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201 Almond Ave. Los Altos, CA 94022 Los ALtos high school VOLUME XXVIII, Issue 7 April 30, 2013

Boys Tennis Dominates

Freshman Advocates Religious Acceptance

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AVID plans for upcoming year College readiness class struggles with distribution of sections among grades.

Students and tutors listen as sophomore Jasmine Diarte explains a math problem during a tutorial session.

Sarah Corner Managing Editor As the year winds down, the administration is determining the sections of each class that will be offered next year. While most courses, like Survey of Composition and Literature, or freshman English, are determined by the size of the incoming class, programs like AVID and other support classes fluctuate more on student need and the school’s budget than core classes do. For the past two years, the school has offers five sections of AVID— Sophomore one section each for ninth, 11th Jose Amaya works and 12th grades, and two sections on a problem on the for 10th grade. This means whiteboard with the that at the end of last year, two help of his tutorial group. sophomore classes consolidated into a single junior class. “We were cutting back for all funds,” Assistant Principal Perla

Pasallo said. “Everyone was. We were watching our budgets.” Because each class section can have no more than 35 students, the AVID class of ‘14 diminished significantly. While some students did not maintain the required 2.0 GPA to stay in the program, others were reallocated to support programs that could better fit their needs, such as double period skills classes. “Some students were qualified, and it came down to choosing who was more on track academically,” AVID Coordinator Joanne Miyahara said. Years ago, the school had seven sections of AVID, two in each grade except ninth which had one. Over the last three years, between budgets tightening and students moving into other support classes like skills or supervised study, two sections have been cut. “It was excruciatingly painful, the whole thing,” Pasallo said.

Student advances in ‘X Factor’ Freshman Sydney Niermann practiced for weeks, travelled to L.A., woke up before dawn, stood in line for five hours and waited for her turn to audition for even longer—all for one minute. Her preparations paid off. Her audition for the first round of season 3 of “The X Factor,” a singing competition show like “American Idol,” earned her a spot in the next round of auditions. Then, just last weekend, she made it through the second round of auditions. This means that sometime in the next few months, Sydney will be performing in front of the judges—who Sydney said will include her idol, Demi Lovato, among others. Out of the 10,000 people that

STAR TREK: a history P. 15

auditioned for the first round, only 500 succeeded. Because the odds of success were so low, Sydney knew that she had to set herself apart to make the cut. So during her performance, she ripped off

He debated ... and then he pulled out this yellow ticket ... I screamed and started crying.

Libbie Katsev Editor-in-Chief

-freshman sydney

niermann her t-shirt to reveal an “X” painted on her stomach. “I really needed to make sure that I would be on my A-game, and unique enough, and ... have that X Factor, not to sound cheesy or anything,” Sydney said.

Sydney also tried to distinguish herself by choosing to perform an acapella version of the song “Ice Ice Baby,” partially because no one had performed that song on “X Factor” before, and also because she liked rap and hip-hop. “I just thought it was funky and different and I could make it my own,” Sydney said. In the five months leading up to her first audition at the University of Southern California, she practiced the song and accompanying hiphop dance for four hours each week. However, she didn’t practice with a completely formal and preset routine because she wanted to keep an element of improvisation to her performance.

The question now becomes what will happen to the sections of AVID next year. According to Pasallo, administration will provide departments with “boxes”—a listing of what periods each course will be offered—during the first week of May. This means administration will have made the decision for AVID within the next few weeks. “It’s one big old jigsaw,” Pasallo said. These sections, which have been determined by administration during meetings through most of the spring, cannot be determined for sure until numbers freeze and concrete information is available about next year’s students.

See AVID, page 4

Volleyball the first season

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See X Factor, page 12

welcome to the new Los Altos P. 10

Online P.E.? Makes more sense than you’d think P. 7

TALONONLINE >> Want more from The Talon? Sports scores, news and more updated everyday online at lahstalon.org


News

April 30, 2013

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New classrooms to finish before start of next year News Briefs: Catherine Hua Managing Editor

The construction of 12 additional classrooms at the back of the school is set to be completed in time for the 20132014 school year. Assistant Principal Galen Rosenberg said that the addition of the new rooms will allow for teachers who currently share a classroom to have their own classroom next year. The administration is currently planning for the new building to have nine language classrooms, two art classrooms and one art lab. Spanish teachers Robyn Hughes, Terri Salsman de Rodriguex, Tiffany Karow, John Allen and Kim Hanley will move into the language classrooms. They will be joined by Latin teacher Krista Greksouk, French teachers Stephanie Luskin and Christophe Barquissau, and a Mandarin teacher, who currently has not been selected. Classes in the 300 wing will be moved so that the classes in the Math and Social Studies Departments will be closer to the rest of their respective departments. The current classrooms of social studies teachers Derek Miyahara, Sarah Michelet and Todd Wangsness will become math classrooms, while these teachers will move down the 300 wing into the classrooms left by the language teachers. They will also be joined by social studies teachers Pete Bjorklund, Kelly Coble, Seth Donnelly and Stephanie

NHS Induction

Juliet moore

The majority of the classrooms in the new building are on schedule to be completed before the 2013-2014 school year starts. The building will house language and art classrooms. Downey, all of whom currently teach in the portables. Next year, portable classrooms will be set aside for the Academy/ Homework Club, the Health Science Careers class and a computer lab. The remaining three classrooms will most likely be two English classrooms and one classroom either for testing or meeting purposes. As of April 16, Kramer Project Development Company Incorporated, the company responsible for the construction, released in an update that the rough framing at the classroom building is complete, while the rough framing at the art building is 95 percent complete.

The fire sprinkler installation is 95 percent complete, while the exterior door and window frame installation is 80 percent complete. The stucco application started on April 18. The building insulation is 80 percent complete. The metal roof installation has also started. Although construction is four days behind schedule, the delay will not affect the classrooms’ usage in the next school year. “Completion of the new classroom project is scheduled for July 17,” Associate Superintendent for Business Services Joe White said. White said that the cost for the new classroom building will

be $9.2 million, which came from the Measure A bond funds that were approved by voters in 2010. While the administration planned the construction with the increasing size of the school population in mind, it will not hire new teachers at this time. However, Assistant Principal Perla Pasallo said that new teachers may be hired in the future to teach the increasing number of future freshmen in classes such as Survey of Composition and Literature and World History. “We want [the student-teacher ratio] to stay 20 to 1 as much as possible,” Pasallo said.

School allows dual enrollment in STEM classes Ben Marimon Hongyi Shi In-Depth Editor Copy/Content Editor

In the past, students who wished to enroll in two classes in the same department have found it difficult to do. Students have to talk to teachers for permission and have long discussions with their counselors, but now the process may become easier. The number of courses in the science department has continued to grow with each successive year. There is no longer just the traditional Physics, Biology, Chemistry and their AP version classes, but a diverse range of courses ranging from Biotechnology to Forensics. The challenge with this expansion is that students are still limited to the four science courses in their high school career, yet the courses they can choose from has not remained constant. Opening up the number of courses students can take in the science department solves this problem. While it is clearly impossible to take all the courses offered, students now have a greater ability to expand from taking only four courses. “In science, after you have taken Bio and Chemistry, you can double up in other sciences. If after ten days there is a seat and you mathematically can do it, that is fine - you can do it,” Assistant

Principal Perla Pasallo said. What the school is trying to do is ensure there are enough seats for everyone to have at least one math and one science class in their schedule. However, this will still allow students who want to get ahead in math and science to do so, as long as the school has the resources to provide seats after all students have already picked at least one class. With the increase in the number and variety of science classes in the future, Pasallo believes that this seems like a good possibility. In allowing students to coenroll in science courses, there

has been discussion about doing the same in other departments, such as in mathematics. Statistics AP teacher Carol Evans believes that the process for allowing students to enroll in Statistics along with other math courses, such as Calculus or Trigonometry, should be made easier as well. “You can double up in math if it is Calc [or] Stats and higher; or after the first ten days once school has started, if there is still room in another class, you can go into that class,” Pasallo said. However, class size and limitations in funds make turning this into a possibility

Parmis taidy

difficult. If more students choose to co-enroll in mathematics courses, this translates into more classes to accommodate the influx of students. More classes in one department means less classes in another. For instance, even though this past year students were able to enroll in both Multivariable Calculus and Statistics courses, the former was offered after school. When it is offered this coming year as a class taught during school, this dual enrollment may become less common. Evans believes that the material in Statistics has many real word applications and is integral for students. In particular, students who are not interested in the maths or sciences may find statistics even more important than Trigonometry or Calculus. “The question is if you aren’t going to be in the sciences, how much calculus do you need? How much statistics do you need?” Evans said. In addition, Evans argues that the benefits from having taken statistics extend far past high school environment. “My view is that kids ... need statistics” Evans said. “They need to know what a confidence interval is when someone gives it to them. [Students] need to be able to say, ‘wait a minute, how did you get that number?”

toThe school’s National Honor Society (NHS) held its annual induction ceremony on Thursday, April 18, in the Eagle Theater. The chapter welcomed 65 new members from both the sophomore and junior classes. NHS advisor and Spanish teacher Terri Salsman de Rodriguex welcomed students and parents with a speech about scholarship and community service. The induction ceremony was Harry Potter-themed this year, so NHS officers gave Harry Potter-themed speeches about the Los Altos’ NHS chapter. After speeches were given, inductees walked onstage to sign the NHS book of signatures. Inductees were given certificates shortly afterwards. The induction ceremony was followed by a reception in the school’s cafeteria. Cake and refreshments were served to the staff, parents and students who attended the reception. Prior to induction, students went through an application process in which their grades, community service and teachers’ letters of recommendations were reviewed. Newly inducted NHS students will be taking part in community service projects next year, which range from participating in beach cleanups to helping in classrooms and volunteering at school sporting events.

FBLA competes at the State Competition The school’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) team competed in the State Leadership Conference in Santa Clara from Thursday, April 18, to Saturday, April 20. A number of the team’s members placed in both individual and team events. The Marketing team, which consisted of juniors Katherine Liu, Sarah Jacobs and Elaine Zhao, placed second overall and qualified for the National Leadership Conference. They will head to Anaheim this June to compete in the national conference. This marks FBLA’s third appearance at nationals in three years. Many of the team’s chapter projects, which are year-long business projects that involve working with some aspect of the American business world, also placed at States. These projects were “Partnership with a Business” and “The American Enterprise”, which placed third and fifth, respectively.

–Compiled by David Wu


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News

April 30, 2013

Negotiations over district and union contract begin Rebecca Cohen Maya Acharya Opinions Editor Staff Writer The District Teacher Association (DTA) and the MVLA district are in the process of negotiating the changes for the 2012-2013 DTA union contract. The DTA is the negotiating body that represents all teaching staff throughout the district. The teacher’s union and the district originally planned to make these changes when the last contract expired in June 2012, but did not reach an agreement on the terms. Negotiations are ongoing, but since there have been no new agreements since last year, the district and the DTA are operating under the most recent contract. Before starting the contract discussions, both parties received training in the negotiation process. The district and the DTA both agreed to use a method of negotiating called interest-based bargaining. “In interest-based bargaining, it’s not about winning or losing,” Associate Superintendent for Personnel and Technology Steve Hope said. “It’s about designing some solution that will meet the interests of both parties. It doesn’t always end up there, but that’s the philosophical idea.”

The district and the DTA decided on the discussion topics in a private meeting. Then, at the public board meeting on Wednesday, March 13, the district opened the discussion topics to public comment. No public comments were made and the discussion topics were passed. The district and the DTA agreed on eight different negotiation topics: compensation increase for teachers represented by the DTA, teacher workload, selection and assignment of the department coordinators, differentiated duty hours for unit members, retirement program options, evaluation process, conforming the contract language to current practices and legal requirements and paid leaves. The first negotiation issue is increasing compensation for

teachers in medical benefits, salaries, pension costs and medical benefits upon retirement. The issue of teacher workload covers concerns that both the DTA and the MVLA board have about the increase of class sizes and the workload that accompanies this increase. On the issue of selecting department coordinators, the DTA wants to develop a system that creates leaders throughout the staff and increases the opportunities to become a department coordinator at the school. The district’s interests include reviewing changes in department coordination, revising the Special Education Department structure at the school and addressing the role of department representation. The district looks to address the issue of staff workload by

differentiating teacher schedules from the non-instructional member schedules. The DTA is looking for a solution that will create more flexible hours for teachers. The retirement program issue encompasses the district’s goal to retain a quality teaching staff and the DTA’s goal to improve teachers’ retirement options. Both parties hope to find a solution that will ease the district into increased retirement payments, which could result in retirement option increases for both the district and the teachers. The DTA and the district have a shared list of goals for the evaluation process. The list includes consistency in the process, assistance for tenured teachers and self-evaluation. Both the DTA and the district

want to conform to the contract language to ensure legality and compatibility with newly enacted pension reforms. The last negotiation issue, paid leaves, is focused on maintaining and increasing the paid leave as well as provisions teachers can receive upon the birth or adoption of a child. Though the negotiation topics have been decided upon, the district and the DTA have yet to come to a conclusion on the contract terms. Private negotiations between the parties are underway as of publication. “The relationship between the DTA and the site administrators and the district administrators has never been stronger,” chemistry teacher and DTA President Craig Seran said at the MVLA board meeting on Monday, April 22. “We may have differences, but we have developed a very strong relationship between our parties, which has allowed us to be proactive in things. From our point of view, we’re very happy about the relationship we have.” Decisions made during the private negotiations will be opened to public comments before the contract is finalized by the district. “The main goal of any negotiation we have in this district is to arrive at a solution or an agreement that both sides are happy with,” Hope said.

the leaking of other military secrets. However, the student petitioners disagree. “Part of what we do in Civics is look at current events and major political issues of the day, and the upcoming trial of Bradley Manning is a major current event, not just in our own country but internationally,” Donnelly said. After researching the details and context of Manning’s trial, Civics classes decided to take action to protect Manning, who the students see as a hero, not a criminal. The classes aim to contact the Obama administration and help sway the administration to halt the prosecution of Manning. “The basic message of the petition is asking the Obama administration to stop the persecution of Bradley Manning for releasing information that the public needs to know about what the US is doing in Afghanistan, Iraq or other parts of the world, including Haiti,” Donnelly said. “The petitions are calling on the Obama administration to prosecute the real war criminals in this situation: the officials from the previous administration and the current administration for carrying a clear violation of the Nuremburg principles.” Many in the classes find the conditions under which Bradley have been held to be alarming. During the three years that Bradley has spent imprisoned without a trial, he has been held in solitary confinement in a six by twelve foot windowless cell, sometimes without access to basic needs. According to the Huffington Post, they took

away his eyeglasses, effectively rendering him blind for large amounts of time every day. “He’s been in for over three years without a trial, and much of that was in conditions that a United Nations expert on torture said bordered on torture,” Donnelly said. The petition, written by seniors Shelby Pefley and Samantha Kim, addresses the Civics classes’ concerns of Manning’s treatment. This was an entirely student-based initiative, as students wrote the petition and are working to get signatures. With the intention that the letter will reach Obama, the petition outlines

the hypocrisy of the Obama administration in prosecuting Bradley Manning. The petition stated that since Obama taught constitutional law, he should understand the implications of holding Manning. Manning was informing the public rather than “aiding the enemy.” The students believe Manning should not be under such severe conditions. The petition asks for the release of Manning. After students in the Civics class get their petitions signed, the goal is to deliver the petition to Congresswoman Anna Eschoo’s office in downtown Palo Alto. They hope Eschoo can forward the letter to Obama, and

Obama can pardon Manning. This effort, however, is not slated toward one political party. The class believes the petition is entirely non-partisan—an act of a concerned students. “It has nothing to do with being a Democrat or Republican,” Donnelly said. “It has to do with concern for human rights, democracy and social justice. We are petitioning the current president—and it doesn’t matter whether he is a Democrat or a Republican—but we are asking him to stop prosecuting a man who we feel had the courage to reveal to our public things that we need to know, such as US war crimes in Iraq.”

