards the end of the season.”
volume lii, issue no. 8 thursday, may 23, 2013
Aragon tennis team loses to Menlo, halting CCS run in second round by Isaac Wang news staff
Senior Quentin Bellon serves against Sacred Heart during a CCS match.
On Wednesday, May 1, the boys tennis team defeated Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep 11-7 to advance to the second round of CCS. Junior Isaac Wang won two sets, senior Rahul Joshi won one set, and freshman Jonathon Liu won two sets to bring Aragon five points in singles matches. The rest of the points came from the doubles teams. Leading the way was number one doubles sophomore Matthew Fowler and freshman Landers Ngirchemat, who won all three of their sets. During PALs, four singles players and three doubles teams would play a best of three set
match against the other team, and each win would count as a point. The first team to four would win. However, in CCS, in order to prevent stacking, there were only three singles players instead of four and three doubles teams. Also, it was changed to a round robin-based scoring system. The top three singles played one set against each of the opponent’s singles players, with the doubles teams doing the same. Each set counted as a point towards the winning team, and the first team to 10 won the match. Aragon’s CCS run came to a halt on May 3. After beating Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep 11-7 in the first round, the Dons were faced with the tough challenge of
playing the number one seed and heavy favorite to win CCS, Menlo School. Although the Dons battled hard, they ended up losing 16-2 to a very prestigious school. This loss marked the end of a very successful season. The Dons placed third in the Bay Division with a record of 11-3. The Dons then defeated Burlingame and Carlmont during the PAL Playoffs and were crowned PAL tournament champions. Aragon’s number one singles player junior Devon Hughes was named a member of the All-League first team, while number two singles Wang, number three singles Joshi, and number one doubles senior Quentin Bellon were named to PAL’s All-League second team.
Golf team places fourth in Bay Division by Matt McHugh news staff The boys golf team put together a winning season (10-8 overall) to finish fourth in the competitive Bay division. The team was very young this year, fielding a large group of six freshmen. Seniors Trevor Lahoz and Landon Hart and junior Joey Constantino were the only upperclassmen on the team. “Landon [Hart] and Trevor [Lahoz] added great depth and took on leadership roles with this young team,” says coach Guy Oling.
“I liked to set an example for the other players,” says Hart, “I would show up early to practice and show my dedication to golf. I wasn’t a coach, but I felt like a role model to our many freshmen.” One of the keys to success for this year’s team was their versatility. “We had a great combination of strengths,” adds Oling, “Every player had a unique trait. Distance on the drive, knowledge of the game, good decisions on the course, and accuracy were all important pieces to our success.” The Dons did have some issues with consistency, leading to
some of their eight losses. Hart adds, “We never all played great on the same day. We need some more confidence, so we can believe that we are as good as we are.” The Dons pulled out multiple victories against division rivals Woodside and Hillsdale. Says Oling, “The Hillsdale rivalry was classic, with both players and coaches knowing each other very well.” Adds Hart, “Next year’s team will be successful if they believe they are as good as other teams, because they are.”
Dons badminton wraps mixed season by Monica Mai news staff Note: We were not able to cover Badminton’s CCS as it took place after this issue’s final deadline. Six of Aragon’s top badminton players advanced to PAL Finals. In the boys singles match, junior Nathan Zhang lost 15-2, 15-2 to Burlingame. In the boys double match, senior Sam Bunarjo and Jaehee Park won the first round of matches, but lost the second round to CSUS. They were moved to the loser bracket, where they lost against Terra Nova 15-10, 15-7. Bunarjo comments, “I felt pretty crappy because I came down with the stomach flu the past few days so I wasn’t able to play my 100 percent, so it was disappointing for me and my partner both… and the coach too.” He continues, “It was our first time playing number one boys doubles for the whole season, so it was different for us.” In the mixed doubles match, senior Nicky Tao and sophomore Emily Mi proceeded to the loser bracket match having lost against South San Francisco. In the loser bracket match, the two won against Burlingame, then lost against Mills. Mi reflects, “We
Junior Kevin Hahn prepares to pitch against Menlo-Atherton.
Severson’s clutch hit sends Dons baseball home happy by Matt McHugh news staff
Senior Jaehee Park leaps to strike a birdie.
have our on and off days. Today was an off day.” In the girls single match, 2012 CCS champion, sophomore Candy Zhang, went undefeated. Zhang dominated in the final match with 15-4, 15-6. Zhang reflects, “I felt pretty confident about PAL finals.” Looking to the season as a whole, Coach Linda Brown says, “We have three freshman starting in the boys doubles, and we have a lot of new players that are coming up from exhibition last year.
There’s 24 players that play varsity—12 boys and 12 girls. Then, everyone else is on exhibition.” Senior Jaehee Park remarks, “Mix doubles was really hard this year, but the team really picked up. We solidified by roles.” Sophomore Vivian Shen reflects “In general, the past three years, Aragon has actually been champion. But this year, we lost the championships and tied third with South City.” Candy Zhang, Nicky Tao, and Emily Mi all advanced to CCS.
With the Dons trailing 1-0 in the seventh inning, Senior Aldo Severson hit a game-tying single with the bases loaded and one out. Severson’s hit was followed by a bases loaded walk from Andre Perkins, giving Aragon a 2-1 win over the Menlo-Atherton Bears on Senior Day. “Aldo’s the man,” says manager Lenny Souza, “He always has been. He’s been very special to our program for four years now, and I’m glad he gets to go out with a win.” “I was just trying to think about going up the middle, and just getting a base hit,” says Severson. Junior Kevin Hahn pitched all seven innings for the Dons, striking out three Bears in the process. After giving up one run in the first inning, he went on to pitch
six scoreless, giving the Dons the chance for victory. “Kevin does that day in and day out, it’s just a matter of how well we play behind him,” adds Souza. “Early on in the game I was messing up my location,” says Hahn, “I had to change my focus point, and after that it was all really smooth.” After starting the season 7-2 overall, the Dons sit at one game below .500 overall, and are just 5-9 in the Bay division. After going 10-4 in the ocean division last year, the Dons moved up to the Bay division for this season. “I think if you asked everybody on this team, they all would have wanted a little more from their season, says Souza. Severson adds, “Every year I have a fantastic experience with the team, and I’m satisfied with what we’ve done, regardless of the season’s outcome.