Page 1

OP-ED 2-3


F E AT U R E S 4 - 5

APRIL 2017

Volume XXVIII Issue VI



‘S PR I N G’ S PR E A D 8 - 9

S PO R TS 10

LI F E ST YL E 12 -1 4

MHSTHEUNION.COM For the latest updates


Morales resigns as MHS principal, third principal to leave in four years


Helen Huynh | THE UNION

The Class of 2018 performs one of the Trojan Olympic events, the human pyramid, as students decked out in their class colors watch. Each class decorated according to their theme, which was ‘Construction’ for the Class of 2018.

Class of 2017 takes first place at Trojan Olympics BY HELEN HUYNH

There was intense competition this year at Trojan Olympics (T.O.) last Friday, according to Senior Class President Sophia Orlando. Unlike other years, all the classes are all on the same level, Orlando continued. This year’s Trojan Olympics was by far the most exciting one throughout the last four years, because everyone, including the freshmen, brought their A-game, Senior Alec Li said. Li was also the advisor for the Freshman Trojan Olympic team, he said. “This year, I had the pleasure of advising the Freshmen Class of 2020. The ASB President, VP, Secretary, and

Treasurer each receive a class to support throughout the year, and I have 2020,” Li said. “Starting from the first practice, they were determined to do well. Everyone on the team had something to offer, and they all put forth their best effort. They all truly felt that they were included in a production bigger than just themselves. They had the innovative ideas- the vision- and throughout their journey, I was there to help them turn it into a reality.” The freshmen had a great time preparing for Trojan Olympics because of their teamwork and willingness to connect with each other, according to Li. Li said the Class of 2020 is one to

look out for in the following Trojan Olympics. “After their 3rd place finish in Campus Decorations, it seemed like more of the freshmen were motivated to work harder, and it ended up paying off in the end,” Li said. “Constantly throughout the past month of Trojan Olympics madness, I would come to help them at the freshmen workdays, and I not only formed bonds with them, but saw that they were connecting and cooperating with each other. With their minds altogether in the same direction, they are a class to watch out for ... they could possiSEE T.O.ON PAGE 2

Principal Phil Morales has recently announced, in an email to the staff, on March 29, that he is resigning from his position as principal. Morales has since clarified that the reasons for his resignation concern personal issues rather than being forcibly removed. As he has submitted his resignation to Superintendent Cheryl Jordan, Morales’ resignation will be effective at the end of the current school year in June 2017, according to his email. “I think that [resigning] has been something that I’ve been thinking about for a while. Let me just be clear, I’m not being dismissed, I’m not being pushed out, I’m not being asked to resign,” Morales said. “It has nothing to do with the whole Trump thing but rather it has to do with my family.” Morales stated that his position as principal demands many hours that sacrifice time that could possibly be spent with his young twins. According to Morales, he wishes to become a dad that is always there, rather than just being a “weekend dad”. “I don’t see my kids a whole lot, and it’s just me and my wife, we don’t have anyone else up here with us. So, after talking to my wife, I made the decision that I need to be around,” Morales said. “I don’t want to be a weekend father. That’s just not me, I remember my own father not necessarily being around a whole lot. It was a tough decision, but I think it is the best for my family.” Morales further stated that he

would be looking into other principal jobs at an elementary or middle school level. Morales also mentioned that he is also looking into possibly becoming an assistant principal once again in order to spend more time with his family and be closer to home. “It’s a lot of supervision, a lot of extra hours outside of just work, and to be honest with you, I didn’t do a lot of that as well because of the situation I’m in- I had to get home before a certain time,” Morales said. “It’s not fair to my kid, and it’s not fair to my wife. A job is not all that important- you can’t replace the moments in building a family, so I’m choosing to put my priorities in place.” For many students and teachers alike, Principal Morales has left his mark as a good man. “He is a really good person,” Senior Jennie Nguyen said. “I think his most influential moment was when he held that rally about Donald Trump and was almost fired for saying something at that rally. I feel like that was the defining moment of his time here.” There is no word yet as to who will be replacing Morales or how that process will take place, but even so, Morales plans to finish the year strong. “I will work until the end. I will continue to push forward, and make sure that by the time I leave, there are things in place that will help the new principal in an easy transition,” Morales said. “For your underclassmen, I think it’s my responsibility that we still provide the best learning environment, so that’s going to be my goal- it always has been.”

Science Olympiad competes at States; Eye on Campus: Decorations N EWS IN BR IEF Upcoming standardized test dates The next SAT date is May 6, and the qualifies for the first time in four years BY KEVIN ZHANG

For the first time in four years, Science Olympiad (S.O.) qualified for advancing to the state level of competition, which took place at California State University Stanislaus. Because MHS was ranked as one of the top four schools at the Santa Clara Regional Science Olympiad Tournament, the Blue team—one of the three competitive teams—consisting of 15 competitors advanced to the next competition, the state competition, according to Captain Long Dang. According to Advisor Letta Meyer, the substantial amount of time that Blue team has invested in preparation is the biggest factor that contributed to their success at the regional competition. She will continue to encourage team members to keep up the hard work, perform at their peaks, and provide them with sufficient time to prepare for their events, Meyer said. “The amount of time that, specifically, the Blue team has put in has been the big thing, and [they] started [preparing] early,” Meyer said. “I think the big thing is just continuing to encourage [them] and remind them they can do better.” This will be the first time that Science Olympiad has qualified for states in four years, according to Dang. Starting a few years ago, after a change in region separation and grouping was implemented, the teams have been barely not qualifying

for every states competition. “We used to compete in a different region about five years ago and we would make states pretty often. Ever since we moved to our current region, Santa Clara, we have had a tradition of narrowly missing [the state competition] every year,” Dang said. “ To my knowledge, this is the first year we’ve made it to states in the Santa Clara regional competition,” he continued. Advancing competitors continued to dedicate time and effort to prepare for the competition. There are 23 competitive events, so each competitor must participate in a minimum of three events and a few others may have to compete in more, according to Dang. In preparation for the state competition, competitors spent substantial amounts of time to complete practice tests, refine and test their devices, and attend after school study and work sessions. “Our team’s members always compete in a minimum of three events. Two people usually have four events,” Dang said. “We’re doing the same thing we did to prepare for the regional competition. That means practice tests, testing and refining our devices, and [workdays] after school.” According to Sophomore Vivian Tsang, the team has already reached what they aimed for. The competition would be a new experience for the team, so how the events would take place was unpredictable, she said. SEE COMPETITION ON BACK PAGE

deadline to register is April 7. The upcoming ACT date is April 8.

Stanford Blood Drive NHS and CSF will be hosting the semi-annual blood drive in the MHS Library on April 17. Come see an NHS and CSF officer for more information! Prom: Dancing in the Moonlight Prom will be held in The Tech Museum on April 22 from 7 P.M. to 12 A.M. Grace Chang| THE UNION

One of the Class of 2017 Trojan Olympic posters hang above the senior tables. The decorations reflect this year’s theme, ‘The Space Between Us’.

Spring Break There will be no school from April 10 to April 14. There will also be a minimum day on April 9.

Number of AP classes allowed to be limited next year BY SHREEYA ARANAKE KELLY LUE

Students will only be allowed to take three AP courses beginning the next school year, according to Assistant Principal Amanda Gross. The limit was implemented due to how much stress the students who were taking more than three AP’s were undergoing, Gross said. Students were notified of this limit on March 22, after AP scheduling cards were turned in. Gross said that the decision of limiting the number of AP classes one could take was made after scheduling cards were turned in because the administrators and counselors saw a large influx of students who had signed up for more than three AP courses this year.

Therefore, the administrators wanted to make sure that the students were healthy, according to Gross. “What we were seeing was a large trend of students asking to take more than three AP classes,” Gross said. “We had not collected numbers over the past three years, so I could not give you numbers, but this year it was at least fifty students. So we just wanted to make sure our students were healthy.” The decision to limit AP classes had been one that both the counselors and Former Principal Cheryl Lawton were looking over the past few years, Gross stated. However, it wasn’t officially passed down to the administrators until this year, Gross said. Counselor Cory Nakamoto said that he was not going to name any of

the students taking more than three AP courses who were coming into his office worried, but stated that there were definitely a substantial amount of students who were under visible stress because of their coursework. Sophomore Nisha Porchezhiyan said that the limit on AP courses limits the amount students can learn. She also said that a student should be able to choose how much load they can handle. “The biggest issue I have with the AP limit is that it limits our learning capacity,”Porchezhiyan said. “By placing restrictions and having a blanket ban the school is telling the students to not push themselves. The policy should be adapted to individual students instead of generalizing the entire student population.”




Standardized testing is required for colleges to evaluate students One of the most integral parts of aptitude, and there are other factors college applications is your ACT or as well. Some schools might have SAT score, and many students spend harder classes than others, while oththousands of dollars studying for ers may not have as many AP classes these tests. Although they are very offered. The ACT and SAT, howevsimple in nature, these tests actually er, are the same all over the United play a huge role in meaStates, and give equal footsuring how well someone ing for every student. Stuwill do in college, and are dents that have low GPAs very important scores for have a chance to showcase schools to look at. The SAT their aptitudes through and ACT can be a relevant their scores because it is indicator of intelligence. exactly the same for every These tests assess your student taking it. skill in areas of math, readWhile the tests have ing, writing, and essays, questions based on the which are the fundamentopics of math, writing, tals of schooling. They are and reading, these tests DARRION important to test a stuevaluate a much more imNGUYEN dent’s ability in these basic portant aspect in a good concepts in school. Each student: study habits. A specific area is easy enough for any- major part of getting a good score one to learn and do, yet hard enough is taking practice test upon pracfor even the most intelligent students tice test and reading multiple study to get questions wrong. They clearly books. Studying in college every day test a person’s knowledge in an area is a guaranteed a necessity, which and serve as a solid baseline. The is completely different from a highmath section requires nothing more schooler’s life. Standardized tests are than Algebra 2/Trig, and the writing a perfect way to see how well one can section consists of basic grammar study. question. Reading comprehension A lot of high schoolers say that in may be harder for people with dif- the end, SAT and ACT scores do not fering backgrounds, but with a lot matter at all, and that they do not of practice, one can raise his or her measure intelligence. Although it is scores. The fundamental aspects of not a 100 percent clear indicator of schooling is tested well by these ad- measuring success, these tests are ministered tests. still a strong way for colleges to filNot only do they test everyone’s ter candidates into their school. The basics, however, but they also do it solid and equal baseline as well as the equally. All over America, schooling testing of fundamental skills make is diverse, with differing difficulty and them very relevant in the real world. varying ways of calculating grades. Of course a person can always break Because of the diversity, GPA might into success without perfect scores, not be a solid indicator of a person’s but in the end, they do help.


SATs unrepresentative of skills; fail to reflect true intelligence One of the most stressful standard- ground and opportunities affect how ized tests taken in high school is the well a student will do. Students that SAT. The SAT is one of the tests that are given more opportunities such determines what college you will get as SAT prep classes and expensive into and shows your academic excel- practice books have an advantage lency--or does it? The SAT is a stan- over those students whose financial dardized test taken as early as sopho- states do not allow them to access more year of high school. Its purpose these resources. Low quality of classis to project your success in college. es and a lack of knowledge of the SAT However, does it really reflect how can contribute to SAT scores being well you will do in college and how unsatisfactory. Some of these factors smart you are? cannot be controlled by the student; SAT scores can determine how therefore, it is unfair to students who prepared you are for college, but not do work really hard and would do necessarily if you are “smarter” than well if given the same opportunities. others or not. One can be not exThis one test can determine everytremely intellectual overall, but still thing. The other hundreds of tests be able to get high scores taken in high school are on the SAT through lots of not as crucial as this one studying and preparation. standardized test. The A student that put endless SAT tests how well you hours into studying in orcan solve math problems, der to raise his or her score write essays, understand from a 1200 to a 1400 and text, and use proper grama student that was able to mar. Your performance in get the same 1400 with these four tasks are all little to no preparation that make up the SAT and are seen as equal by SAT determines how well you standards. Even though do. Is this really a good GRACE in general the student that representation of how CHANG was able to get the 1400 intelligent you are, these without preparation is two subjects? more intelligent, this can not be deThere is so much more that contermined by the SAT. tributes to your intelligence, such as Your knowledge of test-taking overall GPA and the contribution of strategies and testing skills are im- other school subjects. Intelligence portant factors of your ability to do can not be measured or determined well. Some people are just inherent- by a single test that only focuses on ly better at standardized tests than certain aspects of knowledge and not others, while others aren’t as skilled others. SAT scores do not define one’s when it come to testing. However, self -worth and intelligence. It’s not that does not mean that they are the end of the world if you don’t get unintelligent. Preparation for this the perfect 1600 on the SAT. There standardized test, as mentioned be- is so much more than standardized fore, affects how well you do on the testing. One can still be successful SAT, or any other sort of test. In this and intelligent despite doing poorly case, however, educational back- on this test.


APRIL 2016

Project BEaUtiful: a show of fake and futile smiles We saw the blow-up of advertisements on social media, the angel wings on walls all around campus, the candy being thrown at passersby during the week-long event before Valentine’s Day, dubbed Project BEaUtiful. While this event was advertised as a time of self-care and self-love, or whatever the heck else mumbo hippie jumbo, I saw it more as a means of self-validation than of actually trying to better the MHS population. The week accomplished nothing, and I highly doubt anyone actually felt less insecure and more happy with themselves as a result of these futile efforts. I’d think the only people who felt good were the officers who have a convoluted sense of self-importance and making a difference. So to you, officers, thank you for giving me chocolate: it really taught me to love myself, and I didn’t just ask you for some because I wanted free food. I find it sad, really, that this week even happened. While, sure, some of the smiles may have been genuine, I see the majority of the acts

as self-serving and fake. When you term to someone’s wellbeing, such as only care to tell people you appreci- a piece of chocolate or a card with tips ate them on one day and never pay on how to destress. I can find those them any recognition any other day, tips on Google, so if you’re going to that means you don’t realgive something to me, I’d ly care and are only doing like if it were something it because the week calls relevant. Funnier still for it. When you need to are cases in which people post on social media that refused the goody bag or you love all these people refused the piece of chocand appreciate everyone, olate but got some thrown it’s shoving your affection at them anyway because, down my throat in a show God forbid, to deny a that I frankly don’t care to meaningless gesture that see. When you spew crap won’t help them at all is like “I appreciate your apcompletely unacceptable. CA-ZAO preciation,” I laugh at your Those involved should BUI incomprehensible efforts not force others to accept to look like a better and nictheir love. Maybe some er person than you are. Put people don’t want to be the show on for yourselves, sure, but the objects of your self-validation. please don’t subject the rest of us to it. Just be nice, every day, and don’t This week didn’t even address the have a week specially planned for as problems they claimed to focus on, a show. Build connections, and don’t which was to help people view them- throw a suicide hotline card at someselves more positively and decon- one you don’t know and think you’re struct societal expectations. Most of helping them, and then never talk to the acts consisted of giving a physical them again. You don’t need to particobject that is irrelevant in the long ipate in a cheesy week to be good.

