I r v i n g t o n H i g h S c h o o l - B o o g e r H o l l e r, A r k a n s a s Volume 16.6
Parking for All
Voice Staffer Kidnapped
Irvington receives grant to build new parking structure By Annie Lee Last week, Irvington High School received a $800,000 grant to be used for on-site construction from the Fremont Unified School District. With the increase in seniors, juniors and even sophomores driving to school this year, it has been extremely difficult to find parking on campus. Thus, Irvington’s Site Council has proposed building a new parking structure in the dirt alongside the new cafeteria. “I always have to arrive at school about 25 minutes before the bell rings just to get parking in real parking spaces,” said junior Brittany Sayla. “It is almost as if it is a fight to see who can survive the parking challenge.” The parking structure will be located in the patch of dirt, currently lying behind the new cafeteria. It will be comprised of three stories, with about 20 parking spaces on each floor. However, the budget will not allow for the building of elevators. There will be stairs allowing people who park on the top floor to walk down to the first floor. A team of 18 construction workers will be working on this new structure. The blueprints have been drawn up and are in the process of being approved. Actual construction for this new structure will not begin until June 2008. “People who park in the dirt sometimes box cars in, making it extremely difficult for them to get out,” said senior Karan Jimhu. “The parking is very unorganized; people basically park wherever there is an empty dirt patch.” There are about 25 to 30 cars that park in that dirt patch each day. The demand for parking in the back has gone up, thus providing a need for this parking structure. With the new structure, approximately 30 more cars will be able to park there and the road will become clearer. “The new parking structure will be able to fit about 60 cars,” said constructing team member Gary Kellogg. “It will definitely provide a safer and more efficient way for cars to get in and out of that area.” The parking structure will take about half a year and should be ready by Jan. 2009. Parking spots in the structure will be available for purchase on Maze Day for about $90 for the entire year. Better start saving up.
A security camera catches a fleeting glimpse of the desperate junior Salman Qasim only minutes after his disappearance was reported. By Ashwin Shanker On Apr. 1, junior Salman Qasim, the news editor, and brains behind every sexual innuendo known to man, was kidnapped as he left his house for school. Recently, new information has surfaced about Salman’s whereabouts, and more importantly, the reason for the kidnapping. “We’re doing everything in our power to find out who’s behind this act,” said Police Chief McGruff. “We have our suspects, but our leads are still muddy.” This year, The Voice has consistently managed to offend: homosexuals, heterosexuals, people with big hips, artists and even Mexicans. Most of this was the work of Salman, who has the dangerous curse of offending
INSIDE4 We debate pros and cons of Salman’s kidnapping WEB EXCLUSIVE
Watch Milan Kantaria set himself on fire and jump in a pool full of passionfruit jello.
April 4, 2008
someone in his articles, no matter the context. While most administrators and teachers chose to not address the hilarious yet often vulgar powers of Salman, one group of teachers refused to stay quiet. This group refers to itself as TAASAPOCITV (Teachers Against Ambiguously Sexual And Personally Offensive Comments In The Voice). They have taken serious action before, such as sending death threats to Salman, vandalizing his home, ridiculing his looks and failing him in several classes. Salman once stated before his kidnapping, “You cannot keep me quiet. I say the things that need to be said. Free speech is my mistress.” While it might be too early to assume that this group of
Some changes that you can expect in The Voice are: the elimination of the humor section, the retraction of Ashwin Shanker’s sex article and the removal of senior Milan Kantaria from the newspaper staff. Milan stated, “if there is no Sex, there’s no Milan.” We’re all with you, Milan. We would like to issue our own plea to the kidnappers. Whoever you are, please do not beat Salman too badly. He is an integral player in our newspaper and our lives. Many of us would not be here if it were not for him. Please return him intact. The Voice is offering a $10,000 reward to anyone with information about the crime. Anyone with information should immediately contact the police; do not trust the administration.
Opinions 5 | Flip to the Humor section to read the last article Salman wrote before his disappearance. It’s bound to offend more people Humor 12
A journalist who changed the course of history
Question Man How much do you miss Salman?
teachers is the responsible party for Salman’s kidnapping, The Voice has decided to temporarily write only ‘G Rated’ articles in order to be on the safe side. “Yeah, we received a ransom card with a picture of Salman. Poor guy, he was pretty badly beaten. We hope and pray for his safe return,” said Editorin-Chief senior Annie Wang. Mr. Matthew Phillips, the journalism advisor, was willing to state, “Our staff this year, especially poor Salman, have a tendency to write about articles that are banned in other countries. God save him.” Sadly, many of Salman’s articles that were currently in the works, such as Abortion 101 and How To Date A Fat Girl, have now been taken away in favor of more school appropriate topics.
Speedo derby takes an ugly turn as 17 swimmers arrested PAGE 11
INDEX News Opinions Features Entertainment Sports Humor
1-3 4-5 6-7 8-9 ....10-11 12
2 | The Voice 16.6
Freak Dancing Leads to Freak Accidents
Photo: British Broadcasting Company (BBC)
Freak dancing leads to pregnancy, STDs and death By Britney Green Students always be extinct.” disregard the warnings of the Thus far 5,842 people are repercussions of freak dancing, in the first step, pregnancy. 23,985 for example, being kicked out of students are now screaming at the the dance and a phone call home. news that they now have an STD However, the punishment for and 4,819,652.5 students are now freak dancing is far worse; no you dead. So please, beware, chances won’t be suspended or expelled, are you won’t even remember but it will negatively affect your that minute or two of fun. health. There have already been We should applaud three anonymous Irvington the administration and parents students who have learned this everywhere for trying to keep our the hard way. youth safe and alive. BBC conducted “I knew that freak scientific studies have been dancing could get you kicked out conducted on the new dance of a dance, but I didn’t know it crazes sweeping the nation. lead to death!” exclaimed one There is a 54.8% chance that completely freaked out freshman. the “Soulja Boy” will ruin your “I guess I won’t do it anymore…” reputation; there have been the anonymous underclassmen 72 deaths nationwide resulting said. from “going dumb.” But freak P a r e n t - Te a c h e r dancing? Coordinator Ms. Bee Haven Scientists agree that replied, “We are just going to cut freak dancing can lead to out all school dances because it’s pregnancy, STDs and death, obvious that these young adults in that order, indefinitely. Dr. don’t take this seriously. They Seussenshweite, Ph. D said will probably find another place “This is a huge problem. Like all to freak, but we don’t want to be problems, we have to solve ‘em. responsible for the deaths of our Within a blink, our children will upcoming generation.”
A Whole New World
University of California’s decision causes chaos By Tina Karimi Students in high schools across California are alternating between throes of agony and delight. The UC system has announced that, beginning in 2009, the universities affiliated with the UC system will stop considering SAT and ACT scores. “The SAT has come under fire several times,” says Wanda Lombardi, a representative of UC Berkeley. “We’ve decided to focus more on other areas, like class performance, diversity of schedule and general well-roundedness.” Nothing new there, but in the past, the SAT has been one of the most important factors in deciding college admission. Students who did not do well in certain classes could demonstrate their abilities by scoring well on the SAT, while other students could be turned away if their performance on the test did not match their prowess in the classroom. For now, most colleges outside the UC system are still reviewing SAT scores. But they are looking at new options. One of these options is the PIA test. “PIA” stands for “Practical Intelligence Application”.
