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Renton High School 400 South 2nd Street Renton, WA 98057 04.01.14

These are the STORIES WE HAD TO TELL


starting with the girl who got pregnant / you heard about her already / and you feel like you’ve seen her on television / but YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE ULTRASOUND / and sophomore Dajane washington is not your tv

Photos courtesy of Dajane Washington

CONFLICT · 2


She is seven months pregnant. “I kind of already knew but it was still a bit of a shock,” Washington said. “My friends said I was acting different and I was very tired often.” She thought she might be pregnant so she went to Health Point for a checkup. The information was personal so neither Washington nor the father wanted to tell friends. “My mom started crying but my dad came and hugged me, telling me that everything was going to be alright and we would get through this together,” Washington said. Washington was pleasantly surprised by the overall reaction, far from reactions on television, where parents act insanely mad or extremely disappointed and demand the motherto-be to abort or keep the child. That acceptance would prove to be crucial in the following seven months. Washington missed a bit of school in the beginning due to sicknesses commonly associated with the early stages of pregnancy, but now she’s back on top of her classes. “I can’t run in track or do sports anymore,” Washington said. “I also can’t go out and do things with my friends as often.”

washington

SUPPORT FROM FRIENDS Sophomore Angel Nguyen is a good friend of Washington’s. She was friends with the father before he moved, and she even brainstormed baby names with Washington. “I didn’t find out until about two months in,” Nguyen said. “She didn’t tell me at first, but I put the pieces together. I’m going to her baby shower soon too.” Another good friend, sophomore Carlos Manuel, also knows how the pregnancy has affected Washington’s life. He was one of the first to know. “When she told me I thought she was kidding,” Manuel said. “It was really shocking.” Now he has befriended the baby, talking to it on occasion. “I say things like, ‘You’re going to be a great wrestler and you’re going to make state. I will teach you how.” Manuel said. He loves offering supportive words of encouragement. “‘You’re going to be the best soccer player ever, play on the best teams,’” Manuel says to the baby. “‘I’m going to teach you.’” Washington smiles and laughs at Manuel’s conversations. These moments make the pregnancy go by easier and happier. FATHER TO BE Manuel used to talk to the father before the father moved to Bellevue, although they never talked about the child, but they did know each other. But now they have lost contact. Washington is still in contact with the baby’s father, Highline High School sophomore Jose Ramos. “He and his family are supportive and help me a lot,” Washington said. “We are both raising our baby.” At first Ramos told only one friend about the child on the way, leaving many to find out through Washington or through rumors. Now he eagerly awaits the arrival of his child, along with his family. Staying civilized through the whole situation is important to both parents and their families. “They took the news of the pregnancy well and stayed supportive through the rough times,” Ramos said. “We both decided to be mature and raise the baby, no fighting and all.” Ramos believes that he was told nearly seven weeks after Washington found out. Although she says that he was told the same day as she was. Sometimes in a state of emergency the human memory can fault. But one thing is certain: both parents are excited. “I was surprised but I’m really happy too,” Ramos said. “Having a baby is a real blessing.” Ramos plans to work and go to college after high school. “I am going to work in landscaping over the summer,” Ramos said. “And I want to go to either Washington State University or University of Washington.” Ramos wants to be a great supporter. He will complete

applications as he takes care of his son. COMMON PORTRAYALS Television programs characterize teen pregnancy as a life with domestic violence, extreme anger, drama and stress. In “Teen Mom 2,” the mother Janelle faces a heroine charge and awaits probation. Her infant son lives with his grandmother. According to a Huffington Post article, out of 16 million girls fewer than 18 give birth and 3.2 million experience unsafe abortions each year in the United States. According to the Seattle Foundation, Renton has higher than average rates of early teen pregnancy. “The rate in South King County is four times the national average at 13 percent as opposed to three percent,” Seattle Foundation states. PARENT REACTION Ramos thought his parents would be angry and possibly kick him out or cut off communication. They did quite the opposite. “I feel like they took it well because there was nothing they could do [to prevent] it happening,” Ramos said. “I thought I was going to get kicked out, but they supported me all the way.” This doomsday portrayal is not the case for Washington and Ramos. Both of their parents had a reaction that seems unimaginable to most. Washington’s parents were surprisingly heartfelt after receiving such incredible news. “Most likely because they [were] young parents too, so they understood what I was going through,” Washington said. “I thought my dad was going to flip out. I was so scared to tell him. For my mom, I knew she was going to cry.” The beginning was tear-filled. Nowadays, Washington finds comfort in her living room, where she gets hours of much-needed rest and talks to family. The living room is a neat medium-sized room with three black couches, a television, a computer desk and two little black desks that match. Pictures of family decorate the walls. A fish tank containing a silver and white fish sits beside fake plants. At this stage of pregnancy, with the due date of May 1st approaching, Washington needs rest. That doesn’t stop Washington and her parents, mother Laloya and father Victor, from being excited. “I can’t wait to see my little man. Me and my parents already bought literally over a 100 outfits. We got diapers and we ordered the car seat and stuff. We are as prepared as we can be.” Washington said Although she is preparing It won’t be easy. “The biggest problem I see is me missing the big HSPE testing. My due date is May 1st and the school is giving me a month off with a tutor but I need to take the testing,” Washington said. She’s working on figuring out the details. “So I’m most likely going to come to school sooner than a month because I need to take the tests and get good grades,” Washington said. She knows there will be good times mixed with the stress of school. “The most awesome part is going to be finally having him in my arms and coming home from a long day of school and seeing him,” Washington said. Another challenge is dealing with her emotions. “I’m very sensitive. I start to cry about any little things that make me sad,” Washington said. “And when I’m mad, I’m extremely mad even though I’m usually chill.” Everyday situations that may not register as important or unusual may lead Washington to feel extreme emotions. A small interaction with her younger brother can easily lead to tears. “My little brother told me to shut up because he was mad at me,” Washington said. “I started crying.” Emotions and cravings go hand in hand during any pregnancy. A very particular craving is Mexican food for Washington. “I just crave Hispanic food that Jose’s family cooks. Like tortillas, beans and pasta,” Washington said.

Dear Miguel, Welcome to the world little buddy. You still haven’t had your first breath of air and you’re already in the papers. That’s destined for greatness in anybody’s eyes. The world is a crazy place, full of people and chaos. But with the parents you have and the family that loves you, you will do great. It’s only a matter of time before you begin to talk and become just like them. Never forget that you are wanted in this world. As long as you keep your head up and don’t let people drag you down you will do great, change the world for the better and impact others like leaders and champions do.

