Henry M. Gunn High School 780 Arastradero Road Palo Alto, CA 94306 Palo Alto Unified School District
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Wednesday, June 6, 2007
http://gunn.pausd.org/oracle 780 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto, CA 94306
Trivia team takes show to Chicago
Quiz Kids club competes in national tournament Tenny Zhang Forum Editor
Students tread thin line with on-campus shows of affection Libby Craig & Sasha Guttentag
Features Editor & Entertainment Editor
rom public to secluded places, from daytime to after dark, the campus is the site of inappropriate and lascivious activity that has recently gained widespread attention. The administration tries to keep from getting involved in students’ personal lives, but lately the administration has had no option but to interfere into teens’ personal business.
Public display of affection (PDA) is one type of student behavior that is particularly hard to monitor. The administration tries to politely remind couples to keep their hands to themselves, but the line between what is simply showing affection and being inappropriate is hard to distinguish. “If we see a couple of people kissing, especially if it goes on for a long time, do I go, ‘Get in the office now!’?” Assistant Principal Tom Jacoubowsky said. “No, I say ‘Don’t forget to breathe.’ When I see vertical CPR happening, that’s a little too much.” Dean of Students Phil Winston agrees that the level of what is appropriate is not
strictly defined in the books. “What level of kissing [is inappropriate]?” Winston said. “I’ll know it when I see it, and you’ll know it too.” Punishment for mild PDA usually consists of verbal warnings, but the administration treats more extreme cases of PDA differently. After the last bell rings and the school settles down, scandalous activities remain on campus. Rumored incidents include afterprom rendezvous at various Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) sites, as well as multiple trysts behind the Village and on the baseball diamond after school. “I’ve heard that people have had sex and oral sex out on the baseball field, out behind the path; there’s a rumor about a hole dug and there’s a couch in it, but I think there’s just a couch behind some bushes,” English teacher Kristina Gossard said. Students guilty of these scandals claim that one thing leads to another while behaving intimately on school grounds. “It’s not that I’m comfortable hooking up in public, it’s just that you don’t intend for it to be public at first,” an anonymous senior said. “It’s basically just oversight.” Many feel the administration should AFFECTION—p. 2
Graphics by Brian Phan
Is gun control necessary for school security? How far should we go? The Oracle weighs in on two different stances PAGE 5
“Pirates of the Caribbean 3” fails to deliver Find out why the pirate ship is sinking
In Sir Walter Scott’s Kenilworth, which historical figure lays down his cloak in a muddy spot at Greenwich for the queen to step on? The Quiz Kids would know. Buzzing their way through binders of trivia questions, five members of the Quiz Kids club competed at the National Academic Quiz Tournaments’ (NAQT) annual national tournament. From May 25 to 27, senior club president Kevin Chung, junior team captain David Brown, senior Max Fox, sophomore Annie Chin, freshman Ben Bendor and club adviser Heather Mellows traveled to Chicago as Gunn’s first team to qualify for the NAQT nationals. “We worked hard, had talented players and good direction from Dr. Mellows to lead us there,” Chin said. The Quiz Kids members meet every Monday and Wednesday to test their knowledge in mock trivia rounds. Mellows reads out trivia questions that can cover anything from modern art to chemical structures, while members anticipate the answers and try to buzz in first on electronic buzzers. The questions come from previous NAQT competitions. “The facts are random, but interesting,” Chin said. “The topics span anywhere from geography, to math, to science, literature, history and even pop culture.” The club meetings prepare the team for local tournaments, which, this year, led them to the national competition. The team competes in the Bay Area Academic League, NAQT, Knowledge Master Open and “Bay Area Quiz Kids,” a television show. The team qualified for nationals in the last possible tournament, the Nor-Cal State Championship on April 29. Mellows helped to lead the young, two-year-old team to success. She became the club advisor this year after the previous advisor, Chris Stallings, left the district. Mellows was drawn to the collaborative aspects of the team. “I am happy to promote an academic competition that requires cooperation between the team, which is more than just taking a test individually,” she said. Despite the team’s enthusiasm, the road to Chicago wasn’t easy. The team is relatively young, unfamiliar with certain subjects and short on money. Quiz Kids needed $4,000 to travel to Chicago. But never short of an answer, Quiz Kids held a week-long fundraiser from May 14 to 19. Members stayed after school each day to sell baked goods and ice cream, and even held a car wash at Gunn on May 19. The club raised over $1,400. Mellows selected five members of the club to attend the national tournament in Chicago based on areas of expertise, individual records from regional competitions and availability. Each has a speciality. Chung specializes in geography, Brown in literature, Chin in chemistry and Fox and Bendor in history. QUIZ KIDS—p. 6
Judo student pushes her limits Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better for junior Ayumi Tsurushita PAGE 14
Law silences drivers’ cell phone use Legislation may stop teens from chatting while driving
Next year, the Interact and the Youth Community Service (YCS) clubs will merge to become the YCS-Interact club. Both Interact and YCS work on community service projects around the Bay Area. Interact is known most for its annual trip to Tijuana to build houses with locals, but other projects range from pulling weeds to helping at the Veteran’s Hospital. YCS plans service-engaging events at Gunn such as Jar Wars, Relay for Life, Family Giving Tree, the AIDS Dance and Service Day. “The two clubs are combining mainly because they are two clubs that do essentially the same thing,” senior Interact president Haley Perkins said. The Palo Alto Rotary Club, which is a sponsor of both clubs, suggested the merge. “We will be able to have more variety in our projects,” senior YCS president Alex Chang said. “Since we are now a bigger club with more interests, we will be able to have subgroups, such as Environmental Service. We will simply be a stronger club that will be able to provide more.” Chang hopes that the clubs will be able to combine successfully. “For years after that, we hope to just be a powerful group on campus that can provide the school with various projects and events to keep students interested in community service,” he said.
Freshmen organize ODFL fundraiser Next time you want to buy a drink from the vending machine, think about the power of that dollar. A mere donation of one dollar to the One Dollar for Life Foundation (ODFL) could provide a classroom for people across the world. Los Altos High School teacher Robert Freeman started the foundation in Palo Alto to raise money to build schools in other countries including Kenya and Costa Rica. “One Dollar for Life was founded to create self-sufficiency and build schools in third-world countries,” freshman and active participant in the fundraiser Rachael Clark said. After becoming interested in her father’s foundation, freshman Robyn Freeman decided to gather a group of friends to launch a fundraiser at Gunn. The week-long campaign raised $1200 by placing cardboard boxes in classrooms to collect money. The group were immediately donated proceeds to the ODFL foundation. The school in Kenya will be built over the summer; construction costs are estimated at $9000. Robert Freeman will go to Africa over the summer to supervise the construction.
STAR influences school decisions From May 16 to 17, freshmen, sophomores and juniors took the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) tests. The State of California mandates all students in public schools from grades 2 to 11 to take these tests annually. 96.7 percent of Gunn students took the test this year. The purpose of STAR tests is to help schools measure how well students meet grade level standards in Language Arts, math, science and social sciences. “We can track small groups of students from year to year to see if they are making progress over time towards meeting academic goals,” STAR testing coordinator Lettie Weinmann said. Gunn is just starting to use this data to make instructional and administrative decisions. With several years worth of data of student progress and more powerful data analysis tools, schools can more effectively see the changes in scores caused by large scale and classroom level changes. “Teachers have access to STAR test scores of the classes they teach and can see what areas of their curriculum that students are doing well in and what areas need to be addressed,” Weinmann said. These tests also help schools determine curriculum and class sequence changes. “We will be looking at changes in our STAR test scores over a five year time span to help us evaluate the success of the realignment of the science sequence,” Weinmann said.
Dance no longer PE alternative Next year, students will not be able to take dance instead of regular Physical Education (PE). Because the new Athletic Director Chris Horpel will be teaching PE classes, the department will no longer have room to accommodate a dance teacher. Furthermore, the department would have had to hire a new dance teacher to keep the program going, because current instructor Bambi Fleeman’s contract expires at the end of this year. The department may reinstitute the dance program the year after next when former dance teacher Allison Rockwell returns from maternity leave. The Titan Dancers, Titan Rhythmz and the Ballroom Dancing Club will need to find new sponsors and new places to rehearse. The PE department is still deciding what to do with the dance room, but it may be used by the Advanced Fitness class. —Compiled by Michelle Fang, Amarelle Hanyecz, Maya Itah and Jeffrey Wang
Beth Holtzman Circulation Manager
Attention teen drivers: No longer will you be able to chat on your cell phones or text your friends while driving. The California State Senate recently passed a bill banning cell phone use and texting by drivers younger than 18. This bill is currently in the California State Assembly and, if signed by Governor Schwarzenegger, will take effect July 2008. The bill would prohibit teens from using cell phones or other mobile-service devices (including walkie-talkies, pagers, two-way messaging devices and Personal Digital Assistants) while driving, even with a hands-free device. Similar bills have already gone into effect around the nation. California State Senator Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, proposed the bill in hopes of decreasing distractions which cause car accidents, especially among teens. “As I worked for the past six years on my bill that requires all drivers to use hands-free devices when using a cell phone while driving, it became more and more apparent to me that teenage drivers were affected by cell phone use far more than adults,” Simitian said. Supporters of this bill claim that eliminating the distraction of cell phones will decrease the number of fatal teenage deaths. According to a 2001 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,
16-year-old drivers have a crash rate almost 10 times greater than drivers ages 30 to 59. Another report by the Transportation Safety Board shows that car crashes are the leading cause of death for 15 to 20-year-olds. The legislation could decrease these numbers drastically. “I introduced this bill for one simple reason—it saves lives,” Simitian said. “Cell phone use is the nu mb er one cause of distracted driver accidents in California. While we might not be able to eliminate all the distractions affecting driver safety, we should eliminate the ones we can.” Principal Noreen Likins supports the new law and believes it should be extended to cover people of all ages. “Every day I see people doing distracting things while driving that astounds me,” Likins said. “All handheld phone devices should be banned for people of all ages, not just minors.” Under the new law, if a minor is caught using a cell phone while driving, he will be fined $20 for the first offense and $50 each time after, but the misdemeanor will not appear on the teen’s driving record. Furthermore, cell phone use while driving will be considered a secondary offense. Police officers do not have the authority to stop a vehicle for solely committing a secondary offense. However, they do have the right to impose a penalty. De zm on Hu nt er
YCS and Interact merge
Admin refuses kiss of approval for PDA
n AFFECTION from p. 1 take disciplinary action on such extreme acts. “If there’s a drug patrol, there should be a sex patrol, too,” Gossard said. But because these incidents take place after school hours or in remote areas on or near campus, and information is often passed through the grapevine, it is difficult for the administration to punish students involved. “If we or anyone associated with [the] Gunn faculty came across it, [the students] would have been suspended, but we aren’t going to beat down a confession out of people,” Jacoubowsky said. “If we hear consistent reports of the same couple, then we will look into it more and take action.” In response to the recent episodes, the administration plans to increase their watch over more hidden areas like Strawberry Hill near Bol Park and the graveyard across from campus. The faculty affects students’ private lives in other
ways as well. Many suspect that if the administration monitors inappropriate activities that take place at school, it also regulates illegal or inappropriate activities that go on outside of school hours, using Internet sites like Facebook and MySpace to collect evidence. However, this is not the case. Even though Jacoubowsky created a MySpace profile a few years back under the user name “Big Titan,” he no longer uses it. Furthermore, neither Jacoubowsky nor Winston have Facebook profiles. Even if they did, they do not have jurisdiction to punish students who post pictures of themselves engaging in illegal behavior and will only implement consequences if the photos were taken on school grounds. But Jacoubowsky still cautions students to think twice about what they post on their Internet profiles. “Just realize that when you put pictures of you partying, everybody can see it,” he said.
