Volume Forty-Nine Issue 2
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Preparedness is key in addressing swine flu SMUHSD Superintendent San Mateo Medical Center
Aragon principal Patricia Kurtz
Infection Control Officer
plan for the worst and hope for the best ... In “We the situation we are in, it’s important to take care of
Dr. Grace Hassid
yourself. If everyone is working together, it’s in the district and the school’s best interest.
who had swine flu still need a “ People vaccine because we don’t know what
new recommendation from the county and “ The the Center for Disease Control is not to close down the schools. There is a cutoff point. If a majority of the students are not here, then you would have to. BY AMREET AUJLA CO-EDITOR IN CHIEF
Q: Has there been Swine flu (H1N1) at Aragon? A: According to Principal Patricia Kurtz, there have been three cases of swine flu. Dr. Grace Hassid says, “Swine flu is so widespread that it’s unnecessary to do individual testing unless patients become seriously ill. Part of the reason is that rapid testing is highly inaccurate because it isn’t a very sensitive test. If your result is negative, it doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have the swine flu.” Q: Where can I get vaccinated? A: Tuesday, October 27 at Capuchino High School and Thursday, October 29 at San Mateo High School from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. and other public clinics. Q: Which vaccines will be available
it will do in the future in terms of mutating ... So for now, take advantage of the vaccination.
at the clinics? A: For the district, according to District Health Nurse Jean Litarowsky the seasonal flu will be offered at the designated dates. According to the county, the H1N1 vaccines will be offered at the clinics in the district and other places. Seasonal flu vaccine is already available at the doctor’s office and many pharmacies. Physicians will get H1N1 vaccine for their patients around the same time. Q: Who can get the vaccination for the seasonal flu and the swine flu? A: The seasonal flu vaccination will be available to all members of the community, however, the H1N1 flu vaccine will be offered to SMUHSD students and other people who meet the Center for Disease Control criteria if it is available. Q: Why should I get vaccinated?
A: It prevents flu-related deaths, prevents severe illnesses, and protects other people. Dr. Hassid says, “Young people are still at a greater risk of mortality from the swine flu than the seasonal flu.” Q: How dangerous is swine flu? A: Dr. Hassid says, “The San Mateo County has lost lives because of the swine flu. The two most recent deaths in the county were people without underlying causes. However, the good news is that swine flu has a low mortality rate. Millions of people have gotten it, but .3% to .4% people have died from it.” Q: How do I know I have swine flu? A: The basic symptoms are stomach-related illnesses such as vomiting and a fever of 100 degrees Farenheit. Q: If I have the swine flu, when can I come back to school?
A: Dr. Hassid says, “The illness of swine flu is transmissible for 24 hours before you feel sick and seven days after you come down with it. That is why the recommendation for swine flu for remaining home is longer than for the seasonal flu.” Q: What can I do to prevent the spread of the disease? A: Get vaccinated from these flus as soon as possible. According to District Superintendent Scott Laurence, “Follow the guidelines. If you have a fever, stay home. The school policy is there to help students make up the work. In the situation we are in, it’s important to take care of yourself. If everyone is working together, it’s in the district and the school’s best interest.” Q: What will happen if the swine flu cases increase and the pandemic gets worse?
A: According to Laurence, “School work would be carried out through online learning such as Schoolloop. We are in the process of finding how to continue instructing through electronic means. ” Q: If you have a strong immune system, are you less likely to get the swine flu? A: “No. Certainly not,” says Dr. Hassid. “A strong immunity is what causes their deaths. It’s an autoimmune reaction that causes them to die from an animal influenza which attacks the deeper layer of the respiratory system and the body responds with an inflammatory response which is destructive to a person’s own lungs.” For more information about adminstration sites and priority groups for the swine flu vaccine, visit www.aragonoutlook.net.
SMUHSD board position election in full season
BY KATIE JENSEN NEWS
On November 2, perhaps one of the most important elections for Aragon students and all students in the San Mateo Union High School District will take place. However, most Aragon students have little or no information on what the election is about, who is running in it, or why it is so important.
The election is for the SMUHSD Board of Trustees, the governing body of the district. These five board members approve all the policies the district sets forth. Their responsibilities range from approving the budget to setting the curriculum that each school must adhere to. This coming November, three seats will be contested, and all three incumbents are running for re-election. There are five
seats on the board in total. These three incumbents are joined by two newcomers, both of whom happen to be Aragon graduates. Mike Loy, a member of one of Aragon’s first graduating classes who also served as President of the Parent Teacher Organization for four years, will be running for a spot on the Board of Trustees. Guadalupe Ortiz, who graduated from Aragon in 2004, will also be CONTINUED ON PAGE 4
Posters for the upcoming election can be seen around the Aragon community.
Volume 49, Issue 2 October 15, 2009
Evaluating the PSAT
With the PSAT fast approaching, students take stances on its usefulness BY WENDY YU NEWS
As the PSAT approaches, more and more people are going in and out of the College and Career Center. This Saturday, students will be taking the PSAT. The PSAT, which stands for Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test, is an optional two-hour test that both juniors and sophomores may take as practice for the actual SAT. However, when it comes down to it, does the PSAT actually help students prepare for the SAT? College and Career advisor Laurie Tezak, who manages the PSAT at Aragon says, “[The PSAT] is good practice because it’s like the SAT. It’s geared towards [the SAT].” Director of Curriculum and Assessment Jeanie Kwong adds, “The PSAT is a shorter test, with fewer components.” Moreover, students may also take this test to see what they need to improve on. Senior Kevin Kwan says, “After taking the PSAT, I discovered my weaknesses and I could work on them for
the real SAT.” On the contrary, Senior Mario Alvarez says, “It is sort of a big deal because it actually does help you prepare for the SAT, but if you plan on taking SAT courses, they help you much more.” When students receive their PSAT scores, the College Board provides them with a number that they can use to access a special tutoring program, which is called Quick\Start. This software is a great way to study and master skills in taking the SAT. Juniors taking the PSAT have the chance to become eligible for the National Merit Scholarship Competition (NMSC). To become eligible for the scholarship, students must be in their junior year and be one of the 50,000 top high scorers of the PSAT in the country. The NMSC decides on 16,000 students who go onto the semifinals. After further elimination, about 15,000 of the Semifinalists are permitted to move onto the finals. At the final stage, students must obtain a letter of recommendation, write an autobiographical essay, obtain a copy of their SAT results, and show
other evidence of excellence. In the end, about 8,200 students are awarded with the Merit Scholarships. In order to prepare for the PSAT, many students are turning to the supplied materials. Sophomore Crystal Cheung says, “I can take the practice test they give for the PSAT and read through the study guide they give you.” With the PSAT taking place in two days, students taking it should be wrapping up any preparation they may have planned before it. Whether or not these students take action to prepare for the SAT, it is important for all students to remember that the PSAT can serve as an invaluable resource for future takers of the SAT.
Student I.D. cards to carry lunch money
BY SABRINA IMBLER NEWS
This December, an innovative, new program at Aragon will allow students to use their I.D. cards to pay for their lunches. Each student’s I.D. card will function as a mini credit card, eliminating the need to bring cash to school. The Manager of Student Nutrition Services, Denis Vorrises, has been working to implement this program at Aragon as well as other district high schools. Vorrises believes, “This program will be an improvement and benefit for all students, parents, and San Mateo Union High School staff.” This process is called a point of sales. Point of sales help schools accurately keep track of students receiving financial aid from the
National School Lunch Program, discounting the food they purchase with their I.D. cards. District workers will be able to track every purchase made by all students and lunch workers. Vorrises explains, “It is already implemented at Peninsula, and the goal is by the start of the next school year, all sites will have the point of sales system.” Sophomore Hannah Stutz says, “I think it’s a good idea. This way, there is no stealing and the lunch lines aren’t as long.” The lunch workers will be able to visually compare the student with their I.D., making it impossible for a student to use a stolen I.D. card to purchase anything. Also, students will have fewer reasons to bring cash money to school, reducing the chance of
theft. To buy something at the lunch lines, a student will have to type in his or her student I.D. number or swipe the I.D. card through a
credit card terminal. Theoretically, this will help accelerate the lengthy lunch lines. Some share Sophomore Meng Yuan’s view, who protests, “The line for Aragon school lunch is always too long so I have to bring lunch every day. This way, students don’t have to worry about bringing money to school every day. We can just scan the I.D. cards, which takes less time than paying with actual money, so the lines will be shorter.” Parents will be given the authority to deposit funds on their child’s account via Internet or by stopping by the district office. Parent Judy Lew plans to take part in this program, and relates it to a similar program at Crocker Middle School. Lew explains, “Based on how well this system worked at Crocker Middle School, I think it would be a good idea . . . [especially for] the students who forget to bring money to school for lunch or snacks.”
However, not all parents think this process would help simplify their lives. Some, like Parent Joy Mayerson, believe that having students use cash to pay for lunch teaches them responsibility. Mayerson says, “This would actually make my life harder because it would take the responsibility of remembering lunch money off of [my student] and put it on me.” In all, the student I.D. cards will help students who forget their lunch money by allowing them a method to conveniently pay for lunch. The ability to swipe their cards will also drastically reduce the length of lunch lines. Assistant Principal of Administration Joe Mahood says, “I think it’s a great idea. It’s a way for your parents to give you cash without you having to carry it around. It has your picture on it, so it won’t be swiped. It’s a winwin situation.”
