>> Going green >> New isn’t what it seems intervention: Academic Jeopardy pg. 4 pg. 5
ENTERTAINMENT >> The fight for Best Picture at the Oscars pg. 13
Moreau Catholic High School
>> The changing culture pg. 8-9
HEALTH >> Where do our lunches come from? pg. 10
>> Joe Coleman signs with Cal Poly pg. 15
27170 Mission Blvd s Hayward s CA s 94544
Vol. 42. Issue 6. March 2, 2010
(from left) Juniors Andy Mitchell, Jonte Grant, Tiffany Patrick, Jordan Overshoun-Hall, and Urayah Bellow meet with Principal Lauren Lek over Black History Month recognition.
TurnItIn hands over student cheaters By Andrew King
CARISSA QUIMBAO / The Explorer
Fighting for recognition
By Carissa Quiambao Asst. Opinions Editor
A group of friends gather around a table in the library –not for a relaxed conversation or for a mundane school assignment– but rather for a fiery impromptu meeting concerning change. “February is almost over and I haven’t heard Black History Month mentioned once,” junior Jordan Overshoun-Hall said. “We haven’t heard anything about it on the morning announcements, on MCTV, or during Mass,” junior Urayah Bellow said. These students, including juniors Tiffany Patrick, Jonte Grant, Andy Mitchell, and senior Joe Coleman,
together with Overshoun-Hall and Bellow, formally planned a meeting with Principal Lauren Lek on Feb. 22 during which they asked for more recognition of Black History Month. After meeting with the students, Lek addressed the issue at a faculty meeting. She also met with Campus Ministry Supervisor Ann Khristine Tabora, and as a result, within a week it was mentioned on MCTV and on Thurs. Feb. 25, a Maya Angelou poem was read for the morning prayer. The students planned the meeting in order to talk about feeling unrecognized as a minority culture, which they believe prompts others to view them in a derogatory manner, whether intentionally or not.
“People make racist comments ‘cause we don’t have a force,” Bellow said in the library, before the meeting with Lek. “People think they can say the ‘n’ word and get away with it, because they can.” After organizing their talking points and pumping themselves up for fifteen minutes, the friends marched down to Lek’s office to present their redresses: to have more announcements regarding Black History Month in morning, more coverage on MCTV, to have it incorporated more into school curriculum, and for students to have a more expanded understanding of black history appreciation and diversity in general. Waiting outside Lek’s office, they
» Black History Page 6
Mandarin students usher in the new year By Lawrence Rivac
Sports Editor Rams, dragons, horses, rabbits, pigs, and snakes flooded the stage to celebrate the Year of the Tiger. The students in the Mandarin program put on a show in the Teves Theatre on February 12 to explain the importance of Chinese New Year and the customs that come along with it. This is the first big celebration that the Chinese classes have put on for Chinese New Year, allowing the students to be immersed in the culture. “Students got the chance to experience a traditional Chinese New Year,” Chinese teacher Henny Chen said. “It also let the whole Chinese community experience it too.” During the start of her teaching career at Moreau, Chen didn’t have enough students to put on a big performance. This year, however, all of her classes brought the total up to around 80 students. Unlike her first year students, a lot of the newcomers didn’t have a background in Chinese. “They were nervous since it was the first time to speak all in Chinese,” Chen said. “Even for the few stumbles, I appreciate the effort that the students gave.” The turnout for the program was larger than people had imagined it would be.
“Parents were asking me where all of these people came from,” Chen said. “There were a lot more people than I ever expected for the first year.” The night started off in the auditorium, packed with mostly parents but peppered with students throughout the crowd. The
» Chinese New Year Page 7
LAWRENCE RIVAC / The Explorer
Freshmen of Henny Chen’s Mandarin class perform a fan dance at the Chinese New Year Celebration in the theatre on Feb. 12.
Copy Editor This year, student cheaters at Moreau will have to face another obstacle on the path to deceiving their peers and teachers. With the assistance of Gretchen Tornabene, English teachers have begun implementing TurnItIn, a software designed to process submitted papers and identify plagiarism, as part of their class procedures. Tornabene, who previously taught at two high schools where the software was used, believes that TurnItIn—also known as Turnitin.com—has much to offer students composing work. Besides being an effective plagiarism detection software, TurnItIn can also help students in other areas of their writing. “It has the potential to be very effective, especially if used during the drafting process,” she said in an e-mail interview. “It can make students aware of their citing errors and help them to make corrections before the final draft.” TurnItIn scans a database of over 123 million student papers and more than 80,000 journals, periodicals, and books to find word-for-word similarities between student compositions and already-published material. It then files the student’s paper into its database for future cross-referencing. After it has done so, it generates an “Originality Report” for that paper, a percentage number indicating the amount of material the paper has in common with catalogued work. According to English teacher Pia Shah, the percentages are relatively low for personal essays where students produce reflective material about themselves. But for research papers, as students study and cite the same literary work, the percentage of unoriginal material inevitably rises. The parent company of TurnItIn, iParadigms LLC, maintains on its website that its software can also assist students in identifying times when they are “inadvertently plagiarizing”—citing or paraphrasing incorrectly. “TurnItIn prepares students for the realities of college,” said Shah. “One of the reasons we use thizz for high school students is to prepare them for the real-
» Turn It In Page 7
It’s not time yet, but leaving’s got me thinking... By Shruti Shrivastav
Editor In Chief There are three-ish months of school left. Let me just get that out of the way. As much as I am itching to say my goodbyes and make this a farewellhigh-school and hello-future mix of word vomit, I can’t. There are three months left and I am just not ready yet. I have let my mind do some questioning lately, and I have started compiling a list of things I want to do before high school ends, and things I am so glad I did while I was here. This contemplation began after a car accident. I’ll spare you the ugly details, and leave you with what it left me, a permanent scar under my lip. Literally as well as symbolically, the scar had a way of changing the way I think about things. Even though I made it out alive without a seatbelt on, I wonder what my life would amount to if I hadn’t. Average grades and 700 friends on Facebook, yay me! Kids my age are creating non-profit organizations that change the world and I have nothing to show for. I don’t think of my life as completely worthless, but I have made a commitment to instill a positive change in the world. I’ve left that goal broad because my initiative is still in the planning stages. Some days I think it’s a business, some days it’s a blog. Short term, I really want
to get an A in my AP Physics class, and I want to make it through swim season. Both look a little far off at this point, but Mr. Noblejas if you’re reading this! What I am trying to address is senioritis, which, as cliché as it sounds, does exist. The cautionary warning of how admission to college can get revoked never does any good, so I like to think about the self-worth aspect. Can you live with yourself knowing you did worse in a class you could have aced just because you felt like playing Farmville instead of studying? If you can, maybe stop reading. Things like getting into college are pretty high on my “Oh please dear God” list. April is creeping closer and hopefully it’s still cold enough to light a Duraflame log when some of those rejection letters come along. I have been on my toes waiting for this cushion between applications and acceptances to end, and the only thing making the wait a little less daunting are the college interviews. I have had nine so far, and a common question that has come up in a lot of them is the “favorites” question. At first I thought interviewers were being lazy and unoriginal when they asked me what my favorite classes and subjects were. My answers made me realize, however, that they were the easiest questions to respond to. I surprised myself when I started talking about classes like Digital Photography and Catholic Social
Staff Editorial: Clearer CCS hours
Once graduation season rolls around the corner, there are at least more than a handful of students that rush to complete their service hours. It is known school-wide that each student is required to complete 80 CCS hours throughout their high school career in order to graduate. Yet the way CCS hours are to be completed leave students confused. Once it is time to graduate, it’s often found as an inconvenience to find out that the requirement to complete these hours weren’t fulfilled after all. We at the Explorer believe that this problem can be alleviated simply through a school-wide effort to clarify the guidelines regarding the completion of CCS hours. The main reason as to why seniors don’t complete their service hours is because of misconceptions about these guidelines. Can service hours be completed through the first 2 years of high school? Do service hours need to pertain to each year’s “theme”? To most students, these questions are asked every single year or often remain unanswered. According to the school handbook, “all students are expected to submit a minimum of 20 hours per school year.” These 20 hours are in correlation to each year’s theme. Yet nowhere is it stated whether extra hours can be carried over to compensate for the following year’s hours. Students would be less likely to be late in completing their hours if the guidelines were emphasized in all aspects of curriculum. Students should be knowledgeable of the importance and the specific guidelines regarding CCS hours beginning with their freshman year and continuing on throughout their 4 years of high school. The guidelines should consistently be implemented into curriculum because most students tend to forget what they’ve learned about CCS in their freshman theology classes come their sophomore or junior year. The school could also provide more student-friendly ways to educate the student body about CCS hours. Link crew leaders are surely a way to get freshman more immersed and comfortable with the process of completing CCS hours. They could already provide more emphasis to the whole process beginning on the first day of school. Opportunities such as the sophomore immersion should be available throughout all 4 years of high school so that students can become familiarized with their year’s CCS theme. Overall, there is a lot that the school can do in order to prevent the common problem of late service hours and misconceptions about CCS hours. Implementing the specific guidelines of CCS hours into every aspect of curriculum and activities should be utilized as a resource for the students to learn about community service - not just through the student handbook.
Editors-In-Chief Shruti Shrivastav Emilio Ronquillo News Editor
Asst. News Editors Trish Denoga Ali Giron Opinions Editor Sarah Malik Asst. Opinions Editor Carissa Quiambao
Adviser: Yoni Fine
Entertainment Editors Lawson Navarro Ramon Tancioco Features Editor Megan Powell Sports Editors Joey Moore Lawrence Rivac Adriana Jones Lima Health Editor Jenae Galang Staff Writer Mallory Lee
Statement of Purpose The Explorer is an open forum committed to honest and fair coverage of news and information for the students of Moreau Catholic High School and its community. Students produce the newspaper and make primary decisions, making every effort to distribute a high-quality publication.
Graphics Editor Kimmie Aralar Copy Editors Andrew King Ben Singh Liz Scott Photo Editor Austin Gatdula Web Editor JC Dela Cuesta Art Editor Patrick Magno
Letters to the Editors Policy: -Letters must be signed. Anonymous letters will not be printed. -Letters will be printed as is except in the case of obscenity, libel, personal attack, or excessive length. -The Explorer will edit minor grammar/ spelling mistakes without altering content.
Teaching instead of math and science. Because these classes taught me something I didn’t expect to learn in school, I gravitated towards their new and creative aspects I strongly recommend both of those classes to anyone who has an extra block in their schedule, and I am glad I decided to take them. I also realized how thankful I am for VAPA. Being associated with our school’s string orchestra for four years definitely ranks pretty high amongst the things I enjoyed while I was here. The orchestra at Moreau started when I was a freshman, and watching that class grow made my dad’s choice of elective for me worth it. Lastly, I am glad I found clubs and after school activities I care about while I was here. JSA is one of those clubs that ended up representing more than a college application boost. That might have been how it started, but after really getting involved, I found myself wanting to dedicate time to ensure its survival at Moreau. It disturbs me to see how many clubs at our school have poor membership simply because students would rather waste their time talking during collaboration. After the crash, even my mom’s daily Indian food excites my palate, and I have begun living more in the moment than I ever used to. Sure, I can worry about the next ten years of my life, or I can just worry about prom. I used to find it easier to do the first, because it gives my life a sense of purpose.
