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How religious tradition is carried out even today by muslim women all over the world.



Goodbye bikini, hello Burkini!

COLORS of the Rainbow

Muslim women may choose to cover their hair, but it doesn’t mean they can’t do it in style. It started off black, but now a days, colorful headscarves can be seen anywhere you go. “Its like how I wear cloths,” says Jacia Mim, a junior at Monta Vista High School, “I wear whatever color I feel like.” Hijabs have recently started covering every shade of color, along with various prints, designs, and textures. “I think it’s great,” says Ismat Junaid, a freshman at Monta Vista High School, “Its fun to play with colors and its just like choosing clothes.”


How It’s Done Every thought about mastering one of the many technique of wearing a hijab? here is your chance!

wearing a Symbol...

Iffat Junaid watched her mother prepare to leave the house. “I saw her wear her shoes, and then put on the hijab. I wondered, why the heck am I not wearing one?” Junaid, a freshman at Monta Vista High School, has been wearing the Hijab for almost a year now, along with her twin sister, Ismat Junaid. “I’m really happy that wearing the Hijab was my choice,” she says, “I feel better about it everyday and I’m sure my parents and family are proud of me for choosing this path.” Many Middle Eastern religions believe that people should be able to see the inner beauty of women before their appearance. The Hijab is a basic portrayal of the concept for Muslim women. “I guess hair is a very important thing to girls, so by covering it, people don’t judge us by how we look, but who we are inside. We can take it off when we are in front of other women though.” says Ismat. There are many explanations as to how the Hijab’s concept originated. Most say that wearing the Hijab was a high status symbol for women, and slowly became a symbol of the modesty and purity for Muslim women. Jacia Mim, a junior at Monta Vista, has been forced into wearing the Hijab since she was 12. “It’s supposed to make me fit in better with people, but that’s not always the case,” she says, “I feel like I’m excluded because of it. I feel like people look at me weirdly and judge me by it. Even though I understand how important it is, it’s not something I enjoy wearing most of the time.” The way Muslim women have carried out this tradition for so many years is very reputable. The Hijab is a highly respected symbol that can be seen all over the world, and it will hopefully be continued on in the many more years to come.


1 Start with the scarf placed around your head. bring the longer side towards your opposite shoulder.

Put away that bikini and make way for the burkini! Due to religious reasons, many women have been held back from swimming, wearing dresses, etc. But now, a handful of designers have introduced special clothing lines that cover the entire body, opening new doors for women who were restricted from such activities before. “I think its quite clever,” says Ismat Junaid, “ I hope they keep making such clothing so we get more choices.”


3 Pin one point of the longer side to the scarf portion cover ing your head. leave alittle space near your neck.

By Anushka Varhadkar

Repeat the same step on the other side of your head. Then take the rest of the scarf and wrap it around your your neck.

Congradulations! you have learned one of the many ways to wear a Hijab! T4fkw2xQCLA/s400/hijab1.jpg&imgrefurl=

Drama Goddess

at Work By Christine Wang

The Insides. Homework has now become the second or third priority, competing with sleep, as these 50 hard working Monta Vistans practice for 7 entire, complete hours during school days as they put everything together and finish up their final touches. So what exactly do they do during all these hours? You would think they get off topic and fool around but these well rounded students surely know when is the right time to focus and work, of course, also throwing a little play here and there. The crew members are there memorizing their lines, and of course there are the very important cast members, who are practicing moving the objects on and off the stage , adjusting the lights after each scene, playing certain sound tracks at the right time, and much much more.

As for dinner, there is always a parent who volunteers to bring food for the entire cast as well as all the other helpers. What do they eat? It varies time to time, sometimes it is Chipotle, and other times it can be delicious pasta. As the last few days before the showing roll in, many days, they stay for 2 more hours than usual, which would be 9 entire hours of drama. That would mean on an average day, 4 hours of sleep. Well, anything for the play, as these devoted workers try their very best to make it as professional as it can get…

Lights! ! a r e Cam


already started to practice in the very beginning of January, all the way to March. During the short 3 months, they had to memorize their lines word for word as they didn’t want to perform it differently from the actual book, figure out everyone’s costumes with the help of a professional costume designer, and work on the set. Don’t forget, there were also many background workers that had to do the lights and sounds and other technical work. As for Karina, she doesn’t mind all this hassle and time spent on drama as it is one of her passions. She is even thinking of majoring in Theatre Arts, “It is something that really interests me and that I am passionate about. Not just acting but all aspects of theatre are interesting to me. I directed some of the Shakespeare scenes that Advanced Drama students performed for Lit classes ear-

lier this year.” So perhaps even becoming a director? Nevertheless, the next time when you and your friends go and enjoy a play, remember that it was pieced together with the entire crew’s effort and appreciate it!

Tech Week

Get To It!

We buy the ticket, wait for the day, find our seats, watch, leave, and nothing else. Most of the of the students do not even have a thought of how much effort those Monta Vista drama kids put in to prepare for a 2 hour play, and how much time they all have to sacrifice each day. A junior at Monta Vista Highschool, Karina Fathi has performed in 4 school plays for these 3 years and also currently participates in PYT and The Music School where she has performed many more plays. As for the most recent one, The Odyssey, she performed one of the main roles, acting as Athena, and her and her stage-mates surely did practice many many hours for this. “Well we have rehearsal until 5:00 [and] until the last 3 weeksand then we had rehearsal until 8 or 10 most nights. We rehearse 4 days a week.” If you calculate it, it is approximately 90 entire hours for the first two and a half months. Practicing until 5 most days, means no participating in any afterschool activities such as high school sports, no hanging out with friends, or even just less time for homework. And the days where they practice until 8 or 10? Well this is how Karina sees it in an optimistically way, as she always is, “When you're doing a show you learn to manage your time so you're not up all night working. We do homework when we're on breaks, or if we have a little bit of time before we go onstage and when we get home we do the rest.” That’s great, as some students can practice their time management skills, but whereas others just slowly plummet to the ground, along with their grades… So as for the Odyssey that was just performed 4 times in the span of 2 weeks, the crew had

That is a grand total of 84 hours for three weeks!


The Perfect Car.

Defining the perfect Super car. It is a difficult process that takes balance and proportions in to account. Taking five variables: Speed, Style, Comfort, Price, and Maintenance, and blending them together is complicated. Cars that scream speed, Prove to be Pricey, and cars that maintain maintenance lack style and comfort. Speed is straight-forward. The more ponies, the more speed. Cars that rev to 8000RPM, and contain 200MPH speedometers are the boasters of this brawl. Exquisite Italian demons such as Lamborghini and Ferrari excel in this class, and prove to be the heavy-weights in this match up. Price is where many cars struggle and fail. Buying a fast car means emptying your wallet faster. Price ranges for Lamborghini’s and Ferrari’s average in the $200,000, competing with most houses. However, cars that are cheap and affordable, lack speed and comfort. Everyone wants comfort. The ability to relax and day-dream. Luxury costs money, but allows for more comfortable driving. German car brands such as Mercedes excel at producing bulky two-ton giants filled with a variety of technology and pleasures. These pleasures include climate-control, DVD/Video players, and sun-roofs. The problem with luxury is that it doesn’t come cheap, and neither does the gas money to fuel those giants. The BMW M3 is a perfect blend of all five variables. Decently priced at $60,000, comfortable interior, and a 420 HP V8 under the hood give this car the beans. Plus, how can you go wrong with the look of the ride?

A customed tuned Ferrari Enzo stands out in this parking lot.

REDLINE. Fuel for the engine, and the soul. Fast cars revving past their

limits to impress and to shock.

Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Porsche. The list drives on to foreign names such as Bugatti and Gumpert. All these names roll on rubber and feed on petrol. Their glossy paint shimmers like quartz, and their engines play a specific tune. They were built to impress. Super-cars. Pure precision machines of perfection. They are a pleasure to the main senses. Beautiful to look at, music to the ears, and smelling leather is a pleasure as well. But why are they so great to look at? Staring at a painting, smelling a flower, or listening to Chopin is just as pleasing. What separates them apart? Redline. Also known as adrenaline, Redline is what die-hard car fans like Freshman Omar Naguib live for. “Cars show what amazing engineering feats have been achieved. They are also ridiclulously awsome.” Omar also states that he would like to get his liscence as soon as possible, and wishes to drive a nice car. They fuel his passion. Sophmore Alan Dai, also agrees that cars show how far humans have progressed throughout techonology. “Back in the day, cars couldn’t even hit 60mph. Now they hit that speed in less than three seconds.” Alan, a die-hard carfan, loves super-cars because they are ridonculous. His favorite car the Zonda F built by Pagani, is a spaceship. It has controls that replicate the lunar module, sharp sleek designs, and a V-12 Monster engine in the back, ensures a constant flow of blowing eardrums out. Alan also includes, “Cars are my passion because they are freaking fast. You can use them to show-off, to get girls, and to go nitro.” Cars are an Icon, and people use cars as a sign of dominance. The leader of the pack has to have the fastest, sleekest, and most shocking car. A car is used to judge social-class and personality of a person. Redline fuels these die-hard automotive fans as they wait for the day when they get to drive these beautiful machines. Screams that can shatter ears, looks that can kill, and speed that keep rising, make Supercars the best of the best.

Test: Ask people which car they would have as their dream car. By looking at evidence, the majority of the subjects agreed that they would perfer the sleek style and speed of the Ferrari and Lamborghini, over the rest of the group. May other subjects wish to drvie a car that is suitable for everyday, such as the BMW M3. Few dreamed of living a lifestyle of comfort in aluxury Mercedes, and the smallest majorty wishes to drive a standard Toyota. That one fellow said, “I want to drive a Toyota because it gets excellent gas milage. Looking at these statistics, the attraction to sleek fast cars is clear. People want a car that can show off, and the adrenaline of putting your foot down.

Wor lds Bes t Teec her z. . . .O rn ot.



I’m sorry, what was that? Unfortunate students had a teacher who spoke in illegible mutterings the entire year. Sadlythestudentslearnedatotalofzerothingstheentireyear.

Rounding up the cattle

A teacher decided it would be a valuble lesson to tie up his students in a closet. Suprisingly enough, they did learn something.




You’re so talented....oh,

you thought I was serious?

A poor student was told he would be a great addition to the track team by his teacher. Then she laughed at him for thinking it was true.



You are all pathetic

This teacher has informed the class that the homework average is a grand total of zero percent. And that they are unable to follow directions. Strangely enough, this curious phenomena only happens to these ‘worthless’ students in the company of this teacher.

Terrible Teacher

It’s naptime!

Students spent the entire class period waiting for their teacher to come and enrich their minds with knowledge. He never showed up. He had fallen asleep.


I lost it-oh, I mean, its all your fault! A student spent weeks working on a 50 point project, only to have his teacher lose it, and give him a zero.


I’m wrong....even when I’m wrong

A pair of student were feverishly working on their tests. One of them held up his paper in order to check his answers. The teacher assumed both were cheating, and refused to accept the fact that rechecking is, in fact, encouraged by most teachers.


Tales 9

Because all Laker’s Fans are fat....

During a conversation with her teacher, and average sized girl was called fat. Then he calledher stupid for liking the Lakers.


What nice circles you have...all the better to punish you with!

A teacher was drawing perfect circles on the bard without a compass, when a student told her that her circles were realy circular. The girl was punished for saying innapropriate things in a classroom setting.

I don’t forget things...

One teacher promised to post homework and a test date online for her students, and failed to live up to her promise. When the entire class showed up without their homework the next day, she blamed it on an unfortunate coincidence that everyone happened to be irresponsible on the same day.OH, and they failed the test too.

Image credited to

The teachers we love...

Everyone has had one of those teachers. You know, one of those laid back teachers who jokes around with the students and not only is an entertaining person, but get this--they can actually teach. Which is the kind of teacher students generally want. In addition to being able to teach, students decreed that teachers must also be clear, concise, know and be passionate about their subject, grade fairly, give challenging but do-able assignments, make the those same assignments exciting and fun, and on top of it all, have a sense of humor. That’s a tall order. No wonder those kinds of teachers are few and far between.

“He hasn’t had a teacher like that since...”

Freshman Baris Demirlioglu can recall having a teacher like that in the fifth grade. “He always would give us these problems, and there would be this one really hard one. And whoever got the hard one right got to shoot[a ball] into a hoop.” Whoever made the shot got a can of soda. “I never made it,” Baris admits. He hasn’t had a teacher like that since. “I don’t really like my teachers right now,” he says, “At Harker, all my teachers made everything fun, like in Japanese, we would play kanji games and stuff and here[at MV] its more like, memorize this by tomorrow! And there’s no point to it.” Ellen Do, also a freshman, begs to differ. She likes the teachers at MV. In fact, she says her current math teacher is one of her favorite teachers she’s ever had. “He’s just so...chill. I like the whole atmosphere of the class.

Oh, and he teaches really well too. He actually explains stuff.”

...And the ones we don’t

Yet, for every good teacher, there are some bad ones. Really, really bad ones. Baris affirms that he’s had a few of these. Any student you talk to has multiple horror stories about teachers, and are all too willing to share the qualities they loath in someone who’s supposed to be helping them learn. The list goes from boring, creepy and old..all the way to wasting classroom space and not teaching at all, only commanding the classroom because ‘’they have five years until retirement’’. “I had this one teacher in eighth grade, and she was strict as hell. And since I never had my shirt tucked in, she would think I was a trouble maker. One time, the president of the school, and this is like the smartest girl in the school, locked her in her own classroom.” Baris says.

Students mostly hate the teachers who don’t respect them.

“And when she finally got inside she blames me, and it took the entire period to convince her that it was really that girl.” Students mostly hate those teachers who don’t respect them. “One of my teachers actually told us she doesn’t like freshmen because we’re immature and don’t listen. But we do, and it’s kind of her fault that she doesn’t give clear directions.” Ellen says. Another complaints are that many teachers are not competent enough to teach their own subject. Shubham Pahadia claims he once had a teacher who knew less than he did. Another one of his teachers punished him for studying her subject in his free time in class. And of course there’s always that one teacher who grades military hard. Priscilla Chung once had a teacher who took

points off her math test because the variable was not exactly in the middle of the fraction. There are always the good teachers, and the bad ones. Dealing with them all in one day is the really hard part.

I love schoool. . . But teachers?

Image credited to

Drama Teacher Holly Cornelison isn’t just a drama teacher. She’s a director, a producer, and even used to be a Lit teacher. Cornelison has a special relationship with her students, since she’s not just another teacher who comes in the morning, teaches her students, and leaves. When preparing for productions, you will always find her working hard alongside her students for countless hours after school, dedicating her time to make to make each show perfect. “In Advanced Drama, students come in, they know what to do, and they get it done. We even have two student produced shows in May-directed, produced, preformed by the students. I just watch. I think they by now have the knowlegde to get it done.”

Cornelison teaches two types of drama classes, Beginning Drama and Advanced Drama. She says beginning Drama is largely a class where students are told what to do, while Advanced Drama is mostly application. In the Director’s notes for Monta Vista’s recent production of The Odyssey, it is shown just how much Cornelison cares about her students, and how she wants theatre to impact them in their lives. “The true labratory of theatre allows students not just to study a play in a classroom, but to LIVE it.” Fitting words from a former Literature teacher.

Not your Average Teacher Director Producer Friend..

Seeing Living It

in a

7th G l a s s e s

Blurred R e a l i t y

looks like a Seurat painting; splotched Ravichandran blinks. “If dirt gets in or if [the conbits of green and a faint suggestion of tacts] go off course, it hurts, a lot.” Even so, Ravired speckling the blur. On. Now it looks like a tree. chandran still supports wearing contacts. Dr. Stephanie Chan, an optometrist, The green sharpens into leaves, the red into flowagrees. “There’s a little bit of risk. But so many ers. So this is what normal 20/20 people see… people now wear contacts. If you get an infection, But for that kid who forgot his glasses sitit’ll cause a little problem here and there, but it’s ting in the back, or that kid who lost his contacts, easy to resolve.” they see the Seurat painting. 20/20 is no longer Even so, when she forgets her contacts, their eyesight. They can’t just glance at a street the world looks like one big Seurat painting. “I sign and know what it reads; they put on their have to squint to make out things like five feet glasses for that. They can’t just go sleep at night; away from me; I get tired and sometimes I get a they still have to clean their contacts. headache without them,” says These are the near-sighted, Ravichandran. That’s true for far-sighted, or both. glasses too though. Kristen Wang is used to it Normal vision “Sometimes when I forget by now. Ever since 3rd grade when would have made my glasses I can’t see a few feet her teacher noticed her scamperaway from me,” comments freshing constantly to the front of the everything a lot man Calley Wang. room to squint at the board, she simplerer. For Kristen Wang though, has been wearing glasses. 500 remembering is the hard part. “I on both her eyes, this near-sighted think the most annoying part of sophomore sometimes wishes wearing glasses is forgetting them,” she nods. she wore contacts. “I wear glasses all the time,” Whethver it’s sun, clouds, rain, or snow, they all says Wang. “Yeah, I wish I had [contacts] but my parents don’t like them. You can get infections and need to remember their lenses. “Oh! But when it rains you can’t see anystuff.” th thing,” she adds, glancing up at the sky. But that didn’t stop 10 grade Priyanka It seems inconvenient to wear glasses or Ravichandran from wearing contacts. “Concontacts, and it is, but you get used to things. The tacts are a lot better for a lot of things,” explains blurry letters, cleaning the lens, or dirt in the eye Ravichandran. “ I wear contacts in dance. I wore for contacts and raindrops for glasses, all become [glasses] sometimes, but they kept slipping off. part of the day. Though they are used to it by It was hard, and if I took them off, I couldn’t see now, they still long for the days of normal vision. well.” “Yeah, I wish I had normal vision,” says Contacts certainly made life easier for Calley Wang. Ravichandran. So for her, making the switch to “Normal vision would have made everycontacts in 7th grade was the right choice. Even if thing a lot simpler,” agrees Priyanka Ravichandran. her first few attempts at placing her new contacts Do you wish for normal vision? “Yes,” reon took 15 minutes. plies Kristen Wang. However, wearing contacts has its risks.



Eyes of the Matador A survey of what’s on the eyes of Monta Vista kids.

Nothing : 38% Glasses : 28% Contacts : 20% Both : 14%

By Kari Ding

I’m On My

© Kari Ding

he always wears her glasses. Whether it’s in at school, at home, or in the pool freshman Priscilla Chung is rarely seen without her lens. Her eyesight requires her to do so, with 700 on the right and 650 on the left. Both far and near-sighted, Chung needs them 24/7. Her first pair that started it all was in 3rd grade. Chung needed an eye exam because she was “in danger of getting bad vision.” All her family members also wear glasses. This bespectacled family all wear glasses. Not contacts. Since her vision is so bad requiring the use of glasses all the time, why not switch to contacts? It turns out that some people just can’t. For her, it is because there are no contacts with a high enough degree. Her poor vision stands unmatched for contacts. However, during PE she notes that having your glasses slip off because of sweat is annoying. But what can she do about it? And during the swim unit, Chung recalls, “I would just go blindly around, but I do have like goggles that have vision on them kind of.” Not being a perfect 20/20 doesn’t have to hinder people. LASIK, laser eye surgey, is a method where people can correct their vision without having to wear any sort of lens. However, it doesn’t stop the impending future of reading glasses. Dr. Stephanie Chan says, “LASIK is good for some people who can’t do glasses or contacts. But really, it’s a matter of preference.” Her cousin underwent LASIK for water sports. But that’s his preference. Chung’s preference still lies with wearing glasses, even if she broke who knows how many of her previous six, to getting special contacts or LASIK.

Looking Away Keeps the Otometrist

at Bay

5 Tips to Relaxing Your Eyes Reading, watching TV, studying your textbooks, or busting up a new high score all put stress on your eyes. To relax them, take an occasional break from your cramming to stare out the window and focus on faraway objects. After speaking with optometrist, Dr. Stephanie Chan, I’ve compiled a list of things you could do:

1) Do more outdoor activities/sports. Instead of staying cooped up with a laptop on your bed, stretch your neglected legs outside and look around you. Life is, after all, the game with the best graphics you can get. 2) Don’t sit so close to the TV. Your mom has probably nagged you with this line plenty of times. But it’s true, don’t sit too close and you should be fine. 3) No reading after lights out. Ducking under the covers with a flashlight and your book probably isn’t a good eye-dea. 4) Study in a well-lit area. Don’t go cave man and barricade your self in your dim, cavern like bedroom. Stretch your limbs and expand your territory by walking to the living room where sunlight filters through the windows. Those panes of glass aren’t there for no reason, you know. 5) If you have contacts, listen to the optometrist. That set of instructions the doctor gave you after scaring you with all the risks wearing contact has? Well, follow them to the ‘t’ because if you don’t, those nightmarish risks will come true.

Cupertino Family Eye Care: 10118 Bandley Dr. Suite C, Cupertino, CA 95014


by Michael Lu


Community service clubs aren’t a rare sight at Monta Vista. Some names come to mind such as Interact, Key Club, and of course, Octagon. These clubs which are overflowing with members overshadow the smaller hidden gems of the school. HSFBC, or High Schoolers for a Better Community is a club with only about fifteen members, but in no way is their passion to benefit the community any smaller than the other clubs. HSFBC’s main project is disaster preparedness; earthquakes in particular. “It is very important to be prepared for disasters, because they come unexpectedly and cause some of the worst physical damage possible and for us living in the Bay Area, earthquakes are a major concern” warns Kranti Peddada (12), president and cofounder of HSFBC. “Our goal for the HSFBC club is to raise awareness about disasters in the community and help citizens get prepared” he says. “Our goal for the HSFBC club is to

raise awareness about disasters in the community and help citizens get prepared”

photo by Frank’s Images, Flickr

A Ticking Time Bomb

and the damage it can cause. “There were a few just The Bay Area is packed with hustlin’ and bustlin’ recently so I’m pretty sure a big one will be here soon” cities like San Jose and San Francisco where tower- he predicts. During his childhood, when he was still ing buildings are the everyday scenery and crowds of living in Japan, he experienced a magnitude 5.8 earthpeople on is an everyday phenomenon. But the area quake in the city he lived in. “It was really chaotic and I lies on a land mine that is ready to explode at any didn’t understand what was going on” he states as he minute. reflects upon the event. Fortunately, he himself wasn’t The San Andreas fault. It is one of the largest hurt, but a few of his acquaintances weren’t as lucky. fault lines in the world and has caused some of the “Some of my friends got injured and it was kind of scary most devastating earthquakes in the past century. because I could’ve gotten injured too”. Most Cupertino residents are oblivious In just a brief period of time, an earthquake to the possible consequences or even can knock down dangerous furniture and occurrence of a serious earthquake. objects, which can cause severe physical People generally think “even if there is damage to the human body. They are also one, it probably won’t affect me”. Sanradical and unpredictable, so it is important ath Mullapudi (10) is one of those disto be prepared at all times. believers. “I’m not really worried about Now, Arvind is ready for any disaster. earthquakes because I’ve never really His household is fully equipped with sturdy safety kit experienced one, even though I’ve desks, bottled water, a fire extinguisher, a photo by ashpags, flickr lived in the Bay Area for a long time safety pack, and instructions in his mind if But the United States Geological Survey states anything is to happen. “I feel a lot that the likelihood of a serious earthquake (magnitude safer knowing that I will be ready if something like an 6.7 or higher) coming to the Greater Bay Area in the earthquake comes to Cupertino” he exclaims. next thirty years is sixty three percent! An earthquake A serious earthquake may seem far out in the of that size has the power to collapse almost any future, but in reality, it is closer than most people think. building and the potential to cause a repeat of the It is just a ticking time bomb that is ready to blow up catastrophic 1906 San Francisco Earthquake (magni- and shatter expectations. Arvind’s experience makes tude 7.8). him believe the same. “You can never know when it Arvind Rao, a sophomore at Monta Vista High can happen and I think all families should be prepared School understands the possibility of an earthquake in some way”.

In order to achieve their goal, members of the club work with the block leaders of the city of Cupertino to give presentations to educate the residents about disasters and how to prepare an emergency safety kit. They have also created a system with the city for the ordering and delivery of emergency supplies for those who are too busy. “The disaster preparedness project is very beneficial for our community because not many houses are adequately prepared for serious disasters like earthquakes, where people could potentially get injured” states Arif Hasan(10), a proud member of the club. However, persuading people to prepare for a potentially life threatening disaster isn’t a walk in the park. “In general, convincing people to prepare for disasters is quite difficult because disasters are something you cannot predict and people will tend to procrastinate the effort” Kranti states. But despite the hurdles they must overcome, Kranti is still dead set on reaching the club’s ideals. “We need to convince them that they must get prepared immediately, even though we don’t know when the next earthquake will happen”. HSFBC is a small club, no doubt, but their hard work and dedication to prepare Cupertino residents for disasters shows their substantial determination. Instead of simply wanting to get hours on their college applications, HSFBC members strive to help and fortify the people of the community from inevitable natural disasters and it’s nice to know that they got your back.

2010 EARTHQUAKE BANANZA List of Earthquakes with a magnitude above 7.0 this past year.


photo by United Nations Development Programme, FLickr

Haiti Region Earthquake January 12, 2010 Magnitude 7.0 222,570 total fatalities


photo by IFRC, Flickr

Offshore Maule, Chile February 27, 2010 Magnitude of 8.8 507 total fatalities


photo by United Nations Development Programme, Flickr

Northern Sumatra Indonesia, April 06, 2010 7.7 magnitude photo by HSFBC

Average of 62 people injured

Yu Got Work “P

To Do by Michelle Chan

ain is weakness leaving the body,” is her motto.

Allison Yu, a freshman at Monta Vista High School, firmly

believes in the “pro’s” of being in shape. “Even if you don’t really


have a particular need to work out, you still should just so you stay healthy and fit. There’s no harm in exercising, anyways.”

No Pain, No Gain: Is It Sane?

It’s easy to rattle off the benefits of physical fitness at the

top of your head. You can justify all the junk food you eat. You can lower your medical risks. You can build up a great “beach body” for the summer. But besides the obvious, what other motivations are there to work out?

Yu is on an extremely competitive club volleyball team. Standing at a mere five feet two inches, she knows she is at a huge disadvantage on the court with the other players towering a foot over her. She even happens to be playing the position of the outside hitter, which especially requires the height factor for such competitive players like Yu.

“To still be able to compete with my fellow outside

hitters, I need to jump higher, play smarter, and hit harder. I need to be more fit than them to still get my playing time,” she says. By constantly pushing her body to handle the strains of a constantly active sport, Yu is striving to become a “fitter” athlete, inside and out of the volleyball court.

Having been on the junior varsity volleyball team at her

school last fall, Yu hopes to make the varsity team next year while also being a useful asset. “My prime inspiration is my team. I don’t want to let them down.”

For that, Yu’s teammate Emily Vu, sophomore at Monta

Vista, is glad. “Especially since she’s a freshman, she knows she has to work harder, and she follows through with that.” Vu sees Yu putting passion and dedication into every practice.

When Yu is in the mood,

she doesn’t let a precious minute fly by when she could be working

“I need to be more fit than them to still get my playing time.”

out. She has even pushed herself to do sets of pushups in between homework assignments, which led her through an astounding 71 pushups during her most recent fitness test in her Physical Education class [which she passed with flying colors]. Working out has allowed her to clear her mind and sleep easier, Yu says.

“I work out on and off. Every once in a while, I’ll be

particularly motivated to do jumping exercises, usually because I had a particularly bad practice or something like that,“ Yu explains. Her backyard pool was even filled in and replaced with grassy landscaping complete with a regulation-sized volleyball net so she could practice at home too. Wherever she has space – in her backyard, around her neighborhood, or even on her living room floor – she is willing to push through the pain to become the best she can be.

