Page 1


The Torrey Pines High School

3710 Del Mar Heights Road, San Diego, CA 92130


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Vol. 39, Issue 8, 28 pages




a look at the fire impacting the TPHS community.

2 20K 30 5% helicopters

homes evacuated photo by grace bruton/falconer


See A14 —Chromeo See A15 —Vegan food



art by sarah chan and sarah kim/falconer photos courtesy of kgtv 10 news

TPHS became an evacuation center for a brush fire that erupted around 10:40 a.m. on May 13 in the 4S Ranch area, near Del Norte High School. Over 850 Willow Grove Elementary School and Del Sur Elementary School students were taken by bus to West View High School until around 1:30 p.m.,, when they were transferred to TPHS, according to the Poway Unified School District website. Families of students began to arrive at TPHS shortly after 1 p.m. TPHS Principal David Jaffe immediately took to the front parking lot, directing student traffic and reconnecting parents with their elementary school children. Neither Jaffe nor San Diego police officer Jerry Kriebel knew how many students or families to expect, but the gymnasium was stocked with water bottles and juice boxes, and a Red Cross van was on hand to aid school and local officials throughout the evacuation if needed. Willow Grove staff members stayed involved in the organizational process on site, checking students out as they were picked up by their parents. “We’ve been on alert [about the fire] since the morning,” Del Sur teacher Ann Marie Churchill said. “The entire process was very

PALs starts Voices of TP


By Michelle Hao staff writer

The Peer Assistant Listeners program created the Tumblr page “Voices of TP” on May 5 as a part of their new Self-Care and Healthy Living and Acceptance Weeks to promote tolerance and diversity during the second half of May, according to PALs adviser Don Hollins. “[The goal is to] help the mainstream TPHS student understand the opportunities they have to experience, all the different cultures they have available, all the different languages, all the different foods, and … encourage a growing respect and kindness toward

what’s different,” Hollins said. The page was inspired by Harvard University’s Tumblr page “I Too Am Harvard” and the University of Virginia’s page “We Are All UVA.” The pages also celebrate diversity and foster cohesive, tolerant communities. “Mr. Hollins found this UVA Tumblr and it looked amazing … so we stemmed our ideas from that, but we wanted to make [one catering to] TPHS,” said Savannah Phillips (11), manager of the PALs Tumblr page. “We ultimately want to make [TPHS] the best campus it can be and [have] everyone love each other.” The page mostly features pictures of students holding signs with pro-tolerance messages in

see voices, A3

calm and smooth. There was nothing unexpected.” Willow Grove parent Katherine Yekhilevsky picked up her daughter Anna Yekhilevsky from Westview High School at 1:30 p.m., and said that the elementary school students remaining at Westview were then taken to TPHS. “[The evacuation process] was perfect,” Yekhilevsky said. “The teachers had the situation under control. It was a little bit scary, but it was very well-organized.” Yekhilevsky said she has not received word on whether there will be school tomorrow, but has heard that the air around Willow Grove is very smoky. Kriebel said the process was taken “one step at a time.” “We just wanted to get [TPHS] kids out as quickly as we can,” Kriebel said. Evacuees at TPHS were redirected to Rancho Bernardo High School at 3 p.m. Some residents of evacuated areas lingered in the TPHS lecture hall later in the evening, awaiting news about their homes and making their plans for the night. The fire had spread to 800 acres and was 5 percent contained when the Falconer went to press.

photos on A3

Executions can be delayed while the shortage of drugs is resolved. However, the suffering of the convicts who have fallen victim to faulty drugs cannot be remedied.

—Tasia Mochernak See A7, Execution procedures


VIEW opinion....................A5 feature..................A10 entertainment......A14 sports.....................A20 backpage............A24 focus........................B1

TPHS administration enforces SDUHSD dress code more strictly f

By Hanrui Zhang staff writer

On April 30, TPHS administrators sent an email to remind parents and students of district policies regarding appropriate school attire despite rising local temperatures. “[The email was] just a reminder that [the students] are at school, not at the beach, as it gets warmer and warmer,” Principal David Jaffe said. The email quotes the SDUHSD Board dress code policy, which says that “undergarments may not be exposed,” and “strapless shirts or spaghetti straps [are not] permitted.” Ivy Gong (10), who was “dress coded” by history teacher Lars Trupe, and Mimi McKeown (11), who was “dress coded” by administrators, were both told to change out of tops with spaghetti straps after the email was sent out. “I was surprised that Trupe dress coded me,

since I feel like it is fair that we can show an extra half an inch of our shoulders when it is 100 degrees,” Gong said. McKeown, who was wearing a bandeau and a spaghetti strap top, believed that she was wearing school appropirate clothing. However, if she had refused to change, she would have been assigned campus beautification service. Jaffe believes dressing appropriately in a learning environment is necessary for students who want to succeed. “If what the students are wearing interferes with the learning process, then it is something we can step in on,” Jaffe said. “The students [do not determine] if they are interfering; it is the staff members’ [decision].” The administrators recognizes that many factors contribute to dress code issues on campus, but continue to stress that students must wear proper clothing for school.

A2 the falconer


Global Update Borno, Nigeria Islamist militant group Boko Haram released a video on May 12 in which it said it would release over 200 Nigerian girls in return for imprisoned militants. The kidnapped girls were in the video, wearing full veils and reciting verses from the Quran. Leader Abubakar Shekau said the girls have been converted to Islam. Nigerian cabinet minister Tanimu Turaki was ready to talk to Shekau when the Falconer went to press.

Arkansas Arkansas’ first same-sex marriage license was issued May 9 after 2nd Circuit Court Judge Christopher Piazza struck down a decadeold state constitutional ban on gay marriage, saying the state has “no rational reason” for prohibiting gays from marrying. The Arkansas Attorney General will appeal the ruling.

Brazil Brazil is finalizing preparations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup to be held June 12 to July 13. The United States is in Group G with Ghana, Portugal and three-time champion Germany. Germany is favored to win the group, after reaching the semi-finals in the last four major tournaments, the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cups and the 2008 and 2012 UEFA European Championships.

may 15, 2014

by Russell Reed Russia The U.S. expanded sanctions against Russia on May 5, targeting Vladimir Putin’s “inner circle” and military technology. The Obama administration authorized the sanctions in response to the Ukrainian crisis, in which Russia’s intervention has threatened Ukrainian national security and stability, according to the White House.

Thailand On May 7, the Thai Constitutional Court ordered ex-Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to step down from her position. Anti-government protests have caused political turmoil in Thailand since November 2013. Yingluck, the sister of ousted Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, now faces corruption charges regarding a rice subsidy scheme and abuse of power.

art by sophie you

Expansions planned at Del Mar Highlands structure that will be built parallel to Townsgate Drive to improve parking. According to Schreiber, the top level of The Del Mar Highlands Town Center will the parking structure will be at street level, start renovations in fall 2014, scheduled which will allow landscaping to hide the for completion in 2016, to expand Cinépolis structure from passersby on Townsgate. “I’m glad they’re making more parking Luxury Cinemas, redevelop the south end of the shopping center and construct because parking’s horrible [at the a new parking structure and KinderCare Highlands],” Victoria Sclar (10) said. “It’s impossible to find parking spots.” childcare facility. Additionally, a new childcare According to Elizabeth Schreiber, Vice President of Operations and Development KinderCare facility will be built and Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas at Donahue Schriber, will add three screens to its the Del Mar current eight screens, four of Highlands Town which are 21-and-over only. Center ownership Once we get through The second phase, which c o m p a n y , t h e renovations will the construction, will include the complete reconstruction of the area add another customers are going between Jimbo’s…Naturally! 80,000 square feet of shopping and to love the additional and KinderCare, will start the completion of the dining space to the choices we’ll bring. after parking structure, scheduled center’s current 283,000 square feet. Elizabeth Schreiber for late 2015 or early 2016. Originally entitled del mar highlands Leases will be available to new tenants in 2017. to a total of 425,000 Schreiber said that all square feet in the late 1980s, the Highlands will still have businesses will continue to operate in 62,000 square feet available for future their existing locations throughout the construction after the completion of the renovation process with the exception of Barnes and Noble, which will close once current phase of renovation. The first part of the construction will construction begins. The bookstore will not include a graded, three-story parking be offered a renewal of its current lease,


By Michelle Hao staff writer

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phase of construction work will take place, which will expire in July 2014. “There is a tremendous amount of change and the center does not have sufficient going on in the book business … [because] space to relocate the 11,000-square-foot retailer and keep it in you can now buy books business for the duration of online,” Schreiber said. renovations. “We would love to have Barnes and Noble in The renovations are While some students, like Chakraverti-Wuerthwein, this next phase, but going to give customers oppose the introduction we’ll see how their business model is doing more of what they’ve of high-end retailers and restaurants, others see the when it comes time to been asking for, ... [with] a renovations as beneficial to do a lease.” However, some positive impact. Carmel Valley. “[The renovations are] TPHS students, like Parker Pike going to give [customers] Milena Chakraverti store owner more of what they’ve been Wuerthwein (10), are asking for, so [they will opposed to Barnes and Noble’s departure because there is no other make] a positive impact,” said Parker Pike, University of California, San Diego bookstore nearby. “A lot of books are already becoming marketing professor and co-owner of electronic, and so if you take away Barnes Village Mill Bread Co. “Based on research, and Noble, then there will be no place people in this area want more restaurants to buy [hard copy] books,” Chakraverti- and places to meet and greet. Social media Wuerthwein said. “I think that it’s is great, but socializing is even better.” Center owner Donahue Schriber important [to read] some hard copy books, because you can actually mark them up. launched an online customer survey Also, our school has a fundraiser with to gather suggestions from community Barnes and Nobles, which means that members about which stores and [students] can no longer buy books from restaurants they would like to see come Barnes and Noble, which takes a little bit to the center after the second phase of renovations. The survey is available at of money away from the school.” However, Schreiber said Barnes and Noble is located where much of the first through May 31.



the falconer




continued from A1

continued from A1 front of them. Hollins said that, so far, the page has been updated daily with new pictures. PALs members will visit classes to advertise both the Tumblr page and the Self-Care and Acceptance Weeks near the end of May. “We want everyone to find out about [the page], and we want TPHS to be a more inclusive and diverse environment, because we have a lot of discrimination and stereotypes here,” Phillips said. Other events during the two weeks will focus on providing information about proper nutrition, exercise, good sleeping habits and reducing stress to promote healthy student living. “We want to make sure the website is fully thriving when those two weeks come up,” Phillips said. “We’ll set up photo booths during lunch, [put up] posters [and] do whatever we can to get the word out there.” The combination of the “Voices of TP” page and Self-Care and Healthy Living and Acceptance Weeks is meant to raise awareness about making assumptions and having false perceptions about people based on stereotypes. “The 21st century is globally connected, the economy is global and our student population is global,” Hollins said. “We really need to start welcoming what’s different and seeing at least how we can understand it.” Students can contribute to the page by emailing pictures of themselves with their own messages celebrating differences and diversity to voicesoftp@

photo courtesy of kgtv 10 news

photos by grace bruton/falconer

this is not a drill: News crews report in front of the gymnasium (TOP LEFT). The San Diego Fire Department attempts to contain the fire, which started in the 4S Ranch area (TOP RIGHT). Elementary school evacuees stay in the gymnasium (BOTTOM).

