B1-B8: The anchor tells the lives of students effected by drugs and alcohol.
P4: Students explore the lines of the L.A. Metro.
P10: Girls’ cross country heads to CIF hoping for redemtion vs. Costa. Redondo Beach, CA Redondo Union High School
Nov. 19, 2010 vol.
Bloody good time UCLA Blood Drive 165 pints of blood were collected on Tuesday almost reaching our goal of 175 pints. 38 pints were disposed of for various reasons (sickness, too much collected, virus found in blood after testing). 0 negative blood type is the most needed blood type of the population, 46%.
Mira Costa, West, North, El Segundo and Culver City are other schools that have participated in the UCLA blood drive. UCLA Hospital uses all the blood they collect and still don’t have enough for all patients in need of blood. “I can’t stress enough how important it is to donate blood while you’re still young and healthy. You never know when you will need blood,”
-Noelle Lai, Nurse from UCLA Blood Drive 1. ALL PHOTOS BY SAVANNAH IRVING
No vampires allowed. 1. A needle penetrates through a student’s skin at the blood drive. 2. A nurse smiles at a student while drawing blood from their arm. 3. Senior Josh Rael relaxes while his blood is being drawn. 4. Senior Kaylie Storms cringes as a nurse sticks a needle into her arm.
Cervantes holds canned food drive to make difference in community by Alex Shea
The Cervantes Club embraced the holiday spirit by hosting a canned food drive for the less fortunate today and yesterday. The food drive is a challenge and competition for Cervantes and the Spanish department. “The food drive was originally intended to be a competition between Spanish classes. The prize is a pinata party for
the class who collected the most cans, but we encourage all students to participate,” Cervantes co-vice president Bonnie Mata Matthews said. However to the club, the event is deeper and more meaningful than competitions and rewards. “We feel that we could really make a difference in the community. Especially for the holiday season we wanted to do something meaningful,” Cervates
“Cervantes is starting off with a canned food drive but we plan on holding other school wide fund-raisers in order to buy presents at Christmas time for impoverished families in Mexico,” Mata Matthews said. According to Mata Mathews, Cervante’s fund-raisers hopefully will bring the community closer and provide underprivileged families with a holiday they can be thankful for.
Significant number of seniors absent for “ditch” day
Simun and De Collibus save struggling bird on campus
by Shannon Bowman
by Nic Cruz
Pulled out of a cage, the crow had a towel placed over its eyes, unable to see anything. Its heart beat faster as two women examined its wings. AP Environmental teacher Mary Simun and Biology teacher Karin De Collibus saved a struggling crow outside of the library. During lunch, Simun was informed of the injured bird. Immediately, Simun and De Collibus left with the tools they needed: a blanket, a towel, pliers, and scissors. According to Simun, the crow was not in good shape. Unlike healthy crows, he did not flee when students approached him. “He’s so emaciated. He’s not getting enough to eat,” De Collibus said. The two took the bird into their care, nursing it back to health in the back of Simun’s classroom. Although it is now eating, the crow still has something wrong with its left
co-president Elle Taylor. Reaching out to the community, the Cervantes Club food drive is benefitting the local Saint Andrews church. “We’re donating to Saint Andrews because they serve a large group of the local homeless and underprivileged,” Taylor said. Donating to Saint Andrews is only one of many fund-raisers Cervantes is hoping to hold this year.
PHOTO BY JONATHAN MARTIN
Not flying to heaven yet. De Collibus holds the crow who cannot fly because of broken wing.
wing. Because of that injury, it has not been able to eat. “Hopefully, he’s okay,” DeCollibus said. According to both Simun and De Collibus, the two saved the crow because of the compassion they have for animals. Simun takes care of many different animals and DeCollibus worked at the Orange County Vector Control Center, studying diseases in birds that could possibly affect humans. “To potentially help [any animal] is a fulfilling thing,” they said.
Last Friday, 182 seniors were absent, almost 35% of the senior class, because of a studentplanned senior “ditch” day. Counselor Tawni Chinchilla is very disappointed in seniors who decided to ditch. “It’s very disrespectful,” she said. “It sends the wrong message to the underclassmen.” The school lost $6,552 from absent seniors alone, as each absent student costs the school $36. This is money the school can not afford to lose, according to Chinchilla. “It costs the school a lot if students decide not to go,” she said. Last year, a similar incident occurred, and Assistant Principal John Newman feels the students should have learned from it. “When the kids know the school loses money and purposefully take it, it’s really sad,” he said. Senior Anna Barclay had planed to skip school on senior “ditch” day, but decided not to. “I feel like the education system needs the money,” she said. “I thought it would be good if I just went.” Senior Peter* feels the “ditch” day was not a big deal and blames the Thursday holiday for his choice. “It was stupid to have Thursday off and
then go back to school for just a day,” he said. “Might as well make it a four day weekend.” There were not enough absences that the administration decided to investigate, but seniors who were not excused received truancies. “The truancy goes on their record, and the teacher can mark down their citizenship grade,” Newman said. “We’re so far off from graduation for seniors to do this now.” However, Peter does not take any possible consequences very seriously. “The only consequence I got was a truant, but it’s not that big of a deal,” he said. Peter thinks students should not be blamed for taking the day off as he feels many teachers were also absent. “Some teachers decided to take the day off, too,” he said. “It wasn’t just seniors.” Although many staff members were upset, some administrators look at the bright side of the issue. A majority of seniors did show up for school, and counselor Tiffany Straight is glad. “It meant a lot to the staff,” she said. “It’s good for students to remember that school may seem meaningless, but you might miss something important.” *The asterisk indicates that the name of the subject has been changed to protect his/her identity.
ASB must check menus for upcoming food fairs by Danny Garzon
Beginning with the International Food Fair in April, all food sales by clubs must be reviewed by the school district in order to adhere to state law, according to Stephanie Tovar, director of child nutrition. All food sales must meet regulations established by the state in 2007. Caloric, fat, and sugar content must meet a minimum requirement. In addition, student organizations have restrictions on when and where they can sell food. Events are limited to four times throughout the year and all food sold must be pre-approved by the governing board at the district. According to Jeremy Porr, co-commissioner of inter-club council for ASB, planning for the International Food Fair will take place five months in advance, in order to have everything approved ahead of time. “It’s the first time we have to do this, and I’m a bit frustrated. However, I don’t think it will be a big problem,” he said. ASB will collect and review nutritional information from individual clubs before sending it to the district for approval. ASB did not collect nutritional facts for the Red and White carnival in November because of time constraints. Although Porr sees the process as tedious, he acknowledges that it is for the best.
“Personally, I do not think that one event on campus will affect a student’s weight so drastically that the event must be monitered.” —Michelle Hough “I understand where the district is coming from, and I think the new policy will force us to work harder. But bringing healthier foods on campus could be really beneficial to students,” he said. ASB President Michelle Hough feels that the policy will add extra work to the planning of food fairs. She says that the policy forced ASB to cancel a winter break kick-off fair in December. “The student body really loves the food fairs, and we really love to make the students happy. We also really like to support our campus clubs, and we wanted the event to be an opportunity for clubs to fund-raise,” she said. Hough acknowledges that obesity is a problem, but does not see it as a big problem on campus. “Personally, I do not think that one event on campus will affect a student’s weight so drastically that the event must be monitored. However, I do understand that this law is being enacted as part of an overall effort to reduce obesity,” she said. ASB is looking towards other planned events to involve clubs that do not require the sell of food. Christiana Marvray, sees the added work as unnecessary and an annoyance. “Even though international food fair is a relatively small thing to have to worry about on such a large scale, it is annoying that we have to plan ahead 5 months,” she said. Marvray does not see obesity as a problem on campus and finds it unfair that fairs will be altered. “It is just unfortunate that because of all of this controversial stuff about food, we’re getting something really cool taken away or at least modified to the point where it really isn’t the same anymore,” she said.
]Nov. 19, 2010]
”Should the nutrition of foods served at school be regulated?”
“Definitely. The food we have now is really low class and gross.”
— Matthew Picazo
“Yeah, since the school should serve healthier food.”
— Jared Sweatman
“School food should be regulated because we are all out of shape.”
— Franchesca Blasco
“Not at all. We should have our own say about what we decide to eat.”
— Lily Tehrani
“Sure, because students should be eating healthier food to get stronger.”
— Hasan El-Hasan
“No, because we should choose what we’re eating, not the government.”
— Casey O'Connor
Editor-in-Chief: Austin Pritzkat Managing Editors: Sophia Lykke, Julia Uriarte Editor of Design: Molly Simon News Editor: Kaitee Scheyer Opinion Editors: Josh Hillsburg, Christina Mehranbod Features Editors: Dylan Futrell, Kelsey Chung; Meglyn Huber; Ashley Pournamdari, Alison Peet-Lukes, Madeline Perrault Sports Editors: Adam Ammentorp, Jessica Cascio Photo Editor: Jonathan Martin Copy Editors: Shannon Bowman, Olivia Loveland; Melissa Rosero; Joy Ohiomoba Cartoonists: Josh Hillsburg, Cooper Lovano Online Editor: Brianna Egan Staff Writers: Vanessa Alarcon, Sammie Avalos, Victoria, Balding, Taylor Ballard, Matthew Brancoli, Loren Brown, Laney Burke, Tati Celentano, Kimberly Chapman, Zachary Commins, Alexis Curtis-Olson, Ciara Diaz, Camille Duong, Kaelee Epstein, Gianna Esposito, Daniel Garzon, Allie Goldberg, Anacristina Gonzalez, Michelle Hough, Bethany Kawa, David Kawa, Casey Lovano, Anthony Leong, Tricia Light, Cammille Mitchell, Cameron Paulson, Melissa Rosero, Allison Salazar, Alyssa Sanchez, Derek Sarno, Joanie Schneider, Alex Shea, Jessi Shipley, Laura Shodall, Annica Stitch, Shayna Stuart, Emma Uriarte, Alyssa Wolf, Zachary Zent Adviser: Mitch Ziegler The High Tide dedicates itself to producing a high-quality publication that both informs and entertains the entire student body. This newspaper is a wholly student managed, designed and written newspaper that focuses on school and community events. The High Tide is published by the journalism class at Redondo Union High School, One Sea Hawk Way, Redondo Beach, CA 90277. Advertising is $7.50 per column inch, $6.00 if paid in advance. For information call (310)798-8665 ext. 2210. Signed commentaries and editorial cartoons represent the opinions of the writer or cartoonist and in no way reflect the opinions of the High Tide staff.
Editorial: 30/10 initiative promising California is in a crisis. It is no longer a question, or even open for debate, it is now an established fact. We sit on the brink of catastrophe and yet every safety line tossed our way is strangled in the destructive grasp of bureaucracy and polarized partisan politics. Now there is a shining chance for hope. A shining and untainted initiative called “30/10” may be the first piece of legislation to start the long task of restoring California to her former glory. The “30/10,” or the “thirty in ten,” plan will allow California to execute thirty years of metro line construction in just ten years. In an effort to tackle this difficult feat, California will take out loans from the federal government and repay them with revenue acquired from the increase in sales tax under Measure R. All that this means is that instead of using the sales tax revenue to build the trains, the sales tax revenue is used to pay back the loans given to hardworking American citizens by the federal government. The reason this is a much better solution than waiting to directly pay for the construction is rooted in one simple fact: California does not have time to wait. The rate of unemployment here rests at over 3% higher than the national average. Simply put, we are in desperate need of jobs. The construction of new mass transit metro stations will immediately open up around 160,000 jobs for countless hardworking Americans who need to put food on their tables.
