Page 1


October 2010

Media College Preparatory High School, Oakland, CA

No more 'free' lunch Students forced to stay on campus by school district

Volume 50, Issue 1

Superintendent hints enrollment drop could prompt return to FHS

cipals and his entire cabinet Schmookler frustrated on Oct. 14 to discuss the state with open enrollment; students form PR group of the schools. Shima Kaid Photo Editor

Tony Smith, the superintendent of the Oakland Unified School District, continues to say that the district needs to close 20 or more schools to save money.

photo by Fuey Saechao

Students find options Calvin Hooker, a Media Academy sophomore, buys his lunch

from a truck vendor through the Ygnacio Street gate. Oakland Unified School District decided to keep Fremont Federation of High Schools closed at lunch – much to the dismay of students.

Juan Carlos Ramos Editor in Chief

Karla Coronel, a sophomore at Mandela Academy stood in line for 32 out of the 55 minutes of lunch to receive her pizza and chips. “I feel like it’s a waste of my time that I could have been eating,” she said. Coronel is one of hundreds of students who are angry about having a closed campus. The school board voted to close Fremont Federation at lunch, and students found out when they returned to school in late August. With students no longer given the option to go off campus during lunch, the number of students who turn to the cafeteria has climbed from 250 last year to 430. Other students obtain their lunch from foods trucks or a food stand outside the fence of the school, but they have to pass money through

a fence. Although the number of students who get their lunch in the cafeteria has gone up, a survey done by the Green & Gold staff shows that, as many as half of the students go without eating anything. Lawana Wyatt, the cafeteria manager says that there have been some challenges, but the nine lines for students to get their lunch work pretty well. Despite the efforts by the cafeteria staff to make lunch run smoothly, students feel unhappy about the situation. ”Closed campus lunch sucks because it’s treating us like prisoners and the wait for lunch is longer,” said Leiana Pahulu, a senior at College Preparatory Architecture Academy. Katie Riemer, the health educator at the Tiger Clinic, feels that having a closed campus will make a see LUNCH page 2

With their dropping enrollment rates, could the schools at Fremont Federation of High Schools be three of them? In a town meeting on Sept. 28, Smith didn’t directly answer the Green & Gold’s question of whether Fremont will merge back into one school, but he did say that it would need to be “on the table” as an option due to the financial situation the district is in. Smith called a meeting with the three Fremont prin-

Principal Benjamin Schmookler of Media Academy said the principals were told that they needed to improve their enrollment numbers and market their schools. He said the superintendent said several times that the three schools need to become "quality" schools and that he was leaving it up to the schools to figure out how to do that. Smith’s spokesman, Troy Flint, addressed the possibility of a merge of the Fremont schools in an interview with the Green & Gold newspaper. "There is no immediate danger of Fremont closing, but it is clear that the district [has] too many schools,” said

see MERGE page 2

Oakland requests Norteños injunction

41 gang members would have curfew, other limitations Jazmin Garcia, Kim & G.J. Mejia-Cuellar Green and Gold Editors

The city of Oakland has named the second gang it wants to target for an injunction — the Norteños. On Oct. 13, City Attorney John Russo and Police Chief Anthony Batts announced that they had filed a petition for an injunction against 42 Norteño gang members. An injunction against members of the North Side Oakland gang was approved in May. A gang injunction is a court order that restricts certain people from doing things in a designated part of the

city, called a "safety zone." On Friday, the City Attorney dismissed one of the 42 defendants who showed up to an injunction press conference and talked to the police. The city talked to his employer the next day and decided to dismiss him. If a judge approves the request, the 41 remaining Norteños will be unable to sell drugs, recruit more members, vandalize, keep company with other known gang members, carry guns, intimidate witnesses or be outside in the zone between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. The zone is between 21st Avenue and High Street below Brookdale Avenue and also includes the three see NORTEñoS page 3

inside oakland zoo expansion good?

Fremont students and staff weigh the pros and cons of a bigger Oakland Zoo and question the ethics of zoos in general

– page 2

school gardens called Racist

Jazmin Garcia says magazine columnist is wrong to call school gardens racist against Latinos

– page 7

Coover takes over

P.E. teacher and track coach named new athletic director for boys sports at Fremont Federation

– page 8

2 News

Green & Gold October 2010

City's zoo expansion gains support Kim Mejia-Cuellar & C.J. Mejia-Cuellar News Editor & Opinion Editor

When asked to name some of the 6,717 species native to California, not one person out of 10 random Fremont students and teachers could name more than one. In order to change a statistic like that, the Oakland Zoo wants to expand to include an on-site veterinary clinic and a new exhibit called “California!” which features only wildlife indigenous to the Golden State such as mountain lions, grizzly bears and wolves. Zoo officials say that not only would the expansion offer up educational opportunities, but it could also create 200 new jobs in Oakland and help the city’s image. The plan excited many at Fremont Federation of High Schools when they heard about it. “The project can raise awareness,” said Antonio Olmedo, an Algebra teacher at Mandela Academy. “It would make somewhat of a difference.” The zoo’s expansion plan had originally been approved in 1998, but it has been altered throughout the years. For example, the zoo reduced its proposed expansion site from 62 acres to 56 acres. Students and staff in Fremont seem to show more support than opposition to the zoo’s expansion. “I [go to the zoo] to see animals,” said College Preparatory & Architecture Academy junior Yadira Robles. “Right now, the zoo’s too small and not interesting enough. [Expansion could] maybe mean more visitors.” Mandela student Matthew Harvey agrees. “Zoos are the only chance to see [animals] even if it’s not in their natural habitat. It could use the promotion.” Most students who support the expansion believe it will benefit Oakland’s economy by drawing in more people and could improve the city’s appearance by making Oakland known for its zoo instead of its crime. Currently, the Oakland Zoo gets about half a million visitors a year. In a 2008 interview with the East Bay Times, the zoo’s executive director Joel Parrot predicted