Walla Walla, Washington Tuition: $30,806
Average GPA of admitted students: 3.82 Opinions of Gunn alumni who attend: Thumbs up:
• Isolated • Location, Walla Walla, is not exciting • Rarely sunny
Good professors Can go skiing or glacier climbing in winter 3-1 tree to student ratio
“Definitely stay overnight if you can. See if you can stand the isolation.” – Natalie Popovich, Class of ‘06
Compiled by Bauer Wann
Graphic by Brian Phan
3 Nuclear power offers logical, safe alternative
ccording to PG&E, “the future is clean energy,” meaning energy produced without the emission of carbon dioxide gas. When most people think of clean energy, they think of wind generators and solar panels. While these energy sources are obviously environmentally friendly, their use is limited and impractical on a large scale. Yet, many who search for an environmentally friendly energy source overlook the most practical source of all, nuclear energy. The power plants take up relatively little space, emit zero carbon emissions, and leave very little radioactive waste behind. A nuclear power plant produces energy with a controlled fission reaction that boils water to turn a
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
generator. After the events at Chernobyl in the former USSR and Three Mile Island, Pa., many Americans began to fear a reactor meltdown, in which the reaction is no longer under control and overheats the fuel rods. In response, the United States government imposed new regulations on the construction and operation of nuclear reactors. Some cities like Berkeley, CA, banned nuclear energy all together. However, United States reactors have proven effective. 76 percent of power generated in France comes from U.S. designed power plants. Anything “nuclear” may seem dangerous, but if one compares the number of deaths resulting from nuclear power plants in the United States (zero) with the nu mb e r of casualties in coal mines for coal plants (many), it becomes clear that nuclear energy is comparatively safe. The people who work in the control room have
nuclear plant; for instance, the control room door can only be opened from the inside. Other opponents of nuclear energy claim the waste will remain for thousands of years. This is true, but the amount of radioactive waste is very small. America is well suited for nuclear energy because there are large parts of this country that are desolate enough for radioactive waste to be stored. For example, uranium stored in Yucca Mountain, NV would be harmless. In addition, while
extensive training, so don’t worry, Homer Simpson will never be able to cause a meltdown. There are also several layers of security at every
the initial cost and energy required to build a nuclear power plant is high, over time nuclear plants are much more cost effective than coal
plants because much more fossil fuel is needed than enriched uranium to produce energy. The downsides of nuclear energy, although small, do exist. There are large initial costs for building a plant and there is always the outlandishly small chance of a meltdown. Nevertheless, no renewable energy source is perfect. Wind generators are huge eyesores to hillsides and can kill birds. Even hydroelectric power is detrimental to river ecosystems. In a speech at UCLA, Bill Clinton described how Brazil used sugar cane to achieve energy independence. While America will never be able to grow enough corn to become energy independent, we can start building nuclear plants. Even with the limited number of nuclear plants in the U.S. today, 20 percent of our energy is nuclear generated. If we stop fearing radioactivity, but rather embrace it as our hope for future energy demands, we can increase this percentage and move toward a sustainable future. —Johnston, a junior, is a News editor.
Sports coaches should EPA inaction stalls conservation National agency should heed California pollution suit be positive role models
Indiana University men’s basketball coach Bobby Knight dramatically jumps to his feet. He grabs his fold-up chair and tempestuously tosses it onto the court. This display of a coach’s anger is unfortunately not exclusive to universities. In high schools too, abusive coaches are a problem that should be addressed. Coaches must be positive role models for athletes by practicing good sportsmanship and leading by example. Coaches frequently yell and scream at student athletes in order to motivate them, but they sometimes go too far, and end up discouraging their players. To redress this problem, the Athletic Department should hold mandatory coaching seminars for Gunn coaches and explain the guidelines of positive coaching techniques. If coaches treat athletes without respect, the athletes themselves may begin to mimic these behaviors and treat other players, coaches or officials in the same manner. Many parents and coaches mistakenly believe that tougher and more callous coaches will make students stronger and more dedicated athletes. However, a recent UCLA sports labora-
tory study surveyed children and found that the main reason students continued to participate in sports was because of positive coaching support. Harsh high school coaches destroy athletes rather than create gifted ones. However, there are many instances when it is appropriate for coaches to be tough on their players. For example, when athletes are late to practice, not trying their best, intentionally breaking the rules of the game or having negative attitudes, coaches have the right to toughen up. Sometimes, coaches may use harsh tones to convey their feelings, which is fine except when it crosses the line and begins to include bullying, name calling and deprecating remarks. Also, coaches need to know the difference between negative and constructive criticism. Athletes can learn more from their mistakes through a helpful explanation rather than being yelled at or penalized for their error. There are several organizations that are attempting to reform coaches’ behavior. For example, the Positive Coaching Alliance seeks to spark a trend of positive coaching mechanisms throughout high schools. Many of these organizations offer coaching clinics to help high school coaches develop better skills and techniques. Gunn coaches should participate in clinics like these, if they don’t already, in order to keep Gunn athletes successful and happy. —Holtzman, a sophomore, is a Circulation manager.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) inaction on carbon emissions thus far has been nothing short of mind-boggling. For almost two years, the national agency has denied California a waiver that would force auto makers to reduce emissions. This proposed state program would finally force auto makers to curb pollution. However, the EPA has, until recently, staunchly opposed this proposal, citing an longheld stance that it has no authority to regulate greenhouse gases. Not until April, when California and other states sued the EPA and the Supreme Court declared that “greenhouse gases fit well within the Clean Air Act’s capacious definition of air pollutant,” did the EPA finally even begin considering allowing states to limit tailpipe emissions. This inaction is emblematic of a bigger problem in the EPA. In March 2005, nine states, including California and New York, sued the EPA again for denying that another substance, mercury, did not fall under the jurisdiction of the Clean Air Act. The organization even suppressed the publication of a study it commissioned by Harvard University that directly contradicted its stance that mercury emissions are not harmful to humans. Time after time, Bush has not redressed the problem, but rather
worsened it by nominating administrators to the EPA whose interests are far from preserving the earth. First there was Christine Todd Whitman, the EPA administrator who took over in 2001, and immediately began challenging the veracity of global warming. Then there was Michael Levitt who took over in 2003 and stated that the EPA had no authority to regulate carbon emissions because they do
not fall under the definition of an air pollutant. Now, there is the current administrator, Stephen L. Johnson who refused to cancel the Children’s Environmental Exposure Research Study, which advocated testing pesticides on humans. Maybe it’s time for the agency to actually do its job—protect the environment. —Bao, a junior, is a Managing editor.
Graphic by Brian Phan
PE held back by slackers A
student needs to fulfill many requirements in order to graduate, but few of these requisite courses are approached with as much apathy as physical education (PE). Students habitually cut, fail to suit up and arrive late, and even those who come prepared for class often slack off and put in only a modicum of effort. Grading students on their performance will increase students’ work ethic.
In most courses, grades are based on a student’s performance, easily quantified by tests and a ssig n ment s. For PE instructors, who must assign much of a grade based on the student’s attitude and effort, the task is difficult; it is not easy to constantly monitor a PE class full of slackers. The fundamental problem with the system is that the student has no outside incentive to actually try. Because PE grades do not count on the student’s grade point average (GPA) and the grades are not heavily performance based, only intrinsically motivated students will take PE seriously enough to put in a genuine effort. Sadly, the students who are motivated are not really the ones who need to learn fitness habits for later life, it is the slackers who
need PE the most and repeatedly slip through the cracks. If students fail to learn basic elements of exercise, such as the proper technique to use fitness center equipment, they will have more trouble staying fit later on, when there is no one around to ensure a healthy lifestyle. The best way to approach this problem is not to try and motivate the students by trying to make PE more fun or more exciting. Little can be done to make students
Gunn already does a good job compared to state standards. In the 2005-2006 fitness tests, 68 percent of Gunn’s ninth graders met all six of the state’s fitness standards, and 89 percent met five out of the six standards. In the state of California, only 27 percent of ninth graders passed all of the tests and another 26 percent passed five out of six tests. Although Gunn’s problem with PE is nowhere near as severe as that of most other schools, students still need to work harder to resolve the issues with PE. It is up to the PE teacher to ensure the class is exciting enough, but ultimately, if a student does not want to participate to their fullest ability, it is unfair to expect the teacher to be able to change that with literally no incentive power to work with. Testing students on their progress in every unit, both on the theory and practical aspects of the sports, as well as making PE grades factor into the student’s GPA are sure-fire ways to get people to put in the effort, and possibly even instill the student with some health conscious habits for the future.
The Opinion of
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care about PE, just like there is very little that can be done to make students care about math, science, English or art. The PE department needs to test students on their ability to perform basic tasks from every unit, as well as test the students’ understanding of the rules and concepts of the game. Though this may not be enough for students who have no concern for their grades, it will at least force those who do to put in the same amount of work as they do in every other class. Although state standards exist, Gunn should strive higher than their mediocre expectations.
