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THE voice

Vikings and Warriors Share the Acorn

IHS and MSJ cross country teams race against each other, sing ‘Squirrel Song’ together By Jenny Lu

Student Life Spotlight on Irvington PTSA Page 4 Are clubs useful? Page 6

Features Flyest airports around the world Page 8-9


Sports Sports heating up this winter season Page 12

Humor Irvington implements towing policy Page 15

Photos PAC Halloween costume conest, Día de los Muertos Page 16


Class More Worthy Factor than Race in Affirmative Action

Interstellar Program Upgrades Math Competitions

Math competitions move to the cyber world


Book review: And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini Page 10

Volume 22.2 November 8, 2013

Photo: Jenny Lu

Two Mission San Jose runners and sophomore Elizabeth Rickey, who planned the senior night for Irvington cross country seniors. While Irvington lost the meet overall, the cross country meet between Irvington and Mission San Jose that took place on Halloween was filled with many memorable events—ranging from several new personal records (PR’s) to senior night to a unified Squirrel Dance as well as a dedication to Jason Park, a Mission senior who recently passed away. Irvington’s varsity boys dominated the 3.1 mile race, with senior Sanjeev

Reddy placing first with a PR of 17:55. Senior Pranav Shekar came in second with a PR of 18:11, and senior Krish Masand placed 3rd with a time of 18:22, matching his current PR. Senior Matt Doerner, one of Irvington’s top runners, sat out due to an injury. For varsity girls, Mission senior Taylor Jang placed first with a time of 21:01. Irvington sophomore Elizabeth Rickey placed 4th overall and 1st for IHS with a time of 22:40. >> See XC Page 12

California Cracks Down on Cyberbullying

Irvington administrators and students respond to new bullying law

By Karthik Mayilvahanan Governor Jerry Brown some role in controlling it.” Socioeconomic class signed Assembly Bill 256 into Ms. Smoot adds that should be a substantial law on October 10, giving school administration has criterion when evaluating school administrators author- the best interests of Irvington college applications ity to suspend or expel stu- students, with respect to their By Arya Sureshbabu dents for cyberbullying on and futures, in mind. “If you go to I’ve always considoff campus. college recruiting websites or ered the concept of applying The previous law de- the Wall Street Journal, you to college both daunting and fined “electronic acts” of bul- can see where there have depressing. From the time lying as related to a school been published articles about I was in middle school, I’ve event or under the four cases recruiters from companies and heard the demoralizing tales of school juriscolleges looking of incredibly qualified students diction: on cam- “If electronic bully- at somebody’s who spent weeks drafting an pus, coming ing is playing a role electronic history impeccable essay and perfectto and leaving and making deciing their resumes only to be from school, at in that safety then sions,” explained rejected by their top-choice s c h o o l - s p o n - we should have Ms. Smoot. “Their universities. As yet another sored events, some role in con- job is to make graduating class of seniors and during lunch trolling it.” sure that they get finds itself in the midst of a at an open- the best candi-Ms. Smoot flurry of applications, I cannot campus lunch date and one that help but find my view substanschool like ours. AB 256 rede- represents their company well, tiated further: college applicafines “electronic acts” of bully- so if they are looking for an tions are indeed a matter of ing as those “originated on or employee, and somebody has great distress for students. off the school site.” demonstrated irresponsible It was only recently, “I want every student behavior on the internet, that however, that I realized that no to feel safe when they come can impact their ability to get a matter how troubling we may here.” said Principal Sarah job.” find writing those applications, Smoot. “If they are being at- “I don’t think it gives the admissions counselors at tacked at home via electronics too much power to school autop-notch colleges are faced and it’s impacting their ability thority.” said Assistant Princiwith an even greater dilemma to learn or feel safe at school, pal Monica Guzman. “I do think when forced to sift through then I think the administration it sends a consistent message thousands of such applicashould become involved. It’s that what you do every day is tions and make the difficult about creating a safe learning very important for students to choice of who gets in and who environment, and if electronic keep in mind. I think a lot of the stays out. bullying is playing a role in that time >> See CYBERBULLYING >> See AFFIRMATIVE ACTION safety then we should have Page 2 Page 7

By Shonushka Sawant On November 1, Irvington’s math advisory participated in a half-hour math contest—without ever leaving the campus. Irvington’s math team has decided that for the present time, rather than deal with having to find affordable transportation and food during math competitions, it will conduct contests from the most convenient place possible: Irvington. A website called Interstellar, according to its information site, allows the students to participate in anything from practice tests to nationwide tournaments online. >> INTERSTELLAR on page 2

Class of 2014 Fundraises with Golden State Warriors

New fundraising tactic gives students opportunity to watch NBA game By Kevin Hsu Irvington’s own a cappella group, Sexy Pitches, will be singing the national anthem for the Golden State Warrior’s home game against the Memphis Grizzlies on November 20 at the Oracle Arena for a fundraiser. As a part of the fundraiser, members of the senior class council sold tickets to the NBA game; a portion of the revenue will be donated to Irvington’s senior class. According to senior class fundraising director Joshua Handjojo, the class of 2014 has been extremely successful, making $1570 from this fundraiser

alone. Handjojo attributes the success of this fundraiser to the ingenuity of the fundraising plan he came up with, which involved thinking “broader” and “bigger” beyond Fremont. “I really wanted to make a new fundraiser and put my ideas out there because we’ve been having the same ones for many years that only make a limited amount of profit,” explained Handjojo. “I was determined to go big this year and make a new idea—something >> See WARRIORS Page 2

Vikings Unite for Red Ribbon Week, Breast Cancer Awareness, Blood Drive Irvington commemorates drug-free commitment, wears Pink Crew, and works with American Red Cross By Simran Moza During the week of October 21, Irvington ASB coordinated the annual Red Ribbon week, organizing a dress up day for on each of the spirit days. Students were especially excited about the dress up theme on Thursday, “Dream Away Drugs,” in which Vikings wore their favorite pajamas. “I think Red Ribbon Week was a success. Everyone liked the little ribbons on each locker; it was something personal for everyone to keep!” commented ASB member, junior Narvan Babaei. “Everybody loves PJ days so I think that’s the reason why Dream Away Drugs day had the most student participation. Who doesn’t love being warm and fluffy at school?!” On Friday, students celebrated Unity Day by wearing pink in support of breast cancer Awareness. Earlier

this month, the Viking Vendor began selling Breast Cancer Awareness “Pink Crew” shirts, a pink version of the traditional “Blue Crew” shirt, customized for boys and girls. While the girls’ shirt is light pink and reads “together we can find a cure,” the boys’ shirt is darker with the words “Real Men Wear Pink” printed on the back. The shirts are ten dollars each, of which two dollars are donated to support children with cancer at St. Jude’s Foundation. “It’s great to be able to support the cause,” said senior Pranay Singh who sported a pink shirt on Unity Day. American Red Cross also stopped by to host their special blood drive on Friday. “It felt nice to give back and help save lives!” said blood donor senior Simran Gupta. “It was a wonderful experience and I was shocked how many

2 << NEWS

Pink Crew Vikings Unite Against

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer awareness merchandise breaks sale records By Cindy Meng

Photo: Cindy Meng

Besides color, the two designs also differ in the logo on the front and the message on the back. To raise awareness Just three days after vington High School for evfor breast cancer, Associated Mr. Willer placed the first or- ery Pink Crew ASB sells. AcStudent Body’s activities di- der of 500 shirts through Cus- cording to Willer, the sponsor rector Ryan Willer modified Ir- tomInk, a representative from chose St. Jude’s organization vington’s traditional Blue Crew the company because stushirts into Pink Crew shirts and emailed Willer “Dealing with breast dents deal created a school-wide product to express her with hardcancer is a difficult sit- ships regardthat generated 430 sales with- excitement rein 16 days of its release date garding this uation; many students ing patients on Monday, October 14. creative fund- want to do something affected by ASB also changed raising idea. To kinds of but don’t know what all all Unity Fridays in October, show Customcancer, so Breast Cancer Awareness Ink’s support, to do. This gives them he wanted to Month, to Pink Fridays. This she granted Ir- an opportunity to take contribute to adjustment rapidly increased vington a $100 treating the action.” Pink Crews’ sale rates, beat- discount when disease as a -Mr. Willer whole. ing all dance and merchandise Willer placed the sale records in the last four second order of T h e years before finally peaking 250 shirts. Pink Crew on Friday, October 18, with 71 Since ASB is not al- shirts feature two different shirts sold that day. Students lowed to make direct dona- designs, one in charity pink wore Pink Crews to the Battle tions, an anonymous sponsor (light) for females and the othof Blacow on the 19 at the TAK agreed to donate 2 dollars to er in azalea (dark) for males. stadium, where the game was St. Jude’s Children Research However, the general consumheld. Hospital on the behalf of Ir- ers did not follow this gender

coordination, as many male students purchased the more popular charity pink shirt. “I got light pink to differentiate myself from the crowd,” said junior Alan Wang. “It’s no surprise the crowd followed me.” Meanwhile, English teacher Ms. O’Connor and many students’ mothers purchased the azalea shirt. “[Breast cancer] is not just a women’s issue,” said Ms. O’Connor. “I’m glad the men’s shirt acknowledges that.” “This whole experience was a really powerful process. My favorite part is when students come to me and tell me stories about their family members and friends who had breast cancer,” said Willer, reflecting on the Pink Crew movement. “Dealing with breast cancer is a difficult situation; many students want to do something but don’t know what to do. This gives them an opportunity to take action.”

