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Kealing Band

Memories from Middle School

iPod Nanos: How Great Are They? What you should know before buying one

No Pass, No Play Views on the Law

When Overachieving Becomes Underachieving A 4.0 isn’t good enough anymore

China Chef

Why you should check out this hip restaurant

What’s Hot?

Essentials everyone should have this Winter

Table of Contents

Fall 2008

Ricky Stanfield is super duper cool. He is the champion of chill. He is the epitome of amazing. Ricky Stanfield spends his free time saving lives from the evils of terror. His favorite colors are purple and mugliff, which is one of the many colors he has created. Other than saving lives, His hobbies include disc golf, ultimate Frisbee, and being godly. His presence has been described as “euphoric.” Ricky Stanfield attends LASA high school in northeast Austin. This celestial scholar is quite the expert when it comes to guessing his classmates zodialogical signs. I hope you have the honor of meeting this man, because he is great and heroic. Ricky Stanfield is known as the “Casanova” of the twenty first century.

Life Stories 3 No Pass, No Play 4 Lasa Lifeguard 5 Breakthrough Austin 7 When Overachieving Becomes Under achieving 8 Kealing Band Music 10 I Play For Me 11 Ipod Nanos: How Great Are They? 12 The Shins Review

The Colorbloc Crew


Israel Rey loves to play baseball, play video games, and get active. He plays baseball for the LBJ varsity/junior varsity team. His favorite type of music is Rock n’ Roll and all types of Metal. His favorite Rock n’ Roll band is Van Halen, and his favorite Metal groups are Metallica, Megadeth, and All that remains. His favorite food is steak, but will eat Ramen Noodles all day. His favorite color is cobalt (blue). His hobbies include getting active, sleeping, playing video games, lifting weights, and chilling with his family. He will eventually be inducted into the Baseball Hall Of Fame in Cooperstown.

Just For Fun 13 Apples, Oranges, and Bananas: Oh My! 14 Clarissa’s Crazy collections 15 China Chef 16 What’s Hot! Zoe Yin loves to take pictures, sing, and laugh. She plays soccer and is planning on playing for the LBJ team in the spring. Her favorite food is spaghetti and favorite color is green. Her hobbies include songwriting, playing the flute, singing, and playing soccer. Her favorite artists are Tristan Prettyman and Jason Mraz because of their distinctive guitar style. She loves her Colorbloc friends and hopes that you enjoy her contributions to the magazine!

Clarissa Reyes spends most of the time laughing at everything. She likes the color green and learning new songs on the piano. During E-Zine, she has learned to work on PhotoShop and works on that a lot during class. Her favorite sport is swimming, and she loves being on the LBJ/LASA swim team. Clarissa is absolutely in love with Johnny Depp, “Gossip Girl”, hoodies, and hair ties. Her favorite food is Chinese, and she likes to drink apple juice whenever she gets a chance (which isn’t often).

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e going to the ‘ship, we going to the ‘ship”, shouts my team as we prepare for the championship game. I remember that day like it happened yesterday. It was a great day for everybody, except my buddy Josh. On this day, everybody is fueled with fire and the desire to win the big game. After the game, coach calls a team meeting. We all gather round the table full of pizza. Coach gives this long speech that takes forever and a day. He basically recaps the season and how proud he is. He also talks about the todays game, and the last out. The score was three to two, we were winning. Josh made a huge catch in the out-field to win. He goes on about the game. .As we all get ready to leave coach shouts,” Make sure y’all turn in those grade sheets on the table.” The grade sheet he hands out is for our grades in school. He wants to make sure that we are giving all we got on and off the field. Everybody turns in their grade sheet and we all start to leave. When coach calls Josh back, I have to stay after too. Me, being the nosey guy that I am, so I listened to the conversation. I over heard the coach say that Josh can’t play because of his grades. He failed his Math class and now he can’t play. Coach follows a strict set of laws that we must follow. One of his laws is the No Pass No Play By Israel Rule. Just like in high school, if we don’t pass our classes, we don’t get to play. In this case, Josh failed and is not able to play because of his school. Coach always says,” I don’t care if you’re the next Derek Jeter, if you don’t pass your classes in school; you’re not playing for this team.” These set of laws are in affect for everybody. I believe that all teams should be like my own team. I believe that each team should have a set of laws or guidelines to follow. One law or guideline that I think should be in any and every team is the No Pass No Play Rule. Created in 1984, by the Texas Education Agency, the No Pass No Play Rule states: Students must pass his/her classes to participate in any extra-curricular activity. Many people love this rule, and others despise it. The N.P.N.P.R is a catch twenty-two; you can benefit from it or crash from it. You can crash by not being able to play on your team. You can benefit by becoming a well structured human and more responsible. I believe that professional teams should have a rule similar to this one. I think that every team should a set of laws that should be signed by every player, to ensure responsibility. That way if a player should break any of these laws, they will be banned from the next game or games. Also by us taking so much responsibility, we can set better examples for the next generation. Many people would argue that the N.P.N.P.R is one of the worst rules to ever to be approved in Texas. I