Increasing Teacher Compensation

Selection and assignment of Dept. Coordinators

District Teacher Association Negotiation Topics Teacher Workloads

Retirement program

Paid Leave

Evaluation process

Differentiated duty hours for unit members

Updating contract language

Rebecca Deshetler

Donnelly’s Civics classes craft Bradley Manning petition Josh Cohen Sparsha Saxena Sports Editor Senior Writer In the past month, Civics classes have worked to cultivate change in American society through active protest. Students in Civics teacher Seth Donnelly’s second and third period classes have sculpted a petition and letter to Obama protesting the prosecution of Bradley Manning, a proclaimed war criminal who will stand trial in June. Private Bradley Manning served in the US military from 2007 to 2010, running numbers as an intelligence analyst for three years. After discovering documents containing evidence of what he deemed to be abuses of military power, Manning tried to alert his superiors of the abuses. When his superior officers refused to act, Manning contacted the New York Times and the Washington Post, neither of whom published Manning’s controversial documents. In the end, Manning published the documents through WikiLeaks, and was immediately arrested on charges that included “aiding the enemy.” Charged under the Espionage Act of 1917, Manning’s offense could amount to life imprisonment. Manning stands trial this June, three years after his initial arrest. Proponents for the upcoming trial see Manning as a threat to American society. Many fear that releasing Manning would create legal precedent allowing

Courtesy Flickr user mar is sea

The protest to free Manning is gaining momentum as Manning’s court case date looms closer. Students on campus created a petition to call for Manning’s exoneration.


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April 30, 2013

News

Robotics team places near top at competition Christina Luk Brenna Reid Features Editor Entertainment Editor

The Robotics Team won an elimination match for the first time in six years and made it to semifinals during the Silicon Valley Regional Competition from April 4 to 6 at San Jose State University. The team was one win away from making it to the final round at this competitive event, which drew teams from as far as Texas and Florida. “Our first elimination round was against Mountain View, Gunn and Leland,” co-captain senior Adam Evard said. “We were able to develop a strategy from what we saw in our first match to help [us upset] the third seeded alliance of Mountain View, Gunn and Leland. Then in the semifinal round we lost when we were unable to effectively defend against a full court shooting robot.” During the third quarter, the Robotics Team worked on creating their robot in the sixweek time period known as the building period. However, during the first two weeks, the robot the team was preparing ended up being discarded because its design was too complex. “We went from designing a robot that could climb to designing one that could both shoot and pick up discs,” cocaptain senior Lucien Mueller said. “We made such a sweeping decision weeks after the start of the season. But I think it was

the right choice, given how we were having trouble finding a workable initial design and how the game ended up being fairly high-scoring [with our new design].” But despite having changed their strategy and design for the better, the rest of the building process was not easier. “It was a hard situation because we had four weeks left and had to go back to working with a clean slate,” junior Nick Bousse said. Despite this hiccup the team was able to come up with a simpler robot. According to competition rules, the robot has to be completed and sealed in a bag by midnight of the last day of the build period. As a result, members spent long hours building the new robot, some staying until nine or ten during the last week and midnight on the last day. “It did not look pretty,” Nick said. “It looked like we were going to have a poor year. But we definitely pulled it off. We were so crunched on time. Any mistake would have meant that we wouldn’t have finished in time.” Since there is a brief time period between the sealing of the robot and the first competition, the team built a copy of the robot to make more modifications before the first competition. Teams are given 12 hours before the day of each competition to make any modifications to their robots. This limited window of time forced the team to have parts pre-made and ready to

Courtesy karen Davis

The Robotics Team centered around their trophy. Team members took part in the FIRST competition and upset the higher seeded Mountain View, Gunn and Leland. install immediately. “We added a significant upgrade to our robot that made the task of picking up a frisbee go from not happening at all to actually working,” Nick said. “It’s definitely not perfect but we really changed our performance. We almost made it to the final round and knocked out Mountain View High School, one of the best teams in the nation.” During the competition, however, things did not always go according to plan. “During the competition we realized our next match was going to be up against a full court shooter,” Adam said. “We scrambled to build a shield to try to block as many shots as we

could, but we only had a couple minutes. We had an alliance member disassemble part of their pit display to take some PVC pipe and we worked frantically to build the shield, making it onto the field with just seconds to spare. This mad scramble of teamwork, cooperation, resourcefulness, and ingenuity in the face of a challenge and daunting time limit is what FIRST [For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology] is all about.” With the combination of their teamwork and the transition of the club into a class, the team was able to do better than it had in the past. Aside from the significant progress it made in the competition, the Robotics Team

itself is an organization of academic excellence and independence. “It’s not about winning but it’s about the kids working with each other,” Robotics advisor Karen Davis said. “They design [the robot], they build it and they trouble shoot it if something goes wrong.” With the season now over, the Robotics Team will be designing and building go-karts. “This year had its ups and downs and I definitely had my doubts about our chances of success,” Adam said “But in the end we pulled through and ended up with a result I am satisfied with. We most definitely can [do better and] that’s what next year is for.”

Updating technology staff Possible AVID class size reduction Riyana Basu Robert Chin Staff Writers

On June 3, Steve Hope, Associate Superintendent of Personnel and Technology will be retiring from both posts after having served 36 years in the district. Likewise, Director of Technology Andy DiGirolamo is also set to retire on April 30. The retirement of both these technology specialists brings up the question of how the district’s technology team will be staffed and ran in the upcoming school years. The retirements of Hope and DiGirolamo are happening during an important transition period for the district. As Common Core State Standards (CCSS) begin to take effect in the 2013-2014 school year, it is crucial that the district critically evaluates how and what technologies the students at both high schools require. CCSS calls for a new, updated exam that will include essays and projects to be more comprehensive than the current multiple choice exams. Since these new exams will be proctored on computers, the issue of technology is an important one in the district. To help tackle fill Steve Hope’s position, the district has appointed Laura Stefanski as Mr. Hope’s replacement. Stefanski is aware of

the power of technology. Having started her career in Milpitas, Stefanski was responsible for teaching English to Vietnamese engineer immigrants who were entering the electronics industry. “Expanding technology is certainly a necessity and [a] priority of the district,” Stefanski said. “I think [that is] because students will need tech skills in college when they take their courses [and] when they obtain jobs.” She moved on to the Fremont district and then to the MVLA Adult School, first teaching GED preparation, then becoming program coordinator. She has coordinated older adults, basic skills programs, and community interest. She was the adult school summer principal for five years until she finally became director of adult education. Stefanski has continued to show support for the community through holding positions on numerous school boards and committees. “I am deeply honored to be nominated for this position,” Stefanski said. “I am following my mentor, Steve Hope, into a position that requires me to learn, listen, act and reflect. My goal is to meet the high standards of the district while maintaining a positive and nurturing work environment.”

CONTINUED FROM FRONT PAGE

“They look at all the data available on incoming freshman and determine the best place for them,” Miyahara said. “What support will give them the best chance of success in high school?” While it is unlikely that any sections of AVID will be cut or added, AVID and administration have been working to decide whether one section of next year’s 11th grade AVID students will be dropped, or if two sections of 11th AVID will be open next year. The second option would mean that only one section of AVID would be available for the sophomore class next year instead of the two that were available this year and last year. “I’m thinking it’ll probably be two 11th grade classes for next year but we have to wait until we see all of the numbers stop moving,” Pasallo said. Miyahara also said it felt like the “status quo” right now to have two sections of junior AVID sections and reduce sophomore AVID to one section. Pasallo agrees this is the most likely course of action as of late April. While this is good news for current AVID sophomores, this means fewer freshman who were not in AVID last year will be able to join the program this year. Mirella Acevedo, a member of Keren Robertson’s second period AVID class, joined the program this year. After taking skills classes last year, she says this year has been a “major step up” in her academic rigour.

Now that she has the grades and classes for the program, she says she is on track with all of her A-G college requirements. Mirella says AVID has been the opportunity she needed. “I was too shy to ask questions in class, but I’m more confident asking tutors,” Mirella said. “As far as college goes I wasn’t even thinking about it before, I just wanted to get good grades. But seeing [senior] Jonathan Yu [an AVID tutor] and all of the options he has makes me want to work harder.” Should AVID move forward the way it is currently expected to, it can be seen as a glass half empty or a glass half full. No sections are being cut, but no sections are being added either; the sophomore class does not have to consolidate into a single section, but not as many freshman will be

offered the opportunity. “Last year was definitely harder,” Miyahara said. “I don’t think we’re going to lose any, but there’s more interest than can be served, at least at the freshman and sophomore level. How do we choose who to best serve? Where do we put the resources in?” According to Pasallo, each spring administration starts with “one big beautiful pot of money” to determine class sections. “You have to be creative sometimes,” Pasallo said. “When there’s leftover funds in the budget, where do we put them, in support programs? AVID? Another section of AP Bio? ... At the same time we were blessed to have two sections at one time. A lot of schools don’t even have the program or only have one section at a time. We are very dedicated to the program.”


Editorial

The Talon April 30, 2013

Support for ELD students should be improved Editorial Opinion of The Talon

Over the last few years, the MVLA district has been combining the district’s English Language Development (ELD) program at Mountain View High School (MVHS), leaving LAHS students to move to the other site or stay at LAHS without a program. This change has led to opposition from some teachers and community members because they feel this often underserved population deserves an ELD program at their home school. While combining the programs to be more efficient is a laudable goal, its implementation has taken away an important support network for the many students left at LAHS. Administrators decided to move students to a single site to save funds. Having two smaller programs was more expensive for the district because many classes weren’t filled to capacity. According to Assistant Superintendent Steve Hope, the move allowed the district to offer seven fewer sections, or periods, of ELD. Not only is moving ELD students to Mountain View cost efficient, it is also good for the students who make the move. When there were two programs, there weren’t enough students to offer classes specific to each of their grade level. Students of different grades had to be combined into common classes. For example, all EL students at a certain level might have had to take the same history class,

regardless of what grade they were in. By putting students in one program, students are able to be in more appropriate classes with more relevant material. However, while the consolidated program is the best option, many students are unable to participate in it. According to data from the California Department of Education, there were 142 EL students at the school in 2009, the last year the school had a full program. According to Principal Wynne Satterwhite, there are currently about 78 EL students at the school. The reasons why so many students chose to stay vary. Some don’t have transportation to MVHS, while others have older siblings who have already attended LAHS. The school does provide assistance to students who stay here, even if there isn’t an official program. This support includes skills classes to supplement

Letters to the Editor Talon should increase coverage of current events and clubs Dear Talon,

While I love how the Talon covers school specific events (clubs, featured students, school events), I wish you would cover current world news more frequently. There are other places where students can learn about what’s happening in the world and no where else will you hear about our school trying out a new color scheme (a featured web article), but Talon has the opportunity to further educate students and chooses not to. Even if there was a stable, recurring column that could summarize 10 major events in the world and do so in a way that interested students, I feel that Talon could make the student body more aware and better educated. Ask a student what the GOP is or what is currently happening with the civil war in Syria and many won’t be able to answer. Talon could change that. Please do! Sarah Jacobs Junior

Dear Talon,

In the most recent issue, a comparison was offered between the two business clubs, FBLA and DECA. The espousing of their achievements is laudable, but Talon is missing achievements of many other clubs that are similarly successful. Namely, the Speech and Debate Team. Being a member, I see what my teammates accomplish on a weekly basis. After hours of hard work doing specialized, in depth work, they ultimately see their effort pay off in the form of outstanding performances at tournaments. While some are recognized on the morning announcements, I believe the achievements of the team as a whole warrant such a spread that you have granted to FBLA, DECA, and other clubs. Ben Gardner-Gill Sophomore

The Talon welcomes letters to the editor. E-mail letters to lahstalon@gmail.com or drop them off in room 409 or the box in the attendance office. If you have any questions, send an e-mail or call (650) 960-8877. In the case of spelling or grammatical errors, obscenities, libelous or personal attacks, a letter may be edited or not run. Letters must be signed, but a name may be withheld upon request. Letters may be published online, in print or both.

their English classes, homework club after school and extra help from teachers. These support services are labeled as “other services” when reporting to the state, as they don’t qualify as ELD services. However, this year the district was informed that this coding wasn’t sufficient and students must receive services commensurate with their ELD designation. Administrators respond by saying that the state isn’t able to see the support these students receive, but only the “other services” label, and therefore believes the student’s EL status isn’t being addressed. While it is true that the state has limited information, in this case they are correct that the school does need to provide more services for these students. However, it shouldn’t just be a matter of meeting state requirements; the school should better provide for the students who choose to stay at LAHS. Among others, former ELD teacher Arantxa Arriada summed up this view by explaining that EL students, regardless of their level, used to have a separate curriculum from regular English classes. While support classes certainly help students, they only supplement the regular classes, which are difficult without a firm grasp of the language. Additionally, there are only skills classes for Survey and World Literature, so upperclassmen are left to take on English alone.

Next year, the district will have to decide how to comply with the state and fully support students. The key to making the right decision lies in getting perspectives from as many parties as possible and remembering that the end goal needs to be providing students with the best education possible, not just meeting state regulations. Teachers, students and parents involved in the program should all be a part of the decision. One of the options is to offer Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE) classes, which while using a traditional curriculum, provide a more structured setting for students who need additional help. Also, the district could choose to provide a transitional class before Survey, to give students another year before beginning mainstreamed high school English. Finally, they could choose to extend the skills classes offered to students, so juniors and seniors can get additional support. While none of these options are as good as a full ELD program, they are the best solution given that some students are unwilling or unable to move to MVHS. The consolidated program does provide a better experience for the students who are able to participate, but the structure in place for students who decide to stay needs to be rethought and improved to support students throughout all of high school.

thumbs

5 The Talon Los Altos High School

201 Almond Avenue Los Altos, California www.lahstalon.org April 30, 2013 Volume XXVIII, Issue 7

Editor-in-Chief Libbie Katsev Managing Editors Sarah Corner (Publication) Catherine Hua (Web) Mark Schreiber (Publication) News Editor Zoe Morgan Opinions Editor Rebecca Cohen Features Editor Christina Luk In-Depth Editor Ben Marimon Entertainment Editor Brenna Reid Sports Editor Josh Cohen Media Editor Ciera Pasturel Copy/Content Editors Shiktij Dave Jared Eng Dhruv Madhok Hongyi Shi Business Managers Emily Sims Jordan Stout

Senior Writers Anthony Bello, Paul Bergevin, Casey Pao, Ed Sartor, Sparsha Saxena, Shilpa Venigandla Staff Writers Maya Acharya, Riyana Basu, Robert Chin, Carly Cohen, Zach Cohen, Alex Cortinas, Cassidy Craford, Chang Cui, Chase Eller, Arman Khayyat, Sam Lisbonne, Ariel Machell, Joey Malgesini, John Naumovski, Tony Sun, David Wu, Yuki Zaninovich Photographers Chloe Arrouye, Juliet Moore, Jade Perry Graphic Artist Rebecca DeShetler, Parmis Taidy Videographers Nathan Becker, Anthony Bello, James Brewer, Mark Schreiber Web masters Jerry Liu, Kaitlin Mueller Adviser Michael Moul Los Altos High School’s Compositional Journalism class is solely responsible for The Talon, which is published eight times a year. The Talon also updates its website, www.lahstalon.org, with full-time coverage. The Talon is a public forum for student expression. The Editorial Board sets the policies of The Talon and crafts its editorials and thumbs. Its members are Josh Cohen, Rebecca Cohen, Sarah Corner, Catherine Hua, Libbie Katsev, Brenna Reid, Ed Sartor, Sparsha Saxena and Mark Schreiber. Please send subscription and advertisement inquiries to Emily Sims and Jordan Stout at lahstalon@gmail.com.

