A Tale of Two Journeys Sophie - Once a Shy Girl, Now a “Cheer”ful Leader
By Gabriella Carmona
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Imagine being a shy little girl \ZaQVO\WÅVLaW]ZXTIKM_PMVR][\I[ you think you’re getting hold of your bearings, you’re pulled away to a completely different world – one where you have to learn a foreign language while being challenged to try something that you have never done before. Sophia Park didn’t have to imagine such a scenario. The Pilgrim School senior has experienced it. When Sophie began her adventure in her Korean homeland, she didn’t know where it would lead. But never in her wildest dreams did she think that her journey would lead her to the end of the hall on the fourth ÆWWZ WN I [UITT XZQ^I\M [KPWWT _PMZM she now plays as captain of the Pilgrim Cheerleading team the role of her lifetime. When you look at the team and the awards it has earned in recent competitions that go all the way to the national level, you would think Sophie has been dancing forever while bringing to Pilgrim her natural talent for the sport, but the reality is quite the opposite. Even as a child in Korea, she SVM_\PI\[PM_IV\ML\WN]TÅTTPMZW_V version of the American dream by going to school in this country.
“I was a shy, chubby little kid,” Sophie said. “Looking back, I can see the difference between the two cultures when it comes to school. In Korea, the education isn’t as good as it is here. I would learn, but not really learn like you do in America.” Pilgrim is known for attracting international students like Sophie. Just as the others did, she had to pass a test to become accepted to an American school. Sophie was off to America, but not without a detour before she landed at Pilgrim. ¹1 ÅZ[\ _MV\ \W TQ^M IVL OW \W school in Texas, and I hated it.” Sophie said. Why Texas, you might ask? Well, you don’t always get to pick where you are going, and when given the opportunity, you take it without looking back and try to make the most of it. Sophie soon realized, though, that Texas probably wasn’t the best place for her. “I was a cheerleader there, and they were all crazy about football,” she said. “We went to all the games and cheered. Everything was so serious and I was the only Asian on the team. I didn’t know anything about football, but I had to watch.” Sophie wasn’t surprised that she was different from everyone else at her school in Texas. As hard as it _I[NWZPMZ\W\ZaIVLÅ\QVQ\_I[M^MV
Maddie - Her Heart IS Here but HER Mind Is ON THE FUTURE By Maddie Kanazawa As exciting as it is for seniors \W KWV[QLMZ PW_ KTW[M \PMa IZM \W ÅVishing high school and beginning college, it’s also excruciating for them to go through all the steps necessary for the transition while waiting to hear good news or bad news about their applications. In order to give some insight into what it’s like to go through the process, The Commonwealth asked Maddie Kanazawa to compile the following updates on how she’s trying to determine her future.
We begin with another attempt to ace the SAT. You know, the test that every high school kid dreads yet knows is unavoidable. It’s not as if your whole life depends on your score. Or does it? Anyway, I’m taking it again today in an attempt to increase my overall score NZWU Ua ÅZ[\ \QUM IZW]VL 1¼^M \ISMV prep courses. Done diagnostics. Here goes. I couldn’t believe it. No, I didn’t earn a perfect score, or totally fail the test. But a girl’s cell phone went off in the room and all I could think of as they escorted her out of the building was oh, no, they may now discount everyone’s scores. Don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. I think I did better, but … The essay prompt was wheth-
er it’s a good idea for your lifestyle if you’re into the great outdoors. I wrote about all my adventures.
October 22: SAT scores time. I’m sitting in English, several weeks after the test, and we’re supposed to go on this web site to check out our scores. I see some kids who look scared. Some others looked like they’re freaked out. No turning back now. I have to take a peek … I smile to myself as I see the improvement in my numbers. Not great but not bad. But I don’t want to show any emotion because some kids look pretty sad right now. I accomplished my goal of doing better on all three parts of the test. I guess I’m supposed to do best in math because I’m Asian, or so the stereotype goes. I’m just glad it’s over. I mean the SAT. I still have to take SAT subject tests in December. But for now the stress of taking the test is over. But the stress of completing college apps has just begun.
October 30: The representative from USC is coming to Pilgrim for a talk among the students who are interested in the school. There’s no doubt right now that USC is my Top Runner, my No. 1 choice. I know the joke is that USC
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DECEMBER 17, 2010
Her Mission is to Honor And Serve By Gavin Somes
“I often use the things that military has taught me.” ̉5[0I\ÅMTL was in partnership with the Virginia 5QTQ\IZa 1V[\Q\]\M _PMZM 5[ 0I\ÅMTL ZMKMQ^ML I N]TT )ZUa :M[MZ^ML 7NÅcer’s Training Corps (ROTC) scholar[PQX:7<+OZIL]I\M[JMKWUMWNÅKMZ[ upon graduation. Sadly, though, Ms. 0I\ÅMTL _I[ ]VIJTM \W KWV\QV]M PMZ training because of an injury. But that LQLV¼\UMIV[PMKW]TLV¼\JMVMÅ\NZWU the program. Among the famous people who graduated from the ROTC program are Colin Powell, the former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and General George C. Marshall, the former Chief of Staff of the Army. More than 20,000 cadets are currently enrolled in ROTC. About 20 percent of them are women, which is
Of all career choices, the military is perhaps the most honorable and demanding. Values such as self -discipline, honor, respect, and integrity are all held to the highest standard. If you can make it in the military, you can also make it in any other facet of life because you will have learned how to be a responsible leader. The military also demands mental and physical dedication that is above and beyond the usual level. It’s not for everyone, but those who serve in the military learn how to give everything they have, not only to the country that they serve but also to the people that they serve when they change careers. There is one such teacher at Pilgrim School who is making a difference with her students based on the values she developed in the military. Everyone on the Pilgrim campus SVW_[5[0I\ÅMTLI[I[KQMVKM\MIKPer and volleyball coach. But before she came here, she lived a military TQNM 5[ 0I\ÅMTL _I[ QV^WT^ML QV \PM Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership, which is an all-female group made up of core cadets. This program
a number that continues to grow. More then 40 percent of all current GenerIT 7NÅKMZ[ QV \PM =VQ\ML ;\I\M[ )ZUa were commissioned through ROTC. All these individuals went through the [IUM\ZIQVQVO\PI\5[0I\ÅMTL_I[QVvolved in and learned the same lessons she learned. “I was disappointed that I could not continue my military career,” Ms. 0I\ÅMTL[IQL¹J]\1[\QTTSMMXQV\W]KP with the people I met in ROTC.” It’s not R][\ \PM XMWXTM \PI\ 5[ 0I\ÅMTL ZMmembers. She also has found a way to continue to practice the values she learned in her training when it comes to her leadership role in Pilgrim’s new Honor Council. =VLMZ\PMLQZMK\QWVWN5[0I\ÅMTL the Honor Council is Pilgrim’s student jury set up to deal with breaches of the school’s Honor Code. She brings to the council her knowledge that comes from her background that demands the type of traits that Pilgrim hopes its students will develop. “In the Honor Council, I often use the things that the military has taught UMº 5[ 0I\ÅMTL [IQL 1\¼[ QUXWZ\IV\ that she brings such a background because Pilgrim wants its council to be a place where students believe that can be heard in an open and honest setting. Along with her work with the 0WVWZ+W]VKQT5[0I\ÅMTLIT[WPMTXML design the values included in Pilgrim’s Honor Code. “It (the Honor Code) is a very important thing for the school,” Ms. HatÅMTL[IQL¹IVL1IUM`XMK\QVOQ\\WZMITTaJMVMÅ\\PMKWUU]VQ\a;PMNMT\[W strongly about the code that she helped X]\\WOM\PMZ\PMXZM[MV\I\QWV\PI\ÅZ[\ introduced students to the code while stress in the positive and negative effects of the choices that students make in each and every day. These seemingTa QV[QOVQÅKIV\ LMKQ[QWV[ KIV QUXIK\ yourself as well as those around you. There’s nothing unusual about any school having an Honor Code. The difference at Pilgrim is, the students have [WUMWVMQV5[0I\ÅMTL_PWPI[TQ^ML the code while in the military. They can look to her as an example of someone who should be an authority on the subject of honor. The military may have TW[\5[0I\ÅMTL_PMV[PMKPIVOMLKIreers, but Pilgrim gained just the right TMILMZ_PMV[\]LMV\[KWV\QV]MJMVMÅ\ from her experience.
Pilgrim Grad is in the Big League By Xavier Sallas-Brookwell For the second installment of our Alumni checkup series, The Commonwealth spoke to Felema Yemane (Class of 2009), a standout student and athlete who excelled im the classroom as well as on the basketball and volleyball courts. Felema now attends Cornell University of the prestigious Ivy League, while her sister, Delina, is almost midway through her junior year at Pilgrtim, where she is literally following in Felema’s footsteps. According to Delina, her sister is a “great distraction” because “she always makes my parents so happy.” The bad news of having a sister in the Ivy League? “Now my parents have great expectations for me. But that’s OK. It helps make me work harder.” Felema recently took time from h er busy college schedule to answer some questions about the connection between her college life and her high school experience The Commonwealth: Do you have any advice for the seniors this year? Felema: Get all your applications in on time. Deadlines come sooner than you think. Get those in ASAP. As far as majors, don’t worry if you are undecided; you’re going to college to get know what you like to do. It is very rare for someone to know at ages 17 or 18, what they want do for the rest of
their life. The Commonwealth: Is there anything you regret about your senior year? Felema: I regret how stressed I was about colleges. I applied to 21 schools and didn’t have a social life from August until December. Don’t do that to yourselves! Enjoy your time left at Pilgrim because as soon as you blink you will be graduating. Also, don’t get senioritis. i know it may seem impossible but please try to listen in Fodor’s class because his Art History KTI[[LMÅVQ\MTaX]\UMITMONWZ_IZLQV college. The Commonwealth: How well do you think Pilgrim prepared you for college? Felema: Pilgrim really helped me prepare for college because of the small class sizes enabling me to speak up in classes unlike bigger public schools where you’d only be a number. The Commonwealth: What are you up to at college now? Felema: I am a second-year architecture student, with a double minor in dance and Africana Studies. I am a member of The Cornel Piano Society, Teszia Belly dance Troupe, Ivy Council, and Black Students United. Things get hard and workload is ridiculous but like at Pilgrim, you will always get your stuff done.
