Page 1

page 5

Growing cost of college industry

page 20

Nintendo memories

page 37

Playing squash

Monta Vista High School Issue 3, Volume XLIII November 19, 2012


The Meal Plan It’s not just about what we eat, it’s how we eat it



news 5 College money

A closer look at the expanding test preparation industry

10 Campus wellness OPINION 14 staff editorial

A developing group of campus resources for mental health

12 COLUMN: Little lessons

The college industry we complain so much about is a product of our doing


Analyzing students’ eating habits at home and at school

16 bottom line Why instagram is better than its predecessors Black Friday provides an opportunity for families to bond

18 column: The Deep End ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT 20 Childhood games Looking back on video games and how they’ve changed

23 Fashion in the fall

Four students share their sartorial essentials for this season

24 COLUMN: Family matters special report 29 Food culture

25 COLUMN: No country for old women

Examining the mechanics of our daily meals and how they affect us

35 Home cooking Family-friendly recipes from a variety of cultures

sports 37 Hit the trail Students form a cycling club on campus to bike and compete

42 Squash-ed

Sophomore takes up an unusual sport




This month in tennis, volleyball, football and cross country


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 Venktatesan 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.

NOVEMBER 19, 2012

catharsis in the

KITCHEN Patrick Xie | El Estoque


ood is one of life’s simplest pleasures. First and foremost, it keeps you alive and your body functioning. But let’s be honest: That’s not nearly as important as how brownies — we are firm believers in the chewy ones — will definitely get that cute boy from your English class to go to Sadie’s with you. Or how white rice with hot, savory vegetables is the perfect accompaniment for evenings when all you want is dinner and a “How I Met Your Mother” marathon. And never, ever underestimate the love you’ll receive for bringing a friend a cup of hot coffee before a night of cramming for a big test. Of course, food is just as good when you enjoy it on your own. There’s much to be said about warm-soup belly LETTER FROM after an evening spent churning out lit essays. It’s the sort of feeling that can only be properly enjoyed alone in your room, melancholically wrapped in a blanket because hell, it’s Monday. However you consume it, food is evocative of emotion. It reminds us of what has happened and what’s to come. It fosters relationships like those that reporter junior Yuna Lee highlights in her Special Report features. Students like senior Ivana Holman regularly pick up large quantities of food to enjoy with friends in the photography room during lunch. Junior Ryan Li eats lunch with a close-knit group of dueling card-gamers behind the D-building. In a way, the people we eat with at school

are extensions of family. Families eat together, congregating around the dinner table on special occasions and Tuesdays evenings alike. It’s because as much as meal times call for refueling and a little inner peace, they also call for sharing stories, happy chatter and reconnections. We like to have our parents, siblings and friends know what’s going on in our lives, and it’s worth our while to know what’s going on in theirs. Let’s not forget that aspect of food, between club meetings at lunch and dinners eaten alone after late soccer Cynthia practices. We push & aside the experience of food when times Anushka get stressful and we’re distracted with all of our goings-on, but that’s THE EDITORS when we need it most. The importance of setting aside time to enjoy life’s basic pleasures is a cliché, but that doesn’t make it any less true. So as we leave you for this Thanksgiving break, whether your family’s holiday traditions are unorthodox or whether you have them at all, we hope that you spend some time with quality food and quality people. Make a mess mashing potatoes with a younger sibling. Join a parent in the kitchen and let your mind wander as you simmer an autumn stew. Sit down and taste something that’s going to make the entire dinner table smile. Just enjoy your food. It’s pretty great.



Correction: On page 16 of the October issue, 11 percent of students responded that they and their parents “have differing viewpoints but don’t really discuss them.” 3


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BENEFITS Increasing role of money in the college industry forces students to put a price on higher learning


t Lin | El





Margaret Lin | El Estoque

To some, shelves full of prep books and hundreds of dollars spent on testing fees may seem like the possessions of an overachiever. For many, spending money toward college admission without hesitation is becoming the norm. by Rachel Beyda and Angela Wang


“[The college industry is] creating a very high demand service. he multitudes of prep books, college application services and examination fees to College Board are what make up the ever- There seems to be an ample supply of prep centers. All of them are thriving. There are students that want to get ahead,” Hull said. growing college industry. For senior Namrata Garg, the costs have added up. Between AP, SAT and ACT prep books and classes, college counseling, testing A legacy of learning and application fees, Garg has spent thousands. While she finds that Hull attributes the ever-increasing competitiveness of students, some costs have been helpful, such as her prep books, Garg feels that especially in the Bay Area, to their college-focused parents. He the $2,000 she has spent on multiple SAT classes says that because many students come have gone to waste. Yet, she took not one but from immigrant families, they follow the [Money] is significant ... If you’re trends occurring in Asian countries, where three SAT courses, because it seemed like the normal thing to do. an above-average student who students attend cram schools, or preparatory “Everybody else is taking [SAT classes],” and study until midnight in order to is competing with a bunch of schools, Garg said. “You feel like you should be getting prepare for national college exams. College other above-average students, preparatory institutions are like cram schools something out of them.” Alex Hull, CEO and founder of The Ivy for college applications, and help to bring you need that extra edge. Review, a private SAT and college prep students a sense of security. college consultant Alex Hull institution, finds students like Garg not Class of 2011 alumnus Richard Yu was one uncommon. According to Hull, there were hardly of those students. Yu, who spent generously any college or SAT preparatory services in the on college counseling and SAT prep classes, Cupertino area when the Ivy Review first opened in 1988. He notes attended Dartmouth College after being rejected by his dream school, that while there were SAT prep institutions, students never prepared for Harvard University. The $12,000 he invested in the college industry is the exams more than a few months ahead of time. Now, there is a sense enough to have covered one quarter of his tuition at Dartmouth. of urgency for preparation that causes students to search for outside “I don’t think [the money] is what made me lose out at the end help farther in advance. Just within five miles of MVHS’ campus, there between Harvard and Dartmouth,” Yu said. “I had a 2400 [SAT score], are eleven institutions for college preparation. so its not like I could’ve thrown more money at that.” 6


Prep books

The money Yu threw at improving his chances of college acceptance is hit and miss. Although he claims that money did not help improve his chances between specific school, it certainly helped him learn to differentiate himself and improve his chances of acceptance to his reach colleges. As a college consultant, Hull agrees. “[Money] is significant,” Hull said. “Of course, there’s always an exception. But if you’re an above-average student who is competing with a bunch of other above-average students, you need that extra edge. In that respect, people with money will have a distinct advantage over those who don’t.”

An added advantage

Hull’s own services reflect the significance of money. His most expensive service, a comprehensive college counseling program costs $12,000 a year. Although he dislikes how much money he spent in the process, Yu asserts it was an unfortunate necessity because of the intensity of the competition. “It’s unfair to smart kids who can’t afford this,” Yu said. “And it speaks volumes to the inequity in the higher education admissions system.” Yu states that if he could repeat the application process over again, he would not spend moWre than $1,000 on extra college guidance. The cost of applying to college itself, he claims, is insane, due to the many other less obvious costs have become necessities for Garg and other college-bound students. A $95 dollar AP exam fee may not seem like a lot, but the cost of eight AP exams adds up. The same is true for Garg’s nine college applications. But like most other students, she pays the cost without a second thought. “Everything is just getting more and more competitive,” Garg said. “It’s hard to go back from there.” |

NOVEMBER 19, 2012



A quake from the past According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the Big One is scheduled to happen in the next 30 years. A look at MVHS’ past reveals the changes made to the campus since the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 by Neesha Venkatesan with additional reporting by Namrata Ramani

“In around 2002 we started remodeling and earthquake-retrofitting all the buildings to be up to code. The older brick buildings that were built in 1968 to 1969 were all earthquake retrofitted. The bricks were attached a little better, with metal brackets and bolts.” Facilities Manager Chris Kenney

Reflections: the day after Loma Prieta Books came out of bookcases and some of the ceiling tiles came down...I also had a heating vent and one of those came down and actually took a nick out of the corner of my desk. Principal April Scott Neesha Venkatesan | El Estoque

An upright piano had fallen over on its back and hundreds of trophies ... were on the floor, broken. There was a big crack in the floor [of the music room] that went from the door to the entranceway. music teacher John Galli Neesha Venkatesan | El Estoque

