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The Torrey Pines High School

Friday, September 25, 2015

Vol. 41, Issue 1, 28 pages


BY MAYA KOTA & MAYA PARELLA Robert Bartsch (11) places a bucket underneath the air conditioning drain to collect dripping water. He measures that about five to six liters of water are wasted every hour.


With California in the midst of one of the most severe droughts on record, TPHS has implemented restrictions to conserve water. While the SDUHSD has not issued strict protocol to schools in the district regarding water conservation, TPHS has enacted general regulations to cut down usage. “Our biggest source of water use is irrigation,” Principal David Jaffe said. “My understanding is that [TPHS] can water the fields that we have [only three days a week]. We use timers for watering, and they’re set to water particular days at particular times.” Cutbacks on irrigation have been enforced for the past few years, at both state and local levels, and the effects are evident at particular locations on campus, according to Jaffe. The Ed Burke Field, for example, which was once surrounded by foliage, now has few, if any, trees or shrubbery around it because of irrigation


restrictions. Nonetheless, Jaffe finds the cutbacks a “useful” measure to conserve water while reducing district expenses. Additionally, in accordance with the Proposition AA renovations completed over the summer, low-flush toilets, which use one liter of water per flush, as opposed to the average six liters, have been installed in school bathrooms. Despite efforts to cut back, Robert Bartsch (11) discovered, on the first day of school, that the air conditioning in his third period class was continuously dripping water and considered it a “terrible waste.” Bartsch wanted to see how much water was being wasted, so he placed a bucket under the air conditioning drain line the following class. Bartsch has since been recording the amount of water lost from the air conditioning every class. “For the first few tests, [the water] was coming out about four liters an hour, but [I later] measured five to six liters



I want my dreams to exist because I enjoy and love them, not because I want to have a certain number on my paycheck when I grow up.


an hour, which is more than a gallon,” Bartsch said. Using “crude estimations,” Bartsch approximates that the minimum amount of water wasted an hour on an average day by the air conditioning is three liters. “There’s about 150 rooms in the school, and we’ll assume that the school’s open for about eight hours,” Bartsch said. “So, about 3,600 liters of water a day are wasted at just this school.” Bartsch has also found more ways water is wasted at school, including the constantly dripping hoses behind the portable classrooms, and “hopes that the administration will collect this amount of water” and reuse it. Bartsch has attempted to report this issue to the administration, but has not yet received a response. Jaffe said that he “has not heard about [Bartsch’s research].” Frank Lee (11), a self-described environmental enthusiast, also advocates for more water conservation


A17 Art should never just be created for museums, but in this case, it has no place in a faux-amusement park — it simply becomes too materialist.

measures at TPHS. “[TPHS] uses a lot of water in class, more specifically in science labs, so maybe we should have stricter regulations [there],” Lee said. “Just like how we have to have goggles [and] aprons on, we should only be allowed to use a certain amount of water in class per month.” Lee also said it would be beneficial to replace the current plants in the school with succulents like those behind the new interim classroom facilities. Bartsch and Lee follow water conservation regulations issued by the state by taking three-minute showers and using leftover water to water plants. All San Diego Co. homeowners are limited to two times a week for irrigation. According to Jaffe, there are no plans for new water conservation regulations. Jaffe advises students to turn off faucets when they are not being used and to be watchful of any water being wasted around campus.

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

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september 25, 2015

TPHS hosts 9/11 commemoration by Sarah Chan & Lily Nilipour MANAGING EDITOR & SPORTS EDITOR TPHS hosted a Salute to America to honor the United States and recognize veterans and first responders at the patriot-themed varsity football game against Cathedral Catholic High School on Sept. 11. “9/11 is a special day, and [because we had] a home football game on 9/11 against our rival up the street, [the administration and athletic department] just thought it was a great opportunity to bring everybody in the community together and do something special,” boys athletic director Matt Livingston said. The ceremony began with retired First Sergeant and honorary guest Ben Holmes, who spoke about 9/11 and was accompanied by members of the San Diego Fire Department, San Diego Police Department and the U.S. Marine Corps. Holmes, invited by Livingston, paid homage to victims of 9/11 and veterans of the Iraq war. “What I was trying to get to [in my speech] was finding a legacy [of] what to remember, what to take away from those that died on 9/11 and those that have given their lives since,” Holmes said. “That was really the driving force: their legacy.” After Holmes’ tribute, the Marine Corps Color Guard lowered the flag at Ed Burke Field, accompanied by a bagpipe rendition of “Amazing Grace,” according to Principal David Jaffe. “We figured it was a good time to retire the [current] flag,” Jaffe said. “It was a good venue to do it [at], and there was a

lot of meaning in doing it. I had chills the entire time.” As the Corps raised the new flag, the TPHS choir sang the national anthem, conducted by music teacher Amy Gelb. According to choir member Madison Wright (11), singing to honor 9/11 victims and heroes was an “honorable” and “humbling experience.” During halftime, TPHS cheer and dance teams, as well as local dance group Sassafras, performed. The halftime performance concluded with Chloe Laverson (11) and Wright singing “America the Beautiful.” “It was such a cool experience … because everyone was out there to support Torrey and to celebrate America,” Laverson said. “It was just one of those football games where I felt like Torrey Pines had a lot of school spirit.” While this is the first time TPHS has hosted an event in remembrance of 9/11, the athletic directors and administrators hope it will become an annual event held the week before or after 9/11. “To have the [same] impact, though, [TPHS] might not do it exactly the same way every single year, but I think it’s meaningful,” Jaffe said. “It’s also a reminder that while you’re playing a high school football game and everyone’s having fun, we have all of this fun because people have dedicated their lives to protect us, whether they be military or first responders.” Both TPHS administrators and the athletic directors deemed TPHS’ first 9/11 remembrance event a success. “It was awesome to see the colors and the spirit and the flags,” Livingston said. “It was what we hoped it would be — the whole community together for a big cause.”


PAYING TRIBUTE: Varsity football players hold their helmets up for the national anthem. TPHS hosted a Salute to America event to honor 9/11 victims and heroes.

PROP AA RENOVATIONS AT TPHS TPHS continued with Prop AA renovations over the summer, bringing new facilities to the school. Construction during the next four years will include a new performing arts building, an auxilliary gym and a renovated media center.

new projectors installed

smart boards installed

new science wing created

wi-fi expanded to whole school

building hallways revamped

B building bathrooms renovated air conditioning added to all classrooms



the falconer


New assistant principal welcomed to TPHS by Amanda Chen FOCUS EDITOR Assistant Principal Vidalia Resendes started at TPHS this school year, replacing former Assistant Principal Rob Coppo. Prior to working at TPHS, Resendes held a number of different positions in schools across the country. She worked as a social science and business teacher at Mt. Miguel High School in Spring Valley, California, a special education teacher in the Grossmont District, a social science department chair at the Urban Assembly School for Performing Arts in New York City and the dean of students at the High School of Economics and Finance in New York City. She also served as an International Baccalaureate coordinator in the Cayman Islands. After several interviews at different schools in the SDUHSD, Resendes was selected from a number of candidates for the position because of her enthusiasm and experience in education, according to Principal David Jaffe. “She really stood out among the candidates,” Jaffe said. “She’s a hard worker. She works well with the students. I've seen her work and [she] brings a lot of energy to the school.” Resendes felt at home at TPHS immediately, even from the start of the hiring process. “Everyone was very welcoming,” Resendes said. “I felt like it was a family. I definitely wanted [the job] because I already felt like these were some professionals that I could grow with and work with.” Resendes said her favorite part of her new job is working with fellow administrators and the “welcoming” and “special” student body. “When you say [TPHS] in this district, everyone takes note,” Resendes said. “When I say that I am the AP at Torrey Pines, people are like: ‘Really?’. It’s because it has a reputation that supersedes itself. That reputation is only created by the professionals and students who live it everyday.” Resendes’ duties as assistant principal include, but are not limited to, overseeing students with last names A-G, helping with attendance and directing social science,

business, Career Technical Eductation and special education. She also serves on the Western Association of Schools and Colleges accreditation committee, manages after-school tutoring and works on the new weekly email newsletters. Breanna Flaherty (11), who worked with Resendes at the Torrey Transition — a program typically run by PALs, ASB and Football to help incoming freshman feel more welcome at TPHS — in the beginning of the school year, described her as “very open” and “super cool.”

Like Jaffe, Emily Witten (12) described Resendes as sweet, high-energy and very kind. Still, Witten, who had a close relationship to Coppo, says the campus atmosphere is very different without him. “It’s just a different energy,” Witten said. “[Coppo] was always so positive and so much fun. He had this presence on campus that was super friendly and fun and now you kind of miss that as you're walking around campus.” Coppo, now the director of CTE at Grossmont High School, did not respond to a request for comment.

photo by ally jensen/falconer

princi[pal]: Assistant Principal Vidalia Resendes helps students Rosie Jang (12) and Doreen Gong (12) with their homework. Beforing coming to TPHS, Resendes worked at a number of schools around the world.

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september 25, 2015

TPHS alumnus climbs Kilimanjaro New class sections and teachers added at TPHS by Lily Nilipour SPORTS EDITOR

Troy Shumway (‘13) climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro from June 2130 to raise money for Aggies Elevated, a new program at Utah State University for intellectually-disabled students, according to Shumway’s mother Kathy Shumway. “He wanted to raise $40,000, which is how much it costs to fund a whole year [at Aggies Elevated] for another student,” Troy’s sister Hayley Shumway (12) said. “He’s pretty highfunctioning and he understands how other kids are struggling, so he was really motivated by that.” Troy, who has autism, applied and was admitted to Aggies Elevated in 2014; he was one of eight students in the program in its first year. Aggies Elevated offers a college experience for young adults with intellectual disabilities and teaches them life skills necessary to live independently in the future, according to Kathy Shumway. “We had just done the Walk for Autism in San Diego, [and] Troy said, ‘Maybe I can climb

for donations rather than run or walk,’” Kathy Shumway said. “[Aggies Elevated] said this [would be] a great opportunity to bring awareness to the program … and a great way to raise funds.” After going on many San Diego hikes in preparation, Troy and his parents, accompanied by local guides and porters, started up the mountain on June 21. “It was about six-and-a-half days to the top and another two-and-a-half down, and we camped each night along the way in tents,” Kathy Shumway said. “The Kilimanjaro Park reserve requires that you take local guides, so we had two local guides and about 24 porters [who] carried the tents, the food, the cots. They made us meals; they would set up camp and break down camp.” Troy’s journey garnered media attention and is being made into a documentary called “Polé Polé,” or “slowly, slowly” in Swahili. “I was doing another short film about programs and students enrolled in school at Utah State University, and [when] I met Troy … I was really interested and wanted a documentary to follow,” filmmaker Ben Stamper

said. “The film doesn’t really go beyond [Troy’s climb], but it uses those events and Troy’s life to talk about him and … his desire to be independent.” The movie will include poetry that Troy wrote on his climb, according to Stamper. “I felt poetry was a good way to pry out some deeper answers because he clearly thinks deeply and feels deeply,” Stamper said. “I wanted his experience [to be the] primary touch point.” According to special education teacher Ryland Wickman, who taught Troy for four years at TPHS, raising money for another student to attend college is completely in line with Troy’s personality. “[Troy] took on the leadership role in our class, and he would always offer to help our students that ... needed anything,” Wickman said. “I could totally see him taking on that role and being like, ‘I want [others] to be able to come to this school if they can’t afford it.’” The trailer for “Polé Polé” is available on Vimeo, and donations can be made on the fundraising website Razoo. Over $11,000 had been raised for Troy’s cause when the Falconer went to press.


SUMMIT: Troy Shumway (‘13) stands at the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro after a long climb. Shumway made the climb to raise money for Aggies Elevated to support intellectually disabled students.

by Anna Lee EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Eight new class sections and three new teachers were added to the master schedule and staff roster to accommodate the 100 enrolled students over the expected amount, resulting in the rearrangement of about 240 students’ schedules from Sept. 8-18, according to Principal David Jaffe. In the spring, SDUHSD makes a projection of enrollment for each school, a number on which both staffing and the master schedule are based. However, the “warm body” count of students in the beginning of the year, for which administrators go around to classes and count how many students are in attendance, gives the real number, Jaffe said. “So we have [the warm body count] and we look at our class sizes and figure out where our pressure points are, and we add sections based on the pressure points,” Jaffe said. “For instance, biology was a pressure point, so we added a section of biology.” Other sections added include Sculpture, U.S. History, English 11, English 12, Math Readiness, and Integrated Math 1 and 2. The newly hired staff members are art teacher Katie Bayliss, history teacher Jeremy Henry and English teacher Lauren May. Additionally, new counselor Monica Taylor will start before the end of September. According to Assistant Principal Michael Santos, students in overfilled courses were provided the option to volunteer for a schedule change. “We asked as many volunteers as possible,” Santos said. “There were some individuals that had to be moved because we didn’t get enough volunteers, but those individuals were talked to and things were made in a way that hopefully they’ll be okay with.” Ayan Haque (11), who volunteered to switch classes and is now in the new U.S. History

section, has not found the change too disruptive. “I have all the same teachers except history,” Haque said. “[The class] is set back since we’re doing first day things [like the syllabus] in the third week, but I think it should be pretty easy to catch up.” According to counselor Jennifer Magruder, students’ schedules were changed with the intention of keeping the same teachers; for instance, if students moved into the new U.S. History class and had to switch their math period, they would try to keep the same math teacher. “We really tried to be understanding and flexible with students,” Magruder said. “I would say that overall the students have been incredibly patient with the process and really worked well with us.” According to Santos, having to add sections is fairly common at schools like TPHS, who take all students within set geographical boundaries. “The academies do their initial take and no one can apply after that,” Santos said. “But for TPHS and LCC, if someone moves into the area, we are their neighborhood school. So our numbers always grow, especially at the beginning of the year. This one was just dramatically more than normal.” Science department head Brian Bodas also said that “a certain amount of movement at the beginning of class is to be anticipated,” so teachers are accustomed to it. However, it is still an “interruption” for students and staff when schedules are switched around. “We want to do what’s right for our students, so for us, getting them set at day one is the most important thing,” Bodas said. “Having a student in the right class from day one allows them to be as successful as possible.” The benefit of the additional class sections, according to Santos, is that there are now smaller, more manageable class sizes, allowing for a better learning environment.