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A4 the falconer


may 15, 2014

Department of Education investigates college sexual assaults f










8 65








Stanford reported 26 cases in the 2012-13 school year





and “knew it was coming.” “For the victims themselves, there wasn’t much support previously [at Berkeley],” Economy said. “They have free counseling, but I feel like they should be given options on how to go about the matter and how they can help their mental state.” Economy believes that administration has continued to ignore reported cases, even in light of the national investigation. “Ignoring it is the worst thing they could be doing,” Economy said. “It gives everyone else the connotation that if they report sexual abuse cases, then it will just be forgotten, [leading them to question] why they should even report it.” The complete list of schools to be investigated can be found on the White House website.


Cornell reported 23 cases in the 2012-13 school year


According to Tayer, misinformation was spread until the The Michigan Daily published an article addressing the issue. According to the paper’s managing editor Katie Burke, reaction to the story may have led to the inclusion of the University of Michigan on the list. “I think the story definitely could have contributed to Michigan being on the list, especially with it being such a national issue,” Burke said. “I would not be surprised if it was one of the motivating factors.” Berkeley sophomore Skylar Economy, who did an investigative report for CalTV, Berkeley’s on-campus broadcast news operation, on the increasing number of rapes at Berkeley, said that she believes that the investigations are “necessary”






On May 1, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights released a list of 55 colleges and universities under investigation for possible violations of federal law regarding the handling of sexual violence and harassment complaints. Some schools on the list have outstanding complaints; others were chosen by the OCR for compliance reviews. The investigations center around Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in all educational programs and activities that receive federal funding. The list does not disclose any details about each university other than when each investigation was opened. According to the Department of Education, the list will be updated regularly and made available to the public upon request, and the release of the list “advances a key goal of President Obama’s White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault to bring more transparency to the federal government’s enforcement activities around this issue.” California colleges under investigation include Butte College, Occidental College, University of Southern California and University of California, Berkeley. “I had heard about sexual violence in colleges in general being a thing that’s kind of

“I’m aware of it, and I know it’s definitely an issue, but I don’t think it would have affected my decision to apply.” According to Madeleine Tayer (‘10), a senior at the University of Michigan, fellow students have been especially affected by a sexual assault case that was allegedly ignored by administration until the accused, Brendan Gibbons, had finished playing football for the school. Gibbons allegedly raped a girl in 2009, and the case was not handled until 2013, when Gibbons left the team. “I know for a fact that many, if not most, sexual assaults are not reported,” Tayer said. “And that’s a problem, especially with the large number of schools on the list. It’s definitely something that’s not talked about much.”


staff writer and backpage editor

hushed-up, but I did not know that Berkeley was on that list,” prospective Berkeley freshman Sarah Bhattacharjee (12) said. However, finding Berkeley on the list did not change Bhattacharjee’s opinion of the college as a whole, just how much she can trust the administration. “I had already heard that you shouldn’t walk around campus late at night [and] you should be cognizant of everything that’s going on around you,” Bhattacharjee said. “But to think that the administration might not listen to me if I complained was scary to think about.” Bhattacharjee believes that even if the list had been released before she applied, it would not have affected her college choice. She chose Berkeley by “factoring in only academics” and believes that she would be able to remove herself from dangerous situations. TPHS counselor Mary SanchezAllwein says that students often view sexual assault through “rose-colored glasses.” “They think ‘Oh, it wouldn’t happen to me,’” Sanchez-Allwein said. “They think it’s not that common enough to be concerned.” Prospective University of Michigan freshman Alexa Charles (12) agrees with Bhattacharjee that, though she is aware of the college administration’s negligence toward sexual violence reports, it would not have affected her college choice. “Personally I think I would know how to handle myself and … I would try not to put myself in that position,” Charles said.


By Sarah Chan & Charu Sinha


USC failed to report 13 sex offenses from 2010-11

Harvard reported 100 cases over the last three years

Information provided by The Harvard Crimson, Huffington Post, Cornell Daily Sun and Stanford Daily Infographic by Grace Bruton, Anna Lee, Tasia Mochernak and Russell Reed

Fallen eucalyptus tree damages vehicle and bike f

By Sarah Kim & Alice Qu

staff writers

A eucalyptus tree fell in the student pick-up area on April 29 due to root rot, according to SDUHSD Custodial and Grounds Supervisor Javier Lopez. There were no injuries, but a car and a bike were damaged. As the eucalyptus tree fell, it hit another tree and broke off a large branch. Afterward, both trees were chopped into pieces to be removed. Lopez said that when he conducted a campus evaluation a week and a half before the tree fell, “everything looked fine.” He had been looking for signs, like beetles on the trees, which show that trees are unhealthy. “Root rot is something that you can’t see because it’s underneath the tree, so once it was toppled over, we could see some root rot at the bottom,” Lopez said. “There was no way for us to see that when the tree was up.” Julia Mochernak, the owner of the damaged car, was parked at the pick-up area, waiting to pick up her daughter from school when the tree fell. “At 2:30 I heard a crack and a woman screaming, and in three seconds, the huge eucalyptus tree fell on my car,” Mochernak said. Mochernak was able to safely exit the car before the tree fell. The tree hit the hood and top of the car, scratched the sides and severed the side mirror. “When it happened, I was in shock,” Mochernak said. “Many parents who were waiting for their kids came to ask if I was

OK. A few people from the school administration came, too, but all they were saying was that it wasn’t their liability.” Mochernak submitted a claim form with her insurance information, driver’s license, estimation from the collision center and rental car company, and photos of the damage to the district office, where she was provided contact information for Barbara Edgarian, claims adjuster for the San Diego County Office of Education. “Repairs were estimated by the insurance adjuster at $15,000,” Mochernak said. “I had to file a claim through my insurance company and pay $500 deductible fees and about $1,500 for rental car because the car has to be in the shop for more than three weeks.” According to Edgarian, school districts are not responsible for damages resulting from “an incident that would be considered an act of God or an act of nature.” “[Edgarian] told me that I would receive a rejection letter for my claim and that I would have to file a claim with my own insurance and pay my own fees,” Mochernak said. However, the district paid for the damaged bike, which belonged to Jack Frimodig (10). The cost of the damages was “really expensive,” according to Frimodig. “I think that the district does have responsibility to cover the damages because the tree was on campus, and a certified arborist should have been checking the root systems of these trees,” Frimodig said.

According to Principal David Jaffe, it might concern the community if TPHS were to remove the eucalyptus trees. However, he said that it is the responsibility of TPHS to have an arborist find trees that could cause harm and remove them. “I’m very thankful that no students were involved,” Jaffe said. “Our responsibility in terms of the safety of our students would be to respond as quickly as possible and call 911.” According to Lopez, another walkthrough is planned for further evaluation of campus trees in the near future.

photo used with permission of julia mochernak

photo by grace bruton/falconer

toppled: Julia Mochernak’s car was hit by the eucalyptus tree on April 29 (TOP). The roots of the fallen eucalyptus were cut into pieces before being taken away (BOTTOM).


The execution process should be more transparent, A7

MSM blood donations should not be restricted, A8


By Varun Bhave opinion editor

Sen. William Seward declared in an 1850 speech against slavery that there existed a “higher law” than the U.S. Constitution. It seems intuitive that laws themselves seek to conform with more basic concepts of just and unjust. In a democracy, jury nullification is a fundamental principle of self-governance. Jurors should not be tasked only with determining guilt or innocence solely under existing law, independent of their own convictions. Judges must inform them of their right to “nullify” laws in their verdicts. Although only a miniscule fraction of U.S. trials involve outright nullification, many hung juries could be the result of jurors’ personal beliefs affecting their decisions. Nullification serves as a critical bulwark against government oppression. If federal or state governments are parties in a trial, then jurors cannot be forced to confine themselves to interpreting laws those institutions have constructed. Disputing the validity of a law is an expression of free speech. Opponents of nullification argue there are other forums for voicing dissatisfaction, but a verdict is an especially powerful expressive tool. As a juror, refusing to enforce the law is not unlike refusing to obey it, since the refusal constitutes denying the existing conception of right conduct.

Jury nullification occurs when jurors determine guilt or innocence based on their personal convictions because they believe a law is unjust or is being inappropriately applied in a case. Nullification is also an important democratic check. Legislators and judges are, for the most part, only indirectly accountable to the people. While voters can replace them, it is harder to directly challenge specific policies or interpretations of legal issues. Jury nullification provides an avenue for ordinary citizens, selected by both sides in a trial because of their impartiality, to judge the validity of laws for themselves. Opponents of nullification have several responses. They claim that nullification renders application of the law inconsistent. But making it permissible would not drastically change the structure of a jury’s decision; it would simply add an extra consideration to their verdict: whether the law being applied is a worthy guide to action. It seems unlikely that the vast majority of laws would ever be called into question. Admittedly, nullification by all-white juries did allow many hate crimes in the South to go unpunished. This would, however, be a poor reason to reject nullification outright. These historical abuses were related less to the practice of nullification and more to circumstances of the time and place. In a region with such firmly entrenched racism, white defendants would have been treated leniently whether or not nullification was accepted. Many contemporary juries have sought to nullify, for example, laws that they believe allow excessively harsh punishments for drug-related crimes or have been enforced in a racially selective way. The legitimacy of these laws should be open to debate at every level, whether in our highest courts or among the members of any ordinary jury.

We asked you...

Should jurors be allowed to find a person guilty or innocent based on personal conviction in defiance of law?







While proponents of jury nullification cite its importance to democracy, they oversimplify the idea and overlook its flaws. Currently, jury nullification is technically legal, but highly discouraged. In other words, no one can prevent juries from nullifying laws because their verdicts are final, but judges almost never tell juries about their power to nullify. With that said, proponents of jury nullification seek to compel courts to inform juries about their power, often claiming that it can protect people against unfair or harsh laws, and that not to inform juries about jury nullification is to deny them their right to find the best verdict according to their consciences. However, just as jury nullification can protect people from unfair or harsh laws, it can also prevent justice from being served. A famous example of such injustice is the trial of two white men for the murder of Emmett Till, an African-American teenager, in 1955. The all-white jury acquitted the two men. Cases like the Till case are seen as inevitable tragedies by supporters of nullification. As Georgetown University law professor Paul Butler notes in The New York Times, “nullification is like any other democratic power; some people may try to misuse it, but that does not mean it should be taken away from everyone else.” This pro-nullification argument is flawed. How do people “misuse” nullification? Assuming it can be misused presupposes that there is a correct way to practice it, but since it is defined by the personal opinions of the jurors, the idea that there is a correct or incorrect way to nullify defeats the whole purpose of it. The statement also presents the false idea that jury

NO f

art by carolyn chu/falcon artist

Is jury nullification a legitimate option?

By Jennifer Grundman staff writer

nullification is a right in danger of being taken away. Because jury verdicts are final, and the Fifth Amendment protects against double jeopardy, jury nullification cannot be abolished legally. While judges may discourage it by instructing juries to consider only the law and evidence presented, and by penalizing attorneys who encourage juries to ignore the law and follow their consciences, that only constitutes judges trying to maintain objectivity in trials. If jury nullification is promoted in court, it becomes hard to maintain legal standards. Laws become subject to the whims of jurors, who may or may not have good reasons to supersede them. By its nature, it promotes fluctuating legal enforcement: Whether or not someone is convicted of a crime is dependent on who is listening to the case, and not on whether or not an act was illegal under the law. Jury nullification is not necessarily helpful to democracy. It introduces a degree of arbitrariness to what is otherwise supposed to be a “speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury.” Discouraging jury nullification does not prevent anyone from voicing disagreement with laws. It does, however, encourage directing personal disagreements with laws to the public arena and away from another person’s right to an unbiased jury.