Volume 49, Issue 2 October 15, 2009
College Fair introduces opportunities for students By REBECCA KORFF News
From workshops to meetings, guides to web chats, college season is fast on its way. Planned right around the time of college applications for most seniors, the College and Career Fair is another opportunity to receive major college help and information. This year it will be held on Thursday October 29, 2009, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Mills High School. The College and Career Fair brings university representatives from all of the UC campuses, the CSU campuses, local community colleges, and many other private, secular, or otherwise independent schools. Colleges that will be attending include CSM, Skyline, Cañada, DePauw, Arizona State, Northeastern, Villanova, Johnson & Wales, University of Portland, and Dartmouth. Students and parents can walk around the two gymnasiums and talk directly with college and career representative or go over to the Mills Auditorium and listen to a presentation about a particular California college system.
There will also be workshops on financial aid and the local community colleges. The location of the fair has changed from Hillsdale to Mills High School. Some find this change in location inconvenient. Junior Candace De Savage will not be attending the fair because “it’s going to be on a school night and it’s just a really inconvenient
going to this fair because I now have a feeling of which colleges I would like to go to.” Though the fair is open to all high school students, it is mostly geared towards juniors and seniors. College and Career advisor Laurie Tezak says, “Juniors are really probably starting their initial contact with college systems, looking at criteria like admissions testing, grades and finances, while Martin Contreras seniors are really trying to decide if time for me. Also if it was closer I would probably go.” For other they are a good fit into the colstudents, the time and place is ir- lege’s profile.” relevant compared to the amount Whether you are a junior or of knowledge they will receive. a senior or any other grade level, Senior Nicole Cannuli, who the College and Career Fair is attended last year’s fair will re- not to be missed. Unlike anyturn. Cannuli says, “Last year’s thing else out there in the college was overall pretty organized and world, it provides an opportunity definitely helpful. For me as a ju- for students to interactively speak nior, I got the general gist of the with representatives and key adcolleges but now as a senior, I’m visors from hundreds of schools
across the nation, Cecelia Rebelé has been coordinating the fair for the last 20 years. “The fair has grown tremendously in the many years I’ve worked to coordinate the event. Although budgeting and participants’ travel plans often conflict with our dates, we always hold a large, well-respected and diverse Fair program.” As Tezak explains, “[This is a chance for students to] present their resume or transcript and most of the representatives are the admissions officers who are willing to read student applications.” Scholarship advisor Nancy Walsh also explains that any student can read a packet about college information but she says the fair “gives students the opportunity to let the schools know who they are as individuals on a more ‘personal’ basis. And some of the representatives who come are actual readers of the college essays.” Everyone knows that the college process is one of the most hectic times in a high school student’s life, but the upcoming College and Career Fair can definitely ease this crucial process.
District cuts number of food sales allowed
Seniors Jenny Park and Jessica Barney serve food at the club fair. BY PETER ZHAN NEWS
In years past, lunch food sales at Aragon have provided clubs an ample source of fundraising. However, this school year, days sanctioned for food sales will be cut from three per month to a two per semester. Vice Principal Joseph Mahood explains, “The District Office Controls told us that we were only allowed to have four food sales this school year, based on the nutrition laws in the education code. I’m currently seeking clarification on their interpretation. Aragon is just going under the District Student Nutrition Services Manager’s directive.” Mahood also commented on the lunch ladies’ perspective on the cut, saying “They are neutral. They order less food when there is a lunch fundraiser. For example, during the first lunch fundraiser, only three of the five lunch ladies were on duty. That means two of the lunch ladies did not get paid. “
The California Nutrition Laws aim to promote healthy eating habits in the state. As Mahood points out, “the only drinks available on campus now are water and various juices. And if you look at the vending machines, you’ll find [healthier] foods.” While the number of lunch food sales is determined by law, Aragon can still choose when lunch sales take place. The first lunch sale this year was the Club Fair on October 2, and Leadership is coordinating when the next one should be. The student population seems to prefer last year’s leniency. Sophomore Michelle Pei commented, “Although I liked Friday’s food fundraiser, and loved how there were so many types of food, I definitely liked last year’s set up more, because I can’t eat everything in one day.” Senior Liza Brownstone says that “there was so much deliciousness around me on Friday, but I [could] only afford so
much in one half-hour.” Many club members are disheartened at this prospect. Junior Ella Riffenburg, treasurer of the Black Student Union, said that “it really put all the clubs on edge money-wise, “[and] it’s harder to get people to go to non-lunch fundraisers. Even then, you don’t get the same amount of sales.” The secretary of the Indian club, junior Jesvin Chandy, said that,“Traditionally, the Indian Club has always relied on lunch fundraisers for
money. This year, we’re forced to expand how we fundraise. We’ll definitely push to sell food on the limited days that we can this year.” Senior Sandy Chen claims that, “Having fewer fundraisers will do little to improve healthy eating. Eating unhealthy foods is a lifestyle. It can’t be changed by not allowing people to buy In-NOut or Chinese food every two months.” In addition, Junior Class President Amrit Saxena said that the “new policy will definitely be devastating to the fundraising potential of the myriad of clubs at Aragon, and will seriously limit the ability of many clubs to succeed.”
However, not everyone has such strong feelings about the reduced number of lunch sales. Senior Alexandra Kor, a member of the Asian Club, says that “lunch food fundraisers might not always be as appealing as they’re made out to be. It depends on what you sell. Since Asian Club’s fundraising wasn’t too successful last year, we were already on the verge.” With the first fundraiser of the semester having already taken place, Aragon clubs and students can only wait for news of the second one. Given the festivities present during the Club Fair, students can surely expect something big.
NEWS UCs decide to cut SAT II requirements
BY RUSSELL ROECKEL NEWS
Starting in 2012, students will no longer be required to take the SAT II as a requirement to apply to the University of California system. The SAT II is a series of subject tests that are normally required to enroll in most colleges and universities. UC President Mark G. Yudof has stated that removing the SAT II will send “a clear message to California high school students that if they work hard, take challenging courses and do well, they will get to make their case for admission to UC.” With the cost of around $20 per test, students are also saving money by no longer having to take the SAT II. The tests include English, Mathematics, Science, History, and World Languages. Sopho m o r e Elizabeth Steffen believes that “[the removal of the SAT II is ] a good thing because there’s not as much pressure and you can concentrate more on just the one test instead of multiple, which will make it a little bit easier.” Many students certainly agree with that. For starters, students who are nervous test takers now only have to worry about one [test]. Sophomore Caitlin Kelley, says “it’s a really good thing because it will be easier to get into colleges…and it does cost money and it is stressful. So I think it will really de-stress nervous test takers.” With the change of no lon-
ger accepting the SAT II, another added bonus has emerged. Students who fall into the ninth percent of all high school graduates statewide, based on their SAT test scores and GPA in UC approved courses, will be guaranteed admission to at least one campus in the UC system. Students who fall into the top nine percent of their graduating class will now receive this benefit. Now that the SAT II is no
longer required in the year 2012, which is the current sophomore class, how do juniors and seniors feel? Junior Rosslee Mamis believes, “As a junior, I had to devote so much time and effort into a test that is no longer being required. It’s pretty upsetting and I feel like now I’ve just wasted a bunch of time for nothing.” Senior Jonathan Schurba agrees. “I feel like this [is truly unfair] for
the seniors and juniors right now, and I wish that I was a couple of years younger so that I wouldn’t have to go through those tests again.” Junior Sheamus McEnery also agrees, “Sophomores and their predecessors are really, really lucky, and I’m actually quite jealous, because I had to take those subject tests to get to where I am, and now those guys [freshman and sophomores], who no longer have to take these tests, are on the same level as me for getting into a UC.” Junior Raffi Manoukian adds, “[I am] glad that SAT II are no longer required... [but] It’s unfair to those who have already taken the tests, but I guess someone has to be the last t o take them.” Not all students believe that removing the SAT II is an all-around beneficial step to making entry to Universities of California campuses easier to accomplish. Sophomore Ayalet Brown-Jackson says, “I liked it because it was separate; it was reading, math, science, history, etc… Now it’s all in one crummy SAT and that’s sad because some people are not good at English, [and] some are not good at math. With the SAT II you’ll be better off because you know your strengths and weaknesses, but in one SAT if you fail, where do you go?” Sophomore Sarah Manning believes that removing the SAT II, “will put more stress on the SAT, and you will have to do practically perfect on it.” With the UC’s decision set in stone, it is up to the class of 2012 and those after it to conform. Whether this means to rejoice or to weep, students must keep the ultimate goal of college in mind.
Combining cultures: the medium of food
By Natalie rodriguez News
Aragon’s sixth annual International Food Fair is coming around the corner. First started five years ago, the Food Fair has proven to be successful through-
out the years. The founder, Mike Loy, started it as a way of bringing the Aragon community together. Loy says, “I wanted to show that our community is made up of different nationalities. What better way to do this, than through food?” The fair has grown throughout the years JANICE PANG to include many diverse countries. The fair is mainly run through the combined efforts of the Aragon parents and students ethnic clubs. Last year saw dance performances from Filipino Club and
Latino Club members. Food from places like Japan and El Salvador were available for as little as fifty cents. This year the International Food Fair will be held on Friday , October 23 in the main gym. It will be from 5:30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M. Although the countries that will be represented still are not finalized, students can expect foods from as many as twelve different countries. There will also be dance performances from the Latino and Polynesian Clubs this year and a joint performance between the Filipino Club and the Polynesian Clubs. The Aragon band will also be performing at the food fair.