Apart from the opening up of jobs, this plan will also be hugely beneficial to the environment, which would give even the most implacably uptight liberals something to smile about. The construction of these metro mass transit stations will increase the amount of people using the public transit system, which will in turn directly cut down on potentially pollutive automobile emissions, effectively reducing hazardous greenhouse gases. Not only will the environment be cleaned up as a direct result of the initiative’s accelerated metro construction, but it will also make the California roadways a safer and more efficient means of transport. Every day, millions of hardworking Americans are forced to navigate the congested highways of this great state in order to get home and eat dinner with their loving families or maybe just to watch T.V.––but regardless, these people should not be forced to tack on extra time to their work day because of bad traffic. These metro stations will dramatically reduce roadway traffic, cut back on commuting time, and increase the amount of time us citizens have to enjoy the privileges this great country gives us. That is really the beauty of this “30/10” plan, it allows America to shine with all its glory, and it utilizes the brilliant government set up by our founding fathers long ago. It will effectively reduce pollution, decongest traffic, and turn in a massive profit to alleviate our dire economic situation. Truly, the “30/10” is a godsend.
“‘30/10’ may be the first piece of legislation to start the long task of restoring California to its former glory.”
Sweat beads drip down her face, her thighs sticking to her chair. Her mouth is parched; her lips can barely open to ask the teacher to go to the rest room. She treks through the school, the hot sun beating down on her back. There, in the distance. A vending machine. She runs with thoughts of cool, refreshing water in her mind. But she sees no water, just an arrangement of salty snacks. She collapses on the hot ground. They find her charred body hours later. Is this the reality we want for our students? Alright, maybe I’m being dramatic. But this is California. This November has had some of the hottest days in years. Cold, clean water is a necessity. Currently, the only vending machines that offer drinks of any kind are the ones near the PE lockers, which are on the other side of campus and surrounded by construction. They’ve also been known to eat dollars or just not work. Ice cream machines are available, as are snack vending machines that offer such nutritious choices as cookies and sour gummy worms. But no vital water? Sure, we have plenty of water fountains around campus, and they’re great when they’re working. But when old gum and hair are stuck to the sides, I can’t help but wish for my own water. And the water bottles sold at carts throughout the school are appreciated, but they’re not always available. However, a student has many opportunities throughout the day to purchase Hot Cheetos, so why can’t our thirst be quenched just as readily? The benefits of being hydrated are plentiful. Drinking an adequate amount of water boosts mental and physical endurance, maintains a pleasant demeanor, prevents muscle cramps and headaches, and even decreases the risk of certain cancers (saferchild.org). These benefits should be reason enough to offer a convenient way for students to get water. If water is too bland for you, the proposed vending machines could sell juice or energy drinks as well. There’s room for them all over campus, and the profit they’d bring in would be immensely helpful to the school. An organization could pay for their construction and upkeep and keep a percentage of the profit, much like the athletic facilities’ ice cream machines. If we don’t want to collect the charred carcasses of overheated students, schools must offer a way for students to quench their thirst. And that way is the vending machine.
Pro Con Should school food nutrition be regulated by the state?
ith child obesity rates skyrocketing nationwide, the fight for nutritious school meals has come to RUHS. Starting in April, all food sold by Zac Commins by clubs must be approved by the school district in order to comply with state nutritional standards. Consequently, planning for this spring’s International Food Fair is occurring five months in advance. In 2007, the California state legislature established maximum caloric, fat, and sugar content for individual food items sold in schools. Some believe regulating the food sold by the clubs at schools events, such as the Red and White Carnival and the International Food Fair, is an extreme measure that does not truly affect the nutrition of school meals and overall health of students. However, it is crucial to provide nutritious meals in all circumstances to better the health of students and combat the obesity epidemic. Between 1980 and 2008, the obesity rate among adolescents aged 12-19 increased from 5.0 to 18.1 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Recently, organizations, state and local governments, and federal agencies have focused on changing the environment for students. Accordingly, these organizations, governments, and agencies have pushed for, established, and
enforced nutritional requirements and physical education programs in schools nationwide. As some local governments have pushed to regulate unhealthy food marketed to children from the private sector to affect the eating behavior of our youth, it is the responsibility of our public officials to promote healthy eating habits by enforcing nutritional requirements in schools to spark an even greater change. A single day where nutritional standards are not enforced may not seem like it could drastically change the health and behavior of students, simply a drop in the bucket. But ignoring these standards for even one day sets the precedent, from an environment that is designed to shape minds, for students that eating unhealthy food habitually is not a serious problem. By selling food such as donuts, ice cream, and burritos, common staples of these festivals in the past, at school, students are presented with a contradictory stance on eating habits, such that students may become apathetic to programs promoting nutrition. If these standards remain neglected, these drops add up to a point when the bucket overflows. Although planning the International Food Fair so far in advance may be a troublesome process, promoting nutritional food in schools is a proven means of changing the eating habits of students. Even a moment without these nutritional standards, sending inconsistent message to students, can adversely influence eating behavior and the fight against the obesity epidemic.
here is a growing problem in America, and that problem is the government. Somewhere along the line in history, somebody decided that the people’s unalienable rights are trumped by whatever whims the Washington fat cats have on the voting agenda this week. A lot of this I can tolerate, they say they need to tap phones––I say ok. They say they need to make us register our guns–– I say ok. But when they say they need to restrict what I am allowed to eat at school––I say no way. The argument these bureaucratic bullies use is that there is a growing obesity problem in America’s youth, which is undeniable. However they cannot expect to fix this problem by keeping any fatty foods away from these husky kids. Quite the contrary. In fact, they need to learn what is ok and what is not ok to eat on a daily basis. I feel insulted that they feel we are not responsible enough to resist eating a donut or a sticky bun every day. Logic dictates that is not a healthy decision, and it is through those healthy decisions that the youth will learn to be healthy––not through depriving them of any fattening foods. These left-wing activists seem to think that if the children are exposed to any fattening foods they will immediately eat them without regard to their own health. If that is the case, then every child is doomed the minute they live on their own and are free to purchase the food they want to eat. If these kids are really so irresponsible then they would splurge
on brownies and fried chicken the instant they get in through the grocery store doors. Of course that is not what happens and so a mere exposure to by Derek Sarno fattening foods cannot be the source of the child obesity issue. The source of the problem rests at home, with poor parenting techniques and an overall parental failure to instill discipline and healthy habits into their children. All of these new age feel-good techniques that stress self esteem and how “special” we all are is in fact hammering the nails into our plus sized coffins. Parents are unable to tell their children that they are overweight and need to lose weight but rather tell them that they are fantastic and special, thus teaching the husky children being so is perfectly acceptable. It is not the school’s fault that these obese children are the way they are. Children in a healthy weight range should not be deprived of a treat every now and then because there are some overweight kids who can’t be trusted with them. It is entirely irresponsible of the parents to pin the blame on the schools when it is the parents who are unable to sit their children down and tell them that eating donuts every day may lead to some complications involving XXL clothing.
]Nov. 19, 2010]
A new program allows students to make up lost credits A low number of by Tatiana Celentano
Starting with a fresh slate, he hopes that this year will be better then the next. He is excited to hear that he can complete the credits he lost his freshman year. For sophomore Nathaniel Corona the transfer from middle school to high school took a turn for the worst when he realized he could take advantage of the freedom high school provides. “I didn’t apply myself for high school. I never did homework or studied during freshman year,” Corona said. His lack of interest in school soon escolated to only attending two or three classes a week, leaving Corona with only ten credits to carry on to sophomore year. The purpose of the newly established credit recovery program is to give students like Corona an opportunity to catch up on their credits and give them another chance at success. “I think [the credit recovery program is] good, some students make poor choices early on and get behind. I’m happy we can give them opportunities to catch up,” Assistant Principal John Newman said. The program keeps students on campus who need to make up credits rather than transferring to Shores. Unlike Shores, our credit recovery program is A-G eligible, which means you have reached the credit requirements to be eligible for a CSU or a UC college. The program is run through cyberhigh.org. Cyberhigh.org gives credits
back to students for high school transcripts, including electives and college prep classes. The course is only one period and it can be taken in semesters. Cyberhigh.org can only be accessed in class, meaning all the work is completed during class time only. As of now there are almost sixty students in the program. “This is a privilege to have at a high school. I’m glad we are able to offer it to students,” Credit Recovery teacher Tanaz Farzad said. Farzad keeps an unpdate on how many credits have been recovered. As of yesterday, 125 credits have been completed since the beginning of the year. “[When I change that number it feels] awesome and so rewarding to know that I contributed to that number,” Farzad said. The program will benefit the school in lowering the drop out rate and increasing the graduation rate. “There are a big enough number of students behind to justify using the program. It is very beneficial all around,” Newman said. As for Corona, he is happy that the program gives him a convenient way to make up credits without leaving Redondo or being in freshman classes again. He plans to recover all his credits by next semester. “My goal is to work hard in school to get credits and to continue with my progress,” Corona said.
Students meet A-G requirements, take the STAR test every year and extend their academic boundaries by joining programs such as AVID and SCROC.
AVID prepares students to be successful in college by Melissa Rosero
Stepping onto the gravel stone pathway, gazing at the gothic architecture, senior Tiffany Tran knows she is only on a college tour, but she is positive she is prepared for the college experience that lies ahead. The Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), is a program targeted towards making students “college ready.” AVID coordinator Dawn Hunter believes that AVID is beneficial for students who are motivated to go to college but do not have the right tools to get there. “AVID students live, breathe, and learn about everything they need to know in terms of attending college after high school,” Hunter said. Once placed in an AVID class, students stay with the same group of peers along with the same teacher throughout all four years. Because of this, Tran has felt the impact of AVID on a personal level. “After spending four years with the
API ranks school performance by Gianna Esposito
You saunter into class, plop into your seat, and take out your books, expecting another routine day of math. But with your teacher’s announcement of a test, students rustle in their seats, their eyes bugging out as they give each other that worried look that seems to say “What test?” Someone brave speaks up, asking about the test. With the simple mention of the words “standardized testing,” immediate relief washes over the class. Because after all, the STAR Test doesn’t affect your grade, so it doesn’t really matter, right? Contrary to popular belief, Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) and other standardized test do matter because they affect an “important” score called the Academic Performance Index (API). The API score grades a school based on their students’ performance on many different tests throughout the year. “[An API score] is how we’re judged by people from around the community and other schools,” Assistant Principal Amy Golden said. Through these scores, the school board can first determine which schools need help developing their teaching of the standards in order to raise their score.
These schools become what are called Program Improvement Schools. Redondo Union, with a score of 825, is “nowhere close” to becoming a candidate for Program Improvement. Instead, this score affects how we compare to other schools in decisions of enrollment and even college acceptance. “Colleges can look at your API score and based on that it can determine what kind of performance schools you come from,” said Golden.- “And that could be a factor because it kind of rates your transcript.” Not only does the API score rate the school and its students, but it also helps rate the effectiveness of the principal. “The API score is a reflection on the principal and the school as a whole, so obviously it’s important to us to create an opportunity for teachers and students to work to the best of their abilities,” said Golden.
same people we have become like brothers and sisters, that’s how close our bond is,” Tran said. To be in the AVID program, students are required to maintain a 2.0 academic GPA as well as complete the A-G requirements. Along with these requirements, students are taught the Cornell note taking method, organization skills, college and career searching, SAT and ACT preparation, collaborative tutorials with college tutors twice a week, and overall, critical thinking skills. Tran believes these tools have helped her succeed. “I wouldn’t be as motivated to get good grades and to go to college if it weren’t for the skills I learned in AVID,” Tran said. In the past, AVID students have taken two to three college trips per school year. “We get to step on campus and we get an actual feeling of what it’s like being on the campus, which I find is one of the biggest perks,” Tran said. As well as bonding with her peers, Tran has formed a relationship with her AVID teacher Megan DeJesus.