PATRICK MAGNO / The Explorer
MORAL COMBAT: How prepared are we for the real world? The bubble isn’t bad By Megan Powell
the same background. By the end of senior year, these groups tend to inFeatures Editor termingle and forge new friendships. The word “shelter” Over 90% of Mariners are involved has garnered such a bad in after-school activities. We’re encourrep. What once provided aged to join in and widen our circle of warmth and protection friends. Essentially, by breaking out of to countless people is now breedour comfort zones, we’re practicing for ing grounds for snobbery and naiveté. college and the “real world” itself. Along with its new definition, shelter In a school of 900 students, it’s inhas become synonymous with private evitable that we’ll all know each other’s school education. Once a student walks business. Class ranks aren’t published, through the gilded entrance of the esbut that doesn’t stop us from knowing tablishment, they’re immediately transthe existing hierarchies. This knowlformed into a green, highbrowed creaedge has invisible benefits: by knowing ture that can’t see straight because its where they stand, students are motivatnose is so far up in the air. ed to improve their situation. If this sounds ridiculous, that’s bePersonally, my work ethic has cause it is. While no one can honestly changed from freshman year to now. say that the environment here is conMy nine years of public education were ventional, we’re also not the stereotypifilled with students cal well-off private who lacked the school. drive to excel A simple in school. Comglance into senior ing to Moreau We’re not the lot could verify imposed a huge this fact. A shiny stereotypical well-off culture shock: BMW or Lexus is private school. suddenly I was a rare find among competing with the sea of used classmates and Toyota sedans applying for adand aged pickup vanced courses. I trucks. was surrounded by people who cared, This seemingly insignificant detail is students, teachers, and administrators reflective of the fact that 28% of the stualike, and I was absorbed into the phedent body receives tuition assistance. nomenon. One in four people that pass by in the In the long run, everyone is here for hallway on any given day won’t leave the same reason: to receive a quality edschool and sit upon a jewel-encrusted ucation. Our teachers are dedicated to throne in their multimillionaire manour success and go out of their way to sion. That’s not a small number. Attenhelp students during collaborations and tion, stereotypers: the trees in the festiafter school. This is the key to our sucval area do not, in fact, bear $100 bills. cess: without their blatant assistance, The student body is also comprised we wouldn’t have a quality forum to of students with a wide variety of edulearn. They not-so-subtly hold our cational backgrounds. The majority of hands through the process of becoming incoming freshmen has always been more adept students, capable of facing Catholic elementary school alumni, but the formidable obstacles that compose over the years the admissions office has the outside world. been reaching out to different commuEventually we’ve all got to ditch nities, including charter schools, prithe training wheels and go it alone on vate secular schools, and public middle the bicycle of life. But won’t you feel schools. more confident on the journey if you’ve The freshman tendency is to form learned the rules of the road properly? homogenous groups with people from
Private school isn’t real life
theory only allows intelligent and enthusiastic students into its population. Copy Editor There is an intellectual threshold that While we all would is apparent at most private schools. like to think that the Imagine the culture shock when you find cozy, family-like atout—hey!—in the real world, not evmosphere of a private eryone is as enthusiastic about the same Catholic school— things, about school or sports or Spirit complete with a phenomenal security Week. We are going to be put into situasystem, where one’s biggest worry is tions where we have to deal with people whether to drive Mommy’s Lexus or who are less driven, less educated, or Daddy’s maroon Buick Century to come from less affluent backgrounds. school, and an indiscernible invisible How will private school students deal barrier that only money could buy—is a with people like this? It is very possible faithful representation of the real world, that someone who has grown up in an I hate to break it to you: it’s not. environment of superiority for the ma It’s a big, diverse, and often jority of their lives will feel a sense of scary world out there, and one thing’s elitism, a sense of entitlement to treat for certain: it’s definitely not reflected at someone of lesser merit with lesser reMoreau. spect. This has the potential to staunch One thing that really strikes me our social lives by having us come off is the number of as pretentious or people of my race insensitive to othwho are graduatIt’s a big, diverse, and of- ers.One reviewer ing this year: only ten scary world out there, of Moreau Cathoseven AfricanAmericans popuand one thing’s for certain: lic High School— late my senior it’s definitely not reflected at an alum of the class. Accordschool, to be exMoreau. ing to the City of act— who posted Hayward census, on Yelp could not 11% of the popuhave said it betlation is African-American. Here, the ter: “There were many factors that made African-American population is reflectMoreau Catholic High School a four ed as only about 4%. Does that sound year fantasy camp for young teens.” Yes, like the real world to you? Our neigheven Moreau alumni admit that attendboring public school, Tennyson, reflects ing here was akin to a “fantasy.” For, the community better, with 13% of their when they were set free into the real students African-American. Other popuworking and social world, they no doubt lations, including the Asian and Latino realized that it was different than the vepopulations, do not reflect the populaneer of idealism that private schools— tion of Hayward. most of them, not just Moreau—try so I know a lot of people here at hard to sell. Moreau who have gone to private school Although there are merits to attending their whole lives. It may seem like a a private school with an insulated, congood idea to shelter oneself for a while, trolled environment, one could conceivbut for more than half of your life? It’s ably argue that it’s like saying martial just stalling the inevitable. And, once law is a great thing, too, because it keeps you do come in contact with the “outus safe; but at the expense of exposure side world,” it’ll feel less like a smooth to more real situations, like interacting transition and more like a sledgehammer with a more diverse pool of individuals, of reality to the face. and knowing what the world outside of In a private school environour environment is really like. I’d rather ment, we grow up in a place that has a take my lumps like the rest of the world selectively-permeable membrane, and in if the alternative is blissful ignorance.
By Liz Scott
The subtle art of corporate greenwashing By Andrew King
Copy Editor A two-page magazine advertisement for an oil company shows flowers streaming from factory chimneys. A promotion for bottled water depicts plant leaves wrapped around a bottle and the claim that 30 percent less plastic is used in its production. A cleaning product highly toxic to living organisms has an illustration of deep-green pine trees on its label, although it contains not one ingredient from trees. If any of this sounds a little odd, that’s because it is. All of the advertisements above are real—for Shell Oil, Dasani, and Pine Sol, respectively. The only thing these products have in common, besides the fact that their ads associate them with environmental health, is how detrimental they are to the environment. Shell Oil, one of America’s largest oil companies, has repeatedly violated the Clean Air Act. According to the Pacific Institute, in 2006, bottled water manufacturers pumped around 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. And Pine Sol can severely damage the eyes, skin, lungs, besides being poisonous when ingested. So why are businesses like these using terms such
as “eco-friendly,” “fuel efficient,” “carbon footprint,” “reduced contaminants,” “energy efficient,” “conservation,” and “biodegradable,” when such terms tangentially apply, if not at all, to their products or business agendas? They’re partaking in a practice called greenwashing—false advertising with an environmental spin. According to the Greenwashing Index, sponsored by the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication, greenwashing is when “a company or organization spends more time and money claiming to be ‘green’ through advertising and marketing than actually implementing business practices that minimize environmental impact.” And it’s causing a serious problem for those who truly care about the environment. Take BP, for example. What makes this company, the fourth largest multinational oil corporation in the world, any more environmentally friendly for having “Beyond Petroleum” as their tagline and a flower as their icon? In fact, in 2008, international environmental activism group Greenpeace decided that BP’s advertising claims were so ridiculous, they deserved the Emerald Paintbrush award—their honor for the “worst greenwash” of the year. Despite BP’s prolific green advertising campaign, the majority of its investments continue to fund
REALLY NFL Commisioner Roger Goodell? You’re considering banning the 3-point stance for linemen? I understand the concern for concussions, but these are grown men who know what they need to do to earn a paycheck. Why don’t you just hand out tutus? Really. -Emilio Ronquillo [Editor-In-Chief]
fossil fuels. While their eager public relations officers would love to convince you otherwise, it seems like “Back to Petroleum” might be a more accurate slogan. The thing about greenwashing is that it’s so rampant it has become an installation in our social scenery. Consider another example: car commercials filmed in forests, alongside ocean shores, and other beautiful settings. As if a machine that pollutes the air with excess amounts of carbon dioxide and annihilates underfoot vegetation is as natural as the pine tree and squirrel beside it. Unless you’ve just recently invented a car that plants trees and picks up roadside trash, automobiles don’t contribute anything to the environment. That includes your Prius. Sorry, but the “hybrid” sticker on the back won’t suck the carcinogens out of the atmosphere. As a civilian inundated with the results of a massive cultural movement branding “green” as trendy, I can personally testify to the fact that if you don’t pay close attention to these advertisements, it’s easy to believe that maybe these companies do care about the environment. But let’s get logical. The main reason most companies have employed these very public movements toward environmental friendless is because, in the end,
» Commercial Green Page 4
We liked how USA beat Canada at its own sport, hockey. It’s like if Kansas beat Vermont at a syrup making contest. Amazing, eh? -Ali Giron [Asst. News Editor]
We Liked It!
More than bad grammar and made up words By Patrick Magno
Staff Writer Being bad is something good these days, but being garbage at something is bad. But if bad means good, then garbage must be good. But kids don’t say good; they say sick, ill, bomb. But these all sound bad. Not trying to diss, but chill people from the 1980s and back. Don’t think our generation is trippin’ because the slang is tight. You either get with it or get left behind because the dictionary-warping youth never stop. You may not get it, but we definitely see the need for this new-age jargon. Don’t get it twisted. I feel you. Twenty-first century slang can be a bit confusing. Call it a bad use of diction or a mash up of made up words; as long as a younger generation exists, we finna never stop our creativity. Forreal, slang is creativity. It is this kind of social poetry that helps us stand out with a fresh, rebellious, playful, and dope spin on linguistics. This stuff mos’ def’ can’t be poetry in the traditional sense or else people would be reading things like: “We hecka bored in class zonin’ out/Bumpin’ slaps, spittin’ game, wanna bounce.” The poetics of slang are more about verbally communicating with clever, irreverent, sometimes irrelevant metaphors, vivid infixing (like that’s the bizzomb), and other offbeat poetic elements. Then again, poets like Langston Hughes integrated slang into their poetry to emphasize the emotion and authenticity of the human voice. Maybe in the future, the slang considered hecka sloppy now will also turn into this kind of inspiring poetic vernacular.
» Commercial Green Page 3
All of these things add another layer of meaning and social depth to the otherwise commonplace use of language. Just keeping it real, slang is our generation’s and past generation’s escape from the constant pressure to grow up into this always proper, never playful image of the future. The younger generation is not afraid to break through these standards and laugh and make fun of our mode of communication in a way that only suggests to everyone to chill out. But haters are buggin’ out and criticizing it to be another form of segregating who’s down with the lingo and who’s not. Let me drop some knowledge tho; slang is a natural adaptation of language to the evolving age. It isn’t a tool forced out to purposely segregate the young from the old or one group of people from the other. It’s the simple fact that everyone slangs in different ways depending on generation, location, and interests. Adults already have their own generation’s slang drilled into their heads, so their ability to learn a new school of terms and phrases is limited. This generation gap and so-called “segregation” is natural and not at all a threat to social integrity. It may not divide us, but slang does add a sense of credibility to what is communicated to the youth. Try telling a story about your morning in plain language (hella boring). With slang, you can connect with people on a different level. You are able to tell a more appealing and relatable story: “Dude, I woke up with a killer headache, hella grimy cuz I was mad starving. I was kind of bummed that it was Monday but anyways, I bounced and copped an energy drink, but I got hellza hyped off that stuff, I mean forreal jumpin’ off the wall hyper and then I crashed like an hour later. Yomps, pretty much a
their paychecks. It’s the same reason why icons of suns, flowers, and leaves adornso many oil conglomerates—including ing everything from plastic bags that will some of those mentioned previously— undoubtedly exist long after I’ve died hardly invest in alternative energy soluand decomposed, to smog-puffing SUVs tions, yet go to great lengths to delude (I recently saw a Hummer with the general public into thinking a Save the Whales license they’re actually doing plate). Is anybody so. It comes down really fooled? to this: If going Unfortunately, “green” doesn’t they are, bring in the and this type of green only hurts you can put the aims in the bank, of legitiit doesn’t mate, practimake financal environcial sense, mentalism, and it’s not gowhich actuing to happen. ally takes The reason measures to such a large part preserve the of our modern resources and beauculture is so ty of the planet. charmed by anyIt would be unfair thing supposof me to say there edly eco-friendly aren’t companies is because savout there who have ing the environsuccessfully comment—or, at least, bined commercial the illusion of doing and environmenso—makes us feel tal success. Paper all warm and fuzzy Mate, the pen maninside. It lets us ufacturer, recently feel like we belong began to use biodeto a circle of elite, gradable in its prodsophisticated intelucts, and SunChips lectuals. It conalso started producvinces us to feel ing a compostable good about ourchip bag. Still, the selves, that we’re next time you see being upstanding an advertisement citizens, and to that seems to ignore the irony be concerned in the fact the PATRICK MAGNO / The Explorer about that the More companies have been taking advantage of the state of enf l y e r “green” trend by putting deceptive images and icons on vironment someone their products in an attempt to attract consumers. and buy the handed “green” prody o u uct it hawks, about the ecological effects of cutting think twice before you pat yourself on down trees is, in fact, printed on nonthe back for being such a thoughtful, recycled paper. caring person. You just might share that The problem with greenwashing in good feeling with successful advertising particular is that it allows pseudo-enviexecutives somewhere—except the senronmentalism to pass as the real thing, sation they’re experiencing comes from and contributes toward the general cynithe realization that, after all, money just cism of people like me, who see cutesy might grow on trees.
fail. ” We don’t choose how we communicate with one another. We may filter some phrases out, refine our proper vocabulary if we choose, but we will naturally integrate some amount of informality into our speech patterns. This stuff is basically embedded in us, you dig? Embrace the poetry of slang; don’t criticize it. It may blur our perceptions of when to use proper language or desensitize us from profanity and subjects that seemed taboo, but whatevs. Every generation has to go through that anyways.
PATRICK MAGNO / The Explorer
Slang can be liked or disliked. Either way it will always be a part of every generation. You can’t avoid it, so use it.
