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6 THE IRVINGTON VOICE STUDENT LIFE, FRIDAY, MARCH 3, 2017 chapters to promote a sense of community. “MSA is great because it brings the community together, especially when we are so divided right now,” freshman Sameeha Salman said. “It’s nice that we can organize these events to show that Irvington can stand together.” The club saw a surge in membership this

year, since growing Islamophobia has prompted more students and staff to join in support. “For the longest time we had a difficult time recruiting guys, Faiz said, “but this year we had a lot of guys and a lot more nonMuslims show up. I think this was mainly a result of the political climate, and because we were more active in outreach this year.”

Mind and Miracle: Justin Blanchford By Rahul Sudharsan Staff Writer

“Through this window I saw reality. Nothing was grotesquely distorted or visually different, but the entire mood of my life was changed; my thoughts were slowed down, and life itself was tilted, not right.” Junior Justin Blanchford wrote about his personal struggles overcoming epilepsy, in his book “Mind and Miracle.” Blanchford began the nonfiction autobiography with his diagnosis when he was nine years old. He faced challenges with publishing and the reliving of these

frightening events, taking three years to write the book. Blanchford’s vivid descriptions of his childhood memories create a nostalgic tone. He describes his internal dem o n s , m e t a phorically represented as the “Bad Wolf” through the viewpoint of a child incorporating themes of innocence and right or wrong. Reliving these expe-

riences provided introspection about life in general and the people around him. “[Writing the book] definitely was a healing process and revived old feelings,” Blanchford said. “Ultimately, it helped me reconcile with myself about what happened and it helped me to think about how I view the world.” Apart from his personal struggles, he faced challenges during the writing process after having several edits made to the

FBLA excels at regionals


Freshmen Muimina Abdella, Safiyah Rasheed, and Sameeha Salman hold up a sign they created for the demonstration.

Irvington’s Science Olympiad triumph at February since September to Invitationals met study for test events and By Fiona Zhao Staff Writer

Irvington Science Olympiad’s Team White and Team Azure prevailed at the Wicklund (NorCal) Science Olympiad Invitational Tournament at Mountain House High School, triumphantly ranking second and third overall on Feb. 4 among 18 other teams of 12 high schools. Considered a prerequisite and accurate prediction of the Science Olympiad Regional Competition in March, February 2017’s Invitationals proved a victorious turn for Irvington since they were considered wellprepared. From “Anatomy & Physiology” to “Robot Arm,” Irvington’s Science Olympiad teams competed in 23 different “test and build” events across the broad fields of science. The team’s impressive performance resulted from hours of teamwork and studying. “You get together and study as a group, which is usually three people,” Team White competitor, junior Trevina Tan said, “but during the actual event there are only two competitors per team for each event.” To prepare, members of Science Olympiad

create required components for build events. Each member competed in around three to four events ranging from chemistry labs to building robots. Most of the events also included a written test. “In ‘Robot Arm’ students built a robot on a square base,” Team White competitor, freshman Anoushka Sen said, “that would flip stacks of pennies and place them inside an archery target.” Team White ranked first overall in “Optics” and “Write It Do It”, while Team Azure ranked first overall in “Dynamic Planet”, “Ecology”, “Helicopters”, and “Remote Sensing.” “I’ve been doing an event similar to Ecology for the last three years,” Team Azure competitor, freshman Vidushee Mishra said, “so I’m pretty familiar with the content.” The 2017 Science Olympiad Invitationals was a dynamic 7-hour event that explored and celebrated the different sciences, and served as a solid confidence-booster for Irvington prior to the Regional Tournament in March, which will see Irvington Science Olympiad’s Team White, Team Azure, and Team Blue compete.

By Sarvesh Mayilvahanan Sports Editor

Irvington’s FBLA club (Future Business Leaders of America) blew the competition out of the water at the Bay Section Regionals at Homestead High School in Cupertino on Feb. 4 and 5. 15 of the 50 people that attended the regional competition placed within the top 10 of their event. In preparation for the event, the club held multiple workshops and meetings on various topics as well as textbook studying and taking practice tests.

Irvington competitors attended various workshops on marketing and financing, and were able to connect with other FBLA members throughout the region. The workshops were held by business leaders in the Bay Area and they focused on building a presence on social media and public speaking skills. Students took part in various events to show their expertise in such areas. The events included testing, roleplays, chapter events, written reports, and presentations.

Staff Writer

Irvington Speech competed at the annual Berkeley Speech and Debate Invitational over the long weekend of Feb. 18 to 20, 2016. The tournament, which was hosted by the University of California, Berkeley, saw speech competitors from all over the nation converge for three days to verbally spar over current events. Competitors were able to enter in six categories: interpretation, platform, limited prep, policy, congress, and Lincoln Douglas. Students had been

preparing all year for their events with practice sessions. Irvington speakers were placed in almost all the events in the highly competitive tournament. Sophomore Mehaa Mekala, freshman Roshni Sudharsan, junior Ankita Kini, and freshman Riya Kataria were Quarterfinalists in “Dramatic Interpretation,”, “Original Oratory”, “Impromptu,” and “Humorous Interpretation”, respectively. Senior Michelle Huang nd junior Suki Singh placed sixth in “Extemporaneous Speaking” and in “Dramatic

an amazing feeling knowing the work you’ve put into this cause has created something that means so much to so many people.” Irvington FBLA has progressed considerably, starting in 2014 with only 30 members and growing to 100 members this year. It quickly became one of California’s largest FBLA chapters. The dramatic increase in growth was due to DECA’s requirement that members take Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes, while FBLA offered a business oriented competition without any class requirement. The team hopes to continue their recent run of success in the state competition at Sacramento.

