TIDE Redondo Beach, CA // Redondo Union High School Dec. 3, 2013 // Vol. XCIV // Edition 6
A struggle from the past Freshman Namie Fotion has been abused due to lenient laws in Taiwan but now has sanctuary in America. by Stephanie Lai
Her stepfather and mom were fighting harshly again while she was talking with her father on the phone, but the call was cut short. The argument was getting worse and the little girl saw her mom douse her step father with dirty water from a rice cooker. The stepfather got angrier, took a knife, and began stabbing her mom on the forehead and slashing at her. The little girl saw her mom bloody and lying on the floor crying, but she couldn’t do anything. Just like her mother, freshman Namie Fotion was a victim of abuse by her stepfather, but unlike in America, this abuse was greatly overlooked and legal. “I didn’t realize it was actually abuse at the time. I thought that was normal and that everyone was going through this,” Fotion said. According to Namie, she was physically abused by her stepfather in Taiwan around the age of four or five. “He would hit me really hard on the head repeatedly, but I wasn’t upset; I didn’t really care,” Namie said. Her mother, although physically abused herself, was unaware of her daughter being abused. “He was mostly at home while Namie’s mom was working. He would do it strategically; her mom would come home very late after working a hard schedule, and Namie would just burst out crying for no reason, but she had been warned not to say a word,” her father, David Fotion, said. Mr. Fotion, who was living in Japan at the time, was also unaware of the situation. “When I would talk to Namie on the phone, he would be sitting behind her, listening to every word,” Mr. Fotion said. Mr. Fotion learned of Namie’s abuse after reading an e-mail from her mom. His ex-wife, unable to get help from even her father, turned to him for help. “She was really scared for her life, asking if I would take care of Namie if she got killed,” he said. “I was all she had. I was like, ‘I can’t die’ because if I died, they’re screwed. They’re going to be there all alone and no one’s going to be able to help them.” Mr. Fotion felt “powerless,” after learning of his daughter’s and her mom’s abuse.
cont. on pg. 20 Electronics Club was sponsored with out some of the performers in p. 8-9 // Check p. 10 // The p. 16 // $1600 worth of equipment. the Variety Show.
Senior Ryan Keliher went on a 215-mile hiking trip.
Photos of the Week UCLA Blood Drive
by Vaidehi Gandhi
. PHOTOS BYJUSTIN LEE
Going places, saving lives. Counselor Denise Holmes (left) and Alyssa Gruenwald (right) donate their blood for the mobile blood drive UCLA brought to the school.
Mock Trial comes up short by Nina Gomez
Although their season is over, the Mock Trial team ended as an enjoyable experience for its members. Senior Eli Jarmel, who was a lawyer on the defense team, found it exhilarating. “It was surprisingly exhilarating for me; I expected it to operate in a business-like manner, but it ended up being a really exciting experience,” Jarmel said. “It had the feel of almost a sports competition, and delivering the closing argument felt like a great competitive moment for me and it was really fun to bond with the other team members during the actual competition,” Jarmel said. Jarmel liked the team effort and how every member was important. “It had a team dynamic and almost felt like a team sport; every person on the team had a very specific role that had to be performed properly for us to do well and everyone did. In practice we focused on every person doing their job individually and just like a sports team. It was that combination of all our efforts and the kind of chemistry we built up between questions and answers that led us to winning our first round,” Jarmel said. In their last trial, team coach Michael Henges thought the students did well. “We did so well in the first round that we were put up against a team that was much more experienced, and we did very well for our first time, but we just couldn’t match up to them,” Henges said. This was the first year RUHS’s Mock Trial team had practiced and competed in the statewide competition that is sponsored by the Constitutional Rights Foundation. This years’ competition included over 2,000 students in Los Angeles County and over 8,000 students statewide. “The team performed amazingly well for our first time and they started something that will not only benefit themselves, but
2 . HIGH TIDE NEWS
High Tide wins Pacemaker
the school and future student participants,” Henges said. The RUHS team had faced Chaminade College Preparatory, three-time Los Angeles County Champions. “I thought we did fairly well, considering we faced a school that practices about five hours a week,” Senior Justin Lee said. Lee, who took the role of a doctor, was named MVP by the opposing team at the end of the trial. “It took a lot of practice both individually and with the team to prepare for this role, but having your hard work recognized makes it all worth it”, Lee said. Lee also enjoyed the experience. “As a team, it was really nice to work with such smart students. I think that even though it was a mock trial setting you still get that feeling that you’re in front of a judge and everything counts. I mean obviously you’re going to be nervous while trying to get as many points as possible but also trying to stay in character without trying to stutter or forget your lines and trying to act as genuine as possible.” Although many of the team’s main members are seniors, they see potential for later years. “The group this year was really diverse,” Lee said. “Having younger participants who have the ability to lead the group next year will really help for preparing for next years’ competition.”
RUHS’s High Tide recently won the Pacemaker from the National Scholastic Press Association. Last year’s managing editor Emma Uriarte was excited for the winning. “I always expected us to do well; we consistently produce quality newspapers. Still, hearing that we won made me excited. All of my hard work and the hard work of all of the staff paid off,” Uriarte said. Uriarte and editor in chief Julie Tran tried making improvements so that deadlines could run smoother. “Julie and I wanted to improve the brainstorming process by keeping on schedule and having the writers turn in stories as quickly as possible. That made it easier for the editors to design pages,” Uriarte said. They also tried improving the story quality and designs. “We also had certain editors focus on revising and editing stories or creating innovative page designs, really focusing on certain areas to make the paper better as a whole,” Uriarte said. One of the difficulties that the staff faced was trying to meet story deadlines. “It’s difficult to get staff writers to turn in stories on time. In some cases it’s not entirely the staff writer’s fault; the interviewee might be unresponsive or flaky. Communication is key; editors and staff writers need to be in constant communication. Every year I’ve been on staff there have always been problems with deadlines,” Uriarte said. Another difficulty, according to former
editor Shivaani Gandhi, is the attention to detail. “Everyone’s sitting at their computer, agonizing over our pages to make sure they’re perfect, down to the last pica,” Gandhi said. “Spacing, design and aesthetics of a page are just as important as making sure a story has the proper grammar and makes sense, and as editors, we have to do all of those things.” One of last year’s editors, Mannal Haddad, recounts the deadline nights that editors worked for. “It feels good knowing all that hard work paid off,” Haddad said. “We worked really hard on our pages. We spent a lot of hours in the back room trying to make the High Tide the best it could be and winning a pacemaker proved to me that we succeeded and that all our work is being recognized.” Haddad remembers one of the greatest difficulties being creative. “As an editor, you try to be creative and think up this really elaborate and interesting page design only to hit a snag somewhere and have to start all over with a new design,” Haddad said. “That’s the most frustrating thing I experienced, but editors have to adapt to that and not take the easy route. It’s a lot easier to give up and just have an ugly page but that isn’t what makes a good newspaper.” Gandhi is proud of the staff and thinks that the long deadline nights were worth it. “I’m really proud of how hard everyone on staff worked to make every issue great,” Gandhi said. “Winning the Pacemaker makes all those long, stressful deadline nights worth it.”
Chromebooks will be given to every student by Lauren Diethelm
The school district will provide all grade levels with a tablet or Google Chromebooks and E-readers, which will eventually replace all textbooks, with the hope that more integrated technology will prepare students for the new Common Core standards. “The Chromebooks will allow students and teachers to develop 21st century skills of communication and learning,” Deputy Superintendent Annette Alpern said. Kindergarten through second grade classrooms will have class sets of a tablet of some kind, either Android or Apple, and grades 3-12 will receive Google Chromebooks and eventually E-readers. The Chromebooks will be checked out just like any other textbook, so they will be signed out to a student and returned at the end of the school year. The technology is paid for by Measure Q, a local $63.0 million general obligation bond program. The money is not solely designated for the technology, but, according to Web Design teacher and 21 Century Task Force member Gail Rodono, that’s “how the district has decided to spend it.” “The financial part will eventually even out in the end. Some students have over 1000 dollars worth of textbooks in their backpacks. With the Chromebook and the E-reader, you’re talking maybe $5 or $600 in electronics per student. And the books are static, they aren’t updating. One E-reader is more expensive than one book, but one
E-reader will be cheaper than one backpack full of textbooks,” she said. Supposed financial benefits aside, Assistant Principal Jens Brandt is “excited” for the interactive nature of the Chromebooks and the increased collaboration in classrooms. “Let’s envision an English class,” he said. “You could basically have all the students on one Google doc projected onto the screen, writing an essay together, each taking turns putting in a sentence.” The 21 Century Task Force committee, a group of parents, teachers and administrators, including Rodono, made the recommendations for the technology at each level with the intent of “preparing students for Common Core.” With new standards come new standardized tests, created by Smarter Balance Consortium, that need to happen on computers. “We need students to be comfortable with the Chromebooks,” Rodono said. “You’d hate it if you had to come in on test day where we throw at you a computer that you’ve never used, and seen the software, and now you’re being tested on critical material. We want you to be comfortable and have a whole year to get used to it before May and the critical testing come.” Alpern agrees. According to her, the availability of the Chromebooks is inseparable from the learning experience of Common Core. “Having a computer lab at a school or having a few computer lab carts at a school
just doesn’t give students the regularity of the time they will need to feel ready and be successful on these assessments,” she said. Google Chrome has an agreement with Smarter Balance that allows the Chromebooks to be locked down during testing to make them more secure. “Students log on a different login compared to a regular student just using it, and it locks it so students can’t surf the web. At that point it becomes just a testing station, and that is huge because it makes it safe and secure,” Rodono said. According to Rodono, the new Common Core tests are supposed to be “more intuitive,” changing the difficulty of questions as students answer. “A student who answers a certain way may get a different set of questions than someone who completely understands the material and may get harder questions. It’ll be individualized,” she said. Brandt thinks the collaboration of Chromebooks and Common Core is a turning point in education and is important for preparing students for life after high school. “This is one of those points in education where everything is coming together; you have Common Core state standards coming into play, and you have technology changing on a daily basis,” Brandt said. “It’s going to make students that much more competitive, not just for college, but for careers. The world is competing in regards to technology, and it’s certainly time for us to jump on board.”