>>WARRIORS continued from Page 1 team, a lot of students here at Irvington would be interested in that.” He also believes that the Warrior’s success, especially from last year’s season, and the “cheaper” ticket prices have contributed to the fundraiser as well. Tickets sold through the fundraiser cost only $25 and are exempt from taxes and other fees associated with ticket purchases made online. When asked about singing the national anthem, Handjojo noted that it was not actually part of the original idea. “I sent an email to the Warriors director and he replied with a list of stuff that we could do. There was a high-five fan tunnel, a play that we could do three hours before the game, and one of the options was singing the national anthem,” explained Handjojo. “I thought, ‘Okay, I’m in Sexy Pitches, why not?’ I sent in a tape of us singing [the national anthem] and they liked it.” Many Irvington students are eagerly anticipating the Warriors fundraiser, according to Handjojo. “I heard from a lot of students that they’re really interested and that they can’t wait for the game, especially for the people who bought tickets.”

Voice 22.1

GetSchooled Challenge By Iris Lee Through Get Schooled, a program that wants to empower youth through education, Irvington High School may have a chance at a celebrity principal for a day. This year, Irvington is involved in the Get Schooled challenge, a friendly competition between high schools to see which school can get the most people each week to promise to graduate. The winning school in each regional gets 5000 dollars and a dance party topped with a DJ—and the overall winning school receives the cash prize and DJ party as well as a celebrity principal. Possible celebrity principals include hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar, NBA Player Jeremy Lin, and International boy band One Direction. “I became involved because I just like topics related to education and this is such a wonderful way to unit our school for a good cause,” Senior Thao Le, Get Schooled Ambassador, said. “Plus, who doesn’t want a celebrity to come to our school?” College and Career Center instructor Mrs. Kimmel supports the Get Schooled movement as well. “I hope the activities will encourage students to have better attendance and reinforce their academic performance, as games are usually academically related.” ASB plans to host lunchtime activities, online games contests, and will give away prizes like free backpacks, shirts, and journals for participation. To participate in the challenge, go online to, make an account, and pledge to graduate from high school. Students from Irvington have generated false votes in online contests, leaving the validity of online competitions to be questionable.

Photo: Iris Lee

Students can also sign up for celebrity wake up calls and play academic games.

Upcoming Events What’s going on at IHS? 11/8 Indopak Rangeela Garba 11/9 Pancake Breakfast 11/11 Veteran’s Day, No School 11/12 Club Rush 11/15 Deca Movie Night 11/20-11/21 Parent teacher conferences 11/22 Link Movie Night

NEWS >> 3

October 11, 2013

>> CYBERBULLYING continued from Page 1 students won’t think of the consequences as harshly as they would if they knew that they could get in trouble for it all the time.” Junior Prasanna Nehru disagrees. “I think that it is an invasion of privacy,” said Nehru. “It might be cyberbullying, but I don’t think that that should be a reason that the administrator should be able to use to go through personal belongings.” “On top of that, administration has also been known to overreact to some cyberbullying cases,” added senior Roderick Pulido.“They’ve punished people in the past for two friends calling each other names even though there was absolutely no intent on bullying the other. Even though cyberbullying is a matter that needs to be taken seriously, the measures they’re taking seem too drastic.”

Ms. Guzman felt that the new law played into Irvington’s school-wide outcomes. “I want to add specifically for Irvington that social responsibility and personal responsibility are something that we take a lot of pride in.” explained Ms. Guzman. “I’m hoping this brings more awareness to people in general, that you are responsible for the things that you do and say every day at all parts of the day.” “I think it’s cowardly to attack somebody electronically,” said Smoot. “We can’t function as a civilized society if our objective is to hurt people, so I would just hope that it brings awareness that just like we try to live in harmony on campus, we need to live in harmony in the virtual world to.” The law goes into effect in January 2014.

>> INTERSTELLAR continued from Page 1

Irvington is currently lar and solve ten questions for ranked number five out of ap- which they have 30 minutes,” proximately 500 schools in added Ms. Rothfuss, the math America on Interstellar. “Inter- advisory teacher. “After three stellar is a really fun and easy or four weeks, Interstellar will way to learn math because look at the scores of all the anyone with a computer can do schools currently participating in the program. it,” said senior They will then Michael Zhang, “Interstellar is a who placed really fun and easy pick the top 64 schools to comsecond on In- way to learn math pete against terstellar nationeach other.” wide. “Once a because anyone Even Irvingweek, our advi- with a computer ton students not sory goes to a can do it.” computer lab to -Michael Zhang part of the math advisory can solve problems; it’s both challenging and en- participate in the competitions, according to Ms. Rothfuss. joyable.” “For a few months, “Other students not using the the students went to a comput- program can login as visitors er lab every Friday during ad- to support their schools, and visory. They log in to Interstel- see how they’re doing.”

Performing Arts Club Hosts “Trick or Treat So Kids Can Eat”

PTSA Hosts Celebrate My Drive Movie Night to Encourage Cautious Driving

Driving videos present interviews, anecdotes, and tips to persuade students to take driving more seriously By Arya Sureshbabu Irvington High School’s PTSA organized and hosted their Safe Driver Awareness Movie Night on Friday, October 25, in Norse Hall. This presentation, part of Irvington’s participation in the Celebrate my Drive program, aimed to provide student drivers and their parents with information on how to minimize the risk of road accidents and spread awareness about the prevalence and consequences of such accidents. The evening consisted of a series of videos interspersed with discussions run by officers from the Students of PTSA Club and concluded with a list of common precautions that drivers should take into consideration. Of the videos, one was targeted particularly towards teenagers, while the others were part of a series of clips produced by the AAA Insurance Company to provide general information about driving safety under various circumstances. The former included several short interviews with high school students about their driving habits and stories of teenagers whose lives were changed irrevocably by car crashes. One such anecdote featured the story of Donovan Tessemer, a football player

Photo: Arya Sureshbabu

At the conclusion of the videos, juniors Madhuri K., Jiny L., and Naier W. read out important safety guidelines and statistics to the audience. who died in a crash because his girlfriend swerved the car in an attempt to show off to their friends sitting in the backseat. As for the videos concerning

“At the start of the driving experience, many teens tend to think, ‘It won’t happen to me. ’This thought often leads to students taking more risks than they should.” -Naier Wang

driving safety, they contained useful hints for driving in the dark or during times of severe weather as well as information about such subtleties as when to turn on headlights and how to navigate a snowy road. PTSA’s primary purpose in hosting this educational movie night and encouraging students to sign

safe driving pledges for the Celebrate my Drive program was to create a safer environment at Irvington for both inexperienced and experienced drivers. The need to highlight the dangers of reckless driving stemmed from the fact that most teenage drivers tend to be unaware of the potential for disaster. “At the start of the driving experience, many teens tend to think, ‘It won’t happen to me,’” said Naier Wang, Students of PTSA president. “This thought often leads to students taking more risks than they should.” The movie night was intended to counteract such a mentality and provide constructive advice against recklessness on the road. This purpose appears to have been at least partially achieved. Following the presentation, junior Jiny Lee commented, “The videos made me

Green Advisory Decorates Cafeteria

New green zones aim to make Irvington more environmentally friendly By Brandon McAlister

PAC’s first canned food drive raised food for children and families in need By Jared Tse

Green Advisory Decorating Cafeteria New green zones aim to make Irvington more environmentally friendly By Brandon McAlister Starting Friday, November 1, Green Advisory, located in room 61, will be enacting, for the first time, areas called “green zones,” which are certain targeted places in school (cafeteria this month) and decorated with Photo: Hugo Vera Green Advisory’s logo, Thetoaim of creating Students had to donate at GREEN. least one can participate in the green zones is to educate the students on the importance Halloween costume contest. October 31, Halloween, was the last day for collecting canned goods, which will be donated to the Educationally Theatre Association. Throughout October, the Performing Arts Club collected canned or nonperishable goods for the event Trick or Treat So Kids Can Eat (TOTSEAT). “The non-perishable items are being donated to St. Vincent DePaul Society, one of the major food pantry organizations that serves all families in need in the Bay Area,” stated Performing Arts Club president Frances Ramsel. Collecting over 100 cans, members of the Perform-

ing Arts Club stored the cans in various places. “We stored the canned goods sporadically around Valhalla and the green room as we got them, kind of like our own little Valhalla food bank,” stated Frances Ramsel. The Performing Arts Club has not set a goal this year for how many cans they would collect. “We honestly just wanted to get advisories participating, since this was our first year doing the food drive,” stated Frances Ramsel. “The response has been pretty surprising because more people participated than we thought.” Members of the Per-

Photo: Brandon McAlister

Posters made out of old newspaper and recycled paper. Starting Friday, November 1, Green Advisory, located in room 61, will be enacting, for the first time, areas called “green zones,” which are certain targeted places in school (cafeteria this month) and decorated with Green Advisory’s logo, GREEN. The aim of creating green zones is to educate the students on the importance of proper disposal. After a couple of weeks, the green zone will be shifted to a new area, such as the courtyard or library. “We are excited to start this activity,” said senior Jemina Zhao, “but also a little nervous because we are unsure of how the outcome will be.” The logos posted

around school will state that the area is green and proper trash disposal is required. Stations will be set up, similar to those of Club Rush, where

people will recycle, compost, and learn how to properly throw trash away. “We are going to have fun facts on the walls around

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Viking TV Spotlight If you have not seen these amazing videos yet you are missing out

The Voice 22.1

Club Spotlight: IHS Girls in Stem By Shonushka Sawant

By Mariam Syeda- Quadri VTV is a series of 2-10 minute episodes that cover various Irvington events. VTV was initially part of ASB. Journalism took over the channel because of ASB’s busy schedule. In 2012-13 Journalism students Iris Lee and Chizo Nwagwu took over the project and integrated this videobased reporting into the Journalism class. Students are assigned episodes along with monthly articles. The entire class works on the videos, but all the video editing is done by the VTV editors for the year, Iris Lee and Jared Tse. So far the class has produced about forty episodes. The Journalism class tries to do a few episodes every month, depending on the frequency of school events. “I“I try my best to balance school and videos, so it’s definitely quality over quantity!” said VTV editor Iris Lee. “It’s an idealistic dream, but I hope that I’ll be able to integrate the student body more closely with the VTV channel and indirectly connect Irvington through these videos.”