stay updated on school news... breaking global news @falconertphs @tphsports


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SDUHSD will implement new schedule and curriculum by Maya Rao OPINION EDITOR The Board of Trustees of the SDUHSD held a special workshop to discuss the proposed new daily schedule for TPHS and La Costa Canyon High School for the 201617 school year for continuing and incoming students on Aug. 31. The new schedule will offer students a chance to take an “x period” that will meet every day at either the beginning, middle or end of the school day, allowing seven classes per year rather than six. TPHS will still keep its block schedule, but 20 minutes will be shaved from each block period, leaving the traditional six classes at one hour and 40 minutes each; the x period will be 55 minutes long. “[This] will allow students more flexibility in their schedules,” Principal David Jaffe said. “They’re not going to be forced to do seven classes, but they have the opportunity to do seven classes.” The addition of the extra class will also

affect the course offerings in the 201617 school year. According to Jaffe, one of the biggest impacts of the changes in course selection is the potential creation of pathway programs and classes. “For instance, this year we started with an engineering program; we have a class in engineering,” Jaffe said. “Next year, we’ll offer a second phase of that class, and then finally a capstone or a final class in that.” Still, Jaffe said, TPHS has not decided what those pathway programs will be. “We’re looking at each of our departments to be able to do pathway programs,” Jaffe said. “What they are yet, we don’t know, and so actually we’re going to survey students and parents as to what they might be interested in at the school. [We are looking] to create programs based on the interest of our population.” TPHS will also add the extra class to attract incoming students away from Canyon Crest Academy, which allows students to take eight classes per year instead of the current six at TPHS. Sarah Murphy (12), who tried to transfer to CCA in February of her freshman year,

cited the extra two classes CCA offered as a driving force of her decision. “I liked the idea of being able to take more classes and [the idea of] getting ahead in math and science, and any other classes, really,” Murphy said. Murphy was not accepted through the enrollment lottery, so she stayed at TPHS. However, she said, if TPHS had offered an extra class that year, she may not have even considered transferring. And though Murphy says that the schedule changes “could be a good thing,” she thinks that the overall schedule has a “bizarre setup.” “It’s not even the same as CCA, you’ve got a little bit of both going on, the block schedule and [CCA’s] 4-by-4,” Murphy said. “I don’t know what to think of it.” Jake Robbins (10), who transferred from CCA to TPHS, agrees with Murphy. “It’s just going to add another academic class,” Robbins said. “Seven is kind of a lot for a whole year.” However, the opportunity to take an extra class may alleviate the “crowded schedule” Robbins has had to take after transferring.

In addition to adding a seventh period, TPHS is also looking to offer more curriculum options, like an International Baccalaureate program, that can facilitate application to foreign universities. Sam Parkes (12), who wants to go to college in Australia, said an IB program would have made applying to overseas institutions much easier. “The schools [in Australia] have a lot of [class] requirements ... and it’s really hard to fit in all of that because schooling is so different here compared to other countries,” Parkes said. “If it was a standardized thing, it would be super easy.” According to Jaffe, the IB program would be useful at TPHS because the school “has a ton of international students,” but he still has to survey the student population to see if there is sufficient interest in such a program. In the past, such surveys have not revealed enough interest. Although the seven-period schedule is finalized, new programs, including pathway and possible IB programs, will be decided by a student and parent vote sometime during this school year.

TPHS pair wins runner-up in Stuck at Prom contest by Irene Yu

ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR Corey Hu (12) and Lindsey Tam (12) were selected as runners-up in the Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest, which in which they designed Prom outfits made entirely of duct tape. Hu and Tam were each awarded $500, and an additional $500 was given to TPHS for their participation and success. “Both of us are really interested in art,” Hu said. “Also, [we wanted to compete for] the possibility of a cash reward. We thought that [the competition] would be a cool way to apply our skills.” Founded in 2001, the Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest, which “emphasizes a student’s originality versus focusing on academic achievements,” awards scholarship money to students who best “create unique prom wear using Duck Tape [brand duct tape].” The 10 finalists are chosen by a panel of artists who specialize in using Duck Tape. “Narrowing it down to the top 10 makes the field smaller, and therefore

makes it easier for the public to vote,” senior category manager at Duck brand’s marketing company, ShurTech Brands, Patti LaPorte said. “We thought it was important for the public to be engaged in the decision-making process, too, so we introduced a public voting element.” The couple with the greatest number of public votes is awarded $10,000 each, along with an additional $5,000 for its school. “I was in charge of contacting the teachers and our friends [to ask for votes], and Corey was in charge of contacting the media,” Tam said. Hu and Tam both plan to use their $500 towards college. “The [winners are chosen] based on workmanship, originality, use of color, accessories and use of Duck Tape,” LaPorte said. Inspired by a “playing card” theme, Hu and Tam used a red, white and black color scheme. “[The theme] can be best visualized on the dress, which exhibits the shapes of all four [card] suits on the frills,” Hu said, “We mimicked the traditional card colors to deliver an accurate and relatable thematic representation.

Likewise, the suit consists of a white base and has an overlapping diamond pattern on the suit cuff.” Compared to other finalists, who used from 33 to 70 rolls of tape, Hu and Tam used only 12 rolls. “We were worried about not having enough [tape], so we were trying our best to only use what we absolutely needed,” Tam said. Hu and Tam used leftover pieces of tape to create 50 key chains for the staff at Rady’s Children Hospital. “My sister had a spinal tap surgery [at Rady’s], so I just wanted to say ‘thanks’ to them,” Tam said. Because Hu and Tam both have relatives with cancer, all proceeds made from selling the remaining key chains were donated to the American Cancer Society. Hu and Tam maximized the use of their tape while still leaving room for mistakes. “A lot of [the process] was trying to get the duct tape not stuck together in a way that you couldn’t take apart,” Hu said. “There was a lot of wasted duct tape in the end, but it’s just more of a learning process.”

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Article 9 of Japan’s 1947 Constitution mandated that the nation “renounce war and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.” Since then, Japan has employed a 240,000-strong self-defense force in lieu of an active military for the primary purpose of defending Japan against direct invasion, amongst other functions. The creation of the self-defense force required the government to reinterpret Article 9 and conclude that Japan may defend itself if there is a present danger of invasion and no other appropriate measures for defense. Unlike a military, Japan’s self-defense force is prohibited from taking preemptive action and participating in collective self-defense — the self-defense forces can only act on threats to Japan. But considering the increasing aggression from neighboring countries and the growing independence of the nation, Japan must remilitarize to properly defend itself. Japan’s self-defense force has grown dramatically since 2011, and is already considerably modernized with its sophisticated military technology. Remilitarization would simply permit Japan to use their selfdefense force more openly. The force has already proven useful in various peacekeeping operations, but remilitarization would allow troops to handle attacks against both Japan and its allies. Currently,

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan wants to rebuild the country’s armed forces, especially in the face of Chinese aggression in the Pacific Theater. American forces are obligated under the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty to protect Japan when under attack, but Japan does not have to do the same for the U.S. Already the third largest global economy and a world leader in technology, Japan cannot rely on the United States to cover its defense for much longer. The remilitarization of Japan will not only result in a mutually beneficial alliance between Japan and the United States, but will also allow Japan to rise as a global power and keep China in check. With China looking to reclaim lost territories and prevent economic slowdown, military conflict between the two nations is a distinct possibility. The remilitarization of Japan will hinder China’s efforts; China would then have to combat both American and Japanese forces. Increased external pressures from other East Asian countries like China have the potential to disturb Japan’s current social, political and economic order, and rebuilding the military is an effective means of neutralizing that pressure. Once opposing nations recognize Japan’s potential military strength, the drop in outside pressure will provide for a greater power balance in East Asia. Remilitarizing does not equate to going to war. In Japan’s case, the action would allow the nation to provide aid to other countries. Being able to lend support to allies by intercepting missiles and helping with military logistics like refueling will bolster foreign relations. Japan may also offer more assistance to countries with similar concerns regarding the rise of China, like Vietnam, Australia and India. Remilitarization will allow Japan to thrive, no longer dependent on the United States for defense, and create a new environment that establishes the groundwork for Japan to increase its standing with other countries and fend for its allies.

In a question asked of Japanese citizens ...

Should Japan play a more active military role in the affairs of the region?*







*Poll conducted by Pew Research Center

The Japanese Self-Defense Forces, which have served as Japan’s armed forces since the abolition of the military after World War II, should not be reformed into a national military that is internationally authorized to wage offensive warfare. Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution prohibits the maintaining of war potential or using war to settle disputes. However, this has not prevented Japan from creating modernized armed forces. According to U.S. News, Japanese military forces “look like that of any other country of the same size,” and possess “modern rifles, missiles, jets, seafaring vessels ... and all of the other framework ... [associated] with an offensive force.” And these forces have participated in international actions before. Japanese warships serve anti-piracy duty in international waters near Dijbouti, and the Forces deployed engineers in Iraq. So there is no need for the rebuilding of any component of the armed forces — they are sufficiently advanced and, as precedents show, able to support efforts outside Japan’s borders to a certain extent. More importantly, the Japanese people are opposed to extending the role of the Forces. In response to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s agenda to reinterpret the Japanese Constitution and expand the scope of what the Forces are authorized to do, “tens of thousands of demonstrators have repeatedly surrounded Japan’s parliament,” according to the Los Angeles Times. Polls by Japanese newspaper Asahi reveal 56 percent of Japanese oppose expanding collective self-defense rights for the Japanese armed forces, and 76 percent do not believe that the Abe administration sufficiently debated and discussed the issue before attempting to push the legislation through. Students, workers, retirees, women and even former chief justice


of Japan’s Supreme Court, Shigeru Yamaguchi, have united against the bills, voicing concerns that opening up offensive actions to the military could lead to entanglement in bloody foreign engagements and upset the checks and balances that currently exist within the government. Proponents of remilitarization say an unrestrained military would allow for greater security, given China’s expansion in the region and the threat posed by North Korean missiles. However, the current Forces are more than capable of fending off both threats, given the advanced warships and anti-missile defenses the Forces already possess. An offense-oriented Japanese military could also upset relations between Japan and nations like China and South Korea. According to the BBC, events like the Rape of Nanking or the brutal Japanese occupation of present-day North and South Korea during WWII are discussed only lightly in the historical curriculum of the country, leaving many Japanese bewildered as to why there is such hostility from the Chinese and Koreans in recent regional disputes. An unrestricted Japanese military would only exacerbate tensions in the region. Ultimately, the benefits of the proposed changes to the military do not outweigh the risks; it would be foolish for Japan to move toward a military with greater authorization to conduct offensive warfare.


the falconer


STAFF EDITORIAL: ON CITIZEN WATCHDOGS WITH CAMERAS Thomas Demint recorded the arrest of two of his friends and their mother on May 22, 2014 and was subsequently arrested for filming the incident, charged with obstruction and resisting arrest, just like the many others who have been arrested after merely filming police actions. With the prevalence of smartphone technology, people can film almost anywhere at any time. Couple that with numerous recent incidents involving police brutality, abuses of power and killing of black men, and you have a growing trend of citizens recording on-duty police officers. Filming that does not interfere with the duties of police officers does not warrant the arrest of the filmer. The filming of arrests is no different from rubbernecking drivers slowing down to see accidents, with the obvious exception that filming arrests is meant to keep cops honest. In fact, under the First Amendment, civilians have the right to film on-duty police officers and ongoing arrests as long as they are not interfering with the officers’ jobs. In the cases of those who were arrested for recording police activity, they were charged with obstruction of justice or resisting arrest, but eventually had their charges dropped in court — most courts ruled that

on-duty officers should not expect privacy in public places. In August, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the “Right to Record Act” into law, making clear a civilian’s right to record the police in California, provided that they do not interfere with the officer’s duties. Other states should follow suit. Since arrests and acts of police brutality are often made in public view, there is nothing wrong with recording the acts for the public to see. Citizens have a right to know whether law enforcement officers are conducting themselves properly. The video of Eric Garner’s fatal confrontation with the police literally brought police brutality to the public eye, with widespread attention online and in the media. Walter Scott’s murder by being shot in the back 5 times by an officer as Scott ran away also raised public outrage and activism. A video record can raise awareness and be a deterrent to both civilians committing crimes and excessive uses of force by the police. They can also be used as evidence in court cases. If the police know the public has the right to film them, this awareness can keep them in check and hold them accountable for their actions. Admittedly, skewed perspectives

may be created by showing only one angle of a situation or editing a video. However, editing videos would only harm the interests of the people recording them; if they mean to record cases of police brutality, they will only be hurting themselves by altering footage. When the truth about the edited videos emerges, the whole point of having a video record of an arrest is lost, as is the credibility of the person who did the filming. In the first place, the police should not be worried about being filmed if they are not doing anything wrong and vice versa: If no one is being hurt or there is no brutality, there is no need to film. The police have the duty to protect civilians, and if they are not doing so, civilians have the right to document that. The people should have the right to record only under certain circumstances, like when there is an obviously excessive use of

force, but within limits, as it would be infeasible to record all police actions. The freedom to record should have restrictions only to allow

police to effectively perform their duties. People should be able to take matters into their own hands and help hold the police responsible for their actions. Recording the police does not infringe upon any rights. Along with the body cameras being adopted by many departments, civilians’ video records are the best hope of change.