Used with permission of El Valedor

Following the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989, many parts of MVHS were left in severe conditions. In the library, many books were scattered on the ground and multiple bookshelves had collapsed. Additionally, the gym faced some major wall damage. The earthquake occurred at approximately 5 p.m., had a magnitude of 6.9 on the Richter scale and lasted about 15 seconds. According to the 1990 yearbook, it took several weeks to return everything to order. |

Prieta 6.9 Loma October 17, 1989

The Bay Area’s Earthquake History


*Highest magnitude an MVHS building can withstand

*according to Facilities Manager Chris Kenney Neesha Venkatesan | El Estoque

5.6 October 30, 2007 Calaveras Fault

NOVEMBER 19, 2012

San Francisco

7.8 April 19, 1906



Creating the connection Students link support organizations available on campus to create community by Amrutha Dorai and Athira Penghat


Steps to becoming a peer counselor

n Sept. 12, Saratoga High School on campus with this idea in mind; Student sophomore Audrie Pott took her own Advocate Richard Prinz had brought up the life. The following Friday, students not same idea at a staff meeting the previous day. only at SHS but also at schools around the area Peer Counseling now had an adviser. The club, wore teal — Pott’s favorite color — in honor founded by Becker and Pieb, was approved Oct. 22 and had its first meeting Nov. 16. of her memory. MVHS junior Simone Becker’s approach at dealing with the situation was a little different. Social-emotional intelligence quotient Peer Counseling is only the newest of a She wanted to make an impact, one that would resonate with the student body long variety of resources on campus with the goal of improving what Prinz calls after she students’ “social-emotional graduated. If we do a peer intelligence” through the creation So she and c o u n s e l i n g of a supportive network. These her friend, program, then resources include Verdadera j u n i o r A lexander maybe it’ll have — which plans to collaborate with Peer Counseling — Prinz’ P i e b , a lasting impact, parenting classes and Challenge dis cus s e d and maybe lives Day, which was held Nov. 15. what they “[Emotional intelligence could do to will be saved. is] not just learning academic accomplish junior Simone Becker subjects… [It’s] where you’re that goal directly learning in regard to life skills,” Prinz preventing said. “You develop expertise in similar situations in the future. Becker and Pieb considered options such the area of your own mind to be as an assembly, but a one-day outreach event able to deal with problems and wasn’t going to carry the message the duo was facilitate happiness. And then trying to get across. Instead, they opted for a social intelligence is [when] you ... can recognize that in others, less conventional method: peer counseling. “If we do a peer counseling program, and you kind of have empathy.” Social-emotional intelligence then maybe it’ll have a lasting impact, and maybe lives will be saved,” Becker said. “And was once included in the people really will feel happier, and people school curriculum: Sociology, really will feel that they can have a home at Psychology and Peer Counseling MVHS. Because I think it’s so stressful that existed as classes on campus in sometimes people feel like they don’t belong.” the past, but they were cut, according to Prinz, Becker spoke with her guidance counselor, to make room for AP Statistics. However, Peer Kate Duphily, to discuss the potential Counseling will remain as a club, both because formation of a peer counseling club. It of insufficient funding and a newfound interest turned out that Becker was not the only one in focusing the club around students.


“Essentially, what we’re doing is creating a community of MVHS students who are available to help the MVHS community in any way they can,” Becker said. Creating a community Becker plans to cap club membership at 30 peer counselors, selected through application. These counselors — who need to demonstrate care for others, the ability to listen and, in Becker’s words, a willingness to spread positivity — will then undergo 10 to 12 weeks of Wednesday morning training sessions with Prinz, during which they will learn how to listen more effectively and mediate conflicts. They will then become resources to the general student body. When students fill out the form to request a meeting with their counselor, they will also be given the option to meet with a peer counselor. Becker hopes that these counselors will eventually come to develop areas of expertise, such as suicide prevention or parental stress. Peer Counseling Becker would reinforce and Pieb what you learn at also hope to Challenge Day and improve the morale of keep those notions the school around beyond the as a whole t h r o ug h day itself. random acts of kindness, junior Alexander Pieb which would consist of deeds such as putting notes in lockers, handing out candy and picking up trash to help the janitors. This aspect of the club was partly inspired by the mental shift students often feel after having experienced Challenge Day.

1. Application

2. Training

Peer Counselors are selected through an application process designed to evaluate one’s willingness to spread postitivity around campus.

Selected applicants will attend 10 to 12 weeks of Wednesday morning training sessions instructed by Student Advocate Richard Prinz.

Bryan Wang | El Estoque


“[After I attended Challenge Day], I felt like there was a feeling of community within the room and the people who attended were now looking at the world with a more open and less judgemental eye,” Pieb said. “Peer Counseling would reinforce the things that you learn at Challenge Day and keep those notions around beyond the day itself.” Ideally, the club would serve to channel the students’ positive energy post-Challenge Day into an activity such as peer counseling that would encourage students to sustain this optimistic mentality not for mere hours but rather for months, years and even potentially throughout their lives. The connecting thread Most importantly however, the goal for Peer Counseling is to to create a stronger advocacy front, and in order to do so, Becker and Pieb will coordinate the subjects they cover at their meetings with those discussed monthly in Verdadera. In fact, both organizations function to give students the opportunity to explore a wide array of often controversial topics not necessarily addressed on campus, making Verdadera and Peer Counseling, according to Verdadera adviser Carol Satterlee, natural partners. “[Verdadera] just gives [students] another outlet to express themselves ... Peer Counseling, I would imagine, is a place where people can go to just kind of dump things, to connect with people who have been trained how to listen really well,” Satterlee said. “What I hope Peer Counseling does is make it safe for students to go speak to someone, and then feel comfortable with that peer counselor to say, ‘Is it okay if we just tell an adult?’ so that they can get the right kind of support.” Legally, there are circumstances — such as those that involve suicide, depression, or abuse — in which Prinz is required to intervene, but the novelty of the club lies in the fact that students are given the opportunity to seek advice from fellow students. Satterlee looks forward to collaborating with Peer Counseling because she believes that letting students know that there are many tools available to them is the common thread running through all of the resources available on campus to further students’ social-emotional intelligence. Whether it be Peer Counseling, Verdadera, Challenge Day or Prinz’ parenting class, all emphasize connections, communication and the creation of a community. “The theme is really about creating a culture on campus,” Prinz said. “More inclusion, and people helping each other, and being kind to each other, and caring about each other. More of a happier, more supportive environment.”

t Lin | El


Estoque |

3. Specialize Once the peer counselors complete their training, they will be added to the form to request a meeting with a guidance counselor. NOVEMBER 19, 2012



Nathan Desai

Faster than the speed of sound

A tale of how one man’s fall led to success and another’s led to his ultimate disgrace


amongst the darkness. He made his sport ou think you’re fast. How fast? relevant but didn’t take over the spotlight. He Oh, you can run a six-minute gave back as well. He revolutionized cycling, mile? That’s cute. I went faster and the sport increased in popularity during than the speed of sound.” This is the type the Lance Armstrong era. of jerk I would be if I pulled off what Felix But when the secret of his cheating came Baumgartner did. out, he sank to the bottom. He was simply Despite having the name “Baumgartner”, a has-been. An afterthought. A nobobdy. I really wish I was him right now. Because And this isn’t the “Fearless” Felix Baumgartner first time an athlete set a multitude of world records with his space I thought Red Bull was who molded a sport suddenly lost his high jump on Oct. 14, including breaking the sound barrier supposed to give you stature. wings, not make you fall to Do you remember with his body. That’s also the Earth. I’m pretty sure this the Tiger Woods scandal of 2009? approximate speed of Lance whole thing was just an Before the incident, Armstrong’s fall from grace. On Oct. 22, the Union unsuccessful attempt to Woods was known as a transcendent Cycliste Internationale get man to fly. athlete who endorsed the U.S. Antitransformed the Doping Agency in banning sport of golf. In fact, in 2007, ESPN recognized Armstrong for life from competitive cycling Woods as the ultimate athlete in their “Who’s due to doping allegations. The ruling also Now?” fan-based competition. But after stripped him of all titles since August 1998, the incident, his popularity fell along with including his seven Tour de France victories. the popularity of his sport. Golf viewership Many people recognized Armstrong as declined drastically in what is now called the a role model. When I was younger, I was “Tiger Effect.” in awe of his achievements. Not only did In order for a sport to become popular, he overcome cancer en route to becoming it needs to have a revolutionary athlete. the best cyclist on the planet, but he also Muhammad Ali was that person for boxing. started the LIVESTRONG Foundation, which Woods was that person for golf. And supports those affected by cancer. Armstrong was that person for cycling. In a world where some celebrities act Baumgartner could be that person for snobby and selfish, Armstrong was a light