According to Lombardi, nothing has been finalized for the PIA test, which will be created by universities, not the College Board, a not-for-profit organization which writes the SAT Reasoning Test, or ACT Inc., the company that created the ACT. “The advantage of this test is that universities will be able to test what they want incoming freshmen know, instead of basing their decisions on tests administered by outside entities,” Lombardi said in a statement. “Everything in the PIA exam will test students’ ability to apply their academic knowledge to the real world.” Students can be expected to be tested in the standard Math and English, as well as Science. The universities are also considering testing “practical applications of knowledge” such as agriculture. The essay question will probably involve a societal problem that students will have to form a solution to in the span of twenty-five minutes. None of the universities involved have officially commented on the exact format of the test, but it is expected to be very different.
Photo: Ms. Allyson McAuley
Goodbye Yale, Hello Chabot
U.S. News & World Report’s college list inverted
The scene is busy as students from all over the state prepare for their debates.
An Irrefutable Success
Speech and Debate hosts its first debate tournament By Mishu Sharma Every March, members of the Irvington Speech and Debate Club prepare for Debate Quals and Speech Quals. This year, however, Irvington hosted Debate Quals on its own campus on Mar. 8. Over 250 students from all over California participated in the event to prove their superior debating skills. “The tournament almost doubled in size,” said Speech and Debate adviser Ms. Susan Piekarski. “Considering we had to get 80% of the rooms on campus ready for the tournament, I think it ran smoothly.” Four parliamentary teams, two Policy teams and three Lincoln-Douglass debaters represented Irvington. As teams were eliminated round after round, only the best of the best remained. After five rounds of presenting her case and refuting her opponents’ cases, sophomore Neetu Puranikmath emerged as the sole Viking to qualify for state. Although the debaters had more than enough to worry
about, many of them helped the dozens of volunteers working the food stands, setting up trophies and attending to the judges’ rooms. “I think it went really well for our first year ever hosting a tournament,” said Speech and Debate President, junior Bani Chaudhary. “We made about $3000 in food sales. We should order more food next year.” Speech Quals was held on Mar. 15 at Miramonte High School. The Irvington representatives were sophomores Justine Yan and Pooja Shah and junior Mahathee Chetepalli. Each speaker participated in three preliminary rounds. If speakers broke, or were ranked as the top speakers in their flights, they then moved on the semifinal round, where the top seven were chosen to qualify for state. Pooja was able to qualify as the second alternate for state. “It was very efficiently run,” said Mahathee. “It was fun to compete with the topnotch speakers from all over California.”
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By Yu-Hsuan Lin The national university rankings published by U.S. News, widely regarded as one of the most comprehensive and reliable sources on college quality, was recently discovered to have a tragically enormous flaw. “As it turns out, the rankings have been upside-down for the past 24 years,” says public relations director Cynthia Powell. “In reality, so-called ‘prominent’ schools like Harvard and Princeton have placed consistently as the worst colleges in the country.” Editors at U.S. News are scrambling to find out how this huge mistake was made. Officials at previously ridiculed colleges such as Watertown University, Ferry Pass State and Ohlone College are furious at their earlier treatment and relieved by the final revelation of the truth. This discovery has, predictably, sparked outrage among people throughout the nation. “I think the false data published by U.S. News has done parents and students across the country a great injustice,” says Department of Education Secretary Margaret Spellings. “All that time spent to finding the perfect college—wasted. The brightest young minds had ended up squandering their talents at the most unfit universities.” “I mean, come on, even a blonde can get into Harvard law,” Spellings adds in exasperation, rolling her eyes. Unfortunately, this news came too late for high school seniors. Many had mistakenly applied to lesser schools while under the illusion of the phony statistics. However, underachievers like Sunny Wu, whose mediocre 2.1 GPA had landed him in a premium college, are pleased. “Ohlone is the second best college in America?!” exclaims an excited Sunny. “Hell yeah!” Polacca Community College, now the #1 college in America, has received a massive influx of requests for campus visits. Other outstanding schools like Dumas College and Port St. Joe’s University have also become popular destinations for gifted high school students.
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This change in public perception of colleges has led to a careful scrutiny of our country’s most “well-educated,” including many of our leaders. “No wonder U.S. politics suck,” says political analyst Jonathan King, graduate of Beaver Community College, now #15 in the new rankings. “Our country’s most powerful positions are held by graduates of the crappiest educational facilities. In fact, President Bush is an alumnus of Yale, which ranks at, like, #3,298.”
April 2008 | 3
Limos Pass the Limit By Milan Kantaria Picture your ideal prom experience. Awesome date, nice restaurant, good DJ, great friends and your dad driving you to and from prom. That’s right. It may have shattered a window in your mind, but welcome to reality. This year Irvington’s administration has extended the “no-limo” rule to include prom as well. This rule, enacted many years ago, served to let those students who did not want to, or could not, bring a limo to each and every dance come and have a good time without worrying about appearances. The administration has come to realize that prom
is, in fact, a dance as well and if the dress code and dancing rules similarly apply there, so should all other rules. This decision has not been made without much protest from students. “Riding in the limo was half of my prom experience, if they take that away from us they better lower the tickets to half the cost!” said senior Christopher Ji. Limousine companies around the Bay Area are just as apalled. The school has received a virtual stack of letters blaming the administration for the downturn for the local economy and depriving limousine businesses of their biggest business.
Parents of students are complaining that by getting rid of this opportunity, the school is depriving their children of an essential high school experience. “It’s like a right of passage,” one parent commented. “A right of passage in style.” Many are hoping that the trend will not spread to other schools in the district so they will be able to ride in a limo one last time as the date of a friend. Administrators are warning students that there is nothing to be gained by protesting and those students who break school rules will be punished to the full extent of the rules. Photo: www.a1limobus.com
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Students lose the opportunity to show up in style as the administration cracks down on limos
The Patterson property, with the stream that runs through the land.
The Fight for Coyote Hills Grassroots organizations bring to light plight of open spaces By Yu-Hsuan Lin Those who drive along the stretch of Paseo Padre near Coyote Hills are familiar with its panorama of yellow mustard flowers. Nearby patches of marshland, riparian and upland habitat support various waterfowl, hawks, owls, foxes, skunks and deer that have been displaced by development. Now it seems that these animals will have to move on once more. The Patterson family, which has historically owned a large part Fremont, plans to develop the area between Coyote Hills and Ardenwood. Christened Patterson Ranch, the project will include 800 houses and a strip mall. The developers have also agreed to build parks, schools and a church to benefit the community. Residents quickly rose to challenge the development plan. In late 2007, Friends of Coyote Hills, a local organization, teamed up with the national environmental Sierra Club to push forward Measure K, which seeks to rezone the disputed area as “agricultural” land. This change in designation will restrict development in the area. Measure K was opposed by all members of the Fremont City Council, who argued that the proposal involved private
land and could result in lawsuits from the Patterson family and the Cargill Corporation, which also owns a portion of the land. Attorneys representing the Pattersons estimated that as much as $50 million could be lost in taxpayer money from settlements. Measure K was also criticized for being overly simplistic in its design, as some opponents noted that it did not adequately address environmental concerns. After a campaign in which the Friends of Coyote Hills were outspent 13 to one, Measure K was defeated. The City Council held public meetings to address concerns and suggestions about the Patterson Ranch project, and in January of 2008, released a draft of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for citizens to comment on and review. Even though Measure K was defeated, Friends of Coyote Hills and their associates have not given up. The group asks residents to make Patterson Ranch an issue in the 2008 City Council elections. If FCH manages to keep its volunteers galvanized, it could be a potential force: over 15,000 voters supported Measure K, in comparison to the 16,747 votes Mayor Bob Wasserman had garnered to win the 2002 elections.