Top 5 VTV episodes to check out: 1. We the People Washington, D.C. series: a 3-part segment that covers the seven days that We the People students spent in Washington, D.C. 2. St. Baldrick’s Shave-a-Thon: a video that matches the inspiring atmosphere of the event which helped raise money for childhood cancer 3. Boat Race: Just a lighthearted event with footage of interviews and on-the-spot filming of the actual races. 4. Spirit Week 2013: A series of videos covering skits dances, and dress-up days of all the classes. 5. DECISIONS: AP Science: insight about AP science classes from experienced students. Editors hope to finish series later this year with insight for AP Math, English, and Government classes.

Photo: Shonushka Sawant

Two years ago, Ms. McAuley applied for a grant from American Association of University Women. She received the grant last year to promote women going into STEM fields. After that, the club, Girls in Stem, was founded by Ms. McAuley, Mr. Fung, and some female students. The main use of the grant is so that members of the club can attend various events, such as the Wow! Engineering conference. The group is affiliated with the Association of Women in Science, as some of the officers have done service for the association. “I think that our club will help balance out the male to female ratio in STEM related jobs,” said Treasurer Megh-

na Srivastava. “Our club will help spread awareness of the STEM related opportunities to young females. This will hopefully increase the women interest in STEM fields...!” The officers of the club were active last year, however, this is the club’s first official year as a club of IHS. Though the grant is intended for girls, the club is open to both boys and girls. Vice President Sailakshmi Kumar said: “It’s a good idea, because unless boys understand the unfairness and take a stand alongside the girls, there will never really be equality between men and women.” The club meets in Room 85 every other week.

If you could be any cartoon character, who would you be and why? By Shayna Kapadia Ashutosh A., 9

Approved Club vs Unapproved Clubs Unapproved clubs are not banned from campus

Scan the QR code for more videos!

By Nathan Fu

“I would be SpongeBob because I could live forever.” Sailakshmi K., 10

Inside scoop on our PTSA

PTSA is involved in a lot of activities where their influence goes unnoticed By Sangeetha Srinivasan

IHS PTSA is an association at Irvington High School where parents, teachers, and students work together to improve the overall high school experience for everybody. Much of what the PTSA does is behind the scenes and necessary for the proper functioning of IHS. A part of the PTSA membership and donations go towards programs and training, AP proctors, staff appreciation, volunteer appreciation, teacher grants, PTSA events, and QUEST . “QUEST is the flagship of our school, and PTSA takes an active role in it . We coordinate the community panelists. To appreciate their contribution, we provide hospitality to all panelists,” said Ujjwala Gadgil, the former president and current VP of PTSA. “We appreciate our teachers, and throughout the year we treat them to good food incorporating a multicultural element. “ During the parent-teacher conferences, which coincide with Diwali, we provide a traditional Indian meal coupled with Thanksgiving treats. To celebrate the Chinese New Year, around January we provide an Asian meal,” said Gagdil, “and during May, in honor of Cinco de Mayo, we provide an authentic Mexican meal.” Among other programs and volunteering support, PTSA also provides

Question Man

technology, such as turnitin. com, SAT/ACT practice tests, school supplies, and emergency kit supplies. “Integrating the Turn-in-it software to Irvington classes is an expensive task, and we are happy to do it,” said Gadgil. “We want to make sure the students of Irvington are lead in the right direction, away from the temptation of plagiarism.” The PTSA actively helps students by providing coat-checks and food at the school dancesand nourishment during STAR and AP testing. “Student success is a priority for PTSA. And we also want them to have fun. We gladly open the coat check service keeping the comfort of the students in mind,” said Gadgil. “Irvington is one of the few schools in the district that has a coat check.” PTSA occasionally shines a spotlight on students during their Reflections arts program, Irvington Idol contest, and Viking PRIDE student recognitions. “We give 4 scholarships of $500 to seniors who have demonstrated community development,” said Gadgil. PTSA strives to connect parents to the school and to this goal, conducts a ‘Hot Topics with the principal’ – where parents can have an open dialogue with the princi-

One of the many things high school offers to students is the variety of clubs available. Some of the more popular clubs include Key Club, Deca, and Interact. These clubs all have something in common- they’re approved by ASB. Approved clubs have the benefit of being able to participate in Club Rush, a great way to get funds for the

Photo: Sangeetha Srinivasan

For more information, you can contact the Irvington PTSA at pal about any issues related to the school . At the beginning of the year, PTSA holds Navigating IHS for new parents, inviting speakers from the school administration, benchmark coordinators, and counselors. Throughout the year, PTSA also invites speakers to their meetings to inform parents about various topics related to the school. Some examples

club. Also, approved clubs have an easier time publicizing their events and meetings. To get a club approved, Clubs Commissioner Elise Logan explained that clubs need to present a Power Point showing what they are all about and how they are important. After the power point, the club commissioners will then separate clubs into two groups; one group that will be potentially approved and the other group that will be potentially unapproved. ASB then votes on what clubs are meaningful and deserved to be approved. ASB looks for clubs that have strong leadership, an involved advisor, and finally an achievable goal and plan so they can get started right away. However, there are unapproved clubs that stay active, such as Girl Up. Girl Up aims to educate people in foreign countries about women’s rights. Currently, the club president is senior Eva Sinha and the club advisor is Mr. Lewis. are Meet the Shadow staff ( which includes campus security, SRO, and the nurse), Class Selection, Teacher Panel, Teen Driving, and Education after High School.

“I would want to be Spiderman so I could tangle people in spider webs all the time.” Louie C., 11

“I would be Rock Lee because his eyebrows are amazing like mine.” Nivedha R., 12

“I would be Timmy Turner because I think it would be amazing to have fairy god parents.” Photos (all): Shayna Kapadia

6 << The Voice VOL. 22 NO. 1 Irvington High School POLICY STATEMENT: 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. Editors-in-chief Jenny Lu Karthik Mayilvahanan News Kanika Priyadarshi Enya Kuo Features Simran Moza Sonakshi Maheshwari A&E Kelsey Wong Rashi Saxena Student Life Chandni Patel Sports Cindy Meng Jason Amico Humor Brandon McAlister Photo Hugo Vera Columnist Iris Lee Business Manager Khushi Patel Copy Kevin Hsu VTV Iris Lee Jared Tse Web Mariam Syeda-Quadri Sangeetha Srinivasan Staff Reporters Arya Sureshbabu Matthew Chan Kelsey Ichikawa Nathan Fu Shayna Kapadia Rohit Dilip Shonushka Sawant Advisor Matthew Phillips

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Disagree with the writers? Bring your letters to the editor to room 101A or e-mail them to Letters may be considered for publication. The Voice reserves the right to edit for clarity, length, and accuracy. We welcome all comments.

The Voice 22.1

CLUBS: worth the time?



Clubs provide special interests, friends, and opportunities

School clubs waste of time and more importantly money

By Enya Kuo Irvington has a ton of clubs, probably more this year than any other year. As the All Clubs Meetings get more and more crowded, some students have begun to call out peoples’ incentives for starting certain clubs. Are clubs just cheap ways to add some glitter and sparkles to your records? Clubs are much more than that. We come to school to learn, but our academic curriculum does not include all of our interests. Clubs are how students can access arts and hobbies that otherwise would not be available at school. There is no gardening elective or AP Chess, but we do not need to spend loads of money joining exclusive yoyo societies or signing up for fencing courses. Interest clubs at Irvington allow us to explore and experience a plethora of special activities so that the time we spend at school is more than simply about academics. Of course, these student-run clubs cannot compare to professional classes or studios, but clubs can serve as a glimpse into that interest and help us consider whether we want to continue developing those skills. Clubs are also the place for meeting new people or for friends to gather. There is perhaps no better way to make new friends than to find some sort of connection with them, and clubs are the perfect liaisons that link people with similar interests and cultures. Especially for some religion clubs such as Youth Alive or Muslim Student Association,

By Khushi Patel clubs are a way for students of that religion to congregate even in secular environments. Students in cultural clubs such as Indopak, Black Student Union, and Kulture also get to unite with other students of the similar background. This provision of common roots is extremely beneficial for students seeking identity and camaraderie in an enormous school of over 2,000 people. Yes, clubs provide opportunities for students to demonstrate their leadership and initiative-taking abilities, but this is not just for the college application. Without clubs, there would be very little openings for such officer positions, and clubs, by allowing many students to be leaders, train Irvington students to be responsible, accountable citizens. In addition, service clubs such as Interact, Key, and LEO encourage students to cooperate with professional adult organizations for humanitarian work. The service opportunities offered by clubs also help students earn service hours for causes and purpose they actually care about. No more mundane volunteer routines: students can find a club of their interest and work for the benefit of real passions. Irvington does have a ton of clubs, and this is a great thing. Each student in our school is an individual with unique talents and pursuits, and clubs on our campus cater to each of those special hobbies to make our students population diverse and colorful.