Stench of flowering trees on campus exaggerated What’s that smell? The culprit is smell—the trees just smell like trees. known as the Callery Pear Tree that As more people about the smell, I is found clustered throughout MHS. think people just go overboard and These large trees with pearly white make it seem so much worse than it flowers that grace us with their pres- actually is. ence do not deserve all the criticism But hey, if there are so many peothat blows their way. Native to China ple complaining about the smell, and Vietnam, these trees took over there must be something wrong. the streets of America in the 1950s, It’s not just MHS; in fact, a lot of the according to an article written by country has a problem with the smell NPR. The Callery Pear from these trees. The odd eventually made its way to thing is that, considering Milpitas and has quite an Callery Pears have been infamous reputation here. around since the 1950s, “Gross!” “Ew!” “Hey, let’s I would have expected walk away from the trees…” someone to put an end to Such hurtful comments it by now. The appearance can be heard when one is of the pretty flowers must within the vicinity of these have caused most of the magnificent trees endowed United States to overlook with their pearly white the smell. The beauty trublossoms. However, I don’t ly wins even at MHS. The ANANYA see a need to be grossed trees happen to be quite DONAPATI out. Why? The simple anthe celebrities on camswer: the trees don’t smell. pus. I often see students Whenever I walk by the stop in their paths to snap trees, I don’t smell this rancid smell a picture of the flowers in bloom. everyone goes on about. I just smell Considering how close they stood to trees. I have been told that the trees the tree as they zoomed in for the perreek of something along the lines of fect shot, I suppose they were able to a skunk, or even a rotten fish. Many overlook the smell! others have also referred to it as the Hmm...I don’t like the smell of smell that must not be named. I get it this: why did the school purchase so what everyone is saying, but it’s not many of the same tree? There must that bad. have been so many options, so why And no, I did not lose my sense of this one? Since the Callery Pear was a

trend all over America, it makes sense that MHS was attracted to it as well. A greater variety of trees would be nice to see, but I guess this is how things worked out. I must say though, when the blossoms were at their peak, it was stunning to see them bunched up in one place like soft-white clouds against the blue sky. Even I had to take a picture! The whole issue is really blown out of proportion. Smell or no smell, it is not like people are dying because of it. I think that just accepting the circumstances (because there is not much we can do about it) is better than moping and complaining. This might sound like some life advice, but moping and complaining is not going to benefit anyone. Now that the smell has become so prominent, it seems like many have considered getting rid of the Callery Pears and replacing them with a better smelling candidate. This solution sounds like it will result in more work and depletion of school funds. The only good thing is that we wouldn’t have to smell the slight odor from the trees. After weighing out the pros and cons, this tree change is more effort than it’s worth. For that reason, I encourage everyone to enjoy the attractive blossoms and look around this tiny flaw. I mean after all, no tree is perfect!

To limit AP courses is to limit academic achievement The AP courses offered at MHS while sufficient for college preparatory services are very much the bare basics when they compare to the variety of courses offered at other schools. Other schools offer classes such as AP European History, AP Environmental Science, AP Computer Science, AP Human Geography, and AP Art History. I believe that although it is understandable that our school cannot have all of the other AP classes offered elsewhere, I believe that it should begin to diversify the courses offered so that more opportunities will be available to students who are not in the STEM majors to explore what is out there. Currently, our school very much caters to the STEM major when it comes to the variety of AP science and math courses MHS offers. Currently, with both math and science included, MHS offers six AP courses in STEM areas. However, there are only two AP history courses for upperclassmen, and three AP social science courses. For students who have a difficulty in the tougher, more hard core science courses such as AP Biology and AP

Chemistry, our school needs to offer a teacher might have in a new subject a more applicable science such as will cause disinterest in the students Environmental Science. This way, as well as a drop in AP test scores. they can focus their efforts on coursOverall, however, an increase in es that are more fit to the higher level AP courses field that they might want will result in a more eduto go into. cationally engaged student An introduction of more body, because there is a AP courses will allow MHS higher chance of them bestudents to explore differing able to take a class that ent subjects and be more they are more interested successful in choosing in. Currently, all students their pathways and as well end up taking a variation as improve their chances of the same limited coursat attaining a higher GPA, es, not allowing the STEM because they are more majors to look any differSHREEYA invested and interested ent than the humanities ARANAKE in the classes that are ofmajors. This stifles all stufered. More classes will dents, because they do not also spread out overflowing classes have an opportunity to branch out more in order to control class popuand invest their time in a subject they lation in certain science courses. are actually interested in, but rather An increase in the number of classare obligated to taking the same upes, however, should prompt the school per division math, science, and social to increase the number of teachers science classes that everybody else is as well, because more specialized taking. In a competitive college enteachers will be needed to teach new vironment, limiting AP classes does AP courses. If more teachers are not nothing but prevent students from hired, then the quality of the teaching truly reaching their potential, while as well as the lack of knowledge that other schools surpass us.

APRIL 2017

EDITOR I A L : The Opinion of The Union

No drills (or principals) highlight greater issues: MHS lack of preparation needs to be addressed We, The Union, believe that the administration of MHS needs to put more effort to properly prepare the school for emergency situations. MHS is suffering from a severe lack of drills and preparatory work towards educating teachers on evacuation procedures. Though last year was riddled with numerous evacuations, both actual and false, this does not excuse the lack of effort this year towards preparing the school for emergencies. The lack of properly ensuring school safety points to an underlying problem in the organization of the school in recent years. This year, no official drill--neither fire, earthquake, nor intruder--has occurred. This poses a serious problem for students, staff, and administration. California Code of Regulations dictates that at least two fire drills must occur every school year, and although there is no requirement for earthquake or intruder drills, these two pose just as likely a threat. The imminent cluster of school activities does not help the scheduling of drills. Upcoming are the Common Core assessments for Juniors and AP Exams for upperclassmen, making about three weeks of school days unavailable for a drill. By the time AP exams are over, the preparation that drills allow will be nigh useless if they occur after AP exams, the school year having been nearly fully done by then. It’s quite clear that there aren’t going to be any drills for the rest of the year, and serious questions have to be asked of administration as to why that is. Beyond evacuation, the school is unprepared for intruders on campus, both on part of administration and teachers. In the event of an actual lockdown for intruders or events occurring near the school, classrooms are not equipped properly for long lockdowns. Lockdowns could potentially last for many hours, and the bathrooms aren’t exactly open during a lockdown. The school is also practically an open campus, with students and visitors being able to come and go as they please, both during class and during breaks. Any intruder could easily gain access to the campus, and the students and faculty would be left unprepared. This school year has also seen the addition of several teachers as well as an entirely new freshman class who would definitely have no clue where to go in a time of emergency. These people would be even more

clueless than the already out of practice upperclassmen as to what to do during an emergency, making them a liability for everyone. Administration needs to properly train these new teachers, and drills are an efficient way to do so. To make matters worse, administration has had an almost complete shuffle this year. The principal and most of the assistant principals are all new this year, including Assistant Principal Hutchison, who is supposed to be in charge of conducting emergency drills. Through no fault of her own, Hutchison was appointed late in the school year and deserves some of the benefit of the doubt when it comes to catching up to responsibilities. But with the amount of change we’ve had in administration, there appears to be no one there who knows what’s going on. When we asked the administration about the lack of drills, one of the arguments was that incoming administrators didn’t know where the J building was, preventing any drills. At some point, the situation has to be acknowledged as ridiculous and something that needs to be fixed, and the lack of accountability points to a more serious problem than just forgetting about a simple fire drill. By next year, with the recently announced resignation of Principal Morales, MHS will have had three principals in three years, something that can’t be interpreted as a good sign. With Morales leaving just a year after promising to always be there for his students and “just observing,” it’s hard to imagine what principal would want to come to MHS. Any of the best prospective administrators or teachers won’t overlook what appears to be obvious instability, lowering the quality of the education and organization at MHS as a result. It’s a problem that goes past the administration level and falls to the superintendent and the school board: this level of turnover helps no one, least of all the students you’re there to serve. This administration needs to properly prepare our school for emergencies in a timely manner, before it is too late, and an actual emergency occurs. If the school deems preparing for future problems as too low a priority, perhaps the higher powers of this school should look at the symptoms of what’s occuring right now and look to find a solution, rather than creating new issues of their own.

EDITOR I A L : The Opinion of The Union

Rampant ‘fake news’ is detrimental to society We, The Union, believe that there is an impending need to protect the sanctity of a free and credible press against the current attack on facts by the current presidential administration as well as the spreading of inaccurate news by several “fake news” sources on the Internet. Recent comments made by the President and by his press secretary have voiced a disdain for the media, and have accused the media of inaccuracies not present in their work. This implicit attack on the credibility of the press based on no tangible evidence poses as a major issue. The press has been one of the most integral components of maintaining the freedom of the people and has made the difference between due punishment of corrupt officials and the ascension of those same elected officials to greater power. One of the most disconcerting aspects of the president’s attack on the press is his disapproval of any news that portrays him in a negative light, but encourages news that portrays him in any type of positive light. This, of course, would be true of any politician, but the president and his administration’s outright denunciation of any headlines antithetical to their idea of what the public should know is extremely dangerous. In any country where there government officials control what the people know and hear about the world in any way has resulted in tyranny. The spreading of fake news does not just concern the government and its highest serving officials. It also affects the citizens of the country. In today’s sociopolitical tensions, many people feel the need to vehemently defend or refute the actions of certain politicians. In addition, due to the influx of an infinite amount of information available on the Internet, it has become increasingly easier to believe what one wants to believe and have a “source” to support it. Doing so has resulted in shunning out certain facts that hurt their arguments and entertaining alternative facts in order to support their arguments. This “believe what you want to believe” attitude will result in an increasingly polarizing climate in the country, because not



only will the views of each and every citizen differ, but also the facts on which the citizens base their views will be completely different. In order to stop this post-factual dystopia from occurring, the United States depends on its press to defend the truth from discreditable sources; but more importantly, it needs its most honest elected officials, especially the ones holding the highest positions of power, to denounce “fake news” and “alternative facts” in order to bring the discussion off of the media and onto what the media was built on: holding those in power accountable. As members of the press, we believe that it is the President’s duty to come out and support the blocking of media sources known for spreading false facts, and apologize for his denouncing of the well established media solely on their reporting of facts disagreeable to the President and his views. As a proprietor of many falsehoods, it is also the president’s duty to correct those falsehoods and begin to advocate for the intolerance of fake news and it’s spreading. Many might conclude that the freedom of the press may include the freedom of printing whatever they please in today’s headlines regardless of it’s truth. However, the sanctity of the press lies in its duty to publish the truth; the truth behind our nation’s greatest institutions--the government included-- is what allows the citizens of the United States to remain informed about the issues facing the nation. And so, it is our duty as a nation to fight for the credible press and against the real opposition party, fake news sources. Overall, the continuation of a sane and peaceful transition of power from one administration to the next, as well as the importance of a well informed constituent base, relies on a credible press. We hope that the current presidential administration, and the general public, no matter their political affiliation, support and respect the longstanding credibility and the necessity for fair and free press.



The Union is published by the Journalism class of Milpitas High School. The views in The Union are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect those of the school, students, administration, or Milpitas Unified School District.


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S TA F F Ca-Zao Bui Kevin Zhang Editors-in-Chief Brooke Tran • News Editor Katherine Hubeny • Asst. News Editor Justin Tso • Op-Ed Editor Harriet Do • Asst. Op-Ed Editor Sherry Lam • Features Editor Shreeya Aranake • Asst. Features Editor Brandon Wettenstein • Lifestyle Editor Darrion Nguyen • Asst. Lifestyle Editor Helen Huynh • Spread Editor Kelly Lue • Asst. Spread Editor Justin Nguyen • Entertainment Editor Emmy Yu • Asst. Entertainment Editor Gurshaan Bariana • Co-Sports Editor Mihir Hansalia • Co -Sports Editor Hope Do • Co-Copy Editor Helen Pham • Co-Copy Editor Tuong-Vi Nguyen • Asst. Copy Editor Grace Chang • Photo Editor Jerald Mendoza • Asst. Photo Editor David Ngo • Web Editor Suhas Shekar • Asst. Web Editor Eric Yu • Business Manager Arvind Kumar • Asst. Business Manager Noemi Crisanto • Ad Manager Saba Khorasani • Asst. Ad Manager Ananya Donapati • Reporter Wafa Malik • Reporter Elakya Thirumoorthy • Reporter Derek Vo • Reporter Nicholas Wan • Reporter Henry Xiong • Reporter Jeff Colburn Advisor

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April 2017

Nguyen cuts hair, plans to open barber shop by Gurshaan Bariana

Courtesy of Helen Huynh

Senior Helen Huynh gets her make up and hair done on set. Huynh was a principle role for a Vivo cell phone commercial in Dec. 2016 in San Francisco.