Talon Supporters

Thumbs up to the school for being named a California Distinguished School. This recognition is a testament to the hard work put in by teachers, staff and students over the past few years. The distinction commends the school for students’ performance on standardized tests, shown in the school’s rising API scores, as well as our work to shrink the achievement gap on campus. Though flaws still exist, this distinction comes out of a collaborative effort by everyone at Los Altos and is something everyone on campus should be proud of.

Honorary Pulitzers Vivi Chan, Andy and Holly Cohen, Emily Goto, Kefeng Hua, Brett and Pam Lytle, Drew Lytle, Mary E. MacLellan, Ralph and Diana Marimon, Ken and Susan Sims, Shirley and Allan Solomon, Ratna and Tripura Venigandla, Bernard and Miriam Yenkin, Michael Zaninovich Silver Supporters Catriona Cooke, Big Skenny’s Fish and Chips, Victoria Johnson, Jacqueline and Geoge MacLellan, Claire and John Moore, Sungmin Park, The Pasturel Family, The Rigodanzo Family, Gail and Don Sims, Linda Taylor


Opinions

The Talon April 30, 2013

6

Students and staff: be cautious on Facebook Tony Sun Staff Writer

What does a web-browsing teenager in the Bay Area share with the new Pope in the Vatican? What do the leaders of the G8 council share with potato farmers in northern Idaho? It’s simple: active Facebook accounts. Facebook has expanded to almost every waking corner of the world. Its sheer size is staggering; according to estimates from Facebook’s Advertising Department, Facebook’s one billion active users put the website’s population on par with some of the most populous nations in the world. Facebook’s growth as a web-based company has made it one of the three benchmark “digital era” companies, letting it sit comfortably alongside its fellow behemoths Google and Amazon. More notable than its colossal size is its unprecedented nature; Facebook’s usage and adoption has caused innumerable social norms to shatter. Questions like “how connected is ‘too connected’?” and “is it okay for me to friend my teacher?” are questions that, a decade ago, would simply never have been asked. As the site continues to expand exponentially, Facebook’s numerous users, including high schoolers, have scrambled to determine when and to what extent Facebook is appropriate. There are certainly benefits that exist with having an

interconnected Facebook network. For one, on a purely theoretical level, Facebook could exist as a great alternative for students and teachers to interact. Many proponents

“It would be so much more convenient using Facebook to communicate with teachers,” freshman William Jow said. “It would be more efficient and effective, since it even

teacher-student network could create a more personal teaching experience. As teachers and students rarely have an opportunity to discuss their private lives, being connected on

for teacherstudent “friendships” on Facebook argue that using Facebook to communicate is faster and less stressful than emailing teachers’ school emails, which many teachers often forget to check.

tracks when a person checks their messages.” Facebook could serve as an environment similar to personal interactions outside of the classroom. Coupled with Facebook’s innate “sharing” capacities, an interlinked

Facebook lets these groups get a glimpse of each others’ lives. Teachers and students could definitely learn more and benefit from being connected online. Of course, one of the main arguments against these proposed teacher-student

relationships is the notion that “friendship” on Facebook might completely alter teacher-student relations. With the degree of anonymity granted by the mask of an online profile, many individuals are more prone to say things they would never say in an email or in real life. “It’s a new responsibility, being friends with people like my teachers and even the superintendent Dr. Barry Groves,” junior Alina Chen said. “It makes me think twice about what I say and what I post.” In short, teens might take “friendship” on Facebook the wrong way and decide to chat their teachers to ask for homework. A world where teens could just click to send their teachers links of cat pictures and click to poke their teachers would change the dynamic forever. In such a world, the professional “scholarly” relationship between staff members and students would be forever ruined, and the authority of teachers would have decreased severely. Facebook is so widespread that anyone and everyone is connected. There’s nothing wrong with friending teachers, but students need to be careful and draw the line in their lives. As Facebook continues to grow, it is extremely important that students balance the positive powers of Facebook with the negative aspects of the social media site.

School should offer normal versions of AP classes Riyana Basu Staff Writer As competitiveness in high school increases, students often feel obligated to take on numerous advanced placement (AP) courses offered by the school in hopes of amassing a high weighted GPA and getting into a prestigious college. While the school’s open enrollment policies for classes ensures that students have a variety of AP classes to choose from, it is important to realize that the actual motive behind taking a class is not to construct an immense résumé for colleges but to learn in a feasible way for the student. The school has recently added a college prepatory version of the AP Statistics class and it would be wise for the school to follow suit for several other classes that are only available as AP classes. AP Environmental Science, AP Computer Science and AP Art History are just a few of several AP courses offered at the school that do not currently have regular versions available to students. In offering college prepatory versions of these classes, the ultimate question comes down to whether it is better for a student to not take a course at all or to take the college prepatory version of the class. The clear answer is the latter option as a student may want to learn about computers or art history but simply cannot afford to accommodate for the workload that an AP class brings into his or her particular schedule. In terms of employing a teacher, adding one regular class period would cost approximately $30,000 to $40,000 per class period over the course of a year. A new set of textbooks and class materials would also have to be purchased. This, however, is not a large sum to make sure that students are enrolled in classes that are the right fit for them. “[The regular Statistics class] is designed for juniors and seniors who have finished Algebra II successfully,” math teacher Carol Evans said. “It is not for someone going into electrical engineering or astronomy, but [rather] it is designed as an alternative to trigonometry or non-AP calculus. Everybody should want to take

some statistics. You children will have to take it, guaranteed. It’s like learning to read. You don’t know it, you’re hosed. You’re going to be a citizen, you’re going to vote, but if you don’t know what the numbers mean, you’re hosed.” When an AP version of a class is offered and the college prepatory version is not, many students who have already piled their plates high miss out on the valuable opportunity to gain additional knowledge in the more low key environment of a regular class. Thus, the school should look into expanding its range of academic rigor by adding regular versions of AP courses. “One reason [to add regular versions] is that a lot of people who take AP Statistics or Computer Science can’t handle that initial abrupt advance to the class, and they’d rather take a regular one and later do an AP version,” math and computer science teacher Michael Richardson said. There is a distinct possibility that the AP Computer Science course will be following suit of the AP Statistics course. Although finalities are yet to be cemented, a college prepatory computer science class may be available to students next year. The AP version of the class was just added as a choice a year ago, and while it is great to have an advanced version of the class available, those interested in a less rigorous computer science education will not have to turn to outof-school options. “More people would definitely take computer science if there was a non-AP version,” senior Kyle

Evans said. “Think about it. We live in the Silicon Valley, so obviously knowing your way around computers is a pretty good skill to have. I feel that if we were to offer both advanced and [college prepatory] versions of classes to more people, it would create a larger pool of classes for people to pick from, and they’ll be encouraged to take classes they might not have otherwise considered.” College prepatory environmental science and art history courses should be considered next. College prepatory versions of these classes would give students more options to create a balanced schedule, while still allowing students to pursue areas where they may have particular passion.


Opinions

April 30, 2013

7

Senior year: through retrospective lenses Ben Marimon Hongyi Shi In-Depth Editor Copy/Content Editor College applications are the ultimate melting pot. Over the course of a few months, seniors are asked to compile together components from the last three (or more) years of their lives to present to colleges an appealing and worthy applicant. Yet amidst the hectic and stressful first semester of senior year, we found that there was an uncanny sense of clarity. In gathering all these pieces of information and juxtaposing them with one other, there exists the potential to determine certain things that you may have liked to change, add or remove. Senior year, on the whole, served a valuable purpose in helping us look back at our high school past as a sum. As senior year begins to wind down from an entire last year to the final few months, we have taken the time to look through these retrospective lens at things we could’ve modified.

Electives

One of the first things that stands out is electives, i.e, courses that students can take which are not necessary to graduate. The school is distinguished by the number of diverse courses it has available, but taking advantage of this wide range can be difficult. There are core courses required to graduate, and even though elective space may free up as students progress through high school, the number of electives made available by the school is expanding at a fast rate. As a result, students should keep in mind this academic growth when selecting courses and try to narrow down possible electives to the ones they enjoy the most. From our perspective, two of the most rewarding electives are AP Computer Science and AP Statistics (Statistics will also be offered at the non-AP level next year). The material in both have many real world applications and are connected to the subject matter in other courses as well. For example, statistics is useful when analyzing data from science labs or when creating a poll. Even if neither align with what you want

to do in future, the knowledge is helpful just to have on hand.

Clubs

In addition to the variety of courses the school offers, there are also plenty of clubs for students to join. Club Day is a market for this diversity, and the mentality of most incoming freshmen seems to be to sign up for as many clubs as they are interested in. The resulting tendency then is to narrow down the list and focus on a few, if not one, of your original choices for a majority of high school. However, students should still try to make an active effort to visit other club meetings and walk around following Club Days, even if they have already anchored themselves to certain groups. In our experience, feeling certain that you have narrowed down your interests can actually become surprising limiting, and many of the newer clubs are just as important and fun to join as those that have already become well-established. All these realizations come from

seeing that our four years here have gone by incredibly quickly, yet in this short time we discovered much about the direction we want our lives to head. From becoming doctors to engineers to mathematicians to lawyers, there

were many avenues available to us at this school. However, rather than simply settling on a single idea, we have learned it was much more important to explore around in the many facets made available to us by the school.

XI XIIXI IXII I X X II II IX IX III III VIII VIII IV IV VII VI VII VVI V

Online P.E. should be considered as a viable alternative During high school, students often choose to take many courses online or outside of school—for example, many take health online through Brigham Young University, while others take courses at the nearby School for Independent Learners (SIL). Yet one potential course is often overlooked--or rather, has never been taken by a student at this school: online physical education. The seemingly contradictory name of “online physical education” is enough to raise numerous questions, namely the following: Can physical education even be taken online? Are classes legitimate? Would students actually exercise, or would they just sit there and read or watch videos? In fact, online P.E. is not only a legitimate course but is also widely used throughout

the nation. Online P.E. is one of the most popular courses at the Florida Virtual School, which is widely used in Florida due to its free offering of courses to all K-12 students in the state. However, online P.E. has been relatively unknown to California high schools because it wasn’t permitted by the state until recently. According to the Shape of the Nation Report on the status of physical education in America, conducted by the National Association for Sports and Physical Education (NASPE) and the American Heart Association (AHA), California allowed “required physical education credits to be earned through online physical education courses” in 2012, but not in 2010. The general lack of information about online P.E. means that the administration has not received many requests for it to be allowed as an option. “Online P.E. has never come up, so we have never discussed it,” Assistant Principal Perla Pasallo said. Pasallo said that if online P.E. were to be allowed, the course would first have to go through the district’s assistant superintendent of curriculum. Online P.E. should be allowed due to the many benefits it would bring to students. The website of Carone Fitness, an online institution offering P.E., states that online P.E. allows students to “tailor the frequency, intensity, time and type of their workouts to fit their schedule and fitness level.” Online P.E. is not only more convenient than regular P.E. classes, but can greatly benefit students who want to take more classes at school and do not have space in their current schedule, or need more free periods to handle their schoolwork throughout the week.

Because of the online nature of syncs activity with an online account” the course, students can also have a that Carone Fitness instructors monitor. more personalized curriculum. They Other courses require Polar Heart Rate can practice in a non-competitive Monitors, devices that measure heart rate environment, receive personalized and sync to the online Carone Fitness feedback and watch multimedia account, which instructors also monitor. lessons as many times as they need to. Although it is impossible to fully eliminate Online P.E. also offers more extensive the possibility that students may not resources, such as online fitness always complete the activities, the use of journaling, nutrition tracking and health the monitors, coupled with the video and assessments. photo submissions and parent sign-off One potential argument against sheets, almost entirely guarantees that online P.E. is that students would students will have to exercise. not actually complete the exercises. Online physical education is also This worry would be negated if the not necessarily easier than P.E. taken administration restricted students to at school. Simply because students do taking courses only not have to go to from accredited a regular class at institutions, which school does not Online physical education require verification mean that students is also not necessarily easier of real exercise. For can slack off at than P.E. taken at school. example, students home. A piece by the Simply because students do could use Carone Minnesota Public not have to go to a regular Fitness, which is an Radio quoted an class at school does not online institution online P.E. student, mean that students can accredited by who described the slack off at home. the AdvancED/ “double standard” N o r t h w e s t in that “online Accreditation students have to Commission. do everything, no They could also use BYU Independent matter how long it takes. Regular gym Study (the same institution from which class students have to do whatever they students can get credits for health can during that 52-minute class.” courses), which is accredited by both the A potential concern is that with online Northwest Accreditation Commission P.E., students cannot gain the benefits of and the Northwest Commission on teamwork that they gain through regular Colleges and Universities. P.E. classes. While this is true, the concept The accredited programs often of teamwork is not limited solely to physical include signed fitness logs, video and education, and students can gain that photo submissions, and other forms of through other activities in school. It is also verification. For example, courses such true that because some online P.E. courses as Carone Fitness requires students to focus on a single subject such as running or submit not only detailed fitness logs, but strength training, students may be limited also videos and photos of themselves to from learning the multiple sports in a demonstrate their use of technique. This regular P.E. curriculum. However, by being requirement not only guarantees that able to pick a P.E. course with a subject of students receive personalized feedback their choice, students are more likely to from the instructor, but that students enjoy a course and continue practicing even must legitimately complete the activity. after the P.E. class has ended. Courses such as Carone Fitness also The administration should approve of require external verification such as online P.E. as an option for students so that “a supervising adult or online-synced students can take advantage of the multiple hardware.” The district could require benefits that online P.E. offers. The end goal, students to choose courses similar to after all, is for students to learn how to lead those from Carone Fitness, which require a healthy lifestyle—and the convenience MOVband wrist-worn activity monitors. and personalization of online P.E. make The monitor “records all movement and that goal easier to fulfill.

Catherine Hua Managing Editor


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Opinions

April 30, 2013

Video games offer immersive entertainment Sam Lisbonne Staff Writer

Despite their younger age relative to other entertainment mediums, video games have transformed the entertainment industry and in turn the way we conceptualize virtual and fictional experiences alike. Advances in graphics, storytelling, gameplay and immersion have helped video games advance and evolve into the $67 billion industry they are a part of today. Since their inception, video games have provided a unique form of entertainment because they create a world characterized by its distinctive sense of engagement. Video games force interaction with the story and characters, which in turn creates a sense of immersion and engagement that brings the virtual world to life. Unlike other forms of entertainment like television and movies, video games are not commonly an activity that can be experienced with only limited or half-hearted attention. The progression of the experience itself is tied to the player and his actions; consequently, anyone even remotely interested in the act of playing the game is forced to be active. Taking time away from a novel or television show breaks the feeling of immersion, but because games require constant, vigilant attention, they are able to maintain the suspension of disbelief long enough to truly bring the player into the world. This, in turn, produces interesting results. Compared to movies, during which the viewers often feel connected merely to the screen and leave when the movie ends, characters in games

take advantage of both the feeling of connection and storytelling capabilities exclusive to games. Finally, video games are commonly the longest form of entertainment, which allows each title to invest valuable time in character development and atmosphere. Most video games last anywhere from 10 to 20 hours, excluding online play, which far outlasts movies, at two to three hours, and books, at three to six hours. This extra time permits video games to tell fascinating, deep and thoughtful stories that develop gradually and with respect to appropriate pacing. As a

result, action scenes don’t go back-toback and long, boring stretches don’t drag on. Although video games are often criticized for their simplicity and mindless repetition, story-focused games like the new Bioshock Infinite introduce rich, fictional worlds and use their immersive atmosphere to explore complex themes, including religion, responsibility, guilt, ideology and ethics. Actions within the framework of the game also advance this exploration, namely split-second decisions thrust upon the player. These decisions, as

- LEVEL 1 -

seen in games like the Mass Effect series, often have real consequences and invoke genuine thought. Sacrifices and character interactions demand reactions. These decisions feel all the more weighty in games because they involve characters that the player has become familiar with and inevitably impact the world that the player as invested time into. Choice is another mechanic exclusive to games, because novels, movies and television shows have already made the choices. In all other forms of entertainment, the person is forced to accept the main character’s decisions, restricting interaction to judgments and reflections. In games, the player directly controls the suspenseful moments, altering the progression of the story and ensuring that no two players’ experiences are alike. Video games have garnered a negative reaction primarily because they are associated with violence and because they appear mindless, with no redeeming qualities. These conceptions are not entirely untrue, but they are not substantial enough for video games to be completely dismissed. Although violence is a common genre in the gaming industry, it is no more prevalent than in television or movies. Video games are sometimes regarded as an inferior form of entertainment because they externally appear to repeat endless violence and serve no purpose in telling a story or establishing a world. In reality, video games offer deep and enriching experiences, and experiences unlike those found through other entertainment mediums. Video games have always been, and will continue to be, the most distinct form of fun.