“She has helped me inside of school as well as outside of school. She’s been like a mother to me,” Tran said. DeJesus finds the family atmosphere of AVID to be an important factor. “Over four years you do form a personal attachment and they have become my family as well. I have watched them go through the hardest time of their lives as well as their highest points,” DeJesus said. Hunter stresses the fact that AVID is not a program for at-risk students. Avid is meant for those students in the “academic middle.” “AVID strives to target first generation college students who may not have the same support available to students who have parents who have gone through the four-year college experience,” Hunter said. Tran feels that AVID has given her proper training in becoming college ready. “I really love AVID and I’m grateful that it has helped me grow academically as well as become motivated and confident that I will succeed in college,” Tran said.
students meet A-G requirements by Laney Burke
In a country of opportunity, students are encouraged to pursue all available options—specifically, at RUHS, the A-G courses. To prepare students for the competitive college world, the administration is trying to raise the percent of students completing the A-G course requirements for Cal State Universities and UCs. The school is offering more courses that meet A-G requirements, and the Learning Center provides online classes for students who need to make up a course for either A-G or graduation. “Some students think, ‘It doesn’t matter, I’m just going to El Camino,” Golden said. “But we want students to go into college at the highest level possible.” Counselor Melissa Espinoza agrees. “It’s important not to just do the bare minimum [and] sell yourself short,” she said. While A-G courses are not required to graduate, Golden says that it is a “possibility” that the A-G criteria will align with graduation requirements in the future. In 2009, 41 percent of students graduated with the A-G requirement completed, and the class of 2010 graduated with 48 percent fulfilling A-G criteria. Although Golden is pleased with this progress, the administrators’ goal is to have 70 percent of graduating students meet the A-G requirements by 2013. This objective is part of the administration’s “Beyond the API” program to improve school academics. “We’re promoting college and a collegegoing culture,” Golden said. Starting in middle school, the counselors are presenting students with the A-G criteria and encouraging them to enroll in A-G courses. “The more that students see [the A-G program] and hear it, they’ll see it opens doors and opportunities,” Espinoza said. Espinoza hopes that this repetition of information will sink in so that students starting freshman year will begin to take A-G courses “right off the bat.” Golden encourages all students to complete the A-G requirements, even if they initially do not plan on going to college. “If, by the time you’re a senior, you decide to go to college, you [will] have that option,” Golden said. “You won’t be stuck in one direction.” According to Golden, the A-G courses benefit all students, not just those who are college-bound students. “College is not necessarily for everyone,” Golden said. “[But] everyone wants to do well. Taking A-G coursework is useful in everyday life.” The A-G courses are available to all students every year of high school. “A-G is not meant to track whether a student is college-bound or not,” she said. “We just want to give students more options and choices [after high school].”
Students learn new skills in SoCalROC by Emma Uriarte
He gets ready in the morning and heads off for another day at school. But later, he gets on a bus to go to another school. He doesn’t learn ordinary subjects like math, english or history. Freddy Garcia is taking Automotive Systems. He is one of the many students who attend SCROC. Garcia is in SCROC because he enjoys the hands-on experience that SCROC offers and its courses that give real-life experience. “I like the fact that I am learning a trade which will help me a lot in life,” Garcia said. “Every time we learn something new we have a chance to go out in ‘labs’ and do what we learn.” Garcia thinks his vocational training at SCROC gives him an edge over other students. “I feel like there are many teenagers out there that cannot do the same thing I do at SCROC. That is a big benefit,” Garcia said. SCROC has many courses not offered at RUHS, ranging from Cosmetology to Video Game design. Assistant principal Erin Simon feels that the courses SCROC offers are beneficial to students. “[The courses] help students who want to
emerge into the working world straight out of high school because four year college may not be for everyone,” Simon said. Although some students find travelling off campus difficult, Garcia doesn’t see this as a big obstacle. Simon notes that most students see it as a break from boring school life. “Lots of students like getting off campus because they are able to get up and do other things,” she said Simon also thinks that travelling off campus to attend classes gives them life skills the students will need to know once they enter the working world. “[Getting to class] is what gets them tools to get on the right bus and get somewhere at the right time,” she said. Simon acknowledges that the school does not have enough money for the tools and insurance required for vocational training. “It’s very difficult to have so many varieties on campus because you need to have so many materials,” she said. Even though he thinks the courses offered at SCROC are very practical and beneficial, Garcia has had to make sacrifices to attend. “There was a choice I had to make which was either staying in football or leaving football for SCROC,” Garcia said, “I could honestly say I made the right choice.”
]Nov. 19, 2010 ]
McAffee rides three buses to school by Victoria Balding
It’s 5:30 a.m. and the air is cold as senior Ja’Val McAffee waits at the first bus stop. One down two more to go. McAffee lives in Gardena and takes the bus to school everyday. “I want to go to Redondo because I don’t want to be surrounded by negative influences and it’s a better education [at Redondo],” she said. McAffee says her trip to school each morning takes her an average of an hour to an hour and a half every day but she is used to the long treck. “I normally take three buses but if I miss the first one I have to walk to the second stop,” she said.
According to McAffee, her parents would like her to attended a local school but would rather her attend the best school possible, which they feel is Redondo. “The closer schools are not up to the standards they want for me,” McAffee said. On days when McAffee runs late, her parents drive her. However, they feel that it is her responsibility to make sure she gets to school on time. “They keep telling me over and over again that I have to get up earlier and catch the bus,” she said. McAffee hopes that she will soon be able to get her license and drive herself to school in order to sleep in and avoid the bus expenses. In order to pay for the daily bus trips McAf-
fee has a bus pass for the Metro and pays out of pocket for the Gardena bus, and according to McAffee it is expensive. “I could get my license right now but the test costs money and so do the classes. In this economy we really don’t have the money for it,” McAffee said. Valeria McAfee, Ja’Val’s mother, doesn’t worry about the money but rather the safety of the bus. “I do not think that the —Ja'Val McAffee bus is safe transportation but we know we raised Ja’Val to be responsible and pray that nothing goes wrong,” she said.
“I want to go to Redondo because I don’t want to be surrounded by negative influences and it’s a better education.”
Students utilize public transportation in the greater Los Angeles area for both transportation and enjoyment.
Fare evasion landed Simon in court
Metro Rail provides effective transportation by Zac Commins
Speeding past the freeway traffic on the 105, the light rail train carries a full load of passengers to the heart of the city. Although many misconceptions of our public transportation system exist, Metro Rail provides simple, economical, and ecological transport to cultural centers of Los Angeles to local residents. In the entertainment capital of world, cars are the chief source of transportation and frustration. But for twenty years the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) has offered an alternative to the pain of Los Angeles traffic. Metro Rail connects the system’s westernmost station at the corner of Marine Avenue and Redondo Beach Avenue in Redondo Beach to social and intellectual hubs of Los Angeles County. The eastbound Green Line to the northbound Blue Line transports riders to the middle of the Financial District in Downtown Los Angeles. As the train comes to a stop toward the end of the Blue Line, riders get a first
glimpse of downtown. Sights surround the passangers such as the recently built unofficial social hub of the city, L.A. Live and Staples Center as well as the Richard Riordan Central Library, one of the country’s most treasured architectural sights, the Music Center, the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the tallest building west of the Mississippi River, the U.S. Bank Tower are just a short trek from the end of the Blue Line. The subterranean, heavy-rail Red and Purple Lines connect the landmark Union Station, the city’s prominent train depot, to the engrossing exposition of Universal City and the notable Miracle Mile District and Museum Row. The Gold Line also transports riders from Union Station to cultural districts of Olvera Street and Chinatown and stretches to the historic Old Pasadena district. Although Metro Rail truly provides an alternative means of transportation to automobiles, some misconceptions of Los Angeles’ public transportation system exist. First, some believe that our rail system is dismissed and not utilized due to its complex nature.
However, on the average weekday, there are over 300,000 trips on the Metro Rail system, according to LACMTA. According to the American Public Transportation Association, the Metro’s light rail system ranks third in the nation in average weekday trips. In fact, Metro Rail is fairly straightforward, especially if an itinerary is planned in advance. Secondly, some believe that riding Metro Rail does not save enough money to justify the loss of freedom that comes with owning a car. However, according to the American Automobile Association, the average person spends $9,498 per year to finance and operate their car. A Metro monthly pass, accepted for both bus and rail, costs $75, or a yearly cost of $900. For those who are able to make the switch, the extra travel time could be worth the savings. In a region immensely dominated by our devotion to cars, Metro Rail offers a welcome alternative that provides a straightforward, cost-effective, and green form of rapid transit to Angelenos.
by Molly Simon
He chuckled. Five seconds ago my sister and I sat in relative comfort, but now our moods shifted to one of shock with a pinch of fear. The officer and his two buddies towered over us, checking our tickets then asking for our information. Two stops from home I had become a criminal. Now, I may be little biased–– thirty-five hours of community service later and I still don’t really do the metro. The idea of a metro system, however, is awesome: cheap, quick, relatively safe, and has worked remarkably well in cities like New York, D.C., Paris, and London. In Los Angeles, though, there seem to be some discrepancies. I found this out the hard way. After a bus ride to Little Tokyo in the morning and a long, sweltering day at the Tofu Festival, my sister, Claire and I made our way back to the bus stop that was supposed to take us home. The bus system had all but stopped as a political rally was going on in the area, so we we trudged up to Hill St., the nearest subway station. Here’s where things get weird: every time you need to switch a train line, you have to buy another ticket, in addition to the flat fare. So to get from the El Segundo stop to downtown, you have to change about three lines, paying an additional fare for each line. To think that I used to wonder why Los Angelinos didn’t utilize public transportation. Anyway, we were just back form a trip to Europe, so I simply assumed that all metro systems charged fares in the same fashion, with just a variation in price. In my 13-year old mind, this seemed a perfectly reasonable assumption. So she and I bought our single tickets and went on our merry way. Flash forward about two hours. It was getting late and the sun was beginning to dip below the buildings we passed. There are points in life where you live in high contrast, where something so beautiful and so hideous combines. The fluorescent orange of that late August day lit up the entire dingy metro car, a beautiful orange box. Then a dark shadow loomed over us. Within a couple seconds, I was sentenced to a hearing in Compton. I always envisioned myself being booked for something like an awesome bank heist or something along those lines, but here I was, a little frightened, mostly angry and stepping onto the platform in El Segundo. I knew I had been gypped. Although I am still a little resentful of my crime, I have to hand it to the metro: for moving so slowly it still can be a wild ride.
2. PHOTOS COURTESY OF ZAC COMMINS
Sightseeing. 1. The Purple Line Train to Wilshire/ Western awaits both tourists ad locals to board. 2. One of the many sights in downtown LA, the Union Station, located across the street from Olvera Street.
