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The Volume 54, Issue 3


The Cain train: Mirador discusses the inevitable downfall of presidential candidate Herman Cain. (6)


holiday albums: Need some tunes to rock around the tree to? Mirador’s got the holiday hook up. (19)


December 15, 2011

Fire Displaces Residents, Restaurants

Popular Berkeley haunts were ruined in November blaze, investigation into the fire continues

that the owners must be held responsible. On Friday, Nov. 18, a fire broke out “This fire did not happen in a building on the corner of Haste and all by itself. I think there is an Telegraph in Berkeley. It was the largest enormous liability with this fire to hit Berkeley since 1991, and left landlord,” Worthington said. 68 tenants displaced. There are no city records of After being notified at around 9 complaints at the building, and p.m., firefighters fought the blaze it had passed fire inspections. continuously for around six hours The fire seems to have started before it was finally contained. The Red due to an electical failure in the Cross was also on hand to assist the machinery. The cause of the fire displaced residents. is tied to elevator machinery No one was injured in the five-alarm in the basement and started fire, but at least two levels of the building accidentally. were completely destroyed, and the Industrial Relations, which is tenants lost much of their personal in charge of inspecting elevators, belongings. At least four tenants also said the elevator had not been lost pets, leaving them devastated. inspected in over a year and its Most of the residents were current or permit expired in August. former UC Berkeley students, and were The owners of the building stunned at the extent of the damage. also had a contract with Photo: Z. Paxton the “I don’t think anyone really worries Paramount Elevator Debris floods into the street as the remnants of the burnt building are demolished. about their building burning up,” UC Corporation, which inspects The demolition was halted temporarily on Nov. 30 after Berkeley senior Jessica Watson said. elevators and maintains them. A “And then it happens and you’re just completely amazed.” an accidental violation of the permit, but the city issued an man who answered the phone there declined to comment The 39-unit apartment building was also home to updated permit and the matter was rectified. on the last time the elevator had been inspected, saying the The owners have been cooperating with fire officials matter is in court. popular restaurants Café Intermezzo and Raleigh’s Bar and Grill. On Café Intermezzo’s Facebook page, patrons in the investigation, but have declined to comment to the As of press time, the Berkeley Fire Department has not expressed disappointment and hope that the café would be media. released its official report, but it should become public A meeting was held on Nov. 28 between tenants to within the next few weeks. If the report finds the owners relocated and reopened soon. Because the building was deemed structurally unsound, discuss possible legal options against the owners. They negligent, then they may have to repay the tenants for all the Berkeley Fire Department requested and was granted complained about faulty electronics, an old, unreliable damages. a permit to partially demolish it. This also allowed the fire elevator, and negligence in responding to their complaints. In February, a smaller fire damaged two apartments, At the meeting, Berkeley City Councilman Kriss and was probably set by a homeless man smoking in the marshal to conduct his investigation into the cause of the Worthington spoke up in defense of the tenants, saying stairwell. fire. by Reese Levine

Sexual Harassment Study Raises Concern New study finds that nearly half of teenagers have received unwanted sexual advances by Maya Sherne

Last month, a study by the non-partisan American Association of University Women found that 48 percent of 7th to 12th grade students experienced some form of sexual harassment in school. According to the Miramonte High School sexual harassment policy, sexual harassment is defined as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual, or physical contact of a sexual nature made by someone from or in the work or education setting.” Demands for sexual favors, unwelcome sexual advances, requests, and other oral or physical conduct of sexual nature motivated by gender or sexual orientation are considered severe forms of sexual harassment. However, sexual harassment also includes oral harassment, physical harassment, and visual harassment. These offenses are punishable when at school. Forms of verbal harassment include derogatory comments, jokes, or slurs directed at someone due to their gender or sexual orientation.  Physical harassment includes unwelcome, unnecessary or offensive touching, or even blocking the movement of another person.  Visual harassments are visual contacts such as derogatory or offensive posters, cartoons, cards, drawings, graffiti, or gestures.   “Even if a girl is feeling uncomfortable, a guy might

still do it,” said sophomore Jonathan Chan. “Because to Marilyn Lewis-Hampton. “A message coming from you is much more powerful than one coming from an adult.” them it’s just hitting on a girl, not degrading them.” Nearly half of students surveyed said they did nothing “I think students comment on other people’s bodies a lot,” said sophomore Courtney Attard. “It seems like about their harassment. “I don’t think people take offense to it as much as it physical appearance is very important at our school.” After surveying nearly 2,000 students, the study happens. We are used to it, and I think that people can take concluded that most harassment involved unwanted a joke more than the rules say we can,” said Tennant. “The sexual comments, advances, and jokes rather than physical rules are way more stingy than they need to be.” “We receive sexual harassment complaints not nearly harassment. Thirty percent of students said these unwanted actions were initiated over text, email, or through a social as often as it occurs,” said Lewis-Hampton. At Miramonte, sexual harassment is grounds for networking site. “I think that the Internet puts a wall between people,” expulsion when directed at a pupil or school personnel said sophomore Chris Tennant. “So you can say things according to the Education Code 48900.3   “It can be anywhere from calling a person a name to that are more harmful without having any remorse.” More girls than boys reported to have been harassed (a something even more vicious Continued on page 5 56 to 40 percent ratio), and 87 percent of the students Non-Profit Organization surveyed reported negative effects including Miramonte High School US Postage Paid, Orinda, minimal sleep, stomachaches, absenteeism, and a 750 Moraga Way Ca Permit #301 clear disinterest in returning to school as a result of Orinda, CA 94563 the harassment. “It can make people want to change their body. I guess it makes some people self- conscious at school, and creates a self-conscious environment,” said Attard. “Everyone is worried about their physical appearance because of the stress that everyone is put under to have a good body.” “As a student, you have more power than anybody to change this culture,” said Counselor

2 News 12/15/11


OWS Campus Protests Affect Alumni by Sophia Bollag and Lauren Dahlberg-Seeth

In the wake of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, offshoots of the original protest have started up on college campuses across the country. Mirador talked with Miramonte alumni Jeremy Unger, an NYU student and reporter for NYU campus news source, and Evelyn Alper, a student at UC Davis, to ask about their experiences with the Occupy protests on campus.

Evelyn Alper, UC Davis

Mirador: How have the Occupy protests affected your life? Evelyn Alper: The Occupy protests haven’t personally affected my life. They definitely come up in conversation a lot and I’m very supportive of other students who are willing to camp in order to raise awareness about students’ opposition towards tuition increases. This really is a peaceful movement that is not affecting the lives of surrounding students unless someone purposefully chooses to be involved. The only exception is that protestors have recently started occupying some buildings surrounding the quad, which makes it hard for friends of mine to get to their classes. M: Have the majority of the protests been on or off campus? Have you attended any? EA: All of these protests have happened on campus on the main quad. The campers, who are occupying the main quad, are protesting tuition increases, but after the pepper spray incident it seems like more of them are camping to protest police brutality. There are about 30 tents that have formed a small community. The last time I walked through it there was a first aid station, kitchen station, tutoring tent, and giant dome (kind of like what you would see on a kid’s playground) covered by a tarp to serve as a meeting area. I’ve had class during most of the protests but I’ve been to one of them.

Photos: H. Lee/

Recently many college students have been participating in “Occupy” protests. Students at NYU and UC Davis protest against corruption in Wall Street, the 1%, and tuition increases.

asked, “Do you have any specific goals that you would bring in front of Congress?” and one person said, “No, we don’t have any goals. We want to have a free-flowing exchange.” Then I asked them, “Do you have any leadership?” They were like, “No, we don’t have any leadership.” It’s all very open and free. It was very spirited and disorganized. One person would yell, and the whole place would turn into a mob scene.

M: Are students/the city reacting positively or negatively to the movement? EA: Everyone is reacting very positively towards the movement. There have even been people from the city of Davis who have attended the protests. The protests and the movement itself have really brought our campus together. I can’t speak for the whole student body, but most people I talk to appreciate those who are raising awareness of our opposition to the tuition increases by camping.

M: I’m sure you’ve seen footage of the Occupy movement in other places and cities. Would you say that the Occupy protest that you covered was similar looking? Was it a “typical” Occupy protest, or was there something that made it different from the others? JU: I think because it originated in New York City, everything else is based off of what happened in New York. On the Day of Action right before Thanksgiving break, they tried to storm the New York City Stock Exchange. There were basically 20,000 people doing this. I was walking around on campus that day, just walking to class. I have never seen more cops. There were four or five police helicopters in the sky. Just the sheer number of people involved made it unique. You have Occupy San Francisco, and you have like 100 tents, but at a place like Zuccotti Park you have thousands of people. Because people were able to congregate in one place, and because they were allowed to do it for as long as they did, I think that’s why it spread.

Photo: M. Crisostomo/MCT

Jeremy Unger, NYU Mirador: Has there been an occupy NYU movement on campus? Jeremy Unger: That’s a really good question. To some degree there has been. Basically NYU’s campus is centered around Washington Square Park, and there was an Occupy movement there for a couple of days. There were probably 2000 people there, a mixture of students and general people. A lot of them were actually people who came from the main protest. But when they tried to do an actual, permanent Occupy movement there, cops said they weren’t allowed because the park closes at night. So they were basically told that if they stayed, they were going to get arrested. The first night, twenty people stayed. They were all arrested. After that, most people just stayed down at Zuccotti Park, which is only a twenty minute walk from us. Most people just walked down there if they were going to participate. M: Were you involved in any of the protesting?

JU: No, I covered it for I was interviewing people in the different movements, both the NYU one and down at Zuccotti Park, but I personally have not been protesting, partially to keep my journalistic integrity intact. M: Did you know people who were involved in the protest? JU: I know people who went down and looked at it, but, and this was kind of the problem, because NYU, like any other good school, has a very rigorous schedule, most students couldn’t take the time to be actively participating. I heard of some students, but I don’t personally know any who did. M: What was the atmosphere like at the protest? JU: Very spirited would be a good way of saying it. Everyone seemed to be really interested in what they were doing. I interviewed two people at the Washington Square Occupy area, and I interviewed one person down at Zuccotti, and what everyone was saying was that Wall Street and financial institutions need to be regulated and changed in a way that doesn’t just benefit the One Percent. But, I

M: Going back to what you said earlier about the protests not having any leadership: that’s pretty typical for these protests, but do you know how the protests were organized, then ? JU: A lot of it was done via social media. There is an Occupy New York and there’s also an Occupy Wall Street twitter page, that would just blast out hashtags. Eventually, a lot of the blogs and websites in New York would publicize things pretty quickly. The people that are in control, I don’t know who they were, but the Twitter accounts and Facebook accounts would announce things so much in advance and so much that people would hear about it. News tends to travel fast in New York. M: Bringing it back to NYU, what was the reaction of students on campus to these protests so nearby? JU: There’s really been a gamut of reactions. NYU is a very, very liberal campus. I also know a lot of conservative people on campus. The conservative people, especially, were upset with what was going on. When the Occupy movement came up here, they went out and protested in from of the business school. I know some people from the school felt unfairly targeted since they weren’t responsible for what was going on currently in the financial market. At the same time, I know a lot of people who supported the movement. Generally, people agree with what was going on. The way that it was being done was poorly managed. and poorly executed, but the idea behind it was a good idea. That’s what seemed like the general consensus.


Mirador 750 Moraga Way, Orinda, CA 94563 (925) 376-4423 Ext. 331 or Room 333

Megan Freeman

Print Editor-in-Chief

Trevor Rechnitz

Online Editor-in-Chief

Sophia Bollag

Managing Editor

Lauren Dahlberg-Seeth News Editor

Tamar McCollom Opinion Editor

Grace Hilty

Feature Editor

Tennyson May Sports Editor

Rachael Oczkus

Entertainment Editor

Annie Odell

Business Manager

Mollie Swan

Head Photographer

Staff Writers

Georgia Briskey, Helen Britto, Colleen Burke, Karmi Chan, Natalie Condon, Josh Dathe, Nicola Gonzales, Julia Govan, Julia Hass, Spencer Holmes, Katie Hoskins, Kelsi Lerner, Reese Levine, Devin Mottier, Maddie Nicolaisen, Alison Pietrykowski, Maya Sherne, Natalie Wapniarski, Cassidy Waters, Cameron White, Kate Wolffe

Melissa Quiter Faculty Adviser




Placing truth, accuracy and objectivity first.

Letters to the Editor: Editorials reflect the opinions of the majority of the Mirador’s editorial board. Editorial topics are chosen by a consensus of section editors. The Mirador solicits letters to the editor. Signed letters to the editors can be sent to or placed in Mrs. Quiter’s box. Unsigned letters will not be published but names can be withheld by request. The editorial board reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length.

