Page 1

Review of “The Crucible” •

Teens in military display commendable courage • Page 7



Finding the right bra size not as difficult as perceived • Page 19

Injuries can’t keep athletes off the field • Page 15



entertainment Connected at the Core

What complete strangers have in common • Page 11

Volume XXXX • Issue 3 • Monta Vista High School • Cupertino, CA

November 12, 2008

Clean canvas

Lights. Missing in Cameras. Action. O

Collaborative art unites community by Allie Choy

Over $1600 in cameras stolen from ROP class by Sabrina Ghaus


OP Multimedia teacher Dale Barcellos shuffles through the 13 keys on his key ring before selecting a silver one to unlock a cabinet containing class equipment. He reaches •Cameras can be in and pulls out a set of headphones, anonymously returned then locks the cabinet once more, to the main office withcarefully tucking his key ring into his out penalty. pocket. Normal behavior? Not quite. Ever since the theft of three cam•Information regarderas from the equipment cabinet, two ing the theft can also be of which belong to the ROP Multimeconfidentially submitdia class and one to Histech, Barcellos ted to the main office. has begun keeping the usually unlocked cupboard closed during class. On Oct. 21, the cameras and a pair of headphones were stolen from the room, amounting to over $1,600 of stolen equipment, well into the felony category “It’s the first time in the three and a half years that I’ve been here that something like this has happened,” Barcellos said. “I got complacent, I guess.” see CAMERAS on page 4

Alice Lee | El Estoque

In the midst of controversy Rebel with a cause Proposition 8 approved by narrow margin by Dipika Shrihari


s several dozen church groups rallied on Oct. 24, senior Kristen Korz looked out the windows of Petsmart as the group advocating an end to any marriage possibilities for her future. “I remember what it was like clearly. I was working at Petsmart as the cash register and I could see out the window from where I was working,” Korz said. “I was supposed to be cheery for the customers, and yet right outside there was a whole bunch of people who don’t

Kai Kang | El Estoque

YES VOTE Supporters of Proposition 8 rallied on Stevens Creek Blvd. on Oct. 19.

want me to get married because I’m gay.” Although this is a very important issue for her, her experience during the rally was the first time she feared for her safety. “Cupertino and MVHS are like safety bubbles,” Korz said. “They are nothing like what the real world is like. I know that.” With the recent passing of Proposition 8, which “changes the California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California,” many are burning with opinions. Peter Lui, parent of junior Samuel Lui, participated in the rally that Korz witnessed. He claims that Proposition 8 is in no way discriminating against gay people. He says that if anything, it preserves the definition of marriage between a man and a woman.   “Being gay or lesbian is not a civil rights issue,” Peter said. “I am a Chinese-American and I was raised in this country. I encounter discrimination, so I know how it feels. I have no choice [because] I cannot change my skin [color], but I can change my sexual orientation. It’s not about civil rights.” Peter advocates for Proposition 8 because he is concerned about the values of the future population. see PROP on page 6

Beginning a journey of confidence by Kanwalroop Singh


he bounce house company probably never pictured English teacher Stacey Cler as part of their target audience. But when she was at a friend’s house for a summer barbecue, she climbed in anyway. At the age of 38, she jumped up and down like a kid, and she had no qualms about it.  She was living life for the very first time. Cler lost 189 pounds because of a carrying the well-timed epiphany, sweat-draining workouts, and her personThis is the final part al trainer, Danny Page. She of a series of articles changed her diet and exercise discussing English routine every few months, teacher Stacey along with her mindset. Now Cler’s decision to she’s got half the size but twice lose weight, her the spirit. journey to become Cler began by losing fit, and the impact weight on her own. With outher lifestyle change ward humor and inner insehas had on her and curity, she endured the gym her students. everyday, the stares and malicious comments, the “walk of shame” from the pool to the locker room. And one day, when she entered her doctor’s office, she was hoping for encouragement, or even just apathy. But she was shot down. Cler’s doctor told her to seriously consider gastric bypass surgery. Cler was incredulous. Shock. Denial. Fury. And finally, she said the word that clamped a tight lid onto Pandora’s box of misguided advice. “No.”


see JOURNEY on page 3

n a Saturday afternoon, several adults gathered around a small table at the Cupertino Community Hall for coloring time. Armed with markers and coloring pencils, they doodled to their hearts’ content. These meaningful pictures were not just childish drawings, but collaborative pieces of art that were part of an effort to unite the community. The hour-long drawing session was just one of many canvasdrawing gatherings organized by FBLA. For the 2008-09 school year, FBLA is asking members of the community to color and draw on blank canvases. Each canvas has a theme such as “What does ‘green’ mean to you?” or “What does ‘peace’ mean to you?” The purpose of the project is to allow members of the community to express their thoughts on the topic as art. This would allow participants to see the community’s diverse responses to universal questions. Senior Vanessa Ing came up with this project, “Cupertino Canvas,” during a Link activity last year. For the activity, freshmen were given the opportunity to draw or write over sheets of poster paper. They would answer questions about their favorite food or place through small sketches. The art produced captured the uniqueness of each member of the freshman class. They were to draw any place in the world they would most want to visit, and the resulting illustrations would be anything from New York’s Empire State Building to the Great Wall of China. The widely varied range of pictures highlighted the different interests and backgrounds of each freshman. “It occurred to me that as art is a very natural and enjoyable form of expression, it would be a great way to gather community opinions on issues by offering a blank canvas,” Ing said. The opinions gathered reflected the community’s thoughts on topics everyone could relate to. see FBLA on page 6

Allie Choy | El Estoque

COLLABORATE Freshmen Laura Liu and Peter Choi added illustrations to the FBLA posterboard on Oct. 4.





in numbers



Water bottles and granola bars given to players and cheerleaders as pregame gifts


Total number of shirts ordered by all four classes


Total number of Powderpuff football players


Length of the class of 2010’s cheer routine CORRECTIONS from the October issue Page 6: It was incorrectly stated that there are no recycling bins in the D building. Page 12: The Class of 2010 won the DECA Challenge for having the highest API score. Page 18: The corresponding picture for girls cross country was of boys. Page 18: Vynnie Kong is actually a sophomore. Page 18: Varsha Salunkhe is a junior on the JV cross country team. Page 18: The names of freshmen Erik Fellom and Jordan Sheade were misspelled. Page 19: Pranay Suri is actually a 15-year old sophomore.

October 22, 2008


in brief

Homecoming score percentages changed

Homecoming scoring percentages have been altered to reflect class participation. ASB officers proposed the idea of decreasing the lunchtime activity percentage weight from 10 percent to 5 percent and increasing the dress-up day percentages from 10 percent to 15 percent to the leadership class and the idea passed. “The idea is that more people will be involved in dress-up days than lunchtime activities because the idea is to represent the class as a whole,” ASB treasurer Ryan Satterlee said. A new lunchtime game is a talent show that includes four sections: group dance, group singing, solo singing, and group lip-synch. Results from the talent show will count toward the class score. The scoring breakdown is now 45 percent for the float, 10 percent for Powderpuff, 5 percent for lunchtime games, 15 percent for dress-up days, and 25 percent for the rally.

FUHSD staff dodgeball tournament Nov. 25

This year’s staff dodgeball tournament will take place at Cupertino High School, carrying out the third consecutive year of district-wide dodgeball tournaments. The idea to play dodgeball started at MVHS, but Homestead expanded the idea into a tournament. Each year, the FBLA club at the respective host MVHS staff dodgeball sticker school organizes the found on staff members car entire event. The proceeds made from the tournament always go to charity. Two years ago, Homestead FBLA chose to donate to the library, and last year, MVHS FBLA chose to donate to the March of Dimes. Nov. 25 is a Tuesday, and the game will start at 6:30 p.m.

Peggy Kahn joins MVHS English department

Just when the freshman class thought introductions were over, they were greeted with a new Literature/Writing teacher. On Oct. 6, Peggy Kahn became the new longterm substitute teacher for five English classes. Kahn is taking the place of English teacher Shih Kao for the next month. Kao is taking time off of teaching to become a full time student. Although this is Kahn’s first time teaching at MVHS, she is no stranger to the Fremont Union High School District. Kahn has been with the district since 1969, taught at Sunnyvale High School from 1969 to 1979, and then at Cupertino High School through 2006. Kahn will continue substituting as administration seeks a full-time replacement.

MVHS awarded Blue Ribbon Award in D.C.

MVHS is one of the 55 high schools nation-wide being recognized as a Blue Ribbon school. The Blue Ribbon is a federal recognition that honors schools that have dramatic student achievements or schools that have maintained excellence and performance. MVHS was recognized for the latter. The award ceremony took place in Washington D.C. from Oct. 18 to Oct. 21, Principal April Scott and MVHS and District teacher of the year, Special Education teacher Nancy Sullivan, accepted the award— a plaque and a flag signifying MVHS’ National Blue Ribbon Blue Ribbon school status. Senator Barbara Award crest Boxer, Congressman Mike Honda, and the FUHSD have each given MVHS certificates in recognition for being a Blue Ribbon School. Last spring, MVHS, along with 462 other schools in the nation were nominated to apply to be a Blue Ribbon school. The criteria includes whether or not a school has met all their goals and the results of their Annual Yearly Progress (AYP). Over the summer, MVHS was conditionally approved for the blue ribbon. When AYP results came out in September, MVHS was immediately notified and recognized as a Blue Ribbon school. MVHS was also recognized as a Blue Ribbon school in 1998.

Sue Gunderson to retire in mid-December

Sue Gunderson, Principal April Scott’s secretary, will be retiring this December. While Gunderson has a variety of reasons for retiring, her main reason is to spend time with her grandson, who she adores. Gunderson also has two big trips planned for the upcoming year. The first of the two trips, a two- week family vacation to Hawaii, is planned for March. She is going in celebration of her 38th wedding anniversary as well as her son’s 30th birthday. The second trip is planned from late May to early June, in which she will be traveling to Italy, Greece, and all over Europe for two weeks. Unfortunately, this second trip coincides with MVHS graduation, and Gunderson is sad to be missing it. Gunderson plans to spend her new free time getting back into playing both tennis and golf, traveling, working in her backyard garden, and volunteering. Other than spending time with her grandson, Gunderson is most looking forward to her retirement because there will be no more 6 a.m. alarms to wake up to.

Page designers: three hours left! by Alice Lee


ince today is Wednesday, Oct. 22, you hold an El Estoque miracle in your hands. I jest not. I usually like to sleep in on my Sunday mornings. I wake up at around 10 a.m., laze around the house for a few hours, and spend the bulk of my morning sleepily reading a novel from English AP or wasting my time on the computer. Sunday, fun-day, lazy-day. Not this Sunday, though. At 8 a.m. (an hour at which I am usually happily REMing away in dream land), I greeted section and head editors at our home away from home (my parents are seriously convinced I spend more time in A111 than I do at home). Four days before the paper came out, only three pages were finalized on the computer. We were supposed to be 100% finished with all pages two days earlier by our second late night. Putting a newspaper together may not appear to be the most difficult or time-consuming task at initial glance—after all, we in journalism report on and write stories,something everyone at MVHS does at least once in their four years of required literature classes at this school. We take photographs, something every camera owner knows how to do. We draw boxes and lines on some fancy computer program, and then insert our photographs and stories in. Simple copy and pasting, right? No, not really. Each page’s layout, features, and content were decisions the page designer and editors all made specifically for that part of the paper. Senior Patty Chao experimented with the tablet drawing tool to create the

front page of the Entertainment section. Senior Sarah McKee and junior Sabrina Ghaus actually brought in fresh fruit and vegatables from the grocery store and yogurt toppings from Tartini to create their unique Centerspread design (which can also viewed as a pull-out section of the paper). After spending the bulk of my Sunday with other editors finishing up on the remaining 21 pages of our now 24-page newspaper, I can firmly attest to the fact that no, putting the paper together by deadline is not, to say the least... simple. But why does publishing on time even matter?, you might ask. If we came out even a few days later a good third of our articles would most likely not hold as much timeliness and importance if they had been run on time. Take a look at our Homecoming-based stories—the entire back page and the Powderpuff story Entertainment section, dedicated to Powderpuff; Opinion section’s thoughts on Homecoming court and class spirit; even Numbers on this page—these all wouldn’t have been a part of the festivities of spirit week itself but instead merely an outdated sum-up of the week elapsed. So I write this three hours before our final, originally unscheduled Sunday work day comes to a close. I didn’t have my lazy Sunday—but I watched as 21 pages came together. As part of me resisted the urge to announce in a Tim Gunn-esque fashion: “Page designers, three hours left!”, the other half just died to know whether or not we would finish on time. And since the header on the top of this page does read “October 22, 2008,” then we did, as Gunn would say, “make it work.”


editor’s letter

elestoque 2008-2009 Editor in Chief Alice Lee Managing Editors Jeremy Lee Serena Lee Daniel Stenzel Layout and Design Editor Stefan Ball News Editors Lauren Parcel Samved Sangameswara Opinion Editor Bhargav Setlur Centerspread Editor Sarah McKee Entertainment Editor Patty Chao Sports Editor Dipika Shrihari Business Editor Aileen Le Online News Editor Kai Kang Online Sports Editor Christian Fatoohi Online Entertainment Editor Natasha Desai Print Staff Writers Kunal Bhan Jonathan Chan Christine Chang Varshini Cherukupalli Allie Choy Sasha Degtyar Sabrina Ghaus Brittany Hopkins Jane Kim Mansi Pathak Sharanya Shankar Kanwalroop Singh Tammy Su Vijeta Tandon Laura Wenus Derek Wong Kevin Wu Online Staff Writers Jackie Barr Ingrid Chang Anthony Chen Tom Cheng Jaime Chu Varada Gavaskar Teressa Ju Deepa Kollipara Selene Rubino Shreya Shankar Natalie Wong 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 used in this publication have been taken from the royalty-free stock photography website sxc. hu 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 will correct any significant error. If you believe such an error has been made, please contact us. Letters of any length should be submitted via e-mail or mail. They become the sole property of El Estoque and can be edited for length, clarity, or accuracy. Letters cannot be returned and will be published at El Estoque’s discretion. 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

October 22, 2008



COMPANIONS: Cler finds new friend in trainer



continued from page 1

walking, rowing, spinning, and training with Page. No one said losing 189 pounds was easy. Cler’s previous lifestyle caused complications that still remain: bad posture, tight muscles, crooked spinal alignment, and her right foot comes in as her left foot goes out when she walks. And as these problems are solved, others take shape. The struggle to become healthy is constant; it requires discipline and perseverance. Along with losing weight, Cler has three irrational fitness goals: to have large triceps, to have buff calves, and to run like Forrest Gump. She goes to the gym six days a week, spending a minimum of two hours every time. Cler is very conscious of what she puts in her body, and her diet has changed often—it is the key to her health. She began with a diet that required her to eat five meals a day. Her diet changed as she began to eat 1,900 calories two days in a row and then 3,500 on the third. Now she eats only natural, raw foods. But Saturday is her cheat day. She indulges in the goodies that are bypassed the other six days of the week, and after eating french fries for the first time in one year, she spoke to Page on Aug 31: “I ate french fries.” “Good, good.” “Why didn’t you ever tell me how french fries are?”

