Alief Kerr High School
8150 Howell-Sugarland Rd.
mONDAY, may 21, 2012
Vol. XVIiI NO. 7
Inside the issue Opinion, Page 2, OCCUPY SUMMER
News, Page 3, kOLK, TEACHER OF THE YEAR In focus, Page 4, GOODBYE GRADUATES Feature, Page 8, FAREWELL TO FACULTY Entertainment, Page 10, THE AVENGERS Sports, Page 12, ANNUAL CLASS WARS
Staff Editorial: Occupy Summer VACATION PAKS and jobs have perks As if it wasn’t enough to have our finals on the last week of school, most of us also have our summers cluttered with school work (ahem, summer reading for English), SAT Prep, summer school, summer classes/workshops, and/or jobs. It often feels like the vacation part of summer is literally “melting” away and the little that is left is unenjoyable due to the thought of the new school year looming ahead. It all sounds pretty sad at first, but what most people don’t realize is that while we might despise summer reading or waking up at 7:00 a.m. just to go to summer school while everyone else sleeps in, our summer work gives us something to do. While some of us do go on vacation, a lot of us spend our summer at home. Think about it: if we didn’t have to do those Cornell notes to do for English, we’d probably sit around the house, watch television, and/or be a couch potato for the most part. The first few weeks of summer will be fun and exciting, but that’ll soon wear away into boredom. Doing summer work for school also keeps our minds working so that when you go back to school, you’re not totally brain dead. It’s a natural fact that if we don’t practice something for a while, we tend to forget. For example, if we don’t receive that
dreaded Pre-Cal summer review PAK, we’d probably forget all of our simple math concepts. The same goes for all other classes. Granted that the typical student might rush their summer work at the last minute to get a grade, they would still at least get an idea of what they might expect for their classes next year. As far has having a summer job goes, it also helps everyone be productive. Having a job can reinforce the idea of a working on a schedule so that when you come back to school, it’s not much of a change. You’ll be able to adapt to waking up early and following the bell schedule much easier. And the most important part: you get paid! Taking summer classes or workshops also helps one to tap into his or her creative side, whether it’s getting an internship at a research facility or taking an art class. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be boring; it can actually be a fun way to learn something that you’ve always wanted to know. Maybe certain science, engineering and math workshops can teach you the fun side of what used to seem like useless, boring equations and calculations (like a Rube Goldberg machine!). So, maybe there is an upside to waking at 7:00 a.m. to go to summer school or to work. And while it doesn’t seem like the “vacation” we had in mind, it can keep you busy — in a good way.
Having a job can reinforce the idea of a working on a schedule so that when you come back to school, it’s not much of a change.
Kerronicle friday, May 15, 2012 Vol. XVIII No. 7
Kerr High School 8150 Howell-Sugar Land Rd. Houston, TX 77083 (281) 983-8484 ext. 267 Staff: Editor-in-Chief Jason Nguyen Assistant Editor Tuong-Phi Le
Story Editor Nadia Zulfa Business Manager Phat Pham
Staff Reporters Alyssa Andaverde Kelli Chow Jesus Escobar Tracey Le Hadiqa Memon Durand Nguyen
Kevin Nguyen Phil Pham Retiring Staff Joanna Arias Aja Bryant Krista Lutrick
The Kerronicle is published six times a year by the student newspaper staff of Kerr High School and serves as a medium of communication for its readers. It exists to inform its readers about school and community, school policies and their changes, entertainment, and to serve as a forum for student expression. Advertisers interested in placing an ad in the Kerronicle should contact the staff at (281) 983-8484 ext. 267 or 8150 Howell Sugar Land, Houston, TX 77083. Letters to the editor are welcomed and encouraged. Letters should be delivered to room 302 or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. All letters must be signed.
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Kolk receives unprecedented honor By: Tuong-Phi Le Assistant Editor As she sat under the stage lights of the Taylor High School auditorium, many thoughts raced through special education teacher Jan Kolk’s head. First there was anticipation. Kolk had been named as a finalist for Alief’s Secondary Teacher of the Year. Tonight, April 26, the winner would be announced. “I kept thinking, whether I win or not, this is not a competition,” Kolk said later. “This is a recognition.” She could see the section of seats that librarian Jean Wu had reserved for Kerr students. It was full. She felt a surge of pride; it was an honor when the people she taught came out to support her like this. In her head, she also went over points for an acceptance speech. She had only learned that morning from Wu that the winner had to speak. “Ms. Wu said that it was our year,” Kolk said. “She had this gut feeling. She said, ‘You have to give a speech! Have you decided what you have to say yet? Well, you’d better get ready because you’re going to win.’” Kolk’s path to the Taylor High auditorium started with the email that goes out to the Kerr faculty each year asking for Teacher of the Year nominees. The faculty submits names and then the school’s teacher of the year is democratically elected. “I was so honored to be nominated,” Kolk said. “I didn’t have any earthly idea that I would become Teacher of the Year. We have exceptional teachers here,
and it’s a validation when people think you do a good job.” After Kolk won at the campus level, the next step was the district. Each nominee for the district title was required to submit a two-page response answering a set of questions. They also had to turn in five letters of recommendation, one from the principal and four from other staff members of their choice. The applications were reviewed by one of two panels corresponding to the nominee’s school level, primary (elementary and intermediate schools) or secondary (middle and high schools). Each panel was chaired by Chuck Lang, Director of Leadership and Professional Development, and consisted of the former Teacher of the Year for that level, a parent representative, a member of the school board and an administrator. The panel selected three finalists, each of whom they then interviewed. “It was pretty intimidating,” Kolk said. “You’re in a tiny room with five other people. Mr. Lang asked all the questions. You do your response. The other people are taking notes but you don’t interact with them at all…I found myself getting kind of nervous. I was just hoping that I wouldn’t make a fool of myself.” Kolk was also observed while at work with her students. “I don’t have a classroom. I was honored that the people who came to see understood that and were able to see the type of teaching that was nontraditional,” she said. Kolk’s job requires a different skill set from the traditional high-school teacher or even the typical Kerr teacher.
