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Final Project, Logan Cross


Sometimes, the students feel quieted by society. The student body wants to hear and be heard. We want to learn from right and wrong, and how to deal with the problems we’ll face in the future. But how can we do that if we don’t have a voice?




Table Of Contents Dedication I would like to dedicate this entire magazine to every single person in my life. They have all shaped me to be the weird and vivacious person I am today. Some of them do not know how important they are to me and my young, teenage life, but I do. All of them--friends, family, teachers, and the like--have helped me grow and kept me sane throughout the entire year. Each and every person in my life is like a spell check, they slow me down when I go too fast and always ask me to reevaluate the situation before I do something. Thank you.

Weekend Music Choices...................................................................3 The End Of An Era..............................................................................4 Extinction: What Do You Really Know?............................................5 The Artist In All Of Us.........................................................................6 School Spirit: Willow Glen High School...........................................7 Hey, Kendra.....................................................................................8-9 Cell Phones: Yay Or Nay?................................................................10 Anything Goes: Willow Glen Style...................................................11 The WG Image..................................................................................12 Importance of Rest..........................................................................13 Self Expression: Personal PSA.......................................................14 SS Willow Glen: ‘Anything Goes’ Review.......................................15 Drop Out Or Pushed Out?...............................................................16 Thinglink: Natalia Osipova, Ballerina..............................................17 Thinglink: Girl Meets World.............................................................18 Senior Focus: Melissa Giddens......................................................19 Disney Stars: Where Are They Now?.............................................20 Tax Day 2013.....................................................................................21 Sasha Fierce Superbowl..................................................................22 Who DIDN’T Wear It Better? (Prom)...............................................23 Getting Back Into The Swing Of Things.........................................24


Weekend Music Choices Blog on April 29, 2013

This weekend, like many of my past weekends, was spent at 6 hour rehearsals for dance and working on the backyard for my cousins wedding, which will take place at my house. However, while my choices of music are normally involving the genres of rock or pop, this weekend I was really involved in the Broadway and Disney songs. Of course, these choices were also a result of the WGHS musical I watched on Saturday, “Anything Goes”. I have always been infatuated with musicals and Broadway, and this weekend I went through another phase of downloading and listening to songs on replay. The two I kept on a playlist and played over and over were “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” by Marilyn Monroe from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (a musical I WISH Willow Glen would perform!) and “Part Of Your World” from The Little Mermaid.  With these songs, I just can’t help but picture Marilyn in the movie production of GPB, with her gorgeous fuchsia dress glittering with the ‘girl’s best friend’. I absolutely love learning about Ms. Monroe and the way she lived, especially in the beginning and ends of her life.  During Part of Your World, it brings back memories of when I was younger and I forced my dad to help me perform the song with a dance number. Needless to say, I think my choreography skills have greatly improved since then.  Either way, my life has always been influenced by music and the tone of each song. That might just be the reason I am so in love with Broadway: there are so many moving and different songs to choose for each mood that you could possibly live your entire life only listening to Broadway music. (I know I would.)



“Why are you stingy with yourselves? Why are you holding back? What are you saving for—for another time? There are no other times. There is only now. Right now.” -George Balanchine

The End Of An Era Blog 5

This past weekend was my last performance with Ballet San Jose School, my dance studio of nearly 9 years. It was a bittersweet decision to leave, especially after all the school has done for me since I came at the age of 7, deciding to try ballet to supplement my gymnastics technique. However, as time went on, I found a passion for dance, and ended up quitting gymnastics to pursue it. It was a hard decision, as this current one was, but it turned out to be one of the best things I could do for myself. That is what I’m hoping I get out of this move, something better.

At BSJ, I felt like a member of the school. I met new people and made lifelong friends that I will never forget about. For nearly a decade, the studios were my second home in San Jose, and Lise la Cour and Dalia Rawson were my mothers. My time spent there was a very personal and spiritual experience, as I learned more about life and the real world in ballet than I did at school. I was put in a higher level at a young age, and I watched the older girls


and learned about being a teenager through their not-so-private conversations. Many of my friends were older as well, so I had to learn how to mature quickly and I developed a thick skin at an early age.

Nothing could ever replace Ballet San Jose in my heart, not matter how much I could try. It is and will always be the place I learned to love dance. I grew up there. Of course, times change, and we grow out of places and people we once cherished as the only ones for us. Now, I step out into a new chapter of my dance career. It sounds cheesy, but I cannot wait for what lies ahead. I’m scared, of course, because I am stepping outside of my comfort zone. But at the same time, I am ready for what comes my way.

Adios, Ballet San Jose. It’s time for the curtain to come down.


EXTINCTION: What Do You Really Know? A lot of people know animal extinction is a threat to the world and our polar bears. Sadly, that’s about as much as people know about the issue. However, animal extinction goes far beyond polar bears and white tigers. It goes deeper into how the extinction of one species domino-effects and can hurt and affect other species, including us humans.