] Nov. 19, 2010]
Lopez juggles two jobs and schoolwork by Joanie Schneider
As senior Kayla Lopez walks through the double steel doors at Mattel for another day as an intern, she finds herself thinking about the two other appointments she has for her other job at Vector. Lopez struggles to manage the rigors of school, friends, family and her two jobs, but she feels that her dedication will pay off. She believes that her two jobs will give her many of the skills she needs to be successful in the future. Her job at Vector, a marketing company that sells Cutco branded cutlery, has strengthened her communication skills, and given her the experience she needs in sales. “At Vector, I basically make appointments with people, go to their houses, and show them the Cutco knives and tell them why they should buy it,” Lopez said. Lopez believes that working with Vector offers great work experience for high school students who want to explore future career options. “Once I am experienced in sales, I can use [the experience] in other jobs in the future, such as set designing for movie productions,” Lopez said. This opportunity caught Lopez offguard, because she had never thought of having such a job. But once the company offered her a job at Vector, she gladly accepted. “My friend actually recommended me for the job and it was perfect. It helped me financially and it is a great way to make use of my time,” Lopez said. Working at Vector has helped her realize the ups and downs associated with work, just like interning Mattel. “I have been learning time management. I get out of school at 12:20 p.m. I
“There are some days that I feel so exhausted that I just want to throw in the towel, but I can’t. When I make a commitement I follow through.” —Kayla Lopez
PHOTO BY JONATHAN MARTIN
Welcome to the family business Work is a family affair for Lewis who works alongside her parents at their restaurant. by Allie Goldberg
Her alarm clock goes off, and she wants to sleep in. Instead, she gets out of bed and rushes over to her family owned restaurant, L&L Hawaiian Barbecue, where she prepares for the day ahead. Senior Krystle Lewis has worked for her parents ever since the restaurant opened about two years ago. “It’s really stressful working for my parents,” she said. “If I mess up, I don’t just let down a boss. I let down my own family.” Krystle believes that working at L&L has opened up her mind to the world and people around her. “I’ve really watched the way people interact with each other,” she said. “If I go into a restaurant now, I’m never going to be rude and send my plate back three times. I know how annoying it is.” Krystle believes that working and running a restaurant is a lot more work than people assume it to be. “A lot of people don’t understand what it takes to run a restaurant. It’s not just cooking the food and then giving it to the customer. A lot of energy goes into preparing little things like cup sizes, teriyaki sauce, or just getting everything together,” she said. Lewis believes that the responsibility she has learned through this work will help her in many aspects of her life. “[Working at the restaurant] is like having a
go home and eat and walk my neighbor’s dog, and right away I go to Mattel and intern there until 4:30 p.m. I set appointments for my work with Vector after arriving home from Mattel,” Lopez said. Lopez feels like she doesn’t have a lot of time to relax because of her two commitments. “Unfortunately, I don’t have any [free] time. I do homework in the mornings or late evenings. My parents are very strict about me being a good student so I take school very seriously,” Lopez said. At times, the pressure of juggling both school and her jobs can be too much for Lopez. “There are some days that I feel so exhausted that I just want to throw in the towel, but I can’t. When I make a com- by Taylor Ballard mitment I follow through,” she said. Sophomore Anjali Read stares at the Lopez receives support from her family vibrant turquoise walls of her mother’s and friends. “I show my parents how well I am do- boutique, Munas Madness, as she stacks ing with all my responsibilities and they up the boxes overflowing with blouses and dresses. It is here that she has realized support me through it all,” she said. Lopez finds her family to be a big sup- her love of fashion. Read would like to have her own clothporter of all the activities that she has ing store in the future, but her ambition committed herself to. “Kayla is very outgoing. Her fast paced does not stop there: she wants to see her schedule is tough on her but both her and clothes on the runway as well. “I don’t want one of those small, mall I know that it will have many benefits in the future,” her mother, Leslie Lopez stores. I want to be iconic,” Reed said. While her mother’s boutique was not said. Mrs. Lopez has a deep respect for her successful is staying in business, Read bedaughter and believes that her future lieves she can use much of her experience business ventures in the fashion industry working there to strengthen her own fashion career. will succeed. “It taught me a lot of responsibility. It “Kayla is an ambitious, disciplined, and extremely motivated young woman. also helped me become a little wiser about Her dad and I are very proud of the per- owning a shop as well as buying inventory, managing time, and organizing,” son she has become,” she said. Kayla does not regret taking on so Read said. Already trained in buying inventory, many responsibilities. She believes the she feels confident that she will be able outcomes of her hard work are gratifying to make her fashion business work in the enough. “It is a lot of pressure at times but it’s future. “I’ve been raised to always be confident definitely worth it. In the future I will be able to look back and smile and say I ac- with myself. Wanting to be iconic in the complished this to the maximum of my fashion industry just makes me want to keep going even more,” Read said. ability,” she said. The learning experience she obtained
child. You are always caring for something else that needs to be taken care of constantly,” she said. Lewis appreciates the skills that working with her parents has given her. “It’s different working for my family, but this is a great start for me. I feel like this experience will prepare me for any job I have in the future,” she said. Lewis believes that the restaurant sometimes creates unnecessary tension and issues in her family. “Either my mom, my dad, or I am always working. We don’t really have too much time to all be together,” Lewis said. “Sometimes they can be hard on me. One time I got grounded because I showed up to work and my shirt was wrinkled.” Larry Lewis, Krystle’s father, explained that with a family owned business, it is important that everyone has a very clear and specific role. “It goes bad when one person tries to control everything. We all need to have patience. It’s really hard because sometimes somebody else is not doing something the way you like to do it,” he said. Mr. Lewis believes that having family employees is beneficial when it comes to leaving the restaurant. “Last weekend my wife and I were able to go watch our son play football,” he said. “It’s nice knowing that Krystle is watching everything. She opens, closes, and we just know that family will always take care of our business.”
According to Mr. Lewis, Krystle has learned a lot of responsibility by working in the family business. “The restaurant gives her a chance to step up and see what real life is like. Sometimes kids are sheltered a little bit in school,” Mr. Lewis said. Mr. Lewis gets a lot of positive comments about Krystle’s Hawaiian work. BBQ “When we left, the pizza man next door told us how L&L great she was,” he said. “Another customer told me that Location: her daughter in law school 1821 South could not run the restaurant Catalina, Redondo the way Krystle does.” Beach Although Krystle does not want to pursue a career in the Type of food: food industry, Mr. Lewis beHawaiian lieves that this job will benefit Barbecue is her in anything that she does. a fusion of Asian and “She has learned a lot of the American business aspect of it,” he said. dishes. “I know that Krystle wants to be a nurse. I know there are lots of responsibilities in both jobs, and this definitely has given her a lot of the skills she needs.” Overall, Mr. Lewis believes that this restaurant is beneficial to everybody. “It really nice to see the kids working and giving back,” he said. “Krystle really applies herself and will do well in anything she does.”
As one door closes for Reed, another one opens from working at the boutique did not stop at life lessons but carried into her relationship with her mom. She feels they became closer through the business. “It made me feel mature and excited that my mom trusted me with the responsibility,” Read said. While their relationship strengthened, the business weakened due to the economy and her lack of time, which forced her mother, Yamuna Read, to close the shop. “I had a lot of amazing and loyal customers but most were either loosing their jobs or already had,” Mrs. Read said. “I also have younger children and with all the driving the older girls need, I was out of the shop a lot. Retail is very time consuming and it was something that I began prematurely.” While the shop is closed for now, Mrs. Read plans to reopen it when the economy improves and her daughters get older. With her mother’s dreams still alive, Anjali has a newfound inspiration. Her desire to be a fashion icon has followed her for some time now, and she is determined to make it a reality. “I’ve wanted to be known [in fashion] since I was in fourth grade,” she said. Her desire to be an icon was accom-
Dress up. After her mother’s shop, Munas Madness, closed, sophomore Anjali Reed realized her dream of opening a boutique of her own in the future. She believes that her experience working at her mother’s shop has provided her with the skills and experience she needs to open a successful shop and pursue her love of fashion. PHOTO COURTESY OF ANJALI REED
panied by countless sketches of clothing designs that she hoped to make into a reality. According to Anjali, her inspiration first came from her grandfather who designs clothes for his own fashion line, Dean Alan Lifestyles. “I started out just being around my grandfather helping him in the showrooms, doing sample sales,” she said. “Then when I got a little older I started reading fashion magazines and getting interested in the world of fashion.” As a little girl, Anjali would help her grandfather in the showrooms. She was
captivated and inspired by her surroundings. “Everyone was always so polished and nice and I loved it. It was always full of important people. I always felt important and grown up just being there. It was always very busy during sample sales which is when I got to learn how to place orders,” she said. With years of experience and a strong passion for the business, Anjali is ready to help her mom get the boutique open and running again. “I’ll help not only because she’s family but because I enjoy it,” Anjali said.
]Nov. 19, 2010]
Series significant to youth culture By Camille Duong
It’s finally here — what the nation and the world has been so eagerly waiting for. No longer will we have to sit on the edge of our seats waiting. Today is the day Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 premieres. With the release of this movie, a chapter of this generation’s childhood is coming to a close. It marks the end of an era: the era of magic and adventure. There will no longer be excitement in the air for a new book or movie (with the exception of Part 2). A chapter of our lives has come to an end. Fortunately, there is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida and Whimsic Alley in Los Angeles to preserve the magic of Harry Potter. These type of places keep the magic alive now that the series has ended. Millions of people have been enchanted by the magical adventures shared by Harry, Ron, and Hermione from saving the Sorcerer’s Stone, defeating the basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets, fighting off hundreds of dementors, winning the Triwizard Tournament, and finding all the horcruxes to finally defeat Voldemort. Let’s face it; everyone has fantasized about what it would be like to go to Hogwarts. Do you belong in Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin? What would it be like to play Quidditch? The Harry Potter books are more than just books; they have become a part of our lives. There are fan sites and blogs dedicated to this topic alone. People have even created Harry Potter parodies. Don’t act like you haven’t seen Harry Potter Puppet pals. There is just so much about this series to be loved. From the game of Quidditch to the strange creatures such as house elves, the series has been able to stimulate the imaginations of millions of people. Kids reading this at a young age have the ability to believe in magic with an open mind. They have the ability to become part of the story. As the series and production of new movies draws to a close, many people still try to hold on to the magic they felt initially from the series. To those who grew up reading the novels, it is more than just a book. We try to hold onto the series because of the magic we felt growing up with it. It also means that, for most of us, we are becoming adults now too, and we are still trying to hold on to that part of our childhood. Harry Potter grew up and so have we.
The Final Countdown
Whimsic Alley brings magical world to life By Molly Simon
There’s a way to get to Diagon Alley without tapping on a brick wall or using Floo Powder. Whimsic Alley is literally a real-life representation of the famed wizarding shopping center, Diagon Alley. The Los Angeles-based store offers any and all Harry Potter memorablilia, sweets, costumes and more. Whimsic Alley’s wide variety of costumes — for any character from teachers to students to Death Eaters — is impressive, as well as their wide variety of candy and movie selec-
by Annica Stitch
For most diehard Harry Potter fans, anything is more fun when it is Potterthemed. The Harry Potter-themed scavenger hunt held at the Getty Center runs this Saturday following the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I premiere. The Getty Center continues to satisfy visitors’ educational needs even when the center is overrun by frenzied parents, children and other Harry Potter fans. The scavenger hunt seems to be a way to draw more people into the museum, while collecting an unusually large amount of money for the museum. A visit to the Getty Center usually only costs $15 for parking, but in order to participate in the scavenger hunt, participants are
As the wheels turn faster against the ramp beneath them, the two bikers begin to cross the line between safe and dangerous. Their grips on their bikes tighten and their palms sweat as the adrenaline courses through their bodies. Only when the tires hit the ground is the stunt finally complete. Senior Kenny Hicks and junior Santiago Saucedo enjoy riding BMX and dirt bikes as a way of pushing their limits and learning new skills. After his father introduced him to BMX and bike riding as a child, Hicks discovered his passion.
December 14, a white elephant gift exchange with a Harry Potter twist. Whimsic Alley enchants and excites, and is a great passage into the impossible world of Harry Potter. Whimsic Alley 5464 Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles. Store Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday CLOSED Monday-Tuesday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday-Friday
Getty hosts Harry Potter-themed scavenger hunt on Saturday
Saucedo and Hicks seek adrenaline through BMX By Cammille Mitchell
tion. The real attraction of the store, though, is the atmosphere. The shop is decorated like the stores in the books and simply brings the general feel of Rowling’s world to life. Costumed patrons roam the aisles and the employees are just as into the series as the shoppers. Whimsic Alley is not just reserved to selling memorabilia; it also acts as a hub for the fans in the Los Angeles area. They host events at the Harry Potter movie premieres and have other themed events at the store, like the upcoming “White Hippogriff Exchange” on
“I just like riding because it’s fun and an adrenaline rush. It’s the only thing that feels natural,” Hicks said. Saucedo became interested in BMX after seeing Hicks test stunts at a park. The boys travel around to different parts of the Los Angeles area together as a team called Soldiers of Havoc. “We just push each other back and forth to learn new tricks. It makes us compete with each other and pumps us up a lot more when we ride together,” Hicks said. Through BMX riding, Saucedo has found a feeling that he hasn’t experienced in any other sport. “I’ve done a lot of other sports and BMX
PHOTOS COURTESY OF KENNY HICKS
Living for the thrill. Senior Kenny Hicks and junior Santiago Saucedo practice their stunts.
tops all of them. The feeling is unexplainable,” Saucedo said. Aside from competing with their team, the boys get to test their skills at competitions and have opportunities to win awards. Hicks placed 13 out of 50 in the Vans BMX Competition. Despite the frequent hospital visits and fainting from injuries, Hicks finds that his injuries are all a part of the process of learning and putting in hard work. “Getting hurt is a big downside but it also gives you motivation to get up and try again,” Hicks said. As the boys push their limits and test their strength and accuracy, the results are empowering and instill confidence to keep them going, according to Hicks and Santiago. “The feeling of doing something over and over until you get it feels good. You’re practically beating yourself up until you get it,” Hicks said. Like Hicks, Saucedo appreciates the lessons BMX has to offer and learns from both the positive and negative consequences of the sport. “I’ve dislocated my index finger and toe and cracked my knee but it’s still worth it even though sometimes those injuries affect my riding,” Saucedo said. Saucedo isn’t expecting a career out of his dangerous hobby but is open to the possibilities BMX offers. “Hopefully I will do really well and if it takes me somewhere I’ll just go along with it,” Saucedo said.
charged an additional $18. Watson Adventures: Scavenger Hunt Los Angeles is the organization charging participants for the hunt, not the Getty Center. Although clues are witty and relate to the series, one shouldn’t expect anything other than the ordinary exhibitions already featured at the Getty Center. The extra charge to run around with a bunch of parents and their children to look at the same art one could see on any other day would be better spent on a ticket to the midnight viewing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The scavenger hunt is fun for Harry Potter fans, but the artwork can be seen on any other day free of charge.