SENIOR’S FUTURE IS ALMOST NOW October 30: stands for University of Second Choices. Not for me, though. I realize that I have other opportunities, but it’s the place I want to end up. Of all the stuff the guy talks about, the thing that strikes me is his story of how the student support system works so well there. I realize it wouldn’t be much of a move for me, and some kids would say why would I want to go to college so close to home? But I wouldn’t expect my mom to knock on my dorm room door. And it would be nice to be able to come home some time – for a good meal or to do my laundry.
November 2: Essay time, which means stress time. Nobody likes the college application essays because nobody likes writing about themselves. How are you supposed to be making yourself look good to these college guys
without making it seem like you’re bragging about yourself? It’s getting close to deadline and I’m having problems writing all this stuff. I can easily speak up for myself, but it’s tougher to write the same things down. I spent part of my Tuesday night at the meeting for 8th graders and their parents who are thinking about whether to stay at Pilgrim or leave for another high school. When it was my turn to speak after N’ketchi and Claire. I feel like even when I leave Pilgrim, I will always carry a part of this place with UM*]\1[\QTTPI^M\WÅO]ZMW]\M`IK\ly where I’ll be doing that carrying. I was asked today by a teacher how it is for seniors to be so obsessed with the college application process IVL[\QTTÅVL\QUM\WLWITTW]Z[KPWWTwork. It’s hard. The key is lots of coffee and caffeine. As far as extra-curriculars go, don’t do things just for the sake of doing them. Do things that you love to do. Do things that matter to you and to others. Also, keep in mind that
whatever you do, it’s not the quantity that counts the most. It’s the quality that counts the most.
November 12: Finally, my visit to Occidental. I was told almost every class is encouraged to get into Los Angeles and explore, so there is more than just a college campus. I like that Occidental is the greater Los Angeles. Classes with 20 students seems really small, but I guess Oxy is basically just like Pilgrim.. Do I want more of the same?
November 21: I’ll admit that I really want to go to USC. it has everything that I want - campus, academics, and social life. Today I went to Discover USC, basically an Open House. When I found my admissions councilors, I asked him to set up the interview he promised me. It’s scheduled for the Monday after Thanksgiving. I’ll be prepared to show him why I should be at USC.
November 29: Interview day. I was less nervous about the interview then I was about my handshake. So Sunday night, I practiced shaking hands with my dad, since he is tall and manly. While waiting, for the interview, a secretary told me the horrible news that the counsilor couldn’t make the meeting due to an emergency at home. So naturally I walk into the interview room and the women tells me to sit down, without shaking my hand. She couldn’t shake hands because she was sick. All that practice for nothing. Other than that, the interview went well
November 30: D day, as in, Deadline Day for submitting college aplications. I sent mine in at 11: 33 p.m - beating the deadline by 27 minutes. Now there is nothing to do but wait.
DECEMBER 17, 2010
A Call To Arms: To Be A Change By Marina Pena
.KDUL+HQU\DQG+D\GQOHIWWRULJKW MDPWRJHWKHULQSUHSDUDWLRQ IRUUHFRUGLQJWKHLU&'WKH\KRSHZLOOEHSRSXODUERWKRQDQGRIIFDPSXV
â€œSKYâ€™S THE LIMITâ€? FOR STUDENT CD
By Dominic Endlemen â€œMy mom always was into music and I listened to a lot of classic rock that my parents would listen to. And then I was introduced to punk rock music when I was about 12-13 aMIZ[WTL<WWS\WQ\TQSMIĂ…[P\ISM[\W water. And I decided that I didnâ€™t just want to listen to it, but I wanted to create this music.â€? Go ahead and take a guess whose words these are. Youâ€™re probably thinking he or she is a popular musician. Probably somebody famous. Maybe a rock star from the past, or perhaps a current pop icon. Want a hint? OK. Heâ€™s well known to Pilgrim students. Heâ€™s also popular among them. You can see evidence of his work all around the campus. Not on iPods, though. Or iTunes. You wonâ€™t see him on MTV or VH1. But you will [MMPQUWV\PM\PĂ†WWZWN\PM;MI^MZ Building. The source of the quote, of course, is Mr. Kopp â€“ head of the Pilgrim Art Department and inspiration for any student with an interest QV U][QK IVL I Ă†IQZ NWZ XMZNWZUQVO In addition to his teaching duties, Mr. Kopp runs the Rock Music Club along with Ms. Takahashi and Mr. Molnar. The club helps develop each studentâ€™s potential in music while also trying to teach him or her how to play different types of instruments. Itâ€™s not just a lot of noise that the members are producing. And this isnâ€™t your typical version of a club. Here, the students get to perform while learning from fellow performers. Ms. Takahashi, for example, is an accomplished guitarist. The students are taking matters into their own hands by producing a CD that will feature the different styles of music that they all bring to the group. The CD will also feature three Pilgrim seniors whoâ€™ve developed their own band. Khari Rhynes on guitar, Haydn Muir on bass and keyboard and Henry Downs on the drums often practice together. â€œThe skyâ€™s the limit,â€? Khari said about the CD. â€œWeâ€™re just interested now in doing this from the start and getting it out there. There are a lot of stories where groups started out
big but then had a fall. I just want to take it slow and see if we canâ€™t be an incline.â€? The students will also do all their own mixing and engineering, and itâ€™s easy to tell where their inspiration for such a project comes from. Âš?PMV 1 Ă…Z[\ [\IZ\ML W]\ \Zaing to make music,â€? Mr. Kopp said, â€œI discovered that I didnâ€™t need to be a superstar to play. We did everything; formed the bands, organized record labels. It was all youth centered. I couldnâ€™t play an instrument because my parents didnâ€™t allow me to own any. They didnâ€™t like what I was getting into, So I started singing.â€? The Rock Music Club is basically set up the same way that many punk and rock-and-roll bands are formed. Like Mr. Kopp once did, the Pilgrim students are making their own U][QKITLMKQ[QWV[<PMaÂźZMIT[WĂ…VLQVO out that you donâ€™t have to be an accomplished musician to be in the club. You just have to be willing to let loose while being as creative as possible â€“ just like Mr. Kopp once was. â€œI was playing punk music from 1982-1986,â€? he said. â€œThe two bands that I was in were called AntiTrust and Sedition. The other band I was in was called Stiff Medulla. That was in the late 80â€™s. This band had a huge mixture of musical styles. By that time, punk was basically dead. Stiff Medulla lasted till about 1991. Grunge was huge by that time, and I was in a grunge band called Cain that lasted for about a year.â€? Mr. Koppâ€™s story is not unlike many musicians who started out as members of obscure bands. Some were able to make it all the way to the top of the rock and roll charts, but most of them were never heard from again. â€œItâ€™ s like how everybody has certain backgrounds, and his (Mr. Koppâ€™s) just happens to be in rock and roll,â€? Khari said. â€œItâ€™s the perfect marriage for us. He has his own experience with music, and weâ€™re trying to grow from him.â€? The bands that Mr. Kopp once played for have long since disappeared, but with the opportunity he has to work with the Rock Band Club, his Pilgrim students may someday become his musical legacy.
â€œIf the success or failure of this planet and of human beings depended on how I am and what I do, how would I be? What would I do?â€? - R. Buckminster Fuller Itâ€™s natural to think that one person alone cannot bring about change. Especially nowadays, with so many problems in our country and abroad, there is a need for people to stand up and make a difference. But can just one person do it? Take, for example, Martin Luther King, Jr., who was a powerful force behind the civil rights movement based on his individual ability to motivate millions of Americans into changing their views of how whites and blacks could live together. Albert Einstein was another case of one person making a dramatic difference in \PM Ă…MTL WN [KQMVKM IVL UI\PMUI\QK[ when he discovered theories of relativity that made an impact on the entire world. In order to make a change, even on a much smaller scale than King or Einstein did, you have to believe that you can make it happen. It doesnâ€™t matter if the change is big or small, obvious or subtle, as long as it has some kind of effect. At a recent chapel meeting, 8QTOZQU [\]LMV\[ PMIZL 5[ /ZINĂ…][ begin the sessions by asking, â€œWill you be the change in the world that you want to see?â€? If you asked Pilgrim students, most would say that they can make a change in the world, but they would probably add that they do not know PW_\WLW[W*]\I[5[/ZINĂ…][XWQV\ed out, even a simple smile can make a difference in someoneâ€™s life for the way it can brighten someoneâ€™s day. Making a change also takes being aware of an opportunity that presents itself, especially the kind that you least expect. â€œMother Teresa had a calling \W JM I V]VÂş 5[ /ZINĂ…][ [IQL Âš;PM worked in Calcutta, India when she was 18 years old.. She was studying at a convent school when she noticed that there were children living in the slums who were suffering, so she tried to help them by starting an open-air school. â€œEventually, a lot of people saw or heard what she was doing and they wanted to join her, so they volunteered. The more people who follow
Mother Teresaâ€™s example, the more there were people who could help her make a change in the lives of the unfortunate ones they were trying to help.â€? With the message about change delivered, the Commonwealth was interested to found out how Pilgrim students thought they could be a change in the world.
Audrey Dalton â€˜12: â€œI would donate toys to kids in other countries who canâ€™t afford them.â€?
Declan Moles â€˜14: â€œI would like for there not to be hate between countries. Only planets.â€?
Ms. Laleian: â€œI remember attending a Maya Angelou talk in college and hearing her say that she had some insane amount of degrees, and the point of sharing that piece of information was not to brag, but to encourage everyone to keep learning throughout their lifetimes. I will be a student for the rest of my life.â€?
Coach Daniels: â€œI would pass DELOOWRSURPRWHĂ€WQHVVLQWKH schools and at the work place. During a given time, 5 days a week, people will have to stop and exercise at least 30 minutes a day.â€?
0V*UDIĂ€XVâ€œI would make the world a forgiving place. I think forgiveness is one of the most important pieces to healthy relationships.â€?
Gabe Garza â€˜13: â€œThis is probaEO\RQHRIWKHPRVWGLIĂ€FXOWWKLQJV in the world to do. If I could, Iâ€™d become a millionaire and donate to disaster relief often/constantly.â€?
Senora Arribas: â€œI would get rid of drugs.â€?
