Page 1

page 8

New wave of innovation

page 14

Controlling traffic

page 36

How wrestlers maintain weight

Monta Vista High School Issue 5, Volume XLIII February 13, 2013


n w o d D d E e D k c A o l and LO

School safety has become an increasingly polarizing issue. Is there a single right way to keep students safe? Page 28.



news 5 School sanitation Faulty facilities, lack of maintenance in campus bathrooms

8 Potential improvements

Students blueprint ways to enhance MVHS for class project

OPINION 13 staff editorial School safety

12 COLUMN: Little Lessons

Mental health should not be overlooked when addressing school violence

14 pulse

Crossing guards to mitigate traffic


Rethinking campus sanitation as a schoolwide responsibility Why MVHS should offer a larger variety of courses

16 column: The Deep End

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT 18 Double the art

Junior twins Tyler and Kevin Yin both explore artistic fields

21 COLUMN: 17 Going on 71 22 Personal spaces

Students use lockers for self expression and storage

24 COLUMN: Family matters special report 26 Legal firearms Gun store owner Harry Dwyer on gun control measures

28 Gun laws in California Legislation concerning firearms in California and nationwide

29 Discussing prevention Understanding how to stop school violence before it happens

30 Safety procedures

How safe MVHS is in an emergency situation

sports 32 The MMA life Senior Brandon Townsend’s transformation from street brawler to martial artist

36 Bearing weight

How a wrestler’s health is affected by his sport


An introduction to the sport of speed skating

39 Sportsflash

Concluding the boys and girls basketball and boys soccer seasons



el ESTOQUE 21840 McClellan Road Cupertino, CA 95014 Editors-in-Chief: Cynthia Mao, Anushka Patil Managing Editors: Smitha Gundavajhala, Patrick Xie, Amelia Yang Copy Editors: Daniel Fernandez, Forest Liao Webmaster: Karen Feng Photo Editors: Margaret Lin, Catherine Lockwood News Editors: Rachel Beyda, Amrutha Dorai, Athira Penghat Sports Editors: Carissa Chan, Karen Feng, Atharva Fulay Entertainment Editors: Yimeng Han, Gisella Joma, Yashashree Pisolkar Opinion Editors: Simran Devidasani, Mihir Patil, Bryan Wang Special Report Editors: Mihir Joshi, Jennifer Lee, Morahd Shawki Design Editor: Alexandria Poh Business Editors: Albert Qiu, Varsha Venkat Public Relations Editors: Ankita Tejwani, Angela Wang Staff Writers: Anjali Bhat, Shriya Bhindwale, Anupama Cemballi, Nathan Desai, Ashley Ding, Soumya Kurnool, Yuna Lee, Steven Lim, Shannon Lin, Alaina Lui, Shuyi Qi, Namrata Ramani, Ruba Shaik, Christopher Song, Eva Spitzen, Robert Sulgit, Joyce Varma, Neesha Venkatesan Adviser: Michelle Balmeo Credits Some images in this publication were taken from the stock photography website Mission Statement El Estoque is an open forum created for and by students of Monta Vista High School. Opinions expressed in this publication are those of the journalism staff and not of Monta Vista High School or the Fremont Union High School District. The staff seeks to recognize individuals, events, and ideas and bring news to the MVHS community in a manner that is professional, unbiased, and thorough in order to effectively serve our readers. We strive to report accurately, and we will correct any significant error. If you believe such an error has been made, please contact us. Letters of any length should be submitted via email or mail. They may be edited for length or accuracy. Letters cannot be returned and will be published at El Estoque’s discretion. We also reserve the right to reject advertising due to space limitations or decision of the Editorial Board that content of the advertisement conflicts with the mission of the publication.

FEBRUARY 13, 2013

LIFE GOES ON but the




f we had been told two months ago that within a span of less than 48 days, this community would see two bomb scares and one gunman threat, we wouldn’t have believed it. And yet. On Dec. 13, MVHS closed down after a student spray-painted threats against a teacher. On Jan. 25, Homestead High School, Cupertino Middle School, and West Valley Elementary all locked down after a CMS student reported seeing a gunman. And just a day prior to our writing this, on Jan. 31, Fremont High School was put under a shelter-in-place order after someone called the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety saying there was a bomb on the campus. Two months ago we LETTER FROM would have had trouble comprehending the fact that over half the schools in our district have gone under lockdown in the past seven weeks. Now, it seems to have become routine. In the days since Sandy Hook, the sometimes dormant gun control debate has been revitalized in full force. In our generally safe city of Cupertino, the focus of concern has been expanded to that of school safety. That means that yes, the second amendment should be a discussion here. But the broader solutions we must decide on include proposed physical measures like metal detectors and security guards, and more intangible ones, like tackling the incredibly daunting issue of mental health. What the incidences at MVHS, CMS and FHS have in common is, interestingly, that they were all eventually “false alarms.” No bombs were found at either MVHS or FHS, and the CMS student who

Patrick Xie | El Estoque

reported the gunman later confessed to fabricating the story. Nothing about the alarm these incidences caused however, can be called “false.” In each case, law enforcement responded in full force. The amount of worry and concern in the community was in no way “false.” Neither was the fear. These local threats and the national impact of Sandy Hook have kept school safety at the forefront of our minds for some time - but these issues tend to rise and fall in the public consciousness. Even worse, the frequency with which we see headlines of shootings and Cynthia body counts plastered & across the front pages of newspapers Anushka we subscribe to and the homepages of the websites we THE EDITORS frequent can give way to complacency. In Cupertino, while we initially faced the school threats with fear and apprehension, eventually, the alarm gave way to jaded Facebook comments like “Here we go again” and “Did someone have a test they didn’t want to take?” Could that be the reason why we struggle to come to any concrete resolutions in this ongoing debate about how to keep children safe, particularly when the issue involves the second amendment and our “fundamental rights” and the NRA? Have we become accustomed to the violence, less pushed by it to work for any meaningful change? There is no one cure to the issue of school safety. But if within weeks from now, we’ve forgotten of our initial shock and grief, we won’t find a solution at all.







The California Education Code states that “every [school] restroom shall at all times be maintained and cleaned regularly, fully operational and stocked at all times with toilet paper, soap and paper towels or functional hand dryers.” El Estoque reporters observed all student restrooms four times a day throughout the week of Jan. 14 to determine if these sanitation standards were being met at MVHS. They weren’t. by Rachel Beyda with additional reporting by Ankita Tejwani


ith flu season underway, sanitation something as easy as washing hands can be is a concern on campus. According an issue. to the The main problem Centers for found by our reporters was the functionality of the Disease Control One time the sinks wouldn’t and Prevention, bathroom sinks. At some work after I’d already put “Many diseases point in the week, there was soap on my hands, so I and conditions at least one malfunctioning are spread by not sink in six out of the eight had to go wash them off in girls’ restrooms and two washing hands a nearby water fountain. with soap and out of the eight boys’ senior Kayla Wong restrooms. clean, running water.” This may “It’s pretty gross when seem like an simple you think about it,” senior precaution to take to stop the spread of germs Kayla Wong said. “If barely any or no water on campus, but without working facilities, is coming out of the sinks, then people aren’t FEBRUARY 13, 2013

cleaning their hands properly. And those hands are touching all of our desks and everything and spreading germs all over campus.” While most of the problematic bathrooms had sinks that would only deposit water for a couple seconds at a time, the upper B building girls bathroom had no running water at all, clearly violating the legal requirement that restrooms be “fully operational.” According to section 35292.5 (c) of the California Education Code, legal repercussions for violating the “fully operational” law may include district-wide ineligibility “for state deferred maintenance fund matching apportionments...if the school district has not continued on page 6 5



Flushing out the Facts

$350 to repair a


According to the California Plumbing Code, a school must provide one toilet for every


30 it costs

300 - 400














Po h


to repair a hand dryer


not including urinals, per every 40 continued from page 5 corrected the violation within male students and one toilet per 30 days after receipt of a written every 30 female students. For the notice of the violation from the 2,419 kids enrolled at MVHS, there should be a total of around board.” Although most of the 70 toilets. However, there are only problematic sinks have been 54 student toilets on campus, 46 repaired since the week of Jan.14, if the rarely-open field house Facilities Manager Chris Kenney bathrooms are excluded. According to Wong, though she explains that the push-button and automatic sinks that are found in frequently sees broken fixtures in the bathrooms, she has never many of the reported any bathrooms of the issues. are unreliable and frequently I would love to hire This lack of h a v e five more custodians, communication e t w e e n mechanical but with the district bstudents and problems. The screens often cutbacks and the way the custodial can get clogged the economy is, it’s not staff contribute with debris going to happen. to the staff’s and iron from Facilities Manager Chris Kenney difficulty in the water, or ensuring that the electrical the bathrooms pump fails. are fully Some of these sinks are being phased out, but functional. In addition, Kenney repairing each sink head can cost explains that it is hard for the $350, and there are several sink small custodial staff to keep up heads in each bathroom. Kenney with the maintenance of such a has found that the lever sinks, large school. While there are over found in the lower B building, are 2,400 students at MVHS, there are only five night custodians, the most reliable. “One time the sinks wouldn’t one day custodian and one work after I’d already put soap groundskeeper to keep every on my hands, so I had to go classroom, kitchen and bathroom wash them off in a nearby water clean. “I would love to hire five more fountain,” Wong said. “Ever since then, I find myself carefully custodians,” Kenney said, “but choosing which bathrooms to go with the district cutbacks and the way the economy is, it’s not going to and which to avoid.” Another major problem was to happen.” With low funding and concrete found in the gym lobby boys restroom, where one stall was laws, the state has created a sort missing not only toilet paper of catch-22 dilemma for Kenney but also a toilet paper dispenser. and his custodial staff. While During the week of Jan. 14, our Kenney would like to replace the reporters found that about one sinks with better technology and third of all bathrooms were not hire more custodians in order fully stocked with toilet paper at to ensure that the school can some point in the week. The same meet the state’s legal standards, was true for working hand dryers. the school is not given enough Additionally, the handicapped money to do so. The custodial bathroom stall in the lower A staff does do what they can to building girls restroom, which is ensure that the bathrooms stay required by the Americans with as sanitary as possible, such as Disabilities Act, was out out of using a disinfectant so strong it order for the entirety of the week can kill the AIDS virus. However, Such maintenance issues may many students use the bathrooms be the result of the low restroom- in between, and without reliable to-student ratio at MVHS. running water the spread of According to the California germs remains a concern. Department of Education website, as of 2010 the California Plumbing Code requires one toilet,

how many toilets there are: how many there should be:

54 70

because MVHS purchases about 4,000 rolls of toilet paper per year

toilet paper dispensers are





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Cooking classes at MVHS

PROJEC TED PROGRESS By May, World Literature students will have created videos proposing changes to the school. The winning group will receive $1,000 to implement its idea — and you get to choose. by Amrutha Dorai and Yuna Lee


ophomores Jeff Ellis and Erin Luks are on a mission: integrate a cooking class at MVHS to relieve stress and educate students in nutrition. “If we’re successful, we’ll see the impact of all our hard work,” Ellis said. “I sometimes feel other school work is just busy work. It’s nice to have a project where you can actually do something for your school.” It’s not your average project in any way. In groups of three or four, sophomores in the World Literature We have to classes of teachers Stacey Cler, give students Mikki McMillion and Jireh Tanabe, the freedom to as well as seniors in Sara Borelli’s create as well as Humanities classes and Tanabe’s Contemporary Literature classes, the experience will create a five-minute video. of assembling a This video will illustrate a change major piece on they envision either for the world their own. or for MVHS — a video they will English teacher Mikki McMillion have until May to script, shoot, edit and perfect. World Literature students who choose to focus internationally will submit their videos to compete for the 2014 TED Prize, awarded by the TED — Technology, Entertainment, Design — nonprofit organization dedicated to the sharing of ideas. Previous recipients include British food revolutionary Jamie Oliver and 8

French artist JR. Should any of the groups win, they will receive $1 million to make their wish a reality. The videos that zero in on MVHS will be reviewed by Cler, McMillion and Tanabe, with each selecting two to represent their classes. Administration will then choose three finalists, and the winner will be selected by popular vote on The prize: $1,000. But it’s not for the winners to keep. “You have to give it back to the world,” Cler said. “That’s the point.” ‘An experiment’ The project took shape through the course of a few weeks. Cler proposed participating in the international contest; McMillion suggested an MVHS-specific version; and Tanabe created a list of nonfiction materials that could be useful to students. The project is intended to replace a social justice research paper while still preserving the core of the class. “This type of project utilizes very similar, if not the same, English skills — collaboration, technology, research, reading and writing, having to organize a script,” McMillion said. “We have to give students the freedom to create as well as the experience of assembling a major piece on their own.” The three of them have provided a nine-page-long informational packet to their students, as well as a general timeline: Storyboards, EL ESTOQUE

Visit for updates on the TED competition.

Kindness cards

Classical music in class filming and production will all be completed by the end of April. The videos will be screened in the auditorium for students on May 6 and for parents on May 10. Apart from these details, however, many of the specifics of the project have yet to be decided. The most difficult challenge that Cler, McMillion and Tanabe are facing is technological: gaining access to the equipment necessary for more than 200 students to produce quality videos is not an easy task. However, the administration has supported their efforts. Both Tanabe and Borelli are receiving personal MacBook Pro computers in order to have access to iMovie and Photoshop. You have the Although the students in Tanabe’s power through Contemporary Literature classes and Borelli’s everyday Humanities classes are being required to actions to complete the project for points, only those in Cler, McMillion and Tanabe’s World make a positive Literature classes will be participating in impact in the competition. Students who are not in the everyone’s life. World Literature classes of these specific teachers may not submit their ideas for the English teacher Stacey Cler $1,000 prize. “This is a little bit like an experiment,” McMillion said. “We’re trying to keep it small, in a controlled environment, so we can see what happens.” Ideas worth spreading What they’ve seen so far is a wide spectrum of ideas. Students’ proposals have ranged from small in scale to wildly ambitious. However, students’ options are still limited. “Opening up markets in third world countries is not a viable project, clearly,” Tanabe said. “They can’t even get to a third world country, much less open markets there. So I’m having them start small and then branch out.” According to students, most have chosen to pursue MVHS-oriented projects. Suggestions included introducing a Home Economics class to FEBRUARY 13, 2013

Shuyi Q

i | El Esto

que I llu


Students are still in the early stages of the project, but groups have finalized their topics. Here are some of their ideas.

teach students skills necessary in day-to-day life, lunchtime activities such as yoga and pilates in order to reduce student stress and classical music in classes to encourage better learning. Another group in Cler’s class intends to reintroduce kindness cards to MVHS. “I think most of the students are focusing on MVHS because it’s easier to win it, obviously,” said sophomore Aunoy Poddar, a student in Cler’s third period class. “It’s on a much smaller scale, so the ideas are more practical. And if you do go large, there’s people with much bigger ideas, and they have much more resources than we do right now.” A change in mindset The idea is to pave a path for the students to not just propose a change, but also implement it in their community. “The reason why we chose something small where the students would propose something that would cost about $1,000, was because we wanted them to be able to see the change happen next year,” McMillion said. “So it wouldn’t be something that would take 10 years to plan and get approved and so forth … That in itself is an education.” But all three teachers are hoping that the project’s effects will extend beyond whatever is proposed by the eventual winner. For them, the end goal is not a single $1,000 change, but a change in mindset for all the students involved in the competition as well as those who witness it. “You don’t need to do something monumental to change the world,” Cler said. “I think that’s what all these TED talks show — that you don’t have to, that you can do something simple, that you have the power through simple everyday actions to make a positive impact in everyone’s life.” | 9


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Divided we stand

When it comes to lack of ethnic diversity in social groups, culture is the culprit by Eva Spitzen and Joyce Varma


group of six Asians sits in the middle half of their friends are from the same race. of the academic court near the C These statistics are consistent with a study Building, one of them eating rice out of performed by Newsweek in 2009, which a thermos. Walking across to the rally court, revealed that students in more ethnically 16 Indian boys, one Asian boy and one white diverse schools are often less likely to have boy roughhouse in front of the library. At the friends of other ethnicities than are students edge of the rally in ethnically homogeneous schools. court near the One social group, notorious for entrance to the ethnic homogeneity, came about two Students in more library, a group of years ago during Spotlite on India ethnically diverse four white juniors 2011. Entered as a dance group under schools are often laughs with one the name “Brown Town,” the group less likely to have half-Asian, halfwas very tight-knit and spent time friends of other white junior boy. together during and outside of school. ethnicities. Out of 10 social While members of Brown Town have groups observed moved in and out of the group, one on Jan. 30 during characteristic of the social group lunch, eight consisted of members of mostly remains the same: Brown Town is exclusively the same ethnicity. Indian. With 79 percent of the student body “Part of it is, it’s a lot easier to bring Asian, 17 percent of students Caucasian your Indian friends home because they’ll and 4 percent African American, Latino and call your mom ‘Auntie,’ and they’ll actually Native American, it would be expected that talk to her, and your parents will be more the great number of ethnicities present on comfortable having an Indian friend over campus would lead to social groups of ethnic because it’s culturally the same,” said senior diversity, a representation of the supposed Anjali Chakravarti, who associates with “melting pot” that is America. Yet, the halls of many members of Brown Town. In addition MVHS do not reflect this. In fact, 57 percent to socializing at school, members of Brown of students surveyed in the February El Town attend events like birthday parties to Estoque Survey said that the people they ate which only other members of Brown Town lunch or brunch with are of the same ethnicity are invited, according to Chakravarti. as themselves, and 59 percent said that over “Basically, the Indian population of

Lawson [Middle School] kind of just meshed into [Brown Town],” said former member of Brown Town and senior Reeti Banthia. “The reason they were in the dance group together is because they’re so comfortable with each other, and they’re just really good friends. They’re basically just the same person in different forms.” Many alleged members deny Brown Town’s existence in spite of evidence that states otherwise. Senior Shivani Patel has friends that have identified themselves as members of Brown Town, yet she has a different opinion concerning the nature of the group. “There was a dance performance group two years ago, and they used [Brown Town] as a performance name. Other than that, I don’t think that there’s any Brown Town specifically,” Patel said. “No one’s in it, no one’s not in it. I think it was just a name that stuck around longer than it should.” Other members of ethnically homogeneous groups have similar viewpoints. When the ethnic sameness of their friend groups is pointed out, many students, including senior Barak Gila, denied any intentional racism. “I don’t think it’s an active act of racism,” Gila said about the fact that the three people he was having lunch with were all Asian. “For a long time I had this Physics group that was me, two Chinese people, and one Indian person. And then that’s diverse.” continued on page 12

Athira Penghat | El Estoque Photo Illustration

FEBRUARY 13, 2013




She’s a goal digger

Nathan Desai

While grateful for the return of hockey, America is ungrateful for Kimye’s baby


veryone deserves a second chance, right? Messing up once is understandable. Messing up twice is unacceptable. And messing up three times would probably get me fired. Gary Bettman is the commissioner of the NHL. In 1994-95, Bettman’s inability to come to an agreement with the rest of the league led to a shortened season of only 48 games, instead of the usual 82. Strike one. In 2004-05, the exact same problem occurred. The only difference was that this time, he had to cancel the entire season. Strike two. And this year, Bettman has entered his third lockout as NHL commissioner, and the league is currently in a 48 game season. Strike three. Luckily, we didn’t have to miss another entire season of hockey because Bettman was able to end the NHL lockout on

