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Beverly Hills, Calif.
Beverly Hills High School
Volume 85, Issue Five · December 9, 2011
Hit and Can’t Run
New state law increases concussion awareness
Dami Kim Staff Writer The awareness of safety and concussions has hit Norman athletes ever since Gov. Jerry Brown signed California’s new Youth Sports Concussion Safety Law, AB 25, on Oct. 4. The law requires the coaches to send an educational information sheet to both young athletes and parents. They must review the immediate and long-term effects of traumatic brain injuries and acknowledge the receipt. The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) also expect the coaches to be trained to recognize symptoms of
concussions. According to athletic trainer Coleen Davenport, school coaches have already taken and passed an exam on the basics of concussions after watching a 30-minute training video online. “The new law really reinforces that if there are any suspected concussions during a game, the athlete must be removed from the game immediately and must not return to the event on that same day,” Davenport said. The number of students with head injuries during the first semester last year has increased to 14 concussions this year, especially during football season. “It is more likely that [the statistics] are not accurate because some students don’t report [concussions] during practice or at away games. Sometimes the coach doesn’t know, which is a little scary,” Davenport said. Football reported that majority of their concussions [continued on page 12]
Cartoon by BLESS BAI
Inside this Issue... Page 3
Junior Josh Rosenberg aims for Eagle Scout honors with library renovations.
Highlights decodes winter fashion must-haves.
Magic Johnson Enterprises’ director Andre Johnson speaks to BSU.
Cultural Education America is diverse, and schools should teach about it
Sadie Hersh El Rodeo Student A Hindu, a Jew, a Christian, a Buddhist and a Muslim walk into a classroom. No, this isn’t the opening to a he osterity joke; it’s just another Sadie Hersh is an eighthgrade student at El Rodeo day in any classroom in who entered a competition, America. Never before along with about 70 of her have church and state peers, to have her essay fea- been so intertwined tured in Highlights. The next than in American classcompetition will be for Horace Mann eighth graders. rooms. This is the same place where there is the least amount of teaching and understanding of these religions. Many people would say that teaching religion in the classroom is unconstitutional, but with such diversity in our schools, the need
for religious education has never been more crucial. World religions should be taught in public schools. Knapp Elementary School in Lansdale, Pa. has a student body where 19 different languages are spoken. Since 1965, immigration reforms allowed generations of immigrants into our country, increasing the need for students to learn about their religions. World religion education is necessary and would increase the knowledge in schools across America. This is already a subject in schools. Students are required to study the world religions. High school students are taught the five major religions, which include Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. Sixth grad-
ers learn about early religions, so why is religious education in the classroom being debated? People may say that the Constitution states that there should be a separation between church and state, but religion wouldn’t be forced on students. No opinions would be voiced from the teachers, no matter what their religion. Education on each religion, their beliefs, customs, and observed holidays would serve to explain the differences and the similarities to other religions. World religions should be taught in schools because of the diversity in school today. It is also part of the countries curriculum. This is not unconstitutional and world religions should be taught in schools!
IB program: better but harder Like the College Board, the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program is a non-profit educational foundation. ewspaper avvy Boasting, “three proThe editorial is a product of a grammes for students regular meeting of the editors. There is no byline, or stated aged three to 19 [to] help writer, because each editorial develop the intellectual, expresses the opinion of the personal, emotional and entire editorial staff, not an social skills to live, learn individual. and work in a rapidly globalizing world.” However, how much more work are we going to have to do, and is it all worth it? The IB program is signifi-
cantly more rigorous than the courses currently offered at our high school. Unlike the AP program, the proposed program does not conclude with a test in May, but instead with an extended research essay in relation to the student’s field of study as well as a service requirement in that specific field. “Select colleges will regard [the IB] a little [better] than APs if you earn your diploma,” counselor Diane Hale said. Understandably, some schools recognize the IB in a higher regard than the AP; it is more demanding. “It’s not official that we are going to
have an IB program,” Hale said. They are still discussing the switch. Even with the increase of work, the introduction of the IB program into the Beverly curriculum would bode well for post-Beverly academic success among students, part of the school’s recent efforts to increase both college acceptance and awareness. A hybrid model where both AP and IB could coexist in the courses offered at the high school is likely the best option, as it offers students the option of the traditional and satisfactory AP as well as the more prestigious IB.
December 9, 2011 Highlights
The Staff Nathan Ong and Mallika Sen Editors-in-Chief
Candice Hannani News Editor
Danny Licht Opinion Editor
Benjamin Hannani Feature Editor
Vincent Brock and Julia Waldow Centerfold Editors
Sayeh Mohammadi and Chandra O’Connor Arts & Style Editors
Austin Grant-Dixon Spotlight Editor
Ryan Feinberg Sports Editor
Sayeh Mohammadi Business Manager
Oliver Gallop, Alex Menache, AJ Parry and Ginelle Wolfe Staff Photographers
Bless Bai, Sasha Park and AJ Parry Staff Cartoonists
Lilia Abecassis, Michelle Banayan, Chanan Batra, Celine Hakimianpour, Mabel Kabani, Sarit Kashanian, Zoe Kenealy, Dami Kim, Hae Lee, Brenda Mehdian, AJ Parry, Shannon Toobi and Arman Zadeh Staff Writers
Gaby Herbst and Katie Murray Advisers
This newspaper is produced by the Advanced Journalism class of Beverly Hills High School 241 Moreno Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90212 Follow us on Twitter @bhhighlights
feature 11 Alumnus Grabel takes his talents to Las Vegas December 9, 2011 Highlights
Benjamin Hannani Feature Editor “Abracadabra” is more than just a silly magic word for Seth Grabel, class of 2000; it is a way of life. As a professional magician, Grabel has performed at various Las Vegas venues, including his current gig at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino. However, students may recognize him from his appearance on America’s Got Talent earlier this year. As the son of a magician, Grabel was certainly influenced by his father. His father, Gary, credits himself with making Seth aware of magic. However, Seth’s acts tend to be more physical and acrobatic. “I get blamed every day of my life for his career,” Gary said. “Are you kidding? I’m the reason he’s doing it. I mean, I got him into magic. He’s got his own direction, his own thing. There’s not even a question on that. But I’m the cause of the problem.” Grabel had been interested in magic since he was a young boy, but did not seriously consider it as a career until he was in college at UNLV. While in college, he began performing for friends and at parties. His performances gradually gained notoriety and, soon enough, he received money for his performances. The motive behind the magic, Grabel says, is his satisfaction in entertaining others. “I just love making people happy…I started and as things progressed, people thought I was really good,” Grabel said. “I started [performing magic] professionally and people started hiring me.”
