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Life in a










Our high school community, and Cupertino at large, is often described as a bubble — an enclosed space not entirely representative of or influenced by the rest of the world. Growing up in this peculiar microcosm, we take for granted certain eccentricities that, for better or worse, have shaped the people we have become. As we prepare to pop this bubble and step out into what is called “the real world,” may we continue to project our uniqueness while facing new challenges in a new and unfamiliar home.






JUNE 1, 2012

Finding their special bubbles


orean militar p a ys ing er S g:

VIRENA GALOTRA features assistant

Growing up, senior Chris Ng spent a lot of time in both his grandmothers’ kitchens and, as a result, developed an appreciation for food. His multicultural background exposed him to various types of ingredients and cuisines and inspired his passion for cooking. After graduation, he ultimately plans to pursue his dreams and attend culinary school. However, he will first complete two years of military service that Singapore requires of him as a citizen of the country. This summer, Ng will travel to Singapore to complete some necessary medical checkups before he enters the service. While he is mandated by law to join the army, his enlistment has sentimental values as well. “It’s also to maintain family relations. A lot of my family lives in Singapore and if I didn’t go serve in the military, I’d be cut off from a lot of them, including my dad who plans on living there once my brother graduates [from] high school,” Ng said.


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that there are a variety of careers she could pursue, from being a freelancer hired to illustrate for different magazines to starting her own company. However, regardless of what career upon which she decides, she wants her art to maintain a degree of substance. “I don’t aim to please people through my art … because my art is really gritty and really morbid. It’s mostly … stuff that I think about and I think is important for people to know, so I’m not asking people to like my art; I just want them to look at it and to think … It could be pretty much anyone, but people who are willing to understand,” Kung said. Much of Kung’s artistic influence comes from the surrealists, and she enjoys practicing their genre of art. “They take things that are realistic — they paint things that look realistic, but at the same time, they’re twisted in a way where you wouldn’t think that — like you know that it wouldn’t exist in real life,” she said. Kung has taken art classes all four years of high school, as well as a ROP art class at Lynbrook. These classes, along with her own artistic style and her personal enjoyment of art, have prepared her for going off to art school in the fall, where she is excited to take a range of classes that deal with different genres of art.

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The United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, referred to as “West Point,” is known by many as the institution that educated several of the country’s presidents and military leaders, but few students from this school apply to it. For senior Gene Yoo, however, West Point offers an attractive balance of academic and physical training. After being persuaded by a friend who attends West Point to look into attending the school, Yoo considered applying to West Point more seriously as a sophomore. He attended West Point’s Summer Leaders Seminar the summer before his junior year and discovered that the school fit his personality well. “[I] found that many of the students there EN CH and candidates applying [to West Point] were similar N SO JA to me in terms of having a balance between academics, sports and other extracurricular activities,” Yoo said. “I also valued the discipline and more uniform lifestyle over

that of civilian schools.” Yoo had to go through an application process that differs markedly from that of most universities. He submitted a written application with essays, completed medical examinations, endured a physical test and received a nomination from a member of Congress. After interviewing with Congressman Mike Honda’s board, Yoo successfully obtained his nomination. West Point trains its students both academically and militarily, so Yoo will have to complete physical requirements in addition to academic requirements. Yoo’s college experiences are also likely to differ socially from those of most college students because of the strict rules established at West Point. For example, cadets cannot leave the campus except on holidays. “Especially during my first year, I will have to get up at 5 a.m. every morning for military training,” Yoo said. “I feel that the strict lifestyle will be able to prepare me mentally and change my perspective towards life. The discipline will allow me to mature mentally, physically and academically.” Although Yoo is currently unsure as to which specific major he will choose, he will receive a Bachelor of Science upon graduating in four years. Afterwards, he will be a second lieutenant in the United States Army for at least five years.