Today, an estimated 99.9% of all species that have existed on earth are now extinct, and species are dying 1000x faster than natural extinction because of HUMAN existence. And nearly 40% of the species left are


endangered of becoming extinct. There are even species we haven’t discovered yet that are wiped out because of deforestation of their habitats. Species that can help find cures to diseases and cancers are being chopped and killed because some big corporation decided they want to add another parking lot for their beachside resort.  Do you remember going to the zoo as a kid? You held on to your parent’s hand as they lead you through to each enclosure to each animal and you stared in awe at the big tigers rolling around and the penguins swimming under the fake iceberg and the monkeys making faces at you through the cage. Now flash forward to when you have kids and you take them to the zoo. Those big tigers you saw as a little kid? They were the last ones left because of the poaching in their natural habitat and died out a few years ago. The penguins you saw swimming around the fake icebergs? Well the real icebergs have all melted and now the last few penguins they were able to salvage are in a refuge in an aquarium in Alaska. They monkeys you used to make faces to? More than half of monkey species in that cage from when you were a kid died because their natural habitat was chopped down to make space for apartments. 

“We're so self-important. So arrogant. Everybody's going to save something now. Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save the snails. And the supreme arrogance? Save the planet! Are these people kidding? Save the planet? We don't even know how to take care of ourselves; we haven't learned how to care for one another.” George Carlin

So this poses a question: Do you REALLY know the damages an extinction of one species can do to the other millions affected by them? Do you understand the drastic changes that need to be made to our society to attempt to begin to rebuild and save what is left of our broken Mother Earth?


The Artist In All of Us Arts-and-crafts tables used to be in abundance when I was in elementary school. At home, my mom would sit with my sister and I at a table with no more than crayons, glitter, and our imaginations to use. In the classroom, I can remember one of my teachers who set aside an entire day to learn how to draw and do art projects two or three times a month. There was even an art walk at the end of the year to showcase the talent of the 4th and 5th grade artists. At Booksin Elementary, we were forced to be artists. As I got older, art seemed to be reduced almost immediately. In order to take an art class, one had to sign up for one as an elective. An elective? I remember thinking, but what about the art walks and the hours spent drawing and coloring?! Nope, not anymore, kid; now, it is time to focus on reading, writing, and arithmetic because that is all that matters now. That is just the way it is. But what if it wasn’t? What if arts, both performing and visual, were a required class for all years of school and added to the curriculum like math or science? What if students were actually forced to find the “artist in us” everyday? There is plenty of evidence that promotes art in the classroom and schools today, so why are the arts such a scarce sight? There are many reasons why art is one of the first programs to get cut in schools when the budget gets a little tight. Financially, schools do not want to waste their funds on classes that encourage pushing the limits and the freedom of expression. As a result, music, sculpture, and photography classes disappear and are replaced with creative writing, anatomy, and medial math classes. According to


“While nearly all schools in America are required to offer coursework in languages, the amount of instruction provided for those subjects does not come close to that of math, science, and english courses.” - 11 Facts About Art Education,

Olivia Hourck, a contributer to, “Nationwide, schools have been focusing on reading and math testing requirements that were issued by “No Child Left Behind,” a law created by President Bush. Some states, such as Vermont and California have even doubled or tripled time spent on their reading and math classes to ensure that they do not fall behind [these] requirements.” However convincing these arguments may be, take into consideration how students’ lives can be improved by the art and music programs. Statistics show those who participate in theatre and performing arts are less likely to be involved in gang activity and perform better in school. In a national study done by, it is proven that taking part in art experiences and learning about an artform helps improve scores on standardized tests. It has also been revealed that those students highly involved with the arts watch fewer hours of television and have higher participation in community

projects, according to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. Statistics aside, art involvement in schools is an amazing way to affect a student’s life. There are some students who cannot afford or do not have the time (because of jobs, family, etc.) to engage themselves in programs outside of school. However, with just an hour a day, I believe it is possible to turn kids around and create a more successful high school experience for them. Students can learn to gain an appreciation for the arts, and can even lead to less bullying and create a better environment for the school. In general, a more implemented art program in all schools as a part of the curriculum can improve lives, scholastically and socially, and bring new beginnings to those who haven’t had the chance to see the world in a different light.

School Spirit: Willow Glen High School

Marijeanne Santina came from the Willow Glen Middle School and had a brother, Scotty Santina a year older who attends the high school, so she already knew how the school worked. Her mother has been avidly involved in the schools (elementary, middle, and high) they attended and helps out whenever she can. Marijeanne loves the tolerance and acceptance this school has to offer of other people and she feels it’s one of the “safer schools” in the area. Marijeanne is apart of the GayStraight Alliance Club and is acting in 12 Angry Jurors at the High School this winter.


Kendra Risser came from a home-schooled elementary/ middle school and initially didn’t know anyone at all. Her sister had attended this school before and they housed a foreign exchange student as well. (Fun fact: their roommate’s name was Karolina, which meant all three ‘siblings’ Kara, Kendra, and Karolina, were the K Girls in the Risser household!) Kendra really enjoys the tolerance of the school and the many clubs, activities, and sports the school has to offer. As of right now, she is apart of Jazz Singers choir, Christian Club, and takes part in the musicals in April.

