Issue 2 - November 2022

Page 1

TRUE CRIME NEEDS BOUNDARIES

Examining the ethics of true crime dramas THE

ISSUE 2, VOL 65
PROSPECTOR
IN THIS ISSUE opinions True Crime Needs Boundaries.................................. 08 The Demonization of Rats........... 10 news lifestyles features Cupertino High School Librarians Feature........................................ 12 featuring librarians Julia Hedstrom and Susan Fratus investigations National Referee Shortage........... 20 The Societal Acceptance of Tattoos........................................ 16 “Blonde”: The Ethics of Biopics........................................ 18 Regnart Creek Trail Project.......... 04 Cupertino High School Attendance................................. 06 18: “Blonde”: The Ethics of Biopics sports Athlete of the Month: Matthew Bennett......................... 24 Overcoming Defeat...................... 26 postscript Little Mx: Cupertino....................... 28 Sweater Weather.......................... 29 Prospectober 2022....................... 30 COVER DESIGNED BY KATELYN CHU 10: The Demonization of Rats

THE PROSPECTOR STAFF

2022-2023

editors-in-chief

photo editor

A LETTER FROM THE EDITORS-IN-CHIEF

Dear Reader,

news editor Caroline Cheng

Soha Roy lifestyles editor Prithika Sundar investigations editor

Taruna Anil

sports editor

Lisa Zivanic postscript editors

Evan Lu

Jolie Han

Katelyn Chu Saniya Laungani Theresa Nguyen Meghana Vinjamury Rajasi Laddha Taruna Anil

copy editors

Lisa Zivanic

Kevin Jia Jolie Han

Rishita Shah opinions editor Natalie Chen features editor

online editors business manager

Sania Mehta Tanvee Sai

Evan Lu writers

Aashin, Alexander Liu, Alisha Sankhe, Andrew Qin, Angie Li, Anika Rao, Anoushka Gokhale, Benjamin Liu, Eliana Aschheim, Evelyn Liao, Hailey Ryu, Joyce Lee, Katie Kim, Riya Malik, Sha ona Das, Stefaniya Nava

As the days shorten and we begin to open our umbrellas, the rain and winds of change start to set in. With winter sports kicking off their seasons, Rajasi Laddha, Sania Mehta and Benjamin Liu cover the national referee and coach shortages on page 20, investigating how these circumstances will change sports here at Cupertino High School.

On page 26, Tanvee Sai and Shaona Das further explore the changes our sports teams face, detailing the boys water polo team’s journey to overcoming a losing streak with a hardfought win on their senior night.

Closing out another chapter, Evelyn Liao, Soha Roy and Prithika Sundar illuminate the stories of librarians Julia Hed strom and Susan Fratus, and how Fratus’ legacy will remain even after her retirement at the end of this year.

Speaking of permanent changes, Natalie Chen delves into the history and implications behind society’s trend towards the gradual acceptance of tattoos on page 16.

advisors

Ann Peck, Brian Hazle

Editorial Policy

“The Prospector” is an open forum of expression for student editors to inform and educate their read ers. 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 and ideas and bring news to the Cupertino community in an accurate, professional and unbiased manner. “The Prospector” will not avoid pub lishing 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 email. Letters sent be come 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 ad vertising policy.

Contact Us: chsprospector@gmail.com

The Prospector 10100 Finch Avenue Cupertino, CA 95014

The publication inks up in a different way on page 28. As a continuation of last year’s spin-off on Inktober, we feature a staffer’s drawn interpretation of an article-related prompt in this year’s edition of Prospectober.

This issue, we wanted to highlight the change and progress here on campus. And while life may be full of changes, we hope you can find a constant by reading The Prospector.

Sincerely, Katelyn Chu, Saniya Laungani, Theresa Nguyen

REGNART CREEK TRAIL PROJECT

Exploring the planning of the path along with student opinions

For students that bike or walk to school, finding an efficient path can be a challenge. The Regnart Creek Trail Project may soon fix that.