Senior Joyce Kung never seriously considered applying to art school until her junior year, but after a lifetime of doing art, Kung has ultimately made the decision to attend California College of the Arts (CCA) in Oakland next year, as either an illustration or industrial design major. Using the resources and classes at CCA to her advantage, Kung hopes to either illustrate for a magazine or become a freelancer, with one of her primary influences being the work of surrealists. Kung pointed out that even though they are both majors in an art field, illustration and industrial design are significantly different in themselves. “Illustration is ... mostly 2D design, which ... tells a story, whether it encompasses any sort of medium, like painting, drawing, even digital or animation … while industrial design is the design of certain products. For example, the iPod, the design of the iPod and its functions were made by an industrial designer, and how the buttons work, where they place the buttons and the size of the screen and things like that,” Kung said. Due to the versatility of these majors, Kung explained


HARINI JAGANATHAN editor-in-chief

Joy ce K


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Seniors choose niche schools and universities





Ng then hopes to work as a chef until December, which is when he has to return to Singapore to serve in the military. Ng currently is an intern at Alexander’s Steakhouse, but he is looking for other job opportunities as he does not have enough experience to work full time at the restaurant. Once he finishes his military service, he hopes to attend The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York to get his degree in the culinary arts. Ng has been preparing to enter the culinary field since the beginning of high school. After taking the Culinary Careers courses offered here, he went on to get real life experience through his first job at Merlion Restaurant. Someday, Ng hopes to be a successful and renowned chef. For now, however, his primary aim is to get a stable job. “It’s almost every chef ’s dream to own their own restaurant or have their own show. I want to shoot for that, but baby steps first. You can’t go into this field without any experience,” Ng said. Due to the fact that he has several challenges ahead, Ng is grateful for all the support he has received from his family and friends. And despite the difficulties, he plans to pursue his career goals because he loves what he does. “Do what you want. You can’t be happy if you’re doing something you don’t like.”




JUNE 1, 2012


application history

7,7 Humboldt State University

most applied CSUs and UCs 11,6 Chico State

10,6 CSU Sacramento UC Davis 152,71 12,9 Sonoma State University

39,32 San Francisco State University 6,5 CSU East Bay 113,110 San Jose State University

# applied, #accepted* College Name

UC Berkeley 114,23 UC Merced 25,21 7,6 CSU Fresno

6,2 CSU Monterey Bay

68,20 Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

99,43 UC Santa Barbara

Cal State Northridge 7,2 UCLA 137,24 UC Riverside 45,30

7,3 CSU Los Angeles 26,8 CSU Long Beach *Based on student-reported data from Naviance

16,11 Cal Poly Pomona

32,6 San Diego State University

CSU Fullerton 13,3 UC Irvine 121,48

UCSD 142,55

The “best� of high school:

Excessively air-conditioned classrooms

Desperate need for tissues during tests

First period

Binder checks


Waiting at the crosswalk for what seems like the entire high school population to cross the street



Out-of-state universities Arizona


Northern Arizona University

University of Montana

The University of Arizona


Vanessa Marie LaBrie

Maxine Siu Mihng Huntsinger


Yale University Shona Seema Hemmady

Isabelle Beatrice Wong

Great Basin College William Paul Ortman

University of Nevada at Reno

JUNE 1, 2012

California state universities Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

Bryce Andrew Cheng Campbell Pei Chen Chiang Timothy Sui Tim Chu Craig Herbert Erb Anand Mangal

Chico State

Jeanette Rae Adame

Austin David Reed Sarah Kimiko Tomimatsu

CSU East Bay

University of Delaware

New Jersey

CSU Fullerton


Princeton University

Klaira An Na Michele Beaudet

Connor JeffersonTodd Miles

New York

Krystal Yvette Allen


Columbia University

Cal State Stanislaus


Achyuth Venkata Madabhushi

Florida College

Agnes Scott College Ashley Solji Park

Indiana Purdue University

Heemin Seog

Jianyang Qiao

Cornell University

Jitao Deng Karan Singh Kankariya Zhijiang Li

Alborz Hassani Hyun Joo Kim Jennifer Hong La Rebecca Tso Ardith Wang

The Culinary Institute of America


Pratt Institute

Brigham Young University, Idaho

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Dionna Renee Rangel

Illinois University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Chia Han Liu Neelakantan Chandra Mouleeswaran Zhaochuan Qiu Andrew Pan Qu Sumeet Rahuldeo Vadodkar Rahul Vasanth