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Correction: Vol. 43, Issue 7
n In “SmartBoards™ introduced at Gunn” (p.2), Gunn currently has two SmartBoards™, not one. n In “PAUSD discusses remodeling” (p.2), the building that PAUSD will remodel is known as the Admin I building, not the Adolescent Counseling Services (ACS) building. Also, the ACS program will still be available at Gunn. n In “Fun under the sun: Water Skiing” (p.24), the tricks referenced are for wakeboarding, not water skiing. The Oracle regrets past errors and invites readers to correct any in the future by contacting a staff member or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SEC survey biased against Guidance Department The Gunn Guidance Department is troubled by the recent SEC report and the unfavorable light in which our office was portrayed and question the validity of the information presented as “fact.” We are greatly concerned about the statistical integrity of data from the SEC Focus Group reported in The Oracle last month. The SEC Focus Group surveyed 70 students and it was not a random sample. In 2006, a random sample of seniors (16 percent or 65 students) was surveyed by our office. Overwhelmingly, students reported that they knew their counselors, received adequate post-high school planning guidance and indicated that they preferred one-on-one meetings with counselors. In the future, we hope that there will be a more collaborative and statistically sound effort in collecting student data. We understand that this is a first attempt at doing an SEC focus group and producing research data. However, the inaccuracies indicate a need for more guidelines on future projects and an awareness of how misrepresented data can have a negative affect. We also hope that if there are concerns or complaints about how we do our job, that groups or individuals will come to us directly so we can work on issues that need to be addressed. Even with the total obligations of time and financial resources, we do our best to meet the needs of all our students. We are here to serve many different populations especially when post-high school plans and needs are more varied than ever. —The Gunn High School Guidance Department African aid article off base, oversimplified I was skeptical of Alex Lee’s “Giving foreign aid hurts U.S., Africa,” but then came a revelation: “In the United States, we are all Americans.” This shrewd logic blossoms in the rest of his piece; I only wish that Mr. Lee extended his argument. He asserts that “every dollar of aid we spend on the African people is another dollar out of the mouths of hungry Americans.” Fi rst, I was than k ful that someone explained federal finances so succinctly; I was unaware of the ease with which we can shift our resources. In the process, though, Mr. Lee may have inadvertently discovered the answer to all of America’s problems. He claims—convincingly—that aid has hurt Africa, and more money will lead to, yes, more problems. But Africa shouldn’t be the only beneficiary of Mr. Lee’s logic. Perhaps the answer to the
military and homeless problems Mr. Lee references is to cut off all aid and funding—make the soldiers and homeless “step up and take their lives into their own hands.” If we continue to help them, how will they “learn to deal with [their] problems on their own”? The solution to suffering and oppression is not more (or better) help, but less. Perhaps teachers should withdraw aid to students—let them improve their own living conditions. At the very least, my fellow teachers should not point out student errors or logical fallacies. As Mr. Lee points out, teachers “already have enough problems…we don’t need to burden ourselves with more.” —Mark Hernandez, English teacher Health office provides service, information to students It has come to our attention t h a t s o m e s t u d e nt s n e e d clarification concerning services provided by the Gunn Health Office. The Student Handbook has a brief description of these services, but we would like to highlight a few points to help students better understand what is available and frequency of student visits. T he role of t he Hea lt h Technician is to provide first aid and assist with any health issues that can be remedied so that students can remain in school. We provide a safe environment for students to rest so they can then go back to class. Sometimes, we make the decision to send students home, thereby protecting the safety and health of the Gunn community. We enthusiastically provide any assistance needed for students to have a productive school experience. Toward that end, we also collaborate with teachers, parents, school administrators, attendance secretaries, guidance counselors and the district nurse to make sure all the necessary actions are taken to keep any student safe at school, whether it involves medical or emotional assistance. Many students with stress related issues are referred to our school psychologist, our guidance counselors or Adolescent Counseling Services. Ad d it iona l ly, we p r ov id e an abundant supply of free health information and provide clarification as needed. We keep all information confidential and personal records private. As of this date we have had over 3,000 logged visits by students and staff, not counting “drop ins” or parent visits. We hope to be of continued assistance. —Mrs. Rose McGinnis and Mrs. Lee Gregg, Health Technicians; Ms. Kimberley Cowell, Assistant Principal
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5 Campus safety: an open-fire debate Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Thomas Bao, Stéphanie Keller-Busque
Alex Rasgon News
Aurelle Amram, Michelle Fang, Eric Johnston*
Boris Burkov*, Carissa Ratanaphanyarat, Tenny Zhang
Libby Craig*, Maya Itah, Jocelyn Ma
Amarelle Hanyecz, Andrea Yung*
Danielle Edelman, Sasha Guttentag*, Noah Johnson
Susan Lee, Adrienne Nguyen*, Stephen Salazar
Alex Lee, Dan Li
Alex Lee, Vivien Tsao *denotes head edtior Staff
Priya Ghose, Ryan Tan
Scott Benitez, Beth Holtzman
Aviel Chang, Alex Rasgon, Jeffery Wang, Bauer Wann
in a mental institution where he would be separated from society. The National Rifle Association (NRA) argues that if everyone had a weapon, there would be no more crime. What a ludicrous assumption! If everyone had a weapon, people would be able to commit crimes much more easily and create a vigilante atmosphere in public places. As a society, we must ensure that guns are kept out of the hands of those who are not fit to carry them and try to prevent another incident like the Virginia Tech Massacre.
he recent events at Virginia Tech have caused several cases of gratuitous disciplinary actions across the nation. Expelled and suspended students at middle schools, high schools and colleges cannot find a just cause behind their punishments and frankly, they are not alone. True, such a catastrophic event cannot go on unheeded and the reestablishment of student security is a necessary action, yet the recent reprimanding of innocent students is overprotective at best and subtler methods of handling potential student killers should be discussed and considered. Many people saw the same suspensions and punishments occur after the Columbine shootings in 1999. Authorities nationwide were trying to find anyone to blame for the atrocity. Musical influences, teachers and even the victimized students were gratuitously accused, and unfortunately, the same cycle is happening again. T he troubled youth who was behind the school shootings of Virginia Tech was reluctantly cited for his violent traits after the crime was already committed. His writings, race and family life were brought into discussion when finding a cause behind his actions. In such a situation, the shooter was the only person to blame, not his family, not his classmates and not the lack of a therapist. Actions and help
Stephen Salazar may have been readily available for him, yet his own decision to not seek help is the sole reason for his outburst. Applying a less brutal system to regulate gun control in schools may have risks of incompetent methods. Teachers may disregard legitimate threats to school safety. School authorities, however, must be able to have a better perspective of incidents. They should know the child or children involved—well enough to believe whether a given student would be willing, nay, capable of conducting something like a school shooting. Through investigations of students’ private properties, gun control has upset both students and parents in recent years. The controversies of the gun control operations after the Columbine shooting in Colorado (including a grammar school student being expelled for folding a piece of paper in the shape of a gun) led to several allegedly innocent students being punished solely on suspicion or flat out intolerance, which creates an environment of paranoia amongst students. The powers of a given school may seem like a malevolent force with zero tolerance sweeping through the student body, picking off students for menial violations and infractions. The worst of administrations continue to emphasize gun control while disregarding the morale of students. The transformation of power to such a cause may seem overproductive at times but eventually the storm of gun control can bring minimal benefits if executed poorly. —Salazar, a junior, is a Sports editor.
Tenure system faulty, lacks student input
Kristy Garcia The Oracle is published by and for the students of Henry M. Gunn Senior High School. The unsigned editorials that appear in this publication represent the majority opinion of the editorial staff and The Oracle's commitment to promoting students' rights. The Oracle strongly encourages and prints signed Letters to the Editor. Please include your name, grade and contact information should you choose to write one. Letters may be edited to meet space requirements and the writer is solely responsible for the accuracy of the content. Letters to the editor and ideas for coverage may be sent to email@example.com. These letters and ideas need not be from current students. The Oracle publishes 10 issues annually. Subscriptions are $40/year.
—Rasgon, a junior, is a reporter.
Brian Phan, Dezmon Hunter
In California, anyone over the age of 18 can go to a gun shop and buy any legal weapon they want, which fortunately excludes AK 47s, the most widely used gun by terrorists to kill American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, AK 47s are legal in 43 other states, including Virginia and Colorado. Shouldn’t the government discourage the sale of such weapons, in the nature of true patriotism? By keeping them legal and readily available, the government facilitates conditions for another school or public shooting. The shooter in the Virginia Tech massacre was diagnosed with mental issues, but did this stop him from buying several handguns? Absolutely not! Any person who has any history of any mental illness must be banned for life from purchasing a firearm. We cannot take chances when it comes to the lives of innocent people. Even though guns can be used for self defense, there is no need to allow the mentally unfit to be allowed to use an instrument of death. Prospective gun buyers should go through psychological screening and peer review to see if they are fit to wield a weapon. This would
weed out many possible criminals and force them to go underground to attain a weapon, which would be much more lengthy and complicated. The Virginia Tech massacre could have been avoided if only minor steps were taken to prevent the shooter from getting a gun and putting him back
n Hunte Dezmo
Cosmo Sung, Matthew Lee (associate)
uns are possibly the single most glorified item in all American culture. We see them in our movies, our heroes, our sporting stores, and worst of all, there are barely any restrictions on buying them. After what we’ve seen in cases such as the Columbine and Virginia Tech massacres, why do we still do nothing about these menacing tools?
Given the Virginia Tech massacre, are recent reactions to potential school violence gross overreactions or necessary steps to ensuring student security? The Oracle weighs in on two different opinions.
Sasha Guttentag Even one of the best public high schools in the nation has its set of flaws. One of the main blemishes at Gunn, and the entire Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD), is the lack of student input in the tenure system. Being tenured means that PAUSD is required to secure a teaching spot in the district for that person. This guarantee should be contingent upon approval by students. Under PAUSD’s current tenure system, so-so or even terrible teachers receive tenure,
largely because of the lack of student feedback in the process. Any teacher who has taught for two or more years in the district is eligible for tenure. Teachers are evaluated by other teachers and district evaluators. Students do not have any input in the process besides filling out a survey about each teacher, tenured or not. It is very difficult to fire a tenured teacher, so if a teacher that students disapprove of gets tenure, they have to deal with the consequences for years. Principal Noreen Likins described the system as a “legal wrangle,” because it is a tedious process involving countless hours of paperwork. If students feel a tenured teacher does not deserve tenure, it is hard for the school to get rid of him or her. Students then tend to transfer out of the teacher’s class, causing endless stress for counselors at the beginning of the year. If the
students cannot transfer, they are forced to stay in a class in which they are unhappy. If student input were more regulated and respected regarding whether teachers get tenured, the system would be less flawed. The school should set up a system to allow students to have a say in the process; after all, they are the ones who will be taught by the teacher. The school could pick a group of students specifically to evaluate teachers. Before it is time to award tenure, these students would visit potential tenure candidates’ classrooms to listen in and observe the candidates giving classes. They would then report back to the district and give their input. Teachers would only be granted tenure if students thought they deserved it, and the flaws of the system would be eliminated. —Guttentag, a sophomore, is an Entertainment editor.
