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Volume Forty-Nine, Issue 5

Thursday, FEBURARY 4, 2010

New Aragon pool slated for completion by November Project funded by Measure M, new pool to replace two existing ones BY RYAN YU NEWS


Quattrocchi Kwok Architects

A side by side comparison of the old (top) and new (bottom) pools .

Almost ten years ago, residents of San Mateo County approved a bond that would eventually repair and renovate facilities at Aragon, Burlingame, Capuchino, Hillsdale, Mills, and San Mateo High School. For Aragon, this “Measure D” resulted most significantly in the construction of the current science wing. Six years later, in November 2006, voters decided there was still much more to be done, approving the Measure M bond in the amount of $298 million. The construction of a new swimming pool for Aragon, originally planned as part of Measure D, will finally take place as part of Measure M. The pool will replace both the current faulty and aged big and small pools, and is set to be a state-of-the-art facility. It will remain in the same general area that the current pools are located, but will be significantly larger than either of the pools that are

standing now. A moveable bulkhead, or barrier, will be employed to transition the pool from events such as water polo games, to everyday activities such as PE swimming. In addition, there will be four lanes of shallow water, ranging in depth from three to six feet. Assistant Principal Joe Mahood says, “[The new pool] will look much more modern, and will be the right depth, the right regulation in terms of lane lines, and will have a moveable bulkhead for water polo so the goalie won’t have to stand at the end. The pool will also allow us to host PAL tournaments and other things that we haven’t been able to do before.” Sophomore water polo player Christian Larsen says “The pool right now is really small, so the new one will help the conditioning aspect, as we’ll be more used to it when we play in bigger pools. Also, with the current pool, really only one or two teams got to practice at any one time.” But when exactly can Aragon

expect to see this new swimming pool on its campus? “They’ll hopefully start construction on it by May, and will run just about until the end of water polo season, maybe in November,” Mahood explains. However, this introduces a slight problem regarding water polo, as players will be forced to practice off-site during the construction. Junior water polo player Alex Venosa says, “The fact that we will have to practice elsewhere will probably slow down the team if we’re not prepared to adapt to the change quickly, but I know we are.” Arrangements are now being made by both Mahood and Athletic Director Steve Sell for this conflict. “I believe the swimming pool will lead to a higher quality of life for athletes and students in general,” Mahood says. Coaches and students also share this general consensus. Varsity boys’ water polo coach Arjuna Manning-Laisne says, “[The new pool] will free up practice time between all four water polo CONTINUED ON PAGE 4

Fifth period assembly added to shadowing schedule to show elective classes On January 26 and 28, Aragon gave eighth graders from local middle schools the opportunity to experience the high school life by shadowing freshmen in their classes. On shadowing days, Aragon welcomed the eighth grade shadowers with posters posted all around campus by Leadership and selected freshmen hosts waiting in the student lunch room. After the eighth graders entered the student lunch room and were paired with their shadowee, they “shadowed” their freshmen to second, third, and fourth period classes where they sit alongside the freshmen in the classroom. During the classes, the shadowers had the time to observe the class and ask their guides any questions or concerns they have about high school. Then as fifth period approached, the freshmen dropped off their eigth graders at the Memorial Theater where they sat down and enjoyed a presentation of what Aragon had to offer be-

sides academics. Organized by freshmen counselor Stacy Becker and Leadership, this assembly explained the extracurricular activities and electives such as sports, music, ceramics, art, photography and nutrition at Aragon, which helped give eigth graders an idea of what they can participate in if they chose to attend Aragon. It also included performances by the Women’s Choir, Chamber Choir, men from the Concert Choir, and Improv Team. After a glimpse as to what ASHLEY LENTZ Aragon has to offer, the eighth Eighth graders actively listen to a fifth period presentation of everything Aragon has to offer them. graders left, as Aragon head to lunch, with better insight of what connect and inspire eighth grad- be shadowed during the day. Bari- graders to get a feel for the school to experience their freshman year. ers. Ms. Stacy embraced the con- zon states, “In selecting freshmen and see if it’s a good fit. SomeIn the past, the shadowing cept and organized a very success- for shadowing, although grades times it helps to relieve their fears program did not include a fifth ful fifth period presentation for are important, we are looking for and sometimes it confirms them!” period assembly. Instead, eighth the fall session. It was very suc- personable, friendly and outgoFeeling a bit more informed graders would continue shadow- cessful and much better than just ing freshmen who can make an about high school, eighth grade ing the freshmen into fifth period, attending another class.” eighth grader feel welcome.” visitor, Brandon Yan, from Crockbut this year, the counseling office “It’s a great collaborative effort This entire program was orga- er Middle School stated, “Shadfeels adding the assembly has fur- that is a powerful addition to the nized so that incoming freshmen owing has been very helpful for ther improved this program. program. Especially since it’s an could get the opportunity to see me because I understand the Sophomore Academic Advisor experience that can’t be offered what high school is like, what will school better. I see how students Sue Barizon states, “Mrs. Kurtz by following shadowees.” says be expected of them, and whether act and go about class, and I see wanted a venue that would show- Becker. or not Aragon is the right school what the teachers expect from case the elective classes and give A number of freshmen are se- for them. students.” our student the opportunity to lected by the counseling office to Barizon says, “It allows eighth CONTINUED ON PAGE 4



Apple releases the iPad! Turn to page 11 to find out more!

Photo Courtesy of: P-J-TRASH


Is love in the classroom air? Turn to Center spread to learn more about Teen Relationships.


The Varsity girls soccer team matches up against Burlingame. Turn to page 16 for details!



Volume 49, Issue 5 February 4, 2010

SSFHS conducts whole school shooter drill Aragon administration has no plan to follow suit

security. Assistant Principal Jim Coe states, “I’m not more concerned about Aragon’s safety because of the incidents at Hillsdale and Skyline. What really matters in a situation like that is our immediate reaction rather than the preventative measures we’ve taken.” Aragon has taken the standard steps for high school safety, including installing security cameras and having three security personnel on campus at all times. Aragon has also installed

Columbine locks which can be locked from the inside of a room, as a security precaution. The locks serve as a reminder of the Columbine High School shooting, which claimed the lives of 12 students and one teacher. Some students do not believe the security measures should be increased, trusting in the improbability of a bombing. Junior Jake Firestone says, “If they’re going to bomb us, they’re going to bomb us. And if that happens, what can we do?” Other students do not feel the Aragon lockdown drill prepares them adequately enough for a real emergency. “If a bombing or shooting happened at Aragon, we wouldn’t know what to do. We don’t have enough emergency drills,” says junior Robyn Horn-Campusane. Moderation may be the key word in this situation. The administration will continue to improve Aragon’s security, but will still rely heavily on students to disclose any information they might have. Coe says, “This is an open campus, not a prison. A gunman could come to any high school, which is why the secret of school security is the students. The students at Columbine knew that two students planned to bomb the school, but no one said anything.”

isatus explains that his main job “is to be a correspondent to my subcommittee, which makes me not too different than any other officer.” Freshman Treasurer Michelle Yeung reveals that she must “keep track of the funds when our fundraisers come in, create fundraisers, maintain the Facebook page, upload announcements to schoolloop, and basically advertise our fundraisers.” The agenda this semester is filled with varying activities: Senior class is setting up dates for various fundraisers, preparing for Prom, and creating highly anticipated senior shirts. Junior class is also preparing for a wide variety of fundraising events, such as a Barnes and Nobles Music Night, a potential Battle of the Bands, lunch sales, a possible cultural diversity exhibition, and a continuation of last year’s t-shirt design contest and sales. The underclassmen are focusing more on out-of-school fundraisers. Fong comments that last semester was less organized than he thought it should have been. “We had originally planned to finish our senior shirts first semester but we never got around to doing it. But I’m looking forward to a more productive semester!” Saxena comes from a different perspective explaining that “Last semester went very smoothly. We achieved our goals and are really looking forward to a sixth consec-

utive successful semester in hopes of maintaining our position as the richest class at Aragon!” Sophomore President Jamie Ahn explains that “We actually made some money from our class t-shirt sales and from the pie sale on club fair days. “ Freshman Vice President Smita Jain admits that “Last semester was a bit of a shaky start. We had few fundraisers which led to a slow start. We got it together by the end of the semester and we are hoping for a better second semester.” Most of the Student Council members agree that the communication between Student Council and Aragon students could be better. Sophomore class Secretary Ellen Mi explains that “There are people that occasionally ask how Student Council is doing, but most people don’t seem to give it much thought.” She goes on to offer advice that “Facebook is an easy way of communicating between Student Council and Aragon students because you can send messages out to massive amounts of people at the same time and everyone always checks Facebook.” Notifying students of fundraisers a lot earlier and attending Student Council meetings would also improve communication. As for the rest of the semester, Student Council members stress that the biggest thing students can do to contribute is to show their red and black spirit.


South San Francisco High School recently held a gunmansimulation drill. Police officers armed with real guns took part in the simulation, making the drill very realistic for the students. The drill was the outcome of an attempt to help students be more aware about what they should do in case a shooter came onto their campus. Lieutenant E. Alan Normandy, the Commander of the Criminal Investigations Bureau of South San Francisco, explains, “Without realistic scenario-based training, too much of what we learn can be impractical, and doesn’t really make a lot of sense. Drills do a lot to adjust perceptions, and create the sense of urgency required.” Sophomore Mimi Lynde says, “No one really thinks it will ever happen, but if it ever does happen, I want to be prepared, and I think Aragon should do its job and protect us. We have all these fire drills, but when have we had a real fire? We should focus on emergency drills that will actually help us.” Normandy explores this issue, saying “Schools conduct fire drills regularly, yet we have not had a school fire resulting in a loss of a student’s life in over 50 years. In contrast, the first mass

San Francisco police officers used real guns during the simulations, which involved a full evacuation.

shooting in the United States was in 1966, and there have been over 50 school shootings since. It occurred to us firefighters were doing a much better job of preparing kids for fire than we were.” Aragon currently has no plans to implement a simulation drill, as the administration of the San Mateo Union High School District coordinates all simulations. Vice-principal Joe Mahood says, “I would never place Aragon kids with real guns. We have the best students in the district; they

would know what to do even without a simulation.” However, Normandy encourages other high schools to consider a simulation drill, saying “School officials are beginning to realize they are part of the first rescue response, not [just those] waiting to be rescued. School officials must have realistic plans and practice them regularly.” Many students feel the recent shootings at Hillsdale High School and Skyline College are signs for all schools to increase


Your Class Council vote at work

The freshmen student council conducts a meeting in the hallways during lunch. BY REBECCA KORFF NEWS

While the Aragon Student Councils appear to be the voice for their respective classes, many students are unaware of what these class councils actual jobs entials. Senior Yvnonne Lee says that, “Student Council could be more informing of what projects they are doing, and the members could drop by classes and tell students themselves.” The Class of 2011 Student Council is currently in the process

of organizing a widespread campaign with the Spirit Squad to increase school spirit at Aragon. Junior class President Amrit Saxena explains that, “by doing so, we hope to make the high school experience of all Aragon students more enjoyable and fulfilling.” In order to understand Student Council, students must understand the roles. Student Council is divided into four separate councils representing each class. Senior class Vice President Victor Fong explains that “Even with the name [of] Vice Presi-


dent, I would like to say that everyone in Student Council has an equal part. We take care of things as they come, and work together to finish the task as fast as we can.” Junior Secretary Ashley Frankel explains that the junior class uses a subcommittee system which breaks up the members into groups of three in order to maximize the amount of fundraisers and therefore earn more money. Saxena manages the class Student Council and finances while Junior Vice President Jason Gal-