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Opinions 4 | The Voice 16.6
Are donations really enough to actually help?
Making a Difference
Donations Just Scratch the Surface
Are these organizations really helping? By Kriti Gupta Upon strolling to the m y r i a d f courtyard at lunch one day, many o c h i l d r en students may see organizations set up a booth and ask for donations. suffering. We Of course, some are interested donate money, enough to question the group thinking that we will for details, and come to find that help stop starvation, money is being raised for a certain because that’s what the media or organization makes event. Even when walking it sound like. In reality, all we do is help a tiny percentage of around school, the population. posters upon By contributing, even posters and though we raise awareness, flyers upon we never quite get to the flyers can be root. While we sit reassured seen stuck that we had a helping everywhere hand in solving the hunger around the problem, we fail to realize hallway. Each that we are far from actually is calling out solving the actual problem. to the students It is touching to see that to be heard, so many organizations have because each is come about to discuss important in its numerous world problems. own way. One It is a feeling of warmth flyer might be when so many people selling food items, while another might be care for a cause. Of course, these setting up donation boxes in organizations do help to some extent, various classrooms all throughout which is very reassuring to know. But how do we separate campus. the ones that are really worth Sure, each and every organization is trying to eradicate it from the ones that aren’t? a problem in the world, but The choice is ultimately the question is, are they really ours, but before we make the decision, we need to succeeding? The thing is, while research fully and think raising money for starving about where exactly children in Africa does help fund our money will them, it only barely scratches the go. surface of the problems they really go through. We cannot save them from harsh living conditions; 16,000 kids die every day, and we Illustration by Yu-Hsuan Lin can only ensure help to 5% of the
“...While we sit reassured that we had a helping hand in solving the hunger problem, we fail to realize that we are far from actually solving it...”
In a new wave of celebrity endorsements and media fanfare, people are developing organizations to combat problems such as global warming, poverty and hunger. Most of the methods used to raise funds for these programs center around donating portions of the sales of certain products to relief organizations. This can be seen with objects such as Inspi(red) gear, which are red versions of various items, ranging from ipods to t-shirts. Some argue that these organizations fail to help their target audiences, touching the surface of the problem instead of attempting to solve the bigger problem at hand, yet the largest and most successful programs are attempting to do more that simply raise money, they are trying to change lives. The ONE campaign has used pop culture icons to endorse their program and promote interest in their products, however, the funds from their collections are not being simply donated t o
Who Said Counselors Were Unnecessary? FUSD proposes getting rid of 34 counselors in the years to come By Annie Lee Counselors have always been the “go-to” people for when students have questions about practically anything and everything, ranging from issues such as their academic studies to their family issues. Thus, this makes them essential in the high school educational system. However, the Fremont Unified School District seems to believe otherwise. FUSD Superintendent, Doug Gephart, along with his staff, has proposed that in order to reach the budget, the FUSD could cut 34 counselors in the district and save $3.4 million. There has been a counselor cut in the school district before and there quite possibly may be another one. The school district will cut counselors one by one over the years, eventually leaving schools with no counselors. “They will usually cut one counselor next year,” said senior Eric Chen, Student Board Member of the FUSD. “They will
keep cutting down [counselors] as the years go by until we have no more.” Even though this proposal has not yet been set in stone, it is still worth worrying about. Although it may not seem like it, counselors are a crucial and driving force within the school system. They serve as people to go to when students need help or when they feel they cannot confide in anyone else. They are also trustworthy sources; whether it is about class registrations or about family problems, they are always there to listen and advise students who seek them for help. It is extremely difficult for students to find answers to the questions that they have about colleges, academic courses or simple recommendations without the guidance of counselors. Students often go in at break time or lunch just to have a conversation with their counselor. In fact, many students even idolize their counselors and
consider their counselors their best friend. Even though only about one counselor in the district will be cut per year, that one counselor can affect one student dramatically. Irvington’s counselors are already assigned to about 700 students each. They make sure that students are on the right track towards graduating. If not, they give the students options to help them get back on track. One counselor being cut means 700 students are distributed amongst the other two counselors, giving each student even less attention. Without counselors, the number of students that do not graduate would most likely increase. Without counselors, many students who are unfamiliar with the college system would be confused as to when, where and how they should apply to college. In order to prevent your future from being in jeopardy, fight this proposal before it is too late.
New organizations not just about raising money but raising awareness By Shalika Gupta other groups, they are used to combat problems in some of the poorest parts of the world. With a grassroots organization that has now come to include more than 2.4 million people, the ONE campaign has mobilized volunteers throughout the United States to raise awareness of the AIDS epidemic and world poverty. The campaign has developed a strong framework of specific goals that will allow them to increase awareness and help find solutions. Yes, many of their marketing campaigns have included trendy new t-shirts. However, it is not simply the proceeds of the sales that benefit the campaign since the production of these shirts has been outsourced to the struggling African nation of Lesotho. Made of natural fibers found only in the country, the ONE campaign increased employment by contracting the people of Lesotho which directly benefits their nation’s economy and individuals living situations. They have advocated for change in the United States’ overseas budget for international assistance, and their efforts are more than merely superficial.
“...Yet the largest and most successful programs are attempting to do more that simply raise money; they are trying to change lives...”
Where’s the Privacy?
Students’ actions online now can be seen by colleges By Phi Nguyen I admit; I am quite the make sure it was “adequate” for Facebook addict. The instant the college admissions board. I come home everyday, I log Is it fair for colleges to onto the computer and check look at once person or another to see if someone wrote on my and judge them based on what wall. In a way, Facebook is a pictures they may post online? mode of expression that I use to People are starting to censor their communicate with others online. profiles and what is written on I was quite shocked to learn that their walls to make sure they are college admission officers look at “fit” to be accepted by a college. their applicants’ Facebook profiles I understand Facebook as part of their admission process. users are well able to restrict In other words, some high school access to only people they add students today are finding that as friends, but colleges have full their chase for acceptance into access. It just seems immoral. the school of choice is being Where should colleges blocked by risqué photos and draw the line between ethical reckless tirades that they or their and fair play? Why should a friends posted online. person’s actions on Facebook or I find it offensive to know any other social networking site that my chances of getting into a prevent them from acceptance to college can be based on how I like a college? to express myself online. So what I understand that some if I post materials that may seem students fake their personas on a “hazardous” to colleges? I use college application, and colleges Facebook to communicate with feel that Facebook allows them to other peers; I wouldn’t want to see who their applicants “truly” be unable to show my true self are. However, this distracts them because an overbearing college from the main goal: colleges need administration is reading my wall to consider the person as a whole, I would feel as if I would have to an Internet persona is not always consider everything I post and a fully accurate reflection.