Minority becoming bigger minority By Adriana Jones Lima
I am African, Portuguese, Irish, and Native American. Although I say this with pride now, I haven’t always felt this way about my ethinicities. I’ve had my ups and downs with my identity, but who hasn’t? I constantly have people asking me, “What are you?” I always want to say I am 17 year old girl, but people usually mean what my ethnicity is. Then I have to go through my list. To that people usually respond, “Oh wow! That’s cool, I thought you were Mexican.” Most assume that I am Mexican,and by Mexican most Californians really mean just Latina, since in California most just assume if a person has tan skin, brown eyes, and an A in Spanish class they are Mexican. I am not. There is nothing wrong with being Mexican, I just wish people wouldn’t label me instead of asking me. Also I would like to point out that I have an A in Spanish because I work hard and study, not because the color of my skin. People who are multi-ethnic or biracial are the minority of the minorities. Racially we don’t fit in anywhere. During culture week I feel kind of like a Jewish kid during Christmas time. I feel left out, like none of this really for me. It reminds me how much I don’t fit in racially with anybody. In my past, I have tried to pick just one race. I have tried to identify with just white people but that didn’t fit. I tried to fit in with African Americans, but I was always told I wasn’t “black enough”. Then I finally tried to find some Native Americans to join, but I couldn’t really find any. I finally found somewhere to fit in though, with the Latinas. As long as I didn’t open my mouth and just pretended that I was Latina, I had a place I fit in. I did everything I could to appear more Latina. Skin color originally got me in, but culturally there were just things I didn’t get and I could only hide my mom for so long. Eventually people got that I was part white and not Hispanic. I didn’t lose my friends, but I do feel like things did change a little with them. As much as I love the Latin-American culture, it wasn’t who I was. I was pretending to be somebody that I wasn’t. I’m not saying that people of different ethnicties can’t hang out, but I felt like I was in part just hanging out with them because of their race. So I made the decision to be okay with myself, all of me. Once I was able to accept who I was, so was everybody else. I can never pick just one ethnicity I have to find away to represent everything I am in order to not offend either of my parents. Also not to offend myself. I don’t have just one culture I have four. In the United States we have at tendency to want to label things. Its almost like our government is saying it isn’t okay to be more than one ethnicity. Everything needs to be a neat little box, but when a person can’t fit into that box people get confused or upset sometimes. According to the United States government I am an “other”. When I think of an “other” I associate that with something that has defects or an alien that needs to be taken to Area 51. I definitely do not have any major defects and I am not an alien. The most hurtful thing I’ve ever said to me about being mixed is that they would never ever date somebody of a different ethnicity. My first semester of my freshman year, about half my theology class said that they would never marry or have children with somebody of a different ethnicity. I remember being so hurt and shocked. It was as if she was saying there was something wrong with me, or my parents had committed some horrible crime. People never like to think of themselves as racist. You don’t have to be part of the KKK or yelling racial slurs. It’s the little things that hurt the most. A little joke here or there or a small comment. Why? Because those things come naturally. The big things hurt too, don’t get me wrong, but those are usually from anger and ignorance. The small things though those are how people really feel, and people truly believe and mean those things. That girl in my frosh theology class probably did not mean to be so offensive, people just don’t think before they speak. Most people are very unaware of the impact that their words and actions have on other people. Sports Editor
New process rescues students in jeopardy By Lawson Navarro Entertainment Editor
For any students failing in the classroom, a new intervention method known as academic jeopardy is coming into effect to aid them to recovery. Whereas the main method of dealing with failing students has been academic probation, academic jeopardy is intended as a way to better these student’s academic performance. “When you talk about academic probation it’s a period that you’re under watch with a threat that if you don’t fix it you’ll be asked to leave the school,” Assistant Principal of Instruction Mike Aquino said. “The idea is we are not trying to kick people out, we are trying to help them do better.” After thinking about how to help those students who get on academic probation, its counterpart aims to constructively aid those students who receive two D or F grades in a semester. The two main ways of achieving this are through a level of teacher intervention and more parental awareness of their child’s performance. “It’s kind of like an ongoing parent-teacher conference,” Aquino said. “It highlights the importance of grades or the situation.” The process aims for teachers to inform parents just how their children are doing in the classroom and how they will help the student. The thinking is: if their parents know about it, students will work toward a higher level of academic achievement. To help parents know more about a student’s situation, this new step encourages teachers to communicate with parents as to how they will help. This piece of the plan is a more formal way to carry out what most teachers have been doing when it comes to helping out failing students in their classroom. As a math teacher, Ahmed Rangchi, is experienced when it comes to helping struggling students in his Algebra 2 and Honors Pre-Calculus classes. “Just by adding a little bit of help to it, my help is a sort of catalyst to this situation,” Rangchi said. “By helping a little bit then they have a spark in their mind, and then they see a relation.” Some of the things Aquino and teachers could ask of those students failing academically might be to mandate collaboration to do homework, to get extra tutoring, or to go to the Academic Support Center. Academic jeopardy aims to give direction to the student. It has hopes of building communication be-
tween student and teacher when the student might not be willing to make the initial attempt. “Nothing feels worse than feeling disenfranchised as a student where if…you feel inadequate, then you become sort of timid about even asking the teacher,” English teacher Cheryl Steeb said. Junior Roman Gonzalez felt slightly isolated when he was on academic probation. “I had to motivate myself to not go to summer school. I kept saying ‘it’s me and I got to improve or I’m out,’” Gonzalez said. In a different case, senior Charles Etrata felt welcomed by teachers when he was on academic probation freshman year. “[The school] would meet up with me and my counselor and they’d try to figure out how we could set up a meeting with those teachers,” Etrata said. “And then when we had those meetings set up, we talked about how we could help me improve.” Under the new system, students who experienced what Gonzalez did would not feel isolated from a teacher’s help. Students who experienced what Etrata did would see it done more effectively and formally with communication among parents, AP’s and students. For the nature of the process, Steeb articulated the philosophy of the new approach: “Philosophically I believe in the less punitive more supportive approach and if it means logging in an extra contract or logging into the counselor or the AP what you’re doing, it seems worth any little extra effort to make sure a student is on board.”
PATRICK MAGNO / The Explorer
? k r o w es it
o A student on Academic Jeopardy has received 2 or How d more semester D/F grades. A letter goes home. 2 Step Teachers contact the parents and meet with the student to develop a plan, which includes collaboration meetings for tutoring, arranging time before/after school, or going to the Academic Support Center.
p3 SteStudents are responsible for meet-
ing the terms of the plan along with teachers and parents supporting.
Counselor or AP meet with the student to check up on progress.
New online summer math courses for remedial purposes By Shruti Shrivastav Editor-in-Chief
For students who fail Algebra One and Geometry this year, remedial online summer courses will be an option to make up their grade. Although these courses are a new development in the curriculum, the idea to integrate online courses has been floating around for about two years. The Math department’s Eric Kauffman, Nadine Medieros, and Jeff Stone are the trailblazers in the initiative. They are the ones building the courses and creating the assignments. Their greatest challenge remains finding a way to get lessons to students while they aren’t in the classroom, and they are currently working towards perfecting the details of the courses. Moreau has decided to include these courses for multiple reasons.
The Brigham Young University online courses, the only online courses currently offered, only require students to take ten lessons and the program offers little to no feedback. By presenting this new option, the administration is hoping an online course designed by their teachers will help students thrive. “The courses will be our own,” Math department chair Gary Gongwer said. “The teachers that supervise the courses will be employees of Moreau.” Putting the new courses into action comes with challenges. “We have our initial doubts,” Gongwer said. Students also have their doubts about whether or not they will be able to stay on task while taking classes at home. “Taking an online course would be easier but I wouldn’t get a lot of it,” Freshman Zach Funcke said. “It is better that have a teacher to explain the details to me.”
Sophomore Adam Sagapolu shares a similar viewpoint. “I don’t think I’d be able to focus, but it is summertime and I don’t want to be in a classroom and listen to a teacher.” Junior Marilen Atienza also believes she wouldn’t be able to focus on the online course. “I’ll still manage to do it, but later, Id have another tab open – like Facebook or something – but I’d still get it done if there were due dates.” The teachers acting as pioneers in setting up the Moreau online courses are funded by grant monies and funds allocated to professional development by the No Child Left Behind Act. As of now, there are no concrete plans for other online courses but the ultimate goal is to have a wider list of courses to take online. The first step is to offer a variety of remedial courses so that students do not necessarily have to be at Moreau while they reinforce the material they
were supposed to have mastered over the year. “Students should be able to take a Moreau course even if they are visiting their grandma in Timbuktu, as long as they have internet access,” Principal Lauren Lek said. Developing excellent courses that can address the needs of students motivated to get ahead in their studies is the next step Moreau plans to take in its online learning curriculum. Lek strongly believes that online learning can be valuable. “Research has shown online learning, when done correctly and implemented correctly is a powerful kind of learning,” Lek said. “Different learners respond differently and having online options is important on the road down the future.”
Opportunities in the Navy call to Mariners By Ali Giron
Asst. News Editor Joining the Navy has always been on senior Eric Cruz’s mind during his life. “Because my dad is a retired Navy veteran, he has always urged me to pursue the Navy’s ROTC program,” he said. Cruz got the opportunity to learn about this on February 12 when Petty Officer Emanuel Farrell came to Moreau to talk about life in the Navy, the different jobs and opportunities that the Navy offers a student. “Thanks to the Navy representative, I learned a lot of the details on what exactly the ROTC program is and the many benefits included. It’s something I’m very interested in pursuing.” The ROTC program is the Reserve Officers Training Corps where young men and women are educated and trained for service in the Navy or whatever other armed force they choose. Upon graduation, the graduates are required to serve four years on active duty. Although at Moreau we don’t have a large number of students going to military academies, representatives from many armed forces continue to visit and talk about their specific field. An Air Force representative comes every fall and a Navy representative comes every year. Representatives from the Army and the Coast Guard come as well. “We open up our doors to them; they call and we book them,” said Dianna Heise, counselor and organizer of this event. “They’re here in the fall. They’re here in the spring.” The Naval Academy visited on February 26.
Still there were only two people at Farrell’s presentation as opposed to the other colleges’ presentations, like Cornell’s, which was packed. The lack of people attending these meetings could be due to their perception of what a college experience should be like. “Most kids don’t see armed forces as a college,” Heise said. “We don’t have a huge demand for the academies.” On the other hand, Officer Farrell wanted to tell the students that there are a lot of options within the Navy, especially is paying for college is hard “There are different paths you can take,” he said. “You can choose to go to college and ALI GIRON/ The Explorer then serve or you might decide you need the money right away Seniors Helene Nepomuceno and Eric Cruz were some of the few students interested in and start serving right after high listening about the Navy and its program. school.” ping them off get to do a lot of travelThis pitch seemed to get some stuThe financial help seemed to get ing. In a seven-month period Officer dents considering the option of joining some students interested. Senior GraFarrell went from San Diego to Hawaii the Navy. Senior Helene Nepomuceno cie Corral agrees that she wouldn’t to Australia to Singapore. initially did not express interest in gojoin the navy unless she was in ecoJunior Audrey Miciano believes ing to watch this presentation but after nomical need. that traveling would be a hindrance pressure from her friends, she went and “I would only ever join because rather than an added advantage. changed her opinion about it. they pay for your tuition,” she said. “The negative part is that you’d “It sounds like a rewarding career “The possibility of going to war have to move a lot if you were in the with many benefits, especially the though, is what stops me from joining.” Navy,” she said. “It’s cool to move ROTC program where the Navy can On top of paying for one’s tuition, around but not when you have kids.” send you to school,” she said. the Navy also guarantees that one will “When we teach about the Navy, At the same time, other students, be able to see the world. In fact, this we teach about the ‘mattress,’” Farrell like junior Joshua Schrag would be was one of the main reasons that Petty said, referring to the acronym he uses proud to join the Navy even without Officer Farrell joined the Navy. to sell the Navy’s benefits to students. the added benefit of them paying for “I joined for fun,” he said. “I always “It’s not a bad mattress either, it’s a one’s tuition. wanted to travel and this was the perTempurpedic.” “I’d join the Navy because it’s a fect opportunity to do just that. “ Mattress stands for money, advengreat way to represent my country and Because the Navy is responsible ture, travel, training, reward, education, get a quality education at the same for dropping the Marines off wherever and twice the security. time,” he said. they need to be, those who are drop-
>> Black History from Page 1
KIMMIE ARALAR/ The Explorer
Project Hope By Kimmie Aralar Graphics Editor
Who: Sponsored by the Brothers of Holy Cross What: It’s a nation-wide contest available to all students attending Holy Cross high schools. When: Deadline is April 15. Where: holycrossbrothers.org/join.project.hope Why: To give students an opportunity to showcase their artistic talents and to provide another way for the brothers to support and recognize the students. How: The projects can be a film, photographs, or a work of art. They can also be digitally submitted. Prizes: First place is $500. Runner-up is an iPod touch. Second prize winners get a Flip Video camcorder. Third prize winners get a $50 Barnes and Noble gift card. Fourth prize winners get a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card.
sat and continued discussing issues about diversity and the ills of being a minority, particularly a black one. “People should know we were more than just cotton pickers and field workers, and that slavery isn’t all there is to black history,” Overshoun-Hall said. “We shouldn’t even have to be going to the school to ask to be more educated,” Bellow said. “All we want is recognition about black history.” “There is this huge support for other cultures during Culture Week, but where’s the support for us?” Grant said. “I mean, I understand that it’s up to us students to make things work, but come on, meet me halfway. There’s only so much I can do as a student without teacher support.” Overshoun-Hall agreed. “We’re expected to try, but how can we when there’s no incentive?” There was an evident nervous energy in the waiting room, as they saw confronting the principal as an intimidating task. Yet, not one person gave a second thought to backing down. “We’re not just blacks for blacks,” Patrick said. “We’re for diversity in general.” When Lek emerged from her office, she was surprised to see so many students had come to see her at once. “I don’t think I have enough chairs for you all!” she said. A handful of students filed into her room, all of ethnicities ranging from African American to Hispanic to Indian. They lined the walls of her office, a multiracial mass of juniors and seniors anxious to redress the situation. “We want Black History Month to be recognized,” Bellow said. “We feel that all cultures and races should recognized also. We also feel that Black History Month should be more a part of the curriculum.” “It hasn’t been addressed in any of my classes,” Grant said, “except history with Mr. Sheets, but that’s because it’s in the book,” “This month is the shortest month of the year,” Bellow said, “and it’s been busy with Father Moreau Day and Ash Wednesday, and Black History Month wasn’t at all acknowledged.”