can relate, and many other student-athletes can relate too. The main reason why many student-athletes hate this rule is simply because they cannot play. I can relate, it doesn’t feel good not to be able to play your sport. Many athletes believe that you should be able to play your sport no matter what your grades may be. Also, many athletes believe that your grades don’t say anything about you, but your playing does. I believe the same argument: that you should not be banned from playing just because of your grades. Many of these complaints come for the athletes that failed at least one class by the margin of one to ten points. I don’t blame them for being upset that they are unable to play because of school work. Another reason why most student-athletes are extremely upset is the difference of the strictness of the rule in different schools. Some schools just won’t let you play because you failed. That’s the general way the rule is used. Other schools will let you participate in extracurricular activities if you even if you fail. So schools will let you participate in extracurricular activities if you fail with anything above a sixty. Which many players can be very upset and say,” Well how come other student-athletes can play with a sixty and I can’t.” The only thing I can say is that’s just the way it is. A benefit from the N.P.N.P.R is structure. The N.P.N.P.R will nearly structure any student-athlete. It will Rey also structure a team as well. Students will quickly learn how to become more responsible, and learn how to take responsibility for their own actions. For example, you might hear incredible stories about kids that had no future. That they were a bad kid, and had nothing going for them. Until they found a sport to carry them on in life, since they have nothing else going for them. In almost every story that you will hear, about situations like the one above is incredible, and inspiring. Many kids would have needed a great coach to back them up and guide them to a stable life. Well this great coach, will always explain this huge list of rules to the kid to follow. The coach basically equals the set of laws and guidelines. One example is my uncle’s fast-pitch softball team called “Tatis.” These guys are the poster children for the most organized team ever. Tatis has a set of rules written out that each player must follow. Just like what I have been explaining, rules and guidelines. I admire Tatis and wish that every team should be organized like them. A few rules that the team has written out are: All players must check in with the head coach and must be in bed before ten o’clock. No player shall drink on the day or night before a game. All players must attend team meetings. Rules such as these should apply for all teams, or teams should have something around those lines.

No pass, No play

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Continued on page 11 Fall 2008

LASA Lifeguard

By Clarissa Reyes The sun beats down on the earth, reminding everyone that summer has just begun and that more of this uncomfortable heat is on its way. Everyone is scrambling to stay cool in Texas’ signature weather. This unbearable heat isn’t getting to everyone, however. Summer is swim season, which means pools and lifeguards for three whole months. The job opportunities are abound during the summer months. Many teens try to search for jobs in hopes of earning a little extra money for entertainment. LASA junior Alberto Alvarez took advantage of Austin’s lifeguard shortage and has handled a job by the pool for the past two years. “On the first day, I was pretty nervous. I forgot my hat and glasses, and the other lifeguards played a prank on me,” Alvarez said. “They told me that the UV levels were too high so all of us had to wear something to protect our lips. One of them handed me what I thought was Chap Stick, and so I put it on. After a while, my lips started feeling all awkward and numb, and then the person that gave me the Chap Stick came up to me and told me what it really was. It

