Beverly Hills, Calif.
Beverly Hills High School
Volume 85, Issue Four · November 15, 2011
DEAD OR ALIVE Shannon Toobi Staff Writer The rumors circulating around school regarding the discontinuation of the Every 15 Minutes Program this year are false. However, they are not completely untrue either. The topic is in fact being discussed, but, “No answer can be supplied right now because it is under review,” Assistant Principal Toni Staser shared. The Every 15 Minutes Program, held every other year, is a privately funded program designed to convey a strong
reminder to teenagers of the dangers and life-threatening risks of alcohol and texting while driving, as well as teach decisionmaking skills. Through the presentation of a reenactment of a traffic collision involving our own student body as victims of the crash, and a mock funeral, the reality of the consequences of one wrong decision are brought to life. Targeting the junior and senior classes specifically, the program has been successfully presented twice so far; this year would be the third. Although many assumptions concerning the program’s discontinuation this year
include funding, it seems as though the matter is far more complicated than this as many more factors come into play. In the past, it is clear that there has been little discussion regarding whether or not the program would be carried out; however, this year things will be different as the staff may be playing a role in program decision-making. With a new principal of working to do things differently from the past, staff members and administration are working hand-in-hand to reach a mutual solution to decide whether to continue or terminate the program this
year. Staff emotions toward the program seem to vary tremendously, as some strongly oppose, support or remain neutral on the matter. “Before we stage the Every 15 Minutes Program again we need to examine its efficacy and its actual impact on our particular school, community and students,” English teacher Krisha Deaver said. With accurate data, the program can be presented based on the impact it has on students, rather than instantly [continued on page 11]
Inside this Issue... Page 5
Students, community remember Elena Natanzadeh on her birthday.
Fall play delves into historical Los Angeles violence.
Normans begin CIF play for fall season sports.
November 15, 2011 feature 10 Highlights Junior spreads cancer awareness across U.S.
Juniors Michael Suh, Jack Wagner and Anton Saleh at the “On Track to a Cure” event. Photo courtesy of ANNETTE SALEH
Benjamin Hannani Feature Editor The perils of high school may already overwhelm a teenager, but can you imagine simultaneously battling cancer? This is the case with junior Anton Saleh, who was diagnosed with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma on Sept. 23, 2009. Rather than letting his illness hurt his fortitude, Saleh decided to overcome his obstacle. Since his diagnosis, he has played an active role in spreading cancer awareness. When doctors first informed Saleh of his medical condition, he had Stage 2B cancer, one level away from Stage 3, which is classified as near-death. Chemotherapy and radiation treatment were difficult but
eventually became less frequent as Saleh’s condition improved. At this point, Saleh’s symptoms have subsided dramatically. “The treatments were, at the beginning, almost daily...I lost a lot of skin [and] a lot of hair…I looked [very] different and it was really hard for me at school at first. As time progressed, I became better. I got to do less chemotherapy, which is good, and now I have almost all my hair and skin back,” Saleh said. As parents, Marc and Annette Saleh’s roles as loving guardians continued, but their priorities changed. Routine tasks were put in perspective and as a family, they had to balance daily life, medical obligations, as well as community service.
“Cancer treatments, consumer [and] patient research, patient advocacy and healthy lifestyle changes became our daily priorities– added on top of a demanding workload that included a heavy dose of community service,” Marc Saleh said. “Some things we thought were important faded from our lives.” Saleh received his first speaking engagement in May of this year, in Washington, D.C. at the Voices 2011 Conference. The 15-minute speech, which advocated for healthcare reform on behalf of the Asian/Pacific Islander Caucus, was delivered in front of roughly 2,000 people, including Rep. Nancy Pelosi. While in D.C., Saleh briefly met President Barack Obama at the White House and later received a personal letter from the president praising his effort in cancer awareness. He continued his activism over the summer as an intern for the caucus. During his internship, Saleh got acquainted with senators and even met the president pro tempore of the Senate, Daniel Inouye. His internship entailed examining legislation pertaining to rights of Asians and Pacific Islanders, as well as the general tasks of filing and fetching coffee for the boss. Saleh has recently had two major speaking engagements and plans on accepting more. He served on the Board of Directors for the UCLA Lymphoma program’s first “On Track for a Cure” event, which saw a turnout of over 500 people. His most recent speech was at Kaiser Permanente’s 34th Annual National Diversity Conference on Oct. 26 in San Francisco.
Saleh also exhibits leadership outside of cancer awareness. At Beverly, he is the ASB Head Row Secretary and Parliamentarian and outside of school, he is the Research and Resource Director for the California Association of Student Councils (CASC). While schoolwork and leadership obligations can be difficult to coordinate, ASB teacher Loren Newman works closely with Saleh to ensure he is efficient. “We always talk about [academic expectations] and make sure we’re on the same page. I make sure that he is talking to his teachers and his parents and that we all know what he’s going to be doing,” Newman said. “There have been times where I’ve said, ‘Are you sure you really want to do this?’ and we always come up with a good answer between the two of us.” When asked about a piece of advice for students struggling with a medical condition, Saleh and his parents stressed the necessity of support and an optimistic outlook. Saleh’s mother, Annette, pointed out that Anton’s did not let his illness affect his commitments. Instead, Anton continued his participation in athletics and leadership in ASB and CASC. “When you’re a teen, friends are really, really important. When you have a serious illness, even your very best friends might not know what to do or say,” his mother said. “Some of your friends might not stick around but your true friends will be there for you no matter what. Don’t let this affliction stop you from succeeding in your endeavors in life. Stay strong and positive!”
November 15, 2011 Highlights
spotlight 11 Fate of iconic Every 15 Minutes left up in the air Shannon Toobi Staff Writer [from page 1] diving into a project worth thousands of dollars. Although the issue remains controversial, there are naturally strong supporters of any program promoting making the right choices when it comes to alcoholism and driving under the influence. “I’m willing to give up my class time to help any of my students make the right decisions when it comes to drugs and alcohol,” social studies teacher Malia Frutschy said. With a confused student body wondering the fate of the program, student responses appear to be mostly favorable. “I’ve been looking forward to [the Every 15 Minutes Program] since my freshman year, and I definitely think it’s a good way for students to put their choices they make in perspective,” senior Brian Emrani said. Although the issue remains debatable among staff and administration, strong student opinions may serve as a voice in contributing to the decision-making pro-
cess. “[Every 15 Minutes] is a more personal experience that every student should have the opportunity to see, and it’s unfair to deny students the opportunity to experience an emotional yet knowledgable program,” junior Allison Wolff shared. After two successful years of the program, the typical question tends to be: why this year? Why is the administration suddenly reconsidering this time? As opposed to previous years, the staff is now involved in the program decision this year, the differing opinions on the matter strikes up factors never considered in the past. “Since we’ve done this program twice now, especially when it involves numerous students on campus, we have to make sure we are doing the right thing for our students, and that’s why we are approaching it very thoughtfully,” Staser said. Although the matter remains up in the air for now, until the final decision is made in the upcoming weeks, the administration and staff are making progress through discussions in order to ensure they make the most beneficial choice for the students.
An editorial perspective Nathan Ong Editor-in-Chief Although the Every 15 Minutes program may not be completely on the cutting board, the fact that its existence this year remains in question sends a school-wide message from staff to students that our safety and well-being are no longer high up on their list of priorities. With an increasing amount of teenagers who have access to cars, cell phones and alcohol, the amount of car accidents i n v o l v i n g teenagers has skyrocketed. None of us are strangers to the corny videos and infomercials that were created to protect us from the dangers of driving under the influence and texting while driving. Consider the sappy videos we’ve all spent the last few years being forced to watch. They mean well, but the lines of the video are blatantly scripted, the characters and scenarios too cliche, and the overall impact of the videos remain at next to nothing. The same goes for almost every other attempt that I’ve seen that has been made to encourage safe decision-making, except for that of the Every 15 Minutes program. The formula for Every 15 Minutes seems similar to that of the corny videos
All photos courtesy of ANDREW GOLD
mentioned earlier: create a fake car accident involving teenagers that will scare us into being more careful. However, Every 15 Minutes seeks to strike our emotions rather than our rationale. The victims of the accident are members of our student body, all of whom are seen as bloodied messes in the aftermath of the accident, in a tear-wrenching mock funeral dedicated to their memory, and returning to the school as ghosts to haunt us. The realism and design of the program forces every student to almost believe that the reenactment is a reality, and that someone they knew had made a fatal mistake that would traumatize everybody close to them. At first, it seems cruel to torture the student body with such a realistic representation of an accident involving a loved one. However, we would never realize the impact of our decisions unless we actually experience the consequences. Every 15 Minutes brings us as close to that experience as possible without anyone actually getting hurt. The program is expensive and time-consuming, but if our safety remains a priority, it should be just as clear to the staff that Every 15 Minutes is their only chance to hammer into our stubborn teenage minds that we need to exercise better judgment in every decision we make.
