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Friday, April 29, 2016

Vol. 41, Issue 6, 32 pages


Proposition AA renovations continue with the redesign of the front entrance and media center. Science teachers also prepare to move into recently upgraded classrooms. Renovations to the media center and the Del Mar Heights Rd. front entrance, funded by the $75 million TPHS portion of the $449 million Proposition AA bond, will begin the week of June 12. According to Principal David Jaffe, the stairs at the front entrance will be widened, allowing easier student access and creating a more modern, courtyard-like appearance. Plants on either end of the entrance will be pushed aside, widening the landscape in order to accommodate students with disabilities and promote more student interaction outside of classrooms. The front entrance of the school will be completely blocked off starting the summer of 2016, and neither of the two front parking lots will be available for parking throughout the 2016-17 school year. However, Jaffe has been working with district architects to redesign the west front parking lot as a roundabout for student drop off. Since both staff and student parking will only be in the back lot, student parking will be pushed back “at least a one or two rows” to accommodate more staff parking, according to Jaffe. Since the front entrance of the school will be closed off for the entire 2016-17 school year, Jaffe foresees possible issues and acknowledges certain adjustments that will need to be made. “The drop-off and the like have to be worked out, and it’ll definitely be a huge change for both staff members and students,” Jaffe said. “But I’ve been incredibly impressed with the architects we’ve been working with. Are there problems that could come up? Sure. But, assuming that things go as planned, everything will work out.” Sabrina Habchi (11), who regularly parks in the student back lot, believes that there must be a way to create more staff parking other than condensing current senior parking. “I think that the fact that the school wants to improve our infrastructure is great, but I also think it’s unfair that our senior class is the only class that is not going to have their own parking lot,” Habchi said. “It’s just not okay that our class should have to take on the burden, especially since it is our last year.” Changes to the senior lot will lead to a smaller student parking area, so all students who drive to school “will have to work together to make accommodations,” Jaffe said. Renovations to the media center will include a complete redesign of administration offices on the lower level and the creation of project rooms and facilities for student collaboration. The current computer lab will be replaced with a technology space, not hard-wired, but meant as an area for students to use school Chromebook laptops or personal devices. “The renovations will make the media center much more conducive to student meeting and student interaction,” Jaffe said. “It’ll be like some of the new libraries that have been built. It’ll be completely accessible to media and will certainly be better than what we have.”

All carpeted floors on the upper level of the media center will be replaced with polished concrete, and currently blocked off classrooms will serve as science classrooms starting the beginning of the 2016-17 school year, though the rooms are currently open to staff members. According to science teacher Brian Bodas, each new science classroom will have six sinks, with one compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as six gas jets and fume hoods for improved ventilation. The rooms will all be connected by a common storage room and the science computer lab will be expanded into a 40-seat lab. “Overall, the new rooms are going to give us a lot more flexibility, and we’re going to have better lab facilities,” Bodas said. “The biggest concern with labs is ensuring safe flow, which means that students will have an easy time maneuvering around the room with lab equipment. From a teaching perspective, I think it’s going to allow us to operate a lot more safely, and we’ll hopefully phase in new classes in the coming years that’ll utilize these facilities.” Science teacher Mary Ann Rall also said that the new science classrooms will be conducive to student collaboration and a variety of labs. “We’re really excited to have larger classrooms with new equipment, and it will be much more on lines with the professional science laboratory and the college laboratory classroom,” Rall said. “We’re excited about the back common store room, which will encourage much more teacher interaction and collegiality.” Additionally, the portable classrooms currently behind the new chemistry building will be removed in mid-June and the area will be expanded into a softball field. The last phases of the proposition AA renovations will be made between the summer of 2017 and January 2018. During the summer of 2017, a new 350-seat theater will be built adjacent to the current Black Box Theater. Jaffe hopes that area surrounding the new theater and the Black Box Theater, along with the band room, dance room and art rooms, will become courtyard for student meeting. Starting June 2018, the autoshop and woodshop classrooms will be redone and either a field house or a smaller gym will be created next to the current gym. Salman Sadakkadulla (11) has been following the Proposition AA updates since his freshman year. “I was at first reserved about Prop AA concerning where money would be allocated, but the progress makes me feel that the school is going in the right direction,” Sadakkadulla said. “I’m looking forward to technology improvements that allow students to connect quicker.” Jaffe is unsure how much of the $75 million allocation has already been used, but said that all of it will likely be used by the end of renovations.


SCHMITT TAKES NEW SUPERINTENDENT JOB On April 26, SDUHSD Superintendent Rick Schmitt announced his resignation from the district, effective June 30. Schmitt will serve as superintendent of the San Ramon Valley Unified School District in Contra Costa County, California beginning July 1. “I am humbled and extremely grateful to have been selected to lead the SRVUSD,” Schmitt said in a press release by the SDUHSD. “I will always be grateful to the SDUHSD

community for all it has done for my family, as both my children graduated from Torrey Pines High School. I wasn’t expecting to leave, but it is a terrific opportunity. I am looking forward to relocating to the Bay Area, where my wife and I started our family many years ago, and where much of our extended family currently lives.” Schmitt served as the SDUHSD superintendent for 13 years. by Sumin Hwang and Anna Lee

A BIRD’S EYE VIEW opinion feature entertainment sports backpage focus

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Global Update CHANHASSENN, MINNESOTA 57-year-old singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, producer and actor Prince died at his home on April 21 of unspecified causes after two weeks of apparent flu-like symptoms. Prince experimented with many genres of music, including rock, R&B, funk and pop, and was one of the best-selling artists of all time, with 16 albums and a total of seven Grammys, one Golden Globe and one Academy Award.

WASHINGTON, D.C. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced on April 20 that Harriet Tubman, the “Moses” of the Underground Railroad who secretly led many slaves out of Southern plantations to freedom in the North, is set to replace Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, on the face of the $20 bill. Tubman, originally slated to replace Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill, was put on the $20 after the public was consulted, leading many to believe that Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical “Hamilton” kept the Founding Father on the $10.

by Maya Rao

SHEFFIELD, UNITED KINGDOM The Hillsborough disaster, a human crush that caused the deaths of 96 people in April 1989 at a soccer game between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, was ruled an unlawful killing on April 26 by a second inquest into the disaster. The inquest had carried on for more than a year, and the jury deliberated for almost a month before the verdict was reached.

DHAKA, BANGLADESH Xulhaz Mannan, a Bangladeshi employee for the United States Agency for International Development and an editor for the country’s only LGBT magazine, and actor Tanay Majumder were hacked to death on April 25. On April 26, Ansar al-Islam, the Bangladeshi branch of Islamist terrorist organization al-Qaida, took credit for the attack, which also injured several guards.


Rainbow Week educates students on LGBT issues by Anna Lee EDITOR-IN-CHIEF The TPHS Gay-Straight Alliance held the second annual Rainbow Week from April 11-15 to “raise questions around issues of power, privilege, opportunity and oppression, especially as those questions relate to gender and sexuality,” according to GSA adviser Don Collins. The week’s events included trivia games and questionanswer sessions for students to participate in during lunch, assemblies designated to educate students on LGBT issues during third and fourth period, and the Day of Silence, in which students take a vow of silence to call attention to the silence of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people caused by anti-LGBT bullying. The No Place for Hate Resolution of Respect promoted by the Anti-Defamation League was also made available for students to sign as a pledge to combat prejudice. According to Collins, over 500 students have signed the resolution. “All of the posters and activities raised awareness and more understanding,” Collins said. “The message of Rainbow Week is simple but not easy; treat other people how you want to be treated, which is, I imagine, for all of us with dignity, kindness and respect.” GSA president Amal Lamb (12) said the “main hope” of the week was that students better understand the difference between gender and sexuality

and that there is a spectrum for each. How successful GSA is in promoting such understanding, Lamb said “is hard to say.” “If nothing else, we were successful in getting people to talk about things,” Lamb said. “Just walking around campus, I’ve heard so many people, looking at the posters, and saying, ‘Oh, what does that even mean?’ — and that’s pretty much the entire goal. Just getting people to stop and think for a minute.” According to GSA Chief Financial Officer Piril Nergis (11), the club also wants to create a safe space around the school, so that everyone could be “open about themselves and accepting others.” “I think it worked for the most part, but we need to work on getting more people to the assemblies,” Nergis said. Around 250 students attended each assembly, according to Lamb. There were four speakers, local LGBT figures who shared their own perspectives on gender, sexuality and LGBT rights. Speaker Clarione Gutierrez, who works with Human Rights Campaign San Diego, said he saw a “very positive response” from the TPHS audience. “People were very receptive, and the interest was definitely there,” Gutierrez said. “Just that they showed up means a lot, and even just the amount of respect that was in the room.” Collins was pleased with student participation in the assemblies and said there seemed to be “a genuine interest” in LGBT issues shown by students who attended.

“There were lots of curious and interested questions during the assemblies, and students have come up to me and shared their positive experiences or thoughts about the week,” Collins said. “The reality is we have gay students and lesbian students and questioning students and trans students and all kind of students here at Torrey Pines. Rainbow Week is a chance for the campus to recognize this and tell all of our students ‘We care about you, we support you and you have an important place here.’” Principal David Jaffe said that he would like to see events like

Rainbow Week and No Place for Hate Week “institutionalized, so that it’s part of what the school does.” “[If] we can take time to educate our community on the experiences that people have to go through in their life ... if we can educate ourselves and make our population kinder and foster a more caring, accepting school culture, it benefits everybody,” Jaffe said. In the coming school year, the administration may facilitate a week that includes a number of student-run groups and their messages, according to Jaffe.

“We’ll get leaders from the various organizations and bring them together and say, ‘What are we going to do, what are your ideas,’” Jaffe said. “It will be student-led, but with [administrative] support.” According to Nergis, GSA still is planning for another Rainbow Week next year. The club wants to more effectively share its message by increasing assembly attendance. They plan to give staff members more advance notice of Rainbow Week, so more teachers can bring their classes to assemblies.


TASTE THE RAINBOW: Attendees of Rainbow Week assemblies sign their names on a banner for the No Place for Hate Resolution of Respect pledge, to fight against anti-LGBT discrimination.


the falconer



No enrollment lottery for 2016-17 school year by Irene Yu ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR The enrollment lottery for the 2016-17 school year was cancelled because all district students and prospective students were admitted to the district school sites they requested. The California Open Enrollment Act, states a lottery is only required “if the number of pupils who request a particular school exceeds the number of spaces available at that school.” “Each year, we do the high school declaration process, and after [the portal] closes, we look to see how many students want to attend each of our four high schools,” SDUHSD Assistant Superintendent Michael Grove said. “If we have enough room to accommodate each of those students at each of those high

schools, then everybody gets in; there’s no need for a lottery.” Although the COEA was created in 2010, people who live near schools for which there are more requests than space still find the lottery process unfair, according to Emily Hou (11). “There’s a lot of controversy [about the enrollment lottery for Canyon Crest Academy] because some of the taxes paid by the people that live around there go to CCA,” Hou said. “If [those people are] not allowed to go to CCA, then there’s an issue.” Every student in the district can attend some district school, however. According to the COEA, attendance priority can only be given to “siblings of children who already attend the desired school” and “pupils transferring from a program improvement school ranked in decile one on the Academic Performance Index.” “The law around lottery does

not allow us to give priority [to students who live in close proximity to their desired schools],” Grove said. “And it’s not just CCA — if more students declared for TPHS than there was available space for, we would do a lottery at Torrey Pines as well. There’s a misunderstanding that the lottery is about the academy, but it’s nothing unique to [CCA or San Dieguito Academy].” Hou applied to CCA in eighth grade because it is close to her home, but was waitlisted and never admitted. CCA student Ayden Belsky (11) was also waitlisted in eighth grade and freshman year. “[My freshman year], I auditioned for the CCA dance conservatory and was accepted into the program, but not to CCA, and, again, I couldn’t attend,” Belsky said. “I had a rough sophomore year [at TPHS], and though Torrey Pines is an

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amazing school, I decided to apply one more time and was luckily accepted.” Belsky thinks CA is heading toward overpopulation. “CCA has already begun to grow bigger, and though I didn’t attend last year, even I can see that it is nearly overpopulated,” Belsky said. “I think that if applicants continue to increase, CCA will have to expand in some way.” According to TPHS Principal David Jaffe, who was the founding principal of CCA, it was originally built to be a smaller school. “[CCA] was ultimately designed to [have] around 2,800 [students],” Jaffe said. “Originally, the school was designed to be a bit smaller, but they were also prepared for the population growth that might take place.” However, Grove said that taking away the lottery will not

affect the number of students at CCA. “There hasn’t been a change,” Grove said. “It’s just this year we had enough room to let all of the students that have declared for CCA in.” Even if there is not a change in the number of students attending CCA, Jaffe said that there will be a change in the student body at TPHS. “When there hasn’t been a lottery, we tend to get a little bit more attrition toward Torrey Pines,” Jaffe said. “Students sign up as a placeholder, and then once the time passes for them to decide what school to attend, they ultimately default back to Torrey Pines.” Regardless of the enrollment rates at TPHS, Jaffe believes that what is most important is that “families and students get to choose what school they go to in the district” this year.