April 2008 | 5
Don’t Blame The Man
When it’s your own fear of failure that’s keeping you down By Linda Dong If there’s one thing I’ve answer to that one: it’s the fear of learned in my limited experience, failure, of being rejected. Before it’s that as one grows older and anything even happens, we’re takes on more responsibility, one already afraid to try, because loses freedom: I can’t go out; I we’re afraid we won’t succeed. have to do the laundry. I can’t Such doubt and leave for the weekend; I have to uncertainty are crippling, look after my little brother. especially in young people. After That’s why youth is such all, we’re supposed to be the a prized part of life. Childhood is inspiration, the creativity, the freedom, and ignorance is bliss. drive for the future. How can But even now, in our adolescence, we be innovative pioneers when some of us are already renouncing we doubt and question ourselves the freedom that defines us. Some incessantly? There is a key to all have already become cautious, this, and we all know it inherently, worried, prudent. We know instinctively. But sometimes we now that every action we take forget, so here’s a reminder: constitutes a risk. Sometimes the it doesn’t matter whether we risk is small, sometimes the risk is succeed or fail; the only thing that huge. And as the risk increases, really counts is how we got there. our confidence wanes. Those who play Take the daunting task sports should be able to relate: of trying to get a date for prom, remember how your coach told for example. After all, it is almost you that no matter the result, an impossible mission: one would whether you win or lose, to just have to go and buy some flowers, give your all, because that’s all maybe make a few posters, or, that counts? God forbid, actually say all seven Well, that philosophy words of Will you go to prom doesn’t only hold true on the with me? out loud! So many athletic arena. We’re all going to things could go wrong. After all, win some battles and lose some. what if Safeway happened to be But being too afraid to even try is closed that day? unacceptable. As Rosa Parks once It’s clear that certain said, You mustn’t be afraid when tasks, such as attempting to attain what you are doing is right. a prom date, don’t require much Follow your instincts. effort to execute. So what makes Live your life. And just so you it so hard to do? know, Safeway is open 24 hours a I’m sure we all know the day, seven days a week.
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The Limits of Conventional Success By Tina Karimi The point of high school, allegedly, is to prepare students for the rigors of college. Which in turn prepares them for getting a job—a job that will dominate the rest of their lives. As a result, high school students spend a large amount of time trying to decide on “good jobs”. And today’s students face a more competitive job market than ever before. In today’s world, it is harder and harder to get ahead. More people have access to
education, so it’s more difficult to get into good colleges, and there is more competition to secure good jobs. Which brings us to what a “good job” really is. The first thing that pops into the mind of the average person is money. Yes, a good job makes money. But if that were the only factor, everyone would aspire to someday owning a drug operation that stretches across three states. Clearly, this is not the case. Mob bosses, while admittedly very rich, are generally looked down upon in our society. Go figure. The other major determining factor in choosing a future job, then, is prestige. Most
of our parents wouldn’t object, for example, if we went into the medical profession. Physicians are necessary, without a doubt. Without doctors, who would the lawyers sue for malpractice? Certain fields, like medicine and law, have a level prestige for a reason—they are difficult, and require years of training, and help society. But what about the kids who pass out when confronted with dissection in Anatomy? What about the students who aren’t interested in spending their twenties in school? When you start to ask these questions, it becomes clear that society’s definition of success is rather too
The VOICE is a student-run newspaper with the sole purpose of providing an open forum for student expression. Anything printed represents the opinion of the writer, but not necessarily that of the VOICE staff, the administration or faculty of Irvington High School, or any person affiliated with the Fremont Unified School District. The VOICE does not discriminate against race, political orientation, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. Although the VOICE will never refuse to publish student guest submission based on the aforementioned factors, we reserve the right to edit or not publish them.
jobs on a pedestal, the value of other perfectly valid choices is diminished, and people are encouraged to seek futures they will hate. We spend a third of our lives at work. With that in mind, isn’t it better to do something you’ll actually like, as opposed to holding a job that makes you write bitter journal entries into your middle age? Money comes and goes, and certain jobs go in and out of style. One thing that is always constant is time. Once time is gone, it doesn’t come back. Rather than thinking about what jobs are “good”, it would serve students better to focus on where their talents and interests lie.
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ADVISOR MATTHEW PHILLIPS
narrow for comfort. We have all heard about “useless majors” and occupations that are becoming obsolete. Some of us get scared into ignoring our dreams because we want to be successful. But at the end of the day, impressing others can’t really be considered a success. Not when you have to wake up every morning and do something you despise. Careers like that are like trophy wives (or husbands): you commit to them because they make you look good, and as soon as the shine wears off, you try to remember if you made your spouse sign a prenup. By placing certain
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eatures: If I Could Only
Take a Deep Breath and Relax
Sleep and meditation are some of the most commonly used ways to alleviate stress By Britney Green awareness of thoughts and immediate surroundings. It takes practice, but the benefits are worth it. Meditation even has long term health effects. Studies have shown that people who meditate have an easier time letting go of fatal bad habits. We should take the necessary five to 20
Both meditation and power naps call for a complete state of relaxation of the mind and body. They are free, easy and readily available ways to decrease stress throughout the day. Both are practiced worldwide in various ways for different reasons. Other therapies such as aromatherapy, hypnotherapy and massage can also alleviate stress and pain. Meditation is known for its immediate benefits including decreased stress, a clear mind, slower breathing and heart rate, lowered blood pressure and improved concentration and immune function. When we think of meditation we often think of someone sitting with their legs crossed and repeating “ooommm.” However, many people do not know that meditation can be lying face down or any other comfortable position and simply clearing the mind of all thoughts, which can be done essentially anywhere. Sometimes, when this is too difficult, meditation calls for simply an
minutes of our day to meditate. Power naps cause immediate relief from stress in addition to alertness, improved cognitive
functioning, more patience and efficiency. Power naps are not only beneficial to those who fail to get the adequate 8 hours of sleep per day; they are also beneficial to those lucky enough to get the recommended amount sleep. However, too much sleep can be very detrimental to the body. Studies show that those who get more than nine hours of sleep do not live as long as those who get the recommended 8 hours of sleep. Though a one hour nap is more restorative than a 30 min. nap, researchers still say that a power nap should be about 20 minutes. This is the closest to the completion of a sleep cycle, which will leave you revitalized rather than groggy. Falling into a deep sleep will only make it harder to get up and make you consequently more tired. Sleeping and meditating both have their own benefits and relieve stress in different ways. So next time you feel stressed, don’t hesitate to close your eyes and enter a world of relaxation.
Living a New Life Through Fantasy
Fight or flight is the most basic of human instincts. When faced with a problem, humans either meet their situation head-on or flee. In today’s modern world, the problems have evolved, from maneating animals to GPAs, SATs and all the drama of school. As such, our methods of flight have also evolved. No longer do we physically run away from our problems, but rather, we choose to escape by detaching ourselves from our lives completely. Books and stories are popular ways to escape from our pain. By reading, many of us are able to separate ourselves from the trials of our own lives. As we flip through the pages, we immerse ourselves into the lives of characters instead. In more modern times, gaming has taken the place of stories as a means of escape. RPGs, or Role Playing Games, are a specific genre where players are in charge of creating their own characters and their own lives. Players are able to take charge of a new life and have a second chance at the reality they want to create for
themselves. “When I’m concentrating on saving the world, nothing in real life seems to matter until I have to turn off the game,” said junior Stephanie Shieh, a frequent player of the online role playing game Ragnarok Online. Doctors have come to realize this connection. At the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, children in the burn unit are now given video games to play with to distract them from the harsh pain they have to go through. As they play games, they are no longer preoccupied with the physical pains of their reality. “[They] demonstrate that the strength of a virtual world lies in the avenues it provides for an escape from reality,” said Arun Mathews, MD in research on the psychology of gaming. “It provides an entrance into a different kind of reality in which imagination takes precedence over suffering.” Although our problems may not be as extreme as first degree burns, we all have problems that we need to deal with. Today, books and games let us escape from reality and fulfill the fight-or-flight instinct. After all, we’re only human.