Candidates compete for school board positions CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 vying for a place on the board. The incumbents are Linda Lees Dwyer, who has served for four years, Bob Griffin, who has served for 14 years, and Peter Hanley, who has served for eight years. Mike Loy is a constant fixture around Aragon. As president of the Parent Teacher Organization for four years, Loy attended countless meetings of Aragon parent groups and organized events such as the International Food Fair. If elected to the board, Loy hopes to bring “more open communication between the cities.” He wants the community to know who the board is and what it is doing, and he also wants to develop a more involved relationship with the people the board serves. “What I envision myself to be is like what I am at Aragon … everybody knows me,” Loy stated. Guadalupe Ortiz, the only other non-incumbent, also has a connection to Aragon as a graduate of the class of 2004. Ortiz, like Loy, expresses the importance of communication. “It’s crucial that the district mends the relationships with community organizations that it has alienated.” She states that her top priority is community involvement. “The district should actually represent the actual population of students,” Ortiz says, “The district is supposed to serve all students, but it doesn’t.” Peter Hanley holds more academic goals in terms of the board. “We need to focus some resources on kids that are struggling and performing below the ‘basic’ requirement, especially with their math scores.” Hanley is a strong advocate for academic rigor in curriculum. “I’d like to really improve the performance of the district academically.” Linda Lees Dwyer stresses educational opportunity. She wants, “all students to learn and succeed and explore their interests and develop life long relationships. I want to be part of this district doing all that it can to assure equal educational
opportunities for all students.” Bob Griffin wants to continue to push for high academic achievement in the district. Griffin says “On one end, we have top performers, and on the other end we have underachievers. I want to address both parts of the situation.” Griffin wants to implement a strong core curriculum. “By the time you’re a sophomore, everyone should have college as an option.” This election holds so much weight because of the budget crises that surround it. The budget has long been an issue faced by the SMUHSD trustees. Ron Marblestone, an Aragon parent and Mike Loy’s campaign manager explains, “The current three incumbents were on the board when [there were] huge budgetary problems. The grand jury investigated [the district] and issued . . . reports about the fiscal mismanagements around 2007.” Both Ortiz and Loy point out the several incidents concerning the budget as reasons that it is time for a new approach. Ortiz says that the key to dealing with the budget is simple. “The budget can be greatly improved with simple oversight and being aware of the limitations.” says Ortiz. Loy chose to run because of the financial problems he observed as a parent. Loy stated, “I feel there was a lot of fiscal irresponsibility with the trustees that are there now.” However, Lees Dwyer, Hanley, and Griffin are all confident that they are taking the measures that are necessary to fix the budget, and that their experience with the board and its budget will work in their favor. For non-incumbents, both Ortiz and Loy have received an overwhelming amount of support from both the community and prominent figures in the community. California State Assemblymember Jerry Hill has endorsed both new candidates. If elected to the board, Ortiz and Loy face an uphill battle as the economic crises continue and the district enters its ambitious and costly construction phase. Loy says, “I really think I can do a better job than most of them. Even though [the trustees] have been there for a while, now we need to bump it up and go to the next level.” “My first priority is the students,” O r t i z explains, “I’m running for the students.” PHOTO COURTESY OF GUADALUPE ORTIZ
SAT II obsolete for class of 2012
Volume 49, Issue 2 October 15, 2009
Candidate and Aragon Alumni Guadalupe Ortiz.
Volume 49, Issue 2 October 15, 2009
arts & Entertainment
Brandi Carlile “Give Up the Ghost” Release Date: 10/6/09, now available everywhere Genre: Alternative country, pop/folk rock
After her self titled album in 2005 and “The Story” in 2007, 28-year-old Carlile is back again with “Give Up the Ghost.” The album has 10 songs, which Brandi self describes as incredibly emotional. The album received many favorable reviews on iTunes, with many users expressing love for her warm and confident voice.
“The Lost Symbol” by Dan Brown Genre: Mystery, thriller
Synopsis: “The Lost Symbol” is the third Dan Brown installment to feature fictional Harvard educated symbologist Robert Langdon. This book follows Brown’s other best sellers, “Angels & Demons” (2000) and “The Da Vinci Code” (2003). If you are a fan of fast-paced mystery books, pick up a copy of “The Lost Symbol” at your local bookstore. This book has topped the New York Times best seller list for hardcover fiction.
The Good Wife CBS, Tuesdays 10pm
Synopsis: The Good Wife, starring Julianna Margulies, as the protagonist, Alicia Florrick, is a legal drama. Margulies plays the wife of a politician jailed after a scandal involving sex and corruption. The series is inspired by the Eliot Spitzer incident.
The Invention of Lying Now in Theatres Everywhere Genre: Comedy “Japanese Binocular Soccer” features men in striped suits playing soccer, in binoculars. With many missed kicks and people falling down, soccer has never looked more fun. As an added bonus for your viewing pleasure, the referee is wearing a red velvet suit along with a giant bat head.
Ricky Gervais stars as the main character, Mark Bellison, who lives in a world of truth. Literally. In his world, no one knows how to lie, that is, except him. When Mark’s mother gets sick, he comforts her by telling her an elaborate story about her life after death. Soon enough, Mark gains fame around town for being a fortune teller. Mark uses his newfound skill to win money, to win love, and help his friends.
Events in the Bay Area
BY: ALEXIA CARRASCO AND PHOEBE CHAO FEATURES STAFFER AND ARTS & GRAPHICS EDITOR
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Features Evolution of Aragon sports
BY ALICE BEBBINGTON FEATURES
Jocks may not rule the school, but sports have always been a central part of Aragon’s high school experience. Aragon first opened its doors in January of 1961. Many sports, like football, basketball, and baseball, that were popular then are still popular today. But the half-century difference between then and now has ushered in some change. Adriene Lonzarich, an alum of Aragon’s second graduating class, says “Synchronized swimming was big … It was fun to do, in the water to be doing all the twists and everything.” But this enjoyable, very feminine sport coincided with the search for gender equality, happening during the ‘60s. Lonzarich explained, “[There was an] extreme division [in] what was for boys and what was for girls.” Girls were limited to swimming and modern dance, a combination of gymnastics and the dance moves of the ‘60s. Competitive sports were mainly boys’ territory, so sports for girls, such as tennis, volleyball, softball, and soccer, were less popular. It was the competitive boys’ sports that united the school and be-
gan the rivalry with Hillsdale. turning sports into after school the boys cheering girls on,” and Next came the ‘70s: Aragon’s activity. Physics teacher and Ara- mentioned that students now second decade and the years of gon wrestling coach Steve Ratto “don’t know how lucky they are.” hippies and relaxation. Surfing says that the sixth period sport Ratto also explained some retook hold as an after school sport encouraged people to join teams. cent beneficial changes to the athand the rigid, competitive sports Its removal from the school day letic program. “There are more of Aragon began to lose their ap- hurt some sports, because of this [weight class] regulations…[It’s] peal. The fight for women’s rights lack of motivation. Gymnasts, a lot better for the wrestlers.” helped shape not only Aragon who practiced off-campus, sud- Ratto also said that, as a coach, he sports, but sports all over the na- denly faced limited practice time, has tried to “bring in some more tion. Title IX was the law that banned exclusion based on gender, and suddenly, the course of sports took an unexpected turn. Cross country, track, soccer, gymnastics, Aragon’s dance team in 2004 b a d m i n t o n , Aragon’s dance class in 1967 swimming, tennis, and basket- which helped to ensure the re- positive energy to the team” and ball at Aragon all had a boys and moval of gymnastics from Ara- give student athletes “a chance girls team by 1986. Synchronized gon’s program altogether in 2007. to bring it back to having fun swimming had been removed Football coach and PE teacher there, and still work pretty hard.” from the sports program “prob- Steve Sell saw the end of gymThanks to the involvement ably because it was a little too nastics, but has also seen more of both genders and the develsexist,” Lonzarich speculated. In positive changes to the sports opment of the program, sports 1991, two girls were on the tradi- program in recent years. He de- at Aragon today provide an entionally all-boys wrestling team, scribed the division of genders joyable experience for anyone. and in 1993 an official dance his generation faced, a split emJennifer Condon, history team, first called the Football bodied by the division of gyms: teacher and Aragon alum, was on and Basketball Dance Team, and the large gym was where the boys the tennis team and saw sports cheer squad were created. The practiced and the small gym was as “a great way to connect with 6th period sport (which counted for girls. Sell said, “My generation people.”This unified feeling sports as PE) was cut not long after this, missed out on the camaraderie of gives the school is because “peo-
Evolution of Entertainment BY YVONNE HSAIO FEATURES
From black and white movies to color movies, CD players to iPod nanos and video cassettes to DVD’s, the entertainment industry has taken a giant leap. Teenagers are often seen with iPods, and some are constantly talking about the newest video games. And with old fashioned CD players forgotten, iPods are hitting the charts with a total of 173 million sold. As entertainment interests have began to change, the myriad of opinions in Aragon is also evolving regarding this rapid growing industry. Without a doubt, it is not a surprise that evolving gadgets are the center of entertainment for Aragon high school students. Their versatility and convenience has interests many within the school. Junior Chris Plantinos says, “The iPod, for example, [provides] a variety of choices. You can listen to music, check your emails, play lots of games, check the stock market, and even check the weather!” Freshmn Ashley Lu also comments on the expansion of entertainment interests. “A while ago, people would go outside more to play often, and now, we’re usually stuck at home doing work, or just watching
ple are really passionate about their sport,” believes Condon. Current Aragon junior and varsity cheerleader Kayla Froomin also feels that sports unite the school. “Sports are where everyone goes,”she says. “San Mateo [High] may have the spirit, but Aragon is known for sports. It’s legendary.” From 1961 to today, Aragon has seen the drastic evolution of sports and experienced the dilemmas that arise along the way. Looking ahead, Sell brought up the idea of a possible lacrosse team, an addition to the program that Froomin said that she would love to see. But with both funds and space limited, Sell admitted it might be a sport of the distant future. The athletic program has come a long way since 1961; sports have been added and removed, coaches have come and gone, and girls are more involved in sports than they were when Aragon opened nearly 50 years ago. Sports have progressed throughout the history of Aragon, and their evolution continues just as strong today.
