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What’s inside:

The Phoenix December 10, 2013

Fremont High School, Vol. 2 Issue No. 3

Fantastics: let the games begin by Sarah Arkoh

Business Manager

The spirit is immense. Loud cheers flood the gym. Each school fights for the title. It is none other than IDC Fantastics. The Intra-District Council (IDC) is made up of a group of students from each school in the Fremont Union High School District. They take care of several of the events that concern multiple schools in our district including IDC exchanges and Fantastics. Fantastics is an after school rally which brings together all the schools in our district (Fremont High School, Monta Vista High School, Lynbrook High School, Homestead High School and Cupertino High School) in a series of games, naming one school the champion. Fremont did a lot to prepare including practices during and after school. Each school was allowed 200 attendees and 20 participants for the rally. While none of the schools sold out of tickets, several got close. The support from each school was tremendous. This year the games were hosted at Homestead High School and took place in their large gym. With the hard work of students as well as staff, they were able to pull off a successful event. “It feels great to host since we haven’t in a long time,” Homestead student, Hyeseung La, said. With hosting came a lot of work. Homestead needed to provide chaperons, judges, music and more to ensure a safe, fun atmosphere. Besides that, several students invested long hard hours, making for a better experience for everyone. “We dedicated a lot of time towards preparing for the event,” Homestead student, Theresa Xu, said. “We [also] had meetings with the other IDC representatives to provide them updates for the event.” Students from each school in the district worked hard to advertise Fantastics, making for a great turnout at the rally. The energy quickly started to build as students from each school started to arrived. Students came decked out in their school colors and ready to fight for the win. Fantastics consists of several games including orange necking, skin the snake, chariot race and balloon pop. Each

See Fantastics on Page 3 Priya Lee | The Phoenix

A controversial topic made simple by Kayla Layaoen Opinion Editor

It’s really not as complicated as it might seem: He’s a he. Senior Paris Trytten has recently come out as transgender, and is documenting his journey online. Trytten reports knowing about his gender identity from an early age. “From as early as I can remember, I would tell my parents, ‘I’m a boy today,’Trytten said. “And when they’d say, ‘no, you can’t be a boy today,’ I’d say, ‘fine, then I’m a dog.’” Trytten grew up being more comfortable dressing and presenting himself as androgynous and “gender fluid” throughout his life,

and didn’t usually feel the need to identify as either male or female until his sophomore year of high school. “I’d call myself the Jolly Giant because I didn’t really feel like I fit in with a group of girls,” Trytten said. “At the time, I didn’t really feel like much was wrong. But looking back, it was kind of like one of those pictures where it was like, ‘one of these things doesn’t belong,’ and I was always the thing that didn’t belong. In his sophomore year, Trytten met someone in Washington who he initially perceived to be female, but who later explained to him, “my pronoun is he.” Through his friend, Trytten

was able to realize that his pronoun was the same. Around this time, he began to identify as transgender, but only inwardly. To everyone else, he was known as “gender queer” -- someone who didn’t find themselves leaning closer to either end of the gender binary. “I’m just me,” Trytten explained. Previously, Trytten had identified as a lesbian, and his father was fully supportive. Once Trytten realized his gender dysphoria, he made sure to “ease [his dad] into it.” He told him at first that he had decided to explore being a male, and made sure to update him periodically on what was going on. When he finally

decided that he was ready to come out, his father was prepared. “It wasn’t really a surprise to him,” Trytten said. “He always knew that I was different in some way.” Trytten has been wearing a chest binder to compress his breasts so that he can better identify with his gender, and, at the time of the interview, had taken his second testosterone shot. The transitioning process from female to male consists mainly of hormone replacement therapy, like the testosterone shots. The shots will cause his voice to drop and some facial hair to grow. He is happy about the changes, and supported by many of his friends and

classmates. “[The transition] is amazing. It’s like the greatest thing in my life,” he said. ““It was so hard to keep this part of me closeted, and I knew Fremont was a really good place to [come out]. I just said, ‘You know what, I’m going to cut my hair and start a new identity, and people can just deal with it.” He has decided to abandon the binder in the future and instead get a double mastectomy -a surgery that removes both breasts. “Essentially, what it does is it gives me a flat, male chest,” Trytten said “I can take my shirt off and run around like I’ve always wanted to.”

Dr. Curtis Crane, a specialist in male-tofemale and female-to-male surgery, will be performing the surgery in June. Crane is trained in both plastic surgery and reconstructive urology, and is one of the most renowned transgender specialists in the nation. A surgery from such a prominent doctor is going to cost the Trytten family about $8,000, but he believes that the price tag is worth it. “I know I’m in good hands,” Trytten said. “It’s definitely worth it to make sure that the surgery is safe and effective.” Art is one of his strongest passions, and he uses it

See Paris on page 3

News Typhoon relief at FHS

Dec. 10, 2013


by Sonya Jindal Copy Editor

On Fri. Nov. 8, tropical storm Yolanda, also known as Haiyan, struck the Philippines at about 3 a.m. The world immediately came to the Philippines’ aid, offering many different ways to help. With winds of 185 miles per hour, this Category five storm is one of the strongest storms recorded in history, even more disastrous than New Orleans’ Category three Hurricane Katrina, which struck in 2005. Yolanda, in its latest update by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council stated 5,326 people were confirmed dead as of Nov 24th. The number of injured stood at 12,487, while 1,187 people are officially listed as missing. In all, the council said more than nine million people have been affected, including 1,871,321 who had been displaced according to BBC News. Extreme damage to infrastructure throughout the region posed logistical problems that greatly slowed relief efforts. Though aid was flown into local airports, most of the resources remained there as roads remained closed.  According to estimates on Nov. 13, only 20 percent of the affected population in Tacloban City was receiving aid. With lack of access to clean water, some residents dug up water pipes and boiled water from

there in order to survive. Thousands of people sought to evacuate the city by cargo planes, however the slow process fueled further aggravation. Reports of escaped prisoners raping women in the city prompted a further urgency to evacuate. One resident was quoted as saying “Tacloban is a dead city.” Due to the lack of electricity, planes could only operate during the day, further slowing the evacuations. At dawn on Nov. 12, thousands of people broke through fences and rushed to planes only to be forced back by police and military personnel. A similar incident occurred later that day as a U.S. cargo plane was landing. Throughout Tacloban City, widespread looting took place in the days following Haiyan’s passage. In some instances, relief trucks were attacked and had food stolen in the city. Two of the city’s malls and numerous grocery stores were subjected to looting. A fuel depot in the city was guarded by armed police while 200 additional officers were dispatched to assist. Security checkpoints have since been set up all over Tacloban and a curfew was imposed on residents to prevent more attacks. Philippine military forces also prevented members of the New People’s Army from ambushing a re-

lief convoy bound for Samar in Matnog, Sorsogon, killing two people. President Benigno Aquino III considered declaring martial law in hopes of restoring order in affected areas. With this devastation, many organizations have stepped up to contribute to helping out the victims, including The Red Cross, Salvation Army, CARE, and many more. Even Fremont’s very own Filipino Youth Organization, better known as FYO, has stepped up to continue the relief. After the devastating effects of Typhoon Yolanda, FYO started Project Yolanda and began to collect any kind donations other than money, which will be shipped to those affected in the Philippines. “Many of our members have family in the country and we want to help out in any way we can,” advisor of FYO, Bo Buhisan, said. “The Filipino people are known to have an indomitable spirit, always look for the good in people and have a sense of positivity surrounding them.” Due to this, Buhisan believes there is no reason at all not to help and aid the Philippines, regardless if you have family there or not. Fremont’s Filipino Youth Organization was also invited to the Board of Trustees, where they were recognized in their efforts to provide aid for the Philippines. There,

FYO shared news of their Project Yolanda’s efforts for the typhoon relief and also learned about similar efforts by the Fremont Union High School District and Board to raise funds for the American Red Cross. Project Yolanda, created by junior and FYO president Malia Ramos, began to collect in-kind donations which will be shipped to those affected. “We decided to reach out to the rest of the FHS community as well,” Ramos said. “We’ve received a lot of donations so far, but would really like to get more.” After an informational flyer was posted, FYO immediately got replies saying that people were eager to help. “Whether they were in the club or not, they wanted to help, and that was really uplifting because it showed how the FHS community really wanted to help our cause,” Ramos said. On Nov. 27, the Project Yolanda fundraiser ended. FYO received over 350 items, only expecting a mere 100. They’ll be shipped out by the holidays and given to those who are really struggling in the areas that were hit the hardest. FYO hopes that this fundraiser lets the victims know that there are people who do care about them and are willing to help.

Goodbye Mrs. Stockhaus! Thank you for all you have done for Fremont.