The project would create a bicycle and pedestrian path stretching nearly a mile from the Cupertino Library. According to non-profit organization Walk Bike Cupertino, over 250 Cupertino High students will benefit as the trail is on their direct commute path. With more students walk ing to commute, there would be fewer cars at the beginning and end of school hours, causing less traffic accidents. Addition ally, the decrease in cars on the road would promote a greener Cupertino, reducing pollution and demand for parking in pub

lic areas, allowing for less idling of vehicles that wait for students at dropoff stations.

The so-called “Loop” began in September 2017 with a study to measure the feasibility of the project and was approved in Au gust 2018. The city council de layed the project for about a year due to resident concerns of dis turbance and safety, suggest ing that the trail would increase crime rates in the neighborhoods. Ultimately, the project was approved. Trail construction began in February 2021.

Construction is expected to be completed by August 2022 at

a cost of $2.65 million. However, progress on the trail has slowed in recent months due to tem porary rising in lumber costs, forcing the City Council to ap prove an additional $1.2 million towards the total fencing funding.

Through a series of in-per son and online interviews, Cu pertino High School seniors Anthony Tse, Paul Siripintu and Rumi Baig shared their opinions on the new route.

When asked about the Reg nart Creek Trail, all interview ees responded with being only somewhat knowledgeable about the project. Said Siripintu, “I

NEWS 4 | DESIGNED
[...] OVER 250 CUPERTINO HIGH STU DENTS WILL BENEFIT AS THE TRAIL IS ON THEIR DIRECT COMMUTE PATH. ”

heard about some sort of trail being added by the city a little while ago, but I never knew how close it was to us.”

Regarding the trail’s impact on student safety, Tse sees some potential risks.

Said Tse, “One negative as pect I see is the safety aspect when the trail crosses South Blaney, where it could potential ly be dangerous when a cyclist pedals quickly across the road and a car happens to be there too.”

Baig, on the other hand, be lieves it will be helpful for cy clists. Said Baig, “I see it ben eficial to many bikers because it provides a more efficient and safer route, in comparison to just biking or walking on the street or sidewalks, so you do not get in the way of other people.”

With the primary goals of accessibility, connectivity and safety, with potential risks, the Regnart Creek Trail is ex pected to have scored a majority of the points for certain daily commut ers. Despite creating minor controversies in the neighbor hood, many believe that the minor draw backs are worth the risk for a more benefi cial future

NEWS | 5
“I HEARD ABOUT SOME SORT OF TRAIL BEING ADDED BY THE CITY A LITTLE WHILE AGO, BUT I NEVER KNEW HOW CLOSE IT WAS TO US. ”
PAUL SIRIPINTU
PHOTO BY WALK BIKE CUPERTINO

CUPERTINO HIGH SCHOOL

Examining the reasons behind student absences

How many are too many? When it comes to absences, the answer likely depends on who you’re asking. Cutting a few days of school is inconsequential, but missing more than a week of school concerns administrators and one’s family and friends. Most students have been ab

sent from a class or a full day at least once due to person al reasons. It is not uncommon for teenagers to take self-care days to recuperate from pent-up stress and daily responsibilities. However, when a student begins to receive truancy notices or fre quent calls home from the office, there may be a handful of under lying issues.

“Typically we section ab sences by levels. Level one is we send an automatic note home addressing the number of absences. Level two is when we check in with the student faceto-face. Finally, we have a dis trict meeting [to discuss] what ever further action can be taken to ensure the student can get back on track,” said Cupertino High School Administrator Ste ven Puccinelli.

Being absent from school does have its perks: not seeing the teacher you loathe, sitting with people you are not fond of and feeling pressure from eyes that are anything but reassuring. Yet, this routine ultimately does have its drawbacks.

