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What’s inside:

Homecoming Week

see pages 6 & 7

The Phoenix November 12, 2013

T-bars set the bar high by Alex Bernauer

The last phrase that everyone wants to hear over the intercom is, “We are currently in a code red and this is not a drill.” Knocking on wood that this event never happens, nonetheless, Fremont is further prepared for a code red situation due to the new barricades built by senior, Jaidev Bapat. Bapat was in fifth grade when he joined Boy Scout troop 457. After being dedicated to the troop for so many years, last spring Bapat was ready to become an eagle scout, the highest ranking of a boy scout.  According to the National Eagle Scout Association only five percent of all boy scouts every become eagle scouts. To become an Eagle Scout there is a long list of requirements that must be met, but essentially the largest part of becoming an Eagle Scout is to complete some form of service project that benefits the community. This is a very vague requirement, however Bapat knew from the very beginning he wanted to help Fremont. Even though so few boy scouts every become eagle scouts, Bapat was determined to help the school. Last spring after meeting with Mr. Ochoa a few times

about ways he could help out the school, Mr. Ochoa gave him a list of ideas for creating a project that would benefit the school. “I choose the project that would help the school most,” Bapat said. That project that Bapat choose was to create barricades for classrooms that could not be locked from the inside. So during a code red situation teachers won’t have to risk their life by going outside to lock the door. According to Mr. Ochoa there are 26 classrooms throughout campus with those door handles. “I gave some direction in the beginning and supported him,” Mr. Ochoa said. “The rest was all Jaidev.” The design of the barricade is a T-shape piece of wood that extends slightly past the width of the door frame and attached to the cross piece of wood is a metal hook that jams the door handle from operating when attempting to be opened from the outside.   Bapat shortly realized after examining each doorframe that all of the 26 handles are different and require special unique hooks for each door. Bapat had to go to the tech shop in San Jose to get each metal hook customized to all the

Alex Bernauer | The Phoenix

T-BARS are stationed in every classroom without doors that lock from the inside.

different handles. “The cost of changing all the door handles to be able to lock the door to each classroom from the inside would be a lot more expensive than creating these barricades,” Bapat said. In need of funding this project, Bapat reached out to the Parent Teacher Student Association and asked for them to sponsor this project. “The PTSA was really generous with their money and I am very grateful that they helped me with financing my project,” Bapat said. The PTSA spent over $400 financing Bapat’s project. Mainly to buy all the wood, primer, paint, metal hooks and nails.

Over two separate Saturdays in Sept., Bapat and a team of ten friends and family put the project into action. The first day was dedicated for cutting all the wood and painting the pieces. And the second saturday was the assembly of the barricades and testing them. “It was really satisfying seeing the barricades work after all the time I dedicated to this project,” Bapat said. The T-bars are now in all 26 classrooms that could not be locked from the inside. Fremont is now more prepared for an emergency due to Bapat’s project. However, he hopes they will never have to be used.

Fremont High School, Vol. 2 Issue No. 2

Newest Firebird by Chau Nguyen

April Perez, the new executive assistant of Fremont High School, doesn’t need to fill in anyone’s shoes. She’s already got her own pair. Born in King City, California, a Ashley Chavez | The Phoenix small town near Monterey, Perez joined the Fremont High School Union District in 2009 as a Clerical Assistant, where she handled the front desk and did fingerprinting, hired substitutes and admins and dealt with workers’ compensation and student workers. She was one of the four Senior Human Resources Specialist and the Human Resources Department of the FUHSD also dealt with hiring substitutes and admins, but she starts as the Executive Assistant for FHS on Nov. 4. “I’m excited. I’m excited about moving to the site. I’m excited to be around students and making a difference at Fremont,” Perez said. Perez worked on an architectural firm for 12 years as an office manager for one of her friends, but before that, she was a peer educator at John D. Sutter Elementary for six years. Perez later worked at Montague Elementary as a peer educator for a year and this was mostly her experience working on the “site” or on campus with kids, rather than in the office. However, she’s worked with three kids all of her life and many more. She has three kids, two of them done with high school and the other still in seventh grade. “I want people to know that I’m a person and that I’m a mom,” Perez said. “I’m always there to listen if they have a problem or if they want to come and speak with me. I don’t want anyone to feel like that they can’t come to me.” Perez feels like two of her biggest challenges coming to Fremont are easing in with the new environment and with students and staff because going into a new environment can seem very scary. However, Perez works closely

See April Perez on page 3

Campus safety: violence prevention by Tatiana Castillo

Police on campus have been taking their roles very seriously, ensuring the prevention of any fights from breaking out. Officers on duty roam Fremont’s campus during lunch and sometimes even brunch. Although police are not on campus every single day that school is in session, they are present often enough so that more fights don’t break out. As many have seen, there have been a couple of fights on campus throughout the early months of school. Here at Fremont, our school has been referred to as “ghetto” and “trashy.” Although many would speak against those stereotypes, all of the fights taking place do not help clean Fremont High School’s reputation.

“There are so many fights that go on, I’m not surprised people think we’re ghetto,” sophomore Ashley Esquivel said.

There are so many fights that go on, I’m not surprised people think we’re ghetto.

Sophomore Ashley Esquivel

The first month and a half of school was very calm and fight-free, though a lot of people seemed to act out in violence. Fights of all sorts have broken out during lunch. Students have witnessed all kinds of fights from girl on girl, guy on guy, and group against group. Even fights where food throwing was involved have taken place

on our campus. What is the main cause for all of these fights? Considering a large amount of students find the fights distracting and a threat to their safety, there are still some who see them as entertainment. “It’s funny to watch kids make fools out of themselves in front of everyone, especially their “close friends” who aren’t helping them stay out of trouble, but instead recording the whole scene,” senior Josh Ybarra said. Students seem to find police intimidating, but there are also quite a few who do not fear them, but respect them. “As long as you don’t do anything you’re not supposed to, you shouldn’t be worried about police walking past you,” sophomore McKenzie Seymour said.

Melissa Parlan | The Phoenix

POLICE reserve a parking space in the front parking lot outside the main building.

Fights will always be a part of the high school life, and police will be present in our lives forever, but

how students react to the situations going on at Fremont High School depend fully on themselves.

“Just make good, knowledgeable choices and you’ll be fine,” junior Dolores Ojeda said.



Nov. 12, 2013

Trapped in Common Apps: glitch causes inconvenience by Marcus Saranglao

Applying to your dream colleges may be too late as Common Apps, a website used for college searching and recommendations, has been recently experiencing technical issues, worrying students. Common Apps aid students by guiding them through the college application process. College recommendations are presented ranging from communitybased colleges such as DeAnza College or Mission Hill College, to prestigious ones, such as Stanford University or the Ivy League Universities, for students to grab a gist of tuition fees and requirements. “The Common Application is a not-for-profit membership organization that, since its founding over 35 years ago, has been committed to providing reliable services that promote equity,

access, and integrity in the college application process. We serve students, member institutions, and secondary schools by providing applications that students and school officials may submit to any of our over 500 members. Membership is open to colleges and universities that promote access by evaluating students using a holistic selection process,” stated from the Common Apps website.

As promised, we are sending daily updates regarding system performance and support. We will continue this communication as long as there is news to share. Common Apps Website Recently, there have been server issues for

Common Apps, as students were experiencing issues that prevented them from submitting their college entrance essays. Amongst the students applying, early applicants dealt with the sudden abnormalities as frozen screens and multiple payments for an application that waspresented. Deadlines for state colleges are around Nov., as users of Common Apps experienced a mix of panic, uncertainty, and frustration. However, colleges have sent notification to students that extensions were to be made for college deadlines, washing a wave of relief to students. “What a lot of the colleges have done is that they have emailed the students that are applying to their school that they know of and extended their deadlines and informed them of some of the glitches, so that they could make sure that students can go back

and checked that they are running smoothly [applications],” Career Counselor Lorena Villagomez said. However, there is a slight drawback. Colleges have to adjust their schedules, deal with more paperwork and reorganization to accommodate to these issues. “Colleges are not happy,” Villagomez said. Common Apps have sent notifications on their official websites and Twitter in regards to the issue, and reassures eager college applicants that they are well aware of the issue. “As promised, we are sending daily updates regarding system performance and support. We will continue this communication as long as there is news to share,” stated from Common Apps website. The website appears to have no significant issues as of Oct. 29th, 2013.

Sound off! Q: If you could be any cartoon charActer, which would you be and why?

Megan Birdsong (Librarian) : “I would be Raven from Teen Titans because I also need time to meditate and be alone and make snarky comment once in a while.” Lisa Freitas (Guidance Councilor): “I would be Phineas from Phineas and Ferb because he always knows what he’s going to each day. He is so creaive and nothing seems to bring him down. Nothing bad ever happens and they always seem to have a great time.” Shira Helft (Math Teacher): “I would be Velma from Scooby Doo because she always says ‘Jenkies’. I would also love to have a cool pet dog that helps solve mysteries.”