Aiko Goldston’s first impression about this school was not a very impressive impression. She had heard the school was very gang involved and there were police everywhere trying to keep “the crazies under control”. However, when she came to Willow Glen, her impression had changed. There were no crazy people, and it was easy to make friends. She realized how much diversity was at this school and dove right in and joined key club, where she also has made many friends.

Hey, Kendra

the hardest of teachers, who can’t help but

Kendra Risser is a breath of fresh air in a

to crack a smile when she says ‘thanks’ for

dank, polluted town. It’s not likely to find

giving her help. Kendra really enjoys her

Kendra to be talking about the crazy party

school and believes the teachers she has all

she crashed last weekend or the test she

look out for her and want her to succeed,

totally cheated off. In fact, anytime she

which she greatly appreciates.

opens her mouth we swear angels are

“There’s [many] great

speaking directly through her. She’s not a

teachers...and there’s a [bunch] of great

typical high school student, yet she gives a

students here. I do like my high school!”

very girl-next-door kind of air about her.

Kendra giggles in response.

Kendra is one of the few students you will

Willow Glen High School is

ever met who believes in being honest with

actually the first public school she has

everyone and sincerely loves the area she

attended since first grade: Kendra originally

lives in, which is the Willow Glen

was homeschooled from first to fifth grades


(“Technically,” she adds), and then attended When you first meet Kendra, a San a homeschooling academy in middle school Jose and Willow Glen native, sometimes where she went to a normal school three you are taken aback by her outgoing

times a week and learned from home the

personality matched with her impressive

rest of the time.

height of five-feet-eleven-inches; however, within a few seconds, you are entranced by

“It was not hard [transitioning into high school], my mom prepared me for

her bright smile and glittering eyes that

that kind of stuff. They’re just both different twinkle with every word she speaks. She’s a in the more, like, day-to-day stuff,” Kendra giggler, a hair twirler, and a shoulder-shaker. notes. “But I love them both, and She flashes a cheery smile that brightens the dreary and cloudy Tuesday afternoon to

transitioning wasn’t that hard.” Making and keeping friends was

everyone she sees, even to those not

never a problem while homeschooling for

familiar to her. She’s fashionable yet

her since she has had theater, dance, choir,

practical, and always put together (even on

and her church groups to keep her busy

the crummiest of days). She’s a secret hair

when not doing school work. During school,

wizard, with years of practice on her bestie

she is involved in Leadership, Jazz Singers

from down the street, Anna Craig (see right,

Choir, Christian Club, and also performs in

far left), and their matching naturally

the spring musical in April. After school and

fantastic blonde hair. Her singing voice, if

on the weekends she is involved in

you ever get the chance to hear her, is a

Children’s Musical Theater, where her

versatile instrument with an air of Carrie

plethora of singing, acting, and dancing

Underwood. Of course, you can hear her

talents shine in productions like The Wizard

sing anytime, all you have to do is ask!

of Oz and Legally Blonde. She finds

She’s unafraid of what people think of her

happiness in making friends and hanging

and she is very confident in herself and

out with her family just as much as in the art

comfortable in her own skin, which is part of

of singing and dancing.

what makes her so enjoyable to be with.

Kendra’s family is a sweet, tightDays are never dull with Kendra knit group of lovelies who are welcoming around, even if you just have the chance to and benevolent to anyone who crosses their


spend lunchtimes with her in a classroom,

threshold. The moment you walk in, you’re

which is normally where she spends her

greeted by a loud ‘Hello!’ or ‘Hey there!’

lunches trying to get help on school

from one (or even all) of the members in the

assignments she didn’t understand or tests

household. The Risser house is made up of:

she never made up because she was sick.

Randy, the father; Becky, the mother; Kara,

She is always respectful and warm to even

the older sister; and Eric, their older brother


who sadly passed away two years ago. The death of Eric devastated the family, but they held together as a family and kept

someones view of me. Sure, I have been made fun of for being a

their heads held high. Eric was severely developmentally delayed

‘bible believer’, but hey, thats who I am and I’m not ashamed!”

and wasn’t able to communicate with his loved ones. He had to

Kendra is a confident and mature sixteen-year-old girl,

have twenty-four hour care, but the family would visit during the

which already makes her stand out from a sea of mopey and

week. At the age of twenty-one, Eric passed away. He was

immature teens her age who are normally obsessed with boys and

swimming (his all-time favorite activity) when one of the caregivers

their cell phones. The confidence and comfort she has with herself

noticed he seemed really tired and called 911. He passed away

makes it easy for her to put herself out there and not be ashamed

with a smile on his face.

of what she believes in. Finding friends isn’t hard for a girl like

“Sure, it can be hard sometimes,” Kendra says of her

Kendra, which does not come as a surprise. Her faith in God and

brother’s death, “but I can have faith that he is smiling and happy

herself doesn’t waiver, as it shouldn’t. She makes mistakes, like

with his Heavenly Father!”