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Young Life club organizes shoe drive for local charity by Austin Zhang COPY EDITOR

The TPHS Young Life club, in collaboration with ASB and the Donate Your Old Shoes charity, is holding a shoe donation drive from April 25 to May 9. The goal of the shoe drive is to collect at least 3,000 pairs of walking shoes to contribute to a set of 10,000 shoes assembled by the Donate Your Old Shoes charity for Future Focus Uganda, the charity’s partner for this shipment. “[Future Focus Uganda will] be picking up the shoes and shipping them over to Kampala … [where] they’ll be distributing [them],” Donate Your Old Shoes president and founder Philip Clearly said. According to Clearly, the charity, which is run by his family, became connected with Young Life through his children, who are students at Cathedral Catholic High School and members of the youth group. This drive is the first time his organization has collaborated with Young Life. “We felt like [completing the shipment] was something we could get students involved with,” Young Life area director Bo Gross said. “[It’s] something we’re hoping to do with the school, to empower the student body and staff of Torrey Pines as a whole to do something really special together.” Since TPHS has around 3,000 students and staff members total,

the concept behind the drive is to have each student and staff member bring in one pair of shoes to meet the goal, according to Young Life member Jackie Weinrich (12). “There are kids from other schools who are involved,” Weinrich said. “But not an entire school [other than TPHS], because we’re trying to focus this on specifically Torrey Pines.” According to Young Life member Derek Ye (12), the club began planning the shoe drive “about a month and a half ago.” The initiative was approved by the administration and is supported by ASB. The club then contacted local businesses, like Chipotle, Patagonia and Board and Brew, to help the donation drive by offering prizes and sponsorships. “This is the most significant [project that Young Life has undertaken] as far as people involved and as far as something that is very broad [in scope],” Gross said. According to Clearly, the Donate Your Old Shoes charity would consider future partnerships with local youth groups. “It’s just me and my wife and my two kids when they are available [running the charity],” Clearly said. “So we do need some assistance from the people that we partner with.” Donations can be dropped off at the top of the student parking lot ramp during lunch. Only shoes in good, wearable condition will be accepted.

april 29, 2016

Local test prep company Summa closes unexpectedly by Lily Nilipour SPORTS EDITOR

Summa Education closed its doors to students and teachers in February, laying off 22 employees of a staff of 30 with hardly any warning, according to former Summa senior math director Brian Devine. “The last week or so of the existence of Summa was a graveyard,” Devine said. “It was scary. Students were scared to come in, a lot of the lights were off, it was all quiet [and] there was only one person at the front desk.” According to Karina Camp (11), who is currently taking an AP Physics tutoring class with Summa, there are only a few classes still running, which are held at TGG Accounting, a different location from Summa’s. Teachers in charge of those classes are being paid directly by the families of the students, Devine said. Students who made deposits for 2016 summer classes at Summa will not receive any refunds, according to Devine. Summa accepted over $100,000 in deposits for summer classes, but there still “was no money left” afterward, Devine said. Former Summa teacher Joseph Frazier* said that the layoffs were “very sudden,”

and that only three employees received any indication of Summa’s impending shutdown before Feb. 16, when the first round of teachers was fired. The three employees who knew beforehand were still caught offguard; they were only notified two or three days before the rest of the staff found out, according to Frazier. “More than half were laid off directly, and the remainder were pitched [a] plan of continuing on this sort of contract basis,” Frazier said. “[The owner of Summa] wanted to … continue through the spring because we’d already taken money. He asked a core group of people to stay, [and] he would pay them on a contract basis.” Only a week before teachers were laid off, there was a company-wide meeting regarding a new expansion plan and advertising, Frazier said. “We knew that our enrollments weren’t great, but the message that we had been getting was that [the owner] was really confident,” Frazier said. “So, from all the employees’ points of view, we were operating under the assumption that the owner was willing to put in the money up front so that we could grow, but he basically ran out of money and decided to end it.” According to Frazier, “multiple disputes” involving teachers who were not paid

properly led to more teachers disagreeing with the plan to continue tutoring on contracts. Frazier himself did not receive a paycheck for any part of February. Summa student assistant Eshaan Pathak (12) was scheduled to work at Summa until the summer, but “it was suspicious” when his shifts were pushed to the end of March. “I got a tax form from June to December [of 2015], and then [Summa] just sent me a check out of nowhere,” Pathak said. “I couldn’t [get the chance to] talk to them about it, and then they laid me off.” Devine said the shutdown of Summa not only “ripped off” families who had paid for future classes, but also “besmirched” the name of the company and the teachers who worked there. “I enjoyed the vision of what Summa represented, and that’s providing quality education,” Devine said. “[That’s] not just teaching to the test, but teaching to life … It wasn’t just dollars. It was about improving the future.” Former Summa CEO Ginny Beneke said she was “not in a position to comment about [the] situation.” However, with a group of former Summa employees, she has founded Merit Education, another test preparation service available to students in the area. *Name changed to protect identity, at request of source


PRO By Maya Kota


In response to North Carolina’s new law — which prohibits local governments from enacting policies that ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and prohibits transgender people from using public restrooms that align with their gender identities -- other states and cities have boycotted North Carolina, calling the law unconstitutional. Opponents of the law reason that because the Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage legal last year, and the N.C. law prevents the protection of all LGBT people, the law violates the SCOTUS ruling. Some cities, namely San Francisco and Los Angeles, have enacted travel bans, banning city workers from going to North Carolina unless it is required for public health and safety. And while completely banning visitors to North Carolina is an extreme act by those cities, the cities’ position on the matter ought to be supported. The law limits restroom use of all people to restrooms that match the sex assigned at birth. This is flat-out encroachment on civil liberties — people should be able to use a bathroom marked by the gender with which they identify, and boycotting North Carolina’s policies is one noticeable way of registering other states’ disapproval of the law. A major concern in response to state boycotts is that they limit collaboration between other states and North Carolina and will put


art by carolyn chu/falconer

Should states boycott North Carolina after its passage of controversial legislation prohibiting individuals from choosing restrooms based on their gender identity? small businesses at risk with fewer visitors and tourists in the state. But the boycotts and travel bans have no correlation to individual visitors and tourists; the bans apply solely to official city or state travel. According to the Washington Post, it is unclear how often employees from the cities and states with bans actually travel to North Carolina. Boycotts are justified against the state because they are not only peaceful, but they also get the message across that North Carolina’s law is, inarguably, against the ideals of fairness and equality. Other methods for fighting the law include creating a coalition of LGBT and transgender rights activists to visit North Carolina and promote equality. But it seems that will just create further homophobic and transphobic sentiment. The state government is willing to go so far as to dictate the restroom usage of every transgender individual — it is highly improbable that the state will change its views. North Carolina already made clear its position on discrimination and did so even after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a completely opposite view. The situation is less about changing the beliefs of North Carolina’s government and more about protecting the rights of individuals. Boycotting North Carolina is a safe action. It serves as a clear indication of other states’ and cities’ disapproval, while also not directly intruding on state affairs and inflaming further hate. The boycotts are not, and have never been, about attacking the state of North Carolina and its businesses. They were enacted with the sole purpose of fighting for the rights of LGBT individuals — and, since they are citizens like any other, the rights of all American people — which is undoubtedly a justifiable reason.

In a question asked by CBS News ...

Should transgender people use the bathrooms of their preferred gender?*







*15 percent of people did not answer

Discrimination is wrong. Children are taught that discrimination is wrong, that it is a socially punishable offense, that the people who practice discrimination are bad. And how do we deal with these “bad people?” We discriminate against them in turn. We spurn them, decry them, cut off everything necessary for their social survival and laugh while they struggle. North Carolina is a state that has practiced discrimination in the form of restricting transgender and gender-fluid individuals to using only the bathroom marked for their biological sex. People are indignant, but they are taking their hatred for North Carolina a step too far — people, cities and states have vowed to quit North Carolina until the law is repealed, and in doing so, risk hurting innocent residents and businesses beyond ruin. Travel bans are slowly weaving a loop of rope around North Carolina, drawing it tighter and tighter until it chokes, collapses and dies. But who is that really hurting? The state? Sure, the state suffers losses in business revenue and tourism dollars, but it is really the people who see their livelihoods lost. The anger at North Carolina is understandable, even justifiable. But what is unacceptable is the boycotting and the travel bans and the isolation of an entire state from the United States. The last time we isolated a state — or a group of states — we started a war. There are thousands of people who rely on North Carolina’s tourism industry. Thousands more rely on business partners across the country, in places like San Francisco and Washington, D.C. — two of the cities that have imposed travel bans. These residents are like children, and North Carolina like their homophobic, transphobic mother. Think about it. Would you cut off

CON By Maya Rao


financial support to children just because their mother is a closeminded, hateful person? Would you let those children starve through no wrong of their own? It’s not like North Carolina residents all adopt the same belief as North Carolina itself. They just stay there because they have nowhere else to go, because their whole life is in North Carolina. These travel bans are ludicrous. Legislation prohibiting travelers and businessmen from going to another country, like Cuba or North Korea, make sense, but prohibiting people from visiting a state of the United States is ridiculous. Imagine if Alabama banned people from visiting New York because of liberal abortion laws, or if Tennessee barred people from visiting Colorado because of pro-marijuana laws. The backlash from left-wing citizens would be tremendous. There is something fundamentally wrong in our society if we can condone treating people like second-class citizens just because of where they live. Discrimination based on geography is no different than discrimination based on race or sex — it is yet another thing that we cannot change. And to those who argue that residents of North Carolina must suffer for the “greater good” — greater goods are never really all that great or all that good. They are simply used to justify the unjustifiable.

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STAFF EDITORIAL: GENDER-NEUTRAL BATHROOMS misinformation about and fear of transgender people. The idea that those who identify as transgender are prone to rape, pedophilic acts or misconduct in bathrooms and similar environments is an illogical argument that holds no water; transgender individuals are not any more likely to conduct such acts as any other person. Of course, even with an increase in media coverage of transgender individuals, there is little to no accurate information about them for the public, thus creating a culture of misinformation about transgender individuals. This culture is the reason why these absurd arguments are so widespread; people fear what they do not understand. And continuing to write and ratify discriminatory bills against a community that has historically been discriminated against will only harm and invalidate transgender people, as well as add onto the already prevalent transphobia in society today. A bill that allows individuals to use bathrooms and changing facilities that correspond to their gender identity instead of the sex they were assigned at birth would be a positive step forward; creating legislation

will affirm the rights of the LGBT community and curb transphobia. Acknowledging people who identify as transgender — who, like all other American citizens, deserve to have their rights protected — through legislation will increase awareness and promote education throughout the public about transgender individuals, as well as normalize free expression of gender identity. Of course, changing bills and passing laws cannot eradicate transphobia entirely, but it can begin to change people’s minds by bolstering their understanding and encouraging acceptance of the group. Creating a bathroom that is not specific to any gender, or a gender-neutral bathroom, seems ideal, but is in fact detrimental — it can draw unnecessary and unwarranted attention to individuals who choose to use it. Keeping bathrooms labeled as male and female use, but allowing people to decide for themselves which one they wish to use, will prevent complications and building costs while still providing firm, legislative protection for transgender individuals.


the strip

by carolyn chu

With high-profile celebrities like Laverne Cox and Caitlyn Jenner, as well as award-winning movies and TV series like “The Danish Girl” and “Orange is the New Black,” it is no surprise that “transgender” is no longer an obscure term. Some may even argue that transgender persons’ rising prominence in pop culture, combined with the movement for LGBT rights, has made the United States population more accepting of different gender expressions, and as a result, has made policy on LGBT issues more progressive. So it came as a surprise when, on March 23, state lawmakers in North Carolina passed a bill that requires multipleoccupancy bathrooms and changing facilities to be designated for use based only on people’s biological sex — not the sex they identify with. North Carolina Gov. Patrick McCrory said he had signed the bill “to stop the breach of basic privacy and etiquette.” Ironically, the bill itself is a breach of privacy of transgender individuals: They must use the restroom or change among people of a gender they do not identify with. Furthermore, requiring that people use facilities based on their biological sex is undoubtedly transphobic, and will only perpetuate


The Torrey Pines High School

We, the Falconer staff, are dedicated to creating a monthly newspaper with the intent of encouraging independent thinking, expanding our knowledge of journalism, and providing the TPHS student body and community with a truthful, unbiased news source, in accordance with our First Amendment rights.

3710 Del Mar Heights Road San Diego, CA 92130 PHONE: (858) 755-0125 x2245 FAX: (858) 523-0794 E-MAIL: WEBSITE:

The Falconer is the student newspaper of Torrey Pines High School. Its content, which is the responsibility of the Falconer staff, is not subject to administrative approval. Unsigned editorials represent the opinions of the staff, while opinion columns represent the writer’s perspective. Advertisements do not necessarily represent the newspaper’s viewpoint. The Falconer, an open forum, welcomes signed letters on pertinent issues from the TPHS community, which may be submitted to room 102, via email at or to Mia Smith’s mailbox in the administration building. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

Editor-in-Chief Assistant Editor-in-Chief Managing Editor Public Relations Copy Editors News Editor Opinion Editor Feature Editor Focus Editors Entertainment Editors Sports Editor Backpage Editor Photo Editor Art Editor Adviser

Anna Lee Sarah Kim Sarah Chan Avery Spicker Maya Kota Austin Zhang Tasia Mochernak Maya Rao Grace Bruton Amanda Chen Alice Qu Caroline Rutten Irene Yu Lily Nilipour Maya Kota Avery Spicker Carolyn Chu Mia Boardman Smith

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Artists: Michelle Hao Simon Kim Jenny Li Jiyoung Moon Ellese Nguyen Russell Reed Amy Yu Amanda Yuan

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the falconer


Gov’t. records should be available to public EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

In a nation that touts democracy and liberty, a certain level of transparency is expected from the government. Historically, the United States has not fulfilled such expectations. Tremendous secrets have been hidden and unveiled: the Iran-Contra affair, Wikileaks details, National Security Agency surveillance revealed by Edward Snowden. And some secrets are still under wraps — a practice that, for the most part, obstructs the promise of liberty that makes the government beholden to the American people and chips away at citizen trust in the government. Years earlier, President Barack Obama promised to declassify 28 pages from the 2002 Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001. A 2004 report by the 9/11 Commission on the nature of those 28 pages included an alarming statement in their analysis: There was no evidence found that the Saudi Arabian government “as

an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded [al-Qaida].” There is a rather apparent loophole in the phrasing of this, a loophole that could implicate Saudi Arabia in funding the 9/11 hijacking and reaffirm the information from leaked 2010 U.S. diplomatic cables, which revealed both the Saudi government and Saudi individuals as chief sources of funding to a number of terrorist groups. These 28 pages, still suppressed, have become the center of an argument involving government secrecy. There is no understating the importance of national security. Certainly, some things should be kept private: key information regarding the military, for example. Yet there is a delicate balance between security and liberty that must be kept in mind. Perhaps in the case of those 28 pages, it is politically wise to keep that door shut. But perhaps we must also be reminded that the pursuit of truth is often seen as dangerous and unwise, despite that it is the right thing to do. Truth is what this country is founded on, after all — without truth, there is no liberty, no freedom, no justice. It has been over a decade since 9/11; the content of the pages is overdue for release. Even in 2003, the then-Saudi ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan said that “Saudi Arabia has nothing to hide” and supported the release of the

redacted pages. Of course, it is not a matter of there being nothing — or something — to hide; it is a matter of truth and justice for the families of 9/11 victims who want answers, of closure for a nation still reeling from the attack. Simply put, it is disturbing for the government to keep information from the nation’s citizens, to correct and edit the past, no mater how earth-shattering the information may be. In 2014, a federal appeals court ruled against a Freedom of Information Act request for the release of the official CIA history of the 1961 Bay of Pigs incident. The court held that, under a FOIA exemption protecting secrecy essential to preserving government agencies’ decision-making process, the history is a “draft” and therefore “deliberative.” In other words, the history is still in progress, the report in the works. Such a claim seems outrageous; it has been more than half a century since the invasion. What is of note in this case, however, is not just the significant piece of history being hidden from the country — it is the broader implications of the ruling. Government agencies can forever hide documents from public view by claiming they are still part of a deliberative process, whether that is true or not.

The government cannot continue sweeping history under the rug. At best, the practice is a misguided attempt to ensure national security, even when the facts of decades-old affairs may bear little relevance to modern issues. At worst, it is poorly disguised propaganda and censorship.

Secrets will eventually be uncovered. And when they are, when the government’s lies and omissions are exposed, the United States loses credibility in the eyes of its citizens. Regarding our nation’s history, it is best to be honest — we must foster trust in our government, not resentment.


