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Del Norte High School

Volume 2 | Issue 1 | October 11, 2013







Informing you about what’s happening at Del Norte—and beyond.


Features Highlighting the ‘distinctively Del Norte’ culture and the people that make it happen.


Arts & Styles Reporting on what’s beautiful and trendy on campus.


Sports Taking an in-depth look at Nighthawk athletics.


Opinions Disseminating Del Norte’s voice on issues both local and global in scope.

THE WORD “audacity” n. the willingness to take risks


DEAR DEL NORTE, by APRIL SHEWRY The beginning of the school year always seems like the busiest part of the year. Between new classes (and new APs), the SAT and ACT, football games, homecoming planning, extracurriculars and college apps, there seems to be no time to even sleep, let alone take the time to have fun. Around this time, many students, myself included, have the mindset of “go, go, go,” pushing ourselves to work harder and get everything done as fast as we can. This can be good for keeping up with the daily grind of class work, club work, and college work, but it is ultimately bad for our peace of minds. Del Norte has an amazing student body, and I think we all deserve to take some time to enjoy school and recuperate a little. As cliche as it sounds, we need to stop, smell the roses, and take the chance to have fun as teenagers while we still can. That being said, take a Saturday night off and live your inner spy fantasy at this year’s homecoming dance From Russia With Love. Or go get some fresh air at a field hockey, water polo, or tennis match and support Del Norte’s fall teams as they continue to kick some serious butt in the Valley League. Fresh air not your thing? Go release your

hidden theater geek at the Drama Club’s presentation of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Or use your time to rack up some good karma by participating in Homecoming Philanthropy, where you can lead your class to victory by donating pennies to the Penny War fundraiser. If you want to take this giving-back philosophy even further, look into one of Del Norte’s many charity-driven clubs such as For Your Eyes Only or K.I.N. Club. For all you freshmen out there, I know high school might seem overwhelming and time-consuming, but I hope you all know that you have an amazing support system. Del Norte has made a name for itself as a school that welcomes and supports its entire student body. We take pride in that reputation, so in this issue, we offer you new kids on the block some valuable advice, a perspective of your own, and a look behind how much effort our Nighthawks put into making you feel welcome. So, take a deep breath Del Norte, and as you get back to that grindstone, make sure you are taking time to smell the roses and enjoy the crazy time that is high school. Welcome to the 2013-2014 school year, Nighthawks, and remember to keep calm and flock on.

AlertSanDiego Equips Locals with Vital, Up-to-Date Safety Information Olav Underdal (12) shares valuable advice he learned during his internship with the County of San Diego Office of Emergency Services. by OLAV UNDERDAL As high school students we all understand the importance of information, whether it be who’s going to homecoming with whom, or what the next biology test is going to assess us on. However, in a disaster, having correct information can and does save lives. AlertSanDiego, the reverse 9-1-1 system for the greater San Diego County, sends fast, up-to-date information to residents who may be impacted by a disaster; this specialized system uses our region’s 9-1-1 database to call all landlines with crucial information. Your landline at home (see page 2)


THE ROAD NOT TAKEN Del Norte’s Color Guard brings the beloved Robert Frost poem to life in their new performance.

Fantasy football is one of the fastest growing businesses in the country. But what is it about this by JONATHAN BOYLE By the time they’re in high school, around San Diego. virtual world that is so compelling? Why do people, most people will have read or heard the “I think this year’s field show is more including many Nighthawks, play fantasy football. timeless Robert Frost poem “The Road Not difficult than last year’s winter guard [an-

submissions by OLIVIA GASTALDO

by CHRISTOPHER LIU There’s a new activity that the teachers and students of Del Norte have been obsessed with for the past few weeks. This activity has become a nation-wide phenomenon that is a favorite pastime of Americans across the country. What could this national sensation be? (see page 7)

Taken”. The poem metaphorically centers on one traveler’s decision to choose a unique path for his life. The DNHS Color Guard looks to recreate this journey in this season’s field show, which they will perform in tournaments at numerous schools

other type of color guard competition],” said second-year guard Samantha Ferreira (11). “There’s not really any lyrical dancing now; all the running, dancing, (see page 7)



DEL NORTE TALON Del Norte High School 16601 Nighthawk Lane San Diego, CA 92127 Advisor: Danielle Schelhorse (858) 487-0877

THE MISSION Our mission is to inform and entertain the Del Norte community with a wellwritten and factually sound newspaper. As a student-run organization, The Talon aims to report on issues relevant to Del Norte students, prompting the discussion that serves as a catalyst for growth. The Talon pledges to repect the opinions of all and seeks to encourage the diversity inherent in the Del Norte community.

THE EDITORS April Shewry EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Christina Cheng Hannah Glover COPY EDITORS Jackie Wibowo Uday Suresh MANAGING EDITORS Kate Jeon Rachelle Juan DESIGN EDITORS Rosa Chung PRINCIPAL ARTIST Valentine Ngo PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHER Maia Garcia-Munro Sean Solis FINANCE MANAGERS


Ahana Chakraborty Ashi Shrivastava Aishwarya Kudrimoti Olva Underdal Jonathan Boyle Revati Thatte Parker Lappin Tufan Nadjafi Alicia Wilson Youngwoo Son Christopher Liu Camellia Aftahi

Aidan Turner Gretchen Trupp Andrew Childers Ben Friedl Benjamin Li Sona Trika Priya Bhat Mason Shields Jeena Lee Nikita Rafie Jill Inumerable

The Talon is the official newspaper of Del Norte High School, and is published by Del Norte Networks. The views expressed in The Talon do not necessarily repesent the opionions of Del Norte High School administration or the PUSD Board of Education. Unsigned editorials reflect the beliefs of The Talon editorial board. The Talon is a collaborative effort with Del Norte Network, and applications for prospective members are always available. Letters to the editors are welcome and should be signed. For advertising rates or information please call, email, or write The Talon at the address above.

This Bond themed dance will leave Nighthawks skyfalled. by ASHI SHRIVASTAVA Homecoming is a major part of the beginning of the school year at any high school but many students get caught up in the whirl of invitations, dresses, and party bus planning and forget the hard work that goes into bringing the dance to life. ASB began working on the dance two weeks into the school year, and have put tremendous effort into making it one of the best dances of the year. According to ASB member, Joey Schulte(11), preparing for the dance can be extremely stressful, but always turns out to be worthwhile. The dance coordinators are separated primarily into committees, with different units that are assigned specific functions in organizing the dance. For example, one committee focuses on artwork while another works on building the dance section and so forth. The two executives that head these different committees are Barry Yang (12) and Sean Solis (12), who overlook the chaotic process of planning such an important event. These groups consist solely of students who put together the entire dance by themselves. Despite the stress, ASB students work on the event with incredible enthusiasm and lightheartedness. Schulte humorously says, “ASB is trying to make the dance the best they can while still following the law.” Since Nighthawks voted the theme of the dance to be From

Russia With Love, ASB has been working hard to transform the gym into an extravagant Russian church that will seem to have materialized straight from one of the Bond movies. To play along with this theme, the officiators will be dressed up as characters from the Bond movie, including 007 himself. However, look-alikes will not be the only replicas present. A silhouette of Bond will be the focal point of the decorations. The detail of the décor will make Nighthawks feel as if they are truly a part of the action and glamour of the world of Bond. Although the behind the scenes work is hectic, the result of ASB’s creativity and effort will be remarkable. Nighthawks can look forward to an exciting night of thrilling adventure, sexy spy drama, and suave men in tuxedos. Prepare art by ROSA CHUNG to be shaken, not stirred.