“Being the special ed teacher, I go in and work with Kerr students rushed to congratulate her. They brought all the classes,” she said. “So I have to know information flowers, a card, and the huge butcher-paper banners from math and science and social studies. My approach they’d made. is to work on [building] relationships with students...I The enthusiasm carried over into the next day, and the next. go in and know who they are. “And if students don’t get something, that’s when I “Everybody was just wonderful,” Kolk said. “They get to create a lesson right then and there. I don’t know clapped for me in the hallway, they shook my hand, what they’re going to get or not get. It’s a very different gave me hugs…It’s a reflection of what goes on here kind of teaching…kind of like the Renaissance person every day. The students have an effect on each other. They care about each other and the adults they interact who needs to be a master at everything.” It all led her here. All the improvised lessons, the with.” From the district, Kolk will move on to the Region quiet help and the long afternoon tutoring sessions, had brought her here, to this evening on a bright-lit stage. IV level. Finalists will be selected in July, and the results Last year’s Secondary Teacher of the Year, Connie will be announced in August, with the winners moving Koehn, strode to the podium and began to speak about on to State. her own experience as Teacher of the Year. Kolk, however, is already happy. As Koehn wound down, she said, “It is my honor “I don’t see myself as being the Teacher of the to introduce the secondary Teacher of the Year.” She Year,” she said. “I want to represent all the exceptional paused. “She has been with the district for 30 years…” teachers at Kerr that they chose to honor.” The Kerr section was smaller than some of the other schools’, but it was full of teenagers. The students yelled and cheered to equal any crowd when Koehn called out Kolk’s name. “I felt overwhelmed,” Kolk said. “Because I truly did not think that I would be the person selected.” Her elation was mirrored by THE FIRST OF HER KIND. Kolk poses with ecstatic students and staff after those who had come to cheer her becoming the first Kerr teacher to win Alief Secondary Teacher of the Year. on. As soon as they could the Photo courtesy: Tracy Lau
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4 Senior Bucket List
By: Kelli Chow
Here is a selected list of seniors surveyed out of 75 and their senior bucket list : Senior Prank (An organized prank pulled by the senior class)—Carlos Cruz Reconnect with old friends—Jonathan Villegas Pass Gov—Wilson Tat Learn how to dance before prom—Cherry Chau Attend a LIVE Ellen DeGeneres talk show— Sheryl Castilan Dine and Dash (Ordering and eating food then leaving without paying.)—Lillian Dinh Learn Japanese —Cameron Clark Play Paintball—Irene Ibeabuchi Skinny Dipping—Yuyin Liang Bungee Jumping—Paul Alabi Party all night —Ahmad Laham Go to Schlitterbahn—Betty Van Senior Ditch Day —Hana Nusratullah Eat at a restaurant featured on Diners, Drive
juniors graduate early By: Jesus Escobar
Staff Reporter Graduation: a sign of sanctuary or the beginning of misery? Either way, there is an abundance of wishful activities left undone for many seniors. All that is left to do is make the remaining school days count.
Ins, and Dives—Erick Thai Go clubbing —Nita Ton Prom —Melvin Williams What’s on your senior bucket list?