3 News Students take advantage of CSM courses

Volume 49, Issue 5 February 4, 2010


In college, the tests are harder, less frequent, and more often than not, the final exam determines grade. While many students experience the culture shock when they first enter college, some Aragon students are getting a head start in their college preparation by taking classes at the College of San Mateo (CSM). Counselor Trisha Liskay says, “Taking courses at CSM is a great way for students to expand their academic experience. At community colleges, students can be with others of all ages. In addition, they can immerse themselves in a college environment. ” One thing that has certainly become more popular at Aragon in the past few years is the taking of Chemistry 192 during the summer after freshman year, which is equivalent to taking one year of Chemistry. Liskay says, “The last two years, there were about 35 students taking the course each summer.” Sophomore Lori Ross said, “I’m happy I took Chemistry 192 over the summer. Not only do I get college credit for it, but taking it enabled me to take AP Biology this year.” Liskay warned, however, that, “taking a whole year course in six

weeks is a challenge. Mr. Doyle has expressed his belief that students taking chemistry over the summer are not as prepared for AP Chemistry as those that have taken the full year at Aragon.” Courses at CSM during the summer operate on their own curriculum, which might not match up with the curriculum of Aragon classes. CSM’s statistic class focuses mainly on inferential statistics, while Aragon’s focuses a full semester on non-inferential statistics. Not everyone will get into the courses they want to at CSM. Liskay says that, “Due to budget cuts, not all CSM courses will be available to high school students, since they may be impacted. Priority goes to adults and full-time CSM students. Also, there is a limit to the number of Aragon students that enroll in CSM classes concurrently with school.” Some Aragon students have taken the college experience to the next level. This year, a number of students from Aragon decided to attend the College of San Mateo’s Middle College program, which lets high school students in the San Mateo High School Union District take their classes at CSM. The program includes around 30 juniors and seniors. Students in the Middle College program take three to four college classes

This semester, senior Sam Kennedy is taking the Introduction to Computer Programming course at CSM. According to Kennedy, the course, “covers everything on computers – but lightly.”

and for many of the courses they take, earn both high school and college credits. Junior Cindy Lam, who attends the Middle College Program, says, “If I stayed at Aragon, I could have taken six to seven AP classes, but at CSM, I can take those classes for full college credit. I feel like a lot of my hard work in sophomore year was almost like a waste. Even though I loved AP Biology and got a 5 on the AP exam, it doesn’t mean that all colleges will accept it.”

Lam also comments on the freedom gained from taking classes at CSM, “You’re taking complete control of your education. No parents. No teachers. Unlike high school, where when you cut class or have a conflict, you get detentions and calls to your parents, attending class is your choice.” However, There are cons to attending Middle College. Lam says, “I miss my friends and think about them every day. There is also a lack of extracurricular ac-


tivities. For example, I was going to be the editor on the Aragon Outlook, but cried when I found out the transportation between CSM and Aragon wasn’t going to work out.” Taking classes at the College of San Mateo can be either a fun recreational activity or a serious academic commitment or even a lifestyle change. Either way, classes at CSM prepare students for the coming years of college.

Attempted Christmas bombing increases security at airports BY RUSSELL ROECKEL NEWS

On Christmas Day, a passenger on an international flight bound for the United States ignited a small explosive device shortly before landing, in a move the White House called “an attempted terrorist attack.” The suspect identified by US Government officials as twenty-three year old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, is now in custody, but his actions have reignited fears of traveling for some students. Due to the attempted bombing on Christmas day, national airport security is being increased, especially for airports that handle international flights. Passengers are more likely to experience delays due to additional security measures. The biggest changes will affect those arriving from other countries. Passengers will not be allowed to carry bulky items on their laps or leave their seats during the last hour of flight during internation-

al trips. Passengers are advised to arrive three hours earlier than their scheduled depart time, due to security being stepped up. More international airports will be installing full scanners. These scanners basically give a full body x-ray. The maker of the scanners has reported that TSA has ordered an additional 150 scanners for their airports, in addition to the 19 already in service. On January 7, Mayor Gavin Newson announced that SFO has obtained a five-million dollar grant from the Federal Government to buy new high definition surveillance cameras which can capture images in greater detail, and include facial recognition technology. SFO is also spending three-million of its own money to improve the security system. Aragon students are certainly divided on whether or not full body scanners should be allowed. Freshman Kim Hilby does not mind the fact about the scanners, because “It really isn’t that bad when you think about that it


is all about safety. I know people get all picky about having to take off their shoes and having to wait, but I would much rather have to do that than worry about getting blown up.” Junior Eric Cura, agrees that full bklody scanners are just a safety precaution, and there is nothing wrong with them. “If people don’t like full body scans it has got to be an issue about how they look…” For those who are worried about their figures, the people

who operate the controversial body scan machines do not see the images produced, and those who view the images produced do not view the actual people. Privacy Rights groups are up in arms over the increase in the body scanners. Many Aragon students traveling over winter break experienced the changes in security at international airports. According to junior Alex Phinney, “[I] did not see any radical change in security.” Phinney flew back to San Francisco Airport from Los Angeles after the failed attack. Sophomore Maraya Marlowe had a similar experience, stating, “Security was pretty relaxed, compared to what I expected.” Marlowe also traveled before

and after the bombing attempt. However, sophomore Abigail Katz, traveled to Hawaii over winter break and flew back after the attempted bombing. “Security was slow before, but after the attempted bombing, it took much longer.” Senior Tom Vranjes states that while security is adequate, there is more that can be done. “Even if we don’t have the money and especially if it can be acquired these precautions need to be put into place to better protect our airlines…” However, junior Rosslee Mamis takes a neutral stance, saying, “You can only have so much security, and sometimes you have to realize that sometimes it’s going to happen.”

4 BSU Dance Competition


Volume 49, Issue 5 February 4, 2010

New pool funded by Measure M

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 teams. We’ll have more pool time to utilize. Also, more kids into swimming might want to come here as opposed to, say, Serra, where they might have a better pool than what we have now.” Junior swimmer and water polo player Sinclaire Cheong comments, “I think it’s good that Aragon is finally getting the pool redone. I’ve been swimming in

that pool for three years already and it’s very small. It’ll be good to have more room for everyone to swim in and it would be a nice change to get good workouts in for swim practice and for water polo season.” Venosa says, “The pool will also put pressure on not only individuals but the whole team, in order to get used to the new conditions. But I think this pressure will ac-

tually help us a lot, and make us perform better.” Apart from the new swimming pool, Measure M also approves a number of other significant renovations to the school, including the now completed administration student services building. Planned future projects include a new theatre that will improve quality of Aragon’s drama and music department.

Choosing the high school reading list student’s thinking like “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley and many Shakespeare plays.” Throughout a student’s four Although the books that are years at Aragon, it is more than assigned to students may seem likely that they will become boring to some, the novels are familiar with titles such as “The at a more advanced level than Catcher in the Rye,” “Romeo and books most students read for Juliet,” and “The Stranger.” leisure. The novels and plays that Junior Angie Cheung students must read are not only says, “I definitely did not love chosen by their teachers, but the Shakespeare plays because the SMUHSD Board of Trustees as language was difficult, dead, and well. unappealing.”    The books read in Aragon However, some students find English classes are chosen for a reading these challenging novels variety of reasons. “[The Catcher beneficial.  “People tend to take in the Rye] is one of those books you more serious and even see that students enjoy because they your intelligence through this,” can most relate to Holden.  We says senior Jackie Santizo. don’t read that many books that With both criticism and have characters like Holden, who praise, the selection of books has deals with similar teen problems,” changed over the years. “There says English teacher Sandra Skale .  have definitely been some changes Several of the novels, such on the list. Although they were as “The Great Gatsby” by F. not big adjustments, we’ve always Scott Fitzgerald align with what tried to create more variation,” students are learning about in says Skale.  their history classes.  At Aragon, English teacher Dena Johnson English books in AP classes take shares, “Even though variety is place at the same time period they important, I like to choose books are learning about in AP history that have different styles and most classes.  importantly, worthwhile themes.”  Skale says, “We also choose Senior Kasper Kuo recalls, books that would challenge “The Stranger was my favorite By Sarah Kim News

Aragon’s BreakFAST Club busts a move at the BSU dance competition By AlliE Patawaran News

For Aragon’s Black Student Union, the annual dance competition is much more than several dance teams competing to win a trophy. The event’s proceeds help the My New Red Shoes organization, a group that helps homeless children across the Bay Area. As a child, organization founder Heather Hopkins’ mother dreaded the first day of school due to her lack of presentable clothing. After learning about her mother’s childhood fear, Hopkins felt driven to help change the lives of other children. BSU President junior Jamison Hall explains, “[The organization] collects money from different sources, using it to give out $50 Old Navy gift cards [to the kids], gift bags and cards of encouragement.” Club benefactor Yvonne Ryzak recommended My New Red Shoes for the dance competition’s cause. Hall comments, “[Ryzak] does a lot of humanitarian work, and she said that her most favorite and inspiring teacher (at Aragon) was an African-American. So she felt almost obligated to come back and help out a club, and when she found out that the BSU was a club of [minorities], My New Red Shoes was the first organization she recommended for a humanitarian project.” Although Ryzak’s recommendation was the main cause for their charity choice, other members remain sensitive to the children’s situation. Junior Andreana Grant says, “I have been on the brink of being considered poor, and I have never lived in an actual house. Plus, it’s understandable as to how hard it must be to live homeless and feel embarrassed about your situation.” In addition to donating to My New Red Shoes, the club collected pocket change for the current situation in Haiti. This year’s Michael Jackson theme was suggested by BSU President Jamison Hall and was solidified after Jackson’s passing in June 2009. After the theme is decided, the group hosts meetings to plan when they will help advertise the event. Posters, banners, tickets


and flyers are made and posted all over campus. The competition itself was highly successful, with approximately 300 people in attendance and 11 teams that competed. The BSU was able to raise over $600 to donate to the My New Red Shoes organization. After Bret Harte, San Mateo, Hillsdale, Aragon’s BreakFAST Club, and many other school teams competed, the top prize went to Christa McAuliffe School in Saratoga, California. In second place was San Mateo High School’s hip hop team, and Mercy High School placed third. Aragon chemistry and physics teacher Kevin Doyle judged, along with two coaches from Bret Harte. Judging was based on the criteria of originality, precision, and audience response. Doyle says, “There were really many great and talented teams out there.” Menlo-Atherton senior Erin Kelly explains her team’s preparation, “We had a rally yesterday, so that definitely helped. Plus, our coach added some choreography to the song “Carry Out” last minute. Although we didn’t place, I’m not mad at all. We were here to have fun, and we did.” When asked what she would do differently, Kelly says, “We’re used to doing more jazz, and since the crowd responded more to hip-hop, we [will] probably incorporate more of that kind of dancing.” Although Aragon’s dance team did not perform, senior and captain Natasha Modjtabavi says, “It was really fun, it was fun to watch and to participate in the activities.” However, there were some groups from Aragon that did perform, such as the BreakFAST Club. “I’m disappointed that we didn’t place, I was just surprised which crews won,” says BreakFAST Club member and senior Raphael Dela Cruz. San Mateo High School freshman Jessica Millan also reflects on the team’s performance. “I was expecting us to place, like third, but I didn’t expect second. I didn’t expect the spirit, and I was shocked when they called us out. Routine-wise, we actually only practiced one day before” The dance competition seemed to be a surprise for the winning teams.


book. I liked the story and its meaning as opposed to some other books I have read for school.” With many different criteria in their minds, districts try their best to give a content list.  However, there is still room for improvements.  Johnson says, “It would be nice to update the list of books by adding more contemporary novels and have more women writers.”  The list is going through many refinements.