Quiz Kids tested in the Windy City Team places 72 of 168 at National Academic Quiz Tournament
David Brown (11) with The Oracle’s Stéphanie Keller-Busque
The Oracle: What is the most interesting thing you learned this year? David Brown: Well, this year I learned the word “arachnobutyrophobia” which is the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth. It was a vocab word in my English class. TO: What is the greatest strength of a Quiz Kid? DB: A Quiz Kid is kind of like a sort of hero in the way that the knowledge is hidden. Like you would never guess that these kids you see at school possess all this knowledge. It’s like Superman—a man versus nature type of thing where all of a sudden you tear off your shirt and uncover all this talent no one knew you had. TO: What will be the first thing you do when school lets out? DB: I think I’ll clean my room. Except maybe I won’t clean it the first week, but definitely after school’s over because it’s been due for a long time. TO: What do you like the most about the spring? DB: I love seeing people with allergies, because since I never get allergies I can laugh at them. It’s the one time I can feel superior to other people. TO: How do you see yourself five years from now? DB: That’s just out of college… I see myself probably a lot colder. I feel like I’ll be somewhere cold. But I’ll probably be a lot more streetsmart. TO: Where do you see yourself that’s so cold? DB: I guess on the sidewalk on the side of some building somewhere. TO: How would you advise someone to survive junior year? DB: It’s probably really good advice to take as many APs as you can. I mean you only have seven periods but you should really shoot for ten or eleven. And sleep is completely overrated. You should only aim for at max two hours a night, but even that’s a lot. You should be studying during that time. I mean, you want to go college, right?
Photo courtesy of Kevin Chung
Quiz Kids members from left to right: freshman Ben Bendor, advisor Heather Mellows, senior Kevin Chung, junior David Brown, sophomore Annie Chin and senior Max Fox.
Think you can compete with the Quiz Kids? Try these questions: 1. What tall, anvil-shaped clouds, also called thunderheads, extend from 4,500 feet to well over 20,000 feet? 2. His brother Aberforth was once prosecuted for practicing inappropriate charms on a goat. A lover of tenpin bowling and chamber music, he discovered the twelve uses of dragon’s blood, defeated the dark wizard Grindelwald, worked on alchemy with Nicolas Flamel [fluh-MEL] and became a popular transfiguration teacher, before taking Armando Dippet’s job. Name this headmaster of Hogwarts. 3. In what movie does Michael Palin play a stuttering con who, trying to kill Mrs. Coady, kills her dogs off instead, one by one?
4. Augustus De Morgan discussed its lack of sevens, but he was using the flawed calculation of William Shanks; today, it is believed that all digit combinations are equally likely. Brouwer asked if it ever contains a thousand consecutive zeroes. Name this number approximated in the Egyptial Rhind Papyrus as four times 8/9 squared, and by Aristotle as 22/7. 5. Testimony as to its efficacy includes invitations to tea from dukes and maharajahs. But it must be used carefully, for it can change your life—it can even make your girl your wife! Saying it backwards is going a bit too far. Name this extremely long word, which, if you say it loud enough, will make you sound precocious. —Taken from www.NAQT.com (sample questions from National High School Competition 2003) Answers: 1. Cumulonimbus clouds 2. Dumbledore 3. “A Fish Called Wanda” 4. Pi 5. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
n QUIZ KIDS, from p. 1 “Quiz Kids is kind of like sports for your brain—one may be good about some subjects, but you need to fit the pieces together to get a well rounded team with as many subjects covered as possible,” Mellows said. The competitors arrived on Friday and toured the city before the competition began on Saturday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. After a welcoming statement from NAQT president R. Robert Hentzel, 160 teams from the nation gathered to compete. “We were competing in hotel rooms without beds, essentially,” Chung said with a laugh. “There were so many games going on at once, they couldn’t put us all in one large room.” There were ten round robin games for each team. “Our record was 5-5, and a 6-4 or better record was required to advance to the next round,” Brown said. “But I still think we did extremely well.” Gunn placed 72nd out of 168 teams, the second highest place from northern California. The team toured Millennium Park and the Magnificent Mile. Competitors also witnessed a rare phenomenon—once every 17 years, thousands of cicadas in Illinois tunnel up from the ground to shed their exoskeleton. The team enjoyed their trip. “The overall experience was really good. Spending time as a team solidified the group dynamic and made us more cohesive,” Mellows said. The team is looking towards the future. Though Chung and Fox will graduate this year, members remain optimistic. “Even though Max and I won’t be here next year, I’m sure the team will qualify for nationals again and go even further, Chung said. So which historical figure lay down his cloak in mud? Ask a Quiz Kid.
Students help Senator Obama make history Noah Johnson
Although presidential elections are still a ways down the road, some candidates already have a strong base of student voters. Among the masses is junior Molly Kawahata, who was recently appointed High School State Director for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign geared towards high school students. The largest group supporting senator Obama is Students for Barack Obama, a national organization that began in 2006 as a small Facebook group. According to The Boston Globe, 49 percent of voters ages 18-24 cast their votes in 2004. The percentage climbed from 40 percent in 2000, showing the importance of gaining the votes of this vital demographic. Students for Barack Obama is the student branch of Obama for America, the senator’s official campaign. Kawahata is in charge of the California high school branch of the organization. As High School State Director, her job is to spread the word about Obama to high school students who will be eligible to vote in 2008. Currently, she has two main projects. “Right now I’m working on creating a branch of the campaign in Palo Alto, while also working
with the state team on the overall direction of the campaign for California,” Kawahata said. She focuses on planning specific campaigns at high schools throughout the state, as well as serving as a bridge between student voters and campaign officials.
He is the only candidate who has an entire wing of his campaign dedicated toward students.” —Molly Kawahata (11) One of Kawahata’s main reasons for supporting Obama is his attention towards younger voters. “He is the only candidate who has an entire wing of his campaign dedicated toward students,” she said. As Assistant Principal Kim Cowell explained, working on a campaign can help students broaden their horizons. “Involvement in a political campaign or movement provides an opportunity to view their community, state and country from a broader perspective,” she said. Kawahata loves her job despite the large time
commitment it demands. “I would be at my desk doing work for the campaign and look up and be amazed that it was so much later than I thought it was, but it never feels like a chore or a burden of work I have to get done because I love it, so it doesn’t really exhaust me,” Molly Kawahata (11) she said. Getting the job wasn’t easy. Kawahata recalls her experience when she was originally applying for High School State Director. “I went through an interview for about two hours with the State Director,” she said. Junior Fiona Wilkes has also applied for work on the campaign, and her reasons for doing so are far from just gaining work experience. “I’m interested in political affairs, and it’s important that we are involved in the world that we live in,” she said. “From there, I decided Barack Obama was the best candidate for the job.” Students interested in applying for positions in the Palo Alto chapter or in the state branch should email studentsforbarackobama.hs.ca@gmail. com.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Sophomore activist rallies behind social causes Raymakers promotes ethical chocolate choices through website and brochures Tenny Zhang Forum Editor
Sophomore Sonya Raymakers’ last name describes her well. Since her freshman year, Raymakers has been an enthusiastic activist, making change by educating others about social issues, like discrimination against homosexuals, the Darfur genocide, and the injustices of the chocolate industry. “I always want to do the right thing,” she said. “I want to make a difference, and not just be another bystander.” According to Raymakers, the key to change is spreading knowledge. “Not only do I respond personally [to injustices], I feel like I’m responsible for telling people about it and initiating their efforts,” she said. Through the Gay Straight Alliance, Raymakers promotes equal treatment of all people. In addition, as an active member of Amnesty International club’s Sudan Subcommittee, she advocates against the genocide in Darfur. Through events like the March 1 Darfur Assembly,
Raymakers urges students to get but few know about the exploited The site contains news, facts and involved by signing petitions and people and children who made their ideas to counter the unfair industry contacting the White House. chocolate,” she said. “Last semester and work towards fair labor. AcRaymakers’ most personal ef- when Mr. Lyons told us about it, I cording to the site, many of the most forts, however, lie in her actions instantly thought this was an issue popular chocolate manufacturers against unfair labor in the utilize child and/or chocolate industry. low-wage labor in Social studies teacher Africa. The extenPhil Lyons first inspired sive list includes Raymakers to take on this numerous brands issue. In his Contemporary like Hershey’s, NesWorld history class, Lyons tle, M&M/Mars, tried to make his students Kraft and Ben & more aware of global curJerry’s. rent events occurring in Love Chocolate the world. “I started to suggests writing introduce lessons that foletters to chococused on serious current late manufacturers issues,” he said. “I wanted to complain about to reignite that dormant their policies. Fair flame of curiosity.” chocolate compaCosmo Sung nies include Global Discussing the injustices in the African choco- Sophomore Sonya Raymakers started her own Exchange Chocolate industry in Lyons’ website about the unjust chocolate industry. late, Teuscher and class was the impetus for Green & Black’s. Raymakers’ quest to make greater we could all relate to.” Raymakers also works with change. When asked why she chose Working by her guiding principle sophomore Maev Lowe to create to focus on the chocolate industry, of promoting knowledge, Raymak- informative brochures about the Raymakers suddenly turns seri- ers created an educational website chocolate industry. They have ous. “Everyone eats chocolate, in January called Love Chocolate. distributed the brochures at Gunn
and throughout Palo Alto. Lowe partially attributes the two’s success to Raymakers’ strong character. “Sonya is incredibly dedicated, outgoing and kind,” Lowe said. “That’s one of the reasons why our efforts have been successful so far.” So far, over 400 different users have visited Raymakers’ site. Raymakers checks on her site weekly. “I am really satisfied with what I have accomplished so far,” she said. “I don’t have an exact direction, but I just want to build up my website more over the summer and get more people involved.” Lyons believes Raymakers’ dedication and enthusiasm contributes significantly to her success; he admires Raymakers’ drive. “Having students like Sonya reminds me why I became a teacher,” he said. “She possessed an innate intellectual curiosity, genuine empathy and a work ethic that would make the Puritans blush.” To be one more ray-maker and make your own difference, check out Raymakers’ website: www. fairchocolate.org.