Said Cupertino High School Principal Kami Tomberlain, “Hav ing anxiety or depression is defi nitely a hard thing to go through, but at some point, it starts to pile up. You’ll become even more stressed than before.”

According to The National Li brary of Medicine, school absen teeism has been linked to mental health disorders. Some illnesses may be diagnosed, but for oth ers, it’s possible that illness is transparent enough that it exists

6 | THE PROSPECTOR

SCHOOL ATTENDANCE

at our campus

regardless of medical diagno sis. One can momentarily feel at ease by missing class but the more it becomes a habit, it transpires into a persistent pattern.

Most believe these illness es develop well into adult hood, but this is not always the case. “The student mental health crisis has steadily risen in young teens starting from the age of 12,” said school-based Therapist Denis Salin. It is no easy task itself to juggle multi ple AP classes, manage a job and balance a social life while maintaining mental health. “Every now and then it makes sense to say you know what I need to re group and rest a little more,” Tomberlain said.

Although mental health days are for students to take time for themselves and men tally heal, there are other healthy outputs that can serve as an output. There are other concerns that are in play for

repeated absences. “When kids exhibit any symptoms of depres sion, anxiety or moodiness, there is typically an underlying mean ing as to why they are behaving in that way or are not coming to school,” said Salin.

“When teenagers undergo stress, trauma or violence, many will purposefully miss class in or der to gain a sense of self and get grounded. There’s a lot of resources that are helpful when you feel overwhelmed,” Tomberlain said. A handful of resources not only pre sented by the school such as the aloha room or the newly set up wellness center but there are also many that can be easily accessed online

NEWS | 7
P A T P A T P A T P A T P A T P A T P A T P A T P A T P A T P A T P A T P A T P A T P A T
“EVERY NOW AND THEN IT MAKES SENSE TO SAY, YOU KNOW WHAT,INEEDTORE GROUP AND REST A LITTLE MORE ” KAMI TOMBERLAIN

TRUE CRIME NEEDS BOUNDARIES

Examining the ethics behind true crime dramas

OPINIONS 8 |
DESIGNED

There is no denying society’s morbid fascination with one of the darkest media genres — true crime. True crime dramas such as “The Girl from Plainview,” “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” and “Monster: The Dahmer Story” are amongst the most-watched media on stream ing services. This staggering en gagement has sparked debate over a key question: Should there be ethical boundaries when dra matizing true crime?

Critics highlight three con cerns: victims’ families are not typ ically contacted prior to or during production, the sensationalize reenactments, and the glamor ization of perpetrators of some of the most violent crimes in recent history.

Due to the release of “Dahmer,” the issue of receiving prior permis sion from families of Dahmer’s vic tims is under public scrutiny. This is not an issue of legality, but an issue of respect and humanity. Studios can legally use public re cords without consent; yet, doing so causes unbelievable damage outside a court of law.

In an essay with Insider, Rita Isbell, sister of Dahmer’s victim Errol Lindsey, stated: “I was never contacted about the show. I feel like Netflix should’ve asked if we mind or how we felt about making it. They didn’t ask me anything. They just did it.”

To give an in-court statement to the face of the man who killed your brother is traumatic; to see it memorialized on screen without your consent is beyond words.

The gruesome reenactments depicting horrific criminal violence in dramas like Dahmer intensify the effect of the real crimes by embellishing physical details in

gratuitous gore for effect. Zealous fans tweet such clips and related comments, with each post open ing deep wounds that may never heal.

“Imagine the absolute worst torment that could ever happen to you being turned into entertain ment,” said Iman Gatti, a grief re covery specialist with a similar ex perience. “The reality for survivors is that we never forget what hap pened. The pain never goes away and the toll on your mental health is immeasurable.”

