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THE PROSPECTOR CUPERTINO HIGH SCHOOL’S

VOLUME 52 NO. 5

10100 FINCH AVENUE, CUPERTINO CA ONLINE AT WWW.CHSPROSPECTOR.ORG

APRIL 8, 2011

Wave of Relief Efforts Various student organizations band together to raise funds for Japan in the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami

MICHELLE CHEUNG lifestyles assistant

T

he natural disaster crisis that has devastated Japan is taking its toll on Cupertino High School. On March 11, 2011, an earthquake with a magnitude of 9.0 triggered a tsunami that ravaged Japan’s northeastern coast, immediately killing over 18,000 people and leaving more than 23,000 people missing. Further news from Japan reports that a nuclear plant has exploded, releasing poisonous radiation into the atmosphere, and mass evacuations are taking place. Organizations all over the world have sprung into action, sending out search parties and setting up housing for the thousands who have lost their homes. Despite the acts of goodwill around them, students who have family members living in Japan remain extremely concerned. “When I heard of the earthquake, I immediately tried to contact my family but the phone line was already out. There was no way of knowing if they were safe,” said Junior Hiroaki Okuno. “Luckily, I soon got through and was able to hear of their safety.” Senior Japanese National Honor Society ( JNHS) CoPresident Emily Matsunami expressed the helplessness she felt; that although fundraisers and organizations can raise money, it cannot replace lost lives.

“It’s frustrating that Japan is so far... If anything were to happen to my family, I wouldn’t be able to be there right away,” said Matsunami. However, many people are doing all they can to support Japan, and CHS has readily joined this effort. The Interact Club’s upcoming fundraiser for their international project, ShelterBox, is a disaster relief charity program designed to aid victims of natural disasters. Each ‘ShelterBox,’ an actual box, provides emergency shelter and life-saving equipment for victims to use in their time of need – a durable tent, stove, water purification equipment, basic tool kit, insulated ground sheet and much more. “The program aids the victims who have lost everything in the disaster by providing them the necessities to live. It warms my heart that the power of high school students can assist the lives of people across the globe,” said senior Interact club treasurer Karen Sugano. ShelterBox has enough supplies to help an extended family of up to ten people for two years. Interact Club’s goal is to raise $50,000 in donations to ShelterBox towards the victims of the Japan tsunami and earthquake. However, Interact Club is not the only group at work to help the struggling country. JNHS has started a project with an objective to fold 1,000 paper cranes, which in Japanese culture has the power to grant one wish. These cranes will be sent to http://www.dosomething.org, which will donate $2 to Japan for every folded crane. “Our wish for Japan is a speedy recovery. These cranes will also be sent to show that we are ready to help Japan, despite the distance between us,” said Matsunami.

HARINI JAGANATHAN

see TSUNAMI RELIEF pg 3

Successful compost system produces fiscal savings ANAND HEMMADY news assistant

SINDHU GNANASAMBANDAN

RECOLOGY | Compost bins like this one near the staff parking lot have helped save nearly an estimated $50,000 each year

Compost bins where students can recycle bottles and biodegradable objects are placed all throughout campus. These compost bins essentially take recyclable materials, such as paper or leftover food, and turn them into rich soil. This preserves the environment and cuts costs at school by keeping trash away from landfills. The program, started four years ago by Special Education teacher Jason Heskett, has been a tremendous success. Heskett said, “We get most of our food from the foods class, but we also get a lot of food from the cafeteria. They give us their leftovers, and my students and students in the gardening club make rich soil out of it.” The district as a whole has managed to cut down its waste in the landfills by 20%. While such a statistic appears unimportant, in an institution as large and densely populated as a school, savings add up. There has been a 33% decrease of trash going straight to landfills at school. The savings go beyond reducing our district’s impact on

the environment. The addition of compost bins are estimated to save the district up to $50,000 each year. In a state that cuts back $18 billion in three years on education, $50,000 is no small amount. The district can hire more teachers and classroom materials with the extra cash. There are even more benefits to implementing the compost system. “This program has given both my students and members of the gardening club valuable work experience that they otherwise would not have likely gotten,” said Heskett. This encourages collaboration between departments by having the foods class participate with Heskett’s students in providing food. An additional benefit from the system is the free fertilizer that the gardening club receives. Heskett, however, thinks there is even more that can be done. “I want to involve all students in this work. Right now, we just have my students and those involved in the gardening club. I want to see it expand. I want students to be putting their leftover lunches into the bins. It can save the environment and money,” said Heskett. By meeting Heskett’s challenge, students can save tens of thousands of dollars and significantly reduce the magnitude of pollution on the environment.


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APRIL 8, 2011

THE PROSPECTOR

the Prospector 2010-2011 STAFF

New bell schedule a possibility

Discussion starts amongst parents, administrators, teachers and students about potential changes for a new bell schedule for 2012-2013 school year A sequence of events

Cupertino High School Established 1958 Vol LII., No. 5 | 2011

editors-in-chief anthony kao regina hong news editor harini jaganathan opinions editor eric jang features editor tess wu in-depth editors jackie breuer vani mulkareddy lifestyles editor natalie hoang sports editor joanna lee photo editors willie wang amar kantipudi jamin shih copy editors alyssa williams jamin shih fred han business manager jackie breuer news alya omar assistants anand hemmady azadeh rongere opinions gun ho lee assistants kevin chu features jesse zhou assistants emily cheng madhuri sathish lifestyles natasha sharma assistants abhishek zaveri michelle cheung in-depth victoria duan assistants virena galotra nikhil kanthi sports sunwoo jeong assistants sindhu gnanasambandan adviser ann peck editorial policy “The Prospector” is an open forum of expression for student editors to inform and educate their readers. It will not be reviewed by or restrained by school officials prior to publication or distribution. Advisors may and should coach and discuss content during the writing process. The staff of “The Prospector” seeks to recognize individuals, events, ideas and bring news to the Cupertino community in an accurate, professional and unbiased manner. “The Prospector” will not avoid publishing a story solely on the basis of possible dissent or controversy. If you believe an error has been made, or wish to have your opinion expressed in “The Prospector”please contact us via mail or e-mail. Letters sent become the sole property of “The Prospector” and can be edited for length, clarity, or accuracy. “The Prospector” editorial board reserves the right to accept or reject any ad in accordance with its advertising policy. Contact Us The Prospector 10100 Finch Avenue Cupertino, CA 95014 prospector.chs@gmail.com www.chsprospector.org