Pink Ribbon Club advisor battles, conquers own case of breast cancer Libby Craig
Deborah Sanderson is a social studies teacher, a former Hewlett Packard employee, a single mom, the advisor of the Pink Ribbon Club and a recent survivor of breast cancer. The eldest of seven children, Sanderson was born in Texas and moved to California in 1963. After attending a teacher education program at Stanford University, she taught in the Sequoia School District. Ten years later, she got an engineering degree and began to work at HewlettDeborah Packard. However, she reSanderson turned to teaching in 1994 when she came to Gunn. In the spring of 2006, seniors Jennifer Lien and Katie Yip, who were Sanderson’s current United States History students, asked her to be the advisor of the Pink Ribbon Club, which fundraises money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. “I always had strong feelings about making women and men aware of the symptoms and the importance of getting mammograms and doing monthly self exams,” Sanderson said. Six months later, breast cancer became a much bigger part of her life. After her annual mammogram, her nurse called her with life-changing news. “I remember the day,” Sanderson said. “ I was driving to go pick my son up and I said, ‘I’m on the road,’ and she told me to pull over. No one gives you good news if they tell you to pull over. My hands were shaking.” The nurse told Sanderson that they had spotted Ductal Carcinoma In Situ, a Stage 0 type of breast cancer that is not life threatening, as it is contained only in the milk duct, but must be treated immediately. The cancer is limited to the area and does not spread to other parts of the body. Sanderson tried to keep up her spirits about her cancer, both for her own well-being and her 13-year-old son’s, who lost his father
four years ago. “It’s my normal disposition to laugh at most things particularly overly sensitive.” After the diagnosis, Sanderson received recommendations about doctors from other women who had had surgery. “You want to be selective in putting together your team of a surgeon, a medical oncologist and a radiation oncologist,” she said. On Nov. 7, 2006, Sanderson went in for a short surgery, and was released from the hospital just two hours later. She healed fairly quickly from her surgery, and started radiation the following month. “Radiation is strange because they make a mold of your body because they want you to be in that exact position 30 times,” Sanderson said. However, she continued to teach her U.S. History classes. “I made the mistake of working and going through radiation,” Sanderson said. “They kept telling me I would be exhausted, and sometimes it was so bad I couldn’t walk across the room without feeling exhausted. But I never felt pain, just exhaustion.” Thankfully, her full energy came back in about six weeks. During this period, she informed her students of her illness. “I told [my students] because I felt like they needed to know. I told them as much as I thought appropriate without worrying them, because some girls started crying when I told them it was cancer,” she said. The Pink Ribbon Club was supportive of Sanderson in visiting her and often sending emails. Because she has now experienced cancer, she and the members feel it effects them even more. “When I speak about these things, it’s not like I’m reading from a script,” Sanderson said. “It’s real, I lived it. And I can speak with more authority on breast cancer.” Club co-president Lien agrees. “It’s more real,” Lien said. “Before we were just fundraising for a cause, and not everyone in the club had someone close to them have cancer. But when someone we all know has it, it’s different.”
Organic Garden Club gets down and dirty Jeffrey Wang Reporter
Are you looking around for a club that includes growing vegetables, serving the community and eating free food all at once? In that case, the Organic Garden Club is for you. Since 1996, the Organic Garden Club has met Thursdays after school and over the weekends to maintain the garden and to enjoy themselves. “Our club is for people of all sorts and it’s a nice way to meet new friends and hang out with nature,” junior president Genna Lipari said. “If you like wood, we work with wood. If you like plants, we plant vegetables. If you like music, we have our own rap artists too.” The club grows a variety of plants, including vegetables such as carrots, fava beans, tomatoes and beets. “This year has been pretty good in terms of both growth and members,” junior co-vice president Aileen Smith said. “We have about seven members who come consistently and 15 members total, so we hope to get more people to come next year.” When the food is ripe, the club usually eats it, gives it away or sell it to people who pass by the garden. “We want to thank the teachers who support us, so we’ll usually sell them some vegetables,” Lipari said. Recently, the state of California donated a $700 grant to the club, allowing members to buy new supplies. “We hope to create a school-wide composting system with the money, where we can compost and reuse all sorts of materials lying around campus, such as papers,” Lipari said.
The club is also actively involved in school activities and events, including Earth Week. “Earth Week was extremely fun, as we got to start it off with a huge luncheon on the quad,” Smith said. “A lot of local farmers and produce places donated some food, so we had tons of free food for everyone, including pasta, rice, organic meat, juices and chocolate.” Next year, there will be an Organic Gardening class to go along with the club. Enrolled students will recieve vocational education credit. “We’re hella chill people, so we hope the class will also help us interest a lot of new members,” Lipari said. “We hope to change the world one carrot at a time, and to learn and grow just like our veggies.”
Junior co-vice president Katelyn Hempsted plants a bean seedling.
Imagine this: you’re forced to stand upright for what seems like ages while baking from a brutal combination of heat and heavy military garb. You struggle to keep your back pin-straight as a member of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) shouts at you in Hebrew. Oh, and it’s your summer vacation. Sophomore Shaina Davis will experience this firsthand during Let’s Go Israel, a trip to Israel organized by the Bureau of Jewish Education. Along with 120 other Bay Area teenagers, she will get a taste of Israeli life by talking to Israelis Shaina Davis of diverse cultural backgrounds, viewing historical sites countrywide and visiting the IDF. “It’s something I’ve always kind of wanted to do,” Davis said. “I’m Jewish, and it’s part of the culture to learn about my religion and the people who practice it.” In July, Davis will spend three and a half days with the Israeli Defense Forces, which nearly all Israeli citizens must join when they turn 18. During her time in the military, Davis will have to wake up very early, survive on unappetizing army food and engage in plenty of drills. The soldiers will also give a crash course in the history, strategies and ethics of the IDF, and even give a lesson on shooting an M-16 gun at a target. The days will be far from leisurely. “It’s sort of a personal growth thing for me, because I hate doing push ups and I’m not a big fan of violence,” Davis said. “Still, plenty of people in Israel have to do this no matter what their personality is like, and I want to see if I can go through that.” Davis is looking forward to asking soldiers questions about their experiences and world views. Davis has heard from previous Let’s Go Israel participants that while the commanders will be intimidating, they will not always be entirely serious. “People said that you’re technically not supposed to talk back to your commander, but if you don’t mind the push-ups, it’s actually pretty fun,” Davis said. Despite the potential danger involved in the trip, Davis does not feel apprehensive. “We’re going to have tons of security people so that no one is concerned,” Davis said. The prospect of army life does not faze her either. “I don’t think I’ll have that much trouble adjusting,” Davis said. “My parents are fine with it too. They think it’s something worth experiencing.”
Taking care whole summer migh but junior Jacqui Black her summer job as a camp kayaking and canoeing speci teach small groups of campers Located in Ontario, Canada, C for kids aged 8 to 12. It boasts an including swimming, windsurfing for seven years now, so it’s really ex a really close group of people and ev Even though Black moved from C attended Camp New Moon every sum friends,” Black said. “It’s like a who every summer.” Although she will b this summer, she remembers being a and [different] levels like pre-Coun become a counselor,” Black said. Although she is excited abou about her new and important ro camper to a counselor,” she sa can’t daze off anymore.”
— Maya Itah
Graphic by Brian Phan Photos by Cosmo Sung, Matthew Lee
“I’m going an academic pr Mexico fo
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
e of screaming kids for a ht sound like a nightmare to some, k is unfazed and even excited about p counselor. Black will be working as a ialist at Camp New Moon, where she will s basic knowledge about boats. Camp New Moon is a small summer program n extensive aquatics program with water sports and waterskiing. “I’ve been going to this camp xciting that I get to work there,” Black said. “It’s verybody knows everybody.” Canada to the Bay Area seven years ago, she has mmer. “I’m really excited to be with my Canadian ole different environment that I get to go back to be one of the counselors heading a group of girls a camper herself. “I’ve done so many things here nselor-in-Training (CIT) and CIT before I got to
ut going back to camp, Black is also anxious ole. “I’m nervous about the transition from a aid. “I am responsible for these kids, and I —Jocelyn Ma
atyana Ray (9)
g to Berkeley for a month for rogram, and then I’m going to for summer immersion.”
For juniors Akifumi Kobashi and Stephen Ge, the start of summer means working 40-hour work weeks at the Lockheed Martin Solar Astrophysics Akifumi Kobashi Laboratory (Lockheed) in Palo Alto. Kobashi, along with five other students from Palo Alto High School, will be working with scientists to better understand patterns in solar flares, while Ge will be in charge of program finances. They will receive $10 an hour and will work both this summer and the next. They will also have to work at least 10 hours per week during the school year. Every student applying to the program had to have a GPA of a least 3.5 and a recommendation from a math or science teacher. On top of this, every student submitted a resume and underwent an interview process. “I was ecstatic that I got this job because it’s so competitive,” Kobashi said. “I mean, I’ve just been given the opportunity to work in a professional environment.” Ge thinks Lockheed hired him because of his exceptional math abilities. “I think Lockheed chose me primarily because of my math skills, or actually solely [for them],” Ge said. “On my resume and interviews, I just pushed that I was proficient at math. I felt great when I heard I got the job; it was my first time getting hired, and I’m going to make some money as well.” While both Kobashi and Ge are excited about starting work, they will also have to pick up what they are doing quickly, as they have almost no background in the area. Nevertheless, they are hopeful that their two years working at Lockheed will be an enjoyable and useful experience. —Eric Johnston
Watching soccer in the soccer capital of the world is one thing. Playing soccer in the soccer capital of the world is something completely different. Palo Alto’s competitive club soccer team, the Stanford Earthquakes, will send several players to a soccer training camp in Brazil this summer. The team comprises of many players from Gunn, including juniors Boris Burkov, David Light and Keith McCulloch. McCulloch will be traveling with the team this summer. McCulloch has been playing on the team for many years but has never gone out of the country with them. “I’ve done soccer training camp, but never abroad,” McCulloch said. “It should be a really interesting experience.” The players leave in July and will return after two weeks. Throughout their time there they will have a mix of work and play: soccer and vacationing. —Sasha Guttentag
Jenny Guan (10)
Netta Gal-Oz (11)
“I’m working as a swim instructor, and I applied for an internship and a job.”