turns out that it was the stuff we use to treat bee stings.” Despite the practical joke, Alvarez loves being a lifeguard and has no plans of quitting any time soon. He sees himself guarding even after he’s graduated high school, and he plans to follow in the footsteps of his co-workers. “I still want to continue working during college but only work during the summer,” he said. “That’s what a lot of people I worked with did.” You don’t have to be an amazing swimmer to be a lifeguard. It just takes a little time and some training. “My training was a week long.” he said. “It was hard for me at first because I’m not a big swimmer, but I got through it.” It is also a great way to make some extra money. “The first summer I made $8 an hour because I was 15, but this summer I made $9.” All of this money soon adds up. So, without debt to pay off, what does one do with all of it? “Last year I tried saving up, but I would spend all of my money,” Alvarez said. “I was able to save up $400 but my camera broke, so I bought a new one. This year, I didn’t even try to save up money. Basically, I would go shopping the day I would get my paychec k and spend it all.” The idea of saving a life might seem scary, but for the two summers he has guarded, Alvarez has never had to jump in to rescue someone or perform CPR. There has only been one ‘situation’, however. “Well this one time, I helped a kid when he was taking swimming lessons.” Alvarez explains. “He looked like he was having some trouble so I helped him out. Also, I put a band-aid on this other kid, but that’s it.” Austin is a big city and always in need of employees. If water is your thing, you could probably become a lifeguard with some training and start a fun career. In the opinion of Alvarez, there’s just one part that he doesn’t exactly enjoy. “At the end of the day, you just want to leave and go home and chill but you can’t because you have to clean the restrooms.”

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Breakthrough Austin By Israel Rey

Here is the middle school director for Break-

through Austin, Brian Radley

“Attend hut! I believe we have a visitor today. What do we do to our visitors? We welcome them as if they were our own. On that note, Breakthrough recite the motto!” said Brain Radley, middle school director of Breakthrough Austin, as a visitor comes by. Brian is always excited about showing what BT is all about.

What do students do in the summer program? “ During the summer program we have all our, seventh, eighth, and ninth grade students attend classes at The University of Texas at Austin. We divide our students by grade level, then we split them up in teams. Each student goes to his/ her four classes English, Math, Science, and Social Studies. Our teaching curriculum covers every student’s classes next

“This is Breakthrough, we are Breakthrough, and I am Breakthrough.” Every student says this for the Breakthrough recruitment video.” We are all Breakthrough, with one of us missing; Breakthrough is not complete. Breakthrough is like one big family. We are all ready to learn and have fun together.” Radley explained.

year. Of course some students are ahead are others and it’s hard to choose what exactly to teach. The way we determine what to teach is, we first determine the classes our students will be taking next year, and whichever level of class is occurring more, we start with. After a certain point we will advance and go into higherlevel class work.” Radley explained.

Is this what the students do all day? Do students just work and don’t get a break? Do Here are students do anything else besides work? the Bus Ryders, “ Of course we do other things. We do like to focus primarily on students schoolwork, so we can prepare our students for things to come next from the year. We do have fun; we do many other things with our students. summer of We go swimming, we go on field trips, and we also enjoy helping the community by giving back. We give back by doing community 2006 service, cleaning, or helping the less fun is our eight grades go on a field them for the Shakespeare camp for the morning and get back around at a family owned restaurant called things. We have spirit day, thats body their BT spirit. We have teams motto we end with, having fun. We BT so great for students.

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fortunate. An example for having trip to Winedale, Texas. We take free! We leave about eight in nine at night. We also get to eat Royers. Breakthrough does many when all our teams show everymake banners and skits. In our do have f un, that’s what makes

Fall 2008

What is Breakthrough? What does Breakthrough do to help its students? “ Breakthrough is a group of students teaching our students. Our teachers are either still in high school or college. So when we mean students teaching students, we mean it. Breakthrough provides a path to college for our students. We are just trying to get our students to college and help them along the way. Breakthrough is a six year program that starts in six-grade and ends when our students graduate from high school.” Radley explained.

Many others also wanted to know how could other students apply for Breakthrough. Here is Jackie, tenth grader at Austin High and current sudent of Breakthrough Austin

The point of Breakthrough is to help first generation college students go to and graduate from college. What this means is that Breakthrough helps students whose parents haven’t graduated from a college. Breakthrough is trying to make students’ dreams for going to college a reality. Breakthrough will go to any lengths to help our students.