A6 the falconer



If you possess drugs, I think you should just get two to three years. But if you are selling drugs ... you should get longer in jail.

Ali Jon Dehborzorgi (9)

capacity; federal prisons are at 40 percent above designated maximum inmate count. Allowing for shorter sentences will help relieve the strain on prisons. The Smarter Sentencing Act does not lower sentences for serious offenses like trafficking; it simply lowers minimums and allows the law to effectively distinguish between a person without a criminal history and a person charged with dealing or manufacturing drugs. Currently, the incarceration of so many convicts, the majority of them young adults, places undue stress on both the economy and society. In 2011, the annual cost of jailing one federal inmate was $29,000, and taxpayers foot a $50 billion annual bill for state prisons. That’s a lot of money to lock up mostly young offenders, many

mandatory minimum laws

of whom are incarcerated on nonviolent charges. The other danger comes further down the road. On a state level, 40 percent of convicts are eventually arrested and jailed a second time within three years of release, and many younger ex-convicts struggle to find work and reintegrate into society after serving time. In sending more people to prison and giving them longer sentences, the current system actually churns out future offenders.

By lowering sentences as proposed in the Smarter Sentencing Act, the law can adapt to the times. The original laws mandating minimum sentences were passed during the 1980s, when drug addiction, especially crack addiction, and drug-related crimes became widespread and presented a national problem, according to the Wall Street Journal. That legislation now overtaxes our prisons and economy. The money saved by reducing sentences could be put toward rehabilitation or work

student voices

experience programs to help prisoners successfully rejoin society after their incarceration is over. Current mandatory minimums have outlived their usefulness. They generate great costs and end up creating high recidivism rates, failing to adequately serve as a deterrent for drug crimes. The Smart Sentencing Act would enact lower sentencing minimums and a more effective way of dealing with crimes involving drugs.

art by megan lenehan/falcon artist

The Smarter Sentencing Act, a bill that would reduce the mandatory minimum sentence for all drug-related crimes, is being backed by President Barack Obama’s administration despite Drug Enforcement Agency Administrator Michele Leonhart’s refusal to support it. She objects on the grounds that mandatory minimums are an important part of drug law enforcement. Despite the DEA’s lack of support, the Smarter Sentencing Act and similar bills, like the Justice Safety Value Act, which have bi-partisan support, are now relevant and necessary. Mandatory minimum sentencing is a practice that sets a minimum incarceration period for anyone convicted of certain drug-related and other crimes. A judge’s only discretion is to increase a “mandatory minimum.” The Smarter Sentencing Act applies only to drug offenses. One of the main problems with current mandatory sentences is that they are inherently unsustainable. U.S. prisons are already stretched beyond

may 15, 2014

I think [how long] a sentence is should be based on how many times the person has possessed drugs. Greer Moseman (10)

How should nonviolent drug crimes be punished in the criminal justice system?

[Sentence lengths] should be lowered because it is the person’s life ... as long as it isn’t a big crime or a huge felony.

Albert Pinnella (11)

Blancis Jhandi (12)

Russia had a lot of fun in Crimea when Ukraine wasn’t around...

...but, as usual, got in trouble when they fooled around on the Internet.

the strip. Falconer the torrey pines high school

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

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

The Falconer is the student newspaper of Torrey Pines High School. Its content, which is the responsibility of the Falconer staff, is not subject to administrative approval. Unsigned editorials represent the opinions of the newspaper 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 e-mail at or to Mia Smith’s mailbox in the administration building. Letters may be edited for length.

It doesn’t matter who you are, whether you have a lot of money or a little, it should be the same for anyone with drugs.

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


Cory Lomberg Natalie Dunn Savannah Kelly Katie Page Anna Lee Tasia Mochernak Alex Jen Anna Li Varun Bhave Emily Sun Katie Mulkowsky Sarah Brown Mahan Chitgari Fernando Stepensky Charu Sinha Layla Mazdyasni Alex McCracken Mia Boardman Smith

By Joshua Send.

Staff Writers: Sarah Chan Jennifer Grundman Michelle Hao Sarah Kim Alice Qu Maya Rao Russell Reed Caroline Rutten Austin Zhang Hanrui Zhang Webmasters: Ben Lawson Joshua Send Photographers: Grace Bruton Kenneth Lin Tara Manoogian

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Execution procedures should be more transparent According to an article in The New York Times, the combination of drugs — first, a drug to render the prisoner unconscious, followed by paralyzing agents that stop the heart — had been used successfully in Florida, but with a much higher dose of the first drug. The careless attitude with which many states approach execution contributes to unpredictable and painful outcomes that constitute cruel and unusual punishment. According to a 2012 study published by the British Journal of American Legal Studies, 3 percent of executions in the United States are botched and lethal injection has had a higher rate of failure than any other execution method. In Lockett’s case, the combination of drugs did not render him completely unconscious, and he attempted to sit up, also saying, “Oh, man,” while he was being executed. Source secrecy and untested drug combinations are being implemented because the U.S. companies that make lethal injection drugs are fearful of reprisals by opponents of the death penalty. As a result, they refuse to supply many states with drugs. And the United States’ attempts to purchase lethal injection drugs from Europe, where the death penalty is unlawful, have been effectively blocked for years; the European Union no longer exports substances needed for lethal injection drugs, leaving

the United States scrambling for an available source. However, even the sources that have been federally approved, like the source for the Oklahoma executions, have maintained their secrecy. Despite the backlash that drug companies may face if they publicize their business deals, the cruel and unusual punishment they are facilitating is much more relevant than a few angry comments. I n addition, the lack of information about the execution d r u g s can lead to lawsuits, like the civil rights lawsuit filed by the family of a convict who made snorting and gasping noises during his execution. Companies that are the source of faulty drugs — and thus the cause of botched executions — should not hide behind a veil of secrecy. They must face the pain their products have caused. In order to prevent further botched executions and unnecessary torture, states

should not continue purchasing drugs from secret, potentially unreliable sources, and should not experiment with mixing drugs when dealing with human lives. After all, executions can be delayed while the shortage of drugs is resolved. However, the suffering of the convicts who have fallen victim to faulty drugs cannot be remedied.

The other night I had my first breakdown over English homework since my freshman year. Then I laughed at the irony that, for a moment, Barbara Swovelin’s AP English Literature class in May of my senior year had given me flashbacks of her Honors English 9 class: Don’t worry, Swovie, it’s nothing personal. Today, while procrastinating in starting this story, I found a video I took in Beginning The Falconer’s managing editor revises Journalism my freshman year. some reason, my friend and I her freshman aspirations and misspells For thought it was a better use of our “architecture.” time to record ourselves blowing bubbles and trying to eat them than to write interview questions and plan our stories. I can honestly say that these days I am not always much more productive during Falconer class time. I am also starting this story the day it is due, not unlike what I did in Beginning Journalism, though I would like to think I can pull it off better now as opposed to four years ago. Sometimes I can feel myself turning into a freshman again. As a senior, I am aware that the cycle is starting over. After June 13, I will be given a clean slate and, in some ways, I will revert back to my freshman photo by kenneth lin/falconer self, complete with ambitious goals and naïve expectations. Upon entering high school, I had a list of goals for the next four years comprised of what I believed would perfect my future college applications. What I did not account for was the conflict

I would face between what I believed I should devote my time to and what I wanted to devote my time to. Most notably, I gave up the “four-year sport” on my Common Application in favor of the Falconer. The decision to quit softball — the sport my life seemed to revolve around for 10 years — was not on my list of goals. It was not a part of the perfect plan. Somewhere between my freshman and sophomore years, softball became more of a nuisance than a passion, something I kept doing for the sake of my college applications. One year as a staff writer on the Falconer became more important to me than the culmination of 10 years of dedication to my sport. Between my sophomore and junior years, I made the decision to let go of the limitations I was determined to maintain for the sake of college and instead see where my increased dedication to the Falconer would take me. Having been sports editor and managing editor of what is now the best high school newspaper in the country, I feel no regrets about my decision.

next four years. As someone who has actively researched colleges since the start of high school, I have always prided myself on my ability to map out a logical plan for my life, but the past four years have made me question whether logic goes hand in hand with happiness. Regardless of my ever-evolving plans, happiness will always be the end goal, and I do not think there is a formula for that.

By Tasia Mochernak copy editor

Clayton Lockett’s execution via lethal injection was halted by Oklahoma prisons director Robert Patton on April 29 when the drugs meant to kill Lockett did not do the job. When Lockett’s vein collapsed, there were not enough drugs left to carry out the death sentence, and Lockett died shortly afterward from a heart attack. The botched execution has prompted an inquiry about the sources of drugs and untested combinations that states use to execute their inmates. Several states, including Oklahoma, are keeping their sources for lethal injection drugs secret, though many of them are known to be lightly regulated compounding laboratories. However, in order to provide all convicts with due process under the law and avoid possible cruel and unusual punishments, like Lockett’s execution, state governments should not be able to keep such information secret. As a part of the due process

PeRSoNaL PeRSPeCTiVe savannah kelly

In some ways, I will revert back to my freshman self, complete with ambitious goals and naïve expectations. Four years ago, my goal was to attend Stanford and become an architect. Yes, I laughed while typing that. And while both dreams quickly dissolved, I am still ridiculed by the College Board in the form of emails suggesting architecture programs, which never fail to make me giggle. Only a few months away from round two of my freshman year, I am trying to refrain from creating a rigid blueprint for the

art by ellese nguyen/falcon artist


of law, convicts should know the means by which they will be executed. Lockett wanted to know the source of the drugs with which he would be injected, challenging Oklahoma’s secrecy provision, which forbids disclosing the identities of anyone involved in the execution process, including suppliers of any drugs or medical equipment used in an execution. Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt called the request a “delaying tactic.” It is necessary, however, for both convicts and the public to know the source of lethal injection drugs so that the process of an execution does not become cruel and unusual punishment. Convicts have fallen victim to administration of defective drugs that caused them to feel agonizing pain when the drugs were supposed to render the convicts unconscious during their executions. If the source of those drugs is kept secret, suppliers of the faulty drugs cannot be brought to justice for adding avoidable pain to executions. Similarly, untested combinations of drugs should not be tested during executions as if inmates are guinea pigs. According to Patton, the doctor who evaluated Lockett’s condition after the stay of execution said not enough drugs were left to complete the procedure after his vein collapsed and that not enough drugs had been administered to kill him in the first place.

The past four years have made me question whether logic goes hand in hand with happiness. As of right now, I tell anyone who asks that I want to double major in International Business and Spanish. Sometimes I say I am thinking about minoring in Chinese, which, like architecture, is something I will probably laugh about four years from now —yes, Chinese is as difficult as everyone promised it would be. There is a certain amount of fear in not knowing whether I will wake up tomorrow, the next week or the next month with an entirely different blueprint in mind. The truth is, no matter what I tell people, it is always just another way of saying “undeclared.” Next year I will be on the other side of the country, attending a new school and living in a new state. I will feel like a “freshman” in more ways than one. However, my clean slate will allow me to accept the unknown and find comfort in the freedom of having no idea what my plan is. Above all, I will try to loosen my expectations and keep my goals flexible, recognizing that the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray. I promise I do like English class.

