THE KNIGHT FEBRUARY 2014 EDITORIAL BOARD
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ADVISOR - ELISIA HARKINS-JAMES EDITOR-IN-CHIEF - VAUGHN HIMBER MAGAZINE EDITOR - SOPHIA PAGE BLOG EDITOR - NICK HALABY BUSINESS/SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER - CAMERON DE MATEIS ADVERTISING MANAGER GRACE MCKAGAN
STAFF WRITERS & PHOTOGRAPHERS GABRIELA AVILA - COPY EDITING KATHRYN BRACKEN ANDREW GAVINET HALEY GILFORD JEANNIE GONZALES VERONICA HUSTON VICTORIA MARTINEZ ALEX STEPHENSON - COPY EDITING ERIC TALAMAS HALEY WIMMER JANET YEO
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JONATHAN COWAN LAUREN CRITTENDEN SIMONESCHWARTZ-LOMBARD KATE SCHOOLEY DANIA TORRES
© 2014 NOTRE DAME HIGH SCHOOL, 13645 RIVERSIDE DRIVE, SHERMAN OAKS, CA 91423 FEBRUARY 2014
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
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22 FEBRUARY 2014
Spending Valentine’s Day Alone? By Simone Schwartz-Lombard , Guest Writer
Having trouble deciding what to do this Valentine’s Day all by your lonesome? Have no fear: The Knight Magazine is here! If you’re looking for something to do by yourself on V-day, a good idea is to treat yourself! Buy yourself a nice box of chocolates, rent that movie you’ve been itching to see, or just have a relaxing day at home. You can also buy yourself a bouquet of beautiful flowers and be your own Valentine. There are also fun ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your friends such as throwing a party. There is no end to exciting, fun and interesting party themes such as card making, nail decorating, and cupcake making. Each of these ideas can be done in a Valentine’s Day fashion or and anti-Valentine’s Day one. Anti-Valentine’s is when people laugh at those in love and embrace their own singleness with their closest friends. You can write cards with your friends making cute notes to your crushes; or write playful messages about why you hate V-Day. Painting pink nails and stenciling hearts is always fun, and so is drawing sarcastic anti-Valentine’s Day pictures on your nails. Polish Me Pink has great nail art designs to get inspiration from. Swap Secret Cupids with your friends! Secret Cupid works the same as Secret Santa (everyone in a group swaps names anonymously and buys a gift for that person according to a set price limit); except it is for Valentine’s Day! Get each other flowers, boxes of chocolates, and leave each other notes on lockers, so everyone has a Valentine! For the ladies, a fun way to spend your valentines day not in a relationship is to make your guy friend take you out for the night. Go to dinner, see a movie, and split all the prices down the middle. If you are in the mood for going out on V-day, there are many events hosted in Los Angeles specifically for singles on Valentine’s Day. A fine example is the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre on Franklin’s annual V-Day themed improv show. The Valentine’s Special full of bad blind dates and relationships gone awry starts at 5:30p.m. and is free to attend. Another fun idea is to attend the Valentine’s Day Art Walk in Downtown LA, which will be held the day before Valentine’s Day. There will be many cute trinkets and jewelry to treat yourself to. A more artsy way to spend your V-Day is at our very own LACMA. They have a Valentine’s Day tour and dinner called All You Need Is Love that can be fun on a date—or just with your good friends. There will be a guided tour and a three-course gourmet meal. For a general guest it cost $75 and for a LACMA member only $60. Although expensive, the art as well as food enrichment will be much worth it. Whatever you decide to do this Valentine’s Day, The Knight Magazine wishes you the best Valentine’s or AntiValentine’s Day. Remember to treat yourself—because you are your own best Valentine! FEBRUARY 2014
ND Academic Decathalon Rocks By Lauren Crittenden, Guest Writer
Not many people know what they are getting into or what to expect when they enroll in the Humanities class at Notre Dame High School. This course, better known as Academic Decathlon, is an event that revolves around ten various subjects. The topics include literature, math, art, science, social studies, music, and economics. In addition to these subject matters students partake in an essay, speech, and an interview. Not many people know what Humanities means, why the class has that title, or what the class even does. In short, the course involves a lot of reading, memorizing, and studying for a long, oneday competition on February 1st. But, some people are attracted to this class since it is almost a free period during the rest of the second semester. For those that did Academic Decathlon in junior high, the high school version of the competition is a little bit more amped up. The subjects, for one, are all intertwined. This year they all came from
the World War I and the post-war era. For example, the book this year was The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway and the music portion included early 20th century pieces and musical responses to the war. In addition to those theme related subjects, Decathletes prepare a memorized speech, study algebra, trigonometry, and study genetics and other scientific advances. The students in the class study extremely in-depth information and attempt to retain it. This is not a simple task, and takes a lot of effort when all this information is added onto a regular or advanced academic curriculum. Students study for almost seven months, concluding with a long competition day starting at 7:30 a.m. and ending around 6 p.m. at Bishop Alemany High School. Competitors include high school students from Alemany, St. Monica’s, and Cathedral. If you are interested in testing your limits and learning a lot of new information from various areas, this class may be for you.
My Name My Story Club By Kate Schooley, Guest Writer
“Hope. Believe. Succeed. Inspire.” These optimistic words are associated with goodness in the world, and it is not an accident they describe the mission of one of Notre Dame’s newest and notable additions to the club scene this year, My Name My Story. Juniors Hayley Gilford and Molly Goss, along with Sophmore Andrew Mekhail, began this branch at Notre Dame after one of Mekhail’s friends at Chaminade began a club there that caught on quickly. “I wanted to encourage a lot of other schools in the Valley and across Southern California, to start programs at their school,” says Mekhail. Through telling the “inspirational stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things,” this organization strives to spread empathy and unity in communities as told by the organization’s belief that “You cannot hate someone whose story you know.”