Evolution of classroom technology BY SARAH KIM FEATURES
TV.” There are also some major flaws with the entertainment industry as it currently is. Senior Jane Hayashi explains, “Everything is on the computer now, movies can be watched online and even books can be read online. I also watch a lot of TV, but it doesn’t prevent me from going out.” Kids and teenagers spend a lot more time in the house, and may not spend time in the great outdoors or see fiends as much. Freshman Ivan Chen continues, “We even have an excuse for not playing sports now. Wii can now be the basis of our exercise.” Flaws in the gadgets are also voiced by junior Inyoung Song who says, “I personally don’t like some of the new entertainment technologies. It can make life more difficult. Like sometimes, the touch screen on my phone doesn’t work.” Furthermore, “Our entertainment industry has become more inappropriate than the past. We expose ourselves more often and it is [centered] around extreme violence,” says Freshman Jamie Lee. As the decades pass, the entertainment industry has become more convenient as well as sophisticated. People are able to check the weather, the stock market, and still play games on the iPod touch. However, just as Aragon students have said, entertainment interests have also led many to leave the house less and communicate less with friends in person. Hopefully, with time, people will learn to balance the entertainment new technology JANICE PANG provides with traditional values and forms of entertainment.
Volume 49, Issue 2 October 15, 2009
Senior Kenny Kha insists, “In this… generation, easier is better.” Does this attitude have a good or bad effect on the lives of students? In classrooms, technology like Smartboards, document cameras, and touch screen computers advance every year and make everything much more convenient for both the teachers and students. Students love how things move at a faster pace in classrooms. Junior Sarah Hosokawa says, “[The] graphing calculator [is] a new advancement that obviously helps me solve problems that I can’t do without it and allows me to understand math to a greater depth.” Teachers are also able to teach better with new technology so that students have a better education. Kha says, “Technology in classrooms makes learning somewhat easier [and] more enjoyable because it is entertaining to see the new things people invent.” Math teacher Andrea Gould shares, “I will never miss the good old days of typewriters and overhead projectors. Document cameras are so much better because they don’t blind you like overhead projectors. Also, I love how I can keep my old stuff for next year because I have everything saved [on] my computer.” Technological upgrades in classrooms are great for education, and students also tend to rely on them greatly for homework. Hosokawa says, “We don’t think to go to the library and look for helpful books or other materials because we are too lazy to do that”. Kha also shares, “Heavy reliance on computers makes it
difficult to do things without [them]”. Not only do students rely excessively on computers, but they also rely too much on calculators. Yang says, “People are not using their brains to do even simple math because of calculators.” Also, not all technology is good in classrooms. Sophomore Cecilia Salazar shares, “There are many students who text and listen to their iPods in class.” Technology may make students’ lives easier at some times, but they also provide distractions and jeopardize the quality of students’ work. However Salazar says, “We do waste some time, but a lot of [the time we spend on the computer] is for schoolwork, so [that] should make up for it.” With the creation of Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter, students spend hours on these many distractions. Senior Talia Young confesses, “Whenever we need to look something up, we go to the computer. We use it for school, but a lot of [the time we use it] for surfing the web, and facebook.” Yang says, “It leads to wasted time. Honestly, you can’t help but check your facebook. It’s like a door of temptation.” As new technology evolves students and teachers constantly await the arrival of the latest technological device and gadget. Technology in the classroom is evolving at a fast pace in order to keep up with the 21st c e n t u r y. Gould s a y s , “Technology is always moving, and we can’t be behind; we must follow the real world, especially in classrooms for the [benefit of both] students and teachers.”
Volume 49, Issue 2 October 15, 2009
n o t h g i l Spot
10 Things to do Before you
BY PANIZ AMIRNASIRI FEATURES
Take the Driver’s Seat: For most teenagers, getting a driver’s license is highly looked forward to. With many students’ schedules becoming busier and busier, asking for a ride from a family member or a friend starts becoming a real hassle. Freshman Katie Barnes cannot wait to get her driver’s license because then she can, “drive myself to school so I don’t have to wake up early to walk.” Junior Christian Demartini thoroughly enjoys the benefits of his driver’s license, “because I can go wherever I want like to the mall or my friends’ houses.” Until then, remember that the dropoff and pickup zone is on Alameda!
2. Say it in Other Words: Though it is mandatory to take a language at Aragon for only one year, push yourself to go beyond the basics. No matter what the language may be, it can prove to be of great help in the future. Spanish teacher Ms. Rooney took Spanish starting in seventh grade and eventually, “fell in love with it. It helped me get a job in social services working with Spanish-speaking immigrants, in the peace-corps, and finally I became a Spanish teacher here [at Aragon].” Remember that Aragon students are extremely privileged to have the opportunity of learning a foreign language free of charge.
Step Outside your Comfort Zone: Aragon High School is filled with diverse students who come from various middle schools. While at first it could be difficult to make new friends, simply keep yourself open to any new friendship. Remember that once you are a student at Aragon, you are no longer a girl from Bowditch or a boy from Borel. You are an Aragon Don!
Presenting the Fabulous Aragon Performers: Every year Aragon High School presents one musical, one play and some musical concerts. While taking part in one of these events is tremendously fun, it is not for everyone. If you are not into performing, then simply support your school and your fellow classmates by watching at least one of the shows.
5. Put on your Dance Shoes: School dances such as Homecoming or Prom provide opportunities to make great memories with all of your friends. These once-in-a-lifetime events are some of the school-related things that include no work or stress. All you are required to do is dress up and have a great time dancing to the awesome music.
6. Get, Set, Go, or Earn a Free Throw: Joining a sports team such as soccer or track is among the activities at Aragon that are enjoyable, great for college, and an easy way to make new friends. If you are not into sports, find one that you take at least a tiny bit of interest in and cheer the Aragon Dons on at a sports game with a group of your buddies. Supporting your classmates by attending games is loads of fun and shows your school spirit.
High school is a fleeting experience in every person’s lifetime. It seems as if right as students feel completely comfortable in their high school environment, they are forced to graduate and move on. Therefore, before accepting that hard-earned diploma, every Aragon student should attempt to accomplish the ten goals listed above. Check out the list and find out how close you are to accomplishing the Top Ten Things to do Before You Graduate!
Bring out Your Caring Side: Volunteering at or outside
of school is an amazing way to be introduced to careers that may interest you. Junior June Jiao volunteers at the Ice Chalet in San Mateo. Her favorite part about helping out is, “interacting with the children.” Being a volunteer has taught her “how to work with younger students and improved [her] verbal skills with adults and minors.” Through volunteering, you can feel great about yourself and increase your confidence knowing that you are benefiting the community.
No I.D. Needed: With the various clubs offered at Aragon, there is sure to be at least one of interest for every student, including Beekeeping Club, Glee Club, and Tea Club. If not, there is always the option of starting a club of your very own. Joining a club is one of the best ways to make new friends from every grade that share common interests with each other.
9. Earn Cash the Hard Way: This task is of more importance once you have graduated from Aragon. However, getting a small after-school job will be of great assistance to you when you work in the future. A first job can be awfully intimidating, so by starting out with a minor job in high school, you can prepare yourself for your first major job later on in life. This way, once you begin your career, you can reassure yourself that you will survive by knowing that you have been through a similar process before.
10. Check out my Ride: While watching the adorable golf carts glide by, a small part of every Aragon student desperately wants to hop onto the passenger seat. Who can blame them? They are compact, cute, and a lot more fun than just walking around school. However, this task just may be the most difficult on the list since it requires an excuse good enough to get you a ride. Once you think of one, it may not alter your future in any way, but taking a ride on one of the golf carts will definitely complete your experience at Aragon High School!
The Middle Eastern Club celebrates their unique culture as they sell food at the club fair. BY SANGWON YUN FEATURES
Prince of Persia. Persian Empire. Persian cats. These terms are integrated into our daily life, whether in social studies class or at the movies. But where is this land of Persia today? Persian culture has a wide variety of mouth-watering foods. Rice and unleavened–or “yeast-less” –bread are staple foods of Persian culture. Additionally, kebabs, marinated lamb that has been skewered and charcoal-broiled, is native to the country. Apples, peaches, radishes, onions, and spinach are fruits and vegetables that are seen on the dinner table. Lamb is eaten more often than beef. Pork consumption is not allowed, according to Islam – the religion of Persians. Many holidays, both traditional and national, are integral parts of the Persian culture. The most significant of them is called Noruz, which is essentially a New Years celebration. The holiday starts on March 21 and lasts for 13 days. Like many people in the U.S., Persians do take part in the countdown of the New Year. However, the Persian culture has a very unique ceremony. A table will be set up, and seven different symbolic foods will be placed on it, all of which begin with the letter “s” (in Farsi). In addition, a goldfish, a mirror, a hard-boiled egg, and a leaf floating in a bowl of water, as well as the Koran or the poems of the Hafiz, are placed on the table. Tradition dictates that the arrival of the New Year will be indicated by the trembling of the leaf, the gold-
fish ceasing to swim, and the egg rolling across the mirror. Other holidays include the Magnificent Victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran on the 11th of February. It marks the coming to power of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who was the leader of the Islamic Revolution. Another holiday is Oil Nationalization Day, on the 20th of March. Iran’s equivalent of the U.S.’s Fourth of July, is on the 1st of April, and acknowledges the Islamic Republic of Iran’s official establishment. Freshman Amin Nilchian, who often travels to Iran over the summer, explains, “Iranian people like to get multiple families together for a gathering,” he says. “They also have something like a siesta. At around twelve o’clock to two o’clock, all the shops and stuff like that will close so that the owner and workers can go home for lunch and stuff like that.” When asked if there were any differences in the culture compared to the States, he added, “Here in the U.S., a lot of shops will usually close on Sunday. But in Iran, the shops close on Fridays.” Nilchian also explained the fundamental values of Persian culture, saying, “People in Iran really respect you if you are willing to do something for the family. The people of Iran are really big on family.” Whether it be the food or the different cultural holidays, the Persian culture is full of diversity and richness.