Baldridge begins setting up for spring Cabaret auditions by Roxanne Labat
The drama department will be holding auditions Dec. 9-13 for the spring musical Cabaret in order to diverge from the norm and allow actors to show their more mature, talented side. “The play is set in 1931 Berlin as the Nazis are rising to power. It focuses on nightlife at the seedy Kit Kat Klub and revolves around an English cabaret performer, Sally Bowles, and her relationship with a young American writer, Clifford Bradshaw,” drama teacher Justin Baldridge said. The musical will also delve deep into the relationship of another couple in Nazi Germany. “A sub-plot involves the doomed romance between a German boarding house owner, Fraulein Schneider, and her elderly suitor, Herr Schultz, a Jewish shop-owner,”
Baldridge said. “Overseeing the action is the Master of Ceremonies at the Kit Kat Klub, which serves as a constant metaphor for the tenuous and threatening state of Germany throughout the show.” The musical is meant to give the audience an inside look on what some considered to be a sanctuary at the time. “It’s this whole transitional moment where we’re trying to figure out what’s going on in Germany and how people hide away and go to the Cabaret to escape the world on the outside,” Baldridge said. What makes the musical more mature than most other musicals that have been preformed at school in the past is its questionable content. “It’s traditionally done very scandalously, very sexually. We will be toning it down since we are a high school, but the sexuality is an aspect of the show that you cannot
ignore,” Baldridge said. The once “raunchy” content of the musical has been modified for a school setting, and has drawn students’ attentions. Among those planning to audition is senior Jane Witzenburg. “I’ve been in all the schools’ shows since my freshman year,” Witzenburg said. “I’m so excited because Mr. Baldridge is finally doing a really dramatic show.” Sophomore Rachel Fulton is also interested in audition, even with the risks of the musical. “I’ve always liked the plays that Mr. Baldridge puts on since he always does a good job with them,” Fulton said. “I have faith that the musical will be as good as usual - even something as risqué as this one.” Baldridge decided to choose Cabaret as this spring’s musical in spite of the mature
content. “I chose this musical because it is not a cookie-cutter, goody two-shoes story,” Baldridge said. “Students who were in the program last year told me they wanted to do a serious musical. They enjoy performing shows that are fun and flashy and bright, but they wanted to do a show with depth and substance.” With such a “challenging” topic, Baldridge hopes that Cabaret will force the actors to improve. “It is with confidence that I believe the students can pull off a mature show,” Baldridge said. Baldridge also based his decision-making on the talent he has seen on stage. “When I look at shows, I also take into consideration the talent level at the school and the current talent in the program. Cabaret fit the bill on all levels,” Baldridge said.
3 . HIGH TIDE . NEWS
Four-year universities are not the only option for students. It’s time to take a hard look at the future and education. College banners hang in the halls of every elementary school in the district. Middle school students take college tours in as early as 6th grade. High school students hunt for the highest grades and test scores possible, spending thousands on test preparation and college counselors. All of this, simply because everyone should go to college. Even paying the modest price for some of the lower level local colleges is still a major investment for many families, so attending college shouldn’t be taken lightly. As the number of people attending college increases, the value of an undergraduate degree decreases, but tuition costs stay the same or increase. In many cases, students are paying more for less in higher education. In today’s world, college feels like the only option. Jobs that don’t require a degree are considered to be exclusive to high school drop-outs and failures, despite the fact that many college graduates are the ones taking these jobs in the face of massive student loan debt and a poor job market. While collegebound high school students scoff at the idea at working at McDonalds, the reality is that many service industry employees are college graduates. Does this mean that a college degree means nothing? No, but it does mean that taking in a ridiculous amount of student loan debt to get an ambiguous degree at a top school is no longer the short path to success. The short path to success in today’s world comes through career-specific programs and community college courses offered as alternatives to a traditional 4-year college education. Programs like the Southern California Regional Occupational Center (SCROC) provide free career specific training to high school students, giving them the necessary skills to enter the work force directly after graduating if they so choose. These programs not only provide training for low-income labor workers; they often offer classes for almost all of the majors that a traditional college would offer. There is more than one path to success, and that needs to be reflected in education. Above the college banners and tours, above the grades and SAT scores, above the brand name colleges and the sweatshirts, is the idea that students have to determine for themselves what the right career path is. We all need to open our eyes to reality and accept the inevitable deflation in value of a college degree to partner with the rapidly inflating tuition costs. We all need to assess our career aspirations to determine whether an alternative, vocational education might be the smarter path to success for many professions.
4 . HIGH TIDE . OPINION
With the funds received from Measure Q, the RBUSD is considering providing every student with a chrome book and e-reader to help modernize the school. Are these laptops and E-readers the best use of Measure Q’s money?
ILLUSTRATION BY JOSPEH BIESCHKE
WHAT WE THINK Chromebooks will be a valuable new tool for students and teachers as the Common Core Standards begin to be implemented. The world of education is changing. Fast. Innovations in technology now allow more ways to improve how students learn through the use of computers, and, with the new Common Core State Standards requiring more computer-based learning, the school district is considering the implementation of a program to provide students with computers and E-readers to make this technology-enhanced education available. RBUSD is considering using the funds allotted to the district by Measure Q to purchase a Chromebook and E-reader for each student in the district, grades 3 through 12, as recommended by the 21st Century Classroom Task Force. With these, the district will be able to implement new methods of teaching in addition to complying with new standards. This is a great idea from the student standpoint and from a teaching and administration view. Since all Common Core testing will be on the computer, it makes sense to provide students with a way to get used to the software and device on which they will be taking the tests. As far as test security goes, according to
committee member Gail Rodono, administration would be able to lock down the computers during testing, effectively making them “testing stations”, on which testing can be done in a safe, secure way. The addition of Chromebooks would give students access to software to help augment their learning. According to committee member Tim Baumgartner, programs like Geogebra would be available on the chrome books, giving students access to software that would help them more completely grasp their lessons. Much of the student opposition comes from the belief that, since most students already have computer access at home, buying each student a computer and E-reader is unnecessary and a waste of the district’s money. This does not, however, take into account the students who do not have computer access at home. Even with the students who have access, it is not always available. A Chromebook would give students constant access where a family computer would not. Other faults with chrome book are their dependence on internet connection and a lack of support for non web-based apps or programs. Beyond a photo editor, calculator, file manager, and video player, there is not much offered offline besides limited access to Gmail and Google Docs, which must be set up prior to going offline. However, these downsides are not rele-
vant to a school-oriented device. Most work would be done at home or at school, or other places with an internet connection, so wifi-dependence should not impede a student from completing his or her work. And a lack of support for non web-based apps or programs is not really a problem either, as schoolwork would be accessed online and students really don’t need to be able access programs like iTunes, Skype, or Photoshop on a school laptop. As far as cost-effectiveness goes, the addition of Chromebooks and E-readers would save the district money in the long run. While each student has around four textbooks, about $150 each, Chromebooks would cost the school $250 each, a much lower cost than other computers with hard drives. Perhaps the most important aspect of these new devices is to help modernize the classroom and the way students learn. As the world becomes more technology-based, it makes sense to use these new systems to help enrich student learning. By the numbers
Editorial Staff Vote
40 63 24 Q MEASURE
BY THE NUMBERS
million dollars borrowed
dollars per 100,000 dollars assessed value in property taxes
years of taxes to pay off measure’s cost
Letters to the
If you have an opinion about one of the articles, letters can be sent to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. We reserve the right to edit them for content, grammar, and space constraints. Letters must be signed and are not guaranteed to be printed.
Editors in Chief: Cedric Hyon; Allegra
Peelor Managing Editor: Alejandro Quevedo News Editor: Jason Rochlin Opinion Editor: Chance King Health Editor: Kayla Nicholls Features Editors: Kira Bowen; Yasmeen El-Hasan; Stella Gianoukakis; Shawn Mallen; Grace Zoerner Sports Editors: Ted Cavus; Micah Ezzes Photo Editors: Tyler Eisenhart; Justin Lee Copy Editors Deborah Chang; Angela Kim; Romy Moreno; Lauren Diethelm Illustrators: Joseph Bieschke; Angela Kim Online Editors: Vivian Lam; Kayla Maanum Staff Writers: Lauryn Alejo; Joseph Blakely; Jennie Bao; Caitlyn Catubig; Jason Clebowicz; Caitlin Cochran; Shaw Coneybeare; Lauren Diethelm; Jason Fong; Vaidehi Gandhi; Nina Gomez; Kelly Harraka; Caterina Hyneman; Eli Jarmel; Roxanne Labat; Stephanie Lai; Sophie Maguy; Shaniya Markalanda; Marie Ona; Chris Paludi; Phoebe Reneau; Jené Price; Amanda Ross; Chandler Ross; Sophia Ruffo; Reema Saad; Amanda Shaw; Laura Smith; John Webb; Luma Wegman; Cody Williams The High Tide dedicates itself to producing a high-quality publication that both informs and entertains the entire student body. This 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. Signed commentaries and editorial cartoons represent the opinions of the staff writer or cartoonist and in no way reflect the opinions of the other members of the High Tide staff.
