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O PI N I O N S 4

DECEMBER 2012 Volume XXV Issue III

F E AT U R E S 6

S PR E A D 8


L I F E S T Y L E 11

E N T E R TA I N M E N T 13

S P O R T S 16

MHSTHEUNION.NET For the latest updates


Rally features honorees, encourages giving back BY BRENDA SU

Winter Rally was held in the large gym during a double fourth period on Nov. 30. The rally encouraged donations for Jack Emery Food Drive, promoted Winter Ball and Talent Show, and honored select students, athletes, and staff members, according to Activities Director Joanna Butcher. CCS Cross Country Champion Yohaness Estifanos, Tennis Girls Doubles League Champions Christi Tain and Shuyang Ye, and the Varsity football team were honored, Butcher stated. Seniors Eric Tao and Susan Wang received the Jefferson Awards for community service, and Custodians Victor Martinez and Michael Fulbright were recognized for contributions to MHS, Butcher continued. “Mr. Fulbright said it made him feel really good because it was an honest student response celebrating him,” Butcher added. “He said it really made his day.” “Make-a-Wish” was introduced in the rally, Rally Commissioner Natasha Gangal said. Three deserving people who had been selected through an application or nomination process were given gifts that would “brighten their days,” Gangal elaborated. “I loved the theme for [Spirit] Week,

‘Spirit of Giving,’” Gangal commented. “I think it was so rewarding seeing the faces on the people who got presents at the rally.” Some communication and timing errors occured, according to Butcher. One of the sound cords was unplugged, and the rainy weather made it difficult for people to settle down after they arrived, Butcher added. Gangal agreed, attributing some problems to poor speakers. However, new speakers would be really expensive to purchase, Gangal said. “We tried making the sound better,” Gangal said. “We used the ‘better’ speakers that we own and we added the speakers that we use for the noontimes that are small but strong, but it clearly didn’t work.” The alma mater was played at the beginning instead of the end to promote unity, Gangal explained. Past rallies typically began with the national anthem. The date of the Apollo Awards ceremony, previously held in November, was switched with the date of the February rally in order for teachers to have more time to select Apollo Award recipients, Butcher said. The Apollo Awards ceremony honors student academic achievements and will be held in February.

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Members of the MHS Glee Club wave their arms in the air as they perform at the double fourth period Winter Rally held on Friday, Nov. 30. Club Advisor Dan McQuigg conducts and leads the group as club members jams to an assortment of holiday music, welcoming the transition from the season of thanks to the season of giving.

Prop 30 passes to fund schools

N EWS IN BR IEF Jack Emery Drive receives record-low canned and monetary donations The Jack Emery Food Drive will end on Dec. 14. As of Dec. 7, Class of 2013 raised $54.18, Class of 2014 raised $279.05, Class of 2015 raised $88.86, and Class of 2016 raised $55.00. New incentives include tardy passes, excused detentions, off-campus lunch passes, and complimentary breakfast.


MHS Art Department sells art pieces The Art Department will host its annual art sale on Dec. 18 in the cafeteria to showcase and sell pieces made by students and teachers. All proceeds will to go their respective art, ceramics, or photography classes. MHS Music Department and clubs help out at Crab Feed The MHS Music Boosters and Milpitas Kiwanis Club will host the ninth annual Crab Feed at Milpitas Community Center on Jan. 11. Some of the proceeds earned will go toward the district’s music department. Cultural clubs begin to prepare for their annual shows in 2013 The Indian Show, hosted by the Indian Club, will be on Jan. 18 during school hours. Chinese Club has �nished holding auditions for the Lunar Show, which will be on Jan. 26, while Vietnamese Student Association’s show will be held on Apr. 4. Class ranking might be eliminated for future years MHS administation is currently considering eliminating class rankings after this school year. Class rankings are based on students’ weighted Grade Point Averages (GPAs). Enjoy your Winter Break! Students are set to take �nals before Winter Break because the school year has been pushed ahead by several weeks. Finals week will be on Dec. 19-21 this year. School will get out on Dec. 21 and resume on Jan. 7.

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Gunshots, �red at a Milpitas Police Of�cer after he pulled the driver over, crack the windshield of the of�cer’s car. The of�cer, whose name cannot be disclosed, was not injured by gun�re. The offender still has not been caught.

Driver fires at officer on Escuela, Jacklin BY MARISA LOUIE AND BRENDA SU

At the intersection of Jacklin Road and Escuela Parkway, a Milpitas Police Officer was fired upon on Nov. 27 at 1:49 a.m. by a suspect driver, according to Sergeant Raj Maharaj.The officer suffered minor injuries unrelated to the gunfire, Maharaj added. As the officer exited his patrol car after pulling over the suspect driver for a moving violation, the driver exited his car and fired multiple gunshots at the officer, Maharaj said. The officer returned fire and it is unknown as to whether the suspect was injured before he fled in his vehicle. The suspect, who remains at large, was described as a Hispanic male, approximately 20 to 25 years old, between 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 9 inches, and between 160 to 180 pounds, according to a Milpitas Police Department press release. He was wearing a black-and-white, horizontally-striped flannel shirt,

the press release said. The vehicle, a tan 1996 Honda Accord that had been reported stolen from San Jose, was found the same day abandoned in a local residential neighborhood, according to Maharaj. The incident did not pose a threat to students because police had determined he had already fled the area, he continued. “Jacklin Road was closed for approximately close to six hours,” Maharaj said. “We opened the roadway once we collected the evidence at the scene.” After police informed Schlaff at 6:15 a.m., he then called the school district for permission to issue informational phone calls that assured it was safe to attend school were sent to students’ homes at 7:32 a.m., according to Principal Kenneth Schlaff. Calls were sent late due to its hour-long processing, Schlaff said. Students expressed frustration towards the late receival time of the phone calls. Sophomore Don Huynh

said that he had already left his house by the time his parents received the phone call. “It took me half an hour longer than usual to get to school,” Huynh said. “I had to get dropped off at a park near Nob Hill and walk to school because there was a lot of traffic.” Senior Quan Luu was not affected by street closure, as she did not notice any unusual traffic. However, she expressed concern regarding the practicality of the phone call. “[The phone call] was so useless,” she said. “Why did they call people when it’s a time when people should already be out of the house?” A $10,000 reward is being offered by the City of Milpitas and the Milpitas Police Officers Association for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Milpitas Police Department at (408)-586-2400 or report information anonymously at (408) 586-2500.

Proposition 30 passed with 55.3 percent in favor of and 44.7 percent against on the November ballot, according to the California General Election website. Proposition 30 will help fund education in California by increasing the sales tax and taxes for high-income families, according to “Yes on Prop. 30”’s website. Doing so will stop budget cuts and generate new revenue every year, Principal Kenneth Schlaff stated. Under Governor Jerry Brown’s budget for 2012, if Proposition 30 did not pass, then many school districts would need to have furlough days as well as other cuts, Schlaff said. “If [Proposition 30] was not passed, that deficit would have to have been dealt with,” Schlaff affirmed. “Therefore, that would have been through trigger cuts.” The deficit refers to cuts in the education budget, while trigger cuts are made in response to the budget cuts, Schlaff explained. Both cuts could include minor safety cuts, reduction of the length of school years, and shrinkage of faculty size, he continued. Even if Proposition 30 had not passed, MHS probably would not have made any cuts because it has sufficient amounts of reserve money, Schlaff said. Although MHS has enough funds for now, it might encounter financial difficulties in the future, he continued. “Now there’s reserve money and there’s not going to be cuts,” Schlaff said. “California is slated to grow; more revenue [will] come in so therefore we’re in a relatively good place.” MHS will not receive more money as a result of Proposition 30, but the money generated will prevent cuts on existing services, Schlaff said. The proposition is only a temporary solution to help fix the fiscal crisis, Schlaff concluded.





CCSS affects core classes; math curriculum reforms BY MARTIN YAO

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The “Circle of Fifths” percussion act wins �rst place on both nights. All of its performers also partake in an outside percussion ensemble, UMusic, and they had performed the same act in China, according to Percussionist May Lee.

‘Emmys’ exhibits talent, fundraises BY VANESSA YEH

“The Emmys” Talent Show was hosted by the Class of 2016 on Nov. 29 and 30, according to Activites Director Joanna Butcher. The show, with 21 acts, was the first major event and fundraiser planned for and by the freshman class, Butcher continued. Class of 2016 officers did a good job despite this being the first big event it

planned, Butcher observed. Everything went smoothly with no “obvious hiccups,” Butcher explained. “For the quality of the show, not enough tickets were sold,” Butcher said. “Everyone hopes for a sold-out show, but sadly, [that] didn’t happen this year.” Ticket sales could have been better, Class Treasurer Daanya Anand agreed. “The Emmys” did receive

positive feedback despite the low attendance, Anand added. “Without our advisors, this talent show would not have been possible,” Anand thanked. “They sold tickets and made sure everything was done successfully. They helped us a lot.”


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MHS’s Math Department will be one of the most affected departments by Common Core State Standards (CCSS), according to Principal Kenneth Schlaff. Changes will gear students toward problem solving and critical thinking, Schlaff added. The department is currently trying to reform its curriculum by transitioning to Integrated Math courses, Math Department Co-Lead Annie Nguyen said. Instead of Geometry, Algebra II, Pre-Calculus, and Calculus, students will take Integrated Math I, Math II, Math III, and then Calculus, Nguyen said. “Your first math will have a little geometry, probability, and algebra,” Nguyen said. “It doesn’t make sense to break up all these concepts. It’s better to teach a little of each as you go along to connect the ideas.” Lesson plans will also change, Nguyen said. Students will be primarily doing group work rather than listening to lectures and taking notes, Nguyen continued. “Teachers will facilitate students around the classroom doing group work 60 percent of the time,” Nguyen said. “Textbooks will not be used as often; we might assign problems once in awhile just to refer back to

the textbook.” Students will have more difficulty transferring college classes for high school math credit, Nguyen stated. They may not be able to transfer to a more advanced class since colleges do not follow the new integrated math system, she added. “We will give students a test in tenth grade to see if they can proceed into Math III,” Nguyen said. “So any credit from community college might not matter depending on how the student will perform on our test.” The Math Department has begun preparing for the potential curriculum changes, according to Math Department Co-Lead Jennifer Brady. One idea is to try to have students understand their own thinking process, “a form of metacognition,” Brady said. “We’re looking at having more students take a look at how they would go about solving this problem,” Brady said. “I like it in the sense that [CCSS] is less spoon feeding and more processing on the student’s part.” Another challenge for the Math Department will be to teach Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus AB and BC and Statistics, Nguyen mentioned. Teachers will have to balance CCSS and AP standards, Nguyen said.

Band wraps up ‘one of better seasons’ BY CINDY WU

MHS Marching Band wrapped up its four-month season on Nov. 17, according to Music Director Christopher Kaldy. This was probably one of the marching band’s better seasons, Kaldy said. The season began with Band Camp at the beginning of August. The band practiced Mondays and Wednesdays after school, while color guard practiced Tuesdays and Thursdays after school, Kaldy said. There were occasional sectionals and Saturday practices as well, Kaldy said. “[Marching band] is a mental sport,” Drum Major Sean Bautista said. “We go through grueling hours of rehearsals where we often spend an hour or so on for seconds worth of the show, trying to make every single detail perfect.” This year’s music and props revolved around the theme “Once Upon a Time.” In a seven-and-a-half minute show, the band performed three musical pieces, according to

Kaldy. The band and color guard performed at four home football games and participated in five competitions this season, Kaldy added. “We had a pretty good group of dedicated students, and music was one of the strengths." Kaldy said. “Individually, we had some soloists who did really well. Percussion did really well overall, and everyone was impressed with the hornline.” The band took home four secondplace wins, one first-place win, and some sweepstakes for overall visual effects, Kaldy said. Color guard placed first and second, and the percussion section consistently placed second and third, Kaldy said. “There was really tight competition this year,” Kaldy said. “Probably Santa Teresa and Fremont in our division [3A].” Some weaknesses of color guard included many illnesses and injuries at the beginning of the year, according to Kaldy. Even so, they were able to make outstanding performances, Kaldy said.

“[Color guard] had their shining moments in the show and pulled through when the weather was against us,” Color Guard Co-Captain Jubilee Hardwick said. “Our greater wins were at Independence and Merced, where the color guard got first place auxiliary.” The band struggles with marching technique. according to Kaldy. It is difficult to march in a uniform manner with all 100 people, Kaldy said. “Timing had always been a problem with our band, and it’s never consistent,” Bautista said. “One day it will be in time, the next day there would be tears all over the place.” This year, only a few freshmen made it into Marching Band since few seniors graduated the year before, according to Kaldy. There may be enough members to move up a division in which the bands max at 150 members, according to Kaldy. “The band maxes at 100 [members] to stay in our division,” Kaldy said. “If we continue to grow, we may consider moving up a division.”