Lek listened with concern and apologized, agreeing that this an area for growth for Moreau. “This year we had to do a school self-assessment,” Lek said, “and one of the goals was to find new opportunities to celebrate diversity, and I wrote in, ‘other than Culture Week.’” According to Lek, issues regarding school diversity and solutions to them will be addressed by Assistant Principal Mike Aquino at the March 1 Academic Council with the department chairs, and more distinct announcements about Black History Month will be made. Lek also prompted students to address their teachers about the inherit lack of Black History Month education. “Sometimes curriculum needs to stop, and that’s okay,” she said. “It’s important for us to stand up and say these things.” Lek concluded by encouraging students to brainstorm more ideas on how to further emphasize black recognition, and for students to tell friends and teachers to do so too. “We’re going in the right direction, just not fast enough,” she said. After meeting with Lek, students felt a sense of accomplishment. “I think that went really well,” Grant said. Overshoun-Hall agreed. “It went better than expected.” English teacher Michelle Dwyer, former African American Alliance (AAA) moderator from 2001 to 2008, felt that what transpired the previous Monday was a great thing. She also noted the need for adult leadership for AAA. “Before, AAA would take charge. We would do morning announcements, have trivia during MCTV time, and have activities,” Dwyer said. “Leadership has to start because clearly the students want it.” Though the meeting ushered an initiation to progress, Lek said, “There’s definitely a lot of growth that can be done.” “Slowly, but surely,” senior Joseph Coleman agreed. “Slowly, but surely.”
Schools take a bite out of Moreau’s Apple program By Jenae Galang Health Editor
RAMON TANCIOCO/ The Explorer
(Left) Students perform a wooden staff demonstration. (Right) The celebration also included a fashion show of traditional Chinese garb.
» New Year from Page 1
students used the language they learned to make the whole night more authentic. The night wasn’t limited to music and dancing, it delved deeper into other Chinese arts. “I liked the variety that the show brought,” junior Victoria Vergara said. “It wasn’t just the usual talent show, it spanned a lot of interesting abilities.” The performances consisted of with Chinese songs, such as “Dandelion’s Promise” and “Tian Mi Mi”, but strayed away from there. It quickly transitioned into skit involving many of the Chinese students, acting out myths and folktales surrounding the event of the New Year. Before getting too deep into the night, they broke it up with an overview of the zodiac and the customs that surround the days leading up to Chinese New Year. The classes then took the night into a different direction when showing off the fashion of the Chinese culture. “The fashion show was interesting,” junior Vincent Nguyen said. “It gave me a chance to see different clothing I probably wouldn’t ever see unless I went to China.” The show was directed under the leadership of the students. The classes were divided up into groups, with ﬁve students taking over the leadership roles. One of the leaders, junior Ryan Sutardji, took charge of the night and kept it all together. “I thought it was hectic and tiresome,” Sutardji
» Turn it in from Page 1 school students is to prepare them for the reality that there are tools in the world that will catch you plagiarizing, and that there is a certain amount of ownership and responsibility that people have to take for their work.” According to the Student Handbook, plagiarism is deﬁned as “the theft and use of another’s ideas or writings as one’s own, with or without the knowledge of the other person,” and includes not properly citing sources in a written work. Penalties for plagiarism are steep—the ﬁrst and second offenses result in no credit on the assignment and other consequences. The third offense results in expulsion. Unfortunately, academic fraud is rampant in most educational institutions. According to the Center of Academic Integrity, over eighty percent of college students admit to cheating at least once. As well, according to the Free Press, ninety-eight percent of high school students have let someone else copy their work. Some university students and academics have responded negatively to the software, seeing it as a placing an emphasis on pre-
said. “But it still turned out to be a great show.” Students performing in the show liked to overall result of the show, but knew there were areas of improvement. “It went pretty well for the ﬁrst time,” freshman Erica Blackwell said. “I think we just needed to practice a little more.” Sophomore Andrew Herce echoed the same suggestion but was pleased with the show in the end. “We rehearsed during class,” he said. “But all around, it came together pretty well.” To conclude the evening, the audience and performers alike were ushered into the student center to feast on traditional Chinese cuisine. The food was provided by the students of Chen’s classes, which brought more than enough food for the people attending. The student center was ﬁlled with numerous types of chow mien, fried rice, pot stickers, and kung pao chicken. There was also chicken curry, which not a lot of people think of when it comes to Chinese food. In the following years, Chen has hopes to possibly turn the event into a different type of celebration, reaching outward into the greater community. She has an idea to eventually have it as some kind of community service. “Next year, I am hoping to take what we had and do it as some kind of community church show,” Chen said. “I think it is important to remember the community around us and let them have the same experience.”
suming student guilt, violating student privacy and intellectual property rights, and replacing human teachers with technology. “Turnitin.com is an unconscionable disgrace,” writes Michael Stuzynski, a senior at Rutgers University and columnist for student newspaper The Daily Targum. “…They are essentially making money selling your original work for a proﬁt, theoretically in violation of copyright law…” Although TurnItIn does not offer any compensation to those whose works it saves, it does not allow users to browse its database randomly. In the student body, there still remains some confusion over the TurnItIn program. “I’ve only used it a couple of times, but I think teachers use it to scare the students more than actually check up on it or anything,” said senior Ashley Acosta, who has used the program this year. “I know it’s really easy to plagiarize from the internet, and a lot of people do it. But I don’t really know how [TurnItIn] works.” Koustuv Datta, a freshman, holds more positive views about the software. “I think it’s great because it prevents plagiarism, and provides an extra sense of protection for students.” Datta
said that his English teacher, Michelle Dwyer, explained the TurnItIn software to his class, and also required students to submit their rough drafts “just to make sure.” Tornabene feels that the ethical problems of plagiarism center more on the integrity of students rather than how they are caught. “I’m more concerned about students understanding what constitutes plagiarism…. If students are turning in original work and properly citing work that is not original, there are no ethical problems,” she said. For Shah, who has already caught a handful of students plagiarizing this academic year, the TurnItIn software offers both the student and the teacher an opportunity to avoid an uncomfortable discussion. “As a new teacher, I can say the most heartbreaking experience is the feeling of betrayal that comes from ﬁguring out a student plagiarized,” she said. “I think the purpose of [TurnItIn] is nothing but good, and it makes the process, from a teacher’s point of view, a lot more black and white.”
Students may have noticed strangers wandering around the hallways and peeking into classrooms recently. These “strangers” are actually administrators, teachers, and even librarians from other schools across the nation sent by Apple to observe how Moreau has incorporated technology into its students’ learning environment. “Sometimes we don’t know how innovative we are and I think we get lost in the Moreau bubble,” Principal Lauren Lek said. “When we have educators from other schools that come to visit us, it’s an opportunity for us to really kind of share what we’re doing with others and for others to share feedback with us as well.” When other school districts visit, Moreau gains new perspectives while our tech-savvy staff is educating them on our journey with laptops. “We talk to them a little bit about how we went about bringing laptops in, why we bring laptops in, and then let them kind of walk around and see you guys working with laptops,” Assistant Principal of Instruction Mike Aquino said. “We talk about what the potential effects are and what are our goals with having students have laptops.” In addition to recently gaining the recognition as one of only eight Apple Distinguished Schools in California, Apple has also chosen Moreau to be its “display” school. “What we try to show them is much more about our culture of learning than just about how we use the tool,” Lek said. “We talk a lot about 21st century learning skills and what it means to have students as innovators and creators and emphasize critical thinking.” Moreau is very welcoming to these curious administrators, because not too long ago, our school’s leaders were doing the same exact thing. Before Moreau obtained the 1:1 laptop program, a lot of scientiﬁc research was done and a variety of technology-based schools were visited such as The Urban School of San Francisco, Gunderson High School, and Fremont High School. “We looked at what worked, what didn’t work, how we had to change things, what we are looking at now, and what’s the next level for us,” Aquino said. Despite the fascination our innovative atmosphere gives most of these visitors, there is always a major and common concern: laptops will distract more than educate. This concern becomes more apparent as they learn how much freedom Moreau has granted their students, considering most schools would ban sites like Facebook, Formspring, Youtube, and iChat while ours doesn’t. “For a lot of schools, and even in education in general, there is kind of a tension between a control of technology and a use of technology,” Aquino said. “And the idea is, often times schools they ban things like iPods, and cell phones, computers, and you can’t use Youtube and you can’t go to Facebook, but that’s not the way the world works.” Throughout the implementation of laptops into our curriculum, there were a lot of cons that were constantly being referred to in order to ﬁnd places for improvement and compromise. The millions of distractions found on a laptop were and remain the biggest threat both in the classroom and at home while doing homework. Administrators, however, grant their students the beneﬁt of the doubt and aim to teach them how to utilize the distraction effectively. “It’s just like this quote I heard, ‘You can’t hold your hand over children’s eyes for the rest of their lives, you have to teach them how to see,’” Director of Technology Shawna Martin said. “We can’t block your access to everything forever, so we teach you how to use it appropriately.” Aquino agrees with Martin’s philosophy. “What we’re trying to do is teach students how to use iChat. We know that it’s disruptive; we know that if you don’t use it right, it can be a pain in the butt, but the idea is, ‘how can we help students use these tools?’” Lek stressed that Moreau doesn’t gain any reward from Apple for hosting these visitors. “We’re doing this because it’s important for education.”
D vers ty n Act on 0.6
How the admissions office is expanding its horizons and opening new doors for students from non-parochial schools
Castro Valley, CA - 5.8 miles away - 2,871 students
Mt. Eden 0.6 0.4 7.7
Fremont, CA - 11.1 miles away - 2,055 students
HOW WE STACK UP
Hayward, CA - 3.2 miles away - 2,027 students
a comparative look at the demographics of public high schools in Hayward, Fremont, and Union City
5.6 1.4 3.6
Fremont, CA - 12.6 miles away - 2,149 students
Hayward, CA - 1.6 miles away - 1.587 students
27.8 11.8 9.5
Fremont, CA - 10.2 miles away - 2,107 students
“In just the past year alone we have seen a 6% increase in the number of public school applicants which is a significant increase and can be largely attributed to our... efforts to reach public school students in addition to our work marketing to Catholic and private non-Catholic schools,” Rolle said.
News Editor, Feaures Editor, and Editor-in-Chief Teachers are ﬁnding English teacher Gretchof the variety and perspecally hard to buy things that ways to make the study en Tornabene appreciates tives on the same experireﬂect the diversity of our of one language speak the mixture of various culence,” she said. student body,” she said. worlds. tures in the classroom. The experience, accordAsian, Indian, African The English department “The conversations are ing to Steeb, includes a culAmerican, South Amerihas been making a point better and there are more tural perspective, age, and can, and Caribbean texts are of emphasizing diversity in diverse opinions here than orientation, among other among the multiple ethnic the classroom, examining a some other schools that I’ve factors. groups represented, accordwide variety of cultures and taught at,” she said. “Many of those things ing to Geiger. customs through assigned Class discussions about are determined by culture,” Students are able to use readings and class discusthe literature caught junior she said. “To that degree, the extensive collection to sions. Amanda Martin’s interest. it’s something that I activehelp answer questions about “I know English makes “Someethnic back“There are more diverse opinions very deliberate choices to times we grounds. represent a lot of differhave debates “We had here than some other schools that Iʼve ent voices and cultures,” or discussion a student a taught at.” English teacher Dave Prisk questions that while ago English teacher Gretchen Tornabene said. make people who was a The tendency to include voice their really fabudiverse texts on reading lists opinions,” Mar- tin said. ly try to incorporate into the lous student and she told stems from the diversity of “We see how other people study of our literature and me where she lived. She the student body itself. view different cultures.” the choices I make of what said I knew that I could “Clearly, the student Department Chair Cherliterature to teach.” come here and ﬁnd matepopulation represents conyl Steeb ﬁnds the accepOutside of the classrial that I needed when I siderable diversity, like tance of different perspecroom, students are able to was exploring my culture,” California,” Prisk said. “I tives to be important in her access more culturally rich Geiger said. “I was really mean, we have everyone in teaching philosophy. texts from the library. Lipleased to hear that.” the room at some point.” “If I had to come up with brarian Susan Geiger makes Exposure to such diverse The cultural diversity of a tagline for what I try to a point of ﬁlling the shelves texts inspires students to the student body sets the do with literature, it is to with multicultural literalearn more about foreign school apart from places expose students to multiple ture. cultures. where some teachers previperspectives and to try to “Sometimes it’s hard to “[Myth and Folklore] ously worked. enlarge all of our awareness get material, but we try resparked my interest in re-
Mission San Jose
Commercials and printing sticky advertisements on newspapers. According to Director of Admissions Tara Rolle, these “more targeted marketing efforts” are a new way to communicate with the parents of both current and prospective students.