Coming Home & Giving Back Del Norte’s ASB adds an altruistic twist to homecoming preparation in the way only Nighthawks can. by AHANA CHAKRABORTY This year’s ASB has decided to harness the excitement over homecoming into a opportunity to give back to the community by hosting a series of charitable events, aptly entitled The Homecoming Philanthropy Project. The objective for each class in this project is to raise at least $250, contributing to the school’s goal of $1000 for the Family & Friends Community Connection. The FFCC is a charity that focuses solely on helping people in various impoverished countries. The money raised in this project will be used to buy school supplies for impoverished children in Tanzania. The main event of the Homecoming Philanthropy Project is The Penny Wars. In this competition, students are encouraged to put pennies into their class’s money jar. Each penny is equivalent to one point for the class whose jar its in. Each class will be competing against the others to try and get the most points (the most pennies). Not only that, but students can sabotage other classes. Any silver coins (dimes, nickels, quarters) found in your class’s jar will subtracting one point per silver coin from your class’s total. Paper money is even worse, with each piece (continued from page 1) may already have been notified by our system with the recent statewide amber alerts. However, the system can only reach cell phones if you register your cellphone at In a major disaster, you will be provided with vital information, such as an order to evacuate and shelter locations.. If you are registered to receive this

found in a jar subtracting 100 points from that class’s total. This rule paves the way for sabotage via students putting silver coins and paper money in other classes’ jars. Competition aside, though, the real purpose of this event mustn’t be forgotten. As sophomore class president, Emma Clyde, says, “We are so excited to be raising money for such a great cause. We hope to establish

information on your cell phone, you will be better informed and safer. This disaster information comes straight from our County Emergency Operations Center, where our region’s main disaster responses are managed and coordinated. Encouraging your friends and family members to register also helps us reach a

this as a new Del Norte Homecoming tradition”. This is indeed a great cause, and an extremely creative way to contribute to the community. So keep the pennies coming, and remember that the more sabotage you commit the more money we raise for charity! art by ROSA CHUNG

larger number of people in an emergency, helping to keep more people safe, for example, through smoother, earlier evacuations. For instructions on how to register and more disaster readiness information, visit our website at www.


THE FLOCK 2.0 Dressing in blue and green every Friday has always been an integral part of a Nighthawk’s life. But this year, having school spirit has evolved to taking pride in “Keeping Calm and Flocking On.”

by AISHWARA KUDMITROTI Unbeknownst to most students, the now iconic “Flock On” shirts that can be seen throughout the school every Friday were actually conceptualized last year, when past seniors Chris Lee and Trey Stone designed it to represent Nighthawk Nation. The two seniors were unable to materialize the shirts during their time at Del Norte. However, Tufan Nadjafi (12), a prominent leader of Nighthawk Nation and a proud member of the Flock 2.0, decided to make the design a reality this year. Over the summer, Nadjafi advertised the shirts, and received an outstanding 100 pre-orders. Once school started, the number of shirts sold soared to approximately 500. Seeing the evident success of the shirts, Del Norte’s ASB President, Barry Yang (12) envisioned a website focused on selling shirts and facilitating the sales process. This concept later evolved to also represent the heart of Del Norte spirit: the Flock 2.0. The finished website includes a “shop” section, and incorporates pictures, videos, and a live stream of #flockon tweets in its design. Nadjafi and Yang have been working together to publicize the website. When asked his opinion on the finished website, Nadjafi said, “[its] a clean and polished interface that makes me proud every time I see it.” He believes the establishment of the website has boosted school spirit:

“everyone is really hyped that we have some concrete stuff, like we are on the Internet and we exist.” In addition to planning new merchandise such as iPhone cases that say “Flock On” in gold, Nadjafi also wants to ensure that the momentum of the spirit is sustained throughout the year. He intends to pass the torch of the Flock 2.0 to the current juniors and says that he would love to see them continue on with the Flock 3.0. Nadjafi encourages students to log on to, and of course, to Keep Calm and Flock On!

photo by KATE JEON

COLLEGE ROAD TRIP DIARIES A reflection on the pros and cons of traditional college road trips straight from the road. by HANNAH GLOVER

Wi t h Mom’s flashback college mix blaring The B-52’s and REM through the speakers of our SUV, my family and I pulled out of our wide suburban driveway and onto the hilly California freeways stretching seven and a half hours from San Diego toSan Francisco. Despite the convenience and availability of digital research, there comes a point when College Board reviews and regional rankings begin to blend schools together rather than helping them stand apart. When it comes to making an absolute decision, the only way to go is to the school itself. College road trips can be both amazing and overwhelming but the experience is vital in making the right decision for college. One advantage of going on a college road trip is revealing reality. After hours of online research, I had high hopes for Cal Poly, a rather prestigious engineering school in San Luis Obispo. With a surfboard making class and gorgeous online pictures, my expectation was that SLO would be all rolling hills and water views. However, when we arrived, we saw that the pretty little campus was surrounded by rusting tractors and browning farmland. Though only a few miles from a dainty yet happening downtown, it was a little small for my taste. Though it was a quaint little campus, it wasn’t what I was looking for.

There aren’t many negatives when it comes to going out and discovering where you want to spend the four most important years of your education; however, gas is definitely up there. San Diego to San Francisco and back requires quite a few fill ups, and gas prices anywhere in California are sure to starve your wallet. However, compared with the taste of hotel coffee, gas cost seems almost an insignificant burden. If your Keurig is your best friend, I highly recommend booking hotels with a Starbucks in them, or at least close by them. Firsthand exposure to the atmosphere of the school is just as important as knowing the national rankings and expenses. You not only get to experience the campus, you get to experience the town and types of people as well. From the “trash bag” drag queens and environmentally minded foodies of Santa Cruz to the savvy surfers and beach cruiser abusers of Santa Barbara, you never truly know what you’ll fall in love with until you put yourself out there and experience it for yourself.


In April, Kayla Anderson was crowned Miss Rancho Bernardo Teen becoming the first Nighthawk to earn the honor.

ONE in


by JACKIE WIBOWO Between childhoods filled with Disney movies and fairy-tale bedtime stories, many young girls dream of being princesses one day. But Kayla Anderson (12) won more than just a crown and banner when she became the new Miss Rancho Bernardo Teen; she learned lessons that she believes she will carry with her for the rest of her life. “I notice a big difference in myself since I was crowned. It has been such a positive impact on my life and I’m so glad I got this wonderful opportunity,” Anderson said. The Miss Rancho Bernardo Pageant involved five areas of competition: interview (35 points), speech (10 points), business attire (10 points), impromptu question (10 points), evening attire (10 points) and poise and personality (25 points). For the interview portion, contestants spoke with a panel of three judges for 7-10 minutes and were judged on poise, diction and overall selfexpression. For the speech, Anderson reflected on her experiences on the varsity cheer team. Finally, the judges were asked to score their overall impressions of each contestant for poise and personality. By earning the most cumulative points, Anderson won the title and the prize package, which included a $1,000 scholarship, a hair and makeup session, and a basket with “all

things a queen would need.” Anderson had prepared for almost two weeks before the pageant by preparing answers for interview questions, reciting her speech to herself in the mirror, and even practicing walking in her 5inch heels. Miss Rancho Bernardo Teen’s duties consist mainly of serving as an ambassador at community events throughout the year, such as business meetings, street fairs, parades, galas, and pancake breakfasts: “I’ve had at least one event each week since I was crowned in April. It requires a lot of time but every part of it has been worth it.” While Anderson says she enjoys every aspect of being the Miss Rancho Bernardo Teen, she especially loves having “day to day interactions with so many different people, from newborns to elderly people who are over 100.” Since her coronation, Kayla has continued competing in pageants. As a contestant in Miss San Diego Cities Teen in May, Kayla placed as the second-runner up. In November, she plans to compete in Miss North County Coastal. “Even if I don’t get another title, the experience from each pageant is still a great experience. I still walk away with something gained from each one,” she said.

