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AROUND THE WORLD Navigate across the globe with International Night and Diversity Week multimedia on



Students face a dilemma: to maintain solidarity with their peers or to fulfill their moral and personal obligations. How do they make these tough decisions?


Meet Queen of Varsity boys Hipsters and the golf bonds as a other competitors team, even in an individualized in this year’s Battle of the Bands sport

CENTERSPREAD pages 11-14

SPORTS page 19 A&E page 17


Shocks for safety: AEDs to be bought All FUHSD campuses to receive devices

APRIL 6, 2011

matter of SUBSTANCE matter of FACT Have you ever used alcohol?


tudent collapses from cardiac arrest on campus, school calls 9-1-1, staff member performs CPR, but the student’s heart does not respond. Then what? To answer this question sooner than later, the Board of Trustees has reached the decision to install Automated

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Automated External Defibrillator

see AED on page 2



% of FUHSD students have Have you ever used ecstasy?


External Defibrillator machines in each FUHSD high school campus after two years of deliberation. The first assessment for the installation of AED machines began two years ago when the Board learned the safety potential of the machines given their growing use in medical care. The motion to install these machines on each high school campus in the district has not been passed yet, but according to Chief Business Officer Christine Mallery, the District is taking all necessary measures to install the machines “in the near future.” “The bottom line is, in more recent times, the technology is better, the AEDs are better, there are better models of policies and practices, and our insurance company has lightened up a bit,” Mallery said. The FUHSD’s insurance liabilities are managed by the Joint Powers Authority, a working group of school districts and full Board members that manage the District’s insurance liabilities. But, according to Mallery, AED machines have not been installed in the past due to insurance constraints and risks posed by the machines. “When AEDs first started becoming more prevalent, it was an insurance risk at one point. Our JPA, or insurance, was nervous about an AED program,” Mallery said. Study sessions have been held during Board meetings to help the public understand the necessity of AEDs. Yet many MVHS students are still unaware of what AED machines are and their absence on campus. Physiology students in particular, according to Physiology teacher Pooya Hajjarian, were surprised that not a single AED machine exists on campus. The students have been following a five-week unit in which they are trained to use AED machines and perform CPR and first aid with artificial defibrillators and mannequins.


Have you ever used marijuana?


What is it? An AED is a device that senses an irregular heart rhythm and attempts to restore it to a natural heart rhythm through electric shock


% of FUHSD students have


% of FUHSD students have


FUHSD. California Healthy Kids Survey, 2009-10: Main Report. San Francisco: WestEd Health and Human Development Program for the California Department of Education.

California Healthy Kids Survey reveals a third of FUHSD students have used alcohol or drugs. Is substance experimentation inevitable?


e takes a second, checks side-to-side for potential eavesdroppers. The sophomore male, speaking with El Estoque on the condition that his name would not be used, decides it is safe and starts to talk, his hushed voice muffled by the gusting wind. He selected a deserted D-building corridor, with overhangs that offer scant shelter from the rain on this stormy March afternoon, as our meeting place, and for good reasons—reasons that an estimated 3,000 FUHSD students have in common. He recites them plainly. “Drinking started freshman year. Weed started in seventh grade. Pills started freshman year.” The rap sheet sounds extensive for a 10th grader, but it’s not unique. The sophomore is part of a group that makes up an entire third of students in the district: those that admit to using alcohol or illegal drugs.

Discipline and prevention Administration is well aware of data like this, a statistic from the California Healthy Kids Survey. This comprehensive, biennial survey is administered to over 4,000 freshmen and juniors in the district. In the 2010 rendition, 33 percent of FUHSD students claimed that they had used at least one substance from a list that included alcohol, marijuana, and other illegal drugs. “I don’t think zero is reachable, but that has to be our target,” said Principal April Scott. “If that wasn’t our target, then all the things that we’re trying to put into place, the messages that we’re sending, and the interventions we have in place would be meaningless. The reason we have all these things is that we want [alcohol and drug use] to stop. And stop means zero.” see DRUGS on page 4 Joseph Beyda | El Estoque Photo Illustration

Diversity Week all about Friday Shortened Diversity Day packs greater punch


his year, ASB shook things up for Arts Club, and Bhangra Team’s ever-moreDiversity Day on April 1. Short and colorful costumes during their energetic display sweet, it was reorganized to include of cultural dance. New performances included more club participation. In past years, the ASB- senior Gary Wang singing the Chinese song organized Diversity “Dao Xiang” by Jay Week assigned a Chou, sophomore MONEY FOR JAPAN continent to each of Jennifer Liu on the its five days, with Chinese instrument students encouraged zither, and sophomore to dress up or sample Grant Menon playing food in an effort to a rendition of a Money donated to the Red learn more about the Turkish piece on the day’s continent. But classical guitar. Cross for Japanese tsunami this time, the events But the most relief at the Diversity Day were condensed into current piece of the a single day. Diversity Assembly assembly alone “[The focus was was the promotional on] one day with a video encouraging bigger celebration as donations to help a whole that would draw people’s attention,” earthquake victims in Japan. Outside the door said ASB Treasurer senior Elaine Tang. In order of the gym, bins were placed so that students to make this goal come true, the ASB team could give money on their way out of the picked elements of previous Diversity Weeks assembly—money they had been reminded and Club Days to form into a single, impactful to bring by a school-wide email from Dean of day consisting of the Diversity Assembly and Students Denae Moore. lunchtime activities. The Diversity Assembly occurs every year, see DIVERSITY on page 3 with staples such as the Raas Team, Martial


Christophe Haubursin| El Estoque

DIVERSITY ASSEMBLY Junior Darshan Donthi performs with MV Bhangra at the Diversity Assembly on April 1. MV Bhangra’s performance was one of seven at the event, which featured dancers, musicians, and singers.

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April 6, 2011


BRIEFING ROOM Helping the world one performance at a time

continued from page 1

Derrick Yee | El Estoque

Derrick Yee| El Estoque

Speed Demons

Derrick Yee | El Estoque

The new guys

Student Recognition will be holding the annual MVHS car show. Categories include “Most Green,” “Needs Most Improvement,” “Best Personality,” and “Most Stylish.” Upon entering, each car is automatically Christophe Hauberson | El Estoque entered to compete for the $75 cash prize. Students may enter their parents’ cars. Sign ups are online and end April 15.

Eco-Friendly The City of APRIL Cupertino will be holding its third annual Earth Day festival on April 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at City Hall Plaza. Activities will include ecofriendly crafts, a do-it-yourself home conservation workshop, farmers market, and live music. Other community workshops will also be available, like gardening with native plants and explaining food labels.


Corrections Page 2: There were eight Physics Olympiad winners. Page 12: Junior Evyatar Ben-Asher’s name was misspelled. Feb. 2 Issue Page 7: The freshmen class also made a poster for coach and teacher Ron Freeman.

AED: District debates decision to use machines

Interact’s International Night was on April 1 to raise money for Shelterbox, for disaster relief. The superhero themed night featured acts by various FUHSD student groups including MV Bhangra (left) and student emcees, like Junior Akshay Suggula from Cupertino High School. Stage decorations accented the theme (top right). For full coverage of the event, see page 15.

Strutting their stuff

The candidates for ASB office diligently prompted the student body to exercise their right to vote for representatives of the student body for next year. The final team is entirely comprised of juniors. Voting ended March 25 and the ASB team for the 2011-2010 school Elvin Wong | El Estoque year is, Jacob Lui, president, Christina Aguila, vice president, Kelly Darmawan, secretary, Kevin Chang, treasurer, Sara Yang, social manager, and Neil Fernandes, IDC representative.

Dominique Pieb | El Estoque

Fashion Club held their sixth annual fashion show April 2 in the gym. Sixteen designers showcased their talent with three or more garments that were each created by hand with materials selected by the designers themselves. All proceeds benefited Fashion Club. For full coverage of the fashion show, visit

Jazzing it up

Multiple choice STAR testing schedule will occur the week of April 11. April 11: EnglishLanguage Arts for all freshmen, sophomores and juniors April 12: Mathematics for all freshmen, sophomores, and juniors April 13: Science for freshmen, sophomores, and juniors April 14: History/Social Studies for sophomores and juniors April 15: Science proficiency testing for sophomores

Seniors Kasia Gawlas, Jonathan Yee, and Abhishek Kumar (right) serve food on March 25 at the Blue Pearl dance. Swing dancing, live music, and a dance teacher were all a part of this year’s Blue Pearl dance. Planned by Student Life Commission, the event was Jiyoon Park | El Estoque an opportunity for students to enjoy the themed dance as well as help with humanitarian efforts in Japan. Government Team members were also present and helped with set up, clean up, and serving. Team members used the event to fundraise for Japan relief, using a small portion to offer financial assistance for some team members to attend the team’s field trip to Washington D.C. For more photos of the event, visit

“It’s a really fun thing to teach,” said Hajjarian. “And I think it’s really important that students know about it because one in seven people in their lifetime ends up doing CPR on someone.” In this unit the students have been taught the importance of not only knowing how to use AEDs in attempt to revive someone during cardiac arrest, but also of making sure that the machines are present and accessible to begin with in case of an emergency. “I think after they learned what an AED machine was, everybody was shocked that we don’t have one,” Hajjarian said. “So, as far as being like, ‘You do CPR and then? Well we don’t have one right now.’ So the student response was like, ‘Really? Are you sure we don’t have one? Aren’t we supposed to have one?’” Physiology student senior Olivia Li shared the same reaction after having learned the importance of AEDs in the unit. According to Li, if one person is performing CPR on another and there are no signs of life, the AED machine must be used because for every minute they wait, the victim’s revival expectancy decreases. The AED is supposed to revive the victim by restoring his or her natural heart rhythm through electric shock. “It seems kind of hypocritical by teaching us how to do CPR and stuff and the importance of being able to react fast and help people quickly, and we don’t even have a machine on campus for this,” Li said. “It seems really irresponsible of the school not to have them on hand.” Even if the proposal to install these machines on each of the campuses is passed, the location of the machines and the finances still need to be resolved. Mallery believes that the finances of the installation of the AEDs are dependent upon many factors such as the number of machines, purchase costs, installation costs, which company the district chooses to provide the AEDs, and maintenance costs. “There will be a site assessment because AEDs need to be spaced a certain distance from each other, they need to be accessible, and there needs to be the right amount for the square footage of your school,” Mallery said. Given the increasing concern for health safety in schools, Li hopes that AEDs will be installed as soon as possible to allow others to understand how helpful they are in saving a person’s life. “Since there are a ton of schools in between MVHS, Kennedy, and Lincoln, if someone collapses, we should at least have one in the area so that we can respond quicker,” Li said. When installed, training seminars will be provided to teach members of the FUHSD community how to use AED machines in addition to CPR and other first aid. Once public instruction has been thoroughly conducted, the district hopes schools will remember that the next step after CPR in attempt to revive someone who remains unresponsive is the AED’s electric shock. Aafreen Mahmood ||

Taking responsibility for lack of action, learning to speak up


s high school students on the verge of becoming adults, we begin to find that there are decisions to make every day, and often times, they are more difficult than the difference between right and wrong. We come into contact with more situations where our moral compass seems to be just one of the many values to keep in mind, amongst loyalty, friendship, and privacy. Too often, however, we end up using one of the latter values as an excuse for forgoing any sense of responsibility at all. This issue, our Centerspread topic, “Snitch,” explores the often blurred line between being truthful and being negatively branded as a “tattle tail.” Stories delve into defining the role which each individual involved in such situations plays, and the types of consequences which individuals who have the courage to report wrong situations must also deal with. Ultimately, the issue comes to a question of responsibility not only for our actions, but also lack of them. As students, we have a


Letter from the editors

personal responsibility to our peers to be truthful; in this case, taking no action is nearly the same as encouraging the issue. Our school, for example, has taken on the responsibility that a sophomore male argued was beyond its duty in senior Joseph Beyda’s “Matter of substance, matter of fact.” Though discouraging drug use and underage alcohol consumption may also be the role of parents, the school has taken steps through assemblies like “Every 15 Minutes,” to address the consequences of substance abuse instead of turning a blind eye to the issue. The same goes for us, as students. It may be easier to ignore issues going on around you in order to “stay out of it” or protect an acquaintance, but that does not necessarily make it right. Considering that these decisions come up every day, it might be worthwhile to consider: What would you do?

April 6, 2011


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DIVERSITY DAY: Single-day event broadens scope of diversity A bad case of teacheritis This time, your teachers are slacking off


Elvin Wong | El Estoque

FIGHTING IT OUT Martial Arts club members seniors Kevin Wong and Tomer Assaf combat during their Diversity Day choreographed performance on April 1.

ou’ve all had that one test, project, or paper­—the one you spent hours on just to get back slathered in red ink. And as you think back to the hours poured into that one piece of paper, pretty soon you hate the wielder of that evil red pen. You’re not alone. The teaching profession is one that has been under heavy fire. And this time the haters aren’t disgruntled students— they’re union-haters. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s decision to strip teachers of their collective bargaining rights has sparked discussion over the role of those in charge of the education of the nation’s youth—and by the looks of Idaho and Florida, is starting a trend with likeminded governors.