BIRTHING AND BODY “For a while I was able to wear my normal clothes,” Washington said, “but then I started showing so I started wearing baggy shirts.” Eventually she let her pregnancy show. “I just got tired of hiding and showed everyone,” Washington said. “It has a lot to do with how I’m built. I was very athletic before I became pregnant.” Washington has thought about the physical pain of birthing and the complications that can arise. Possible complications include: relaxing in a hot tub during pregnancy can cause major complications for the fetus, raising one’s body temperature as little as four degrees (which can happen by spending even 10 minutes soaking in a hot tub) triples the risk of the fetus developing horrifying conditions, along with things like premature labor and birth or miscarriages. There are many problems that can happen during any pregnancy. As part of giving birth, Washington will need to consent to procedures carried out on her or her child. Many pregnancies are complication free, however. “It’s great to not have a period [now],” Washington said, “but once you give birth you will be on your period for three weeks straight. Which is horrible.” Once she has had the baby and her body has healed she is planning to start running and playing soccer again. “I plan to be very active. I’m going to start running as soon as my body heals,” Washington said. “And I have to get ready to do soccer and track next year.” ADVICE TO OTHER TEENS Washington has advice for other pregnant teen mothers: get some new clothes. “Definitely leggings. Without them it’s going to be really tough,” Washington said. But it’s not just about the attire. “Love your baby with all your heart and never ever feel like you made a mistake because you didn’t.” This doesn’t mean she has no regrets, however. “I wish I would have known that the pull out method doesn’t work all the time,” Washington said. The Planned Parenthood website provides more information about the “pull out method”: “Of every 100 women whose partners use withdrawal, 4 will become pregnant each year if they always do it correctly. Of every 100 women whose partners use withdrawal, 27 will become pregnant each year if they don’t always do it correctly.” She wishes her parents would have talked with her about sex earlier as well. “I will teach my kid about using protection and I will talk to him about sex,” Washington said. ““I think that’s a problem with parents. They’re too scared to talk about sex.” CHALLENGES Washington worries about the visitation for Ramos and his soon-to-be son. “He will most likely see the baby on weekends,” Washington said, “but in the summer time he will see the baby a lot [more].” Visiting a father or any parent only on certain days can be hard. But that does not mean he won’t be connected to his father. TWO MONTHS LEFT The baby has a name now: Miguel. “It is especially fun when the baby kicks,” Washington said. “And I feel like it’s my life so I shouldn’t care what people think.” Young Miguel will be fly and fresh in a bib that reads “handsome like daddy” and Puma button up shirts. “I spent a lot of time buying baby clothes,” Washington said. “My feet were hurting.” Washington hopes to have another baby someday—but not for some time. At 4:39 p.m. on Dec. 13, 2013, Washington went into the hospital to get a view of the baby that will soon join the family in person. In his ultrasound he looks as though he’s lying on his back, loving the time bonding with his mother.

It may seem hard at times but you can’t give up. The love that a mother feels towards her baby even before they are born is amazing, the most magical and extraordinary feeling that cannot be described in words. Love is a feeling felt by all living things and can only be seen through action. And the love that your mom shows you is truly inspiring, like no other thing you will ever see in this world. Appreciate it and be thankful. Whether you are a scholar, a sports star, an artist or anything your life calls you to be, you belong and will always belong. The world will love you, young Miguel, and so will your parents. For anything you have to face they will be there. They can always help you through the toughest of situations, no matter how difficult.

CONFLICT · 3

Text and Photo by Hunter McAvan


other stories too / the story of the little kid going on a mini adventure around the country / I QUIT MY JOB AND DO WHAT I WANT story / One Wild Night story / featuring disillusioned anti-hero / some white trashy people / unusual ocean creatures discovered by new technology / dogs that protect their owners / catfights / wives with knives / basketball players’ girlfriends hating each other / celebrity rivalries / drug use and downfall / Ariana Grande breaking three toes / some religious morality / at the end

Photo by Hunter McAvan

CONFLICT ¡ 4


sick kid living past his “death date” via medical miracle / the cancer victim / we know / or think we know / Rosemary Salgado knows / when her father was diagnosed with stage two Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Cancer, she kept a smile on his face by acting silly / MESSING up HER hair and sarcastically askING if she was beautiful /

DEALING WITH DEATH / surviving assault / BREAKING NORMS


sports stars making comebacks Senior Shykiel Milord carries the scars of Oct. 22, 2011, a day he cannot forget.

“It all happened when open gym was over,” Milord said. “I was trying to show my old coach on junior varsity that I could dunk now.” Being able to dunk gave Milord a rush of energy to show off a little bit. “I dunked it twice in the auxiliary gym,” Milord said. “After I dunked, I would run around the gym and slap fives with my teammates and people were in ‘aww’ mode.” With ball in hand and head full of steam, Milord went for another dunk attempt. “I cocked the ball back hella far and tried to dunk it in hella powerful, but I got rim stuffed and flew back to the ground hella hard,” Milord said. “I didn’t try to catch my fall when I hit the ground.” What started out as a sweat-filled, board crashing, fastbreak initiating open gym between coach and players, quickly turned to a tear-filled, hospital gown and ambulance siren filled afternoon. “The momentum from how hard I flew back is what broke my arm,” Milord said. The air left the gym. Everybody’s jaw dropped. Coach Farley Haruo knew that what was coming was inevitable. “It’s one of those where he was dunking and the other guys were like ‘one more time,’ but as a coach you’d say no

because… you’ve seen it happen,” Haruo said. “So we’re like, ‘okay, one more.’ But unfortunately, one more was one too many times.” Adrenaline pumped through Milord’s veins and he reacted irrationally. “I chuckled because I just got rim stuffed in front of everybody,” Milord said. But as his chuckles faded, tears and a frown set upon his face.

“I heard someone laughing, but as I was about to get up, I noticed my left hand felt very heavy and my vision started to get blurry,” Milord said. The gym turned into a bone-snapping scene. The gym fell silent and as the scene unraveled, gasps, shrieks and yells echoed throughout its walls. “I raised my hand towards my face,” Milord said, “and it was like, dangling and all my fingers were stuck together. I had to hold it to keep it from swinging everywhere.” Haruo caught wind of Milord’s unfortunate injury through other players and met with him as soon as he could . “All I remember was him having his right arm underneath his left arm,” Haruo said. “All I remember was him looking at me and saying ‘I think I broke it.’”

CONFLICT · 6


The team took a tremendous hit because of Milord’s unforeseen fracture. “I don’t know if I was more devastated than he was,” Haruo said. “Unfortunately, it happened after coming back from the 15-1 season. We were expecting a big, big time season from him.” Flash back a few years and he’s just a kid playing with his favorite basketball in the hoops outside his house or at his school in Fairmont Park. Who knew he would suffer a serious injury? It all happened so quickly. One second, Milord is in the air, and the next he is on the ground. “I knew that when I hit the ground,” Milord said, “it wasn’t going to be a happy ending.” Teammates and coaches became bystanders as Milord was rushed to the hospital from the courts. “I remember them just putting me in the back of the ambulance,” Milord said.” When they started driving, my arm started hurting and I started to cry from all the bumping up and down.” After undergoing a two hour surgery for his broken wrist and forearm, Milord now lives with a plate and six screws in his left arm. “I was in a cast for two months,” Milord said. “When I got it taken off, my left arm was way smaller than my right.” Not being able to step onto the court, the mental aspect of the game can deteriorate as well. “It’s all about the confidence. When that goes away, as a player, you want to find it again,” Haruo said. “The skills will always be there, but your confidence... you’re gonna have to find a way to get it back.” After sitting out an entire season, Milord cried because he could only hope to get back onto the hardwood once more. “I thought about not playing again,” Milord said, “but I had too much faith that once I got out of my cast, I could get back.” And he did just that. After a month, Milord was able to get back on the floor for some conditioning. As soon as I got out of the cast, I started working out my arm so it could get stronger,” Milord said. “At first, it would hurt when I did certain dribble moves and I couldn’t dribble well, but I kept working on it, lifting small weights until it got better.” After three months of rehabilitation on his arm, Milord came back stronger than before. “It felt great, better than before,” Milord said. “Some people say I shoot better with my left than my right.” As a kid, he always aspired to be one of the greats, playing whenever he could. “When I was in first grade, my mom put me in a basketball program that teaches the fundamentals,” Milord said. “I’ve always loved basketball, so my mom signed me up for it.” Haruo saw something unique in Milord when they first met during his freshman year. “Shy coming in at 12 or 14 [years old], he had every given ability,” Haruo said. “You’re talking about ball handling skills, shooting the ball, driving to basket and finishing his shot. To a coach, he’s the complete package.” Even as a youngster, Milord already competed to be the very best. “The first team I played for was in third grade, for the High Point community center,” Milord said. Milord was shy as kid, and since basketball was a team sport, he found it hard to play.