TO TANZANIA Freshmen and Del Norte WITH LOVE The LINK Between Del Norte’s LINK Crew leaders strive to give Del Norte’s newest Nighthawks the best welcome possible.

This summer, two Del Norte seniors embarked on a journey to the African country of Tanzania in order to continue their humanitarianism abroad.

by MAIA GARCIA-MUNRO On June 17th, Ryleigh Mansell (12) and Ken Wakabayashi (12) left the sunny beaches of San Diego behind and traveled to Nkungi, Tanzania for a three week volunteering trip. While there, Wakabayashi, Mansell, and their fellow volunteers from FFCC San Diego (a local nonprofit humanitarian outreach group) built a teachers’ home in an attempt to make teaching more appealing in the poverty stricken area, and lower class sizes from a 75:1 to a 35:1 ratio. The group also volunteered at a children’s center and classroom, installed water pumps, distributed food from food packaging events, and visited a leper colony (a colony where people with Leprosy live) . Additionally, the group observed the local wildlife on a safari, and took a hike to admire the beautiful African sunrise. When asked what inspired them to go to Tanzania, Mansell said, “I took part in the One Million Meal food packaging event when I was twelve, there I learned about Tanzania and the

‘mamas’, a term of respect for women who take care of homeless children and sing worship songs to them. I liked their way of life and how simply they lived, and I wanted to see it for myself,” and Wakabayashi said, “I wanted the experience of leaving the country alone, experiencing life in a third world country, and helping people in need.” This trip no doubt left an everlasting impact on these two seniors. Mansell and Wakabayashi said the Tanzanian people are very grateful for what little they have and that they were loving, good spirited, and open with people. This trip inspired Wakabayashi to further contribute to humanitarian efforts, become less selfish and more open, and to be happier, like the Tanzanian people. Mansell, on the other hand, respects the optimism and lack of materialism of Tanzanian people, and hopes to bring that back with her to America. photos by RYLEIGH MANSELL

by UDAY SURESH Being a freshman is scary. Everything is new, you face a big transition, and it’s hard to get a grip on what is happening around you. That’s where LINK Crew comes in to save the day – as a dedicated bunch of upperclassmen who go out of their way to provide a painless high school orientation process to new incoming students. Everyone starts as a freshman, and LINK members often recount their first day memories with a special emphasis on how a previous LINK member once helped them to experience a surprisingly warm welcome. Meetings begin at the end of summer, with members undergoing the same icebreaking activities that the freshman experience. The club advisors, Mr. Nevares and Mrs. Egan, both promote a sharp focus on teamwork and meeting challenges to instill the importance of both traits in an incoming ninth grader. The activities the LINK Crew leaders do at the meetings help inspire them to have fun with the small groups of about 10 freshmen that they receive on the first day of school. Games like Count Off and Name Tag help incoming ninth graders lose nervous inhibitions and embrace the Nighthawk spirit almost immediately. Co-President Eric Inumerable (12) adds, “As a club we are working to improve on previous years of operation by extending the influence of the club beyond orientation. Our leaders are excited and are looking forward to being a positive influence on campus.” As upperclassmen stumble around the Del Norte gym in an effort to learn the games that they will play with the freshmen, they are reminded of facing challenges and working together as well as other important high school skills. They are placed back into the shoes they walked into Del Norte with as nervous ninth graders– inspiring new ninth graders to give back to their school and allowing the cycle of LINK Crew to continue on.

photos by KATE JEON


Introducing your Newest Nighthawks Throughout the year, we will be introducing the newest members of the Nighthawk staff and helping students get to know them a little better. by REVATI THATTE


Subject: Spanish What is something you hope to achieve at Del Norte? “Nothing impacts student learning in schools more than teachers. I want to be that impact. I want them to be successful, not just in Spanish, but in life. I want them to see how Spanish can help us solve problems, here in San Diego, our multicultural county. I want to be someone who motivates, models, and inspires; someone who makes a difference in both Spanish as well as everyday life.”


Subject: English/AVID What is one thing about Del Norte that makes it unique? “To me, there’s a couple of things. One is that we get a lot of choice here, as far as having a trimester schedule…it just gives you a lot of opportunity to take other courses that you might not be able to otherwise, and I know that’s really unique for a high school. And I think it’s really important for students to start owning their education and having those choices. Another thing that stands out to me is the community here. Here, there’s a really strong sense of community which I really like a lot.”

Do you have any advice for students pursuing higher levels of a foreign language? “For all levels, have fun! You need to make it fun. Learning a language isn’t easy, but by enjoying the experience and turning it into an interactive game you can truly have a lot of fun. Learn along with someone else, take the journey together, it will be amusing for both of you. Finally, you should not study for the test only, instead study for a life time of learning. It is an amazing cultural experience!”

What is your favorite thing about English? “One thing I love about English is that we’re able to express ourselves in writing, and I feel like I get to know my students way better than other teachers might, because I get to see their writing. When you’re writing things about yourself, I get to see that. And I love reading. I love reading literature and I’ve started reading things rhetorically also, looking at arguments and how a writer approaches a subject. And I also really like grammar. Not a lot of people like it, but to me it’s like algebra. It’s the only thing that’s standard in English— there’s a right and a wrong answer.”

AMAYA MARTIARENA Subject: Spanish How does Del Norte compare to other schools you have taught at? “Del Norte is a very close community. The staff is super close, students are, admin is, and I feel like everyone kinda feels like they’re at home, and that’s what I love about Del Norte. People don’t really judge; it’s really unique in comparison to other schools that I’ve taught at.”

What is your favorite thing about Spanish? “Wow. The culture, the music—I love it and I totally incorporate that into all of my classes—and I am Spanish, so I love it! I recently took a trip to Costa Rica in March, and it was the best trip of my life. It was the first time I’ve gone with students, and it really was an amazing experience.”

THE GIFT OF V I S I O N Del Norte students give back to their global community by sending recycled glasses to India. photo by JONATHAN BOYLE

by JONATHAN BOYLE Summers are usually for relaxing, hanging out with friends, and getting tan at the beach, but Pranav Santan (12) spent his break doing something a little different. During his trips to his hometown in India in recent years, Santan became deeply saddened by the poverty of many of the nation’s citizens and decided to take action. This June, Pranav assembled a group of friends to collect used pairs of glasses throughout the 4S Ranch Community. Knowing how important good vision is to a person’s quality of life, Santan planned to take the glasses with him on his next trip to India and distribute them to needy locals. Every member of Santan’s resulting nonprofit organization, For Your Eyes Only (FYEO), brought something useful to the table. Field Director Mary Ho (12) tirelessly promoted glasses collection boxes at local businesses by passing out flyers and talking to people interested in making donations. VP of

Finance and Publicity Olav Underdal (12) met the constant need for funding for the donation drives and applied for official non-profit status. Realizing that FYEO needed a professional website to raise awareness for its cause, VP of Technology Gokul Swamy (10) devoted himself to creating an informative website that the whole organization could be proud of. The distribution of over 140 pairs of glasses in India was FYEO’s crowning achievement this summer. “It was amazing to see how the event that the volunteers and I had worked so hard for turned out just as we envisioned it would,” Santan reflected. However, that wasn’t the end of FYEO’s work. While Santan was busy distributing in India, the rest of the FYEO team was conducting a second donation drive here in San Diego. Currently, the organization has obtained official non-profit status, and has a third donation drive that will run from October 3 to 19 with a homeroom collection on October 25.