I STAND WITH AHMED Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old boy from Irving, Texas, was arrested on Sept. 16 for building a clock. He brought it to school that day, it beeped in class, and his teacher thought it was a bomb. Irving has an award-winning STEM program; the teachers should be able to tell the difference between a bomb and a clock. Still, Mohamed was sent to the principal’s office, where he was greeted by five policemen instead of the applause he sought and deserved. Irving has been a hotbed of anti-Muslim activity for years — in 2012, the school board sent out an email that told Christians to “stand up against the pro-Islamic teaching in ... public schools” — and Mohamed was the unfortunate recipient of that fear and anger. Blind prejudice cannot and should not be accepted. We cannot live in a society where white boys who build bombs receive counseling and rehabilitation, while Muslim boys who build clocks are arrested. We cannot live in a society where racism and religious discrimination rule over our moral sensibilities. We are not the terrorists who bombed the World Trade Center, so it is time to stop acting like them. No child, no student, no person should ever be punished for creativity or innovation or curiosity — progress is colorblind, and we should be, too. -Maya Rao, Falconer Opinion Editor ART BY CAROLYN CHU/FALCON ARTIST


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.

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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 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 Mia Boardman Smith

Staff Writers: Sumin Hwang Anvitha Soordelu Webmaster: Chris Lu Photographers: Grace Bruton Eric Cunningham Travis Felthaus Ally Jensen Anton Schuh Avery Spicker Alderik van der Heyde Lauren Zhang

Artists: Tori Austin Carolyn Chu Michelle Hao Jenny Li Tasia Mochernak Ellese Nguyen Russell Reed Micaela Roy Amy Yu Amanda Yuan

A8 the falconer


september 25, 2015



Hands tugged at my top. Brown eyes stared back up at me, wide and pleading, then darted to a “table” — a dirty plank of wood balanced precariously on four rickety legs. She grabbed my hand, snotty fingers entangling with mine, and dragged me to her desk. In stark contrast to the dust that covered the rest of the room, there sat a few pristine white pages filled with hundreds and hundreds of math problems. Her name is Fatima, she is five years old, she is boisterous and excitable and loves learning. And she cannot use her legs. Cases like this are far too common in countries like India, where 39 percent of children under 5 years old are stunted, according to a survey conducted by UNICEF and the Indian government. When I interned at public health advocacy group SOCHARA, I met countless Fatimas, all of whom wrenched my heart until it was limp. We in the United States tend to get caught up in our own lives. As long as everything is perfect in our personal, individual bubbles, everything is all right in the world.

But everything is not all right in the world. Everything is all wrong. And everything is even more wrong in India. Nutritional deficiencies are widespread. According to UNICEF, 20 percent of children under 5 years old are acutely undernourished and 70 percent of children are anemic. Expectant mothers routinely experience some sort of vitamin deficiency, which often leads to birth defects in children. Fatima would probably have been a healthy child if she were born to richer parents, but her parents’ financial and educational circumstances led to an unfixable injury. Nearly all of India’s problems can be traced to government corruption and, more importantly, the disempowerment of the people. Government officials tamper with proper healthcare procedures to cut corners financially and further their own ends. Dalits and shudras, who are at the bottom of the Hindu caste system, are forced into jobs that pose more health risks than rupees and rarely have the money to pay for adequate treatments for even commonplace infections. Rampant bribery allows some people priority access to doctors and hospitals, while many of the poor never see a doctor. Women are imprisoned by a culture of stigma and a cult of purity that hinders their progress. When I walked into a government hospital, workers were yelling at patients, berating them for not vaccinating children — many mothers do not have the means or time to go to a clinic at proper intervals, or they are uneducated about the benefits of vaccines. But when the doctors spotted me, their tones softened. Skinny jeans, a casual kurti and sandals. My attire painted me a modern woman, an

educated woman, a rich woman — at least by Indian standards. I, a 17-year-old girl, commanded more respect than grown women. India’s poor have no power. In the past, much of the population lived in rural areas, but it has become increasingly difficult to make a living off the land. More and more people are moving to urban areas, and the community bonds they built in villages are fragmented, broken. This loss of community in India has split people from groups to individuals — instead of looking out for others, people are concerned only for themselves. And when everyone has individual interests, no one has power; corruption then runs rampant. Almost every country in the world has lost whatever community it once possessed; in a world that is more globalized than ever before, people have the opportunities to travel far from “home.” Nobody has to stay put. Western culture especially values individualism. “Being yourself” is lauded in the United States. People are encouraged to follow their dreams no matter what, and as a result, people go to whatever lengths possible to achieve those dreams. Communities cease to exist. And at one point, everybody finds themselves alone. This is the sort of culture that has infiltrated and fractured India. For years, Indian society was based on a sense of community. When this blanket was yanked away, it left India shivering in the cold unknown. Western culture pervades India, not only in the form of clothing and music, but also in the form of corporations who see a broken India as a chance to make money. Companies like Monsanto sell impoverished Indian farmers seeds at sky-high prices; in

order to be even slightly competitive in the Indian agricultural market, the farmers have to accept those prices. And because there is very little sense of community left in India today, these farmers have no opportunity to band together and protest the financial burden. So they become buried in debt instead; a few months later, they are buried themselves. These corporations can get by with driving thousands of farmers to suicide because the people have nobody to advocate for them. A few dedicated health workers attempt to help the farmers, but the people are so displaced and the problems so widespread that treating isolated areas makes no difference at all. The power must come from the people themselves. With SOCHARA, I attended Karnataka state health meetings and discussions centered around how to build back India’s sense of community. I visited rural towns where these programs were in progress, where farmers banded together and stood up for their beliefs — where farmers marched together against corruption, unflinching in the face of corporate power. The people in these towns were inspirational; they refused to be quashed by government interests. But the problem is far from solved. People must hold more street meetings, more mobile clinics. They must receive more education and they must help people with that education. And then the people will gain back their power; and then the people will fix India’s problems. The vast majority of India is ignored, slighted, shoved away. But with a greater sense of community comes a louder voice and more power. And once India’s people band together again, nothing will quell them.


Fresh from a nearby Starbucks, the Falconer assistant editor-in-chief reflects on her identity and society’s perception of it. I live in my Birkenstocks, my cactus shirt, my venti iced vanilla green tea lattes, my Instagram feed (@ykimsn) and my Urbanears that always play the same album — Beenzino’s “24:26.” That is, in essence, what my whole existence adds up to. But society tells me there must be more. I take a total of two academic classes; the rest are an accumulation of what my close peers call jokes: Surf PE, AP Art, Falconer and Internship. Society asks what’s wrong with me. Every other day I leave campus during lunch with my friend, flaunting our free fifth period. Before, leaving campus and skipping classes brought a spring to our steps — it was an act of teenage rebellion. But now our footsteps have a sort of awkwardness created by our inability to comprehend our “seniorhood,” disguised only by jokes about how we’re “such seniors.” I still remember walking into Staples with my dad during freshman year, school supply lists in hand. I went through all the aisles, dutifully buying everything listed. But now, I walk out of the same store with one folder and a pack of black pens. At home, I stare at a pile of old binders and notebooks that I collected throughout high school; somehow, that short stack is enough to make the difference between a clueless freshman and a knowledgeable senior. Exactly what about me has changed over the years? Have I learned enough to comprehend who I am or how my future will turn out? I throw make-up on my face as if that confirms that I’ve finally grown up enough to know what I want to do with the rest of my life. But it’s like I’m wearing a pair of shoes that

haven’t been broken in yet. I still haven’t had enough time to understand myself, and my heels are blistered and bleeding. Over the summer I cut off 14 inches of my hair. I figured that if I didn’t like how it turned out, I could grow it back out. But the same does not apply to my life. I can’t press a restart button once it’s gone awry. What’s the perfect equation that adds up to a successful life? What class schedule, which extracurriculars, college, degree or job will help me achieve what I want? I feel like a child with a coloring book and a broken crayon. Society tells me to “exercise artistic freedom” but also to “make sure you stay within the lines.” I try to contemplate what lies in the gray between the two, but then stop. What’s the point? There’s not much I can do with a broken crayon as a medium anyway. A month ago while cleaning my room, I found a letter addressed to “Sarah Kim of 2016.” With no recollection of ever writing it, I read it out of curiosity. Filled with the typical clichés of a letter to your future self, it seemed to mock all of my worries and concerns. “I hope you got into a good college.” “I hope you got good grades in high school.” But the last line stuck out to me. “I hope you love the way you chose to live your life.” In response to the introspective nature of a personal perspective, I tried to come up with some deep philosophical statement to describe my existence. I tried to think of something — anything — about myself that is impressive. Every college is essentially asking us the same question: What have you achieved that has also shaped your identity? Many of us pull up transcripts with high GPAs and outstanding extracurricular awards. We make up answers to

photo by grace bruton/falconer

who we are, what high school has taught us or who we want to be. So, who am I? What world do I live in? After desperately searching for some great revelation, I ended up this with: I don’t have a grand revelation, nor do I need one. I’m sorry, colleges, but I live in the same Urban Plates order: grilled free range chicken plate with a side of macaroni and cheese and tomato basil soup. I live in relentless BuzzFeed video binges, in retail therapy, in the elated feeling falling gives me, in solo karaoking and in my Vscocam “aesthetics.” At the beginning of the year, I considered changing my schedule because I wondered if I was taking it too easy in senior year. What would colleges think? But then — how much does it really matter to me what they think? I wanted to further pursue my job as a graphic designer, devote more time to my church’s youth ministry, bring different design to the Falconer, explore my limits as an artist and spend my last year here in San Diego making memories with friends. So I kept my schedule, facing the ridicule I receive from peers and friends for having such an “easy life.” It’s not that I don’t want to achieve. I have a lot aspirations for the future. But I want my dreams to exist because I enjoy and love them,

not because I want to have a certain number on my paycheck when I grow up. I don’t live in the future of who I could be, but in the joyful moments of the present. I live in doing things I love to do, in the dumb things that define who I am, in Beenzino lyrics that tell me to “boogie on and on.” This personal perspective piece has been something I’ve been waiting to write from the moment I joined the Falconer staff. As an excited sophomore, I figured by senior year I’d have some life changing revelations. But now I realize that there will be little difference between me in the beginning and end of senior year. No matter how much time passes, how many more notebooks get stacked onto my trash pile, I’ll never really feel like I have fulfilled the requirements of being a senior. I’ll never feel well-suited for the colleges I’m told to apply to. And I’ll always be a step behind where society tells me I should be. But none of that really matters to me right now — because to me, I’m living life to the fullest. As Beenzino says, “I’mma do what I wanna do.” I end with a letter enclosed. To the Sarah Kim of 2020, I hope you love the way you chose to live your life.


the falconer


Davis must do the job she was elected to do

The Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage ran into its first roadblock shortly after it was handed down. Kentucky State Clerk Kim Davis refused to issue marriage licenses to couples because of her “religious concerns,” purposefully excluding both heterosexual and same-sex couples to avoid being accused of discrimination. However, the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky still filed a lawsuit against her on behalf of those who were denied licenses, including two heterosexual couples. The U.S. District Court of Eastern Kentucky ordered Davis to issue licenses in compliance with the law, but Davis refused, citing she was acting “under God’s authority.” She was consequently jailed for five days. While she was in jail, her deputy clerks issued licenses in accordance with the court order. After her release, Davis accepted the option to return to work under the court order that she perform the duties of her job and follow the law; however, she did not issue any licenses herself and refused to put her name on any of the licenses issued by her deputy

clerks, inciting controversy over whether the licenses were actually legitimate. By not issuing the licenses and denying the legal rights of the LGBTQ community, Davis inexcusably compromised the right to marry now guaranteed to all U.S. citizens. Although Davis has the right to her religious beliefs, she inappropriately and illegally imposed those beliefs on others in defiance of the law. Civil rights take precedence over religious rights; the law is the ultimate standard of behavior that a citizen must follow. Davis is a criminal in the most technical sense of the word: She broke the law by violating the rights of same-sex couples. Therefore, her claim for “religious freedom” is invalid — once a religious claim infringes upon civil liberties, religious freedom loses its primacy. Davis has every right to her opinion on gay marriage — that is, she has every right to voice her opinion on it. But, what she does not have is the right to deny marriage because of sexual orientation based on her religious beliefs. Her religion has no relevance in this situation. Davis is an elected official, bound by duty and law to carry out the responsibilities of her position. Her act is not one of civil disobedience but of civil misconduct. In fact, in this situation, religious concerns have no legitimacy or function in a work setting, especially in a government office, and compromised the rights of the individuals applying for marriage licenses. Her ignorance in understanding her religious rights is clear. Aside from the argument of religious freedom versus civil rights,

the Davis case can be further distilled to one simple principle: it is the duty of employees to do their jobs regardless of their personal sentiments. If someone does not like the duties of his or her occupation — like issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples — then he or she does not belong in said occupation. Davis ran for an office, the job description for which included issuing marriage licenses. When the law changed to include same-sex couples in legal marriage, Davis should have resigned her office if she felt her beliefs p ro h i b i te d h e r

compliance with the law. As the district court ruled in the Davis case, it was her responsibility to do her job. We have reached an exciting time with regard to same-sex marriage and gay rights. Yet as the LGBTQ movement continues to progress, the voices of the opposition have gotten even louder. More disappointing cases like Davis’ will

inevitably arise. Davis’ denial of marriage licenses is a new form of hate crime that we as citizens must be prepared for. These crimes are inexcusable and cannot be tolerated, as they counteract the steps taken in the courts to legalize gay marriage. As we step into this new era, we have a responsibility to our fellow citizens: We must ensure that discrimination against the LGBTQ community does not become overshadowed by victories like the right to same-sex marriage. We must remain vigilant against discrimination. We must uphold the new, rightful laws.