PRO Cody Wiliams
The debate over whether or not test scores should be the sole basis on which to determine the success of a school has raged between educational reformers all over the United States. The system of standardized testing which schools in all states have been accustomed to for years has become the “norm” for students, teachers,and administrators alike. Although these tests are a yearly hassle, they are the best way of measuring the amount of information students have absorbed. Although there are minor problems in today’s method of student evaluation, the current system of standardized testing provides students with feedback about their level of knowledge and skills (temple.edu/
researchinitiatives.) Sometime during the summer, each student receives a detailed report on how he or she performed in certain areas and whether or not he or she is up to par with the standards established by the state. With this, the student is able to see their academic strengths and weaknesses and focus on what areas need improvement. Some examples of proposed alternatives to standardized testing include Portable Portfolios, Digital Badges, and Open Debates, all of which involve assessment by one or more human beings (heartland.org.) It is commonly known that humans are flawed creatures, so any human involvement in the actual assessment of students leaves a dangerous amount room for ambiguity, bias, and plain old ignorance of the subject(s) under review. Although the proposed methods are creative, they do not match the essential reliability and objectivity of a pencil and Scantron. Despite reformers’ cries for a different assessment of student knowledge, statistics
show that the current techniques being used for such purposes have been successful. In 2004, a study conducted by the state of Florida showed that holding back students who failed year-end standardized tests in hopes of bettering their results improved those students’ scores by 9% in math and 4% in reading after one year (procon.org.) Additionally, standardized tests are relatively cheap, costing just $6 per student and totaling only 0.1% of total k-12 spending (hoover.org.) Investing time into diverting the long running and efficient course of assessment will only result in yet another government blunder, funded of course by Mr. and Mrs. taxpayer. Instead of investing time and most importantly, money, into reforming standardized tests,those looking for change in the current education system should instead seek to improve teaching methods. The current system of assessment is clearly not broken, so why spend time and make a pointless effort trying to fix it?
PRO/CON: Many educators are pushing for testing reform. Is standardized testing a reliable measure of students’ aptitude?
CON Caitlin Cochran
Since standardized tests were introduced they have become more important and more relied upon to determine student success on different levels. By stressing test scores and performance on these tests, teachers, students, and schools feel much more pressure to focus on the tests or “teach to the test.” This over-emphasis on test taking and standards is obviously not working. The United States went from 18th in the world for their scores in Math in 2002, but with the passing of No Child Left Behind they fell to 31st place in 2009 (Program for National Student Assessment.) In 2011, the National Research Council stated that there was no evidence that test-based incentive programs works, and that policy makers
ILLUSTRATION BY JOSEPH BIESCHKE
and educators do not yet know how to use incentives to consistently generate positive effects on student achievement and to improve education. The biggest issue, though, is that so much of schools’ success is based on test scores. School districts receive funding from local government sources of revenue based on standardized test scores, so they pressure the schools by giving funding based on the scores and the schools pressure the teachers and the teachers pressure the students to get good scores. Standardized tests are relied upon too much. Although they make children excel in test-taking, they are not really retaining information, which can hurt them later in life. Countries like China are moving away from the “drill n’ kill” method because the tests are not teaching children how to live productive lives according to C.J Westerberg’s article “The Chinese Curse. Is America Next?” In 2007, a study by the Center on Educa-
tion Policy said that since 2001, 44 percent of schools had reduced the instruction time spent on science, social studies, and the arts by 145 minutes per week to focus on reading and math. In 2011, president Obama said, “too often what we have been doing is using these tests to punish students or to, in some cases, punish schools.” Standardized testing advocates say that “teaching to the test” can be good because it eliminates time-wasting activity that does not produce learning gains. Taking such a single minded approach to education is detrimental to students’ education. There does need to be some indicator of schools’ success, but these standardized tests are not the answer. These tests do not need to be completely eliminated, they need to have less impact on the schools’ success and funding. Students need to study math, science, English, and history but also need to be exposed to the arts and learn critical thinking skills rather than just test taking skills.
5 . HIGH TIDE . OPINION
No Shave November Compiled by Deborah Chang
I also do it because I have never done it before and I just wanted to try something new this year. This is the first year that I could actually grow a legitimate beard so its fun to be able to participate in something like this. I kind of like how the beard looks, too, so I’m going to keep it for a while.
– SANJAY MAHBOOBHANI, 12
– GEORGE PARKER, 12
I think it is important for men to worry about their health, too. October is for breast cancer awareness, so I think its important for men to think about their health and make sure they’re getting their check ups regularly so that they don’t suffer from the effects of cancer.
I am finally able to grow a beard. A lot of my friends are doing it, so I wanted to participate with them.
I do this to raise awareness for prostate cancer because it’s a growing problem and it’s very common in men so the one thing I can do is grow facial hair. I feel that its a really good way to raise awareness because I don’t think enough people are aware. Actually, I myself have become more aware.
– JAMES COSTELLO, SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER
PHOTOS BY DEBORAH CHANG AND JUSTIN LEE
Boys lacrosse’s bearded bonding Lacrosse team bonds over the shared experience of No Shave November.
by Joseph Blakely
The boys lacrosse team will have one more thing in common with the historical figure Abraham Lincoln. The team will be growing mustaches while participating in No Shave November, also known as Movember. Coach Phillip Comito is leading the boy’s lacrosse team in Movember in order for the team to “build bonds between players.” “I reached out to the lacrosse team and I asked them to participate in Movember to promote camaraderie among the team,” Comito said. “Hopefully as a team we would try to grow mustaches just for the sake of being part of a team and doing it together.” Junior Oscar Sanchez also believes that participating will forge a strong bond between the players. “We all compete with each other to see who can grow it out the most. It creates a battle that brings us closer as a family,” Sanchez said. This bond will help the boy’s lacrosse team “during the season.” “Movember creates a bond that will help us trust each other as players and win more games,” Sanchez said.
6 . HIGH TIDE . HEALTH
Comito hopes that this increased bond will not only raise awareness, but help them during games and increase their success as a team. “No one really looks good with a mustache but by putting their own personal looks aside and doing it because they are part of a team hopefully it builds that sense of team within the boys,” Comito said. Comito also hopes that by growing mustaches, the team will raise awareness for men’s health specifically for prostate cancer which affects a lot of men. “I think mustaches, especially bad ones, really call attention to people,” Comito said. “As people ask why you’re growing that awful mustache, by responding that you are doing it to raise awareness, I think it does something.” Through this, Comito hopes the team is able to impact those around them. Along with impacting those around them, Movember also impacts those on the team. “Personally doing it I’ve definitely learned more about cancer and I have met people that are cancer survivors that have told me their stories,” Sanchez said. “I feel good knowing that I’m doing a good thing.”
PHOTOS BY JASON CLEBOWICZ
Hairy-ing experience. The boys lacrosse team increases team spirit through the shared experience of No Shave November.
Prostate Cancer Compiled by Lauryn Alejo and Kayla Nicholls
• 238,590 men in the United States were diagnosed with prostate cancer. • 29,720 men in the United States died from prostate cancer.
ILLUSTRATION BY JOSEPH BIESHKE
• Delayed or slowed urinary system • Dribbling or leaking of urine • Straining when urinating, or incapable of emptying all urine • Blood in urine or system • Bone pain or tenderness
• 5-year survival rate is 99% • 10-year survival rate is 98% • 15-year survival rate is 93%
• Local: 100% • Regional: 100% • Distant: 28%
Local means that there is no sign that the cancer has spread outside of the prostate (stages I and II). Regional stage means the cancer has spread from the prostate to nearby areas (the stage III cancers and stage IV cancers that haven’t spread to distant parts of the body). Distant stage includes the rest of the stage IV cancers – all cancers that have spread to distant lymph nodes, bones or other organs throughout the body.
Who’s at higher risk? • African American men • Men with a prostate cancer history, fathers or brothers who were also diagnosed • Men who have been exposed to Agent Orange/ Herbicide Orange, a chemical compound used to kill forests in Vietnam during the Vietnam War • Men with alcoholism • Farmers • Men with a diet high in fat (especially animal fat) • Tire plant workers • Painters • Men who have been exposed to the element cadmium
(http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/prostate) (http://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostatecancer/detailedguide/prostate-cancer-survival-rates) (http://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostatecancer/detailedguide/prostate-cancer-key-statistics) (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001418/#adam_000380.disease.cause)
7 . HIGH TIDE . HEALTH
Our next act is ... Quotes compiled by Chris Paludi, Sophie Maguy, Caitlyn Catubig Photos by Tyler Eisenhart
Important information for the talent show:
When: Friday, December 13th at 6:30 Cost: $8 presale and $10 at the door Hosted by: RUHS People to People International Why: The talent show is raising money for TASTE, which helps distribute laboratory kits to kids in Uganda and expose them to science.
Bryant Lozada, 12
I love the moments when I feel chills while playing my drum. Playing the snare drum in the band was my dream since I was a baby and I followed my sisters around at band competitions.
Performing: a solo on the snare drum and playing to a dubstep song “Excision - Execute.”
Clayton Reardon, 11
I love that feeling when the lyrics and the music line up just how they’re meant to and you get this feeling like you uncovered something. It’s one of the best feelings there is.
Performing: original song(s) on his guitar - “On a Changing Horizon”
Alexis Lapp, 11
My dad plays guitar and sings as well. He has always allowed my brothers and me to express ourselves in artistic ways. I have always said that I make no sense when I talk, but give me a guitar and you will understand everything I have to say.
ILLUSTRATION BY JOSEPH BIESCHKE
8 HIGH TIDE . ENTERTAINMENT
Nadia Wardlaw-Roberts, 9
Performing: “Breaking the Habit” by Linkin Park or “Cops and Robbers” by the Hoosiers
Singing lets me multi task and helps me out a lot. It’s just something I like to do and it’s a fun hobby of mine.
Performing: singing and playing guitar to “Hometown Glory” by Adele
Performing: “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera
I mean it’s kind of my escape from all of what’s going on around me. When I sing it makes me feel good.
Samsara Read, 10
Amanda Leavitt, 9 and Alexis Widmann, 9
Performing: “White Houses” by Vanessa Carlton. Amanda Leavitt is playing piano/singing, Alexis Widmann is singing
Bailey Jackson, 11
Performing: “San Francisco” by The Mowgli’s
Trying out for the talent show was one of the steps forward that I needed to help get over my stage fright. I love how I can express myself through the lyrics of a song and just let go when I sing. Singing also helps relieve my stress and tension.
Cedric Hyon, 12
Performing: Improv Fluteboxing
I love whenever I hear random bursts of awe in the audience and when I land my first beat. It’s so satisfying to know that people are fascinated by my art.