Kristina Lechuga | The Phoenix

Offline government logs back in by Melissa Parlan and Sergio Rodriguez

Oct. 1, 2013 marked the first day of the Government Shutdown, which lasted for 16 days before reopening. The whole shutdown was caused by our national debt, which is still trending. Our country has the right to borrow money from other countries if necessary, according to the Constitution of the United States. The debt ceiling, a system created by the government to manage spending, is used to determine the maximum amount of money we can use and borrow as a country. Recently, Congress has been continually raising the debt ceiling to pay for programs funded by the government, such as food stamps, school food programs, foster care and, more controversially, Obama Care. According to Ecomonics and Governement teacher, Elies Nahum, the country is spending more than it is making. To fix this problem and stop raising the debt ceiling, Congress had to prioritize and decide which programs were necessary and cut funding for programs that weren’t as important as others. According to Republicans, the Obama’s Affordable Health Care Program qualified to be cut. However, Democrats’ thought otherwise. Obama Care is a national healthcare plan to reform the American health system. The main focus is providing more Americans with access to affordable health care, improving the quality of healthcare, regulation of the health insurance industry and lastly

Courtesy of Jonathan Ernst of Reuters

PROTESTERS stationed outside the White House, outraged by the government shutdown. reducing spending money in health care. Obama Care improves the quality of care that Americans receive by providing better preventative and wellness services and raising the standards of quality for basic health care coverage. It eliminates preexisting conditions and gender discrimination meaning no one can be changed more or be dropped from their health insurance coverage for health or gender related reasons. Also, Obama Care gives tens of millions of low income and middle income Americans access to quality health care by providing discounts through the health

insurance market place. It helps insure that health coverage is available to any US resident who cannot otherwise obtain “quality” health care through their employer. Obama care increases protections, expanding Medicaid to over 15 million uninsured low income Americans. However there are some issues for Obama Care since it affects schools across the country. Schools would need to fire employees, reduce employee hours and slash education spending because Obama Care would impact their budget. Despite 16 days of government shutdown to discuss this, Congress did

not come to a consensus, or for the most part, effectively debate on the topic. “The Government shutdown is just an example of Congress’ indecency,” Nahum said. “They were digging their heels rather than compromising.” Most students also have the same views upon how the government dealt with the situation, thus altering their opinions on Congress. “I think every member of congress should be fired because they were all ineffective,” Paris Trytenn said. “They aren’t looking towards the interest of the people.” According to Nahum, the shutdown wasn’t fo-

cused on our government’s spending at all. Instead, Congress was antagonizing each other’s reputation. The whole thing finally ended when Republicans and Democrats gave up fighting and organized the Debt Ceiling act to be voted by the public on February of next year. The Debt Ceiling act will be a vote on which federal funded programs, mostly Democrat supported, should be cut and kept. According to the New York Daily News website, the government shutdown affected lots of people who work directly for the government. Even other people who benefit from anything national parks, museums

and zoos, to small business owners, to patients in hospitals, many U.S. citizens were affected in some way. Twelve million taxpayers who filed for automatic extensions in the spring have tax returns due on that Tuesday. For housing, some borrowers found it harder to close on their mortgages, and the delays could worsen if the shutdown continued. Some lenders had trouble confirming applicants’ income tax returns and social security data due to government agency closures. In the military, about half of the defense departments civilians employees were furloughed, but Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered nearly all 350,000 back on the job. The national security furloughed a “significant” number of workers when the shutdown started. A week later the CIA wanted the employers back in need for missions for foreign intelligence collecting. Also, the benefit payments continued to be paid out, there were delays in processing new disability applications. Lots of people protested to end the shutdown at a rally to argue. Luckily, schools from elementary through state colleges weren’t affected at all by the shutdown. “Here in California, we have our own system of spending,” Nahum said. “We can’t spend over a penny of what we earn.” However, if the Government shutdown lasted longer, people would be noticing the government shutdown effects at a state level. People would be officially losing their jobs and schools would be affected drastically.


Nov. 12, 2013

April Perez: settling in her new nest Continued from page 1 Executive Assistance from all schools in the FUHSD district and she handles things similar to those of an Executive Assistant. “One of the challenges is definitely going to be learning a lot of names, ” Perez said. “I feel like one of my main challenges is learning everyone’s role in the office and how I’m going to be able to support them and how they’ll be able to support me.” She’s stoked about the job and is earnest about working in an atmosphere with high schoolers. It’s a whole new learning and growing experience for her because she will work more directly with students and staff. She’ll also learn how Fremont works. She’s excited about the things she will learn because it’s a new experience. “I just think that it’s a way that I’m going to have experience and growth

The Phoenix 1279 Sunnyvale Saratoga Rd. Room 76 Sunnyvale, CA 94087 (408) 522-2400 Managing Editor Alex Bernauer News Editors Melissa Parlan Ashley Chavez

Ashley Chavez | The Phoenix

PEREZ conversing with visitors on campus at her new desk in the front office.

at the site level and just being able to be in an atmosphere where there’s students,” Perez said. But one of her worries is how students will react to her since Mrs. Larson is leaving. “I know Sue Larson has big shoes to fill and we kind of talked about that,” Perez said. “She told me already, a number of times, ‘don’t worry about it. You’re going to make

this role and position your own and so, just feel comfortable coming in and if you need to make changes here and there, I’m sure everyone’s going to support you.” Larson said she is excited and encouraged by Mrs. Perez’s potential and even though she’s sad about leaving, she is exciting for Perez coming in. “Although I’m very sad to be leaving Fremont, I

am excited about Mrs. Perez being the new Executive Assistant,” Larson said. “She has a heart for kids and is bright and friendly. I know that she will do great things at Fremont High School. This isn’t about someone replacing a role, or about someone taking over an icon of Fremont. It’s about a new icon coming to Fremont and making it her own role.

City council elections by Juan Martinez

On November 5th the city of Sunnyvale elected three new council members . The citizens of Sunnyvale voted between seven candidates for three seats. Each of the candidates ran for different seats. There were two people running for Seat One,Gustav Larsson being the winner, three people for Seat Two, Glenn Hendricks being the winner, and two people for Seat Three, James Griffith being the winner. There are seven seats total in the Sunnyvale city council; each member is allowed two four-year terms. Different seats are available so members can run on the same year as a group without running against each other. Andy Frazer was one of the candidates for Seat One. He has been a resident of California for 22 years and a co-founder of the Sunnyvale Pension Form. His priorities are to find a new city manager. He also plans to slow the rapid growth of development and high-density housing by not allowing taller buildings that would obstruct an area designated Industrial to residential area. The other Seat One candidate was Gustav Larsson. He is currently on the Sunnyvale planning commission. As a council member, he hopes to complete the downtown construction. He also planned to support the police to reduce crime in the neighborhoods by adding more people to the combined police and fire rescue team. One of the candidates for Seat Two was Gustavo


Sports Editors Chau Nguyen Marcus Saranglao Arts & Entertainment Editors Hauraa Aalabdulrasul Neha Mannikar Savanna Kiene Opinon Editors Kayla Layaoen Jasmine Salik Art & Design Editor Kristina Lechuga Copy Editors Sonya Jindal Juan Martinez Business Managers Sarah Arkoh Tatiana Castillo Lead Photographer Priya Lee Photographers Elliot Lehman Briana Castillo

Ashley Chavez | The Phoenix

Staff Writers Gaby Anaya Michael Capovilla Marinn Cedillo Rebekah Granlund Chanel Johnson Joanah Nguyen Alex Noyes Chris Peterson Sergio Rodriguez Nicole Stibbard Adviser Ms. Stacey Stebbins

Ashley Chavez | The Phoenix

Magana. He is currently a law student. His priorities are in the general public, mostly in education and safety. He would’ve help education by giving more resources to schools. He would’ve help improve public safety by making more intense programs for the youth of Sunnyvale so they can change their lives. He also had some ideas about using the money more efficiently by not using so much money on the long standing downtown Sunnyvale Mall. The second candidate for Seat Two was Steve Hoffman. He has been a Sunnyvale resident for 24 years. He has been a Sunnyvale resident for 24

years. He planned to focus on neglected neighborhood issues. He planned to deal with these issues by increasing law enforcement and fire safety officials to combat the growing rate of the Sunnyvale population. The final candidate for Seat Two was Glen Hendricks. He was raised in Sunnyvale, and he is also in the Sunnyvale planning commission and the personal board. As a city council member he planned to find a new city manager due to the current leaving Sunnyvale after five years and the safety of the neighborhoods. He would’ve improved public safety by increasing the manpower in the police force and manage the grow-

ing curve of expenses. One of the Seat Three candidates was James Griffith. He is on the Sunnyvale Board of Library trustees. He plans to focus on the budget, and to also create more parks and open space. He plans to speed up the park projects that are currently going on. The last candidate for Seat Three was Tappan G. Merrick. If elected, he plans to control constructional growth. He also planned to stop sales of highly used city properties. To control city growth he planned to continue to increase the number of projects dealing with more high-density neighborhoods for the growing cities of Sunnyvale.

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 (PHONE NUMBER), 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.



Nov. 12, 2013

Music scene Saving holidays’ meaning S O by Elliot Lehman

mall, independent bands are becoming an increasingly more popular part of the music industry. Usually, it is incredibly difficult to break out in the music industry. Recently, smaller bands have a better shot at being successful. Pop culture now has an attitude where originality is celebrated and following trends isn’t trendy. For the music industry, this has positive and negative consequences, depending on your viewpoint. It is not as cool anymore to listen to popular music. It means that big name artists sell less, although they still sell a lot. It also means that more people are listening to music they wouldn’t normally listen to. The singer Lorde is very recent example of this type of previously unpopular music that became popular. Normally, a 16-year-old New Zealander singing a song that speaks out against partying and a rich lifestyle would never become a radio hit here in the U.S. However, because more people are looking for different styles of music, this fits their needs perfectly. Since people are more actively seeking out newer sounds, this forces bands to be more creative, which is definitely a good thing. Music isn’t about hearing the same thing over and over. It’s about hearing something new. Without new sounds, music becomes boring and repetitive. Nobody wants boring music. Originality isn’t the only trait that people look for in newer bands. They also don’t want the band to be chained to a controlling record label. Most pop artists on the radio don’t write or produce their own songs. People want to hear what the artist really has to say and what the artist naturally sounds like. Otherwise, the music doesn’t seem genuine to the listener. Who wants something fake? There are a lot of bands that become popular simply because they stay independent. Indie artists stay unsigned so that they aren’t limited by what their label wants them to do. These kinds of bands remain in style because of their independent attitude. The problem is that being independent keeps these bands from becoming big-name hits because they are unsigned. Without a major label, radio stations are much less willing to play their music. The very thing that makes bands attractive to people is also the thing that keeps them from getting really famous. However, musical independence is ultimately good for musical overall. If all artists only wrote their music to get signed to major labels, all music would be very similar. Just look to the radio for evidence of this. While major labels may see the current rise of smaller bands as a bad thing, it’s really the opposite. If more bands would resist what the big companies want them to do, music in general would be better. From country to metal, there’s always room for improvement.

by Jasmine Salik

ver the many years, the nation-wide celebration of Thanksgiving has somehow evolved from a nostalgic day of presenting our thanks our loved into multiple days of feasting, football games, parties and Black Friday.