While clubs are a handy way to bolster your college apps, they don’t necessarily improve the lives of their members. Many students take part in school clubs solely for the benefit of their college applications, rather than the club’s value. There are multiple clubs with the same purpose, such as Tutoring club and Peer Tutoring club in addition to Interact, KEY, and LEO club. Additionally, some clubs are not as beneficial as advertised. Clubs that focus more on the social aspect rather than the service aspect of their club are usually superficial. Often times, such clubs only fulfill the requirement of one service event and meeting in order to establish themselves as a club. Such clubs generally claim that their purpose is to create a safe place for students looking to meet others with the same interests or beliefs. However, if the club itself only meets once or twice, is that enough to build substantial relationships with like-minded people? Although it is true that some clubs are created with good intentions to provide students with useful skills that will enhance their readiness for the future, most of them require a mandatory “donation.” For certain competitive clubs, in order to actually be considered a part of the club, students have to pay a compulsory fee. Not to mention, some students join these competitive clubs for the sole purpose of missing school. This really detracts from the club’s real purpose.

Fundraising is a key part of most charitable service clubs. However, when these clubs begin their funding, they rarely ever look into what the charities themselves will be doing with it. Many charities spend more money on publicizing and expanding, and donate very little of the money we raise to the causes themselves. The most crucial flaw of having school clubs is that some students have time and others don’t. Clubs can require a ridiculous amount of time commitment. Discounting the conferences and competitions that take place over weekends, students often have to allot time on school days to participate. IHS Mock Trial has competitions on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Oakland from 5 to 10 PM. Regardless of a student’s time management skills, the odd hours of clubs that participate in competitive events are hard to work around, especially for students participating in sports or tutoring. High school clubs are disadvantageous in that they either have a faulty purpose or simply require too much from their members. Students who focus their time outside of school on fluffing up their college apps with numerous clubs are not only exhausting themselves, but their pockets for little to no benefit. The time spent in club events and meetings can be spent far more efficiently by focusing on things that are truly beneficial.

November 8, 2013

from page 1 >> Affirmative Action


Class More Worthy Factor than Race in Affirmative Action By Arya Sureshbabu Were they to rely on purely objective criteria, these officials would be charged with dehumanizing students and turning every adolescent into nothing more than a set of figures without any concern for the potential environmental factors which had influenced their GPAs and SAT scores. If they implemented affirmative action based on race or gender, they would be instantaneously reviled as proponents of discrimination who attempt to mask their horrendous bigotry behind the need for “equality”. These criticisms are not without merit—relying on numbers alone does not provide a full picture of a student’s

achievements, while allowing someone a leg up in university admissions because of the color of his or her skin reeks of reverse racism. How then, do we find a middle ground? The closest thing we have to a legitimate answer lies in a relatively new proposition: affirmative action based on socioeconomic class. Nobody can deny that a person’s financial background has significant bearing upon the opportunities that are readily available to him or her. Students in affluent societies grow up with tutors, prep books, and a plethora of educational materials, receiving assistance in building up

their resume almost from the very moment they set foot on a school campus. In contrast, students born into impoverished families often lack the means to get by on a day to day basis, let alone purchase vocabulary flashcards or hire personal tutors to boost their SAT score. Naturally, the vastly disparate daily lives of these two groups would result in lower test scores and grades for those who lack the monetary means to obtain extra assistance in their educational pursuits. Affirmative action based on socioeconomic class would essentially eliminate the damaging effects of this dichotomy by giving special

preference to applicants who have performed reasonably well in spite of economic hardship, giving them the opportunity to secure a well-paying job and break out of the malicious cycle of poverty. What is more, the notion of offering affirmative action based on class placates the protestors of the current system who reside on both sides of the spectrum. A Century Foundation report recently revealed that economic class is seven times more influential in determining test scores than race is. In the face of this evidence, both sides would have to agree that allowing affirmative action based on so-

cial class would both eliminate the specter of reverse racism and promote a more holistic view of applications by taking environmental influences into consideration. The college admissions process will never be perfect. There will always be a student or two in every classroom across the United States who is bitterly disappointed or feels cheated out of his or her future upon receiving rejection letters in the spring. But perhaps introducing socioeconomic class as a criterion worth considering would be a step in the right direction by placing the rich and the poor on a more level playing field.

While the intentions may be good, I have to question the logic behind the activities. Character issues won’t be solved within a twenty-minute discussion. If students really have character problems, they should feel comfortably consulting a teacher, counselor, or other adult. One-on-one help would be far more effective. In a group environment, students are pushed to solve these problems alone, since opening up a character flaw can be awkward and embarrassing. With regard to community building, Friday activities do very little for inter-grade

interaction. Teachers often lead discussions, which results in students listening rather than actually talking. Thus, students don’t often interact outside of their grade level during Friday Activities. There are far better ways to achieve this type of interaction. Clubs, for instance, give students a way to meet and talk with people outside of their grade level. Students don’t suddenly start interacting outside of their age group when given a twenty-minute discussion; the Friday Activities clearly fail at this purpose. Friday activities ul-

timately serve a placebo effect—they convince people that students have the opportunity to come forth with nonacademic problems. Although several other schools have periods mirroring advisory— Mission, for example, has the Read Period—none have activities meant for such purposes. This isn’t because of a lack of originality; it’s because the Friday Activities serve no valid purpose at Irvington.

of that society understand and comprehend the ideas behind the cultures of all other members. Unfortunately, this type of ideal situation does not occur often in the real world. If anything can be gleaned from Robert Owen’s utopia of New Lanarck, it is that ideal societies, too, will degrade into chaos and anarchy. The reason for this is similar to that of just about anything in the world—nothing lasts forever. Admittedly, I would love to believe that Irvington is one of these perfect societies, but in reality, Irvington is just another model of how the world is intrinsically tainted and imperfect. At the end of the day, however, I question the stereotype that diversity is good for a

community. Taking a look at Irvington right now, I don’t feel that the lack of cultural understanding impedes the ability of students to perform. Rather, it has become a sort of unique jargon, melding with our daily language as if it has always been there. After a while, we begin to not notice those moments when someone unintentionally insults another culture and treat it as assort of background noise. Coming from another perspective, cultural understanding does not have much of an impact on our daily lives. Sure, learning about the beliefs of others is all fine and dandy, but when are we ever going to use this information again? In addition, having a

society that is culturally diverse may even be harmful. As you learn about the various beliefs and customs of races and ethnic groups besides your own, you may begin to question your own beliefs, especially those that concern spiritual ideals. Changing the moral ideals that your ancestors passed down to you probably isn’t the best way to preserve their memory and work. After a few generations of questioning and switching beliefs, you will no longer be able to say that you are, for example, Catholic. You’ll probably be part Catholic, part Buddhist, and part Muslim. Therefore, many an arguments will occur with the other part Catholic, part Buddhist, and part Muslim people you meet on the

origin of these ideas. Causing the world to become a cultural mess where you can’t tell Buddhism from Christianity and Chinese traditions from South African traditions probably isn’t the best way to preserve the memory of those that founded these traditions and religions. At the end of the day, perhaps cultural diversity is not the direction we want to take as it does not seem to pose a real problem upon our school and our society and may even degrade the understanding of various cultures and races that we have right now. Instead, we should strive to respect other cultures and try to remove the cultural insults from our vernacular.

Stephen Chbosky paints this tranquil story of a wallflower, Charlie, through Charlie’s personal letters. There are some really beautiful thoughts created in his mind as he observes mundane human nature from afar—whether it be from a corner at a teenage party or in a musty school hallway, he looks through life from a unique perspective and sees what everyday people cannot. That’s what I mean. While the word “wallflower” is sometimes mistakenly considered synonymous with “outcast” or “loner,” I prefer “self-observer.” A wallflower is simply a person who prefers the company of thoughts and prefers to fade into the back-

ground, surveying the surroundings. There are perks to standing on the sidelines, like self-discovery and relaxation, and it’s as much a way of life as traversing the town with crowds of friends. When I’m alone, I exist in a bubble and depart from reality. I float above my environment, examining what’s happening below in a sort of peaceful out-of-body experience, and dissect the laughter, the chatter, and the shouting that my brain filters. A school courtyard, once drab and overcrowded, transforms into a vivid place teaming with new life. And some of my clearest revelations come from late nights

lying in bed, like this one: being alone is a gift. While I’m alone in my room, my heart doesn’t ache for other people’s company. I choose to unwind from the dynamic day by letting the silence engulf and soothe my tinkering mind. The alone time is a valuable hidden gem of the competitive, bustling world every human being needs at one time or another to learn to live with themselves. As a result, these shy folk have a clear sense of their own beliefs. They spend so much time with themselves that they have the time to culminate their own thoughts and explore their unconscious, diving into the

depths and doing some much needed soul searching. Contrary to popular belief, wallflowers don’t miss out on the high school experience. Wallflowers don’t make it a point to avoid company-they choose solitude, not isolation. They simply understand that they can retreat from the world without fear of being abandoned by the world. Not only do they grasp the nuances of life easily, but they also possess that uncanny ability to live vicariously through another person’s eyes…at the very heart of it, a wallflower is a quietly cultivated plant sitting on the windowsill, observing day and night.