A8 the falconer


may 15, 2014

Gay men should be allowed to donate blood

By Russell Reed staff writer

Before donating blood to the Red Cross, a series of questions must be answered, including have you taken aspirin in the last 48 hours? In the past eight weeks, have you had any shots or vaccinations? And, if you are male, have you ever had sexual contact with another male? While the LGBT community has seen many advancements — from rights in marriage to military service — men who have had sex with other men are still banned for life from donating blood. The reasons for the policy, cited by the Food and Drug Administration, are based on unsound science, and the ban is unreasonable and discriminatory. According to ABC News, the ban began during the first years of the AIDS epidemic in 1983, and the current set of policies has been in place since 1992. Now, men who have sex with men, or MSM, as they are referred to in medical literature, are placed by the FDA in the “highest risk” category along with IV drug users. This classifies them as being greater donor risks than

lifetime ban, a movement called the National Gay Blood Drive has emerged to draw attention to the flawed donation ban. During the drive, mobile HIV testing units were set up a designated blood donation sites. Potential MSM donors whose test results were negative attempted to donate blood and were refused. The negative test results were then sent to the FDA to show the number of willing but rejected donors. This raises the question: Is the ban motivated by concern for patient safety or discrimination against the gay community? The Red Cross discouraged the National Gay Blood Drive out of concern for its potential to disrupt operations at its offices but also stated that “the current lifetime deferral for [MSM] should be modified and donor deferral criteria should be

made comparable with criteria for other behaviors that pose an increased risk for transmission of transfusion-transmitted infections.” TPHS has hosted on-campus blood drives at least twice a year in recent years, often more frequently, and the only option for MSM students is to avoid the drives or lie about their sexual histories. Other nations have shown more progress. Canada recently revised its MSM donation policy, from a lifetime ban to a deferral period of five years after sexual activity with another man. Nations including Sweden, Japan and Great Britain h a v e one-year deferrals,

but Italy, Mexico and Russia have no ban or deferral period on MSM blood donations at all. Despite the struggles of the LGBT community in Russia, the basic right to give blood is protected. Every two seconds, someone in the United States requires blood. According to the Red Cross, while nearly 40 percent of the population is eligible to donate blood, only 10 percent donates. Reversing or modifying the MSM ban would not only protect the rights of all citizens to donate blood, but also would bolster the blood supply and potentially preserve the lives of those in desperate need of blood.

art by teresa chen/falcon artist


straight men who may carry sexually transmitted infections, including syphilis, gonorrhea and genital herpes. The FDA argues that MSM are at increased risk for contracting many diseases, such as HIV and Hepatitis B, an argument that is not entirely false. Though they account for less than 10 percent of the population, by most estimations, gay men account for 61 percent of the HIV-positive population in the United States, according to the FDA. Despite that, the American Medical Association opposes the lifetime ban on blood donation for MSM, claiming that it is “discriminatory and not based on sound science.” Even those diagnosed with STIs face less strict criteria for blood donation than MSM, many of whom live free of disease and have blood that is entirely safe for an individual in need. Disproportionate incidence of HIV and Hepatitis B among MSM is cited by the FDA as the reason for the lifetime ban on blood donation, but only a minority of that population carries those diseases. The issue has been placed under the umbrella of gay rights, but it should not be. Focus should be on the medical need for blood, exacerbated by the MSM lifetime ban. Beyond any political or religious belief, human health must be considered first, and there is no denying the pressing need for blood donations. In response to the MSM

Pope Francis’ canonizations good for the church


By Maya Rao staff writer

Roman Catholic saints are the stuff of miracles. They are supposed to be God’s celestial servants who act as champions of the impoverished. Sainthood is almost unattainable, and saints are held up as models of Christian behavior — selfless, devoted and willing to make any sacrifice for their faith. Canonization is the Catholic Church’s highest honor, so with it comes stringent requirements.Two proven miracles must be associated with an individual for him or her to even be considered for sainthood. On May 4, Pope Francis canonized two former popes, John Paul II and John XXIII — but the latter has only one miracle attributed to his name. It was no surprise that John XXIII’s tenuous qualifications led more conservative Catholics to believe that Francis was essentially lowering the bar for sainthood. Despite the concerns of the traditionalists, however, Francis did what will ultimately prove to be the best for the Church. Francis is as good a pastor as he is a politician. In recent years, the Catholic Church has been rocked by scandals, creating a deep rift between conservative and liberal

Catholics. Many liberal Catholics were opposed to the canonization of John Paul II on the claim that he turned a blind eye to sex offenses committed by priests. However, John Paul II was very popular with his disciples, and Francis was already facing immense pressure from inside the Vatican to elevate the conservative pope to sainthood. Fearing that he would widen the gap between the two parties by canonizing John Paul II, Francis came up with a brilliant solution: He would also canonize John XXIII — known throughout Italy as the “Good Pope” — who is revered by progressive Catholics for moving the church toward the modern age and emphasizing justice and peace. Both moves raised eyebrows across the Roman Catholic world. John Paul II’s path to sainthood was the fastest in modern history, taking an incredibly short nine years instead of the painstaking process that, over history, has often taken several centuries. Elevating John XXIII to sainthood, however, faced more opposition. His canonization was called into question by the traditionalists, who firmly believe that at least two miracles must occur in order for a person to be considered for sainthood. However, such moves are not exactly unprecedented when it comes to popes, and John Paul II was known for his canonizations, but in only 13 months, Francis has already exercised equipollent canonization, or the papal right to fast-track saints by requiring fewer miracles. In doing so, Francis bore the

wrath of Mother Teresa devotees when he moved John XXIII in front of Mother Teresa, who also has only one miracle attributed to her name, but who many argue is more deserving of sainthood.  Francis’ move may have been unconventional, but it is exactly what the church needs. With approximately 1 billion adherents, Catholicism is one of the world’s most powerful religions, but has lost touch with young people and those horrified by what they see as its mishandling of the priest sexual abuse scandal. Today’s youth demands scientific explanation rather than looking to divine intervention for explanations.

Although 80 percent of Americans believe in miracles, according to a 2010 survey by the independent Pew Charitable Trusts, only 36 percent of people believe that miracles occur without explanation. By loosening the requirement of two miracles attributed to the intercession of a candicdate for sainthood on behalf of the faithful, Francis is playing to the more modern sensibilities of young Catholics and perhaps even those he hopes to attract to Catholicism. Times change, and religion must change with them. In addition, the Church has experienced massive attrition as a result of the priest sex scandal, so the elevation to sainthood of a

pope who appealed to precisely those who may have left the flock is a wise move on Francis’ part. Many see in Francis what they saw in John XXIII — a leader determined to connect with his followers by softening often strident church doctrine and making it more accessible to all people. Although Francis is firm in his stance against abortion, birth control and gay marriage, the double canonization of John Paul II and John XXIII shows Catholics worldwide that Francis is ready to take some steps toward modernization. In an age when science overshadows religion, maybe saints can get away with being a little less miraculous.

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Feature explores the varying uses of marijuana, A12

Entertainment reviews Chromeo’s White Women, A14

SEEING DOUBLE Being a twin is often regarded as a unique experience — that is, if you’re not a twin. But for Spanish teacher Leonor Youngblood and her identical twin sister, it was simply a fact of life. “I’m a twin, I can’t [relate] to anything else,” Youngblood said. “I’ve always been a twin.” For identical twins Ocean and Matthew Zhu (10), growing up together has given them a shared history and perspective. “We can share a lot of secrets, good or bad,” Ocean said. “[Matthew and I are] a lot closer than [just] brother or sister … There is not much competition at home. I hear a lot of twins say they fight each other, beat each other up, but Matthew and I are really close.” Many twins find they are alike in more than just birthdate or physical appearance. The Zhu twins, for example, share a passion for cars. Likewise, Miles and Blake Arnold (10), fraternal twins, have many similar interests and traits — both siblings are athletic and they share media editing as a hobby. However, there are differences even in their shared hobbies. “Blake is into video editing, and I am more into photography,” Miles said. “It feels good to have [Blake as a twin], but I feel like we are different as individuals. We have different friends, and we play different sports.” Youngblood said that between her twin and her, there were differences in their “likings, in [their] pursuits, and everything that [they] have done in [their] lives.” “We are different, but so much alike that it’s impressive,” Youngblood said. “It’s amazing to have someone in your life that looks like you, and [yet] is not you.” Although rivalry between siblings inevitably exists, for twins like Youngblood and her sister, competition carries a greater meaning. Due to constant comparisons, as well as a desire to build a unique identity and not be considered simply as one half of a pair, some twins feel a greater need to compete with each other.

There is not much competition at home. I hear a lot of twins say they fight each other, beat each other up, but Matthew and I are really close. Ocean Zhu (10) student

“All I know is that throughout all of our lives, we went to the same school, we attended the same classes … and it was always about a competition between [her and me],” Youngblood said. “I didn’t care who else was in the class; I always had to compete with her as if it had been myself ... I guess it’s the competitive nature of being twins. You always want to be yourself. You always want the attention to be to you, not to both.” According to NYU Langone Medical Center, parents can be unwitting contributors in twin competition and rivalry by pointing

out differences between twins in things like behavior or academics. The Arnold twins compete for their parents’ attention. “There is also competition with our parents, like which parent likes you more, getting in less fights in front of parents, getting good grades and behaving in the house,” Blake said. “[Miles and I] fought a lot. Growing up, we pretty much had to share everything, and that caused some controversy.” According to Australia’s Better Heath Channel, competition between identical twins tends to be stronger than competition between other siblings, but a British study found that twins often have closer ties with each other than other siblings. For identical twins Emily and Julie Marks (10), competition serves as a powerful motivator for both siblings.