Huynh, Smith continue career in the entainment industry by Katherine Hubeny

From a young age, many kids dream to be actors, actresses, or be involved in the entertainment industry. For Senior Helen Huynh and Junior Jennifer Smith, these dreams have become realities. Smith had her first audition when she was seven, she explained. Her love for acting allowed her to really enjoy the experience, Smith added. “At this audition, I looked through a list of commercials that they gave to say into the camera when it was your turn,” Smith said. “Next thing you know, we’re in an office talking to a manager about the potential future.” After her first audition, she was connected with a manager who encouraged her to join classes regarding the entertainment industry, Smith said. Joining these classes was what reinforced her passion for the business, she continued. As of now, Smith’ s jobs mainly consist of modeling for bridal gowns and bridesmaids dresses at wedding fairs, she said. She has also been modeling for the Beautiful Youth Project for almost ten years, Smith continued. “I actually didn’t find any of the jobs I got until I became independent,” Smith said. “Once or twice a year, the company I was with would hold an event where they would bring in different agencies so you could showcase your talent and they would see if they felt you were ready.” The first job offer Smith got was from the the J.E. Model and Talent

Agency, according to Smith. From then on, she officially had an agent that would find all of her auditions and roles, she added. While Smith has been involved with the industry since she was seven, Huynh just recently signed with an agency. Once she joined her agency, she had her first audition a few months ago. “[My first job] was a background job for a Stephen Curry JBL commercial,” Huynh said. “It was freezing cold because we were shooting on Treasure Island at the end of November. There, I had a studio teacher, and we had to do our homework for four hours before we were allowed to work.” A month after her first job, she auditioned for another commercial that had a larger role, Huynh explained. For this commercial, her face was shown because she was given a principle role, Huynh continued. “My second commercial was one for a Vivo cell phone,” Huynh said. “When I first showed up, the people on set recognized me instantly and started doing my make-up and getting me into wardrobe. I was the youngest person there that day, and it was very nerve-racking, but I enjoyed my overall experience.” Her favorite part of the industry is getting to meet amazing people on set, Huynh said. She met a few other teens in the industry, amazing producers, and some famous people who are sponsored by the companies she works with, Huynh added.

Most high school students have difficulty searching for a career they should pursue for the rest of their lives. However, for Junior Joshua Nguyen, the quest to find a passion to pursue for the rest of his life was a short one. Ever since freshman year, Nguyen has been cutting hair in his free time for other MHS students in an effort to give back to the community for everything it has done for him to make him succeed. Over time, Nguyen has gained popularity for his unique style and interaction with his fellow peers. Before high school, just like most students, Nguyen was unsure in regards to his potential profession several years down the round. However, that all changed when, after receiving encouragement from a fellow barber, Nguyen was motivated to start something on his own while constantly striving to improve upon his technique. “My neighbor, Godfrey, used to cut

my hair, and the experience inspired me to become a barber,” Nguyen said. In order to refine his skills from behind the chair, Nguyen spent time watching videos online and carefully paid attention to the small details. However, Nguyen soon realized that the best way to improve was by applying what he had learned into action. “Watching Youtube videos really helped me learn, but actually practicing hands-on really taught me how to cut hair,” Nguyen said. Although this new passion was proving to be popular among clients, Nguyen was forced to put many plans on the backburner to continue to cut hair. Nguyen made a tough choice and ultimately decided to take time away from sports and various extracurriculars. “There are many sacrifices I’ve made to pursue my dream, but the one sacrifice that sticks out the most is less time I have to spend with family and friends,” Nguyen said. Nguyen’s interest in communicating with anybody coming to see him

helped push him in his decision to invest time into cutting hair. His approachable personality can be seen as he does anything from telling entertaining stories to asking questions to establish a connection he hopes to maintain. There are many aspects of cutting hair that Nguyen enjoys, but the best part of the job is seeing his client’s reaction after he has finished the haircut. “My favorite thing about cutting hair is seeing the smile on my client’s faces,” said Nguyen. “That’s when I know that I’ve helped make their day a little better.” The possibilities for the future seems endless for Nguyen, as he hopes to continue cutting hair and one day go through professional schooling at a barber college. Nguyen plans on working in a barber shop in the near future or, if possible, own his very own. No matter what happens in the next crucial years of his life, Nguyen is certain that he will do whatever it takes to conquer any obstacles that lie in the way to prosperity.

Students write plays for TheatreWorks Silicon Valley by Ananya Donapati

Student playwrights at MHS received the rare opportunity to showcase their plays which were worked on since January with the help of professional actors, directors, and TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. On March 28, family and friends gathered with these students in the theater to watch the actors bring their stories to life. Students worked with Meghan Hakes from TheatreWorks Silicon Valley and created short 10-minute plays which actors rehearsed with the students and directors in one day in order to perform later that evening. One student was Junior Ariana Khateeb, whose play, “Trapped” was performed on stage. “The actors and directors were very professional and had so much fun just performing the play,” she said. “It was so inspiring to see the actors, Sean and April, quickly put their 100 percent in something that they received that day.” It was nice seeing someone enjoy something that students wrote, Khateeb stated. They wouldn’t hold back with the comedy and brought new interpretations with the characters that weren’ t thought of before, she said. It

would have been better if there was more time to spend on rehearsing, but time would not allow it, she continued. Students began writing their plays in January. “We could write mostly about anything, so it was nice to have unrestrained creativity,” Khateeb said. “Meghan Hakes was teaching us the proper way to tell a complete story in a 10-minute-play. I’m not very confident in my writing, but the writing feedback was really helpful in developing my storytelling skills.” We had assignments that involved writing different parts of the play, such as alternative endings, Khateeb explained. Trying to find multiple ways to write something was a bit challenging, she said. Senior Henry Tran also had a great experience participating in the Young PlayWrights Project, he said. “It was kind of surreal because it was a small idea in my head, and then it became a 10-minute play,” he said. “My actors, April and Will, did an incredible job putting my script on stage. They performed my characters exactly the way I wanted, and it was just amazing to see that process unfold.” The actors were given a script with

two complex characters and given less than two hours to rehearse, Tran said. They figured out everything there was to the characters and then they showed the new interesting things about each character that weren’ t thought of hadn’t before, he said. It really shows that they were legitimate, professional actors because of how quickly they were able to figure everything out, Tran added. “I have never written a play before, but I am an actor, so when I wrote my play it was more of: ‘if I were to act this out, how and what would I say?’” Tran explained. “With that being said, I kind of based the male lead, Bruce, off of myself which made his dialogue easier to write.” The hard part was writing dialogue for Melissa, the main character, Tran said. She needed to have more complexity than Bruce so in the workshops in theater, other actresses would be given a scenario and lines were gone over, he explained. “My director and two actors and actress and I sat down and read the script,” Tran said. “Then we got on our feet and blocked it out. I instantly saw the difference between high school student actors and professional actors.”

Weng goes into eleventh year of dancing ballet by Harriet Do

While many MHS students are occupied with afterschool extracurricular activities such as sports, it is not as common to bump into someone who spends his or her time dancing. It is even rarer to bump into someone whose dance specialty is ballet. Sophomore Britney Weng is one out of the ordinary and dances at New Ballet School in downtown San Jose. At first, Weng tried almost every activity because her mother did not know which activity she would be interested in. Eventually, Weng found her passion and interest in ballet in kindergarten, Weng stated. “I got into ballet when I was five years old because my mom had no idea what my interest would be, so I ended up trying out almost everything,” Weng said. “She said that ballet dancers were really graceful with great pain tolerance, so that’s how it all started.” Throughout Weng’s years doing ballet, the theatrical art has become a part of her, she said. Sometimes, she will feel a bit empty if she misses a class or two, Weng continued. “I appreciate how ballet gives me a break from my schedule, and sweating through a strenuous class is, sur-

prisingly, great stress relief,” Weng said. “I feel especially satisfied when I push through an entire rehearsal, or when I master a new combination.” Ballet has not only been a stress reliever for Weng, but has also been an aid to her self-development. It is a different way for her to express herself, Weng stated. The theatrical art allows her to show her emotions in an artistic way that has built up her self-confidence and persistence, Weng explained. “I enjoy constantly challenging myself by having to learn new choreography, and I’ve learned that it’s all about never giving up and believing in yourself,” Weng said. “And even when I mess up, I still have to carry on and look like I know exactly what I’m doing. Not many people actually understand how demanding ballet is, because it looks really easy like it’s supposed to. But I think that’s the best part–performing an exhausting variation on bruised toes while making it look like it’s nothing.” As a dancer, Weng’s motivation comes from Ballet Dancer Gillian Murphy, and this inspiration started when Weng saw Murphy’s performance at the San Jose gala a few years ago. Weng performed in the gala as a student, and Murphy was one of the

guest performers, Weng stated. “My greatest inspiration is Gillian Murphy because of her stunning performance of 32 fouettés in Swan Lake.” Weng said. “Though this coda of the performance only lasts half a minute, the 32 fouettes are regarded as the best performance of the entire Swan Lake and the greatest honor for a ballet dancer.” Currently, Weng dances at the New Ballet School in downtown San Jose, a school that aims to provide classical ballet training by providing classes and performances. Here, her class schedule is five days a week, a total of 14 hours, according to Weng. “Performances are usually twice a year, once for the Nutcracker during the holiday season and once in the spring. This year, she will be performing Swan Lake at the California Theatre in May,” Weng stated. Ever since elementary school, Weng has enjoyed performing and learning the theatrical art. Weng intends to continue dancing even after high school, Weng stated. “Ballet is a commitment that I would want to continue throughout my life, and I’ll definitely continue taking classes during college and after that,” Weng explained.


Sophomore Britney Weng practices balancing in an arabesque. Weng has been dancing ballet at the New Ballet School in downtown San Jose for 11 years.

April 2017





Courtesy of Maggie Ly

InterARKey created many poster decorations for Project BEaUtiful Week that were placed around campus to give the ‘selflove’ vibe of the project. Some of the decorations included the wing posters and bigger posters that had self-love quotes.

Project BEaUtiful Week shines light on self-love by Grace Chang Sherry Lam

SHERRY LAM| the Union

Students were asked during lunch whether they could recognize the MHS administration. Eighty students were shown the photos of administration above.

French Club raises donations by Sherry Lam

In February, French Club took on a goal of raising $500 for people in Haiti who were devastated by Hurricane Matthew in Oct. 2016, according to French Club Vice President Brandy Redic. French Club surpassed their goal and raised over $500 for the Médecins Sans Frontières, also known as Doctors Without Borders. This humanitarian organization provides medical aid in Haiti as well as other countries. “With us being a French club and all, we wanted to help out a French-speaking country that needed some sort of aid,” Redic said. “When we were brainstorming causes and countries that we could fundraiser for, it was around October and that’s when Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti. ” The French Club officers got their members involved by having them help make posters and boxes where people could put their donations in,

according to French Club President Blaze Ann Carbonell. “We also created a GoFundMe page so that people outside of MHS could donate,” Carbonell said. “We stood in front of the theater during lunch for two Wednesdays in Feb. Our French Club members helped us out by holding posters and walking around asking if students wanted to donate.” Raising money for people in Haiti who were devastated by Hurricane Mat left Redic in awe. “You know that warm feeling you get inside of you when you know you do something really good for someone else without anything in return,” Redic said. “Well I felt consumed by that warm feeling.” Carbonell also thought that fundraising for this cause was a great experience. However, she did go into this fundraising campaign with some concerns. “Initially, I was afraid that we would not meet our goal because French Club is small compared to the other clubs on campus,” Carbonell said. Online Driver’s Education Ages 15 & Up

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On February 13, Interact, Acts of Random Kindness, and Key Club (InterARKey) kicked off Project BEaUtiful Week, a week dedicated to raising awareness of self-love and spreading love on the MHS campus. Every day was dedicated to a different aspect of spreading self love and care. The 47 officers of InterARKey collaborated to bring this large event to the campus, according to Key Club Junior Class Representative Kevin Quach. “The purpose of Project BEaUtiful was essentially to remind every student on campus to love themselves for who they are, to embrace their individuality, to love their flaws and imperfections, and to spread love throughout the campus,” Quach said. “We wanted to deconstruct expectations of society, such as the need to fit a certain mold or be competitive, so the project was designed to mainly focus on self-love and self-care.” They wanted to present as many resources and ways to reestablish mental and physical health equilibrium, such as coloring, popping bubble wrap, talking to a friend or seeking therapy from CASSY, the on-campus therapy program, according to Interact Board Director Jeanette Mai. “Our school is one of the only schools in the bay area that has an

on-campus therapy program,” Mai said. “That’s such a blessing! I noticed that more of the people around me were extra down and even neglecting their health.” At the time Mai thought of the idea of having this week, she was receiving help from CASSY and wanted to spark more conversations about the program to encourage others who are seeking help to look into it. “We knew not everyone would react positively to this week, but we hoped that people could appreciate it, and if they were not directly affected by the week, they would be able to help a friend,” Mai said. The officers started planning for this event in December, Quach said. “I was in charge of planning the decorations that would go on campus to give the whole ‘self-love’ vibe of the project,” Quach explained. The week was a success. There was a lot of positive feedback from the MHS students. “On Instagram, I would see so many posts of people who took pics with [the wing posters around campus] and with all three clubs working together, I loved it,” Senior Ashley Nguyen said. “There was so much positivity being spread around too. Self love and self care come first for me.” One act of kindness that Mai took on was reminding the lunch ladies

of the appreciation students hold for them. “I got to personally deliver tissue paper flowers to the lunch ladies, and when we told them how much we appreciated them, their faces lit up, and in that moment I knew that the warmth I felt and saw meant that this project was worth coordinating,” Mai said. Although Sophomore Andrew Hsiao wasn’t affected by it, he believed the week advocated a great message, Hsiao said. “I think it’s an amazing campaign with an amazing message that empowers individuals and lets them know that everyone is loved and cared for,” Hsiao said. “As with any event, there were a few hiccups, but everyone really helped make it successful,” Mai said. “A lot more people helped than I expected! I was honestly so pleasantly surprised by the amount of support we got.” Mai is also thankful for the help that Students Activity Director Joanna Butcher and CLOG Commissioner Jonathan Tran gave them. “The team received a message from someone before the week even started saying she was grateful it existed because she was having a difficult time,” Mai said. “Feedback like this reminded us all why this project was so necessary and so worth the energy.”