Friday Activities are Utterly Pointless Advisory Activities Fail at Intended Purposes

By Rohit Dilip On many Fridays throughout the school year, advisory classes are required to participate in “Friday Activities.” These activities were designed to help students across grade levels assimilate and get to know one another, promote better decisions, and overall address several nonacademic issues students had. These activities, however, fail miserably at addressing these areas. Although it’s immediately obvious that students often need help from a non-academic standpoint, a weekly group activity is possi-

bly the worst way to go about aiding students. The rationale behind the activities, as Irvington principal Ms. Smoot explained, is that “the Friday activities would be community building opportunities to give students across the grade level chances to talk with each other. That’s evolved to address awareness about global issues and lesson planning to prepare for safety. Last year and this year we’ve worked on the character issues like cheating and plagiarism. It’s an opportunity for instruction that’s not taking time out of the core academic classes.”

Diversity: Its True Meaning IHS lacks true diversity, but does it really matter? By Matthew Chan According to (yes, Irvington is a great school), in the 20102011 school year, Irvington was 60% Asian, 21% White, 13% Hispanic, and 3% black. We can no longer deny the fact that Irvington’s population is heavily skewed regardless of how we crunch the numbers. As I make my way around campus every day, I can’t help but notice that although different ethnic groups mingle and mix, there is a general failure to understand the many cultures that exist in Irvington’s student population. We like to say we are diverse, but I feel that this lack of understanding directly inhibits our school from being so. True diversity in a society exists when all members

The Art of Solitude There are perks to being a wallflower By Iris Lee

I wouldn’t underestimate the quiet folk. For some, it’s thrilling to be around other people and feed off their effervescence. For others, it’s a little harder, and not just because they might be socially awkward. There are some people that just like to be alone at times. In that reflective novel Perks of Being a Wallflower,

Bilbao Airport, aka La Paloma (The Dove) By Shayna Kapadia

Denver International Airport By Jared Tse

Location: Denver, Colorado, United States of America Date Established: February 25, 1995 Architect: Fentress Architects The roof of The Denver International Airport is designed to look like a carnival tent and is constructed of teflon-coated-fiberglass.

Location: Txorierri Valley near Sondika, Spain Date Established: 1934 Architect: Santiago Calatrava Construction commenced during the civil war for the airport to be used solely as a military base. It was not until 1940 that it was decided to build an airport for civilian transportation. Soon after that, regular flights to Madrid were established. The new design, by Santiago Calatrava, is made to resemble an enormous bird that is just about to take flight.

The Denver international Airport also features the only passenger bridge in the world where passengers can watch airplanes take off underneath them.

Princess Juliana International Airport By Kevin Hsu

Location: Dutch part of the island of St. Martin, Caribbean Date Established: 1943 Architect: NACO (Netherlands Airport Consultants)



Due to the short runway length (7,150 ft.), commercial airliners make low approaches over Maho Beach, making it a popular plane spotting location for aviation enthusiasts around the world. The new four-story terminal opened in 2006 designed to handle around 2.5 million passengers and features a full glass exterior.

AIRPORTS AROU Carrasco International Airport By Jenny Lu

Location: Montevideo, Uruguay Date Established: 1947 Architect: Rafael Vinoly Rafael Vinoly’s new terminal, a 1,000-foot-long arc-shaped building, opened in 2009. Vinoly stated that in Uruguay, “friends and family still come to greet you at the airport or see you off,” so the terraces and loungers are intended to be “dramatic and welcoming” for both travelers and guests.

Tenzing-Hillary Airport By Brandon McAlister

Location: Lukla, Khumba (Eastern Nepal) Date Established: 1960 Architect: Created by local sherpas The Tenzing-Hillary was named after the first two men who reached the top of Mt. Everest. The airport was ranked the number 1 unsafest airport in the world because of its deadly and dangerous drop, which is 3,200 feet, located at the end of the runway.

Incheon International Airport By Kelsey Wong

Location: Incheon, South Korea Date Established: 2001 Architect: Terry Farrell & Partners Samoo Architects & Engineers, Curtis Fentress Includes an indoor skating rink, 18-hole golf course, spa, and Korean Culture Museum. Over 90 airlines have service through the Incheon International Airport.

Changi Airport By Jason Amico

ES 22.2



Location: Changi, Singapore Date Established: Terminal 1 Opened and First Flight July 1, 1981, Terminal 2 opened in 1990, Terminal 3 is 2008, Plans for Terminal 4 announced 2012 Architect: Howe Yoon Chong led Construction; Changi Airport Group Changi is the sixth largest international airport in the world. It is as big as around 1,800 football fields and has 5 exquisite garden areas, games facilities, prayer rooms for all faiths, showers, spas, gyms, a pool, and two full-size 5-star hotels.It houses 106 airlines and 250 international cities are available in 60 countries.

Ice Runway

By Rashi Saxena Location: Antarctica Date Established: February 7th, 1994 Architect: reconstructed by team of people every year This airport only operates during certain seasons of the year, from SpringDecember. The ice begins to break from December, so planes must be sent to the two other ice runways. Any size plane can land on these runways because of their large size. The weight of the plane sometimes causes the ice to sink, especially during the winter season, so lasers monitor the ice level as a plane lands.

Photos: afari&rls changhai- 638f471661.jpg

10 << A&E

The Voice 22.1

Musical Disasters Top 10 NOT love songs How the music industry became a laughing stock By Chandni Patel


12-year-old Alison Gold’s “Chinese Food” has stunningly reached Billboard’s Hot 100 list. Music has long been considered a source of comfort to people. However, in recent history, music like “Friday” by Rebecca Black has made a mockery of the art. The perversion of music is abhorrent but stopping it from spreading is impossible when people do not want to stop listening to it. While “bad” music is subjective, some songs are better left unheard. Rebecca Black’s “Friday” would make the world a better place if it did not exist. Instead, chatter about the song drove views up into the millions and made it the most viewed YouTube video of 2011. The infamous “Gummy Bear Song” has lasted several generations and is still unfortunately well-known by kids who do not get sick of singing it. How much happier we all would have been as kids if that song had not annoyed teachers and parents everywhere! These songs are not only inherently bad because of their absurd lyrics or electronic sounds but also because of their detrimental effects on their performers. Admittedly, the “Gummy Bear Song” has not ruined anyone’s life. But songs like “Friday” or “The Fast Food Song” obliterated any chance that Rebecca Black or the Fast Food Rockers had at a real music career. What could they have possibly been thinking? For the Fast Food Rockers, the thought was that they would make more money if the music became popular; whether the attention was positive or negative had no relevance. For Rebecca Black and, more recently, Alison Gold (singer of “Chinese Food”), it’s about doing as the producer says to break into the music industry. Producers like Patrice Wilson, who wrote both of their musical vulgarities, are the reason why gullible hopefuls like Black and Gold will never live down the shame from participating in these mishaps. The public, however, is the biggest culprit. Every time a new musical disaster appears, we are drawn to it like a train wreck. People share, tweet and write news stories about bad songs, increasing the number of views and unduly encouraging their continuance. Some of these songs are even played in school hallways or at the end of rallies. Morbid curiosity is destroying the sanctity of music and what’s worse is that any attempt to prevent it is an exercise in futility.

Infamous songs that have nothing to do with the famous concept of love By Sonakshi Maheshwari “Mad World”- Gary Jules Mad World is about a man whose life has been stripped of its meaning, leaving him on the brink of insanity. “Apple Juice Break”- Olu Olu sings about working hard throughout his day and taking an apple juice break every once in a while to keep him relaxed, represents the idea that the smallest of wants can provide a person with the greatest of pleasures.


“Boston Strong”- The Sunrise View Boston Strong, is a two-word phenomenon, that has been running the country since the devastating marathon bombings. Sunrise View sings about the devastation and the hope that Boston now has, describing a sense of community. “Great Day”- Paul McCarthy Paul McCarthy made a song for those who woke up thinking that they will be having a relaxed and beautiful day. This song can easily bring a smile upon the audience’s face.


“Keep your Head Up”- Andy Grammar Keep your head up is a motivational song for the people who have more bills to pay than cash but manage to make it through anyway. “The Morning”- The Weeknd The Morning is a song about the numbness a person feels the morning after a party and how it changes the views they once had.

“Around the World”- Red Hot Chili Peppers Red Hot Chili Peppers describe various cities and countries around the world and provide details of a man’s exciting life.