PHOTO COURTESY OF JODIEPEDIA JANICE PANG
The T-Shirt Mentality By Olivia Bocanegra News Editor
All over campus, students are expressing themselves through their t-shirts. But are t-shirts that important? Some students would consider t-shirts a staple in their wardrobe and a key element in the fashion world. Freshman Jesse Fields says, “Definitely t-shirts are fashion; they make a statement.” T-shirts are incorporated into a variety of styles among the student body. Many other students pay no mind to their choice of shirts. Plain solid color or second-hand shirts can be found everywhere at Aragon. Junior Jackie Cortez says, “as long as they are comfortable, I wear them. I don’t care very much.” Many students are also unaware of others’ t-shirts. Cortez says, “I don’t really notice shirts unless they are really bright or colorful because a lot of darker shirts blend in with the rest of school.” Along with plain t-shirts, a variety of designs and colors can be found on campus. Fields says, “What catches my eye is color, to me a cool t-shirt is something that’s different. I like wearing some band tees, different colors, and abstract ones.” T-shirts can be used to make a fashion statement or a literal statement. Students can represent their favorite bands, causes or humor with shirts as well. Fields shares, “I like [a t-shirt with a statement] because it shows what that person is like, and that they stand for what they wear.” Almost every student club or team designs shirts for members to represent their involvement. Cortez says, “I have Latino Club, orchestra and cross country shirts, because I’m involved in them.” Brand names can also direct t-shirt opinions. “I don’t care about labels. I love brands, but I don’t care much about them,” says Fields. But, brands are not everything he adds, “I also shop at thrift stores because there’s different and unique stuff.” A unique quality in clothes can bring out an equally unique personality. However, brands do not constrict, and many Aragon students are able create their sense of fashion, with t-shirts striking a chord with all. Cortez says, “I don’t notice much, but if I like a shirt, I compliment it.”
Gurjote Bolaria Junior
“I got my shirt at a Fleetwood Mac concert and it’s important because I love that band and I doubt they’ll go on tour again. It’s a memory.” Cost: $40
2 Florencia Romano
“I got it from Marshalls and it’s organic cotton!”
“I got this shirt at Hot Topic for $20. I like it because The Devil Wears Prada rocks!”
Dion Amini Junior
“I got my shirt at the TRUE store in San Francisco for $26 plus tax Why he likes it: “Yes, for sure.”
Purple shirt wednesday By Ari Brenner Co-Editor in Chief
On a fateful Wednesday in last year’s spring semester, 2009 graduates Will Eleazer and James Garcia discovered that they had a mutual interest in purple t-shirts. They were inspired to wear their matching shirts in a week, on the following Wednesday. People noticed their slightly atypical attire, especially in their shared math class with Ms. Kossiver. “They were making fun of us,” says Eleazer. “We said: ‘No, we’re the cool ones, and you’re not participating. You should be wearing a purple shirt!’” Their determination and conviction soon led to a rapid spread of the so-called “Purple Shirt Wednesday” across the Aragon student body. Crucial to the upswing of popularity was when 2009 graduate Omid Elie joined the effort. “Omid was the driving force behind it,” Eleazer says. “We just spread the word,” Elie says. Many other seniors at the time, in addition to Aragon students in other grades, picked up the trend. Eleazer estimates that by the end of the year, Purple Shirt Wednesday’s fan base had grown and as many as 70 people were honoring the holiday. “I was a little surprised,” Garcia comments. “I didn’t think that it would catch on so quickly. I thought it was more of a friend thing. Then, all of a sudden, many more people were interested.” Purple Shirt Wednesday caught a lot of momentum from its originality and its fun energy. “It’s an interesting concept,” Garcia says. “It’s new, something different. I think that Aragon needed a bit of something different, to liven things up. Purple Shirt Wednesday did.” With its pioneers having graduated and out of Aragon, Purple Shirt Wednesday has lost much of its original fervor. However, many at Aragon still honor the event, though not every week. Meanwhile, its spirit has been carried beyond Aragon’s campus. Elie introduced it to new friends at the College of San Mateo. “It was pretty successful and many know about it, it’s just a matter of remembering,” Elie says. Soon afterward, awareness and appeal spread. With its originality and the passionate supporters of Purple Shirt Wednesday, this is unsurprising—it would succeed anywhere.
Page Layout by Julia Borden, Photo Editor Photos and Quotes collected by Julia Borden and Olivia Bocanegra, News Editor
7 Vanessa Gano Freshman
“I got my shirt from Delia’s on the East Coast; I ordered it online for about $25. I got it because I like the Harajuku brand, and I like the color, and I thought this shirt was cute.”
“I got my shirt from Hot Topic for about $22 because I have started to like [Saosin].”
Ellery Wong Senior
“I got my shirt at PacSun.”
9 Jacky Gonzalez Sophomore
“I got my shirt for a dance group that I am in, Community Jams in Redwood City. We held a dance for Gerry Kendal, a dancer from our group who died recently. Our shirts cost $20 each.”
Craig Severais Junior
“I found it at a thrift store and bought it for $2 because it’s awesome.”
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.
Advisor Scott Silton
Co-Editors in Chief Amreet Aujla Ari Brenner
News Olivia Bocanegra, Dan Fu and Catherine Riviello, editors, Sam Alavi, Kristyn Ikeda, Sabrina Imbler, Katie Jensen, Rebecca Korff, Allie Patawan, Natalie Rodriguez, Russell Roeckel, Ryan Yu, Wendy Yu, Peter Zhan
Features 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
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 aragonoutlook@gmail. com or visit us at aragonoutlook.net.
Volume 49, Issue 2 October 15, 2009
Is school becoming an unofficial game of Spite and Malice? As people play Spite and Malice, a card game, they must not only worry about their own hand, but must also constantly consider the other player and attempt to sabotage their opponent’s play. School is becoming more and more like a game of Spite and Malice for some high-schoolers. Students no longer worry about being their best—they worry about being the best. Academic competition has reached an alltime high in schools, and many teenagers spend time worrying about others’ grades as well as their own. Competition can be a wonderful thing. Without competition, the world would know no progress. It is the reason why anybody gets anywhere in life. Sounds cool, right? Well, competition is great when it’s done right. However, recently, academics in schools have become increasingly competitive. So where down the road does competition go haywire? When does competition start getting unhealthy? We asked ourselves this question, and deemed any competition in which high-schoolers actually hope that other students
will not do well, “unhealthy competition.” Among teenagers, comparisons drive the unhealthy competition that pervades our lives. We’ve all asked the question, “So what’d you get?” after a quiz or test is returned. And no matter how hard we may try to deny it, there is a feeling of selfsatisfaction to discover that your neighbor did worse than you on a test. Despite the feelings of gratification students feel when they do better than their peers, this pride is quickly offset when they find their fellow students have done better than them. As a result of these destructive comparisons, many people cross their fingers and wish that others did just as poorly as they did on quizzes. After all, what if someone did really well and ruined any chance of a curve? What a tragedy! Comparisons have reached such ridiculous levels that competition is laced with malice, and some students have become willing to step over each other for a better grade. Many teenagers do not feel the need to hurt others, or even stress themselves out, over the ever-present competition. However, countless students do allow
competition to dictate their lives. Freshmen have to learn to adjust to the competition in high school that was less important in middle school. Both sophomores and juniors have to worry about the competition that standardized testing like the PSAT and SAT bring. Seniors have to deal with the extreme pressure of getting into a college in such a dog-eatdog world. Many students, in all grades, have become used to this competition. This harmful state of mind should not have to be accepted by teenagers as the norm. In order to correct this unhealthy mentality, students need to make a conscious effort to change the way they think. Rather than root against their peers, students need to root for their peers; everyone will do better if they know they have the support of their classmates instead of the silent resentment that has become so prevalent in schools today. However, teenagers are not the only ones who need to change. Parents spend a lot of time promoting this degrading competition. They constantly compare their own children’s grades to those of their friends’ children.