By Anna Lee


I don’t know what I was doing college touring on the East Coast as a 13-year-old freshman. As I was dragged from Swarthmore College to Princeton University, my only criterion for which colleges I liked was how closely they resembled Hogwarts. But my mother persisted, confident that I would eventually fall in love with one of them. And I did. His name was University of Pennsylvania, and he was a handsome campus covered with pink blossoms and the smell of Ivy prestige. Enamored, I began my journey to impress him. Each day was a whirlwind of Post-it schedules, heaps of study notes and milelong lists of club obligations. I scraped my A’s, took a million practice SAT tests, entered Model United Nations competitions and never stopped working. My junior year summer, I attended Leadership in the Business World, a four-week program hosted by Wharton, Penn’s business school. I was psyched; it was an opportunity to get a taste of Wharton and boost my application. I was miserable for much of the camp. My dorm room was cockroach-infested, the weather was unbearably humid, and most of all, I did not fit in. I was a clueless, suburbian California girl in a sea of wealthy international students who already spoke of hedge fund and investment banking careers. I left the camp with mixed feelings. A small voice wondered if I could really blend in with Penn’s private school culture. I wondered if I was really interested in a career of soul-crushing banking upon exiting college. But I had too much momentum to stop, and convinced that Penn was still the right school for me, I applied early to Wharton.

As many seniors remember, the dreaded day of Dec. 15 arrives at once too soon and too late. The most I recall from that day is an abandoned box of celebratory doughnuts, a tear-soaked sleeve and the small word “defer.” It was safe to assume there was little chance I would get in, that I was left in a boneyard of applicants who the university deemed not quite mediocre enough to dismiss. They often say that college acceptances aren’t testaments of a person’s character. But in that instance, it was as if Penn looked at everything I had ever worked for, and then grinned and punched me in the stomach. That night I buried my Penn sweatshirt into the depths of my closet. The regular college decision was more merciful. I had decent options, and the University of California, Berkeley had offered me their Regents Scholarship, so I was pretty set on the school. But Ivy Day had yet to arrive — yes, there’s a day called “Ivy Day,” as if the League wasn’t pretentious enough. It was a swift process of clicking through each portal, spotting the words “we are sorry,” and exiting out. But I didn’t find those words on the Penn portal. Instead, my eyes locked onto the words “Class of 2020” and my head began to spin. After four years, this couldn’t be real. But that night was so real and vivid. I saw my parents tear up for the first time upon reading the letter. I had worked so hard, and my dream had come true. I had been accepted into Wharton. After 24 hours of mind-numbing bliss, I realized with faint terror that now I would have to decide. I had grown attached to Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, the internship opportunities in Silicon Valley, and the possibility that I would be able to work for


The Falconer Art Editor reflects on her decision to pick the University of California, Berkeley instead of a “prestigious” Ivy-League school.

Disney or Google, places where maybe I would be able to combine a business career with my passion for art and animation. But how could I pass up the prestige of Wharton? The stress of the decision gnawed at me. I made thousands of pros-and-cons lists. I would instinctively wake up each morning at 6:30 and obsessively research both schools. And people would say things. They said that I would regret it in 10 years if I chose Berkeley over Wharton. They said it didn’t matter what school I chose because either way, I would regret not going to the other at some point in my life. These were not helpful statements. After three weeks of internal debating, it was clear that the concrete facts didn’t matter anymore. My gut continued to say Berkeley, and it never stopped saying Berkeley. I remember the defining moment where I chose the school. While visiting the campus, I had hiked to the top of the Big C trail at night. My lungs and legs felt as if they were about to collapse, but I managed to look out over the bay. The breeze was cool and the lights glowed brilliant shades of blue and yellow, and I knew. Twenty-four hours later, I went home and committed. People were baffled. Of course, if you were to only look at U.S. News college rankings, the decision seems obvious. But during the period

between my deferral and acceptance, I had done some thinking. Why did I work so hard on this single goal, as if my life depended on it? Why didn’t I enjoy myself more? Why did I even waste time crying over a few SAT questions or studying 21 hours for a calculus final? It seemed that, in my obsession to get into my dream school, I had forgotten how to live. So I chose UC Berkeley because I wanted to be happy. I didn’t feel comfortable in the culture surrounding Penn, so I decided against it. I knew I’d get an incredible education at either school. It’s pretty simple. I know it’s difficult to overlook the prestige of the Ivy League, especially growing up in a Chinese-American community where kids who get into top-ranked universities leave the community as demigods, where the glorification of an Ivy school trumps nearly anything else, including, but not limited to, a kid’s wellbeing or happiness. And it’s difficult to break that mindset. It’s so incredibly hard. But at the end of the day, I believe that success isn’t determined by that Ivy label, or the money or job opportunities a kid gains from the Ivy label. Success is defined by the happiness and fulfillment you find from the work you do. If people are passionate about their life or careers, then they’ve succeeded.

A12 the falconer


april 29, 2016

Hollywood should cast Asian actors for Asian roles FOCUS EDITOR

White America has gotten much better at recognizing racism where it exists. Archetypal associations — slavery, Jim Crow laws, the KKK and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have A Dream” speech — are gradually expanding to include conversations on workplace discrimination, inequities in the criminal justice system and other manifestations of institutional racism. As a country, we have made strides toward racial equality in the last century. But, of course, we still have a great distance to travel. Recently, controversy erupted following the casting of Scarlett Johansson as the main character in an American remake of the Japanese anime classic “Ghost in the Shell.” Many, including “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” actress Ming Na-Wen and “Fresh Off the Boat” actress Constance Wu, took to the Internet to express their outrage over yet another unsurprising but inexcusable decision by Hollywood executives to cast a white person as a character of color, a phenomenon known as “whitewashing” — an ostensibly less pernicious form of racism. But

whitewashing is far from harmless. It results in loss of opportunity for actors of color and lack of representation for of-color audiences, which reinforces Eurocentric ideals of beauty and success, and promotes erasure of POC presence in the United States. This can be damaging to the development of one’s sense of racial or ethnic identity and self-esteem. It is important to note that this should not be misconstrued as a criticism of Johansson; it is a critique of the American film industry, which has a particularly egregious track record when it comes to whitewashing. Before this, there was Mickey Rooney’s incredibly offensive yellowface performance as a Chinese landlord with an exaggerated accent in the 1961 “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” There was the complete absence of POC in the film adaptation of “The Last Airbender,” which was based on a cartoon clearly about non-white people. And there was “Exodus: Gods and Kings” director Ridley Scott’s infamous quote on the subject of whitewashing: “I can’t mount a film of this budget ... and say that my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such.” The list goes on and on. There seems to be a prevailing belief in Hollywood, an industry in which 94 percent of executives are white, according to a 2013 BBC report, that white actors somehow attract more audiences and maximize profits. But how can one say that for certain when POC have never had the chance to prove otherwise? How can one proclaim they are not at fault for practicing poor casting policies when

their complacency only serves to prop up a system that ensures POC will never receive the representation they deserve? Some also justify whitewashing by saying it is sometimes necessary due to the lack of qualified nonwhite actors. Irrespective of the blatant falsity of this argument, such casting practices serve to perpetuate a negative feedback loop whereby the acknowledgement of the issue serves to discourage POC from pursuing acting, decreasing the overall number of actors of color, and thus further lessening the already dismal number of opportunities people of color have in Hollywood. Whitewashing is a problematic practice regardless of which racial minority is the most recent target of Hollywood’s cultural insensitivity, but Johansson’s casting has drawn attention to the representation of Asian Pacific Islanders, a blanket term used to refer to both Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans, in American media in particular. APIs account for 20.8 million people in the U.S., according to the 2015 census, but received only 5.3 percent of roles in the top 100 films of 2014, making them one of the most underrepresented groups in mainstream media, according to a report by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Media website. Even when they are cast, they often portray stereotypical caricatures; the number of APIs in leading roles is also dishearteningly low. What is worse is that not that

many people believe there is actually a problem with the way that APIs are represented and treated in the media. Chris Rock’s joke about Chinese child laborers is evidence of such; the public backlash following the incident was fairly minimal and, when expressed, came primarily from the API community. APIs are straddled awkwardly in the middle and often times even left out of discussions of race; the misconception is that we’re not quite white but not quite a minority, apparently designated based on whether or not a

threshold of suffering has been met. So if you’ve been exploited by America’s gross colonialist legacy and unfairly represented in mainstream media, recognizing the various ways that racism may manifest itself and actively challenging a system that has historically silenced of-color voices are all necessary first steps toward racial equality. But if you’re fortunate enough to not have experienced this form of oppression, pray to your ancestors, or whatever other “exotic” rituals you think we practice. We’ll see you on the big screen soon.


By Amanda Chen

“Never Hillary” supporters are hypocritical COPY EDITOR

The 2016 Presidential election season has been one of the most heated in recent years. The contest for the Republican nomination between Ted Cruz, John Kasich and Donald Trump, as well as the struggle between Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, has dominated media coverage. Now, the entire nation waits to see who will emerge to be each Party’s nominee. The shifting opinions and newfound loyalties of people of all voting demographics have been a key focus for the candidates. Analysts have noted in particular the continued support for Trump despite controversial actions — like the disparaging comments made against Arizona Senator and U.S. Navy veteran John McCain, and attacks against Muslims, Hispanics, women, among others — and the command Sanders has demonstrated over a significant portion of the youth vote. Through this all, a new trend has emerged: Sanders supporters who would shift to a vote for Trump if Clinton became the Democratic nominee. Susan Sarandon, actress and vocal supporter for Sanders said in the Washingon Times “that Bernard Sanders supporters are mulling a vote for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton because the Republican

front-runner would ‘bring the revolution immediately.’” Sarandon further revealed in an interview with MSNBC that it was a “legitimate concern” that Sanders supporters would depart from the Democratic Party should Clinton secure the nomination. This sort of rapid change in political ideology is not only a negative indicator of the political literacy of the voting population, but also an ominous marker of the way a large swath of voters view elections and the government. Sarandon said that Sanders supporters could vote Trump over Clinton because they are “passionate and principled.” Yet if we consider the political ideas the two candidates are espousing, it is clear that in terms of platforms, Trump and Sanders are opposite. Sanders is strongly in favor of abortion as an unrestricted right, Trump disagrees. Trump opposes prioritizing renewable energy sources, while Sanders champions it as the way forward for the nation. Meanwhile, some say Clinton has adopted many of Sanders’ proposals and ideas, or at least coming to agree with him on several issues. Some say Hillary has had most of those ideas for at least as long as Sanders has. Both agree that overturning the Supreme Court Citizens United decision would restore democracy, both oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline, and both have supported President Barack Obama’s actions with regard to immigration, as well as the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors, or DREAM Act. It is apparent that it is not platform that is driving Sanders supporters to Trump, but something else. That something else is the concept of “revolution,” as

Sarandon explained earlier. Many Sanders supporters who would consider Trump over Clinton are fiercely against what they perceive as “establishment” and see Clinton as some sort of political puppet who is too much controlled by Wall Street, private interests and other “corrupting” hands. Yet to support Trump, whose ideas are directly in conflict with both Sanders’ and Clinton’s, is to demonstrate that one does not actually support an ideology at all, just change. And supporting merely change and the aggressive departure from the status quo with no consideration of where we are headed is like climbing a ladder while it’s straight up and hoping it

will fall against something sturdy. It is undisciplined and lacks foresight. It is crucial that we as voters remain open to the concept that we vote for candidates based on their ideas, their platforms, and the agendas of change we hope they represent. The ideas are what we are choosing, and the candidates themselves are merely representations of them. Consistency in political ideology is fundamentally important. Current Trump supporters are willing to vote for him because his agenda aligns with their desires in policy action. If you truly support Sanders, but are willing to support the totally opposite Trump over Clinton, who has proven willing to adopt ideas from Sanders,

then you really only support radical shifts in government and little else. The nation has already suffered under a polarized Congress, in which little across-the-aisle discussion, much less collaboration, takes place, and bills are filibustered to death without even the slightest discussion or compromise. This should not be the case in the presidential race as well; change for the sake of change, radicalism of any kind, so long as it is radical. We must remember to stand by our belief in policies and platform items, and hold firm in those ideals. Because the day we forget that those are ultimately what constitutes a candidate, we overturn the foundation of democracy.


By Austin Zhang

On Saturday mornings, Rebecca Yeap (12) gets up and makes breakfast like lots of other kids, but Yeap serves it to hundreds of people who line up to eat at Father Joe’s Village. For her, community service is both a reprieve from her hectic life and a way to focus her attention on the needs of others rather than her own. Yeap works primarily with Key Club, a high school volunteer program affiliated with the adult service organization, Kiwanis International. She coordinates with and volunteers at various places on the weekends: food banks, homeless shelters and community events like fundraising runs. Meanwhile, Richard Ni (11) spends his Saturday mornings at the Carmel Valley Public Library teaching kids how to play music. “My favorite [community service activity] is teaching kids,” Ni said. “You have a bond with them, and you get to see them grow.” Kiara McNulty The library is also home ������� to the Art in Motion Club on Friday afternoons, where Jiayue Li (12) helps kids express their creativity through arts and crafts projects. At TPHS, Li also founded a branch of 1KID, a nonprofit organization supporting general education for children, but she’s started to focus more on raising money for art education. “The arts have done a lot for me, [like giving] me confidence,” Li said. “I feel like when we give that to other kids, they can have the same emotional and social benefits that [art] has given us.” Falcons pitch in at any number of local organizations. As president of the Service with a Smile Club, Mona Roshan (11) oversees the donation of canned food to Feeding America, which distributes it to families in need; collected clothes and toys go to the Salvation Army or Goodwill. When Roshan served food at the San Diego Rescue Mission, she was surprised to find that homeless people didn’t fall into a single category. “There were homeless people of all age groups; even [people] our age were there ... so we’re really fortunate [because we’re not in that situation],” Roshan said. Kiara McNulty (10) and Sophia LeRose (10) cofounded Female Athlete Volunteers after looking in vain for an organization that connected busy female athletes with community service opportunities. “Every year we do a big fundraiser,” McNulty said. “This year, we’re doing scholarships for the Toussaint Academy, a downtown shelter and high school education program for homeless kids, so they can go to college if they work hard in school.” FAV also raised $8,000 for the Make a Wish Foundation, and donated toiletries and sporting equipment to an orphanage in Peru.