Boggling Broadcast

Political casino


Kanwalroop Singh | El Estoque

NO PAIN, NO GAIN Cler works out at 24-Hour Fitness in San Jose under the guidance of trainer and friend Danny Page. Cler and Page have been meeting on a daily basis for one year now. “Trust me. I have ‘em on my cheat day too.” Such is the cherished connection between Cler and Page. As Cler writes in her 33page weight loss reflection, “Nobody needs to say a word, but that silent feeling of support is palpable.” This silent support sustains Cler when drinking muscle milk while teaching, when coming to school tired and sore, and when—although it’s the last thing she wants to do— lifting herself off the couch and dragging her feet to the car so

she can go to the gym…again. “We don’t get through life alone,” Cler said. “At MVHS, everybody thinks you have to do it alone and if you don’t, that means you’re weak in some way. Nobody gets through life alone. Everybody gets help.” After their 50-minute session was over, Page and Cler sat at the desk. They were hunched over a container of raw turkey, shoving it slowly into their mouths as others in the gym looked on. Cler said she felt uncomfort-

able when everyone stared. But Page only smiled and said, “They’re just jealous.”

Note to reader: The final piece of this three-part project on Engish teacher Stacey Cler will conclude in the November issue of El Estoque. The third piece of this story will cover the changes in Cler’s life that took place afer her battle with weight. See “The dark before the dawn” in the Sept. 24 issue of El Estoque for part one of Cler’s story, “Carrying the Weight.”

New DECA chapter emerges Silicon Valley DECA forms identity separate from state organization ultimately created a conference that, compared to the regular LDC, could be completed in half the time and cost about $100 less for members.     DECA state officers that attended, California State President senior Julia Joung (Castro Valley) and Calif. Northern District President senior Mark Larik (Livermore), were both impressed. “We thought [SV LDC] was run well— everything went very smoothly,” Larik said. “My favorite part was seeing all the students speak. I couldn’t believe that one chapter had so many great speakers.”      Despite the encouraging words, SV DECA President junior Diane Keng (MVHS) admits that there have historically been ten-

Keng and Lipscomb do mention, however, activities that the local DECA chapters, especially MVHS DECA, parn Sept. 20, a Leadership Develticipate in actively which are not introopment Conference was held at duced by the state. These events have MVHS. However this conference helped the local chapters in creating a was organized not by its traditional host, name known by the local community. California DECA, but instead by club memFor example, chapters were present at bers from four local high schools. the Cupertino Fall Festival. he leadership Smaller parts of larger groups often get they showed at the event impressed the lost in the big picture. This year, though, event host, who has expressed wishes in MVHS DECA is pushing through and crepotentially working with the chapter on ating a distinct name for itself, inside and future events.       outside of the main DECA community. On a larger scale, both MVHS DECA Like all organizations, DECA is orgaand SV DECA are new members of the nized by a series of sections: local (indiCupertino Chamber of Commerce. With vidual schools), regional (sections within this membership, the chapters estaba state), and finally, state chapters. MVHS’ lished a presence DECA chapter belongs alongside established to the Northern District, business companies. which in turn belongs “We are really breaking the barrier this “We are really to the overall California breaking the barrier DECA chapter. year,” junior Diane Keng said. “High school this year,” Keng said. Levels of leadership business has always been separate from “High school business aside, MVHS DECA, and has always been sepathe encompassing Silithe actual business community.” rate from the actual con Valley DECA are now business community. creating clearer identiThis year, by entering ties for themselves.      Unlike MVHS DECA, SV DECA is nei- sions between leadership levels within the the Cupertino Rotary, we have created ther a local chapter nor a state district. It is organization. This year specifically, she ac- numerous contacts that we are able to an association of chapters from four high knowledges that the state LDC might have use as speakers for our study sessions, schools—MVHS, Fremont, Harker, and Lyn- felt the loss of 123 DECA members who at- providing more experience and material tended SV LDC instead. But overall, MVHS for our members.”  brook—created to oversee events.      And at the core of it, that’s how DECA The concept of an independent confer- DECA President senior Jade Lipscomb ence was formed when last year’s SV DECA maintains that the relationship hasn’t ex- is able to create this identity—with the passion of each individual member. officers were frustrated with the state-or- perienced significant problems.      “In DECA, all of us kind of push the “On paper, [State DECA] is obligated ganized conference, which they felt was inefficient. By organizing an event with to help us, and we’re obligated to support envelope,” Lipscomb said. “And then, fewer but more meaningful activities, and them,” Lipscomb said. “I mean, we’ve had you always have some outliers, that by planning for it to be completed in a day our differences, but that’s normal. I don’t push clear across the room and end up doing spectacular things for the club.”  (thus eliminating hotel costs), the team think they’ve ever been life shattering.”     

by Tammy Su


olitics have always been allotted very few slots in the Interests Department of my daily life. In fact, after I was told the Latin roots for “politics” meant “many (poli) bloodsucking creatures (tics),” I ejected any political items that had managed to linger in my slots and replaced them with new interests. I became one of many remote spectators in the game of politics, focusing on other things that seemed to bear more relevance to my life. The 2007-2008 presidential campaign was no exception. But as September rolled into October, and the faces of John McCain and Barack Obama (and Sarah Palin) continued to beautify the issues of TIME magazine, I began to realize it seemed absurd for a news columnist to dodge the dice of suspense being tossed around in this election. Which is why, one morning at precisely 1 a.m., I found myself typing in “presidential debates” on the YouTube, determined to get a closer look at these “many bloodsucking creatures.” In short, I fell asleep. There wasn’t a any blood involved, although maybe a shower of spit particles here and there. But from the political substance that I did observe in the debates, I arrived at a somewhat unexpected conclusion. Throughout each debate, there was a consistent advancement on both sides. McCain’s proposal of tax cuts for lowerincome citizens, for example, was immediately rebuked by Obama’s clarification that it contained loopholes and would add taxes to healthcare instead. Each side had strong standing points, legitimate evidence, and logical suggestions backed by reason. Maybe it was my lack of experience, but after watching a few of these debates, I came to an ambidextrous conclusion: both parties seemed equally strong, equally competent, and equally driven. The opinions were most certainly different, but with each candidate’s level of preparation, reasoning, and support, it was near impossible to point out a superior. Frankly, this relatively balanced playing ground reminded me of gambling. To many people, gambling is linked with a negative connotation. But after seeing how competent both presidential candidates were, I realized the campaign was largely a gamble that wagered upon the opinions of every voting citizen. Each player started out fair and square, each player had his share of advantages, and each player had to depend heavily on the capricious sway of America’s decision. The fact is, McCain and Obama have laid their bets on America, and at this point in the game, much of what will result is only a matter of chance. We might not realize it, but as students, make gambles from time to time as well, though less jeopardizing than running for president. Although it’s not necessarily a bad thing, decisions made with some level of uncertainty are inevitable. Decisions like which class to concentrate on for a final, which clubs to commit to, and even who to ask to Homecoming are all risks to some degree. For Obama and McCain, engaging themselves in an all-or-nothing race calls for real gamblers’ guts. There is more to running a campaign than the individual candidate’s strategy and ability. There is a considerable bit of risk involved, and a substantial prospect of luck. So perhaps it is high time I took some chances and re-invest a few interest slots at the Political Casino. Because really, what’s life without knowing you just might hit the jackpot?




October 22, 2008

De Anza: Opening new doors LIBRARY: Students lose free period hot spot

More students chose to enroll in quarter-year classes at De Anza By Dipika Shrihari


any MVHS students seem to love school more than the average teenager. A shocking 84 percent of students out of 70 person poll administered by El Estoque, spend their evenings or free periods studying university-level material in local community colleges such as De Anza, Foothill, San Jose, and Evergreen. In recent years, guidance counselor Sylvia Lam says that the trend, especially for seniors, has been to take fewer classes at school and then take a quarter-year’s class at De Anza. Lam says that a quarter year class at community colleges is equivalent to a full year’s or a full semester’s worth of an advanced placement equivalent at MVHS. In short, students are getting more credits in less time. However, every advantage has its shortcomings, and these quarter-year classes are no exception. While the difficulty of a class always depends on the student who takes it, many feel that De Anza classes are lenient compared to the classes offered at MVHS. “[Community college classes are] obviously easier than their MVHS equivalent,” senior Michelle Yuen said. “[Students who take community college classes] don’t care about the substance [of the class] as much as the image [to colleges] they present when they take it.” Perhaps this lack of substance can explain exactly why 88 percent  of students who have taken classes at a community college felt that college classes are, in general, easier than their MVHS AP class equivalent. Students also scramble to the De Anza registration centers in order to escape the stringent scheduling system that administration implemented this year. Students could not add any class after the start of the school year. Senior Kiran Kanekal was one of many who signed up for a community college class to overcome the inflexible scheduling regulations. After dropping Physics at MVHS because it was too easy, he signed up for Physics at De Anza and is now getting AP credit for his work.  Kanekal notes the varied difficulties

of classes from his previous C programming class to his current Physics class. “Programming C was the easiest class I’ve ever taken in my life,” Kanekal said. “I barely did any studying. That would count as one of those BS classes.” Furthermore, students who didn’t have a full set of classes received holes in their schedule instead of a free first or seventh. For example, math teacher Colin Anderson’s seventh period Statistics class is half empty, but his second period Statistics class is jam-packed. Lam explains this imbalance of classes by saying that many seniors who take this class, unwilling to stay in school until 3 p.m. would rather take the class at De Anza twice a week and have their seventh periods at the end of the day. Senior Deirdre Chen argues that people take De Anza classes not because it is easy, but because a variety of classes is offered. “If you sign up for a class at De Anza, you really want to take it. You really want to be there,” Chen said. So whether students really do love school enough to take extra classes or they are just looking for an easy grade, De Anza has become the popular choice.

continued from page 1

With 50 to 100 students in the library, the noise level naturally increases and it became an unworkable situation for Birdsong and Mitchell. Instead of solely focusing on studying during open periods, many students would sit and socialize. Birdsong and Scott agreed that the socialization and working on projects could be in a different environment, like the cafeteria. On the day the policy was implemented, Birdsong noted that it was “amazing to give instructions without having to yell over talking and to not have the management issue of quieting down everybody to teach the class.” “I understand that it’s going to take some adjustment,“ Birdsong said. “ I think we have to look at who we’re serving, and we’re trying to do things that are serving all of MVHS students, not just a portion of students who have a free period.” Students, however, were not pleased with the decision. The day the policy was put in place, the career center was closed. With no computer access and no textbook to borrow in sight, many students were frustrated. Some students “What’s the point of the library if you can’t use it?” senior Stephanie Burward Hoy said. “In my Government class, students were saying how it’s administration’s fault because they gave them these empty periods and that’s why there’s so many people in the library,” senior Il Le Kim, who has three unscheduled periods, said. “These are the consequences.” To accommodate students with unscheduled periods, the layout of the cafeteria will be adjusted so round tables will be moved closer to the rally court and rectangular table are moved toward the bus circle side. If necessary, the temporary wall divider will be used to allow students to respectively study or socialize. “We’ve done the best we can with the situation,” Birdsong said, “and we needed to make a decision. I would be open to getting student feedback and suggestions. I realize they weren’t involved [in the decision], but it really was not working and we had to do something.”

sidebyside MVHS and De Anza course offerings: Many students prefer De Anza classes, not only because they feel the courses are easier, but also because the community college offers a wider variety. This is a small sample of a few of the many classes MVHS students can choose from, compared with MVHS classes. MVHS

De Anza


Science Biology Chemistry Physiology

Language Arts

Nutrition Meteorology Nursing

Math Algebra II Pre-Calculus Calculus

De Anza

British Lit. World Lit. Myth/Folk

Technical Writing English-Lit. Women in Lit.

Social Studies

Accounting Trigonometry Linear Algebra

US History Economics Government

Sociology Psychology Political Science


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October 22, 2008




thevote busting out

not just for grown-ups The heat of the upcoming election is inspiring more and more students, of voting age or not, to get involved in politics by Varshini Cherukupalli


ov. 4, 2008. The day that CNN political commentator Karen Hughes has declared will be “extraordinary.” The day that will impact the nation for years to come. And the day that many MVHS students will be stepping up to make their voices heard, whether or not they qualify to vote. This year’s presidential election, dubbed the “Young People’s Election,” will attract a record 87 percent of young voters in California itself. MVHS students are no exception to this phenomenon. Many of the students at MVHS that are at least 18 years old will be voicing their support for a candidate pair in the form of a vote and are now realizing this new level of responsibility. “If you vote for the wrong person, then it won’t be the best thing for the next four years,” senior Steven Chien, a supporter of senators Barack Obama and Joe Biden, said.  “But I believe that Obama will be able to bring our economy back to a surplus.” Voting also brings an awareness of the many issues that are affecting America today.  These issues, such as the unraveling financial crisis, war in Iraq, oil addiction, massive and growing deficit, infrastructure rebuilding, foreign policy, and global warming have sparked the interest of MVHS students. “I’m definitely paying more attention to what’s going on now,” senior Annie Shin said. “I don’t feel as provincial anymore.” Senior Susan Oldfield is an Obama supporter, but she thinks that there is more to voting than just showing one’s support for a candidate or a party.  “Being able to vote inspires me to keep in touch with the issues,” Oldfield said. “But also, now that I can vote, I think it’s time I actually took up accountability for such things.  We’ve had such a humiliating government for so many years, but I really think Obama can up that image.” This year is especially significant for Oldfield because, in addition to being able to vote, she will also gain her US citizenship. Oldfield is British and voting makes her feel proud of being an American.

