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Beverly Hills, Calif.

Beverly Hills High School

Volume 86, Issue Four · November 9, 2012

Students explore careers Marguerite Alberts Staff Writer

Photos from WHITEHOUSE.GOV. Graphic by OLIVER GALLOP and PASHA FARMANARA

Obama granted second term “I’m relieved that Obama managed to get a majority in both the popular and electoral votes,” junior Jonathan Hazon said. “Another Bush-Gore situation might have been President Barack Obama was reelected divisive to the nation.” Nov. 6, winning 303 electoral votes over The Senate reached a Democratic majoriGOP nominee Governor Mitt Romney’s 206 ty of 53 to 45. Incumbent California Senator electoral votes. The popular vote was 50 Dianne Feinstein (D) snagged 61.4 percent percent Obama, 48 percent Romney, with a of the vote, while nominee Elizabeth Emken difference of two million votes. Statewide, (R) won 38.6 percent of the vote (vote.sos. Obama swept 59.1 percent of the popular ca.gov). vote (vote.sos.ca.gov). The House has 233 Republican seats and 192 Democratic seats. For California, Democrat Henry Waxman won 53.7 percent of District 33’s vote. Final counts for all propositions and state legislators will not be finalized until later this month. Democrat Richard Bloom currently has 50.1 percent over the vote over Betsey Butler, who is at 49.9 percent (vote. sos.ca.gov). Of 11 Californian propositions, five were passed, including Prop. 30, which places temporary taxes to fund education. Individuals or couples earning $250,000 or Senior Madison Steinberg assists a voter at the polls more now have increased taxes for seven on Nov. 6. OLIVER GALLOP years, and sales tax will go up by a quarJessica Lu Staff Writer

ter of a cent for four years (vote.sos. ca.gov). “This prop is for the future generation, so people should be willing to pay that small tax to help the children of California,” junior Joseph Choi said. Prop. 30’s passing produced mixed reactions, as suggested by the 46.1 percent that voted No (vote.sos. ca.gov). “My instrumental music class, which is the most important thing to me, will not have to face severe cuts,” junior James Fast said. “The arts are safe at Beverly.” Other propositions to pass included Human Trafficking (Prop. 35), Three Strikes Law (Prop. 36), Business Tax for Energy Funding (Prop. 39) and Redistricting State Senate (Prop. 40) (vote.sos.ca.gov). Seniors who are of 18 years of age and were registered to vote were able to cast their ballot in the 2012 election for the first time. Among them was Jared Forman, who anticipated exercising his right to vote.

‘The arts are safe at Beverly.’

[continued on page 2]

Although October is National Disability Month, the WorkAbility program teaches students with disabilities about careers all year long. The program has operated on campus for 17 years. “It’s challenging because in these economic times, it’s hard to get jobs for students because a lot of adults are taking the jobs that students used to get when they turned 16,” program coordinator Reiona Smith said. “Getting a job was kind of a right of passage, but it’s not happening like that anymore.” Smith has over 200 students and aims to “to be able to assist to place as many students as possible on a job.” She invites businesses to talk to her students about what they are looking for in an applicant. Wells Fargo recently spoke to the students about managing money and investments. “I want to be able to establish more partnerships in the community and know that every year we will be able to rely on that company to place students or provide skills training for them,” Smith said. The WorkAbility program not only helps students with disabilities learn about jobs, but also helps students find an enjoyable career path. Smith explains that the program is about “finding yourself and knowing yourself.” “I give assessments for students that help them narrow down their interest areas. Then we try to provide and find opportunities for them to investigate the outcome,” Smith said. In relation to National Disability Month, Smith took students and their buddies from the Buddy Program to the Cypress Library in Orange County to view an exhibit with art from disabled people ages 13 to 52. “My favorite part was [a painting of] the ocean because it’s more artistic and creative than the other ones that I saw,” a student who went on the excursion said. In October, the Art Club held an event for Workability students in which club members helped Workability students paint their ideal careers on cards. In an effort to bring awareness to the Workability program, Smith has contacted the PTSA in hopes of utilizing their business connections as resources for the students.

INSIDE Students walk to benefit ALS research page 2

Norman mascot gets makeover page 7 Cross country wins Ocean League finals page 8


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November 9, 2012 Highlights

New lunch provider joins campus Mabel Kabani Opinion Editor Chartwells, a school lunch provider that has been working with the Beverly Hills Unified School District since July 2011, has recently terminated its contract with the district. Due to the large budget cuts the schools and district are facing, Chartwells paid all the costs regarding the school’s lunches and was entitled to keep the profits. This alleviated the district of its fiscal responsibility to provide food. However, the cancelation of the Chartwells program has the district concerned about the additional expenses that must be spent on any new food related service. “With Chartwells leaving, the district will now have to take on all food-services expenses,” BHUSD Chief-Administrative Officer Dr. Dawnalyn Murakawa-Leopard said. “This is an unanticipated expense and will increase the amount [of money] that we ultimately have to cut from the budget, so the costs associated with the food services program are a significant concern.” The district will now be responsible for providing salaries for new food service

ELECTION RESULTS [continued from page 1]