It’s a good way to express ourselves. It’s also a good way to bond with my best friend. -Alexis Widmann It’s going to be a new experience for us and it’s going to be fun. -Amanda Leavitt
9 HIGH TIDE . FEATURES
The Silver Age
A club devoted to electronics and students who spend as much time on the computer as at school: our society is becoming more technology-based every day Total Worth Donated: $1,631.65 Breakdown of items Donated
9V Battery Holder
Wire Strippers Pliers Resistor Kit
Electronics club’s interest sparked by Kayla Maanum
He knew how his club members could learn in a handson way. Now, they can get goosebumps while programming actual circuit boards. Now, they can dream of building a weather balloon or controlling robots. Now, they can live and breathe electronics, thanks to the Arduino boards. Electronics club received 15 Arduino boards, circuit boards that can read data from sensors to control physical objects through computers, with $1600 donated by their sponsor, SparkFun Electronics. Club president senior Hasan El-Hasan believes the new equipment will add a new dimension of learning to his club. “I want to allow [my club members] to do whatever they want. I know they’ve always wanted to do something but didn’t have the proper supplies,” El-Hasan said. “But they have that now--the Arduino boards.”
10 . HIGH TIDE . FEATURES
Club member junior Henry Ripley believes that the Arduino boards give the members a better learning experience because of the boards’ hands-on nature. “[The boards] give us something to actually practice with. Before, we didn’t have anything. These give us something to program on and everything we need to actually learn,” Ripley said. Not only will the boards provide a learning experience for the members, but they will also provide a teaching experience for El-Hasan. “I mostly got the Arduino boards because I thought it was going to be really fun and a great learning experience. I never taught a group before so that might be useful later on,” El-Hasan said. Since learning about Arduino boards from the club, Ripley’s level of interest in digital electronics has “definitely” increased since receiving the boards.
High Tide: What is MAYA? Bieschke: I go to Gnomon School of Visual Arts in Hollywood. I’m taking an Introduction to MAYA class. We’re learning MAYA 2014, the newest update of the software. It’s basically a program that lets you create models and animate them all within the program. The professional industry uses it for anything as complex as a dragon flying across the screen to something as simple as an animated title logo.
JB: Gnomon is a nexus of nerdiness. All the instructors are professional designers at Gnomon; for example, Neville Page taught there for a couple of years before becoming a really big hot shot in the movie industry. He did “Cloverfield,” “Prometheus,” the monsters for “Avatar”-- very high profile. I went to Gnomon over the summer for their first-ever high school summer camp and there I spent two weeks learning digital painting with Photoshop and digital sculpting with Zbrush. Zbrush is literally the most fun you’ll ever have with a program. You start with just a ball and you take your tablet pen and mold it until it turns into a full 3-D model. It’s a lot of fun; it’s literally clay sculpting in a digital format.
HT: What are your plans for the future? MAYA is a different animal. Many, many different components are involved-- a lot of graphs, different paths you have to animate. I haven’t gotten into very complicated models yet because I’m just getting the gist of it. It’s a rough ride but I’m in there to learn. I plan on being a freelancer in the future, not being tied onto a specific company. In reality I want to focus on my own projects and I know this technology will help me. Using my Webcomic website, I can implement fully rendered 3-D models into the story and, using 3-D printing technology, create merchandise. I can take it to a whole new level.
people who want to pursue this field?
What people don’t understand is that 3-D technology is not just for movies and video games; it can also be used for a whole plethora of different things if you just venture out and try to see it. For example: commercials and documentaries. Especially now that everything is done through 3-D printing, there will be even more need for 3-D modelers. A lot of young people are discouraged from pursuing these fields because everybody wants to be an artist, but the world cannot live without art. MAYA oh my. Bieschke learned how to make text crumble at Gnomon School of Visual Arts.
ILLUSTRATION COURTESY OF JOSEPH BIESCHKE
Sickler faces minor gaming addiction
Plugged in. 1. An inventor’s kit, the basic kit for beginner electronics. “It has everything you need to start,” senior Hasan El-Hasan said. 2. Senior Jenna Barrett works with an Inventor’s Kit, assembling an LED display, which is made up of colored lights, during the first meeting with the donated equipment. 3. An electronics club member experiments with an inventor’s kit. 4. El-Hasan assembled a basic button circuit, which turns on a light when the button is pushed. Photos by Deborah Chang.
Electronics club received $1,600 worth of equipment from its sponsor, SparkFun Electronics. The members plan on using the new technology to learn more about electronics and prepare themselves for careers in the technical industries
Senior Joseph Bieschke goes to a visual arts school on the weekends in order to learn technology that will help him in his career HT: Do you have any advice for
HT: What else did you do at Gnomon?
“Now that [we] have something physical to use, it’s definitely more interesting. You can get the concepts of it [without Arduino boards], but you can’t apply them. When you have something to apply them with, it just makes it that much more interesting,” Ripley said. Working with the Arduino boards have also helped Ripley prepare for his future. “I think it will be a good thing for my career. I want to go into computer science or something electronics related. [Working with Arduino boards] will give me some experience that I need for that,” Ripley said. While Ripley thinks the new tool will help him gain experience, club member senior Jenna Barrett, who is interested in studying artificial intelligence in college, believes the boards will help her gain competitiveness there. “I think that if I do end up going into the [electronics] field, other people won’t have had that experience because they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to work with circuits. I think it would be helpful to have a little bit of a head start,” Barrett said. In addition to gaining experience for future careers, the club hopes to use the Arduino boards for projects, like programming a weather balloon to take pictures of near-space. Barrett believes this project will allow the club members a better sense of being a scientist. “[Building a weather balloon] is actually doing something useful and worth it, not just making a light bulb glow.
Bieschke takes an intro to MAYA
Senior Thomas Sickler has learned about determination and has made new friends through playing League of Legends. by Stephanie Lai
Scientists use weather balloons to take measurement, and if we were doing the same sort of work it would be really cool,” she said. Not only will the boards aid in the projects, but they will also help to accomplish the goal of electronics club, according to Ripley. “The goal of any club is to educate people about what the club is about, so it will really help educate people about digital electronics so they can really learn a lot more,” Ripley said. While educating the members is an important goal for El-Hasan, he ultimately wants his members to have the best time possible. “I was hoping they would love electronics and everything about electronics by the end of the year,” El-Hasan said. “But at the end of the day, all I really want is for the members to have a wonderful time learning about what electrical circuits are, and that you don’t have to be a genius to be an inventor.”
Addro, Tibber, pentakill, op, carry. These may sound like gibberish to non-gamers, but to senior Thomas Sickler these words signify an entrance to a virtual adventure that is League of Legends. After playing for about two years, Sickler considers himself “addicted” to the game. “It’s a hard addiction to break. I’ve taken breaks from before; you always end up coming back to it,” Sickler said. Sickler is not alone. More than tens of millions are already competing, according to the official League of Legends website. “When I’m playing the game I feel immersed in it. It’s a way to get away from everything and just focus on one thing. It’s really fun,” Sickler said. “I like how it’s so competitive and the point of it is that you just want to get better and better. When I’m playing, I feel really focused and I’m always thinking, ‘What are they gonna do?’ or ‘what’s the next step?’” League of Legends, or League, is an objective-based game of five people versus five people, and the goal is to take the opponent’s base before they take the ally team.
PHOTO BY CEDRIC HYON
Online Odyssey . Sickler stays connected in the virtual world of League of Leg-
[for more visit hightideonline.org] ends, using his skill, concentration, and experience all in the goal of killing champions and destroying the rival’s Nexus.
11 . HIGH TIDE . FEATURES
Junior Ariana Pizzati has battled cerebral palsy for her entire life who had cerebral palsy — I wanted to be like everyone else,” Pizzati said. As she walks through the halls, she sees Pizzati worked harder in school in others in the opposite direction walking order to get out of special needs classes with a mocking, exaggerated limp and stag- she had been in since the age of two. At gering steps. Though these kids taunt ju- first, Pizzati did not think much of benior Ariana Pizzati, they do not have motor ing in different classes, but she thought dysfunctions in their brains that affect their she could do much better. gait, mobility and thinking. “I felt that I was lower than everyone Though Pizzati was born with a mild else, but that became my goal — to rise form of cerebral palsy, which prevents her above that, work harder, and get out of muscles from relaxing, she does not allow it those classes,” Pizzati said. to stand in the way of her choices. She has Pizzati recently had her Individualized dealt with bullying Education Program because of her physiEveryone’s got a little some- (IEP) meeting, in cal restrictions since thing about them — Ariana’s which she discussed her elementary school. classes and future plans with “I was reminded just happens to be visible. her case manager. The IEP is – MARCY PIZZATI of the fact that I was specially for kids with special different every day,” Pizzati said. “In fifth needs in which case managers aid them in making grade, someone called me paralyzed, with- choices for their futures. She is another step closer to out knowing what the term actually meant. exiting the program, “which has been [her] dream.” It really hurt.” She strove to progress in her high school career She believes that she used to be much and managed to work her way up and fulfill her more bitter about her condition. dream of being equal to everyone else. “I wasn’t really thankful and I used to “Anything is possible for you, no matter who you blame other people for my problems. I was are, whether you have a disability or whether you’re so miserable,” she said. perfectly normal,” Pizzati said. Soon after, she realized being bitter was Having been around other children with disnot helping her, so she chose to overcome abilities, Pizzati feels that she is more understandher challenges. ing and sympathetic towards those who are ridi“I didn’t want to be known as the girl culed for their physical or mental restrictions.
by Vaidehi Gandhi
PHOTO BY TYLER EISENHART
She knows what it is like “to be shunned by the world,” and is able to relate to whoever goes through the same. Pizzati hopes to be an inspiration for anyone who is experiencing tough times and is discouraged. Her mother, Marcy Pizzati, finds inspiration from her daughter’s strength. “Ariana is one of the toughest, strongest people I know and she amazes me with her strength and how well she handles herself,” she said. Marcy believes her daughter is just like everyone else, and should not be treated differently. “Everyone’s got a little something about them — Ariana’s just happens to be visible,” she said. She admires her daughter’s strength and preserverance. Pizzati believes in only listening to her own will and not shaping herself to become what others make her out to be. “I always tell myself to stay strong and to just keep going,” Pizzati said. “No matter who brings you down, they’re nothing to you in the end. Just keep going because you are who you were meant to be. You have the power to change who you are.” She also finds encouragement from people who try to demoralize her. “If anyone says anything negative about me, now it’s just a tool to work on myself and be better and to prove them wrong,” she said. Pizzati has learned to see the perks of her tough experiences, and hopes to continue to be an inspiration for people. “For anyone who’s going through anything tough: don’t let that hold you back because if you do, you’re never going to accomplish what you want in your life,” Pizzati said.
Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that include involvement in the brain and nervous system, such as movement, learning, hearing, seeing, and thinking. Causes: • Injuries or abnormalities in the brain • Typically begins in the womb as a baby • Can also occur during the first two years of life, when the baby’s brain is developing
Symptoms: • Tremors • Unstable gait • Lack and loss of coordination • Learning disabilities • Speech, hearing, or vision problems • Seizures compiled by Lauryn Alejo
12 . HIGH TIDE . FEATURES
That’s tear-ible Freshman Kai Osagie’s incurable eye condition causes him to tear up randomly by Kelly Harraka
He is repeatedly asked if he is “okay”, only to reply that he is fine. He isn’t upset; he simply has a condition where he can’t control his tears, and eye surgery cannot help him. Five years after his surgery, freshman Kai Osagie has had no visual improvements. “I’m not glad I had the surgery. It gives me a story to tell but it was basically pointless,” Osagie said. “It was a waste of time. There were no effects from the surgery except for the scars on my eyelids. The surgery was to find out why I ‘teared’.” On occasion he has a tear or two roll down his cheek uncontrollably and sometimes does not notice. The eye condition is not genetic and Osagie has dealt with it since he was little. “I remember a girl in 3rd grade said ‘cry me a river,’” Osagie said. “It bothered me then, but there really wasn’t anything I could do about it.” In 2008, when Osagie was 9, he underwent eye surgery. “I was excited and kind of nervous,” Osagie said. “I was even jittering, but I knew everything was going to be okay.” During the surgery, Osagie was completely unconscious and has no recollection of what they did. “The last thing I remember before the surgery was that they gave me a sleeping drug and told me to count to ten. I fell asleep before I reached ten and then they did the surgery,” Osagie said. “When I was asleep they had put a tube in my throat and when I woke up it really hurt.” Osagie was taken out of the hospital in a wheelchair because he couldn’t see where he was going. “The surgery took about 2 hours, but I was blind for ten days. I could see stuff but I couldn’t tell what it was,” Osagie said. “Everything was blurry. It was like when you look under water, but a lot worse. I remember being really happy because the surgery told the doctors that I didn’t have cancer.” The surgery, however, did not affect Osagie’s eyes. “For the entire ten days I just laid in my dad’s room. I listened to music because I couldn’t watch television. I was just really bored,” Osagie said. His watery eyes don’t disable him from doing daily activities, but they do affect him is when he is playing sports. “It’s really frustrating because I always play sports and when I do I’m usually run-
ning around. Whenever I run my eyes get really watery and interfere with me seeing where I am going,” Osagie said. “I often have to stop to wipe my eyes and then continue playing.” Despite the slight interference with sports, it doesn’t bother him and he continues to play. What does bother him is being asked if he is crying multiple times a day. “I’m always asked, ‘Hey are you crying?’ and then I have to explain the story,” he said. “I usually just tell the people who ask to ask someone I’ve already told so that I don’t have to explain it again. I normally explain like three times a day.” His mother, Tracy, was worried about his condition when he was little, but now knows that it does not negatively affect him and is not a major problem. “I used to be concerned but now that I realize it doesn’t bother him it doesn’t concern me anymore,” she said. Osagie agrees with his mother. “I know that there really isn’t anything that I can do about it, so I try not to worry about it.” Osagie said.
PHOTO BY TYLER EISENHART
13 . HIGH TIDE . FEATURES
Drawing inspiration Cosmo Wegman spends his time drawing cartoons and realistic images by Sophia Ruffo
3. PHOTOS BY LAUREN DIETHELM
Sketchy. 1. Cosmo Wegman begins his sketch. 2. Wegman makes progress on his illustration. 3. Minutes later, Wegman completes his art, a portrait of a zombie.
A pencil unlocks a completely new universe filled to the brim with endless possibilities that freshman Cosmo Wegman draws. Inspiration is all around him, and when it strikes he only needs to take out a pencil and sketch. “Something pops into my head and I just start drawing, or I could be thinking about something for a while and if I think it would be nice to draw a comic or something I sketch it out and I come up with characters and refine it,” Wegman said. Wegman draws all kinds of art, from cartoons to realistic portraits. “If I have enough room I like to draw big pictures of big goofy things and exaggerate them. Most of the time I’ll base my drawing off of something I’ve seen, like if I see a cartoon and it looks cool then I might draw that cartoon in a different way,” Wegman said. Wegman enjoys all of his creations, but he likes to draw is realistic looking art the most. “From what I have all together I think I take more pride in my more realistic art. I like to draw zombies or faces, that kind of stuff, a lot.” Wegman said.
Wegman’s mother, Christine Lewis, says that he started drawing from a very young age. “I think Cosmo was probably one when he got crayons and I don’t think he’s ever put them down. He’s traveled with art supplies sense he was two; I don’t think he’d go anywhere without his paper and pens and pencils,” Lewis said. “He never needed coloring books because he didn’t want to color someone else’s art, he was always creating his own.” Wegman uses his art as an outlet to express himself. “Drawing helps me with my emotions, if I’m sad or mad, I could go in my room and sit there and draw. I think it helps with my emotions. If I didn’t have drawing then that would affect me a lot emotionally and mentally, and I would have more trouble getting my emotions out,” Wegman said. In the future, Wegman hopes to be able to share his art with the world. “I just like to draw and I can express myself a lot with art, especially if people laugh at it or it makes people scared or creeps them out. I hope that someday I can do something with my art to help cheer people up or something like that,” Wegman said.
Playing the game above the horizontal Senior Alex Walsh has been selected to try out for the All American Rugby Team. by Chandler Ross
Traveling to Argentina, Europe or Australia can sound like an exquisite vacation, but for senior Alex Walsh it can mean a big opportunity in his sport, rugby. Walsh has also been invited to try out for the High School All American Team, which plays teams all across the world, including Europe. However, he will first have to earn a spot on the team by going to a week long camp in Phoenix, Ariz. in December. “I couldn’t believe it when the e-mail came through from the USA rugby coach, Salty Thompson. Not only with the invite, but also complimenting me on my rugby playing ability,” Walsh said. Walsh has been training more since. “It has meant a great deal of extra fitness work as I have fitness schedules to follow, targets to meet and nutritional guidelines to follow,” Walsh said. Walsh keeps “tight schedule” training in order to improve his abilities in his position. “I’m a fly-half and that’s one of the main positions of the field, so I do the kicking and make the decisions. If we kick the goal, then it’s my responsibility to make that kick and get the points for the team; if I don’t make it
14 . HIGH TIDE . FEATURES
then we lose the points,” Walsh said. His role as fly-half on the team requires him to take a leadership position which can sometimes be challenging, according to Walsh. Walsh gets a lot of support from his friends and family who help and encourage him at his games. “They come to all of my games and support me, they help me choose decisions, and they helped me for colleges, for rugby, by taking me around colleges to go look at the teams and speak to the coaches,” Walsh said. Walsh’s “biggest supporter” is his mother, Sally Witty. She is the team manager, and a “big fan of the sport”. “I think it is great that Alex plays rugby. It is a very demanding game. Rugby is a game that is both physically and mentally challenging, and teaches the guys discipline, organization and communication skills, which are all essential life skills ,” Sally said. Walsh has been playing rugby, a sport played with an oval ball that is supposed to be passed and carried from player to player to the end of the goal line, since he was six years old and finds the sport to exciting. “Rugby is fun because we all are close friends and we all play the best we can and
therefore usually win the game. We always socialize and celebrate after the game too and have a good laugh,” Walsh said. His leadership role as fly-half on the team requires him to deal with the pressure of his position. “It’s my responsibility to keep the team together and keep them focused. If I pull a bad move and we lose the ball, then it’s on me, so it’s a lot of pressure to think what’s the right move to do,” Walsh said. As for Walsh’s future, he will be attending Arizona State in the fall, where he will be playing rugby. Walsh also said he would “definitely” consider playing rugby professionally. “That would definitely be something I would want to do, if the opportunity was there,” Walsh said. Overall, Walsh thinks more people should participate in this sport and at least try it out. “I feel like so many people would enjoy it because it’s not a big sport and not many people know about it,” Walsh said. “Just try it and if you don’t like it, then don’t play, but I feel like most people who try it, will enjoy it and as long as you play for a decent team, then you’ll have fun.”
PHOTO COURTESY OF ALEX WALSH
Kick off. Alex Walsh punts the ball to start off a game. Walsh has been recognized by the USA rugby coach, who complimented him on his playing ability, according to Walsh.