Prior to his appearance on “America’s Got Talent,” Grabel frequently opened for the Amazing Johnathan show and hypnotist Anthony Cools, both of whom are based in Las Vegas. Additionally, he has performed at celebrity events for the likes of “Jackass” star Johnny Knoxville and Playboy founder Hugh Hefner. However, Grabel received a substantial increase in popularity, and requests, after his time on the reality show. His YouTube videos subsequently exceeded 500,000 views. “People really got to see what I can do,” Grabel said. “Now, things are blowing up. I got different calls from agents. I’ve got different contracts coming in [and] going out. I really learned how to lead an act with a seriously small amount of time.” Grabel’s primary goal is to star in his own stage show, which he is currently working on. He hopes to hold a performance to benefit charity, though he has not yet selected which organization. In the future, he would also like to get involved in speaking engagements at elementary and high schools. When reflecting on his time at Beverly, Grabel regrets not having participated in the performing arts program. If he had the chance to go back, he would have joined Dance Company and Theater Arts. He stressed the importance of finding a passion and pursuing it. “Get involved with Beverly, because Beverly has so much to offer. There’s no reason for you not to get involved. You have the world at your fingertips. Just pick something and do it. Stick with [your interest] and see where it goes.”
Class of 2000 graduate currently performs at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino. Photo Courtesy of SETH GRABEL
Andre Johnson informs, inspires BSU students Chanan Batra Staff Writer
Andre Johnson describes how he has overcome personal adversity. OLIVER GALLOP
WHAT IS BSU? “The purpose of Black Student Union (BSU) is to promote activities of common interest, as well as cultural and educational benefits for the African American student body at Beverly. In addition, the BSU is the umbrella organization of many of the African American (and other ethnicities) organizations, providing a forum for them to voice their differences, goals and ideas. Furthermore, BSU encourages cooperation between its member organizations and the African American and other ethnic student body.”
“BSU is an organization for everyone at our school to learn and indulge in black history and pop culture. We allow everyone and anyone to join and discuss the issues we see today in our community and dig deep to discover where these issues have evolved. Not just focusing on the negative, we discuss the positive influences that popular African Americans (young and old) have on all of us. African American students and culture are limited on Beverly’s campus and BSU does it’s best to fill in that gap.”
-senior Bianca Bibbs President
-senior Cameron Countryman Vice President
The Black Student Union (BSU) hosted entrepreneur Andre Johnson on Tuesday, Nov. 22. Johnson, son of NBA legend Magic Johnson, discussed a wide variety of topics with the club, including his personal life, his job and what the purpose and goals of BSU should be. Johnson began the meeting by giving BSU members a chance to ask personal questions about him. He explained how he was a member of BSU at his high school in Lansing, Mich., and how that experience taught him the importance of being part of a progressive community. “BSU showed me how important it is for us [minorities] to pull each other up just like how other cultures do,” Johnson said. “We have to work together as a community to succeed.” When he was in high school, Johnson’s BSU club held many fundraisers, athletic events, and theatrical performances to raise awareness to the club and to create a sense of togetherness. “He [Johnson] gave us some great ideas for events this year,” junior Sydney Segal said. “I’m excited to be a part of the process of making BSU a staple part of Beverly.” Johnson stressed to students the importance of having a strong work ethic. As a high school student, Johnson worked as a janitor at his community’s local AMC Theater. “My father always told me that if I wanted to be successful in life, I had to learn how to work hard,” Johnson said. “He instilled a strong work ethic in me at a young age.” Johnson’s relationship with his father as a teenager was very strong, as his father was diagnosed with HIV and was told he would not live longer than two years after.
“When I was ten years old, I got a phone call from [my father] saying he had contracted the HIV virus due to some poor decisions,” Johnson said. “It was a tough pill to swallow at such a young age, but it put into perspective how much he meant to me.” Today, Johnson’s father is alive and healthy, and the Johnson family is an active advocate for stopping the spread of HIV. Johnson urged students to get tested and discussed how far their support toward the cause goes. “HIV is not what it was 20 years ago,” Johnson said. “Because of the growing awareness and financial support towards finding a cure, medicine has become so effective, and is available to anyone who needs it.” Johnson urged BSU to find its sense of purpose. Senior Ariel Kimura, the club’s secretary, explained that BSU is a space for diversity and acceptance. “The purpose of BSU should be to make sure people of all colors and cultures have a place to go where they can be comfortable with each other,” Kimura said. Johnson expressed to students the importance of networking themselves, and urged members of BSU to get involved in business. He explained the advantages of working in asset managing. “My favorite part of the job is being able to be in contact with multiple industries,” Johnson said. “You’re working with people in technology, people in the food industry, and several minority groups who just want their voices to be heard.” Students and faculty alike were inspired by Johnson’s visit, and the club took many of Johnson’s ideas into consideration. BSU expects to head a theatrical performance as part of Black History Month, and Johnson assures students he will return for that.
December 9, 2011 Highlights
Boys’ soccer remains undefeated in preseason Arman Zadeh Staff Writer The boys’ soccer team snuck past Warren in a close game for the team on Dec. 2, defeating the Bears 2-1. This was the team’s first win against Warren in two years. Striker Nick Marmureanu made the game-winning goal with 20 minutes left in the match. Captain Elijah Lichtenberg contributed with one goal off a penalty kick in the first half and an assist to Marmureanu.
Goalkeeper Adrian Spitz provided two noteworthy saves to the team and closing goalkeeper Matthew Davidov contributed with three crucial saves, one of which occurred late in the second half, saving the Normans from a tie. Defender Golan Korshidi led the team with four steals against Warren, followed by defender Angel Jaramillo with three steals. Davidov believes that it was an exciting win for the team. After a week full of games, he felt that the team’s hard work is paying off well. Davidov believes that their success is because this year’s squad plays as more of a team, compared to past years’. “Everyone’s pretty much on board [and] meshing pretty nicely,” Davidov said. Head Coach Steve Rappaport believes that the team’s “fantastic” start to the season is just the beginning of what’s yet to come. “Everyone’s delivering and that’s going to make for a great season,” Rappaport said to the team, post-game. In addition to the team’s success, the Normans were ranked eighth in a Southern Section Division 4 poll released this past Monday. Teams also mentioned on this list include last year’s CIF quarterfinalists Cathedral, Santa Monica and
Midfielder Angel Jaramillo tackles to gain possession of the ball. ARMAN ZADEH
Soccer concussion rate soon to match football’s Dami Kim Staff Writer [continued from page 1] were from head to head contact in tackles or an athlete’s head hitting the turf after a blow at a fairly fast speed. Davenport found statistics online that informed that soccer players were more susceptible to concussions than players of any other sport. “In soccer games, it most commonly happens when two athletes are trying to head the same ball at the same time, but hit each other [instead],” Davenport said. Davenport speculated that by the end of the year, the number of diagnosed concussions in soccer would equal that of football. “We try to track [concussions] every single day and look for symptoms at the incident,” Davenport said. Athletes who are suspected with a concussion all take a Standardized Assessment of Concussion (SAC) test, which is repeated in the course of seven to ten days, to record the progress of an athlete’s well-being. Davenport and her assistant trainers look for 20 symptoms through three major tests that examine memory, balance and cranial nerves to ensure that the student athlete is recovering. During memory tests, athletes repeat five words and reverse a set of digits recited by the examiner. Athletes must also stand on both legs with their eyes closed for 20 seconds or stand heel-to-toe with the nondominant foot in the back for a balance test.
