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feb 26, 2010

SCRIPTORIA


T

feb 26, 2010

SCRIPTORIA

Adviser’s Letter

Volume XXIX No. IV February 26, 2010

The world of journalism is changing. The challenges journalists face today are daunting. Sometimes, a journalist doesn’t know if he or she is going to wake up the next day, go to work, and the position he or she occupied is still available. Perhaps that week-long furlough was moved to permanent status. It’s widely understood that newspaper publishers are struggling due to an emphasis on online media and a struggling economy. No one knows if rock bottom has been reached. I believe these are exciting times in journalism. The opportunity exists exists to make all the changes positive ones. A mentor once told me that newspaper writers are cops without the cuffs. The profession still that newspaper writers are cops without the cuffs. The profession still has unbelievable power to shape a community and a city. has unbelievable power to shape a community and a city. Cities still need a voice for the people. C ities still need a voice for the people. As Scriptoria heads into its 29th year in production, I can look back and be proud of the many accomplishments we, as a class, have experienced. More importantly, the students who journey through my advanced journalism class are completely prepared to handle the rigors and challenges of university life once their four years have concluded. I always tell my students, “I am not here to recruit all of you into the world of journalism. I am here to prepare you to challenge your peers academically as you enter a global economy.” Readers, I encourage you to visit hanksmedia.com. Any story that is written in Scriptoria is available to post comments on the website. As I enter my fourth year in the castle, and 26th year in the community, I continue to look forward to the many challenges this publication will most certainly offer. That’s what makes this job fun. ALEX NAVARRO

Scriptoria/hanksmedia.com adviser Hanks graduate 1994

Scriptoria is the magazine of J.M. Hanks High School. The opinions expressed by this staff do not necessarily refl ect those of J.M. Hanks High School or the Ysleta Independent School District. Scriptoria follows the district and state guidelines established for student high school publications. Advertising Information: If you would like to advertise in Scriptoria, please call 4345276, or email ads@hanksmedia.com, and an advertising representative will provide you with advertising rates and details. Contributions: All Scriptoria articles appear on hanksmedia.com. Scriptoria highly encourages students, faculty, staff and members of the of the J.M. Hanks High School community to contribute to its publication. A comments section proceeds all articles online. Once your comment has posted, an email will follow either confi rming or rejecting your post. The adviser reserves the right to reject any comment deemed inappropriate. Letters to the Editor can be mailed to: J.M. Hanks High School C/O Hanksmedia.com/Scriptoria 2001 Lee Trevino El Paso, TX 79936

ON-LINE

Hanksmedia.com is a digital version of the print magazine updated daily with Webexclusive stories and photographs. Scriptoria was recognized as the best newspaper in the State of Texas from 19942001, 2004.

REDUCE RECYCLE REUSE

Recycling old magazines is one of the easiest ways to help the environment. To increase the supply of recoverable wood fi ber and to reduce demand on the world’s landfi lls, hanksmedia.com urges our readers to support recycling efforts in their communities.

2009-2010 SCRIPTORIA STAFF

Editor in Chief Associate Editor Copy Editor Online Editors Section Editors Scriptoria Staff

Rachel Cheek Jordanne Diaz Kyle Kehrwald Matt Romero April Ortegon, Kyle Monticone, Rosalie Rubio, Kat Alanis

Adviser

Alex Navarro

Rudy Acosta, Robert Alvarez, Domonique Calderon, Eddie Chozet, Krizel Cruz, Alex Flores, April Hernandez, Jenna Martinez, Yviana Mendoza, Norma Perea, Steve Rojo, Derek Sims, Carlos Valdez, Denisse Violante, Jarrett Williams , Zach Ziegler


campus 02

AYP: Not At Your Pleasure

08

Students feel the need for speed

10

Dissecting the ditch factor

04 TAKS has a new name

EnterTainmenT 24

Gaga goes Barbie

FeaTure 12

A diploma and a degree in one

14

Attitude and adolescence

22

The rebirth of the hippie culture

27

Animal cruelty

38 Senioritis sets in

OPinion 18

Death as a dying wish (pro)

20

There’s no mercy in murder (con)

26

Censorship on campus

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conTenTs

feb 26, 2010

sporTs 28

NBA snubs worthy all stars

Technology 30

Life in high definition

16

Wrestlers take it to the mat


AYP SCRIPTORIA

not

feb 26, 2010

Cynthia Gurrola scriptoria

At Your Pleasure

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Adequate? Not really. It appears that, throughout the years, the importance of education has reduced within students. Some students see their studies as an obligation instead of a privilege; the situation is completely inadequate. It only worsens with other factors affecting educational development such aas the Texas Assessment of Knowledge s the Texas Assessment of Knowledge aand Skills (TAKS) and Adequate Yearly nd Skills (TAKS) and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). P rogress (AYP). According to the Texas Education Agency, due to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, all public schools, districts, and states that receive funding from the federal government for public education are evaluated for AYP. All are required to meet the AYP standards on three measures: Language Arts, Mathematics, and Graduation Rate or Attendance Rate. If those requirements are not met for two consecutive years, that campus, district, or state is subject to other requirements which include but are not limited to: additional educational services, offering school choice, or taking corrective actions. “AYP is the federal guideline we have to meet every year which measures a student’s test scores using the tenth graders math and English results,” said Jennifer Adams, student activities director and ex-offi cial campus educational improvement council (CEIC) member. “The school is graded based on the scores and the federal government has decided that

we did not meet the goals they set for us.” Hanks has not met AYP in four years. The fi rst year, 2005-2006 school year, the powers that be who preside over the school locally and at the district level, received a warning. The school and its students were placed in the following stages after each school year: 2006-2007 - stage one; 2007-2008 - stage two, year one; 2008-2009 - stage two, second year. If students at Hanks do not meet the government standards for AYP then the school will move on to stage three. The school will not be recognized by stage four and fi ve for the reason that when one does not meet the requirements, tedious corrective actions follow. To try to increase the educational standards, changes were enacted since the start of the school year. The schedule was altered, the number of pep-rallies and during school events was reduced, additional tutoring programs were added, and stricter discipline measures were enforced. Though changes were made, the key factor is the student’s motivation because it is obvious that some students don’t see the importance of doing well on the TAKS. “I never had cared much for the test,” said senior Derek Hendrix. “I feel we should be getting prepared for tests like the SAT or the Accuplacer. The TAKS only holds us back.” Furthermore, underclass students


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With the current AYP status at Hanks, students and teachers are working hard to exceed the next round of TAKS testing (photos by Cynthia Gurrola/Scriptoria). believed their scores would not matter and only the exit level scores as juniors mattered. Luckily there were some exceptions. “I thought TAKS was important even when some told me it did not count until junior year,” said junior AJ Carrion. “I knew I had to do my best to pass because if I didn’t pass that year, how could I expect to pass this year’s test?” Some students do see the signifi cance. However it is largely to students who are in advanced-placement classes or on a more challenging degree plan. Unfortunately, those students who give little importance to TAKS are the ones placing the school and their classmates in jeopardy. “I see some students who show up to school to just sit in the back talking and interrupting those who actually pay attention,” said Carrion. “The big difference is that they seem to see

school as a place to goof around while the others see it as the start to their life” While the lack of motivation has been an issue throughout the years, the current state of the school suggests that all parties involved need to understand the severity of the issue at hand. “Students need to understand how important TAKS is,” said Adams. “It is a refl ection of each individual and of our whole school.” All students have their own driving impulses; some try to do well to go to college, for scholarships, and some only because they are forced to. Suffi ce it to say that some students just have no aspirations. “I would hope that they would have enough pride in our school and in themselves to do the very best they can,” said Adams. Adjustments have already been noted during the year. The administrators — on this campus and at central offi ce — and faculty will

continue to work hard but any positive change will not be noted if all students do not seek to do well in school. “Currently, we are experiencing a situation in which every student attending Hanks High School needs to put forth their greatest effort and determination within their education, specifi cally in regard to TAKS scores,” said senior Doha Hussein, student body president and member of the CEIC Leadership Team. “The AYP situation isn’t something we can shrug our shoulders about. Regardless of the grade level, all students must make it a point to pass. We truly have no other alternate if we wish to succeed within the educational standards set forth by the government.” Needless to say meeting all the federal requirements will be challenging but students must strive to do well not just for individual benefi t but also for the sake of the Kingdom.