Vikings fight head to head for Versus Week By Zarah Zhao Staff Writer

Versus Week, the replacement for Battle of the Sexes, took place from Feb. 13 to 17, during which Vikings participated in a variety of events that pitted different classes, colors, and sexes against each other. Monday: Blue vs. White On Monday, the hallways were a flood of blue and white as students wearing blue crews faced off against those with white crews for a prize. The winners, students wearing blue, received free ice cream and popcorn after school. During lunchtime, there was a giant Connect 4 in the cafeteria at lunch, with the winner receiving ice cream as well.

Tuesday: Class vs. Class Starting off with a morning pep rally, Tuesday featured the classes repping class t-shirts and colors. The spirited underclassmen showed up early in the morning to show their Viking pride, whereas the turnout for the upperclassmen was significantly smaller. “We exchanged chants and everyone had a pretty good time,” sophomore Kevin Mao said, “but the experience would’ve been more enjoyable with higher turnout.” Similar to Monday, ASB passed out free popcorn to the sophomores, who won based on their spirit both in dressing

Irvington’s Speech Club competes at Berkeley Tournament By Radhika Munshani

There were several notable placing, including juniors Sourish Agarwal and Rachit Pareek placed first in Hospitality Management, the first competitors from Irvington to ever place first at an FBLA event. Additionally, junior Kevin Moy placed fourth in Cyber Security and sophomore Brian Wang who placed third in Business Calculations. “Irvington FBLA amazed at the Bay Section conference, with nearly 4 times as many states qualifiers as last year,” President Rachit Pareek said. “It’s

initial draft. Blanchford developed the ability to work with a professional editor regarding the presentation of his material. “Taking criticism as a writer was definitely a skill I had to work on and is something I am still working on today,” Blanchford said. “Getting over the sense of pride helped me progress and become a better writer in the long term.” Blanchford’s parents played a major role in his healing process, along with supporting his writing as well. He hopes the book would inspire other parents who have children facing similar conditions and remind them to have hope.

Interpretation”, respectively. “It was really competitive,” freshman Riya Kataria said. “You could tell people knew what they were doing. There were also a huge amount of people there and the whole thing was just intimidating at first in general.” These results are even more impressive given the slew of illnesses the speech members faced in advance of the tournament. “We had a few kids who had to drop because there’s that flu going around and a few kids were

sick or injured during the tournament,” Speech Captain Michelle Huang said, “but they still managed to pull through.” The tournament saw the overcoming of obstacles to reach lofty goals on the part of Irvington competitors. Irvington Speech now looks forward to competing in to state and national qualifiers. “We’ve been practicing a lot,” Kataria said, “and if we keep practicing as hard as we did for Berkeley, then we can make it to the actual State and National tournaments.”

up and in pep rally participation.

Wednesday: Teachers vs. Students Wednesday brought a shift in dynamic, with teachers and students exchanging fashion styles for the day. Many flannels were seen on campus, as many students chose to imitate Mr. V’s iconic flannel look. Though the staff won the basketball game, the game became a friendly competition, with many non-team students joining in and playing against faculty members such as Mr. Jones and Mr. Shultz. Thursday: Senior & Freshmen vs. Sophomores & Juniors With both fashion disaster and pajamas, Thursday combined the best of spirit day dress ups and passed in a flurry of colors and strange outfits. Freshmen and seniors wore their most mismatched, outlandish outfits while the

sophomores and juniors just rolled out of bed, cozying up in their pajamas. ASB also hosted the Oreo Challenge during lunch. Friday: Boys vs. Girls Hyped for the blacklight rally, Vikings decked out in white and various neon colors brought life to the otherwise gloomy, rainy Friday. ASB offered glow-inthe-dark face paint in the courtyard at lunch in preparation for the rally. The freshmen class came blazing in a sea of matching neon yellow shirts, fully prepared for blacklight madness. The blacklight rally itself was well put together, featuring performances from IHS Cheer and Sitaare x Irvington Bhangra Crew as well as a mock Star Wars battle. “Dancing in the dark added a new dimension to the performance, making it more fun and memorable,” Sitaare member and junior Rishabh Khurana said. “Though it was harder to see, the environment was super energetic and the crowd was very responsive, cheering for us.” ASB’s newly formatted Versus Week ran relatively smoothly, though some activities lacked the ideal participation. Originally Battle of the Sexes, the week leading up to Sadies was reformatted and renamed to be more inclusive of other genders and welcoming to all Vikings.