& Read The Phoenix online at

AIDS awareness is prevention by Mike Capovilla Staff Writer

AIDS/HIV is a virus that was first discovered in the 1980s that has still not been effectively cured. It has become a point of major controversy, a big factor for political leaders, a very big topic for religious people, and a major propaganda piece for many anti - gay organizations. There are many groups and foundations that work towards finding the cure for aids, and they do his through fundraising and walk-a-thons. There are groups that work towards the treatment of pre existing cases of people with aids. And there are also some groups that exists only to spread awareness about the virus. Many of these groups came together to designate Dec. as National AIDS Month. The purpose of this is to help make people more aware that AIDS is still a rampant issue in our society because the majority of people believe that it has just gone away. When people hear the term AIDS they automatically think about a third world country, but what they don’t realize

is that 1,124,200 over the age of 13 have AIDS in America. Dec. 1 has been designated as world AIDS day to help better raise awareness for the virus. It was decided in 1988, at the height of the “AIDS Pandemic” that Dec. 1 would be a day for national leaders and full countries to come out and talk about AIDS, the effects of the virus, possible cures, and what anybody can help do to progress the search for a cure. “AIDS is a very hard thing to happen to a person. It affects not only them, but all of their friends and family,” Ben Leslie, Sunnyvale resident who is affected by aids, said. ”When my brother was diagnosed, I cried for a week straight. It’s an awful thing to happen to a person.” Every year AIDS day has a different theme. Past themes include Women and Aids, Men Can Make a Difference, One World / One Hope, and Youth. This year’s theme is called Getting to Zero. This theme has been set for 2011 all the way to 2015 to help drive home the point of how many people worldwide suffer with the virus and how many have

THE Getting to Zero campaign in China to help fund those living with aids.

suffered which is about 25 million deaths since 1988. Many artists have contributed to the awareness campaign of AIDS. Many musicians have done charity events and made charity albums to try and help out. One of the symbols of National AIDS Month is a

red ribbon, to go with the idea of worldwide medical issues being represented by ribbons like Breast Cancer is pink and Prostate Cancer is light blue. One of the more funny awareness campaign was in Buenos Aires. There was a 32 story condom put on a major building to help

represent safe sex. There is also a quilt which has thousands of patches of peoples names and has thousands of names and home made patches. Many people are unaware of the huge effect that AIDS has had. Over 11,770 cases of aids in teens 15-19

Photo courtesy of Tribune Company

were reported in 2010. It is the equivalent of the modern day back plague, and has taken almost as many lives as WWII in the total history of the virus, and will probably take many because right now there is no cure in sight.


Dec. 10, 2013

A new personal pronoun for Paris Continued from page 1 to his benefit. Trytten does his best to leverage the costs by using his art and accepting donations from friends and supporters. His page on GoFundMe, a crowdsourcing website dedicated to helping people earn money for various ventures, has already earned about $2,000 in two months. There are different rewards that Trytten offers to people depending on how much money they donate, including photoshoots and art pieces. Normally, Trytten’s

shoots are paid, but he does them for free for people who donate a certain amount to his fund. Professional-grade photography is only one of the many ways that he thanks his supporters, who are usually friends and family but are sometimes supportive strangers or friends of friends, or even people that Trytten met online. Trytten believes that the simplest way to curb all of the anti-trans bullying that goes on is to educate people about what it’s really like to be transgender. “It’s kind of ironic that a lot of trans people don’t want

to talk about being trans,” Trytten said. “And then they get offended when people aren’t aware of what is and isn’t appropriate. I think we should educated people correctly and be more open to sharing our experiences.” Trytten wants to make it clear that safety should come first. “You have your whole life to live and express your gender identity,” Trytten said. “If you feel that in a single moment your safety is in jeopardy, don’t [mention anything that could get you hurt]. I know it sucks, but it’s really important to stay


However, he doesn’t feel like safety is an issue for him in the Bay Area, and especially not at Fremont High School. His experiences in coming out and being true to himself have been positive. “[The transition] is amazing. It’s like the greatest thing in my life,” he said. “It was so hard to keep this part of me closeted, and I knew Fremont was a really good place to [come out]. I just said, ‘You know what, I’m going to cut my hair and start a new identity, and people can just deal with it.”

Fantastics never falls short of its name Continued from page 1 school made sure to cheer on their school with loud chants and stomping on the bleachers. “The best part of Fantastics was seeing all the schools come together to support the athletes,” Fremont sophomore, Mikayla Monaghan, said. One of the most anticipated games was the human table. Four participants from each school arranged

themselves on chairs and supported each other using their ab strength and legs. The chairs were then pulled out from under the contestants and the struggle began. Fremont students Ashleigh Pillay, Mayer Feldman, Ethai Barnea and Alejandra Flores all competed in the human table. The final two schools in human table were Fremont and Monta Vista. Both schools refused to give up and after 40 minutes, it was

declared a tie. Performances included Fremont’s very own colorguard and a comedy hour by Cupertino. Monta Vista placed first overall for Fantastics and for the second year in a row, were named champions. Fremont placed third but that didn’t deter them. While every school did amazing, there is always something to make better. “I think all schools have something to improve

on,” Cupertino student, Katerina Gurzhi, said. “Whether it be attitude, more spirit [or] more practice for the athletes.” One thing Fremont hopes to improve on next year is more practice. “Hopefully next year we’ll try to have more trials of the games,” Fremont senior, Varsha Srivastava, said. “[This way] more students have the opportunity to try out and participate.”

Conceal it, it is the law by Elliot Lehman Photographer

A new gun control measure in Sunnyvale has been making waves, getting attention throughout the country, and even attracting the legal efforts of the NRA. Recently, Sunnyvale passed a measure that further advanced present gun control laws, known as Measure C. This ordinance requires Sunnyvale citizens to report the theft or loss of firearms, to have safe storage of firearms. It also limits large-capacity ammunition as well as ammunition sales. Although it has not been long since Measure C has passed, the proponents of the bill claim that it will reduce the number of gunrelated violent crimes in Sunnyvale and surrounding areas according to a rebuttal an argument. Advocates against Measure C state that crime rates are already incredibly low in Sunnyvale. They claim that measure C is unnecessary and that the added control is not needed. Besides the restrictions to freedom, opponents also claim that the cost for the measure is too large financially. It costs at least $43,000 in addition to the costs to administer the ordinance. The NRA and other related groups have also threatened to sue. In an argument against Measure C, opponents claim that this will cause legal fees that can approach $1,000,000 or

Elliot Lehman | The Phoenix

A firearm store located in Sunnyvale on South Mary Avenue offers many services regarding firearms.

more. For supporters of Measure C, this money is clearly worth the tradeoff: safety. By limiting guns and ammunition, availability for these weapons for violent crimes is definitively reduced as well as less violence and death. Less death and violence is always a positive outcome. Even though Sunnyvale has an extraordinarily low crime rate, so did Newtown, Connecticut which had a devastating shooting last Dec. at Sandy Hook Elementary, supporters say. “There’s a lot of criminals that have unregistered guns,” Naj Seraj, Sunnyvale resident and gun owner, said. Most criminals, he says, will get guns regardless of local gun regulation. This means that it only harms law-abiding citizens who wish to protect themselves. Seraj also points out that this limits the rights of Californians. He poses the question: Does this mean

that the rights of Californians are less than those of people living elsewhere in the U.S.? Anne Langer, a local Sunnyvale resident says that Measure C is “not unreasonable.” She is in favor of Measure C because she believes that the more restrictive gun laws act as a deterrent to spontaneous and possibly violent, outbursts, such as shootings and suicides. Langer was asked if she agreed with opponents of Measure C that Sunnyvale is safe enough and that gun violence is not an issue in sunnyvale. “We might be saying that one day,” Langer said. This means that much like other small towns with violence issues, they are often very safe prior to the shootings. Another point being argued is that the requirement of ammunition sales logs in Sacramento led to the seizure of hundreds of guns from gang members as well as sex offenders and

felons. For gun owners, the safety does not come without a price. Owners must have their firearm stored in a locked container. Additionally, they must have the gun disable using a trigger lock certified by the California Department of Justice. Storage of guns isn’t the only limitation put on gun owners and enthusiasts. Excluding police and other law enforcement, nobody is allowed to own any gun cartridge holding any more than ten rounds. This restricts the effectiveness of firearms for recreational shooters as well as people who own guns for their own protection. Sunnyvale is pioneering the way for gun control across the country. The debate about the effectiveness of Measure C and its constitutionality are far from over. The NRA is expected to pressure Sunnyvale to repeal the measure, and until that battle is over, Measure C is here to stay.


The Phoenix 1279 Sunnyvale Saratoga Rd. Room 76 Sunnyvale, CA 94087 (408)522-2400 Managing Editor Alex Bernauer News Editors Melissa Parlan Ashley Chavez Sports Editor Chau Nguyen Marcus Saranglao Arts & Entertainment Editors Hauraa Aalabdulrasul Neha Mannikar Opinon Editors Kayla Layaoen Jasmine Salik Art & Design Editor Kristina Lechuga Copy Editors Sonya Jindal Juan Martinez Business Managers Tatiana Castillo Sarah Arkoh Lead Photographer Priya Lee Photographers Elliot Lehman Briana Castillo Staff Writers Gaby Anaya Marinn Cedillo Mike Capovilla Rebekah Granlund Chanel Johnson Savanna Kiene Joanah Nguyen Alex Noyes Chris Peterson Sergio Rodriguez Nicole Stibbard Adviser Ms. Stacey Stebbins The Phoenix, protected under the California Education code, is a public forum for the students of Fremont High School. The Phoenix staff will publish features, editorials, news, and sports in an unbiased and professional manner. Editorials are the official opinion of The Phoenix. Opinions and letters are the personal viewpoints of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Phoenix. All content decisions are made by the student editors, and in no way reflect the official policy of Fremont High School, nor the opinions of the administration, faculty, or the adviser. Business advertisements are accepted in The Phoenix. However, The Phoenix reserves the right to deny any ad. Those interested in running advertisements can call the Business Manager at (408)522-2400, or email Lettters to the editor and questions for the advice column, may be submitted to room 76, Ms. Stebbins’ mailbox, or emailed to Identities of those who submit questions will remain anonymous. The staff reserves the right to edit letters to conform to styles and policy. Letters to the editor will be published at the discretion of the staff. The Phoenix is the official student newspaper, and is distributed free of cost to the students. The Phoenix publishes eight issues throughout the school year.