“I like the fact that it’s very realistic and I appreciate all the effort and time the community and student body put into it. I feel it really hits home when the participants are our peers. I would be [angry.] [Not having Every 15 Minutes] would upset me greatly as I personally have been waiting to participate in this since I was a freshman.” Danielle David, senior
“Every 15 Minutes really convinced me that drinking and driving was bad, and I really liked the totaled cars placed on the front lawn. It truly illustrates the damage that can be done by people driving drunk. I would be very disappointed in the administration. I’ve waited two whole years for this program, and they have no right to take it away.” Brian Nazarian, senior
“I’ve been looking forward to Every 15 Minutes since freshman year. Everyone who’s watched it has been heavily impacted by it and I want to experience that for myself. I would be very upset and mad. It sets good example and encourages responsibility and that is something we can’t afford to lose.” Bridget Refua, junior
“I think that it should happen because it’s dangerous for anyone to drink and drive and every one should realize how serious it is. I’d be upset because we would not be able to see and learn from the experience.” Dorian Elgrichi, sophomore
November 15, 2011 sports 12 Highlights Tennis out Cross country triumphs Volleyball in first round eliminated Arman Zadeh Staff Writer
Chanan Batra Staff Writer
The girls’ varsity tennis team qualified for CIF after defeating Culver City and earning a league record of 4-2 in the regular season. Singles Team Captain Victoria Mamatova and Doubles Team Captain Meghan McMurray lead the squad as they tried to advance further into the CIF rounds. “Last year we lost in the first round,” McMurray said. “It was unfortunate, but we definitely plan on doing better this year.” According to Mamatova, the team’s chemistry was not very strong at the start of the season, as the varsity squad had many newcomers who had moved up from JV. However, by midseason, the new girls began to pick up their play and the team gained confidence for the end of the season. “I’m really proud of the improvement of the younger varsity girls this year,” Mamatova said. “They’ve been focused all year, and it showed after our match against Culver. Hopefully we can use their momentum to carry us through the remainder of the season.” One of these younger players, sophomore Miriam Binman, was looking forward to the CIF experience and thought the team had a good chance of advancing. “We have improved tremendously from last year,” Binman said. “We have great captains who bring a great deal of talent to the team and who set good examples for us.” The tennis team competed against unseeded Westridge High School in Pasadena in the first round of CIF on Thursday, Nov. 10. Unfortunately, the team lost the match 2-16. The only two individuals to win their respective games were Mamatova and Binman. For seniors Mamatova and McMurray, these matches were the last of their respective high school careers. “I feel very privileged to have been the lead captain of the tennis team this year. My teammates have made this an amazing experience for me,” Mamatova said. “I really want to end the season on a high note not just for myself, but more importantly for them.” As the season comes to a close, McMurray wants to make the most of her final games. “This is my last CIF,” McMurray said. “I really want to make it an incredible experience and just enjoy every last moment of it with my teammates.”
On Thursday, Nov. 3, Beverly put up a successful performance in the cross country Ocean League championships. Both boys’ and girls’ varsity teams collectively took first place at Kenneth Hahn State Park, along with several other top spots individual. Runners set a number of records as well. This was the first time in ten years that Santa Monica’s boys’ team did not finish in first place. Continuing with an already remarkable season, members of the girls’ team took seven of the top eight spots, excluding the fourth place position, leaving no room for other contenders on the winners’ podium. “I was proud of the way [the team] responded [to the challenge],” Head Coach Jeffrey Fisher said. Senior Brianna Simmons and junior Sydney Segal tied the new school record for the course in a time of 19:31, but first place was awarded to Simmons. Senior Ashley Bootesaz won third place for Beverly with 20:50, managing to finish ahead of Santa Monica’s lead runner in fourth. Beverly won with a score of 17-44 against
Santa Monica, who finished in second place. Segal believes that the team played particularly well during the meet. “We just all had our best day,” Segal said. Simmons is now part of an elite group of runners at Beverly who have been awarded All League honors for four years in a row (Sarah Jabbari (2008), Raquel Hefflin (2009) and Sydney Gray (2010)). This is the seventh straight league championship for the girls’ team. The team has high hopes that they will be able to qualify for CIF Finals. For the first time since 2001, the boys’ team was able to take the gold, putting an end to Santa Monica’s winning streak. Beverly boys finished with a victorious score of 22-40 against the Vikings. Leading the team was Captain Josh Galen with a time of 16:40, tying the 2005 school record held by Max Goldman. “It was a good feeling knowing I got to end my senior year with a bang,” Galen said. Junior Chanan Batra was awarded second place with a time of 17:01, setting the fourth best record for Beverly on the course. Junior Eli Flesch, with 17:17, set the seventh all-time best time for Beverly on the track; Flesch finished in fourth place. Sophomores Aaron Karlin and Aaron Wolfe also made Beverly’s All-Time list. Beverly is set to participate in the CIF preliminary round at Mt. Sac on Saturday, Nov. 12. The squad will be running against some of the top schools in the CIF southern section, including top-ranked schools such as Palos Verdes and Cathedral. Segal strongly believes that if the Beverly runners “step up to the line with confidence,” they will have a strong chance of achieving their goal of reaching state. Boys’ and girls’ varsity both advanced to CIF Finals on Saturday, Nov. 12. This is the first time the boys have advanced as a team in 61 years; this is the first time the girls have advanced in 31 years.
Arman Zadeh Staff Writer
On Tuesday, Nov. 8, the girl’s volleyball team was triumphant against Lancaster in the first round of CIF playoffs. After losing the first game 23-25, the team rallied back to win three straight games and beat the Eagles, winning the match three games to one. The win allowed the girls to advance to the second round of CIF playoffs. Captain Ginelle Wolfe believed the team was able to start CIF playoffs explosively by surprising other teams across the league with their win against Lancaster. “We definitely sent out a strong message to other teams, letting them know we were ready to play,” Wolfe said. Senior Allison Wolff thought that the squad’s teamwork, combined with their desire to win, drove them to defeating Lancaster. “We were just really hungry for a win,” Wolff said. Following the win against Lancaster, the team played Chadwick in the second round of CIF playoffs on Thursday, Nov. 10. In an emotional final game for the girls, the team lost to top-ranked Chadwick, eliminating the Normans from the playoffs. The team was beaten three games to zero, thus ending their season. Head Coach Marla Weiss strongly believed the girls played they’re best volleyball of the season even though the team lost. Weiss believed that Chadwick was just proving their top seed and Beverly was “facing perfection,” but the Normans still managed to play tough. Members of the team thought that the squad played with much more focus and hustle than usual, contributing to their excellent performance. “We dove for balls that we usually wouldn’t have gone for. We worried what was going on our side of court, making sure we got the ball onto the other side of the net,” Wolfe said. With the season now drawn to a close, Weiss reflected on the team as having played their greatest volleyball towards the end of the regular season as well as the post season. “We played great volleyball when we were supposed to,” Weiss said.