•James Gilmore took his idea of starting school later to the Faculty Advisory Committee and polled the staff on their opinion on the idea. 60% liked his idea. •The Bell Schedule Committee was formed to create a new schedule for next year •They presented Gilmore’s idea to the district to receive their approval •Superintendent Polly Bove liked the idea, but wanted to put all 5 schools in the district on the same idea •Bove is planning on creating her own schedule and will present to the Fremont Education Association early next year • They will discuss and possibly modify the schedule •Schools in the district will then vote on whether they want to adapt the new schedule or not •For the schools that vote in favor, new schedules will be implemented in the 2012 - 2013 school year COMPILED BY VIRENA GALOTRA

VIRENA GALOTRA in-depth assistant

This summer P.E. teacher James Gilmore read the book Nurture Shock, from which he learned that teenagers sleep and rise later than adults do. This knowledge motivated him to push for some changes to the current bell schedule. He took his idea to the Faculty Advisory Committee and with the approval of the principal, polled the staff about starting the school day later. 60% of the faculty was for the measure, prompting a proposal for a new schedule which resulted in the formation of the Bell Schedule Committee. However, this idea of a new bell schedule soon transitioned from a discussion at the school to decisions at the district level. Gilmore took his idea to the district’s superintendent Polly Bove on March 4 and learned that Bove has plans of her own. Bove wants to place all district high schools on the same bell schedule. This way, students at one school could take classes offered at another and teachers could teach at schools across the district which would benefit students and save the district money. Bove plans on using Gilmore’s idea of a later start to create a new schedule for all the schools, by presenting her idea to the Fremont Education Association (FEA) Representative Council early next school year. The FEA is the union the teachers of the district belong to. Each of the representatives on the council has their own set of constituents with whom they talk to about issues and bring to meetings. The FEA will look at the schedule presented to them, possibly modify it, and then have the individual schools vote on the new schedule. Over 50% of the votes need to be in favor of the measure for it to pass. It is not necessary for all five schools to pass the measure; rather only those that approve the schedule would adopt it. The new schedule would be then implemented the 2012-2013 school year. The superintendent hopes that at least two schools agree to the new proposed schedule. This would allow her to monitor the money saved and the student benefits, in hopes this will convince the other schools to adapt the new schedule so that she can reach her goal of placing all schools on the same schedule.

Although Gilmore was hoping for changes to be executed next year he is in accordance with the district and the planning at the school has now ceased. He said “I’m holding off because I think it’s better for the whole district if we hold off and do what the superintendent proposes.” When the Bell Schedule Committee was working on the ideas for the new schedule one of their initial propositions was to push back the beginning of the school day to around 8:00 am. They also considered other alternatives, including the double block schedule. Under the double block schedule Monday would be the only regular schedule seven period day. Tuesday and Thursday would be a block day with periods one, three, five and seven while Wednesday and Friday would be a block day with periods two, four and six. This new schedule would save 35 minutes of transition time each day, allowing for 90 minute classes instead of the current 80 minute classes. These potential changes discussed at the school’s level created a rift between teachers and students alike. The Music and Math departments feel that daily practice is necessary in their respective subjects and want to meet their students on a daily basis. Teachers of other classes such as P.E. and Art, deal with time consuming set up and clean up so larger class periods would help to offset this. There are also concerns with starting the school day later. For example, the Athletics department wants school to end no later than 3:15 p.m. because they need ample time for sport practices. Junior Shona Hemmady, agrees and said, “I don’t want to start later because that means sports would start later … then practice would end late at seven, and it’s really annoying to go home and know that you have so much less time to work.” Students also have a wide variety of opinions on the proposed changes. Freshmen Ameera Mungale said “I think that school time starts really early. It’s a really big change for incoming freshmen…. and it’s really hard to get used to.” Despite all the debate, Gilmore feels that overall most teachers are for the changes. He believes that there will be changes to our current bell schedule but is unsure as to what those changes will eventually be.

International week debuts a more philanthropic focus VANI MULKAREDDY in-depth editor

Historically, International Week was known for the soccer tournaments among the Chinese, Spanish, French and Japanese Teams. However this year, due to unforeseen weather conditions, International Week had a slightly different game plan. Several clubs this year, including the Red Cross Club and Latino Club, had a novel approach that focused on giving back to the community through various activities. The purpose of International Week is to educate students about the different cultures within the school. Typically during this fun-filled educational week, students participate in cultural activities together. Students also have a chance to savor a wide variety of foods from across the world. International Week added a philanthropic twist in addition to the usual array of activities this year. For example, the Red Cross Club had a station where students could pen personal letters and ‘thank you’ cards to the nation’s dedicated troops. Senior Red Cross Club Vice President Mennen Kassa said, “International Week is all about exposing the student body to different cultures and traditions. What better way to promote American culture than by acknowledging and thanking our troops?” Each year, the Red Cross Club sends packages comprised of a variety of donated items and a letter written by its members. This year, the club decided to involve the entire student body. Kassa said, “We want students to be able to thank [our troops] personally, an opportunity they don’t get often.”

HARINI JAGANATHAN

INTERNATIONAL WEEK | Sophomore David Won writes his letter to the troops along with other students during lunch on Thursday during International Week as a part of Red Cross Club’s initiative

The Latino Club raised money for the Make-aWish Foundation, which helps children with severe life-threatening medical conditions. Senior Latino Club Vice President Diana Villalon said, “We want to help children who need the help of others. Coming from a school where we all enjoy helping others, we knew this would be a great idea.” The Latino Club raised awareness about the clubs’ goals and the work of the foundation. Club members passed out boxes and wristbands to interested students who then collected donations from students. Several other clubs joined hands to raise funds for the recent earthquake in Japan and the Pacific tsunami. The Interact Club passed out information and collected donations for their annual interna-

tional project, ShelterBox, a disaster relief charity that plans to donate crates full of survival necessities to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami. These crates include life-saving necessities for up to ten people. On the other hand, the Japanese National Honor Society created an event called ‘A Thousand Cranes’ for Japan. For each origami crane a student folds, the Benzos Family Foundation will donate two dollars towards disaster relief. Students also earned stamps for participation that could be redeemed for food. This year, in collaboration with ASB, International Week saw greater student participation. Due to the recent disaster in Japan, students were very engaged and eager to make a difference and provide whatever help they could to all organizations involved in International Week.