“ To apply for Breakthrough, you must be a sixth grader. You must be a sixth grader, and your parents cannot have graduated from college. We only accept about one hundred students each year. That means, please apply as soon as possible. We don’t accept students that apply in eighth grade. We don’t accept eight graders because we don’t want to disrepute the six-year flow. If we need more students for the program we will take students that apply in seventh grade.” Radley explained.

Here is Will, He has already graduated from highschool. He is one of the first Breakthrough Austin students.

Here is Telvi, she has also already graduated from highschool. She was also one of the first Breakthrough Austin students.

What made you want to direct such a program? “ I wanted to direct Breakthrough because I know the struggles that students face. I know how hard school can be, and it becomes harder with no support. Many students have no support during school, which I believe that is the main causes for students to drop out. I don’t like students to drop out and throw away their education. I like students to have a bright future ahead of them, full of wealth and happiness. I want kids to be educated and have a successful career ahead of them.” Radley explained.

It seems as though BT has helped students all across Austin. I believe that with Breakthrough, students have realized their full potential.

As a student, Breakthrough has helped me a lot. BT has helped me make high goals for myself. Breakthrough Is providing the path to college for me.

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When Overachieving Becomes Underachieving By Zoe Yin

It’s 7:30 AM, and teenagers in jeans and sneakers reluctantly begin to shuffle towards their first classes as the 5-minute warning bell rings. This sounds like an average high school scene, right? Wrong. These students are attending one of the most outstanding high schools, public or private, in the nation. They made a very tough decision to attend such a challenging school, and should be rewarded by universities nationally. Although some may say that LASA (Liberal Arts and Sciences Academy) students are not forced to attend this academy, I don’t think that a student should have to choose between recognition through the top ten percent and a great education. At LASA, you can get one of these or the other. For example, a student could choose to go to Bowie and get an okay education and definitely get in the top 10% (which gives you an automatic admission to any public in-state college) or go to LASA and probably not make top 10%, but get a fantastic education. Students would regard these choices with equal merit, though in actuality, to get a better education they should choose LASA. The work load for LASA students is significantly heavier than at most other high schools in the Austin Independent School District. In a survey that I conducted, students at LASA said that they spent an average of about 3 hours per night on homework. This just goes to show how hard students at LASA work, which means that they take themselves very seriously as students. As far as accolades go, 22 students from LASA were named National Merit Semifinalists (Total in AISD : 39), 3 students were named National Achievement SemiFinalists (Total in AISD: 4), one regional finalist, two regional semi-finalists in Siemens Competition. The LASA Robotics Team earned #1 Overall in BEST

C Life


Award, #2 Team in Robot Competition, and the Sportsmanship Award in District’s BEST Robotics Competition. The LASA/LBJ Newspaper, The Liberator, has thus far received two Pacemakers, known as the Pulitzer Prize of high school journalism. The Liberator has also been named a Pacemaker Finalist by the National Scholastic Press Association. This is the third consecutive year, and the fourth time in the last six years, that The Liberator has received this top national recognition. The LBJ/ LASA Camerata Orchestra is a “National Winner” in the Excellence in Achievement Orchestra competition. In addition two LASA students, a violist and a violinist, were named outstanding soloists in the entire competition. LASA also received 7 (out of 8) Golden Performance Awards from the Texas Education Agency and is AISD’s only “exemplary” high school and one of only two in Central Texas. Although all of these awards have made their way into LASA’s trophy case, the display is still unseen by universities. LASA is an excellent school but is still under recognized for its exceptional curriculum and hard-working students. Think about it this way. To be accepted to, and do decently at LASA, you have to be a fairly exceptional student. Out of this vast expanse of exceptional students, only the top ten percent are automatically admitted to a public in-state school. I suggest that the top 10% rule be revoked. Schools across the state have students who are on completely different academic levels. Both low-performing schools and Blue Ribbon schools let the top ten percent of their class into any public Texas university every year. The consequences of this rule are already setting into effect at UT where over 68% of the students admitted were admitted under the top 10% rule. This leaves only a slim 14% or the student body composed of “non top-tenpercenters” like most students at LASA. Another solution is to let LASA go as an unranked school. This would let students from LASA not have class rank weigh in to their chances of being admitted to a college. It also eliminates the possibility of students from LASA being compared against students from surrounding schools on the basis of class rank. Class rank is unfair to include at LASA because comparing students to their academically advanced peers makes them look worse than they would have looked at their home schools. Students at LASA work very hard and are challenging themselves to further their education. These efforts should be rewarded when students are being considered for university. This can be achieved by revoking the top 10% rule or letting LASA go as an unranked school. Those students heading to class are not just average high schoolers. They are exceptional students who deserve more from universities.