Josh Galen leads the pack. Photo courtesy of GINELLE WOLFE
Boys’ water polo loses, CIF aspirations drown Benjamin Hannani Feature Editor
After winning the Ocean League title, the boys’ water polo team’s CIF aspirations were cut short with a first-round 19-7 loss to Peninsula High School at Brentwood High School. The defeat concluded the high school water polo careers of Captains Dillon Silverstein and Zak Zukoski as well as Tyler Neman, the three of whom are seniors. Despite entering CIF playoffs with momentum from a top finish in league, the Normans struggled to find a rhythm. “I thought our team left a few goals out there by missing some opportunities. We had a tough time running our offense because of [Peninsula’s] pressure that led to some turnovers and fast break goals for [Peninsula],” Coach Robert Bowie said. “When we were able to stop their counter attack I thought we did a good job in the half court defense. Our guys never quit, though, and I was proud that they kept fighting until the final horn.” According to Bowie, the team prepared for its CIF game in the same manner it approached previous games. Although Bowie did not have
access to any film on the opponent and could not address any specifics, he did develop a general scouting report to guide the squad. To combat Peninsula’s physicality and speed, the team practiced circumventing intense defensive pressure. Additionally, Silverstein shared that several alumni of the water polo team joined recent practices to assist in the team’s preparation. “We lost not because our strategy was wrong, [but] mostly because of our effort,” junior Ariel Rafalian said. “People weren’t swimming back on defense or they were just making lazy passes. [We] did not play at the level we play at all the time.” Heading into the game, the team maintained its focus. The players were instructed to envision the ball going into the net, as well as to rest and eat well. The typically humorous demeanor of the players was nowhere to be found as they realized the CIF date could be their last game. “We didn’t joke around a lot like we usually do. Everyone was serious,” Rafalain said. “We prepared for this game thinking, ‘If this is our last game, we want to leave everything in the
pool.’ You don’t want to go home on the bus next year’s team. saying, ‘Oh, we should’ve done this.’ We left “We have to be the role models now. We knowing that we tried our best, but lost.” have to be there every practice and in the While the team’s result in the tournament summer because now all of this year’s juniors may have been disappointing, in retrospect, are going to be carrying the team on their the squad enjoyed a successful season. The backs,” Rafalian said. “We’re going to have to team overcame a rough start with strong work really hard because we have big shoes to performances in league play. fill [now] that the seniors are leaving…because “I’m really happy with the season. If you Zak, Tyler and Dillon were really, really good. would have told me a month and a half ago We all have to step up because we were a really that we would be co-champs of the Ocean good team this year and we need to get to the League I probably would have laughed,” Bowie same level next year and hopefully exceed it.” said. “The progress this team made throughout the season was incredible and I couldn’t be more proud of them.” While the team’s season is now over, they still have hard work ahead. The players will enjoy a break until the swim season during the spring. Afterward, they will return to game-form during summer conditioning. Meanwhile, the torch will be passed on to this Zak Zukoski winds up for a shot. LILLIAN BERLINER season’s juniors, the leaders of
November 15, 2011 Highlights
Quick Reads BHUSD’s semi-final election results The Nov. 8 election results filled three seats on the Beverly Hills Unified School Board. As of Nov. 9, Brian Goldberg received 1,106 votes (39.57%), Frances Bilak received 619 votes (22.15%), and Lewis Hall received 517 votes (20.43%). Noah Margo’s results will not be released for up to 30 days since he was the only writein candidate in the election. Andy Licht was a candidate before he dropped out of the race, but because he waited past the 88-day withdrawing limit, his name still appeared on the ballot. Goldberg hopes to create the position of a college admissions director, who would oversee the counseling department at the high school. “It would be nice to have someone to go to for the best references for colleges,” junior Imanouel Tsimchi said. The full amount of voters has not yet been publicized. A.J. Parry
Madrigals, Minnesingers fundraise The vocal music department held a fundraiser at Hamburger Mary’s in West Hollywood on Wednesday, Nov. 9. The fundraiser’s theme was Legendary Bingo and was hosted by the drag queen Bel Air. Legendary Bingo Night was put together solely by the parents of students who are part of Madrigals and Minnesingers. Many people felt that the drag queen host was an interesting addition to the fundraiser. “The best part was the drag queen that hosted and was the M.C. It was hilarious and made the night much more entertaining,” junior Madrigal Savannah Forno said. In addition to bingo, there was also a live auction of items such as tickets to “Dr. Phil,” signed “Modern Family” scripts, a signed David Beckham jersey, and cosmetics. Herbal Life and Blowfish shoes were among the donators. Choral Director Joel Pressman assured that the purpose of the fundraiser was not only to raise money for Madrigals. “The goal was to have fun,” Pressman said. The fundraiser generated $2,500. The money raised will go towards the $60,000 cost for attendance at music festivals. Brenda Mehdian
Bienvenue to National French week
Junior Sadie Katz and sophomores Ellie Dubin, Paloma Bloch and Román Zaragoza help out Arlington Heights. Photo courtesy of ELLIE DUBIN
Dubin enters ‘Glee’ Give a Note Sarit Kashanian Staff Writer With the help of “Glee,” sophomore Ellie Dubin made an effort to provide assistance to Arlington Heights Elementary School, a disadvantaged school located in Los Angeles. Early in October, Dubin submitted a video to Glee Give a Note, a contest in which Glee is giving away one million dollars to 73 schools across the country. By being a winner of the contest, Dubin hopes to raise enough money to aid the arts program of Arlington Heights. If Arlington Heights is selected as a grant recipient, it will receive funding from the “Glee” contest that will help maintain and expand its current arts program. “I entered [Arlington Heights] in the contest because they had almost no arts before. My elementary school, El Rodeo,
already had a relationship with this school by doing Book Ends, so I contacted the principal of Arlington Heights and told her about my program,” Dubin said. In April 2011, Dubin started a program called Kesem Shel Shir, or “the magic of music,” in Hebrew. The group’s purpose was to provide free after school musical theater programs to public schools that have lost their arts funding. From April to June of 2011, Dubin as well as co-president sophomore Román Zaragoza, junior Sadie Katz and sophomore Paloma Bloch ran a free after school musical theater class for 20 elementary students at Arlington Heights. “Our pilot production was ‘Cinderella’,” Dubin said. “I’ve always loved the arts and I really wanted to enrich the lives of kids who might not have the opportunity to be involved in the arts.”
Voting for contestants closed on Nov. 7, but until then, Dubin and the students involved in Dubin’s music program continued to promote their cause and ask all those they knew for votes. “I posted the website [for Glee Gives a Note] on the Madrigals page and posted it as many places I could. I told performing arts kids, family, and teachers,” Zaragoza said. Dubin and the other students involved with Kesem Shel Shir have yet to hear the results of the contest, but Dubin is currently in the process of speaking with principals of other public school across Los Angeles about bringing Kesem Shel Shir’s free after school theater program to their sites. The students hope to have the opportunity to perform at Arlington Heights once again in order to share the gift of music with those who are less fortunate.
Accurate dropout rates published Julia Waldow Centerfold Editor California’s Department of Education (CDE) published that 18 percent* of California high school students, approximately 94,000 teenagers, dropped out of school before their expected 2009-10 graduation date. These statistics, found by tracking students over their high school years, are considered California’s first accurate dropout rates, according to the San Francisco Gate. Previously, data fluctuated from year to year, creating inconsistency. “For far too long, the discussion about graduation and dropout rates has revolved around how the results were obtained,” state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson told the San Francisco Gate. “Now, we can focus on the much more important issue of how to raise the number of graduates and lower the number of dropouts.”