12/15/11 Opinion 3

Editorial Application Anxiety Hurts Camaraderie There are some questions that need never be asked—a woman’s weight, whether the chicken-esque substance is in fact chicken, how bedbugs reproduce, etc. And it’s at about this time of the year, as students embark on the annual tour of holiday parties, that many high school seniors are ready to add another dreaded question to that esteemed list: where are you applying to college? It’s a seemingly simple question to answer. You’ve likely known where you are applying for months or even years. If you applied early decision, you’ve even signed a legal contract establishing the matter. The reason that this question is stomach-churning and nerveinducing is not because it is factually ambigious. Quite the opposite, in fact. The reason why everyone is evasive and reluctant to respond is because no one wants to go on the record with their first choice if it doesn’t pan out. The logic is that if no one knows where you are applying, when you get rejected you can at least mourn privately w i t h o u t incessant inquiring from the peanut gallery. Admittedly, there is no pride in being the kid who spends months bragging about applying early to Hah-vahd, only to discover come midDecember that they, like 99 percent of the world, have been rejected, and now everyone knows. Or even worse, no one wants to find out they haven’t gotten into Hah-vahd, but the kid whom they not-so-privately told friends would never get in, just got accepted over them. While being entirely secretive may at times seem safest for one’s ego, it doesn’t solve the larger problem. The true problem is that students no longer feel comfortable confiding in their peers because of the increasingly tense and competitive environment at Miramonte. Ah yes, the very environment about which much has been written and even more has been said. Orinda is a famously intense and highly-competitive environment, composed of strong, highperforming students and parents who are just as involved in the community as their children. However, the difference between the normal pressure-cooker atmosphere and the new college-app-induced one before us is that fellow students are no longer perceived as friends, but as foes. For the first time, the common enemy isn’t perceived as teachers, or parents, or the satanic monopoly of the College Board. College applications are one of the few instances where we can’t divide and conquer. There really isn’t much of an equivalent to holding group study sessions to learn the material together or “collaborating” on obnoxiously long projects. The misconception that has run amuck is that our peers are

competition that are out to take our spot. We have officially opened on friendly fire, and it isn’t pretty. It’s no longer in poor taste to scout out fellow students that may or may not be applying to similar schools as you, and it’s no longer out of the question to ask detailed questions about someone’s SAT scores or GPA. Nerves and restlessness have led us to lose our sense of propriety and community. However, at a crucial time like this, we shouldn’t be turning on each other and devolving into a race of Tracy Flicks. Application anxiety is inevitable. After all, this is essentially the culmination of a decade’s worth of work, and there are more immediate unknowns in our lives than ever before. It’s because of that stress that we need to maintain the camaraderie we’ve built over the last several years together. Now, more than ever, we need a support system. We are the only people who can truly empathize with one another. Everyone can and does sympathize, but only we can understand when someone needs to vent about writing six drafts of a personal Graphic: K. Noah statement, only to trash it and start anew. We are the only ones who can understand the pain of the twelfth “Why do you want to attend (fill in the blank) University?” supplement question. We might all be after similar goals, but that doesn’t mean that we are in competition with each other. College admissions aren’t set on some sort of bell curve where five people get A’s and the rest are screwed. One person’s success does not necessarily hamper another’s. If anything, we all look better if our peers succeed because it makes our high school appear to be more prestigious. Also, at this stage in the game, as we near the end of the first semester of senior year, the heavy lifting is already done. Grades can’t be changed, SAT scores can’t really be improved, and teachers will not magically fall in love with you if they haven’t already. Psyching out your classmates and speculating as to their chances does nothing except make everyone uncomfortable. No one needs the added stress of everyone talking about them behind their back. And all that overanalyzing your peers’ chances of admissions does is make you more nervous. It’s easy to get caught up in all of the drama of college admissions. Hell, if you’ve ever ventured onto the prolific and intimidating College Confidential, you know that there is an entire cyber world of anxiety out there brimming with “chance me” questions and unnecessary commentary. Instead of adding to the already staggering amount of college word vomit, let’s all take a deep breath and get a sense of humor about all of this.

Editorial Cartoons of the Issue

Correction: The Mirador would like to make a correction to the Nov. 4 article, “Weight Room Opens to Mixed Reaction.” The Boosters Board of Directors approved $50,000 for the improvements to the weight room, and has spent $43,000 accoring to Boosters President Bill Lavis. They will be spending about $2,000 on dumbells over the break. Graphics: M. Colwell (left), A. Light (right)

4 News 12/15/11


Earthquakes Shake the Bay by Julia Govan

In the weeks following the Oct. 20 California Shakeout Drill, Bay Area residents experienced multiple earthquakes of varying magnitudes. Consequently, a common question has arisen: are these smaller tremors simply releasing pressure or are they leading up to the “big one?” “Neither,” said Miramonte Geology Teacher Nicki LeBoi. “Most seismologists believe they’ve happened for millennia.” In other words, Photo: T. Van Dyke/MCT earthquakes are occurring During the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, the upper deck of the Bay Bridge colall the time, only certain lapsed. Now, the possibility of another large quake is on the horizon, which could magnitudes are too minute lead to similar or even worse damage. to be detected by the public without a seismogram. In fact, according to the National Earthquake Information Hayward Fault about two miles southeast of Berkeley, Center (NEIC), there are more than 14,000 earthquakes shook up local residents. Since then, a series of eight or each year, approximately 50 per day. more earthquakes followed and were felt by bay area But as stated by the United States Geological Survey occupants in the weeks after. (USGS), a sequential increase in earthquake activity does But are we really prepared for an earthquake that could not signify that a great earthquake is about to occur. An potentially cause lost power, broken sewage and water earthquake has never been predicted and seismologists pipes, and possible landslides? don’t expect to figure out how to go about doing so in the “I doubt I’d be very prepared if a big earthquake were foreseeable future either. to hit,” said junior Maddy Cuyler. “I know my family “It would be fabulous if we could. USGS has a high doesn’t have an earthquake kit or a plan of action, which probability that the chance of a pretty large earthquake is is probably not the safest bet when we live where we do.” probable. But right now it’s unknown,” said LeBoi. While many people feel unprepared, it’s fairly easy to Although presently earthquakes are unpredictable, ensure your safety should a big earthquake occur. It can scientists can use data to calculate the probabilities of be as simple as buying a plastic container and searching future quakes. According to the 2008 Uniform California online for earthquake kit necessities that can be stored Earthquake Rupture Forecast, there is a 63 percent chance easily in the garage. that a severe earthquake, with a magnitude of 6.7 or Establishing a relative or long distance contact that greater, will hit the San Francisco Bay Area over the next your family can communicate with if local lines are down thirty years. with keep your family in touch if you are separated. Ironically enough, on the day of the Great California For more information on earthquake preparedness and Shakeout drill, a 4.0 magnitude earthquake on the safety, visit

√-1 Love


by Colleen Burke

Posted on colored fliers sprinkled around the school, the name MathLab sparks interest among many of the faculty and students at Miramonte. Is it a program? A game maybe? In reality the MathLab is something much more helpful than any math computer game that students played when they were younger. Although they don’t get to experience the intense pressure of getting multiplication problems correct in order to save the world, students do receive a great amount of help. In early November the math department banded together for the ultimate brainstorm for providing extra help to students, and they came up with the idea of MathLab. It is a simple program that provides extra help on homework, support for students who are struggling, or even just offer a quiet place to concentrate. MathLab is a drop-in tutoring lab available at lunch in Cindy Boyko’s room, 242, and in Mike Plant’s room, 233, during seventh period   until 3:30 p.m.     Those who have attended MathLab find it helpful; not only is it a safe place to learn, but it is a fun place to learn. “MathLab made me more confident and made me love math again,” said sophomore Simone Britto. Many students go in at lunch in order to study before tests they have later that day or week.     The MathLab atmosphere is calm, friendly, and inviting. There is always one or more math teachers who have generously offered up their time to assist students who need a little one-on-one math tutoring. Other math students who understand the material are also available as peer tutors. “When I attended MathLab I got the chance to speak to Mr. Plant, but also got help from my good friend Alyssa Henderson,” said sophomore Julia Duncan. “It’s definitely a good program and I advise anyone who need math help to go in because it’s not uncomfortable and it’s a chill atmosphere. Plus often you can spot Mr. Plant’s awesome Nikes!”    A sign-up sheet in the MathLab rooms tracks students’ attendance in order to determine the programs value. MathLab will continue to be available as it is needed. “Cheers!”

Negotiators Waiting on California State Budget The Acalanes Union High School District and the Acalanes Education Association put contract negotiations on hold until Governor Jerry Brown’s budget is finalized by Sophia Bollag The Acalanes Union High School District and the teachers’ union (the Acalanes Education Association) continue to negotiate the teachers’ contract for the ‘12-‘13 school year. At this point, the District and the union have only discussed language changes to the contract. The negotiators are waiting to continue negotiations until the state releases the governor’s budget in January. “It’s going by pretty quick,” said Nick Carpenter, who is the Lead Negotiator for the Association and a Miramonte Latin teacher. “Both the District and the Association feel that we have a good contract, so we’re just doing minor tinkering with the language.” Negotiations are running ahead of schedule. “It’s interesting because we’re negotiating right now for ‘12-‘13,” said Kevin French, Associate Superintendent and the Lead Negotiator for the District. “In my experience this time of year we would be negotiating right now for ‘11-‘12, to give an idea of how far in front we are.” Negotiators on both sides said that there were few disagreements regarding the contract language. “In concept we have agreed to most of the language changes,” Carpenter said. “There hasn’t been much that’s been contentious.” However, both sides also said that, in general, money issues are the biggest part of any contract negotiation, and negotiators cannot negotiate money issues in the contract, such as salary and raises, until the state releases its budget. In last year’s budget, California legislators included a trigger provision to cut k-12 education by $1.5 billion if the state does not raise at least $2.5 billion in revenue this year.

“Until we see if those triggers are going to be hit we have a hard time talking about money,” French said. “The truth is revenue is down in California, and expenses are up. That’s not a good formula for what we’re going to hear in January.” French said that despite the prospect of cuts from the state he anticipates the teachers’ union will want to secure raises for its employees. “Anytime a labor group hasn’t received a raise in a few years and with furloughs have given up some of their salary and there’s any indication that there may be some money available, they’re going to ask for it,” French said. Roughly 30 percent of the teachers in the district have not received a raise in several years. “There are a lot of teachers who are still five or six years from retirement and haven’t had a raise in four or five years,” French said. “I’m sure they’re hopeful that the District can find some compensation.” Recently, Governor Jerry Brown proposed raising the California sales tax, which would provide additional revenue for education. French said he was optimistic that this would help the district. “I’m not saying that would translate into raises for teachers, but I think something positive like taht could happen,” French said. Thus far, the negotiators have met three times. There is another negotiating session scheduled for Jan. 27. The negotiators said they do not know how many more sessions will need to take place after that in order to finalize the contract. “We won’t have a good idea until we get the governor’s budget and see how far we are on our proposals,” Carpenter said. “It will be at least a few more meetings,” French said.


Harassment continued from page 1

than that,” said Associate Principal Jan Carlson. “The consequence depends on the extent of the behavior.” “It probably depends on the level of severity. If a student is just feeling uncomfortable, they wouldn’t talk to anyone,” said Tennant. “But if I was feeling threatened or unsafe, I would tell somebody; but not just because I felt uncomfortable.” Sexual harassment is a form of bullying. Bullying occurs when a student or group of students targets another, and is considered sexual harassment when motivated by sex or gender. “There’s a difference when people are actually making fun of you, and when people are just talking about you,” said Attard. “They don’t dislike you but they’re talking about your body anyways.” While bullying falls under different state laws, harassment falls under federal law. Sexual harassment is illegal in schools under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.  This law prohibits sexual discrimination in schools receiving federal funds, and applies to all school-sponsored activities: athletics, field trips, extracurricular programs, and bus or school-sponsored transportation.   All students, male or female, are therefore protected from two types of sexual harassment: quid pro quo and hostile environment. “I think many girls who consider approaching an administrator about harassment worry what effect it will have on their reputation and how they are perceived by guys,” said Chan. When a student has been harassed, “we try to make sure that the student has strategies and tools to use so that if anything comes forward, they feel equipped to handle it,” said Carlson.  “And of course to report it immediately to an adult on campus.” “I don’t think people are brave enough to report it very often,” said Attard. “Either people don’t take offense to it, or they do, but don’t know what to do about it and are embarrassed to talk about it with anyone.” “Every student is here to get an education and if you’re being harassed in any way, that’s going to make getting that education that much more difficult,” said Principal Adam Clark.  “Therefore you have to advocate for yourself and you have to come to an administrator or a counselor, or to me so that I can work on solving the problem.”   If you are experiencing sexual harrasment, please contact an adult you trust or call the Community Violence Solutions and Rape Crisis Center of Marin and Contra Costa Counties’ crisis hotline 800-670-7273 For more information please go to the Palo Alto Medical Foudations sexual harassment information site:

12/15/11 News 5

Sleepy Hollow Swim Club Expects Change by Georgia Briskey Located on 1 Sunnyside Lane in Orinda, the Sleepy Hollow Swim and Tennis Club prepares for its renovation. One part of the construction includes replacing the pool of six lanes with eight lanes. The pool hasn’t been renovated since it was first built in the 1960s, and renovation will alleviate current heater problems. “The pool hasn’t been changed since my dad swam for Sleepy Hollow. If the heater breaks again, I don’t know what will happen,” said senior Jackson Haley. Despite complaining club members, ProPM Project Management Company makes no hesitation to begin the remodeling process. Sleepy Hollow Swim Team is a top competitor during summer Photo: G. Briskey recreational swimming. The coaches and avid swim members Although big changes are planned for renovation, see the new changes as a great this well-known icon will stay the same. opportunity. addition to the club. It’ll make Sleepy With an increase in swimmers each year, Hollow a much more family-oriented place the added lanes will create a better experience and attract even more members,” said junior and help the swimmers’ development. Matt Solit. In addition to the pool facility, selected To fufill the cost of the renovation, a tennis courts surrounding the club will $1000-$2000 fee is added to the membership be resurfaced. The cost of the project cost. This cost caused some members to is estimated at $2,250,000 and will be leave, but a flood of new familes joined and completed by May 2013. “The renovations should be a great were happy to help with the renovation.