They encourage their kids to take endless AP classes to “keep up with the game,” and scold their kids when their grades are less than exceptional. Children are inevitably conditioned to crave academic perfection, and to go to great lengths to achieve this theoretical perfection. Parents need to make a change. They need to stop comparing their kids to others’ kids, and they need to stop teaching their children such competitive ways of thinking. The world has evolved into one that is overrun with unnecessary comparison. Completely eliminating all unhealthy competition in the world is an unachievable goal. However, we can do things in the Aragon Community to help stifle it. To escape the downward spiral of competition, both students and parents alike need to adjust their attitudes about academics. High school should be “the best time of your life,” and we need to change before our high school experiences are transformed into a futile, and extremely destructive, card game. Written by Phoebe Chao and Rachel Marcus on behalf of the Aragon Outlook
Without French, Aragon world languages program is missing that je ne sais quoi By wassim Khemici Features
French was once considered the dominant language of the world, but in recent years, the language has lacked speakers and interest in the language. A number of years ago, the Aragon French language program commenced its downfall. In the year 2004, incoming freshmen were the last class to be offered French 1-2; they became Aragon’s French legacy. The only continuation of the class was for students who had already begun taking the course. At Aragon, there is only room for three languages, which are currently Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish. But why not French? There is speculation that because of its lack of conventionalism, it is found to be an unnecessary class. Freshman Kathryn Miyahara explains “Most people can’t use French, so I’m taking Spanish because I know I will most likely be able to use it. In the U.S. a lot of people speak Spanish, but not so much French.” However, Miyahara says “[I] might take French [instead of] Spanish if it was offered.” Sophomore Stephanie Landes jokingly says she takes Chinese because “the Chinese are going to take over the world,” and also believes that French was phased out due to its lack of utility. “I know that [Aragon] can only offer three languages, and they thought that French probably was not useful enough because only one country
speaks it When discussing the subject with Principal Pat Kurtz, she explained that about five years ago “a survey was [sent] out, and it was decided to [teach] Chinese [instead of French] by the number of interested parents and students. As a result, since we can only maintain three languages… French [was] the one to go because it had the smallest enrollment of students, and the lowest interest level.” However, the school district was still committed to allowing those students already enrolled in French to finish the program. Senior Charisse Roldan, however, is annoyed by the idea of teaching Chinese instead of French. Roldan says, “I have nothing against the Chinese and Japanese languages, but frankly, one of the only reasons a lot of the students at school request [to take them] is because they already know the language...[the class] just gives them an easy A... I thought the point of going to school was to learn, so how exactly is it learning a language if you already know it?” Vice Principal Jim Coe says the school needs to start off with at least 2 full class loads of students to offer upper division French; there needs to be a minimum of 20-25 students in each class. This is because, when carrying a language class, the classes become smaller and smaller as the level advances. And since the French 1-2 classes were not filling up accordingly, the program had to
come to an end. This comes as a surprise to Roldan, who says, “I know tons of people who would ask me what language I was taking and be shocked to know that my answer was French. They were shocked because they had tried or wanted to sign up for French, but were informed that it was not offered.” French teacher Jonie Parun is sad about the phasing out of the French program. Thankfully, for the French students of last year, there is still one class left, which is AP French 9-10. Yet keeping the class and allowing students finish the program did not come easy. According to Parun, there were a “couple of weeks in the summer where there was a scare that the class that is now in session, the AP French class, might have been replaced by an APCs program, which is a computerized class that the students would’ve been work-
ing with on there own.” Not only would Parun have lost her position as a French teacher, but the French students would have lost their normal learning environment. After French students and teachers objected to the proposal of the APCs program, the program was saved. Last year many French students completed the AP course, but “we still had a group of students who wanted to finish it out and take AP French, so I kept it going for this year, even though it’s a small class,” says Mrs. Kurtz. And luckily for the French students, the class is being sustained due to the generous donations given to the Fair Share Program. Is there hope for a revival of the French class? Or is Aragon simply not interested enough, and not large enough?
Volume 49, Issue 2 October 15, 2009
Are Kids Growing up too Fast? BY JESSICA BARNEY FEATURES
Growing old is inevitable; growing up is not. But what does it mean to “grow up”? For many, growing up means acknowledging that there is more to the world than what is directly in front of them. For many, growing up is also developing the mind and pursuing a higher education in order to find a place in society as an adult. But is the rate at which society expects kids to “grow up” too fast? The responsibilities of kids today are changing as innovations demand that they keep up with these new advancements. However, teenagers in America are actually pressured much less than some teenagers in other countries. Geoffrey Canada, Executive Director of Harlem Children’s Zone, explains “... we have one of the shortest school years in the industrialized world. When you look at our (roughly) 180 school days in comparison with Japan and Germany (about 240), you see how our children are under-prepared for competition almost from Day 1.” Students in many countries are expected to be academically mature at a very young age and are often held to standards of perfection. In contrast, adolescents in other
countries are expected to carry great responsibility for their families. While teenagers in the U.S. are, as Freshman William Abrahms says, responsible for “cleaning [their] bedroom[s], taking out the trash, and taking out the recycling,” teenagers in third world countries are often held responsible for the livelihood of their entire families. Young adults in different countries may grow up at drastically different rates, but teenagers within the same country also grow up at very different paces. When individuals have very different life circumstances from their peers, teenagers generally mature at very different times and in very different ways. Senior Tory Lang explains that kids of divorced parents “have to become more independent and look after
themselves more.” Lang shares that “this can be a good thing. It helps kids grow up faster and learn to use other resources aside from their parents.” This is also true for
kids who live with a single parent and are expected to assume additional responsibilities largely because there is no one else around to do so. The increasing pace and intensity of education in this rapidly advancing world has also contributed to
the demands placed on kids to grow up faster. Adolescents are often first pressured to grow up when they start high school. Freshman Trevor Lahoz explains, “The grading is a lot harder than in middle school; teachers expect more.” While the pressure to be mature in all ways steadily increases as students progress through high school, many teenagers feel that the pressure to grow up culminates as they reach their senior year in high school and begin to plan for college. English teacher Rob Thurtle explains that when students write their college essay, they practically “have to come up with the meaning of life.” It is so competitive that students “can’t make any false moves…[they] have to be so together in a time when so often [they’re] not.” But many individuals need time to make mistakes and learn from the consequences because that too is part of “growing up”. Today, adolescents are a product of their society just like kids 100 years ago were. It may not be that they are growing up “too fast”, but growing in a different world with different expectations. In the end, it’s all relative to the time they live in.
Facebook: Friend or Foe?
MEREDITH CHARLSON FEATURES
When users first create a Facebook profile, they usually find themselves bombarded with questions: What is your first and last name? Who are your parents? What is your sexual orientation? What is your religion? What is your relationship status? Where do you go to school? The questions continue, getting more and more personal and moving deeper and deeper into one’s private life, yet users tend to answer them without hesitation. What started out as a fun way to interact with friends over the
internet has quickly become a huge influence on today’s lifestyle and culture. Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter have managed to dominate the social networking industry with millions of users logging in daily. However, with so much freedom and personal expression, the question has arisen whether people are posting too much information about themselves on the internet. No matter how many privacy settings one may have, these precautions do not prevent the workers for these web sites from looking at somebody’s profile, nor do they prevent friends from
showing one’s information to anyone they choose to reveal it too. The bottom line is that whatever is put online is basically public territory. Careless use of these web sites comes with its own set of consequences. Issues including stalking, cyber-bullying, kidnapping and rape have been reported as a result of social networking. In 2006, Myspace was deemed by PCWorldNews as number one on its “25 Worst Web sites” list. The description of the site even went as far as to call it “a one-stop shopping mall for online predators.” In 2007, Myspace deleted
29,000 registered sex offenders with profiles on its web site. Recently, college admission officers and employers have begun looking at Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter to screen potential students and employees. According to a recent study conducted by Harris Interactive for CareerBuilder.com, an estimated 45% of employers use social networking to weed out job applicants and 35% of them decide not to offer a job to a candidate based on their findings. Content that raises red flags for employers include provocative photographs or videos, drug and alcohol references and harsh language towards former employers and co-workers. Instances of such wanton disregard concerning how much information people release have been reported by students at this very school. Sophomore Scarlett Wilson recalls a shocking experience in a chat room saying, “This girl who was thirteen got into a conversation with me, and she gave me her name, her father’s occupation, her age, her school without even knowing who I was.” Wilson also states, “These sites make it really easy to be targeted, and the more information you give out makes it that much easier for someone to stalk you.” Aragon students tend to disregard these warnings. Sopho-
more Allyson Kiefer states, “Its common sense not to put out too much information on your profile. If kids make stupid decisions like talk to people they don’t know, post their age, or post their address, [the consequences] are their own fault.” Junior Charles Grant agrees, “As long as you choose friends you know and use the privacy settings, the sites are safe,” he says. Social networking sites do offer many benefits in spite of the potential consequences. While the issues about profile information remain, social networking sites do grant people an outlet for personal expression. Grant states, “I wouldn’t change anything on my profile. It is fine with me that my friends are viewing it. It represents me and my identity.” He views social networking sites as convenient tools stating, “[These sites] help me plan get-togethers and keep in touch with so many different people in my life. Also, a lot of [my friends] are people I wouldn’t really go out of my way to contact.” Of course, not all people online are stalkers sitting at their desks on a quest to find their next victim, but perhaps it would be wiser to consider who will really be reading posts on the internet before typing in an address or posting something that could be regrettable in the future.
Volume 49, Issue 2 October 15, 2009
Junior Ariana Sacchi, senior Mallie Fisher, and senior Angie Barros make delicious scones.
Junior Megan Ryan takes the plunge before the game against Menlo Atherton on October 5.
Robbie Barnett, bassist for the band LINKS, lets loose at an Aragon lunchtime concert.
Brittney Filimoehala Egan rocks out to the beat of the daily lunchtime music.
Senior class president Jessica Barney along with seniors Patty Chen, Jackie Santizo, and Jenny Park sell senior class T-shirts during lunch.
Volume 49, Issue 2 October 15, 2009
Leadership gives an Aragon student the 411 on how to figure out the ins and outs of the counseling office. Leadership and the counseling office are holding weekly lunchtime information sessions to decrease student confusion surrounding the move to the portables and confusion about the office in general.
Freshman Sam Bowman focuses on making a smooth throw to her teammate while warming up for an intense game against Menlo Atherton on October 5.
Senior Michael Chan sprints to the finish line during cross country practice.
Members of the Polynesian Club show their island spirit during the club fair.
And people say Aragon students are stressed out...