]Nov. 19, 2010]
Putting for par
One foot in front of the other
In the face of defeat, girl’s golf focuses on personal improvements rather than the win.
For sophomore Deric Ryan, it’s not about what place he gets, but how much he improves.
by Julie Tran
The glare of sunshine seeps in over the horizon, a swing is off, and someone has scored too high. This is often the case for girls’ golf. However, over the years, they have been winning more matches and they are starting to grow as a program. According to the team, last season they went into many games knowing they were probably going to lose. But, for them, it is never about the win. It is about the satisfaction of achieving personal goals. Coaches John Burke and John Gonzales always encourage the girls to set goals for themselves during practice and before a match. “It keeps us more focused,” sophomore Jenny Oetzell said. “So, really, the only thing that matters is that our skills and techniques, like swing, have improved.” Common goals include avoiding shooting double pars, lowering scoring averages, increasing fairway shots, and lowering putts per green in regulation. “Even if we didn’t win a particular match, someone on the team could’ve had a great game and reached a personal goal,” Oetzell said. The same applies to junior varsity and its freshmen, many of which are new to the sport. Burke hopes that when they move up
“Even if we didn’t win a particular match, someone on the team could’ve had a great game and reached a personal goal,” – Jenny Oetzell
to varsity they will improve even more. “No one person carries the team,” sophomore Brittany Shankar said. “We work together and go out there with great confidence regardless.” According to Oetzell, the frustration of a loss is rarely present after games. “The atmosphere is extremely supportive,” Oetzell said. “If we didn’t motivate each other to excel, then the team would go nowhere.” The girls are in constant communication with each other during games and especially after, when there is time to reflect. They continue to study and learn from each others’ mistakes in hopes of defeating the best teams in Bay League one day. “I know my girls will always be there for me,” Shankar said. “Especially in the end, when I leave Palos Verdes in the dust. Things like that keep me going.”
by David Kawa
PHOTO BY JAKE COLLINS
Ready to go. Seniors Sean Towns and Brian Tran sit in the locker room during half time in a game at Millikan high school in Long Beach. Tran has played football all four years without starting, but remains dedicated to the team.
Sitting, waiting, wishing After practicing everyday for seven months of the year, and four long years of dedication, senior Brian “Tranimal” Tran has had to persevere through the disappointment of not starting on the football team. by Allison Salazar
It was the end of the third quarter. The feeling in his gut grew, and the disappointment set in. Senior Brian Tran didn’t think he was going to get to play at all, during last year’s playoff game against Knight High School. The next thing he knew he heard his coach yell, “Tran get in the game,” and he jumped into position, as he focused on the play. All of a sudden he was in the air and he intercepted a pass. All the long hours of practice finally paid off, and he basked in his glory. “Sometimes I do feel like I’m wasting my time but I don’t let it get to my head,” he said. “I just brush it off because at anytime, at any moment, there’s a chance I can get in and do something special.” Head football coach Gene Simon believes this was Tran’s “Rudy moment” and that it was an important part of him growing as a player. “He was probably a guy who doubted his physical abilities, but now he’s a guy that is reliable and his teammates come to him,” he said. Tran has been playing football since his freshman year and alternates between cornerback and wide receiver. He believes training is essential and has never missed practice. “I take my positions very seriously,” he said. “I play football because it teaches me how to be a team player and how to
work with others to reach one single goal: to win.” Simon has noticed that Tran is a lot more confident this year because he has more experience and he uses it to help the other players. “Football has brought out a physically and mentally tougher side of him and he has learned humility,” he said. The long hours of practice has helped Tran form close friendships with his teammates. His friendships motivate him to continue playing, although he does not get much playing time. “I don’t let it distract me as a football player. I’m one of the most patient players on the team. I believe if anyone works hard at something they love to do, their time will come to show their abilities,” he said. As a result, his teammates have started calling him “Tranimal.” Senior Sean Towns has seen the improvement in Tran’s performance and focus. He agrees with Simon and also believes that Tran is more athletically and mentally prepared. “His nickname defines him. He’s not a rookie anymore; he knows what he is doing. Whenever he gets a chance he gives his best in every game,” he said. With the multitude of players, Simon finds it difficult to get every player enough game time. However, he believes that each individual player’s commitment is essential for the team. “It’s not really fair that they put in all
the effort and are not rewarded for it,” he said. “Playing well helps to closely knit the team but more than that, the day to day commitment is a fundamental part to our success.” Tran understands that the coaches can’t include every player during each game, but values the time they put in to help each player improve. “The coaches do their best to include everyone. Their decisions are best for the team and sometimes not everybody gets in. We are all on the same page which is to win,” he said. “I appreciate their honesty and I try to learn from the constructive criticism they give.” Although Tran has not been able to play as much as he wants to, he has learned important lessons through his experiences. “I learned to never give up, to always persist to my full potential at everything I do and to never take anything for granted,” he said. Despite the long hours he spends practicing, Tran appreciates the impact football has had on him throughout high school. “I feel like anything is possible if you stick to it and to never give up; that’s how I earned my nickname ‘Tranimal,’” he said. “When I look back at my memories I will remember my high school football experience forever,”
Pushing through the pain by Jessi Shipley
PHOTO BY MOLLY SIMON
Two minutes left to go. The score is tied, 3-3. She receives the pass, evades a defender and scores. As she walks off the field she’s not concentrated on the roar of the crowd. All sophomore Tonya Gonzalez can feel is the sharp pain in her knee. Gonzalez, a varsity soccer player, has been suffering from a torn patellar tendon in her knee but has not let that stop her from leading her multiple soccer teams to victory. “Scoring the goal is always the best part of playing soccer but it’s hard to celebrate the accomplishment of winning the game knowing you have increased your injury
even more,” she said. Even though the enormous pain in her knee is overwhelming, she continues to play on three different teams.
“I don’t feel the pain when I’m in the game... nothing else matters,” – Tonya Gonzalez “The pain sucks, and people tell me it’s stupid for me to play, but that’s not what matters to me. All I care about is playing the game, because that’s what makes me happy,” she said. Her discomfort causes her to change everything she does, the way she walks, the way she acts, and the things she gets to do, but she never lets it change the way she plays. “I don’t feel the pain when I play. When I’m in the game, I’m in the game, nothing else
matters,” Gonzalez said. Though she gives it her all in practices in games, she still worries about the consequences of pushing her knee too far. “It’s really frustrating for me to know that if I go all out, I am taking the risk of permanently damaging my knee,” she said. She knows that she needs to be cautious of her knee but realizes that she has to do what makes her happy. “Soccer is what keeps me grounded. Through my life people have come and gone and things have changed, but soccer is the one thing that’s always stayed the same. I know that I have to push through all this pain and be me,” Gonzalez said.
Sophomore Tonya Gonzalez and senior Taylor Bongiovanni push themselves to the limit everyday, even while risking further long-term injury.
by Jessi Shipley
One hit. Just one blow to the back of the knee has made a huge impact on the way senior Taylor Bongiovanni plays football. Because of one bad hit by the opposing team, Bongiovanni has to deal with the deep pain in his knee for the rest of the season. Even though Bongiovanni’s torn meniscus puts him in pain, he continues to play. “I don’t know what I’d do with myself if I didn’t have football,” he said. “I can’t let one injury determine the rest of my season.” He doesn’t let it stop him from doing what he loves the most. “I practice and play on my knee because I love the game,” he said. “I have learned to ignore the pain, no matter how bad it is.” His passion for the sport helps him tough it through his injury and deal with the pain,
PHOTO BY JON MARTIN
His chest heaves and his legs wobble from exhaustion. Crossing the finish line in last place, sophomore Deric Ryan is proud that he has given the race his all. Ryan appreciates the competitive experience of Cross Country no matter how he places. “I’m usually in the back. It doesn’t make me feel any lesser. I’m not sad because I still get to hang out with my friends no matter how well I do,” he said. He feels that all he can really do is try his best. “I always try my hardest. Even if I’m not going the fastest, I’m still giving it my all,” he said. Ryan struggles to overcome his allergies which cause his breathing issues during races. “When I’m running, I can’t breath through my nose because it’s congested. It’s a pain to breath only through my mouth, but it’s just what I have to do,” he said. Although both he and his sister, senior Kelly Ryan, run on the team, Ryan does not feel trapped in his sister’s shadow. “I don’t feel compared to my sister at all. She is way better and faster,” he said. Kelly is proud of her brother’s persistence. “He’s not the best runner, but he finishes his races and does all the training. It shows that he doesn’t give up,” she said. The team also notices Ryan’s tireless work ethic. “He sets his own goals to keep his encouragement up during both training and the races. He perseveres by setting individual goals and improving his personal best instead of comparing himself to others,” coach Julie Ferron said. Even when he is struggling, Ryan knows that his team supports him. “It makes me feel good that they don’t criticize me. When I do make a mistake, they don’t get on me for it. They just push me to get better in every race,” he said. Ryan’s positive attitude helps him keep focused on the future and helps him set his own personal goals. “Maybe I get last in one race, but I just tell myself, ‘beat this person,’ and in the next race I can maybe do better. I just keep reminding myself that there is always another race,” he said. The team recognizes and appreciates Ryan’s hard work and cheer him on at every meet, despite what place he’s in. “The Cross Country team supports every member. Even though it’s not easy for him, he never gives up. It shows that even if he is not a top runner, he still works hard,” Ferron said.
but he is still cautious of what he does and how he uses his knee. “Really every play it hurts but I’ve learned to just play through it,” he said. “And when I play on it in the game, I have to always watch out for being hit again. I can never go full speed unless I get surgery and recover.” Getting surgery would stop him from playing at all, and according to Bongiovanni, he won’t let that happen.
“I had to learn to ignore the pain, no matter how bad it gets,” – Taylor Bongiovanni “I’ve learned that you just need to keep fighting and in the end you’ll be very pleased with yourself. You never know what you’re capable of until you try,” he said. Bongiovanni’s injury makes him work harder and put more into football, making him appreciate it even more. “It’s the love of the game and how competitive I am that keeps me going. I just can’t wait for Friday nights under the lights, bringing all that you have worked for to the table. It’s the greatest feeling ever,” he said.
]Nov. 19, 2010]
One more shot at Costa
After losing their Bay League title, XC faces Costa again, hoping for redemption.
by Olivia Loveland
Girls’ volleyball will play Long Beach Poly in the CIF Championships on Saturday.
by Kimberly Chapman and Zachary Zent
PHOTO BY JAKE COLLINS
The girls’ volleyball team will attempt to take home the CIF championship for the first time since beating Mira Costa in 2006. The girls are headed to Cypress College tomorrow night to take on Long Beach Poly. Coach Tommy Chaffins believes the girls have been successful this season due to their determination and motivation. “We have not wasted five minutes of any practice. Their attention to detail and willingness to work hard is what has gotten us this far,” he said. In preparation for the championship, Chaffins is preparing the team by continuing to have intense practices and by studying film on their final opponent, Long Beach Poly. “We try not to change our routine since we are doing so well, but we are going to control what we can control and keep continuing to play our game,” he said. The team finally has another chance to play Long Beach Poly after losing a “disappointing” game to the team earlier this season. Senior Lara Dykstra said that in this upcoming rematch, the team is really “coming for them” and are going to give it their all. “We have been thinking about replaying them for so long and its finally time. We are ready,” she said. According to Chaffins, Lakewood was a phenomenal team with great players and great coaching, but the girl’s were on a roll Tuesday and played great.