Next donation drive from October 3- October 19 Homeroom Collection on October 25




FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF The Nighthawk Drama Club is working hard to bring a classic teen movie to the stage for their annual fall production. by CAMELLIA AFTAHI Fall has come, and with it, another outstanding play produced by Del Norte’s Drama Club. This year, the club is performing an onstage recreation of the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The story chronicles three high school students on the brink of graduation, as they skip school for a day to enjoy the sights of Chicago, Illinois. You may have seen the cast and crew on campus rehearsing tirelessly every day after school from 4 pm – 6 pm. “There has never been an onstage production of Ferris Bueller before,” said Co-Director Priya Bhat (12), “we wanted to do something different. Our program tends to do lighter and more humorous productions, so it seemed like the perfect fit.” Coming off the massive success of last Spring’s

The Mystery of Edwin Drood, the drama club hopes to maintain its momentum. Co-Director Alex Davies (11) and Mr. Holstrom modeled the script after the original screenplay – but adapted it for a stage performance. In other words, this rendition will indeed be different from the movie. Bhat warns students to “not expect the same thing”, but still plan to have a great time, like they do for all of the drama club’s productions. The uniqueness of the play follows Del Norte’s school-wide tradition of pursuing new barriers and setting the standards higher and higher year by year. Aidan Turner (11) will be portraying the iconic character Ferris Bueller. “I really do enjoy portraying him because he

represents at least one aspect of almost every teenager stereotype. He's smart yet he procrastinates, he's a computer geek yet he's the most popular kid in school, he's easy going yet he's a very precise planner, he can be verbose at times and sometimes he's very dirty,” Turner said. Turner also said that he appreciates the diversity of the character because Bueller symbolizes the reality that high school students don’t follow one stereotype anymore – we can fulfill ten stereotypes at the same time or create new stereotypes altogether. Because of this, most students can relate to Ferris Bueller and enjoy his adventures. Come out and support our Drama Club on October 18, 19, 25, and 26 at 7pm!


TO MY WONDERFUL PEERS OF DEL NORTE, Would you agree with me that school is very tiring? You wake up every day to follow the same mundane schedule of having a very wide expanse of knowledge shoved down your throat that is either miscommunicated or taught very wrong. Especially with the extra weight of an AP class - the monotony combined with the mental deterioration that comes with lack of sleep and relaxation time can really bring you down. One could argue that school itself is much like the hated European socialism that plagued both our world in the last century and now our APEC textbooks. Our authorities exert an unrelenting presence of control and misery over us while expecting us to blossom into young adults capable of taking care of ourselves in a capitalist democracy, not a socialist communist state. I’m not inciting rebellion or anything; I just think there needs to be a check and balance between faculty and students. Since there isn’t one, I’m here to condone my own version of such a system: an occasional day off.

I don’t care if you’re a fifty year old stuck in an office or a seven year old stuck in the first grade, everyone needs a day off every now and then. Which leads me to my proposal, I’m inviting you – YES, YOU! – to one of four magical nights on either October 18th, 19th, 25th, or 26th at 7pm in the Performing Arts Center for Del Norte’s rendition of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. In this blow-your-mind-off seminar of epic proportions, I’ll give you tips on which sicknesses are easiest to feign to fool your parents. From there, I’ll continue on how to then plan your best day off ever, and most importantly, how to not get caught. Do not fret that you are betraying society’s expectations in doing this; the point is to cut loose and to give yourself a much needed break. So come to one of my shows! It’s a fairly reasonable price and it goes towards the “Save Ferris” Kidney Fundraiser *wink*



PAGE 7 In this special edition of The Talon’s recurring advice column, seven seniors offer the Class of 2017 some life lessons for succeeding in high school.


“Your future is important, but remember to enjoy your life now too.” -Patrick Thompson (12)


“People are inherently kind and if you make a confident effort to relate to others, more often than not they will reciprocate. Also find something that you really enjoy (a book/movie/song/anything) and read/watch/listen to it at least once each year and watch it take on different meanings throughout the years you’re in high school.” -Eric Inumerable (12)

Has the increased strictness on dress code brought light to the problems and biases of the dress code, or has it created a more focused learning environment? by GRETCHEN TRUPP

“I wish I had known how tough sophomore and junior year would be so I wouldn’t have overloaded on AP classes.” -Shinali Ajit (12) “Take your time and enjoy the first year of high school. Try to start and keep good work habits now so they’ll last through all other years but try to balance your social life with school work. And just enjoy the years.” -Alicia Wilson (12) “Don’t be intimidated by upperclassmen, they don’t bite….often.” -Gretchen Trupp (12) “I wish I’d known that I don’t have to have it all figured out as an incoming freshman and that high school offers up a lot of different experiences that helps stimulate personal (not just academic) growth.” -Coralys Munoz (12) “I’d say to just be unafraid of introducing yourself to as many people as possible. I was a bit reserved as a freshman and I missed out on getting to know a lot of really great people until much later in high school that I ought to have. Also have an open mind when meeting new people; I think I spent far too much time being really judgmental because people here were so unlike the people I’d known in middle school, and that’s just ridiculous.” -Marissa Fisher (12) To submit questions to the advice column, go to @DN_Talon on Twitter and follow the link to the submissions page. Questions are always anonymous, and always welcome.


It started off as a normal year-new books, new teachers, new classes. But no student could have anticipated the new rise in dress code enforcement. For a long time, Del Norte has been a place where students could express which ever fashion choices they desired (within reason), without having to worry that the system was unfair or stringent. But lately, the dress code enforcement seems to be taking a biased, more severe turn. We’ve all seen Campus Security making the lunchtime rounds, and the increased amount of PE shirts in classrooms as the alternative to whatever that unfortunate soul was wearing. The majority of the students all seem to agree: in a survey conducted by The Talon, 70% of students agree that the enforcement has been stricter, and more unfair. Could there possibly be faculty bias towards a certain gender when dress-coding students? It certainly seems that way, with the majority of PE shirts being worn by disgruntled ladies. But how is it that a girl wearing a strapless dress must change, while a boy with a “Cool story babe, now make me a sandwich” shirt can walk the halls free, even though he is clearly

violating the dress code with a derogatory slogan? When asked for his opinion, Eric Elizondo(11) said that the dress code should keep being enforced in this way so that clothing wouldn’t “distract boys”. Karen Ding(12) said that she understands where the District is coming from but thinks the dress code is “implemented more harshly on girls” and that most cases are technicalities--girls getting dresscoded for having a bra strap slightly showing or for wearing a strapless top. Shinali Ajit(12) says that the argument about clothing being distracting is “sexist and hypocritical, and just leads to the hyper-sexualization of women.” In my opinion, cracking down harder on all of the students won’t solve the problem, and will just encourage more rebellion and increased dissent. So what should be done? I’m not advocating a fashion revolution where we barricade the halls and protest current circumstances. But perhaps we should take a look at the current dress code, and re-evaluate it in accordance with the progress of society and fashion today.


Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

While most students aren’t too fond of non-fiction, Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink is by no means a boring read. Blink explores the psychological aspect of the brain, the part that makes subconscious decisions. Gladwell unlocks the secrets of split decisions: “In the first two seconds of looking -- in a single glance -- they were able to understand more about the essence of the statue than the team at the Getty was able to understand after fourteen months. Blink is a book about those first two seconds...” (Gladwell 8). As told in the introduction of the book, Gladwell discusses the untold part of the brain. The book showcases subtle humor and exceptional analysis of intriguing findings.

The Hound of Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

Doyle manages to create the perfect mystery, with just the right amount of spine-tingling anticipation and fright. The vivid description in this book allows the reader to stand right by Holmes and Watson as they face the mystery of the legendary hound of the Baskervilles: “It came with the wind...a long deep mutter, then a rising howl...the whole air throbbing with it, strident, wild, and menacing...” (Doyle 119).

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Its movie counterpart, which came to fame last year, mirrors the book's plot almost exactly. An Indian boy by the name of Pi Patel becomes stranded in the middle of the ocean with only one companion: a Royal Bengal Tiger. But the book is much more than that. It explores the depths of many things, like friendship, dependence, faith, doubt, and the truth of life: “What a terrible thing it is to botch a's important in life to conclude things properly. Only then can you let go. Otherwise you are left with words you should have said but never did, and your heart is heavy with remorse..." (Martel 285). If you’re interested in reading a compelling story that truly touches the heart, get The Life of Pi.





On Friday, September 20, Sean Solis (12) asked Lauren Mahoney (12) to homecoming. Solis sent Mahoney a fake pass to the Nighthawk Center, where he was waiting with many ASB students. When Mahoney arrived to the office, she was greeted by a sign that read “There are many fish in the sea, but will you go to Homecoming…”. Solis then came around the corner carrying flowers and a smaller sign that said “With me?” With the help from the ASB Publicity Team, as well as Barry Yang (12), it took Solis around a week to prepare this invitation.


Gio Ricacho (12) asked his girlfriend Taylor Garcia (12) to homecoming on Saturday, September 29th at Wesley Palms Retirement home, where the two go to volunteer once a month. As they were finishing up their shift, a few friends began singing “A Bicycle Built for Two” by Harry Dacre, as Ricacho surprised Garcia with flowers and a poster that read “Let’s try this again”, a reference to his attempt to ask her last year which did not happen exactly as planned. While it took around a week to plan, Ricacho and his friends successfully kept it secret, and Garcia was completely surprised.

< photo by MEGAN GUAR


Homecoming invitations at Del Norte are getting more and more elaborate as the years go on. We gathered four of the most creative invitations to showcase the hard work that goes into creating the perfect moment.




photo by SEAN SOLIS

During the last football home game, spectators were able to watch as Justin Chard (12) invited cheerleader Katelyn Pascucci(12) to homecoming. Chard came up with the idea in Broadcast Journalism when Alexa Wallen (12) suggested that he have the cheerleaders use their pom poms to spell out “HC?” The entire cheer team went to practice early on Friday so they could rehearse the formation, and, during halftime at the game, Chloe Faulkner (12) took Pascucci to the bathroom so the rest of the team could set up. Chard hid behind the team and emerged with flowers after the cheerleaders assumed the formation. Katelyn said yes immediately and the invitation was met with applause from the crowd.



Justin Morris (11) enlisted the help of his friends to ask his girl friend Alisa Nyguen (11). Four days before the day he intended to ask her, Morris decorated eleven pink shirts to spell out “homecoming?” and one more to say “I said yes!” On the day of the invitation, Morris had the couple’s friends lined up in the quad and he emerged from behind them wearing the question mark shirt and carrying flowers. She agreed immediately and put on the “I said yes” shirt which she wore for the rest of the day. Morris said that he had the moment planned for almost a month and he had decided to use the shirts because Nyguen’s favorite color is pink. Nyguen had anticipated the invitation but still enjoyed it.




Del Norte’s football team has trained hard all summer and are ready and eager to dominate the upcoming football season. by PARKER LAPPIN As August 5 loomed closer and closer, you could feel the buzz going around the football team as every player prepared themselves for the first fall practice of the year. After a long summer of hard work and dedication, we were finally ready to strap on the pads. To say expectations are high this year would be an understatement. This year sees the conjoining of two consecutive, nearly perfect junior varsity teams, both teams going 9-1 in their respective seasons. With such an extraordinary collection of talent, the entire coaching staff has taken it to the next level and won’t settle for anything less than a championship mindset and work ethic. The road to success, however, is hardly a walk in the park. Our team has spent countless hours in the weight room and on the field picking at every last detail, squeezing out every last drop of energy, and building what we think is a championship

caliber organization. Coach Cole has preached the importance of working hard since he began coaching at Del Norte in 2011, and his message echoes louder than ever as the 2013 season approaches. With a limited number of players, we have been working exceptionally hard to become the best conditioned team on the field, which is an quality our team emphasizes. Long afternoons of sprints and training have given us the endurance and strength we need to outplay and outwork the teams we will face this year. We have strived for perfection in our preparation so we are ready to defeat rival teams such as Rancho Bernardo, Westview, and Mount Carmel in the upcoming season. There’s a whole new tempo and level of intensity in everything we do - and I believe our experience coupled with our talent will give us a great shot at winning a title. All eyes are set on that final goal; a CIF Division 2 championship. Now it’s just time to take the field. photo by BRAD LAPPIN

by TUFAN NADJAFI Flashback to last year. Tons of hype filled the Twittersphere regarding the upcoming school year and our newfound school spirit. The Class of 2013 brought its vision of an incredibly spirited Del Norte to life and created something bigger than themselves: The Flock. Organized by Nighthawk Nation, The Flock quickly became synonymous with our student section, but it was more than just that. It stood for something bigger. It brought the school together in a way that no one thought was possible. From day one, we chanted our lungs out while reppin’ blue and green like it was nobody else’s business. From pregame tailgating to rushing the field after a big win, the football stadium on Friday nights was the epicenter for the Flock, who created a home-

court advantage unparalleled by any other school in the district. This year, we have one goal in mind: to pass on the wave of spirit to the future generation of Nighthawks. Nighthawk Nation will be at the forefront of school spirit: from football season all the way to the end of the spring sport season. Duplicating what was done last year will not come easily, but I’m not worried. I know what this school is capable of. I’ve seen it happen. Class of 2013 did their job, but now it’s time to do our’s. Best there ever was? Sure. Best there ever will be? I don’t quite know about that. photo by TUFAN NADJAFI


The Flock hopes to bring a new level of spirit to this year’s football season and beyond.