According to the medical association, the symptoms lessen in an average of six to seven days. The athlete must then follow a six-day play plan to return to practice or competition. On the first day, he or she must rest with no exercise until the symptoms dissipate. During the second through fourth days, athletes can participate in light practice with noncontact training drills. They can return to full contact training and competitions on the last two days of the six-day plan. According to American Academy of Pediatrics, pre-teen and teen athletes suffer more long-term effects than adults with fully developed brains. Student athletes with two ore more concussions may perform significantly lower gradepoint averages than to similar student without a history of concussions. If they concuss a second time even though the first impact has not yet fully recovered, it may lead to serious results such as cerebral vascular congestions, swelling, and death. Davenport informed that helmets do protect the skull, but do not prevent athletes from concussions. Athletes can best prevent concussions by safely playing with the correct techniques and avoiding direct contact to the head. “It is a great thing when student athletes are aware and feel comfortable enough to come and tell either a coach or the medical staff that something in their head does not feel right,” Davenport said. “That action alone will save them from experiencing multiple worse symptoms but also could save them from a possible death from a brain injury.”
the current CIF champions El Rancho. The team’s next match was against El Segundo on Dec. 6. The game ended in a tie between the Normans and the Eagles, with a score of 1-1, keeping an undefeated record. The teams record now stands at 3-0-1. Scoring for the team was striker Caio Carvalho with a header inside the 18- yard box from an assist by midfielder Bryan Khalilirad. Khalilirad also provided two steals to the team. Captain Elijah Lichtenberg believed that because the Normans arrived late to El
Segundo, the team started the game on a bad foot and did not play as well as they had hoped to. “We came out in this game with none of the same aggression and spark that we’ve had in our previous games,” Lichtenberg said. “In order for us to be successful, we’re going to have to start every game like it’s a championship game and come out hard and energetic.” The team played Loyola on Thursday, Dec. 8, but results were not available as of press time. The team’s next game is set for this Tuesday, Dec. 13.
Girls’ basketball squad recovers in a team effort Benjamin Hannani Feature Editor After a tumultuous beginning to the Inglewood Tournament, the girls’ basketball team flipped the switch the last two games of the tourney. The squad endured three consecutive losses before earning two blowout victories against Poly and Paraclete respectively. The team’s last loss of the tournament came against Cleveland, who defeated the Normans 50-37 on Thursday, Dec. 1. The squad struggled on offense, committed costly turnovers and did not make open passes. Additionally, the team’s worst error, according to junior Megan Yee, was an inability to successfully execute the defensive trap. The game was characterized as a “team loss.” “In this game we just seemed to turn the ball over a lot,” Yee said. “Offensively our shots weren’t going in and the open passes weren’t being made. What hurt us the most however, was our defensive trap because we seemed to not rotate into our spots correctly and fast enough.” However, the team followed up the loss with a resounding win against Poly on Friday, Dec. 2 by a score of 59-26. Contrary to the previous game, the team’s defense worked to perfection and the players hustled for offensive rebounds. Whereas the game against Cleveland was a “team loss,” the victory against Poly saw positive contributions from the entire team. In the last game of the tournament, the team had no trouble with their opponent,
defeating Paraclete 54-20 on Saturday, Dec. 3. The squad benefitted from steals, which developed into fast break points. The first rotation was able to rest during the second half as reserves maintained the score. The spark in performance was inspired by a new mentality, according to junior Dorsa Mehrannia. “We realized that we have to play each game as a team, all of us contributing,” Mehrannia said. “The players understood their individual roles and positions on the team and what each person has to do in order for us to get some wins. We forgot about the losses and decided to start fresh and come out on the court with some confidence.” Despite a string of disappointing losses, the team reflected on the tournament as a learning experience. The players noticed their potential and responded with better performances, according to players on the team. In hindsight, the players viewed the tournament losses as winnable games. “As a team, I feel we learned that nothing good comes from being scared and we cannot wait around relying on anybody to take over,” Mehrannia said. “We learned that we cannot give up especially so early in the season because we are better than what we have been performing on the court. We learned to have short term memory and not get too frustrated after one loss.” The team’s momentum was nowhere to be found in its 52-40 loss at Notre Dame Academy on Tuesday, Dec. 6.
Point guard Megan Yee dodges St. Monica defender. ARMAN ZADEH
2 news World AIDS Day educates students
December 9, 2011 Highlights
Quick Reads Students start recycling program
Clockwise from left to right: Guest speaker Ronald Dennis discusses AIDS during the Dec. 1 assembly. Junior Ben Nosrati, freshman Jasmine Hannani and freshman Lillie DeMichele participate in the on-campus walk for AIDS. Service Learning students Chanel Taghdis, Nicole Partovy, Gracelyn Koshy and Natasha Natarajan wear red for World AIDS Day. ARMAN ZADEH, OLIVER GALLOP
Hae Lee Staff Writer Dec. 1 marked the fourth year of bringing in guest speakers to educate students about the effects and the decision-making regarding AIDS and HIV. P.E. classes were scheduled to walk around the track in support of people diagnosed with AIDS. The loudspeaker played educational information to the students, giving out facts regarding HIV/ AIDS and its prevention. “I think it is important for the student population to be reminded about making good decisions when it comes to sexual activity and getting tested,” Service Learning adviser Michelle Halimi said. Service Learning is in charge of organizing this annual event, and this year, the class sold wristbands and t-shirts on campus. All proceeds were donated to AIDS Project Los Angeles, an organization dedicated to
improving the lives of people affected by HIV disease and reducing its risk. “We’ve been preparing since the beginning of the school year to organize the speaker, getting the media involved, finding an organization to donate to school, and lastly decorating the school,” Service Learning student Jon Yadegar said. There have been some changes to the event because of the shortage in fundraising money. “We couldn’t barbecue our own food this year and sell food for donations, which was a big portion of our fundraiser last year,” Halimi said. According to Service Learning, the class is planning to be more creative with the event in the future. Despite the decrease in fundraising money, Beverly still had a guest speaker, Ronald Dennis, an AIDS survivor who was once a Broadway actor, singer, and is
currently a dance teacher in Hollywood. At the assembly, he discussed the late twentieth century stigma of HIV/AIDS and the way the disease affects a large percentage of minorities especially in the gay community. “He was witty and inspiring. He knew how to capture an audience of our generation,” senior Parmida Mahrou said. Some students thought otherwise. “I thought he was great, but at times he was so entertaining and funny that I think kids forgot how serious the subject actually was,” senior Jordan Neman said. As President Barack Obama stated at George Washington University on World Aids Day, “We just have to keep at it, steady, persistent, today, tomorrow, and every day until we get to zero…that has to be our promise to each other— because we have come so far; we have saved so many lives. We might as well finish the fight.”