Serving and passing continues to be “the name of their game,” according to Chaffins. “This game was so successful because our servers really set the tone, they were extremely aggressive,” he said. Chaffins also adds that Lara Dykstra was a key player, who had 29 kills in the match. “It was one of the finest performances I have ever witnessed in all of girls high school volleyball,” he said. Dykstra believes that the momentum they had from the beginning helped them reach their main goal of the games which was to play fast and loose. “We are just going to continue playing Redondo volleyball and do everything we need to reach our goals,” she said. Junior Tiffany Morales believes that the team had great tenacity during the match. “We are continuing to push ourselves to get better and better after every play,” she said. Lara Dykstra and Senior Blake O’Brien knew that the team had to stay focused on themselves before they began focus on their opponent. “We made sure that we didn’t get discouraged if something didn’t go our way or if we let a ball slip,” Dykstra said. The girls continue to work hard and will never give up, according to Dykstra. “We are just fighting for every play like it’s our last,” she said.
David vs. Goliath
After losing to Mira Costa, football plays St. Bonaventure in the first round of CIF playoffs tonight.
by Matthew Brancolini
The bus is dead silent as the players stare out the window at the passing cars on the busy freeway. Coaches discuss strategy for the upcoming game in hushed whispers at the front of the bus. The tension is thick and the pressure is on. This is the playoffs. Redondo, 3-2 in Bay League, will travel to Ventura tonight to play St. Bonaventure, 8-1in Marmonte league, in the first round of the CIF Southern Section playoffs. St. Bonaventure is currently ranked 5th in the state and 37th nationally. “They’re a good team,” senior Gyo Shojima said. “They’re well coached and very talented. They execute everything well. We’re just going to hit them with what we’ve got and see what happens.” Redondo will not alter their usual game plan going into Friday’s game. “We’re not going to change a whole bunch offensively or defensively,” head coach Gene Simon said. “You can’t rewrite your entire playbook for one game. Our plays will work well against them if we execute. We’re going to stick to what we know best.” Although Redondo is considered a huge underdog, the team feels like they have a chance going into the game, according to senior Jonathan Orozco.
PHOTO BY MAX PITTMAN
On attack. Senior Drew Wright runs with the ball in last Friday’s game against Mira Costa. Redondo lost 25-0.
“We have to go up against a highly ranked team. All odds are against us. We might beat them if they let their guard down and if we play like a team with nothing to lose. We’re not ruling out an upset. It might be my last football game ever and I’m going to give it my all,” Orozco said. Orozco played most of last Friday’s 25-0 home loss to Mira Costa after injuries to senior Jon Miller and junior Samuel BenAmor depleted the offensive line. “I felt confident when I came in. I know the plays and what to do for them,” Orozco said, “We actually had a good drive going until an unfortunate penalty ruined our momentum.” In addition to Orozco, Shojima had to switch from offensive tackle to center after Miller left the game with a leg injury. “I was actually excited. I’ve always wanted to play center. I played center the last two years and I was used to it.” Overall, coach was pleased with the effort of Orozco and Shojima and with his team’s effort in general. “I’m proud of the way they stepped in and did the best that they could. That’s all you can ask for. Our guys tried hard but just weren’t ready offensively to penetrate Costa’s defense. We just couldn’t move the ball. They’ve had a stingy defense all year and Friday night was no exception,” Simon said. The injuries to the line did have a huge impact of Redondo’s play selection during the game, according to Simon. “Losing Miller affected how we blocked Tavai [Mira Costa’s First Team All Bay League defensive tackle]. We hoped Miller would compete well against Tavai. After we lost Miller we had to run the ball less and we became one dimensional.” Redondo’s defense was the bright spot of the night. The defense held Costa to only 79 yards of offense in the second half. “Our defense was really sound. They held them to 3 field goals instead of touchdowns and shut them out for the entire second half. They really only allowed one big play, which was a great individual effort on the Costa player’s part,” Simon said. The upcoming game holds special importance because it could be the final game of the seniors’ careers. “It’s a major event in terms of their athletic careers. It could be the last time they ever step foot on a football field as a player. They’re all aware of what this means,” Simon said For this game, the seniors feel especially motivated. “If it’s my last game ever I want to know I went out there and did the best I could,” Orozco said. Shojima added, “Since it might be my final game in high school, I just want to go out and have fun and play football.”
Tomorrow morning the girls’ cross country will be competing at Mt. SAC for the CIF-SS Championship title. The top three teams in the California over all the divisions are in Division II, including Redondo, Mira Costa, and Saugus. “Anytime we compete against Mira Costa, of course there is strong motivation on both teams to win,” senior Laura O’Neill said. This is the first time Redondo will compete against Saugus, currently ranked 1st in state. “Our girls have shown throughout the entire season that we have depth. And that when our girls are on, no other team as been able to beat them,” coach Julie Ferron said. They have seemed to brush off their shaky Bay League Finals loss by winning their CIF preliminary heat last Saturday. “The varsity girls ran under control as a pack as planned. We were not trying to set course times but just to qualify first in our heat for CIF Finals this Saturday,” O’Neill said. According to Ferron, the team is “hungry” for a win and should not be underestimated against Saugus. “The Girls are motivated and determined to run the race they are capable of as they showed in the first two Bay League Meets,” Ferron said. With competition from teams ranked 1st and 3rd in the state, this will be a preview for what the state meet will hold next week. “It is more meaningful to win a CIF Division II title since the top teams in the state are all from the Southern Section Division II,” O’Neill said. What is shaping up to be the most competitive race of the day tomorrow, the girls have their shot to redeem themselves with a CIF Championship. “Our team is planning to go out and dictate the pace early in the race and make sure our pack stays intact,” O’Neill said.
Cara the Issue Ulizio
Athlete of by Laura Shodall
She sees the finish line from afar. She’s exhausted, gasping for breath, but she wills herself to push forward. It’s those last few strides, last few seconds, last push of adrenaline that counts. As she crosses the line, she smiles triumphantly. Another solid race. As a sophomore, Cara Ulizio is one of cross country’s best varsity runners. “I feel privileged and lucky to be on such a great team,” she said. “I am honored to be running with upper classmen girls who have experience in the sport.” According to Ulizio, she feels ‘blessed’ to have the opportunity, but the demands are ‘rigorous.’ “[The upper classmen] have a positive influence on me,” she said. “but it requires me to train hard each day and compete with all that I have, giving back both mentally and emotionally as we support each other.” Ulizio says that dedication is the biggest factor to her success in the sport. “You have to train in all kinds of weather, locations, and schedules,” she said. “I have to make sacrifices to fit in time for running.” Ulizio depends on her family for the demands that are associated with varsity running. “My family supports my decision to pursue cross country and they keep me healthy,” she said. “They support me at meets and cheer me on.” Junior Rachel Bush admires Ulizio’s dedication to the sport. “She is always mentally there and she can keep up with [the varsity girls],” she said. Ulizio has found her niche, and is fully dedicated to the sport she loves. “ I enjoy every moment of participating in cross country and look forward to what is to come in the next two years” she said. “I thank God for my ability and truly feel blessed to be able to express myself through running for Redondo.” PHOTO BY JAKE COLLINS
DRUGGED UP aulson
by Cameron P
with addiction, re s le p p ra g t en d u Anonymous st with drug abuse. le g g ru st ss le d en covery, and the
started with a cigarette, escalated to marijuana, spiraled down to pills, and hit the bottom with an acid trip. Senior Chelsea Rose* lives her life each day with the thought of drugs always on her mind. “The thought of knowing I can escape to something whenever I want is always taunting me,” Rose said, “If I have a problem, or something isn’t right in my life, [drugs] are always there to comfort me.” Rose’s exposure to drugs started when she was thirteen. “My brother got me started with cigarettes and then slowly to weed and it all took off from there,” Rose said, “I’ve experienced many things at a young age that other people haven’t.” Rose’s brother *John Rose, four years older than her, regrets his decision to ever introduce her to the “drug world.” “I had no idea that one puff of a cigarette or one hit from a bong could do so much to a little girl,” John said, “I feel like I’ve lost my sister, and it’s all my fault.” Rose’s exposure to many drugs makes her “open minded” and has “changed her perspective of the world,” yet she has become increasingly paranoid.
the November 19th, 2010 Features Magazine
[continued on back] * denotes that name has been changed in order to protect source’s identity
PHOTO BY JONATHAN MARTIN
Nov. 19, 2010
Joshua Houston ended his relationship with his drug-addicted father a year ago. by Taylor Ballard
Sophomore Joshua Houston has never known a real father. He has only known a man who called himself a “father”. Houston lost the struggle for a relationship with him due to his father’s uncontrollable addiction to steroids and narcotics. Houston’s father has been addicted to steroids, sleeping pills, and pain pills for over 25 years. These substances caused him to have bouts of anger and sudden changes in mood. While Houston’s father never physically abused him, his father was extremely verbally abusive. “I hated it. I hated the fact that I couldn’t do anything except cry in my room. I was about 10 and I would get angry. My heart would pound. I would cry and I wanted him to die. Nothing was ever good, only civil,” Houston said. While the hurtful comments directed towards his mother affected Houston, he learned to ignore the hurtful things directed at him. “Nothing he said to me really mattered because it wasn’t like we ever just sat around and had a conversation. We talked on business terms and that was it. If something in the house was broken he would let me know. That was our relationship,” Houston said. Houston and his mother moved away
from his father a year ago and have not spoken to him since. According to Houston, he does not miss his father and prefers things the way they are. Houston says things are better for him at home now that he is separated from his father because he no longer has to deal with his mood swings. “He threw an ice pack at me once, threw water on my cats, and kicked my mom and I out of the house at least three times,” Houston said. Houston’s mother, Robin Houston, feels similarly about the situation in regards to her son. “He is much better off without his father in his life. Joshua has a lot of positive male figures [around him]. His life is full of love, support, and praise and in spite of everything he continues to excel in school,” she said. According to Robin, the change was positive for her as well. “It wasn’t hard at all. It was a welcomed thing because when you come from so much pain you welcome something new and good, or just a change in your life,” she said. Robin feels Joshua is better off without his father and does not feel the situation has affected him very much. “It may make him more anti-drugs, but because of the way he was raised I don’t think it affected him. I think it will make him a better father. I know he will never desert his children even if he isn’t married to or married to the mother,” she said. Joshua agrees with his mother and doubts it changed who he became as a person. He thinks of himself as a nice person and does not feel he would be any different if his father were not addicted
to drugs. “My father’s drug addiction just makes me want to stay away from any sort of drug because I’ve seen what they’ve done. It also made me more resilient to pain,” he said. While Joshua does not like his father, he does not harbor feelings that would make him confront his father in person if he got the chance. “I am somewhat resentful, but I’m not sitting around plotting how I can hurt him. Basically, I’m just trying to be the bigger person,” he said. While his relationship with his father is nonexistent, Joshua still has strong bonds with other family members, such as his mother and grandparents.
“We’ve always been close. [My mom is] like a best friend. My dad being the way he is has made us more independent and made us look on the bright side when things are tough,” he said. Although Joshua wondered at times what having a caring father would be like, he has since accepted the strong relationships that he does have. “I used to hope my dad would change when I was younger and I would wonder what having a dad would be like. I wondered what it would be like to have someone to play catch with. I didn’t really care for catch but I wondered about the concept of that kind of relationship. Now I don’t care about the idea and I know he’ll never change,” he said.