MERGE: Frosh

photo by Maria A. Mejia

welcome to the zoo The Oakland Zoo, pictured above, plans to expand borders by 56 acres and provide a muchneeded veterinarian clinic. The zoo hopes to increase the number of annual visitors and raise awareness of native species.

that the expansion, especially the “California!” exhibit would add about 50,000 to 150,000 additional visitors. “Why wouldn’t it be better? More animals, more people!” said Media sophomore Yamilex Prieto. Students in favor of the Oakland Zoo’s expansion argue for the zoo’s educational quality. “It’s awesome,” said Architecture junior Stephanie Quiñones. “Kids get to feed animals, learn about them, and ride the train.” Yet some acknowledge the hurtful effect of zoos and question whether zoos in general are a good idea. “No two zoos are the same or treat their animals the same, just like no two people treat their pets the same,”

Average Fremont API

Fremont Enrollment

enrollment down

Freshman Classes Small Despite the increase in test scores, the freshman classes this year are small: 59 at Media, 89 at Architecture and 78 at Mandela. In 2003-04, there were 147 freshmen at Media, 103 at Architecture and 118 at Mandela. At the town meeting, Smith said that parents say they don't consider Fremont a safe school and that the transportation to and from school wasn’t safe either. He said they felt that Skyline and Oakland Tech

LUNCH: Attendance better from page 1

from page 1 Flint. “We have 99 schools which are about twice as many as (a similar) school district normally has.” Although Flint said danger of schools closing or combining wasn’t immediate, an eventual merging of the three schools is something the district will be “considering and discussing.” The enrollment on the Fremont campus has decreased more than 50 percent since 2003, the last year the school was Fremont High School. In 2003, the enrollment was 1,862. Now it is about 900 students. The decline appears to have nothing to do with test scores because the average score on the Academic Performance Index for Fremont has grown from 444 in 2003 to 588 for test scores last school year. At 620, Media Academy has the highest API and the second highest for small public schools in Oakland.

Matthew Harvey said. “Whether [expansion] is good or bad depends on the zoo. Animals are going extinct, humans are crushing natural habitats. But in captivity, animals don’t [reproduce] as much.” Olmedo also seemed torn over the benefits and downsides to the expansion. “I have a two year old, and plan on having more kids,”said Olmedo. “I want them to like the Oakland Zoo, not just other zoos.” However, Olmedo ultimately thinks the positives outweigh the negatives. “As badly as humans are doing, animals are better off in zoos. At least someone’s taking care of them.”

OPPOSITE TRENDS As test scores have steadily risen since the last year

of Fremont High School (left graph), the enrollment at the schools that make up Fremont Federation of High Schools has dropped (right graph).

seemed safer. Mandela counselor Ana Vazquez said she thinks the decreasing enrollment has one main reason: “Fremont still [has] a reputation of not [being] the best school to go to." Fremont students also think their schools suffer from an erroneous reputation – but not necessarily about safety. “They (students at other schools) think this school doesn’t have enough money ... so they think it’s not as fun,” said Media Academy junior Christina Nguyen. Open Enrollment Blamed Schmookler blames the low enrollment on the district’s options policy, which lets students choose any high school in Oakland as long as there is space available. "There are over 600 kids living in the Fremont area that are going to other schools, and that’s what’s causing our enrollments to go down,” he said. Schmookler's solution? “Close it [open enrollment] and say that only kids living in the Fremont area have to go to Fremont." He said the popular schools in Oakland also are Program Improvement schools so it makes no sense

for the district to let students transfer out of their neighborhood. Unlike Schmookler, Flint thinks open enrollment is beneficial. “Giving parents options about where their children attend school is not granting them a special privilege," Flint said. "It is a simple recognition that their kids, like those of other, perhaps wealthier families, are entitled to the same chance at happiness and prosperity regardless of their background or ZIP code." Sophomores Take Action Some students at Media Academy who want to keep their small school have started a public relations club. “We are going to middle schools to advertise Media, to talk about how we have high test scores, and why they should come to our school,” said President Jenny Saechao. Vice President Laura Lem said the goal wouldn't be to just advertise Media Academy but to tell them why any of the small schools at Fremont would be a better choice than to go to a big high school. Lem should know. She attended Oakland High her freshman year "Media has less drama and feels more like a family," she said.

big difference for some students. Riemer said her wellness committee thought last year that closing campus for lunch would be better for student health, but that getting the school to agree to closing campus would be “totally impossible.” Media Academy Principal Benjamin Schmookler said the principals had no say in the closure and that the district officials said they felt that having a closed campus will make the school safer. Security officers see it differently. "It's been a lot busier in the cafeteria, and we've picked up a few fights since closed campus," said security officer Tiffany Couch. Overall, though, Couch says students are safer than if they went off campus for lunch. One definite positive teachers are noticing this year is that they have fewer students late or absent in the periods after lunch. "My fifth and sixth period classes [are] fuller than they used to be," said Sonja Totten-Harris, an English teacher at Media Academy. “There are definitely more students in fifth period who are coming back after lunch and are getting their education."

photo by Angel Yanez

PREPARING FOR ATTACK Sophomore Diego Garcia and his sister junior Jazmin Garcia take notes during the Bay Area Urban Debate League season opener on Oct. 16. Jazmin received second place speaker, and the two came in third place as a team.

news 3

Green & Gold

October 2010

Media receives 'Lighthouse' academy honor Only five academies in California get title; others to visit Media Linda Poeng & Aleanna Santos Staff Writers