Eighth graders visit Aragon campus

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Emma Gajewski, an eighth grade shadower from Hope Technology School, says, “In my school, there are only about a hundred students, so being at a bigger school is a nice change and it helps me get used to it for next year. I thought the assembly really showed me what a variety of things there were to offer and there were a lot of programs I had no idea about.” Eighth grade shadower, Emma Mamis, from Nueva School adds, “Though I felt very welcome when I came to Aragon, I think I would have also liked to get to know the people and the social environment better. Maybe if we had stayed for lunch we could’ve done so. I’m not sure how else you would get to know people since the shadowees have to continue with there classes. Also, I might suggest having a student/teacher panel, so shadowers can have a question and answer session.” As for the freshmen who have been shadowed, most find it a positive experience and see this day as beneficial for the shadowers. Freshman Samantha C. Wong says, “I enjoyed it because I felt like I was helping her understand what the high school experience was like and it was fun just show-

ing her around Aragon.” Freshman Tammy Ng says, “My shadowing experience was quite fun. Initially, I was shy, but as my shadow began to get more comfortable around the school, I began to feel relieved, and found it easy to behave naturally around her.” Freshman Melissa Matthews added enthusiastically that, “I think it’s a really good program because it shows them their options and shows them how high school is different from middle school. However, it would’ve been nice if they introduced us to our individual shadowers when we were paired, so it wouldn’t have been as awkward and it would’ve been more comfortable.” In addition, commenting on the entire shadowing program, Barizon says, “In my opinion, eighth graders get a good overview

of high school because they get to walk the campus, observe students on their way to classes and in class, and interact with teachers. I think it takes the fear factor out of the high school experience and gets them on a positive track. Aragon shines when it comes to one on one with our students.” Student Administrative Assistant Dounia Kardosh adds, “Parents [of the 8th graders] have called me and told me how much fun their kids have and how much they have enjoyed our shadowing program.” Though many eighth graders still have tough decisions to make about high school selections after shadowing, Mamis confidently says, “I know I am going to Aragon, and seeing how the next four years of my life [could be], was a great, helpful, and enjoyable experience.”

arts & Entertainment

Volume 49, Issue 5 February 5, 2010

Beach House: Teen Dream 1/26, now available Genre: Rock, Dream-Pop

Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand’s duo Beach House has been slowly climbing the indie music scene since. “Teen Dream,” their latest album, is produced by Chris Coady (who has worked with acts like TV on the Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and We are Scientists). Teen Dream is filled with slow melodic beats, relaxing guitar, and a double kick drum that stays true to the band’s signature dream-pop sound

Valentine’s Day February 12, 2010 Genre: Romance

ted c e f n I oom r h s Mu

Where: The Regency Ballroom-1300 Van Ness, San Francisco. When: Friday, February 5, 2010, at 8 pm a What: Infected Mushroom is . trance group based from Israel in They have grown immensely popularity and it is guaranteed w you will have a great live sho ed ent experience with these tal and entertaining musicians. Price: $28

Lost ABC, Tuesday at 9 pm Genre: Drama, Thriller

The sixth and last season of Lost has arrived. The premier episode aired on February 2. The show’s producers have announced that this season, they will be going in another direction as a follow up on the last season. For first time viewers, the show follows the lives of survivors of a plane crash on a mysterious island when a string of strange events start happening.

Nine Stories by J.D Salinger Genre: Short stories “Guys backflip into Despite being released in 1953, Salinger’s jeans” by “Nine Stories” is timeless. Though not as unbuttonedfilms

Love, secrets, and relationships are revealed in the small world of Valentine’s day. The film depicts numerous intertwining love stories between young lovers, long-time spouses, and single romantics. The movie is filled with A list names such as Julia Roberts and Anne Hathaway.

Coachella Countdown: 70 Days


popular as “The Catcher in the Rye,” this collection of stories is equally intriguing. Each story offers an insight to the lives of different people with a variety of their own idiosyncratic characteristics and complex personalities. His most popular story, “A Perfect Day for Bananafish,” opens the book. All fans of Salinger, who passed away this year on January 27, need to read these stories. There is never a dull moment.

A group of guys, pants, and stunts. Oh, and trampolines. This video features a band of friends who make up crazy moves to jump into a pair of pants. It starts off with a simple leap from a bed, and it progresses and ends with a double back flip a few feet in the air. Fancily jumping into a pair of pants is probably not recommended at home until after you view these professionals.

eVENTS in the Bay Area

The Limo

SF Indiefest Presents: Music Festival by Talking House Records & Indie Film Fest


Where: Bottom of the Hill:1233 17th St.San Francisco & other locations. When: February 4-18, 2010 What: Come check out the music and work of local musicians and filmmakers. This is a great opportunity to enjoy and discover. Price: MusicFestPass gets you into all showcases for $70.

, th Street 1 1 3 3 3 Slim’s: Where: 2010 cisco. San Fran ay, 26 February rid When: F re a pop a s e n i at 7pm s u he Limo T : t a ea music h r A W y a B local y unband the band is currentl nt he scene. T getting significa ut en signed, b The band has be lar y. mi radio pla o have a style si dt compare T. 7 to MGM Price: $



Fill in the blank squares so that each row, each column and each 3-by-3 block contain all of the digits 1 through 9. If you use logic you can solve the puzzle without guesswork. Need a little help? Visit and look up Book 58!



Volume 49, Issue 5 February 4, 2010

the magic of micro lending club thing to be a part of such a positive circle of people,” says Ashley Heltne, a customer service volunteer at Kiva. The Micro Lending program was first started last year at Hillsdale High School with the “Hillsdale Effect” through the help of The San Mateo Rotary Club. The program was a complete success with $15,000 raised and this accomplishment soon spread throughout the San Mateo Union High School District. Due to this, the Micro Lending Club is now at Aragon. “Microfinance is set up so that [regular] people can affect change,” says one of the club’s advisors, Michael Gibbons. “We all live in the same world. Most people want to do well and help others; they just don’t know how.” In this new club, the first step will be to raise money. This will be done through classroom competitions such as “penny wars” in which each homeroom will have a jar where students can donate their spare change. Then after a few weeks, the class with the most total change collected will win a prize. After the money is raised, the second step will be to divide it into loans that can be donated. Next, these loans will be given out to people in need through micro finance banks such as Kiva or NA-

MASTE Direct. Once these entre-

parents listen to reason,” he says. “Although they are very strongly opinionated, I can usually at least discuss things with them.” SeidGreen describes one of his most memorable instances of negotiation: “I managed, after many weeks of discussion and argument, to convince them to let me decide on my own bedtime… [and] that I needed to figure it out myself.” Sacks-Irvine agrees with Seid-Green’s strategy of keeping calm, saying, “Using I statements, like ‘I want, I feel, I need’, is sometimes more effective than [using accusations like] ‘you always do this.’” Both Seid-Green and Sacks-Irvine encourage reasonable discussion of the topic. Similarly, freshman Camille Halley says, “If you can make a decent compromise with [parents], it works out best, rather than just arguing with them about it over and over again,” showing her confidence that level-headed negotiation produces favorable results. Sacks-Irvine’s last piece of advice is to find someone else to talk to. “I think there’s some stigma about going to see a therapist,” she says. “[People] don’t want to, CHENWEN HWANG or … they think it’s for

crazy people or they can handle [their problems] on their own. But sometimes it helps quickly to get through a problem and move on.” Sacks-Irvine recounts a time when she found a therapist useful; “In high school, [I] was dating someone, and my mom didn’t want … the door to be closed in my room. And we actually started fighting so much about it [that] we saw a family therapist twice. I do remember that it was really helpful because the therapist was… helpful in coming up with a balance.” Despite the numerous arguments teenagers have with their parents, they still seem to learn something from the experience of negotiating. Seid-Green says, “Everything I’ve learned about discussing and arguing with people, I’ve learned [from] arguing with my parents.” Marblestone shares the opinion that arguing can be educational, saying “you really have to listen to people, [and have] no attitude.” Teens and parents everywhere have different methods of negotiation. Yet teenagers universally feel the tension of abiding by set rules and wanting more freedom. The next time an argument begins, try to prove responsibility as Marblestone does; try coolly reasoning like Seid-Green; or even try talking to a therapist as SacksIrvine suggests. Negotiation, as seen by the students and faculty of Aragon and the classic TV shows of the 70s, leads to a happy medium that outright arguing can never achieve.


at Aragon. “I have always been compassionate and interested in helping people, and the micro lending project does just that,” says Sullivan. Micro lending or microfinance is the process of loaning money to underprivileged people, especially those living in urban areas or developing nations, usually to help them begin a business and escape poverty. Organizations such as Kiva ( allow anyone to lend their Senora Teresa is one of hundreds of clients that NAMASTE Direct educates, advises, and money to entrepreprovides loans to. She started a business by selling chicken, ice, tortillas, and charcoal. neurs in need all over the world. Once the entrepreneurs make the money By Paniz amirnasiri know that someone cared about they were lent, they repay their Features me,” says Sullivan. This trip to the loaners, who can then choose to orthodontist’s office helped Sullire-loan their money to another As a third grader, a hollow van come up with an idea: “Most entrepreneur. emptiness enveloped Junior Erin people donated just one or two Since 2005, Kiva has played a Sullivan’s stomach as she looked cards, but with the help of local huge role in slowly putting an end into her orthodontist’s concerned businesses, I set up a toy drive and to poverty. “The most rewardeyes during one appointment. collected 35 boxes of toys, and ing aspect of working at Kiva is “My orthodontist asked her pa- with a friend made almost 300 engaging with people that are so tients to make get well soon cards cards to make sure every child passionate! This includes my felfor patients in Venezuela that had would have something when they low volunteers, staff members, cleft-palate operations. I thought woke up,” says Sullivan. Field Partners, and entrepreneurs that if I had just woken up from Now, Sullivan is the president applying for loans. It’s a great surgery, I would want a card to of the new Micro Lending Club

preneurs make profits, they will re-pay the club, leading to the final step: loaning the money out to someone else. “Giving just a little bit of money can make a big difference and change someone’s life forever. Everyone is welcome because everyone can make a difference and be a part of the ‘Aragon Effect,’” says Sullivan. The positive aspects of the Micro Lending Club and micro financing in general are endless. “We have an opportunity to eliminate extreme poverty by the United Nations Millennium Goals of 2015 and that will have a game changing impact in the world in which we will live,” says Sullivan. “Understanding that they are changing the course of people’s lives will be very rewarding for the students [in the club],” adds Gibbons. As it takes such little effort and, in the long run, all of one’s money is returned, it is a wonder why more people do not take part in microfinance. With organizations like Kiva around, ending poverty no longer seems impossible. “It’s a mutually beneficial way to make a difference in this world. I think our motto ‘Make a loan. Change a life’ sums it up best,” says Heltne.