Dr. Kidder: â€œI would get more students involved in community service like what Senora Arribas is trying to do.â€?
commonwealth staff 2010-2o11 Reed Lovitt â€“ Editor-in-Chief Xavier Sallas-Brookwell â€“ Assistant Editor/Senior Writer Gavin Somes - Feature Writer/Editor Gabriella Carmona â€“ Feature Writer/Editor Marina Pena â€“ Feature Writer/Editor Annabella Arakaki â€“ Feature Writer
Sam Kim â€“ Staff Photographer/Writer Dom Endelmanâ€“ Advertising Director Eric Hwang â€“ Staff Writer/ Editor Sean Dew - Senior Writer Justin Choi â€“ Staff Writer Yihan Chan - Staff Writer Kaiwen Liu â€“ Staff Writer Chris Yoon â€“ Staff Writer Mr. Smith - Advisor
DECEMBER 17, 2010
Pilgrim Students Lending A Hand AMAZING GRACE FILLS HEARTS AND TUMMIES WITH HER BAKED GOODIES
By Sam Kim
and charms were a major success in the blooming business of Pilgrim. Like last year’s mission, Grace wants to be able to provide for the deprived. Not only does Grace bake for a good cause, but she also does it for the simple pleasure of doing so. So it was only natural that she combined her hobby with her generosity. “It’s fun to go grocery shopping every Saturday,” Grace said. “I love shopping for food and buying all the materials I need to bake. After I buy all the ingredients I want, I have to restrain myself from making everything on Saturday.” Usually a time-consuming effort, Grace doesn’t let anything stop her from making her creations. Imagine having to run an entire marathon to donate a small fund for charity. Many would choose not to run at all. Yet, like the marathon runner, Grace feels the urge to participate in the world of humanitarianism while at the same time taking pleasure in it. Grace must overcome the hazards of her work, such as making sure she has different recipes each week to constantly be pleasing her customers. “I think about all the combinations of foods that I like, like blueberries with honey, or strawberries and yogurt,” she said. “I try to make all the things I like and all the things that interest me. If somebody doesn’t like my recipe or gets a stomachache from it, I learn from my mistakes and make a better version of it.” So, the next time you are tempted to pass up Grace’s goodies because you think you can’t spare some change or a dollar, think about the Commonwealth Schools kids - and your stomach. After all, what’s wrong with savoring a mouth-watering oven baked brownie that could help build a better tomorrow.
The Cookie Monster from “Sesame Street” is regularly seen mumJTQVO ¹7U 6WU 6WUº _PQTM [\]NÅVO chocolate chip cookies into his gaping mouth. On “Commonwealth Street,” Pilgrim students are supplied with a variety of snacks baked by Grace Cho, an enthusiastic sophomore who holds I [ITM M^MZa _MMS ̉ NWZ \PM JMVMÅ\ WN others rather than herself. Coming to school in the morning carrying a picnic basket almost half her size, Grace shows her freshly baked creations to hungry stuLMV\[IVL\MIKPMZ[_Q\PKPIVOMÆaQVO around in their pockets for the bakMZa Q\MU[ \PI\ ZIVOM NZWU ÅN\a KMV\[ to two dollars. “I make about thirty dollars per week, “Grace said. But it’s not as though she spends the money on herself. The truth is, Grace raises the money for the Commonwealth Middle School, a neighboring school that lacks basic supplies for its students. Grace believes that providing for the Commonwealth School would make a difference by giving them an array of choices and chances to become a better-equipped school. “I just want them to have as much diversity, as much variety, as Pilgrim.” She said. Unlike Pilgrim, the Commonwealth School doesn’t have materials like Smart Boards or libraries. They need general supplies like textbooks, erasers, paper, pens, and pencils. Grace plans on making at least $500 by the end of the year. Last year, she contributed to such charities as “Meals on Wheels” and “Susan G. Komen,” a breast cancer fundraiser. Her job was to make hundreds of detailed miniature pins and phone charms in the shape of food. From carrots to chocolate fudge cakes, the pins
Peers are Near and Dear to Tutorees By Marina Pena “Please excuse my dear Aunt Sally” Where do you think you might hear this? The kitchen after your cranky old relative insults your mom’s cooking? Or from a neighbor after she
“Helping a student brings me a good feeling.” Maddie Kanazawa ‘11 walks outside to get the morning paper with her curlers still on? If you’ve taken pre-algebra, you probably recognize the phrase as a reminder to follow the order of operations. What you probably didn’t know is how it’s used during peer tutoring when Pilgrim upperclassmen try to give younger students the beneÅ\WN\PMQZM`XMZQMVKMQVIXZWOZIULMsigned to bring the community together while offering academic assistance. If you listen to those who do the tutoring, though, they get as much out of the tutoring as the kids they have volunteered to help. Maddie Kanazawa refers to her own experience as a young student as her greatest motivation to reach out to others. “ When I started math,” Maddie said. “I had a tutor for geometry and I enjoyed it, therefore I wanted to be a peer tutor to make math enjoyable for others as well.” What is Maddie’s greatest satisfaction as a tutor? “Knowing that a student understands a problem not only brings the student a great feeling. It also brings me a great feeling. 5ILLQM \]\WZ[ 8QTOZQU ÅN\P grader Nasir, in math. If you watch their session, you will see how she
makes sure that he understands the problem by asking him several questions that lead up to the answer. One of these questions is: “What do you do next in the equation?” She also uses her hands to help him visualize what he is doing, which includes counting up and down with Nasir. There are always opportunities for students to get extra help from Pilgrim teachers, but there are times when students would prefer for someone their own age to them because they can relate to them. According to Mr. Grady, who is involved with the peer tutoring program, “it is very helpful, but it’s also very demanding. “You have to be in 10th grade and above to be a peer tutor,” Mr. Grady continued. At least in Algebra II, IVLLMÅVQ\MTaPI^MOWWLOZILM[QV\PM subjects that he or she needs help in. The program basically began this year when Mr. Concialdi and I wanted to get more students involved in helping each other. The person being tutored gets a lot out of it, but the tutor gets to
“It’s helpful, but it’s also demanding.” Mr. Grady put this on his or her college application. You can also make some money, but that’s not really why you do this.” The peer tutors may not realize it now, but they are truly making a change, not only by helping others improve their grade, but also by helping members of the Pilgrim community of all ages to become closer than ever before.
DECEMBER 17, 2010
Sophie Makes The Right Choice &RQWLQXHG
By Gabriella Carmona
UWZMLQNÅK]T\NWZPMZ\WTQ^MNWZ\PMÅZ[\ time without her family by her side. They were, however, still there to support her. “I would call my mom everyday from Texas,” Sophie said. “They _MZMINZIQL\WTM\UMOWI\ÅZ[\[QVKM I would be alone, but in the end they said yes.” Even though Texas wasn’t Sophie’s dream home, she proved to herself that she could survive on her own. When she returned to Korea during the summer of her freshman year, she learned about Pilgrim and set her sights on a new home and school. From all the hoopla of Friday Night lights in Texas to the cozy atmosphere of Pilgrim School, Sophie knew she had found the right place, with relatives nearby and a challenge right in front of her. “I was still a very shy XMZ[WV _PMV 1 ÅZ[\ KIUM \W 8QTOZQU and I wanted to be more active, so I joined cheerleading because I thought it would be like I had in Texas,” Sophie said. But she soon found out it wasn’t the same at all. The type of traditional cheerleading that Sophie had done in Texas, on the sidelines of football games, literally cheering for the team, was not what she encountered at Pilgrim. If you’ve been to a sporting event at school, you’ve noticed that there aren’t any cheerleaders on the sidelines. Sophie quickly had to adjust to being part of a Pilgrim team that was all about preparing routines for competitions throughout the state and in different parts of the country. For a while, Sophie had the familiar feeling of being out of place. ¹5a ÅZ[\ aMIZ 1 _I[V¼\ OWWL at it, because I had never done anything like this before,” Sophie said. “I couldn’t even jump and turn at the same time.” Trying something new is always hard, and cheerleading wasn’t the only thing Sophie had to worry about. “My American teammates couldn’t understand why I wasn’t good I\ Q\ 1V I _Ia Q\ ZMÆMK\ML WV PW_ IKademics were for me as well. I had to learn in the classroom just like I had \WTMIZVWV\PMLIVKMÆWWZ;WUM\QUM[ American students don’t understand how Korean students don’t like to raise their hands and talk in class. But that’s the way we’re taught to act in a classroom.” Sophie made adjustments all IZW]VL ¹<PI\ UUMZ IN\MZ Ua ÅZ[\ year at Pilgrim,” she said, “I took ballet class and really started to think that I could do this.” Like anything else, the harder Sophie worked, the better she LIVKMLIVL\PMUWZMKWVÅLMV\[PMJMcame in all phases of her life. Her greatest reward for all the hard work came when Sophie was informed before she began her senior year at Pilgrim that Coach Ortega, Ms. Seraphian and Dr. Brooks all agreed she would be the perfect choice for team captain, which she believes speaks for how far she’s come she was that “shy and chubby” kid on the other side of the world. ¹<PQ[ aMIZ W]Z \MIU Q[ ÅTTML with international students, and they aren’t all experts at cheerleading,” Sophie said. “I see myself in so many of the girls who try hard and still have LQNÅK]T\QM[º 0I^QVO PIL \PM JMVMÅ\ WN TMIZVQVONZWUW\PMZ[;WXPQMVW_ÅVL[ herself as the teacher for her younger teammates. “I could explain how to turn, and I knew how to teach them (the international students) in a way that they would understand.” As the only freshman on the cheerleading team, Olanna Himmel appreciates Sophie’s friendship as well as her leadership. “You’d think that a
6RSKLHQGIURPULJKW WDNHVLQVWUXFWLRQVIURP&RDFK2UWHJDDVVKHDQGWKHUHVWRIWKHJLUOVOLPEHUXSIRU DQRWKHUULJRURXVGD\RIGDQFHSUDFWLFH senior would have nothing to do with the youngest kid on the team,” she said, “but Sophie and I do our stretches together, and when we do we also get to talk together. She’s not only someone who sets a good example because she dances so well, she also is someone who I look up to for the kind of person she is.” Pilgrim cheerleaders also take advance class, and they must learn steps, moves, and routines that are fast-paced and multi-dimensional. There are only eight girls on the team, compared to 20 or more on most teams that Pilgrim competes with on the circuit, which Sophie admits can be a bit intimidating:“I feel like we won’t win, because all the other teams have so many more people than we do. I get really nervous and don’t remember my ZW]\QVM I\ ÅZ[\ J]\ QV \PM MVL 1 ZMITize that we can do this together, which makes me feel even better when we go out there and achieve something.” Proving that size doesn’t matter in cheerleading competitions, PilOZQU XTIKML ÅZ[\ QV Q\[ ZMOQWVIT KWUpetition and sixth in a national tournament last year. Not bad for such a small team from such a small school. Sophie is glad to pass around the credit. “Ms. Ortega is my coach, and she does a great job all of the girls,” she said. “But for me, she’s also like my life advisor. She helps me when I have problems and is always there for me.” Now when Sophie returns to Korea for the summer, she has stories to tell about all of her success in AmerQKI¹5aNZQMVL[TI]OPMLI\ÅZ[\_PMV1 told them I was a cheerleader and took dance classes,” she said. “When they looked at me and saw all my muscles and how different I looked, they were surprised. Now they all take dance, too.” Sophie plans to use her Pilgrim experience in the classroom and WV\PMLIVKMÆWWZ\WPMTXPMZOM\QV\W an American college, where she hopes to continue with her cheerleading, which she’s used to help bridge the gap between American and Korean cultures. “We have to deal with stereotypes,” Sophie said. The more you get to know us, those stereotypes go away. Now when I go to Korea, I can help others deal with their stereotype of cheerleaders. They think it’s like I the movies where the girls hate each other and ÅOP\ITT\PM\QUM1\MTT\PMU_MITTTW^M each other and hangout as friends.” As for how the Pilgrim team will do in this year’s competitions, Sophie’s short response also shows how far she’s come: “Bring it on.”