Photos: www.allposters.com, www.gawdzilla.blogspot.com, www.outspoken-kate.com
How we escape from our problems today By Daniel Nguyen
Relaxation is found in the lives of characters and lyrics By Sri Ravipati
On your desk at home, the pile of books that you have prepared for tonight’s workload remains untouched. You ponder the realms of a life other than your own—the life of a highly paid actor or actress on television who appears to be interesting. The characters on television often lead much more exciting lives than ours. Sometimes we vicariously live our lives through the characters in the shows we watch. “I usually put myself in the show and compare it to my life and then think about how my life could be if the show were real,” said sophomore Shilpi Mathrani. Every now and then we require a good laugh, which we find in cartoons and comedies. Movies such as The Notebook or A Walk to Remember can give us a break from our own sappy love lives. Then there are movies such as Happy Feet that ignite the memories of our childhood days, back when stress barely existed. For many students, watching television takes the clutter of stress, anxiety, distraction and everything else off our minds and melts it away. Whether it’s an action or romantic movie, the thought of watching television prevails over work. Ever since we were younger, parents have told us that television is evil. According to them, it is a complete waste of time, ruins our eyesight and turns our brain into Jell-O. I will agree that sitting on the couch and staring at the television set can constantly prevent us from getting exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, after a full day at school, it’s rather relaxing to watch a couple of shows before starting homework. Music is another way of escaping daily pressure. We don’t realize it, but every time we slip on our headphones, we’re getting away for a song or two. Listening to music in your loud classes can help you enter a completely different mindset and escape from the chaos. Songs can replace the sounds of the noisy world with lyrics of our own choosing. The lyrics to a song might not even matter—it’s just the beat. Many songs nowadays make you want to get up and dance all of your problems away. This type of music can give you both exercise and a break from your work. The mode of relaxation from watching television or listening to music takes us to a place outside of where we really are—whether it’s found in someone else’s life or hidden in the lyrics of a song.
Escape . . . Don’t be Afraid to Express Yourself
Venting on paper is old-fashioned but still good for your soul By Linda Dong “There, there. It’s okay. Want to talk about it?” Everyone wants to talk about their problems and to have someone to confide in. But there isn’t always a convenient friend that we can call whenever we need to, and sometimes the problem involves details too intimate to disclose to anyone else. We just need our stories heard; that’s is all. Luckily for all of us, there is something called journal therapy: writing everything down, especially emotions and thoughts. It’s confiding in a diary versus confiding in a person. Our diaries will be there whenever we need them, and we can sleep easy
knowing that they, at least, will never gossip about our business. But it’s not only diaries we can use. We could also use online blogs such as LiveJournal. Write poetry, paint, draw, sing and dance; whatever it takes to express yourself. Journal therapy is personal expression. It has been proven to enhance creativity and the ability to cope with stress, as well as promote selfawareness and self-esteem. Expression allows one to confront upsetting topics directly, instead of avoiding them. Every time we express ourselves regarding problems, we come to better terms with ourselves and come closer to overcoming the obstacles. Every time we
write our thoughts down, our thought processes are improved. Think of Harry Potter and how Albus Dumbledore uses the Pensieve to mull over his thoughts and clear his mind. As we examine our thoughts and feelings, we learn more about ourselves, thereby promoting self-awareness and, ultimately, self-discovery. The next time you find yourself with no one to talk to, write it down. Sing, dance or paint your heart out. Who knows? With contemporary art these days, you might be able to make a fortune with your creation. Ph
.busines oto: www
Exercise: A Natural High
The alternative to chocolate, shopping and shopping for chocolate By Rebeccah Warmack euphoric (a.k.a. happy). “When I’m feeling a little stressed or down I like to just get out there and move,” said junior Jaideep Dudani. “It doesn’t matter w h a t I do, because a f t e r a n y sort of physical activity, I feel a lot better, you know, the endorphins are always helpful.” Photo: www.womensrunningcentral.com
You’ve heard of multiple ways that people try to relieve stress: chocolate, driving, shopping, rewatching multiple episodes of One Tree Hill while hugging their favorite stuffed animal. But there is another effective way to alleviate those stress levels. We are, of course, referring to the wonder of all tension reducing techniques: exercise. Many people blanch at the word “exercise” and run to find their secret stash of chocolate chips. What we do not know is that exercise can, in the long run, make them feel BETTER than those tiny morsels of chocolatey delight. When we exercise, which constitutes as “activity requiring physical effort,” our pituitary glands (a.k.a. sack full of hormones at the base of our brains) secretes endorphins. These endorphins block our pain sensors and make us feel excessively
All exercise releases endorphins; however, the higher the endurance of the workout, the higher the levels of endorphins. Cycling, swimming and running are good examples of workouts t h a t everyone d r e a d s , but release substantial amounts of endorphins. Because the endorphins alleviate pain both physically and mentally, they help us cure a multitude
of problems, including anxiety and depression. Although exercise is different from other stress relievers in that we actually have to work hard to achieve absolution, it pays off in more ways than just one. In focusing on the exercise, we can forget about our other problems. This helps improve our health, not to mention the natural high. So when we’re feeling stressed or depressed, enjoy the multiple benefits of exercise. “Exercising helps me clear my mind because I just focus on the task at hand,” said senior Robert Gustas. “Then, afterwards, I have a clean slate and I can think rationally about my problems.”
Socializing Relieves Stress
Junior Nathan Lai converses with his friend about his problems.
Photo: Mishu Sharma
Complaining to your dearest companions could never be healthier By Mishu Sharma
In the last couple of years, there had been a surplus of “how-to” guides explaining the various methods of relieving stress. Some suggest meditation and yoga, while others recommend lifestyle changes such as taking brisk walks every day or increasing the number of sleeping hours. However, one of the simplest ways to relieve ourselves of worries is by talking about them. “I tell my running partner everything when we go for runs,” said junior Catherine Crinigan. “It’s such a good way to relieve stress.” Fortunately, we are far from reluctant when it comes to expressing our feelings. By ranting
to friends on blog site like Facebook and MySpace, we announce every detail of our lives. According to Janet Clarke of Associated Content, talking is the most obvious and crucial way to relive stress. “You can always ask your friends for advice or just have them there to talk too,” says Clarke. “You can talk to friends on the telephone, on the internet or even in person.” Not only is it practical to rant to friends, but it is expected. Receiving advice from those who know us best is nothing but logical. The more people there are to divide our preoccupations, the better. Many health books and clinics list talking as one of the best ways to relieve stress. An excerpt from Stress:
You Can Handle It found on the Palo Alto Medical Foundation webstie advises, “If you feel like your stress is just too much, talk with your family, a friend or a counselor.” “Laughter is the best medicine,” said freshman Anisha Babbar. “And my friends always make me laugh when something’s wrong. I don’t know what I would do without them.” Not only are discussions with our loved ones therapeutic, but effortless. Most teens spend hours on end chatting online and on the phone. We’re just not always aware of how healthy it simply is.
entertainment 8 | The Voice 16.6
HOW TO BE A
jabbawockeez By Sri Ravipati
By Samiha Baseer
1. First, track down a store that actually carries Jabbawockeelooking masks. Don’t even bother going to Michaels, Party America, Spirit, Encore, Great Mall, Newpark Mall, Stoneridge, or Valley Fair. You can’t even find these bad boys on Ebay!