Threads by Amanda Shaw
With 34 short-sleeve T-shirt sales already under their belts, seniors Ryan Cockburn and Tyler Novak are working on their second product for their new clothing line, Tribe Los Angeles. “It’s an amazing feeling being able to hold one of our products in our hands because of the process we’ve gone through of creating a design. To finally have the material in front of us that’s our creation is an amazing feeling,” Novak said. Through their strong interest in street wear, as well as help from their friend senior Cain Castor, Cockburn and Novak have progressed step-by-step towards creating what they hope will be a successful clothing line. “We’re trying to create an image for something that’s fashion-forward, but still aimed towards skateboarding and streetwear, something that’s inspired by brands like ‘Supreme’, ‘Babe’ and ‘Huff’,” Cockburn said. They want their clothing line to be of high quality and for their clothing items to be objects of pride. “We decided to start our own line of clothing because we were very interested in street wear and had been purchasing cloth-
Ryan Cockburn and Tyler Novak are developing a new clothing line called Tribe Los Angeles
ing from street wear brands for many years and decided that we should start our own company. We always had ideas for designs and decided that if no companies were going to create what we wanted, we would take it upon ourselves to create clothing we wanted and hopefully other people would take interest in,” Novak said. For inspiration, Cockburn and Novak mainly sort through photography and already existing designs, in hopes of finding something to put their own twist on and incorporate into their own clothing designs. “We like looking up a bunch of old images and finding ads, or even looking at other look-books for other brands that they’ve come out with the same kind of clothing as us, and getting inspiration from that,” Cockburn said. They will be expanding their clothing line with a long-sleeved T-shirt in a couple of months, as well as donating 20% of all sales to Philippines Support Programs to help the needy. “In the future, we hope to continue putting stuff out, to keep it the same quality, and to have the same interests that we have right now, as well as to other people that want to buy the clothing,” Novak said. Through the process of designing a cloth-
2. PHOTOS BY TYLER EISENHART
ing line, Cockburn and Novak have gained a sense of independence, and self-sufficiency. “It’s cool because we did it ourselves. We didn’t take loans from family members or anything. We designed it, we put it out, we paid for it and we’re selling it ourselves, so it’s all between us,” Cockburn said. They know that every dollar they’ve earned and every T-shirt they’ve designed is a direct product of their ideas, motivation and passion for fashion.
Tribal wear. 1. Cockburn and Novak hope to create popular styles based on what they look for in clothing, while keeping true to the street wear style.
“I believe it is important to dress well and be comfortable doing the activities you are taking part in. We wanted to make clothing that one could feel comfortable in but feel proud wearing,” Novak said. “We wanted to make something that people could skate in or feel comfortable cruising the streets or just hanging with friends. Our designs are created to impress others and make people say, ‘I dig what that person is wearing, where can I get that?’”
Brunkhurst used MUN to adjust to living in Kuwait by Reema Saad
Two years in Kuwait is all it took to get junior John Brunckhurst to act like a native. “There are people in Kuwait from all over the world, so it was pretty easy to make friends. Everyone was in the same boat as me and it was a new experience for most people,” Brunckhurst said. Brunckhurst moved to Kuwait because his mother got a position with Chevron Corporation. Of the roughly estimated three million people living in Kuwait, two million of them are registered as foreigners/non-locals (princeton.edu). While everyone from different places had something to share, they also tried hard to be themselves. He believes that he was able to bring his own customs and opinions to share with people around him. “There’s more diversity [in Kuwait] just because everyone is really trying to hold onto where they came from and their ideals. You tend to keep that with you. I think I maintained that pretty well,” Brunckhurst said. Brunckhurst said that the school in Kuwait emphasized and offered many extracur-
ricular activities relating to the real world, such as Model United Nations (MUN). This allowed a space for Brunckhurst to make friends in something that they all had in common. “My friends and I were in MUN actually. It was a student-run organization, so my friends were actually the ones who got me into it,” he said. Being a part of MUN helped Brunckhurst not only make friends, but also become more involved in the community. “I opened my eyes. The experience makes you more of a world citizen,” he said. While many of his friends were from overseas, Brunckhurst also made Kuwaiti friends. “The Kuwaitis are very accepting people and there’s not really anything like bullying or that kind of thing.” Brunckhurst said. The culture also has influences on both private schools and government in Kuwait Brunckhurst was exposed to changes that he said he wasn’t prepared for. “I went to the American School of Kuwait (ASK),” he said. “The school itself was pretty similar to [American schools] except for the facility,” Brunckhurst said. “It had
barbed wire around it. It was just a big square, right next to the main freeway. It kind of looked like a prison.” While at ASK, Brunckhurst met many people who shared the same story as him. With a majority of the population in Kuwait being Muslim, Brunckhurst was exposed to new traditions and ways of life. “A lot of Muslim tradition bleeds through everyday culture how you act and how you treat others,” he said. Brunckhurst said moving to Kuwait was something he was not ready for. At least, not at first. “I was definitely not a happy child. But once I got there, I loved it. I plan on going back over winter break and maintaining the residency I have,” he said.
2. PHOTOS COURTESY OF JOHN BRUNKHURST
International love. 1. Brunkhurst (middle) walks with the new friends that he had made in Kuwait. 2. “When you first touch down and open up the window it’s just sand. You are literally in the middle of the desert, especially where I lived,” he said.
15 . HIGH TIDE . FEATURES
Reaching New Heights Senior Ryan Keliher went on a 215-mile hike from Yosemite to Mount Whitney by Shaniya Markalanda
First there was excitement and anticipation. Then came troubles and homesickness, followed by joy and satisfaction of persevering. Two hundred fifteen miles later, senior Ryan Keliher reflects upon his “remarkable” experience. Over a span of three weeks, Keliher backpacked the John Muir Trail from Yosemite to Mount Whitney. “It was a really unique experience and I’m always going to remember that,” Keliher said. “It’s one of the highlights of my life. Not because it was better than anything else, but it’s just so different. It’s something out of the ordinary that I’m never going to forget.” ““When my adrenaline is rushing, my heart is pounding against my chest as I try to take in air 12,000 feet up all while carrying a fifty pound backpack climbing a mountain pass,” Keliher said. Keliher has went on countless other hikes since he began Boy Scouts at age eleven. “I started hiking because my dad was really passionate about backpacking,” Keliher said. “I just really like being out in nature, and it’s that sense that you know that you’re in such a pristine and beautiful place, and it’s a privilege. You get to see what the world has to offer, no matter if it’s just joy or excitement or just appreciation.” Keliher decided to hike the John Muir Trail to spend more time in nature and have a trip of a lifetime. “Having the opportunity to backpack across the Sierra Nevadas sounded amazing.
Why wouldn’t I do it? I love backpacking,” Keliher said. Keliher considers his backpacking a hobby and a way to “relax and get out of tune with the world.” “I really like backpacking because you get to be outside and away from it all. You’re getting a sense of what’s beautiful about the world without people,” Keliher said. Out in nature without people, Keliher has to carry all his supplies in his backpack. “You need your shelter and your tent. You need your sleeping pads--that’s something you’re going to sleep on top. You need your sleeping bag to keep you warm,” said Keliher. “You’re going to need your food and all the clothing that you’re going to wear day to day. You need cooking equipment to cook your food.” The John Muir backpacking trip involved much preparation besides simply gathering the necessary supplies. “Six months in advance, down to the day we left, we would go on local hikes around the local mountains of San Bernardino. The whole idea is you do little steps to prepare for your huge, long trip,” Keliher said. “It’s so that you can get ready and you can get all your problems out of it, so when you go on the real thing, you’re all prepared for it.” Because the trip continued over three weeks, it was split into three sections. “When you’re doing a long trip like this, there’s points where you have to resupply. You can only carry so much food for a certain amount of time,” said Keliher. “So along the trail we’d stop and people would either come in and give us food or they would join
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us and we’d hike with them. Keliher’s father joined him at one of these stops after the first week. In addition to getting more supplies at these stops, Keliher’s father joined him after the first week. “For the first week, I hiked with six other people. Then they stopped and my dad and his friend joined me. We went for another week and then my dad’s friend left, and we both did the final week,” said Keliher. Keliher’s father, John Keliher, is “proud” of his son’s achievement in completing the John Muir Trail. “Spending 215 miles and 21 days on High Sierra trails is certainly an achievement. This kind of backpacking requires both physical and mental stamina on a daily basis,” John said. “Backpacking is not a glamour sport. When you’re on the trail, it’s just you and your backpack.” Backpacking also serves as a way for Keliher’s family to bond. “It’s the whole idea of teamwork. When you’re out backpacking and working with people, you’re relying on them and they’re relying on you. You’re building strong bonds and getting to experience the side of them that you wouldn’t necessarily get to see.” Keliher hopes to hike all over the world. “If I had the time and money and opportunities, I would go to Europe and go hiking there, or down to New Zealand or South America,” Keliher said. “There are so many different trails. There are so many different trips. There are so many different amounts of time that you commit to hiking in places. I would love to go anywhere.”
PHOTOS COURTESY OF RYAN KELIHER ILLUSTRATION BY JOSEPH BIESCHKE
Bop to the top. 1. Keliher backpacked for 215 miles on the John Muir Trail. 2. “With backpacking, it’s more about covering distances and getting to unique places as opposed to just staying in one place and looking over and saying, ‘I want to spot an eagle or a bear today.’ The event may come up where we see wildlife, but that’s a blessing and really unique. That’s not necessarily the first priority,” Keliher said. 3. ”We’re going to a different place every single day. The atmosphere and the environment are constantly changing around you. What’s really unique about the John Muir Trail is you’re getting a sense of what the Sierra Nevada has to offer and all its glory,” Keliher said.