APRIL 8, 2011

news

THE PROSPECTOR

Homecoming Court nomination process for next school year prompts mixed responses The top 20 males and top 20 females will be chosen. The selected students will then complete a questionnaire. The form is a breakdown of all extracurricular activities that in some way give back to the school and require effort The Homecoming Court has been a long-standing and time outside of the classroom. These students will tradition on campus. However, ASB Executive Council recently concluded that court participants have not neces- check off the boxes that apply to them. For example, if a student played a spring sport during freshman, sophosarily portrayed CHS’s values. They believe that court more and junior year and planned on playing their senior nominations have become more of a joke or popularity contest. After conducting an extensive assessment of the year, he would check all four boxes under the spring sports section. matter, Executive Council re-developed, re-defined and “This checklist includes broad categories like Choir, created a new, more selective form of Homecoming Court Drama and sports while also getting more specific like nominations. Executive Council started developing the new nomi- being a club officer, tutoring at the Student Center for Success or being a member of Tino Crew,” said Garvey. nation system in January 2011. “We really wanted a system that would showcase Pio- The Executive Council hopes that the checklist will help neers that have helped make our school what it is today,” highlight a student’s commitment to the school. After completing the checklist, the top 10 males and top 10 said ASB President Jaime Garvey. females with the most checked boxes will proceed to the The old process consisted simply of two steps: (1) an open nomination from which the top candidates were third round. “The final step is similar to the chosen and (2) re-voting to original process. [It is] an open narrow down the winners. vote where students from every “Now the process consists class choose their top 6 males and of three detailed steps that are support the new policy females,” said Kim. each designed to serve a certain When the Executive Council purpose,” said ASB Secretary presented the new plan to Student Jeannie Kim. oppose the new policy Senate, students did voice concern The first step is similar to about certain areas of the new the old system’s: a simple open 91 STUDENTS POLLED nomination. However, with the COMPILED BY HARINI JAGANATHAN process and how it would break “tradition.” However, the Execunew changes, Homecoming tive Council stands behind the new rules and regulations Court will simply be composed of seniors. insisting that they will help to create a more cohesive “We really wanted students who showed dedication Homecoming process and in the end, Court. and had an impact on our school. It is difficult to meaThe Executive Council hopes that with this new prosure a freshman who has only been on campus for three cess, Homecoming Court will be returned to its intended months,” said ASB Vice President Monique Crowe. All classes will be allowed to nominate, but only senior glory and once again become an honor for a student to receive. candidates. “Our hope is that students will begin to take HomeSenior and Student Senator Marissa Garcia has a different opinion. “I don’t think younger classmen are going coming Court nominations more seriously and realize to want to vote if they don’t know any of the seniors,” said that this is a time to showcase and recognize students who have shown constant dedication to being a true Pioneer,” Garcia. said Garvey. These massive changes will be put in place Despite student opposition, the new nomination for next year’s Homecoming Court. system will be implemented next year. JACKIE BREUER in-depth editor

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LETTER FROM THE EDITORS Glorious Greetings, Illustrious Readers! We hope you are enjoying this issue as much as we are enjoying the random picture of a Stanford tree that we just randomly downloaded. Perhaps you may guess that our mental states have degraded after more than seven months on the job… and you’re probably right. Fortunately, The Prospector has a fail-safe to prevent mentally deranged Editors-in-Chief from ruining future issues: Junior Issues! For our next two issues, you’ll get to see the products of staffers trying to experience a mentally deranging editorship next year instead! Anyways, please browse through the auspiciously glorious pages of this issue. Toodle-o! Anthony Kao and Regina Hong Editors-in-Chief

The Break Down

34%

Tsunami Relief:

66%

By offering comfort through this traditional Japanese act, JNHS hopes that the Japanese people will know they have support in their time of need. They are also holding a Japanese cultural festival, ‘Bunkasai,’ whose proceeds will all go towards the tsunami and earthquake relief. Lynbrook High, Homestead High and Monta Vista High’s JNHS clubs are helping to organize this community event, which will take place on May 21, 2011 at CHS. Many students are worried for their family and friends in the disaster zone, selflessly taking action to aid Japan through this difficult time. Okuno is part of a student-made organization that sells lanyards to fundraise. The lanyards are white with red writing and reads ‘Stay Strong Japan 頑張れニッポン.’ The Japanese characters mean ‘Hang in there!’ All proceeds will be donated to Japan Red Cross through the Consulate-General of Japan in San Francisco. They are currently selling the lanyards in 20 different schools, including colleges and high schools such as Lynbrook High, Archbishop Mitty High, UC Berkeley, UCLA and more. The effort and time being invested into helping the tragic situation in Japan is clearly shown through the acts of students. Although the condition of Japan is yet to be determined, they have the positive assurance and support of many across the globe.

(cont. pg. 1)

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opinions

APRIL 8, 2011

DISASTER

Senioritis: I’ll think of a headline tomorrow

Japan’s earthquake crisis a wake up call for California’s inadequte safety measures ABHISHEK ZAVERI in-depth assistant

California is highly unprepared for a major earthquake due to the circumstances the general population and infrastructure is in. In school, students are required to participate in earthquake drills and evacuation procedures. The standard “drop, cover, and hold on” procedure is implemented throughout e meathe state, but nothing is taken beyond thes fornia Cali in sures. On the other hand, adults ake hqu eart t are receiving less information abou only , 2010 In safety than the average students. lion Californians attended 7.9 milearthquake drills and classes, f r e e of a population of 37 milo u t Having an excess amount of lion. is crucial resources stored, like water and food, half of than e to survival in these conditions. Mor ns or autio prec the population is unaware of the magthis of methods necessar y in an earthquake nitude.

GUN HO LEE opinions assistant

W hen the 8.9 mag nitude earthquake hi t Japan, roads and buildin gs were reduced to rubble in a matter of minutes. The infrastruc ture was not strong enough to endure an earthquake of th at caliber, costing Japan billions to rebuild. Similarly, the buildin gs in California are defenseless against a m assive earthquake of that kind. For the m ost part, buildings in California were bu ilt during 1950 to 1980, lacking the stronger modern fo un dations t h at can withstand a str ong earthquake. M any buildings have upgraded to better building codes and been seismically strengthened; howe ver, the main utilities, electricity grids, major airports, large dams and pipelines are under grea t risk. Without proper support fo r these critical parts of the infrastr ucture, California is extremely vuln erable to a high mag nitude earthquake. The most frightenin g effect of a massiv e earthquake on the local area is the damage done to nuclear plants. In Japan, radiation wa s released due to th e damage done to a nuclear plant, caus ing numerous death s and radiation poisoning to the Jap anese people. This nu cle ar crisis could easily take place in California, with the Pa cifi Electric plant in Sa c Gas and n Luis Obispo and Southern California Edison’s San Ono fre plant. Even thou gh these plants are above sea level, they are extremely vulnerab le to blockages if there is a dramatic ch ange in the seawater levels. Ad di tio na lly, the nuclear plants ha ve not undergone seismic reviews sin ce 2008, and have only proven to with stand a 7.5 magnitude earthquake. W ith these conditions, California should be gin to plan and execute a full-proof pla n to protect citizens from a extreme natu ral disaster like an earthquake or tsuna mi.