It’s an interesting life, being a twin. It’s been fun ... and it’s a unique experience if you think of it that way. In my life I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Leonor Youngblood teacher

“[Between Emily and I, there is] always friendly competition for everything,” Julie said. “You name it; there is a competition. [There are] no hard feelings — it is just friendly. I think [competition] makes us better. Just to know that [rivalry exists in the] form of competition, you want to be better than the other [sibling].” Since Ocean and Matthew are identical in height, hairstyle and facial features, they have taken advantage of those things in certain situations. In their shared seventh grade Spanish class, the confused teacher called on Ocean by saying, “Matthew, what was your answer to this question?” Deciding to play off of the teacher’s mistake, Ocean answered the question, only revealing later that the teacher had accidentally called him by his twin brother’s name. Similarly, in fourth grade, Emily and Julie tricked teachers on April Fools’ Day by pretending to be each other. The twins assumed each other’s identities so well that their teachers had not noticed the switch even by the end of the day. According to Julie, having someone beside you from birth provides a source of companionship and understanding. “You have another person that gets you,” Julie said. “It’s like [any other] sibling, but they’re your age, so they really get you.” Youngblood described growing up with a twin as “just like having a best friend with you all the time.” “It’s an interesting life, being a twin,” Youngblood said. “It’s been fun … and it’s a unique experience if you think of it that way. In my life, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.” From the multitude of shared life events, to the constant attention to constructing a personal identity, down to the quirky advantages of looking alike, ironically, being a twin is a lifelong experience that can’t be duplicated. By Austin Zhang and Hanrui Zhang


footnotes. by jennifer grundman

When I joined the Falconer back in August, I thought I was a good writer. At least, my essays were grammatically correct and I’d received praise from every English teacher I’d had since sixth grade. What I didn’t realize was that it’s not hard to write in high school. Most of the writing just involves answering carefully crafted essay prompts, the reponses to which are only read by the teacher. Coming up with and writing articles that will interest a variety of people, however, is hard. And this is not just because it requires many interviews, each of which inevitably has to be rescheduled for various reasons, but because it is writing that is reader-focused, not writerfocused. Most of the writing we do for English classes is centered around the writer. The essays are our responses to a prompt or topic. Teachers work carefully to help us hone how to make an argument or analyze a text, and though it may seem like the way we craft an essay inevitably comes down to how the reader responds, I don’t think most of us even consider it. Good writing, however, is carefully wrought to appeal to readers. Take for instance, the essays of David Foster Wallace or those of The New York Times contributor Tim Kreider. Wallace’s essays often give off the kind of cerebral aura with which we try to imbue our essays, but Wallace always considered his reader, and his essays — which can get pretty abstract — contain humor to help readers pay attention. Likewise, Kreider, whose essays revolve around his reactions to his life, tries to pick topics everyone can relate to. While his essays are about him, his experiences are only tools he uses to appeal to readers. I can’t speak authoritatively on this, but I would guess that most people don’t put this much effort into their writing. This is where the Falconer shines. Each article is read by at least five editors. With few exceptions, the articles are not about the writer, but about appealing to or informing readers. This is writing at its most basic and beautiful level: communicative. It is also one of the harder types of writing to master, because it requires the writers to partially remove themselves from the process. The writing is no longer completely personal. The beauty in all this, though, is that because the reader is the one who matters most, the writer can feel some sense of purpose in each article. Someone will read it and care. Even though I gained more than appreciation for readers on the Falconer — a great brownie recipe, time spent with interesting and intelligent people, a new respect for journalism — I can’t dispute that becoming aware of my writing’s effect on people has made me more sensitive. And when I consider that, and everything else I experienced on staff this year, I only wonder why I didn’t join sooner.

I am with before making small talk, ignoring my companions except for eyeing them warily. It is somewhat amusing yet cruel that the two students who inspire this behavior are two girls: one with cerebral palsy and one with Down’s syndrome. Talk about a plot twist. Read the personal The TAP room where special needs students hold classes stories of TPHS PALs. smells like a combination of good cooking and black coffee. Sometimes, when I see people It was in this quiet room that I I know during lunch, I notice was introduced to my first PAL, unusual behavior, like a stubborn who I will call Delilah. At first attempt not to look in my glance, Delilah looked like any direction. Some mutter a quick, regular girl — she has a pretty subdued greeting and hurry off. face and a stylish haircut. She Other braver, or perhaps ruder, was also polite and excited to see souls take a good look at the people me, which made me, as a first-


one in

the falconer time PAL, very glad. Within a few weeks, we fell into a lunchtime routine—most 2-4-6 days, we would go out to the slope in front of the school and just talk. She has mild cerebral palsy, which makes it difficult for her to control voluntary muscle movement, namely speech. But this has done little to get in the way of our friendship. We have both had our share of misadventures with one another, from getting bombed by seagulls to ambushing Delilah’s favorite TAP supervisor. I have had fun with her for the past few months, but even so, we both understand that within a couple years, I will be off in college while Delilah completes senior year. Most special needs students


I know do not talk about being lonely, but I know from talking with Delilah and others that the loneliness is always there, despite all the clubs they go to and how close they are to one another. People without special needs generally avoid them, and acquaintances never become close friends. However, we all have a chance to make high school a little brighter for these students. It is as simple as saying hello, or starting a conversation with a classmate with autism. The special needs students here are not yet quite high-profile, but just like any other student at TPHS, they want to be acknowledged. It is time to make that happen. By Frances Hung


Brianna Haire (9)

After winning a prominent TV dance competition, Brianna Haire continues to pursue her passion for dance both on the TPHS dance team and outside of school.

ON AND OFF THE STAGE: When Haire is not competing, she keeps herself busy with ASB activities and dancing for the TPHS dance team.

When she was 13 years old, Brianna Haire (9) had already achieved the dream of dancers across the world: winning a nationally televised dance competition that brought her recognition throughout the dance universe. She won “Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition,” Lifetime’s reality TV competition hosted by “Dance Moms” star dance teacher Abby Lee Miller. Haire competed against 13 other dancers between the ages of 6-13, and emerged victorious with a $100,000 prize, a scholarship to Joffrey Ballet School in New York City and a knowledge of dance that will stay with her for a lifetime. “I felt like a different person,” Haire said. “Not in the sense like, ‘Oh, I just won a TV show,’ but in the sense that I just felt like such a better dancer out of it. You learn so much, and the experiences you’ve gained just make you a better dancer.” Haire started taking dance classes when she was 4 years old, along with karate, soccer, gymnastics and singing. Now, she devotes her time to dancing, though she still occasionally tumbles in gymnastics. “I tried practically everything, but I liked dance the best, so I stuck with it,” Haire said. “My mom put me in my first class and I was like, ‘OK, cool. I like it!’” Dance, according to Haire, is a “part of [her] that no one can take away.” It has changed her as a person, and not just by being the means to her winning a TV show competition. “It makes me think differently: When I hear music, all I see is dancing, what I could do with it,” Haire said. “Dancing changed my perspective of people around me.

photos courtesy of freeflight and brianna haire

reaching for the stars: Brianna Haire performs at PULSE On Tour, a dance event featuring top choreographers and instructors. You relate more. Let’s say there’s a football player, and [he has] been playing football since he was little. It makes you relate to that: ‘I know exactly how you’re connected to football — like I’m connected to dance.’” Haire’s experience on “Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition” also helped her relate to others as she formed stronger friendships with other competitors. “I made a lot of [new] friends, but for the most part, I knew them all before from dance competitions,” Haire said. “It was ... life-changing.” Haire has used dance as a medium to give back to the community. After winning “Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition,” she co-taught a “Dance 4 Diabetes” class at the Danceology Performing Arts Campus studio to raise money for a girl battling Type 1 diabetes. She also participated in a “Dance For a Wish” show to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation San Diego chapter. Since moving to San Diego from Temecula after eighth grade, Haire secured spots on the TPHS varsity dance team and all five of its subgroups: extra small contemporary, small jazz, medium lyrical, medium hip hop and small hip hop. Despite committing to every team, Haire said she has been able to manage her time effectively, and dance

has given her a “place to always come back to.” “You make your closest friends there, and you hang out with them all the time,” Haire said. “It gives you a center.” Haire also trains at Danceology and takes trips to Los Angeles for auditions. “I don’t get home until 8:30 [after classes], and by the time I eat, I don’t start homework until 9, so I’m up extremely late,” Haire said. “It’s hard to manage ... but it’s not like I’m going to stop dancing.” Even though a year has passed, her victory on “Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition” still crops up in her life. Haire said that she gets recognized from the show, both at dance competitions and in public. “It’s hard to live up to people’s expectations because they expect you to be perfect, but you’re not,” Haire said. “No one’s perfect.” Despite having received such recognition for her performance on television, Haire does not have specific ambitions for a professional dance career. “I want to continue dancing in college, just keep going with what I love,” Haire said. For now, Haire uses the high bar set for her in “Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition” to motivate herself to become “the best dancer [she] can possibly be.” By Anna Lee

A12 the falconer


may 15, 2014

is the grass During the summer of Eric’s* (‘13) sophomore year, he tried marijuana for the first time. Quickly enamored, curious and ready “to expand the horizons of [his] consciousness,” Eric began to use the drug on a regular basis. Now, Eric smokes marijuana for recreational purposes, but he has discovered that his migraines are less severe with the drug’s medicinal aid. “I started using [marijuana] recreationally … but when I turned 18, I decided to get my medical card to make [getting] it easier for myself,” Eric said. “I tried using it a couple times when I had migraines. It took the pain away.” Despite continuing debate, medicinal use of marijuana is legal in 21 states and the District of Columbia, and recreational use is legal in Colorado and Washington. An international survey of physicians done by the New England Journal of Medicine in February and March 2013 revealed that 76 percent of doctors who responded approve of marijuana for medicinal use, claiming that the drug’s high can relieve pain, improve mood and increase appetite in patients, especially those for whom traditional treatment has been ineffective. However, according to the informal online survey, the remaining 24 percent of doctors surveyed did not acknowledge the medicinal legitimacy of the drug due to a lack of evidence of its health benefits and insufficient research. They also pointed out uncertainty over where the marijuana was coming from and problems with dosages and side effects. According to a Harvard Medical School newsletter, the cannabis plant has over 400 chemicals that affect the brain in various ways, including alleviating nausea and appetite loss in cancer or HIV/AIDS patients, reducing seizures in children with epilepsy, stemming memory loss in Alzheimer’s patients, treating bipolar symptoms and potentially treating brain injuries. Even though Eric has felt the positive effects of marijuana in helping his migraines, it is unclear whether his drug use is directly related to his decreased headaches. Pediatrician Anna Mendenhall recognizes the medical benefits of marijuana, but criticizes its recreational use. According to Mendenhall,

[Marijuana] allows me to explore different ideas in my head and deal with mental or psychological needs ... it lets [me] pursue thoughts fully and try get to the bottom of things Eric* (‘13) student

marijuana can be “an amazing adjuvant to therapy for patients with seizures, intractable pain or vomiting.” Some medical marijuana is genetically altered to take out the “high” and enhance the medicinal benefits. Mendenhall, however, does not recommend marijuana for recreational use, as the chemical deposits left in the brain can alter its function, she said, especially in children and teens, whose brains are still developing and are particularly susceptible to chemicals. Eric recognizes benefits beyond medicinal effects. “I find that the day after I smoke, I feel rejuvenated and more relaxed and at ease,” Eric said. “It allows me to explore different ideas in my head, and deal with mental or psychological needs … it lets [me] pursue thoughts fully and try to get to the bottom of things.” Mendenhall supports the contention that marijuana is a “gateway drug,” which can lead users to try more dangerous drugs. Daniel* uses marijuana throughout the day and agrees it is a gateway drug, but said that the extent of experimentation depends on the user. “Once you’ve tried one drug, you’re going to want to see what another drug is like,” Daniel said. “I would consider it a gateway drug under certain circumstances. You just need to know how to use it.”

According to Mendenhall, smoking marijuana “lowers inhibitions [and causes] some people to experience hallucinations or paranoia.” Despite the relaxation Daniel experiences while he’s high, he is familiar with the negative effects of the drug. “On my third time smoking, I took way too much and I had a panic attack,” Daniel said. “It was really bad. I got chills all over and I couldn’t stand up.” Despite risks, people of all ages, including students, continue to use marijuana. According to a 2013 University of Michigan Monitoring the Future Survey, funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, 60 percent of high school students that used marijuana do not consider its use risky.