And Yu knows she still has work to do.

by Michelle Chan


ur coaches say it, our teammates say it, even the military says it: Pain is weakness leaving the body., a trusted site regulated by professional doctors, defines pain as “an unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pain has both physical and emotional components.” So what is it about pain that actually motivates people to work out? “I get motivated to exercise because I need to stay fit and also because I like exercise,” explains freshman Eric Lin. “I sometimes exercise just for the fun of it or to relieve stress.” When one exercises, whether for the fun or the fitness, they will often try to push themselves past their body’s limits. The physical result is muscle fiber soreness, a short term discomfort, but always a positive impact in the long run. Athletes and trainers alike view muscle soreness as a sign of potential improvement past current physical boundaries. After all, you won’t know how far you can go until you try. Once you do try, you will find that in the long term, your muscles will be able to withstand much greater pressures. Michael Allen, the author of Fat Loss Factor, agrees. “While a lot of people think that [no pain, no gain] is a myth, I have found that success in any part of life, including fitness, requires some discomfort.” Those who constantly strive to push their limits will no doubt experience some sort of pain. Looking back, however, many of them say that the gains are worth the pain. Nick Chen, another athlete, agrees that no pain means no gain. “Most things you want About 30 million kids under the age to get needs a small sacrifice from you.” of 18 participate in some form of Without realizing that, many people will never reap the goods of hard work, which includes health benefits, a leaner, more attractive body, and plain satisfaction from knowing that the hard organized sports in the United States, exercises will pay off. and more than Of course, it is important to recognize the difference between normal soreness and dangerous injuries. About 30 million kids under the age of 18 participate in some form of occur each year. organized sports in the United States, and more than 3.5 million injuries occur each year. Almost one-third of all injuries incurred in childhood are sports related injuries. Most fitness centers require people working out to be at least over the age of 16, and for a good reason. Almost 270,000 people were injured on exercise machines or while using exercise equipment last year as a result of tripping on treadmills, falling backwards off exercise balls, and even spraining ankles from jumping rope. If you think the current rate of injuries in children is bad enough, imagine letting kids working out by themselves in a room full of heavy metal weights. Although the gains will be worth the pains in the end, we must consider: is it sane to allow ourselves to push past our limits until our muscles are searing with lactic acid? One ACL tear can end even the best athlete’s whole career in one moment. We must be careful not to exercise so far as to forget what we’re working towards – gains. The pains of a good workout are what should be driving the weakness out of our bodies, not the pains of injuries. The next time you hop on the pull up bar, be sane and remember the difference between the two and choose the pain that will end in the best gain.


3.5 million




ìYour “Triumph is attitude, just try with not your aptitude, a little umph.” determines -Unknown your altitude.î “The mind will ñ Zig Ziglar always give up

before the body.” - Toraino “A man’s health can be judged by Singleton which he takes two at a time - “Those who do pills or stairs.” not find time - Joan Welsh for exercise

will have to “The dictionary find time for is the only place illness.” where success

– Earl of Derby comes before work.”– Vince Lombardi

There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.” -Beverly Sills

DEFINING your style photos by: Aileen Le

Sewing Sisters

You will never catch Aileen wearing the same dress as anyone else. She had made

Many would assume Aileen and Kimberly to have special tools to make their clothing. But the opposite is true. They use their grandmother’s sewing machine. This ancient but sentimental machine was used by their grandmother to make her own clothes in her youth. This makes their clothes unique knowing that it had sewn their ancestor’s clothes, parent’s clothes, and their baby pajama pants. As Aileen leaves for college this fall, Kimberly is left alone to design an entire wardrobe herself. “She had really helped along,” Kimberly explains “she got me interested in making clothes myself…[but] I like to make ‘everyday’ clothing instead of formal dresses.” With one shirt already made, a replica of an out-grown shirt, she is working her way to more pieces. “With my busy schedule it’s hard…this takes time and a lot of thinking.”

overcoat sandals Overalls fashion Cardigan

blouse basics pullover beret tracksuit denim

sweaters jewlery silk




hairband gowns boho


necklaces peat coat





ballerina flats

Peter Pan Collar


photos by: Neha Simon

doublet chiffon layers

Kimberly’s First Shirt

Aileen’s Homecoming Dress

Le’s Sewing Machine

Hunter Gatherer

photos by: Neha Simon

In Vietnam, stitching your own clothes was customary. Sisters, Aileen, senior, and Kimberly Le, freshmen, are now following their family tradition and bringing their own style to the students of Monta Vista. Aileen is president of fashion club on campus and is sharing her brilliant designs and worthy opinion to her peers. She not only sketches for the yearly fashion show the club holds, but she finds time in her chaotic schedule to design dresses for herself to wear. Kimberly is slowly following her footsteps as she tries to decide her true passion within fashion. With a slow start, and several of her sister’s dresses to look up to, she is increasing her designing talent one day at a time. “It’s like a legacy…it’s in our blood.” Aileen explains.

her own Sweet 16, Junior Prom, and Homecoming dresses. Her inspiration – the red carpet. Le looks through catalogs, online, and award shows to find the special dress she wants to redesign for herself. She makes her dresses from her favorite shiny silk fabric that flows well. “I love looking through dresses and finding the perfect one!” Aileen says. “I remember my first dress. It was a replica of a BCBG dress.” Aileen smiles remembering that special feeling after finishing your first dress. “You made this with your own two hands…it’s your baby.”

by Neha Simon

taken from: 87&source=sxchu04&source=sxchu04

Sherry Roohi - freshman

Frantically looking from rack to rack. Shuffling through blouses, pants, and feathered headgear. Nothing is going to stop Sherry Roohi, freshmen, from getting the best deal. “When I am shopping I am on a mission. I hunt down those clothes.” Roohi isn’t your everyday shopper. Influenced by Selena Gomez’s style, Roohi like to shops at second hand and thrift stores. Finding that special outfit that brings out her personality is her goal. She goes through Goodwill, Lohmens, Target, Forever 21, and Sprinkles, a little boutique she discovered in Santa Cruz, to build her diverse closet. Roohi likes to discover new stores not only within the local mall but all over the bay area. “Once I here about it, I grab my friends and that’s the first place we hit.” Being an often shopper, Roohi get’s lucky in finding “god-praising” deals. With a closet already filled to the brim with vintage, 80s and preppy clothing, there is no stopping this fashion diva.

Popular Products (Left Handed)

Right Hand,

Left Hand

Being Left-Handed vs Intelligence

Though controversial, there is some evidence that suggests left-handed people are in certain ways more intelligent than their righthanded counterparts. The secret lies is in the brain.

The Brain and Handedness The brain is an extremely complex organ; in fact, it just may be out of all other organs in the human body. Since the brain is divided into two halves, it is logical to say that each controls one half of the body. It turns out that in the anatomical position the right side of the brain controls the left side, and vice versa. Also, while the left side of the Photo by EUSKALANATO, Flickr user brain controls logic, calculation, and speech, language, and writing ability, the right side controls imagination, creativity, dimension, music, and spatial awareness.

Famous Left-handed People

Photo by ell brown, Flickr user

Photo by Basspunk, Flickr user

Photo by ThomasThomas, Flickr user

Real -Leonardo da Vinci (artist, supposedly wrote with his left and trained himself to paint with his right) -Aristotle (philosopher) -Ringo Starr (drummer of the Beatles who played a right-handed drum set) -Bill Gates (president of Microsoft, one of the richest men on the planet) -Barack Obama (current president of the United States) -Henry Ford (started a major car manufacturing company) -Jimi Hendrix (guitarist who played the left-handed guitar) -Shigeru Miyamoto (president of Photo by El_Sol, Nintendo, “father of modern video Flickr user games”) -Barry Bonds (baseball player) -Larry Bird (basketball player) -Michaelangelo Buonaroti (painter, better known as just Michaelangelo) -Hugh Jackman (actor) -Matt Groening (creator of The Simpsons) -Robert Crumb (cartoonist) -Albert Einstein (physicist) -Alexander the Great (world conquerer) -Helen Keller (inspired the blind) -Lord Baden-Powell (founder of the Boy Scouts) -Paul McCartney (a member of the Beatles) -Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta

(aka Lady Gaga) -Justin Bieber (singer) -Marie Curie (chemist) -Joan of Arc (French heroine)

Photo by beatlesfan94, Flickr user

Fictional -Link (protagonist of The Legend of Zelda video game series)-Bart Simpson (the Simpsons) -Bob Ewell (To Kill a Mockingbird) -Lord Voldemort (Harry Potter series) -Sasuke Uchiha (Naruto manga series) -Edward Elric (Fullmetal Alchemist manga series) -Spongebob Squarepants (protagonist of a cartoon of the same name, in one episode he claimed he had two left Photo by koka_ hands) sexton, Flickr user

by Patrick Lee

So What? Right-brain thinkers (left-handed people) are more often visual learners than left-brain thinkers. This is because left-hander’s brains use the right half more, which is responsible for creativity and visualizing. As a result, they are often naturally better at imagining 3-d objects and visual arts, as well as having some degree of outside-the-box thinking. This is supported by surveys showing that despite the lefthandedness prevalence rate (1 in 9 or 10), there is a much higher percentage of left-handed people with jobs in music, art, architecture, and ball sports (they have overall a better ability at imagining where the ball goes). In fact, some art colleges report that almost half of their student population is left-handed. In addition to these correlations, since left-handed people appear to think in ways different (sometimes in a wider range) from the right-handed, there has been an exceedingly high number of lefthanded Nobel prize winners and famous scientists. Left-handedness also seems to be prevalent in the history of US presidents. From 1929, out of the past fourteen presidents five were left-handed and two were left-handed who switched, therefore being ambidextrous. Strangely, this disproportionality isn't found in the politicians from other nations.

Causes of Left-handedness

Photo by Jeff the Trojan, Flickr user

The Modern Conception of Lefties Left-handedness is a very strange phenomena. At a prevalence rate of approximately 10-13% of the world’s human population, despite its uncommonness modern society moved along with it. For a strange trait that appears harmless, left-handedness has actually been strongly looked down on in many cultures. This opposition is in many forms, spanning from stereotypical thinking to the bias being incorporated in language. For example, take the keyboard term “mano sinistra,” which means “play with the left hand. Doesn’t “sinistra” sound a lot like “sinister?” Actually, that’s what it really means in Italian! Even when cultures grew along with left-handedness, many families still force their left-handed children to turn “righty.” This was the case for Freshman Preston Yeung, who experienced a fortunately painless “switch” because his parents caught this at an early age. “When my parents taught me how to write, they noticed that I was trying to hold my pen in my left. I guess they made me change so that it was easier for them to teach [me],” Yeung said. Now he wants his left-handedness back. Actually, a little more than that. “I want to be ambidextrous,” he proclaims. He even adds, “I kind of think of this as a little goal in my life.” He has been actively practicing this day by day, even now. “On Facebook, there’s this typing game. I’ve learned to use both hands on separate keyboards, so I’ve always been getting higher scores than a lot of others,” he said. Yeung describes the reason behind all of this. “I think that it’s good have to have equilibrium in both halves of the body. So far,

I can hold my chopsticks with both hands.” The next step, he describes, would be to learn how to write at the same time. Michael Nguyen (9), like Preston, was an exleft-hander. “When I was really young [before startPhoto by morecoffeeplease, Flickr user ing school] my mom taught me the alphabet,” he said, Since left-handers would smear “when she saw me hold my their writing when they write, it pencil in my left, she made is not uncommon for most leftme change, telling me that handers to write in a “hook.” doing things left-handed in a right-handed society would be difficult. So I followed [my mom’s instructions], and soon I lost my left-handedness. I do hold my toothbrush with my left though.” But unlike Preston, Nguyen doesn’t feel very strongly about his left-handedness. “I don’t really care a whole lot,” he admitted. “I’m fine being right handed. Ambidexterity sounds cool, but I don’t mind if I’m not.” Whether left-handedness is a good thing or bad thing, after society became modernized it has become more accepted in many societies, especially in America. Here, there is an official “Lefthander’s day,” which is celebrated annually on August 13.

-LRRTM1: This is the first gene that has been found to be correlated with left-handedness. However, this correlation is just as probable as genes linked to heart disease and lung cancer. This gene is also known for increasing mental illnesses and disorders like schizophrenia. -Testosterone*: A theory by Norman Geschwind suggests that above-average testosterone levels of a pregnant mother would affect development of the brain in the fetus. Here, more neurons would be developed in the right side of the brain (remember, the right side controls the left side of the body). Therefore, when the baby is born, it will be born left-handed. -Bodily Injury: Sometimes, when one is injured in the right side of the body Photo by lunar caustic, they would naturally switch to using their left side. Only when the left side has Flickr user been used long enough that the person would permanently use that side. -Signs in Later Fetus Development*: Evidence suggests that in a human fetus, whichever hand is held closer to the head would likely be the dominant hand. *hypothetical causes that have not been completely proven

Which is the left-handed guitar?

Photo by Duncan Brown, Flickr user

Photo by maury.mccown, Flickr user

Answer: The one on the right. Try imaging how the guitar would fit on your thigh if you sat with it.

-Scissors: since a left-handed person using a righty's scissors won't be able to see where they are cutting (the blade obstructs the cutter's vision), the blades are switched in reverse so that the obstruction would be removed. -Rulers: Same function, same wood. The only difference is that the order of the numbers is reversed. Photo by socio- -Guitars: of course, one could just make a left-handed guitard, Flickr user tar from a right-handed guitar by reversing the strings. But doesn’t anyone want a “true” left-handed guitar? Though in much smaller availability and priced slightly higher than right-handed guitars, these are still popular among those willing to pay for it. -Knives: some brands of kitchen blades are sharpened at an angle that only lets the right-handed cut comfortably. Thankfully, most brands have their knives sharpened so that they can be used at any side. -Pens with Grips: there are some pen brands where the grips are triangular shaped, and some fit comfortably for the right-handed, only. To combat this problem, most manufacturers make circular grips (Dr. Grip, A-gel, etc.). -Can Openers: Opening cans can be tricky. Opening cans with your weaker hand is just plain hell. -Notebooks: These are basically the same as the right-handed variety, except that it is opened the other way, from right to left.

photo by Linday Evans, Flickr user


Ceated and written by Paul Lewis

to Fool

Wanna sign up for some thing “special”

Alex, a senior at Monta Vista high school was startled from playing his game online by a

phone call. He casually walked off and answered the machine, from it came the voice of a gruff Frances Wu - “Theres nothing wrong with the army recruitment.

man, who said. “Hello there, my name is Sergeant Joseph and I represent a special college that would like to have you.”

Alex looked at the phone number and wondered if this was a prank call. Sergeant? he

thought, that doesn’t sound like a college… None the less he answered the man on the phone with.

“You mean the army right?” Alex had hoped to sound cool with it, but he found he’d said it

in a more incredulous way instead.

“Errr, no it’s a uhhh…,’ the voice of the Sergeant stuttered, but he rallied well and said, in

a more matter-of-fact tone. “ Yes, the military is looking for more people to recruit and it just so happens that what we want in a soldier is someone with your portfolio. Would you like to hear more?”

This is the same type of phone call that many seniors and juniors receive in the second se-

mester of high school. The army always trying to recruit the already stressed out students and lure them away from school with promises of excellent education. Though it may be good education, the army asks a high price. To do service for at least three years. The education you get from the Sasha Chin - “I don’t see why the army needs to lie to recruit people.”

army is mostly stuff you must know for combat, something teenagers should no really need. But many teenagers are actually recruited after they hear more information, wih the name “special college” becoming army most students are already caught in the trap laid by the army.

Alex had already wanted to join the army, but when he had heard the lie of the “special

college” he had quickly changed his mind and said “No thank you, I don’t think I really want to anymore.”

Looking Fitter

Every year the army has at least IJÇÈɼÁ¶Ã¸ºȺºÂº¹¸ÄÂÅÁºÉºÉÁÎÄǹ¾-

one promotional fair at every high

nary, were bviously army men. Jeffery

achieving school in America. This year Ying, a feshman, says ìthey looked

Sakash Aigner - “The armies recruitment is pretty legit, I don’t see a problem.”

they did it amongst the ìNo Drugs!î

at you encouragingly to get onto the

promotional fair. Hidden behind the

stuff.î And they did this for almost ev -

great cycling ring they had a push up

erybody, to make people se there own

and pull up stations set up to make a

attributes, the army men would then

student try it for a prize, generally a

say something like ì Ya know, the army

shirt and/or sticker, this year was no

is in need of some strong men.î That


isnít a obvious sign of recruitment is it?

Many students gathered around

the back of the skateboarding ring

However like all the years before

it, the army always looked at the high-

to show off how strong they are, and est scorer and smiled, as if trying to when they got there, people who at

invite them to join the army.

Pictures taken by: Beverly & pack and speric.

Work Hard or

Work Out

By Prianka Singh

Eat, Sleep,


“When I come back home from a swim meet, I’m tired… like dead tired. I usually just sleep for half an hour, start homework, and stay up really late.” Sandhya Bodapati, a freshman at Monta Vista, struggles to keep the straight A’s she had before joining the swim team. She not only had to stop volunteering, but also sleep three hours later each night, quit Speech and Debate, and cut down on weekend activities. “I’m not sure if being on the swim team is worth all the effort I’m putting in. I’m not getting enough sleep, I could be doing better on tests, it drains my energy, and I could be doing things that are more productive.” Another freshman, Ryan Khodi, has no time shortage from his afterschool sport. Before making the Junior Varsity Golf Team, Khodi spent at least five days out on the golf course each week. He practiced with some close friends, consistently improving his game.

He tried out for Varsity Golf and made the team; however, as a freshman, couldn’t stay on it. As a JV golfer, Khodi gets home by 5:30 after practices, finishes homework and sleeps enough to get a fresh start to a new day. “Fencing does not pull my grades down. In fact, I feel more motivated to finish my homework so I can get to practice.” Stephanie Wang, a freshman, plays a sport that most wouldn’t think of: fencing. She practices four days a week and often skips school for her tournaments. She is coached by Jay Choi and Eric Dew at First Place Fencing. Her skills have improved over the last three years she has fenced. Her medals and trophies in her room show off her many wins, most importantly the first place win in nationals. Students’ grades are often affected by the sports they play. Some, like Bodapati, have a hard time keeping up in their classes, while others have no problems, like Khodi. There is always the exception, like Wang, where students use their sport as their impulse to stand out in school.

? ? d d e e g g n n a a h h c c

What should be

Some students believe the times of the practices are very inconvenient. Most school sports have practices from three-thirty to five-thirty, and games from two to seven. These times can be very inconvenient. Some students have to miss their seventh period to go to their game, and some don’t start their homework until eight o’clock on those days. Traveling to other schools also takes up much of their time. Practices are also very time consuming because they last two hours, and most sports practice everyday.

practice time?

Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as

NO 67 %

you make use of.

-Charles Richards

The people that didn’t want any changes thought that a shorter practice would be pointless

YES 33%

Those that wanted a shorter practice have a harder time balancing their time between sports, school, and other extracurriculars.

When 100 Monta Vista athletes were asked if practices should be one hour, rather than two they had different opinions.

r r e e m m Swwiimm S

f o y a d e rag e v a e h T


Freshman Erica Ferng has many years of experience. She is dedicated to her sport, swimming. She made the Varsity team for swimming. Her day is much like others on the team.

Morning Practice

6:00 AM - 7:00 AM


7:30 AM - 3:00 PM

After-School Practice

3:30 PM - 5:30 PM zgchurch/3767023285/


6:30 PM - 10:30 PM



Filling the Bucket to its Fullest by Rachel Beyda No matter how much someone tries to con“We live, we die, the wheels on the bus go vince her that she will never catch a leprechaun round and round.”-The Bucket List or be able to fly, Plouse assures them, and herWhen Monta Vista students hop on that self, that she’ll find a way. Her goals may seem bus, some are focusing on the ride. Others ambitious, but she seems to have everything are thinking about the next stop. The rest are figured out. “The whole point of life is to be wondering what will happen when they walk able to smile on your death bed and say ‘Hey, I down those black stairs and step off into the had a good time’.” world of unknown. Whether it’s mental or Freshman Chetan Kopalle couldn’t agree written, realistic or fantasy, these students all with her more. His philosophy is to live life have bucket lists. A bucket list is a he whole point to the fullest. As similar as their viewpoints may be, the list of things someone wants to do of life is to be able to only common item on his and Plouse’s bucket lists is before they “kick the bucket”, or in smile on your death to learn Gaelic. Kopalle is looking at his other words, die. Although death bed and say ey had life from a different perspective. He’s a firm believer in may seem far off to the world ending in 2012, many high school a good time meaning that he thinks he students, life behas less than three years left before he himself fore death does not. Bucket lists are a way kicks the bucket. Unlike Plouse, he admits that of making it the best life possible, or even a he probably won’t be able to join the marines, way of distracting yourself from the unpleashula in Hawaii, or fight a shark before then. He ant thoughts of dying. still wants to live a thrilling life, going skydiv“I try not to think about death,” says 9th ing and taking risks that he confesses are stugrader Michelle Plouse. pid. Instead of focusing on death, she focuses on Teens’ bucket lists all seem to have one thing life. Some of her bucket list is what would in common. And no, it is not learning Gaelic. be expected of a normal high school stuIt’s the way that they all want to do something dent’s. It’s full of countries she wants to crazy, something they’d probably never do. visit, pranks she wants to play, and languagThey want to kick the bucket with a foot that’s es she wants to study. But at a closer look, done the hula in Hawaii or stepped in a mental her list is anything but ordinary. Plouse also asylum. They want to walk off the bus thinkwants to spend a week in a mental asylum, ing, “Wow, that was quite a journey.” Because complete an archeological dig, and talk to a even if the wheels on the bus will always go serial killer. round and round, they won’t always be there She’s dead serious. for the ride.


Rachel Beyda

PLANNING AHEAD Michelle Plouse shares that her bucket list includes everything from learning Gaelic to talking to a serial killer. When your entire past flashes before your eyes, sometimes all you can think about is your future. One might think that having a near-death experience would cause a person to try to start doing all of the things they want to do before they die, all of the things on their bucket list. According to Monta Vista students, neardeath experiences only sometimes have this effect. Nathan Faciolla’s dad left him in a car with the engine on when he was a little kid. Faciolla started to play around a little bit, and the car ended up rolling down a hill. He probably would have died if it wasn’t for a few cars at the end of the road that broke the car’s fall. Instead of creating a bucket list of crazy things to do before he dies, this experience actually made Faciolla more careful not to be dangerous. Ahmit Dingra’s neardeath experience had the oppo-

Towards the

Light by

Rachel Beyda

Picture by TexasTiger site effect. When he almost died in a surfing accident, he realized how easily life could slip away, and decided to live life to its fullest. Near-death experiences can often create this sort of a philosophy, causing people to create wild bucket lists. Not always though. Aneesh Prasad, who was threatened to be shot when his grandmother wouldn’t give a robber her jewelry, doesn’t think that it’s neardeath experiences that shape people’s bucket lists. “It’s life experiences, being inspired by people. As you get older you start to realize the legacy you want to leave behind, and you base your bucket list off of that.”

‘H , I ’.

Students share

their bucket lists


I would have a giant party and spend lots of money and have talks with my friends. -Cathy Ang

“ ” “ ” “ ” “ ” “ ” “ ” [I would] donate all my money, donate my organs, write my will, say good bye to everyone, and watch comedy movies to take my mind off impending doom. - Jonathan Huang

Poetically, yeah I would think about the significance of my life. Realistically? I would probably sit and scream in a corner. -Murahd Shawki

I would say things I’ve wanted to say for a long time to people, that I keep in my head now because it’s too risky to say them out loud. -Michelle Tsai

I would just have fun, be with people, and do really crazy things. Not stupid crazy, just fun crazy. I would spend the day distracting myself from any regrets or things I could have done. - Constance Robinson

I’d do something I’ve always wanted to do before I die. Not like robbing a bank or something, but something good like going to an organization and giving a large sum of my life savings to them. -Preston Yeung

I would probably just tidy everything up, arrange things, tie up as many loose ends as possible like this was a denouement of a plotline. Jessica Koe

What jobs does our future hold?

Matadors make career choices Monta Vista students plan ahead for their future careers Students at Monta Vista High School were asked whether they know what they want to be when they grow up. 20% of the students said yes definitely, 54% of them have some idea, and 26% are not sure what they want to be. Clearly, the majority of students kind of know what they want to be when they grow up.


Photo by Libby Kao


Photo by

CAREERS Libby Kao has experience teaching preschool. Kasie Wong is considering scholarship programs. Franchesca Yamamoto owns a company, and freshman Manasa Gurumoorthi has wanted to be a doctor since she was four years old. “I want to make a difference,” says Manasa, inspired by Elizabeth Blackwell, the world’s first female doctor. Although many have no idea or too many to choose from, these students at Monta Vista High School have already decided what they want to be when they grow up.

“I want to make a difference.”

Photo by Franchesca Yamamoto

Franchesca Yamamoto, freshman, is already working. In fact, she started a business when she was in middle school. Called the Bleu Umbrella Company, it is an international fashion company, and her house is a store. Franchesca designs her own fashions and has other Monta Vista students

working for her. Franchesca has aspired to be a fashion designer ever since her life changing trip to England in the summer of 2008. She says the “peaceful countryside”, “mature kids”, and “polite people” influenced her, as well as the new feeling of independence she acquired from traveling with her school. In addition, fashion runs in the family; her mother used to work in the industry and her aunt is a former designer. Starting work at such a young age gave Franchesca a head start. She says that twenty years from now, she might have an advantage over others in her field. Franchesca says her favorite part about being a fashion designer is “seeing the dream come to reality.”

“seeing the dream come to reality.” Freshman Kasie Wong is confident that she wants to be a research scientist. She has always wanted a career in science, and the main reason why she wants to become a research scientist is because her cousin is one in a selective research program. Kasie has heard that a research scientist has the freedom to research anything he or she wants, and that not too much time commitment is involved. Another reason why Kasie is keen on be-

ing a research scientist is because she feels more comfortable with a career that doesn’t involve interacting with people. Kasie is considering scholarship programs and colleges that are good for a science major, such as Davis where her sister attends. Libby Kao, freshman, has wanted to be a teacher since she was eight years old. Libby is interested in this career because she loves kids and has been impacted by some of her special teachers in the past. She has always had a life of love for learning. Libby’s grandmother, who was a teacher, used to tell her, “When you teach you’re interacting with people and you impact their lives.” “ impact their lives.” Libby has experience teaching preschool kids, and she babysits a lot. Since she loves children, she would prefer to teach elementary school if she had to choose. Libby’s favorite subjects in school are English and history, but she would like to teach art. “Art and music really gets to littler kids,” says Libby. These students are passionate about their career choices and have made plans to achieve their goal in life. Although they’re all at different stages in terms of planning, they have one thing in common, which is the confidence in the plans for their future career.

On Friday, March 26, Career Day was held at Monta Vista. From 10:50 to 12:45, students, teachers, and parent volunteers all participated in the event. The purpose of Career Day was to introduce students to various careers and answer their questions about education, getting the job, and about the job in general. The students had chosen their top five choices of career in their fourth period class on January 7th, and on March 26 received a schedule telling them where to go. The selection list included a variety of professions such as actor, marine biologist, farmer, etc. Some students found exactly what they wanted on the list. Freshman Chavi Checker said, “My favorite part about career day was going to see the career of a vet because I really love animals, so I thought it was the best part.” Each student went to three different classrooms to hear three speakers inform students about their careers. Teachers remained in their own classrooms and supervised, asking some conversation inspiring questions to the speakers. The speakers gave a speech to inform the students about a career and also answered questions such as, “Which college majors can lead to this type of job? What is the work environment like? What particular skills would be good to have?”. In addition, they answered questions about salary. After each presentation, the students rated the speakers on a sheet of paper which they dropped off in the rally court at lunch. “I liked the speakers that I went to since they helped me organize and focus my thoughts on a career,” said freshman Indira Purushothaman. Some of those speakers will return to Monta Vista for next year’s Career Day. Students had different opinions at the end of the day. Some thought Career Day was fun while others thought it was a waste of time, and many found it useful to learn about careers that they are interested in.

