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Why the map is no more


t would be foolish of us to preface this issue without acknowledging the elephant in the room that is the absence of the senior map. It probably seems absurd, and a little upsetting, to all of you who look forward to the El Estoque senior edition year after year for us to have abruptly removed it as we have done—but please let us explain. Every year as we approach the senior


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n a way, my Facebook defines me. I don’t think it’s just me. I’ve started to see a trend among Facebook users— which is basically everybody—in which people “like” pages that state something they agree with. For example, a friend of mine recently “liked” a page called, “I leave homework to the last day because I’ll be older and therefore wiser.” She obviously likes procrastinating. But when I took a look at my own Facebook pages (ironically, when I was procrastinating on thinking of a topic for this column), I discovered that they, in a way, represent my growth throughout high school.

You and your pages

Maybe I shouldn’t have stated that so bluntly -- it might be too amusing for you to handle. Is it sad that I can actually relate Facebook to something meaningful? Does it symbolize the lack of depth in our generation, to the point where people quote Facebook instead of Shakespeare? I hope not. I truly believe that Facebook has been pivotal in characterizing our generation. When I look back at all the Facebook pages

JUNE 3, 2010

edition, the print staff votes whether or not the map should appear in the paper. The argument for it has always been that the map is a tradition that people look forward to. Fair enough, but in our opinion the argument against is much stronger. The reasoning against the map, which a majority of the El Estoque staff agreed with this year, is that it simply lacks any sort of journalistic value. We spend the entire year learning the importance of fact checking and verifying all our information, or at least trying our best to do so. Unfortunately, when it comes to compiling the map, these values must be tossed to the wind. Simply put, it’s impossible for us to put together this map, listing the future plans that seniors self-report, in a way that is both journalistically sound and ethical. As you can imagine, there were some gaping flaws in this method. It is not practical or reasonable for us to seize acceptance letters, so we were forced to try our best. A significant

number of seniors chose to lie about their decisions, and while some like Hogwarts and the Jedi Academy were easy to find, we got things wrong far more often than we were comfortable with. We work all year to build credibility with our readers, and believe it or not, it only takes one mistake like someone going to UCLA instead of UC Berkeley to send all that credibility down the drain. Furthermore, in light of the fact that much of the information regarding the class of 2010’s college decisions is already available on the internet through Facebook and Naviance, as well as the offer from the class of 2010 to produce the map (which they did), we chose to invest our efforts in something we thought to be more worthwhile. The survey featured on pages 4 and 5 isn’t information that can easily be found elsewhere. We know we didn’t make the popular decision by axing the map, but we really believe that we made the right one, so keep that in mind, and enjoy the Senior Edition.

I’ve joined, or become a fan of, or “liked” —whatever you call it —it’s like a timeline of my interests and beliefs throughout the past four years. I think one of the most prominent examples of this is my “fanning” of Stanford a couple years ago. That was the stage in which I felt invincible (I think everybody goes through this). It was the phase in which I thought I could definitely be one of the 7 percent to make the cut, the phase in which I thought the admissions officers would surely love my application. How could it go wrong? Well, that “surely” became “hopefully”, then “maybe”, then “yeah, right”, then “whatever happens, happens for a reason.” It’s not that I had lower expectations of myself at the end of this process; it’s that I was able to develop a more optimistic and open-minded attitude towards my college decisions. I was rejected from Stanford in the end, but to me, it doesn’t matter. I’m now attending a school that I love—a school that I didn’t think about much a couple months ago, but one that I now think would be a great fit for me. Maybe it just goes to show—I’m currently a fan of nine pages related to Northwestern.

my effort to get to know my acquaintances on a deeper level. It’s an ongoing attempt, and it’s not getting over anytime soon. You might think it’s a little presumptuous to say that I like something in you, even if I haven’t met you yet, but I’m sure it’ll be true. At least, I hope so -- after all, I’m not going to “unlike” the page. Some of the pages represent my obsessions throughout high school that eventually died away for various reasons. There’s Anoop Desai (too bad he lost...), Michael Phelps (despite the drugs, he’s still an amazing swimmer), John Adams the miniseries (after watching it in APUSH, I thought I’d become a historian/ filmmaker), and The Dark Knight (I watched that in the theater, “fanned” the page, then got sick of it after watching it twice more). Others I’m still obsessed with, even having “liked” them months ago (yes, I have been in love with the Jonas Brothers since sophomore year, and I think Anderson Cooper is a god). It’s interesting to see the different interests that I’ve had for the past four years.