The French Club is hosting a celebration of French culture this week during lunch. Each day, a different French class will sell food brought in by students. Snacks include baguettes, crepes, Nutella sandwiches, croissants, cheese, cookies and more. Food will cost one to five dollars. “This year, there is a huge variety of foods,” French Club president senior Dropout Rates of Students Giosi Turchetti said. in Beverly Hills These goods are sold on the second Whites floor patio. To enhance the dining experience, traditional French music is played. The purpose of French week is to raise Hispanics awareness about the French culture. Posters cover the halls with facts about Africanall things French. The money raised Americans throughout this week will go towards the French Club and will aid in the funding Asians for the annual Cabaret that will be taking place later in the year. Brenda Mehdian 0% 2% 4% 6% 8%
The entire Beverly Hills Unified School District (BHUSD) had a 7.3 percent* dropout rate for the 2009-10 school year, according to the CDE. Beverly had a 6.1 percent* dropout rate for the same year. “I think a large part of [the difference in dropout rates] has to be support at home,” English teacher Bill Hiatt said. “A higher degree of financial security also helps. Not as many people drop out of school here to work. So it’s easier for us to offer a broad, diverse program and try to address the needs and interests of a wider population.” Teachers and students alike have brainstormed ways to decrease Beverly’s dropout rate. “I think we would need to look at it in terms of what the motivations are,” Hiatt said. “It’s important to find ways to address students’ problems early. I think a lot of people who drop out of school do so because they don’t
feel that they have enough academic skills to do anything. I think catching these difficulties early is part of keeping people out of a cycle of failure where they think that they’re getting out of high school anyway, so why try?” Senior Alejandra Mendoza believes that changes in policies and students’ and teachers’ behaviors will lower the rate. “Many policies, like the one that you cannot change a teacher who is much too difficult, stress a lot of kids out and they give up,” Mendoza said. “Also, kids should communicate with their teachers outside of class [and tell them] they are struggling.” In the past ten years, statewide dropout rates have oscillated between 11 percent* and 22 percent*, according to the San Francisco Gate. The dropout rate was 21.1 percent* in 2007-08 and 20.1 percent* in 2008-09. *Statistics are adjusted 9-12 grade derived rate
Dropout Rates of Students in California
Filipinos Whites Hispanics Asians PacificIslanders AfricanAmericans
news 3 Special Olympians receive 3rd place ribbons
November 15, 2011 Highlights
Resources Dr. Dawnalyn MurakawaLeopard, Director of Special Education Dina Parker, volunteers from the Best Norman Olympians kicked off the new Buddies program and parents cheered on Special Olympics program with a soccer the Normans. game on Nov. 4 in Walnut, Calif. Beverly played against two other schools Special Olympics is a global foundation in the high school division. The students designed to help young people with finished the games with victory. intellectual disabilities compete in 30 “We got third place! It was nice because various sports such as swimming, figure the teams were really similar in their skills skating, snowboarding, basketball and and abilities, so it was fair and fun to soccer. compete,” Amelang said. According to special education teacher Students were provided with sandwiches Aubrie Amelang, the attempt to join the and cookies after the game. Special Olympics program began last year “I felt like I lost two pounds [after the at Horace Mann. game],” freshman Shai Madan, one of the Even though the district was not part Special Olympic athletes, said. of the organization, Beverly was able to Special Olympics athlete freshman join the San Gabriel chapter this year to Ahmed Shamseldin scored a hattrick in the compete against all of the schools in the tournament. San Gabriel region. “I scored! I felt so happy,” Shamseldin Students from Amelang’s class said. participated in the seasonal soccer According to Madan, the goals were tournament, according to volunteer buddy produced from teamwork. junior Jason Friedman. “I will remember that our team won, “They worked really hard to prepare for but [the weather] was freezing,” Special the games. The kids held practices and Olympics athlete and freshman Soheil scrimmages just like any sports team,” Yashar said. Friedman said. According to Amelang, students will start Students were involved in adaptive P.E training in track and field within the next with occupational therapist Debi Ives two month for the approaching spring season of to three times a week. Special Olympics. The girls’ varsity soccer team, along with There will be more versatile events the referees and a crowd of spectators, in track and field such as walking and also helped the students prepare for the wheelchair races. tournament in a practice game on Oct. 28. Madan hopes to run two laps as one of his The homecoming spirit assembly on Oct. track events, while Yashar feels determined 25 boosted the students’ self-confidence to show progress until then. prior to the upcoming soccer match. “I’m a little nervous because I’m not “They have been really excited ever since good at running. But I’m going to [try to] the assembly. I think they really felt like improve,” Yashar said. they were important athletes at this school, Amelang is currently working with in uniforms and competing,” Amelang said. track and field coach Jeffrey Fisher to Although it invite Special was raining in O l y m p i c s San Gabriel athletes to region, a total Beverly track of 150 athletes and field participated practices and in the soccer meets. tournament. The program A b o u t is intended to 30 people, benefit particiincluding the pating students principal, in multiple Assistant ways and diSuperintendent Freshman Shai Madan shoots in a Special Olympics tournament. mensions. of Human Photo courtesy of AUBRIE AMELANG Dami Kim Staff Writer
Sophomore Jasmine Yaghoubi works on an assignment during third period CORE. GINELLE WOLFE
CORE makes comeback Sarit Kashanian Staff Writer The new CORE class, taught by World History teacher Ann-Marie Fine and English teacher Jamie Marrs, is a course made up of two separate English and history classes that studies the connections between both subjects. With English taught during period two and history taught period three, tenth grade students are able to make connections between the material they learn in both classes. “A lot of students compartmentalize their subjects. There are a lot of subjects that are cross-curricular, and students don’t see that. English and history are really compatible,” Fine said. Both Fine and Marrs came up with the idea of re-introducing the class to the school. Although currently a sophomore class, CORE was previously a freshman course last taught in 2006 by AP European teacher Pete Van Rossum and English teacher Loren Newman. The class was created in the mid 1990s by Newman, Chuck Kloes, Rhoda Himmell and Gail Shafran. Like all new classes, it took some adjustment to begin the new CORE class, especially since it needed to be made relatively rigorous in order to conform to UC standards. “Because [CORE] had been done before, there was a lot of support for doing it in our school . . .but the UC approval process was quite al lot of work. We had to get special approval for [the class], so in addition to
the things [students] do regularly, they [also] do a research paper combining themes and ideas from both classes,” Marrs commented. Fine and Marrs meet at least once a week to discuss class lessons and propose topics of subject correlation in order to accommodate their students. The teachers have already noticed a significant improvement in the way their students process information. “These students are incredible about seeing the connections and as compared to my other class in the past, they are quicker in applying what they’ve learned to other classes,” Fine said. One student, Simon Pourat, expressed his thoughts on CORE. “The CORE class is really great because it’s a small class and the teachers are all about [the] students. This class is different from my other classes because [the teachers] try to relate English and history together, but regular classes are always just about only one subject,” Pourat said. Marrs believes that the goals that she and Fine have put forth for their class are something that all teachers have in common. “All teachers make connections between their courses and other courses, and between their courses in the real world. That’s what all teachers want. We just have the chance to do this purposefully and directly,” Marrs said. With its current progress, CORE is said to have the potential to transform the way students think and learn.
Former administrator to become assistant principal Chanan Batra Staff Writer Former administrator Amy Golden is returning as a substitute for current Assistant Principal Kelly Tabis while Tabis is on maternity leave. Tabis’s last day was Thursday, Nov. 10, and Golden’s first official day is Nov. 28. She will serve as the interim assistant principal of House A. Tabis assures students and faculty that Golden is an experienced administrator who is familiar with Beverly’s culture and needs. “My first week here, Mrs. Golden was showing me how to handle the daily responsibilities that come with being an administrator at Beverly,” Tabis said. “Beverly is definitely in good hands.” Golden served as Beverly’s assistant principal of House A from 20052008. Following the end of the 2007-2008
school year, Golden left Beverly to become “I think deep down I knew that I a director at Quarry Lane School, a private always wanted to come back. When the college preparatory opportunity presented school in Dublin, Calif. itself, I had to jump on “At the time, it was it.” an opportunity I could Golden first applied not pass up,” Golden for the interim assistant said. principal job at Beverly However, Golden in early September. stepped down from her After a series of position as Director of application processes Quarry Lane’s upper and board panel school after the 2008meetings, Golden was 2009 school year. chosen. From there, she At the Oct. 25 school served as an assistant board meeting, Golden principal at Redondo was officially approved Union High School, by the board to from where she is substitute for Tabis in leaving to return to Amy Golden returns to Beverly after a three House A. year absence. Photo from Watchtower Beverly. Golden’s experience “Beverly has always outside of Beverly felt like home to me,” Golden remarked. Hills has given her a new outlook on the
way certain things should be done as an administrator. “I have learned a great deal in the four years I have been gone,” Golden said. “I will surely share some of the ideas, programs and policies from the other schools, and if people are interested in implementing some of those, then I will be more than happy to take the lead.” Even though Golden is returning as an interim administrator, she hopes to become a permanent member of Beverly in the future. “I do not have any plans to return to Redondo,” Golden said. “My current position at Beverly is an interim one, but I would love to continue on at Beverly for many years to come.” Tabis’ maternity leave will be in effect until July 1. House A’s responsibilities currently include scheduling, special education, and counseling.