“From [an international] standpoint, nobody respects the U.S. anymore. I’ve never been proud of being an American,” said Oldfield. “It’s something to be ashamed about right now. But if Obama is elected, then I will be able to say I’m an American even when I’m not in America.” In contrast to these students, the majority of the students at MVHS will not have the opportunity to vote in this November’s election. Although not of voting age, senior Ayushi Samaddar follows the election like a hawk to understand the story behind these politics and candidates.  Samaddar actively debates with Obama supporters in an effort to gain support for Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin. “I feel that Obama is a lot of talk and I don’t know if he can get anything through,” Samaddar said.  “And I think it’s funny when the Democrats say that Palin doesn’t have any experience, when they themselves are putting an inexperienced candidate at the top of the ticket.  At home, I discuss these kinds of politics with my dad, who’s a more conservative Republican, all the time.  But he’s the person who influenced me.” Also not of voting age, senior Devina Khanna voices her support for Obama by volunteering for the organization, advocating to undecided voters over phone.  This entails calling voters in states like Nevada to raise support for Obama.  In addition, she has deep discussions about these issues with her family, and she even convinced her mother to vote on her behalf.  “I asked my mother if she was registered to vote, and she said, ‘Actually, I’m not,’” Khanna explained. “I was shocked; she’s been a citizen for two elections.  So I registered her, told her which candidate and propositions to vote for, and it was almost like my first time voting.  I felt so proud.” MVHS students are proactively and enthusiasticly participating in this election, whether they are eligible to vote or not, and that only promises a brighter, better, and more politics-savvy future for the nation. After all, as Chien stated, “I feel great because I know that I actually have the power to change something for the country.”


proposition perplexity With so many commercials bombarding us daily, the 2008 California propositions can become a confusing jumble of numbers, yes’s and no’s. Here is a simple guide to the 12 propositions that will impact you, your parents, and our Golden State. Proposition 1: Adds a high-speed rail for commuters, as well as increasing funds and improving California’s rail network. Proposition 2: Requires that calves, hens, and pigs live in places where they can lie down, turn around, and fully extend their limbs. Proposition 3: Provides $980 million for the construction and improvment of children’s hospitals and illness care.

Proposition 7: Requires energy utilities to generate 20% of their power from renewable sources by 2010. Proposition 8: Takes away the right of same-sex couples to marry, providing that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid in California. Proposition 9: Changes procedures and timelines for parole hearings and victim notification of opportunities.

Proposition 4: Prohibits abortion for minors until 48 hours after their parents or legal guardian have been notified.

Proposition 10: Provides $3.425 billion to help consumers purchase alternative-fuel vehicles and $1.25 for research and development.

Proposition 5: Allocates $460 million to improve and expand programs for rehabilitation of convicts of drug and non-violent crimes. Proposition 6: Requires at least $965 million a year to go towards police, attorneys, adult probation, jails, and juvenile probation facilities.

Proposition 11: Changes redistricting and commision processes for Assembly, Senate, and the Board of Equalization. Proposition 12: Provides $900 million for veteran assistance. Stefan Ball | El Estoque Photo Illustration

October 22, 2008 elestoque 6 Standardized tests, no standard result news

Students differ in their opinions on the merits and effectiveness of standardized testing by Laura Wenus


isitors to the MVHS webpage will find themselves greeted by a variety of highlights in recent school history. One of these highlights is a link to Academic Performance Index, a score that is calculated from standardized testing. For students, the next round of testing is the November SATs. To senior Neta Assaf, the SATs are a waste of time and money. “I just didn’t want to put on the extra stress for something I didn’t need,” Assaf said, who plans to go from MVHS to De Anza College and then transfer to a college when she is more decided on a major. Junior Amritha Parthasarathy has a different approach, telling of her plans to apply to some of the Universities of California and an SAT class she has taken. “[SAT subject tests] show colleges that you know the subjects and the strategy,” Parthasarathy said. Though important in college admissions, she described the SAT as mostly strategy involved.

Samved Sangameswara | El Estoque

PSAT-URDAY Sophomores sit inside the Field House on Saturday Oct. 18, ready to take the PSAT. “I get the school idea, how they can be useful in telling the school how well they are doing their job,” Assaf said of standardized tests like the CAHSEE and STAR exams, “but they aren’t an accurate measure of what we know.” Though she says she isn't familiar with

the state and national use of standardized testing results, guidance counselor Sarah Freeman does find them helpful every now and then. "[Tests can show] a background on a student's academic strong or weak points," Freeman said.

Standardized tests can award college credit—such as for AP exams. Sometimes, however, like with Assaf’s Biology test, problems arise from the system. Weeks after other results had been mailed, Assaf’s results still have not been received. In fact, records of her registration and test seem to have been completely lost. A large part of the motivation behind preparing for and taking tests is college admittance. According to Freeman, the weight SATs carry in the decision process has diminished somewhat. Lists of colleges that do not require SATs are growing, which she finds encouraging. When asked whether the tests were actually worth anything to her, Parthasarathy’s response was a resounding, "no." But Freeman still believes the SATs have some value. “It's better for a student to take the SATs than to have colleges close a door in your face because a student didn't take them,” Freeman said. As Assaf’s philosophy goes, “Suffer through them, live on.”

ECONOMY: Students adapt to a changing financial world ON CAMPUS: Challenge Day continued from page 1

his body as a construction worker, he has developed a spinal problem, which has also been excarbated by a family condition of spinal troubles. He will go on disability for one to two months, and will undergo an expensive surgery on his spinal discs. “He’s our main source of income,” Lanter said. “We’re living off what my dad makes. We have to figure out how we’re going to stay here in Cupertino.” Even those that are relatively well off are feeling the effects of the economy. Students such as junior Michael Wu are increasingly burdened with an awareness to lead financially responsible lives. Wu has noticed that his parents, especially his father, seem to be more worried about the health of their stocks. Despite this, however, Wu feels that his parents have taken great steps to keep their money issues hidden from him.  When Wu’s family visited Sushi Zono in Campbell for dinner earlier this school year, Wu learned  that his dad lost over $500,000 in stock. Though his parents worry about how thier stocks are faring, Wu has not discerned a noticeable decrease in the amount of times that

his family dines out or the frequency of his shopping, mostly because he considers himself to still be fairly financially stable. Unlike Wu’s family, Lanter’s family has had to make sharp cutbacks in their spending. They have reduced their expenses on areas which they used to take for granted, such as traveling to Napa to visit their family. Her dad has foregone his yearly hunting trip. Her brothers live out of state, one in New York and the other in Germany, and they will have to pay for their own travel expenses in order to visit Cupertino. It is likely that Lanter won’t see them until next year. Lanter has pledged to better support herself, especially through baby-sitting jobs. She pays for her own cell phone bill, but usually texts, using her unlimited texting plan provided by her parents, in order to keep her payment low. She is skipping SAT classes to study on her own and postponing enrollment in driving lessons if she cannot earn enough money on her own to attend them. In addition to trying to persuade her parents to pass up the usual Christmas festivities, she is also asking her parents not to celebrate her Sweet 16.

“If I don’t absolutely need or absolutely want [something], then it’s not worth it,” Lanter said. “It’s gotten to a point if my friends are like, ‘Do you want to do this?’ and I’m like, ‘Does it cost money?’ If it does, then I skip it.” But she is quick to note that she considers herself financially selfsufficient. “I’m not reaching out for help or anything,” Lanter Jeremy Lee | El Estoque said. “I don’t want CALLS ON HOLD Sophomore Annie Lanter people to look down at me. I texts as much as possible, taking advantage don’t want people of her unlimited texting plan to save money. to think I want atattends an out-of-state college tention.” Many students are actively with a high tuition. From the current economic monitoring their spending, performing simple tasks such crisis, Wu has learned one imas turning off the lights to save portant lesson.  “I know not to invest in too money on energy. For Wu, he plans also to take a job next much stock,” Wu said. “I just semester, and his parents have hope it’s not going to be anothurged him only to apply to in- er Great Depression and we’re state colleges. His brother, MVHS living in one of those Hooveralumnus Calvin Wu, currently villes.”

continued from page 1

In past years, Prinz has had difficulty getting students to attend Camp Everytown. He and other staff members speculate that some students refused to go because being present would involve missing two days of school. “Everyone is just so fixated on academics that they lose everything else,” Recktenwald said. “Those two days are more important than any two days you are going to spend in a classroom.” In order to battle the resistance, Challenge Day allows students to get a similar experience, but miss only one day of school. This event will be held on campus twice this year, on Oct. 30 and March 5. Many of the same activities used at Camp Everytown will also appear on the agenda for Challenge Day. Even though it will be less intensive, Prinz strongly believes in the program. “A huge part of being successful is recognizing one's emotions and being able to express them without fear,” Prinz said. “There is no way that someone can engage academically if they’re in turmoil emotionally or socially. Recktenwald agrees that this day is a great experience. “So many kids on this campus are book smart but street stupid,” Recktenwald said. “Every student on campus should go to Challenge Day.”



• Class competition vs. school unity 7 • Disrupting library atmosphere 8 • Sleep less, achieve more 9 •

Declaration of Student Rights

1. If students are given free periods during the middle of the day, they must also be given an alternate place to stay. 2. If the library is intended to be an instructional space, then there must be a designated study space. 3. This study space must be conducive to student needs, offering computer access and a clean, welcoming workspace.

Library policy unreasonable Restrictions on library access leave students out in cold


t most schools around the U.S., administrators have a hard time getting their students into the library. At our school, we seem to have another problem. They want to keep us out. The recent decision to close the library to students with unscheduled periods on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays is one that has led to a great deal of frustration. These days, it’s very easy to overhear one or more students complaining about not being able to stay in the library during their unscheduled periods. What’s the point of having a nice, renovated library if students aren’t able to make full use of it? However, it’s important to first examine the reasons for implementing this new policy. It’s hard to dispute that students make a lot of noise in the library, from 7:15 a.m. to 3:40 p.m. And, many of these students come to the library to socialize rather than finish work. As a result, our librarians are forced to spend an immeasurable amount of time each day telling students not to eat, keeping the noise down, and kicking out those who just don’t listen. Contrary to popular belief, the main job of the librarians is not to police the student body. Their real job is to offer their expertise in library research techniques to classes who come to the library to work on projects. Instead of doing that, however, librarians are forced to spend time on controlling students. This policy is simply a response to this long-standing problem. Even so, this only explains why the policy was implemented. Unfortunately, it doesn’t completely justify it. This new policy essentially kicks students out of the best place

to study on campus. The whole point of a well-funded library like ours is to attract students to spend time inside. Teenagers will always want to socialize, so isn’t it better that they hang out in a safe and constructive place like the library as opposed to the back of the nearest convenience store? A library is not supposed to be kept empty. And let’s be clear: the cafeteria is nowhere as good a place to spend time as is the library. Minus the hard tables and strange odor, it’s not much better than the shipping containers on the upper field. But why was there such a need to drastically cut down on the number of students in the library to begin with? The answer is that this year, a much larger number of students were given free periods. These students don’t just vanish when they don’t have class; they have to spend time somewhere. The best place to work and talk with other students is the library. It’s ironic that the authority that gave students so many free periods is the same authority that denies those same students a place to spend time during those very free periods. How’s that for farsighted policy? The librarians themselves have said that they understand that students are frustrated, and that they’re open to suggestions. Here’s one: why not create another place on campus where students have both computer access and a place to work? If administration intends for the library to be devoted to “instructional” purposes, that’s fine. Then, there must be another spot on campus that is devoted purely to study purposes. However, the one thing that absolutely cannot be done is to restrict students from the best study place on campus without providing an equivalent option.

Staff Editorial

Mean spirited? Class spirit detrimental if not it is not properly utilized by Sasha Degtyar


t the end of Homecoming there are three sad faces for every elated one—give or take. One class won and all the others didn’t, even though (of course) they worked harder and cheered louder and cared more than the winners.  The competition between the classes, the need for secrecy about rally plans and float designs, the consuming desire to win seems to take over the school. Please don’t get us wrong. We are all for the competition aspect of Homecoming. We love to cheer at the rally, dress up in outfits we would normally be mortified of, and spend five or six weekends straight building an incredible float that we will eventually destroy. Yet sometimes we catch ourselves thinking malicious thoughts about the other classes, sure that everyone else is out to get our poor, innocent classmates.  By Friday we see math and science classes divided into colors, instead of working together on that one last lab question. In Literature classes students plot and spread out materials in order to triumph. Grades split into those who go crazy and those who find the entire thing ridiculous.  We’re building up all this momentum, in this huge mass of students and creating four enormous forces all hurtling at each other. Physics students know where this is going. If equal and opposite forces collide,

no work gets done and all that energy is conserved for future conflict. All that effort for nothing. Which is why we have a proposal. Instead of having the rally be the end of Homecoming, as it is for most people, let it be the time when our energy is converted from class to school spirit. This way the forces won’t cancel out, they’ll parallel and create some formidable power for Friday’s football game. Remember football? The game that decides when Homecoming week is, that consists of players from more than one class. The game is when our alumni come back to root for the home team, to cheer on Cheer and Dance, and to applaud Marching Band. All these organizations show the true spirit of Homecoming, one that many students have lost – the school spirit.  Band doesn’t play four different times, once for each class. Instead, the grades come together to create one sound. If the cheer team members don’t work together and trust each other, someone is likely to get hurt. And no one class can win the Homecoming football game alone. A victory is a victory for all of MVHS, something everyone can and should be proud of. Take pride in your class, and take pride in your school. So let’s build up that energy, but instead of aiming at each other, focus on beating Fremont. They won’t know what hit them.