the art of negotiation: parents vs. teens


Parent-teen negotiation has been a common theme throughout many TV shows, including “The Brady Bunch,” in which the children realize the inevitability of dispute with their parents after breaking the lamp or wanting to date. Both The Cosby Show and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air also show the usefulness of compromise by young adults. While these shows may be outdated, they still remain a classic example of inevitable conflict between parents and teens, and the necessity of negotiation. “In every family, there’s some kind of tension as the teenager wants to be more independent,” says Aragon’s Safety Advocate Sarah Sacks-Irvine. “With parents wanting to still be able to have their influence and control over what their kids do.” Sacks-Irvine continued, “Last year, one of the number one things that students came to talk to me about was family conflict.” Sacks-Irvine offers psychoanalysis behind this frequent tension between teens and their parents, saying, “A really difficult part in adolescence is [that], developmentally, teenagers are going through a period … called individuation, where you’re becoming your own individual person, separate and distinct from your parents.” Because negotiation is such a common method to solving problems, advice on how to correctly compromise varies greatly. suggests that parents and teens find “a middle ground” for negotiation. Sacks-Irvine says a successful negotiation really comes from “taking responsibility…for your actions and also your mistakes,” “using I statements” and reasoning, and removing the bias of parents by “[having] someone [else] to talk to about what you’re going through.” Senior Sarah Marblestone agrees with Sacks-Irvine and says that she negotiates by proving her responsibility. “You have to give and take,” she says. “If I yell at my parents, there’s no way I’m going to get anything done. All of it just goes back to trust. So if they don’t trust me, then they don’t really let me do stuff.” Junior Melissa Antonakos also uses the strategy of showing responsibility. She describes one specific moment of negotiation: “They tried to ground me for New Year’s,” she says, “but I said I’d rather be grounded for … after New Years to the rest of break.” By showing her responsibility

and proving to her parents that she could accept her punishment, Antonakos abided by their rules, but helped herself in the process. Senior Ilan Seid-Green says his family’s approach to negotiation is often to sit down and discuss the debatable issue. “My

Volume 49, Issue 5 February 4, 2010



Teacher’s pet: the most controversial breed BY KRISTYN IKEDA FEATURES

Although favoritism might not be as blatant as it was in the past, is it still floating around the classroom environment? Art teacher Kathryn Katcher reminisces, “When I was in school, if you behaved badly, the teacher was mean to you … We’re not allowed to do that anymore.” Katcher further explains, “It’s human nature to be drawn to certain personalities ... [favoring] is extremely unprofessional and I would like to think [teachers] don’t.” Social sciences teacher Ron Berggren adds, “While it is human nature to like certain students more than others, part of the training is to make sure you’re not favoring certain student over others.” Senior Omid Dastgheib believes the training must have worked, saying “[Teachers] probably do have favorites, but they don’t say anything.” Junior Jasmine Singh takes the middle ground, commenting, “I don’t thing most [teachers] do [have favorites], but a few do.” On the opposing side of Dastgheib is junior Chad Bolanos, who comments, “Teachers definitely have favorites, and they let it show … they use nicknames, talk to them more, or try to help them more.” One senior remembers a spe-

cific situation confirming Bolanos’ belief, recalling, “One time, I was taking a vocab[ulary] quiz and I didn’t know one of the answers. The teacher kind of helped me out and told me the answer. But I don’t think [the teacher] would have done that if he didn’t like me.” Senior Brittany Pegueros agrees with Bolanos about teachers having favorites, adding that favorites can get away with assignments, and sophomore Gabe Hargis, also agreeing with Bolanos, believes “Teachers might bump up someone’s grade if they like him.” Math teacher Lisa Kossiver, on the other hand, holds a different opinion than Hargis, explaining, “Students think that just because someone got a bad grade, I don’t like them, when the truth is, I might think that student is the greatest student in the world, but they just didn’t earn the grade.” What might compel Kossiver to change a grade, however, is the effort and dedication a student is putting into a class—something that other students might not recognize, which leads them to believe the grade bump is a reflection of favoritism rather than effort. Kossiver further asserts, “A lot of kids

misperceive. For example, I have a student who is also my [Teacher’s Aide] in another period, so if I need copies, I’ll ask her to make them since I know she can do it. Other students might perceive this as favoritism, but it’s really that they just don’t know all the factors.” Of course, there’s the added question of whether students purposely try to ingratiate themselves with teachers. Singh observes, “A student might go up to a


teacher and ask, ‘Oh, how was your weekend?’ when he really doesn’t care.” Bolanos also remembers times when he thought students were trying to ingratiate themselves with a teacher, citing, “Freshman year, there was this kid who would always compliment the teacher, like, ‘Haha, good one Mr. [Jones].’” Kossiver too, has witnessed behavior of this nature, but also adds that it’s not overt, just things like, “Oh, Ms. Kossiver, you look nice today.” Pegueros, however, believes students are more blatant, saying, “Students might give teachers food. Some students act really differently when a teacher is talking to them—more attentive and engaged.” Hargis echoes Pegueros’s opinion, adding, “Students will give teachers gift cards to become more well-liked.” But while the students who do these things may think they are making themselves more well-liked, what a teacher actually appreciates in a student largely depends on the teacher. Of course, there is some common ground, with Berggren, Kossiver, and Katcher all citing attentiveness and preparedness as qualities they like in a student. But Kossiver adds, “It’d be very boring if everyone were like that. I like a little flavor in my classes.”

Katcher reveals, “I’m personally drawn to kids with a sense of humor, not always the best behaved students.” So whether a student is the “model” student, the class clown, or that little bit of pepper needed to liven up a classroom, there are definitely qualities each teacher looks for in a classroom. Although Katcher hopes favoritism does not affect the classroom environment, some students believe it does. Singh reveals, “Other students have a distaste for the teacher—it affects how you learn and how you see the teacher.” Bolanos focuses on how the favoritism changes the view of the student, commenting, “Other students can recognize it and the student gets annoying.” One student who was completely aware of being a teacher’s favorite recalls, “In one class, I had an A the entire semester and my teacher never picked on me. She would pick on other people who didn’t have an A. But the day that I got an 89 percent, she called me out on talking to my friend even though I had been doing that the entire semester and she never said anything.” In high school, there will always be the “suck up” and the teacher that spends their time praising the “teacher’s pet.” Students just have to remember to do their best work and make high school the best experience they can.

The public vs. private school debate rages BY YVONNE HSIAO FEATURES

Despite the tuition, there are many similarities between a public and private school. Students have a similar chance to make new friends to their choice and further develop their knowledge in class. Both schools have the same food and there are lunch and brunch breaks. However, the rules, people, and sometimes academics are quite different. Once again, the incoming freshmen at Aragon are making large transitions from a variety of private and public schools. Coming from St. Matthews Catholic school, freshman Nathaniel Ramil expressed his joy in having less restricted rules: “I don’t have to wear my uniform anymore and I can finally wear any outfit I want.” Freshman Kirsten Peregay, a past St. Catherine’s attendee, agrees with the freedom by saying, “I’m not used to being not as supervised, but the environment of the school is really nice because of the diversity of the students.” Regarding the teachings at private schools, sophomore Alejandra Olivera “felt that the teachers were not as welcoming and were very strict. Aragon is definitely more liberal and open to new things.” Differences between public and private schools can be vividly seen through the eyes of students who transfer from private high

schools to public high schools. Senior Margaret Arcudi, who transferred from St. Francis one year ago, states that because St. Francis has 500 people per class with a block schedule, making classes two hours long, in addition to the ten thousand seat stadium, the academic curriculum and extracurricular activities at St. Francis differ considerably. Although these activities definitely contribute to the school’s merit, Arcudi states that “what’s so cool about St. Francis is that there was so much school spirit, everyone knew each other, and there was even a school anthem we had to memorize.” Furthermore, St. Francis also has a different policy in which seniors and ju n i o r s are split from the freshmen and s oph -

omore class, eating separately from each other. “An advantage of going to my private school is that upperclassmen were favored, and some days could even bring their car and just sit in there all day,” says Arcudi. Although private schools may have benefits that public schools cannot offer, it has its downsides as well. “St. Francis was really cliquey and sometimes I didn’t fit in as well,” Arduci explains. Similarly, Senior Brian Stephens, who attended St. Gregs for ten years then transferred to Serra High School, admits that an advantage of going to a private school is that it is “more strict and organized, and e ve r yo n e is obedient to the

rules.” However, a private school attendee is often confined to the strict rules of dress code and also the mandatory attendance for church. “Every Friday, I had to dress up for church and keep my tie on. I felt that the rules were more for religious reasons instead of learning reasons. Public schools, especially Aragon are more relaxed and there is a larger diversity of people


who are more liberal and more open minded,” says Stephens. At Aragon, “I could personally connect to the staff, especially Ms. Liskay, and the teachers were all very friendly.” In addition to the people at Aragon, “I feel that the academic curriculum is much harder. At Serra, I was taking all AS classes, and I easily got a 4.0. But, once I transferred to Aragon, I struggled with more of my classes. I like the relaxed atmosphere at Aragon, and had more freedom,” explains Stephens. As spring time approaches, many seniors are enjoying their last couple months of Aragon and are waiting eagerly for their admittance letters which are coming back from myriad private and public colleges. Often, a major factor towards choosing a perfect college is “that you have to definitely make sure that the school is in a good location. For example, UCLA is ideal because there are huge malls and different activities you can do”, commented senior Jeff Chow. Despite the differences, of oneon-one teacher interactions and maybe even a more lenient school regulation, public and private schools both have their advantages and disadvantages. However, one thing is for sure: whether going to a public school or private school, new and fascinating experiences are inevitable.


Encyclopedia Arago na

a high schooler’s guide to teenage dating

Starting a relationship:

Starting a relationship is perhaps one of the hardest, most nerve racking experiences a teenager will ever have in high school. With the ecstasy that accompanies acceptance and the fear of rejection, the emotional roller coaster both encourages and discourages teenagers from pursuing a relationship. When choosing to ask that special someone out for the first date, teenagers must first consider the level of commitment required for a healthy relationship. As senior Gina Jee puts, “A relationship is, I think, commitment. That’s what you need, if there’s no commitment, it’s not a relationship.” Some students believe that, because this type of commitment is required, high school relationships cannot be serious and should not be attempted. Sophomore Mimi Lynde says, “It’s high school. It’s the beginning. It’s experimenting, it’s not serious serious.” Others, like sophomore Nikkie Barros, dislike the awkwardness a relationship can create. She says, “I’m single by choice because it can be too much of a hassle, and I don’t like things like [Public Displays of Affection].” Because of this, teenagers who wish to become romantically involved with another person must con- Seniors Britney Tsao and Yoda Yee walk hand sider how he or she will re- in hand to their seventh period English class. solve these conflicts when they inevitably spring up. According to senior Amanda lee, “Make sure to talk about [the problem] and listen to [your partner’s] opinion.” With so much to think about already, a person looking for that special someone must also keep themselves from forgetting to give their partner personal space. Lee says, “People who worry too much and want to hold you just to themselves, that’s not healthy. Like constantly keeping track of everything you do – that does not give me freedom and shows you don’t trust me.” Even with so many things, some teenagers still manage to lead very successful relationships. Teenagers just need to keep in mind that both parties in a relationship are human beings with their own feelings. Like Junior Golzaar Mahdavi says, “Relationships are nice, but focus on having a life, because people can get sucked into their relationships.”