On social media platforms, the glamorization of serial killers is in evitable. A common complaint is the romanticization of serial kill

al murderers”. The fandom-like in terest in serial killers has pervaded our culture, and whether it be the odd attraction to these killers, the “Dahmer glasses” TikTok trend, or crime-obsessed mothers dressing their toddlers in serial killer Hal loween costumes, it is clear that these shows are shifting societal moral boundaries to an uncomfort able extent.

ers due to the actor being viewed as attractive outside of the show. This phenomenon was central to “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile,” a drama surround ing the crimes of Ted Bundy. Zac Efron played Bundy in the film, which many viewers found dis turbing due to Efron’s history of playing heartthrob love interests. Tweets finding Bundy attractive appeared at such an alarming fre quency that Netflix had to address it on their Twitter account, “gen tly reminding” their viewers that “there are literally [thousands] of hot men on the service — almost all of whom are not convicted seri

Some may claim these shows are necessary to educate about a common societal anxiety. It is es sential to distinguish between truecrime dramas and documentaries. Dramas are told through a seem ingly fictional lens, with reenact ments by actors. This desensitizes viewers by reducing real people to characters, a leading reason for the glamorization of serial killers. Documentaries are produced in an informative manner, including discussions and interviews rath er than plot. Glamorization would not occur as unnecessary drama tization would be eliminated. Ad ditionally, producers would need permission from victims’ family members for interviews. As a soci ety, turning toward true crime doc umentaries and podcasts would provide the same information as dramas and would not harm those close to the case.

The recent rise of these ex ploitative true crime dramas has made it increasingly obvious that true crime needs stricter boundar ies now more than ever

ALISHA SANKHE writer OPINIONS | 9
“ IMAGINE THE ABSOLUTE WORST TORMENT THAT COULD EVER HAPPEN TO YOU BEING TURNED INTO ENTERTAINMENT ”
IMAN GATTI

THE DEMONIZATION OF RATS

A criticism on the wrongful representation of rats in media

Dirty.’ ‘Filthy.’ ‘Cheese-eat ing mongrels.’ These are the words that often come to mind when we think about rats. Despite society’s percep tion of these creatures, rats are intelligent, helpful and extreme ly clean, so why do we keep per petuating this false narrative?

Rats are constantly demon ized by the public eye due to their association with filth and uncleanliness — people of ten believe they dwell in sewers, spread diseases and dig through our trash for food. Their reputation has been deprecated, with even universal media displaying them as disgusting little creatures. However, these portrayals are not entire ly accurate; rats are cleaner and more intelligent than soci ety views them. Remy, the rat

in “Ratatouille,” is passionate about becoming a profession al chef. Remy practices good hygiene by falling into sinks to bathe before cooking, always

washing his hands and standing on his hind legs, so he does not contaminate food. His behav iors realistical ly emulate and represent rats’ clean nature. Not only does Remy demon strate cleanliness, but he also

reflects the intelligence and practicality of rats. Remy’s pas sion for cooking sparks when he discovers his unique abili ty to smell different scents and identify the various ingredient combinations. Remy can also communicate and understand humans, although humans can not. Fictional rats are not the only ones who possess these traits — real rats are highly intel ligent and have a strong sense of smell. These traits allow rats to be useful to humans in many different ways. A research proj ect launched by Anti-Personnel Landmines Detection Product Development utilized rats’ abili ty to smell and their small size to train them to search for victims of natural disasters. They can also sniff out explosives in land mines and tuberculosis, saving millions of people’s lives.

There is a false belief that rats are dirty, disease-carry ing creatures that inflict dan ger onto cities. According to the Proceedings of the National

10 | THE PROSPECTOR
“ THE RATS ARE ABSOLUTELY GOING TO HATE THIS ANNOUNCEMENT. THE RATS DON’T RUN THE CITY. WE DO.”
JESSICA TISCH

Academy of Sciences, human fleas and body lice caused the Black Death — not rats. But so ciety continues to perpetuate this false narrative, and rats face the implications.

“The rats are going to abso lutely hate this announcement,” New York City Sanitation Com missioner Jessica Tisch said at a press conference on Oct. 17, 2022. “The rats don’t run the city. We do.”