November 15, 2011 Highlights
OMG! Did you know texting is contagious? It is spreading quickly and destroying everything in its path. It is a disease infecting not only those who are unhealthy or genetically unlucky, but every teenager on this planet. This disease is texting! Texting is a habit that has been acquired by millions of people. Though it is very useful and handy to communicate with friends, family and colleagues, it has negative aspects such as the consequences of miscommunication, the decrease in face-to-face communication and the fact that it can actually be fatal. Miscommunication with texting is frequent and the consequences you have to deal with for those minor mistakes are not very pleasant. How many times have you texted your mom in an extremely sarcastic tone and then never got a reply? Maybe even got the cold shoulder at home? Did you have to eat cold vegetables for dinner? All of the sudden, you find yourself not being able to go to your best friend’s sweet sixteen just because of one seemingly nasty text. “Once my mom was getting groceries and over text, she told me everything she was getting. She asked me if she should get anything else and if she forgot anything. I sarcastically said to buy more kimchi [a Korean food] because we already had three jars of it at home. She didn’t get my sarcasm and bought more. Now we have like five bottles, and no space in the fridge,” sophomore Justin Kim said. Since you are obviously not face-toface, the person you are texting never really knows what tone you are “speaking” in. Because of that, anger, happiness and, usually, sarcasm are never transferred to the other person, unless you use emoticons.
So, you never really work up the courage to talk to the guy you have been crushing on for a month. You decide to text him and then you get a reply. You text him for hours and get really excited to see him at school tomorrow. The next day, you wake up an hour early to curl your hair and wear the cutest outfit you have in your wardrobe. You see him in the hall and get really excited. You walk up to him and all that is exchanged is an awkward and mumbled “hey.” Texting creates an illusion of companionship that teens tend to trade that for actual socialization and intimacy. “Texting is bad because I spend a lot of time doing that instead of talking to people. Sometimes, even at sleepovers, my friends and I are all in the same room, but instead of talking to each other, we end up texting each other and other people. We’re on our phones the entire night,” sophomore Daeun Lee said. Socializing is an important skill in order to make friends and to be successful in your career life. You need to know how to talk to people, and texting makes that hard. One last negative aspect of texting is that it is actually dangerous. The National Safety Council in Washington, D.C. estimates that at least 1.6 million driving accidents are due to texting. When you get a text, you want to see what it says and you want to reply. The driver could be texting while driving and accidentally crash into another a car. A pedestrian could be crossing the street and texting and suddenly lose a leg. The urge and temptation to check that phone is sometimes so strong that it comes before safety. Who wants want a cold dinner, no social skills and an expensive fee to pay for crashing into another car because of texting? I sure don’t.
Editorial The School Who Cried Fire
ello Norman Nation: we have a problem. In the past few months, there have been “too many” instances of the fire alarm being pulled by imbeciles, according to Assistant Principal Kelly Tabis. The first instance of a false fire alarm this year was allegedly “an accident: a student bumped it,” Tabis said. Once that happened, “students thought, ‘Today’s the day to pull fire alarms.’” That day has been going on for months. Each time the alarm is pulled, the fire station is notified, and the firemen dress up, board the truck and begin their highspeed pursuit to stop the fire. So unless the administration calls them and proclaiming it a false alarm, they will arrive on campus. “Sometimes we’re able to do that before they get here, and sometimes we’re not,” Tabis said. “When there really is a reason to evacuate,” Tabis says, “we’re going to need to be clear that we’re communicating that with students and staff so that everyone gets out safe.”
ers, or our team attracted a better coach, or our team had more funding for equipment. None of these things reflect on the students who don’t play football. Our immediate happiness depends on the outcome of a football game that we have no influence over. Emotional identification with a school football team divides students into rival camps, turning students who should be supporting each other off the field into enemies in the bleachers and on Facebook. Before the game, and after, students from both teams insult the rival school’s students, school and players. After the game, it seems like each team has even more to prove, whether by posting “we told you so” or “you got lucky” messages. Often these messages are mean and personal. Why is this necessary? Football is fun to play and fun to watch. Our football team, like our other school teams, is an important part of what makes our school what it is. But when it inspires obsession, insults, emotional dependence and serious rivalry, remember: it’s just a game, and it only lasts an hour. Chloe Revery (12) Letters should be emailed with the writer’s name and grade or position to firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters may be edited for clarity.
cartoon by Sasha Park
Mabel Kabani Staff Writer
Let’s all please relax about football. We all know that guy. His cheeks are streaked with black and orange. He’s posting Facebook statuses every other minute and trash-talking the opposition online. He won’t talk about anything but the game. To him, I say, respectfully, please calm down. I want him to know that pride in your school is a good thing. School spirit helps raise our api score, keeps our school clean and improves our reputation. But having school spirit and vehemently supporting the football team are not one and the same, because football teams are not proxies of their schools. When Beverly’s team beats Samo’s, we don’t say “We beat Samo’s football team!” We say that we beat Samo. The problem with this statement is that it implies that we’re a better school than Samo solely on the basis of how good our football team is, and measuring how good a school is based on how good their football team isn’t fair nor accurate. If you’ve been to a few homecoming games, you may have noticed that the atmosphere is always more fun, happier, when our team wins. We all take pride in our football team’s victory. But why? Our team’s victory doesn’t mean we’re better than the students of the losing school. It means that our team practiced more, or we happened to get stronger, faster play-
It is an issue of safety. Like the administration, we are worried. Tabis aptly compared the issue to “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” Think about the hard-working firemen who have to stop their day for a couple of inconsiderate brutes. We ask those inconsiderate students to think about how annoyed they get when a
The administration’s preventive measures do not seem effective. “Whenever it happens the first time, all the administrators and all of security are out roaming the halls looking at the pull stations that are typically pulled and then just monitoring the hallways to make sure that they are not being pulled,” Tabis said solemnly. We, however, think our student body is, somewhere deep down, reasonable. If the student body were told the facts and morals—the fact that it is against the law and that it is imbecilic and costs a multiple of $123.10, increasing with each offense—there would be far fewer of these incidents. The student body is not stupid nor evil: it’s just misguided perhaps. We propose that, either in a designated or regular assembly, the administration or ASB spells out how these false alarms adversely affect the firemen. Or, maybe the administration should adopt Hammurabi’s code in instances regarding the fire alarms. Pull the alarm? Off with your hand.
“Firemen live to protect and to serve us, but through repetition, our school has undoubtedly dulled their sensitivity to our needs.” gregarious punk walks into the classroom during a test. Firemen live to protect and to serve us, but through repetition, 0ur school has undoubtedly dulled their sensitivity to our needs. Furthermore, we students have become immune to the shriek of the bell. It now seems no less abnormal than our “Gone with the Wind”-length passing periods.
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. Corrections from The Sports Edition (Volume II, Issue Four): In the block quote on page two, Marla Weiss was erroneously quoted where Lydia Choi spoke.
tribute 5 Beverly remembers sophomore Elena Natanzadeh
November 15, 2011 Highlights
Sayeh Mohammadi Arts & Style Editor On Sept. 9, sophomore Elena Natanzadeh collapsed on the stairs leading down to the athletic complex. Three first responders contacted emergency services and attempted to administer CPR. Paramedics transported Natanzadeh to Cedars-Sinai, but were unable to revive her. Students across the school quickly shared their condolences and sorrow, particularly on Facebook, where they organized a tribute for Nov. 1, Natanzadeh’s birthday. Students wore purple, her favorite color and convened on the front lawn to celebrate her life. Candles, flowers, photos and other tributes are a constant fixture on the staircase where she fell.
The Beverly Hills Unified School District is working in conjunction with the Natanzadeh family to develop a memorial on school grounds. Plans include the planting of a Crepe Myrtle tree, which blooms purple flowers, and an accompanying plaque emblazoned with the words “live, love, laugh,” as Superintendent Dr. Gary Woods said the family felt “those three words captured Elena’s spirit and her contribution while she was [with us].” “We have to live with the fact that you may not be here with us physically, but I promise I will live every day of the rest of my life making sure that your name and memory lives on forever,” Elena’s brother, Omid Natanzadeh said in a memorial speech.