haruo

Eventually that all changed. Cue, seventh grade. “I remember that I used to be always nervous in my basketball games until I got to seventh grade,” Milord said. “I broke out of my shyness.” He took this breakout and turned it into a stepping stone for his basketball career. “I went to summit K-12,” Milord said, “and at lunch, everyone would hoop and I was the only kid that would play against the high school students, and I would amaze them.” With his newfound confidence, Milord brought his game onto the hardwood. “The best game I ever played was for AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) at the beginning of school when I dropped 35. It felt so good,” Milord said, “but it didn’t feel as big as during this year’s season when I dropped 27 against Lindbergh.” Milord believes that basketball is not just a sport. It contains a higher role to play in his life and his family’s. “Basketball is more than a game to me. It’s a way of life and it can potentially help me and my family,” Milord said. Milord has thought about turning his favorite past time into a career he hopes will one day help his family. “I want to help my family financially,” Milord said. “Even if I don’t make it to the pros, there are other opportunities to get paid for basketball, such as overseas.” Haruo completely supports Milord’s oversea ideas, even offering some advice. “It’s a gateway overseas, whether it is in mainland China, Australia or Europe,” Haruo said. “It takes a lot of dedication and hard work, but the opportunity for Shy to go overseas is there, and the reality of that happening is all on him and the process he’s going through in high school.” He not only thought about playing overseas, he’s also been looking a little bit closer to home. “Pierce College talked to me,” Milord said. “They said there’s playing time for the point guard spot ‘cause that’s gonna have to be my position for college ball.” “They want him bad,” Haruo said. With the tough life being a high school student as well as an athlete, basketball serves as an outlet for Milord to vent his problems. “It just sometimes puts me in a different world away from all the problems in life,” Milord said. Basketball helps keep Milord’s mentality focused and sharp because of the love he has for the sport. “That’s just the love I have for the game ever since I was young,” Milord said. “When things were going bad in my life like family problems or me just having a bad day, basketball would take my mind off of things and put me in a happy place.” Milord’s comeback made it clear: the broken arm is just a thing of the past, making varsity in his junior year, and becoming captain now. “It feels great [being captain]. It feels good when you know you earned it and nobody else did it for you,” Milord said. A broken arm is now a distant memory but it still serves as a reminder of the day he had him benched and watching from the stands. “You have to be careful and cautious when playing sports,” Milord said, “and really take care of your body. One slip and it could all be over.” Through Milord’s eyes, injuries are a part of being an athlete and it shouldn’t let anybody be afraid of experiencing one. “If you really love it, your injury shouldn’t stop you from playing,” Milord said. “If you choose not to play, you never loved the sport.”

Text and photos by Rafael Agas

the “take off her glasses and let her hair down to become beautiful” story / it helps if she gets kissed by the boy who knows hip-hop / or started-from-the-bottom-now-mywhole-crew-here / poor orphan child makes the Olympic team / HAPPY FREAKING ENDINGS UGH CONFLICT · 7


anything with white people succeeding or overcoming anything / white people helping colored people / white teachers changing lives / white people / if not white people / the one who became “successful” at adapting to Western Culture / the black kid now a top guy at a powerful company / the oppressed who becomes the oppressor / a new building devoted to at-risk kids / a “ghetto” school doing good What happens at the “ghetto” school? We sent 15 reporters out on Tuesday, March 5 to find out. OUTSIDE THE SCHOOL The sound of traffic on the one way road only adds to the grey sky above. Rain falls on parked car windshields and metal roofs. The cold wind picks up and sets down trash. A plastic bag is caught in a tree. A man steps out of a van marked “blood drive,” pushing a dolly of boxes marked for the reasonable cause of saving a life, or multiple. Shortly after the fifth period bell rings, a tall student wearing black clothes and worn Nike basketball shoes walks away from the school. A red car maneuvers into a parking spot in the second row, and the door creaks open. A young woman, mixed race with short blond hair, exits with a bag of food in her hand and a pink and black backpack on her back. A black crow sits on a slightly bent sign that reads “No parking. Fire lane.” The blood drive volunteer walks out of the gym door with the same boxes. He walks faster while thunderous aircrafts from the neighboring Boeing facilities pass overhead. MAIN OFFICE Office hours are taped to the glass inserts of two big wooden doors. Adjacent to the doors, six blue balloons, one heart-shaped with the acronym IB printed on it, and another with a rainbow star on it, both grouped among the others – all bound with light blue ribbon – sit on a shelf. The ribbon falls in front of a framed photograph of Henry Moses. Around the curve of a long desk, a laminated sign says “Athletic Office.” Thank you letters addressed to athletic director Carmen Dewey are visible. Laughs and coughs echo. Administrative specialist Wendy Yates clicks on a keyboard and mouse. Receipts print from behind the desk. “I’m going to lunch,” ASB secretary Ebony Pattenaude says, walking out of the office holding up a peace sign. DETENTION AND ISI On the left side of the room, in the first row of desks, is a boy wearing a gray sweater and red-black shoes. The row behind him is empty. In the third row, a Caucasian looking girl with a bun reads a book with a red cover. On the right side of the room, a teacher’s assistant, with light auburn hair, lounges with a striped white and gray long sleeve top and Ugg boots. LIBRARY Pictures of dead homecoming queens line the walls.

Elsewhere: dream catchers, plants, globes, books, school memorabilia and geisha dolls. THIRD FLOOR HALLWAY A student checking his phone turns the corner and gravitates towards the wall to his left, his hand magnetically clinging to the wall, dragging it as he goes. Freshman language arts teacher Dylan Okimoto’s classroom door is propped open. “Next person. Michael! Read aloud,” Okimoto says. Two other girls walk by, giggling as they repeat, “movie theatre,” in different tones and pronunciations. A girl in black track pants carrying a pink sports bag reaches the top of the stairs. “Dear Jesus,” she says. ROOM 307 Pilgrim ancestors line the walls. The heads of dragons from a Chinese New Year dance cram the corner of the room. A pink ukulele glows by a window. Government teacher Michael King uses a red laser to make a point about the history of the Supreme Court. “I’m about to be bumping,” a student in Seahawks gear says, holding his Beats headphones. “Shut up!” a girl in a green jacket and red hoodie says. “Why don’t you be polite and just say, ‘be quiet’?” King says.

King

ROOM 315 A student in a gray beanie taps a pen as she stares at her paper, frustrated. Statues of elephants decorate the room. Meanwhile, another student in all black sits beside the teacher’s desk talking on his phone, scanning the vicinity. US History teacher Lurline Antes sits next to a student across the classroom, helping him with an assignment. ROOM 316 The lesson is on Macbeth. “What does broil mean?” Okimoto asks. “Did you say ‘bra?’” a student retorts. “No, I did not say under garments—but brawl or fight,” Okimoto says, bringing out a cup of popsicle sticks to call on

Okimoto

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students. A girl picks up pink EOS chap stick. Three students pass a bookmark back and forth. There is a cartoon drawing of a penis on it. A poster on the wall speaks for itself. “You learn when others around you learn.” ROOM 324 “Wait to judge the color of a song until after I play it,” choir teacher Lizabeth Diaz says, loading a disc into the CD player. ROOM 127 “If you’re talking right now, you’re being disrespectful. I hope that’s your character, not your value system,” health teacher Esther Rich says. A variety of baby booster seats rest on top of cabinets above the counter with a sink, coffee maker and a line of tape dispensers. The sequence for the tape goes like this: silver, black, silver, black, beige, black, silver, black. “You’re not old,” Rich tells another student. “I know I’m not old. I’m older.” A magazine rack full of Health magazines rests in the upper left of the room next to the TV. A guy in a striped gray sweater, khakis and blue Nike shoes, fidgets with his hands and checks the clock. “Perhaps one of your goals should be not to talk during work time,” Rich says. “Maybe one of the other goals could be to come to class on time.” One girl in red plaid talks about daddy issues. A girl with key earrings and green and white nails works on an assignment. Two girls, one in grey and one in white, rub hand sanitizer on their hands. ROOM 130 The smell suggests walls made of moist Play-Doh. Focused faces concentrate as pottery students mark on tablets of clay. The teacher circulates the room, checking in with students. A breeze from windows blows the geometry shaped objects hanging from the ceiling. “If it’s not sunny later, can I hit you in the head with my racket?” a girl with a black hoodie and white graphic T-shirt says to her friend. The classroom is split into three different groups: the quiet students working without ever making eye contact, students listening to music through some ear buds, and students socializing. Students never glance at the clock. The sound of chisel on clay echoes as the class reaches the final minutes before the bell. “It’s all uneven,” a tall student says to her smaller friend. “I don’t want to start over!”