Donald Trump is not presidential material By Anna Lee


A president is a paragon. A president possesses integrity, wisdom and leadership. A president is the symbol of a country, held to a higher standard than the average citizen. Donald Trump embodies, perhaps, the exact opposite of what we generally mean when we find someone sufficiently dignified, intelligent and upright to be called “presidential.” From his numerous thoughtless, sexist and racist remarks to his noticeably absent political experience, Trump has made clear that he is the least qualified candidate on the roster. In the past few months, Trump has been a near-constant presence in the news. He is certainly running the most visible campaign, and his ability to alternately rile the public and garner an alarming amount of support is certainly to be admired. His campaign has been astoundingly successful in gaining publicity. But, we must remember that much of the publicity has resulted from making a fool of himself. Trump has insulted fellow candidate Carly Fiorina, Fox News reporter Megyn Kelly, CNN star Anderson Cooper, and nearly every immigrant in the United States and every hopeful immigrant outside it. We do not want a president incapable of speaking with tact or reason, instead spouting whatever

extremist view or absurd insult he thinks up on the spot. Trump fails to present himself as a venerable and wise figure; he operates like he is still a reality TV host rather than the would-be leader of the free world. He published a series of offensive barbs about Kelly on Twitter. He insulted Fiorina’s appearance rather than address her proposed policies. And he seems to believe that all of his actions were reasonable: In an interview with Jimmy Fallon, Trump said, “I fully think apologizing is a great thing, but you have to be wrong.” If Trump wants to be considered a serious candidate, he should remember that being president of the United States is a far cry from being the president of a billion-dollar empire. The image that a president presents reflects on the entire country, and the juvenile behavior in which he has thus far engaged are entirely unacceptable. However, it is not just a presidential aura that Trump lacks, but also any political experience. While Trump has proven himself a capable businessman and managerial force, it is an entirely different matter to run things in the Oval Office. A country is not just a business. The administrative skills Trump has gained from his success in the financial world are not necessarily transferable to the political theater. According to Harvard Business School professor Gautam Muukunda, even moving from one company to another may affect success;

moving to the government is a “larger leap” — by far. However, Trump seems to view his inexperience in an entirely different light — that is, he sees no problem. He is overconfident in his abilities to the point of grating arrogance, which does not bode well for the country if he ever stepped into the White House. And though he is leading in a number of surveys, a new poll by the Washington Post and ABC News found that 60 percent of Americans do not consider Trump qualified to be president. This statistic comes as no surprise. Discussion of his own policy has been limited to ridiculous ideas that seem more satirical than serious — for instance, a physical wall on the border between

the U.S. and Mexico. The only explanation for the faith that around 40 percent of America has in Trump is that he appeals to their uglier, selfish sides, filled with base desires like greed: Trump said that, should be become president, he would have South Korea compensate the United States for our continued protection of their country against the threat of North Korea. It is not enough to maintain peace for the sake of peace. According to Trump, capitalist extraordinaire, America must profit off an endeavor or simply drop it. Does this mean we should abandon peacekeeping missions and

humanitarian efforts as well? It certainly seems to be the implication. At times, the substanceless rallies and idiotic comments attributed to Trump seem almost too absurd to be for real. His campaign seems on the verge of being a lengthy, very costly, though admittedly very wellexecuted, publicity stunt. At any moment, Trump might yell, “Surprise! This was a joke the whole time,” on the TV screen; that is the character he has created for himself. Perhaps UFC Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey said it best: “I just really wouldn’t trust that guy with running my country.”


A10 the falconer



e r cu d l r o w e h t

EGE L L O C STA O C A R I M . s M g O R n F i h EE t R G t E D a e A to gr

d a e l can

september 25, 2015



outside looking in From the outside, TPHS is a large community of involved students connected to each other through the issues and passions that engage them. But not everyone feels connected to other people on campus. In March 2015, the University of California, San Diego administered the biennial Healthy Kids Survey to TPHS students to better understand “students’ health behaviors and academic performance,” according to the CHKS website. According to the 2015 survey results, 12 percent to 22 percent of TPHS students from 9th to 12th grade did not feel a close connection to others at TPHS. PALs adviser Don Collins attributes that to the fact that students are unable to connect inwardly and identify who they really are, which leads to an inability to make connections with those around them. “Humans are social animals,” Collins said by email. “We need each other. We need to be reflected and mirrored and recognized and respected for who we are, not just what we do. As the competition for colleges becomes tougher, many students get very focused on ‘doing’ rather than being and achieving over experiencing. In that way, it’s tough to slow down in the 21st Century and feel connected to ourselves.” According to Collins, the increase in technology use in recent years is another likely reason for students’ disconnection from themselves and others. “Advances in technology enable us to ‘like’ and text and share more idealized versions of ourselves through things like filtered photos or edited posts, causing us to not be able to connect with our true selves,” Collins said. “Research shows that being focused on solitary online activity, such as Facebook or Pinterest, for hours on end makes people feel more depressed and disconnected.” According to a 2010 study done at the University of Leeds in England, teens’ excessive use of technology can distort their perceptions of themselves and others around them, since the way one acts and appears online is often vastly different than how they are in real life. The study reinforces the idea that over-engaging with websites that replace normal social functions is likely linked to increased isolation of teens, both socially and emotionally. Another major factor in the disconnection kids feel at school, according to Principal David Jaffe, is the large size of TPHS. But along with the high number of students comes a high number of staff members, who “have the responsibility to be very intentional about how [they] work with and connect to students.” “With so many teachers at our school, it is our job to make students feel more comfortable,” Jaffe said. “It’s not so much the kids’ responsibility to go reach out and say, ‘I need help.’ They may be experiencing problems at home, among other things, so it’s the staff’s job to take initiative, which can be as simple as saying ‘hello’ to kids when they walk in the door.” Jaffe has considered revising the school’s current mentor program to better provide assistance to students. “We have a mentor program where an adult picks a student to mentor through the year,” Jaffe said. “What we’re doing now is asking teachers to ask students in their classes if they would be willing to connect with another student that has either been self-referred or referred by parents or a teacher.” Establishing a personal connection with a staff member has had a profound impact on students like Salman Sadakkadulla (11), who has had “life-changing” experiences with certain teachers at TPHS. Unlike Jaffe, Sadakkadulla does not hold TPHS staff solely responsible for helping students feel connected to one another at school; he believes that students must make an effort to connect with one another. “If you’re willing to open up to people, then you can connect to the student body,” Sadakkadulla said. “If you try to find people that you relate to, then feeling disconnected is not that high of a possibility.” Although he does not currently identify himself as “disconnected,” Sadakkadulla has intentionally distanced himself from others in the past. “If I ever felt disconnected, it’s because I didn’t try to connect with those around me,” Sadakkadulla said. “However, once I learned that


connection would take effort on my own part, I started trying to reach out to new people.” Both Sadakkadulla and ASB vice president Derek Ye (12) said that while students in each grade may feel disconnected from their peers, there is a distinct difference between detachment and wanting to be alone, and it is important not to confuse the two. “[Students can feel disconnected] especially if they’re shy to begin with,” Ye said. “But students might also just want their alone time for whatever reason, and it’s important to respect that.” Introversion can be mistaken for feeling disconnected, and according to psychology teacher Chas Doerrer, everyone has introverted tendencies at times. “It just depends on our situation or surroundings,” Doerrer said. “People make too many assumptions about introverts [and] extroverts.” With regard to student connectivity, Doerrer said that a “comfortable environment” is key to feeling connected. In an environment where connecting to peers is easier, students will stay motivated to do well in school. “Those who feel connected feel more motivated because they feel like they’re part of a community,” Doerrer said. “This idea of inclusiveness helps them feel more comfortable and more at home on campus.” Jaffe believes that students’ feelings of disconnection can carry on into their adult lives. “Students who aren’t connected go on to be adults and they aren’t connected as adults to the world that they live in,” Jaffe said. “We’ve seen such increased violence in this country. What if those people that did awful things had a connection point at school in their early grades? Would there be a difference?” Both Jaffe and ASB are trying to make that difference with the revised mentor program, increased staff awareness and school spirit activities like pep rallies. According to Ye, each member of ASB is advised to talk to people who are either sitting by themselves, or seem lonely. Ye, who sometimes stays after school and talks with students who are alone as he passes by hallways, considers this simple conversation a highly effective way to make people feel part of a community people and allow meeting those “you usually wouldn’t meet, while helping to brighten up their day.” Helping students feel connected to others at TPHS is not the responsibility of one single group, neither staff nor student body, Ye said. Both groups must work together to create an environment comfortable enough for students to connect with and rely on their peers. Both Ye and Jaffe advise all TPHS students and staff to say “hello” to any students who are alone or seem disconnected at school; one “hello” could make all the difference. by Maya Kota and Irene Yu

A12 the falconer


september 25, 2015

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF DOODLING To Leah Ding (12), doodling is a quick fix for boredom in class; lecture notes get covered with scribbles, notebooks are filled with random shapes, homework turns into a canvas of spirals. The teacher’s voice gradually fades into the background, and the day’s lesson flies past Ding as if it never happened. “[Doodling] is just a habit,” Ding said. “I listen to the teacher, but … I get bored and start doodling.” Ding is not the only one with the habit. Around 61 percent of TPHS students doodle in class one to two times a week, according to an informal Falconer poll. Why we doodle often baffles even the experts. Various studies claim to have found answers ranging from helping develop creativity to promoting better focus in class. According to UCSD assistant psychology professor Timothy Brady, people often think doodling equates to daydreaming and a wandering mind, neither of which necessarily has a positive connotation. In a TED Talk called “Doodlers, Unite,” author and visual literacy consultant Sunni Brown says doodling gets a bad rap. “Doodling is really to make spontaneous marks to help yourself think. That is why millions of people doodle. Here’s another interesting truth about the doodle: People who doodle when they’re exposed to verbal information retain more of that information than their non-doodling counterparts. We think doodling is something you do when you lose focus, but in reality, it is a preemptive measure to stop you from losing focus. Additionally, it has a profound effect on creative problem-solving and deep information processing,” Brown says.

Many kids these days have hard time focusing ... because everything goes fast. When you focus on [doodling], your mind can concentrate on something else at the same time. Leonor Youngblood �������

“There’s a brain system that people call the default network, and they call it that because it’s actually the parts of your brain that are active when you’re not doing anything,” Brady said. “So letting your mind just freely wander seems to use those same brain regions.” For Ding and other students who see doodling mainly as a way to combat classroom boredom, a wandering mind and daydreaming can be a common occurrence in class. However, Spanish teacher Leonor Youngblood believes that doodling “has its purpose” and is not simply a waste of time. “Many kids these days have a hard time focusing and concentrating because everything goes fast,” Youngblood said. “When you focus on something [like


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doodling], your mind can concentrate on something else at the same time.” Eugene Park (10) thinks doodling is a fairly effective concentration strategy during “long, detailed lectures,” because he has realized that he retains some of what is being taught. But, like all study tactics and memory devices, doodling “[may] not work for everybody, but it does work for some [students],” Youngblood said. In a 2009 study on the effects of doodling, England’s University of Plymouth psychologist Jackie Andrade told two groups of people to pay attention to an unbearably boring voicemail while instructing one group to doodle and the other to simply listen. Afterward, when asked to recount facts and names they heard during the message, those who doodled recalled a much higher average number of details than those who did not: 7.5 correct to 5.8 correct out of 16. According to Brady, this disparity is due to the function of the default network in the brain and the role it plays in people’s ability to stay focused. “Usually, if you’re mind wandering, you’re not absorbing information,” Brady said. “So … [if] people in the not-doodling condition were mind-wandering really badly, they were just daydreaming, and the people in the doodling condition were able to stay a little bit more on task by doodling.” According to Brady and psychology teacher Matt Chess, the study shows that doodling can be effective and actually prevent students from being distracted and losing focus. “If you’re bored, you shut down and you’re passive and inactive,” Chess said. “But if you’re doodling, even if you’re not thinking about it, you’re still active, so … your memory processes tend to be more inclined to hold on to some [information].” Other than keeping people awake and partly attentive, doodling can also be a creative outlet for students, whether they are paying attention to their pictures or not. “In [art class], I think [it’s] okay … to let your mind wander,” art teacher Emily Moran said. “A lot of what we’re doing in here is learning how to be creative, so if your mind wanders, there’s still substance to that.”