Northwestern University Madhuri Sathish

School of the Art Institute of Chicago Min Ji Son

University of Chicago

Sindhu Gnanasambandan Harini Jaganathan

Iowa The University of Iowa Thomas James Anthony


Madina Hashemi

New York University Tobias Chisup Shin Akshay Suggula Yoen Ha Kwon

Ammar Al Harith Amir Aznan

United States Military Academy West Point Gene Yoo


Abdelwahab Bourai Gene Yu Hua Rudina Morina

Pennsylvania State University Rajiv Krishna Dasigi

Pennsylvania State University, University Park Kristen Nicole Gioscia Bhavisha Maulik Shukla Peter Michael Anthony

Maryland Institute College of Art


Massachusetts Boston University

Rice University Chieh Hsiu Lee

The University of Texas, Austin Meetali Sham Kashikar


Gabriel Jinyun Tong

Seattle University

Adit Narayanan Dhanushkodi

Washington State University

Tucker James McClure

Western Washington University

Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

Elizabeth L Abramzon

Springfield College

Christina Sao Tin Sun

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Colleen Amelia Sengstock

Alexandra Shin Yi Iwagaki

Missouri Saint Louis University Nanah Grace Fujishiro

Washington University in St. Louis Anna Huang Michael Lee

Delia Cannon Amanda Rose Richlin William Kevin Tan

San Francisco State University Dominic August Cherok Allred Sara Mohammadi Helen Madlin Mueller Tuan T Ngo Noa Rosenberg Keegan Chandler Sanchez Leena Magdy Sherif Deshaun Lee Stuart

Anisha Bandlamoori Kevin Yardley Briot Kyle William Briot Yoon Seok Choe Alvin Choy Kevin Adrien Esnault Ki Wi Fan Darian Minh Firestine Neelufaer Karen Ghiasi Pierre Henri Glaize Katherine Elizabeth Greenfield Christine Jia Hui Gu Steven Hwu Eunice Eunie Hyun Rohit Kapoor Grace Eunjin Kim Allison Michelle Lee Destinee Parayno Nagtalon Michelle Ng Rachel Yoonhee Park Sung Wook Park Christine Marie Phan Sarah Almyra Torre Presno Rodolfo Hernandez Reyna So Young Seo Hadil Shalan Utkarsh Sharma Shrey Chetan Valia Anthony Vu Fayek Bassam Wahhab Johnny Kuan Cheng Wu Cheryl Ann Yee

Sonoma State University Ashley Elaine Hasha Geena Danielle Robbins Ashley Malika Char

since 2011... community colleges

in-state private university



+4% out-of-state universities



A comparison with the Class of 2011 (percent change)



CSU undecided

in-state private universities

Brown University


Grady Li

San Diego State University

Kalyan Sai Vinjamuri

Anastassia Y Gorvitovskaia Emily Vicky Jang Eric Victor Jang

University of Maryland, College Park

Scott Robert Christ Noelle Alice Foley

Drexel University

Rhode Island

Camille Rae Hallin Tsu Ching Hung

Humboldt State University

Carnegie Mellon University

Louisanna Grant Llywelyn Oglesby

Johnee Rose Machado


Villanova University

Tulane University

Cal State Northridge

University of Oregon Shaina Aidan Lumish

Colby Community College Austin Steele Johnson

Moshabeer Hossain

San Jose State University

University of Washington Huaye Li

Washington, D.C. The George Washington University Michael Philip Boyle

Academy of Art University Richard Yuan Fu

The Art Institute of California, Sunnyvale Ekaterina Alexandrovna Kovyrzina

Azusa Pacific University Jennifer Lee Amick

California College of the Arts Joyce H Kung Arshia Singh

California Institute of the Arts Samuel Sunghyun Choi

California Institute of Technology Evelyn Sze Wing Chin

Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, San Francisco

Marina Richelle Lopez

Concordia University - Irvine Margaret Connie Tzeng

Occidental College

Alina Ara Alam

Pitzer College

Kira Nicolle Feldman

Pomona College Hong Suh

Saint Mary’s College of California Laura Anne McCarty James Micah Putnam Arnold Young Kim