“My Name My Story was created to fill a gap,” explains Amit Dodani, “a gap of inspiration in the future leaders of the world. We believe that the future of the world depends not only on a few leaders that are inspired, but nations of inspired leaders.” Mekhail was certainly inspired after attending a workshop by the founder of the club, Dodani. Mekahail’s goals for the club at Notre Dame are “to make an impact and get people to spread empathy, become better leaders, and realize they can accomplish great things while inspiring others to accomplish great things as well.” The club is especially relevant in today’s society in which social media, while connecting us, has also caused a distance between teenagers, as they are more likely to be glued to their phones instead of engaging in actual, face-to-face conversation. By members of the club sharing their stories on the website, at live events, and in
school clubs, an empathetic connection is created between teenagers, bringing them and their communities closer together. While similar programs include “anti-bullying”, My Name My Story is unique in their approach to the epidemic of bullying across the country. They tend to focus on using words with a positive impact rather than using words with the prefix “anti-” or other negative connotations. My Name My Story focuses on the cause of bullying, which is described as a “lack of empathy”, while at the same time instilling the confidence in teens to become effective leaders. The ultimate goal for My Name My Story is to have a club in every school worldwide and to have one million stories that inspire hope. For more information visit their website at www.mynamemystory.org or see Haley Gilfrod, Molly Goss, or Andrew Mekhail for upcoming meetings.
HISPANIC FOOD CLUB
GOOD EATS: THE HISPANIC FOOD CLUB’s POPULAR ITEMS
By Dania Torres, Guest Writer
CANDY! FEBRUARY 2014
Mmmmm…¡Muy delicioso! From typical “paletas” to delectable Mexican candy, Notre Dame’s Hispanic Food Club has surely demonstrated the great authenticity of the Hispanic culture right on campus without students having to travel to a beautiful Latin American country miles away. The club consists of students who wish to both appreciate and actively admire various cultures such as Mexican, Ecuadorian, and Guatemalan, whether they are descendants or simply other students that enjoy exploring foreign customs. The members of this club wish to share their personal experience with traditional food and art during typical festivities including the day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, a grand celebration on December 12, and El Dia de los Muertos on November 2nd. On this day commemorating the dead, the Hispanic Food Club members set up a miniature altar, a classic tradition observed by Latinos everywhere. On this table, members displayed pictures of loved ones who have passed away and their favorite dishes while living. In doing this, Latin Americans believe that their spirits will return to have dinner with their families. Alexa Torres, Freshman, believes that “it is important to express and live out [her] THE KNIGHT
Mexican heritage by participating in a club that is able to unify many of the cultural aspects in a school that is so diverse.” The moderator for this club is Dra. TorresAyala, and Co-Presidents are Juniors Angel Padilla and Chris Felix. The club meets monthly to discuss future events. “As co-presidents, our responsibilities are to arrange meetings, decide what foods to sell and when to sell them, design sweatshirts, and also decide what we will do with the money we raise.” In addition, the club was able to donate profits of a sale in November to benefit the victims of the typhoon in the Philippines. Although it continues to live out the mission of nurturing hearts at Notre Dame, the best part of this group, according to Felix, is “donating money to charities and knowing that the club can make a difference.” At the end of the day, as Padilla states, “The feeling of family and how we [the members] are all good friends outside of the club as well as within it” is what matters to grow unified with a well-rounded world. Whether it’s serving a tasty cup of horchata, sharing the fun customary practices of hispanics everywhere, or fundraising to help a person in need, the Hispanic Food Club is always ready to put a smile on someone’s face. ¡Muchas Gracias!
IS NEWER BETTER? The Problems with the New Common Application
By Vaughn Himber
Do you want to apply to college? Anticipate applying to some of the most prestigious institutions and universities? Well, Notre Dame juniors, prepare to be frustrated by the blunder-full world of the Common Application (CA). Founded in 1975, the popular Common App’s noble goal was to simplify the complex process of college admissions by having student applicants fill out only one application that they could submit to multiple colleges. The online version of the application started in 1998, and CA4, the latest edition of the website, was launched last summer. And then the problems began. The litany of issues encountered by many students included dysfunctional user accounts preventing return log-ins (NDHS senior counselor Joan Canzone mentioned several cases of this), entire applications (or crucial portions, such as test scores) that were seemingly not received by colleges, an inability to submit application credit card payments, hidden portions of the application, essay formatting errors, and delayed customer service responses. Canzone observed, “I don’t think the interface was teenager-friendly.” The new CA experienced so many problems that, in an unprecedented move, over 40 colleges, including some of the Ivy League, had to extend their application deadlines. Applications sent to colleges seemed to go “missing”, preventing colleges from receiving them for processing. Some schools even created their own new applications, eliminating the need for a CA submission. The new CA’s problems have rippled through the world of college applications. The CA crashed on Columbus Day and New Years’ Eve, faced with the vast number of students attempting to submit applications as deadlines approached. Mae Greenwald, NDHS senior counselor, said, “Students were being widely deferred, instead of accepted” since schools were not receiving documents in a timely manner. “It’s been a mess . . . The Common Application simply did not tell students why they were
doing what they were doing. If they had taken the extra step to explain . . . it would have helped.” Why all the problems? I interviewed Scott Anderson, the Common App’s Senior Director for Policy, who said that “there were no known problems before the launch” of CA4 on Aug. 1. When asked if CA4 was beta-tested, he responded, “CA4 was run through standard industry testing . . . [and] was not beta-tested in the sense that it was not released to a cohort of individuals outside of our developers and staff.” Although CA did not expect the quantity of applications it received, in this reporter’s opinion, the lack of third-party beta-testing and contingency planning appears to be evidence of poor preparation, regardless of the potential number of applicants. So who was responsible for the issues that transformed many students’ lives into miniature collegebound nightmares? Anderson characterized the company Hobsons, CA’s technology vendor since 2007, as being at fault for all technology-related issues. “Hobsons ran the full development and implementation process of all the technology related to CA4 . . . and they did so with consultation [of] representatives of the Common App organization; we worked very much in partnership, but in terms of execution of the technology . . . Hobsons had complete control over all of that.” Repeated attempts to contact Hobsons for comment via their Cincinnati headquarters and Washington, D.C., offices were met with silence. “We . . . continue to work hard to try to bring improvements to the system, and to make it as positive of a user experience as possible for everybody,” said Anderson. In an infamously stressful and already complicated college application process, an online application riddled by mediocrity is the last “improvement” that students need. Special thanks to Nancy Griesemer, Kate Connors, Joan Canzone, and Mae Greenwald.