I admit, I am usually one of those girls that lines up at the mall around four in the morning in front of Forever 21 to receive the best deals, but lately I have been thinking about the true meaning of the holidays. This year, I have done a lot of thinking about Thanksgiving. Many of us know the basics of the origin of Thanksgiving, and with whom and how the celebration all started. It all began with the pilgrims of Britain, and their long and treacherous journey to the Americas. Upon their arrival to the eastern-colonies of America, the pilgrims faced numerous hardships. Thankfully, their neighbors, the Native Americans, were there to aid them in their time of distress. The new colonists had much to be thankful for: despite the many challenges they faced, they made the treacherous journey across the Atlantic, while additionally

living in peace with their neighbors. As a result, they established a holiday called Thanksgiving where all pilgrims would present their thanks and give praise for the positive things that had recently happened to them. Even though times were extremely tough for them that did not stop them from recognizing the positive aspects of their situation. This should ultimately be a model for everyone today. Innumerable people now a days seem to be swallowed whole with negative thoughts. Whenever anything bad happens to them, it seems as if they can’t get the bad aspects of their life, out of their heads. People aren’t taking the time to focus on the bright side of life. In addition, during present times, many people’s view on Thanksgiving Day have unfortunately changed for the worse. Instead of giving thanks and recognizing the blessings in their lives, people have been more focused on the material aspects of the holidays like intense shopping and holiday-themed parties. Black Friday has ultimately taken away from the true meaning of Thanksgiving. Instead of spending time as a family around the dinner table enjoying a home-cooked meal, people are at the nearest malls and shopping centers, looking for good deals and sales, not giving a single thought about the overall meaning for Thanksgiving. Society’s Thanksgiving values have greatly

diminished since the times of the pilgrims. That special day towards the end of November is meant for people to come together as a family and discuss about the things they are truly appreciative about, or to plainly give thanks for the blessings in their life, not to be obsessed with shopping and eager to leave the family home to go to the mall. Many people, including myself, recognize and give thanks for their health, housing, friends and family, but are so caught up in the less meaningful parts of the holiday, that they unknowingly forget the more important aspects of Thanksgiving. Although numerous people realize the many blessings in their life, during the Thanksgiving time, it is not nearly enough to simply think about the many positive things. You need to talk about them and thank and appreciate the people in your life. More importantly, let them know exactly how you feel. I admit, I am usually one of those girls that lines up at the mall around four in the morning in front of Forever 21 to receive the best deals, but lately I have been thinking about the true meaning of the holidays.

This year, I have done a lot of thinking about Thanksgiving. I have concluded that the holiday season was specifically set up so that people can positively reminisce about their year. Not to go shopping, which, oddly enough, you can do all year. Thanksgiving is that one time a year where you should forget about all the little extra details in your life, including clothes and parties and focus on the big picture, which is ultimately giving thanks. Taking time to truly appreciate what you have in your life, even the smallest things, can truly make a big difference. Being thankful for what you have can greatly reassure you about your circumstances and can help get you through the gloomy and pessimistic aspects of your life. Focusing on the positives rather the negatives, can make a big difference in the long run. Letting people know how you feel and recognizing their positive impacts on you is in fact the true meaning of Thanksgiving and the holidays. During this holiday time, I encourage you to take time out of your festive and busy schedules to acknowledge the blessings in your life, even if they are merely small things. Enjoy your turkey and remember to recognize the little actions you might take for granted. Furthermore, clearly show your appreciation towards the people in your life instead of focusing in on temporal joys.

She can’t stop and she doesn’t need to by Kayla Layaoen


om, please stop talking about Miley

Cyrus. And that goes for all the rest of you, too. I’m tired of hearing about how she’s an embarrassment to humanity and how she must be messed up on drugs and her father must be so ashamed. I don’t care how much of that you think is true. Dear feminists attacking Miley Cyrus for oversexualizing herself and “supporting rape culture and the patriarchy”: You are the ones supporting rape culture and the patriarchy, not Miley. Bear with me- as I’m going to completely disregard the children who look up to her as well as my own opinions about the choices she’s making in her life right now- while I tell you why it is, in fact, you who are the real perpetrators

here. One of the main principles of feminism is that women ought to be equal to men in all aspects of life, and that includes sexually. Back in the 19th century, proper women, who had thoroughly internalized their “womanly roles” in society, set out on a quest to destroy the institute of prostitution. Why? Because they genuinely cared about the mistreatment of many of these women? No. Because they were tarnishing their good name as women. Those women, who were “naturally asexual” (according to the wisdom

of the times), were seen also as “naturally” morally superior to men, refused to allow such filth as prostitutes to share a set of chromosomes with them. It was believed back then that women did not have any sort of sexuality, and they would commonly find themselves visiting doctors to see why it was that they were having such odd desires. So is that what’s happening here? You good, clean women don’t want to associate with dirty, nonwholesome Miley Cyrus? Do you think that she should visit a doctor for wanting to explore her sexuality? As much as many would hate to admit it, this behavior is almost to be expected. She’s a young adult who’s going out and trying to rebel, change her image. Sure, it’s on a much grander scale and in front of a much larger audience than most of us have had to deal with, but who

hasn’t gone through a little phase of rebellion? “But Kayla,” you exclaim aloud at your newspaper. “Miley is showing off her body! She’s presenting it to the public and saying that it’s alright for men to comment on it and objectify her!” In reality, that’s a very misguided claim to make. Yes, she’s presenting herself to the public in a way some might find less than favorable. But guess what? That doesn’t mean that she’s saying it’s alright to objectify and harass her. You see, rape culture is this awful societal belief that rape is something that it’s alright to joke about or blame victims for. It commonly leads to rapists being excused on account of victims being too drunk, too scantily clad, or otherwise having “brought it upon themselves.” A woman who puts on a minidress and heels isn’t asking to be harassed.

She’s going out in what she wants to, regardless of what the countless “slut”-shamers have to say about it (and I use quotation marks around “slut” because that word has way too many uses that I don’t agree with, but that’s for another time). Of course Miley is going to be judged and picked apart for this. It’s inevitable- She’s a celebrity. A celebrity is, in essence, a public figure, and if you put your life out there like that, people are going to comment on it. So be it. Miley wasn’t alone in this, and she’s the one taking all the heat. Robin Thicke was on stage with her, performing acts just as unsuitable for children as hers were. But he isn’t being pulled apart by the public. He hasn’t been the talk of the town (or the tabloids or the leading story on Perez Hilton’s website). This is just a

testament to the commonality of men being excused for doing things that women would be thoroughly shamed and judged for. Also, you know what? The more you talk about it, the more you read about it, the more you show the media that you care, the more they’re going to publish it. Magazines and tabloids and other entertainment-based media pick up on what the public responds to and go for more of that in order to earn more publicity. What Miley’s going for here is shock value; She wanted people to talk about it, and they are. She’s making money and you’re the reason why. So if what you really, really want is for Miley Cyrus to just disappear from the public, just ignore her. Stop paying for those magazines, stop slandering her to your friends while you sip your tea with your pinkies out and get a hobby.


Nov. 12, 2013


Robbed of my sense of security by Ashley Chavez


efore I start, I’d like to get a few things straight. I know this is not the worst thing that could possibly happen to a person. I know that I am not the only person that this has ever happened to. However, after experiencing it for myself, I cannot stress to you enough how big of a deal it really is. Never in a million years would I think my house would be burglarized. It seems as though stuff like that only happens in far-away places to people you don’t know. My parents always believed that anybody that tried to break into our house was insane because they’d be seen, as I live on a major street. However, that was not as effective of a deterrent as they’d originally thought. On a Friday while my parents were at work and I was at school, my house was broken into. Fortunately, they were not aiming to clean us out completely because their goal was

not to take whatever cool things they could find (or else my Sea World snow globe wouldn’t still be here). However, they were aiming to take the most valuable things, the things they knew they could turn around and sell. Things like all of my and my mom’s jewelry, my dad’s watches, and our smaller electronics like cameras, iPads and iPods. It might not seem like a lot, and some of it can be replaced. Although my parents keep telling themselves and the rest of my family that “it’s just stuff,” some of it really wasn’t “just stuff.” It’s safe to say burglars do not have an ounce of decency in their bodies. If they did, they’d understand that some things

have value beyond their price tags. For instance, all of the jewelry that was handed down to my mom when my grandmother passed away, the diamond earrings I got for my 16th birthday and pictures of my brother’s high school graduation that my dad never had the chance to upload. Yes, I understand that we will survive without these things. The point is that we shouldn’t have to. A person’s home is the one place on earth where they should feel safe. Now, we have to hide what we do have left in between our mattresses and in the back of our pantry. How is that fair? My parents have worked their entire lives to give my brother and I a roof over our heads and everything we’ve ever wanted. I’d say I feel sorry for the people who can’t make a living for themselves and have to make it off of other people, but I don’t. There is so much more to burglary than just having your things stolen. It violates your privacy in

more ways than you’d think. There wasn’t an inch of my house that hadn’t been checked. It is hard to recover from financially as well as emotionally. The idea of a stranger being in your home is extremely unsettling and uncomfortable. While some belongings can be replaced, your peace of mind cannot. No, it is not as tragic as losing a life. There are plenty of things that are far worse than having some things stolen. That is still no reason to sweep an issue like this under the rug. It’s a very serious and scary thing that can happen to anyone. I am not putting my story out there for entertainment. I’m telling you my story because I want it to be known; I want people to know that this stuff is real. I used to think that something like this could never happen to me, but it did. It just goes to show that no matter how safe you think you are, you need to be more aware. After talking with a Sunnyvale Police Department officer, I am now