The legalization of [medicinal] marijuana in some states makes people think it’s safe ... but cigarettes are legal but certainly not safe Anna Mendenhall Pediatrician

According to the survey, growing acceptance of the drug “may be influencing how young people perceive the harm associated with marijuana use.” The survey concluded high school students did not perceive the drug as harmful as their use of the drug increased. “The legalization of [medicinal] marijuana in some states makes people think it’s safe,” Mendenhall said. “Cigarettes are legal, but certainly not safe.” Brian*, who uses marijuana daily in order to relax, believes addiction is a possible danger of marijuana, though he does not consider himself an addict. “Even though people say marijuana is not addictive, if you have a constant supply and no one to intervene, [addiction is possible],” Brian said. “I’ve seen friends get addicted to weed and spend hundreds of dollars on it.” According to Tamara Anderson, director of admissions at Lasting Recovery Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center in San Diego, addiction varies from person to person. “Some people can use marijuana and become addicted, while others can try it and walk away,” Anderson said. “That is the same with any substance addiction.” According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, a professional organization of physicians who treaty addiction, marijuana use is especially dangerous for children and teens, whose brains are not fully formed until age 25. There are, however, strains of the drug being bred specifically for use by children with seizure disorders, with which doctors and patients are having some success. In those strains, the CBD, an oil derivative which seems to reduce seizure activity is the primary active ingredient, while THC, the component that induces a high, is drastically reduced. Mendenhall believes that while marijuana may have positive effects, there are other medical remedies for migranes or illnesses. “I feel the medical use is a good use if truly [needed],” Mendenhall said. “Just like some people who aren’t really in pain abuse pain medication and are pill addicts, there are people that say marijuana helps their anxiety whereas many other healthy activities are just as effective at helping relieve anxiety. I don’t feel it should be legalized for recreational consumption, but for medical usage I feel it should be allowed.” Many people think marijuana should be used either medically or recreationally, but Brian feels that it can be used for both purposes. “[Marijuana use is] not as bad as people make it out to be, but it’s also not as good as the people who are for it make it out to be,” Brian said. “It’s in between what everyone says.”

by caroline rutten

an infographic exploring teen entrepreneurs and the precedent they set for TPHS students

art by katie mulkowsky/falconer

Nick D’Aloisio realized that the length and complexity of important news stories often intimidate younger readers, and, at age 15, created the iPhone app Summly, which condensed articles into “pocketsized news.” The app was an immediate success, building a user base of 500,000 in just four weeks. In March 2013, Summly was acquired by Yahoo, which removed Summly from the App Store and used its technology to develop Yahoo News Digest.

Like many 13-year-old girls, Isabella Rose Taylor loves keeping up with the latest trends, but this 13-year-old is a college freshman and fashion designer. After attending a sewing camp at age 8, she developed a love for making clothes. Taylor has released an online collection every season since 2011 with the help of Liza Deyrmenjian, who mentors up-and-coming designers. In April 2014, Nordstrom announced that it would begin carrying the Isabella Rose Taylor collection in August.

While on a flight, Kiip co-founder Brian Wong observed fellow passengers gaming on their iPads and noted that the ads were intrusive and useless. At 19, Wong created Kiip, a program that enables brands to reach consumers with “a targeted, relevant rewards program” at crucial gaming moments, like level ups and high scores, when gamers are most engaged. Kiip has since been expanded to fitness apps as well.

At 18 years old, Tavi Gevinson is not just the follower of popular culture blogs — she is the creator of one. As founder and editor-in-chief of Rookie Magazine, an online publication focused on the concerns and preoccupations of teenage girls, Gevinson publishes new content three times a day to coincide with the average reader’s schedule: after school, at dinnertime and before bed.

information coutresy of daily mail, the guardian and summly words by anna li, caroline rutten and hanrui zhang art by katie mulkowsky

TPHS students and alumni operate in the teen-powered business world.

N2 KITESURFING Leslie (12) is the founder of N2 Kitesurfing, a successful kitesurfing instruction business that operates in Mission Bay. He started the business in his junior year to earn money for college and spread his passion for kitesurfing. To bring a fresh face to an “old guy’s sport,” Leslie works closely with kitesurfing manufacturers so he can offer lessons at a lower cost and secure kitesurfing gear.

THAI PEPPER CUISINE Narongsak (12) is the owner of the successful Serra Mesa restaurant, Thai Pepper Cuisine, which his mother bought last summer and gave to him so that he could pay for his college education. Having cooked Thai food with his family his whole life, Narongsak thought a restaurant would be “easy enough to manage.” Narongsak’s hard work and dedication to the restaurant has earned him over $57,000 for his college fund.

T-SHIRT COMPANY Pittard (12) started a T-shirt company during his sophomore year with his friend, Graham Brutten, now a Bishop’s School senior, driven by a love of art and a desire “to experiment with some shirts and see how things [go].” Pittard later sold the company to Sun Diego. Pittard learned that “you should always represent yourself professionally with everything you do.” He made over $1,000 and used the money to buy DJ equipment.


Scornavacco (‘13) is the general manager of two Sweet Things Frozen Yogurt shops, one in 4S Ranch, the other at the San Diego Hilton Bayfront. When he attended TPHS, Scornavacco left school daily at noon to go to work at the yogurt shops. Scornavacco’s primary motivation in running and expanding Sweet Things Frozen Yogurt, his family business, is honoring the memory of his late father.

art by katie mulkowsky words by caroline rutten and hanrui zhang


the falconer


always greener? areas of high cannabinoid receptor concentration:

corresponding effects of marijuana:

cerebral cortex plays a role in memory, thinking, perceptual awareness and consciousness

altered consciousness, memory impairment, occasional delusions and hallucinations

hypothalamus governs metabolic processes such as appetite

increased appeitite

brain stem controls many basic functions including the vomiting reflex, blood pressure and heart rate also plays a role in pain sensation and movement

nausea, rapid heart rate, reduced blood pressure, drowsiness pain reduction

hippocampus key to memory storage

how marijuana affects the brain Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, a key ingredient in marijuana, attaches to cannabinoid receptors throughout the body. Several areas of the brain have high densities of these receptors, which helps explain the different effects of the drug.

memory impairment

cerebellum governs coordination and balance

reduced coordinaton

amygdala plays a role in emotions


possible anxiety and panic, or reduced anxiety and blocking of traumatic memories, reduced hostility




art by grace bruton, sarah chan and sarah kim/falconer information from the national institute on drug abuse



The Falconer undergoes the vegan experience, A15


While promoting the release of its fourth studio album, the synthetic funk Can I get a bird’s eye view?” had me feeling like I might not be old enough duo Chromeo could not resist a bit of wordplay. Entitled White Women, the to be listening. Sexuality aside, the funk really comes out instrumentally and record allowed for promotional slogans along the lines of “Buy White Women rhythmically here. Electropop beats fade out, and Chromeo rolls in the soulful for $7.99.” The humor is as crude as it is fitting. Since its conception in 2004, harmonies. Chromeo has released a string of electropop hits that are, by nature, really The humor is back on “Sexy Socialite,” proving that Chromeo can multitask funny — see 2010’s “Momma’s Boy.” The tracks that make up White Women are after all — the track keeps the modern pop, the ‘80s rock and the puns. The no exception. rhymes are legitimately funny, without edging into The Lonely Island territory. With Dave 1 on lead vocals and P-Thugg manning the “You’re a sexy socialite/I wish you were a socialist/Instead of synthetics, this two-man band has a good thing going, to say worrying about your name on a list” — these guys know how to the least. If nothing else, these French-Canadians are making write, and they refuse to pigeonhole themselves. fun music. Grooveable, if you will. Do not underestimate them, Sandwiched between two of the catchiest tracks on the though; while Dave 1 lays down vocals behind a keyboard record is “Ezra’s Interlude,” featuring Ezra Koenig of Dave admitted that shaped like a woman’s bare legs, Dave Macklovitch holds an Vampire Weekend. While I am a sucker for indie rock, I “the reason we sing cannot help but feel that this song is misplaced. It is Ivy League doctorate and lectures at Barnard. With the album’s first single, “Jealous (I Ain’t With It),” songs about love and melodic, emotional, philosophical even. The contrast White Women is already reminiscent of Business Casual between Koenig’s high pitch and Dave’s low Jersey and Fancy Footwork with traces of 1980s rock layered with games is because we are drawl is clear and cutting in their harmonies. But synthetic harmonies. Therein lies Chromeo’s bizarre albeit still so mystified by it.” placed behind “Hard To Say No,” with its screeching feasible genre: electronically fueled funk rock. Imagine a cross synthetics, and preceding the soul-based “Frequent Romance can be tough Flyer,” “Ezra’s Interlude” slows down a hearty between Prince and Hall & Oates, and then imagine they’re all Canadians. when you’ve got that tempo. This song could have been a real asset to Lyrically, the opening track introduces a distinction from the record had it been extended to a full track, much rhythm. as opposed to an interlude. A looming disco beat former albums with its notable sentimentality. Popping percussion dies down low enough for Dave to address his picks up toward the song’s end, suggesting that a emotional side. “I can’t help but lose my temper and I don’t light drop may be coming. Instead, it is cut short know why,” he sings amid a disco beat, describing the confusion of seeing to a brief 1 minute and 54 seconds. his ex with another guy. There is a disconnection between the lyrics and the In true funk fashion, “Fall Back 2U” brings instrumentals, but not necessarily in a bad way. It puts the picture together: in the sax. Dave slips out of the limelight these guys cannot understand their own heartache. After all, in an interview for P-Thugg to flesh out the track with his with Clash magazine, Dave admitted that “the reason we sing songs about love standard auto-tuned vocal riffs, closing the and games is because we are still so mystified by it.” Romance can be tough album with a song embodying their unique when you have that much rhythm. genre, yet incorporating a fusion of vintage The next couple tracks take a turn for the sensual. Lyrics like “What matters sounds. Classic Chromeo. to me is what’s inside/And a little backside, too/Is that bad, is that taboo?/ By Cory Lomberg



may 17 jun 7

terminal 5 new york city parklife festival manchester

jul 19

melt festival berlin

aug 3

lollapalooza chicago outside lands san francisco

aug 8

art by cory lomberg/falconer

Dave is the older brother of A-Trak, who’s one half of Duck Sauce Dave joined P-Thugg’s band when they were about 15 Clash magazine released a three-part interview titled “Vampire Weekend and Chromeo: A Guide to Love,” in which Dave and Ezra Koenig discuss the trials and tribulations of romance

9928 Mira Mesa Blvd, San Diego Price Range: $4 to $12 As a lifelong carnivore with a weakness for cheese, it is not hard to imagine my hesitation to eat at a vegan restaurant, despite its welcoming name: Loving Hut. The restaurant is located on a rather unassuming corner in Mira Mesa and is somewhat easy to miss. My party was quickly seated in the restaurant, which was filled with patrons that seemed content and satisfied. However, the eatery could have done with some background music for added ambience. Yes, Loving Hut is vegan and promotes conscious and cruelty-free eating, however, the menu does not follow a particular theme, other than being 100 percent vegan. This does not necessarily mean crunchy granola or raw food; the menu includes Mexican classics and fresh vegetable salads, and touches on just about every Asian cuisine. With pictures depicting every dish, the menu seemed to dispel any pre-existing notions I had of vegan food, as it all looked appetizing and, well, normal. We started with steak tacos as an appetizer, priced at