Highlights wins at national convention Sarit Kashanian Staff Writer
Grant-Dixon, who received an Honorable Mention for Editorial writing; Feature Members of the Highlights editor Benjamin Hannani, staff attended the fall National who received an Honorable High School journalism Mention for Feature writing; Convention hosted by the Centerfold editor Vincent National Scholastic Press Brock, who received an Association (NSPA) and Honorable Mention for the the Journalism Education Photo Portrait category; Association (JEA) convention and cartoonist Sasha Park, in Minneapolis, Minn. from who received an Honorable Nov. 17-20. Mention for Editorial Schools from across the Cartooning. nation and a few from around Members of the staff were the world attended this mandated to attend eight biannual journalism conference sessions over two days. The to enter their newspapers into sessions covered a wide various contests. Students Highlights was recognized as seventh place in Best of Show, newspapers 9-12 pages. Front row: Sasha Park, AJ Parry, Nathan Ong and Mallika Sen. Back row: Oliver Gallop, also participated in individual Austin Grant-Dixon, Danny Licht, Vincent Brock, Ryan Feinberg, Benjamin Hannani, array of topics, from satire to leadership. contests. Dami Kim, Zoe Kenealy, Julia Waldow and Candice Hannani. GABY HERBST “The sessions were Highlights adviser Gaby Editor-in-chief Mallika Sen also shared in actually really helpful. They helped us Herbst and Watchtower adviser Malia the delight of her staff’s victory. Frutschy served as chaperones on the trip. “We didn’t expect to win. To actually win become better journalists,” staff writer Zoe “[The convention] is a great chance for gave us some faith in ourselves that was Kenealy said. The trip was also a good chance for the kids to meet journalists from across the lacking, and greatly needed,” Sen said. country. I wanted them to go and absorb Individual awards were given to students students on Highlights to get to know one ideas from the newspaper to make it better who entered their works into different another better in a different environment. On Friday, they attended a dance for for Highlights,” Herbst said. categories such as writing, photography Highlights won seventh place for Best of or cartooning. Students who performed all the students at the conference, and Show, 9-12 pages. This was Highlights’s exceptionally well were recognized on Sunday, they visited the Walker Art first win since placing third at the spring with rankings of Superior, Excellent or Center. “Minneapolis was great,” editor-inconvention of 2009. Honorable Mention. “I was extremely excited that we won Among the winners from the Highlights chief Nathan Ong said. “We had lots seventh,” centerfold editor Julia Waldow staff were editor-in-chief Mallika Sen, who of Highlights bonding and we went on said. “It was so rewarding to have our work received a Superior rating for News Editing/ an indoor roller coaster in the Mall of recognized on a national level.” Headline writing; Spotlight editor Austin America.”
To help the effort of going green, Service Learning began a recycling program on Nov. 4. The National Honors Society set up a similar program last year; Service Learning has since introduced a new approach to the program, which they feel will be a success. “Our program is different [from the National Honors Society] because we collect [recyclables] from every class for the whole year,” recycling program co– chair Peiman Rafiezadeh said. “Our goal is to benefit the environment and get the students to become more aware about how they can help.” Co-chairs Rafiezadeh and Daniel Kohanof collect recyclables every three weeks and take them to the Santa Monica Recycling Center where they receive money in exchange. They will use the money to fund the Service Learning class and donate to non-profit organizations. Though Rafiezadeh and Kohanof started this program to help both the school and environment, the cooperation of students is a vital factor in its success. “It is bad that the students throw things away when they should recycle. [Rafiezadeh and I] are doing as much as we can and if everyone were to recycle, there would not be as big of an issue,” Kohanof said. This recycling program only recycles cans, bottles and glass. Paper is omitted to increase efficiency. Michelle Banayan
Library holds biannual book sale In one of its largest books sales to date, Beverly’s library offered over 300 books and 50 CDs for purchase from Nov. 14 to Nov. 18. “I think we had really good books to choose from this year,” Head Librarian Karen Boyarsky said. “Lots of students got fine gifts. We had ‘Twilight’ novels, classics, Shakespearean plays and lots of books on [Beverly’s] reading lists. We’ve never been able to offer this big of a sale [since I’ve worked here].” Community members, publishing houses, teachers and the Beverly Hills Public Library donated the books for the fall sale. Student Library Advisory Committee members helped promote sales by spreading the word and by hanging posters and flyers around the school. Book prices decreased every day throughout the week. Paperbacks were $1 on Monday, 75¢ on Tuesday, 50¢ on Wednesday, 25¢ on Thursday and 10¢ on Friday. Hardcovers were $10 on Monday, $5 on Tuesday, $3 on Wednesday, $2 on Thursday and $1 on Friday. English literature audiobooks were 25¢. The book sale raised over $135, all of which will go towards buying about eight new library books. “Thanks to everyone who participated [in the sale] because every single penny goes to the purchase of new books,” Boyarsky said. “With this money, we can buy books we wouldn’t otherwise have been able to buy.” Boyarsky hopes that the spring book sale will be just as or more successful than the fall sale. Julia Waldow
December 9, 2011 Highlights
Volunteers save lives, one pint at a time Shannon Toobi Staff Writer Over 200 students volunteered to donate blood at the annual blood drive on Dec. 1, jointly mounted by UCLA and ASB. ASB members gathered sign-ups and organized the event, while UCLA was in charge of the medical aspects such as providing supplies and nurses. “UCLA brings in a whole bunch of volunteers who [draw blood] almost everyday, so they are pretty good at what they do,” ASB Senior Class President Joel Yadidian said. With ASB’s efficient preparation for the event, many believed it was an overall successful winter blood drive. “ASB students worked for the last three weeks getting sign ups and worked at the blood drive. I am very proud of the ASB students and [Beverly] students for such a successful drive,” ASB Adviser Loren Newman shared. Problems with the blood drive have included an insufficient amount of volunteer sign-ups, recent tattoos and piercings, as well as first time donors’ fear of the needle. “Even though I’m afraid of needles, I know it’s for a good cause,” senior Tamar Remer said. In addition, World Aids Day, assembly schedule and an email malfunction regarding donors’ confirmations left volunteers confused. To prevent complications, blood donors are constantly reminded of certain measures prior to the blood drive. “We urge students to definitely drink a lot and eat a lot before donating blood just as a precaution,” ASB Senior Class Representative Steven Neman said. However, even with these precautions,
Senior Jasman Naziri volunteers to give blood at the annual blood drive. Courtesy of ARIEL KIMURA
some volunteers experienced unpredictable reactions during or after giving blood; such as unconsciousness or vomiting. “All I remember was I stood up and wasn’t feeling well. The next thing I knew I was on the floor hearing the doctor say ‘open your eyes,’” senior Jasman Naziri shared. Students numbered in the majority of volunteers, but faculty participated as well. “I donate every year, and I think it’s a really great cause. I figure [because] I’m generally healthy, I have good blood to donate,” math teacher Elaina Reilly said. Although the desired goal was to collect
190 units of blood, 170 units of blood were collected, nearly reaching the target. “The average person who needs blood takes about three pints per transfusion. One unit is equal to one pint; therefore, our results could potentially help over 55 people. Saving one life is great, but 55, that’s amazing,” Yadidian said. The school will host another blood drive in the spring. Although ASB did not reach their goal for the blood drive, they still believe that the school has made a positive impact on the lives of many individuals.