Students bring outside experience to Aragon Music program
Scott Lowrie during a short break at a B Street & Vine gig. By alina Polishuk Features
Aragon High School takes great pride in the legacy and the
accomplishments garnered by the music program. With nine different ensembles and over 400 students participating, it is almost redundant to say that the department is huge. Aragon students participate in the music program because it provides them with a way to channel their creativity and hone their performance skills. With at least four concerts a year, students in the music program get the experience and fun of performing in a huge group. For some students, 50 or so minutes a day at Aragon are just not enough as they are also involved in bands or ensembles. Junior Jason Galisatus is also a percussionist in the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, which is one of the premier youth orchestras in the world. Galisatus says that putting himself in a more high-pressure atmosphere “motivates me to practice.” The youth orchestra’s 100 or so members meet two times a week for four hours and are coached by members from the actual San Francisco Symphony. Not only is this practice beneficial to the Youth Orchestra, but
it is also beneficial to the Aragon more apparent improvement music program. According to shown from playing in a higherAragon Jazz Band teacher Brian level group. Although playing in Switzer, students who participate bands can seem more appealing in external groups show a stron- than playing school music, Switger understanding of basic and zer knows from experience that it fundamental skills of music. As a is important to maintain a solid result, they share their knowledge music theory background. He at school and help their band mates improve. The growth seen from parVisit the San Francisco Symticipating in outside groups phony Youth Orchestra to best explains why many join see Jason Galisatus and other these ensembles. As Galisatus Aragon students perform this puts it “I like playing with that coming November 15: level…when you’re with a really good group, you tend to Davies Symphony Hall improve extremely fast and 201 Van Ness Ave., San Franyour musicality really develcisco ops in a shorter amount of time.” Scott Lowrie, also a juScott Lowrie performs on nior percussionist, is involved Wednesdays and Saturdays: in many bands, and his extraB Street & Vine curricular music experience 320 South B St., San Mateo involves playing at gigs and venues based on who is in need of a drummer that night. “There’s nothing better,” Lowrie personally “ … didn’t just jam in laughs, “It’s simple. It feels great high school … I went to school when you’re actually playing.” and learned to read [music] and Lowrie agrees that this school has learned to listen.” This is where he a great program, but like Galisat- credits his chameleon-like ability us, he enjoys the challenge and the to absorb any style of music and
Volume 49, Issue 2 October 15, 2009
be able to play it. Teachers such as Switzer are also extremely involved in the Bay Area Music scene. Switzer can play any genre on his trumpet, including classical, jazz, reggae and funk. He recently played with a Latin soul band and an edgy and indie show group called the Vau de Vire Society at the Outside Lands Festival in Golden Gate Park. His upcoming gigs include a jazz show on October 12 with the CSM Big Band at the Oak City Bar and Grill. No matter the venue or the genre, the opportunities for any Aragon musician outside of school seem endless. As Switzer would say, such involvement makes the feeling change from “I’m kind of becoming a musician” to “I’m being a musician … and there’s a metamorphosis that takes place.” All the extra time and effort put into improving musical ability comes a long way in the future. Those who do realize just how much they improve and achieve greater success then they could have ever hoped for.
Close ties among volleyball players
BY ALLIE PATAWARAN News
third was the best game of last year because the girls really tried their hardest and put in their best effort, even though they lost it.” According to Brown, the team’s best asset is its height. She says that it “allows us to be very good blockers. We also have some good setters that help us out.” Brown also believes the coaches distinguish Aragon from all the other teams in the San Mateo Union High School District. “I think the on-campus coaches can supervise them a lot. My students are freshmen and sophomores, so I get to see them every day during class, too.” She adds that this year will be no different from the last, saying, “We will just keep working on our volleyball skills.”
COACH GOALS This year, Junior Varsity volleyball coach Linda Brown wants to “prepare the girls for Varsity as fast as they can.” Last year, the Junior Varsity’s biggest defeat was their third game against Burlingame, losing 13-15. However, Brown calls it their best game of last year. “We lost three times to Burlingame. I think our
VARSITY TEAM INTERACTION
Jessica Navarro and Erika Brinkley show off their teamwork.
The Varsity team players are very close to each other. Senior Jane Hayashi believes that “just how close we are on and off the court, and how well we get along, and how we’re a very hardworking team” makes Aragon’s varsity team the best in the high school district. Hayashi says, “We have a team meeting before each game with our coach, and then we have a team meeting with just the girls to focus.” Sophomore Jamie Moore adds, “We hang out, we have dinner, we’re all really close.” Since it is Moore’s first year on varsity, she explains some of the new challenges and advantages it presents to her. “Well, the level of playing is definitely a lot faster than Frosh-Soph, but other than that, I’ve been really supported on the team. The girls have been
On the October 8 frosh-soph game against Menlo-Atherton, Sarah Opiel spikes with the intent to kill.
really nice about bringing up new players, so it hasn’t been that hard, besides the playing.” Moore is most looking forward to “being able to play with the girls, improve a lot because of them, learning from the older girls because it’s really fun and a really good experience for me and the players, especially.”
JUNIOR VARSITY EXPECTATIONS AND SEASON HIGHLIGHTS The Junior Varsity volleyball team is a very determined one who has similar expectations to that of varsity. They won both pre-season games against Crystal Springs Uplands School
and Hillsdale, but their main been the highlight of the season. goal was to beat Burlingame this We lost to them last year, and we year. Burlingame presented an really wanted to beat them this immense challenge for the team, year.” According to Freshman yet sophomore Lauren Riffel, the S h a n n o n team expectations Varsity Game October 6, 2009 Fahrer wanted are to “always Aragon V Menlo-Atherton to “not crack work as a team, Best 3 out of 5 Games under the practice hard, Aragon: 25-21 pressure of and not give up.” Menlo-Atherton: 25-19 Aragon: 25-17 trying to beat She believes that Aragon: 25-23 them.” Luckily, the “never giving the Freshmanup” philosophy Freshman-Sophomore Game October Sophomore distinguishes them 8 2009 Aragon V Menlo-Atherton team got from all the other Best 2 out of 3 Games their wish on high schools in Menlo-Atherton: 25-18 September 22, the district. Riffel Aragon: 25-16 beating them comments, “As a Aragon: 15-7 with the scores team, we always of 25-15 and practice hard 25-19. Sophomore Jackie Brandt and we’re always prepared.” adds, “Beating Burlingame has
15 SPORTS Athletes of the month
Volume 49, Issue 2 October 15, 2009
The cross country team wields a considerable amount of talent this year. There are freshmen and sophomores that have proven themselves to be more than capable of competing at the varsity level. Among all those runners stand sophomores Lauren Crowshaw and Billy Seeburger. These sophomores are now athletes running for Aragon’s varsity cross country team. With all of the pressure of winning and being among the youngest on the varsity team, they each counter the strain in different ways. “I try
to do busy work and then when I get to the meet I blast my iPod so I don’t have to think about anything else,” says Crowshaw. Seeburger on the other hand, would rather “talk with the guys I’m about to run with,” to learn more about his opponents and what he is up against. Crowshaw admits to not following a specific diet prior to the cross country PALs last year. “What you eat you’re going to run off in like five seconds,” she casually explains. Seeburger humorously recalls that “In eighth grade I had a Big Mac, plate of fish, two large fries, a Coke, and a chicken nugget meal before my first two mile
Sophomore Billy Seeburger sprints to the finish line closely trailed by a Menlo Atherton runner at the San Francisco Golden Gate Park Invitational.
race. I felt terrible after the race.” Now, he chooses to stock up on starch instead in order to avoid making the same mistake again. Running a three-mile long race requires considerable ability and stamina. In order to prepare for this strenuous activity, the coaches assign workouts such as the “Indian Run” designed to make sure the runner’s paces never slacken. “We did that every day and it was so tiring. It was painful,” Crowshaw remembers. Seeburger would rather simply work on areas he needs improvement. “I’m not a good sprinter, so I do a lot of hill work,” says Seeburger. During races, Crowshaw gets songs stuck in her head to keep her mind off of the long and intense run and focuses on keeping her feet in sync with a beat as a distraction. Seeburger channels his energy and attention into “not tripping over the guy next to you.” So why join cross country in the first place? For Crowshaw, the reason is the feeling of winning, and as she simply phrases it, “Running is what I do, and I happen to be good at long distance.” Similarly, Seeburger says that he has been doing cross country since middle school and his drive to keep running has never ceased. Reasons for joining cross country can also be found in each runner’s fan base. Seeburger acknowledges his friends and
BY KRISTYN IKEDA FEATURES
Cross country coach Bill Daskarolis, commonly known as Coach Dasko, believes, “Everyone on the [cross country] team loves to run.” After hearing about the team, it is hard to dispute this statement. The cross country team, one of the largest at Aragon, practices Monday through Saturday, running between five and eight miles a day. They run on the track, up hills, and around Hillsborough. It is tiring, especially in hot weather, but the team’s commitment and perseverance are paying off. At the Stanford Invitational, a prestigious meet which hosts runners from around the nation, the team did well, with freshman Christian Pedro finishing with the fastest time out of all the Central Coast Section (CSS) freshmen, and sophomore Lauren Crowshaw finishing as the top CCS Division II runner. The Junior Varsity team took first place at the Westmoor Invitational. With the hard work they put in, it is no mystery as to why the team is quickly running towards success. Although there are many sports at Aragon, cross country team members are noticeably different from other students, according to Coach Dasko. A cross country runner has a raised
metabolism, a lowered pulse, and a more efficient circulatory system, which translates to more calories being burned by a runner than a non-runner, even during rest. Another pattern Dasko noticed is that cross country team members tend to be good students. He admits that this is not always true, but the sport, he reasons, requires motivation, organization, and self-discipline, all traits that contribute to academic success. Freshman Christian Pedro sees the correlation, believing, “The discipline [used in cross country] has definitely helped me in other aspects of life.” As far as running times go, the margin is vast. While sophomore P.E. teacher Linda Brown estimates that the average mile time for sophomore girls is around ten minutes, Dasko and Hunt estimate that the average mile time for the varsity girls team is between 6:10 and 6:45. For the boys, the average mile time falls around 5:30. Senior Jackie Santizo, voicing the tenacity found throughout the entire team, comments, “It’s tough, but I feel good after I do it. And I don’t give up.” Pedro adds the enthusiasm found in the team, commenting, “[So far], it’s been a blast. It’s been fun.” Many wonder how the members of the team got involved in cross country, especially when it takes so much energy and dedication. Senior captain
BY CHRISTINE KALIFE FEATURES
Sophomore Lauren Crowshaw routinely and calmly runs along the Crystal Springs course during a PAL runners event.