“Plastic Dreams”- G-Eazy G-Eazy’s song, Plastic Dreams, is about how he was a kid with dreams and how he became a rising rapper. Throughout the song he describes how, though his dreams are partially materialistic, he has achieved them with his passion.

Photo: Photo:

Fall Playlist Hip-hop songs for all music lovers By Jason Amico Drake- “From Time” (feat. Jhene Aiko) This track from Drake’s most recent album Nothing Was the Same has released less hype than other songs on the album, but is a phenomenal collaboration regardless. Combining a calm piano-based beat, Aiko’s soothing melodies, and the Toronto emcee’s comfortable flow creates a memorable track.


Shayyan Ahmad – “Love Interlude” This fresh-faced California artist’s track from his first mixtape release, The Waiting Room, is a refreshing combination of “old-school,” East Coast-inspired flow and lyrics and new-school subject matter. The sampled beat is from legendary rap producer J-Dilla; this classic beat enhances the song and complements the flow and lyrics.

Photo: thatnewjam. com

Robert Glasper Experiment – “Call” (feat. Jill Scott) The Grammy-winning jazz pianist collaborated with worldrenowned singer Scott on this project from Glasper’s newest album, Black Radio 2. This smooth piano beat coupled with the beautiful voice and lyrics of Scott are sure to please your eardrums. Mac Miller – “S.D.S”. Miller has gained lots of attention in recent years, and for good reason. This track, which was produced by hip-hop icon Flying Lotus, exemplifies the Pittsburgh rapper’s abilities as a lyricist and artist alike. S.D.S. is from his most recent album Watching Movies With the Sound Off and has an accompanying video that is sure to entertain the viewer.

iamsu! – “Float” (feat. TY$) iamsu! has been gaining substantial hubbub for his most recent works and substantial radio play. This song from Suzy’s most recent mixtape, Kilt 2, is a great combination of the HBK Gang frontman’s chill lyrics and the astounding voice of the newest Taylor Gang signee- TY$ (Pronounced Tee-Why- Dolla Sign). Logic – “The Come Up” This song, from the Maryland-native’s most recent mixtape Young Sinatra: Welcome to Forever, is a great reason why Logic made it on the prestigious XXL Freshman cover for 2013; he’s one of the best and deserves all the accolades he’s received since the release of his first viral mixtape nearly three years ago.

Book Review: The House of Hades An obvious attempt to appeal to modern audiences

Book Review: And the Mountains Echoed Famous author releases book after a six year break

By Matthew Chan The House of Hades, the widely anticipated sequel to Rick Riordan’s The Mark of Athena, was released on October 8, 2013. Riordan’s previous books, The House of Hades incorporates many new gods and characters from Greek and Roman mythology in the plot and has action-filled fight scenes where the demigods draw on all the power that they have. Several past characters do make reappearances in this book so that the relationships and understanding among the demigods only gets more complicated and suspenseful as the battle for the doors of death unfolds. While the action is very intense and the various scenes are truly gripping, many details that Riordan includes in this book do not seem to fit in with the previous stories and seem to have been made purely to appeal to newer audiences. Much of the book involves

By Mariam Syeda-Quadri

standing around, and even the fight scenes are more onesided as the battles involve the demigods completely obliterating the monsters while the hardships seem more annoying than difficult. Also, the important scenes are less emphasized compared to the minor scenes. In addition, the sad scenes do not leave the reader with as much a sense of real sadness as previous books did because these scenes are short and Riordan seems to only glance over them. Even so, Rick Riordan’s new book, The House of Hades, is another gripping novel that can’t be put down until the last page, and even though The House of Hades does not end in a cliffhanger like so many of his other books do, it still leaves readers with anticipation for his fifth and probably final installment of The Heroes of Olympus. Photo:

The world renowned author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini, released his next great novel on May 21st, 2013. And the Mountains Echoed is a riveting tale about the siblings Abdullah and Pari who are separated at a young age. Like all of Hosseini’s books, And the Mountains Echoed takes place in Afghanistan but includes stories of people from all around the world, who are interconnected in some way. From Paris to the Greek Islands of Tinos, Hosseini shows influence each person has in this world, through the consequences of each chaaracters actions. Hosseini’s complexity of storytelling and his ability to emotional move his readers through his words makes And the Mountains Echoed a

worthwhile novel to read. The variety of emotions Hosseini elicits from the reader is very refreshing. However, Hosseini perhaps added too many storylines which take away from the underlying emotional appeal of his base story. The book shows the reader a realistic portrayal of the hardships people face in poor countries. Hosseini ends the story in a full circle, tying up all loose ends of the novel. The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns are easier to follow and for this reason have a greater effect on the reader than And the Mountains Echoed. Nevertheless, keep And the Mountains Echoed on your books to read list. Photo:

A&E >> 11

November 8, 2013 Miga Korean Restaurant Lives Up to Hype


Heaven is in Fremont

Caribou Coffee’s signature White Chocolate Mocha coffee drink is layered with pumpkin essence, whipped cream, and chocolate chips for holiday cheer. Costumers get to choose either milk, dark, or white chocolate as the chocolate base for this rick espresso drink. This drink is priced at $4.45 for a large.

By Nathan Fu

Sometimes in Fremont, you have to look hard to find good restaurants. I was fortunate to find Miga- a traditional Korean restaurant located in the Fremont Shopping Plaza. I could sense that it must be a good restaurant considering the number of people inside. We only had to wait about five to ten minutes for our food. One of the things that stood out to me was number of complementary side dishes - they gave you 10. Even better, you can ask for refills!

Let’s Drink to the holidays! By Sangeetha Srinivasan

The Chick-fil-A Peppermint Chocolate Chip Milkshake, made with their “Icedream” – soft serve ice cream – is handspun with peppermint syrup and dark chocolate chips, and then topped with light whipped cream and a maraschino cherry. This limited-eidtion milkshake starts at $2.60 for 14 oz.

The Jamba Juice Pumpkin Smash Smoothie is combination of pumpkin, frozen yogurt, cinnamon and nutmeg resembling a delicious homemade puppkin pie. At 390 calories Jamba Juice’s pumpkin smoothwie is healthy and innovative, and definitely a must-have this holiday season. A small costs $4.79.

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte is a fan-favorite signature expresso drink that has been a yummy fall staple over hte past decade since it first came onto the Starbucks menu. The PSL is a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and pumpkin pie species. This season drink costs $3.95 for a tall size.


Fall Show Preview: Actor Interviews The Perks of Being an Actor: Interesting Points

By Shonushka Sawant

Among the side dishes, the homemade kimchi (Napa cabbage with spicy seasoning) was by far the highlight. I decided to order the assorted tofu pot (seafood, beef, and kimchi) and was not disappointed. The dish had a plethora of seafood including shrimp, scallops, squid, clams, mussels, as well as beef and kimchi all boiling in the savory soup. Simply, it was beyond delicious. The soup itself had a vintage Korean taste to it, sour and spicy.

The only downfall would be that the service was not that great. The waiter rarely stopped by our table to ask how we were doing. Perhaps it was because we kept on asking for more side dishes, but even so, a restaurant should treat its customers with respect. The prices are rather high too ($10 for a tofu pot). If you plan to come on the weekend, do come early because the restaurant gets packed. The music they play there is K-Pop, and they must like it a lot because they play it really loudly. All in all, a great place to eat if you can afford it.

The Verdict Food 9.5/10 Ambiance 7/10 Service 3/10 Overall 8/10

Photos: Nathan Fu

Helena B

The best part of being on this production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the fact that when we’re all together, like a family, just the experience is interesting enough. It’s my first time as a lead character; I do feel extremely lucky, having the part I have and being able to share it with everyone. Getting a chance to start my dream of acting now is unbelievable. -Savanna Benedetti, 11th Grade, Character:

Well, I’m one of the four lovers. Lysander gets all the ladies and he falls in love with two girls because of the love potion that Puck gives him, so naturally it’s a lot of fun playing his character. I’m new here and I was absolutely astounded by the fact that the production is so professional and organized. It feels like everyone really knows what they’re doing. -Jeffrey Ko 9th Grade, Character: Lysander

Well, we’re all really close-knit here. You can bond with most of the people in the cast. Being onstage and performing for people is really exhilarating. I’ve been expressing myself in ways I wouldn’t otherwise; showing your emotions and abilities in ways they can really see and appreciate. -Zachary Lew, 11th Grade, Character: Tom Snout, a. k. a., the Wall. It’s a lot of fun to be learning Shakespearean language—it’s downright---there’s no other word to describe it but beautiful. At first it’s confusing, but when you learn it you could listen to it all day long. The play itself is hilarious, and then you add in all these incredibly talented people and your end product is amazing. -Karin Gandler 12th Grade, Character: Titania B

12 << SPORTS

The Voice 22.1 Flopping:

Winter Sports Preview

Wrestling, Basketball, and Soccer are heating up this winter—hear more from coaches and players By Kelsey Ichikawa


Girls: Half of last year’s team Boys: The team will sport consisted of seniors and as of now, Katrina Bjork is the only remaining senior. “Our coaching staff does a remarkable job by pushing everyone to their full potential,” junior Diane Perez added. “We’ve been conditioning and running tons of new drills to benefit and improve everyone’s skills.” Meanwhile, Coach Michael Senadenos noted that although the team is the youngest team he’s worked with at IHS, “This is a very determined and hard working group. They will do everything they can to be the best they can be.”