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April Ortegon

TAKS has a new name news/online editor

Will STAAR shine for the future?

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The STAAR test will replace the TAKS test beginning the 2011-2012 school year. Underclassmen will be the first to experience the new change at Knight Kingdom. (Photos by Jenna Martinez/Scriptoria)

With a new year abroad, it’s inevitable that there are new changes that stir unexpectedly in Knight Kingdom. Whether it’s a new class schedule, an earlier school start, or a shorter lunchtime, it seems like there’s another challenge waiting to be faced. However, as a school, the challenge tthat hat the changes present is easily overcome o vercome and becomes part of the daily routine. d aily routine. What W hat about some things that have been customary at Knight Kingdom, or any school, in general? What happens when the things that have become a routine change to something new? The Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS)

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has been around since 2003 when the Texas Education Agency, under the No Child Left Behind umbrella, changed the name from the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills. Even though the name changed, the concept and the way the test was delivered — three to four subjects of testing and students have all day to fi nish each test — remained intact. To students TAKS was not any fun in the classroom. However, it has been more of a stressful impediment that teachers and administration have to endure. The fi rst few minutes of class became a practice session for the upcoming test. Some students would take longer

than others to work on it and time was lost for that day’s lesson plan. When it became a two, three, to even a four-day routine, time used for that subject or extracurricular course was not given its full potential. The deadline of lesson plans sometimes passed and some teachers began to feel the pressure to catch up, along with grade submission, and newly added TAKS prep. However, like the unexpected changes that caught the students’ attention at the beginning of the year, so will the same change occur in TAKS testing. As of Jan. 26, 2010, the Texas Education Agency announced that a


feb 26, 2010

SCRIPTORIA

new standard in student testing standard for high school, would go into effect as early elementary, and middle school next year. TAKS will be replaced students especially when by the State Texas Assessment Adequate Yearly Progress of Academic Readiness, or (AYP) checks students progress STAAR, beginning in 2011-2012. by the student’s tenth grade The student testing will year in reading/language Arts, consist of 12 end-of-course mathematics, and graduation exams in the four core subject or attendance rate. areas. The same principle Any school that receives applies: students in high federal funding is subject to school who take the STAAR are AYP measures. required to pass their exams According to and classes in order to graduate. publiceducation.org, the No “The state board of education Child Left Behind policy was is in the process of revamping implemented in 2002. It was and rewriting curriculum to created to measure a yearbe more rigorous, requiring to-year student achievement students to know more for reading and mathematics. and in-depth and aligned Science was later added to the with college readiness at all subject testing. grades,” Texas Education Each year the school is Agency spokeswoman DeEtta expected to raise the bar in Culbertson said. gradual increments so that by Culbertson also said 2013-2014, all students would that STAAR testing would achieve 100 percent profi ciency differentiate from the TAKS by in each subject area being signifi cantly Each school and more rigorous than district must meet previous test in the yearly AYP order to measure a goals as a whole and child’s performance as by specifi c student academic growth. population groups Seemingly, the such as ethnicity, race, change may be an special education, open opportunity and students who for the school’s are economically future; hopefully a disadvantaged. new itinerary for If these measures students’ capability are not met over a and prestige in his period of time there or her academic performance. are consequences that not only English teacher Terry Baeza risk the school’s reputation believes that even with the but also the administration, change there might be some faculty, and other support things that shouldn’t be taken staff’s employment. too lightly for the new student Since the announcement testing. was made that STARR will “The name will always replace TAKS in two years, change and there might be there has been no mention some new things added in the on what will happen to AYP test, even with its new quality it measures and how the two still has the same concept and will associate with each other. should be taken as serious,” Suffi ce it to say that, if AYP is said Baeza. not around, there will always It is too soon to tell if, in the be a federal measure in place end, the change will bring a to make sure schools are better outlook on the school’s expectation and success of the performing. students or if it will be another typical constraint that will “Regardless of the tranistion and the slight worries of eventually lead to a new change. accountability, it’s time for a new change,” said Baeza. TAKS has been recognized by districts as a critical

I think that students will have the same outlook on STAAR as they do on TAKS. As for teachers, it will hold each one of us more accountable. -Rebecca Madrid

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Jarrett Williams • scriptoria

feb 26, 2010

Senioritis

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Seniors Derek Hendryx, Mark Cervantes, Veronica Perez, Michelle Regalado, Celina Garcia,and Raquel Salinas show symptoms of senioritis such as texting, sleeping, and daydreaming while in class (photos by Carlos Valdez/Scriptoria).


feb 26, 2010

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Some senior students are compromising their plans to graduate time

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As graduation draws near, and the school year is in its fi nal stretch, it’s only natural that seniors may begin to exhibit the very common symptoms of senioritis. According to CollegeBoard.com senioritis is defi ned as the state of mind in which senior students have the urge tto fi o fi nish their college applications and rrelax elax for a while before they head off tto college. o college. Lethargy and lack of focus begin to kick in and even the best students can become guilty of slacking off in the classroom. At this point the student’s grades can often times be put in jeopardy and his or her chances of graduating reduced. During this all-too-common symptom, the entire senior’s attention is put on the more social side of school. Seniors who have earned all their credits and taken care of all portions of the TAKS and SATs have obviously been keeping up with their studies since freshman year. With nothing standing between the senior and the college years, he or she simply feels as the though the leash has been loosened and the pressure has been taken off a little bit. However, it would seem that high schools don’t feel the same way. Teachers point out that seniors should make the most out of their senior year and buckle down all the way up to graduation.

The average high school senior starts to feel the fi rst effects of senioritis during the fall. By the time spring rolls around he or she may have already fully succumbed to it. When this happens teachers and staff have a diffi cult job trying to keep students in check and focused. Seniors all across the spectrum can be stricken by senioritis. The students who never gave a second thought to their academics or checked to make sure they were on the correct path to graduation are beginning to feel time running out to make up credits and earn that prestigious walk across the stage come June. The most valued and honest opinion of this “academic disease” should come from none other then the seniors who are dealing with it fi rsthand. “Senioritis doesn’t really affect me because I really want to try my hardest to graduate and get into a respectable college,” senior Miles McElroy said. “I try to always keep on task and do my work.” Senior Crystee Woodall had a similar outlook on the senioritis epidemic. “I see many seniors who begin to ignore their class and homework and just fi gure that they will somehow pass the class,” Woodall said. “Graduation is not a guarantee and it requires work and responsibility. I don’t feel as though I suffer from senioritis to a large extent, although on some occasions I might not take an assignment for a class too seriously, in which case procrastination might set in. Even then, I still try my hardest to get my work done effi ciently and on time.” It may very well even be that some senior teachers feel there is no reason to push their students toward the end either. They might feel as though students taking senior courses should start learning the fun

aspects of subjects so they might develop a liking for a certain area. Once a student realizes what he or she enjoys doing might fi nd it easier to narrow it down and establish a career path to pursue. According to Time. com, one cure to senioritis may be a large dose of reality. Internships during the year are also a common cure to battle senioritis as the senior would be able to learn and interact in a place that he or she believes will be benefi cial to a chosen career path. This keeps seniors focused on something much more different from school but still educates them in some way. For example, an aspiring medical student joining an internship program at one of the hospitals in the city gain experience on what being a doctor or nurse may really be like. It’s not truly proven if senioritis is found in all seniors during the same time of their last high school year or if it only attacks certain pupils. Whatever the case may be, come college time, seniors will have to apply their brains yet again and get in the habit of studying yet again. Eventually, it all comes full circle.