Freshman Olivia Maggi thinks a healthy relationship is “when one of you is the chunky peanut butter but the jelly likes you despite your chunks.” It is important that there is both emotional safety and physical safety within the relationship. “[You should] feel safe from being harmed by your partner in any way, sexually, physically, and emotionally,” says Sacks-Irvine, “you should also think about if your relationship causes you more happiness than more According to freshman Ollie Maggi, above with boyfriend pain.” Ian Barrie, a healthy relationship is “when one of you is the Sophomore Nik- chunky peanut butter but the jelly likes you despite your ki Barros thinks, “A chunks.” healthy relationship needs equal amount of time with your partner, friends, and family. Don’t be obsessive and don’t be distant.” Teen relationships affect many aspects of students’ lives. Whether it is time for homework, friends, or extracurricular activities, some students have trouble finding a way to balance it all and spend time with their partner. “I spend significantly less time with my friends [now that I’m in a relationship]. I just do what I have to do first and then everything else is girlfriend time… if I manage to intermix the two, it’s perfection,” says senior Dylan Houston. Though being in a relationship my affect time with friends, some students feel that it has helped them in other aspects. “Since being in a relationship my grades have actually improved and I don’t let it affect anything else,” says junior Jenny Qu. Some students feel that being in a relationship has not had a significant impact on their social or academic lives at all. “[My boyfriend] lives far away and I can only see him about every other month, so it doesn’t really affect me here,” says senior Jonalie Resurreccion. Freshman Ian Barrie has been able to find a good balance saying, “We spend a lot of time together, but we understand the other person has other things to do and we respect that.” While being in a relationship can be an exciting experience, things are not

Being in a relationship:


While high school is full of many exhilarating experiences, from meeting new friends to getting a license, one experience that stands out to many is being in a relationship with someone who they genuinely like and deeply care about. Although being in a relationship can be a wonderful thing, there are many more aspects to it than meets the eye. One of the most important aspects of a relationship is that it is healthy and that both partners are able to respect each other. However, each person may define a healthy relationship differently. Aragon’s Safety Advocate Sarah Sacks-Irvine states, “A healthy relationship should have reciprocity, that you feel that you’re getting what you’re putting into the relationship. Safety is another key component … that you feel safe and comfortable being who you are with that person. Junior Golzaar Mahdavi says, “A healthy relationship is when both people feel safe and comfortable with each other and there’s lots of communication and thinking of the other person.”

Juniors Ryan Ashbaugh and Natalie Palter spend time together on the center court steps after school.

1. Can high school relationships be serious? 2. Are you currently in a relationship? 3. When did you have your first relationship?


Encyclopedia Arago na always perfect. Disagreements come with almost any relationship, but being able to communicate and resolve those conflicts are what help to keep the relationship strong. “Resolving things … are always really difficult. It takes time and patience with each other. What I’ve noticed [is that], a lot of time, directly attacking the issue doesn’t work … if things don’t start to change, it’s not really worth your time. If a relationship is really meaningful, you should be able to work things out with each other,” says senior Gina Jee. Some couples find resolving conflicts to be a bit simpler. Maggi says, “I get mad at him and hang up. A few hours later, he just accepts the blame and agrees with me.” There are also some couples who do not have many arguments, so resolving them is not a big issue. “We probably both compromise at times, but we do it because we want to get along well,” says Houston. Relationships are fun and exciting but can also have there complicated and stressful moments as well. However, it is an experience that many high school students enjoy and find to be very beneficial.

Breaking Up:

There are endless songs written about the emotional meltdowns that accompany the process of breaking up. While songs only say so much, though; only experience can help us know what it actually feels like to change the Facebook status from “in a relationship” to “single.” Breaking up is the hardest part of a relationship. Sophomore Alexa Cajthaml says, “It was a mutual break up through text message. I was sad for a month and I wasn’t myself. I didn’t like him anymore because he was a jerk but I felt like there wasn’t any closure. It didn’t feel like it was over. There wasn’t a dramatic scene and because of that, it didn’t hit me for a while.” For many teenagers, it is harder to decipher the reasoning behind the break up. Freshman Brittany McOmber commented on her month long relationship by saying, “It was running smoothly and he suddenly backed off and started to avoid me. I didn’t know what happened. A lot of my friends and I came to the conclusion that he was seeing another girl behind my back. It was my guess. But a couple of weeks later, I saw him with another girl.” However, most high school relationships come to a halt because there is little to no communication. Sophomore Micalah Baker says, “He lived far away and I knew it wasn’t going to work out in the beginning but I pursued it and it was a fail.” Junior Ki Ota says that bad relationships are ones that “have no communication and no understanding.” Senior Amanda Lee who shares a similar opinion adds, “A bad relationship is when people worry too much and want to hold you just to themselves. That’s not healthy. They constantly keep track of everything you do. That just shows someone that you don’t trust them. Others define a bad relationship “when one person has more feelings invested that the other. It’s an uneven balance and one person is trying too hard to please the other person,” says Chen. Being “in a relationship” comes with its own set of responsibilities that some may consider a burden. Senior Patty Chen says “I think I feel a lot [freer] when I’m outside of a relationship. I can focus on me. I don’t have to check up on people because I feel like I have to hang out with that person more and that causes tension with friends because they’re like ‘wow, you’re ditching me for this one guy.’” Mcomber adds, “When I’m in relationship, I feel tied down to one person. I feel like I can only call and text him and not any other friends. Now, I have more free time to be with my friends and more free to be interested in other guys.” Teenage relationships are yet just another phase of high school experience. Either by being in a relationship or by breaking up, the teenage hormones prove one thing for sure; “You always take something away from a relationship be it your mistake or someone else’s,” says McOmber.



Dating Definitions: Boyfriend drop [boi-frend drop]: When a girl alerts single men in the room that she is in a relationship, usually slipped casually into conversation. Example: “So, that new movie ‘Avatar’ is pretty cool, huh?” “Oh, yeah, I loved watching ‘Avatar’ with my boyfriend, he and I thought it was so well done.” Casual dating [kazh-oo-uhl deyt-ing]: A relationship considered to be less formal than typical. The two in the relationship want to get to know one another, but without fully committing themselves. Exclusive [ik-skloo-siv]: The opposite of “casual dating.” Each member of the couple has formally agreed to only be romantically involved with the other, with no emotional or physical affection outside of their relationship. Fling: A brief, often intense, romantic involvement. Considered fun and adventurous, but often also impulsive and irresponsible. Girlfriend voice [gurl-frend vois]: Sometimes evident in guys talking to their girlfriends. A little bit higher in pitch and peppered with pet names and sweet talk. Hit on: To flirt with someone, usually with more directness, ostentatious behavior, and displayed physical attraction than the average variety of flirtatiousness. Hook-up: A term often difficult to define. A brief, romantic encounter, marked by physical acts of affection. People have many different perceptions of what constitutes a hook-up, based on various amounts of time and various intensities of involvement. Jealousy [jel-uh-see]: Sensitivity to cheating or any thoughts of infidelity. Sometimes justified, at others motivated by insecurity and paranoia. Kiss and tell [kis and tel]: Sharing intimate details about one’s relationship with friends. Public display of affection [puhb-lik di-spley of uh-fek-shuh n]: When two romantically involved people engage in physical acts, such as kissing and seemingly endless standing snuggles, in a public area— such as in front of my locker when I’m already late for English. Often abbreviated as PDA. Serious [seer-ee-uh s]: When a couple actively or subconsciously become more romantically committed to one another. Smitten [smit-n]: The state of being absolutely taken with someone one has a crush on. Usually accompanied by loss of appetite and dramatic readings of bad poetry. Wingman [wing-man]: A friend who will do everything in his power to help make his friend look great in front of a prospective girlfriend. An important role, an essential characteristic of being a “bro.”


10 THE ARAGON OUTLOOK: Mission Statement 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.

Adviser Scott Silton

Co-Editors in Chief Amreet Aujla Ari Brenner



We’ve got spirit, yes we do. We’ve got spirit, oh wait no we don’t. By Mark Sherwood Technology editor

At 70 years old, when you describe your high school to your grandchildren, what do you say? Do you amaze them with our fantastic API score? Do you fascinate them by listing off the dozens of AP classes you took? Do you let them know that we ranked second in our entire district? No, you tell them of the time the power shut off and we all got to go home early. You tell them about your favorite teacher who redefined your view on the world. You tell them of the football game that ended with a touchdown in the end of the fourth just in time to win the game. Those are the memories that will stick with you, not the test in fourth period. As amazing of a school Aragon is, here lies one of our biggest faults, our spirit. The rallies themselves are dead,


Photo Julia Borden, editor, Shelby Barthold, Charlotte Braxton, Kenan Chan, Ashley Lentz Alyssa Lim, Missy Loeser, Sabrina Perry, Eric Torres

Arts and Graphics Phoebe Chao, editor, Martin Contreras, ChenWen Hwang, Yuzo Makitani, Janice Pang, Julia Riviello, Emily Yip

Technology Editor Mark Sherwood The Outlook would love to hear from you. Email us at or visit us at

and more importantly, we as a student body do not seem to have pride in the thing that connects us together. Do not misunderstand the criticism in this editorial. Blame is not being cast on leadership, the cheerleaders, or anyone who performs in the rallies. The problem lies not in the quality of the rallies or spirit days but rather with their reception by the student body. Faculty complain of the rallies being a poor excuse to take time away from class. Students enter rallies expecting them to be boring and a general waste of their time. With that attitude, how can they possibly be wrong? Preconceived notions and expectations have such a huge influence in one’s perception of an event. Because so few expect the rallies to be any fun at all, a very small percentage of the school actually participates in any rally. It is

hard to cheer when everyone else around you is sitting down silently with blank stares on their faces. This low participation only leads to a dull and unsatisfactory rally that confirms the expectation of the majority of the audience. It is a self-fulfilling cycle. If we believe the rallies will be lame, then they will. This self-fulfilling cycle of student apathy does not only apply to rallies. There are quite possibly more people who purposely do not wear school colors on extreme red and black day in fear of expressing school spirit than people who mindfully dress up. Leadership had to create blue jeans dress up day simply to get a good percentage of the students to wear the assigned clothes. Imagine a gathering of friends. How much fun is it to be the only one actually dressed up in a costume? It

would actually be embarrassing. However, what if it is not only you dressed up, but rather everyone. All of a sudden, it becomes a huge amazing party. The same goes for spirit days. The reason that dressing up is not fun is because no one dresses up. So, how do we actually do anything about it? Keep an open mind. Dress up. Cheer. Be proud of your school. Will you be pretty much alone? The answer is most likely yes. However, standing by and watching this phenomenon continuously rob us of such a significant part of our high school experience is plain wrong. Note, change will not happen overnight. In fact, it might not happen at all. But, if we don’t try, I can guarantee you that it will never happen. Without action, Aragon will stay as it is, a great school but one that could be so much better.

Advanced Placement: Is it all that?

Olivia Bocanegra, Dan Fu and Catherine Riviello, editors, Sam Alavi, Kristyn Ikeda, Sabrina Imbler, Katie By Meredith charlson Features Jensen, Rebecca Korff, Allie Patawan, Natalie Rodriguez, When upperclassmen at AraRussell Roeckel, Ryan Yu, gon decide which courses they would like to take in the upcomWendy Yu, Peter Zhan

Philip Dimaano, Brian Kawamoto and Rachel Marcus, editors, Paniz Amirnasiri, Jessica Barney, Alice Bebbington, Alexia Carrosco, Meredith Charlson, Eric Ding, Yvonne Hsiao, Christine Kalife, Wassim Khemici, Sarah Kim, Alina Polishuk, Sangwon Yun

Volume 49, Issue 5 February, 4 2010

ing year, it is impossible to deny that they see a lot of College Prep (CP) courses, a lot of Advanced Placement (AP) courses, but no accelerated courses that fall at the high school level. In fact, CP courses used to be the middle ground between the highly accelerated AP courses and what used to be referred to as the general courses. About fifteen years ago however, the school district changed the three division course system into a two division course system in hope of increasing the performance level of students in general courses. “It was a controversial decision at the time,” Assistant Principal, Jim Coe, explains, “The general courses had students who felt labeled, and it was felt that their academic performance was being suppressed. Having students in general courses take classes with students in a higher academic level did show an increase in academic performance.” It is undeniable, however, that Aragon students are encouraged to pursue as many AP courses as possible. AP courses were first created in 1955 to allow a small number of high school students who had already mastered their high school curriculums to challenge themselves and earn college credit in the process. That was then, but now taking AP courses have become a norm among students eager to prove to competitive colleges that they possess the strong work ethic and staggering academic ability in order to be successful at their desired university. Today, a whopping 1.6 million high school students in the United States are taking at least one AP course compared to 1,229 high school students in 1955. At Aragon, roughly a third of the students are enrolled in at least one AP course.