A lighthouse will guide a ship to safety on a stormy or foggy night, and according to the Career Academy Support Network, Media Academy is a lighthouse for other academies that may need direction. "Lighthouse" is the title given to Media Academy by the California Department of Education – and that title is not to be confused with some charter schools that use the name, such as Lighthouse Charter School on Hegenberger Road. Media Academy is one of five academies in California that have been named "Lighthouses" out of 500 academies. The school will now be the beacon for other academies. For

example, visitors from other schools will come to Media Academy in November to see how the school integrates media into its curriculum, explained Michael Jackson, director of the Media Academy. It is the second state honor Media Academy has earned in the past two years. Media Academy was also named a "mentor academy" in 2008 and has helped new academies get started. For example, Media Academy helped a new environmental academy at San Lorenzo High, showing them strategies that had been proven to work with students. So far, Media Academy has mentored nine schools for one academic year each. Susan Tidyman, the state and regional coordinator for Career Academy Support Network at the University of California, Berkeley, visited Media Academy earlier this month and spoke to the Green & Gold about

"Fremont is the safest place in Fruitvale. It has three schools with dedicated teachers who bring out the best in their students." – Michael Jackson, Media Academy Director the advantages of the mentor system. "The real benefit of being a mentor is that when we help someone, and they receive the help that they need, it makes us feel really good about the work we do," said Tidyman. Jackson said that the mentor system also helps the state support more academies than it could do without the mentoring system. Jackson said that Media Academy’s excellence has helped it become one of the top five academies in the state and other programs look to Media Academy for guidance. Jackson attributes Media’s

excellence to the school’s staff and their willingness to help others. Jackson also said years of experience facing challenges and a strong team of diverse teachers are main qualities that make Media Academy a distinguished academy. However, Jackson has felt that Media teachers’ goals have diversified in the last five years, mainly because of pressure from the state and federal government to improve standardized test scores. "Instead of working on media, they feel pressure to concentrate on remediation. [They are] not seeing the connection between career and academics," Jackson said. Jackson hopes the title of

"Lighthouse" will encourage students and teachers to do their best since many educators from other schools will observe how teachers incorporate media into their classes. Jackson says he hopes the title will make teenagers see Media Academy in a different light and reconsider enrolling in the school or in other schools on the campus. "Fremont is the safest place in Fruitvale. It has three schools with dedicated teachers who bring out the best in their students," he said. Jackson is optimistic about Media Academy’s future, and hopes the school will continue to win more awards and recognition from the state. "Fremont [Federation] birthed the small schools movement in Oakland," he said. "The Media Academy is the father of that birth, a child of which Oakland should be proud."

NORTEñOS: Fremont Federation would be in 'zone' from page 1 Fremont Federation of High Schools (CPAA, Mandela Academy and Media Academy). In a press release, Russo wrote that the Norteños are being targeted because they are the predominant gang in Oakland and have caused the most gang violence within the proposed "safety zone." So far this year, he wrote, Norteños have been involved in 35 or more shootings. Many at Fremont Federation praise the injunction for including the campus in the safety zone. “Some gang members come to school here. It would be easier for the police to find them in school than in the streets,” said Media Academy senior Ana Perez. There was an almost unanimous agreement from the people interviewed that schools and the safety of Oakland students should be a priority. “I believe the school should be in the safety zone. It is our first duty to our stu-

Election 2010

dents to [ensure] their safety,” said Daniel Hurst, principal of Architecture Academy. Pablo Peña, an Architecture Academy senior, agreed. “If we’re not in the safety zone, we’re not protected,” he said. But the head of security at Fremont, Noil Angelo, doesn’t think being in the safety zone is a necessity for the school. “[Students] are pretty protected. We have five security officers, two police officers and lots of cameras,” said Angelo. “When you’re at school, you are safe.” Regardless of their position on the zone, almost no one interviewed believed the injunction would actually decrease gang violence. Some believed that by creating a safety zone, criminals would just terrorize other parts of the city. Angelo said gang members would just work around the system to commit crimes, even if it was in the safety zone. “It seems silly that if the [gang members] have been proven to be dangerous, there shouldn’t be a safety zone. It


This map from the City Attorney John Russo's office shows where the proposed safety zone would be. The zone is basically bordered by 21st Avenue, Brookdale Avenue and High Street with a small pocket extended past High Street to include Fremont Federation. The injunction targets 41 Norteños. doesn’t make sense. The [police] should follow them everywhere,” said Jennifer Hicks, afterschool program coordinator for Media Academy. Some students see some problems with the gang injunction, even if it will do some good. "If they put the names and photos for

the 41 people out there, publicizing their information, it will put their lives at risk," said Media Academy sophomore Ramon Arreola. An anonymous Architecture Academy student said she opposed the injunction because she felt "it targets the good people" who are live in the safety zone.

What will Jerry do for education? Meg?

Governor's Race

On Nov. 2, California's race for governor will come to a finish and the person to follow Arnold Schwarzenegger will be named by voters. Not only is this important for the state, but for public education. Below we lay out the plans each candidate has for education. JERRY BROWN, DEMOCRAT

"[I want to reverse] the decades long trend of transferring state support from higher education to prisons."

Jerry Brown


•Reform expensive and outdated school testing systems to better serve students and teachers

•Hopes to increase the amount of teachers who have actually had experience in their subject field

•Help future teachers by letting them work in the classroom while they’re still undergraduates.