An MVHS nobility? Fresh faces are a rare sight in Homecoming Court To promote diversity, classes should elect different people to Homecoming Court each year by Kunal Bhan

2005 and 2006, there were seven out of twelve students on other students in the senior class who may not be ASB or t’s that time of year again – boys in miniskirts showing Homecoming Court who were either ASB or senior class class officers, but have demonstrated the same qualities as us how to “Pop, Lock and Drop It”, students congregat- officers, both times. This year as well, seven of the twelve those of officers. There are many other ways students can ing in backyards on weekends with paper mâché and students selected are either current ASB or class officers. be respectful, driven, and dedicated, like giving ideas for pizza, and of course, one night where one boy and one girl Of the remaining five students, one has had experience as class activities and spearheading plans for floats. are crowned king and queen. Yes – Homecoming 2008 a class officer. Some people start placing the blame on the selection has finally hit us at MVHS. And aside from winprocess, yet the very process for voting on ning Homecoming itself, the next big thing by far Homecoming Court is quite fair. The members is winning the honor of being voted as king and are selected by the senior class on an online balInstead of actually thinking about queen. lot, a change from voting in Government and Unnoticed to some, however, is that there exEconomics classes as was done in the previous someone, seniors immediately pounce ists an unspoken rule which somehow seems to years. After compiling these votes and choosing and choose ASB and class officers as take effect each year around this time. It seems the six princes and princesses, the entire student as if ASB officers and senior class officers are the these “model students.” body then casts their votes for the prince and ones who seem to almost always be on the ballots princess they wish to make king and queen. Fifor Homecoming court, with a few non-officers in nally, at the Homecoming Game’s halftime folthe race. ASB and senior class office have become synonyOkay, both ASB and the class officers should be giv- lowing the floats’ procession and band’s performance, the mous with Homecoming Court. If one looks at the court en credit because they do a lot for our school and senior previous year’s king and queen come to crown the new from just the past three years, there is an overwhelming class. They don’t have the easiest roles on campus, since year’s king and queen. majority of ASB and senior class officers on the ballot. they take up responsibility and spend time both during When seniors get the ballot, they’re asked to “nomiThis trend seems to be recurring as each year passes. Just fifth period Leadership as well as outside of normal school nate people who should represent MVHS and have last year, 10 out of the 12 students on Homecoming Court hours to ensure MVHS’ cohesiveness and senior class spirit. served the MVHS community in a positive way. were either ASB or senior class officers. For Homecoming However, there are many students who see that there are see COURT on page 8





October 22, 2008

Unwanted Halloween by Daniel Stenzel

How old is too old to go trickor-treating?

Maximum pride with minimum hours Students equate higher levels of efficiency and achievement with fewer hours of sleep at night by Vijeta Tandon


pulled an all-nighter in order to finish studying for an upcoming test and finish the piles of homework they have to do. Other participants in the conversation seem to acknowledge the fact with admiration, as though bags under eyes and body fatigue signal excellence in some mysterious way. Is forced insomnia the epitome of academic excellence? MVHS students sure make it out to be. When confronted about their inefficiency, some students respond defensively by proclaiming that they really did stay up all night working sincerely. This seems extremely unlikely. Even if the student did stay up the

he coolest new cell phone, a 4.0 GPA, stellar SAT scores, and the fewest hours of sleep each night. At first glance, these four things seem to have no relation to each other whatsoever. According to the general buzz around campus, however, these are all qualities which students commonly compete against each other for. As ridiculous as it sounds, the general belief in the minds of MVHS students seems to be that by getting, and even falsely proclaiming to be getting, fewer hours of sleep each night, students are somehow giving others the impression that they are busier and thus more competent than their peers. The main problem Inefficiency is a skill that no one with this assumption is that it completely overlooks the concept of efficiency. actually wants, yet MVHS students By unnecessarily multi-tasking and wasting seem to cultivate it enthusiastically. time, students lower their overall productivity and work inefficiently. Inefficiency is a life skill that no one actually wants, yet MVHS students seem to cultivate it enthusiastically. Why do students choose to whole night studying, it is because they did not effectively do so? For some reason, MVHS students think they look utilize the time they had earlier in the day, or continued to “cool” the next day when they brag to their friends about waste time during the night when they were supposedly getting only three hours of sleep the previous night. The working. It is impossible for someone to have more than harsh truth is that students remain exhausted and are not 10 hours of homework to do in a single day; instead, this able to fully concentrate on other aspects of their life. In is just a result of continued inefficiency over a long period most cases, this ultimately leads to serious personal and of time. emotional conflicts. On the other hand, when a student mentions how he or The irony of the situation is that students continue to she gets at least eight hours of sleep every night, observers be proud of their inefficiency, by proclaiming how they automatically assume that the student must be taking easy

classes, or must not be participating in any extracurricular activities. No one bothers to appreciate the student’s efficiency, or commend the student on his organizational and prioritizing skills. The general response to both of these two scenarios should actually be switched. We as students should strive to become more skilled, and thus organized workers. This means doing one task at a time, and learning how to prioritize activities in order of importance. Instead of listening to music, eating dinner, chatting online, and doing homework at the same time, it would be a much wiser decision to do these things one by one in a sensible order. Not only does this cut total time spent pouring over homework and studying, it also gives students a sense of accomplishment and peace of mind while doing other activities afterwards. Furthermore, knowing how to prioritize and learning how to focus on the task at hand are skills which will help students succeed throughout life in whatever we do. By not learning these skills when we have the opportunity to do so without having to face any extremely dire consequences, we are making our own future harder for us. By admiring those who are efficient and successful, we can gradually rectify this culture of sleep-deprivation. This will result in a higher productivity rate and will lead to a healthier and more energized student body. So please, instead of reading this article at 1 a.m. while pretending to study for your Chemistry Honors test, go to sleep. Your mind and body will thank you.

Keeping the decibels down: Impossible? Students continue to ignore librarians by talking loudly by Christine Chang


here seems to be an intellectual crisis at MVHS. Or perhaps it’s a plague of short-term memory loss. We can’t seem to comprehend the very elementary idea that the library is a place for reading, for studying, for being quiet. Each time we are told, “shh! This is a library...please keep it down,” we seem to do the exact opposite, pushing the noise notch another decibel up. Every day, hundreds of students stampede through the doors of the library. They raid the textbook cart, grease the keyboards with sticky fingers, and transform the quiet study area into something like a mess hall. For library managers Megan Birdsong and Jody Mitchell, it’s rarely an easy task trying to maintain the calm and cultivating effect libraries are reputed to have. Strangely, the students who can whiz through instructions for complex chemistry labs and analyze literature down to every trifling root of a word, are often the same students who blabber away on cell phones despite a bright red sign demanding “Off/Away” taped at eye level, who sneak entire lunches

into their mouths from beneath the tables, who consider the library a convenient locale for social powwows. But are library rules really that much more complicated than the heavy academic work we tolerate every day? Common sense would agree that it does not make sense for a place often synonymous with “sanctuary” and “paradise” to be degraded by unsophisticated etiquette exhibited by MV students. As outstandingly excellent our academic programs might be, failing to grasp the concept of peace and quiet in a library is undeniably a shameful blotch on MVHS students’ well-known record of intelligence and maturity. In fact, much of the problem comes in the irony that MVHS students seem to bear a twisted connotation of “library”an indoor area with comfy chairs and free Internet access where people hold club meetings, out-chant each other in SAT words, or make out behind bookshelves. More often than not, Birdsong and Mitchell have had to ask entire tables of students to leave due to their disruptive demeanor. Especially during common unscheduled periods such as

seventh, the growing bubble of noise becomes stubbornly difficult to deflate. As a result, Birdsong, as well as other teachers who work or hold class sessions in the library at that time find it increasingly difficult to give verbal instructions to their students. “There’s a certain level of conversation that is okay, but beyond that there is a limit,” Birdsong said. “We’ve been trying to communicate our expectations for a while, but if it doesn’t seem to be getting across, it really comes down to closing the library when classes are in here to work.” On the part of the student body, it is only fair that we cooperate with the standards set to create a truly effective library atmosphere. The librarians work hard to preserve the quality of our library, and especially with so many restless high school students who barge in and out each day, it is not a hassle-free job. Having a school library is a privilege to respect, a privilege that requires good manners and civilized behavior. Unless, of course, you don’t mind taking those dandy SAT flash cards out to the rally court.

COURT: No one new nominated to the top continued from page 8

Some good qualities to look for are people who are respectful, dedicated, and driven.” However, when seniors encounter these lines, and they read the sample qualities, two groups of people constantly pop to mind: six people in black jumpsuits on rally days; or five people in identical shirts, leading more than 600 seniors in the epic “OOH AAH! You wish you were a senior!” chant in the gym. Instead of actually thinking about someone, seniors immediately pounce and choose ASB and class officers as these "model students." True, seniors have college applications and first semester grades to channel most of their attention on. But in their busy schedules, they can make time to actually think for a few minutes as to who would accurately befit the title. ASB officers and class officers have been given a platform already. Why not give the same opportunity to other seniors? The thing that more seniors could do is try to vote for such non-officers, therefore giving other people within their class the chance to “represent” their class as members of that year’s Homecoming Court. With the multitude of respectful, dedicated, and driven seniors, we won’t go wrong in selecting a non-ASB or non-class officer. By considering other seniors, we can see a more diverse selection to choose from, adding another hint of spice to an already flavorful Homecoming.


October 22, 2008



Students have varied opinions of Community Leadership’s decision to provide a $1 discount to those who bring a can of food to the Homecoming Dance. El Estoque asked students a series of questions concerning the new idea. Below are some of their views, in their own words, drawn from the conversations that ensued.




What does this policy say about the attitude of MVHS students?

“We want to help the community and give back.”

You Go-Bama!

— Emily P. Yang, senior


“We are very incentive based.” — John Chang, senior

Do you think this is a valid way of getting students to participate in the food drive?

“I believe it is.”

— Bertrand Cheng, senior

“People wouldn’t want to pay the $10 for Homecoming. They’d bring the

can.” — Malcom Dia, sophomore Will students take the trouble to bring a can to Homecoming or pay the extra dollar?

“Extra dollar.”

— Anisha Gaitonde, freshmen

“It takes time. I don’t think everyone will do it.” — Shirley Chan, senior

Inflexible regulations limit students’ options MVHS bans students from taking two classes in one subject area by Jonathan Chan


t used to be that it was not difficult for students to take two classes in the same curriculum area. Then, it was given out based on space availability. Now, it’s totally banned. It is definitely important to create and maintain quality standards for graduation, including required classes in a wide variety of subjects. But MVHS’ elimination of double sciences is damaging to its student body. Students should be allowed to select classes which they love. If they aren’t allowed to double up in a subject area, students won’t be able to pursue something they are really interested in. They can’t show colleges that they have taken classes that they are interested in. They are forced into taking something they don’t care much about. Consistency is needed. Last year, students were permitted to take two science classes. However, this year, the school is not allowing any students to take two classes in one subject area. This is unfair because some members of the Class of 2009 have five science classes on their transcript, while others, who wanted to take two science classes this year, have only four. However, there are still open seats in other science classes. During the last station at “Running of the Bulls,” I brought in a schedule change form complete with signatures to add Physics to my schedule, but I already had Chemistry on my

welcome to running of the bulls!

AP add : Bi o

Bio AP class list 27.cindy 28.brian 29.susan 30. EMPTY 31. SPACE AVAILABLE

Deepa Kollipari | El Estoque

schedule. One of the deans told the Assistant Principal that they had six or seven seats open in seventh period Physics. But when I brought my schedule form, I was immediately denied Physics because the school was not allowing any double sciences. A limit to class size is set because it is important for teachers to give each student enough individual attention, but if there are open seats in any class, why not allow students to take it if they choose? It is true that not every student is going to add the class they want, but are all the open seats going to be wasted in an attempt to maintain “fairness?” By denying this type of op-


portunity, MVHS students are being put at a disadvantage when compared to high schools that do allow students to double up in one curriculum area. It’s understandable that only a certain number of classes can be opened with the amount of funding available. But, if funding is such an issue, why were we able to construct a new, expensive office building that at best indirectly benefits students, while there still was not enough funding to open new classes? It is true that there might be separate funds for building and classes, but if that’s the case, we need to rethink our priorities.

t’s fair to say that I enjoy being inspired. I love listening to graduation speeches for the sole reason to achieve that splendid liquid sensation at the base of my spine culminating with every well-delivered line. As an independent supporter of Barack Obama and Joseph Biden, I found myself immediatly engrossed in their campaign, seeing these Democratic candidates as the harbingers of desparately needed change. Thus, I began to take on a liberal bias against opposing Republicans John McCain and Sarah Palin. While watching the debates, it seemed that every time Obama commented on President Bush’s policies, I would immediately agree with the Democratic point of view. Riding on the wave of Obama’s resounding oratory following his last debate, I was inspired to fully embrace “Oba-Mania.” At the Cupertino Fall Festival, I stunned the Democratic Party booth with my purchase of $15 worth of Obama propaganda. I attached the 10 shiny Obama campaign pins I bought on my backpack, put up an Obama poster on my otherwise pristine bedroom walls, and even stuck “Obama 08” bumper decals on my parents’ cars without their permission. Obama was my main man: the perfect politician, an honest everyday father trying to better our society.     On the other hand,  I expressed my disdain against McCain and Palin at every given opportunity. Afer every GOP press release, I instantly deemed their policies incorrect and against minority interests, judging every single aspect of the Republican platform with a negative verdict: Grossly misnamed “health insurance reforms” are actually steps towards free market competition with human lives as currency. McCain’s call for the escalation of military presence in Iraq is a written request for a repeated Vietnam War.     Yet my blissful leftist behavior met its end when I stumbled upon www.liecount. com, a website that quantifies the slander spewed by politicians. I was violated. The political Gospel that I followed in Obama’s wake was indeed no different than the McCain campaign, filled with negative campaigning and libel. Apparently, my dear Obama was not the man of wax that I so imagined him to be, but rather, just another Capitol Hill politician. I believed Barack Obama to be a presidential candidate like no other, but after all, he is simply another master of public manipulation. My brief experience with presidential elections has left a foul-tasting puddle of political excretion upon my tongue. It appears that no politician can tell the truth without losing their most important measure of success, votes. However, I understand the difficulty that political icons face while campaigning as it is not a matter of whether or not they tell the truth, but what people want to hear. Politics is a vicious circle.Tell the ugly truth to the public, and political suicide ensues. Tell a lie, or rather a “fabricated fact,” and face the overwhelming probability that your opponent catches you and your moral reputation is permanently compromised. Sadly, there may never be a candidate that satisfies all my political, economic, and social demands while fulfilling, to some extent, a noteworthy moral agenda. But until then, I have found the underlying reason for low voter turnout in the United States. After all, nobody tells the truth. Nobody can fix our financial crisis. Nobody will find the correct solution to our oil dependency and Nobody can solve global hunger. So vote for Nobody.