Kaenjak holds four state titles in Taekwondo by Noemi Crisanto

Sophomore Anna Kaenjak has been in love with Olympic Style Taekwondo ever since she was ten years old and began watching videos of competitions on Youtube. She is now six years into her career in Taekwondo and currently holds four state titles, with her most recent win happening this past weekend. “My friend’s uncle who is a master at a school came in for career day, and what really inspired me to join were all of the motivational videos he showed,” Kaenjak said. “They weren’t just about people fighting because they incorporated how important sportsmanship was and I liked that.” Kaenjak didn’t wait long after beginning her career to enter tournaments. After only three years of training in Poomsae, a defined pattern of defense and attack motions, Kaenjak won nationals three times in the years 2014, 2015, 2016. “In my first year, 2014, there were 24 other competitors,” Kaenjak said. “I was really surprised because a lot of people only win nationals once or twice and that’s it. I won in Poomsae, or forms, and I was judged on flow, beauty, and how long my stances are.” However, all of Kaenjak’s wins have

come at a price. According to Kaenjak, she has had to give up a lot and has had to learn how to juggle her social life, school work, training because of how much time the sport demands of her in order to keep up. “It’s a lot of hard work,” Kaenjak said. “There are a lot of training hours that go into staying in shape. Every single day, I train for an hour except for Saturday. On Fridays I train for two hours and on Sundays for four hours. However, when time to train for nationals I train for three to four hours every day for that whole month.” Kaejnak also mentioned that her training requires just as much mental preparation as physical training. “It’s a lot of mental preparation,” Kaenjak said. “It sometimes is more mental than physical. If the mindset isn’t there, the win won’t be easy. Being relaxed and having your mind where you want it is definitely a difficult thing to do, but it comes with experience.” According to Kaejnak, she is currently training for nationals after having placed third at the state tournament in Fresno and hopes to continue her career after high school and play at the collegiate level once she leaves Milpitas High.

Courtesy of Anna Kaenjak

Sophomore Anna Kaenjak gets ready to fight her opponent in Taekwondo.



APRIL 2017


‘Breath of the Wild’ a benchmark for all video games RATING (Out of 5 Flowers):

er him toward his goals, visiting every inch of a rich and detailed BY JUSTIN TSO world. You’ll have to deal with Link’s physical limitations, and you’ll quickly learn that Hyrule is After six years of waiting followa dangerous place, with enemies ing “The Legend of Zelda: Skyward and nature itself often conspirSword,” Nintendo’s greatest franing against you. Eventually, you’ll chise has made its return in the be able to scale entire mountains biggest way possible. “Breath of the and glide through the sky, discovWild” has enormous expectations ering that as much ground to fill, but equipped with Hyrule has, there’s exponenan enormous, constantly tially more to explore above changing, and incredibly acit. The game has well over a cessible open world, it manhundred hours of gameplay ages to surpass every one of GAME anyone willing to test it those expectations and revREVIEW for and will keep surprising you olutionize the “Zelda” series however long you play. at the same time. “Breath of the Wild” also comA lot of the Zelda tradition repletely renovates “The Legend of turns: the ever-present hero Link Zelda’s” combat system in a way is back to save Hyrule and Princess that both preserves traditional Zelda from the evil Ganon. This gameplay mechanics while adding time, however, the biggest charnew touches that make defeating acter of the game by far is Hyrule your enemies far more engaging. itself, a sprawling, colorful, unWeapons now have finite durabiltamed sandbox. It’s your job as the ity, and you’ll find your weapons player to keep Link alive and ush-

breaking constantly. Luckily, you can pick up the weapons of the enemies you defeat, upgrading to better weapons as you defeat stronger and stronger enemies. Combat invokes new mechanics using timing and skill to defeat Link’s enemies with flair. Enemy behavior varies wildly, making strategy a necessity. Special magical skills round out your arsenal, and in such a vast world, the game will continue to throw new mechanics at you, fleshing out the game in a surprisingly realistic and complex manner. “Breath of the Wild” is almost certainly the best game of the year, and it definitely deserves to be part of the conversation as one of the best games of all time. It’s an incredible return to form for Nintendo and a great flagship game for the Nintendo Switch. If the countless hours I’ve spent traversing Hyrule’s magical landscape are any indication, you won’t regret getting lost in this incredible masterpiece.

Courtesy of

From left to right: Laura (Dafne Keen), Logan (Hugh Jackman), and Charles (Patrick Stewart) seek refuge inside of a casino in order to hide away from the villanous Donald Pierce, Xander Rice, and their mercenary gang the Reavers.

‘Logan’ stands alone as a magnificently dark tale RATING (Out of 5 Flowers):

from the forces that pursue her. This film is without a doubt much BY BRANDON WETTENSTEIN different from others in the X-Men ARVIND KUMAR universe with its R-rating and darkAfter nine films and seventeen ened tone. Wolverine and Charles years of portraying the popular both swear when the situation isn’t Wolverine, Hugh Jackman hangs going their way and when Wolverup the claws for the final time in ine uses his claws on enemies, there “Logan,” arguably one of the greatis extensive blood and gore. est comic book movies in In terms of performances, history. Yet calling it just a Hugh Jackman and Patrick “comic book movie” is doing Stewart deliver the best perit a disservice. Despite beformances they’ve ever given ing connected to the X-Men in the X-Men series. Jackman MOVIE series, “Logan” is an atmosthe emotional scenes REVIEW nails pheric western and terrific in the movie and manages to character film at its core. make a pissed off and angry Lo“Logan” takes place 20 years afgan likable, and Stewart gracefully ter the events of “Days of Future plays Charles as an older, sarcastic, Past” where mutants are all but yet optimistic father figure. Addiextinct. Charles Xavier is in his tionally, Dafne Keen, who portrays nineties and dealing with a degenLaura, gives a star-making perforerative brain disease, while Logan mance. Keen steals the show from is old, weary, and losing his healing Jackman in action scenes and is factor. When a young mutant girl, outstanding at portraying Laura Laura, comes to Logan and Charles whenever she’s under physical or for help, the two must protect her emotional duress.

The villains are also worth mentioning because they do a great job challenging our heroes and making the audience despise them. Dominic Pierce is a sly and ruthless soldier tasked with finding and returning Laura to Xander Rice. Pierce is shockingly entertaining whenever he’s on screen because of his cocky attitude and sarcastic dialogue. Rice is the opposite with his devious and cold-hearted plan to control mutant powers from his unethical experiments on them. If you’ve never seen an X-Men film, don’t let that stop you from watching “Logan” as it manages to stand on its own and not require you to know exactly what happened in the previous films. It also manages to transcend multiple genres and tell a dark, rich story about family and depression. “Logan” is a masterful piece of work and should be a must-see for even the most casual of comic book movie fans.

‘Beauty and the Beast’ revives the Disney magic RATING (Out of 5 Flowers):

scenes are shot tend to vary, and minor subplots are changed. BY ELAKYA THIRUMOORTHY The music of the film is also worth remarking upon. The original music “Beauty and the Beast,” a musical director and score composer of the romantic Disney film, was released original movie, Alan Menken, reon March 16 of this year. Directed by turned to oversee the music for this Bill Condon, it’s set in the late 18th film. The actors produce a new spin century, in rural France. The on the songs that were released movie mostly follows the plot with the first movie. The largof the original movie, with Belle est difference is the addition of (Emma Watson) falling in love completely new songs. I think MOVIE they are a welcome addition with the Beast (Dan Stevens) REVIEW to the new movie that we will who was cursed to live alone. The plot produces the same grow to love, especially as they intense feelings we have with were composed by the original the first movie and the complex cincomposer. ematography and production quality There were controversies surenthralls everyone watching. rounding the movie. One was that The film follows the template of the character of Le Fou is gay. Some the original film almost to a tee. people felt this was not acceptable However, to keep the movie from to have in a children’s movie, as it becoming too dull, there are changmight influence the children somees to some areas. The dialogue isn’t how. Others thought this was offenidentical, the angles from which the sive since Le Fou is not portrayed in

a positive light in the original film and is seen as an annoying character obsessed with Gaston. However, a large population supports this choice as they believe representation of people who are gay is needed in the world of cinema, and Le Fou in this film is less of a one-dimensional character. The other main issue was Emma Watson’s clothes. Belle, as she is from 18th century france, is supposed to wear a gown with a corset and other fittings to create the proper ballgown shape. Emma Watson does not wear such a dress, and instead wears a more comfortable, more plain yellow dress. Some supported this decision as women but some thought that she should have stayed true to this time period. Overall, this film was nostalgic, well thought out, and beautiful to watch. It signals that the upcoming remakes will hopefully be just as wonderful to watch.

prince sidon’s muscles unnecessary inclusivity Hugh jackman’s beard emma watson doll allergy season

THE TWO OF US by Chloe x Halle Genre: R&B & Neo-Soul RATING (Out of 5 Flowers):

LANDMARK by Hippo Campus Genre: Alternative/Indie RATING (Out of 5 Flowers):



When you’re Beyoncé’s protégés, there is little room to be anything less than musical genius. For sister duo Chloe x Halle who have released their first mixtape, titled “The Two of Us” on March 16, they have certainly managed to measure up to their mentor’s musical prowess (although not yet genius). With their hypnotic and soothing melodies, the duo, composed of sisters Chloe and Halle Bailey, are proving to be strong musical talents to watch out for in the future. Their mixtape, featuring eighteen short tracks, is a symphony of dreamlike vocals and instrumentals, is a strong indicator of Chloe and Halle’s strong ears for catchy, yet trance-inducing beats and sounds. The twenty-five minute mixtape is filled with wonderful surprises that explore the girls’ talents, with tracks channeling the likes of FKA twigs, Regina Spektor, and Solange, often drawing inspiration from 60’s traditional pop. While the work as a whole is a commendable testament to Chloe and Halle’s wide array of talents, individual tracks tend to slip between the cracks, leaving only a few memorable ones. The mixtape starts off strong, with the bubbly and mystical “Used to Love” and “Too Much Sauce.” These first two tracks display Chloe x Halle’s signature musical stylesbeautiful harmonies, intricately woven with complex beats and instrumentals. Following these two tracks, however, the mixtape begins to drop in its memorability, until it reaches the eight track, titled “Worries” which draws some similarities from Erykah Badu and Jill Scott. Following “Worries,” “The Two of Us” produces several other remarkable tracks, such as “Tra Ta Ta,” and the haunting “Lucky Leaf.” There is no doubt that Chloe x Halle are extremely talented artists- their aesthetic and overall sound are distinct and incredibly mesmerizing. It’s hard to believe that both of them are around our age, considering their artistic styles are more complex and unique than most pop stars out right now. Where some tracks fall short of their general musical formula of catchiness and mistifying sounds, “The Two of Us” is a strong testament to Chloe and Halle’s abilities and what I am dying to see in the future.

Hippo Campus continues its campaign of musical brilliance in its newest album, “Landmark.” The thirteen-song album builds on the unique talents and sounds that made their previous EPs so popular. In addition to Hippo Campus’ unmistakable style, “Landmark” experiments with new sounds and methods of creating music. The album opens with “Sun Veins” and leaves a relaxing feel, transporting you to rainy days of yore, and seamlessly transitions into the next song of the album, “Way it Goes.” Like many of the songs in the album, “Way it Goes” takes you to familiar places you’ve never been before. The upbeat instrumentals truly immerse listeners and the lyrics paint a setting easily imaginable that steals listeners from reality. “Epitaph” showcases the group’s growth, adding depth to its mainly acoustic roots by including electronic sounds that echo, as if the song were playing in a field. Turntan’s rich voice rings across the track as the music starts slow and builds in energy and beat. The light instrumental section of the song isolates the depth of Turntan’s voice and brings a certain unabridged purity to the song. However, the end section also leaves you begging for a major instrumental climax, the one thing missing in the standalone song but aids in the effect of the next song. “Landmark” differs from Hippo Campus’ previous works in that it includes more techno-instrumentals to help accompany the band’s brilliant acoustics. While it shows the band’s growth, it can be argued that it takes away from what sets Hippo Campus apart from other bands: the group’s refreshingly pure acoustic sounds. While Hippo Campus has moved away from its orignal inpspirations and sounds, the techno tunes help accentuate the purity of the band’s instrumentals. Despite Hippo Campus’ departure from its roots, “Landmark” has a great feel. Listening to “Landmark” forces you to forget the rest of the world and really hear every aspect of the music. The lyrics make you think and reminisce as the sounds wash over you in waves of nostalgia. As Hippo Campus’ debut album, Landmark successfully delivers great sounds and even better feelings.

APRIL 2017




Tuong-Vi Nguyen | THE UNION

From left to right: Agnes Evans (Reshel Pascua) gets stranged by Evil Tina (Emerald Gilana) as Tilly Evans (Swetha Nair) and Evil Gabbi (Krystal Guiocho) watch.

‘She Kills Monsters’ enjoyable, but suffers from storyline flaws RATING (Out of 5 Flowers):

that were supposed to be emotional that I thought unfortunately fell After hearing the advertisements a bit flat. To be specific, the scene for “She Kills Monsters,” I thought in which Agnes gives Lily a letthe story of a high school girl play- ter from Tilly seemed to suggest ing Dungeons & Dragons to some- a moment of poignancy, but I felt how connect with her dead sister that the air was a little too empty. was quite an ambitious plotline. I I was left rather underwhelmed in went in expecting something err- a scene that was supposed to lend ing on the side of silliness, howev- itself as an emotional peak but er, storyline is more serious than failed to. not, although it still definitely There were also scenes in which lends itself to plenty of funny and the play got too preoccupied with lighthearted moments. trying to make a point, such as The play opens with an introduc- when Agnes went to visit Kaliope tion to Agnes Evans (Senior Reshel and Orcus in the real world to Pascua), a popular high schoole- see that Kaliope is a disabled girl. cheerleader with a jock boyRather than feel touched, I friend and the stereotypical viewed the scene as a cheap pretty-girl life, and her siseffort to showcase inclusiveter, Tilly Evans (Freshman ness and community that Swetha Nair), a geekier girl PLAY didn’t add much to the story. who finds joy in playing DunAlthough I had my fair share REVIEW geons & Dragons. Agnes, seeof criticisms while watching ing Tilly as a loser, wishes her the play, I also laughed a lot. sister dies, and sure enough, Tilly However, the ending of the play gets killed in a car crash soon after. took a turn for the very excessiveThe rest of the play involves Agnes ly cheesy and tried a bit too hard to learning about Tilly through a teach a lesson about love and life. type of roleplay diary her late sis- It seemed out of place, and someter kept, with the help of Dungeon times, a play should just be a play Master Chuck (Senior Leonar- and not try to prescribe unwanted do Vasquez) guiding her through morals onto their audiences. the gameplay. As Agnes traverses The two actors that stood out to through the fantasy Tilly created, me were Vasquez and Templeton. she reunites with a version of her They both were hilarious and very sister in the game as well as other appropriate for their roles. I parcharacters Tilly fabricated: Lilith ticularly appreciated that Vasquez (River Awoke), Kaliope (Tsegenet was very resonant and easily Awoke), and Orcus (Flynn Tem- heard, and Templeton played the pleton). Agnes gleans a better pic- washed-out villain role very huture of Tilly’s life through playing morously despite having his entire her D&D game and ultimately face covered by a giant red mask. finds a way to connect with her sisThe student-painted set was ter and cope with her grief. nice. I liked the forest setting in “She Kills Monsters,” at least as particular, and the differentiation put on at MHS, definitely lends between the fantasy world and the itself toward a more adolescent real world was always cool as well. audience, as is appropriate: the I also liked the green shapeshiftjokes and references were generi- er that Agnes fought. The way the cally-high-school sexual and gar- students made it was very innovanered plenty of laughter from the tive and executed humorously. audience, and there were quite a Overall, the play managed to few moments turned feminist that exceed my expectations and was elicited applause from an excited enjoyable to watch despite its crowd. However, even though the overly preachy conclusion and play is geared toward a younger underwhelmingly sentimental audience, there were still scenes scenes. BY CA-ZAO BUI

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Nintendo’s latest console, the Switch, features two Joy-Con Controllers that if necessary, can attatch to the both sides of the console to create a traditional controller. The hybrid console also comes with a docking station to become a home console.