New York City’s long-time ri valry with rats has painted them as the cock roaches of the ro

he dislikes rats and will proudly use such a title.

However, the actions of NYC government officials do not reflect accu rate information about rats, ex terminating them due to citizens’ inconvenience of wild creatures roaming and eat ing scraps. Con trary to popular belief, rats are extremely clean. According to Tufts Now, rats groom them selves more than cats, making them hygienic.

threaten public safety since they are not fully proven to carry more diseases. People wrongfully ex terminate rats despite having similar or equal issues to other creatures given fair treatment.

dent group. At the press conference, Mayor Eric Adams and Tisch un veiled their plan to ex terminate rats and rid the city of these in vasive crea tures. They stated rats are not friends of the people of N.Y., and Adams said he is a rat ‘murderer’ because

WebMD states that despite data suggesting that rats and urban critters spread 100 times more pathogens than other mammal species. It is also evident that country rats and city rats do not neces sarily carry differ ent amounts of diseas es — urban rats happen to be more carefully stud ied. Food, immune systems or proximity to humans cause dis crepancies between city and urban rats. Rats do not further

Rats are not inflicting harm upon humans, so we have no reason to rid icule and exterminate them. Rats’ wrongful demonization in the public eye has perpetuat ed false information regarding their safety and purpose in our society — rats are the unsung heroes of the world, acting as working animals that rescue earthquake survivors and iden tify gun residue.

We must work to implement well-rounded rat portrayals that consider their intelligence and characteristics in the media to combat this propaganda. Addi tionally, spreading awareness and publicly educating the pub lic by acknowledging forms of anti-rat bias will re-contextualize

OPINIONS | 11
rats in society
RATS ARE CLEANER AND MORE HELPFUL THAN SOCIETY VIEWS THEM. ”

CUPERTINO’S LIBRARY STAFF

A peek into the lives of the librarians at Tino

12 | DESIGNED
FEATURES
FEATURES | 13

JULIA HEDSTROM

As a library media specialist, Julia Hedstrom wears many different hats.

Hedstrom had previous experience as a librarian for 15 years, coming to CHS with the invitation of Jenny Padgett. She saw this as a meaningful opportunity to incorporate her former skills into her new position.

Hedstrom describes being

students and teachers at CHS to the fullest of her abilities. She teaches information literacy, helping students with locating, evaluating and synthesizing information. Said Hedstrom, “Selecting good reading materials for students and promoting authors and

author events [and] encouraging the love for reading is a wonderful part of my job.”

opportunities.” She describes how everything is constantly changing, such as curriculum changes, and the online resources are updated based on these changes.

When reflecting on her favorite memories, Hedstrom connects back to her daily gratitude practice, where she thinks about at least three things she’s grateful for. “Even if it’s been a long day [...] everything I was doing was exciting, inspirational, and fun.” Recalling the recent announcement regarding Susan Fratus’ retirement, Hedstrom will greatly miss Fratus. Said Hedstrom, “Ms. Fratus is an extraordinary librarian and I could not do my job if I didn’t have her.” She said another library media specialist will join the CHS library and work together with her as the next chapter of her career.

Hedstrom would love for students to stop by the library and say hello. Said Hedstrom, “I want the library to feel like a second home to all of our students. One of the beautiful things about the library: whatever you’re curious about [...] we want to help you find that information. If you don’t know the answer, we will help you find

[...] ENCOURAGING THE LOVE FOR READING IS A WONDERFUL PART OF MY JOB ” JULIA HEDSTROM

SUSAN FRATUS

Within the pages of the Cupertino High School library, two librarians and a team of student volunteers keep the shelves organized, creating a thriving study environment and a new wellness center.