From the not-so-star students As teachers protest their right continued from page 1 goes, and there is a big crowd to form unions, the Alliance, and more distributed European countries,” said Baking At lunch, the support for free food and information about Club Treasurer sophomore Alice in the Rally Court. People media backlash Japan continued as the Japanese culture. In addition to samosas, Yin. Not only global diversity, but will anticipate it,” Tang said. has been nasty. Honor Society provided another sushi, and tea, there were more personal diversity was honored as The lunchtime activities were The argument is opportunity to fold cranes, each u n u s u a l considered a huge success by that, apparently, well in the GSA booth. one worth a $2 donation to the o f f e r i ng s ASB, with the food attracting all teachers want “Most people are Red Cross. The JHS booth was like Spanish large crowds that remained to is money. That’s gravitating to the booths joined in the Rally Court by many H o n o r try activities like cultural board right—all with food,” said GSA For an opinion story they other clubs. “We wanted to make S o c i e t y ’ s games, Chinese yo-yo, and henna see when they member sophomore about the Diversity it more of a club-based thing–– h o r c h a t a , tattoos. Erin Dowd. However, Week changes protests look at your faces TRACY ZHANG for example, the Indo-American M S A ’ s “I did all the activities--I tied are dollar signs. their poster promoted see page 7 Student Assocation knows a lot b a k l a v a , the hijab, did the [Chinese] yothe upcoming Day of Radio show more about Indian culture than and even yo, the henna, and the god’s host Silence on April 15, Rush we would. It’s also effective B a k i n g eye, drank the horchata, folded L i m b a u g h when participants promo for our clubs,” Tang said. Club’s German chocolate cake. cranes... all the global diversity calls give up speaking for a day to teachers The event consisted of club-run was in one place,” senior Shreya protesting “For Diversity Day, most raise awareness of anti-LGBT in booths in a format similar to Club people focus on the traditional behavior. Condamoor said. Wisconsin “leftDay, where clubs such as the IASA, Asian foods like sushi, but i “Our goal is to make it a wing activists” Muslim Student Association, thought it would be good to teach big event--like Club Day, where who are turning Baking Club, Gay- Straight them about Germany or other everyone talks about it, everyone Roxana Wiswell || students into pawns to advance the Union agenda, and insists that they are “siphoning,” not working, for a living. Tracy Byrnes, a Fox News contributor, goes as far as to call the protesting teachers a “poor example” for “fighting for things that they quite frankly don’t deserve.” In short, your teachers are greedy lazy monsters. “I walked in and somebody asked me from welve members of Muslim Students with supporting Hamas and Hezbollah, Association met in C110 during lunch recognized as terrorist groups. The fears across the room [about the sign] and someone Hey teachers, I’m on your side on March 18 for their weekly club of the Yorba Linda protesters were not fully else came in and asked and the teacher was Even to a student that rages (albeit silently) meeting. At the end, six of the club members unfounded, but some Muslim students there,” said junior Saquiba Tariq. “I just held at her teachers every once in a while, these began their noon prayers. Laying out a prayer argued that the humanitarian purpose of up the paper [sign].” arguments are ridiculous. But the issue isn’t For senior Saba Ali, the protest did not the arguments—it’s the fact that teachers are mat on the ground, they went through each the fundraiser and the everyday people and step, kneeling in slightly graying socks and the families that attended should have been more get the same response. She said, “For me, even being attacked in the first place. girls readjusting their hijabs as they needed important to the protesters than the matter of not many people were interested when I told Anybody remember Obama’s State of them. Not many asked.” to. But when junior Omair Ahmad began the the guest speakers. the Union address? He called on Americans So on March 17, the day before the weekly For many students, the silent protest went to stop looking down upon the teaching khutbah, similar to a sermon, the words he MSA meeting, several students participated by as quietly as the instances of discrimination profession. Obama referenced South Korea, spoke were different from the norm. This khutbah was written in accordance to in Fast for Tolerance, a silent protest that or ignorance in the local community. Although where teachers are “nation builders” and told a display of anti-Islamic sentiments in Yorba was not an MSA event, to raise awareness of Shaikh says that they may not always happen America’s youth we should become teachers Linda, California. On Feb. 13, the Islamic Circle the Yorba Linda protest. The students fasted at MVHS, it happens within the Muslim to serve our country. Barely three months community. Junior Zanaib since the speech, the public education system of North America held a fundraiser Memon can recall when, has become a battlefield, littered with the at a local community center. Outside, FROM THE PROTESTOR in sixth grade, a student bodies of those we were supposed to raising Yorba Linda residents protested. asked her if her family up. All metaphorical, of course—I clearly paid They chanted that the Muslims beat What’s also happening [on the day were terrorists. their wives and children; and that attention to my English teacher. of the fast] is the congressional “Everyone has a Mohammed was a fraud. Deborah hearing against terrorism in America bad perception of us,” An A+ teacher among the slackers Pauly, councilwoman, said she knew and how they’re focusing on singling out Ali said. “If you hear Marines who would be glad to send In the midst of this battlefield, one survivor the Muslim group... they’re the Youtube comments “these terrorists to an early meeting quietly raises his hand and defies all the a single group people as terrorists, [from the Yorba Linda criticism. Joe Imwall, a teacher at Learning in paradise,” a sentiment that was like McCarthyism. protest], they’re the Without Limits, a public school in Oakland, greeted with laughs and cheers. The You can’t say [Muslims] aren’t helping. complete opposite of is in the process of writing a children’s book. fundraiser was for ICNA Relief USA, They’re just living their lives. what Islam is about. They What makes it interesting however, is its an organization for disaster aid and They’re kind. had comments like ‘Go editors. They do not hold college diplomas, womens’ shelters. They’re not trying to take down America. home!’ but this is our steady jobs, or even driver’s licenses. Imwall’s At the March 18 meeting, history - junior Iqra Shaikh home.” and government teacher Christopher book is being edited, as it’s being written, by The Yorba Linda his third-grade class. Chiang asked the MSA members for protests happened in a their opinion. Every time Imwall finishes a chapter of “Have you been following the news in from sunrise until sunset for that Thursday to community different from Cupertino’s, but the book, currently titled “Un-Conquering demonstrate the ideals of Islam the distance did not affect the sense of action Uncle Troy,” he brings it into class for a Orange County?” Chiang asked. “You fast,” Shaikh said. “It’s supposed to that caused students to organize a counter- creative writing lesson, during which the “Decently,” replied junior Iqra Shaikh, teach you patience and perseverance, so we protest to that day. MSA’s social outreach manager. 22 students listen to and critique Imwall’s “All the Muslims are like one person,” writing, then work on creative writing “Do you think [ICNA] should have backed thought, ‘Why don’t we protest by fasting?’” Fasting, instead of making a scene, was Shaikh said. “So if one arm is hurting, projects of their own. According to Imwall, down and dis-invited some of the guest representative of who Muslims are and everybody else is hurting. From that exposure to a novel in the works has helped speakers?” he continued. what their religion is, according to Shaikh. perspective, your brothers and sisters in Islam spark the children’s interest in writing. Here Shaikh answered, “I don’t know.” The controversy was that the two ICNA The participating students wore signs that are getting hurt. You should stand up for is a teacher who is taking his own time to guest speakers were believed by some to prompted people to ask what Fast for Tolerance them. Being able to stand up for other people, get his students to enjoy writing, one who have radical, Islamic views. Siraj Wahhaj was about. Forcing people to ask and then hear it doesn’t necessarily apply to the Muslim cares about the education of his students was allegedly connected to the 1993 World about the original fundraiser in Yorba Linda is people. It can apply to a larger community.” rather than his paycheck. His lesson to us: Trade Center bombing, although he was never the center for their goal of raising awareness There are teachers out there who are greedy Natalie Chan || only for the success of their students. charged. Amir-Abdel Malik-Ali is connected and education in the community.


Hating on the Haters

Students in Fast for Tolerance for silent protest

Insults directed toward Islamic organization, Muslim students respond


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April 6, 2011


DRUGS: Substance abuse increases over time continued from page 1

could figure myself out in terms of drinking.” She says that she began using alcohol after returning from a trip in the summer before sophomore year, claiming that exposure to a different culture overseas—as many countries have legal drinking ages between 16 and 18—caused her to start drinking back home. “After I came back, it didn’t seem like that big of a deal to me,” she said. “I wasn’t really getting drunk, it was more just social… I didn’t feel like I was doing anything wrong necessarily.” She kept drinking with friends, and her

sophomore male said. “I wouldn’t say it’s so much just about [being in] high school.”


2233 responses to 2009-10 California Healthy Kids Survey


2015 responses to 2009-10 California Healthy Kids Survey

The issue was brought to the forefront in early March, after a senior was caught with an alcoholic Programs and advice energy drink known as Four Loko at the DECA When new survey data is released, State Career Development Conference. The episode administration discusses the issues at hand and the was DECA’s second controlled substance incident best ways to get their message out to students. at conferences in 2011. “For example, would it be my place to best Administration stepped in, as the student was address the use of drugs and alcohol?” Scott said. suspended and permanently banned from DECA. “Probably not, because I can’t reach 2,500 students. “My philosophy is not of a punitive mindset,” But there are biology classes and physiology classes Scott said. “That’s not who I am. But we do have to and P.E. classes that talk about health on a regular think about it that way, unfortunately. We have to say, ‘If we really want a safe environment here on TRENDS IN SUBSTANCE ABUSE campus, then what are we going to do if students don’t provide that, and what consequences will there be?’” MVHS also emphasizes programs that discourage substance abuse preemptively, including Alcohol in-class health lessons, lunchtime activities that discourage smoking and substance abuse, and 22% 39% schoolwide assemblies. “Once students start [using drugs], there’s also the naïveté of, ‘Oh, I’ll just try it once and it’s not Marijuana going to make a difference, and I’ll stop anytime I 11% 21% want,’” Scott said. “It’s certainly not that easy.” The sophomore male disagrees, claiming that he can control his alcohol and drug use. Yet within a year of first using “weed,” it became habitual—he Inhalants smoked two grams of marijuana, each and every 9% 7% day, by eighth grade. He gives an easy explanation for why he started: “curiosity.” “I had a cousin and older friends that did this Ecstasy stuff and they were completely fine,” he explained. 4% 8% “They were happy.” Knowing people who have become involved FUHSD. California Healthy Kids Survey, 2009-10: Main Report. San Francisco: WestEd Health and Human Development Program for the California Department of Education in substance abuse, the sophomore male isn’t surprised that 33 percent of FUHSD students have done the same. consumption slowly escalated over time. She basis. So they can take those aspects of that survey “That’s probably lower than I would’ve first remembers getting drunk during the second and best address them.” expected,” he said. “I know people that you’d semester of her sophomore year, an experience She believes that one of the most effective ways never expect—people with straight As… that do that she attributes to peer pressure from a group of to reach students is through programs such as the harder stuff than me.” friends that partied more frequently. “Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids,” which comes In Scott’s mind, there is a very clear separation But a year later—nearly two years after she had to MVHS each year with BMX bikers and skaters. between alcohol and drug abuse, even though the first used alcohol—things hit a stopping point. Though the lunchtime activity focuses on tobacco two are so often lumped together. Although she “I was at this party, and I got really drunk, products and not illegal drugs, Scott thinks that strongly discourages experimentation with alcohol and I threw up,” she recalled. “That was the only it is important to emphasize that students can be due to its detrimental effects on health, she views time I ever threw up from alcohol, and it was like, “cool” without substance abuse. it as understandable because students grow up ‘Never doing that again.’ Obviously I didn’t enjoy Yet despite administration’s efforts to prevent watching television commercials for alcoholic it… when I get pretty drunk, I kind of realize that alcohol and drug use amongst students, the beverages and I’m not myself sophomore male is still skeptical. seeing their anymore, and I get “I can almost guarantee you that the school parents consume The distance between an 18 and a little paranoid knows who [uses and sells drugs],” he claimed. “If these beverages a 14-year-old is huge. Becoming and scared.” the objective was to crack down on these guys, it safely. The same an upperclassmen kind of changes The story runs could have been done a long time ago.” cannot be said for differently for the Assistant Principal Brad Metheany, who often you... I think that’s a gradual drugs. sophomore male, deals with discipline in substance abuse situations, experience that people have. “I have a harder however. Two disagrees strongly. He points out that, about once time getting my every three weeks, the school is forced to call Senior female alcohol consumer years after his head wrapped first incident of the sheriff because a student is in possession of around the drug substance abuse, controlled substances at school. piece, because it is not celebrated in the media, his usage increased. He claims that he began “We hear that a lot—there’s no question that and it is not something that becomes a part of most drinking alcohol, and taking what are known as people think that we’re doing nothing,” Metheany homes and most celebrations,” she said. “So how “Pokeballs”: tiny, circular pills that are supposed to said, “and that’s not the case. We always investigate students get involved with it, why they get involved contain nearly pure ecstasy. [substance abuse situations.]” with it, is a much more challenging problem to me. I Just like the senior female, he found the Metheany also responded that he personally think it speaks to the addictiveness of drugs.” experience unsettling at first, but his eventual disagrees with policies such as regular searches of reaction was different. suspected drug users; “This isn’t a police state,” Budding teens, changing habits, different “The first time I popped a pill I was freaking he emphasized. experiences out… it was a little scary,” he remembered. “But But regardless of punishment, the senior female Also remarkable amongst the survey data is the then it was fun after.” advises against drinking alcohol in excess, or using difference between ninth and 11th graders; in the His involvement with these drugs ran further. He marijuana—which she tried once—because people most recent results, this two-year gap corresponded says that he began buying the pills from a friend— who do so are no longer themselves. For the same to a drastic increase in those who have used alcohol who also produced them—and selling them for reason, the sophomore male discourages others or drugs, from 26 percent to 41 percent. profit. He claims to buy a “roll” of 100 pills for from popping pills—“They do messed up stuff to That statistic is understandable to one senior about $200 or $300, keep 10 for himself, and sell your brain,” he explains. female, who also spoke to El Estoque on the the rest for four times what he had originally paid. And as he left our D-building corridor, fighting condition that her name would not be used. He believes that herein lies the explanation the wind on that stormy day to return to his friends “The distance between an 18- and a 14-year-old for his increasing drug abuse. Knowing the friend in the bustling shelter that was the cafeteria, the is huge,” she said. “Becoming an upperclassmen who made the Pokeballs led him to the drug—an sophomore male wasn’t alone. He was just one of kind of changes you... I think that’s a gradual explanation strikingly similar to that given by the the estimated 3,000 FUHSD students who have experience that people have. Sophomore year, I senior female regarding her first two years using used alcohol or drugs. wasn’t that smart about it, but those experiences alcohol in increasing quantities. Each another story. Each another rap sheet. in sophomore year led me into junior year where I “As you get older, you meet new people,” the Each another person for the schools to reach.

The school’s place in substance education


s clear-cut as the disciplinary rules are, there is disagreement over the school’s ideal role in terms of drug prevention programs. The sophomore male, a drug user who spoke to El Estoque on the condition that his name would not be used, objects to these programs, taking issue with how negatively alcohol and drugs are portrayed. “Not that drugs are safe at all—obviously there’s consequences—but you can be smart about it,” he said. “I’m not going to take two pills and get drunk and run across the street and get run over… I feel like [the school] exaggerates about how severe drugs can be.” The senior female, an alcohol user who also spoke to El Estoque on the condition that her name would not be used, believes that some of MVHS’s anti-substance abuse assemblies in the past were perfectly within the school’s role, but understands how things might have to be overstated. “I don’t think it’s the school’s place to say, ‘Here’s how to be safe with alcohol,’” she explained. “That’s definitely the family’s place… a school shouldn’t be saying, ‘It’s okay to drink.’” Unlike the sophomore male, who has kept his drug usage secret from his family, the senior female is very truthful with her parents and sister about alcohol. She calls her parents “open-minded,” claiming that they are okay with her drinking in moderation. She explains that this has created a trusting environment, making her drinking practices much safer. When she goes to a party, she tells her parents where she is going, if she will drink, and if she needs to be picked up afterwards. For this reason, she is annoyed by certain in-class discussions on alcohol and drugs, because she believes that the issue is best resolved in the home, not the classroom.

What is your opinion on MVHS’ educational programs that discourage alcohol and drug use?