At the end of the day, students at Monta Vista had different opinions about Career Day. Out of the students surveyed, 40% said it was useful, 44% said it was fun, and 16% thought it was a waste of time.

Monta Vista High School’s The WHY for Holding on

Writing for Publication

The Story behind those Furry Pals

years. That means she hasn’t even touched them since she as fifth grade! So why keep them? She holds on to them for one reason only. Memories. Those memories of being with the family, altogether, unlike how life is now. Her parents are divorced, and sometimes Kalie just wants to escape. Escape to a place when everything was okay. A place where everything is warm soft gentle and of course fuzzy.

“ [Having a stuffed animal]

doesn’t remind me of what I did; it reminds me of who gave it to me and how I felt in that moment .”

Kalie is protective her little friends. It is like Little items from the past. Items that tell a she is a mama bear protecting her cubs. Well whole tale just in once glance or one prick in a sense. of the fuzz. You know these items, and you She never wants to rid herself of them. Not probably have some. They might be tucked ever. If that means having them buried with away somewhere hidden or they might b out her, she would do it. Actually that is pretty exin the open for the public to see but I bet you treme and she would only do that if her chilhave them. For some they show how life used dren would take them, but still! to be so innocent and certain. “[The stuffed animals are] something you had Those little items from the past that you keep from when you were little and when I look at for some reason. That reason that makes you them I have that feeling of comfort knowing let them keep gaining dust because of you be- someone is there that will sit down and hug me coming older and more mature. when I’m sad, listen to me when I have drama, Yet what reason is that? and just be there to comfort me. They are like What’s the reason people have for why they my portable best friend.” keep stuffed animals? Kalie’s stuffed animals are symbols of happy Kalie Hayes, a freshman at Monta Vista High moments in her life. Basically they are her school, is an expert with stuffed animals and happy place”. You know like those places in has a total of ten herself. movies people go to in order to become reHayes hasn’t played with her pals in over 4 laxed and at ease.

They are always that one special friend To adorable, and can’t part with Old Stuffed Animals. it

Sentimental Value Never had a chance The Reasons of to throw Why People them away. Still Have their

Memories of “Good” Times Decorattions in Reminder of Will always have a Friend room home Juanita Torres is a freshman at Monta Vista High School. She has many stuffed animals, but for her they don not show her past memories. They remind her of her childhood and loved ones. “You know when someone dies, what do you have left of them when they are gone? I have stuffed animals to remind of the people in my life or used to be.” Jordan Denoce is a freshman at Monta Vista High School. When asked about his collection of stuffed animals he laughed. Jordan is one of many that just have stuffed animals for..well just because. He has a “whole bed of them”, but he does not count his stuffed animals as him keeping them. “I don’t keep them. I just throw them all in my garage” he says. But yet why does he keep them? Answer is: He doen’t know.

Michael O’Dell is a junior at Monta Vista High School. He explains that he does not really have a reason for keeping all his stuffed animals. “I guess I keep them ‘cuz they look cool, but I really don’t actually know” he says. Michael is one of those people that just keep them just ..because.

Green: Sentamental Pink: Other Purple: Never had a chance to throw it away Blue: Cant get rid of them for some personal reason

Different Distractions

“Once, during a bio lecture, I plugged my iPhone into the wall and charged it.” Todd Bridges, Freshman

Under the Desk, Over Your Head In the back right corner of Mrs. Johnson’s first period art classroom, miscreantry runs rampant. Wedged elegantly between the airy windows and superhero adorned cabinets, the corner is a perfect microcosm of the classrooms of Monta Vista. Leaning against the messy cabinet at the back of the room, the hands and ears of every student in the table are visible. Unknown to Mrs. Johnson, students are listening to iPods, surreptitiously doing homework, even racing animated cars on PS3’s. “A PS3?” Johnson says, shocked at the idea. “Someone’s gonna die...” It’s hard, Johnson says, with the corners of the room. When an area is more difficult for a teacher to see, students lose focus. Art is one of the subjects most thoroughly impacted by short attention spans, because, as Johnson explains, there is always more work to be done, always potential to push. “Most of the time, when I catch a kid not paying attention, it’s with iPods or cell phones.” The most contradictorily productive dis-

traction, though, is not quite as interesting as most electronics. Many students rely on their inconspicuous seats to finish homework. Johnson has caught senior Harrison Reiss at work more than once. “I’m in math analysis,” he says. “I try to finish it at home. That day, I had work, and I had just broken up with my girlfriend.” Shuchi Gaur, a freshman, remembers her Lit class as the period to goof off. One particular day, in Ms Andersons class, she and her friend Sankeerti Haniyur, also a freshman, turned their desks together and played slide with their feet. “We got a point off of participation,” she says, then laughs, belatedly remembering the actual assignment the Anderson allotted to the free time. “We were supposed to be working on something. We finished early, I think...” While the impact on learning was minimal, Gaur is certain she will remember her fun distraction longer than the material she was supposed to be focusing on. When freshman Kayla Wong remembers the best moments of middle school, she doesn’t

“Music is definitely my distraction.”

“I used to play video games under the desk. On my gameboy. Specifically, Pokemon.”

Reeti Banthia, Freshman

“I usually stare off into space and either play random music in my head or think.” Grant Menon, Freshman

Charlotte Yuan, Sophomore

remember history projects, clubs, or even lunch time. Her eighth grade Lit teacher, Ms. McNair, was infamously lenient regarding the kind of tangents Johnson refused to tolerate. Wong gushes about McNair, reminiscing and praising her classes, using words like “awesomest,” “amazingest,” and “incredible.” “We did absolutely nothing,” she adds. Most of her memories are from the stretches of time given to work on grammar packets or silent reading. “We played random videos and messed with her powerpoints!” she almost sings. This year, in Mr. Coy’s Lit classroom, Wong continues to multitask, and continues to receive A+ grades in the class. One day, in November, she crafted a makeshift bow to decorate a friends locker using a stapler, two ribbons, and whiteout as glue in a parody of a logic puzzle. “I also count, in my planner, the number of days until important events, and write song lyrics.” Her planner is indeed filled with highlighted numbers, embellished days, and the entire lyrics to Taylor Swift’s Love Story. “It makes me happy.”


Texting, Daydreaming, Listening to Music. What do Monta Vista students do...

Desk the

Sagaree Jain

See No Evil, Hear No Evil,

Text No Evil

The literal underside of a school desk is an inscrutable treasure trove “This whole year,” Fallon adds, “I’ve only taken two of guilty pleasures. Stuck between the metal legs and the wood, play- phones.” ful, treacherous, once colorful splotches of bubble gum are a mark of Without a doubt, more than two students have used a previous occupants, as are the carefully scratched, cryptic messages phone in her classroom. So the extra conversations disappeared to future generations, testaments to teenage boredom. The most im- either due to Fallon’s oversight or leniency, and the high, narrow permanent monument to short attention spans, though, are the elec- lab tables in the austere room makes oversight unlikely. tronics hidden just below the surface. Fallon is not the only teacher with a low con Cell phones. fiscation rate. Crystal Coppel, a secretary in the The most frequent distraction to Monta Vista office, sees the entire system when she returns phones to students through the office. high schoolers is texting- texting quiz answers, texting pictures, or just tex “On average, I’d say I get about 6 phones a week,” she says. “But some times, I have 6 in a ting to text. And, according to school policy, any phone out in class has day. There are two phones in my desk right now.” to be confiscated; teachers have no The cell phone trade is clearly not as plentiful as choice. the popularity of texting during class would indi “No one likes taking away phones,” cate. The school policy regarding cell phone use is says Mrs. Renee Fallon, a Biology stringent, but the enforcement is not so definite. and AP Bio teacher. “No teacher When asked if she has ever given back a phone likes being the bad guy.” But it is without turning it in to the office, Mrs. Fallon nods. school policy, so most teachers “Nikitas Kanellakopoulos, fresh- “Sometimes, if it’s a little thing like ringing in a turn in the phones to the office. man, has firsthand experience backpack.” “Teachers are paranoid,” with the gentle nature of the cell Nikitas Kanellakopoulos, freshman, has firsthand Fallon says, explaining the teach- phone confiscation policy.” experience with the gentle nature of the cell phone ers point of view. No one wants to confiscation policy. “It’s happened to me before,” end upon Youtube, and unfortunately, it has happened to he says, remembering a teacher who took his phone, only to teachers before. A phone could be used to humiliate in- return it before submitting it to the office. structors, another reason the school policy bans phones The underside of the desk seems a mysterious, rebelfrom classrooms. But how many phones are actually con- lious, place, but teachers often understand the gum bits and graffiscated? fiti even better than the students.


Lincoln’s greatest tradition, Ms. West says, “is teachers that care.” People that care. Students that take the came here for soccer practices time to come back and visit. “Hadar on the field, but I don’t think I’ve ever would come and visit every year since really reminisced like I am right now,” she graduated in 2006,” said Ms. West. says Hadar Sachs as surveys the empty In fact, a lot of Ms. West’s students campus. Well, almost empty. A dad come back to visit. “If they’re alumni, and his two sons bike near the primary then they usually do.” When they come graders’ lunch area. back to visit, they are usually greeted Hadar is one of many Mata- by her collection of Mr. Potato Heads. dors that attended Lincoln Elementary They’re not present in her class today. School, right next to Monta Vista High. Ms. West scoots back in her swivel chair Despite our proximity, many of Lin- and picks up a puzzle of an elephant. coln’s former students haven’t returned “This is what one of them made for me to visit. Elementary school is not far in Woodshop,” she says, picking it up. away; it’s just a ways down memory One of her former students visits often, lane. And if we take the time to look, and each time he brings with him an most of our memories are alive, thriv- elephant. “Now I have a collection of ing and in color. elephants because elephants never for Memories are interesting get and I rarely forget.” things— you can’t touch them, you In fact, she remembers almost can’t experience them— they don’t all of her students. “[While they were even technically exist. Yet, memories my students], I could tell you every one are very much real. What brings them of their best friends, their favorite colto life in the minds of people? ors, where they shop.” That’s how she “My favorite memory of Lincoln forms bonds with her students, makes was probably the 5th grade play… We memories. It’s the little things that she would sit in class and the practice the does with them- teasing them, talking songs over and to them, reading over again- I to them outside on don’t even re- You don’t leave elementary the grass on sunny member them school thrilled that you learned days. And it’s the now. It was a little things students good environ- grammar, but because you’ll be remember. ment to be in.” “Now in high Hadar remem- remembered. school, I still carry bers her days as with me some of one of the “History Police.” the stuff I learned while Ms. West was my teacher. She was strict, but not too So is it the environment that strict, and she was the one that really makes a memory memorable? encouraged me to run. She was a run ner, and in the book Bridge to Terabithia There are a lot of places at they ran barefoot, so we’d run out here, Lincoln that Hadar remembers as and she’d run with us barefoot. Yeah, she squints out over the grounds- the she’s definitely part of the reason I beReading Garden, the Library. “It was came so into running.” Hadar is now so open,” Hadar says of the Lincoln li- part of the Track team at MV, and she brary. “Anyone could go there- it was agrees that her days at Lincoln have rejust a great environment.” But perhaps ally made her who she is- helped deterthe best place of all for Hadar was in mine her friends and lifestyle. Ms.West’s room. “Traditions and memories make Ms. West’s room is messy. Pa- you who you are,” Ms. West stated. And pers are strewn around on desks— the while she concedes that a lot of people good old-fashioned kind where the in- remember Hadar for her athletic ability, dividual desk is detached from the seat, Ms. West remembers Hadar for her perand has a cubby. “I apologize, we just sonality. “What do I not remember of had a little bit of crazy around here. It’s her? She had an incredible enthusiasm, not usually like this.” And it isn’t. Ms. a different take on things, and wasn’t West is reputed for being strict. “And afraid to voice her opinion. She’s just my students know that,” she adds. But one of those students you can’t forget.” it’s one of those things- you have to be What makes memories memoin her class to really know. rable? It’s the people that bring them “We still had normal rules, like to life in full color. You’re remembered ‘treat people the way you want to be for who you are. “I want my students to treated,’ but you wouldn’t feel obli- remember that I loved them,” says Ms. gated to do anything right. You were West. “Hopefully, I’m one of the few just obligated to try. And when you did things that doesn’t change in a world something right, it would feel so much that’s constantly changing.” Traditions better,” recalls Hadar. and memories aren’t made to be passed Among Lincoln’s many tradi- down. They’re meant to be lived. They tions, Hadar’s favorite is the Halloween live through people. March. “It was a chance to parade how Memories are kind of strange cool we were.” The colors are painted like that- you can’t touch them, you forever into her memory- that’s all she can’t experience them- they don’t even remembers, just looking around and technically exist. But you can make seeing all the costumes. She hopes that, them. “You don’t leave elementary if she comes back to visit on Hallow- school thrilled that you learned grameen, that she’ll see the costumes again, mar,” Ms. West laughs, “but because parading around under the ripening you’ll be remembered. 0 leaves like all the years before.

So is it the traditions that make great memories?

Memories Technicolor

by Smitha Gundavajhala

Class of 2010

Hadar revisits Lincolnand her memories of Lincoln. photos by Smitha Gundavajhala

What I will remember best about Lincoln...

What makes a memory?


“The playground, probably.”

“The field trips.”

“The teachers.” Kurumi Ota

Amanda Lam

Except from high school.

Margaret Schwiebert

Snapshot in Time Picture Day is the one date we have to remember, because our mothers scrubbed our faces until they shone more than our spit-polished shoes. Giggling nervously at the photographer’s jokes, we stood in line, comparing combs and fidgeting. And when it was our turn, we stepped up to the lens with our game face on, because this picture- this moment- was going to be in the yearbook. Yet, we don’t know half the other dates of yearbook production. Once the camera clicks, all we know of the photo is that it will be in the yearbook. In middle and high school, a team of students is usually in charge of this publication. But in elementary school, how does the photo go from the camera to the page? Susan Satya, head of the Lincoln Yearbook Committee, takes us through yearbook production as it progresses throughout the year. Fall brings the first day of school. Parent volunteer requests are already sent home in the students’ folders. The first picture day usually happens around then. The team gets into action. “We give them a few guidelines, like to take the head and shoulders in a student’s picture,” says Mrs. Satya. The most experienced helpers are given priority in the process. Then the helpers are sent off. Mrs. Satya herself takes pictures: “I love to take pictures, so I always have my camera on me.” Octo-

They list all the teachers they’ve had since kindergarten, ticking them off the fingers of their left hand. It’s like second nature to them by now: the people they’ve met, the things they’ve done, the places they’ve gone. Fifth graders Kurumi Ota, Amanda Lam, and Margarita “Margie” Schwiebert have been there, done that, and are ready to move on. Are they? “Kinda,” says Margarita uncertainly. “Ehh,” say Amanda and Kurumi. The latter two are nervous about being pixies at Kennedy. But they are all curious. The jump from elementary school to middle school is one of the biggest events to happen to them since the time they became friends. And these three have known each other for a while. “I knew you from second grade,” Kurumi points to Amanda, “but I knew you from fifth grade,” she says to Margarita. “Really? I knew her from third grade,” replies Amanda. “I’ve been here since kindergarten,” volunteers Margarita. The point is that they’ve been friends for a long time. And all of them are moving into Kennedy together. They’re lucky to make the transition together, considering that part of the Class of 2010 sections off into Lawson. That’s what these 5th graders are- the Class of 2010. Except they’re graduating from Lincoln. They’re more or less the seniors of elementary school- just like our seniors, they’re stepping out of the nest next year to move on to the next great adventure. And, give or take, they’ll all graduate togetheragain- in 2017.

photo by Smitha Gundavajhala

Will they miss their teachers? All three nod yes. No matter how distant the future seems, Lincoln- and everything else they know- will be with them as they venture into the future. For now, they wait until the fall, when the three of them will start all over again.

A look at the Lincoln Yearbook

ber is a big month. “Halloween is a huge photo op. A lot, a lot of pictures,” says Mrs. Satya. So it’s only logical that phototaking begins this month. Winter is perhaps one of the most sentimental times of year. Everyone’s excited for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and others- and glad for the accompanying break. Moms snap shots eagerly, hovering over their children like the paparazzi. A good third of these pictures goes to yearbook. The yearbook cover contest (“No other school does it this way… it’s a Lincoln tradition,” adds Mrs. Satya) happens around this time. The only rule is to have a leopard on the page, and then it’s up to the teachers to judge the entries. There is only one winner. Well, two. But only one gets the front cover. Spring is almost the end of picture-taking… last-minute pictures and individual shots are collected for collages. Then it gets really busy- the assembly begins. The shots are collaged, the class photos labeled, and final touches in layout and design are added. “Ask anyone how stressed I am this time of year,” laughs Mrs. Satya, “And they’ll tell you. I keep saying, ‘Give me the pages so I can put it together!’” 6 weeks before the end of the year (midApril) the yearbook is submitted for printing. A week later, a proof comes back,

and that proof is the last they see of the yearbook until the end of the year. After it’s approved, they wait. Summer has the school buzzing with energy. Summer vacation’s nearly here, and while some can’t wait to begin their vacation, others cling tenaciously to the good times. The yearbooks have arrived. “At that time a lot of people are curious: ‘What does it look like?’ But we can’t tell you. It’s a secret,” Mrs. Satya mock-whispers. “Lincoln has a tradition always to hand them out on the second-to-last day. When the yearbooks come out, [the kids] love it, they are so excited- it’s like a celebration.” Thanks to the consideration of the teachers, those who haven’t ordered a yearbook still get the front and back cover, class photos, and of course, empty pages to sign on. The students look for familiar faces within each teacher’s 2-page spread, and on the grade spread. Mrs. Satya enjoys the process of yearbook making, but it’s seeing the students’ reactions to the yearbook that makes it worthwhile. “It’s the best,” she says.

Apple Pages and the Scrapbook Factory manage the pages on a large scale. How did we ever get by without computers?

This is still your traditional yearbook... and and what yearbook is complete without Picture Day pictures?

Each classroom gets a 2-page spread, and another two for the entire grade. That adds up to a lot of pages.

Everything is digital this year... a combination of Picasa, Adobe Photoshop, and sheer brilliance help breathe new life into the pages.

Image taken from the 2008-2009 Lincoln Yearbook

HHome By: Soumya Kurnool

Why Alone?


Parents have a variety of reasons for only having one kid – health problems, traditions, superstitions. But who’s ever heard of the law banning you from having children? Only in China. The population stands at 1,338,612,968 (July 2009 est.) making it the most populous country in the world. In the “best interests” of the country, China has restricted the number of children per family to simCourtesy of ply one, except in the case of ethnic minorities and parents who are only children themselves. The policy has been in play since 1979 and has prevented 250 million births. Officials think this is a good thing. But is parents from having the joy of a child and preventing children from having a life really as good as they think it is? Freshman Angela Lin was born an only child in China thanks to the only child policy. Surprisingly enough Lin supports the policy that prevented her from having a sibling. “I do support the policy,” Angela confirmed. “It doesn’t kill babies, and it helps. It’s the best and only way to go without killing people.” Her parents do not quite agree. Her father wishes for a bigger family, yet was turned down by the law. “[The policy is] not fair to the parents who want kids,” Lin reflected. “According to Chinese custom, the more kids you have, the better. But this is necessary to decrease the population.” But in the long run, does Lin really like the way the policy affected her? “I like being an only child...Once I met all my friends’ siblings, I knew I didn’t want siblings of my own.” A mischievous grin played on her face.

Sophomore Alex Lin lightly pants as she pedals home. Pulling the remote from her

pocket, she presses the button. With a rumble, the pink door slides up and over her. She parks her bike to see her dog, Pepper, greeting her. Lin throws her bag down, and goes to the fridge to pick out strawberry Yoplait. She gulps it down, eyes on a Peanuts comic. Baby Blues, For Better or For Worse, and Zits follow. Lin then dutifully starts her French III homework. Meanwhile, a car pulls into the driveway of the Bhide residence. Freshman Saee Bhide waves to her carpool before her footsteps fall towards the door. A key turns; Bhide is inside. Socks tread to the fridge. Throwing it open, Bhide finds a sandwich and kiwi. Kiwi in hand, she flops onto a couch facing the TV. After some recorded House, Bhide takes up her math book. Chavi Checker comes home from diving at 5:15 in a silver Toyota. Mom asks the usual: How was your day today? What homework do you have? Any tests? A chicken mayo sandwich and an apple await her. While watching missed episodes of American Idol, Chavi starts her Spanish II homework. These three girls have different homes, different courses, and Woof: Pepper greets the camera. different snacks. But they all have one thing in common; they are Photo by: Alex Lin home alone. Bhide, born in Pune, India, revels in being home alone as an only child. “I love being an only child,” Bhide said. “I get all the attention.” Checker, from New Delhi, India, begs to differ. “It’s boring as an only child. You have no one to talk to!” Lin is neutral. “I’m fine being an only child.” She was born in Winipeg, Canada. “I don’t know how it feels to have a sibling,” Lin says as she ponders about her childhood. “[Siblings] should be happy [to] have someone to talk to.” Her little brother is Pepper, an amiable black Miniature Schnauzer. Bhide finds siblings in a 16 year old “sister” and 11 year old “brother.” “We’re close” Bhide said. “...[but] I don’t need to deal with them every day. I don’t have any stress from them through the week...It’s like a mix of both worlds.” A younger Bhide had wished for a sibling. After moving to America, she realized she was glad to be an only child. “There’s no other kids to disturb me and my family,” Bhide stated. “[If there were,] my activities would be cut in half, and I’d need to make sure Family Reunion: Bhide and her “siblings” there’s enough time for [siblings’ activities].” huddle for a group photo. Checker still dreams of having a sibling, unlike Photo by: Saee Bhide Bhide. A twin brother to be precise. Someone to talk to later in life. But there’s no question that all three to some extent rely on other sources for comfort

Happiness Alone Courtesy of

and conversation. “Friends are important,” Bhide commented. “It’s good to have good friends when you don’t have someone to come home to.” Friends have helped all three through the years. Checker and Bhide stick to a friend most of the time. Lin spends time with friends at school, then reaches out to them through chat at home. Checker agreed. “Friends are really important; almost as important as having your parents helping you every step of the way. They’ve helped me through all my hard times, like when I lost my dog. And they helped me cheer up.” Relieved of homework, Lin cheerfully heads over to the microwave at 6 PM to heat dinner. Salad and veggies. Her parents wait at the table as she nears them, her hands bearing two dishes. The TV blares in the Checker household, an indication of dinner time. Checker settles down on the couch with her mom and dad. Sinking her teeth into roti and cabbage, she is washed away in a new episode of American Idol. Bhide also takes roti and heads over to the couch for 24. Her parents are already intently watching the screen. Bhide takes her place between them; and everything seems as it should be.

In life, we tend to run across more people with siblings than only children. The question of the matter is “Who is happier?” Researchers found that there was a higher level of happiness in the only child of the family or the youngest child rather than children in the middle (Park & Peterson, 2006). But why? Think back to your childhood (if you have a sibling). Didn’t you have more attention than your older sibling? And if you were the older sibling, didn’t you have a great time being in the limelight 24/7 before your sibling was born? Courtesy of Happiness is linked hand in hand with love and care. Bhide agreed, saying “I love being an only child [because] I get all the attention.” A baby who is given more focus and care is more likely to be happy than one who was ignored. Likewise, a child who is given more attention is happier. And who else gets all the attention but the only child? It makes sense. And the statistics agree. Out of 125 students at Monta Vista, 15 out of 25 only children were happy being an only child. 16 out of 100 students with siblings found themselves wishing to be an only child, with attention around the clock and no parasitic siblings.

Are you happy as an only child?

Are you an only child?

Are you happy with siblings? Unhappy

Only children



Photo by: Saee Bhide

Photo by: Alex Lin

Photo by: Soumya Kurnool

Say Cheese: The Bhides grin in the kitchen (left); The Lins beam on Hawaii’s sunny beaches (center); Checker smiles sunnily with her friends (first from right).

Have siblings


Y o u by Stephanie Chang

Are My


to ho


t mo


n Be


Act I

vine of

We all play different roles in life. Whether it’s the student, the friend, or the friendly neighborhood nemesis, we all have somewhere to go, someone to be.

siblinghood Playing Pretend. Shopping. Bonding. High fives, fights, wrestling matches. Hugs. Banter. Gossip and news. Lessons learned, memories saved. Siblings.

“Once, this guy in my grade thought my sister wrote something [nasty] on a whiteboard last year, and he was trying to tackle her for questioning. She didn’t [write] it and I got so angry at the guy, I wanted to rip his head off.”

Scene 1: you’re in the classroom, the straight-A student, the slacker in the back, or an ordinary Joe or Jane. Scene 2: you’re oustide, chillaxing with some friends. You’re either the life of the party, or the death of it. And the saying goes: Once a student, always a student. Once a friend, always a friend. Once a sibling, always a sibling. Scene 3: you’re at home. Are you the older sibling, or the younger? Are you the sun that nurtures, or the light that irritates? May you be the flowers that arches towards the light, or are you the weeds that grow along the way, stunting growth?

ACT 3: The Sun In The Sky

Vincent Huang (9)

“I know that at any given time, I have somebody to look for help if I get in trouble. I’m rarely lonely.”

Spencer Huang (9)

Stuti Pandey, 20

“It’s annoying having a twin sometimes, but I know that [Vincent] will always be there for me.”

Pooja Pandey (9)

“[Having an older sister let] me know a lot about Monta Vista before coming here. I knew which clubs I was going to do, and I knew which standards and expectations to exceed.”

What’s it like, hanging in the sky? Constantly nurturing, always bonding, consistently bringing brightness to the black and white shades. “Having a younger brother really stresses me out,” says Norie. Besides having a 23-year-old sister, Norie Omiya also has a younger brother, who is 11. “I have to be the role model, and that kind of frustrates me, because I’m not perfect. Every little thing I do wrong is my fault. It’s hard.” It’s not easy. There are responsibilites to carry, images to keep. Sometimes, you might have to play the roles of both a parent and a sibling. “I love my brother,” says Julia Guo, a junior. She has a baby brother, who “But it doesn’t feel right is two. “But I have to babysit him a lot, and he can be annoying. He comes into my room and messes things if she doesn’t burst around. It can be troubling.” into my room every Regardless, Julia wouldn’t have it any other way. “I love [my little brother],” says Julia, laughing. “He’s five minutes, asking always saying, ‘Sister is really cool!’ and he gives a cute thumbs up sign. I love him.”

ACT 4 It’s never easy growing up, especially with siblings. They share part of the house, and part of you, as



ith the two of them perched next to each other, you wouldn’t have guessed. Their wings are orange and black, like a stained glass window of a tiger. One eats toxic milkweeds. One sips sap from willow trees. One is a Monarch butterfly, one is a Viceroy. They two species look so similar, they could’ve been twins. Twins. Shared from a single egg, seperated into two. They harbor the same genes, the same appearance, the same age. They share everything together. But are they close? Do they hold hands as they cross the street, never wishing to be apart? Or do they run away from each other, hating their mirrored reflection of themselves?

connected, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they get along. We’ve had twins that fight all the time. They don’t want to be associated with their brother or sister because they’ve been associated with them their entire lives,” says Sarah Brown, a counselor at Kennedy Middle School. “On the other hand, I’ve seen some twins who are best buddies. It depends, but twins are usually much more connected than normal pair of [siblings].”