Dec.15, 2013

Key Club warms the hearts of babies by Hauraa Aalabdulrasul Arts & Entertainment Editor

Waddle Waddle, Fremont’s Key Club, who’s mascot is the purple penguin, has done it again by putting together a successful service project to help premature babies. On Sat. Nov. 23, Fremont’s Key Club held a charity event, the Nov. DCM, where Fremont students got together with Key Club members from 11 different schools and made blankets for premature newborns.

Anyone can do something to make a big difference. The whole point of this project is that you can be doing such small things like tying a blanket and it makes a huge difference. Key Club President Neha Mannikar Taking place in the FHS cafeteria, students from schools like Homestead, Mountain View,

Palo Alto and Cupertino used their creativity and imagination to create fun and playful blankets that are going to be sent to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Stanford. “I’m glad that I can be creative while helping premature babies,” Ilene Johe, senior, said. Key Club set out on making blankets for premature babies in hopes of easing the conditions of premature babies by keeping them warm and eliminating trauma in children. This isn’t the first year this event has taken place, and it has become a tradition for Key Clubbers. “Anyone can do something to make a big difference,” Neha Mannikar, senior and president of Key Club said. “The whole point of this project is that you can be doing such small things like tying a blanket and it makes a huge difference.” At the start of the event, members took part in an icebreaker, “Captains Coming” that the leaders put together in hopes of breaking any barriers between people and

creating a fun atmosphere. Members were given bizarre instructions to follow by the “captain” and created a lot of laughs. Soon after, members headed back to the cafeteria where roll call was taken, then everyone set out to make the blankets. The cafeteria had 12 stations set up, each with a different fabric design to work with, scissors, a ruler and a paper with instructions on how to make the “twist-tie” blankets. The process of making these blankets involved a lot of teamwork, and proved to be an accomplishment in the end. First, Key Clubbers cut parallel lines about five inches deep around the sides of the fabric pieces. Then, edges of both fabrics were tied together to connect the two and make the twist-tie blankets. This simple process allowed the members to work quickly and efficiently, resulting in 31 blankets. During the process, the cafeteria was filled with laughter, chatter and a lot of bonding as all members worked on their blanket making skills. “This event allows me

Hauraa Aalabdulrasul | The Phoenix

KEY Club members from schools throughout the district work to make blankets for their blanket drive.

to meet different Key Clubbers from our division and we get to bond over blanket making,” Connie Ooi, senior and public relations chair of Key Club, said. The blankets will be delivered to the NICU at the Lucile Packard Children’s hospital mid-December by Key Club’s president, Man-

nikar. Key Club isn’t a stranger to heartwarming events like this one. They do things like soup kitchen, litter pickups, volunteer work and more. Members always feel good after these events and encourage anyone who would like to take part in

charity events to join Key Club. “Definitely check it out because you never know how something is going to impact you,” Neeja Patel, junior and Vice President of Key Club, said. “We have a variety of these events and one of them will make you appreciate a lot more.”

IDC exchange: Firebirds try on hooves by Alex Noyes Staff Writer

The Homestead High School IDC exchange, a FUHSD district wide event when a select group of students from each school visited another school for a day, took place at Homestead High School on Dec 4. A much-anticipated event for many students at Fremont, Homestead High School provided students from other schools a different perspective of life in high school. Much of the academic and social atmosphere at Homestead was vastly different from Fremont, which was an opportunity the IDC exchange gave students to compare and contrast the school environments. Students were also able to take time to catch up with friends they knew from middle school and to meet new people as well. From Fremont, 26 students applied to be hosted by a Homestead student; 10 were selected to go. Amy Gibson, ASB teacher at Fremont High School said “Students get the opportunity to experience all the schools in the district each year, Homestead is different from all the others.” The IDC exchange started off at Homestead High School as students arrived at 7:15 a.m. to meet up with their hosts. They

were then able to experience the life of a Homestead High School student by attending their hosts’ classes and seeing what the classroom environment was like. Similar to the “Tastes of the World” event at Fremont High School, in which clubs sold a variety of cultural foods to students, Homestead held the “Club and Grub” at lunch in the quad. “I didn’t like the Freshman Wall, and Homestead is definitely cliquey and less of a family than Fremont,” Freshman David Tegarden said.

Students get the opportunity to experience all the schools in the district each year, Homestead is different from all the others. ASB Advisor Amy Gibson The stereotype at Homestead for the past 20 years has been extremely cliquey. The quad at Homestead was heavily populated during lunch time as groups of students and IDC participants got to meet up with their old friends. For many IDC participants the cliquey

Elliot Lehman | The Phoenix

stereotype of Homestead was not a big deal for students whom already had old friends, but for others the cliques definitely were bothersome. Each school in the district also has two IDC representatives whom coordinate who get to go to the IDC exchange. Senior, Varsha Srivastava, is one of the IDC representatives for Fremont High School, but ironically has never personally attended an IDC exchange. “I’m curious to see how

life is socially at Homestead as well as the rigor and difficulty of the classes,” Srivastava said. A day filled with both old and new experiences, catching up with friends, while meeting new people, students from FHS who went to the exchange enjoyed the social and academic aspects of Homestead. Homestead’s logistical similarities and differences to Fremont were vast. Unlike Fremont, Homestead’s bell schedule on Wednes-

day consisted of blocks two, four, six, and seven, as well as a tutorial or “homework” block of time after second. Instead of having classes for an hour and a half like at Fremont, the longest class of the day was 1 hour and 40 minutes, and a 15-minute brunch. Homestead features a highly academic schedule for students while still giving them time to socialize. Many students enjoyed their time at another

successful IDC event and were able to experience all aspects of Homestead. “It was nice to see how different this school ran” Freshman Amit Nahum said. The IDC exchange at Homestead High School not only changed students outlooks on the school, it also presented them with a different school environment they could be living in, which makes the IDC exchange a unique opportunity for students.

OPINION Study now, love later


Dec. 15, 2013

Office hours: helpful or not? by Joanah Nguyen Staff Writer


Kristina Lechuga | The Phoenix

by Tatiana Castillo Business Manager


ne month into freshman year, I got myself into a serious relationship with someone I had just met. My boyfriend at the time consumed all of my time and I began to pull away from my friends. He and I were inseparable. We did everything together. I found myself falling for him very quickly. Being with him distracted me from school, but I didn’t care. All I cared about was texting him during class and going to eat breakfast with him when I should have been at office hours. I’m not saying I regret our relationship, nor am I saying relationships are a bad thing. What I’m saying is, as a young teenager in high school, relationships shouldn’t be a priority. I had a lot of friends before I met him, but they started to distance themselves from me because I wouldn’t treat them like friends. I didn’t make time for them, and when we did

spend time together all I would talk to them about is how much I miss my boyfriend or how perfect he is. I firmly believe that friends should not be second place to your boyfriend/ girlfriend. As teens, we need time with our friends. We need people other than our boyfriends to talk to and laugh with. And I’m sure guys need time with their friends as well. What I didn’t realize is that my time with my friends is limited. After high school, we will all be going different ways, and as much as we promise to always keep in touch, it will be a lot harder than that. Never take your friends for granted. True friends deserve to always be appreciated. A strong relationship

and a good report card can be tricky to manage during these crazy high school days. However, you need to sit down and think about what you really want in life. A long, serious relationship can take away from the high school experience. We are young people and there is no need to tie yourself down into something extremely serious. I’m not saying don’t commit, I’m suggesting you take things slow and don’t rush into those “we’re going to get married and have kids” promises. Be young, appreciate your youth because after high school, it’s going to be hard to make up for the experiences you missed out on. However, it is not impossible to have a relationship during your school years. Sometimes you really like someone and being with him or her is what will make you happy. Time management can be tricky, but there are ways to get schoolwork done and spend time with your boyfriend/girlfriend at the

same time. Going to eat breakfast and then going to office hours together would be the perfect way to spend a morning with a loved one. Another idea could be to have homework dates at the library or a quiet place so neither person is distracted. Even though it is very hard not to get distracted in the presence of the person you like, you have to remind yourself and your crush that you have important tasks that need to be taken care of. Also, turning off your phone for a couple hours in the evening will give you time to do your homework without constantly stopping to read those “Hey babe(:” texts and “I miss you” Facebook messages. School is a very important part of everyone’s life, and the opportunity of free education should not be taken for granted. Furthering your education through college is not promised, but I promise there are many years ahead of you to fall in love and involve yourself in a serious relationship.