Clockwise from top: Sophomore Elena Natanzadeh. Community members left photographs, candles, letters, and posters in remembrance. Friends decorated Natanzadeh’s locker for her birthday, Nov. 1. Candles and letters mark the spot of Natanzadeh’s fall.
Photos courtesy of OMID NATANZADEH ARMAN ZADEH OLIVER GALLOP
Friends, teachers eulogize Elena Natanzadeh Hayley Westhoff, Spanish teacher: “She was a delightful student. She always had a positive attitude and did everything with a smile on her face. I always envied her positive attitude. She always looked at the bright side of things and made light of any situation that came her way.” Alexia Anavim (10): “She was that friend that would make you smile. She was a shoulder to cry on. She would know if you were hurt [and was] very trustworthy and could always get you out of an awkward situation. She always had my back.” Michelle Nemanpour (10): “Elena was an amazing friend who always made everyone laugh. When I was with her I felt so comfortable and happy. The memories we shared will definitely last a lifetime. Her smile and personality always lit up the room. She’ll always be on my mind and in my heart. Rest in peace, friend. I love you.”
Fujon Anayati (10): “Elena is basically my inspiration. She inspired me not to take anything for granted and to always live life to the fullest. I always thought of the tragedy being like thinking of a cup of water, you may think it would be a cup half empty when bad things happen. Looking at the bright side makes the cup half full. Her passing may be very tragic to me but in the end, I knew I had to accept it. Y.O.L.O. (You Only Live Once.)” Chaliz Taghdis (10): “Elena was an amazing girl with one of the most amazing personalities. She was always happy and there wasn’t one time that I saw her and she didn’t have a smile on her face. We’d always have the best times together and those memories will certainly be remembered for the rest of my life. No one will ever be able to replace her and she’s greatly missed and will always have a special place in my heart. Rest in paradise to the most amazing best friend ever, I love you so much.
November 15, 2011
LIL WAYNE TAYLOR SPICE *NSYNC EMINEM LINKIN 50 CENT HIGH MICHAEL WHITNEY ALANIS GET RICH SCHOOL THA MARSHALL PARK SWIFT JACKSON HOUSTON MORISSETTE GIRLS NO STRINGS OR DIE MATHERS CARTER III FEARSPICE HYBRID THE WALL THRILLER SELF TITLED JAGGED MUSICAL ATTACHED TRYIN EP LITTLE PILL LESS THEORY SELF 1997 2000 1986 2008 1980 1983 2000 TITLED 1996 2009 2001 2003 2006 PINK FLOYD
THE TURNTABLES HAVE TURNED David Dann (class of ‘07) started playing piano at age 13 when he realized that his true passion was music. Dann’s inspiration came from the tasks he did on a day-to-day basis. Deejaying was a way for him to progress through his life and let the world hear his music. Earlier this year, Dann toured South America as a DJ. He is currently on a college tour deejaying at all the PAC-10 colleges. Dann now attends UCLA and says the tour gives him a chance to create “an even closer bond with the kids when I play at their schools.” Dann will release a new album in 2012, which he hopes will broaden his global popularity. “I eat and breathe what I do and it’s Photo courtesy of DAVID DANN taken a lot of sacrifice to get to where I am,” Dann said. “You have to weigh your options and realize that if music is something you want to do professionally, there’s a lot to give up and a lot to gain as well. Just make sure it’s your Celine Hakimianpour passion.”
Electronic music, DJs should be praised Candice Hannani News Editor New, unique, creative. It seems like today our world revolves around these three words. And what goes around does so in a full 360; the music industry is no exception, as electronic music has become incredibly popular within the past few years, ushering in a modern genre of computerized sounds. We’ve stepped away from traditional instruments and bands towards an unexplored island of technological music. And who wouldn’t want to look for treasure in a recently discovered place? Our centuries-old knowledge of music has finally been transformed into a fresh version that ushers in a new variety of beats, rhythms and sounds. It is the electronic musician who is in control of what sounds to create and what rhythms to mix up on the computer. So as opposed to the norm of plucking one’s way into a new song, we are technically (in its full meaning) using the computer to create sounds without having to physically do much. In that same way, though, electronic music has had an unfair stigma. Some people associate technologically-created music with auto tuning. Yes, there have been some who
have taken advantage of such computerized abilities to fool themselves into thinking that their vocals are equal to that of the most prominent singers of the day—need I include the infamous Rebecca Black and the overambitious Kim Kardashian? But just like with the Internet, all of electronic music’s aspects must be taken into consideration before understanding that its pros are much more numerous than its cons. As a result of the rise in this new form of music, DJs have become much more common than bands—and that isn’t very surprising, judging from the amount of interest each usually receives from an audience. Don’t get me wrong, by bands I’m not referring to the gods of music (otherwise known as Coldplay and One Republic), but those typical, unheard-of rock bands that play songs no one is familiar with at parties. DJs are able to play a much wider range of music, while also putting their own twist on modern songs. So in response to all those Facebook statuses demanding a different genre of music, this is the closest you’ll get to your wish come true. Within electronic music is a land full of new sounds and rhythm combinations yet to be dug up and listened to.
Senior Madison Wiederhorn, also known as DJ Madz, not only deejays due to her love of music, but to inspire other girls to counter the stereotype of male DJs. Wiederhorn has been deejaying since she was 15, the summer before her sophomore year. Wiederhorn discovered her passion for music at a young age thanks to her parents, who left her in charge of music during parties. “Everyone encouraged me to start deejaying, so I went out and bought equipment, never thinking it’d turn into anything serious,” Wiederhorn said. She deejays at about one to two parties a month and plays everything from oldies, hip-hop, house, pop and ‘90s rap. Photo courtesy of MADISON WIEDERHORN Wiederhorn draws inspiration from DJ AM, Madonna and Alicia Keys. She deejays and performs at house parties, school events, celebrity parties and private events. She has also opened for singer Macy Gray. In addition to deejaying, Wiederhorn writes original songs, sings and plays piano. Through her success, Wiederhorn wants to send a message to empower girls who feel discouraged about becoming a DJ. She plans to pursue a career in deejaying and further promote her music and message. Lilia Abecassis Oliver Bogner (class of ‘11) is an entrepreneur in the entertainment business. Bogner started his own entertainment production company, GO Entertainment, in 2007, while in seventh grade. What started as small business venture to provide entertainment to Beverly Vista dances expanded to a company that pulled in $30,000 in 2010. GO Entertainment provides DJ services to all types of events, including bar and bat mitzvahs, Sweet 16s and house parties. Bogner and his business partner, Jonathan Assia, provide deejaying services and entertainment for over 100 events annually. Last year, Bogner was featured in the Los Angeles Times for his remarkable success at a Photo courtesy of OLIVER BOGNER young age. In addition to managing an entertainment company, Bogner is also a film and television producer. He studies Television & Broadcast Journalism at Chapman University.
