The Volume XXI, Issue 1
ith over 28 years working in education, Dr. Luzak isn’t assuming her role without experience. She was previously the 7/8 Principal at our school and a math teacher, and this experience has given her three goals for the school. “I want every student in the school to feel a connection to it. I want every student to be academically successful (whatever that means for them) and I want a clean and inviting campus that we’re proud of,” said Luzak.
To put make this into action she knows she must work hard. She also plans to give teachers opportunities to learn more instructional strategies.
Additionally, she plans to “be visual at school events”.
“If students see me at a football game and I talk to them about their great play the next day at school, they’ll remember it and feel more connected,” she said. But as for students who are engaged in school activities. She reaches out to them in different ways. “Those kids that sit alone or who are less involved - I personally walk around the halls and greet them and ask about how their day is,” she said. Dr. Jackie Luzak has a vision for La Cañada High School. Let’s all welcome her and wish her success this year.
A step away from STEP By Ailin Kim Spartan Staff
fter the three-year run of the STEP program, the La Cañada High School staff decided to embark the new year with an altered bell schedule with lengthened classes and no STEP on regular days. On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays, all periods last 55 minutes except for the hourlong second period. Block days will maintain the same format, but the
California Gubenatorial Election
October 8, 2010
Luzak Levels Up By Terese Rutkowski Editor-In-Chief
Viva Las Seniors
Girls’ Varsity Tennis
Red Rover Red Rover, Send Dover On Over Katherine Propper Managing Editor
rs. Hicklin has a new boss. His name? Mr. Dover. This former Monrovia High School student has replaced Mr. Buchanan for the 2nd most powerful position in the administration, the Assistant Principal. He may not be as ping-pong loving as Mr. Buchanan or as British, but don’t be duped by him either. Mr. Dover brings experience to his job. He Above Dr. Luzak, Right Mr. Dover. Our new principal and assistant principal share their hopes and goals for their first school year at La Cañada High School.
STEP class chosen will remain permanent until the end of the semester. Dr. Luzak, the new 912 principal, said that “the STEP program has been running in our school for three years now. Last year’s evaluation of the program recommended that this year we just have two days of STEP.” Students this year are allowed the choice of only one STEP class during two days “for a chance for both teachers and students to have more focus in the STEP.” The extra five minutes of second period will serve as a time for
announcements. Some teachers offered their feedback about the new bell system. M r. W e l d g r a t e f u l l y supported the changes. He noted that with the lengthened periods, “there is less pressure on the teachers and more time to complete a lesson.” Along the same line, Ms. English is also an ardent advocate of these changes. “This system is much more organized. Since the students can only choose one STEP, the process will run smoother than last year,”
Maranatha finds La Cañada’s achilles’ heel 43-21 By Katherine Propper Managing Editor
Spartan football faced its second defeat of the season last Friday on October 1st. LC football arrived ill equipped for Marantha’s strength and agility. “They were a bigger faster team than we anticipated, and we simply underestimated them,” team member Joe Torres remarked. Maranatha’s minutemen came prepared for victory just as the militias of the Revolutionary War had, and the Spartans failed to live up to their warrior-renowned identity. The team’s loss went beyond the numbers of the scoreboard; team quarterback Scott Gray fractured his elbow. Yet before this mishap, Gray played an exceptional game as he scored two of the three touchdowns this game, junior Kevin Stoner scored the other touchdown. Also noteworthy, Senior Matt Faber had a 67-yard punt. These notable events keep the Spartans hopeful for the remainder of the season. Even with quarterback Scott Gray out for 2-3 weeks, the team will continue to fight it out on the field. “I’m really proud of the team, and I know we’ll bounce back this season,” Scott Gray commented with authenticity. Senior Daleep Sandhu stiff arms his opponent to the ground.
formerly worked at Duarte High School for 11 years as both an Assistant Principal and the Activities Director there. Prior to working in administration, Dover was also an English teacher for 7 years. All these experiences in public schools, along with having 3 kids of his own, have shaped his understanding of students and the education process. Yet, La Cañada High School contrasts with the past schools Mr. Dover has worked at. Our school is a high-performing school and has a different socioeconomic background from Duarte High School. These differences in culture and economy permit Mr. Dover to concentrate more on academics and curriculum. “In the past, I had to focus a lot of my attention on discipline. Here, discipline is less of an issue so I can focus on other things like the educational process,” Mr. Dover commented. Some of Mr. Dover’s goals this year include keeping test scores up, helping average and lowerperforming students, making sure sophomores pass the CAHSEE the first time, and genuinely evaluating instruction time. “I am a proponent of frequent checking for understanding during instruction,” he explained. Mr. Dover trusts that questioning the students about their learning is the best way to evaluate their learning processes. “By checking students’ understanding of skills and concepts, teachers can make sure that they’re meeting the educational needs of their students,” he added. Even though Mr. Dover has already met adversity within the school’s registration and scheduling procedure, he’s excited for this year and hopes to get to know the students here at our high school. “I’m here for the long hall,” Mr. Dover explained. The Spartan welcomes him.
October 8, 2010
La Cañada High School
La Cañada Drumline sets the beat for the new school year
By Austin Hong Spartan Staff
t’s a new year. It’s a new drum-line. Although drumline lost three of its seniors last year, three new freshmen have taken their spots, ready and willing to do everything they can do to Photo by Katherine Propper help the team. Owen Gong, Shaun Haupt, and Pierre LaBelle have joined the line as the bottom three For those of you that ride the bus after school, the La Cabass drummers. Hauling ñada Shuttle now comes closer in down Oak Grove. Rather around their large drums, than stopping at its usual bus spot, it will be picking up kids marching at fast paces, in front of the band room at about 2:40PM. Don’t be late! and playing memorized music with precision have not been easy for them. But knowing that everyone went through the freshmen pain, they kept pushing. “The freshmen are picking things up very quickly, working hard to add to our sound,” says Drum-Captain, Ryan Leeka. With the standards rising, the freshmen are doing a good job Joy Lam and of meeting them. T h i s y e a r, t h e drumline is introducing a new section Photo by Katherine Propper that LC has been lacking: the cymbal line. Caroline Palmer, Howard Kim, Seniors Carolina McNicol, Kristene Hoseppian, Ashley and Michael Kapla took on the chalGorveztian, Matt Cannata, and Maryam Nouh pay tribute to Charles Parnell by wearing ivy leaves on October 6th. They lenge to bring a new sound to the recently read the short story entitled “Composition in the Ivy drums. Room.” The returning members are adapting to the many changes,
Shuttle takes a new route
“Rumors” is buzzing By Michael Belcher Spartan Staff
The LCHS theater department kicked off the new season on October 4 by performing Rumors, a farcical play by Neil Simon. The play, which ran for three days, was put on by the Theater 3 class. The comedy had a starstudded cast including seniors Jacob Walters, Woody Buck, and Maya Tripathy. The play was preformed brilliantly, which is especially impressive considering the cast had only three weeks to prepare. “It was a lot of work and a lot of fun,” explained cast member Jacob Walters, “but I loved every part of it.” Jacob Walters and Maya Tripathy played an an affluent couple, who gather in a posh suburban residence for a dinner party celebrating their host’s tenth anniversary. When
they arrive, they discover there are no servants, the hostess is missing, and the host - the deputy mayor of New York City- has shot himself through the earlobe. More comical complications arise when another couple, (Woody Buck and Emily Shreck) drop in after getting into a car accident. Junior Rob Ruiz put on a memorable performance as the mild mannered doctor married to an ambitious television chef (Meg Sanborn). The play nearly sold out on it’s opening night, and former theater stars such as Riley Horne and Nick Mizrahi dotted the audience. The sets were professionally designed and provided a humorus atmosphere from the outset. “I am so proud of [the students]” said theater teacher Justin Eick, “The fact they put on a show in just three weeks with the added pressure of the construction is just amazing.”
hoping and working towards another successful year. Ryan Leeka (senior) and Sean Moriarty (junior) continue to bring down beats on their tenor drums, carrying around six drums at once. Joy Lam (senior), Austin Hong (junior), and Cory Tripathy (sophomore) bring on the “rat-tat-tat” rhythms on the snares. Griffin Evans (senior) and Eugene Kim (sophomore) bring
Cory Tripathy perform on drumline the funk on their bass drums. Ryan Leeka has taken on the position of Drum Captain this year. Last year, La Cañada High School’s Drum-Line won first place at the American Drum Line Association, Open Class. This year, the drum-line
is taking another step to being number one. The team will be traveling to Dayton, Ohio, to compete in the Winter Guard International circuit. This year will be the first year that LC’s Drumline will be competing at a national competition. Although it will be more challenging with more competition, Leeka’s faith in the potential of the drum-line still remains high. Leeka explained, “Although we lost competent seniors last year, I believe that our senior class can lead us to another champ i o n s h i p . We might not have the most experienced players, but we have the discipline, leaders, and staff to take first place again.” To bring us to the top, Brad Ranat the football game. court is returning for his fifth year as the head instructor, along with Sean Knuth as his assistant for his second year. This year, new staff members, Wesley Hernandez, another assistant to Brad Rancourt, and Drew Klienbock, a cymbal tech, have joined to help out the drumline.