ffice hours are not a bad thing. Students whose grades are slipping can go make things up in office hours and have their grades raised. All you do is tell your teacher what time you’re going to come in to office hours to make up work that you’ve missed or to just catch up on.  Teachers who think you need help in the class or on a certain assignment can tell you to go to office hours and will most likely tell you in advance when you need to make your assignment up. A lot of students take advantage of office hours and most teachers are glad that some students come in and get a few assignments done. Some teachers even offer extra credit for stopping by. They have office hours for a reason. It’s for you to get one-on-one help with a teacher so they understand what you are having trouble with. Students often think that going to office hours can be boring. Those who put time and effort into going can really make a difference to their grades. Right now, you can choose whether or not to go to a class to make things up or not. Next year, office hours should be mandatory. If office hours were mandatory, students would have a weight lifted off their shoulders. By making office hours mandatory it would make a huge difference to students’ grades. The ones that actually need the time and help in a certain class can easily get the help they need. That’s one of the reasons why I think it is a great idea making it mandatory. Students wouldn’t have a choice whether to go or not. If office hours fit into our daily schedule, that would be even better. We could have office hours in between classes. It would be better to have them during the school day because then students wouldn’t complain about coming early on Friday to make up a test they had missed. It’s better knowing you actually went to office hours to work on a few things, than feeling going next week and then you complain and regret not going to office hours because you didn’t have the time.

If office hours were mandatory, students would have a weight lifted off their shoulders. I also think office hours should be mandatory because those that don’t have anything to do during office hours and those who are all caught up, can work on extra credit assignments or homework. Getting homework out of the way is always a good idea especially if you have any other after school activities. Think about it. You want to do the best you can and aim for the grades you want. So why not make office hours mandatory? You can get the help you need which will make a difference to your grade and you’ll be stress free.

Campus litter: Fremont starting to get trashy by Ashley Chavez News Editor


he Earth is our home, not a public garbage can. Maybe the ignorance comes from a lack of manners. Maybe it comes from laziness. Whatever it is, it’s unacceptable. It’s no mystery as to how our campus becomes so trashed after brunch and lunch. Students somehow manage to always make a complete mess of something that should be a simple task. Cleaning up after yourself is a part of life. Under hardly any

circumstance is it necessary to leave trash on the ground. The garbage you shamelessly toss on the ground does not disappear into thin air. It does not find its own way to a trashcan. It ends up in places it should never be. Whether it’s in the storm drains in the street, in the

planters around campus or stuck to the bottoms of our shoes, it’s never where it should be – in the garbage. I can’t imagine the reasons anybody could have for leaving garbage on the ground. There are trashcans all over campus and in the surrounding businesses. Being in high school, everyone should be of age to understand right from wrong. Everyday I see students dropping their trash left and right. It might just be a habit and maybe they don’t even realize they’re doing it. In that case, that’s a matter of improper manners.

Growing teenagers naturally feel as though they should be respected as adults. I can tell you right now that littering is the farthest thing from a respectable action and that of an adult. Just because littering isn’t a crime and you won’t be arrested for doing it, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be afraid to. You should absolutely be afraid of littering. Our job as humans is to take care of our Earth. If you can’t do the least by keeping it clean, you’re going to have a tough reality check when there’s nobody to clean up after you anymore.

Thankfully, there are custodians on campus that can clean up the litter. While their job is to tidy up the campus, their job is not to clean up the outrageous messes left by students. It’s incredibly frustrating watching someone litter. For sanitary reasons, I don’t like to pick up other peoples’ litter. What I can’t understand are the people who see litter and kick it around. While they might not have been the one to leave it there in the first place, kicking it around is just as unnecessary as littering. I like to call it second-

hand littering. Just the other day during passing period, I watched as the person next to me kicked an empty bottle all the way down the hall. At no point did they pick it up. After using it for their own amusement, they kicked it off to the side. It doesn’t make sense to me, how someone can play with trash. Cleaning up after yourself is not a new concept. It’s not something that should have to be retaught. It’s common sense and moral uprightness. Throwing away your garbage should simply be a habit instead of a chore.

Special Feature


t s e B


s e i d d u B Best Buddies is a club created to establish friendships and bulid bridges and friendships between the intellectually disabled students at Fremont with the student body. Because frienship is important for development they select students to be one-on-one buddies who they get to know throughtout the whole year. The rest of the members are associate members and particapate in events throughout the year with the buddies. They meet every week on Weds. and also have outings to get closer with the buddies as a group.

Acting to

protect thE environment

Dec. 10, 2013

Clubs on

Photo courtesy of Sabrina Huey

Acting to Protect the Environment (APE) is an environemental club that aims to promote thinking green. By thinking green, they mean restoring the environment and reducing the pollution caused by humans. Recently they hosted a camping trip in order to embrace the outdoors. Another major event they attended was Green Festival in Nov. The festival offered eco friendly products as well as activities. There the club helped sorting trash and disposing of it. APE meets Thurs. during lunch.


iya L







Dec. 10, 2013

Special Feature


give back Youth Orga Filip i

Interact is a community service club devoted to helping the local community. Interact promotes leadership. They participate in many community service activities on and off campus. Interact involves itself in not only bettering the community around them, but also throughout the world. Every year, Interact has two main service projects: one that helps the school or community and one that promotes international understanding. All the money they raise throughout the year goes to the interanational project, which is a specific project that betters a third-wrold country in need. Interacts main goal is to create a positive change and better the world.

Photo courtesy of Rujuta Kortikor




The Filipino Youth Organization (FYO) is a club built off of the Filipino culture. Not only does the club enrich its members with the Filipino culture, but it also works with a larger organization in San Jose called Filipino Youth Coalition (FYC) to discuss and help with youth struggles in today’s society. Another big event that FYO takes part in is Battle of the Tribes, a huge rally consiting of schools’ FYO clubs in the San Jose and Santa Clara districts. FYO’s latest event was its fundraiser of non-perishable foods, clothes and toiletries to those effected by typhoon Yolanda in the Phillippines. FYO meets in room 26 on Thursdays. The club is open to all students of any grade, age and ethnicity.



o n

Photo courtesy of Malia Ramos

Feminist Advocacy Movement Priya Lee | The Phoenix

The Feminist Advocacy Movement (FAM) is a club on campus dedicated to bring gender equality to all. To destroy the patriarchy, FAM has group discussions about the oppression of both women and men in today’s society. The club also holds fundraisers, campains and projects to acheieve this goal. FAM’s latest projects include the “Why I Need Feminism” photo campaign and “Dear Survior” letter campaign, which students can write words of hope and encouragment to those effected by sexual harssment or abuse.

OPINION So what are we supposed to think? Dec. 10, 2013


by Editorial Staff Collaborative


s teenagers, we try to find a balance between being unique and being “in”. But with society, parents and friends all trying to influence our lives, it’s become harder to discover who we are as individuals. The teenage years mark an important transition between child and adult, where we begin to think for ourselves and figure out our own personalities. But at our age, so many people try to sway us one way or another, at almost every aspect of our lives- what to wear, how to dance, how to speak, but most importantly, what to believe in. So what about our own opinions? The people or things we are influenced by shape our moral values and how we live.

It is extremely important to understand what influences us and better yet, what we allow to influence us. One influence is society. We see teens in the media that are “perfect.” From T.V. shows and movies to advertisements, there’s a certain expectation. Tall, pretty, thin, perfect teeth, perfect hair. Because we view these teens as perfect, we often strive to be like them. We start dieting at a young age and invest in $300 gym memberships. Everything to be just like these “perfect” teens. And what does that show about us? It’s conformity and the struggle to fit in. However, being accepted for imitation isn’t really acceptance at all, because imitation

isn’t you. Another huge influence is peer pressure. Naturally, we don’t want to be the outcast. We sometimes do these things because others are doing it and we want to be part of something “cool.” Granted there is positive peer pressure (ie. study with me?) The type of people we become depends on what kind of peer pressure we are surrounded by. Our friends do play a big role in what we do and how we do it. But we can’t always follow their lead, because then we turn more into our friends than ourselves. We also have to consider where we come from and

what familial and cultural aspects impact our lives. Every family is different. Naturally, there’s that instinctual drive to please the family and make them proud. That makes it harder for teens to go out on their own and stand up for what they want Aside from the obvious influences from the people we hold dear to us, there are also people we don’t know as well, who sometimes try to shove their beliefs down our throats daily. Anyone remember a couple months ago when some people stood outside of the school and passed out pamphlets calling for the end of abortion? And how those

packets contained false pictures of aborted fetuses? See, those people realize that high schoolers are impressionable, and they might not even be able to tell the difference between a doll covered in fake blood and an aborted fetus (which, at four months, definitely doesn’t look anything like a tiny human). And it happens so often too, in more subtle ways than people standing around and passing us “information” at school. This stuff gets passed down to us every day, no matter what we do. It comes from televisions, radios and magazines. The thing is, though, we don’t even know it. Since when did it become normal for people to base their

self-worth off of the visibility of their bones? People twenty years ago didn’t have to worry about that and people shouldn’t have to worry about it today. People don’t care about you as much as you think and we’re not saying you’re unimportant, but it’s more of breaking the mold society tries to create for you. Breaking that stereotype and that single story, that some people think defines you. Don’t be Play-Doh and let other people shape everything about you because they are not you. Teens today face much pressure and high expectations from a variety of sources, as if finding yourself wasn’t hard enough already. We have to find a balance by acknowledging what society expects of us, but not adhering to it.