127 N El Camino Real, Encinitas Price range: $11 to $30 I will admit I was not exactly looking forward to reviewing a vegan restaurant. However, as someone unafraid of kale and other vegan staples, I kept my mind open and hoped for the best. Unfortunately, while the Native Foods Café menu was diverse and intriguing, the flavor fell flat. Not surprisingly, substitute meat products and various vegetables dominate the menu. In an effort to sample both, I tried the Caribbean Jerk Kale Salad. Tempeh, a soy product, replaced the chicken and topped a bed of kale, avocado, mango, red peppers and onion, along with jalapeño cilantro dressing. The colorful mix was somewhat deceiving, and while I anticipated a zesty blend of spices and contrasting textures, the flavors were a bland disappointment. The jalapeño cilantro dressing was barely noticeable, and the unequal ratio of kale to the rest of the ingredients was a bit overwhelming. Fortunately, the prices at Native Foods Café are very reasonable for the large portion sizes of fresh, organic vegetables. For


$7.50, which consisted of diced vegetables and perfectly cooked soy steak protein served in corn tortillas with sides of homemade guacamole and salsa. While corn tortillas are never my first choice, I could not complain about the well-fitted combination of ingredients and soy steak, and despite my previous prejudice, I would have no trouble substituting it for real steak on a more regular basis. We could have shared a second order, though that is more a reflection of taste than portion size. For the main course, we decided to split Drunken Noodles, stir fried yellow noodles with soy protein tossed in sweet sauce, and the Spicy Cha Cha, a mock breaded shrimp dish with vegetable protein as a replacement, accompanied by brown rice, fresh vegetables and a tangy vinaigrette dipping sauce, both priced $8.95. The Drunken Noodles, cooked with my new favorite soy steak, were overly sweet and too heavy for my palate. The Spicy Cha Cha, however, made my visit completely worthwhile — I found myself smacking my lips after crunching on the protein shrimp, which were dipped in the biting, yet refreshing vinaigrette. From the cheap prices and simplistic décor, Loving Hut makes eating guilt free; by the end of the meal, wallets will stay full and animals will probably be saved. By Sarah Brown

those looking to get their fix of veggies presented in diverse options, Native Foods will suffice. While the entrée salad was a disappointment, I was tempted by the dessert menu and ordered the peanut butter parfait. I am glad I did. Although the nutritional value of the parfait was questionable, it was a flavorful combination of whipped peanut butter filling between “Boogie Bar” crumbles and chocolate chips. The contrast between crunchy and creamy was pleasing to the palate, and while the entrée made me wary about the savory food offerings, the parfait was an encouraging sign about the dessert menu. A delightful surprise during the meal came from the lavender lemonade, an intriguing twist that I had to try. The lemonade exceeded expectations: It was not overly sweet, and the hint of lavender kept it fresh and summery. I would venture to say the drink was the highlight of the meal, which may not be ideal. The overall atmosphere of Native Foods Café is casual and welcoming, and while I was not completely satisfied with the entrée salad, I would return to sample another dessert with a glass of lavender lemonade. By Savannah Kelly

the falconer

photos by layla mazdyasni/falconer

photos by kenneth lin/falconer


A16 the falconer


may 15, 2014

It is always a party with “Neighbors” Efron graduates from his well-known role in “High School Musical” and moves into the frat house next door. photo courtesy of universal pictures

It’s safe to say I’m nervous about my impending new life in college. Oddly enough, that we all love to hate — now in douche-y frat form — helps the audience connect Nicholas Stoller’s “Neighbors” somehow eased my nerves a bit. It provided no insight with the characters without the necessity for an excessive amount of characterization. into how I will adjust to the rigor of college classes, nor how I will find my way around To put it simply, “Neighbors” is hysterical. There are multiple scenes that are a big campus, but it did give me the improbable idea that I may be attending school laugh-out-loud funny, but still appeal to preferences that run deeper than just bong with boys who look like Zac Efron and Dave Franco. and bodily function humor. In an especially memorable scene, the frat decides to In the movie, new couple Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) finally move hotbox, or as they aptly refer to it “hothome,” the entire frat house, lighting aflame into their suburban dream home with their baby. Soon after moving in, the house next barrels and barrels of weed to intoxicate the entire population of the house, resulting door is purchased and becomes occupied by a notoriously rowdy fraternity, Delta Psi. in ridiculous, pot and Jello shot-fueled chaos. The couple attempts to be the “cool neighbors,” befriending fraternity president Teddy The movie, clearly the handiwork of a pro, is much more multifaceted than other (Efron) and vice president Pete (Franco) from the get-go and even partying with them films of the same genre. Although the humor is undeniably essential to the film, the all night. tender moments, like those surrounding the marital issues Mac “All night” does not last very long, and Mac soon calls the cops and Kelly encounter and the trials of Teddy and Pete’s loveafter the noise and partying become incessant, sparking a dangerous hate “bromance,” set it apart as more than just comedy. The The Neighbors rivalry between the inhabitants of the two houses, who mutually depth created by the film’s writers Andrew Cohen and Brendan Rated R aim to destroy each other’s lives and get each other to move. O’Brien, who have both worked on shorts for “Funny or Die,” Although the competition is technically between the frat house adds sensitivity to the otherwise lewd film. and the suburban family, the rivalry really boils down to the alpha The movie follows suit with Stoller’s past films, “Forgetting males of each house, Teddy and Mac. Each character tries to outdo Sarah Marshall,” “Get Him to the Greek” and “The Five-Year Starring: the other with outrageous pranks — in one instance, Mac breaks a Engagement,” which all have similar styles; they consistently Zac Efron Seth Rogen present more than the typical crass, teenage movie. “Neighbors” pipe in the frat house, flooding the basement. The contrast of the perfectly-built — and probably artificially Dave Franco Rose Byrne is the perfect brew of a stupid stoner comedy, set in the context created — Efron opposite the schlumpy, unkempt Rogen provides of a clever plot and illustrated through the eyes of its smart a funny dynamic. The pair worked well off of one another, adding main characters, Mac and Kelly. The two have an undeniable ona unique humor to a cinematic rivalry that has often become screen chemistry that makes the audience sympathetic toward hackneyed in similar movies. them, even though their opposing force is the living god, Efron. In this film, Efron is so highly sexualized and blatantly objectified that flashbacks to The movie is rated R, and I would definitely say that the R is generous. It relies on his days as naive Troy Bolton in “High School Musical” were immediately obliterated crude humor, involves awful language and does not skimp on the extreme partying from my mind. My copy of “High School Musical 3” signed by Zac Efron suddenly lost and considerable nudity. all importance; I had a new teen idol to worship in the form of fratty and fictional The film provides a satisfying ending, although it did leave me with a few new Teddy from Delta Psi. concerns regarding college. Do college kids really look that old? Are frat houses really A sense of familiarity is created in the film through cameos from SNL’s The Lonely that nice? Can you really hotbox an entire building? And most importantly, can I rush Island crew and the boys of “Workaholics.” This, along with Christopher Mintz-Plasse’s Delta Psi and be hazed by Efron and Franco? reincarnation of McLovin from “Superbad” as that one especially annoying teenager By Natalie Dunn

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The Falconer sits down for a chat with Chris Pittard (12), who takes on the persona of Christoph when he is behind his DJ mixing board. Who do you see as your influences? MakJ, Audien, and Dioro. I like deadmau5 a lot because he’s really big about being original. Tiesto, I know is having music made for him, so it’s almost like he’s a businessman more than an artist now. How do you perform and handle the crowds? Does it come naturally to you? I think something that really helps was having deejayed at middle school parties. As soon as I saw smiling, all my fear went away and I was just rocking out on stage. [Recently] was my first time at SOMA, [and] middle school party experiences relieved my nerves a lot. I like to get on the mic and say stuff when I can — a lot of music I play has lyrics. Just depends — like last time I gave my friends shoutouts and if I need to fire [the crowd] up I’ll say something. Who are those two people: Chris Pittard and Christoph the DJ? What is the difference between these two people? I guess that the biggest thing that deejaying did for me is it made me way more comfortable in front of people. I feel it makes you more of a sociable person because I have to interact with the crowd. The crowd sort of feeds off your energy. I don’t call myself Christoph; some of my friends do because it’s a nickname, but I’m still Chris Pittard. It’s just like a common thing: Like bands have their band names, DJs have their stage names. I just get up on stage and have a good time and hope everyone else has a good time as well. How were you able to play at SOMA? One of my friends is good friends with the general manager of SOMA, and I sent him this song that I had made, which is like a mix and then some mashups and whatnot, and he just put me on a show.

How do you get prepared either the day before or the day of? Do you have any pre-performance rituals that you’d like to share with us? I make sure to eat right before. I got Chick-fil-A before my first SOMA gig. If I can, I’ll get Chick-fil-A before all my gigs. It has been confirmed that Pittard did indeed get Chick-fil-A right before his gig on May 9. Would you ever do any collaborations? How would those play out? I’m going to try to work on something with Sam [Hardeman (12)]. Take Disclosure — they make music together. It would be something like that. How was headlining [at SOMA] last week different from just being in the lineup a couple months ago? I guess I just felt like I was more official, if that makes sense. I felt like everyone took me more seriously, now that I was headlining. I felt more like an established artist. Have you ever closed a show before? How did that feel? It’s a really cool feeling. I guess I felt pressured to do a good job, and it was just kind of cool seeing my friends in the front row yelling “encore” and stuff like that. [It was my] first time closing. I played a lot more uplifting, emotional music toward the end instead of just bangers. When and where can we expect to see Christoph again? As of now, that’s to be announced. I’m going to work on a lot more new music before I look for new venues, some new house music. I have two projects that I’m working on; I’m going to go into full swing next month. By Alex Jen

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Girls lacrosse dominates Scripps Ranch High School, A22

Boys lacrosse crushes Fallbrook

Tennis gets runnerup at CIF Team Championships, A22

S f


By Fernando Stepensky

play in Division 2, but practicing against upper level teams helps us hold our ground in Division 2 Boys lacrosse (14-5) beat and maybe even compete for the Fallbrook High School (6-13) championship.” 15-2 in the Falcons’ final game of Fallbrook took its first faceoff the season on the May 12 Senior of the game in the second quarter, Night. then brought the score up to 4-1 Before the game, there was before the Falcons took the ball a ceremony announcing each and ran it down the field for a senior’s college plans and high school accomplishments, and swift shot by lead attackman seniors who do not usually start Mark Lefferdink (10). Fallbrook were given the opportunity to was able to do the same after be in the starting lineup for the a bad pass by the Falcons, but game, according to offensive TPHS maintained a solid offense midfielder Connor Bailey (10). and scored three more goals, “Tonight was just about the ending the quarter at 8-2. team — about the seniors and “[Fallbrook] had a very strong thanking them for all that they’ve goalie,” TPHS head coach Jono done for the team,” Bailey said. Zissi said. “There were TPHS won a lot of shots the first faceoff we made and controlled Practicing against upper that would the ball for most of the first level teams [like TPHS] have made it past a quarter, though helps us hold our ground typical high two turnarounds were made in Division 2 and maybe school goalie, possible by but he was the Fallbrook even compete for the able to get a goalie’s saves. of saves championship. lot H o w e v e r , that threw the Falcons Paul Morgan us off.” were initially fallbrook head coach T P H S unable to take kept up the advantage of openings in Fallbrook’s defense, intensity in the third and fourth which Bailey said and only managed to score after quarters, seven minutes. TPHS was able was a weakness in the first half to maintain the momentum from of the game, scoring goal after its first goal and scored twice goal while successfully keeping more within three minutes. The Fallbrook offense from getting Falcons closed out the quarter any looks on goal. with a clutch goal by offensive “We really worked as a team in midfielder Eli Suhadolnik (12) this game, especially in the last with one second left, securing a half,” Bailey said. “Everyone was 4-0 lead. “My goal as a coach this season playing their part and going all is to really change the mentality out.” The game ended at 15-2, of the team and push them to be ending the season on a high note, able to compete with upper level teams [like TPHS],” Fallbrook especially for the graduating head coach Paul Morgan said. “We seniors.