Photo by brother_sister on But to Janani, having siblings that old is like having five more parents and friends that aren’t as strict. “They help with everything. From academics to curriculars to life. They look out for me. They’re part of me, my family.”


Temari o n

“Studies have shown that [twins] can be quite

What’s it like, looking up at the lighted skies? Is the view nice? Are you bending towards the sun, or away from it? Norie Omiya, a sophomore, reaches towards the sunshine. “I like having an older sister. And even though she’s far away, I can “Since she’s a girl, call her or text her and she would respond. She’s she can drive, and always there for me,” says Norie. “But when she’s back here, we do sister stuff and bond. Since she’s has a credit card, we a girl, she can drive, and has a credit card, we go Norie Omiya (10) go shopping and have shopping and have fun. It’s really great.” fun.” Or occasionally, maybe not so great. “Sometimes when I’m walking on the street with my brother, people mistake us for father and daughter,” says Janani Natarajan, a freshman. Janani has five older siblings, ranging from the ages of 30 to 38. “I felt like an only child a lot when I was growing up, since they were all at college.”


Photo by

Whitney and Priscilla Chung, freshmen, are a pair of identical twins. They do not get along. “I don’t like [being a twin] that much,” says Whitney. They are constantly facing off with disagreements and bickerings. Priscilla Chung, her twin sister, nods Priscilla Chung (9) and adds, “It’s annoying having a twin. We fight a lot, but it’s a sibling relationship, [fighting]’s only natural. But since you’re a twin, you will fight more.”

ACT 2: The Younger Sapling

Preston Yeung (9) and Claudia Yeung (7)


Mimic Me

Photo by Warm n’Fuzzy on


n oo


o r.c

k lic

me about what to do next.”

well. Sometimes, they suck. They might eclipse your time to shine for a while. They might hurt you with their harsh rays of words. But it’s not the same without them. “[My younger sister] bothers me constantly,” says Emerald Ip, a sophomore. “I love my [older] sister very much,” says Dennis Su, a junior. “Without her, the house just seems like it’s...lacking something.” Playing the role of the sibling...isn’t all that bad.

On the other hand, Cindy and Nelson Jung, freshman, share a neutral friendship. “For the most part, we’re friends,” says Cindy. “We share things in common. We understand each other.” Besides his role as a younger brother, Nelson provides a comfort zone for Cindy. “He and my other brother, Jason, are both very protective of me,” says Cindy. “I don’t feel so alone with him around.” But just because they look identical, it doesn’t mean that they’re the same person on the inside. Just because a viceroy butterfly looks like a monarch, it doesn’t mean that they’re the same. They’re different, once you take a look at who and what they are on the inside.

Obsessed Obsession with

a story by Sumi Pidaparthi

Quote Reel “Habit and routine have an unbelievable power to destroy.” -Henri De Lubac “Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

the scoop

Scrubbing away at the germs on your hands, counting your every step, repeatedly checking to see whether your car door is locked or shut, or even arranging objects in certain angles before exiting a room. If any of the above applied to you then you might just be suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or “OCD.” The dictionary definition of obsessive compulsive disorder is “an anxiety disorder and is characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/ or repetitive behaviors (compulsions).” OCD is a disorder which can affect the lives and day to day relationships of many and about 1 in every 50 americans shows symptoms or is a victim to it. Victims of OCD are likely to undergo stressful mental challenges as they deal/cope with their unwanted thoughts through rituals of some sort. Even the noteworthy soccer player David Beckham has faced his fair share of battle with this disorder as he has reportedly has an obsession with counting all his clothes, rearranging hotel rooms, and is addicted to getting tattoos because of the needle pains. Savannah Thompson, a sophomore at Monta Vista High shared her compulsion: “I have to always, always order my colored pencils in a rainbow before I begin coloring, otherwise it feels weird.” while freshman Gisella Joma on the other hand feels the need to dance for 5


minutes every single morning in hopes of feeling good throughout the day, “Its this crazy thing I do in order to feel better. Its like a motivational tool for me, I just have to do it.” While these compulsions are mild, there are implications for other rituals. “I once over washed my hands to the point where I had to go see a dermatologist because my hands just stayed red and blotchy. It was so gross.” Tammy Pak, a sophomore of Cupertino High School reveals, “I got bumps and there was a lot of skin inflammation.. all because I was obsessed with cleaning the nitty gritty.. it taught me a huge lesson.” In recent years scientists have even classified sufferers of these symptoms into two groups – the standard, and the other nicknamed “pure O.” The standard group goes through compulsion as well as unwanted thoughts/obsession(the whole deal) while the “pure O” group is strictly obsessions only. This means that they only undergo mental trauma and tend to avoid the situations in which contact with the unwanted may arise. For example, a germaphobe who would strictly avoid germs in order to minimize the mental burden or feeling the need to wash hands. The roots of OCD are quite a controversial topic as every single culture seemed to have different variations but the earliest recorded were practices done from the 14th to 16th centuries. During that period people with abnormalities and eccentricities were thought to be under possession of the Devil so a banishing ceremony or exorcism was performed. Exorcism when defined by a dictionary is “the practice of evicting Demons/other spiritual entities from a person or place that they are believed to be possessed by making the entity swear an oath.” This practice may have branched from the belief that Jesus encouraged his followers to ‘cast out’ the devil within themselves. In the Roman Catholic church exorcism is ritualistic and not a sacramental occurrence. Surprisingly Mother Teresa underwent exorcism later on in her life as she was reportedly suffering from insomnia. However, from a more scientific viewpoint OCD has been said to be caused by the neurotransmitter serotonin which was then recently supported by the fact that many people’s symptoms got better after taking serotonin supplements. Scientists also believe that OCD can be taught. If parents are highly particular about certain things then it is probable that

exhibit A a look into the life of a noteworthy victim Howard Hughes was best known for almost everything – from being one of the first aviators, his big budget and controversial films, and being a world class philanthropist but underneath all the layers of success he suffered from OCD which eventually led to his demise. The tragic story of his illness was later portrayed in a 2004 biographical film starring Leonardo DiCaprio who was cast as Howard. The roots of his mental illness began to show as early as the 1930s when he was 25 – some of his close acquaintances reported about his passionate obsession for peas (his most loved food) and that he would use specific types of forks to sort them by size. Many of his close friends also said that he was eternally fixated on small trivial details that most would overlook. For example, while he directed the movie “The Outlaw” he couldn’t stand the way the lead actress’s (Jane Russel) blouse would scrunch up during takes. This upset him to the point that he drew out a detailed plan to help fix that problem. However in 1947 his biggest bout of mental illness broke out as he locked himself away in one of his movie studio’s for nearly 4 months. He survived on chocolate bars and milk and went to the bathroom in the empty bottles and containers. He also was reported to have surrounded himself with Kleenex and exclusively picked up items with the aid of it. Hughes wrote detailed messages to his housekeeping telling them to not speak to him

their children will go out into the world with similar or even stronger abnormalities. For example if the sanitation of hands was stressed in one household it is likely that future generations will also share the same aspect of lifestyle as it was taught repeatedly. There are many treatments for this disorder, however. Some might include other medications, phsycosurgery which involves an incision in the brain, electroconvulsive therapy and cognative therapy. However the most common treatment sought after in Americans are the medications. The bottom line is that Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is on the rise, and while there are many many preventatives.. you probably still have it or will know someone who has it.

unless asked and he often sat naked watching movie after movie. By the time he came out of the studios his sense of hygiene was gone and he was severely malnourished. But it didn’t stop there. Hughes moved to the Beverly Hills Hotel and spent approximately 11 million dollars executing a similar routine and watching the film Ice Station Zebra on a loop over and over again. Unfortunately, for the remainder of his life he failed to get the help necessary help and he disappeared from the public eye – reported dead, murdered, in a mental institution, and even terminally ill. Howard Hughes died on April 5th 1976.

fact reel 1) ocd is associated with higher IQ. “very nature of the disorder necessitates complicated thinking patterns” 2) OCD cost the U.S. $8.4 billion in 1990 in social and economic losses. 3) after adolescence ocd isn’t able to be completely erased from a person’s mindset - they are still likely to show symptoms even with therapy. 4) less than 10% of sufferers are in treatment. 5) can worsen due to stress or illness.

Too much to do. Too little time... By Tiffany Lian

There are ALWAYS reasons “Omg! I have so much homework today!” or “Dude... I’m going to be up all night doing so and so’s homework”. These are both some of many commonly heard phrases from overworked Matadors who stay up until after midnight to finish their homework daily. Matadors often complain about the immense amounts of homework that are assigned to us everyday, and how everything is due so soon. But during the midst of completing this overwhelming load of homework, are Matadors using their time to its fullest potential? Most students are easily distracted by minute things such as creaking floors, other people in the house going around making noise -- even a siren in the distant background. However, the most addicting thing of all is Facebook. A survey done showed that Facebook distracts 4 out of 5 students from their homework. 75% of students admit to checking Facebook daily, and 80% say that it is distracting. According to University of Adelaide media expert Dr. Rob

He usually sleeps at around midnight, even on days where he doesn’t have as much homework. It’s not that there’s too much homework, it’s that too much time is wasted on focusing on chat, then homework, then chat again.


BIG The BIG players


Video Games 20.2%






35.36% Chat



What distracts Monta Vista Students the most? Taking Pics.

Staying at Music School 7.32%







Working Out 4.88%

This website has been a popular hit among people of all ages - especially high schoolers - and has spread over Monta Vista. Students easily lose track of time, reading everyone’s statuses, looking at newly posted pictures, and sometimes even peoples’ wall-to-walls.

Non School Proj.

Non School HW 10.98%


Phone Quicklys

Right now we’re in a ‘electronics’ generation, and many parents think that the problem is that students nowadays have TV and game consoles in their rooms. A survey done by Kaiser showed that about half of kids have a video game player in their rooms; more than two-thirds have TV sets. What better way to be distracted? Students also say that another distraction is when your turn on chat to ask your friends about homework, but as soon as you sign in, your friend sends you a message reading ‘Sup?’. Then you guys go on to chat about something totally unrelated to homework.

Volunteer Work

The results?

How does the homework load vary depending on the grade you’re in?

Jiyoon Park Junior

“It takes me on average 30 minutes [to do my homework] because I tend to do things extremely fast,” Daniel says. 30 minutes?! And he still gets almost straight A’s. With a B or two mixed in. According to most Monta Vista students, this would be impossible. But Daniel does it. How? By go-

Even things like books, which are supposedly ‘good for you’, can distract people from homework. In some ways, it can be even more distracting than the internet.

Also, only taking 30 minutes to do homework must mean that on weekends he does everything in advance that he knows about, right? Wrong.

How? “Cause I can lock myself out of the internet, but that book is just up there... [lying] on my desk,” freshman Fangfei Li says. Being considered very talented by many of her peers in her grade, even Fangfei gets distracted from homework... just by different things. Now with electronics, there are so many things to get distracted by. Especially when your parents work everyday, and can’t reign you in all the time. So the problem isn’t that we have too much homework. According to many experts, parents, and teachers, we just aren’t expedient enough.

But how does she pay attention? She has a Facebook and a Gmail. The deathtraps of most teenagers.

Wei Cui, a sophmore at Monta Vista, leads a slightly different life. When getting home, turning on the computer is the first thing he does. Right after putting his backpack down and getting a cold drink. “Its the first thing I do when I get home,” he says, “and I’m on until I sleep.”

After getting home at 3:15, Daniel gets comfortable and makes a beeline for his violin. He starts practicing, and how long he actually practices depends on how far he gets. After all his violin practicing, taking a shower, etc., he sleeps at around midnight. However, how much of this time is used for homework?

Freshman Rohit Saharoy commented, “When I go on chat I try to just ask about the homework that I need. However, often I get distracted and have side conversations which makes me lose track of time. Then I take longer to finish my hw.”


“I just can’t live with telling the teacher that I didn’t do my homework,” she explains. “[I do my homework on the weekends] if I know it in advance.”

Other than the kids that waste time while they do homework and therefore have to sleep late, there are the kids who sleep late because of after-school/extracurricular activities. Something that everyone knows we need to get into a good college. People without extracurriculars sleep at 12 or 1AM. How about the kids that are immersed in after school activities? Take Daniel Baeg for example. He’s a freshman at Monta Vista who is just simply violin-obsessed. He’s 3rd seat in 1st violin in the school freshman orchestra, he’s in the San Francisco Youth Symphony, he teaches children violin, and he practices violin 2-4 hours a day. Everyday.

ing on chat for 4 or 5 minutes at most, and only asking about what he needs for homework. Nothing more nothing less. If someone chats him just to talk, he ignores them. A strategy proved effective by both him and Indira.


28.05% Doing homework really shouldn’t take that long. Indira Purushothaman, freshman, goes to sleep at 9 PM, every night. She can’t stay up any later, or the next day she “looks like a zombie”. She manages to finish her homework at 9 PM, even though she gets home at 6-7 PM due to badminton practice. She also usually wakes up at 4 or 5 AM, giving her enough time to finish whatever is left over. And then there are the runner ups...

“[Not finishing my homework] has never happened before,” Indira says.

HOGHomework Time


There are always reasons CONT..


Cover, the issue is not that social networking sites are addictive, its that they are “outlets for procrasination”.


AP US History - 4 hours AP Biology - 2 hours AP Calc BC - 2 hours American Lit - 1 hour Journalism - NA Comm. Lead. - 0 hours ---------------------------Total: 9 hours!

Shannon Lin Sophmore

Daniel doesn’t do any of his homework on the weekends or at school unless he’s given time specifically for doing homework. And on weekends... “I practice every time I get on Saturdays because my lesson is at 9:45 [and] I have to practice like crazy for it. Sundays are usually a day of rest and I only give lessons to little kids for an hour, and the rest I play sports or something of that sort.” Daniel shows that leading a life like this is possible. It doesn’t take a grand total of 9 hours to finish homework (especially for freshman). This reinforces the point that we just are not using our time wisely enough to cope with the homework that is assigned.

Alg 2 Trig- 1 hour Chemistry- 1 hour Dance - 0 World Lit - 1 hour World History 45 min AP Music Theory - 45 min Chinese 3 - 40 min ---------------------------Total: 5 hours and 10 minutes

Ashley Tu Freshman

Geometry - 30 min Literature - 1 hour French - 20 min Bio - 1 hour PE - 0 Band - 0 ------------------------------Total: 2 hours and 50 min.

Live. To Live Life.

future.”But that “the present is more It starts with decisions inimportant…” comprehensible. That the present is more im Manasa Gurumoorthi, freshportant in immediate consequences man, wanted Java. Or Writing for more important is what sophomore Publication. She wanted Java more. She didn’t get into Java. She got into Maya Lewis prolongs. She speaks of it, the “it” being past her math C++ Computer Programming. And it ends with more cogni- ponderings, as “to love God, to zant deciphering of decisions and de- go to heaven”- that in strife from cisions made incomprehensible yet. Monta Vista inward and outward, she “should try, and that it’s (her) Her dad didn’t know C++. motivation,” - the “should” being Her dad didn’t let her take C++. imminent thoughts of life - “but Life. (she) doesn’t.” Instead she offers to To live. look of the catechism of the Catholic To live life. Church. “It’ll explain it better that To live life in high school. I will.” She returns to permutations She took Choir. But that was the and combinations, something profipast. “I live in the present, not the present present, but the present as in ciently explained - the concrete over the abstract. today and tomorrow.” So profound is To Kill And to the tumultuous a Mockingbird, reptomorrow she peers. rimanding of racial “You shouldn’t know segregation, the Kite the meaning of life. Runner, reinforcing of If you did now, that aspirations not reached would defeat the purfor, the oftentimes facepose.” Freshman Mihir tiously unfathomable Patil peers no further. AP United States HisBut that further is nevertheless there. Manasa Gurumoorthi. tory’s Brown and Bailey- and so conversely The pessimistic pulchritude of a life past, the dwindling al- exact are the thoughts provoked lusions precedent of a life pondered, from it. “Good grades, good college, is mere and is coveted to conceited good word, good money, and people window blinds are not drawn until in impoverished countries will be alarms sounding. They are not drawn happy then” Manasa Gurumoorthi until to be closed. The drawing of continues. It is “to survive, to be positive, window blinds next, and then next, is ignorantly, irresponsibly, irrelevantly and to find someone you love” junior disregarded- reminiscent of the days Lydia Chen says, “that’s cliché. Life is cliché. But in high school, if you of whom they are drawn by. “I like purple,” freshman Ellen find someone you love, that would be nice.” Nice, but not necessary. Tang says, “but it used to be pink.” “That nothing is permanent, “But it probably not going (to stay and that we came with nothing, and purple)” she pronounces. “Everything changes so you can’t say if it’s that we go with nothing.” Shravya good or not.”And she says that little Dindhu continues. It seems that no one thinks things, such as color preferences are any more than that - that there’s life, and that risks need to be taken still a lot of time left to think. “I do on those little things, and that she will “take risks because of the future believe in an afterlife,” Ellen Tang and not not take risks because of the concludes, “but that’s after.”


shopping outlets biology textbooks

TREE of LIFE circles watching grass grow

chocolate chips


STORIES plastic bags love




nike shoes



pushing daises

the lion king


raining onstories a sunny day bedtime


post it notes


exhiliration experinces hugs

cotton candy





falling leaves





first kisses

einstein surrealism

food web





spiraling angst

chronis illness

circles stages of grief depression YOGA

walking first steps afterlife spanish oral quizzes

HIGH questions GOLDENKRANZ”S TEST tombstones





LIGHT growing towards the LIGHT

<div xmlns:cc=”” about=””><a rel=”cc:attributionURL” href=””>http://</a> / <a rel=”license” href=””>CC BY-NC-SA 2.0</a></div>

Falling UP “Make a decision. Smile. You might as well in life” - Shuchi Gaur

colgate toothpaste

Life is disregarded. Thoughts of life are disregarded more. And yet, breaths descending are still taken. And a breath did junior Leon Chen take, and an encountering did he make. He says of life as “making wrong decisions and eventually understanding how to make right decisions.” He made a right one nonetheless last, last summer so he thinks. “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present” Babatunde Olatunji once quoted, but oftentimes, and but

Pushing Daisies Past

Other religions, Monta Vista religions Platonism: attaining the highest form of knowledge Aristotelianism: everything is done with a goal and that goal is good Cynicism: living a life of virtue that agrees with nature, mastery of one’s mental control Utilitarianism: that the good is whatever brings the greatest happiness to the greatest number of people Pragmatism: that the practical, useful understanding of life is more important than searching for an impractical abstract truth about life Mormon Theology: the purpose of life is to become more like God Islam: life’s objective is to serve Allah- earthly life is merely a test, determining one’s afterlife Hinduism: the meaning of life is within the concepts of karma (causal action), samsara (the cycle of birth and rebirth), and moksha (liberation). Christianity: to seek divine salvation through the grace of God and intercession of Christ

“Lol tu n’ai pas un life” the words of a Monta Vista Student

Monta Vista High School-ism: life is life. rlly hard. to explain. how are u doing? how’s life? kinda thing Life is the quality which people, animals, and plants have when they are not dead, and which objects and substances do not have. To live. Live, reproduce, die. I think life is the pure existence of a organism or thing. I think of soul, humans, animals, plants, and biology. This also reminds me of my religion and other’s religions.

Counting Sheep 308, 944, 000 55, 000, 000

By Yanbing Zhu 70.2

oftentimes more, a present is of the reminiscing past. That last, last summer in Lijiang, China, a county of which he is from, but never before visited, was his reminiscing of the past. He had wanted to go before last, last summer. He was going to go before last, last summer. But he didn’t. “SARS”, he laments in reference through the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome prevalent in 2003, “don’t take anything for granted, and respect everything.” And respected was traversing translations to orphanages in the Yunan Province that “seemed out of place” that last, last summer. It had lows of poverty, and highs of mountains and mountains

to be ascended. Tutoring as the sun ascended, ascending mountings otherwise. He climbed, and he climbed higher one night on one of the many that “was really bad for (him)”, he says of panting hard. And yet, it was good in another, more so important way. He pauses. “It gave me perspective on people in general.” “I don’t think about it.” He pauses. “Lately, college application preparations are making me think.” He pauses, irrelevant loquaciousness follows. He turns back, murmuring. Life’s a climb.


2447550000 18316800 52.50 Leon Chen


US population as estimated by United States Census Bureau students in the United States in 2006-2007 as estimated by the United States Census Bureau years life expectancy for someone born in 1965 years life expectancy for someone born in 1995 seconds of life (77.5 years average) seconds of high school adolescent fertility rate (births per 1,000 women ages 15-19) in 1997 adolescent fertility rate (births per 1,000 women ages 15-19) in 2007

the dogs behind formspring

. . . all

bark and no BITE by Alice Yin

Monta Vista’s ferocious cyberbullies prey by sending anonymous insults over new website


imberly Lin’s hands tighten around her computer mouse as she logs onto her Formspring. She pauses for a second when she sees the (4) on her Inbox tab, then tentatively hauls her cursor towards it, and clicks. A few seconds of loading pass before she reads her new questions. Eventually her eyes reach the bottom of the blocks of text, and she hears her own exhale of relief, following by a slight twinge of annoyance. Nothing entertaining today. Formspring isn’t anything new. It has existed before in the shape of anonymous prank calls, obscene text messages from restricted numbers, and most recently, the Honesty Box application on Facebook. Cyber-bullying has started since the dawn of technology; it’s just never been this easy before. And by easy, we mean easy. There is no prior knowledge of HTML needed- a website builder is included. All you need to do is click the victim’s link, type out your true feelings in the box under the bolded headline, “Ask me anything,” and hit send. It’s so simple, even an animal could do it. So, what’s stopping Monta Vista’s own group of ferocious vultures from sending hostility to their enemies, and quite possibly, their friends? Nothing. Kimberly knows this all too well. She still remembers her first experience with Formspring. “I wanna know what people wanna know about me,” she admits. And she did. She just didn’t expect this much hate. After all, all her friends’ Formsprings didn’t seem that bad... right? In actuality, they were all secretly hurt on the inside, most of them preferring to not publish their most abusive questions. As a result, Kimberly had no idea what she was in store for. At school, she is known as the confident (by some known as cocky), matter-of-fact, God-fearing Christian who is certainly unique from the rest in a way that no one can really pinpoint. No matter what her hardship, she always walked through school with an unyielding smile painted across her face. Her few haters were glad to finally get the opportunity to break Miss Perfect. “This ***** deserves some Formspring,” Katie Ching* would state every time she visited someone’s profile. Katie’s that popular, easy-going girl that has made every person laugh at some point. But no one knows what she’s like behind her laughter; no one knows how spiteful she can be- not even some of her friends. And having a Formspring herself, she has personally felt the blow of cyber bullying. She’s an old pro.

‘‘ Attention *****.

. . No one ac-

tually likes you. . . why do you

always dress like a ****?. . .Stop TWITTER: the word’s the bird


very person has a second voice in them that is just yearning to be heard. Every person has a deeper side that they sometimes wish the world could see. But only few people go the length of writing a blog to broadcast this side to the world. It's not uncommon to own a blog and a Formspring; but most of people opt for one and the other. The intentions are similar- to let your friends (and enemies) get to know more about your present, past, and future. Formspring, in short, is a website that lets people send you anonymous questions, in which you answer for them to check. Tumbler is a blog where you can add status updates about whatever you please. People commonly put in artistic images, favorite quotes, and songs they are currently listening to. Some argue that Formspring is more direct and one-on-one with your followers. You have to answer whatever people ask you, and only have that to work with. But bloggers point out that Formspring allows the user to choose with questions to answer. "It's just like a blog- you still get to pick what you want to publish to the public, but you also get to read the offensive comments as well... I'll stick with my Tumbler," says senior Mike Wang. Having a blog does offer several advantages, as Wang so wisely indicates. You can personalize it and make it what you want, not what your followers want. There is no anonymity, so cyber bullying is usually nonexistent. And as long as the user is appropriate with his/her posts, there usually is not drama. Gmail statuses of Formspring links are quickly getting replaced by corresponding Tumbler pages. Whether or not you think this new era of blogging will take Monta Vista's own studend body by storm, we can all agree that this is certainly safer than our last fad, aka Formspring.

acting like you’re so popular.

. . you’re just an ugly wannabe. . . I hope I never become as fat as you. . .

We’ll never see the faces behind such comments. They are protected, hidden, by a computer screen. This gives way to huge hoards of harassment- many that occur within our own circles of friends. How strong does your friendship have to be... to be put to the test of Formspring? Real friends obviously wouldn’t post intentionally defiling statements. However, everyone has faults, and everyone has friends who in time notice these faults. Sure- we accept them, but every once in a while, when we get our buttons pressed, we need to vent out our frustrations. What’s happening to us? We used to handle things maturely (as maturely as 2,400 hormonal teenagers locked up in a confined campus can be). We used to know how to conduct heart to heart discussions in person, that strengthened our relationships rather than the opposite.