Marinn Cedillo | The Phoenix

The new year leads to new nonsense by Juan Martinez Copy Editor


t’s another day, but at the same time, it’s not. The year is coming to an end and it’s my “favorite” time of the season. The mistakes I made are now deep in the past and the Christmas spirit is arriving. I’m “too” excited for this moment. We can now all forget about Miley Cyrus twerking, Kimye getting engaged and the fact that Amanda Bynes went crazy. Those things will no longer haunt me and my childhood can be resurrected. This year wasn’t that horrible, there was summer vacation, another birthday and I’m writing this article that you all are reading. Anyway, during our ride on the roller coaster of life, we eventually have to get off and start a new ride. And that’s what the New Year symbolizes to me. So if you didn’t read the sarcasm, then this is the part where I tell you I was just kidding. Except for the part about Miley Cyrus twerking. Please for what is still holy in the world, stop. In all honesty, I hate the New Year. It’s so annoying to hear all these people make plans and promises about stuff they won’t even go through with. I’m not trying to bash on anyone’s dream, but people need to understand that a wish is only the first step of having a goal. I figure most people can do a lot more

What’s the point? Don’t get me wrong, I like having the day off but I spend it wondering why I have to stay up until midnight. than just one thing every year. Furthermore, the New Year is just another day. It’s another excuse to not doing something. What are we celebrating? What’s the point? Don’t get me wrong I like the day off but I spend it wondering why I have to stay up until midnight. I already do that for my homework everyday. I’m pretty sure all I want is a day that I can spend in bed with cozy blanket and no one making too much noise. My neighbors are annoying enough as it is. The last thing I need is them partying around me while I’m trying to sleep. I’m almost certain I live next to Dinkleberg. We have New Years and we have Chinese New Year. I know I’m not Chinese, but I like to explore other cultures and it would be nice to celebrate a traditional Chinese new year. It would be nice if everyone could share some culture together to unify the world. Anyway to end on a good note, I’m just going to say have a happy new year, you filthy animals. Again, I’m only kidding. Don’t go crying to your mother about it.

Nuts and bolts of apps by Savannah Kiene Staff Writer


ongratulations! You’ve pressed the “submit” on your very last application for CSU/UC applications. Now you can sit back, relax, and enjoy waiting for their replies…right? Wrong. There are plenty of additional steps you must complete before you can even think about relaxing. One of the most important tasks that must be done is taking the ACT/SAT if you haven’t already. For most colleges, the deadline for taking the tests is by the end of December. There are two test dates that meet that deadline- Dec 7 for the SAT and Dec 14 for the ACT. If you have not already signed up for these dates, talk to your guidance counselor about what your options are. If you’ve already taken the SAT/ACT, make sure that the colleges you’ve applied to receive those scores. If you did not put them down in the application, you can go online to for the SAT or actstudent. org for the ACT and send your scores for a small fee. This is highly important because it allows the colleges to see what your

scores are compared to each applicant. Some private schools require that each applicant be interviewed by the admissions officers. If you applied to a private school, you should check to see if it’s necessary to schedule an interview. These interviews can be very crucial to the school’s decision in choosing future students, because it helps them further determine the student’s character. Be sure that you check in with your schools to see if an interview is needed. Once everything has been submitted and scheduled, it’s time to start with the most stressful part of college; the budget. There are several opportunities of receiving financial aid, so now is the time to start researching scholarships and applying for financial aid. If you aren’t quite sure where to start, or are a bit lost on what options you have for getting any sort of financial aid, attend the Introduction to Financial Aid Information Night on Dec. 12 at 6 p.m. The guidance counselors will help you get a jump start on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and you can then work with your parents from there.

The FAFSA does not have an urgent deadline, so don’t make that a major priority if you have other stressors on your plate. You have until March to apply, but it’s always important and helpful to get a head start. Again, the best resource is your guidance counselor, so talk to him or her if you have questions. They will direct you in the best way possible and make you feel less stressed about financial aid. Last but not least, keep up with your schoolwork. There are so many sad stories of students who were admitted to their dream schools, but then got rejected once the school looked at their Senior Year transcript. You don’t have to get straight A’s, but if you put forth enough effort that proves to the college that you didn’t slack off, everything will be fine. Do not let senioritis destroy you. Once again, congratulations on submitting your applications. Now remember the simple steps you have to take to complete the task and then and only then can you relax (and hey, you’ll be a second semester senior by then… what’s better than that?)

Dec. 10, 2013

OPINION Ask Esteban


The answers to all of your relationship problems


What should I do if I want to get a job but not stress myself out with schoolwork? How do I balance work and school? A: Having a job requires responsibility, time management and sacrificing a lot of recreational activities. If you’re already overwhelmed by school, don’t focus on getting a job, focus on improving your grades. Don’t feel that you can push off homework and studying because you make money, because school is more important. The first thing you should do is treat school as a job. That’s what matters now. Working at a restaurant or a cashier comes second. Make time for school any chance you get and study ahead of the class, so you’ll always be prepared. Make sure you’re in great shape, academically and mentally in school before you get a job. But have fun with your job. Jobs can teach you a lot of things. They can teach you how to keep cool and calm if someone’s being a donkey. It can teach you about time management, handling the money and improving your stamina for schoolwork. Q: Why do people judge others for how they look? I know its not jealousy. What could be the reason behind it? A: Everyone judges others, but what you do with your judgements matter. If you judge someone for being lazy and not intelligent because they are homeless, then you’re already giving them adjectives before you meet them. There’s a lot of reasons for judging others, but realize that we judge others because we’re all prejudiced in some way. Another reasons could be people don’t meet your expectations or exceed the. If someone looks poorer than you, they don’t exceed your expectations. If someone is richer than you, they exceed your expectations. Q: My friend and her boyfriend (also my friend) are currently in a big argument and I’m the middleman of the communication. It’s really annoying, but I feel awkward telling them both that I don’t want to be the one in the middle anymore. What should I do?

A: Tell them. They’re your friends, right? If it’s something serious, then get them together to solve it. Make them learn to solve their own problems by themselves. Communication is important to a healthy relationship. If your friends don’t learn how to take care of their own problems, they’re going to keep coming back and eventually you’ll tick. The important thing here is communication for them. What they’re doing is immature. Don’t feel awkward telling them you don’t want to be in the middle because you’re not supposed to. Help them solve the problem together, not be mad against each other. Q: There’s this girl I really like. The only problem is, I too am also a girl. I’ve told most of my friends, but I’m not sure if I should tell the rest. In addition to that, I’m afraid of her knowing. What should I do? A: First off, please don’t worry about telling your friends. I know it’s cliche to say, but if you tell them and they judge you, then they weren’t really your friends anyway. And you probably won’t even have to worry about them judging you. I promise, coming out will do you much more good than bad over here. Now, for the second part of your question: That’s tough, seriously. And trust me, I understand. Most people would probably say that you should tell her and you probably should. I’m assuming that you like this girl for more than just her looks, and if you do, then she’s probably pretty great and won’t freak out about it. Maybe she’ll even say she likes you back. It’s up to you if it’s important enough for you to try to figure out. Good luck.

tree. Wait until Christmas actually comes (the next day). Drink coffee if you have to, but stay on that tree. That is important. When he comes rushing down to the tree, he’ll see you on top of it and if he tells you to come down and kiss him, then he definitely likes you. If he screams at you, yells for his parents or calls the police, then he’s just playing hard to get, so just tie him up or something and convince why you’re his soulmate. But seriously, if you want to know if he likes you, ask him, or ask him out. Playing the “game” is fun, but it’ll eventually drag out and get boring. There’s no roll of the dice here. His response will either be yes or no. If he says yes, you guys are like practically married. If he says no, then you’re not. But you can be friends, right? There’s plenty of fish in the sea and even though some are aggressive or filled with mercury, you’ll eventually find that one fish you can swim along with.