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d e e p S r o f Need feb 26, 2010

SCRIPTORIA

Robert Alvarez scriptoria

A

Teen speeding catches up with students

According to Miranda Hitti of WebMD Health News, car accidents are the number one killer of teens. However, teen drivers at Hanks High School, and other schools in general, must not be getting the message as teenagers continue down this fatal path. While car accidents can be caused by a variety of reasons, including the increase in talking and texting while driving, running stoplights or streetlights, tailgating, and driving under the infl uence, speed is usually the major cause of accidents among teenagers. According A ccording to dmv.org, the majority of car accidents are aalso lso caused by people between the ages of 16-20, an age group g roup in which most drivers at Hanks High School fall within. w ithin. “I’ve received three tickets this school year alone,” said senior Kristopher Hernandez. “I seem to have really bad luck when it comes to that, but luckily I haven’t gotten hurt and in the end that is all that really matters.” While Hernandez has not received any injuries, he exemplifi es that many teenagers have a false sense of invincibility. The sense of entitlement that ‘it’s never is going to happen to me’ is one that many teens believe is true. However, the fact of the matter is that the odds are really against teenagers and it is that same entitlement that makes matters worse. Texas has already started trying to lower the deaths of America’s youth by adding restrictions to what teenagers can do when they fi rst receive their driver’s license. Before adding restrictions, teenagers just had to take a driver’s education course to get a driver’s

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permit and take the driver’s test to receive a full license. Teenagers of today have a much longer process. On top of the old process, teenagers must also hold their driver’s permit for six months just to receive their restricted license. A restricted license limits to how many non-family members they can have in the car at one time and how late they can be out driving. The teenage driver also must hold on to the restricted license for six months while remaining ticket free in order to receive a full license. While it’s great that something is being done to prevent more deadly accidents among teenagers, it clearly isn’t enough. The responsibility comes down to the teen in preventing the majority of the accidents. “The time I usually speed is either in the morning when I’m trying to make it on time for school or lunch,” said senior Matthew Dorantes. “Lunch can get especially bad because everyone is trying to beat each other to prevent waiting in long lines since we have a limited time to eat now this year. I was once going 60 mph down Montwood and there were still cars going faster than I was.” Teen drivers have an unrealistic view of safe driving behavior, according to researchers at San Diego State University. The young drivers who were surveyed between January and December 2002 believed they were speeding if they were driving at around 90 mph. Being more educated and realizing the effect of speeding is the best way to reduce the number of teens speeding. This survey shows that teens don’t really understand what is actually speeding and until they do speeding will continue


feb 26, 2010

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A BMW driven by students (right) from a local high school is noticeably speeding during the Hanks始 lunch hour. Senior Miles McElroy (below) leaves the school parking lot on his way home. McElroy drives a Ford Mustang, which is considered a fast car. (photos by Cynthia Gurrola/Scriptoria)

to be a problem. The government can pass all the laws and regulations they want on teenage drivers but it just comes down to the teenagers ultimate choice if they want to break the law or not. Teenage drivers need a reality check and dertermine if a brief moment of thrill or arriving somewhere a few moments faster is really worth a ticket, accident or, worst-case senario, death.

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feb 26, 2010

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Sophomore Bianca Baeza (right) is trying to avoid security guard Alex Martinez (photo by Evee Mendoza/Scriptoria). *Student in photos is a reenactment. Student not actually ditching.

Caution

Students who ditch are students at risk Freshmen Chris Thumell and Aaron Duran (below) are caught ditching at Knights Quarters (photo by Evee Mendoza/Scriptoria).

*Students in photos are reenactments. Students not actually ditching.

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P

Parents and teachers are asking the same questions repeatedly: Why keep ditching class? Or why can’t students stay out of trouble? The answer may be due to the stress that the day brings or maybe it’s because of a teacher he or she doesn’t like or maybe, just maybe, it’s because he or she simply doesn’t care. Kids today rarely face any repercussions from bad acts. Sometimes, a single parent, an aunt, an uncle, or a grandparent raise a child so there is no center of authority consistently present. Now, if there is not any one who consistently tells kids what to do at home what certainty is there that they are going to listen to any kind of authoritative fi gure in the classroom? School has become either one of two things for some students: too hard or a joke. “Our generation of kids are lazy and everything is handed to them,” senior Richard Arias said. Other students believe otherwise.

Rudy Acosta scriptoria “I think students ditch school because they believe that there are more important things to do rather than school,” senior Matthew Dorantes said. Students understand the consequences for ditching. They know that when they get caught they will be written up for truancy. In reality, some students don’t care about getting into trouble anymore. Perhaps some students get into trouble because the consequences for skipping class are minimal. School isn’t what it used to be where students feared their parents and hated getting into trouble at school. To meet the standards of the federal government, the goal at Hanks is to have a 95 percent attendance rate throughout the entire year. According to the records at the attendance offi ce at J.M. Hanks High School, the school has a 93 percent attendance rate. The freshmen, who usually do well in attendance, lead the school in absences with 4,741. The absence ratio is 7:1, or seven absences for every student in the freshman class. The senior class


feb 26, 2010

students, who are about to graduate and embark on a journey of independence and responsibility, collectively have been absent 3,805 times this year, equivalent to a 7:1 ratio. The junior class students have 3,176 absences, or a 6.5:1 ratio. The sophmore class students have 3,295 absences, or a 6:1 ratio. As a whole this school has 8,116 unexcused and unresolved absences Right now, students who ditch and are caught by offi cers are simply returned to school where they are subject to detention and possible suspension which keeps them out of school that much longer. Maybe its time to make students accountable for their actions and not just let them keep getting away with every little wrong thing they do. The answer to this problem is not increased detention; administrators must hatch a new punishment that will actually make the students afraid to miss school. In Monrovia, Calif., students who are truant and picked up by police can be hauled into juvenile court where they may face a fi ne of $135 or long hours of community service. If caught and ticketed the juvenile must show up with a parent or

SCRIPTORIA

legal guardian to Juvenile Traffi c Court. Students who fail to follow through can lose their driver’s licenses. Teenagers younger than 16 can lose the privilege of applying for a license. “I think this will deter kids from ditching class and prevent them from engaging in crime,” superintendent of schools Louise Taylor said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times According to the Monrovia Unifi ed School District, 20to-25 students skip school everyday. The more students ditch school, the more probable it becomes that they won’t fi nish high school. If this school had this policy in place then the students would be more concerned about staying out of the juvenile court system and having to pay a fi ne. Keeping students in the classroom and out of the streets has to be top priority. More importantly, the TAKS scores from students on this campus would improve and the school would not be on the verge of being reorganized, which is the current situation at Knight Kingdom. The challenge this campus has is not in the students who take school and attendance seriously but the students who fail to recognize that, once the hammer is dropped on this campus, the community will suffer.

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t s i x e s n o i t p o

feb 26, 2010

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t n e m e c n a v Ad

l

o o h c S h g i H e g e l l o arly C

E e d r e V at Valle

I

Reporter

If students believe that high school is a waste a time, or doesn’t present a hard-enough challenge, why not go to a school where students can fi nish school faster? Valle Verde Early College High School offers a different program unlike what any other high school can offer. The school’s fi rst graduating class will be next year. However, the students will not be graduating with just rregular high school diplomas. Along with their high school egular high school diplomas. Along with their high school diplomas d iplomas they will also be graduating with a two-year aassociate of arts degree. ssociate of arts degree.

Alexandra Flores Alexandra Floresscriptoria

the program enables students to graduate from high school with distinguished achievement, while earning an associate’s degree, through a rigorous curriculum and a system of support and intervention. The students go through a set of six courses a day, including college-level courses. They are in school for about seven hours, including a 30-minute lunch. It is a free public high school in the Ysleta Independent School District which opened in the fall of 2007. “I think the early college high school is a great idea,” said

Valle Verde Early College High School classes are offered in portables at the EPCC-Valle Verde campus (photo by April Hernandez/Scriptoria). “If students taking Advanced Placement and Dual Credit classes currently receive college credit, students at Valle Verde taking those similar classes should also receive full college credit,” said Lori Apodaca, a career and technology teacher at Hanks. “If this allows them to graduate early, then that’s a big plus.” According to the Valle Verde mission statement,

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Phyllis Crowell. “However, I’m not sure it really functions as planned.” Not all students are eligible to attend the school. The school only accepts roughly 100 students a year. The students who are accepted are those who show a sincere interest in academics and a willingness to work hard. Students must be incoming freshmen and live in