Fall 2008

Kealing Band By Ricky Stanfield

The three years at Kealing will hold some of the most unforgettable memories in my lifetime.

One of the most memorable factors at Kealing was its band program. Through the band program I have gained all of my closest friends. These friends have changed me and influenced me so greatly, I wouldn’t recognize myself now from the ignorant little sixth grade me.

My friends that I had in the band will stick with me for the rest of my life. We were more than

just a group of people stuck in a room for an hour every day. We were more than just a team working towards the common goal of a 1 in UIL. I looked at us like a family. We cared for each other. No matter what happened, we were there for each other. Our family has never broken apart. We were split up, yes, but we remain in each others memories for the rest of our lives.


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I always remember Mr. Gurgel telling us, “The band is only as good as its worst performer.” That always reminded me of how we worked as one. We had to help each other, and work our hardest, not just the teachers’ quick and rare approval, but for everyone around you. I have countless memories from that third period class. I don’t know where to begin. I’ll start with the time a group of us sat on a white shaky table, playing an exciting, yet violent game of spoons. Or possibly I should begin with explaining the countless ultimate Frisbee games, which never really worked out because of the thin grassy and cement space we were forced to play on. And I always loved the extreme and intangible amount of patience Mr. Lyon has with me and my misbehaving trumpet buddies. I will never forget the time Mr. G complimented Jenna and I, letting us know that it was the best we’d ever played. Or that one time in jazz band after LBJ came to try to show off, and we played with so much soul, and funk, that we didn’t want to go to lunch just yet. Which reminds me of the lunch gigs, where that one girl in the middle of the cafeteria over reacted a little too much on a guitar solo. Or the time when I had two jazz concerts and a 3 hour practice in one day. And by the time the day ended, you could see my strawberry chapped lips from the back seat in the auditorium. Should it be one the band trip to New Orleans, when Nick Lorenzo and I stayed up till 1:30 talking about our lives, girls, and school. Maybe I should begin by telling you that after every band concert, the three of us went to players for a rewarding burger and a game of Ms. Pacman to calm the nerves. Or the time when me Lorenzo Nick and Liam sat out

Continued from page 3

One simple reality about sports is that not all athletes can go pro. It’s a simple reality that is hard to accept. Many players just like reject this reality, but many hate the simple reality. All athletes cannot play a sport their whole life; many athletes will not have a career in sports. What if you don’t have anything to turn to when you can’t play your sport as a career? You need a back-up plan to turn to incase you don’t make it to the big leagues. First of all, you must go to college to be able to try to make it into the major leagues. Again, you must pass all your classes to be able to play. Also another harsh reality is that a recent study has by the N.C.A.A has show that only three percent of student-athletes continue playing in professional leagues. With out a back up plan, what are you going to turn do? Tying back to that, you need a back up plan to carry you on in life. You will probably need a job to support your self in life.