Once you have the mask, have it surgically grafted to your face so you can keep it on forever. Try sleeping with it on.
u Mis h and yen Ngu Phi tos: Pho
I turn on the radio and begin to search for a song that I can dance to. I hear a couple of country songs and then I discover a catchy tune on one station. I start to dance for a bit, but when I turn up the volume even louder, the words become clearer. The whole time I’ve been dancing to a song that was telling me to “get naked, you beezy.” After being dissed by my own radio, I turn it off. I find that hip-hop today has really lost all of its meaning and integrity. The songs are so repetitive that even first graders can memorize the lyrics to songs like “In My Car” and “Soulja Boy”—all they have to do is memorize the chorus and repeat. Probably the most distasteful part about hip-hop nowadays is the overuse of profanity. I’m not suggesting that we all listen to songs about rainbows and candy mountains or about how everyday is a piece of cake with heart shape sprinkles. I’m just saying that there should be some kind of a limit. We understand that there is a female who has a feisty attitude with a likeable stature—there’s no need to call her names throughout the song. Also, having money, fame and sex aren’t the best things in life—find something else to sing about. There used to be a time when hip-hop was so good that it was all that I listened to. I’m not quite sure when that era ended, but I know that it has been cheapened with crunk and snap music. Artists should be talented enough to create songs with provocative beats and spirited, meaningful lyrics at the same time. om timeout.c Photo:
Rap and hip-hop have drastically changed over the years. It has not been the same since the early days of Notorious B.I.G. or Tupac. The lyrics and beats have changed,and so has the meaning of every rap song out there. Rappers such as Kanye West inspire their fans to be positive in life, with songs such as “Good Life” and “Stronger”. These songs include inspirational lyrics, such as, “they say the best things in life are free”, and “that don’t kill me, can only make me stronger” in Kanye West’s song, “Good Life.” These motivational lyrics encourage people who love to their lives in a laid back manner. In my opinion, the rappers are just expressing themselves. If that’s how they feel about money, girls, and sex and they want to sing about it, hey why not? People who reject hiphop are oversensitive conservatives who are still stuck in the middle ages. They shouldn’t take all the lyrics to heart. Music is entertainment. If it sounds good and you like it, listen to it. If it has a good meaning then that’s great, if it doesn’t, so what—it doesn’t have to. Listening to rap is not always about how much money a person has, how many girls they get to sleep with, or how many drugs they can consume without dying. Music is a concept that is influential in the average teen’s life. It inspires them to pursue their dreams, with enlightening lyrics that have been altered into a new concept, yet the message that a person receives from it is one that only they can determine.
3. Show your devotion by learning all of their routines in one night. Sure, it might seem like an overload of routines, but believe me, it will pay off. Make sure to keep the mask sturdy in order to avoid it falling off mid-dance.
4. Go through your daily routine normally so people will start to get used to the whole “white mask thing”
5. Now t h a t you’re J a b b a fied, challenge that breakdancer from hip-hop club who performs at the rallies to a battle. Try not to get owned too badly
By Raji Ramanathan In its second year, Irvington’s Sewing Club has got some pretty fascinating events going on. Although the Sewing Club is mostly known for selling hand-made tote bags, baked goods, and candy, it should be known for the members’ generosity and their extensive skills. “We started the club last year because we felt that students should be introduced to the world of sewing,” said co-president and senior Jessica Chang. “We really hope to get more members who are willing to put in their time and effort.” For students who do not know how to sew and still wish to be part of the club, advisor and parenting teacher Ms. Susan Paulsen teaches new members for free Thursdays after school from 3:45 to 4:00. Members are not required to be in any of the clothing or stitchery classes to join the club. Students don’t have to worry about bringing their own supplies since all necessities are provided by the club. The club also holds fundraisers such as the sales of scarves, hats and belts throughout the year. Apart from sewing for fun, the club also makes blankets and pillowcases for the homeless shelter and hospice care. “Our mission is to promote sewing and to help the less fortunate,” said Ms. Paulsen.
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April 2008 | 9
entertainmen AMERICA’S NEXT top attitude wacky fashion
Photos: Yu-Hsuan Lin
By Milan Kantaria
Photo: Milan Kantaria
Quick service, a wide selection, helpful staff, clean facilities, infinite condiment packets, and free refills. The hallmark qualities of a good eating place. Overlooked by many as a source of mediocre trans-fat, Taco Bell is much more than that. Providing the citizens of America with a place to grab a quick, tasty, bite to eat, Taco Bell is a pleaser for the entire family. With a menu that combines the 5 basic ingredients in an endless list of choices, no one is left without a favorite or something new to try. Their choices range from the ever present “burrito” to the new and exquisite “crunchwrap.” Many are confused at how wrapping the same ingredients in the same tortilla but folding it differently makes a whole new item, but believe me its just not the same anymore. The personnel are well trained and have the necessary English skills to give directions to the bathroom. Any disasters are quickly tended to by a kitchen worker who rushes back to the front lines after taking care of the mess. The drive through is a quick and speedy option for those who prefer to remain in their vehicles and completely trust the staff to make their food. All in all, it’s a good place to eat if you are short on cash and don’t really want a second date.
2. Fur. So what ever happened to our natural insulation? In today’s ever so healthconscious society that is going crazy with “all-natural,” I don’t see why we just don’t wear anything and use our chest hair (or the lack thereof in my case). So rip off your clothes and beat your chest to the sound of wolves and chimpanzees mating.
4. Wife Beaters. This has to be the funniest/ most inappropriately named piece of clothing in the history. Who w o u l d publicly demonstrate t h e i r masculinity through the wearing of a shirt that supports domestic violence? People who usually wear this usually have tiny arms and flat chests. And when I say tiny arms, I mean YOU.
5. Shawn Li. What’s wrong with having Shawn around your arms?
By Teresa De Luz
Legendary country singer George Strait made a stop on his nation wide tour in Oakland on March 28th; his first Bay Area appearance in six years. Country music fans were delighted to hear that his tour included other popular groups such as Little Big Town and Sarah Johns, who opened the show. Famous for his love of rodeo and down to earth personality, As always, Strait connected with the audience, making even the people in the back of the ampatheater feel like they were in the front row. The large house style band added to the small intimate feeling of the show, with a variety of instruments ranging from the steel guitar and fiddle to the electric piano. Strait stuck to his most popular songs, and a few recently released numbers including, “I Saw God Today.” Others included chart toppers such as “She’ll Leave you With a Smile” “Blue Clear Sky” and a song made popular by his bucking bronco movie roll “Heartland.” The cowboys hats were in the air by the end of the evening, and the Wrangler and Levis group of the Bay Area were content with seeing one of the biggest names in country perform.
Based on the real-life experiences of the infamous MIT Blackjack Team, 21 is the big-screen adaptation of the team’s famed effort of beating out casinos. Set in an interesting background with a unique plot, the movie follows a rather clichéd path that drags itself out over a span of two hours. Ben, played by Jim Sturgess, is a student at MIT, with $300,000 of debt. However, things look up when Professor Micky Rosa, played by Kevin Spacey, offers Ben a chance of a lifetime: to play blackjack in casinos and win millions. Jim eventually joins the team due to the urging of a girl that he likes, Jill Taylor, played by Kate Bosworth. The movie continues to educate its audience in the scam method called “counting cards.” The team heads to Las Vegas, and makes a lot of money; more than enough to pay for medical school. Ben soon cuts ties with Professor Rosa as he falls further into the trap of gambling. Ben catches the eye of casino enforcer, played by Laurence Fishburne, who will do anything to catch him. 21 bears striking similarities to the Ocean’s trilogy, and despite a too long length, is still a fun flick.
By Annie Wang
3. Thick rimmed reading glasses (aka glasses-thatyou-seeeveryAsianpersonwear). I really d o n ’ t k n o w where this thick rimmed glasses trend came from, but it sure reminds me of this dude.