Why Stress Can Be Good For You
By Sophia Page
We all experience it…stress. It is something we ex-
perience when we have a big test, apply to college, and when we have too much homework to handle. Our heart begins to pound, we start to sweat, and it seems like the world is coming to an end. As much as we have been taught to try to stress less in our lives (I know I have) no one has ever told us that stress can actually have some beneficial effects. The effects of stress have to do with how you think about stress. Most people believe that stress is harmful to your health and it should be avoided as much as possible. Although it is nearly impossible to completely eliminate it from our lives, the way we think about stress can actually help us cope with it. We need to start thinking about stress as our body’s response to overcoming and dealing with our day to day challenges. It is our body’s way of telling us that we can do it. It can help us rise to the challenge and accomplish what we need to. Most people view stress as a downer that works against you. We are constantly told by doctors to stress less. What people do not know is that stress is helpful to our body. Those that believe stress is damaging end up having serious stressrelated health issues. Living in one of the most stress-filled countries in the world is difficult we are constantly surrounded by stress. It is no surprise that we are the most anxiety medicated nation in the world. Teenagers are made to feel bad that they are not doing well enough in school leading to more and more levels of worrying. The way we think about stress can dramatically help us cope with the school related pressure that we experience daily. It
can also motivate us to do things that we usually would not do, leading us to step out of our comfort zone and accomplish something. Notre Dame Counselor, Mae Greenwald, said, “Sometimes stress works. It’s a motivator. It puts people into motion.” She went on to explain that whenever stress complicates our life and causes us to be sad and to lose sleep is when it becomes problematic. In her TED Talk, health psychologist and Stanford professor, Kelly McGonigal, explains that “stress makes you social”. She explains that in stressful situations the stress hormone, oxytocin is released which “motivates you to seek support”. She encourages us to communicate with others when we feel stressed. As teenagers in high school it is easy to let stress get in the way of our lives. It scares us and causes us to lose a lot of sleep; however, by changing how we think about stress we have the power to become emotionally and physically healthier while being motivated to accomplish the things that we need to. Talking to someone like the counselors, friends or family can really help to reduce stress and helps us to realize that it is ok. By changing our view of stress from something that brings us down to something that motivates us, we turn our stress into something that encourages us to accomplish our goals and that in the end makes us more courageous.
“Sometimes stress works. It’s a motivator. It puts people into motion.” ~ Ms. Mae Greenwald
Dating Advice: Teacher’s Edition By Haley Gilford
When high school begins, love and relationships are wildly uncharted territory. The pits and falls of romance is all new. We need a helping hand to navigate. Whom better to ask than the people in our lives that answer our questions about math, character analysis, stoichiometry and much more? Our brilliant teachers once again hold the upper hand in knowledge and experience. They have the position of high school observation, and also personal trial and error.
Advice lheaded, be “Stay leve ngs, others feeli h c a e f o l u nds, thoughtf ith your frie w t u o g n a to h values.” remember morals and r u o y to e stay tru onier -Mrs. Branc
“Be a gentleman, always pay, ask good questions, show interest. It is not all about you; the other person is important.” -Mr. Kounalis
Personal Experience “I would advise freshmen girls not to have crushes on senior boys like I did.” -Mrs. Lander
“You could spend the rest of your life dating. I would rather see students form friendships.” -Mr. Alexander “High schoo l goes fast, you shou ld not leave with a bunch of regrets. Go ahead and as k people out and get involved, be so cial.” -Mr. Bissel
“With everybody I dated I tried to learn what I liked. Which qualities I liked.” -Mr. Kounalis
“I would recommend casually dating lots of people. Deciding who you work with and what people do not work with your personality.” -Mrs. Faber
Date Ideas “Drift away from the standard and do something where you have to sacrifice your time and do something special.” -Mr. Bissel “Be direct and have the night planned. Dont just leave it to the open, have something going.” -Mr. Kounalis
“Plan dates! Go
Mr. Brough and his high school sweetheart, who is now his wife!
Junior couple Britney Martinez and Tristian Dohs
do things, maybe hike, take the metro, se ea show, bowling.” -Mrs. Lander FEBRUARY 2014
America has the reputation for being the melting pot of the world, embracing all different types of people. Looking around, there are individuals of varying ethnicities, shapes, and cultures in every town. Yet, some of America’s most popular stores subtly filter applicants to fit a certain image. Whether it be by size or race, profiling is wrong and goes against everything America stands for.
PROFILING BY IMAGE:
A TALE OF TWO APPLICANTS By Cameron de Matteis
November 30, 6:00 p.m, two ambitious Notre Dame students walked into the popular branch Abercrombie and Fitch seeking employment. Both girls lacked previous job experience, but exceed the dedication and talent levels desired by most employers. Juniors, Fiona Hayes and Ary Burgoyne, had rehearsed their application together numerous times. And on that busy Saturday night as they prepared to test the branch, they both had no idea what to expect. Ary went in first, as planned. Ary initially nervous, finally mustered up the courage to ask the manager for an application. “I said I wanted to apply for a job and asked if they could give me an application. He said ‘of course’ and started filling out the app, asking me a few basic questions.” Ary, worried they would ask for ID, rushed through the process, relieved they believed she was 17. “He gave me the paper to sign my name and put my info,” explained Ary. The man then handed her the card with a list of contact information and a set of passwords and audition times. As Ary prepared to leave the store, the man stopped to remind her to dress, “True Abercrombie, like a plain Jane- light makeup and no nail polish.” Minutes later Ary walked out smiling with the slip in her hands. It was Fiona’s turn. She came out seconds later stating that a female employee told her to apply online, but she had forgotten to give her the password. Annoyed Fiona went back in and asked again. Again she was told to just apply online because it would be easier. Two girls went into the store that day to apply for a job and only one was FEBRUARY 2014
given the proper information to proceed with the process. Days later Ary was bombarded with phone calls from the company. “They said that I could floor model, mannequin model, and other types of modeling but if I didn’t like that then I could just do retail.” Abercrombie is a store that has continuously been called out for unjust profiling. The company’s CEO Mike Jeffries constantly makes discriminatory statements regarding image, once stating that “we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that.” When confronted about the issue the company responded with this email, “Please feel free to visit your local stores for more information about the hiring process.” They included a link to their website, in which they define diversity- “Diversity is about who you are as an individual – what’s seen and unseen. It also includes the rich differences between individuals such as race, gender, family, sexual orientation, work experience, physical ability, and religion.” The phone number that was contacted directed me to a pre-recorded voicemail stating, “[we] prefer handling issues over email.” Another number kept me on hold for over an hour. Ary stated “I definitely think they profile like any high end business because they have a look that they want to maintain. They told me I could model for them and have the “Abercrombie look”. I don’t think its something to be surprised about. It’s pretty common when you are in this fashion and marketing industry.” Nonetheless, image profiling is a social injustice in our community that must be called to people’s attention.