Nintendo Switch a refreshing change to console gaming RATING (Out of 5 Flowers):

far away from the actual gaming device. The Nintendo Switch fixed this mistake by having the tablet Nintendo has officially made its provided be the actual console. comeback and is now stronger than The fact the Switch lets ever, which is all thanks to the you change easily between Nintendo Switch. The Nintendo different modes is its most Switch is the newest gaming conappealing trait. It seems to sole offered by Nintendo and has be just like a tablet when been recently announced to be the you first open it, measfastest selling console in the comuring around 15.2 milpany’s history. limeters thick. It also What exactly is it that is making features a 6.2-inch 720p this specific console take off? Well, display that puts any the console offers a new way of its previous consoles to of gaming, since the console shame. can be played as an on-theHowever, I believe that go device, but also as a trathe Nintendo Switch’s best ditional Televison console. GAME Usually, this could only be REVIEW feature are the two Joy-Con Controllers. They can come achieved by buying two septogether to make a traditionarate consoles, until now. al controller, but can also be sepaNintendo had a lot riding on the rated into two so that you have one Switch because it was trying to controller in each hand. The only make up for how its previous codifference between both is that the sole, the Wii U, failed as the next left Joy-Con has a minus button best gaming system. The Wii U had and one for taking screenshots, previously claimed to be a console and the right Joy-Con has a plus that could also be portable, except button and another one for quickly for the fact that you could not be BY NOEMI CRISANTO

returning to the home screen. The best part is that both Joy-Con Controllers can be turned sideways and become individual mini controllers so that two players can go head-to-head. The Nintendo Switch also comes with the game 1-2-Switch, which is a party/group game that really shows off all of the Joy-Con’s new sensor technology. The game itself comes with 28 mini games that each come with their own 2-3 minute video tutorial. All of the mini games try to bring in different perspectives, but the game would have been better if the company had just gotten rid of some of the mini games. Even so, I want give props to Nintendo for putting out a good console that is reasonably priced at $300, since it can be used as a home console and also on-the-go. I also think that it is a fine console that is good for multiplayer gaming and individual gaming.

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An overarching trend in the cosmetic and health world has risen: naturalness to the point of complete minimalism. Products boasting about their organicity and the extent to which they have been derived from completely natural sources are hitting the shelves at an alarming rate. Whether it’s food or beauty products, the differences between the two are continuing to dwindle; I have seen bars of soap so stripped of their chemical components that they are nearly edible. This fad has spilled into the world of DIY as well. There are countless recipes for both beauty and food products that one can whip up using obscure but natural ingredients that may or may not already be in your own kitchen. Because products are now de-


manded to stripped of unnatural dyes and flavors, processed goodness, preservatives, and other forms of artificiality, our bodies are following suit. A diet craze has swept the social media accounts of the glittering celebrities who boast about their “purification” rituals and remedies: the detox. What exactly is a detox? Detoxes claim to speed up the purification of our bodies, acting as a sort of clean-sweep. There is a plethora of detoxes, all ranging in the level of dedication required, the extent to which they dictate your meals, the severity or length of the schedule, and of course, the disgustingness of what they allow you to eat. One increasingly popular detox is the “teatox.” Most of the programs span over the course of seven, 14, or 28 days. This includes drinking tea every morning and another form


helen Huynh | The union

helen Huynh Huynh || The The union union helen

APRIL 2017

APRIL 2017




Norooz rings in a new spring BY SABA KHORISANI

wafa malik | The union

While March 20 may just be the first day of spring to some, it is a much bigger deal to Iranians all over the world. Eid e Norooz, or the Iranian New Year, is celebrated every year on the very first day of spring. Norooz is all about the birth of spring, or the renewal of life, and it means no(new)- rooz(day). It is celebrated by Iranians all over the world, as well as many of other ethnicities, such as Kurds, Azerbaijanis, Tajiks, etc. This celebration is very traditional, dating back to 3,000 years ago, starting with the Zoroastrians. There are many traditions during Eid e Norooz, and the most important one is the haft seen, or table of seven “s”. A table is arranged with seven objects that start with the “s”letter of the Farsi alphabet. The seven items are serkeh (vinegar), seeb (apple), somaq (sumac), seer (garlic), sabzeh (wheat sprouts), samanu (pudding made from germinated wheat), and senjed (dried oleaster fruit). Other items are placed on the table as well, such as goldfish, a mirror, sweets, coins, and etc. Each item on the table symbolizes something different. The vinegar symbolizes patience, the apple symbolizes health, the pudding symbolizes affluence, the garlic symbolizes cleansing of

the body, the wheat sprouts symbolize rebirth, the dried oleaster symbolizes love, and the sumac symbolizes sunrise. Other events that relate to Norooz include Chaharshanbe Suri, and Sizdebedar. Chaharshanbe Suri is a celebration held the Wednesday before Norooz (last Wednesday of the year). Children and adults gather around to jump over bonfires, preparing for the year ahead. Sizdebedar is held thirteen days after the arrival of Norooz. Families head to the park to picnic, to greet friends, and celebrate the New Year. In Iran, Norooz lasts for thirteen days. Families prepare for this New Year celebration by cleaning the house, and by preparing delicious Iranian food. The traditional dinner during Eid e Norooz is sabzi polo ba mahi, or herb rice with fish. This dish has a lot of symbolism, the herbs symbolizing the greenness of spring, and the fish symbolizing life. Children in Iran get three weeks off of school for Norooz, and they spend time visiting older relatives. Eid e Norooz is also an opportunity for children to receive an “eidee” or new money, from family members. Norooz is a joyous holiday celebrated by many around the world, a time for families and friends to get together for new spring season, and a new year. Eid e shoma mobarak! (Happy New Year!)

Noses know: use quality tissues BY TUONG-VI NGUYEN

As flowers begin to bloom anew, it’s hard not to look up and admire their delicate petals, set against the clear blue sky of spring. With those fragrant buds, however, comes a disaster for humankind: pollen. Pollen, powdery and universally dreaded, can trigger unpleasant physical reactions in the best of us – watering eyes, sneezing, and worst of all, running noses.The allergy season is now upon us, and the answer is to invest in high quality tissues. Based on a collection of consumer opinions, here are the top five tissue brands that are sure to offer your nose some relief. Don’t let your sniffles turn you into Rudolph–check out the list below! 1. Puffs Ultra Soft & Strong: At $1.69 a box and a score of 87/100 on the Consumer Reports scale, Puffs Ultra S&S tissues are a worthy purchase. They are non-lotion, so your nose will be left feeling fresher and less greasy, as well as durable (no shredding when wet); in addition, they are much softer than off-brand alternatives. Puffs does not lie when they claim these tissues to be “soft & strong” because they are just that. 2. Kleenex Lotion Aloe & E: At $1.36 a box and a score of 81/100 on the Consumer Reports scale, Kleenex Lotion A&E tissues give you an extra soothing touch of moisture

without overdoing it. If your skin is sensitive and easily irritated, they will keep your nose from going raw, and the lotion aloe & E is known to help you feel like you’re blowing your nose on a cloud. 3. Puffs Plus Lotion: At $2.52 a box and a score of 75/100 on the Consumer Reports scale, Puffs Plus Lotion tissues are the most expensive on the list, but similar in quality to the ones previously mentioned (Kleenex Lotion). They are gentle on sad and sore noses, and thick enough to withstand any violent sneeze attacks. The softness of the tissues has also been compared to the fluffiness of a sheepdog or house cat, which is pleasant on the nose. 4. Kleenex Ultra Soft: At $1.39 a box and a score of 73/100 on the Consumer Reports scale, Kleenex Ultra Soft tissues are completely free of any annoying scents and lotions. They are still soft and durable, however, and can take more than one use (if you’re one of those people who enjoys reusing tissues). 5. Puffs Basic: At $1.21 a box and a score of 71/100 on the Consumers Reports scale, Puffs Basic tissues are probably one the most basic (hence the name), but reliable ones out there. If you’re not into having lotion, aloe, or any fancy shenanigans on your tissues, this simple kind will do the trick and take respectable care of your nose!



Swimming kicks off season, aims for CCS qualification by JUSTIN nguyen

The spring sports season is well underway, and the MHS swim team is looking to have a great season going into its final stretch. Both Varsity and Frosh/Soph teams for boys and girls have been doing amazing, according to Head Coach Jennifer Loomis. The season started out with two away meets against Wilcox, and Fremont, and following home meets against Santa Clara and Cupertino. While the Boys Frosh/Soph team is at a 3-1 record, the Varsity team is at an undefeated 4-0. The Girls’ team also shared their first win in three years, according to Senior Kelley Truong, with Varsity and Frosh/Soph teams at respective 4-0 and 3-1 records. “Last week [at the meet on March 17], all four squads­—both the girls and the boys—won their meet against Fremont, and everybody is just... they have just been improving day in day out.” Loomis said. “So I would say that we are having amazing season.” In addition to having strong athletes, several of the swimmers have attributed the current success of the team to the coaches themselves. A new addition to the team, Coach Jerome Chung has been a great role model and mentor. “I think Ms. Loomis has really

been a supportive coach, and Coach Jerome has really helped the girls; they've actually surprised quite a few of the other schools this season,” Senior Mark Tran said. “I honestly don't know where the team is going to go, [but with] the way Loomis is coaching, I think the team is headed in the positive direction.” Several underclassmen have also been making their marks on the team, according to Loomis. Freshman Brian Tran and Sophomores Alvin Quach and Anthony Nguyen, who made it to CCS last year, have been remarkable thus far in the season, according to Loomis. The team is also expecting to have a great turnout at the CCS trials this year, at the Santa Clara Swim Club, coming up on May 12. “I am expecting a really tight CCS team this year. They’ve already qualified. So they have already been qualified in several events. But at least two teams are going for CCS relay teams, and we’ve got a bunch of individuals going for CCS and possibly one more relay team. We are just a half a second off of making that.” The team's next match is April 6 away at Mountain View, according to Loomis.

Tennis rallies with new recruits


April 2017

derek vo| the Union

Sophmore Aaron Sin (left) and Freshman Vanessa Cho (right) prepare for the match against Monta Vista High School.

Badminton clears out competition in El Camino Division by NICHOLAS WAN DEREK VO

The MHS Varsity Badminton team defeated Monta Vista 15-15, 8-7 on March 30, according to the MHS Athletic website. As of the beginning of April, the varsity team’s record is 4 wins and 4 losses. The junior varsity badminton team did not fare as well against Monta Vista, losing 3-12. The current record as of April for junior varsity is 5 wins and 3 losses. Much of the team’s recent performance can be attributed to the promotion to the De Anza League, according to Junior Varsity Coach Jerell Maneja. After the MHS Badminton Team’s recent impressive records last year in the lower El Camino League, the team now competes in the higher De Anza League. “It’s nice to finally have a challenge; the level of competitiveness was not very high in the El Camino League, so there was not a lot of pressure for me to help the players grow,” Maneja said. “In my mind, I don’t care about the wins and losses; I care about developing the players, and that was difficult to do in the lower division.” Not much could be done on the coaches’ end last year because the

team was already overwhelmingly winning, Maneja said. This year, Junior Varsity players are still doing well, and the nervousness from the beginning of the season is gone, Maneja added. “This year, I’m more involved in the junior varsity’s players' development, both in the game and individually,” Maneja said. “A lot of the junior varsity players were new to the sport this year, but they have truly developed since the beginning of this year.” Ascending to the De Anza League has greatly benefitted the players as well, according to Senior Andrew Tran. The previous years in the El Camino League posed little challenge, so the higher standards can now push the team harder, Tran said. “The standards have definitely been raised compared to being in the El Camino League last year where our team could easily win 25-5,” Tran said. “Now in the De Anza League, we have to work much harder to make even a couple of points, but I believe that the upper league provides good experience for our players.” Being promoted to the De Anza League has not come without difficulties, as the team is facing off

against schools like Monta Vista, Gunn, and Palo Alto, according to Sophomore Andrew Hua. Despite this, the team has fared well, both on and off the courts, Hua elaborated. “We want to show the other schools that we belong in this division,” Hua said. “Even though we’re considered the underdog to other schools, I think we’ll be able to show that we belong.” Playing against teams in a higher division this year will also make the journey to CCS more difficult than last year, added Hua. Even though the road this year will be harder, it’s still possible to make it to CCS, Hua said. The varsity team’s singles and doubles players are strong this year, Tran said. Even though there were slightly less people trying out this year than last year, there are still talented players joining the team, Tran added. “We have a lot of notable members this year, especially three good freshmen, though our upperclassmen who have worked hard can’t be left out,” Tran said. “The team itself is also getting closer. [In] past years, there was a fine line between the Varsity and Junior Varsity team, but lately that line has blurred; this is a huge plus since it helps team bonding.”