skydiving. My bad, space-diving. His jump was revolutionary, falling to Earth from what is considered space. And gravity certainly helped when he became the first person to go faster than the speed of sound without vehicular power. The man made Usain Bolt seem like a snail. But my favorite part of this entire event was the sponsor. Was he supported by NASA? No. Did the Russians beat us to it? No. He was sponsored by Red Bull. It’s somewhat disappointing to think that Red Bull has a better space exploration program than our country. But I also don’t understand why they chose to go into this field. I thought Red Bull was supposed to give you wings, not make you fall to Earth. I’m pretty sure this whole thing was just an unsuccessful attempt to get man to fly. Nevertheless, Baumgartner should watch out for himself. I know he will be a legend forever, but he shouldn’t let it get to his head. Because as Armstrong has shown, a blunder by Baumgartner is not only going to lead to his own demise, but possibly a decline in his sport’s popularity as well. So when you’re in charge and at the top, don’t forget how you got there. Because your choices have an impact on more people than just yourself. And if you end up making a bad choice, you may just start falling. And if you do begin to fall, just have some Red Bull. I heard it gives you wings.

Namrata Ramani | El Estoque Photo Illustration




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Alexandria Poh, Bryan Wang | El Estoque Illustration


n case you haven’t noticed already, seniors claiming to possess the secret of sought-after college admissions. are freaking out. Yes, it’s true that the college prep industry Completing college applications is the culmination of a strenuous process that rakes in $360 billion in revenue every year. includes participating However it is also true that in extracurricular it’s not their fault. It’s ours. The purpose of an activities, studying test enterprise in a capitalistic prep books, losing sleep system such as that of our writing application essays and, as any senior own is to satisfy the needs is aware, a colossal of a customer. And frankly, considering the agendas financial commitment. of many MVHS students, The amount spent it’s not surprising that could be attributed to the college prep OPINION OF THE EL ESTOQUE the college industry has industry, which refers morphed into a moneyEDITORIAL BOARD to the multitude of GPA making machine. When students strive for those boosting programs, testscore-raising services, and college counseling astronomical GPA’s and perfect SAT scores, businesses. This underlying system takes believing that they are the only way to get into a advantage of the average high school student, good college, the people who open businesses scamming him into emptying his pockets by that cater to these desires are simply fulfilling




their duties as good entrepreneurs. It’s not the prep-book writers or the college counselors that spend years memorizing SAT vocabulary, or that camp out overnight to get the perfect letter of recommendation from last year’s APUSH teacher. It’s us. There are two misconceptions that students hold, however, when forming their future plans: first, that high numbers — such as GPA and SAT — are the only way of getting into a prestigious college. Secondly, that admission into a prestigious college is the only way to be successful in life. What students don’t realize is that most colleges aren’t looking for robots that have been programmed to successfully maneuver the SAT, or study machines that worked systematically all of high school in order to get straight A’s in all of their AP classes. They’re looking for people. Passionate, ambitious people that have already begun to figure out their place in the world and who have a very EL ESTOQUE


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clear idea of what they want next. Of course, good grades and decent test scores don’t hurt, however the problem of the college industry won’t be solved if everyone starts getting straight C’s. But when students waste valuable time attempting to raise near-perfect SAT scores, they’re not realizing that a crucial part of applying to colleges is showing personality, and excelling in a particular field — not the ability to correctly fill in a bunch of bubbles. Furthermore, let us not forget that in some cases, being a numerically perfect robot is enough to get into a good college. But it’s not much good for achieving anything else in life. After graduating college, what good is having taken five SAT classes? At that point, all of those sleepless nights spent cramming for AP Physics mean nothing. A large portion of executives of Fortune 500 companies didn’t go to particularly noteworthy colleges. It was their ambition, their desire for real-world accomplishment that got NOVEMBER 19, 2012

them to where they are. Again, it is true that or launching your own start-up. going to a good school is a significant boost Your second option: keep striving for when entering the workforce; but ultimately flawless test scores, continue losing sleep over your merit and skill set are what will lead you classes you only are taking for college — and to success in your professional career. continue creating the demand for a profitRather than sitting around complaining based college industry. about how much the college industry causes It’s our fault that the college industry exists. us to spend, students have two options: one, We created it. We provided the market for all abandon the hope of achieving products college-related. We numerical perfection and shouldn’t blame the college realize that colleges are Yes, it’s true that the prep industry for the absurdly seeking people, not test-taking college prep industry large amount of money we robots. Immerse yourself in rakes in $360 billion spend on getting into college passions that excite you, try in revenue every year. when we initiate the exchange. to figure out exactly what you However it is also We fuel this industry want your impact on the world by succumbing to college true that it’s not their counselors and SAT prep to be. Don’t stop studying altogether, but figure out how fault. It’s ours. classes. Yet we complain to prioritize. You don’t need about how much college and to spend a thousand dollars on an SAT class the whole process costs. We are the college when you could easily spend that time and industry. And it won’t stop until we do. money pursuing extracurricular lab research 15


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

the diet dilemma


*This data was collected from a survey of 457 respondents.


of respondents eat dinner at the table every day

of respondents watch TV or use the Internet during dinner

Timothy Iwamoto sophomore Why is eating with your family important?

7 in 100

“It makes you get closer to family. I think a family that doesn’t eat together is not as close.”

of respondents do homework during dinner

How much do you value eating with family? 10%


not at all

not very



the bottom line




very much

Social media makes everyone a camera pro by Ankita Tejwani

With approximately 100 million registered since its launch date in October 2010, Instagram has become the leading form of visual social media. What keeps it different from its predecessors is its focus on photography and self expression. For those who do not have editing softwares or access to a higher end camera, this form of social media is beneficial to their own forms of self-expression. Instagram offers 16

a wide range of photo effects in the app, including X-Pro II (a warm saturated effect), Lord Kelvin (a supersaturated, retro theme) and a variety of other filters and effects. Instagram has also benefitted businesses with its photo editing software and the professional feel that comes with it. Photo journalists and well known news outlets such as NPR News, CNN and National Geographic have been giving their viewers an on-the-

spot peek to news as it’s happening. Pepsi, Starbucks, Puma, Brisk, Coach, Forever 21, and even The Boston Celtics have taken advantage of Instagram for their businesses. Although it has been on the market for only two years, Instagram has benefited millions of individuals and businesses worldwide. EL ESTOQUE

Do you usually eat your lunch at school?


of respondents said yes.

Emily Hong sophomore How do you think eating irregularly and skipping meals might affect nutrition?

“It forces bad eating habits and makes people really unhealthy because then all we eat are instant noodles and hot pockets.”


of respondents bring lunch from home

69% 1 in 10

of respondents socialize during lunch

respondents study during lunch

Alyssa Sahu junior What do you do while eating dinner? “I watch Colbert Report with my parents.”