LC Band is riding a hot streak Temperature didn’t stop our La Canada Band from marching this summer. At Cal Poly Pomona College from Monday August 23 to Thursday August 26, the band practiced their new show in preparation for the upcoming season. A productive band camp only foreshadowed the great year that the leaders of the band expect.
By Terese Rutkowski Editor-In-Chief
Viva Las Seniors By Terese Rutkowski Editor-In-Chief
Wa t c h them viva. The Seniors of 2011 have kicked off their final year of high school with a number of activities. Following Senior Registration on August 19, Senior ASB hosted a picnic to sell senior shirts and give the class time to socialize. Seniors also signed up for a large game of “Assassin”. The Seniors held a Bonfire at Dockweiler Beach. Although not a sanctioned ASB event, over 200 12th graders attended “Party Like A Senior”. Senior girls decorated the homes of the Junior girls on August 30. Seniors enjoyed a free breakfast on the first day of school. On Friday, September 3, the seniors rode their scooters to school. The Seniors also held a tailgate party on September 17th, as well as Senior Girl Bonding, and a Car Wash on September 18th.
“I think we’ll do better at competitions this year because we’ve stepped up our game with our new instructors and the whole band has a new attitude that we can be successful. We all know we can make it to championships if we do our best and we all want to go there.” Band President Teresa Jiang said. Jiang’s co-president, Albert Ji, agreed. “Everyone has more pride in their playing and everyone wants to make it to championships. It’s a goal that every single individual aims for this year,” Ji commented. This season’s show is entitled “Playback”. “Our show is about a TV and what you’re hearing in the show is the TV playing. It goes through several channels and finally it selects a channel and that’s when the band starts playing. The drum major is the one controlling the remote,” Drum Major Raymond Ma explained. Ma is also expecting a good year. “We have a wonderful show this year and we’re exited. Everyone is motivated and putting in a lot of effort. Everything is running really smoothly because we’re ahead,” Ma said.
October 8, 2010
La Cañada High School
News Statues and Attitudes By Paulina Galoostian and Ariel Vaisbort Spartan Staff
“Statues and Attitudes” has become one of La Cañada High School’s greatest traditions. On Friday, September 17th, many themes were expressed by various students, who also had to express a sense of attitude applicable to the theme. Some of these statues included a Buddhist, a fortune teller, a hippy, a cheerleader, and a rocker. The students did a great job displaying raw rhetoric- expressing beliefs through art. After Mrs. Baldwin explained the statues and attitudes project, it was discovered that the meaning behind the activity was quite intriguing. Started by Mr. Mohney his first year at La Canada High School, the 7/8 later became incorporated in the game with their senior buddies. The project is based off a story called “End of the Game,” in which the two protagonists design a game called Statues and Attitudes. In this story, the two girls pose with either facial expressions or themes as the afternoon train goes by. Mr. Mohney, the teacher who originally started the “Statues and Attitudes” project, said, “It is the most basic kind of emotional response to a creation that tries to persuade someone to think a particular way and put themselves in that position. Graffiti is a direct example of raw rhetoric.” This story is the “springboard for performance art, with either a message to communicate or simply for the purpose of aesthetics,” Mrs. Baldwin said. “The students learn how to connect with a piece of literature that they are studying, create art (and how others will interact with that art), and learn sociological lessons (through the story). Each student picks three scenarios that they want to convey, messages or otherwise, and then their teacher chooses from those three. Using concentration, focus, willpower, breathing exercises and focal points, the students are able to stay still for the forty minutes.” Mrs. Baldwin feels that the project is a “wonderful tradition, a great way for the whole community to come together and be a part of something.” Of course, these statues affected each and every one of the students differently. Sophomore Linnea Fraiser said that all the statues were “really good, [the students] were really skillful for holding their poses for so long.”
A student in World Cultures Academy, Victoria Mundell said, “The statues showed me that everyone has to get up in front of the class at some point and everyone must participate. I learned a lot about art.” Speaking about how the game affects him Mr. Mohney said, “Well, they don’t have the same power for me anymore because I’ve seen the game played so often. It is startling to see the process and interaction between the statues and the people watching. I like the interplay created and the overall picture the statues present. The game has a powerful outlook, which results in a powerful response from the audience.” The game has so many different lessons intertwined within what is presented. Mr. Mohney discussed what lessons were taught (keeping the many ‘rejection’ statues in mind), and said, “It has so many lessons. One lesson is to put yourself out there and forgo a new image.” A great project, Statues and Attitudes influences us as a whole school, teaching many great messages. Everyone looks forward to participating in the game, both as the art and the viewer. While the statues do present a challenge, it is one that helps the entire school develop and grow.
15 National Merit Semifinalists make La Cañada High proud
National Merit Semifinalists of 2011!
Film club gets the cameras rolling By David Rhee Opinion Editor
veryone has had dreams of joining the film industry at least once in his or her life. The flashing lights, famous celebrities, and glamorous big screen just have a way of drawing a person in. Good news is, the path to becoming nationally recognized is no longer limited to Hollywood productions. In fact, in the age of networking that we live in, anyone with a half-interesting video on YouTube can get him or herself out there. But how do you get yourself out there? Sure, you can try to go at it alone - buy a camera, rent a green screen, jot down a script - or, you can join Film Club. Jason Park, president and founder of the LCHS Film Club, summarizes the club saying, “This club is going to be a great way for people interested in films to meet and interact with one another. The awesome thing about this club is that everyone and anyone can be useful in this club, no matter what their particular skills happen to be. Talented writers can write scripts, aspiring actors can act. People interested in more of the behindthe-scenes stuff can help us edit or direct. Overall, it’s a great way for people to express themselves creatively.” Film Club is a new club created this year for exactly these people. Basically a coalition for
anyone who’s considered striking it big on YouTube, the club hopes to function together to make it just that much easier. Jason Park isn’t alone in his enthusiasm. Henry Chung, a member of the club, said, “This club looks to be a hotbed of comedic creativity and immediately grabbed my attention. Really, the one thing that keeps kids away from movie making is their lack of resources. Film Club allows us to make those dreams reality.” One of the best points of this club is its pooling of resources. Can’t afford an expensive camera? That’s okay, Film Club’s got it covered. No video editing software? They have people for that. The club also has set for itself goals to keep it on track through the year. It hopes to publish at least one video every two weeks. In order to do this, Film Club hopes to have regular meetings. However, as a junior, Jason Park knows very well about the academic burden on students. As a result, the Film Club’s meetings will only be mandatory for those involved in the current project. As a final goal, Jason hopes to lead the Film Club to entering at least one film competition. As a hobby based, fun focused club, the LCHS Film Club is light enough to balance between school work and having a great time alongside people with shared interests as well.
Dillon Bromley wore a “J” for “judgemental” and “juvenile. Other kids wore an “R” for “rude,” an “A” for “arrogance,” an “I” for “insecure,” or a “P” for procrastinator. Photo by Terese Rutkowski
Wearing Shame By Jack Finnigan Spartan Staff E a c h y e a r, s t u d e n t s o f sophomore Honors English read “The Scarlet Letter” as part of the course’s curriculum. The book takes place right before the turn of the 18th century, and is
about a young woman named Hester Prynne who commits an act of adultery. To simulate her experience, Mr. Valassidis, Mrs. Lewsadder, and Mrs. Moore required their students to wear a letter that stands for a trait they believe is bad.
STEP changes... she said. The new bell schedule impacted students as much as teachers. On the first day, some students stepped into their homeroom class assuming the continuance of last year’s schedule. Many sprinted during the remaining seconds of the early morning passing period after realizing there is no longer a STEP class in the morning. Alisha
Mahgalingam, a senior, supports the absence of STEP classes on regular days. She pointed out that “…students who don’t have a first period don’t have to come to school an hour earlier.” While true, the removal of STEP classes on regular days has put a restraint on the choice of STEP classes, causing some distress among many high school students.