Santa Clara University Anisha Aruna Gogineni Aaliya Alidin Kapadia Karan Deepak Kapoor

Stanford University Sophie Ye

University of the Pacific Cody James Berchem Caitlin Allison Cheung

University of San Francisco Wing Tung W Ho

University of Southern California Michael Chang Chu Taisuke Tylor Inaba Andrea Lin Lowitz


JUNE 1, 2012

University of California



Community colleges Cabrillo College Cameron Marley Longabaugh Chabot College Keon Armin City College of San Francisco Shikhikhutag Unenburen Cuesta College George Kenji Sakkas De Anza College Joana Cota Bettencourt Taylor Michele Chaffin Seokwon Chang Lok Ching Cheng Young Jun Cho Yising Grace Chou Saman Barnia Deilami Thai Dinh Junpeng Feng John Paul Filanowski Zoe Ruth Gallego Daniel Felipe Gomez Thomas Anthony Gomez Juan Antonio Hernandez Sanchez Phuc Hoang Ho Sarah Hussain Santana Yulius Irwanto Bong Jun Jeong Ye Jun Kang Karteek Kankanala Abraruddin Khaja Christy Jessica Khouderchah Lia Kasumi Kopczynski Neeraj Kumar Junho Ho Kwon Hak Lee Hoon Lee Hu Min Lee Hyun Ju Lee Lora Liu Siyu Lu Jordan Kimberly Lueder Eric Tung Diep Nguyen Mary Nguyen Vinh The Nguyen Raelyn Torres Noneza Karin Novak

Dina O Omer Rachelle Janee Pleski Catherine Anne Poupart Sythara Radhakrishnan Breana Lee Rakow Ariadna Lilian Renteria Rachaya A Ritprasert Ramsey James Roethler Claudia Sereno Coria Nickolas Frederick Serpe Diana Lucille Solano Miller Naomi Alana Szonye Elina Diane Tanaka Shiyu Tu Reine McKenzie Turner Rachel Lee Van Doorn Alex Verhovski Huong Thi Bich Vo Devin Renay Williams Fernandez Rachel Yeh Veronica Lynn Zea Xuan Zhang Timur Zukic Diablo Valley College Timothy Lee Foothill College Baldeep Singh Bola Yvette Natalie Alexandra Calderon Thomas Allen Cardoza Celine Nichole Duenas Igor Fedotov Brandon Perry Gong Kayla Nicole Gutierrez Tyler James Koomas Jin Lee Chien Liu Connie Y Louh Britney Janelle Lundberg Karen Luo Scott Christopher Matthews Sean Mitchell McNutt Emad Mohammad Merchant Hiba Mezerreg Jayron Mianji Maral Mianji Katie Alexis Moyles Cynthia Marie Isabel Rinaldo Lalitha Saiprakash Thirunagari

UNDECIDED/WORK Paolo David Barrenechea Jomel Garcia Bautista Leslie Cabrera Rangel Andrea Candelaria Robert Henry Candelaria John Cardenas Steven Blake Carter Yoo Jin Choi Noga Choma Lifshitz Troy David Christofferson Derek Allen Cox Elaine Jeong Edberg Alexandria Cassandra Gee Ginger Griffin Amezquita Bohan Gu Rafael Vincenzo Guasch Lauren Han Susan Hernandez Jessica Patricia Hess Behnoud H Jalili Alex James Jin Albert Urjin Jun Chris Kean Jacob Matthew Martin