Margaret Lin | El Estoque

Black Friday, a time for family and friends by Shuyi Qi

To most, Black Friday is the embodiment of America’s materialism — the capital of capitalism. To foreigners, it’s on the same list of American stereotypes as obesity and talking loudly in airports. Indeed, for many Americans, Black Friday has unconsciously become a diehard tradition. For those who go every year, every detail of that day is planned out beforehand, from knowing which stores NOVEMBER 19, 2012

to tackle to when to sleep in their clothes. As for those who don’t go to Black Friday, they should look at this day as an opportunity to spend time with family. With AP classes, SAT classes and extracurricular activities taking so much time, high school easily takes priority over rest, making the mere thought of leisure a strangely foreign thought. Black Friday is a perfect outlet to make up for lost time. It is a time for friends and families to

fight over products together, to take turns standing in line together, to be together. Although this day is extremely profitable for companies whose products are sold, it is more profitable for the consumers, who are able to not only get exceptional deals on their favorite products, but are also able to spend more time together. It’s a win for everyone. 17



Any-colored glasses

Forest Liao

Horror novel raises questions about whether you’re really seeing this


o I read “House of Leaves” by Mark Danielewski. It’s not so much a novel as a project, but not one of those stupid macaroni-art projects you made in kindergarten. No, when you showed your mom that piece of crap, she was afraid you were never going to learn how to read. But Mr. Danielewski? He definitely knows how to read. Write even. And boy has he written a lot here— 700 pages about an evil house! That’s one page for every four square feet of the average American home! In the book, there’s speculation about how everyone sees the house differently and a lot of psychobabble that delves into the characters’ psyches. Stuff like “her father never loved her blah blah blah,” “Everyone has an Oedipus complex blah blah blah,” “His rabbit is really an allegory for how much he hates the rain blah blah blah.” Of course, none of this is believable, but this is fiction, where anything can happen. Like who hates the rain? It’s freaking water from the freaking sky. That’s like candy coming out of someone’s butt. In fact, these examples are so fictitious, none of them were actually in the book! All this talk about people having different perspectives got me thinking about that classic “Is my red your red?” question. You know, the one that implies we can never be sure that people are seeing the same thing

as we are because we can never see things from their point of view. Like my red may be your green, and your green may be her blue, and her blue may be his “trippy as hell color that most people can’t see without the aid of illicit substances.” We’ve already kind of proved this exists through color blindness and studying the eyes of animals. But I decided only colors were boring. Like what if people experienced completely different things from each other? What if I perceived you to be reading this, but from your perspective you were watching an opera? Or slaying a dragon. Or what if you were seeing something from way out of left field, like a dude writing something that amounted to complete gibberish? What the heck would I do then? And then I got to thinking that because of this, it was possible that there was no valid way to judge even the most intrinsic properties of any object, because there would be no way to prove that one person’s point of view was more valid than the other. To some, it might be impossible to even see or touch something. And then I thought, “What if that something is a person. What if that something was me?” Through some weird reverse-solipsism, I could not exist. Funnily enough, this was my second theory that came to this conclusion. The first one I’ll save for another time. As in never.

But this new jolt of existential dread scared me, so I went to the only person that could comfort me. Me: Bro. What if I’m not real? My brother: If anything you’re too real. Me: See what if my perspective of you is wrong and your perspective is actually that I don’t exist and I actually don’t exist and— My brother: No, you definitely exist. Me: Thanks. My brother: That wasn’t a compliment. Me: But what if my perception of you is wrong and that really was a compliment? My brother: I’m going to hit you. Me: How do I know your fist is rea— I woke up soiled and on the floor. Then I realized something. The fact that everyone had a different perspective was totally freeing. It meant they weren’t really dinosaur seeing me, or what I fire hydrant did, or what I wrote. They were viewing slightly sugarsugarsugar different things. Completely different AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA even. I had no responsibility whatsoever! I could do whatever I wanted. ertyejyuhsdfhdsadfafsd donkeybuttgwefwsdawgwehujhtryrjyasdfadf gjwessdfas

Margaret lin | El Estoque




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Gameplay, grown up by Yimeng Han, Shannon Lin and Ruba Shaik

To honor last month’s release of the latest Pokémon game, El Estoque surveyed 476 students and asked them how their gaming habits have changed during high school. The results inspired us to ask three sage seniors to share how their favorite video games franchises — and their own lives — have changed since the beginning.

Pokémon Pokémon Red and Blue Platform


Game Boy

Pokémon Black and White 2 Platform

Pokémon Red and Blue started the “gotta catch ‘em all” craze that took the world by storm, eventually spawning a multibillion dollar industry of TV shows, movies, and games. In it you embark on a quest to become Pokémon master, catching pokémon and battling along the way.


Nintendo ds

These fifth-generation games remain similar to their predecessors in gameplay— why mess with a golden formula? Pokémon Black 2 White 2 is set in the land of Unova, drastically changed from the original Black and White games.

Sage senior gamer: Maggie Maser An avid fan since childhood, senior Maggie Maser has lived through every Pokémon iteration to date, including the most recent game. “[Nintendo has] done a lot more with [Black 2 and White 2],” she said. “The map isn’t as linear; they added a lot of detail … during the summertime when you step outside there is a glint of sunlight to show that the sun is really bright, and I really appreciate that because it adds to the experience.” Having played the entire series, Maser feels she has “[seen] something that started off as that primitive and that small and [has built] into this giant empire.” Pokémon reminds her that as “we grow older, [everything] becomes more and more sophisticated.”



Super Mario 1985

Super Mario Bros. Platform Nintendo



Super Mario Bros. singlehandedly popularized the 2D side-scrolling genre of video games. In it, the titular protagonist saves his Princess Peach from the evil Bowser. It still remains the second best-selling video game in the world and can be purchased on nearly all of Nintendo’s devices, handheld or otherwise.


Super Mario Galaxy 2 Nintendo Wii

Galactic in scope, Super Mario Galaxy 2 differs from the Super Mario Bros. series by being a 3D platform game and not just a simple side-scroller. The story follows Nintendo’s mustached mascot as he pursues Bowser through space to rescue his favorite damsel-in-distress. Bonus points if you can guess what fruit she’s named after.

Sage senior gamer: Alex Wang When it comes to Super Mario Bros., senior Alex Wang prefers to keep things “old school” and “retro.” Owner of a thirty-year-old Nintendo NES game console, Wang has fond memories of his dad helping him through the levels since elementary school. “[Nintendo] capitalized on going as fast as you can and getting coins,” he said. “It [was] really unique but it stray[ed] away from the original idea of a platformer.” Comparing Super Mario Galaxy 2 to the original 1985 game, Wang believes the newer game is “more about story and plotline and fancy game mechanics whereas back then it was mostly all skill ... now it’s a lot about exploring.” Margaret Lin, Yimeng Han and Alexandria Poh | El Estoque Illustration

Ocarina of Time Platform Nintendo



To this day, many consider Ocarina of Time to be one of the greatest video games of all time. The fifth game in the The Legend of Zelda series and one of the first to fully transition from 2D to 3D, Ocarina left a lasting impact on gaming graphics, controls and features. Ocarina of Time introduced a young Link, whose raison d’etre was to defeat the evil King Ganondorf.

Skyward Sword Platform Nintendo

Legend of Zelda

2012 Wii

The 16th game in the Zelda series, Skyward Sword builds on the legacy of Ocarina by introducing full motion control enabled by the Wii MotionPlus accessory, an appreciated addition during sword-wielding gameplay. The plot follows Link after his closest childhood friend, Zelda is kidnapped by demonic forces, led by the self-proclaimed “demon lord,” Ghirahim.

Sage senior gamer: Danica Mavroudis

Senior Danica Mavroudis, who was introduced to Zelda by her grandmother, says her fondest moment was when she finally finished Ocarina of Time for the first time at 13 years old. She says, “That was a really big accomplishment for me because I remember having trouble before.” In regards to the new game, Mavroudis finds it cool how Nintendo has been expanding its world. “[In the past game] there was a story but it was kind of short and there wasn’t much depth to it I guess and this story expanded the world even more.” For new players, Mavroudis stands by Zelda because “[new players would be able to] understand and there wouldn’t be something in the other games that [they] did not get before. There are a lot of tutorials online and it is a pretty simple to play.” | November 19, 2012



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Tak sea e a loo son ka by t th ’ s Anu t pam r e aC nds is fall emb alli a nd











6 1 Cute & Cozy 44 1. Combat boots from a boutique in San Jose, $35 Freshman Vanessa Qin feels that combat boots are trending this fall. 2. Jean jacket, $25 H&M “I love the weather because it’s warm and then cold, so then I can wear clothes that are summer clothes, but then I can just wear a jacket over it,” Qin said. ”I really like layering clothes — that’s perfect for fall.” Preppy 3. Tailor made belt, $60 “I’m not particularly attached to anything, but I wear a red leather belt a lot,” senior Alok Singh said. 4. Oxford shoes, $8 eBay “People in general this year have been dressing up a bit more,” Singh said. Classy 5. Suit, $50 H&M NOVEMBER 19, 2012


“Usually I have this rule — class in the winter and swag in the summer,” freshman Marcus Laguisma said. 6. Vest, $25 H&M “[Fall is the] perfect [time] because you’re wearing layers. You got the undershirt, you got the actual shirt, and you have the blazer, and occasionally the vest,” Laguisma said.


Comfort 7. Knit sweater, $15 H&M “[I like] comfort. I love jeans; I like sweaters and anything with a crew neck look,” sophomore Samantha Quevedo said.