Tennis rallies with new recruits Baseball targets another CCS appearance gurshaan bariana| the Union

Junior Ivan Chan returns a backband as he plays Singles #3 in a match against Santa Clara High School. The team won with an overall score of 6-1. by Gurshaan BaRIANA

The MHS Boys Tennis season is almost coming to a close, as the team currently has a record of 2-10 with five more games left until the end of the season, according to Head Coach Dong Pham. The team remains unsure about whether any players will qualify for the Central Coast Section (CCS) championship. However, the chances seem slim as the team appears to be using this year to gain experience, improve upon all mistakes, and prepare for the future. The majority of the players from last year’s team went on to graduate, leaving vacancies that would not be easy to fill, according to Dong. The circumstance made this year difficult, as many of the former players held top positions in the line-up. “Everything is different [this season],” Dong said. “A lot of good players from last year are gone, which means we needed many players to step up.” Seven out of the ten available starting positions were taken by players who had been on the Junior Varsity team during the prior year. The major transition from JV to Varsity caused many of the inexperienced players to become exposed to an unprecedented amount of pressure. Rather than pursuing the top place in the league, the team has instead used this year to rebuild and establish a strong core to ensure success in the future. “JV and Varsity are different levels, so it’s tough,” Dong said. “We have JV players coming up to Varsity, so we need to build their strategy game and work on technicalities.”

The boys tennis team also plays matches against non-league schools, giving them a chance to maximize their time in real games situations. According to Dong, these matches are imperative for the young players on the team to make sure they are more comfortable and play to their strengths. The team was no longer allowed to take bus rides this year to non-league matches. Although it made matters more complicated, Dong believes the matches were still helpful for the team to improve. “The non-league games are perfect for the young team we have,” Dong said. “We get to play with the good teams, which will only make them better.” MHS Junior Co-Captain Ivan Chan explained how the players' morales are still high despite their recent lack of triumph. If anything, the losses provide motivation for the team to work harder and finish off the season strong. “We’ve had some pretty disappointing losses, but we also had some pretty close games,” Chan said. “I think everyone is doing okay, but we have a lot to work on.” To overcome the initial obstacles of the season, the team began to identify weaknesses and worked towards eliminating potential errors in the game. The rocky start has not affected the team chemistry, as players still manage to work collectively to establish a cohesive unit, Chan added. “I’m proud of the fact that even though we have lost some games, everybody on the team tries hard,” Chan said. “Everybody cares about winning and wants to win badly.”

by Mihir hansalia

At the halfway stop through the varsity baseball season, Head Coach Chuy Zamudio has seen success and a lot of room for improvement. Currently holding a five-and-eight record, the team is performing at a standard lower than Zamudio expected. “Simply put, we are underachieving, especially in our offensive performance,” Zamudio said. “Our lack of hitting and discipline have attributed to the lack of offensive execution.” Another aspect of the game that is crippling the team’s potential is a struggle to close out the game, according to Zamudio. The team is in the second hardest division in California, and any mistakes can be fatal to victory, Zamudio added. “It is a struggle when we can’t

finish (the game),” Zamudio said. “It’s almost as if we’re playing two or three games in one game. We lack the discipline to close it out. We’re also in a gauntlet division this year, and every game we’re playing the [New England] Patriots. It’s definitely tough, but it’s up to us to close [the games] out.” Jokingly, Zamudio said that the “baseball gods” are not with the team right now, but he is confident in their arrival. “We are like a volcano ready to erupt at any moment,” Zamudio said. “We just don't know when.” The second half of the season will be a tough stretch, with the team needing eight wins out of its last thirteen games to advance to Central Coast Section Playoffs, according to Zamudio. However, the team is guaranteed two league finals games. “It’s going to be a tough road to CCS,

because we’re going to have to flip our current record,” Zamudio said. “We have a great system and a great group of players, so we just need to work to get there. We’ve worked too hard to not make the postseason. My season goal is to get to the San Jose Municipal Center for the CCS Semifinal game. If we get there, we’ll be the first team to for three years in a row. But they’ve gotta want it.” Zamudio was selected as a CCS Honor Coach for the 2016-2017 season, according to the MHS Athletics website. The award is highly prestigious and is given to one coach out of the entire CCS, according to Zamudio. “I feel honored to be chosen out of over 100 schools.” Zamudio said. “It’s thanks to our great athletic department and group of players that are willing to play in our system and get better.”

New faces on track and field coaching staff by Jerald Mendoza

The MHS Track and Field Team has had significant coaching changes this year, according to Head Coach Bridget Hall. Several coaches had to leave this year because of some major personal changes in their lives, she said. Many of the coaches have gotten jobs or are taking classes that don’t allow them the time to come and coach students after school. Most of their hours conflict with practice times, Hall said. “Our throwing coach, Isa Musika, had a lot of other outside job responsibilities," Hall said. "She had a job that's taking up more hours,

so she doesn't have time to coach. Our sprints coach, Coach Thomas, decided to go teach in Korea this year, and our jumps coach, Coach Ramos, is no longer with us. Coach Huynh didn't come back this year because he has his student teaching support classes at night, so that interferes with him being out here.” The new coaches this year are very familiar with the school, Hall said. Most coaches are either returning coaches or graduated from Milpitas High in the past, Hall said. “Our throwing coaches, [Coach Maria Thomas and Coach Trevor Dimich], used to coach here previously and decided to come back,” Hall said. “Our jumps coach is

also a former MHS athlete, Danielle Yee. Coach Chris Lundy, [the sprints coach], was here for a few years. He left because he got a new job that didn't allow him to get out at three o'clock.” Not all students are happy with the coaching changes, said Jumper Lisl Chew. A lot of things have changed since the new coaches have come in, she said. “Practice is focused more on strength rather than form," Chew said. "It is harder for new track members to learn basic techniques. Many track members are not satisfied with the coaching they are receiving. Some of the coaching contradicts techniques learned in the past.”

APRIL 2017








Celine Phan Freshman

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Pokémon Go Generation 2 improves game BY EMMY YU

The highly anticipated Generation 2 release of Pokémon GO has been, by far, the largest expansion event that the creators at Niantic rolled out since the app’s release last summer. For all those who have not jumped on the Pokémon GO bandwagon, or more incredibly, have never heard of the global phenomenon, Pokémon GO is a location-based, augmented reality gaming app developed by Niantic, Inc. The app allows users to catch Pokémon, hatch eggs, obtain items at Pokéstops, and battle at gyms while you explore your own neighborhood. The GPS tracking system allows the in-game avatar to move as you do, and local landmarks in the physical world are mirrored in the game to serve as Pokestops and Pokémon Gyms. However, despite the major spike in player activity following the release of Generation 2, the renewed interest is also quickly dying out. Here’s why: 1. Generation 2 Pokémon are not as iconic as Generation 1. Even those who are not part of the Pokémon fandom have heard of Pikachu. The same,

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Yvonne Phan Senior

Prom season is approaching, and prom is something that we all have been eagerly awaiting for three or four years. In addition, prom is a life event; the last thing you want to happen is make an etiquette mistake and carry on the humiliation, shame, and remorse for the rest of your life. So, here are some important prom etiquette tips for a night to remember: 1. Prompose in person: Asking someone to prom over text, or even Snapchat, is as unacceptable and cowardly as breaking up with someone over text. Promposing over the phone is only slightly less inappropriate, but is still a horrible approach to finding a date. Only do so if you are attending a funeral, in critical condition, or in some type of urgent situation. Always—yes, always—prompose in person if you could so you do not come off as insincere, inconsiderate, and spineless. 2. Be polite about rejecting someone: Promposal rejections

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however, unfortunately cannot be said about all of Generation 2. While I can proudly list all 151 Pokémon in the Generation 1 Pokédex, I barely know the evolutions of Generation 2. The second generation of Pokémon just doesn’t conjure up the same nostalgic memories as the original 151. A Cyndaquil will never be the same as a Charmander. 2. It is very difficult to obtain special items. The Pokédex for Generation 2 also features a few extended evolutionary paths of Generation 1. For example, while Onix is in the first generation Pokédex, its evolution Steelix was only released in the second generation. However, Pokémon GO requires special items for some of their extended evolutions in addition to the required number of candies. These items include the King’s Rock that evolves Poliwhirl into Politoed and Slowpoke into Slowking, the Dragon Scale that evolves Seadra into Seaking, the Sun Stone that evolves Gloom into Bellossom, the Up Grade for Porygon into Porygon 2, and the Metal Coat for Scyther into Scizor. In the game, these items are obtained

through spinning Pokestops, where trainers obtain the necessary items such as Pokéballs, Potions, and Berries. However, these special items are extremely rare, with some players reporting only a single drop per several hundred spins. Without these items, many of the anticipated second generation evolutions have been largely unavailable to the general population of active users. 3. are

Legendary Pokémon still not available. Despite legendary Pokémon such as Mewtwo, Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres appearing on the Generation 1 Pokédex, they have all been unavailable to trainers both in the wild and in egg form. Pokémon GO continues to deprive players of one of the most exciting aspects of the series. The introduction of the second generation just seems to be Niantic’s underhanded way of distracting users from the fact that legendary Pokémon have not been released. While it is fantastic that the Generation 2 event brought one hundred new Pokémon, the release of legendaries should have preceded this event. Without legendary Pokémon, Pokémon GO falls short of being, well, legendary.

Follow these tips for a perfect prom night BY KEVIN ZHANG

Her Fashion Inspir ation: “My fashion inspiration is my sister.”

APRIL 2017

hurt just as much as college rejections. If someone took the time to make a poster, buy flowers, and come up with an original idea for a promposal, chances are, they care about you. Even if you decide to reject them, being polite while making your message clear is a necessity. Some rude rejections may be paying them to get away from you or claim that you are not going to prom, but actually are. Make sure you do not reject people in this manner. 3. Make sure you are dressed appropriately: As prom is a formal event, you should dress accordingly. Guys, make sure you are wearing your tuxedos or suits properly; tuck your shirts in, wear black socks, make sure your pants do not sag, and zip your fliers. Seriously, zip your fliers. Girls, wear appropriate, formal dresses and heels—if you decide to wear a pair—that are comfortable. 4. Wear flowers: Although corsages and boutonnières are not mandatory, wearing flowers is still aesthetically pleasing and traditional. Seriously consid-

er this if you have a date for the night; you can match flowers and be cute. Even if you do not have a date, you can still wear a flower to match your outfit or pretend you do have a date. Guys, the boutonnière goes on your lapel, the collar of your tuxedo jacket. Girls, it could go on your dress or around your wrist. 5. Be on time: We all have that one friend who is late to literally every single event, whether it be a class, a movie, or a shopping spree. Tardiness is a sign of insincerity, disrespect, and carelessness—especially to formal events—so make sure you show up punctually. Do not keep your date and friends waiting! 6. Dinner: Try to find a restaurant that you, your date—if you have one—and your group of friends all enjoy dining at. Ask each other about their favorite foods and find a compromise if there are differing opinions. Remember your table manners; place the napkin on your lap, do not talk with your mouth full, and keep the elbows off the table.

All the details on the new Samsung Galaxy BY ARVIND KUMAR

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His Fashion Inspir ation: “My fashion inspiration is from @iamkareno on Instagram.”

Samsung has finally announced the release of their long-awaited Samsung Galaxy S8. After the hiccups with the Note 7 and its battery, this is Samsung’s chance at retribution. To ensure that that same mistake does not happen again, they have also confirmed an 8 step check up on the battery of the S8. The S8 is planned to be a competitor of the LG G6, and many similarities in their techniques can be seen with the elimination of the bezels on both phones. From looking at both of these devices, it’s clear that the newest smartphone trend this year is the removal of the bezel in favor of fitting a bigger sized screen in a smaller form factor. The Galaxy S8 is planned to debut on April 21 in the US market, at around $720 for the regular model and $850 for the S8+. The S8 has come decked out

in a few new specs and features. To begin with, the S8 follows the ways of its predecessors with the curved screen display on both the S8 and the S8+. Besides the difference in screen size, both phones have similar specs. The S8 comes in at a 5.8” OLED display, whereas the S8+ comes with a 6.2” OLED display, which Samsun likes to call the infinity display. Both come with 4GB RAM, a 12 MP camera on the back and an 8MP camera on the front. In terms of the battery pack, the phone comes with a 3,000 mAh battery, which can appear as small for a phone so massive, and so power hungry. In terms of features, the S8 will not fail to impress. The S8 still carries a headphone jack, which is a dying breed in the tech industry, and it is still water and dust-resistant (IP68). Samsung has decided to remove the physical home button on the

phone and has replaced it with on-screen software buttons, similar to LG and the Google Pixel, but the buttons are still switched around from ordinary androids. This means that the fingerprint sensor has been moved to the rear of the phone beside the camera. Many complaints have already begun about how the fingerprint sensor’s placement and shape will prove it hard to operate with one hand. The S8 has also taken on the iris scanner from the Note 7, and comes with a new Bixby AI assistant, which comes with a dedicated button for the AI. With the arrival of the S8 right before summer, this phone can seem appealing for many who are hoping to get their hands on a new phone before the new school year. If you’re in need of an upgrade, have way too much money to spend, or just want to make your friends jealous, don’t be afraid to give the S8 a try.


APRIL 2017


Win that special someone’s affection with these easy promposals BY WAFA MALIK TUONG-VI NGUYEN

“Tied” Up Directions


1. Using one tie for each character, shape the ties into P, R, O, M, and ? and fasten with safety pins (you can cut the tie for the question mark if there is too much fabric).

- 5 ties - Safety pins

2. Hot glue the ties down and draw a heart to act as the dot for the question mark.

- Hot glue - Markers

3. Attach extra construction paper on top and use marker to write “Before you get tied up with other things…”

- Construction paper - Board

4. Present poster to your potential prom date and hope for the best!

- Tape

Chalk full of love Directions


1. Pick a spot your potential prom date often walks through and write “3 Reasons I Want to go to Prom with You” on the ground using chalk.