Critic’s Corner: Picks and Flicks
By Sean Dew The “Town, 2010, “is a heart- wrenching, violent, gritty and truly American story that focuses on four rough childhood friends. Led by Ben )ÆMKS \PMa _MZM JWZV QV\W I VMQOPborhood infamous for crime and turbulence, parented by small time thiefves, drunks, and regretful young mothers whose lives have been a train of bad decisions and luck. Yet they still revel in their brief glory days of high school romance and popularity. The boys grow up on the streets of the historical Boston neighborhood of Saint Christopher Town. To this day, the town’s percentage of bank robbers to the total population remains higher than anywhere else in the country. The neighborhood has had a long history of industrial factory work amid a poor white community. Alcoholism and prescription drug abuse are a multi-generational part of life, where most of the residents feel the best is behind them rather than in front of them, so they have little to live for. They must also cope with their sense of constant discouragement as globalization slowly rots its way through the dilapidated buildings and destroys jobs that force them into robbery and crime. This is not your typical action ÅTU\PM_IaQ\ZM^MIT[J\TM\QM[IJW]\ the characters that not many movies dare to do. )ÆMKS¼[ RWJ QV \PM TMILQVO ZWTM is to play a character torn between his family’s history of crime and his newfound morality. He continues to show
“This is not your \aXQKITIK\QWVÅTUº Sean Dew ‘11 that he can thrive in movies without his boyhood friend and fellow leading actor Matt Damon. Jemeny Bennet’s XXWZ\QVO ZWTM I[ )ÆMKS¼[ JZW\PMZ provides evidence that he is advancing his acting skills with every one of his movies. The Town is one of the best UW^QM[WN.WZ\PMÅZ[\\QUMQVI _PQTMaW]UIaÅVLaW]Z[MTNOMVMZITTa [I\Q[ÅML_PMVaW]TMI^M\PM\PMI\MZ
Lil’ Wayne, hip-hop’s notoriously most wanted superstar, recently released his eighth studio album that received more than the usual amount of publicity. Carter III, Lil Wayne’s last album, was the number one seller of 2009 and dominated the Grammys. His latest, “I Am Not a Human Being,” was released while Wayne was incarcerated in New York City’s Ricker Island Penitentiary. The new album feels more like a mix-tape, as it is chock full of witty,
“Game-changing \ZIKS[\PI\ZMLMÅVM hip hop” Sean Dew ‘11 humorous characteristics of Wayne’s UIVa ]VWNÅKQIT ZMTMI[ML UQ`\IXM[ that have been the foundation to his marketing and unweathering popularity. Millions of fans around the country have enjoyed hundreds of free rhymes and hooks over pre-released catchy beats. Many fans found themselves disappointed with the lack of a common album theme or game changing tracks \PI\ZMLMÅVMLPQXPWXQV\PMXZM^QW][ installments of the Carter series. Despite the lack of intellectually-inspiring or deeply-conscious subjects of the tracks, “I Am Not a Human Being” has no shortage of unique tracks and constant innovation. The album gets help from the slew of expert producers, such Swizz Beats and Boy1da. Nearly every song has a catchy beat to match Lil Wayne’s expertly crafted hooks that shine on every track. Wayne has a talent for stretching his talent and innovation to a point where none of the songs sound the same, and the listener gets to hear a range of his skills and sounds from his catchy yet not overdone low auto-tuned drawl on tracks like “Popular” balanced by traditional hooks and hard verses on tracks like “Bill Gates.” Tracks to also look out for on this album are “I’m Single,” “Popular,” and the energetic and QV[XQZQVO ¹:QOP\ )JW^M 1\º 7V I Å^M̉ star scale, this album deserves four. It may fall short of his “Carter” series, J]\Q\JZQVO[IVM_ÆI^WZIVLIZ\Q[\Za to spice it up.
December 17, 2010
Day in the Life of Dr. Mark Brooks By Anabella Arakaki and Gavin Somes Itâ€™s 5:15 in the morning. A normally ridiculous time for anyone to be up so early, unless that person faces each day with more things to do than an army can accomplish. Melrose Drive is nearly deserted. The sun hasnâ€™t even risen. Yet inside the gymnasium, there are already members hard at work curling, benching, and squatting until your attention is on the treadmill that faces a mirror where an energetic man wearing a ratty-old T-shirt and shorts suddenly looks familiar. He smiles when he sees you but maintains his focus on the machine. Dr. Brooks greets his Pilgrim student visitors as he also greets the beginning of a typical whirlwind day. Pilgrim School Head of School Dr. Mark Brooks has been keeping the routine of a body builder rather than a Head of School by working out at the same gym three times a week for the last 20 years. His workouts entail circuit training plus many sets of reps and cardio. â€œIt gives me energy so I can keep up with the students; â€œI canâ€™t afNWZL VW\ \WÂş PM [Ia[ I[ PM Ă…VITTa ZIV out of breath on the treadmill. His personal trainer, Phillip, looks at his client with the kind of admiration that teachers and students have for their leader. â€œHeâ€™s different,â€? he says, â€œbecause he does what heâ€™s told. Heâ€™s a good example for young people. He tries his best in every part of his workout, so itâ€™s easy to see that he also tries his best at every other part of his life, including all that he has to do for his schoolâ€? As the workout came to end just as the sun began to rise, the trainer couldnâ€™t stop talking up his pupil in a way that everyone around Pilgrim could clearly understand. â€œDr. Brooks,â€? he says, â€œis always ready to go. Itâ€™s a trainerâ€™s dream how he never changes, how he never complains. How he gives you everything he has doing one task and then is ready to do the same with the next.â€?
7KH ZRUNRXW LV RYHU EXW WKH GD\ KDVMXVWEHJXQ1RZLWÂśVDOLWWOHSDVWDP 'U %URRNV KDV OHIW WKH J\P DQG KHDGV WR KLVKRPHLQ/RV)HOL]ZKHUHKHWDNHVFDUH RIVRPHFKRUHVEHIRUHPRYLQJRQWRVFKRRO WRWDNHFDUHRIEXVLQHVV+HÂśVDOUHDG\WKLQN-Â LQJDERXWDOOWKHUHVSRQVLELOLWLHVKHÂśOOKDYH WRGD\DVD+HDGRI6FKRROEXWDWWKHPR-Â PHQWZKLOHVWDQGLQJLQKLVNLWFKHQPDNLQJ EUHDNIDVWIRUKLPVHOIDQGKLVVRQ:LOOKHÂśV SHUIRUPLQJKLVHYHQPRUHLPSRUWDQWUROHRI EHLQJDJRRGGDG Dr. Brooksâ€™ home is in a quiet little area, where all the houses have a beautiful view of the city of Los Angeles. It has a cozy and welcoming feeling, while everything in it appears to JMQVXTIKM2][\I[PQ[LWWZ\WPQ[WNĂ…KM in school is always open to any student who wants a few minutes of his time to talk about anything on his or her mind, Dr. Brooks offered his visitors a drink, then introduced them to his dog, Maddie, who wagged her tail as if to show how she also feels comfortable around the boss. When Will came down the stairs and into the kitchen, Dr. Brooks knew he has to keep both himself and his son on schedule. â€œI miss my dad because donâ€™t get to see him as much
as Iâ€™d like to,â€? Will said, â€œbut I understand why he has to work so hard.â€? Dr. Brooks hurries up with the bacon and eggs as if he is completing a report for the board of trustees - or arguing a case in front of a jury. Some members of the Pilgrim community may not know that Dr. Brooks was an attorney prior to making his career switch into education. â€œIt was never the same when it was all about money,â€? he said. â€œI really loved the law and took every case on as if it were a challenge. But I realized that it wasnâ€™t important to me anymore when I found something (being a Head of School) where I could have much more of a direct impact into the lives of children. Itâ€™s the difference between being focused on a case and focused on people.â€? As he left his house to head to Pilgrim, Dr. Brooks focused one more time on his beloved dog: â€œBye, Maddie!â€? he said. â€œHave a wonderful day, sweetie,â€?