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Left to right: Wesley Lin (10), Christian Quiocho (11), and Scott Lien (9) play the bass drum 1, tenor drum, and bass drum 2. MHS Marching Band won Visual Sweepstakes and �rst place at Merced on Saturday, Nov. 10.

Survey assesses web safety



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Juniors Biancka Dela Cruz and Jake Pham pose with Junior Ronald Reed, who is currently duct-taped to a pole, during Duct Tape War on Dec. 11. Proceeds raised from the Duct Tape War will go to the Jack Emery Food Drive.

Digital Citizenship pre-assessment surveys were distributed to students to determine what online safety aspects need to be addressed before students can utilize MHS’s technological devices, according to Principal Kenneth Schlaff. The surveys were released via Schoolloop on Nov. 26 as part of a three-step process that will educate students regarding online safety, Schlaff said. Student responses on the pre-assessment surveys will be analyzed to create lessons regarding online predators and social media, according to Schlaff. The lessons will be taught by teachers over the course of two SSR periods and will be followed by an online post-assessment survey, Schlaff said. “Once that occurs, then at least the upfront education on the important aspects of online use is covered,” Schlaff said. “That’s what’s important.” The Digital Citizenship measure comes as a result of a modification in the Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA) on July 1 that requires

all K-12 students to receive instruction on digital citizenship, according to Librarian LeighAnn McCready. Through the lessons, students will learn about appropriate online behavior, online safety and privacy, and cyberbullying, McCready said. “In order to know how deeply we needed to cover it, we needed data to know what high schoolers already knew about those three areas,” McCready said. “The pretest indicates that we get the fact that cyberbullying is wrong, but we know it still happens. So the question is how to get it under control.” Created by district teachers on special assignment (TOSAs), the pre-assessment survey responses indicate that there are two main areas of concern regarding students and internet usage: the ability to control one’s digital footprint and the responsibility to protect a friend’s privacy, McCready said. “There are consequences to your actions online, and all of us need to be aware of that,” McCready said. The bottom line is to teach students how to ethically and responsibly use information, she added.





EDITOR I A L : The Opinion of The Union

Money squandered on superfluous projects; essential student concerns left unaddressed We, The Union, believe that students and staff should be consulted regarding new occurrences at MHS and be able to voice their opinions on matters concerning the school before they are implemented. While we appreciate many of the changes that have been made to our campus, we feel that there are other, more important issues that are in need of immediate attention. With the passage of the $95 million general obligation (GO) bond in July 2012, there was potential for the needed improvements to be made to all schools in the district, including MHS. However, the changes that have been introduced in recent months seem extraneous when compared to the existing issues that have yet to be resolved. For example, Wi-Fi was installed across the school with the intent of making internet more accessible to the MHS population for school use. Although this addition was welcome, a factor that may not have been taken into account was the lack of actual devices that could make use of the wireless network. Computers that are currently available for student use do not need wireless to connect to the internet, thus making the wireless useful only for students who bring personal electronic devices with internet capabilities. As the current school computers work perfectly fine, the addition of wireless was expensive and unnecessary. Furthermore, there are other school issues that take precedence over new technology, including necessary repairs to current facilities. The paint on the floors of the upper L-building is blistering. Multiple stalls in the E-building girls’ restroom lack doors. Ceiling panels are missing from various classrooms. The list goes on. These seemingly minor, but necessary maintenance issues should be addressed before we receive brand new infrastructure. An advisory meeting was held where students were able to voice their opinions on what needed to be fixed on the school campus. Ideas that were


brought up included renovations to the band room, theater, and swimming pool. We commend the school district for addressing the fact that the pool was in need of repair, but the pool was only one of many concerns. Yes, we needed a new pool to meet competition regulations, but we did not need a new pool complex when improvements could have been made on the current pool for $1.4 million less. We cannot help but feel as if our suggestions for simple improvements to current facilities are not being properly addressed; the amount of money from the GO bond that MHS will use should be directed toward solving as many existing issues as possible, rather than spending the money on a few, pricey projects that only benefit a limited portion of the school population. The purpose of the GO bond was to provide the school with an opportunity to improve the learning environment for the students. But when the concerns brought up by the students are not being adequately undertaken, then there is clearly room for improvement on how decisions are being made. As students, we are the ones using the facilities and are directly impacted by any changes (or lack thereof ) to the school. For this reason, we believe that our opinions should be given more weight than they currently appear to have. We suggest that the next time taxpayers pass a bond for the benefit of the school district, the money should be used for the sake of renovating the existing facilities. If possible, this change should be made before another dollar of the current bond is spent. The money should not be used for large, expensive projects that have little immediate importance, when compared to smaller, but paramount matters. Even now, we do not completely understand the rationale behind the use of bond money. Perhaps better communication is needed between those who are responsible for making decisions and those who experience the results.


he Union is a student-run publication that is partially funded by local businesses and private citizens. The patrons listed below have demonstrated their generosity by extending both moral and �nancial support to our newspaper for the 2012-2013 school year. The Union staff would like to thank them for their patronage and encourage others to contribute. If you are interested in becoming a patron ($25 donation), please contact our Business Manager. Republic Services Jerry Glass D.D.S. and Staff Calaveras Montessori School Inc. Crescent Montesorri Mayor José and Susan Esteves Denny and Marianne Weisgerber Alan L. Grimm, D.D.S. Giorgio’s Italian Food & Pizzeria Thrive Milpitas - Dr. Kauffman Milpitas Rotary Club Luis Descanzo



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 re�ect those of the school, students, administration, or Milpitas Uni�ed School District.


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L ETTER S TO TH E EDITOR Cell phone use proves distracting; counterproductive to education

Dear Editor, I would enjoy seeing The Union take a position on the value and future of the “cell phone culture” at Milpitas High School. From this educator’s perspective, it is out of control, and the students are in a position to remedy it. First, I must acknowledge that my opinion might not be universal, as numerous staff are intimately tied to their cell phones. I also recognize that a cell phone culture extends far beyond the boundary of our school. I would be standing against a tsunami if I proposed a ban on cell phones on campus. I should further define what I see as problematic about cell phones. Simply possessing one and the use of it during breaks and between classes is not a problem. Using phones to photograph assignments, look up information, etc. is not problematic. What is problematic, in my opinion, is the urge to text, to check email, to listen to music, to shop, and so forth, during class time. These are ALL counter-educational. And education is the reason we gather at MHS.

With all but our reflexive actions (our “knee-jerk responses”) we have a tremendous amount of control. We have an important, but limited, amount of control over the behaviors of our friends. We should have selfcontrol and should be willing to help others behave properly. Here is where I see a role for The Union. All students have had the school policy drilled into their brains. Everyone knows using cell phones during class time is prohibited. Every driver knows texting of using a hands held phone is against the law, but you would never guess that if you watched drivers on any busy road. Ignorance of what behaviors are expected is not a problem. The problem is in the willingness of students and drivers to follow the law or the policies society set down as in the best interests of that society. High school students at MHS are not an isolated group of individuals who choose not to follow rules. The students and staff, however, are a self- contained population that can help each other return the focus of students to class and to down-play the temptations of the cell phone. I would enjoy seeing The Union lead the way in creating a culture that discourages cellphone use during

class time, discourage the students who “go to the bathroom” then text their friends to meet them, encourage friends to tell their friends to put away cellphones and iPods during class, and reinforce the educational message that social media hinders education as often as possible. One old teacher is certainly not enough to start a groundswell, but a student body that can stifle bullying, encourage tolerance, beat down racism, increase their API, and squeeze 3000 students on to one campus CAN alter the culture. We have a track record of doing this. Is The Union willing to take this one on?

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Date of apocolypse approaching; marks end of semester finals week

The end is nigh, folks. Earthquakes, hurricanes, and hurriquakes are disasters we’re used to seeing, but just last month a cataclysmic travesty assured the coming doomsday: the Presidential elections. That’s right folks, the Mayans called the race long before anyone! I shoulda known to trust the Mayans over Gallup

any day. Now Obama and his Lenin worshippers are certain heralds of the apocalypse — or in this case the Democalypse. If that’s not enough to convince you, just look at the signs around you. Like every year we’re encouraged to dress up in stereotypical outfits in an imaginary war pitting class against class with the goal of unity. But unlike every year, this year they’ve cleverly graffiti’d the wall that blocks the existence of a school pool track our “spirit points” with a “spirit meter.” Now why the sudden change? Why the sudden spirit gauge? That’s right: the impending Ghoulsday! The only logical conclusion is that ASB (Actual Satanic Bargainers, I presume) are channeling spirits from the underworld to either reek their ungodly vengeance or finally get some people to participate in their events. Think about it. Why else would they be so keen to count our souls every few weeks? Whatever happens, once those spirit meters fill up, an army of ghosts will rally to butcher us. Speaking of ungodly butchering of a people: the Mayans. Their stone calendar sets in stone that the end of the world will come on December 21st, 2012. Wait a second.. what else

happens on that date that doesn’t usually? Finals! That’s right again, folks. You know what they say about great minds — everyone’s got one, but I detract. Anyway, on December 21st, unlike every other year the administration has decided to ensure mass suffering by moving the last day of final exams to that day. Meaning, finally the final finals day will be on the final world finale. I give a big wag of my finger to the administration for this move. If it turns out there is an apocalypse, then I’d rather be boarding up my house instead of taking exams. Nothing sucks more than literally going to school till the day you die — except maybe a zombie slurping your guts. But if there is no doomsday, then instead of facing a terrible, agonizing, fiery Judgement Day, we’ll be facing a terrible, agonizing Judgement Day — of tests and grades. So teachers, if a horde of moaning, reanimated corpses shambles into your classroom on the 21st, don’t bust out the shotgun just yet because they might just be your students on finals week. Blow their heads open only AFTER they start gnawing and clawing at you over something not academic related.

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Class of 2013




Closed campus too restrictive; limited food choices at school Lunchtime finally rolls around after food every day. you have been staring at the clock the With the freedom to go off camentire period. The crowds are pouring pus, students can explore the stores out of classrooms, headed towards around Milpitas and enjoy their congested lunch lines coming from short break from school. From this, the cafeteria and satellite students are able to get a kitchens. It’s no surprise greater feel for responsithat lunch is this hectic bility. They must gauge the and rowdy, with our few distance of their location lunch facilities to support and determine whether the massive population at they will return in time school. Question is: why for class, and they must haven’t we done anything think about their diet as about it? Few may know well as be wise with their that, back in the day, our money. The stores in the high school allowed stuarea will benefit from the dents to roam about at additional customers, and KIMBERLY lunch as high school stuthe facilities at our school VO dents should. will be less busy. An open campus makes There are arguments sense to support the growing stu- against an open campus, exampled dent population. Longer lines will be by the recent incident in celebration averted, as many students may opt of the API score in which lunch was to go off campus to purchase their an hour long and hoards of students lunches. Students will not be pressed decided to go off campus. But the reafor time during the half hour lunches son for the pandemonium was how if they don’t have to worry about unprepared the school was. getting lunch late and not being alIf the school had an open campus lowed to finish eating in fifth period. from the start, administrators and Students placed in ill-positioned security would know exactly how to classrooms will not have to fret over handle students going off campus. running directly to the lunch lines It would be organized, as students after fourth period. The issue with would be going off campus every day line cutting could be alleviated if already and there’d be the familiarthere were barely any lines in the ity of it. They wouldn’t return late to first place. fifth period all the time because there Having an open campus allows stu- wouldn’t be some special reason to do dents to have more food options and so, and they simply can’t afford it. to not be confined to the limitations The novelty of the hour lunch was posed by the cafeteria and satellite its downfall, not the fact that many kitchens. Additionally, with so many students decided to head off campus students purchasing food, many op- for lunch. Just think of all the money tions quickly run out. While there is we could save with an open cama decent variety of food provided by pus—we wouldn’t need to purchase the school, which is commendable, it additional hole-punchers. also gets tiring eating the same sort of


Closed campus policy needed; privileges confused as rights As time passes, people tend to for- that a closed campus is a necessity. get the reasons for the policies and The reason that only 100 students a rules that were adopted in the past. day are allowed to receive off campus A recent example of this phenom- passes is so students would not cause enon is MHS’s closed campus lunch public disturbances. Imagine if you policy. This policy has been in effect are a police office on patrol, and you for a long time, even before Principal see a swarm of 400 students running Kenneth Schlaff took charge. Over around the neighborhood during the this long period of time, no major 30 minute lunch period. This would complaints have been create innumerable probraised against this policy, so lems and the police would why now? be unable to tell when The reason people want students are actually an open campus policy is ditching during lunch. so they can leave campus Another reason to keep whenever they want for our closed campus policy lunch. At the moment, stuis to make sure students dents are allowed to leave get back to classes back campus with an off campus on time. If students are pass, but only a maximum allowed to leave campus of 100 off campus passes during lunch, then how are allowed per day. are administrators going DAN Although usually not an to keep track of them? LUO issue, this policy became What would happen if a serious problem on Nov. the students didn’t come 20. The school was celebrating a one back after lunch? The empty fifth hour lunch period due to an increase periods we experienced on Nov. 20 in API scores, which led to many would happen again. It would be irwanting to go off campus for lunch. responsible of the school to employ Unfortunately, only 100 out of the an abusable policy that could result nearly 400 were allowed to. Students in poor attendance. were upset about this turn of events, Where would you even go during a and rightfully so, but they need to 30-minute lunch period? I suppose understand that this event was un- you could go to Nob Hill or Burrito precedented. Express, and if you had a car you could If the administration had foreseen go to a fast food restaurant nearby, that the policy would’ve caused prob- but is that really so much better than lems on that day, it would likely have school lunch? The reason that going made an exception. Schlaff himself off campus for lunch is cool is due to said in an interview that he would’ve the novelty of the idea and the fact looked the other way since after all, it that going off campus is a privilege. It is a celebration for the students. This should stay a priviledge and not turn however, does not change the fact in to an irresolvable problem.