everyone, but they don’t affect her. She has learned to keep herself

Their Christian religion is an important aspect in their

together even in times of stress and she isn’t afraid to ask

life and they keep their faith as a path to lead a good and

questions or ask for help. Her exceptional ability to communicate

wholesome life. They attend the Hillside Church in San Jose and

and perform combined with her humility and faith make her an

they try to donate their time and help as much as they can within

extraordinary piece to the Willow Glen community.

their church and neighborhood community. Two years ago, when Kendra’s sister (and best friend of all time) was a senior at Willow Glen, the Rissers housed a foreign exchange student for almost an entire year. She was a tall, Polish girl named Karolina (“With a ‘K’!”) who became like the girls’ third sister. They spent a lot of time together while she was in the States, and they still keep in touch today; Karolina even plans on coming back to the US to attend college! Kendra has a picturesque relationship with her sister and her parents; they rarely fight. Kara is Kendra’s ultimate best friend who is always there for her when she needs to talk. Kendra’s parents are supportive and, in my opinion, some of the coolest parents anyone will ever meet. It’s easy to tell they love and care for their children more than anything in the world, and the feeling is obviously mutual. Becky (inset, far right) is Kendra’s double; with both of their perky, can-do attitudes and similar blonde flips makes for an absolutely adorable mother-daughter relationship. Kendra’s father, Randy is a happy and easy going man who is not afraid to challenge his daughter to have her own ideas, repeatedly initiating discussions about daily news or politics and making sure Kendra keeps her mind sharp. When it comes to her future, Kendra wants to do it all! For college, places like Biola University (a private Christian college in Southern California) or Seattle Pacific University draw her attention, especially for the faith-related affiliation. For Kendra, anything is possible; and she plans to do it all! “The list goes on and on,” she responds when asked what she wants to be as an adult. “A school teacher who sings and dances on Broadway while doing interior decorating and being a nurse on the side. I want to do it all!” she exclaims. As she grows older, she hopes people remember her for being a good friend and fun to be around. Her hopes are to use her talents and faith to spread good around the world and helping those in need. She is not ashamed of what she follows and believes, and definitely sticks to her guns when the topic of faith comes up.


“I personally have not experienced my faith obstructing


Cell Phones In School? Yay Or Nay? Blog #11

Cell phones: are they the world’s technologic answer to everything, or are they just another money-sucking and troubling piece of metal? To most teachers and parents nowadays, cell phones are a nuisance. (Especially when they want to get the attention of the user, the students). However, couldn’t they use this ‘nuisance’ to their advantage? Texting, emailing, or social networking assignments, reminders, or projects with just a simple click? It should seem like such a simple fix, right? Honestly, this could go in either direction. On one hand, incorporating cell phones and computers into daily school life could tremendously gain student involvement and enthusiasm to learn. It would make it easier for the students to contact about assignments via Facebook, download projects via dropBox, or listen to a lecture via YouTube. All signs point to this becoming the future of America where students are using their cell phones at class (and not have the possibility of getting it taken away)! However, with this power also comes responsibility. What sites can and can’t be

Are Cell Phones a Problem? Many say they can use the “overusage” of the cell phones be teens to the teacher’s advantage--but is it colliding two worlds too close together?


“I personally don’t think cell phones in school should be a problem. Everyone knows the rules, they know the consequences, they know they shouldn’t use them in school. Trying to incorporate them in education is a mistake.” - Paola McCormick, Class Of 2012

blocked? How will teachers manage the said websites? What is deemed appropriate? Who defines appropriate? Will teachers be able to intrude in our personal privacy if something is wrong? These questions, in my opinion, cannot be answered until someone tries. There has to be one school in the whole United States of America who tries this idea and can set the stage for other schools to incorporate technology. So who’s going to do it?

Anything Goes: Willow Glen Style If you aren’t apart of the Broadway-lovers community, you have probably never even heard of “Anything Goes”. I was unaware it was a musical until two years ago, when I was introduced to it by a friend of mine. The musical centers around an ocean liner sailing from New York to London. The storyline follows a stowaway, Billy Crocker [who is in love with], heiress Hope Harcourt, [who is engaged to] Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. Reno Sweeney, a nightclub singer, and Moonface Martin (Public Enemy #13) aid Billy in his quest to win Hope.

The musical, like any other musical put on as a school production, has been edited and tweaked

into different versions from the original 1934 production. Initially, the story came from a book of the same name, but was altered a great deal by the creative team of Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, well known theatrical producers of the 20th century. Since its first production in ‘34, there have been a multitude of revivals in both the US and Britain and has won Tony Awards for the actors and directors and writers alike. (Including ABC Family’s Bunheads star, Sutton Foster!)

In our revival of the production, singing, acting, and dancing mingle together to create a plethora of

talent. I interviewed some of the cast members to get their take on the show, what they are excited for, and their thoughts on their parts. Emma Stothers

Emily Hernandez

Amanda Giddens







- I’m not really sure what the story’s about yet, since we’ve only had two rehearsals. But, I’m having a good time so far and I think I’m going to like it. We’re doing a lot of tap and jazz, so I’m definitely ready for that. I’m having a lot of fun and I’m excited to be hanging out with my friends and spending time with the people I met in the play last year!