“My voting experience was quite a meaningful one in my life. I decided to vote because we all should,” Forman said. “We have a right many have fought and died for.” Forman’s enthusiasm was reflected at a state level, with a 52.3 percent voter turnout, up from the mid-year election figure. However, it is still down from 2008’s record turnout of 79.4 percent (vote. sos.ca.gov). Students under the age of 18 were still able to participate in the political experience. The Los Angeles County Registrar’s Office contacts AP Government teacher Roel Hinojosa every four years seeking students to participate in its poll working program. Students enrolled in Hinojosa’s classes this year applied to be poll workers, allowing them to spend the entire day assisting

workers, as well as costs of food, equipment, inspections, training and all other cafeteria-related necessities. After the district was notified on Oct. 16 of Chartwells’s wishes to discontinue its previous agreement, the district had to scout for a quick but cost-effective replacement for the previous program. In this search, the Department of Food Services came across Choicelunch, a biodegradable food program and an awardwinning green business. It serves locallysourced organic produce. Choicelunch is primarily a kindergarten-to-eighth-grade lunch provider, but the district considers it a plausible solution to the problems currently at hand. The program is essentially administrated online. Families log onto the company’s site and choose their meal preferences from a variety of hot and cold meals. Meals ordered before 6 a.m. arrive on the same day. “Families will pay for lunches in advance through the Choicelunch website, and then Choicelunch will deliver the pre-ordered meals to each school site on a daily basis,” Murakawa-Leopard explained. However, a pre-order system would not county workers and instructing voters. “If the students see what the process is, they’re more likely to get involved in it as adults. It’s about civic education,” Hinojosa explained. “I want them to have an anthropological experience as if they are political scientists studying these voters as subjects.” On Nov. 6, the students handed Californians their ballots and engaged in political discussions with the voters. Senior Nicole Davidov recalled having to guide voters through the process and explain certain propositions’ pros and cons to voters. “It is so invigorating to know everyone has a chance to voice their opinions and at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who you’re affiliated with. We are all Americans,” Davidov said. Hinojosa recommended that both students who can and cannot vote should

be feasible for high schools, according to Mike Barnhill, Choicelunch Director of Sales for Southern California. “When we worked with high schools in the past, our program took on a cash and carry system,” Barnhill said. “However, this goes against our system, which is an online ordering system, so we are still working that out.” Though the district is leaning toward hiring Choicelunch as the BHUSD’s new official lunch provider, whether or not the program will cater to a high school remains debatable. “We have a contract with Chartwells until Nov. 16, but the final direction is given by the Board of Education and final decisions are still being worked out,” Food Service Manager Heather Oyama said. The district was waiting to finalize this decision until the outcome of the Nov. 6 election. As Prop. 30 has passed, the district will have the funding to spend on Choicelunch program. The deal between Choicelunch and the high school will not be finanlized for another week. Logo courtesy of CHOICELUNCH

immerse themselves in politics in other ways as well. “Why not talk about the political election during lunch over cheeseburgers? Just talking about it is political involvement,” Hinojosa said. The mock election held on campus prior to Nov. 6 reflected similar results to the the presidential election. The Obama-Biden ticket collected 61.6 percent of the 1325 votes cast, compared to the 31 percent for Romney-Ryan. The Libertarian and Green Party nominees each gathered under four percent of the vote. In addition, the students voted to pass Prop. 30 at 62.9 percent. Prop. 34, which would eliminate the death penalty, failed, while Prop. 37, which would require genetically modified products to be labeled as such, passed. Inauguration Day will be held Monday, Jan. 21 in Washington, D.C.

Mock Election Results - President/Vice President 1000

Robotics team participates in multi-team event ROP robotics team members, under the supervision of Erisa Hines, an engineer from the Mars Rover team, and Anupama Gunupudi, an engineer from Raytheon, met with robotics students from Bridges Academy in the Education Development Center (EDC) in order to familiarize themselves with the format of FIRST (For Inspiration in Science and Technology) competition on Nov. 3. The Beverly and Bridges students collaborated in groups of six or seven on a mock “kickoff” event, in which they planned robot designs, as they would at the beginning of a competition season. “We would decide on a strategy and then work on a basic design on paper there. Then the whole team recombined and each subgroup presented their design while the rest of the team observed and critiqued it,” junior Mehrzad Farnoosh said. The teams recreated the 2003 competition, a game called Stack Attack. “The challenge was to stack large, plastic totes and prevent the other team from knocking them over,” junior Michael Simozar, who supervised the event, said. Hines supervised at the suggestion of Bridges’s robotics program’s leader, who has connections with the Mars Rover crew. “She came to meet the young women on our team and encourage them to go into the engineering field,” ROP teacher Eileen Kahn said. Hines gave a speech about women in engineering in which she noted that 40 percent of the people in the control room during the Rover’s landing were women and that many other women worked behind the scenes. As a whole, the robotics team felt that working with students from another school was a valuable experience. “It was actually very cool to work with kids with a similar interest as our team,” junior Mehrzad Farnoosh said. “The kids from Bridges seemed very bright and interesting.” Saturday’s event was the most recent of several collaborations between Bridges and Beverly. Bridges Academy, a private school for students with learning differences, began its robotics program last year. “Eileen [Kahn], every year, learns of new teams that join and selects nearby or convenient teams to work with. Last year, Bridges was one of those teams,” Simozar said. “We went over, taught them about FIRST and helped them get started both in FIRST and in building their robot.” The robotics team will continue to work with Bridges throughout the school year. Max Stahl

KEY DATES

800

November 9: -Faculty vs. JV basketball game at lunch. -Alumni vs. varsity basketball game at 4 p.m.

600

November 10: Compass Prep is hosting a practice SAT in the EDC at 10 a.m.

400

November 14-17: The fall play “No Child” is playing the Salter Theater.

200

0

November 15: Submissions for annual PTA “Reflections” Contest are due to students’ house offices.

Obama/Biden

Romney/Ryan

Johnson/Gray

Stein/Hankala

Obama/Biden won the mock presidential election held by Service Learning on Nov. 5.

November 17: Compass Prep is hosting a practice ACT in the EDC at 10 a.m.