“The kids [in Peru] were so happy to have those little things in life that we just take for granted,” McNulty said. “To be able to see the difference that we’re making with just small acts ... it’s just really rewarding for me.” It is not only students who are involved in hands-on community service — TPHS teachers also volunteer for causes they support. Math teacher Alexa Scheidler volunteers over the summer, mostly at Feeding America, where her responsibilities vary from sorting and distributing food to filing paperwork. She also participated in Relay for Life in high school and college, and she now acts as an adviser to the Relay for Life club. “I help them communicate with the American Cancer Society and the adminstrators on campus to help put on the event, but really the students do everything,” Scheidler said. (10) Volunteer work may be born of a genuine desire to aid the community. But, as it is a natural for inclusion on a college application, some students worry that getting into college is the sole motivation for the service activitiews of some students, particularly since it may be an entrance requirement. “The point of volunteering is [to be] selfless, and I don’t think you’re supposed to be volunteering for yourself,” Ni said. Others, like McNulty, see the situation in a different light. “I think it’s unfortunate that [college] is the motivation behind volunteering, but I think it’s great that colleges do require it ... [because] students [can have] a genuine, authentic experience,” McNulty said. Whatever the motivation behind service, some events become quite personal. McNulty, who traveled to Peru on a family vacation and dropped off FAV donations at the orphanage, had the opportunity to interact with the kids she helped and was touched by their reaction. “These three little girls grabbed this little picture frame … and gave it to us,” McNulty said. “For me, that was so touching [because] they don’t have a lot [to give].” The scope of volunteering is broad, especially among students who have the resources to access even international service programs that align with their personal passions. At local homeless shelters or community libraries, at orphanages in Peru, TPHS students can be found. And, on Saturday mornings, as Yeap scoops eggs onto the plates of those that come to Father Joe’s for a warm breakfast, she offers them a warm smile as well. by Anvitha Soordelu

To be able to see the difference that we’re making ... [is] really rewarding.

*Information provided by Corporation of National and Community Service


A14 the falconer

It i s 2 0 0 5 , in Iraq. A Humvee rolls cautiously through the desert, wheels kicking up ghostly puffs of sand. All is silent, save for the low murmur of engines and the shallow breathing of American soldiers. Other vehicles dot the sparse landscape, all moving in sunlit lethargy, lurching forward as if regretting they had even come. The boom of the explosion seemed to rip through the fabric of sound itself. A land mine — the only one hit that day. One man in the passenger seat of the Humvee took the brunt of the blow: shattered knees, shrapnel through his legs, and later, a Purple Heart for Senior Chief Scott Stearns. Back at home in San Diego, Stearns’ oldest son Thomas Stearns (12), just 7 years old, rides in the back seat of the car, perhaps off to school, or sports practice, or a friend’s house. On the way, they jolt over a pothole, a speed bump. The last thing Stearns would have thought of as they continue on their way are the bombs exploding beneath moving tires, halfway across the world. “No one died from that Humvee, but it was a really close call,” Stearns said. “And it was a really bad accident, and it’s very, very lucky that he’s alive. After that happened, I was just really worried about him being in the military for the years to follow. It was a wake-up call.” According to a 2015 San Diego Military Advisory Council study, there are more than 100,000 active duty Navy and Marine Corp. members based in San Diego Co. Military spending in San Diego Co. generates 328,000 jobs in the county, 22 percent of total employment available. But despite the significant military influence in the area, many TPHS students, even those with parents active in the military, have grown up sheltered from the brutalities of war. “I would get very nervous every time he would get deployed after [his accident], so sometimes he wouldn’t tell me,” Stearns said. “When he went to Afghanistan, I didn’t know. He told me he was going to Virginia, or something like that, because … it was supposed to be a very dangerous deployment, and he didn’t want me or my brothers to be worried.” Stearns’ father, who served as a U.S. Navy SEAL for 21 years, is now retired. Multiple deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan and the Philippines sometimes lasted six to nine months, Stearns said. He has lived in San Diego his whole life as a result of his dad’s job here. San Diego has also always been Maddie Ley’s (12) home, and her father, still on active duty, has been in the Marine Corps for 21 years, with six or seven deployments to Afghanistan, Japan, Australia and elsewhere. Her mother served four years in the Marine Corps as well. “Growing up, my parents actually kept me in the dark about a lot of stuff; they would tell me that [my dad] was in the middle of a desert somewhere,” Ley said. “Now that my dad doesn’t really deploy anymore, I found out that they’ve had terrorists break on to base, things like that that I didn’t know about when I was a kid.”


Eight years old, Ley watched the kids in her class play soldier, skidding on their heels over the hot black pavement, shooting imaginary bullets out of their fingertips and dropping dead on the ground on searing summer evenings. It reminded her of something, but soon the thought was gone, and she joined her friends, laughing into the warm air. “I already had a hard enough time not seeing my dad a lot, but then I don’t think I would’ve been able to, as an 8-year-old, have [heard], ‘Oh, your dad shot some people today,’” Ley said. “I don’t think I would’ve been able to pull through that.” Stearns and Ley were both born and raised locally — close to TPHS. But Zoe Lowther (11) was born in Bremerton, Wash., because her mother, Joell Lowther, was stationed there as a Navy nurse at the time. Since then, they have moved to Carlsbad, Oceanside and San Marcos, and then to Whidbey Island, WA. When she was 12, Zoe and her family came back to San Marcos and, when her mother retired, moved to San Diego in 2011. “I was super sad the first time that my mom went on the USNS Mercy, because that was the first time she had gone on deployment while I was [alive],” Zoe said. “[When] she came back, she promised me that she was never going to leave again. And, however many years later, she [told me], ‘I’m getting deployed to Afghanistan.’ I was bawling; it was the saddest moment because that’s even more dangerous.” During her career, Joell Lowther was deployed three times: Operation Desert Storm in 1990, to Indonesia and neighboring countries during the tsunami disaster of 2005, and Afghanistan in 2010. “It’s tough going, and it’s tough being there, being deployed in the combat zone,” the elder Lowther said. “And then it’s also tough coming back, because things change while you’re away, and people have coping mechanisms and make adjustments while you’re gone. So when you’re back, things have to shift again.” One night in Afghanistan, Lowther and other nurses heard weapons discharging nearby. They huddled in their tent, terrified for their lives, crying. The explosives kept going off, and they could not tell if the shots were incoming or outgoing or when they would stop. “We all thought we were going to die,” Lowther said. “It was very loud and scary, and it’s just a different reality when you think you have seconds left and that’s it.” Zoe, eleven years old, sits at home on the computer with her father, waiting for her mother to answer, so that she could see her and talk during their weekly Skype call. No one picks up this time. Perhaps she is just busy, nothing to worry about, try again later. “It would be the most hilarious thing trying to talk to her, because [Skype] would freeze her face,” Zoe said. “Me and my dad would Print Screen the screen. We had this collection of all these hilarious screenshots when we were video chatting her.” According to the SDMAC study, there are 60,000 retired military and civilian employees living in San Diego, 74 percent of whom are from the Navy. The Marines make up 14 percent, and Army and Air Force personnel account for 6 percent each. “It’s not as big a deal around here to know someone who [has a] family [member] in the military, it’s a very common thing,” Ley said. “But also, a lot of people don’t know what it’s like to have parents in the military. They recognize that a lot of people are, but they don’t really

april 29, 2016

know what it means. They’re just like, ‘Oh, cool,’ but they have no idea.” Isabella Tessitore (12) has lived “two extremes” in terms of military culture. Her father, Frank Tessitore, is a retired Marine who served for 20 years, originally working in Fort Lauderdale when she was first born. After a move to Maryland, he was stationed to San Diego when Isabella was in first grade, and the whole family followed. “You’d think that [military membership would be prevalent at TPHS] because we have such a big base here, but there’s really not a lot of military families,” Isabella said. “But my best friend lives out on the East Coast, and it’s super military-oriented, everybody knows each other. I would go back every summer to a super small town [in Maryland]. Everybody knows, ‘Oh, Cheryl’s husband is deployed, let’s have her over on Sunday’ — that kind of thing. We don’t really get that support out here a lot.” War changed Isabella’s father — she said he has

It’s tough going, and it’s tough coming back ... Things change while you’re away, and people have coping mechanisms and make adjustments while you’re gone. Joell Lowther

NAVY VETERAN “never really been the same” since his recovery from posttraumatic stress disorder, and even more so while he was dealing with it. “He would be driving, and … instead of seeing a bush on the side, he would see a bomb,” Tessitore said. “He’d see an IED over there or helicopters in the sky. He would get these episodes of just panic, and he wouldn’t leave the house sometimes. And other times he’d be super fine, super sociable, but then he’d fall into a sulk, so it was hard to see him that way.” According to Frank Tessitore, the experiences he lived through in Iraq and Afghanistan became his reality; soldiers do not have to drive, worry about paying bills, and other simple things that “happen in the regular society.” “Living in Carmel Valley, it’s already not a very [realistic] life, so ... [everything] becomes even more unreal,” Frank said. “Every time that I came back, it would be difficult for me to see things like people just going about their own business, not really concerned about what’s going on with the world.” On her ninth birthday, Tessitore was surrounded by friends and family at the table, a cake in front of her, twinkling with nine slowly melting candles like miniature sticks of dynamite. Neatly wrapped gifts piled in the corner of the room, stacked half-heartedly like the bricks of a hastily-built barricade. Everyone was there, singing, laughing, celebrating another year of life, except her dad. “A lot of sacrifice going on, sacrificing birthdays, Christmas, Easter, and sometimes summer,” Isabella Tessitore said. “A lot of birthdays. But he always came home. We were lucky. I could’ve had it way worse.” Tessitore’s dad went on two tours in Iraq and two in Afghanistan, some for 10 months at a time. Yet when her father came back, he experienced the effects of PTSD and


the falconer

“went a little crazy for a while,” which contributed to Tessitore’s parents eventually splitting up. “We know the reality on the ground when we are [in deployment], we know what’s going on, we know what we do, we know the fight that we fight and who we’re fighting,” Frank Tessitore said, “We know who we are defending — we are defending the people who are defenseless. And when you come back returning from this, and you come to another side of the spectrum, ... the disconnection is too much. We become very isolated, and ... it makes us want to go back to continue to [fight for our values].” According to Isabella, when family friends and the community heard about her parents’ divorce, they “gave [them their] space and kind of pushed [them] away.” “If we lived on base, it would be different,” Tessitore said. “We would have a lot more support from our friends, and, of course, we’d have a whole different group of friends.” Because Carmel Valley, TPHS especially, is an “upper-income area,” which is “not the Marine Corps at all,” students and families are often oblivious to and unfamiliar with military life, Ley said. TPHS physics teacher and retired Navy veteran of 20 years, Dave Fleischman, said that San Diego is generally supportive of the military and very sympathetic to individuals employed by the military. But there are certain communities in San Diego with more active duty and retired military members that are more “in-tune with the military lifestyle.” “I see very few military kids come through my class,” Fleischman said. “Economically, I think it’s probably tough for most military families to afford housing in TP’s drawing area. Plus, those neighborhoods are fairly far from bases in San Diego and Oceanside. For a lot of my students, I’m the first military person they’ve ever met.” The military offers another aspect of education and life experience that affects not only veterans, but also everyone around them. “[My dad] does it because he’s defending our country, and he does it to support our family,” Stearns said. “If he wasn’t in the military, he would only want to be around us. It’s taught me to love my family, appreciate what I have, especially with him being deployed, there’s that chance that he might not come home.” According to Fleischman, the military taught him the importance of service and teamwork above self, hard work, and “what’s really important in life.” It taught him “how to make decisions” and about the “indescribable bond of shipmates.” “TPHS students who can project beyond the next year or two — it’s tough at age 18 — can take advantage of the many opportunities that the military offers,” Fleischman said. “Often, high school students think, ‘Wow, four years of school plus five years of service is just too much of a commitment.’ In reality, that commitment ends at about age 27, and the student has had tremendous experiences in those nine years.” For Tessitore, dealing with her father on active duty has taught her to be resilient, accepting and understanding. “You’ll go through tough times and people will ask you tough questions, and sometimes it gets emotional,” Tessitore said. “When I know someone whose parent is … going away for a business trip for a month [for example], I’m always there. Maybe sometimes that person wasn’t there for me, but I’m always there for that person. It’s not about revenge, you know, that kind of thing. It’s just being there for the other person, I’ve learned — stay strong and try to find the positive side to things.” It is 2005, in San Diego. Stearns waits at the airport with his family, shifting from his heels to his toes. Any moment now his father could arrive back from Afghanistan. Perhaps on crutches, or in a wheelchair, or perfectly fine, but still here. He waits and waits. Soldiers start streaming out of the hallway, dragging suitcases and carrying bags. As soon as Stearns sees his dad, he rushes forward, his small 7-year-old frame carrying him faster than any fighter plane through the sky or any bullets whistling toward enemies. Out of the corner of his eye, Stearns sees the glint of a purple medal on his father’s uniform, but soon he finds himself in his father’s arms and forgets about the nine months and 8,000 miles between them. by Lily Nilipour


population of Camp Pendleton acres of land family members housed

“To deliver the highest standard of support and quality of life services to the Fleet, Fighter and Family.”

military and civilian personnel Coast Guard cutter

Military Sealift Command logistical support platforms

acres of water

separate commands

acres of land navy ships


Information provided by Marine Corps Website, Commander, Navy Installations Command and Navy Base San Diego

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LET’S IT DOWN In which we explore the issues surrounding events and debates in the news.

Boko Haram These days, one can hardly be plugged into mainstream media without being constantly barraged by the word ISIS, an acronym now so ubiquitous that it is instantly recognizable by audiences almost everywhere. While the radical Islamic terrorist group continues to wreak havoc across the Middle East and instill deep-seated fear in civilians both here and abroad, the coverage it has received in recent years remains quite disproportionate in comparison to that of the world’s deadliest terrorist group: Boko Haram. Boko Haram, which roughly translates to “Western education is forbidden,” is a Sunni Islamic fundamentalist sect, like the Islamic State group, that operates primarily out of West Africa. It has been responsible for killing over 20,000 people and displacing over 2.3 million people since the start of its current insurgency in 2009. The Nigerian government declared a state of emergency in 2012 over the widespread violence and human rights abuses that continue to plague the country today. In 2014, the group made international news when it kidnapped 276 Nigerian schoolgirls from the town of Chibok; the rest of the world promptly mobilized with calls to #bringbackourgirls on social media. Earlier this month, video footage of 15 Chibok girls, allegedly “proof of life” intended for use in future negotiations between the government and Boko Haram, surfaced showing no signs of apparent maltreatment of the girls aside from the girls’ forced conversion from Christianity to Islam, revitalizing efforts to find the 219 girls still missing — the other 57 escaped. Although U.S. and African forces have previously located some of the girls, American officials say that rescue missions were not carried out in fear of endangering the captives. However, the United States continues to assist local efforts to fight Boko Haram and locate hostages through intelligence gathering, using drones and signal interception. Although social media has played an important role by bringing the story of the Chibok girls to light, the plight of the rest of the estimated 500-2,000 women and children who have been abducted since 2012 and used as suicide bombers, forced to marry their captors or brutally murdered, and that of countless of other innocent civilians impacted by Boko Haram’s merciless jihadism, remains largely overlooked by a substantial portion of the international community and excluded from much of U.S. foreign policy discussions. The lack of coverage can be attributed to the fact that the regions where much of the mass violence is occurring simply do not have news cameras or hospital death records, making it extremely difficult to gather statistics and factual evidence. The situation is exacerbated by the dismal state of telecommunication infrastructure and hostile governments. Furthermore, unlike ISIS, which uses social media extensively to spread its message and recruit individuals, Boko Haram hardly has a media presence at all. According to U.S. military officials, ISIS and Boko Haram have recently increased collaboration to attack U.S. allies in North and Central Africa. U.S. officials are urging President Barack Obama to approve an expansion of troop deployment in Libya and Nigeria to check the growing radicalism in the region.