EXPECTATIONS A new school record and an enthusiastic team captain give the Girl’s Golf team forward momentum and drive for this season.

by YOUNGWOO SON Although the Class of 2013 left behind a great legacy, Nighthawk athletes continue to set the bar even higher than before. So, it is not surprising to hear that the Girl’s Golf team, which consists only of Varsity members this year, recently set a new school record, hitting a 187 against Westview in their August match. According to team member Alisa Nguyen (11), this impressive new score is a significant jump from the team’s previous record of 197 and a great indicator for where Del Norte is headed next: “Not only does it show that we’re still improving, but it also shows that each person is growing in their skill. It isn’t just one person carrying the team.” Current team captain Victoria White (12) has been pushing her teammates to improve, and her efforts are showing results. The girls’ skills on the field, coupled with White’s constant motiva-

tion, have already led the team to three straight wins this season. Showing no signs of stopping, the girls are looking forward to their next match against their biggest competition: Mission Vista. White is optimistic about Del Norte’s chances, saying, “We beat them at home, now we just have to play them at their course!” The girl’s golf team has certainly made quite a name for itself in recent seasons. In the past three years, Del Norte has consistently finished at the top of its league, winning twenty-nine out of thirty games. With continued hard work and effort, the girls hope to continue their three year reign over the Valley League. Under the leadership of Victoria White, it is safe to say that the talented Lady Nighthawks will capture yet another banner to hang up in the gym and once again do their school proud

photo by VICTORIA WHITE (12)

PAGE 111

photos by DANIELLE BOTTS (10)

(continued from page 1) and twirling are meant to simulate the forest illustrated by the poem.” The field show opens with a recording of the poem’s beginning, while the guards recline on the ground among the lines of marching band members. As the recording ends, the guards gracefully rise, and the band starts to play. The guards are dressed in yellow outfits to conjure the image of the poem’s yellow wood. Much of the new flag design is covered with a light, brilliant blue with streaks of silver racing across its breadth. Each member of the band is

supposed to represent a tree; as the show progresses, the entire band forms the two “roads” described in the poem. One guard represents the traveler, dancing among the band and the other members of the guard. “It’s hard to pick one thing that I really love about color guard,” said Ferreira. “But above all, we’re one big family.” The past seasons of Del Norte color guard have repeatedly placed in the top three guards of their division in regional tournaments, and this new season looks to be another promising start for the 2013-2014 DNHS Color Guard.

(continued from page 1) If you guessed sitting in front of the computer and TV while keeping track of millionaires miles away doing their jobs, you’ve probably caught the same disease as 33 million other Americans: a love for fantasy football. For all those missing out on the fun, fantasy football involves picking real-life NFL players for your own virtual team. Just like on a real team, you will have a quarterback, and other offense and defense positions filled. These players will most likely be from different teams, which is the beauty of the game itself. You could have Drew Brees of New Orleans as your quarterback, but A.J. Green of Cincinnati as a wide receiver. The trick is to see who can grab the best combination of players, both famous and unheralded. In each fantasy league, which usually consists of 10 or 12 members that can be your closest friends or online strangers, there can be only be one of each player. Not everyone can have Tom Brady or Antonio Gates. Incredibly addictive, shockingly competitive, and incredibly

time-wasting, fantasy football is for anyone who has a deep interest in the NFL, anyone who wants to brag about how he or she is so much better than everyone else, or anyone looking for a distraction from the doldrums of high school. Mr. Swanson, an AP United States History teacher at Del Norte, plays because “It promotes camaraderie among friends.” A similar sentiment is echoed by John Jung (12) who describes how fantasy football has allowed him to stay connected with his friends from Chicago: “My everyday life and my friends’ everyday lives are different; however, when it’s Sunday, we all watch the same football game.” The stakes on fantasy football are higher than an outsider might believe. Just ask AP Chemistry teacher Mr. Ozuna, who has a very expensive dinner on the line in the league he shares with his buddies. Easy to understand, difficult to compete in, and extremely rewarding when victorious. Welcome to fantasy football.

SPORTS Caitlin Cole is an all-star athlete and student who has balanced three varsity sports and multiple APs during her time in high school, and who has recently been offered a position at a prestigious college.






photos by CAITLIN COLE

WORKING HARD AND TAKING NAMES Del Norte’s Girls Volleyball team has some serious skill and dedication which they believe will take them all the way to CIF championships.

by JILL INUMERABLE This year in volleyball, the name of the game is hard work. In an attempt to repeat last year’s win of the league title, the team works hard and participates in a lot of conditioning. The volleyball team values endurance and believes that the more hard work that is put into practice, the more energy the team will have during competition. At the varsity level, the team is led by Caitlin Cole (12) and Jordan Gerwig (12) while at the junior varsity level Gracie Rickard (10) and Audra Hurd (11) take the reins on fighting for the team. At the freshman level, ninth graders Terra Bilhorn (9) and Jordan Schuette (9) have been showing great potential to eventually move up and represent the entire Del Norte Girls Volleyball program. As a whole, the program has competed in four games this season, though all of them have been out of league games. In addition, all three teams have competed in two tournaments each, so there is constantly a chance to test the endurance that the team strives for in practice. Gerwig says “We train very hard every single day, and that’s what really allows us to play hard through every game, every time.” The talent and determination that the Girls Volleyball team possesses will surely make them a team to watch through this season.

by NIKITA RAFIE A star on the volleyball court, the basketball court, the track, and the classroom, Caitlin Cole has excelled in both her athletics and her academics throughout high school. Cole has lettered in volleyball, basketball, and track since her freshman year with a letterman overflowing with patches and pins to prove her accomplishments. As middle blocker on the volleyball team, Cole helped her varsity team place fifth at State. On the basketball court, Cole stood tall as a center or forward and helped the team make it to the semi-finals in CIFs. Individually, Cole won CIFs for track and placed eleventh in States. But she does not stop there; Cole spikes, shoots, and sprints in the classroom as well. As a high achiever on campus, Cole has taken eight advanced placement classes, three of them in her senior

year alone, and achieved an incredible GPA. Luckily, all of her hard work is finally paying off with an offer to play volleyball at the prestigious Columbia University next year. Cole describes her effort and commitment to volleyball and her academics during this journey: "It was what I always wanted. I had to be really proactive about it and send them emails and call them to ask them to come watch me play. They ended up liking what they saw and gave me an offer!" Hoping to pursue her love for volleyball and her interest in engineering, Cole will be going on her official visit to Columbia on October 17th. With one final year for her to compete in high school, I know we will all be hearing a lot more about Caitlin Cole before she moves up to the collegiate level.

FALL SPORTS STATS Cross Country 5-0 Football 1- 4 Girls Volleyball 8-8 Girls Golf 3-0 Field Hockey 4-5 Girls Tennis 4-0 Boys Water Polo 8-6



























The Mysteries of Field Hockey Field hockey is an amazing sport that not many people know much about. A former field hockey players attempts to clear up the mysterious surrounding the increasingly popular activity. by ALICIA WILSON We all know about sports like football, basketball, and volleyball. But how many of us know what field hockey is all about? Luckily, I do. For starters, field hockey began in 19th century England, but is now the national sport in both India and Pakistan. There are 11 players on each team, and the games are played in halves. Field hockey requires a specialized stick, goggles, shin guards and a mouth guard. The sport mixes the constant on field switch between offense and defense found in soccer with the hand eye coordination needed in lacrosse. However, instead of “cradling” the ball, like one does in lacrosse, a field hockey player must either hit or push the ball across the field. There are multiple ways of accomplishing this: dribbling, pushing, and hitting the ball to another player. The difficulty of moving the ball across the field increases with surrounding players,

which causes the ball to go back and forth almost constantly. Multiple rules also increase the back and forth of the game. Some basic rules are that the ball cannot hit another player's foot, the ball cannot go too high, and there can be no third party (basically another player cannot come between someone with the ball and a defensive player). If someone breaks these rules, the balls goes to the other team, and the game keeps moving. There are also penalty shots, which are either a short corner or a long corner. In the event of a tie, there is a penalty shootout, which is an exciting event to watch! Now that you know more about field hockey, you have to go check out a game or two. Our Nighthawks' next home game is on October 18th at 4:00 pm vs. Mission Hills. Hope to see you all out there!