Math fanatics have united at LCHS By Liwon Lim Spartan Staff Math fanatics of the school have assembled together to form the first ever math team at LCHS. Their founders, Aiden Park and Ailin Kim, share the goal to give an opportunity for all high school students to compete at math competitions. This way, students will be able to demonstrate their academic talents to their school and community. “There is no other type of team that actually goes out to compete solely for the subject of Math, and it was a really good idea to start one for the first time at LCHS,” Ailin said. Other schools have already established their own math teams and have entered competitions. The creation of the math team gives students at LCHS a chance to expose themselves to this type of experience too. The team’s current goal is to gain as many members as it can possibly get, and generally spread the interest of Math around the school. The foundations of the Math Team are seen in Math Counts. Math Counts is a club similar to that of the Math Team, but is exclusively for junior high students. Ailin and Aiden took the idea formulated by Ms. Leu twenty years ago and brought it as an opportunity for high school students as well. Math Team practices in Ms. English’s room, room 215, every Wednesday and Thursday during STEP in order to enhance their chances of winning at competitions. “We will work on math worksheets to prepare for the questions that they will give us at competitions, and do team activities in order to improve our teamwork. Also, just participating at competitions will get us a lot better as well,” Aiden said. So far, the team comprises of extremely gifted students who eventually will get even better as they continually practice. “We are very confident with our team this year,” Ailin said, “I am hopeful that our team’s results will be outstanding and the years to come will be even better.” The Math Team plans to have six competitions this year. Since it’s only their first year, their goal is just to participate in as many competitions possible, to get a feel of what it’s like. Next year the team plans to win some competitions. The first competition will be held this November. The only problem for them is the issue of money. It costs money for the math team to enter competitions. They are going to have to organize some type of fundraiser to raise money in order to participate in math competitions. On the bright side, there are cash prizes if the team wins at competitions. All students between grades 9-12 are capable of joining the team, no matter what level of math they are in. Students that participate should just appreciate math and have fun doing it. “It’s really good to see people join the math team out of their love and pure enjoyment for the subject,” Aiden remarked. With hard work and preparation, the new math team will be able to succeed and be available for future generations to participate in as well.
continued from front page Junior Laura Woolls said, “I dislike the one STEP class sign-up. It restricts a student’s ability to explore new fields or enrich his or her current studies.” Another junior named Angela Kim agreed with her fellow classmate with a simple question: “What if you need more help?” The pros and cons of the lengthened classes are balanced
upon a seesaw; many are opposed. Yet again, the longer classes squeezed out the morning STEP class, otherwise known as homework and wakeup time to many students. With the choice of only one STEP for an entire semester, the students will be forced to decide which enrichment class they truly need. And with the limited space, they need to make a run for it.
October 8, 2010
La Cañada High School
e-How to stop cheating: Teacher’s Edition By David Mkrtchian Copy Editor
recent New York Times article titled ,”To Stop Cheats, Colleges Learn Their Trickery,” discusses how some colleges have gone to great lengths to ensure that their students do not cheat, employing measures like an “eye-in-the-sky video” to catch cheaters. In the virtual world, websites like Turnitin.com have grown in popularity. Over 9,500 high schools use Turnitin to counteract the effects of increasingly popular homework sharing sites like Course Hero and Cramster, replete with textbook answers, class notes, and even previous exams. The forces on both sides, the teachers who try to prevent and punish cheating, and the increasingly wily cheaters who are finding ways to circumvent the system, are gearing up for battle. For those of you who have taken APUSH, this should seem a little bit like the Cold War. Both sides of the debate are gearing up instead of stepping back and looking at the bigger picture. What causes cheating, really? A gut-reaction, one conditioned by years of school, is that cheaters are amoral. They are sinister beings seeking to get an unfair advantage, trying to compensate for what they don’t have by preying on the knowledge of others. This cursory look is used to justify the demonization of cheater. But there are many things that go into changing an otherwise honest high school student into a cheater. Ignoring the processes that go into creating the student mindset evades the problem entirely. The focus problematically changes from prevention to punishment. Instead of figuring out why we have cheaters, the focus is too often to resort to draconian measures, creating an environment for students during a test that more resembles a prison than a place of learning. F r o m a student’s perspective, I can say with full faith, having spoken to Honor Court
“Justices”, that the best and brightest, the ones with the strongest moral compass, have at some point or another, done something that would qualify as cheating(I take the Fifth!). This brings up the first issue of labeling a person a cheater. Students often don’t even realize that they are cheating when they are restating the unique opinion of an author without attribution. That is not to say that cheaters are unaware angels, but that teachers should be clearer in defining cheating. Teachers should be more understanding of more subtle forms of cheating, making sure to delineate the often blurry gray lines of some assignments. That brings us to the really heinous crime, conscious cheating, whether on tests or plagiarism on homework assignments. We’ve all seen it; some of us have even committed the high crimes of cheating. Even these crimes require a look into the dynamic forces at work, especially at our school. This school, as it often toots its own horn, is a “Blue Ribbon School”. This high achieving school has consistently received high marks in statewide-standardized exams. Thrust into this environment are the unsuspecting kids of high achieving parents whose success is defined purely by academic success. The parents, too, are hardworking individuals. The pressure from teachers, the demands of parents, and the stresses from other students compound to create immense strain. Then, some teachers, recognizing this pressure, give tests and homework freely, implicitly acknowledging that they know that they can pressure the students even more. I am not condoning cheating, but sometimes the hours of the day just do not match up. A student, whether by curiosity or by compulsion takes difficult courses trying to learn. But sometimes teachers ignore part of the reality that is the pressure cooker of the La Cañada High School environment. It is time to deal justice where it is due. Not only on students, but parents and teachers as well. The solution, instead of punishment is prevention, discussion, and understanding.
Democrats and Republicans Duking it Out By Guest Contributor Audrey Yue
Gubernatorial Election Heating Up in California By Lizzie Foster Sports Editor Many political analysts are calling this November ’s midterm elections a turning point for our country. With President Obama’s poll numbers continuing to drop and voter anti-incumbent sentiment spreading rapidly across the United States, many candidates are riding this energized wave of voters all the way to the ballot box this fall. There is no better example of the dramatic influx of voter interest and participation than the heated upcoming gubernatorial race in California. Republican candidate Meg Whitman and Democratic candidate Jerry Brown have started to get into the thick of their campaigns, and it is only going to get more intense from here. In the case of Jerry Brown, you have a former two-term, eight year Governor of California, who, if elected, would officially be named California’s longest serving governor. In an election year where candidates are proving to be successful by being political newcomers or non-incumbents, a candidate like Brown does not benefit from the mass movement of voter interest. The same cannot be said for Meg Whitman, the very successful former EBay CEO who has never been involved in the political landscape. Whitman won this year’s Republican primary and has a good shot at winning this November in the traditionally blue state of California. The fact that Whitman has a business background and not a political one appeals to a majority of voters during a time when Americans,
specifically Californians, are looking for leaders with common sense and responsibility, not a political agenda. Another huge factor in Whitman’s growing chances of winning the race is the involvement of the ever-expanding and very influential Tea Party movement. The Tea Party movement is in fact quite large in California, and Whitman has used that involvement to the best of her advantage, catering many of her state proposals and TV advertisements towards Tea Partiers in hopes of gaining their support. The Tea Party provides Whitman with a dedicated group of voters who campaign for her non-stop. However, some analysts argue that Whitman will have a tough time beating out Brown because the two previous times he served as Governor of California, he was labeled as a fiscal conservative and recorded the largest state surplus in the history of California. Although, with today’s struggling economy and the way the Democratic agenda being passed through congress over the last year and a half has been so unpopular with the public, it will be difficult for Brown to escape the negative perception surrounding his party. On the same topic of the economy, many argue that Whitman is the perfect candidate to bring California back from the brink, as she has proved she can successfully run a large business as seen in EBay. Any way you look at it, this November’s gubernatorial election in California will cap off a hard-fought, contested campaign, with plenty of national attention because California’s choice will play an important part in the future of the nation’s economy.