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the YISD area. The high school will focus on students for “When we attend a school like this, there are many whom a smooth transition into post-secondary education is sacrifi ces made,” said junior Priscilla Acuña. “We don’t have challenging. Friday-night games or a play to look forward to. There’s no Valle Verde Early College High School is designed to marching band or choir or any future marines.” increase the number of Valle Verde Early low-income students, College School does make minority students, and many commitments to fi rst-generation collegethe students who are bound students who will willing to attend and pursue advanced studies. wiling to put their full The students do not have effort. According to its to be in the academically/ collective commitments, intellectually gifted the faculty at the school program while in will provide positive elementry or seconday and immediate feedback school. to students and utilize A few of the specifi c instructional requirements for students strategies, interventions, is to have a grade point and tools as adopted by average of 80 percent VVECHS. during the students The faculty will also use eight-grade year in core alternative assessments classes and a minimum where appropriate to requirement on the gauge student progress seventh-grade TAKS. The and success as well as students also must clear empower students to off on attendance and explore their interest and possess a good discipline incorporate into their record. knowledge base. “In my opinion, “I think being being I believe it is a very a student at Valle Verde At Valle Verde Early College High School, students can earn a high school diploma challenging obstacle to was a great opportunity. I and an associateʼs degree in four years (photo by April Hernandez/Scriptoria). pass,” said social studies think it is somewhat a sad teacher John Longo. “If situation for those who students believe advanced placement courses are diffi cult, do not take advantage of it,” said junior Lizbeth Lucero, a I can only imagine what the students of VVECHS feel and student who recently transferred to Hanks. “Of course, there what kind of pressure they go under.” are a few things that can distract us from our main goal but Because the school is mainly focused on academics, it prepares us for the future.” it does not have athletic teams or fi ne arts programs. The school does offer things such as the math club, National Honor Society, and an environmental club.

Valle Verde is a great way to advance and prepare for a more successful future. -Lori Apodaca 13


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feb 26, 2010

You just

Adults, Adolecents and Attitude Katherine Alanis co-opinion editor

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From verbal arguments to outrageous fi ghts, it’s no wonder adults and adolescents are beginning to understand each other less and less. Adults and teenagers live in different universes with only one thing in common: they don’t get each other. Teens are young adults and, although they still live under their parent’s roof and are expected to follow the rules, teens have to begin to make their own choices and decisions. Teens also have to begin to discover who they are and who tthey want to be, they need to fi hey want to be, they need to fi gure out how to deal with the present and the future. p resent and the future. “I believe that teenagers are just confused and still trying to fi gure out who they are,” said Spanish

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teacher Ajinoam Morton. “Usually attitude comes from them trying to be someone they are not or someone they think they need to be so they can be accepted.” In high school, teens want independence and not getting it can cause a teen to rebel against the rules. He or she may act out in ways that range from drinking to sexual activity to fi ghting. The most common is verbal attitude and disrespect. “Most teenagers have an attitude because parents don’t understand their children and what goes on in their lives,” said junior Sam Stewart. “Parents jump to conclusions and think the wrong thing when their children may not even be doing anything wrong. Parents should trust their kids and be able to have an open relationship with them.” Although some teens believe that trust is a major necessity to gaining independence from their parents, lashing out at their mom and dad when not receiving enough trust might be taking it just a little too far and be counterproductive. According to BBC “Science and Nature,” teenagers want to look grown up and impress their friends. If parents disapprove it makes the teen’s behavior worse. Teens defy adult restrictions as a way of asserting his or her independence.


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don’t get it

“Some teenagers treat adults very bad and it all depends on their values and what their parents taught them,” said sophomore Maria Ruiz. An article in the Las Cruces Sun told the story of a woman named Teresa Fuller whose 15-year-old son was arrested for beating her after she told him to do his chores. Fuller obviously did not teach her child to physically attack her when she asks him to clean his room and take out the trash. “Attitude many times comes from individual circumstances, many teenagers use it as a defense mechanism, depending on what is going on in their lives,” said Spanish teacher Minerva Ornelas. Young adults have to deal with all kinds of pressure. For example, a teen’s daily routine can include trying to juggle studies, his or her future and whatever is going on at home. The balancing act that, at times, is extremely tough leads to a desire to break free. There’s a certain point in a teen’s life where he or she just wants to do what ever he or she wants without rules and people telling he or she what to do. “Teenagers don’t know how they are supposed to act and think that they know everything; the attitude comes from no one caring about them,” said biology teacher Cyndi Rains. A teen’s relationship with his or her parents appears to be a major part in deciding the kind of person he or she will turn out to be. Kids with problems at home often rebel more as a way to get away from home. Sometimes teens just act how they think they should act from what they see from

their parents. “Many times the treatment toward adults is something that has been accepted at home and around their peers,” said Ornelas. “They see it as normal. It is up to the adult to set standards and accept only proper behavior and set consequences.” According to an exposition by Meg Bostrom for the “Frameworks Institute,” adults struggle with the teen years in part because they believe the importance of parental involvement yet they know teens are beyond the point where parents can shield them from the realities of life and tough choices. Adults should realize that giving their child just an inch more independence can, at times, lessen the disrespect they receive when the independence is taken away. Although attitude toward adults is a way of showing the need for independence teens need to be aware when they are taking it to far. Attitude has a limit.

Don’t disrespect me!!

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TAKE IT TO THE MAT

SCRIPTORIA

feb 26, 2010

Jordanne Diaz associate editor

Senior Alec Silva wrestles against an Eastwood High School opponent in the 112-lb. weight class at the Bowie Invitational (photos by Jordanne Diaz/Scriptoria and Carlos Valdez/Scriptoria).

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The Knight Country wrestling team has continued with its past tradition of success and carried it into the 2009-2010 season. Wrestling is a sport that, like aany ny other, takes dedication to become b 16 ecome successful.

“What makes it different is that it’s an individual sport that requires sacrifices that no other sport has,” senior Ryan Martinez said. “When you win or lose, all the credit is on yourself.” The Hanks team had two boys and

two girls that advanced to the state tournament in Austin on Feb. 26-27, 2010. Senior Alec Silva and junior Darlene Fernandez were in the finals for their weight class and each brought home a silver medal.


feb 26, 2010 “My goal is to win state,” Fernandez said. Seniors Ryan Martinez and Jordanne Diaz were in the consolation finals. Diaz took third place and Martinez took fourth. Senior Nathan Montez took fifth place and was an alternate for the state tournament at the 119 lb weight class. Montez will be competing at the state tournament due to a wrestler suffering from an injury at the regional tournament. Because the wrestler is unable to participate, Montez will take his place in Austin. The Knights had a total of 10 regional qualifiers this season. Advancing to the regional tournament were seniors Alec Silva, 112 lbs, and Corey Gentry, 135 lbs, who claimed the district titles at their weight class, and district runner-ups; freshman Juan Gambert, 103 lbs, junior Josh Diaz, 140 lbs, and seniors Nathan Montez, 119 lbs, Ryan Martinez, 130 lbs, Hugo Hernandez, 152 lbs, and Jonathon Limon, 160 lbs. Fernandez, 119 lbs, and Diaz, 110 lbs, were district champions for the girls team and also advanced to the regional tournament at Del Valle High School, which took place Feb. 12-13, 2010. “The guys have done fantastic,” head coach Anthony Carter said. “They placed in almost every tournament this year.” With returning varsity wrestlers on the team, including nine seniors, lack of experience wasn’t an obstacle for the Knights to overcome. “Many of the older, talented guys inspired the younger wrestlers to be better,” senior Hugo Hernandez said. “They became a lot more skilled and are on their way to becoming future champions.” This season, the team had to adjust to some new situations, including new practice times and the change of practice under a new, but familiar, coach. With over 18 years of coaching under his belt, Carter reclaimed his job as head coach for both the boy’s and girl’s teams after he stepped down last year. “Since Coach took over it was harder,” Silva said. “It

SCRIPTORIA was more old school and we practiced a lot of technique.” The workouts were two-and-a-half hours long and consisted of a concoction of exercises that put the wrestlers into physical, as well as mental, shape. Tumbling, jogging, weight lifting, learning moves, live wrestling, and even mat games helped prepare the boys and girls for tournaments. “Wrestling is physically and mentally draining. It’s you versus another person for six minutes of nonstop action,” Carter said. “It’s basically a fight with rules.” Workouts also benefited the girl’s team this season. This is the second year that the girls have had combined practices with the boy’s team. In the past the girls practiced in the mornings while the boys took over in the afternoon. It’s a change that has helped improve the female wrestler’s technique and has tightened the bond between the team and all its wrestlers. “Practice was way better working out with the guys,” Fernandez said. “It makes me want to be better and allows me to push myself so much more. It has also made us a lot closer.” The girl’s team went from a fourperson team from last year to having almost a full lineup. This is the first year the Lady Knights had so many girls come out for the team and stay the whole season. “I think the girls really progressed, confidence wise, over the season, which is so important in any sport,” assistant girl’s coach Betsy Tinajero said. “The new girls have learned how to use skills from practice in their matches rather quickly.” Throughout the season, the team has come together and has helped push one another to be better wrestlers. “My team is like my family,” junior Delilah Perez said. “We all look out for each other and don’t let anyone give up.” The Knights have excelled this season and are now preparing for crunch time as they approach state tournament. As they reach the end of their season, the practices will get tougher and only the elite will excel. “I just want to know that I gave it my all and have no regrets in the end,” Martinez said.