By Laurel Fujii, Megan Powell, and Shruti Shrivastav
0.1 0.2 0.1 1.9 1
English department expands cultural horizons
Parents of students from nonparochial schools weren’t always aware of application deadlines so these forms of advertisements. Since Moreau isn’t allowed to visit public schools, many students weren’t exposed to the opportunities
The Explorer asks current club presidents and oﬃcers...
How does your club try to inform students and promote diversity within the school community?
ADC represents a newer view of Asian culture. Most people think Asians are part of a certain group, but there are similarities between Asian and American cultures. People get caught up in old-school stereotypes that aren’t true.”
- senior Diana Lee, Asian Drama Club president
Union City, CA - 5.2 miles away - 4,102 students
* Moreau does not specify a Filipino demographic. The percentage of Filipinos is included in the Asian percentage.
searching why things are the way they are today,” senior Kaitlyn Renfro said. According to Prisk, who teaches Myth and Folklore, learning about these cultures assists students in breaking previous stereotypes they may have acquired. “They see themselves doing it and realize that’s not the culture,” he said. “That’s an image of the culture that’s an overgeneralization, ﬁrst of all, and second of all, not fair to people they’re stereotyping.” Teachers notice a certain awareness in students that comes from eradicating preconceptions based on ethnicity. “Once you get to know students, you understand that they are coming from such a wide variety of family situations and cultures and places and life experience,” Shah said. “It does remind you that...we are all coming from such different places and walks of life.”
Indian dancing isn’t something people usually see. We try to educate others about different dances and show people different aspects of our culture.”
- senior Christina Philip, Indian Club president
We represent the Latinos, [a] minority of the school. We try to mix all different [Hispanic] cultures, not just one.”
- sophomore Karina Sanchez, Nuestra Gente coordinator
You don’t necessarily have to be Filipino to be part of the club; we try to teach our members. Our meetings are about the culture and history of the Filipino people.”
- senior Michael Vicedo, Filipino Club president MEGAN POWELL/ The Explorer
Mapping the miles: how far our lunch travels before it hits our stomachs
Kimmie Aralar / The Explorer
Shruti Shrivastav / The Explorer
Get slim with your own home gym By JC Dela Cuesta
Web Editor Some of us can’t afford yearly gym memberships, and most of us just don’t have the time to go to the gym. Our country’s recession has everyone cutting back on everything from traveling to eating out. Now, the recession is spawning a new low-budget fitness movement. In these tough economic times, many have had to think of fitness regimens creatively. These low-cost and one-time investment alternatives range from dusting off old dumbbells to starting yoga routines and suit those who can’t fit a gym into their schedule or into their
1.) Cardio Equipment
Whether it’s a treadmill, an el- This highly promoted videoliptical machine, or BowFlex, game for the Wii console has taken home fitness to a new investing in equipment like level. The appeal comes from this can seriously pay off in its plethora of workouts that the long-run, when used con- can accommodate an entire sistently that is. And while family. Not only does it calsales of traditional home fit- culate your BMI (Body mass ness equipment have declined index), track your weight, and act as a personal workout to 10.3% in recent years, these trainer, but it also provides an machines are still a great alter- enjoyable atmosphere for both native instead of going to the fitness gurus and inexperigym. enced people to enjoy.
Pros: Provides daily excercise requirements, burns calories, and maintains your heart and respiratory system. Cons: Takes up space in the household, costly, may need maintenence. Price range: $50 - 1000+
Pros: Family-oriented, portable, offers a plethora of excercises, professional regimen (fits your needs and goals). Cons: Requires Wii console, pricey, only an indoors activity, may malfunction. Price range: $70 - 90
budget. In recent years, the convenience of home workout programs has outweighed the commodities of a gym. Professional fitness trainers and expert nutritionists understand the struggle for finding practical ways to stay healthy. Therefore, they have created a variety of different fitness programs, machines, and diets that can be easily done at home. While the alternatives presented below sound promising and rewarding, the main ingredient to success is a person’s motivation. Without determination, it is highly unlikely to succeed in meeting your fitness goals because in the end, these methods are mere instruments that you must orchestrate and effectively use to achieve physical fitness.
3.) Exercise DVDs
Many have turned to using exercise DVDs such as P90x, Tae Bo, and Hip Hop Abs. These DVDs are popular because they contain a variety of workouts carefully demonstrated to ensure you do them correctly. Some even offer diet plans that work in tandem with your workouts. It is important, however, that you pick out a DVD that fits your appropriate level of fitness and set of goals.
Pros: Inexpensive, convenient, excercises are demonstrated, usually interactive. Cons: Not all excercise DVD are legitimate, may be led by people who are not expert trainers, repetitive excercises. Price range: $5 - 80
This simple yet rewarding exercise doesn’t require fancy equipment or shoes. All you need is some comfortable clothing, a mat, and a focused mindset. Yoga involves all major muscle groups in the body and is considered a total body workout that burns fat and improves muscle stability and flexibility. While there are different forms of yoga, it generally consists of stretches, breathing exercises, and holding a certain posture or stance. Yoga is one of the best home fitness alternatives, especially after a long, stressful day at school. While it can get technical, almost anyone can do it.
Pros: Detoxifies body, cleanses soul, increases flexibility, tones muscles. Cons: Sometimes mentally draining, requires a good amount of time to show results (not a 10 minute excercise). Price range: $0 - 20
5.) Free weights & medicine balls
You don’t need to pump iron at the gym to get stronger. Investing in a set of free weights (dumbbells) and a medicine ball is a great way to form and tone muscles. You can always add to your collection of varying weights and find different excercises to utilize them. A medicine ball is relatively inexpensive and ideal for those seeking to improve their core. Charts, videos, or manuals are also usually provided to ensure proper form.
Pros: Adds variety to your workout routine, works core, improves strength and coordination. Cons: May cause injury without proper use and strain on hands/wrists with misuse. Price range: $10 - 40
Moreau makes lasting impressions on Holy Cross By Emilio Ronquillo Editor-in-Chief
A committee of six educators and brothers from throughout the state and country visited Moreau from February 7th to the 9th to assess the school’s commitment of the Holy Cross message in school life and curriculum. The committee based its evaluation off of observations from individual visits to classrooms, meetings with major student groups like ASB government, Link Crew, and Campus Youth Ministry (CMT), and discussions with randomly selected students. Holy Cross’s prevailing impression of the school was positive, particularly involved the close-knit community that displayed itself to the commission. “It is clear that community is alive and well, and is one of your strongest assets,” said Susan Marquess, the head of guidance and counseling at Saint Francis High School in Mountain View. “It was said over and over again by the students that ‘we are family’.” In particular, the committee lauded the model of behavior and action provided for younger students by leaders within the student body. “Students seem to feel they have ample opportunities to become involved in school community, and they look to older classmen, especially ASB, Link Crew, and CMT as something they’re striving to become in this very engaged community,” Marquess said. Holy Cross’s visit comes at a time when the church finds itself reviewing and defining the characteristics it finds necessary in Catholic schools. It was with regards to this transitionary phase in the church that the committee critiqued some aspects of Moreau’s curriculum. Teresa Billings, the Middle School Principal and Director of Studies at the Holy Cross School in New Orleans, called for more integration of the school’s academic and spiritual aspects. “The Theology curriculum and requirements need to be reviewed and defined. CMT is part of that program, but make sure there is a stronger connection. CMT should be woven throughout the whole curriculum, not just the Theology department.” Senior Jessica Gelico, a member of CMT, agrees with the committee to the extent that the campus ministry should not be the full extent of students’ involve-
ment in carrying out the Holy Cross principles. proved to be a defining aspect of the Moreau experi“As CMT, we are the spiritual leaders of the school, ence to students who spoke with the committee. spreading the word of God, encouraging faith, and “Presented with the unlikely scenario that the executing the themes of the Holy Cross. Looking at it 80-hour service program be eliminated, the students that way, the works of CMT should be a bigger part, in overwhelmingly and emphatically said no. One student that more people in the school should do what we do as said ‘without service, this school would not be Moreau well and be spiritual leaders,” Gelico said. Catholic’” Brother Michael Winslow said. Holy Cross’s assessment falls in line with Moreau’s The team ended its visit with words of encourageplans to incorporate the U.S. Conference of Catholic ment from Angel Cedillo, who believed strongly in Bishops’ “Doctrinal Elements of a Curriculum FrameMoreau’s abilities to adapt to Holy Cross’s assessment work for the Development of Catechetical Materials “Keeping doing what you’re doing, whether it’s for Young People” into the school’s instruction. philosophy to fight about, or should we do this more, Supporters point to the Framework as a means of or that more, that struggle never ends in a school that bringing the structure and direction to Catholic teachis successful as this. That’s what makes you what you ing found in other school subjects. “We should be no are. “ less demanding in our expectations for students studying their faith than we are when they study other subjects,” said Father Alfred McBride in the Jesuit publication American Magazine. The document has come under fire in some circles for being written by school administrators as opposed to educators. Father William J. O’Malley described the framework as “counterproductive” in an earlier piece in America Magazine. Framework figures to become a guideline for Moreau to assess its curriculum. Moreau also plans to weigh the Theology department against the Western Catholic Education Association (WCEA) codes, which provide another blueprint for the curriculum to follow. “There has been movement in the Catholic Church to begin to more clearly measure how Catholic you are” Principal Lauren Lek said. “This aim of the church includes the introduction of WCEA indicators that probe schools to look deeper into their Catholic identity.” These changes to the curriculum will be reflected in the retooling of Frosh Theology, including the use of new textbooks in the coming years. Billing’s criticism aside, the assessment team commended the personal level of prayer available to students, including weekly morning liturgies and PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRISTINE KOSMICKI morning prayers. The Holy Cross commission consisted of Tracy Mcgaha, Susan Another standout for the committee was the sense of responsibility students and faculty had for Marquess, Angel Cedillo, Teresa Billings, Brother Michael Wincommunity service. The service-hours program was slow, and Brother Donald Blauvelt.
Brian Copeland: Our genuine black man
By Carissa Quiambao Asst. Opinions Editor
“As an African American, I am disgusted every time I hear your voice,” an anonymous letter sent to comic and radio host Brian Copeland said. “Because you are not a genuine black man.” On Feb. 27 Brian Copeland (class of ’82) performed Not A Genuine Black Man, the longest running solo show in San Francisco history, at Teves Theatre, from which he gave a dramatic monologue telling his story of growing up black in the predominantly white and racist San Leandro during the 1970s. What exactly is his connection to us? Copeland’s children are a part of the Moreau community: his son Adam Copeland graduated in 2007, his daughter Carolyn Copeland in 2009, and his son Casey Copeland is currently a frosh. All three have participated or are currently participating in theatre classes and productions. He himself is also a Moreau alumnus from the class of 1982, and he continues supporting our school by performing Not A Genuine Black Man here in order to fund the Theater Arts Department. His show “reveals a little-known chapter of Bay Area history,” says his official website, detailing life in the racist San Leandro suburbs of 1971 as a normal black boy facing heaps of unjustified oppression. “Before watching it, I thought I’d be long and boring, because it’s a one man show,” said junior Kevin Stammerjohn. “But he takes up the characters of everyone really well. I was impressed.
When he talked about how that cop picked him up as a little boy, it really got to me.” One of Copeland’s particularly striking accounts was an ordeal that occurred shortly after he first moved into San Leandro. An 8-year-old Brian Copeland ventured to a nearby park with a baseball and a bat when a group of white teenagers began harassing him. Copeland ran to a white police officer, and though one would usually expect a police authority to invoke justice upon his harassers, the officer instead frisked the 8-year-old Copeland, disbelieved that he
racist suburbs in America. CBS news did a story. 60 Minutes actually came to town. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights held hearings. And then -- WE moved to town.” In 1960, the census showed that the population of San Leandro was 99.99 percent white. It is no wonder that when the Copelands moved into town in 1971 that they –a black family– would stand out. Even so, he artfully uses his jovial sense of humor to get through his hardship, and though heart wrenching and emotionally brutal, Copeland also uses his humor to get the audience through
... w o n uk
In 2006, Copeland played a role in the Rob Reiner film “The Bucket List” starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman (starring as Freeman’s son). His show was orignally scheduled for a 6 week run, but went on to run 25 months, becoming the longest-running solo show in San Francisco history.