Just a phase

There are so many other examples of the phases I’ve gone through in high school that are exemplified by my Facebook pages. One of my favorites is “you.” Yeah, you read that right; there’s a page called “you” that I “liked.” That stems from my relatively new belief that everybody has some good in them, and

They tell all

So, after reading this column, maybe you’ll go look at your own Facebook pages. You might see a time capsule buried there too, or you might not. You might find that elsewhere instead: perhaps in your photo albums or in a blog. If you’re Facebook friends with me, you might even take a look at my pages to confirm what I wrote about. You’ll notice that I left one significant page out—well, try singing the beginning of The Lion King yourself. Now that’s no easy feat.



The best prom asks over the past four years from the class of 2010 including Homecomings, Junior Prom, Senior Ball


Senior Tyler Young created a scavenger hunt in which his date dumped Hershey’s Kisses on her head at the end to find a note asking her out to Junior Prom.


“We dug [the words] Junior Prom into the mountains,” senior Kevin Chen said. “When [someone stood] far away, you could see it.”


Photo courtesy of Christine Yoo


When senior Ammar Cohan had his date called to the office, she was terrified—until Dean of Students Michael Hicks pulled out a teddy bear with a sign saying, “Junior Prom?”


As an inside joke, senior Jeff Kim mailed his date a post-it note asking her out to Junior Prom.

After the Powerpoint came a slide reading, “Joyce Zheng JP?” Senior Jeff Ku chose to make his entrance with flowers then.

“At Yogurtland, I wrote JP? at the bottom of a bowl and covered it in Saran wrap,” senior Kevin Nguyen said. He pulled out flowers after she had finished the yogurt.


“I put notes in her classes,” said senior Panagiotis Kanellakopoulos. The last one told her to go to the bleachers, where Junior Prom was spelled out with Hershey’s Kisses.




Senior Kalon Zandbergs used an AVID tutorial request form and flowers to ask his date to Junior Prom.

Photo courtesy of Audrey Lee

Senior Krish Rangarajan had his friends dress up in traditional Mexican attire and stand outside of Taco Bell with signs asking his prospective date to Senior Ball.


“I changed the lyrics to ‘Middle Middle’ by Daphne Love Derby,” senior Charles Huh said. “We sang it to her during class.”


Looking at the past

Mirror, mirror


y dear, loving Asian parents have always been fans of recording every little thing that has happened to me, from the day I said my first word to the day I dressed up like Superman and decided I wanted to save the world for a living. High school was no exception. My bedroom wall became dedicated to memories, photos and other reminiscent objects.

The beginning of a wall

On the left most part of my wall there is a picture of a friend and me, posing stupidly at Three Oaks park. The too small red jacket I wore belonged to a girl and my friend held a rose as we shared a glance. Our naivete shone in our eyes and our actions spoke uncertainty. Someone might as well have written “AWKWARD” over the photo. Moving to the right, there’s a small glass shaped like a car and filled with folded stars. The brown cork on top clings tightly to the jar, pushed too deeply in to remove. It was given to me by a mentor and friend as a Christmas present, an encouragement to seize opportunities, to take risks by utilizing my talents and skills. But we were young, some of us didn’t know how to do that. I didn’t get what the folded stars had to do with it at the time.

Moving forward

Further down, the pictures and souvenirs start collecting and piling up. There’s a picture from Homecoming, of 12 people wearing bright green shirts and face paint. There’s also an APUSH study guide, covered with raunchy drawings and short, incoherent phrases. Amidst the sweat and tears and sleepless nights we spent on our studies, there were also the friendships built, the laughter, the deep talks, the class pride and the good times. The right most part of the wall is crammed full. There are photos of friends on adventures, notes and souvenirs. There are confident smiles, outrageous poses and even crazier memories. The type of memories that will make me laugh, even 30 years from now. And that’s the end of my wall. Well, there’s room for a little more. I like looking at the latter half of my wall the most. But beyond the photos and the souvenirs are the unity that these items represent. They are our growth, the culmination of our experiences. It wouldn’t be fair to say that I’ve grown up by myself, or that these things only belong to me. These items represent our journey. And when I look at this wall, within the faces of all of us, I see me.

el estoque 2009-2010


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.