the team as his greatest fans, and Crowshaw states that her fan base includes her parents, admitting that her dad is “really into it,” and will even “try to talk strategy.” She goes on to say that the team is everybody’s fan base. “I love the team because they get in a group and they cheer everyone on.” The best thing about winning for Crowshaw would be that “last stretch where you pass people.” For Seeburger, his reason is the unconditional support of the team. He loves how “even if there are runners that are doing [cross country] for fitness, there are still
people there cheering them on.” What sets these two athletes apart from the rest is how they never let the pressures of being the best slow them down. Lauren believes “I still have a while to go until I’m really that great.” Seeburger also agrees saying that he doesn’t believe his accomplishments are special considering the amount of stress it takes to win, and states that, “it was kind of expected.” Lauren Crowshaw and Billy Seeburger are just ordinary students, but with a preternatural ability to run in a very long races, very fast.
passing on the torch
Michael Chan became involved in cross country through his involvement in track. Many members of the track team, even those who participate in non-running events, also participate in cross country. Others join cross country to stay in shape for other sports, like Senior Emi Hashizume, who initially joined the team in order to help stay wellconditioned for varsity basketball. Jackie Santizo, however, was inspired by tragedy. After the death of Jay Jay Pagobo, a student at South San Francisco High School and a friend of her brother, Santizo decided to use Jay Jay as motivation to
make a change. Santizo says, “He always wanted to join cross country . . . After I heard this, I decided to join cross country.” Coach Dasko explains, “The beauty of cross county is that it has both an individual and a team aspect.” Simultaneously allowing individual runners to shine and team members to bond while working together for a common cause, the juxtaposition of being both an individual and a team sport, is one that makes the cross country both unique and attractive. A slightly complicated system, cross country has individual and team results, and both are needed for success. Chan says, “Each
person is trying to achieve his personal best [time]. The time each person gets converted to a score— all the scores are then combined for a team score which determines where a school will place. Those scores contribute to whether a person will make CCS or not.” As far as the future goes, the team is highly promising. With the youngest team in the Central Coast Section for Division II, and possibly all of CCS, the team has high hopes. Dasko comments, “One of the strengths of the team is that it is so young. There is a lot of depth to it.”
The freshman cross country team poses with their media placing 1st at the Westmore Invitational.
SPORTS Varsity Football:
Volume 49, Issue 2 October 15, 2009
New field’s inauguration jumpstarts thriller on home field BY RYAN YU NEWS
Just one week after a solid 18-6 win against Lincoln High, the Dons were at it again, with a heartpounding 36-35 win at home against Carlmont. The game was proceeded by an inauguration of Aragon’s new track and field, with Principal Pat Kurtz, and head football coach Steve Sell among the speakers. “[The inauguration] was held to say thanks to the donors, and to acknowledge their efforts,” Sell explains. Speakers also reflected on the widespread positive effect the field is having, and will continue to have, on Aragon. “[The field] will make an impact on everyone in general,” Principal Kurtz related after the ceremony. “For one, we’ll be able to have track and field meets here, something we haven’t been able to do in five or six years … even the community will be affected. We have community members who walk around on the track all the time, in the mornings.” Coach Sell explains his outlook, s a y i n g , “There were always issues with the old field, about it being ready for games, so the new field is a nice change. It’s also meant the world to soccer, and it’s been really great for PE.” Following the inauguration, there were per-
tion of passing and rushing, which cumulated into a touchdown by senior running back Christian Gonzalez, putting the Dons up 36-22 with less than 10 minutes remaining in the game. However, the Scots bounced back relentlessly, taking advantage of an SABRINA PERRY Aragon fumble Trevor McNeil runs across the field for a first down against Calmont High School. to close the gap to 7 points. And with 1:52 left in gain possession once more, and players’ hopes for the season, regulation, Carlmont regained after a quick 6 yard gain, a 52 many of which are set high. Jupossession, bringing the ball up yard field goal was lined up. The nior tight end Sione Taufahema quickly deep into Aragon’s ter- kick retained distance, but was explains, “My goal this year is ritory. With 9 seconds left on wide right, ultimately captur- to win a championship, and to the clock, on a heart- ing the win for Aragon, 36-35. work harder than I ever have.” wrenching 3rd & 15, However, the win’s theatrics Having made a championship Carlmont scored a long were not what Aragon was hop- run in 2008, there are abitious touchdown, bring- ing for early in the game. “It was expectations for Aragon. With a ing the game within a good lesson,” Coach Sell reflects. good start this season, the Dons one point. But instead “We gave them some hope, look ready and prepared for of kicking the ball and they took advanthe rest of year. Zhang through the uprights tage of it. It showed puts his goal for the seaand tying the game, the us that we’ve got son down nicely: “Besides Scots elected to go for to stay in it.” Juhaving a winning season, I the win with a two point nior offensive linewant to [be] satisfied at the conversion. One pass man Tony Zhang exend that we did our best.” later, the conversion was presses his feelings on The Aragon Varsity footunsuccessful; Aragon the game, saying, “The ball team now holds a restarted to celebrate. game taught us that we cord of (3-2) and has an But it was too need more conditionupcoming game against soon for that. With ing, and we need to stay Terra Nova tomorrow. the last seconds tick- focused throughout.” ing by, an onside kick The win against Carlby Carlmont enabled them to re- mont also retains many
practice basic skills. “When we have the small pool, we usually run two miles and then do push ups, sit For those who do not know ups, planks, and lunges,” explains what water polo is, it is somewhat Quentin Bellon, a freshman on similar to games such as soccer the Boys Junior Varsity team. and ice hockey. But instead of Practices are usually about two kicking the ball or using sticks hours to two and a half hours or skates, players are in the water. long after school. This is a big There are seven players in the commitment when considering water at a time including one time used for homework, goalkeeper. Players must pass the eating, sleeping, and a social life. Alexis Harrington, a freshman ball to each other while treading on the water polo team, explains water-trying to get the ball into that time is not the biggest the goal. It takes lots of practice issue, saying, “It is not the time every day to become good at a commitment that is hard, it is sport as demanding as water polo. the commitment of energy and At practice, the players usually dedication to the game.” Water start out warming up in the pool polo takes an extreme amount by swimming laps. Then, they of effort and vigor. “It takes a practice passing to each other lot of endurance,” explains Maya either in partners or in groups. Grossman, a sophomore on the Then, they go over game team. Sharon Borden, a freshman plans, scrimmage, do says, “you can’t be afraid to be drills, run, or aggressive.” It is not only about being violent and aggressive, though. Te a m w o r k plays a key part in
BY SAM ALAVI NEWS
formances by the Aragon band, who played on one end of the field, and the Aragon Chamber Choir, who sang the Aragon Alma Mater, and then opened the game with The Star Spangled Banner. Aragon began the September 24th game scoring 13 points within the first five minutes of play, stunning Carlmont. Senior quarterback and strong safety Sam Tuivailala returned an interception after three minutes elapsed in the first quarter to give the Dons a 7-0 lead, and following a Carlmont fumble, junior wide receiver Aaron Eder ran the ball in for Aragon’s second touchdown. Carlmont responded authoritatively, returning a kickoff for 45 yards, which eventually led to a touchdown with seven minutes remaining in the first quarter. Minutes later, senior fullback Isaiah Harris scored a crucial touchdown on 4th & 1, and after an ensuing successful 2-point conversion, the Dons closed the first quarter ahead on the scoreboard, 21-7. A strong drive opening up the second quarter for Aragon led to another Isaiah Harris touchdown, and the game appeared to be almost out of reach for Carlmont, 28-7. But then, the trouble began. A safety and two touchdowns by Carlmont, including a long 70-yard run, put the Scots within 6 by the end of the third quarter. Tuivailala responded for Aragon by using a combina-
Senior Zoey Aquila in her natural element lunges to save the ball.
winning the game. “When we do things together, it helps us bond so that it is easier in the pool,” Harrington explains as the team practices throwing the ball to each other. Sam Bowman, a freshman on the Varsity team says, “it takes a whole team to win a game not just one star player. It’s a team effort.” Ryan Lane, who coaches the Girls Junior Varsity team, has
high hopes for them this season. “These girls are awesome and are getting better all the time,” he says. “The game is all about stamina and takes lots of work.” Although the Girls Junior Varsity team lost their last game against Menlo-Atherton, Harrington says, “we may have lost [that] but we are all working hard to win the games
in the future.” Bowman says, “I am really looking forward to spending time with the team and playing a bunch of great teams.” While water polo can seem like a ton of work and a huge commitment, there are also four great teams having fun, learning, and making friends.