By Anna Li

news editor

photos by alex mccracken/falconer

one-on-one: Mitchell Mapes (18) tries to get around the goal to score (TOP). Marc Lefferdink (24) sprints past a defender (MIDDLE). Will Johnson (39) fights off an attacker (BOTTOM).

I rejoiced when Michael Sam became the first openly gay player in the National Football League on May 10 when he was selected 249th overall by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft. I wrote about Sam’s decision to come out in the opinion section of the Falconer March issue, and I criticized the NFL’s lack of initiative in ensuring Sam would be accepted with open arms. So when I heard Sam was selected — even though it was in the last round — I was happy someone took that initiative, especially someone like Rams head coach Jeff Fisher. The significance of this selection cannot be overstated: Sam has the potential to be the Jackie Robinson of gay football players. Even if it turns out the NFL has a smaller proportion of gays than in the populaton at large, this event will, at the very least, make the sports world more tolerant. While ideally Sam would have been selected in an earlier round, the fact that Sam was drafted at all is important enough. Perhaps we shouldn’t nitpick about the round in which he was taken. However, it was odd to me that the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and a first-team AllAmerican was drafted in the seventh round. Sam said he did not understand how a player with those credentials on his resume could be drafted so late. However, he acknowledged that it is impossible to know what people in the draft rooms think about a given prospect. I agree with Sam’s sentiment, but the SEC Defensive Players of the Year from 20082012, respectively, were Morris Claiborne (6th overall), Patrick Peterson (5th overall), Rolando McClain (8th overall), Eric Berry (5th overall), Glenn Dorsey (5th overall) and Patrick Willis (11th overall). Then we have Sam going 249th overall. I do not have a doctorate in math, but there is a huge outlier in that set of numbers, and he just happens to be the first college football player to come out as gay before the NFL Draft. While I said earlier we should be focusing on Sam being selected and not the fact he was selected late, it would be absurd not to address the issue. Interestingly, the major media outlets have stuck to the discussion of how historic the event was, while blatantly ignoring the fact that this monster of an athlete should have gone much earlier. I’m overjoyed Fisher had the guts to draft a player he believes can help his team, but I sincerely hope that 32 teams passed on Sam seven times for reasons other than his sexual orientation.

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A22 the falconer


may 15, 2014

Girls lacrosse sails past Scripps Ranch SPORTS SHORTS f into the first half. “Our draw control was a lot staff writer better, Cirino said. “[We had] good Girls lacrosse (8-12) defeated midfield transitions, a settled Scripps Ranch High School (10- offense and complete plays that 8) 12-7 in the first round of CIF helped us win the game.” quarterfinals on May 10, keeping TPHS finished the half with a strong lead throughout the another round of consecutive game and securing a spot for goals in the last three minutes. TPHS in the CIF semifinals. Goals by Cirino and McKinnon According to attacker Sammy ended the half with Cirino (10), TPHS leading 8-2. TPHS had “[We had] [We had] good draws in good draws in the a “rough start to the and the beginning and were beginning season,” so were finishing finishing shots early on shots early on, the team wanted to gave which gave them a good which prove itself [the girls] a good confidence booster... confidence booster going into the playoffs. Kaitlin Swagart [and helped solidify “It’s posthead coach the win],” head season, coach Kaitlin so it’s a Swagart said. whole different game,” co-captain TPHS attacked the second Camille Doan (12) said. “Random half as aggressively as the first. teams can come up from the Defender Farah Farjood (10) bottom and dominate post- gained quick possession of the season. Everyone has a blank ball from the draw, and only slate and can win. Anything could one minute into the second half, have happened, so that’s why we McKinnon scored a goal. came out so strong. We had a “We got the ball and shared it really up-and-down season, so all around together,” Doan said. this was the perfect time for us to “We looked for the right cut, the start clicking.” right feed, the right drive. We The first half started quickly, worked together and had each with strong offensive plays. other’s back.” Attacker Chelsea Mapes (12) Not long after, Scripps Ranch scored the first goal of the game gained momentum with a draw from around the crease in the possession and an around-thefirst three minutes. Co-captain crease goal, bringing the score to Kacey McKinnon (12) quickly 9-3. Scripps Ranch followed up scored another goal after winning with another goal, driving the the draw and driving the ball ball ahead of the entire TPHS upfield. Cirino scored another defense, but a foul push by the goal two minutes later, bringing Falcons brought the prospective the score to 3-0 only six minutes goal to a close. Scripps Ranch,

By Caroline Rutten

however, made the penalty shot, bringing the score to 11-5 with 15 minutes left in the second half. “The second half we tried to make adjustments,” Scripps Ranch head coach Colleen Slotman said. “They beat us the first half on transitions and draw control. It was a little too late.” Despite the Scripps Ranch attack, TPHS maintained both a strong offense and defense, with multiple saves by goalie Natalie Chaffin (12). “[During the] second half, we had the lead and ... the confidence we’ve been lacking this season,”

Cirino said. “The game was exactly what we needed to start playoffs.” Even with a goal in the last minute of the game, Scripps Ranch was not nearly able to catch up with TPHS, and the game finished with a final score of 12-7 and a TPHS win. According to Swagart, team is confident they will be successful in the rest of the season. TPHS played La Costa Canyon High School in the CIF semifinals on May 14 after the Falconer went to press.

photo by alex mccracken/falconer

sprint: Kacey McKinnon (11) runs the ball down the field. TPHS advanced to the CIF semi-finals after defeating SRHS 12-7.


Sage. Summa is excited to announce the upcoming publication of its brand-new literary journal, Sage. The journal, which will be published in spring of 2015, will showcase the literary and artistic work of Summa students. We are currently accepting work to include in the first issue. All Summa students, both current and alumni, are invited to submit written work in any genre (poetry, short story, essay...), and/or visual artwork (photography, illustration, painting...). Students who submit their work will have the benefit of receiving feedback and editing help from Senior Educational Director Melissa Schulz, and they will get to see their work in print. Any student who is interested in working on the editorial staff of Sage should contact Melissa by emailing with the subject header: Sage Editorial Staff.


Boys tennis fell to Rancho Bernardo High School after tying 9-9 in matches, but losing 72-65 after counting games. The Falcons were missing No. 1 singles player Jacob Brumm (9), which, according to coach John DeLille, contributed to the loss. DeLille said he knew the game was going to be very close “no matter how [they] strategized [it].” According to number one doubles player Sreeganesh Manoharan (10), the RB coach “really stacked their lineup well, and [TPHS] singles wasn’t able to get enough games to win.” “What kept happening was that they were winning all singles, then we were winning all the doubles,” DeLille said. “In the singles matches, their guys were just beating our guys really bad, like 6-0. In the doubles games, we were beating them, but they were getting one or two [games] against us, accumulating those [games] against us when we really weren’t accumulating any [games] in singles.” Despite the team’s loss, DeLille remains optimistic about the upcoming CIF Individual tournament. Manoharan and Timothy Sah (9) will play doubles in the tournament while Brumm, Henry Ji (12), Charlie Pei (11) and Max Liu (11) will play in the singles bracket. The seeds for CIF Individuals came out after the Falconer went to press.

CARMEL VALLEY 11250 El Camino Real, Suite 105 San Diego, CA 92130 T: 858.793.8880 RANCHO BERNARDO 12230 World Trade Drive, Suite 150 San Diego, CA 92128 T: 858.673.8988

Have you heard yet? We moved! As part of our ownership transition, we changed Summa's website address, adding a hyphen between Summa and Education. Likewise, our new email addresses have changed in the same way. We apologize for any confusion this may cause in the interim.

Thank you for your continued support! To contact us, send a message to or


the falconer


f/stop lexi kaplan varsity lacrosse may 10, 11:02:32 a.m.

camera: canon eos 7d lens: canon 70-200mm f/2.8L iso: 100 exp: 1/1250 seconds f/stop: f/2.8

photo by alex mccracken/falconer

Torrey Pines High School 3710 Don’t Even Think About Running the Red We’re Watching San Diego, CA USA! USA! USA!

FROM THE DESKS OF YOUR FAVORITE ADMINISTRATORS Falcon Families, Hiya friends! Surprised to see us smiling up at you in print? We’re sending all our correspondence to our beloved Falcon families through snail mail now because our email was hacked (turns out we weren’t the winners of 3 iPads and $1 million in cash — we were hoodwinked! Can you believe it?! We sure can’t!). Please stay safe from hackers, everyone: bolt your doors, draw your blinds and invest in a padlock. We’re not too tech-savvy but we’re pretty sure they climb in through windows at night when all good Americans are sleeping. If you want to stay extra safe, change all your passwords to “password” — this will throw them off your trail. Those tips fulfill our district requirement of “technology curriculum integration” for the next 10 years — you see, we here at Torrey Pines believe in a well-rounded, balanced approach to education, grounded in a set of pure, wholesome family values. On that note, gals of Torrey Pines: we have noticed that you aren’t being the respectable little ladies we know you are! You all seem to think you can simply wear whatever makes you comfortable, but this is not in line with all those values we mentioned up there. We know it’s a little hot out, but please restrain from revealing your brassiere straps or wearing anything that may suggest that you are indeed female — it is disruptive to the learning environment. How do you expect our young men to concentrate?! It’s all of your responsibilities to make sure they don’t have to learn to practice self-restraint and maturity. All we’re suggesting is that when it is 90 degrees outside and you are choosing what to wear, remember to ask yourself: “What would TPHS administration think is befitting of a young woman? Does my shirt perhaps have the capacity to suggest I am not a delicate and marriageable flower? What would Jesus want?” We suggest a calf-length pinafore and a girdle, but you may choose to spice this up however you choose, as long as the spice is called “modesty and ladylike pastels.” As for the fellas: keep on keepin’ on, you lil’ rascals! Aren’t they cute? They’re so cute. And finally, AP testing is upon us and we have several updates to announce. In addition to standard security procedures, College Board will now also conduct X-ray scans and strip searches of every student signed up for an AP exam, and possibly arrest and detain those who aren’t (Why aren’t you taking one? What do you have to hide? Anything you want to tell us?) Please do not be alarmed or intimidated by these new procedures, and make sure not to look testing officials in the eye so as to not display contempt of cop. They may pull several of you aside for questioning — in which case, stay calm and do not implicate any of us in your treason/conspiracy/unauthorized use of mechanical pencils. Remember, get plenty of sleep, eat a healthy breakfast, try not to end up in solitary, and if you don’t know the answer to a question, just skip it and move on! Good luck Falcons! Get ready to squat and cough! Sincerely, Yours truly

This page is entirely fictional.

Falconer May 2014  
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