Nowadays, it’s a whole new story. As Katie Ching would so boldly put it, “Formspring brought out the sneaky *****- I mean, feistiness in me... anyway, it still made my friendships stronger! Cause, I would write out the things about people that annoyed me, and then they would fix it!” In few hours of the genesis of her new Formspring, Kimberly was introduced to two options- ignore the demeaning comments, or shamelessly reply. She chose the latter. A lot of people like to be offensive back, but that never helps. You don’t know enough about your attacker, since its anonymous, to cut deep enough. But in the heat of the moment people tend to type out profanities anyway, just for a temporary sense of vengeance. Perhaps the bully will feel some guilt when they see the pain they have inflicted, but usually they walk away with only satisfaction of their “success.” Kimberly decided to handle things maturely, and deeply consider all the criticism that she got. Sometimes she’d make a joke about it, but usually she was grateful for this new awareness and used it to improve her personality. In addition, she also got to see which of her friends were actually loyal to her. So are the rest of the people at Monta Vista mature enough to handle this new weapon? “Depends- some people: yes. Other people: no,” she says as some guys in the background shove each other into a trashcan. These are the same guys that led Kimberly to question her need for Formspring. Her comments began to establish a pattern of inappropriate references that didn’t belong in her life. The original thrill of curiosity faded as she grew tired of the repetitive, but still derogatory remarks. When she finally got a comment pointing out that she “wasn’t being a real Christian,” she couldn’t help but agree. So in the end, she decided she had had enough of this cursed, infernal website. Kimberly Lin’s hands tighten around her computer mouse as she logs onto her Formspring, for the last time. A few clicks, then a dialog box comes up. Are you sure you want to inactivate your Formspring? She closes her eyes, then clicks Yes. A few weeks later, her Formspring is back up. *name has been changed for privacy issues

Pick Your

difficulty by Amelia B. Yang

Levels of Players

Most video games start out by disa month. “It helps me get rid of whatplaying three choices. Easy, medium ever I’m thinking of,” says Mukudan, or hard? Most people choose easy, a “and I love kicking the CPU’s ass. fair amount pick medium, and only It’s like they never get tired of getting the elite or those looking for a chalowned.” lenge pick hard. Similarly, video game The next largest group of video players can be divided into three tiers: game players are the moderate playbeginning, moderate, and advanced ers. They spend occasionally binge for players. six or so hours in a day, usually play Most of Monta an hour a day, and enjoy Vista’s population is “It helps me get screaming at the screen made up of beginner when they lose. Alex rid of whatever players. With little to Balus, a tenth grader at no time to spend on Monta Vista, says he I’m thinking of.” video games, most plays because, “I need people just pass them someone to yell at.” up in favor for textbooks or friends. Skipping the “childish” Wii, he plays They spend about an hour a month, if Call of Duty and Halo, all the while that, playing video games. Madan Mu- screaming profanities. When he’s winkudan, a tenth grader at Monta Vista, ning, he shouts “WOOOW”, when he’s is definitely a novice player. Spending bored, he says “woooow”, and when only an hour or two once a month play- he loses, he mutters “wow” and throws ing, he likes--but doesn’t love--to play. the controller on the ground. Moderate However, he says, “If I get a new game players also use video games as a stress I sit and finish as much as I can in one reliever, Balus says, “Its interesting to day, six to seven hours.” He tends to experience things like shooting people stick to the more mainstream games, but not shooting people.” He enjoys like Halo 3 and Modern Warfare 2. “I both the XBOX 360 and PS3, saying personally like the PS3 better,” he says, they both have good graphics and fun “It’s a better machine, just... expensive. games. As a sophmore, he says “Now But there aren’t many nerds out there that I’m mature I play more shooting like me that go for FPs, RPGs and games.” Moderate players spend longer stuff.” A large percentage of players periods of time looking at their game use video games to relieve stress and screens, and Balus’ record is playing clear their minds, even for just an hour for an entire night. He claims he’s not

“If I get a new game I sit and finish as much as I can in one day.” -Madan Mukudan (10)

“It’s interesting to experience things like shooting people but not shooting people. -Alex Balus (10)

addicted to video games, but that they can be addicting “when you’re on a roll.” The advanced level of video game players, the gaming “nerds”, are an elite trigger pulling and monster killing force. Spending a few hours per day, some players even go for six hours at a time on their XBOX 360 or PS3. Leo Zhang, a freshman at Monta Vista, indulges in a variety of titles, which he mainly picks based on the storyline as well as graphics, though those are secondary. He can play for six hours a day, though he stops because he says, “I get bored easily.” Zhang says he enjoys the sense of achievement beating a game gives, and the adrenaline rush that accompanies it. He prefers the XBOX 360 over other consoles, saying, “Damn, don’t even get me started on the PS3.” He says its not possible to be addicted to video games, though he says, “I can understand how people might get jittery after not being able to release stress on video games for a while.” As the epitome of the advanced player, Zhang claims, “There isn’t much of an age factor” in video games, they can be enjoyed by anyone anywhere, provided they have the time and the means. While Monta Vista is divided in three levels, one thing is clear: the playing of video games is universal, stress relieving, and maybe even a little addicting.

Images from and

confused? Abbreviations of long gaming terms can be confusing if you don’t know what they stand for. Here’s a list of commonly used acronyms:

PS3: PlayStation 3, a gaming console developed by Sony RPG: a role playing game, in which the player takes on an identity in a fictional setting CPU: the portion of a computer system that carries out instructions of a computer program MW2: Modern Warfare 2, a first person shooter game that is part of the Call of D-uty series for PS3 and XBOX COD: Call of Duty, a series of video games including Modern Warfare 2

Halo features futuristic suits of armor and weapons used to fight hostile aliens.

Do Wii All Like to Play? Apparently, no. In Sean Mahamongkol’s opinion, the Nintendo Wii, “Sucks. A lot. So much.” He, like most people, owns a Wii, a gaming console developed by the Japanese company Nintendo with motion-sensing controllers. After the initial release of the Wii, it seemed like every household had to get one, as well as the “essential” games like Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros, and Mario Party. However, Mahamongkol says he only bought his because he was “little and stupid.” He claims that the Wii is childish with no fun games, but his opinion is in the minority on this issue. Most people don’t agree with him. Selma Chang is one of those people. She loves her Wii, loves Mario Kart, and especially loves to make sound effects along with it. Her view of the Wii is that “It’s very interactive and easy to play. For example, with Mario Kart you start to move with your kart because you’re so into it!” She definitely plays like she’s part of the game, with every turn she jerks her body in sync with her character. She says, “When you’re driving in Mario Kart, if you get the speed booster in the start your bike goes like whoosh!” Evidently, the Wii is not universally loved. Those who hate it won’t have anything to do with it. However, as the Wii outsold both the XBOX 360 and Playstation 3 combined in holiday sales this year, it is clear that those people are in the minority.

“Damn, don’t even get me started on the PS3.” Image by Tamahikari Tammas

-Leo Zhang (9)

Image by commorancy.

Call of Duty is a video game where players can experience combat firsthand.

A Meal to

Remember By Angela Wang


t’s lunch time. Students from all corners of Monta Vista High were rushing to the soothers of the awful growling in their tummies—the school lunches.

Back in the Day

Shari De’piro, a senior in the class of 1979, headed over to the giant serve-yourself salad bar, where she dumped onto her plate fresh veggies and canned peaches. She was doing a “healthy thing”. Some days she would go back to the same salad bar, only for the deliciously fresh baked potatoes with cheese, sour cream and bacon instead. Eating a nutritious diet was something she found hard to maintain. She often found herself indulging in less-than nutritious foods. Early every morning, after Drill Team practice, she would buy doughnuts “C’mon, and milk, or two Maple bars from the cafeteria. But as what’s there she remembers, “there really to expect weren’t a lot of choices”. Sure, there was still from cafeteria the candy bar stuff- Snickers, M&M’s, chips, and big food?” huge cookies. During lunch there was pasta, cup noodles, and burgers. But mostly, the snacks and bars were the same, and she was getting tired of that, complaining that “everything’s mostly starchy”. During her senior year, she headed off campus a lot with her buddies. De’piro and her group of friends often stopped at the new frozen yogurt stores, which recently had sprung around the neighborhood. Frozen yogurt was sometimes all they had for lunch. But most of the time, the car would be driven towards McDonald’s, which was hugely popular. The place was only a drive-through, so the group of friends would eat in the car. “The whole building was only about this big,” De’piro points to the length of her crowded office. Not very big, so to speak. De’piro’s fan-craze for the lunch line wasn’t all that big, either. As she put it, “C’mon, what’s there to expect from cafeteria food?”

Between Two Ages

As the brunch bell rang, Brian Dong, a senior in the class of 2000, fell back into a familiar routine.

He neared the front of the line, and came back with a member the name) flavors, and mouth-watering, bean-and-beef, deep-fried burrito. pays up at the front. Flickr. “Those were the best things,” he remembers. “I have [water polo] com practice in the morning,” she “Sometimes I’d have two.” Other times he’d get the big, squishy cook- explains, “so I need the energy.” Energy for her may also ies. They were only a dollar each. He also frequently bought the one-dollar sodas from the vending ma- come in the form of a morning cup chine. of coffee, a one-dollar taquito, or Though the deep-fried burritos often left him full, 5-gum. As for lunch, it’s usually a Dong would still buy spaghetti, or the Pizza Hut spicy chicken burger from the lunch pizza during lunch. It was better than what he had at line. home, anyway. “Those things are so There was no salad bar. delicious,” Maser croons. The But Dong didn’t really care. He never ate burgers are basically the only healthy. food she buys from the lunch “And I still don’t eat healthy now,” line, partly because they weren’t made by he shrugs, taking a huge bite from a “The food is the cafeteria ladies themselves…or so she Girl Scout Cookie. definitely a lot thinks. His streak of unhealthiness The cafeteria menu changed drastigoes back to after cafeteria food healthier now cally when measures on nutritious foods as well, where as a senior he ate at than when I were installed. Water replaced sodas in the Boston Market, and more frequentvending machines. Candy bars gave way went here” ly, Carl’s Jr., a fast-food restaurant to low-fat gummy bears and sour worms. somewhat like McDonald’s. He had a Regular chips were replaced by Munchiesburger there almost every day. baked, of course. And almost everything else was Dong’s diet is reminiscent of the time before tweaked for less oil, more protein, and more whole the district requirements for nutritious foods. It was wheat. a time where freedom of the stomach was respected, Most students usually care not about and junk food wrappers littered the floor. It was a the healthiness of what they’re consuming, but rather wild, wild time. how it tastes. Every year found the cup noodles from the Maser is one of them. She wishes that when she is ficafeteria all the more expensive. But like he was with nally able to drive, she will be able to eat at In-n-Out many other things, Dong wasn’t surprised. He knew Burger, even though it is quite awhile from campus. the food wasn’t going to stay the same forever. Or maybe just Chipotle, the Mexican grill and restau “It’s called inflation.” rant, “where the food actually tastes better.” As for whether it’s healthy or not, Maser re It was a change, and he just went with it. ally doesn’t care. That’s So Old Maggie Maser, a freshman in the class of 2013, is hungry. But she doesn’t have time to buy anything, because by the time she’s done changing from her PE uniform to her normal clothes, the bell signaling the end of brunch would have already rung. So instead, she goes to Seven-Eleven in the morning, the popular convenience store where teens hoard junk food, hang out, or shoplift. But Maggie’s an honest kid. She cranks out a Slurpie with Coke, cherry, and blue (she doesn’t re-

You’re the Ham to My Cheese Sandwich

Angela Wang Selma and Varun’s Favorite Foods:

1 Ham and Cheese Sandwich: “it’s frickin’ heavenly”

2 Nachos and Salsa/Cheese Dip: “it’s sooo good on cold days”

3Yogurt Parfait: “They’re so...fruity.

It’s a perfect mix of healthy”

4 Spicy Chicken Burger: “[It’s good] because it’s spicy but it’s not too much’s just good!”

5 BBQ Chicken Sandwich: “The BBQ’s so good. So. Good.”

Selma Chang and Varun Jain are not your normal Monta Vista High School couple. During brunch on Monday, Varun looks worried as he stands scans the flow of people filtering out of their classrooms. He’s waiting near the field house. “Where’s Selma,” he whines. “I wanna get food.” A few minutes pass, he cusses, and then decides to go walk across the open Rally Court to the cafeteria. It’s there he meets Selma, who apologizes, then demands he buy her a cookie. It’s been sort of a routine. At the start of brunch, Varun, a sophomore, and Selma, a freshman, would walk to the cafeteria, get in line, and buy food (usually two ham and cheese sandwiches), then wolf them down like there’s no tomorrow. After they finish, they’re usually thristy. Varun then fishes more money out of his pocket and brings back some Izzy or water. After school, they spend their time eating more food. It’s a wonder how the pair is incredibly skinny. “Must be the fast metabolism,” Var-

un points out between bites of ham and cheese. He stares at Selma as she rips off the outer ring of bread on her sandwich, and tosses it on the ground. “Hey, don’t waste food,” he chides. She looks at him, pausing for a moment. Then she continues. This lifestyle is quite liberal for the two, but it’s had its toll on Varun’s wallet. He spends about $7 on food from the lunch line alone. “I’m so broke,” he complains. Selma just giggles. The two have been together for almost half a year. This, Selma credits, is partly due to their love of food. There are no boundaries to what they buy from the cafeteria; they eat whatever they’re in the mood for. “The food is sometimes really boring,” Selma admits. “We’ve probably eaten everything there about once.” They both wished the menu would have a greater variation, and maybe catering from outside restaurants, like Chipotle. Or for Selma, just grilled cheese sandwiches. Yet even though their food may sometimes taste bland, they always eat together. And that’s what makes their lunches so memorable. “We’re an eating couple,” Selma announces, “it’s how we bond.”

Final Destination

As species, personalities, and physical appearances evolve, so do high school lunch menus. And this, De’piro, now the choir teacher at Monta Vista, acknowledges the positive change. “The food is definitely a lot healthier now than when I went here,” she confirms. But whether students decide to healthier is a different matter. Students always have the option of eating nutritiously, but whether they take advantage of the opportunity would be an ever-present challenge.

What’s for Lunch? THEN


Sun & Soil Burgers: Sold “nature” burgers Quickly’s: Sells pearl milk tea that is really and a signature carrot juice milkshake. Was lo- popular to drink and to use for fundraisers. Their cated where Mervyn’s is now. popcorn chicken is a customer favorite. Ramen Noodles have been around much longer than any student would expect. The only difference from then to now? The price has gotten much more expensive.

Cheese Zombies: A piece of dough (pork Cookies: Chocolate chip delights that sell out bun) baked brown, containing a cheddar cheese during most brunches. The big ones are $1 and filling. Was dubbed “the best thing ever”. the small ones sell for 50 cents each. Cup Noodles: Preserved ramen noodles that Cup Noodles: Cup Noodles have been on the were heated with hot water by the cafeteria la- cafeteria menu for a long time , and are still a dies. Cup noodles were a very popular lunch student favorite! item.

Pearl milk tea has established a rather successful market. Not only are there many flavors of milk tea, there are many types of tapioca pearls as well!

Get Down to Business

Hat Trick

American Eagle Outfitters Salary: Starts from minimum wage and can go up to $8 an hour Employee Perk: Get 25% off everything you buy there!

Cold Stone Creamery

Photo courtesy of Andrew Erikson

Salary: Starts at minimum wage and can go up to $11 per hour Employee Perk: Get one free ice-cream cone for each shift you work Photo courtesy of aladar_d

Menon performs at the card tables at MV’s Junior Prom.


rant Menon stands off to the side of the stage. He rubs his hands together in anticipation. A golden circle of light shines on the

dark red velvet curtains. There’s a cardboard box of umbrellas with smiley faces printed on them. Next to it is an empty basket. Menon and his fellow magician, Brendan Duffy, are getting ready for Menon’s favorite magic trick: the Sword in Basket. In this trick, one of them sits inside the basket while the other pierces it with the smiley-faced umbrellas. After the umbrellas have been put through the basket, the person inside the basket comes out. Unharmed. It’s reminiscent of the tricks on TV, where the professional’s lovely assistant is placed into a coffin and then sliced to shreds with swords.

It’s reminiscent of the tricks on TV, where the assistant is sliced to shred with swords.

in the

Starbucks Salary: $8.50 per hour Employee Perk: Discount of store merchandise and one pound of free coffee a week

Menon and Duffy performed this very trick last year at Kennedy Middle School’s WEB Carnival. Menon volunteers to perform for free at functions like this. He’s paid $30 to $60 for other parties, like kids’ birthdays at pizza places. For bigger, more prominent events like the Boy Scout dinner that took place at the Quinlan Center this February, Menon was paid $100. Besides being Menon’s partner for magic tricks, Brendan Duffy was one of the main reasons Menon became interested in magic in the first place. A couple of Menon’s friends were interested in magic, and that’s how he got started. At the age of five, Menon re-

Photo courtesy of pierofix

ceived boxes of magic tricks when he went to visit his relatives on the East Coast. At the age of 11, Menon became more serious about magic. Now that he’s in high school, Menon doesn’t have time for “casual magic,” although he his interest in drama is peaking. He acted in the school’s production of The Odyssey. His love for acting is, in fact, another one of the reasons Menon took an interest in magic. “Magic involves elements of the theater,” Menon says. “It requires theatric and technical skills.” Menon’s acquisition of these qualities make him a successful magician. He’s known among his classmates for his magic. In middle school, Menon would put on small performances between homework

A breathtaking, awe-inspiring legerdemain.

The Start-Ups

Salary: $8.20 per hour Employee Perk: Get one free smothie per shift

These MV students are on the fast track to success. And who knows? A multi-million dollar corporation might be somewhere down the road.


ami Case is playing with the big dogs now. And the lizards, cats and chickens. The economy may be in a rut, but Case’s pet-sitting is reaching a new high. She makes $1000 a year, $200 or so per pet. “[Having a job] is good. You learn responsibility. And money’s always cool.” Case has been in the business since she was seven. At that time, pet-siting was just a cornucopia of odd jobs. Her first client was the neighbor across the street. Advertising comes by word of mouth or block parties. “We have a really cool neighborhood,” Case says. “Sometimes, we put flyers in out neighbors’ mailboxes.” This technique, as simple as it may seem, reaps great rewards. The money Case made from pet-sitting for others was enough for a pet of her own: a golden retriever named Koa, which means “warrior” in Hawaiian. Pay day. That simple idea resonates most with Case, although her mother always tries to talk he out of spending the money. But getting up at eight every morning to feed the animals is always a hassle. Koa, on the other hand, is fed by her mother. “A lot of funny things happen to me when I pet-sit,” Case admits. One time, when pet-sitting a flock of chickens, one of the chickens flew over their fence into their neighbor’s

backyard. They hopped the fence and beat the bushes to coax the chicken out. They didn’t find it. When the owner returned and they told him the bad news, he took the matter into his own hands. He found the chicken himself. It was alive. Another time, Case had no way to get into her neighbor’s house to feed their pets since the keys were locked inside. She broke in through the back window. When the owner returned, it was Case’s mother who told the owner. “He doesn’t hire me anymore,” says Case. Franchesca Yamamoto, on the other hand, is the one who’s doing the hiring. She and her parents are on the Board of Directors at Yamamoto’s clothing company, Bleu Umbrella Co. The Bleu Umbrella website features clothes designed specifically for teenage girls. The stock includes all the necessities: tops, shorts, jeans, cardigans, tank-tops, coats and tote bags. Yamamoto is the sole founder, owner and designer of the Bleu Umbrella Co. As the boss, Yamamoto not only manages sellers, she’s in charge of model castings. Her models are featured online. They are all Yamamoto’s classmates from Monta Vista. Whereas the requirements to be a seller are simple, Yamamoto looks for models that are various nation-

“You learn responsibility. And money’s always cool.”

Photo courtesy of Sami Case

Sami Case with her dog, Koa. She bought Koa with money she made pet-sitting.

gig with one of his dad’s co-workers. People hire him for shows, even though he isn’t actively trying to get booked (in fact, his age on the website is two years off). “It’s incredible,” Menon says. That’s what magic is to Grant Menon. It’s a breathtaking, awe-inspiring legerdemain. It’s truly incredible. Menon talks about magic with a passion. He rubs his hands together as he takes his time to answer each question carefully. He wants to make sure people understand what magic means to him. He wants people to be frightfully aware of every trick he performs. “Magicians shouldn’t reveal their secrets,” Menon says, “but at the same time, if the audience finds the answer out for themselves, if they make an effort, it shows that they have an interest in the magic.”


Jamba Juice

Photo courtesy of .imdelda

assignments and class periods; he ran the school’s Magic Club. He has even attended a magic conference in Kerala, India, where he advanced to the final round of Junior Conjuring. And to him, putting on magic shows doesn’t necessarily qualify as a job. “[It’s good to have a job] so you can experiment with what you want to do in life,” he says, “because if you mess up, you’re still in school.” He has a “lame website” and business cards, which he often hands out to enthusiastic six-year-olds. He also insists that networking and connections are necessary to running his magic business. He booked his first

by Cynthia Mao

alities and have a fresh and new image, as well as a special trait that sets them apart. “Green eyes,” Yamamoto says. “Green eyes are uncommon.” The idea of Bleu Umbrella Co. took shape during a school trip to the United Kingdom the summer before eighth grade. Being free and independent in a new environment was a breath of fresh air. “Seeing a different culture inspired me to move forward and start something new,” Yamamoto says. On a scale of 1 to 10, Yamamoto gives her business an 8. “[If I could do anything,] I would get a store.” Currently, the business runs on a catalog, website and open houses. “Having a store would just make things easier.” Running a new business is no walk in the park. It’s different than simply having a job, especially with the setbacks of a failing economy. “Once you get to a certain level,” Yamamoto says, “it’s not frightening, but there’s a lot of pressure and people can get disappointed if you’re not on top of it.” As a business owner, she is one of the few that are hit the hardest by the economic breakdown. “Yeah, I can feel it,” she said. “You don’t feel it as a consumer, but you feel it as a business owner.” However, students searching for a job at this time may find it more

difficult than in past year, thanks to the economy. There are less choices for students, Miriam Taba, who works at Monta Vista’s Career Center said. The bulletin board at the Career Center features an array of flyers that companies send to Mrs. Taba whenever they have openings. She posts the flyers up for interested students and for more detailed job descriptions, she uses schoolloop. She says the most important thing when looking for a job is to let everyone around you know you’re looking: parents, friends, neighbors, teachers, siblings and maybe even your dentist. When her own daughter was searching, her daughter’s dentist overhead her asking the receptionist if there were any jobs available. He offered her a job right then and there. They weren’t looking for a new employee; one just happened to be there. “I also tell students to think about what they want to do and apply [for jobs] themselves,” Mrs. Taba said. Another time, her daughter drove down Prospect Road, armed with resumes, and stopped at each restaurant she was considering working at. She started looking on Wednesday; she got a job by Saturday. Even with the lack of jobs

“It’s not frightening, but there’s a lot of pressure and people can get upset.”

Franchesca Yamamoto with a selection of tops, t-shirts and cardigans from her self-run clothing company, The Bleu Umbrella Co. available for students, Mrs. Taba believes students can be fairly choosy when it comes to where they work. She remembers hearing about a CEO who claimed his best job as a student was working at the fast food chain McDonalds, and Mrs. Taba agrees that working at this sort of place an be beneficial to working in the future. “If you hae skills, you can become a supervisor,” she said. “Someone who works at the mall can move up really fast. It’s working from

the ground up.” “Proactive students,” as Mrs. Taba likes to put it, will find themselves with an advantage later on in life. A study showed that college students who worked 12 to 15 hours a week did better in school than students who didn’t work at all or worked too much. “It makes students realize how to manage their time,” she said. “Sometimes, students forget their first job is school.”

She started lookng on Wednesday; she got a job by Saturday.









A look inside overachievers’s lives; why and how do they do so many things? An insight of teenage overachiers’ lives; what’s it like to be busy all the time? by Diana Liu


ou know that kid. Yeah, that kid. The one who’s always running around doing things, who makes you feel unproductive and lazy as he/she goes to the National Science Awards Fair, DECA business internationals, or another Humane Society volunteer activity. You know what that kid is? An overachiever. That word. Overachiever. The very word that describes so many students at Monta Vista High School. Those that go past the sky, beyond the stars, who try to do more than they possibly can. With all of the peer and family pressure on you to do as well as you can, of course there be overachievers at Monta Vista, land of the 4.0-and-up GPAs. What’s it like to be someone who’s busy all the time, who has things to do? How do they manage the stress, the work, the time management? There are three types of overachievers at Monta Vista: the overachievers who don’t even know they’re overachievers, the overachievers who don’t mind working all the time, and the overachievers who stress out. Just Chillin’ Meet Ishan Kanungo. Let’s start with the basics: he’s a ninth grader at Monta Vista High School. Oh, wait. He builds his own computers, has won a national science fair, and has an internship at Oracle while taking AP Physics at De Anza Community College

“If I had free time, I would probably be sitting at home doing nothing.” - Ishan Kanungo


and maintaining straight A’s. Not so average now, eh? While Ishan is the classic example of an overachiever, he does not feel the need to be perfect at everything he does, and he doesn’t feel like he’s an overachiever. “I focus on the things that matter most to me. Not everything. Besides, [doing many activities] are interesting. If I had free time, I would probably be sitting at home doing nothing.” That would probably be true, as Ishan

finishes his school homework quickly. Every Wednesday his day is packed with activities. “I go practice tennis from three to four o’clock, straight from school. I do homework for about an hour, and then I take AP Physics class at De Anza from five to seven o’clock. After coming back, I eat dinner, study some more, and go to sleep. I’m usually pretty tired by that time,” he sighs. Suck It Up, Man While Ishan doesn’t think he is an overachiever, Evelyn Ding, also a newbie at Monta Vista, knows she is one, and bears with it. She’s won first at DECA States, a business club’s statewide competition and passed her CM piano testing with Branch Honors (at the Advanced level!). Her Monta Vista team is going to the Robotics Internationals after taking home the trophy from a statewide Robotics competition held in San Diego just a month ago. Even with juggling all of these activities, she still manages to bring straight A’s home on the report card. How does she do it? “Well, I just try to balance my activities and follow my interests, like robots, business, and music,” she points out. “Another thing you can do is start preparing early. I knew I was going to be very busy in March, so I started studying at the beginning of February.” Another good idea, she adds, is to “not procrastinate. It’s not that hard.” Even though other students seem to despise school Evelyn thinks that all of her classes are interesting and she loves school, not just because of her friends but because of how much she learns. As for studying and doing homework, Evelyn has a daily routine. “I make a to-do list and cross every-

thing off one by one as I finish them,” she explains. I DON’T HAVE TIME Sam Hung, a freshman at Monta Vista, does feel like she must do everything right. She maintains straight A’s in several of Monta Vista’s hardest ninth grade classes, including Mr. Kim’s Algebra 2/ Trigonometry and Mrs. Borelli’s freshman Literature. She sighs, “I don’t have time for anything. I just do schoolwork all day long - I have no life. I mean, right now I’m on my iTouch checking Schoolloop (Monta Vista’s student account center) for any home- Sam Hung work.” Because Sam believes in doing her homework thoroughly and carefully, she takes more time than the average freshman. That means less sleep, less time to eat, less time for anything. “A regular day would be that at 5:45 a.m., I wake up and study for a while. At 7:10 I walk to school and I come home at 3:00. From 3:30 to 6:00 p.m. I do homework, and I shower and eat dinner from 6:00 to 8:00. From 8:00 onwards, I do my homework again, and I go to sleep between 10:30 to 12:30,” Sam lays out her schedule carefully. You walk at school before class, brunch, lunch. You pass anonymous kids and you think, oh, they’re just people. One more face passing by. Nothing unusual. However, investigate a person a bit more deeply and you’ll find that each has their own life - their own activities, their own drama. This is about overachievers and how they choose to live every day. This is their story.

“I don’t have a life.”

According to a study done by, a website focused on getting high school kids into top colleges, there are four negative aspects to being an overachiever.

1 Loss of focus or passion. states, “With only so many hours in the day and so much energy and effort to give, you have to divide your attention among a number of endeavors if you overschedule your time.” When you only want to be the best in everything you do, you lose the chance to find out any personal interests you have in one or a few areas. You’re likely to lose sight of what you truly enjoy and draw less happiness from your activities.

2 Poor physical health.

The typical overachiever’s workload and time constraints leave little time for sleep. High school kids usually sleep less than six hours per night, much less than the recommended nine hours per night for teenagers. Ishan comments, “I get five hours sleep daily. I feel happier on the weekends, because I sleep about fifteen hours per day then.” Moreover, excessively busy kids usually don’t have good eating habits. For example, Sam Hung says, “In the summer, I’m happy because I don’t have homework. I usually lose about five pounds. Then during school time, I’m stressed, I eat more, and I gain ten pounds!”

3 Poor mental health.

“School demands and frustrations” are the leading causes of teenage stress, noted by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Our culture’s clear emphasis on success is creating a generation of workaholics drained of happiness and energy - this especially hits Monta Vista, a tense, high-pressured environment.