Some images in this publication were taken from the royaltyfree stock photography website

Mission Statement

El Estoque is an open forum created for and by students of Monta Vista High School. The staff of El Estoque seeks to recognize individuals, events, and ideas and bring news to the Monta Vista community in a manner that is professional, unbiased, and thorough in order to effectively serve our readers. We strive to report accurately and 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.

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El Estoque 21840 McClellan Rd. Cupertino, CA 95014

JUNE 3, 2010


Financial 101: Know it now How to write a check

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Credit scores: broken down


A FICO score, used by almost all financial institutions to judge an individual’s credit, ranges from 300 to 850. FICO scores above 700 are a sign of good financial health; scores below 600 indicate risk to lenders.



6 El Estoque



Remember to date the check

Tips for safe checks


Pay to the order of on this line, write the name of the recipient of the check.

Writing checks Using all capital letters makes checks harder to alter.


Write the amount of your payment in the box in the right side of the check.



The “For” line at the bottom of the check is to help remind you why you wrote the check. Sign your name the same way the bank has on account.


Living on a


On the long line in the middle of the check you should write out the total value of the payment. The cents portion of the check should be written out as a fraction.

Payment history: 35 percent. If, and how

promptly, bills are paid. Also includes how many bills have been paid, how many have been sent out for collection, and if any bankruptcies have occurred.

Scammers Prevent people from adding extra numbers into the payment on your check by writing the payment number to the farthest left of the space and drawing a line after the number.

Outstanding debt: 30 percent. Amounts owed on

loans. Number of credit cards at their limits. The rule of thumb is to keep your card balances at 25 percent or less of their limits.

Length of time with credit: 15 percent. A

Payment history Knowing your past payments is much easier if your checks have carbon copies.

longer history of established good credit gives way to a stronger credit score.

New credit: 10 percent.

Sign last If you don’t know the exact payment, do not sign the check yet. Or if you do not know whom to pay to, wait until you know before you sign your check.

Walk around without wallets. If you have no money on you, you can’t spend it. This is a good excuse to tell the hobos who nag you for money. You can bring your ID, which has all your meal points and a debit account for laundry.

—Varada Gavaskar, Class of 2009


Opening new accounts will lower credit scores for a short time.

Types of credit: 10 percent. Experience with

different types increases score.

Get a campus job! Whenever I feel like spending money on something, I think about the hours I spent making omelettes or pizzas and gauge whether whatever I’m spending is worth it.

—Annie Wu, Class of 2009

[Figure] out how much money [you] can spend in a month and [limit yourself] to that. Some weeks I would take a certain amount of cash out of my debit card and I would only let myself spend that much money.

—Linda Guo, Class of 2009


Fifty years from now, you’ll wonder what you were thinking when you woke up and put these on.


Flickr: Wanja Krah

Oversized sunglasses do cover your eyes, but let’s expose your face a little bit more. We want to see a little more of that pretty face.


7 8

Metallic leggings work for dress up days and rallies but who wants to dress like an alien when you’re from Earth?

Flickr: Loop Oh

Crocs made a successful comeback this year, but they’re still just rubber in an array of pretty colors.

Flickr: Hillary H.

Skinny Jeans make you look nice and slim, but at what cost? We’re sure you want circulation through your legs.

3 Flickr: Swamibu

Leave the bling to the rappers. Enough said.



“I don’t really know why people wore them. It was kind of stupid because they didn’t really work, they just blocked your vision. You’re never going to wear them again, like when you drive or anything. You only wear it to concerts or spirit things. People aren’t going to wear them forever. It was basically for the junior class and it happened to be good timing,” senior Angela Lin said. Kanye West glasses were big when he was big back then. But that’s their entire value.

Sagging was for the cool kids back then, but listen to your teachers. Ten years from now you’ll look back and think to yourself how distasteful that trend was.

Flickr: John Chevier

6 Flickr: Wanja Krah

“I think they’re useless, and a lot of people have them because they’re popular. From a boot standpoint they don’t look really good, they make you look like Big Foot. They don’t have good treads and aren’t even waterproof,“ senior Vikram Nilakantan said. Girls claim that Uggs are the most comfortable things in the world, but guys make it no secret that they hate them.

9 10

High Waisted Jeans. Let’s not take a blast to the past. Embrace this decade.

Flickr: Kincat 210

Sure a little eye liner here and there to highlight the eyes is a must do. But when your eyes start looking like raccoon eyes, there’s a problem. We all want to be rockstars at some points in our lives, but that’s not the fate for all of us.