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November 9, 2012 Highlights

QUICK READS PTSA funds SAT, ACT preparation PTSA has begun to provide sophomores, juniors and seniors with opportunities to prepare and review for the SAT and ACT College Board Tests during select weekends. Juniors and seniors we able to take a Practice SAT on Sept. 22, receiving their scores within a week. Sophomores and juniors attended an instructional course in which workshops on tips for taking the PSAT were provided. Juniors can also attend another workshop where they will be comparing and providing test taking tips for the ACT and the SAT on Nov. 4. In addition, a Practice SAT on Nov 10. and a Practice ACT on Nov. 17 are available to all juniors. “The instructors gave us a practice SAT workbook and they mostly lectured about what you should do while taking each part of the SAT. even though I knew some of the tricks they taught, I still learned a couple more,” junior Olivia North said. Each class costs 25-40 dollars and lasts three to four hours, depending on what is being done on that day. All the proceeds go directly to the PTSA for the Counseling Department. “When I found out about these classes I was really interested to sign up. Not only are they an amazing price compared to other SAT/ ACT test prep classes, but these classes are also close by,” junior Paloma Bloch said. In order to sign up for these classes students need to visit the school website, and click the PTSA tab, under which there is a side bar titled “PSAT and ACT/SAT TEST PREP.” Once a student clicks on the side bar a page will show up providing relatives for sign ups. Brenda Mehdian

Service Learning holds Thanksgiving canned food drive Service Learning has been knocking on classroom doors Tuesdays and Thursdays during sixth period to collect canned goods. All proceeds received beginning Nov. 5 to Nov. 20 will go to the Exceptional Children’s Foundation (ECF), which provides services and programs to thousands of children with learning and emotional disabilities. Service Learning is rewarding efforts made toward the canned food drive with prizes that aren’t yet to be revealed. “We’re trying to get a lot more support this year,” junior Leora Hakim said. “The class with the most cans will get prizes as will the teacher of that class.” Most canned goods are acceptable, though avoid glass containers for their fragile nature. Thanksgiving themed food, such as cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie filling and sliced green beans, is highly recommended for the food drive this year. Students on campus who were a part of the drive last year are excited to participate once again not only for the cause, but because the opportunity they get to outdo their accomplishments in preceding years. “I’m excited for the food drive,” Robotics member Justin Kim said. “Last year our team won by collecting over a thousand cans of food. It would be amazing if we could replicate or go beyond those results this year, not just as a club but as a school.” Some students have considered Service Learning’s food drives as an almost effortless way to contribute to a charitable organization. “It’s not difficult remembering to bring some canned food to my sixth period class when I am eating in the kitchen in the morning before I head out to school,” junior Jonathan Hazon said. “Plus there is always the incentive of winning the prize at the end to get me going.” Service Learning asks for as much participation as possible from everyone in the school. Zoe Kenealy

Beverly attends annual ALS walk

Service Learning members Leora Hakim, Michelle Abramov, Shawna Mashian, Claudia Dayani and Simon Hedvat attend ALS walk on Oct. 21 . Courtesy of SERVICE LEARNING

Jessica Saadian Staff Writer Service Learning joined the two-mile walk for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, for the second time at Exposition Park on Oct. 21. Ten attendees from Beverly raised a total of $500, while total donations in the Los Angeles County walk totaled $320,696.84. Substitute Richard Kraft brought the walk to Service Learning’s attention when his father passed away of ALS. The walk’s purpose was to raise money for research and awareness. ALS affects nerve cells in both the brain and spinal cord and begins to affect

muscles and eventually lead to a lack of muscle movement. The motor neurons then travel to the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms may include difficulties in speech, breathing or swallowing. “As a Service Learning class, we were a lot more involved and integrated in the walk [this year]. We were even able to conjure up great prizes for people who raised the most amount of money including Ellen tickets and a $100 Chipotle gift card,” senior Natasha Natarajan, a member of Service Learning, said. The ALS walk is an opportunity for friends and family to come together and enjoy each other’s company. “The best part of the ALS walk is the sense of community you feel when you

participate. More than any other walk we have done, we have felt our presence and our help most appreciated and needed in the ALS walk,” Natarajan said. As a way to involve more students from Beverly to participate in the ALS walk, Service Learning advertised the event on Facebook and posted the information in the school bulletin. “We only had around 10 Beverly students attend the event, a stark contrast to the 100 students who participated in the AIDS Walk, but we hope to emphasize the ALS Walk more next year to make it a more school-wide event,” Natarajan said. Service Learning plans to increase the number of Beverly attendees for next year’s ALS walk.

Program lets students travel abroad Michelle Banayan News Editor The Oxbridge Academic Program is a summer program in which students ranging from grades eight to 12 can spend a month in the United Kingdom, France, Spain or New York. “[The Oxbridge Academic Program] picks these [countries] on purpose because we know they have a lot to offer, so the students really do have a lot of time to get out and explore the city. By the end of the program, they feel like it’s their own,” Natasha Neufeld, a recruiter from Oxbridge Academic Program who spoke to Beverly students on Oct. 30, said. Though the program is predominantly composed of students from America, people from around the world also participate, allowing members of the program to meet people they would not otherwise meet. “I would love to go on this program because not only can I travel, but I can [also] meet new people from different cultures and backgrounds,” junior Nicolette Shamsian said. “It sounds like a great way to make new friends, learn about subjects that I was not able to at school and explore a new country.” While on the program, students will stay in dorm rooms on campus with or without a roommate, and will be provided