•Grade school achievements and make it easier to close failing schools or turn them into charter schools

•Wants to make high-tech resources available to students to help them academically

•Offer teachers resources to better practice discipline in the classroom to limit disruptions

•Check teacher performances

•Give unified block grants to school districts and give them the power to choose where the money is spent

•Change California Education code to leave most •Reform state education grants to reward teachof the power in the hands of school districts ers and put more money into special education •Start more charter schools (as mayor of Oakland •More charter schools so students have a wider he started 2 charter schools) range of schools to choose from •Create more vocational schools that offer students professional internships Source for photos and chart: JerryBrown.Org

•Reform CSU and UC systems and give them $1 billion in funding Source for photo and chart: MegWhitman.Com

San Francisco Examiner

"I am the best positioned to fix our education system. Without a great education system for every child in California there is no California dream." Meg Whitman East County Magazine

Infographic by Kim and G.J. Mejia-Cuellar



Green & Gold October 2010


fashion HUNTER HALATOA Mandela Freshman




SYRUS DAURE Architecture Senior

Top 10

1. Skinny Jeans

5. Leggings (Tights)

9. Cute Accessories

2. Cargo Shorts

6. Boots

Must have items

3. Converse Sneakers

7. Cardigans

10. Fresh Black & White tee with fitted jeans & kicks

4. Striped Clothes

8. Sandals

See more fashion photos at Fashion photos by Edith Echeverria, Sonia Maravilla & Alma Ramirez

The Maine break out, show true colors on ‘Black and White’ Kim & G.J. Mejia-Cuellar Music Critics

Sounds Like: A Rocket to the Moon, Brighten, My Favorite Highway, the Downtown Fiction


ailing from Tempe, Arizona, alt-country five-piece The Maine has had MUSIC their musical career explode since the release of their first full-length "Can’t Stop Won’t Stop" in 2008. Their slight country-flavored pop has earned them fans, but critics started having doubts about the young band when they signed to Sire Records/Warner Bros Records’ imprint, Action/Theory Records. After two years of waiting, their highly anticipated sophomore album "Black and White" was released on July 13. On the disc, The Maine dig deeper into the country aspect of their music, the end result being a more aggressive, well-thought-out solid album. The Maine embrace ‘90’s pop and classic rock, but this change shouldn’t come as a surprise for fans. The change in musical direction is apparent in the band’s not-so-secret admiration for rock heroes Tom Petty and Ryan Adams.

For "Black and White", the band decided to ditch "Can’t Stop" producer Matt Squire (who worked with All Time Low, Forever the Sickest Kids) for Howard Benson (My Chemical Romance, the All-American Rejects). "Black and White"’s appeal is no longer confined to pop-loving adolescents, but has a wide appeal to the old and young alike. The opening track “Don’t Stop Now” is slow REVIEW and deliberate, about being so deeply in love that you feel invincible and willing to do anything for someone you love. “Don’t Stop Now” displays a lovesick and dependent O’ Callaghan, whose breathy gruff vocals ooze honesty. The southern-tinged A Rocket to the Moon-esque wailing guitars craft the mood of the song, evoking comparisons to Brighten’s "Be Human" EP. Kirch’s steady momentous drums kick off the Maine’s hard-hitting single “Inside Of You,” best representing the band’s transition into a more mature sound. O’Callaghan’s impassioned howling vocals spin a tale of lust and loss of hope, wanting something he can’t have. The song’s environment is tumultuous and powerful in nature, sure to make an impression on the listener. The guitars are sharp and heavy,

Courtesy of WeAreTheMaine.Net

the world in black & white The Maine L-R: guitarist Kennedy Brock , vocalist John O'Callaghan, guitarist Jared Monaco, bassist Garrett Nickelsen and drummer Pat Kirch. melancholic and angry. “Saving Grace” is "Black andWhite"’s sweet sung melody, where O’Callaghan longs to live in a fantasy, where he can fix the irreparable aspects of his life, where memories of the love he shares with that special someone are enough to keep him content. “Saving Grace” is warm and loving, like Between the Trees’ material. The vivid, The Downtown Fictionlike lyrics of “Saving Grace” accentuate the impact of the song and its message to the listener.

"Black and White" reminds listeners why they became fans of The Maine in the first place. The Maine are a band that spreads hope and love in a world that is dull and devoid of it. "Black and White" is an epic, timeless album, worthy of comparisons to Ryan Adams and Jack’s Mannequin, demonstrating that The Maine’s talent and ability should not be underestimated. For more music reviews, please visit the Mejia sisters' blog at MusicAddictBlog.Tumblr.Com

Green & Gold October 2010

Back in the day ...


Teachers give the scoop on college life

JEANETTE BELL Southern University

SARAH MAZZOTTA Purdue University

SONJA TOTTEN-HARRIS Harvard University

LISA SHAFER DePauw University

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

West Lafayette, Indiana

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Greencastle, Indiana

Aleanna Santos & Laudy Cabezas

Linda Poeng, Sharon Saeteurn & Timothy Martin

Ricky Esquival & Alma Ramirez

Marcus Robinson

Staff Writers

Staff Writer


ven though it’s been years since Jeanette Bell graduated, and her university is thousands of miles away, she’s still active in her col-

lege. Bell, who teaches English and ELD at Media Academy, continues to participate in activities of Delta Sigma Theta, the sorority she pledged as a sophomore at Southern University in Baton Rouge. “It was one of the greatest things I’ve ever done,” said Bell. “I’m still getting benefits from it.” Every second Saturday of the month, Bell and 40 other participants get together for meetings and projects. “I do a lot of volunteer work,” said Bell. Bell volunteers with the Princess Project, which is an organization that provides young students with prom dresses at no cost. She also helps raise money for scholarships and award them to students graduating high school. Presently, she said, there are five young women who are in college because of their scholarships. Delta Sigma Theta supports them for five years. Another thing Bell does is she participates in an event called “Walk for Water" to raise money for water in Africa. But Bell's volunteer work doesn't stop there. She also volunteers at the Paramount Theater in Oakland. In spite of the hardships, going to Southern University was the best decision Bell could have made. Bell says that the experience at Southern has helped to make her the person she is today. Pledging Delta Sigma Theta wasn’t the only thing Bell remembers about being in college. A month after Bell started college, her family’s home was destroyed by a hurricane, which made it difficult for Bell to pay for school. Bell’s family had to focus on rebuilding their home, so she worked a lot to pay her college expenses. And that meant working quite a few jobs. “During the summer, I was a cook, making hamburgers, washing dishes and cleaning tables,” said Bell. “During school, I [also] worked in the dean’s office.”