No opinion 26%

Generally non-existant 29%

Generally effective 14% Generally not effective 31%

*based on a survey of 104 respondents

“I think that if a teacher is really adamant about it, then they are crossing the line,” she said. “I think that’s overstepping a parent’s or family figure’s role. It’s really not their place to say what you can and can’t do.” Scott understands that family may be a large factor in preventing substance abuse, but sees things from a different perspective when it comes to school involvement. “It’s a partnership, and number one is the home—the family setting the model, and the morals, and the values for the students,” Scott said. “But we have to talk about the health issues—drugs and alcohol being two aspects of that—what the negative ramifications are, and how students would be healthier human beings without them.” Joseph Beyda ||

April 6, 2011


Page 5

Getting into the


TIPS TO MONEY SMARTS How to become financially independent in five easy steps according to career center director Miriam Taba

Two students take first steps into the financial world


veryone recognizes important days of the calendar. Dec. 25 is Christmas. Jan. 1 is New Year’s Day. But April 15? While most students think of it as an ordinary day, for the real world, it’s the day when hard-working people give up portions of their paychecks for the benefit of the federal, and often state, government. Tax day. But surprisingly, the world of taxes, finances, investments, and money has traveled down to young adults. MVHS students speak of their experiences with handling money, how it effects them as students, and what it showed them about life outside of high school. One foot in the field Senior Deepa Chandhrasekhar has already taken her first steps in the real world, having started working as a lifeguard in the summer of 2009. After working for around 40 hours per week, she decided to try to file her own taxes. “I got a 1040 tax form,” Chandrasekhar said. “Since I’m dependent on my mom, she filed it, but I did all the work.” A 1040 form is a tax return form that individual workers fill out, providing the government with information related to their income and employment. When filing taxes, workers have to file for the federal tax and state tax. Usually, if they’re within a lower tax bracket, making a lower income, they should get all of their money back. “I lost about a grand to taxes but only got $200 back for federal tax,” Chandrasekhar said. “For state tax was even worse. I only got a dollar back.” But, to her, it’s more the experience rather than the money that is important. Chandrasekhar realizes that working gives you more than just financial security. It gives you experience. “Not everyone you work with is going to be a straight-A, over achieving student,” Chandrasekhar said. “The faster you learn that there’s different types of people and how to get along with these people, the easier it is for you to integrate yourself into society once you get into college.” Raking in the dough But doing taxes and having a job isn’t the only way to be financially independent. Sophomore Alok Singh may not do either, but he is taking money into his own hands. Singh focuses more on investments, working on commission with his parents and their friends. “In my parents’ case, they set up a separate account put some amount of money in it, and I play around with it,” Singh said. “I put it into the investments I want. And whatever percent of profit I make, I get five percent of that.” Throughout his financial endeavors for the past three to four years, Singh has come to believe in the concept that it doesn’t matter how much money you start out with if you end up losing half of it in the end. “There are plenty of people who seem to think that it’s okay to lose 40 to 50 percent of your income if you’re in a higher bracket. There’s nothing good about that at all,” Singh said. S i n g h focuses more on ultimate gain— t h e idea

that, in investing, one must try to profit as much as possible. “If your best investment lags behind another investment, it’s not the maximum you could’ve made and you’ve actually lost money,” said Singh. “It’s unrealized potential. And since people don’t try to maximize their income, they end up in a [financial] rut.” To any other budding investors, I lost about a grand Singh suggests to taxes but only got starting out with $200 back for federal investop tax. For state tax was like he did. The even worse. I only got a F o r b e - b a c k e d dollar back. website provides senior Deepa Chandhrasekhar the basics of investing and economics. Singh says it will point out common misconceptions people tend to have. “Some people seem to think that if they made five percent profit is a good thing,” Singh said. “But it’s not a good thing if they could’ve made the 10 percent, because they basically lost the five percent by not taking that option.” Both Singh and Chandrasekhar agree that taking advantage of parental presence in high school to learn about financial issues they will ultimately have to face is something that every MVHS student needs to understand. “A lot of people seem to think that studying is the only thing that’s necessary [for life], but being able to do your finances is a basic thing,” Singh said. “They don’t realize that studying is temporary,” Chandrasekhar said. “You’re only going to be studying till you’re, maximum, 24. The majority, 80 percent of your life, is going to be work.”


of teenagers are “very concerned” about America’s economy


of young adults believe providing incentives for states to mandate financial education in schools is the most important step the Obama Administration can take to improve financial literacy. Source: The Charles Schwab 2009 and 2010 Young Adults & Money Survey Findings

Laying down the law

Vishakha Joshi

Gov Team debates Young Adults Financial Literacy Act, which will fund business education programs for college and high school students El Estoque: Could you describe the bill you're debating? Senior Olivia Li: So the bill that we’re debating is HR 300, the Young Adults Financial Literacy Act, and what it does is provide funding for either community organizations, schools, or anyone else who wants to create a financial literacy program for young adults. What it does is give [the organizations] $2 to 5 million and, as long as they follow the guidelines, they will be able to get funding for their programs. EE: What is financial literacy? Senior Sean Hughes: Financial literacy is basic knowledge about finances: debt and things of that nature. This [bill] is aimed toward ages 15 to 24, right around the same age group which studies have found that has some of the largest credit card debt, so the issue is relevant to them. EE: Why do you think this bill is necessary? SH: It’s astonishing how much credit card and household debt that an American has. And it’s pretty bad when you compare it to another country, so I think it’s definitely relevant and should be discussed. I think it’s something like 70 percent of parents [in a survey] said they had discussed financial literacy issues with their kids, but only 30 percent of the kids reported that their parents said that. Obviously, there’s a disconnect. EE: Why is this bill directed toward high school and college students? Senior Sylvia Li: From high school to college is where you’re really growing. At this time is when you start making decisions like where to get a job and you start living independently and getting your own bank account and everything like that. If you want to fix things and make things better, you don’t start when the problem’s already created, but you address the issue right away. EE: Do you think this applies to MVHS? SL: I think here, in general, the academic environment is just more competitive so I’d say, on average, students have more knowledge about these kinds of things. But also, the economic situation here is definitely above average so maybe there is some sort of leeway we have. But, I think, given the economy, outsourcing, globalization, and all of this sort of stuff, it’s just important for everyone to know. Elvin Wong | El Estoque Illustration


Page 6

April 6, 2011

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April 6, 2011

Page 7


Academic honesty is not a crime

Greater anonymity needed to protect those who report dishonest behavior


attle tail. Fink. Snitch. The names themselves are like ankle bracelets. Just being labeled with one of these terms compromises trust and causes someone to be looked down upon by their peers. This is STAFF EDITORIAL the sad reality of school culture; students labeled as “snitches” The opinion of the are considered undesirable, even though what they do by El Estoque Editorial reporting academic dishonesty would be considered moral and Board righteous by any standard. It’s a difficult decision to make; whether to be honest and report any cheaters, or whether to be silent and maintain acquaintances. Less than seven percent of the 104 respondents of an anonymous survey conducted by El Estoque said they would report a cheater if they were caught in such a situation. It’s obvious that at MVHS it’s better to maintain silence than to be honest and become a social pariah. In the interest of maintaining academic honesty and integrity, MVHS can’t allow cheaters to slip past their fingers just because of the social ramifications of socalled “snitching”. The culture of cheating at MVHS has not brought about a fear of getting caught. Instead, it has instigated a profound fear of being honest. Each time


he District has plans to equip each school with an Automated External Defibrillator. Though expensive, these defibrillators are necessary and, with the students and staff just recovering from former teacher and coach Ron Freeman’s death, their need is more apparent now than ever.


Same clubs each year not diverse Next Diversity Day must break the status quo

one issue – six ways

5 2,000 10 2

AED UNITS TO BE PLACED, ONE ON EACH CAMPUS. Despite the cost of the AED machines, it’s good that FUHSD is willing to look past them for the sake of the benifits the machines provide. DOLLARS ON AVERAGE FOR EACH AED UNIT. Five units may cost the district a whopping $10,000.

MINUTES IS THE AVERAGE TIME TAKEN FOR EMERGENCY RESPONSE CREWS TO ARRIVE. During this time, if CPR is not properly executed, a heart attack is far more likely to be fatal than if CPR is performed effectively.

YEARS IS THE SHELF LIFE OF AN AED. This means that either the entire unit, or significant components, would have to be replaced often–all at a cost to the district.



we allow someone to get away with cheating, we make cheating more feasible in the eyes of potential cheaters. Cheating becomes seen as not wrong, but brave. Cheaters are often lauded by their friends as daredevils, and soon the act of cheating itself becomes a competition, with everyone trying to one-up their peers. A secret pat on the back encourages the cheater to continue and reward themselves with the success of knowing they got away with it. It’s impractical to expect teachers to police every single assignment and every single student, leaving the ultimate responsibility on those who choose to be honest. Fear of honesty makes the task of reporting cheaters all the more difficult. That’s why it’s important for MVHS to create some sort of system through which students can anonymously and discreetly report academic dishonesty. The school could set up an anonymous tip-line or e-mail service which students can easily use at their leisure. Ultimately, it’s still up to the students to report their peers, but the responsibility is on the school and the faculty to make it so that students who choose to do the right thing don’t become social outcasts. It doesn’t matter what is done, as long as it becomes easier for students to be honest about their peers and preserve academic integrity.

PERCENT IS THE INCREASE IN THE SUCCESS RATE OF CPR PROVIDED BY AEDS. Such a high percentage gives a good impression of how much a defibrillator can help in emergency situations.

PERCENT OF PEOPLE WHO GO INTO CARDIAC ARREST SURVIVE IF DEFIBRILLATION IS DONE AFTER A FEW MINUTES. Based on this figure, it’s clear that having a defibrillator handy at all times is best, adding to the rationale of purchasing them. Vinay Raghuram ||

iversity Day could have ended up being make the cut simply because their performance vastly anti-climactic. All the signs pointed was not very ethnic and were offered to perform to the coming of a sub par Diversity Day. during lunch. All the groups that didn’t make it Frankly, it was very weakly broadcasted, declined to perform at lunch for various reasons. which was evident when people came to school Those responsible for making the 2011-2012 still bewildered at the cultural outfits of various Diversity Day better are students. In a school of student groups. 2,500 students and DIVERSITY WEEK The assembly people from all parts consisted of the of the world, there must typical performances be more diversity than MV Raas: A traditional Gujarati dance by Bhangra, a Korean what was showcased performed by MVHS’s Raas team. percussion group, the at this year’s Diversity Martial Arts Club, Day. There is no reason Chinese Zither: An ancient Chinese string and other groups; not to try out and bring instrument played by senior Jennifer Liu. essentially the same something new to the clubs that have been gym floor. To further MV Martial Arts: Another Diversity Day performing in the past increase the variety tradition, a routine by MVHS’s Martial Arts Club. years of Diversity Day. of performances, That is not to say that perhaps the groups Classical Turkish Guitar: A rendition of a the skills demonstrated that perform do not Carlos Domeniconi composition by sophomore by these groups were need to consist mostly Grant Menon. not amazing; I applaud of song and dance. the performers for Perhaps there should Taiwanese Pop: Rendition of Jay Chou’s their perseverance and be a greater diversity music by senior Gary Wang. dedication. However, simply in the types of about two minutes performance, such as Korean Drums: A percussion routine into each of these demonstrations like performed by members the Hankook Club. performances one the Martial Arts Club could see heads in the does. Furthermore, MV Bhangra: The anticipated team performed audience starting to performances by an appropriate piece-de-resistance. drop onto hands and students are great, but tired students beginning having one featuring to fidget. A bigger any number of teachers variety of performances could potentially spice for shorter amounts of up Diversity Day. time would only benefit All that being said, the mostly teenage audience with the mostly lunchtime made up for the somewhat lacking short attention span. Despite the short attention assembly. Despite the lack of publicity prior to span typical of teenagers, students were sure to Diversity Day, people came out to try on hijabs, demonstrate support for their peers despite the get free henna tattoos, play with Chinese yo-yos, performances dragging in length. and enjoy free baklava. The great thing about ASB is not to blame for the lack of variety Diversity Day was the willingness of students to in performances. The only requirement for accept the change of pace and simply enjoy the performing in diversity week was a performance rest of the day. relating to ethnic diversity. A couple groups did not Danielle Kay ||

Page 8

April 6, 2011


The Flip Side

green grades for

Extra credit takes away meaning from events


n MVHS’s overly-competitive academic atmosphere, one thing is for certain. Extra credit is a booming economy. There’s no doubt about it; the evidence is everywhere. On Nov. 30, a sea of AP US History students swarmed the MVHS library like a horde of Black Friday shoppers, crowding in for a chance at 20 extra points. Furthermore, small slips of paper issued by teachers have also gained significant face value rivalling the dollar itself, such as AP Chemistry teacher Kavita Gupta’s “Gupta Dollar” system which could be “cashed in” at the end of each semester for points. However, when extra credit becomes the sole incentive for one to go to a school event, there becomes a loss in the whole reason and meaning for the event itself. For this year’s International Night that occurred on April 2, the Interact Officer Team had decided to end the annual extra credit opportunity, and this may very well be the fairest thing done to protect the integrity of International Night. Furthermore, the Interact Officer Team felt confident that the show was good enough to attract enough viewers without this incentive. What justifies this move? Although it’s in any event organizer’s best interests to help a struggling student bump up his or her grade, providing this incentive destroys the whole reason an event exists. As for International Night, students are supposed to attend to celebrate diversity, not for a slip of paper that guarantees them a Chance Card for academics. For example, students in Photography 1 and 2 are awarded extra credit if they visit the annual Blue Coat Community Art Showcase which will occur in May. Now with an added incentive of extra credit, it would seem that these students are going to the Showcase to maximize and extend their art education. However, there are better alternatives to attending an event, such as another extra credit assignment or project. To say the least, it should be the student’s moral obligation to attend any event unconditionally, regardless of whether extra credit is offered or not. These events don’t come free, and it’s also unfair to underprivileged students who do not have the extra funds to attend these events for extra credit. It is understandable that in MVHS’s scorching academic climate, extra credit opportunities are always on a high demand. However when these chances are given, they should be more aligned with the class itself, rather than using school and community events as replacement for what could be a extra credit assignment that can teach more to the student. Extra credit may be a valuable resource for students, but pegging its value to school events is simply disrespectful to the planners of any event and the event itself.

Incentives help both charities and students


A&E See “International Night, Diversity Day keeps MVHS groups busy” on page 15 for related content

Ashley Wu and Vishakha Joshi | El Estoque Photo Illustration


Elvin Wong ||


percent of students believe that the incentives make a significant difference in overall grades.

ach year students are placed in a difficult dilemma—whether to end polio or cure cancer. UNICEF and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society are both great charities, but because the events are so close together on the calendar, there is an aspect of competition. And with competition undeniably comes capitalism. With MV Interact changing their long held tradition of asking teachers to provide an incentive to come to International Night, its competition, MV Octagon is left under much speculation for continuing the use of teacher incentives for their Cure Cancer Cafe. However it seems silly to be questioning a group that has done nothing wrong. Both International Night and Cure Cancer Cafe are their respective organizations largest events and require many student volunteers to organize, to carry out, to perform, and of course to attend. Ticket prices and performances vary with mostly student performances and cheaper tickets for International Night while Cure Cancer Cafe has outside performances and more expensive tickets. But each year, both events are filled with large turnouts, and much talked about performances. The incentives that have been usually given by teachers to attend these events consist of a few points extra credit, a homework pass, or a small percentage grade boost. None of these can make or break a grade. In fact, they usually barely even affect a student’s grade. Furthermore, these incentives are offered to all students and therefore there is equal opportunity for the students to receive the bonus. And to top things off, the money is going to great charities. This isn’t buying a grade, its teaching students to donate their time and money to amazing organization. It’s helping people cure cancer and end polio with a small a pat on the back as an added bonus. Many other business and companies even charities offer incentives to increase attendance to their events, but aren’t looked down upon for their actions. Community Leadership’s blood drive for example offers a “Pint for a Pint” blood donations, or “$1 scoop Tuesdays” at Baskin-Robbins or free trials for gym memberships. Why should campus organizations be treated with different policies? There is nothing wrong with asking teachers to give extra credit, because teachers have final discretion about grades anyway. So if the incentives are generally fair, don’t overtly help or harm students grades, and encourage students to donate and support great causes, maybe more organizations should start giving incentives, instead of not encouraging them. Sahana Sridhara ||


of students think giving incentives is wrong of students said Yes

Are students more inclined to attend an event if a teacher offers an incentive?

of students said depends on the event


of students have no opinion


of students said No

of students do not think giving incentives is wrong *104 students responded to this survey

April 6, 2011

Page 9


Sacrifice should not be for gain

Those who sacrifice should do so because they are willing to face loss


hree thousand miles across the Pacific Ocean, a powerful earthquake turned the industrialized nation of Japan into a pile of rubble, killing hundreds, and rendering thousands of its wealthy, educated inhabitants homeless. Anyone can imagine—if you were in Japan, something like that is bound to ruin your weekend. It’s a good thing to see many people willing to donate to aid the earthquake victims. One thing, however begs investigation. Almost any donation, no matter where you look, will have some kind of prize—a show, a free shirt, or entry into a raffle—thrown in. This makes it seem like, though people ultimately donate, they need to have something in the end. This is not a criticism of any events or other motivating factors, nor an attack on anyone for not donating money. It just seems to be human nature not to give anything up unless there’s some kind of personal positive return, be it physical or emotional. That’s the kind of thing that the Christian holiday Lent is designed to avoid. Observers, who typically give up something for the duration of the 60-day period, do so to experience loss, to commemorate the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus made for his followers at no gain to himself. Practitioners try to make the same kind of selfless sacrifice, though obviously not to the same degree. Other people should follow this philosophy as well. Instead of going off campus to have lunch for three days a week, students could forgo a lunch outside on just one of these days, and instead donate the money to any charitable cause, Japan included. It’s true that the donors will lose out on their own