Staff Reporter As graduation day approaches, seniors get ready for their big moment on stage as they exit high school and move on with life as adults. However, seniors are not the only ones who will be preparing for graduation: many juniors will also be joining them by graduating a year earlier than scheduled. Juniors seem to have different reasons for wanting to graduate early, although one reason stands above the rest: to leave high school as soon as possible. Junior Ahmad Laham says that he just wanted to finish high school as fast as he can. “I want to leave this school,” he said. Juniors may also want to graduate early to get ahead of their peers in college by getting their degree earlier than their classmates. “I think I wanted to graduate early because I just wanted to get ahead and get my degree and all that stuff,” junior Sarah Balogun said. The state requires graduating students to have the necessary 26 assorted credits to receive their high school diploma, adding another obstacle for those who want to graduate early. Junior Sushita Azim says that doubling up in her classes was the only difficulty she faced in her quest for early graduation. “Getting the classes done early was kind of stressful because I had to double up for basically
every class,” she said. Balogun also found trying to finish all her classes to be very stressful and found that she had to dedicate much of her summer to school work. “Giving up my summer, all my summers, and even after summer school I’m still taking online classes and having like five classes in a semester,” she said. “It took dedication and hard work just to say, ‘Okay, I want to do this, I’ll just keep on going.’” Balogun is thankful to both counselor Dawn Walls and site intervention facilitator Eugene Tommy Miller for helping her throughout the early graduation process. “I had to go to them several times when I felt that my schedule was crazy and I didn’t know what class to take or how to take it,” she said. “Mr. Miller and Mrs. Walls were a great help.” Although juniors who sought to graduate early had an accelerated version of high school, Laham still feels as though he had the fullest high school experience available at Kerr. “I still did all of the senior activities,” Laham said. Senior activities include the Senior Auction, the Senior Parade, and of course, the end of the year Prom. Overall, Laham feels glad that he will be graduating before his fellow juniors. “I feel happy,” he said. “I feel like I just saved a year of my life.”
Congratulations Class of
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“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. You know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go....” —Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! SPONSORED BY the Class of 2012, NHS, and the Math Department
Joanna Arias Retiring Editor-in-Chief
30s senior tra·di·tion noun the handing down of beliefs, customs, etc. from generation to generation
In the old days of journalism, putting -30- at the bottom of a story meant the end. At the Kerronicle, seniors’ 30s are the last articles they will write for our paper. They are a way of remembering, of reflecting on their years at Kerr and on staff, of passing the torch, and of saying farewell.
“Room302.” I’m met with a blank expression. “It’s by the nurse’s office.” A look of understanding crosses the clueless person’s face. Most students have never stepped foot in the journalism room, let alone those who have no idea of its existence. But room 302, also Mrs. Negri’s advisory, has been a sanctuary for me the past four years. I began my freshman year clueless of what I wanted to do during high school and having no idea what sort of clubs I wanted to be a part of, but that quickly changed. I had Journalism 1 during the first semester of this year and I realized that journalistic writing was an enjoyment for me. I didn’t join the newspaper staff until my sophomore year but I was immediately welcomed into the small staff with upperclassmen that would become great friends. This room has been the setting for a lot of high school memories. So many laughs with Nneka, Gabriel, and Alex and eventually with Jason and Phil took place in this room. Our staff has grown larger each year and the friendship between us has grown stronger. The responsibility of being editor-in-chief can be stressful, but this hard-working staff has, thankfully, always entertained me. Jason, I remember you and Rao cornering me in advisory, debating whether or not to join the newspaper staff. I was earnestly trying to recruit more underclassmen onto staff so I wouldn’t
Aja Bryant Retiring Photo Editor
I really didn’t know how to start this off because one, I’m not that good at saying good-bye, and two, I don’t want to come to point of realizing that I am actually graduating and that my time in high school is limited. During my sophomore year, when I first came to Kerr, I hated it, but I really don’t want to get into detail of my reasons or else it would take up the entire page. But I will say this: being in newspaper was pretty much the highlight of my high school career. If I could, I would seriously stay in the Journalism room, until, of course,
have to write three stories each issue but I never thought you’d eventually become the Kerronicle’s editor-in-chief. You are always willing to come up with ideas and sincerely are one of the hardest working people I’ve been around. Your constant trolling is a great stress reliever (as long as you’re not targeting me). I would wish you luck for the next year but I know you don’t really need it. Phil, combined with being in my advisory, the immense amount of time we’re around each other during the day can be a little much. But what this time has shown me is that you’re an extremely diligent person; you have no idea how impressed I am that you can juggle the Kerronicle and Speech and Debate at the same time. Phat your design skills always impress me and after losing Jason P. they were so welcome. You’re a great business manager, if a little quiet, but are always sensible and always on track. Hopefully you’ll continue with the same pattern throughout your senior year. Nadia and Phi-Phi, you both were the greatest surprises of the newbies last year. You two completely floored me with fantastic first drafts that barely needed editing and I seriously applaud you on your constant hard work. Your conversations about Harry Potter and Once Upon a Time are hilarious and your wit certainly comes across in your writing. I hope you both spend the next two years and staff and I expect you two will be vying for the editor-in-chief position when the time comes. Kevin, I think your first graphic was a piece of sushi and at first I was worried because it was taking you a really long time to finish it up – until I saw the finished the
product. You’d been so meticulous to get each curve exactly like the original picture and surprisingly your work has improved from that first vector. Tracey and Kelli, it’s clear you two have a lot of fun with each other on staff and your work is always good. I seriously don’t know where you two are most of the time but hopefully it’s on news briefs that I’m not aware of and not just socializing. Jesus, maybe you’re wild outside of journalism but in this room you’re super quiet. I’m seriously impressed that you’re openly willing to write any sort of story for us and aren’t picky at all. That’s seriously one of the nicest qualities to have in a staff member and makes my job so much easier. The quality of your writing is constantly first-rate and a great addition on staff. Aja and Krista, we’ve finally made it! We’ve spent four years in high school and even though we all joined the staff at different times, it’s been nice having fellow seniors in the room. I wish you guys the best of luck in the coming years at college. I’ve spent my time in the journalism room eating, sleeping, playing Angry Birds, and of course, working hard on the Kerronicle, often days after it was supposed to be printed. I know college certainly won’t be as relaxing as this past year has been but with a bit of luck, next year will be the best year yet for the Kerronicle.