Jan. 9. However, fans despise him because this is his second lockout in eight years. Whether at the NHL draft or presenting the Stanley Cup, he just can’t catch a break. It’s probably because at the end of the day, his job as commissioner boils down to one goal: Don’t screw up the NHL. Too bad the NHL is pretty screwed up. Speaking of things that are screwed up, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are having a baby. On Dec. 31, West announced he would be a father. But I’m not questioning the couple’s reputation: West has had a plethora of chart-topping songs, and Kardashian comes from an intelligent family — her father once managed to convince an entire jury that “The Juice” was pulp-free. I think this is screwed up because we’ve seen this story too many times, and more specifically,

the criticism that comes with it. probably a hardcore hockey fan Two celebrities have a baby. The and that he is trying his best to pregnancy is closely followed by keep the league together, but his the media. The general public inability to do his job correctly is wonders what the baby will look being scrutinized by the public. like. For about a week, rumors will And the general public always spread feels like it is their job to that the criticize. Did Bettman baby is up? Yes. But did [Kardashian’s] father screw fake and his mistake warrant once managed to death threats? No. that the convince an entire w h o l e Is Kardashian’s jury that “The Juice” pregnancy going to sit uat ion was pulp-free. is just a lead to an irritating plea for amount of attention? at tention. Yes. But is this baby And to top it all off, the baby will going to directly affect you in any be given a bizarre name, like Blue way? No. Ivy or Blanket, finally putting the Instead of criticizing, we need issue to rest. to look at the glass half-full. But somehow, this baby is We should be grateful Bettman going to affect everyone’s life, didn’t have to cancel yet another including people who don’t even season and happy for this power know the couple. And every couple’s new baby. aspect of his or her life is going to I just hope their child enjoys be controversial. the taste of fish fillet. Just like Gary Bettman. I understand that Bettman is

continued from page 11 discrimination. For this reason, the faulty logic Junior Diane Hu had a similar reaction. that the student body is not “multicultural” “I have multicultural friends goddammit,” enough is also brought up to justify choices Hu said as she pointed out junior Ashutosh in friends. Jindal, the only Indian However, perhaps the student among four Asian underlying cause of the students. “You’re the most Ethnic identity is most seemingly racially selective multicultural in the vicinity.” central to friendship formation of friendships Similarly, junior Anton has less to do with race and selection. Abramson deflected any more with shared culture potential accusations of and interests. Associate Professor Jill Hamm intentional racial segregation. “Everyone [in my friend “There was just an Indian group] is more conservative guy here and he just left,” Abramson said than other people are, just in the way that when asked about the four white students our parents brought us up. We all go to the and one half-white half-Asian student in his temple, and we pray, and we celebrate Indian current friend group. festivals,” Patel said. When asked about the ethnic sameness From a psychological standpoint, it is of their friend groups, students seem to feel logical that friends are drawn together the need to disclose that they do in fact have on the basis of cultural commonalities. friends of different races, although the large School psychologist Lucas Leonard believes majority of their friends are of the same friendships and social groups may seem to race. Students fear that they will be labeled be based on race because of the common ties as racists, because they equate having friends that people of the same ethnicity share. of the same race as themselves with racial “I’m German — maybe I like goulash soup, 12

which is a German soup, and if other people are from a similar culture we can get together and eat that,” Leonard said. Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of North Carolina Jill Hamm wrote of a similar theory in a paper from 2000. Hamm agrees that students tend to associate themselves with those who are similar to themselves and adds, “Ethnic identity is most central to friendship selection for adolescents who report strongly positive feelings about or a strong sense of pride in their ethnic group.” Ultimately, it’s unclear exactly why friendships are formed, but there’s no doubt that common cultural ties are a large factor. “It’s a mixture of both [race and culture]. Because there are Indian people here, I tend to make friends with them, which is a good thing because we have things in common,” Patel said. “But I also think that we choose to because we make that effort to talk and we see we have common interests.” | EL ESTOQUE


Missing the Target

We need to keep our eyes on the long term solution: mental health.


he first mass school shooting happened armed security guard, or even more to install in the 1970s, over 40 years ago. Yet just even more extravagant security measures. this month, a 16-year old student at Furthermore, such security measures usually Taft High School in Taft, California snapped fail to stop killings from happening. Take and opened fire at school. The shooter’s the the 1999 shooting at Columbine High peers bullied him incessantly — for having School in Columbine, Colo.; despite the red hair. Clearly, schools have not confronted presence of an armed guard on campus, the the underlying cause of school shootings: shooters avoided the guard’s patrol and were bullying. And that means addressing the able to massacre 13 people and injure 21. mental health of would-be shooters. The government is moving in the right Instead, the focus is on tightening gun direction in trying to address the notable control laws and providing more school safety problem that it is too easy for shooters to measures like guards and alarms. In light of obtain guns. Obama has proposed bans on the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in assault rifles and high capacity magazines, Newtown, Conn., President Barack Obama as well as universal background checks on all issued 23 executive actions, a majority of gun purchases. These reforms have garnered which examine gun law reform. Only 3 much attention and will make it harder for addressed mental health. Although increasing shooters to get weapons, but it can’t stop gun control is a good first step to take, the here. Mentally unstable school shooters will long term focus should be on mental health. still find ways to obtain guns; with over 270 On the other hand, there should be a million privately owned guns in the United lesser focus on school safety. States, there is no way for Increasing school safety is the government to regulate the classic knee-jerk reaction. all private gun sales. Shooters are getting into Unfortunately, the schools? Make them shootermost promising solutions, proof. Ever since the 1970s, ones that aim to prevent schools have installed violence, have been given increasingly complex security the least attention. Mental OPINION OF THE EL equipment and changed health care, while harder ESTOQUE EDITORIAL school designs. According to to implement, offers a BOARD a 2008 National Center of long-term solution that Education Statistics survey, addresses the root cause of 27.2 percent of public schools shootings. But according across America already have permanently to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, stationed police officers or security since 2008, 30 states in the U.S. have cut up guards. 51.8 percent have installed security to 10 percent of mental health programs cameras, and 88.8 percent control access that address conditions which more than half to school buildings. Yes, campus security of school shooters in the past have faced. does minimize violence, but we’ve reached Furthermore, an important, yet often a point where schools already have enough undiscussed association to school shootings security — they do not need to spend an is psychiatric medication. According to the additional $27,000 a year to employ another Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights


FEBRUARY 13, 2013

International at least 31 shootings around the world have been linked to psychiatric drugs, and between 2004 and 2011, there have been over 11,000 Food and Drug Association reports of violence related to side-effects of psychiatric drugs. Yet none of this alarming data has warranted any federal investigation, perhaps because of the pervasive influence of big pharmaceutical companies. Several beneficial solutions to this problem include enforcing responsible psychiatry practices or educating the public about the negative effects of taking antidepressants and other related medications. Efforts also need to be made to identify key signs of a potential shooter. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s report in 2000, “The School Shooter: A Threat Assessment Perspective on school shooters,” a large majority of shooters reveal their feelings of extreme violence and frustration before shootings. Thus, schools can prevent shootings, if they provide the right outlets and resources for doing so. One such resource is the “School Tip Line,” a website that allows students to anonymously report violence and bullying, offering a chance to those who are afraid to speak up to bring up issues. The earlier issues like bullying and violence are caught, the less likely it is that extreme feelings like isolation and anger, emotions recurrent among shooters, will fester. The nature of school shootings is such that they violently catch the attention of the American public, then fade into the background soon after. Right now, the nation is in an uproar about regulation and security, as they are the most obvious, implementable solutions. But it’s apparent; the best way to permanently stop school shootings is to address the motivations and instabilities of potential shooters. 13

OPINION SPORTS PULSE extends the conversation from El Estoque to you, the student body, concerning the current issues of the day.

by Simran Devidasani, Mihir Patil and Ruba Shaik


raffic is the problem. Regulation is the solution. When signal lights and stop signs aren’t available or sufficient enough to control traffic near the three main schools in the area, the best option is deploying crossing guards at critical junctions on the paths to school. On Wednesdays, when both MVHS and Kennedy Middle School start at similar times, the traffic is significantly more troublesome. On the intersection of Hyannisport and Presidio, for example, a crossing guard for the Cupertino Union School District stationed for Kennedy Middle School controls traffic and ensures that both students and drivers have the right of way on Wednesdays, when the two schools’ start times collide. On the other four days, however, when the two schools do not start at similar times, the CUSD crossing

guard is not on duty, and students are able to cross, forcing cars to wait as students trickle down the crosswalk at a frequency that provides no adequate gap for cars to continue. In the federal guidelines for traffic regulation provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation “adult crossing guards may be used to provide gaps in traffic at school crossings where an engineering study has shown that adequate gaps need to be created, and where authorized by law.” In our case, the “adequate gaps” will allow vehicles to pass through traffic unhindered for short periods of time, rather than forcing them to yield entirely to crossing students. In March, when the MVHS bus circle closes up due to cafeteria construction and the parking lot changes to the drop-off zone,

El Estoque Photo | Athira Penghat

traffic guards located on McClellan would ensure lower risk. Considering 70 percent of surveyed MVHS students drive to school, while 20 percent walk, crossing guards would provide an organized system of cars and students exiting. The map to the right shows the intersections that would benefit from crossing guards. Having these guards posted at these points, we’ll be well on our way to minimizing traffic issues and eliminating our many tardies.

El Estoque Photo | Athira Penghat

CROSSING NEAR SCHOOL Both vehicles and students benefit from a crossing guard on duty.

the bottom line

Course choices insufficient in comparison to other schools in the area by Shriya Bhindwale

Newsweek places MVHS at number 87 amongst the top 1,000 high schools in the United States, and though MVHS is recognized in their sports, academics and extracurriculars, there is one thing missing— class choices. Compared to the course options at Henry M. Gunn High School in Palo Alto, which was ranked 71st in Newsweek’s Top 1,000 high schools, MVHS offers only half the number of courses they do. In addition to the six additional math classes offered at GHS, they 14 4 14

offer an astonishing 30 English courses that students can choose from, compared to the 12 offered here. Though resources and money are an issue, administration should find solutions to manage the budget between sports and academics. The lack of funding in the academic area causes a lot of students to take courses they do not want to take, thus disallowing anyone to thrive in or discover individual interests. In the world outside of MVHS, we have hundreds of unique career options to choose

from, and having a variety of classes to narrow down our interests can save us lots of time later. Just within the realm of science are thousands of choices, and if we don’t get comfortable with serious decision making at a young age, it will just make it all the more difficult when the consequences actually matter in making or breaking our future. EL EL ESTOQUE ESTOQUE



students believe that crossing guards will help control traffic

students drive or carpool to school


students walk to school per day

This data was gathered from a survey of 549 respondents.