- I like the play and the rehearsals so far. I’m one of the tap dancers and I’m pretty fluent in tap dancing, so I’m excited to be dancing in the play. Some of my friends did it last year and I heard how fun it was, and they were right! I can’t wait to start the performances!

- I did the play last year and I met a lot of great people and I gained a lot of experience from it. I’m also a dancer this year and I had the chance to learn the tap routine earlier, so I’m kind of happy I get to be one step ahead! With the play, you learn how to deal with others, it gives you experience in the performing arts community, and it gives you a look inside how productions happen and I think it’s definitely a great opportunity!

FUN FACTS - Reno Sweeney was played by actress Sutton Foster in 2011--and it won her a Tony Award! - The original idea for the musical came to a producer who was sailing on an ocean liner - The original plot took place on a desert island - Billy Crocker and Moonface were originally created for a comedy team




Willow Glen High School Football Team, 2012

How Is Willow Glen Really Seen?


Willow Glen High School. A high school in San Jose, California with 1600+ students roaming the red and gold outside hallways. The school is known for its sports and multiple CCS championships in football, soccer, and tennis. It’s a large campus that shares the gym, campus, and field areas with the adjoining middle school of the same name. The test scores and grades may not all be Stanford-standard, but the school is brimming with bright students just waiting for their break. If you ask people from around the community, they’ll say the students from these schools love their community and have pride in their school; however, if you ask students from other schools, you hear about how the school is a gang school and they’ve even dubbed the school “Ghetto Glen”.

What these students have failed to realize is they probably only experienced the small percentage of bad apples that any school has. When I look at this school I diversity and acceptance in every corner. Our school seems to be one of the most tolerant schools in the area and I cannot recall any fights happening on/around our school in the past 4 years on the Willow Glen Middle/High School Campuses. On web reviews of the school, we continuously are receiving 4 and 5 stars out of 5. One parent even wrote, “I’ve never heard of one gang fight at school. Kids feel safer at WGHS than when they visit any other school.” The image you see is what you experience personally about Willow Glen. Personally, I think  

this is a great school and when I grow up I wouldn’t mind sending my kids here. No, the school isn’t perfect, but which school is? If you want to see other reviews about Willow Glen , click below vvvvvvvvvvvvvvv school/ id=5697&state=CA&sortBy=&p age=3#revPagination

“Every person needs to take one day away. A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future.  Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence.  Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for.  Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.” - Maya Angelou

The Importance of Rest Many of us today live a nonstop 24/7 lifestyle. We’re always going, going, going, and never really take a second to break and just do nothing (it sounds scary, but just stick with me!). Between work, school, and other activities, it is really hard for anyone, not just high school students, to find time to sit and relax and take a breather. Rest is one of the key things to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Along with healthy food and proper exercise, ample rest is apart of the ‘Health Trifecta’. Medically speaking, rest is of great importance. Resting is a way to help refuel your body and repair the cells damaged by activity. Every movement we make, even just typing a paper or walking class to class, tears down your muscles and resting and sleeping help repair those muscles damaged. During the hustle and bustle of daily life, our body is constantly fighting viruses and bacterias; when we rest, that’s when our body is able to rebuild and restock for the next day’s ‘attack’. Without enough rest, you could suffer from “weakness, incoherence (eventually to the point of suffering from delusions, hallucinations, and hysteria), illness, and lack of energy”. However, medical reasons are not the only reason to rest. Mentally and spiritually, rest is one way of keeping you sane throughout your week. When you set aside a time, be it a day or two or three, you’re able to reflect on yourself and your way of life. This rest period can give you a time to think and prepare for the week ahead or can help prepare you for a time if an emergency strikes and rest is not apart of the equation. Rest can help give your life balance and can help with finding contentment in your life. Good old Benjamin Franklin once said, “He that can take rest is greater than he that can take cities”. Rest is vital to daily life. Getting an adequate 8 hours of sleep a night and finding/ planning time to take a day off is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Many think that they can’t do it or there isn’t enough time for it, but there is always, always enough time for yourself and your health. So go on and turn off the electronics, open a window, and happy resting!



Self Expression: Personal PSA

- Allen Ginsberg Nowadays, there are hundreds of ways of expressing yourself. Speaking, writing, dancing, photographing; I could go on for days! Of course, there always seems to be someone who wants to cut off your expression. There always seems to be someone who wants to change you to fit their form or standards. I believe that no one has the right to tell someone to stop what they love because they don’t match their beliefs. Self Expression is about how YOU feel about what you’re doing; you don’t need someone criticizing you for doing something that makes you happy. Whether it be cracking jokes in front of a crowd, or photographing moments in time that hopefully inspire another person to pick up a camera, you do what makes you happy. For me, my self expression is dance. Moving to music and performing for people and entertaining them is something that I feel is a way I can truly express myself. I might sound tacky and/or crazy, but it’s true. You can’t beat the thrill and adrenaline of performing for a bunch of strangers and telling them a story without words. It’s also a great way to express yourself if you


“Follow your inner moonlight; don't hide the madness.”

aren’t the best speaker. Same goes for any other form of expression, including blogging. You put your words and yourself out for millions of people to see, and it can make self expression easier and harder. Always remember there will be criticism and people telling you you’re wrong or you suck, but if you’re happy with yourself, you learn to block out the hateful comments and words attempting to tear you down. Self expression is about you and you only. It’s not about giving in to what everyone else wants, it’s about being yourSELF.