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EdiTORIAl-pro

feb 26, 2010

To deny a patient euthanasia is unjust, selfi sh, and then people should be able to make that choice. inconsiderate in every way. Some people do not want to However, there always has to be that third party who spend his or her last days suffering and wish to die with believes he or she can have a say in someone else’s matters dignity. of life and death. The If someone vast majority of idiots wishes to die, no blinded by morals, other human being ideas, and even religion has the right to become the “right – to – ssay ay that his or her live” police. decision d ecision is immoral The number one aand foolish. nd foolish. reason that justifi es What counts is the their opposition fact he or she made to euthanasia, and the decision that assisted suicide, is that life was intolerable, a person can’t do it usually because of because it is ultimately a terminal disease not his or her decision. which includes God owns everyone’s intolerable pain. life and it is up to Nobody else can Him to decide when a make that decision. person dies. Nobody else knows Surely the idea of just how intense the separation of church pain, physical or and state should

Death as a Dying Wish Rosalie Rubio co-opinion editor

psychological, is. In a case when someone is comatose or in a vegetative state, and can’t express his or her last wishes, then a living will should be above all else. Yet, to force someone to stay alive against his or her will is torture. If, based on the verdict of the victim’s family, then the life of a loved one should end. There has been numerous cases where a doctor has been told to remove the feeding tube from a patient or have the patient taken off life support. For example, Terri Schiavo’s husband petitioned to remove her feeding tube because she was in a permanent vegetative state and her body could no longer function. If a person dies due to a choice made by a loved one,

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protect people of faith from those who don’t believe in God by trying to force religion down unwilling terminallyill throats. Oddly, people of faith have no objection to painful or desperate measures to prolong life unnaturally. Surely this is just as much interference with God’s time. A variation on this theme is that illness and suffering is God’s punishment and, theoretically, one has no right to try to escape any of God’s vengeance, a dangerous proposition to some. Oddly, even fundamentalist Christians have surgery with anesthesia and go to the dentist when they have a toothache. Apparently it is okay to escape some of God’s


feb 26, 2010

suffering. If God is taken out of the equation what argument would they have? Advocates against euthanasia, such as former Alaska’s governor Sarah Palin, and the group Not Dead Yet, greatly oppose the idea of physician-assisted suicide. One of the only other arguments these religiouslyselfi sh protectors of the disabled, elderly, and ill have that is not tied in any way to religion is that the legalization of euthanasia will lead to euthanasia imposed on those people by doctors who say it is his or her time to die. Palin opposes President Barack Obama’s Health Care Reform Bill because there is a clause tied into euthanasia. “I worry the health care bill will be paid for on the backs of the elderly and disabled who could be pushed into euthanasia and assisted suicide via rationing of medical treatment and who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course,” Palin said. The decision of euthanasia should be given by the patient. If it were to be legalized, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it would lead to the senseless killing of other patients in the same situation who do not wish to die. By making that inference will only lead to irrational conclusions. “There are two reasons why euthanasia should not be legalized. One, allowing the practice would undermine society’s respect for human life and death. Second, legalizing euthanasia would damage medicine by transforming doctors from healers into killers,” said Margaret Somerville in her editorial “The Case Against Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide.” In making these statements, Somerville is being very

narrow minded as she fails to see the big picture. When someone chooses to die by exercising his or her right to be euthanized, it shouldn’t make it any different. If a person dies of natural causes, is he or she demoralizing the principle of death? Also, doctors who will willingly disconnect life support if a family or a patient wishes to do so seem to always fi nd themselves between a rock and a hard place. They have no reason to be penalized if they comply with the wishes made to end a life. To many, doctors are supposed to be life savers. However, sometimes no matter how many fruitless attempts are made, a life will not and cannot always be saved. When the patient’s body, in a sense, is broken beyond repair, there isn’t much a doctor could do. A doctor is not only a life saver but also provides a service to the community. If someone wishes to die, the doctor should be able to provide that service if he or she sees fi t. Although death is seen as the worst case scenario, for those who suffer from disease or pain, it is sometimes the best choice. Euthanasia certainly is not for everyone but those who wish to end his or her life and die with dignity should be allowed that opportunity. As long as those who choose euthanasia, whether it’s the patient or loved ones making the decision, take responsibility for his or her actions there is really no sensible reason to not legalize it. Sure enough, if all those who oppose euthanasia so tenaciously were to ever see themselves or their loved ones suffer and could do nothing about it, he or she would think twice about denying someone else the opportunity fi rst.

SCRIPTORIA SCRIPTORIA

Your Thoughts Its not necessarily okay but no one should have to suffer and if they want to die they should be able to because we donʼt know how much theyʼre suffering. Alfonso Cedillo, 9

I think itʼs okay because in the case that someoneʼs a vegetable, and their family says its okay they shouldnʼt have to suffer. Samantha Sida, 9

Even though its not natural to kill someone, it also isnʼt natural to suffer without a cause. We have doctors to cure us and save us from suffering but sometimes they canʼt help so itʼs better if they let someone die if they want to. Angel U. Ortega, 10

If itʼs in their will, or their family members approve, a patient should be able to be euthanized if a doctor sees fit. Ashley Muñoz, 11

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EdiTORIAl-con

feb 26, 2010

Pro-euthanasians call themselves “mercy killers” but strong sedative that the person dies in the same manner as they are essentially mass murderers against the ill and a fl ea-infested dog. Those for euthanasia ignore the Bible’s commandment elderly and treat their death as though the victim is no better than a death row inmate. Those for euthanasia “Thou shalt not kill.” Even if the individual does not believe in religion, this is a disregard the fact that basic principle that is all life is sacred and the least sympathetic should end on it’s to ignore. own natural course. According to According to “Euthanasia: The DeathwithDignity. D eathwithDignity. Right Choice for ccom, om, “the greatest Some,” by Sloan human h uman freedom Zimmerman, she iis s to live, and die, writes that, “If we according to one’s allow these religious own desires and beliefs to govern beliefs,” a theory that our laws, then we could allow people to are going against ignore the laws that everything that lay the foundation of so many of our societies as a whole. ancestors fought for Euthanasia — religious freedom is defi ned as “a for all.” deliberate act Zimmerman fails that causes death to see that murder is undertaken by one

There’s No Mercy in Murder

less about religious person with the freedom and more primary intention about basic morals of ending the life some are more than of another person’s willing to ignore. suffering.” However, With assisted the steps taken to suicide currently “relieve” the victim’s being limited to suffering causes the terminally ill, it pain and ultimately is only a matter of results in a death fi t time before those for a dog or a deathfor euthanasia will row inmate. try to twist the Doctors remove Kyle Kehrwald arm of ethics even the feeding tube from copy editor further and parade those on life support around saying the which causes them to government chooses starve to death over who will live and die based solely on what each person the course of time. In other instances, patients are killed by the injection of a copious amount of a can contribute to society.