PHOTO COURTESY OF JOSHUA HOUSTON
Lost relationship. Joshua Houston’s father poses with him as an infant. His father’s addiction to pills and sterroids has kept them from having a fulfilling relationship.
Nov. 19, 2010
smoke Senior Carlton Nguyen coexists with an older brother that is addicted to drugs. by Nicolas Cruz
There is a stranger that lives in Carlton Nguyen’s home. Nguyen eats with him, lives with him, and sleeps in the same house. The painful irony is that Carlton has known him for his whole life. This stranger is his oldest brother, Chris Nguyen, a man that lost himself to the effects of drugs. The love Carlton and his family had for Chris is now nonexistent. This affection was replaced by frustration and tension when Chris started smoking marijuana and taking shrooms. “It feels like I lost a brother,” Carlton said. “He was an awesome bro, but now he is a stranger.” Their brotherly love has been brought to ruin because of the addictive qualities of drugs. Carlton questions if his brother still loves them and if he still wants the best for him and the family. Chris is not productive at all according to Carlton. He spends his days in his room playing video games most of the
time. He has no job, no income to help pay the bills, and no incentive to help those around him. He is just a burden, according to Carlton. “I don’t think [he loves us],” Carlton said. “I don’t think he realizes the position he puts us in.” The time, the money, and the energy to take care of Chris has strained his parents. “Instead of finding a job, [my father] has to take care of Chris,” he said. Stepping into the car, his father becomes a taxi driver for Chris, driving him to court dates or rehab. Carlton blames his brother for the stress that his father now carries. “It’s bothersome to have him around,” Carlton said. “It irritates me a lot because of his constant presence.” Chris’ choices have not only put stress on his family members, but the bonds they share with each other. One day, when Carlton’s mother was driving him to school, she began to pressure him to keep up with his schoolwork. After she was done, tears began to fall from her eyes out of frustration. “She started crying. I didn’t know what to do,” he said. “I had never seen my mom cry [before].” His mother was worried that Carlton would follow in his brother’s footsteps. It all started with falling grades. She didn’t
PHOTO COURTESY OF CARLTON NGUYEN
Brotherhood. From left to right, Corey, Carlton, and Chris Nguyen stand together for Corey’s graduation. Carlton is detached from his oldest brother, Chris, due to his drug use.
Cartoon by COOPER LOVANO
want to see another future destroyed. brother. “I didn’t know it would hit her that “Carlton is a smart guy,” she said. “I hard,” Carlton said. have faith in him. He wouldn’t do that.” According to Carlton, he and his famAlthough she puts so much love and ily are at their limit. It is becoming harder energy in Chris, Carlton worries about and harder to support him. the stress and pressure that is burdening “Initially, we still had hope,” Carlton his mother. said. “That wasn’t the case.” “She cares about all of us,” he said. His family hoped “But she doesn’t that Chris would pull know what to do through this predicawith Chris.” ment and return to Carlton is close his normal self. But to giving up on his time and time again, brother. rehab after rehab, “I don’t know Carlton feels that his what to do,” Carlbrother made no imton said. “We tried provements over he everything we years. In fact, Carl— Carlton Ngyuen could do.” ton feels his brother This feeling of has fallen even deeper into his addiction. helplessness is what destroys Carlton’s Lynne Phan, Carlton’s mother who hope for his brother. It is extremely difworks two jobs to support the family, ficult for him to believe in Chris, someone shares the same feelings. who doesn’t want help. “Chris has a problem,” she said. “ It has “I’d have to say [I would give up on an impact on all of us.” Chris],” Carlton said. “We have already Although she could have given up on spent so much time, money, and attention Chris, the love Mrs. Nguyen has for Chris [on him].” keeps her from doing so. All Carlton wants is for his brother to “I’m worried for his life,” she said. “I’m ger his life back on track. praying that he’ll get better.” “It’s just too irritating to think about it,” Phan has faith in God, in Chris, and in he said. “Things would be a lot better for Carlton. She deeply believes that Carlton all of us if he would get back to reality. He will not repeat the mistakes of his oldest doesn’t realize how much it hurts us.”
“Things would be a lot better for all of us if he would get back to reality. He doesn’t realize how much [his drug use] hurts us.”
Nov. 19, 2010
Breaking out of the box
Alone in the wilderness
Rehabilitation center helps senior Pierre Boutry live life with a new perspective.
Senior Ian Gallaher overcomes addiction and learns who he is in the process. by Loren Brown
by Cammille Mitchell
His first three days were the worst. Completely alone in the wilderness with only a measly portion of food, senior Ian Gallaher was forced to spend 72 hours reflecting on his mistakes. This was his rehab. Gallaher’s battle with drugs began when he tried drugs because of peer pressure. But soon, his drug use became an outlet to escape the constant arguing between him and his mother. “Once I tried it, I liked it. It relieved stress and made me feel like myself,” he said. But drugs weren’t the only getaway for Gallaher. For hours, Gallaher would sit and play video games. Slowly, his social, family, and academic life began fading away as video games and drugs took over. “I would never hang out with my friends or family because of drugs and video games ... and I didn’t know how to express myself or deal with stress without drugs,” Gallaher said. He had to move in with his aunt in Maryland when his mother kicked him out because of his drug use, but it only got worse. He began taking ecstasy and acid. As soon as his dad found out about his drug use, his father came to take him back to California. But when they got to the airport, only his dad went home. “[At the airport,] two escorts came and took me away. They told me where they were taking me and at the time, I really didn’t care. There [was] nothing I could do about it,” Gallaher said. Gallaher was sent to the Aspen Achievement Academy for his anger management issues and for his addiction to drugs and video games. For the first three days at the academy, they put Gallaher in the wilderness on his own with a tarp for shelter and nuts and granola for food. His nonchalant attitude quickly altered. “I couldn’t talk to anyone. I was super mad at my dad for sending me here and [I was] scared,” he said. Gallaher was later put in an all boys group where they moved from camp to camp pushing carts containing all their stuff: food, gallons of water, clothes, and their sacks. Each area they moved to, the boys were forced into seclusion with boundaries that could not be crossed. “It was extremely hard. There was no technology, no music, no friends. I could only write to my parents. For four days we would be on our own ... and then we’d come and talk about it. That’s how we released frustration,” Gallaher said. Soon, the wilderness and solitude made him see the truth. “I figured I needed to be [at the academy] after my first few days. I took a step back and realized that [drug use] wasn’t me,” he said. “I wanted to be me [without drugs].” Although he and the other boys at the Academy had difficulty expressing themselves, through harsh discipline, Gallaher and the rest of his group were all able to turn their lives around. “I found myself. I was able to think and reflect on how I had been acting and how it affected others around me. I [became] calmer and more level headed,” Gallaher said. Gallaher spent a total of 40 days and 40 nights at the Academy. He no longer flunks his classes and he aspires to go to an art institute to pursue a career in web art. Gallaher has been sober for two months now. “I would never go back to my old ways because it was terrible. I just didn’t know how to express myself, like most teenagers don’t,” he said. Before, drugs and video games were an easy way to free himself of his problems. But now, Gallaher is a changed person. “If I had a chance to do the academy over, I would. It made me take a step back and see things from a different perspective. It takes decades for people to learn things about themselves that I learned about myself in 40 days,” Gallaher said. “It’s not because of [my dad] that I’m doing better. It’s because of me and my decision to change.”
He can hear the shattering of the vodka bottle and feel the sting of it slicing his skin. As senior Pierre Boutry looks at the scar on his hand, he is reminded of how close he was to the edge of destruction because of his addiction. But now, that’s all in the past because of rehab. When his parents tested Boutry for drugs, the test was positive for marijuana. Quickly, his parents sent him to numerous mental and rehabilitation facilities. “I felt betrayed and annoyed. It made me not care about them and just hate them. I felt like they were making a big deal out of nothing,” Boutry said. Boutry first began experimenting with alcohol, ecstasy, weed, PCP, acid, xanax, and cocaine because they were a way to have fun. But he used only recreationally, not as an outlet or distraction. “I wasn’t escaping anything. I tried not to use when I was mad because I didn’t want it to become that. I was young and just wanted to experiment and I didn’t see anything wrong with trying it,” Boutry said. But as the drugs soon became his main priority, Boutry’s relationship with his family deteriorated. “I never really talked to them. One time I got in a fight with my step dad and choked him out. When my parents would ground me I would just leave anyway, and I didn’t do anything they asked,” he said. When his sister, Natalie, heard their parents had sent his brother to rehab, she disagreed with them. “My reaction was that my parents may have over reacted just a bit. Weed isn’t what you’d call a narcotic. It’s just a pass time. I personally don’t do it. But I don’t find it rehab worthy,” Natalie said. Natalie couldn’t understand her parents’ reaction. “I didn’t really see him change as drug use progressed because I guess I was apart of it. The only thing I noticed was he was a little more moody,” she said. When Pierre lashed out and ran away from the many facilities he was sent to, his parents sent him to Provo Canyon in Utah for 15 months. When he returned, he quickly relapsed and finally decided to make sobriety his priority when his parents threatened to send him to rehab again. “I’ve relapsed a couple times but for the most part I think drugs are pretty stupid because its a huge waste of time and money. I don’t really look down on drug users as long as they don’t really affect others. That’s their business,” he said. Although the facilities provided a stable and structured environment, the strict lifestyle only made him want to get out of rehab more. “What helped is I really wanted to get home and learn to just deal with my own problems,” Pierre said. “I felt the restrictions made it harder to be happy and get better. It made me focus on what I didn’t have instead of what I was working for.” According to Boutry, even though he learned to impact of using drugs, he isn’t entirely grateful for rehab. He neither regrets nor embraces his drug use but accepts it all as his past. “I look back on it as a learning experience and I have mixed feelings about it. Some of it was pretty fun but some of it was pretty stupid and in some ways I don’t ever regret it but in other ways I completely do,” Pierre said. Even though both don’t do drugs anymore, rehab changed Pierre’s relationship with his sister. “Before he went, we were pretty close,” Natalie said. “[But now,] he does his thing, I do mine. But he seems to have more of a temper and we both don’t do drugs anymore.” Since rehab, he has learned to face his problems through communication and AA meetings. “It has made me a stronger person and I’m a lot more wise. I now know the consequences of being stupid and I value what I have a lot more,” Pierre said.
Putting the Pieces
3 Learn to relax and relieve tension. Be honest. 4 Avoid high-risk situations, Make many little changes, 2 places, and people that can 5 not one big change.
Let go of the old life and create a new one.
easily trigger usage.
Nov. 19, 2010
Influence Students in SADD club pair up with DCH Toyota of Torrance and plan school wide activities to help inform students of the dangers of drinking and driving. by Bethany Kawa
Every 15 minutes, a person dies from a drinking and driving related accident. The “students against destructive decisions” club (SADD), promotes healthy decisions for high school students. According to president, senior Tiffany Tran, the main goal of the club is to teach students to be positive, to stay on track, and to abstain from destructive decisions such as drinking and driving, and doing drugs. The club meets every Tuesday in room 305 and is sponsored by Ms. Hunter. Although this is her first year sponsoring the club, she sees a bright future for it. “I think it’s a really good club and it serves a valuable purpose. Club members do activities where they talk about struggles teenagers have, and they are involved in community service,” she said. At club meetings, members discuss different problems ranging from drinking and drugs to suicide and dating abuse. They open up to each other and share personal stories relating to these topics. “I’ve always been really moved by other people’s stories. I had a feeling that Redondo had a problem with drug use and I wanted to get the word out there that making poor decisions can result in something very destructive,” Tran said. SADD plans on hosting several events throughout the year to stimulate a reaction from students. In February, SADD partner with Martha Wade,to have her talk about the abuse
SADD is founded by Robert Anastas and a group of 15 students developed the SADD concept to raise awareness after 6000 youth are killed in alcoholrelated crashes. 1981
she endured as a child, and to inspire students to be strong. “Ultimately, we are just trying to host many different events within the community and within Redondo to spread the word about the impact of drugs and the result of it,” Tran said. Another event, called “Every 15 Minutes,” is a simulation in which one student from every classroom will be withdrawn from class and have their face painted white, representing a dead person killed by a drunk driver.