Opportunities to sacrifice


Good Karma

We’re sold out of rewards, but we’ve got plenty of karma. Vinay Raghuram | El Estoque Photo Illustration

enjoyment, but the loss will definitely be minimal. Those who donate in this manner can still have lunch out twice a week— which, by any standards is often—and the “sacrificed” lunch money would more than provide for supplies for Japanese refugees, underprivileged schoolchildren, or anyone else in need of a little extra help to make ends meet. In the end, everybody wins. Ultimately, the main issue is not whether to donate to Japan or not. It isn’t even about the concept of charity. It’s about the idea of selfless sacrifice, exemplified by the tradition

that Jesus selflessly sacrificed his own life to redeem humanity’s sins. In a similar manner, people should try to find ways to “sacrifice”— not for their own good, but for the good of others. Donation is just one example of how this can be done. We can definitely do more than just attend an event and spend money there, and justify it as “being for a good cause.” People should be prepared to lose without gain, with the knowledge that their loss is not in vain. Vinay Raghuram ||

Society must support, not shun, ex-drug users Those who want to quit should be fully backed by people around them






o ar f hi et gh te s w scho ith ol s in e th 30 nio rs es d ur ays sm ve y bef oke or et d ak ing

had learned not to care. I blew a few smoke rings, remembering those years. Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though.” Bloodshot eyes, trembling hands, seeming out of it, a man drowning his misery, and hopelessness in drugs and alcohol is most often looked down upon in our society. We don’t want to associate with the “druggies” and



ed s us nior ays of e s l d o scho thin 30 i igh ey v r of h ana w u he s iju t r a g n m taki

Source: National Institute of Drug Abuse

alcoholics; they’re pathetic, dangerous, unstable. But the same man who used cocaine when he could afford it, may seem very familiar to the eyes of the nation. In our society, we ostracize those who choose to abuse drugs and alcohol, looking down upon their choices and labeling them as ‘stupid druggies.’ We often forget that substance abuse can be related to some sort of underlying problem, whether in the home or within oneself. And many times, those who choose to use alcohol and drugs can, contribute to society. President Barack Obama, who admittedly abused drugs during his college years, proved that with guidance and determination, those who make the wrong choices early on can change their paths. And it is not within our right to make assumptions about the character of others just because of their choices, however “bad” or “wrong” they may seem to be. Though drugs and alcohol are not the best or most effective way to deal with one’s problems, they seem like easy solutions and, for many students, have become the easy way out. As indicated by the 2010 California Healthy Kids Survey, which is taken every two years, there was a 15 percent increase in the number of students who admitted to have tried drugs or alcohol from freshman to junior year.

Though the reasons may vary, it seems that as students get older, they feel the need to be more adventurous, daring to try illegal activities and avoid the consequences, or even curious to experience the thrill of being drunk or “high.” It may be easy to punish and look down on these students for their poor choices, but these measures do not provide any long term benefits. In fact, it may lead to further abuse of addictive substances. Rather, we should strive to find effective ways to help them to overcome these problems and avoid further abuse of alcohol and drugs. Being open minded and unbiased when addressing these problems the most effective way in opening conversation and allowing those who do abuse drugs to express their own issues with the subject. It is our responsibility as a community to address the problems that the members of this community face, including drug and alcohol abuse. Making mistakes is a part of human nature and the mistakes that those in our community make, do not only reflect upon their situation, but also reflect the inner problems of our community. So let’s stop judging and start doing something more productive and help make it so that kids won’t feel the need to do drugs. Arifa Aziz ||

El Estoque Online: Your thoughts last month Do you have a job?

This comment was posted on March 7 in response to the Opinion story “The passion for Advanced Placement.”

I am a student at a UC and looking back, having tons of units doesn’t help. I went in having only taken four AP classes and one De Anza class, and I am doing fine compared to my peers.


0 Anonymous


I think about having one


A proposal to allow juniors to run for ASB officer positions was recently rejected on the grounds of class bias despite support from ASB Leadership students. There were arguements presented both for and against this proposal but the 15-12 vote turned it down.

Don’t need one

Yes, I need it



*44 people responded to this survey as of April 1

Should a junior be allowed to run for an ASB officer position?

Go online to to comment.

Chew it over You can have your cake, and eat it too


f you ask me what I want to do after high school, my normal answer would be to go to college, studying anything that isn’t math. My halfway-joking answer would be to win the lottery. But the answer that I have told only a handful of people is much different. I’m not embarrassed by it, but it seems so improbable and impractical and just plain fanciful because what I really want to do is own a bakery. How quaint. When I say it like that, it sounds like nothing. I can bake brownies, decorate a cake, make a sandwich or two. What is the trouble? It’s only a bakery. It’s only a bakery that would require thousands to tens of thousands of start-up money, endless planning that could never be enough, and a pinch more courage than I have at the moment. Small businesses are not exactly known for stability—just look inside Vallco. There is a lot of risk for a minuscule chance of success. It just isn’t practical. On the back burner There are a few, a lucky few, who actually pursue what they have always wanted to be. Some children who played with toy stethoscopes b e c o m e c a rdiolog is t s. There is the quiet girl who eventually writes the novel she dreamt of since she was eight. Once in a while, a NATALIE CHAN kid actually does grow up to be the President of the United States. And the rest of us work in cubicles. How many of us actually set out to do what we dream of? And how many of us will give up? The reality is that being what we want doesn’t always correlate with being what is expected of us. Practicalities get in the way. For me, creating food is amazing–kneading dough with bare hands, baking until the smell of warm chocolate seeps into your clothes, watching someone take the first bite—but there is hardly a future in it. In fact, baking for a career sounds like something I would want if I lived in the 50s. I don’t even have the polkadotted housewife dress or the June Cleaveresque haircut for it.

What’s normal anyway?

Food for thought Then again, is it even possible to give up on a dream in the first place? We may never realize them, but that does not mean we stop wanting them to come true. We can always fulfill them if we choose to in the future, even if we plan to do something else with our lives in the current moment. A choice that we make as teenagers will not change the rest of our lives forever. Chances are that what happens now won’t mean diddly-squat in a year, and if the future is really that easy to alter can something as concrete as “giving up” exist? It might not be too late to become a ballerina or an astronaut (although I wouldn’t hold out on becoming a lottery winner). There is a reason as to why we have dreams and why they don’t die easily. Even if I acknowledge that having a bakery is not in my future right now, the idea will always be sitting in the back of my head. Then someday as I am sitting in a cubicle, crunching numbers for my generic, easy-to-anger boss, a co-worker will bring in a platter of cookies his wife made and I will remember what makes this dream so worth it. A person will eat a cookie not because he needs to, but because he wants to. Dreams are like cookies, made fully of desire and baked at 350 degrees Fahrenheit over a lifetime, or until golden brown.

Page 10

Letters to the Editor Letters of any length should be submitted via e-mail to, mail, or dropped off in Room A111. They become the sole property of El Estoque and can be edited for length, clarity, or factual accuracy. Letters cannot be returned and will be published at El Estoque’s discretion.

Same ideology can be applied elsewhere [In regards to “One class, increased efficiency” by Vijeta Tandon, March 9], I think it’s a great idea to combine ASB Leadership and Community Leadership. While you’re at it, how about we combine FBLA and DECA? And Wind Ensemble and Variations? And Journalism and Yearbook? Let’s just go ahead and combine soccer and baseball. They’re similar enough. Combining Journalism and Yearbook will [as Tandon states] “increase efficiency.” “While two is better than one, this adage does not apply to [Yearbook] and [Journalism].” Both Yearbook and Journalism have a “similar application process and also outline many of the same traits that applicants should possess.” If anything, “both classes need what the other has in abundance.” Yearbook takes some pretty nice pictures and Journalism writes a lot. “Heck,” Journalism even gives out pins that say ‘Know it now,’ just to let people know that El Estoque “actually exists.” “And after all,” both classes are located in A111 and help students to develop writing, photography, and editing skills. “So why should these students be forced to choose between [Journalism] and [Yearbook]?” Granted, combining the two classes would result in a reduction of class size, but this is an experience in which quality needs to be valued over quantity. Each Spring, as applications roll around, it is rumored that [Yearbook] is harder to get into than [Journalism]. Due to this unfortunate perception that [Yearbook] is harder, and thus more prestigious, students are inherently led to believe that” creating and preserving memories is more important than reporting the “news” and not researched articles. “Even neighboring schools, such as” Kennedy Middle School, function well with a conjoined Yearbook and Journalism. “There is no reason why MVHS can’t follow this same model.” The funding can be re-allocated to other aspects of MVHS, such as our Leadership program, which includes ASB’s Homecoming Week, or Community Leadership’s Blood Drive, which saves hundreds of lives. “Just because this is the way that the [Journalism] and [Yearbook] have been set up for now is no reason why they shouldn’t be reorganized for the future. For in this in case, one is better than two.” —senior Nathan Burroughs

Student argues for separate classes As a Leadership student, I feel [the article “One class, increased efficiency” by Vijeta Tandon, March 9] doesn't have an accurate perspective on either class. Some of the assumptions made are written from the viewpoint of someone who does not know much about our Leadership program. Perhaps it reflects the general opinion, but I think you should make an effort to go beyond that if you want to write a whole article about the subject. There are several Leadership students within access that can be approached for fact-checking. I respect that this is an opinion article, and it does bring up some valid points, but that doesn't mean that you can't make sure your opinion is based on fact. Some of the things that were pointed out were very insignificant, and in the process disregarded the fact that Community Leadership and ASB are doing great as two separate classes. Also, funding two classes is not costly at all—Community Leadership's unspent money goes back to ASB anyway. Also, we feel calling ASB more "prestigious"

is an unnecessary and untrue exaggeration. Of course since Community [Leadership] was established later, [we] haven't gained as much recognition, but you should also realize that much of our projects are outside of school anyway, and thus will not receive the same kind of attention as ASB's. The proposal to model Lynbrook's single "school-focused" Leadership class would be taking a step backward. It is not possible for one class to do the work of both without one side losing. Although we respect your opinion, and we plan to understand and grow from this criticism, please understand that it was also inconsiderate and hurtful to see a long year's worth of effort into improving our community and school humiliated in the paper. —Leadership student

Parent of alum blames parents for residency issues In response to [“Is there no sympathy for the illegal students?” by Daniel Tan, March 9], as parents of an MV graduate we moved here specifically so that our student could receive the best education our public school system [has] to offer. We “bit the bullet,” worked hard and made many sacrifices in order to live here in Cupertino. No regrets, no complaints. Just commitment to ensure that our student knew what we were willing to do for their education and upbringing. At the same time, we were also helping them understand that if you want something bad enough, you were probably going to have to make some difficult choices along the way. But, lying or cheating was never an option. Why then should other parents not be expected to do this? If parents are really committed to having their student attend MV, why are they not willing to make the same sacrifices? Why do I, as a taxpayer in this community, need to accept the responsibility for their lack of willingness to really take the steps necessary for their student to be educated here at MV? Children learn from example—especially the examples shown by their parents. Their parents set them up to lie, and that is never right or acceptable. If anyone believes that this is okay, then we have bigger issues here than just verifying residency in our attendance area. —Parent of MVHS alumnus

Student supports mass vaccination In reference to [“Not getting vaccinated harms others as well” by Sarika Patel], I agree that it is important for people to recognize the benefit of vaccination to society as a whole. Vaccination is one of the most significant technological advances humankind has made. Diseases like smallpox and measles, which used to kill millions per year, are under control. Vaccine ingredients shouldn't be a reason we give up these miraculous inventions. It's hypocritical to say that one can make a personal choice to not take a vaccine and put others' lives at risk, but it's not a personal choice to have an abortion because you put a fetus' life at risk. And besides, no one aborts a baby because they want to support vaccine development. Even the politically incorrect TV show South Park's shockingly profane Eric Cartman had a better reason for persuading women to sell fetuses to him (Episode 78: “Kenny Dies: a humorous look at the benefits and issues of stem cell therapy”). And apparently by a similar free choice, people can kill and eat pigs if they want to. In fact, the products vaccines use are merely saved from the garbage. Both the fetuses and pork products are the remnants of another process, and drug companies can use them to our advantage. We already killed the fetuses and pigs, so there's no reason we should let more humans die, too. —freshman Douglas Chen

2010-2011 Editors in Chief Mansi Pathak Vijeta Tandon

Managing Editors Joseph Beyda Jordan Lim

News Editors Arifa Aziz Sahana Sridhara

Business Editors Vishakha Joshi Pooja Ravikiran

Opinion Editors Sarika Patel Vinay Raghuram

Photography Editor Erin Chiu

Centerspread Editors Anushka Patil Roxana Wiswell Sports Editors Shanthi Guruswamy Cynthia Mao A&E Editors Amanda Chen Christophe Haubursin Layout and Design Editor Ashley Wu

April 6, 2011


Copy Editor Natalie Chan Print Staff Writers Tina Hsu Danielle Kay Aafreen Mahmood Morahd Shawki Daniel Tan Elvin Wong Tracy Zhang Adviser Michelle Balmeo

Disclaimer 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. Credits Some images in this publication were taken from the royalty-free stock photography website Mission Statement El Estoque is an open forum created for and by students of Monta Vista High School. The staff of El Estoque seeks to recognize individuals, events, and ideas and bring news to the Monta Vista 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. El Estoque also reserves 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. Contact Us El Estoque 21840 McClellan Rd. Cupertino, CA 95014

We need tolerance Students must stand up to hate


e’d all like to think we’re tolerant people. We’d like to think we’re owners of a multicultural mindset adapted from our own broad diversity at MVHS. That’s what America’s about, right? But when the Islamic Circle of North America’s innocent charity fundraising dinner in Yorba Linda, California was protested against on Feb. 13 with crude chants of “go back home” from a crowd that included city council members, local religious leaders—and even congressmen—we were shocked. Or at least that’s what we’d like to think. The truth is, most of us didn’t know about the relief effort to support U.S. women’s shelters, homelessness, and hunger that was so rudely interrupted by a protest funded by numerous American extremist hate groups. And we left it up to just one self-organized group of 20 MVHS students to patch up the fresh wounds of racial intolerance with a day of fasting on March 18. It’s easy to ignore the issue with the excuse of not pertaining to the group being oppressed. And it’s easy to toss the gravity of the issue aside as the insignificant ideas of just another small-scale hate group. Yet it’s our collective responsibility to keep the kinds of sentiments expressed at the rally—from Republican Congressman Ed Royce’s well-received scorn of American’s burgeoning multiculturalism to Villa Park republican councilwoman Deborah Pauly’s claim of knowing “quite a few Marines who would be quite happy to help these ‘terrorists’ to an early meeting in protesters attended the paradise”—far away from MVHS’s student body. Islamic Circle of North What needs to be America event and stood... done here isn’t a matter of whether it’s an American issue or even a Muslim issue. It’s a human issue. As students, the yards from the community responsibility lies upon center. us more than anyone else to strike down oppressive ideas before they can get a chance to start. Subtle racism that we downplay as jokes doesn’t take much police officers were present to rise to levels exhibited to control the crowd and last February, and isn’t so cost the city much different from the concept of gay jokes that the Gay-Straight Alliance has been attempting to address. When it comes to in police over time. situations like this, not being the one oppressed doesn’t According to The Orange County mean you shouldn’t stand Registar and an article on the up against what’s going Moral Low Ground on—if anything, it offers an even greater meaning to fighting intolerance, one that transcends looking out for yourself and delves into the greater force of caring for others and their freedoms. It’s time we stopped thinking only about our own needs and started thinking about the far-reaching implications of our own daily actions. We pertain a school with a diverse body of people, making it our duty more than anyone’s to support our local and national Muslim communities in This is not about their efforts to hate. We are not hate restore the peace mongers. we all claim to Karen Lugo, speaker at protest hold so dearly. It’s crucial for us to immediately take up our responsibility to make sure racism stays out of our community by keeping our expressed opinions peaceful, even in jokes. That’s the only way by which we can ever hope to strike down this small-minded See “Students in Fast and misplaced sense of for Tolerance for silent prejudice in our society. protest“ on page 3 for There’s no telling related content which group of people might be the next target of racism, and no telling how severe things might get. It’s critical that we instate a large level of focus on awareness across campus, providing positive change that we can carry on into the world to keep racism at bay when it counts the most. If we don’t come together for this common beneficial cause, any of us might wind up with our own crowd of oppressors and no one to stand up for us. And by that time, it just might be too late.