Alexander Pham Wakefield Nicholas Ming Wong Fullerton College Aren Philip Goldberg Mission College Maya Anderson Boeye Naomi Carrillo Nicholas Carlo Tucci San Jose City College Vasti Abigail Rebollar Santa Barbara City College Min Ah Kim West Valley College Jacob William Adams Jean Carlo Algarate Alex O Arro Amir Bakhshi Andrew Celtic Bell Billy Ben Chang Brandon Michael Conroy Jeffrey Hao Ding Laura Janine Espitia Michelle Nicole Gaynor Laura Anne Greenfield Jessica Katherine Hoglund Won Chae Hwang Edward Robert Ionel Reem Issa Zhen Jiang William Robert Kerr Jesse Young Kim Young Kwang Kim Yaara Leshem Danitza Mariana Morante Tiffany Thanhthao Tran Nguyen Yodit Elisabeth Phifer Houseman Paria Pishdadi Razavi Nina Phelicia Rodriguez Jordan M Servito Niema Mohammed Sharfi Shelly Shmariahu Austin Ryan Lara Strohm Denis Valdivia Jurgen Hermann Weller


Maria Satsuki Chang Ekaterina Frelikh Virena Galotra Shruthi Gopal Christopher Gabriel Hsu William Huang Joseph Hui Eshna Jain Edward Jeng Ho Lai Anusha Ramakuri Megha Ranganathan Jennifer Shieh Ajay Yalamanchi Patricia Yuanning Zhang


Jiun Rong Chen Yanni Chen Natasha Devraj Chitnis Hsin Yi Hsieh Tien tien Hsieh Lynn Tran Huynh Anna Kim Dustin Tran Quoc Ngh Lam Evonne Sumi Lii Sherry Shen Yu Lin Jenny Akemi Matsushita Mahsa Naderifar Allison Kate Ness Aishwarya Pamula Quyen Anh Tran Pham Eric Shria Sun Cyrus Dara Tabatabai Yazdi Shannon Rui Yee Tee Shyam Venkataraman


Ashley Marie Kan

Los Angeles

Calvin Chang Haysol Chung Vanessa Chung Nitin Gaddipati Sally Mihwa Kim Avinash Virendra Malaviya Meng Lin Ruan Jeffrey Siming Shu Rebecca Tsai Roger Wang Jeffrey Niouk Shin Wong


Siddharth Santosh Chaphekar


Arsh Hemant Buch Payvand Shawn Heydari Riho Ishihara Akshay Jain Shriya Sharma Nofar Varenberg

San Diego

Momoko Fujioka Steven Hsu Nathan Tin Loong Hui Ellen Rose Jacobs Samuel Lee Lawrence Wayne Luk Paula Lie Assakura Miyazaki Kesav Mulakaluri Shruthi Sriram Terence Jackie Tse Ju Sik Yang Zachary Russell Yuen

Santa Barbara

Andrew Tung Chang Daniel Yuenling Chow Allen Long Fang Seungyeon Lee Jiayi Li Lu Yao Li Brenda Valerie Luan Douglas Lee Martin Tran Tien Nguyen Rodney W Tang Andrew Sung Tae Yoon

Santa Cruz

Sharon Andres Calvin Scott Bao Brendan Kia Boon Myron Kai Yat Fung Jessica Biridiana Hernandez Bustillo Karishma Joshi Andrew Jiayang Lee Erica Liang Zachary Chapman Locke Isaac Paek Saravan Pantham Aleena Saha Rebekkah Hui Ying Scharf Cindy Shi Leonard Yu Leung Siew Linh My To Elaine Hok Ming Wong Ali Yousefi Amy Bibi Yu Jia Yu Zhao Weibin Zhong


Scott Joel Maxwell Gokul Ganesh Natesan Jieyu Nui Alysa Marie Orton Andrew Van Khanh Phomvongsa Dakota Ann Posa Curtis Raiburn Camila Maria Rivas Kevin Nicholas Robell Jorge Obet Rodriguez Jeonghoe Ryu Bella Jeanette Sanz Diamond Renee Jude Shephard Sam Tamale Jia Feng Teng Adam Quillan Ure Jillian Forest Wolgast Yingjun Yang Adam Zaher Meng Zhi Nan Zhao

u.s. armed forces Military

Ian Geiger


Alexander Toru Nishiguchi Johnny lacerda Punquieli

Navy Felix Jin Kim

out-of-country colleges Bridges Program Janice Chang

University of British Columbia Curtis Silhong Chan

Christ University Shreyas Kiran

University of Toronto Zhaoda Qu

Keio University Hiroaki Okuno Satoru Takada Kyoto Seika University Tsunehiro Tajima Singapore Military Christopher Jian Wen Ng