Susan Fratus, Cupertino High School’s library specialist, took on this job 21 years ago as the only librarian in the district with a master’s degree in library science. Fratus spends her time organizing the shelves and contributing to the wellness of our library. Fratus has seen a lot of changes, from the library’s remodels to the shift towards online media.

When comparing online to traditional media, said Fratus, “When I first started, in fact, I had one computer class [during college], just one.” Added Fratus, “Technology was not a big thing back then. I was more part of the community, but times change.” “Everything’s digital. Everything’s technology-oriented now.”

After 22 years at Tino, Fratus plans to retire at the end of this year. “[...] I’m leaving at a good time,” Fratus said, “I’m retiring

this year. I’m going to be 70 in November. I think it’s time.”

With retirement around the corner, Fratus discusses her favorite connections she made as Tino’s librarian. “[There were] veteran teachers, and I enjoyed having them come to the library and the passion, the support they had for the library,” added Fratus, “I really liked the fact that [the students] feel comfortable enough in this space to want to come and use it.”

Recounting the changes she’s made to expresses her pride in creating the wellness corner in the library. “I was really feeling, a couple of years ago, maybe a year after we moved into this building, that that space was not being utilized in a good way,” Fratus said. “And at that time, there was a lot of talk about stress, especially for our juniors and seniors.”

She has gradually added to the

library’s wellness corner over the years. As time passes, Fratus has added several books and chairs to this corner of the library. She plans on adding more in the next few months.

From adding mental wellness corners and engaging in various library activities, Fratus feels satisfied with her time at Tino’s library. “I feel really good about what I was able to contribute and help in some positive way,” Fratus said, “ Yeah, I’ve done my time, and it’s time to have another chapter of my life”

FEATURES | 15
Library Specialist
[...] IT’S TIME TO HAVE ANOTHER CHAPTER OF MY LIFE ” SUSAN FRATUS

THE SOCIETAL ACCEPTANCE OF TATTOOS ILLUSTRATIONBYALEXANDERLIU

Looking into the history of tattoos and their influence today

LIFESTYLES 16 | DESIGNED
BY PRITHIKA SUNDAR

From criminals to sailors, gang members and grandmothers, body ink is more popular among more people than ever. From its usage as a status sym bol in Ancient Egyptian cultures to its presence in gang loyalty ini tiations and later employment in cosmetic enhancement surgeries, tattoos have stood the test of time and are an evolutionary art form, constantly changing with the de velopment of society.

Examining the usage of body ink and its correlation with mo mentous events throughout histo ry draws connections to our past while progressing towards more inclusivity, illuminating an accept ing society.

Tattoos in the workplace were deemed unprofessional until re cent decades. Until the end of the 20th century, negative stigmas circulated gang or criminal influ ence, a phenomenon that has ex isted since classical antiquity. The art of embedding ink into skin has existed for tens of thousands of years, with discoveries of tattoos on mummified skin dated from 3370 B.C.to 3100 B.C. Ancient Greek and Roman civilizations used tattoos to punish enslaved people and criminals.

The practice of body ink saw another surge in popularity in the 1700s when Captain James Cook’s explorations in the Pacif ic exposed sailors to Polynesian body art, spreading the practice to seamen in Europe and Amer ica. During the Edo period, from the early 17th century to the late 19th century, tattoos became in creasingly widespread as a status symbol within the Yakuza.

Similarly, beginning in the 1930s in the United States, crim inal tattoos were used to show gang membership and express

personal history. Time and time again, tattoos have proven to be used among the misfits of soci ety, from foul-mouthed sailors to rebellious lawbreakers. Thus, the harmful stereotypes surrounding body ink are generally inaccurate but not without reason.