PROFILING BEAUTY BY RACE
THE EVOLUTION OF
By Jeannie Gonzales
Jackie Hynes, Junior, used Adobe Photoshop to manipulate the images of two The Knight Magazine staff writers to demonstrate how contemporary technology can drastically alter our perception of beauty.
Haley Gilford, Junior BEFORE
Andrew Gavinet, Sophomore BEFORE
Many people do not realize that racism is still alive and real in America, and causes many problems in society. How could racism still exist if slavery has been abolished and we have gone through the Civil Rights Movement, along with many other changes? Racial profiling targets people of color, and stereotypically views them in a negative light. It continues to be a prevalent form of discrimination in the United States. One African-American man in Florida named Earl Sampson has been questioned by police 258 times, searched over 100 times, imprisoned 56 times, and arrested for trespassing 62 times. Most of these citations occurred at his work place, where he had done nothing wrong. His boss described him as a good and humble guy who was not a convicted felon. Racial profiling has lead countless amounts of people to live in fear and worry, afraid they are automatic suspects because of their racial background. The practice remains a stain on America, especially after September 11, 2001. A growing number of people of color, as well as members of Muslim, South Asian, and Arab communities, have been affected by stereotypes. Senior Ashley Campbell was in a dance group when she was younger and experienced a very real form of racial profiling. Everything had to be
precise on the day of a performance; hair, make-up, and outfits had to look the same. If one hair was out of place or something was not perfect, the choreographer would freak out. For an upcoming performance, Campbell and her peers were asked to straighten their hair. Campbell asked her teacher if she could wear her hair in braids, because frequently straightening her hair would weaken it and get dry. “My hair is almost like cotton compared to other girls on my team. When I asked my teacher if I could get individuals, he would not answer my question. The next day at practice I asked and my teacher replied that having braids would make our team look ghetto,” Campbell says. She quit dance and never performed again from then on. She is happy with her decision for she was able to get braids and the studio lost one of their best dancers. Campbell is one of many who feel singled out and attacked by society and certain stereotypes. Many of these stereotypes forced upon communities can be stopped, but it would not be easy. Generations of people have been taught to think a certain way, and changing someone’s opinion is very difficult. Saying you are going to stop racism is different than actually trying to do something about it. People take to heart things a friend or family member might say, and it can really impact somebody’s life.
NBA Early Season Recap By Jonathan Cowen, Guest Writer
The first part of the 2013-2014 NBA season has been filled with everything from buzzer-beaters, to break out performers, to busts. The leagues marque player LeBron James continues to dominate the league, as he pursues his third straight NBA championship. While many players and teams have burst out of their shell, there have also been many busts, such as the New York teams and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Los Angeles Lakers have been nothing but a disappointment in the early part of the season. With Dwight Howard’s off-season departure to Houston the Lakers have failed to find a consistent interior presence and have struggled to find a consistent rotation. The Lakers have been injury plagued throughout the season and have yet to have a game with their original fifteen player roster that they picked after training camp. Despite a shocking opening night win versus the
rival Clippers, the Lakers have had very few bright spots. Kobe Bryant returned from a torn achilles on December 8, but the excitement was brief, as he fractured his left knee 6 games later causing him to be out for at least 6 weeks. This has led to a horrific 16 win and 25 loss start. The “other” LA team, the Los Angeles Clippers, who are often overshadowed by the Lakers, have become Los Angeles’ best team. The Clippers made a series of offseason moves including bringing in former Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers and sharpshooter JJ Reddick. These offseason moves appear to be working out as the Clippers are out to a 29 and 14 start. There have been a few surprise NBA teams who have burst onto the scene as championship contenders this season. These teams have players who are often overlooked because they play for smaller market teams. One of these teams is the Phoenix Suns who have a record of 23
and 17. They were originally picked to finish last in the Western Conference according to Bleacher Report. They have been led by emerging star, Goran who is averaging 19 points per game. Dragic in his seventh year in the league is starting to gain respect in the league for his playmaking abilities and his lefty jump shot. Another team that has been a big shock is the Portland Trailblazers. A team that has been filled with injuries and disappointments in the past, the Trailblazers have come out with a 31 and 9 record, the second best in the Western Conference. One of their young stars is Damian Lillard, who was last year’s rookie of the year. Lillard is currently averaging 21 points per game and 6 assists and has gained respect as one of the league’s elite point guards. The Portland Trailblazers have not won a playoff series in 13 years, but this year looks bright for them.