Teachers successful in stressing importance of STAR testing In the last six years, students have improved the school’s Academic Performance Index (API) significantly. API is California’s system for measuring school performance and improvement. It represents student performance on the STAR tests and is based off of a score as low as 200 to a high score of 1000. Last year, in 2012, Los Altos students reflected a score of 888, well above the state’s goal of 800 for all schools. This year, the school sought to build on this trend of improvement with a goal of 900. For this reason, it is commendable that teachers stressed the importance of taking the STAR tests seriously and performing to the best of a student’s ability. “It’s good for Los Altos students or anybody out there in the public—parents, colleges, employers—to think ‘Wow, Los Altos is a really good school,’” Assistant Principal Galen Rosenberg said. “Most people decide that based off of our API score. We want to keep our record going up. We’ve kind of had this goal of 900, which is really really good for a diverse school like Los Altos. There are not many other high schools that get 900s.” It’s not possible to meet this goal without the cooperation of students. However, some students felt that, despite the benefits that the tests bring to the school, STAR testing is just not worth the time.

“Honestly, I think the STAR test is such a waste of time,” junior Jasmine Pedroza said. “Most of the criteria that they test you on is information that you learned last year or maybe even the year before that. It’s never really relevant so it’s hard to take it seriously. Although, I do like that we get out earlier on the days of testing.” There is a general consensus among many students; most see

We want to keep our record going up. We’ve kind of had this goal of 900, which is really good for a diverse school like Los Altos. There are not many other high schools that get 900s.

Ariel Machell Staff Writer

-assistant principal Galen rosenberg

the short school days as the only benefit. Some teachers also feel that the test is lacking. “I think the STAR test is a very limited way to assess learning,” history teacher Seth Donnelly said. “The United States History assessment, for example, is based primarily on memorization, and while I think that some of the data that you need to know is legitimate, there are other things that are very important that are absent from the STAR test.” Whether this is true or not, the STAR tests have a lot more going for them than early dismissal. “While I do think that [the

STAR tests] are not the best tests ever written in terms of assessing student learning, knowledge and skill, they do give valuable information to students about how they’re doing,” Rosenberg said. “So if you take the test seriously, or rather, just give your best effort, you do learn something meaningful about your understanding of biology or your knowledge of Algebra 2, of history, or of English. I think it’s good for students to get this outside objective assessment on how well they’re doing in addition to what they get in class, but you only get valid information if you try.” Since some of the students don’t particularly look forward about the prospect of review, teachers reminded them that they should keep in mind that the school’s API score not only influences the community’s view of the school, but the way colleges weigh a student’s performance. Student performance on the test reflects how the school is rated, which has an impact on college admissions and the weight of a diploma from the school. When looking at a student with a 4.0 GPA from a school with a high API and a student with a 4.0 GPA from a school with a low API, it

is more likely that colleges will prefer the higher API student because the school’s higher API score alludes to a more rigorous curriculum. The school’s API score has a larger impact on an individual student than one might think. For this reason, it is important

that teachers, as they did this year, continue to stress the student’s role in helping this score rise. “We pull together, both teachers and students, and do what we can to get good results and improve our API score and meet our goal of improvement,” Donnelly said.

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9

Features

April 30, 2013

Skydiving, teaching and travel, oh my! Sarah Corner Managing Editor

she would get started on another one of her life goals: to become a pilot. “I was on my grandfather’s farm in Oklahoma visiting when an airplane went over my head and I said, ‘Someday I’m going to learn to fly an airplane’ and he used to say, ‘If I didn’t know you were born in this house I would think that we got the wrong child, because you’re never going to be flying airplanes,’” Frost said. But Frost’s grandfather wasn’t the only one with doubts. When she tried to sign up for ground school at Foothill, she was told the program was only for men.

never washed his own car--he was a wealthy man--and I thought ‘he really cares for me,’” Frost said. “I had other men in my life and my girls were pushing for the plastic Edith Frost, a substitute teacher for both Mountain View surgeon in Los Gatos, but no.” and Los Altos, calls herself retired after teaching English As a WWII veteran and a member of the Flying Tigers, for 20 years. She now enjoys leisures such as skydiving, her second husband owned a small plane that Frost called flying her solo plane, riding motorcycles, traveling to his true love. During the war, he flew across the Himalayas other continents and, of course, bowling on Friday from China and back to report weather conditions; in the afternoons. As a mother of three and a grandmother of United States, upon returning from the war, he worked as four, she looks forward to celebrating her 80th birthday a Trans World Airlines weather forecaster before starting with her family this August. Her first 79 years have been his own vitamin and minerals company with a friend from anything but conventional. the war. It took Frost five years to Frost was born on her grandfather’s decide she would marry him. farm in Oklahoma before moving to South “He’s what you’d call a perfect San Francisco. In the early 1950s, after person for you, when you realized graduating from South San Francisco High it,” Frost said. “We could finish School, she worked as an underwriter for an each other’s sentences, we liked ... insurance company on Montgomery Street, [and] did everything the same.” typing insurance manuals. They married in the ‘80s, and “We all went to work in San Francisco,” flew his small plane together every Frost said. “We’d catch the train and we’d weekend they could. Because her go to work and carry our high heels and go husband was diabetic, he was to [Third Street] and you know all the winos no longer medically able to fly would holler at us and we’d walk by. But I alone and couldn’t pilot the plane actually fell in love with a young man.” without Frost accompanying him. Frost met this young man during her In 1991, Frost took an early last year of high school and the two fell retirement from teaching at in love. Mountain View High School. Her “I said I have to go to college and husband had been diagnosed with he said, ‘Well, I’m going to join the diabetes fifteen years prior, and Marines,’” Frost said. “‘So when you get Frost knew he didn’t have many Jade Perry years left. So for an entire year, out of college and I get four years out of Edith Frost, a substitute teacher, has traveled to over 15 countries around they traveled all over the country the Marines then we’ll get married.’” But the Korean War had other plans for the world. Each pin in her map represents one of her trips. When she’s as well as parts of Mexico and not traveling, Frost enjoys flying solo planes, bowling and skydiving. Canada. They returned just after her first love. “Six months later they sent him back in Frost’s 59th birthday; her husband a casket with his dog tags and a check for 10,000 dollars,” “Well you know how that went over,” Frost said. “Like a passed away the following February. Frost said. lead balloon.” Soon after, looking for a way to continue with her life, Frost She saved the letters they exchanged during the war in the Frost got “her women” together, a group of women joined the Mid-Peninsula Widows and Widowers Association, bottom drawer of her dresser throughout two marriages. In she’d met upon going back to school at San Jose State. a program designed to provide social support and activities honor of the 60th anniversary of the Korean War, Frost They called themselves the “Over 29” Club, and were to people whose spouses have recently passed. With nearly reread and burned each letter individually. mostly women who had decided to go back to school after 300 members, the trips and activities organized were nearly “My first love is why I became an anti-war person,” having children or who decided that they did want their endless, but Frost proposed a new one: skydiving. Frost said. “During the Vietnam War, I participated in education. The group shared coffee while they studied, “People said, ‘Is this serious here?’” Frost said. “But I’d all the marches, put medals on my children and went and organized ride groups. Many of these friends are still always wanted to do that even though my husband said through that whole process because I realized World War close with Frost today. ‘nobody jumps out of a perfectly good airplane’. So when he II was really the last war we fought for any reason at all. “None of them wanted to fly or anything but they helped passed away, it was still on my bucket list.” First love is always something very special. I don’t think me,” Frost said. “So they had to let me in. The idea that After her first jump with two women from her program, you ever really get over it.” only men were able to go to ground school? That was not Frost proceeded to go on a second, third and fourth jump, But at twenty, Frost had the rest of her life ahead of her. acceptable.” and is now such an expert she is trusted to open her own “This other young man in church who’d always been After finishing school at Foothill and San Jose State, chute anywhere above the red line on her watch altimeter. trying to get me to go out with him—well I thought ‘I’ll Frost got her first teaching job at Los Altos High School. “Kids always talk when I tell them about it, so I say ‘Tell never love another man in my whole life and this was a She was then transferred to the Downtown Mountain View your parents you want to go for graduation!’” Frost said. good man’, so I married him,” Frost said. “Just because High School, which no longer exists, and finally settled at But her love of adrenaline didn’t stop there. One of the my mother said he was wonderful and he’d make a good Awalt High School, or what is now Mountain View High men from Widows and Widowers was very into motorcycles father, and she was right: he was a good father and a good School. There, she taught an interdisciplinary humanities and it rubbed off on her. Before she knew it, Frost found provider and all of that.” class in the the Gifted Learners program, a precursor for herself on a Yamaha 750, her nephew’s motorcycle that he Because her new husband was in the business of Advanced Placement. For example, she would teach Anne let her use every time she visited. construction, the new couple moved to Menlo Park so Frank, World War II, German composers and Dutch But a few years after her husband’s passing, Frost still felt that he could be President of the Menlo Park Carpenters. painters all together. The program like something was missing. They then moved to Palo Alto and finally to Mountain was well funded by the state, and “I wasn’t happy because I View with their three children. the class took regular field trips to realized I had to retire before I was I wasn’t happy Frost decided that if she was going to be so close to the ballet and Exploratorium before ready,” Frost said. “Teaching was because I realized I San Jose State and Foothill College, she would go back to being replaced. my whole goal in life.” had to retire before I school and pick up some credits. Frost said she’d wanted While working at Mountain View, So Frost became a substitute was ready. Teaching to be a teacher for as long as she can remember, and Frost took her next step towards teacher for Los Altos and was my whole goal in life. even began teaching Sunday school at her church when earning her pilot’s license. After Mountain View High Schools. she was 16. She still teaches Bible class at her church in learning a colleague’s husband She still flies her plane to visit Mountain View today. But at the time, she worked at a taught flying lessons at San Jose friends in Bakersfield and -edith frost purity store in downtown Los Altos. airport, Frost asked to be taken as Tuscon, Arizona, and participates “I took my first class at Foothill during my lunch hour,” a student. She arrived at the small, extensively in both her church Frost said. “I asked my boss if I could have 15 minutes private airport a few Saturdays later and the Widows and Widowers added on to my lunch hour and I would work 15 minutes ready for her first private lesson. At the time, Frost was program. Frost has also traveled to more than 15 different past the time I was supposed to be back. And I thought in her late thirties with three young children, teaching countries in the past 30 years including Russia, Panama well, if I like it, I’ll take more. And I did, of course. So I high school during the day and then English classes to and South Africa. went from that time on.” army recruiters at night from seven to ten. She said that “My daughter said the other day ‘Mom, how is your When Frost went to Foothill College, there was a law in she made as much money teaching for three hours in the retirement fund?���” Frost said. “And I said ‘There is no California that women couldn’t wear pants to school; they evening as she did all morning and afternoon. Because retirement fund.’ I have retired so I’ve spent it basically. I had to wear dresses or skirts.The problem quickly became her husband had passed away, she had to supplement said that’s what it’s for, that’s why I saved it.” apparent. Foothill was placed on top of a hill, with no bus her income. But after her first flying lesson, Frost never So as Frost continues ‘retirement,’ she has an upcoming service at the time. Girls would wear pants under their skirts looked back. She eventually got her license to fly solo trip to Sierra Leone, Africa where she plans to help put in so they could bike to class, or tape the ends of their skirt planes and in the process, met her second husband. a water well. She is also waiting for her visa to Cuba to be to their ankles so it wouldn’t fly up as they walked. Frost “So I go into the airport and this man is sitting there cleared so she can set up a Bible school with her church. thought the whole situation was crazy. and he says to me, ‘Could I help you?’ and I said ‘No, I’m Frost doesn’t see herself slowing down anytime “We formulated a group from each town and went to meeting my instructor here. I’m going to learn how to fly.” soon. For the next twenty years, Frost looks forward to Sacramento,” Frost said. “We said, ‘We have to put an end to Frost said. “But when I came back from my lesson, he said hopefully becoming a great grandmother and seeing a this prejudice against women’ so they lightened up and they to me, ‘I am going to fly over to Watsonville for lunch; female president. Still on her bucket list? To bungee said, ‘Okay. Women can wear pants to school.’ So I remember would you like to come along?’” jump off of a bridge in South America. (She’s been the first time I went up to Foothill and the professor said, ‘I After a very long lunch and much talking, Frost just saving that one, she said.) And, of course, she intends to see Ms. Pierceson has on her long pants today.’ So I got up on thought to herself, ‘yeah, okay.’ continue teaching. the chair and turned around in a circle.” “When I came back (from a concert), my husband had “There’s nothing like youth and questions. And the interest While working towards becoming a teacher, Frost decided taken a bucket of water and washed my car. He probably they have in learning new things.” Frost said.


April 30, 2013

In-Depth

We lcom e to

10

re of MVLA u t u F the

By Robert Chin, Staff Writer | Josh Cohen, Sports Editor| Zach Cohen, Staff Writer | Chase Eller, Staff Writer | Casey Pao, Senior Writer | Shilpa Venigandla, Senior Writer

The story of Los Altos, although dated, is still changing rapidly today. In the late 1800s, the city of Los Altos was purchased by the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, headed by Paul Shoup. Shoup quickly began building the town up and for that, was named “The Father of Los Altos.” Although originating as a small agricultural town noted mostly for its numerous apricot orchards, many families soon began to move into the small community. In the 1950s, many new businesses opened up, and the area began to build its town with stores. During this time, a small movie theater appeared along with the first KFC restaurants in the area. Many of these buildings still exist today but have changed ownership. These include sites such as the current Le Boulanger restaurant located in downtown Los Altos which was reinvented from a pharmacy building. In addition to this, the Los Altos Library used to be the Southern Pacific Power House, but was renovated to become an important part of what the town has to offer. Innovations all over town continued to be made such as the addition of buses and 15 schools, six of which still exist today. Today, the town continues to grow as it develops into an even more popular area with the addition of new attractions that are sure to make history.