Key Word: SELF

Painting by Austen Marr, Class of 2013


The S.S. Willow Glen ‘Anything Goes’ Review Article

The S.S. American sailed out of the Willow

imagine the type of setting Mr. Dini, the

Glen High School docks this last weekend,

director, wanted to create. The dancing

taking our hearts (and the director) along

‘Angels’ performed admirably and cleanly,

with it! The ensemble of talented students

even when Amanda Giddens, one of the

from Willow Glen really excelled in this witty

lead tap dancers, sprained her ligament on

tale which follows Billy Crocker (Jeremy

stage during one of the large dance

Scharf) on a quest to follow the love of his

numbers and kept going!

life, Hope Harcourt (Kelly Rosales) to London from New York City. Along the way, Billy, with The comedy and timing of ‘Anything Goes’, the aid of his friend, Reno Sweeney (Shelby

written by Cole Porter in 1934, was an

Talley) and a pair of “public enemies” (Naomi excellent choice for the students who were Longshore and Nic Kane), finds his mission

cast in it. The jokes and punch-lines were

of wooing Hope hard--especially when she

spaced out just enough to where it kept the

has a wealthy fiancé (Gavin Puccio) and a

audience. The deliverance and timing of

manipulative mother (Katie Ballentine) to deal each actor had the audience chuckling even with!

after the performance was over!

All in all, the performance was everything a

The most heartwarming part of the entire

high school play should be: smart

performance was the closing night thank-

punchlines, fabulous leads, and a gaggle of

yous to all of those who contributed their

young ladies whose dancing talents set

time to making the play a fantastic one. This

them apart from the rest of the chorus. The

included flowers for Mrs. Rosales, Mrs.

love square of Billy-Hope-Reno-Oakleigh

Talley, Mrs. Dini (choreography), and a

really set this performance apart from the

special farewell scrapbook for Mr. Dini, the

spring musicals put on in the past like

drama director. In the scrapbook he

‘Sweet Charity’, etc. The chemistry and the

received, there were pictures and letters

high caliber of talent each actor had for their

from each of the cast and crew depicting

role made it seem like our high school

their favorite memories and saying a well

thespians were born to play these roles.

deserved “Thank You!” for all of his hard work. It was a great closing night on an

The amount of corps members in this

amazing performance and a sad farewell to

performance was just the right number for

the captain of this school’s SS Willow Glen

this type of play and the size of the stage in

Drama, and we all wish him a happy future!

the cafeteria. The implementation of the company in each scene made it easy to


Every day, more and more students drop out of high school because they feel inadequate to continue in their education and pursue it.

Drop Out Or Pushed Out?: Invisible Students There are students, maybe in your own school, that have struggled with school their entire life. Maybe they never had help available at home, or they struggled with a disease or disorder that prevented them from learning for a period of time. Whatever the reason may be, now it’s harder for them to get the credits that are needed to graduate. Sometimes, the result is dropping out of high school before graduating. In schools across New Haven, CT, this has become a problem. These students are sometimes forced to drop out of school, either because they are too old to graduate or they have failed too many courses. Sometimes these students are forced to drop out, even though it appears to be a voluntary decision; these students have been dubbed “Invisible Students”. The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven has decided to help by drawing attention to this “educational black hole” that some of the Connecticut students have found themselves in. They hope to make any educational establishments that have been guilty of these ‘push outs’ accountable. The Foundation plans to reform education in New Haven, and give more opportunity in alternative education and to prevent any more push outs. If you would like to learn more or support the Foundation, click the link below to go to their website! 547/Default.aspx 16







Senior Focus: Watch Out Cal Poly, Here’s Melissa! A lot comes to mind when someone mentions Melissa Giddens. Older sister, tennis player, hard worker, and Jamba Juicer all come to mind when one speaks of the oldest Giddens sibling. She has spent all four years in high school at Willow Glen, and came through the Glen’s little sibling schools, Willow Glen Middle and Elementary. The eighteen-yearold speaks highly of her time as a Ram, especially with how much she has been juggling in her final few months as a high school student. “I took on a lot of responsibility [this year] both in and out of school, and I didn’t know how hard senioritis would hit [me],” says Melissa. It is plain to see that Melissa took on a lot this year: from yearbook to varsity tennis to working at a part-time job at Jamba Juice to applying for colleges. She was a little overwhelmed as a senior! And yet, a little extra work did not hold Giddens back; if anything, she worked even harder! As a result, all her hard work paid off when she got accepted into California Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo (or Cal Poly) for the 2013-2014 school year as an incoming freshman! Melissa was ecstatic when she got the news: “it’s a great school, a great location, great environment...the list could go on and on!”