Gis e 8. El E lla Jo m sto que a an UGGS, Illu d Ma stra r tion garet Lin $140 Nordstrom “I can’t live without UGGs. Even though everyone has them, they are just so warm,” Quevedo said. 23


Carissa Chan

That’ll be one dollar, please

In which my family attempts to get our dog hired. Anyone need a goose chaser?


t all started over the summer. My family and I were walking with research, we finally settled on some more realistic ones — goose our golden retriever, Sierra, in a park when a little girl ran up to us. chaser, water rescuer and sled dog — all of which are actual canine “Can I pet your dog?” she asked. occupations. With actual people, like the City of Cupertino, hiring “Sure,” I said. them for actual use. She knelt down to scratch Sierra’s back and stroked the soft, wavy Then began the job hunting. Since Sierra is considered very popular fur, laughed when Sierra slobbered on her face, then stood up after she — not to mention young, fit, pretty and blonde — in the canine was done. community, I assumed that someone would be quick to hire her. “That’ll be a dollar,” my father suddenly said. Actually, I was confident in her to the point that I thought we’d receive She stared at him blankly. loads of job offers and have to turn some of them down. Turns out, “A dollar,” my father said, as slowly and clearly as he could. “For though, there aren’t a whole lot of people looking for dog workers, even petting the dog.” ones as likeable as Sierra. But she didn’t seem to mind all the rejections. She turned around and ran away. Lounging on the couch and snacking on broccoli (yes, broccoli) suits Since then, my family has convinced themselves that Sierra needs her well, I suppose. a job to contribute to the household income, As we scoured the Internet looking for especially since she’s considered an adult dog at hiring opportunities, I realized something very four years old. So we decided to think of some A dog trying to get a job is really not Turns out, there aren’t a important: occupations for her to take part in. that different from a human trying to get a job. I came up with a few that I thought were whole lot of people looking 1. Professional geese chasing dogs must be decent: Rabbit chaser, grass eater, full-time for dog workers, even ones Border Collies (racial discrimination). sleeper. I knew for a fact that she’d excel at those. as likeable as Sierra. 2. Water rescuing dogs are usually male My father, mother and sister, however, were a bit (gender discrimination). more ambitious with their ideas: Actress, model, 3. Sled dogs need to be strong with thick fur therapy dog for the Queen of England. (physical features discrimination). I snatched my sister’s list of potential jobs and took a look. With so few jobs available for dogs, my family resorted to my “Soccer player?” I asked. “How’s Sierra supposed to do that?” father’s original idea of charging kids for petting Sierra. Hundreds of “Sierra would be good at it,” my sister said calmly. “Watch.” people have played with her since that day. So far, my family has made She tossed a soccer ball in the air. Sierra caught it in her mouth it on — drumroll, please — exactly $0. When I asked why they never ended the first bounce, then hid it under a bush in our front yard. I raised my up charging anyone, they claimed that they felt guilty about asking eyebrows. But my sister remained unruffled. people for money. Especially if those people are some of our best “See, she’s hiding the ball,” she said. “So none of the other players friends. Or my brother. can take it and score a goal.” The next idea they came up with? Dressing up Sierra in a Santa suit Clearly, we had problems agreeing on a job at first. But after some for Christmas, then charging people for photos. Taken in our garage. Shuyi Qi | El Estoque Illustration With a camera phone. WMy mother, though, is particularly proud of this plan. “It will spread Christmas cheer,” she insisted. I admitted that it could, if they can ever get Sierra to sit still for more than five seconds, that squirmy little rascal. Despite these struggles, looking for a job for my dog was actually decently fun. But one night, it finally dawned on me that we were taking this a bit too far as my family voiced their disapproval of the presidential debate topics. Foreign affairs? Unimportant. Canine employment? Critical to our country. Needless to say, Sierra remains very much unemployed. Whoever creates a social welfare plan for dogs will have my family’s votes, though — if they haven’t already started a Sierra-for-president campaign. “Don’t count her out,” my father said. “She’s got good hair.” 24



Shuyi Qi | El Estoque Illustration

CAUTION: Grandma behind wheel Columnist hopes driving lessons go better than scarring Mario Kart experience


ou know you live a sad life when you have to wait in the Bus Three weeks ago in a parking lot far, far away.... I struggled to turn the car on. I slipped the key into the ignition and Circle until 5 p.m. for your parents to pick you up while all your friends simply zip off in their own cars to go home, Chipotle then found I couldn’t turn the stupid key to start the car. After a minute and everywhere else it is that teens go. You also know you have a sad or two of fumbling with the key, my dad leaned over and started the life when you don’t know squat about being behind the wheel (Is the car for me with exasperation. After my dad had given me a lengthy spiel on the rules of the road, accelerator on the right or left?) and when the only motor skill you have it came time for me to meet the gas pedal. mastered is honking. Three thoughts ran through my mind: But then you realize that you’re going to be screwed if you go to 1. Who am I kidding? If I can’t even start a car, how the heck am I college and don’t know how to drive. Just imagine! You would be the worst sort of reject ever. Everyone else would drive off, leaving you going to be able to drive one? 2. Of all the possible cars to learn to drive in, why in the world am behind in the dust to trudge off to the library or back to the dorm. I in an SUV? In order to avoid that hypothetical 3. Please, please, please don’t let this parking lot scenario and save my dignity in the future, turn into a Rainbow road. I have decided that learning how to drive The car lurched forward, and I very, very slowly (or so I thought) applied my would be an imperative. Even though there foot to the accelerator. The car lurched forward, isn’t really any point in me getting a permit I thanked my lucky stars that and I thanked my lucky stars that seat belts were now, you should expect me to be cruising seat belts were invented. invented. Breathing hard, I also realized how glad I along McClellan like a hotshot the instant was not categorized as an “adrenaline junkie” on the I turn 18. Enneagram personality test that we took in AP Lit. The look on my dad’s face told me that my practice driving lesson My driving resume Let us refer to my brother. Without batting an eyelid he will tell would not last much longer, especially not in our Acura MDX. I knew you that no matter how many times I try, I keep falling off that cursed he was doing mental math in his head, trying to figure out how much it looping Rainbow Road in MarioKart. I always end up in 6th place or would cost him if I ended up adding a dent to his car. “Maybe you should spend a little more time on that DriversEd worse, although sometimes by a fluke, I’ll get into first place with the course,” he suggested. help of good ol’ Bullet Bill. I think in all, I’ve raced so badly that my Slapping my head, I couldn’t help wondering how fifteen-and-a-halffavorite character to drive with, Yoshi, is ready to disown me. But I do have hope that I will be able to manage decently well behind year-olds cruised the streets of Cupertino with such ease. As for me, the wheel. Back in the day when Gameboy Advances were the thing, I believe it will be a while before I’ll meet the gear shift (especially I beat a game before my brother did (one of the proudest moments of reverse...), but that’s okay — this grandma has got some fight in her left. my life!), called Digimon Racing. Basically, you had to go around in a After all, slow and steady wins the race, right? Also, is it just me, or can you hear a high pitched dinosaurian laugh? dinky go-cart and shoot bad guys and beat “Bosses” to go to the next Shut up, Yoshi. level. And I always came in first; suavely shooting fireballs at this weird looking blue Digimon whose name I forgot, while neatly making a left turn on a sandy beach. Let us hope that I drive like a Digimon rather than a Yoshi.

NOVEMBER 19, 2012




al ors ! c Lo uct rea tr r A s In ou Y in


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What’s on

your plate? F

ood culture is how we approach our daily meals — breakfast, lunch and dinner — and what they mean to us socially. At MVHS, the way we eat does not fit the dictionary definition of each meal; rather, our meals have become flexible and personal, each suiting our own personality, habits, and needs. Whether we eat with friends or on the go, whether we eat certain meals or not, our food culture is constantly changing and is less predictable than you’d think.