POISON FOR DINNER The REAL Problems with Junk Food By Eric Talamas
A more-than-fair portion of our everyday consumer goods contain a variety of different chemicals that are, to be straight to the point, toxic. For those of you who are just now hearing of this, it may be either shocking or rather typical, depending on your views of our current society, and one of the questions that you may be asking yourself is “why is this happening?” This is where the FDA, or “Food and Drug Administration,” comes into play. The FDA is supposed to regulate what goes into our food, medicine, and so forth. However, the ironic thing is that it is the FDA that is allowing dangerous compounds to be put into our food. These materials can have serious effects on its consumers, one of which is an increased chance of cancer. Some of the pretty common materials are generally found as food additives that are generally added to “enhance” the flavor of the end product. A few examples of these are additives such as MSG and high fructose corn syrup, all of which are common materials that can be found in areas ranging from cereal bars to umami burgers (where did you think they got the taste). And
Monosodium Glutamate -Found in: Fast Food; Convenience foods; Various Sauces. -Used as: Food Additive; Used to give meat an “umami” taste. -Harmful Effects: Obesity; Burning Sensations; Headache; Fatigue.
the problem is that these additives have been linked to a number of health disorders, such as obesity for MSG and diabetes for high fructose corn syrup. And the damage doesn’t stop there. Harmful materials can be found in a wide spectrum of foods, whether it is the artificial colorings in skittles or the ever-increasing levels of arsenic found in chicken, almost all of which have been found to have a link to cancer and other various health effects. Frankly, this takes a whole new level to the idea that junk food is bad for you. Then come the more common health-hazards that have a more evident effect on people and can often be seen in our everyday lives, whether it is smoking of cigarettes or the less popular GMOs that are most well known to be produced by the infamous Monsanto Company. For one, cigarette use has been known to be a major leader in the field of cancer and not just in lung cancer but also mouth, throat, stomach, kidney, and pancreatic cancer with a touch of leukemia. Thanks to this powerful connection to cancer, smoking is the cause of death of approximately 440,000 people each year, with about 3,400 from lung cancer and 46,000 from
heart disease. And GMOs are no better. Studies have shown that consumption of GMOs can cause organ damage, infertility, and the release of foreign materials such as pesticides into the bloodstream. It has even been shown that due to the manipulation of genes in crops, some fear that this will cross into bacteria, creating bacteria highly resistant to antibiotics. Having looked back on this, it makes a person question whether or not the FDA, who is supposed to regulate these materials for our health, really has our best interest at heart. After all, the main idea of the FDA is to regulate materials such as these as to maintain public health, and yet, at the same time, they are allowing the circulation of harmful materials which shorten our lifespans by who-knows-how-long. As for the FDA’s stand point, we were unable to recieve a comment from them. So, a word to the wise: make sure that you are aware of what it is that you are putting into your body, because, if you are not careful, you might just end up with something that could seriously damage your body.
Artificial Food Colorings
High Fructose Corn Syrup
-Found in: Ice Cream; Candies; Popsicles; Skittles. -Used as: Method to make foods seem more appealing. -Harmful Effects: Promotes Tumor Growth; Behavioral Issues; Hyperactivity.
-Found in: Cereals; Breakfast bars; Yogurts; Soft Drinks. -Used as: Alternative sweetener to sugar. -Harmful Effects: Diabetes; Anemia; Weak Immune System.
By Veronica Huston
In 2009, Mr. Beckman and Skye Sirijian had an idea. In search of a creative outlet for developing writers, they established the Dry Ink Club so that students could express themselves artistically through a variety of mediums. It doesn’t matter the interest: photography, drawing, poetry, painting, short stories, they accept it all. For those that aren’t interested in musical theatre or team sports, the Dry Ink Club is a great way to express yourself and to meet like-minded individuals within our Notre Dame community. Every two years, they put together a compilation of all submitted work and publish it. These books not only give students a way to express themselves outside of essays, but it also exhibits the creativity of the populace. “These books are indicative of the talent of the school,” explains Mr. Beckman, the club moderator. Each issue is special and unique, they all stand out from one another with not only the variety of mediums used in its creation but act as a testament to the artistic capabilities of Notre Dame students and show that even teenagers can accomplish great things. Though the Dry Ink club has been rather inactive as of late, Beckman hopes to reinvigorate the club. April 1 is the day when all submissions are due, and all are welcome to enter their work; you do not have to be a member. Club members act more as editors, though they are more than welcome to contribute as well. Beckman stresses that, “it’s not a hierarchal club; it’s a community.” And such a community of outspoken and creative individuals would love to appreciate the genius of their peers. For those anxious to submit or to see this anthology of student art and writing, this year’s and previous year’s books are available at lulu. com for purchase. FEBRUARY 2014
For those looking to join, come to the next meeting. All are welcome. Beckman and this year’s president, Martin Mendiola, hope to live up to the club’s dream of establishing, as Beckman says, “a creative writing outlet for people that want to move past essays and expository writing.” So, fill up your binder, sharpen your quill, and get ready to create something unique! For more information, please contact Mr. Beckman.
Celebrity Crushes of the Knight Staff A
Match these Celebrity Crushes of the The Knight Magazine Staff Members on Page 2: 1)D 2)C 3)M 4)G 5)J 6)K 7)F 8)L 9)O 10)I 11)A 12)H 13)N 14)E 15)B Check out NDHS student Grace McKaganâ€™s band at: Instragram: thepinkslips Twitter: pinkslips97 Performing LIVE at The Crocodile in Seattle on March 14
JOURNALISM WEEK 2014
Congratulations to The Knight Magazine on its 1st Place Award from the National Scholastic Press Association!
Get Ready to Celebrate National Scholastic Journalism Week at Notre Dame High School from February 18-22, 2014. FEBRUARY 2014
By Haley Gilford and Janet Yeo
The Knight Magazine sent one junior couple, Nick Baca and Haley Wimmer, and one senior couple, Francine Diemer and Dashiell McElfresh, to go on a date with just $20. It was a very difficult challenge, so we had a competition on which couple was the most innovative on how they spent their limited budget.
CHALLENGE: Who will have the best date with $20?
Francine and Dashiell started off their date by trying to get a massage for two, but unfortunately that did not work out.
STOP #2 The couple relived their childhood memories by playing Club Penguin at the Apple Store.
Nick and Haley shared a chocolate milkshake from Subzero while gazing into each other’s eyes. Nick and Haley
Milkshake- $5 Phone ases- $4.75 Toy Truck- $0.25 See’s Candies- $10 FEBRUARY 2014
Francine and Dashiell
Acai Bowl- $16.12 Cupcake- $3 Change: $0.88 THE KNIGHT
They went to Claire’s and had a good time goofing around by playing dress-up. Also, they bought matching phone cases!
STOP #2 They got a free scrumptious treat while passing Wetzel’s Pretzels.