Smaller intersections like Orange Ave. and Byrne Ave. need traffic control. The lack of control on Byrnes Ave. backs up McClellan Rd, especially on Wednesdays. Orange Ave. has a crossing guard on duty on Wednesdays, so traffic moves through faster, but does not have one on the other four school days.

The intersection between Hyannisport and Fort Baker currently has a crossing guard active on Wednesdays. This crossing guard is meant for Kennedy Middle School students, but MVHS students reap the benefits. Traffic at this intersection is managed well.

El Estoque Illustrations | Alexandria Poh

The intersection of Presidio and Ft. Baker is responsible for contributing to the backup of Bubb Rd and Hyannisport Dr. as well. Thus, it would benefit from a crossing guard.

Bathroom sanitation is simplified if communication increases  by Daniel Fernandez

Even though the custodial fund has been cut over the last few years, it is California law to maintain clean bathrooms on campus, and with over 50 percent of our bathrooms having a dysfunctional faucet, and others lacking toilet paper and soap, sanitation in our bathrooms is actually not in compliance with education code. However, to improve this situation, we don’t need to hire more janitors; we simply need to make small fixes that will ultimately keep the campus cleaner for everyone. APRIL 9, 2012 FEBRUARY 13, FEBRUARY 13, 2013 2013

The surprising thing is that resources and money are not even the issue at hand. Rather, it is that we do not have an effective system for making sure the bathrooms are regulated. Instead of allowing faulty issues to remain, it should become the responsibility of the students to make sure that everything is in working order. Rather than finding another faucet to use, or switching bathrooms altogether, students need to tell the administration what is wrong. By telling the custodial staff what parts of the bathrooms

are having issues, they will be able to focus their efforts on specific tasks, rather than constantly making sure that everything is in working over. Implementation of a poster or a box in the office, where students can directly contact the custodial staff, is the cheapest and most effective way of keeping our bathrooms clean. Take it upon yourself to keep our bathroom and school more clean. 5 15



Pain and Abel

Forest Liao

Classic novel raises questions about why I’m a horrible person


o I read “East of Eden” by John Steinbeck. It’s basically about a group of men living rough, but livable lives, until a sociopathic prostitute destroys everything. You can decide what that says about Steinbeck’s views toward women. But try not to think too hard about the fact I assumed you’d know the prostitute’s gender. Anyway, when I finished the book, something bugged me. Not about the novel, which would’ve been stupid, but about me, which was infinitely more important. I thought about it for a while before coming to a realization: All the books I read recently were set in America around 50 to 100 years ago, and they were all written by old, white men. I tried to come up with a reason for this in a sick game of “What’s wrong with Forest?” It devolved into me sobbing uncontrollably on the floor, but I finally settled on an answer: I was sexist. Discovering this was fairly devastating, but I told myself at least I wasn’t a serial killer. Or a wo— I won’t go there. So I tried to figure out why this was. Instead of looking at what my reading choices indicated about me, I decided to look at why I was sexist. I didn’t believe women were inferior to men. I did, however, believe all women were inferior to me. But because I thought the same about men, it was a moot point. No, I had to dig deeper. I had to find out why I was reading these books. Therapist me: What do you like about these books? Sexist me: I guess their tone is kind of calming. Therapist: Why do you like that? Sexist: My mind is such a brilliant hive of activity, sometimes it needs to be mollified. Therapist: And why can’t a woman writer do that? Sexist: I guess one could. But I can’t aspire to be a wo— oh... Therapist: Therein lies your problem. Sexist: So let me get this straight. I’m not sexist, but I want to be an old, white man? Therapist: Maybe. Let’s just go with that because it looks less evil. No longer sexist me: So you’re saying it makes more sense for me to admire someone a different race than of a different gender? Therapist: Yeah. Something about being raised in this culture and more natural role models and— just shut up. I wanted to become less sexist, but still read books by authors I could aspire to be like. What would I do? Then it dawned on me: I would read books solely by transgendered women. Both my problems were solved! However, I didn’t know any books by transgendered women, so I went to the only person I could for help. Me: Hey! Do you have any— My brother: If I give you five bucks, will you get the hell out of my room? Me: Sure. My brother: Awesome.


As I counted my money, I realized something. What my brother was subtly hinting was right: I needed to get over myself. I could admire a calm woman writer just as much as an old white man, and with my newly acquired money, I would buy a female-authored book to destroy my prejudice. The one I had in mind was perfect; it even had a soothing title: “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath. I’d also heard she’d written “Daddy,” a charming little poem about the joys of fatherdaughter relationships. Yes, I was on my way to calm open-mindedness. EL ESTOQUE

Letter to the Editor Letters of any length should emailed to, mailed, or dropped off in Room A111. El Estoque may edit for length, clarity or factual accuracy. Letters cannot be returned and will be published at El Estoque’s discretion.

Club Commission thorough, ‘strict in passing clubs’ To the Editor: The article criticizing Club Commission on how it passes clubs from the last El Estoque issue [“Club Impossible”, Dec. 17] reveals poor research on the part of the author. For one, the author seems like he/she had never taken the time to research the materials she was writing about and instead wrote an article based solely on assumptions. To clarify, Club Commission has a strict guideline on how we pass clubs. We are more than aware of the large number of clubs on campus. However, we are not apathetic to this problem as the El Estoque article suggests, and we do reject the majority of clubs that apply. The main reason we reject most clubs is if there is another club already existing that is similar to the applied club. The article is offensively presumptuous in assuming that we accept any club that applies, citing only the numerous clubs on campus as evidence. However, the large number of clubs already on campus is the result of a gradual increase in clubs since 1969, the opening of Monta Vista , and not because we pass just any

club that applies. A look at the club application online shows that we are strict in passing clubs, even warning future applicants that we are selective in passing new volunteer clubs, the most popular type of application, due to a surplus of service clubs on campus. Club Commission is currently working on a Club Book that will provide information of all clubs on campus that future applicants can use to refer to in order to check about whether or not there is already an existing club that is similar to their proposed club. While we (Club Commission) are completely open to feedback, we ask that articles written about us show proper research instead of being filled with assumptions and telling us what we already know: that there are a lot of clubs on campus and that the club application process should be selective. Aside from that, we still love El Estoque and enjoyed the rest of the articles! (: Love, Club Commission

Double VISION Juniors Kevin and Tyler Yin share birthdays and a love for the arts by Anjali Bhat

20 20



unior Tyler Yin grins as his brother, Kevin, tries to hop up onto his back. They struggle to keep their balance; piggyback riding was a lot easier when they were younger. “Dude, we haven’t done this in five years,” Kevin says. “We can. You’re just not cooperating,” Tyler responds with a laugh. But it seems to me that otherwise, the twin brothers seem to work together in perfect harmony. The boys relax and tease each other before the Winter Concert in two hours. Tyler, an artist, shakes his head as Kevin invites me to the performance –– but he’s joking. The two love and support each other, and as they foster their talents in art and music, they aspire to work together when they’re older.


bring out the best within each other. “I try to make it known that my brother’s a musician,” Tyler said. “Sometimes people recognize us, but they’ll ask me, ‘Oh, you’re the art one, right?’ And they don’t really know Kevin for who he is. I want them to know that he’s just as talented.”

It takes two With art comes the imminent question of future careers. Tyler and Kevin have considered several: teaching, performing, animating or directing. But their “double vision,” would be to combine their talents. The idea occurred to them after Tyler attended the intensive California Early companions State Summer School for the Arts in the summer of 2012. As a final The arts have always found their way project, Tyler had to create a 30-second into the Yin household. Even though the animation complete with an original boys’ parents come from more conventional soundtrack. He turned to his brother backgrounds –– their father, Hongfeng for help, knowing Kevin would better Yin, is a chemical engineer, and their understand his ideas than his musically mother, Lina Li, is an accountant –– they talented roommate. The brothers agree have always encouraged their sons to excel that the best option would be to work creatively. together when they’re older, creating “My mom first started learning piano as something reminiscent of Disney’s an adult just to have fun, and Tyler and I “Fantasia.” really liked it,” Kevin said. “We said, ‘Oh, Knowing that high school may be we want to learn that!’ I still remember the last time their sons are involved in the song, ‘Nutcracker’s Arabian Dance’ academics, their parents advise them to [because] she was always practicing it. We take advantage of basic education and were about five years old, and my parents be explorative of colleges that would took us to a teacher and the rest is history; best cultivate their talents. we just loved music.” “I have an open mind to my sons Once inseparable in all their endeavors pursuing artistic jobs. I don’t know too –– art, music and swimming –– the brothers much about the field, but at school they eventually embraced different avocations. keep telling you to reach for your dream A hiatus from swimming allowed Kevin and follow your passion, and I just and Tyler to further their studies in art and want my sons to do what they want,” music. Hongfeng said. “There may be lots of opportunities for them or there may be Rising artists very few. But I’m just trying to learn Tyler devotes five hours a week to being and keep an open mind while they’re a teacher’s assistant and student at Yunhua at this age.” Fang Art Studio in Cupertino. At school, Their father thinks these Tyler is in Brian Chow’s Art 3 class, but opportunities may eventually separate also challenges himself to create pieces the brothers, who have always been outside of class or for other people in order very close. The brothers, however, to practice and gain inspiration. Tyler is also BUILDING SUPPORT: Juniors Kevin (top) maintain that they would never lose the president of the Art Club. and Tyler Yin goof off in their backyard touch and will continue to actively “Working with Tyler is fun because he’s communicate even if they don’t end up trying a stunt they haven’t attempted working together. very creative and he gets pretty excited about art,” said vice president of Art Club since childhood. Even their dream schools are nearly junior Shannon Wu. “He really brings this 100 miles apart. To prepare themselves energy to the club that I really admire, and it’s pushing Art Club in a for a professional life in art, the boys would like to attend specialized really new and good direction that hasn’t happened in the past.” schools that offer full scholarships for exceptionally talented students. Both art and music require dedication, but there is a significant Tyler is especially interested in The Cooper Union, a highly selective difference in how the brothers refine their skills. Kevin, vice president fine arts university in Manhattan, while Kevin aspires to study at of The Musicians’ Society, must spend more time with music in order the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. However, to retain his muscle memory and proficiency. He is both a pianist and admission is not a determining factor in the brothers’ decision to cellist, and practices at least four hours a day, often driving his family continue pursuing their interests. members crazy with loud and repetitive melodies. While he doesn’t “Even though those colleges would help us pursue our passions, we procrastinate on school work intentionally, his extensive practice often don’t need it,” Tyler said. “Who knows what could happen? You might leads him to start homework at 10 p.m. drop out, or you might not get in. You can still do something, though. As a mutual friend, Wu has noticed that the boys are not only Some way or the other we’re going to keep art and music in our lives.” brothers but also best friends. Living under the same roof often allows them to offer each other constructive criticism, and rather than competing like typical siblings, the two continually make an effort to FEBRUARY 13, 2013