with breakfast and dinner every day. They are given a two hour lunch break and are encouraged to go out to get a feel for the country during that period. “Lunch time is a really good time to get out and try new things,” Neufeld said. Because of the program’s academic nature, students will choose both a major and minor class. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, students will have their major and minor course. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, they will have only their major courses. Course options include subjects ranging from medical science to art history. “It’s great that I can choose any topic to study during that one month,” Shamsian said. “That way, I am studying something that I enjoy in a new and unique environment. It won’t really feel like work.” After their classes and on weekends, program participants are able to discover what the country they are visiting has to offer. This includes sightseeing and learning about the country’s customs and culture. “When not in class, [the students] are out exploring the city. They are doing sports, seeing plays and operas and ballets. Basically the city is their classroom,” Neufeld said. “It is a cool way to explore a topic that could not be done during the school year.” The Oxbridge Academic Program has a

supervised campus with faculty members residing in each participating country. In addition, there is always someone on duty in the campus office until midnight. However, though the campus is supervised, the students are at times allowed to venture into the cities without a chaperone, but must check-in and come back before the curfew. “While the students are on campus, there is always someone there if they need something. On weekend outings, when the program goes somewhere for the whole day, it is chaperoned,” Neufeld said. “During the week, once students get out of class for the day, they are just allowed to go into the city. [They] don’t have someone hanging over [them] telling [them] what to do and where to go.” To apply for one of Oxbridge Academic Programs, visit www.oxbridgeprograms. com. To apply for a scholarship, students must fill out a separate application. If students apply before Dec. 31, they will save $350. “We are looking for students who are extremely excited about [joining the Oxbridge Program], so we make a big effort to give a scholarship to those types of students,” Neufeld said. To learn more, interested students can attend a meeting held at The Peninsula Beverly Hills in the Verandah Room on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 12 p.m.


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November 9, 2012 Highlights

Hopping off the wagon Spain versus sociology Oliver Gallop Graphics Editor While scrolling down my Facebook News Feed, I never fail to encounter a post invoking controversy. However, the controversy never seems to concern the War on Terror, but rather “bandwagoners.” For some reason, Person A always seems to have a problem with Person B fancying things Person A also likes. Suddenly only Person A is permitted to fancy a singer, sports team or restaurant. Often, a swarm of people flood the post, venting their anger at the thought of someone else liking something only after it gains popularity. I have to admit, I find myself occasionally shaking my head when a person claims to be a true fan of a team even though I know he or she only liked the team once it became successful, or when a person likes an artist as soon as he or she becomes mainstream. But why should this make me upset? Most of these figures and teams become popular because they are talented or entertaining, or more commonly, both. However, entertainment is for everyone, not just for those who discovered the “next big thing” back in the summer of 2008. The most recent boarding of the bandwagon came with the explosion of Macklemore, a caucasian rap artist from Seattle, Wash. Though I believe he is a talented vocalist, lyricist and performer, there is a rather universal understanding that some of his raps promote positive messages unheard in the vast majority of hip-hop music. He has been releasing music

for 12 years and finally, in the past few months, has gotten to a point where he can have fans who jump on the bandwagon. The only reason he would not want this extra attention would be if he strived to stay independent from major labels, but he is not like the countless Indie bands who are not “big” enough to have “bandwagoners.” While some sports teams are relatively popular, others have overwhelming fan bases. Just two years ago, the Miami Heat’s fan base was primarily located in Miami, but once the team contracted LeBron James and Chris Bosh in 2010, sports fans from far and wide crowded the bandwagon. As soon as the Miami Heat became the Miami “Super Stacked All-Star” Heat, millions of people with undecided favorite teams chose to become the Heat’s “biggest” fans. I do not think it matters if a biggest fan discovered a singer yesterday or five years ago, or if a basketball team’s biggest fan began supporting the team after a crucial trade. Music, sports and many other forms of entertainment are meant to be divided equally among the masses, not reserved for the select few who were supporters before the “big break.” In our society, it is viewed as acceptable for people to dislike these “bandwagoners,” even though the “bandwagoners” have an equal right to enjoy the entertainment just as the original fans do. “Bandwagoners” do exist, and exist in all of us, and if we all just got over this paramount fact, the (virtual) world would be a much more peaceful place.

MICHELLE BANAYAN, JESSICA LU, AND SASHA PARK

Candice Hannani Feature Editor At this time last year, I was not endlessly researching anything and everything college-related. Instead, my mind was brightening with the hope of what I would be doing when junior year was over: traveling through the renowned cities of Spain. For months, I dreamt, with a motivating sense of happiness, of finding the soaring, world-famous cathedrals and their rare tapestries, Spain’s coastal sea and its delicious, cultural food. I even practiced Spanish with my Honduran housekeeper to make sure I would understand the various types of conversations with its people. However, I knew (as a child knows when disillusioned into thinking going to the dentist will be fun) that signing up for a study abroad program wouldn’t be as simple as many of the websites claimed it would be. Attempting to persuade my parents that I was ready to leave the country was an issue they would not, and were not going to, brush away. As my mind healed through the bitter effects of rejection for my aspirations, I began to seek another means of summer entertainment by scrolling through a list of classes at a local college. Call it an action that was meant to be, or an instinctual urge to pursue the unknown, but in one click, I had signed up for a sociology class. Although it seemed like any other social science session, the class actually held the opportunity for a kind of personal change that one may not even discover in Spain, that wonderful place across the Atlantic. The lectures covered chapters on abortion, sexism, drugs, the criminal justice system, domestic violence, homosexuality and poverty, among other topics. It seemed as if some man collected paper strips of controversial topics that few people discussed and put them in a jar that would contain the basis of my soci-