ou’d think that being in college would be a lot of fun and partying. Well, for Sarah Mazzotta, drinking and hanging around the wrong crowd wasn’t her idea of fun. Mazzotta, now a math and science teacher at Media Academy, traveled 140 miles away from Cleveland, Ohio, to college at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, where she started her new life with no family and friends. Mazzotta’s cousin influenced her to major in Civil Engineering because he knew she enjoyed math, science and wanted to design buildings and bridges. "I enjoyed my engineering classes that dealt with "statics," which is the physics of things that stay still," Mazzotta reminisced. "I also was intrigued at the thought of designing something that is part of a cityscape." Mazzotta’s daily life during freshman year was all about school and making new friends. She partied to "fit in," but she soon realized that it didn’t work that way. The friends she made at the parties brushed her off when she saw them during school. This discouraged her from making bonds with people. She started feeling misplaced, but in her sophomore year found a place with Campus Crusade for Christ. Members talked about their priorities in life, if there were bigger purposes, the overwhelming stress they had, and God. In 2005, Mazzotta graduated from Purdue and entered an internship with a company called American Electric Power. But being behind the desk made Mazzotta really miss connecting with people. She decided to become a teacher through Teach for America in 2007. "I also wanted to become a teacher in an inner-city district because I hated the fact that there was such a difference in the performance of a student based on the zip code of the school," she said. Even though she changed careers, Mazzotta says Purdue was a great choice. “My background in engineering helps me every day in the classroom when I am teaching math and science. I feel more confident knowing that I have real world experience."

Staff Writer

Staff Writers


onja Totten-Harris, an English teacher at Media Academy, may seem like a shy person, but you’ll be surprised to find that she broke the rules in

college. The wildest memory of her college experience at Harvard University was when she and some friends broke into a pool at midnight. “It was exciting, and no one was caught,” said Totten-Harris, who graduated in 2004. Even though Totten-Harris never attended a single football game, she still enjoyed some traditions of the annual Harvard vs. Yale game. "I never actually attended a football gam. what was way more fun was the party outside the stadium," she said. At first, Totten-Harris was studying linguistics, which is the scientific study of natural language. But while she was visiting her family in Germany, she got the idea to write her senior thesis on German hip hop. She ended up majoring in German literature. Totten-Harris spent half a year researching German hip hop. Her new idea gave her motivation to keep writing her senior thesis. As a teen, Totten-Harris' neighborhood had all her educational needs: her high school, house and Harvard were three blocks from each other. Still, Totten-Harris said that when she enrolled at Harvard and moved on campus, it seemed like "a different world." Totten-Harris said her college experience was difficult socially and academically. She had a hard time managing her time and she didn’t like suddenly being surrounded by conservative people who weren’t like her. Totten-Harris said the negative people at Harvard would always complain about everything from teachers and homework, but she never gave up. “It was a negative and competitive atmosphere,” she said. “I really didn’t like it that much.” Nevertheless, she prevailed. “It was overall challenging, but in the end, it was rewarding.” Sophomore Jenny Saechao and Editorin-Chief Cesar Sanchez contributed to this article.


isa Shafer’s best time at DePauw University was when she spent a semester away in England. Shafer, who teaches journalism at Media Academy, studied abroad her junior year at Essex University. “I lived in a dorm with eight guys and eight girls,” said Shafer. “I liked the British humor and the diversity.” Shafer said her roommates were from England, Wales, Hong Kong, Singapore, India and Maine. They liked to talk about international politics, music and cultures. Shafer also enjoyed traveling around England and especially liked to go to pubs and the theater in London. But at DePauw University, located in Greencastle, Indiana, most of the students were from rich Chicago suburbs. Shafer said most of them weren’t interested in other cultures. DePauw also had a “Greek” population of about 90 percent, meaning that nine of every ten students were in either a sorority or fraternity. “I was in a sorority, but it really wasn’t my thing,” said Shafer. “I preferred to find my own friends and not be forced to be friends with people who just happened to be chosen by the same organization.” But even if Shafer didn't like the social part of her American college, she did like the academic program it offered. DePauw University is a liberal arts college, which means students take classes in many different subjects. Classes at DePauw University are small. “My biggest class had about 40 students,” said Shafer. “The writing classes were excellent.” Shafer said she would recommend DePauw University to students at Fremont with caution. “If Fremont students are looking for a university with good, small classes and they’re looking for students very different from themselves, then they might like DePauw,” she said. As for Essex University, Shafer said, “Go to Essex or to any other university in a different country that you can go to. Even if you just go for a semester, you will learn about different worlds and different perspectives. Plus, it is just so much fun to travel.”



Green & Gold October 2010

Many students skip meals as district closes campus Closed campus changes student eating habits; many complain of long lines Leland Moore Staff Writer

Fremont Federation of High Schools has 942 students. Of these students, 430, are eating lunch in the cafeteria – 170 more than before the district closed campus. So what is happening at lunch for the other 512? They're handing money to truck vendors to buy off-campus food without going off campus. They're buying Capri Suns and chips from new student entrepreneurs who bring bags of food to sell. Or they are eating nothing. Almost 60 percent of students said they ate nothing for lunch, according to a Green & Gold survey of 50 students done during the third week of instruction. Although the number may be smaller now because of new options, students eating nothing is a concern to Katie Riemer, health educator at the Tiger Clinic. Students who skip lunch “will have a hard time concentrating in fifth and sixth period classes," she said. Riemer said that the students' work production will decrease if they do not eat lunch because the brain and stomach are connected and when unsatisfied, the stomach can take over. Also according to Riemer, students