October 22, 2008


acloserlook for related content see

Daniel Stenzel | El Estoque

growing green Organic and healthy food trends gain popularity in Cupertino


by Sharanya Shankar and Jane Kim new green movement is in full force, but it doesn’t deal with expensive solar panels or recycled paper. Instead, it’s about the nutritional green found in spinach and broccoli, and seeing vitamin A in place of seeing recycling signs. It’s about organic foods. These growing health trends are turning Cupertino green. The trend towards organic and nutritious foods has led to the opening of numerous frozen yogurt stores, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s in Cupertino. In 1992, the U.S. Department of Agriculture encouraged Americans to eat according to a food pyramid, that advised people to minimize fat and eat a lot of carbohydrates. However, the USDA came out with a brand new food pyramid encompassing a new healthier way of eating in 2008. MyPyramid proposes a personalized eating plan which helps assess people’s own food needs. This new way addresses eating and

is tailored to different bodies and builds. It caters to personal needs while improving health with regard to protein, or building more body muscle. Cupertino residents have joined this health craze through the popularity of health supermarkets and frozen yogurt stores. In Cupertino alone there are seven different types of these yogurt places, and many students of MVHS have noticed the rise in this popular trend. “Frozen yogurt restaurants are becoming like Starbucks,” junior Tiffany Lau said. “You see one almost every block. Frozen yogurt has fewer calories than ice cream, which is probably why a lot of people think it’s healthy.” One of the newest frozen yogurt places, Red Mango, offers a natural and unsweetened yogurt. Unlike ice cream, it does not contain extra sugar unnecessary for the body. Freshman Shannon Lin likes to eat frozen yogurt: “It’s not as heavy as ice cream,” Lin revealed, “and it’s yummier.”

Although some students follow and believe most health trends to be true and healthy, junior Steven Lee does not. “These [health trends] are misleading because organic foods and frozen yogurt aren’t necessarily good,” Lee said. “People just want to believe that they’re healthy.” Athletic Director, Lori Graham thinks that the health stores in Cupertino reinspired health within her, “I think deep down we all want to be healthy and when new places open up- we want to be a part of it.” Supermarkets such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s offer health benefits that can’t be found in other stores. These health-centric stores offer organic foods. Despite growing popularity in frozen yogurt, organic foods and trends, real health is about maintaining a proper diet. Fresh Vegetables will always be a staple part of a healthy diet. Green beans, green bell peppers, brussel sprouts, zucchini, spinach, bok choy, cucumbers and peas, go green!




Year the USDA created MyPyramid, a personalized eating plan

Number of frozen yogurt places in Cupertino

Year “Dr. Atkin’s New Diet Revolution” was published

Pull—out section


acloserlook The latest phenomenon, fro-yo Frozen yogurt emerges as a health trend by Lauren Parcel


ogurtland, Tartini, Red Mango, Froyo, I <3 Yogurt, DIY Yogurt, Yumi Yogurt, and Tutti Frutti. Cupertino is under siege of the frozen yogurts. Recently, there has been a surge of frozen yogurt shops opening in Cupertino and surrounding areas. Starting with I <3 Yogurt in 2006, there has been a steady rise in popularity. So, why are people choosing frozen yogurt? “I like frozen yogurt because it’s not too sweet,” junior Jenna Valtanen said. Cupertino is a good target for frozen yogurt due to its health-conscious citizens. This is one reason Susan Kuo decided to open Red Mango here. Kuo’s new store emphasizes healthy yogurt as well as a healthy lifestyle. “Our yogurt is all natural, low-cal, lowsugar; we try to be as healthy as possible,”

Kuo said. Kuo thinks of yogurt as a healthy snack rather than a dessert. With an unsweetened, natural base, and fresh fruit and granola additives, it is a snack that can be eaten any time of day. In addition, Red Mango hopes to have a welcoming family atmosphere. “I want it to be a place where students can come after school and study and just hang out,” Kuo said. However, the health aspects of frozen yogurt are not the only reasons for its popularity. “I like getting frozen yogurt for the whole experience,” senior Safa Lele said. “It’s cheap, you can serve yourself, and there are so many toppings to choose from.” Whether it’s Red Mango or Yogurtland, frozen yogurt shops are beginning to offer “experience” students have been looking for. From their cute décor to healthy varieties, frozen yogurt is the latest trend.

frozen yogurt* calories 90 total fat 0g cholesterol 0mg sodium 125mg total carbohydrate 20g sugars 18g *information taken from

Living the healthy life Student sees benefits of active lifestyle by Dipika Shrihari


enior Hannah Wang would not be caught dead at McDonald’s with a complete set of fries, burgers, and soda. Wang is a trend setter for what it means to be healthy and live life in moderation. Her daily routine is bread and milk for breakfast, a bike ride to school, and a balanced lunch and dinner. Chewing on a Special K bar as she spoke, Wang explained the importance of eating healthy, but not being obsessive about it. “When I feel like I’m eating too much, I stop,” Wang said. “[But] I don’t really look at the nutrition facts. It’s good to see how many calories you are eating but not to be, like, ‘Oh my god! 100 calories! I can’t eat that.’” Wang also stressed the importance of eating healthy even when your body isn’t sending you signals to stop. “Maybe you get really fat and then you see it,” Wang said. “[For] some people they can’t [see the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle] with their body. It doesn’t show, but it’s so bad for them.” She does not spend every waking moment running laps on the track, but her mantra of moderation is carried out in her exercise sched-

ule. By biking to school every day, playing at badminton “open gym” on Fridays, and participating in teams on and out of school, Wang stays fit, yet maintains time to study and sleep. When she comes home from school, she starts her homework right away and is able to get ready for bed at 10 p.m. This cycle of health, exercise, and sleep may seem like a great feat to accomplish, but to Wang this has been the norm her whole life. Her parents have always influenced her to be healthy, and Wang has not lived any other way. “We’ve always been aware that you have to eat healthy,” Wang said. “My [mom] would send me emails [saying], ‘If you eat too much you will have blood clots.’” Though Wang adheres to a healthy lifestyle, she admitts to craving fast food occasionally, but actively controls the urge to indulge in this pleasure. “I eat fast food, like, once in three to four months,” Wang said. “Instead of snacking on chips I will eat Cheerios, and I like dark chocolate. [Students] have to make their own effort to be healthy.”

ice cream (vanilla)* calories 260 total fat 16g cholesterol 65mg sodium 70mg total carbohydrate 26g sugars 26g *information taken from



• In the Zone 16 • New track 17 • Dance team 18 • Super cyclist 17 •

Settling the


Kunal Bhan | El Estoque

HEAD ON HEAD Senior Jay Voigt, junior Kalon Zandbergs, and senior Nick Tong all put of a fierce offense against Lynbrook High School at Lynbrook’s Homecoming game on Oct.17.

Varsity football team finds victory in a decision making match against Lynbrook. by Kai Kang


oing into Lynbrook’s Homecoming game last Friday on Oct. 18, both MVHS players and spectators alike hoped to get revenge for the previous year. For the seniors on varsity football, it was the close defeat by Lynbrook that kept them out of the CCS championships last year. “Lynbrook has always played us tough,” football coach Jeff Mueller said before Friday night’s game. “Tonight, we’re going to go out and play tough. It’s always fun to play Homecoming games. It puts a target on them.” For fans, it was being defeated at the Homecoming game last year that kept tensions running high on Friday night. “Everybody wants to win their Homecoming game,” said junior Kevin Nguyen. “Losing it was depress-

ing because that’s the epitome of school spirit right there, it’s what Homecoming week leads up to. If we win against Lynbrook, it’s gonna be pretty good.” According to Mueller, Lynbrook leans towards being an offensive team while MVHS is stresses both offense and defense. Strategically, MVHS was well prepared to meet Lynbrook. “Lynbrook has many offensive and defensive tendencies in certain conditions,” said Mueller. “We’re going to adapt to those tendencies.” Statistically, with an undefeated 5-0 record in comparison with Lynbrook varsity’s 1-4, Monta Vista was favored to win. And win they did, 49-7. Lynbrook kicked off to start the game, and was nearly scored upon by MVHS with a return touchdown in the first ten seconds, but was stopped by a flag. MVHS scored quickly in the subsequent plays, senior Justin Rahn with the 15-yard run, making the score 6-0. MVHS started the second quarter with a 17-yard pass touchdown from Rahn to Senior Max Ratkovich for a touchdown. After a two-point conversion by senior Aaron Turner, the score was 14-0. A tight MVHS defensive forced a punt from Lynbrook on the fourth down. The punt from Lynbrook was caught by senior Jason Kearns for a 90-yard

punt return touchdown. Lynbrook was left trailing 21-0 with six minutes left in the second quarter. Defensive plays on both sides stalled scoring in the second half of the second quarter until Lynbrook broke through the defense with two minutes left on the clock, bringing the score to 21-7. Turner returned matched Lynbrook with a 16-yard run, making the score 28-7. The game resumed after half-time, with strong defensive plays on both sides. Turner scored a four yard run, the sole score change in the third quarter. The last quarter of the game saw Turner’s third touchdown of the match up, a 9 yard run as well as Senior Nick Tong’s 19 yard run. At the end of the game, Turner had seven carries for 52 yards and three touchdowns. Tong finished with five carries for 48 yards, and Rahn had six carries for 47 yards in addition to 10 for 17 completed passes for 202 yards. “The offensive and defensive lines played great,” Mueller said after the game. “We ran the ball better than we thought.” This friday, the Matadors, with their record of 6-0 will travel to Fremont to play against the Firebirds in their own Homecoming game.

FUHSD plans to renovate five facilities

New designs for outdoor athletic facility are underway, with ideas, blueprint, and discussion tentative blueprint

by Samved Sangameswara


VHS varsity football coach Jeff Mueller has a 35 players, a staff of nine coaches, and a quality shot at making CCS this year, but he’s still missing one thing: a field for his team. However, that is about to change. Thanks to Bond Measure B, which was passed last June, MVHS along with the other four schools in the district have received $40 million to be used to renovate all outdoor athletic facilities. “Yes, we’ve always wanted [a football field],” Assistant Principal Brad Metheany said.”But you can’t just pull $34 million out of your budget.” Mueller hopes that a large portion of that money will go to renovating the school’s currently inactive football field. As of right now, due to a lack of proper facilities, the varsity Matadors play all home football games at Cupertino High School. Mueller hopes that renovations will change that. “We want [students] to have the real high school experience of a home football game,” Mueller said. The decision of MVHS’ athletic facilities fate is currently being debated amongst a committee that has been formed to discuss the renovations. The committee, comprising of Mueller and Metheany as well as several MVHS teachers, administrators and FUHSD representatives, has been meeting over the past few weeks to determine how money will be allocated. Although the football field is in dire need of renovation, it is not the sole focus of this project. As of right now MVHS has plans on completely renovating the lower field. Plans include pushing the baseball backstop farther towards the tennis courts to create room for a larger playing space for soccer and field hockey and putting a receding wall on the grass hill between the baseball and football fields. see MEASURE B on page 17

9 7

6 5


3 2


4 1

Shot put and discus area 2 400 m track 3 Football field 4 Soccer field 5 Pole vault


high jump area 7 scoreboard and flagpole 8 baseball dugout 9 softball batting cage 10 synthetic turf multi-use fields 6

courtesy of Verde Design






MOMENTS “One time during a game against Los Altos, [freshman] Katie [Walker] got hit in the head by an incoming shot, tripped herself, and fell on her back.” —freshman Suruchi Salgar, junior varsity girls tennis


October 22, 2008


“On our trip to Reno, we were in the SkyTrain and we went in a corner to take a picture. Suddenly, as we were about to click the shutter, someone on the train passed gas. The picture turned out really funny, especially all our facial expressions.” —senior Jamie Fung, varsity girls volleyball

“One day, we had a water fight after practice. During this fight, some of us decided to douse senior Keaton Chiu while he was wearing a white T-shirt.” —freshman Neil Fernandes, junior varsity boys cross country

“When I was leading the cross country cheer, I forgot what to say half-way through!” —junior Alex Cheng, varsity boys cross country

“I hit the ball and then it somehow hit my forehead.” —junior Sonia Kaushal, junior varsity girls tennis



Varsity girls Cross Country


JV girls tennis


Varsity boys water polo


JV girls volleyball




Varsity field hockey

by Samved Sangameswara

by Kanwalroop Singh

by Tammy Su

by Kunal Bhan

by Samved Sangameswara

The boys cross country team put up a strong performance at the 36th annual Artichoke Invitational on Oct 4. The team saw especially fierce races from the freshman and sophomore boys at the meet which was held at Half Moon Bay High School. The freshman boys took first place in their division and the sophomores took second. The Matador sophomores were led by sophomore Jesse He. He managed to fend off an opponent, who tried to pull him down during the last strech, completing the race in seventh place. The JV boys have their next meet on Oct. 30 at Lynbrook High School.

The JV girls tennis team won 5-2 against Los Altos High School on Oct. 14. Freshman Suruchi Salgar defeated her opponent in the first win of the day with unmatched forehands and aces, guaranteeing not only a victory, but a complete sweep of 6-0, 6-0. Junior Doris Yeung, contrary to team expectations, didn’t get the win. JV girls tennis has won against six schools in the season so far and lost against only one, Saratoga High School on Oct. 7. Gunn High School, MVHS, and Saratoga High School are tied for first place in the league and have all qualified for CCS.

The varsity boys water polo team played fiercely but lost to Mountain View High School on Oct. 16. MVHS started strong, scoring the first goal of the night within two-and-a-half minutes. However, Mountain View’s offense came back hard, putting in goals and bringing the score of the first quarter to 1-6. The MVHS offense attacked with more fluidity after the halftime mark, and three more goals were added to the score. The opposing team kept the game in their advantage. The resulting final score was 15-4, Mountain View.