the dismissal bell rings. I think this is the point where I start calling out everyone on the Kerronicle staff and start saying all these nice things about them, but I’m a bit too lazy to be doing that...Sorry! So, I’m just going to be general. To Kerronicle staff - It was fun to work on the newspaper with you guys. I’m not g0ing to lie, with all the stuff we been through with these last couple of issues, I’m grateful for the things we been through as a staff. Plus, you guys are funny. Sometimes in an annoying way, but still funny. I know some of ya’ll are probably still learning a couple of things, but I have faith in your skills to make an awesome paper. To Mrs. Negri - You don’t know how grateful I am to be joining staff. You
seriously don’t know. If I didnt have newspaper as apart of my schedule, I probably wouldn’t even come to school. You are an awesome person who helped me realize how much I love Journalism and photography. Words can’t describe how happy I will be when I leave this school, but I’ll be sad at the fact that I’ll be leaving Kerronicle. Keep up the good work guys!
Retiring Staff Reporter If I had a universal remote control, I would use it to replay the last four years over and over again. I know most seniors want it to be over and done with, but now that I’m at the end, I don’t want it to be over. I actually enjoyed my high school experience, even though I’ve been to three different schools. I know I’ve only been at Kerr for two years, but it feels like home to me. That is probably because it’s the only school I’ve been to for more than a year since seventh grade. I wish I could have spent all four years at Kerr rather than just two, but I wouldn’t trade those two for anything in the world. I’m not usually good with farewells. I’ve actually deliberately kept my mind off of May pretty much the entire year. But now that it’s here, I can’t really avoid it anymore. I don’t know if I really want to leave, but I have no choice in the matter. The last four years went by fast. I think I’m almost ready to leave, but first I need to say what’s on my mind. Kerronicle staff members – I just want to say that I love you guys. I had so much to say to each and every one of you but not enough room to say it. I don’t regret my decision to leave band for you. I have enjoyed every
minute of the last two years. You all make me laugh and smile. I will certainly try to come back and visit as often as I can next year. Every chance I get, I will get online to read the paper. I’ll miss every one of you when I’m gone. When August and September come, I’ll randomly think: “What is the staff working on right now?” I promise I will write to Mrs. Negri so I can keep in touch with you guys, because I don’t think I’ll be able to get on Facebook very often. Mrs. Negri – You’re amazing! You put up with not only all of newspaper, but all of yearbook as well. I know we suck at making deadlines and that we stress you out a lot, but you are truly incredible. You are always there to support us. You’re like the “mamma” of the publications department. Thank you so much, Mrs. Negri, for letting me be a part of the staff. I really loved the experience I’ve had, and I wish it didn’t have to end. If you had asked me four years ago if I could see myself writing for the school newspaper, I would have though you were crazy. But when I was taking Journalism I, I realized how much fun it is. So, thank you, not only for letting me be on staff, but for showing me that there is more to it than just gathering boring old facts. For me, it’s taking those facts and turning them into a work of art that someone out there in this big world will read. I’ll miss you so much, Mrs. Negri. I promise I’ll come back and visit as often as I can. I’ve learned things about myself that I never new and I learned that your family isn’t just the people you live
with. It’s the people you can’t live without. I could never imagine staying at one high school for all four years. My much jumbled high school experience has left me with a very enormous extended family that I wouldn’t trade for the world. It was always sad to say good-bye. I don’t think there is ever a time when leaving people you love is happy. But, the best part is the fact that now I can extend my family even more. Here is my advice: don’t worry about your future, because you have your whole life to figure it out. Don’t rush through everything, because one day you’ll wake up and you’ll be eighteen. That’s when you start to wonder where your life went because you just realized that you’re not a kid anymore. Rather than worry about what will happen or who we should become, we should just live and love. We may not be able to get the years back, but we can keep the people we spent them with.
In a survey of 100 seniors, here’s a breakdown of where they’re going: 6%
Other: 16% 13% 31%
HOUSTON COMMUNITY COLLEGE
So where are you going?