Quick Reads BHUSD election results finalized As of Nov. 16, the results of the BHUSD board election have been finalized. Brian Goldberg, Noah Margo and Lewis Hall are the first, second and third winners of the election, respectively. Goldberg received 2,217 votes, Margo received 1,204 votes, Hall received 978 votes, Frances Bilak received 917 votes and Andy Licht received 760 votes. Licht, however, dropped out of the race prior to the election. Goldberg, the former vice president of the school board, assumed the role of co-president on Dec. 6. He replaces former co-president Steve Fenton and works alongside other co-president Lisa Korbatov. “I was very gratified to have overwhelming support,” Goldberg said. “It’s a testament of the hard work my colleagues and I have put in.” Margo and Hall will assume the position of board members, replacing Myra Lurie and Jacob Manaster. Manaster will take on the position of vice president of the Board. Margo is the second write-in candidate to win an election in the history of the Beverly Hills school board. Current mayor Barry Brucker was the first, in 1997. “I look forward to serving our schools and our community with the same fervor on which I ran,” Margo told Beverly Hills Patch of his win. All three elected members began serving their new positions on Dec. 6. Lurie and Fenton’s last board meeting as Board member and president was held on Nov. 22. Lilia Abecassis
Eagle Scout project benefits Bosse school library Julia Waldow Centerfold Editor Girl Scouts have cookies. Boy Scouts have wilderness preparation. Eagle Scouts have the knowledge that “once you’re an Eagle Scout, you’re an Eagle Scout for life.” To junior Josh Rosenberg, becoming an Eagle Scout is the ultimate dream. “Becoming an Eagle Scout has been my goal since I began Boy Scouts,” Rosenberg said. “I want to [be one] for the prestige, the honor. There are rumors flying around that there are troops in other areas that roll out Eagle Scouts by the dozen. I think that’s wrong. It makes Eagles Scouts who work hard to earn the rank feel really badly. I wanted to prove that you don’t need to cheat [to become a Scout].” Aspiring Eagle Scouts must go through a time-consuming process in order to earn their new rank. Before he could begin his Eagle project, Rosenberg, a member of the Beverly Hillsbased Troop 110, had to complete previous rankings, earn merit badges, receive signatures from officials and serve six months in a leadership position within his troop. Scouts must complete 12 out of 18 possible Eagle-required merit badges. Scouts can choose from swimming, cycling, or hiking; lifesaving or emergency preparedness; citizenship in the community; citizenship in the nation; citizenship in the world; camping; management; family life and other badges. “Reading was one of my favorite merit badges,” Rosenberg said. “It motivated me to read more, so I started coming to the library more often. That’s when I got the idea for the project, so everything comes
full circle.” All Eagle Scouts must complete a project that benefits their respective communities and Rosenberg centered his project on improving the school library. Rosenberg, who cites books as his passion, decided to clean the library’s bookcases and books and build a bookcase. Librarian Karen Boyarsky suggested that Rosenberg also install some blinds. The project had multiple components. First, on Nov. 26, Rosenberg and seven other Scouts built a bookshelf to go in the back that will hold books to go on the other shelves. On Dec. 3, Rosenberg, 30 scouts and 42 students and adults installed one-way blinds in the library’s classroom. Finally, Rosenberg and the volunteers at his project dusted off each individual library book. “I hope that the bookshelf will make it easier for the librarians to store books,” Rosenberg said. “Having a cleaner library may also help people’s allergies. I think the blinds may help out people’s vision.” Head librarian Karen Boyarsky is excited about the project’s outcomes as well. “It was like magic to walk in Dec. 5 and see everything sparkling,” Boyarsky said. “This experience has been one of the highlights of my career. I felt rewarded to be part of the decision-making process.” Until he becomes an Eagle Scout, Rosenberg will continue serving as his troop’s Senior Patrol Leader. “It’s really hard to become an Eagle Scout, but it’s so rewarding,” Rosenberg said. “I’m really glad this is the final step of achieving this rank because it allows me to demonstrate all of the skills I have picked up over the past six years.”
Clockwise from top: Rosenberg and junior Zachary Fouladian dust books and bookshelves; Rosenberg tests the new blinds; Rosenberg poses alongside the new bookshelf his project contributed to the library. JULIA WALDOW
December 9, 2011 Highlights
‘Jane Austen’ improv at Edye deemed hilarious Ginelle Wolfe Staff Writer Last week, Dr. Steven Rubenstein generously offered tickets to his students to see “Jane Austen Unscripted” at the Edye, a part of The Broad Stage at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center. In the play, the actors captured Jane Austen’s essence without presenting anything she actually wrote. Lisa Redrickson directed the play with the help of her co-directors Dan O’Connor, Paul Rogan and associate artistic director Brian Lohman. There are a total of 13 cast members; however, only seven of them acted in last week’s
showing. Because there are few available members of the cast, most of the actors were double casted. The group of seven actors put on an improvisational show based on what the audience suggested. At the Dec. 3 showing, the first topic yelled was “the weather” by a group of young girls sitting in the front. Appropriately, the play started off with a man looking outside at the rain. Following Austen’s love theme, the scene developed into a complicated romance. During the play, actors were occasionally caught in situations where they did not know what to say. Nick Massouh, who played both Mr. Rogers and a servant, was able to think of a clever response to a tough statement in order to keep the Cast members perform an improvisational vignette. Photos courtesy of JANE AUSTEN UNSCRIPTED
audience entertained and satisfied. Because it was an improvisational show, the actors had to be on high alert. When one scene was not progressing, a character ran in yelling about an off-stage broken leg to help end a scene. The actors often incorporated the audience members in the play by referring to them as “the neighbors.” After the 15-minute intermission, the characters lined up and the audience got to pick which characters they wanted to see on the stage first. A table with two chairs and a sofa were the only props used, which forced the actors to get creative. For example, in a scene where a character rode a horse, a cast member behind the curtain made trotting sounds into the microphone. When one banged on an imaginary door, another knocked on wood out of sight.