One in


It all started in sixth grade, when Russell Reed (12) and his family traveled to Tanzania. Reed’s family decided to do “half service activities and half fun safari activities” during their 10day Thanksgiving trip. “Growing up, I’ve always done a lot of service-oriented experiences with my family,” Reed said. “But that trip was a pivotal moment for me; it started the whole process [of getting me involved with impact work].” The following summer, Reed founded Leadership in Performing Arts, a summer program that he ran in his backyard with his friends for four years. Each year, participants would write a script and give a performance, and the proceeds from the performance would be donated to Ecolife, a non-profit organization “dedicated to resolving conflict between conservation needs and community needs.” “The idea of [Leadership in Performing Arts] was to expose younger kids to service, as well as try to get more performing arts education in general,” Reed said. In high school, Reed continued his work with non-profits despite several hindrances. “I want to succeed academically, so I have to balance the two to make sure that I’m also engaging in things that I care about and things I’m interested in,” Reed said. Reed not only found a balance between academics and extracurricular activities, but also time to cultivate his love of impact work by contemplating “how impact can be maximized.” “There’s something really beautiful about helping people, but very quickly [basic volunteering] wasn’t enough for me,” Reed said. “I started to look at the impact of the work I was doing. I viewed the impact work as not only a one-time thing, but over time how to look at the problem that we’re addressing so that the problem doesn’t keep happening.” Reed expresses his passion for impact work primarily through The Bridge Initiative, a non-profit organization “that connects people with disabilities to long-term and fulfilling employment opportunities,” which Reed founded his sophomore year after Sam Burt, a close family friend with severe disabilities, died. “I was raised with empathy for [people with disabilities] because it was something that I had experienced through Sam,” Reed said. “Growing up, I saw people interact with disabilities in public. It was like that stray from naivete where it’s like, ‘okay, not everyone sees it the way I do,’ and that comes up with race, gender, everything, but for me it really resonated with disabilities.” The Bridge Initiative aims to become part of the employment process for people with disabilities, and is a “LinkedIn-type model” that helps create resumes that include safe work environment requirements and focuses on disabilities rather than hiding them. “A big part of empowerment is employment,” Reed said. “Disabled people are educated and are looking for jobs, but there’s a big discouragement gap where people are hiding their disabilities, and then there are corporations and small businesses willing to hire, but they don’t know where to find people

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Russell Reed (12) channels his entrepreneurial spirit through global service and impact work. with disabilities and how to handle them. We want to make sure that people can be open with their disabilities and that the hiring process will safe.” Reed plans to fully develop and launch The Bridge Initiative and eventually serve on the board of an umbrella organization that would be able to oversee the non-profit. Another large part of Reed’s impact work is traveling. After his trip to Tanzania, Reed traveled to Thailand, Laos and Singapore the summer before his sophomore year as part of a service program. “When you travel, you learn so much that you can’t learn reading a book or taking a class,” Reed said. Reed cites his trip to Myanmar as the most impactful experience; he and a group of six other students traveled to four different cities in Myanmar. “There’s a lot of ethical problems that come up when you really start to think about service and travel,” Reed said. “[My trip to Myanmar] was one of those experiences where I had to really think, ‘Why am I here, why am I doing this, and am I making a positive or negative impact?’” Reed’s experience in Myanmar allowed him to understand the value of traveling and inspired him to plan another trip, this time to Cape Town. The coming summer, Reed will stay in Cape Town with a grant from New York University’s Africa House to research the effects of physical geography and infrastructure on desegregation and economic opportunities. “The western Cape is the only part that hasn’t gone under the majority black leadership, and a big part of that has just been the access to economic opportunities caused by physical geography,” Reed said. Again, Reed was aware of the potential ethical implications regarding his trip to Cape Town, especially when the black student union at NYU asked his research partner why they, as two non-African people, were traveling to Africa. “[My research partner] explained our project and got a super positive reaction, but you’re going to get mixed reactions to everything,” Reed said. “There is a big question of what my place is as a white American trying to address issues on another continent I have no personal connection to.” But Reed does not let his ethical concerns subtract from his focus on empowering others, as opposed to offering charity. “A lot of problems in the developing world are caused by Westerners, and I feel a sense of duty to fix them, but not through making everything our own and making the same mistakes,” Reed said. “We need to focus on empowerment, making sure that change can be built up again by their own people. It takes a lot more thought and work, but that’s when real change happens.” Reed will major in political economy and international development at Harvard College, and looks forward to continuing a career in impact work, whether he is focusing on human geography, city structures, African studies or development economics. by Irene Yu




After experiencing Coachella for the first time, two writers share their experiences from their days at the famous Indio, Calif. music festival.

As a first-time Coachella attendee, I basically showed up ready to shove years worth of expectations into three days’ time, and somehow actually managed it. I spent the weekend in a perpetual state of awe, between the endless celebrity sightings and my newfound knowledge that a building the size of Sahara Tent can, in fact, be hotboxed — your move, TPHS parking lot. The only rumor that proved false was that Coachella tended to be unsafe. The only time I felt nervous was on the drive up; unaware of what the phrase “it’s in the middle of nowhere” implied, I was taken aback by the hours of winding roads. And the fact that we chose to go in the middle of the night had me feeling like I was going to end up on an episode of “Criminal Minds” — but that was the extent of the “danger.” I think that a lot of people are wary of Coachella because of the price range, but if you know how to make the most of your experience, I honestly think it’s worth the money. I spent two nights at the very front of the pit, and I don’t think I’ve ever made a better decision. Aside from the fact that I was in the front row for some of the best shows I’ve ever seen, I’m pretty sure every single famous person at Coachella walked right in front of me and, on top of it all, I ended up on the big screen. It was one of my best financial decisions, and I’d give a lot to be back there right now instead of attempting to survive a school week while sick, tired and sore out of my mind. Also, a quick apology to every old person ever: I missed Guns N’ Roses for Zedd, and I have absolutely no regrets. By Ethan Valdes/Guest Writer

Bring tissues — the toilet paper in the bathrooms will run out, and you will want to blow your nose from the dust and smoke Bring sunscreen Bring a portable charger Wear comfortable shoes, like Converse Wear a bandana for the dust If you don’t get tickets from the Coachella website, try Craigslist. American Express also has a deal for cardholders. Stay hydrated

Coachella weekend two has the reputation for that being the “suckier” of the two weekends. I never really understood why — the only piece of coherent evidence was that the grass is greener and not as dust-covered the first week. While I initially worried about missing out, seeing countless Snapchats from friends who went to weekend one, I am happy to say I experienced the same surreal joy at weekend two. Friday set high expectations for the other two days. After starting off with mesmerizing beats from Louis the Child and Sam Feldt, I moved to one of my favorite rappers: A$AP Rocky. Sticking it to “the man,” he began the concert in the middle of the crowd, since the stage was made unsafe due to high winds. I’m not complaining — I got a better view. With guest appearances from Tyler the Creator and A$AP Ferg, A$AP Rocky put on show full of the rage and excitement you would want from a rap concert. Following that was G-Eazy, who brought out Lil Wayne as a guest performer, playing “A Milli” and “The Motto.” I managed to see them front-row, and that combined with the thrilling atmosphere of one of the most hyped concerts of the weekend cemented it as one of my favorite performances. Next was another frontrow concert for British duo Snakehips, and after that a front-row experience for Hippie Sabotage in the Do Lab, the smallest stage at Coachella. Hippie Sabotage was a surprise performance for only weekend two, and the intimate nature of the Do Lab elevated the experience. The performances on Saturday did not match the quality of Friday. The disappointment was Disclosure; while I like Disclosure’s music, they were unimpressive live, dull and unexciting. Zedd was the redeeming part of the day: his characteristic hyper-electric songs and the spectacular, rave-worthy lights definitely had the “wow” factor missing from Disclosure’s performance. The night ended with Guns N’ Roses, making me nostalgic for times I didn’t have, and RL Grime, a “melt-your-face-off intense rave,” as my friend put it. Sunday was the best day of the weekend. The number of incredible artists, as well as the quality of their performances, made it stand out. Matt and Kim stole the show with their unique and energetic music. Major Lazer was next on my list — the lights were amazing, the hip-hop electronic sound was excellent live and the DJ duo even held a surprise performance in the Do Lab later that night. And, of course, Flume stole the night. His hypnotic and insanely popular electronic beats were truly something else when experienced live. While many of the quality guest artists from weekend one did not show up to the second weekend, other surprise performances and headliners made up for it. I would definitely buy a weekend two ticket again. After all, Coachella is Coachella. I used to almost get annoyed by the hype and attention it got every year; what could be so special about a mere three days? But after spending the weekend in a constant state of elation, I understand the hype — you’ll see me in a flower crown and my Air Jordans next year. by Caroline Rutten


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ramen burger rakiraki To me, ramen has only ever come in two varieties: instant and gourmet. For a while, I only ate the instant variety, mostly because I felt like a professional chef when I poured boiling water in the Cup Noodles container and dutifully waited three minutes before serving. Since then, I’ve developed my ramen connoisseurship further, having sampled ramen at at least two different authentic ramen shops. And naturally, I felt that the next step for me was to try the fusion of ramen with an allAmerican food — burgers — to achieve the full ramen experience, at my first visit to Rakiraki Ramen and Tsukemen on Convoy Street. On a Wednesday afternoon, the parking lot of the strip mall that houses


I’ll admit it: When I first heard about the “sushirrito” hype, it seemed really interesting. I love sushi and I love burritos — a match made in heaven, right? But as is inevitable with things of great hype, I felt a heavy dose of skepticism toward the fusion food. I wanted to see if it actually lived up to its reputation. I started my hunt for a sushirrito at Sushi Freak on Linda Vista Road. Since the restaurant was the first place that popped up after a Google search for a “sushirrito,” it seemed like the obvious choice. My friends and I ordered what the

4646 convoy st. Rakiraki was entirely full; thankfully, it was easier to find a table than a parking spot. After being warmly greeted by the majority of Rakiraki’s staff, I sat down and pretended to peruse the menu. I say “pretended” because I was truly only there for one reason — to try the fusion fad that is the ramen burger. Out of the five options on the menu, I chose the Tsukune Katsu California Ramen Burger ($9.75), which was a breaded cutlet of triple-pressed ground chicken, shiitake and kikurage mushroom, chicken softbone, shiso leaf, garlic, ginger and natural Japanese herbs between lettuce, tomato and two ramen noodles buns. Despite the overwhelming number of ingredients,

store employees said were their best selling sushirritos, a Fistbump ($7.95) and a Gunshow ($9.95). The sushirrito is about the size of a small burrito and comparable to the amount of two regular sushi rolls combined. It came out on a plate with ginger, pickles and Sushi Freak’s custom sauce, which varies slightly by burrito, but mainly consists of spicy mayonnaise and unagi sauce. I have to say, I was pretty disappointed with the sushirrito. It is, unfortunately, just a very large sushi roll. I mean, I knew that’s what it was and I wasn’t really expecting anything else, but having the real thing in front of me really hit home that this was a very bad idea for a fusion food. I don’t think it can even be considered a fusion food; it’s just the American version of a sushi roll — the bigger, the better, right? Disappointing fusion aspect aside, the sushirritos tasted better than I expected. I personally enjoyed the Fistbump, which consists of shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, avocado, cucumber and cream cheese. The shrimp tempura added a crispy texture, while the spicy tuna kept the large portion from being boring. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed the kick of cream cheese, which I was initially apprehensive about. But I do think the Fistbump would have been better if the cream cheese was spread evenly. It all clumped on one side and unlike a normal sushi roll, you can’t easily taste everything in one bite. The Gunshow, which has salmon,

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each bite tasted quite average, somewhat like a chicken nugget, so I turned my attention to the real star: the ramen noodle bun. Although interesting in appearance and definitely less crunchy than I expected it to be, the bun was otherwise unimpressive. Its texture resembled stuck together, not fully cooked pasta, and did not boast much flavor when separated from the burger’s other components. On the other hand, though, the ramen burger was significantly more filling than a regular one, and the general lack of flavor was easily remedied with the five-spice soy sauce or spicy mayo provided on the side. The Beef and Underbelly California Ramen Burger ($10.75) was quite similar, but boasted slightly more flavor because of its fatty prime X.O. underbelly; ultimately, though, there wasn’t a huge difference in taste between the two burgers. Although I didn’t find the burger fusion particularly successful, Rakiraki’s take on classic American — or classic French? — fries was much more interesting. Both orders of burgers came with sweet potato fries dusted with powdered sugar, which, like the ramen burger bun, were very filling, yet much softer and sweeter. I confess I may have used more of the sauce designated for the burger on the side dish instead. Although I don’t doubt that the burgers were cooked to the highest

standard, they simply were not as interesting as I’d expected them to be for all the hype they’ve generated as a fad food. While sitting in Rakiraki, I regretted not being able to order an actual bowl of ramen for this food review — and not just to check another authentic ramen shop off my list. And though my Snapchat story of my meal was met with record-breaking popularity — at least six people messaged me asking where to find such a novelty — I stuck to the mantra “Don’t believe the hype.” by Tasia Mochernak

tuna, ebi, krab mix, avocado, cucumber and masago, was decent but bland. Honestly, I have a lot of questions about the quality of their fish because I could barely taste it. I normally don’t like raw salmon, but that didn’t matter because it was completely tasteless. The creamy sauce salvages the dish, but I question the wisdom of paying for fish you can’t taste. If I was only examining the food quality of Sushi Freak, I would probably give it a higher rating. It’s nothing special, but it’s decent for the price. It’s comparable to places like Panda Express or Rubio’s, and I would probably go again if it were not so far away. But since the main topic of this review is not Sushi Freak, but the

sushirrito, I can’t help but say that this whole experience fell pretty flat. To me, a fusion food is a new food created by fusing two different foods. Making a sushi roll the size of a burrito doesn’t really constitute a burrito fusion. I thought that maybe I was thinking about this wrong and searched the definition of a burrito, which is not, by the way, a “large cylinder-like shaped food item.” Hype or no hype, if you’re looking for innovative and real fusion food, the sushirrito will fall short of your dreams. If you’re looking for a good ol’ American portion size of a standard sushi roll, which is essentially all a sushirrito is, then go right ahead — it’s a 20-minute drive away. by Sarah Kim



sushi freak

5175 linda vista rd.