Dining at The Bell
21 Hits The Jackpot
1. New trend for the hip youngsters taking AP Physics is now pocket protectors! Emos, Goths, and gangsters are no longer the “non-conformitists”. If you really want to be a rebel, dig deep down inside your inner geek and bust out your pocket protector. (fine, a compass if you really need one)
M r . Johns: “I had a dinner date with this chick who wouldn’t stop talking about her exboyfriend. It wasn’t so much embarrassing as it was awkward.”
By Shawn Li
M s . Tif fany Ru s s o w : “ W h i l e crossing the street with my boyfriend on our first date, I almost let him get hit by traffic. I didn’t warn him because I felt awkward.”
Her modeling is mediocre at best, which makes me think she was given that extra spot among the finalist because of her “fierce” attitude. Honey, you’re not fierce anymore; you’re a wild animal with the hunger to attack everyone else without hesitation. However, everyone else barely gets any camera time. I almost forget that I’m watching Top Model instead of “The Fatima and Dominique Drama Hour.” Aimee who? Oh yeah, I think she’s still around. She’s that girl who doesn’t seem to live in the house and only shows up for photo shoots and the judging panel. Claire, whose unconventional beauty has won the attention of the judges, could possibly be the blandest winner of America’s Next Top Model. Her nearly white-blonde hair has more color than her personality. So Tyra, what I’m asking you is simple. I know your little talent search is the highest rated program on the CW’s network, but there are fans who actually want to see creative photo shoots and intense runway challenges. We want to see positive role models whose talent will take them to the same runways that current supermodels Agyness Deyn, Gemma Ward and Coco Rocha walk. Cut the drama please, since we have more than enough of that in our own lives.
M r . Steven Musto: “I was supposed to pick up the now Mrs. Brackett-Musto for a date, but I was late by an hour and a half because I was watching Jeopardy.”
Seriously Tyra, we need to sit down and have a little talk. H e a r t to heart. Sister to sister. Supermodel versus student. America’s Next Top Model has become less of a talent search, and more like a painful high school drama. What happened to finding potential models with enough talent and personality to work the high fashion catwalks? Tyra, it seems like all you care about is making us cringe with catfights. In this season, we are rewarded with massive egos, superiority complexes and bland personalities. Fatima, the gorgeous Somalian, would actually have model potential if she wasn’t giving a look of disapproval all the time. She is incredibly narrow-minded, and refuses to believe she is not better than anyone else. Good choice for a role model, Tyra. Next we have Dominique, whose ego could be larger than the house the models are living in. Her egocentricity is so great that she needs to refer to herself in third person. Dominique is quick to judge, but immediately defends herself at the slightest hint of criticism.
By Rachel Li
What was the most embarrassing thing that happened to you on a date?
Photo: Milan Kantaria
By Yu-Hsuan Lin
10 | The Voice 16.6
Track Outpacing the Competition
Individuals shine as track season hits mid-stride By Salman Qasim Old faces firm hold on the varsity boys’ 800-meter dominate the track as event, even sweeping the competition at another steady season at the K-Bell Invitational on March 8th. Irvington approaches. For the distance team, munch Junior Catherine Crinigan fascinating progress was made at the qualified for the Stanford Alhambra Relays on March 22nd. The Invitational for the 3000- same Varsity girls once again claimed third meter event with a time place at the DMR as well as fourth place in of 11:44. Yes, this is the the 4 by 800 meter event. same Catherine who made Distance Varsity boys also it to the MOCs – Meet of performed at the top of the pack, securing Champions last year as a fifth place at the DMR. Junior David sophomore. Martin set a new personal record for the Catherine, along 800 meter event, running it in 2:01. with juniors Rebeccah The same progress has been seen Warmack, Kriti Gupta, in the field events, such as shotput, where and Whitney Tavares also senior Gary Honda currently resides at took third place at the the top. Other shotputters have been Cougar Invitational on improving rapidly, with personal records March 15th for the Varsity being set every week. “We have nine new Girls Distance Medley shotputters this year, and they’re improving Relay (DMR). quickly. ” Junior David The jumping team has also been Martin – also a familiar doing well, “We have a lot of talented name on the track – has a jumpers this year, we have even placed
Softball: A new beginning Softball begins a new season strong By Rebeccah Warmack Last year, Irvington’s softball team finished third in the MVAL league standings. This year, they plan for much more. The previous year the team was young and only had one pitcher; this year, the team is more experienced. There are four seniors on the team who have been on varsity since their freshman year: Leah Winkley, Jessica Maria, Jennifer Mendoza, and Kayla Velazquez. There are other very wital members to the team like junior Haley Smolinski or Junior Stephanie Hazbitt in the field. Members of the team like shortstop Haley Smolinski comment on the defense and the possibilities for the team. “The team has a really great shot at taking first in league. We are very determined and capable of accomplishing a lot as long as we work as a team,” she said. The team began the season with a bang with the Queen of the Mountain
top 10 at meets and invitationals with our boys team; we have had many PR (personal record) breaks with our girl jumpers too,” said sophomore Priyanka Shah, “but our greatest challenge this season is that we lost much of our leadership since many of our jumpers graduated last year.” Senior Eric Chen leads the way for the pole-vaulters, and seems to have a good chance in reaching a high level of competition. The same can be said for the varsity boys’ 4x4 team, which made it to the Mt. SAC Invitational last year and also proceeded onto NCS. “Our main competition this year is Logan,” said coach Wayne Stone, “it is always Logan. We have a really young team this year, with strong JV girls and frosh/ soph boys, and I believe they have a lot of potential.” Senior Malcolm Thompson and other top hurdlers have had to take it upon themselves to coach newer members as the hurdling team found themselves without an event-specific coach this year.
“It’s been harder,” said experienced hurdler, junior Alan Nguyen. “But it really is our responsibility to help newer hurdlers out.” The team had a meet against powerhouse Logan on March 19th, with a few notable performances. The boys’ varsity 4x4 team won their race after an intense comeback by David Martin, and Malcolm Thompson placed second in the hurdling competition. Sophomore Akshay Radia placed first for the JV boys 800-meter. Overall, though, Logan was superior in points. “My philosophy is to work out hard,” said Coach Stone, “and the outcome is what it is.”
tournament where they made it to the consolation game. They went to two and one. However, the final game was rained out. At the Hayward tournament this last weekend, the team went two and one, for a second time, playing very competitively. Senior Leah Winkley said, “the team has a lot of potential, with a lot of talent, I think the future looks very bright.” The team has gained confidence with the last few games by playing well against tough competitors like Newark and Kennedy. The scores were 3-2 for the Newark game, one of the best teams in the league, and 10-2 for the Kennedy game. “This year’s team can be very competitive, we definitely have a chance to be in the top two teams of the mission valley athletic league, this season,” said Coach Martin, “we have a lot of talent this year, and if we channel all our efforts we can do very well.”
Junior Haley Smolinski steps up to bat.