ROOM 344 All emotions are present Anger: “Boy, I will sock you in the face.” Love: “When will this class end? I just want to go home and cuddle with you!” Sadness: “I don’t know when this class ends. Not like it matters…” Happiness: “OH MY GOD, I WIN!!!” “No, you cheated!” ROOM 347 “Don’t try to act, just say it how you normally would,” drama teacher Sara Khelgahatian says. Students are in groups of four, desks in squares so everyone can see each other. Khelgahatian paces the floor, hands clasped

Khelgahatian

behind her back. “I’M GOING TO BE STOPPING YOU IN TWO MINUTES!” she yells. When she stops them, she points out their use of accents, mimicking them. “These boys were awesome women over here,” she says, motioning to a table of boys. To the left of the floor to the ceiling, black cloth and red curtains: a small window with a sticky note stuck to the handle. “Don’t open these windows,” it reads. “If you’re hot, wear short sleeves and drink H20.” Underneath the handle is another note: “Also, open the door.” Sparkly masks and other hats hang along the wall. Above the teacher’s desk, metallic silver and gold stars dangle. Khelgahatian searches through a bucket of supplies at a table and finds a small baggie of crumbs. “Really?” she says, holding the small plastic bag with her in index finger and her thumb.

COURTYARD Water drips from two trash cans, two light posts and the wide-open gate that is usually closed during school. A girl holding two backpacks sets one on the bench, adjusts the other, and continues to the commons. A crow caws above the noise of the wind brushing past the trees. At 12:20 p.m., an airplane flies by, the sound synchronizing with the AC system. Clouds dance across the sky in a parade of grays, darkest at the edge of the school and lightest above it. The rain makes a “bloop” sound near a drain. Two girls walk from the commons to the gym; their whispers melting into the sounds of classroom activity on the second floor, heard through open windows. At 12:36 p.m., a train goes by and honks 20 times, a crescendo of deep tones followed by a decrescendo of low notes. The wind moves the naked trees by force. The clouds sprint across the sky as if running from an enemy: summer.

Text by Dominique Viray, Hunter McAvan, Amanda Dyer, Alicia Quarles, Joseph Hoang, Christina Nguyen, Naje Bryant, Aidan Chaloupla, Rafael Agas, Vincent Hong, Dii Miller, Khamren Gulley and Vanessa Leon-Villagomez

THOSE Ghetto kids / Valentin Alverada, a junior who rode on top of a train from HOnduras by himself / Saber Abdi,, a sophomore who came to America alone after surviving a storm on the Mediterranean sea / Senior Abduwalli Abukar VANISHED and came back / junior Lizzy Roman Bacillo, came to AUBURN from Tijuana IN A TRUCK

He disappeared quickly, leaving no clues as to where he was, what he was doing, or if he was walking this earth anymore. Swarms of rumors involving his disappearance took flight like ravenous clouds of locusts, progressing and evolving from Abukar skipping class to possible death. But the real cause of his disappearance was something that medical science and the natural world couldn’t define.

Photo by Hunter McAvan

CRISIS · 9


her journey started in the back of a truck All junior Angeles Lizeth Roman Bacilio could see were blurs of light through her red and white blankets. Flies crawled through the holes of what used to protect her from darkness and imaginary monsters. Six years old and already suffering a bad family road trip. “I remember being covered in blankets with my brother and cousins,” Bacilio said as she pulled her legs towards her stomach. “I went somewhere to go meet my dad who didn’t live with us and other family members. [My other family members] gave us their goodbyes and their blessings.” Bacilio hasn’t seen her family since. SAYING GOODBYE Clothing stuck to their skin. “We walked for a very long time. I got tired fast so my dad had to carry me.” Bacilio, her dad, two cousins and her older brother, took their first step into the woods after saying goodbye to their relatives and grandparents. “I was wearing a no sleeve shirt with an eye on it, and jeans with pink flowers at the bottom. My dad was wearing a white button-up shirt with normal jeans, and my brother was wearing an orange shirt and normal jeans too,” Bacilio said. “I guess wearing bright clothes was a bad idea, because later that night we got caught by cops and they took us to jail. “I saw my dad behind bars,” Bacilio said. “The rest of us sat in the lobby. The cops gave us cheese crackers and orange juice that tasted just plain bad. After we ate, they took us into a room where we were all going to sleep at the night.” In the morning, the cops came with a bag full of stuffed animals. “My cousin got a kitten that we didn’t figure out made noises until we left. I got a colorful fish that made bubble noises,” Bacilio said. “I had to leave them behind because my dad said it would make too much noise.” Bacilio and her family were sent back to Mexico. “I remember my dad saying that we were already this far, but we needed a place to rest and let the cops’ guard die down.” After going to a nearby house that her dad knew the owners of, they rested and prepared their second try to cross the border. “After we got to a place where the guy there didn’t let us out, there were so many of them [other people trying to cross the border]. He brought us to a room full of mattresses and told us to stay.” In order to escape they had to spend the night. At around 5 a.m., while the men were sleeping, they ran. “We ran for a long time. We got to a hotel that gave us eggs and beans and the morning after we got into

BACILIO

a van and drove for three to five hours until we got to Auburn.” There she met her mother that she hasn’t seen for three years. LAND OF THE FREE “My mom came here when I was three years old and asked my dad to bring me here for a better education and better living environment,” Bacilio said. Instead of landing on the land of the free that America portrays, Bacilio landed in the land of authority and law. Her first moments were filled with questions and fear. “Someone came to visit us one day and then left. Later that day, cops showed up and asked how we were doing,” Bacilio said. Bacilio, her brother and two cousins, were grouped together as the cops talked to him. They told them why they were there: they had questions. The kids were split individually for the first of many times to come. “They asked if we had food and water, if school was good, and if we felt safe. I said yes, but I didn’t feel safe with them around.” Bacilio’s dad was evicted and sent back to Mexico. She hasn’t seen him for 11 years. She has concluded she probably won’t see him ever again. Her mom was evicted shortly after, but she has made short visits. The last time Bacilio saw her was Jan. 25 last year. “At almost four in the morning the cops came back and told us we had 10 days to pack,” Bacilio said. “My older brother came into the room and told us we were going into foster care. I didn’t understand at the time. I thought we were just going back home.” FOSTER CARE Bacilio went on to live in five foster homes. She is now living in Renton She has been separated from her cousins three times including now, and her older brother is living with his girlfriend. “I’ve never had a favorite foster home,” Bacilio said. “I never had a foster parent that felt like an actual

COSTACHE

parent.” Bacilio’s first foster home was in Federal Way. “The lady’s husband wasn’t allowed to be there but he still was,” Bacilio said. “He showed my little brothers stuff. Adult stuff. And the lady had tried to attack my culture, saying that what us people ate, was poor people food.” In Federal Way, Bacilio learned about what foster care was and what was going to happen. They told her that her brother and her cousins might be put into different families. “Later on we met this old Mexican lady that had a license for six kids and she took us all in. I was really happy that I wouldn’t be separated from my family, but she only kept us for three months,” Bacilio said. “I was counting days. I had nothing else to do but wait for something to happen.” Bacilio and her brothers tried to rely on her family. She lived with her aunt for a while, but it didn’t feel right to her and her siblings. They lived with her 19 year old brother and his girlfriend, but the couple didn’t have enough money to give the children the right care. At times, Bacilio was sent to group homes where larger groups of kids stayed when they couldn’t find families. Most of these times Bacilio was separated from her brothers. Phone and internet use were recorded, limited or prohibited, so contacting her brothers became a struggle. “Group homes were basically a foster home but without the ‘home’ feeling. There were always fights and it was really strict,” Bacilio said. “It’s like an orphanage, but not exactly. “There were all sorts of reasons for fights. Either

for food, or someone said som Everyone just wanted to fight were just crazy.” “I’ve reported my foster for showing pornography to treating us right and other th Of course, she hasn’t be “I’ve been reported for n Although her past foster of seven o’clock dinners and might have found the perfect “I met a new foster mom away from here,” Bacilio said

CRISIS


mething bad about them. t out their anger, or they

homes several times. Once my younger brothers, not hings,” Bacilio said. een perfect herself, either. not listening.” r homes aren’t a reminder getting tucked into bed, she t one. m that lives over half an hour d. “She’s really really nice.