A M 3%
Halket, Sanchez retire: By: Nadia Zulfa Story Editor
Business Center counter clerk Michaela Halket has been at Kerr since the beginning: back in 1996, she heard from her neighbor that a new school was being built and immediately enrolled her son in the charter class. From that point, she decided to volunteer at Kerr; later she got a job as a counter clerk and eventually ended in the Business Center. “[Kerr] was small and accelerated so I put in a call to Patsy Hoover [the principal at Kerr at the time],” she said. “I started as the clerk in Spanish in ’96. I was on it from the beginning.” After 16 years, Halket is now retiring. Throughout her time here, she’s made a lot of close-knit relationships with the staff and students. “[I’m going to miss] the people, the staff, and the kids. I consider this my second home,” Halket said. “[Kerr] is a real close group of people; I’ve been a secretary for 30 years before I came here, but we never had that sort of camaraderie.” Halket feels that she has learned a lot about the students during the years, and has come to appreciate everyone’s individuality. “Everybody talks about how teenagers are the hardest for parents, but I’m around teenagers all day,” Halket said.”...teenagers are different and have different talents. Some students that I have to nag to get work done were in Orchestra playing beautifully. I appreciate each kid as a person.” One thing Halket wants the students to remember is that she wanted what was best for them.
“I don’t try to save gas. Driving is not a leisure for me because I have work and I also have to do errands. If you have some place to go then you have to go even if it means paying a lot for gas.”
10 P RE S S
“I hope that they don’t think that my nagging is bad,” she said. “I hope they remember that I nag because I care, because I want them to succeed.” Even though it’s difficult for her to leave, Halket looks forward to her retirement, as she will be able to focus on future projects. “ I will work on my genealogy, travel, read a lot, get up when I want to, [and] take lots of pictures,” she laughed. Even though she hasn’t been here quite as long as Halket, math teacher Diana Sanchez feels that the atmosphere at Kerr is very positive and welcoming as well. “The kids are more motivated [at Kerr], they make more effort to get good grades, and the faculty is great,” she said. “I will miss the interaction with my students...out of all the 36 years [of teaching], this has been the best.” Sanchez has spent the last four years of her teaching career at Kerr and has also formed friendships with teachers and staff. Math teacher Sheri Koshkin will miss Sanchez. “She’s always so easy to work with. She’s level and even-tempered…she seems so quiet but speaks up when she needs to,” Koshkin said. “We laugh a lot and we’re constantly saying, ‘What are we going to do when you’re not here?!’” Sanchez feels that if she ever decided to teach again at a different school, she would definitely add the interaction she finds at Kerr into the curriculum. “I would talk to kids more [at other schools], encourage them to study more and do research on
PARAPROFESSIONAL AND TEACHER REMEMBER FRIENDSHIPS
my own to get closer to kids also,” she said. “Getting them to know each other more one on one and find out what they want to be.” Kerr has changed her perspective on students, according to Sanchez. “[Kerr has affected] the way I perceive kids; I’ve gotten to know parents and you see families because the brothers and sisters also go to Kerr,” she said. Sanchez is a little anxious about retiring, but she still looks forward to the change. “My life is so structured; I go to first period, then second, and each lunch at 10: 30 a.m.,” she said. “I’m kind of nervous because once I retire, I can do whatever I want and it won’t be so structured—I’ll be more relaxed...I’m doing [my] hobbies; I plan on volunteering—that’s my main goal.” According to Koshkin, the math center is looking for a replacement teacher and there may be changes ahead for the department’s organization. “[The system] might change depending on who’s hired,” she said. “There will be another teacher; they’re in the process of interviewing other teachers.” Sanchez hopes that her students will benefit from having younger teachers, but still remember her. “I felt it was about time for me to relax…I want you kids to have younger teachers,” she said. “[And] I hope [my students] remember that I did a good job...that I care.”
Halket smiles as she works on her crossword puzzle in the newspaper.
Sanchez grades her Algebra II students’ PAKs.
What are you doing to save gas money?
“My car, the PT Cruiser, is really gas efficient...I have to calculate the exact amount of gas that I need but this saves money because when you have gas, you’re more tempted to go places.”
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“I drive accordingly to the MPH because when you speed up, you waste more gas. I also don’t push the gas pedal when at the stoplights or stop signs because the acceleration wastes a lot of gas.”
“I am not giving up [on] going places because high gas prices [do] not mean that I can’t have a life...It means that I have to give up on some other things. This is not a problem for me because... other things are more important.”
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League of Legends: Online game takes over reality FANATICS FIND SILVER LINING IN ADDICTION By: Kevin Nguyen Staff Reporter
As dawn approaches, junior Yash Sehgal is locked in battle. Devoid of all human contact, he sits in front of his computer, entranced. His eyes are zoned on the computer monitor, his hands engaging in a rapid motion. He focuses intently on his activity, not realizing his surroundings. Suddenly he hangs his head in shame as the bolded word ‘Defeat’ appears across the screen. Sehgal, taking a break from his game, goes on AOL Instant Messenger to talk to his friends. “Anytime someone tries to talk to me, usually on AIM, I would answer ‘I’m busy right now’ and continue playing League [of Legends]. I come back like 40 minutes later to find out they’re gone,” Sehgal said. “Every game is about 40 to 45 [minutes, which] cuts into a lot of time. Once you play one game, it’s really addicting so you want to play another, so that’s two hours a day, daily.” League of Legends (LoL) is an online game based on DOTA (Defense of the Ancients) a side-game that originated from Blizzard Enter-
tainment’s Warcraft. Designers of DOTA maps collaborated and created LoL back in 2009. It pits a group of players against another group in a nerve-wracking competition of critical positioning and intense development of each
“I play League of Legends so much that I literally have no time to talk to my friends or hang out with any of them.”