The diverse audience ranged from elementary school students to senior citizens, so the actors made sure to keep all of them entertained by casually incorporating one-liners throughout the show. As the play progressed, the actors made sure to tie in the original request: “the weather.” Rubenstein is able to offer tickets to Broad events from time to time thanks to a former student’s parent. “Mitch Heskel is the dad of a former student and he is the artistic director at the Broad,” Rubenstein said. “He’s been extremely generous with providing Beverly students with the opportunity to see great theater.” The show is being put on three weekends in a row and each time the dialogue and characters are completely different. The last show will be Dec. 18.
December 9, 2011 Highlights
From Amish to stylish Zoe Kenealy Staff Writer
Environmental science teacher Graham Lockett has a fresh take on style in which he mixes both casual and professional apparel, resulting in a wardrobe that gets him noticed by many students. “I don’t have Mr. Lockett, but I’ve heard a lot about his chill attitude and good style from my friends; a lot of them think he’s super cute, too,” sophomore Jessica Lu said. Lockett enjoys the preppy look. “I’ve always liked to dress a little more preppy. I like Express, J Crew, Gap and H&M. Basically I like those places because they’re affordable, but also look very polished,” Lockett said. This clean cut, yet appealing look of Lockett’s was apparent the day of the interview; Lockett was wearing white Vans, True Religion jeans and a thermal from Banana Republic, one of his more laid back outfits. “I go for looking both casual and comfortable,” Lockett said. However outside of his job,
Lockett has a different way of dressing. “If I’m going out with my friends, I tend to wear very form-fitting, tight clothes just because it’s more fun to go out in,” Lockett said. Growing up with an Amish family in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Lockett was limited to wearing either all white or all black, the only accepted way of dressing; this changed when he moved to Orange County. “When I moved here [California], it was my chance to get more of an actual fashion sense,” Lockett said. This fashion sense didn’t come immediately to Lockett, however. He first moved to California ten years ago, at the age of 16, and enrolled in an Orange County high school. From the moment Lockett got to school, he realized his Amish-style clothing would not cut it; Lockett wore P.E. clothes for the first week of school before hitting the mall. “Going to a mall for the first time was crazy. The fact that I could just buy clothes on the spot was unbelievable. I was so used to my mom making all my clothes before moving to California, so going to stores like Pac Sun and Hollister was a new experience,” he said. Over the years, Lockett has come up with his own “fashion philosophy.” His rule is that when one picks clothes, they have to make sure that the clothes fit their body type. “You have to know your body. I know that because I’m pretty short and on the skinnier side, I can get away with things that are more form-fitting like skinny jeans.” Lockett has broken the stereotype for the “teacher style.” His laid back, yet classy way of dressing does a good job at separating him from the rest of the staff on campus.
Pici Enoteca offers fresh food, rustic atmosphere Mabel Kabani Staff Writer Pici Enoteca is a recently established rustic Italian restaurant on Beverly Drive with amazing food, a beautifully decorated interior, and a helpful staff. The restaurant is cozy, but sophisticated. The strong aroma of fresh Italian cooking and the smiling and enthusiastic chef immediately greet everyone who enters. The chef and the servers were friendly and considerate and gladly gave their opinions on their favorite dishes. Each staff member agreed that the roasted forest mushroom truffle pizza was that had to be ordered, and they were right. The truffle pizza is thin and fresh with hot cheese and juicy flavorful mushrooms, topped with crunchy leeks, at the price of $12. That may be considered expensive when compared to the slightly small portion, but quality comes before quantity. Another popular Pici dish is the gnocchi pasta. The pasta was hot and was soft and drowned in a tart tomato basil sauce. The pasta dough itself was filled with fresh potatoes, which came at a price of $7. The dessert took some serious consideration, but the dessert sampler is the clear choice. This is a bit on the expensive side, at $12, but it was worth it, since it had a tiny portion of the most famous and delicious Pici desserts: sweet and crunchy cappuccino gelato, creamy pistachio chocolate pudding, seasonal pumpkin cheesecake, and enchanting cannoli. Each item Pici has a fresh and natural flavoring to them. The restaurant has a small private farm in which they grow their own fruits and vegetables, according to the chalk board by the kitchen, which
enables them to create the most sharp and wholesome taste. Pici has a beautifully decorated interior with shades of rich caramel browns and pastel pinks; beautiful designs are carved into the wall and ceiling. This blends perfectly with the tone and atmosphere of the restaurant [classy and pleasant.] People can also eat outside and enjoy the warm California weather. Another pleasant quality about Pici is the helpful and genuinely kind staff. The suggestions, descriptive commentaries on the dishes and the quick service made the restaurant a chirpy and homey vibe. The fresh food, pleasant atmosphere, and kind staff really made Pici a gem in the rows of restaurants that rest on Beverly Drive.
Clockwise from top: Gnocchi pasta with tomato basil sauce. Patrons enjoy their Italian food al fresco. Roasted forest mushroom truffle pizza. ALEX MENACHE
December 9, 2011
deck the halls with winter fashion
Cartoon by SASHA PARK
Back to the Good Old Days
Classy in Class
All Black, Everything
The clock strikes 7:45 a.m. and you just woke up. You can’t possibly go wrong with throwing on a sweatshirt and pair of jeans on those busy mornings… can you? (Just make sure they are freshly washed.) Fight off the cold with a green army jacket and a pair of Converse shoes that make walking around the school easy, as long as you don’t trip on your shoelaces. This is an upgrade from your gym shirt and sagging sweats to a clean yet comfortable look.
You are only going to be in high school once (hopefully). Be proud of it and go out during the day with your guy friends with a classic, simple style like Aaron’s, with a vintage Beverly letterman jacket over a plain white t-shirt. Corduroy Levi’s are comfortable and can keep you warmer than jeans on cold windy days. Finally, top it all off with a pair of suede desert boots, which look great with any pair of jeans or corduroys, and even make you a little taller!
For more formal occasions or in the evening, try a leather or buttoned jacket to match with anything you wear underneath, like George did with his green cashmere sweater. Neutral colors like brown, beige, and blue will always be a good base to your outfit if you want to add a pop of color. Any pair of nice jeans or chinos will work, and if you’re wearing a dress shirt, tuck it in and put a belt on! Finally, consider a pair of dark leather slip-ons to top off your polished look.