Wings Program Brittaney Elizabeth Jones Macabe Tate Scales Jeffrey Zhang Out of country ( Japan) Shiina Nojima Out of country (Korea) Hye Young Choi


College Apps by the numbers


JUNE 1, 2012



The average number of colleges applied to

of seniors are content with the outcome of their college application process


of seniors were accepted to their initial top choice school


Seniors, You did it. Congratulations! The countdown is coming to an end; graduation is here. As you cross the stage and receive your diploma, one chapter of your life will come to an end. This is a milestone that you and your family should be proud of. You have persevered and grown through your own challenges and experiences, and arrived as young adults poised to graduate. Cherish each moment of the next few days, as these are the last days that you will be together as the Class of 2012. This is a time to reflect on all of the people who have helped you reach this moment and consider how each of you has contributed to the collective identity of the Class of 2012 and the collective identity of Cupertino High School. Remember the good times, remember the fun ... and re-

ANDY WALCZAK Assistant Principal

Friends and family often ask me, “Andy, how is high school different in 2012, from when you graduated in 1992?” After 15 years of answering many variations to this question, I have settled on three somewhat clever responses: a.) “Not much, kids are kids!” b.) “Well, two things … One, they have no problem attending formal dances without an official ‘date’ (which is totally cool by the way). On the other hand, if you do have a ‘date’ for a dance, there must be an elaborate ruse inviting that person to be your companion for the evening.” c.) “Honestly? Today’s students are just better people than we were.” “Huh?” “Well, let’s start by comparing the content of music in 1992 vs. 2012…” The popular songs, artists and lyrics of my high school days included songs about: school violence (“Jeremy” by Pearl Jam), demons that live under the bed (“Enter Sandman” by Metallica) and general malaise/apathy (“Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nir-

member all those late nights getting your work done! Of course, your walk across the graduation stage is a new beginning as well. As you step out into the world as the adult you are becoming, please consider a few pieces of advice. This is your life. The decisions you make every day will shape your world and the world of those around you. The possibilities are endless; the journey is making some of those possibilities into reality. If you’re going to make your reality worthwhile, you will face self-doubt and possible failure at times. Be prepared to respond to these hardships, but realize that there is no perfect answer to any situation; you do the best you can. As writer and educator Charles Wheelan once said, “Interesting, successful people rarely lead orderly, linear lives.” We challenge you to lead the most interesting, innovative life you can. It has been a pleasure to be your class advisers and we thank you for sharing your four years at Cupertino with us. Sincerely, Ms. Hart, Mr. Jacobs, & Mr. Stavis (Your old and wise class advisers)

vana). Needless to say, a teenager in 1992 spent a lot of time in their rooms brooding to the depressing music coming from their cassette players. Cynicism, sarcasm and gloominess ruled the day. I feel compelled to point out that “Baby Got Back” AND “Rump Shaker” came out in 1992, so apparently aside from a lot of angst inducing pop music, 1992 was also a banner year for songs about shaking your derriere. Having spent countless hours at CHS dances, I consider myself an expert on the themes of your music, and it is in stark contrast to ours. The popular songs of your day are devoted to party rocking in the house tonight, exclaiming yeah multiple times (three times even) and of course being on the floor, floor and loving to dance. Despite the gloomy economic times, contentious political environment and stressful school schedules, there is an admirable joy, optimism and sincerity that exists in the 438 members of the Class of 2012. The pop culture of the day reflects these characteristics in a superficial manner, but I am fortunate to witness it in action through your class’ dedication to service, academics, leadership, the arts, athletics and making those around you better people. My hope is that you bring these traits to your collective future endeavors, and in doing so, make us at CHS proud to have been just a small part of your lives. Good luck.