San

And r YOU eas’ R Faul t

EMILY CHENG

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The academic rat race that festers in Silicon Valley has abolished nearly all aspects of unbridled youth. Senioritis is just about the only semblance of relaxed, enjoyable high school life left, so we must embrace this living relic. Senioritis is not a disease to be defeated at all costs, but rather a heartily welcomed recess after several years of diligence. After an overwhelming freshman year, a tense sophomore year, a grueling junior year and a hellacious college applications process, burnouts happen. Second semester serves as a blissfully opportune time for a recharge. Summer vacations exist for the same reasons: a breath of fresh air after dense periods of learning in cramped, musty classrooms. Senioritis only lasts longer than a summer break just so that seniors can prepare for the next leap in life, whether that is college or the work force. Contrary to prevailing opinion, senioritis does not indicate that modern high school students only care about college acceptances. The affliction affects students in college, too. Jane Choi, currently finishing up a Master’s program in International Law at Stanford University, admits to cases of senioritis in both high school and college. “[In high school], like everyone else I had a hard time being motivated to do anything at all. I did quit speech and debate my senior year… My last quarter [at UCLA], I took one class pass/fail, which is like ultimate slacking,” said Choi. The only reason so many people associate the phenomenon with high school seniors is that the nation harbors an unhealthy obsession for anything related to college preparation. A quick look at the volume of SAT prep books dishes ample evidence of this over-dramatization. If there was a ranking of the most frequently stated guidance axioms, “Senioritis is bad” would lose the top spot only to “Be in a class during tutorial.” One of the fastest ways to antagonize a teacher is to admit to having caught the illness. We need to throw out this black and white portrayal of senioritis and appreciate the downtime for what it is. Teachers, please understand that the blank stares you receive during a lecture come not from disrespect—or even disinterest—but from the sheer fatigue of three and a half years’ worth of solid work. That worksheet is only half-done but not because Facebook entices us more than Shakespeare. Please do not take it personally. Adults sometimes misunderstand teenagers, but hopefully with this new viewpoint, we can bridge that communications gap. A toast to a pleasant ending to our last few months of high school! Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go update my tumb— ahem, read my chem textbook.

Senioritis [seen-yer-eye-tis] Symptoms: procrastination, lethargy, truancy and a drop in grades Target: primarily seniors, though there have been reports of infection in underclassmen Period: Christmas break to June Cure: graduation

PHOTO: JAMIN SHIH


APRIL 8, 2011

opinions

THE PROSPECTOR

Con: 90 minutes, no miracle in sight

Changes will not be enacted until 2012-2013 year

KEVIN CHU opinions assistant

more block days

We seem to possess a collective self-delusion about how easy it is to improve schools. Over and over again, structural gimmicks—longer school days, longer school years and, now, longer classes—spawn inconceivable excitement. Though ‘’block scheduling”, where fewer classes run as long as 90 minutes each, is being introduced in an increasing number of high schools, this singular recipe oversimplifies what it will take to bolster students’ performances. There is no prescription for applying the promising research and published advice to a particular school and all the unique problems, opportunities and peculiarities it contains. High school students often react with little tolerance to a prolonged classroom experience, making it a challenge to maintain their interest even in 40 minute units, let alone 90 minute periods. According to a study by College Board, blocked instructional schedules do affect student grades on certain AP examinations after adjustments for group differences in student ability. The results from this study generally suggest that students, on average, obtain higher AP grades when instruction is given over an entire year rather than in a semesterized block schedule format. Students in daily yearlong courses received higher grades than students enrolled in semesterized courses in 75 % of comparisons. In 2009, The New York Times’ Motherlode blog brought up an issue that pervades schools every late August or early September: should high schools implement later start times to cater to teenagers’ later sleep cycles? Not every school board has moved back that first bell because a slight decline in failure and dropout rates should take a back seat to more pressing concerns, including the difficulty of adjusting after-school activity schedules and inconvenience to both teachers and parents. The danger in all the excitement about block scheduling is that it distracts from the more significant issues. If the testing instruments are inadequate and do not shed light on why a student is having difficulty, or teachers have neither a serious grasp of a subject nor the time to prepare adequately, then block scheduling will end up as another well-intentioned failure. Longer periods merely exacerbate any existing problems within the school. When teachers are forced to cope with a hurried introduction of block scheduling, this revised schedule detracts from the preparations for their classes and quality of their teaching materials. A less frequent but longer class period—just like longer school days and school years—only makes a bad situation worse.

school starts later

Pro: Sleep more, learn more FRED HAN copy editor

Schools should start later, but there is no way that will happen. First, the status quo seems satisfactory – with the emphasis on “seems”. Second, there’s no motivating force to take the initiative. Third, change costs money. However, school administration needs to stop denying sleep to students. Although rescheduling for late starts will require some serious and full-on planning, the benefits overwhelm the drawbacks. Exhaustively researched fact stands that later school starts improve student performance overall, both academically and athletically. To start off, note that many, if not most students are sleep-deprived. Its effects are more than simply grogginess: it includes reduced attention span, memory retention, muscle regeneration and increased muscle fatigue. These problems make the academic and athletic learning environments less efficient. For example, reduced attention span cuts down concentration. No matter how enthusiastic a teacher may be, if the student is tired, the value of the lesson for the student goes down the drain. Sadly, according to an article from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, chronically sleep deprived individuals tend to mark themselves as not sleep deprived, when in reality they are. This means that students will continue to get less sleep, which will continue to reduce performance. Now, the proof: three years of data and research from the University of Minnesota concludes that schools throughout the cities of Edina and Minneapolis resulted in a marked change in students. Teachers noted in students particularly improved attendance, less tardiness, eating breakfast more frequently and participating more in class. With more energy, grades also improved. From a simple thirty minute later start, students were able to learn more efficiently. Furthermore, with the late starts it may be possible to implement a blocked schedule. Changing from three regular days and two blocked days to one regular day and four blocked days provides numerous advantages,

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including reduced “transportation time” – students spend five minutes per class transition, up to a max of thirty minutes a day. Teachers can plan a lesson without cramping for more time. With only one or two class transitions, more time can be saved – which in turn could be invested in later starts. By providing students a bit more time to rest, performance can improve. While such planning may prove to a headache to the administration, it will stop students’ cries for m o r e sleep.