Q:I can’t tell if this guy likes me or if he’s just a nice guy. Is there any way I’d be able to tell if he likes me or not? A:Be the star of his Christmas. Literally. During Christmas Eve when his whole family is sleeping, sneak into his house or whatever he lives in. You know how most Christmas trees have a star on top? Well, remove that star, climb up the tree and somehow, sit on top of it. Own the top of the Christmas

Nicole Stibbard | The Phoenix

Finale of Finals by Neha Mannikar

Arts and Entertainment Editor


n the next week, expect to see frantic library runs, textbook cramming and stacked cups of coffee. Finals may have arrived, but with a prepared and calm mind, you have nothing to fear. As the semester comes to a close, this is your final chance to nudge that teetering grade, pass your classes and prove your abilities. With that being said, finals are also a time of unnecessary panic. Preparing for finals is not as bad as it may sound. Good test-taking strategies include both studying and building confidence. If you follow these simple tips, you can overcome the stress and focus on success. Let’s start at the beginning: studying. Spending hours hunched over a textbook will not only damage your eyes and bore you to insanity but will work no wonders for your memory. The key point is to make studying fun. You don’t always have to work alone. Try to create a study group with peers and set a list of topics so you don’t go off task. Groups allow you to bounce ideas off of others and learn new ways to approach difficult concepts. Remember to still spend time individually reviewing. Vary your studying between groups and alone time, making sure to take short, timed breaks

between studying to refresh your mind and body. Another essential quality that cannot be stressed enough is management. Be organized. Make sure you have designated spots for work from different classes so you can quickly find what you’re looking for.  Shelves or filing cabinets work great. Make plenty of lists and determine what comes first, and what has a higher priority. Start studying for your finals today—please don’t wait until the night before. When you’re studying, try teaching the material to a friend, parent or even pet. That way, you are forced to think of concepts in your own words and better understand them.  It always helps to study all the material beforehand so the night before is just review. Concepts won’t seem new to you, so you’ll feel better about yourself. Even the best testtakers need a good dose of courage and confidence to do well. It doesn’t matter if you absolutely hate a class or don’t fully understand what’s going on; you have

to pretend. Tell yourself you love the class, and try to make the material seem interesting. If you convince yourself that you know what you’re doing, you will move more efficiently and make less silly mistakes. Get rid of the doubt and have faith in yourself as a learner. Be calm, take a deep breath and relax. Okay, now you’re all set for the test.  But how do you focus during the test? The immediate answer is to make sure you get enough sleep. Try to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep starting this week, so you don’t have difficulty sleeping next week. If you don’t sleep well, try listening to soothing music and lowering the thermostat. With proper rest, you won’t zone out or doze off in the middle of your final. Don’t forget that after finals comes break, and if you do well, you can enjoy your two weeks off. Think of nothing but the test as you take it. See, it isn’t that bad. All you have to do is be prepared by getting proper rest, studying in fun ways and always believing in yourself. But here’s the catch: only you can do this. No one else can prepare for you. It all depends on how determined you are: you have to devote time and energy to be successful. Remember, you have great potential, and you just need to relax and give it your best.  

Arts & Entertainment Hassle free, easy gifting Talent spotlight: Dec. 10, 2013


Wendy Frye

by Marcus Saranglao Sports Editor

& Sarah Arkoh Business Manager

With the rainy days and Chicago-like weather approaching, it is evident that winter is near. And with this season comes lots of gift giving. Here are a few recommendations on what gifts to buy this season that will certainly leave your loved ones feeling warm inside. Buy a box of tea or cocoa powder and match it with a cozy wool blanket. A classic winter tradition is cuddling up by the fireplace with a warm cup of tea or cocoa and a nice wool blanket. Pick up a box of tea bags or a jar of cocoa mix from any local grocery store and pair it with a cozy blanket from any retailer, such as Target. This gift is inexpensive, thoughtful and a fun way to celebrate the winter weather. Ditch the boots and glove set for a beanie and scarf combo. Boots and gloves are a basic choice. However, it is often hard to decipher foot sizes. This classic combo of a beanie and scarf is an option that can work for girls or guys, and one size fits most, so everyone can be comfy outdoors. Also beanies are perfect to combat the winter weather. Top it off with a scarf, making this gift sentimental and stylish. For an added bonus, pick a color that will best suit the person receiving the gift. Restock on sweatpants. The lazy days are approaching. Sweatpants are a must have. Although intended for working out, it’s a blessing in disguise to wear these bad boys at any time of the day. Buy these as a gift for others (or just a splurge for yourself) and

Kristina Lechuga | The Phoenix

by Kristina Lechuga Arts and Design Editor

Kristina Lechuga | The Phoenix

stay comfy. Drop the Hollister gear and buy a gift card. Yeah, it’s nice to pick out clothes for loved ones but with gift cards, people can actually pick what they want and be sure that it fits. It doesn’t take much to bring up that horrible memory of that ugly shirt received for Christmas last year. Skip the hassle of having to return items and play it safe with a gift card. Gift cards can be bought at nearly all retail stores. Some crowd favorites are H&M, Old Navy, American Eagle, Hot Topic, Urban Outfitters, Forever 21 and PacSun. Please foodies with a gift card to a favorite place like Jamba Juice or Cold Stone. Drop the Bath and Body Works set. Instead, make a gift basket of personalized goods. Storemade gift boxes are easy and quick, but homemade gift baskets are more thoughtful. Personalize it with your friend’s favorite lotions and soaps. For the more tech

savvy friend, throw in a phone charger, a couple neat phone cases and a screen protector. Homemade gift baskets can be personalized to any friend’s likes. Add in some cookies and these baskets are sure to be a favorite. Invest in some O.P.I. nail polish. Most teen girls love nail polish. O.P.I. nail polish is a little pricey but definitely worth the investment. Along with Essie, it is one of the most loved brands of nail polish. Numerous salon professionals worldwide use O.P.I. In recent months, it has been found that several nail liquors use harsh chemicals that aren’t good for the user. However O.P.I. refuses to use such chemicals in their products. This ensures a safe, colorful option for the holidays. Buy mom a tablet. Almost every parent wants a tablet. The most popular one is the Apple iPad, but some less expensive alternatives are the Kindle Fire by Amazon, the Nook

by Barnes and Noble or the Nexus 7 by Google. Tablets are lightweight, fast and are easily available. Parents can not only read on these tablets, but can also pay bills, watch videos and capture memories. Gather around with your siblings and spoil the ‘rents. And with the extra cash left over… donate to charity! Many suffer from poverty everyday and the holidays provide a great time for people to give back. There are several organizations that accept money for those in need. A good one to keep in mind is Sunnyvale Community Services. Sunnyvale Community Services is a local non-profit organization that collects food and goods for those in need. Another great organization is the American Red Cross. They help with disaster relief and the the community. Tis the season for gifts and giving, so make haste and make this upcoming holiday a memorable one.

With such diversity and talent at Fremont High School, it’s easy to come across someone whose skills are worth spotlighting. Wendy Frye is one example of Fremont’s gifted students. Frye is a talented artist of many diverse mediums who shares her talents with the community. Her love for the arts started at the age of 6, when her grandmother sent her a Japanese manga art book for Christmas. She used the book as an inspiration to start drawing, and developed her creative skills further from there. Her skills include graffiti art, face painting, clay sculpture, video, photography and costume making along with cartooning and stage makeup. For Halloween, Frye recreated a handmade costume from the movie “Black Swan”. She began by sewing it together, assembling the tutu by hand in 2 days, then glued each gem and feather onto a pre-owned black corset and styled it from a picture reference of the actual tutu used. Inspiration for the costume came from a personal place for her. “I listened to classical instrumental music to help me draw and write, and I used to be in ballet,” Frye said. “A song I remembered from my practices had come on and it triggered a want in me to be something creative and beautifully dark. Like ballet.” Her visual art skills are very distinct in style as well. She mostly draws cartoons, graffiti art and inspirations “I try to find beauty in dark places,” Frye said. “There is beauty in graffiti, but people look down upon it.” Frye describes herself as a self-taught artist. “I’m completely self-taught, but I pick up tips and tricks from artists I look up to and that I am influenced by,” Frye said. Although she is talented, she remains modest about her skills. “The only popularity I care about is on YouTube,” Frye said. “The rest, like face painting for kids, I do only for my own happiness and for nothing else.”

Catching Fire: sets the movie theaters on fire by Alex Bernauer Managing Editor

The most difficult part for a movie franchise trilogy is to pull off the dreaded second film. The second film is supposed to go bigger than the first, and set the stage for the finale. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire goes against the odds and sparks high expectations for the following films. Many people have read these books, and Catching Fire calls forth lots of old memories of being engrossed in these riveting novels. Here is a quick refresher for those who may have forgotten what the Hunger Games series is all about. This trilogy is adopted from Suzanne Collins’

novels which are set in a futuristic world, in a nation called Panem. The Capitol, the main city of the nation, is where the highly privileged live and wield control over the entire nation. The rest of Panem is split up into 12 different districts. Each year the Capitol holds the greatly feared “Hunger Games” to instill obedience and prevent the Districts from uprising against the Capitol. From the first film, Katniss Everdeen, a miner’s daughter from District 12 becomes a symbol of hope among the Districts by defying the Capitol’s rule. Picking up where they left off, main characters, Katniss and Peeta Malark, the cowinners of the 74th annual “Hunger Games” find themselves worldwide celebrities in Catching Fire. Most of this sequel is dedicated

Photo courtesy of

to the all District victory tour, and President Snow’s

attempt to use Katniss and Peeta’s images against them

to abolish the beginnings of an uprising. Haymitch, a previous Hunger Games victor and mentor for Katniss and Peeta, takes on a bigger role in this sequel. He becomes more than a useless drunk and more of a father figure for Katniss. In addition to the development of Haymitch, this film introduces crucial characters, such as Finnick Odiar, the hunky victor from District Four, and Plutarch Heavensbee, the new head games maker replacing Seneca Crane.   The acting throughout the movie repeatedly makes you feel as if you’re a part of the characters’ lives in the film. All of the actors and actresses are very talented and do not disappoint. The characters are brought to life even more with their ravishing costumes. Never disap-

pointing with ridiculously over-the-top costumes, Effie Trinket, the traveling manager for Katniss and Peeta, adds to the ridiculous sense of style this trilogy aims for. After exciting twists, the actual games finally start, and are very similar to the first film. Seriously, how many different ways can you have an arena of 24 tributes try to kill each other? Regardless of the similarity, the scenes in the arena are far more intense than the first film and the score keeps you on your toes. The score is perfectly created to heighten every dramatic moment, showcasing the intimate moments as well. Overall this second filmed has ignited great excitement of what is to come for the remaining films in the series. There was nothing to complain about this film and it definitely deserves five out of five stars.