A survey conducted by The New York Times (April 29, 2009) of high school teachers suggests other motivations for taking AP courses. In this survey, 1,000 high school teachers from all over the country voiced their opinions about the AP student growth. 90% of these teachers believed that more students are interested in making their college applications look better, while only 32% believed that there are actually more students who want to challenge themselves academically. More than half of the teachers also complain that many students

number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or Cambridge tests given at a school then dividing it by the number of graduating seniors. The higher the ranking of the high school, the better their reputation becomes within the community. But aside from the reasons for AP courses being implemented at Aragon, it is more important to question whether they are truly beneficial to the students. In terms of the quality of education, junior Alex Phinney states, “I feel like for the first time my teachers are actually trying to make me learn,


taking the courses do not belong there. That combined with the lack of restrictions to who can take AP courses weaken the effectiveness of the program desire to provide accelerated education to the most advanced students. 75% of the teachers also believe that the high schools are pushing AP classes in order to give the school a better reputation and ranking. Indeed, schools do believe that it is in their best interest to push the AP courses because they believe it gives them more credibility in the community as a first rate high school. The rankings conducted annually by Newsweek to identify the top 1,000 high schools in the country make their rankings based on taking the

and I am actually learning. My AP classes have changed the way I see the world, and that’s difficult to describe. Even in failure, I’m still happy to be there.” While junior Melody Ma agrees that while the classes are enriching, she also feels, “The AP test adds the majority of the pressure on the course, as teachers must plan out the entire year to make sure that they can thoroughly cover as much material as they can to prepare us for this test. Since there is a vast amount of curriculum to be taught, the students have to learn some of the details on their own, as there is only so much class time.” Ma also states, “I would take non-AP accelerated courses…such as hon-

ors physics because I wish to learn as much as I can about a subject without going through too much stress.” From the perspective of colleges and professors, many do not believe that AP courses represent college-level education and are therefore do not always grant college credit although students pass the AP exam. Former professor at San Francisco State University, Elizabeth Stone, asserts, “The notion that an AP course is equivalent to a course taught on a college campus is a fallacy. While AP courses may be rigorous, college courses are taught by professors with academic freedom and are taught in an environment where students have ample time during daylight hours to study and do research. High school students do not have the resources of college libraries, laboratories, or research centers which would enable them to tackle difficult material.” Contrary to popular belief that AP courses greatly improve chances of being accepted at elite schools, the admissions department at Stanford University affirms, “We want to be clear that this is not a case of ‘whoever has the most APs wins.’ As a result, we do not require students to submit AP scores as part of our admission process. AP scores that are reported are acknowledged but rarely play a significant role in the evaluation of an application.” It is impossible to tell fifteen years later whether or not a three course division system was more beneficial to the Aragon student body than the current two course division system. But what can be agreed on is that the school should always be acting in the students’ best interest as opposed to the best interest of the district. It is up to the school district to evaluate whether the current AP/ CP system gives the students the resources and attention needed to guarantee a successful high school experience.

Volume 49, Issue 5 February 4, 2010



Movie Ratings By Jessica Barney Features

Most teenagers know what it is like to try and sneak into a R rated movie. Sometimes carefully orchestrated plans are successful and students can triumphantly escape into the movie. Most teenagers also know, however, the dreaded phrase “Let’s see some ID.” These individuals are considered too old to pay the “child” price, yet they are too young to buy tickets to more mature movies. Many teenagers consider this a double standard. If these individuals have to pay the same price as adults who are free to watch any movie they choose, should they not be given this same freedom of choice? Psychology teacher Jim Smith explains the reasoning behind movie ratings, saying “The rating system was in response to parents concern about the appropriateness of a movie for their children.” In response to this, “The motion picture industry sought to find a balance between preserving creative freedoms and notifying people about films content,” states the Motion Picture Association of America. The ratings “are given by a board of parents who comprise the Classification and Rating Administration…[who] view each film and, after a group discussion, vote on its rating,” using criteria such as “theme, language, violence, nudity, sex, and drug use.” “Originally there were four ratings: G for general audience, PG for parental guidance, R for 17 and over, and X for adults only . They added PG-13 sometime later to take in to account those movies that were a bit more racy or raunchy than PG,” said Smith. Today, evolution of the rating system continues as parents demand full disclosure of potentially inappropriate content that might be in movies their children see. Many ratings further disclose why a movie has been given a certain rating. For instance, “It’s Complicated” is rated R and contains sexuality and drug content. The movie “Leap Year” is rated PG for sensuality and language and the blockbuster “Avatar” is rated PG13 for warfare, intense battle sequences, some smoking, sensuality and language. However, ratings also generally take certain aspects of movies into more consideration than others. Smith said “Sex has always been much more taboo than violence and gets a more restrictive rating.” Senior Esther Adelstein agrees, saying, “We were watching ‘Schindler’s List’ in history class and, during the parts that were possibly a little scandalous, our teacher would turn the TV ... We were allowed to see dead bodies and mass executions, but we weren’t allowed to see nudity. It was ridiculous.” But do these ratings even affect the movies people choose to watch? Are the rules actually enforced? Sophomore Ali Imani, who is not yet seventeen, shares, “A couple months ago, I tried to buy a rated R movie ticket and the guy asked me to show him my ID. I took out my Aragon School ID and he gave me the ticket.”

The iPad’s large, high-resolution screen makes it perfect for watching video.


There are many ways to watch rated R movies; minors can buy tickets online if their Fandango account is connected to a credit card. While some parents buy their children rated R movie tickets, others are more concerned with what their children watch. Junior Jina Lee shares, “when there’s an ‘inappropriate’ scene when we watch a movie at home, my mom stands in front of the TV and fast forwards it.” How much of an impact do movie ratings have on teenagers? Freshman Nicole Nasser shares “usually movie ratings don’t have an effect on my decision unless it’s rated R. I prefer not see a lot of movies with violence and gore.” This is echoed by Lee who shares “if a horror movie is rated R… I know it will be much more gory and scary.” The ratings help determine how extreme certain aspects of the film are. There is a range of the reasons a movie is deemed a certain rating, and an array in the level of explicitly of movies with the same rating. English teacher and parent, Dena Johnson shares that she has let her sons “see rated R movies…such as some comedies that are a little more tamed, but R rated because of something a bit more benign…If the reason is because of swearing that’s more acceptable... I would never let them watch anything with nudity or sex.” Perhaps more intervention in the media is necessary nowadays, given teens are watching Jersey Shore rather than The Leave it to Beaver. Could a more corrupt society be the reason behind more regulations in the system? Smith thinks the changes in the ratings system are due to an entirely different reasoning, saying “I don’t think our increased tolerance to sex and violence is the driving motive behind the system or its changes…it is more economics…most of it has to do with marketing. I know some movies want a more restrictive rating because that makes it more popular with adult audiences.” Movie ratings can be useful but, as many people speculate, they are used as a marketing tool. Young people take great interest in being able to watch movies with content supposedly too mature for them. Just the fact that they are not allowed to watch such material is all the appeal needed to motivate the young crowd.

The Apple iPad By Eric Ding Features

“It takes a lot of time. It’s not really intuitive for me,” explains English teacher Dena Johnson about all the technology that is blossoming all around her. “If I have to read something that is on the computer, I would print it out and read it from there.” The new Apple “tablet,`” a touch screen computer, is attempting to change this. The promising Apple iPad has been built up to be the superman of gizmos. The Wall Street Journal says that the “last time there was this much excitement about a tablet, it had some commandments written on it.” The iPad has a 9.7 inch screen, is a half-inch thick, totals in at 1.5 pounds, and comes in a variety of memory capacities (16, 32, or 64 gigabytes of flash memory storage). Like the Kindle, the iPad can view virtual books and perform various other tasks. The iPad boasts an online book store, a fast web browser, and the obligatory iTunes. Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs calls the web surfing experience “the best browsing experience you’ve ever had.” With a touch-screen keyboard and the ability to manipulate webpages with fingers, many Americans are ready to experience the future yet again. It does virtually everything, from playing games and music to surfing the web and watching TV. With a price tag of $499-$829, this new device promises to be the hottest item on the market. The iPad is said to begin shipping sometime in late March for the United States. In the past, Apple has produced many novelties that have been purchased by both children and adults alike. “Technology has saved me from boredom more times than

I can count,” says junior Chris Chan. “I remember listening to Ne-Yo and Usher on my iPod every time I took the half-hour drive to church.” When Chan is asked about Apple, he states, “Apple has been quite profitable with its merchandise, and I have no reason to believe that the [iPad] will be any different.” While many agree with Chan in the inevitable success of the iPad, the experts are split. Apple has always managed its success by finding an unclaimed niche in the technology world and staking its monopoly. The iPod in conjunction with iTunes was the first truly functional and convenient mp3 player. The iPhone was the first comprehensive phone that allowed full access to the internet, a task no other phone had been able to utilize at the time. Whether or not the iPad truly has a niche is the question on everyone’s mind. Apple is attempting to market the iPad as neither a phone nor a laptop but as a compromise between the two. It holds enough computing power and has a big enough screen to optimize games and applications in order to bring out their full potential. However, it does not have the bulk or price tag of a laptop. For 29 dollars a month, one can even purchase a 3G plan with no long term contract. Yet while combining many advantages of both a phone and a laptop, it also has the disadvantages of both. It cannot make calls, word process very well, or fit in one’s pocket. Only time will tell if the iPad will be added to Apple’s list of accomplishments.