It’s not trendy to be trendy by Kristina Lechuga


sense of identity is something that many people in high school find important in order to feel confident. But at what length are people willing to go just to be something that they aren’t? The trend nowadays, it seems, is to not be trendy. Let me explain. It’s only human nature to have a sense of belonging and to want to fit in, but we as a society have reached a point where those who were once applauded as “original” and “unique” are now shunned and labeled as the dreaded h word— “hipster.” What is so original about combat boots and band shirts if we all wear them? Sure, some of us truly love the bands that we wear on our shirts. In fact we worship them to death, enough to wear them on our clothing as some kind of mating call to others with similar taste in music. But to those who buy a Nirvana shirt because “the smiley face on the front was so cute and hipster,” you only add fuel to the already out of control fire known as “the soft grunge bonfire.” Originality seems

Marinn Cedillo | The Phoenix

to be disappearing along with the rest of any sign of uniqueness our generation had left. The generations of the 20th century had a pop culture full of character and spontaneity. From the greasers of the 1950s, to he hippies of the 1960s to the punk rockers of the late 1970s, nearly every era had some eccentric subculture to show for itself. What do the 2010s have? Let’s see. We have twerking, the Kardashians, Tumblr, swag and YOLO. We shouldn’t be proud of ourselves for letting this ridiculous phase happen. I hope we look back as adults at the 2010s the way our parents look back at their embarrassing mix tapes and dance moves from the 1980s. Even worse, we have social media to preserve

each and every thing we liked as teenagers, so we can’t even lie about liking the laughable things that we did. This absence of a subculture in the 2010s has lead to a strange adventure back in time into the older generations to revive things that were considered lame back then. When compact discs were first released, many ditched their beloved 8-tracks and records just to be in on the new fad. Now that iTunes is the main source of music, many are searching for vinyl records and starting collections. According to The Nielsen Company, vinyl record sales have increased from 1 million to 3.6 million since 2007. Aside from just music and fashion, no one can

express themselves without being knocked down and called a “poser” and accused of being something that they aren’t. Nothing is original about being a non-conformist if we all try to be one. Is it only natural teenage behavior to want to be trendy? Maybe. Ironic? Definitely. If you do what you truly want in order to express yourself, the worry of being judged by others shouldn’t matter at all. Do what you love, even if it is a trend. The key to having true individuality is to do what you feel is right, no matter who judges you or says otherwise. If we stop and try to be individuals, maybe a new and interesting subculture will emerge in the next generations, without all the twerking and swag involved.

more aware of the safety precautions we need to take. An alarm system is always an appropriate option. As uncomfortable as it is to have to hide things in your own house, it is never a bad thing to have a safe. For all the things that don’t need to be laying around in plain sight, a safe is a good way to ensure your items are only accessible to those who know the combination. Also, burglars will always look for loose cash and change sitting around the house. Store it in one safe place that is not immediately visible. The officer said that even an empty peanut butter jar with the inside spray painted brown can be a good place to store money. It might sound a little ridiculous, but you can never be too safe. My family is not used to following so many safety precautions, but we are trying to make a habit out of them. You should as well. It might take a little more time out of your day, but it’s worth it. Always lock your windows, doors and

safes. Keep your valuables out of plain sight. Most importantly, do anything and everything you can to protect your home and your belongings. Burglars will not spend a huge amount of time looking if they can’t find anything, so don’t make it easy for them. The feeling that I had at the time and the feeling that I get when I think about it is painful. I know there is nothing I can do to change what happened, but I hate that there were so many things I could have done to prevent this. That’s why I’m telling you. I don’t want anyone to ever have to learn their lesson the hard way like I did. It might seem weird to keep money in a fake peanut butter jar, but it’s worth a shot. It’s not necessarily about the money they took from our wallets or the money they’re going to make off our belongings. It’s knowing that it could have been prevented that hurts the most. Don’t let your family dismiss the possibility of a burglary. Take these precautions seriously. I wish I had.

Ask Esteban


I’m a sophomore and the guy I like is a freshman. What should I do? A: There are two options for you. One of them is to go for it and ask him out or get to know him better. There are different dances you could ask him to that are coming up. Or, if that isn’t really what you had in mind, a date to the movies sounds good too. The other option is to not act upon your feelings and keep quiet. It’s tempting not to go up and tell him how you feel because you might get rejected. The truth is that everyone gets rejected once in a while. It’s natural. You shouldn’t let these doubts and negative thoughts cloud your mind. You never know what will happen if you don’t try. If you get rejected, yes, it will sting a little, but it’s not the end of the world. What you should do is go talk to this guy and get to know him more. Then, ask him out. It seems that the main issue you have is the age difference. There is nothing wrong with dating someone a year younger than you, it seems like people make a big deal in high school if you like or date someone older or younger than you. Other people’s opinions doesn’t matter, they aren’t dating the person, you are. Don’t pay attention to any judge mental people and go for it. Q: What is a ratchet and why does everyone keep calling me one? A: A ratchet is a mechanical device consisting of a toothed wheel or rack engaged with a pawl that permits it to move in only one direction. Basically, a ratchet is a socket wrench if people keep calling you a ratchet then you must be a socket wrench. Q: I’m struggling to say hi to my crush, but I hardly see her and when I do she’s with someone so it makes it harder to build up the confidence. What should I do? A: A lot of people have this problem. Building the confidence to talk to them when there are people around is hard. You might feel like if you do say hi, something awful will happen. But, something wonderful could happen: either you guys s hit it off and talk more until you are confident enough to ask him or her out and have a great relationship, or you won’t have that chemistry and stay friends. Yes, it sucks but it’s better than just walking past her wondering if you have a chance. What you should do is say hi, relax and go ignore the negative thoughts and say a simple “hi,” smile and walk on. It will be hard and you will try talk yourself out of it. In a way saying hi to your crush is a risk. But then again, what’s life without a little risk? Q: What does the fox say? A:Ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!Gering-dingdingerdingeringeding!Gering-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding! Jacha-chacha-chacha-chow! Jacha-chachachacha-chow! Jacha-cha-cha-chacha-chow!

Special Feature


Priya Lee | The Phoenix



Priya Lee | The Phoenix


Special Feature

Nov. 12, 2013


Priya Lee | The Phoenix


Priya Lee | The Phoenix

SAM Kanongataa runs over a Santa Clara defender.

Priya Lee | The Phoenix

SENIOR Ricky Te’o scores a touchdown during the game.

c e o m m o i n H

Priya Lee | The Phoenix

Homecoming Game

Priya Lee | The Phoenix

TE’O jukes a Santa Clara player to score a touchdown

Priya Lee | The Phoenix

FEATHERETTES strike a pose at the all class rally.

Priya Lee | The Phoenix

CHEER team stunts during their performance at the all class rally.

Priya Lee | The Phoenix

SENIORS Natalie Paul and Randall Padayao lead senior boys in the traditional Georgia Porcupine Dance.

Priya Lee | The Phoenix

TE’O out runs a Santa Clara player, gaining yards during the Homecoming football game.

We live in a

Priya Lee | The Phoenix

Priya Lee | The Phoenix

THE girls and boys on Homecoming Court anxiously wait to hear the results. Priya Lee | The Phoenix

TE’O hikes the ball, as he prepares to hand off the ball.

fantasy world



Priya Lee | The Phoenix

Nov. 12, 2013

Priya Lee | The Phoenix Priya Lee | The Phoenix

PRINCIPAL Emmert pulls Grand Marshall, Mrs. Larson during the homecoming half time show.

Ashley Chavez | The Phoenix

Ashley Chavez | The Phoenix

Ashley Chavez | The Phoenix

Ashley Chavez | The Phoenix

FEATHERETTES perform at the signature Georgia Porcupine dance at the Homecoming halftime show.

Priya Lee | The Phoenix

COLOR Guard twirls their flags during the all class rally.

Priya Lee | The Phoenix

SENIORS show their pride by chanting “senior power” during the after school pep rally.

Priya Lee | The Phoenix

JUNIOR students march to the amphitheater, ready to battle.

Fremont High School showed their extreme school spirit over the span of two weeks, which consisted of Spirit Week and Homecoming Week. Each day during the Spirit Week was dedicated to a certain theme. Here’s the breakdown: on Tuesday, students were invited to wear their pajamas to school to show their school spirit. The following day, students were to dress up like a friend and participate in Twin Day. Lastly, Thursday was Superhero Day and Friday was “Would You Still Be My Friend If I Wore This” Day. The following week was Homecoming Week, and each day was dedicated to a certain class rally where students showed their class spirit. The rallies consisted of games, activities and special performances by each grade’s Fremont Featherettes and cheerleaders. Students were excited to wear their class colors: freshmen wore orange, sophomores wore purple, juniors wore yellow and last but not least, seniors wore green. At the end of the week, an all class rally occurred where the classes battled it out in a very loud and enthusiastic spirit battle. However, this year’s all-class rally had a little twist to it. Unfortunately, a firebird left the nest. Mrs. Larson, former executive assistant to Principal Emmert, is sadly leaving FHS. After all of her dedication and contributions to the school, many students and staff members were extremely sorry to see her leave. As a result, the all-class rally was dedicated to Mrs. Larson this year. Students presented Mrs. Larson with an elaborate goodbye video, consisting of many students saying their goodbyes and thanks to the “mother” of Fremont.

Priya Lee | The Phoenix

SPIRITED students participate in twin day with matching San Jose Shark jerseys.

Priya Lee | The Phoenix Priya Lee | The Phoenix

JESSICA Kim is showing off her bathrobe for pajama day.

SENIOR Mason McCloskey’s outfit has everyone question why they’re his friend.

Priya Lee | The Phoenix

JUNIORS Sabrina Huey and Lina Le show off their love for superheroes.

Priya Lee | The Phoenix

SENIOR Varsha Srivastava shows off her interesting outfit during Spirit Week.