Generosity should be expressed all year long; gratitude only demonstrated during holidays Holidays are often thought of as seasons of happiness, times when we can appreciate and enjoy each other’s company. But what people don’t realize is that these situations are actually the opposite: terrible. Why must we assign special, certain days in order to recognize others and to do good things? I thought as global citizens, we are obliged to regularly act in an ethical way. We shouldn’t have to wait for a holiday to remind ourselves to act “good” or to help others. I think setting these boundaries actually limit us from being the altruistic people we should be and thus inhibits our world from becoming a better place. We have become accustomed to holidays to the point where we have become too busy to make the time to care about others on a regular basis. With the end of fall, we are nearing winter. Holidays associated with these seasons are Thanksgiving and the most wonderful time of the year: Christmas. During this time, people suddenly become generous, buying luxurious gifts for their friends and family, writing meaningful cards to

loved ones, and collecting clothes. who allowed us to enter this world, MHS does an amazing thing by col- only matter on these specific days. lecting canned goods to We should constantly be donate to the food pantry. showing our appreciation After Thanksgiving and to our parents and remind Christmas, though, what them how much we love happens? Nothing. That them for what they’ve is exactly the issue. After done without having to the holidays, we feel we no need a holiday to remind longer have an obligation to us. Even on Valentine’s serve others. We stop giving Day, we suddenly realize gifts. We stop acknowledgthat our partner is special, ing how amazing our loved but we realize this only ones are. We stop our efmomentarily. VANESSA forts to donate food and As you can tell, holidays YEH clothes to those in need. reveal how unappreciaLast time I checked, world tive we have become. We hunger was a problem that seem to have holidays as still hasn’t been solved. excuses to be “good” only for a short The common consensus is that amount of time, and then we’re alpeople love their parents. We regu- lowed to forget for the rest of the larly show our care and affection for year. Don’t get me wrong, holidays are them, right? Wrong again. We only great because they remind people to seem to care about our mothers when appreciate others. However, holidays it’s Mother’s Day. That’s when we de- should not be the only time we actucide we should buy her a gift, and we ally show our appreciation. should tell her “I love you. Thanks That is something we shouldn’t for everything.” Same thing goes for forget. We need to realize that with Father’s Day. It seems as if these inte- each day we show our affection and gral people of our lives, these people care, each day can be a holiday.

Students focus more on grades than learning The premise of high school is sim- can simply be flushed away by the ple: come to school and learn. This student, thrown into oblivion and can pretty much go without saying. never revisited again unless necesHowever, to ruin the entire learning sary for another class for another system for adolescents all over the grade. We don’t learn for the sake of nation is what is infamously known learning. We learn for the sake of a letas the “grading scale.” Grades have ter, a single letter of the alphabet that degraded the quality of defines our very futures, learning we are receiving dictates how far we’ll go by forcing teachers to give in life, and controls how specific assessments and we spend our time. have taken away the joy of Some may say that learning from students. students need to just We should all be familiar work their hardest and with the letter grade syswhatever grade they get tem that has long plagued is what they deserve. That our report cards and tranwould work if A stood for scripts. These letters are outstanding and F for not an indication of how well satisfactory. But what ARTHUR you understood the mateare we in, elementary TRAN rial of a specific course and school? No, for those who your mastery of the subdidn’t know, an A means ject. Well, at least that was “congratulations, you the intention of these letters. Now, are average and have just met the all people care about is getting an A expectations for this class” while an so that their records look good for F means “congratulations, you have college applications. just utterly proven yourself to be a Naturally, most people want to get complete failure. Why are you even that perfect A, causing them to toil here?” over class work and notes for the sake I must admit, I am a person who of scoring high on tests. Once all of can sometimes obsess over grades that is over though, all information rather than focus on actually un-

derstanding anything taught in the classroom. I used to scrutinize my grades, calculating percentages and checking scores on SchoolLoop to ensure that my grades are accurate to the hundredth’s place. Yes, the letter system has had a detrimental effect on my learning and view of school. Saddening, isn’t it? At the same time, I understand that this system has been in place for years, and has successfully shown who is working hard in school and who is not. If we were to remove this system, no one would even try to learn. Let’s be honest. Without force, most people would not want to put in the effort to take in information and become more knowledgeable about the world around them. These people would all rather continue on being ignorant and uninformed, probably living as hedonists. So what is there to do about grades? Simply listen in class, strive to work as with 100% of your effort. Knowing your grade will only cause you to either panic or feel depressed, so might as well just ignore the fact that it exists until the very end. Don’t be like me and focus on a single letter. You’ll be sure to enjoy school more.

Internet safety absurd, outdated paranoia On the Internet, you can be whomever you want to be. Social norms, especially the social hierarchies and emotional torture that make up most of high school, do not apply in the same way online as they do in “real-life.” You can be yourself without fear of being ostracized, because there is always someone on the Internet like you. You can be even more than yourself, too. You can be the you you’ve always wanted to be. In “real-life,” the truth is that there is no guarantee you will succeed or be accepted as the person you are or want to be. On the Internet, however, it’s absolutely true. Of course, this freedom is a dangerous thing. Any one of us who has been given access to the Internet has been given a talk about online safety. “Don’t trust anyone,” parents, teachers, and police officers tell us as we connect to the World Wide Web. “You never know if that person is a forty-yearold man in his mom’s basement just waiting to kidnap, rape and kill you!” There is the problem. In the Pre Digital Citizenship Safety Readiness Exam sent out to MHS students, there was a question asking what you should do if an Internet ac-

quaintance tries to set up a “real-life” Internet and “real-life,” for the Intermeeting. You’re expected to answer net is just an extension of real life. that you would of course tell an adult It was true, even just a few years ago, immediately that someone from the that you could never trust anyone on Internet wants to meet you in person; the Internet. There are dangers out you are supposed to be scared by the there, and you have to be aware of prospect, and you are never to speak them, but with the emergence of safe to the Internet acquaintance again. If video and audio communication such you dare to set up a meetas Skype, Tinychat, and ing, you had better make Google+ Hangouts, it has it in a public spot, with an also become much easier adult—and even then, I’m to determine whether not sure if that’s considsomeone is forty-one or ered a safe response. After fourteen. all, this person wants to I have held friendships kidnap, rape, and kill us! on the Internet for over The response the exam half a decade now and expects hinges on the ashave had safe meet-ups sumption that you’ve never with people I met on blogs been on Skype with this and forums. We connected RACHEL person that wants to meet over books, art, and sports ALVELAIS you. You’ve never sent letlike any other friends. We ters, Christmas packages watch movies, tell jokes, or birthday presents to this and play games together, person, and you haven’t known them even though we are separated in some for a year or six. You don’t know them, cases by oceans. the exam supposes, and you can never By the time we’re in high school, really know anyone on the Internet! we’re ready for the next step. Just as The generation that came before us we have taken the step from a childseems to believe that the Internet is a hood of fearing strangers to walking completely foreign land full of mon- safely in the real world, as citizens sters waiting to eat us up. In reality, of the Internet, we are ready to stop there is no distinction between the hiding on it.



Give to those in need before giving to yourself Happy holidays, everyone. Time nomination process for Winter Ball to parade through the mall and start this year was actually quite clever and buying things like crazy. We say that unique. However, based on the ballot, we’re gift shopping, but more often I don’t believe this new method was than not we end up buying presents very successful, and I don’t blame for ourselves, too. We might as well ASB for the turnout at all. So what’s rename the holidays to wrong with us? Why aren’t "the season of giving…to we donating? I think the ourselves." The signifireal problem is that the cance of this season is to student population at MHS give to others, a point has an apathy level that made clear with the soars much higher than it Jack Emery Drive that should. This time of year MUSD holds every year. specifically is about giving, Students and faculty and that’s exactly what we members ranging from should be doing: giving to Sinnott Elementary to those who need it the most. Milpitas High School I’m sure that many people donate cans and spare feel selfless when they LEANN change to help stock the buy something for others WOO Milpitas Food Pantry in order to give, but what with cans and food for they need to realize is that the hungry. Donations this year are they should be giving to those who at a record low at MHS, with the first can’t access basic human necessities place class donating four dollars. This rather than to those who just want begs the question: what is wrong with the latest gaming console (please us? don’t buy anyone a Wii-U). And even I applaud ASB for their diligent though it’s still in the spirit of giving, efforts to promote Jack Emery. The gifts tend to be more materialistic

than anything else. When was the last time we made a card for someone and he or she genuinely appreciated it? Not in quite a while, if ever, I would assume. The fact of the matter is that every year people bring up this exact same issue. It gets old and clichéd, but the reason that it gets mentioned so often is that nothing is ever done about it. Let’s be honest, you, the reader, will may feel a bit guilty after reading this, but you will most likely forget about this article and continue on with whatever life principles you were previously following. I can’t change human nature, and I don’t expect to. So here’s the point: in the spirit of the season, take maybe five minutes, rummage through your pantry, and donate two cans to your first period class. Or, if you are short on canned foods, don’t buy that pack of gum you always get and donate the money instead. It’s the bare minimum of what we can do, but it’s better than doing nothing at all. After you’ve done this, you can go back to the mall and continue that shopping spree.

Poor etiquette prevalent on MHS campus It was not that long ago when manners and courtesy were considered common. It was an accepted social norm; an essential aspect of our society that refined social interaction. Kids were taught their P’s and Q’s and to respect their elders. This manner was reflected in adults who showed courtesy and respect to others. While it was not true of everyone, it was true for most people. However, manners and courtesy are now noticed for their rarity, rather than their frequency. This is noticeably lacking in modern society and most noticeably at MHS. People are no longer considering how their actions may affect others; instead, they are working on what is most convenient for themselves. The bad manners they display are ever present and examples are too numerous to even compile in a list. Students and people in general, don’t even bother to say “please,”

“thank you,” or “excuse me” anymore. of how polite and respectful you are Students don’t even wipe their shoes towards others. A few manners goes upon entering their classes on a rainy a long way and are an attribute that day, and instead, track mud all over is becoming more and more uncomcarpet that doesn’t get mon, and those that have cleaned often. Students it are considered praiseopen doors for themselves worthy. without considering that Have you ever heard they just shut the door in of the Golden Rule? “Do someone else’s face. Stuunto others as you would dents cut lunch lines for have them do unto you,” their own benefit without is not an old-fashioned considering that many notion. If we stop to think famished students were about how our conduct afalready waiting in line for fects others, we can make their turn. Students talk better choices. In turn, a VIVIAN loudly, expletives and all, well-mannered person DINH without bearing in mind will be considered friendly that others around them and stand out in the crowd. would rather have silence. Moreover, good manners Need I say more? are about being considerate and usManners are a way of showing re- ing common sense, about choosing spect and consideration for others. politeness over discourtesy. Manners Having good manners is not following and courtesy can go a long way so it a book of rules, but rather, a measure doesn’t hurt to have them.