Just how it was

Slowly but surely


hey say that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. But ever since that first day of freshman year, I feel like time has been racing past in leaps and bounds. I’m 18 years old—and I still don’t have a driver’s permit. And even though high school is ending, I’m still just an inch over five feet tall. I still manage to set off the fire alarm within five minutes of making macaroni and cheese from a box, and, I admit it, I don’t make my own lunch. I’m sure you’ve heard the seniors complaining about how much they want to graduate, gushing about how excited they are to go to college. I am too, believe me when I say that I did a full-out lip sync and dance routine to Hall and Oates’ “You Make My Dreams Come True” when I submitted all of my college applications. But as the month of May draws to an end and June 10 comes inevitably closer, I am forced to reckon with exactly what I did during high school. I did a lot of homework, as I remember. Definitely read a lot of Degler. Slept through half of Pre-Calculus and brunch once. What about those famous high school “rites of passage”? Junior prom—nope. Driver’s license—nope—which also invalidates “got a car”. I didn’t buy spray paint on my 18th birthday, and the only reason I now have a lottery ticket in my memento box is because a friend of mine bought it as a present. So I began senior year with the goal of trying to be as “typical high-schooler” as possible—and to an extent, it worked. I went to Blue Pearl. I performed in MVHS Saturday Night Live. I attended Battle of the Bands. I even went to my first football game and first float building weekend, ever. Frankly, I’m afraid that I’m going to be forever haunted by a band of “should-have’s” and “would-have’s” and “could-have’s” from high school for the rest of my life. What I’m realizing now, though, as I fiddle with the unused Open Mic Night ticket still lying on my desk, is that maybe my rites of passage are different. I had fun in high school. But what marked my journey through these four years wasn’t really going to a football game or going to Homecoming for the first (and last) time. I mean, what did I get out of listening to a bunch of loud music that I’m not really a fan of? It didn’t help me grow or change or learn anything at all. What did mark significant milestones in high school was spending my 18th birthday holed up in the Journalism room until 9 p.m. Lobbying Congress with Government Team. Spending hours with my fellow Muslim Student Association officers as we struggled to plan our first event of the year. Spending my open third period Photoshopping strange photos with friends. Talking to teachers until five p.m. after school. Even getting my first rejection letter from a college. High school is one of those stages of life that people tend to characterize as the same, and it’s a little sad when you can’t mark your rites of passage with everyone else. But in time, I’ve realized that my rites of passage were exactly that—mine. Every individual owns his or her own time in high school, and, indeed, the rest of his or her life. Looking back, I wonder—why feel bad if your milestones are different? A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. But for every person, that step differs. And thankfully, so does the journey —the life, essentially that step begins.



Our Best Moments

JUNE 3, 2010


Write it out

The most memorable points in the class of 2010’s last four years VICTORY The class of 2010 follows then class president senior Samuel Lui in cheers during the 2008 Homecoming rally. In an upset, the limegreen juniors bested all of the other classes and came out on top in the rally. Since they did not go on to repeat the feat in 2009, the Pixar themed rally goes down as the only Homecoming rally the class of 2010 was able to win. Photo courtesy of Scott Deruiter

Minh Bui | El Estoque

Daniel Stenzel | El Estoque

Daniel Stenzel | El Estoque

LOOKING BACK (Starting top left, clockwise) The final class of 2010 float passes the crowd at the 2009 Homecoming football game. The float won first place in the float contest and helped seal a Homecoming victory for the seniors. (Right) Seniors Michelle Pao and Crissy Stuart in a powderpuff football game in October of 2007. That year the class of 2010 upset the class of 2009, beating them in the first game. (Bottom left) What was probably a record MVHS crowd at a basketball game against Lynbrook in January of 2009 points at the scoreboard at the end of the game. TOP 10 NOT-TO-MISS ABOUT MVHS


From the bathrooms to spontaneous fire drills, here’s our list of the top 10 things Class of 2010 will be happy to leave


Senior Imrat Sivia believes Administration should trust students and unblock web sites. “[Or they should] block everything and not just leave some things, like AIM,” said Sivia.


“The lines are inordinately long,” said senior Amy Wang of the yearly Running of the Bulls. “There needs to be a way to make [ROTB] faster.”


We’ve all had that drowsy, early-morning feeling, and it’s usually during first period. “Just the time; being so early in the morning makes [first period] hard,” said senior James Barker.