OPINION Gun control: nationwide safety at risk Nov. 12, 2013


by Hauraa Aalabdulrasul


ccording to Mother Jones magazine, this year alone, the U.S has had five mass shootings, resulting in the losses of many innocent lives. The deaths of these people could have been avoided, if America created stricter gun control laws and trained the armed forces more before it was too late. On October 21st, students of Sparks Middle School in Nevada underwent a mass shooting, when a fellow peer opened fire before the starting bell on Monday, killing a teacher, wounding two students and then shooting himself. The teacher, identified as Michael Landsberry, was a math teacher, soccer coach and former marine who

served two tours of duty in Afghanistan. Witnesses claim that he was shot with a Ruger 9mm handgun while approaching the 12year old shooter and trying to get him to put his gun down. The students, one shot in the stomach and the other in the shoulder, were in stable condition and are now fine. The motive of the shooter is still not clear, but we do know one thing: the gun belonged to his parents. To many, this story may sound similar to the Decem-

ber 14th 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Newton, Connecticut that resulted in 26 deaths. In the Newton shooting, the shooter Adam Lanza used his mother’s gun to go the nearest elementary school and begin shooting. He caused the second deadliest mass shooting by a single person in American history, following the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007. After killing 20 students and six adults, Lanza killed himself before authorities could arrest him. We often see events like this happen across the nation and think to ourselves things like, “Wow, what a tragedy. Something must be done to stop all of these horrible shootings.” But the real thing we should be considering is why no one is doing anything to stop it.

The second Amendment of the Constitution states that we have the right to bear arms and that we are protected. This applies to everyone who is 21 years of age or older, who would like to purchase a gun. With the possibility of so many people purchasing a gun, Congress needs to work harder on gun control laws. Firstly, there need to be a lot more precautions when selling guns to buyers. Things like background checks and criminal records about the buyer need to be thoroughly examined. Sure, as a citizen you can purchase a gun, but if you have any type of criminal record, you shouldn’t be allowed one at all. This is because of the possibility of another mass shooting happening from a criminal. Is this proposition a bit harsh?

Maybe. Would it possibly decrease the rate of mass shootings? Yes. If Lanza’s mother had a stronger background check, including who her family members were and if they had access to her weapon, or if more precautions were taken when she purchased the gun, then the tragedy would possibly not have taken place. Secondly, we need to focus on training and preparing police officers when they are faced with shootings in public places like schools. I read somewhere that people are proposing that teachers should be trained for situations like mass shootings, which I find unnecessary. Are teachers’ jobs to educate this generation or to learn how to use a gun on another person? We need to provide more financing programs

for police officers and first responders about how to respond to armed attacks, because that is their job. Many would agree that police accuracy in shooting isn’t always good and could actually be the reason for all of the chaos. Having these programs and training armed forces to deal with this short of situation will help prevent a chaotic response from police officers. However, I do agree with the idea that schools should be safer. Having a metal detector at the entrance gate, which some people want, is a bit extreme. But we do need to work together and devote more time to create laws that make school environments more secure, because students all deserve a chance for a brighter future, without any mass shootings.

The increasing lack of spirit by Sonya Jindal


remont students have been known for their crazy spirit, but over the past few weeks, things have taken a turn for the worst. In previous years, students have gone all out for anything that allowed them to show their spirit and deck out in wild colors. Everyone, regardless of grade level, decked to support their fellow classes for rallies. This year, only a select few went all out, others acting as if it was just another normal day at school. I think a lot of it has to do with the upperclassmen. During my freshman year, the juniors and seniors went all out, creating a pepped up environment for everyone else. Because the upperclassmen this year aren’t as crazy and spirited as previous classes, nobody wants to be that one weird underclassman going all out.

Another reason as to why students may not be as spirited is because of the themes for spirit week. Seeing how there are only four days in our spirit week, the theme days should be really unique and different. Pajama day and twin day have been around forever. And when it comes to ‘Would you be my friend if I wore this?’ Day, many are too insecure to join in on the crazy pandemonium. Personally, I think that if the students were able to vote and choose what spirit days they wanted, there would be an uproar in participation within the school. Class unity creates a major impact on spirit. The different grade levels at Fremont aren’t as united as they were in previous years. They don’t make much of an effort to get to know people in other grades. For individual class rallies, it’s customary to deck out in the other grades’ colors and

support your classmates. This year, because of the lack of ties between classes, not many individuals went out of their way to go all out for the other rallies. School-related reasons aside, a main cause for lack of spirit is that some people just don’t care about joining in on the fun. Some are just “too cool” to participate in any events. To think only half of the gym is full during rallies shows that about 50% of the students are just wandering around campus, fully aware that there’s a rally occurring. The fact that so many students don’t care about

spirit affects their friends and others surrounding them. High school is a place where people are really dependent and rely on others opinions. No one wants to be the one kid in their group of friends decked out in their class colors, with paint on their faces and bright neon tights, when everyone else isn’t wearing a speck of their class color. This creates a cycle upon the students, slowly deteriorating the spirit within the classes. Fremont was once engulfed by spirit and class unity, but has slowly plummeted to a dark abyss. With no participation during spirit and homecoming week, Fremont’s spirit has gone extinct. To revive our school’s spirit, students need to learn that it’s fine to be crazy and unique, and not to care about others’ opinions. With just a little help, Fremont can slowly get back to the way it used to be.

Kristina Lechuga | The Phoenix

Take pride in what makes you you by Editorial Staff


he universe is a big place, and sometimes it’s easy to feel insignificant and insecure with everything else quickly moving around you, but every once in a while, we need to take a step back and remember who we are. First off, no one is “normal.” There is no way for someone to decide that you are not “normal” because their version of normal may be different than yours. We are all different and have different opinions, hopes, aspirations and morals. No two people look or behave the same way. Why would you want to be someone else when you can just be

you? Even the littlest things define us. Even if you find a guilty pleasure embarrassingwhich is the whole reason it’s called a “guilty” pleasure, mind you- flaunt it. Show off who you are. The people who are the most fun to be around are honest and comfortable with themselves, and don’t find any of their sources of happiness to be sources of guilt as well. If you open up and tell your friends what you like doing, you might even find that you have things in common that you’d never have found out about otherwise. Quirky is good. It shows that you aren’t a mindless robot, and that you’ve got more important things to worry about than just maintaining a perfect image. You might find

that it’s a lot more fulfilling to open yourself up and shout to the world what you’re really like than to let self-consciousness rule your life. There are so many little things that make you, well, you. Like the way you lay in your bed just thinking about life. The way you speak using hashtags. The way you like to dance ridiculously in your room with One Direction playing on full blast on your stereo set. Those are your things- and Hell, maybe they’re other peoples’ things, too, but that definitely doesn’t make them any less yours. Even the harder parts of life leave a great impact on us. Your behavior and actions can make or break

someone else’s day. Please remember that even though you’re an individual, and you’re important, you don’t have an excuse to tear other people down because you think you’re “better” than them. Please. Maybe they’re actually pretty darn great and you just didn’t take the time to notice. Don’t let anyone get in your way of saying what you want to say or feeling what you feel, whether they’re your worst enemy or your best friend. Or your best enemy or your worst friend, whatever. Why should they get to decide how you act and portray yourself? Maybe you’re that loud kid that always speaks their mind. Maybe you’re the quiet one, always observing.

Maybe you’re the happy medium between the two. And you know what? That’s your choice. You can be whoever you want to be through your thoughts and actions. Find your own path. When dealing with the stress that comes with just plain living, it’s important to think about why it is you’re still walking around on this Earth. Remembering not to collapse under peer pressure- and, let’s face it, parental pressure- can be difficult at times. It helps to go on a bike ride. It helps to go on a tweeting rampage. It helps to use your stuffed rainbow unicorn for protection from the creepy noises coming from outside. It helps to go to sleep. Just remember to

wake up, wash your face, and live your life. And love it, too. When you feel like breaking down, do it. All the bottled up feelings aren’t safe for you, and every once in a while, you just need to let it all out. All the upsets and bad days are another piece of what makes you yourself. Without all the bad things, how would we ever know just how great the good things are? Without darkness, there is no light. You need the bad to make the good, and when you’re feeling down, always remember that uniqueness that you carry around with you, be it in your pocket, or in your eyes, or in your smile. You are unique. You are an individual. You are you.

Arts & Entertainment Stuffed as a Thanksgiving turkey Nov. 12, 2013


sauce has less sugar, more nutrients and a better taste than canned sauce. This recipe is bound to have guests wanting more. See the full recipe at: http://www.simplyrecipes. com/recipes/cranberry_ sauce/

by Sarah Arkoh

Feelings of guilt tend to hang low soon after the last piece of Thanksgiving pie is down. A few guilt-free alternatives to some classic Thanksgiving favorites will minimize the guilt and allow you to enjoy. Instead of Mashed Potatoes, try Mashed Butternut Casserole. While mashed potatoes are high in fiber and potassium, they tend to be high in fat and sodium. Besides that, mashed potatoes are often loaded down with gravy and butter, making for an even unhealthier side dish. Mashed Butternut Casserole is a healthy, tasty alternative. Boil up two large butternut squash, mash with a tablespoon of butter, a splash of milk and put aside. In a separate pan, sauté up some onions, garlic, cayenne pepper and add to potatoes. Top with some fried bacon and bake in a 350° oven for 15 minutes. Mashed Butternut Squash is a tasty, healthier

Photo courtesy of

alternative to mashed potatoes. It has fewer calories and more fiber. See the full recipe at: healthy-eating/mealideas/7-healthy-alternatives-your-favorite-thanksgiving-dishes/slide/ Ditch the Canned Cranberry Sauce for Home-

made Cranberry Sauce. While cranberry sauce is easy to dump out of a can, guests are wowed by, and more appreciative of, a thoughtful, homemade sauce. Canned sauce is loaded with artificial sugars and preservatives. Switch it up with some fresh cranberry sauce. All that’s needed is one cup of sugar, one cup of

water and four cups of cranberries, frozen or fresh. Boil the water and sugar in a large pot and add in cranberries, slowly bringing to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes and tada, homemade cranberry sauce. Some alternatives include adding pecans, cinnamon and nutmeg. Homemade cranberry

Spruce Up a Bowl a Broccoli with a Little Bit of Garlic and Chile. Broccoli is high in vitamins and fiber, making for a quick, healthy side dish. However, it is often smothered in butter, taking away much of its nutritional value. Instead of Buttered Broccoli, try Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Chile. Toss 1-½ pounds of broccoli with red-flaked pepper, five cloves of garlic and olive oil. Roast in a 450° oven for 20 minutes and top with a little lemon juice. Roasted Broccoli is a much more fun alternative to standard, steamed broccoli, smothered in butter. See the full recipe at: http://www.marthastewart. com/344304/roasted-broccoli-with-garlic-and-chile