JUNE 1, 2012


HARINI JAGANATHAN editor-in-chief

ERIC JANG editor-in-chief


When I think about the moments I first met some my closest friends, one truth seems to resonate for me: I used to hate them. One of my first encounters with one of my current best friends was in PE in sixth grade. She was standing behind me in line and accidentally brushed into me. With attitude, I told her to respect my personal bubble. We spoke minimally all through middle school and I didn’t bother to get to know her. Three years later, I had PE with her again as a freshman. We started talking to each other more and I learned that she was remarkably interesting and insightful. By the end of the year we were friends, and our relationship bore little resemblance to what it was in the sixth grade. So many of my other friendships started off similarly. Some friends annoyed me, and to others, I was annoying. Perhaps the fact that I disliked so many people who eventually became my friends indicates that I’m a poor judge of character; however, I’d like to think that this realization is a reminder that first impressions (and even second and third impressions) can be horribly wrong. Sometimes the best relationships are not always those that come easily or quickly. Understand that we are all flawed, and that friendships can only blossom when you look past the flaws . As you move forward with your lives and meet new people, don’t be too quick to judge others.

I used to think that high school was about memorizing SAT books and preparing for college. However, any mollusk with access to the internet is capable of learning “stuff.” My freshman year, I made an ambitious list of tasks I wanted to accomplish before I graduated. I have failed most of those tasks (and rather anticlimactically, I might add). But you know what? I managed to deal with disappointments that I didn’t think I would be able to handle and today I am grateful for all the good and bad times alike that have toughened me up. I’d sooner play the hand I was dealt than chase the best laid plans of mice and men. And I still haven’t given up on that list. Now that I have aged considerably, I have discovered that high school isn’t so much about learning as it is about growing up. If I had any regrets, it would be that I spent too much time pursuing knowledge instead of wisdom. I must add that it has been an absolute privilege to be part of The Prospector staff for the last three years. Journalism has opened my eyes to the world beyond the tiny bubble in which I live and improved my decision-making skills. But above all, The Prospector is great because it is a class of fun people, and all the bonding time and late night sendoffs will be the part that I miss most about high school. Reader, never stop seeking truth, always be informed and remember that no draft is ever perfect. So long, and thanks for all the fish!

When I was 14, I thought being a teenager could be difficult because it’s the “middle age” where we have to choose our paths in life. Then again, I was also confident that high school would constitute the best four years of my life, but maybe I was onto something. I don’t have the most Holden-esque outlook on life, but how can we decide at this age where the ducks are supposed to go? My mentality toward politics, cultural divisions and societal disputes has evolved over the past few years, and for some time, this realization held me back from making concrete future plans. However, I have attempted to make such decisions. If I’d known in freshman year that I’d be leaving home to pursue journalism, I’d have felt intimidated, but the past three years on The Prospector staff have not only made me aware of goings-on in my community, but also given me the courage to realize I’m not limited to the bubble created by the choices of my peers. The Prospector has been and will continue to be immensely important to me. It has helped me choose not only a major, but also a lifestyle that counteracts the one I feared I’d end up living — one where I’d never be satisfied because everything I’ve done always seemed to be geared toward the next big thing in my life, but with journalism, I’ll never know what’s next; this field could take me anywhere, and a changing mentality doesn’t have to be bad. Thanks for sticking with me. I’ll be back, even if it’s only to point out that Oxford comma.

final words


“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same, yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” Embarrassingly, this is how I began my eighth grade graduation speech. Ironically, this is how I have begun my last piece of writing for The Prospector. No regrets. So what are these groundbreaking lessons this high school journey so generously bestowed upon me? Well, now I know that chocolate solves most of life’s problems. And for the small price of love handles. Again, no regrets. There’s more. I used to plan every second of every day and draft a life plan biweekly. I would get attached to these unrealistic lists (the average one was twice as long as humanly possible to complete) and go to bed grouchy each night over the things that I was unable to cross out. Self-made stress was my forte. Then a friend of mine told me that if I ever wanted to make God laugh, I should tell him my plans. On top of this, I was painfully introspective. Another friend told me to stop thinking about living so much and just live. I’ve been trying to carpe diem more since then. I still make daily lists. I still think more than I probably should. The ground is not broken. But at least I stopped thinking about thinking about thinking and making lists of things to make lists for. While I’m still not the person I want to be, I’ve made progress through the last four years. And I’m sure that’s true for most of you. There’s no need to stress. This is not the final destination. We are still on our journey. Also, I now know how ridiculously terrible the first sentence of my eighth grade grad speech was. See, progress.