It was 30 minutes into the game, but none of the girls on JV volleyball looked tired as they came smiling into the timeout and with a confidence booming cheer “MVVB,” they set out to finish the game. In Sept. 18, the JV girls volleyball team defeated Saratoga High 2-0. From then onwards, momentum carried the JV girls to a 25-17 win. Saratoga then took the lead until freshman Justine Urauchi delivered dish after dish of serves, widening the gap to an overwhelming 10 points. MVHS defeated Saratoga 25-1, securing the game with excellent offensive and defensive plays.

The varsity girls field hockey team tied Westmont High School on Oct. 9. The defense managed to suppress the Westmont offense through the first half, and the offense broke away at the start of the second half. After a scoreless second half, the game went into a seven on seven overtime. Sophomore Kristen Tatsuno almost scored when she managed to put one past the Westmont goalkeeper but the celebration was short-lived because Tatsuno had a foot inside the inner circle during her shot. As time ran, out the teams submitted to a well-played 0-0 tie.

FALLSNAPSHOT Junior Zachary Carlsen can often be found in the locker room singing very loudly to various music. So far, his favorite song is “Barbie Girl.”

The cheer team associates senior Jenny Zhang with Minnie Mouse because she loves to wear bows in her hair and giggles a lot.

Freshman Teresa Li is not only fierce on the dance floor, but is skilled in the art of karate. She has achieved a black belt in this self-defense technique.

Senior J.T. Peters is nicknamed ‘Tyrone’ because his teammates, as a joke, gave him the name once when they were at Jambe Juice.

Senior Siva Udayamurthy has a tradition of getting less than six hours of rest before a track meet. He often has “carb fests” with his teammates before.

Senior Shandon Rovetta tapes over her friendship bracelets during games and pretends her wrist is injured so she doesn’t have to take them off.

“I was doing a cheer at a football game. I stepped off the side and fell off the box.” —junior Jessica Gasperini, varsity cheerleading

“I was running and I was about to score a touchdown, but I tripped over [junior] Wesley Oberhelman’s foot and fell.” —junior Nicholas Utley, varsity football

Kunal Bhan, Sasha Degtyar, Samved Sangameswara, Dipika Shrihari, Kanwalroop Singh, Tammy Su, Natalie Wong| El Estoque

elestoque Living life in the bike lane October 22, 2008



Inside Out

Former runner finds her place in the ranks of professional cyclists by Sarah McKee


unior Christina Ygelsias had no idea she would one day be training for the Olympics. But, as a child she was already unintentionally planning for her future. Yglesias had a habit of saving her money for no reason, and she never knew that she would use her childhood savings to fund her biking career. As a competitive biker, Yglesias pays for the bikes she rides. Granted, she ends up with old models that have slight scratches in them. “My road bike is the paint shop tester. They use leftover bikes when they want to see what the paint job is going to look like. So it says it’s made out of carbon fiber, when really it’s not,” Yglesias said. Just as she didn’t have plans for her savings, she never planned on becoming a competitive biker either. After suffering an injury as a runner, her decision to become a biker was influenced by her father. As a competitive biker, he always insisted that his daughter take up biking too. “My dad’s friend, who owns Cupertino Bike Shop, [said I] should try some races,” Yglesias said. “I won my first race and that was pretty much it.” Since she started biking, Yglesias has found a community. She met one of her best friends, senior Eddie Zhang from Saratoga, on an early morning bike ride. “With biking you basically have this really big network,” Zhang said of the friends that he’s made, “and it’s really help-

Going for gold


Courtesy of Lyne Lamoureux

GIVE ME A BRAKE At her first offical race, which took place on specially banked tracks, junior Christina Yglesias (right) was not allowed to use brakes in order to optimize speed. ful to have this group.” Since Yglesias’ first race last August, it wasn’t until this February when she decided to take up biking as a sport. Starting at the lowest level for female competitive bikers, at category four, she has moved up one category since last season. She has three more upgrades until she reaches the top tier. Now taking her biking seriously, Yglesias hopes to reach category two by next season. She has also hired a coach, Shelly Olds, a fellow teammate of hers on her biking team, Pro-Man. Named after their German sponsor, ProMan is an internationally accredited team that Yglesias

never imagined she would bike for. “I pretty much thought I had zero chance of getting on this team,” Yglesias said. “I thought they would laugh at my application.” Except, at a race one day, she ended up competing against the Pro-Man team manager, and she won. Elated after her victory, Yglesias decided to hand in her application. Five minutes later she was accepted. Yglesias hopes to one day travel with her team to Pennsylvania, Italy, France, Holland, and eventually the Olympic games. Yglesias draws inspiration from her coach, Shelly Olds.

“We have pretty similar attributes,” Olds said of Yglesias. “She is feisty, and she’s an aggressive rider. She goes out and she races hard.” And, just as Yglesias hopes to one day, Olds is working towards competing in the next Olympic Games. Yglesias hopes to continue biking after high school by joining teams at the college level. She has already been unofficially approached by Berkeley, and her coach, Shelly Olds, is the co-coach of the Stanford women’s team. “There were a lot of sacrifices that came with [biking], but once I made a lot of friends in cycling it didn’t feel like a sacrifice,” Yglesias said.

Flying high: A cheerleader’s life MEASURE B: Cheerleaders continue strenuous stunts Plans to renovate facilities ensue by Patty Chao



eing on a sports team means trusting teammates, whether it is completing a pass, scoring a touchdown, or catching team members after they are hurled high into the air. While all sports run the risk of injury, cheer performs the most heart-skipping stunts, pulling off flips in midair several times throughout a single routine. Lack Brittany Hopkins | El Estoque of coordination and a single slip, and the CHEER ON Cheer team members support the football fliers can plunge to- players in their game against Lynbrook on Oct. 17. wards the floor. “It’s scary at first, “Our fliers have to be really flexible but we have really strong bases, so we trust and we know we can’t let them touch them,” varsity cheerleader senior Breanna the ground,” Hsu said. “Personally, I Adams said. don’t get that nervous.” According to varsity cheerleader senior Other stunts performed by cheer inJessica Hsu, the team’s fliers, who are the clude extensions and cradles, both of teammates thrown into the air, are chosen which include cheerleaders being hoistby coach Britanny Morales, and picked ed into the air. To prepare for these risky based on how strong they are compared to maneuvers, cheerleaders go through a their teammates. series of conditioning activities, just like Out of the nationally certified cheer members of any other sports team. stunts, basket tosses are the hardest and “If you can hit the stunts at home, most dangerous. However, none of them practicing, then you’ll be fine at the are considered dangerous by the team. competitions,” Hsu said.

continued from page 15

The possibility of an all turf field is also being looked into. MVHS, as well as the other four schools in the district, are putting the job of designing the renovations in the hands of Verde Design, a design company that has done work on the fields of San Jose State University and Santa Clara University. The five schools were given a floating budget of $40 million to share amongst themselves. MVHS decided to form this committee and make a list of desires for the new athletic structures. The list is then presented to Verde and they have the task of what Athletic Director Brian Sullivan calls “plotting the boxes.” This means they are finding a way to meet MVHS’ desires while working around the lack of space at our school. Construction will begin the day after the graduation ceremonies. Sullivan is excited for the new facilities, which hopefully will be done by February of 2010, provided that MVHS goes first, but hopes that these new features will move beyond just the MVHS community. Sullivan wants to see the future fields being used by the surrounding communities as well. “The community payed for all of this through their taxes, “ Sullivan said. “We want to give them something they can be proud of.”

here is Michael Phelps when you need him? Well, he was too busy to save me from almost drowning last Saturday. It all started with my Ramen, which happily swam about in a bowl of soup while I pondered away about what frighteningly extreme adventure to embark on this month. Inspiration struck me. I decided that if my friend Michael could win eight golds, it would be indecent to not try for one myself. I had no access to a pool, so I figured that the 10K Open Water marathon would be my best bet. Swimming in the ocean would be easy, I thought to myself. Arriving at Santa Cruz was a great disappointment. The warm sand and cool surf advertised in the Boardwalk ads were lies. Seaweed covered the murkey shores. The 2012 Olympics, in which I will definitely be winning a Gold, is in the luscious Hyde Park, London. This was a sad substitute. So I stepped into the shallows. At touch I felt the chill of the water burn me. Images of a hospital ward with hypothermic patients flooded me and as I shivered at the prospect of going any closer to these wretched waters. By the time I was shoulder deep, the cold was replaced by feelings of terror. Looking around, I saw on the beach a grand total of seven people to rescue me if Idrowned in these murky depths. Michael had millions of spectators and I had seven. I was at a point where my feet no longer touched the sand when it hit me that my swimming skills are poor at best. I was no Michael. I wasn’t even good enough to be the water boy for the MVHS swim team. I’m not sure if it was because the numbness had affected my brain, but a sense of courage pervaded me and I decided to continue on. Having never perfected my freestyle (or any other stroke for that matter), I kicked my legs in the water, awkwardly propelling myself three-fourths mile into sea. Out of breath from my swim, I waddled my legs to stay afloat and surveyed my surroundings. Everything else seemed dead silent except the wind pounding against my ears. Although the water had only become browner, my isolation made me feel strangely comforted. My moment of serenity came to a sudden end as something tugged at my leg. Instantly the Jaws music roared in my head and I felt a sense of terror. duh-nuh...duhnuh... dah-nuh.... duhnuhduhnuhduhnuh. As I kicked rapidly, trying to escape my destiny of becoming a shark victim, I felt a wet sliminess brush against me. Stopping my kicking for a minute, I realized that it was just seaweed that had floated above the ocean floor. I felt a sense of relief and embarrassment simultaneously, thankful that I would not be dinner that that night. I had had enough. As I swam towards shore, I saw a huge wave following me. If I had had a surfboard and knew how to use it, this would have been the perfect opportunity to impress the few beach-goers. But it was just me and my poor swimming abilities, so I closed my eyes and gaped at the surge of water sent to demolish me. Gaping at any salty body of water is a big mistake, since water engulfed my mouth and I was soon submerged. I had spent the last 20 minutes being battered and abused by the cruel elements of nature, and yet, I had stuck it out. As I washed ashore, coughing saltwater and looking tattered, I felt my dream of seeing Gold at the Olympics slowly slip away from me. Michael can have all my Golds, I just want to go home.


18 Marquesasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; drive for dance takes over sports

October 22, 2008

Marquesas on team sacrifice other activities to make time for long hours of practice by Mansi Pathak


en hours a week. Forty minutes of Pilates. Two hundred forty seconds of planks. Leaps across the floor, toes pointed, arms poised. Though you may only see their three minute routines at rallies and football games, the Marquesas put in countless hours perfecting their routines. Like many of the dance team girls, team captain and senior Christine Yee says she devotes her life solely to school and dance. She began dancing at age three and used to put in 12 hours a week at Dance Academy USA. After joining dance team, however, she can barely manage the occasional dance class at Studio 10 in San Jose. As a freshman, Yee was only part of three routines, so practices were less time consuming and Yee had time to participate in some of her other favorite activities. Now, with many more routines and a busy senior year, Yee definitely has her hands full. "[As captain] there is so much to do behind the scenes," Yee said. "My [senior] year is basically taken up by dance practice and then coming home to study." An average week as a Marquesa includes about one and two hours of dance practice every day, Monday through Thursday. During busier times, like competition season, weekday practices increase to almost 16 hours a week and five to six hours of weekend rehearsal. The girls are also expected to review their routines, stretch, and improve their technique twice a day at home. The long hours devoted to dance team practice often make it difficult to schedule other plans, both socially and academically. Many of the Marquesas have had to put their extracurricular activities on hold.

Sophomore Kelly Woodruff faced the difficult decision as a freshman, deciding between competitive ice skating, which she had been doing for three years, or dance team. For a few months, Woodruff attempted to do both: morning ice skating classes in Redwood City and after school dance team practice. However, she was overworked and decided to quit ice skating lessons. When Woodruff was elected secretary for class of 2011, the time constraint caused her to give up her studio dance classes at East West Music and Dance, as well as slow down her piano lessons. "I thought dance team would be more fun than ice skating, which it is. You get to make great friends and the competitions are so much less stressful as a team," Woodruff explained. "I feel like I made the right decision." For sophomore Lauren Lee, juggling MVHS dance team and dance classes at East West Music and Dance has been strenuous, as the activities have collided many times. Last August, the dance team traveled to Santa Cruz for a dance boot camp. However, the previous week Lee's studio was taking a trip to New York. "The last day [in New York] overlapped with the dance team camp. I caught an early plane at 7 a.m. The Santa Cruz camp started that day around 1 p.m.," Lee said. "I was extremely jet-lagged." However, even the long tiring hours don't faze the Marquesasâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;they willingly make these sacrifices every day. "Dance team practice is a great release from stress," junior Jackie Schadle said. "It is my time to forget about everything outside of the dance room."

Jaime Chu | El Estoque

PRE-PRACTICE Sophomore Lauren Lee prepares for the long practice ahead on Oct. 17.

entertainment 19 • Biology and tap dancing 20 •Trader Joe’s delights 21 •Comickers make paper children 22 •

Make it yours by Sabrina Ghaus Sunflower Wrap a green pipe cleaner around a plastic sunflower and secure it to your head. Wear green clothes to represent the stem and brown shoes to serve as “roots.”

Pirate Cut out an eyepiece from a piece of felt and sew it to an elastic band for an eye patch. Tie a bandana around your head and wear a striped T-shirt to complete the costume.


ow many princesses, witches, Grim Reapers, and Harry Potters roam the streets on the night of Oct. 31? Too many to count. A solution to the numerous incidents of accidental costume twins, however, is possible. Making your own costume is a way to express your inner arts and crafts junkie and ensure that you’ll stand out on Halloween. While the task may seem daunting, creating a costume is not, in fact, as difficult as it seems. Depending on the complexity of the design, the costume can be expensive, cheap, timeconsuming, or quick. You control the price and how elaborate it is. It is not necessary to spend an entire weekend in Michael’s or use all your savings to obtain all the materials needed, either. Many small items commonly found around the house have the potential to become parts of or add the finishing touches to a costume. Construction paper, pipecleaners, and old clothes can be used for a DIY costume. While it may seem easier to just go to a store and buy a costume or dust off a previous year’s, the time and effort put into making an original costume will make it worth it.