La Cañada High School
October 8, 2010
Glenn Beck Draws Fire for “Restoring Should D’s be Honor” Rally By Jack Finnigan Spartan Staff
Glenn Beck, the radical right-wing radio and television host, gave a speech on August 28th at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Titled the “Restoring Honor” rally, Beck hoped to help all citizens of America reestablish their faith in God, “turning our face back to the values and principles that made us great.” The rally stressed the importance of going back to our original values that leaders such as George Washington helped establish in America, and to apply the ideals behind King’s speech and the civil rights beliefs of Abraham Lincoln to our lives. Mr. Beck has made his name through the years mainly as the host of The Glenn Beck Program, which is a hugely popular talk show. He has also branched out to other media outlets, like his show on Fox, and has written six New York Times bestselling books. Beck’s beliefs are focused on his idea that the teachings of God should be the ones to shape the nation. The Restoring Honor rally Beck promoted drew heavy criticism, since it was on the same date and place where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream Speech”. Civil rights leaders argued that the conservative was trying to destroy the importance of King’s speech. Beck responded,“I’m sorry, oh so important media, that I forgot the date”. There has also been debate of how many people actually attended the rally. Beck was said to have thanked half a million or so people that he said were there during his speech, but CBS News reporting that only an estimated 87,000 people were there. Beck’s rally was another attempt of the strong Republican trying to stir up controversy. Even if Mr. Beck wasn’t aware of the time and place of his speech, civil rights leaders had a very valid point of opposing the conservative’s speech based on their belief that Beck is a racist. Beck has shown that he is actually a racist. He strongly opposes progressivism, which is a reform focused on racial equality, among other ideas. Beck’s beliefs that progressivism is killing America is a strong indication that he is indeed a racist. Glenn even had a speech in February 2010, almost all of which focused
Balancing athletics with education - the life of a football player
By Armen Dingizian Spartan Staff It’s rather simple. Throw the ball, catch the ball, and run as far as you possibly can with the ball. Lift weights, go to practice, and hit the showers only to get home exhausted before falling asleep at your desk trying to type an English essay due tomorrow. That’s the typical routine of a football player at an average high school, but LCHS is anything but the average high school. Everyday, Spartan athletes strive to balance their academic obligations with their athletic lives to the best of their abilities. These commitments, however, force students to perform a delicate balancing act in which losing their stability is nearly inevitable. Although athletics do
on his hatred of progressivism, in which he even brought a chalkboard out and wrote the word on it, proclaiming “This is the disease in America”. The irony to all this was that Glenn said prior to the event that “This is a moment, quite honestly, that I think we reclaim the civil rights movement.” Beck has also had numerous disputes questioning his treatment of other races. The most widely-known controversy is of Beck and President Barack Obama. After the President’s thoughts on the Henry Louis Gates incident, Beck believed Obama has revealed “a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture”, going on to say “I’m not saying he doesn’t like white people. I’m saying he has a problem. This guy is, I believe, a racist” Before receiving scrutiny from civil rights advocates, Beck said that the rally would be on the reforms he thinks will change America. However, after his criticism from the media, Beck then said that the rally would be primarily on religious themes and civil equality. His reason was that God spoke to him, saying “You have all these pieces. Just put them together”. Because of the remarks said against Beck, the rally changed to a show of Beck trying to prove what was said about him was wrong. King’s niece wouldn’t have had part in Beck’s play, and Beck wouldn’t have introduced a new “Black-Robed Regiment” of clergy, bringing 230 clergy of different ethnicities onto the stage. Glenn Beck isn’t even a valid politician. He went to Yale University for one semester and took a theology class. His views change frequently, going along with what the majority of people think. Everything he says is focused on stirring up extremists, and he has no substance in him, other than the marijuana he smoked for 15 years. Beck’s rally existed to stir up controversy, and became a shield for Beck to defend himself from the widespread assumption that he is a racist.
not consume all the available time in a day, completing homework assignments and studying become increasingly difficult when a student is fatigued from recent physical activities. Even when an athlete does have time to invest in academics, it’s nearly impossible to stay focused with exhaustion boring down on you relentlessly and by the time a player gets home, he is usually depleted of all energy and hitting the books becomes the last thing on their mind. So, as a semester draws closer to completion, a player’s grades begin to plummet and staying awake in class turns into an uphill battle in which victory seems as unlikely as getting an “A” on that history test next period. However, it would be unreasonable to state confidently that athletic responsibilities always lower a student’s grades. Every athlete who plays for LCHS must maintain a certain GPA requirement, which motivates a fraction of students to improve their academic achievements. Do athletic responsibilities necessarily inhibit a student’s capability to perform well in school, or do they push students to perform at a level closer to their potential? From a player’s perspective it’s about representing La Cañada High School and winning in its name. It’s about team chemistry and staying up until four o’clock celebrating Friday night’s victory. It’s all
about the fun. From a teacher’s point of view, if you choose to join the football team, then it’s your responsibility to stay focused in school. It’s in your best interest to catch up on overdue assignments, and it’s recommended that you have a friend copy a second set of notes for you during class. Kyle Herron, a junior who plays football for LCHS, states that the hardest part about being a student athlete is “being motivated to keep your academics up.” As a motivated inside linebacker, Kyle says that he has always “loved the sport.” Kyle said, “Also I am interested in playing in college, and this is the first step to get there.” As an active student at LCHS, Kyle manages to find a perfect balance between athletics and his studies. With all the pressure applied on our athletes, they become cornered, forced to choose between either sports or school, they begin to lose their footing and tip the balance that is their academic responsibilities. At what point does this delicate balancing act turn into an all out devotion? Does the unnecessary stress pay off in the long run, or is there just not enough time in the day to manage both well? As fine students, of course, our athletes will attempt to accomplish excellence in both, but success is not so easily attained, much less maintained. By joining an athletic team or taking part in extra curricular activities, a student communicates that s/he is capable of undertaking additional responsibilities. In order to achieve success under such demanding circumstances, students must be prepared to suffer at the hands of a rigorous agenda and an efficient lifestyle.
eliminated? By Michael Belcher Staff Writer
ho wants to pay for a “D”-quality manicure? Learn advanced calculus with a “D”-rated teacher? Settle for a “D” restaurant? Have a “D” doctor perform surgery? Exactly. This is kind of logic that has been swaying school districts around the country. Although no one keeps comprehensive statistics on grading practices, at least a dozen secondary schools in Arizona, Florida, Maryland, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and most recently New Jersey have ditched the D in the last decade. In California, it has been dropped by high schools in Rocklin, San Diego and Temecula. The no-D policy, which has been around since the late nineties, has led to a flurry of Facebook messages from students calling it the worst idea ever, and has been debated on football fields and in cafeterias at high schools far and wide. “D’s get degrees,” argued Junior William Lee, “if D’s are acceptable at the college level, I don’t understand why they aren’t in high school.” Proponents of the policy argue the D is a throwaway grade, and it has no value in society. For some, the No-D scale simply reinforces the lesson parents have long taught at home: D’s are just not good enough. Many others feel that the higher standard is just what kids need. Many of us have walked a borderline at one point or another, and for many students, it is difficult to take the high road. Many colleges, as well, do not recognize the D as a passing grade among high school applicants. Not to mention a D average will get any high school athlete kicked off their sports team. “I already see a D as a failure,” explained Sophomore Carly Moore, “Why not make it official?” Certainly sounds reasonable on the surface, doesn’t it? Like most controversies however, the bill has its fair share of dissidents. The policy, they argue, presumes students who get D’s today do so because they’ve just decided to “get by.” If this approach is supposed to be effective, some wonder why stop there? Students who merely settle for average tend to fear the “C” grade will soon be in a similar situation. The policy will also put extrapressure on already floundering students. Of course there is a case to be made for changing the grading system entirely. “If we were to eliminate D’s, we would really be eliminating the possibility of being ‘below average,’ so we might as well go to a pass/fail system,” stated AP English teacher Mr. Mohney. . Many school districts have adopted the standard-based grading scale, one in which students are graded on their mastery of preset standards. Some states such as North Carolina have even assumed a “holistic” grading system. Rather than using computers to log responses to multiple choice tests, rubrics for state assessments ask scorers to look at the entire paper and make judgments. Scorers are not allowed to count errors, and rubrics do not contain numeric measurements of how many spelling or grammar error constitute a high or low score. Despite the recent wave of change sweeping the country’s grading system, it may be awhile before it hits LCHS. “I feel that grades should reflect how much the students have learned,” resolved Assitant Principal Dover, “but I don’t expect the status quo to change anytime soon.” However you feel about it, the No-D movement is gaining support from school districts around the country, although it may be a while before we say goodbye to the subpar letter grade at LCHS.