Freshman Katie Katayama hikes and does other outdoor activities in her free time. by Marie Ona
She stands 12,000 feet above the ground, knowing that she could slip and fall to her death at any moment. It’s just another day outdoors for freshmen Katie Katayama. She is passionate for outdoor activities and enjoys hiking, climbing, rappelling and zip lining. “You know how you love something and don’t know why? That’s me with hiking and climbing. It’s really fun. I just enjoy it a lot,” Katayama said. “I like the feeling of my adrenaline rushing. It gets my heart pumping and my blood rushing.” When Katayama is at the top of the mountain, she feels “amazed” and enjoys the scenic views. “It definitely gets my heart racing when I’m climbing without being attached to anything but I never have a fear or get nervous doing it,” she said. “Fear can make you hesitate, and hesitating isn’t always a good thing. You just have to go for it.” Adventurous for as long as she can remember, Katayama likes a challenge. “Most people take the easy path. I would always be the one who would go the hardest path you can choose ,” she said. “My mom would always tell me I was like a little
monkey-child. I would just be climbing everything.” There are many dangers that come with these activities and Katayama takes the risks. “I learned my limits because now I know when something is too hard or too dangerous. I’m not crazy, I know where to draw the line even though I really push against the line,” she said. “I’ve slipped a couple times where if I didn’t catch myself I’d probably would have gotten really hurt.” She makes sure that she is always prepared for the risks and has learned survival skills needed to determine signs of danger. “The last thing you need is to be climbing the edge of a cliff and have the ground fall from underneath you,” she said. “If I was ever in a situation where I needed skills like this, it would help me be able to take care of that problem.” She only knows she is ready to take any step further when she has built up to it from past experiences. “You shouldn’t just take this giant leap from something super easy to something super hard,” she said. “If you’re not ready for something and you make a mistake, one mistake can end your life. It’s a risk that comes with doing this.” Katayama has traveled around the Unit-
ed States, Ecuador, Costa Rica, the Galapagos Islands, and Paris for these activities. She enjoys the outdoors. “I love to be in nature. It’s like being free,” she said. “I don’t have all those restrictions of being in the city. I prefer places like the woods. There aren’t a lot of people around and it’s calm and peaceful. I feel carefree.” Katayama is able to enjoy the outdoors with her cousin, Max Wilson, as they spend time hiking together in Arizona. “The outdoors community is an extremely tight knit group because of the relationships and bonds that you build while working together in really tough conditions. When you climb with people you always get closer,” Wilson said.” Being in the outdoors has brought Katie and I together because it has allowed us to spend time together in adverse conditions working towards a common goal.” Wilson supports Katayama’s adventurous lifestyle. “I think Katie’s love for the outdoors is great. As someone who spends most of their time outdoors, I can’t think of a better hobby for Katie,” Wilson said. “Katie seems to be at her best when she is outside pushing herself. These moments are where her reliance, resolve, and poise shine through.”
She and her cousin were able to hike Humphrey’s Peak (12,637ft) in Arizona. Wilson describes it as a “fairly difficult hike”, where weather “can get bad very quickly”, and the distance from top to bottom is “very prominent”. “I was really impressed by her speed and we passed just about everyone on the mountain that day. Katie did a great job on the mountain hiking all day; being patient and never complaining,” Wilson said. “We went from desert in Phoenix to tundra on the peak and back in less than 24 hours, all while catching a great view of the Grand Canyon along the way. It was a great day.” Katayama hopes to become the first woman to hike Mount Everest and the Seven Summits. “When I was little I think I just did it because I liked it, but now that I’m older I have set up goals for myself,” she said. “I plan to do it one day.” Combined with her love of photography, Katayama hopes to pursue this as a career when she is older. “It’s already a passion of mine. I just love it a lot,” she said. “When I grow up, I really want to take pictures while doing this stuff. It’s just so much fun to get out and do those things like this.”
Wadden deals with clinical depression and consequences by Jason Clebowicz
PH SE JO
At age eight she was climbing over her second story balcony, threatening to end her life. Senior Lauren Wadden has struggled with clinical depression for nine years. The root of her melancholy was bullying, which began in elementary school and continuing through pre-adolescent middle school. “I was constantly bullied and it felt like the entire school targeted me. On top of that, I did not have many friends, which accentuated it,” said Wadden. One of the worst memories of her middle school experience was in seventh grade when a group of students in her grade created a fake video implying that Wadden would openly perform certain sexual activities. “They ganged up on me, making a video of me saying that I would hook up with anyone and that I was desperate, which caused me a lot of sadness,” said Wadden Not only did it affect her physically, but it also became a challenge to keep a healthy mental state. Depression had entered her thoughts and started to cause her trouble.
“It is a constant state, not just like one psychiatrist to diagnose me,” said Wadden. According to Wadden, her life was like time I was depressed. It comes and goes but a never-ending downhill slope, but real life mostly I think about how I wish I did not heroes came to her rescue--true friends. have to go through this,” said Wadden. According to Wadden, they were there Her depression affected everything she did. It carried over to her grades and ILLUSTRATION BY for her through her troubles and LUM AW guided her back on her feet. school life, which have always EG M AN “My friends have been been of great importance so amazing and supto Wadden. portive. They would “There have been call me up if they some instances thought I looked where I have been sad at school to so emotionally make sure I was stressed that I feeling all right,” couldn’t focus said Wadden. in school. Even According though school has to Wadden, she always been a prieventually began ority, I couldn’t do to get her life back it,” said Wadden. on track, lifting the Her emotional disher depression. She extress carried over into her plored different ways of selfhome life, where her hysteria improvement while surrounding only became more potent. “I would come home and cry every herself with a support group of classmates. “I started to take medicines, attend thernight, and tell my parents I didn’t want to live anymore. That’s when they took my to a apy, and surround myself with good people.
I’d always tell myself not to get too stressed out over stuff, which would work most of the time,” said Wadden. A major aspect of her support group is her boyfriend, Kyle Ihde, who, last summer, started to spend several nights at Wadden’s house to support her. He now lives at her house most days. Despite Ihde being important to Wadden, they said that they have had difficult phases coping with her depression and their relationship. “Sometimes she cannot help but be a big emotional baby, and she does not see how much I want to be with her,” said Ihde. Ihde says that he makes sure to always be there for her. “I laugh with her, I buy her food and help her with anything she needs to put her in a good mood,” said Ihde. According to Wadden, she has learned how to cope with her depression and is not fearful of what lies ahead in her life. “I’ve struggled with depression my entire life, and it something I’ve really improved on this last year. It’s a battle, but it’s a battle I’m always willing to fight,” said Wadden.
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Basketball wins Pacific Shores by Alejandro Quevedo
Last week, the boys’ basketball team won the Pacific Shores Tournament for the first time since 2007. “It felt really good because everybody was already expecting Saint John Bosco to win and we felt like we had something to prove knowing that we were coming off of a state championship,” junior Cameron High said. “We wanted to prove that last year wasn’t a fluke.” Although they won the state championship, sophomore Jeremiah Headley believes that the team still has much to prove. “We can play with some of the top tal-
ent in California, but now it’s time to prove that we are one of the best in the nation,” Headley said. The team’s strategy of using their size advantage inside paid off with the team winning this tournament. This size advantage is due largely to new addition senior Terrell Carter who contributed to the team’s victory in a big way, contributing mostly on defense. “Terrell helped us by grabbing some boards and scoring, but he’s trouble on the defensive end,” Headley said. Carter believed that the team had the potential to win and was happy when they came out on top.
“Winning the tournament felt wonderful. This being my first year with Redondo, it made the victories that much better for me,” Carter said. Although he is new, Carter already feels welcome in the program. “I love the team, they did a great job of accepting me into the culture and making me feel at home,” Carter said. Moving forward, High believes that the team knows what they have to do to build on this tournament victory and continue a winning streak for the rest of the season. “We know we have heart and fight in us and now we have to tighten up some things,” High said.
Boys cross country takes fifth at state by Jason Fong
Over Thanksgiving Break, Boys Cross Country qualified for the CIF State Championships, and took fifth overall at the meet. The team placed seventh at the CIF Finals, and qualified for last Saturday’s CIF State Championships. “The team did okay. We had the potential to be in the top three at CIF Finals, but still managed to qualify for state and take care of business. The team definitely could’ve placed higher.” Coach Julie Ferron said. However, junior Carlos Suarez placed tenth overall at the CIF Finals and even achieved all CIF honors. “The team ran well and placed fifth in a very competitive division. They were only six points away from third,” coach Julie Ferron said. According to Ferron, her runners had to stay focused on their goals and continue training even over Thanksgiving break. “While other kids are relaxing over Thanksgiving break, our runners continued to train hard, and were entirely focused on achieving their whole goal of doing well at the CIF Finals and state.” Ferron said. The team is losing many of their runners, and next year will be spent focusing on rebuilding the team. “Next year is definitely going to be a rebuilding year. Six out of seven of our runners are seniors and are graduating this year,” Ferron said. Ferron believes that Suarez has the potential to be a leader for next year’s team. “I really see Carlos as a leader for next year. He’s got an impeccable work ethic, is respected by all of his teammates, and is a great role model,” Ferron said. Despite the team’s loss of this year’s runners, Ferron is still confident in the team’s
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capacity for success. “I’m confident that the team will still do well-we’ve got a strong group of JV boys, who will do well with experience. I believe that we can make it to the CIF Finals again,” Ferron said. Ferron cites the team’s cohesiveness as the key to their success this season. “We really work together as a team. Most of them have been running together since their freshman year. They’re really close and always try to support each other,” Ferron said.
PHOTO BY MATT MARDESICH
CIF run cut short
Football’s season ends in CIF playoffs with a loss to Valencia. The team now reflects on the season and looks to the future. by Eli Jarmel
PHOTOS BY MATT MARDESICH
Front runner. Senior Takehiro Yamaya runs at the PV meet.
Football’s season ended last Friday with a 38-17 playoff loss to Valencia High School. The team finished with an overall record of 6-5 and a 2-3 record in Bay League. Junior safety Zane Zent felt that the team played hard and was able keep up with Valencia. “We came out knowing it was going to be a tough game. We had practiced really hard and we were ready to play,” Zent said. “They out-played us a little bit but we fought back and we were [competitive with Valencia] for the whole game.” Zent felt that the team could be proud of their performance against Valencia and their season as a whole. “We all left the field with our heads held high,” Zent said. “We had a pretty strong season and we did our best against Valencia.” With the loss against Valenica, the team’s seniors walked off the field for the last time
in RUHS uniform. Zent and the other juniors on the varsity team embraced the significance of their teammates’ final game, and Zent knows he will miss the seniors. “I made a lot of relationships with the seniors over the course of the year,” Zent said. “It was really sad knowing that I’ll never play football with those [seniors] again.” The returning juniors will have to carry the team as seniors next fall. Zent has confidence that his class has what it takes to push the team into Bay League contention and better success in the CIF playoffs. “Our goal is to go a lot farther in the playoffs than we did this year. We want to win a couple of playoff games next season,” Zent said. With the football season over, the countdown to next year begins. Zent is excited for what is to come for the team and his high school football career. “I’m very excited to be a senior and I couldn’t be more excited to come out and play football again [next season],” Zent said.