He has been the opening act for artists like Ray Charles, Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, and Ringo Starr. TRISH DENOGA/ The Explorer
lived in the area, put him in the back of a police car, and brought him home to tell his mother that he had been causing trouble, using his bat as a weapon. “The National Committee Against Discrimination in Housing called San Leandro a ‘racist bastion of white supremacy,’” Copeland said in his show. “It was considered one of the most
his story. The show typically generates a multitude of tears, laughs, and lessons learned concerning prejudice and sociology. “At first I didn’t think he could pull off so many stories at one time,” senior Monica Arroliga said. “But oh my god,
he went through so much. It was so interesting to learn.” Copeland’s show has graced venues all over the country, including runs Off Broadway, in Los Angeles, and in San Francisco. His memoir has also been adapted to a paperback novel, deemed the 2009 Selection for Silicon Valley Reads, and is a part of some high school and college curriculum reading (including here at Moreau). “He was really gracious about it [letting us use his book as required summer reading],” said Cheryl Steeb. “We got direct access of however many copies of the book we needed, from his publisher, at a discounted price.” Some students contend with the paperback version of Copeland’s story. “The play is a lot better than the book,” senior Katie Costa said. “You really get a real feel of emotions when he’s performing it.” Present in Copeland’s story are significant themes, one which includes the “drawing from a sense of support to overcome a conditioned lack of faith in oneself,” said Steeb. “His story is about transformation and the ability to heal from damage from social forces.” Theater Director Arlene Hood describes the show as, “Evocative, raw and painful. His humor makes it all bearable and also strengthens the pathos, humanity and the inhumanity of his true story.” Copeland’s story is one that begs to be told, as it teaches us what some may regard as one of life’s most important themes: “the healing power of humor,” said Steeb. “It’s a compelling story, courageously told.”
Best of the
“We Are The World” remake By Sarah Malik We obviously weren’t alive at Opinions Editor the time, but ask anyone who was and they could tell you about the awe-inspiring single that is the 1985 original “We Are The World.” Written by 80’s superstars Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, and performed by an ensemble of some of the best musicians of all time – ranging from Bob Dylan to Ray Charles – “We Are The World” became one of fastest-selling singles around the world in history to support charity for Africa. Twenty-ﬁve years and one of the worst earthquakes later, a remake was created, but nothing compared to the original. Really Justin Bieber!? Your chipmunk voice replaced Lionel Richie’s original line? And Auto-Tune?! I don’t care if Lil’ Wayne and T-Pain are popular; he can’t sing and shouldn’t be in it. With all the celebs that are famous for being famous in this song, it’s very hard to support it, even with the good intentions behind it.
Ellen DeGeneres on American Idol I’ll be the ﬁrst to tell you, Ellen DeGeneres cracks me up. She’s a hilarious comedian, and she can relate to the everyday audience better than any of her daytime contemporaries. Naturally, American Idol seems like the right place for Ellen now that Paula Abdul bailed from the most popular show in American television’s history. At least that’s what I thought when I heard about it. After watching it though, I take it back. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Ellen act locked up and nervous, but that’s exactly how she is on Idol. Her humor’s pretty dry and she doesn’t complement Simon’s cattiness nearly as well as Paula did. Am I hoping it changes over time? Yes please! Will it actually change? I don’t think so.
Valentine’s Day: The Movie Take all of America’s A & B-list celebrities and stuff them in one rom-com blockbuster appropriately entitled “Valentine’s Day.” The U.K. had the formula right with “Love, Actually” from 2003, so why couldn’t the country that proﬁts from it most? It’s because we overdo it. While Valentine’s Day had a sweet series of interlocking storylines, it quickly gets messy and the comedic timing gets reduced to bad punch lines and shock-style humor. While it does have its moments – a particular scene involving Grace’s mom and Alex had everyone in the theatre laughing – I would rather recommend you go rent “Love, Actually” and have a cute evening in.
John Mayer is an Idiot Oh, John Mayer: the prime example of why most musicians should not be allowed to talk outside of their music, if at all. Mayer, who seems to have taken after Don Imus, had an interview with Playboy magazine, and while trying to sound macho and funny, instead makes a gigantic jerk of himself and makes a bunch of racially and sexually insulting slurs. Since Mayer tweets more than he composes music, he posted up apologies to the speciﬁc people he mentioned, but not to anything else he said, and then ﬁnally declared how he didn’t want to be a shock-jock. I’m sure that’s what Imus said too after his career went down the toilet.
Franken-Heidi This one actually made me happy, because I ﬁnally have more proof that Heidi Montag is really more plastic than she is human. The Hills star has recently found a new way to put herself in the spotlight by getting ten plastic surgeries in a row. When her fame-desperate husband Spencer ﬁnds it scary, you know she’s going too far. Now not even looking like the same person, Montag has ofﬁcially made herself the most hated person–more like thing–in the world. Thanks for making my job easier for me, Heidi! Cheers.
Employee of the month
CHAMPS SPORTS SALESPERSON
By Austin Gatdula
Photo Editor Shiny hardwood ﬂoors, athletic clothing, a wide variety of shoes, and ﬂashy music videos playing on television sets. All of these eye-popping elements are what make up Champs Sports, located in most shopping malls. If it was your ﬁrst time walking into Champs you may be taken aback in amazement. However, for senior Justin Macabenta, it’s just another day at work. Sporting navy athletic apparel with a hint of red, Macabenta has been working at Champs for three months now. Located in Southland Mall, his ﬁrst day working there was on Black Friday back in November, a “crazy” experience for him. Despite the high surge of teens applying for jobs all around, Macabenta acquired the job with no hassle. “I really didn’t decide to work there. My cousin [the manager] just called me and asked me if I wanted a job and I said sure,” Macabenta explained with a chuckle. Macabenta, along with many student workers, enjoys the positives of working retail. “The people I work with, discounts, and meeting interesting customers,” he explained. “The most interesting sale I had was when I was selling a hat. She [the customer] asked me if the hat looked cute on her!” he said. A member of the Honors Choir program and a student in Mrs. McGeever’s AP art class, Macabenta luckily has no trouble balancing schoolwork and a part
AUSTIN GATDULA/The Explorer
Senior Justin Macabenta manages to balance the rigors of schoolwork, choir, and AP Art while also finding time to work the floors at Champs. time job. “I just do my homework the day I get it so I won’t have to worry about it later,” he said. Discounts are one of the biggest beneﬁts Macabenta enjoys while working at Champs. “I get 30 percent off anything if I’m working that day or not, even items already on sale,” he explained. The “Fifty,” as the employees call it, is a certain time of the month where employees are able to purchase anything for 50 per-
fect off. “I basically put anything I want on hold and by the time the ﬁfty comes I just buy it all!” Macabenta also receives a list of items that haven’t been sold after a certain amount of time and “being an employee, I can buy these things for a mere penny.” Keeping a part time job may seem hard for some, but Macabenta plans on sticking with it until he gets ﬁred. “I would never quit. I’m always going to be a Champ.”
Art students mold their talents By Ben Singh
Copy Editor The Visual & Performing Arts Department has experimented with a new assignment this semester. Art teacher, Brooke Safranek, assigned her Visual Arts classes with the task of making Claymation videos. The main purpose of these videos was to create a visual story that focused on the theme of transformation. The Claymation videos were inspired from other animated movies. “Theres been this new popularity of Claymation movies with the ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ movie,” Safranek said. “It sparked my interest. Its something new and exciting.” These 1-2 minute videos involved many steps. Students split up into groups of 4-5 and ﬁrst developed a plot line on a storyboard. After ﬁlling out the storyboard, the students allocated the responsibilities because there were multiple tasks involved in making the videos: designing the characters out of clay, forming a setting, taking photos, and reorganizing the clay characters. The ﬁnal steps in making the movie were adding music, special effects, and editing the Claymation photos into a succinct story. Freshman Marcus Ng believes a speciﬁc step in making the project was quite challenging. “You had to move them (the characters) within little movements at a time and it just took a long time to do,” Ng said. Freshman Clint Evangelista feels that equally distributing the tasks among the group members was a challenge. “A lot of planning, teamwork, a lot of cooperation,” Evangelista said. “Planning the jobs and working effectively as a group. Some people were doing more than others.”
Though the project involved a lot of work, students believe it was a valuable assignment. “It required a lot of work but in the end, it was totally worth it,” Evangelista said. Moreau’s website has even recognized the videos by placing a link to ﬁnd the unique creations. The link takes viewers to Youtube where they can watch Safrenek’s students’ claymation videos. When asked about the quality of the students’ projects, Safranek responded with a smile saying, “Really, really good.”
Visual Arts students created several Claymation videos, which are made by taking snapshots of clay sculptures and arranging them in a sequence to create the illusion of motion. These videos can be found on Youtube.
The Oscar’s best picture nominees: overkill or noteworthy? By Trish Denoga Asst. News Editor He’s solid gold, sparkles in the spotlight, and is in the hands of the most prominent and famous people in the movie business every single year. Oh, and by the way, he’s 82 years old. Of course, this could be none other than the prestigious award of the Oscar. Traditionally, this award is given to the most deserving people in the ﬁlm industry from all areas of the glamorous business; from actors, actresses, directors, make up artists, to costume design and animators – all of whom are selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Being one of the oldest awards shows in the nation, the Oscars have been highly anticipated for revealing the winners of its highest and most respectable award any ﬁlm could receive: the award for Best Picture. Normally, 6 nominees are up for Best Picture, but the validity of the category becomes hazy this year as the total of nominees boost up to 10: Avatar, The Blind Side, District 9, An Education, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, Precious, A Serious Man, Up, and Up in the Air. Since there are so many nominations from a wide variety of movies (even one Disney animation ﬁlm), it is important to note that all 10 of these movies got nominations due to the fact that the The Dark Knight got snubbed in even being considered for a nomination for the 2009 Oscars. The Academy is deﬁnitely changing its criteria as they try to include every ﬁlm considered “worthy” of an Oscar nomination so that no movie is left unnoticed. The quality of movies up for Best Picture seems to have downgraded. The selection of nominees this year couldn’t possibly compare to the romantic tragedy of Titanic, the
triumphant adventure of a Slumdog Millionaire,, or the classic musicals like The Sound of Music and West Side Story – all of which are movies that have received the highly regarded award for Best Picture. Come to think of it, none of the nominees come close to the inﬂuential impact that previous Best Picture winners have made on its audiences and on pop culture itself. Picturing each movie nominee as the “winner” doesn’t seem ﬁtting compared to the overall wave of unique and classic movies that have graced the big screen throughout the ages. The nominees don’t have that “Best Picture” potential as none of them have impacted society quite like past winners have. Besides, can you really see Up or Avatar as one of the winners, next to movies like The Godfather and Forrest Gump? These animated ﬁlms, along with some other less popular or unknown movies like An Education and A Serious Man, made the cut because of the increase of nominations to 10 movies. The change in the number of nominees and selection of these “Best Picture” nominees leave us to question what really makes a movie worthy of the “Best Picture” if the AMPAS just include more nominees to ensure that no movie get left behind.