Our Field Hockey Team Triumphs Again, Go Nighthawks! Del Norte’s field hockey decimated San Dieguito Academy in a game that showcased the team’s fluidity and teamwork. by ALICIA WILSON On September 25, our Del Norte Girls Field Hockey team took on San Dieguito Academy, and won 4-0! There were 16 shots on goal, and two assists by the Nighthawks during the game. Our goalie, Stephanie Barnhart (12) had nine saves this game, and gave up zero goals! This season she's had a total of 68 saves in nine games, with an average of 1.84 goals scored against her. For a goalie, it's really important to be able to save shots, because you are the last line of defense. Luckily, Stephanie happens to have an amazing defense, including Madi Reese (12), Julia Stark (11), Madison

Power-Kruger (10), Tori Godina (12), and Rachel Hsieh (10). The offense takes the equally important role of outscoring the other team. Of the four goals scored during the game, Shelby Strockbine (12) and Vanessa Costa (10) scored an even two goals each. Goals are not the only part of the game, however, and the rest of the attacks/midfielders,including Madison Resolme (10), Makenna Grewe (11) and Alexa Angelini (10), attempted multiple shots on goal throughout the game. With flawless communication, and inspiring teamwork, it is no wonder the Nighthawks took home the win!


Freshmen: First Time Flockers


One of the Del Norte’s youngest generations of Nighthawks describes his initial perception of Del Norte and where he sees his class going in the coming years. by MASON SHIELDS 8:09. The center of all Nighthawk life, the quad, has turned into a muddle of young freshman bodies frantically trying to find their friends before the principal, Mr. Mizel, delivers his opening speech to the class of 2017. Even without the upperclassmen being at school early, the exuberance of reuniting friends leaves the school in organized chaos. Although there are always a few exceptions, the majority of the kids feel as I do, unhappy that summer has set sail yet anxious for the routine of high school to begin. 8:10. Right on cue, welcoming music blares and everyone begins to pile into the gym. On day one, nobody wants to sit alone so the swarm of freshman entering the gym turns into a game of musical chairs as students shift seats repeatedly in order to sit next to friends. Once everyone has settled in, the principal gives the incoming freshman a warm welcome. There are a few spots where we are supposed to cheer during the speech, but we fail to do so. Good thing Mr. Mizel has enough spirit for the rest of us.

Following the pep rally, Link Crew leaders direct us to classrooms to play games and then give us a tour of the school. The amount of information given is more than all my old math and biology notes combined. From not sitting at the upperclassmen lunch tables to avoiding “flocking on the hawk,” there are so many unspoken rules that have to be learned. But soon I and others find the light at the end of the tunnel. The secret to becoming a Nighthawk is choosing our own path and not following in others’ footsteps. Instead of becoming typical students, we will branch out and make mistakes. In the end, the class of 2017 wants to be known as the class that set the standards so high that other classes will be regarded as post-2017 or pre-2017. Although it seems an unreasonable expectation, it starts with us, the class of 2017, a group of individuals committed to making Del Norte the best place it can be.

Why the New iPhones

The wait for the next generation of iPhone is over, and its technology and new features have been all the rave. But is it enough to impress the baying hordes?

There’s a reason why Apple is so popular; the new iPhones are worth considering.

by SONA TRKA Been there, done that, is what comes to mind when assessing the so-called “forward thinking” of Apple’s new iPhone 5s and 5c releases. It is simply the “S” enigma. Much like the switch from the iPhone 4 to the 4S, Apple brings back the structure of the previous model, adds some new improvements, and claims the 5s to fit into an entirely fresh and cutting-edge realm of technology. That said, only Apple can pull off such a move with an air of confidence and certainty; their audience is always on the prowl for the next, newest version of the iPhone. Even so, Apple is forced to realize that times have changed and consumers are potentially being lost as competitors amp-up their own technologies. Lack of innovation in the screen and flaws in design are just a few of the let-downs in the new iPhone. The 5s models a sleek design, and with the fingerprint unlocking system it’s sure to satisfy the advanced quality meter, right? The rattle of the home button may prove otherwise - even a gentle shake of the device causes the metal key to shift. And of course, there are always doubts about the storage of fingerprint information; who exactly is keeping track of this confidential information? Privacy becomes an evenbigger concern when dealing with credit-card transactions through iTunes and other apps - a feature that Apple claims gives the iPhone a whole new functionality. Consumers may also complain about the screen display and clarity. It’s just same old, same old; the fourinch screen matches that of the original iPhone 5. Larger, more defined displays are supported through models like the competing Samsung Galaxy S4 or HTC One. Maybe the iPhone fad has to be put aside for a while. In this case, Consumers may want to consider taking a step back before reaching for this supposed ingenious new feat of Apple’s “forward thinking” revolution.

Two Nighthawks reflect on the rigorous studying and dedication that the SAT requires. by BEN FRIEDL and ANDREW CHILDERS

Smug Marketing


#tbt SAT Prep

are Genius by BENJAMIN LI

Apple recently launched the all-new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. Apple didn’t make that many changes, but there are some major differences that make the new devices worth the money. True, the 5C looks a lot like the 5. However, that doesn’t make it exactly the same. Essentially, Apple took the best parts of the iPhone 5 and reworked the bad parts. They kept the Retina Display screen, the networking, and the slim design. They improved the battery (about a 25% increase), the camera, and the casing. Some may wonder how the casing is better; after all, Apple changed their glass casing for cheap, colorful plastic. However, the plastic isn’t as bad as many people think; in fact, it’s almost as durable as the original casings on the iPhone 5. If you want a cheaper version of the 5S, the 5C isn’t a bad option. The iPhone 5S is worth the money as well. Many people say it’s not a big enough jump from the 5. However, the 5S does have a few noteworthy changes. The fingerprint scanning is one of the most publicized. I think it’s a great idea; Apple has just changed the way we unlock our phones. Some people point out the security and privacy issues the fingerprint scan brings up but consider this: the fingerprints are never sent to Apple servers (or any servers, for that matter), which means your fingerprints stay in your iPhone 5S, and the data is encrypted. Some people are saying the “S” and “C” are ripoffs but the phones have so many improvements, they might as well have been called iPhone 6 and 6S. It’s time we stop judging these phones by their name, and instead examine their capabilities.



Crack! The sound of my lead breaking lays parallel to my soul wrenching fate which is sure to come upon me. Sweat beads down my face, my concentration wavering. As I take a nervous glance to my left, I notice a familiar smile taunting me, as if to quote the legendary Bob Marley and say “Don’t worry, Be happyyyyy.” My concentration as well as my spirit shatters. “How can he be HAPPY at a time like this??” I think to myself. I take a closer look at my adversary, and realize it is none other than Andrew Childers. “Dang it Childers, again!” I said. If it is previously unaware to you, Andrew has been consistently messing me up for as long as I can remember. In the 1st grade, he was Mr. Steal Yo’ Girl and took all of my women away from me. Ever since then, he only wantonly mocks me, puts me down, and publicly defaces my selfesteem. Flashback: 2 months, 6 days, 45 minutes, and 17 seconds ago. I sulk into my first day of SUMMA SAT prep. As I enter the classroom, my optimism grows as I scan the room. My confidence fortified, I felt that these next couple months wouldn’t be so bad after all, until I saw HIM. He strolled into the classroom 45 minutes late, a Starbucks coffee in one hand, and a bag full of no flocks given in the other. My heart sunk, nothing could possibly be worse than this. As he passes me on the way to his seat he whispers, “Hey Ben, nice shirt. Just kidding, it sucks,” as he proceeds to sit directly behind me, and begin to kick my chair. As days turned into weeks, preparation began to become a part of who I am. Hours were spent slaving over my vocab flashcards. He spent none. My preparation went so far as to create a shrine devoted to the godly figure known as my critical reading teacher. He burned all of his studying materials. Every Monday, a new test would arrive. Each test would take a rough estimate of 3-5 days to complete, along with a gallon of tears shed onto my now soggy scantron. On the other side of the classroom, in the cool corner, resided Andrew Childers. He never once studied for a vocab quiz. He never once did his homework. Yet, he would consistently score a good 200 points higher than me, and didn’t give two flocks about it. Why he took the class, I never knew. But now, I realized why he was there all along. He was there… to hand me a pencil.