—junior Jason Pham player’s champion (the character controlled by the player in-game); only one team can claim victory. “The game is straight up player versus player; you actually go against other people and as
On average: how many hours do Kerr students play League of Legends?
you get better, they also get better, which makes the game very competitive,” junior Quoc Nguyen said. As competitive as League of Legends may be, junior Julie Ho plays LoL for a different, non-competitive reason. “There was a point where [my boyfriend] constantly played games and I felt that he was spending too much time on games and not enough time with me. So I gave LoL a shot and really liked it,” Ho said. “ [LoL] creates a topic for us to bond and talk about. It’s also something for us to do when we’re bored.” One match of League lasts from 30 minutes to an hour and requires the full attention of a player. A minor mistake or slip-up could mean losing the entire match, so checking Facebook or going on a restroom break is never an option during a LoL match. “I play League of Legends so much that I literally have no time to talk to my friends or hang out with any of them,” junior Jason Pham said. “My day consists of going home, play [until] six and then just start doing homework. I just don’t have time to hang out with people.” Students who play the game daily usually
make changes to their schedules, whether reducing the time they spent on homework or sleeping, all in an effort to play more. “I just basically push everything back,” junior Travis Dinh said. “It’s not a great thing to do; I don’t have free time for it, it’s just I would just have to make up my homework time by taking away from my sleeping time.” For LoL players like Sehgal, getting the recommended hours of sleep is the last thing on his mind. “I go to sleep around 1:30 which is pretty late, but I have time to do everything; finish homework, play games, talk with friends,” Sehgal said. “I even watch a movie.” Ho breaks the stereotypical image of playing games being a guy’s thing and suggests other girls with boyfriends that spend too much time gaming approach that problem in a different way. Girls should “[give] the game that their boyfriend is playing a try,” she said. “If they don’t like it then find a game they both like.”
Photo courtesy: Riot Games
Alright class, your project is due in 2 weeks. No procrastinating!
Procrastinating More than 2
Less than 2
Oh My Gosh! I hate this ELO!
13 days later...
Hey, did you finish the project yet?
Hair Stylist *Ask for Gita
Dude, its due tomorrow.
Rio Hair Salon
Specializes In Color and Highlights
“Special prices for Prom, for both boys and girls.”
11382 Westheimer Rd. Houston, TX 77077 (Behind Fox And Hound)
Hey, did you finish? Yes, but it took me all night...
So yeah, I have some matters that I have to attend to so I am canceling the project.
Bundu Khan: Delivering an Un-Khanny experience By: Kelli Chow EStaff Reporter
Name: Kelli Chow Expires: May/30/1990 License #: 015339851
Certified Food Critic I was pleasantly surprised by my visit to Bundu Khan, a Pakistani restaurant located on 11887 Bissonnet and Kirkwood. Given the shabby exterior, I expected nothing more than mediocre cuisine. However, after a rave review from a friend, I decided to give it a shot. As I mentioned before, the exterior looked run-down with yellow paint chippings and a flickering neon sign; once inside I felt a welcoming atmosphere with a family to my right enjoying their meal and the enticing scent of meat skewers being grilled behind the counter. The menu is small, consisting primarily of meat-related dishes, but the quality of the food makes up for the lack of variety. I ordered chicken breast tikkas, a chicken dish marinated
in spices and yogurt, and paratha (flat bread). Costing $5.99 and $2.00 respectively, the price was decent for the proportion. The average price range is $5.00 - $10.00, with Batiar Quail being the most expensive dish at $15.00. The chicken tikkas are served with lime, cucumbers and onions. A raita sauce (yogurt, cucumber, herbs, and spices) and a sweet tamarind sauce are offered as condiments. As I bit into the chicken tikka, an explosion of flavor erupted in my mouth. It was wonderfully tenderized, fresh, and had a little kick of spiciness. The paratha was also hot and fresh, like it came straight out of the oven. However, to experience the flavor at maximum level, it’s best to eat both the dishes to-
It was wonderfully tenderized, fresh, and had a little kick of spiciness. gether. First drench the chicken with the lime juice. Tear off a piece of paratha and stick a piece of chicken tikka in it. Wedge in a piece
of cucumber and onion and then add the raita sauce. Then take a bite. The combination and diversity of flavor and texture is astounding. The raita sauce combined with the fresh cu-
Chicken Tikkas served neatly on a plate with cucumbers, lime, and onions. cumber complemented the yogurt/spice marinade of the chicken tikka. If you want to add a touch of sweetness, drizzle on some of the tamarind sauce. Other dishes I saw served at Bundu Khan included beef boti, a beef dish marinated in spices, yogurt, and lemon; lassi, a hybrid drink between a smoothie and a milkshake; and kheer, a rice pudding dessert. The only complaint I had was the lack of
air conditioning. While it wasn’t too hot inside the restaurant, I can’t imagine coming to dine here during the summer when temperatures can reach the hundreds. Overall, Bundu Khan offers great authentic Pakistani food for a reasonable price. Be aware though that the restaurant is small and it Khan get really packed during lunch and dinner hours. Besides that, this places deserves the rating of 8 out of 10.
Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’ Review: NOTHING LEFT THAT NEEDS TO BE AVENGED
By: Jason Nguyen Editor-in-Chief
After about a decade’s worth of preparation and about half a century of waiting (The Avengers debuted in 1963), Marvel fanboys and fangirls can finally be at ease knowing Joss Whedon’s The Avengers does not fall short of its huge expectations. It does well to balance elements of humor, seriousness and —the most important component of any superhero movie— we-striking action. So basically, it has a vast amount of exaggerated explosions and features weaponry decked out with CGI. But Whedon is also able to capture the unique spark we all look forward to in a movie like this: the cohesiveness and welloiled machinelike teamwork that the heroes dish out in the midst of adversity. Although The Avengers’s plot is no challenge to follow, it achieved the movie’s duty of establishing a connection between heroes who each have worked alone and forcing them onto a team they generally had no interest in. The Incredible Hulk, played now by Mark Ruffalo in lieu of The Incredible Hulks’s Edward Norton (who replaced the 2004 The Hulk’s Eric Bana), comes from a history of failed movies that tried to bring justice to the
behemoth who was exposed to Gamma Rays, though the reboot was significantly better than its ancestor. Ruffalo adds a cool touch to Bruce Banner, staying true to his intelligent background and acting as the sympathetic protagonist who is aware of his “Other Side” and has to strive to avoid any provocation. The remaining Avengers are comprised of Chris Evans as the intrepid Steve Rogers/ Captain America; Robert Downey Jr. as the narcissistic playboy Tony Stark/Iron Man; Chris Hemsworth as the Asgardian Thor; Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/The Black Widow; Jeremy Renner as the hotshot Clint Barton/Hawkeye; and of course Samuel L. Jackson as the cyclopean Nick Fury. The movie works to prevent any one hero from stealing the lime-light, but it’s arguable that Iron Man did become the star. Besides that, it provided everyone an equal share of the glory of screen time and storyline, but whether a character pulled as much weight as the next during a fight is another question. Whedon competently allows each hero to stay loyal to their individual powers and traits, even highlighting them with liberal slow-mos and zoom-ins here and there, but he’s as successful when it came to melding each power together to form a formidable team to stop Tom Hiddleston’s Loki and his Chitaurian army.
What seemed to ring in my mind all during and after the movie was how well it produced intense edge-of-your-seat moments and still fluidly work in a joke here and there. After the dynamic duo of Thor and Hulk wreak havoc on several Chitaurians, how does Whedon end the scene? The Hulk unexpectedly punches Thor from one end of Manhattan to the other as lighthearted revenge for their skirmish before. Or when Stark and Loki have a verbal showdown on how they predict the war will end, they resort to childish arguments— Loki’s “I have an army” is shot down by Stark’s “We have a Hulk.” But rest assured: the moment is never killed and the joke only works to define a character’s personality and circumstances into the scene. Though it’s not essential that you watch each hero’s backstory to understand the movie, it would help to understand certain lines, feelings or connections between characters such as Thor’s disheartened composure when it comes to dueling and confronting his adopted brother Loki, or Captain America’s confusion with everything that goes on around him-- a man from the 1940s thrust into an age filled with lasers, flying robots, invisible hovercrafts that fly up from beneath the ocean, extraterrestrials that reign down by the thousands from a rift in Manhattan’s sky and... a Hulk.
Whedon didn’t break any barriers, didn’t cross any lines and didn’t break any ground in The Avengers, but he sure did a fantastic job at creating an intersection for heroes from different stories and intertwining them, earning him brownie points just for not failing at such a hard task. The movie plays it safe with a cookie-cutter plot-type: the heroes initially have no idea what the definition of a “team” is, going toe-to-toe with each other, weapons hot, and by the end of the movie, they come together and create a montage of team buttkicking. Whedon did justice to the Avengers and definitely assembled them: Rogers called the shots, Stark kept the crowd laughing, Hawkeye made impossible arrow shots possible and Hulk smashed.