6 opinion 12/15/11


Herman Cain’s Fifteen Minutes Are Up Trajectory of the pizza executive’s presidential campaign: we laughed, we cried, he left by Helen Britto

have in common these days are ever-present sex scandals, and apparently Cain didn’t want to be left out on the fun. Allegations over sexual harassment quickly began popping up right and left, and the first person to speak up against Cain’s sexual harassment was Sharon Bialek. Bialek said while coming to Cain for help in securing a new job, he repeatedly attempted to grope her.

came to the press with evidence of a 13-year-long affair with Cain that the GOP hopeful and his lawyers began to Officially announcing his intentions to run for the reassess his path towards the presidency. They began to reRepublican presidential ticket in August of 2011, Georalize where there’s smoke there’s fire, and even more imgia native Herman Cain unexpectedly took the polls by portantly where there are text messages and photos, there’s storm. Gaining recognition with his 9-9-9 plan, the virundeniable evidence of an affair. tually unknown businessman soared over many of the Cain’s lawyers weren’t the only ones working hard this favored Republican candidates. campaign season. The GOP hopeHowever, along his road to the ful’s advisors worked full time White House, Cain encountered to create an ad that would catch more than a few road bumps that the attention of those around the showed his 15 minutes of fame country. And that it did. Cain’s would have eventually run out ad is only 30 seconds, but it left one way or another. viewers throughout the nation Cain entered the spotlight with wondering what his staff was his 9-9-9 plan, and it was certainsmoking. ly a factor in his departure from it. During the ad, Cain’s Chief The presidential hopeful emerged of Staff pleads with the country with an idea in which taxes would to help elect Cain, and by doing be simplified to include a nine so, they would make the Ameripercent income tax, a nine percent ca a better place. This technique business transactions tax, and a is nothing new to campaigning nine percent federal sales tax. circles, but this ad took an interWhile the first two parts of esting turn when the chief of staff Cain’s plan look like cuts, reunexpectedly whipped out his searchers at the University of cigarette and began to smoke as Southern California have found patriotic pop music played in the his math to be anything but clear. background. Cain’s reform would in no way To make matters worse, the help the U.S. receive enough revcamera cut to a creepy image of enue to close the budget deficit Cain attempting to smile for a Photo: J.Getz/MCT and would significantly raise tax- Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain announced he’ll suspend his campaign for presifull eight seconds. Cain’s ad left es in many states. Critics contin- dency in Atlanta, Georgia, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011. people around the nation outraged ued to emerge, and the Tax Policy and confused. In the wise words Center recently displayed findings that showed Cain’s plan Since her announcement, two more women have come of Stephen Colbert: “With this ad Cain not only shot himwould cause a $23,522 federal tax cut for the top 20 per- forward publicly, and two more privately. With a total of self in the foot, but in the lungs.” cent, and an increase in taxes for the other 80 percent. five women claiming they were sexually harassed by Cain, Now it’s obvious you’re doomed when most of the However, there are definitely those who don’t care it only seemed obvious the presidential-hopeful would country sides with Sarah Palin over you. When Palin premuch for facts and statistics, so fellow Republican candi- step up and tell the truth. However, in true politician fash- dicted Cain was just the “flavor of the week,” not many date Michelle Bachmann convinced many that Cain’s plan ion, Cain repeatedly denied the incriminating charges. questioned her; because from the fuzzy math in his 9-9-9 was faulty by saying: “The 9-9-9 plan isn’t a jobs plan, it is Cain’s lawyers took a less direct approach, never fully plan, the constant arrival of new stories from Cain’s juicy a tax plan. When you take the 9-9-9 plan and turn it upside denying the charges, but saying this was a personal mat- love life, and his odd campaign ad, it was only a matter of down, I think the devil’s in the details.” ter for Cain that shouldn’t be discussed publicly. Unfortu- time before Cain’s 15 minutes of fame began to run out. Whether you choose to go with researchers’ argument nately someone forgot to inform them that in politics your However, as the Cain Train screeches to a halt, the nation or Bachmann’s, it’s clear that in an effort to simplify the business is everyone’s business. Just take Anthony Weiner, seems to have jumped aboard the equally adulterous Gintax code Cain has over-simplified to the point of distortion. or Larry Craig, or even Bill and Monica. grich Express. You have to appreciate the nation’s short It seems the only thing Democrats and Republicans However it wasn’t until a woman named Ginger White attention span.

Hipster Hatred Emerges Among ‘Regular People’ by Megan Freeman

year-round and use their keffiyehs to wipe the organic, free trade coffee off Imagine you’re walking down their sneering lips. They flock to Seattle Telegraph, perusing the rows of street and Portland, drink Pabst Blue Ribbon, vendors, when suddenly you observe ride fixed gear bicycles, and pretend to a lank, flannel-clad individual slip care about the environment so they can through the door to Rasputin Music, get a superiority complex with the free the tassels from their scarf trailing beswag bags at tree-hugger conventions. hind in the blustery December air. Five And for some reason they hold a paryears ago, you probably wouldn’t take ticular affinity for moustaches. any notice and would continue on your The very name “hipster” is a contraway. But now, more likely than not, diction of their most basic law. The reyou’d nudge your friend and mutter ality is that “hipster” is not just a style under your breath, “check out that dirty of dress, but a mentality that never hipster.” ceases to evolve. It is constantly changWhere did this animosity originate? ing, discarding the old fads that have For what reason has the entire world since become too popular and latching turned against this seemingly harmless on to new ones, each more obscure and breed of contrarians? underground than the last. Therefore, However, before we analyze the hipsince hipsters have gained far too much ster epidemic and subsequent hipsternotoriety over the past couple of years hater outbreak, we must first clarify for their liking, they must discard the Graphic: M. Freeman the definition of a hipster. Everybody old persona and venture forth into a Behold: a flock of hipsters. Because a group of hipsters is too mainstream. seems to despise them, yet not everynew world of counter-culture gaiety. one can agree on exactly what they are. In the meantime, regular people will continue to despise Let’s start with the popularized hipster persona. A hip- rummage through yard sales for obscure vinyl EPs of hipsters for their pretentious façades and holier-than-thou ster must first and foremost fight mainstream items and some Danish alternative folk duo “you’ve probably never attitudes. People don’t believe that hipsters actually enjoy ideas with every fiber of their being. Mainstream music heard of.” what they say they do, they’re only pretending so that they They don skinny jeans and ironic 80s cartoon v-necks can appear unique and cultured. from big name labels is audial arsenic. Therefore, they


12/15/11 Opinion 7

Test Days: Should Teachers Follow Them?

For several years, Miramonte has employed the system of test days, a method that dictates which subjects have tests on which days, after a program called Stressed Out Students recommended them. The days rotate each year and are printed up in the student handbook. However, recently there has been some contoversy regarding whether they should or should not be followed by teachers.


by Nicola Gonzales


Photo: K. Wolffe

Photo: K. Wolffe

Wednesday night: it’s the middle of the week and as you think about the upcoming day all that comes to mind is tests. Math test, Spanish quiz, AP Euro essay test and probably a pop in-class essay for English first period. The stress is overwhelming. The first two days of your week had been fine - an occasional quiz, the usual load of homework, but no tests. Why do the teachers have to pile it all on one day? That is the question that almost all students ask themselves. Fortunately, our administration has put the practice of assigned test days into practice. However, not many Miramonte teachers actually take these days seriously. And thus, students end up with numerous exams all on the same day. Test days must be taken more seriously so that students will feel less pressure. “If teachers have tests scheduled on appropriate days, kids get less strained since they won’t have a test in every class on one day,” said junior Grace Nevins. Nevins represents the opinion of most students at Miramonte. The majority of the student population participates in activities like sports, babysitting, clubs, charity work, etc. Studying well and actually putting in legitimate effort for two tests versus cramming for five makes a huge impact on a student’s performance. The job of a teacher is to ensure that the student actually learns the material, and to do that, they have to be aware that students have other things going on, and plan with that in mind. “Students who have more than two major tests the next day will not be able to put in the effort to study for all of them which will hurt their performance,” said Paul Fitzgerald. Not only do students have other activities, they also have other teachers. If all teachers give one or more hours of homework or studying a night, that can lead to seven hours of schoolwork. Students do not have time to do that, and if they can’t finish their assignment, they don’t learn. “The most important aspect of test days is communication on the teacher’s part and appropriate time management on the student’s part,” said Principal Adam Clark. Of course, teachers should not feel as if they have to eliminate all anxiety from their students’ lives. Handling stress is a skill that all people have to learn, and it’s a part of the high school experience to be stressed out. But if a teacher can reduce that fatigue even fractionally, it makes a world of difference to the student. Having just two tests on one day in comparison to four makes it easier for the students to study and perform better. “On days that I have multiple tests, I honestly get no sleep. I’m up so late because I have other homework and water polo. I’m so stressed,” said sophomore Sofia Marinac. The best way to ensure that a student learns the material is to create a schedule that they can stick to. After the repetition of having English and history tests on Monday, and language and math tests on Tuesday, the student starts to fall into a habit that eventually benefits them. This repeated routine assists the learning process and even alleviates some stress.

by Reese Levine A lot of emphasis has been placed on test days at Miramonte lately. Supposedly, they cut down on days where students have to deal with multiple tests, and therefore, lower stress. However, forcing teachers to test students on certain days is a bad idea because it slows down the learning process and does not teach students the flexibility they will need in the real world. Except for a select few (hint: Carolyn Manning), not many teachers have lesson plans for the entire year set out in August. They usually plan a week at a time, or in some cases, day by day. Trying to figure out where to insert tests is difficult enough, and when there are set days, the task becomes even harder. To accommodate test days, teachers must teach at a pace that will allow the test to fall on a certain day. This could lead to an accelerated pace, where students won’t have enough time to absorb all the information. Conversely, it could also lead to a slower pace, where students could become bored and start zoning out. Either way, the learning process will be impacted. “The test days are not regulations or requirements, just suggestions,” wrote Principal Adam Clark in an email. “Since the days are published in the handbook, there is a misconception that they are set in stone.” Clark is discussing the issue of removing the test days from the handbook with teacher leaders. Not every day of the week was created equal, so why should some subjects have to suffer for it? For example, history’s test days this year are Monday and Wednesday. Monday is the first day back after weekends, so students are not as willing to work and may have forgotten things from the week before. Wednesday’s schedule is shorter, giving students less time in class. Both of these days are not ideal for test days, but because of the schedule, history teachers have to give tests on these days. Another problem with test days is the routine they create. Someone can go to school every week knowing that they don’t have to worry about tests unless it is a certain day, lulling them into a false sense of security. But when this student gets out of high school, they will realize that they have been sorely misinformed. In the work world, presentations are not always scheduled on Tuesday, and meetings are not always held on Thursday. While there is some continuity, most deadlines change based on customer needs and business models. There will be some days that an employee will be swamped with work, and they will have to get through the best they can. If this was a perfect world, everything would happen on schedule and get done on time. But since this is not true, test days have no place in the school environment. Test days were put in place to help students manage their workloads and reduce stress, but in reality, not much has changed. Teachers still give as much homework as ever, and in some cases, stress is increased as the curriculum is sped up. Students have managed to deal without test days in the past, and there is no reason to continue a policy that has no positive effects.

Privatizing Postal Service Spells Disaster for Public Despite arguments that the United States Postal Service is an expensive and enviornmentally harmful system, privatization would further limit the mail experience of U.S. citizens

by Kate Wolffe

get mail cheaply and conveniently. If this system was changed, the cost to send a letter We’re all familiar with the simple thrill of across the nation would be very expensive, discovering a letter or postcard in the mail, nestled because these private companies aren’t in amongst the daily debris. But in a world zooming exclusively interested in providing mail. by at cyber-speed, the question now is whether the Sophomore Emmet Carn brings up a great government-run postal service is still necessary. point: “Because my grandparents live in the Bills can be received and paid online, potential mid-west, I rely on letters to get in touch with shoppers can browse a store’s website instead of them, especially for special occasions such as receiving a catalog, and e-cards are immediate holidays or birthdays. Elderly people like my and permanent. But the U.S. Postal Service is an grandparents should not have to pay more for American institution and the nation’s secondthe service that they have always relied on.” largest civilian employer- larger than McDonald’s, Many suggest that the postal service’s Starbucks, and Wal-Mart combined. environmental impact is a reason that it However, currently, the US Postal Service is should be abolished. However, this is a facing an $8.3 billion budget shortfall, in large part misconception. In fact, the postal service Photo: M. Swan due to losing almost half of its first class mail to The Orinda Post Office, one we all know so well, could be on the endan- operates the world’s largest fleet of alternative online bill pay and email communication. Thus, the gered list if the US Postal Service is privatized. fuel-capable vehicles —more than 44,000— postal service is itching to stop Saturday delivery, a that can use fuels such as electricity, ethanol, change that would save $3.1 billion per year. compressed natural gas, liquid propane gas, we all rely on today into a company like FedEx or UPS, Scaling down the postal service to a five-day week is exclusively focused on obtaining profit. Their focus would and bio-diesel. better than the alternative of laying off 100,000 of their be supplying the largest amount of demand, excluding Besides these points, there’s something to be said about 574,000 workers. At this time of economic troubles, that citizens of rural areas who the current system is legally the sweet nostalgia of getting an invitation or a letter from quantity of people should not be without jobs in America. obligated to service. your grandmother. Along with privitization comes the Privatizing the USPS would turn the non-profit system With the current system in place, all Americans elimination of the last tie we have to a pre-internet society.

8 OPINION 12/15/11


Oakland Police Crack Down on Protests The Oakland Police Department’s response to the recent Occupy Wall Street protests has sparked a nation-wide controversy on the abuse of power in modern day police forces by Lauren Dahlberg-Seeth The Oakland Police Department has officially joined Occupy Wall Street’s hate list along with the 1 percent. It seems the OPD has taken the saying “if you can’t beat them, join them” and inverted it: if you can’t join them, beat them up. Between injured war veterans and unwarranted teargas firings, the department’s response to these protests has been controversial to say the least. Police brutality has become a significant issue in Oakland, and there are countless videos, pictures, and eyewitness accounts from Occupy protests that can attest to this. Over the course of the movement, the OPD has been seen using batons to beat fallen protestors, firing lead projectiles onto groups of people, throwing teargas canisters and flash grenades directly into Photos: A. Chu/MCT crowds of protestors, and performing The OPD has accumulated a bad reputation because of its aggressive reactions to the Occupy Wall Street protests. Its violent countless unwarranted arrests. The list goes on and on. By firing tear- behavior towards protestors has created conflict throughout the country. gas, rubber bullets and flash grenades onto peaceful protestors without significant warning, poOne must remember that it is the job of the police to countless safety risks. lice officers were not only being unnecessarily aggressive, protect the security and well-being of the people, and thus And let’s face it. If someone’s presence were costing but more importantly were in violation of police policy. they have not only the right but the duty to intervene if a you an estimated $2.4 million—a price tag that includes The presence of police brutality at this day and age is situation is unsafe. police and security, cleanup and remediation, and effects unprecedented. After reading horror stories in our history In an area like Oakland that is notorious for widespread on business—you’d want them to leave too. The Occupy books of fire hoses and vicious police dogs being used to crime and violence, it seems irrational for police not to encampment has had a costly toll on the city of Oakland’s disperse protestors in the 1960s, it seems that not much has step in when a protest has the potential to become violent. community. changed in the decades since. The fact of the matter is that Oakland’s historical reputaWhile the Oakland Police Department should patrol Many point fingers at Oakland Mayor Jean Quan for be- tion of violence cannot be disregarded, and it is better for and actively maintain order throughout the Occupy Wall ing behind the heavy-handed and highly violent response. the police to be safe than sorry.In many instances, the po- Street protests, they cannot use violence. Police brutality However, she denies involvement with many of the violent lice response is justified. Most of the OPD’s efforts have is a slippery slope that we cannot afford to fall down. police raids and has recently launched an investigation on been to disband the Occupy Oakland encampment, which We need to work to end our country’s history of viopolice conduct. is in fact in violation of the law. lence and make sure that in the years to come, the right Although brutality is clearly an issue in the OPD and Mayor Quan has stated that she is in full support of the of protestors to assemble peacefully is protected. Otherits response to the Occupy movement has been far from Occupy movement and even welcomes protests from the wise, the cycle will continue. There will still be a misuse acceptable, the police are also somewhat justified in their 99 percent. However, the encampments violate city laws, of power in our country’s police forces and unrelenting forceful action. deter customers from many local businesses, and present protestors that refuse to yield to this brutality.