Soumya Kurnool

The granny wears Prada

After having her Cinderella moment, this columnist prefers jeans and a hoodie


I hate eyeliner. I hate it with a passion. Especially that cursed Loréal Paris Telescopic variety that my mom keeps forcing on me. And boy, do I get grumpy with eyeliner on because 1) I look like a zombie; 2) it is a pain in the neck to get off; and 3) even your AP Chemistry teacher doesn’t need to tell you that strutting around with propylene glycol (a component of eyeliner and antifreeze, of all things) is just not hot. But alas! I joined the troupe of so called “hotties” for three days thanks to eyeliner-laden makeovers generously provided by my beloved head editor. And although several of my editors were of the opinion that my “sexy outfits” would “seduce” and that the gents would soon start dropping like flies, it was soon evident that nothing was going to be dropping besides the temperature, much to the chagrin of my overexposed legs.

skirt was itchy. The wind kept hitting my bare knees, which should have been buried under the warm embrace of denim jeans. I was praying for 3 p.m. to come, and quickly. But sadly, it did not ring before the following happened: 1) My usual brunch group stopped, stared, and collectively gasped and pointed their fingers at me. “A skirt! A skirt!” “OOOOOOH” “Pretty!” “You should always dress like this!” “I’m so proud of you!” “Looking niceeeeeeeee.” 2) I was psychoanalyzed by my friend, Jar-Jar Binks. “I mean the shirt, could be you. But the skirt? The skirt!? That throws me off. Or maybe it’s the puffed sleeves...” 3) A good friend, who I fondly call “Camarade de classe,” voiced approval saying, “Good job! You finally look like a girl!”

We meet again... Eyeliner. I’m watching you. I’m watching you as you are being applied on my eyelids. Good grief! Good grief! Good grief! Cold. Too cold. Too cold of a liquid to be touching my face at this time of morning. Just smile. Don’t be scary. Rain is on the forecast. Will the eyeliner drip down my face? Will I look emo? Will my teachers kick me out for looking creepy? Talk about being a hot mess.

Continue the streak For the next two days, I continued to dress “fashionably,” with a soft blue cable knit dress reaching until mid-thigh, solid black tights, and sneakers (Sorry, forgot my boots!) on Wednesday and then a leather half jacket over a flowery pink top, blue skinny jeans, and boots on Thursday. For once, I was à la mode. I didn’t feel much different, though. I still spouted out my much loved “Good grief!” and “Shucks!” on a frequent basis; I still managed to make the worst puns ever in AP Stats; I was still the odd one to keep laughing at Mr. Birdsong’s jokes, even when the class was dead silent. Yet my friends seemed to keep a distance from me, looking at me, as if to say, “Oh boy, she’s dressing up again? What happened to the old Soumya?” which didn’t even happen when I wore an afro or when I painted my whole face with the tricolor French flag last semester. And I seemed to gain the attention of the more fashionable ones on campus (or so I imagined) who stared at me probably a second or two longer than normal, as if to ask, “Who does she think she is? And that shade of eyeshadow totally doesn’t match those ... sneakers?”

Trippy Tuesday Okay, maybe I looked nice in those photos that my friends took of me—preserving the moment when the grandma was finally wearing a skirt and makeup. But really, while donning a frilly purple blouse, a light cotton jacket, metallic flats, and a (scandalous) black and white striped skirt that was above the knees (radical for me), my feet were killing me. The

Free Friday And on Friday, I was back to normal. Just like that. Back to my bright green hoodie and good ol’ denim jeans. I could see confusion on the faces of some, disappointment on the faces of others. “Aww, you’re normal again,” one said. Quickly catching herself, “I mean, that’s not bad or anything...” I think people were let down because they effectively made a Disney movie out of the last three days of my life. Almost like a Cinderella story, except I was a self-imposed slob with no evil stepsisters or stepmothers. I found a fairy godmother, who transformed me into “prettier Soumya,” with new clothes and a new look ... And then, poof! Back to normal. Tragic ending. Boohoo. Well, my friends, bawl no longer because I am no more like Cinderella than I am like Arnold Schwarzenegger. I’m still 17, going on 71, and no amount of eyeliner or lipstick will ever change that. Especially not that rotten Loréal...

Shuyi Qi | El Estoque Photo Illustration

FEBRUARY 13, 2013




Students customize their lockers to feel at home, secure by Yashashree Pisolkar and Angela Wang


n a typical winter morning, the hallways of MVHS are empty in sixth grade, the two girls grew closer and decided to share a locker and dimly lit. But as soon as junior Maria Kosta arrives on for the first time this year. Planning locker decorations meant dividing campus, she adds life to the empty hallway by opening a locker book space, but also sending each other friendship pictures and full beams of red, purple, orange, yellow and blue. Arriving students inspirational quotes (“Hakuna Matata” is Pithawala’s favorite). are wonderstruck by the colors as they walk by. “It’s not... just a brown locker. Our personality comes through our Kosta nonchalantly unpacks her backpack and switches off the locker,” Pithawala said, and her locker buddy agrees. mini disco ball. “When people walk by and see our locker, they ask questions,” “Every time I open my locker I just smile,” Kosta said, referring to Kumar said. the many renovations that she made this semester. “The disco ball is The girls also leave reminders for each other via a whiteboard my newest addition.” attached inside the locker door (“Bring money!” says one). Likewise, According to a recent El Estoque survey, a quarter of the students Kosta keeps track of her busy after school plans –– most of which surveyed spend nine or more hours on campus. include rehearsals in the Black Box –– by pinning rows of Because of the amount of time students yellow sticky notes to the inside door of her locker. spend on campus, lockers serve as convenient But the most noticeable features of anyone’s locker Our personality comes are inspired by what the student does to make themselves storage areas for heavy textbooks and school through our locker. materials. More importantly, lockers serve as more at home. For Kosta, the disco ball in her locker unique reminders of home — they are personal draws from the explosion of color she describes on her sophomore Zoish Pithawala spaces for self-expression, homely comfort bright orange walls; the posters plastered in her locker, and in Kosta’s case, glamourous awakening on forbidden at home, draw from her rebellious nature. In unforgiving school mornings. addition, pictures of friends and friendly notes from her For others, lockers’ role as a comforter comes with its utility as. locker partner junior Tanya Rios reassure Kosta that she can seek solace Senior Whitney Chung and her friends use their locker as a place in comforting reminders of home and family. to store food. Chung claims that within one week, the girls have “Whenever I’m having a bad day at school, or have just gotten an the capacity to consume four pounds of red licorice and 76 home F minus-minus-minus on a math test, I just look at the smiling pictures baked chocolate-chip cookies. [in my locker] and say, ‘I should be happy,’” Kosta said. “I enjoy school “During finals week, [the food] is something to look forward to,” –– it’s just the workload at this school that I don’t enjoy … but people Chung said. “Or if you forget your lunch, you are comforted that there have described me as [someone who is] ‘full of life,’ and every time I will always be food there.” open my locker, that’s the way I feel.” Across the school in the A building, sophomores Tara Kumar and | Zoish Pithawala’s locker serves as a base for friendship. After meeting 22


DISCO BOX Junior Maria Kosta’s locker showcases her “disco ball,” a magnetic chandelier she uses to light up her bottom locker on dark mornings. She hopes to sync the flashing lights to the beats of One Direction’s “What Makes You Beatutiful.”

“Having posters in my locker is my version of rebelling ... [my mom] doesn’t let me put up posters in my room.” -junior Maria Kosta STORING SWEET COMFORT “It’s something to look forward to,“ senior Whitney Chung said of the desserts which she and senior Aditi Nataraj often race to reach.

% 6 9 of students spend five or more hours a day on campus*

PICTURING HOME For junior Maria Kosta, decoration started with a picture and developed into tradition. “I just... make it my own little world,” she said.

LOCKERMATES Sophomores Tara Kumar and Zoish Pithawala split their locker in half, but they integrate their love for Disney and dance into their locker decor.

% 5 5 of students are involved with extracurriculars that require staying after school* *548 students participated in ths online survey Margaret Lin | El Estoque Photo Illustration

FEBRUARY 13, 2013



Snow use trying

Carissa Chan

In which my family travels to Tahoe, and I revive an old rivalry with my father


veryone says that there are three types of skiers and volume. When we finally reached the top of the mountain, my father — snowboarders: Beginner, intermediate and advanced. But there’s for no clear reason — suddenly began to sing. another category — the ones who misuse their speed and agility, After that, the day was actually rather normal. We worked on choosing to dump snow on the hapless heads of the fallen. backcountry and difficult terrain for hours, and when they closed it off It just so happens that my family fits perfectly into this archetype. at night for safety reasons, my father and I made our way back to the For years, I’ve expected to be banned from every single resort in the bottom to race. That’s when things started to get less normal. Lake Tahoe area. We haven’t yet, so at four in the morning over winter I didn’t expect to be faster than my dad, since skis are more break, we drove up for a day. streamlined, but I’ve beaten all the other skiers I’ve raced. So we made For you to fully understand this story, I have to take you back 15 our way over to the bunny slope, the only one still open late at night. years. The first winter I could stand up on my own, before I could even When I saw my father eyeing all the beginners littering the snow, I walk, I was stuffed into a snow suit and strapped into tiny skis, propped sternly set up one ground rule: No knocking over any of the beginners. up at the top of the hill, and my skiing career began. My father agreed much too brightly, so I modified I spent the next few years mastering every skiing my rule: No knocking over, squealing, clapping, scaring, skill. Because my toddler self couldn’t remember No knocking over pushing, shrieking, whacking, tripping or otherwise the technical terms, my father assigned a food to any of the beginners disturbing any of the beginners. correspond to each technique. “Pizza” was for He responded with a scowl. the A-plow, “french fries” meant parallel skis and We started our race, and for a while, I actually thought “spaghetti” referred to the parallel S-turn. Whenever I sped down I was going to win. In fact, I was ahead for 90 percent of the run. In the slopes, my father coaching me from above, it sounded like he was the last several yards, however, my father passed me, flapping his arms ordering off a Denny’s menu. like a bird before coming to a stop at the base of the mountain, pleased I started snowboarding when I was 10, and for a few years, I juggled with himself. When I reprimanded him for flaunting his victory, he the two before choosing to focus on the snowboard. My father has replied innocently, “I wasn’t. I wanted to see if I could fly.” responded to this decision by incessantly reminding me why I should Frustrated with losing yet again to him, I finally caved and said the switch back to what, in his opinion, is the superior sport. He has also words I thought he’d been waiting to hear for the past four years. grown to enjoy purposely embarrassing me whenever I’m on a board, “Fine,” I sighed. “Next time, I’ll bring up my old skis and we’ll race. apparently so I will associate negativity with snowboarding. I’ll beat you for sure.” This time, my father insisted on piling layers of scarves, bandannas “You can’t,” my father sang, skiing away. “I sold them on Craigslist.” and hats onto his head to keep his ears warm, so he couldn’t hear that well. Our conversations thus involved his speaking at twice the usual