Editorial Beverly should assist hurricane victims Beverly has literally done good. Service Learning partakes in walks to benefit ALS and AIDS research. The Associated Student Body assists in rebuilding New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Most recently, after the recent death of soccer coach Darren Davies, members of the soccer program sold bracelets to commemorate the coach and raise money for his struggling family. Our campus is a community with members who support others, both inside and out. But with Hurricane Sandy decimating pieces of the East Coast, where is Beverly’s altruism? Why is a jar not being passed around the classroom to raise money for those affected by the natural disaster? What is so difficult about asking for contributions, from a quarter to a Benjamin? If every student at Beverly donated a dollar, our school would be able to donate at least $2000. Hurricane Sandy, otherwise known as “the Frankenstorm,” engulfed the Caribbean and the East Coast in late October. As of Nov. 1, 4.7 million people in 15 states were without electricity and the death toll from the disaster totaled 149. Hurricane

Sandy is the second-largest Atlantic tropical cyclone on record. Its total damage is estimated to be in the billions of dollars, according to LiveScience. Although the Beverly community may understand the severity of Hurricane Sandy, it may not fully grasp how the disaster has impacted our student body. In fact, a Beverly student who was visiting family on the East Coast when the hurricane hit was forced to miss school until flights were permitted again. Many others have family members cooped up in apartments and houses with no power or heat. Beverly’s generosity does not need to shadow its own agenda. But raising money or awareness should not be incredibly

difficult to accomplish. In reality, it should be a priority. To aid those affected by the hurricane, students and staff can donate to organizations such as the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army USA, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Humane Society of the United States and Save The Children.

ology session. To a girl like me who grew up in a conservative and cultural household in an elitist, high-class city, the course served as a rare magnifying glass that exposed hidden details among taboo subjects in American culture. By the end of the session, I had a much clearer and realistic view of our country and the world. I found that I, and the majority of the people on this planet, had turned a blind eye toward many of the perils and stigmas that continue to face women, impoverished families and the mentally ill. So, I say this to the many individuals who seek to explore the unknown outside their surroundings, to challenge their instinctual protective barriers and to reach their personal expectations of becoming more mature individuals: we often fail to see that the things that can change our insights about ourselves and the world may lie within several miles of where we live, and that they solely rely on our ability to be open-minded. Through my failed dream of studying abroad and my inspiring study of sociology, I’ve learned that an environment will not change you. Your awareness toward the ideas within that environment, however, will.

The Staff Ryan Feinberg and Julia Waldow Editors-in-Chief

Michelle Banayan News Editor

Mabel Kabani Opinion Editor

Candice Hannani Feature Editor

Danny Licht Culture Editor

Benjamin Hannani Spotlight Editor

Arman Zadeh Sports Editor

Oliver Gallop Graphics Editor

Pasha Farmanara Chief Web Editor

Robert Katz Assistant Web Editor

Dami Kim Social Media Director

Audrey Park, Sasha Park and AJ Parry Cartoonists

Marguerite Alberts, Celine Hakimianpour, Zoe Kenealy, Jessica Lu, Brenda Mehdian, Alex Menache, Kevin Park, Jessica Saadian and Max Stahl Staff Writers

Gaby Herbst and Katie Murray Advisers

The mission of Highlights is to inform and entertain the community of Beverly Hills in an accurate, objective, timely and well-designed manner. This newspaper is produced by the Advanced Journalism class of Beverly Hills High School, 241 Moreno Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90212. Send letters to the editor to beverlyhighlights@gmail.com. Participation is appreciated. Visit beverlyhighlights.com Follow @bhhighlights on Twitter. Ads are not endorsed by BHUSD. The journalism program is sponsered by PTSA and BHEF AJ PARRY


November 9, 2012 Highlights

culture 5

In ‘Lincoln,’ a president triumphs Danny Licht Culture Editor After the most ferocious presidential election in recent memory, it was refreshing to see that even Abraham Lincoln, whom many call America’s greatest president, toiled to see his lofty ambitions materialize. In “Lincoln,” Steven Spielberg’s heroic new film, the troubled president struggles to overcome the stone walls of partisan politics as he is caught in the middle of a tug of war with his cabinet, Congress and his family. Played by Daniel Day-Lewis with quiet brilliance, a level-headed Lincoln pushes through America’s great divide as he seeks to both win the Civil War and pass the Thirteenth Amendment to abolish slavery. His character is steadied with gravitas and relieved with humor. A raconteur, he often silences others as he shares his wisdom with captivating tales. His wife, played by the commanding Sally Field, worries about the safety of her son Robert, who seeks to realize his masculinity through dropping out of Harvard and fighting in the Civil War. The premature death of another of her sons haunts the first lady and fuels her worries about losing her son to battle. But with his father’s steadfast determination and his mother’s rigorous sympathy, Robert Todd, played by Joseph

Abraham Lincoln, played by Daniel Day Lewis, listens to a soldier recite the Gettysburg Address after a Civil War battle. Courtesy of DREAMWORKS PICTURES

Gordon-Levitt, wins the argument, leaves school and heads to battle. Though the beginning of the film seems to drag on, the next couple of hours fully compensate. The conflicting motives of the executive, his wife and the legislature carry the plot along effortlessly. Its emotional weight enraptures the audience like one of Obama’s 2008 speeches. Lincoln’s voice, a confident treble filled with meaning, shouts

inspiring speeches. In many respects “Lincoln” is a film about transcending convention. The president was a man who defied his party, his cabinet and even his wife in order to attain a greater good for his nation. With these fine performances, the viewer comes to know Lincoln intimately. As the story progresses, it becomes evident that Lincoln — or at least this portrayal of him — is the most decent man I

have ever known. But could a mortal really have been so great and so apparently flawless? Why not? It’s the movies. Two and a half hours is a lot to ask of a modern audience, but if one can handle it, “Lincoln” is well worth both his time and money. The film succeeds on many levels, evening out seriousness with humor and long scenes with short ones. Like Obama, it’s a winner.