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She feeds us well and might be one of the best foster homes I’ve seen, but it’s just really far away. “I’m moving there soon and the only thing that’s keeping me from wanting to move is my boyfriend. I feel like I will lose him even if he says that won’t happen. And I really like this school.” Bacilio has built a life in Renton she doesn’t want to give up. She has created a web of relationships. “[Lizzy] being in foster care doesn’t affect me at all. I love her no matter what,” boyfriend Corvin Costache said. “It’s just the fear of her moving away that makes it hard.” Costache has been Bacilio’s boyfriend for six

months. They met in woodshop and started talking during lunch and soon it became a normal thing. “I’ve been to her foster home several times. The foster mom treated me well. The place was nice, but hard to get to. However, I think I have a different perspective than Lizzy,” Costache said. RED AND BLUE Bacilio wants to grow up to be the person she feared as a child, a police officer. Since those times she has made friends who have devoted their lives to law enforcement and they encourage her to chase her dream. “[Other police officers] tell me it’s good that I want

to be a police officer. My brother is joining the U.S. army because he’s having trouble with money. I wanted to do that but it was just a little too much,” Bacilio said. Wanting to be a police officer makes her want to stay here more. “I’ve never heard of a school that offered ‘police science,’’” Bacilio said. “That’s one of the main reasons why I want to stay in this school. “In 10 years, I don’t see myself back with my family. My mom is having money problems and my dad is having heart problems, so I might not ever see him again. I talk to my dad whenever I can about how we’re both doing. He tells me he loves me.” Text by Joseph Hoang Photos by Dominique Viray


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what should get an entire page? / rebellion in Syria? (( Was it Syria? we forget ) / anything having to with transgender or queer or gay life /


Biology teacher Lauren Anderson’s high school showed no mercy to gay and lesbian students. SMALL TOWN BULLIES “No one was out,” Anderson said. “There was one person who came out and had to leave the school, they got bullied so badly.” At Prairie Grove High School, bullying was not looked down upon. “That was something that the school was proud of,” Anderson said. “That [gay and lesbian students] got bullied so much they had to leave. It was the same with other ethnicities.” Anderson remembers a time she participated in the bullying. “I was hanging out with all these mean people. They would tell me ‘Oh, since you hang out with everyone, go find out if they’re gay,’” Anderson said. She regrets that time. “I’m happy that they never gave me real answers,” Anderson said. “That could’ve hurt them a lot.” Such cliques kept Anderson apart from her now fiancé, Brandy Roper. “My partner now, she and I went to high school together but we didn’t know each other,” Anderson said. “She was in the art-Goth crowd and I was in the preppy crowd, so of course we didn’t cross paths very often.” Though Anderson was not bullied, Roper was. “I wasn’t ever ‘out’ in school,” Roper said. “I just dressed like a boy and never had a boyfriend so was called ‘dyke,’ ‘lesbo’ and ‘fag’ while walking down the hall or reading in class.”

anderson

PRAIRIE GROVE Roper came from a more populated area of Northwest Kansas called Springdale, and in 6th grade moved to Prairie Grove; Anderson spent her whole childhood in Prairie Grove. Prairie Grove, Ark. founded in 1888, is where the last major Civil War battle in Northwest Ark. was fought. Over 2,500 soldiers lost their lives. “Springdale was a surprisingly diverse town for Northwest Arkansas,” Roper said. “There were a lot of fun community things to do for kids without much money. Prairie Grove was a rural town that had a population of 2,000 and absolutely nothing to do.” Anderson met Roper in biology class, the subject she now teaches. She became interested in biology after seeing how her own high school teachers balanced religion, a fundamental part of Prairie Grove’s community, and evolution. “It was such a religious area, and it was interesting to see [teachers] walk the fine line between religion and science,” Anderson said. “I saw how they modeled themselves and [now make] myself either not do what they did or repeat some things they did.” EASING THE TRANSITION Anderson felt more accepted after meeting Jessica McBride, a fellow biology teacher, at the new teacher orientation before the school year began. McBride was a student teacher and substitute teacher before coming to Renton.

“My last teaching job was a lot less diverse than this school,” McBride said. “I think the issues that students struggle with in the city versus in a rural community are very different.” McBride and Anderson quickly connected through an equal love of science. “We bonded over it, not only because we teach science, but because we have similar views on teaching,” McBride said. “Science is in our souls.”

mcbride

LOVE DESPITE THE ODDS “My senior year I was an office aid and [Roper] had Spanish,” Anderson said. “I still remember getting nervous every time I went into her class. Years later, it all made sense, like, ‘I had a crush on you.’” But Roper was dating guys. “Roper and I had been friends for years and years but we both had boyfriends,” Anderson said. “She had figured out her sexuality and orientation, but both of us had been dating guys and spending more time as friends.” Part of this, Anderson thinks, is because heterosexuality was the norm. “I started dating boys and boys and boys,” Anderson said. “It wasn’t until I got out of that environment that I figured it out.” But it wasn’t like no one knew at all. Anderson’s mom, Melissa, questioned her sexuality after a moment they now refer to as, “the gay high five.” “Brandy and I were just starting to date, going out to dinner and things like that,” Anderson said. “One day my mom came over to her house because she was picking me up to go to lunch and we weren’t expecting her to come over. We didn’t know how to say bye to each other in front of her, so we just gave each other a hive five.” In the days following, Melissa initiated a conversation and flat out asked if she was gay. “We started texting about it, mostly because we were both nervous about putting it into words,” Anderson said. “She got furious when she got the actual answer.” Anderson’s family sat down and talked it out the next day. “It was the most disgusting thing I’d ever heard my parents say,” Anderson said. “They aren’t racist, they aren’t homophobic... but the stuff they were saying I will never forget.” Her mom reacted with much more passion and anger than her father, though he did agree and decide that Anderson needed to move out. She was in college at the time. “My dad is really supportive and he loves me,” Anderson said. “What’s difficult as you grow up is you have to realize your parents chose each other and it’s a different relationship. My dad loves me no matter what, but if my mom’s unhappy he’s going to try to make her happy.” Anderson started looking into moving to Wash. the winter of 2012. “I think once I decided to move [my parents] were sad, but at the same time thought it was good,” Anderson said. “Now every time I call they’re super excited.” Time and space can bring loved ones closer, and Anderson sees how moving gave her parents the break they needed.