opinions

HARINI JAGANATHAN

STAFF EDITORIAL

Proactive teachers boost student satisfaction It is easy to remember the very first day of school, mostly because it gives the initial impression that all teachers are programmed robots that do nothing but educate the masses. Although this humorous viewpoint most likely continues through out elementary and middle school years, it is unfortunate that most high school students still think that the only thing teachers do is “teach”. This is not the case, for teachers willingly give additional time and effort to make many of our school’s extra-curricular activities possible. Even if students refuse to admit it, this type of involvement ultimately benefits students socially and mentally, For example, as the wacky, charismatic leader of the Associated Student Body (ASB), Jeff Rosado strives to be a role model of school spirit. From helping coordinate fundraisers to coming to school in a long, regal robe for Pajama Day, Rosado

shows that be involved in terms of spirit helps students become more comfortable with expressing their spirit over time. School spirit is not the only way some teachers inspire their pupils. Amy Ripp, the passionate Junior Varsity girl’s soccer coach, uses her involvement with the team as a segue for more sociable interactions inside and outside of class. Being involved in sports has helped Ripp become better tuned with her students, which in the end helps her bring out the full potential in each and every one of them. Some teachers have a more indirect way of being involved at school. James Gilmore, as the Physical Education department head, has been effectively using his philosophy to affect the student body dramatically. Gilmore believes that students have the right to enjoy fitness using the technology that is available in Silicon Valley. He is able to make this be-

lief come true by purchasing different types of equipment for students of all kinds. From incorporating heart-rate monitors to applying for iPad programs, Gilmore ultimately makes P.E. more interactive through his undying involvement. Every teacher has his or her own style of outside participation that helps shape many students’ characters into something unique. Whether it is being an advisor to a certain club or being a coach for popular sport, it is obvious that our staff ’s everlasting effort to make our school a place for everyone affects students in more ways than one. In conclusion, the perspectives many students will forever be shaped by their classroom mentors. However, these same mentors will continue to influence many generations to come through their unending contributions of time and effort for our school’s many activities.


& “ “ Rebellion features

APRIL 8, 2011

Revolution

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My VMC teacher takes off participation points and marks you late. So instead of coming late, I just don’t go. Anonymous

The Tunisian Revolution started with the immolation of Mohammed Bouazizi and his story, starting a fire on Facebook. From there, over 200 people were killed until President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali resigned on January 14, 2011. There is still civil unrest with the new government, and a state of emergency has been issued for the time being.

The quietest of the lot, the Bahrain Revolution focuses on equality between Sunnis and Shiites and the eviction of the Bahraini President. The government however, issued a three month state of emergency and 24 protesters were killed in a clash at the Pearl Roundabout, the home of the protests. For now, it seems that this revolution has been silenced by the Bahraini regime.

A silence louder than words Day of Silence raises awareness against anti-LGBT bullying ALYSSA WILLIAMS copy editor

Current revolutions around the world

Egypt Libya

The Libyan Revolution holds the record for highest casualties amongst all other revolutions. Still ongoing, it is a protest led by the Libyans against their leader, Muammar Gaddafi, who has controlled the country for 41 years. After internal strife, France, the United Kingdom and the United States intervened with military force due to the ghastly nature of Gaddafi’s regime. The latest death report stands at nearly 2,000 people as the battle wages on.

Bahrain

With minimal casualties, the Egyptian Revolution successfully removed the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, from his post on February 11, 2011. The price for his removal was nearly 400 deaths and Cairo becoming a battlefield for nearly three weeks. Finally, though, a new government is in place with former Transport Minister Essam Sharaf in charge.

Tunisia

senior

An innocent community, totaling to approximately 20 million in the U.S. alone, is oppressed on a daily basis, so why does nobody notice? A blow, a cruel remark or even a disgusted look is a common occurrence. Meanwhile, the threat of death constantly hangs above the victims’ own heads as others go about their business unaware. And it is all because one out of twenty people love a little differently. Anti-lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transsexual (LGBT) abuse happens, but nobody says a word when it might mean being ostracized by the community. Even though a victim’s muteness goes unnoticed under the volume of the normal bustle in life, an annual movement called Day of Silence builds upon the silence and turns it against anti-LGBT bullying. This year, on April 15, the Day of Silence will pervade the hallways through the silence of teachers and students of all sexual orientations. With the Gay-Straight Alliance Club (GSA) at its forefront, the Day of Silence will spread awareness of the anti-LGBT bullying that still occurs. GSA’s involvement revolves around posters, ‘safe space’ stickers (anti-bullying zones), announcements weeks in advance and members’ silence on April 15. A new theme this year will distinguish the event from last year’s symbolic duct tape over the mouth. The tape was a safety issue, though, so as an alternative, this year’s silence

The Power of vegetarianism Students utilize their resources for the vegetarian cause

NIKHIL KANTHI in-depth assistant

Like bombs falling on Tripoli, forks dive down on rosy meatballs. Like the Tunisian Revolution that started from a Facebook group, leaf-eaters assert their opinions across various social networking platforms. It is with equal ferocity and passion that a new revolution is taking center stage in our society: a revolution against the meat industry. On campus, sophomores Aditya Gande and Ganesh Datta are fierce supporters of vegetarianism, and they inform people of their cause through various forms of media, such as Facebook and Gmail. Both offer various documentaries and links to activist groups from their profile pages and statuses. Datta said, “By posting videos and facts about the injustices the animals suffer, I have been trying to change the views of people who follow such social networking websites.” They measure their success in terms of comments and buzz they get on their videos or statuses, regardless of whether it is positive or n e g at i v e. Their purpose is to shed light on the brutality taking place behind our kitchens and fast-food restaurants. Gande said, “Not that many people

ti ha sh d


APRIL 8, 2011

THE PROSPECTOR

“ “

Sometimes I just don’t feel like going, most of the ime I over sleep... or if I’m late and there’s half of the class left, I don’t really bother howing up. Also if there’s a sub, I might ditch if there isn’t a legit lesson planned.

I fall asleep in first period, sometimes second and fourth. I’m always tired. I’m normally not awake until sixth. I don’t get enough sleep at night.