100 50 11



Christophe Haubursin ||

April 6, 2011

Page 11


Erin Chiu, Roxana Wiswell, Ashley Wu| El Estoque Photo Illustration

Models not associated with this enterspread topic.

Students battle a culture of peer pressure, complacency when reporting peers to authorities


t’s been awhile since kindergarten, but some of us still despise the tattle tale. And as high schoolers, we may be even more inclined to keep our heads down and our mouths shut. Yet, as the crimes and consequences become more serious, and especially if they involve our friends, are we responsible for reporting the bad behavior of others? Can there ever really be an “innocent” bystander? Many students grew up believing that telling on someone for wrongdoing was almost or equally as bad as committing the offense themselves. MVHS is known for its academic excellence, but also for its academic pressure, which some argue leads to cheating that often goes unreported by witnesses.

“I had a little freshman tell me that if you want to do well at MVHS, you have to leave your morals at home,” one English teacher said. ”When I told my juniors about this, they didn’t blink. They weren’t even surprised that it was a freshman. Everybody said, ‘Yeah, that’s true.’ They weren’t even phased by it.” The teacher, who asked that her name not be used because the student still attends MVHS, acknowledged that cheating is widespread and ingrained in the academic culture here. “[Cheating] is so ubiquitous and everyone knows it’s going on, so it only makes news when you get caught,” said a senior male who was recently turned in by a peer for violat-

ing a school rule. “Ignoring it is definitely the norm, partly because so many people do it.” According to senior Anindya Basu, oftentimes there has to be something in it for the “snitcher,” otherwise the academic violations will just go ignored. “No matter how much the teacher preaches that cheating is bad, it’ll come down to the students to prevent it,” Basu said. “Unless there is something in it for them, like if there is a curve, I feel like students won’t be motivated to report cheating just because the teacher says to.”

see SNITUATION on page 12

Page 12

nt r




A classmate is taking pictures of a test with their cell phone while taking it. What would you do? (a) Tell the teacher (b) Subtly signal to him/her to stop cheating (c) Do nothing (d) Other

8 3

Your friend has brought performance-enhancing drugs such as Adderall or Ritalin to a standardized test. He/she is about to consume them. What would you do? (a) Tell a nearby adult/administrator (b) Tell your friend to throw the drugs away or not take them (c) Do Nothing (d) Other

9 4

Someone you don’t know personally is obviously drunk at a dance. What would you do? (a) Tell a nearby adult/administrator (b) Try to convince them to leave (c) Do nothing (d) Other


You find out that your friend has enough marijuana to get him/her busted. What would you do? (a) Call the police/school administrators (b) Confront your friend about his/her marijuana possession (c) Do nothing (d) Other


You’re at a party and the police show up. They see many cans of beer lying around and ask you who provided the alcohol. Someone you don’t know brought it. What would you do? (a) Tell the police the person’s name (b) Give vague details about that person in hopes the police won’t catch him/her (c) Pretend that you don’t know (d) Other

SNITCHUATION: Students make tough choice between silence, speech continued from page 11


no one is going to be standing up for him,” the senior male said. “Doing the right thing might be more effort. It almost boils down to the idea that it’s less effort not to talk about it. So in that sense this ‘snitch’ stigma applies to lots of things.” And because no one else is talking about it — because it takes effort, as the senior male says, or creates complications in friendships, as Basu says — being the person who reports the wrongs of others can be incredibly isolating. “If you reported every single incident of cheating you saw — and it’s MVHS, so people cheat a lot — people would hate your guts,” Basu said. “No one would talk to you, no one would be your friend. Sometimes you just have to let it slide and you can’t beat yourself up over it.” Administration and ASB Leadership are currently trying to gather data about the learning environment at MVHS through what they call an “Academic Culture Survey.” The survey was sent out to students last week and contains an “academic dishonesty” section of the survey which has seven questions about cheating. The results will be used to determine the direction of a follow up project that will be directed by administration and aimed at changing some aspect of the academic culture at MVHS. The English teacher acknowledges that the survey is a step in the right direction. “It used to be that kids only cheated on big exams or papers, but now we see cheating on regular assignments as well,” the English teacher said. “To get kids to start turning each other in for cheating you have to change the culture of the school.”

You see your friend looking at notes under the desk during a test. What would you do? (a) Tell the teacher (b) Subtly signal to him/her to stop cheating (c) Do nothing (d) Other

t ge ses ts pa espon tuden





Basu reported an academic code violation this school year and stated that one of the reasons why going to the teacher was difficult was because of his standing relationship with those who cheated. He acknowledges that some may believe that those who witness cheating and don’t report it are not only encouraging more cheating in the future, but are as culpable as those who cheated. However, he and the senior male both argue that the situation gets more complex when the spectator is friends with those who are cheating. “I think [being friends with the cheater] might be the biggest factor of not snitching, even bigger than the morals of it,” the senior male said. “The first thing that would occur to me is, ‘What’s going to happen to me and him or me and her after I turn him in?’ It seems backward because we always should be doing the right thing. But I think realistically that’s the first thing that would come to mind.” Reporting the actions of friends is far more difficult than telling on a stranger, which is why Basu avoided telling his friends the truth when he turned them in. “They asked me if I was the one that reported them and I said ‘Of course not,’ and then they suspected someone else instead of me,” Basu said. “They probably would’ve hated my guts, but I should have been ready for that because that is part of it turning people in.“ Often times it’s those who try to do the right thing, that end up becoming the victims, the “snitches.” “A lot of times you tend to be biased almost for the person who’s doing the bad thing, who’s messing up. You always hate the snitcher, and you know that

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You’re definitely not the one breaking the rules. But if you witnessed someone else crossing the line to the unethical, and even the illegal, would you say something?


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Page 13


Your friend is in an abusive relationship. What would you do? (a) Tell your friend’s parents/the police/school administrators (b) Offer counsel (confront the abuser/tell your friend to get out of the relationship) (c) Do nothing (d) Other




Your friend takes small items from a store and walks out without paying. You’re the only one who knows about the shoplifting. What would you do? (a) Notify the store owner and turn your friend in (b) Tell your friend to return the items (c) Do nothing (d) Other

Your friend accidentally hits a parked car in the student parking lot. (The damage is minor.) What would you do? (a) Confront your friend and make them leave a note on the car explaining the incident with his/her contact information (b) Leave the note yourself (c) Do nothing (d) Other

You learn that your friend’s boyfriend/girlfriend has been cheating on your friend. What would you do? (a) Let your friend know immediately (b) Tell another friend about the cheating and remove yourself from responsibility (c) Confront the boyfriend/girlfriend; tell them they have to tell your friend, or you will (d) Do nothing (e) Other

Someone you know (but aren’t close to) has been harming him/herself, with noticeable scars. What would you do? (a) Let the school counselors/psychologist or their parents (b) Tell that person to see the school counselors/psychologist (c) Do nothing (d) Other

You have strong evidence that your friend’s parents verbally, emotionally, or physically abuse him/her on a regular basis. What would you do? (a) Tell the school counselors/psychologist (b) Tell your friend to see the school counselors/psychologist (c) Do nothing (d) Other

To tell or not to tell: What your teachers think you should do Appropriate response to students reporting cheating proves a topic of debate amongst teachers


hinese teacher I-Chu Chang used to sit behind her desk during tests when she first started to notice the signs. A female student in her class would spend test day after test day unusually huddled over her answers, behavior characterized by glances of fervent suspicion and the careful covering of answers. It was an emotion that was becoming all too common in the classroom culture of MVHS—fear. It didn’t take long for Chang to realize that something wasn’t right. As soon as she did, she consulted the student, who proceeded to explain that she had been acting out of fear once she realized that her desk neighbor had been copying her answers off of tests. Chang proceeded to talk to the supposed offender on the consequences of his actions—but the fact remained that the victim of cheating had never dared stand up until Chang decided to intervene. “I think it’s attributable to the peer pressure that students have here,” Chang said. “That’s what keeps them from talking. I hear stuff like that, and it makes sense. This is the age where kids really need to fit in.” And from the perspective of a teacher, the phenomenon behind telling on students­—snitching—is essentially that. “It’s hard for students to come up and do that,” said English

Jordan Lim with additional reporting by Vijeta Tandon ||,

Erin Chiu, Roxana Wiswell | El Estoque Photo Illustration

teacher Diana Combs. “In the same way that they say that there are ‘man cultures’ and ‘guy codes,’ I think that there really are student codes.” For teachers, the response to snitching is an area of mixed opinions. It’s a love-hate relationship that’s no where near as simple as you might believe—with some teachers pointing to appreciation of students coming forward, and others to disapproval of the disruptive nature of serving as the class “tattletale.” French teacher Lise Gabet points to her own background as the principal influence on her classroom approach and response. “I come from a culture where to snitch to the teacher is to serve as the informant, a bit like the traitor,” she said. “I don’t like it when people snitch on others, I don’t like the principle of it. It’s a double-edged sword.” It’s this double-edged sword that divides the MVHS culture of response to cheating. On one side, there lie damaging social repercussions, effects on the class curve, and even the infringement of a teacher’s assigned duty to watch their own classroom. But on the other side, there’s honesty. “I often find that I respect the kid who snitches, in a weird sense,” Combs said, “because I feel like it’s a kid who values the academic values of the classroom and realizes that such an

action takes away from everybody.” From Combs’ perspective, cheating and the resulting choice to refrain from informing a teacher come down to the quality of the school’s overall academic environment. “In a school where we’re very focused on academics, it kind of makes it just phony academics,” she said. “The bottom line is, if you’re not doing any work, then at least that’s the honorable way to flunk a class, instead of doing somebody else’s work. It puts somebody else in a bad position otherwise.” But no matter their sentiments towards student reaction to classroom dishonesty, one thing remains clear: cheating, in and of itself, not only devalues other students’ work but harbors feelings of frustration and retribution that have no reasonable place in a school environment. “I’m scared of this system,” Gabet said. “I know that in this culture, you tell the teacher, it just goes that way, you check with the student and report the crime. Sure, it can come from a sense of justice and morals, but at the same time, it comes down to just one student punishing another.” And, she goes on, whenever students approach her for that reason, she never says “thank you.” Christophe Haubursin ||

April 6, 2011


Page 14

Thinking it through: Students decide

El Estoque asks Student Advocate Richard Prinz about students’ reponses to ‘snitching’ dilemma El Estoque: Why do people choose to tell on each other? Richard Prinz: It’s different for different people. Some-

body may tell because they don’t like the person, or it may go against their morals.

EE: What about if people see their friends cheating? RP: It gets tricky because you need to have principles. There is supposed to be an unwritten code of friendship, like friends don’t do that to friends. It depends on how high friendship is compared to morals on the onlooker’s list.

EE: Why don’t people tell on their friends even though it’s a rule to tell? RP: They might not want to get involved or they’re scared of losing their friendship. Friends are supposed to be the people who support you. I’ve had people come and tell me things

that have to do with these situations, but they tell me not to tell anyone even though they did the right thing.

that the person studied hard for.

EE: What about bystanders? Why do they act like they do? RP: They probably just don’t want to get involved. Those are

EE: What is a reason people would tell? RP: People set rules and expectations for themselves. Other

rules sometimes can be broken because they don’t comply with your own rules that are based off your own principles. It takes courage to tell on someone because you’re standing up for what you believe and you’d make no exceptions for not telling, even if the cheater was your friend.

the type of people who think it is someone else’s job to take action. This ‘someone‘ to them would be an authority who would take charge. They don’t like the idea of being in the center of attention. [There is also] a fear of being involved. The bystander doesn’t know what’s going to happen next. They like predictability.

EE: What is the effect of cheating on a person who does not get caught? RP: First off, the person could learn to develop these

Pooja Ravikiran ||

tendencies in life, such as being in a relationship and lying or even starting to steal things as well. This also leaves a stain, an imprint on their lives because they could start to form a habit and may do it again even though it won’t be fair to the person they cheat off of because they’re stealing the grade

What if I do tell?

Delgado explains process Campus supervisor Ruben Delgado is the person students are directed when they have information about incidents on campus. Here, Delgado talks to El Estoque about what happens to students who tell on others. How does it usually go down? More often than not, nobody comes forward, Delgado explains. He says there is an unspoken rule between many students forbidding “snitching.” Usually, it is a staff member who mentions an issue to Delgado, and he pursues the matter by going to the area of conflict if the incidence is occurring at the time or by calling in the students involved if he has names. When students who were not involved in the incident come forward, they simply give Delgado their information and leave. What happens if someone is being bullied? In a bullying case, the alleged bully will be called in. Delgado says he or she is given one warning to stop the behavior and then is dismissed. Often, the victims are afraid of speaking up and reporting what’s happening because the bully’s friends are just as intimidating as the bully himself, but they should know that the warning issued applies to the bully’s friends as well. If any of them bullies the same person again, they face the same serious consequences—suspension or, at the least, several detentions. And if a student does come forward? Delgado explains that students who come forward are guaranteed anonymity and safety. If they participated, they are not free of responsibility, but depending on the seriousness of the situation the consequences may be reduced. Lying about involvement in the incident, however, may make the consequences more severe. Morahd Shawki ||

What do you do? B (31%)

C (54%)


D (9%) A(7%)

A 12% B 41% C 40% D 7%



A 10% B 63% C 22% D 6%


6 A 38%

B 19% C 38% D 6%


7 A 19%

A 55%

B 57% C 5% D 9%

B 5%

D 4%

C 33%

8 A 20% 10%



3% B 55% C 26% D 6%


15% 46%

25% 13%



These are the answers that 104 students gave to the quiz on page 13.