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LEMONADE Beyoncé is something of goddess in pop culture; she’s an incredible, multitalented performer who has an astonishing vocal range and impressive dance moves. She’s an outspoken critic of institutionalized racism, and many of her irresistibly catchy songs that have become anthems of female empowerment. She’s also one of the most successful artists of all time. On top of all that, she’s a mother and possesses a superhuman “woke up like this” radiance. The Bey Hive, which is how Beyoncé’s loyal fan base collectively refers to itself, worships the very ground she walks on. The name “Beysus” is altogether extremely fitting. But despite Beyoncé’s and her husband Jay-Z’s high-profile status, they, for the most part, are somehow able to avoid the negative press that plagues many of their fellow celebrities. A certain shroud of mystery seems to surround Beyoncé’s true identity; only through her music are we able to truly gain any insight into her ostensibly flawless existence. In Lemonade, Beyoncé opens herself and her elusive past up for public examination, and for once, she seems fallible. On April 23, Beyoncé unexpectedly dropped her visual album Lemonade and sent the entire social media sphere into an immediate frenzy. Bey has a history of dropping best-selling albums without notice — most notably her eponymous album which was released at the end of 2015. But what differentiates this album from her previous works is the clear 0 1 2 3 4 narrative that runs through the songs and the wide range of music styles that illustrate her versatility as an artist. The video is divided into sections that are assigned a corresponding emotion. In turn, the emotions are reflected in the lyrics, narration and imagery of the section. They follow a chronological narrative that go “Intuition,” “Denial,” “Anger,” “Apathy,” “Emptiness,” “Loss,” “Accountability,” “Reformation,” “Forgiveness,” “Resurrection,” “Hope” and finally, “Redemption.” “Intuition” is accompanied by “Pray You Catch Me,” a sorrowful ballad layered over an atmospheric orchestral arrangement. Beyoncé, with a slight Southern accent to her voice, asks, “The tradition of men in my blood, you come at 3 a.m. and lie to me, what are you hiding?” — an obvious reference to Jay-Z’s previous infidelity. The album then transitions into “Denial” and “Hold Up,” an upbeat song with strong reggae influences. A smiling Beyoncé proceeds to smash car windows with a baseball bat and drives over cars in a monster truck — which makes you wonder what the price tag was to produce this album. “Anger” and “Don’t Hurt Yourself,” featuring Jack White, lead singer of the White Stripes, is next. The portrayal of Beyoncé’s anger is significant here; black women, in stark contrast to their white counterparts, are typically denied the right to openly express their anger on such a large platform without being immediately written off as a stereotypical, angry black woman. As such, it’s rare to see a black female artist do so, but Beyoncé defies all expectations in this aspect.

In “Apathy” and “Sorry,” Beyoncé loudly proclaims that “I ain’t sorry” and to “suck on [her] balls” in a synthetic pop melody. The video shows black women with African tribal body paint riding on a city bus, a homage to Rosa Parks and the Montgomery bus boycotts that launched the Civil Rights Movement. “Accountability” is prefaced by Beyoncé asking her mother, “Did he ... make you forget your name ... convince you he was a god ... make you get on your knees?” She later poses the question: “Am I talking about your husband or your father?”, alluding to the damage absent father figures inflict upon their families. “Daddy Lessons,” the song that follows that narrative portion, is easily distinguishable from the rest of the songs on the album in that it possesses a country-folk quality. It is appropriately accompanied by home videos of Beyoncé’s childhood and other clips of black families living in Texas. While I am not a huge fan of the song itself, the fact that Beyoncé manages to make work a genre for which I typically have no affinity is further evidence of her amazing artistic capabilities. She finally reconciles with Jay-Z in “Forgiveness,” and her daughter Blue Ivy’s birth is portrayed in “Resurrection” over ambient keyboard ballads featuring James Blake. For the first time in the video, intimate footage of Beyoncé’s family life is shown. Finally, in “Hope” and “Redemption,” the pace of the video and the music pick 5 6 7 8 9 10 up, with verses from rapper Kendrick Lamar in “Freedom” and footage of various smiling, loving couples, which closes the album. Although many have interpreted Lemonade to be centered on Jay-Z’s alleged affair with fashion designer Rachel Roy, the album is so much more than that; it’s an unabashed celebration of blackness, womanhood and individual freedom. The album acknowledges Beyoncé’s racial identity with sweeping views of Southern landscapes and images of black girls in frilly, couture dresses that could, at the same time, be takes on plantation-era dresses. Many of the costumes in the video incorporate traditional African clothing and elaborate hairstyles. She makes allusions to slavery and includes a clip from a speech by Malcolm X. In “Resurrection,” the mothers of victims of police brutality hold images of their dead sons: Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner. There are cameos by prominent black celebrities, like actress Quvenzhané Wallis, Zendaya and tennis star Serena Williams. And, as always, her narration serves to reveal the complex relationship between a black woman and a patriarchal society, particularly a white one. In the end, Beyoncé does what she set out to achieve — to tell a long-repressed story. In the span of just 11 tracks, she masterfully deals with this emotional complexity. It is this newfound insight into her life and character that humanizes a woman who has long been placed on a pedestal by the rest of the world, and will make Lemonade a difficult act for even Beyoncé to follow.


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1958 – 2016 Prince, an iconic pop star of his generation, was widely known for the versatility of his vocals, utilizing his characteristic falsetto to create a distinct sound. The 5-foot-2-inch artist packed masterful performance into his small frame, able to sing, dance and act on an incomparable level. While some would categorize him as androgynous and a gender bender, he was a heartthrob to many. With Prince unexpectedly and unfortunately gone too soon, his legacy will remain an inspiration to the music industry and listeners nationwide. by Caroline Rutten Entertainment Editor



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april 29, 2016


MiraCosta College part of your

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Summer credit classes start June 13. Enrollment now open! Apply & Enroll

Cardiff / Oceanside / Online

ts n de d ! u st ate es l o du t fe o n h sc t gra llme h ye o g i H ot enr n o n y pa



Boys lacrosse claws Loyola Cubs to me and no one was on me,” Small said. “So I just stepped in a few yards and shot as hard as I could, and it went to the top SPORTS EDITOR part of the goal.” Goalie Max McGuire (12) stopped two Boys lacrosse (11-2) defeated Loyola Loyola shots on goal, but the Cubs scored High School (12-4) 11-6 at the senior night halfway through the second quarter. Just game on April 23, overcoming the Cubs’ two minutes later, the Falcons responded tricky defensive zone and talented goalie. with their sixth goal by Friedland. The Although Loyola initially won possession quarter ended with TPHS still comfortably of the ball, the Falcons rapidly stole it and ahead at 6-1. moved toward the goal. Attackman Alderik Halftime did little to dampen the van der Heyde (11) scored within the first Falcons’ momentum; attackman Josh 12 seconds of the game off an assist from Sherman (12) immediately took advantage midfielder Spencer Grant (10). of a dominating offensive front to bump The Falcons controlled the ball with the score to 7-1. TPHS consistently pushed tight passing around the crease, and two Loyola’s defense, but the Cubs’ zone — minutes later, van der Heyde scored again, which, according to van der Heyde, the increasing their lead to 2-0. Falcons often struggle against — prevented “[Scoring] early goals helps your more goals. team’s energy, but also it plays a role in “They played a weird defense against [undermining] the other team’s confidence,” us — they had a good zone,” Small said. midfielder Spencer Small (12) said. “This “[Also], their goalie was the best goalie game’s all about confidence, so when you we’ve seen all year, so you had to shoot the get up by a few goals early in the game, ball really fast or put it in a good spot, or then it’s really big for your team because else it wasn’t going to go in.” … you start playing Down by six goals, at another level.” the Cubs began to Two goals behind, up their energy, the Cubs struggled to fighting intensely for gain possession of the possession of the ball ball from the Falcons. and scoring two goals Loyola’s first real to cut the Falcon offensive drive was lead to 7-3. A long met with impeccable battle, with three TPHS defense, and minutes remaining a few attempts after in the third quarter, that were equally yielded the ball to Spencer Small (12) fruitless. TPHS, and van der ���������� A long run down Heyde “dodged down the field by midfielder the alley” to shoot the Zac Friedland (10) gave attackman Alex ball into the goal. Pistorius (9) a clear scoring opportunity. Again, Loyola retaliated with two more With three minutes remaining in the goals, narrowing the margin to 8-5. The quarter, the Falcons had a lead of 3-0. two teams turned over the ball several In the last minute, Loyola took times, equally matched both defensively possession of the ball, but TPHS defenders and offensively. Finally, the stalemate was strangled the offensive drive at midfield for broken by van der Heyde scoring after a midfielder Brendan Egan (12) to bring the long pass down the field. score up to 4-0, seconds before the buzzer. “We’ve been down before, so we know The Falcons came into the second what it’s like [to have them start coming quarter strong, taking early possession back], and we know we just have to play and maintaining it. A TPHS timeout was our game,” van der Heyde said. “A lot of immediately followed by a goal from Small. times, when we try to do more than what “Alderik van der Heyde was coming we should, we start playing poorly.” from behind the goal, and he threw the ball The Cubs retaliated once more with

by Lily Nilipour

This game’s all about confidence, so when you get a few goals early in the game, ... you start playing at another level.

their sixth goal of the night, but had a difficult time pulling together three more goals with three minutes left in the game. To make the situation worse for Loyola, the Falcons calmly passed the ball around the crease, burning crucial seconds. Seeing an opening, Small shot the ball into an “open net,” bringing the score to 10-6. Midfielder Ara Suhadolnik (12) shot another goal in the last 30 seconds of the game, widening the win for TPHS to 11-6. According to head coach Jonno Zissi, the Falcons had a good balance between offense and defense to help them beat Loyola, a team they had never played before. “When the defense was down, the offense scored a lot of goals,” Zissi said. “And then, when the offense got into a little funk, the defense bailed us out, so they worked well together. It was a good symbiosis.” TPHS will continue to “work on energy” for upcoming games, Small said. “It’s a little over the halfway mark of the season, and it starts to seem like it’s a long season,” Small said. “But we just got to keep our heads level ... and finish out the rest of the year on a high note and hopefully win the championship.” The Falcons take on Foothill High School (13-4) today at 7:00 p.m. at Foothill and the Bishop’s School (8-3-1) tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. at Bishop’s.


GET IN THE ZONE: Alderik van der Heyde (17) dodges down the alley during an offensive drive (TOP). Spencer Grant (40) escapes two Loyola defenders (MIDDLE). Brendan Egan (10) looks up the field to make a pass (ABOVE).

A24 the falconer


april 29, 2016

Baseball beats Poway 2-1 after earlier loss by Austin Zhang COPY EDITOR

Baseball (13-7) edged out Poway High School (13-7) 2-1 in the second game of a doubleheader after coming off a 3-1 loss in the first game. “Today, in the first game of the doubleheader, it was just a tight game the whole way through, but we came up short 3-1,” pitching coach Chris Possemato said. “So we’re just trying to win, at least not get swept in the series.” The Titans failed to get on the board in the first. Two hitters each flied out to right field and third flied out one to center. The Falcons duplicated that in the bottom half of the frame with three fly ball outs. Poway failed to score in the second inning either. “I just can’t say Kirk McCaskill enough about the head coach job that [pitcher] Josh Sidney did,” head coach Kirk McCaskill said. In the bottom of the inning, Ben McCaskill (11) walked, but the Falcons were unable to capitalize on the baserunner. Two fly outs and a strikeout were all the Titans could manage in the top of the third, returning the bat to the Falcons. Jake Boone (11) walked, but a double play by the Titans kept the Falcons off the scoreboard going into the fourth. The lead-off batter in the Titans’ fourth bunted his way on base and a ground ball to left field put runners at first and third. On a fly to left, the runner at third scored and advanced the lead runner to second base, before a ground ball double play ended the frame. James Rutledge (12) led off the Falcons’ fourth with a fly ball double and Will Livingston (12) doubled again, scoring Rutledge to get the Falcons on the board. In the fifth, Poway put its sole runner on

first, who then took second on a bunt and third on a long fowl ball but failed to score. Adam Katz (12) hit a pop fly that dropped then moved to second on a bunt, but the Falcons could not convert and ended the inning by stranding Katz. A strikeout and two fly ball outs ended the top of the sixth for Poway. Next, Rutledge homered in the lead-off spot. “I was just trying to hit something hard and give us a good chance to win, and the ball went over,” Rutledge said. The Falcons worked hard to expand their advantage, with Tino Capozzoli pinch running for Kyle Hurt (11) after Hurt walked. Evan Trausch (12) was hit by a pitch, and a bunt by Ben McCaskill could have loaded the bases, but Capozzoli was tagged between second and third. A fly ball out and a strikeout ended the Falcon rally. “I think we figured out their pitcher at a certain point, and we exposed his weakness,” Sidney said. The Titans put up a fight in their last at bat; a single, a double and a walk loaded bases with only one out, but a strikeout and a fly out ended the game 2-1. “They’re a very good hitting ball club — probably the best in the county, hittingwise,” Sidney said. “Pitching on both sides was very [good], the hitting was good, [but] it was tough hitting into this wind,” Poway Head Coach Bob Parry said. “Torrey’s defense was a major factor in this game as well.” Overall, strong hitting and effective defense from the Falcons got them the win, TPHS Head Coach Kirk McCaskill said. “James has done that a couple of times now; I think that’s his second or his third game-winning home run,” Kirk McCaskill said. The Falcons played their next game at home against Mount Carmel on April 27, after the Falconer went to press.

James has done that a couple of times now; I think that’s his second or his third game-winning home run.

photos by alderik van der heyde/falconer

THINK FAST[BALL]: Mac Bingham (11) swings the bat at home plate before making contact with the ball (TOP). Josh Sidney (10) pitches the ball toward the Poway batter.

Tennis defeats CCA 13-5 in final league match by Tasia Mochernak NEWS EDITOR

Boys tennis (22-3) defeated Canyon Crest Academy 13-5 on April 26 in the last league match of the season. According to head coach John DeLille, the team had “real momentum going [into the match] and into CIFs.” “There’s no lack of confidence in any members of the team,” DeLille said. “I think we’ve really turned a corner; we’ve had some bumpy roads here and there competition-wise, but I think they’re doing great and they’re pretty much focused.” The team, currently ranked second in the Palomar League, was present in full force at CCA, with Eshan Talluri (9) playing line three singles in his first match of the season. Talluri was absent for the first half of the season due to a wrist injury, but did not encounter any issues today, defeating the Ravens’ line three singles 6-3 and line two singles substitute 6-0. The Falcons’ other singles wins included Alex Rushin’s (11) 6-2 and 6-3 victories against CCA’s line two and one singles players, respectively, and Daniel De la Torre’s (12) first set 6-1 win at the line one position. “I think I played really well today, started a little slow but picked it up and just played some solid tennis,” Rushin said. “I think that today we sent a message that when we have our full lineup, we are the best team in the nation ... We are very

hungry to prove we are the best.” TPHS won all but one of the doubles matches, with Sreeganesh Manoharan (12) and Matthew Sah (9) playing at the line two position and winning their matches 6-2, 6-2 and 6-1 against CCA’s line two, one and three doubles teams, respectively. According to Sah, his serve and aggressive network contributed to the team’s easy victories. “I think both my partner and I really stepped up our game and showed good teamwork against CCA,” Manoharan said. “We knew we had to play well, and we did.” Although the line one doubles position was not made up by the same players throughout the entire match, the victories at that position remained consistent. Jacob Brumm (11) and Michael Hao (9) started off with a 6-2 victory, and after Zach Brumm (9) subbed Hao out, the Brumm brothers won their next set against CCA’s line three doubles 6-1. Andrew Rim (12) and Jiayong Li (12) played the last line one doubles set against the Ravens’ line two doubles team, winning the set 7-6 (7-2 in the tiebreaker) after both teams successfully held serve starting with the Falcons in the lead at 5-4. Additionally, Nikita Pereverzin (12) and Will Molenkamp (11) won the two sets they played against the Ravens’ line two and three teams 6-0 and 6-1, respectively, before being subbed out by Jonathan Wang (11) and Danny Heimler (12). “I think we have total momentum going,” DeLille said. “I got everyone that I wanted to have here at this match today with Jacob and Nikita in particular. And

photos by grace bruton/falconer

[RUSHIN] TO THE NET: Singles player Alex Rushin (11) approaches the net with a volley to finish the point against Canyon Crest Academy’s line one player Reid Ponder. Rushin won the set against Ponder 6-3 after being down 2-3. the score 13-5 just shows you kind of how strong we are, especially since we defaulted the last two singles matches, so we’re feeling pretty good.” Manoharan said the Falcons “have really started to work together as a team and team spirit has been a lot better since the beginning of the season.” He

is optimistic about the Falcons’ success at CIFs next week, but said that the victory will be secured by “having a full lineup.” According to DeLille, the team’s upcoming competitions include team CIF play next week, followed by the Palomar League Individuals and CIF Individuals tournaments in the following weeks.