Volume 49, Issue 5 February 4, 2010

Sleep: A prized commodity for every teen BY SANGWON YUN FEATURES

On some first period mornings, P.E. teacher Guy Oling finds his student, sophomore Alice Zheng, fast asleep on her number. “I fall sleep sometimes just sitting on the ground after a rough night,” Zheng says. “Mr. Oling makes fun of me.” Zheng is just one of countless other adolescents who lack sleep. An article published on WebMD stated that “most teens need between nine and nine and a half hours of sleep.” Yet an article published in Business Week cited that only 7.6% of teens get this necessary amount, and roughly 70% find only seven or less hours sleep. Sophomore Nick Tom falls into the latter category. He usually goes to bed from eleven to twelve o’clock, and rises at six the next morning for zero period, meaning that he usually gets seven to eight hours of sleep. Tom says, “[I feel] tired. It’s a lot harder than when you get a better night’s sleep. It’s definitely frustrating late at night, 12 o’clock, when I finally turn off my computer and I find out that I’m all done, and realize that six hours later, I’m going to have to do it all over again.” Zheng recalled, “I’ve pulled an

all nighter writing an essay before. I felt like I was about to die versus being energized [with a good night’s sleep]. It was like being on constant PMS with no sleep.” Health and P.E. teacher Barbara Beaumont described what she had observed of stretching sleep too thin, and said, “[Students] are falling asleep in class. They’re asking the same question I just said. They can’t focus and pay attention. They’re not all there when they’re in the classroom.” Scientific research has supported all of these aspects, and more. According to a study conducted by the Columbia University Medical Center, “inadequate sleep can lead to depression and suicidal thoughts in adolescents.” Also, in an article published by the National Sleep Foundation, not getting enough sleep can “limit your ability to learn, listen, concentrate and solve problems. You may even forget important information like names, numbers, your homework or a date with a special person in

your life.” Senior Nicolas Culas recalled, “I’ve gone two days without sleeping. That was [because] of a project, and then I couldn’t sleep afterwards. But the next day at school, [I] couldn’t concentrate or anything. And then once I got home … I went to bed at six … and then I had twelve hours of sleep…the next day I could concentrate perfectly.” Additionally, according to a study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, “Mean levels, maximal levels, and rhythm amplitude of leptin were decreased… during sleep restriction compared with sleep extension…In conclusion, sleep modulates a major component of the neuroendocrine

control of appetite.” Leptin is a hormone whose presence in the body signals that you have eaten enough. A decrease of this hormone, as indicated in the study, would mean that you would be driven to eat more, and possibly ultimately gain more weight. Furthermore, the National Sleep Foundation states that 100,000 vehicle accidents per year are caused by drivers who simply did not have enough sleep; the level of impairment sleep deprivation has is allegedly equivalent to that of a blood alcohol content of 0.08%: a level which is deemed illegal in California. Despite all the harrowing consequences of not getting enough sleep, there are fortunately simple tactics to get more sleep. People have recommended establishing a consistent time for going to bed and waking up, saying that it may reduce how much sleep a person needs. Beaumont recommended, “Try to organize your day, so that YUZO MAKITANI you get what you need to get done

during the daytime hours…Try to budget your time, and organize your time. Try not to spend unnecessary time during the week watching T.V.” Following along those lines, Tom commented, “More recently, I’ve been doing my math homework, which I find harder, first. As soon as I get home, or when I’m most awake during the day. Then as the night progresses, I put less important stuff later.” Zheng gave a slightly different angle, saying, “Don’t procrastinate. I have friends that stay up till four because they procrastinate and underestimate the homework load.” In regard to her study tactics, freshman Ashley Lu said, “I have learned to not procrastinate so much, and not get sidetracked by my computer or phone when I’m trying to do my homework. I also try and finish most of my work during class where I’m more productive, than at home.” Of the practical pieces of advice, though, Culas summed it all up. “I think it was sophomore year, [in] my English class. There were…twenty-five or thirty students in our class. A good ten of them were asleep. [Just] don’t let the teacher catch you.”

Volume 49, Issue 5 February 4, 2010


Photo Story: The New Office’s Grand Opening

Photos by Kenan Chan For this month’s photo story, Aragon photographer Kenan Chan chronicled student and staff reactions to the new office. From top to bottom, left to right: senior Shane Hart, the floor plan for the new office, still under construction, junior Ariana Sacchi and sophomore Sara Boushakra, Cheri Dartnell, junior Jessica Frankel and freshman Nick Frankel in the Student Services Office, Sue Barizon as seen through the outside window, and senior Josh Nayberg.


14 SPORTS THE WINTER OLYMPICS Volume 49, Issue 5 February 4, 2010


Every four years, as the snow begins to fall and ponds begin to freeze, people all over the world get excited. These tell tale signs of winter mean that the Olympics are just around the corner, and it is a time of national pride and competition. This year, the games will be taking place in Vancouver, Canada, and hundreds of lucky athletes will be attending. Who is going for the USA? Well here are just a few of the talented players that will be representing our country: Athlete: Shaun White Age: 23 Sport: Snowboarding Background: Shaun White was born a competitor, as he possessed a rare heart disease called tetralogy of fallot, for which he needed two separate surgeries to repair. By the age of six, he was past the surgeries and ready for new adventures such as snowboarding and skateboarding. By the age of twelve, Burton, the snowboarding company, was sponsoring him and he turned pro. Competitive History Highlights: Every year since 2002, White has earned a medal at the Winter X Games, with nine golds, three silver, and two bronze medals. In 2006, White became a household name after winning the Gold in men’s half pipe for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino. Since then, he has medaled in international events such as the Snowboarding Grand Prix. Prospects: Fans are feeling confident that it will be another great year at the Olympics for White, as he was able to take first place in the Team US qualifying rounds in Mammoth, California. Man of Many Names: Shaun White has always been known, not only for his natural prowess for snowboarding, but also for his mass of curly red hair, thus giving him the media nickname of “the Flying Tomato.”

Photo courtesy of DanRhett

Athlete: Debbie McCormick Age: 36 Sport: Women’s Curling Background: McCormick began her curling career at an early age, when she and her brother pushed each other around on rocks used for competition, at the local curling club in Madison, Wisconsin. Many years of training later, McCormick is now the Skip of the US Women’s Curling team, which means she is the captain and main strategist of the team. Competitive History Highlights: McCormick and her team have proudly won gold five times at the U.S. National Championships. She has also won medals of every color at the Women’s World Championships. In 1998, McCormick’s team came in a disappointing fifth place at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, and in 2002 they came in a close fourth in Salt Lake City. Prospects: After narrowly missing the qualifications for the Olympics in 2006, McCormick and her team are eager to prove their skill at curling. Her newly formed team and her coach and father, Wally Henry, have high hopes for a medal this year. The Sport of Curling: Curling only became an official Olympic sport in 1998, where it was brought back after a 54 year hiatus. The sport is often compared to shuffle board on ice, but with added elements. Players slide 42 lb. granite stones toward a target, and team members sweep the ice in front of it as to create a path and have speed control.

Photo courtesy of LeeLeFever

Athlete: Johnny Weir Age: 25 Sport: Male Figure Skating Background: At the age of 11, Weir began his skating career by gliding over a frozen cornfield behind his childhood home in Pennsylvania. By his first year of skating, he was already competing in the Juvenile Olympics. Competitive History Highlights: Weir has not only won first place in the US Championships twice, but he also is bedecked with various gold, silver, and bronze medals from renowned international competitions such as the Grand Prix Final. Prospects: After a disappointing fifth place in the 2006 Olympics in Torino, Weir will enter the Vancouver games with a new coach and training, and high hopes for the gold; though this doesn’t guarantee a win for Weir. As junior and Johnny Weir fan Monique Beaudouin says, “He’s going to have to work really hard, because there are a lot of good skaters now.” Fan Favorite: Weirs distinctive style and edgy routines have earned him some controversy, but more often respect and admiration. “He has this amazing style, elegant way, and beautiful grace about him that is very different from a lot of other skaters,” says Beaudouin.

Photo courtesy of TylerIngram

Photo courtesy of cheukiecfu

Athlete: Katie Uhlaender Age: 25 Sport: Skeleton Background: Uhlaender got a late start in the Skeleton, as she was only introduced to it in the summer of 2002 by a bobsled athlete. Before that, she was a well rounded athlete and played basketball, golf, ran track, and loved to ski. It was no surprise when she took up the dangerous and high speed sport, due to her reputation as a dare-devil. Competitive History Highlights: Uhlaender placed first in the 2007 and 2008 World Cup, and has medals of all colors for the World Championships. Prospects: Uhlaender returned from the 2006 Torino Olympics with no medal and sixth place, although this is respectable for someone so new to the sport. However the loss made her more determined, and Uhlaender wants that medal. Her four extra years of training and her emotional growth provide proof for good chances at a win this year. Doing it for Dad: Uhlaender’s father was Ted Uhlaender, who played baseball for the Twins, Indians, and the Reds throughout his career. It was her father that encouraged her to compete, and although he passed away in early 2009, every time she competes she does it in memory of him.

Remain light, limber and lithe through stretching BY ALEXIA CARRASCO FEATURES

As athletes rally themselves up for the sports they play, they prepare themselves in many ways. Some begin this preparation by warming up with the rest of the team or with a few short laps across the field. Stretching has become a vital part of this routine. Many athletes consider stretching a part of their warm-up, but stretching and warming up are actually two very things. Warmups are used to familiarize the muscle to the strain that may occur during play. Warming-up can help to prevent injury, but some athletes still get hurt. Warmingup also increases a player’s range of motion and allows for heightened performance. And who would not want to play better? Stretching helps athletes improve over time. Senior Eddie Henderson, a varsity water polo and swim team member, said “Stretching improves [my] ability [to play] by ten percent.” Many athletes also view stretching as a way to get into the mentality of a game. “It’s good to stretch before

a game or practice, so you won’t cramp up. It’s a natural instinct, you have to stretch,” said sophomore Alex Duenas, a frosh-soph soccer player. As an athlete, stretching is vital and should not be taken lightly. “I take [stretching] seriously. Every athlete should, regardless of their sport,” Henderson said. Similarly, Junior Haley Matthews, volleyball and soccer player, says “Not stretching properly before some games has caused me to pull my groin, quads, hamstrings and strain my calves. I stretch before every game and practice no matter what because it truly does help and prevents injuries.” However, while stretching can help to

prevent injuries, it can also cause them. Stretching can be dynamic or static. Static stretches are used to lengthen muscles and are held for long periods of time. Duenas describes what can happen if static stretches are held too

long, saying, “If you over stretch, you’ll get hurt because you’re working that muscle too much.” Dynamic stretching focuses mainly on the actions and movements that will be used during the game, and are very specific to each sport. “Usually, I stretch my quadriceps, hamstrings, arms and back” said junior Allison Griffith, who throws shot put and discus. Stretching is not only used in preparation for a game. While stretching can get the blood flowing before a game, stretching should also be used when playing a sport as a moderate cool down. Griffith follows this rule, saying, “I usually stretch before and after practice — first to lessen the risk of injury and EMILY YIP after because it

is healthy for your muscles.” Some athletes find stretching boring and lose their focus. Matthews said, “We just talk a lot and goof around. We can get very loud when stretching and sometimes the coach can get mad.” Dance team member junior Andrea Arnold agrees, saying, “We [stretch] by ourselves ... People start talking and get distracted. Then the captain reminds us to stretch.” Even though stretching can be boring, it is a necessary part of playing a sport. Just ask senior Katherine Loh, who was injured as a result of not stretching enough, saying “[I had to play] at a tournament in Palo Alto, and my elbow was already hurting from practice as a result of not stretching enough. It got worse during the tournament, and I had to wear a brace during the match.” Henceforth be warned: this bit of time, those crucial moments spent before exercise and athletics loosening muscles, could save months recovering from an unnecessary injury.

Volume 49, Issue 5 February 4, 2010

Varsity Basketball


BY wassim khemici NEWS



Aragon 54, Woodside 63

Aragon 52, M-A 47

The Aragon varsity boys game started off with a jump ball against Woodside. However, the boys didn’t enjoy as much success as the girls, finishing the game with a final result of 54 to 63. The first quarter finished with a tie of 17-17. At the end of the second quarter, Aragon was only one point below Woodside with a score of 32-33. However, by the end of the third quarter, Aragon was behind a total of four points, with a score of 47-51. Junior Kayla Lahoz, who managed the scoreboard during the game, says, “[Woodside] is usually [the boys varsity teams] rival. It’s an intense game.” Sadly, the intensity of the game was lost after the boys’ lot control of the game, having the final score of the game end at 5463.