There’s a brain system that people call the default network, and they call it that because it’s actually the parts of your brain that are active when you’re not doing anything. Timothy Brady

���� ��������� ���������� ��������� According to Brady, when they’re put in situations they find boring, people often become “more creative [because] they have a lot of time to let their mind wander.” Ding also noticed that when boredom is combined with the talents of an artistic person, elaborate creations can result. “My friend, who is really [good at drawing] is always doodling … and she actually creates pieces of art,” Ding said. But Park likes the fact that there are no prerequisites for doodling nor limits on whom can be considered an artist. “Even if you’re really bad, or you just like to draw and you keep [doodling], I think you’re an artist,” Park said. “Honestly, you don’t have to be good at it.” Artistic or not, detailed drawings may counteract doodling’s benefits. “I caution [my] students [that] doodling doesn’t mean … making intricate features [that capture their attention],” Youngblood said. “It’s almost … an unconscious drawing.” Students turn to doodling in class, often without knowing why, or what their doodles mean. Most, like Ding, do not believe their doodles have any meaning other than that they were not otherwise engaged. Yet, research seems to suggest doodling has many benefits to thinking, memory and creativity. That’s a dream come true for most students. by Lily Nilipour and Anvitha Soordelu


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LET’S IT DOWN We break down the topics that are on everyone’s minds. When the first colonists arrived in the New World, they thought they had won the lottery; America offered freedom from persecution and a chance to start over. Turning 18 elicits a similar sentiment in most teenagers. America is our adulthood; everything seems great — at least in the beginning. The notion of complete independence, however, is a façade. The reality is that those who choose to pursue a higher education often cannot achieve financial independence for years after graduation. There lives an invisible yet omnipresent threat to their livelihoods: student debt. This year, 71 percent of bachelor degree recipients graduated in debt, each owing an average of just over $35,000. Student loans now account for $1.2 trillion of the total U.S. debt, surpassing both the amount of consumer credit card and mortgage debt. But student loans don’t go away with bankruptcy, which is one of the reasons why they are extremely hard to get rid of. In the 2008 recession, public colleges and universities were among the first to suffer from spending cuts, so to compensate for lost funding, they responded by making their own cuts and driving up tuition costs. Lower national average household income meant that more students had to take out federal and private loans in greater quantities to pay for college. While the U.S. economy is now slowly recovering, government funding to colleges and universities remains lower than prerecession levels. According to a report by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, between 2008 and 2015, state spending per student, adjusted for inflation, decreased by 20 percent. Tuition costs conversely increased by 29 percent. Rising interest rates and poor employment prospects have further compounded the existing financial strain on graduates. The inability to pay back student loans has forced millions to postpone major milestones in their adult lives, like buying a house or starting a family, simply because they lack the financial means to do so. It takes the average graduate 21 years to pay back his or her loans, and even longer for a college dropout. The situation is quite severe: According to a survey conducted this year by personal finance site MyBankTracker, 43 percent of users would give up half of all their material possessions and 30 percent of users would sell a non-vital organ to pay off their student debts. In 2010, Obama Loan Forgiveness, a plan that allows student loans to be discharged after 20 years instead of the previous 25, was passed into law as part of the initiatives in the Student Loan Reform Act. Current policy proposals aimed at easing students’ financial burden include the reduction or elimination of interest rates on student loans and allowance of debt discharge after bankruptcy. Some critics, however, tout institutional reform as the only long-term solution to the crisis. After all, American universities have the highest cost of attendance of any other nation in the world by far. Although many of us here are fortunate enough to have our parents cover a substantial amount of our college tuition, the student loan crisis still affects all of us. The economy cannot recover so long as there continue to be current levels of outstanding debt. And while it is important to recognize the huge strides we have made as a country in making higher education more accessible, we still have a long way to go before we can break the bonds of debt that are holding the American people back from achieving financial freedom. by Amanda Chen


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Francisca Vasconselos (12) is an artist, athlete, student and scientist who programmed a drone and won fourth place in the Intel International Science Fair.

At first glance, it looks like Francisca Vasconcelos (12), president of National Art Honors Society, competitive soccer player and researcher-in-the-making, designed a simple black-and-white checkerboard as a science fair project. That checkerboard, however, is anything but simple — it is actually a pattern badge, a complex piece of technology that allows drones to interact with any object that displays it. Vasconcelos programmed a commercial AR Parrot Drone 2.0 “to follow [her] around based on computer vision recognition based on a pattern badge.” “Depending on the pattern on the badge, I [can] get the drone to do different things, but it has two [major] functions,” Vasconcelos said. “[The drone] can follow anyone or anything wearing the badge and it can change what it does depending on the pattern on the badge — the drone [can] move forward and backward, changing its distance according to the [pattern] encoded on the badge. ” Essentially, the drone is able to track, locate and follow objects displaying the pattern badge using only its camera; no GPS is required. Vasconcelos took her drone and pattern badge to the local San Diego County Science Fair, in which she, along several other people, won first place in the senior division. But it was the sweepstakes win in her category, Robotics and Intelligent Machines, that allowed her to go to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. There, she won fourth place in her category. “At the local fair, when I first began, I was nervous [while presenting], but after a while you get so used to giving your speech that it becomes almost like second nature,” Vasconcelos said. “[Then] it’s always a lot of fun because I was judged by a professor from Carnegie Mellon [University] and an engineer from NASA. All these people contributed their own suggestions or comments related to what they do, and I thought that was really cool. The National Weather Association [suggested applications like] mapping out land structures or terrain to see if there was a possible storm coming.” Vasconcelos sees many applications of the drone-pattern badge system, especially because it does not need GPS to orient itself. The system would be useful for Amazon, as the company plans on using drones to deliver packages. “Each house could have [its] own pattern badge that goes on the roof,” Vasconcelos said. “Since you have different codes, you could give each house a [unique] code so the drone would be able to distinguish between houses and find the houses by finding the badge.” A more humanitarian application of the system might involve the airlifting of medical supplies to hard-to-reach areas. “Since many areas don’t have the infrastructure to have GPS or cellular communication, computer vision is actually essential to successfully ship medical supplies,” Vasconcelos said. Vasconcelos’ programming skills and innovative ideas caught more than the judges’ eyes: She also won several corporate scholarships and prizes. The Marine Technology Society gave her $500, while United Technologies Corporation gave her $3,000 of stock in their company. But the highlight of the prizes was a five-day, all-expenses paid trip to Switzerland and CERN, the preeminent center for nuclear research — and more recently for quantum physics and mechanics — in Europe, sponsored by both the Intel Society for Science and the Public and CERN. “ISEF and CERN were the two best weeks of my life,” Vasconcelos said. “We would have a few lectures each day we were at CERN by engineers, physicists and mathematicians. One day, we got to meet the Director General of CERN. The rest of the time, we would visit a few facilities or test centers.” Although her drone-pattern badge system could potentially turn up lucrative job opportunities in the corporate sector, Vasconcelos likes to invent and teach, and would prefer to be in academia. “I would really love to become a professor at a university because ... I love teaching and I enjoy helping people, and I also really want to do research,” Vasconcelos said. Wherever her future takes her, Vasconcelos has one goal — she does not want to make products, she wants to “make discoveries.” by Maya Rao



Despite the many Food Network shows I watch, all that comes to mind when someone says “Southern food” is fried chicken and Paula Deen. So I didn’t know what to expect when I was assigned this food review, but I was pretty excited to discover the world of Southern cuisine. The morning started off with a long drive to San Diego and Bonnie Jean’s Soul Food Cafe, but we found that the restaurant was closed. My friends and I decided to go to Felix’s BBQ with Soul instead. As we pulled up to our new

I was born in Texas, where “Southern food” meant Tex-Mex cooking. So when I was assigned to review Bud’s Louisiana Cafe, I was excited by the prospect of expanding my definition of Southern cuisine. While most eateries near Balboa Avenue are huddled in small plazas, this Cajun cafe is tucked away in an industrial park and surrounded by single-story office buildings. But it was still packed on the Wednesday night I came to dine. As there were only two in my party, the wait for a table was only 10 minutes, but the many larger parties waiting for tables outside, as well as the hubbub from within the small restaurant,

destination, I became a bit skeptical of the upcoming experience; the building was in an unappealing area, isolated in a plaza with no trees or shrubs surrounding it, and it had a color scheme similar to the interior of a Taco Bell. Still, I tried to keep an open mind, and when I walked in, I was surprised by the pleasant aroma of spices and butter and the friendly service. Unfortunately, the restaurant’s interior was hot and dark, and lacked the live jazz music that the website had promised. But the service was swift — we were attended to by the staff shortly after being seated. We started our meal with complimentary cornbread that was soon followed by two starters: fried green tomatoes ($8) and gumbo ($8). The tomatoes were delightfully crunchy and served with a tangy sauce; the gumbo had a subtle seafood flavor with

confirmed the popularity of Bud’s. The interior of Bud’s was fairly nondescript — but we weren’t expecting an incredible atmosphere. Bud’s real test would be its food. First, we ordered a cup of Cajun jambalaya ($5.95), two jalapeno cornbread muffins ($0.75 each) and an alligator sausage appetizer off the specials menu ($6.95). I

also ordered the sweet tea, which was refreshing enough but definitely had a little too much sugar for my taste. The first starters to arrive were the jalapeno cornbread muffins, which came with small squares of butter. The jalapenos within did not add much heat to the bread, but served as a welcome contrast to the cornbread’s grainy texture. Overall, the muffins were expertly crafted.


80 percent bone. The lack of meat was compensated slightly by the sides, which were only a bit too salty.

a hint of savory spice, as is traditional in Southern food. Our first entree was the half rack of baby back ribs, Felix’s BBQ’s

specialty, with sides of coleslaw and french fries ($10). The sauce on the ribs expertly toed the line between sweet and savory, but I was let down by the lack of meat on the ribs — which were about

The alligator sausage consisted of Louisiana alligator, pork sausage and came with six fried pickles and Creole mustard and tartar sauce. The sausages had a unique, tangy taste that was complemented by the mustard, while the crispy pickles tasted great when dipped in the tangy tartar sauce. Our next dish was the Cajun jambalaya ($5.95), a heavily-spiced rice dish with chicken, pork sausage and tasso, or Louisianastyle smoked ham, which came with a small cup of piquante sauce — the waiter made sure to point it out. But the flavor of the dish was a bit too strong for me, and the addition


The next item we ordered was catfish nuggets with sides of macaroni and cheese and Hoppin John ($13), a stew made from rice and black-eyed peas. The outer coating of the fish was slightly spicy, a crunchy contrast to the tender meat on the inside. The macaroni and cheese was freshly cooked, but the Hoppin John turned out to be rather flavorless, much to our disappointment. For the final course, we ordered a Southern classic: chicken and waffles ($11.50). As I grabbed a piece of chicken and cut it open, steam rose from the inside — I had hit the jackpot. The chicken was deliciously seasoned, and the waffles served as a perfect, sweet juxtaposition to the

savory chicken. Just as we had finished the chicken and waffles, we were offered dessert. Unable to resist, we ordered two: the sweet potato cheesecake and the peach cobbler. The cheesecake didn’t actually taste like sweet potato, but it wasn’t a problem. Instead it had a strong flavor of cinnamon with the creamy texture of a classic cheesecake, all remniscient of a pumpkin pie. The peach cobbler, on the other hand, had an uneven crust and too much spice. While several items from Felix’s BBQ with Soul were disappointing, my newfound knowledge of Southern food was worth the adventure. by Sumin Hwang

of the sour piquante sauce only made it more so. My main course was the Taste of New Orleans ($19.95), a platter of crawfish etouffee with a choice of fried soft shell crab, blackened catfish or fried catfish; I picked the fried catfish. After a long wait, I was presented with a very impressive plate of rice covered in brown sauce and crawfish to the left of two golden fried strips. The etouffee

was again strongly spiced, but very tasty; the spices added just the right touch of heat, and eating the two dishes together provided a wonderful blend of flavors. I also sampled some of the pulled pork po boy sandwich with seasoned fries. The sandwich had the classic sweet and sour flavor of a barbecue sandwich, and the fries were appetizing but nothing special. Overall, I found Cajun cuisine very satisfying. It may not be the nostalgic Tex-Mex of my childhood, but it was definitely impressive enough to create some new, fond memories. by Austin Zhang


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“Last Period” represents so much more than a home video created out of boredom. The “mockumentary” web series created by Ivy Gong (12) and Michelle Zhao (12) has personified the reality of a high school student, poking fun at the near-insanity of our everyday lives and the academic pressure we all become slaves to. Through the absurdities the characters of the show face, including an intense competition to win a “golden apple” that I still don’t quite understand but somehow relate to wholeheartedly, I feel as though Gong and Zhao have captured the very essence of our teenage years: laughing through the stress until we break down into hysteria. “We’ve always been kind of interested in film production, whether it’s short videos or something more interesting,” Gong said. “We were definitely interested in doing something high school related as that’s obviously something we would have a lot of knowledge about. We wanted to create something that was relatable.” Production began in early summer with Gong and Zhao scrambling to secure equipment, locations and casting by the time filming began in July. Their team is composed of TPHS, Canyon Crest Academy and Westview High School students, along with students from University of California, San Diego. The storyline follows Jason Linster, portrayed by CCA senior Kion Heidari, through his junior year, as he documents the “daily absurdities of high school life.” For starters, and much to my amusement, Linster finds himself enrolled in a “History of Modern Dance Class,” a poor exchange for the algebra class he requested. And because no student can go through high school without losing themselves, both literally and figuratively, at least once, room 309 proved nearly impossible for him to find. It was the Floor 13 of horror movies, except this time the terror awaiting was worse than a demon — an irate teacher. I had only watched the first couple minutes of the

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video, but my intrigue was boundless. I vividly recall sitting alone in the dark, cocooned in a blanket three times my size as I glared menacingly at the computer screen, my useless wireless connection buffering the video every three seconds. The web series channeled the dry, satirical humor from the hit TV Show “The Office,” which was a major inspiration, according to Zhao. The actors’ dialogue accurately reflected the true vernacular of today’s adolescents, which is to say a whole lot of sarcasm mixed in with cynical comments about life. The running gag between Veronica Emmerson, portrayed by CCA senior Emmy Farese, and Linster as arch-enemies encompassed the all-too-familiar scenario we face every day: our struggle to be the best at everything. And if there’s anything my seven years as a writer have taught me, it’s that the best-written characters are those who inspire passion in their readers, which is exactly what “Last Period” accomplished. Despite its eloquent writing and professional quality, however, “Last Period” offered something better than simply a project to boast about. According to Gong and Zhao, the endless stream of challenges they faced during production offered a valuable understanding of what life outside of high school will bring. The “sense of awakening” they shared is something they will carry throughout their lives. With its spot-on humor and captivating writing, “Last Period” represents our voices as teenagers, our quirks, our struggles, and does so in a manner that anyone can understand. It’s such a rare occurrence to connect so clearly and with such fervor to modern day comedy that is so often exclusive to older generations. To me, the web series is everything I’ve wanted to say about school that I could never put into words.



Visiting Disneyland is one of my dad’s worst nightmares. Mannerless, feral children, aggressive tourists and cruelly deceptive lines soured his first park experience in 1994 — and the next 20, too. But he repeated his miserable experience not because he had been hoodwinked or bamboozled by some greedy capitalist pigs exploiting the masses with the slogan “Happiest Place on Earth.” He came back first with my mother, then with my younger sister and me because we, like a large portion of the public, enjoy a theme park filled with idealistic, sentimental childhood memories and idyllic versions of our favorite cartoon characters. British street artist Banksy’s newest art project, Dismaland, attempts to confront the corporate power behind many well-liked corporations, including Disney, and dismantle the image they created of a world where happy endings are easily attainable.