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Starting in middle school, runner AC Kaseburg (12) followed in her father’s footsteps through four years of high school track and field competition, setting new records and leaving her opponents in the dust.

AC Kaseburg (12) vividly remembers her first career-defining moment. The sun was blazing, parents were yelling on the sidelines and Kaseburg, was waiting anxiously as the third runner in her 400-meter relay team rushed toward her. As a first-year runner against more experienced athletes, she had low expectations — but she overcame the skilled teams, gaining an overwhelming sense of pride and validation. Three years later, after quitting soccer to focus on track, she hit another career milestone: setting the school record for the girl’s open 100-meter dash. In April, Kaseburg was put into the open 100-meter; she defeated the record previously set in 2002 with a time of 12.36 seconds, but later set another personal record for the dash with a time of 12.28 seconds. “I was super excited right after I found out because the 100 usually isn’t my event, and it wasn’t even a thought that I would set a record,” Kaseburg said. “It honestly was very validating, and it’s nice to know that hard work pays off.” Kaseburg’s work has paid off in more than just her impressive track record — she said she’s learned a number of lessons on the track. “Track and achieving goals has definitely taught me about work, effort and that you really get what you give,” Kaseburg said. “It’s kind of an individual event and people might think that it’s not really a team effort, but we all have to work together in some aspects, and they’ve definitely helped me throughout the season.” Kaseburg’s father, a former track runner, introduced her to the sport in middle school. At first, she only ran with the middle school track club and with a club team, Speed to Burn, but later opted for the 400-meter relay and the 100-meter dash in high school. Like most other track athletes, Kaseburg attends the two-hour after-school practices and is enrolled in Track P.E. But she also works with a personal trainer, which makes “a huge difference in her track performance,” according to Kaseburg. “The results that you see and get from track are usually pretty closely related to how much work and effort you put into the sport,” Kaseburg said. “My coach has introduced me to a lot of things, like

weight lifting, that help me build endurance and increase my speed.” Although Kaseburg originally joined the team to stay in shape, her favorite part of track and her reason for continuing have become the team dynamic and bonds she’s formed. “I just love being part of the community, with everyone on the team,” Kaseburg said. “Being able to do something I’m passionate about with them makes it even better.” Balancing track with school and other commitments can be difficult for Kaseburg, but she manages to split her time equally among sports, school and social events by “multitasking a lot and focusing on her goals.” Kaseburg plans to continue running track in college and is still talking to several coaches, including those at the University of California, Davis and the University of California, Santa Barbara. Kaseburg is grateful for her records and for the teammates and those who helped push her to the finish line. Three years of pushing to find the limits of her ability, inspired by her father’s example and the lessons she has garnered about the value of hard work and the ways those lessons will manifest themselves in other areas of her life, Kaseburg tightens her laces for another race.

by Sumin Hwang


Mar. 10 // at San Pasqual


Apr. 21 // vs. Westview


Mar. 26 // Mt. Carmel Invitational

12.28s 24.98s 57.63s

*Information provided by


A26 the falconer


april 29, 2016


taylor scornavacco varsity lacrosse april 25, 7:36:42 p.m.

camera: canon eos 5d mark iii lens: canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM iso: 2500 exp: 1/1600 seconds f/stop: f/2.8 by grace bruton


Entertainment Editor Irene Yu (11) trades her track uniform for a practice jersey and rugby shorts to tackle the intricacies of playing a new sport.

sports I’m not unathletic. For about five years, I iceskated competitively on a synchronized skating team; I spent one year on a swim team; I am currently a pole vaulter. But when faced with any sport involving a ball, I become an awkward and clumsy mess of uncoordinated limbs. So when I was told I would be playing rugby with Anton Schuh (10), Jude Atiya (10) and Sammi Aldairi (10), who are all experienced rugby players, I was more than a little afraid, but also more than a little curious to try a sport I had never even heard of until recently. My first exposure to rugby was when I overheard a few of the other Falconer staff members talking as they returned from a rugby game, laughing about how weird the terms “scrum” and “hooker” sounded and how short the male players’ shorts were — I had never actually witnessed a game of rugby myself. My second exposure to rugby was, well, playing it. I started off by changing into a standard practice jersey and rugby shorts, both borrowed from Schuh. The jersey was understandably a little oversized but overall comfortable — the shorts were another matter entirely. They were too short even on me, and the material felt like a canvas backpack. Of course, after Schuh started teaching me how to throw the ball, the outfit was the least of my problems. My hands, which are pretty small, have never hindered my ice skating, swimming or vaulting ability, but their size made holding the rugby ball, which looked like a bigger and rounder football, much harder. Despite being shown how to throw the ball thousands of times by Schuh, Atiya and Aldairi, I could never get the ball to spin quite right; it always either spun out of control and toward the ground, or straight forward with little speed. After passing and catching, we moved onto something a little more challenging – a lineout. A lineout, which is what sets rugby apart from other ball sports, is when one of the players, usually called a jumper, is lifted into the air by two other players to catch an out-of-bounds ball thrown back into the game by the hooker. And, even though it took many Google searches for me to write that single sentence, I actually felt like I was doing something correctly when I was able to consistently catch the ball. I pictured the lineout to be similar to the lifts

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performed by synchronized skating teams and was confident in myself at first, but when I stood — very closely — in between Aldairi and Atiya, I started worrying about kicking one of them, not being able to be lifted up or just falling. Yet when they lifted me into the air, I felt surprisingly stable and at ease, and was even able to catch most of the passes Schuh threw to me. I was pretty proud of myself for being able to catch the ball and found it extremely fun to be lifted in the air — on the other hand, I imagine doing the same during an actual game would be much more stressful. Unfortunately, the remainder of my time playing rugby was not as successful. The next thing I tried was a drop-kick, which has a pretty self-explanatory purpose: You drop the ball and then kick it. As simple as it seems, I couldn’t kick the ball for my life. I took Schuh’s tips seriously, but after several attempts when either the ball rolled down my shin before I kicked it or I somehow kicked the ball with my shin, I, and everyone else, gave up. I looked over at my friends, who enthusiastically cheered me on despite my consecutive failed attempts. We went back to passing. Surprisingly, I had improved at spinning the ball; every time I was able to pass the ball at the right speed and height, my confidence was boosted, and I became incrementally less afraid of sports with balls. We probably should have stopped there, because I was remarkably bad at catching the ball while running, which is what we did next. With Schuh in the front, me directly behind him and Atiya and Aldairi following in a diagonal line, we passed the ball down the line while running. The first few times I wasn’t able to catch the ball, which was “coming in hot,” according to Schuh, but soon I could at least skim the ball with my fingertips. When I actually caught the ball, I was so surprised that I flung it out of my hands hot-potato style with full force. It ended up landing considerably far away from where it was supposed to. We decided to end there, and by then I was pretty worn out, even though it had only been about an hour. If rugby was only composed of catching balls after being lifted in the air, I would consider trying to play again —as of right now, however, I’m confident in saying that this experience will be my last time playing rugby.


STOP, DROP AND KICK: Irene Yu performs a lineout with other players (LEFT), nearly misses the kick (CENTER) and passes the ball to a teammate (ABOVE).


Volume 5, Issue 4

Friday, April 29, 2016

Boy scores Prom date with a decided amount of extravagance It’s Prom season and Jerome Jeromes (11) is ready. After an unfortunate Formal experience, Jeromes decided that he would put 300 percent into his promposal. In accordance with the “Hamptons after Dark” theme, he planned his promposal to be set in front of a friendly neighborhood park near his home in Rancho Santa Fe, an area that could be called the Hamptons of the west coast. But Jeromes didn’t like to brag. It would also be at night to really duplicate the “after dark” aspect. He just knew this was the perfect plan. Now for his date. A self-described “lax bro,” Jeromes knew how to “swoop better than any other.” “I mean, I know I’m on another level, but I was really on the prowl this Prom season,” Jeromes said. “Gotta get the dankest chick so that she can tell me what color dress she’s wearing and I can get a tie that doesn’t match.” He ended up asking his seventh grade science partner, Ashleighye Leighye (11), because he “felt close to her” after asking for her pencil, even though he already had one with him. Leighye had recently embraced a Gothic look, so Jeromes figured that the poster and the writing on his poster should be all black as well. In an effort to convey to Leighye that he was family-oriented, Jeromes invited all living members of both their extended families to witness the Prom ask. “Is there really anything better than

two families coming together to celebrate the beginning of me and Ashleighye’s lives together?” Jeromes said. “No, there isn’t.” When the day came, Jeromes walked up to Leighye and threw a pencil at her to symbolize how their relationship had started. On it was inscribed: Meet me at San Dieguito County Park at 8:00 p.m. Then, using the skills he’d developed on three years of JV lacrosse, he ran away. Around 7:00 p.m. that evening, Jeromes picked up a number of family members from the airport and drove everyone to the park. At 8:06 p.m., he “heard footsteps” and his “heart nearly gave out from excitement.” “Um, hello?” Leighye said. Jeromes ran toward her and held out his poster. It read: “Ashleighye, make me happeighye and go to prom with meighye.” “I can’t read that,” Leighye said. Jeromes said later that “using black ink on a black poster in the pitch-black night may not have been the best plan and could have been executed in a more convenient fashion.” Leighye, too, had some reservations about that night. After Leighye figured out what was going on, she accepted, citing “no other choice, because she couldn’t be rude in front of her great-grandmother.” “I don’t even know his name,” Leighye said after that night. “Does he even go

here?” Jeromes’s promposal went decidedly better than most of his friends’ asks. His brother, Bro-rome, asked his prospective date to Prom after Prom had already happened. Another close friend stole his date’s Scantron, erased her answers and spelled out “PROM” in the bubbles, only to be suspended for two weeks. Prom season is undoubtedly stressful, especially putting a lot of pressure on those

asking. But who could pass up this great opportunity to post at least three times on Instagram (one for the ask, one for the actual day, and one for a throwback) and a Facebook profile picture that is bound to get over 100 likes because your 873 wellknown friends on Facebook love you so much? So, be a Jerome. You,and your extended family may just get very lucky. by Maya Kota

Want to be as successful as Jerome Jeromes? Try these promposal ideas. Write “Prom?” on a bunch of basketballs and throw them one-by-one at your prom-spective date. Aim for the head and hope for the best. #BallIsLife

Pretend you’re dead and leave in your will a list of places for your date to go. The last place should be where you are. When your date finds out that you’re not dead, she’ll be so overcome with emotion that she can’t possibly reject you. Sneak into the opposite gender’s bathroom and tape a sign to a toilet. Make sure you hide in the next stall over, so you can see your date’s overjoyed reaction.

This page is entirely fictional. By Maya Kota Photos by Avery Spicker

Kill 13 people and arrange their bodies to spell “P-R-O-M?” in a secluded area. Lure prospective date into said secluded area and show them your thoughtful poster captioned: “I would kill to go to Prom with you.”

focus b1


Inspiration strikes unexpectedly. Sometimes, it’s a quiet moment in the student parking lot. When Myles Hamilton (12) saw Lila Flowers (12) wearing a pair of RayBan Round Metals more than a year ago, it was the beginning of an ambition that would shape his future. “I wanted [the Ray-Bans] because they were really trendy at the time … I told both of my parents they should get them for Christmas, so I ended up with two pairs of the same sunglasses,” Hamilton said. “I sold one and put that money toward a the Dior Composit 1.0s, which were around $400.” Hamilton cut back on gas money to buy more shades. But the high price of high-end sunglasses, coupled with a desire to rebrand himself, led him to consider designing his own line. In the summer of 2015, he sat down and drew a pair of sunglasses. “I fit the sunglasses to something that I would want … I just put it all together in one drawing,” Hamilton said. “I felt stupid because I was sitting there, I had drawn it for three hours, and I was thinking to myself, ‘How are sunglasses even made?’” One YouTube video on the manufacturing process, one freelance engineer and one week later, Hamilton found himself with a design of his sunglasses. “I gave [the engineer] all the information and the sizes,” Hamilton said. “He sent me a 360 degree wrap-around view of these sunglasses I had drawn the week before.” In January, Hamilton took the blueprint file of the sunglasses and sent it to a manufacturer he had found. Within 24 hours, he had a response and put in an order for a sample, which took a week to arrive. “I had the sample and I was looking at it, and I thought it was the weirdest thing,” Hamilton said. “I drew something, and all of a sudden it’s a piece in front of me. And at that moment, I said, ‘You need to pursue this.’” So he took out a loan and placed the order. He created an Instagram account and website where people could reserve pairs of the sunglasses, which he named SKAR, pre-production. With that first model, his line, MYLES HAMILTON, was a reality. “It’s called MYLES HAMILTON because I wasn’t going to look for some b------t reason to give it a name, and I kind of want my name to be out there,” Hamilton said. As for SKAR, the name came from the idea that “if you have a scar on your skin,” it’s “obvious.” According to Hamilton, the SKAR model is not “typical.” They’re just like a scar on your face — “they’re going to stand out.” “These are a mixture between a basic pair of Ray-Bans and a high-end pair of sunglasses in an accessible price point, not $15 at Urban Outfitters or $160 at Sunglass Hut,” Hamilton said. “Everything about them is unique. It wouldn’t have made sense for me not to call them SKAR.”