Downtown renovated The city of Los Altos has come a long way from the sprawling orchards that dominated the area in the 1960s. Today, both the Mountain View and Los Altos areas have expanded to become much greater destinations than ever before. Even though the Silicon Valley has been a national force for the past two decades, it has taken a while for downtown Los Altos to catch up with the bustling culture of Silicon Valley. As recently as five years ago, the downtown area was dominated by stores, such as Chicos, that appealed mostly to older generations. Over the past few years, however, Los Altos has begun to change drastically. Many LAHS students have already noticed new attractions like Area 151, the new downtown arcade and Skateworks, a new skate shop on State Street. The new additions have changed downtown life, and if the company Passerelle Investments has anything to say about it, the changes aren’t anywhere near over. Passerelle Investments, a small real estate investment company in the Bay Area, has aided Los Altos in becoming a more pedestrian-friendly downtown by buying property in the downtown area and leasing it to different tenants. “We think Los Altos is going to be something unique,” Director of Passerelle Investments Brooke Ray Smith said. “We don’t think it is going to be like Mountain View or Palo Alto. It is not like any of those other towns. We think the way we’d like to help reframe that question in many people’s minds is not ‘who do we want to be like?’ but more ‘what is Los Altos?’” Some of Passerelle’s projects include the new skate shop Skateworks and family restaurant Bumble. The continuing changes reflect an evolving community, one that is becoming more young

and dynamic. Passerelle does this by leasing property to business owners, like Mary Hefferman, who runs Buble, Area 151 and Play! “There are a lot of elements of change, and [Los Altos] is a community that has gone from the Republican NASA Engineers of the ‘70s and ‘80s to today’s triangulation of Apple, Facebook and Google,” Skateworks owner Jason Strubing said. “There are a lot of young families, a lot of people who come here from abroad to settle and work at those high tech companies. And I think that plays a big part into how the community is going to organically change to accommodate those people’s wants and needs.” Linden Tree, a local bookstore with a history in downtown Los Altos, was one of the first stores to help contribute to the “new atmosphere” of downtown Los Altos by changing location and remodeling. “Passerelle started in 2009 and we started doing projects in downtown Los Altos around 2010,” Smith said. “We did the Linden Tree bookstore project, moved Linden Tree [and] opened Bumble. Those were the first two major projects.” Having bought Linden Tree with a

co-owner in May 2010, Diane Edmonds going to dinner at night or taking their notes that although the store’s kids on excursions ... that would be a rebranding project cost a lot of time and success,” Smith said. money, the new building has allowed Renovations in downtown Los Altos them to redesign their store layout in are far from finished. Projects from order to reflect a newfound energy, Passerelle are still coming as new ideas one that is representative of the new and plans are being formed; multiple atmosphere in events have already downtown Los been finalized and “If we could get people who Altos. put into motion. are in walking and biking “[It’s] closer In the summer, distance to really think of to the energy the intersection of of the town,” First and State Street downtown Los Altos as their Edmonds said. will be closed off for primary destination for going “We were able six to eight weeks out on weekends, for going to for a construction to design [the dinner at night or taking their building] from project. In order an empty shell.” kids on excursions ... that would to take advantage Linden Tree of the closed-off be a success.” was Passerelle’s streets, Passerelle - Director of Passerelle first project, is working in and since then, Investments Brooke Ray Smith conjunction with the company the city to establish has attracted a park in that area. five more businesses to Los Altos. Another of Passerelle’s major innovation Evolve Yoga & Pilates, Skateworks, is artistically-inclined: The San Francisco Bumble, Play! Los Altos and a startup Museum of Modern Art (SF MOMA) will be company, Indigo-I, were all brought in moving some pieces to Los Altos while their by Passerelle. Passerelle also renovated main building is closed for renovations. Peet’s Coffee and worked in street Dynamic new businesses and new renovations to make downtown more community events are helping create a pedestrian-friendly. The trellis project more pedestrian-friendly and culturally that was placed along First Street was rich downtown. With the continued a joint collaboration between Passerelle support of locals, Los Altos will continue and the city of Los Altos. to thrive in the “If we could get people next few who are in walking years. and biking distance to really think of downtown Los Altos as their primary destination for going out on weekends, for


11

In-Depth

New Village at San Antonio coming soon higher quality produce in the region. Introducing a mega-Safeway allows for a cheaper alternative for parents and children looking for groceries. The newly built apartment complex, named Carmel the Village, will also bring new residents to the San Antonio and El Camino intersection. This part of town has been more or less vacant because of sparse living space, but now Carmel the Village offers an ideal location for many families to live. The location allows parents to have easy access to job opportunities while students can take advantage of the schools provided by the MVLA and Los Altos School Los Altos Population by Age Districts. Despite this, there has been 65+ years old 0-14 years old concern among some students 19.3% that the new 20.1% apartments could create an influx of students for 55-64 years old 15-34 years old 12.2% 14.2% nearby schools. “Population overcrowding may 34.2% be an issue for the MVLA School District,” senior John Lee said. 35-54 years old H o w e v e r , Data from areaConnect the school administration appeal more to those who shop at the believes that an increase in the number Whole Foods down the street. of students at the school is inevitable This, like Santana Row, is aimed at anyways due to the natural growth of the bringing more people to the region, community and is preparing accordingly. which will then further advance certain Furthermore, there is no guarantee that construction developments and bring families with children will be living in the The Village at San Antonio Center up to apartments. speed with the big things happening in “[Residents] could be business people, downtown Los Altos. young couples, retired couples,” Assistant The Village at San Antonio Center Principal Cristy Dawson said. “I wouldn’t offers many positive attributes to the say that the particular place is going to region, including the introduction of cause a big bump [in students]. Just more retail stores and restaurants to high natural growth within the community schoolers and young adults in the area. absolutely will.” For example, The Counter, a famous Also, while more and more people burger restaurant, is being introduced into the Village. “The new complex is really close to my house,” sophomore Farris Scott said. “I’m looking forward to not having to drive all over just to find a nice place to eat.” A new Safeway has also been installed in the Village, replacing the one on Showers Drive. This allows for competition with Whole Foods, which has long since held dominion over

Population of Los Altos 30000

Number of people

The crossing of San Antonio and El Camino has been filled with stores such as Sears, however has never become a social destination. New changes are currently changing all of this, completely reinventing this region. About a year ago, the towns of Los Altos and Mountain View approved knocking down the Sears complex and build, in its place, a new market called “The Village at San Antonio Center.” Much like the development in Santana Row, The Village at San Antonio Center is meant to upscale the neighborhood, bringing retail and living space that

April 30, 2013

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continue to be drawn to the area, traffic California Avenue, “replacing buildings seems to be a growing problem. El Camino currently occupied by BevMo and Ross.” “I would rather see the Milk Pail and surrounding streets tend to be very crowded and more attractions will only because a movie theater would just cause too much business and crowds that would add to this increasing traffic problem. “There will be more traffic definitely,” ruin the laid back effect of Los Altos and John said. “More attractions will make the parts of Mountain View,” senior Nisha area more popular. But I feel as though Ramesh said. rush hour won’t change as much; evening On the other hand, some believe that traffic will. In the evening people will the movie theater is just a part of the dine out or go to the movies, increasing evolving culture in the area. traffic. These won’t be necessary during “The large groups of young families in the region would the other times.” Despite the enjoy having a movie theater in negatives that backyard,” the complexes “I feel as though having those their might bring, the said. new additions to [the area] John “However I see the upcoming retail will provide a contemporary passing of the Milk excites many feel. It would contrast against Pail market as a students. There is even talk of the picturesque village feel to sad part to all of bringing a movie downtown, but it would also this. A traditional theater to nearby part of our local add an interesting side to our community [will the Village. There have otherwise quaint downtown.” be] gone. I feel like this change been rumors that -Senior John Lee an eight-screen caters to the new theater families who come is to be constructed on to the region. Movie theaters are a great California Avenue in source of entertainment; the incoming replacement of the Milk theater probably hopes to capitalize on Pail Market, a small this revenue.” Although both negatives and positives open-air market right across from the original exist for the new development of the Safeway. However, these Village, there is no question that it will rumors have not been make an impact on all who live near it. confirmed. According to the Los Altos Town Crier, the theater should be located along


12

Features

April 30, 2013

Freestyle seniors film final narrative projects Rebecca Cohen Brenna Reid Opinions Editor Entertainment Editor

For students at Freestyle Academy, the joint alternative arts education program offered to students at both Mountain View High School and Los Altos High School, making a film is no unfamiliar task. Throughout their two years at Freestyle, students write, film and edit narrative stories, documentaries and even, most recently, music videos. As the final project, seniors have partnered up to develop 10 minute narrative films. Seniors Nikki Kashani and Janna Wang chose to orient their film around Freestyle itself, making sure to highlight its students’ quirks and

characters, in a last homage to the program. “In first semester, we began by writing a narrative story, before we even developed it into a screenplay,” Nikki said. “We even had a professor from the University of San Francisco come in and teach us how to write screenplays, showing us how to incorporate plot and character development. Now we’re actually filming and putting the movie together.” Nikki and Janna’s film is a satire on high school involving a pair of guys and what happens when one of them loses his virginity and decides he is too cool to be friends with the other one. The deserted friend is then set up on a series of dates to find a new best friend or a girlfriend. These potential mates are played by students

who attend Freestyle. “Throughout this process we’ve learned a lot about how to separate out internal versus external conflicts,” Janna said. “It’s something you don’t really think about, or realize you’re missing, but it’s essential to writing a good story. It’s the difference between a good and a bad film.” Creating an entire 10 minute film at the end of senior year is no easy feat. Many problems have come, especially in trying to rally the various members of the movie together for filming. “It’s difficult because everyone is trying to make their films before the deadlines, and everyone is really busy,” Nikki said. “Now that we’re using high tech digital cameras, we need special equipment, which everyone in the Freestyle program has to share.” But that’s not to say there haven’t been accomplishments and milestones. “It’s a collaborative process,” Janna said. “It’s been really great to have a good story to work with. Nikki has put all of her sense of humor into this film, and it’s really funny. It’s interesting to compare the process of when you start with a good foundation versus a poor one.” The two have also learned a lot about balancing the different aspects of creating a film and making sure all elements are up to par and where they want them to be. “Making the cinematic stuff look good is [pointless and

RA

ME CA

empty] if the story isn’t good to match,” Janna said. “Luckily our film has both.” Seniors Ellery Seither and Hannah Hansen are also producing their own film for this project. The two girls knew where to find the material for their film, a romantic comedy centered around friends in high school. “Our film is about two boys in high school from different social groups,” Ellery said. “They end up as part of a love triangle when they start doing a web show together.” This inevitably brings about chaos as a girl comes between the two guys as a potential love interest, and the usual high school drama ensues. The filmmakers sought to integrate their love of film with their love of people, evidenced in the plot that has filming as part of its main sequence. Similarly, Ellery and Hannah

find that the most challenging aspect of creating their film is getting their actors corralled together to actually film. “The biggest challenge has been finding time to film together and getting all the actors together,” Ellery said. However, Hannah and Ellery manage to find time to film nearly every weekend, even with Hannah in Europe for three weeks as part of her Main Street tour and Ellery’s challenging schedule working at Peet’s Coffee. They are very dedicated to their film, which they hope will be a great culmination of their two years’ experience at Freestyle. “[I] think our success has been the fact that Hannah and I work well together and we don’t have a lot of disagreements,” Ellery said. “But, we feed off each other’s ideas and create something better in the end.”

Freshman competes on ‘X Factor’ CONTINUED FROM FRONT PAGE

It was important for Sydney to keep her routine fresh and her spirits up, especially because the producer judging her didn’t seem enthusiastic. Sydney kept her pep up, however, and went even more all-out in response. “Regardless of what he was thinking, I just wanted to do the best I could because I was there,” Sydney said. “I couldn’t let nerves get to me, I only had one shot ... one minute. I used that one minute.” Although the producer kept a flat face, Sydney noticed him bobbing his head. He was ultimately impressed. “He debated it, he thought about it for a bit, and I was really worried that I wasn’t going to go through because he had a flat face,” Sydney said, “and then he pulled out this yellow ticket ... I screamed and started crying.” She ran through the “yes” doors, where she was greeted by producers and journalists. Once she got home, she started preparing for the next round of auditions, for which she sang “California Girls.”

She’s currently preparing for the third audition, which she described as “the big audition,” by taking vocal and dance classes after school. The second time around, Sydney was more excited to go back to L.A. than she was nervous. However, she had to cope with a lot of stress leading up to her first audition. To keep her mind off the pressure during her free time in L.A., Sydney exercised, walked around downtown and went to a hockey game with her father. Sydney’s father has accompanied her to auditions and supported her throughout her audition process. He’s also one of her role models. “He started off really small and he worked really hard to get to where he is right now, and so I want to be able to do that someday too,” Sydney said. Like her father, who has had a talk show and now runs a production company, Sydney hopes to be an entertainer. “I’ve always been an entertainer, I guess you could say, I started acting in commercials

and stuff in the third grade and singing has always been a passion of mine,” Sydney said. “I wanted to get myself out there.” Sydney has had prior experience in this area— in addition to being in the commercials, she’s also been on a talk show—but auditioning for “X Factor” was a part of a larger new experience for her: living in the United States. Before this year, Sydney lived in China and Australia. Her family moved from Hong Kong to California due to her dad’s job. Although living in the United States has been a major change for Sydney, it has had some definite benefits, such as enabling her to audition for “X Factor” in the first place. “Watching ‘American Idol’ and all those other shows back in Asia, [I thought] when I move to America I’m going to do that,” Sydney said. “And then when I moved here and ‘X Factor’ aired I was like that’s the show, I’m doing that, because ‘X Factor’s’ the whole package; you’ve got to have stage [presence].”


13

Features

April 30, 2013

Facebook post goes viral, hits 50,000 likes Cassidy Craford Staff Writer

When freshman Julia Khan posted a photo collage advocating for the acceptance of religious and cultural diversity on Facebook’s “Being Liberal” page in early March, she had no idea how much attention it would receive. Julia’s message was simple, demonstrated with four pictures of herself holding up papers with the words, “My name is Julia. My mother is Jewish. My father is Muslim. My brother and I are taught love and acceptance. When will the world follow?” After talking with one of her friends in her California YMCA Youth and Government program about her parents’ different backgrounds, Julia realized that the influence her parents’ different backgrounds had on her was a story worth sharing. She posted her story on the “Being Liberal” page, which is known for frequently publicizing religious acceptancerelated material. Julia said that most people don’t understand, much less appreciate, the difficulty her parents had to face getting married and what it means that their two religions can work in tandem. But Julia said she couldn’t wish for a better situation. “Since it’s nearly impossible to follow everything any religion teaches, I don’t feel as though I’m sacrificing much by practicing both,” Julia said. “My family isn’t incredibly

religious anyway. We focus more on culture.” Yet due to their backgrounds, Julia, her father and her brother have all had to deal with the stereotypes of Muslims in America. Julia believes that our society has demonized Islam as a religion instead of recognizing it as a scapegoat for the actions of terrorist organizations. The solution to this problem,

Julia said, is quite simple: love. “My philosophy of love is complicated and not completely formulated,” Julia said. “I know it’s incredibly cheesy but I do believe that love is the answer.” In the caption on her post on the “Being Liberal” page, Julia wrote that her parents love each other despite the fact that members of their religions often hate each other. “I hope that someday the world

can be taught the same values that my family follows,” Julia said. Since March, Julia’s photo has been shared on various websites and blogs outside of Facebook, including the blog “Upworthy,” accumulating more than 50,000 likes between the pages and is estimated to have been seen by four million people. “I could not be happier that my message can spread to that big of an audience,” Julia said.

Courtesy Julia khan

Freshman Julia Khan posted a photo collage of herself on Facebook, advocating for religious and cultural acceptance. She told her story through these cards and the message spread to millions around the world though social media websites such as blogs.

She admitted that she did receive negative feedback on the photo, but recognized that this is a consequences of posting political material on the internet. “At first, I was a little worried about my privacy and I began to receive negative feedback and even death threats,” Julia said. “But now I realize that people like that exist everywhere and there’s nothing I can do to stop it.” Julia credits her interest and openness of sharing her story concerning her involvement to not only her Youth and Government program, but to a variety of other organizations including Female Leaders in Power, One Billion Rising and California Delegations at the Conference on National Affairs. Even if a person’s story isn’t political or religious, Julia believes that students should follow the same path she did and be more active about sharing what makes them who they are. In her case, Julia hopes to show people that just because she has parents of two different cultural backgrounds does not mean she and her brother are not given unconditional love. Furthermore, Julia wants to encourage others her age to advocate for their own story. She said that each person has a voice, which if used, can and will shape the world around us. “Everyone has a story, no matter how trivial it may seem,” Julia said. “We all just need to share it.”