Super PACs Distort American Democracy

Due to a Supreme Court ruling, many feel Super PACs are cancelling out the individual by Maya Sherne It started with a hearing. Initially, this hearing may seem like any other Supreme Court case—a fight for the rights of an individual.   This case, however, was different.  No individual was on trial, and no sole person was being held responsible over a dispute.   Instead, a powerful organization was fighting to be granted the same rights as an individual citizen. In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United v. FEC that corporate financing of campaign ads couldn’t be limited and that doing so took away a corporation’s right to free speech.   Essentially, this ruling meant that corporations are people and their astronomical political donations equate to free speech.  In doing so, the Supreme Court granted corporations the power to spend unlimited amounts of money to support a political candidate, giving birth to Super PACs in the 2010 election. A Super PAC is a committee formed by a special interest group in order to raise money for the campaigns that they support. However, these groups flood candidates with money and pollute the election process.        Before 2010, PACs were the primary method that corporations used to participate in politics.  A PAC, or political action committee, exists solely to promote a specific cause or candidate.   These private groups raise funds for a political campaign or ballot measure, but they can only collect a limited amount from one donor to support a political candidate. While PACs are highly transparent and regulated, Super PACs are able to sidestep many of the rules.  In a Super PAC, it is easy to hide donors so that no one knows where money is coming from.   Corporations are able to use a non-profit to funnel money into a Super PAC, and

they do not have to disclose where they got their funding. This opaque sense of anonymity is dangerous because the motivations behind the donations are consequently withheld. Ultimately, Super PACs distort our democracy. An individual donor is limited to donating $2,500 to a candidate’s campaign, but Super PACs can collect unlimited amounts of money from corporations, unions, and extremely wealthy individuals.   This complete disregard for campaign contribution limits gives corporations unlimited power and drowns out the voice of the people.  Unlike individuals, corporations have vast resources.  Thus, corporations are able to cancel out the people. They can use their power to help their narrow cause, disregarding the best interest of the citizens. One huge donation from a wealthy person or group cancels out the many little donations from the people. Additionally, Super PACs are able to air ads in support of a candidate or to attack another.  And since there are no regulations, a Super PAC can do anything in order to buy a candidate that will adhere to their interests while in office.  Super PACs are able to manipulate the political system through bribery and slanderous ads to influence individuals. The way money is used to buy a candidate’s support for a cause contradicts the best interest of the people, consequently distorting the effectiveness of the United States democracy. While Citizens United v. FEC, intended to grant corporations the same right as a citizen, it actually gave them preferential treatment.   If corporations are people, then either their donations should be limited, or individuals should be able to donate unlimited amounts of money as well.  Of course, if people were allowed to donate unlimited amounts, then the richest citizens would donate ridiculous

amounts of money to the candidate of their choice. Since the gap between rich and poor and powerful and weak is already at an all time high, these contributions could make the distribution of power in the United States even more unequal then it already is. This double standard contradicts the always very limited political election process.   These Super PACs aren’t just controlled by corporate America, but by political insiders as well. While Super PACs claim that they are completely independent and not tied to a specific candidate or party, there is evidence that many Super PACs are controlled by close political associates of a candidate and spend their money solely on that election campaign. The Super PAC advocating for Rick Perry, “Make Us Great Again,” was founded by Mike Toomey, Perry’s former chief of staff.   Mitt Romney’s PAC, “Restore Our Future,” was founded by Charles Spies, a general counsel for Romney’s 2008 campaign, and “Priorities USA,” President Barack Obama’s Super PAC, was founded by his former deputy press secretary Bill Burton.    It is understandable that a former staffer would promote their former employer, but it is inexcusable to do so privately while publicly withholding an endorsement. Super PACs cannot simply deny that they are in support of a certain candidate if they have a longstanding relationship with said candidate.     Super PACs cancel out the individual and corrupt the entire system of democracy.   Candidates will no longer be elected by the people, and instead of working for the people, they will be working for corporate America.  I fear that in twelve years, the 46th president will make a public address, stating, “the government of the corporation, by the corporation, for the corporation, will never perish from this earth.”  What a sad day that will be.

Feature Mirador

Om Nom Nom...

Reviews of Lesser-known Produce

by Sophia Bollag For decades, toddlers have been refusing to eat their broccoli and peas, their carrots and tomatoes, their apples and celery. It’s time society found some new fruits and veggies for them to reject. Here, legumes-connoisseur Sophia Bollag dishes out all the juicy details on the vegetal edibles you’ve never heard of.

Spaghetti Squash Also known as the squaghetti, the spaghetti squash is, next to the Photo: M. Newland pumpkin, probably the most entertaining gourd in existence. Inside, the squashflesh is a tangle of yellow strings, resembling a bowl of noodles. Not only does spaghetti squash look like spaghetti, it tastes like it, too, making it a healthy (and amusing) alternative to its carbohydrate namesake.

Jujube If you have ever wondered what a potato would taste like if it were crossed with an apple, but then became disappointed because you realized a fruit cannot be crossed with a vegetable, fret no longer. The jujube tastes just the way a hybrid potato-apple would. Contain your enthusiasm, however. Once you taste it, you might not stay excited about this botanical marvel for very long.

Dragon Fruit Do not believe everything your Vitamin Water tells you. The “dragonfruit-flavored” Glaceau drink tastes almost nothing like its namesake. On the outside, the dragon Photo: -Bert23- (flickr account) fruit looks like a small, hot pink pineapple, and on the inside like a cross between an albino kiwi and a linoleum floor. The fruit tastes just as unappetizing as it looks—a bit like old milk and citrus juice, or something comparably nauseating. Apparently, the fruit is full of antioxidants and other healthy things, but, as far as I’m concerned, the taste and texture are too off-putting for this fruit to be worth eating.

Horned Melon The horned melon goes by many other names, none of which quite seem to fit. These include the jelly melon (too whimsical), the hedged melon (too prim), the English tomato (where did that come from?), and the African horned cucumber (my personal favorite, but still not exactly right). Photos: M. Bollag In the end, “horned melon” suits it best. On the surface, the horned melon bears no resemblance whatsoever to its closest relative, the cucumber. The melon has a bright orange rind with surprisingly sharp spines that make washing it especially difficult. When sliced in half, the melon has a shockingly incongruous interior, comprised of hundreds of large, flat seeds encased in lime green jelly—just about the last thing you would expect to find inside something that looks more like a puffer fish than a fruit. The green gelatinous seed cases taste like kiwi-flavored Jello and are fun to eat, but challenging to chew. The seeds are edible, but not as tasty as the green jelly. I suggest spitting them out.


12/15/11 Feature 9

Pomegranate There is nothing simple about a pomegranate. Upon first impression, a pomegranate is incredibly juicy, but not in the way most fruits are. Because eating the seeds is almost completely unavoidable, the pomegranate manages to have both juice and integrity (in that it is juicy and crunchy, at the same time). The pomegranate is sweet, but not too sweet. Again, the seeds add complexity, giving the fruit a slightly bitter aftertaste. Overall, the pomegranate is delicious. Probably the only problem is that it is very messy and time-consuming to eat because its seeds are attached to sheets of fibrous membrane. Following is the best way to avoid making a mess when eating this fruit. Best Way to Prepare a Pomegranate: • Cut off the very top part of the pomegranite to expose the tops of the sections of the fruit containing the seeds • You should see five or six sections, depending on the size of the fruit. Cut the fruit along these sections, from the top to the bottom. • Pull the sections apart from one another, and submerse them in a bowl of water. • Gently break apart the sections, so that the seeds fall to the bottom, and the membranes float to the top. • Skim off the membranes, and strain out the seeds. Banner: Dragonfruit, bamboo, persimmons, spaghetti squash, and horned melons (pictured at top of page from left to right) all repose peacefullly, unaware they are destined to be eaten. Photos: (from left to right) angela n. (flickr account), S. McGrath, B. Greenlee, C. Funk, E. Peterson


Photo: K. Koshy

Although persimmons look somewhat like peppers, they are not spicy in the least. Instead, the persimmon is a sweet fruit that, like the pomegranate and the jujube, grows during the winter in the northern hemisphere, making it an ideal ingredient this time of year. Other Animals That Love Bamboo:

Bamboo is probably one of the most underrated vegetables, ever. When prepared correctly, bamboo is delicious, with a texture somewhere in between tofu and meat (it is much, much better than it sounds). Bamboo tastes best when cooked in Chinese and Thai dishes, and for the most part takes on the flavor of the sauces used in these dishes.

• Pandas • Lemurs • Mountain Gorillas • Chimpanzees • Elephants

Miramonte Men Brave the Ballet for CAPA Show by Josh Dathe Ten brave Miramonte senior men have dropped their cleats and have traded them for ballet shoes this holiday season. Seniors Jack Houston, Joey Rotticci, Andrew Hocking, Hank Kaplan, and Alec Beauregard, Michael Severson, Nick Chaconas, Alec Barahmipour, Ari Migdale, and Cole Watson all performed in California Academy of Performing Arts’ version of The Nutcracker. The boys performed in six shows performed at Campolindo High School. Chaconas was one of the standout Miramonte performers, having participated in CAPA performances since his sophomore year. All the other boys are first-time performers. The boys performed alongside female CAPA dancers. “I was really impressed by how hard they all worked,” Chaconas said. “They

seemed very dedicated to the performance, which is very important.” “This play has been a great experience,” said Rotticci. “I never knew how much fun dancing on stage could be.” Dancing was outside the comfort zone for many of the boys. Most had no previous dancing experience, that didn’t make them the slightest bit apprehensive. “Going from football and lacrosse to being in the Nutcracker was a huge change for me,” Beauregard said. “But I enjoyed every minute of it. It was definitely a lot more fun than I expected.” The nine boys’ claim to fame occured during the opening scene where each one danced onstage with a different CAPA girl performer. “Being onstage is like a dream come true,” Kaplan said. “I get to show off my talent by prancing around in front of a live audience. What could be better?” All of the newcomers were very

enthusiastic about performing in front of a may seem like a joke to some, these five boys took the performance quite seriously. live audience. “I had two different dates, one in each There’s no joking around when it comes to cast, but we all performed every night,” men and ballet. Hocking said. “I have to say I was really nervous, but after the first performance and I got more comfortable on the stage, and the other performances weren’t that bad.” CAPA has traditionally staged The Nutcracker every winter. “It has been around as long as I can remember,” Photo: J. Diestler Chaconas said. Seniors Jack Houston, Alec Barahmipour, Hank Kaplan, and Although it Andrew Hocking (left to right) dance in The Nutcracker.


NEWS STORIES by Megan Freeman and Tamar McCollom

1. Arab Spring Starting in Tunisia and spreading to Egypt, Libya, and other countries across North Africa and the Middle East, this wave of protests and unrest captured media attention from the very start. Aided by social media such as Facebook and Twitter, the rebellions escalated rapidly and continue to unfold. The revolts have yielded varying levels of success, but they are far from over and may just mark a new chapter in the Arab world. 2. Occupy Wall Street Some call it the left-wing response to the Tea Party. Some call it the American version of the Arab Spring. No matter what you call it, these determined protesters dominated the news for almost the entire fall, drawing attention to the economic inequality in our country and raising debates over other contentious topics, such as police brutality. 3. Tōhoku Earthquake and Tsunami On March 11, one of the most powerful earthquakes in history rocked the east coast of Japan, causing severe damage and claiming over 15,000 lives. The world watched in horror as destruction continued at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, where several reactors went into meltdown. The reactors have since stabilized, and their cities and towns were quickly rebuilt, but the nation will never forget those lost in the tragedy. 4. Osama Bin Laden’s Death After ten years of searching, a team of burly man-beasts from SEAL Team Six finally killed the FBI’s number one most wanted terrorist. All of America let out a collective victory cheer, unleashed a torrent of “good riddance” statuses on Facebook, and gathered their patriotic clothing for wear the next day. 5. Royal Wedding It’s official. Prince William and Kate Middleton make the most perfect couple ever. With every other headline announcing a new tragedy to worry about, people were delighted to follow a story with a happy ending for once. Even grown men huddled about the television to watch. From the unveiling of Kate’s dress to that second kiss on the balcony, the wedding was a marvel to behold, a real-life fairy tale in every sense of the phrase.

THE TOP 1 MOVIES by Tamar McCollom

1. The Artist In many ways, movies seem to have more magic than ever with 3D glasses and CGI technology. Yet somehow the most simple film of the year—a film without color or spoken dialogue—is the most magical of all. The Artist is a charming ode to Old Hollywood and the days when an exceptional dance scene trumped the big kiss. Despite all of its beauty and style, The Artist is ultimately made great by the luminous Jean Dujardin, who is breathtakingly elegant as the stubborn former Hollywood star. But, honestly, the dog alone is worth the price of admission. 2. Drive Ryan Gosling is in the habit of playing the strong, silent, romantic leading man. In The Notebook, he vowed to be a bird if Rachel McAdams was a bird. In Blue Valentine, he crooned to Michelle Williams with his ukulele. And in Drive, Gosling is just as hopelessly in love as he always has been… he just also happens to stomp in heads. Drive is practically a superhero movie crossed with an 80s teen romance and with a dash of Tarantino. A cult classic in the making. 3. Beginners This is what an incredible movie looks like in 2011. Beginners, the sleeper hit of the year, is perhaps the most gentle portrayal of human intimacy in recent memory. Based on the real-life experiences of the director, Mike Mills whose father did come out at age 75, Beginners captures the difficulties of modern love, both familial and romantic. 4. Midnight in Paris Midnight in Paris is a return to classic Woody Allen. The “Miniver Cheevy-esque” premise is beyond charming. The Ugly American villains are just as pretentious and pedantic as ever. And Owen Wilson is dead-on as the anxious, neurotic Woody Allen stand-in, and surprisingly he does an excellent job of melding his laid-back West Coast personality with Woody’s signature hyper-active New York agitation.