Anonymous

Chris Dam senior

sophomore

will be represented by shapes made out of duct tape that do not go over the mouth. Sophomore GSA Vice President Alexandra Castro has high hopes for this year’s Day of Silence. “We contribute by raising awareness and involving people who have forgotten [about Day of Silence],” said Castro. “Even though our campus is very open, there is still a lot of homophobia and name-calling going on that GSA is trying to combat.” Students can easily join the Day of Silence actively by refraining from speaking outside of class. If teachers permit it, a student may keep silent within the classroom, but if asked to speak, an answer is required. Therefore, for effectiveness means, speaking to teachers about self-involvement in the Day of Silence beforehand can result in agreeable compromises. Teachers can also help spread bullying awareness by briefly addressing the issue, or as a compromise for students’ verbal participation during class, allow a minute of silence in respect towards those belittled, abused or even killed by anti-LGBT violence. “I hope the Day of Silence will raise awareness so much that it eliminates all trace of LGBT bullying in our school,” said Castro. “My hope is that one day something like Day of Silence will no longer be needed anywhere.” The Day of Silence, actually a national event, is the embodiment of empathy. While the bullying may not always happen in broad daylight, the LGBT community continues to feel its grip in the shadows. Regardless of a person’s sexual orientation, anyone can take part in the Day of Silence and spread a new understanding of the oppressed innocents’ plight. On April 15, a silence will be words enough against injustice towards a wronged community.

know about the cruelties committed by the meat industry. We need to spread the word.” For example, every twelve hours, more cows are slaughtered in the United States than the entire population of Cupertino. Gande and Datta attempts to bring facts like these into the open because they know that most meat-eaters are not aware of the gory statistics behind their burgers. Unlike most revolutionaries, though, Gande and Datta are not targeting a specific party or person, but rather the practices of the meat industry. By not admonishing the omnivores of society, they have gotten the attention of both sides of the culinary spectrum. Although the argument is not about diet, both Gande and Datta are strict vegetarians. To them, one’s diet is the most powerful asset against the meat industry. “The main reason that being vegetarian makes a difference is I am against the cruel and inhumane treatment that animals endure,” said Datta. According to them, there are various dietary alternatives to mainstream meat. Avoiding the mainstream meat companies, such as Tyson and Perdue, and buying the organic produce is an easy decision most shoppers can make. The higher price goes towards providing a more humane lifestyle to millions of animals. Also, the two argue that in such a diverse community, vegetarian restaurants are a dime a dozen, so being vegetarian is not out of the question. To Gande and Datta, a diet has become more than three square meals. Choosing what to eat is no longer just about how it tastes, but also about where it is from. While their plight may not be as explosive as the human rights campaign taking place in Northern Africa, the pair’s passion for animal rights is just as captivating. It is definitely not easy to harbor a humane diet in today’s world, but it is not impossible either. The benefits of having a garden salad instead o f chicken soup can add up over time. Even going halfway and spending that extra buck on organic meat can save an animal from a life of pain and torture. A diet is no longer just daily sustenance, it is a statement about what one stands for and believes in.

features

Ditching class?

7

All it takes is one automated attendance phone call from the school to grab the attention of most parents. However, while that call may be seen as a side effect of pointless student rebellion, it neglects to reveal the reasons behind absences—reasons which are just as varied as the students not on campus.

BLURB BY JAMIN SHIH

Modern warfare Student uses technology to combat ignorance

MADHURI SATISH features assistant

Even as the revolution in Libya rages on, many students on campus remain ignorant in the relative safety of the Bay Area. However, senior Reema Shalan knows that outside the safe confines of Cupertino lurks a great deal of danger. She has family and friends in the Middle East, and from their phone calls and e-mails, she hears about the struggles they personally face. In the meantime, Shalan believes that the best way to spread awareness about the revolutions is to educate anyone who is willing to listen; she works towards this goal via Facebook and a club on campus known as the Muslim Student Association (MSA). Shalan’s Palestinian heritage inspired her passion for helping people understand the importance of the Middle Eastern revolutions, such as Libya’s. However, unlike other Middle Easterners affected by the conflicts, she does not find public protests in major cities even mildly effective. Shalan explained that if she was uninformed and saw a protest, she would not care to find out what it was about. “Some people don’t have the incentive to go online and research unbiased information [about the revolutions],” said Shalan. Technology is inevitably a prominent element of the revolutions, because it has given people around the world a way to communicate with their loved ones in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Shalan uses the internet to keep her friends and family here informed. She posts the latest news from Libya and editorials criticizing Gaddafi’s actions on Facebook. Her Wall plays host to a plethora of discussions regarding the steps taken by the USA and NATO. In addition, Shalan is always eager to speak her mind about the present state of affairs and the future she envisions for Egypt and Libya. “What I want for Libya and for Egypt are leaders that are good for [the countries themselves, not international organizations]. The main benefit has to go to the people of the country.” Shalan explained that if the U.S. intervenes, it might put in leaders who would not serve the people as effectively as leaders from the countries. As the conflict continues, she believes that others must understand this, but finds the American media slow in getting the information out. For this reason, she aspires to keep people up to date on recent events in the Middle East. “The media doesn’t put everything straight out there... they muddle it down and make it seem much less [terrible] than it actually is,” said Shalan. “That’s why I think it’s important to educate [the people here].” Shalan believes that all of the revolutions in the Middle East will incite rebellion in Palestine, and she describes the recent and ongoing conflicts as merely a piece of the struggle that has been going on her entire life. As the United States and NATO take action overseas, Shalan worries for her people and wonders if she will ever see her Palestinian motherland again. “It just hurts seeing things like this happening to my people and my family,” she said. Consistent with her aim is to educate people, Shalan describes a project that she could start to spread awareness about the revolutions on a campus. “[I would] organize [events] where people could come ask questions. I would also put posters around school to inform people.” She plans to use the MSA as a means of communicating her messages to the rest of the school, perhaps by using it as her medium to host the aforementioned events. Shalan wants her peers to understand that although they are far away from the revolutions, there are several individuals among them who are deeply affected by them. As Shalan comes to terms with the violence playing out in the Middle East, she hopes that others will take the initiative to learn more about the present crises and wants to guide them on the path to understanding.


lifestyles

APRIL 8, 2011

8

portion

distortion

Bigger is better or more is less? These days, it’s getting more difficult to tell.