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Guns and government Gun culture through hunting-store owner Harry Dwyer III’s eyes by Anupama Cemballi and Forest Liao


hen you walk into Kerley’s, the first been buying guns. thing to greet you is a pouncing lion. Not many at our school seem to support Luckily, it’s stuffed. this. In our recent survey of 549 students, only Located off of Stevens Creek two lots 7 percent answered that the recent increase down from Lee’s Sandwiches, Kerley’s is in gun sales was a positive thing, 37 percent a hunting and outfitting store that’s been were neutral and a slight majority of 53 around as long as our school — since 1969. percent perceived it as negative. Guns line the walls and are also displayed Dwyer believes those advocating stricter in glass service counters, and taxidermy of gun laws are looking at the issue from the moose, ducks, boar, a cat and a rooster can be wrong angle. seen from just the front door. “There are 300 million people in this The shop is owned by Harry Dwyer III, country, right?” Dwyer said. “And 11 who bought the store in 2007. Initially, he thousand people a year get killed with guns was only a customer, but after several years [through homicide]. More people die from he was offered a job. medical errors than Initially he resisted, die from guns. Having but eventually Dwyer said that, would I like went to work for Whenever you tell people to see fewer people die Kerley’s in September that you’re not going to let from guns? Of course I of 1995. would.” D w y e r ’ s them buy a product, they He feels that background as a want to buy it. And I think restricting rights for all small-machine parts that many people view the citizens because of the business owner has actions of a few is an helped him manage government, as far as gun overcorrection. Kerley’s, and under rights, as an adversary. “There are two his ownership, the different philosophies,” Gun shop owner Harry Dwyer III shop has been moving he said. “One philosophy toward gunsmithing is that you punish the as well as expanded to people who misbehave, three times its previous size. This has paid off, and you leave everybody else alone. The as the shop has never been busier. other one is, essentially, restrict everyone’s But Kerley’s isn’t the only gun shop that’s rights. And my reading of the Constitution is seen more business. In July — before the that the Second Amendment constrains the Aurora shooting — 1,289,585 background government’s right to restrict our gun rights. checks were run nationwide on prospective The Second Amendment provides the average gun owners. But by the month of December person with the means to provide themselves that number was 2,776,105, a 215 percent self-defense. It also provides the people as a increase and the highest amount since the community [the means] to oppose a tyrannical Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act government.” was passed in 1993. The Brady Act requires As a Libertarian, Dwyer believes our background checks for all prospective gun government — through laws, regulations and owners and is instituted nationwide by the other factors — has too big a hand in citizens’ FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background lives. On a small scale he cites being required Check System, or “NICS.” Some states, to wear seatbelts as something Americans including California, run their own checks, but should be responsible for themselves without regardless, all checks are recorded. Although government involvement. On a larger scale he not all checks lead to a purchase, they’re a believes that regulations for small businesses good indicator that more people have recently make them harder and more expensive to


maintain, leading to more control for larger companies. Dwyer believes those that agree with him are responsible, at least in part, for the increase in gun sales. “Whenever you tell people that you’re not going to let them buy a product, they want to buy it,” Dwyer said. “And I think that many people view the government, as far as gun rights, as an adversary.” And besides exercising their rights, people also buy guns for a variety of other reasons. “There are people who use their guns to shoot and hunt, and there are people that target shoot. There’s overlap between those two groups,” he said. “Then there’s people that own guns in case something bad happens.” For those who hunt, Dwyer is often paid to lead expeditions, where he helps track game, cook meals and make sure his clients “have a good time.” Just this January, he led a threeday hunt for wild boar. For those who are new to using firearms, Dwyer also offers classes on gun safety. Even those who no longer shoot can stay connected to the culture. About a year after Dwyer began work at Kerley’s, an elderly man and long-time customer named Andy began coming to Kerley’s in the early afternoon. He would sit in the store’s lounge, now named “Andy’s Place,” and watch hunting videos, even though he no longer went hunting, until his daughter came to pick him up in the evening. A few years later he passed away. “He was kind of deaf,” Dwyer said. Because of this, Andy would sometimes be asked to turn down the volume. Although gun culture plays a large part in Dwyer’s life, and despite his Libertarian views, Dwyer does believe background checks for prospective gun owners are necessary. He opposes a government record of such checks, but he feels that more steps should be taken to prevent the mentally ill from obtaining guns. “There’s always a struggle between freedom and regulation, and it’s important to find a balance between the two,” Dwyer said. |


TOP Reporter Forest Liao looks on as Harry Dwyer III, the owner of Kerley’s, shows reporter Anupama Cemballi how to aim a Colt M4 Carbine. RIGHT In honor of longtime patron Andy, a sign proclaiming “Andy’s Place” is under the television he would watch everyday in the store’s lounge. BOTTOM A 30-year-old taxidermied lion stands at the front of Kerley’s, a hunting and outfitting store. Many more animals are situated throughout the shop.

Margaret Lin | El Estoque

FEBRUARY 13, 2013



Looking at the law Explaining our national and state gun laws by Christopher Song

Tough California According to the California Department of Justice, each prospective handgun owner must register with the Department of Justice and provide proof of having taken a safety course. In addition, California bans the purchase and possession of assault rifles. Because of these additional restrictions, California is considered by many to have one of the strictest set of gun laws in the nation.


According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the only nationallevel restrictions in place on the purchase of guns is a minimum age — 21 for handguns and 18 for long gun — as well as a ban on the sale of firearms to specific people, such as convicted felons and those with dangerous mental illnesses.

New York — ­ new national model?


New York has recently passed the strictest gun law in the entire nation, which includes provisions that expand the definition of an assault rifle, thus broadening the already effective ban on the weapon. The new law also widens the ban against those with mental illnesses in an attempt to prevent unstable individuals from gaining access to firearms. According to a 2013 article from ABC news, supporters of additional gun laws are calling the New York bill a model for the national government to enact.

• Reinstating a ban on some assault rifles, which expired in 2004

This legislation is not about hunters, sportsmen or legal owners who use their guns appropriately. It is about reducing gun violence and making New York a safer place to live. New York governor Andrew Cuomo

National vs. State law Gun laws have become convoluted in part because different types of guns receive different treatment at the state and federal levels. What one state may consider a rifle another may consider an assault rifle, and some states, such as California, have their own unique set of restrictions.

Gun shows: a gap in the law

In response to the recent shootings, the White House has new plans to regulate guns. These include:

• Requiring background checks for all buyers, including those at gun shows • Spending $20 million to improve background check system • Appointing a director to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, an organization that has not had a permanent director since 2006

Buying guns at gun shows allows prospective gun owners to bypass the required background checks for gun owners. 28



Statistical Breakdown

71 percent of school shooters feel bullied, persecuted or threatened in some way by others. U.S. Department of Education, 2002

Teachers, students make efforts to move forward in light of the recent school shootings by Smitha Gundavajhala and Jennifer Lee


riminologist Jackson Toby wrote in a 2001 issue of Weekly Standard that “although mass murders inside of American schools are statistically very, very rare, when they do occur, they are more likely to take place in good suburban schools than in bad inner-city schools.” The same is true more than 10 years later. On Dec. 14, 2012, 20 children and six adults were fatally shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Just one day prior to that, a bomb threat directed at an MVHS teacher was scrawled in graffiti at three schools in the Cupertino area. “You always think of Cupertino as being a little twinkling bubble, but then this and the cement plant thing last year — it’s weird, like a wake up call,” said junior Allyson Gottlieb, a student of the MVHS teacher who was threatened in December. “We think, ‘Oh, it happened somewhere else. It’ll never happen here!’ And then stuff like this happens here.” As identified by the Hartford Courant, over 80 percent of America’s 21 worst massacres happened in suburban or rural areas, as did each of the five worst school massacres. The recent gun control legislation assumes that guns are the problem, but according to Toby, the shooters are the ones who need help. Toby writes, “The more exalted the reputation of a school, the worse it is for a student who feels trapped in such a school.” It makes sense, then, that the first line of defense consists of those that spend the most time with these students: the teachers. Across the nation, including at MVHS, many teachers are taking the initiative to approach and help students who have difficulty engaging. English teacher Vennessa Nava relies on her personal observations of students’