Lit students to see play A dream fulfilled at ‘Voice’ Kevin Park Staff Writer AP Literature students from Dr. Steven Rubenstein and Krisha Deaver’s classes will go on a field trip to the Broad Stage to experience “Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre: Hamlet” on Monday, Nov. 19. “We are very excited to provide students this opportunity to experience a Shakespeare play in person,” Rubenstein said. “I have gone to see Shakespeare plays with my students for many years to help the students to understand what Shakespeare plays performed onstage are like. One of them was the field trip to see Royal Shakespeare Company’s ‘Macbeth’ two years ago with my sophomore students.” The Broad Stage offered Beverly students, as well as Beverly Vista students, discounted tickets. “The Broad Stage has generously provided us an amazing opportunity,” Rubenstein said. “It is an absolutely terrific stage with a beautiful wooden structure and an authentic atmosphere, which generates an intimate relationship between the actors and audiences.” Students are excited to see “Hamlet” in

person. “It is a surprising event that I could not have thought of,” senior Kendrick Ka said. “It will be a really fun experience to view a Shakespeare play in a different form with my friends.” Rubenstein encourages students to explore more Shakespeare plays by themselves in the future. “Many Shakespeare plays are constantly in production from both professional companies and independent companies in Los Angeles,” he said. “Seeing a Shakespeare play in person is a completely different experience from reading it. Plays performed by actors capture the essence of distinct puns, characteristics and emotions that Shakespeare truly intended. Especially in ‘Hamlet,’ acting is an absolutely crucial part of the show, particularly in the character of Prince Hamlet, who carries a huge role as an emotional character. With this opportunity, I wish all students could understand the Shakespeare plays deeper and be encouraged to explore further.” Tickets, starting at $50 for “Hamlet” at the Broad Stage from Nov. 15 to Nov. 25, are available online at tickets.thebroadstage.com.

Upcoming events at the Broad Stage National Geographic Live presents “Extreme Cave Diving: Exploring the Bahamas’ Blue Holes” on Dec. 6 with Kenny Broad, an accomplished cave diver and environmental anthropologist who tackles issues such as global warming in a presentation that involves images and video ($47-75). The Section Quartet, a musical group

known for its classical renditions of popular music, plays Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” on Jan. 8 ($25). The Stage presents Shakespeare’s “Cymbeline” performed by a critically acclaimed New York theater company ($49-137). The Bard’s tragedy of beheading, cross-dressing and betrayal plays Dec. 13-23.

Celine Hakimianpour Staff Writer I sit in the midst of my favorite celebrities, surrounded by an overwhelming sound of clapping and diehard fans jumping out of their seats. I cannot believe that I have been given the opportunity to attend a filming of NBC’s music reality show, “The Voice,” along with 250 other lucky audience members last week. The room is everything I had imagined it to be (from my television screen at home, of course); bright lights, the famous “turning chairs” and “The Voice” logos were written everywhere imaginable. And it all started with the opening of an email. It was an ordinary Tuesday afternoon. I had just come home from school and was debating whether or not to start my homework. I turned to the web and checked my email inbox. As I was glancing down at the unopened junk, an email caught my eye.

‘This experience is one that I will never forget.’ “Your ticket requests for season four of ‘The Voice’ have been approved.” I repeated these 12 words to myself a number of times just before I screamed to my entire family that I was going to “The Voice”! Attending the taping of my favorite show was a dream come true. Before the show, I was standing in line with 400

people from 6-11 a.m. I can confidently say that the wait was well worth it. I was able to see the show’s two new judges, Shakira and Usher, who replaced Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green for this upcoming spring season. But the original judges, Aguilera and Green, are said to be returning to “The Voice” for season five, assuming there will be one, according to the Huffington Post. The taping I attended was for the blind auditions segment of the show. A blind audition is when the judges have their backs to the stage as each artist performs his or her personalized version of a cover song. If any or all of the judges is intrigued by the performance, they are encouraged to hit their button and convince this new artist to be on their team. This continues until each of the four judges has teams comprised of 16 hopeful singers. As I sat 10 feet away from Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Usher and Shakira, I couldn’t help but doubt my sanity. It is not every day that one gets to have casual conversations with the love of her life (and the gorgeous man that one has been tweeting to for the past two years); I am talking about Adam Levine. The taping aired from 12-4 p.m., which were the best four hours of my life. Not only was I watching a new episode of “The Voice,” but I was also living and participating in it as well. I received tickets through a website named www.1iota.com, which offers free tickets to the utmost loyal NBC fans. I encourage everyone everywhere to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity and apply for tickets now. This experience is one that will never forget for as long as I live.