Home Quad tomorrow against San Mateo, starts at 7:45

The girls’ game commenced with a jump ball between Aragon’s very own number 24, Arteivia Lilomaiava, and MenloAtherton’s number 42. The game continued far into overtime with a tie of 4040. Girls’ varsity coach Mrs. Annet Gennaro, “Well, [the team] really stepped up in the fourth quarter and in over time. [Mainly] we won because we got a lot of rebounds. It’s our first at home, so it was important for us to win. I’m glad we won!” Sophomore Justine Kubo, number three, shares the same enthusiasm and camaraderie as her coach. Kubo stated, “I feel great! We won in overtime as a team together.” The Aragon Varsity girls plowed through the four minutes duration of overtime, catching every rebound and knocking down M-A’s number 34 until she cried. The final result of the scoreboard was 52-47, a wonderful win for Aragon.

Girls’ varsity v. Terra Nova BY KATIE JENSEN NEWS

Despite the waterlogged field, constant downpour and strong winds, Aragon’s Varsity soccer team still played like the top PAL contenders they are in a 2-0 win against Terra Nova High School on January 14. With 23 shots on goal compared to Terra Nova’s two, the Dons asserted themselves as a strong offensive team from the beginning of the game. The conditions were a factor throughout the game, and Terra Nova struggled more with the soaked turf, as two of their starters were helped off the field after suffering injuries in the first ten minutes of the game. However, Aragon remained focused and driven, constantly opening up opportunities for goals within the first part of the game. The girls were strong from the beginning.Coach Will Colglazier comments, “We could have had five goals in the first twenty minutes…our sense of urgency for the beginning of the game is something I would definitely attribute the win to.” In the first half the Dons were first on the board when junior Kat McAuliffe took a corner kick that junior Nicole Killigrew headed in to score. Aragon was certainly keeping the pressure on throughout first half Terra Nova’s goalie struggled with many close saves. Sophomore Kimi Petsche scored towards the end

of the first half, but it was called top three teams automatically offsides. move on. Colglazier remarks, Captain and senior Lizzy “A testament to our success so Maggi, notes, “We had good pressure cover defense, which shut down their offense. We had good movement off the ball on offense, which created more opportunities for us.” The Dons were certainly powerful in both offense and defense. Terra Nova returned stronger in the second half with a free kick dangerously close to Sophomore Rachel Killigrew stays focused despite the Aragon’s goal. How- terrential downpour. ever, unaffected by the close call, McAuliffe drove far isn’t so much our record, but the ball back down to Terra Nova the fact that we haven’t been shut territory, where she crossed it to out yet, we’ve been able to come the center, and senior Stephanie back when we’re losing and we’ve Woo scored. After being out for been able to shut out teams.” The three games due to injury, Woo team hopes their success will proved to be a crucial part of eventually pay off not only for Aragon’s dominance. Woo’s goal CCS playoffs, but to win the Bay put the game right out of Terra Division Title. “We want to be Nova’s reach. They were unable serious contenders for first place to answer back to Aragon’s two [in PALs] all season” says Maggi. goals. Colglazier reiterated the girls’ The future is certainly prom- hopes, stating “They have their ising for this year’s varsity team. sights set on something more The Dons are currently ranked than CCS…we’re in the thick of second place in the PAL Bay Di- it to win PALs, which is somevision standings with a record thing these girls and this school of 4-0-2 in league. Their CCS have never done.” playoff hopes look good, as the


January 15, 2010 at home


Aragon pins Woodside 54-27 BY SAM ALAVI NEWS

Aragon’s wrestling meet against Woodside High School on January 22 was not a typical match due to the lack of wrestlers on Woodside’s team. With very few people to compete, they were forced to forfeit many matches, putting Aragon at an advantage. Albert Lum, a member of Woodside High School’s wrestling team, comments, “We were definitely at a disadvantage so we had to send the same people out over and over again. Wrestling is tiring so it made it harder for us.” However, regardless of the the number of wrestlers on the op-

posing team, Aragon’s talent and hard work paid off. The first of Aragon students to wrestle was junior Anthony Nichols. He started off strong but within seconds’ both he and his opponent were side-by-side on the mat each one struggling to gain control over the other. Unfortunately, his opponent won over and pressed him against the ground until the referee blew the whistle. Next up was senior Joe Seiden. Seiden managed to get out of the hard twisted position his opponent had put him in and triumphantly won during the first period. “While I was wrestling I heard someone shout out ‘cradle’ and I thought it was a good idea so I did

it and I won. It felt very exhilarating to win. Once you’ve got [your opponent] in your control, all you can think about is pinning. It feels like the longest five seconds in the world waiting for the referee to blow the whistle. It is tiring but once you win, all your energy suddenly comes back,” explains Seiden. Senior Roy Gonda went up next. Within the first minute, he was on top of the Woodside wrestler and as soon as they were on the mat, they had come back up and were face-to-face once again. This sequence of takedown moves and ending up back on their feet continued all three periods as the coach yelled encouragements and ALYSSA LIM

Aragon senior Roy Gonda (top) won his match after three hard-fought rounds.

tips like “Break him down!” and “Forward pressure!” These encouragements clearly helped him because with very little time left on the clock, he won. The second to last match of the night was a long one. Within the first ten seconds of the first period, sophomore Emilia Baptista was on the floor. Nevertheless, she managed to wrestle all three periods finally losing at the end of the third period. Finally, sophomore Nate Jordan was up. Within the first minute, he was under his opponent but with 45 seconds to spare, he

was back on his elbows as the coach yelled, “look away and wipe if off.” Unfortunately, he lost with just six seconds left on the clock. Coach Steve Ratto says, “It was a great match and I think our team has done extremely well this year. I have been impressed by the improvements that have occurred of the course of the season. A lot of the wrestlers were coming out for their first year and they have grown quite a bit.” As of press time, the team has won all dual meets except for one against Menlo-Atherton, which was a tie.



Volume 49, Issue 5 February 4, 2010

Soccer: Aragon Girls vs. Burlingame January 28, 2010, Aragon 1, Burlingame 0

Photo courtesy of Danielle Lefczik

erything. I think there was just an extra fire under each of us.” The Dons’ “fire” paid off in the end with a 1-0 win against the Panthers. This win marked the end of Burlingame’s 35game streak in the PAL division, dropping The Dons’ 1-0 victory on Thursday marked the end of Burlingame’s 35-game winning streak. the twoby katie Jensen biggest rivals, Burlingame. Not time defending PAL Bay Division news since the seniors’ freshman year champions out of second place had they been able to stop the standing, even though they were On Thursday, January 28, the Panther’s winning streak, and this undefeated prior to this game. The first and only goal of the Aragon varsity girls soccer team Thursday, they were prepared to prepared to accomplish some- do it. Senior forward Caity Win- game came from a penalty kick thing they had hoped to achieve terbottom comments, “We had taken by junior midfielder Kat for three years: a win against their nothing to lose and they had ev- McAuliffe midway through the


first half. After much pressure on the Aragon goal, the tables finally turned when Winterbottom took a ball deep into Burlingame territory. When the Burlingame defender attempted to clear the ball, it deflected right to McAuliffe. As she entered Burlingame’s penalty box, a defender caught her foot and McAuliffe fell, causing the referee to blow his whistle and signal for a penalty shot. When asked about her feelings before the shot, McAuliffe simply replied, “I love penalties. I don’t let them get into my head. I was more focused [after] on not giving up our lead.” Although the Panthers outshot the Dons, they were unable to recover after McAuliffe’s penalty. The one goal lead ignited energy in the Dons that eventually proved too much for the Panthers to stop. This energy is undoubtedly attributed to the rivalry between the two teams. Winterbottom notes that the win was a sweet one. “We’ve always had a huge rivalry … just because they’ve doubted us from the start.” The Panthers certainly did

not come prepared for what the Dons brought to the field, especially on defense. Their two chances to tie the game came off corner kicks just minutes apart late in the second half. Their second chance threatened to tie the game when a Burlingame player sent a ball soaring towards the net off a corner kick. But senior defender Lizzy Maggi saw the ball and quickly headed it away from the goal. Winterbottom cites the defense as a major component in the win. “We had stellar defense. I had complete faith in them.” The last two minutes dragged on in a nerve-wracking fashion. When the ref ’s whistle blew to signal the end of the game, the excitement and emotion of the team and the crowd was palpable. McAuliffe reflects, “the fact that Aragon was the last team to beat them in PALs made a difference that we were also the first to come back and beat them.” For the seniors, they had finally finished what they had began their freshman year.

Boys Soccer Season

“Sometimes it feels like there is a higher power stopping [the ball] from going in,” states the coach of the Aragon boys varsity soccer team, Forest Brazil, of the home game versus Westmoor on Wednesday, January 27. This game was, put simply, a “matter of inches,” says Brazil. The game ended with a tie at 0-0, making it the first tie with four wins and two losses. The game was fairly back and forth, save for the few penalty kicks our team received. As senior captain Dilian Donev explains, “We created more chances, so it feels like we should have won. But we tied, which was a bit discouraging.”

Junior center midfielder Javed Sahib feels similarly, stating “it wasn’t my best because I should have taken more shots and hustled back more.” Other team members seem to have a little more positive attitude surrounding the game and its outcome, like senior goal keeper Carlos Lopez, who believes that the game was a success “because we left everything on the field. We [kept] the same pace and intensity.” But Lopez also states, “I told everyone: I came here to win. I didn’t come here to waste time.” With every game come mistakes that teach a lesson for the next match. For one, a mistake that can be improved would be to “not hit the post,” Donev remarks. Senior William Chidyausiku believes he needs to work on his

“movements on the ball,” stating that “its kind of a continued process.” Freshman Rainer Platinos, who plays left wing, explains, “My first touch was off and I am going to be working on that especially.” Practices every day are filled with different types of drills, mainly those that focus on possession, because they “[help] us be aware of who’s around us,” says Sahib. “We jump ropes, we jump cones, we do a lot of hard drills,” Lopez comments. The game that stuck out to most of the boys was the preseason game versus Sequoia, where the boys were huge underdogs and were winning for most of the game until the final few minutes that led to ultimate defeat. “It felt like we should have won, but we learned that we can’t

stop playing. We have to play until the game is finished,” Donev says. Sahib agrees, replying, I didn’t give it my all because I sort of gave up on the team. I learned to play until the end.” This sentiment is not only felt my Sahib, but it seems that playing until the final second is something the team wishes to improve on as a unit. Yet from this experience, Lopez states that it “made me go to practice the next day to be there and practice hard.” Come game day, each player has a tactic to ward off nervousness and keep his mind focused. Platinos states, “I know I want to play, I know I want the ball, I know I want to score, and that relieves my stress.” Lopez adds his own character to each of the games by saying, “I like to talk to my

teammates; I like to scream, just to get them excited about the game.” Many believe that a team’s chemistry on the field derives from the close bonds the players have with each other. Although team bonding is not done regularly, the boys varsity team bonds in other ways to ensure they stay cohesive during games. Chidyausiku details, “Every year we go to Forest’s house and have a run on the levy, and he cooks us breakfast.” Personal goals also give the players more drive to play even harder each game. The universal goal seems to be scoring more goals. For Donev, who already has 15 goals this season, wishes to “beat the school record for most goals. The record is 16 in a season. I have 15 goals with around seven games left.” Overall, it seemed as though Aragon was evenly matched for the Westmoor game, but with seven games left, there are high hopes for the rest of the season, because as Donev puts it, “We’re still in the hunt” for that top spot at CCS.


February 2010 Issue  
February 2010 Issue  

This is the February 2010 issue of the Aragon Outlook.