Holidays influenced by materialistic values; time spent with loved ones loses importance As Christmas time approaches, shopping just because you want to people are deciding on what gifts to buy the latest laptop? The holidays give to their friends and family. Since should be about spending time with the pressure of not buying your relatives instead of a “crappy” gift is so high, stampeding towards the people opt for gifts that mall to buy the latest gadare more expensive. The gets and electronics. pricier the better, right? I Even though they are don’t think so. With each happy to finally purchase generation, people have their dream holiday sale become more materialmerchandise, people istic. Coming together as need to understand that a family is nothing commaterialism is temporary. pared to the huge pile of In fact, most people admit presents under the tree. that they do not spend This is true not only for enough time with their CINDY Christmas but also for othfamily members because WANG er holidays such as Thanksthey rush out to buy the giving. I mean, don’t you latest gadgets for themthink that it’s a tad ridiculous to selves. With all this money spending, leave in the middle of a Thanksgiv- people tend to forget what the real ing family dinner to go Black Friday spirit of giving is about. They forget

that it’s about a chance to give back to the person for all the help and support they have given you throughout the year. I understand that buying gifts and giving it to people is a way of bonding together, but it would be better if they put some thought into the gift. A thoughtful gift would be something that is simple, thrifty, and says something positive about the receiver of the gift. Just know that sometimes bigger isn’t always better, it’s the thought that counts. The smartest way of giving is making a gift. It not only shows your creativity but also your thought and effort into the gift. Sometimes, a random act of kindness can be consider a gift in itself. My overall point is that the true meaning of the holiday s is not all about physical materials.




10 Listen to the morning announcements 9

Pull a successful senior prank


Read during SSR


Stop spending your life on the internet


Hear your song suggestions played during tardy sweeps


Get approval before going off campus


Unlock the Super Ultimate Rainbow Trojan Access Card


Kiss someone other than your mother when it turns 2013


Get over him/her/it


Make a real resolutions list

World geography impractical I, like most of the students at this a class to be required in the name of school, took Cultural History (now diversity, it is impossible in the curknown as World Geography) during rent circumstances to gain a depth one of the two semesters of my fresh- and breadth in an understanding of man year. Although I learned some- the various world issues and cultures. thing about culture and history of the Even taking AP World History, which other geographical areas of the world, provides most of the background into I found it of little practical these events and issues use and the information does not allow for a full quickly evaporated from understanding. my mind during the heat of At other local high summer. The information schools, such as Piedmont that did linger in my mind Hills or Mission San Jose, ended up being retaught in the graduation requireAP World History. ments for social science As a senior now, I still require 6 semesters or 3 do not understand why we years: World History, US are required to take GeHistory, American Govography as freshmen. I’ve ernment, and Economics. heard of the excuse that MHS seems to be the only ALANNA it is under the pretext of school to require a seventh TRAN our school’s diversity, but semester. In fact, most colif so, why isn’t it absolutely leges or universities out mandatory? If our school’s diver- there require on average only about sity is such an important issue that two to three years of social science it requires the student body to take a from applicants. The UC system only seventh semester of history, why is it requires two years of history and that some of the students can get out Stanford University requires three of taking it for a yearlong elective? years, not three and a half. So, in Clearly, there isn’t a strong practical requiring the extra semester, MHS basis for which we have to take World is not helping us to fulfill any requireGeography. ments for admission into a college or Also, a semester isn’t enough time university. to cover the topics of World GeogClearly, a required seventh semesraphy sufficiently to allow for an ter of social science devoted to World understanding of the cultures. From Geography is not useful. I realize that experience, only a few cultures or there will be major shifts in the allopast political events within a broad cation of the freshman class in terms geographical area, such as Africa or of classes, if a seventh semester is no Europe, are covered in about two to longer required. Instead, the energies three weeks. This is not sufficient of the teachers who teach the subject time to gain an understanding of would be better spent on teaching a few cultures, never mind a geo- other social science electives. graphical area’s various cultures. For

QUESTION OF THE MONTH: WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE HOLIDAY CHARACTER AND WHY? Does a turkey count? I choose turkey because they’re delicious. Freshman Kian Ghaemmaghami

Frosty the Snowman because his song is fun to sing.

Junior Megan Tso

The Grinch is pretty cool because he shows how people can be kind in their hearts #cheesy Junior Gordon Luu

Mrs. Claus because she must make really wonderful food because Santa Claus has such a big belly.

Senior Keziah Lyu

Rudolph because he’s the helper and he flies and he has a red nose. Sophomore Jeraldo Cruz





Wreaths promote life skills BY KIMBERLY VO

When you think about Christmas, you may think about the trees, holiday lights, and perhaps even wreaths. The MHS Wreath Company, an annual mock company headed by Special Education Teacher Jeff Waugh, operated throughout the month of November online and on campus. The MHS Wreath Company did more than sell an assortment of decorations, as its purpose is to teach functional life skills to special-needs students by allowing them to actively take a role in the selling and delivering of the decorations. The MHS Wreath Company provided a variety of different items for purchase this year. Among wreaths, there were also swags, centerpieces, New England decorations, and garlands for sale. This year, the company also provided shipping services for the purchases, according to Waugh. “[The MHS Wreath Company] is a mock company for special education students, and it is to teach them about money and responsibility and how to work together,” Waugh said. “It is a whole big educational tool that I use for teaching special ed.” The students have to go around and sell the decorations. Many of

the autistic and special-needs kids in the class who have difficulty talking to strangers have a defined goal they must achieve. They have to walk up and talk to somebody, explaining what they are doing and why they are doing it, according to Waugh. “They collect money, they have to count it, they have to give change,” Waugh said. “Then it becomes a bigger process for them once we get the wreaths. Then they have to assemble them and then they have to distribute them, and it’s a very people-oriented thing—it’s a big project.” Waugh plans on using the funds they raised through the wreath company to purchase iPads for his classroom. Last year, the funds were used to take the students on three different field trips, but field trips for this year have not been decided yet. The MHS Wreath Company is where students sell wreaths to teachers, according to Special Education Student Kevin Tran. Tran’s job is to sell and deliver wreaths by “reading the labels and going to classrooms.” “[The wreath company is] to learn about money, responsibility, and teamwork,” Tran said. “[The wreath company] is an undertaking [of ] students by students.”

Banh performs lion dancing, strives to revitalize tradition BY VIVIAN DINH

Moving to the beat of drums, cymbals, and gongs, hidden performers dance by mimicking a lion’s movement. But have you ever wondered just who those performers are under the lion costumes? Unbeknownst to many students, Senior Sonny Banh happens be one of those performers. Lion dancing is a form of traditional dance that is used as an act of celebration or congratulations, according to Banh. Chinese and Vietnamese lions have a mirror on their foreheads to repel devils and demons, Banh said. “At some Asian weddings or grand openings, you’d see some lion dancing,” Banh said. “But usually you’d see lion dancing around Lunar New Year.” Banh started lion dancing about six months ago and made his lion dance debut in August, at a parade in the state of Washington. Since then, he has performed at two local events. “I lion-danced at an event for our one year anniversary for the organization in September,” Banh said. “The next one was at a Veteran’s Day parade in San Jose.” Initially, Banh didn’t have a particular interest in lion dancing, but upon the insistence of his friends who lion-danced, he tried it out. Realizing how fun lion dancing is, Banh continued to practice and perform. “I was at my friend’s party and

they’re mostly lion dancers. Their headmaster saw that I was a big person and wanted to recruit me to be one of their tails,” Banh said. “I thought lion dancing wasn’t that fun, but it actually was so I continued to do it.” Lion dancing may appear easy, but that’s because a lot of time is spent perfecting each stunt. According to Banh, he and his friends practice routines often to ensure they’re on beat with the drums and other instruments. “If we’re freestyling, then we don’t have to prepare for anything,” Banh said. “But, if we’re setting up a routine, like a bench routine, it takes a few months to prepare.” Banh now does ceremonial lion dancing with a team called Buu Kim Tu (Golden Temple) based in San Jose. Buu Kim Tu originated from a temple located in Southern Vietnam in 1960, Banh said. “Basically, the organization started a few years back,” Banh said. “A former lion dancer named Sunny Nguyen wanted to revitalize the culture of lion dancing in San Jose, so he started it. It wasn’t official until last year.” Buu Kim Tu was founded on ideas like respect and appreciation for Vietnamese and Chinese culture, Banh said. Its mission is to keep a history and culture alive. “Nowadays, you don’t see that many people doing lion dance. You only see it at Vietnamese or Chinese New Years,” Banh said. “The main reason I want to do it is to revitalize the culture of lion dancing.”

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Social Studies Teacher Tricia Robinson rides her horse in a competition in Northern California. Robinson used to compete primarily in equestrian show jumping. She has had the opportunity to train with international horses.

Robinson former int’l equestrian competitor BY LILLIAN KAO

Living in a city, most people probably have not had the rare and unique opportunity to ride a horse, let alone ride in equestrian competitions. For Social Studies Teacher Tricia Robinson, she has been riding horses and competing in equestrian shows since she was young. Robinson first started riding horses when she was three. At the time, her family moved and got her sister a small horse, she said. Robinson, her mother, and her sister ended up taking lessons in horse riding, and Robinson started competing in various horse shows. “By the time I was six, I was doing little lead line classes where they lead you around,” Robinson said. “When I was in elementary school,

I was definitely competing.” Later on, she competed at the state level, national level, and international level. She trained several hours a day in preparation for her event, equestrian show jumping. When she was 19 years old, Robinson also had the opportunity to spend a summer in Germany, training with one of the top trainers in the world. At the facility, there were people from all over the world, according to Robinson. “Basically, I was a working student, so I got to ride a lot of different horses, a lot of top international horses, including one that had won a million dollar grand prix over in Europe,” Robinson said. “I suppose it was a continuation of the training I was receiving in the States.”

Though she has not been as deeply involved in the sport recently because she has been busy, she was extremely involved in the sport during college. Over the last fifteen years, more private colleges are starting to have equestrian teams, according to Robinson. The U.S. Equestrian Federation is starting to support and sponsor more tournaments, which gives those interested in horse jumping a chance in college to do so, she said. When asked about the best thing about horseback riding, Robinson said her favorite thing about the sport is that it is a partnership sport. “Even though it’s not a human partner, it is very much a partnership,” she said. “You still have to rely on each other. Horses in general are animals that you can connect with.”

Do combats cyberbullying, forms support group BY SHELDON HENTSCHKE

Cyberbullying is one of those things that people tend to not take very seriously. It’s easy to brush it off and say that somebody’s being a wimp, but cruel words online can hurt just as much as they can when spoken. To combat the issue, Senior Tiffany Do has started up an anti-cyberbullying group here at MHS. Do’s goal for the group is to bring awareness to cyberbullying as a serious issue and act as support for anybody who needs it. This year, Do plans to create a formal presentation that the student body

will see. Eventually, Do hopes to include cyberbullying into bullying legislation as a punishable offense. Some may think cyberbullying is uncommon among high school students, but it’s common enough to be brought up at least once a year. Do, who has talked to victims of cyberbullying, said that “years of their lives were ruined” because of how they were perceived due to the cyberbullying. She also said that she wants to “let people know that they’re not alone and that they’re not weak for being affected by something like this .” This year, Do wants to make a presentation that will be shown to

the whole student body. To carry the message into the future, the presentation will be shown to each incoming Freshman class. Currently, cyberbullying is not currently punishable by school codes, Do said, but she hopes to eliminate some of the gray areas in cyberbullying’s legality and to include cyberbullying in bullying legislation. Do’s group welcomes anybody who can to contribute. For those interested, look up “Cyberbullying Awareness and Prevention” on Facebook. Meetings are generally held Wednesdays at lunch in room E-14.

Modern librarians’ duties go beyond books BY RUITING QIN

The job of a 21st century librarian has changed from what people expect, according to MHS Librarian LeighAnn McCready. It is not all about books anymore, but about helping people navigate the flood of information, McCready said. Now, a wide range of information exists in a variety of formats, and librarians help students navigate to the accurate and reliable information, providing them with the answers needed. “Traditional books are not going away yet, since fiction and narrative books still appear in print medium,” McCready said. “What has changed dramatically over the years is the format of nonfiction resources and reference information; it makes

sense that the medium of the information changes to a digital format.” A large portion of the library budget is invested in databases, according to McCready. Databases, giant libraries in digital format, provide up-to-date information. “The information found in databases are selected by publishers based on the topics they specialize in,” McCready explained. “Google search doesn’t always provide the most accurate academic sources with quality and relevance.” The MHS library provides three types of online databases: Student Resources in Context, used for research topics; Opposing Viewpoints, pro-con research with updated sources; and Global Issues, current issues from the global

perspective, McCready said. The databases could be used anywhere with internet access, not just on campus. “Two free mobile apps, the AccessMyLibrary School Edition App and the Destiny Quest App are available with the MHS username and password, along with NoodleTools, a research support tool used for bibliographies,” McCready said. “You can use the AccessMyLibrary App to access the databases on your phone or iPad, and the Destiny Quest App to access the library catalog, log in to your account, place books on hold, see which books are checked out, renew books, review books, and see which books are available in the school library.”