Hamilton is excited to sell his sunglasses and confirm that there is interest in his line. At the time the Falconer went to press, he had around 50 reservations. “When I launched it, the next day at school people were coming up to me [asking] ‘When can I buy your sunglasses?’” Hamilton said. “I’m not saying … ‘I’m super cool now, people want me,’ but when people found out about my line, it was an opportunity to talk to me about something actually interesting in lieu of small talk.” Before he started his line, Hamilton another senior in high school. He planned to take the “traditional” route of finding a freshman roommate, getting a dorm and going to college — “the whole nine yards.” He’s on track to do that with one small change; as part of the Trojan Transfer Plan, he’ll attend community college in Santa Monica for a year before enrolling in the University of Southern California, but he plans to use the year to expand his line. He wants to get his sunglasses in stores and release a new collection; he chose a school in the Los Angeles in order to do so. “I thought getting rejected from all these [colleges], and I’ve been given the opportunity from USC to do the transfer plan,” Hamilton said. “I have this year to really figure things out, and it’s changed the way I look at my future. Before, I was looking at it in terms of where are my grades, where am I getting into college, what am I doing after college. Now it’s just so much more open-ended.” Hamilton said the experience has been “too real” for him not to consider designing as a career. He has “made every single step as professional as I possibly can,” writing a privacy policy and terms and conditions for the upcoming website, paying thousands of dollars and working with a manufacturer overseas. “Obviously, it would have to take off for [it to be my career],” Hamilton said. “It’s just something that’s cool as an 18-year-old because I’ve found a lot more respect for myself in doing this. I feel like I know so much more about supply and demand and how the resource industry works … I’ve learned more about real-world things.” And SKAR is certainly a carefully crafted, “real-world thing.” One of the most important things to stress about SKAR, Hamilton said, is the level of consideration that has been put into it. “These aren’t just throwaway, cheapo … they’re a piece,” Hamilton said. “I worked hard on them, I designed them, I’ve gone through so many numbers to figure out a price and I think I’ve finally landed on the zone where I think I can grab people regardless of what their budget is for a pair of sunglasses.” Since that instance in the parking lot, Hamilton has had grand designs on his future. He now has a website to finalize, a line to manage, and a launch to complete. Next stop: Los Angeles. by Anna Lee

Lila Flowers (12) and Cari Flowers (11) stand side-by-side in front of a white backdrop, smiles wide and brilliant, hair catching the wind, generated by a fan, at just the right angle to lift it. A photographer rapidly snaps shots, photo assistants adjust overwhelmingly bright lights and creative directors, managers and agents look on, arms crossed and hands on their chins, watching critically but approvingly. In a movie, the scene would be a quick, painless photo shoot full of drama and panning video clips. But according to Lila, modeling is far from quick. Or painless. “There’s shoots for lots of different kinds of things, so that [determines] how long it is,” Lila said. “I’ve had two-hour shoots, but … I’ve also had 10-hour shoots. For me, the average is about six hours for a shoot.” Lila began modeling three years ago after she was scouted by No Ties Management, a modeling agency based in downtown San Diego. But, this was not the first time she was approached with suggestions to start modeling. “I’ve had people tell me that I should [model] just because I was always tall, super skinny, just from my metabolism,” Lila said. “I’ve had people give me little business cards for agencies … but I was just super young at the time and very much not in the state to start modeling.” For Cari, who signed with No Ties Management six months ago, there was a different barrier: braces. She often accompanied her sister to shoots without being able to model herself. “I honestly thought that modeling was the stupidest thing when I was younger, and when [Lila] got scouted I was like, ‘Wow, that’s going to be super boring for her,’” Cari said. “But I went to a couple of her shoots and I saw it actually happen, and I [thought], ‘Oh, that’s actually kind of cool.’” A photo shoot, where hair and makeup alone take an hour and a half, is not always be as routine as it seems, according to Lila.

“You can start with one look, and then you go and change your hair and makeup and you wear another look,” Lila said. “Or you keep the same hair and makeup, and you’re changing clothes all the time. It’s really different [each time].” Cari said that even the locations of shoots drastically differ. “One time, I showed up, and it was in a big studio, and everything was super professional,” Cari said. “And one time, I showed up, and we got ready in an RV. You honestly don’t know what to expect.” Lila and Cari both work at Brandy Melville in Pacific Beach, so much of their modeling is done for the store. They have done shoots for Hollister, Urban Decay, Claire’s, Pura Vida Bracelets and other local, “up-and-coming” companies, Cari said. They describe their style as simply “relaxed, casual and easy-going.” For Lila, modeling has turned into a passion that will continue after high school. She recently signed a contract with DNA, a New York City-based modeling agency, and will move there to try to make a go of New York modeling. “[DNA] is [the] number one [modeling agency] in New York, which is cool because New York is the fashion hub of the United States,” Lila said. “Eventually, once this starts to slow down, I’m going to try to balance my schedule and obviously go back to school, but I’m really excited about [modeling in New York].” For Cari, who still has a year before graduating from TPHS, the future is still uncertain — she does not know yet whether she will follow her sister in the modeling industry. “I wanted to be a marine biologist, but when I started modeling I saw a different aspect of everything,” Cari said. “I still don’t really know what I want to do.” Like many jobs that seem glamorous, modeling combines the exciting with the mundane, the perception with the reality. Lila and Cari Flowers have front row seats to it all. by Lily Nilipour

Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring is easily one of the most recognizable paintings in the world: a girl wearing a headscarf and a large pearl earring emerges out of the shadows and into the light, gazing intently back toward the viewer. Chris Rellas’ (‘13) rendition is an exact copy of this famous work, with one minor but obvious difference: the earring is emblazoned with the logo of French fashion house Chanel. Fashion meets art in @copylab, an Instagram account Rellas, who is majoring in art history at Georgetown University, created in 2014 while interning at Nasty Gal, an LA-based clothing brand. “I was scrolling through an art history blog and my boss was having me print out these stupid articles [about jeans],” Rellas said. “There were images of jeans on my desk and I was just looking at art and the idea just made sense.” That night, Rellas went to his grandmother’s house, discussed the prospects of pursuing something creative of his own” and made his very first image. His friends encouraged him to share his work on Instagram and @copylab was born. “[The name copylab comes from the fact that] I treated it as my little “lab” for creative thoughts,” Rellas said. “The ‘copy’ part comes from the fact that what I’m doing is sort of advanced copy and pasting.” Since its inception, Rellas has edited over 100 artworks to incorporate fashion by dressing subjects in designer apparel and accessories and melding runway models into various pieces. He also includes an occasional pop culture reference. “[My interest in art] comes from an interest in fashion, which to me means beauty and the idea of creation and creativity,” Rellas said. “We all know certain images, we’ve all seen certain paintings, but there’s so much thought that goes into them and so much secrecy in what the artist was thinking ... that’s sort of fascinating.” Rellas has lived in Paris for almost a year now, where he hopes to attend graduate school to earn a Master’s degree in luxury management and eventually live. He spends the majority of his time studying, running @copylab and meeting people, and is currently working on creating digital images

for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to promote their new show. “I was always sort of like trying to be weird and different and not be spotted by museums but now it’s nice to get the recognition of a place that I used to visit when I was a kid,” Rellas said. But it’s not the only recognition Rellas has received. In 2014, Vogue magazine featured @copylab. Just several months ago, he was interviewed by W Magazine. “It’s kind of weird because I was never anyone important; I’m just a kid,” Rellas said. “I get to see how newspaper and magazines work through these interviews and I get to know people.” For nearly half of his time at TPHS, Rellas possessed little interest in fashion; he remembers wearing the same shirt almost every day. “Finally I was just like ‘OK, I’m gay. I’m just going to show everyone I’m gay,’” Rellas said. “I just thought ‘I’m just going to wear crazy clothes’ ... I started a blog. I was in Falconer, in yearbook, wearing leather pants ... and I just got more confident.” But it was not until Rellas went to college that he seriously considered pursuing fashion as a career. “I started thinking, “This what I want to do for a job but I don’t want to be a blogger,” Rellas said. “That’s where I kind of had to start thinking about how could this become a business or how could I make a name for myself.” After he graduates from Georgetown next year, Rellas wants to work at a big label in Paris and learn “how a professional clothing brand works.” “I realize that there’s a certain amount of professionalism that you have to have if you want to be a creative,” Rellas said. “You have to learn the business end of things.” Rellas hopes to take those skills and use them to eventually establish his own brand, whether that be in the form of clothing or skin care, just “ doing something that allows him to be independent.” But regardless of what he ends up doing, Rellas will continue to bring his creativity with him, blurring the boundaries between fashion and art, wherever he goes. by Amanda Chen

Up until junior year, Alexa Hozouri (12) was planning to go to medical school. She planned to follow in her two older brothers’ footsteps, with her soccer skills being her “ticket to college.” But, after realizing that her true passion was fashion design and management, Hozouri dropped everything to pursue her dream. “I’ve never been so definitive about something I wanted,” Hozouri said. “It wasn’t too scary [to quit soccer], because some things have to expire for new things to open up.” At first, Hozouri’s family was not too happy with her decisions, but eventually warmed up to the idea of her attending a design college, and now “have never been more ecstatic.” “For the longest time, my parents thought [wanting to be a fashion designer] was just one of those phases that never shook.,” Hozouri said. “No parent wants to see their child fail or struggle, and I get that. But, when I dropped everything to pursue [fashion design], [my family] figured out that this wasn’t a charade.” Hozouri proved her dedication by attending design classes at Pratt Institute in New York and business classes at MiraCosta College during the summer between her junior and senior year. “I had some really good professors that pushed me really hard,” Hozouri said. “Fashion is a field that is really uncommon and in a hard industry, but it’s one of those things that if you want it, you can’t just shut it off.” In addition to attending classes, Hozouri learned more about the business side of the fashion industry through the London-based website The Business of Fashion. “[The Business of Fashion] was a huge push for me to get the economics portion of the fashion industry,” Hozouri said. “They had one article where they were interviewing some of the top design schools, and they asked what the one thing that their graduates lacked. Most of schools said that they had these ideas but didn’t

know how to sell themselves in the industry, and that struck home for me.” Not only is Hozouri interested in the business aspect of fashion, but in designing her own pieces. “I’ve been non stop sketching,” Hozouri said. “When I have an idea, I’ll put it down on a piece of paper. Construction has been difficult for me but hopefully I’ll get it down pat in college.” Hozouri will be attending Parsons School of Design in New York next year with a major in strategic design and management and a minor in fashion design. “There’s just something about New York that you can’t find anywhere else; I love that kind of atmosphere that kind of energy,” Hozouri said. “It’s so easy to click with [another designer] and be able to draw inspiration from anything and everything with people who are also focused on and interested in the fashion industry.” Hozouri’s style of design, which has been described by her professors at Pratt as “lascivious and lethal,” is vintage and dark, but with a timeless undertone. She draws inspiration mainly from photography, eighteenth century Gothic architecture and Kate and Laura Mulleavy, who founded Rodarte, a clothing and accessories line. “I just love the tenacity of the Rodarte sisters and their work,” Hozouri said. “Another huge role model is the new creative director for Gucci. The fashion industry is starting to flip a little, and people are demanding goods 10 times faster, but the new creative director has decided to go against the industry; he’s changing the entire look and the entire line, and it’s just the coolest thing.” Hozouri will continue working on her designs in college, and plans to return to San Diego after graduating. “Right now I see myself enjoying college, enjoying the city and then coming home and starting something,” Hozouri said. by Irene Yu

Photographer Calvin Ma (‘13) and stylist Katie Qian (’15) are fashion’s newest power couple. Ma, a photography student at California State University, Long Beach, and Qian, a psychology student at the University of California, Los Angeles, have been working together only since last year, when Qian encouraged Ma to pursue fashion photography. “[Katie] pushed me to try it out and I’m glad she did because it gave me a lot of experience shooting in a totally different style than I normally do,” Ma said. Ma generally shoots lifestyle and portraiture, usually senior, graduation and family portraits. “Capturing fashion the right way is a lot harder than it looks, and I love that challenge,” Ma said. Qian, on the other hand, has been in the fashion industry since she was 15, when she interned for former stylist Aimee Bradley in San Diego. And in her senior year of high school, Qian got the opportunity to work as an intern for Nicki Minaj’s and Beyoncé’s video “Feelin’ Myself” — a “great project to have on [her] resume” but her hardest project yet. “Since I was an intern I did all the pack mule work,” Qian said. “I was working from 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. each day carrying, unpacking, organizing and repacking repeatedly what must have been like 100 garment bags and running up a giant hill in Malibu to carry clothes to the team.” Indeed, it seems like the projects Qian has enjoyed the most have been the ones in which she has had to work the hardest — sometimes for no pay. “Some of my favorite projects are ... the unpaid collaborations with teams that really just allow me to do whatever I want creatively without the necessary consideration of the commercial marketability that comes with most paid shoots,” Qian said. Ma, drawing inspiration from fashion photographers like Tim Walker and Benjamin Vnuk, also values the opportunity for creative liberty with his projects. “I strive to push the envelope of photography like they do and to really think outside the box,” Ma said. Ma and Qian started working together after Ma visited a shoot Qian was doing with photographer Bobby Prom. One day, while Qian was working on the shoot, she asked if Ma could assist; Prom “was more than gracious and accepted the offer.” “On top of that, he actually let me shoot my own photos after he finished up with his own shooting, which is pretty rare to see in the world of fashion photography,” Ma said. “Most people try to hide their

trade secrets and techniques so I was very lucky to work with him.” Ma and Qian have achieved success in fashion, but they have also run into their share of difficulty in the industry, most memorably with a project called “Zhepyr,” which Ma cites as one of his “biggest learning experiences.” Ma and Qian had to create a concept for the shoot, scout locations, put together a team of people. And after all their work, they ran into yet another obstacle. “It was quite a challenge and we ran into issues like getting kicked out of a location that I scouted out even though I was given permission to photograph there prior to the shoot,” Ma said. “I had to change up the whole concept.” Luckily, Ma found a few locations nearby that worked, with the help of Ma and Qian’s makeup artist. “She called up her brother who live nearby and we were able to get roof access at the building he was staying at in downtown Los Angeles,” Ma said. Although Ma and Qian continue to work together — they make monthly trips to Barnes & Noble, where they “sit on the floor and flip through all the British magazines for a couple hours,” according to Qian — each of them also pursue their own individual projects. Ma recently submitted a portfolio for his Bachelor of Fine Arts major in photography, which was accepted, and is looking at working with emerging artists. “I am looking to do a series of collaborative projects with emerging artists — stylists, makeup artists, dancers, et cetera — soon, so that I can hopefully cultivate a small community of artists that support each other’s growth and pretty much create together,” Ma said. “It’s not necessarily fashion, but a goal I have to accomplish in the future.” Although Qian has been getting asked to “bigger stuff,” she has cut back on the hours she spends styling to focus on schoolwork and her dance crew. Still, Qian has been working often with Local Wolves Magazine as their on-site stylist. “With them I’ve been styling some influencers like Jack Baran and Lia Marie Johnson, and ... musicians like Tori Kelly and Gallant,” Qian said. “I [also] have a lot of editorial work that has yet to be released.” In the future, Qian would like to style celebrities and do some editorial work, while Ma would like his career to take him around the world, but it is clear that their work ethics, combined and separately, will take them wherever they want to go. by Maya Rao

Profile for TPHS Falconer

April 2016 Issue  

April 2016 Issue