6 ads

November 9, 2012 Highlights


November 9, 2012 Highlights

7 feature Student auditions for ‘The X-Factor,’ meets judges Pasha Farmanara Web Editor-in-Chief Aspiring musicians search for their big break: the opportunity to make their way into the limelight and get their name into the industry. Sophomore Alan Wheeler received his opportunity this year on a national stage while auditioning for “The X-Factor.” Wheeler has been a singer since he was eight years old and was involved with a band called “Rupies.” Although the band split when he was 12, Wheeler continued to pursue a music career. Wheeler did not ask to try out for “The X-Factor.” The show reached out to Wheeler’s father through Skype. “When the guys from “The X-Factor” asked me if I wanted to audition, I saw it as a great opportunity to have more people hear my music and entertain them,” Wheeler said. Although Wheeler was putting on a show for an entire theatre and potentially for the entire country, Wheeler was most excited about performing for producer Simon Cowell. “Honestly, just being in front of him is what made me nervous,” Wheeler said. “All I was thinking was, ‘I need to please Simon.

to please Simon.’” I need Cowell, a world-renowned entertainer, has been nominated for five Emmy awards for his first television show, “American Idol.” Since the launch of “American Idol” Cowell created “The X Factor,” “America’s Got Talent” and “Britain’s Got Talent.” All artists discovered on these shows are produced by Cowell. Before stepping onto the stage, Wheeler had mixed emotions. “At first I didn’t feel anything. I was numb. It was exciting and scary at the same time. I’ve performed in front of large audiences before, but this was the real deal,” Wheeler said. After grappling with his emotions, Wheeler proceeded with his audition by performing a rendition of Michel Teló’s “Ai Se eu Te Pego” and The Black Keys’ “Lonely Boy.” “‘Ai Se Eu Te Pego’ has a really catchy rhythm and got the crowd pumped, and ‘Lonely Boy’ is a song that’s worked very well for me in previous showcases that I’ve done,” Wheeler said. Wheeler did not advance to the next round of auditions but does not feel the experience was futile. “I learned that no matter how hard you try, you can’t satisfy everybody. While it

Wheeler reenacts his performance on the “X-Factor.” PASHA FARMANARA

was hard to accept that I didn’t go on to the next stage, I realized that this was just

and continue to pursue a singing career. plans are to continue to develop my “My

another step on my way to achieve my goal of being a professional performer and that I should not give up,” Wheeler said. Wheeler plans to keep a positive attitude

craft in singing as well as acting,” Wheeler said. “I’m constantly looking for new material to use for that next song.”

New Norman mascot unveiled at Homecoming Jessica Saadian Staff Writer Sparkles, helmet and orange, oh my! The new Norman mascot was revealed to a cheering crowd at the Oct. 26 Homecoming game. According to the Associated Student Body (ASB), the time had come to change the mascot costume because the costume was worn out and uncomfortable. “The old mascot is a familiar face that many of us have associated with Beverly for our entire high school careers, but it was time for a renewal,” Sophomore ASB Commissioner Jackson Prince said. “We, as ASB, had a chance to make a change for the better of the school. This Norman mascot costume accurately portrays our actual school identity and is not falling apart, which were the key issues [of the old mascot], from my perspective.” Prince believes that the mascot’s identities should never be revealed for fear of ruining the mystery and purpose of having a mascot. “Mascots are representations of school spirit and of fictional characters,” Prince said. “They are symbols of luck, and by placing a familiar identity on this costume, the magic of the idea of a mascot would be lost.”

Due to the absence of official written rules, mascots are allowed to playfully tease students. However, they cannot do anything that breaks school rules. Junior Yaniv Sadka received the mascot position during his sophomore year after responding to the school bulletin post about the job opening. He plans to continue to be a mascot throughout high school. Sadka was one of many people that tried out for the mascot position last year. Each applicant had to try out for every half of a football game. Sadka and alumnus Jonathan Yadegar (‘12) acquired the position after the tryouts. According to Sadka, ASB advisor Loren Newman was looking for someone who could effectively entertain students and other spectators. “At first, I was shy and didn’t know what to do, but after a few weeks, I understood that being outgoing and comedic was part of the job,” Sadka said. Prince debunks rumors that mascots receive special treatment and more benefits because of their position. “We don’t pay our mascot or give them special perks. The kids that enter the costume do it because they love it,” Prince explained. “They have the power to inspire our crowds and infuse Norman spirit into our campus.”

The Norman mascot is provided with a manual including multiple pages about how to put on the costume, take care of the costume and use safety precautions. The costume includes a cooling belt and a cooling fan near the head of the mascot. Students in the costume are advised to pull their hair back and wear a headband to keep perspiration from their faces. Some parts of the costume also have to be professionally drycleaned to ensure that the costume will last as long as possible. Beverly has not always had a mascot. In fact, the Norman mascot costume did not exist when Beverly was established in 1928. Beverly’s mascot originated from the school’s architecture, known as the French Normandy style. Coach Jason Newman, a Beverly alumnus, says that the Norman costume did not exist when he was in high school. “We didn’t have any competing interests, such as video games, like what we have now,” Newman said. “We were spirited and went to games on Friday nights and made a night out of them.” Students can request to be the school mascot in the “Mascot Rotation,” which involves a rotation of up to five students during a school spirit event. According to Prince, there will be more openings for this position after current seniors graduate.

Student perspective

An armor-cladden macot was painted on the swim gym. (2003)

The new mascot, a real Norman, smiling with its sword and shield. (2012)

“I don’t like the new mascot because the old one was here for a long time and it was unncessary to make another one because the old one was a tradition.” – Raimy Harouni, senior

“I don’t like the new mascot because it’s ugly and the old one was more original. Plus, we’ve had it for such a long time.” – Ashley Kermani, junior

Evolution of the Norman The band fitted a cartoon version of the Norman on its drum. (1978)

The school created its first mascot, an aggresive Viking.