Arts & Entertainment Tu Mero Mole: below par 11

by Chau Nguyen Sports Editor

It’s alright. Located on the corner of Old San Francisco Road and Fair Oaks Road, Tu Mero Mole is a restaurant that despite its higher price, serves a wide variety of regional Mexican food. Walking up to the large orange doors and pulling them open, the first thing you hear is “Welcome!” The lady behind the clean counter asks if you want it to have the food here or to go. If you stay, you sit on the cushioned orange chairs. The tables next to the wide and clear rectangular windows have a large view of the parking lot. As you look around, the colors of the restaurant instantly pop out. Bright orange, baby sky blue and highlighter green walls all make the place seem very lively, but with its scattered one or two customers, it’s anything but lively. Each side of the large restaurant has a TV that airs sports and emits the war cry from the football announcers, “GOAAAAAAAAL.” There’s an empty bar that’s pristine with four high chairs and there’s decor such as skulls on the walls. There’s lot of chitchat and the large windows make it seem lonely and quiet in the restaurant. There aren’t that many people or much laughter and conversation, so it doesn’t have that res-

Alex Bernauer | The Phoenix

taurant “feel”. There’s also a salsa bar, with 12 condiments like savory salsa and nacho cheese for the warm tortilla chips that you’re given. They taste freshly baked from the light that heats them. Warm and crunchy, with a bunch of condiments, they’re good appetizers. Prices range from a dollar fifty for different f lavored horchatas to eight dollars for burritos. Devouring the burritos de carne asada (burrito with grilled beef ) with black beans gives an explosion of different f lavors and texture. There’s also fried beans if you’re into that kind of stuff. Wrapped in aluminum foil, the burrito was just the right temperature. The grilled beef was chewy and juicy, blending perfectly with softness of the tortilla and rice. Chismol, a type of salsa, adds the fresh taste of onions, bell peppers, toma-

toes, olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin and oregano grips you and doesn’t let you go. The customer service is great. The waiter occasionally roams around to ask if the food is okay and the managers of the restaurant are genuine and care about what kind of food they’re making. They’re so nice that they didn’t even call the police when a customer left and forgot to pay for his crepas de cajetas and burrito de carne asada. The crepas de cajetas were on the next level. They’re a dessert prepared with warm caramel, pecan nuts, two soft chewy crepes, sliced strawberries and a scoop of Mexican vanilla ice cream. The dish is variety of textures that blend harmoniously. The chilliness of the ice cream combined with the drizzled warm caramel, the soft crepes and crunchiness of the pecans is definitely worth three dollars. Eating

the ice cream is like chewing on mint-flavored gum and then drinking water; it’s cold and refreshing. The building is elongated and pristine. A sign with a bird on it looks like it wants you to come inside and grab a bite or else it’s going to be pissed off. And sure enough, the colorful walls, crepas de cajetas and the excellent customer service is worth it. But what’s definitely not worth it is the bathroom. Holy crap, that place is terrifying. The glow in there is spookier than having five dollars in your printing account when you’ve already used it up. It was like a movie scene from Hitchcock. If you want to do your business in the stall, be prepared to be an expert in aiming because once the doors are closed, it’s going to be dark and stuffy. The handle for the sink is broken, and looking in, you’d think an exorcism had taken place. The bathroom made bowels move more than the beans did. Tu Mero Mole doesn’t really feel like a restaurant since it’s so empty and quiet and the ugliness and atmosphere of the bathroom give it a gloomy feeling. The decor is nice and not too heavy, but with its lack of customers and high prices, and compared with other places such as Chavez Supermarket, it feels like more of a pick and go restaurant. However, its excellent customer service and variety of food is worth it.

When Santa gets it wrong by Chau Nguyen

Be the Santa: Keep the gift you don’t want because you can give them to someone else. But you’re not giving them a “burden”. You also don’t have to buy any more gifts since you can give the one you don’t want to someone else. If they need the gift, it will be a great present. Not everyone has the same thing you have, so if you get the same gift, it’ll be appreciated that you’re not hoarding it all. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Donate: Donate, donate donate. Some people rarely receive gifts due to family or financial situations. Don’t

Photo Courtesy of Squidoo, The Rumelier, The Aspen Group Inc & Beginner’s Heaven

Holiday jubilee by Nicole Stibbard Staff Writer

Though you may know the names of these holidays, do you know what they mean? Hanukkah- Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire, also known as the Festival of Lights and Feast of Dedication. Hanukkah takes place for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur anytime from late Nov. to late Dec. in the Gregorian calendar. Kwanzaa- Kwanzaa is a weeklong celebration that is held in the United States and is also celebrated in the West African Diaspora and other nations of Americans. The celebration honors African heritage and is observed from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1. It was created by Maulana Karenga, and was first celebrated in 1966–67 St. Nicholas Day- St. Nicholas Day is usually held on Dec. 6th. It is a festival for children in many countries in Europe, and is related to surviving legends of the saint, based particularly on his reputation as a bringer of gifts. Usually the whole family gets ready for the saint’s arrival on the 6th of Dec., with grandparents telling stories of the saint as they wait for his arrival. Bodhi Day- Bodhi Day is celebrated on Dec. 8th and is the Buddhist holiday that commemorates the day the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, experienced enlightenment. This day is observed in many popularMahayana traditions including the traditional Zen and Pure Land Buddhist schools of Korea, China, Japan, and Vietnam. St. Lucia Day- St. Lucia Day is held on Dec. 13th and is the church feast day dedicated to Lucia of Syracuse. St. Lucia’s Day is celebrated mostly in Italy and Scandinavia, with each emphasizing a different aspect of St. Lucia’s story. In the traditional celebrations, Saint Lucia comes as a young woman with lights and sweets.

Sports Editor

You might get some socks, a stove your family already has or a set of pajamas for a gender different from your own. Ugh. However, there are many things to do with unwanted Christmas gifts and although some won’t benefit you, they will benefit others. Isn’t that the spirit of Christmas? You might not like your present because you can’t use it, you already have it or it’s something small, like getting a black iPhone 4s instead of a white one. Like seriously mom? Ugh. Here are some ideas. Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal.

Dec. 10, 2013

Las Posadas- Las Posadas is a nine-day celebration with origins in Spain, now celebrated specifically in Mexico, Guatemala and parts of the Southwestern United States. It begins Dec. 16th and ends Dec. 24th. This day has been a tradition in Mexico for 400 years. While this tradition has roots in Catholicism, even Protestant Latinos follow this tradition. Kristina Lechuga | The Phoenix

wrap the gift because then no one knows what is underneath that shiny gift wrapper. Bring the gift to Salvation Army or Goodwill and see if they want it. If you don’t need it, give it to someone who does. Trade: One of your relatives members got a Algebra 1 textbook for Christmas and you want it? Nice. In exchange, give them something they want, like an Calculus textbook or some Old Spice deodorant. Sell: If you can’t trade or you’re tight on money or just want money,take a shot at selling some of your unwanted Christmas gifts. You can have a garage sale, or try using Craigslist or Ebay. Return it: Most stores have a

return policy of up to thirty days and although most stores are not required to accept unwanted Christmas gifts, some do. If you’re really savvy, ask them for a receipt, but tell the person who gave you the gift that you appreciated they thought of the gift for you, but you cannot use or you do not need it. Don’t be a jerk and whine about your gift. Christmas is not about getting gifts. It’s about spending time with your family and if you think Christmas is all about gifts, you’re probably that person who can’t make it to your family’s Thanksgiving celebration because of Black Friday. Getting unwanted gifts suck. Being told your gifts suck? Well, sucks even more. Be appreciative you received a gift, but if you don’t like it or don’t need it, give it to those who do need it.

Boxing Day- Boxing Day is traditionally the day following Christmas Day, when tradesmen and or servants would receive gifts from their bosses or employers, known as a “Christmas box”. Celebrated in Canada, Boxing Day is better known as bank or public holiday that occurs on Dec. 26th, or the first or second weekday after Christmas Day, depending on the national or regional laws. Junkanoo- Junkanoo is a street parade with music that occurs in multiple towns across the Bahamas every Boxing Day (Dec. 26th), New Year’s Day and, more recently, in the summer on the island of Grand Bahamas. Hogmanay- Hogmanay is a Scottish Bank Holiday and is the Scots’ word for the last day of the year. It is also synonymous with the well-known celebration of the New Year. However, it is normally the start of a celebration that lasts through the night until the morning of New Year’s Day or, in some cases, Jan. 2nd. After learning all these holidays and what they are all about, hopefully you can incorporate these fun, cultural traditions into your holiday season.