Photo courtesy of JORDAN JONES
In his senior year, Jordan Jones (class of ‘10) performed live in front of more than 5,000 people at the Fuzzy Festival in San Bernadino. Jones, who began deejaying in his junior year, always loved performing for his peers. Jones loves playing electronic house music and recalls getting his inspiration from DJ A-Trak, the first DJ to win all three major DJ competition titles. “A word of advice to anyone who’s interested in music or becoming a DJ: you shouldn’t be doing [this] just for the profit. It’s about loving what you do,” Jones said. In the future, Jones plans on establishing himself as a music producer and hopes to travel around the world to meet new people, see new things and go international with his music. Celine Hakimianpour
Omid Soumihk (Class of ’11), otherwise known as DJ Krisp, is far from an average teen. Soumihk, who currently attends West Los Angeles College, began deejaying at 14 years old because of his love for music and his desire to please a crowd. Soumihk’s inspirations include DJ AM, DJ Vice and Eric D-Lux. Soumihk’s favorite types of music include house, electro, hiphop and Top 40. “My future goals include deejaying at the top clubs in Hollywood and Las Vegas,” Soumihk said. “I also hope to go international.” Soumihk has deejayed at tons of private events, local hot spots and clubs. The future sure seems bright for Soumikh as he Photo courtesy of OMID SOUMIKH continues to pursue his dreams. Celine Hakimianpour Senior Austin Mills, also known as DJ AYO, has become a well-known figure in the party scene. Mills treats deejaying, which he began in seventh grade, as a business. Mills “decided to become a DJ because [he] wanted to make parties better than they were.” Inspired by DJ AM, Mills plays all types of music, ranging from hip-hop and rap to electronic and jazz. He has deejayed at Beverly events on the front lawn since his freshman year, prominently during Homecoming week. In addition to bar and bat mitzvahs, Mills deejays at weddings, café openings and high school parties. Mills plans to deejay a little after college at smaller clubs, but does not want to go Photo courtesy of AUSTIN MILLS completely professional. “Nothing too big, but I want to be in the nightclub scene,” he says. Lilia Abecassis
THE ELECTRONIC REVOLUTION Resurgence of electronic music Benjamin Hannani Feature Editor Jay-Z may have had 99 problems, but now that rap is struggling to compete with electronic music, he has even more issues to deal with. There is no doubt that music is still dominated by contemporary pop stars (i.e. Lil’ Wayne, Britney Spears, Drake, etc.), but electronic artists like Skrillex and Deadmau5 are finding their way into teenagers’ playlists all over the country. Electronic music has particularly picked up traction from parties. “Songs show their true potentials at parties because that’s where people can vibe to music the most,” senior Kiya Eshagian said. “Electro proved itself at parties because it is such a good genre to dance too and when people are dancing and having fun, they start taking interest [in] the music that’s playing.” Rock and rap are popular genres, but they are typically not a partygoers’ preference. Eminem and Coldplay may have topped the charts, but “Lose Yourself” and “Viva la Vida,” the two artists’ trademarks, are not ideal dance songs. Instead, teenagers have opted for upbeat electronic music, which many pop stars have picked up on. Kanye West may have been among the first to recognize the trend when he released the Grammy-winning “Stronger” in 2007, which sampled “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” from the electronic group Daft Punk. Recently, mainstream artists have gone from sampling electronic beats to directly collaborating with electronic artists. The most recent collaboration between pop star and DJ to hit radio stations is “We Found Love,” in which Rihanna supplied vocals for a track from the British DJ, Calvin Harris. Besides serving teenagers with dance tunes, what has sparked interest in the electronic genre? According to students, electronic music is unpredictable, varied and an attractive alternative to traditional genres. “[Electronic music] feels different and unique compared to the old fashioned [genres of] rock, metal and hip hop,” senior Eyal Cohen, who has attended many electronic shows, including the Electronic Daisy Carnival in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, said. “Electronic music [is] a combination of all those genres including that modern sound that is growing huge nowadays. What I especially love about electronic music is
how the combinations of sounds can come together to form an amazing song.” In addition to the Internet, the electronic scene has become more widespread due to music festivals across the country. Hard, the company behind many local electronic events, throws multiples parties in Los Angeles every year, including on Halloween night and on New Year’s Eve. Before the Electric Daisy Carnival was relocated from Los Angeles away to Las Vegas last year, it too attracted electronic music fans. Even the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, which droves of Beverly students make a pilgrimage to every April, has consistently included notable DJs and electronic artists in its lineup. Outside of the southland, the Ultra Music Festival in Miami is known as the best electronic music festival in the country and annually hosts some of the top DJs and electronic artists in the world. However, electronic music has its drawbacks. Since the genre is associated with a party culture, the atmosphere at concerts and festivals tends to be more raucous than typical shows. For some high school teenagers, the surroundings can be overwhelming. “I don’t really like the atmosphere,” junior Celeste Durve, who attended EDC in 2010 and saw DJs at Coachella in 2010 and 2011, said. “I get scared sometimes that people are going to do crazy things so if I do go [to an electronic music show], I’ll go with a big group of friends and stay with them.” For other students, dressed-up concertgoers, neon lights and loud music are key aspects of electronic shows’ appeal. “Often times, raves get a bad rep for their crazy atmosphere,” senior Heidi Uzelac, who went to EDC last year and has attended several electronic shows hosted by Hard, said. “The people are dressed like freaks, the music is so loud you can practically see the sound waves, and the lights just don’t stop. These things are what make the experience so amazing. Dressing up is only half the fun. Dancing to the music is the other half.” Overall, electronic music is back and looks like it is here to say. Between the growing popularity of live shows and easy access to downloads via the Internet, the genre will continue to attract more fans. According to the rapper Nas, hip-hop died years ago and by the looks of it, electronic music has emerged as a viable replacement.
November 15, 2011 Highlights
‘Twilight’ tackles 1992 L.A. murder and mayhem
Gabriala Ashkenazy, Nadav Laemmle, Samina Soltani and George Efremidze rehearse for the play.
Dami Kim Staff Writer The ‘90s are called back with a performance of the play “Twilight: Los Angeles 1992” by Theater Arts Workshop students. The play deals with the violence that occurred in Los Angeles in 1992, such as the Rodney King beating and riots, Latasha Harlins’ murder and Reginald Denny’s beating. Director Herb Hall chose this play, because of its similarities to last summer’s incident involving the Fullerton police department beating up an innocent homeless man, Kelly Thomas. This ensemble piece is a series of monologues derived from actual interviews with the victims or witnesses of the incidents. The play presents 34 characters, all of equal importance. Since the first week of school, acting coaches have helped individual actors develop their characters. Auditions were held during the second week of school. Students practiced their three favorite monologues from the play and performed one of the
three, along with one chosen at random by Hall. Senior Eugene Ko plays Ted Briseno, one of the four cops accused of beating King. Ko also plays a former zoot suiter, Rudy Salas, who strongly believed that people should be treated equally. “[Briseno] was very real and he was the definition of an actor’s struggle. I could not wait to play him.,” Ko said. After callbacks, junior Savannah Forno was assigned two very different characters: Keith Watson, one of the L.A Four who assaulted Denney, and reporter Judith Tur. “I had a very hard time relating to my first character, Keith, because I felt as though I had nothing in common [with him], but the more work I put into him, I found parallels; he stands up for what he believes in like I do,” Forno said. Senior George Efremidze returned to act in a fall play for the second time since his sophomore year. Efremidze performs six different characters in this play, one of whom is the 71-year-old president of the Los Angeles Police Commission during the riots named Stanley Sheinbaum. According
George Efremidze and Eugene Ko reenact scenes from Los Angeles during 1992.
to Efremidze, Sheinbaum is a tenacious, “hard as nails” man who strives to maintain peace between the police officers and the gangsters. “We have been rehearsing since the third week of school. During rehearsal, we are not allowed to talk nor sit next to people that we would not affiliate [with in the play]. As a cast in general [though], we are one big happy family,” Efremidze said. According to Hall, cast members rehearse Monday through Friday for about three and a half hours per day. Although there are not many of interactions between actors in the scenes of the play, the cast managed to become close with one another. “While other actors are called up to do their monologues, [actors on break] joke around backstage to pass the time,” Ko said. According to Forno, memorizing lines is a challenge at first, but with practice it becomes natural. “Personally I just have to read it many times and by repeating it over and over it just becomes muscle memory to say them,” Forno said.
However, Ko believes that solely reading the script will never satisfy the audience when it comes to putting on an inspiring production. There are two contrasting sides of the stage that portray the ghetto and run-down place against the more modern Plexiglas office buildings. Hung pairs of shoes represent drug deals, and signs on the sidewalk signal which side of the town the actors are on. Hall hopes to find old school rap and R&B music from the ‘90s, such as Tupac, to closely resemble this decade of disasters. Hall believes that this is one of the most intense plays Beverly has presented in a long time. The theater department believes in performing productions that challenge its audience as well its actors. “This is not an easy play to watch,” Hall said. “I’m sure the audience will be conflicted when confronted with the issues and opinions in the play. I hope the play stimulates discussion about the race relations in our country.” The school preview takes place today. Curtains open at 7:00 p.m. from Nov. 16 through 19 at the Salter Theatre.