Drop the Boxed Stuffing for a Homemade Vegetarian Cornbread Stuffing. Boxed stuffing can be tasty but it is loaded with sodium to keep that fresh taste. Instead, try making a homemade one. This is a healthy alternative for those who don’t have Grandma’s treasured family recipe. Buy one package of cornbread mix and prepare according to package for a 9x13 pan. (A popular choice is Marie Callender’s Cornbread. A five-pound bag can be purchased at Costco for less than $10.) Crumble the baked cornbread and put it aside. Melt two tablespoons of butter in a large pan and add some celery and onion. Sauté until soft and then add to crumbled cornbread. Add salt and pepper to taste. Beat two eggs and add to mix. Top it off with two cups of chicken stock and bake alongside the turkey for 30 minutes. See the full recipe at:

Hottest TV shows of 2013 Fall fashion: by Savanna Kiene and Nicole Stibbard

It seems as if on Twitter, someone is always live, tweeting about his or her favorite show. Here are the top five picks for our school. “The Walking Dead” Rick Grimes is a former Sheriff’s deputy who has been in a coma for several months after being shot while on duty. When he wakes, he discovers that the world has been taken over by zombies, and he thinks he is the only person still alive. Having returned home to discover his family missing, he heads for Atlanta to search for his them. He and a fellow survivor, Glenn, fight off the zombies of Atlanta together. The series follows Rick’s adventures in surviving the major zombie apocalypse as he reunites with family members and picks up new friends along the way. “Supernatural” Two brothers, Sam and Dean, were raised by their father to hunt and kill the evil things that go “bump in the night.” Twenty-two years later, the brothers set out on a journey, fighting evil along the way, to find their recently missing father. When they finally meet up with him, he reveals he knows what killed their mother, a demon, and has found a way to track and kill it. Meanwhile, Sam starts to develop frightening abilities that include death visions, of people dying before it actually happens. These visions are somehow connected to the demon who murdered

Photo courtesy of his mother and its mysterious plans that seem to be all about Sam. When their father dies striking a deal with the very same devil that had killed his wife, the brothers, now alone and without their mentor, are determined to finish the crusade their father started. But disturbing revelations about Sam’s part in the demon’s apocalyptic plans are presented when John’s dying last words to Dean are revealed. “How I Met Your Mother” The year is 2030. Ted Mosby is relaying the story of how he met his wife to his daughter and son. The story starts in the year 2005, when then twentyseven year old architect Ted was spurred on to want to get married after his best friends from his college days at Wesleyan. Lawyer Marshall Eriksen, who was his roommate at the time and kindergarten teacher Lily

Aldrin, got engaged after nine years of dating each other. Ted’s new quest in life was much to the dismay of his womanizing friend, Barney Stinson. But soon after Marshall and Lily’s engagement, Ted believed that his life mate was going to be news reporter and aspiring news anchor Robin Scherbatsky, who, despite having had a romantic relationship with her after this time, ended up being who the kids know as their “Aunt” Robin. As Ted relays the story to his kids, the constants are that their Uncle Marshall, Aunt Lily, Uncle Barney and Aunt Robin are always in the picture and thus have something to do with how he got together with their mother. “Breaking Bad” When chemistry teacher, Walter White, is diagnosed with Stage III cancer and given only two years to live, he

decides he has nothing to lose. He lives with his wife and teenage son, who has cerebral palsy, in New Mexico. Determined to ensure that his family will have a secure future, White embarks on a career of drugs and crime. He proves to be remarkably proficient in this new world as he begins manufacturing and selling methamphetamine with one of his former students. The series tracks the impacts of a fatal diagnosis on a regular hard working man and explores how a fatal diagnosis affects his morality and transforms him into a major player of the drug trade. “American Horror Story” Ben Harmon is on a mission of giving his family a fresh start after his wife had a miscarriage. This devastated the whole family, even making him have an affair to somehow cope with the tragedy. The Harmon’s move into a fully restored mansion and during their first day they meet their new neighbors which are also the previous home owners, the Langon’s. Violet, the only child of the Harmon’s takes an interest in Tate Langon. While Violet’s relationship progresses with Tate, Ben and his wife Vivien try time and time again to rekindle their broken marriage. For the most part they are getting there, slowly but surely. They are also convinced that their new home is haunted by the ghosts of the ones who died on the property.

do’s & don’ts by Briana Castillo

Aside from itchy eyes and a stuffy nose, fall is all about cold nights, hot chocolate, layering your clothes and being warm and comfy DO: Play with different colors this season. Black and brown are always in style, so it doesn’t hurt to have a little fun. Use colors like green and blue or even prints like flower and stripes. DON’T: Be an eye-sore. DO: Remember this motto: When in doubt, put a beanie on it. Not only do beanies look cute, but also they keep everyone warm and help out on those bad hair days. DON’T: Be afraid to experiment with various colors, lengths and textures and try something no one else is wearing or you know no one else has. DO: Buy a blazer. A plain black blazer can spice up any outfit and it goes with most everything. Also, army jackets are popular this year and are fun to wear with anything. DON’T: Wear skirts. Yes, they’re comfortable and easy to wear, but it’s always freezing in the morning and you’ll regret it later on. DO: Buy leggings and sweatshirts. It’s good for those lazy or sick days where you don’t want to have to deal with tight clothes. DON’T: Come to school with no sweatshirt unless you’re more than confident that the guy you’ve been dreaming to talk to comes up and asks you if you want to borrow his sweatshirt. DO: Buy boots if you don’t have any. Combat boots and regular warm fuzzy boots are in fashion they go with everything and they will keep your feet warm. DON’T: Come in shorts and a tank top. You are going to be cold and very uncomfortable. DO: Wear knitted shirts they are very cute and warm and best tops for the fall and winter. DON’T: Wear crop tops I know its hard to get out of your summer clothes but I promise summer will be back before you know it. Good places to shop this season would be stores like Forever 21. They have lots of fun colors and cute affordable clothes. Another store would be Love Culture, also known for the same style and for bing fashionable and affordable. The more high-end store would be Brandy Melville, since it has everything from army sweatshirts and combat boots to infinity scarves. Although they are a bit pricier, they are very well known for their style.


Arts & Entertainment

Nov. 12, 2013

iOS7: One step forward or two steps back? Cursed with iOS7 by Melissa Parlan

On Sept. 18th, 2013, Apple released its new layout update, the iOS7. Most, if not, all, iPhone users have updated their phones to the new layout and either love it, or hate it. Those who prefer the iOS6 over the iOS7 layout can mostly agree that they hate the new update. The new layout looks cool and futuristic. However, when users try out their phones for the first time after updating, they find that this futuristic look has many flaws that make navigating through the phone difficult and awkward. First of all, iOS7 appears way too bright and all of the white backgrounds add to this problem. No matter how low users adjust the brightness, the screen either appears dark, which makes it harder for them to see, or way too bright, which strains their eyes. The flat and colorful icons not only make the screen irritating to look at, but also make the iPhone look childish and a lot like an Android device. But wait, the changes don’t stop there. When setting a background for the screen, users notice that the iOS7 layout zooms the selected photo to the max. This confuses users because when editing the photo to be the background, the screen says “Move and Scale”, but doesn’t let the user scale the photo.

iOS7 changed the layout of the phone completely, initiating the new layouts of popular applications, such as Instagram. The new layout for Instagram seems to have a love affair with circles, just like the iOS7 update, with the circular profile picture and white backgrounds. Many applications updated their formats to match iOS7’s due to the Apple’s influence. Yes, apps are trying to give users a universal layout, but they also gives users another reason to use their phone less. When texting, the letters are on the keys are thin and the white over the blue word bubble makes it no easier. The thin letters occur throughout all Apple devices with iOS7. From the lock screen to the text messaging, letters ultimately make typing and reading from the screen difficult. The iOS7 update has a weird and complicated layout and not all Apple users will get used to it. The iOS7 alters underlying aspects to users’ iPhones. For iPhone 4s owners, the update isn’t the best fit for them, let alone other versions before 4s. This update operates faster on the newer iPhones, such as 5s and 5c. However, since these phones are relatively new and expensive, many don’t have them yet, leaving them with an update too “advanced” for their own phones. Another huge problem the iOS7 presents, is battery life. Ever since updating

Black Friday antics by Joanah Nguyen

Walking through the doors: things getting knocked down, people attacking each other. Everyone is in the spirit of black Friday. Black Friday is noted as the first day of traditional Christmas shopping, and here is some advice to get your holiday shopping done. If you don’t know what you’re heading out for, then you can be lost in crowds, not knowing where to go. You should always know what you’re looking for beforehand. Without a plan, it may be tempting to spend money you don’t necessarily have on items that you don’t need. If you don’t need to buy anthing, don’t go. Instead, do something productive; rest or watch a movie. If you do need to buy something, keep it simple. The more on your list, the more unecessary temptations. Don’t buy something that you will regret. It’s also helpful to look through ads or newspapers to see what certain stores will be have. Make sure you evaluate the deals. Not all black Friday advertisements are great deals, and it always helps to double check the items you want to buy. Try looking them up online to

make sure you have the best deals. If you’re buying people gifts, make sure you know what the store’s return policy is. Always try to get a gift receipt in case you, or the reciever, need to exchange it. The best places to shop during Black Friday are big electronic stores; don’t expect retail stores to have amazing deals. TV’s, computers, cameras, phones, laptops and other technology are all bargains. When you’re headed to the mall, take a buddy. You’ll feel more secure. Have someone drive you if parking is a hassle. Drop-offs and pick-ups beat the traffic, but make sure you thank your chauffeur. If you drive yourself, avoid parking-space conflicts. There’s no need to start a catfight with another person because both of you want the same exact spot. It won’t kill you to park far and walk. In fact, it’ll even be a good exercise after turkey day. Black Friday is one of the most awaited “holidays”. If you’re planning to shop on black Friday, don’t stress and follow these tips. Make sure have fun, and know what you’re buying before heading out, and you can have an incident-free shopping experience.