A look at contenders for Best Picture
Avatar – Does a fantasy rip-off of Pocahontas really deserve an Oscar? Compared to movies like Schindler’s List and Gladiator, does this special-effect-packed movie really deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as the likes of Schindler’s List and Gladiator? District 9 - The movie was a fresh and emotional experience that satisﬁed drama junkies and sci-ﬁ lovers alike. But will it really stand the test of time to impress anyone else? An Education – The witty language and snarky acting from Sundance favorite Carey Mulligan has critics raviing; perhaps by the end of the night, the Oscars will be too. Up In The Air – This ﬁlm is a wry look at a man who’s forced to re-evaluate his life after years of avoiding it. Judging from the warm fuzzies it’s getting on the festival circuit, Reitman and Clooney could glide toward victory. Inglorious Basterds – In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a group of Jewish-American are chosen to thwart the Third Reich’s war efforts. Quentin Tarantino’s interesting twist and unforgettable characters deﬁnitely have the timeless aspect it takes to wow the Oscar panel. Precious – Bleak yet uplifting, Precious’ story about an obese sixteen year old who is already the mother of two seems too cliché to take home the big prize. A Serious Man – The Cohen Brothers are Oscar favs, but this ﬁlm about a man who watches his life unravel before him seems to be one of their lesser works. The Blind Side – Who doesn’t love the stereotypical Hollywood plot of a struggling boy who eventually beats the odds? However, it feels The Blind Side lacks enough ﬂair and spirit to take home the grand prize. The Hurt Locker - A compelling drama that depicts the lives of an elite bomb squad unit in Iraq, The Hurt Locker is a thrilling and actionpacked movie that will blow your mind. It deﬁnitely seems like a war ﬁlm up to par with the dramatics of Platoon, Saving Private Ryan and Apocalypse Now, which were all up for nominations in the past. Up - Could a Pixar masterpiece ﬁnally win big? Sure, the movie was a different, more introspective Pixar ﬁlm than past ones, but does an animated ﬁlm like this really deserve an Academy Award among the GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATION BY KIMMIE ARALAR
Maybe superhero movies aren’t so super after all By Ramon Tancioco Entertainment Editor
Comic book movies are just really hard to get right. Movies are one of the most popular mediums of entertainment today, so it’s only natural that studios would want to bring famous comic book stories to the silver screen. But year after year the general public is presented with Hollywood’s painfully abbreviated take on classic comic characters, and the same question constantly rings in my head: Why bother? Part of the problem is with comic books themselves. Comic books are stuck with the unfortunate stigma of being just for kids, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Comic books and graphic novels are just as valid a form of literature as any novel, and are therefore susceptible to all the ramiﬁcations of a shallow movie adaptation. Comic books and graphic novels are capable of having dense characters and mature themes, and it’s high time that Hollywood stop thinking that the formula for a successful comic book adaptation is something along the lines of “bright colors + big action sequences = proﬁt!” The entirety of the movie industry can’t be blind to the problems presented by the increasing number of superﬁcial superhero movies, right? Consider how the entire cast and director of the Spider-Man movie franchise called it quits when expected to make a follow up to the painfully abysmal
Spider-Man 3. Director Sam Raimi pulled out under the concern that he wouldn’t be able to maintain the series’ creative integrity. That’s one director who has the common courtesy to cease the slow and painful mauling of comic book classics. Why can’t everyone else just follow suit? Now don’t assume that I hate every attempt at a comic book movie. There were some studios and directors that got it right, but those are few and far between. The unfortunate truth is that so many things can go wrong when adapting a comic book to the big screen, that it’s hard to avoid any of the pitfalls (just take a gander at the likes of The Spirit and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen). Let’s look at the challenge of doing the source material justice. As I said, a comic has the freedom to develop a story over multiple issues, resulting in complicated characters and tangled plotlines. Taking all of this thick gooey goodness and trying to condense it into a two-hour globule is the equivalent of taking an epochal novel like Moby-Dick and making a SparkNotes version of it. It just doesn’t work quite the same way. V for Vendetta was a great movie in its own right, but it was so far from the graphic novel that the author, the famous Alan Moore, went as far as to refuse to be associated with it. But take a movie like Sin City,, and look at how the themes and characters remain mostly intact. The movie was a touch better for it, because the entirety was left as the author intended it, not manipulated to accommodate some modern agenda. The ridiculous creative liberties some studios make are also something to cringe about. I appreciate that certain aspects in literature won’t work in movies, but is that a reason to distort a story or character to the
point of being unrecognizable? Let’s take Catwoman as an example. Throughout the comic world she’s proven to be a multi-layered enigma of a woman with a twisted back-story and ambiguous motives. In other words, she was interesting. Now compare that to Halle Berry’s shallow, hollow, quasiblock-of-wood portrayal of the heroine and tell me that the movie’s studio made a good choice. While faithfulness to the original is important, it’s also unfortunate that when a movie manages to stay connected with its roots, they stick to the original formula with such trepidation that one can imagine that the writers just took the comic and said, “okay, here’s our storyboard.” This brings nothing new to the franchise - no chance to bring more to the story than pretty moving images. Zack Snyder’s take on Watchmen is a perfect example of this. While the remarkable accuracy to Alan Moore’s version is great, the movie felt bloated in its attempt to contain all of the original’s creative structure and story. Then take a look at the recent versions of Batman. Batman Begins and The Dark Knight were impressive because of how director Christopher Nolan managed to both modernize the series as well as stay true to the original portrayals of the titular character. It’s a ﬁne line to straddle in making a movie that’s accurate yet fresh enough to make it interesting. I don’t think I’m that hard of a person to please. I just like to think that if a comic or graphic novel were being made into a movie, Hollywood would consider what the fans want. Or at least remember that stupid stories and spastic ﬂashes of color don’t give us entertainment – they give us seizures.
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I live in my own world and there’s a dome around it. One of the several doctors I’ve had said it perfectly to me when she said it. She said I’ve created a world in which I control everything because in real life, I feel like I control nothing and I feel like someone’s manipulating me like an Xbox 360 controller. My world is a oneperson world and sometimes I love it and sometimes I feel very, very alone. My parents got married in 1980, the year the American hockey Miracle on Ice took the country by storm. My parents also found out that my mom was pregnant with me at the opening night of the Cow Palace, the ﬁrst place the Sharks called home. I was born in 1992, the Sharks inaugural season. A year later, I was diagnosed with VSD, a hole in my right ventricle of my heart, and that season the Sharks set the record for the worst season in NHL history by losing 71 games. The exit to my house from 880 is Thornton Avenue, exit number 19. My favorite player is Joe Thornton. He wears number 19. Burgers have always been my favorite food and the Sharks’ top line’s nickname is the “Burger Line,” which is named after the “Heater-Jumbo-Patty” combination of greatness. In 2003, I was diagnosed with a skin disease called vitiligo. And no, it won’t spread, but every day people decide not to shake my hand or give me a much-needed hug. Comments like “What the hell is on your hand” to “How come you look like you were burned from oil” are something I have to live with. I’ve never met anyone who knew what it was and knew the explanation that my immune system thinks my skin is bad, therefore it kills it and it turns white, which isn’t acceptable to people. I have to bring up the fact that it was what Michael Jackson had and then they understand. Hockey is one of the few sports that covers your entire body with long-sleeves and long socks so players don’t get to see my weakness. The NHL had a lockout in 2004-05, the ﬁrst year I had to cope with this condition. A very, very long year it was. Even though there is no school in the summer, I hate it. It’s super hot and there’s obviously no hockey. I tan in the summer, my vitiligo is exaggerated, and the heckling increases. Hockey is played in the cold winter, something I don’t take for granted. I don’t cry very much anymore (which is news to my Holy Spirit class since I cried all the time there), but I did before the game between the USA and Canada. Twenty minutes before the faceoff, I realized that the desk chair in my room was gone. My room is spotless; everything is perfectly straight, symmetrical, and per-
pendicular because my OCD won’t let me have it any other way. My sister, Amy, decided to take my chair and use it because it was more comfortable than her chair. My brain is not okay with that. I can’t stop thinking, counting, and touching everything I see until it is back where I like it. (I like to refer to myself as Rainman, only I’m not bankrupting a casino). My mom came in and played referee and once again sided with my sister because she doesn’t think that lending a chair to my sister, who unexpectedly caused me a huge amount of mental pain, is that big of a deal. Problem is that every subtle thing is a big freaking deal in my life. It didn’t help that my dad wasn’t there to help me out and I was wondering where he was since the game was going to start and we always watch games together because I don’t have any friends at school who actually care about this game whatsoever. I left the chair there, still annoyed and frustrated, and went back to our family room to watch the game that I’ve been waiting for since the 2006 Winter Olympics ended. I sat there on our couch crying. I mean really crying. Frustration boiled over into tears at the fact that I ﬂat out can’t live anything close to normal. The crying continued even during the game and then suddenly came to an abrupt halt. Brian Rafalski netted the ﬁrst goal for the U.S. and I jumped and screamed with joy just seconds after I couldn’t wipe the tears off my face. Hockey does what nothing else in the world can do for me. It gives me a sense of belonging and normality that I can’t get anywhere else. Hockey proves to me that sports are more than just a game. They bring people from very different backgrounds, unite fans, and inspire because they have the power to do just that. At Sharks games, fans come together as one, and it’s the only place where people see past my weaknesses and choose to see me for what I really am: a “ﬁn-addict.” When I’m on the ice, I don’t worry about the rituals and fears that I have. I choose to remember to keep my head up so I don’t get thrashed. The existence and presence of hockey is a home and a source of support in itself. People enjoy the release of their worries through the entertainment of sports, which provides a consistency that is unlike job hunting, schoolwork, and relationships. And after every Sharks home win, the players skate to center ice, raise their sticks to the crowd, and thank the fans for their support. Now, I thank you Sharks – and hockey, and sports in general - for giving me absolutely everything I lost throughout my life, ﬁlling in holes that were gaping open, and consistently giving me a meaning and purpose in my life.
Paz puts gymnastics on pause to live life By Lawrence Rivac Sports Editor
Acrobatics, somersaults, and ﬂips. Not the ﬁrst thing that comes to mind when students see junior Crystal Paz around school. Paz has recently attained the rank of a level 10 gymnast, vaulting her one step closer to participating in the Olympic games, and yet, she is choosing to go on a different route. “I hate it when people ask me about the Olympics,” Paz said. “I mean if I were given the chance to compete there, I deﬁnitely would. But, I’m realistic about myself and I know that I’m not at the Olympic level.” The level system of gymnastics is all about the skills the gymnast possesses, and how prepared the coaches feel he or she is. Levels 4 or 5 is the ﬁrst level of competition, 5 and 6 are called compulsories, and 7-10 are called optionals. Ten is the highest junior Olympic level, and then come the elite and international levels. Paz’s coach, Rod Radunzel, applauds her abilities shown at the various performances and competitions. “She is a performer,” Radunzel said. “She always performs well under pressure, I think she is at her best during competitions.” To compete at the elite level, a gymnast practices for a huge portion of the day, something that Paz isn’t interested in doing at this time. They practice even more than Paz does daily, hitting the 8-hour mark for training. They have to reach this level and then compete, and hopefully qualify for the Olympic trials, a daunting task for even the most conﬁdent gymnasts. “It’s a way bigger commitment than what I’m already doing,” Paz said. “It would interest me, but I really just don’t see myself going to the Olympics.” Like a lot of gymnasts, she hopes to compete in college, and leave it all there. “I do believe she can compete in college gymnastics,” Lisa Aguirre, head coach and ownder of Bay Aerials Gymnastics, said. “I can see her making it that far.” Paz started at an early age, when her mom ushered her into the sport of gymnastics after ﬁnding out that the ballet classes were full. She started attending the toddler classes at the age of 5 for fun, but eventually got recognized by the coaches. “It took some time,” Paz said. “It’s not like I took it seriously right away. It wasn’t until level 7 or 8 that I really started seeing competing as important.” Aguirre noticed Paz’s hard work and her improvement. “Every year, she gets stronger, more conﬁdent and the level of difﬁculty of her skills increases,” Aguirre said. “She is a great teammate and role model to the girls. I hope that all of them are just like her when they
LAWRENCE RIVAC/ The Explorer
After 11 years of intense training, junior Crystal Paz may be nearing the end of her official gymnastic career. Although she reached the highest junior Olympic level, she is leaning away from possible Olympic Comeptition. grow up.” To reach this top level, Paz has a rigorous practice schedule that forces her to keep a strict balance between schoolwork and gymnastics. She practices every school day except Wednesdays for about 4 hours each day. On Saturdays, she has 5-hour practices. That leaves Paz with only two days to herself, but she still manages to maintain a balance in her life. “I balance school work like every other studentathlete,” Paz said. “You learn that procrastination is bad and how to make decisions on what you should be focusing on.” She not only keeps her schoolwork in check, but keeps what every teenage girl wants: a social life. “Surprisingly, I do have free time sometimes. I spend it like usual, with friends or just relaxing.” Paz couldn’t have done any of this alone. She has always had her mother behind her. Her mother not only helped ﬁnancially, but was also the extra push that started her gymnastics career and has kept it going. “She probably realized that I had a future in gymnastics before I did,” Paz said. “So I really appreciate how she has supported me.” It hasn’t been all winning and awards though. Like any other sport, there is a lot of attention paid to the gymnasts’ health. Recently, Paz sprained her elbow and
had tendonitis in her knee, which is keeping her as a level 9 until she gets her skills back. She has only had one serious injury in her career, which was a dislocated ﬁnger. Some of her teammates were unfortunate with injuries that have required surgery. “The sport takes a pretty big toll on your body,” Paz said. “I’ve been lucky I think.” While gymnastics is primarily an individual sport, it still has teammates that add to the team score at competitions. This is seen more in college gymnastics since at a lot of the bigger meets such as Regionals or Nationals, it depends solely on the individual score. Like most sports, there is always learning that happens more on a deeper level. Paz learned that the means justiﬁes the end, giving more emphasis on the journey rather than the destination. “It taught me that it’s not about the competitions,” Paz said. “It’s about what happens in between.” Paz is well past the halfway point of her career as a gymnast, basically nearing the end. Gymnasts tend to “retire” at a relatively young age because of the demand it puts on the body. “I’m deﬁnitely going to miss it, like how close you get with your teammates you’ve known all your life,” Paz said. “It’s going to be hard to imagine life without a gym.”