4 Unhealthy self-image.

Overachievers often base self-appreciation on their accomplishments, including test scores, awards, and other external indicators of success. This way, it’s possible to lose sight of your inner personality - and others’.

sam hung’s schedule: a day in the life of an overachiever (#1) 5:45 a.m. [wake

up and study]

(#2)7:10 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. [school]

(#3)3:30 - 6:00 p.m. [homework]

(#4)6:00 - 8:00 [shower &


(#5)8:00 -


eat dinner]


(#6)10:30 - 12:30 [go

to bed]

A Little Less Than Needed

Revealing gifted-and-talented underachievers by Diana Liu

The very opposite of overachievers, underachievers, in some’s eyes, are the very bottom of our society, or the crap on the bottom of the rice cooker. However, there is a certain group of underachievers that draw the attention of teachers and counselors all over the world. Gifted-and-talSource: ented, or GT, underachievers generally do the minimum of work they are required to do, such as going to school (it’s required by law). However, they do not think about their future - no planning, no thought whatsoever. says that most GT underachievers are aware of their potential and feel superior to others because of their high abilities. Even though the potential GT underachievers have is high, studies have shown that they usually aren’t confident enough to overcome anxiety, tension, and self doubt. They are afraid of trying something new, such as studying, taking notes, or paying attention. They usually hide these feelings by acting condescending toward others. To stop these problems, psychologists have suggested for GT underachievers to take classes that require relationships and understanding other people. A GT underachiever, Thi-vu Huynh (sophomore) says he is an exception at Monta Vista because he is not an overachiever. “[There’s] No need to do anything more than the curriculum. That’s why I don’t fit into Monta Vista,” he explains. “I usually do crap quality homework, or I wing it on the due date.” he confesses. He also procrastinates often, because he believes in “instant gratification”, having fun now, like playing video games. Even without doing his homework correctly, studying, or paying 100% of his attention in class, he still manages a minimum of a 3.5 GPA (grade point average). “Yeah, I did this pictogram thing that was due today in class,” he shrugs. “The teacher gave me an A on it.” Either his Chinese 2 teacher was blind or Thi-vu is a genius; it’s the latter. His regular day consists of playing games on the computer and his Xbox 360 until 7 p.m. - that’s when his dad comes home. That’s when he has to buckle down. What his father doesn’t know is that he’s on AIM, an online chatting system, while he’s doing homework. He finally sleeps at around 11:30, so he still gets 7 hours of sleep. Underachievers are a rather large portion of today’s people, but GT underachievers are somewhat special.

there are sides of me that no one can see. nobody sees all the sides of me either, and people from different “groups” see me differently, and i act differently. i don’t know why i do it, and now it’s too late to stop to reconcile people’s different images of me. i don’t really judge, but even if i do a little and it forms a negative attitude towards a person, i believe that there is something good about everybody. so i get to know people first. of course, that’s not the case with most people. i’m sure i am judged by first impressions although i would highly advise those people to get to know me first. people can think whatever they’d like of me. as long as i stay true to myself and the people i love, everyone else shouldn’t matter. those who judge are the ones who will be judged the most. it would be silly, however, if i were to say that i have never judged. everyone has. i’ve always thought those who wore brand names had no originality (my judgement has yet to be disproved), but that may not be so. i’ve always thought chauvinists were jerks, and that may not be so as well, though i haven’t been disproved there either. i often do feel uncomfortable in a subconscious sense, while thinking leads me to realize it makes no difference. i act most often on this fear, however, and only in certain times of bliss or energy do i shed it. i always come off not as the nerdy kid, but the creepy quiet kid. *points to scarf* *is judged* yeah... it’s natural to judge people, you just have to realize that it’s probably not quite accurate. everyone judges people, and there’s i want people to think i’m not a loser nerd. i hate gossip. it ruins social environments for very little we can do about it. people everyone. i think those who know me well probably mostly see me how i am/how i want can go and complain as much as they them to see me; i really can’t figure out how those who don’t know me well would judge want about being stereotyped and me. i think that, at least for me, people put on the mask that suits what they want others judged, but in the end, usually these to see the most. i act like a perverted idiot half the time because i want to entertain people pre-judgments are fairly accurate. and make them smile. it also gives me an excuse to hide away my weaknesses from others. even when they aren’t accurate, if people want others to know something about themselves that isn’t obvious by first impression, then they just have to prove themselves. i hate being fake. no one can expect others to stop making preconceived notions of what that person is like. i do my best not to judge people until i’ve really gotten to know them, since my first impressions have so often turned out to be wrong. i believe that i come off different from how i believe i am seen, and that it’s unbelievably hard to get people to change their opinions without really getting to know the person well enough to confirm or refute their assumptions.


--All articles/data/images are of Erin Tatangsurja, who is in pub fifth.



OU ARE THE NEW KID, and it is your first lunch hour. As you meander about campus, seeking a place to be, you can’t help but feel a little lost when you notice that the rest of the student population is grouped into obvious clusters. You had heard that this was quite the mathematicallyoriented school, but you certainly didn’t expect even the social cliques here to b based on an intricate formulaic patchwork, or what appears to be such. Alas, as you simply don’t understand the theorems dictating how you ought to determine who to attempt to befriend, you’re forced to figure it out the low-tech way: guess-and-check, or judging by appearance. Your senses must be quite sharp, for you know outright that there are some people you’ll never be able to get along with-- some who’d never tolerate your personality, your clothing, or your GPA. Perusing the school grounds as you might a shopping mall in search of a perfect fit, you’re caught by surprise when you find it: a niche epitomizing everything you idealize in a group of friends. But before pondering how best to approach them to verify your hypothesis, what made you suspect that you’d fit in with them? No matter how much we all deny it, everybody appraises everybody on sight. At the most basic level, this means acknowledging that, oh, there’s a person there, better avoid collision. But this acknowledgement in itself triggers a series of judgments: as freshman Wen Li puts it, “When you see someone, the first thing you do is see them.” And, though we all love to say that we don’t draw conclusions form appearance, this fact suggests a plethora of unwanted conclusions. For example, with the adolescent tendency to plaster oneself with brand names, can we not surmise that someone may be of a certain personality if they shop at certain stores. When just glancing at any logo-bearing student leads to opinions being formed, judgments are nigh inevitable. Unless, of course, we went around picturing everyone nude, which would be equally undesirable. And that wouldn’t even solve the problem. What of hairstyle? Makeup? Race? No, better to give up on the impossible. Rather than trying to prevent shallow opinions from forming, we try to control them. But even so, there are times when the borders blur between a first impression and a generalization: if we assume that the quiet Asian guy in that Calc BC class has good grades, and our assumption proves correct, what will we think next time we see someone of

a similar disposition? Where do we draw the line about stereotyping? Well, debatably, we don’t. Senior Jessica Yu looks a nondescript enough person, but in truth, her hobbies are unlikely. Even from her surname, we can generalize by race and assume she’s at least somewhat academic, but she has in the past started up conversations about Neopets while simultaneously researching colleges. In pursuit of interesting people, a favorite pastime of hers is seeking enlightening conversations from absolute strangers, which gives her opinions an amount of credibility when it comes to judging those we don’t know. She is aware that, like everyone else, she takes first impressions, but, going an additional step further, she takes into consideration the appearance of others to decide whether they’re actually interesting enough to warrant a talking-to. However, she has learnt from the early days of her hobby that outward appearance may have little to do with personality. Having discovered that certain people, who she describes as “the kids who listen to weird musical groups” and “the really religious people who honestly believe in God’s grace,” tend to make for good conversational partners, Yu notes that taste in music and religion are not often reflected in clothing. On the flip side, she has found that “drama kids usually dress weird, but they don’t necessarily have anything interesting to say”-- but what, then, would be her methods of finding the insightful ones by sight? “You talk to everybody,” she instructs. “[Or,] if you say something outrageously controversial and dumb, then you get people to flame on you.” But even with this wisdom in dissociating substance and style, Yu is not free of judgment: she determines who in general is safe to approach by “if they don’t look like they’re going to beat me up…that is, short, Asian, female…” That’s a generalization, there. Stereotypes will always keep on going. As said by sophomore Nicholas Arquie, “Everyone has their own illusion of the world, so everyone judges others.” And as for you, the new kid? Of course, you don’t know anyone in that group within which you can somehow envision yourself. Perhaps they wear the brand names you identify with. Perhaps their being in one of your elective classes suggests a common interest. Perhaps you can sense their aura and simply got some good vibe from them. But maybe it’s just that they dared each other to dress differently for a day, or they need to fulfill a certain type of elective credit, or your chakras are out of sync. In any case, it’s just a hunch. A hunch you can’t help but make, yes, but in the end, it’s really nothing more.

“when you see someone, the first thing you do is see them, right?”

“[We all]

take first impressions, [but we]






S YOU INTRODUCE YOURSELF to this clique you’ve somehow ascertained you’ll fit in with, judging by their your self-consciousness skyrockets. One of the actions afterward.” group is expressing a look of severe confusion, or is that just you being paranoid? As a hand is extended for you --senior Charling Huang to shake, is the meeting stiffed in formality or do they “[incorrect assumptions are] simply share a quirky sense of humor? Feeling as if you understandable... tread on eggshells, you second-guess everything that I mean, I don’t blame them, occurs and watch your step accordingly. Given our tendency to judge others, conveniently but it’s kind of... overlooked is the fact that, in exchange for our liberties, you know, just, like, others are judging us all the time. But fair’s fair, and now you find yourself worrying about how others are thinking of you. For if things go badly now, your dignity, a clean --freshman Karina Schuler slate with your new-student-dom, is to be sacrificed... You’ve dressed characteristically like yourself “They today, however that may be-- after all, you did seem so interesting enough expect others would take their first impressions of you, ... but and your clothing reflects how you want to appear, be it they’re always high!” a trendy Abercrombie top or an oversized obscure band t-shirt. But, oh, you only had one clean pair of pants left, --anonymous Monta Vista student and skinny jeans are so five minutes ago. Or it’s humid about a certain unspecified clique. and your hair’s doing weird things (I swear, have you never heard the amount of girls that emit a collective cry “Everyone of despair upon the realization that there’s something has more depth than of moisture about?), or you’ve buried your nose in a pulp fiction book for the day instead of your typical epic what everyone else poetry. Whatever the case, you’ve been caught unawares and now worry this group will assume something about they have.” you that simply isn’t true. And you’re panicking. --junior Denis Su Let’s pretend all the generalizations in the minds

constantly revise them



Oral Comp nerd” who can speak well. Of course, not only the Caucasians have found themselves victims of judgment (any Asians around of your everyday high-schooler are correct. Even in this who’ve felt their personality will be overlooked just already-idealized situation, there is still the issue of because others might think the ones with the stellar inconsistencies. As described by freshman Thea Miller, progress reports study all the time and cannot be “if you’re doing something you don’t normally do, interesting?). someone might assume you do it all the time.” Usually, And even when this isn’t in terms of race, how can you wouldn’t care, but today, you need all the identity it not just hurt in general when others perceive you not you can muster. You’ll have to work to negate false as a person, but as a stereotype? We can’t change any assumptions your mistakes have caused, of the annoyingly physical characteristics how can it that betray us to the world, and we can’t and what if it proves the tipping point of your acceptance/rejection in this clique? not hurt when stop others from inaccurately interpreting And, oh yeah, you’ve thus far forgotten the little they know of us. In short, in a way, others perabout race, and there wasn’t enough time there is no hope-- none for the new kid, at to pull a Michael Jackson as you got ready ceive you as least. For that one clique, that ancient adage for school this morning. rears its ugly head-- “do unto others as you more of a stePerhaps we never think of racism as a would yourself”-- but that’s not especially problem in our school, having a somewhat reotype than helpful for those who have led themselves backwards demographic in comparison to a person? to believe that said others may not be quite the rest of California, but that just implies so similar. that our racist remarks can be just as So, yes, new kid, you had better watch reversed. your step. Take freshman Wilson Korges, who feels the color of Sorry. her skin may affect others’ thoughts of her. Musing that, And, oh, but there is always that sliver of to strangers, she most likely comes across as arrogant reassurance in pessimism, and for my part, I shan’t be and insincere, within her circle of friends, she is kind and getting anywhere as a writer if I were so depressing. But often regarded as the trustworthy one to whom bottled- Latta best phrases this shard of positivity: “I walk up to up emotional burdens are divulged. the person, shake their hand with a smile, [or] crack a And then, there is the white male: though usually joke and hope everything goes the right way... found in abundance, at this school, in his words, “And, well, if they choose not to know me, freshman Aaron Latta guesses that others perceive him there’s not really anything I can do. In terms of missed to be “a slacker that can’t do anything” and who “[has] opportunities...there are so many chances in the world. an easier life.” To his friends, however, who judge him But whatever path you take, 99.9% of those chances only as an individual, he is often considered a “smart will go away.”




Follow the Swirl By Hanna Kim

FroYo Fundraising

The Social Manager for the Class of 2013, Britni Chon, is always advertising new fundraisers on her facebook. Most of the time, the choice is between Tartini or Orange Tree, two well known frozen yogurt places. Students laugh at the never changing fundraiser ideas, but they all agree that a frozen yogurt store is a good place to hold one. The MV freshmen gather at these stores just to hang out and spend money on Fro Yo for our class. Also, the class officers sometimes post up schoolloop discussions asking which location we would rather have our fundraiser in. Getting about 40-50 answers and replies each time, they believe that these Fro Yo fundraisers are a big help in raising funds for our class. Emily Wong, a freshman at Monta Vista, says that she loves eating Fro Yo, especially with her fellow classmates. “There’s nothing like enjoying some frozen yogurt on a hot day while earning money for our class! It’s like, perfect!” she says as she lets out a giggle.


rozen Yogurt now dominates the industry of frozen treats. It comes with a choice of toppings, has a variety of flavors, and compared to ice cream, it contains less fat.

Vista, also expressed her love for Fro Yo one special moment of FroYo time. day at school. At a nearby Yogurtland, she Sarah Lee, a freshman from Monta cautiously got the exact amount of each flaVista explains that whenever she hangs out vor and skipped over to the toppings stand. with friends at the Valco Mall, they walk “I absolutely love toppings. They make each across the street to get some Frozen Yogurt flavor of yogurt stand out and I can make it But what really makes it so appealing? at Yogurtland. “Yogurtland is so much bet- crunchy, chocolate-y or even juicy!” she says Is it the freedom of choice that we feel when ter than Froyo [which is] in Valco; so we just with a mischievous smile. She then proceeds we buy our yogurt? Or is it the openness of walk over there, it doesn’t take too long and to pick out all the pink dotted jelly beans. the store itself? What is the reason for the conit’s pretty fun.” she said. “The first time I ever “These ones are the best. They’re called stant fundraisers at Frozen Yogurt stores and strawberry shortcake! Yumm.” got Fro Yo was with a group of my the hang outs that frequently occur there? friends. A lot of them had tried it “I can make it After taking one big scoop she says, “I’m not sure what it is before so they told me what flavors crunch, choco When and why do people get Fro Yo? about Fro Yo that makes me were the best and stuff. We went What does it really mean to them? to yogurtland and I remember get- late-y or even keep coming back, but every scoop I take soothes me.” ting taro because my friend told juicy!” To Cory Low, a freshman at Monta me that she loved it; it wasn’t even Vista, Fro Yo seems to be a prize or a sense Frozen yogurt gives a that good..” Her thoughts seem to of motivation. He explained that his outwander off as she remembers her first day of sense of freedom and individuality because side, club basketball team always celebrates Yogurtland. As she comes back into focus, you can pick your own size, pick your own each winning game with Fro Yo at Yogurtshe says, “well anyways, I just love Fro Yo flavors, and pick your own toppings. This land. His whole team loves because it takes away my worries, is what has drawn more and more consumit and they look forward to “One of the benefits even for just a moment. It’s nice ers in. Nowadays, kids even think of getit because they’re confident part time jobs at places like Yogurtland of having a sibling: to be able to just focus on the yo- ting they won’t ever lose. Low because it’s trendy and fun. The self serve gurt!” a special explained that they chose to sharing policy makes it easier for the workers and a celebrate at Yogurtland be- moment of FroYo Students spend their time at lot simpler for the customers as well. These cause it’s refreshing, cheap, Frozen Yogurt Stores because of rules are what differentiate ice cream from time.” and fun! many different reasons. Richard froyo. Frozen Yogurt places are places of joy Kwon, a sophomore at Monta and cheerfulness, which is why everybody To, Eunice Lee, another freshman at Vista, loves to go to get frozen yogurt with his chooses to hang out there. Fro Yo has a difMonta Vista, Fro Yo is a means of spending girlfriend. He says, “It’s the perfect place to ferent and special meaning to each and evtime with siblings. She said that she and her chill out with her without it getting awkward. ery person. It’s not just a snack anymore, older sister go to get Fro Yo at Yogurtland I love it, it works wonders!” He admits to go- it’s more. Most people become addicted whenever they just want to talk. “Talking over right away. I mean, who could possible stay ing there about two to three times a month. a cup full of froyo is just amazing. It really away? helps us open up and enjoy ourselves.” One Soomin Kim, a freshman at Monta of the benefits of having a sibling: sharing a

Enjoying the Memories Friends and family enjoy eating at Frozen Yogurt Places as a means of bonding and spending time together.

Fro Yo fundraising has turned out to be a huge success because the freshmen just keep wanting more. As the class officers busy their already busy schedules with more plans of fundraisers, the freshmen eagerly await their next Fro Yo day. “The money we make at these fundraisers is used for our rally equipment and will also be saved for our class’ senior ball. I think Fro Yo is a really good way to have fun and bring up the money levels!” Britni Chon says. “We eat, we have fun, we take pictures, and I don’t know, freshmen, please come to our next fundraiser at Pho Min!” She immediately starts to advertise their next fundraiser idea.

Popular Locations

Sarah Lee

Nom Nom Nom! Vanilla & Original Tart

White Chocolate Chips

Yogurtland YUMMY!

Orange Tree


Britni Chon

A few of the Freshmen at Tartini for one of their fundraisers. Keep up the good work Class of 2013!

Strawberry & Raspberry Tart

Strawberries & Cheesecake Crumbs






Red Mango



will go on a picture may

by iris liu

be worth a thousand words,

but a

The Monta Vista Marquesas Kick Team glow at the USA National Championship Competition.

Left: Variations singers bond at their 2010 trip to New York City.

“Well, alright,” you may find yourself dubiously thinking.

“I play an instrument.” “I dance.” “I sing.” “But I don’t have enough time.”

ond-year Marquesa. “[Dance Team] has really brought me outside of my box.” Likewise, musical performing arts are just as emotionally and physically challenging. Variations and Chamber Orchestra, both well-known for their demanding auditions and high quality harmonies, bring together groups of students dedicated to styling their musical passion. “I’m just in awe of how [these musicians] make their instruments sing,” proclaims John Galli, head of the Music Department. “Performing arts communicate to every human sense, not just visually or auditorially. This is the entire reason for being in music. Communication and expression.” Yet, many performers get lost on the way up, putting technical skill above all other aspects, thereby eliminating both the performance and the art from the performing art. “Being able to throw up a bunch of technical skills doesn’t nearly define a good performance,” says Galli. “That’s like computer programming, completely devoid of emotional commitment.” Senior Rebecca Yin, despite having started choir years later than most her peers in Variations, has broken past this obstacle. She cites her laid-back approach toward music as a major factor to her vocal success. “I’ve seen instances where people are so focused on hard, solid technique they actually forget to feel what they’re singing. Good pitch and rhythm can only get you so far.”

In reality, excuses inhibit action. Despite its notorious academic rigor, Monta Vista is home to some of the nation’s most talented artists. Artists from Variations, Chamber Orchestra, and Dance Team serve as proof. The people who break through aren’t those who do what they do just to fluff up their college applications. As Mr. Galli says, “You don’t have to be the best performer in the world to be accepted into these prestigious groups. What stands out just as impressively is how much you put your heart and how much of yourself you put into [what you do].” These are long-distance sprinters, conditioned to withstand and appreciate the balance of mental, physical, and emotional dedication of the performing arts.

Stephen Kim (9), co-concertmaster of the Monta Vista Chamber Orchestra, has been playing the violin since age 3.

WORDS from the heART


All senses drawn into the inescapable beauty, yet at the same time, lost. A flurry of doubts hurl recklessly through, mere flashes and snippets of semi-coherent thought processes. Kind of like that stack of vocabulary you so furiously crammed last week on the car ride to the to the SAT examination site. We like to call them geniuses, prodigies, deities—those who manage both high level academic work and mastery of the fine arts. With so much work and so little sleep, the rest of us already grimace in horror at the mere thought of another commitment, whether it be in terms of time, emotion, or energy. It’s impossible, we tell ourselves. The odds of parting the Red Sea seem significantly higher. Among the various forms of performing arts, three main groups at Monta Vista leap out. Variations, Chamber Orchestra, and Dance Team all strive to produce quality performances that create lasting impacts on audience members. The nationally-ranked Marquesas Dance Team, coached by History teacher Hillary Maxwell, consists of 22 girls, all bonded together by their common passion. With 2-hour long practices at least four days a week, the girls unanimously agree that expressive interpretation is the key to their performance both individually and as a group. “Even though Dance Team is a really rigorous commitment, one of the most important aspects is style,” reveals Senior Charlene Chen, a sec-

performance says it all

The Marquesas come together for a group photo after winning the 2010 USA National Championship in Kick.

This is the situation of most Monta Vista students. But in these same conditions, how are others able to cope, excelling at the performing arts while maintaining good grades (often even better than those without the artistic extracurricular). Upon questioning, many performers reveal their secret: What takes up seeming more time actually saves them time. Yes, read that sentence as many times as you like; that’s no giant typo. Two very key characteristic of those who regularly practice the performing arts are perfectionism and focus. Together, these two traits serve as the guideline in many performers’ lives. There is no fear of commitment, nor is there the panic of time crunch. “I sometimes end up dancing five or six hours a day,” confesses Teresa Li (10), one of the Dance Team captains for the ’10-’11 school year and a rigorous dancer outside of school. “But I’m able to maintain my grades. I’ve gotten straight A’s so far in high school.” There are obviously restrictions. Maybe cut down on one or two APs here or there. “Because of my commitment to choir and dance, I’ve learned to take a step back to assess whether I really need so many AP [classes],” divulges Sabrina Chuang (10). “When I know I have a 3-hour chunk of time later in the day where I can’t devote my energy to my studies, I unconsciously push myself to work so much faster than I do on a regular day.” Step up to it. Be confident. Don’t trip. Don’t let your own knowledge limit you and your performance. Just take a deep breath, and prepare yourself for your entrance.

“Instead of taking just the [dance] classes my friends took, I started to take more classes that would enhance my skills as a dancer and push me to my best.” –Christine Ng (10) “Practicing [the violin] a lot really matters, but practicing productively matters even more.” –Stephen Kim(9) “Dance and choir help build up my ability to focus for long periods of time.” –Sabrina Chuang (10) “The time I dedicate to choir really pays off when I see how much it’s changed me.” – Charlene Chen (12) “You hear it, you feel it, you love it, and it’ll be great.” –Rebecca Yin (12) Joshua Ding (11), Michelle Lee (12), and Rebecca Yin (12) pose for a picture at Variation’s 2010 trip to New York City.

There’s No “I” In Money “...These budget cuts will make my future

“It’s taking a part away from Monta Vista!” -- Annie Ho (10)

career in high school more difficult...” -- Albert Qiu (9)

Annual Expenses per Student 68%



Other Outgo



(Teachers, Textbooks)


(School sponsored activities, Academic achievement)

Cut It Out!


udget cuts. Just saying it is enough to send shivers down the spines of faculty and students across the Fremont Union School District. While this may lead staff members to worry about if their jobs are in jeopardy, students worry about never seeing their favorite classes or activities again. Whether it’s an after school sport, or an advanced academic, the district’s budget deficit threatens to trash many favorites among students at Monta Vista High School. For those not so familiar with the past financial predicaments, the Fremont Union School District is expecting a deficit of up to $10 million in the 2010 — 2011 school year according to FUHSD’s superintendent, Polly Bove, which could force the School Board to eliminate and reduce some of the offered courses at Monta Vista.

“[FUHSD] is expecting a deficit of up to $10 million in the 2010 - 2011 school year...” This includes things such as summerschool, advanced placement classes, even seventh period classes altogether. It’s hard not to come across some sort of news regarding the budget cuts nowadays, with students’ academic fate resting so much in the community and administration’s hands. “I’ve heard

about it a lot,” answers Maggie Maser when asked about the recent cuts, “A lot, a lot, actually. And for the most part, it’s like whatever, but if they cut water polo…” she trails off, pounding her right fist into her left palm, “I’ll be so mad.” Maser, a freshman, tried out for water polo earlier this year, and succeeded in earning herself a spot on M.V.’s junior varsity team. But the district’s budget dilemmas, mainly attributed to “the economic downturn and state budget crisis” may make Maser’s sophomore sports life significantly lighter— if she has one at all. Extracurriculars, namely M.V. affiliated sports, are amongst the offered activities that could be on the chopping block. “I made a lot of friends on the team, and if we all don’t get to see each other every day, like at practice and stuff, it’ll suck,” Maser says, “I mean, it’s been so much fun, you know?” Maser’s not the only one who wonders about the upcoming school year. Sami Case, also a freshman, tries to imagine what it will be like without her favorite electives.

Pupil Services

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(or lack thereof).

Instruction Related Services (Library, Training)

(Testing, Guidance, Resources)


show me the money


Plant Services

“I’m…worried,” she admits, “What can I do next year [if] those things are gone?” Case, who’s taking woodshop and a modern language next year fears also for the future of M.V.’s teachers. “I think that a lot of the teachers might get laid off, and that sucks,” she explains. Her solution? “Maybe they should have a student survey and fire all the bad teachers first.” Although Case seems confident in her plan, the board has other ideas— named Measure B. The tax, poised to bring in $98 annually per household within the FUHSD boundaries, could allow classes that are currently in danger of being eliminated or reduced to stay put. Class sizes would maintain their relatively small size, and Monta Vista would continue to support the outstanding courses and extracurricular activities— including sports like water polo and electives like woodshop— that it has for the past years. However, the future of the tax is unknown; the economic situation may prove to be an obstacle in its path. And even if it


$708 does pass, Measure B may not be a sufficient resolution to the district’s budget crisis— but there’s no doubt it would help. “I know that whatever happens, something’s [going to] end up changing,” Maser continues, “But I guess you gotta do what you gotta do.”


98 the amount in dollars measure b will provide 935 monta vista’s current api 2011 the year that measure b will expire 10,330 the aprox. amount of students in the fuhsd 3 million average mv students think the deficit is 10,200,000 the expected deficit of 2010 - 2011


he truth is, we worry. As students of Monta Vista, we worry. We worry about teachers, we worry about grades, we worry about teachers not giving us good grades in our classes. And lately, we’ve been worried about not getting classes altogether. With financial problems looming above our heads (increasing class sizes, the potential hacking of our favorite classes and activities, etc.), we can’t help but add another worry to our perpetually growing lists. But some of us are just a little bit luckier. For some students, the budget cuts are simply another trending topic that will soon fade away. “I’ve heard they exist,” says Nina Behen (9), when asked about the budget cuts in general. “But I don’t really care.” The ninth grader, who’s currently taking Japanese, even says that her modern language isn’t something she’d miss. “I’d feel less nerdy [if it were cut],” she admits, laughing. Despite Behen’s indifference towards the district’s fiscal problems, she has an opinion of Measure B. The parcel tax (a tax on a property that someone owns), will affect residents living within FUHSD’s boundaries. If it gets a positive two-thirds vote of the community, schools within the district will begin receiving the annual $98 per household.

“I’d feel less nerdy [if they were cut].”

“I think it’s good,” she begins. “I think parcel taxes are good. I don’t really care how much they cost, ‘cause, I mean, it’s for the future of America. We do need more money for the schools, because there are some people who might need to take the advanced courses.” Behen makes a point. With university applicants more competitive than ever, a lack of courses could potentially prevent students from getting into their choice colleges. Those who end up with less impressive transcripts and resumes, as a consequence of the cuts, are likely to be rejected when pitted against another who was offered more courses back in high school. “I don’t think anything should be cut,” Behen concludes. “We just need to tax more.” While Behen’s definitely picked the pro-Measure B side, some aren’t so quick to choose a team. “The thing with budget cuts is that people don’t understand what the money is allocated for,” says Lucia Lin, junior at Monta Vista, “but right now, my opinion about the budget cuts is that, in a way, there’s always a positive and negative to it, and people should listen to both sides before making a decision about it.” Yes. The truth is that we worry. There’s no doubt about that. School is stressful, homework’s a pain. And budget cuts unanimously “suck”. But maybe we should worry just a little bit less.