“We got to meet up after this last break,” Anderson said, wiping tears from her eyes. “They actually gave us money for the wedding, which is really exciting.” R-74 PAVES THE WAY “Our birthdays are actually only three days apart. She was born on July 11th and I’m on the 14th so we are putting the wedding in the middle,” Anderson said. The July beach-side wedding is going to be large and laid back. “Family from Arkansas, tons of friends, some of my students from Arkansas are making it as their senior trip,” Anderson said. “I’m going to invite some of the teachers from school I’ve gotten to be friends with this year and then I’m going to open it up to my students.” Of course, McBride is on the guest list. “It’s a monumental experience in her life,” McBride said. “I will be happy to be there and take pictures and celebrate in the happiness of her and Brandy’s shared lives.” In terms of attire, the usual black tie need not apply. “She will probably wear skinny jeans and a white button up,” Anderson said. “I want to find a dress really similar to my grandmother’s kind of cut off and short... It’s going to be on the beach in Tacoma.” OH THE PLACES YOU’LL GO During her late teens and early 20s, Anderson sought out travel as a way of exploring the kinds of diversity her hometown lacked. “I’ve got my passport tattoo and each time I go to a new country I add on to it because I lost my passport a few years ago,” Anderson said. “That was my very first thing when I graduated high school. I think it kind of helped me get out of such a small town and see the big world.” After many trips over several years, Anderson decided to go to Costa Rica. It was during this time Roper realized the nature of her feelings for her. It was during this time Roper realized the nature of her feelings for Anderson. “I knew for sure that I had feelings for Lauren when she left for Costa Rica,” Roper said. “I would see photos of her having fun with interesting people and get jealous that she was making those memories without me.” And she has a passion for traveling just as strong as Anderson does. “Lauren wouldn’t be with me if I didn’t,” Roper said. Growing up in a small town gave Anderson the initiative to seek out other options and ideas. “Its super fun to have all those different perspectives. I think it’s kind of like science,” Anderson said. “You never know what’s right unless you talk to so many other people and I feel like I never know if my opinion is right unless I talk to other people about theirs.” For those struggling with their own inner battles concerning sexuality, Anderson has this to offer: “There is so much time,” Anderson said. “People get really frustrated in high school because they have to decide now, they have to know now. There is so much time to just figure it out.”

Text by Mikayla Cheney Photos courtesy of Lauren Anderson

RESOLUTION · 13


Extra Pages for regular people helping regular people

They left on a sweaty August day from an airport in Tukwila and arrived in Las Mercedes, Nicaragua on a day equally, if not more, humid and rainy.

BEFORE THE TRIP “This year we started fundraising money with other students and finally had enough to go,” senior Kim Nguyen said. Kim was one of the very lucky students to have an opportunity of a lifetime to join Build On and construct a school in Nicaragua along with ELL teacher Robert Conway. Nguyen ran into some bumps along in the road. “Visa and paper work were the hardest parts to the trip,” Nguyen said. It only took Conway fifteen minutes to go through the line at the airport. As for Nguyen, it took up to an hour. “It might be because Nicaragua has foreign issues with other countries in the world other than the U.S.,” Conway said, “but that’s what I think.” Packed in a suit case were light clothes, pants, gifts and even toilet paper. “They told us to pack light clothes that we could get dirty since we would be outside,” Nguyen said. “I brought books and school supplies so that they can use for their new school [too].”

Nguyen

ARRIVING TO DESTINATION When they arrived the mayor of the village greeted them along with the host families. “They were very humble, shy and super nice. My host family consisted of grandparents, mom, dad, two daughters and one son,” Nguyen said. Being in a different country, there were language barriers but still opportunities to understand one another. “They don’t speak English. How we would communicate was by hand gestures and some background of my first year Spanish,” Nguyen said. As a caring gesture, Nguyen left behind her notes from Spanish class on purpose. “I ended up leaving my flashcards there so that way they can learn and become educated,” Nguyen said. “They spoke little English. No parents went to school and so the kids never attended school.” They didn’t even have electronics so they had other alternatives for having fun. “The host family I stayed with had daughters who played with chickens,” Conway said. “Those were their toys.” There was also cultural awareness that the families encountered. “There was one 16 year old boy [who was] part of my host family who sat on a blue chair and just watched us,” Conway said. “Literally he would watch us, observing us. While we would walk around look at certain things while we were journaling our experience.”

FROM MORNING TO SUNSET They woke in the morning at 5 a.m. every day, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They mostly ate rice, beans and tortillas; for drinks, they had fresh coffee from the local plantations and even fresh squeezed orange juice. “At first I didn’t like [rice and beans] but then I got used to it,” Nguyen said. “You just get used to it.” They also had what Nicaragua is famous for: coffee from the plantation. “The coffee was just magnificent,” Conway said. “You don’t get any fresher than that.” Not only was it fresh, it was potent. “The coffee had a strong taste and was really good sweet,” Nguyen said. “Nothing like you could get here.” Then, the construction began. Packing some water and the clothes on their backs, they rode a car up the mountain to find the place of construction. “We would go to the work site, working for four hours in the morning and then hiking up a mountain,” Conway said. “It was a beautiful mountain, a 20 minute drive up a very muddy, slippery and dangerous road, but it was well worth it.” Every 15 minutes, they would need to drink one liter of water an hour. They did this while working so as not to pass out from dehydration. “There was no use of using the bathroom since the liquid would be drained out of us fast,” Conway said. They worked for consecutive days, shoveling and building with wires. “I lost about five pounds from the construction,” Conway said. Liquid in, perspiration out. They worked hard until their bones ached. “We didn’t finish the school but we dug the layer of ground and shoveled. We made metal rods and the concrete to put down for [the] base. We made the structure,” Nguyen said. At the end of the day, they sat in a circle to talk about hearty subjects. “We would sit in a circle after we worked,” Nguyen said. “Then we would share our thoughts about what we realized we had at home, to be grateful. This was my favorite part of the trip.” Some nights reminded Nguyen of home, there was a blurry light with white noise coming from a television, but only this television was eight inches tall. “The television was black and white,” Nguyen said. “The family and I watched basic television or Spanish movies.” They went to sleep at 7 p.m. Then they would wake up and start the routine all over again.

Conway

Text and photos by Christina Nguyen

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ADVENTURE AWAITS The place they were standing at smelled of fresh soil and stench of animal. Not too far from the home were four cows. The cows were getting milk stolen from their mothers and they had to pry them away for a couple of seconds for milk. “It was kind of mean for the baby calves,” Nguyen said, “but I got to milk a cow.” It was a challenge and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. With an utter in her hand and a metal bucket ready to catch up to a gallon of fresh white cow’s milk, Nguyen was disappointed to only get spurts. “The farmer made it look easy but it wasn’t. I barely got any milk out,” Nguyen said. They also made their way to a small machine that made coffee. “We went to a coffee plantation,” Nguyen said, “but it wasn’t like the factories here. There they had only one machine and it was hand powered.” Conway’s living experience was different than Nguyen’s. “I had to walk two houses down to bathe. I think Kim got to stay in a house [with a bath],” Conway said. There were also some scary moments. “There was a moment where we were sleeping and heard a scratch on the door,” Conway said. “A person said it might have been a jaguar. They have some big cats and not just cats and dogs there.” Generally, the village was nice. “The kids in the village were not the same age as me,” Nguyen said. “One girl was 15 years old, but we didn’t have a conversation. I did make friends during construction though: a Spanish

villager who volunteered, and he even had worked on the side.” Kim was the only person of color from the U.S. on this trip, and this made her stand out. “I remember this one moment during the trip where we were choosing partners to work with for the duration of the trip,” Conway said. “One of the villagers was a Spanish man and he was learning Chinese on the radio. He noticed Kim and pointed to her and said ‘I want to work with the Chino’ and Kim abruptly said ‘I’m Vietnamese!’ and ever since then during the trip Kim was teaching the man some Vietnamese while he taught her Spanish. They were buddies.” “The builder I was building with was really nice and we got a lot accomplished,” Nguyen said. BY THE END Travelers often miss people back home, but Kim didn’t miss her family so much as discover a newfound appreciation for all her parents have done for her. “They came to America from nothing to provide education for me and my siblings,” Nguyen said. “Compared to the other kids in Vietnam, the Vietnam diets are worse than just beans. It made me feel like visiting my home in Vietnam.” There was a big celebration for the accomplishments and friendships made. On the last day, there was a goodbye party with gift exchanges, a piñata and lively children jumping around for candy. “It was sad leaving because of the friendships made,” Nguyen said. The final celebration exemplified a new beginning. The life in Nicaragua was so fascinating and really only left Nguyen and Conway with one regret. “The worst thing that happened was leaving,” Conway said.