Coleman takes the fast track to the SLO lane By Liz Scott
ing Madden at home, and played football since he was very young, maturing as a player over the If senior Joe Coleman’s achieveyears. ments could not be measured by his “I’m very proud of you,” he outstanding athletic prowess on the said, turning to look at his son. football ﬁeld or through his signing to “The whole family is proud of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s football you. My wife is especially proud team, it could certainly be felt through of you, and your sisters are proud the hundreds of students who ﬂooded of you.” into the Ivaldi Student Center to show Coleman ended his speech him support on Feb. 5. with a rousing, “So let’s go out Within the ﬁrst two minutes of 1st and do what we gotta do. Go collaboration, student athletes and other Mustangs!” spectators ﬁlled the Student Center, so After this speech, it was the much so that by time the second bell guest of honor’s turn to speak. rang, all of the tables and chairs facing Soft-spoken and radiating humilthe front of the room were ﬁlled. There ity, Coleman thanked the faculty, was standing room only. staff, his parents, his teammates, The football team sat in front of and the fans who showed up at everyone, shouting words of encourfootball games. agement to their fellow teammate. He also had words for his The air was ﬁlled with excited chatter, head coach. “Coach Cotter . . . students saying how happy they were from the 3 years I’ve known you . for Coleman, recounting how long they . . there’s a lot to say about you,” had known him. Some girls were even he said, and the room resounded on the verge of tears. At the front of the with laughter along with him. EMILIO RONQUILLO/The Explorer room stood a podium, and a huge projec- Moments after his ceremonial signing, senior Joe Coleman becomes engulfed in a sea of His speech was short and tion screen hung behind it. A table was set basketball and football teammates. He will fight for a spot on the Mustangs’ offensive line. heartfelt, and garnered a lot of apup where the Coleman family sat: mom plause afterward. Head coach Andrew Cotter was the next to speak. Jackie, dad Joe Sr., and Joe himself. All of Principal Lauren Lek took the As always, his words were inspiring and unique. “Anythem were beaming. stage next, telling a story about when Joe mistakenly body who knows Joe knows he’s so nice, a big teddy When the ceremony was ready to begin, it was happened upon her house as he was going around the bear,” he said. Cotter explained how coaches who Athletic Director Christine Krisman who spoke ﬁrst. neighborhood selling tickets. While she and some of came to see Joe in person almost would not believe She introduced the reason why we were all there: to her friends bought his tickets, he asked if he could that he was as good as he was supposed to be. But, witness Coleman’s ceremonial signing to the Cal Poly give some of the ticket sales to his sister. Lek said this when they saw the highlight reel and his ﬁerceness on San Luis Obispo Mustangs. illustrated his character and selﬂessness. the ﬁeld, they were impressed, and convinced. On the projection screen, a video of #58’s football “We’re very blessed to have you,” she said. As a segue, Krisman came up to speak again footage was played, and everyone “ooh’ed” at all of “You’re what it means to be a Mariner athlete.” between speeches, commenting on how Coleman will the bone-crushing tackles and blocks. Finally, Coleman went through the mock cerbe joining Kayla Grifﬁn ’09, who plays basketball After the video, linemen coach Robert Parker emonial signing, the real one actually having had taken at SLO. He will never have to change his colors, as stood up to speak, foregoing the microphone. “I think place earlier that week at Coleman’s home. SLO’s are identical to Moreau’s. “He’ll always be able I can say for everyone in this room that we are very When asked about his feelings afterwards, to take a piece of Moreau with him,” Krisman said. proud of Joe,” he said. Coleman could hardly get a word in edgewise through Coleman’s father, Joe Sr., came up to speak next. Krisman followed this speech with a few comments the many congratulations of his friends when he said, After thanking God for the team’s safety and lack of of her own. “We can tell that San Luis Obispo is very “Dreams are coming true. Dreams are coming true.” injuries, he talked about how his son started off playexcited to have Joe,” she said. Copy Editor
Aditya Dharma Fierce isn’t the ﬁrst word that comes to mind when someone sees varsity tennis singles player, freshman Aditya Dharma, but it’s the only word bold enough to describe his serve. After years of training at Eagle Fustar Tennis Development, Dharma’s hand still grips his racket with as much passion as he had seven years ago. His love for the sport increases as the competition gets more and more difﬁcult. “I love competition because it’s fun to win and fun to learn from what mistakes you make,” Dharma said. In addition to the estimated 11 hours of school tennis practice, Dharma spends his weekends training with his trainer Brian Eagle for three and a half hours. Many years of training have provided him with many important qualities that help him both on and off the court. “He is tenacious, he welcomes challenges, and is determined to reﬁne his game,” head coach Tony Rodriguez said. Although Dharma is a singles player, he is anything but secluded. “He is always willing to
By Jenae Galang Health Editor
St. Clement alumni hang ten on the Mariner wave
COURTESY OF ADITYA DHARMA
help out his fellow teammates with anything, from developing game play strategy to having proper form while hitting the ball,” said a team captain, senior Neil Enriquez. The power behind Dharma’s serves and ground strokes is an unexpected, yet jaw-dropping sight to see, especially for many who limit his potential to his sub-5 foot stature. Dharma has trained for years to obtain that kind of power and continues to push himself to achieve more. “A lot of the time I’m tired and I don’t want to get up,” Dharma said. “but I still get up and I play.”
Kaitlin Leguidleguid’s last name may sound repetitive, but so is the swoosh noise her shots make in every game. A freshman on girls varsity basketball, Leguidleguid may only be 5’5”, but her determination and love for the game has given her the skills to be the only starting frosh on the varsity squad. “When I started in 2nd grade, I was just doing it for fun. But as the years went by, it became my passion,” Leguidleguid said. “I love the excitement in the game and I like its fast pace and I love the competitiveness.” Having played CYO basketball at St. Clement for seven years, Hayward/Union City NJB for six, and on an AAU traveling team for Hayward Swoosh for three, Leguidleguid is chock-full of experience that has improved her game. “She scores when it’s critical, and even as a freshman, she knows how to handle the pressure of high school basketball,” teammate, sophomore Kristine Herce said. Leguidleguid’s role as point guard and shooting guard have given her a sense of leadership, following a habit of being goal-oriented. As a player, Leguidleguid assesses her skills, aiming to improve on her weaknesses and setting the bar for herself in every game.
“My goals are to improve my decisionmaking on the court, build my conﬁdence, and trust myself,” Leguidleguid said. “I want to have at least a double-double per game, meaning at least 10 points and 10 assists or rebounds or steals per game. And less turnovers.” Most recognized for her jump shots, banking over 20 three-pointers, it’s no wonder why Coach Gerry Branner would call her “Easy Money.” “Coach G isn’t really that great with remembering names, so he gave her that nickname,” Herce said. “It’s because she can score with ease.”
athlete of the month
Le steps out of shadow to strike fear in opponents’hearts By Ramon Tancioco
Opinions Editor Peer pressure, high expectations, and a series of injuries. That’s what it took for senior Phuong Le to discover her natural talent and passion for the sport of badminton. Le has been a varsity member of the badminton team for four years, and is now a captain and key player. But it was a series of unique circumstances that brought Le to the courts, one of which being the legacy of her older brother, Duc Le ’06. Le was known for his exciting matches and technical skill. “He was known as like ‘the Messiah,’” Le said, “When I came here all the sophomores and juniors asked if I was going to play.” Joining the team wasn’t Le’s initial plan for high school sports, as she intended to try her hand at softball. But after an injury during her freshman year stint with the basketball team, she decided she’d opt for badminton to see if it “runs in the genes.” In her first year, Le made Varsity doubles, paired with Camille Camus ’09. Their threeyear partnership brought several successes like placing 7th in last year’s North Coast Section playoffs, but Camus’ graduation spurred Le to switch from doubles play to singles this year. In her new role, Le has earned quite a reputation as a force to be reckoned with. “I never want to play her,” senior Stephanie Quiambao said. “She never lets me get into the double-digits.” Le’s playing style is intimidating yet versatile, seamlessly going from drops to drives or whatever else the situation calls for. While other players laud her technique and think of her as a perfectionist, she explains that her success lies in thinking of only the moment at hand. “I keep my mind pretty blank actually,” she said. “I just think of the move I have to make.” While Le might not have the speed and flair of her older brother, she makes up for it with her straightforward emphasis on technique as well as a constant level of focus and intensity.
“She never gets distracted because she has a lot of focus,” said junior Ryan Sutardji, cocaptain of the badminton team. “She always has that intimidating game face on.” “I’m always so scared when I play her,” junior Janelle Corpuz said. Despite her impressive standing with the team, Le never lets it get to her head. She thinks methodically about every match, setting goals for herself even when up against players she knows she can’t beat. “There was this one little girl from Castro Valley last year that didn’t sweat when she played,” Le said. “I just wanted to make her sweat. Just have her move a little bit. Just score 10 points, get into the double digits.” Since winning every match isn’t necessarily her main concern, Le prioritizes her role as a captain to the team and her ability to train the less experienced members. During practices, she can be seen scouting the ranks of players for flawed form and meticulously correcting every mistake and misstep, sacrificing her own practice time in favor of others’. “She takes care of the team a lot,” head coach Abi Bautista said. “She should play more.” Her teammates appreciate her presence as a mentor, thinking of her not only as an authority figure, but also as a role model. “She’s my inspiration to be a better player,” senior Anne Marie Vicencio said. “She actually cares about everyone here. She just makes you want to become better.” The experience of being a captain gives Le an opportunity to transcend the legacy of her older brother, and create a name for herself in the badminton world. “I get to assert my supremacy. My dominancy.” she jokingly said. But Le’s talent at both badminton and being a captain is nothing to joke about.
Phuong Le’s Stats
Winter NCS Review Girls Soccer
The varsity girls soccer squad ended a remarkable season on February 17 with a 1-0 North Coast Section playoff loss at home to Berean Christian. The girls played well and made a run for overtime. But the Bearean Christian defense wouldn’t break. It was a rough end to a great season as the team went 12-9-4. Junior Bianca Lemus led the team in goals with 29, including five hat tricks. Senior captain Marilyn Muhr provided great leadership and led important team bonding sessions during the season. Laura Burckhardt starred at forward and defense all season and the newcomers fit in well this season. The team looks forward to next season as new players will be challenged to step up and the rookies will have a full year under their belt.
JOEY MOORE/The Explorer
Girls basketball landed in the NCS playoffs again this year, but came up short in a 46-52 road loss to Analy High School on February 23. The team took a 9-point lead into the second half, but the game fell out of reach late. Even without any seniors on the roster, the girls finished with a 18-10 record. Juniors Megan Scully and Danielle Gaumer figure to lead the developing squad even deeper into NCS next year.
AUSTIN GATDULA/The Explorer
Senior Phuong Le displays ferocity on the courts unmatched within the badminton program. She entered the program having to deal with the pressures of living up to her brother’s reputation , but has made a name for herself as an individual player and coaching figure.
Team MVP as a sophomore (07-08) 3rd place doubles in HAALs (08-09) 7th place doubles in NCS (08-09) 4-1 all-time in singles games
TRUE LIFE: I’m a “fin-addict” By Joey Moore
Sports Editor I jumped and screamed and the sight and sound of the underdog Team USA defeating the machine that Team Canada is. After 50 years, the Americans defeated their historic rival in Olympic hockey and I sat in astonishment. Watching this made me feel somewhat like I had overcome something, like I made it, like I was normal. I watched the players tackle over each other after Ryan Kesler hustled for a goal, hugging the goalie Ryan Miller after the last save was made, and watching the players and coaches cry with joy after they shocked the hockey world. Nevertheless, to me the more important crying happened before the puck was dropped. I live a very simple life. Eat, sleep, and play and watch hockey. I don’t have much of a social life, to be quite honest. However, I wouldn’t change anything about my addiction to the game. I love it for the excitement I get playing and watching the game and, more significantly, for what it’s done for me throughout my entire life. I enjoy Saturday night Sharks games on the couch with my dad more than doing what most seniors in high school do. When I do go to the games, it’s always with my dad and at home I do talk to him about myself more than anyone else. My dad has become my best friend and I appreciate him a lot. I put yellow laces on my shoes, tuck in the back of my shirts, and chew on my retainer just because my favorite players have those same rituals. Hockey is more than just a game for me and the San Jose Sharks are much more than just a team that happens to play the game I love in the Bay Area. Understand that the reason why I don’t have much
of a social life totally isn’t because I choose to. For the past six years, I have been living with a severe mental disorder called Obsessed Compulsive Disorder (OCD), which has completely and utterly taken over every aspect of my life - except for hockey, and I would say that it has enhanced the addiction. I could never describe my daily life in a short article. I constantly count to 100, I repeatedly touch random objects that have no meaning, and there’s no way to get rid of it or a cure. I’ve already counted to 600 writing this article and touched a million things on my laptop, but that’s not the point. In seventh grade I was arguably the best student in the class, with my grades and my attitude, but now I can barely keep a 2.7(maybe) and my regular behavior has gone to the gutter. Last year on my birthday in the middle of the night I walked out to the backyard just to pick up the oranges that fell from the tree. It was pouring rain, I was in my pajamas, and I didn’t have my contacts in to see, but my brain didn’t care. I was going to pick up the oranges, and the clothing hangers, and the garbage for that matter. Hockey is my cure. It’s my life. Welcome to it. I knew I had a problem in the summer before freshman year, but no one believed me. I told my parents I have a problem with OCD, but they said if you had the disorder I would be getting straight A’s. Give me a break. I felt alone, like the only person on earth. To feel like I belonged to something or have a purpose, I turned to the Sharks or hockey in general. They don’t exploit my weaknesses or problems. I go to my laptop and stare at hockey websites and watch highlights of Joe Thornton’s goal against Calgary in Game 4 of the 2007 playoffs to the point where I can recite the entire play-by-play called by Randy Hahn.
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