Photo: Abaca Press/MCT

6. ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ Repealed After much debate, the controversial ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy regarding homosexuality in the military is finally abolished. The Pentagon now permits soldiers to openly reveal their sexual orientation without fear of reprimand, much to the delight of LGBT groups across the nation. 7. The Rupert Murdoch Phone Hacking Scandal In the world of journalism, Rupert Murdoch has long been regarded as essentially pure evil in human form, and this year, he finally got his comeuppance. After a phone hacking scandal emerged at one of his flagship papers, News of the World, Murdoch was forced to close down the paper entirely. For anyone who has ever watched the Murdoch-owned Fox News Channel, this whole debacle should come as no surprise. The real surprise? Wendi Murdoch’s ninja-like reflexes when her husband got pied in the face at the hearing. 8. Hurricane Irene Hurricanes and tropical storms happen every year, but not usually with this much widespread damage to the East Coast and particularly New England. Thankfully, the storm wasn’t very deadly, but it caused major damage to roads, bridges, and buildings. Many displaced New Englanders documented the damage and posted their images to news websites. 9. Weinergate Only a year ago, Anthony Weiner, the Democratic congressman from New York, was an up-and-comer in the political arena and a serious contender for the New York City mayoral race. However, then he publicly revealed another up-and-comer over Twitter no less. Of course, Weiner initially denied that the weiner in question was in fact his weiner, but it later came out that he had taken part in several internet relationships with his adoring fans while married… with a little Weiner on the way. 10. East Coast Earthquake Never forget the great East Coast earthquake of 2011, the day several lawn chairs toppled over. 11. Penn State Sex Scandal JoePa has finally retired after approximately 100 years as the head coach of the Penn State football team. Of course, he didn’t exactly go out in a blaze of glory. In November, Paterno’s former longtime assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was indicted on 40 counts of sexual abuse of young boys. Paterno was later dismissed for allegedly failing to report Sandusky’s indiscretions. To make matters worse, Sandusky’s memoir is titled Touched. Sometimes, irony is just cruel… and majorly disturbing.

Photo: M. Wallace/Fox Searchlight/MCT

5. The Descendants Seven years after Sideways, Alexander Payne proves that he’s still the best when it comes to the subtle and painfully hilarious nature of human existence. No one does lost and pathetic better. The Descendants juxtaposes comedy and tragedy, trivialities and earth-shattering torture. George Clooney is as captivating as ever, but the surprise comes from Shailene Woodley who is startlingly real as the stubborn yet steadfast prodigal daughter. 6. Margin Call Many movies this year tackled Wall Street, but none did so as incisively as Margin Call. Equal parts disaster flick and big money drama, Margin Call captures the scale of the economic crisis, but also offers remarkably human portrayals of remarkably unhuman people. Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Stanley Tucci, and (surprisingly) Demi Moore deliver among the best performances of the year.

7. Bridesmaids In case you were wondering, poop is still funny. 8. Jane Eyre Jane Eyre is an infamously difficult story to adapt into film, but not for a lack of trying. Charlotte Bronte’s novel is, after all, evocative, mysterious, and notoriously dense. Director Cary Fukanaga remains faithful to the beautifully complicated source material without getting lost in a sea of overwrought details and melodrama. And Michael Fassbender is to Rochester as Colin Firth is to Darcy. 9. Moneyball Aaron Sorkin can write about anything, including a form of applied statistics. His sharp and engaging script is essentially The Social Network for baseball, capturing the zeitgeist of changing times and tackling the rise of outsiders against the traditional, moneyed victors. But, Brad Pitt, successfully playing a prototypical Brad Pitt role, and Jonah Hill, in a career-making role, do pull their weight with a surprisingly good bromance. 10. Breaking Dawn Admittedly, Breaking Dawn fails rather spectacularly as a drama. However, Breaking Dawn is so disasterously ridiculous that it slips into the “so-bad-it’s-good” category. I daresay that it’s a classic midnight movie in the making. The telepathic wolves scene is so hysterically funny that it rivals The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Great Scott! 11. The Ides of March As a woman, it’s impossible to judge The Ides of March objectively. George Clooney and Ryan Gosling spend a staggering 100 percent of the film speaking eloquently in their smolderingly deep voices while wearing finely-tailored suits.


11s OF 2011 PEOPLE by Tamar McCollom and Megan Freeman

1. Steve Jobs Apple’s black turtlenecked messiah succumbed to his 7-year battle with cancer in October. For once, the nation set aside their iDevices to mourn the passing of the tech titan. Mac lover or not, no one can deny that Jobs’ vision transformed the technological world. We can only assume he is now benignly watching over us from beyond the pearly gates of the iCloud. 2. SEAL Team Six The most wanted terrorist in history. A heavily guarded secret lair. A covert mission codenamed “Operation Neptune Spear.” SEAL Team Six’s story is the stuff of every little boy’s action-movie-fueled imagination. The elite group of Navy SEALs hunted and killed Osama bin Laden in May, spurring a wave of patriotism here at Miramonte. The fact that we know little about the team’s members only makes them even cooler. 3. Pippa Middleton and her Butt You know you saw it. Between commenting on Kate’s gorgeous Grace Kelly-esque wedding dress and Camilla’s remarkably horse-like features, you got a glimpse of “The Butt Seen ‘Round the World.” The Butt so glorious that it deserves to be addressed as a proper noun. The Butt that inspired several fan pages on Facebook almost instantaneously. More specifically, Pippa Middleton’s Butt. Luckily, the stylish dame attached to it, the younger Ms. Middleton, is equally dazzling. 4. Gabrielle Giffords It takes heart to hold a “Congress on Your Corner” gathering in a Safeway parking lot in hopes of connecting with Arizonans. It takes heart to survive a bullet to the head, through the brain. It takes heart to recover under the prying eye of a frenzied press. And it takes even more heart to appear on the House floor only seven months later to continue fighting for her beliefs. Giffords’ determined recovery inspired the entire country. 5. Ryan Gosling The Canadian heartthrob is no stranger to the spotlight, but with star roles in three major films (including the award-winning Drive) and a rapidly circulating “Hey Girl” internet meme, the 31-year-old is getting a bit more attention than he may be used to. He may have a face painted by angels and a body carved by Michelangelo, but Gosling has proved that he’s got major acting chops behind his pretty face. 6. Elizabeth Warren Elizabeth Warren is the best thing that the Democrats have going for them. She’s perhaps the only person in the world able to distill the economic collapse into a simple yet compelling account. And more impressively, Warren is among the only people who seems to know how to fix the economy. Warren made big waves in her senate campaign against Scott Brown. 7. Jim Harbaugh Last year, the Niners were 6-10, they hadn’t made the playoffs since 2002, and their quarterback, Alex Smith, was largely considered an enormous disappointment. In one year, former Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh clinched the NFC West title, led the team to a 10-3 record, and turned Smith into the leader many hoped he could be. Harbaugh is the savior that Niners fans have been waiting for since Steve Young called it quits. 8. Melissa McCarthy Only a few short years ago, Melissa McCarthy was the affable Sookie St. James of Stars Hollow on fan-favorite sitcom Gilmore Girls. However, this year, McCarthy went from an underrated scenestealer to a full-blown household name. As Megan, the awkward sister-in-law, McCarthy plays the funniest part of the funniest movie of the year. And she recently won an Emmy for her role in Mike & Molly. We’re not going to say McCarthy survived this year—we’re going to say she thrived.

MCT aben/ . Sch to: A o Ph

9. The 99% The 1% might control a disproportionate amount of the country’s wealth, but the 99% finally attracted some necessary and much-deserved media coverage. Admittedly, the coverage wasn’t always flattering, but hey, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Only bad body odor. 10. Zara Quiter Zara Felicity Quiter is quite possibly the most adorable child since Shirley Temple. Seriously, have you seen this baby? She grabs keys like no other baby has ever grabbed keys before, and when she stares at you with her ocean blue eyes, you know it’s love. 11. Charlie Sheen Fueled by tiger blood, Charlie Sheen finally cracked... or started winning, depending on your perspective. Of course, winning is rarely characterized as getting kicked off of a profitable sitcom. Sheen eventually devolved into a crazed media gimmick with an increasingly less captivating downward spiral, but at least there will always be footage of on the internet of him saying that he’s not from this “terrestrial realm.”

SONGS by Tamar McCollom

1. Cruel by St. Vincent There’s something amiss in “Cruel.” Everything initially seems hunky dory. Annie Clark’s voice is still as angelic as ever. The hook is her catchiest, most commercial yet. But yet, there’s a sinister air of unrest, desperation perhaps, a building tension that never quite seems to fully erupt. Just when you think “Cruel” is going to explode on a wave of disco pop beats and distorted guitars, that it can hold onto the edge no longer, Clark reigns it back in. “Cruel” is beautifully and deceptively dark in all the best ways. 2. The Words That Maketh Murder by PJ Harvey The irony is that the most biting anti-war song off of the most biting anti-war album of the year sounds reminiscent of a primal war chant. The repetitive lyrics and melody assume an unyielding, disturbing march that would resemble a waltz if it weren’t so grim. By the time Harvey echoes Eddie Cochran’s infamous “Summertime Blues,” the listener is lost in her entrancing grip. 3. Go Outside by Cults Few songs prominently feature the glockenspiel. Few songs open with a mumbled quote from Jonestown cult leader Jim Jones. Even fewer songs effectively utilize both and sound as quintessentially summer as “Go Outside.” The lead single off of breakout band Cults’ album recalls the breezy pop songs of the 60s, making it vintage and infectious. 4. Benediction by Thurston Moore The news of Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon’s separation after twenty-seven years together is perhaps as devastating as finding out that your own parents are splitting up. Thurston and Kim have long inspired the teenage fantasy of running off to join the circus, meeting your soulmate, and being so intimidatingly cool that even initial your critics beg for forgiveness. All that’s left now is to listen to Thurston’s most cruelly beautiful song, and pretend he’s singing it to Kim. 5. Dearest by The Black Keys Covers rarely diverge as thoroughly and as successfully from the original as The Black Keys’ rendition of Buddy Holly. “Dearest” is perhaps the most adorable song in Buddy Holly’s endearing repertoire. However, in the hands of modern blues legends, The Black Keys, “Dearest” is a funky Motown-esque ditty reminiscent of the great Smokey Robinson. 6. Someone Like You by Adele Adele is everywhere this year. And while her breakout hit “Rolling the Deep” is sassy and gungho girl power, the quiet and vulnerable “Someone Like You” is her most solid effort to date. With only a piano and her beautiful voice, Adele evokes both the pain and the wistfulness of love lost. 7. Bizness by tUnE-yArDs “Bizness” has a sound comparable to the Dirty Projectors if they were fronted by an AfricanAmerican soul singer with a dash of some genderbending Victoria Legrand vocals. So, in other words, the sound is David Byrne incarnate. Of course, Merrill Garbus is a little pixie of a woman, which makes the song more endearing. 8. Two Against One by Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi feat. Jack White Behold the return of the prodigal son. Jack White has had a Photo: D. Wright/MCT rough go of it over the past five years, but with the help of genius extraordinaire, Danger Mouse, it looks like he’s making a comback. “Two Against One” is what White does best—weird and ominous. 9. How Come You Never Go There by Feist With a successful stint in pop and an Apple commercial under her belt, Feist returns to her laid-back, jazzy roots. “How Come You Never Go There” is the kind of soulful, subtly catchy track that Feist became known for. 10. All Die Young by Smith Westerns “All Die Young” is the kind of anthemic song that makes you feel nostalgic for teenage nostalgia—that universal something that you aren’t sure you’ve ever lived, but you’ve been led to believe exists somewhere. With a pipe organ and a sliding guitar melody reminiscent of Mott the Hoople, “All Die Young” brings to mind those elusive days of teenage halcyon. 11. Video Games by Lana Del Rey Lana Del Rey’s stage name is ridiculous. She’s well aware that she’s a little too pretty, and she desperately needs to stop selling herself as the “gangsta Nancy Sinatra.” Because when Lana sings, she turns into a Fiona Apple/Cat Power hybrid, and that’s fairly impressive for a debut single.

12 Feature 12/15/11


Student of the Issue: Max Wolffe

Miramonte senior Max Wolffe talks to the Mirador about his favorite activites and special talents by Natalie Wapniarski and Grace Hilty

Max Wolffe is one of the most recognizable students on the Miramonte campus. Many know Wolffe as either the guy with the soothing, semi-British accent, as a fierce biking aficionado, or more recently as the Homecoming King. But Wolffe is perhaps best known as the friendliest kid on campus. In a school of 1,188 students, it can be difficult for administrators to connect with students. However, Principal Adam Clark can point out Wolffe in the classroom and has plenty of glowing things to say about him. “I’ve noticed Max in the classroom,” said Clark. “Whenever I observe any of his classes, Max is always helping his peers.” Not only is Wolffe helpful in the classroom, but his participation with volunteer organizations makes him the ideal student. Donating his time to community service and after school sports on top of maintaining a high grade point average with his difficult classes, Wolffe has gone above and beyond with everything he puts his mind to. Wolffe endures rigorous classes, with a schedule composed of AP Physics, Computer Programming, AP English, AP Statistics, and AP Biology, on top of the required class Government/Economics. However, Wolffe’s involvement in the classroom does not interfere with his involvement in the community. Wolffe expresses his strong love for space, science, and his community by volunteering at the Chabot Space and Science Center, performing live demonstrations and explaining exhibits. “I demonstrate astronaut diapers,” said Wolffe. “You don’t even want to know.” Along with working weekends at Chabot, Wolffe has

spent time with the Blue Star Moms program. In this program, people come together to show their love and devotion for the men and women serving their country now, and the country’s veterans. He also assists an elderly Navy veteran with household tasks and chores, such as vacuuming, rebuilding, pouring concrete, and other daily activities. Wolffe is on the cross country team, and enjoys sailing in his free time. Wolffe hopes to bring his passion for sports, school, and his community to either University of California Los Angeles or the Naval Academy. In hopes of going to the Naval Academy, Wolffe is participating in the Navy ROTC progam, including attending the Junior Naval Program, also known as the Sea Cadets. Wolffe aspires to be in the Air Force or to become an officer in the Navy. Wherever Wolffe ends up, he plans to serve in the military after college. “I want to go into the army after college,” said Wolffe. “I want to serve as a way of giving back.” Wolffe has acquired a certain love for computer science. He is currently taking computer programing at Miramonte, and hopes to come out of college with a major in computer electrical engineering. A master at everything he does, Wolffe is especially talented at physics, something that not every student can say. On top of building a bridge for AP Physics, he coached three of his friends in regular physics to victories in the egg drop with his very own spike ball design. After losing as a sophomore with a cage-like contraption, Wolffe took it upon himself to help make sure his friends didn’t make the same mistakes. “I definitely felt vindicated when my friends won,” said Wolffe. “It pretty much made my life.”