Breakfast breakdown

Photo Illustrations by Margaret Lin and Soumya Kurnool

The typical MVHS breakfast as told by a survey conducted by El Estoque

3% of students eat breakfast 0 days a week

92 out of 427 respondents most commonly eat milk and cereal for breakfast

Where do we eat breakfast? 79% at home 15% on the way to school 2% in class 1% in the cafeteria 3% elsewhere *out of 448 respondents

11% of students eat breakfast 1-2 days a week 47% of students eat breakfast 7 days a week 26% of students eat breakfast 3-5 days a week

13% of students eat breakfast 6 days a week 56% of students make breakfast choices based on convenience and speed

NOVEMBER 19, 2012

*out of 456 respondents

26% of students make breakfast choices based on nutrition and health

10% of students make breakfast choices based on both convenience and nutrition

5% of students make breakfast choices based on other reasons *out of 448 respondents 29


Spicing up LUNCH The moment the lunch bell rings, 2,419 students stream from their classrooms towards their usual “spot” on campus. Amongst each of these locations exist numerous subcultures, all with their own quirks and traditions. Students approach lunch in a variety of ways: some stuff themselves, some fast and some chow down on the go. Out of this crowd, El Estoque picked three especially interesting individuals and explored their daily lunch time experiences.

Students find unique ways to approach a regular lunch by Yuna Lee and Catherine Lockwood

Ma rga re tL in

| El

Es e qu to


o u need to stop ordering all this food from us. You come here everyday,” the Quickly’s cashier said to senior Ivana Holman. Many MVHS students drop by Quickly’s, a nearby fast-food restaurant, on a regular basis — only a few are turned away by the cashier. Holman is one of these few. In her case, she was chided for ordering an excessive amount of food every week since school started. Every Friday, Holman drives off-campus, usually to Quickly’s or McDonald’s, to buy food for her friends and herself. She grabs 30

fast & flavorful

as much of the the idea of starting a lunch club in the future. inexpensive food Rather than limiting these meals to just her she can carry while personal group of friends, she wants to make her friends eagerly more satisfactory lunches available to the await her arrival entire school. But the club wouldn’t simply end in the photography at delivery services. “If this were an actual lunch club, it would room. They eat together across two be a lot more interactive,” Holman said. “You long tables would have a lot more options ... I would go to b e f o r e a grocery store, and we Holman splits [Getting take out] would actually have a the bill evenly. is more expensive According to legit potluck and have a than buying lunch Holman, the potlucks lot of people doing it. If [at school], but it’s not [many people came] began when she earned her a trade-off ... In driver’s license. The ability to we would go somewhere the end, you get easy like McDonald’s.” travel further in a shorter amount of time opened up new eating Holman describes high quality food opportunities. the club as an easily and a better meal. accessible area to “[Getting take out] is more senior Ivana Holman expensive than buying lunch [at centralize lunch with high quality food. She school], but it’s a trade-off. It’s like, do you want to buy lunch here or do you finds the lunch club is suitable for those who want me to get you some? In the end, you get want a large variety of food for a low price. “Even if you are someone who doesn’t high quality food and a better meal,” Holman know what to do with your food, bring it here said. In fact, this practice has served her and and we will eat it for you,” Holman said. “We her friends so well that Holman is considering will be your garbage disposal.” EL ESTOQUE

Ma rg ar et L


cards & cuisine

|E lE sto e qu


ehind the D-building, a group of gladly accepts. students sit on a low wooden table, With games being laughing and shouting during their lunch constantly period. They carefully watch their opponent played, one may as they strategize their next move. Among assume that the players skip these Yu-gi-oh and Vanguard lunch for an players is If you want to eat intense game. junior Ryan Li. lunch, you can just go But to Li, nutrition He In both home to eat lunch, but isneverimportant. skips lunch games, players since you’re at school or any other meal of attack each you might as well the day. During games, he other using socialize. diligently picks up his Thermos a deck of and eats while his opponent makes approximately junior Ryan Li a move. 50 cards, To Li, socializing is equally as which are accumulated by buying or trading. Players deal important as eating his meal. “I actually see damage to each others’ cards to win the duel. [lunch] as a time to socialize,” he said. “I Usually, the same close-knit group of four mean, if you want to eat lunch, you can go to six players come to duel every day, but home to eat lunch, but since you’re at school newcomers do sometimes drop by. If a new you might as well socialize.” However, the area behind the D-building challenger asks is one of the more isolated areas on for a duel, Li campus. Oftentimes the only people found here during lunch are the

card players. “[We chose this location] because it’s pretty far out from the school,” Li said. “At lunch and brunch, no one’s really here. It’s pretty annoying having people walking by, pointing fingers and commenting, ‘Oh look it’s Yu-gi-oh!’ [or] ‘Oh look, it’s that game!’ We just don’t want that kind of attention.”

M t re ga ar


| El

dine & dash

o Est que


i n c e middle school, junior Bridget Gottlieb has been eating the same lunch every single day: a turkey or tuna sandwich, lemonade and her personal creation — vanilla yogurt with apples and cinnamon. Along with breakfast, lunch is a meal she’s

NOVEMBER 19, 2012

makes sure not to “force them” beyond their never missed. G o t t l i e b own capabilities. “I have several stages when it comes to believes lunch is a priority that should food. Now I love yogurt, but I used to crave nuts,” she said. never be “I think as I overlooked — grow older, my it is common It is just easier to have tastes change sense that all a routine on what you and I like meals need to be eaten. are going to make different types “I have to prepare every day [instead of] of food.” A l t h o ug h it in the morning, so it is changing it up. for now just easier to have a routine junior Bridget Gottlieb Gottlieb brings on what you are going to make the same lunch every day [instead of] changing it up,” to school every Gottlieb said. Her diligent eating habits are partially day, she believes that her tastes will continue due to her daily cross-country activities. to change and develop throughout her life — According to Gottlieb, cross country coach one day, she may even skip lunch. Julie Sullivan often encourages the runners to | eat healthy in order for them to stay active but 31


Time for

by Jennifer Lee with additional reporting by Mihir Joshi


oday he asked me if he could fly,” said Chinese teacher I-Chu Chang to her husband as she cut up a piece of meat to put on her five-year-old son’s plate. It’s 6:43 p.m. on a Wednesday night, and Chang, her husband and her son are seated at the dinner table in a candlelit dining room as their dog Nini scampers around

lasts 30 minutes or fewer. Chang values dinner with her family, but her busy schedule means that she does not cook her family’s dinners. Because she stays at school everyday until 5:30 p.m., she feels she has little time to cook dinner. To remedy this, she orders Chinese cuisine from home-run catering businesses. “It’s just too stressful after

Margaret Lin | El Estoque

FOOD AND FUN Chinese teacher I-Chu Chang laughs at her son’s antics at dinner on Nov. 9. their feet. Chang is talking about her son, as she often does during dinner time. But despite the homey ambiance, this meal hasn’t actually been prepared at home. Dinner culture has changed and evolved over the years, from our perceptions of dinner to how we implement it into our lives. Only 35 percent of MVHS students still eat at the dinner table daily; 12 percent of those surveyed do not eat with their families at all. For the majority of respondents, dinner at the table 32

work … To have to cook [dinner], I think [I’d] be very unhappy,” she said. “I have very little interest in cooking, so I think ordering from somebody else is easier for me. I feel that [it’s] not as stressful, and … I can spend more time with my son in the evening.” In fact, Chang considers spending time with her son to be one of the most important aspects of dinner time, which usually lasts a little over an hour. “When we have dinner, we just make sure the TV is off; we

Illu s

ot o

How our busy schedules affect when we eat dinner and what we think of it

tra tio n

DINNER hd Mora


lE i|E wk

h eP qu sto

just focus and sit down and have is simply a quick wrecharge, dinner,” Chang said. “I like it. So I rather than any particular familyfeel like it’s family time.” oriented occasion. Regardless of her busy “The thing is, we don’t find schedule, come 6:30 p.m. Chang dinner as a time to sit down can always be found sitting and socialize, [because] it’s just at the dinner table with her eating,” he said. “We do other family, cracking jokes with her stuff together.” husband and asking her son how Chang agrees that dinner kindergarten went. time need not hold any especial Sophomore Nicole Pinto’s sanctity. Although Chang does family conducts dinner in much consider dinner time to be the same way, with the exception family time, she also finds that of the dishes being served and bonding with her family does not the time. The Pinto family’s necessarily have to happen over dinner consists of a vegetable or the dinner table. meat entrée, a starchy side-dish “There are a lot of other and conversation to catch up on [times] in the evening that we can everyone’s days. spend time together,” she said. As Pinto’s workload “[Dinner is] one of the occasions increases in intensity, however, that we get to sit down together some nights, if she’s busy with and [do] the same thing at the an extracurricular, she simply same time, [but it isn’t] the most eats dinner later on her own. In important thing … in my family.” fact, even when she eats with Regardless, Chang appreciates her family, dinner lasts for half the benefits of having a fixed an hour at most. time slot every day during which “We’ve all gotten more she can relax with her family busy,” Pinto said. “My brother’s — especially with her son. Even grown up, and I have after school when the time comes for her activities, and son to enter high my parents school and have work and When we have dinner, become busier, conference calls we just make sure she hopes that to take. So it the TV is off; we just dinner time can kind of pushes focus and sit down remain family back our dinner.” time. and have dinner. Junior Nagesh “[It] depends Chinese teacher I-Chu Chang Kambhampat i on his schedule,” can sympathize; she said. “I he has to deal with a busy understand that high school schedule of his own. On a typical students’ [schedules] are really night, Kambhampati can be packed sometimes, but it will be found sitting at his desk, wolfing nice to have the family time to sit down a vegetarian meal of rice down together and have dinner.” and vegetables as he does his Spanish homework. According to Kambhampati, dinner to him EL ESTOQUE