who skip or reduce their lunch could end up consuming more calories as a result of eating more junk food. That may be, but students who wrote written responses on the survey said they had skipped lunch for many reasons. “The lines were too long,” wrote Kassandra Hernandez, a Media Academy student. Durwin Perry and Calvin Hooker of Media Academy said they didn’t eat because of the same reason. However, the cafeteria recently added more lines at lunch to reduce the waiting times. Students seem to be figuring out that the lines are not as long as they used to be. Another reason students gave for missing lunch in the first weeks of school was taste. “There’s no good food at lunch,” wrote Adrian Veduzco, a sophomore at Media Academy. While grading the taste of food is highly subjective, many students who took the survey agree with Veduzco’s opinion, that the food is not exactly the tastiest around. “Cafeteria food is nasty,” said Sharon Saeteurn, a Media Academy junior. That attitude is one that Linda Poeng hopes to help change. Poeng, a Media Academy junior and member of the Wellness Committee, thinks the food is "good" and will be trying to find ways to help the cafeteria prove that to students who now seem determined not to try it..

Loud MP3s causing teens to lose hearing photo by Carolyn Saephan

iPOD ON MAX Pope Foketi

frequently listens to his iPod on max volume.

Editor-in-Chief & Features Editor


lappin’ your iPod could lead to deafness, according to a study released in August by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston in conjunction with Harvard University. Researchers found that 19.5 percent of the people they studied who were ages 12-19 had lost hearing in 2005-06 compared to statistics from 1988-94 in which only 14.9 percent had lost hearing. But students at Fremont Federation of High Schools, including Marcus Hardaway don't seem to be listening to the warnings. Sitting on a bench in front of the school garden, Hardaway, a sophomore at Media Academy, blasted his iPod to the max. It could be heard from inside a portable classroom 10 yards away. Hardaway stopped his music for an interview and said he listens to his iPod for 12 hours a day and that it is almost always on the maximum level. He listens to music before he goes to sleep and when he gets up in the morning. If this is true, Hardaway is at risk of

GOOD FOR SOUL Elona Everett from Mandela and Rajiah Gray from Architecture grab food cooked by the Soul Food Club during a Wellness Committee meeting on Oct. 5.

Group brainstorms ways to improve school lunch Wellness Committee learns about changes in cafeteria, including reduction of fries, elimination of plastic cheese Jazmin Garcia Health Editor


An iPod at maximum level is as loud as a rock concert, louder than a chainsaw Fuey Saechao & Carolyn Saephan

Photo by Javonte Baker

losing his hearing, according to the study. In fact, probably 195 of the 1,000 students at Fremont probably have lost some of their hearing or will lose it as a teenager. Oakland Unified School District does not have updated statistics on teen hearing in part because school nurses have been cut from every campus, explained Katie Riemer, the health educator at Fremont's Tiger Clinic. How loud can MP3 players get at their maximum volume? An iPod at maximum level is 115 decibels. "A normal conversation is about 60 decibels, lawnmowers and shop tools run at 90 decibels or so, a chainsaw at 100, a rock concert at 115, and a jet engine at 120 or higher," states Media Academy senior Jennifer Truong is like many teens. She says she cares a lot about her hearing, but ... "I'm aware that I am doing damage to my ears, but I can't help it because I don't feel the music when it's low," she said. Nevertheless, she said, "I am afraid, so I'm slowly trying to change."

o more fries every single day for lunch. This and many other changes for a better, more nutritious lunch were discussed at a recent Wellness Committee meeting led by Katie Riemer, health educator at the Tiger Clinic and Fremont Federation of High School's "Wellness Champion." The purpose of the meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 5 was to figure out ways to make school lunch more healthful and enjoyable. Thirty-five people attended, including students, teachers, health care workers, journalists and interested adults. Riemer invited the school district director of nutritional services, Jennifer LaBarre, to speak to the committee about how the lunch program is designed to provide nutritionally balanced, low-cost, or free meals to students under 18. When LaBarre realized that Fremont was serving french fries every day to students even though the everyday fries are not on the district approved menu, she explained to cafeteria officials that this would have to change. LaBarre also said that she had put an end to "plastic cheese" this year and chilli cheese fries. The cafeteria now serves shredded cheese. Lawanna Wyatt, the cafeteria manager, announced later in the meeting that effective immediately, fries would only be served once a week. Many students who learned about the reduction of fries after the meeting are upset. "That's just horrible," said Tierra Penny of College Preparatory & Architecture Academy. "Fries are the only thing I look

"Fries are the only thing I look forward to." – Tierra Penny, CPAA

forward to." But at the wellness committee meeting, LaBarre said changes like the limits on french fries are happening in the cafeteria because “it’s the right thing to do" in a time when students are less active and more likely to be overweight. LaBarre said the school lunch program is federally funded, and although it doesn’t have all the resources students need, the cafeteria staff is working to make lunch a better experience. Wyatt, who says she puts "love into (her) food," welcomes feedback on the food in the cafeteria. There even is a "Secret Shopper" form that students can fill out online to evaluate their cafeteria experience. To access that form, go to and type "secret shopper" into the search area. After listening to LaBarre, Riemer and Wyatt, the group brainstormed ways to make closed lunch more fun and healthful. Ideas included playing music during lunch, getting more of food from organic markets, having a health fair, hosting activities during lunch, and putting up attractive posters in the cafeteria. They also thought of ways to tell students about the Ideal Meal, which was served on Oct. 14 as part of National School Lunch Week. The menu included grass-fed hot dogs, a southwest chicken bowl, vegetarian chili, vegetarian pizza and locally grown apples and carrots. All the food on the menu was free of hormones, antibiotics and pesticides, explained LaBarre. The only problem with serving that type of meal every day, she said, was cost.