“Redondo has a major drug problem and it’s important for students to be informed about the dangers.” — Jessica Hammer The club works closely with the DCH Toyota of Torrance, and hopes to have a car accident display in freshmen circle the week before prom. “Because drinking and driving is a big issue during prom, we thought that having a realistic display of a car accident would speak to students,” co-president, junior Jenice Thomas said. According to Tran, SADD is planning on creating a memorial for all of Redondo’s previous students who died
from “destructive decisions”. They are also doing a toy drive with the DCH Toyota of Torrance. Club member, senior Jessica Hammer, is involved in these events and initially joined the club because she wanted to make a difference. “Redondo has a major drug problem and it’s important for students to be informed about the dangers,” she said. Tran encourages everyone to join the club and embraces the diversity of it. “We have everyone from different grades and in different cliques. We welcome everybody and are non-judgemental. The main goal for everyone in the club is to lower the drug use rate by 20-30%, because it is unrealistic to stop students from using drugs altogether,” she said.
SADD chapters get involved with “Above the Influence,” promoting the power of young people to reject negative peer pressure.
The number of youth killed in alcohol-related crashes declines to just over 2,000. 1985 SADD goes international as chapters are established in Germany and Guam as well as 8 other countries in Europe.
PHOTOS COURTESEY OF TIFFANY TRAN
Chalk it up. Members of SADD from last year draw chalk drawings saying not to text and drive or drink and drive, the club’s main points.
1995 Research shows that students at schools with SADD are more likely to realize the negative aspects to drinking alcohol.
2010 SADD releases their “InTEXTicated” campaign trying to convince teens and adults to not text and drive.
Nov. 19, 2010
Over by Julia Uriarte
The timer goes off, alumna Katarina Hom, ‘10, looks down at a little, blue plus sign and lets out a sigh. Hom, who has been doing drugs since age 13, knows that her lifestyle is about to drastically change. “The first thought in my head was ‘damn, I’m never going to do drugs ever again in my life,’” Hom said. Just before getting pregnant, Hom spent eight months getting clean from a two year addiction to heroin and, according to Hom, her life still revolved around drugs. “There’s really nothing I haven’t tried at least once,” she said. “I would wake up in the morning and just figure out a way to get high everyday.” However, her pregnancy has forced Hom to re-evaluate her life and “get back on track.” “Most people my age still have a lot of time ahead of them to have fun. But for me, I felt like I already had my fun. I’d been doing drugs for so long that I needed this wake up call. I think if I hadn’t gotten pregnant, I would have just kept doing drugs and gotten nowhere in life.” Hom said. Although Hom admits that circumstances of her pregnancy aren’t prefect, she doesn’t regret it. “This age isn’t a good time for most people [to have a baby], but Ididn’t plan this and since it just happened I’m going to go with it,” Home said. In fact, according to Hom, her pregnancy has given her a new, positive outlook on life. “I feel like I wasn’t really living before and now I have another life to live for. Something changed inside of me,” she said. “We see this as something
Alumna Katarina Hom gives up a life of partying to prepare for her soon to be born baby.
to better our lives with instead of just going to get high.” Both Hom and her boyfriend, Chris Anderson, have used her pregnancy and a motivator to better themselves, according to Hom. “We are so much more determined now. Before we tried to get jobs just to get money so we could get high, but now we’re motivated to get our lives together,” she said.“We always wanted to get clean and get jobs but we just didn’t have the incentive. This is our incentive.” Although Hom acknowledges that having a baby will bring many obstacles, she believes that her
“I feel like I wasn’t really living before and now I have another life to live for. Something changed inside of me,” --Katarina Hom new-found determination will allow her to overcome any obstacles she may face. “Right now I may struggle a little bit, but without this I wouldn’t be working towards my dreams at all. This has forced me to chase after my dreams in order to provide for myself,” she said. Hom realizes that money might be an issue, but she thinks that they will manage fine. “We may not be able to financially support it that well, but we’ll be happy with what little we have.” Hom also believes that her pregnancy has brought her and Anderson closer together and strengthened their relationship. “Before, my boyfriend and I used to fight a lot, but now we’re positive and determined,” Hom said. “We’re doing everything together. He’s really all I have right now.” Both Hom and Anderson look at this pregnancy as a chance at a fresh start. “People think our life is over, but we’re looking at it as a chance for a new beginning,” she said.
Nov. 19th, 2010
Student recovers from alcoholism by Alyssa Wolf
* denotes that name has been changed in order to protect source’s identity
Sophomore Mary* sits alone on her bed drinking down a few more swigs of the liquor she just stole from her father’s stash. Mary grappled with alcoholism from 8th to 9th grade. “I would drink from the moment I woke up till night, after my mom went to bed,” she said. “I was pretty much just drinking all day.” She was getting overwhelmed with school, grades, friends, and boys, and she felt she needed a way to control it. “I got really depressed in the beginning of 8th grade,” she said. “Everything started started accumulating so I decided I needed something to take it away. and I just turned to alcohol. I had seen my dad do it so many times and it worked for him so I figured it would work for me.” At first she only drank at night, but as the disease progressed she started getting drunk before school too. “I really wanted it all the time,” she said. “It was an addiction.” Her friends confronted her one day at school and told her she had to stop, or face severe consequences. “At the end of 8th grade my friends confronted me about it and they got [upset]. They said I was coming to school completely messed up all the time and it is starting to get really bad,” Mary said. “I was scared because I realized I had a problem and it was in my family and that scared me even more and I
knew I needed to get help, but my friends helped me through it.” Though it took her until 9th grade to finally stop due to her friend Daniella*. “I was just drinking myself away,” Mary said. “She told me flat out she wasn’t going to be my friend anymore unless I stopped. She told me all the things that would happen to me medically also. And she told me how I would get arrested. She basically told me that if I didn’t stop she would report me.” After the second intervention she finally decided to stop. She stopped without the help of anyone or organization, besides her friends. “The scariest part was knowing that it couldn’t take away my pain anymore and I had to face my problems,” Mary said. Once she had decided to stop, she had to deal with the withdrawals. “I had a burning need for it, [I felt like] if I didn’t get it I would crumble, she said. “I needed it.” It took her several months to quit, and she attributes this to not getting professional help. Mary vows alcohol is no longer a part of her life. “I’m never going to drink again,” she said, “Knowing that its not going to affect the way I live my life [is the best part of quitting]. It makes everything a whole lot easier. I don’t need it to get through the day anymore, I dont need it to get through a break up; I dont need it to get through anything.”
Students share their own drug-induced experiences * denotes that name has been changed in order to protect source’s identity
by Anthony Leong
If you look up almost any recreational drug – weed, ecstasy, heroin, oxycodone, muscle relaxers, vicodin, or alcohol – there is one word on that list of side effects you’ll see over and over again: euphoria. Unfortunately, the word euphoria is far too vague to describe the feelings produced by that many different drugs. But euphoria seems to be truly embodied by MDMA, or ecstasy, according to Nick*, a regular user. “Ecstasy’s fast,” Nick said. “You’ll peak in the first hour and it can last for [around] five, but the whole thing will feel like it went by in thirty seconds.” Ecstasy, often called the “hug drug” or the “love drug”, are appropriate terms to Nick. “You think you know connections with people but when you roll there’s so much more,” Nick said. “If there ever was an artificial love, that’s ecstasy.” Nick elaborates. “You’ll find everything good about a person and tell them about it. You’ll hug everybody around, rub people’s hands, fuzzy things, and you’re just generally in the most agreeable state possible,” he said. But nothing in this world is free. The “come down” or the period that follows once the drug wears off is difficult, according to Nick. “It’s basically like you’ve taken all the happy of an entire month and packed it into one day,” he said. “The next day, it feels like your soul has been torn out. Everything that normally feels awesome doesn’t.” According to Nick, the come down gets exponentially worse the more pills you take.
The come down isn’t the only downside, however. Recent studies suggest regular ecstasy use can cause significant verbal memory loss and less significant visual memory loss [(Laws, K. R. (2007). Ecstasy (MDMA) and memory function.)] In light of this, Nick has regrets regarding his drug use habits. “The worst is missing things I wish I hadn’t because I was too high to be there,” he said. Randall* experienced a drug called LSD, or acid. When he took four “tabs” of the drug, he “lost himself.” “When I wasn’t in a bad trip, the world was warm and everything was glowing,” Randall said. “You know how the sky looks concave? Everything looks like that, and the end of th e room seems really far away. It’s like looking at the world through a kaleidoscope.” Not everything about the experience was wonderful. Randall claims that at times, the trip went bad. “When it was bad, it felt like being dragged down into hell. Down and down and down and down until you hit the bottom and all you see is black,” he said. “But it wasn’t just getting darker. It felt like your entire being was surrounded by hopelessness.” Randall learned a lesson from his experience with acid. “I figured maybe I shouldn’t do so much of any drug,” Randall said. “Everybody told me to do two tabs. ‘Two tabs is a good trip,’ they said. So I said, ‘All right,’ and took four. It was a bad idea.”
Student recovers from addiction, relapses [continued from front]
“Occasionally I get panic attacks or really high anxiety,” Chelsea said, “I guess you could call it a side effect but it’s worth the high in the end because nothing will ever amount to it.” After experimenting and trying so many drugs, Chelsea hit rock bottom when she first tried acid. “Acid changed my view of the world, I can see things through other people’s eyes that I would never have seen before,” Chelsea said, “It was the beginning of a new fantasy world but an end to my real one.” Chelsea’s academics went down the drain. She stopped doing all school work, only waiting for the high at the end of the day. “Nothing mattered anymore,” Chelsea said, “I used to be an ‘A’ student all the time and once acid entered my life it completely took over.” Not only did her academics go out the window, her social relationships with friends and family were gone as well. Chelsea’s mother, *Lynn Chelsea, once a teenage mom, doesn’t want her child to follow in the same footsteps she did. “What scares me the most is that Chelsea will end up like I did: Cracked out and pregnant, with no aspirations or goals.” Chelsea’s mother said. After trying many different approaches to stop Chelsea’s drug use, Chelsea’s mother had to make one of the “hardest yet most obvious” decisions she’s ever made. “Chelsea was slowly fading away. I could see that glow that used to beam out of her was dulling and I knew that rehab was the only hope for her,” Chelsea’s mother said. For Chelsea, last summer was the final straw when she went to rehab for ten months hoping to return as a new person with a clean slate. “Rehab really scared me, it was the first time something had actually stopped me from doing drugs,” Chelsea said, “It took me out of my comfort zone and it sobered me up for a while.” Chelsea’s grades started picking up and her relationship with her mom and her friends grew stronger. “When Chelsea came back from rehab I knew I had done the right thing. As much as I missed her, the glow that I once saw was brighter than ever and I couldn’t be happier,” Chelsea’s mother said. Chelsea’s life was getting back on track and she was ecstatic to see her world changing but things took a turn for the worse. “I don’t know what happened. One day I just had that craving, that itching feeling I used to get that I needed to take a pill or smoke or do something just to satisfy the hunger that was eating me away,” Chelsea said. As of now, Chelsea can’t say she’s clean. Within the last two months she has been not only doing drugs but selling them. “I realized that drugs were a part of me and I couldn’t let them go so easily,” Chelsea said, “[I sell now because] I get an unlimited amount of drugs and a lot of money. It’s the best of both worlds.” Chelsea is now selling outside of school and afraid to get out of the business. “It’s not like I want to get out of the business just yet but there will come a time when I do,” Chelsea said. “I can honestly say I’m scared for my life when that time comes.” In retrospect, Chelsea feels “trapped” in her current condition. Becoming addicted was “one of the worst decisions of her life.” “I would never recommend it to anyone because you don’t realize what you’re getting yourself in to,” Chelsea said, “Sometimes I think of [my addiction] as a monster in a fairytale, and some heroic prince will come save me at the end of the book,”