Seniors will be happy to know that they no longer have to go through the pain of dealing with standardized as well as College Board testing. “I laugh at all the juniors,” said senior Crystal Yan.

Senior Lenira Chan has had her share of waiting in the infamous library line, especially during tutorials. “Sometimes I need to print [things] but I can’t,” said Chan.

“Well, [students] never really watch [announcements],” said senior Arden Leung. “And some teachers will make you read [the announcements].”


For some it’s irritating and for some it’s a godsend—for senior Nandini Arora, code red and fire drills are both. “I only dislike [the drills] because we know what to do,” said Arora.

Senior Edward Nguyen has accomplished an incredible feat—he has never used a bathroom at MVHS. “[The bathrooms] never seem sanitary,” said Nguyen.


As a daily student driver, senior Dennis Yee has both firsthand seen and experienced the chaos known as school traffic. “They should move Lincoln [Elementary School] somewhere,” jokes Yee.


Senior Rachel Yee hates passing by the science classrooms. “[The smell from the classrooms] makes me relive freshman Biology every year,” said Yee. “I hated freshman Biology.”

The mighty pen


he most recent fight between Somel and I went something like this. Somel: I think we should write the Editor’s Note for the last issue of La Pluma. Kan: No, we need to let the new staff write it. Somel: But I hate the new staff! Kan: How can you hate them? They don’t even exist yet! Somel: Because they have the audacity to believe they can take over our positions! Kan: Somel! Somel: Fine, why don’t we ask Ms. Balmeo? Kan: Fine. Balmeo: Sorry, Somel. Kan wins. I believe that Balmeo said some other things to us in the midst of that discussion, but those I have now forgotten. They weren’t really important. All that was important were two words. Let me mention them again, in case you forgot: Kan. Wins. Oh, the sweet sound of victory. Balmeo always surprises me. So when Kan and I sat down with her to discuss the Editor’s Note for December’s issue of La Pluma, MVHS’s literary art magazine, I had no idea what we would end up talking about. I like to think though, that Ms. Balmeo usually sides with me—what with Kan being the crazy dreamer and I the rooted-down, sensible one (sorry, Kan). But I guess I was wrong—as I said, Balmeo always surprises me. This debate was about, literally, letting go. Somel felt La Pluma was our child that we created from nothing, and she was having all the usual, cheesy feelings of motherly meltdown upon leaving it. This was all fine and dandy. Except for the fact that, oh yes, we had less than six months before we graduated, and she couldn’t exactly stay behind from college to become a live-in editor for eternity. In other words: she needed to back off. What it came down to was the subject of the “new staff.” The staff that was going to “take over.” I had already started to hate them. Who were they, and how could they dare to even think of snatching La Pluma away from us to claim as their own? It may be a horrid betrayal to say this...but I was actually just a tiny bit glad that we were leaving; I was having no problem backing off. I won’t lie. Senioritis had attacked early and it was not taking prisoners. Sometimes, running a publication could get frustrating, but I used to tell myself that frustration was the price of passion. It was like an extraneous ulcer weighing down my head or a creepy man hovering in the back of a bus—always just...there. La Pluma wasn’t just what we had started—it was a part of was us. Or was it? After all it gave us back just as much as we gave it: a bit of maturity, some logical thinking skills, and the ability to lead, not simply be “in charge.” But as much as I may hate to admit it, we weren’t really the definition of La Pluma. No, that’d be taking a bit too much credit. La Pluma was its own entity that we had merely had the good chance of being involved in. That’s not to say that chance made it all happen. We found our passion in the ink stained pages of bound books, and we grabbed that passion and built a place for it on campus. La Pluma has always been more than just what we started, though finding the words to describe it exactly is hard. I like to think that it gave us a piece of our identity. It seems that the only thing we can do now is appreciate the time we do have left with it. And let the new staff handle the rest. ...So they had better not mess up the editor’s note.