Photo: M. Swan

Fun Facts

Birthday: April 12, 1994 Favorite Color: Blue Favorite Animal: Panda or wolf Favorite Movies: Dragon Heart Favorite TV Show: Dexter Favorite Food: Pork pie Favorite Sport: Sailing Favorite Artists: Pink Floyd Favorite Weekend Activity: Video games Favorite Restaurant: Nation’s or Yu Sushi

Once Upon a Dream, What Do They Really Mean? by Tennyson May and Rachael Oczkus

For most of our lives, we have been intrigued by dreams. What are dreams? Why do we have them? What do they mean? After years of intensive research, training, and enlightenment, Mirador’s dream experts have decided to share their accumulated insight with the world, starting with the interpretation and analysis of Miramonte students’ own dreams. My family and I were out in the ocean in a little and need to be fixed. We recommend that you problue boat with a popcorn machine one sunny day. fess your love to your brother and do something We began making popcorn when the popcorn manice for him. chine went out of control. It wouldn’t stop making I’m in the middle of this huge fair in Chicapopcorn. Soon the boat overflowed with popcorn go and I’m walking around totally alone. There and we had to jump out of the little blue rowboat are people everywhere but nobody that I actually into the cold ocean that surrounded us. know. This strange hoboish guy throws me a donNormally, the actions of eating or making popkey hide and I take it, step on a chair and jump. I corn in a dream suggest positive growth. If you immediately fly into the air. I’m floating over Chiwished to fulfill this meaning it would require cago, very high, and there is a gay nudist parade your unconscious mind to come up with an altergoing on below me. I am just peacefully floating native ending, eating the constant flow of popcorn over “Chicago” which no longer looks anything from your overflowing boat. Sadly, you decided to like the actual city, but instead appears to be a sacrifice your growth by jumping out of the boat. stretch of tropical islands with tons of skyscrapThis action reveals another negative aspect of your ers. Then, I decide to go down and I wonder if dream. Boats represent an excited emotional state. it will hurt. I let go of the donkey hide and float Usually, those who are on a boat tend to be blessed down gently as if I am using a parachute. I end up with many new friends and plenty of parties to athitting the ground fairly hard but walk away from tend. Our guess is that after jumping out of this the landing without any injuries. I am so excited boat filled with positive popcorn growth, you sat at about the landing that I run around trying to figure home eating popcorn in your conscious state while out if I can do it again. Somebody then hands me watching lame made-for-TV movies. a bunch of balloons. Suddenly, I am back in my It was almost like I was watching myself sleep house, holding the balloons. I am about to run into Graphic: Gascon/MTC and my dream happen. It was pretty much a dream Mirador dreams about you. Hopefully you dream about Mirador. the side yard to step on the chair and jump again within a dream. There were giant bushes covered but my mom stops me and says that we have visitors. with pollen over my sleeping head. All of a sudden a bunch were hanging out with the three bears from Little Red Rid- I try to explain to everyone what happened but they all just of giant bumblebees surrounded the pollen bushes. ing Hood. The bears began walking upstairs and my brother look at me like I am crazy. Then, Debi Anderson walks in and Are you pregnant? As far as I know, a dream that includes decided to chase after them. Instead of running up the stairs my mom says, “This is my daughter. Daughter, have you met pollen symbolizes fertility. The fact that giant bumblebees like any normal person, he jumped on the bannister and ran Debi?” I formally say no and then Debi says, “I think I’ve then devoured your pollen clusters is a tad worrisome. Bum- up that instead. At the very top he lost his balance and fell, seen you at Si Si’s though.” blebees signify distress and upcoming problems. Beware, breaking into a hundred pieces of glass. After some time The donkey hide means that you will die and the gay your baby’s daddy might just leave you…. went by with me watching television, my brother walked into nudist parade means that you will die naked. Floating and I dreamt that I was a tooth model. the room and was taped back together. It was the worst tape balloons represent peace. This means that your death will Teeth represent a permanent part of your life like a rela- job ever. most likely be peaceful. We suggest that you stay away from tionship or job. Dreaming that you are a model means that The fact that your dream features characters from child- bathtubs, refrain from skinny-dipping, and avoid physicals you are striving to be something you are not. This leads us hood fairytales tells us that you had some sort of issue with at your doctor’s office. Debi is your protector. Stay by her to the conclusion that you are striving for a relationship that your childhood that you are still dealing with. The fact that side constantly if you wish to live. As far as the dream taking will never ever happen. Sorry, he or she is just not that into your brother is the central character of your dream relays place in Chicago, the only conclusion that we can come to is you…. that the problem stems from your relationship with him. The that you will have a life changing experience in the “windy The dream took place in my old house. My family and I poor reconstruction represents the problems that still brew city.”



12/15/11 FEATURE 13

Mirador Investigates

by Devin Mottier and Julia Govan

Caffeine affects many people in very different ways, and with all the various supplements available, it can be hard to tell how each will affect you and have the most desirable results. When the everyday Starbucks latte or double-chocolate-four shot- espresso-cino isn’t cutting it, try some of the options listed below. But be warned, most of these caffeinecrazy supplements will make you insane. All of these choices can be found at CVS as well as Safeway. Some courageous Mirador staff volunteered to take one form of supplement every day for four days and record the effects.

Devin Mottier 5’1 106 lb

Colleen Burke 5’4 107 lb

Trevor Rechnitz 6’0 155 lb

Tennyson May 6’7 200 lb

The first one made me twitch a lot. It was really weird. But after the second one I basically went insane.

It didn’t seem like it was anything at first and then it was like BOOM and I got jittery and paranoid. I wasn’t able to take a second...

Eh. The first one didn’t really do much. After the second I felt a little jittery, but nothing special, and no crash.

The first one I felt a little buzz, but after the second I was really energetic. Like too energetic.

I didn’t fall asleep in any of my classes, which is really saying something. It made my hands shaky though.

The first one was great, I felt alert yet calm. The second one is a big nono. Heart palpitations— not so cool.

12oz Rockstar 2x This is quite possibly the most foul 250 mg

It. Tasted. Gross. So I chugged it as fast as possible and in like five minutes I was super hyper. It was crazy. After it wore off I got super pissed off at everyone.

Rockstar is an acquired taste. The 2x increases the energy spurt, but decreases the longevity of the caffeine. This drink worked the best for me.

I felt kinda alert, but only for first period then I was back to normal.

Wouldn’t recommend chugging this one. Completely unpalatable. All I got out of it was a 15 minute rush and a stomach ache.

Tastes like Satan’s perspiration. The best part of drinking it is being able to pee it out later. Also, so fizzy it makes your nose burps hurt like tiny daggers.

2oz 5 Hour Energy 138 mg

Nothing. It tasted like concentrated berries.

Didn’t do anything at all. Really didn’t work Plus it didn’t taste very that well. I didn’t get good. enough sleep the night before and was hoping for a little extra boost, and I didn’t get it with this bs energy shot.

I didn’t feel any more energetic, but I got really tired later in the day.

Didn’t make me hyper but it kept me awake, which is a feat in itself. It was better than having to chug an entire energy drink.

Pretty darn good. I felt awesome for exactly five hours, and didn’t have too bad a crash after. Like Felix Felicis for muggles.

12oz Monster Nitrous 160 mg

This tasted like death. Probably because when it was opened, smoke shot out. So. Weird. Plus I had tons of mood swings and the energy and craziness lasted for a while.

Seemed super weird ‘cuz when you opened it, it popped and smoked. It made me extremely happy for about a half an hour. Then I got sad again. Then I got even more hyper. Then crashed. In the period of about an hour and a half.

I felt sick to my stomach after chugging it, and that’s it.

Drinking this felt like a punishment. So bad.

Felt like I drank a liquefied bomb. Or the energizer bunny’s piss, as Tenny would say. Actually got a wild amount of energy. Didn’t taste as bad as Rockstar, and had one million times the energy.

Caffeine Pills 200 mg

drink ever. It did work really well though. After like five hours I hated it.

Photos: C.Burke

After reading that it’s “not a ‘whip it’...but it’ll whip you good” on the label, I got a little scared. But I still chugged it and felt the energy for about an hour. Definitely felt the crash afterwards though, not fun.

Lauren DalbergSeeth 5’11 150 lb

Megan Freeman 5’9 135 lb

Get Away for the Holidays... From Your Family by Colleen Burke and Devin Mottier This time of year, stories are told about the stereotypical relatives that come and visit for the holidays. These lame tales are nothing compared to your own family. That thought soon comes back to bite you as your parents pat you on the back and say, “it’s only a couple of days. Be nice sweetie.” Adults don’t seem to understand the impact of the wild, overbearing, and straight up crazy family that end up crowding your house and overwhelming you and your siblings. It all starts when they walk in the door. The atmosphere changes, old people cackles echo in the room, and what once felt like home is now an endless train of horrible gifts brought back from vacations to Nebraska and Albuquerque. “The Family” has arrived. The least intimidating members of the pack are the frail little angels you call Grandma and Grandpa, so you might as well greet them first. First through the door is the traditional grandmother overbearing, a bit “off” and although old, this woman hobbles as if she’s a crazy, wrinkly leopard on the prowl. She’s earned the coveted line leader position when it comes to giving you a huge hug, making remarks on how tall you’ve gotten, and pinching your “oh so cute and rosy” cheeks. They weren’t so rosy before she got there. Following shortly behind is her loyal husband. Loyal to his past that is. He can’t wait to tell you the war stories that you’ve heard just about every holiday since you were old enough to comprehend them and of course the crazy anecdotes from his glory days. The family-renowned “back

in the day when things were better than now” stories are by far the best. He promptly informs you of how things were better way back when, that kids these days are hooligans, and what kinds of music to listen to, veering us away from those “loud fools who swear in rhymes.” As the train continues through the door, comments on how you’ve grown and questions about how school is going shoot through your ears like a broken record. In preparation for this unfortunately common interaction, you must have a series of answers to somewhat generic questions lined up in your head. That way you can avoid any uncomfortable small talk and leave as fast as possible. Then comes another common issue is the awkward conversation starter. They come up, ask you a simple question and never leave. The best way to go about this is to quickly leave as if you have something better to do and walk up to the most talkative relative in the group. Chances are they will drone on until dinner time. If that doesn’t work you can always play with the youngest children. Yes, they will most likely pull your hair or throw stuff, but at least they don’t make awkward conversation. The only problem here is that the four-andunder age group is a pain to deal with for too long because you tend to get injured after a few minutes on account of the flying wooden alphabet blocks. Promptly leave the kids corner and walk off. Prior plans must soon be aborted when your loud and foreign aunt decides that this would be the opportune moment to ask about your personal life. This is where things get ugly. She isn’t blood related, but thinks she knows every-

thing about everything because she didn’t live in America all her life, making her cultured and better than the entire population of the room. The night slowly drags on, her accent gets thicker and her questions become difficult to understand. Now is the time to whip out the monologue that is filed right next to your list of answers. It is concise, something that would probably only get you a B in drama, but it works for this occasion. It states that school and sports take up any free time and that is all you need to focus on for now. That and your family of course. Your aunt is satisfied with this and moves on to prey on a different unsuspecting family member. Once most of your familial duties are fulfilled and your parents are entranced by your grandfather’s loud war-stories, you can make a break for it. Grab a generous plate of food, weave your way through the guests, and book it to your room. There you can spend the remainder of the night entertaining yourself with anything but your relatives’ stories and gorging yourself into a tryptophan-induced slumber. Unfortunately there is one last thing to do. March out of your room, towards the door, and through the crowd of relatives to await yet another line full of “hope to see you again soons” and “oh deary that was such a wonderful nights.” Only after the door is closed and locked is the night truly over and you’re safe from the crazies. Occasionally there’s a straggler who stays until the wee hours of the night, but this is easy to deal with. Give them a half hug, mosey off to bed because you have far too much homework to stay up any later. See, school really is helpful.

14 SPORTS 12/15/11



MHS Cheerleading Creative Activities to Stay in Tip Top Shape Squad Expands by Georgia Briskey and Megan Freeman

by Natalie Condon and Ali Pietrykowski This year, the cheerleading team, coached by Rebecca George and Carol Cummins-Herndon, added eight new cheerleaders to the squad mid-season. After the team faced seven injuries they decided to add some new members. They couldn’t compete while the girls were injured and captains Tatyana Belinsky ‘12 and Emelia Hildreth ‘12 knew that many girls didn’t try out in the spring because they were participating in fall sports. “Our goal for this year is to impress our school with our new squad, increase our tumbling, place well in our competitions, and hopefully increase school spirit by doing so,” said Hildreth. Now that the squad is bigger, the team is able to move up a division so the competition is more challenging. Two years ago, the team placed first at Nationals, and last year, they placed third. Their first competition was Dec. 4, and going into it Belinsky hoped to do well, but knew that it would be even harder due to the new competition. However, the girls placed second and qualified for nationals, even though they accidentally performed an illegal stunt. In their division it is illegal to have a flyer’s hips go above their head (or inverted). The team lost a total of three points which didn’t hinder their ability to qualify for nationals. One new cheerleader, Taylor Nielsen ‘13, is excited about joining the team. “I’ve wanted to be a cheerleader since I was little but haven’t been able to do so

Many students participate in Miramonte sports for the love of fitness. Doing school sports is a great way to stay in shape, but what do you do when your sport is over? For more creative ways to stay in shape besides going to the gym, consider Mirador’s top activities to do this season.

Photo: M. Schrittwieser

After placing second at regionals, Miramonte cheer team poses with their trophy.

due to other conflicts,” said Nielsen. Although having a larger squad allows the team to do a lot more, the captains have had to work very hard to catch the new girls up to speed. The team started practice in the summer so the new girls don’t have those four months of practice under their belts. All of the new cheerleaders have had to work hard to learn the cheers and competition routines. Because the squad is bigger they are able to do more stunts and be louder at basketball games and competitions. “The new cheerleaders are great,” said Belinsky. “They are all really sweet girls, and they’re working hard which I know will pay off in upcoming competitions.”