Fairy Wings Tie two hangers together with string. Glue or tape tissue paper to the hanger frame and attach the wings to your costume.

dark, dark room What: Haunted house walk-through Where: Black Box Theater When: Lunchtime Oct. 29 - 31

After school Oct. 31 until 3:30

Chef Take a large piece of white construction paper and secure it into the shape of a cylinder to wear as a chef’s hat. Wear a white coat and slacks, and carry kitchen utensils.

Price: $2 at lunch, $3 after school

Photo Illustration by Patty Chao

Halloween: Better luck trick-or-treating Traditional corn maze themed farm fails to impress by Stefan Ball


hrowing of corn = assault and/or destruction of private property may result in arrest.” That is what visitors of Swank Farms in Hollister, Calif. have to face as a side dish to their family fun. About an hour away, a dirt parking lot welcomes you into basically, nothing at all. The Swank Farms website and brochures show a massive grandeur, hype, and sheer amazing sites, but there was none of that. I felt like I was in a National Lampoon road trip movie and had found some sort of wax museum about dead bugs or something similarly displeasing. But either way, these places usually have a unique charm and character, the California weather was at its finest, so Swank Farms was mine. Swank farms has been creating massive corn mazes for years. It also has an unexpectedly small pumpkin patch, as well as a haunted house type exhibit if you choose to make the trek at night. Judging from their website and its aerialview pictures, the corn maze is absolutely massive. It is. The fact that I parked, did a 360 degree swivel and still didn’t know where to walk first pretty much summed it up: there isn’t much there. There’s a bubble thing for kids to jump on trampoline-style, and some hay stacks, but there

are very few signs, nothing particularly eye-catching or appealing and not even many people. I was promised family fun and I wasn’t seeing it. But still, out of the car climbed Mom, Dad, Brother, Sister, Grandfather, and Dog. There’s a relentless feeling of trying a bit too hard, trying to be something it’s not. There are go karts, but they’re of the peddle variety. There is a goat walk and a petting zoo, but my Boston terrier attracted more attention, and the ghost-town feel inspired anxiousness and a seething desire to just get home. And, to top off the absolutely unbelievably bursting family fun is a sign hammered into the ground just in front of the ticket office. “No hoodies, No foul language” followed by the flying corn warning. I managed to get past the cringe-worthy attempts at Halloween fun and went straight for the maze. It turns out the maze isn’t much of a maze at all. You’re given a map to find words placed around the maze to fill out a paragraph about the maze’s history. What’s a maze if you don’t get lost? However, with enough time to trudge through the entire field (They estimate 1 hour) and a child young enough, it could definitely be a family-pleaser. The reality is, the entertainment definitely isn’t spoon-fed to you happiestplace-on-earth Disneyland style, but it’s there to be discov-

Stefan Ball | El Estoque

ered on your own. Next was a labyrinth (part of the $10 for a wrist band for entrance to the maze, packages were also available to include the other attractions) This was meant to be a therapeutic process – different stages along the path were meant for thinking through a situation in a different way. Unlike the depressing sites I’d seen to get there, it made sense. If I had a problem that was nagging away at the back of my brain, I’d welcome the process with an open mind, ready feet, and a resistance to throwing corn. Many friends were jealous of the fact that I was going to such a corn maze, but they had no reason to be. There’s a lot to be said for the traditional. Gimmicks aren’t necessary. Give us just a maze, a normal maze, no map, the ability to get nerve-shatteringly lost, and we’ll be happy. Simple creatures, us humans.

October 22, 2008 elestoque 20 Band plays at district-wide exhibition entertainment

Marching Band Extravaganza participants convey spirit of music with energy, enthusiasm


by Allie Choy

Sasha Degtyar | El Estoque

PARADE MARCH MVHS marching band’s drumline and trumpets proudly warm up for the Tournament of the Bands on Oct. 11 at Cupertino High School.

rilliant patterns formed. Bright, satin flags of luminous hues stood out in the night air. The gold and silver of tubas and the metal on hats shone in stark contrast with the solid colors of uniforms and flags. A mixed ensemble of flutes, trombones, and various instruments matched in unison with the beats of the drums and swift hand motions of the drum majors. The audience cheered and roared when performers caught perfectly thrown flags and batons.    This marvelous display of costumes, music, and visual effects was not the result of a Disneyland show parade. Rather, this magnificent show was the annual Fremont Union High School district Marching Band Extravaganza held on Oct. 4 at Fremont High School. The schools performing included Cupertino, Fremont, Homestead, Lynbrook, Monta Vista, and Los Gatos.      Each band marched onto the football field, performing their songs once facing the bleachers where the other schools sat, and another time facing an audience of supporters including friends and family. On the spectators’ side, viewers were wrapped in layers of blankets, sipping hot chocolate, and huddling together for body heat. But they immediately forgot about the cold of the night when the bands started to chime and sound, marching and striding in vivid colors.     All six bands put an enormous amount of effort into creating a lively atmosphere. They had practiced and perfected. They had gotten into full character through uniforms, face paint, and props. Their precision and

unison was flawless. This vivacity was also created through a healthy competitiveness in the atmosphere.    “We got pumped to perform mostly by watching all of the other schools before us, but I also went around to almost every member of the band and personally pumped them up,” drum major senior Brian Miller said.     The bands encouraged each other to perform at a higher level. The pressure to excel contributed to the intensity and passion of the event.      “I think it helped that the other bands were practicing around us, so that the flutes would learn from how professional they looked and sounded,” flutist senior Tiffany Hwang said.      The excitement and spirit of the event could be seen not only through the tremendous amount of enthusiasm the bands had, but also through the cheering and support the audience gave. A few audience members that contributed to the liveliness of the event were Principal April Scott, who had attended the Extravaganza for the past four to five years.     “I really like the fact that MVHS’s band brings energy and enthusiasm to football games and other school events,” Scott said.      At the end of the night, on the spectator side, parents and friends filed off the stands, still chattering about the success of the event. On the band side of the football field, the members proudly held their flags and instruments as if they were prized possessions. Satisfied with their performances, the bands marched off into the night.

The many different clicks of teachers: biology and tap dancing Biology teachers Lani Giffin and Pam Chow share about their studio dancing experience

by Kevin Wu


very week, biology teachers Lani Giffin and Pam Chow walk into a different kind of classroom, one with no desks, no goggles, and no glowing bacteria. A classroom in which they do not teach, but instead, learn to tap dance.  Venturing away from the rotten smell of the classroom to a fresh musical environment of dance class is one way Chow and Giffin tap away their stresses from work. Chow and Giffin escape to their secret refuge and learn tap dancing in an adult class at a dance studio in Palo Alto. “It’s a place to go to outside of school, something to look forward to every week,” Giffin said. They have been tap dancing since September of 2001 and have performed in various shows hosted by their dance studio, whose exact location they declined to reveal.  “I like the noise it makes and the beat. It’s very stress relieving,” Giffin said.  The duo also performed in a talent show hosted by a business class here.  “This talent show was embarrassing

because even though it was called a “No-talent show,” everyone had talent except for us,” Chow said. Giffin, with Chow tagging along, has even traveled overseas to Ireland for specialized tap dancing classes.  “[Tap dancing] really puts us in a student’s perspective,” Chow said.Tap dancing is not only a hobby that allows them to disconnect from teaching, but also a chance for them to become students.  “If the teacher goes too fast, then we have a hard time following, and we see how the teacher breaks routines into smaller steps, making it easier for us.”  Having experienced the difficulty in learning, Chow and Giffin have applied these methods of teaching to their own classroom. “Usually it’s just repeating steps over and over again,” Giffin said.  Like tap dancing, biology is a subject which requires students to memorize steps of various functions, where emphasis on each step is important.  Although tap dancing is something that they have grown to love over the years, teaching is their true passion.  Hopefully, Chow and Giffin will be able to tap some biology into their students.

Daniel Stenzel | El Estoque

TAPPING OUT A DANCE Science teachers Lani Giffin and Pam Chow smile for the camera and dance around.

Look hot for winter ball!

Get a jump on Homecoming, Winter Ball, and Prom 2009! Daniel Stenzel | El Estoque

Shop early, shop now. 30% off of all Party dresses! Tuxedos too! 19640 Stevens Creek Blvd. Cupertino, CA 95014


elestoque Bagged with a little sunshine October 22, 2008

Trader Joe’s offers worldly selection of food in a warm atmosphere





Loud and clear The urban workzone

Aileen Le | El Estoque

PUMPKIN PATCH A seasonal display of gourds is on sale oustide of the recently opened Trader Joe’s on De Anza Blvd. and Bollinger Rd.

My favorite is Fresh Choice because it has a great variety of food and everything that I like to eat. I like the pastas, pizza, and the vanilla ice cream there; they’re my favorite. I don’t like eating too much, so I don’t go there very often, only once every few months.

My favorite is Sweet Tomatoes because it’s like an upper-class Fresh Choice, and Fresh Choice has been raising its prices, so I might as well go to Sweet Tomatoes. I like everything with chocolate. My favorite food to eat there is blueberry muffins. I don’t like how it can be a little boring sometimes because they always have the same food. I think they should add in a daily special.

Shaurya Jha


Shannon Lin

Where to stuff themselves full? From Hometown, Sweet Tomatoes, Korean BBQ to Todai, we want to know all about the buffet world, according to...




food, and recycled paper towels. If you want to get a laugh, be sure to visit the medicine section. I’m sure that you’ll appreciate the creative names. My personal favorite is a series of Trader Darwin’s “For the Survival of the Fittest” dietary supplements. However, the quickness at which fresh food ran out was a huge disappointment. I overheard a customer asking for pita bread, to which an employee responded that there was none left because they liked to keep it fresh. Considering that 6 p.m. is a prime time for working customers to buy their groceries, this is highly inconvenient. At checkout I was greeted by smiling employees in Hawaiian shirts. Above each cashier hung street signs of local streets such as Stevens Creek Blvd., adding a nice piece of neighborhood flair to the scene. Coincidentally, my cashier was part of the first graduating class at MVHS. He enjoyed the pleasure of informing me that the painted mural running along the top portion of the wall around the store captured the history of the area, including key locations such as the old Cupertino warehouse and Saratoga Orchids. “It’s more community—oriented,” freshman Aumir Patel said. “It’s a nice local healthy place to go to, someplace to get organic food.” Seeing that there is a strong sense of local pride in this store, it is really a small world after all. I think that Disneyland can wait a while. I’m happy here and I’m just going to keep skipping a little longer, even after I’ve left.



don’t know if you’re a big fan of the “It’s a small world” ride at Disneyland or not. Oh yes, that cheerful and whimsical ride where kids at heart stand gushing happily in line with absolute bliss because they know that they can get a little glimpse of the whole world in 13 1/2 minutes flat. I’m not sure how you feel, but I’m quite fond of that ride. And I think that I may have found my very own “It’s a small world” in Cupertino. Nestled at the corner of De Anza and Bollinger, the new Trader Joe’s might not be the same thing as colorful displays bursting out in song, but it does offer foods from all over the world and causes me to skip instead of walk. I’ve always been a fan of healthy foods, and although Whole Foods is great, its sky-high prices make it unapproachable. However, Trader Joe’s offers healthy, fresh, organic, and wholesome foods at relatively low prices. Others seem to agree. “[Trader Joe’s is] cheaper than Whole Foods and less snobby,” freshman Puneeth Vijayendra said. It seems like Whole Foods has its competition cut out for it. When I arrived at approximately 6 p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon, Trader Joe’s was happily bustling. I was brimming with excitement as I entered the doors. “It’s awesome. I mean, it’s more cheerful,” freshman Aneesh Simha said. “The staff is nicer [than Whole Foods] and

they really make the store.” Throughout the store, small price tags with little pictures, bubbly lettering, tips for use, and key ingredients are scattered. Each section is headed by blackboards with hand drawn eye-catching chalk pictures to promote items. I feel like a little kid in there, walking around for hours just looking at those tags and chalk pictures. The best part is that you get to taste a little bit of the whole world with the wide variety and exotic options offered. Items ranging from sushi to flatbread pizza to teriyaki fill the refrigerator. There’s a delectable display of cheeses and the bread area offers unique items such as tomato and olive focaccia and tandoori naan. The frozen segment is quite alluring, filled with items such as panini, stromboli, and empanadas. A cultural theme really is strong throughout this sunny store. The variety offered is phenomenal. Visit the dried fruit section and you’ll see: dried dragon fruit, dried mangosteen, and eight ounces dark chocolate covered dried chile spiced mangos for $3.99. The enticing offering really appeals to your palate. However, the baked good area seemed to wilt in comparison to the rest of the store. By 6 p.m. most of the fresh goods were gone, but the plentitude of cookies and frozen desserts made up for it. A variety of selections including black forest tortes, peppermint cheesecakes, and flanparfait cakes from $2 to $8 are available. Trader Joe’s offerings aren’t just limited to food. They also offer detergents, pet

Neesha Tambe

by Aileen Le

My favorite is Sweet Tomatoes, because there’s a lot of different choices. I like how they have all the stuff that I like such as soups, salads, and pasta. I don’t like Todai because it is mostly seafood, and there’s not much choice other than that. I’m a vegetarian, and it’s not a place that I would go to.

The one-year license restrictions are completely useless. Theoretically, it’s right-onthe-money logical, but in practice, it has just as much substance and weight as a marshmallow. At the end of the day, the kids who need it—the ones, who are going to smash my car in the parking lot only to run over my little sister on the crosswalk, aren’t going to follow it. They follow no rules; they are their own great elite people free of blood and a beating heart, grand immortals battling at the front line of our Cupertino war zone, pseudo-road network. The responsible drivers who can navigate a parking lot without testing the basic principles of physics and without murdering my little sister will follow the rules. So, suffering under the consequences of the painfully irresponsible paint-swapping, sister killing so-called “drivers,” those who deserve the privilege of late driving with friends and partners can’t have it. The crazy ones do it. The law punishes nobody.