Photo courtesy of Kim Nguyen

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Pages for people who came before us / maybe famous Sophomore George Harris is related to Jimi Hendrix. As crazy and as unbelievable as it sounds, it’s true.

THE GREAT NEPHEWS “Ever since I was born my mom has always talked about it,” Harris said. “He’s my great uncle and my mother’s biological uncle, and my grandpa’s brother.” Harris’s mother told him when he was in third grade. Since then Harris has learned to cope with the shock that comes with being related to a celebrity. “I was really excited,” Harris said. “I went to elementary school and brought one of his albums and played it and got the whole class to listen to it.” Harris’s family plays Jimi Hendrix’s music through the house. One of Harris’s favorite albums is “Are You Experienced” and one of his favorite songs is “All Along the Watch Tower.” “I’m always hearing about him,” Harris said. “My mom can’t go a day without talking about Jimi Hendrix. I’ve low key had enough of hearing about it.” His mother has devoted an entire studio to Jimi Hendrix and his work. The family has one of his golden records and Harris has a guitar signed by Jimi Hendrix’s father, Al Hendrix. Harris would one day like to grow a Jimi-style afro. His family claims he bears a slight resemblance to Jimi, but from what he sees there is no resemblance whatsoever. Not a lot of people know Harris is related to Jimi. “I only tell, like, my closest friends,” Harris said. “I don’t want to be known for that, I want to be known for me. “ Sophomore Jose Garcia has been Harris’s friend since freshman year. “When he told me, I don’t know... I thought it was crazy,” Garcia said. Garcia doesn’t let that knowledge affect their friendship. Sophomore Terry Si has been friends with Harris for two years.

Harris

“I went over to his house and his mom told me she was Jimi Hendrix’s niece,” Si said. Even if Harris doesn’t want to be known for his relation to Jimi Hendrix, his other family members do. “Growing up, me and my cousin Giaunie both knew about it,” Harris said. “He always liked it a lot more because his last name is Hendrix.” Chief Sealth International High School junior Giaunie Hendrix is Hendrix’s great nephew as well. “I’ve known since I was little,” Giaunie said. “I did not really care because I didn’t know who he was.” He learned facts from Harris’ mother, who loves to share information and play the music. “When we were in Hawaii she showed us where he played,” Giaunie said. “She showed us his star in Hollywood.” Freshman Justin Jones, Harris’s cousin, found out about the relation from his grandfather. “I thought, like, ‘Wow. I’m related to someone famous, and it’s a direct relation,’” Jones said. “I should show this off.” Jones doesn’t blurt the information randomly. The circumstances have to be right for him to talk about it. If someone brings up the topic of Jimi, he will share. He’ll also talk if someone pretends to be related. “I just laugh because, I mean, I know that they’re lying because I have that relation. Then I just tell them.” Jones and Harris both play the acoustic guitar. “My family kept telling me I would be good at it, and that I had a ‘natural talent,’” Harris said. He was attending a Christian school when he first put that

Jones

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talent to use, so many of the first songs he learned to play were Gospel songs. Harris got additional help through a class he took at the school and from a friend of his mother’s. Now he’s working towards playing ‘All Along The Watchtower’.’ Jones didn’t feel a sense of intrinsic talent but learned to play with the help of Harris and the music academy Harris’s mother works at. Jones’s favorite song is “Foxy Lady.” “It just has a good vibe to it and a good feel,” he said. Harris and his family visit the Hendrix’s grave almost every year. Giaunie finds the visits to be a sad but inspiring time. Other than the saddening feeling they have, the time can be a rather joyous one. “Sometimes that’s the only time I see certain people in our family,” Jones said. “It’s cool to see how much he can bring us together even when dead.” Harris’s mother brings some of her students to play music at his grave on the day of his death. People leave behind flowers on the headstone of the grave. “It feels like he’s there with us,” Harris said. “Like he’s grateful that we’re here.” Their grandfather, Jimi’s brother, tells them stories. One of Harris’s favorites is a story where Jimi and his brother were assisting their father cleaning out a garage. Jimi found a small guitar while clearing a pile; the woman offered it to him for 15 dollars. Jimi worked hard to get the money, Jimi’s father didn’t understand why this was so important. HIS NIECE From a young age Tina Hendrix, Harris’s mom, knew she was related to Hendrix. She heard from her dad stories of the family moving from foster home to foster home, how his big Photo courtesy of Tina Hendrix


brother Jimi kept him out of harm’s way. “When I was a young child, I just thought of Jimi as my uncle who went to heaven before I was born,” Tina said. “Later on, when I could appreciate his musical genius, and what he accomplished and did for rock n’ roll, I became a Jimi fan.” For forty years Tina has visited the grave. “My grandparents and cousins and aunts and uncles are there too, so it is a time of reflection and respect and praying for the family,” Tina said. Nowadays, Tina runs the Jimi Hendrix Music Academy here in Renton. The academy strives to teach the youth of our community all aspects of music, from playing it to producing it. This Oct. the Academy will celebrate five years of free music education for teens. Their mission is to provide at-risk teens with music education, mentoring and intervention programs. The academy currently has twenty students but has helped over 100 young people over the years. The Jimi Hendrix Academy gets its funding from fans who want to help kids learn music; some donate guitars and equipment. Volunteers do much of the instruction. This year Tina is applying for grants in hopes of getting more money to help even more kids. Tina’s dream is to house the academy in a permanent building where young people can continue doing great things. “He inspires me to work on my music and musicianship, teach as many kids as I can, and to study music forever,” Tina said. “He also inspires me to carry on the family legacy and to teach it to my kids and grandkids.” She doesn’t believe the stories that circulate the media. “I’m saddened when people say negative things about such a good person,” Tina said. ���He is a family member, so we are sensitive to what is said in the newspapers.” She takes it upon herself to step in and point out mistakes. One of the stories she’s heard is that Jimi was drug addict. According to Tina, Jimi didn’t die from a drug overdose; he died from choking in a terrible accident. According to Rolling Stone Magazine Jimi died from drug-related complications. A Daily News Article states that he died from choking on vomit consisting mainly of red wine. Other websites say he choked on vomit after taking nine or more sleeping pills in his girlfriend’s flat. No matter what is being said, Jimi has found a way to impact many people’s lives with his music. “Some people tell me that Jimi’s music saved their lives while they were going through a sad time. That always amazes me.”

ARE YOU EXPERIENCED: JIMI HENDRIX FOR DUMMIES Don’t know who Jimi Hendrix is? Where have you been? Have no fear, here are facts to help you learn about Jimi and his musical genius. • To begin, Jimi Hendrix, born James Marshall Hendrix, was born here in Seattle, Wash. on Nov. 27, 1942. • At a young age, he took an interest in music even though he couldn’t read or write it. After his father noticed him playing a broom as if it were a guitar, he bought him a one-string ukulele which Jimi learned how to play by ear. • After a year in the army, Jimi began working as a session guitarist. Jimi even got to work with famous people like Tina Turner and Little Richard, along with a few others.