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on the deck at the beach, silently. Even though we weren’t talking, we were connected, somehow. Maybe it was the constant sounds of the waves crashing into the soft moist sand. Maybe the moist air we all breathed simultaneously let each of us know that we would be there, always sitting next to each other. I always loved the numerous times we would go to East Side Pies for a quick bite before a tense concert. I think back to South Padre Island, where Lorenzo’s trombone solo was almost too good, to where I didn’t want to play because I might ruin his angelic sound. Maybe I should begin by letting you in on the secret stash of cokes on the top shelf in the second band hall. Or the many times we would spend our free time bashing the orchestra next door, who, no matter how hard they tried, would never be quite as cool as us band geeks. (I think it was the cumber buns.) Maybe I should begin with Mr. Gurgel, and how he’s one of the most influential people in my life. How he helped me so much with my trumpet playing, that there is no thank you big enough to possibly say. And no matter how misbehaving or unfaithful, I was to him or the band at times, he always had faith in me. Mr. Gurgel watched me grow, from the first day of wind ensemble, to the last day of school, when we signed year books and played hacky sack. I looked at my friends no differently than I looked at my brother and sister. They stayed with me from the first time I picked up my trumpet, to earlier this afternoon. My Kealing band experience showed me what was truly important in life, and that’s the friends around you and to stay together no matter what. It is no longer just the Kealing Band, but the Kealing Band family. In a job, you cannot show up late to work. In a job, you cannot argue and fuss at your boss. In a job, you must work to your best ability. This all goes back to my point of structure. With structure from the N.P.N.P.R can better you in life. The N.P.N.P.R will get you to practice on time. This will help with punctual ness at work. You cannot argue with your coach, or you’ll pay with some sort of punishment. In a job, if you argue with you boss, you will be fired. Also the N.P.N.P.R will push a student to work at their best on and off the field. In a job, you will be rewarded with hard work and dedication. It’s almost as though, your team is you job and all the structuring from the N.P.N.P.R relates to the real world. I suggest that the N.P.N.P.R should be in affect in all schools. I also suggest that in every team should contain a set of rules,.laws, or guidelines to follow.

Fall 2008

I am six. And I am very angry. I sit in a dark blue plastic school chair, but it is summer. My thighs are now plastered to the chair I sit in by sweat. It is summer, and I do not want to be here. The pout smeared angrily across my face is directed toward a slightly exasperated teacher sitting across from me. She probably does not want to be here either. “Come on, Zoe. There must be something that you would like to write a song about… what’s your favorite food?” she coaxes. “Milk.” I reply obtusely (I am going through a dairy phase). “Alright!” she jumps in hastily, “why don’t you write a song about milk?” and just a little bit too quickly, she is off to help the next kid.

I Play For Me

The piano keys are mocking me. I am sure of it. The song sounded so simple when it was playing on the radio. Now I feel musically dyslexic, with rhythms, notes, and tunes wandering aimlessly around my head. I have been trying to recreate this song for almost an hour, so I bang out a couple of disconnected melodies and then finally, with a heavy sigh, resort to resting my head on the music stand perched on top of the piano.

I am at the doors of my new middle school. The air is characteristically hot and wet. Deep breath. Deep breath. I am vaguely aware of another student approaching the double doors as well. Not wanting to seem in any way abnormal, I hastily press my sweaty palms to the cold metal handle and push. I am greeted by a rush of cold air and a home made banner that reads, “Welcome to Kealing”.

Waiting outside for my ride to arrive for the soccer game, I feel spontaneous. And, of course, for me that means bursting into song. The sun is just setting just over the horizon and suddenly a cool breeze strokes my face. Tonight I sing Saturdays by Holly Brook. Make no mistake, I sound nothing like her flawless recording of this track. But when I sing, just for myself, the breeze picks me up and, just for a moment, I feel beautiful.

By Zoe Yin

Everyone is excited beyond belief. You would think that we were playing at ACL the way that grins and laughter echo through the now empty lunchroom. The Kealing MS Jazz band files onto the miniscule, weathered stage that overlooks the cafeteria. We all wear out too-short-too-wide bowling shirts emblazoned with “We Play it Hot!” on the back, and the occasional kid is adorned with a fedora, or a pair of aviators. The energy pulsing through the air is practically tangible. When the first gangly sixth-grader ambles into the cafeteria, a hush falls over the band as everyone frantically reaches for their instruments and rifles quickly through music to get to the right page. Director Gurgel calmly steps to the front of the band and counts us off with a quick, “One, two, three, four.” And with that, we plunge into Boogie Down.