Support staff provides aid, academic to emotional help BY KAREN CHI

Dena Chavez - PFEL Coordinator Coordinator for the P r o g r a m for English Learners, C h a v e z o b t a i n s translators and works as one herself for foreign students and their parents. She places those students in specialized classes and then decides when they are ready to leave the program. The program’s goal “is to make sure those kids have the same choices and opportunities as a kid born in America.” Michelle Ikei - Therapist Part of the C A S S Y Program, which stands for Counseling and Support Services for the Youth, Ikei works with Michelle Jio as a therapist. They work together to provide emotional support, counseling and group therapy for students struggling with everyday life. To contact them, students may schedule an appointment with their counselor or teachers. Norma


Latino Community Liaison Morales works as a translator to keep Latino students and their parents updated with their child’s school life. She mentors those students and helps with an after school tutoring program for Latino students called Academia Horizontes. She “[wants] her students to graduate and be successful in life.” Students may contact her through their counselor.

Sandra Quintana - Psychologist Quintana counsels students who are struggling with personal issues whether they be from academics or home. She also specializes in counseling and testing for Special Education students. Any student may contact her by scheduling an appointment with their counseler or asking for a direct refferal from their teacher. She hopes that students will “never feel labeled or stigmatized to look for help.” Annette Rodarte - Workability Rodarte is the school’s vocational specialist and head of the workability/ T T P (Transitional Pa r t n e r s h i p Program) department. She helps Special Education students develop skills they need to find a job after high school. Students can “come by any time for [their] work permit” by heading over to K-05 for an application. The confirmation process may take up to two days. Bridget Stevens - Behavioral Coach S t e v e n s works with students who have anger or personal issues. She’s not here full time because she works with the whole district, but when she is here, students can still find her in F-05 any time during, before and after school or during lunch to talk to her. Students can also schedule an appointment with their counselor. They can “drop by if [they] have any anger or [they] just wanna talk!”

Jack Emery helps community BY JAMIE LAM

Every year in the month of November, all MUSD schools participate in the Jack Emery Food Drive. Even if most MHS students have heard of the event in the past, some students are still unclear of the purpose of Jack Emery and how much of an impact this food drive has on the community. According to ASB President Pilar Ferguson, who is in charge of Jack Emery this year, Jack Emery is an annual district-wide food drive in which all donations are given to the Milpitas Food Pantry. The Jack Emery goal for MHS this year is to donate $4,000 and 6,000 cans, Ferguson said. This year, all students and teachers are automatically entered into a first period class competition, Ferguson said. “The classes that collect the most cans and money combined within each class size category win a hot breakfast,” Ferguson said. Ferguson said that leadership students will come around to classrooms during fifth period to collect donations, even though the class competition is between first period classes. In this way, students should feel like it is easier to bring cans to school because

they simply need to bring them to their first period class and leave the cans there, as opposed to carrying the cans around until fifth period, according to Ferguson. “Students and teachers must realize that thousands of families in Milpitas and the Silicon Valley are in dire need of essentials to life, including food to put on the table,” Ferguson said. “Remember, $1 is equivalent to two cans, and if everyone in the school donated two cans, we will easily reach our goal.” Milpitas Food Pantry’s Executive Director, Karen Kolander, has been working at the Food Pantry for three years, and she expressed how much of an impact the Jack Emery Food Drive makes. “[Jack Emery] has a huge impact on the community,” Kolander said. “It gives us a variety of food that can last for a very long time.” According to Kolander, the Food Pantry receives foods and monetary donations from Jack Emery. The money is used to pay for the rent and utilities of the Food Pantry building, and to purchase extra food, Kolander said. Kolander expressed her feelings about her job at the Food Pantry. “I love my job because I get to meet the best people,” Kolander said. “I have the best job in the world.”

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English Teacher Matthew Hanley rides his Yamaha R1 bike on a track day at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California, on Nov. 24, 2006. Hanley participates in a Reg Pridmore’s CLASS Motorcycle School lesson.

Hanley rides motorcycle recreationally BY CARYN TRAN

Only a few people on the MHS campus ride motorcycles. English Teacher Matthew Hanley is one of those few. Hanley rides a black 2005 Yamaha YZFR1. Hanley started motorcycle riding when he was 38. He was not interested much in motorcycles, but one day, he walked into a motorcycle shop and exited fascinated and fixated on motorcyles, he said. Having been interested in dirt biking as a child and ridden dirt bikes before, Hanley said, “A good place for students [interested in motorcycles] to start is in the dirt. Go dirt biking.” Hanley has participated in a couple of track days at Laguna Seca in Mon-

terey, California. Laguna Seca is mainly used as a car racing track, but is sometimes opened for motorcycle classes and riding sessions. “On the track, you don’t look down so much,” Hanley said. When asked what his fastest speed was on the track, he said, “I probably rode around 110 miles per hour.” Hanley has a full Kevlar suit, gloves, racing boots, and a helmet made to European safety standards. According to Hanley, he has never been in a motorcycle accident. “Once I remember hitting a patch of sand and squirreling around, but I didn’t go down,” Hanley said. “I wear a lot of protective gear, actually,” Hanley later said. Every so often, Hanley and a group

of riders ages 40 to 50 go on motorcycle riding trips that last about 4 days and 1200 miles, Hanley said. They try to ride twice a year, going north in the fall and south in the spring. “I had one buddy I rode with for a long time and he introduced me to this group of riders,” Hanley said. “One is a head hunter, one’s a retired CEO, one was a CFO of a company, one’s a lawyer, one’s a venture capitalist, one guy manages some apartments, and one’s another kind of business man.” It is rare to see Hanley ride to school now a days, according to Hanley. Although he enjoys the adventures he has on his motorcycle, the Yamaha YZFR1 is quite costly to maintain, Hanley said.




Stress affects BY GIANG HA

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Shown above are 5-Hour Energy shots at the 7-11 on Milpitas Boulevard. These 2 oz bottles are estimated to contain 240 mg of caffeine and have been cited as the cause of death in over 13 cases reported to the F.D.A. in recent years.

Caffeinated drinks dangerous in excess BY CATHERINE FREY

Most students can relate to the effects of sleep deprivation; you’re tired in class the next day, unable to focus on the teacher, and forcing your eyelids to stay open. To remedy this, some students vow to get a better night’s sleep, while others turn to caffeinated beverages to stay awake. With so many energy drinks to choose from, available at any supermarket, grocery store, or 7-11, they’re easy for students to get ahold of. Energy drinks like Red Bull, Monster, Rockstar, and 5-Hour Energy are among the most popular of caffeinated beverages. They seem harmless enough, and some people even drink them even if they are not feeling energy deprived. A November article in the New York Times indicates that maybe some students should think twice before drinking these highly caffeinated beverages; although the F.D.A says there is no scientific evidence to prove it, 13 deaths have been reported to be linked to 5-Hour Energy within the past four years. Senior Wesley Luu says that he drinks 5-Hour Energy, Monster, Coffee, Red Bull, and Rockstar. He only drinks caffeinated beverages occasionally, around once a week. “[I drink them] whenever I have low energy and I need something to boost me up,” Luu said. “Usually be-

cause my week is so productive and I feel the need to have something that can give me a jump.” Since 2009, 30 serious or lifethreatening injuries have been cited to be related to the consumption of 5-Hour Energy. The filings against Living Essentials of Farmington Hills. Mich., the distributor of 5Hour Energy, include incidents of heart attacks, convulsions, and in one case, a spontaneous abortion, according to the New York Times article. “I know some people can take a lot and some people can take minimal amounts, but for me, after only one 5-Hour Energy, I get super jittery and hyper,” Luu replied, when asked what effects caffeine have had on him. “One time at work, after I drank a 5-Hour Energy and a Monster, I was running down the hallway, returning from my break, and I felt like my heart was about to explode.” Currently, the F.D.A. does not require caffeinated beverages to label the amounts of caffeine in them, and it has stated that there is not enough scientific evidence to justify changing how it regulates caffeine or other ingredients in energy drinks. According to an article published by Consumer Reports, the amount of caffeine in each two-ounce bottle of 5-Hour Energy, referred to as a shot, is about 215 – 242 mg. An eight-ounce cup of coffee, usually

contains 100 – 150 mg of caffeine. states that in order to overdose on caffeine, the average-sized-young-adult male would need to consume over 500 – 1000 mg of caffeine within 24 hours. The symptoms would most likely include nausea and vomiting, so the body’s natural mechanisms usually prevent a caffeine overdose. According to C.B.S. News, the F.D.A. is currently undertaking investigations into recent cases of death possibly related to energy drinks to determine their credibility. If the F.D.A. finds that these energy drinks are harmful, they may require that companies stop marketing their caffeinated drinks as beverages and dietary supplements and label the milligrams of caffeine in each serving. Other than caffeine, common energy drink ingredients like ginseng, vitamins B3 and B6, ginkgo biloba, and l-carnitine, can induce adverse reactions. lists common side effects of these ingredients as diarrhea, light-headedness, dizziness, and nausea. The important thing to remember is that moderation is key. Only drink energy drinks when you actually need that energy boost or increased alertness. Unless you are allergic to an ingredient in an energy drink, having an energy shot or a caffeinated beverage once or twice a week is not harmful.

Lack of sleep has negative health effects; Fewer than 1 in 10 teenagers sleep enough BY BRENDA SU

Sleep deprivation plagues many high school students. American teenagers require about 9.25 hours of sleep a night, yet only eight percent of them are getting it, according to the National Sleep Foundation; this not only negatively impacts student performance, but also leads to a wide range of health consequences. Sleep deprivation in teens has been linked to reduced levels of the Human Growth Hormone (HGH), which is essential to physical growth, brain development, and maturation of the immune system, according to a study conducted by researchers of Westminster University in London. Furthermore, a 2010 study in the journal Sleep found that sleep-deprived teenagers are vulnerable to depression, self-harm, and anxiety. A study by University of Chicago scientists found lack of sleep can impair metabolism and disrupt hormone levels, causing diabetes and obesity. Sleep deprivation also causes acne, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Junior Pranay Patni is taking four Advanced Placement (AP) classes

and one Honors class this year. He said, because of his busy schedule and rigorous course load, he sleeps about six hours a day, going to bed around 2:00 a.m. and waking up around 7:30 a.m. “AP Computer Science takes three hours a day, one hour for [Calculus] BC,” Patni said, “ and then another hour for [AP] Chem and [AP] Spanish combined.” An avid participant and Co-President of the Milpitas Speech and Debate Team, Patni said he also dedicates 30 hours a week and 24 hours on the weekends to Speech and Debate. According to Patni, he sleeps less on weekends than on weekdays. To handle fatigue in class, Patni said he sometimes eats or drinks something. “If I sleep too late I have a headache at the end of the day and can’t focus, which sucks because all of my AP’s are at the end of the day,” Patni commented. “I close my eyes and rest my head on my desk sometimes, but I still pay attention; I haven’t ever completely dozed off.” Freshman Tiffany Hsu said she sleeps about seven hours every night. She credits her computer posing as the main distraction that

results in her going to bed around midnight. “I’m really tired in third to fifth period, usually,” Hsu said. She suggested a later start to the school day to help students cope with lack of sleep. Numerous studies over the past decade, including one led by Brown University Professor Mary Carskadon, have proven teens cannot fall asleep easily until about 11 p.m., and their brains stay in sleep mode until at least 8:00 a.m. This results from the biological sleep cycle that regulates the secretion of melatonin, a sleep-promoting hormone. As a result, many experts advocate later start times for schools. After the start time at a high school in Edina, Minnesota, was changed from 7:25 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., teachers reported that students were more alert, and the verbal Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SAT) scores for the top 10 percent of students increased by several hundred points. The increase could not be attributed to any variable other than the later start times, according to Kyla L. Wahlstrom, a researcher at the University of Minnesota.