Photos courtesy: Marvel Studios
Fine Arts Banquet
Fine Arts Banquet: a celebration that commemorates the accomplishments of all the musicians, artists, thespians, and many others who chose to fill their lives with performing arts. Many fine art clubs uses the banquet to showcase their yearly successes; honor their talented members with awards, and elect new officers for the following year. With food, drinks, dessert, dancing, and a whole lot of laughter, the Fine Arts Banquet proves to be a formal tradition with a fun twist. Senior Kevin Chu attends his last fine arts banquet before graduating. “It’s pretty memorable because it marks the end of my career in high school choir,” Chu said. Story by Phil Pham
1. Tears were fallen at the Fine Arts Banquet. Senior Ayman Bakhit sheds tears for win-
ning a thespian award. Bakhit was currently treasurer known to assist the other roles of the other officers.’ 2. Many emotional happenings occurred at the Fine Arts Banquet. Senior Precious Merenu gives junior Aaron Burgess a huge hug, congratulating him for winning the vice president position. Many people wanted Aaron Burgess to be in this position and he achieved it. “I worked really hard to be in this position,” Burgess said. 3. The Fine Arts Banquet is the place to laugh and have fun and that’s exactly what many students did. Senior Jonathan Villegas was laughing with his friends as they enjoy the food and drinks served. The bread served was said to be very delicious. “My friends and I were being ratchet. We were laughing and being obnoxious,” Villegas said. 4. Congratulating hugs circle the room as students earn their awards. Ashley Siegrist gives senior Carlos Cruz a big hug when it was announced that he won the John Philip Sousa award recognizing his musicianship, citizenship, and leadership. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to receive it or not, even though I’ve contributed everything I had to Kerr and our band,” Cruz said Captions by Tracey Le Photo Courtesy to Anh Lu, Sarah Bungay, and Jun Tan
CLASS WARS 1
1. Ecstatic, the juniors claimed their vic-
tory during the annual Class Wars. Juniors Pauline Vu, Shimei Nelapati, Julie Ho, Maheen Farooqui, Victor Yeung and sponsor Margaret Bancroft burst with excitement when juniors had won the competition. This year was the first winning ever for the juniors. “It was amazing how the juniors actually won for the first time,” junior Victor Yeung said.
4 Meera Norton
Kerr’s soccer game mounts excitement By: Nadia Zulfa Story Editor
A challege issued last year was accepted this year, and next week Kerr will take to the soccer field in a match against Alief Early College High School. AECHS challenged Kerr to a soccer match in 2011, but since it was too late in the year, the match didn’t happen. Sophomore Rebecca Negri was ready this time and accepted the challenge this year with vigor. “It started my freshman year. My mom [sophomore class sponsor Laura Negri] brought it up and said that the Early College soccer team for homecoming said that they challenged us,” she said. “The next year, I
2. Intensity was growing when freshman
decided to answer their challenge and accept.” The soccer game will be held at Crump Stadium on Tuesday, May 22, with the Kerr girls and boys soccer teams going against the Early College girls and boys teams. The game will start at 6:30 p.m.The girls will play for 30 minutes and the boys will play for 30 minutes, with a break in between. It is estimated to last two hours. The event is sponsored by the Class of 2014, but players come from all four grades. Tickets are $3 in advance and $5 at the door. Sophomore class sponsors Negri and Jan Kolk and the class officers have organized the event with respresentatives from AECHS. Proceeds will benefit the prom funds of the Kerr Class of 2014 and the AECHS Class of 2013.
To prepare for the match, the players run through various drills and practice whenever they can, according to senior Sheilat Akapo, who is one of the driving forces behind the soccer match. “We have practice at the [Alief YMCA] and at Taylor to get a feel of what it’s like to play in a real open field,” she said. “We [also] run drills and play at lunch.” According to Negri, other teachers also got involved with helping the teams’ practice. “[Band director Ashley] Siegriest got involved and she helps [with the girls’] practice,” she said. “The boys are in a tournament with Coach [Jorge] Diaz. We do various drills…for the boys, the tournament is their practice, but when they’re done, they go with the girls
to practice at Taylor.” Freshman Albert Djikeng has played soccer with competitive teams in the past, he also hopes to have a fun experience. “I’ve always played soccer. It’s the number one sport [for me] since I was eight—I like to stay focused, but I don’t take it too seriously,” he said. “This match seems less competitive than I’m used to [but] I feel like school pride is at stake here.” Negri hopes to have many positive outcomes for the soccer match and wants to make it a Kerr tradition. “I’m hoping it’s successful enough so that it can be an annual thing,” she said. “I hope we can get some money out of it, I hope that people feel proud to go to Kerr and I hope that we win.”
Barima Afrane’s arm was so close to the table. Senior Erick Thai and freshman Barima Afrane compete against each other in the arm wrestling game. People began chanting their names.“It was great how everyone was cheering and how the Class of 2015 was supporting me,” freshman Barima Afrane said.
3. Smashing their faces into a chocolate,
whipped cream, marshmallow and Cheetos puffs filled pie, every contestant picks out one jolly rancher without the use of their hands. Freshman Hasan Nguyen’s face is covered with the pie as he searches for the jolly rancher. For some people, finding the Jolly Rancher was effortless, while for others, it was difficult. “Finding the jolly rancher was hard because everything was covered in chocolate,” Freshman Hasan Nguyen said.
4. Trying to transfer a hula hoop through a
line of bodies as fast as you can is not an easy task. Seniors My-Linh Tran, Monica Le, Nita Ton, Hana Nusratullah, Tina Nazerian, Touyen Vu, Lisa Tran, Mary Wan, Jeri Altizer, and Redouane Hafassa participate in the hula hoop competition in the tennis court. Many students believed the smaller the participants the faster the hula hoop will shift. “Events like these bring everybody together,” senior Touyen Vu said.
Captions and photos by Jesus Escobar and Tracey Le
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