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feb 26, 2010

The advocacy group Death with Dignity is leaders in the proeuthanasia movement. They believe that the best option for the sick and elderly is death. Death with Dignity shows close mindedness with its claims. Instead of encouraging people to do the best with their lives and to make a difference in the world, members of the group plant the idea that suicide is perfectly acceptable and the best option for those who are unsure about how to live the remainder of their lives. The group ultimately acts as a cult believing that death for the greater good is the best option to take. The quality of life must be examined and factored into the treatment of a patient. However, people should be allowed to let nature take its course and not die at the hands of a doctor. Since euthanasians are pro-assisted suicide they also are promurder. People for euthanasia are perfectly happy allowing a doctor to take on the role of executioner, essentially applauding the switch from sterile doctor’s mask to an executioner’s black hood. Bart Tommelein, leader of the Flemish Liberal Group in Belgium, is trying to make it acceptable to practice pro-choice

ideals throughout Belgium. He is leading the movement to try to convince others that changing doctors from healers dedicated to their patients to killers disregarding their morals and passing hard work on to the hands of death. With the so-called “mercy killing,” human life is no longer respected; death is no longer a private act with only one person’s passing. Euthanasia by law requires “two people to make it possible and a complicit society to make it acceptable.” Those for euthanasia distort reality and perceptions to make people feel sympathy for the sick but ignore the fact that he or she had to die because of murderous actions. “The prohibition on intentional killing is the cornerstone of law and human relationships, emphasizing basic equality,” said Mark Sims, the author of “Against Euthanasia.” Ultimately those advocating the benefi ts for euthanasia are opening a whole can of worms to past, present, and future problems. Mercy killing could soon apply to someone simply not contributing his or her all to society. It could eventually lead to government control and advocating double standards and the detrimental quest for a perfect society.

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Your Thoughts “I disagree with euthanasia because it’s like someone is trying to play ‘God.‘“ -Crystal Burton, 12

“You live until your own last breath which God takes away. You shouldnʼt take your own last breath.” -Tanya Nance, 11

“I donʼt think it would be right, we are supposed to live out our lives. Plus the doctor has to live with the murder they committed.” -Brittany Prater, 10

“It is bad because it really is only murder, and then there will be so many people who have to live with that.“ -Ivan Rodriguez, 9

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feb 26, 2010

“The 60s never left, the era just changed form.”

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Left photo by Jenna Martinez/Scriptoria. Right photos courtesy AP Images/Used with permission.


Old Era for A New Time

feb 26, 2010

SCRIPTORIA

Thinking of the 60’s era brings pictures to mind: hippies and peace, psychedelics and the antiwar movement, love, change, and drugs. 50 years later, people in modern society, despite thousands of technological advances, have managed to revive and keep alive many iideas deas and practices that were ccultivated ultivated by the minds of the fl ower children. Even E ven now, the “it” thing is going green. Across the nation, people are conserving energy, producing less waste, and

author of the New York Times bestseller, “The Green Book.” Millions all over the world have put their support to the idea of preserving the world and its resources, refl ecting an idea that used to be associated with tree-hugging hippies. Another infl uential aspect reminiscent of eras past is the music. There is no doubt that Beatlemania has survived the test of time and thrived. Ever since the band’s appearance on music charts, the fl oppy-haired kids from Liverpool have taken, and continue to take, the world by storm. Released in 2009, “The Beatles Remastered Collection” sold 626,000 copies the fi rst week according to fi gures released by tracking fi rm Nielsen Soundscan. This put the band at the top of the charts four decades after its initial fame. “Not only were The Beatles the greatest rock band in the

thing about it wasn’t how many people were there or that it was a lot of truly wonderful music that got played,” said David Crosby, musician and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee. Even today, the idea of a three-day devotion to unity and love is cherished and celebrated. In August 2009, the 40th anniversary of Woodstock was celebrated all over America. Artie Kornfi eld, original producer of the festival, held West Fest, a large festival-type music event in San Francisco in October. In 2009, director Ang Lee released “Taking Woodstock,” with comedian and actor Demetri Martin (Elliot Tiber), one of the individuals responsible for the existence of Woodstock. There has even been a revival of the drug use and patterns similar to those living in this era. Usage of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and

supporting healthier, more natural lifestyles. “Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed; if we drive the few remaining members of the wild species into zoos or to extinction,” said Wallace Stegner in a letter to the Wildland Research Center. “If we pollute the last clear air and dirty the last clean streams and push our paved roads through the last of the silence, so that never again will Americans be free in their own country from the noise, the exhaust, the stinks of human and automotive waste.” Stegner’s ideas have carried through the decades, provoking the thought of those living in today’s world. “We have to be more conscience of not only what we consume but what we waste,” said Dr. Thomas Kostigen,

world but they were also an infl uential phenomenom that inspired millions,” said senior Victoria Hyder. “Many artists are still infl uenced by their music and the love and dedication they put into it. The Beatles will forever exist not only in the music world but in the hearts and lives of those who truly appreciate the gift of music.” The Beatles have not been the only ones who revolutionized the world’s perception of love and music. Consider Woodstock, easily one of the most historic musical events. The massive hippie music festival which took place Aug. 15-18, 1969 was advertised as, “Three Days of Peace and Music” and brought together believers in the music. “I think a great way to describe Woodstock is “the big bang,” because the important

psychobilin mushrooms, two psychedelic drugs often associated with the hippie movement, has found new life on today’s drug scene. “The 60s are coming back little by little and you can see it through the use of drugs,” said junior Jose Moreno. “After the sun goes down, you can always see a group of kids walking down the street with dilated pupils. The 60s never left; the era just changed forms.” Everyday life has seen large traces of the hippie culture and 60’s mindset that defi ned a generation of human beings. Today, in this moment, the views of these individuals come together in life, in art, in music, and in fashion to celebrate love, peace, and the psychedelic euphoria that epitomized this culture.

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Rachel Cheek editor in chief

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SCRIPTORIA

Goo

GOO

FOR

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Denisse Violante

feb 26, 2010

scriptoria

GAGA

Barbies dressed after the most famous looks of Lady Gaga (AP images/used with permission).

Barbies® are common in a girl’s childhood. They are a standard in toy chests growing up. To be honest, all her so-called “fashion” outfi ts tend to put some little girls to sleep. g irls to sleep. Not anymore. 24


feb 26, 2010

Thanks to the imagination of 29-year-old Veik from Beijing, he has given ol’ Barb some paparazzi-catching attention. Veik, the creator of the Barbie Gaga, states that he does not consider himself a doll designer but a doll player. The obsessed Gaga fan recreated some of the most infamous outfi ts and hairstyles the pop singer has modeled. The accuracy with which he recreated the dolls is painstaking. The barbies are styled after some of the most memorable Lady Gaga outfi ts and what is most outstanding is the fact that these are not the ordinary grade school do-it-yourself projects. Veik has all the details from the awesome hairstyles to Gaga’s Alexander McQueen’s lobster claw shoes. Veik’s recreation of the dolls has caused quite a sensation especially since it was all done with at-home, ordinary materials. Known blogger Perez Hilton caught wind of Veik’s work and blogged about it. The avid DIY-er posted photos of the dolls long before. The designer clearly stated that he wants to inspire others by posting his photos and not for bragging rights. “Instead of saying that I have been designing dolls, I’ve been playing with dolls since I was maybe 10 years old,” Veik said. “I think of myself as more of a player than a designer. I have taken some of my experiences playing with dolls, like doing their makeup or hair, and now take photos of them and share my experiences online through Flickr.” Lady Gaga has not been his fi rst or only celebrity he has recreated in doll size. Veik said that during the 1990s he would dress his dolls like supermodels on the runway such as Kate Moss, Linda Evangelista, and Naomi Campbell. He has a strong belief that a real doll lover considers his or her dolls to be a star and to not be treated as just toys. Veik, in an interview with Style.com, was infl uenced by many facets of the

fashion industry. “Everything about fashion was my inspiration,” he said. As far as a specifi c person or icon, Lady Gaga takes the stage for him now. “Since I’ve met more and more Lady Gaga fans, and not only doll collectors, through my Flickr, I don’t want to let them down,” Veik said. “I will keep on working to make better Lady Gaga dolls.” No one else dresses like Lady Gaga, which makes her a fashion icon. She inspires many of her fans. “What inspires me the most about Lady Gaga is her drive and determination to make her fans happy and let them know that it’s alright to be whoever you want to be,” senior Albert Palacios said. “Lady Gaga outrageous fashion statements and outspoken lyrics are what thrives my infaatuation with her.” It was ironic to hear the Gaga doll designer mention he never heard of her until summer 2009 when someone left a comment on one of his doll pictures saying the doll was dressed up like Lady Gaga. Soon after he began paying close attention to her music, clothes, glasses, makeup, and every detail that makes him “love her more and more.” Lady Gaga is a huge inspiration to him with her amazing wigs, makeup, and outfi ts. Meanwhile, fans are waiting for news of the dolls to hit the Mattel headquarters. “I just make dolls for fun. I honestly didn’t expect that my photos would ever be so popular online,” Veik said. “I have thought of making money with my dolls, but I don’t really know how to approach it. Maybe online-only markets. Who knows, maybe in the future. I just like to share my toys.”