Art should never just be created for museums, but in this case, it has no place in a faux-amusement park — it simply becomes too materialist. Dismaland, located in an abandoned pool facility in WestonSuper-Mare, U.K., is a “bemusement” park, also defined as a “family attraction that acknowledges inequality and impending catastrophe” or a “festival of art, amusements and entry-level anarchism,” according to Banksy’s interview on the Dismaland website. It is meant to be more of an art exhibition than a full-fledged amusement park, though the crowds it draws are more attracted to the seemingly comical mini golf, bumper cars and ferris wheel than the compilation of the generally controversial works of Banksy and 70 other artists. Banksy draws a lot of details from Disney — the park’s name is rendered in large, crumbling Gothic script similar to Disney’s above the entrance, the attendants wear Mickey Mouse ears and the central attraction is a dilapidated replica of Sleeping Beauty’s castle. This icon is fronted by a distorted statue of the Little Mermaid in a pond of polluted water, the castle houses, a crashed carriage with Cinderella hanging out of its window and flashing paparazzi cameras reminding visitors of Princess Diana’s death. Other attractions include the Grim Reaper riding in a bumper car to the tune of the Bee Gees’s “Stayin’ Alive,” remote-controlled boat races with rafts full of refugees, and a Jimmy Savile “Punch and Judy” puppet show satirizing domestic abuse. It seems Banksy’s intent in personally curating and compiling all of these social commentary artworks in a decrepit seaside English town was to promote his anti-capitalist world view by criticizing all the problems in the world that he could think of that result from capitalism. Indeed, Dismaland is the perfect illustration of the hypocrisy of capitalism. With Dismaland, Banksy is continuing his messages of “consumerism is bad, pop culture is bad, selfies are bad,” yet he markets his attraction with video advertisements, draws in crowds with performances of international musical artists, and sells T-shirts and other memorabilia inside the park. According to a review of Dismaland in the Prospero section of The Economist, during the opening night, “salespeople circulated with price-lists for the objets-d’art,” which is understandable since Dismaland is primarily an art exhibition; however, putting a price tag on a sculpture of a killer whale leaping out of a toilet bowl through a hoop held up by a wet-suit clad figure diminishes its already superficial political message. In Dismaland, Banksy has simply echoed his previous subversive works; this time, however, repetition does not drive the message home, but rather makes people much less inclined to even listen. This is not to say that artists should not be able to market and profit off of their work, but such “revolutionary” artists as Banksy

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who present themselves as anticapitalist or anarchist shouldn’t accept the sponsorship and support of international celebrities like Jack Black, Nicholas Hoult and Brad Pitt. Besides visiting Dismaland, Pitt has previously commissioned Banksy in 2007 to paint a mural commemorating Hurricane Katrina in his French chateau — the piece cost £1 million, or about $1.55 million. As Tumblr user zombieself aptly put it, “who would really trust a dude to be anticapitalist when he has ‘bank’ in his own name.” Essentially, the only difference between Banksy and marketing agents is that most advertisers promote objects of some use or innovative advancements, while Banksy simply restates the same faux-socially progressive opinions in all his creations, including Dismaland. Banksy really only preaches to the choir, because the meaning of most of the art in Dismaland — and his own street art — is so surface-level that one would have to actively try not to understand it. It seems that the people who enjoy Dismaland, or for example, the kitten that Banksy painted on a Gaza home shattered by Israeli rocket fire, generally have a holier-than-thou attitude. They believe they’re the only ones who truly comprehend the complexities of such intellectual work. And fans who do not understand that the issues parodied in Banksy’s work are extremely harrowing and seriously affect international affairs may unfortunately even find Dismaland’s attractions comical. Banksy himself admits that the “whole concept of repackaging an art show as an amusement park might be flawed [since] the branding writes a cheque that the event doesn’t cash” in the interview on Dismaland’s website. He recounts an incident when he was standing alongside a woman and her husband viewing Ben Long’s sculpture of a horse constructed from scaffolding, and the woman asked if the piece did anything. “I suddenly realized the whole premise was wrong, I’d pushed it too far and it had gone from being a pretty good art show to a very substandard amusement park,” Banksy said. “I mean, who stands in the Tate looking at a Henry Moore asking ‘Does it do anything?’” Much of the art in Dismaland, though created by renowned artists like Jenny Holzer and Damien Hirst, as well as lesser known ones from Iran, Palestine, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, become click-bait, though Banksy describes it as “post-modern.” According to Banksy, post-modern art is “a new medium for sharing visuals that rewards novelty, insight and humour, but also recognises technical skill in a way modern art has ignored for fifty years.” Undoubtedly, most of the art pieces, if taken out of Dismaland and displayed individually, would evoke appropriate responses and influence people to truly consider improving the plight of migrants or consider the gargantuan debt their children face in the future,. But their placement within a mocking parody of an internationally known and loved amusement park simply diminishes their artistic and intellectual value. Art should never just be created for museums, but in this case, it has no place in a faux-amusement park — it simply becomes too materialist. So, in the end, I’d like to apologize to Banksy — I’ll still be patronizing the real Disneyland because I personally prefer to spend my money in a place where I can enjoy myself and not essentially be told how much of a philistine I am for not appreciating your latest attempt at social criticism, and I’m sure my dad will agree.


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Quite honestly, I did not have high expectations for the inaugural Kaaboo Festival — it seemed like a wannabe Coachella and an attempt by Del Mar to stay “hip.” Despite my initial reluctance to attend the festival, I could not turn down the opportunity to cover the three-day event with a press credential. After experiencing several outstanding musical performances, I’m glad I went. Kaaboo combined art, music and food — “everything a festival is not,” according to its website. It’s true — “designed around comfort, quality, and a good time,” Kaaboo did create a different type of festival experience. Local restaurants, like Seersucker and Pamplemousse, catered the event. The entire festival, from the stages to various small interactive set ups, was covered in art. Art as a defining factor of the festival not only made the setting lovely, but also made it different from other mainstream festivals. With that in mind, the fine cuisine and art made the festival more “comfortable” but did take away the dirt, grime and focus on music that I personally favor. The majority of the crowd ranged from late 20s to 60s. The mature setting did not make my experience any less enjoyable, but Kaaboo is definitely not comparable to the younger, more vibrant atmosphere of Coachella. Ambiance or not, the highlights of the weekend were the musical acts. I was surprised to see bigger names playing on the seven stages at the festival — No Doubt, Zac Brown Band and The Killers as headliners. Other acts like Foster the People, Snoop Dogg and Train also appeared. Aside from these standouts, the vast majority of the acts were smaller, lesser known bands. I kicked off my Kaaboo experience by seeing Foster the People on the main stage Friday night. Foster the People could have been better — compared to the rest of the weekend’s performances, they were the weakest act. Poor stage presence and great music didn’t seem to mingle well. Nonetheless, they played fan favorites like “Best Friend” and “Helena Beat” which got the crowd jumping. I ended my Friday night

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with Snoop Dogg. Even though Snoop was 30 minutes late — probably doing what Snoop Dogg does best — he started with “Next Episode” and various other popular songs he’s been featured in. I was not surprised by his characteristically poor stage presence, but his “I don’t care” attitude nonetheless made the performance enjoyable. I could still “drop it like it’s hot.” Sunday was by far the best day of the weekend. I started off seeing a Brandi Carlile, who I hadn’t heard of before. Folky and alternative, Brandi had great stage presence and interacted with the crowd, even throwing a microphone stand across the stage in the name of the music. Ending with a song supporting gay rights, I was happy to stumbled upon her. Next came Train, which was one of the most fun concerts I’ve been to in a while. Talking with the audience and throwing signed t-shirts and beach balls into the adoring crowd made the performance all the more personal. Initiating “powerful moments” throughout the concert when main man Patrick Monahan asked the crowd to “send love into the atmosphere,” the concert was more powerful and substantive. This, combined with songs like “Drops of Jupiter” and “Hey, Soul Sister,” made it impossible not to get emotional. I ended the festival by seeing The Killers, the act I was waiting for the whole weekend. After being a diehard fan since I was in 5th grade, seeing them live was one of my best concert moments. They had the biggest turnout of the entire festival and were obviously everyone else’s highlight, too. When they began with “Mr. Brightside,” I teared up. Lead vocalist Brandon Flowers’ characteristic hypnotic wailing was even more precise in person. To say the least, my Killer dreams came true. Kaaboo’s kickoff year exceeded my musical expectations and introduced me to a new type of festival. The acts were outstanding, the atmosphere was fresh and my overall experience was something more. Now I just have to “patiently” wait for next year’s tickets.




Falcons fall short of Westview by Sarah Chan & Lily Nilipour MANAGING EDITOR & SPORTS EDITOR

Football (1-3) lost to Westview High School (4-0) 7-10 on Sept. 18, unable to overcome the Wolverines’ fortified defense. A series of Wolverine drives dominated the first half of the first quarter, until an incomplete pass and a timeout turned the ball over to TPHS at the Falcons’ 17-yard line. “It definitely puts the momentum down when [our] defense is out there for the first six minutes of the game, staying on the field constantly,” running back Tristen Alesi (12) said. After a series of short drives, a 13-yard pass from quarterback Caden Kelley (12) to wide receiver Lukas Braun (12), followed by a 25-yard pickup on third down by Alesi, brought the Falcons into Wolverine territory. But the Falcons did not manage to score in time, ending the first quarter 0-0. The second quarter was riddled with incomplete passes and quick turnovers by both teams, which “put off the rhythm” of the game, according to Kelley. “It’s hard when we’re not moving the ball as well as we should,” Kelley said. “We just struggled to find a rhythm on offense, and we could never really get it going.” Although Westview’s defense made it difficult for TPHS to move down the field in the second quarter, the Falcons’ defense was just as persistent, sacking the Wolverine quarterback three times and preventing big plays from Westview. Yet a personal foul on the Falcons gave a 15-yard advantage to the Wolverines with four minutes left in the quarter, putting them within striking distance of the Falcon end zone. “It’s pretty demeaning for our offense to go in [and] turn the ball over,” running back Matt Feeler (12) said. “But our defense kept fighting and … did a great job out there.” With three minutes left in the half and Westview at the Falcons’ 10-yard line, the Wolverine quarterback was sacked on the third down. Feeling the pressure to score, the Wolverines made a 27-yard field goal, bumping up the score to 3-0 and taking the lead.

“The turnover battle definitely [had] a big effect on the game,” Alesi said. “If you turn over too many times, your momentum goes down, and nobody is really hyped up to go back out there again and make the play.” At the start of the third quarter, the Falcons converted once but were pushed back nine yards by a strong Wolverine defense. After eight minutes, Westview intercepted a Falcon pass and made a crucial 20-yard run toward the end zone, getting stopped at the 7-yard line. Although TPHS stopped Westview’s first scoring attempt by sacking the Wolverine quarterback, the Wolverines turned around and scored with an 18-yard pass with two and a half minutes left in the third quarter, bringing the score to 10-0. The final quarter began with a Falcon touchdown by Alesi within the first eight seconds, boosting the score to 10-7 and putting the Falcons back in the game. “We ran a play designed to … fake [Westview] out to the corner and then run to a post, [giving] me a margin of separation,” Alesi said. “We all came out fired up after that on that kickoff, and [it was] really a big momentum changer at that point.” With the Falcons trailing the Wolverines closely, the rest of the fourth quarter consisted of a series of turnovers and failures to convert. Although the Falcons managed to prevent another Wolverine touchdown at the 6-yard line with four minutes left in the game, the Falcons were unable to capitalize on the momentum from their previous touchdown when they regained possession of the ball. “Our momentum was up and down,” Feeler said. “We felt like we should’ve been ‘in’ the game the whole time.” The game ended with a series of unsuccessful attempts by the Falcons to move the ball down field, and a final score of 10-7. “I felt like we had opportunities,” TPHS head coach Ron Gladnick said. “[In] a lot of our passes and our passing game, we had open receivers, but we either didn’t protect our quarterback enough or we didn’t make those throws when they were there for us to make.” The Falcons next game is against the Poway High School Titans (2-2) on Sept. 25 at Ed Burke Field.


FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: RB Tristen Alesi (25) charges toward the Westview end zone with lead blocker Jacob Montes (3) protecting him during the play (TOP). QB Caden Kelley (5) fakes a handoff to RB Montes with the offensive line mobilized (MIDDLE). Shortly after catching a kickoff, RB Matt Feeler (24) sprints across the field while teammates fend off the Westview defensive line (ABOVE).