Lamorinda Rugby Trains for Upcoming Season by Natalie Condon and Spencer Holmes This season, the Lamorinda Rugby team is touring Argentina over spring break to help improve their team. “We had a choice to go to either Italy or Argentina, but basically the whole team chose Argentina because it seems a lot more fun and exciting than Italy,” said Douglas McKinley ‘12. Although not a high school sport, the team has members from Miramonte, Campolindo, and Acalanes. From Miramonte, Joey Rotticci ‘12, Eric Pawlakos ‘12, Brian Weller ‘12, Bobby Taylor ‘12, Cameron Drake ‘12, McKinley, Jamie Howells ‘13, Andrew Hocking ‘12, Luke Carrillo ‘12, and Miles Honens ‘12 participate on the team. The captains of the team are Sam Peri ‘12 and Connor Rosenbaum ‘12 from Campolindo High School. Taylor is also the president of the team as well as one of the fly-halfs on the team. “I definitely expect an undefeated season from the team this year. It’s our senior year for the majority of us, so we really want to do the best we can,” said Weller. As freshmen and sophomores, their team went undefeated and won the Pacific Coast tournament. However last year, the team did not move on to the playoffs due to a painful loss against Hayward in the last 30 seconds

of the game. This year, they are looking to win the national championship. The team has around 30 players, and they have both a gold and silver division, gold being the better of the two divisions. Key games in their season include playing Jesuit and Golden Gate. However, these games are not until later in the season. Along with going to Argentina, the team is attending the Pac 12 tournament and a tournament in San Diego. “Rugby is probably my favorite sport because it is really fast paced, not so much stop- and-go like football is,” said Rotticci. “Rugby requires a lot more strategy.” This will be Rotticci’s ninth and final year on the team and he plays the position of outside center. Playing the position of inside center, Drake has participated since sixth grade and loved every moment. Drake also plans on playing in college after he graduates high school. “It is an aggressive sport as well as an international sport that provides a lot of opportunities for the future,” said Drake. A number of the players went to a weeklong tournament in Hawaii last year over spring break. Many of the players emphasize that it was the most fun trip of the year. “I love the team and tournaments are always so fun for spending time with everyone, especially when we do well in them,” said Howells.

Yoga: Every Monday from 3:304:30 p.m., Miramonte holds a free yoga class in the cafeteria. This class is open to staff and students and is a great way to relieve your stress, increase flexibility, and keep a long, lean figure. Some of the best stretches featured in the class include sun salutations, cat and cow pose, and child’s pose. These moves stretch your abdomen, open your rib cage, and lengthen your back. For more advanced Photo: M. Swan poses, try the firefly pose or the side Megan Freeman and Georgia Briskey crow pose to build muscles in your experiment with new found hobby “scokarms and develop a hard 6-pack. If ing” in the Junior Lot. you can do those, then you’re insane. er with bungee cords and bits of chain. Cheese-Rolling: Popularized by the Brits on Cooper’s Hill, cheese roll- Grab a willing buddy and set them up ing is a great way to stay in shape in a on the scooter, steady yourself atop the different and entertaining way. The idea bike, and push off. If all goes well, you is simple: grab about 10 friends, a big will be gliding around the neighborhood chunk of cheese, and head to the steepest like champs in no time. Soon you will be hill you can find. The object of the game able to master sweet tricks like “going is to catch the cheese rolling at 70 MPHs forward,” “turning a corner,” or our perand cross the finish line with it. To keep sonal favorite, “not falling over.” Origiup with the cheese, you’ll develop highly nally inspired by Napoleon Dynamite’s defined calves and hamstrings from all method of towing his brother Kip around the running. Expect to fall down at least the neighborhood with a bike/roller skate 10 times. Once you’re used to the inju- combo, the improved Mirador version ries of the game, experiment with differ- of this sport offers heightened levels of ent kinds of cheese to find the most fluid coolness to achieve, along with an adrenroll. Warning: crumbling cheeses are not aline-pumping sense of impending doom as you pick up speed. Disclaimer: Miraa good idea. dor does not take any responsibility for Scoking: If cheese rolling wasn’t injuries attained during the execution of extreme enough for you, try this: grab this exercise. Please wear helmets/knee the jankiest bike from your garage, an pads/wrist guards/bubble wrap at all old, rusty scooter, and lash them togethtimes for maximum protection.

Oakland Strokes Goes Undefeated

by Reese Levine

Nearing the end of the fall season and after two regattas, the Oakland Strokes women’s varsity rowing team is still undefeated. They have traveled to Boston and Newport, and each time brought home victories against other national caliber rowing teams. The team, which includes 14 women from Miramonte, meets six days a week and practices for up to four hours a day, working both on and off the water. The sessions are spent building up fitness and doing practice races to prepare for the regattas. “This year we sent two boats to the Head of the Charles in Boston,” said team captain Laura Rosas ‘13. “And our eightperson got first out of 60 boats.” Along with winning at the Newport Autumn Rowing Festival (NARF), this effectively means that Oakland Strokes women’s team is ranked first in the nation. In Boston, the Oakland Strokes boat finished the course in 17:52.58, a full eight seconds ahead of the nearest competitor. They backed up their impressive perfor-

mance with a three-second win at NARF. “To be completely honest, we weren’t expecting to win,” said Sara Cratsenburg ‘13. “We usually don’t do as well in the fall as in spring. When we knew we had won, it was really surreal.” “There are around 60 girls, a pretty big team, but we’re kind of like a family,” said team captain Michelle Lee ‘12. Much of the team’s success can be attributed to how close they are to each other. Also important are the team captains, who are in charge of keeping the team together and working in harmony. “We are the voice of the team,” said Rosas. “We’re there for a lot of moral support.” Now that the fall season is wrapping up, the team is starting to prepare for the winter and spring season, which picks up in February. In the upcoming months they will be working on technique and building a fitness base, and spending a lot of time indoors now that it is getting dark earlier. “After seeing how well we did in the fall, we’ve got a lot of confidence that the rest of the year will go even better,” said Cratsenburg.


12/15/11 Sports 15

Two Way Street Editors Tennyson May and Trevor Rechnitz talk NCAA Hoops, UFC, and Battle Royales “half the editor...twice the facial hair.” NCAA Basketball Player of the Year

after leading the Musketeers in scoring (19.7 points per game) and the A-10 in assists (5.4 per game). Holloway is a fearless scoring point guard who is difficult to keep away from the basket because of his quickness and strength. With his 3-point range, Holloway is one of the biggest threats in the nation with the ball. Not only will his scoring, passing and defense help Xavier again, but Holloway also plays as hard as anyone else in the A-10.

recognized as the best designated hitter of the decade from 2000 to 2009. I think his hitting ability has to give you some idea of how much power he can pack in a punch. Also, he’s a southpaw which would have to make any fight with him a little bit more interesting.

Tennyson: Six-foot, eight-inch All-American sophomore small forward Harrison Trevor: The Homerun King of Milwaukee, The “Big Barnes of fifth ranked Baby” Prince Fielder would win a fight to the death against North Carolina has what any other MLB player. Throughout seven seasons in The it takes to be NCAA Bigs, Fielder averages 37 homeruns and 106 RBIs. If Player of the Year. you didn’t think he was yolked before, think again. Some Barnes is a skilled and might say that due to his short stature Fielder would have natural scorer with great a hard time fighting size and a perfect frame, against, say, an currently averaging 17.5 Adam Wainwright. points on a 49 percent However, Fielder shooting average. makes up for it At the start of last with his massive year’s season, critics body. Fielder overlooked Barnes weighs a whopping because of his 37 percent 275 pounds. Taking shooting average. down 275 pounds However, Barnes took of Prince is no the criticism and used easy undertaking. it as fuel to improve Lastly, Fielder his game. He improved married a hottie his efficiency and shot named Chanel, 46 percent for the rest who would be Photo: R. Willett/MCT Photo: J. McIsaac/MCT of the season. Barnes the clutch backup As you can see, David Ortiz is straight up scary looking. Harrison Barnes celebrates as his bench proceeds to is also a very solid needed to win any rail Evansville. Also, please note PJ Hairston’s face. defender. Although he fight to the death. doesn’t rack up a huge amount of defensive stats, if you watch him you can tell Baseball Brawl (David Ortiz v. Prince Fielder) Make sure you vote for whom you think would win that he is a solid defender. The greatest part about Barnes on! The winner of the previous is his attitude, which has been commended by many of his Tennyson: Since my craziness approach didn’t quite battle was Stephen Jackson over Ron Artest by only teammates and coaches. He brings confidence combined work out for me in the last issue, I’m going to have to two votes. with his competitiveness onto the court. Already change it up a bit this time. For this issue I’m not going for improving his scoring from last year, if he can continue to someone who could out-crazy his opponent, but someone Ultimate Fighting Championship make improvements like he did in the second half of last who could physically beat the crap out them, and I think year’s season, Barnes should be a top contender for Player that David Ortiz could do the job. Standing at 6’4’’ and Trevyson Maechnitz: We feel that the Ultimate of the Year. weighing in at 230 lbs, Big Papi is a big guy. Picture Ortiz Fighting Championship, or UFC, doesn’t get the proper charging at you with a baseball bat. That image makes recognition at Miramonte that it deserves. MMA is a legit Trevor: Starting guard for the Xavier Musketeers, the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. However there sport that requires skill, hard work, and a badass attitude. Tu Holloway is not only the most underrated player in aren’t many examples of him actually fighting, other than To step into the octagon, knowing that you’re about to get college basketball, but also one of the best. Listed by CBS his quick brawl against Kevin Gregg last year, in which hurt takes some serious confidence. Fighters train intensely as the fourth best player in the nation, Holloway was a he landed some solid hits before getting pulled away by for months on end, and pour it all out into three minutes third team all American last year as a junior and is now his teammates. I think Big Papi’s achievements show in the octagon. Unlike boxing, big UFC fights are offered the 26th top scorer on Xavier’s all-time scoring list. In how much power he really has. He has the MLB home free on cable TV. We ask that you give this insane sport a addition, Holloway was the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year run and RBI records for a designated hitter and was also chance; we promise you won’t tap out.

Giants Look to Upgrade Offense in Offseason by Trevor Rechnitz After a disappointing 2011, the San Francisco Giants have work to do in the offseason in order to return to the playoffs in 2012. As one of the few teams in MLB history to win the World Series and then fail to make the playoffs the following year, the Giants, as usual, need a big bat to fill the middle of the lineup. The Giants traded outfielder Andres Torres and relief pitcher Ramon Ramirez for New York Mets Outfielder Angel Pagan. While this trade may seem like a cop-out for the Giants to pick up an offseason bat, in reality it could actually work out well for the Giants. Torres was not going to start this season. He had a lackluster 2011, which put him in the position of fighting for his job in the outfield heading into next season, if that. Torres brought the Giants was speed and energy. But he was never going to hit over .270 and had a total of 45 stolen bases the past two seasons. Pagan stole 31 bases for the Mets last year and has the capability to hit .280 and drive in somewhere around 70 games. Losing Ramon Ramirez is no problem for the Giants. He is a medicore reliever who can easily be replaced by an in-house prospect. Giants GM Brian Sabean also traded pitcher Jonathan Sanchez and minor leaguer Ryan Verdugo for Kansas City Royals outfielder Melky Cabrera. This trade, while undoubtedly benefitting the Giants offense, has numerous cons. Although Cabrera hit .305 last year with an average 18 homeruns, run-of-the-mill power hitters are notorious

Photo: J. McIssac/MCT

Angel Pagan better perform for the Giants, or fans will hate him more than Barry Zito.

for slumping in pitcher friendly AT&T Park. In addition, without Sanchez, any injuries to the our pitching staff

could cause the Giants to move to a four-man rotation, a dangerous move when pitchers perform best with five days rest. Cabrera is just an average bat. This is the kind of acquisition that may allow Sabean to say he picked up “his bat” for the offseason, when this clearly isn’t the only bat we need. Along with the acquisition of Cabrera, Sabean also offered a two year, $4.6 million contract to Willie Bloomquist to fill the gap at shortstop. There are numerous potential free agents that could benefit the Giants’ offense. Realistically, we can’t ask for a Jose Reyes or Prince Fielder, who would require a multiyear, $100 million contract. The long list of free agents includes Clint Barmes, Yuniesky Betancourt, Aaron Hill, Kelly Johnson, David DeJesus, and Josh Willingham. For the current Giants lineup, Oakland’s utility man, Josh Willingham can fill the defensive holes caused by any injury and is a power threat from the plate. The 2011 Giants season was plagued by injuries. A fully recovered Buster Posey is indispensable to the Giants offense, and his presence in 2012 will be critical their success. In addition to Posey, a healthy Freddy Sanchez will also be a consistent base runner for power hitters Posey and Sandoval. Lastly, the Giants’ moves in the offseason depend on the performance of their minor league prospects. Brandon Crawford, Emmanuel Burriss, Madison Bumgarner and Brandon Belt all need to perform to ensure not only success for the Giants in 2012, but team longevity as well.

16 Sports 12/15/11


Athlete of the Issue: Nick Bhachu

by Trevor Rechnitz

“Playing football has been really fun. A Balancing high school lot of my close friends and club soccer, varsity play which is why I did football, and a passion it in the first place.” for fashion is no easy Bhachu even laughs off undertaking, but soccer “taking crap for being captain Nicholas Bhachu the kicker,” and being manages to do it all. called “foot fairy” After being on the just gives him more varsity team for three motivation to perform years, Bhachu has an better. Photo: N. Bhachu unseen advantage over For Bhachu, Bhachu, wearing number ten, chases down an opthe other players on following professional ponent as he flaunts his Nike Vapors. the pitch. “The upper soccer is both fun classmen always have and productive. “My Favorite Food: Curry an advantage over the favorite player is Favorite Clothing Brand: Hugo Boss younger classmen, and Xavi, the best center Favorite Soccer Cleat: Nike Vapor Superfly 2 the experience of being mid in the world. He Favorite Movie: Limitless on the team for all three makes the game look Favorite Actress: Rachel McAdams previous years easily just so easy and when I Favorite Person: Russell Peters helps with confidence on play, I try to model Favorite Cartoon: Rocket Power the field,” said Bhachu. after him. Watching Favorite Class: Video Production 2 As a captain for the the professionals play Favorite Car: The White Lexus second time, Bhachu is can really help you Photo: N. Bhachu Favorite Slogan: “BooBoo luhh dat” looking to lead his team Bhachu shakes two defenders and looks to play the ball downwith your shape, and Nickname: BooBoo to a deep NCS run. To field. off-ball movement.” get there, Bhachu has the Playing FIFA on his responsibility of fixing mid-game mistakes and keeping Bhachu attributes his successes to staying collected on the Xbox supplements Bhachu’s love for professional soccer. the team on the right track for all 90 minutes. pitch. In terms of soccer, Bhachu has to manage playing If you ever see Bhachu around campus, take “Being a captain also means bringing everyone together for Miramonte and for the Bay Oaks Soccer Club. notice of his healthy fashion sense. Flamboyant is an to play as a family. In the past years there were groups “Although club soccer is generally played at a higher understatement. Whether he’s donning $200 True Religion based on class, and I don’t want that this year. We are all level, it compliments high school soccer and helps me to jeans, LuLulemon men’s yoga pants or one of his many going to be one unit,” said Bhachu. be an overall better player.” J. Crew V-Necks, “Boo-Boo” struts his stuff proudly. In Team chemistry and a leadership presence on the field In addition to soccer, Bhachu decided to play varsity addition, he always compliments his designer outfits with are traits that colleges look at when recruiting high school football as a place-kicker. Playing for three different teams one of his 22 pairs of shoes. players. has its pitfalls. In the future, Bhachu plans on playing college soccer Bhachu is being actively recruited by numerous “Unfortunately, some weeks, I have had club soccer, and getting a solid education. “I would love to play Division I schools and loves when scouts come to watch high school soccer, football, and schoolwork. It is pretty professionally but I am not riding on it. If it happens great, his games. hard to balance all of it, but it will benefit me in college but if not, I want to be prepared to go out and get a job.” “When scouts come out, I tend to play better. Some people when I have to do the same thing,” said Bhachu. When he’s not on the field, Bhachu is an avid sports can’t produce under pressure but that is where I thrive. I get Even though it is tough to manage all the sports in fan, shopper and gamer. If you ever need him, try the J more of an exciting feeling, not a nervous one,” said Bhachu. addition to schoolwork, Bhachu always enjoys what he’s Crew store in Pinole, any Lululemon outlet or Naan ‘N’ Keeping composure is a huge aspect in soccer, and doing. Curry in Berkeley.