Aaron Bruno’s AWOLNATION takes Hollywood Austin Grant-Dixon Spotlight Editor The Music Box, which is known for its enclosed structure nestled in the heart of Hollywood, seems to amplify all sounds. The venue rang true to its reputation at last Thursday’s AWOLNATION performance. Accompanied by Middle Class Rut and Twin Atlantic, the AWOLNATION Fall Harvest Tour has set off with a resounding bang. While lacking in musical aesthetic, Middle Class Rut made up for it in their superior command of the stage as well as the vigor they instilled in the audience. Twin Atlantic’s guitar tremendously affected the mood of the audience, taking them on a wild ride through the minds of guitarist George Lewis Jr. and drummer Joseph Ciampini. As an appreciator of all things bass, the combined experience was in fact audio euphoria. AWOLNATION contributed to most of the concert’s apparent zeal built up by opening bands Middle Class Rut and Twin Atlantic’s performances. Performing their latest album, Megalithic Symphony, AWOLNATION most certainly displayed their convictions of not being
chained to one specific genre. The album features stylistic details ranging from lyrics rife with angst to more mainstream pop tunes to mechanical, electronica sounding beats and even some brief reggaeesque breakdowns. Their hit single, “Sail”, practically set the crowd ablaze into a smooth rhythmic furor that could only be measured by the amount of hands and heads moving in perfect sync with the music. It can be most easily described as a careful mix of the more aggressive and upbeat styles of music; one would rarely find any of the audience sitting (unless of course they were resting upon the Music Box’s plush balcony seating). The Music Box offers a comfortable yet hip listening environment. Surreal art, that can only be seen in between performances, maps the walls of the venue creating an engaging experience for all who decide to gaze upwards. As the band heads to New York to continue its fall tour on Nov. 21, it plans to coordinate with the community to set up a food drive at their next show in an attempt to help those in need.
Bruno enthralls his audience during his performance of “Sail”.
feature 9 Pop singer Joe Lee chases dreams in S. Korea November 15, 2011 Highlights
Zoe Kenealy Staff Writer
Junior Joe Lee pictured before he departed for South Korea. OLIVER GALLOP
Born in South Korea, junior Joe Lee has gone back to his homeland in hopes of achieving his lifelong dream of becoming a well known K-Pop star. Lee will be taking part in the new show Survival Audition: KPop Star, an aired contest in which singers and dancers compete against each other for a chance to win a recording contract with the agency of their choice. Placing first in this competition promises to make Lee a well known name in the music industry, but Lee “doesn’t really care about winning.” “I just want to know if I have any errors and how I can change them,” he said. The fact that constructive criticism is the most exciting thing to Lee exemplifies the true artist he is, much like both of his parents. Lee’s musical inspiration is his father, a conductor in South Korea with his own orchestra, while Lee’s mom is a famous pianist. Lee began to follow in the footsteps of his parents in seventh grade, when he picked up rapping as a hobby. Lee does not exactly know how this experience is going to affect his schooling, but somehow he “knows it’ll work out.” This positive attitude, along with his perseverance, played a big role in getting Lee to where he is now. Survival Audition: KPop Star was not Lee’s first try. Going to countless auditions, Lee was turned down a number of times. “I was told I was too short. JYP [a major
record label in Korea] told me I looked too nice,” he said. Lee’s opportunity finally came when he was performing at the LA Korean festival earlier this year and one of the recruiters for Survival Audition: K-Pop Star asked him to come to the audition. “I can’t believe this happened. I didn’t prepare at all, I didn’t even have the papers,” Lee said. Lee’s passion to perform, as well as his love of music overcame his nerves in this situation, and it clearly paid off. Lee’s currently in South Korea preparing to compete against 300 other aspiring artists for this opportunity of a lifetime. Aside from the record deal, Lee hopes to leave this competition with added confidence. “I have no confidence whatsoever. People think I’m confident, but I’m not. I’m actually shy,” Lee said. This competition, however, should earn Lee much more than just confidence, as it is a life changing process that will get him recognition for doing what he loves best: performing. Lee feels much anxiety. As he practices everyday, and the competition nears, Lee’s nerves continue to build up. “I’m so nervous!” Lee said while considering his future. The way this competition ends can turn his entire life around. With a victory, Lee can go from being an average high school student to an internationally famous K-Pop star.
Alumni enjoy worldwide recognition in music
Lenny Kravitz, class of 1982 Photo from WATCHTOWER
Michelle Banayan Staff Writer Lenny Kravitz is a singer-songwriter, actor, instrumentalist and more. He grew up in New York, raised by his mother, Roxie Roker. At the young age of five, Kravitz knew that he wanted to be a musician when he grew up. When he first moved to Los Angeles in 1974, he joined the California Boys’ Choir, sang with the Metropolitan Opera, and performed at the Hollywood Bowl. In this city, he was introduced to rock music and was influenced by a variety of musicians, such as Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and Aerosmith. When Kravitz came to Beverly, he became a part of the school’s music program and taught himself various instruments. Kravitz’s music genres cover neo-soul, neo-psychedelia and different variations of rock. “I don’t think about the styles. I write whatever comes out and I use whatever instrumentation works for those songs,” Kravitz said during an interview. During his high school years at Beverly, he spent his time working on music with his friends instead of studying. His parents wanted Kravitz to pursue a solid career in
case he did not make it in the music industry, but he refused and moved out at 15. He stayed with friends and even lived in his car at one point. Kravitz gave himself the name of “Romeo Blue” and changed his appearance. At the time, the music he played was mainly influence was Prince’s funk-pop style. When he graduated high school, Kravitz got his father to give him money that went towards recording music, rather than college. Several record labels gave him offers, but according to him, it was quite a struggle to get to where he is today. He recorded his first album and went on tour with a few other musicians while record labels were constantly denying him since his music did not fit in with the R & B styles at the time. “I’m half-Jewish, I’m half-black, I look in-between. I dress funny. I play all these different styles of music on one record. It’s like, ‘What is he doing?’” Kravitz said. His debut album, Let Love Rule, was released in Sept. 1989 and was a bigger hit outside of America– mainly in Europe– than in America itself. Kravitz’s most successful single came out two years later in 1991. “It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over,” from his second album, Mama Said, reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100. Another song on the album, dedicated to his deceased mother, called “Always on the Run” featured the guitarist Slash. “I knew Slash in high school, but not very well. [I] just knew him as this kid that used to hang out in the hallway. [He] pretty much looked then the way he does now,” Kravitz said. He has won many awards, including seven Grammy awards, six of which were for best male rock vocal performance. Kravitz is currently on tour for his latest album, Black and White America. He will also be playing the role of Cinna in the upcoming movie “The Hunger Games.”
Jesse Macht, class of 2001 Photo from WATCHTOWER
Jesse Macht is currently a musician and actor. At Beverly, Macht was an active member of The Dance Company. He began writing and recording songs in high school when he made a band with a group of friends, but his career kicked off after joining the band Burn Down the Mission. “I picked up my brother’s [Gabriel Macht] guitar and asked him how to play it. Gabriel taught me the basic chords and from then on, I had a little cover band in high school. We had a wonderful singer and we would win all the talent shows,” Macht told Starpulse. Macht also works for television by composing clips used for advertisement purposes. He has worked with both Nickelodeon and Kraft and is presently working with “NCIS.” His music has been featured on many television shows, some of which include: “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” “Ellen,” Fox’s “The Next Great American Band,” “The Voice,” E’s “Bill and Giuliana” and more. Currently, Macht is writing songs for his upcoming album that is due out in 2012. As of right now, he has two music albums up on iTunes, both of which were released earlier this year: Love is Another Drug and Where is Lerone Kamara.
Percy Miller, class of 2008 Photo from WATCHTOWER
Known by most as “Romeo,” Percy Miller is a rapper, former basketball player, and actor. He is the son of rapper Master P, and the nephew of rappers C-Murder and Silkk the Shocker. In his senior year, he was voted “Most Likely to Succeed.” His first single, “My Baby,” came out in 2001 and was number one on the charts. His debut album, Lil’ Romeo, peaked at number five. In 2004, when he was just a underclassman at Beverly, he released his third album, Romeoland. The album was not much of a success when compared to his previous ones, however. Working with the record label he had just founded, The Next Generation Entertainment, Miller released a collaboration album in 2010, Spring Break, which sold hundreds of thousands of copies worldwide. In Aug. 2011, he released his latest mixtape, I Am No Limit. Miller also starred in his hit television show on Nickelodeon, “Romeo!” For this show, he won three Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards. He was also in the top five during season 12 of “Dancing with the Stars.” Miller has won three Billboard Music Awards as well, including Rap Artist of the Year in 2001.