A20 the falconer


september 25, 2015

Field hockey dominates tournament division

VOLLEYBALL Girls volleyball (3-1) finished in third place in the Las Vegas Durango Classical tournament on Sept. 18-19. The team played against St. Lucy’s High School, Coronado High School, Assumption High School and Sacred Heart High School, the only loss being against Assumption in three sets. “[It] was heartbreaking, but we won the game after that and got third in the tournament,” defensive specialist Isabella Tessitore (12) said. The Durango tournament brings high school teams from all over the country together, resulting in very intense competition. “Vegas is the most challenging [tournament] and the one we look forward to the most,” middle blocker Carly Kutschke (12) said. According to head coach Brennan Dean, TPHS placed third last year, but placed first the previous two years. “We all really wanted to get first and we really believed that it could happen,” Kutschke said. “We put up a great fight.” The team will play Carlsbad High School on Oct. 1. by Anvitha Soordelu

by Sumin Hwang STAFF WRITER The field hockey team won all three of the games it played at the Serra Field Hockey Tournament on Sept. 19, taking first place in the Group B pool. In their first game of the day, the team defeated Rancho Bernardo High School 2-1, which the Falcons expected to be their most difficult contest, according to head coach J.J. Javelet. The first half consisted of several corners from both sides and multiple switches, but neither team was able to score. “I think the first half is just [meant to] shake off the rust when you get out there,” Javelet said. “The first half is an adjustment period, so [you can] assess their strengths and weaknesses accordingly.” The second half of the game brought several more corners and the first goal for TPHS by forward Zari Edlin (11). Minutes later, RB scored its first goal. After pressure from RB, Falcon co-captain Gabi Jimenez (12) scored the second Falcon goal with an assist from co-captain Rylie Pope (12). “We normally have a core set of four girls on the team that are really strong, and two of them are missing, so it was really hard,” Pope said. “I really think that we kept our composure throughout.” In the second game against Helix Charter High School, the Falcons started strong with a goal by Jimenez in the first five minutes, and after several substitutions, notched another goal on a corner from forward Ryan Poe (10). The first half finished with a third goal by Pope in the final five minutes. According to Poe, the team’s “pass and possession” strategy helped them in the first half. “Our forwards make cuts down the line, and we try to feed it through,” Poe said. “[My goal] was a short corner, which is probably one of the best scoring opportunities in field hockey.” During the second half, the team scored four more goals: one by Sophia LeRose (10), one by Olivia Emri (11) and two by Jiminez. The Falcons finished the game with a score of 7-0. Although there may have been external difficulties, like the unpredictability of the terrain, Jimenez thought the second game was an improvement from the first. “Even though we went from turf to grass and it took us a little while to adjust, when we did, we had a lot better passing than in the first game,” Jimenez said. “In this game we actually had nice patterns between the inside and the outside [the defenders] and getting down the line.” The final game against La Jolla High

School started off with several shots at the TPHS goal, but the Falcons’ solid defense kept the Vikings out. “The other team decided to block up the middle and they were pretty successful in doing that, so we wanted to play really quick to create some chaos in their defense,” Javelet said. “Then [we tried] to get the ball wide and when we did that, we were really successful in creating some scoring opportunities.” TPHS’ first two goals in the first half were scored by midfielder Meghan Donnelly (12) and Jimenez. The second half had several corners for TPHS, but by the end of the half, neither team had scored. “Throughout the third game, the thing they did best was staying positive,” Javelet said. “It can be hard to have a positive attitude and play as a team, but I think that they stayed positive and they came out with the outcome that they wanted.” Javelet said the players overall did a great job, but there are some things for the team to improve on before they continue in the tournament. “The surface can be challenging, with the longer grass and the bumpy field, but they did a great job and really played together, so I’m really happy with our performance today,” Javelet said. “[We can improve on] just getting more comfortable with the people and the positions that they’re playing, and also being able to move people around to other positions.” Since the team was undefeated in their pool, they will advance to the tournament playoffs on Sept. 26.



STICK WITH IT: Rylie Pope (12) prepares to pass the ball to her teammate (TOP). Gabi LeRose attempts to steal the ball and take posession from the opposing team (ABOVE).

Boys water polo (6-1) defeated Vista High School 14-13 on Sept. 16. The Falcons started off strong, scoring 3 goals in the first quarter and taking the lead. TPHS and Vista scored back-and-forth as the game continued, but the Falcons maintained their lead. “[We have a] solid team,” 21-side driver Tony Moore (12) said. “We came out strong, which we normally don’t do, and we kept scoring throughout the game.” In the second half, Vista managed to catch up to within a goal of TPHS, but the Falcons clinched the game. “It was a physical game, but they played well,” head coach Tim Reed said. “They didn’t lose their composure.” According to Reed, first year goalie Blake Richard-Smith (11) performed particularly well. Additionally, Moore said that 45-side driver Sam GorceyBiblowitz (12) was a very valuable player, scoring consistently for the Falcons. For their next game, Moore said that they plan to “play smarter defense” and work on “knowing where the ball is.” The Falcons will play Carlsbad High School at Carlsbad on Sept. 22. by Anna Lee

TPHS named Cal-Hi Sports 2014-15 State School of the Year CIF San Diego Section Titles

All teams had a win-lose ratio higher than

League Titles Recruited Senior Athletes


State Champions First — Boys Tennis Second — Girls Tennis

Second — Boys Golf Second — Girls Golf

The last time TPHS received this award was *Information provided by CalHiSports website



FOX 5 News at TPHS Pep Rally by Maya Parella STAFF WRITER

Fox News 5 broadcast the TPHS fall sports pep rally live as part of the channel’s morning news show on Sept. 4. Partnered with San Diego’s Goodwill Industries, Fox News 5 created a segment called “The Prep Blitz,” which features local high schools who collect donations like clothes, books and toys for charity. The school that collects the most in donations will have one of their sports matches aired on television. “[Fox News and Goodwill] decided that county-wide they would choose certain games and make it the ‘Goodwill Game of the Week,’ and they selected Torrey Pines as one of those schools,” Assistant Principal Garry Thornton said. “They come out to the school, put their truck out and get people to bring donations.” Those who attended the TPHS football games on Sept. 4 could drop their items off upon entrance. According to Thornton, TPHS gathered enough donations that Goodwill contacted the school requesting to bring their trucks around a second time to pick up more items. Planning for the pep rally, however, was sudden and somewhat rushed, according to ASB adviser Dawn Durkot. “[Thornton] contacted me about [the pep rally], and I had to let the ASB students know on Wednesday [that on Friday] we had the pep rally,” Durkot said. “A lot of it was last minute … but it turned out really well.” A representative of each sport shared the team accomplishments, and ASB students continued the traditional distribution of spirit wear via shirt-cannon. Energy among the students soared as ASB Commissioner of Spirit Matthew

Feeler (12) instigated the famous rollercoaster chug, which Fox News 5 broadcast to the entire city. ASB also had several tricks up their sleeve to keep the excitement flowing, including a spontaneous dance-off. “[ASB] came up to me during the pep rally and asked if I wanted to battle Freddie the Falcon,” varsity dance team member Brianna Haire (11) said. “I didn’t think they were being serious at first, [but I agreed], and everything was improvised on the spot.” TPHS dance team also performed a hiphop routine, followed by the cheerleaders, who showed off their spirit and gymnastic skills. “We had a full on, minute-by-minute agenda,” Scotty Gange (11), a member of

the ASB spirit committee, said. “We tried to do stuff that would look cool on TV, [such as the dance battle]. We were going to do some other things, but we ran out of time.” Still, spirit peaked as a spur-of-themoment conga line formed on the gym floor amid the TPHS Jazz Band’s cover of “September” by Earth, Wind and Fire. “We have an incredibly enthusiastic group of students and staff, and we gave them a venue to express themselves,” Thornton said. “They took advantage of it in the most positive way, and I think this was one of the best pep rallies we've had … in a long time.” Heather Lake, the Fox News reporter who covered the pep rally, said TPHS was “the loudest and most-spirited” school she has ever visited.


GET YOUR CHEER ON: TPHS cheerleaders pump up the crowd with their spirited routine at the pep rally. The dance team and jazz band, as well as representatives from each fall sports team, were also given a chance to show their talents.

the falconer


Taylor Fritz Wins U.S. Open Juniors by Tasia Mochernak NEWS EDITOR Former TPHS student Taylor Fritz won the junior boys’ singles U.S. Open Championships on Sept. 13, beating teammate and fellow American Tommy Paul 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-2. Fritz’s victory marks the third American singles victory at a junior boys’ Grand Slam in 2015 — the others were by Paul at the French Open and Reilly Opelka at Wimbledon. “I just stayed focused, tried to forget about [Paul and I] being good friends and just did everything I normally do to compete my hardest,” Fritz said. According to Fritz, he served and hit his ground strokes well throughout the tournament, though he felt he could have moved around more quickly on the court. Fritz felt that the toughest moment of the finals was when he served for the match in the second set and had a match point at 5-3 while returning the serve. “After missing those chances, losing the second set and going down an early break in the third, it was really tough mentally to come back and keep going after I was so close to already winning and choked it away,” Fritz said. Fritz said that he expected to go “very deep in the tournament.” He prepared by playing about four hours of tennis a day and doing one to two hours of fitness in the gym, as well as eating “very clean and healthy.” “[Taylor] really wanted to win since this was the last Grand Slam tournament he will play as a junior,” Fritz’s mother Kathy May Fritz said. “He played very well and competed great. I can’t express how proud I am.”

A22 the falconer


september 25, 2015


zachary lang varsity boys water polo sept. 16, 9:55:05 p.m.

camera: canon eos 50d mark i lens: canon EF 200mm f/2.8L ii iso: 800 exp: 1/200 seconds f/stop: f/2.8 by avery spicker


the falconer




Co-Focus editor Amanda Chen (11) overcomes her small size to take on an ancient martial art, complete with boxing gloves and shin guards that were a bit too large.

For someone of my size and stature, you would be surprised by the number of times I challenge my friends to “fight me” each day — from behind the safety of my laptop screen, of course. At a whopping 5 feet and 1 inch, even I think the idea of me doing any sort of fighting is laughable. But when boxing was proposed for this month’s Falcon Tries, I thought, “Why not?” — I was looking for a new exercise regimen anyway. Before trying Muay Thai boxing, the Boxing Club in La Jolla generously allowed me to take a free power kickboxing class to learn the basics, which left me sore for much longer than I care to admit. I expected the facility to look like the basement of Fight Club: dark, Amanda Chen dingy and full of ������� people I would prefer to avoid. But on my arrival, I was warmly greeted by the staff, who wrapped my hands for protection, helped me prepare for my lesson and directed me to a fenced-off enclosure in the corner of the room. I slipped off my shoes and tentatively entered the area, watching with wide eyes the dozen or so other people, all of whom were much older and more muscular than me, already sweating and throwing punches. The sight of it all was downright intimidating. Was this really a “basic” Muay Thai class?

After standing awkwardly on the side of the mats for a couple minutes, I was saved by Caine, the class instructor. He pulled me aside, walked me through the basic moves that we would be working on for the next hour and partnered me up with an experienced boxer, who was thankfully around my size. We put on our gloves and shin guards and began to practice basic kicking. Unfortunately for my partner, I could not aim accurately at first. I also had some difficulty maintaining my balance, constantly turning out my feet — a leftover habit from my background in dance and competitive figure skating. The large, ill-fitting shin guards did not help much. After nearly 10 minutes of non-stop kicking, we were rewarded with 20 push-ups. By this time, I was already sweating profusely, probably because the closest thing to an arm workout that I do on a regular basis is transcribe interviews for the Falconer. We then moved on to a hook-punch and kick combination, alternating between partners. Learning how to block punches was probably the most difficult part of the lesson. Unlike the other, more experienced boxers in my class, every time I was punched, I couldn’t help but shy away.

I slipped off my shoes and tentatively entered the area, watching with wide eyes the dozen or so other people ... already sweating and throwing punches.


TAKE A JAB AT IT: Amanda Chen (11) throws a front-hand jab at her boxing partner (TOP). Chen’s instructor shows her the correct on-guard position to hold in order to effectively block kicks and punches from an attacker (ABOVE). While blocking a kick was simply a matter of picking up the leg, blocking hooks involved holding the glove to my temple. Flinching in boxing, as I quickly realized, can be decidedly detrimental because you end up repeatedly hitting yourself in the head. Knowing me, though, that wasn’t too surprising. After working on several other combinations, the class drew to a close, but not before we completed an additional

three sets of 20 pushups and 100 crunches. It hardly felt like an hour had elapsed since the moment I had set foot on the mat. I headed home extremely weary, where a hot shower and the comfort of my bed awaited me. While I am not sure that boxing is the right sport for me, at least the next time I half-jokingly ask someone if they “wanna go,” I’ll be able to follow through with some amateur Muay Thai.

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ButtFeed Quiz NEWS


This page is entirely fictional.





Which Presidential Candidate Are You? QUIZ by Maya Kota 09/25/15 @ 11:55 a.m.































If the answers you picked most often were on the top left, you got:

If the answers you picked most often were on the top right, you got:

If the answers you picked most often were on the lower left, you got:

If the answers you picked most often were on the lower right, you got:





You like to interrupt speeches and wear potato sacks to award shows. Everything is about you, and when it’s not, it’s about your wife’s selfie collection ... and you. And you never smile. #yeezy

You closely resemble a current candidate. Your hair is like golden cat fur, and your tactic of insulting Americans and hating everyone has afforded you a considerable lead in the election. Cheers.

You are a 15-year-old farm boy from Iowa and you go by “Brady” at home. Your official presidential picture is a selfie, because the trials of 10th grade didn’t leave you enough time for a photo shoot.

















It is 11:55 a.m. when the bell rings. Floods of students pour out of classrooms, many going to the same destination: the lunch carts. Lines of hungry kids are sprawled all across campus, in the media center and in the quad. At the head of these lines wait the food service workers. And at the head of all of them is Rose Hernandez, the TPHS food services supervisor. At 7 a.m., every school day, Hernandez arrives at school to serve breakfast to students before school. She not only supervises 10 food service employees and six student workers at TPHS, but also takes the monthly inventory, orders food online from eight vendors and prepares all of the day’s food. Working every day to feed students is “busy and hot,” but Hernandez enjoys her job nonetheless. “I love feeding the kids, making sure they’re getting fed in a timely manner and also eating what’s healthy for them,” Hernandez said. “And my staff is great too, so that’s what makes my job special.” However, there is one major problem with the Food Services Department. “We don’t have enough people, and people call in sick,” Hernandez said. “We don’t have enough substitutes. We need more parent volunteers; [getting some parent involvement] would really help us out.” This month will mark Hernandez’s 30th year working at TPHS. She has chosen to remain at TPHS for its “great schedule.” “I had a little girl at the time when I started working here,” Hernandez said. “Once she was growing up, and I had a son too, and they started going to school, it worked out well that we had off the same holidays.” Although she has been working here for decades, her history with TPHS actually extends much further back than most people realize.