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April 2008 | 11
Batting for a winning average Varsity baseball is aiming for a star season By Teresa De Luz complished teams in the league is one that the Vikings are excited to play against. In order to make it all the way to divsion playoffs, the varsity team is relying on their team workmanship and their drills in practice. Previous games for the Vikings have also been productive. In pre season they played against San Leandro, Liberty, Moreau, Hayward, Amador, Mt. Eden, Foothill, Alameda, Berkeley and Pinole. Many of these games resulted in wins for the Vikings and boosted their determination for when the season began. Come watch the Varsity team play against Mission today at Mi sions field at 3:45. JV will be playing Mission at home at 3:45 as well. 4/9 Varsity will be playing Washington on the home green at 3:45
4/11 Varsity will play an away game against American
Photo by: Raji Ramanathan
W h a t’ s I m p o r t a n t
Viking Boys’ Varsity swim team gears up for another season By Guest Writer, Bob Chen Countless laps in the pool. That’s Huang, who was All-League his how most swimmers remember their high freshman year, is hoping to contend for school careers. an NCS title in the 200 freestyle and 100 Scott Merryman chooses to breastroke. remember it a little bit different. Chon broke out last season as a “It’s really more about being breastroke specialist but has also added a part of a team, a family. Everyone is freestyle component to his repertoire of completely supportive of each other; we several events. push each other to be better,” he says. After a solid year-round season, That’s how Merryman, now a he plans on bringing his blue-collar work senior and captain of the Viking team, ethic to the lanes here at Irvington. describes the makeup of this year’s “Anthony is a tremendous worker. incredibly young squad. He practices hard, sets a good example, “We have a strong youth and at this level, that’s more important than movement this year; a lot of these guys turning in fast times,” says Merryman. are freshman and sophomores. Many of While the spotlight might be on them came from water polo, which isn’t how those two star juniors perform, Coach all that uncommon. Now even the juniors Nels Larsen echoes Merryman’s sentiment are being looked up to as veterans.” that the most important aspect of high Those same juniors are being school swimming isn’t about winning at counted on to anchor this year’s team, led all. by Edward Huang and Anthony Chon. Even so, he hopes to build upon
last year’s disappointing finish. The Viking boys won the MVAL title for the first time in 31 years in 2006 led by then seniors Ian Borck, Steve Hutchings and Danny DeGregario. They ended Mission San Jose’s 25 year MVAL title streak, but then lost some key members to graduation. Even though they stumbled to a third place finish at leagues in 2007, it was highlighted by some stellar performances from Huang, who was just a sophomore. They are off to a good start this season, with victories over American and Newark the last two weeks. With two wins under their belt, they look forward to hosting Washington this Friday. It might take more countless laps, but that won’t be the lasting memory this season. This team is more.
Boys’ tennis team bounces back after Mission defeat with win at American By Phi Nguyen
The Irvington boys’ tennis team played a statement game the week before Spring Break, and the American Eagles got the message loud and clear. After losing an extremely close match to rival Mission San Jose, the team got back together and defeated American High School by a score of 5-2. “Despite our extremely close defeat against Mission, our team pulled together as one and supported each other,” said junior Jaideep Dudani. “We all went out against American with a renewed vigor and won a good game.” On Tuesday, the boy’s tennis team came into the game against Mission San Jose with high hopes. They expected to play a close match and hopefully pull out with a win. Although final score was a loss by the score of 2-5. the match was much closer that the score indicated. Many of the games were extended into a third set, even the ones where the outcome was a loss. The number two singles player, sophomore Xuchen Hu, and the number two doubles team, senior Omar Abdullah and junior Rajan Mittal, were able to pull out with strong wins. After the loss, the team did not just sit back and wait; they practiced
hard for their coming match against American High School on Thursday. Irvington’s team had struggled against the American tennis team in the past, losing both matches they played last year. However, this year was much different. Freshman Kevin Chen, the number one boys singles player, defeated American’s number one player, who was undefeated in all of his previous matches. Kevin said, “We played really well as a team considering we had to bounce back from our loss against Mission.” In addition, senior Luis Castruita and junior Eddie Sanghani won their singles matches. The doubles pairs of Omar and Rajan, along with junior Jaideep Dudani and junior Ronak Patel, also won their games. After a wellfought match, they pulled out with a 5-2 win. “We have a good idea of what Mission brings and they just got the best of us last time,” said coach Erik Bryant. “That win [against American] gave the team a lot of confidence, and we’re looking forward to our next match against Mission. We’ll just try to work
harder than last time and give Mission a really tough time.” A s long as the tennis team continues to elevate its level of play, there isn’t a team that can stand in their way. Mission better watch its back the next t i m e these t w o teams clash.
Junior Kenta Naoi shows off his varsity tennis skills. Photo: Salman Qasim
Photo: Samiha Baseer
Sophmore Matt Kaufman keeps his eye on the ball.
Our Viking Varsity baseball team played Clayton Valley high on the 21st of March. The Vikings dominated the game with several strong hits by seniors Daniel Barrs and Kyle Glover, and juniors Ryan Tella and Trevor Ramos. The final score of the game game was an impressive 15-6. Highlights included a homerun by Trevor Ramos and a double and single hit by Daniel Barrs. Oher hits included two singles by Ryan Tella and three singles by sophmore Christian Weeber. Pitchers for the game included Ryan Tella, Micheal Reyers, and Connor Ratte. These accomplishments added to the Vikings baseball already strong season. Senior Cameron Steckel agrees, stating, “I thik we have a great team. We have a good chance of winning the division this year.” The rest of the season s going to be challenging, with future games against Mission, American and Newark. Hope for winning the division is great. Senior Daniel Barrs predicts, “It will be a race between us and Newark to win the division.” Newark who is one of the most ac-
Alpha Players Are a Pain
By Sri Ravipati On high school sports teams, there is always an athlete who is naturally talented and holds more skill than the others. But sometimes this person lets it go to their head. When skillful players are put on a pedestal, they a certain arrogance that makes them believe they can do whatever they want. They know that their spot on the team is pretty much guaranteed— considering the other players might not be as skilled—so they start to become full of themselves and slack off. This probably sounds a little harsh, but I’ve seen it enough times to become familiar with it: the “Alpha players” knows that the team depends on them and the coach won’t cut them because they’re too valuable. Instead of showing up to practice, they catch up with friends at the gas station or scarf down four slices of pizza at Bronco Billy’s. This “Alpha player” doesn’t care. He thinks that he’s untouchable, and he lets that get to his head. However, for people who do show up to practice everyday and work their hardest to stay on the team, the Alpha player can be a real pain. “I don’t think it’s fair because the people who do work really hard may never be able to live up to the standard,” said sophomore Karishma Patel. While the majority of Alpha players fall under this perception, I feel there are a few top-notch players that don’t have bad sports ethics. In fact, there are some athletes who feel even more motivated to excel when they are already envied by their teammates, and I want to acknowledge them. Their desire to become the best that they can be is inspiring to others, including myself. Take senior Robert Gustas for example; he’s been running on our school’s cross-country and track and field teams since his junior year. He never seizes to give up even when he is able to run a mile in less than five minutes, and he sets new personal records more frequently than anyone else I know. However, the dedicated, hardworking, and sincere athletes are disappearing. Another aspect of Alpha players’ attitudes is their unruly sportsmanship. They hardly make an effort to make sure that everyone on the team feels included. Their level of skill compared to others on the team creates an unavoidable barrier between the players, so that they just perform and care about nothing else. This isn’t right either, considering how being part of a team also means social responsibility. Ultimately, sports teams have become like a classroom; separate cliques between these levels form without realization. This makes it really difficult for the inexperienced player to approach the Alpha player for fear of ridicule, and this can deter a proper team from being formed. So where exactly did good sportsmanship and dedication disappear to? It seems to me that these fundamentals of sports have vanished and have been replaced with isolation within teams, as well as lazy Alpha players who never show up to practice and yet remain in the spotlight. In my opinion, if you earn a title like that, you need to fully deserve it.
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“With Shoes” Song Lyrics:
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Real advice for real life, not like those phony, pretentious ones