Sports Escalating to state finals Dec. 10, 2013


Making FHS history by Priya Lee

Lead Photographer

by Chris Peterson

Even though the Fremont’s girl’s water polo team wasn’t able to take home the League Champions title, they still received a chance to represent Fremont at the Central Coast Section playoffs. “I was with Varsha when we found out and it was really exciting for the both of us because girl’s water polo hadn’t gone to CCS in a while and it was nice to be the team that was able to do that,” junior Mina Loldj said. Actually, it wasn’t just a while since the Fremont girl’s water polo team made it to CCS. According to Coach Morris Clark, this was the first time in Fremont High School history that girl’s water polo was in the CCS playoffs bracket. It was also the only time that there were two teams (Mountain View High School and Fremont High School) from the El Camino League playing at CCS and their success at league finals helped them get there. “I was really happy, excited and I cried,” sophomore Carmen Steinmeier said. Entering the league finals, Fremont already had no chance at becoming league champions because of the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League bylaws, but they still wanted to finish the season strong by winning the League Final Tournament. The girls played both Santa Clara High School and Mountain View High School, which were the teams that they lost to during the regular season, and came out victorious, winning first in the league tournament. “We really wanted to win,” senior Rea Brakaj said. “We knew that these were the most important games and it was the end of the season, so we just gave it our all. Also we grew as a team. We were closer, we knew how to play better as well and I think we just had the mental mindset that we were going to win.” Winning the league tournament wasn’t enough to go on to CCS. For the El Camino League, only the first place team is able to automatically get into CCS. After that any other team is an at large bid. Many believed that Fremont’s season was over because they did not place first overall in the league. “I talked to Pooch and he said that it was done for us and Mr. Townshend was like: who would want to bring up two teams from the El Camino League,” senior Varsha Srivastava said. “But then we did and I was like: in your face.” When Fremont made it to CCS they were seated 12th out of 12 teams in division one and were up against Archbishop Mitty High School who was seated fifth. At the end of the first quarter, Mitty was winning eight to one. It wasn’t looking good for Fremont. “I’m not one to say that it was just nice making it there, but it was a test to see where we are as a team,” Clark said. “We played well the first three minutes of the game and then they found that one weakness. They attacked that weakness and then everyone got wide-eyed. Once Monsi scored that one goal, it settled people down.” The final score for the game was 13-5 with Mitty as the winner, but Fremont has high hopes for the next season. “We’re losing our number one goalie and our number one goal scorer and there’s no one to replace them,” Clark said. “Can everyone step up and say: what am I going to do to continue that? That’s the test. Next year is the test.” The girl’s water polo team made Fremont history by being the first team to make it to CCS. They played as a team, and in the end, accomplished their goal of making it to CCS playoffs. “One of the things that I’m proud about was how the team came together at the end,” Clark said. “If you look at Rea, our strongest player, it’s a tale to two halves. In the beginning of the season she carried this team on her back, she willed this team to win and then other teams shut her down. What happened was that all the other players around stepped up and played better and carried Rea.”

Staff Writer

Jacqueline Escalera placed 113th in the state cross country finals on Nov. 30th after placing sixth at the Central Coast Section on Nov. 16th. Escalera also became the second fastest female Fremont runner to run that course, which is an impressive feat to accomplish. “I wasn’t doing well throughout the season, so I thought I wouldn’t make it,” Escalera said. During practice, she and her teammates com-

peted against one another and motivated each other. On big events, the crosscountry team would give motivational speeches to boost the willpower and hard work in the team. “We built off one another, especially in the practices where we motivated each other,” Escalera said. This year, Escalera worked more on how to run and the science behind it, making every second count. Workouts consisted of speed resistance training, long and short intervals for running and recovery runs

incorporating different terrain, elevation and course changes. “I learned how to pace myself and focused on the strategy behind it, such as learning how to pick a runner to catch,” Escalera said. Last year in CCS, Escalera placed 6th as well, but was 18 seconds slower than this year. “It was an honor to go to CCS for the second time,”Escalera said. “I set a new record for myself. I also beat many girls that have been beating me the entire season, so that felt really great to accomplish. CCS

was my best race all season, so I feel very accomplished about it.” Preparing for states is difficult due to having only a limited time to prepare: one week. “I usually run a lot of speed workouts and take plenty of ice baths,” Escalera said Last year, Escalera placed 154th at States and ran the three-mile course in 22 minutes. She improved by three minutes this year. “I still have big hopes for getting in the top 10th by my senior year,” Escalera said.

Cheer’s pep soars into the new year by Briana Castillo Staff Writer

Their cheers are gone, but not for long. Fremont High School’s junior varsity and varsity cheerleading team will be cheering for basketball in Jan. and they are already putting in the effort for this season’s competition. Practicing three hours a day on Mondays and Wednesdays, they’re going to practice more cheers for basketball than football because the routine cheers are different for each sport. “We’re going to add an extra practice day if we need it,” junior Tatiana Castillo said. “We’re also looking into cheer gym to help us prepare. It gives us more hard core training.” In basketball, since the ball moves so quick and plays can change quickly as well, there are also many cheers that go along with the plays. If the opposing team has the ball and is preparing to shoot, there’ll be a cheer for defense to get the ball back. Once Fremont has the ball, it’ll be a cheer for the offense and to make the shot. Cheering for basketball season is also different in that the girls do not freeze when cheering, since basketball games occur in gyms, instead of football fields. “I like cheering for football because there is a bigger

crowd and lots of activities going, like the band, color guard and the featherettes” JV captain Mackenzie Seymour said. Dominique DuBose started coaching because it was something she

loved doing herself and she also wanted to pass it on the next generation of girls (or boys).

doesn’t start until March, they are going to start practicing for the competitions starting in Jan. “Practice, practice, practice, that’s what matters,” Seymour said.

Priya Lee | The Phoenix

“I’ve been cheering all my life,” DuBose said. “I loved the girls and I feel that this generation doesn’t have as many role models, so I wanted to be one.” Although their competition for cheerleading

Their main goal this season is to get more people involved in the cheers and more enthusiastic and supportive, instead of just watching the football games or basketball games. That’s why their cheer season for

wrestling last year was so energetic and their favorite, since the fans were more enthusiastic. “We are going to have more enthusiasm and we want more crowd involvement,” Seymour said. Lots of people don’t consider cheerleading to be a sport. Becoming a cheerleader requires a lot of work, commitment and a good attitude. One must also be enthusiastic and have the “spirit.” and energy. One must also be prepared for the worse. According to DuBose, there are numerous injuries that can occur in cheerleading, such as broken necks or concussions from falling. “It’s a sport,” Dubose said. “We get just as many injuries, put in just the same amount of work, practice under the same conditions and we have conditioning. They air it on ESPN too.” Besides long practices and games, the girls enjoy spending time together. Yelling and cheering at every sports game and performing in front of big crowds is a good way to get something out of your head. “I like going because if something bad is going on, it makes me forget it all,” Castillo said. Fremont can’t wait to see the girls in action.

Not there yet, but shooting for the net by Gaby Anaya Staff Writer

A new school year, new students and a new season with a fresh set of players for basketball, but one thing remains the same: the expectations. Fred Yepez, the boy’s junior varsity basketball coach hopes the team will accomplish many things throughout the season. “Townsend has given the team and me some huge expectations for this year,” Yepez said. “A couple of kids

that played last year have improved tremendously over the course of the summer, so he feels that with them and then the new guys that we have on the team, that we should win quite a few ball games and hopefully win a league title.” Both new players and returning players must step up their game in order to accomplish the expectations that were made by their coaches, requiring more emphasis on cooperating.

“Right now, is basically getting the freshmen up to speed,” Yepez said. “We got six, I believe, freshman this year, so it’s basically teaching them from square one. So to building the fundamentals and then trying to get that accumulated to what kind of system that we run here. So once we establish that, then things should go a lot smoother down the road.” Starting from square one and working up might seem like a bit of challenge

for the team, but with the hours of practice, sweat, effort and teamwork, anything is possible. A team without teamwork is like a bird without a wing, weak and unable to fly. The same thing applies to basketball. If you don’t use teamwork the whole team will be weak and unable to win. “The biggest thing is they got to learn the communication part,” Yepez said. “If you can do that on

the floor when you play basketball it makes everything go so much better.” Yepez explained the importance of communication and working more as a team then just one on one. Communicating on the court is the key to not only being a better basketball player but also winning the game. “Practice is going well and we want to have the record of 19 wins and six losses which one of my

teammates told me,” freshman Jaylen Wynn said. As the season takes off, Fremont’s junior varsity boy’s basketball is looking stronger than ever. Though the team seems to have a lot of work this season with getting the freshmen up to speed with the environment, players and having to work on communicating skills, they have their coach that will help them every step of the way and become great players.

December 20, 2013 Issue | Issue 3, Volume 2  
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