October 8, 2010
LCHS students volunteer in Ghana By Joseph Kim News Editor Over the summer, Senior Paul Kim and Patrick Yew made an philanthropic trip to Ghana. During their twoweek visit from June 17 to July 3, the two seniors helped out the local Ghanaians in attempt to improve the Africans’ livings. Being part of the “Cross Cultural Solutions” program, Kim and Yew volunteered to spend their early summer valuably and selflessly. Along with nine other volunteering teens, Paul and Patrick arrived at a village called Likpe Bakwa. As soon as they arrived, a sizeable crowd of Ghanaian children approached the volunteers, asking for leftover foods and already opened water bottles. Under the hot and humid weather conditions, the children were forced to live in run-down shacks that had no air-conditioning. Noticing such harsh conditions, Kim and Yew became more determined and motivated to make at least a small difference in the lives of
La Cañada High School
College Applications 101
By Ben Chon Features Editor
Seniors Paul Kim (left) and Patrick Yue (right) at Ghana. the under-privileged Africans. “I instantly realized that not everyone lives like typical La Cañada residents,” shared Kim. “I wanted to do my best to help them out.” Kim and Yew started their days at 8 o’clock everyday and then munched down pineapples as breakfasts. Because the village relied very heavily on fruit trees as sources of food, the volunteers took time to manually plant more than 200 trees. At the thought of providing healthy and juicy fruits to the less privileged Ghanaians, Kim and Yew wiped the sweat off their faces. To them, trees felt lighter than ever before. “I’ve never planted so many plants in my life,” said Yew. “It was a very meaningful experience to all of us.” When they weren’t planting mango and banana trees, Paul and Patrick went to an orphanage to share time with the African orphans. Playing with the children and holding their hands, the two
volunteers soon became close with them. They also learned how to speak rudimentary Ewe, the Ghanaian language. Kim and Yew also painted murals on the orphanage walls. Aside from volunteering, Kim and Yew enjoyed many activities. They went hiking and played at the waterfalls. In fact, they hiked up to the highest peak in Ghana. “I never knew Ghana was so beautiful,” commented Kim. “It was nice enjoying another country’s nature.” Both Patrick and Paul agree that they had unforgettable experiences at Ghana. They are both aspiring, and they wish to come back to Ghana as doctors. Kim and Yew plan to return to Ghana to give free medical treatments to sick Ghanaians who can’t afford medications. La Cañada High School is proud to have such charitable individuals.
Attention all seniors! It’s been a long three years for us, and only in this one short year do we get to look down upon the underclassmen of this studentmade, high school hierarchy. But, as Peter Parker’s uncle once said, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” As seniors, we do have the power, but what is our responsibility? It’s something far worse than the Green Goblin, it’s been lurking at the back of the vast majority of our minds these past three years, and it walks hand in hand with the monster called Procrastination. Our responsibility is to complete those daunting college applications. Though an ominous monster no doubt, college applications don’t have to be as bad as rumors make them sound. The most important step towards deciphering this enigmatic process, however, is to know the facts about the overall college procedure. Below, you will be able to find many helpful tips and clarifying facts that should aid you in your quest of conquering this beast. Early Decision – If you know there is a school for you, one that you know you definitely want to attend, then this could be an option you take advantage of. Early Decision allows you to apply, as the option’s name suggests, to one college early and it quite significantly increases your chances in acceptance on average of about 10-15%. However, there is a catch: if you are accepted to this school, you are binded to this college, meaning
that you must withdraw all other applications you are working on and you must attend that school. Therefore, some of the most important factors you must consider when applying early decision are the environment of that college and if you are able to afford to attend that college. If you are unable to afford that college after being accepted, then the consequences will be catastrophic. If you are not accepted, however, do not worry, you may still apply to all other schools regular decision. Early Action - Early action plans are similar to early decision plans, but are not binding. If you’ve been accepted, you can choose to commit to the college immediately, or wait until the spring. Under these plans, you may also apply early action to other colleges. Usually, you have until the late spring to let the college know your decision. SAT subject tests – Most UC schools and private schools require at least two SAT subject tests as a requirement to be able to apply to these schools. These subject tests vary from Literature to Mathematics and major sciences to foreign languages. The options vary, but make sure to choose the ones that you can score best on. - Tip: When taking the SAT subject tests (maximum 3 at one time), you cannot take the SAT 1 test on the same day. Also, only once a year (in November) can you take the SAT 2 language and listening tests.
La Cañada High School
Falling into Fantasy By Paulina Galoostian Spartan Staff “Fantasy and reality often overlap.” —Walt Disney Fantasy: The activity of imagining things that are impossible or improbable. “Twilight”, “Harry Potter”, “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”, “The Hunger Games”, and “Eragon” are all works of literature we are very well acquainted with. Edward Cullen, Harry Potter, and Katniss Everdeen are famous characters that are prominent around the world. These leading characters have countless fans, who might be considered fanatics for fiction! From there I ask, why? I can’t help but wonder how someone can be so attached to a fictional character, to subjects that only exist in one’s imagination. Then I consider how advantageous these creations are and how they have the ability, potential, and power to impact and influence a reader’s life socially, mentally, and emotionally. I wanted to know what a true fan’s point of view was with regard to my analysis. Laura Malhotra is a Harry Potter admirer who claims, “The magical tale from the mythical world helped me become more socially involved with friends.” She and her friends held conversations where they explored and discussed the plots from the book, watched all of the movies together, and are yearningly to see newest movie: “Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows”. This summer, at the “Eclipse” premiere, devoted fans waited hours in line to see the midnight showing of the new movie. They were draped in fan T-shirts, hats, and jackets! From Laura Malhotra’s remark we can conclude that these characters and story lines are a common denominator linking a teenager to their crowd of companions. However, why does such attraction to and obsession over a character occur? Emily Fisher believes fans are “obsessed emotionally because they see a characters compassion shown in the story, and dream about obtaining that level of sympathy in their own lives. It helps them escape to an imaginary
Off the Charts
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
Empire of the Sun Moon
The Titanic Sinking of Summer Movies By Paul Kim Spartan Staff Movie studios have blessed us with movies like “Inception”, whose intense CGI effects and intricate plot transported moviegoers to an ethereal world. Even movies like “Toy Story 3” and “Despicable Me” gave hilarious and memorable experience that both children and adults could relate to. “Toy Story 3” also proved to be a lucrative investment, grossing $400 million dollars in the U.S. and approximately $1 billion globally. Despite the creation of these lucrative movies, the movie industry has not lived up to expectations this summer
world.” Compassion is intoxicating to the minds of passionate people. Being shown compassion through fictional characters makes them By Carly Moore crave it more and Spartan Staff more in their own, here comes a point actual lives. As when I am driving Sheri S. Tepper, that I have to turn an American auoff the radio. Not because thor once said “To of commercials or the me, fantasy has static- but because Katy always been the Perry’s ‘California Girls’ genre of escape, has been played five times science fiction the on three different stations genre of ideas. in the last 20 minutes. I’m serious! I mean who hasn’t heard the song ‘Airplanes’ by B.o.B So if you can esand Hayley Williams played more then once on Amp Radio and KIIS FM? Sometimes cape and have it makes you want to scream ‘No! We won’t pretend that airplanes are shooting stars!’ a little idea as It’s the same deal on iTunes. The same singers are always on the top ten and the same type of music is always popular. It’s annoying right? Especially if you’re like me where none of the well, maybe you popular music is really your style and you think that some of the best artists don’t get enough airtime. have some kind Suddenly I got this idea for the Music Column. We all know the songs by Lady of a cross-breed Gaga, Taylor Swift or Ke$ha- so why should I feature them? I thought why not feature between the some of the truly amazing tunes. The bands, the songs and the artists that aren’t top two.” The term ten on iTunes or playing on the radio every five minutes. Bands like Passion Pit, The escape is used Neon Trees, or The Kooks? The…off the Charts stuff. The kind of music that not a lot of in both Fisher’s people know about but really should. The bands that I feature have to follow these rules: and Tepper ’s 1.Each artist cannot be in the top ten on iTunes because we know (and statements. To h e a r, a n d s i n g , a n d d a n c e t o . . . ) t h a t m u s i c a l r e a d y. escape reality 2.And lastly the music featured can’t be over played on the radio. for a small por So students of La Cañada High here are your two bands of the week : tion of your life Whether you is very effective heard them as the openers a n d h e a l t h y. for The Killers Yes, even as teenagers we are stressed, in 2008 or tired, and pressured. Some get to escape happened to through writing, sports, music...but othbe walking by ers choose to fall into fantasy and read their concert at their difficulties away, reaching toward an Lollapalooza inventive world full of life and inspiration! this year, the Inspiration is the fuel of humanNeon Tress have ity as supportive motivation is the thrust made there way that propels us to strive to reach our vifrom opening sions and goals. Anastacia Menemenlis concerts to shares how “Sisterhood of the Traveling being the main act. Once just Pants” has “inspired (her) to find the a little band of special bond the four girls hold, knowing boys that were each other inside out”. Inspiration is a neighbors from gift of encouragement and hope that Ann Utah, they now have a major album Habits on iTunes that is just waiting to be found. The name The Brashares awards her readers with. FallNeon Trees came from a restaurant in California where they were eating. The band happened to ing into Fantasy is a great escape from look outside and see trees lit by lights in the dark, inspiration occurred, and there you have it. If you reality sugarcoated with inspiration, hope, happen to check them out, listen to their song “1983” because trust me you can’t get enough of it. compassion, and change. It helps one I picked the rock band The Gaslight Anthem for a number of reasons. Compared to other become more socially active with friends, rock bands their sound is so unique that at one point when you make there way through their new and is a common denominator between album American Slang- you become addicted. Plus the songs set the perfect mood of summer companions. Attachment to characters ending and school kicking up again. Tip: Make sure to give their song “The Spirit of Jazz” a try. is a byproduct of either apathy or spice Well, now I am actually finished. I hope you enjoyed in one’s life and the eager desire to fill in just the first snippet that I gave you because there is more to come. Get ready. the bare holes of an unrecognized void.