“I’m going to Israel for my brother’s Bar Mitzvah, and I’m going to cheer camp.”
Luella Fu (12) “I’m going to take two jobs, and later in the summer I’m going to Italy.” — Compiled by Amarelle Hanyecz
Aurelle Amram News Editor
Fashion is a distant world for most high school students, filled with impossibly skinny girls and unattainable glamour. However, this is not the case for some students on campus, who have already begun modeling. Junior Iris Latour started modeling by chance at 15 when she lived in Holland. “My friends always said I was too tall to let something like modeling pass me by,” she said. “One day I was walking in the city, and a photographer from a modeling agency stopped me and asked me if I would like to come by sometime.” Since then, Latour has modeled without pay for her peers at her old school in Holland, a college art festival in the Netherlands and for college fashion students. She has yet to do any work outside of her home country. Junior Gabriela Hopkins also received initial encouragement from her friends. Hopkins first modeled in a fashion show for
senior Annika Benitz last year. “After that, one of my friend’s moms found out that I was interested in real modeling. She had done a runway show recently and was looking for a model for the next show, so she asked me to be her model.” Hopkins’ first runway show will be this November. Modeling is not always as alluring as it seems. “The worst part is getting the clothing fitted,” Latour said. “I usually have more butt and bust than most models. I have to remind myself that curves are good to have.” Junior Erica Anderson, who modeled for Macy’s, Nordstrom’s and Pascussi from ages 5 to 7 and 13 to 14, had other difficulties with modeling. For her, the hardest part was fitting modeling in with the rest of her life. Anderson was paid for both runway and photo shoot modeling, but stopped because it was too time consuming to go to San Francisco at least twice a week. Neither Latour nor Hopkins has had problems adding modeling to their schedule.
But modeling is not all about fittings and waiting around. “My favorite part of modeling is actually being on the catwalk, showing everyone what I’ve got and what brilliance has been made to fit me,” Latour said. Anderson also enjoyed trying on the clothing, but gained more than just a chance to wear clothes. “I got more self confidence from modeling, and it opened my eyes to a whole new world,” she said. Anderson does want to give modeling another try, but is cautious. “I would enjoy the fashion industry, but it might be too overwhelming,” Anderson said. Latour is more optimistic, and hopes to do more modeling later in life. “It would be an amazing way to pay my way through college, and I might take some classes on it later,” she said. Both Latour and Anderson have received mixed reactions from their peers and friends about their forays into modeling. “Most people are really excited and curious,” Latour said. “But I don’t want people to think I’m focusing more on my looks than
my brains.” Anderson’s friends, however, did not react as positively. “They thought I was going to change,” she said. “For the most part I kept it on the down low so people would look at me for Erica Anderson, and not the ‘girl who models.’”
Anderson has classic advice for students who want to get into modeling—to be yourself. “Modeling is a lot different than the media puts it,” she said. “Just let your personality shine through, and you will be successful.” Brian Phan
Students show commitment to abstinence with purity jewelry Nina Nielepko
Although it is common to hear about sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancies, it is rare to hear about teens who choose to remain abstinent until marriage. However, this decision is not as atypical as it seems. Abstinence has long been known as the only foolproof way to prevent pregnancy, AIDS and STDs. However, it was not popularized in teen culture until 1993 with the emergence of the True Love Waits® movement created by LifeWay Christian Resources, one of the largest religious publishing houses in the United States. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, it is a Baptist organization which develops more resources for Sunday schools. The movement encourages teens to refrain from sex or sexual stimulation until marriage and to
encourage their peers to do the same. According to lovematters.com, a website which supports abstinence until marriage, over 2.4 million teens have signed the True Love Waits® pledge card, which states, “Believing that true love waits, I make a commitment to God, myself, my family, my friends, my future mate, and my future children to a lifetime of purity including sexual abstinence from this day until the day I enter a biblical marriage relationship.” Teens participating in the movement often wear True Love Waits® necklaces or rings. The necklaces are typically a chain with a silver pendant reading “True Love Waits” or “TLW.” The rings are silver and also read “True Love Waits®.” Some teens make their vows of abstinence differently. “I heard that some girls go through a ceremony in which they wear white dresses,” senior Emily Sanchez
said. “The girl vows to stay abstinent until marriage, and her father vows to protect her purity. Then the father gives his daughter a ring to remind her of the promise.” Junior Gabriela Hopkins has been wearing her Tr ue Love Waits® necklace since January of 2006. She learned about the movement through her church and a winter camp that she attends evCosmo Sung ery year. “I wanted Some students wear purity jewelry such as this ring to embrace abstito wear it because it nence. They have pledged to refrain from sex until marriage. showed my beliefs on marriage as a Christian, and to same rules,” she said. “Some of my different than it used to be; we are show that I was willing to wait to friends think I am crazy and oth- more pressured to have sex.” have sex to show a commitment to ers respect me for my decision. “I Not all students agree. “I think my future husband and to God,” don’t really care if someone thinks that about fifty percent of the Hopkins said. “I don’t think the it is stupid because my choice re- students at Gunn have never had necklace really keeps me from ally has nothing to do with them sex,” junior Anna Bleisner said. “A having sex, it just reminds me that and I am proud of the decision I lot of people feel like it is cool to when I get married my husband have made for myself.” brag about how many people they and I will share something more Although the True Love Waits® have had sex with, so they make it than other couples that had sex movement is gaining popularity, up. I don’t think it is as common before marriage, and we will never abstinence is not as common as it as it seems.” compare the sex we have with once was. “In this age, I think it Remaining abstinent may be each other to sex with a different is rare that teens stay abstinent,” difficult, but it is possible. “Only person; it will always be satisfying Hopkins said. “It has become once did I almost feel pressured to just as it is.” much harder for teens our age to give in, and that was just me letting The reactions Hopkins receives not have sex because just about my emotions take over,” Hopkins are varied. “My family supports everything in the media is related said. “Since then I have really realme, because they all try to keep the to it. Dating and partying is a lot ized that it is not worth it.”
Third ‘Pirates’ sinks Aviel Chang Reporter
“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” also known as “Pirates of the Carribbean 3” was released May 25 and has already shattered records including highest production cost ($300 million), most theaters shown and fifth highest weekend box office gross ever. Although, the third film’s plot is a mess, the film manages to hold the attention of the audience with a strong supporting cast and entertaining fight scenes. As opposed to the first movie’s simple good-guy-saves-girl plot, the film is filled with twists, turns and betrayals. The outcome is a tangle that is hard to follow and filled with holes. Viewers will find themselves questioning the logic of the plot and wondering why and how certain events happen. Another flaw is the excess of characters-there are too many shallow, supporting characters that serve no purpose except to give two lines before disappearing from the rest of the plot. The acting in this latest installment is better than the second one, but by no means great. Orlando Bloom, who plays Will Turner, continues to lack personality and the skill to give different facial expressions. There is more Keira Knightley, who plays Elizabeth Swann, this time around which translates to an excess of yelling and annoying oblivion. While Knightley gives a decent attempt, she, like Bloom, gives the same dull expression in every scene regardless of how
her character feels. Johnny Depp, the savior of the movie series and easily the most popular character is overshadowed by the return of Geoffrey Rush who plays Captain Barbosa. Both Depp and Rush give great and convincing pirate performances that partially bring “Pirates 3” out of the hole that it is in. The special effects help keep the audience’s attention, but for the most expensive movie ever made, the look could have been better. The visuals were good, but nothing that would blow your mind. “Pirates 3’s” screenplay was the worst of the th ree movies. The original film had a nice mix of subtle comedy and humor with action. The death of many characters and extras, however, gives this film a darker tone. However, when Depp comes along his character is used as a filter for tacked on jokes and lowbrow humor. The result is out-of-place and not funny. “Pirates of the Caribbean 3” seemed like it would bounce back
from the awful second film, but instead, it failed to deliver. From the confusing and practically laughable plot to the shallow characters, “Pirates 3” is a huge disappointment and cannot be watched as a stand-alone film. No t o n ly wa s the movie terrible, there were countless shameless attempts to hint at a sequel. The cl i f f-h a nge r ending of the second movie was bad enough, but after the most recent film‘s setups for a “Pirates 4” were ridiculous.It shows just how crooked the producers are. T he production company no longer cares about making a good movie, it only wants to take the audience’s money. Save yourself $10 now and another $10 when Pirates 4 comes out. Don’t see “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.” Wikipedia.com
Video game creates musicians Reporter
Released in November of last year, Guitar Hero 2 has already established itself as one of the most popular and influential games in gaming history, selling over 1.7 million copies on the PlayStation 2 and over 300,000 copies on the Xbox 360. Guitar Hero 2 is played on a model plastic guitar with one’s fingers. The player follows notes on the screen and presses two buttons, one with each hand, that correspond to each note. The game has an extremely large fan base which can be attributed to several things. Firstly, most electronics stores have a copy of Guitar
Hero 2 available to be played by anyone who walks in, allowing people to have fun with the game before buying it. Also, its song list is very comprehensive, featuring hits by Guns n’ Roses, Lynyrd
Skynyrd and KISS. Furthermore, Guitar Hero 2 is one of the few games that is also popular between both genders. Unlike most video games, Guitar Hero 2 does not fea-
ture any content that is exclusively masculine, it is simply music, which appeals to a wider crowd. Guitar Hero 2 is popular among Gunn students. For senior Derek Austin, playing his favorite music in Guitar Hero 2 helps him appreciate it more. “I’ve been playing Guitar Hero since it came out,” Austin said. “I love the music in it and playing sort of connects me further to music that I like.” Another plus to the game is its continuous fun. “It’s pretty addicting—it has some awesome songs on it, and it feels like you’re actually playing guitar but easier!” junior Natalie Draeger said. “Guitar Hero is like the easy version of learning [to play guitar]—with all of the satisfaction.”