NATASHA SHARMA lifestyles assistant

“If some is good, more is better,” is a phrase that is often misunderstood when it comes to healthy (or not so healthy) eating habits. Eating more food than required, even if the food is healthy, can actually be harmful to health. If a teen decides to eat three fatfree granola bars instead of a bag of chips for brunch, it does not mean that he or she is eating a health-conscious snack. The teen is actually overeating and the calorie count of the three bars will out-weigh that of the bag of chips. No doubt, healthy foods like granola bars conjure up images of fields of grain, wholesome nuts and dried fruit packaged into one perfect healthy snack. However, more than one serving at a time can be excessive as it provides more sugars and salts than the body needs. “If you eat too much of anything, no matter or healthy or artificial, it is bad because you need to have the right balance and proportions in your diet,” said junior Neelu Ghiasi. There is a commonly held misleading notion that the more healthy foods that are consumed, the healthier the body will be. Each day, teenagers should ideally consume three servings of calcium rich foods, two to three protein foods, three to five servings of vegetables, four to five servings of fruit and six to eleven servings of carbohydrates. The portions of food that are consumed through breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks should correspond to the food pyramid and not exceed it. For example, eating too many

vegetables and not enough dairy products can actually weaken the body leading to a lack of calcium that is necessary to strengthen bones and teeth. Overloading on veggies introduces an imbalance in the diet. “I have heard that if you eat too many carrots that your skin turns a slightly orange color, but that might just be a myth. Your body will tell you what you want, when you want it and when you do not, so you will know when to stop,” said sophomore Tori Votino. A recent study proved that eating too much fruit can lead to obesity and increase levels of triglycerides, a type of blood fat that is linked to heart diseases. For fruit, there is a recommended fivepieces-a-day which would provide the body with vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. According to Dr. Carel Le Roux, consultant in metabolic medicine at Imperial College London, fruits with high fructose levels and calorie counts can lead to the same weight gain that is caused by chocolate. Consuming extra portions of fruit, assuming it to be the safest and healthiest choice, can potentially do the same damage to the body as sugar-rich and preservative packed foods. It is imperative that meals and snacks are well balanced, especially during adolescence-a time when the body as well as habits are still in their formative stages. A healthy diet choice calls for knowledge, self-control and balance. Ultimately, it is about listening to the body’s needs, being aware that anything that is consumed, healthy or not, will impact the body and the way we think and feel.

food for thought The sixth period bell has just rang as you pull into the parking lot, a bag of fast food in your lap. Lunch ended, so you scarf down the rest of your meal because you simply can’t toss it away. Little did you know you just ate double the serving of an actual meal. One plate equals one serving? Think again.

Taco Bell Crunchy Taco 170 calories per serving

3

servings per meal

Large McDonald’s Fry 230 calories per serving

5

servings per meal

KFC Popcorn Chicken 260 calories per serving

2.7

servings per meal

Mango Jamba Juice 300 calories per serving

1.5

servings per meal

Arizona Green Tea Can 80 calories per serving

3

servings per meal COMPILED BY VICTORIA DUAN


APRIL 8, 2011

THE PROSPECTOR

lifestyles

9

Kong’s Tofu & BBQ a restaurant review

WILLIE WANG photo editor

When local favorite Wahoo’s Fish Tacos closed down on Stevens Creek, it was a sign of despair as casual dining options dropped by one. Replacing it, though, is Kong’s Tofu & BBQ—a Korean restaurant that serves both traditional Korean foods, such as tofu stew and barbeque platters, and fusions as well. My friend and I decided to check out this new edition to Stevens Creek. Stepping in, the restaurant initially reminded me of a set from a low-budget independent film. The lack of noticeable décor and color gave an empty vibe. However, the low lights and oriental-style interior also provide a mellow atmosphere. There is much room for improvement, and hopefully, Tofu & BBQ will improve their adornment. Once seated, we received our menus. I was surprised to see tacos on the menu. Depending on a choice of chicken, beef, pork or seafood, the price of the tacos was around $7. The price seemed a bit steep which is why I did not order one myself. However, if they taste anything like the tacos

from Mogo’s, the infamous Korean BBQ truck, I unfortunately missed out. Instead, I ordered the seafood Bibimbap and my friend ordered the barbeque chicken. Bibimbap is a layer of veggies and meat over rice in a hot stone bowl. Like other Korean restaurants, we were served a variety of delicious small side dishes prior to our main course. The food was quick to arrive, and I was truly impressed by both the amount of food and is aesthetic appeal. In this case, the real food looked much better than the picture. I was also surprised by the seafood in the Bibimbap; it wasn’t just your ordinary shrimp and fish. The rice bowl had plenty of shrimp, calamari, oyster and caviar. There also seemed to be plenty of vegetables with the Bibimbap and the side dishes. Although it was quite a heaping, the meal seemed balanced and healthy. Both the barbeque chicken and the Bibimbap were delicious but we had to wait a while to eat as they were steaming hot. As a rule of thumb those sensitive to hot or spicy foods should hesitate before eating at a Korean restaurant. It’s no Wahoo’s, but Kong’s Tofu & BBQ proves to be a worthy substitute.

Lovely Public Service Announcement: Be a STAR and ace your STAR tests... and have a gloriously fun Spring Break afterwards!


sports

10

APRIL 8, 2011

Sports differences a moot point in physical rewards and fun JESSE ZHOU

features assistant

MANNY ZARATE

Making sacrifices to avoid getting “served” SINDHU GNANASAMBANDAN

sports assistant

N

o pain, no gain—it is as simple as that. Coach Manny Zarate yells it. Each player recites it. The game demands it. In fact, this is the very mantra that CHS’s tennis team swears by. Regardless, it is the sacrifices made by each player—the forgoing of other activities—that has propelled the team from mediocrity to excellence. Freshman Tommy Cheng, who currently plays singles and is ranked third from the top, once went through a period of eight grueling weekends straight with tournaments. This sucked up his Saturdays and Sundays as many of the matches were far and required hopping from hotel to hotel. His weekdays were spent tirelessly practicing for the subsequent tournament. In other words, it was eight weeks of eating, sleeping and breathing tennis. But life—especially the high school portion—does not allow for one to give such exclusive attention without a few repercussions elsewhere. “I couldn’t have sleepovers. I couldn’t go to friends’ houses. I just couldn’t hang out so it basically took away my social life with school friends,” Cheng said. “Staying at hotels made it tough to catch up on my studies. I remember once I missed a day of school to go down to Irvine. I later found out that there was a play project due in school that day, and I got a 0/50 on it. My teacher wouldn’t let me make it up.” Although Cheng did well in his tournaments and no doubt became a better player through those weeks, he had to pay a price for his gains in tennis—a price substantially higher than the tournament fees. Senior Gabino Sanz has experienced his fair share of sacrifice as