- Chalk

2. List the reasons you want to go to prom with him or her in a series of aesthetic boxes.

- Pavement

3. Have them walk to the pavement where the list is and prompose!

PromPepesal Materials


- Green construction paper

1. Trace out Pepe on the green construction paper and cut him out with utmost care.

- Board

2. Glue him onto a corner of the board.

- Markers

3. In the empty space, write “It would meme so much if you went to prom with me(me)!”

- Glue

4. Use Pepe to get yourself a prom date, you meme, you!



APRIL 2017



Restaurant Reviews: Icicles and Burger Showdown In-N-Out vs Shake Shack BY GRACE CHANG

were a lot of people when I went to Shake Shack. The restaurant itself was very nice and lines were quite long. After taking my order I recieved a buzzer to inform me when my order was ready. At Shake Shack I had the original shack burger with an order of cheese

West Coasters and East Coasters disagree on which popular fast food burger restaurant is better. West Coasters prefer In-N-Out, while East Coasters claim that Shake Shack is superior. While I was in New York I tried the New York’s must try fast food place Shake Shack to answer the Gr ace C N fries. h a ng | THE U N IO question which is better: The burgIn-N-Out or Shake Shack. er consists of I went to Shake Shack to lettuce, tomaend once and for all if it is actually to, cheese, better than In-N-Out. and their own original Shake Shack sauce. The Shake Shack is a popular fast fries are crinfood restaurant located in New kle cut fries York. The Shake Shack I went with cheese on to is located in Times Square. the top or on the They have a large light up sign cheese on the side. on the outside and on the inside The burger was good, there are a few tables. There but was not as fresh as


ac e

In-N-Out. It was also pricier than In-N-Out. I enjoyed the cheese fries and prefer them over In-N-Out’s animal fries. I went back to Shake Shack again a few days later. I also tried the Smoke Shack burger, a cheeseburger topped with bacon, chopped cherry pepper, and shacksauce with a vanilla milkshake. This burger was pretty good and the cherry peppers gave it a hint of spice. In-N-Out In-N-Out is a popular fast food restaurant that has several chain restaura nts in California. InN-Out h a s

C h a ng | T H E U N


quick a n d g o o d ser vice and lines can be

Overall I prefer In-NOut better than Shake Shack. Shake Shack has a better appearance when it comes to the restaurant itself and is visually pleasing. I did enjoy the menu items I tried at shake Shack. I particularly liked Shake Shack’s bacon burger and cheese fries. However, despite the asthetic appearnce of Shake Shack and variuosburgers, my loyalties still lie with In-N-Out. As Grace Chang| THE UNION someone from the west coast I can’t deny the quality burgers quite long depending on the at this fast food restaurant. I am time. In-N-Out is known able to get great quality food and for their cheese burgers. a good amount of food for a small amount of money. There are so In-N-Out’s cheeseburger conmany chain-retaurants that I am sist of lettuce, tomato, cheese able to enjoy an In-N-Out burger and In-N-Out sauce. It is simialmost anywhere in the Bay Area lar to Shake Shack in terms of and California. Shake Shack has the ingredients, but taste wise put up a good fight and is deliis fresher and juicier. In comcious but can’t beat In-N-Out’s parison to Shake Shack, In-Nfreshness and affordability. I Out has less menu options, but will definetly go back to Shake have a secret menu with variShack the next time I go back to artions of their menu options. New York. In the meanwhile, I At In-N-Out I typically get a will be content with having an double-double cheeseburger In-N-Out burger when I feel with a side of fries. In-N-Out has like enjoying a delicious burger. great tasting and fresh burgers.

Icicles I decided to test out this craze and see if it was worth the hype. My visit to Icicles began with Recently, I ventured out a relatively long wait in a line to San Jose to have some extending quite a bit outside high-quality food, something of the small shop. This was quite rare in Milpitas. Instead definitely manageable, howof eating at an actual restauever. There was a guitar playrant, I found myself standing er entertaining the customers in line at the highly popular waiting for their turn to order Icicles ice cream shop. Posias well as those who were eattioned close by to Santana Row ing outside the shop. Because and Valley Fair, the shop is in a of this pleasant atmosphere, perfect position to attract weathe line moved pretty quickly. ry customers after a long day. Once inside, I had an A novelty dessert store, Icicles option of 11 only serves different ice Thai-style cream flarolled ice vors, rangcream. The ing from owners boast bae-sic, that the qualc on si s t i n g ity is unbeatof plain cusable as the intard, cream, gredients are and milk, to all fresh and bravocado, the ice cream a healthy is made with avocado ice milk pasteurcream. All ized at the Elakya Thirumoorthy | THE UNION flavors are location. It priced the same at $6.50. There has quickly become extremeare also three dairy-free sorbet ly well-known due to social rolls made of different fruits if media and has a reputation of one wants to avoid milk prodserving exceptional ice cream. BY ELAKYA THIRUMOORTHY

ucts. After much deliberation, pings i desired for no additional I ended up choosing the oreo price, from bite-sized cheeseice cream flavor, Icicakes to fresh strawcles’ take on cookberries to cereal. I ies and cream. decided to go for After ordergummy bears, ing, I sat at strawberone of the ries, and few benchchocolate es inside, sy r up. waiting There is for my not much name to place to be called. eat inside Once it was the shop, so my turn. I I ended up stood in front moving outof one of the ice side to the cute cream chefs and tables with umbrelC watched as they made ourtesy of Yelp las to finish up my ice my order. They began by cream. pouring all the ingredients, I thorincluding the oreos and the oughly encondensed milk onto a freezing joyed the metal workspace. The ingrediice cream, ents froze until they reached an and it defiice cream consistency. The chef nitely was used metal spatulas to spread tasty ice the mixture into a thin sheet. cream. The Then, they cut and rolled the texture large sheet into individual rolls was much about 2 inches wide that they harder and Cou r put inside a bowl for me. I was more frotesy of Yelp then allowed to add any topzen than regular ice

cream. I love toppings as well, and it was definitely a plus that they were unlimited. However, I do not think it was worth the price it was, even with the extra toppings. I think the money was more worth it to watch the ice cream be prepared and to eat the distinctive rolls. The shop itself was also cramped, especially with the large number of customers they always have. I do not think that I wouldgo there every single time I wanted ice cream. This is probably because it is a little ways away. It is also a bit expensive for frequent consumption. Considering the variety of cheap alternatives that are available that taste almost identical to the ice cream provided at Icicles, it is definitely not worth daily visits.. Despite all of this, I do think it is a fun place to try out if one has not been there before as it was definitely a memorable experience.

AP tests are coming up, but you can make it through with these few tips BY TUONG-VI NGUYEN

Demanding to be seen and acknowledged, it follows you with a piercing gaze as you anxiously move around the room. You avoid glancing in its direction. “It” is a pile of books – AP test prep books, to be specific. Bought by eager students at the beginning of the school year, they nearly always end up neglected as the novelty of taking advanced classes fades. However, with May approaching, the time has come for us to confront that intimidating pile of books and start preparing for AP exams. Here are some tips to help you cope with stress and conquer the test! 1. Obtain some trusty test prep materials. Traditionally, students look to reputable companies such as The Princeton Review and Barron’s for AP workbooks – highly rated and worthwhile purchases. Whether

you are self-studying or taking a class, having test prep books is always useful, as they are an adequate source of information, and multiple choice and free response practice questions. It is always beneficial to work through these College-Boardtype questions to familiarize yourself with format and timing of the exam. If you cannot afford to buy a workbook, there are plenty of online sites with practice problems for you to access! 2. Set aside time to study consistently. With friends and social activities calling your name as the school year dwindles to an end, it’s easy to forget the fact that early May is full of exams. To avoid a mad, last minute study frenzy, be sure to prepare ahead for the test. Don’t wait until the week or night before the exam to start opening your workbooks and looking up 10-minute crash course videos – these are much

more useful if you don’t try to swallow the entire course’s worth of information in one sitting. Instead, plan to have uninterrupted study periods twice or thrice a week for weeks in advance. It’s a great way to build confidence before the test as well as the best way to prepare yourself for what’s ahead. When the time comes to take the test, you’ll be relaxed. 3. Don’t focus too hard on concepts you already know. Although it may be tempting to “practice” sections you are well acquainted with, doing so will not be as productive as tackling more difficult ones. Simply working on what you understand is an inefficient use of time that could instead be dedicated to studying “unfriendly” lessons and improving your points of weakness. Prioritize studying complex materials, and you will become much more confident and well rounded in your skills! However,

it is important to note that you should still review concepts you know – just be sure to spend extra time on problematic sections. 4. Join a study group whose members help, not distract you. Similar to the way runners find exercise partners to remain motivated and adherent to their schedule, fellow students are very valuable in the process of studying. Together, you and your study group can pool your knowledge and learn from one another in a fun and easy-going environment, which hopefully lessens the stress that comes with with exam preparation. Having academic friends to consult is a blessing, and your learning experience will go by much more smoothly with someone by your side. Call up your classmates; pick up the phone – don’t study alone! 5. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Know that there is a difference between

a healthy kind of pressure and one that is detrimental. Even though it can be motivational to force yourself to do well on exams, don’t act so extremely that you compromise your emotional and physical well being. High performance may be important, but you are more important. Never prioritize exam preparation over yourself because academics are secondary to your health. So, yes, you can focus on studying, but don’t overdo it. Take breaks when you need to, and don’t be afraid to ask others for help if you’re having trouble understanding a concept! 6. Have faith in yourself. If you’ve done the best you can, and have diligently reviewed for the exam, then trust in the work you’ve done. Don’t try to cram in extra information at the last minute and oversaturate your mind -- instead, reward yourself and do something fun on the day before.



APRIL 2017


Academic Honesty policy updated; includes new seminars for offenses BY BROOKE TRAN

The MHS Academic Honesty Policy has been updated to include seminars for students caught cheating, as of this spring semester, according to Assistant Principal Skyler Draeger. The previous policy, which had been adopted at the beginning of the school year violated Education Code and therefore needed to be changed, Draeger explained. The School Leadership Team (SLT), which includes administrators and department leads started working on updating the academic honesty policy last summer because the previous policy was outdated, having been created when electronic violations weren’t a big issue, Draeger said. However, the policy was hastily adopted without much time for input, and SLT revisited the policy last semester to fix issues that had arisen, Draeger stated. “[With] our previous policy, after a certain number of academic honesty violations, the student was dropped from the class with an ‘F’,” Draeger said. “Ed Code does not allow that to actually happen, so we removed that.” According to Math Teacher Denise Cosgrove, the policy is necessary because cheating is definitely an issue at our school, she said. So, if there was a violation with the old policy, there needed to be an update on it, she explained. “I think that kids feel pressured to do the absolute best by their parents, by their own desire to achieve, by what society’s expectations are for them to go to the best college,” Cosgrove stated. “So they can rationalize doing everything they can to get the grade.” Every academic honesty offense gives the student a zero on the assignment, but now they’ve added seminars for each offense in hopes of preventing further academic dishonesty, Draeger explained. In addition, they’ve added a suspension for the third academic honesty offense, as they believed that at that point there needs to be a disciplinary consequence as well as an academic one, Draeger stated. “[The first] seminar has the student look through our current academic honesty policy, read it, answer

a series of multiple choice questions about it, and the whole goal of that is have them go back in and really read it and really understand it,” Draeger said. “But basically, [it asks] why did you do what you did, what was your violation and why, and the next question: how does this affect the relationship with your teacher? The point behind asking those two questions is to get the student to reflect on the violation that occurred and kind of analyze what this has done.” According to Senior Andy Nguyen, the concept of the new academic honesty policy seems ineffective. There are better ways for administrators to prevent further cheating in the classroom, he stated. “If they just made it so students wouldn’t have to feel like they needed to cheat, then there shouldn’t even be a problem,” Nguyen said. “Make sure your students understand the curriculum. I mean, if they’re not ready for a test, then they’re not ready for a test. Then you should, you know, help them,” Nguyen continued. In addition to taking preventative measures against cheating in the classrooms, the data from the seminars will hopefully give administrators insight into why students choose to be academically dishonest, Draeger stated. “We have about maybe eight kids, that I know of, that have done the seminar,” Draeger explained. “But by the end of first semester next year, we’ll have close to a year’s worth of data, and we can go through and read those responses, which we’re currently doing, and get a feel for why did students, or at least why did students report the reason they did something.” Besides the new academic honesty policy just being a fix for a violation of Education Code, Draeger believed that it’s a generally better policy overall for students. “I feel that our policy now, the point is to hopefully convince students not to cheat again,” Draeger stated. “I mean that’s the whole point, we don’t want them cheating. So if we can educate them, and hopefully convince them to not continue cheating, then we’ve solved our problem. Our goal is for no one to ever get to that third level.”

Ca-Zao Bui | THE UNION

Members of the Black Student Union (BSU), self-dubbed Melanin Mamas (left), dance on stage during the BSU day show in the theater. Another performance at the show was with Slam Poet Poise who advocates for nonviolence.

Black Student Union show embraces black culture BY CA-ZAO BUI

The Black Student Union (BSU) held its BSU show on Feb. 17 in the MHS theater. The club did not put on a show last year, so this was a new experience for some members, according to Treasurer CJ Choates. Officers were preoccupied last year and did not have time to put organize the show, Choates said. However, this year, there are no senior officers, so they found time for it. “Last year, [the officers] had a lot on their plate because they were seniors,” Choates said. “Our senior officers had a lot on their plate, so they didn’ t really have time to put on a show.” Putting on the show was stressful for the officers, President Brianna Williams said. There were issues with members not showing up for practices, so the show had to come together at the last minute, she continued. “[Putting on the show] has been stressful because at first, everyone was in, and they were coming to practice, but by the time it came, no one could make it to practice,” Williams said. “We had to get what we had together really last minute.” The show this year featured performances from many student acts,

including dancing, a performance from Hip Hop Club, singing, and slam poetry. Two performers were Juniors Lanazia Greene and Aliyah Villiados who performed their own original poems. “My poem’s name was ‘Us vs. Them,’ and I think what inspired me to write it was [the fact that] police brutality is really big now,” Greene said. “I have an older brother, and every day I live scared for his life, so I think that was my biggest inspiration.” Villiados’ s poem focused on beauty standards in our nation. It emphasized that African American women are beautiful and urges them to be confident in their own skin, she said. “My poem was ‘My Black is Beauty,’ and I just got inspired because I feel like [black women] don’t get enough recognition, and don’t feel as confident,” Villiados said. “I just wanted to let them know that we’re all confident, and black is beautiful.” The show also featured a performance from Slam Poet Poise, who spent over 25 years in jail for taking a young man’ s life when he was a teenager, Poise said. He now has a passion to speak to young people and advocate nonviolence, he continued. “I’ m a motivational speaker, mostly on nonviolence,” Poise said. “I work

with youth throughout the Bay Area for organizations stopping violence, so that’ s what [led me to performing in the BSU show.]” One of Poise’ s poems was titled “If Only I’d,” and he wrote it when he was incarcerated and yearning for forgiveness from the parents of the person he killed, Poise said. The poem serves as a method for him to cope with what he has done as well as urge others to not make the same mistakes he did, he stated. “Whenever I perform [‘If Only I’d’], it’ s like a healing for me, and it’ s also giving you a personal part of me,” Poise said. “Don’ t ever put yourself in a position where you’ ll be one of those people saying, ‘If only I’ d done this’ or ‘ If only I’ d done that.’” Poise’s second poem was titled “Eye Know” and focused on black people understanding and appreciating their roots, he said. The “eye” refers to the eye of the pyramids that Africans built and is a tribute to their art and beauty, he stated. “A reason our [black] culture is so divided right now is because we don’ t know who we are, we don’ t know who we come from, we don’ t know our first languages,” Poise said. “Knowing and having a sense of self is an empowerment.”