• Jimi toured as a guitarist for little Richard and then went solo, forming his own band, Jimmy James and the Blue Flames. It was during a performance at Greewhich Village that Jimi proved himself to Animals’ bassist, Chas Chandler. Chandler gave up his title of bassist to become Jimi’s manager. • Chandler convinced Jimi to move to London and formed the Jimi Hendrix experience. • One of the first singles of the Jimi Hendrix Experience was ‘Hey Joe,’ which spent weeks at number six on the UK charts. After that, The Jimi Hendrix Experience released their album, ‘Are You Experienced.’ • Jimi’s debut in the U.S. was at the Monterey Pop Festival, June of 1967, where at the end of the performance, Jimi set his guitar on fire. In 1969, studio work and touring took its toll on

the group and they broke up. • Summer of 1969, Jimi Hendrix played the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, along with Gypsy Sun & Rainbows. Their performance was highlighted by their rendition of the “Star Spangle Banner”. • 1970 formed the Jimi Hendrix Experience again. The group recorded several tracks for their newest album. Sadly, Jimi didn’t get to see the release of the album due to his tragic death on Sept. 18, 1970, what was said to be a drug overdose. Jimi’s body was flown to Seattle, Wash. for the service, then buried in Greenwood Cemetery here in Renton, the very same location of his mother’s grave. • Jimi Hendrix popularized the use of the Wah-Wah Pedal, and was the first artist to use Stereophonic Phasing effects. (stereo). Text and Photos by Khamren Gulley Photos courtesy of The EMP Museum

Pacific Club Meet a lot of friendly people Learn about the pacific island culture Wednesdays and Fridays first and third week of the month Room 306 2:15 - 3:00

Address: 920 N 10th Street, Renton, WA 98057

Phone: (425) 228-6180 Email: Toreros@live.com

Restaurant Hours: Sun – Thurs: 11am – 10pm Thurs- Sat: 11am – 12am

Lounge Hours: Sun – Wed: 11am – 10pm Fri & Sat: 11am – 11pm


Or famous to you and your family

Some of our family members are gone but not forgotten. LANI NGUYEN misses her mother Bich Son Truong Date of loss: March 6, 2006 Junior Lani Nguyen lost her mother Bich Son Truong. “In second grade, my mom came to my school and told the school I had a doctor’s appointment, which made me feel terrified,” Nguyen said. “I wasn’t ready for the doctor but she took me outside as I cried and when we got in the car, she told me I didn’t actually have a doctor’s appointment, and that she just wanted to spend time with me.” Nguyen was happy to spend quality time with her mother.

“After picking me up, she took me to her nail salon. She let me sit there and just spend time with her as people got their haircut and nails done,” Nguyen said. I offered to help, but she never let me. She thought… I would break something.” Her mother was right. “I actually broke something,” Nguyen said. “I broke a cup trying to get some water. Rather than yelling at me, she just laughed.” Now when Nguyen leaves school, she thinks of her mother. “If I ever leave school early, even for a dentist appointment or any appointment, I think, ‘What if it’s just my mom telling me that she wants to spend time with me again?’”

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Text by Vincent Hong Photo courtesy of Lani Nguyen

Nguyen


SAMANTHA BARCUS misses her uncle Jeremy Lee Burges Date of loss: Sept. 30, 2011 Freshman Samantha Barcus remembers her uncle teaching her how to swim. “He would jump in the pool and cause huge splashes,” Barcus said. “He made me go all the way toward the 8 feet side of the pool which freaked me out.” She remembers the day’s littlest details. “We were hanging out at the waterpark casually and he bought me some ice cream,” Barcus said. “I slept over at his house the night before. We had breakfast, and he made his special pancakes. He refused to tell me what was in them. He randomly asked me if I wanted to go to the water park as I was eating because it was pretty hot outside. After the water park, he dropped me off at my mom’s to get ready to go to church the next day.”

barcus

Phillip Duong misses his father Scott Duong Date of loss: Dec. 4, 2013 Sophomore Phillip Duong spent part of the summer before his sophomore year camping with his father. “We joked around a lot, and would try to place our settlement in the most awkward and funniest place possible. In the end, we put it next to some tree,” Duong said. “During the day, the tent ended up flying away, and we had to chase it by swimming across a lake.” Throughout Duong’s day with his father, he was able to experience quiet time that allowed him to realize that talking isn’t required to bond. “We swam a lot that day, it was really fun. We also went fishing together. I remember using spears to catch fish,” Duong said. “As we fished, he didn’t talk to me much. We just enjoyed nature. I guess the silence was our way of showing affection to one another.” Duong regrets not cherishing more moments with his father. “This camping trip was the last time we got to spend time together. I never got to realize how meaningful the moments that we hung out were, until he passed away right after,” Duong said. “He ended up getting cancer. I was able to spend my last moments with him when he was in the hospital. He told me that he loved me very much.”

duong

Brisaly Ramirez misses her uncle Edgar Sahgardelmar Date of loss: Oct. 13, 2013 The first time freshman Brisaly Ramirez went to Calif., she met her uncle for the first, and last, time. “Two years ago... I got to meet my uncle. My brother and I were heading back to Washington the next day,” Ramirez said. Living two states away impacted their relationship. “We were never able to see each other. It was literally a once in a lifetime chance to see him because I was never able to go back to California, not even to visit,” Ramirez said. Ramirez filled the day with her uncle and brother with activities. “We went to the zoo for fun. We got ice cream and we got to check out penguins. I also remember having a race with my brother and uncle. We got in trouble and almost got kicked out. He made fun of me for being slow,” Ramirez said. She remembered how active he was given his diagnosis: skin cancer. “Boat riding was the most exciting thing to do that day. I was really terrified but he always assured [me] that I’d be okay. I felt completely safe when I was with him.” Ramirez had heard her uncle was strict. “He apparently had high expectations for everything but, when I first met him, he was basically the sweetest guy ever,” Ramirez said.

ramirez

MICHAELA CLARK misses her grandfather Charles Richard Caldwell Senior Date of loss: Jan. 9, 2011 A cruise in the Hawaiian islands allowed Geometry teacher Michaela Clark to spend time with her grandfather before his passing. She was seventeen at the time, traveling with her mom, dad, brother, aunt, uncle and grandmother. The family didn’t travel together often, so seeing turtles and snorkeling meant a lot. “I was really excited because I hadn’t been to Hawaii since I was two years old. It was exciting to go back and see what all of the hype was about,” Clark said. “It was during summer break, [when] it was hot and sunny.” Clark wishes her grandfather could have seen another part of her life. “He died before I graduated from college, and education meant a lot to him so I think that he would have loved to see me graduate.”

clark

Text by Vincent Hong


Pick up your pen and write your story the way it should be told

Illustration by Christina Nguyen and Vanessa Leon-Villagomez Rafael Agas................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Coherence and Accuracy Everywhere

Naje Bryant.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Staff

Mikayla Cheney.....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Storyteller

Abigail Cetino......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Staff

Khamren Gulley.....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Storyteller

Aidan Chaloupka.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Staff

Vincent Hong...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................All Around Everything

Emma Collier..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Staff

Joseph Hoang.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Design and Filter Folks

Amanda Dyer........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Staff

Joseph Kraus.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Intern

Evelyn Fitz................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Staff

Hunter McAvan...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Photoguru

Devon Henderson...........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Staff

Christina Nguyen .....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Design and Filter Folks

Annie Kwan............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ Staff

Derek Smith......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Advisor

D’Angelo Miller.....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Staff

Vanessa Leon-Villagomez...........................................................................................................................................................................................................................All Around Everything

Alicia Quarles.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Staff

Dominique Viray......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Advertising Go Getter

Lilian Vo............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ should not be on this page

FINE PRINT ARROW is an open forum produced by sleep deprived, pizza eating, chocolate fondue loving, stressed out, night owl like teens that gather around computer screens to fight over which article topics to hunt down throughout the school and stay after school till 9 p.m. for a week. They put all their effort in one place and attend at the same time. A place named Renton High School at 400 S. 2nd St., Renton, WA, 98057. The Executive Editor is senior Naje Bryant. You can

contact her at naje04@gmail.com ARROW is printed eight times a year by Pacific Publishing Company in Seattle, Washington. Word processing, graphics and layouts are created on Microsoft Office 2007 and Adobe Creative Suite 3 programs. ARROW has a press run of 2,000. The staff welcomes letters to the editor and will publish letters which meet our standards of good taste (as space permits). Letters must be signed. ARROW reserves the right to edit letters, though every attempt

will be made to preserve original content. Editorials, Commentaries, and other opinionated content pieces represent the majority view of ARROW editorial board and do not represent the views of the Renton School District or RHS. Opinions, commentaries, satires, and perspectives are the views of the writers and artists, not the Renton School District or ARROW editorial board. ARROW is financed by advertising based on sizedetermined rates. These range from $25-$80.

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Volume 6 Issue 6