FEBRUARY 13, 2013

Margaret Lin | El Estoque

interactions and behavior in the classroom, support] going on for all, you will have fewer in particular looking to help those who seem that need that degree [of help]. No matter what quiet and less engaged. Yet Nava is also we do, though, there are a certain amount wary of speculation, since a quiet student’s of mental health problems,” Altmann said. disconnect may simply be a matter of personal “We’re not going to eliminate it 100 percent.” Even simply identifying students that need preference and relationship. “It almost becomes a tacit kind of process, help, especially with students whose problems where you just get a feeling about certain are not as outwardly apparent, requires deep people … because some students gel with psychological thinking. “With the shooter at Sandy Hook, they had teachers and some students don’t gel with certain teachers,” Nava said. “As a teacher, I stuff all over the news about his psychological have to assess whether that student is going well-being. I’d love to know what the guy to be receptive to me being the one to reach who [made the bomb threat] was thinking,” Gottlieb said. “But his name out and say, ‘Hey, is shouldn’t be equal to a everything okay?’” We know certain celebrity’s name, where you School psychologist things about stressors don’t know the names of the Sheila Altmann notes that that put people at risk. victims.” there is no strict formula Yet it must be noted that to detect warning signs How people break often the problem starts with that indicate a student is down is different. in-school bullying. In “The Final at risk. The susceptibility school psychologist Report and Findings of the Safe of a student depends on Sheila Altmann School Initiative,” the Secret the specific stressors in Service and U.S. Department his or her environment. of Education compiled crime Change of any sort can be particularly stressful, building pressure that statistics suggesting that 71 percent of school gradually becomes more difficult to deal with. shooters felt bullied, persecuted or threatened “It’s very much individual factors,” in some way by others. And while there are Altmann said. “It could be genetic factors, many external factors, according to Nava, constitutional factors, home environment, each individual case has to be examined in the stressors in their life … We know certain depth to prevent a potential shooting. “It isn’t about the academics at that point; things about stressors that put people at risk. you need to make sure that the student is How [people] break down is different.” While each student may need a different emotionally equipped to focus on school, but kind of help, the main goal, according to you need to take care of the emotional side Altmann, is to prevent such incidents by first,” Nava said. “You have to start with the maintaining a general state of psychological individual and open discussions there.” well-being, then working inward to help students individually. “It’s like a funnel; if you have [psychological | 29

Homeland security

Emergency police response tested during during recent bomb threat by Mihir Joshi and Morahd Shawki


Bomb-sniffing dogs Law enforcement officers Bomb squad Makeshift command center

Perimeter to Fort Baker Dr. and Hyannisport Dr. intersection

The School Resource Officers outline the reaction to the bomb threat that took place on the morning of Dec. 13, 2012: • Teams of two bomb sniffing dogs and their handlers cycled in and out of the campus. • Multiple teams waited at the command center. • One team would enter the campus, sweep a main building, and return to prevent desensitizing the dogs. Then the next team would enter.

Perimeter to Linda Vista Dr. and McClellan Rd. intersection Perimeter to Bubb Rd. and McClellan Rd. intersection

n the course of 50 days, three FUHSD campuses have been shut down due to different incidents. Throughout all of this, local law enforcement and the FUHSD office have been putting to practice the drills and protocols upon situations for years we’ve been training for. On Dec. 13, 2012, students were turned away from the school and instructed to go home by officers holding the perimeter. But school resource officer Thomas Bond learned about the situation when a colleague walked into his cubicle dressed in a bomb squad uniform. School resource officers have the responsibility of being the liaisons between members of the district and the sheriff’s office. As such, their role becomes much more prominent on days such as the recent bomb threat and other dangerous scenarios. They hold much of the responsibility for the security of school campuses. Deputies Thomas Bond and Dean Baker outline law enforcement and school administration’s role in dealing with a threat. “We treat everything as a real threat,” Baker said. “It doesn’t matter whether it seems likely or not.” The response protocols to these kinds of threats have gone largely unchanged in the past decade or so, save for minor adjustments in response to the Columbine shootings of 1999. In response to the bomb threat, the Cupertino Sheriff’s department worked with officers from the federal offices, the courts and out-ofcounty departments. If the police were to ever deal with an actual school shooter, their response would be much more active. According to Bond, the first three or four officers on sight would form team dedicated to “neutralizing the threat.” The next group of officers to arrive would begin to set up a perimeter and search for anybody in need. For a bomb threat, there are many different situations the police


Alex Poh | El Estoque

face. If it involved a student in possession of a bomb they are actively threatening to detonate, the response would be similar to that of a shooter. If a package with a bomb is found, it is up to the bomb squad to determine if nearby residents should be evacuated. The administration and staff are tasked with providing law enforcement with all of the information and access they need. Meanwhile, they also deal with contacting students and their families with information and updates. After the threat is neutralized, the administration decides as to when school should resume once the investigation is concluded. As per Assistant Principal Brad Metheany the administration focuses on preventative measures when it comes to the safety and emotional stress of MVHS students. “I would feel pretty bad if [a student] was [emotionally] hurt,” Metheany said. “It’s hard enough to take biology here.” Assistant Principal Brad Metheany was surprised by the reaction — or lack thereof — of the students and parents. At 7:05 a.m., the district started calling parents to notify them of the bomb threat. Instead of being flooded with calls from concerned members of the community, the phone lines stayed relatively silent while the administration were busy at work with the authorities, what Metheany thinks is a sign of how safe and secure the MVHS community truly feels. Metheany praises the MVHS staff members on their ability to communicate and spread information in order to ensure student safety. He also commends Principal April Scott for her constant communication with the authorities, taking dozens of calls that day while keeping the lines of communication open for whoever needed it. | EL ESTOQUE


Measuring school safety by Ashley Ding and Alaina Lui

Metal scanners Hired guards 10.1% 45.2%

According to Campus Supervisor Ruben Delgado:

Locker searches 57.1%

Safety ranking of MVHS: 10+ Main security measure: 16 security cameras “We have administration and myself that walk the campus during lunch and brunch to make sure kids belong here.�



The National School Boards Association ranked schools according to their level of harshness. Percentages reflect the number of school districts that are implementing each specific measure.

Security cameras

Closed lunchtime campus |

FEBRUARY 13, 2013


After struggling through a rough childhood and years of what he described as “getting nowhere,” he found himself at a dead end. This is the

story of how senior Brandon Townsend became a fighter. BY CARISSA CHAN WITH PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARGARET LIN


he first time senior Brandon Townsend got into a fight, he was in fourth grade. Another kid tried to take his lunch money, he remembers, so Townsend promptly decked him. It was the start of many years in which he would resort to solving problems with his fists. Today, Townsend is 17 years old. He leans forward as he talks about his life, thinking carefully before he speaks. He still fights, too — though it’s not the kind of scuffles he was once involved in. “See this?” he asks, pointing at the letters “AKA” embroidered on his black beanie. “‘American Kickboxing Academy.’ MMA is where it’s at.” And when he smiles, his eyes light up. Rough beginnings The city of Stockton, Calif., is located in the San Joaquin County of the Central Valley region. With FBI data indicating 1,417 violent crimes — murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault — per 100,000 people, it was named the 10th most dangerous city in the U.S. by the Wall Street Journal in 2012. It is also the place where Townsend grew up. Throughout his childhood, Townsend struggled with behavior problems, constantly getting involved in fights and acting up at school because others picked on him so often. “Stockton has a lot of guns, weapons, gangsters, drugs, alcohol,” Townsend said, counting each one on his fingers. “There were always a lot of bullies, people bigger than you, stronger than you, and they always wanted to


take your things. Then push comes to shove, With the help of MVHS wrestling coach shove comes to punch, and it just escalates Ian Bork, Townsend learned to channel his from there.” energy and athleticism into wrestling. Townsend says he lacked motivation to “[Townsend] is driven and has self-belief,” work hard in academics, largely because he Bork said. “Even through injuries and lack of did not have a clear goal in mind. Multiple support, he just keeps working hard.” school suspensions — and near expulsions — When wrestling season ended, Townsend later, he realized how dissatisfied he was with still felt the desire to continue MMA. In the doing nothing. He wanted direction in his life. summer after his sophomore year, he joined the So when he met American Kickboxing Academy an old friend who Then push comes to in Sunnyvale, Calif., where had recently gotten has been training ever shove, shove comes he involved in mixed since. He progressed quickly, martial arts, it caught to punch, and it just becoming an experienced his attention. The two escalates from there. fighter while learning started a backyard senior Brandon Townsend discipline as he invested fight club, sparring hours into both training with each other after school and inviting and getting caught up with schoolwork. friends over to box. Five months later, “I needed to find something to help Townsend was interested enough to start me keep going in school,” Townsend training at a gym. There, he focused on Muay said. “Once I got into MMA, I started Thai, a combat sport from Thailand similar to doing a lot better; I got better grades and I kickboxing, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. started acting better at home.” A new city At the end of his sophomore year, Townsend moved to Cupertino, Calif. to live with his grandmother and found himself in a place entirely different from his old home. At MVHS, Townsend seemed like a normal enough kid with green eyes, a sturdy build and blondish-brownish hair shaved close to his head. Most of his classmates weren’t even aware of what Townsend, who cracks jokes regularly in class, had been through — or how much it took to get him to where he was.

Full contact in the cage When Townsend steps into the cage, he’s ready for combat. But as he faces his opponent, sizing him up, what goes on in his head is much different nowadays. He says he was all too eager to jump into fights before, impulsively pummeling whoever got near him. In MMA, he takes a more mindful approach, looking for his competitor’s weaknesses and playing a smart game, a style that Bork describes as “unfiltered aggression yet technical.” continued on page 34 EL ESTOQUE


FEBRUARY 13, 2013


SPORTS continued from page 33 Though MMA is considered a highly physical sport, Townsend says that training has actually helped him become a more mellow person overall — at least when he’s not in competition. “They teach you how to handle your actions so you don’t get out of hand and hurt someone,” Townsend said. Even in the midst of striking and grappling, he emphasizes the importance of holding respect for his opponents and viewing them as peers to learn from. With a grin on his face, Townsend proceeds to reenact his post-match routine — which, as he explains, consists of a “handshake and a hug for the man, and a smile for the camera.” A bright future Though he has only been training in MMA for a few years, Townsend sees himself continuing the sport for many more to come; he aspires to become a professional fighter, saying that it would be the perfect career for him. When it’s not school wrestling season, he trains at his academy for an average of 30 hours a week. “He’s had setbacks, but he’s really good and he has so much potential,” teammate senior Justin Figueroa said. “In MMA, I know he’s going to go far.”