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geek’s dream gadget, there are a few minor flaws with

The Shins: Wincing The Night Away By Ricky Stanfield

iPod Nanos: How Great Are They? by Clarissa Reyes

With Apple coming out with so many new gadgets, it can be hard to keep track of the new models of their classic merchandise. Introducing the fourthgeneration iPod nano, a device with the same concept as every iPod (store and play everyone’s favorite music so they can listen to it even when they’re on the go), but it is different in design and cool, added features set it apart from its older family members. Teenagers, as we know, are becoming more technologically advanced, and it’s starting to show in our electronics; the new iPods are no exception. My favorite feature on the fourth-generation iPod nano is the “Genius” feature. This allows the user to select a song, and by holding the center button down for a second or two, creates a playlist full of songs that go along with the song you originally selected. Another asset is the gadget’s “shake-to-shuffle” feature. By physically shaking your iPod, it shuffles for you and gives you a new song. The iPods come in a lot of colors: silver, black, purple, green, yellow, orange, red, and pink. Also, you can turn the iPods on their sides and all of your album covers show up so that you canscroll through them (a feature called “cover flow”). While the new nanos probably sound like a


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theses devices that you should be aware of before you head to your nearest Apple store to buy one. Sure, the shake-to-shuffle feature is pretty great, but you actually have to shake the iPods sort of hard. A simple flick of the wrist is not good enough. Also, the slim, round design of the iPod makes it easier to drop. If dropped, it would probably break because of its delicate frame. One big pain that I have suffered with my iPod is when I catch it by grabbing onto the headphones. When I begin listening again, I find that the song has shuffled, (thank you, shake-to-shuffle feature!) and I have to go back to where I was in the song and restart it. Even with these flaws, I still love my purple iPod nano. It cost $150, which is $50 less than the previous 8-gigabyte iPods, and it also happens to be the most eco-friendly iPod created to far. I actually felt good about buying it, as it’s recyclable. For all of the people considering getting an iPod but not sure which one to get, I would definitely suggest this nano. Apple has really outdone itself with this one. Not only because of the new feature, but also because of all of the colors; there is one for ever personality. I can’t wait to see what it will create in 2009, because I’m not sure how much better technology can get. Congrats, Apple, you’ve created the world’s best musical device.

Fall 2008

My entire eighth grade I fell asleep to the album Wincing the Night Away. The relaxing voice of James Mercer, and clever musicality of the band The Shins is very soothing. This was a much different album then the past two, Chutes Too Narrow and Oh, Inverted World, because it was much slower and smoother. I think that the Shins album Wincing the Night away is the best album of the three Shins albums because of its clever and different music style, its lyrics and drum beats, and its transformation of the band to a more indie feel. In comparison to the other two albums Oh Inverted world, and Chutes too Narrow, I think that this new album was much more organized and consistent. The previous two were all over the place, and had no theme or musical repetition. I did think that they sounded “all the same,” but after listening to the three different albums many times one after the other, I can now easily tell which song, or even piece of a song, goes into which album. I can do this based on the obvious difference in experience and musical capabilities between each album. Some of the lyrics in the Wincing the Night Away are magical and almost not understandable. I still have yet to fully understand the lines sung by Mercer and his band. What I do know, is that they do mean something, and aren’t just useless words thrown together at the last minute, like any normal person would come up with. “The worst part is over, now get back on that horse and ride!” [Turn On Me: Wincing the Night Away]

This is the last line on one of the more upbeat songs “Turn on Me” in Wincing the night away. I appreciate this line, because it means to move on, and even though you think you can’t, the worst has past, and you are enabled to continue on with life. In this song, I can easily notice a great change within the style of upbeat songs performed by the band throughout the album. I noticed that even the simplest of things in a song makes a large difference. For example, in listening to the song “Turn on me” and then “So Says I” from the album Chutes too narrow, I realized how much the drumbeats have changed. These two songs are pretty similar that are upbeat, and involve lots of drum beats and clever fills. Not just based upon this comparison, but throughout many of the songs in the albums, I noticed how the drums fit to the song more in the Wincing the Night Away. Any person could throw some beats together and call it music. But it takes a pure musician make these beats fit into the music, like the last puzzle piece in the open blue sky, and pull you in. The drums are the hypnotists watch, swaying back and forth, ticking and tocking to embrace you into the music. Overall what I like about the albums is it shows how much the band has grown. It has gone form a group that’s unorganized and thrown together, to a soft Indie rock band with a relaxing and euphoric theme. Based off of the album Wincing the Night Away, I can finally call one of my favorite bands, the Shins, rock stars.