Girls: The varsity team has

a new coach, Michelle Chitwood, who is thrilled to be working with the varsity girls. “The attitudes of all the girls who come to open fields are great! I’m having some seniors stepping up to be great leaders,” Coach Chitwood commented. “I’m setting my expectations high. I hope to give all my players the best knowledge and understanding of the game.” There are fewer seniors on the team than last year, but she is expecting nearly 60 girls to try out. With a new coach and many new teammates, the players are looking forward to bonding with each other and sharpening their competitive edge. “I think the biggest challenge this year is going to be coming together and proving that the team has much more to show than in the previous years,” said senior Yvette Cuellar.

new uniforms for all players as well as a new scoreboard with computers for the gym courtesy of IHS Boosters. Throughout the preseason, the team praccticed 2-3 hours a day, 4 days a week. In addition to these intense practices, the team also bonds off the court in Study Hall sessions before practice. Coach Ron Littleton added, “Our challenge for the next 2 years has nothing to do with other teams and outside influences but the building of a strong and determined Irvington Basketball family with the will to win.”

Boys: This year, the varsity

team is primarily composed of seniors and juniors who have played on varsity for the past two years, and coach Eric Silveira is hopeful that their solid experience will show on the field. “This gives us a background to work on and also an established team identity,” said Silveira. The team has lost four senior starters from last year, but the coach is looking to the incoming sophomores and freshmen to “fill the void that has been left by the departing seniors.” The team will also keenly feel senior Stephen Hanna’s absence, as Hanna, a strong defensive anchor who was likely to become a captain, sustained an ACL injury from playing football. However, senior defenseman Chase Walker is excited for the season, adding, “It never gets boring and the games are always intense.”


Winter Sports First Games

Boys and Girls: Irvington

wrestlers are looking forward to a competitive season after the streak of successes last year. In the 2012-13 season, 5 male grapplers placed in the top three at MVALs and qualified for NCS, while all girl wrestlers qualified for NCS. “Now our team has a target on our backs,” said senior Mariah Damaso. “It’s not going to be a matter of changing what drills we run at practice but how hard we have to work and how much pride we have in our team to live up to the name we left for ourselves last year.” Coach Dane Burgess believes their biggest challenge will be the dual meets. Seniors John Andrade, who placed 7th at NCS last season, and Keith Thomas, a returning NCS qualifier, are looking forward to “doing big things.” Andrade added that they’d be a team “who pushes each other, helps each other, and dominates together.” Coach Burgess added, “A few athletes have put in tremendous amounts of offseason work, and it will be exciting to see how it translates into this season. Having been around this program for the last 6 years as a coach and athlete, I can proudly say this could be one of the best years in recent Irvington wrestling history, but it’ll come down to the hard work, discipline, and intensity the wrestlers bring through the season.”

By Hugo Vera

(bottom) Senior Brandon McAlister attempts to slow down Washington’s offense.

Photo: Hugo Vera

Flopping. We all hate it. No matter the sport, when the opposing team gains advantage through some timely acting, as fans, we scream at the referees, throw things at the TV, and badmouth the actor. This extreme attitude needs to change, for acting in sports is justified.

Similarly, Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the biggest names in European league soccer, takes strategic “dives” to the turf to draw fouls. The effect of flopping is amplified in soccer because it is such a low-scoring sport. According to 2011 New England Sports Network article, Ronaldo received 220 foul calls between 2009 and 2011 in his favor, which is the most of any other player in that time frame. Ronaldo looks for opportune moments to flop. Every time he flops, he tries to get the most out of it by either drawing a red card on his opponent or receiving a free penalty kick, subsequently giving his team more opportunity to possess the ball and score.

Irvington boys and girils defeated on Senior Night by WHS

(top) Senior Janeen Lima fends off defender.

By Karthik Mayilvahanan

Good flopping is a skill. Just like shooting a basketball or catching a football, a good flopper takes advantage of his skill to help his team win. Take San Antonio Spurs’ guard Manu Ginobili, for instance. Ginobili is known for exaggerating his reaction to minor shoves during gameplay, yet his ability to draw the foul has undoubtedly helped the Spurs win games and put Championship rings on three of Ginobili’s fingers.

Vikings Outplayed in Season Finale On Tuesday October 29, 2013, Irvington’s Varsity boys water polo team lost 11-3 and the girls team lost 7-4 to Washington in the final game of the season. Senior Lauren Wellman scored early in the second quarter and in the last six seconds of the third quarter without picking up any exclusions (the official term for penalties in water polo). Senior Natalie Cory rallied to score with 30 seconds left in the fourth quarter. “This team played well and with a lot of heart. We haven’t beat Washington in years, but to lose by only three points is a huge improvement,” said coach Jen Galan when reflecting on her team’s performance. “Next year will definitely be our rebuilding year.” Since it was Irvington’s Senior Night, the coaches held a ceremony during the intermissin between the girls’ and boys’ game. Each coach gave the seniors persoalized bouquets to recognize them for their high school careers.

A detriment to sports or a neccesary skill?

Later that night in the boy's match, the Huskies outscored the Vikings by eight points despite a total of 10 shot attempts by seniors Jack Primeau, Preston Kelbe, and Ashton Urda. Irvington managed to score points towards halftime, but Washington’s lead only increased as Washington senior (former Irvington student) Bryan Petersen scored four goals. “Overall this team tried really hard, and now our season is over,” said Coach James Dunsford. “Sadly we are losing [Aston] Urda to graduation this year, but Irvington has a solid team.” “From starting as a clueless freshman to competing alongside my team in NCS, my experiences [in water polo] have varied,” said Jack Primeau when reflecting on his high school career. “Overall, water polo taught me how to push my body to its limits while synergizing with my teammates”. “It’s a bittersweet moment to be saying ‘goodbye’ to my teammates despite the great times we’ve had,” added

Some sports have taken action against flopping. For instance, the National Basketball Association began fining players for flopping in the 2012-2013 season. Still, NBA Commissioner David Stern felt that the fines would have little impact in stopping flopping. “I isn’t enough,” said Stern. “You’re not going to cause somebody to stop it for $5,000 when the average player’s salary is $5.5 million.” So if the fines instituted by the NBA aren’t harsh enough to discourage players from flopping, why are those fines instituted in the first place? Ultimately, the ends validate the means. As fans, we feel that flopping is unjust because floppers do not play the game the way it is meant to be played. Floppers, on the other hand, play the game for one purpose, and one purpose only: they play to win. Another game in the win column is reason enough for floppers to continue to do what they do.

senior Emily Grant. “There were times were when water polo was frustrating and stressful, but ever since I made my first shot the whole water polo experience has been rewarding for me.”

SPORTS >> 13

November 8, 2013

Vikings and Warriors Share the Acorn

IHS and MSJ cross country teams race against each other, sing ‘Squirrel Song’ together, and more on an eventful senior night

By Jenny Lu

(Continued from page 1) Right after his race, senior Sanjeev Reddy said, “I’m pretty happy with the way I ran. I got a significant PR.” “We got top three against Mission for Varsity Boys, which is pretty cool because we’ve only lost one meet so far,” continued senior Krish Masand. “We’re second in the league right now.” Coach David Thomson was also proud of his runners. “Mission’s one of the toughest schools in the league, and we had a really good showing against a really tough team with a lot of really good individual performances,” said C\coach David Thomson, a former Irvington cross country runner himself. “And Varsity boys came ready to win today; they’re going for [a regular season] league championship next week. We got a lot of good work done today, and we have two more weeks of training.” The meets are not

just about the running; the Vikings gathered to prepare for the Squirrel Song, a long-standing IHS cross country tradition. This time, however, Irvington invited Mission’s team to participate as well, and the circle was a mix of blue and green as the two teams stood side by side; and before enacting the Squirrel Dance, Irvington senior Jason Amico led the two teams in a moment to commemorate the life of Jason Park. Senior Joshua Handjojo then led

the two teams in the Squirrel Song. “Jason Amico and I decided that with all respect to Jason Park, as he was a student of Mission San Jose freshmen and sophomore year and a close friend of ours, [the teams should] join together in a circle to give our brother a moment of silence and prayer,” said Handjojo. “It was so moving and touching to see that despite the rivalry between our schools, we can put aside the hostility to remember our lost friend.” Picture: Jenny Lu

Senior Pranav Shekar paces well and sets a new PR.

the statement, “And this is why I love Irvington’s team.” The team then celebrated Senior Night, with underclassmen presenting each senior with a poster, balloons, and a stuffed squirrel in honor of the Squirrel Song a tradition as well as a short speech. “I planned senior night. I got together some posters and balloons and just tried to make this meet special for the seniors and to appreciate and acknowledge them,” said sophomore Elizabeth Rickey. ¬“I’m just really proud of Irvington as a whole.” The seniors were all incredibly grateful; Pranav Shekar stated, “This team means so much to me. A special They’ve made Cross Counsense of try more than just a sport— s p o r t s m a n - they’ve made it a memory for ship and unity me and the rest of the seniors between the two to look back on.” schools was present at this meet, and Mission senior Daniel Zhu bid farewell with