TAKING IT DOWN Senior Brandon Townsend demonstrates two different mixed martial arts techniques. After struggling with self-control in the past, Townsend learned to channel his aggression into excelling in sports like MMA and wrestling. To view more photos of senior Brandon Townsend, visit

And if someone tried to start a fight with Townsend today? “I would walk away,” he says without a moment of hesitation. “It’s all because of MMA. If I was my freshman self and someone was blabbing their mouth, I would probably end up punching them in the face. Nowadays, I would just look at them and be like, ‘You’re immature. I’m walking away. This isn’t my business. You’re wasting my time.’”


SPORTS OUT TO WIN Junior Aaron Wu uses his judo experience to take down his Gunn High School opponent during Senior Night on Jan. 24. Dominating throughout the match, he won 24-9 by technical fall.

Heavy duty

The science behind changing weight classes Written by Karen Feng and Amelia Yang Photography by Margaret Lin


he heater in the tight and humid wrestling room is cranked up full blast. Wrestlers in full sweats and hoods labor away at the stationary bikes with their heads down in exhaustion — all after a full dual match — to try and drop at least a pound of water weight before the tournament the next day. Maintaining weight is one of the biggest challenges in high school wrestling, with weight classes as narrow as six pounds. As body weight fluctuates due

to muscle gain or even hydration levels, high school wrestlers often struggle to make sure their weigh-ins have satisfactory results. Early in the season, high school wrestlers measure their Body Mass Index and hydration level to ensure they are healthy. First-year wrestlers often have 13 to 20 percent body fat on average and may then choose their desired weight class while taking into consideration that they must have at least 7 percent

body fat and be fully hydrated within the range, but may not cut more than 1.5 percent of their total body weight per week. Cutting weight For the past three wrestling seasons, senior Max Dygert has altered his lifestyle for the sake of maintaining or changing his weight class. Though he has jumped weight classes before, this season he is trying to drop from 138 to 132 lbs. On Jan. 15, wrestlers received a two pound

allowance for growing, changing the weight class limit from 132 to 134 lbs. According to Dygert, if a wrestler is one-tenth of a pound over the weight limit, they cannot wrestle in that class. Dropping weight classes is dangerous, as wrestlers can risk running low on energy or becoming dehydrated. However, it can be advantageous in competition. “When Dygert puts himself into shape and trains, he gets a little leaner,” head coach Kevin

It’s a Grind Coffee House 19622 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino CA (408) 446-3185 36


Klemm said. “He can cut fat easily and be big for his class. His hands are so big and strong that he really punishes his opponent.”

When you eat seven meals a day, it allows your body to get nutrients and tricks it into letting you lose more weight... [Not eating] just doesn’t work.

senior Max Dygert

To cut weight, Dygert wakes up at 6 a.m. to run for an hour before school in addition to regular wrestling practice. Instead of eating three meals a day, he eats six or seven small ones and drinks eight bottles of water. During the school day, he checks his weight and adjusts his food intake for the day accordingly. Previously, Dygert says he has tried going without food to cut weight. After doing research online and talking to his coaches, he now believes that it is not an effective method. “Some people think losing weight involves not eating, so people won’t eat,” he said. “But if you don’t eat, it starves your body so your body thinks you have no food. But when you eat seven meals a day, it allows your body to get nutrients and tricks it into letting you lose more weight... [Not eating] just doesn’t work.” Dygert has since dropped four pounds to 134 lbs and is working to drop two more to move the 132 lb weight class. If he weighs in at just one-tenth of a pound over 132 lbs, he will not be able to wrestle in that class. Gaining weight Junior Aaron Wu experienced the consequences of being overweight last year. Last season, his wrestling career came to an abrupt end when he weighed in at one pound over the weight limit at CCS. He was disqualified. Although Wu has been an athlete for his entire life — he has been a martial artist in judo since he was six — Wu faced a transition in lifestyle as he entered his first year of wrestling FEBRUARY 13, 2013

as a sophomore. Trained in the “gentle way” of judo, his build changed due to the physical intensity of wrestling. Starting last season in the 152 lb weight class, he gained weight and reached 158 lbs by the end of the season, four pounds over the weight limit. After qualifying for CCS, Wu attempted to cut back to 154 lbs before the weigh-in by sweating out water weight and wearing more clothes. Despite being a stronger wrestler overall, he started cutting weight too late and was disqualified at 155 lbs. “When Aaron Wu gets in shape, he puts on a little muscle,” Klemm said. “It is so hard to get underneath Aaron. He has a low center of gravity and he is extremely explosive.” This year, Wu took on a different approach. Knowing that he wanted to get bigger, he chose the 170 lb weight class because it fit his body and diet naturally. “Cutting [weight] makes you pretty tired and you get out of shape,” Wu said. “I personally don’t like dropping down because it requires too much work. It’s easier if I can just stay at my weight and just be bigger than everyone else in my weight.” Most of the pounds, he said, came from the intensity of the sport. He lifted two days a week for 30-40 minutes and went through one to two hours of conditioning and mat time, a fullbody workout, almost every day. “I don’t manage my food at all,” Wu said. “I just try to get whatever I can and eat as much as I can and try to not skip any meals.” Dygert and Wu have different lifestyles, both shaped around the same goal of controlling their own bodies. A single formula doesn’t work for everyone, however, and trying to fit into a narrow weight class can have dangerous consequences. Even so, it happens every year as every wrestler chooses his own weight class based on his own experience, on his maturity level, on leverage for matches or to become more fit and get in shape.

134 lbs

Max Dygert

174 lbs

Aaron Wu

Dygert does not eat more than Wu; he eats six or seven small snacks a day instead of three big meals. 6 AM run a mile 7 AM fruit, nuts, granola bar, or sandwich

cup of coffee with bread or nuts

10 AM snack. water 12 PM weigh-in, snack. water 3 PM train in sweats, snack, water 5 PM snack, water 7 PM snack. water

sandwich 3train PM

7 PM big dinner, steak

UPHILL BATTLE Captain senior Max Dygert grapples with his Gunn High School opponent on Jan. 24 Senior Night. He lost 5-11 after nearly being pinned by the No. 2 seed. 37


Everything you need to know before

getting on the ice!

Ice Skating

by Catherine Lockwood and Neesha



Beginner trick: Forward crossover


Alexandria Poh | El Estoque Photo Illustration


Remember: Wear several layers — including shirts, sweaters and jackets 1. Start gaining some momentum moving forward.

2. Keep your feet in a parallel position with your back straight and knees bent.

3. Push forward with your right skate, using the inside edge of the blade.

4. Extend your right leg behind you keeping the outside edge on the ice.

Advanced trick: Half, toe and full Walley


Look for: Comfortable and easy to move in pants, avoid jeans as they are restrictive to movement and do not dry easily 1. Prep for the trick by extending your left leg behind you and do a 180° spin.

3. Jump with your 2. Gain momentum arms across your and skate in a U-shaped formation. upper body.

Our Favorite Rinks

Ice Center Cupertino Cupertino, Calif. Indoor ice rink

Sharks Ice Center San Jose, Calif. Official practice center of the San Jose Sharks Winter Lodge Palo Alto, Calif. Outdoor ice rink

4. Land on your right foot, bringing both arms down to your side and slowly come to a stop.


Look for a strong board material in the boot to support the ankle.


Look for: Thick socks that go up to the knee

Leather care

Make sure the leather is properly waterproofed before use to prevent the leather from weakening and getting too soft.


Purchase a pair of skates with a blade that is not too soft or hard — a hard blade is brittle and may chip and a soft blade will need to be sharpened more often.

Yerba Buena Ice Rink San Francisco, Calif. Home of gold medalist Brian Boitano 38



Left, forward senior Ryosuke Oshima dribbles past a Gunn High School defender during a win on Jan. 25. The boys basketball team is led by junior Ramana Keerthi who averages 12.2 points per game and 10.7 rebounds per game. The team is ranked fourth in their league, but the CCS postseason is now out of reach. On Jan. 4, the Matadors beat Gunn High School 53-52 on a last-second shot. They beat GHS again in a 62-36 blowout for their third league win on Jan. 25. Overall the team is 10-10, and 4-4 in league play. In their league game against Wilcox High School (5-2 in league games), the Mats struggled without Keerthi, the team’s leading scorer.

An update on Matador athletics by Nathan Desai, Atharva Fulay and Robert Sulgit with photography by Margaret Lin *Statistics as of Feb. 1.

Top right, forward sophomore Brad Ohadi breaks away from a defender during MVHS’ Jan. 25 win against previously unbeaten Fremont High School. The boys soccer team has an 9-7-1 record overall and is 6-2 in league matches. Ohadi currently leads the team in assists, while his brother senior Bobak Ohadi has scored a team-leading 12 goals. The Matadors, however, have lost their chance for a CCS bid due to their league losses. The senior night game will be against rival Lynbrook High School on Feb. 13. The team has the chance of being ranked second in league. They can be promoted to the De Anza league only by winning out.

Bottom right, sophomore Kaisa Rautiainen makes a pass against Mountain View on Jan. 25. After leading for a majority of the game, MVHS was unable to hold on in the fourth quarter and lost 46-37. The girls basketball team is currently 8-10 overall, with a 3-5 record in league. The Lady Mats are in fifth place and will not qualify for the CCS playoffs this season. Co-captains seniors Nassim Moallem and Ashley Hu have been leading the team through this campaign. In their recent league game against Cupertino High School, the Lady Mats won 48-15, due to their tough defense and cohesion. The victory brought an end to the team’s four-game losing streak.

FEBRUARY 13, 2013


Get the most out of most delightful

“In the beginning, I was very bad ... Every time [my sister] made me mad, I would give her a scarf that was kind of jacked up.”

most competitive

The four classes will face off once more during the Blacklight rally on Feb. 8. Watch for video coverage.

English teacher Stacey Cler, on knitting



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last month’s question:

Which final was your most difficult?

42 percent said science 29 percent said math 8 percent said foreign language 7 percent said English


7 percent said social science

Which team will win the three-month League of Legends Tournament?

7 percent said other *273 students responded to an online poll

Cast your vote on

Volume 43, Issue 5, February 13, 2013  

El Estoque print magazine

Volume 43, Issue 5, February 13, 2013  

El Estoque print magazine