well. He returned to CHS for senior year after two years of being homeschooled so that he could focus more on tennis. When Sanz left in the middle of freshman year, he essentially began coaching himself; he would finish his online courses within three hours and spend his day practicing tennis, working out and swimming, all in the name of selfimprovement. “Home-schooling, isolating myself and not being as socialized for two years really helped me learn about myself. Tennis is a very lonely sport, and knowing who I am helped me put things into perspective on the court,” said Sanz. Such a choice, though, is hardly an easy decision to make, and others, including junior Hong Suh, have chosen to prioritize school over tennis. Suh played competitive tennis up until freshman year, but a lower back injury prevented him from playing tournaments for around six months. On top of that, sophomore year’s course load grew substantially. “Especially in high school, it is very challenging to keep up with the top players while maintaining everything else,” said Suh. “Considering this, you have to admire the diligence of our top players—they’re juggling hard-core practice and conditioning with additional time spent in weekly tournaments and, of course, schoolwork.” Unfortunately, high school students are spread so thin that trying to do it all can result in mediocrity in each of their pursuits or abandoning one completely. What makes excellence so commendable is that the beholder must constantly take risks and make sacrifices. Because Cheng, Sanz and many others on the team are doing just this, the boys are currently breezing through the season undefeated, and there are high hopes for games to come.

“Your team, regardless of what sport you play, is stupid. The skills you learn from your sport are pointless. If it does not have a ball, the sport you play is not a sport.” Such examples of verbal abuse are common between many studentathletes around campus. But why do students, who embody ideal sportsmanship, espouse such heinous insults to other teams? Though many students have conflicting definitions and opinions on what a sport actually is, arguing on such semantics defeats the purpose of what sports ultimately try to do. A ‘sport’ should develop character and comradeship instead of creating bitter rivalries between dissimilar sports. Surprisingly, sports did not start with simply scoring points or setting records. It instead began as a method of mastering certain skills that were not necessarily useful for survival. Learning such skills helped early humans become better tuned with their environment and construct better relationships with their peers. In other words, as far back as recorded history can reach, sports were used as a way to improve physically and socially as a person. In a way, this belief has been inherited and continues to reside in many athletes’ hearts today. However, this belief has not been passed on to everyone. Many student-athletes vehemently refuse to stray from their dogma about sports. For example, many solely care about what a sport itself is defined as, and still believe that only the amount of physical work required determines sporty-ness. Many others demand that a sport needs an organized team to be considered as a true sport. The rest believe that a sport must have a straightforward, systematic way of scoring points against another team. These athletes, who can be found anywhere today, display the finest examples of narrow-mindedness. This viewpoint should not be the perspective athletes should choose to adopt. It may be true that goal of many sports is to score as many points as possible, but as mentioned before, some sports do not completely focus on winning as a collective team. It is obvious that some athletes value personal achievement more than the concept of scoring points. For example, to a track and field runner, a fast mile time may be more important than actually coming in first place. To a gymnast, performing a perfect routine might matter more than how many points scored afterward. Such a mindset allows these certain students to enjoy how the sport defines them as a person. “Sports shouldn’t always be about beating another team down into the ground,” said sophomore Shubhankar Jain. “They should be an expression of who a student really is. Of course, sports still need to be at the competitive level, but what really makes a sport a sport depends on the person’s perspective.” In spite of the conflicting viewpoints of many athletes, all sports ultimately teach students and grown-ups alike about the spirit of camaraderie and the perseverance to be the best. Many athletes, from the fictitious boxer Rocky Balboa to the elegant figure skater Michelle Kwan, have strived to be at the top, even though their respective sports were completely different from each other. It is time to realize that all sports ultimately want to give athletes the same sense of determination. By taking to heart such an important concept, athletes will ultimately embody the sportsmanship that defines their trade and will achieve things greater than just “first place”.


THE PROSPECTOR

APRIL 8, 2011

11 Exercises for the sports

Average Joe

Exercise can be difficult for those of us who don’t enjoy sports. Some of these exercises can be done from the comfort of your own home, and others are more play than they are work.

1.

TURN ON EXERCISE TV (OR RENT AN EXERCISE DVD): Exercise from the comfort of your own living room. If you’re embarrassed, close the door.

2. TAKE A DANCE CLASS:

Belly Dance? Ballet? Salsa? Find a dance that gets your foot tapping and take a class from an expert.

3.

WALK WITH WATER BOTTLES: Walking is the most common

exercise. Push yourself a bit with a little extra weight, which you can later use to hydrate yourself.

4.

GO HIKING AT RANCHO SAN ANTONIO: Take in the scent

of fresh air and the outdoors while burning calories. Get there early to see a breathtaking sunrise.

5.

PLAY WII FIT: Again, this allows you to exercise in private. It also offers a range of types of exercise including strength training, yoga, aerobics, and balance training.

6.

BUY A DOG: Fido will be adorable, lovable, and quite a handful. Looking after a dog can be hard work.

JOANNA LEE COMPILED BY HARINI JAGANATHAN


photoessay

APRIL 8, 2011

A look

inside

12

AIDA

On March 25, the opening night of “Aida”, the audience was on their feet applauding as the cast took their final bow (far bottom). Starting from January, drama teacher and musical director Arcadia Conrad held auditions for the Cupertino Actor’s Theatre’s spring musical. As expected, nearly eighty hopeful performers tried out; however, only about forty made the cut and got the privilege to work on “Aida”— a musical by Tim Rice and Elton John. You will not hear “Tiny Dancer” in the show though; all the songs are original compositions made by Elton John. In Tino’s version, the songs are sung in a unique and spectacular fashion thanks to the vocal expertise of students such as Amy Garvey (middle right), Francis Lee (middle center), Yeana Lee (middle left), Jackie Breuer (not pictured), Jamin Shih (not pictured), Kapil Talwalkar (not pictured) and the entire supporting cast (top left). All of the aforementioned students, along with their unwavering passion and talents, helped make “Aida” the masterpiece it was. Set in ancient Egyptian times, the story of “Aida” follows the tragic romantic tale of the Nubian princess Aida, played by Garvey, and the Egyptian Captain of the Guard Radames, played by Lee. Thinking that Aida is merely another commoner from Nubia, a country Egypt is at war with, Radames captures the princess and takes her back to his homeland as a slave. However, Radames soon sees that Aida is much more than just a slave and takes a liking for her. They fall for each other and, throughout the rest of the play, struggle to lead their elaborate lives while hiding their forbidden love. Packed with intense action, heartbreaking misfortunes, touching romance and clever humor, “Aida” was a huge success and one that will be remembered for years to come.

COMPILED BY JESSE ZHOU AND WILLIE WANG


The Prospector April 8 Main