VIRENA GALOTRA features assistant

HONG SUH lifestyles assistant

ANNA HUANG news assistant

The day after senior prom as I hung my dress up into my closet next to my grad dress, I realized how dresses often seem to represent important milestones throughout high school (for girls at least); from the moment we put on our eighth grade grad dresses, we embark on our high school journeys. And along the way, there was always a dress to keep you company. From your first winter formal, to the cute sundress you wore on your birthday and finally the prom dress. Now, as I’m approaching the end, it’s beginning to dawn on me that it’s really over. After summer vacation is over, I will not come back to the same school with the same people. Life is not going to resume and we will not pick up right where we left off. So now every time I look into my closet and see my grad dress, the final dress, I get a little apprehensive and anxious. A lot has changed throughout the past four years and now change is precisely where I am headed. The moment I put on that dress, in an instant, it’ll be over. But I know my dresses will still be hung up neatly in a line in my closet along with all my memories. Looking back, I don’t like all of them as much as I once did. Memories are bittersweet, and while I didn’t love all of high school, I don’t think I would change a thing. And maybe I’ll add a few more dresses in the years to come.

To worry is peace. I love to worry. It is one of the few joys in my life (I’m too stressed from worrying to enjoy much else). I have a schedule for worrying. Breakfast is my worry-for-school time. I am often too tired to finish my homework at night because night is my worryabout-hair time, so I wake up early to worry about homework during breakfast. During school, I worry that all my friends think that I’m too stressed out. When I get back, I worry about my grades because breakfast doesn’t give me enough time to worry extensively. Fortunately, life is usually worrisome. But one day, I asked my friend if I should study and he said, “Don’t worry about it.” I thought about it. Why not, I thought; it seemed enticing, though I really loved worrying. I liked to try new things because it gave me new things to worry about. I decided to try that the next day, since I wanted time to worry about my decision. Then tomorrow came. That day was terrible. I wasn’t worried, I thought. There was nothing to worry about. I repeated it in my head. I became frantic. It was too relaxing. There must be something, I thought. There must be something to worry about. I kept worrying about having nothing to worry about, and it was very taxing. It was the most stressful day of my life. I went back to worrying the next day and everything went back to normal. Worrying has never been so comforting as it was after that horrible day. That’s why if I were you, I would always worry. Always, always worry.

It has become almost fashionable for graduating seniors to bemoan the “bubbleness” of Cupertino: its cutthroat academic environment, its lack of social excitement, its overabundance of pearl milk tea shops. I agree that growing up in such a sheltered place can be stifling at times, which is why college has such a shiny allure at the moment. At the same time, I’d venture the unpopular opinion that high school, and Cupertino by extension, really isn’t that bad. From what I can see, people tend to be overcritical of the things with which they are most familiar. When I go off about my parents, it’s rarely an outpouring of love and gratitude that follows. We know innately that most parents, flaws and all, only have good intentions, and yet it’s their mistakes on which we choose to focus. The same applies to every hometown that’s ever been lamented as “boring” by its teenage inhabitants. I know from personal experience that it’s easier to vocalize negative thoughts than positive ones. Despite all my complaining about the stress and late nights of high school, every wonderful thing that has ever happened to me has happened here as well. I’m not one to espouse optimism regarding the future, but in retrospect, I think it’s safe to say that the last four years have been the best years so far, though hopefully not of all time.

H.A.G.S and other cheesy things

The universe bursts into existence from life, not the other way around as we have been taught. For each life there is a universe, its own universe. We generate spheres of reality, individual bubbles of existence. Our planet is comprised of billions of spheres of reality, generated by each individual human...

- Robert Lanza

The Prospector (2012 Senior Edition)  
The Prospector (2012 Senior Edition)  

The Prospector Print issue for Jun 1, 2012: special senior edition.