'U%URRNVLVRQWKHPRYHDJDLQ WKLV WLPH IURP KRPH WR VFKRRO :KLOH KH NHHSV KLV H\HV RQ WKH URDG KH NHHSV KLV PLQGRQHYHU\WKLQJKHKDVWRGRWRGD\+HÂśV RQHRIWKHÂżUVWWRDUULYHLQWKHSDUNLQJORW EXWDVVRRQDVRWKHUFDUVIROORZKLVOHDG KH EHJLQV JUHHWLQJ SDUHQWV DQG VWXGHQWV DOLNH+HDOVRNHHSVORRNLQJDOODURXQGWKH FDPSXVÂł0\H\HVÂ´KHVD\VÂłDUHDOZD\V URDPLQJ DOZD\V FKHFNLQJ WR PDNH VXUH WKDW HYHU\WKLQJ LV 2. (YHQ LI LWÂśV VRPH-Â WKLQJDVVHHPLQJO\VPDOODVDVSULQNOHURXW RI SODFH , VWLOO FKHFNÂ´ 3DUHQW DIWHU SDU-Â HQW'U%URRNVRIIHUVZDUPJUHHWLQJVOLNH DIULHQGUDWKHUWKDQDQDFTXDLQWDQFHGRHV Âł,ORYHRXUSDUHQWVÂ´KHVD\VÂł,ZDQWWKHP WRIHHOOLNH,GR,ZDQWWKHPWRIHHOOLNHWKLV LVKRPHÂ´ 7VKMQV[QLMPQ[WNĂ…KMLW_V\PM NIZ MVL WN \PM PITT WV \PM Ă…Z[\ Ă†WWZ WN the Church building, Dr. Brooks checks his schedule and organizes his priorities. â€œToday,â€? he says, â€œweâ€™re going to go to going to the Dadâ€™s Club and the Book Fair. There will also be the usual list of meetings with teachers or fellow administrators. Then there are those moments when even though he might be in the middle of something, Dr. Brooks will always give some of his precious time to a student who comes to him with anything on his or her mind. One of his students once said that the reason Dr. Brooksâ€™ window QV PQ[ WNĂ…KM Q[ [W TW_ Q[ [W PM KIV [MM any of the kids who happen to walk by and they can see him. Itâ€™s time for coffee and donuts at the Book Fair, where students are encouraged reach a goal of buying enough books so Dr. Brooks KIV N]TĂ…TT PQ[ XTMLOM WN LZM[[QVO ]X as a Superhero. One Pilgrim parent thinks he doesnâ€™t have to wear a costume to have that label. â€œMy two favorite things about Dr. Brooks,â€? says Love Streams, mother of Pilgrim sixth grader Journey and eighth grader Harmony, â€œis how he is always energetic and positive. He runs about 160 miles per hour and he never stops.â€? As Dr. Brooks engages in a conversation with a parent, Ms. Streams continues: â€œI feel like heâ€™s one of the family. Heâ€™s like a partner when raising our kid; any problems or something I want
to share, I tell you, itâ€™s like getting advice from a friend. He makes you feel heard and important. You know that everything he does is in the interest of the students. We learn to be part of a community, and thatâ€™s what Pilgrim is
7KH%RRN)DLUWRXUHQGVDQG'U %URRNVKHDGVEDFNWRKLVRIÂżFHIRUKLVXVX-Â DO VHULHV RI PHHWLQJV WKDW KH ZLOO DWWHQG LQ EHWZHHQ KLV DUGXRXV WDVN RI WU\LQJ WR NHHSXSZLWKWKHKXQGUHGVRIHPDLOVKHUH-Â FHLYHVRQDGDLO\EDVLV2QHVXFKHPDLOLV IURPDWHDFKHUZKRZULWHVWR'U%URRNVWR WHOO KLP WKDW VKH ZLOO EH XQDEOH WR DWWHQG VFKRRO RQ DQ XSFRPLQJ GD\ EHFDXVH VKH PXVWXQGHUJRDSURFHGXUH$QRUPDOUHDF-Â WLRQZRXOGKDYHEHHQWRZRUU\ULJKWDZD\ DERXW VHWWLQJ XS D VXEVWLWXWH WR WDNH FDUH RIWKHWHDFKHUÂśVFODVV1RW'U%URRNV7KH ÂżUVWWKLQJKHWHOOVKLVDVVLVWDQW0V6HUD-Â ÂżDQLVWRDUUDQJHIRUĂ€RZHUVWREHVHQWWR WKHWHDFKHUIROORZLQJWKHVXUJHU\ about.â€? 5[ ;MZIĂ…IV Q[ \PM ]VVO hero of Pilgrim School for the way she is in charge of trying to keep Dr. Brooks on schedule. Itâ€™s almost an impossible task, but one that she willingly performs out of respect and admiration for her boss. â€œWhat strikes you about him,â€? she says, â€œis how his people skills are great and how is able to \ remember everybodyâ€™s name. Ms. SeZIĂ…IV XWQV\ML \W_IZL \PM KTW[ML LWWZ \W5Z*ZWWS[ÂźWNĂ…KM\WM`XTIQVPW_[PM NMMT[ _PMV I KWVĂ…LMV\QIT UMM\QVO Q[ taking place. â€œWhen things get tough in there,â€? she says, â€œI sometimes feel like Iâ€™m in a mini- courtroom. But I always think how Dr. Brooks is like the best judge that anyone could have. We really are so blessed to have him. How can you not be charmed by him?â€? Whether the issue is as large as the overall school budget or something as small as returning the microwaves to the cafeteria, Dr. Brooks went from one item on his agenda to another without so much as taking a break. Such items on this day included missing cups, how to cut the cost of facilities, where should a registration area go, how to handle bad weather, and how to move visitQVO OZIVLXIZMV\[ \W \PM \PQZL Ă†WWZ Suddenly, in the middle of the meeting, Dr. Brooks encourages everyone, â€œTo go around the table and tell each other what weâ€™re thankful for.â€? Then itâ€™s time to pass around some birthday cake. Bouncing from his chair, Dr. Brooks was once again on the move. â€œCâ€™mon, guys, câ€™mon,â€? he implores his shadows to keep up with him. â€œWe gotta go. We gotta go.â€? It brings to mind all the traveling Dr. Brooks does on behalf of the school, whether it is to attend nationwide meetings or, most importantly, to reach out to potential donors who may help Pilgrim with covering tuition costs. Most big shots would nat]ZITTaĂ†aĂ…Z[\KTI[[aM\,Z*ZWWS[KIV always be found in the coach section. Âš-^MZa\QUM1[I^MUWVMaWVIĂ†QOP\Âş he said, â€œthatâ€™s money we can use to
No one goes unnoticed by Dr. Brooks as once again makes his way through the hallways on route to yet another appointment. This time, itâ€™s the youngest and tiniest members of the Pilgrim community who receive the attention of their Head. The elementary students march in
line followed by their teacher, each boy or girl holding his or her hands behind their backs. â€œWe have this new system for Zip n Clip, so they can quietly walking through the hallsâ€? Dr. Brooks says. â€œWe donâ€™t want them to be too noisy because we also want the secondary school students to keep their minds on their work in their classrooms. He greets the children while being careful not to disturb their orderly procession. The littlest ones may not even know who he is, but each and every student responds to his simple and kind gestures. When others see the kids, they may see a distraction. When Dr. Brooks sees them, he sees Pilgrimâ€™s future. improve the school for our kids.â€? From one extreme to the other, Dr. Brooks leaves the children behind to engage in yet another meeting, this time with the heads of the departments around the school who are busy organizing upcoming events that he will closely monitor. There is time before the meeting, however, for him Dr. to steal a minute or two sway from the work in his private kitchen. â€œI use this place,â€? he says, â€œfor something on the run because I usually donâ€™t have time for a full sit-down lunch while Iâ€™m on campus.â€? Back at the meeting, he listens attentively to all dozen members of the departments while providing instant feedback that is received in the personal manner in which it was given. The meeting eventually narrows down to three persons, after which Dr. Brooks starts a conference call where he again takes in the information and then quickly gives his response. Lunchtime is spent chatting with admissions staffers about prospective students. Dr. Brooks wants to know everything about the parents and their students who are interested in attending Pilgrim. â€œThatâ€™s him,â€? says Ms. SeZIĂ…IVÂš<PM_IaPMXMZ[WVITTaMVOIOM[ both the parents and the students, he makes it hard for anyone to turn him down.â€? By mid-afternoon, Dr. Brooks has also found more time to meet conĂ…LMV\QITTa _Q\P I 8QTOZQU [\]LMV\ JMfore he kept an appointment for a presentation in the chapel. The end of the school day is a welcome relief for teachers and students, but late afternoon represents just another hurdle for Dr. Brooks to clear. There are many more hurdles lined up for him before
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December 17, 2010
MarathonMan Accompanying Photo Gallery By Gavin Somes
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Birthplace: Â Los Â Angeles Family: Â Two Â older Â sisters Â (Brenda Â and Â Debra) College: Â U.S.C. Major:/ĹśĆšÄžĆŒĹśÄ‚Ć&#x;Ĺ˝ĹśÄ‚ĹŻZÄžĹŻÄ‚-Ââ€? Ć&#x;Ĺ˝ĹśĆ? Career Â prior Â to Â Pilgrim: Â Vice-Ââ€?President Â and Â General Â Counsel Favorite Â book: Â Tie Â between Â ÍžÄ‚ĆšÄ?ĹšÄžĆŒĹ?ĹśĆšĹšÄžZÇ‡ÄžÍ&#x;Ä‚ĹśÄš ÍždĹšÄž'ĆŒÄžÄ‚Ćš'Ä‚ĆšĆ?Ä?Ç‡Í&#x;
Number Â of Â Years Â at Â Pilgrim: Â Six Pilgrim Â career Â highlights: Â Every Â year Â when Â the Â new Â students Â arrive Â and Â are Â wel-Ââ€? comed Â into Â our Â family Â by Â their Â classmates Â followed Â by Â every Â year Â when Â our Â seniors Â thank Â their Â parents Â at Â the Â senior Â luncheon. Â Followed Â by Â when Â the Â al-Ââ€? ums Â come Â back Â to Â visit Â the Â school. Â
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Law Â School: Â Loyola Â
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DECEMBER 17, 2010
HeadMASTERS Rave About Visit By Gabriella Carmona
pilgrim connection By Commonwealth Staff
A recent Wednesday at Pilgrim School was the worst possible day to be [MV\\W\PMXZQVKQXIT¼[WNÅKM Principal? Which principal? Thanks to an idea from Dr. Brooks, there were over 100 heads of schools on the Pilgrim campus for a meeting of the California chapter of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), which nationwide contains over 1,400 schools. Dr. Brooks is a NAIS trustee as well as the chairperson of the members services committee. He suggested that the entire member[PQX KW]TL JMVMÅ\ NZWU PI^QVO TWcal meetings, such as the one here. The annual meeting is held in different locations (last year, San Francisco; this year, Washington D.C.) Often schools cannot afford to send representatives to locations due to the expense. So that’s how Dr. Brooks came up with the notion of local meetings. “It was an honor,” Dr. Brooks said, “to be selected as the host for the meeting, as many schools would like to be the place such a prestigious group meets. Once it rolled out the red carpet NWZ\PM^Q[Q\WZ[8QTOZQUWNÅKQIT[I[[Q[\ed NAIS members with all the behind the scenes logistics that must be taken care of for such a large meeting to take place.