Girls volleyball falls short by Romy Moreno
Although the girls’ season was cut short due to their loss against Oak High School last Saturday, they are still proud of themselves. Senior Briana Lanktree believes that the team did everything in their ability to do well throughout the course of the season. “We definitely did everything we were capable of and the entire team committed and that’s all I can ask for as a captain,” Lanktree said. However, according to the girls it was still an extremely emotional loss, especially for the seniors. “It’s not a good feeling to lose at any time, but knowing that was the last game I would ever play, the last time I would ever put on a Redondo volleyball jersey, it was really hard,” senior Marissa Mitter said. “Knowing that we had the capability and talent to win CIF made it that much more disappointing to lose how we did.” Junior Abril Bustamante shares the same feelings. “It felt terrible to lose. I felt like we let the seniors down. I really wanted it for them. Coming so close to a ring last year I was so eager to get one this year, so it was a total let down,” Bustamante said.
According to Mitter, the team was able to grow a lot as a whole and become better players throughout the season. The team agreed that the highlights of the season include sweeping Mira Costa both at home and away, and winning the Redondo Classic Tournament, coming in first in Bay League and making it to quarterfinals is CIF. “Achieving all of the accomplishments we did was extremely exciting and showed us how great of a team we really are,” Lanktree said. “We were able to win our Redondo Classic Tournament and sweep Costa both times because we all were very focused, and worked hard throughout practice,” BedhartGhani said. Mitter believes a highlight in the season was Las Vegas tournament. “The way we played during the Las Vegas tournament with losing three of our starters was outstanding and truly showed that we were a team that was able to step up to the occasion,” Mitter said. Even though the team agrees that they had a great season, they still believe that they had the ability to do better than they did. “We did good, but could have done better in the end if we had talked more and had
2. PHOTOS BY MATT MARDESICH
better communication because we definitely had the skill to go all the way,” Hamlin said. Overall the players believe that their season was a success and that they were able to accomplish many things.
Setting the stage for success The girls cross country team is confident in their preparation for the CIF Finals. by Jené Price
After going to Nationals two years ago and State last year, the girls cross country team return to CIF finals this Saturday at Mount San Antonio College (Mt. Sac) and have high expectations. “It’s really exciting going to CIF especially because this is the meet right before state,” junior Amber Gore said. “There’s also a lot of expectations to do well to get to state.” According to Gore, the training has gotten easier because the coaches like to rest the runners’ legs before they run. Although the coaches do not push them as hard as usual before CIF finals the girls do some extra workouts outside of running to prepare. “We lift weights to beef up a little to run up the hills,” Gore said. The girls have put in a lot of hard work this season, according to coach Julie Ferron, and many of the runners expect the results to reflect the team’s hard work, including junior Anevay Hiehle. “I’ve definitely gotten a lot stronger so my times are a lot faster this year than last year,” Hiehle said. Hiehle believes the team has the potential to get to state as long as they can pack up.
“I think the whole team can agree that we feel ready to really give it our all and run to our very best potential,” Hiehle said. “I believe we will make it to state this year by making sure that we can pack up and just run as a whole team like at CIF preliminaries.” According to coach Ferron, the girls have prepared all season for this meet and she be-
lieves they are ready. “The girls team has been preparing all season for this meet. We have trained the girls hard all season in order for them to peak for CIF Finals this Saturday, and for the CIF State Meet next Saturday in Fresno,” Ferron said. “We have been focusing on getting a fast start and running as a pack and continuing to improve as a team.”
PHOTO BY MATT MARDESICH
Pack runners. Sophomore Jessica Washington and junior Anevay Hiehle run together at a meet earlier this season. Hiehle is preparing for the CIF finals this Saturday at Mt.Sac.
High flyers. 1. Senior Marissa Mitter celebrates to a point gain against Marlborough. 2. Junior Abril Bustamante spikes the ball.
“Our motto this season was ‘Humble yet Hungry’ and for the most part I believe we were able to live up to the motto and achieve the goals we set for ourselves,” Lanktree said.
Boys water polo loses CIF opener by Sophie Maguy
Boys water polo finished a “successful season,” according to Coach Mark Rubke, last week, with a record of 18-8. “I thought we had one of our most successful seasons because we won the majority of our games, and we won a number of very tough games that could have gone either way,” Rubke said. The game that ended their season occurred on Wednesday, Oct. 13, when they lost to La Canada 17-12. “I like the way we started, but I was disappointed that we allowed La Canada to get so much momentum so quickly in the second quarter,” Rubke said. Although, according to Rubke, “the second quarter was where the game was won” the boys “fought hard” until the last whistle. “I thought they represented RUHS well in that regard- they just kept playing, even when we were down as much as we were,” Rubke said. Rubke is proud of the way the seniors embraced their leadership roles throughout the season. “They have been a great group of seven the whole way,” he said.
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Abuse according to other countries compiled by Deborah Chang
. . . . Information from Population Reference Bureau and The Clark County Prosecuting Attorney PHOTOS BY MATT MARDESICH
cont. from pg. 1 “I had no legal recourse at all, no foundation whatsoever to pursue any kind of case, especially in that situation,” he said. After Namie’s parents divorced when she was two, Namie was given to her mother, since according to the Japanese Civil Code, the child traditionally belongs to the mother and the father has no legal custody after signing the divorce papers. Eventually, Mr. Fotion was given custody of Namie. “I really had confidence in her mom. In the end her mom really did come through. It took about four years, but [her] mom gave back Namie to me and we are both happy with her decision,” Mr. Fotion said. Namie had a much deeper struggle during the abuse, however. After the divorce, Namie’s mother, to her ex-husband’s surprise, married Namie’s stepfather after knowing him for only six months. “‘Is he going to hit you? Is he going to hit Namie?’ I said those exact words and it’s like they all came true. In that sense, I did feel responsible. I warned her and I told her not to marry this guy after six months,” Mr. Fotion said. When the mom and stepfather married, they moved to Taiwan, and Namie was illegally adopted by her stepfather so she could be recorded in the government by his family register. “I was told if I didn’t sign the adoption papers I would never see her again,” Mr. Fotion said. After finding out about the stepfather’s abuse to his daughter, Mr. Fotion, with the mother’s cooperation, was eventually able to get Namie illegally out of Taiwan to Japan
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while the stepfather was out with his friends. “Once on the bus to my apartment, I looked down at that six-year-old baby and said, ‘It’s all over, Namie. This isn’t a visit. You’re never going back to your stepfather again. I promise.’ I will never forget how her face glowed,” Mr. Fotion said. Back in Taiwan, Namie’s mother got a lawyer to sue for a divorce, but the stepfather refused to sign the divorce papers. In Taiwan, both the man and women must consent to the divorce unless proven of adultery or beating, according to Taiwan’s Civil Code. “Even though she was beaten, she couldn’t prove it even though there was enough evidence,” Mr. Fotion said. Because he did not want to lose money, the stepfather eventually agreed to sign the papers, but the “terrible” things the mother went through made her attempt suicide three times. “She was going to take me and jump off a 16 floor building because she said that was better than being around my stepfather,” Namie said. Her mother never succeeded, but was later hospitalized from the stress. “Her mom had to get treatment for some mental illness. She had an ulcer operation after everything happened--getting beaten and a marriage like that-- and this was at the age of 26. This was so intense; it really hurt her,” Mr. Fotion said. Both Namie and Mr. Fotion learned of the mother being hospitalized after she had lost an “important” job, leaving her homeless. Her only option was to move back with her “unhappy” father. “I just felt so sorry for her and indirectly responsible. I just said these things that were so pathetic,” Mr. Fotion said.
After being hospitalized and living with her father, Namie’s mother was recently able to live on her own again and now lives in Ise in Mie Prefecture of the Shinto region. Both Namie and Mr. Fotion are happy for her after everything she has been through. “She’s been through such terrible stuff. To be under a man’s power like that, I just can’t imagine being under another human being’s power,” Mr. Fotion said. Mr. Fotion was only able to see Namie because of the stepfather allowed him. “He supported me. I hadn’t seen Namie in seven months and I wanted to see her. Her mom was saying ‘no,’ the whole family was saying ‘no.’ In the whole world, he was the only person that let me see Namie,” Mr. Fotion said. “In the end I really forgave him, but it’s not up to me to forgive him. I wasn’t the one beaten. Namie and her mom were.” After three years and nine months of abuse, Namie was reunited with her father who took her away from her “bad acting” stepfather on Oct. 23, 2004. Her transition to America in 2005 was difficult, so she acted “rough” towards kids at her new school. “It was really bad for me when I first came to America. If someone is abused, they become abusers themselves,” Namie said. “I didn’t consider that I could be friends with anyone.” During that time, Namie was known as “the girl who would steal anything,” and most people stayed away from her. “What I had gone through influenced [my behavior], but I thought every first grader did that-- doesn’t really understand sharing and just wants it his or her way-[but] I was more violent than kids around me,” Namie said. Namie remembers an incident with one of her “few” friends during first grade while
adjusting to school in America. “[A boy] was really annoying me one time in PE when we were doing relay races. I guess I messed up or something, and he just grabbed my wrist and said ‘Namie don’t do that again.’ I got really upset and just karate chopped his arm, and then I got sent to the office for that,” Namie said. During this time, Mr. Fotion understood her actions. “Sometimes I would talk to him and he would really support me. He would just listen to me, and that’s all I really needed because before no one would really listen,” Namie said. In addition to her father, Namie was also supported by her friends, including freshman Jocelyn Sfetcu. “I know it’s really hard to remember things like that,” Sfetcu said. “If anything makes her feel better, I’m there for her.” Although Sfectu felt angry at what Namie had to go through, she is happy that Namie was able to come to America. “She’s really strong. I don’t know how she’s able to cope, but it makes me really happy that she’s able to have all this nice stuff and not have to deal with all the sadness,” Sfetcu said. Mr. Fotion is also grateful the story ended happily. “It’s really tied us closer together. It makes incredible bonds like you go through war. People go through war together and they become really close,” Mr. Fotion said. With the story over, Namie has become more “confident” and is able to be “happier” about life in general. “It was really hard for me to smile before, but now I’m like one of those people who smile all the time,” Namie said. “I say ‘Just be happy.”
Vol. XCIV Edition 6