List of new and recommended fictional stories
Summer is the time for blockbuster m o v i e s t h a t generate hundreds of millions of dollars, but not this summer
October 8, 2010
with disappointing movies such as “Killers” and “Avatar: The Last Airbender” brought in scant earnings, falling short of their production budgets. Even comics like Steve Carell and Zach Galifianikis could not fulfill the hunger for comedy and laughs in their movie, “Dinner for Schmucks”, which earned an average rating of 5.5 out of 10. And promising movies like “Eat, Pray, Love” could not bring in good reviews from websites like www.RottenTomatoes.com or www.RogerEbert.SunTimes.com. According to RottenTomatoes, “’Eat, Pray, Love’ is too shallow to resonate” and the latter giving it a two thumbs down. Out of the four “Shrek” movies, this year’s presented the worst box office performance, raking in less than the millions of dollars that were expected. However, “Shrek Forever After” became the top-grossing movie after its debut due to movies such as: “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” “MacGruber,” “Get Him to the Greek,” “Killers,” “Marmaduke,” and “Splice,” which performed weaker. Most major releases this sum-
mer were sequels or spin-offs. “Killers” arouse memories of “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” and “Splice” alludes to “Species”. “MacGruber” was based on a “Saturday Night Live” sketch and “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” started out as a videogame. Even “Marmaduke” was hinged on a comic strip. This year’s summer season started with the debut for “Iron Man 2”. The anticipated sequel to Iron Man (2008) performed
worse than what was expected but was still relatively impressive, with $312.1 million in sales. However, the action movie, “Robin Hood”, missed the mark and lacked the excitement and adventure that made it a legend in the primordial days of storytelling. “The A-Team” captures the adventurous spirit of the original television series but brings in a paltry $77.1 million in the box office. Even “The Expendables” brought in a paltry 82 million dollars, vastly below what was prognosticated and anticipated by moviegoers. “Takers”, a movie where bank robbers concoct a plan to appropriate $20 million, have also generated $20 million in the box office. Prominent rapper Tip “T.I.” Harris and singer Chris Brown made the characters they represent seem two-dimensional. Though these action movies sought to bring action and adventure this summer, they fell below expectations and left moviegoers wondering if this drought of good action movies will ever see rain. Although most of this summer’s movies have not been great, some movies such as “Inception” and “Toy Story 3” have been thrilling and entertaining. Some lessons should be learned from the decrease in ticket sales and weak box office openings. Clichéd plots and awful acting must definitely be avoided. However, intense CGI effects amalgamated with action will definitely bring a healthy profit and reviews that aggrandize the movie. With a great amount of anticipated movies debuting next summer, the movie industry must hope for better returns next year.
October 8, 2010
La Cañada High School
Editorial: A STEP down at LCHS
Do you like the new STEP schedule? By Katherine Propper Managing Editor
***100 students polled ‘SSR’, ‘STEP’, ‘Homeroom’, I don’t really care what you call it, but for me, it was a period of sanctuary. It was the time during my packed schedule
when my battery-like mind could recharge, rest, study, read, learn, and talk to teachers. Unfortunately for my battery life, this short, but valuable 35 minutes was deemed obsolete and is now not available to students Monday, Tuesday, and Friday (of course it’s the days when you have all 6 periods). All I know is that regardless of what you name it, the majority of students desire some form of SSR or STEP offered everyday of the school week as our poll of 100 students displayed (82% want STEP or SSR everyday). As for me, I am part of the majority of students who liked the old schedule better. Multiple clubs (TACH, Cultural Awareness, Academic Decathlon) struggle to meet, and students now drudge through their longer classes. At this point, it seems as though we’ll have to adapt.
What is your opinion on the new STEP schedule? “It means I can’t save homework for the morning and have to stay up later. I don’t like it. Classes are too long. I get tired.” -David Mednikov, 12th grade “I was always working and getting help from teachers during STEP, I don’t know what I’m going to do without it.” – Emma Angold, 10th grade
Boos & Bravos Bravo for having the Senior girls TP’ing it up on the first day of school. It was only at the expense of one forest in the Amazon... Boo to the cafeteria for raising French fries from $1 to $2—guess raising the prices of transcripts to $5 wasn’t enough Bravo for construction finally ending…Oh wait, it hasn’t yet Boo to having five more minutes of each class everyday…it’s seriously killing us Bravo to getting rid of the bungalows for student parking. Oops! Still can’t park there Boo to not getting textbooks on time, or ever… Bravo to the IRC for finally being open after school. Too bad it wasn’t open for the first busiest weeks of school Boo to the administration for restricting the bare traditions of the H2o team. Bravo to the custodians of our school. On behalf of the entire school, we apologize for the habits of careless littering students Boo to Bravo’s. Who needs optimism
Tic-Tock Clocks Stop By Ben Chon Features Editor Let’s say, for some reason, you were on a boat in the Eastern Mediterranean and had to pass the Strait of Messina. While entering the strait, you realize you have to choose between Scylla, the six headed sea monster that devoured sailors one by one, or Charybdis, the sea monster that would suck in the ship whole. Which one would you choose? Whether or not you actually read The Odyssey, have never heard of it, or just Sparknoted it to pass tomorrow’s reading quiz, we actually have to make such decisions everyday at school. With all the buzz from the adamant school administration against student use of cell phones during instructional time, it is actually the lack of action from the administration itself that is causing many students to whip out their phones during lectures to check the time. But the issue with cell phones is not where this problem lies. It has been a month into school, yet students across campus are stuck in time in every single class. It is understandable, on the rare occasions it does happen, for the school bells
to be on the wrong schedule and not ring on the correct time. It is understandable that perhaps some clocks may not be working in some classes. It even would have been understandable for the clocks not to have worked for the first couple days of school. But it has been a whole month, a good thirty-some days, and at the very least 720 hours that the administration has failed to fix such a glaring error. The vast majority of neither students nor teachers understand what the cause of this situation is, and are especially perplexed as to why nothing has been done. According to one teacher, the clocks have not been working because of the problematic and controversial construction, which at some point caused the clocks’ wires to be cut. But why haven’t we been educated of why the clocks aren’t working? Besides the point that the construction seems like an unwise use of school money to simply glorify our campus with our already suffering school budget, even if the clocks do have a justifiable reason for being out of order, students should at least know of such a situation. Is our school administration really that unaware just
because they aren’t in classes themselves? Besides the fact that students are compelled to furtively sneak into their pockets to check what time it is, time restraints are also even more significant for classwork and tests. As it’s already been a month into school, many students can vouch of the inconvenience to not know how much more time is left to divide into each problem left on the test, and teachers can vouch of the inconvenience of not knowing how much more time should be left for lecturing. Does the entire student body really have to complain to have this changed? There seems to clearly be a tension between the administration and the student body, with each side antagonistically viewing the other as full of flaws and needed to be changed. Whether it is the mess of senior pranks, the drama of the changes to cheerleading traditions, or the controversial modification of STEP, both the administration and the student body can’t claim to be faultless in these situations. However, I just can’t seem to pinpoint where to blame the students on this one.