STOP #4 While walking off their yummy acai bowl, Francine and Dashiell passed the eccentricly designed hermit crabs.
“[The ac ai b a health owl] is like yM -Dashiell cFlurr y.” McElfres h
Then the couple headed to the Earthbar cafe to eat a healthy delicious acai bowl.
STOP #5 They finished their splendid date with a delightful red velvet cupcake from Velvet Cupcakes.
4 # P
Then they went on a wild ride on the “life-size” ice cream truck.
Finally, they ended their lovely date on sweet note sharing chocolate at See’s Candies.
And the winner of the Great Mall Date is... UP TO YOU! The Knight Magazine invites you to decide the winner by taking a poll on the Knight Blog at www. ndhsmedia.com. The winning couple will be announced in the next issue. Come and vote! FEBRUARY 2014
Snap! From Highjackers By Grace McKagan
some things up. Speigel explained how the company was seeking legal action, as well as improving glitches that could harm users privacy from using the popular app. “Our team continues to make improvements to the Snapchat service to prevent future attempts to abuse our API. We are sorry for any problems this issue may have caused you and we really appreciate your patience and support,” according to Snapchat’s website. The company quickly released an updated version of the app, as a part of resolving the hacking issue, which gave people the opportunity to opt out of the ‘Find My Friends’ feature. Some Notre Dame Students were unhappy with these hacks as well, because it affected them. “I was upset when I saw my name and phone number had been leaked for everyone in the world to see. I see why the hackers were motivated to pull this stunt, but I think it went way too far,” said Junior, Alex Azera. If you are curious to see if your information has been leaked, then look at the following website: www.snapcheck.org
Snapchat is yet another form of communication those high school students are well aware of, considering the app’s graphics are primarily geared towards those of 12-23 years of age. On New Year’s Day, a group of anonymous hackers leaked approximately 4.6 usernames to the Internet, along with their phone numbers. It is very possible that your number and username has been leaked for the whole world to see! For example, I checked if my information was leaked, and I was shocked to see that it had been. The company speculates that the whole fiasco will cost them $4 billion! Their hackers revealed their purpose behind the wrong doing, stating,” our motivation behind the release was to raise public awareness around the issue and also the public pressure on Snap chat to get this exploit fixed.” The issue, in which the anonymous hackers are talking about, is the fact that Snapchat failed to fix a security concern within the program. Due to the highjacking stunt, the founder of Snapchat, Evan Spiegal, went to Twitter in order to clear
Is ONE Greater than FOUR? By Andrew Gavinet
With the release of the next-gen consoles this past holiday season, people immediately began comparing the Xbox One and PS4. With sales so far wildly in favor of the PS4, people have been quick to say that Sony (the company that makes the PS4) has won the “console wars” but it is not just sales that determine the winner in viewers’ eyes. The overall package and style of the Xbox One could be more appealing to some than others, especially considering its emphasis on online gaming and much larger marketplace in comparison to the PS4. So to settle this debate I went to the ND students to see which console they preferred and why. Before we get to the actual opinions of the students I wanted to show the pros and cons of each console and why you might like or dislike it depending on your preference of gaming vs media, and style vs convenience. Start out with the PS4. Seen as the spiritual successor to the PS2, this machine is designed to be a gamers new best friend. Its simple design and setup allows you to buy the console and be ready to play it in only a matter of minutes. The Xbox One on the other hand is more of a multimedia platform. With its huge online marketplace and app store it does not rely on its games as its selling point. Instead it brands itself with its new Kinect system and online features. Though that is not to say that the Xbox One exclusive games are to be ignored by any consent. With games like Halo and Ryse headlining the Xbox One. And Shadow of the Beast and Uncharted showing some of the best gameplay for the PS4, we
decided to ask some of our fellow classmates which console they chose and why. “I like the Xbox more for its bigger community and the fact that I can multi-task with it, like through watching TV and playing video games simultaneously,” said Sophomore Chris Wyne, highlighting the importance of the Xbox One’s online features. Some people like the consoles not so much for what they are playing but rather who they are playing with. “It’s a social thing,” said sophomore Evan Dunn, “All of my friends have Xbox Ones, but if they had PS4’s then I would get a PS4.” “It’s not really about the console, but more about just hanging out and spending time with friends,” said Dunn. Even so, some people still genuinely care about the consoles for their specs and hardware more than anything. “There’s so much more to a console than gaming,” explains Sophomore David Poberjes, “When you look at everything you can do with a PS4 or even an Xbox One nowadays, there are way more things to do then just play video games on them which is why I like the Xbox slightly more.” So in the end it is only up to us to decide which of these two consoles is better. And your answer will only be determined by what you want in a console. If you are a hardcore gamer, someone who only enjoys the occasional video game to be replaced with Netflix, or even if you just want to fool around with your friends online. Your answer will be determined by the kind of person you are, although that probably applies to more things than gaming consoles. FEBRUARY 2014
Global Warming: Is it Real?