“Of course, people will still judge you, have more control over whom you surround yourself with...” Melissa Giddens

In terms of her future at college, Melissa thinks she is adequately prepared for the hardships of the college workload, stating the plethora of AP classes she took this year helped her construct an idea of what she should expect for next year. “If I hadn’t [taken the AP classes],” says Melissa, “I don’t think I would feel the same about next year.”  The act of transitioning from school to school has never been a shaky process for Melissa, even the awkward phase from elementary to middle school. However, she thinks the college transition will be more challenging, even when a lot of other seniors from the 2013 senior class will also be attending Cal Poly as well. “After high school people aren’t going to care as much about what you do in

your free time,” Melissa remarks, “or how you look, [or who you hang out with], etc. Of course people will still judge you, but I feel like after high school you have more control over whom you surround yourself with because you have a larger variety of people to choose from. Also, you have to make your own decisions and grow and mature, which you get a little of in high school, but I think it will be more intense afterwards. Things that used to feel so important won’t matter, and you choose who and what you want to include in your life.”

Disney Stars: Where Are They Now? Anyone who was a child during the period of Lizzie McGuire, Phil Of The Future, or That’s So Raven can safely conclude they were Disney Channel’s “Golden Era” of T.V shows. It was a nice period of television where the characters were trying to survive high school, not try to become a celebrity. Sadly, throughout the years, these shows were cancelled and Disney tried to regain their footing with Wizards and Hannah Montana. However, they’ve completely gone under since they started producing shows like Shake It Up and Austin & Ally.  While those in the 2000′s generation mourn the loss of their beloved children’s shows, some of us are trying to find out what happened to our once famed (and false!) friends.


Taxes are special kinds of fees or charges that the government requires people to pay in order to live and work in their state or country. The government needs money to operate, and taxes are a way for it to get this money. This money goes to fund many different types of programs. It may be used to fix roads and bridges.  It may be used to pay for the military.  It may be used to help your own education!  

TAX DAY 2013 I’ve heard a lot about taxes in my 15 3/4 years of life on this earth. It’s the time of year where people scramble to get tax write-offs and find their receipts from summer 2012. I’ve seen many adults in my life speak of ‘evasions’ or ‘deductions’ or ‘dear god, I KNEW I FORGOT SOMETHING’ during


this day. Personally, I do not know much about taxes or how they work, but I know once I get a job I have to start paying them (and that time is coming just around the corner). Sometimes I ask my mom to try to explain some of the lingo to me, but that ends up in frustration and the slamming of

doors (it gets messy). So, for right now, I’m going to ride along with the fact that ignorance is bliss.


Sasha Fierce Superbowl: Beyoncé Pulls Through After the devastating, 31-29 loss to the Ravens on Sunday, we can all agree the real winner of the Superbowl was Beyoncé, at least for the 49er’s fans. Beyoncé Knowles, 31, reconfirmed her slight fiasco involving the President’s inauguration with an outstanding performance during the halftime show. Raging fire, flashing lights, and roaring fans took over the field as Beyoncé herself strutted across the stage like she owned that superdome. She performed a mix of her classic songs, including Crazy in Love and Single Ladies, along with a highly anticipated reunion of Destiny’s Child with Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. Beyoncé was introduced with a Pepsi ad and having all of the fans in the stadium count down from ten. She began her performance with a ‘Don’tMess-With-Me-I’m-Beyoncé ’ kind of walk, which got the already extremely excited fans who were allowed onto the field even more hyped up. Her dance moves and LIVE singing stimulated the entire stadium and everyone at home was glued to their screen as she shook and shimmied her way up, down, and around the stage, filling up every possible part of the screen. With attention to detail and a big stage presence to match her Billboard hit songs (and not to mention a DESTINY’S CHILD REUNION), Beyoncés performance delivered and might just be one of the best halftime shows of all time, according to

"I will absolutely be singing live," she said ahead of Sunday's performance. "I am well-rehearsed. This is what I was born to do.”


Of course, with any brilliant performance like this one, there’s going to be a fair share of those who didn’t appreciate the Sasha Fierceness of the show. Many articles and reviews of the production wanted more singing and less stripping, which they believed was mistakened for dancing. Many snarky comments have been made about her performance, including those degrading her outfit, makeup, and her excessive dancing. Simply put, Beyonce was amazing and definitely proved anyone who doubted her ability to sing live 100% wrong. Sure, there could have been more singing, but don’t forget she’s recently had a baby and she’s spent hours rehearsing these moves for her performance. She also did not get paid to do this show, and neither did any other performer who has done the Superbowl halftime show.

Beyoncé rocked the Superbowl this year, and helped all of the West Coasr supporters deal with the devastating loss of the 49er’s.