Erin Chiu and Anushka Patil | El Estoque Photo Illustration

9 A 56%

B 10% C 28% D 7%

11 A 26%

B 38% C 14% D 21%

12 A 24%

B 53% C 7% D 16%

E 4%


April 6, 2011

Page 15


Christophe Haubursin | El Estoque Photo Illustration

Licensed pilot senior Aamoy Gupta navigates his way to a flying future


efore he could even ride in a car without a booster seat, senior Aamoy Gupta developed a passion for flying at five years old, already fantasizing about being able to zip through the sky at unbelievable speeds in a supersonic jet fighter. With the original hope of being an astronaut, he attended space camp—and hated it. “It was horrible!” Gupta said. “You have to do so much, and you have to be so precise. Everything is scripted and nothing interesting happens at all. The mock space shuttle there was the only thing I liked, so [that was how] I figured out that I really liked flying.” At 12 years old, he started asking his parents for permission to begin the process of getting a pilot’s license. “We thought he was joking at first, but he kept pestering us,” Aamoy’s father, Ram

Gupta, said. “It was quite expensive, but we his license for a single-engine light aircraft in decided to try it out on a probationary basis.” the middle of his sophomore year. According Although concerned about safety, they to him, it was much more difficult than driving at the start mainly because of decided to continue when GET YOUR WINGS the fear. Initially, the concepts they realized that amateur and techniques that he had students would practice 1 Physical exam and learned in math and physics with computer simulators medical certificate from school came in handy. But and have instructors after gaining more experience guiding them along the way. 2 Knowledge test in the air, he said it becomes a During eighth grade, Gupta at testing center matter of using the gut feelings started his written lessons that he has developed to deal and learned Morse Code so 3 Oral exam with stressful situations. he could take his permit test “Up in the air, that in order to begin the actual 4 Practical exam just doesn’t apply, it’s just process of flying. After a instinctive,” Gupta said. year of lessons and 30 hours of practicing in the air, he took a practical test “There are multiple scenarios. If you’re flying a combat mission, none of this helps at all. for the first time. Gupta started flying with a permit and got Sometimes you don’t even have a map.”

For Gupta, the most frightening part of flying is landing. In the air, the sky’s the limit, and there is a lot of space to make small mistakes. But for landing, the exact angle at which the steering wheel is placed as well as the speed of the aircraft is crucial. “You can’t slow down too much or you’ll crash. You can’t go too fast or you’ll crash. And you have to go precisely straight,” Gupta said. “There has been more than one occasion where I go on the runway and I’ve been holding it at sort of an angle and I would steer off onto the grass. That’s the first time I failed [the pilot’s test].” Among aviation experts, there is a certain prestige and importance in piloting ancient aircrafts that have seen action in war. “One of the aircrafts I’ve flown is a P51,” Gupta said. “It saw action in Japan, and it has these little Japanese flags on it representing the number of Zeros it shot down.” Zeros, also called Mitsubishi A6M, are single-seated Japanese fighter aircrafts used during World War II. But one of his yet unfulfilled dreams is to fly a Mikoyan-Gurevich 21 (MiG 21), a Soviet era interceptor aircraft that is known for its incredible speed. Nicknamed the “pencil” because of the shape of the aircraft, the MiG 21 is a supersonic jet fighter, the most frequently produced in the history of aviation. “What really impresses me is the Soviet design philosophy,” Gupta explained. “The parts aren’t specialized; they’re very general, and they share the same parts as other aircrafts. It’s cheaper and it’s faster and you can make more of them. Any factory can be converted into making MiGs.” Gupta has now been flying for almost four years. His parents paid a total of $10,000 for flight lessons. They continually support him, even throughout numerous minor crashes that made them sorry about the dangers of piloting. “We have always told him to be careful since aircraft are much harder to control than cars. There is an extra dimension—height— that one must look out for,” Ram Gupta said. “[Aamoy] always tells us that flying is easier than driving as there are less rules to follow and not that much traffic in the sky.”

Ashley Wu ||

International Night, Diversity Day keep dance groups busy

MV Bhangra and Raas-Garba perform back to back for Diversity Day and International Night


pril 1 felt like a world tour for MV is really reflective of that.” Bhangra and Raas-Garba as they Bhangra and Raas’ rigorous rehearsal performed for two filled crowds in schedules and back-to-back performances the Main Gym and another district-wide for Diversity Day and International Night evening show—all took their toll on in the name of the groups, but FOR THE CAUSE diversity. With not enough to Diversity Day and detract from the All of the proceeds from International Night adrenaline rush International Night went to scheduled for the of performing for Shelterbox, an organization same day, the MV full crowds. Raas-Garba and “The biggest that delivers emergency shelter Bhangra teams issue we had last and living equipment to families represented Indian year was people in disasters. Interact raised dance along feeling fatigue. with Lynbrook’s For guys, their Bhangra team and paghs—the head approximately from a Bollywood dance turbans they the event, which will help more group from. wear—are really Though Interact tight so a lot of than officers had to them were facing schedule around headaches,” said Diversity Day Bhangra captain rehearsals for the senior Deepthi two groups, they were sure that their event Mahesh. “They all got over it though because would be just as much of a success as usual. the excitement kind of makes up for it all.” “Last year International Night and This year, Bhangra faced another [Octagon’s Cure Cancer Cafe] were on the challenge. As their elaborate costumes were same day, but both venues actually sold out,” shipped in the week before the shows, the said Interact officer senior Andrew Shiah. Bhangra captains found that they were one “Because International Night includes a lot outfit short. When the shipment hadn’t of groups from other schools, the audience arrived by Friday, the team switched out the


eight families.

Elvin Wong | El Estoque

BHANGRA BASH Freshman Ashmitha Rajendran of MV Bhangra performs the Diversity Day assembly on April 1. The assembly featured musical and dancing acts from Indian, Turkish, Korean, and Chinese cultures. missing outfit with an outfit from last year and went on with their performance as if nothing had gone wrong. According to Mahesh, the performances got progressively better as the day goes on.

Even with waning energy, she was quick to call International Night the best of the day. “I think the third time’s the charm.” Mansi Pathak ||

Page 16


April 6, 2011

Junior Prom: New avenue for charity

Class of 2012 officers work to bring many different elements of entertainment to annual dance




DJ R ell:

Sarika Patel ||

The venue in Downtown San Jose was chosen for its classy decor and greater overall organization


any juniors hope that their prom will be the greatest story ever told. The annually anticipated Junior Prom is scheduled for this Saturday, April 9 in the Corinthian from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. While it may seem that Junior Prom is a formulaic process, the class of 2012 officers began the planning last May when they put down a $2,000 deposit for the Corinthian. According to junior class treasurer Kevin Chang, the officers were debating between the Corinthian and another location. “We decided that the Corinthian was much classier and the people there were much more helpful,” Chang said. The Corinthian had pre-organized rooms which had been used for proms in previous years. Chang notes that although the Corinthian was slightly more expensive, overall it has paid off, with an anticipated 400 attendants. The class of 2012 is donating $3 per bid from what would have gone to Junior Prom keepsakes to the Japan relief fund. Along with this new trend, the 2011 senior class is also considering donating to the relief fund and hoping to get celebrity DJ White Panda to help with the donation.

$ 65 0

Instead of spending $3 per couple on keepsakes, the class of 2012 is donating the funds to the American Red Cross’s aid efforts for Japan


A game room will be set up at the dance, featuring video games like Call of Duty and Super Smash Bros and board games like Jenga and Battleship

was spent on security with San Jose police officers for the evening of prom

Sophomore Grant Menon will be the evening’s poker dealer

Freedom of speech: Student-run club thrives on its own Speech and Debate manages to coordinate events and practice speeches autonomously

Tracy Zhang | El Estoque

PRACTICING IN CRAMPED QUARTERS Kazmira Tarshis and Gavin Wong, sophomores, practice their duo interpretation speech for the State tournament in a stairwell on March 14


f you’re ever walking around the campus in the afternoon, after everyone has cleared out and gone home, you just might hear them. Their voices emanate from the bottoms

of stairwells, from the corners of the balcony above the gym lobby, and occasionally from inside a classroom. They are engaged in passionate rhetoric directed toward a single person audience, a cool and collected opponent, or sometimes nobody at all. Sit in on a typical Speech and Debate practice and you’ll find that there’s no real practice to sit in on. After a quick update about any upcoming events, the formal meeting typically ends as everybody splits off to do their own thing, whether it’s reciting a speech to a wall, running a debate round with a temporary opponent, or performing an interpretive piece to a few observers for some peer critique. Regardless of the type of event—Debate competes separately from Speech—there seems to be a fondness for unconventional practice space. “The reason [we practice] all over the place is because we have a lot of people, and debates are kind of loud,” said junior Michelle Jiang, varsity Lincoln-Douglas Debate co-captain. “If we were all in one room all together with 20 debates running, nobody would be able to hear anybody.” It’s not uncommon for Speech members who are taking a break from practicing their own event to just sit and watch the speeches of those who are still training intensely. Sophomores Kazmira Tarshis and Gavin Wong practice in the bottom of the stairwell while freshman Vishnu Shankar recites his oratory at the top of the stairs. The leadership room, the original location of the meeting, is all but empty. Speech and Debate members, while embracing the quiet that an obscure location brings, don’t always practice in these nooks and crannies purely for their own pleasure. At times, it’s because they lack a regular classroom to work in. Speech and Debate faces an unusual hurdle in that they lack a teacher advisor. The activity is entirely student-run and directed, and sometimes that means that they are essentially homeless. “When [our off-campus coach Shirley] Firestone-Keller isn’t here, we aren’t allowed in the Leadership room, so we’ve had to practice outside, in hallways, and in other teachers’ rooms, before getting kicked out [for being] too loud,” Jiang said. Being largely student-run comes with more work than

just finding a meeting location, according to senior varsity interpretation captain Yeshar Hadi and varsity LincolnDouglas debate co-captain Daniel Ki. Captains are in charge of everything from running meetings and registering member for speech and debate tournaments to teaching novice members the skills to compete in the first place. Being a Speech or Debate captain requires an incredible amount of time commitment and personal sacrifice. “I would probably be doubly or triply more productive with my own debate work if what I was doing was for just myself,” Ki said. “Last year I totally had to give up on part of what I wanted to do,” Hadi said. “I had to switch down to something that required less of my time.” Instead Hadi, the first MVHS competitor to qualify for Speech and Debate nationals in the last three years, teaches novice members all he knows. But no matter how much effort or sacrifice they make, there is little that the captains can to do bridge the gap that separates the Speech and Debate teams from the Speech and Debate powerhouses in the area. “There’s a level that we can’t reach just because we don’t have that experience. I can only give [the students] as much as I know, and what I know is nothing compared to what some of the schools are able to supply to their students,” Hadi said. Because the team is so completely student-run, they have taken on a much more democratic process. “We have free reign on what we want to do,” Jiang said. “We get to decide what we do on our own.” For example, Debate has a traditional “Coffee Society takeover” in which members convert the back room of a local coffee shop into their own makeshift classroom to hash out the details of their new debate assignments. Being student-run has allowed them more flexibility in planning such meetings, and has created a sense of camaraderie among students who are really their own coaches. Tracy Zhang ||

April 6, 2011


Page 17

Battle of the Bands gives to Families First Community Leadership’s annual concert features new acts, proceeds donated to charity


hey first met in the seventh grade. Their teacher had them fill out index cards about themselves, and junior Ian Wolf Runner listed “hippy dippy mushrooms” as one of his likes. The teacher stared—and then declared he should be friends with current junior Krista Trieu. The two became best friends, and for a while were Psychedelic Entity, then, Just Your Daily Dosage. Now, as they gear up for Community Leadership’s Battle of the Bands on April 8, they are Queen of Hipsters. “We were just playing around with [band] names,” Trieu said. “Ian’s the queen.” Queen of Hipsters will be one of the six bands playing at the show. Hosted by Youth Services Commission every year, the show is a competition for school bands, and all proceeds go to charity. The commission hopes to raise $3,000 this year. The money is being raised for Families First, an organization that provides foster care, social services, mental health treatment, and a variety of other support to help kids and teens facing crises ranging from extreme poverty to substance abuse. It’ll be used to help boys from a Level-14 facility—the highest level. “The boys from this facility have experienced anything from extreme drug abuse, sexual assault, and violence, to being locked in a closet for the first eight years of life without human contact or proper plumbing,” said Youth Services lead junior Stacey Urauchi. Last year, the Commission funded a snow trip for the boys. This year, they hope to raise enough money to send them to Disneyland.


TBA Seniors Daniel Ryu, Ryan Mui, Jonathan Cheong, Kevin Lee, Timothy Lee, Anirudh Agarwala

French and Indian War Senior Saurabh Deo, juniors Christophe Haubursin (both not pictured), Hemanth Kini and Nicolas Arquie

AB and the Blondies Seniors Gavin Mueller, and Ab Menon, Juniors Eliot Watson and Brandon Hayes

Zach and Gary Seniors Zachary Lamm and Gary Wang

Queen of Hipsters Juniors Ian Wolf Runner and Krista Trieu

Anomaly Juniors Ian Ford-Holstege, Eliot Watson, Brandon Hayes, Jake Lee, Max Sorg

It requires attracting as many people to the band Anomaly, also playing at Battle of the Bands, and play the drums show as possible—which and keyboard, respectively. means having musically Senior guitarist Gavin Mueller varied bands. For more on Battle of the was in a different band as Ab and the Blondies is one Bands, visit well—Crash on Garage of those. Senior vocalist and Door—before he joined Ab guitarist Abishek Menon was originally in the band Fat Lui. Juniors Brandon and the Blondies, and, finally, there’s Hayes’s Hayes and Eliot Watson are members of the older brother, Kevin, who is the band’s bassist


but is also as a freshman at Sonoma State. Together, they describe themselves as “blues slash rock slash funk,” though their set list includes a cover of Cee-lo Green’s wellknown hit, “Forget You.” That’s the kind of variety that brings in a potential $3,000. Anushka Patil ||

Fusing a sports team approach with an engineering mindset

Robotics proves to be more than just math and science, with teamwork playing a large role concepts, MVRT president senior Helena Qin Robotics and MVRT host a joint picnic where likens the Robotics organization as a whole to they play sports and have a barbecue as a a sports team rather than an academic club. bonding event, even though they are regularly Class of 2009 alumnus Ashwin Mathur, who opponents during competitions. was part of MVRT during all four years of “We all go through the same hardships high school, agrees with this analogy. Mathur, and problems during our build period, which along with other alumni, comes to work with gives us a sense of accomplishment at the end the current Robotics team so that he can of the season,” Kelkar said. “[This feeling is] continue to help the team succeed. something we like to share with other Robotics “[The founder of FIRST talked about] members.” using the sports model to get students into This fun yet focused atmosphere is one engineering, and as a subset of FIRST we which MVRT advisor Industrial Technology want to continue to do that,” Mathur said. teacher Ted Shinta works hard to maintain. “We want to maintain a fun atmosphere, have “I think that is the way students learn—by that adrenaline rush, have the team working doing,” Shinta said. “Not only do they learn together to reach a common how to make decisions, but goal.” part of it is learning from Mathur and Qin both your mistakes.” For more on MV Robotics’ agree that too often Robotics This mentality, which news, visit is stereotyped as a “nerdy” allows for experimentation, activity, when in reality is one which Kelkar teamwork and communication appreciates, for he are essential to the team’s success. acknowledges that one of the most frustrating “There are so many people in American aspects of Robotics is working for months on society that idolize sports. The problem with a design only to see it flop once the robot is engineering is that it’s not idolized,” Mathur actually tested. said. “So why not emulate something that “There are dead-ends, and you just have to people are already interested in to get them back-track and start over,” Kelkar said. “Avoid into engineering?” the same mistakes as before, but just let it go MVRT Mechanical Lead senior Abhijaat and restart.” Kelkar originally joined the team because Mathur recognizes the value of learning he was interested in engineering, but he also these skills early on, for now as an aspiring found Mathur’s statement to be true. Kelkar engineer he uses them on a day-to-day basis. was surprised to find that more than about “You don’t only de-bug robot problems,” “building stuff,” Robotics required him to Mathur said. “You deal with human issues, work with people and communicate, not only also.” within his own team but also externally. Vijeta Tandon || For example, each summer Lynbrook


Vijeta Tandon | El Estoque

WORKING FOR THE WIN Senior Helena Qin and Woodside Priory Class of 2010 alumnus Ryan Lee work on a battery for their robot on March 14. The robot was for the Silicon Valley Regionals, which took place on April 1.


n the back corner of Room F107, there stand exactly 37 dusty trophies. A few feet farther stands a shiny black cupboard filled with tools in pristine condition. Monta Vista Robotics Team is clear about where their priorities lie. Made up of over 100 members who meet after school and on weekends, MVRT works each year to build one main robot and one

“minibot” to compete in the game created by the For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology organization for that particular school year. This year’s game, LogoMotion, involves robots competing to pick up shaped inflatables and lift them to sit upon giant pegs. While the process of making the robot does require knowledge of basic math and physics


Page 18

The local comic strip club

Going back to childhood beginnings with the help of comic books

April 6, 2011

Senior fights sleep deprivation Embarking on a quest to attain the impossible: a full night’s sleep


Natalie Chan and Pooja Ravikiran | El Estoque Photo Illustration

THE DARK KNIGHT A neon Batman sign hangs over the accumulation of graphic novels at Comics Consipiracy. It is a comic book store for newcomers and old fans, well-stocked in a wide array of comics ranging from classic series to more recent ones.


he front door sticks. The lighting is minimal, and the store is only twenty steps long from front to back. Sometimes there is a half-eaten box of Krispy Kremes with lemon or custard-filled doughnuts. The store fits in with the others in the run-down, fly-ridden strip mall. But the first sign of life in the store is the red, neon one of Superman’s insignia hanging on the front window. It doesn’t have outer beauty, but Comics Conspiracy is full of character—literally. There is no reason for someone to wander into the comic book store, but once inside it can be tough to find a reason to walk out. As long as you ignore the inconspicuous bookcase marked with the warning “ADULT COMICS +18 ONLY!,” the store could have been dreamt up by a 7-year-old boy. A palm-sized Bruce Wayne hangs from the ceiling in the back, swinging by his neon-yellow bat symbol. A mural of collector’s issues is displayed on the wall for sale. On the opposite wall, a life-sized dummy of Venom watches over the store.