8 sports

November 9, 2012 Highlights

Cross-country victorious at Kenneth Hahn Park Arman Zadeh Sports Editor Four years of dedication, 40 months of training and countless weeks of preparation all led to a sub-20 minute run. Like any other standard run, the 2012 Ocean League finals consisted of a three-mile race to the finish. On Oct. 31, the boys’ and girls’ cross-country teams participated in the finals at Kenneth Hahn Park where both teams were successful. The boys’ team took gold for the second year in a row. Eli Flesch, running a school record of 16:09, was awarded individual league champion and was seven seconds shy of the course record. Flesch was followed by Chanan Batra who came in second place with a time of 16:36. Flesch and team ousted rivals, such as Samo and Culver City, on their road to CIF, where the level of competition only increases. “We are really starting to look like the state team that we have worked so hard to be,” Flesch said. “It’s not the end of crosscountry by any means. We look to place very high in the state and CIF.” The girls’ team was also successful at

the finals despite breaking a 7-year streak of placing first in the Ocean League. The team was one point short of gold, placing silver behind Samo. Girls’ captain Sydney Segal once again overtook her competition as she not only broke a school record, but also the course record, with a time of 18:43, becoming the first female runner to break the 19:00 mark on the course. With her record-breaking time, Segal became the individual league champion and made the All League team. “It’s unreal,” Segal said. “I never would have thought that the girl that dreaded running the mile every Friday would hold so many running records.” Segal next hopes to not only win the CIF finals, but also take home the gold at the state championships. Da Eun Lee, who came in fourth with a time of 20:39, and Tina Youbian, who came in sixth with a time of 21:07, were among Beverly’s top three runners and among the ten runners who made the All League team. Both the boys’ and girls’ teams will participate in the CIF prelims on Nov. 10.

(Clockwise from top left) The boys’ team prepares to race as they match up their opponents. Sydney Segal blasts past her competition in record time. Chanan Batra holds on to a narrow lead. Sebastian Vericella represents Beverly at Kenneth Hahn. DAMI KIM.

Boys’ soccer dedicates season to late coach Max Stahl Staff writer The passing of assistant coach Darren Davies has altered the boys’ varsity soccer season. According to head coach Steve Rappaport, Davies played an irreplaceable role in the soccer program as a whole. “[The players] have dedicated their season to winning the championship for him,” Rappaport said. The solidarity that resulted from Davies’ passing has imbued the team with a strong drive to practice hard and play well. “It’s such a devastating experience that I don’t think we can overcome it,” Rappaport said. “I think the best we can do is work together and try to remember the things that

he stressed, and hopefully that’ll help all of us.” As in previous seasons, the team began the school year with conditioning every morning before school, focusing on fitness two days per week and soccer the other three. On Nov. 6, the morning conditioning was replaced by afternoon practice. Despite Rappaport’s belief that this year’s team is better than last year’s, he sees room for improvement. “I’d say the one area we can improve a little bit is our defense, give up less goals,” he said. Rappaport hopes that this year’s team will build on the success of last year’s, which finished second in Ocean League behind Samo.

“Last year we had a really good team, and we had a couple major injuries that really hurt us at the end of the season,” he said. “We do have 13 players back, so based on experience we should go certainly further in playoffs.” Midfielder Phin Bauer shares Rappaport’s confidence. “We’re mainly juniors and seniors this year so the older age gives us more skill and experience,” Bauer said. “Plus, we have better chemistry than in years past since we’re all good friends, so I think we’ll have a more successful team than the years past.” The team begins Ocean League preseason with a scrimmage on Nov. 20 against Samo and plays its first regular season match on

Nov. 27 against St. Monica. “We’re anxious to get started,” Rappaport said. “The one thing about a winter season is you do conditioning for two months, then sit around and wait. We’re anxious to play that first game and just get rolling.” Davies’ death has altered the team’s dynamic and motivated them to work harder on and off the field. “It’s really depressing and most likely had a profound effect on the entire team,” Bauer said. “But now, for every game, every time we step out onto that field, we’ll be playing for him. We’re going to have more passion and heart and desire to win than every other team because we know that we’re playing for Darren.”

Girls’ volleyball spiked in first round CIF playoffs Benjamin Hannani Spotlight Editor

Outside hitter Natasha Kashani leaps for a powerful spike against Culcer City. OLLIVER GALLOP.

After a 5-3 performance in league play, the varsity girls’ volleyball team hoped to make a deep postseason run. However, the squad’s momentum vanished in a 3-1 first round loss at La Mirada on Tuesday. The early playoff elimination was yet another wrench in a transition year for the Normans. The girls opened the season with a new head coach, Jherra Ricks, and a younger, less experienced squad consisting of only three seniors. Despite the team’s numerous trials and tribulations, the girls embraced the adversity as a unit. “To be honest, it was a difficult adjustment because [former varsity coach, Marla] Weiss has been the name of varsity volleyball for years,” sophomore Daisy Abrams said. “However, [having a new coach] made us closer in that we knew we had to come together to face the change. We’ve just continued to support each other as our coach has continued to support us.” Personnel changes aside, the team has also adopted a number of new pre-game rituals. On the eve of every home game, the girls gather for a team dinner. In the moments before a game, the squad takes

a moment of silence to engage in “imagery,” an activity in which the players envision themselves executing plays in the imminent match. Interestingly enough, former National Basketball Association coach Phil Jackson also led his championship teams using the same activity. The girls then sing Michael Jackson’s version of “Rockin’ Robin” to calm their nerves. Immediately before the match, the girls recite their creed in unison. According to sophomore Shyra Costas, the rituals have improved team chemistry. In her first year with the varsity squad, she has sensed a strong bond between her and her teammates. Costas, who believes the Normans had the unity of a championship-caliber team, refers to her teammates as “sisters.” “Coach Ricks did definitely [make] sure that we are united as a team,” Costas said. “[These girls] are all truly sisters to me and I would have to thank Coach Ricks for that.” Now that the squad has adjusted to its new coach, the girls have already jumped over a major team hurdle. The offseason and pre-season volleyball conditioning will allow the team to continue honing their skills and return with more experience next year.


Issue 4 Volume 86