12/15/11 Entertainment 17

& Culture

The musical comedy The Muppets appeals to both adults and children. A great plot, quality humor, a star studded cast, and a barbershop quartette rendtion of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” are all reasons to go see the latest Muppet show. Here, Kermit the Frog, Jason Segel and Miss Piggy perform a scene from the movie. Photo: A. Macpherson/

East Bay Features Delicious Desserts by Cassidy Waters

C.R.E.A.M. 2399 Telegraph Ave. Berkeley This popular spot in Berkeley offers a variety of ice creams flavors as well as freshly baked cookies every day. Can’t decide between the two? Have both! One of C.R.E.A.M.’s signature items on the menu is a Cookie Sandwich. This gives you your favorite flavor of ice cream hugged on both sides by a delicious cookie of your choice. Also included on the menu are milkshakes, floats, and malts.

Coco Swirl 1273 Locust St. Walnut Creek Fro-yo fever has swept the nation! Frozen yogurt franchises have popped up all over the country and with new flavors, toppings, and ingredients, it has become more popular than ever. Coco Swirl, located next to the Century 21 movie theater in Walnut Creek, is self serve, allowing for as much yogurty goodness as you can handle. Some favorite flavors include Red Velvet and Cheesecake, however you can never go wrong with their signature Original.

Powell’s Sweet Shoppe 3591 Mount Diablo Blvd. Lafayette This dessert haven has something for everyone. Located in the heart of Lafayette, Powell’s offers everything from chocolate truffles and fudge to gelato of all flavors. You can fill a bag full of your favorite candies to take home and enjoy later. They also continuously play Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the go-to movie for any chocoholic.

Republic of Cake

Crepes Ooh La La

2 Theatre Square #151 Orinda Cupcakes have recently become one of the country’s most desired baked treat. Republic of Cake, a local cupcake bakery in Theater Square, offers monthly flavors and daily discounts. Always available are their signature Basic Cupcakes; however, this month for the holidays, ROC is offering Chocolate Peppermint and Gingerbread Meyer Lemon flavors.

1548 Locust St. Walnut Creek In the mood for some authentic French crepes? Then Crepes Ooh La La is the place for you! Upon entering the small restaurant, the music and decor transports you to a quaint cafe in France. With quick service and cheap prices, this place really delivers. Not to mention, the crepes are to die for. The menu offers a variety of signature crepes, savory and sweet, as well as the option of making your own creation.

Ici Ice Cream 2948 College Ave. Berkeley I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! At Ici, all ice cream, sorbet, and even ice cream cones are made from scratch with choice ingredients. The Berkeley dessert shop offers 11 varying flavors along with delicious hot fudge and caramel toppings. Additional treats like bon bons, ice cream sandwiches, and a selection of cookies are also available.

Photos: C. Waters

Lululemon Athletica Clothing Craze Hits Miramonte by Mollie Swan and Ali Pietrykowski

which appeals to athletes of both genders. Lululemon athletic wear, particularly pants, is Over the past two years Lululemon Athletica starting to become popular among boys. At Miathletic wear has made a quick and successful ramonte, two fashionable and athletic boys have entrance into the fashion industry. The first store broken the status quo by wearing Lululemon apopened in Vancouver and shared space with a parel to school. yoga studio. Since then, more stores have opened Senior Nick Bhachu and junior Cameron Hoyh in Canada, the United States, and Australia. As love Lululemon clothes mainly because they are of May 2011, there were 142 Lululemon stores, so comfortable. Bhachu owns two pairs of pants, including ones in Berkeley and Walnut Creek. which he wears around the house and at school. Lululemon has become popular at Miramonte “All my friends think they are really soft and among girls, and even a few boys. secretly want a pair,” said Bhachu. Hoyh owns At Miramonte yoga pants are a popular fashion one pair of running tights as well as shorts, shirts, choice for girls who want to dress comfortably, and jackets. Hoyh likes the brand because the but not look like a complete slob. Senior Jenna clothes are unique and of high quality. He usually Haufler was first introduced to the brand by her wears his clothes to school, practice, and at home. swim coach, an Olympic team swimmer as well However, many people argue that the quality is as a Lululemon employee. Haufler wears them to not high enough to justify the cost. Lululemon is Photo: M. Swan school, swim practice, pilates, swim meets, and Sam Swinton, Cameron Hoyh, Jenna Haufler, and NickBhachu a generally expensive brand and while some peoshow at home. ple don’t mind splurging on a pair of yoga pants, off their Lululemon Athletica clothes. “I love how the pants and crops are so versatile other people refuse to spend so much money on and comfortable,” said Haufler. “I can wear them almost six pairs of pants and two pairs of crop pants, but she also something they can buy for less elsewhere. everyday and they look like black pants, while they feel owns two pairs of shorts, four jackets, one cardigan, one “What people don’t realize is, sure you can buy a pair like sweats.” of yoga pants at Target for $20 or less, but the quality and sports bra, and one rain coat. Similarly, senior Sam Swinton wears Lululemon apparel As the company became more popular, it expanded its fit doesn’t compare to what you get at Lululemon,” said every chance she gets. Not only does Swinton own wear, products. Now, Lululemon sells a wide variety of workout junior Emma Jones.


18 Entertainment 12/15/11

Write Santa a Letter, Mad Libs Style by Karmi Chan and Katie Hoskins

Instead of stressing about how to compose your letter to Santa, simply fill in the blanks, Mad Libs style!

Your name: Salutation: Verb: Noun: Food: Beverage: Number: Unit of Time: Adjective: Type of Family Member: Number: Animal: Plural Noun: Number: Famous Movie Star: Song: Plural Noun: Plural Noun: Plural Noun: Noun: Noun: Plural Noun: Your Name:

Dear Santa Claus, My name is _______________(YOUR NAME). How have you been this year? I know you must be very busy during this holiday season. Please say _______________ (SALUTATION) to your elves and Mrs. Claus. I hope your reindeer are ready to _______________ (VERB) around the world. Please tell them there will be fresh _______________ (NOUN) waiting for them and of course there will be _______________ (FOOD) and _______________ (BEVERAGE) for you at my house. However, this year please try to be quiet when you deliver my presents because it is very important that I get a full _______________ (NUMBER/UNIT OF TIME) of sleep. I have been very _______________ (ADJECTIVE) this year and did not cause any permanent damage to my _______________ (TYPE OF FAMILY MEMBER)...yet. I only want _______________ (NUMBER) things for Christmas so this should be an easy year for you. My first wish is for a _______________ (ANIMAL) that will protect me from Christmas burglars and take me to school because let’s face it, gas is too expensive. I also love _______________ (PLURAL NOUN). These are the best inventions in the world and I want _______________ (NUMBER) of them. I would also like __________________(FAMOUS MOVIE STAR) to show up at my door on Christmas morning and serenade me with _______________ (SONG). Finally, I think that you should bring _______________ (PLURAL NOUN) to the world. I understand these things are hard to come by, but I have faith in you and your _______________ (PLURAL NOUN). If all of these things are too hard to get please make things easier on you and simply send _______________ (PLURAL NOUN). The only thing I don’t want for Christmas is a _______________ (NOUN). I am putting my _______________ (NOUN) in you Santa. Thanks for helping make this the best holiday ever. Hugs and _______________ (PLURAL NOUN), _______________ (YOUR NAME)

Need some inspiration? Check out Miramonte students’ old letters to Santa Claus. Each student asked for a variety of different things for Christmas, or proposed questions to Santa. Authors of letters, from left to right: freshman Chloe Fillinger (as dictated to her mother at age 5), senior Hosanna Fuller (age 3), sophomore Annie Hocking (age 4), junior Tyler Hanson (age 5)

Photo: K. Chan

Photo: K. Hoskins

Photo: K. Chan Photo: K. Hoskins

Photo: J. Igoe/MCT

Will This Season be Naughty or Nice? What’s in store for you this winter break? Take a look at what the stars predict for you by Lauren Dahlberg-Seeth and Katie Hoskins





On Christmas night Santa will unexpectedly fall off your roof. Dawn the red hat and coat and get cracking, you have a lot of gifts to deliver, á la Tim Allen in The Santa Claus.

Between Dec. 18 and 27 a talent scout will pass by your house on the hunt for the next star. Sing Christmas songs as loudly as possible while in the shower so as not to lose such a rare opportunity.

Don’t rely on free gifts this season. Nobody wants the collection of mints you’ve acquired from Italian restaurants. Muster up a couple bucks and buy real gifts for your friends and family.

Dec. 18 will be your lucky day. Also, due to an unfortunate postal mishap, your Christmas wish list won’t reach the North Pole and Santa will be forced to improvise. Don’t get your hopes up.





Your Christmas cookies will come to life and create a small army of deliciousness. Lock your doors, they are coming.

On Dec. 30 you will be struck by lightning and turned into a snowman. Seek a colder climate immediately.

There is a chance you will be abducted by elves. Cover yourself in tin foil to avoid this catastrophe.

You will be very tempted to overeat this winter break during your various festivities. Do it. No regrets.





Graphics: K. Noah

Your incredible wit has been making friends jealous and they are starting to turn from you. Go to bed early and expect the first ghost when the bell tolls one.

You will be granted immunity from the penguin invasion. A lucky game of dreidel will also bring you good fortune and lots of sweets. Congratulations and mazel tov. .

Many relatives will try to add you on Facebook after your holiday hoopla, including that one aunt who can’t remember your age. We advise you to decline.

Re-gifting is an art form. Make sure you have the technique down before attempting. A very awkward situation could be in your future.


12/15/11 Entertainment 19

‘Tis the Season For Very Rockin’ Music by Maddie Nicolaisen and Julia Hass

Michael Bublé: Christmas This Frank Sinatra-esque album showcases Bublé’s smooth voice and jazzy style. His Christmas songs are very classy, perfect for a fancy dinner party. Bublé does all the favorites: “Feliz Navidad,” “White Christmas,” and “Ave Maria.” You want it, he’s got it.

Glee: Christmas Album Vol. II This fabulous Christmas album has a very Broadway feel, as well as has a good mix of solos and group numbers that invite you to join in and sing at the top of your lungs. This collection has a lovely selection of jazzy, upbeat/ poppy, and quiet music.

Justin Bieber : Under the Mistletoe J-Biebs bangs out with classic songs alongside R&B twists, featuring artists like Busta Rhymes and Boys II Men. “Mistletoe” is the must-have single this holiday. A perfect reason to splurge on this album is that Bieber debuts his new post-puberty voice.

Frank Sinatra: A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra Come on. It’s a classic! Sinatra’s is the quintessential holiday voice that gets you in the winter mood. You can almost smell the chestnuts roasting as he serenades you. The old-time feel brings out the spirit of the holidays. Some favorites are “Let It Snow,” and of course, “Jingle Bells.”

Ella Fitzgerald: Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas This woman’s one-of-a-kind voice is like a steaming mug of hot chocolate, smooth and warm. Her album has a different selection of songs encompassing an array of emotions for every holiday mood. Some stand out songs are “Sleigh Ride” and “Let it Snow.”

She and Him: A Very She and Him Christmas Zooey Deschanel has charmed the world with her adorkable attitude, and she has a holiday album. What more could you ask for? Her old-time voice works perfectly in these classic songs. Some of our favorites are “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” and “The Christmas Waltz.”

Remakes: Second Time’s the Charm, Right? by Devin Mottier



MGM, the producers of the most recent Fame movie, took on the huge task of transforming the original High School Musical-esque television series into a two hour feature film. Unfortunately, producers left out key essentials of the original. Not one pair of leg warmers can be seen in the 2009 version. Just yoga pants. Lots and lots of yoga pants. The most recent version also leaves out controversial topics like sexuality and racism that truly defined the original series. Producers did, however, step up their game on exciting, big, and bold endings, so props to you, MGM.

1984 vs. 2009 1964 vs. 2005


The Pink Panther

Steve Martin.

1984 vs. 2010

The Karate Kid

Okay. These movies are pretty much the exact. same. thing. They even share the love of politically correct diversity in their leading characters. This 2010 film could have been a wonderful remake had it possessed one vital thing: good acting.




1961 vs. 1998

The Parent Trap

Remaking The Parent Trap was a “brilliant beyond brilliant idea” of Disney’s. Not only does it feature the firecracker, Lindsay Lohan, but it has TWO OF HER. It can’t get any better than the same person fencing herself and making nifty handshakes.

1976 vs. 1995 vs. 2003

Freaky Friday

Third time’s the charm, right? The two movies of the FF trilogy were fairly decent. Although the second one didn’t have a lot to do with the first (gotta love cheap TV movies) it was still just as funny. The third, on the otherhand, blows its predecessors away. Lindsay Lohan is simply hilarious and Jamie Lee Curtis’ quirky self shines in this redemption-remake.

1951 vs. 2010

Alice in Wonderland

Tim Burton, the director of this breathtaking Film, completely outdid himself. The marvelous colors of Wonderland and its fantastic inhabitants (especially the terrifying-but-lovable Red Queen), captivates audiences and outshines the cartoon precursor.

20 Backpage 12/15/11


Candyland: Miramonte Edition

Graphics: R. Oczkus, MCT/ Ware

December 2011 Issue  
December 2011 Issue  

The December 2011 issue of Miramonte High School's newspaper, The Mirador