Don’t let your baggy sweatpants and gym t-shirts scare the boys away! Go for a casual yet “put together” look for school. Dark skinny jeans can make you look slimmer without making you sacrifice having your favorite chocolate. They’re also stretchy and comfortable, so you don’t need to suck your stomach in all the time. Have long crew socks peek out of a pair of combat boots and finish the look with a scarf around your neck for that perfect touch on those chilly mornings.
Planning on going out with your friends during the day to an outdoor ice-skating rink? Try Bianca’s simple, but classy style of grey “jeggings” with a plain black shirt. Layer this with a cropped cardigan, short in the front and long in the back for that extra cushion, just in case you fall on your butt while attempting to do a triple-axle turn. Accessorize with a scarf, a pair of gloves, a beanie, and a tint of blush if you intend to have that playful “snow bunny” look.
Savannah’s outfit is a great choice for a fun winter night on a date or at a party. The tights are the perfect balance between bare skin and leggings if you want to show off your legs to impress that one cutie from your English class, but want to avoid freezing to death. Wear a flowy dress on a windy night for that Marilyn Monroe look. Savannah is wearing the stylish Beverly winter boot trend, “Buckkie,” which could be found at Steve Madden for $169.
Anton Saleh, 11
Aaron Karlin, 10
George Efremidze, 12
Ellie Dubin, 10
Savannah Slotkin, 11
Bianca Bibbs, 12
Celine Hakimianpour, Dami Kim, Brenda Mehdian
From A.M. to P.M.
How to Tie a Scarf in 3 Easy Steps
Lip Balm Tips
Here’s the secret of saving time on those busy days when you don’t have enough time to change into another outfit for the night out: don’t panic, just find a dress. It only takes one simple dress and few accessories to create two complete different looks, one for the day, and another for the night.
Although winter brings a happier atmosphere, it doesn’t keep your skin fully hydrated and moisturized, especially your lips. You don’t need to feel the undeniable urge to constantly lick your chapped lips during class with the protection of lip balm. Lucky for you girls, these lip products are inexpensive and accessible. Maybelline recently released their newest line of the lip
Simplify the dress by adding a beanie, casual belt and a solid color scarf. If you are wearing a solid textured dress, go bold with a patterned scarf to balance the outfit. Don’t forget to wear a pair of ballerina flats that will never be out of style for that cute, preppy look.
Step 1: Fold the scarf in half length-wise and drape it over your shoulders and the front of your body. The fold should be on the left side of your chest, and the open end should be on your right side.
Step 2: Take the open end with your
right hand and the folded end with your left, and pull the open end through the hole made by the fold, as if tying a knot. Your arms will cross each other.
Step 3: With the double knot or
single knot, pull the open end down towards the ground while pulling the knot up, as if tightening a tie. OLIVER GALLOP
Pictured: Amelia Wohl, 11
High heels and jewelry are a must for dressing up the outfit on a night out in town. A pair of high heels can elongate your body to give you an appearance of longer and skinnier legs. Complete the look with a black leather jacket or a cardigan to stay warm and elegant for the night.
balm “Baby Lips”. It claims to renew damaged lips in four weeks and provides eight hours of hydration for those “baby-soft” lips. If you want a tint of color without putting on sticky lip gloss, use lip stains that come with a lip balm. With holiday seasons approaching, get ready to pucker up under that mistletoe with your kissable lips! Dami Kim
December 9, 2011 Highlights
FrostBite: the MeltDown Mills, Rice face possible legal charges for clothing business Max Stahl Cub Reporter Starting a business is no easy task. Achieving success is the end of a long and arduous road, which begins with an idea. Along the way, entrepreneurs encounter numerous obstacles, ranging from the development of a business plan, to the financing of the enterprise, sometimes to the acquisition of real estate, to the myriad legal procedures that states require businesses to undergo before deeming them legitimate. While this process may seem daunting, it is by no means impossible to reach the end of the road. Seniors Austin Mills and Hunter Rice, founders of the clothing company FrostBite L.A. have experienced these trials firsthand. The young entrepreneurs traversed the majority of the road’s obstacles, and the end is within sight. Their endeavor began as a desire to create a clothing line that is “appealing to the teen demographic,” according to Rice. FrostBite L.A. appeals to teens because “each design has its own story behind it and can relate to many high school students.” Mills and Rice set out to realize this goal, drawing up designs and sending them to the clothing company Corporate Sports Apparel, Inc. to be produced. Meanwhile, the entrepreneurs garnered awareness for their company by purchasing a website, frostbitela.com, and creating Twitter and Facebook pages for the fledgling company. Within days, each page received thousands of views. FrostBite L.A. has sold to a multitude of students as well as six school groups and functions: service learning, sports medicine, Highlights, Watchtower, World AIDS Day, homecoming and several sports teams. It seemed as though Mills and Rice had achieved success. There was one problem, however. FrostBite L.A. was not a legal company. Before selling to the public, a business must perform several legal procedures. FrostBite L.A., although it has begun some, has completed none. Finance Technician Patricia Garcia postulated that FrostBite L.A. was not a legitimate company when she was unable to reimburse it for sales that it claimed it had made. She instead wrote the checks to Corporate Sports Apparel, Inc., the producer of the clothes that FrostBite L.A. had sold. “We’ve had some purchase order requests put through for the company FrostBite L.A., but I can’t complete those purchase order requests because FrostBite L.A. doesn’t have a Tax-I.D. number and they’re not a real company, so the purchase order needs to go to the company that is actually producing the clothes,” Garcia said. FrostBite L.A. has begun to take the necessary steps to become a legally mandated company. The first is a determination of the business’s legal structure. The options are sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company, corporation, nonprofit and cooperative. It is likely that Mills and Rice will choose to structure FrostBite L.A. as a partnership, meaning that they will both possess financial as well as legal responsibility for the company, and they will both profit from it, as well. After this, they will have to register the name “FrostBite L.A.” with the California state government.
Steps to “curing” a “sick” business
Next, Mills and Rice will have to obtain a Tax Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service (I.R.S.) and the California revenue agency. They will then register this number with the state, obligating them to pay taxes to the state and to Beverly Hills. Until a business registers its Tax Identification Number and pays taxes, sales are illegal. There is at least one instance of FrostBite L.A. charging a sales tax for its services, violating state and federal law. Finally, Mills and Rice will have to acquire all federal, state and local business licenses required for FrostBite L.A. Once this is done, they would own a legitimate business. Because Mills and Rice are still students, the law will likely treat them more favorably than it would an adult with a business degree. Chances are, they will only be punished by being forbidden to do business until they obtain a license, or perhaps by being fined or taxed. While it does not advance the legality of a company, copyrighting one’s brand is an important stage in the development of a business. Although it is in the process of being copyrighted, the FrostBite L.A. brand is currently up for grabs for anyone looking to make a quick buck. “Before we launched FrostBite, we were unsure about the company’s future success, so we decided not to pay for [a copyright] and test our results,” Mills explained. “After selling our inventory, we knew we would have to copyright and trademark to continue the brand so we did. It’s a long, complicated process, but it is paid for and currently pending. The winter season clothing will not be released before the process is complete.” Despite the present complications, Mills and Rice are currently in the process of legitimizing FrostBite L.A. Aspiring entrepreneurs can learn much from the soonto-be company’s successes and failures. A business’s priority is to generate income within the confines of the law.