Music 12


In search of the answer to a eternal question, I went on a ÆʺÈÉÉÄIJùɽºÈÊźǾÄÇ»ÇʾɃ I asked 25 LBJ students what there favorite fruit was between apples, oranges, and bananas. the results are as followed:

Crazy collections

Apples, Bananas, and Oranges: Oh My!!!

I always keep everything, so collections are very natural for me. These are a few of my favorite ones:

I’ve always loved Play-Doh!

Apples: 10 out of 25!

By Clarissa Reyes

40%of the class population prefered apples over the other two fruits!

Oranges: 7 out of 25!

28% of the class population

prefered oranges over the other two fruits!

The first movie ticket stub I saved is from Epic Movie. when I was in 7th grade. I’ve seen many movies since!

Bananas: 8 out of 25!

32% of the class population

prefered bananas over the other two fruits!

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In conlusion, students favored apples over bananas and oranges. I know what fruit iíll be eating for the rest of my life!!! Fall 2008

Top to Bottom: Play-Doh-Collection Movie Ticket collection Part of Duck Collection Photos taken by Clarissa Reyes

I have roughly 20 ducks.

C Fun


The Holy Grail By Israel Rey

The Holy Grail has landed straight in the heart of Texas. This is the place we have been praying for our whole since the dawn of time. This place can only be found here in Austin, Texas. This is the one and only China Chef, this is the only one in the world. This is a family owned restaurant. This establishment was a gift from the Gods themselves. This is the best place to go for all types of Asian food. China Chef hasn’t really been discovered by many people. I have and that’s why y’all need to know about this place.

The entire kitchen is run by seven staff members, which are all family members. The head of staff is run by Mr. and Ms. Nguyen. Mr. and Ms. Nguyen are the two main chefs, they cook mostly all the food for the costumers. The other five members of the staff are their children Huy, Steve, Christina, Jessica, and Alexandra Nguyen. All food is straight from scratch, there are no preservatives at all. The food is made fresh and the staff will allow you to watch as they prepare your food. Since the food is made from scratch, it will take longer that longer than normal to finish. The reason why the food takes longer that normal is because the cooks that prepare the food take their time. This is home cooking at its finest, the staff will eat with you if you let them. Refills are free, which is awesome and very courteous.

When I saw the restaurant, I immediately knew that this place isn’t very big. The restaurant is about as big as a normal kitchen and dinning room connected together. This is a typical “hole-in-the-wall” restaurant, which is a small restaurant with some classic home made food. After entering the restaurant, I noticed that it was extremely clean. No dust or lint laying around, nothing nasty out anywhere. This estab-



These retro lace-ups will add some classic funk to your wardrobe.

Screened tees

These retro tees screened with pop culture icons are both comfortable and casual.


A cute set of headbands like these are cheap, cute, and practical. The neon colors are fun to wear and will keep your bangs out of your face for the day.

Skinny Jeans lished was very polished and sanitized. The dish that I chose to eat was their sesame chicken. All dishes come with two huge rice balls, no matter what you order. There are two different types of sesame chicken to eat; there is big chicken or small and numerous amounts of chicken. I choose the small and numerous, because I wanted a lot of chicken to eat. The dish took about 15 minutes to be cooked and ready to eat. Also the chicken is sprinkled with fresh sesame seeds and spread with their secret sauce. The secret sauce makes all dishes incredible, no matter what you order. Plus the plate is about as big a computer screen, which means a lot of chicken. This is the hands down best sesame chicken on the planet. I recommend China Chef if you want to taste the best Asian food on the earth. Also if you like home cooking with great taste then China Chef is the place for you. If you so happen to pass by China Chef, you better stop to eat or just grab something for the road. If you stop here, you should order the sesame chicken. If you are in the area of this miracle, stop so you can over-indulge and cheat on you diet.



Fall 2008

This season, no outfit is complete without a pair of these skinny jeans. They come in all sorts of fun colors that will add some flavor to your outfit.

What’s What’s Hot! Hot!

Striped scarf This fun scarf will top of your wintery look with a splash of colorful fun.

By Zoe Yin

Swetheart Dress

This dress is party ready. Dress it up with a cute cardigan in winter or wear it as-is in summer.

Retro Shades These shades are perfect for a day out on the lake in summer, or for a winter hike.

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Ezine from AISD