Who DIDN’T Wear It Better? Since Prom is just around the corner (May 4th, this Saturday!). We have come up with a few hurl-worthy dresses and asked the student body what they thought about them. Dress 1: Buffy Gone Wrong “This dress is so horrible! If this is where that high/low skirt came from, I’ll never wear one again!” - Amanda Giddens, 2015 “I would not be caught dead in that looks like Buffy the Vampire Slayer!” - Zoe Zecchin, 2015

Dress 2: Alice, Get Back in the Rabbit Hole “‘Alice in Wonderland’? More like ‘Alice, Get Back in the Rabbit Hole’!” - Dylan Francis, 2016 “Was this supposed to be Cinderella or something?!” - Sophia Oropeza, 2015

Dress 3: Sassy...Stop. “The Fashion Crime stamp is an understatement, this needs to be removed from the internet altogether!” - Hannah Kehmna, 2015 “It’s not a bad dress, but where’s the rest of it....?” - Dane Cross, 2016

Dress 4: Nuclear Mushroom Princess Mess “The colors are nice! It’s not horrible, but you still couldn’t pay me enough to wear that this year!” - Melissa Giddens, 2013 “Never would I ever tell someone they look good in that unless it was 2004!” - Chris Zepeda, 2013 Dress 5: A Fiery, Tangled Mess “This is so wrong, it’s wronger than wrong. TWO WRONGS DON’T MAKE A RIGHT!!” - Aiko Goldston, 2015 “Well, thanks for the nightmares, guys.” - Julia Hamilton, 2016


Getting Back Into The Swing Of Things Welcome Back Rams!

During the winter break, many of us students became used to the so-called ‘break lifestyle’: waking up at the crack of 11:30 am, eating breakfast at two in the afternoon, and wearing the same sweatpants for four days straight. Of course, in between the brain-dead couch potato moments, we did have to get up, put on a fresh pair of underwear, and walk outside into the somewhat burning sunlight to socialize. I interviewed three Willow Glen High students about what they did over break, their reflection on last semester, and how they plan to improve this upcoming semester. Jordan Peetz, Sophomore: Q: How was your winter break? What did you do? A: Well, I wasn’t able to do much, since I was grounded for a while, but I was able to hang out with my friends and family! I spent time with my aunt from out of town and visited my grandparents for the holidays, and that was a lot of fun! I was so happy and done with finals that I slept for half of my break. Q: How did you do last semester, academically? A: I would like to think I did pretty well for the semester. My grades weren’t as high as I had wanted them to be, but they were definitely pretty decent. Q: What would you like to change this semester? A: My grades, definitely! I would like to get all A’s on everything, even though it’ll be pretty hard. Since I’m part of a club volleyball team, there will probably be some late nights, but I’ll be able to handle it. Also, I’m going to start working out and finish everything on time!! Q: What are the steps you’re going to take to make these changes? A: I’m actually going to do my homework! Sometimes I get distracted or lazy with my homework and stuff like that. I’m definitely going to start studying more for tests and quizzes coming up, even just whatever is coming that week. I hope I can actually stick to these goals though, eventually I’ll regress (vocab word!) into old habits, like everyone else. Emir Kuljancic, Junior Q: How was your winter break? What did you do? A: I went to Tahoe three weekends in a row, which was pretty fun. I tried to catch up on the hours I skipped out on during finals through sleeping and spent some time with my girlfriend and my friends, mostly just hanging out and staying low-key. Q: How did you do last semester, academically? A: I think I did pretty well for myself, I didn’t get any low grades or fail any classes. They weren’t perfect grades, but no one really gets exactly what they want or hope for, academic-wise. Q: What would you like to change this semester? A: I really want to work on keeping focused in class and not being so talkative (which probably won’t end up happening, but I’ll try) especially in my AP classes. I want to crack down on my grades and work harder, since I only have one more year after this semester. Hopefully I can do all that and still find time for my girlfriend and friends and family. Q: What are the steps you’re going to take to make these changes? A: I’m not going to make any crazy, drastic changes to what I am doing, since I am still getting good grades and keeping my life balanced. I think I’m going to try working harder in class and spend time at home on schoolwork, but I think I am doing pretty well and hope this semester turns out great! Amanda Giddens, sophomore Q: How was your winter break? What did you do? A: I spent a lot of time at home with friends and family. My grandma came to visit us for a while, and we played a lot of random games that, to my surprise, actually turned out pretty fun for a while. I spent time with my boyfriend and my friends a lot; if one wasn’t here, the other one was! Much of my time was spent eating and watching the Vampire Diaries, which I am finding to be my favorite thing on the planet ever. Oh, and I got a new iTouch for Christmas, so I don’t feel so awkward anymore when everyone SnapChats* each other! Q: How did you do last semester, academically? A: Good, good. I got all A’s and B’s, which I’m pretty proud of. All my honors and AP classes were pretty doable, so I didn’t have much trouble maintaining good grades in them. Q: What would you like to change this semester? A: Watch more Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars, definitely. Oh, and try to get all A’s in my classes, even though my AP Spanish is going to be a doozy. Yes, I said doozy. Q: What are the steps you are going to take to make these changes? A: Well, the TV part requires me sitting in front of the TV so I think I’ll do pretty well in that. For school, I think I’ll try studying more and focusing more in class, since I don’t like just sitting there. I’m going to finish my homework at home and actually turn it in on time. I think I’ll just try to keep a good attitude and cross my fingers everything falls into place!


Logan Final  

Journalism Final 2013

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