The focus of the meeting was to generate ideas from a discussion among all the heads of school to produce new strategies for individual schools. The group also talked over future trends and opportunities for independent schools both generally and nationally. Given the current state of the economy, there was also a report from \PM KPQMN WXMZI\QVO WNÅKMZ WN 6)1; about how economic conditions are affecting enrollment at independent schools. Among the attendees was Ms. ,WVVI 7ZMU +PQMN 7XMZI\QVO 7NÅKMZ of NAIS, who credited the homey atmosphere for producing “A feeling of friendship and ownership. Here we are, competitors for different students, yet we were all working together and sharing our ideas.” Alicia Evans, a felTW_6)1;WNÅKMZXZIQ[ML8QTOZQU¼[PW[pitality: “The way they took your hand and showed you the way around, it was like we had a hotel reservation at the school.” Dr. Brooks was naturally interested in showing the Pilgrim campus to all the dignitaries from every part of the state. But there was something else he wanted to show off even more. “Our great students,” he said, “who work so hard yet still manage to have so much fun. I also wanted everyone to see our engaging and dedicated faculty and staff.”
People Say the Darndest Things About SCHOOL
him. But with the recent premier Each edition of The Common-‐ ϐ wealth will contain this section internationally popular books in which staff members relate came the realization that there series of current events to the will be no more editions of J.K. lives of Pilgrim School students. Rowling’s stories. For Pilgrim The idea: understand and ap-‐ students who literally grew up By Commonwealth Staff preciate how we can all learn with Harry, it’s like they’ve lost a lessons from events around the friend. The Pilgrim School year still world and across the country as The Lesson: All good things hasn’t reached the midway point in the 2010-11 academic calendar, yet well as from within our campus. must come to an end. Just like the groundwork is already being laid ............................................................ the Harry Potter series couldn’t for next year and beyond. It’s not just The Event: Tea Party legislators last forever, so, too, do sports the seniors who are making plans for must vote on the debt ceiling seasons, favorite classes, or even college. Current elementary and middle school students are also thinking The Pilgrim Connection: Many all of high school. So you should ahead to their future Pilgrim years. candidates were elected this enjoy what you’re doing while it past November to either the lasts. Parents joined their 8th grade House of Representatives or the .................................................................... students recently for a Step-Up presentation in which administrators and Senate because they pledged The Event: Former President teachers discussed the transition from to their supporters that they Bush reveals a transformational middle school to high school. The following day, 5th grade parents were would vote against the debt moment ceiling, which allows our gov-‐ The Pilgrim Connection: Mr. Bush treated to art and science class lessons along with their children before they ernment to keep spending recently released a memoir full of heard about what’s in store for their money that it doesn’t have. But personal stories about his presi-‐ boys or girls in the coming years. if the debt ceiling isn’t raised, dency, including explanations It’s only natural for Pilgrim adAmerica could default on loans for decisions he made about the ministrators and teachers to put their and send the worldwide econo-‐ 9/11 attack, the war with Iraq best foot forward in describing the my into chaos. and the Hurricane Katrina disas-‐ many reasons why the school can also The Lesson: It’s admirable to ter. But perhaps his most reveal-‐ be considered a home over the course of any student’s academic career. take principled stands, but it’s ing item was about driving his also wise to understand that no mother to the hospital after she But as one Pilgrim parent said, “ The most impressive thing about matter how strong your prin-‐ had miscarried at home, which the event was hearing all the stociples may be, you must rely on the President said led to his ries from actual parents and students common sense when it comes strong Pro-‐life stance on abor-‐ about how much they are glad to be at Pilgrim. After all, they’re the real exto making big decisions. tion. perts. They’re the ones who choose to ................................................................. The Lesson: You never know be here. They’re the ones who choose ǣϐ-‐ when and how an experience as to stay here. They were all very good – ter movie hits the screens and very persuasive.” a child or a teenager can have The Pilgrim Connection: For ϐ Here is a sample of comments diehard fans of the Hogwarts think or act later in life. Whether from parents and students based on tales, it’s hard to imagine life you realize it or not, your values observations from Step-Up Night and Jump-Up Day: without Harry – or life beyond as being shaped here and now.
Top 10 Things Parents and Students Are Saying About Pilgrim 10 – “I feel sorry for if you don’t have any children going to Pilgrim. And I feel sorry for me because I don’t have any more children going here.” 9 – “At my other school, I was on the team but I had to sit the bench. Here at Pilgrim, I get to play.” 8 – “The middle school kids here know that they better behave – because they know the little kids are watching them.” 7 - “My son gets up in the morning before I do. He makes his own breakfast and gets himself ready. He can’t wait to get into the car and go to school.” 6 – “There’s no way to fall through the cracks here. There’s no place for you to hide.” 5 - “Dr. Brooks is Batman and Dr. Kidder is Robin.” 4 – “When I was in the middle school, I looked up to the high school kids. I was in awe of them.” 3 – “I was amazed when my daughter missed school just one day and her teacher sent me an email to make sure I knew what she missed.” 2 – “Even though I had left here at the time for another school, I knew someday that I’d return to graduate at Pilgrim.” 1 – “Pilgrim doesn’t just build students. Pilgrim builds parents.”
December 17, 2010
A Stroke Of Luck By Abby Bergman
remind myself why I need to get up. Although most people are still, asleep, I have to get ready for practice. 5:15 am: Heading for the aquatic cen\MZ *MKI][M \PMZM Q[ TQ\\TM \ZINĂ…K I drive that would usually take twentyĂ…^M UQV]\M[ WVTa \ISM[ [M^MV ?PMVever we pass another car, I wonder why anyone else is up at this hour. 5:25 am: Five teammates, a coach and I gather on the deck, freezing in the dark. Yawning, the coach tells us to get ready and get in. 5:30 am: We argue over who should go Ă…Z[\\PMVWVMJaWVMR]UXQV/M\\QVO in though is easier than getting out, because the water is warmer than the air. 6:45 am: Some people are now just beginning their day; Iâ€™ve been awake for two hours and have swum over two miles. I rush into the locker room, which is warm from the steam of the showers 6:55 am: Showered and dressed, I meet my mom out front. She has orange R]QKM IVL I JT]MJMZZa U]NĂ…V ZMILa NWZUM1\\ISM[JM\_MMVĂ…N\MMVIVL \_MV\aĚ‰Ă…^MUQV]\M[\WOM\NZWU;IV\I Monica to Pilgrim School. 7:20 am: I arrive at school, already a little tired. I hope that I will be able to concentrate despite my early morning. "IU"1VUaĂ…Z[\KTI[[ZWWU2][\\W be sure, I check over my homework. 8:00 - 1:30 pm: A typical day of classes and notes and reading and writing and meetings and breaks plus time to eat and chat during lunch.
While there are many advantages to Pilgrim being such a small school, it can be a disadvantage when it comes to athletics. What does a student do if he or she excels at a particular sport that isnâ€™t offered here because there arenâ€™t enough athletes to Ă…TTW]\I\MIU' Pilgrim freshman Abby Bergman is the latest student/athlete to Ă…VL\PI\_PMZM\PMZMQ[I_QTT\PMZMQ[ a way to pursue a sport. â€œWe donâ€™t discourage kids from pursuing their sports outside of school; in fact, we encourage it,â€? said 8QTOZQUI\PTM\QKLQZMK\WZ5Z;IZIĂ…IV â€œIn the past, weâ€™ve had a swimmer and a diver who competed as individuals and for Pilgrim at meets. We had one kid whose mom took him to the meets during the regular season and I took him to the C.I.F. meets.â€? There doesnâ€™t seem to be enough time in the day for a student to take classes and compete off camX][ J]\ +WIKP ;IZIĂ…IV M`XTIQVML how it works: â€œThe student will come to school until G Period and then he or she will earn their P.E. credits for doing the sport outside of school. As far as weâ€™re concerned, we have no problem with it as long as the student keeps up with their schoolwork. What weâ€™ve found is that kids who are so dedicated to an individual sport also dedicate themselves to their academics.â€? It isnâ€™t easy to balance all the responsibilities that come with a high school course load while also trying to compete at a high level as a swimmer and diver. Here is how Abby describes [WUMPW_Ă…VLQVOMVW]OP\QUMQVI\aXical day to complete her tasks from before sunrise to after sunset: 4:55 am: My alarm goes off. I have to
$EE\SUHSDUHVWRPDNHDVSODVKGXULQJRQHRIKHUPDQ\VZLPPHHWV 1:30 pm: School ends because I donâ€™t have time for an elective or PE. On the way home, we stop for a smoothie or cut up fruit. Have to plan ahead. 2:10 pm: Home now, at least for an hour to do homework before changing and leaving again for the pool. 3:00 pm: DĂŠjĂ vu, anyone? Just enough time to prepare for more practice. 3:45 pm: We usually swim between 3,200 to 6,400 yards, or two to four miles. Although I swam in the morning, my coach still expects me to perform as if I hadnâ€™t. " XU" .QVITTa Ă…VQ[PML _Q\P [_QUming for the day; I shower and change in the locker room. Only this time I PI^M\WJMY]QKSJMKI][M\ZINĂ…KQ[JIL
I have already been bat Mitzvahed, but my temple makes us take class. 6:40 pm: Parking at the temple. My mom is thrilled to be nearly back where we started almost 12 hours IOW [QVKM _MÂźZM VW_ IJW]\ Ă…^M UQVutes from Pilgrim. 6:45 pm: We discuss ethics and morality or Jewish law or Jewish history. I begin to feel really tired (I wonder why?) 8:00 pm: Home again, after hitching a ride with my neighborâ€™s grandfather. 9:00 pm: No trouble falling asleep. Iâ€™ve [_]U Ă…^M UQTM[ _PQTM Ua UWU PI[ driven from Culver City to Santa Monica to Pilgrim back to Culver City back to Santa Monica and back near Pilgrim. Just think: tomorrowâ€™s another day.