Cherry Avenue resident preserves family history with house Sparsha Saxena Senior Writer In 1938, Switzerland-born Robert Bleibler moved into the Cherry Avenue house that is now one of the oldest in Los Altos. His grandson, Armond King, keeps a sign for H. Bleibler’s Ornamental Framework (Est. 1903) to honor and preserve the legacy of Bleibler’s lifelong metalworking occupation, from creating artworks to mending general repairs such as constructing steel buildings, repairing plows and mending. “His iron works could be used for a wide variety of architecture, from Mediterranean to Tuscan,”

King said. Having grown up as an artisan of wrought iron work—similar to the type that gates extravagant European homes—Bleibler began his work in Texas after moving to the United States in the 1880s. He established a general store in what is now known as Bleiblerville, Texas, which is a small community in northwest Austin, Texas. Bleibler started his business with rod iron work, horseshoes, rubber and general repairs. King does not specifically remember how his grandfather’s potential as an artist was recognized and led him to transition from shoeing artwork and general repairs to creating

solely iron works. He says that this transition, however, took place around the same time when people traded their “buggy whips for automobiles.” During this transition, his iron work was unparalleled. “Everything he did was completely by hand,” King said. “No machines at all.” All of this history is embedded within the Cherry Avenue house. King and his grandfather shared many memories throughout the years, some just about enjoying the outdoors and some about a young King getting help from his grandfather with repairs. When Los Altos was brimming

COURTESY aRMOND kING

The Cherry Avenue house still stands as one of the oldest houses in Los Altos. King’s grandfather, Switzerland-born Robert Bleibler, moved into Los Altos in 1938 after giving his iron works business to his brother.

with farms and apricot trees, King and his grandfather would spend time picking almonds, apricots, and cherries. His grandfather would host all sorts of parties for the family, all of whom lived within a five mile radius of the home. Now King’s property expanded beyond the house on Cherry Avenue today. King fondly remembers his childhood activities at the house, and how his future generation will not experience the same memories. One of these activities would be hunting the squirrels around the neighborhood and helping his grandfather with summer barbeques. “I had such distinct memories with my grandfather [and] it’s something my grandchildren will never understand,” King said. “They will not have the same desire to farm or take care of the house.” Even though his children and grandchildren will never share the same memories as him, King chose to buy the home out of nostalgia. He wanted to keep his grandfather’s house within the family. While Los Altos is often associated with Silicon Valley more than it is with apricot and almond trees, King has maintained the house for what will this year be 100 years. Today in King’s house there are still a few apricot trees and a cherry tree, which is currently in bloom, in addition to

COURTESY aRMOND kING

Armond King (left) stands with his wife in front of the H. Bleibler Ornamental Framework sign mounted outside his Cherry Avenue house. Robert Bleibler, King’s grandfather, moved to the Los Altos area and into the house in 1938. a few preserved iron artwork by his grandfather. “If someone does not preserve history, it disappears,” King said. “I would have to have my arm twisted in order to sell this house.”


Entertainment

The Talon April 30, 2013

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Artist: C2C

FEATURE ARTIST OF THE ISSUE

Electronic meets pop to create a new and unique sound

Carly Cohen Staff Writer New music constantly floods iTunes, YouTube and music stores all across the country. Artists of all genres test the waters by producing albums and hoping that someone will take note. In the past couple of years, the music group C2C has made a splash in the music world, working their songs into playlists across the world. However, creating its own albums and singles is new to C2C as the group has spent most of its career as a professional turntable group. Beginning together in 1998 as high schoolers in France, the group, consisting of four members, found its calling in the competitive DJ circuit. In 2003, C2C won first place in the Disco Mix Club World Team DJ Championship. The group continued to bring home victories as it won the same competition again and again, totalling to four championship titles in a row (2003-2006). It also brought home an International Turntablist Federation (ITF) Championship title in 2005. Now with all band members in their thirties, C2C has decided to bring its skills as a DJing group to a new level. It has begun to record its own sounds and combined them

The

to make unique songs. Bringing together musical instruments and the effects of turntables, C2C has created its own popelectronic sound. To start its new musical career, the group produced its first Extended Play (EP), “Down the Road,” in 2012. Quickly following, in that same year, its first album, “Tetra,” hit the music world. The album consists of songs such as “Delta,” a unique mixture of electronic sound and manipulated vocals. It is an instant favorite with its upbeat rhythm and strong beat. Another song, “Happy,” composed of upbeat tunes and contagious zeal effortly lifts anyone’s mood. It mixes the sound of the turntable and singing to get people off their feet to join into the spirit of the song. It provides a jazzy feel with musical

Counter:

Carly Cohen Staff Writer Travel anywhere and you are practically guaranteed to find at least one burger place. Whether this means a fast food restaurant or a pub, burgers have become a staple food. However, very few places make a burger that is unique. The Counter on California Street, Palo Alto offers up just that along with a fun environment and quick service, making it a must-go-to place to eat.

So what makes this place so special? First, the menu itself is unique. Rather than going to this place for the regular menu, most everyone heads to The Counter for its “burger bar.” Through the burger bar, you receive a piece of paper with several different options for your burger that you can pick and choose from. These options include 23 different types of toppings, like a crunchy lettuce blend and fresh tomatoes, nine types of premium toppings, like creamy avocado and tangy sundried tomatoes, 12 cheeses, like

Mark’s Order: Beef Jalapeno Jack Sautéed Onions Tomatoes Housemade Guacamole Habanero Salsa Hamburger Bun

Carly’s Order: Beef Tillamook Cheddar Dill Pickle Chips Lettuce Blend Tomatoes Avocado Russian Dressing Hamburger Bun

where

instruments as well. In addition to “Delta” and “Happy,” C2C produced several other new favorite songs such as “Because of You.” This song is a pop, hip hop and rap mix, with electronic sounds as well. It combines many different genres in a cohesive way. Following this trend is the song “Who Are You.” It shares similar tastes of genres, but it brings its own unique style to the album as well. C2C brings several different sounds together, making it unique and incredibly

variety

Mediterranean Greek feta and traditional yellow american, five different types of meat (including chicken and veggie burgers) and 23 sauces, like the spicy chipotle aiolo and a classic ceaser spread. Having so many choices is a rare treat for any burger lover and allows every eater to create their dream meal. In addition to the many options, the food itself is delicious. The burgers are well cooked and various sides, like premium cheese-covered garlic fries and sweet potato fries,

Alex’s Order:

Beef Imported Swiss Cheese Sautéed Onions Lettuce Blend Fresh Jalapenos Hamburger Bun Fruit Salad

Christina’s Order: Beef Hard Boiled Eggs Tomatoes Lettuce Blend Applewood Smoked Bacon Honey Mustard Multigrain Bun Fruit Salade

simon bonaventure

The artists of C2C use turntables to create the great sinth pop music mix that it’s known for. This photo shows the band at a performance in Paris, its city of origin. versatile. In a single album, C2C brings together a range of music styles and allows listeners to be exposed to new and upcoming sounds. To continue to popularize its music, C2C has gone on tour. It have covered France in its music and is bringing its beat to the US as well. Recently, it performed at the Coachella music festival in Southern California and will continue on to perform at BFD in Mountain View as well as all around Europe. It is a group you won’t want to miss.

means

excellence

can be ordered with your main meal, straying away from simple french fries (although those are offered as well). Perhaps the most unusual of these sides are the fried dill pickle chips. Although these may not sound very appetizing, they are surprisingly tasty. If not an instant favorite, they are at least worth trying. The Counter also has a wide array of thick and creamy milkshakes that change periodically. For example, the market selection one day may be an oreo shake and then it may be

Suki’s Order: Chicken Tillamook Cheddar Black Olives Lettuce Blend Chili Mayonnaise Hamburger Bun

a caramel shake the next day. Along with the food, the decor of this restaurant is also unique. The walls are decorated with graffiti art and painted skateboards. This unusual art gives the room a modern feel and a very unique vibe. Along with most pubs, The Counter also has plasma TVs and a bar, providing diners with a lively eating experience. Coming soon to the Village at San Antonio Center, this restaurant should be everyone’s next stop. To learn more about the Village, check out the in-depth section.

Rebecca’s Order: Beef Yellow American Baby Spinach Carrot Strings Sliced Cucumbers Tomatoes Avocado Apricot Sauce

Jose’s Order:

Beef Yellow American Sautéed Onions Lettuce Blend Applewood Smoked Bacon Mayonnaise Hamburger Bun

Graphics by Parmis Taidy


15

Entertainment

April 30, 2013

By Libbie Katsev | Editor-in-Chief

THE ORIGINAL SERIES

THE CONCEPT

“To boldly go where no man has gone before”—it’s not just the crew of the Enterprise that takes humanity to new heights. Since 1966, “Star Trek” has been breaking boundaries, both in terms of media and in society. Compared to the 21st-century special effects and slightly grittier takes on characters of the 2009 “Star Trek” and its upcoming sequel, “Into Darkness,” “The Original Series” can seem naive and even a little silly. However, it has been a force for social change, in addition to being a good TV show in its own right. The Original Series follows the crew of a spaceship, the Enterprise, as they explore the Universe. The main characters are Captain James “Jim” T. Kirk (William Shatner), first officer Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy), a Vulcan—humanoid aliens who are very logical and who are not subject to human emotion, Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy (DeForest Kelley), and officers Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), Hikaru Sulu (George Takei), Montgomery “Scotty” Scott (James Doohan) and Pavel Chekov (Walter Koenig). In the midst of the Cold War and the Civil Rights Movement, the multiracial, multinational crew of the Enterprise represented a united humanity and a hopeful vision of the future. While the new movies have the same diverse competent crew, along with positives, “The Original Series” didn’t have, like cool special effects and less sexism; some of the optimism and excitement of “The Original Series” has been lost in the movie reboot.

• • • • • •

Set in space/on dozens of different planets Emphasis on exploration, rather than battle More of a focus on diplomacy when it comes to solving problems More lighthearted More hopeful and optimistic Action scenes, special effects and costumes look outdated • • •

• • • • •

Same basic characters Takes place in the future Enterprise is highly revered by the crew

Better special effects More action scenes Takes place in an alternate universe Grittier/darker Solving conflicts with weapons instead of words

MOVIE

FEATURED EPISODES

1966 - 1969 The Original Series: This marks the dawn of Star Trek as a series, revolutionizing the Sci-fi industry.

1973 - 1974 The Animated Series: This marks the evolution of Star Trek, becomming a series for adults and children.

THE CHARACTERS

Kirk is arguably the character who has changed the most. In “The Original Series”, he is the son of a successful Starfleet captain. In the new movies, he is the son of a dead hero and has had a considerably more difficult childhood. Unlike the Kirk in The Original Series, this Kirk is more of an underdog— before joining Starfleet he’s described as being “the only genius-level repeat offender in the Midwest.” Although Spock’s childhood is not directly affected by the

Despite interesting wardrobe choices and low-budget special effects, old episodes of Star Trek can be pretty great. (They’re also all on Netflix.) Here are some classic episodes. The Original Series: “Mirror, Mirror”—Kirk, Uhura and McCoy accidentally beam onto the wrong Enterprise. They end up in an alternate universe, where Starfleet is closer 1987 - 1994 The Next to the Third Reich, assassination Generation: By far the most attempts are the norm, and popular of the series, TNG Spock has a beard. The piratefeatured Patrick Stewart as esque uniforms on the Mirror Captain Jean-Luc Picard . Enterprise alone make this episode worth watching. “The Trouble With Tribbles”—This episode is so absurd that it’s almost a parody. Uhura acquires an adorable creature called a “Tribble,” which reproduces so rapidly that soon every surface 1993 - 1997 Deep of the Enterprise Space 9: This marks a is covered in darker period in Star Trek’s balls of history; in fact, Deep Space 1995 - 2001 Voyager 9 developed a really bad becomes the ship of travel in reputation. the new series.

events that create an alternate universe, the new movies play up his angst by showing him as ostracized for having a human mother. One of the biggest changes, though, is his and Kirk’s initial mutual hatred – in “The Original Series” the two are best friends. By the end of the 2009 movie, Spock and Kirk seem to be on their way to having a close friendship, like they did in “The Original Series.” In “Into Darkness” viewers will see how the differences (if any) play out. Another change is Spock’s romantic relationship with Uhura, which

was at points hinted at in “The Original Series” but never fully developed. Spock’s antagonistic relationship with Doctor McCoy, however, remains unchanged. Uhura herself is the same capable, very smart woman she was in “The Original Series”– with one change: Unlike in TOS, she has a first name, Nyota (although she won’t tell Kirk what it is for most of the movie). The other main characters on the bridge, Chekov and Sulu, are younger and less experienced. “The Original Series” is racially diverse even by the admittedly woeful standards

of today. It featured an African-American woman and Japanese-American man as main characters, and also had one of the first interracial kisses shown on American television (between Kirk and Uhura). While “The Original Series” introduces viewers to an experienced crew, the reboot focuses on how the crew comes together, with plenty of clashes of personality and trials by fire along the way. It also sets them up as facing great odds from the start, from Kirk and Spock’s difficult childhoods to McCoy’s recent divorce.

fluff. Meanwhile, Scotty starts a bar fight when someone insults the Enterprise and Chekov won’t stop insisting that everything was invented in Russia. There’s a mission, too, but nobody really cares. “The Naked Time”—This is another humorous episode, in which everybody loses control of their emotions. The episode’s title may refer to this emotional nakedness, or it might refer to Sulu, who runs around shirtless trying to fence with people. Kirk is moved to tears by how much he loves the Enterprise. Spock, though, suffers the most—as a Vulcan, he’s used to having control over his emotions. “The City on the Edge of Forever”—In this episode, Kirk and Spock travel in time to pre-World War II New York City. This episode is more serious, and deals with a classic dilemma of sci-fi time travel: If Kirk and Spock save the life of someone they meet in the past, it will have disastrous consequences for the future.

Although in some ways, the reboot retains the optimism of “The Original Series”—a united humanity and exploration of the stars—it spends much of its time focusing on the aspects of humanity viewers are more familiar with, like distrust, insecurity, and pride. While The Original Series also showed this darker side, these kinds of conflicts were mostly due to external factors, like psychic manipulation. “Into Darkness” looks like it will continue to explore a more pessimistic angle on the crew of the Enterprise, and Starfleet itself.


Entertainment

16

April 30, 2013

Esther’s German Bakery: a local gem Antony Bello Senior Writer

The Beginnings

After immigrating to the United States during the Tech Boom, Esther Nio and her husband missed the traditional German bread sold back home and decided to start small by selling bread at

farmer’s markets. “People would constantly ask if they could buy bread daily,” Esther said. Demand eventually grew, so the two chose to open up a bakery. “If you already have the demand,” Esther said, “then opening up will be easier than for other people. You’re known

already. People know you from the farmer’s market.” Unfortunately, it was difficult for Esther to find an ideal location to start her bakery, but she eventually settled on San Antonio Road. She created a whole restaurant with health-conscious food ranging from bratwurst to German pancakes, in addition to the beautiful array of breads.

The Food

jade Perry

Esther’s German Bakery sits on the busy San Antonio Road, offering a quiet haven with some great food.