By Alex Stephenson
The subtle changes in our environment commonly known as global warming are slowly but surely becoming not so subtle and will most likely come to a head in the near future. These changes, now called climate change, are a very real and possibly threatening problem that many seem unaware of or disregard as ‘something that isn’t my problem’. However, this common attitude may ultimately be detrimental to the environment and to humanity. Freshman Hayden Begley, whose family has been working with climate change since 1970, describes global warming as “so much carbon in the Earth’s atmosphere that when the sun shines on the Earth, it is unable to bounce back up into space.” Begley explains that when the heat gets trapped on Earth, it causes not only a collective change in temperature, but “the sea level rising, more tornadoes and more hurricanes because the Earth is trying to stabilize itself.” A recent study from Yale shows that 23% of Americans do not believe global warming exists, despite scientific studies and visual evidence. Those who do believe in it also believe that it will not affect them for generations to come, subconsciously establishing a problem best left to posterity. Sadly, the effects of the climate change will be very apparent, the common consensus being that in 5 to10 years, the first effects will become known through iceless summers in the Arctic Circle. However, “some say these extreme FEBRUARY 2014
events are a natural occurrence, we don’t know if global warming is going to happen,” gleans geography teacher Richard Good from seminars and research. According to Good, the biggest problem concerning the climate change is “should the government spend a lot of money backing the information and preparing for certain things that might not actually come to pass?” Good remains “on the fence” about it. Just a quick glance at the news will prove that a number of extreme events have been increasing in the past years due to the changing climate, and just a little research will yield that there has been a rise in sea level and global temperatures, warming oceans, shrinking ice sheets, a decline in the Arctic sea ice, glacial retreat and ocean acidification. So what? Well, with great power comes great responsibility, and in this case, power is knowledge and responsibility is doing something about it. “We can try and cut our carbon footprint as quickly and as much as we can,” says Begley. “We are already going to get ‘hit’ by the Earth, it’s just a matter of how hard that blow is going to be.” According to Begley, Bangladesh, southern parts of India, south Florida and southern Manhattan, among others, will be first affected by the climate change. The changes in the tropics will also be greatly apparent due to the fact that any small shift in the environment would be felt immediately. The climate change can already be felt in Uganda, the Alps, the Northwest Passage,
Washington DC, the Island Nations, the Great Barrier Reef, northern Europe, Italy, the Gulf Coast and Darfur. However, that does not mean the Valley is exempt. “The sea level rising will affect a lot of beach country and even here in the Valley with a lot of climate refugees,” Begley reminds us. “It’s going to be affecting our world rapidly and something needs to be done.” Agreed, let’s see some conscientious actions Knights!
3 Different Organizations You Can Join: 1. IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) - Formed in 1988, they assess the scientific, technical and socio-economic information about the risk of climate change caused by human activity. Contact Info: IPCC-Sec@wmo.int 2. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) - Formed in 1970, they protect the environment as well as human health by writing and enforcing regulations. Contact Info: Participate in conversations on the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/EPA or follow them on Twitter http://twitter. com/epagov 3. Tree People - They allow anybody to actively participate in the well-being of the environment and help make it the vey best it can be. Contact Info: email@example.com
By Gabriela Avila
Even though the act of taking photos of oneself has existed for decades, taking “selfies” is a fad that has exploded within our generation. Polaroid cameras have been replaced by smartphones, and the term “selfie” has been used so much that Oxford dictionary named it the word of the year in 2013. Not too long ago our very own President got in trouble for taking a selfie at the wrong time. Now that we have a word to put to the action- a word that was apparently first used back in 2002- we can not seem to get enough of seeing our faces and those of our friends plastered all over the internet. Does the fact that we constantly take pictures of ourselves reveal the underlying self-centeredness of our generation? A few ND students seem to think so. “Selfies make you look conceited, like you’re an attention seeker,” says Freshman Hunter Thornton, “If you go to an event and take one, then it’s okay, but some people are taking the phrase ‘if you got it flaunt it’ way too seriously”. Senior Carlos Chichiri has a similar problem with the selfie. “People use it as a way to get others to praise or compliment them,” Chichiri says. While the “our generation is just too conceited” theory may have some truth to it, the reason we take so many selfies is probably much simpler than that: Because we can. Chances are that if you are reading this, you have a smartphone, and that smartphone has a decent camera on it along with apps like Instagram, Facebook, and SnapChat. Not only are they tools for taking photos of ourselves so easily avail-
able to us, but we also have an abundance of wide-reaching places for those photos to go. No wires or scanners are needed to upload photos to the Internet, just a few taps and it is done. It is the perfect short-term solution for teenage boredom. On top of being able to occupy us in times of need, selfies also offer a nice form of communication. We do not always have time to get on Skype or Face Time when we want to talk to friends that are far away. Selfies allow us to communicate in ways that simple text messages cannot. It enables us to see the faces of friends that we cannot see every day and show the world all the exciting places we have been and things we have done. Junior Nia Naval sees the capability of selfies as a type of photo album. “They document memories,” she said, “and help you if you want to look back on old times.” In the grand scheme of things selfies are fun and relatively harmless. We just need to know when and where to stop. Should we take pictures of ourselves in front of the Great Wall of China, or on a long bus ride with friends? Why not? It is a perfect way to capture happy moments and share them with others. But before you press that button or upload that photo, think about it. Is it an appropriate time and place? Does the internet really need another picture of a teenager in a bathroom? If the answer is no, save the selfies for later.
Notre Dame’s latest student band is out of this world!
By Jeannie Gonzales
It is no secret that it can take many years of hard work and dedication for a band to become famous. Bands such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Styx all struggled to grow into who they are today, which is part of the reason many young bands look up to them. Our very own ND sophomores, Juliette Federoff, Emily Glennon, Peyton Huliganga, and Arissa Santos have started a band called Cosmic Latte. One day they all discovered that each of them had different musical talents, and decided to put them together. Juliette, who you may have seen playing during Mass, is the band’s drummer. Peyton is the lead singer and plays the guitar, Arissa plays guitar, piano, back-up bass, and vocals, and Emily plays bass. Their first official band practice was December 21st, and they spent their time getting used to each other’s sound and recorded covers of songs like Sweater Weather by The Neighbourhood and Hold on We’re Going Home by Drake. So why “Cosmic Latte?” Peyton “saw [the name] on Wikipedia, and some guys from John Hopkins University said the universe is not actually black, it is more like neon beige, and they called it cosmic latte,” and the rest is history. They originally started off as a ukulele group but realized not all of them could sing and it would simply not work
out. The group figured that since “[they] play respective instruments, [they] should just form a band.” They consider themselves a “beach goth” band, so we will see where that wll take them. Peyton says they are just a “bunch of idiots messing around,” and are all just having a good time. They have not rehearsed with one another enough times to really put themselves out there, but they have played a birthday party and jokingly gave themselves a “solid 6.8 out of ten.” Currently they are only performing covers, but Peyton has written songs and will hopefully share these with the group soon. Cosmic Latte’s major inspirations include Arctic Monkeys, Vampire Weekend, Best Coast, or “any band that has started from the bottom,” Arissa says. Because the girls are all really good friends, they think it is pretty easy to be in a band, but the hardest part is getting everyone together and agreeing on songs. They are not exactly where they would like to be, but believe they will be there as long as they practice more often. As a group, they plan to play at Notre Dame’s Coffee House and hope they will be able to be one of the bands that perform during next year’s Spirit Day’s extended nutrition.