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Terrorist Crusades Before I delve into this subject I must swear to all religious believers that I DON’T HAVE A THING AGAINST GOD. I LOVE GOD. And not all Christians are like these crazy people. Don’t come after me. Thank you. However, even though that I am sure no readers would want to attack me, there are certainly people out there who will. Tina Mae and Joshua Matthew Stone, David Brian Stones Sr. and Jr., Thomas William Piatek, Michael David Meeks, Kristopher T. Sickles, Joshua Clough, and Jacob J. Ward were recently arrested from March 28 to March 30, 2010. These nine people are suspected of involvement in a two-year ploy to kill various police and prossibly also civilans, by means of illegal explo-

“Ask and you shall receive”

sives/firearms. They are involved in a Christian group who call themselves

Is perhaps the most debate-triggering

the Huratee.

phrase in the Bible.

We must see with our own eyes, hear with our own ears,

By this time, several murders/massacres had already been commited.

is no life after death. (Then where do we go from here?)

touch with our own hands. We must feel God’s presence

Such misinterpretations of the Bible pop up quite often: perhaps they

There is no God. (Or is there?)

before we believe. We must be sure that there is a God

had a vision, or heard God’s voice, or had some extremely enlightening

before we give him our all.

revelation which told them to go out and terrorize people.

There is no such thing as perfection. (Really?) There

Or is there? For thousands of years humans have worshipped

...Is it sa misinterpretation of the Bible, or are they just plain stupid?

This is where the Christians should start laughing

idols. Maybe they actually were drawing closer to

at me. God isn’t to be tested, they explain. It’s about

Then again, what does the Bible mean, anyway?

omnipotent beings, or perhaps they were just offering

indescribable unspoken words. It’s about reaching for

God knows.

empty prayers to broken stone, but whatever the case

something that’s beyond you. It’s about faith.

was, they believed. They had faith and sacrificed stuff

And yet, atheists dismiss the faith issue in a ridicu-

and went totally into that religious-fanatic stage, where

lously simple fashion: There’s nothing wrong with having

culture and religion merge. Then somewhere in the 18th

imaginary friends, they say. Everyone’s had one at some

century the first non-believers began asserting their views

point. (Remember those blissful kindergarten days?)

and making that into a semi-religion, which then went on

You just have to learn where to draw the line. Leo Zhang

to more or less become the semi-religion of the world.

(9) explained, “If you look at an adult, say, 30 or 40 or

Actually, we shouldn’t call atheism a religion; it should

Santa Claus, would you believe they’re crazy?” (Followed

religions. It’s easy to explain: THERE IS NO GOD. There

by a chorus of “yes”s and “yeah”s.)

is no such thing as perfection. There is nothing after

On the other hand, “It’s all about believing in some-

idols, the way that they can convince

an experiment. Find the most Christian-y

themselves that these idols exist.

Christian you know, and tell them to pray

(Not saying that they don’t, of

tonight for God to heal every amputee in

course. I’m referring to it faith-wise.)

the world in a day. Then view the results

It’s not “let’s get God to grant our


wishes”, it’s “let’s take a chance and

Don’t even try. I’ll tell you the results.


It won’t work.

uploaded by on

Atheism attacks this point. Is it not

We can’t control onmipotent forces, believers argue. If we could,

“Jesus wanted us to be ready to defend ourselves using the sword and stay

written in the Holy Bible that if you “have

we would be omnipotent. Praying is

alive using equipment... we, the Hutaree, are prepared to defend all those who

but a seed of faith... you will move

a nice dose of insanity that warms

belong to Christ and save those who aren’t. We will still spread the word, and


the soul.

The religious answer is: The answer to

fight to keep it, up to the time of the great coming.”

something like that, and they say that they believe in

be defined as a mass collection of criticisms against

Leo Zhang (9) argues: “Here, let’s run

Prayer is the worshipper’s way of connecting with their omnipotent

a prayer doesn’t have to be “Okay, now

Zhang told me. “ They’ll go like, ‘Oh,

are you happy?” It could just as well be

well, I was like super depressed and

“No, that’s not what I want you to do.”

I talked to a tree and it made me

And so on and so forth. But ultimately

Courtesy of

“Yeah I know those people too,”

feel better, is the tree God?’ I mean,

there is no right or wrong answer. (Isn’t

that’s not the point. The whole point

death. (And since most atheists are, for some reason,

thing that’s beyond you,” says Victor Zhang (9), Christian.

that what everything in life is like?

of prayer is so that you can know

violently religion-bashing, anyone who disagrees is a

In other words, if we knew how God worked, then God

Except math, I mean.)

that God is there and you can have a

blind blockhead.)

wouldn’t need to exist and we would be God.

As unconventional as atheism first appeared, it did

Does this make sense? Perhaps. Does atheism have

make sense. People brought up the problem of evil (why

a point? Of course. Then why did I even take the time

do bad things happen/exist?), the nonbeliever problem

writing this whole thing? (Don’t worry, it wasn’t just to

(why didn’t God just make everyone believe in him in the

annoy you.)

first place?), and the lack of empirical evidence (who’s ever seen God?). Religion itself has too many disagreements with science. The more we thirst for knowledge,

Writing for Pub, either.) If there was one thing that people argued over most besides food and taxes, it would be religion. The fact that

pro-atheism argument of all time: how can you prove that

it has no answer (at least, not that we know of) makes

God is real?

it among the most widely-debatable topics in the world.

“There’s no physical proof,” says Alex Wang (9). “The

relationship with Him.”

Bottom row, left to right: Michael David Meeks, Kristopher T. Sickles, Joshua John Clough, Thomas Willam Piatek

(...And it wasn’t just to throw together something for

the more we want to prove, and this becomes the biggest

Answer: You can’t.

Top row, left to right: David Brian Stone Sr., David Brian Stone Jr., Jacob Ward, Tina Mae Stone

(Which, by the way, just happens to include Monta Vista.) Religion itself is based upon faith. Atheism attacks this

Welcome to the Afterlife

When we finally see Death rearing

uploaded by creationc on

There isn’t a soul alive who

its ugly head at the end of our lives, doesn’t wish for Heaven after death. “Everything you do, while you’re living, is going to be

day I see God, I’ll become a Christian. The day I see

faith with science. Is there a right or wrong answer? No,

there’s really not much time for long (I mean, think about it. Would you

Allah, I’ll become a Muslim. The day I see Buddha, I’ll

not really. But there could be, in the end--at the end of the

soliloquies; you only see what is

like to go to hell?) But sadly enough,

used to judge who you are after you die,” said Arifa Aziz

become a Buddhist. They day I see aliens, I’ll become a

world. Or, more likely, just the end of your life.

before your eyes.

there seem to be several different

(9, Muslim).

scientologist!” (We must all agree that there has yet to be a confirmed sighting of such beings.) This is the fatal flaw of every religion. Faith is the only thing they can rely on, nothing more. No one can prove the existence of some deity. Science makes us stubborn.

Religion is a touchy subject. What’s waiting for you at the end of the road?

What’s before your eyes? Go on. sets of rules in getting there (includStark contrast with Zhang; Aziz believes in judgement of the soul.

Close them. Think. Where do we go ing the theory of not being able to go

Atheism is a complicated matter. What’s really out

from here?

anywhere at all.)

“Heaven is like a box,” explains Victor Zhang (9,

Your life, not your faith, sends you to your home for eternity.

Christian). “And there are, like, two metal gates that

there beyond what we know?

are the only way in to Heaven. And every baby is

Is God your imaginary friend? uploaded by amaze646 on

born with this metal thing, and it’s called sin. If you

“You just die,” said Alex Wang (9). “You decom-

just try to pass through the gates with that attached

pose into the ground and turn into nitrogen.”

to you, then you blow up. But there’s one place in the gate, there’s a hole and it’s called Jesus. And there’s Christianity insists on a firm belief in God. Faith, not good deeds, ships you off to where you are in no incinerator thing inside that hole.” uploaded by robby_m on the afterlife. Granted, there are several branches of Christianity, but they all seem to say that the End of the World is when Judgement Day comes. Perhaps their souls lie in wait? God knows.

writing and spread design by Karen Xu

uploaded by guldfisken on

Atheism, being the science-based theory that it is, doesn’t believe in an afterlife. What are souls? Can you prove that souls exist? No? Well then, they don’t exist. And since they don’t exist, death is just... death.

uploaded by Leonardini on

chamber of

A Key To My Heart



1850s to 1870s

Lewis Caroll, author of Alice in Wonderland, kept an extensive diary totalling up to 13 volumes.


Jack Maybrick, also known as Jack the Ripper, is one of the most well known serial killers throughout the world. His killings took place in throughout the year of 1888 The police hunted him down for years as he continued to rape and kill women. In his diary, he tells the story of his killings and rapings of young women.

Keyless in Cupertino

very girl has one. Maybe during childhood years or even now as your an adult. It starts in elementary school where it’s pink with a lock and (usually very losable) key. Where “Mrs. Zac Efron” is scrolled in loopy cursive handwriting across the page, surrounded by hearts and kisses. Where pictures of butterflys and unicorns are messily drawn all throughout the twenty pages. Where the words confess your deepest, darkest secrets - how much you hate your little brother for stealing your favorite stuffed animal. A diary. A place to keep your secrets and hide your feelings. As you enter high school, many girls have grown out of the diary stage and are moving to more advanced techniques to record their views on life - blogs, facebook, email, aim and myspace have stolen the simple art of handwriting feelings. Now when there is any news to share, a keyboard is always accessible . However, some still relied on their diaries to get through high school. Now, diary writing is their way out of reality. Kalani Seaver, a ninth grader at Monta Vista High, explains “A diary is writing secrets no one needs to know about” explains Seaver. “I’m more documenting my time in high school.” A documentation she started in early October. Now, almost six months later Seaver has made it to journal entry number 54. Sitting on the top bunk of her bed, her snoopy covered pajama bottoms and ratty old Oregon t-shirt dim in the lamp light, as her hand flashes across the page with a Staples black ink pen latched in it. Finishing up her last sentence she takes a deep breath and slowly leans back into her mountain of pillows, exhaling as she goes. Lying there for a few seconds, it is completely silent. The street is empty, the house quiet and the only sound of the wind rustling is audible. Without opening her eyes Seaver slowly shuts the cover of her abstract, black bedazzled journal - no key in sight. Ashley Ding, another freshman at MV, also keeps a diary. But unlike Seaver, Ding doesn’t write anything too personal. “I don’t write about anyone I like because I know someone is going to read it,” she explains. “It’s more of a description of my day.”

Right before bed she grabs her number two pencil and briefs her old pal about her day. Her diary is simple, no elaborate designs or colors, just a plain black diary, with no lock or key. “It helps me clear my head and gives me time to reflect on my day,” says Ding. “I like it.” This sense of writing began in the start of the year, fall of 2009. As the frequency in entries slowly progressed so did Dings passion for the activity. Katie Walker, a sophomore at the local MV high school, is yet another diary keeper. As she sits in the yellow padded stool her diary rests on the counter top. It’s cover is a clear, see-through case and inside is a bunch of doodles Walker has drawn over the two years. Bending down, Walker slowly jots down her thoughts onto the lined paper. “There is no need to rush,” Walker later explains. “I know what I am going to write and my diary isn’t going anywhere, so why rush.” Although rushing isn’t a problem, Walkers dates are all out of whack. Following no specific pattern or structure, her dates of journal entries jump around from January 9 to February 15 to February 26. “I write when I feel like writing,” says Walker. “There’s no reason for it, it’s just when I feel like doing it.” A diary can be big or small, plain or colorful, locked or unlocked, elaborate or simple, even messy or neat. They are one of those things that help define you. Whether you write in it once a month or three times a day, it’s your choice. Lock or no lock, key or no key, a diary is what you make it to be.

1942 to 1944

Anne Frank kept a very detailed diary she called “kitty” throughout her years in hiding from the Natzis during world war ll.

like I got all my emotions out. Not good enough that I would do it everyday, but good enough that I would think about doing every month or so. But for the sake of this column I was going to keep my promise. I was going to accomplish keeping a diary for at least a week. A few days later, I relearned why I stopped keeping diaries throughout childhood. I can’t do it.   I can mentally and physically do it, that’s not the problem.  Pulling out my diary and picking up a pen and putting how I feel on paper isn’t hard, that is, it wouldn’t be if I ever remember to actually pick up a pen and start writing. In truth, I have an undiagnosed memory problem. A big one. So big, that I can’t remember to write in a diary for ten minutes, once a day. So, I would actually like to tell you that diary writing is the best experience ever and everyone should do it, but I can’t. Because in truth, I absolutely hate it.   Not the writing of emotions (in truth I really enjoyed that) but the constant hassle of having to write in the diary. Having to rethink my day and think about how I felt. Having to pick up a pencil and use energy. Having to take the time out of my life to write - knowing that I could be doing something different, but instead am in my room, writing about something that already happened. Very pointless. I would like to tell you that I loved writing in my diary and now I write in it eight times a day - but in truth, that would be a lie. I like the thought of writing in my diary and the things it represents but when it comes time to actually write, I don’t. So for now, my thoughts are cooped up in my head. But maybe, someday I will get into the art of writing in a diary. But for now, my thoughts are their own and not filled onto a blank page of a green diary.

1945 to 1953

Harry S. Truman was the 33rd president of the United States. He kept a diary including his daily duties as the president.


Millions of people around the world invest their thoughts on paper

A how to guide on: KEEPING A DIARY 1. Getting Supplies . Find a diary. For this step you have two choices.

Choice number one is to find a diary at any of the following places: Staples, Borders, Target, Walgreens or even Office Max. Choice two is to raid your house for supplies and make a hand made diary.

Select a diary of your choosing. If

you go with choice number one, once at the store scan all the possible options and think to yourself “Is this me?” Remember this will be your diary for a long time! Choose carefully!

Check out. Find a nearby checkout counter and

pay for the diary. Have cashier place the diary in a bag so it will not get dirty. By: Megan Jones Period 5

Throughout the Years

Rows and rows filled my eyes. Brown with red hearts, blue with strips, green with polka dots, furry white kittens, and even daisies with little smiley faces filled the covers. Lock and key, no lock and key, button, no button, tie, no tie, lined paper, white paper. Overwhelmed with the amount of choices I could choose from, I grabbed the closest one and started to walk away. Glancing down, rainbow colored dogs streaked my vision. “Oh god,” I thought to myself. Fifteen minutes and eight dollars later I was successfully leaving Target, a plain green diary in hand.   Write about how you feel. Write about what happened it your day. Write about the important events.   Sitting crossed legged in my bed, I glared down at the empty white page as if it was the diaries fault I didn’t know what to write. Seven minutes later and had written exactly two words, adding up to a grand total of 9 letters: Dear Diary. Giving a short sigh, I decided I needed a break. Walking down the stairs I recreated what had happened in school that day – gone to the usual six classes, had two tests, went to the library, talked with friends. Finishing up the glass of water I trudged back upstairs toward my room. Seating myself back into my bed, I continued to stare at the diary, hoping it would give me inspiration of what to write.   Nothing.   I reorganized my already clean bookshelf. I cleaned up by desk. I watched the clock turn from 9:42 to 9:43. By my calculations, I had been at this for exactly 23 minutes. Sighing once again, I returned to my bed and sat there.   Finally I picked up my pen and began to write.   I wrote about my day, ranging from what I ate for breakfast to what I learned in all my classes. I wrote about my family and friends. I wrote about the softball game, and how well we did. Surprising myself I kept writing, filling up almost four pages. By the end my hand was cramped and my back hurt from bending over for so long but I felt good. Smiling, I promised myself I would do this again the next night. Of course, twenty four hours later my green diary was buried under the huge mess on my desk and I totally forgot to write in it. But it didn’t matter. That night when I wrote in it I felt good,


2. Getting Ready. 3. Getting Started. Scan your bedroom. This will be

Headers. Every journal entry should look relatively the

your “diary spot.” After every diary entry you will place the diary in this spot. Opt for a spot nearby your sleeping area for easy access.

same. Each should have a date on the top right hand side. On the left hand side it should have the words: Dear Diary (another variation of this can be used, ex Dear Journal.)

Writing device. You have two options

Writing. You can now begin your entry. Talk about how

to write in your diary with: pen or pencil. Choose one and put it near your diary (which should now be in its spot.) This will be your diary utensil. Choose wisely! A pen is more professional looking, while the pencil has more of a school like touch to it.

your day went and the feelings behind it. This can have much variation, depending on your own style of writing.

Signing off. Once you have finished your journal entry

it is important to have a signature at the bottom. This can either be your name in print, cursive or any other way you would like to write it. Like the diary entry, this can have a lot of variations to it.


Back Pain: The New Black Plague Cri-i-i-i-ck. Your spine cracks slowly when while you sit up from your hunched over position. As you stretch your overworked arms out, you hear another crack too. You yawn and arch your back, stretching out with an odd feeling that you’ve been cramped up in a box for a few hours. Once the last knot in your body has had a good tug, you take a deep breath. And hunch right back over your in-class worksheet. Sitting is an act that most do quite mindlessly. Yet the way you sit affects a lot more than you may realize. The position of your back, not to mention arms, neck, and shoulders affect your posture

Back Pain Affects 8 out of 10 people sometime in their long lives.

and can raise the likeliness of future back problems. Headaches, back pain, and constant slouching of shoulders are all problems associated with bad posture. Though your regular stance itself can often be the cause, how you sit and work also factors itself in. Your computer for one—it’s a magnet that draws your neck in, but leaves your back slightly arched. Your homework—it’s so low on your desk you can’t help but lean all the way down on it. Even when you’re listening—you sit slumped in your chair, neck to the side as you stare absentmindedly at the teacher. It’s not too surprising when statistics say that back pain affects 8 out of 10 people sometime in their long lives. It’s actually costs us about 4 billion dollars a year. So what should we do at school to avoid future problems? Obviously some chairs work better for us than others, therefore shouldn’t Monta Vista need to invest in new ergonimically better chairs? Though it seems logical, a few students disagree. “The school doesn’t have enough money, so the money should be spent on things like textbooks instead instead,” theorized 10th grader Emily Xie. “Chairs aren’t the most important.” It seems that in the end, it’s a matter of priorities. For in a survey of 50 people, though many were quick to complain about their least favorite chair, only 9 agreed we should get new ones (the most common suggestion being beanbags). We shall just have to wait to become one of the 8 of 10 before deciding we’re sick of crick-cracking our backs.

The Rolly Chair


By Nassim Moallem Period 5

To Sit or Not to Sit

The RATING Guide 0 STAR: You would be better off sitting on a bumpy rock. Heck, maybe this is a bumpy rock. 1 STAR: Uncomfortable, and irritable, your butt will hurt. 2 STARS: Without a distraction, you will be squirming in your seat. 3 STARS: An average chair. The basic ‘L’ shape, but not very fit for you 4 STARS: Pretty comfortable. You could fall asleep pretty easily. 5 STARS: The dream chair. It’s like a cloud—comfortable, entertaining, and relaxing.

Back straight. Back slouched. Back slumped (trying to sleep). Neck back. Neck forward. Neck turning to the side (where the clock is). Legs straight. Legs bent. Legs crossed (need the restroom). Foot jiggling. Foot tapping (to the beat of the song stuck in head). Foot not doing anything. Eyes focused. Eyes glazed. Eyes looking focused (but really glazed). Hands folded. Hands clenching. Hands playing rock-paper-scissors with friend across room (and winning). Fingers drumming. Fingers holding. Fingers reaching (for that pencil that dropped under the desk). There are many ways to sit in a chair. We are making a special dedication when we arrive at school. Yes, there’s the dedication that we will learn and attempt to better our

This is just one example of a height biased chair

minds with education, but we’re also allowing ourselves to be placed in the most suitable environment. For at least 7 hours a day none of us have a choice of where to sit. Our heights and weights along with other unique traits are pushed aside and averaged out in order to better our learning. In each class we have a different chair, which means a different posture and a different comfort level. A freshman and his friend walk into a room. The friend looks up and asks the freshman, “How’s the weather up there?” Most people have become accustomed to 9th grader Ziyang Bian’s 6’2” height. Though Bian appreciates his height, he knows that being tall isn’t always the best thing when it comes to sitting in most classrooms. At most desks, Bian’s long legs get trapped under the writing table. “My knees hit the bottom of desks,” he explains. “It’s really uncomfortable.” He accommodates by stretching his legs all the way out, a sitting style he has now gotten used to. Thankfully, that is the only real problem he faces. Bian does not need to hunch over his paper too much, so long as the person in front of him doesn’t mind an occasional foot popping up near him. This is just one example of a height-biased chair. A popular detested chair is the science stool. Most students at Monta Vista find them painful and down-right irritating. “I find it hard to concentrate in Bio because I’m uncomfortable in the chairs,” ninth grader Emily Vokach-Brodsky mentioned. Could it be? A chair that interferes

The Normal Seat

The Connected One


with learning? An odd, but possibly perfect excuse for forgetting to take notes during that last lecture. Or at least a new topic for the debate team. Lisa Zhang, a sophomore, was stunned when she noticed antiscience stool comments on a survey. “Are you kidding?! Chairs in science are fun to sit on!” Zhang likes the height of the stools, how they make you feels so high off the ground. She does agree that the stand (for feet to rest) on the science stools is a bit too far down for ‘verticallychallenged’ people. Therefore one can only conclude that the stools live to prey on the petite. Still, if you are the type of person who enjoys sleeping, or at least slouching, in class you might be thrilled by the topic of the chairs attached to their desks. Something about their connectivity stops you from sliding too low (though the same cannot be said for your eyelids). However, 10th grader Yu Yao Chang made a point when she added that they were also hard to move around. “It doesn’t matter what kind of chair I sit on. It’s just more annoying to move the ones connected around for

“Are you kidding?! Chairs in science are fun to sit on!” group work.” Thus, the prejudice of this chair comes out: feast on the sleepy, laugh at the hard-workers. Still, there is one unanimously amazing chair in this high school: the swivel chair. “Rolly chairs for the win!” Nina Behen, a freshman, proclaimed. The art and ceramic chairs seem to be the most fun to sit in. Not only are they cushioned, they also spin, causing much amusement. Sneaky Swivel. Real sneaky. We should have known a chair like you would only grace the presence of those artistees. Close to the floor. High off the ground. Cushioned back rest. Un-cushioned back rest. No back rest. Attached to desk. Covered in gum. Swivel-y. On wheels. Plastic. Metal. Adjustable. Non-adjustable. There are many types of chairs.

The Science Stool

HOW-TO: Keep Good Posture

A quick list of things you can do to keep your back as straight as a wall • Take Little Breaks. Everyone talks in class, so every twenty minutes of hard work, join in the conversation while you stretch. Or fake a runny nose and take a refreshing walk to the Kleenex box. Better yet, go to the bathroom and enjoy the fresh air while you do your miniyoga (doing this every 20 minutes is not advisable). • Pretend You’re a Chicken. Not literally—no need to cluck—but puff out your chest a little. This helps the alignment of your shoulders so you’re not drooping forward. • Glue Your Back To the Seat Back. Try and keep your back as close to the back of your seat as possible. Don’t lean all the way down to stare at a problem. It might seem easier, but you might just need glasses. When you’re working at a computer, have the screen directly in front of you, so you don’t have to crane your neck. • Be Self-Conscious. Do this for yourself though, not others. By staying aware of the position your body is in, you can fix it if it needs to be. Leaning down, shoulders tensed up, or back arched—these details can be the key to future problems. Stay alert so you can avoid them.



or not


Shoe In

“I like them,” freshman Namrata Garg said, “They’re cute and since I’m, like, kind of short, yeah they make me feel better about myself I guess.” Although Namrata finds heels to be the right choice for formal occasions, she feels that they can be uncomfortable. “They’re alright but they hurt, like you’ll get blisters on your feet really easily. So I don’t have that many of them, I think only one, since I don’t really wear them too often.”

Shoes and You

What does it mean when a girl walks down the hall sporting sparkly gold shoes with purple laces? Or that guy in PE with abnormally colorful shoes? How about that girl that never seems to repeat a pair? For many people, shoes aren’t just something thrown on their feet for protection; it has become a whole new line of vision, a whole new way of thinking. Owning many pairs is definitely a must. And more and more, shoes are beginning to reflect the way people think of themselves or what they want others to think of them.

“Nowadays, there seem to be rules to the way we dress”. But when it comes to shoes, many people follow the same trends; those that spin off of them seem to steal the spotlight. Rule number one: Try to be unique like everyone else. Pooja Pandey, a freshman at Monta Vista High School is just one of these students. Pooja uses her shoes to show off her school spirit. Sporting her sparkly gold converses with bright purple races, Pooja is ready for any school sponsored activity or social. Pooja can also be seen around campus in red, black, and white converses with inspirational words embossed on the side like inspi(red) and desi(red). They aren’t just for looks. The fact is that Pooja also takes advantage of her conspicuous shoe collection to help the world. The shoes are used to raise money for African children with aids. Pooja finds a colorful way to weave philanthropy into her fashion. Rule number two: Have an interesting story to tell.

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High Highs and Flat Flats

“The way you dress usually shows how much confidence you have.” Rule number three: Have a lot. A shoe addict. That’s what Jenny Han, a freshman at Monta Vista calls herself. Owning over forty, she never seems to repeat a pair. The collection began with a deal from her parents that she would get a pair of shoes for every A on her report card. The offer perked up Jenny and she began to study harder, earning shoe after shoe. “So I guess shoes kind of improved my education…” she says, recalling the offer her parents made a few years back, “I don’t really mind studying on my own, like, even if I don’t get shoes…” Shilpa Iyer is also a freshmen at Monta Vista High School with a bit of an edge. But aside from her cloth-

When it comes to variety, freshman Namrata Garg knows the way to go. Namrata owns a number of shoes and many different kinds too. She owns a pair of boots, two pairs of converses, a pair of flats, two pairs of running shoes, seven pairs of flip flops and badminton shoes, just to name a few. She says the abundance of shoes in her closet helps her express herself and “complete her outfit.”

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Every shoe tells a story. Namrata and many of her shoes have gone through something special. “…my awesome puple converses with paint on them from stagecrafting in drama…” For Namrata, shoes are just as important as the clothes she wears or the way she does her hair in the morning. And it works these days, because many people seem to take the time to notice what’s on other people’s feet.

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ing, Shilpa likes her shoes to stand out. With glow in the dark rainbow colored laces on her already bright colored converses, Shilpa’s feet are easily noticeable in broad daylight or in the middle of the night.


When is it appropriate to wear heels? And when is it right to wear something else? Is there an occasion for one or another? Or is it simply a matter of height? People have always had their preferences during formalities. Shoes have always been an important part of the popular culture and will continue to be so. To heel or not to heel; that is the question.

By: Rika Kumar

Monta Vista, like many other high schools in this nation, adds a chapter to the tale of two shoes...or maybe forty shoes. Just like purses and hairbands had their time of fame, shoes are the new fad sweeping schools around the nation.


Boot by Shilpa Iyer

“I like to be different,” says Shilpa, “It’s not everyday you can meet someone with shoes like mine.” Shilpa enjoys creating her fashions as well as wearing them.