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[Censored] opinion

SCRIPTORIA

Zach Ziegler scriptoria

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From the FCC in television and radio to Fortinet at Hanks high school, it’s somebody’s job to decide what is and what is not suitable to be seen or heard. Censorship has been around for a long time but what should be censored is constantly changing. On the radio words are not only blocked because deejays deem it too profane but also for being even slightly offensive to someone. The words “gun” and “suicide” are two words that have been blocked form certain radio stations. The word “gun,” along with the words “Russian roulette,” is edited out of Lady Gaga’s song “Poker Face.” The sound of a gunshot is even cut out of the end of Rihanna’s song “Russian Roulette.” The word “suicidal” is blocked during the song “Beautiful Girl” by Sean Kingston, which means half of the song is silent because the main chorus includes the word “suicidal.” Many radio stations around the country censored Britney Spears’ song “If U Seek Amy.” It never said anything profane but when the song’s title was sung it described something that was considered inappropriate to a listening audience. The problem is if a person listening to the song knew what the song actually meant, he or she probably wasn’t a little kid. In order for radio stations to make it suitable for the listening audience, deejays removed the “k” sound from “seek.” However, it barely made a difference. “The radio shouldn’t be censored for those stupid words. It’s lame and it ruins the song,” said junior Mariah Alvarado. “Kids are exposed to way worse anyway.” It’s a curiosity why radio stations believe the words “gun” and “suicide” should be censored. First of all, speakers go to schools all the time talking about guns and gun safety. Suicide is also something that people hear about most of the time. Just because teenagers hear those words said on the radio doesn’t mean anyone is going to go play with someone’s gun or decide to commit suicide based on what he or she heard on a song. Even though the words nobody even cares about are not allowed on air, some songs are still allowed to say derogatory words toward females. If words use to demean women are still part of songs played over sound

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feb 26, 2010

waves, then it’s inconsistent to censor the word “suicidal”. Ysleta Independent School District uses Fortinet, a web fi ltering company, to make sure that inappropriate websites are blocked. Some of the reasons for blocking websites are the normal reasons plus news, media, society and lifestyles, business and economy, gay or lesbian and bisexual interest, health, medicine, vehicles, sports, and of all things education. On top of that, miscellaneous is a reason to block websites, just in case there weren’t already enough reasons. Many websites are blocked for irrational reasons. For example, Iamawesome.com is a website that is one blank white page with the words, “It’s true,” at the top. It’s blocked. The website will redirect to a page which reads, “You have tried to access a web page which is in violation of your Internet usage policy.” Furthermore, it will also state the website and the category. The reason Iamawesome.com is blocked is because, according to Fortinet, it is unrated. Nobody would ever need to go to that site while at school. However, if a site like the aforementioned one can be blocked, then evidently any site can be blocked for inauspicious reasons. “I think it interrupts and interferes with the educational process,” said history teacher James Causey. “Students can see them at home anyway. Some sites should be blocked but we have blocked every site. Teachers should have a password so that we will be able to show students sites.” Moreover, several students on campus have become quite adept at knowing how to hack around a web-fi ltering system. Therefore, one could argue that it really only fi lters the teachers who attempt to access websites for educational reasons only to fi nd it is being blocked. I am defi nitely not the fi rst person to disagree with what should be censored or not. The subject has appeared multiple times in pop culture. An argument that has come up a lot is that censorship violates the fi rst ammendment. It goes against freedom of speech and freedom of press. One example is an episode of “Family Guy” and the FCC getting out of control and censoring almost everything on television and even real life. Even though that is obviously an exaggeration, it is still showing that the show does not approve of what the FCC does. Radio stations should not be able to air everything. Singers do know that if they write a song that that borders on the controversial, then it’s possible the song will either be censored or not played. Furthermore, websites should be available at school for educational purposes. Remember what the old adage is: if you don’t want to hear that on television or the radio then change the channel.


feb 26, 2010

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y t l e u C l a m i d l n r A o W e h t in

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In different places of the world there are animals suffering. Some domestic animals are hurting because of the way its owners treat them. Other wild animals are being hunted until extinction. Many tigers in Asia are being killed because its skins are sold at a very high price. Arctic, or Harp, seals have been hunted in many places like Canada, Greenland, and Russia for various animal products including fur, oil, and meat for over 4,000 years. Organizations around the world are trying to stop these crimes against these creatures. They are the hope for these animals. One of the most famous organizations, The World Wildlife Fund (WWF), is an organization that tries to minimize the murdering of wild animals that cannot defend themselves. According to the WWF some of the animals that are in danger of becoming extinct are the moose, the Canadian lynx, and the Atlantic whitefi sh. The Atlantic whitefi sh only breed in Nova Scotia. The moose is one of the many animals that has been illegally hunted for years. This precious and beautiful animal not only has been hunted but has also been hit by cars when it tries to cross the highway. “Animal cruelty is a very nasty thing,” said sophomore Mary Jo Betancourt. “Animals don’t deserve to be abused. They are also living creatures of this world.” The small, shy, baiji is one of fi ve species of freshwater river dolphin. In 2006, the Yangtze River dolphin became functionally extinct. It was the fi rst human-caused extinction of a dolphin species. This freshwater dolphin, according to marine biologist Sylvia Clare, was a Chinese symbol of peace, love, and prosperity. An astonishing 12 percent of the world’s population lives along the Yangtze and the river churns with diesel-

Steve Rojo scriptoria

engine boats of all sizes. The noise of motors and machinery thrums and roars beneath the surface. Along the shores and on the river fi shermen drop nets bearing hooks competing to catch more of the dwindling supply of fi sh. Factories and industries dump waste and toxins into the water. “It is a tragedy…a loss not only for China, but for the entire world,” said August Pfl uger, a researcher on the Yangtze River Dolphin, at the time of the knowing of the extinction. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is one of the organizations whose members specialize in this type of problem. The fund the ASPCA holds is to help shelter animals that have been put in until they can fi nd a better home and those animals that have been injured or are sick with mange, rabies, or other diseases which requires medical treatments. Dan Aykroyd from the movie “Ghostbusters” and Canadian singer Sarah McLachlan are some of the many celebrities who help the organization with funds and projects to promote better treatment of animals. “I believe that we will never truly be civilized,” said world history teacher Phyllis Crowell. “We need to learn how to show compassion to all living creatures.” Humans have the power to help these creatures get out of the dangers they have been put through. These organizations are trying to help animals survive in this cruel world. People can be the voice for these animals. These species don’t want to be killed. Some of these animals need to be loved and need a home. “People should respect these animals,” said sophomore Jessi Garcia. “They also live in this world like all of us, and their lives are very important.”