Marching Band and Color Guard budgets Slashed

Over two hundred students spread out in the two underfunded programs By Simran Moza Irvington High School’s gymnastics team competed against Washington High School on Oct 2nd, 2013 at Washington’s gym. Since Irvington’s gymnasts usually practice at Washington, they were in familiar territory. The gymnastics competitions have four parts: balance beam, uneven bars, vault, and floor. Every competitor starts with a score of 10 and the judges deduct points based on the gymnast’s performance. Each player is scored by their individual performance and then these

Fall Sport Standings V: JV:

G. Tennis

B. Waterpolo Var: JV: G. Waterpolo Var: Var: JV: F:


G. Volleyball Var: JV: Var: JV: Var: JV:



points are totaled up for a final team score. Irvington’s JV team won with the score of 140.5 to 133.6, while the varsity team lost 67.5 to 73.4. “Our first meet was a little difficult for us since we all were still adjusting to our new coach” said varsity captain junior Kristen Kodama, “We put out a good effort and looking forward I want to make sure our team is more mentally prepared and is more focused on routines.” The junior varsity gymnasts were excited about their first win. “We did pretty good

for our first meet, especially JV [sic]”, said JV gymnast senior Danielle Dong, “We can only improve from here.” Gymnasts face many obstacles in trying to master this difficult sport. “As a team, we need to get over our fear and just get out there and perform our best,” said JV gymnast senior Alicia Ruiz, “The hardest part to remember is that gymnastics is not only about strength but also about grace. You need a proper balance of both to succeed.”

Photo: Darrel Chiou

The Voice 22.2 November 8, 2013

<< HUM 15 R

Irvington Administration Normal Confrontations at Implements Towing Policy Thanksgiving Dinners Students without parking permits risk getting their car towed, keyed, or burned By Cindy Meng

Due to an alarmingly high number of cars parked on campus without a valid parking permit, Irvington’s campus supervisors and administrators decided to enforce a towing policy that will go into effect on November 8, 2013. Instead of the old consequence of paying 15 dollars per parking ticket, drivers caught without a parking permit must now deal with their car being towed to Central Towing’s impound parking lot. According to an Irvington staff member, administrators purposely chose an impound lot in Fremont that is located the furthest away from Irvington, therefore maximizing the inconvenience students face when retrieving their cars, which impels them to buy parking permits to avoid such extensive complications in the future. The administration also prepared further consequences for students who

continue to neglect the parking permit rule even after their car gets towed. While the first offense results in an impounded car, the second offense earns a “second offense” message keyed on both sides of the car, and third offense simply ends with skilled mechanics setting the car on fire. “I’m cold,” sobbed senior David Mack while eyeing the wreckage. “My jacket and all my schoolbooks were in there.”

Central Towing’s main towing truck is ready to roll Photo:

Top 10 Rejected IHS Senior Quotes, the Class of 2014

Situations we’ve all experienced at some point of our lives By Kanika Priyadarshi hugs you. Well at least the person looks like a big brown 1. Physical assault bear. Before even removing The title of this one makes it their huge furry coat, this thing seem a little gory, but we all engulfs you, complaining how have experienced our cheeks they haven’t seen you for so getting squeezed with an ab- long. (If they seriously wanted normal amount of pressure to see you, then why not refrom an aunt who apparently move the bear skin and not thinks a high schooler is still tackle you some other times cute. of the year…we all know they 2. Physical Insult just come during Thanksgiving When some random adult for the food.) comments on how big or small 5. Life style you are, that’s just a plain in- This is when nosy relatives sult. We’re taught how we ask about your love life and shouldn’t feel ashamed about expect perfect once upon a our body sizes, but when that time stories from you. Or, exaunt scrunches up her face, tremely academic people ask her beady eyes analyze you’re about your GPA or grades. entire body, and her mouth These are just normal conspouts a criticizing description frontations that happen every of your body, it feels violating. Thanksgiving. #nbd 3. Unknown Relatives A random person walks up to   you and does the 1 and/or 2 confrontation methods mentioned above, but you’ve never seen them before…or maybe vaguely remember their face. You end up looking like a clown smiling and nodding your head up and down while trying to figure out if the uncle is from your dad’s or mom’s side of the family…or just a homeless person there for a free dinner.  Here’s a proper bear 4. Bear Hugs hug. This is when a bear actually

A compilation of the best of the worst

By Hugo Vera

10). I liked every post on “IHS Confessions.” I regret nothing. 9). I got that SULFUR TUNGSTEN SILVER! 8). Brethren before wenches. 7). So it’s okay for teachers to grind at dances, but when I do it, I get put on “time out”? 6). What if I told you, O.J. didn’t do it? 5). Mr. Moran betrayed and left us. That happened and we all let it happen. 4). Due tomorrow? Do tomorrow, but realize you forgot about 3). The city never sleeps and nor do APUSH students. 2). A school is only as good as its football team (Hint hint Mission).

Sincerest Appreciations

I would like to thank the following people for making the world a better place.

By Enya Kuo Dear Couple that Makes Out Against My Locker, Thank you for your generous display of affection. I am overcome with fondness whenever I think about you and your young, passionate love. Who needs romantic comedies when I get to see them live and next to my face during every passing period? You make me feel like Spider-Man, who too has to squeeze and push and whimper “Excuse me!” to even get to his locker.

1). Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. Marching band, do you see where I’m going with this?

These horrendous senior quotes sent assistant principal Mr. Jackson into a face-palm.


Photo: Hugo Vera

Dear Teacher who Enters Grades in the Last Minute, Thank you for giving all your students high blood pressure as we sit in front of our glowing computer screens with our glassy, bloodshot eyes as we wait for our grade. Then, the moment we see it, we spend the rest of the quarter or semester frantically scrambling to get our grade up. You hold our sanity in the palm of your hand, and you never fail to make our lives terrifyingly nerve-wracking. Dear Girl who Puts Her Backpack in the Middle of the Aisle, Thank you for making me trip. I enjoy the refreshing feeling of the cold floor against my face. It’s become a second home for me, thanks to you. I’m actually

not sure how difficult it would be for you to put your backpack a little bit to the side, but every day I am learning to pick up my scattered textbooks a little bit faster. Since you don’t help me pick them up, you know. Dear Parents who Let Their Kids Out of the Car in the Middle of the Crosswalk, Thank you for clogging up traffic a mile long because everyone has to wait for your kid to take his or her sweet time stepping out of the car and sauntering away. I absolutely dread getting to school on time, and your timely drop-off is a welcome delay in my morning. No need to worry about your breaking the law, either. I’ll defend you in court for your service to the line of cars waiting

next to the gas station for you to get the @#$^& out of the way. Dear Boy who Wears Too Much Cologne, You stink. I have nothing to thank you for.

Photo: Enya Kuo

Shout-out to the girl who puts her backpack (and a whole bunch of other stuff) in the middle of the aisle! You rock!

Tips to Acing the College Application Pro-

The Four Step Guide to Ivy League Admissions By Rohit Dilip

Nobody likes filling out college applications. The stress of the process is matched only by the stress of waiting for results. Fortunately, the tried and tested tips below will guarantee acceptance into your top choice Ivy. 1) Every award counts Colleges want to hear everything about you. That means that awards from Pre School forwards are of utmost importance. That Student of the Week award could help tip the scales. If your teacher ever gave you a gold star on an assignment, you should definitely mention it. Every activity from the moment you left the hospital as a baby to the second you submit your application should be listed. 2) Make everything about yourself interesting and unique. Everyone and their mother will be an athlete, debater, and member of the science club. If you really want to go to Harvard, put down something original! Committing crime, for instance, demonstrates that you won’t succumb to social pressures and are willing to be creative. The ability to remember exactly where you buried every body shows high organizational skills. If you email admissions officers with an email address such as imsosexy@, you’ll stand out as a unique individual. 3) Come off as an intelligent person You’re going to college to learn, and admissions officers want to see this. For this reason, you should endeavor to excogitate the mentation of circumlocution and employing the usage of terms deemed sesquipedalian. Hippopotomonstrosesquipedalian vernacular will establish you as a brobdingnagian player in the college admissions game. 4) Keep no secrets. A major step to getting admission is stepping over some boundaries so that you and the admissions officers understand one another. Informing the admissions officer about your sexual history and religious affiliations will practically guarantee that acceptance letter. You can recant your sexual history in vivid, descriptive detail through your essays. Are you a member of a local cult or arson group? The admissions officers want to know about that too.


Craving that Harvard acceptance letter? Follow our advice.


Erika Nunotani (12), Aditi Chodri (12)

Rachel Faas (10)


Christian Robillo (12), Bryan Tran (12), Shawn Delbarrio (12) , Garrett Cheng (12) Nathan Chen (12), Mariah Diaz (11), Jared Lee (12)

Sanchala Sehgal (12)

Samantha Liu(12)

OCTOBER 31, 2013

Stephanie Shaw (12) Amaris Pham (12), Lawrence Hsuing (12) Peter Ryu (9), Michelle Hsueh (11), Edward Chen (10)

Pranay Singh (12)

(left) Frances Ramsel (12)

PHOTOS 22.2 November 2013

Eleanor Yan (11)


Volume 22, Issue 2  
Volume 22, Issue 2