T.O.: Intense competition among all FROM PAGE 1


Members of the group Dawn dance their self-choreagraphed dance with their own medleys on stage in the theater during the Korean American Student Association day show. Other performances included songs and fashion shows.

KASA debuts its first cultural show, joining many others BY EMMY YU

KASA, the Korean American Student Association, hosted its first show on Friday, Mar. 3 with performances from groups such as the Korean Dance Team (KDT), Dawn, and Color Guard. The KASA Show was one of two cultural shows that made its debut this year, following the Black Student Union (BSU) Show, which debuted in the last school year. Cultural shows have already been an established tradition on the MHS campus; Chinese Club and the Vietnamese Student As-

sociation have hosted performances for the past several years. “This show was a growth marker and a good representation of what we strive to do in this club,” President of KASA Richard Sung said, “which is to showcase the Korean culture to our school and community.” Both modern and traditional Korean culture were highlighted throughout the production. The fashion show featured students in hanbok [Korean traditional clothing], and other groups danced and sang to medleys of contemporary Kpop songs. “We wanted to perform at the

KASA show because it was the first Korean show at MHS,” Junior Felicia Yi said. “I’ ve been trying to get my friends into Korean culture because I am Korean.” Senior Samantha Chu performed as both a member of KDT in their Throwback Mix and the dance group Dawn with their piece, Efflorescence. “We stayed back after school and woke up super early, around 3-4 A.M., just to be at school by 5 A.M. to prepare, practice, and set up,” Chu explained. “It was a struggle but rewarding, fun, and an exciting experience.”

bly match the Class of 2007’s record of winning Trojan Olympics sophomore through senior year!” The freshmen were trying really hard to get at least third place this year, Freshman Class President Valerie Vo said. Overall, it has been a fun experience for the freshman class and they did not allow been new to T.O. stop them, she continued. “[Trojan Olympics] has been really fun. It was a tiring experience, but I love it,” Vo said. “As an officer, we try to stay organized and make sure we have practices and work days [and at the end] I hope that we get at least third.” The juniors’ strongest event is the wheelbarrow, Junior Tony Fifita said. Even though the juniors placed second this year they are optimistic about the future and Fifita said the Class of 2018 will be winning Trojan Olympics next year. “It’s fun and a lot more competitive this year than it was last year because we are juniors now and it’s more competitive the older you get,” Fifita said. “This year I think our best event had to be the wheelbarrow and I think we will beat them [the seniors] in the wheelbarrow.” The Senior class got off to a rocky start at the beginning when they kept hearing about how well the underclassman was excelling in their practices and performances, according to Senior Nick Tran. “Practicing for T.O. was honestly

frustrating except for the last week. Our [Trojan Olympics ASB Advisor] had to fight for control with everyone and it was hard to get everyone to show up to the practices,” Tran said. “At first it was kind of [upsetting] because all I [heard] all the other classes were amazing while we were still struggling with our dances.” However at the end the support they receive from each other got them through and completely changed their disposition about T.O., Tran said. When the Seniors won it was a combination of joy and surprise because everybody was anxious while waiting for the judges to announce the winners, he said. “Once [the seniors] did our dance and started the games it felt like the mood just completely 180’d because of the overwhelming support,” Tran said. “Everyone was killing the games which got everyone hyphy. Seniors winning was honestly the best moment ever I just saw everyone freaking out and crying out of happiness. Any class could have won this year and no one, not even the seniors, thought we were going to win going into T.O.” Trojan Olympics was an amazing experience for many people including Senior Peter Tran, according to Tran. Students at MHS are able to participate in an event we love to watch every year and it is an opportunity everyone should give a shot at, Tran said.



APRIL 2017


MHS cafeteria broken into by two individuals overnight BY KELLY LUE

A break-in at the MHS cafeteria prompted law enforcement to investigate the situation, Principal Phil Morales said. The individuals were picked up on the security cameras, but were not identified, he continued. Two individuals entered the campus and accessed the cafeteria after hours, according to Morales. After the cafeteria alarm went off, the police were notified. Little additional information about the incident was given to the school, he continued. “What we know is that two individ-

uals, after hours, entered the campus, walked around, and accessed the cafeteria from a roof panel,” Morales said. “It’s an actual hatch, a roof hatch that you can go down. So they went down, accessed the cafeteria, triggered the alarm, and so they left.” The individuals are still unidentified, Morales said. They were, however, caught on school security cameras. “We don’t know who the two individuals are,” Morales said. “They were wearing masks. It did pick them up on our surveillance cameras, but it was hard to identify them,” he continued. According to Cafeteria Employee

Caterina Lapena, nothing was stolen from the cafeteria. The two individuals were most likely targeting the lunch money, but were not able to obtain it, Lapena explained. “They were trying to get to the cash register, but we don’t keep money in there at all,” Lapena said. “Nothing was stolen. We were glad they didn’t get anything. They could have stolen some of our stuff right here; they’re here for the cash, mainly, I think. And they thought it was going to be there in the front. We don’t keep it there. That would be the last place we leave the money.”

Ro Khanna holds town hall meeting at Ohlone College BY SHREEYA ARANAKE

U.S. Representative Ro Khanna of the 17th Congressional District of California held his first town hall since his victory in November. The town hall took place on Wednesday, February 22nd at Ohlone College. Over 1000 people were in attendance, according to a Khanna aide. Most questions were not specifically targeting Khanna’s views on the issues, and almost all of his responses drew large cheers and applauses. Many of the questions had to do with asking what Khanna planned to do in order to oppose the current administration’s agenda, such as the President’s immigration policy. “The problem with this executive

order, putting aside the issue of a path to citizenship for those who are undocumented citizens, the problem with this is it would allow for the expeditious deportation of folks before they get access to a lawyer, before they have a due process hearing,” Khanna said. “That’s not the American way of doing business.” In response to the same question, Khanna also said that that citizens need to convince those who do not agree with stopping mass deportation to at least support the Constitutional process. “And what we need is all of you, not just a 190 of us Democrats in Congress, we need all of you to make the case on twitter, on Facebook, on social

media, to your Republican friends, your independent friends that whatever you think about the debate on those who are undocumented, at least support the Constitutional process,” Khanna said. Khanna was also asked about the plausibility a plan he advocated meant to help alleviate college debt among students. “Well, we need to subsidize them, we need the federal government to pay for it which they can by raising taxes,” Khanna said. “By taxing companies that have money offshore, by raising capital gains tax rates, by raising taxes on the top one percent so we can pay for infrastructure so we can pay for public college.”

AP Testing fees raised to accomodate more testers BY ANANYA DONAPATI BROOKE TRAN

Regular AP testing fees have been raised from last year’s $92 to $95 for the 2017 testing season. According to Assistant Principal Jennifer Hutchison, the increase is due to administrative fees, wanting a round number, and to cover various school costs. They cover the cost for the proctors, the tables and chairs we have to rent, and the locations if we have to rent them, Hutchinson said. Our numbers are very large for testing, which is why we have to go out and rent, she said.

“As an admin team, we had a discussion, we also felt that it was easier to have a round number as well, so we determined that we put it there [95],” Hutchinson stated. “We will determine year after year if that was the wise choice, or if we need to modify it for next year.” There used to be grants for the kids, where there were supplemental fees for students who could not pay the full amount for AP tests, Hutchinson added, but they are gone now. In regards to fees due to renting locations Hutchinson said, “We’re

trying our very best to not have that [go off campus for testing],” she said. “They’ve done that in the past, and it’s not always a good idea, so we’re trying to avoid it. We’re trying to figure out how to make it work here.” According to Principal Phil Morales, they aren’t trying to make money, but are simply trying to accomodate all the students “We’re excited; we have more kids that are testing than have in years past,” Hutchinson said. “That’s awesome; that says a lot about our students and their determination.”

Noemi Crisanto | THE UNION

The elementary band teacher conducts the new elementary school honor band students as they practice for their upcoming performance in the gym.

Elementary honor band newly created BY NOEMI CRISANTO

Recently, changes in the MUSD Music Program which include the addition of a new elementary school honor band. The honor band, which is made up of select students from all of the MUSD elementary schools, has recently performed for the first time as an ensemble at the District Concert according to Music Director Christopher Kaldy. This is the first time that an honor band option has been offered at an elementary school in the history of the MUSD Music Program, according to Kaldy. One of the goals is to challenge the students and get them to a level in which they can perform and enter in competitions, Kaldy added. “Mr. Santomieri, the elementary band teacher, wanted to start a group for the more advanced students to challenge them, in addition to what they were already getting in the regular band program,” Kaldy said. “The hope is to eventually feature them, like at the District Concert, and maybe at a festival.” However, just being an elementary

EpiPen training now a requirement; stated in new California legislation BY HOPE DO

Courtesy of Britney Weng

Junior Kelly Lue and Sophomore Vivian Tsang (left) aim their electric vehicle towards the goal at the State Finals competition while their event proctors observe. Senior Long Dang and Sophomore Britney Weng (right) receive medals.

COMPETITION: S.O. competitors make it to State Finals


“I don’t feel as pressured as I did during regionals, because we already made it past regionals, which was our main goal,” Tsang said. “It’s everyone’s first time going, so we all [didn’t] really know what to expect.” According to Dang, the team set pragmatic objectives for the competition; as this year is the first time the team has competed at the state competition, aiming to become the state champions is a stretch. However, the team still strived to perform at their best for the competition, he said.

“Realistically, being the champion of the state competition seems a little out of reach,” Dang said. “That’s not to say we’re giving up. We will work hard, but our expectations [were] grounded within reason.” At the state competition, the Blue team placed and medaled in numerous events, including the Invasive Species, Microbe Mission, Game On, and Anatomy and Physiology events, according to Sophomore Britney Weng. Although succeeding at the competition was a struggle, the team

still enjoyed the competing experience and performed well, Weng said. “We did really well, honestly, and we all really enjoyed it although we struggled at times with random problems and building events,” Weng said. “I stayed up late to prepare my binder for Invasive, and in the end, [hard work] did pay off because all of the stuff we had prepared was exactly on the test, and it felt nice to know all the stuff. It felt really good that my hard work was paying off and that I didn’t stay up for nothing.”

band student is not enough to qualify for the honor band, according to Music Director Emily Moore. Students have to be invited to audition to enter the honor band, Moore explained. “Students have to perform previously selected scales for their audition and are selected based on their scales and overall ability,” said Moore. “Once that is over and they are selected, they practice here at MHS every week with the help of our high school student volunteers.” Many MHS music students have chosen to help out in the new program, like Junior Regine Mallorca. According to Mallorca, teaching children how to strengthen their technique and get a better tone is her favorite part of the program. “I’ve been part of the music program for nine years and playing instruments with the little kids as a whole ensemble has been very rewarding,” Mallorca said. “Though I do get community service, I like helping the little kids and I think that the honor band will be really beneficial to the Music Program as a whole.”

EpiPen trainings were recently conducted by the school district, the most recent one on March 22, in accordance to California state legislation, according to Health Clerk Rona Tolentino. Schools are now required to have an emergency stash of EpiPens and at least one person on-site that has the ability to administer an EpiPen, Tolentino said. The requirement of EpiPens and trained individuals on campus is most likely due to the frequency of anaphylactic emergencies in a school setting, Tolentino said. With the program, having EpiPens at each site and trained personnel to administer them better ensures the students’safety and well-being at school, Tolentino continued. “Anaphylaxis can be fatal,” Tolentino said. “Many students are not yet aware they have an allergy to something. By stocking EpiPens at each campus and providing thorough training, we can hopefully prevent any life-threatening emergencies from occurring.” An epinephrine auto injector, commonly known as an EpiPen, is a treatment for a severe allergic reaction, or anaphylaxis, according to MayoClinic. The epinephrine is administered through an injection with a syringe, MayoClinic stated. As of the first two EpiPen trainings, there have been representatives from nine of the thirteen sites in the school district, according to Student Services Coordinator Amy Sanidad. By the second training, several MHS representatives had attended, Sanidad said. “At this time, MHS has had the following volunteers be trained: a teacher, staff secretary, a para profes

sional, and your Health Clerk,” Sanidad said. “Once training is completed, the names of the trained staff for each site will be listed by the EpiPen dispenser.” All teachers should know how to administer an EpiPen, Social Studies Teacher Brian Knitter said. In case of an emergency, it is always good to be informed, Knitter said. “I believe it will positively impact MHS through enhanced safety procedures,” Knitter said. “As with most training, even if you’ve been through it before, and I have, memory fades over time so it’s always good to periodically go over things again.” Having emergency precautions for anaphylactic emergencies will definitely have a positive effect on MHS, Junior Preeti Tamhankar said. The EpiPens will be useful for everyone especially for those who have severe allergies, Tamhankar continued. “If I need it when I have an emergency where I can’t breathe, it’s definitely going to be beneficial,” Tamhankar said. “It’ll eventually end up saving my life.”The implementation of EpiPens and someone who knows how to handle the situation will be a good precaution to take, as allergic reactions and asthma attacks can become life-threatening and should not be taken lightly, Sophomore Theodore Do said. While allergic reactions may not receive as much awareness as fire safety or evacuation, it still needs to be recognized, Do continued. “[This implementation] also allows the student to be helped sooner rather than needing to wait for medical professionals to arrive, which would increase their chance of death,” Do said. “The addition of EpiPens will help create a safer environment in school.”

The Union - Milpitas High School - April 2017  

Volume XXVIII, Issue VI, April 2017. The Student Voice of Milpitas High School. Brought to you by MHS the Union, journalism. Enjoy.

The Union - Milpitas High School - April 2017  

Volume XXVIII, Issue VI, April 2017. The Student Voice of Milpitas High School. Brought to you by MHS the Union, journalism. Enjoy.