It then makes sense that most of the regulars on a Wednesday afternoon were middle-aged men, people who would have wanted bedrooms decorated the same


Comics Conspiracy 115-A East Fremont Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA

Screenshot from

way when they were boys, complete with a ceiling fan disguised as plane rotors. And after they buy their reading and have bags in hand ready to leave, many don’t. They stay just to talk for a few minutes or a few hours. They debate the value of



MAGIC Think you can juggle? Think again. This reflective sphere, the fushigi, allows the beholder to practice moves that will make it look like it is magically floating in thin air.


Turns out people can only read so much about sucky life stories. Fmylife, the old web sensation, is now being replaced by websites like MLIA. Figures that people need more comedy than drama any day.


Natalie Chan ||


Love the iPhone apps but unwilling to compromise a 3-D keyboard for the userfriendly iPhone interface? Invest in a TK-421 iPhone case with a flip-out keyboard to get the benefits of both of them.

YouTube’s Epic Meal Time takes cooking sh ows to a whole new level of gross by crafting meals packed with calories in the tens of thousands, like the TurBaconEpic. Yum!

having signed copies and how they do tend to be more valuable if you don’t leave them out where your dog can get at them. They talk about buying older, used issues and the stains inside that hint at what the previous owner was doing when he read it—apparently, dropping avocado from a sandwich will turn the paper brown. If you find a yellow stain, just hope it’s just mustard. Sporting bald spots or sweatshirts for bands that had their heyday 30 years ago, the Comics Conspiracy regulars make up a league of extraordinary gentlemen. Even if you didn’t like comics before, this store will make you want to. A decent selection of comics and graphic novels alike, long-standing customer-employee relationships, and a weekly lesson in nerd-culture make the strip mall a place you can imagine returning to. When you do finally leave, remember to pull the door shut tight as you go. It sticks.

Photo courtesy of Mimi Choy

A TRADITIONAL MUSICIAN Senior Mimi Choy holds a Chinese bass instrument, the DaRuan, which is also known as the “Chinese guitar.” She also plays the Zhongruan and Ruan, two string instruments that are similar to the DaRuan.

enior Mimi Choy sits down with her DaRuan, she evaluates her decision to play such a unique instrument. A DaRuan is a Chinese bass instrument, there are also the Zhongruan and Ruan, which are similar to the violin, cello and bass according to Choy. The DaRuan, sometimes known as the “Chinese guitar,” has four strings instead of the usual six seen on a guitar. Choy plays classical Chinese pieces in Firebird Youth Chinese Orchestra, but she can also play some modern songs. It was a combination of events that led Choy to play the Ruan. She first played percussion but when the orchestra’s DaRuan player graduated, Choy was chosen to replace her. After playing the DaRuan for a while, she gradually became a Ruan player. “It’s huge!” Choy said. “I like playing such a loud bass instrument. I kind of form the backbone the orchestra relies on.” She has been playing the Ruan for around four years now. “It’s pretty cool to tell people that I play an unconventional instrument,” Choy said. “It’s a good conversation piece.” Pooja Ravikiran ||

don’t need to tell you my current cause of stress. We all know what month it is, what kind of letters lots of colleges will be sending out around the end of March, and what all this waiting has been doing to seniors’ nerves—well, to mine, at least. If I’ve ever needed to de-stress, it’s now. And after last month’s procrastinating debacle, I need to take a step back from my column as well. It’s not a way to stress or an item on my to-do list—that’s completely counter-productive. It’s a reason to have fun, relax, and make time for myself. So this time, we’re stepping away from the to-do list. Over the three-day weekend of March 19 to 21 (a glorious gift from God or the school administrators or whoever you choose to believe in), I didn’t assign myself anything exciting or adventurous to do. I vegetated on the couch, finished the season DVD sets of two different TV shows, burned through a lot of books... basically milked my library card for all it was worth. And by then, I was so relaxed and rested that I came up with my best idea of all. Everyone’s doing it Sleep! What’s more relaxing than sleeping? Over that one weekend, I swear I got in 10 hours a night. I’m sure my fellow students will agree with me on this one—we love sleep. And a lot of the time, we don’t get enough. The National Sleep Foundation’s recommended number of hours (8.5 ROXANA WISWELL to 9.25 for people our age) sounds so astronomical and outlandish that I think it’s safe to say most MVHS students aren’t meeting the mark. We all know what happens then—symptoms such as decreased focus and memory are all too familiar to us. Or maybe you can’t remember. But there are scarier side effects. Young adults are the US Department of Transportation’s highest-risk group for sleep-related car accidents. As someone who drives myself to school some mornings, I’d rather steer clear of a crash that could be just as bad as a drunk-driving accident (it’s been proven that sleep deprivation slows reflexes in a way similar to intoxication). And the way to prevent that is to sleep more, which I’ll enjoy. Win-win.

The Stress-oMeter

The beauty of sleep So this month’s challenge: a full week of sleeping a full 8.5 hours each night. Sounds fabulous, feels fabulous, and the week starts off great. But then we hit Wednesday. I have an essay due at midnight on, and I’m characteristically not done. I’m going to have to stay up to finish it, which should go well because I’m so rested from the previous few nights; but what about my challenge? If I sleep a max of midnight to 7 a.m. (I have a first period), that’s only seven hours. Where am I going to get the missing 1.5? A nap. Naps are the answer to my procrastinating, sleep-stealing ways. We may not be able to control deadlines, but it’s been proven that catching up on your sleep debt is the only way to cure it. With my planning and napping strategies in hand, I made it through the rest of the week, exhaustion-free. For those who know me, I’m already fairly good at listening to my body when it tells me that I’m tired. I’ve been known to fall asleep on friends’ couches or floors or wherever when it gets past my bedtime, or miss texts because I’m asleep so early. So a week of going to bed at 11 p.m. wasn’t too unnatural for me, because I’m not the one who really needs it. For all of those who do, believe me when I say that it’s doable. All you have to do is close your eyes.


April 6, 2011

Page 19


From individual

tees to a connected


Boys varsity golf members bond over killed birds, heritage and French fries


rench fries may just be nothing more than French fries. But for athletes in a sport so individualized that the teams exist in name only, it’s over garlic French fries when the bonding occurs. “Our team unity is more important than anything else,” said junior Sujay Yatrapraganda, a member of the boys varsity golf team. Of course, Yatrapraganda and sophomore Michael Abu-Omar were the ones helping sophomore Stephen Ting finish his fries after a practice match at Deep Cliff Golf Course on March 22. MVHS won that practice match against Cupertino High School. It was also Yatrapraganda who was jokingly railing on Abu-Omar for liking to dip his fries in mustard, lightheartedly blaming it Abu-Omar’s German-Palestinian heritage. It’s been roughly a month since members of the golf team, currently with a 4-5 record, first came together. With this year’s team composed of only rookie varsity players, a first for boys varsity golf coach Jeff Thomas, many players did not originally know each other. And no one knew AbuOmar, who just moved from Indiana at the beginning of the school year. Still, it was easy for members of the team to get to know each other. “[Golf] lends itself to socializing,” Thomas said, “because [players are with each other] for two and a half hours [to] three hours at a time on the course.” With the socializing came the bonding—and the joking. Members don’t deny that freshman Pranav Mayuram is the butt of many jokes. However, even Mayuram believes he deserves the joking—many of them

based on his golf team mishaps such as arriving to a practice after it had ended—and laughs along as well. Jokes go around to any member with a golf mishap. Sophomore Ryan Khodi has taken the heat for hitting a photographer with a golf club during a photo shoot. Freshman Bryan Ng was teased for dancing in his boxers in the locker room before one golf match. The instance golfers make fun of most is Yatrapraganda’s accidentally killing a bird during a golf match. Of course, it’s not all fun and games when it comes to building team relationships. Another crucial aspect of bonding is respect. According to Mayuram, team members respect the abilities of one another—whether they are the number one and two seeds, which switches between Khodi and Ng, or the lower seeded players like Mayuram himself. “We’re better at different aspects of the game, so if someone’s good at short game, I might go [and] ask him, ‘Hey, how do I do this?’” Yatrapraganda said. Because of the time the team has spent together, Yatrapraganda believes he knows almost everything about each teammate, even though it is only halfway through the golf season. And Ng feels “physically connected” to them—spoken in jest, but still a good indication of the friendship between members on the team feel. “Going out there every day, playing together every day, golf makes you really connected,” Yatrapraganda said. Some days, it just takes some French fries to facilitate that team bonding.

Erin Chiu | El Estoque Photo Illustration

TEE OFF Sophomore Stephen Ting swings at the ball at Deep Cliff Golf Course on March 31. The athletes overcome golf’s individuality through the two to three hours per day they spend playing golf together.

Daniel Tan ||

Varsity baseball team unrepresentative of school demographics Asian minority argues that lack of cultural variety within team is offset by sportsmanship







unior Steven Chung has gotten used to being the team in 2007 had three. And the current JV team is only Asian on the baseball team. even more ethnically diverse. After growing up in San Diego, Calif. and after Head varsity coach Brian Sullivan accounts for the playing baseball for over 10 years with only white and notable difference in statistics during recent years with black players, being the increasing the minority—in number of THE ETHNICITY GAME this case, the Asians, now over of MLB playe r only player of full 70 percent, at Whites 0% Asian heritage, MVHS. Cultural Asians though there are a differences also 0% o handful of mixed play a large role 3%of MLB players race players—is in the lack of definitely nothing on the 1% of NBA athletes diversity NB new to Chung. team, and even A athlete 2% of NFL players “When I first though there are moved here, I sort famous Asian 1% of expected that major league r ye of NFL pla there would be a players, baseball lot more Asians stars like Japan’s on the team, but Ichiro Suzuki I wasn’t surprised or anything when there weren’t don’t appear out of nowhere. because it’s kind of a ‘white’ sport,” Chung said. “At [MVHS], the population of Asians seems to be And what is the definition of a ‘white’ sport? more interested and geared towards individual sports Chung simply laughed. While it seems clear what he because it makes time management easier,” Sullivan meant, this hasn’t always been the case at MVHS. The said. baseball team in 2008 had four Asian players. The see BASEBALL on page 20



Patrick Xie | El Estoque

BATTER UP Senior Nathan Burroughs prepares to bat on March 31 at a home game against Gunn High School.

Page 20


BASEBALL: Lacking in diversity continued from page 19

In short, independence is key for those who want to excel in their studies. Junior badminton player Sam Jiang agrees that in individual sports like badminton, practices are relatively flexible which could be why the badminton team is almost entirely Asian. Rushing home from practice every day prevents Chung from starting homework until late at night, making it difficult to balance his own academic expectations with sports. “If I’m behind, I have to miss practice,� Chung said. “I guess it’s just different in Asian cultures, or at least in my family.� Since 2001, Asian teams have played in seven out of 10 Little League World Series Championship Games, winning three. However, senior baseball player Ryan Winston notes that the local Little League team is primarily made up of white players. “Most of us on the baseball team have played in Little League together, and since there aren’t many Asians from the start, there aren’t too many now either,� said Winston. On the other hand, Winston believes that at MVHS, there is lack of diversity in the Asian population itself. “Most Asian players that come to the United States to play are Japanese, and because [MVHS] has more people of Chinese descent, it’s not too surprising that there aren’t many Asians,� said Winston. Of course, MVHS’s varsity baseball team has slowly developed its own culture as well. Chung is seen, like every other player, as a vital member of the team, even though his last name may make him stand out from the crowd. “I guess other people sometimes make jokes about it,� Chung said. “Like, if I miss a play, they’ll be like, ‘Open your eyes next time!’ But there’s definitely nothing against Asians or anything. It’s all cool.� Tina Hsu ||

Performing for the win

Dance team’s successful competition season ends with a bang


hey say momentum is the key to success—and if the MVHS Dance Team has anything, it is momentum. After several high-placing performances, the girls closed off their competition season with outstanding wins at Nationals, held by the United Spirit Association this year in Anaheim, California from March 25 to 26. The Marquesas placed second in the championship rounds of the character and large divisions, third in the championship kick division, tenth in the championship small lyrical division, and were the second runners up in the Grand National Championship division. It’s hard to say that the wins were a surprise. In competitions this year, the team took second place only twice. They consistently came in first place in all five of their other routines. Senior co-captain Kelly Woodruff attributes this in part to the large number of freshmen— nine—on the team. “The freshmen try really hard,� she said. “They’re motivated, and optimistic, and their enthusiasm really catches on with the rest of the team.� The team’s enthusiasm showed on stage in Anaheim. Though their kick routine is their usual winner, their character routine, set as an ‘80s wedding reception, was perhaps the biggest winner of all. Though the routine placed third in preliminary rounds, it

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April 6, 2011

Photo courtesy of Bob Griswold

Used with permission of Bob Griswold

HIGH KICKS The Marquesas perform their medium routine at Nationals on March 26 in Anaheim, Calif. They took second place in the Grand National. came in second when the girls performed during finals, the same day. The excitement was overwhelming. At the airport, Maxwell overheard one dancer saying she didn’t even remember going on stage and asking another girl if it really happened. It was quite the pleasant surprise for Maxwell herself. “I was just hoping to get them to finals and they did this.� Maxwell credits her officer team, made up of Woodruff, senior Carolyn Chang, and juniors Teresa Li and Camille Mol, with keeping up the positive energy among the team, even right before performances. It helped, of course, to see screaming fans across the stage.