Changing the SAT? College Board’s Mistake Recently the College Board announced that they will be changing the content of the SAT. Many students rejoiced at this news but is an easier test really better?

by BENJAMIN LI Feelings of dread and anxiety fill student souls when they hear the word “SAT”. The SAT is, arguably, the single most stressful test students take during their high school career. College Board, the creator of the SAT, has announced they plan to change the contents on the titan of all tests sometime in 2015, and while these changes may sound good, they’re harmful in the long run. For those that don’t know what the SAT is, here’s a quick summary. The SAT is composed of three math sections, three critical reading sections, three writing sections, and an experimental section (this section is not scored), for a total of ten sections and approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes of torture. One of the writing sections is an essay, which was added in 2005; you are given a prompt and you have to write an essay in 25 minutes. The big change College Board is making is the type of curriculum covered. College Board claims the current model of the SAT doesn’t adequately reflect students intelligence, and should follow the Common Core (the national standards) more closely. No more SAT vocab, and less math. In other words, they’re making the test easier.

edited by RACHELLE JUAN What the Flippin’ Pizza did I just hear? Some of you guys are overjoyed with the news, and jealous because you can’t take this new, easier SAT. But in my opinion, College Board has made a big mistake. Think about it; what is the purpose of the SAT? The purpose, frankly, is to find out how much smarter one kid is compared to another. If you make the test easier, more kids would get higher scores. Sure, that sounds great (I wouldn’t mind getting a 2400), but the more high scores there are, the less meaningful those scores are. It’s just like inflation; the more money there is floating around, the less valuable each dollar is. Making the SAT test easier doesn’t solve any problems. Sure, getting rid of SAT vocab and hard math is great (I despise vocab; it’s excruciating), but by doing so, the SAT becomes easier, and therefore, less useful. Everyone likes an easy test, but if College Board makes the SAT easier, there’s no point to it. The SAT is supposed to be scary and push high school students to work hard, not to be another through away state test. Trust me; it’s better if the SAT stays tough. photo by GOOGLE

APRIL SHEWRY I’m an accomplished TV watcher who likes to take long walks on the beach whilst surfing the internet, walking my dog, and planning The Talon. I often can be found meditating (and by meditating I mean stressing out about The Talon), only occasionally pausing to send emails or post witty comments on my twitter. My favorite food is newspaper and my favorite color is newspaper color. In all seriousness though, I work really hard to get this paper to you readers, and I hope you enjoy what we make for you in the upcoming year!


MEET YOUR EDITORS! The Talon 2013-2014 editors board works hard every month to bring you a new issue of the Talon and we wanted to show the people we do this for (that’s you!) who we are beyond the blank ink. photos by VALENTINE NGO



I was born in Savannah Georgia, on November 21. I am an ardent lover of books, drag queens, and thrift stores. I am extremely indecisive, as you can see from my favorite color. (Guess what? It’s rainbow.) Though I am part Irish, I have never been the lucky type; if there is something that can go wrong I can almost guarantee that it will. I struggle with censoring what I say as well as how much. I am a grammar Nazi and a stretcher of syntax. I am a natural optimist with a cynical sense of humor and a generally contradictory personality. To quote Ke$ha, “I is who I is.”

Hey Nighthawks! I hope you enjoyed your very first issue of this year’s The Talon. To introduce myself in a nutshell, I have a deep appreciation for music, bad jokes, Twitter, The New Yorker, and Yelp. I spend most of my time answering trivia questions, obsessing over cool science things, and getting frustrated over the English language (which, by the way, is actually extremely time-consuming if done in the proper fashion). My usual hours of operation are 11 PM – 4 AM. I’m a huge fan of being sleep deprived (not really), so feel free to distract me whenever!





I have loved art all my life. I have been drawing since I was young and I hope to pursue this interest later on at the university level. Other than that, I love to volunteer at museums and work at Balboa Park. I work with kids and incorporate crafts with science at the NAT. At school, I help run clubs and actively participate in school activities. I look forward to working on The Talon this year.

Hi, I’m Uday, I’m a senior, and the only favor of ice cream that I like is vanilla. I enjoy helping people reach their goals, because in my eyes that is what being a leader is about. Additionally, I serve as the president of Peer Leaders Uniting Students, the VP of Interact, and as the captain of my water polo team. I love to volunteer with my time, and when I’m not tutoring I’m usually studying. When I grow up I want to be a surgeon, but for right now I’m content with just being a Nighthawk with large aspirations.





From the way that I design for the school yearbook, newspaper, and science magazine, it’s pretty obvious that I love graphic design. When college brochures come in the mail, I look at it mostly for the beautiful design. I love pinning design inspirations on Pinterest and using my art pens to create typography. It makes me happier to get stuffed animals as a present than getting chocolate, gift cards, or jewelry. I’m pretty amused by anything that most people usually don’t find that funny… but hey, life is short and we need to get as many laughs and smiles out of it as possible!

Hi friends! I hope you like the way this back page looks! I design for the newspaper and the science magazine. I really enjoy graphic design –from ads to book covers to shirt designs. Most of my free time is spent gathering creative inspiration on Pinterest, which often leads to hours of online shopping. Oh, I’m also a Twitter addict, WiFi lover, and boba enthusiast. But, I make sure that these online wonders and delicious drinks don’t distract me from my school work. School comes first, kids!





Hi Nighthawks! I'm Jackie and I'm your managing editor for the 2013-2014 year. It's been awesome watching the Talon go from online to full on publication in just a few years. Telling people's stories has always been my passion. Outside of the Talon you can find me stressing out over a yearbook deadline, tutoring at the WHAT center, or critiquing manuscripts from rising authors. The maths and sciences have never been my thing, so I feel most comfortable in the world of language. I'll do my best to serve the student body this year, keeping you all updated on the best highlights of our school year.

I’m that one girl who can never make normal faces in pictures. You guys have probably seen many of these awkward pictures by now… Anyway, I also like playing music and sports. My favorite thing to do is laugh and I love food (doesn’t everyone?). I’m half Vietnamese and half Chinese and I have a younger brother, Vincent (AKA Vinny AKA Winston). I’m addicted to Starbucks and I love any movies/ TV shows about music or singing. I like bows, and I hate wearing dresses because they are so uncomfortable. I love all types of art, like photography, painting, and drawing. I feel so honored to be part of the Talon this year and I hope you guys enjoy the new issue!






Apart from being an ad manager for the Talon, I am senior class president, president of DECA, and treasurer of KIN Club. I also spend a lot of my time swimming and playing water polo. When I do have free time, I like to go to the beach, volunteer, and spend time with my friends and family.

I’ve loved Del Norte from the first day I set foot on campus three years ago. I’m currently serving as your ASB Treasurer, as well as treasurer for both InterACT and DECA. I’m a RYLA 2013 Alumnus, and really wish to be able to give back to my community. I like to golf and go to the beach, and I’m very excited to be one of the Finance Managers for the Talon this year.


Talon Volume 2 Issue 1