The menu at Esther’s German Bakery is filled with items the typical American student cannot even pronounce. It embodies a unique European taste while still including food familiar to Americans, like the Farmer’s Scrambled eggs with potatoes, onions and cheese. One dish Esther’s is known for is the bratwurst. The flavorful and tender sausage is accompanied by warm, sweet

sauerkraut that has been cooked to perfection and with a side of potato salad. This meal has to be eaten slowly to enjoy all the intricate flavors. This platter is only $8.95, a price unparalleled for the quality of the meal. As for the bread, there’s really nothing like it. Made from scratch with imported flour from Germany, it cannot be more authentic. They have a wide range of baked goods from authentic pretzels to the Hefezopf challah, a bread that looks like billowing clouds and is served as French toast in the Bakery. Esther has upheld a mission to keep the ingredients fresh, unlike other bakeries in the area that use artificial preservatives to extend the bread’s shelf life. “People don’t taste the difference, and it’s a pity,” Esther said. “We still do it like

hundreds of years ago: butter, flour, yeast and no mixers. We have a doctor who recommends our breads to his patients.” Esther’s German Bakery even has a 70 year-old German baker who became an apprentice back in Germany when he was 14 years old. He works with the efficiency of three people working simultaneously. All his recipes are secret, and even Esther doesn’t know them. Coupled with the calm ambience of the place, real ingredients and dishes made from scratch make the quality of food at Esther’s exceptional. Customers at Esther’s appreciate the attention to detail and authenticity, and understand that the style of food is truly unique in comparison to other restaurants. It’s hard to notice, but it is pleasantly surprising to know that a gem like Esther’s exists so close to our school.

Dim sum Adventure: traveling far and wide for the best dishes Christina Luk Mark Schreiber Features Editor Managing Editor

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Joy Luck Palace

Joy Luck Palace is a Cantonesestyle dim sum restaurant located in the Cupertino Village Shopping Center. The restaurant is designed much like a ballroom, with chandeliers, elaborate lights decorating the ceiling and walls, with neat, round tables dotting the enormous floor space. Much like other dim sum restaurants, Joy Luck is massive and attracts large groups, particularly on Sunday mornings. If you try to eat right at noon, the line to get seated will most likely range from 15 to 30 minutes. Smaller parties, typically of three or less, are more manageable here. They are seated quicker, albeit in the corners or very back of the restaurant, which makes finding the desired dishes increasingly difficult when the servers skip over or do not pass the table. But, whether in a party of two or a large group, patience and discipline are essential when eating at Joy Luck. Half the experience is attempting to track down servers with the plates that you are craving. Though the hardcore, traditional dim sum might be appealing to some, dishes like chicken feet may make the average customer wary. This means the best way to enjoy dim sum is to scout out the carts that have the exact plates that you want. If a server comes to your table offering a dish that makes you a bit uneasy, a simple “no thank you” is all that is needed. This makes the meal both affordable and enjoyable by cutting back on paying for food that you’d rather not eat. But if you’re someone who is familiar with dim sum, there’s a chance that you’ll be disappointed. Since dim sum is generally only offered during lunch, Joy Luck tends to run out of favorites such as spring rolls and BBQ pork buns within an hour of opening for lunch. Being adventurous never hurts, but don’t feel pressured to step out of your comfort zone. There is something for everyone to eat during Joy Luck’s dim sum period. However, if you want to have the widest variety of dishes to choose from, it’s best to get there at 11 a.m.or 11:30 a.m.; if you’re looking for faster service try to arrive from either 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. or from 1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. Joy Luck, and dim sum in general, is not a fast food experience. Give yourself about an hour to sufficiently enjoy your meal to the fullest because you never know what the kitchen might churn out next.

2

Fu Lam Mum

Castro Street’s take on Chinese dumplings, served at Fu Lam Mum, is an underrated choice for local dim sum. Though similar in size and popularity to Joy Luck Palace, Fu Lam Mum has the upper hand due to its wide variety of excellent seafood dishes. Whether it be braised fish fillet, grilled shrimp or sauteed scallops, Fu Lam Mum delivers both in taste and price. The fish is savory and comes packed with flavor. Going to Fu Lam Mum and not ordering a single seafood dish is a questionable decision considering the chef’s affinity for crafting speciality seafood dishes. But if fish really isn’t your style, Fu Lam Mum still has an immense assortment of other delicious dumplings and even mainstay Chinese dishes like Mongolian beef and fried rice. Fu Lam Mum is a great choice for a dim sum novice. For people less accustomed to the interesting tastes and flavors of traditional Chinese dim sum, Fu Lam Mum serves enough recognizable dishes that even the pickiest of eaters will find something they will like on the menu because Fu Lam Mum lets the customer drive their own dining experience. This means that people with less dim sum experience can be sure that they are ordering exactly what they want without the confusion of whether or not the mystery dumpling off the cart is pork or just a steamed mushroom. Fu Lam Mum, despite it’s Americanized taint, is not a sell out. It fuses tradition with new-school ideas about dim sum that makes it more appetizing to those less willing to eat frog’s legs.

3

Saigon

Located in Lakewood Shopping Center, Saigon tends to be hard to find if it weren’t for the typical crowd of people lining up outside the restaurant from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The wait for lunch is typically 30 to 45 minutes unless you go in a smaller group of two to three people, since smaller tables cycle faster than larger ones. But the best way to ensure that you’ll get a good table and served dim sum quickly is to go there for brunch: 10:30 a.m. at the latest, or to make a reservation. Inside Saigon, there’s a large dining area with multiple banquet-style tables that the dim sum carts go between. There’s nothing fancy about the ambiance there; the high-rise ceiling, banquet-style wood tables and fish-clad wallpaper make you feel like you’re in a typical Hong Kong restaurant. All of the

zach cohen

Fu Lam Mum: a place for dim sum that suits the adventurist and the traditionalist... and the one who isn’t comfortable trying frog legs. seafood served in Saigon is flavorful, chewy rice dumplings filled with pork) hot and fresh, the honey glazed walnut and the ever-so-popular Xue Shan Bau prawns, sea bass filet in XO sauce and (cupcake-looking buns with a “snowy” their various crab dishes are favorites crust and a creamy taro filling). among regulars. Whether you’re a dim sum regular or Traditional seafood dishes aren’t new to this world of cuisine, Saigon has the only thing Saigon offers though. the right balance between classic dishes Their lobster yee mein (lobster over egg and ones that call for adventure. As an noodles) is a popular dish that’s hard to authentic dim sum restaurant, Saigon find at other dim sum restaurants. Even if gives its customers large portions at seafood doesn’t appeal to you, Saigon still about the same price as other dim sum has a wide selection of dim sum dishes. places. If you’re looking to get some Standard dishes such as Shu Mai, Har Gao real dim sum – not some Americanized (shrimp dumplings), Jiu Cai Bau (steamed food like Mongolian beef – Saigon’s then fried chive dumplings), Cheong Fan the right place to be. As long as you get (shrimp/beef/barbecue pork-rolled rice there early, prepare yourself for some noodles) and Char Siu Bau (steamed or serious flavor, freshness and quality. baked barbecue   pork buns)   are constantly circulating around in the carts. If you have a bit of a sweet tooth, carts also go around with sweets such as   egg custards,   Jin Duo (sesame An unparalleled selection of quality yarns, balls filled with books, patterns and needles for beginner lotus or red bean and master knitters. Classes too! paste), Char Siu Sou (flaky barbecue pork293 state street, los altos, ca 94022 (650) 941-1815 filled pastry), Haam Sui Gau   (crunchy and


April 30, 2013

17

Entertainment

Iron Man: the history of a legend Arman Khayyat Senior Writer

For the past five years, the Iron Man movie series has captivated viewers from across the world. From the creation of the legendary suit in the caves of Afghanistan to the machinegunning journeys of the “Marvel” character, Iron Man, the series has continuously impressed. In 2013, we are coming closer and closer to the debut of the much anticipated “Iron Man 3.” While the movie series has progressed considerably since its conception in 2008, it is important to consider the history and origin of the storyline. The “Iron Man” fictional superhero was first introduced by writer-editor Stan Lee and scripter Larry Lieber of Marvel Comics. The design and outfit of Iron Man was then developed by artists Don Heck and Jack Kirby. Iron Man’s movie story began with the billionaire industrialist and engineer, Tony Stark. In wartime Afghanistan, Stark is captured and receives a severe chest injury. His captors demand a weapon of mass destruction, but instead, he creates a powerful armored suit to save himself and free himself from captivity. At this point in the story, Iron Man is born. The first Iron Man movie details the majority of the stories written in the Marvel Comics in its burlesque Hollywood fashion. When the first Iron Man installment was

released in 2008, viewers across the world were fascinated to finally see one of their favorite characters and Marvel stories hit the big screen. The movie was directed by Jon Favreau and led by Robert Downey Jr. starring as Tony Stark. Although the production was released in 2008, the development first began at Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox in 1990, before Marvel reacquired the rights in 2006. After Marvel reobtained rights to the film, the project began and launched in theaters in less than two years. The film received great reviews from viewers and critics and was even selected by the American Film Institute as “one of the best films of the year” in 2008. The story didn’t stop in 2008, as the producers continued with the production of “Iron Man 2.” “Iron Man 2” was released in 2010, and it certainly lived up to its hype. In the second movie of the series, a Russian man, Ivan Vanko, appears as Iron Man’s enemy. After Iron Man destroys his drones, Vanko creates a very powerful super-suit of armor to defeat Iron Man. In the end, Iron Man is finally able to knock down Vanko by overpowering his laser beams in a full-scale firing session. The movie was a success and was eventually released in 54 countries following its premiere in Los Angeles. Although the movie did very well, viewers and critics felt that many questions were left

unanswered or unaddressed in the movie. Thankfully, Marvel still has much to show for with “Iron Man 3” which is already receiving restless zeal from Iron Man aficionados. “Iron Man 3” is expected to be released on May 3, 2013. Expectations are very high for the film given that Marvel’s last production, “The Avengers,” was largely successful. “Iron Man 3” could potentially differ in style and directing, given that former director Jon Favreau decided not to return for the upcoming sequel. Instead, Shane Black, who directed “The Avengers” wrote and directed the film. Black had huge success with “The Avengers,” with a craftful combination of Marvel characters in a superhero classic. The standards are set high, yet many expect Black and Marvel Studios to come through with yet another fantastic film. As a preview for the film, Marvel has conveyed in its trailers and articles that Tony Stark’s world is to be torn apart by a terrorist called “The Mandarin.” Iron Man will have to start a journey of rebuilding and retribution, with the eventual goal of bringing down the villain and his forces. With the release date fast approaching, the excitement and thrill for “Iron Man 3” will only continue to rise. So far, viewers and fans have been eagerly impatient, and rightfully so, as the stage is set for another spring superhero classic.

This Month in Entertainment 5

Marvel studios

Robert Downey Jr. poses as Iron Man in this promo poster for “Iron Man 3,” which is coming to theaters May 3.

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The Rolling Stones, Oakland

Albums: Noah and Album: Goo Goo the Whale, Lady Dolls Antebellum

TV: Arrested De- SF Giants play the velopment Season Oakland A’s 4 begins on Netflix

Albums: Escape the Fate, Vampire Weekend

Albums: French Montana, Jay Sean

Of Monsters and Men, Oakland

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Movies: Iron Man 3. TV: Merlin begins on SyFy

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Movies: The Great Gatsby, Venus and Serena

Movies: Star Trek: Bay Area Maker Faire Saturday & Into Darkness. Albums: 30 Sec to Sunday Mars, Daft Punk

Movies: The Hangover III, Fast & Furious 6

LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!

SAT I

Rebecca DeShetler and Joey Malgesini


18

Sports

April 30, 2013

Soaring Eagles: LAHS Athletes Excel

A Few REmarks: Boston Strong By Mark Schreiber To see the iconic finish line of the Boston Marathon transformed into a fiery war zone on April 15 after two crude explosives went off was sobering. Where could the city, and its people, go from there? The trauma began with sports and should rightly end with them too. Despite all the disheartening actions that have cast a darkening shadow on the American sports landscape in recent months, people should not forget the ideals that draw us to sports in the first place, and the importance of these ideals in reaffirming that we cannot and will not cave to terrorism. Through sports, the people of Boston can recover some sense of normality. Take the scene at TD Bank Garden in Boston just a day after the attack. With the arena packed for a game between Boston Bruins and the Buffalo Sabres, the crowd erupted in an emotional rendition of the national anthem. And that’s an understatement. Watching the scene play out on television was enough to cover my body in goose bumps. With heavy hearts and watering eyes, the people of Boston made a first step towards recovery, proving that the heinous acts would not frighten them but instead bring them closer. But still, the terror was not lifted. Three days went by and soon Boston was under attack again as police began a manhunt for the Tsarnaev brothers, the men singled out as the perpetrators of the bombings. No singing of the national anthem could help lift the fear that many people in the Boston metropolitan area felt as the search continued. It would not be until Saturday, the first Boston Red Sox game since the bombings, that the people of Boston could at last enjoy a brief reprieve from the pain and uncertainty of the past week. With one powerful, left-handed swing, Bay Area native and Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava (a Saint Francis graduate) sent a two-out, eighth-inning pitch soaring into the right field bleachers of Boston’s Fenway Park to the roar of thousands. The Red Sox have long been the crown jewel of the entire city and to see the reaction from fans as Nava rounded the bases was enough to prove that as a city, Boston was on its way back up, rising from the ashes with the helping hand of a baseball game. “Boston, this one’s for you!” the announcer exclaimed. He could not have been more accurate.

Steven Cui Staff Writer

Danny Yeager Senior Senior Danny Yeager (above) is one of the most valuable athletes on the track and field team, sometimes single-handedly scoring almost one-fourth of the team’s points at meets. What is even more impressive is that Danny has only been doing track and field for four years. “I didn’t really get interested in track until high school,” Danny said. “I did other sports like soccer, water polo, baseball, etc., but track just came easy to me.” Danny’s main events are the high jump, long jump, 110 meter hurdles and 300 meter hurdles. He has personal records of 6’ 6.75” in the high

Danny’s PRs (Personal Records):

jump, 21’ 6” in the long jump, 15.14 seconds in the 110 meter hurdles and 39.54 seconds in the 300 meter hurdles. Danny says that he enjoys track and field for its high intensity. “The athletic aspect I like most about track is the idea of having ‘one shot,’” Danny said. “It forces you to give it your all for that small amount of time and doesn’t give you a chance to slack off or take a break.” He also enjoys the social aspects of track and field. Competing against hundreds of athletes from all over California in events such as the Central Coast Section (CCS) Championships has helped Danny make a variety of new friends. “There comes an air of respect... rarely is anyone cocky,” Danny said. “The majority of track athletes are modest so its very easy to get along with everyone.”

300m Hurdles: High Jump:

39.54 s 6’ 6.75’’

Albert Gwo Freshman Freshman Albert Gwo (above) is the only freshman on varsity the boys swimming team this year and is one of the fastest sprinters on the team. Albert has been swimming since he was just three years old. He began swimming competitively when he was 11, and has since risen to become one of the nation’s most elite swimmers in his age group. He is currently ranked 13th in the nation in the 50 yard freestyle (short course) with a time of 21.65 seconds. Albert says that he enjoys swimming because of the diversity of competitors as well as the social aspects of the sport. “I enjoy racing people of different ages and sizes,” Albert said. “What I enjoy most is

Albert’s PRs (Personal Records):

Photos by Ciera Pasturel

spending valuable time with old and new friends at the pool.” Albert has made great contributions to the team, placing first in many of his individual events at meets and helping to score points with his impressive times. Albert aims to make an even bigger impact at CCS. So far, he has qualified for six events for CCS, three individual events and three relay events. The individual events he has qualified for are the 50 yard freestyle, the 100 yard freestyle and the 100 yard butterfly. For relay events, he has qualified for the 200 yard freestyle relay, the 200 yard medley relay and the 400 yard freestyle relay. “I have been doing considerably well,” Albert said. “My goal is to score points for the team and get a good seed time going into CCS.”