“The extra study time helped me get ready for the day and wake up. Since teenagers need more sleep, the time cushion really helps.” -Arland Whitfield, 11th grade “Well I don’t think its the best idea because most students usually use step to finish homework, ask teachers questions, or have clubs or something of the sort, so I would think its useful to have it everyday.” -Anjali Jain, 10th grade “I enjoyed the extra time I got with my students.” -Anonymous teacher
“STEP was cut short because there was not enough staff support to keep it going.” - Dr. Jackie Luzak “I think the change is a good thing because STEP was just all over the place. It was too complicated” -Janice Lee, 12th grade “When STEP first began it was all about students, now it’s all about the convenience.” -Anonymous teacher “Block day STEP is a waste of time, and we should bring back STEP or SSR on regular days” - Raya Choi, 12th grade “If they’re going to take out STEP, we need to have SSR or homeroom.” -Shane Taylor, 12th grade “It would be beneficial to have a STEP/Homeroom before 1st period everyday.” -Rachel Fox, 12th grade “I hate the new schedule a lot”Anonymous 10th grader “I sleep less now.”Randy Gartside. 12th grade
La Cañada High School
October 8, 2010
Statues and Attitudes In Pictures
What’s that funny looking thing on your roof? By Armen Dingizian Spartan Staff
printing, unplugging your cell phone charger when not in use, buying energy efficient light bulbs, and using less water are undeniably practical and can be done by nearly everyone. We can’t stand by and watch our planet deteriorate before our eyes because of our own selfishness. We must overcome the most intimidating obstacle of all: ourselves. Before change can come to pass, a problem must be recognized and accepted. Mr. Traeger makes a point of “telling it to my students like it is” without an optimistic sugarcoating that makes our situation on this planet seem slightly hopeful. We are destroying our environment, our atmosphere, and our resources without the slightest concern. After all, early research advocates that “in alternative energy started in the 1860’s and was driven by the expectation that coal reserves would soon become depleted.” Earth’s fossil fuel resources will inevitably run dry and early estimates predict that day will come as early as 2080. It’s easy to say that it doesn’t matter and it’s even easier to say that it doesn’t affect your life but the gravity of the subject cannot be misrepresented. Often, the right choice is the difficult one to make and we all know how inconvenient difficult things can be but it’s up to LCHS students to make a change for the community and make a difference in the world. If not for themselves then for their children, and if
The air is clean, the water pure, and the ancient word “smog” nearly forgotten. That is the type of world in which we choose not to live in. We, as a group, have made the phrase “sustainable environment” a tantalizing mirage. Now, as a group, we must make this fantasy a reality. With unwavering support from the LCHS students and faculty, we as a community are closing the gap between our world and the utopian scene. From the blue recycling bin in the corner of a classroom to PowerPoint presentations, LCHS is beginning to lessen its degradation of the environment. LCHS’s Tom Traeger, a devoted Geology and Earth Science teacher, is making contributions to the collaborative effort. In 2008, Mr. Traeger played an important role in the effort by petitioning for a grant, which was later accepted, to fund the purchase and installation of solar panels on the roof of the IRC. With these six solar panels, which generate approximately 1.38kws, LCHS generates a fraction of its energy consumption while raising environmental awareness among the students. During instructional hours, Mr. Traeger echoes the sentiments of R. Buckminster Fuller by encouraging all of his students to “Think globally and act locally” so that the individual can make a notable difference within a community. While Mr. Traeger can teach directly to no more than several dozen students at a time, he hopes that those students Terese Rutkowski educate their peers and move toward Editor-in-Chief less environmentally harmful lives. In addition, Ms. Walters, a Katherine Propper Junior High science teacher, reduces Managing Editor her greenhouse gas emissions by David Mkrtchian driving a neighborhood electric Copy Editor vehicle. Ms. Walters’ vehicle, the European innovation known as Kevork Kurdoghlian the ZENN, travels approximately Online Editor forty miles per charge and gets the Joseph Kim equivalent of over 200 miles per News Editor gallon. The ZENN is a two door, ten foot long vehicle that doesn’t David Rhee exceed 25mph which makes Opinion Editor it safe on the surface streets. Ben Chon What it takes from all of Features Editor us is a consistent change in the everyday lifestyle will make us a step Haley Herkert Back Page Editor closer to becoming “environmentally neutral”. It’s the simple things like Ben Powers carpooling, avoiding unnecessary Advisor
Chaotic recruiting on Club Day By David Mkrtchian Copy Editor
The Spartan Lizzie Foster Sports Editor Derick Abedian Diego Navarro Business Managers
Martin Wolfenburger, Charles Kim, John Love, and Jackie Chung represent LiNK Club. Photo by Terese Rutkowski
Like vendors peddling their goods, students this past Thursday solicited passerby to join their clubs, ranging from Armenian Club to LiNK(Liberation in North Korea, of course). Some provided food, others music, and still others promised wild extravagances. The club presidents lined up their tables to form a sort of bottleneck for kids, with unsuspecting students often bombarded with sensory information, the smell of cupcakes, the yells of club leaders, and the shoves of students trying to sign up for clubs.
Erica Moore Photographer Reporters David Belcher Michael Belcher Armen Dingzian Jack Finnigan Paulina Galoostian Ailin Kim Jennifer Kim Paul Kim Jay Lim Liwon Lim Carly Moore Daniel Rhee Austin Hong Ariel Vaisbort
Juniors Natalie Wilson and Julia Jagels invite all students of LCHS to join them at Art Club. Don’t forget your creativity! Photo by Haley Herkert
Savannah Scilley, Eunice Kim, Flor Lee, and Jungmin Lee are the girls behind Girls’ Athletic Club.Photo by Haley Herkert
October 8, 2010
La Cañada High School
Get your brooms out... La Cañada Girls’ Varsity Volleyball defeats FSHA By Michael Belcher Spartan Staff The La Cañada High School girls’ Volleyball team cleaned house on Wednesday, September 30, when they played at Sacred Heart. The Lady Spartans dominated crosstown rivals, and home team, the TOLOGS, in just three games, winning 25-10; 25-20; 25-22. The Lady Spartans went 8-1, with their only loss in a tournament final. Head Coach Brock Turner attributes the win to a combination of sound playing on both the offensive and defensive side. “We played pretty well,” said Turner “We were fixing the little things in preparation for league. I think we did a good job.” Freshman Kendall Waelbrecht and Sophomore Macaela Anderson led the team in kills with 12 each. Senior Eirene Kim led the team in digs with 14. The domination of a volleyball power like Sacred Heart was a great victory for La Cañada, which graduated 11 varsity
players last year. “We lost a lot of experience last year,” said Coach Turner, “But we also had a lot of great freshman and sophomores on varsity last year. The win against FSHA was also a big mental boost for the varsity team. “I’m really glad we beat FSHA” said varsity sophomore Madison Teodo. “It’s nice to win a rivalry game, Sacred Heart has a good team, but we just wanted it more.” The win also renewed hopes of La Cañada making a third straight CIF championship appearance, and a second championship in three years. “I’d love to put another banner up.” stated Coach Turner, “but our main focus right now is winning league.” The team should have no problem doing that, since it has won league seven years in a row.
Daleep Sandhu under the spotlight By Jay Lim Spartan Staff
Sandhu: I’m confident. The team is looking good. We have a few kinks that we need to fix right now, but so does every team.
The Spartan: How did the team improve? Sandhu: We lost a lot of seniors, but this specific group has worked really well together. We have very good chemistry.
The Spartan: What do you hope to achieve this year? Sandhu: I want my team to make the playoffs and then go on from there. Playoffs are everything.
The Spartan: What is your role on the team? Sandhu: I’m a running back and safety. I’m a very energetic guy and I like to pump up the team when it’s needed. The Spartan: How do you feel going into the season?
The Sparan: Is winning everything? Sandhu: Winning isn’t everything but I love to win and I will do whatever I can to contribute to the team. I hope we play well and win as many games as possible.
Girls’ varsity tennis hits the court By Liwon Lim Spartan Staff
he Girls’ Varsity Tennis Team started another extraordinary season on Thursday, September 9, 2010, with their first match at Burbank High School. They played a competitive match in which they emerged as the victors, 10 sets to 8. On September 16, the girls played their first match at home. They played Maranatha High School, and were victorious, winning 14-4. The girls’ hard work and preparation finally paid off, as they have been practicing two hours a day, four times a week. The Girls’ Varsity Tennis Team will definitely be significantly different this season. William Moravec, the Girls’ Varsity Tennis coach for the past three years, said, “I look for a bright upcoming season for our girls’ tennis team. We have two new players moving up from Junior Varsity, Sydney Fischel and Lynn Gilmour, and we have our returning player Rachel Fox, our ‘Ace in the Hole.’ I definitely expect us to qualify for CIF like we did last season and maybe become Rio Hondo League Champions.” The last time the Girls’ Tennis Team became Rio Hondo League Champions was in 2005. They can become league champions again this year, but it’s going to be a tough task. “San Marino High School will definitely be the toughest to beat this season, and Temple City and South Pasadena is possible, but will be difficult as well. Hopefully we can beat them like we did last season,” said Coach Moravec.
San Marino High School has been a problem for La Cañada to beat every year, for both girls’ and boys’ tennis. Their spot in CIF usually depends on their result against both Temple City High School and South Pasadena High
School. Last season, the girls defeated Temple City and South Pasadena, but lost to San Marino. They qualified for CIF, but lost the league championship. The team hopes that this year will bring about similar success in terms of winning, and possibly have the tennis team go even farther in CIF. The Girls’ Varsity line-up this season is going to be extremely tricky to put together. The singles line-up seems to be set already. However, the real problem lies in the doubles line-up. “We lost half of all three of our doubles teams,” Coach Will said. Three seniors graduated last year, one from each of the three doubles teams: Alex Antonopolis, Jennifer Seo, and Sarena Lu. The team will have to decide carefully how to replace each of these star doubles players, as they had to do with a large portion of the team’s success last year. With any luck, Coach Moravec
will be able to find the correct combination of players to continue winning and earn a spot in CIF. The team will see if the new players will have an impact on the team’s performance this year, and hopefully they will be able to go farther in CIF than last year, and possibly even win CIF. This season will undoubtedly be an interesting one to watch. Will the doubles line-up remain the way it is? Will they continue to work well together? These first four matches truly tested the abilities and the potential of the girls’ tennis team as we see where they are, both individually and as a team. These preseason matches definitely helped the girls’ team get in shape to play Temple City, South Pasadena, and especially San Marino, where the wins will really matter!