JUNE 3, 2010

College decisions not over for some seniors

For the first time ever, UC and CSU campuses employ waitlists by Samved Sangameswara


ay 1 is supposed to be the finish line for seniors when it comes to college decisions. The intent to register is due and its supposed to be the beginning of the end, but due to waitlists it's just the beginning of the race for a number of seniors. Starting this application season the University of California and California State University systems made the decision to emulate the admission process used by many other public and private universities and begin to waitlist applicants. The schools came to the decision after receiving a record number of applications and enrolling students for the 2009-2010 school year. The result was a need to combat potential overcrowding that would occur if a similar situation were to occur this year. In a Feb. 11 press release University


Almost an all-star

of California Director of Admissions Susan Wilbur said that the decision to implement waitlists was made "To enable campuses to reach their enrollment targets with greater precision while still offering a space to as many deserving students as possible." The result of the decision was that a greater number of MVHS students found themselves still waiting on these schools after the May 1. Senior Pooja Kundargi she sent in her intent to register to the University of California at Davis but found out just a week later that she had made it off the waitlist at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Although the waitlist got Kundargi into her school of choice, she noted that the price to pay was apprehension. “You don’t have the may 1t deadline so while everyone else is rejoicing you’re still waiting,” Kundargi said. Guidance counselor Shari Schussel

agreed, noting that while being placed on a waitlist is more comforting than being rejected, it still puts seniors in a tough spot. "Waitlists are terrible," Schussel said. "It puts students in limbo because you get off [the waitlist] after the SIR is already due. It puts [seniors] in a super stressful situation." And as every UC campus except Los Angeles and Merced chose to use the waitlist, guidance counselors are preparing for how to advise those who have been placed on the lists. Schussel says that the news of waitlists came to the guidance team fairly late, leaving them in a bit of a panic. "I don't think we had any time to prepare," Schussel said. But the MVHS guidance counselors have already done their homework and are getting ready for the class of 2011.

belong in a soccer game review because it’s sort of implied in that that’s what they do in soccer.

was supposed to look like, what elements make a good sports photo, then I would not have looked completely ridiculous in front of the staff.

First sports article

Beginner’s luck


kay, I’m lying about the title. Even though I have been sports editor earlier this year, the only real sports that I’ve participated in are track and field and cross country. And if you’ve read the previous sports columns this year, you might know that calling cross country a sport is debatable. So before I leave, I would like to apologize to anyone who has read my sports stories, especially my game reviews. They must have sounded as though they were written by someone who doesn’t know anything about sports. I came in knowing almost nothing about sports, but I like to say that I have learned so much about sports this year in journalism. I now know that the sentence “the soccer players were trying very hard to score in the other team’s goal” does not

There have been times when I’ve gone into a completely new situation without being prepared and have failed miserably. My first ever journalism story was a profile about field hockey coach Bonnie Belshe helping to coach the junior varsity team. The writing went relatively well because I didn’t have to know very much about field hockey to write the story. However, when asked to take a photo as well, I thought to myself, “How hard could it be to take a photo?” And so I went to field hockey practice and I shot a photo that was definitely good enough to be published. A few days into the production week, the page designer asked for my story picture. As the picture was opening and loading, the people around me were waiting for the “amazing photo” I said I had taken. The suspense was building up. When the picture finished loading, everyone oohed and aahed. I wish. Everyone cracked up because the photo that I thought was definitely artistic, could not be published because it was a picture of the backs of the junior varsity girls sitting on the bench. If I had researched what a true sports photo

New knowledge

So, you can see how much I’ve learned this past year. And this learning process can be applied to my life as well. There will be moments when I encounter something new, like life outside of our Monta Vista bubble, and I won’t have a clue with what’s going on. And when I encounter these moments, I can always go about doing things the way I’ve always done them, like calling the bar on top of the goal in soccer, “the bar on top of the goal” instead of the proper term “crossbar.” But there’s also a way to learn, to do research ahead of time, like Googling March Madness, being able to call it “The Big Dance”, therefore sounding very sports editor-like. So here is my advice, using some of the extensive sports vocabulary that I have picked up this year: do some research and prepare before you go into a completely new ballgame. You can make it to the finish line, and reach a new PR while you’re at it. Even if you strike out, foul up, or receive a yellow card, pick yourself back up and make that touchdown.



When we begin this new chapter of our lives, here are things we will miss about living in Cupertino and attending MVHS.


1 Flickr: debs

Having a yogurt place around every corner whenever you are craving something cool— with your choice of creaminess or tartness to boot.


“I went all the time, and I had my parents take me there because it’s hard to work at home a lot of the time because it’s a little distracting. I’d probably just miss the quietness, just the way that there is the team room where can be loud, and the quiet study. There are just a lot of options. The people there, not everyone is studying but they respect you studying,” senior Yujia Ding. The Cupertino Library can be home or the hottest place to hang out.