Opinions 7

Green & Gold October 2010


green & gold The Green & Gold is a vehicle of student freedom of expression and a public forum for the Fremont Federation of High Schools community. We welcome feedback about our content and would also like to hear ideas you have for future coverage. Staff reserve the right to edit for language and space. Letters or guest opinion columns may be dropped off to B-3 or to Lisa Shafer's mailbox in the Media Academy office.

EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Juan Ramos Fuey Saechao Cesar Sanchez NEWS EDITOR Kim Mejia FEATURES EDITOR Carolyn Saephan HEALTH EDITOR Jazmin Garcia OPINION EDITOR G.J. Mejia SPORTS EDITOR Rickey McLane PHOTO EDITOR Shima Kaid MULTIMEDIA EDITOR Jennifer Truong WRITERS Jorge Arambula Luis Arroyo Reese Brown Laudy Cabezas Clarissa Cherry Elizabeth Contreras Mandrille Davis Edith Echeverria Ricky Esquival Juan Grimaldo Denzel Kizer Sonia Maravilla Timothy Martin Leland Moore Jose Ochoa Christian Olivares Linda Poeng Alma Ramirez Marcus Robinson Jose Rodriguez Sharon Saeteurn Aleanna Santos ADVISER Lisa Shafer

Legal marijuana would help state EDITORIAL


roposition 19, which would legalize the use and growth of recreational marijuana, has come under fire and been dismissed by some people in the community as a liberal move by Californians to promote the use of a damaging drug. If the proposition passes, it will be legal only by state, not federal law. Californians will cast their votes on Nov. 2. The Green & Gold supports the passage of this proposition. There are three main reasons: overall, money will be saved; the unfairness of not passing it; and the ability for government to regulate marijuana’s use. If Prop. 19 passes, the state will save money in the long run. Why? Fewer people will be sentenced to prison time for marijuana-related offenses and police will spend less time trying to convict and track down drug marijuana felons. If fewer people go to jail, less money

Legalizing marijuana would help cities generate revenue that can go to something meaningful, like funding schools ... Marijuana will never be completely eradicated from human use. The best we can do is to legalize it. Currently, the government doesn’t have the ability to tax, license, let alone regulate marijuana. Legalizing marijuana would help cities generate revenue that can go to something meaningful, like funding schools, fixing public roads and renovating hospitals. It is in the best interest of society’s health to pass Prop. 19. Most of the opposition’s arguments are based on misconceptions. If the law passes, the federal law on medical marijuana still remains in effect. Those consuming the drug will have to be at least 21 years of

age, and will be prohibited from giving it to minors or smoking it in front of them. History has proven that banning things causes the population to want it more and encourages a black market. Having marijuana be illegal causes many social problems, empowering the drug cartels and drug dealers who get their income without paying taxes and having power over the addicted. Voter approval of the proposition could reduce or eliminate the criminal marijuana trade. Cartels won’t have a motive to traffic the drug if it is already legal in the US. According to a recent Field poll, the majority of Californians are leaning towards a "yes" vote on Prop. 19. That is good. It is time for Californians to recognize the thriving field of cultivating marijuana. Vote for Prop. 19 to help the government regulate the flourishing legitimate business of marijuana—and help our city through generating revenue and freeing up valuable police time in the process.

Latina student says school gardens aren't racist


ardens do not cultivate failure, instead they provide a nice environment and organic food, and teach students valuable skills. Caitlin Flanagan, a famous American writer and social critic, wrote an article in the Jan./Feb. “Atlantic Monthly,” saying gardens are racist because they teach Hispanic students to be migrant workers, and that they rob students of hours they could instead use to study. However, this is entirely wrong. Gardens provide students with a safe and enjoyable environment where they express their creativity and learn to cultivate their own food. Gardens help communities and teach students hard work.


"I support this because there won't be a need to grow and it might bring back the economy or open some jobs. " Jorge Sanchez Media, Senior

will be spent on prisons. People who really belong in jail will fill up the cells. Prop. 19 will help keep serious criminals in overcrowded prisons and keep the state from wasting millions off dollars in sending petty drug users to jail. Not passing Prop. 19 is simply unfair. Many other more hurtful substances, like alcoholic beverages and cigarettes, are already legal. These substances can cause life-threatening conditions like cancer and kidney damage. Among cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana, marijuana is the best vice, because it doesn’t cause death. If Prop. 19 is passed, people won’t need a doctor’s appointment to have pain relief or join the medical marijuana program; the patients could just go to the store and buy the drug or cultivate it in their own backyards. Consumers wold save time and money. We agree that marijuana is a drug, and an addictive one at that, but isn’t it better if the government gets to regulate it?

Students need to experience different things to expand their knowledge. I worked in Media Academy’s garden during the summer and continue to do so this fall. My experience there has been fun, rewarding, and unforgettable. I have learned how to cultivate and grow different plants like squash, potatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, peas and tomatoes. Working in Media Academy's garden has made me appreciate gardens more, and I learned the benefits organic food has to offer.

Matthew Green, the teacher in charge of Media Academy's garden disagrees with Flanagan’s opinion. “It was a really silly argument that she (made) because (she) tries to blame all these issues on gardens that have nothing to do with the problem she’s describing,” said Green. It’s common knowledge that students learn through a variety of ways and activities. Students need to experience different things in order to expand their knowledge in what the world has to offer. Gardens also provide students with nutritional information to live healthier. They learn to grow organic food and to share what they learn with their community. It’s important for students to eat

Jazmin Garcia Health Editor

nutritious food, especially when obesity is such a big problem. According to many specialists, one out of every three kids is considered obese. School gardens can help reduce those numbers. Gardens are a huge benefit to students. Not only do they learn to grow organic food and eat better, but they learn to value the food that ends up on their plate.

Do you think marijuana should be legalized?