Gunndance films varied, creative Alex Rasgon Reporter
The top filmmakers at Gunn have outdone themselves this year with their impeccable presentation of the annual Gunndance Film Festival. The festival ran May 31 to June 2. Running this year’s Gunndance were seniors Noel Carey, Adeline Ducker and Max Fox. “It’s a good experience and a good lesson in organization, and totally worth the effort,” Ducker said. The festival featured a large variety of films spanning from “Hyphy Too,” a sidesplitting original music video by seniors Devin McDaniel, Sirish Bathina and freshman Nick Loyola to “Ball of Twine,” an amazing blend of professional cinematography and hard hitting drama produced and
shot by junior Kaitie Macknick. “I had to rush my movie, so the plot was not as whole as it could have been, but the camera work and editing were just as I intended them to be,” Macknick said. Another standout film was a music video by senior Noel Carey. Titled “Albi: The Racist Dragon,” the film was a series of hand drawn images that corresponded to a song of the same name. The funny and well-designed video showcased Carey’s diverse abilities. “I look forward to Gunndance every year and am excited at all the new talent that keeps stepping forward every year,” Carey said. Possibly the most original film of the festival was “In My Room,” produced and shot by senior Heather Bui. The film included fo several people’s rooms and showed how they connect to their personalities. Again, Gunndance stole the show.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
topten things to write in a stranger’s yearbook 10) H.A.G.S. 9) Ur super cool! 8) We’ve had good times like that one time in [insert teacher’s name]’s class when we [insert class activity]. 7) Let’s hang out. 6) I’m so glad I met you this year. 5) Hope we have classes together next year! 4) I’ll miss you; take care. 3) It sucks we didn’t hang out that much; next year for sure! 2) Just a signature. 1) Your phone number and a lipstick kiss.
—Compiled by Boris Burkov
At a Glance: Pirates 3 Release date: May 25, 2007 Running time: 168 minutes MPAA rating: PG-13 Countries playing: 102 Rating: 2 out of 5
What flips your flop this year?
The Oracle spotlights a small display of the wide selection of sandals available this summer Old Navy™ Reef™
Old Navy™ flip flops have become more popular over the past few years because of their variety of colors and their unbelievable price: $5 a pair. Old Navy’s™ classic plastic flip flops can be seen everywhere: at school, around town, at the beach or by the pool. These plastic shoes are perfect for the summer, but are not the best for walking in. Old Navy™ flip flops are perfect if you are searching for shoes to match a certain outfit or for lounging around the pool.
Classic Reef™ flip flops are made with polyester and are known for their extremely spongey sole and loose, floppy fit. Reef™ recently expanded its collection and now sells premium leather sandals for men, women and children. Reefs™ cost between $20 and $30 and have a six month warranty. Many Reefs™ come with a sturdy sole, but the loose fit is not ideal for expeditions. Reefs™ wear out fairly easily and continue to stretch out with wear. Reef™ sandals are extremely comfortable, but the weak soles can be ripped or punctured easily. Additionally, chlorine from pool water hardens and bleaches the sandal’s straps. Though they can be purchased at most department stores, Reef™ sandals are not worth the money.
Carissa Ratanaphanyarat Forum Editor
Senior sisters Jennifer and Teresa Lee are employed on Nordstrom Brass Plum Fashion Board (NBPFB). NBPFB members plan events at Nordstrom’s and give advice to other teens about clothing and fashion. In addition, the board educates members about the fashion industry. “We are a very close group of seven girls and we have an official meeting every month,” Teresa said. “At the meetings, we learn about everything from buying cosmetics to how to help someone find the right jeans.” Members of the fashion board also listen to speakers and special guests who talk about the fashion industry. “Fashion Board is a very fun group and they encourage you to be individual,” Teresa said. Fashion board members sometimes work at BP sales or as cashiers, and can win freebies like clothing and accessories. “It’s just a lot of fun, and Nordstrom provides us with a lot of opportunities to explore our interests in ways we wouldn’t be able to otherwise,” Teresa said.
The sisters first found out about the NBPFB from advertisements at Nordstrom, but couldn’t apply in previous years because they weren’t seniors, the minimum grade requirement for NBPFB. In addition to a lengthy application including teacher recommendations, sections about the applicant’s extra-curriculars and several essays, applicants also had to submit samples of their work. “I got to make a collage for my application of all the trends at Gunn and I had a pleasant interview with the managers at BP,” Teresa said. The sisters joined because of their aspirations to be fashion designers. “I wanted to be on the board because it gives me the chance to meet other girls who share my interest. I also wanted to expose myself to the consumer and retail end of the industry to better understand the buyer’s perspective,” Teresa said. Jennifer agrees. “You can learn a lot about the world by examining fashion, as it changes very much in tune with society.” As the two go on to college next year, they plan to keep their prospects of working in the fashion industry open.
—Compiled by Beth Holtzman
Reef™, Old Navy™ and Rainbow™ photos by Matt Lee and Cosmo Sung
Student One Acts take the stage Priya Ghose
This year, five thespians took a break from acting in order to try their hand at directing. Seniors Noel Carey, Annika Benitz, Tamar Sella, Teresa Lee and Maggie Cole directed five different comedies for One Acts, Gunn’s annual compilation of short plays that ran May 16 to 19. Unlike other theater productions during the school year, One Acts are entirely student run. The student directors in charge of costumes, props, lighting, and sound. In addition, they must translate their vision from script to stage. Directing a One Act is no easy task. “It’s hard when you’re trying to tell
someone what you want them to portray in their character, and you know what you want in your head but you just don’t know how to explain it,” Cole said. Carey, on the other hand, believes the hardest thing about directing is being responsible for every part of the play. “If anyone has a question, it gets passed down the line, and eventually every question comes to you and you have to make the final call.” Sella encountered a different problem. Because there were no adu lt s i nvolved in the production, Sella was responsible for
keeping her actors in line. “The hardest thing is probably to find the balance between facilitating a productive use of time and a friendly environment,” Sella said. “You want a friendly environment but you also need to get your work done. The hardest thing is to find a good balance.” However, the difficulties of directing pay off in the end. “The best part about directing is seeing [your play] come alive, and seeing the students—the cast—enjoy bringing it to life. The whole cast comes together for it,” Sella said. Cole’s thoughts echo Sella’s. “Seeing your vision displayed on a stage is the best thing,” Cole said. “It’s something you can call your own.”
Junior Gavin Morgan, freshman Michael Norcia and senior Emilie Sanchez perform in Noel Carey’s One Act, “Sure Thing.” The collection of five plays ran May 16 to 19.
Senior sisters gain fashion experience
Sugar™ flip flops are very popular among young girls and have abnormally large and spongey soles that float in water, hence the nickname “floaties.” The spongey soles are comfortable and fit as if they are flip flop slippers. However, it is easy to slip in them due to their slick plastic and lack of support. Also, the thin plastic material cracks easily after a few weeks of wear. Although the shoes are sold with special stickers to cover the rips, these fail to fix the sandals and instead make the shoes uncomfortable and sticky. Sugar™ flip flops come in bright colors and can be found at many local retailers including department stores like Nordstrom. They sell for approximately $30.
Rainbow Sandals Inc.™ has specialized in men and women’s leather flip-flops since 1974. Rainbows™ were originally popular among California surfers, but are now one of the top three selling sandal brands in the U.S. Leather sandals may sound uncomfortable, but Rainbows™ are made of leather with a non-skid surface that molds to the foot, ensuring an ideal fit for virtually all feet. At first, Rainbows™ are painful and tight, but once they stretch out, they become practically heavenly. Rainbows™ come with a warranty that lasts until you wear through the sole of the shoe. The sandals come in an assortment of styles and colors, but the most popular styles are the leather sandals with either thick or thin strapped and double or single padded soles. Rainbows™ have redefined the traditional flip-flop with their tight fit and comfort. Rainbows™ can be found at most outdoor, surfing and comfort shoe stores and cost approximately $45 depending on the style.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Different sex, different wage
Judo athlete dominates Susan Lee
Scott Benitez Equal pay for equal work should be required. There is no reason why people should get paid less just because of their gender. We can see a huge salary difference in the world of sports; salaries of different genders of athletes and coaches are not even comparable. Outstanding figures are recognized through college sports and carry on into the professional world. The two highest paid female collegiate coaches are Gail Goestenkors from Texas and Kim Mulkey from Baylor who each receive $1 million per year. The top paid male college basketball coach is Billy Gillispie from Texas A&M and gets $2.3 million per year. Some people believe that a higher male salary is justified because they consider male sports more popular than female sports. Even if this crude generalization is valid, the salary difference between male and female coaches should not be this great. Women have not been given a chance to coach in male sports so no one has seen what they can do. Discrimination and gender plays a large part in the salary of female coaches as well. In 2001, at Hazel Park High School in Michigan, Geraldine Fuhr, a female basketball coach, applied for the head coach position for the school’s varsity basketball team. Even though Fuhr had 16 years of coaching experience, while the main competitor only had two years, she was denied the position due to gender discrimination. Fuhr sued the school district for discrimination and won. For different sexes to receive different wages may be tolerable for some, but to reject a person with higher qualifications due to his or her gender is wrong. This example futhers the notion that there is gender-based injustice in not only coaches’ salary, but their employment as well Popula rity of a spor t should still not be a justified reason for a difference in pay. Female coaches work just as hard as male coaches, regardless of the sports public appeal. Without equality in this line of work, not only are its ethics hindered, but it destroys the fabrics of this country’s favorite pastimes. — Benitez, a junior, is a Circulation manager
Many people believe that judo consists entirely of physical strength and throwing opponents around, but this sport requires much more than that. For 5-foot-1-inch junior Ayumi Tsurushita, throwing a person twice her size is a simple task. However, building a strong foundation of mental strength and discipline is far more challenging. In 2000, Tsurushita observed others do judo at the Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School (JLS) gym, initiating her decision to join the Palo Alto Judo Club. “I was impressed by the theory of judo: technique overcomes strength,” Tsurushita said. “Judo is a way to express myself, despite being short and shy.” Although Tsurushita says people give her surprised looks when they find out that she does udo, she is a successful blue belt in the second division with numerous awards. Tsurushita won third and second in the 2003 and 2004 California State Junior Judo Championships, respectively. “This was not just impressing the judges, but it was also about winning against the thought that I wasn’t able to do well in school and continue Judo at the same time,” she said. For the Seventeenth Annual Fukuda International Kata Championships of 2005, contestants needed a partner to demonstrate how well they could perfect a technique. Tsurushita partnered with Woodside High School junior Kealani Kitaura and practiced daily. “During rough times, we found encouragement in each other, especially since Ayumi is a very understanding person and she gave just the right push to keep me going,” Kitaura said. “She was always eager to improve anything that was wrong and put in a full effort.” Although they left the ceremony before the winners were announced, they were pleased to find out that they placed first. Through competitions and practices, Tsurushita has learned various techniques, as well as the Japanese culture behind judo. Before beginning a match, the contestants bow to show respect. Also, contestants never step on judo mats with shoes, a Japanese custom.