6:00 pm: On my way to Hebrew School.
Shots Of Pilgrim In Series Of Snaps A Â snap Â of Â the Â camera Â captures Â a Â moment Â in Â time. Â Spend Â any Â amount Â of Â time Â on Â the Â Pilgrim Â campus, Â and Â youâ€™ll Â feel Â the Â heartbeat Â of Â the Â school Â while Â compiling Â pictures Â that Â tell Â the Â story Â of Â a Â place Â that Â comes Â alive Â with Â sights Â and Â sounds Â of Â children Â and Â adults Â shar-Ââ€? ing Â a Â unique Â experience.
By Sam Kim
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December 17, 2010
Itâ€™s The Thought That Counts By Gabriella Camona Nothing beats the feeling you have early Christmas morning, as you run to your tree to see what Santa had in store for you â€“ assuming youâ€™ve been nice rather than naughty. You could get a puppy, a doll or even a pair WN NWW\a XIRIUI[ aW]ÂźTT IT_Ia[ Ă…VL I use for them. Though presents arenâ€™t the most important thing about ChristUI[\PMaLMĂ…VQ\MTaILL\PMNZ]Q\\W\PM cake. When Christmas (or Hanukah or Kwanza) season comes, everyone gets out their wish lists and checks them twice to make sure they have everything written down. For a present to make it to the list, it has to pass certain criteria. It must be fun, interesting and of, course, unique enough to be remembered. You would think that the most expensive presents would rank at the top because they are brightest, shiniest, brand-newsiest and improveiest products on the shelves. Each Christmas season brings a lost of toys or electronics that every kid hopes will be under his or her tree. Yet for most Pilgrim students and faculty, the presents they most remember and cherish are the ones that touched their hearts.r Itâ€™s different for everyone, of course. But you might be surprised at some of the most memorable Christmas presents that surround our tree this year. As youâ€™ll no doubt see from those who shared their choices with us, it truly is the thought that counts.
,][\QV8IZS\POZILM"5aĂ…Z[\4MOW[M\ It was a submarine set that I love. Nicole Rodriguez (8th grade): My dog. He is my best friend and I have had him for 7 years.
Kira Lia (12th grade): A necklace from my friend because I havenâ€™t seen her for two years. Nadia Skelil (8th grade): A tree house because my dad was too busy to build one for me so my mom wanted to cheer me up so she bought me one.
5[/ZINĂ…][")XIQZWNXMIZTMIZZQVO[ from my parents. I love them and they are kind of timeless.. I will keep them forever. Dr. Kidder: A pirate ship I got when I was 8 years old. Arrrgh!
Andrea Antonellis (8th grade): When I got my new mom.
Liam Battjes: Three pairs of olive green socks from my grandmother and a package of white underwear. It was so memorable because an eight year old always dreamed of this.
Audrey Dalton (junior): My email address, because it forced me to start reading emails from people and to check my messages.
Susan Swan: Snow chains for my 1960 Volvo 544. Mr. Kopp: My Camp 7 sleeping bag. It was the best of the best in 1983 when I received the gift and is the most memorable because I still own it and use it.
Sala Kim (3rd grade): American Dollhouse bed. I didnâ€™t even ask Santa Claus for it.
Xavier Sallas-Brookwell (11th grade): I met my amazing girlfriend the day after Chrismas last year.
Ms. Lileian: The most memorable Christmas present I ever recieved was a toy clown. I most likely remember it becuase it gave me the creeps.
Weâ€™ll Soon All Be In The Eye Of The Tiger By Yi Han Chen & Kai Wen Liu
group of students on a trip to China later in the school year. If White Tiger Week is anything like Golden Week, it will be a big hit with the students. â€œI really enjoyed learning how to play the shamisen and the etiquette of the tea ceremony,â€? said Pilgrim senior Maddie Kanazawa. â€œThe funniest thing that happened to me during the week was having to do the taiko drumming and creating a little dance sequence to exit with. I couldnâ€™t dance so I did the background beat.â€? Now, it is time for China, an ancient and mysterious country full of culture, to take center stage. According to Pilgrim senior and Chinese international student Tillie, there is a lot to look forward to. â€œChinese culture is extensive and profound,â€? she said. Things like cheongsam, and mahjong may make students be interested in.â€? The week promises to offer things that you could not even experience in the Chinatown part of Los Angeles. Josephine Louie, a Chinese American in Los Angeles community, who sponsored a Chinese American program at UCLA, works with Dr. Kidder to organize White Tiger Week. Ac-
cording to Dr. Kidder, classes have already been prepared for the students. They include: Kong fu, Chinese cooking, brush painting, games, and history. Pilgrim students will also have the chance to take part in a Chinese per-
NWZUIVKMIVLIZ\[PW_WV\PMĂ…VITLIa of White Tiger Week. Get ready for an experience that will be as much fun as it will be educational.
Youâ€™ve probably heard by now about the recent artillery attack by the North Koreans on the South Korean island of Yonpyeong Island. While most people would expect South Koreans like me to condemn the attack, I can see both sides of the story. The North Koreans believe that South Korea actually provoked the attack through it joint-military exercises with the United States. President Obama explained that the point of these exercises was to
show aggression and power, and how the South Koreans and Americans would not back down if the North Koreans attacked. Hereâ€™s my question: If you are North Korean, how would you feel if America, the superpower in the world, holds a military exercise with South Korea, the country that you were raised to hate? If you are South Korean, you certainly have every right to believe that the military exercises were necessary after the North Kore-
ans killed 46 South Koreans when they sank a ship last year. The military exercises were a logical next step to prevent any other attacks. Many Americans people at this point ask, â€œWhy do we care? Why should we send care packages to North Korea even when it continuously shows signs of aggression? Why do we do nothing even when North Korea sends 31 commandos to assassinate the South Korean president and ends up killing 70 innocent
people? There is no answer to such acts, but there must be another answer to the problem rather than all-out war. If we go to war with North Korea, no doubt we would win. But I would favor a more diplomatic approach that would work in the end with no lives lost. Then again, we have been trying for 50 years since the Korean War ended to bring peace to the region. If North Korea continues to be so aggressive, war becomes inevitable.
While students at other schools were back to reading, studying and taking tests the week after Christmas vacation last year, Pilgrim School students were ringing in the new year while enjoying Golden Week. It seems only natural that a school with such an international community would devote so much time to different cultures. Everyone had such a good time experiencing so many different phases of Japanese lifestyle that they will have a similar time this year, when the event takes place toward of the end of the second academic trimester when White Tiger Week is celebrated. Learning so much about Japanese culture during the Golden Week, such as making sushi, watching anQUI\QWV UI[\MZQVO Ă†W_MZ IZZIVOMment, practicing calligraphy and performing karate also allowed students to have fun during a program that is sponsored by Mr. Kanai, a grandfather of elementary school students. As Dr. Kidder said, â€œSome students think that the Golden Week was one of their favorite parts of the year at Pilgrim. Now we think theyâ€™ll be saying the same thing this year.â€? Mrs. Walker will be taking a
ABLE TO SEE a crisis from both sides By Chris Yoon
december 17, 2010
Our Dear Gabby ... Not Too Shabby By Gabriella Carmona
Thatâ€™s what imaginary friends are for. Theyâ€™ll always have your back, can save a seat and youâ€™re bound to like them because youâ€™re the one who QV^MV\ML\PMUQV\PMĂ…Z[\XTIKM1NaW] lack a bit of imagination, you can always try keeping an open mind about your classmates because sometimes Ă…Z[\ QUXZM[[QWV[ IZMVÂź\ IKK]ZI\M INter all. Try getting to know kids better. Donâ€™t think about how different you are from someone. Think about anything you might have in common with a classmate â€“ like homework, tests and grades. Put yourself out there. Chances are, they might feel the same way you do. Guess what? Now you have something in common.
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When you think you have it bad, play the â€œIt could be worseâ€? game. It could be worse if I was giving a hungry lion a sponge bath. It could be worse if I had a 2,000 word essay due tomorrow. It could be worse if I actually thought this game was fun. You should try to participate more, and really pay attention in class, you might Ă…VL [WUM\PQVO QV\MZM[\QVO QV _PI\ Q[ being taught and at least raising your hand will be good exercise. The next time you go to class, donâ€™t think about how boring it was before, because itâ€™s bound to be boring. Think positively. As a last resort, you know what they say about curing nervousness when giving speeches: picture your teachers in their underwear.
What do you do if you are on a sports team and you arenâ€™t playing as much as you think you should? Well, someone has to warm the benches â€Ś at least thatâ€™s what I tell myself. As a fellow benchwarmer, I know what if feels like to watch the game more then play it. You start to think that maybe you stink worse than stunk, or that the coach doesnâ€™t like you just because you used his or her face for target practice while shooting from half-court. Coaches might just forget to put you in if they are really into the game and especially if you donâ€™t do anything to get them to notice you. If all else fails, hustle as much as you can the next practice. No matter how good (or bad) you are, you can always work harder than anybody else on the team.
What if Iâ€™m constantly late to school for reasons beyond my control? Thatâ€™s easy. Buy a trained rooster named Fred and put him in by your parentâ€™s bed. Theyâ€™ll be sure to wake up at the crack at dawn and youâ€™ll be at school before they even open the front doors. If you have probTMU[Ă…VLQVOIZWW[\MZ\PW]OPaW]KIV always solve the problem yourself. If your parents or siblings are making you late, itâ€™s up to you to wake up a bit earlier than you normally do, which will give you precious time to shake, rattle and roll them out of bed. Try making breakfast or packing lunches. Anything to hit the road on time.