It is Monday. You have a lab report due tomorrow, a soccer road game today until eight, a huge project due Wednesday, an orchestra concert tomorrow night, not to mention an essay due tomorrow at 11:59 p.m. or the three tests you have on tomorrow and Wednesday. This influx of activities combined with a huge load of academics causes what we all call stress, the condition of mental strain stemming from such a huge workload. Stress is what is felt when an individual has more than his or her usual workload, according to WebMD. The body responds as if he or she is in danger, and it makes hormones that speed up the heart, breathing rate, and gives bursts of energy. Stress also leads to certain symptoms and conditions that can be harmful to the body. According to Mayo Clinic, some effects include headache, muscle tension or pain, stomach upset, or even sleep problems. Stress can even lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes if left unchecked. Stress also affects both academic performance and behavior. Stress tends to negatively affect test

scores as well as attitude, according to Sophomore Tan Nguyen. “I feel like stress has a negative effect on me both academically and behaviorally,” Nguyen said. “ON days that I sacrifice sleep to study, I find that I generally score lower on those tests and spend the rest of the day feeling grumpy, and even the slightest thing will upset me.” Studies have shown that stress negatively affects academic performance, according to Dr. Ed Ehlinger, director of Boynton Health Services. Dr. Ehlinger led a study by HealthNews that investigated how stress affects academic performance. At the University of Minnesota, the average GPA of an individual with stress was noticeably lower than that of someone with no stress. However, the same studies also showed that stress was not the only factor; managing that stress was equally as important, according to Dr. Ehlinger. Students who said they were able to handle their stress effectively performed better than students who could not, said Dr. Ehlinger. Sophomore Tan Nguyen said that

Other 22.3%

Home Life 10.2%


Extracurriculars 5.5%

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The internet, dude, like social media. When you’re studying. you’re usually on facebook, or you’re texting.



Anime, man. Just can’t stop watching it.



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is also linked to sleep deprivation, according to the “Journal of Sleep,” which can cause numerous mental and physical effects that can be harmful to health and social life. Sophomore Jacky Lu spends his time on the internet using social networking sites or just researching hobbies. “I spend around two to three hours on the internet daily and go on Facebook, YouTube, or read stuff about science,” Lu said. Meanwhile, Senior James Nguyen says he spends about six hours per day on the internet using social networking sites or for school. “The majority of my time spent is used on social networking sites, specifically Facebook,” Nguyen said. Nguyen also mentions that he gets about five hours of sleep on average, compared to the suggested 9.25 hours of sleep recommended for teenagers. Although spending countless hours on the internet is a given nowadays, the effects it has on health is undeniable. Conditions that most people would normally get at old age are now commonplace among young adults. So, in order to maintain your health for as long as you can, take a break every once and a while, even if your internet usage is mainly for school work.


At school: students, at home: my brother and my sister, but mostly myself.


Friends, video games, and just the internet.

Grade Distribution of MHS Students

-muscle pain and tension -anxiety -sleep problems -over/undereating -mood swings -lack of motivation or focus -irritability -sadness and depression -drug abuse -social withdrawal


Well I have ADHD, so pretty much everything.


Common Effects of Stress


(GPA weighted)


or react quickly, which is useful in winning a race or finishing an important job.


stress affects not only academics, but also behavior. Stress tends to negatively affect test scores as well as attitude, according to Sophomore Tan Nguyen. “I feel like stress has a negative effect on me both academically and behaviorally,” Nguyen said. “On days that I sacrifice sleep to study, I find that I generally score lower on those tests and spend the rest of the day feeling grumpy, and even the slightest thing will upset me.” Both WebMD and Mayo Clinic say that stress can affect one’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Some effects include feeling cranky, frustrated, or tired, finding it hard to focus on tasks, anxiety, restlessness, and depression. Senior Sherilyn Thach agrees. “Stress can bring the worst out of people,” Thach said. “People can get crankier, hungrier, or even have sudden anxiety attacks. I will lock myself in my room in fear of snapping at people for the littlest things.” However, Thach also thinks that stress can have some positive effects, especially when one learns to deal with stress better. Stress has actually helped Thach’s grades a little more because the stress motivates Thach to work harder. Stress can also serve as a motivating factor, according to WebMD. Stress can make you work harder


ay food or sleeping.

Internet usage among students is so commonplace that the notion of using it for less than four hours a day seems preposterous. With everything the Internet has to offer, it’s hard not to be drawn to the internet and its distractions, not to mention the fact that much of our schoolwork requires us to use the Internet nowadays. However, the validity of Internet addiction disorder (IAD) is actually being debated, according to the American Psychiatric Association. According to a study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, teenagers spend on average more than seven hours a day on the Internet. While the concept of the internet being an addiction can seem silly, overuse of the Internet can also have many effects on health. According to the founder of Computer Addiction Services in Harvard, internet over usage can cause health problems such as weight gain and deterioration of physical fitness. Other effects can include dry eyes, migraines, and back aches. Aside from physical problems, IAD is also associated with depression, ADHD, and social anxiety, according to a study from the Institute of Psychological Sciences. IAD

3.5 - 4.0

School 62%






Internet overuse takes toll


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Procrastination plagues students BY JAMIE LAM

Homework, sports, clubs, and part-time jobs. For some of us, it’s not easy balancing our schedules and finding time to get everything done. As high school students, the only way we can execute this balancing act is by managing time wisely. Unfortunately, poor time management and procrastination prevent a majority of high school students from doing their best in school. Managing time poorly often leads to sleep deprivation, bad grades, stress, and less free-time. Junior Rakshit Garg said his schedule is always full, as he is an avid member of Speech and Debate, plays tennis, and participates in DECA. Garg said his most challenging classes this year are AP Chemistry and AP Calculus BC. “My time gets devoted to homework and debate,” Garg said. “I sleep as late as I need to in order to get things done”. When asked if he had ever procrastinated, Garg admitted he had in the past. “Procrastination hasn’t always been negative for me though,” Garg said. “It pushes me to work really hard in those final hours before an assignment is due”. Garg said he tries to keep from procrastinating by starting on assignments before they are due . Sophomore Brandon Do said that he manages his time poorly because he helps people with other

things. Do, who frequently performs for shows and is a part of 3 different clubs, said his most challenging classes this year are Honors Chemistry and Algebra 2 Trigonometry. “I always procrastinate, and it affects my grades pretty harshly but sometimes I think it’s worth it, depending on the reason why I have to procrastinate,” Do said. “I don’t keep myself from procrastinating. I just do whatever I feel like! It’s more stress-free, in my opinion”. As a part of the California Youth Symphony (CYS), Senior Joshua Lin spends most of his time in music. His most challenging classes this year are AP English and AP Calculus BC, according to Lin. “Personally, I don’t have the best time management,” Lin said. “I just happen to know my capabilities well. I tend to practice my violin after school and spend the rest of the night completing my homework”. Lin said he often finds himself procrastinating, but that he makes sure to give himself enough time to finish his assignments. Lin said that he is usually tired after not getting enough sleep due to his workload. “The best way to keep myself from procrastinating is to keep my work accessible,” Lin said. “The most difficult part about doing a project or typing a paper is opening it and actually starting. If I just leave my document open or have my project on my desk, I know that eventually, I will get to working on it”.









Soup kitchen serves needy BY SHELDON HENTSCHKE

Microsoft Surface, Kindle Fire HD, iPad 4 th Generation, and Google Nexus 10 (left to right) are among the latest tablets released in the market. The tablets vary in price from $200 to $1000, depending on storage size and cellular data capabilities, as well as tablet size, speed, and screen resolution.

Full market of tablets, Microsoft Surface among newest BY JONATHAN NGO AND JIMMY NGUYEN

Microsoft Surface Microsoft has recently released its tablet, the Surface. It comes in two versions: the brand new Windows 8 or Windows RT. TECH Specs: The new tablet REVIEW has a 10.6” ClearType with a 1920x1080 resolution screen and is 9.4mm thick. The tablet weighs less than two pounds. It contains two 720p HD cameras (front and back) and two microphones. Speed: Integrated into the tablet is Intel Core i5. It is quite fast and runs smoothly with unseen problems. Operating System: The tablet runs on Windows 8 Pro. The software runs smoothly and responds quickly to touch. Price: The 64GB and 128GB for the Microsoft Surface Windows 8 pro costs you $899 and $999, respectively. The Microsoft Surface RT will cost you $499 with 32GB. Overall: Microsoft did a good job on its first generation tablet. The OS is powerful and runs like a mid-tier desktop. The purchase of this device is recommended only if you have the money to spend.

Kindle Fire HD The new Amazon Kindle Fire HD is stunning. The tablet has gone from a square shape to a more elegant and curvy model. Specs: The Kindle Fire HD is 7 inches and fits into the user’s hand like a book. It is 1280x800 pixels, which supports 720p HD resolutions. The CPU runs at Dual Core TI OMAP4 HS, 1.2 GHz with 1024 RAM. Speed: With the Dual Core TI OMAP4 HS, 1.2 GHz with 1024 RAM, this small device runs very smoothly. It is definitely faster than the original Kindle Fire. Operating System: The tablet runs Android 4.0. The only bad thing about this is that there are too many advertisements. Whenever you lock the screen, an advertisement pops up. Price: The Kindle Fire HD, which can run games, movies, music, and books, comes at a low price of only $199—one of the cheapest tablets on the market. Overall: The Kindle Fire HD is a great gift for people of all ages. The tablet may not be the most powerful, but it is effective in what it does. This tablet is recommended over the other over-priced tablets on the market.

iPad 4th Generation Apple recently released its new iPad. It has a small upgrade that brings a new processor and Lightning port to the device. Specs: The new iPad is 0.37 inches thick, weighs just under 1.5 pounds, and features a 9.7 inch retina display. The 2048 x 1536 retina display is one of the best displays on the market. Speed: The new A6X chip doubles the CPU and graphics performance of the A5X, which powers the 3rd generation iPad. The new iPad is able to noticeably launch apps more quickly. Operating System: Along with the new iPad comes Apple’s operating system, iOS 6. The whole structure and feel of the operation system felt the same as previous ones. Price: The 16, 32, and 64GB Wi-Fimodels will cost you $499, $599, and $699, respectively. The same models with the addition of cellular data supported by AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon, will cost you $629, $729, and $829. Overall: Apple’s iPad is a well designed and high-quality device. The only major change is its A6X chip. If you don’t have a tablet and are interested in getting one, the iPad definitely will not disappoint.

Google Nexus 10 Google has teamed up with Samsung for its new Nexus 10 tablet. Itis a great device and direct competitor to the current 4th generation iPad. Specs: This tablet is thinner than the iPad at 0.35 inches. It weighs 1.33 pounds and has a 2560 x 1600 10 inch display. The device features a more comfortable, usable, and friendly build as well as rounded corners. Speed: The tablet comes with a dual-core 1.7GHz Samsung Exynos 5 Dual CPU, a quad-core Mali-T604, and 2GB of RAM. Operating System: Android 4.2 Jelly bean is nice, but nothing will blow your mind. There isn’t much to talk about since the Android 4.2 is essentially a polishing of the previous introduction of Jellybean. Price: The Nexus 10 will cost you $399 for a 16GB version and $499 for a 32GB version. Overall: Google’s Nexus 10 is a well-designed tablet that outpaces most other tablets. In comparison to the iPad, the Nexus is ahead in terms of screen resolution and speed. However, whether you buy one or the other will ultimately come down to personal preference.

One of the trademarks of the holiday season is the spirit of giving that seems to permeate the atmosphere. Presents are exchanged among friends and family and the idea of humanitarianism seems to be especially prominent at this time of year. For example, the Jack Emery Drive collects cans at school, and there are toy and other food drives at almost every mall you go to. Volunteering is another common way that people give back to their communities. Food pantries and soup kitchens are sometimes overwhelmed with volunteers during the holidays. The numbers are so great that some places have to turn people down on days like Thanksgiving and Christmas, which are the two busiest volunteer days that those organizations see. Students here at MHS can take the opportunity to volunteer at locations like food pantries and soup kitchens and get community service hours for their time, or they can just work there for the sake of being good. Many students here at MHS do volunteer, like Sophomore Kyle Bobay. Bobay said that he has been volunteering at the Milpitas Food Pantry since eighth grade. It started out as a good way for him to get community service hours, he said. Now, he continues to volunteer every Saturday. Bobay said that the most rewarding things about working at the food pantry is seeing the gratefulness that people express when they receive food. He plans to volunteer at the Food Pantry for a long time to come. For those interested in volunteering, the Milpitas Food Pantry is located at 1440 South Main St.




Christmas tree options differ in advantages


Senior 1. Shirt American Apparel $30 2. Cardigan Urban Out�tters $40

4. Bag Vally $300

1 2 3

5. Dress Mink Pink $109


6. Tights Mom’s closet


7. Socks Anne Klein $13


Artificial Trees Aside from the fact that artificial trees can be reused year after year, they also do not need to be watered, do not leave pine needles all over the floor, and often have built-in holiday lights and easy collapsibility for the consumer’s convenience. However, artificial trees are non-recyclable, non-biodegradable, and will sit in a landfill for centuries after disposal. Contrary to the belief that artificial

Real/Cut Trees Although bringing home a real tree may require more care, they can be recycled, known as “treecycling.” In this process, trees are recycled into mulch and used in landscaping, gardening, as playground material, trails, paths, and walkways. They can also be used for beachfront erosion prevention, shoreline stabilization and wildlife habitats. However, real trees are often farmed as agricultural


Fashion Inspiration: “I get my inspiration from everything, everywhere.”