Nearly headless juniors

Junior year is the collection of days lying between summer after sophomore year and before senior year. It’s school, and school is school, which, believe it or not, is just school—like it has been for the past 11 years. Yet still hundreds of juniors are running around the rally court like chickens with their heads cut off, screaming about how the sky is falling; blood pouring out of their suffocated helpless little necks, constricted by the so-called stress of this particular set of days. But the kids who do well are going to do well, the ones who aren’t, aren’t. It’s work all the same. It’s the same I-want-to-hang-myself-in-my-garage torturous pointless busy work we’ve been doing since nearly birth and will continue to do until death. Even then, the work we haven’t done will be passed on to our helpless little children. It’s no different than it’s ever been or will be. A small dosage of de-stressing would do all those beheaded chickens some quality good.

What’s up with my paint

Every brush stroke of a big fat blood-red F at the top of a paper comes down to the brush holder, not the paint. The paint may be flawed. It may have chunks that need smoothing, it may be a few tints off, some may even contain lead and poison your baby sister. But that isn’t going to ruin the painting or say anything different about the skill of the painter. A bad artist makes a bad painting, regardless. A good artist makes a good painting, regardless. So when over half a class pours out of a classroom post-test hell, all to suffer sub-par grades, it is no longer entirely the student’s fault. It is the teacher’s as well. So those teachers who don’t see it, it’s not always the paint’s fault; sometimes it’s the painter’s.

Terrific teal & simple pleasures

I love teal. I love how it looks on black. I love how it looks on sunglasses. I love how it looks on T-shirts. If my Biology binder was teal, I would probably have an A. If John McCain used teal as a campaign color, I would be tempted to vote for him. I like teal because it reminds me of yellow. I love yellow, too. Yellow is happiness. Yellow is the sun. This sounds like a poem, and I hate poems, but it’s not a poem. I hate poems. Poems are not fun. Poems are not teal. I love teal. I love teal. I love yellow. These colors make me happy. I am happy when something is teal. I am happy when something is yellow. These are simple pleasures. Simple pleasures are all you need.

October 22, 2008 elestoque 22 Drawings pop to life in artists’ hands entertainment

Comicker artists connect the 2 dimensional world with reality through little paper children

Courtesy of Cat Bui

PLAYING WITH FOOD Junior Lulu Liu’s cat-eared paper child fights against a real life hand for his nutritious snack by Serena Lee


blonde girl hangs onto an axe pick, her legs dangling helplessly in the air. A dark-haired samurai holds a sword in one hand as he is held by the waist with rope. Another child spits a river out of his mouth as a blade cuts him—a scissor blade, that is. These children who seem to be violent actually appear angelic with their anime style eyes glistening saintly. The children, officially known as paper children, are part of a two week tutorial activity held by Comickers club—a club that generally attracts students who read manga or com-

ics and want to learn more about the comic book world. Weekly tutorials are held during club meetings that help members build their comic book techniques. Paper children are widely popular in online art communities, which is where officer senior Cat Bui found the idea to bring paper children to Comickers last year. The paper children are constructed by drawing a child on Bristol paper, a heavyweight paper for technical drawing. The child is colored in with Microns or Prismacolor makers and cut out with scissors. After the child is cut out, the artist holds the child by a part of the object the paper child is holding

or in the case of the dark-haired samurai, by the rope. “The mindset behind the paper child activity is to connect the paper child to become part of the human hand,” Bui said. “They make for good photos to use later.” Photos of the paper children are uploaded by Bui onto the club’s LiveJournal and Facebook group album. During tutorials, Comickers officer junior Lulu Liu assists members by teaching members how to draw in a comic book style. Liu, known by other officers as a professional at Photoshop and comic book drawing, is in charge of teaching and giving constructive critiques. Members, like sophomore Amanda Hsu, who want to improve their art technique, appreciate the value from a constructive critique. Although many of the members do take art class and most officers are planning to enroll in art school for college, there are also a number of beginners who are learning basic comic book and art skills. “This club isn’t for elitists,” club president senior Aprajita Yadav said, as she ended her opening blurb at the beginning of a meeting. “It’s for everyone and we are here to help you [with art].” With art materials like Prismacolor art markers, Bristol paper, and Micron pens brought to meetings, members are fully supplied to craft anything they can imagine. For some members, the only time they are able to use art materials like Micron pens, which are pens that professionals use for actual comic books, are at Comickers club meetings. As of now, paper children is an activity that “doesn’t require proportions,” a skill that is necessary for comic booking. However, later on in the year, the club will make comic books and officers Bui and Liu will teach members how to make a real comic book with proper Computer Graphics and layout. “In previous years Comickers concentrated mostly on general anime,” Liu said. “This year we’re concentrating more on comics.” Members and officers plan to attend Fanime Con, the largest Northern California convention, in May held in San Jose by fans of anime for fans of anime. With the success of a member last year who had her artwork sold during Fanime, club officers Liu and Bui plan to sell art and printouts this year as well. “Maybe we’ll sell,” Liu said, “and we’ll get it out there to some [comic book] editors.”

Training day: Cheer boys wave their testosterone goodbye

Powderpuff cheerleaders attack rigorous routines to entertain and express class spirit by Patty Chao


uring Powderpuff cheerleading practice, sophomore Stefan Dao demonstrates the proper etiquette for his teammates. “Don’t forget that ass shake!” Dao said. In the Powderpuff season, guys from every grade make their way to the upper and lower fields for the official Powderpuff cheer team practice, whether to support their class, or merely to act out of their comfort zones. Weeks before the games, members of the cheer team from each class gather during practices to coach the eager boys, some newcomers, and some veterans. Routines are created by MVHS cheerleaders, and the powderpuff cheerleaders follow suit. “There’s not much difference [coaching boys]. Girls are just more focused,” varsity cheerleader senior Jenny Zhang said, as the senior powderpuff cheerleaders attempt to form a piggyback tower. In the beginning, coaching the amateurs can be a challenge. After all, most have no cheer or dance experience at all.

As the dancing becomes more synchronized, each team moves on to stunts. Dean of Students Denae Moore says they can be nerve-wrecking to watch. “I try to not to look,” Moore said. “I figure if something happens, they’ll scream and come get me.” However, the cheerleaders are not as worried, because safety precautions are taken, and the boys are able to catch each other relatively well. After an unsuccessful landing, senior Brad Chew can be heard yelling, “You’re tearing my armpits open!” On the fields, energy level is high, as powderpuff cheerleaders occasionally dogpile onto each other and dance to “I Kissed a Girl.” Amidst the laughter of the sophomores, comments such as “when we spin lets do it like th ballerinas” stand out. “I’m glad they kept it tasteful this year,” Principal and powderpuff cheer judge April Scott said after the first halftime performance. She laughs, “Sometimes, they can be a little…suggestive.” Of course, the more provocative acts are what roused the audience during the halftime shows. Although there were a few

rocky moments, each team was able to complete their routine as the audience cheered them on. “[Coaching] was a lot harder than I thought, but now we know what to expect for next year,” junior varsity cheerleader freshman Alyssa Gager said. Cheer routines are judged by Scott and dance team Natalie Wong | El Estoque coach Hilary Maxwell on a rubric of BRING IT ON Seniors Ethan Lin, Matt Irvin, Erik Romelfanger, six categories: cre- and Thomas Lu cheer for the Powderpuff girls on Oct. 17. ativity, stunts and tumbles, enthusiasm, motion, jumps, and ence. For Powderpuff cheerleader junior Krish Rangarajan, the coaching is not much coordination. “The whole concept is great,” Scott said. different from the sports he plays: volleyball and basketball. “The cheerleaders are amazingly creative.” “Cheerleading is not a skill set anyone Not only is Powderpuff cheerleading an excuse for guys to pose Baywatch style on can have,” Ragarajan said. “It’s just harder the lawn, but it is also a learning experi- for them to instill discipline.”

entertainment elestoque 23 Floatbuilding, game prep underway October 22, 2008

by Alice Lee and Serena Lee

homecoming to-do list

2012: First try Though their class officer election results were announced the the day before floatbuilding officially began, the freshman class geared up for an Incredible Homecoming season with their theme, “The Incredibles.” “It was really stressful,” freshman Lisa Kim added, “because we needed to get money for food. Everyone was really hungry most of the time.” Freshman Amy Khang added, “The people who drew the characters were pretty good. We did a lot better than expected.”

Thursday, Oct. 23: Homecoming theme (Spirit day) “The Incredibles” (2012): mask + cape; red “Incredibles” shirt “Ratatouille” (2011): chef hat, apron, tail, ears, whiskers “Monsters, Inc.” (2010): green shirt with eye; any monster (not necessarily in movie); Boo “Toy Story” (2009): any toy—cowboy/girl, astronaut, dinosaur, Bo Peep, army men (camoflouge okay) General: Any shirt with a representation of any of the above movies

2011: Sophomore spirit Coming out with a year of floatbuilding experience behind them, the Class of 2011 hit the ground running with an overall more efficient work ethic. “It was a lot smoother because we built off our problems from last year,” sophomore Lucia Lin said. This year the sophomores’ design is three-dimensional, compared to their two-dimensional float from last year. But the sophomores haven’t sacrificed quantity for quality. And if Lin had to comment to the upperclassmen and freshman class? “Let’s just say the sophomores are coming out a lot stronger.”

Friday, Oct. 24: Class colors (Spirit day) Not necessarily class shirt but color must correspond to class 2009: Purple 2010: Lime green 2011: Turquoise blue 2012: Orange (Sophomores, blue jeans alone do not count)

Homecoming Rally and Game: Friday, Oct. 24

2010: Upper classmen Now that juniors are upperclassmen, floatbuilding has been more exciting. “Freshman year I didn’t know what floatbuilding was, but as a sophomore I saw the final product,” junior Maayan Cogan said. Cogan, who helps out at Homecoming every weekend for an average of two to three hours, is excited to help her class and see the final product. The theme of the Class of 2010’s float, “Monsters Inc.,” is one of Cogan’s favorite movies.

Look out for the 15 second opportunity to earn points for your class based on cheer volume. MVHS plays Fremont at Cupertino High School. JV plays at 5 p.m. and varsity plays at 7 p.m. Halftime of the game will feature the floats built by each class and the presentation of Homecoming Court, including the naming of the Homecoming King and Queen.

2009: To infinity and beyond

Homecoming Dance: Saturday, Oct. 25

“Ooh Ahh, you wish you were a senior.” At the top of the class and the rulers of the school, the seniors are expected to win. Senior Adrienne Young, who helps out at floatbuilding, noted that the float is going well.“I like the end results of putting everything together in a huge float,” Young said. “I don’t realize that because of painting a couple of things, and everyone pitches together, it becomes a huge float.” With the last time as a class to build their float, the seniors are hoping to leave their mark with a “Toy Story” themed float.

The annual semiformal dance will last from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. All students must present ID, and doors close at 9 p.m. Guest passes, required for all non-MVHS students, are due by 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 23. Guests must arrive together with their MVHS hosts and will present photo ID at the dance.

the lookbook






senior JAMES AN

This fall, black is back, complemented with shades of gray and white. Try pairing a black top with contrasting white jacket and pants, like senior Se Young Kwon’s look. A thick-striped gray and white sweater is best paired with a pair of dark denim, like junior Jarrod Beiser. Go simple with sophomore Kate Kim’s look, or follow freshman James An’s style with a striped hoodie.



encore “I feel like a

woman!” by Alice Lee, Daniel Stenzel and Natalie Wong


enior Vivek Jha has discovered the skirt. At last Friday’s semifinal Powderpuff game against the freshman team, the class of 2009 cheerleaders, including Jha, donned tie-front shirts and skirts. Though meant to promote class spirit during Homecoming week, the very concept of Powderpuff—girls playing football, a traditionally male sport, and boys cheerleading, a dominantly female activity—breaks away from gender stereotypes found at MVHS. “I’ve never worn a skirt before today, but I wore one today,” Jha said. “I would advocate for the social acceptance of men being able to wear skirts.” A survey of MVHS students found that 43 percent of students had considered trying out for their respective Powderpuff team; of that amount, only 12 percent actually did. Of those surveyed, 77 percent also believe that gender stereotypes do exist at MVHS. 
“Boys take weight training and girls take dance,” one survey taker said. “Girls also have nicer handwriting and don’t ask guys out.” Although Powderpuff is simply a taste of cheerleading for the aforementioned males, junior Daniel Chang has to deal with the social stipulation associated with it at most competitions and at MVHS as the only male on the varsity cheer team. “Walking around at games at other schools, sometimes you get weird stares,” said Chang. “But not from [students at] MVHS. I just think it’s because I’m from MVHS that it’s more personal and [people] know me.” Chang, who is also a Powderpuff cheer coach, also found teaching other males how to cheer both fun and eye-opening. “It was fun watching the boys kind of try to do it because a lot of them realized how hard it was,” Chang said. “A lot of the guys were like “Oh my god, Powderpuff is so intense, I can’t believe you do this everyday.” “For people who are new to cheerleading it’s hard to pick up the beat and stay on the count, so it’s not that different between girls and guys,” senior Jessica Hsu, a varsity cheerleader and Powderpuff cheer team coach, said. ”When we practice, we feed off of each other; we coordinate.” One of the dance moves the boys suggested, for example, was a thrust-like motion, which the Class of 2009 coaches incorporated into their routine. For Powderpuff participants, it seems to be a playful case of gender reversal rather than one of serious gender stereotypes.

UP HIGH Sophomore Yeshar Hadi shouts out lyrics from Shania Twain’s classic “Man! I feel like a woman!” as part of the Class of 2011’s halftime routine on Oct. 16. NO ROUGH HOUSING (right) Junior Cheryl Kute holds onto the ball as her flag is nearly yanked by sophomore Erin Chiu during the Oct. 16 semifinal game. Sophomores won the semifinal game, 16-14. TEAM EFFORT (bottom) Freshman coaches Austin Burrow and Michael Whittaker congratulate their players after losing to the seniors 21-0 on Oct. 17.

TOXIC (top) Senior Ameya Ganpule dances to Britney Spears’ “Toxic”on Oct. 17. According to teammate Matthew Irvin, Ganpule “elected himself as the star of the team.” SPIRIT FINGERS (left) Senior cheer coach Breanna Adams mirrors the boys’ motions during halftime on Oct. 17.

Volume 40, Issue 3, November 12, 2009  

A student publication located in Monta Vista, Calif.

Volume 40, Issue 3, November 12, 2009  

A student publication located in Monta Vista, Calif.