What do you do if you have a bad hair day? Shaving your head might sound tempting at 7 in the morning as you look into the mirror and see your hair knotted in balls that look worse than Medulaâ€™s locks of snakes. Only few can rock the look (right, Mr. Smith?). What you see as a birdâ€™s nest on top of your head, could be nothing but a messy head, and chances are youâ€™re just being a big, fat drama teen. Weâ€™ve all had them, we all hate them, and weâ€™ve all seen them. Not everyone can wake up with hair like Repunzel, ready to be climbed on. What do you do if you have a stressful day at school? ?PMVQVLW]J\\PQVS/IZĂ…MTL No one knows how to relax like him. In the great words of the wise cat, â€œLasagna makes everything better.â€? In othMZ_WZL[Ă…VLaW]ZPIXXaXTIKM?PMV you are stressed out, take a few min-
?PI\LW1LWQVIKTI[[_PMZM1Ă…VL it really hard to pay attention to the teacher?
What do I do if there are kids in my class who I donâ€™t get along with?
utes for yourself. Do something that you love. It be may drawing, laughing or even running around. Sometimes you just have to take a breather and X]\aW]Z[MTNĂ…Z[\ What should I tell my parents if I get a bad grade on a test? Tell them it could be worse. You could be telling them that you want a raise in your allowance, that you just had a full-body tattoo, or that you just took dadâ€™s company car for a spin. When it comes to explaning, you can use the old stand-by excuses: You forgot to study. You donâ€™t pay attention in class, or the coin you kept tossing on the true-false answers came up wrong. .QZ[\ ILUQ\ aW] NIQTML ;MKWVL Ă…O]ZM out how you can do better next time. ou have a test on a certain day as your screen saver. Only donâ€™t do anything else to get your parents so mad at you \PI\ \PMaÂźTT KWVĂ…[KI\M aW]Z KWUX]\MZ Then if you fail, you can always blame them. What should I do about always leaving everything to the last minute and doing a bad job? You can always be proud when people pick up a dictionary, go to the XIOM _PMZM \PMa Ă…VL \PM _WZLÂş XZWcrastinationâ€? and see your picture next to it. Everyone has that problem from time to time. Our school gave us planners and computers, so use them. Write out a timeline when something is due and what youâ€™ll accomplish along the way. Planners have calendars and so do computers, so it shouldnâ€™t be hard to plan. Just give yourself that Ă…Z[\ X][P M^MV _PMV aW] IZM TIba Iâ€™d offer more advice right now, but I think Iâ€™ll wait until next time.
Teachers Are Puzzles To Be Solved
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Across 2. Baseball fanatic and a Dodger fan, often referred to as Jesus 3. Has a son named Matthew, a daughter named Molly, and is an enthusiastic fan of the Mets who also hates the Yankees 5. Calls all her students â€œhoney,â€? is also a wonderful cook 7. Has a son and a daughter at Pilgrim School, takes â€œdelightâ€? in torturing his students 8. Coach for a national championship rowing team Down 1. Wakes up at 4 in the morning and sleeps late at night, loves Pilgrim School and works hard to make it a better place *WZVQV*]ZTQVO\WV>MZUWV\[PMXTIaMLĂ…MTLPWKSMaNWZNW]ZaMIZ[ 5. Played cello, bass, piano and percussion, went to Caltech 6. Loves Judo, likes to make his class entertaining
Pilgrim Cheer The Commonwealth
december 17, 2010
Sheâ€™s Been Dancing With the Stars By Xavier Salles-Brookwell
Cheerleading has long been celebrated as both a form of art and a means of entertainment, which also explains its controversy. Some see cheerleading only as a stereotypical marketing tool based on its sex appeal. Others see it as beloved passion that brings out the best in their athleticism and precision. Pilgrimâ€™s own Mina Ortega is in a position to see the sport from both sides. The former Los Angeles Laker Girl and USC dancer teaches dance and cheerleading to Pilgrim stuLMV\[ _PW WN\MV Ă…VL \PMU[MT^M[ W]\numbered yet not outdone by competing teams on a national level. It doesnâ€™t matter what anyone else thinks about cheerleading, according to Ms. Ortega. â€œWhether you connect with the dance or with the art,â€? she said, â€œitâ€™s personal.â€? For Ms. Ortega, a love of dance sparked her passion toward a career that has included jobs as a dancer/ cheerleader and choreographer. She can remember hearing Michael Jacksonâ€™s 7KULOOHU and feeling the irresistible sense to get up and dance. For her, â€œit started as a love of sports and music.â€? Her love of basketball in middle school further promoted her love of dance, as she grew up watching the Showtime edition of the Los Angeles Lakers of Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. They didnâ€™t lose very often, but when they did, Ms. Ortega would â€œphysically cry..â€? Her love of basketball and the Lakers led her to an epiphany when she saw the combination of sports and entertainment in the Laker Girls who cheered courtside. Ms. Ortega connected with the art and entertainment side of dance, and now she encourages her students to do the same. â€œItâ€™s up to individuals which path they end up choosing,â€? she said. â€œSome will focus on the art of dancing, which would lead to different forms of dance including modern or ballet, or the entertainment aspect, which can lead to several different career paths,. Hers took her from a high
school cheerleader to a professional dancer. Jerry Buss, longtime owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, formed the Laker Girls in 1979 after observing collegiate USC and UCLA cheerTMILMZ[QVIK\QWV<PMĂ…Z[\XZWNM[[QWVal sports team to do so, Bussâ€™s decision sparked a trend among leagues in different sports throughout the country. Three decades later, cheerleaders perform for at almost every professional football and basketball organization. In high school, Ms. Ortega would ditch class with her twin sister, Marina, to choreograph dance routines that they would practice the following day. Their love of Michael Jacksonâ€™s Thriller would have them dancing in their room all day long. Surprisingly, she never took a formal dance class until she enrolled in college. â€œWe couldnâ€™t afford dance lessons,â€? Ms. Ortega said. So she and her sister basically taught themselves. )[ I LIVKMZ I\ =;+ PMZ Ă…Z[\ formal lessons â€œopened my eyes up to the world of choreography,â€? she said. Soon she earned the opportunity to work with The United Spirit Association, where she cheered for her beloved Lakers, as well as several other NBA teams who had also created dance squads that were modeled after the Laker Girls. Having worked professionally from here to Japan and Europe, Ms. Ortega calls her experience at Pilgrim â€œby far my most rewardingâ€? compared to so many other much more glamorous jobs sheâ€™s had. How can that be? â€œPilgrim is special,â€? she said, â€œbecause our high standards for the academics apply to the arts, too.â€? She credits Head of School Dr. Mark Brooks and the Board of Trustees for recognizing the importance of arts in general and WNLIVKQVOUWZM[XMKQĂ…KITTa Unlike Dr. Brooks and the Board, some people still hold several common misconceptions about cheerleading. The inappropriate stereotypes that Ms. Ortega constantly proves wrong include the claims that KPMMZTMILQVO WJRMK\QĂ…M[ _WUMV \PI\
0V2UWHJDJXLGHV&KORH1JX\HQRQHRIWKHPDQ\LQWHUQDWLRQDOVWXGHQWV ZKRÂśYHEHQHÂżWHGIURPWKHLUFRDFKÂśVH[SHULHQFHDVDSURIHVVLRQDOGDQFHU \PMQZ [SQUXa W]\Ă…\[ IZM UIZSM\QVO tools aimed at men, and that the women are just cheering for men instead of working on their own sport. Such misconceptions are never more evident than they are at Pilgrim, where the cheerleading requires I TM^MT WN Ă…\VM[[ IVL LQ[KQXTQVM \PI\ matches or exceeds the level required for any team sport. According to Ms. Ortega, â€œThe work, dedication, and skillâ€? that go into cheerleading make it a sport unto itself. While most athletes play up to three different sports in a given academic year, the cheerleaders dedicate an entire year to their sport. They often come in on weekends leadQVO ]X \W KWUXM\Q\QWV[ \W ZMĂ…VM \PMQZ routines to the last detail. Ms. OrteOIÂź[ _WZS M\PQK ZMĂ†MK\[ Q\[MTN QV PMZ
students, who, like her, have dedicated themselves to their shared passion for dancing. â€œMs. Ortega is like one of us because she talks to us all the time about things that we are all going through,â€? said freshman Olana Himmel. â€œBut when it comes time to do our work, thereâ€™s no doubt that sheâ€™s the boss. We all respect her not only because of all her experience, but also because sheâ€™s someone youâ€™d like to be like. Let me put it this way: If we had a clique, Ms. Ortega would be our Alpha.â€? Asked to sum up her feelings \W_IZL PMZ [\]LMV\[ [XMKQĂ…KITTa IVL toward Pilgrim generally, Ms. Ortegaâ€™s few words spoke volumes: â€œThereâ€™s just,â€? she said, â€œa lot of heart here.â€?
Stepping Out On An All-Girl Stage By Chris Yoon
homework and exercise in the gym - or even study. Allenâ€™s decision to join Most people naturally associ- dance wasnâ€™t spur of the moment. ate dance class with females, howev- â€œI wanted to do dance last er a male student in the Pilgrim School year, because I had some friends who community is stepping up to break were doing it,â€? he said. â€œI also think that stereotype. that dancing helps relieve stress, and Pilgrim sophomore Allen Park I was looking for something to do that.â€? is widely known for his outgoing personality and love for sports. Football is among his favorites. Itâ€™s not often that you link football with dancing, and itâ€™s normal to think it would be quite awkward to be the only male among a class full of females. Youâ€™d also think that if you were that male, youâ€™d be in for your share of teasing. Not so for Allen. Allen Park â€˜13 â€œI do not get teased, and I do not feel awkward,â€? Allen said. â€œOne Not only is Allen in dance reason is that my girlfriend (junior class, heâ€™s good at it. â€œHeâ€™s the best Chloe Nguyen) is in the class.â€? dancer, in my opinion,â€? said Pilgrim Dance class is split into the sophomore Grace Cho. But you donâ€™t cheerleading section and the dance have to take Graceâ€™s word for it. You section. Allen is in the dance section, can see for yourself how Allen and the while most of the girls are in both. rest of the class perform during the Whenever the dance class is practic- Winter/Spring concert. If you attend, ing its cheerleading routines, Allen Allen said, â€œYouâ€™ll see how amazing it has a free period in which he can use is and maybe youâ€™ll want to sign up for the time to perfect his dancing, do his the class, too.â€?
â€œI donâ€™t get teased nor do I ever feel awkward in the dance class.â€?