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Save and savor

Food is loved and shared universally. Celebrate Thanksgiving with these four ethnic recipes from student chefs by Anjali Bhat with additional reporting by Daniel Fernandez

Baby Got Back (Asian slow-cooked ribs) Yield: 8 servings

Bready to Eat (Israeli malawach) Yield: 20 servings

“[This recipe is] actually my mom’s. I’ve modified it to my own more Americanized tastes, so I would consider this Asian Fusion.” — senior Darren Yau

“Malawach [pan-fried bread] represents a nation and is loved and shared by everyone at home in Israel. It’s dipped into a grated tomato sauce, and it’s traditionally served with hardboiled eggs and salad.” — junior Sigal Shaul

You’ll need: 5 lb baby back ribs Pepper to taste

For the sauce, you’ll need: 2 tbsp soy sauce 1 tbsp Korean honey barbecue sauce 1 tbsp black bean garlic sauce

1 tbsp sesame seed paste 1 clove crushed garlic 1 tbsp sweet tomato puree

First, combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Next, split rack of ribs into half and then thirds. Sprinkle pepper onto ribs and fully coat in sauce. Place ribs on foil; cover with sauce again. Fold foil over ribs and wrap the top with another sheet of foil. Marinate in refrigerator for 24 hours. Afterward, set oven to “bake” setting and preheat to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook rib packet in oven for two hours and 45 minutes. Remove from oven and unwrap foil. Cut and serve.

You’ll need: 8 1/3 cups of flour 1 1/4 cups water

2 tbsp vinegar 2 tbsp baking powder 2 sticks or 8 oz margarine, softened

Mix flour, water, vinegar and baking powder in a large bowl until evenly mixed. Let dough sit for 10 minutes, then slice into half. Flatten with a rolling pin and spread a stick of margarine on top of each half. Roll dough into a thick log; leave in refrigerator for one to two hours. Afterward, cut halves into 10 circular slices each; flatten slices. Grease a hot pan with butter or margarine. Fry each slice for about three minutes until each is golden-brown. Serve and eat as a finger food; dip slices in grated tomato sauce.

Used with permission of Darren Yau

Anjali Bhat | El Estoque

My Tart Will Go On (Chinese egg tarts) Yield: 12 servings

Pasta La Vista (Italian sun-dried tomato pasta) Yield: 4 servings

“I adapted this recipe slightly from one by my AP Chinese teacher [Kathy Wang] ... It’s so easy and quick that it’s a fun snack to make at home.” ­— junior Stephanie Chang

“I like to make this sun-dried tomato pasta dish, it’s got this cream sauce, pasta and all sorts of herbs; it’s just very, very delicious.” ­­— sophomore Scott Haskell

For the crust, you’ll need: 1 stick of softened butter 1 stick or 4 oz cream cheese 1 2/3 cups flour For the custard, you’ll need: 1/2 cup sugar 3 egg yolks 1 1/3 cups milk at room temp.

Afterward, mix yolks in a small bowl. Add sugar and milk; stir until evenly mixed. Pour filling into each crust on muffin pan. Bake for 1520 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cool and serve.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix butter, cream cheese and flour until dough is evenly mixed. Separate dough into 12 balls and mold into a muffin pan, making 12 crusts to fill with custard. Anjali Bhat | El Estoque

NOVEMBER 19, 2012

You’ll need: 6 chicken apple sausage links 2 cloves minced garlic 3/4 cup chicken broth

3/4 cup cream 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes 1 tbsp fresh parsley 1 lb pasta of your choice

Sauté sausages at high heat in a pan and transfer to a bowl. Set bowl aside. Drain sun-dried tomatoes and julienne into thin strips. Add sun-dried tomatoes to pan. Lower heat and add minced garlic, chicken broth, cream and parsley. Allow sauce to simmer until thickened. Add sausages to sauce and leave on low heat. Meanwhile, add pasta to boiled water. When pasta has fully cooked, combine with sauce in a separate dish and serve. Daniel Fernandez | El Estoque



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38 Rebirth of the cycling club

NOVEMBER 19, 2012

39 Life as a cyclist

38-40 Local biking locations




the team’s favorite spots

Montebello Rd.

Location: Starts off Stevens Canyon Rd. near Stevens Creek Quarry Feature: 5.3 mile uphill climb alongside vineyards and a creek to the base of Black Mountain continued on pg. 40



less traveled

Students, staff on campus form cycling club and team Stories by Karen Feng with photography by Margaret Lin and Patrick Xie


t all began two years ago when current junior Malcolm Flint met senior Collin Marcroft. While racing on the slopes of Fremont Older Open Space Preserve, Marcroft told Flint about the high school NorCal Cycling League, a division of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association. They came up with the idea of forming a cycling team — a vision that became a reality last year when all of its members raced in the league. Advised by math and science teacher Deborah Frazier, the separate club that was formed this year succeeds the mountain biking club that disbanded five years ago after Frazier went on maternity leave. The club meets every Wednesday at lunch in room B101 to discuss biking and have fun, with monthly competitions such as racing to change flat tires. The team bikes together once a week after school on Wednesdays.



Inside the helmet What it means to be a cyclist


uring a tournament to replace flat tires, 11 biking enthusiasts filled room B101 with cheering and the smell of rubber. “I think the [MVHS] staff that were asked to [advise the cycling team] were wussies to not take this one because it’s a really fun thing to do,” Frazier said. “It’s just fun. If anyone wipes out a little bit, everyone has a good laugh about it. It’s not academic; it’s not serious.” A mountain biker since college, Frazier rides recreationally with the team. She is the founder of Stroller Hikes, a nonprofit organization that encourages families with kids aged from newborn to eight-years-old to explore the outdoors by camping, hiking and biking. “To go fast down a hill is just a great release. You smell everything; you see everything,” Frazier said. “It’s a good sense of freedom. It’s what makes being five years old fun. You can get out and have fun and there’s not that same sort of adult accountability.” Vice president junior Eric Fa fell in love with the sport after a Boy Scout mountain biking outing in seventh grade. “Being a cyclist — I don’t really see it as a title. I know it sounds kind of cliché and hackneyed, but it’s a lifestyle,” Fa said. “It’s how I live. It’s hard to describe. When you’re biking, you don’t really feel anything because you just — you’re you and you’re acting with the environment. Being a cyclist, it makes me feel like myself.” A passionate mountain biker, Fa rides three to four times a week depending on school workload. Like Flint, Fa raced for the first time in the NorCal division last year. On the other hand, senior Collin Marcroft has been racing since eighth grade. After he suffered a concussion from falling off the trail in his very first race, he was airlifted from Monterey to San Jose. Despite this, he got right back on his bike the following year in ninth grade, placing 12th in his first completed race. “It gave me something to do when I was bored,” Marcroft said. “I feel like I can do anything when I’m biking.” Last year, Marcroft was ranked third in the NorCal division and seventh in the state to qualify for the national championships but did not attend due to financial concerns. But not all club members bike competitively. Sophomore Emma Schneider has been biking metric centuries, 100 kilometers or around 60 miles, since she was eight. Although she used to bike once a week, schoolwork has put a damper on her road biking. When she can, however, she enjoys biking with friends and family. “I like the freedom of it, to go somewhere and do something,” Schneider said. “We usually ride up and down Foothill [Expressway].” With the club in its first year and the team in its second, the number of cyclists continues to expand. “We’re going to be doing another season this year,” Fa said.”It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

NOVEMBER 19, 2012


Stevens Canyon Rd.