"I don't care because I don't smoke weed, but 'Puff, puff, pass.'" Benjamin Schmookler Media Principal

"I disagree because if they legalize it, they might start selling it to minors, or they might start selling other dangerous drugs." Joanna Gonzalez Media, Senior

"I don't give a s*** about weed really, but it will take away gangs so it should be legalized." Miguel Deluna OPD School Officer

"Yes because it's used for personal pain relief, and I'm with it!" Ricardo Martinez Architect, Senior



Green & Gold October 2010

Coover named athletic director

tiger touchdown time

Fuey Saechao & Rickey McLane Editor-in-Chief & Sports Editor photo by Kris McMillan

sliding in for six Jordan Sanford scores a touchdown against Clayton Valley High School on Oct. 1 at Curt Flood Field. Clayton Valley prevailed 21-20. Since that game, the Tigers are 2-0. Sanford scored a touchdown with 43 seconds left to beat Liberty on Oct. 8 and four touchdowns against Oakland Tech on Oct. 16.

Tigers beat first OAL foe Jordan Sanford scores four TDs in 26-7 victory over Oakland Tech Rickey McLane & Fuey Saechao Sports Editor & Editor-in-Chief

Jordan Sanford, running back for Fremont High, carried the Tigers football team to a 26-7 victory over Oakland Tech with four touchdowns. The game, held Oct. 16 at Curt Flood Field, was stuck at 0-0 for the first two and a half quarters. Player Stefon Gray said the Tigers had underestimated the Bulldogs abilities up to that point. But, he said, the team "decided to kick it to another gear" in the third quarter. Out of nowhere during the third quarter, Sanford broke through the struggle with a 53-yard touchdown run. Two drives later, Sanford broke free for another touchdown run at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Later in the quarter, Sanford scored two more touchdowns to give the Tigers a 26-0 lead. The Bulldogs scored a late touchdown, but to

no avail. The win brought the Tigers to 3-3 overall and 1-0 in the Oakland Athletic League (OAL). Other teams that won their first OAL games are McClymonds and Skyline. The Tigers play McClymonds at Curt Flood Field on Oct. 23 at 1:30 p.m. The McClymonds game seems to be the game that will set the Tigers' season as Mack is considered by many to be the top OAL team. However, said Gray, "I guarantee that Mack is not going to beat us and take the OAL." The Tech victory was the second in two weeks for the Tigers. A week earlier, Sanford caught a pass with 43 seconds left in the game to defeat Liberty High 24-21. Before the Liberty game, the Tigers had a disappointing loss against Clayton Valley 20-21 that came down to the last few minutes. Overall, it was a rollercoaster ride for the Fremont football team in pre-season games with two losses and one win, but the team hopes to remain undefeated in the OAL portion of the season and recapture the Silver Bowl. Raider Dam, an all-purpose player, is currently not playing because of his grades, but he said he will be back for the start of the Oakland Athletic League. Although Dam, a junior, is not playing yet, he has positive things to say about his teammates. “I think they were better prepared this time around and played more as a team,” said Dam. Teammates still had good things to say about the game they lost. “I believe we just lost the game in the second half,” said Dionicio Espinoza, the quarterback.

Raiders give anti-steroids lesson to Tigers Rickey McLane Sports Editor

photo by Darlene Miller

just say no Raider Sam Williams advises Tiger athletes not to use steriods and tells them about his daily routine as a professional football player. The Raiders hosted student-athletes from Fremont, Skyline and Davis High Schools on Sept. 28.

The Raiders told the Tigers not to use steriods to improve their sports performance. This advice came during a trip by student-athletes and team leaders to the Raiders Alameda County Training Facility on Sept. 28. Captains from the baseball, football, basketball, track, volleyball and wrestling teams got together to represent Fremont, along with Athletic Directors Darlene Miller and Paul Coover. and Media Academy Principal Benjamin Schmookler. Students from Skyline High School and Davis High School

also attended. After the group session, the athletes had to make up skits or posters that displayed what they had learned about steroids and ability enhancers. On the trip, the boys and girls split into two groups. The boys took part in a sesson called Athletes Training and Learning to Avoid Steroids (ATLAS), while the girls attended Athletes Targeting Healthy Exercise & Nutrition Alternatives (ATHENAS). Raiders quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, wide receiver Luis Murphy and linebacker Sam Williams spoke to the group, and the day ended with a group picture.


ay goodbye to Knight and say hello to Coover. Paul Coover, a P.E. teacher, cross country coach and track coach, has taken over as boys athletic director this new school year.

Coover says he is ready for all the challenges.

“I would equate responsibility with opportunity,” he said. “It’s an honor to take on the extra responsibility.” Although Coover already has set his own style to leading the boys program, he also has received advice from former athletic director Frank Knight, who left Fremont to take a teaching and basketball coaching job at Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward Coover says Knight gives him advice like how to navigate the athletic system and how to deal with athletes, parents and teachers. Besides coordinating the boys sports program, Coover also has to also balance a whole new basketball staff, his own cross country team and the new school year. Another task that Coover takes as the athletic director is helping Fremont’s new swim team. Like any new sport, there are some challenges to starting a new swim team. "The biggest challenge with the swim team isn't the pool," said Coover. "It's getting enough athletes." Coover is trying to build better staff support for Fremont's sports programs. He does this in part by sending out e-mails to all the teachers informing them the weekly sport games. He also gives out buttons to teachers who come to support athletes at the football game and other sports events. "I like that he made an effort to (communicate with) the teachers in a smart way," said Randall Bustamante, an English teacher at Mandela. "He offers more than one way of support." Teachers are not the only ones who appreciate Coover's efforts; the students appreciate him too. "He has been very supportive of our football team,” said Pope Foketi, a junior at Mandela. At the Oct. 1 football game against Clayton Valley High, there were five teachers, including Bustamante, who came to support the team. Coover’s mother was there also. Athletes say Coover is a positive influence. “He always finds a way to our games and he tells all the athletes to keep their grades up and to stay positive,” said Foketi.

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