Photos courtesy of

their phones, users find that their battery runs out at the end of the day, even when they start the day with 100% charge. With the iOS6, this wasn’t a problem at all. Now that iOS7 eats up a majority of iPhone life, users have to charge it more than before, giving them another thing to worry about and another reason to dislike the update. It’s understandable why Apple keeps on updating their products and constantly releasing new versions of electronics—to stay in business and appeal to consumers. Nevertheless, this time, Apple appears to have tried way too hard with this update, with little consideration to the actual iPhone and Apple users.

A god-sent improvement by Sonya Jindal

First of all, the layout of iOS7 is amazing. It has a high-tech, super sleek look to it, which makes it all the more fun to use. The lock screen numbers change colors to match your background. Little things like that make iOS7 just so much cooler. At first, many weren’t a huge fan of the icons; the cartoonish feel just wasn’t attractive to people. But after a few more uses, users grew to love them. They create a fun and vibrant

feel to the overall look of the phone. Some of the apps even were updated to fit IOS7, including the camera. The camera on iOS7 is a huge plus to Instagram lovers. The camera’s zoom is very much improved, with better focus, not blurry like iOS6. It also offers six filters, similar to those of Instagram. You can conveniently change the filter as you take the picture, without going through a whole editing process like with iOS6. If you’re a huge user of the drop down screen, there were many great improvements added to this feature. With iOS7, the drop down screen has three overall options of ‘Today’, ‘All’ and ‘Missed’. They sum up any notifications you may have missed, along with the date, weather, an overview on how long it would take to drive home, your events for the day and alarms. Another convenient feature is the pull-up screen.The pull-up screen allows you to instantly go into airplane mode, connect to Wi-Fi, portrait lock, fix brightness, play music, use the flashlight and more. The music, brightness and flashlight functions are especially useful. They come in handy. The text messages were another thing that drastically changed for the best during the update.

The colors are still the typical blue for iMessage and green for other texts. The major change is the layout and speech bubbles. Instead of the harsh and plain original text, the update created “bubbly” speech bubbles. The texts have their own fun personality, making it all the more exciting to text and receive messages from others. A new feature is the preview of apps when you double click the home button. It allows users to see what’s going on in other apps, even when they’re not on them. It comes in handy when you’re copying information from one app to another, allowing people to just swipe through the previews and quickly transfer my work. The only downside for many is the battery life. Maybe it’s because people use their phones more often because of the new update, but either way, it’s almost impossible to leave your house without a charger All in all, iOS7 is God sent. The new features and updates are welcome changes from the boring style of iOS6. Without iOS7, phones would just be boring devices. Apple deserves a round of applause for taking the risk to change, and great encouragement to continue with their work and create new ideas for the future.

Green’s bestseller lives up to the hype by Nicole Stibbard

With captivating themes of overcoming obstacles, love and loss, “The Fault in Our Stars” brings readers in and doesn’t let them go. Out of all of John Green’s books, “The Fault in Our Stars” is by far the most admirable. It is his fourth solo novel and definitely deserves 5 out of 5 stars for its suspenseful plot, strong characters and shocking message. This novel takes a romantic angle, but it isn’t your typical romance. It is narrated by Hazel Lancaster, diagnosed with Thyroid cancer at age 13. Now at age 16, she manages to live with her disease, depending on many doses of the experimental drug, Phalanxifor and a respiratory tank she wheels with her almost everywhere. Her parents force her to attend a support group with other teens fighting cancer. She meets and falls in love with the 17-year-old Augustus Waters, who lost his right leg to osteosarcoma. Hazel’s only friend from support group, Isaac, lost his eye at a young age to cancer. He helps Hazel meet Augustus. Right after support group ends, Hazel and Augustus engage in conversation. Augustus recommends a movie, and later invites her over to watch the movie. At Augustus’ home, they discuss each others interests. Hazel mentions her favorite book and Augustus decides to give it a read. They both share a liking for the author and plan to make attempts to meet him. Eventually Hazel and Augustus seem to develop a close relationship

that eventually leads to something more. In their relationship, Augustus is much more blunt, while Hazel is reserved. With their two personalities, their shared dialogues are arguably one of the best part of the novel. John Green did an amazing job of setting the scenes for the novel. He never fails to make readers feel like they are a part of his stories. The novel shows the development of relationships, rather than individual characters, which makes the plot more enjoyable. The story picks up suspense when Hazel and Augustus go through difficulties in their relationship. John Green is known for making his supporters cry with almost every book he’s written, but this one stands alone with its emotional and unique plot. Because the novel is so popular and has such a large fan base, it is being made into a movie. The movie is

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scheduled to come out next year with a cast members including Shailene Woodley as Hazel and Ansel Elgort as Augustus. In the end, nothing is what it seems. The ending shocks readers, and leaves them feeling sad but thankful for the story and their new appreciation for life.   

Sports Coach Castillo returns to his castle 11

NOV. 12, 2013

by Neha Mannikar

The hot air is filled with the steady thuds of basketballs and blurs of motion as Miguel Castillo takes his familiar post on the court. After a long two years, he is finally back home. This fall, Castillo has returned to coaching after a two-year gap. And this time, instead of coaching boys’ varsity, he’s coaching girls’. “I saw an opening and I took it,” Castillo said. “Being a teacher for such a long time, I need the students, the players. It keeps me going, even though some days I’m in pain.” Because of health issues involving his back, Castillo had to pause coaching and focus on getting better. With the aid of his family, Castillo has been able to gain back his lost strength and weight and return to his passion, basketball. “That one summer I was really bad,” Castillo said. “I didn’t think I’d be able to come back to school in the fall because it was so bad. But I’m able to manage it now and that’s why I decided to come back to basketball. It’s part of me. I started off as a teacher-coach and now it’s getting toward the end of my career and I want to finish as a teacher-coach.”

teach the basics first and then you add on more things. You build and then you put the thing together.”

Neha Mannikar | The Phoenix

COACH Miguel Castillo gives players advice on playing basketball as a player makes a shot in the background.

Basketball and coaching have always been an intertwined and undeniable part of Castillo’s life. He has coached locally since 1973 and started at Fremont in 1974. Even before he decided to become a coach, Castillo’s father, who used to play in Mexico, introduced him to the sport. Castillo continued to play with his brothers and friends at the playground and later played for Sunnyvale High School and De Anza College. “It’s been there forever since I was a kid,” Castillo said. “When I was a freshman in high school,

I started playing [for the school team] and fell in love with the sport again. He has helped others find that enthusiasm throughout his decades of coaching and looks forward to coaching girls’ varsity this year. “The best part of coaching is building the team; taking a group of athletes, players, young people and putting them in the right spot,” Castillo said. “I love to watch them improve individually because then the team improves and they work together more cohesively. It’s like you’ve created something.”

Even before the Nov. 4th tryouts, Castillo has been hard at work at the preseason skill workouts and open practices. Throughout the past couple of months, these practices have specifically targeted certain types of shooting, but now, after tryouts, the practices will encompass the whole team. Typically, each practice follows a routine: the warm-up combined with a lesson on fundamentals, individual skills, team building and later, scrimmaging. “It’s a building process,” Castillo said. “You

The best part of coaching is building the team; taking a group of athletes, players, young people and putting them in the right spot. I love to watch them improve individually because then the team improves and they work together more cohesively. It’s like you’ve created something. Miguel Castillo Castillo is thankful to be able to take his familiar dedication to coaching to his new, eager team. “They’re very appreciative and respectful,” Castillo said. “They’ve received me very well, and I’m enjoying getting to know them.” More than anything, Castillo looks forward to the games. After preseason open gyms and skill workouts, six weeks of summer

leagues and the sheer time and energy the athletes put in, Castillo is excited to see how the team does with all the work they’ve done. “When you get to the games, you see the fruits of your labor and where you stand,” Castillo said. “Then you say, ‘okay, this is where we are’ and keep working to get better.” To Castillo, coaching is meaningful. He hopes to see the team off to success. “I’m glad to be back into coaching, especially here at Fremont,” Castillo said. “Our motto for this year is ‘put Fremont first’. As a team, we’re going to do things to represent Fremont as people, athletes, students and as a basketball team. These girls are perfect for that. They’re really unselfish and I chose that motto because of them.” The team’s motto has a double meaning. By putting Fremont first, the girls will play for the team and not for themselves individually. And by putting Fremont first, the girls hope to make Fremont number one. Castillo knows he has a busy year ahead. But the team and sport never fail to amaze him. He’s back and ready as always to put Fremont first.

Winter sports thaw out Before Fall by Alex Noyes

As the season concludes and practice begins for basketball, soccer and wrestling, one thing is certain: the expectations are higher than ever. With three teams making it to Central Coast Section playoffs last season, this upcoming season, the goal is the same. The wrestling team has been exceptional at Fremont for many years, setting the bar so high in the past. Coach Erik Duus, long time wrestling coach at Fremont voiced his expectations for the season. “We are always trying to win league, have the top six wrestlers in CCS, and the top three in state,” Duus said. For Duus and returning seniors such as Gary Miltenberger, Ben Murphy and Modan Goldman, whom all had very successful CCS runs, they must lead the team this season to another one. Miltenberger made the farthest run in last seasons CCS playoffs, is highly being recruited by some of the top wrestling colleges in the nation. “He should be CCS champion and at least top six in state,” Duus said. “He should be an inspiration to all athletes at Fremont because he’s so

dedicated to every aspect of wrestling.” Clearly the bar has been set very high for many of the wrestlers transitioning into the winter season, which makes wrestling an extremely competitive but fun sport to watch. It’s a brand new season with a whole new group of players under Coach Jason Townsend and his varsity basketball team. After a tough loss at the buzzer last season in CCS, the Fremont Varsity team looks to regroup with five returning seniors: Ahmed Shorab, Alex Bernauer, Alex Noyes, Cary Tai and Jeffrey Lin. There is a large amount of inexperience at the varsity level for four of the returning seniors. The only one who started last year was Alex Bernauer. Regardless, the goals and expectations this year are as high as ever by Townsend and his players. The task of making it to CCS once again will be extremely difficult since losing the majority of the starting lineup from last season. As the season nears, anxiety sets in as tryouts and workouts commence, with Townsend evaluating who will be getting minutes this season. “My goals for the season are to make CCS and win the first CCS

game”, Tai said. Tai hopes to make an impact on the team as the power forward, dominating the blocks and getting rebounds. The past couple of sea-