Location: Along Stevens Creek Reservoir Feature: 6.7 mile one-way ride to Stevens Creek County Park with rolling hills

Black Mountain

Location: Border between Rancho San Antonio and Monte Bello Open Space Preserve Feature: Over 2,300 ft. climb to the summit for a view of the Santa Clara Valley over to the Mt. Hamilton range

Mount Eden Rd.

Location: Along Stevens Creek Reservoir Feature: Steep 2.3 mile ride to Mount Eden Trail trailhead 40

Stevens Canyon Trail

Location: End of Stevens Canyon Rd. Feature: 20 mile ride with downhills, moguls, twisting track and fire trails



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Patrick Xie | El Estoque

Sophomore Arundhati Suresh discovers passion in squash to inspire her family


by Ashley Ding and Steven Lim with additional reporting by Alaina Lui

very day for an hour, sophomore Arundhati Suresh is trapped inside a box. She runs back and forth, racquet in hand. The only sound in the room is the ball striking the racquet, and then the wall. In a minute, she has hit the ball nearly 50 times. The sport of squash — in which two players take turns hitting a ball off the front wall in a four-walled court — may be unfamiliar to many, but after hours of training and practice, Suresh has come to consider squash an integral part of her life. She has been playing squash for roughly the last year and a half, outside the realm of well-known high school sports.

In general, squash is not a widely played sport, especially since it is not traditionally from America. “When I tell people [that I play squash], they wonder if it’s the vegetable first. Then I have to say that it’s not ... I really have to go in depth,” Suresh said. The lack of knowledge of squash, at least in California and the West Coast in general, is due in large part to the weather. Climate here is relatively mild, so outdoor sports such as tennis are more popular. East Coast weather, on the other hand, can be much less favorable, so indoor sports like squash are more popular — especially in the colder winter months.

The obscurity of squash

Combining strategy with plays

The general reaction people have when they find out that Suresh plays squash? “They’re surprised. ‘Oh, you’re playing squash, not today’s traditional games [like] basketball, baseball and those things ... How come you’re playing squash?’” Suresh’s dad Nair Suresh said.

Suresh picked up the sport in her freshman year after her family friends introduced it to her. The unique mental strategy piqued her interest, pulling her in to play. “You have to have power so that you can hit the ball hard enough to hit the back wall,” Suresh said. “But you also have to

have good strategy skills so you know when to hit what shot.” Her favorite shots are cross-court shots, which allow her to hit the ball away from opponents, and straight shots that go to the back wall. “I also like to hit drop shots which cut the ball off at the corner,” she said.

Staying ahead of the game Suresh has been training with her coach, Shireen Kaufman, since Suresh started playing one and a half years ago. Kaufman attributes some of Suresh’s success in squash to her coordination and speed, which allow her to get to a shot or position herself quickly. However, there are also innate qualities in Suresh that Kaufman admires. “[There are] a couple of things that I really love about coaching her which you can’t actually teach someone,” Kaufman said. “One is her tenacity, so on court she’s very, very aggressive. She works really hard and she’s not afraid of any challenge.”

continued on page 44

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


Inside the box

How the game of squash is played Squash, generally not considered popular in America, is a racquet sport that involves two players in a four-walled court. Players take turns hitting the ball off the front wall. The ball must hit the wall below the out line and above a strip called the tin; it cannot touch the floor before it hits the front wall. Players receive a point after winning a rally.

The ball can only hit the floor once but can hit the side or back walls anytime during the match

Out line

Front wall

Service line Short Line

Xie rick n Pat ratio and lust ale hoto Il w d eP Bhin toqu iya Shr El Es

Players must have one foot in the service box while serving



Patrick Xie | El Estoque

RACQUET TO WALL Sophomore Arundhati Suresh watches the ball after hitting a shot. One of Suresh’s favorite shots is the drop shot, which she positions toward the bottom left corner of the front wall. Squash is often called the physical version of chess because they are similar in strategy. For example, dominating the middle part of the court, known as the “T” — just as one would dominate the center of the board in chess — is an important part of the game. Squash is


both mentally and physically taxing too. “Squash involves a lot of running, and a lot of jerky movements, so it’s easy to slip … it affected my ankle a lot,” Suresh said. Through years of experience, Suresh has learned to ice her injuries and put a priority on stretching. Other physical problems that squash players experience include wrist and knee injuries because of the force applied to the wrist during hits and the high amount of lateral movement.

Dedicated training

Suresh trains at the Bay Club in Cupertino Square every day for an hour to refine her skills, practicing drill after drill with her coach. “One of the things I like to practice most is hitting it [the ball] hard back, so that it goes against the wall, so it’s really hard for the opponent to hit it back,” Suresh said. Many of Suresh’s tournaments are held in

the Bay Area; the farthest she ever traveled for a competition was to San Francisco. She also practices at the Decathlon Club in Santa Clara and at another facility in Redwood City. One disadvantage she says that she faces at these tournaments, however, is a lack of training. “At my age, most people have been playing for five to six years, and I’ve only been playing for a year, year and a half. So most people are better than me, but I really want to reach that [level],” Suresh said. She takes these matches as a challenge, though. Suresh has won multiple tournaments already despite having less experience; one of her greatest achievements, she says, was placing as a finalist in the the David O’Tooles Memorial tournament. Suresh plans to continue playing squash at the collegiate level. Although she practices and competes at a high level, Suresh has yet to come up with a list of schools she wants to apply to. She is mainly looking into East Coast schools, especially Ivy League schools, because they all have squash programs. Though Suresh only started playing squash recently, her 9-year old sister Tara Suresh has already taken after her and plays as well. “[Tara Suresh is] very much enamored by [squash]. She wants to play because her sister is playing. She loves to play,” Nair Suresh said. “So every time I play with her she tells me, ‘Daddy, play the way you play with my sister. Play hard.’”


201 2

SAT winter




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Winter Boot Camp will run during the two weeks of holiday break. Please contact your local Elite office for specific program dates and details. TUITION Please contact your local Elite location for details. Also ask about the $100 discount for early registration by early December and for all returning summer students.

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Margaret Lin | El Estoque

Margaret Lin | El Estoque


Photo used with permission of Kirk Flatow

An update on Matador athletic teams

by Atharva Fulay and Albert Qiu with photography by Margaret Lin Margaret Lin | El Estoque

Varsity girls volleyball played a close senior game against Gunn High School but ultimately lost 2-3. Key offensive plays were run by sophomore Maria Balus throughout the game (top left), but strong defense by GHS forced the Matadors to commit errors. However, with a 3-11 league record, the Matadors still managed to accumulate enough points to qualify for CCS. NOVEMBER 19, 2012

Girls tennis capped off their undefeated season with a 6-1 victory over Mountain View High School and qualified for CCS. No. 1 singles senior Wendi Kong won her sets 6-0, 6-0 while No. 1 doubles senior Ruri Kobayakawa (top right) and junior Kelsey Chong won 6-3, 6-3. Sophomore Angella Qian and junior Sabrina Mui also won each of their singles matches, both by a score of 6-0.

Margaret Lin | El Estoque

Margaret Lin | El Estoque

Cross country ran the final league meet on Oct. 30 at Crystal Springs. Sophomores Rohan Choudhury and Jenny Xu led the way with 14th and fourth place in their races respectively. The varsity boys, including senior Vikrant Marathe (center right), finished fourth while varsity girls placed second. Eighteen individual MVHS runners qualified for the CCS meet on Nov. 10.

Football played their senior game against Gunn High School on Nov. 2 for the SCVAL title and CCS entry. In the last two minutes, running back senior Peter Stern (bottom) received a 31-yard pass from quarterback senior Nathan Facciolla. Instead of kicking a field goal after the touchdown for a tie, MVHS attempted but failed a 2-point conversion, losing 27-28. | 47

Get the most out of 74% barack obama most poignant

The girls field hockey team and other season wrap-ups

9% gary johnson 2% jill stein 1% roseanne barr 1% tom hoefling 13% mitt romney

most unsurprising The results of our 2012 student mock election



Margaret Lin | El Estoque

Volume 43, Issue 3, November 19, 2012  

El Estoque print magazine