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feb 26, 2010

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Derek Sims scriptoria When the lights in Dallas Stadium go dim, the cameras begin to record, and the fans cheer, the NBA All-Stars will light up the stage to celebrate the NBA’s verybest players. Some aren’t lucky enough to do so. While the All-Stars who were voted in on sheer popularity are sitting comfortably in some fancy fi ve-star hotel, the unnoticed diamonds in the rough will most likely be working on their game instead of moping around wondering why they are not All-Stars. It happens year after year when there are a numerous amounts of questionable players who made the All-Star roster and an even greater amount of players who actually should have made it but didn’t. Allen Iverson retired at one point this year until his original team, the Philadelphia 76ers, did him a favor and told him they would sign him and allow him to start. This whole season Iverson has put up subpar numbers yet he is still able to beat out players like New York

Knick’s David Lee due to fan’s voting on a player’s name recognition rather this his play on the court. He did make the All-Star game, but only due to a player injury, nobody initially picked him. Lee is having an outstanding season considering the trend of play he had been following the past seasons. Although the Knicks are one of the NBA’s worse teams, Lee manages to keep them in games and has been the only real bright spot for the franchise. Lee has been putting up consistent numbers in scoring (19.4 ppg), rebounding (11.4 rpg), and assists (3.4 apg). Seriously America, this guy is averaging a double-double and mostly everyone overlooks that, even tough numbers don’t lie, voters do. Another player worth noting is the Los Angeles Clipper’s very own Chris Kaman, a 7’0 ft center with some serious game. This season Kaman has been averaging 20.2 ppg along with 9.0 rpg, one rebound shy from averaging a double-double. These numbers are a vast improvement from his career average of 11.0 ppg and 8.3 rpg; he has nearly doubled his output. Although Kaman has made it as an injury replacement, he was

not initially voted in or selected by the coaches as a reserve. That is essentially a slap in the face for Kaman considering he has helped a struggling Clippers remain respectable. One of the bigger head scratchers is the absence of Golden State’s dominant guard Monta Ellis. The numbers he has put up this season make for good evidence as to why he should be wearing an All-Star uniform. He is averaging 26.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg, and 5.4 apg, the numbers are hard to ignore. One would think that Ellis would replace Kobe Bryant after he pulled out of the All-Star game because of an ankle injury, due to Ellis’s scoring ability and similar position, but one would be wrong. Instead, they have brought in Jason Kidd who is averaging a mediocre 9.3 ppg, it just does not make sense to replace an outstanding scorer in Bryant with an almost non-existent scorer in Kidd. It seems All-Star weekend has turned into Red Carpet weekend, seeing how only the most popular players play the game.America needs to get back to the purpose of these types of games, letting the players who work hard during the season be recognized, let us hope things change for the better.


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Points Per Game: 26.20

Points Per Game: 20.2

Assists Per Game: 5.40

Assists Per Game: 1.80

Rebounds Per Game: 4.20

Rebounds Per Game: 9.00

Player Notes:

Player Notes:

20 games with 30+ Points

29 Games With 20+ Points

46 Points Against Dallas Mavericks

29 Points Against Houston

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feb 26, 2010

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Life in High DEfinition With the entire entertainment industry shifting its gears toward HD, all that’s left to do is sit back and enjoy the view Matt Romero online editor

S

Static fi lls the bulky screen. You think you’re watching a movie but are not really sure. After all, the picture is so grainy that it’s hard to distinguish a tie-dye blob from a character in “That 70’s Show.” Yet, this is how we all watched television, viewed movies, and played video games less than ten years ago. Now we live in an age where digital television is a necessity; where high defi nition isn’t the exception but the expectation and where 46” LCD 1080p HDTV has become a regular part of everyman’s lexicon.

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As television screens get larger and more companies board the “high defi nition train,” our obsession with stunning realism only grows in intensity. “HD is really one of the only ways to go for modern television. Demand for HD programming is only increasing and standard defi nition is slowly fi nding its way to the door,” said Jeremy Darroch, executive of digitalcable provider Sky. The company found itself with increases in revenue by 10 percent and Darroch credits Sky’s success to the growing numbers of high-defi nition channels. Each year, a few more stations fi lter themselves into the HD fray, leaving hundreds of popular channels open for clean, high-resolution viewing. Sky, as well as many other cable providers, now only delivers HD-compatible receivers to keep pace with the consumer’s insatiable demand for high defi nition.


feb 26, 2010

Of course, HD presentations have been around for years on television for events like football games or some national broadcasts. Now that mass-market media is catching hold of the trend, some local stations have invested in highdefi nition cameras. Ever thought that chicken cacciatore would look even better in 1080p or that Kanye’s bling wasn’t quite shiny enough on the tube? Well, channels like Food Network or MTV are available in hi-def glory as long as you have the box and cables to handle the upgrade. With each HDTV that fl ies off the shelves at the local electronics store, the nation moves closer to the electric nirvana of an entirely high defi nition world...in TV land anyway. It doesn’t stop at the home theater either. Cinemas, mp3s, even YouTube videos are offering a highdefi nition experience of its media. For example, Tinseltown El Paso is one of three theaters nationwide offering XD viewings of certain movies in a theater with improved audio quality, massive screen, and state-of-the-art picture quality all while reclining in one of the heavily-stuffed pleather seats. Even in your standard-issue cinema, changes are beginning to take shape. Movies projected through digital devices rather than fi lm offer increased resolution and

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subsequently better picture quality along with theaters outfi tting their cinemas with better surround sound equipment. If that isn’t enough for you, fi lmmakers are beginning to incorporate “RealD” 3D into more fi lms which allow viewers to indulge in a more immersive show. Moviegoers come to expect this from fi lmmakers; CG scenes must be fl awless and special effects have to look exactly perfect or else a movie is doomed to be a bust. The smash-hit fi lm “Avatar” made its claim to fame through stunningly realistic depictions of the fi ctional planet “Pandora” and of the native “Na’vi” people. Director James Cameron spent more than a decade developing a three-dimensional camera capable of depicting his fi lm in 3D without feeling gimmicky. Nowadays, fi lmmakers, much like Cameron or Michael Bay, have a tendency to focus on graphics fi rst and let the story follow. “So much of literary sci-fi is about creating worlds that are rich and detailed and make sense at a social level,” said Cameron in response to the success of “Avatar.” “We’ll create a world for people and then later present a narrative in that world.” Regardless of the number of 3D movies released to theaters or the number of LCD TVs fl ooding U.S. households, more hours are logged in front of a computer monitor than ever before. Therefore, it would only make sense that HD has found

“Standard definition is... finding its way to the door”

When realism is just too real Ever watch a movie or play a video game where the developers put months of effort into making a photorealistic character, yet the end product is a model that seems slightly disturbing? Well, you’re definitely not alone; in fact, researchers have labeled this effect as the “uncanny valley”, and its a problem that has plagued sci-fi films and video games alike. The theory behind the valley is that as a model gets closer and closer to realism, it is viewed positively, even garnering a bit of empathy. However, when the model reaches a certain point of realism, it becomes unsettling to the viewer, hitting the valley between positive and negative. Yet recently, researchers are finding a new trend; given powerful enough equipment and attention to detail, it’s possible to climb back up the valley toward total realism. A few years ago, movies like “Beowulf” and “The Polar Express” had an effect on viewers within the valley that propagated negative reactions, be it “dead-eye” or lack of emotional response. But lately, films like “Avatar” feature some CG models have fooled several viewers’ minds into believing that

the models are real. As filming equipment and graphic software only becomes more powerful it seems that the line between real and fake is starting to disappear.


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Yes

Does this make you sad in any way?

Yes

No Go to the electronics store. Immediately.

Do you have a cable box capable of showing HD programs? Yes

Are you paying for HDTV?

No

No No

Yes

Are you fine with the No picture quality of your TV? Yes

feb 26, 2010

Is your TV more than four years old?

Get a new TV

Cancel HD subscription

Stay where you are; standard def is perfectly fine

Do you ever use it? No

No Yes

Welcome to the world of HD, where things look prettier and explosions are slightly more awesome

its way into the circuits of your personal computer and the massive cloud of the Internet. Whether it’s watching DVDs in Blu-Ray on the screen of a laptop or selecting the HD version of the “Numa-Numa

Do you want to see every single blade of grass on a football field? Who wouldn’t? What are you waiting for? Get the stuff you need for HDTV

guy” on YouTube, computers are getting a pixilated facelift. Powerful video cards and massive amounts of memory are becoming standard issue in even budget computers, meaning that today’s average computer is capable of processing music, video, and computer games in clarity that even the best computers of yesteryear couldn’t handle. A few years ago all the attention was on how much society has grown to rely on electronics, be it newfangled Windows ’98 desktops or a sleek, innovative 40-lb. CRT TVs. In today’s digital age, dial-up e-mail surfers are replaced with multimedia broadband pirates and the concept of viewing television in standard-def is like remembering the time you tripped in front of a crowd: funny at fi rst but strangely humbling in hindsight. We are a wired world, ladies and gentlemen, so sit back and relax. The high-defi nition revolution is here and the digital world is available at your 1080p fi ngertips. And things will only get better.

Theaters around the nation (above) are being fitted with more advanced features such as wraparound screens, leather seats, and 3D-HD movies (AP Image/used with permission).


feb 26, 2010

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feb 26, 2010


Issue four