From fourth grade all the way to college, Pandora Johnson wanted to be an actress. Now, as the TPHS health technician, the theatrical phrase “break a leg” means something very different to her. “I thought I was going to teach acting, but sometimes life throws you curves, and you just have to go with it,” Johnson said. Johnson substituted at different occupations in SDUHSD schools for six years. After realizing that she felt most at home as the TPHS health technician, she returned four years ago and has been working at the school since. “We have quite a few special-needs students at our campus, and I have a special needs son, so there’s quite a bit of knowledge and experience that I can bring to the job,” Johnson said. “I can be empathetic toward the parents that are going through very similar situations.” In addition to her extensive knowledge of wheelchairs, tube feedings, asthma and seizures, Johnson’s ability to “deal with blood and vomit” allowed her to outperform the competition for her current position. With a medical background in first aid and CPR and a degree in adolescent development and secondary education, Johnson is qualified to oversee and care for the health needs of TPHS students. “The staff members all have individual jobs that contribute to the health and well-being of our students in different ways,” Johnson said. “In my case, it’s literally the health and well-being of students —making sure that they are safe, taken care of and feel comfortable coming into the health office when they need something.” While her backstage routine of making ice bags and handing out Band-Aids may seem mundane, she said nothing can compare to repeating the same 30 words 64 times a day. Johnson worked at Disneyland in the mid ‘70’s, and describes it as “one of the most boring jobs” she’s ever had.

“I went to school here,” Hernandez said. “I was the first freshman class here. The west end of the campus wasn’t here, but the media center, the gym, the art buildings — all of those were here.” During the summer, Hernandez also works at the Del Mar Racetrack selling concessions. “[The racetrack] has a different mood,” Hernandez said. “[At TPHS] we have to make sure that the kids are eating all the components [of a healthy diet] because we have to follow guidelines, so there are a lot more restrictions here at school than at other companies.” According to Hernandez, there are both state and federal guidelines that must be followed for the school lunch combo and a la carte options. “All lunches are planned around the five food groups to provide one-third of the recommended daily allowances of vitamin and nutrients,” Hernandez said. “Breakfast meals at 7 a.m. provide one-fourth of the R.D.A.” Over the past years, Hernandez says that the food guidelines for TPHS have changed for the better. “We were able to serve soda and candy 10 years ago, [but that’s] not very healthy. Now [we have] ovens to bake the food to provide fresher food for students,” Hernandez said. In the busy bustle of lunch time, students wait in lines, tapping and shuffling their feet impatiently, thinking only about what and where to eat. But little do they realize that behind every school lunch they eat are the hands of a hardworking food service employee, like Hernandez and her coworkers. It is 12:30 p.m. and the bell rings. Picking up their bags, students walk slowly to their next destination, while Hernandez and her staff begins to clean up and prepare for another busy day. by Sarah Kim


“I tried to make it fun, wanting to be an actress and all, and I wanted to make sure I said [my lines] with feeling every time,” Johnson said. Sitting in a boat and getting “swallowed’ by a whale is vastly different from tending to sprained ankles and bloody noses, but Johnson has always managed to find a way to show that she cares, whether it was changing her voice to make a ride more interesting or expressing genuine concern for students. “It’s difficult to witness a student suffer,” Johnson said. “If they had to go to the hospital, I wish I could go with them and tell them ‘It’s going to be alright; it’s going to be okay.’ That’s the hardest [part of my job], that I’m not able to send a part of me with them.” If asked to choose between the impersonal rush of a hospital and the connected environment of TPHS, Johnson says she would “hands down prefer working with teenagers” in a school environment. “I’ve worked with teenagers since I was 21,” Johnson said. “Even when my kids were little, I couldn’t wait for them to be older. I enjoy [working with teenagers] more than any other [age group].” Johnson’s connection to teens may stem from a mutual interest: music. Offstage, she and her husband enjoy attending concerts of all genres. “He prefers more rock and roll, and I prefer all kinds [of music],” Johnson said. “Last Thursday, we went to see Pink Martini.” Even though Johnson is not acting or singing on stage, she continues to perform daily by taking care of students, whether it is something as trivial as a paper cut or something as serious as a broken bone. “The best part is helping the students,” Johnson said. “If they’re really injured and there’s a lot of pain involved, I’d love to take that pain away from them. Hopefully I’m able to patch them up and help them feel better.” by Irene Yu



Tim Staycer isn’t one of those teachers you can count on finding in the same classroom at any given time. He can be spotted all around campus: in the science rooms, by the art studios, near the English building, on the football field. As a teacher who works with special-needs students on Individualized Education Plans, Staycer is not confined to a single department or section; he works in all of them. Staycer has taught special education for 33 years, 21 of them at TPHS, but no two days on the job have ever been the same. A combination of meetings, testing, teaching, coaching and paperwork are all part of Staycer’s daily routine. And with 30 students to attend to and a constant list of pending chores, there is “no such thing as an average day.” “You never know what’s going to happen because there’s so many rules and regulations that govern special education, and they’re in constant flux,” Staycer said. “At the same time, you’re scheduled to teach support classes, academic support class, or team teach with math and science ... It’s a lot of moving parts all at once.” Although he has committed himself for so long to a job he passionately enjoys, Staycer did not always know that he wanted to be a special education teacher. During his freshman year at University of Akron, a fateful coincidence at Cedar Point Amusement Park in Ohio changed the course of Staycer’s education and eventual career choice. “We went [to Cedar Point] on a random day, and it turned out that it was Special Needs Day, kind of like a Special Olympics day,” Staycer said. “There [were] all these kids who had these severe needs dressed up in these red T-shirts with Volkswagen symbols on them, and I came to this realization that I wanted to help [them].” The next day, Staycer visited his counselor and switched his field of study from Communications to Education. Ever since the incident, he felt a calling to special education and teaching. “I had an epiphany that I had been gifted so many things in my life,” Staycer said. “I know this sounds corny, but it really was one of those deals that I was like, ‘I need to give back.’”

Working with children in Kenyan orphanages used to be Tamara Rey’s favorite thing to do. Now, as secretary for TPHS Assistant Principals Michael Santos and Vidalia Resendes, Rey has translated her love for helping children to a more local level. “Being here [I get to] meet people from every walk of life,” Rey said. “In my travels I have met all types of people [from] different cultures, religious beliefs and financial backgrounds, and it really helps when you work in a place like this where kids come from so many different backgrounds.” Rey has worked at TPHS for over seven years, six of which she spent as the atheletic secretary. She previously worked at San Dieguito Academy as a counseling secretary and an instructional assistant. Rey’s daily duties consist of collecting information for the Assistant Principals and assisting students, parents and faculty members in need. Despite having attended SDA, Rey has strong ties to TPHS, mainly as a result of her wide range of interactions with the student body, which she describes as filled with “mature young adults.” “If I was the English 9 teacher, I would only get to know that set of students,” Rey said. “In this position I can get to know people of all groups rather than one set of kids.” Although she has only been working as secretary for the assistant principals since the beginning of this school year, Rey has already started to recognize the perks of her new job. In the past few weeks, she has enjoyed “build[ing] relationships with students that in other cases may be slipping through the cracks.” Rey emphasizes the importance of developing close relationships to the student body. “I think it’s great that there are people on campus

A love for sports, in particular football, always accompanied Staycer in the form of coaching and as a family pastime. “[My 10-year-old son] plays football for a team in Oceanside, and we travel on Saturdays to go play football, come home, make dinner,” Staycer said. “[We do] family movie night on a Saturday night, church on Sunday morning, and then a cookout or a barbeque with friends or over at a friend’s house. It sounds kind of boring, but it’s pretty cool.” Staycer spends time outside of work cultivating hobbies like surfing, scuba diving, gardening, and collecting masks, rocks and gemstones. But travel is always at the top of his list. “If I had my druthers, that would be it,” Staycer said. “We would just travel all the time. I gotten to visit a lot of countries, a lot of places.” He has been to around 45 to 50 countries, but his bucket list still keeps growing. “My son Matthew and I have a list of places we want to go that we keep track of,” Staycer said. “The Great Wall of China — we want to visit that — and we’d like to go to Japan and Australia. There’s some places I’ve already been to that my son wants to go to with me [to] revisit, so … hopefully we can fill those blanks in.” Everything Staycer does, for his coworkers, students and family, is for the well-being of others and out of his desire to build connections and change people’s lives. He is constantly inspired by mentors and students alike to continue his work all around campus. “You have a student who comes in, and he’s 13 years old, or she’s 13 years old, scared and on the big, bad Torrey Pines campus,” Staycer said. “And you see them 10, 15 years later, and they’re a teacher, or flying a jet in the Navy, or they’re a mother or a father, and you get to see this mature person and that transformation. It almost feels like overnight.” Throughout his 33 years of teaching special education, whenever Staycer thought about the possibility of a new career, even for a moment, it never seemed right; to him, there was nothing he could do that would be more rewarding. by Lily Nilipour

that know and care about them and how they are doing,” Rey said. “As one of those people, I think it’s important for them to know that we really do want them to succeed.” Although she now spends most of her time at her desk downstairs in the media center, Rey spent many of her past summers on humanitarian medical trips with Jordan International Aid to schools and orphanages in Puerto Rico, Kenya and Cambodia without reliable access to health care. “The children there were so endearing,” Rey said. “In every one of those trips, even though they were in different countries, different languages and different backgrounds, every single group of kids we worked with had this gratitude that was just beyond words.” Despite the joy she received from these going on these trips, leisure travel also plays a large role in Rey’s life. “I love to travel [for fun] … and I’ve been to many countries, but I would have to say that Paris is my favorite [destination],” Rey said. Rey also wishes to one day share the “travel bug,” that she believes she inherited from her father, with her fifteen-month-old twins. “I hope to one day first show them more of our own country because there are so many places monuments and historical places that I think are important,” Rey said. “I also want to take them abroad when they’re old enough and share the humanitarian trips with [my children].” While Rey may have had to trade her suitcase for a walkie-talkie, she packs her bag as each day as if she were about to embark upon her next exciting, nerw adventure. by Sumin Hwang




Perhaps the first story a student new to TPHS hears is one about only doing the best they can, every single moment.” “Whiskers,” who patrols the school in his famous yellow cart and hands Another way he keeps from passing judgments upon others is recalling out infamous yellow parking slips — “Next time, ticket time!” is a phrase that the world itself is not real; it is all about perspective. familiar to many student drivers. As campus supervisor, Whiskers may “The mystics say that this is just a dream … It’s possible to wake up in also be seen directing traffic in front of the campus, delivering messages this dream and see the world for what it really is, not what you’re seeing to classes or escorting students to assistant principals. But despite his now,” Burton said. “And that is my goal: wake up while you’re still alive.” constant, vigilant presence around campus, he remains mostly a mystery Contemplation and poetry are not Burton’s only interests; he also to the average student during his or her four-year term. And he might plays Words with Friends, enjoys watching AMC’s historical series “Hell always be one: Richard Burton has decades of ideas to unravel. on Wheels,” and has a natural talent for the harmonica. His favorite Burton began working at San Dieguito Academy in 1988 before vacation spot is home, and he is an avid reader. coming to TPHS in 1992. His job allows him eight and a half hours a “In college, I didn’t want to read the college textbooks, but the books day to think, equating to 84,000 hours of contemplation over the past 27 actually worth reading,” Burton said. years — which, to him, is both good and bad news. One such book is “The Magic of Believing” by “I can think about the things that are important Claude M. Bristol, which helped pay for Burton’s to me, which has always been the meaning to it higher education. According to Burton, the book’s Poo-rose and Pooetry all,” Burton said. “And that’s what I mean by the basic message is the art of manifestation: Relax by Richard Burton good and bad news about thinking: Who knows the body and project upon the white screen of what the meaning of it all is?” the mind a desire, tangible or intangible. The Burton said that he has a few ideas with their unconscious will then find a way to fulfill that What to do about roses? origins in the 300 Xerox boxes of books at his desire. What to do about poo? house, his 40 years of writing poetry and his own “My friend and I read the book [in our senior Put the poo on the roses thoughts. year of high school] ... and after, I said to him one “Lao Tzu, the founder of Daoism said: ‘The way day, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if some poor old rich ‘Cause roses grow out of poo to do, is to be,’” Burton said. “And when it gets guy would pay our way to college?’” Burton said. And the more you grow the roses “A couple weeks later, a teacher from the high right down to it, that’s all you can do. Can’t be The more you grow the poo. anything that you’re not, can you? I’ve had the school who I’d never met except in study hall opportunity to figure out everybody is doing the approached me and asked me if I’d like to invite a best they can.” friend to go to the basketball provincial finals. On Burton has certainly done the best he can. As a poet, he’s published the way back, everybody in the car was asleep and he ... said, ‘I’d like to “TAOMAN” and “Poo-rose and Pooetry,” and has written over a million pay for your college education.’ And he did; he paid everything.” words in his lifetime. In college, Burton tested out the book again. It worked: An acquaintance “[It’s] all unpublished, but that’s because I never wrote to be a writer gave him a free pass to a gym he pictured himself working out in. — I wrote because I had to figure things out,” Burton said. “The word is “So how come I’m not wealthy?” Burton said. “I’m doing what I have magical because that’s the basis of everything … In the beginning was to do, and what I have to do is not be a brain surgeon. I have to be a little the word, and the word was God, and God said, ‘Let there be light.’” old security guard at TPHS. I’ve got as much money as I need, and I’m And though he may be more writer than teacher, Burton also believes not feeling guilty about anything.” in teaching those around him what he himself wants to learn. Burton is, he feels, right where he should be. And so he remains a “What I want to learn is: Love everything,” Burton said. “And that’s well-loved legend on campus and, being the only security guard at TPHS, very, very simple, but very, very difficult because we’ve been taught from a watchful guardian as well. the beginning of our birth to judge. Don’t judge anybody because they’re by Anna Lee


Wide-eyed bright-eyed Meeting all stares and glares With smiling ease And I will walk guiltlessly In harmony with all forms

of Animate and Inanimate Life And go with the Flow In the intuitive Way Of a BE-ing who Is infinitely blessed

Awake to the poignant Now Go joyfully into each bright moment To each created thing Make a bow


Profile for TPHS Falconer

September 2015 Issue  

September 2015 Issue