Establishment of Business Structure
Sole proprietorship Partnership Limited Liability Corporation Nonprofit Cooperative
Acquire Tax Identification Number This can be obtained from the I.R.S.
Register with the state the business is located in Private companies and law firms are the easiest and safest way to pursue business registration
The acquisition of federal, state, and local business licenses. Private companies and law firms are the easiest and safest way to pursue business registration
FrostBite’s Response “Basically all we want to say is that we are just the artists. It goes from the school to the guy manufacturing the products. We just want our logo on everything. We really just love doing the design and seeing our stuff around school.”
December 9, 2011 Highlights
Pre-Hammurabi Getting to know our elusive, unreasonable tardy policy
cartoon by Sasha Park
Danny Licht Opinion Editor Around 18th century B.C., King Hammurabi of Babylon did something unprecedented: he wrote down the law. Though it was primitive and brutal (“an eye for an eye”), it was uniform and visible for all of Babylon to see. Our tardy policy has the worst attributes of pre-Hammurabi codes: it is difficult to find, since it is not on the school’s website, and it is not tiered though it should be, as four-second-late consequences are equally as severe as forty-minute-late ones. In fact, the current policy favors excused absences—the missing of an entire class period—to minor, unexcused tardies. But still, I’m not one to promote tardiness. I get it: being late is annoying. But there is a fundamental difference between tardiness, a product of a lack of respect for another’s time, and being seconds late, a product of being a human. I’m not even saying that tardiness from class to class is excusable—it’s not. We have mammoth passing periods that are literally long enough to jog a mile on the
Occupying for Everyone The Occupy LA (OLA) protesters created an encampment surrounding City Hall downtown, starting Oct. 1. But as part of the recent governmental crackdowns on the Occupy movement, the Los Angeles chapter was given an official termination date. By 12:01 a.m., Nov. 28, the occupiers and their belongings had to vacate the City Hall lawns at the risk of imprisonment. Since Sept. 17, some protests sites have been shut down and completely evacuated. Others sites, like Oakland, have seen violent clashes between the occupiers and the police. Even the original OWS protest site in New York City has almost been disbanded as the right to sleep overnight in Zuccotti Park is being unfortunately prevented by police. Right now, the future of the OLA movement is uncertain, and the fate of the entire Occupy movement in general is even less clear. But those doubts have not dampened spir-
track and be back before the bell. Our school policy makers should take a moment to think about the last time they met someone for dinner at precisely 6:30, and the last time it mattered. The reality is that a second or two or 43 seldom worsens anything for anyone in any way. More often than not, even teachers are not immediately ready to begin class at the toll of the bell, and that’s fine, because nearly all of them are human, and consequently prone to error. (For the record, I’m not advocating a 0.6 percent paycheck reduction per each of their tardies, which can be numerous.) The early morning bells (first and second period) must not be followed with the same severity as the intra-day bells. And I shamelessly admit that I say this for selfbenefit. There are days when I am marked late to school by a few seconds, and class has not yet started, but I will suffer the grade loss of 0.6 percent which is, in fact, a huge number. If the administration wants to call its policies “progressive,” which it does in the Policies and Procedures section of the teacher handbook, the policies must be lenient for the students’ first class of the day. If peers’
learning is not affected, teachers’ time is not wasted and the student himself did not miss anything, no punishment should result. Just as class does not end until the teacher dismisses the class, it does not begin until he or she starts to teach. The tardy policy, which I had to do some digging to uncover, states that missing class time “hinder[s] student achievement.” Though true, it is ironic, because losing multiples of 0.6 percent disposes of student achievement. If the few seconds lost sincerely impair student learning, then the lost time would be sufficient punishment. The 0.6 percent is a second bullet through the skull. The last problem with the policy is that unless you have your packet from the beginning of the year it is very difficult to find; it’s not on the school’s website. Even the wonderful Margo Bender and Lori Salgado of the attendance office had trouble finding it, eventually unearthing it from the teacher handbook. The duo continuously emphasized the importance of the “dissemination of information online,” something I’m sure Hammurabi would have been fond of.
TheInbox its at OLA. The encampment outside City Hall was nothing short of a city within a city. It had housing, food, bathrooms, and even entertainment. The protesters tended to congregate in small groups focusing on all sorts of topics from meditation techniques to face painting to even the most productive way to be arrested. Rather than fear the inevitable clash with police, the group organizers were teaching the other protesters how to get their bail in order ahead of time, how to engage the police in light-hearted banter, how to effectively resist arrest non-violently and even how to get a ride set up back from jail. But the steadfastness of these people was not completely echoed by the whole camp. While the decision to face jail time or not splintered the encampment a bit, there was a general consensus at the camp that the Occupy movement could survive without having physical locations actually occupied and that they have accomplished significant things. One of their core desires was to change the
national discussion. During the summer prior to the Occupy movement, the largest single issue in the media was the national debt and how we needed spending cuts to social programs. Now however, the primary message in the media is the unsustainability of current income inequalities. Sites like OLA have finally managed to bring the issues of “the 99%” into the national conversation. That messaging is not tied to a specific location, and in theory could continue without actual occupations. Still, the occupiers were not satisfied with this victory in the national dialogue. They almost all felt that without permanent changes in the political and economic systems, their fight would have to go on. Most thought that this conflict has been fought wrong though. Protester Emily Francis complained of a “lack of focus” and “organization.” In order to affect serious change, she added, they will need to make sure their main demands are clearly established and communicated.
The true beauty of the movement has transcended its original plans of just being a protest against economic and social disparity, and has become of movement for, literally, the 99 percent, with everyone contributing and being accepted. It is wonderful that this populist movement—one originally committed to a certain goal—has taken the most vulnerable into its care. For some reason, this is criticized, but this is something that should be praised. The big unanswered question now though is whether this all-embracing movement that has re-shaped the national conversation can take the next step as a peaceful, organized political force and actually get economic legislation passed. But if the resiliency and ingenuity of the occupiers speak for anything, real change is soon to come. James Schneider (12) · Letters should be emailed with the writer’s name and grade level or position to beverlyhighlights@ gmail.com. Letters may be edited for clarity.