8 B����� S� | THE UNION

Kristian Buenconsejo Senior 1. Bolo Tie Gift 2. Jacket Renegade $20

1 2

3. Bag Army Surplus Store $45

3 4

5. Jeans Iron Heart $100 6. Vans Shoes Gift


Fashion Inspiration: “I get ideas from nature.”

products, in which repeated applications of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers may be used. The ideal tree would be raised organically without chemicals. Rented Trees With a living, replantable tree, not only do you have a clear conscience for not taking part in the annual tree killing process, but you are also choosing the most environmentally friendly disposal method. Many RentA-Tree programs deliver the potted Christmas tree to your door and pick up the tree when the holiday season is over. The customer can choose from a variety of trees, including potted pine, redwood, cedar, fir, and spruce to keep for Christmas. After the holidays, the trees are either planted in a local area or returned to the forest to keep on generating oxygen, improving the air quality and providing habitats for birds and animals.

Phone application, Instagram, moves to web

8. Boots Dr. Martens $114

4. Flannel Walmart $20

The holiday season is here once again, along with the flurry of preparations made for buying presents, decorating the home, and of course, choosing a Christmas tree. After all, the Christmas tree is an essential part of the holiday experience. The options for Christmas trees include artificial trees, real trees, and rentable trees, all with advantages and disadvantages.

trees are more environmentally friendly than cut trees, most fake trees also contain polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, which produces carcinogens during manufacturing and disposal. According to the New York Times, an artificial tree would have to be reused for more than 20 years to be greener than buying a fresh-cut tree annually. These calculations included greenhouse gas emissions, use of resources and human health impacts.


Natalie Dang

3. Jacket Talula $110


6 B����� S� | THE UNION

Popular photo-sharing application, Instagram, expands from its limited availability on smart phones to its very own website. Instagram users’ profiles are now available to view online at The online profiles display a user’s profile picture, biography and a gallery of their recent pictures. In addition, users may follow other users, comment and like other pictures, and edit their own profiles. There is currently no way to disable these features, unless a user’s profile is made entirely private. Therefore, if a user’s profile is not set to private, anyone can view

their profile and pictures, regardless of whether they’re an Instagram user or not. A person just needs access to a computer with internet and they will be able to view any Instagram user’s uploaded photos. The only thing users may not do on the web is upload images to their accounts, which is basically the whole point of Instagram: to upload pictures and share them. Pictures uploaded can now be seen on a larger scale and are also expandable because they can be viewed on a computer. In the two years since Instagram launched, it has attracted more than 100 million users by allowing users to take pictures, dress them up with

filters and then share them with friends, family and also the rest of the world if privacy settings aren’t on, according to CEO and Co-Founder Kevin Systrom. Since its launch, the application was only available to iPhone and Android phone users, but it is now available online. “We’re launching Web profiles to give you a simple way to share your photos with more people and to make it easier to discover new users on the Web,” Systrom wrote in a blog post. Instagram online is relatively similar to the app, just with limited functions. An Instagram user will still be able to fully enjoy their experience without using Instagram online.





‘Les Misérables’ to be remade BY SIDNEY LE

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The players burst into song, urging Pippin (Junior Jared Pati) to commit suicide and commence his great �nale. In the end, however, Pippin decides to live and spend the rest of his life with Catherine (Senior Lauren Alvear).

Polished performance by ‘Pippin’ players RATING: (out of �ve stars)



"Join us!" Curtains opened to cast members jumping off stage and running around in choreographed chaos. Dimmed lights, glow-in-thedark gloves, catchy show tunes, and flamboyant costumes all served to capture the audience’s attention. Pippin (Junior Jared Pati) struggles to find his identity. Pippin’s idealistic expectations hinder his endeavors: his quest for perfection blinds him from appreciating life, but he eventually finds love and fulfillment with Catherine (Senior Lauren Alvear). Through his relationship with

Catherine, Pippin realizes that the immature boy dies nobly for a cause while the wise man lives humbly for one. "Choose life," as Director Kaila Schwartz puts it, is a beautiful idea that encourages viewers to not give up. However, certain scenes contradict the PLAY play's message. PipREVIEW pin stabs his father (Senior Alvin Chow) in the back—literally—for the throne, but Charlemagne conveniently resurrects when Pippin decides he no longer wants to be king. It wasn't the impossibility that bothered me the most, but rather Charlemagne’s nonchalant, "It’s okay, son, just don’t let it happen again." Other scenes were difficult to


follow well. I couldn’t fathom how Pippin could throw his royal duties to frolic in the country, or that the players were urging him to commit suicide until I read the program. The play did exude a refreshing sensuality though. Pippin’s stepmother Fastrada (Senior Danielle Williams) slinked around in her siren red dress, while girls tried to tear Pippin’s shirt apart in their lust—I guess you could say that Pippin was pimpin’. From a live band and music director to dance and fight choreographers, "Pippin" was one of the more polished performances put on by the MHS Theater Department. Overall, the actors’ dramatic and vocal performances were solid, despite a few off-key notes, but the general plotline was convoluted.

Victor Hugo’s “Les Misérables” is again being adapted into a film, set to release Dec. 25, 2012. With a cast of actors and actresses widely recognized for their dramatic skill, many critics are waiting with bated breath for the release, but perhaps a retrospective look ought to be taken at Hugo’s seminal work. For those not familiar with “Les Misérables”, it is a historical fiction set in France, centered on the life of Jean Valjean, an ex-convict. The narrative begins in the year 1815, well into Valjean’s life; he had spent 19 years in prison for stealing bread for his starving family and for his subsequent attempts to escape. Just after being released from prison, he absconds, breaking his parole. The life of Jean Valjean becomes exponentially more complex from then on, eventually becoming entangled with and culminating in the Paris Uprising of 1832. Along the way are numerous sub-plots, most prominently a series of correspondences with a prostitute named Fantine and her daughter. Victor Hugo’s novel, published in 1862, is expansive, to say the least. At nearly 1500 pages in unabridged editions - even more in the original French - and consisting of 365 chapters, the novel is certainly not lacking in material. The structure of the novel itself is perhaps daunting. It is broken up into five volumes, each focusing on a certain topic or character, and each volume is further broken up into books, which are divided again into chapters. The benefit of dividing the book as such is obvious once one begins to read; the theme, atmosphere, and characterization are so drastically different in each volume that it would cause whiplash if not partitioned well. Hugo’s

novel dealt with a great deal of issues, many drawing from the politics and upheaval of the world he lived in. The French Revolution, then recent, bred uncertainty, which had weaved itself into the mind of Hugo and many of the French. Their world was undergoing an entirely different sort of revolution as well - a revolution of love. The novel can be interpreted as the endless struggle of love against the noble, but nebulous, concept of justice. Hugo published the novel towards the end of era of Romanticism, and his characterization is indicative of the period - poignant and evocative. The theater productions of “Les Misérables” are often quite different from the novel, though it does depend on the individual production. Most obviously, the different experiences of reading a book and viewing a production alter the pace and atmosphere of the story. The description of places, people, and emotion can be distilled in a single second in a production. Intonation and body language can infer what a thousand words could not hope to explain. On the other hand, breaking a scene (almost literally) every five minutes for a song, however dramatic and great the musical pieces in “Les Misérables” may be, changes the flow of Hugo’s story and often requires the original story to be rearranged slightly. Many parts are usually removed completely, like large chunks of the backstories for many of the characters, including Javert, the Thénardiers, and Fantine. This alters significantly the character motivations and, ultimately, how compelling some key characters are. As fun and as enjoyable as the songs, flamboyance, and boisterousness of the stage productions are, something gets lost in the translation between page and stage.





Notable films under the radar, independent films mark 2012 BY MARTIN YAO

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Jack Frost (Chris Pine) discovers his true potential as he experiments with his powers over ice. DreamWorks’s highly-anticipated “Rise of the Guardians” reveals its aptitude in detailed graphics and spectacular animation.

‘Rise of the Guardians’ visually pleasing RATING: (out of �ve stars)



DreamWorks Studios’s “Rise of the Guardians” entered theaters with high expectations on Nov. 21. The movie portrays some of the most well-known childhood figures, such as Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the boogeyman, in a setting that deviates from the typical view children hold of them. The movie has received a mix of both acclaim and criticism since its first week in theaters. As predicted from what can be seen in the trailers, the aesthetics of “Rise of the Guardians” was very impressive and is probably what drew people to the movie in the first

place. The dedication put into each character’s design was clearly shown by small details of each character and even inanimate objects. The movie’s 3-D animation was also worthy of mention. “Rise of the Guardians” also had a very MOVIE unique portrayal of REVIEW the Guardians, which consisted of Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, the Sandman, and Jack Frost. Rather than sticking to the traditional images of the characters, the movie surprised the viewers with unorthodox but lovable characters and settings. However, the main plot of the movie was extremely lacking and

rushed. In the first five minutes of the movie, all five of the main characters were introduced and not much was revealed about each character. The conflict and its resolution were too simplistic, and it seemed like DreamWorks just crammed everything into the movie’s 90-minute period and hoped for the best. Jack Frost’s character development was also hurried and lacked any substance; he almost literally blinked, had a flashback, and suddenly fixed every single problem the Guardians had. The fact that the “Rise of the Guardians” is a children’s movie does not exempt it from stimulating deeper thought. There are plenty of other children’s films that still manage to incorporate morals as well as feature entertaining plotlines.


"The Imposter" In 1997, French serial imposter Frederic Bourdin impersonated Nicolas Barclay, a missing thirteenyear old boy from Texas, and lived with the boy’s family for almost five months before being caught. The Imposter, through dramatic reenactments and compelling interviews, is an engrossing documentary that presents its subject, Bourdin, truthfully. It avoids viewing Bourdin in a negative light while simultaneously displaying the distress and emotional vulnerability of the family. "Bernie" Richard Linklater’s latest film recounts a true small-town incident involving Bernie Tiede’s (Jack Black) shooting of an elderly lady. Due to the locals’ high regard for Bernie and despise for the old lady, the District Attorney requested to change venue in order to receive a fairer trial. The film presents its story uniquely through realistic interviews with locals to describe the characters involved. However likeable the real Bernie is, Black does him justice in this comedy with darkly funny moments ("He only shot her FOUR times ... ") showing the impossibly high reputation a person can have in his community despite confessing to murder. "We Need to Talk About Kevin" Many may be aware of Ezra Miller in “Perks of Being a Wallflower” as the fun and spontaneous homosexual high school student. Back-


by Crystal Castles

by Alex G




RATING: (out of �ve stars)

RATING: (out of �ve stars)

RATING: (out of �ve stars)




“(III)”, released Nov. 8, 2012, is the third full album by the duo Alice Glass and Ethan Kath, collectively known as Crystal Castles. Combining Kath’s production, reminiscent of New Order and Depeche Mode, and Glass’s ethereal vocals, the album requires a level of effort on the part of the listener to appreciate it. Thematically, “(III)” is the most complex of Crystal Castles’ work, addressing lofty concepts, such as the struggle of individuals against the collective. The album artwork depicts a mother embracing her teargas stricken son during the Yemeni demonstrations in late 2011. Kath attempts to reproduce the sense of oppression with claustrophobic, synth-based production, and succeeds. Each track is in a world of its own, paradigms shifting with every change of song. Unlike the previous albums, “(III)” lacks greater dance floor appeal. “Telepath” comes to disco balls and strobe lights with a frenetic rhythm and a notable lack of Glass’ tortured vocal stylings. Without the artifice of genre, Crystal Castles has been able to refine a sound alien to mainstream audiences and achieve commercial success from the novelty. The music is so eclectic that conventional standards of “good” and “bad” do not apply.

Alex G, a talented independent artist from Colorado, began singing on YouTube in 2010. "Found" is her first original extended play (EP). Alex G’s simplistic musical style has slight folk influences and focuses on the use of acoustic instrumentation and subtle vocal harmony. The lyrics center on the theme of relationships, drawing from Alex G’s experiences in the past year. Alex G starts her EP with "Let You Go," using acoustic percussion to establish a clear, steady beat throughout the song. "4 A.M." speaks about the uncertainty of a lover, and Alex G’s voice accurately portrays the song’s powerful emotions while retaining simplicity and serenity. "Tale as Old as Time" is the most upbeat track in the EP and has strong piano instrumentals. Alex G’s EP ends with "Find You," a very simple track that brings out Alex G’s signature style. The song only uses acoustic guitar plucking, subtle piano accompaniment, and harmony, bringing out Alex G’s raw voice and again using simplicity to expose powerful emotions. Overall, the EP is exceptionally pleasing, especially from such a new artist. This music may be a little mellow, but if you’re a ballad enthusiast, then consider giving this EP a chance.