Like their Facebook page at Cosmic Latte.
By Victoria Martinez Photos by Christin Hirn and Tracy Hughes
If you were given the chance to bury memorabilia in the foundation of a place that meant a lot to you, would you take up that opportunity? What would you bury? Is there special symbolism behind those items? For Notre Dame’s very own Coach John Hirn, head coach of Varsity Girls’ Water Polo and Boys and Girls’ Swim, the building of the new aquatic center brings a new future for Notre Dame swim. Set for completion in Spring 2014, the aquatic center will be ready for use this year’s swim season and many seasons after it. Although the new pool brings a bright future to the swim program, Hirn still wanted to be able to commemorate ND Swim’s past. “I wanted to keep some of the past traditions and some of the stuff we’ve done here in the pool,” said Hirn. Acting on that desire, Hirn decided that the past would literally be a part of the future. That meant burying memorabilia of past swim teams into the foundation of the pool. “Just because it’s something new doesn’t mean we’re getting away from what we do here at Notre Dame,” explained Hirn. The first and most important item placed was the Bible. “I think everything we do here should be rooted in the gospel, in the Bible, so why not make it literally a part of the structure we’re going to compete in?” said Hirn. As a Holy Cross high school, Notre Dame stays anchored to its Catholic faith, keeping God at the center of all that it does. “I’ve been coaching here for 23 years, so I wanted all those kids that have been a part of our program, waiting for a new facility, to not be left out.” In honor of the past swimmers, Hirn placed a team swimsuit from the 1999 girls’ water polo team, the very first he coached
here at Notre Dame. In fact, Hirn was the one to start the girls’ program. A suit from the last Boys’ Water Polo team he coached here was also put into the pool before the cement was poured. Alongside both suits, was placed a suit from the very first Notre Dame team he coached, which was back in 1989. Additional T-shirts and sweatshirts of various swim and water polo teams from throughout the years were also placed with them.. Hirn not only wanted to remember teams from decades past but also teams from one or two years ago. “We have part of [the girl’s water polo] championship trophy from last year in the pool,” he said. This symbolized the excellence sought after the team and their coaches. Included among the teams was the 2013- 2014 Girls’ Water Polo team, remembered through a swim cap. “The very fabric of our teams is in the pool,” he explained. Hirn was not the only one present at the burial, which took place on November 7, 2013. Along with him were his daughter and player Christin Hirn, player Emmy Hughes, her mother, and Mr. Brett Lowart. “I thought it was very special for both Coach Hirn and Notre Dame High School. We are blessed to have coaches that promote competitive, athletic excellence but never lose sight of the importance that academics and spirituality have in the lives of our students. Coach Hirn’s desire to place these items in the bottom of the pool represents the values of our entire faculty and staff. We are fortunate to have such wonderful teachers and coaches. I can hardly wait until Coach Hirn is out there coaching with the new aquatic center,” stated Mr. Lowart. Truly Notre Dame is blessed with such caring coaches, but it is also blessed with such rich heritage. FEBRUARY 2014
Romantically Fooled “...they think that is how it is suppose to be.. everything is supposed to be perfect.” - Elisia Harkins By Nick Halaby
This is the season of both love and movies. Movies because it is almost time for the Academy Awards and the year’s best films are all being talked about. Love because Hallmark decided to make up a holiday in order to rake in an extra ridiculous amount of money each year. Now because we are all supposed to be in the lovey-dovey mood and the Oscars make us feel like watching a lot of movies, it is only natural that the two urges combine to create a season of romantic movie Armageddon. As much as some love to flock to these poorlywritten, horribly acted and disgustingly similar excuses for cinema, it is important to realize that these movies are as bad for you as any other type of film. The reason why romantic movies should be avoided at all costs is because of the way they portray love. Love is beautiful, and pure, and sincere, but it is also a pain in the neck. The fighting, the nagging, the insecurity, the clinginess, the in-laws, true love is a struggle for both sides. Romantic movies do not portray it as so. According to 27 Dresses, Say Anything, Bridget Jones Diaries and just about every Katherine Heigl movie, love is easy and love will just fall onto your lap and you will never have a problem with it. “When a lot of people see those images they think that that is how it is supposed to be, everybody is supposed to be in this great world and everything is supposed to happen perfectly. ” says Elisia Harkins, a film teacher at Notre Dame High School. According to Harkins, romantic movies do not show the true struggle that love is and they make people think that love is easy.
Shea Chapman, who is a film producer, disagrees with Harkins. “Love movies give people a sense of hope and inspiration, and I don’t see anything wrong in dreaming about your potential lover.” There is nothing wrong with dreaming about your potential lover, that is until that dream becomes too much of a reality. If you take into account that romantic movies, with a focus on movies entirely based on romance (silver screen classics with love as a part of the plot, not the entire plot, do not count), have only been around for 40 years, and seeing that the generation that has grown up with these movies are now adults and the divorce rate is ridiculous, you would see that dreams have blinded people from reality. In other words, the fantasies that are intended by romantic movies have become people’s reality. Movies have R ratings for excessive violence, explicit language and sexual content. It could be said that films need a disclosure for misrepresentations of love. The population must be educated and urged to avoid these poisonous films and maybe, just maybe we can help correct the crooked view of love that these movies have implanted into our minds.
NATIONAL SCHOLASTIC NATIONAL SCHOLASTIC WEEK 2014 WEEK 2014
JOURNALISM JOURNALISM Celebrate National Scholastic Journalism Week at Notre Dame High School from February 18-22, 2014.
FEBRUARY 16-22, 2014 TRIVIA CONTEST, GUEST SPEAKERS, SCAVENGER HUNT, FEBRUARY 16-22, 2014 GIFT CARDS, A FOOD TRUCK, AND MORE! TRIVIA CONTEST, GUEST SPEAKERS, SCAVENGER HUNT, GIFT CARDS, A FOOD TRUCK, AND MORE!
Published on Feb 19, 2014