The Mall. A place where minds are lost, money is spent, and consciences leave. Then what makes this machine of a wonder so addicting? Do all people obsess with the way they look? An insider to the lives of two very different girls - and the me in the middle. Manasa Gurumoorthi, a freshman at Monta Vista High School has great taste; and a sense of surroundings. Manasa keeps her shopping to a limit and gets what she needs, and a little of what she wants. “It works well for me. I may only have three pairs of shoes but if I wear them with different outfits each time, they still look interesting” Freshman Shilpa Iyer, however, has a hard time waiting to spend her regular allowance. “I have a lot of shoes. I can’t help it, but I like them. I don’t consider myself wasteful... yet. I mean, I get it if I want it, but I use my own money.” I on the other hand believe that I am at a healthful balance. Eight pairs of shoes and a faithful conscience.

“I really like flip flops too for some weird reason.” “I got this glow in the dark paint from home depot a while ago. And it was so cool I had to try it on everything, so I painted my shoes…” Creating what happens to catch the attention of many people brings joy to Shilpa’s creative mind. So whether it helps with learning, expresses true feeling, or saves the world, shoes play a significant role in the lives of teenagers these days. Shoes are every day objects most people take for granted. But it takes only few to start a trend. The continuous thoughts of how to make the world a better place with every day objects sparks the attention of many Monta Vista students.

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Heel in on... 1. More women go with looks rather than comfort 2. Flip flops are starting to be considered as appropriate for formal wear 3. In North Dakota, it’s illegal to lie down and fall asleep with shoes on. 4. Sandals originated in warm places where the bottoms of feet had to be closed. 5. The first shoes were made of animal hides. 6. There were no such things as left shoe and right shoe until the nineteenth century. 7. 15 percent of the female population owns more than thirty pairs of shoes. 8. 60 percent of women regretted the last time they bought shoes. 9. An average American woman spends about 277 dollars on shoes in a year. 10. The average female shoe size is eight and the average male shoe size is eleven.

For this reason, many people have discarded heels and have gone with another alternative. “At grad in eighth grade,” she says, “I was going to wear heels. But then I was like ‘I don’t want to be walking up and down those stairs hurting, so I just went with flip flops.”

“Comfort comes first.” For others, heels are the way to go. People like Pooja Pandey appreciate heels. “I know I’m tall, but I still like heels,” she says, “people say they hurt but if you get used to them they don’t anymore so I don’t mind them as much.” Of course heels are always hard to wear to school, but for formal purposes, Pooja believes heels are the way to go. “They look nice, like when you go to parties and stuff,” she added, “And they come in many different varieties.” Freshman Aditi Nataraj has another approach however. “I hate heels,” she says, “They are so pointless even if I’m short. The only time you’ll see me wearing heels is for DECA or something; otherwise, it’s sneakers all the way.” The discomfort of heels seems to be the deciding factor for many people. To heel or not to heel seems to be a question many people are asking. But the opinions of Monta Vista students seem unanimous. Comfort comes before looks.

The Final Judgment Apparently, the world’s going to end in 2012. And it just might happen.

Mayan Calendar It was designed to last 5,125.36 years, a period known as a Great Cycle.

It has 5 units

1 day= KIN 20 days= UNIAL 360 days= TUN 7,200 days= KATUN 144,000 days= BAKTUN

Dates are written in a point form like the following: BAKTUN.KATUN.TUN.UNIAL.KIN When the katuns reach their limit, it adds 1 baktun and then, it will reset to 0 for all units except baktuns. The end of the calendar occurs on which is December 21st, 2012.

Long Count on that day. The Long Count is a system of numbering days and has many smaller cycles going on within it. Ending this Long Count means the world's going to end. At least, that's the rumor. Purushothaman isn't the only person who thinks the world is going to end. Many people do. There are the believers, the disbelievers and the middle guys. It's the end of a cycle. Things start over again. Which means:  We die. «For the ancient Maya, it was a huge celebration to get to the end of a whole cycle,» said Sandra Noble,

executive director of the Foundation of the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies in Crystal Lake, Florida, to USA Today. «To render December 21, 2012 as a doomsday or moment of cosmic shifting is a complete fabrication and a chance for a lot of people to cash in.» But seriously, how realistic is this theory? «So one race predicted it,» said Vishnu Narayan, another freshman at Monta Vista. «Big deal!» The amount of attention this apocalyptic event has gathered is tremendous. Countless websites, numerous books, and several Facebook groups have sprung up because of this. There's been movies, wide speculation and so much more. There was the movie «2012» that released last year, a lot of books that either proved or disproved it and even different papers written by professors specializing in Mesoamerican studies. Leaving the Maya aside, many religions have talked about the end of the world, with the Christian and Islam versions being the most popular. Both refer to a Final Judgment and God destroying all the evil in the world. But they don't specify any date. Using December 21, 2012 as a doomsday date isn't supported by much proof. «Doomsday just  2012 years after Christ,» said Viktoria Reichova, junior at Monta Vista. «I think that'd be a bit too soon.» There are still other ways the world could possibly end. One website, www., run by author Robert

“So one race predicted it. Big deal!” - Vishnu Narayana Bast, lists many possibilities for how the world could end. Most of it seems to be right out of a science-fiction book: Alien invasions, rise of machines, and even a

A vector image of the Earth burning down. Image from

conflict in the space-time continuum. Sounds crazy? It is. But there are scientific possibilities as well. The same website lists the more scientific ones such as pole shifts, solar storms and cosmic rays. However, some people are more afraid of humanity rather than cosmic rays and pole shifts. After all, with biological warfare and nuclear weapons, humans could very well bring the end upon ourselves «I'm concerned about people from countries with nuclear weapons, like the terrorists and all,» said Viktoria Reichova, junior at Monta Vista. «Because if they believe this, who knows what they'll do. They may blow up the world.» The amount of publicity the 2012 doomsday theory may lead to people thinking that they can get away with anything because the world's going to end. One Facebook group, «12/22/12---»Where's your homework?»--»Ummm...I thought we were gonna die,» comically demonstrates this on a very small scale. It's funny, and yet, there's


Rumor: The Mayan calendar ends on December 21, 2012. WRONG! The Mayans didn't see time as a linear thing. It was cyclic. So it could never end. They saw things in circles. On winter solstice, 2012, one cycle of time is going to end according to the Mayans. It's like a year. Just because January 1st is over, it doesn't mean that we'll never get a January 1st again. We'll get one next year. It's just like a year getting over on December 21st and another one beginning.

the slight message hidden in the words. People can't just do whatever they want, just because they think the world's going to end. «But throughout the ages, people have had a tendency to just- I don't know how to put this right,» said Reichova. «But pick dates, and popularize them using media and everything, and just say something was going to happen, just so they'd have something significant in the future.» Just so they would have something to look forward to in the future. Somewhat pathetic... True or not true, the 2012 doomsday theory has received far too much publicity to be good. In the end, even if we don't die from cosmic rays, pole shifts, or alien invasions, we could still die from some of them ignorance that exists in our world.  It is our final judgment. Will man be gullible? Or will man be intelligent?

Rumor: A galactic alignment of Earth is going to end it.

Rumor: Albert Einstein's prediction of the end of the world is true.

WRONG! People say that Earth will be aligned with the center of the galaxy. The only problem is that Earth can never be in the center of the galaxy because it's orbit does not go there. There is a time when it's close, which happens twice a year. I don't think we got world destruction last time there was an alignment.

STILL WRONG! Albert Einstein said that four years after honey bees go extinct, the world will end. Honey bees were about to go extinct a some times back, and nothing's happened yet. Yet, how ever smart he was, I really don't think he could predict the end of the world.



t n e D m g d Uploaded by NCReedPlayer

he volcano in Yellowstone explodes. A gigantic tsunami is destroying the world. The government is secretly planning your death. Sound familiar to you? Yeah, that's what happens in the movie 2012, that released last year. This movie is based on the 2012 doomsday theory. It's a decent movie. Not extremely good. There were too many things that were added on just to show off special effects. Even the director of the movie said that this would be his last disaster film, so he wanted to fit it all in. As a result, the movie shows a doomsday that's extremely far-fetched and it has a lot of facts wrong. «It's not going to be all those disasters,» said Vishnu Narayan, freshman at Monta Vista High School. «It's probably going to be a gradual thing that will kill few people at a time, leading up to the 21st when everything is gone.»

REALITY's goofs page on this movie lists a lot of goofs. And most of them aren't continuity errors like other movies. This one has a lot of mistakes on facts.

«A doomsday that's extremely far-fetched and it has a lot of facts wrong.» Much of the public face of the doomsday theory have their facts wrong. But if they got their facts right, maybe it won't make a very good movie or story. «I loved that movie,» said Shravan Radhakrishna, a freshman at Cupertino High School. He has watched the movie several times, just because he liked it so much. «But seriously, it's not true at all. If the world was going to end, it's not going to end that way.» Entertainment. That's what the movies

are for. Sure, people want their audience to be entertained by what they can offer, but how far can you take entertainment? The movies, books and websites on 2012 can easily distort the actual facts about the Maya and their calendar and the doomsday. The Mayans weren't the source of the end of the calendar theory. Their calendar can't really end. The calendar is like a system of numbers to number days. When this «Long Count» set is done, a new one will begin. That's it. But then it was some people who used the calendar ending to promote a theory of the end of the world. Every long count was an attempt to create the world. At the end, it is destroyed. But if it's an attempt, maybe it's a successful one this time, and then it won't be destroyed. Everything can be distorted. People just need to know the actual fact. It's really important.




Rumors Proved

-Rohan Prakash



arthquakes.    Explosions.     Enormous Publicity.     Run for your lives!    «It's going to end!» yelled Indira Purushothaman, freshman at Monta Vista High School, while frantically flailing her arms. «The world's going to end!» Yes, that's right. The world's going to end. On a winter solstice. 21st December, 2012. What's so special about that date? The Mayan calendar finished a cycle of the

Image from

Leo Reynolds

Charitable Nights


hether it’s a Polio prevention Polio. showcase, thirty-hours of Larger volunteer clubs on fasting, or a cafe to cure cancer, campus, such as Octagon, hold Monta Vista’s volunteer clubs have a lot to fundraisers which have become a contribute to charities around the world. tradition at MV- and a popular one at Food For All, a relativity small club that. at Monta Vista, is a divison of a national MV Octagon’s Cure Cancer non-profit organization whose goal is Cafe is a much-awaited night for both to end world hunger. Monta Vista FFA’s students and their families. According main fundraiser is the 30 Hour Famine, to Monta Vista Octagon’s website, where students over 300 people can opt to fast attend each year. for 30 hours. The night is This national packed with lots project helps of entertainment, teens understand dinner, and a how difficult it is silent auction. living in poverty All proceeds are and hunger. donated to a charity “People focused on finding think ‘oh, there’s a cure for cancer. hungry people “[CCC] is a good everywhere, event. It’s an let’s feel sad for excuse to be out a few minutes’,” on a Sunday night, says MVFFA’s I guess.” Freshman secretary and commitee chair, treasurer, Junior Thomas Barber, Anusha Koganti. laughs. “And its a But through the really good cause 30-hour famine, to raise money she explains, they that benefits our are able to feel whole community.” how hard it really Over the years, is. This year, the the club has club raised $500raised $90,000 Diana Liu searches for loose change to $600 through the Freshman for the Leukimia donate to Interact’s “End Polio Now” fundraiser famine. Students & Lymphoma made contest held in 5th period classrooms. who choose society. Freshman not to fast can coordinater, Hadar Sachs says take part in the fundraiser as well, «[Donating money] is good. But it's also by wearing promotional signs around about the time you can give to those their necks and asking for donations. causes that really make a difference.» “People who aren’t even Koganti agrees. «It's nice [to in our club join [the event],” know] money, that you're probably Koganti beams. “It’s really great.” going to waste goes to a good     However, giving up food for a day and cause.» a half isn’t the only way MV students help Aside our efforts to raise money others. They have fun at the same time. for our own rallies and proms, groups         Interact’s International night, an at Monta Vista are making an effort to eventful evening filled with performances help people around the world. Whether by MV students, raises $4000-$5000 it's searching for the cure that could each year. The money raised is donated save millions, or trying to feed the to a charity benefitting Interact’s annual hungry, our volunteer clubs have cause.This year, all proceeds will be made Monta Vista a proud contributor donated to a charity in an effort to end to making the world a better place. 



Funding Fun By: Srisruthi Ramesh (Period 5)

Monta Vista’s

Top 5

Favorite Fundraisers 1.Pizza My Heart - I like pizza. It's close; convenient. It's the perfect place to go.» - Kyle Gheewala (9)

Pizza My Heart

2.Jamba Juice    - «It's something nice to cool down with.» -Owen Hardee (9)

3.Tartini Frozen Yogurt    - «[I like Tartini] because it tastes good. It has better Tartini Froyo

texture and taste than the other frozen yogurt places.» -Thomas Barber

4. Club Day Food    - «[2013] sold Wendy's. But they had vegetarian choices. [Another class] was selling Chipotle, but they Club Day Food

only had chicken or beef or something.» -Pooja Pandey (9)

5.Chipotle    - «They're food is SO yummy!» -Aahana Sahai     - «It's a party in my tummy!» -Pooja Pandey Chipotle


Food, Friends & FUNd$

right red, orange, green, and of course, our trademark purple and yellow posters are plastered all over the sullen brick walls of Monta Vista. BJ's, Tartini, Baja Fresh, Pizza My Heart, Panda Express, and other local restaurant names are advertised in large block letters. Below them is one word, fundraiser. As a traditional source of raising money, fundraising has been adopted by generations of classes at Monta Vista. However, it is evident that the fundraiser hot-spots are always fluctuating. Many classes rest their funding needs in one of the newest crazies in Cupertino, frozen yogurt. Popular froyo shops, such as Tartini, are very popular and are big money makers as far as class offices are concerned. Class of 2012 Vice president Christina Aguila says «Tartini [was] definitely [one of the most popular fundraisers.] S o m e t i m e s , classes hold event fundraisers as well. Freshman Kyle Gheewala says he enjoyed his class's Laser Quest fundraiser. «It's fun, shooting people.» he says. Manasa Guromoorthi, also a freshman, is not as swayed by the fun simplicity of «shooting people.» She has not attended any fundraisers for her class. «I just don't have enough time, too much work and stuff…» she explains. Getting a ride is an issue as well. “[I'd go to] places closer, like Subway.» she says. “Laser Quest is too far.” Few of her friends show interest in the events either. So what are the best ways to include a majority of your class in the fundraising experience? 2013 class President, Cathy Ang, ponders the thought. I think people have to talk. We have posters, but not like all around the school! [They] should pass it on. Whether it's Link Leaders telling their kids, or teachers mentioning it in class. If we had people's emails, we could send them updates [on upcoming fundraisers.] Right now, it's just more conventional methods like Facebook and School Loop.» Communication can make or break a fundraiser. For example, 2012's annual Pizza My Heart fundraiser often results in a room full of hungry kids. In comparison, 2013's recent Pizza My Heart fundraiser had few supporters and ended with slim gain of $100. «We didn't promo it enough,» Ang admits, «That one was our fault.» Class officers are slowly narrowing down their fundraiser ideas as well, learning from what were some pretty poor turnouts. Aguila chuckles in remembering the sophmore's «fail kareoke

night.» Arranging it the evening of a flip-block day, the “Kareoke Kraze” was not a very big success as many students were «probably too lazy to come back to school,» Aguila admits.  Senior, and ASB President, Samuel Lui reminces on his fundraising experiences as class President his junior year. They arranged fundraisers with Togo's, Harvest, and many other businesses. «Harvest was [our least successful], I think- just because it wasn't [a] very popular [restaurant].» Lui says.          Instead, both Lui and Aguila agree that both of their classes raised the largest amount of money selling products, versus having restaurant or event fundraisers. «In terms of getting the most profit, our class sweats were definitely [the most popular.]» Aguila states confidently. Lui concurs «selling lanyards earned us a lot.»  The sophmore, junior, and senior classes can make big money off selling class paraphernalia, such sweatshirts or lanyards. However, they have to make money to spend money. A new class starts off with little money in their bank accounts. Their first year of fundraising is essential for future expenditures such as rally decorations, class sweatshirts, and Junior & Senior Prom. By the end of freshman year,» Lui says, «You have about $8000 in your account. And by end of sophmore year, it's about $20,000- on average. By the end of Junior year, it's about $30,000. And essentially, all that money, or at least a huge amount, goes to Senior Prom.»         So, until senior year, when the money raised from shooting your friends, chowing down at your favorite restaurants, or just lounging in sweats, is put to use, there's nothing much else to do than read the multi-colored posters on Monta Vista's brick walls.

“It’s fun, shooting people.” -Kyle Gheewala

Freshman Class Treasure Thomas Barber waves a bright purple poster around the rally court advertising 2013’s upcoming fundraiser.

Don’t Throw ...To



Pots and



Pans Down Your

-Tiffany Wang


I have had have mispronounced my name. They always pronounce it as Varshita when really it’s Varchita like cheetah not sheeta!”

or F s e Nam y b a B r You

Photo by Ophelia Ding

Ni hao Lehao!!!


t’s 2009, when this year’s freshmen th are still young 8 graders. The students of Lawson middle school are happily eating their lunch. In the midst of a group of Asians stands a boy commonly seen in camo pants. He goes by Leo, but his real name is Lehao Zhang (pronounced Luh-how). He stands there, quietly, holding a flat mud-green container with rice and yam. Then, Julie Chen, a fellow classmate runs up behind him and yells cheerfully, “Nihao Leeehaoooo!” In Chinese, “hello” is “nihao”. Born in Beijing, Zhang moved to America “a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away.” After moving to America, Zhang decided to change his name to Leo not because of fear

of his fellow classmates butchering his name, but because his teachers couldn’t pronounce it. However, he did “get a lot of ‘Leo the Lion’” from his classmates. Now, as a 9th grader, he is used to correcting teachers on the first day of every school year as they mispronounce his name. “I’ve heard a lot of stuff. Mostly it’s Lee-hoe, but I heard this one guy pronounce it Lee-hoi-ya. I mean, seriously what the ****”, says Zhang After graduating from elementary school, Zhang moved to middle school, where he would realize that his real name wouldn’t be butchered by teachers anymore. “I get used to the teachers, but then my buddies in my class from last year who know my name would start

Fun Facts About Names:

1: Every Child has the right to have a name: According to Article 24-3 of the U.N. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, every child has the right to own a name. This is because children born in war zones and places with poverty might not have registered births. 2: There are about 88,000 different last names in America, which has a population of approximately 3,000,000 people. In contrast, China has less than 400 unique surnames, with a population of 1.3 billion people. 3. There are more girl names than boy names (about 4 times more)

snickering, so I swear at them later.” Apart from indirectly flipping others off when they call “Nihao Lehao”, Zhang responds in ways that are “not school appropriate”, with the more mild being directly showing his middle finger or glaring, shaking his head, and walking off. After being taunted by Julie, Zhang turns around slowly, faces her, and deliberately pushes his glasses up with his middle finger with the other fingers bunched into a fist. Uninsulted, Julie runs on, laughing.

Most Popular Boy and GIrl Names in America Boys: 1. Jacob 2. Michael 3. Ethan 4. Joshua 5. Daniel 6. Alexander 7. Anthony 8. William 9. Christopher 10. Matthew

Girls 1. Emma 2. Isabella 3. Emily 4. Madison 5. Ava 6. Olivia 7. Sophia 8. Abigail 9. Elizabeth 10. Chloe

Photo from Flickr. Uploaded by Karmic Intuition

Whether being called a name rhyming with cheetah or sheeta, names are something that each person holds dear. People feel attached to their names, no matter how much abuse their name has taken, or how…average their names are. After interviewing Varchita, Yingjia Lee, and Sai Yerruguntla, all fellow freshmen, separately, they decided that they wouldn’t change their names if they had the chance.



by that is for yourself only. If I change it, I wouldn’t really feel myself,” Lee says. On Gmail, his name is Steve Chow. Lee’s name was directly translated into English from Chinese, but he was born in America. Maybe his parents just decided not to come up with a regular English name for him, or maybe they just didn’t know they had to. Not only does Lee have to deal with the fact that teachers cannot pronounce his name properly on their first try, he also has to accept the fact that his name rhymes with Ninja, leading to new nicknames having to do with Ninja Turtles (Coincidentally, a while ago, his favorite game was Ninja, where people try to slap their opponents’ hands).

But of course, having to correct teachers and subs is also really quite tiring. Pretending to be angry, Yingjia recalls that back when he was and other important documents. still in 8th grade, his social studies teacher mixed Translating names aren’t the only up his name with a girl’s name, Yanbing. aspects of foreign names that cause headache, confusion, and quite often, Sai Yerruguntla, however, has had quite embarrassment. For example, take the different experiences with her name. Perhaps it real life experience of the author Firoozeh is the fact that it had proven useful in the past. Dumas, author of the book Funny in Farsi, According to Yerruguntla, “In seventh grade, we which talks about her experiences in made this version of Bill Nye the science guy America after immigrating from Persia. One called Sai Y. the science guy. People sometimes story tells us of her at the doctor’s office. call me Sai Y just cuz it rhymes.” Then, with a smile, When it is her turn to see the doctor, the she says, “My name rhymes with a lot of things.” nurse calls out her name. After struggling No matter useful, boring, or embarrassing, for a few seconds to pronounce her name, names are a part of us. It is ours and ours only but she ends up calling her Fritzy Dumbass. everyone we know uses it. Whether it be names Of course, these situations occur translated from Chinese to English or from a here at Monta Vista too. Varchita Alishetti, language from India, names give people identities, a freshman, is very familiar with having makes life easier for humans, and occasionally, to explain to new teachers and substitute brings a little bit of humor to life. teachers how to pronounce her name. Born in the U.S, Varchita’s parents decided not to give her an American name. They wanted to give her a “true Indian name so she could be more, like, an Indian in that sense.” “I’ve been called Varshana, Varshetti, Photo from Uploaded by misterbisson

I’m Sorry, What Did You Say Your Name Was?

“A name is something that people call you

ames. Whether it be long, short, common, rare, we all have names. Names are meant to be as an identifier, something used to call others and catch their attention. They are unique, ranging from three letters long to as much as twenty letters long. However, they are sometimes too unique… in a way that makes it hard for others to pronounce. Immigrants make up a part of America’s population, and when immigrants move to America, they must choose an English name. Or they can directly translate their names to English- vowel for vowel. However, there is no set list of how to translate a foreign word into English. Take the Chinese surname “徐”. In English, it is pronounced “Shu”. However, there are many others ways to spell that pronunciation, and with so many Chinese people with the surname “徐”, there are bound to be many spellings for that. For example, “Shiu”, “Xu,” and “Xiu” all stand for the same word. Varchata, um, Varshata, and Varsha. Oh, What does that mean? That means and I’ve been called Varshita too,” says that people in the same family might have their Alishetti. “Basically, almost all the teachers surnames spelled differently in passports





BLOG BREAKDOWN For those who are overwhelmed by the choices, here are the 3 top blog platforms broken down so you can start your blog the right way. So, do you want to blog...

as a hobby? F I R M U H M E N T: Justin Wolfe breaks all the rules with his newest blogging enterprise: firmuhment. Named after an ancient Jewish word describing the tilt of the Earth, Firmuhment is unlike any other blog. It is a collection of photo and document scans that are artistically and literally edited by hand, personally by Wolfe himself. “Blogging is an artistic outlet for me,” Wolfe says, “It’s a way for me to be me.” (www.firmuhment.tumblr. com)

DEAR COKE TALK: The advice column of the blogosphere - Coke Talk is one part Dr. Laura Schlessinger and all brutal honesty. Sometimes she takes pity on you if your question is pitiful enough but more often than not she will provide a big, fat reality check. She tells you everything you never wanted to hear and everything that anyone else would hesitate to tell you. Coke Talk boldy goes where Ask Abby never dared to venture. (www.

MAGIC MOLLY: Molly Young keeps it personal. Her blog is an array of small chunks of writing. She describes her style as, “little things I see during my day.” She copies down conversations overheard in Central Park, descriptions of people on the Subway. Her observations and wit are on the level and always fresh and always. (

as a career?

with simple posts?






y tumblr is my virtual journal, with the things I’m not afraid to share.

Nicole Berge is a guarded person. She is loud, talkative, and speaks her mind. But she knows when to hold back and if anything, she believes in privacy. Her tumblr reflects this. It’s a collage, a mix of pictures and videos and song lyrics. Posts about her life or her thoughts are rare. And if they are there- they’re hidden and vague. “I feel like posting your entire life online is weird,” Nicole says, “I don’t want other people to be able to pick at how I feel and what I do. It’s my business.” If you want to decipher Nicole’s life, look at the pictures. They’re all taken from other sites, flickr, and various blogs. She hasn’t taken any of them but you can see the difference in choice and the emotion behind them. Three weeks ago she posted 3 separate pictures. All of houses. Similar ones; sturdy with two windows and a white door, brick walls, wooden ceilings and chimneys. One had a porch, the other a rose garden. A week before it was beaches. A girl on a pebble beach flying kites, a couple with their backs to the camera looking at the ocean, another couple sitting on the sand kissing. “I like having my privacy,” she explains, “I like the pictures because they’re really beautiful and they can

explain things when words fail.” Blogging is appealing to the teenagers of today be cause it is a way to be heard, a way to get your words and opinions and feelings out into the internet and world. With blogging you can connect with the rest of the world. You are given the means to find a way to belong to something, to someone. Thus is the appeal of the internet, you can find the one person in the world who has everything in common with you. You are given an outlet to be yourself or whoever you want to be.

with html/css?


with your own domain name?



Created by Yasmin Majeed!

blog for myself, you can read if in it for my own nostalgic purpose.” you like. Noa writes without obligation. Her posts are entirely selfless and without discretion. “I should be relieved that And so begins Noa Rosenberg’s blog. today is over,” she wrote last week, Her screen name is Noa Rose, but de- “but I’m just more nervous for tomorspite whatever demureness this title row, and wishing I had more time…for may imply, Noa Rosenberg is anything EVERYTHING.” A few weeks before that she posted, “I just want to go to but. Noa, a sophomore at Cupertino High, sleep until this passes. And aside from has been chronicling her life online for my anger, I am just really sad. I thought awhile, “I’ve been blogging since I was things were better than last year but little. I love to write when I was young- they’re not. It’s your fault for thinking er, now it gives me a sense of order and they trusted you more, they are still dictators and still act like dicks. I just wish organization.” Her blog is an account of her days, her you had been smarter.” emotions, the tiny events in her life. She writes without her audience in It’s a collage of pictures, quotes, dec- mind. Noa is aware of them but does larations of love, hate, and everything not give them anything or attempt to in between. It’s a look into the mind gratify them in any way. “When people of Noa Rosenberg. She never censors ask me about things that are on my blog herself, every detail of her life is typed and ask me why I would post that where out in size 10 helvetica on a clean white everyone can see it I just tell them off. screen. They don’t have any right to the things The topics and the lengths vary. Some that I post and say. People always try posts consist of only a line: ‘crossing to make it about themselves when it’s my fingers for tonight xxxxx’ while oth- really just about me and my problems ers almost encompass full pages. Noa and issues. It’s my life.” rambles, rants, and raves about every We are welcome to take a look into her aspect of her world. She writes about world but we are not welcome to inher relationship with her boyfriend, the trude. Noa Rosenberg will only allow chem labs she spends hours working on you a few freedoms when it comes to and how lonely and isolated she feels her life. from her peers. Her lows and her highs and everything in between are displayed where everyone can see them, but Noa writes for herself. “It’s my tumblr,” Noa explains, “I write

for $$$?

for free?



Writing for Publication Centerspread Projects  
Writing for Publication Centerspread Projects  

Writing for Publication is an introductory course for our Journalism and Media Arts classes. Each student completed a double-page spread tha...