“We formed this little MV support family... grandparents, cousins, brothers, they were all there, cheering,� Maxwell said. Cheer team, also in Anaheim for Nationals, cheered at Marquesas’ performances, according to Maxwell, and Dance reciprocated. Auditions for next year’s new dance team members start April 8—and they will perform together for the first time at Spring Show on May 20. The new officer selection process started March 30. The stringent process resulted in the selection of juniors Camille Mol and Teresa Li, sophomores Lyan Cogan and Rheanna Ganapathy, and freshman Kelly Yen. The officers set the tone, standards, and goals for the next

year, Maxwell says, and she hopes the team will continue to grow, though, she admits, “it’s going to be hard to top this year.� When other teams win big, Maxwell explains, it’s because their groups for the few divisions they compete in are made up of only the team’s best dancers. MVHS, on the other hand, performed in four different divisions, with almost all of the girls performing in many of those routines, and won second runner up in the Grand Championship division because they placed so well in all of them. “It just shows you that we focus on the entire team,� Maxwell said. “Our entire team is amazing.� Anushka Patil ||

Anushka Patil ||

April 6, 2011


Page 21

Softball with tough girls

Our sports community

Team, coach on importance of psychological aspects of softball

We’re stronger than you may think


he varsity softball team has learned some valuable lessons this year, but the team agrees the most important is the importance of mental presence. They know that this sport is about the practice. It’s about the execution. But mostly, it’s about the attitude. “Softball is a very mental game,” said varsity softball player junior Justine Young. “And the teams that win games are the teams that are mentally focused the entire game, all 27 outs... If you make a mistake, it’s easy to compound that with other mistakes. You need to forget what happens earlier in the game, if negative, and move on.” To keep playing despite the challenges, according to junior Julia Peters, each player has got to be involved in the game 100 percent. The players have to read the runner and watch the ball and pitcher at the same time. They have to watch the catcher to find out if her arm is good or her feet are slow, to find out if there’s something they can take advantage of. There are seven seconds between pitches for them to understand what’s happening in the game. “With runners on base, a couple more layers of complexity are added,” said Peters. “I have to be ready for the bunt, or the fake bunt, or the bunt over, or the swing over, or the double bunt... The pitcher is my responsibility. If she’s sad, I’ll make her happy. If she’s hungry, I’ll find her food, etc. And I do all of this while wearing five pounds of black gear in sometimes 110 degree weather.” This year, coach Raymond Teixeira is concentrating on execution and counting on the team’s experience, but he’s aiming specifically at teaching the 15-member team how to stay focused in the game. Teixeira knows that the team, with an overall record of 10-2-0 and a league record of 2-1-0, is SCHEDULE more focused than last APRIL 6: @ year’s. His goal for the CUPERTINO year is for the team APRIL 8: vs to make it to CCS, GUNN and Teixeira knows APRIL 13: vs this can’t happen LYNBROOK without focusing on APRIL 27: @ all of the aspects of MILPITAS the game. So with all APRIL 29: vs the pressure, the girls LOS ALTOS know how vital it is MAY 6: @ for them to keep their SARATOGA heads in the game. MAY 11: vs “There really is no CUPERTINO ‘strategy’ as to how you can bring yourself


omething happened about a month ago that made the whole sports world stop for a second, take a deep breath, and think. Think how sports aren’t really about frustrating NFL labor roadblocks or inconclusive NHL concussion talks, about March Madness’s brash predictions or college football’s all-too-consistent scandals. When all things are said and done, it’s easy to forget that sports are all about community. When junior Wes Leonard, a varsity basketball player at Fennville High School in Michigan, suddenly collapsed and died after making a game-winning shot on March 3, he brought the small Fennville community together in ways few could imagine. It sounds all too familiar.

The Beyda test

Elvin Wong | El Estoque

OUT OF THE PARK Senior Kristen Tatsuno finishes her swing on April 1 at a game against Saratoga High School. MVHS won 13-3 and will play Cupertino High School on April 6. back into the game [once distracted],” said sophomore team member Kalani Seaver. “You either come prepared or you don’t. You can always lose focus in a game, but if you were not mentally prepared before the game, it is extremely challenging to get mentally into the game in the middle of it.” On its April 1 league game versus Saratoga High School, which took place at MVHS, the

softball team put their mind-based strategies into action. The girls walked away with a 13-3 win, and saw their victory as a source of motivation to help them win their other games. The team will continue to employ their techniques in their later games, because they know that wins like this are what will pave their path to playing at CCS. Shanthi Guruswamy ||

Stephanie Lam: Skilled player, small package Freshman varsity badminton player seeded number one in singles





Our own loss It’s been two and a half months since the passing of teacher and coach Ron Freeman shook MVHS in much the same way. Now, exactly 75 days later, it’s time to take a look back at how losing JOSEPH BEYDA Freeman changed MVHS—changed us. We’ve all heard the true multitude of heartfelt, touching stories sur rounding Freeman at MVHS; by this point, we’ve all gained an understanding of how much this one man meant to our community. But this is where we need to evaluate how our community got through the experience. How has this school changed? How have students grown? How has the athletics program moved forward? You might not hear somber, whispered conversations anymore as you walk through the Rally Court, but the remnants of MVHS’s late-January remembrance are still abound. There are still dark-purple ribbons on students’ backpacks. There are still representations of Freeman’s polo-goal shrine in the photography room. There are still copies of Freeman’s wide smile posted up in classrooms. And there is still a swim team, going strong as always.


I always remember matches that I lose so I can learn from them.” freshman Stephanie Lam

Rank: Seeded number one in high school varsity singles Started playing in: 2007 Club: Menlo Park Started playing competitively in: 2008 Push factor: Lam’s mom didn’t want her to be exposed to the sun, so she asked her to switch to an indoor sport Gateway sport: Tennis and swimming Most recent win: March 29 at Los Altos Struggles: Pressure from coach, team, and self to win


espite her freshman status, varsity badminton player Stephanie Lam is anything but new to the sport. Quickly moving up through the levels to the number one singles varsity position, Lam has proven her skill and experience win after win. Since her entry into the competitive badminton scene in 2008, Lam has played in quite a few major badminton tournaments such as the Junior International trials and the Pan-Am Junior Championship trials. Coming away from playing in the recent Pan-Am tournament for the first time with second place in singles, fourth in doubles, and sixth in mix, Lam is pleased with her results, but at the same time knows what she needs to do to improve even more. But in order to grow as a player, she always remembers losses so she can learn from them. However, even several years of experience and skill-strengthening do not prevent struggles from arising. “There’s a lot of personal pressure and outside pressure from your coach and your teammates,” Lam said. “When you’re expected to win, it’s not always easy.” Lam has also found that people tend to dismiss badminton as an easy and recreational sport without any factual basis. “There’s a lot of running, even though not everyone always thinks so,” Lam said. “There’s also a lot of technique that we have to learn that’s really hard to master, which also causes pressure. Everything added together makes it a really challenging sport.” However, Lam is prepared to take on whatever challenges come her way, with hopes to even play at the collegiate level. “If I get into a college like Berkeley, whose badminton program is really good, then I’d continue playing,” Lam said, “but I’d still like to continue playing for all four years of high school and just for fun.” Amanda Chen ||

Sports live on Albeit on a much shorter time frame, a similar tale played out in Fennville. As the story became increasingly publicized and televised, the Blackhawks marched through the state playoffs without Leonard, but his memory remained. The team members kept competing a high level despite the loss of their friend. The Blackhawks played four postseason games before being eliminated. The team’s final game was attended by 3,500 people with heavy hearts. And that’s coming from small Fennville, Michigan, a town of only 1,500 strong. Fennville’s sports community is clearly robust, and I’m not just talking about its staggering disregard for city lines. The varsity boys’ basketball team played through Leonard’s tragic passing, and the entire area stood firmly behind it, whether the squad won or lost on hardwood. At MVHS, we can’t make a claim to large sporting event crowds. But for all the naysayers here—those of you who think our athletes aren’t worth watching, who don’t care if our teams perform well, or think that there isn’t a strong sports community here— remember Fennville. We have gone through something similar. We have dealt with loss. Our community has shown up to memorial services en masse, even during winter break. And we have always remembered Freeman. Just because our experience wasn’t on national TV doesn’t mean our sports community isn’t thriving.

Page 22


April 6, 2011

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April 6, 2011


Jumping the distance

Page 23

Long, triple jumps not as easy as they seem—how to improve from small steps to giant leaps



LANDING Add an extra two feet to a jump by extending your feet out and pull back your heels. Visualize landing on your butt, but don’t fall backward. Distance is measured from the farthest point back.

FLIGHT STAGE Get height, whether it’s with the hang technique or the hitch technique. Most of it varies based on personal style, but the goal is to get a lot of height and some distance in the air.

TAKE-OFF PHASE When jumping, don’t look at the board. You would bend your head and shoulders, pulling your center of gravity down if you do.

RUN-UP A 40 to 60 meter run depending on the athlete’s height with a nine-step approach. Take off from your board leg.

1 2




Erin Chiu and Jordan Lim | El Estoque Photo Illustration (top and bottom images)


THE HOP From a running start, the jumper leaps off the board with the dominant foot. Land on the same foot, flat.


THE SKIP Upon landing the hop, push off from the dominant foot for the skip. Throw forward the opposite foot to keep the momentum.


THE JUMP Leap off the opposite foot from the skip and keep both feet in front. Lean forward towards to pit to maximize jump distance.

Sarika Patel ||

sportsnow The boys varsity tennis team, 6-1-0, beat Palo Alto on March 29 4-3. Then on March 31, they won 6-1 against Saratoga. They will play Gunn on April 5, Leland on April 6, and Los Altos on April 7.

On March 26, the Lady Mats of MVHS’s varsity swim team placed fourth after Palo Alto, Saint Francis, and Archbishop Mitty High Schools. The team had another meet last week on April 1 against Saratoga High School. The two schools were close, but in the end MVHS won 94 to 85. The team has another meet against Palo Alto on April 8 and faces Lynbrook on April 15, both at home. The boys varsity volleyball team won 3-0 against Kings Academy on March 30 and 3-0 against Harbor on April 1. They now have a 9-6-0 overall record and a 4-2-0 league record. The team will play Mountain View today at home and Homestead on April 12.

Cynthia Mao | El Estoque

Erin Chiu | El Estoque

Cynthia Mao | El Estoque

Patrick Xie | El Estoque

The varsity baseball team, with an overall of 8-3-10 and league 6-0-0, won 12-5 against Gunn on March 29 and won 4-2, also against Gunn, on March 31. They will play Santa Clara on April 7th at home.

Page 24


April 6, 2011


BURN-OUT Having played tennis for over half her life, sophomore Wendi Kong finds herself losing interest in the sport she used to love. “Now I know that there’s this pressure to improve, so sometimes I dread going out,” she said.

Too competitive, too much time, too much effort: why some athletes consider giving up sports

Christophe Haubursin | El Estoque Photo Illustration


he racket felt good in her hand. She As Wendi plays more and more believes some levels of stress can be beneficial. remembers watching the ball make competitively—she’s ranked 36th in California Overstress, on the other hand, is what fosters contact with it and soar over the net and 167th nationally—tennis has become anxiety and nervousness. with a thwack. And then eight-year old Wendi much more than just a sport. She practices Wendi’s pressure has taken on another Kong realized she was not ever meant to be a between one and three hours every day and form altogether. swimmer, but a tennis player. has matches or tournaments almost every “I’m more reluctant to go out and practice Kong, now a sophomore, has been playing weekend, sometimes travelling over 2,000 tennis,” she said. “Now I know that there’s tennis for over half of her life, first with her miles to states as far as Tennessee or Florida. this pressure to improve, so sometimes I dread father before joining a competitive tennis So then it’s natural that Wendi herself has going out.” team at age nine. In fact, tennis is incredibly taken up that role for personal motivation—or According to Prinz, overcoming stress ingrained in the Kong family: She and her is it self-deprecation? is entirely psychological. There’s a fine line sister, Vynnie, both between good pressure and GOING DOWN IN FLAMES currently play the sport, too much of it and when as did her parents when athletes use stress to their they were in school. advantage, that’s the sign of But now, eight years a promising athlete. later, things are different. “It depends on one’s Kong no longer has that mental attitude, on how one unconditional love for the approaches the sport,” he sport she grew up with. said. “Can you be satisfied Losing interest in sports with your level of playing? is a strange idea. They Some people are never start out at a young age satisfied: They reach one as the perfect way to get level and they want to go to outdoors, try something the next.” new, and make friends. For sophomore Megan But after so many years of Jones, that drive is nearly dedication and hard work, insatiable. It’s all a matter of Over 75% of kids quit organized sports by age 12 burned-out athletes often whether or not she’s playing find themselves more to her full capabilities, stressed than relieved. and whenever she isn’t, That stress stems from several possible “[Tennis] isn’t a team sport—it’s a lonely frustration comes. causes: over-training, parents, the “It’s not fun sport—so it’s just one person, it’s individual,” “I’m psycho,” Jones said. “It’s all inner anymore.” For Kong, it’s bigger than that. It’s she said, “so when you lose, you know you pressure for me.” her tennis career on the line. And competition have no one to blame but yourself.” Dictating Jones’ school sports is, invariably, is stressful. Wendi even realizes that most of the stress school. The jump from freshman to sophomore But a majority of this stress is self-inflicted. she now affiliates with tennis has been a result year has already been a stretch, and junior Kong says her parents used to get upset when of her pushing herself to play better. There’s year is almost certainly more work. she lost, but they no longer do. that constant reminder that if she doesn’t play “This [basketball] season was a wreck for “[Our role is] mostly to support her mental well, colleges will see. me,” Jones said. “I was in tears almost every and physical needs,” Kong’s mother, Emily But to a certain extent, that sort of pressure night. I was miserable because I felt I wasn’t Kong, said. is necessary. Student advocate Richard Prinz doing as well as I could have. I didn’t have time

WHITE OUT Page 19 Baseball roster mostly white despite MVHS demographics

to study, and so then, my mom was like, ‘You need to make a decision whether you want to put basketball first or school first,’ and right now I’m leaning toward school.” Considering her future—or as she says, her lack of one—in basketball, Jones is most likely not playing next year. The winter sport conflicts with finals week, and since she’s “not going to grow six feet [tall] and dunk,” the best decision might just be to take the year off. “[Basketball] has become a top priority, I’ve been putting that over my grades,” Jones said, “and I can’t do that anymore. From where I want to go, I’m putting too much energy into it.” But of course, admitting the need to limit her extracurriculars hasn’t been easy. There’s guilt, and the realization that she won’t be playing with the girls she’s called teammates for the past two years. “I love my teams,” Jones said. “I just can’t go through another year of it.” And then outside of school-related stress, there’s an assortment of other things. “You’re playing tennis all the time,” Wendi Kong said. “Your social life dies and sometimes your schoolwork suffers if you play too much.” Because of the sheer number of hours tennis takes up, Emily Kong encourages her daughter to go out whenever she has free time—if she has free time. “You can always adjust a little bit... If she’s more stressed over school, then we can cut down a little bit [on tennis],” Emily Kong said. “I guess that’s my part. I have to monitor that.” “[I chose tennis because], I don’t know, it’s natural,” Wendi Kong said. “I just have a passion for tennis.” Cynthia Mao ||



Page 20 Large and character routines place 2nd at national competition

Page 23 Compare and contrast: long jump versus triple jump

Vol 40, Issue 7 April 6 2011  

Vol 40, Issue 7 April 6 2011

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