La Cañada High School
Newly formed girls’ golf team putts way to LCHS
By Jennifer Kim Spartan Staff
s the title implies, the much anticipated and long awaited LCHS Girls’ Golf Team has been newly formed this fall for the first time in LCHS history. In the past, the female golfers played on the co-ed team, which has been replaced by the boys’ team. We have to hand it to the girls—they have played from the intimidating blue tees and teamed up with big, boisterous, yet hilarious boys. The girl players will forever cherish the experience of being on a co-ed team. Kelly Barnes, a senior who has been on the co-ed golf team for the last 3 years shared, “Playing on the coed team was really fun and a good experience but it’s nice to finally have
our own girls’ team now.” Surprisingly, the plan of having a girls’ golf team at La Cañada High School hasn’t been initiated for seven years.
But as numerous girls showed their interest and desire to have their own separate team, the girls’ golf team finally formed this year. The team will be playing against Westridge, Sacred Heart, Crescenta Valley, Mayfield, South Pasadena, and San Marino. Because the girls will be facing tough competition, they are currently practicing and preparing very hard for their upcoming matches. Mr. Wheeler is the Varsity Coach and Mr. Tetu is the Junior Varsity coach, both of whom have had many years of experience as golf team coaches. Upon being asked how Coach Wheeler felt about being the new girls’ golf team coach, the first words he uttered with a grin were, “I’m truly excited.” He eagerly expressed this by adding, “It’s [the newly formed team] been so long in the making and
Coach Tetu has been a great support.” First and foremost, Coach Wheeler hopes that the girls will have fun, and he
LCHS cross country off to a running start By Daniel Rhee Spartan Staff
desires to give those who play golf a support system so that they can play at higher levels. C o a c h Te t u a l s o showed his eagerness in having a new girls’ golf season, and he feels that it will be competitive. When asked about the team’s goals, the JV coach articulated, “Our focus is getting the whole team to CIF instead of sending players individually. We are building for next year when a Rio Hondo League for the girls will be arranged.” This is a huge step for the school to have formed a Girls’ Golf Team for the first time because girls have traditionally been scarce in high school golf teams. As a matter of fact, two years ago, several hundred college golf scholarships for girls went unused in California. This was unfortunately due to the lack of girl golfers in high school. But now, there are many girls who want to play golf for La Cañada High School. They can use this opportunity to further develop their games in a competitive atmosphere and even apply for college scholarships. If anyone is interested in joining the Girls’ Golf Team, they can meet w i t h C o a c h W h e e l e r.
Catching up with Color Guard By Jennifer Kim Spartan Staff Over the years, Color Guard has become a sport that is a form of dance theatre. Modern Color Guards use flags, sabers, rifles, batons, swing flags, air blades, and a few other pieces of equipment while performing a mix of ballet, jazz, modern, and contemporary modern dance. Our own La Cañada High School Color Guard has been doing an outstanding job. Recently, they came in first place at three of their competitions during the winter guard season and came in third place in the 2010 Winter Guard Association of Southern California championships. Color Guard is a rigorous sport that requires intensely high levels of dedication. “Color Guard is a big time commitment. To be good at it, you have to want it and go for it,” said sophomore
Veronica Marshall. Team member Kirsten Sheehy said, “One would have to be totally involved and because Color Guard takes up a lot of free time, one really has to learn to balance school work and sport,” said team member Kirsten Sheehy. The Color Guard dedicates an incredible amount of time into practicing which is why one must truly want to go far in this sport to be good at it. So how much actual time and effort is put into Color guard by the girls? “We practice at least 14 hours a week. We practice for 6 hours total during the school week and put in 6 hours on Saturdays. And we occasionally add a few additional hours to practice” said Veronica. In order to make the team, one must try out. The Color Guard looks for confidence and a strong personaility when choosing a new member. This year, the
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Color Guard crew has grown in number. Color Guard is a year th round 4 period sport which is divided into field and winter Color Guard. In field color guard, the team performs on the football field while in winter color guard, they perform in the gym. Last year, the LCHS students were able to enjoy the performance of the Color Guard in the north gym. Homer Lopez, the Color Guard coach, decides what the girls will wear for each performance and coordinates the outfits to fit a certain concept. The LCHS Color Guard has been around since the 70’s. The team’s goal is to make it to championships this year.
Cross-country is one of the few sports that requires training in different atmospheres and different environments. The team runs on a variety of surfaces for miles to build their stamina and endurance for the toughest of challenges. Under Coach Mike Thatcher and Coach Andy Di Conti, the Spartans have always been a consistent contender in the Rio Hondo League. They have won over eight league titles and are going for their ninth this year. Both coaches acknowledge that South Pasadena High School
both the players and coaches are looking forward to the start of the season. Last year, the girls’ varsity team was consistent in their races. They have won league titles and have placed 20th out of 90 schools in CIF Sectionals. This year, their goal is to make State and to do better as a whole team. On the boys’ varsity team, Coach Thatcher’s goal is to get to CIF State because last year during CIF Finals, out of 90 schools, the boys finished 9th place. Even though they placed 9th, they needed to place 7th in order to qualify for State. So this year, the girls’ and boys’ varsity teams have been practicing for more than 10 weeks preparing themselves for the season.
Adam Skaggs and his crew of cross country runners head out for a run after school. Photo by Erica Moore.
will be another Rio Hondo League contender, so they constantly remind the team that the results they get during the races directly correspond with the effort they put into their training. Coach Thatcher believes that a good runner should always be consistent with his or her running and that he or she should always run with confidence. “You earn what you get. You have to be consistent in your training and you have to always be fierce when competing,” he stated. Coach Di Conti, who is in charge over the girls’ team, wants his runners to set the tone for the season and always have a lot of fun. He explained, “I want them to enjoy the sport, but I also want them to win. That is why I am here because I want to be a resource to the girls and help them in any way possible.” Seniors Adam Skaggs and Andrew Fisher, along with Junior Brendan Greene, will lead the boys’ squad while Senior Holly Shreckengast and Junior Meghan Fuelling take charge of the girls’ team. With seven runners on each varsity team, the coaches know their teams are fairly compact, and that no one is faster than the others. These runners are key to the team’s success and their coaches have high expectations. With so many impact players on the teams,
Seven runners from each team will run, and the top five runners will score for the team. The better the runners place, the less points they receive. The goal of cross country is that the runners have to get the least amount of points as possible by getting the higher positions. The higher the positions, the lower the points and the team with the least amount of points will win. Cross country is truly a team sport because it requires all runners to do well, and the team has to be solid to even have a chance at being successful. On September 11, 2010, the boys’ and girls’ cross country teams were invited to the Don Bosco Invitational at Santa Fe Recreational Park. The day was successful, with two-thirds of the team winning medals and the team going home with a fourth place overall team trophy. The team was very compact during the race with a one minute forty nine second spread. With thirteen runners receiving medals within the top25, La Cañada had a remarkable second place finish in the middle division. The physical and mental training that the team has gone through will significantly benefit them this season and they hope that they will be able to not only do well during their races this season, but have a chance at the CIF Finals.
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H t Spot
By Katherine Propper Managing Editor
A phantasmagoric experience awaits you at the Los County Museum of Art (LACMA). Each room is an exhibit of its own with a history waiting to be displayed through color and form. Whether it’s the nonrepresentational art of the early 20th century or the Pop art of 1960’s, LACMA has a wide array of masterpieces that can float on anyone’s boat. One division of the museum in particular, is the Broad Contemporary Art Museum at LACMA. Walk in, and visit a world of extremism and minimalism all at once. The BCAM collection showcases the work of the last 4 decades in art and spotlights artists such as Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Ellsworth Kelly, and more. It is in here that you will face thought-provoking abstractions that will puzzle your mind.
Rewind back a few decades and visit the main building of the LACMA where you’ll encounter the modern art of the early 20th century. Matisse, Picasso, Giacometti, Modigliani, and Magritte can all be viewed in this gallery. Not only is the art work viewable for attraction, but the decorated walls and elaborate set ups contribute to the artsy intellectual atmosphere. The whole museum is a masterpiece to be observed and interpreted. The most important elements of LACMA, the paintings and the art, will leave you debating the ontological question of what is really real. Just looking at Ceci N’est Pas Une Pipe by Magritte creates a scholarly conundrum in which you’ll find yourself perplexed by illusion and mere representation. If you haven’t been to the LACMA yet, the time to go is now.