50 free: 100 free:

21.65 s 48.45 s

The Texas Rangers might not be out just yet James Brewer Staff Writer The Texas Rangers have represented the pinnacle of baseball for the past couple of years. They have won two World Series in a row and have the most dangerous lineup to go against as well as a fairly dominant pitching staff. However, the Los Angeles Angels, their main division rival who has stolen the team’s last two major free agents, have come in and thrown cash at every free agent, a popular trend in LA right now. The Rangers have lost all-star hitter Josh Hamilton and catcher Mike Napoli and traded Michael Young for virtually nothing.

Courtesy Keith Allison

Josh Hamilton and the Rangers once celebrated victory together but are now enemies across the diamond.

Experts have pegged the Rangers as being out of serious contention for the next couple years. Their off-season was touted a failure after they failed to put together a trade for Justin Upton. With all of this, it may seem like the Rangers are in rough waters, but they may just be able to make it out dry. Signing Lance Berkmen and A.J. Percinsky will soften the blow of their off-season losses. They also have two of the best position prospects in the league with Mike Olt and Jurikson Profar. Olt has the ability to play many positions including left field. He could push current left fielder David Murphy over to center and take over the corner outfield spot himself. If the Rangers don’t decide to make that move, he can still be a large asset off the bench as a utility man and provide rest for many of the Rangers’ starters, allowing them to stay healthy throughout the season. Profar, however, seems stuck in a deep ditch with Andrus just getting extended for eight years. It’s a hard choice as to what to do with him, but it’s a problem that any team would love to have. Profar is a serious trade chip at any point in the season. The pitching staff is questionable as former relievers Alexi Ogando and Neftali Felix are making the move to the starting rotation. Oganda was the long reliever for the Rangers last year and definitely has the stamina and the stuff to be a good four or five starter. Feliz is coming off Tommy John surgery and will

have a slow comeback, but Derek Lowe can easily fill in his spot. The Rangers rotation one, two and three is fantastic with Matt Harrison, Derek Holland and almost perfect-game-winner Yu Darvish leading it off. The Rangers have indeed stepped down a slot in

performance, but they can make up ground quickly. Young stars like Olt, Profar, Holland and Darvish can lead Texas to a World Series starting today. The Rangers will most likely not win the World Series this year, but one can never rule them out. Texas is down, but most certainly not out.

SUMMER SHOES! at European Cobblery

(650) 941-0143 201 1st St, Los Altos, CA


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Sports

April 30, 2013

Baseball and Softball updates Softball

baseball

Player

Patrick McColl James Oleson Steven Lee Steven McLean Max Wilber

Batting Avg. 0.600 0.571 0.500 0.444 0.364

Hits 6 4 4 4 4

RBI 1 5 0 2 5

Player

Batting Avg.

Hits

0.571 0.571 0.500 0.286 0.286

4 4 2 2 2

Amanda Jones Kaitlyn Schiffhauer Kaya Agustin Marialena Ahern Anamaria Gomez

RBI 2 1 0 0 1

New energy propels track team to victory Anthony Bello Senior Writer In a typical Los Altos High track and field meet, more people run from one side of the field to the other than are actually in the race. Team members cheer on runners from the sidelines, yelling and pushing the runners to their full capabilities. This 2013 season, one of the biggest factors in the track and field team’s success is the energy and enthusiasm from both students and coaches. “I’ve never seen spirit like this—ever— in our team,” sprinting coach Pam Harris said. “In the past years, kids would finish their events and leave, so by the end there would be no one to cheer anyone on.” The team’s success proves the effort shown by the track team’s coaching staff. The Eagles’ only losses are to Lynbrook and Palo Alto, both in the 4x400m relay. Distance Coach Dan Oren takes no excuses, and the coaching staff made a tremendous effort in stressing leadership within the upperclassmen. “When we came into this season, we said, ‘Look, it starts with the coaches’ energy and it starts with our leaders’ energy, and if we [the coaches] don’t bring it—and if the seniors don’t bring it—it’s just going to be kind of weak,” Co-Head Coach David Barth said. “So we’ve made a commitment as a coaching staff this year to try to energize our leaders—our seniors.” With this intensity originating within the coaching staff and the new attention brought to the work ethic this year, it’s easy to see how this eagerness has translated to the athletes.

“Everyone needs to show up, there’s really not a lot of excuses this year,” senior Alex Carr said. “We have a lot of less people that go to the trainer and just sit. Everyone actually does the workouts and goes to the meets. People work a lot harder now, and that really helps.” Months of hard work manifested through the athletes during the Saratoga meet on Thursday, April 4, with personal bests from sprinters and mid and long distance runners. Sprinter senior Danny Yeager doubled up on personal bests in the 200m and 400m dashes, with times of 22.84 and 51.66 seconds, respectively. As for varsity girls, freshman Amanda Mell ran her fastest time in the season during her 100m dash with a time of 13.60. In her 100m dash, senior Tashina Thuraisingam ran a career best with 14.99. For the 800m event, junior Konrad Niemiec broke the two-minute barrier with a time of 1:59.84, and sophomore Annelise Gallagher earned a career mark of 2:27.10. As for distance events, senior Alex Carr ran a personal best in the 1600m with a time of 4:31.21, and freshman Lauren Jacob ran her fastest time with 5:11.29. Many of the athletes on the distance team for track came from a successful crosscountry season. For Konrad, however, a successful cross-country season isn’t the only reason for the track and field team’s triumphs: team members have pushed the frontiers of their own individual events. “We as athletes are coached very well, and also work very hard,” Konrad said. “We are coming off a CCS title in crosscountry, but it’s the other areas of the track

Diving boasts new larger team John Naumovski Staff Writer The Los Altos diving team has been making their mark on the local diving circuit. With 10 divers, a larger than normal roster, the team is continually turning out strong overall performances. The diving team has also produced sound individual results, with divers earning high scores at all meets. Additional noteworthy aspects of this year’s diving roster include the sheer size of the team and more males on the team in comparison to years past. With two boys on the team, junior Jacob Behar and senior Miles Contreras, the Eagles have been able to successfully compete in the male diving categories as well. The team attributes this increased size to a more aggressive push for new divers. “I am not really sure why the number has increased but I think a lot of it has to do with divers recruiting people,” junior Austin Campitelli said. “We’re always going around trying to convince people to dive.” Similarly to other sports, diving has had to deal with the loss of seniors. Due to the difficulty of learning diving techniques, integrating new divers can be a challenge for the team.

Junior Austin Campitelli

Photos By cIERA pASTUREL

Juniors Hannah Gross (top left) and Dane Tippett (top right) sprint through legs in the 4 x 400m relay. The relay is one of track’s strengths this year. that have really picked it up this year, like in the sprints. We have the coaches and our own hard work to thank for that.” Because the coaches put in so much effort, team members are more internally motivated to push themselves to become better in their events. In fact, according to sprinter senior Willem Van Eck, many athletes have been able to pull out clutch wins in their races. Senior Arthur Bogdanovich inched out a win by three hundredths of a second to win the 400m dash during the Pacific Grove meet. Even during the Top 8 Meet on Saturday, April 20, athletes set new PRs on the

Sports Briefs Compiled by Yuki Zaninovich

Gymnastics succeed with

Ciera Pasturel

“What people really don’t know is actually how difficult the sport is,” Austin said. “It is all about technical things, and getting the perfect amount of momentum and such, and not just doing flips off the board.” Divers also attribute a substantial portion of their success to the team coach, Heidi Galvez. Galvez, who dove in high school, is highly knowledgeable in the technicalities of diving and has been bestowing her expertise upon the team. “Instead of telling us to ‘just do it again’ like other coaches, [Heidi] gives us corrections to truly help us improve,” Austin said.

members team spirit

The gymnastics team started off its season with a bang, obtaining first place at its first meet as well as securing top positions in following meets. With many upperclassmen on the roster, the team is putting these experienced players to its utmost advantage. However, the team has its strongest point in a less technical aspect: team spirit. “We are definitely working towards achieving as much as we did last year,” junior Emma Orner said. “[But just as importantly], we are all super close and really just enjoy competing together, so it’s not really all about placing for us.” With this strong bond, the team hopes to continue its success with effective synergy.

Swimming upper De

adjusts to Anza League

The boys and girls swimming teams are 1-3 in the league. They are having a hard time competing for a high record after moving up to the De Anza League, mainly because of numerous powerhouse schools such as Gunn and Palo Alto dominating the division. With the presence of such

track. The girls 4x400m relay, composed of Anneliese, freshman Lauren Jacob, sophomore Romy Aboudarham and senior Claire Bowie, set a season record to place them in 11th place. The boys 4x400m relay team of Arthur, Willem, Konrad and junior Kelly McConnell beat their record by a whole four seconds to take third place. Overall, the track and field team’s success this season was greatly influenced by a newfound energy within the team. With a strong coaching philosophy and overall greater intensity, the team hopes this energy will carry into the 2014 season next year. competitive schools, the team had trouble adjusting to the high expectations of the De Anza League. Even with such skilled competitors in the league, the team has a number of talented underclassmen, with which the team was able to overcome Homestead. “Winning the meet against Homestead a few weeks ago seemed to let everyone relax a bit,” head coach Richard Llewellyn said. “We have a ways to go before we can challenge powers like Paly but I would like to think that in the future this is possible.”

Badminton to move down divisions after season ends Like the swim team, badminton has also moved up a division this season and has a 0-7 record. Amid tough competition, the team has been putting in hard work to improve. Head coach Stefaan Lodge conducts specific drills according to what the team struggled with on the previous match. By polishing the weaker techniques, the team is able to effectively readjust after every match. The team is also anticipating that it will move back down a league, allowing them to play less challenging schools and hopefully increase its win rate. “Next year we’ll probably move down [a division],” said junior Ethan Sagan. “However, in the lower division, we’re pretty confident to win all our games because this year’s JV coach is really training [the JV team] harder, and preparing them for varsity next year.”


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Sports

April 30, 2013

Heart and hard work lead to boys v lleyball success Cassidy Craford Staff Writer This year’s new varsity boys volleyball team is proof that athleticism, hard work and a tightknit team, no matter how inexperienced, can achieve success. The team’s spring season started off rocky, but is now headed uphill, as they are 6-2 in league and looking to outshine two other teams for a league victory. As the season started, the team faced a variety of obstacles, including the fact that only four out of the twelve players had club volleyball experience. Varsity boys volleyball coach David Radford said that the real challenge was channeling the players’ athletic experience from other sports, which includes water polo, swimming and tennis, into volleyball skills and fundamentals. “The hardest part is taking the raw athletic talent of those who have never played and modeling them into players,” Radford said. “Thankfully their athletic skill sets are great enough that it has taken little time turning them into

volleyball players.” Along with the raw athletic talent that new players brought came the ability to bond into a well rounded and tightknit team. S e n i o r Ian McColl attributed much of the team’s attitude to Radford. “I think that we have really come together as a team, especially considering that we are all so new,” Ian said. “Our coach has done an incredible job of keeping our spirits up and getting us to push our hardest when a game gets close.” The team has relied heavily on its other strong points as well, including height and its mobile and speedy defense. With a front row ranging from 6’1 to 6’5 and players like Ian and senior Spencer Simonides, the team is able to put up a strong block and hit over the opposing team’s block. Being a new team, however, the players still have much to work on. “Our defense is becoming very good and our general offense is strong,” Radford said.

“However, in order to overcome and dominate the better teams we need to work on making attacks in a more organized and complex manner.” Besides becoming more organized, players are continuing to work on fundamentals, including improving their serve and receives, practicing free ball plays and tweaking their ball control. Ball control, Radford said, will add deception and quickness to their attack. Despite this, the team’s greatest asset and strength is the bond between its players and love of the game. “What I love about this team is that we never really give up or lose heart,” freshman Nathan Smith said. “We don’t let bad plays affect how we play the next play.” This was certainly the case during the Eagles’ game against East Side Prep, in which they were missing one of their key players, Ian, and had to put in other players from the bench that lacked his height. After winning the first and third sets and losing the second and fourth, tensions ran high. However, players pulled together, stepped up and defeated East Side Prep in the fifth set. Although height works to the team’s advantage, players said that games really are a group effort. Everyone, even those on the bench, are completely engrossed in each aspect of the game. “I think the thing I have enjoyed most has been that our team has really great chemistry,” Spencer said.

Attacking

Player Nathan Smith Spencer Simonides Alex Blackburn John Dai

Hit% 35.7 27.3 19.2 9.1

Serving

Player Aces Nathan Smith 6 Mathais McAfee 2 David Stein 2 John Dai 1

Kill% 35.7 36.5 38.5 31.8

Errors 1 1 2 1

Blocking

Player Total Blocks Nathan Smith 2 Spencer Simonides 2 Alex Blackburn 1 Ian McColl 4 “We play our games not just for each of us as individuals but for everyone else on the team as well.” Radford said the team hopes to get more LAHS students out to support them in their final home game, and that this involvement will encourage more students to try out next year. The game is scheduled to be on May 3. For now, Radford and the team are enjoying improving their skill, winning games and forming friendships. The first season of boys volleyball at Los Altos has been focused on hard work, sportsmanship and good fun. “The boys have bonded so well,” Radford said. “I can’t express how happy I am with that. We have our inside jokes and everyone is very uplifting when working on our weakness. Something we all stress when times are tough is, ‘Celebrate, don’t alienate.’”

Boys tennis dominates SCVAL league with experienced team Alex Cortinas Sam Lisbonne Staff Writers The varsity boys tennis team enjoyed success and recognition last year, finishing second in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League (SCVAL) and advancing far in the Central Coast Section (CCS) of the California Interscholastic Federation. This season, the team has already ascended past the lofty heights set by last year’s team. The varsity team is second in the league and is looking to further progress in CCS, both individually and as a team. Senior co-captain Spencer Simonides attributes the team’s fantastic success to a heavily experienced team. “First of all, we had no graduating seniors, so we returned [with] a lot of experience on the varsity team,” Spencer said. “Second, we have a deep lineup, which helps [during matches].” This combination has proved remarkably beneficial. The ability to bring in waves of talent and reliability, coupled with a wealth of experience, ensures that every member of the varsity squad has enough energy and knowledge to win his match. This is the team’s third season with coach Bill Wong. After a successful season in their first year with Wong, the team moved up a division in SCVAL. The opportunity of having the same coach and team have proven to be advantageous in the accomplishments

Ciera Pasturel

Senior Lenoy Avidan waits for a good opportunity to volley. The Eagles are currently ranked second behind Monta Vista in the SCVAL league. so far this season. Additionally, the athletes have found new success in team goals that have served as both motivation and a daily reminder of what this season is all about. The team has been sensational in the

league, beating every opponent except for Monta Vista and Saratoga. They also survived close scares from Saratoga and Monta Vista in different meetings, going 1-1 against each of those teams. Another facet of the team’s success

was shown in the participation of the California High School Tennis Classic last March. Out of sixteen teams, the Eagles ultimately finished in third place in the double elimination tournament, behind Menlo School and Santa Barbara High School. Their success continually proves that the team goals set at the beginning of the season, once considered unachievable, are well within the team’s reach. “As a team, we want to win the remainder of our league matches so that we can beat out Monta Vista for the league title,” Spencer said. He also cited individual goals, including defending his CCS doubles title with senior co-captain Anthony Bello, as major inspirations for the season. Even so, threats within the league are prevalent and endanger the pursuit of league and CCS glory. Aside from competition from other teams, the Eagles also dealt with the heavy burden of two absent players due to injury, but both players have now recovered. “We’ve been down two people,” junior Braden Holt said. “We’ve been down [senior] John Dai, and [junior] Christian Beck.” With the team fully back on track, they have passed the expectations raised after last year’s conclusion. The team has certainly taken advantage of having a refined set of experienced players, broadening their chances of CCS success.


The Talon | Issue 7 | 30 April 2013