Flickr: ulterior epicure

A wide variety of international foods from pho to tandoori and where the choice of fast food is Quickly’s, not McDonald’s.


Flickr: sir leif

Spending countless hours wishing there was something more exciting to do, then finally realizing that a day trip to Santa Cruz or San Francisco is the perfect way to spend a day.


Minh Bui | El Estoque

Flickr: DHDesign

Bragging about how many hours of sleep you didn’t get when anywhere else people would mock you for those huge bags under your eyes.


Flickr: mrhappy

“I‘m going to miss going to the park at night. My cousins and I would go around to Jollyman Park night at 10 p.m. and play lava monster. I know that there isn’t really any crime, but there is a hobo that sleeps on the bench, but I’m not worried,“ senior Kelsey Shen said. Being able to walk around in the dead of the night without ever worrying for the safety of your life—and then complaining about how the only real crime that goes on is stealing TI-89 calculators.


Close proximity to a large selection of both outlet and high end stores at Valley Fair, Santana Row, Gilroy, and Great Mall.

Stefan Ball | El Estoque

Dressing up in ridiculous outfits while showcasing whatever dignity you have left, pretending you’re on a roller coaster when you’re just sitting on bleachers in the middle of a rally, watching the boys shake all they have during the halftime show at Powderpuff just to prove the extent of your school pride during Homecoming.


Say it like it is

Family matters


hen it comes to family, things can get downright irritating. But what can I expect when my grandparents, aunt, and uncle live right next door? Thanks to my family’s decision to tear down our shared fence and craft an opening between our two houses, I have said good-bye to any semblance of privacy that I can wish for.

Blood bond

I come home everyday to my grandma or aunt sitting on my favorite chair, ready to pounce. And it doesn’t end there. If I need to leave for a journalism late night, or a fashion club rehearsal, or to a dance, I have to tell my grandparents it’s related to math or science because apparently I’m supposed to become a doctor. I should be able to have some Aileen alone time, right? I’ve paid my dues but with 81 people in my immediate family I feel like there’s no room to breathe. With my aunt, uncle, and two cousins just one mile down the road and a cluster of nine relatives and their families all jammed into one house only 18 miles away, I have gotten a visitor nearly every day asking me what I want to be when I grow up and where I’m going to college for the next four years. And what of my aunt in Texas? I should only hear her voice a couple times of year, but I hear it nearly every day. My mom is on the phone with her daily, placing her loudly on speaker while she cooks, exercises, or washes dishes. It’s embarrassing how everyone knows if I’m struggling in math—I guess that 60% on my most recent math quiz makes it to the front page of the Le and Nguyen family tabloid. But to be honest, it’s really nice that everyone personally calls to congratulate me when I manage an A. Being part of my family can be suffocating, but I’ve grown to embrace their constant presence. As Vietnamese immigrants, my parents realized the importance of building a network of support wherever they went. They have ensured that I felt a web of love, support, and understanding every day I’ve lived under their roof and that idea of family has resonated with me ever since. Over the past four years at MVHS I’ve tried to create my own family. I have been inspired by the strength, tenacity, and perseverance of the 36 members of my cross country team throughout the past four years. With them, I’ve built a family where I had been given love and support and I’ve had the privilege of returning it. The 53 individuals who make up my journalism staff have caused countless headaches and exhausted me with hours of heated argument. Despite all that, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve been enriched by the wealth of their diverse ideas and personalities. We challenge each other everyday with our different viewpoints, but I gain a multi-faceted view of any issue, broadening my world. As my family grows larger, so does my willingness to understand and accept more viewpoints.

All together now Minh Bui | El Estoque

Daring to ditch the first 10 minutes of 6th period to get the best deals on everything from pearl milk tea to samosas during Club Day.



Extended Flickr: Design Packaging



Flickr: Vince O’ Sullivan

Bragging about how cool we are since we live in the same city as Apple headquarters.

I aspire to continually build a family that encircles me with love and support through deep personal connections. Sure, with 241 members in my family it’s getting a little cozy under this roof, but there’s always room for more. If there’s anything I’ve learned during the past four years, it’s that family is everything—and I don’t mean solely blood relations, but those who have taught me to dream boldly without fear That’s what family is to me.

Volume 41 Senior Edition June 4, 2010  
Volume 41 Senior Edition June 4, 2010  

A high school publication in Cupertino, Calif.