It would be cool if we could win league because we’re considered the underdogs. I think we could surprise people. Junior Jackson Ellis sons have been a mix of all grades. This season a group of juniors and sophomores will help contribute towards the goal of making CCS. “I want to become a better athlete and basketball player, and learn more about the game while passing down my knowledge to the sophomores”, junior Aqeel Ali said. The team has a lot of of seniors, but many of the juniors and sophomores will have to step up in order for the Varsity team to be see success this season. The soccer team hopes to make another appearance in CCS, having seen success for many years. With the loss of goalkeeper Eduardo Salcedo and others, senior Levi Uraga looks to lead the team to

another super season and CCS playoff run. “My goal is to make it to the CCS playoffs and be a team leader,” Uraga said. Returning Coach Mike Baker sees the tough task ahead of a new division and a huge dent in the roster compared to last season. “We got moved to the upper division. This season will definitely be a tougher season,” Baker said. The combination of a new group of players and a tougher division poses a challenge to the Fremont Varsity Soccer team. Returning players see the challenge ahead. “It would be cool if we could win league because we’re considered the underdogs,” junior soccer player Jackson Ellis said “I think we could surprise people.” Early preparations for the season are being held after school including workouts, and organized scrimmages. The soccer team is serious about taking the field another time after the season. Fremont winter sports teams are seeing the same success as last season and are all working hard in the pre-season to make games exciting to watch. It should be another great season.

sports leave by Marinn Cedillo

This year’s fall sports had a rough start, but sports fanatics can celebrate, as teams have pulled through their hardships together to make great leaps. This year, the girls’ varsity tennis team had an excellent season with a few obstacles. Coach Roberto Gutierrez was happy with talents such as freshmen Stephanie Cori and as the season progressed, the team won many meets and worked through obstacles like rigorous practice for the games, but they pulled out in the end. The cross-country team had many accomplishments throughout the season and since the beginning, the cross-country team started out great. They were in the top three of most meets they attended. For the season’s second center meet, the girls’ and boys’ teams placed in the top ten at the Crystal Springs meet in Belmont. Also, many best personal times were set this season as well as records made by athletes such as Jacqueline Escalera and Raj Bhargava. The girls’ varsity volleyball team won two games and had one tie this season. Although they didn’t win the rest of the games, their effort was what was important. The girls’ skills were obvious during their games, but luck wasn’t on their side. The girls’ volleyball season had its losses and its wins, but in the end, they may not have performed as well as they wanted to. The varsity football team this year had a difficult season filled with many losses. Although they lost many games this season, their hard work was evident with their win against Santa Clara High school in the Homecoming game. With a score of 38-24, it was a muchawaited win for Fremont that brought many students joy. Fremont’s JV team did their best as well and had an outstanding season filled with four wins and three losses this. Although it may not have been a season everyone is proud of, they did their best, and now, we can now look forward for next season to come.



Nov 12, 2013

Small team wins big this season by Priya Lee

Seated at second place and going into league finals, the girl’s varsity water polo team is the one of the teams to beat this season. The girl’s team has currently only lost two league games making them 10-2. They are currently in the running to win league finals for the El Camino League and had the opportunity to make it to Central Coast Section, which hasn’t been possible in the past. This is a complete turn-around from last year when they only won three games. “We’re doing 180 degrees different,” Coach Mo Clark said. “Last year we only won three league games. We were the second to last place team going into leagues. Now we’re tied for first.” The Fremont team is currently placed second with Mountain View holding the first place title. Fremont was undefeated until they played Mountain View and Santa Clara for the second time, ending their winning streak. Many members of the team agreed that they were disappointed and sad in their 3-7 loss against Mountain View and their 9-10 loss against Santa Clara, but they think that it made them better as a team. “I actually think that it’s kind of good that Mountain View beat us because now we’re reminded of how much it sucks to lose and we don’t want it to happen again,” sophomore Carmen Steinmeier said. “I think that we’re going to come back and work harder, so if we play them in league finals, we can win.” “It was a sad loss, but

we know why it happened, and just moving on from that, I think we now know that it’s not going to be easy from here on out,” senior Rea Brakaj said. “We have to try even harder and come up with new strategies because there is no doubt that we are better than Mountain View and we can beat them. We just need to set our minds to it.” Other than those losses, the varsity girls are doing better than they originally expected and have had their best season. They started the season at the Wilcox Tournament and won what could be the only trophy that has ever been won by girl’s water polo at Fremont. They placed third, but could have played in the championship game and placed higher because they only lost to Claremont High School, the team that ended up winning the tournament. “At first, I wasn’t really sure how we were going to do then we went to our first tournament and we got a trophy right off the bat,” junior Mina Loldj said. “It definitely foreshadowed the rest of our season.” The girls also played a tournament at Live Oaks High School and won two of three games, again losing to the team that was undefeated at the end of the tournament. Clark said the team had the opportunity to win, but needed to improve a little bit more to reach their full potential. “One of the things that I noticed in that game was this: we were two different teams,” Clark

said. “The two games that we won, we decided that we wanted to play, we were going to fight through being tired, we were not going to be afraid to sthe ball, not be afraid to move. The game that we lost we were as a team tired, as a team, OK not to hussle. That’s the one thing in the back of my mind as a coach, which team is going to show up. If we show up like we can, we’ll win.” This year, Fremont’s team is the smallest in the league with only two substitute players. The players are: seniors Rea Brakaj, Varsha Srivastava, juniors Mina Loldj, Priya Lee, Felicie Bajet, Monsi Magal and sophomores Carmen Steinmeier, Rhiana Ferguson and Neli Tsodikov. According to Srivastava, it takes a lot of stamina to play for the whole game and other teams may underestimate them. She thinks of her team as the ones to beat because they show that they can step it up. Since the varsity girls have such a small team, they find that they are very close to each other in the pool and out. “We’re doing a lot better because I think we’re closer as a team, so we’re working better together,” Steinmeier said. “Even though sometimes we might be mean and not work well with each other, we always forgive each other. We’re really close friends.” The players in the team also have individual achievements. Srivastava won an all league award last year as most valued goalie. Brakaj also won the all tour-

Photo Courtesy of Mayer Feldman

Photo Courtesy of Mayer Feldman

ABOVE: Junior Mina Loldj throws the ball, trying to make a goal. BELOW: Sophomore Carmen Steinmeier shows her great ball handling skills during a game against Mountain View High School.

nament award in the Wilcox To.urnament. The girls from the varsity water polo team are showing that they are competitors and are proving that they can win.

“I’m proud to say that I believe that we’re doing the best, compared to our football team especially,” Brakaj said. “It’s kind of sad that we don’t get as much coverage as we deserve because I

think this is the best sports season that is going on right now and it would be nice to see some of Fremont come out and watch us because we really need the help from fans.”

Varsha Srivastava: Co-captain, president and more by Kayla Layaoen

Little Varshman is growing up. Varsha Srivastava, also known as “Varshman,” is the girls’ varsity water polo co-captain and goalie and -has definitely outgrown her nickname, which is a combination of her first name and the word “freshman.” At first, Srivastava wasn’t planning on being a goalie. However, she was encouraged to try it because of her long arms. She ended up liking it and became the junior varsity goalie right off the bat as a freshman. She credits her love for the sport to the bond that has always been strong within the team. “When I was younger, I used to do swimming but never really knew much about water polo until I joined, so I was curious,” Srivastava said. “I had a grasp on the basic idea of the sport but it was spend-

ing time with the more experienced girls on the team during hell week which helped me realize how much I enjoyed it. Seeing the close bond between everyone made me want to have something like that too.” At the end of her first season, her coach asked her if she’d like to play in a few varsity games at league finals as their goalie. She accepted and went on to play as the varsity goalie in her sophomore year. This year is Srivastava’s third as the varsity team’s goalie and her fourth playing water polo with the school. But this time around, she’s one of the captains, along with senior Rea Brakaj. As co-captain, she hopes not only to lead her team to victory, but to be someone who her teammates can look up to. “This year as captain I hope that I’ve been able to

Priya Lee | The Phoenix

set an example for the girls when it comes to character and self-improvement, because even though I play a completely separate position, those are things that have been important to me and I’ve always felt have been important to stress within the team,” Srivastava


It would seem that Srivastava has accomplished this goal, according to some kind words from a teammate. “In and out of the water, she’s always someone you can count on for anything,” junior Mina Loldj

said. “As a captain, she’s always been really supportive and motivational, and practically our savior throughout the season. We’ve been doing a lot better this season in terms of wins vs. losses, and we owe a huge part of that to her.” Her experiences with water polo have helped her grow as a person in ways she never expected. “Because of [my teammates] and the sport, I stepped out of my comfort zone and became much more outgoing and open with people than I ever thought I’d be before coming to high school,” Srivastava said. “As a result I’ve made a lot of good friends in and out of the pool during my time here and I can only credit that positive change in myself to the sport.” Leadership is nothing new to her. Aside from being a varsity water polo cocaptain, Srivastava is also a

part of Fremont’s Associated Student Body (ASB), and was on sophomore cabinet two years ago. She is also a dedicated environmentalist, who got involved with Fremont’s Acting to Protect the Environment (APE) Club as a freshman. Now, she’s the president of the APE Club. On top of that, she is one of the school’s two Interdistrict Council (IDC) representatives. She has been a Girl Scout since the second grade and is now working towards her Gold Award. The Girl Scouts’ Gold Award is the highest honor that can be given to a girl scout, similar to the Boy Scouts’ Eagle Award. Although it’s her last year at Fremont, it’s definitely not her last year playing water polo. “Whether it’s on [a college’s] varsity team or on a club team, I know water polo is in my future,” Srivastava said.

November 12th Issue | Issue 2, Volume 2  
November 12th Issue | Issue 2, Volume 2