"Moonrise Kingdom" Wes Anderson seems to have a knack for stories about youthful disobedience. In "Moonrise," he finds success weaving a romance story between two adolescents through an idyllic island named New Penzance. As the adults try to chase the runaway Khaki Scout and the frustrated girl through the island, the circumstances they are put through slowly reveal their personalities. The most riveting performance is perhaps Edward Norton’s, portraying the naive scoutmaster with much left to experience. The cast also goes great with Anderson’s direction, which almost embodies the island itself; each scene is centered exactly with perfect symmetry, echoing the conservatism expected of the people on New Penzance.

TV lacks strong female bonds BY KIMBERLY VO


track a few months, and you will see Miller in a disturbing role as Kevin, a psychopathic teenager responsible for a high school massacre. The film follows Kevin’s mother (Tilda Swinton) as she attempts to come to terms with her son’s hateful and destructive history two years following the massacre. Miller conveys his character by merely staring down his mother hatefully while still housing mystery and evil. Swinton internally screams for a period of relaxation and normality through her disheveled and shocked look throughout her motherhood. This complex relationship carries the film through its dark and unsettling theme of true evil and one’s supposed responsibility for it.


Phillip Phillips has finally released his first major album after his win on the last (11th) season of American Idol and release of his hit single, “Home.” This album ultimately showcases Phillips’ true musicianship from his own composed songs to surprising vocal ranges, like his falsetto in “Hold On.” He steers away from typical pop radio music, and instead turns out with some friendly Americana rock with some light country style. Though all the songs are not as catchy as his previous hit single, “Home,” they all have a relaxing guitar in every track. Although relaxing, the guitar becomes redundant and tiring. Despite some shortcomings, what really makes this album is that Phillip Phillips shows off his song-writing skills with mature lyrics in many tracks such as “Tell Me A Story” and “Man on the Moon.” You can feel the love, ambition, and just plain old growing up expressed in Phillip Phillips song lyrics. Overall, Phillips is truly talented and his hard work definitely shows in this album. Compared to his previous single, “Home,” the album was somewhat of a let down and although I personally do not like this genre as much, because this is his first album, I see his potential and would wait for his future releases.

Bromance. What once began as a term used by fans to describe a relationship between two close males has turned into a real word defined in the dictionary. Then, as you think about it, what is the female counterpart to a bromance? Perhaps a “chickmance” or a “girlmance” or something of the sort. From my knowledge, there is no word that encompasses a really close female relationship defined in the dictionary. Particularly exampled in television, how come we are given better bromances as opposed to these “chickmances?” Think about some iconic bromances in television. Anyone, regardless of his or her television viewing history, should be able to think of. There are our favorite doctors JD and Turk, friends Joey and Chandler, and old pals Shawn and Cory. Of course, the list continues on with Bert and Ernie, Lenny and Karl, Troy and Abed, and essentially many more. The point is well proven: it’s easy to find bromances in television. Now, what about the female relationships? Sure, there are some out there to argue against the lack of, but they’re more difficult to come up with, with a seemingly less extensive list. Those female relationships that are strong are often overlooked. If we look into the same shows as mentioned from a few of the bromances above, we draw from them their female counterparts Carla and Elliot

of “Scrubs,” Monica and Rachel of “Friends,” and Topanga and Angela of “Boy Meets World.” Did Carla and Elliot sing a female version of “Guy Love” to one another? The answer speaks for itself. They also didn’t run into each other’s arms and eagle either. Monica and Rachel were great friends, but they weren’t parents to a duck and a chick together, nor did they have an as tearful move-out goodbye. Shawn often referred to Topanga as “Yoko” in breaking up him and Cory, and the man stood arm on shoulder beside his best friend while his best friend was getting married. The relationship Topanga and Angela had could not light a candle next to Cory and Shawn’s. It all leads to the question: why are male relationships so much stronger on television shows than female relationships? Even on the shows with already strong male relationships, why weren’t the female ones written as strongly? One explanation, I would guess, is that it’s more fun, even easier, to write close male relationships comedy-wise, with some homoerotic subtext. However, that doesn’t explain why many BFF pairs of females have to get catty with one another and fight with each other over boys. Is television just a showcase of society’s nature to depict men with the ability to be in loving friendships and women as insecure beings incapable of not being terrible to each other?









Trojans fall to Haybalers in CCS title game BY GIANG HA

The MHS Varsity Football team fell short in the Central Coast Section Division I title game, losing to the San Benito Haybalers 35-28 at Independence High School on Saturday, Dec. 1. This snapped a four-game winning streak dating back to the last game of the regular season. Down 28-0 in the second quarter, Milpitas stormed back with four touchdowns to tie the game. However, with 7:25 remaining, San Benito scored a touchdown to take the lead. The Trojans were hurt by poor field position in the beginning in the game, according to Varsity Coach Kelly King. This was in large part due to the poor weather. “The weather affected both the passing and punting games,”

King said. The passing game in particular was a huge issue in this game, according to Wide Receiver Ryan McKenzie. Quarterback Ronald ‘Ronnie’ Reed threw four interceptions in this game, including one that went for a touchdown and two in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. The passing game had been inconsistent all year, McKenzie said. Despite this game, King praised Reed for a successful season. “[He] had a good year overall,” King said. Down 28-7 at halftime, the Trojans scored 21 more unanswered points in the second half. Coach King gave an incredible speech at halftime, according to Running Back Bryant ‘Squally’ Canada. Coach King said that this was the ‘last time we will play with some

incredible players,’ such as Vita Vea, Chris Malone, and Brandon Sualua, according to Canada. The football players regrouped and adjusted after the first quarter, King said. “[We] settled down, played hard, and played the way we know how to play,” King said. “We also made some minor adjustments offensively and changed one of our personnel sets.” The running game delivered, as all four of the Trojans’ touchdowns were rushing. Canada credited the offensive linemen for the success, saying that they “dug deep and stepped up.” King called this season successful, especially since this team is the youngest in school history. “[I am] real proud of the whole program and the coaches,” King said. “I appreciate Mr. Lamb’s and the parents’ help.”

Soccer season kicks off after difficult start BY BRENDA SU

Soccer tryouts started on Oct. 29, according to Varsity Boys Soccer Coach William Leffler. The Varsity Boys have played three matches as of December 1, with scores of 1-1, 23, and 1-2, while Varsity Girls have played five matches as of December 6, with scores of 1-3, 3-5, 2-5, 1-3, and 2-1. The final roster for Varsity Boys has not been set because several football players plan to try out for soccer and the football season just recently ended, according to Leffler. The team has at most had 14 out of the 22 players at a match due to players being ill, injured, or on vacation, Leffler added. “There’s been no consistency by

anybody yet,” Leffler said. “Some have a good game and then a bad game. We have to get everybody together”. Turnout for girls’ soccer tryouts was low, Varsity Girls Soccer Coach Michael Tomlin said via email. Approximately 30 girls tried out for both Junior Varsity and Varsity teams as compared to the typical number of 50 or more girls, and morning announcements were placed to encourage more girls to try out, according to Tomlin. “Only five out of 11 of the [Varsity Girls] starters are returning players,” Tomlin stated in the email. “All of the new players are learning their starting roles. Most of the players are academically sound and they work hard. Overall, however, we need to

learn to be a team, to work together, to sacrifice for each other, and to play for each other”. The roster for Junior Varsity girls was short until the morning announcements drew more girls to try out, according to Junior Varsity Girls Soccer Coach Josephine Unger. The Junior Varsity girls soccer team’s biggest weakness is the team’s lack of experience because half of the players have had no previous experience playing soccer, Unger said. “We make up for [our lack of experience] with our determination, hard work, and practice,” Unger said. “Our goals are to play well as a team. Winning or losing doesn’t matter, just as long as we play as a team. We want to keep growing and learning.”

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Senior Yohaness Estifanos leads the pack in the CIF States competition for cross country in Fresno. This is Esitfanos’ third time competing at states.

Estifanos finishes sixth at CIF, completes ‘successful season’ BY JAMIE LAM

Senior Yohaness Estifanos participated in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) States competition after winning the Central Coast Section (CCS) meet for the second year, according to Cross Country Coach Bridget Hall. The CIF States competition took place at Woodward Park in Fresno on Nov. 24, Hall said. According to Estifanos, this year’s CCS was less challenging for him because he is a senior. Since he was only a junior last year, there were stronger competitors and it was harder to win CCS compared to this year, Estifanos said. However, Estifanos was still surprised by his CCS win this year. “I didn’t expect this result since I have been injured and wasn’t able to train much,” Estifanos said. “I ran 15: 12 for the 3-mile course and it was the fastest time of the day. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to beat my personal record, 15:02, due to my foot injury, but I was very happy to win CCS again.” According to Hall, runners qualify for the CIF States meet by being in one of the top two schools from Division I or by placing in top 12 in CCS. Since Yohaness won first place at CCS, he was able to move on to States, Hall said. This is Estifanos’ third year at states. “As a sophomore I placed 44th, and [I placed] 24th as a junior,” Estifanos said. “I didn’t train consistently because of my injury mid-season, so I didn’t get to prepare much. I’ve

never been able to get in the top 10 before, so I’m happy that I got sixth this year.” In addition to his CCS win and States participation, Estifanos has broken several course records this season, according to Hall. He broke course records at Baylands, Toro Park, Central Park, and the Lynbrook Meet, Hall said. One of the records Estifanos broke was the 2.95 miles course in Crystal Springs in Belmont, Estifanos said. “I ran [the course] in 14 minutes and 38 seconds, which is the fifth fastest time ever ran on the course since the 1970’s. Nobody has set a new record at [Crystal Springs] since the 1980’s,” Estifanos said. “My time was only 10 seconds behind the top course record. If I had trained well and been healthy, I think it would have been possible to break the top course record.” According to Hall, Estifanos’s overall performance this season has been “fantastic.” “He’s had a very successful season, considering his injury,” Hall said. “He’s an elite runner, so I know it was frustrating for him to dial back on his training but he was able to get through it. I’m very proud of his accomplishments.” Estifanos expressed his gratitude for the support he has received in his cross-country career at MHS. “I’ve had the greatest cross country coach, Coach Bridget Hall,” Estifanos said. “I’d like to thank my parents, Coach Hall, and all my teammates for making it possible with their support.”

Boys’ basketball starts strong, beats Bearcats for fourth win BY CARYN TRAN

Despite Varsity Boys Basketball Coach Clarence Wrencher’s initial uncertainty of the Trojans’ performance against the San Mateo Bearcats, the Trojans won their home game on Dec. 8. The Varsity Boys scored 66 points to San Mateo’s 49 after a Trojan loss by the JV boys. The Varsity Boys mauled the Bearcats behind the scoring of Guard Christian Rita. Rita managed to score about 40 percent of the points for the Trojans. Rita’s brother, Co-Captain Marcus Rita, played only briefly in the first and second quarter before sitting out the rest of the game. “The two brothers, Marcus and Christian Rita, are [two of our best players]. We get a lot of offense from those two,” Wrencher said. “Defensively,” he continued, “Jason Scrempos blocks a lot of shots and gets rebounds as the tallest player on the team.” Center Jason Scrempos makes it possible for the team to play pressured defense on the guards, according to Wrencher. During the San Mateo game, Scrempos made an impressive block mid-shot near the end of the first quarter. Marcus Rita sat out most of the

game due to a previous injury, according to Parent Tanya Rita. Marcus Rita had to receive cosmetic surgery to close a lip wound sustained in a game, Tanya Rita said. “[Marcus] was playing defense and as the other player was going for the basket, he lifted his elbow and hit Marcus’s lip, requiring plastic surgery and fifteen stitches,” Tanya Rita said. “In three weeks he’ll be 80 to 85 percent healed,” she continued. Marcus Rita played more hesitantly during this game because his lip would split again if it was hit even lightly, Tanya Rita said. The team accommodated for one of its star player’s injury with an aggressive offense. Co-Captain Matthew Ferguson made a steal followed by a lay up in the beginning of the second half. Guard Jeffrey Dacasin also had a lot of playing time, according to Wrencher. Dacasin played great defense and made a lot of shots, Wrencher said. The Trojans, however, need to work on turnovers, according to Wrencher. “I want to get 15 wins [this season]. I think that would be a good benchmark for this team because we’re really young,” Wrencher said. “We just need to take care of the ball [more] and not turn it over.”

The Union - Milpitas High School - December 2012  

The Union is published by the Journalism class of Milpitas High School. Volume XXV, Issue III.