Photos courtesy of Ayumi Tsurushita
Above: Tsurushita (center) places first place at the Cupertino Judo Club Invitational Tournament in 2002. Left: Tsurushita practices throwing her brother during a practice session at the Palo Alto studio at the JLS Middle School gym in 2004. Judo’s strict rules allow Tsurushita not only to understand discipline, but also to develop mental strength. “Consistently practicing through the years has paid off,” Tsurushita said. “I was able to mature as a person, at each step of my judo career and learn that winning was a joy and losing was a lesson.” At times when Tsurushita feels like quitting, she turns to her coach for encouragement. “His words are simple, but when I hear them at the
Faces in the Crowd
How do you feel about the A’s moving? Danny Luskin (9) “[It] shows how the game of baseball is changing and how just playing the game isn’t the only part of it.”
Christine Juang (10) “[It] doesn’t affect anybody around Palo Alto. Big fans from Oakland will be disappointed, but if they’re actual fans, they will still like the A’s.”
Stephanie Tran (11) “It’s great. When the A’s play, they don’t get in the way of Raiders and Warriors games. The change causes there to be less traffic in Oakland, and gives the A’s a brand new stadium.”
Andrew Hopkins (12) “I don’t think that it matters what city the A’s are at, but the new Fremont stadium is going to be one of the best sports stadiums money can buy.” —Compiled by Aviel Chang
moment of need, it means a lot,” she said. Coach Wayne Kaku has been there to support her all seven years. “I always tell her ‘Don’t worry, you’re getting better, so be aggressive,’” Kaku said. Tsurushita expects to receive a black belt before college and continue her training. “Balancing between judo and schoolwork is tough,” Tsurushita said. “But I definitely have the strong will that it takes to continue on in college.”
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Titans clash to fundraise • Clash of the Titans, held on May 11, was a basketball game between staff and senior athletes. • 150 tickets were purchased to the fundraiser. • The event raised $7,600 for the Sports Boosters General Fund.
Emmalyn Chen (9) Badminton
“The team did very well not only in terms of winning or losing but, as a team, I think we pulled through nicely in cooperation and helping each other.”
Kelsey Feeley (11), Track & Field
“I’m so proud of our team and really happy with the turnout of this season. We had some amazing performances and we had a ton of athletes going on past Leagues.”
Lauren Ding (10) Softball
1. Photos by Cosmo Sung
1. Instructional aide Nicolas Valdes attempts a layup with seniors Ian Powell and Sam Zipperstein close behind. 2. Athletic Director Matt McGinn shakes hands with Gunn Sports Boosters president Bob Cranmer-Brown. 3. Math teacher Chris Redfield scores a basket.
Spring Sports Awards winners Baseball Offense Most Valuable Player (MVP): Kyle Einfalt Coach’s Award (Coach): Alex Zeglin MVP: Tucker Laurence n
Badminton Girls MVP: Katherine He Girls MVP: Jing Jing Li Girls Coach: Meilin Luh Boys Co-MVP: Clifton Poon Boys Co-MVP: Vincent Chang Boys Coach: Kevin Lao n
Lacrosse Coach: Frances Kao Coach: Jinnyi Pak MVP: Paige Lin n
Golf Coach: Henry Fan MVP: Matthew Williams MVP: Martin Trainer n
Tennis Most Improved Player (MIP): Craig Kaplan MVP: Rajeev Herekar Coach: Alex Klein n
Softball MVP: Caroline Binkley Coach: Crystal Greenberg Coach: Elizabeth Rea n
Track & Field Girls MIP: Rachael Clark Girls MVP: Sunny Margerum Girls Coach: Jenica Law Boys MVP: Jonathan Chu Boys MVP: Curtis Liang Boys Coach: Peter Whitley n
Swimming Girls MIP: Catherine Anderson Girls MVP: Julia Fish Girls Coach: Danielle Match Boys MIP: Ben Neilson Boys MVP: Mark Prior n
Gymnastics MIP: Claire Reyes MVP: Kaylyn Reyes n
Final Awards Special Award: Peter Jordan Freshman Boy Athlete Of The Year (AOTY): Jonathan Rea Freshman Girl AOTY: Rachael Clark Sophomore Girl AOTY: Allegra Mayer Sophomore Boy Co-AOTY: Nathan Ma Sophomore Boy Co-AOTY: Ranjit Steiner Junior Girl AOTY: Paige Lin Junior Boy AOTY: Kyle Einfalt Senior Girl AOTY: Jenica Law Senior Boy AOTY: Tucker Laurence n
—Compiled by Noah Johnson
“We didn’t do as well as I expected but we managed to push through. Each game was fun and intense. Next year we definitely need to be working on swinging our bats more.”
Sophie Shevick (10) Lacrosse “This year was challenging because we got a new coach. Everyone had to learn to adjust to the new coaching style, but in the end we learned to work together. In fact, we made it to the playoffs, which was really exciting.”
Matt Walkup (11) Swimming “I think we did very well considering the losses we suffered due to graduations last year, and I think that some who didn’t make as much of an impact last year really stepped up.”
Daniel Ugarte (11) Tennis “One big accomplishment for us this year was our nearly perfect league record which will send us into a higher league next year.”
John Zeglin (9) Baseball “We had a lot of fun, but sometimes we weren’t serious enough at practice. We need to work on playing as a team more.”
—Compiled by Libby Craig
The Oracle’s guide to common sports injuries Discovering an unknown loss
—Salazar, a junior, is a Sports editor
Tear or stretch of ligament
Impact on body forces a joint out of its normal position
Pain, swelling, bruising, instability, loss of ability to move joint
Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation (RICE), take aspirin or ibuprofen
Daily stretching, properly fitting shoes, avoid excessive exercise
Tear or stretch to a muscle or tendon
Overuse, heavy lifting
Limited motion, muscle spasms, muscle weakness
RICE, after pain decreases, use a heat compress and stretch lightly.
Daily stretching, warm up and down during exercise
Tear of the ACL (which connects the upper and lower leg bones around the knee)
Sudden stop or twisting motion, “blow” to the knee
Inability to move knee laterally, swelling, knee feels “loose”
Strengthen leg muscles with running and biking, daily stretching
Inflammation of the tendon and adjacent tissues in the front of the outer leg
Overuse, usually running
Swelling, redness around tibia
RICE, followed by heat and massage
Wear shock absorbing insoles and warm up properly before exercise
Injury to the bone
Repetitive stress during strenuous exercise or heavy activity
Sharp pain, mild swelling, uncomfortable pressure
Rest, avoid overuse and intense activity
Adequate rest, avoid abrupt increases in training intensity
My head is spinning and I’m not sure whether I took the right dosage of Vicodin or not. I’m tired and I want to leave my room, and I wish I could. I try to stumble to the room of my door with my crutches, I’m not used to using them so frequently. My meniscus surgery kept me incapacitated for a few days, as do most surgeries, but I was comforted with the knowledge that I was going to be able to return to activity in just a few weeks. I suddenly began to imagine what life would have been like if I had been incapacitated for twice that long, or for months or years. I honestly could not imagine the pain of not being able to return to a sport I loved. I came closer to seeing the pain of the hundreds of kids a year that can never play a sport again. One of the most agonizing aspects of a serious injury is that there is really no one to blame; it just happens. The pain of this regret can grow and leave an athlete with a sense of loss beyond just the use of a certain body part. For some cases one’s dignity is lost; the illusions of invincibility that so many young athletes possess is destroyed by a season-ending or career-ending injury. A young man in his late teens may undergo a harsh and early lesson in mortality. The spontaneous nature of injuries brings me to reside on the philosophy that life is short so enjoy it. I can see now how quickly such a simple concept can escalate. Truly what we can learn is that an injury takes so much more away than what meets the eye. We must respect such a loss and understand how, regrettably, the athlete copes with his given situation.
—Compiled by Priya Ghose, Susan Lee and Adrienne Nguyen
Tragic incident impedes athlete’s success A biopsy determined that the tumor was malignant, meaning Steiner had cancer in his femur. “I was pretty optimistic, like Six months ago sophthey’ll get rid of it and cut out the tumor,” omore Ra njit Steiner Steiner said. charged up the throat of However, the damage to his knee and his opponent’s defense as femur means he will never be able to play a varsity running back. active sports. “He went from a really bad Three months ago Steiner situation with his torn ACL to something jumped over the 300 mea hundred times worse,” junior running ter hurdles in a dual meet. back and teammate Josh Lee said. “It’s Now, however, last year’s unfortunate because athletics have always Freshman Athlete of the Ranjit Steiner been a huge part of his life.” Year rests at home and (10) Sophomore Asim Walker, a close friend attends school for a few and former teammate of Steiner, hopes that hours each day. Steiner has cancer, and his friend will return to a normal lifestyle doctors tell him he will probably never play soon. “That’s my boy,” Walker said. “That’s sports again. my partner.” “Learning I had cancer was probably the Steiner’s planned treatment includes two worst experience I’ve ever had in my life,” sessions of chemotherapy before surgery to Steiner said. remove the tumor, followed by four more Playing football, Steiner tore his ACL, sessions. Doctors will replace his femur and and when he thought he had recovered, he joint with a titanium spring-loaded rod, with resumed playing. Unfortunately, his knee 800 pounds of pressure allowing the bone to swelled, and his doctor explained the situa- regrow around it. The rod, however, will not tion. “The doctor told me ‘that’s not swol- be able to withstand the shock from running, len, that’s a tumor,’” Steiner said. jumping, or other athletic activity. Eric Johnston
Steiner’s unusual form of cancer has puzzled his doctors. One doctor hopes to prove that hard impact can induce cancer, which may have happened after Steiner tore his ACL. “I’ve heard estimates that there is anywhere between 1.5 to 8 in a million chance that this could have happened to me,” Steiner said. Despite the obstacles he faces, Steiner tries to remain active. He is involved in One Acts, and his teachers allow him to continue his courses through a mixture of independent study and class work. “Actually, seeing other people and how they react is one of the hardest things,” Steiner said. “Some of my family members have had a hard time with it.” And while Steiner doubts he will ever play sports again, he will not rule out the possibility. “Doctors told Lance Armstrong he would live two months, and look what he’s done,” Steiner said. Assuming Steiner’s chemotherapy will continue as planned, he will begin his second session on July 30. —Additional reporting by Stephen Salazar
Graphic by Brian Phan
Published on Jun 6, 2007