In the modern age, tattoos have become increasingly wide spread among the general popu lation. The usage of body ink as a form of artistic self-expression is especially common among younger generations, particularly in designs centering on gender, sexual orientation and personal experiences. Today, tattoos are expressions of identity and re membrance, marking monumen tal moments in one’s life, from the World Trade Center tragedy to

EMPHASIS ON INDI VIDUALITY AND SELF-EXPRESSION [...] RESULTS IN THE INEVITABLE POPULARITY OF TATTOOS IN THE WORKFORCE. ”

tributes to fallen soldiers in war. A medusa tattoo is an emblem of strength for sexual assault survi vors, while a semicolon is a mes sage of solidarity among suicide survivors. With the exceptions of jobs in the military, politics and administrative industries, tattoos are becoming more acceptable in the U.S. workforce.

With the emphasis on social consciousness and vulnerabili ty in recent decades, stigmas of tattoos in the workplace lessened significantly. In October 2021, the U.S. Marine Corps updated its policy regulating tattoos created in June 2016. The revised policy allows Marines to have tattoos anywhere except on their head, neck and hands.

As younger individuals begin

to fill the workforce, discrimina tion against body ink becomes decreasingly common, leading to a continuous cycle of tattoos be coming widespread. Another fac tor is increased accessibility for getting tattoos as well as remov ing them. Tattoo guns and ink are easily purchasable online, provid ing an alternative to individuals who lack the proximity or funds to visit a professional parlor.

Furthermore, the advance ment of tattoo removal technology alleviates the common fear of the permanency of tattoos. Thus, while tattoos have become increasingly popular, so has tattoo removal. In the last year, searches for “tattoo removal” on Google have risen by 40 percent since 2020, per data from Google Trends.

Despite negative stigmas gradually dissipating, younger in dividuals, especially teenagers, face scrutiny for getting tattoos from adults. Getting tattoos as a minor or teenager is seen as a reckless and dangerous decision. However, an exception to this at titude is cultural body art, a prac tice common in customs and re ligions all around the world, from the Maori people in New Zealand to Southern Indian tribes who practice pachakutharathu, an an cient form of tattoos.

Tattoos illustrating apprecia tion for cultural or linguistic iden tity are also accepted over typical recreational tattoos and are prev alent among immigrants or peo ple with bicultural backgrounds, including students. With the grad ual acceptance of tattoos comes a new generation of individuals with their own social standards. Emphasis on individuality and self-expression, along with the growing tattoo industry, results in the inevitable popularity of tattoos in the workforce

LIFESTYLES | 17

:THE ETHICS

Looking at the newly released “Blonde”, a film

Trigger warning: sexual assault,

Marilyn Monroe. The world knows her as the iconic actress, singer and mod el from the 1950s; yet, Netflix’s new movie “Blonde” miscon strues Monroe’s story by exploit ing her life struggles and trau ma.

“Blonde” is based on a nov el of the same name written by Joyce Carol Oates. Oates ad mitted that the book was not a biography and stated in the au thor’s note that it was a fictional story that reinvented Monroe’s life. However, movie director, Andrew Dominik, marketed “Blonde” as a biopic de spite producing the film as a story that loosely resembled Mon roe’s life. “Blonde” has gener ated con troversy surrounding the ethics of biopics. Some argue that biopics are a means of art to tell someone’s story, while others argue that it is unethi cal when the mov ies sympa thize with or victimize perpetra tors and profit from trauma. In biop ics, the visions and perspectives of directors when retell

ing people’s life stories blur the line between what is respectful or not. While people critique bi opics like “Blonde” for inaccu rate storylines, others such as “Schindler’s List” cover highly traumatic historical events and are praised for educating about these horrors. Several 2022 bi opics, such as “House of Guc ci” and “Pam and Tommy,” have drawn controversy. The former sympathized with an assassin; the latter was made without the consent of Pamela Anderson. The controversy of “Blonde” stems from the over-sexualiza tion of Monroe through distaste ful scenes of sexual assault, in sensitive abortion sequences, and depictions of violence and misogyny. Viewers began to re-evaluate the morality of creat ing and consuming biopics be cause of such scenes from this and other biopics.

In “Blonde,” Monroe was sex ually assaulted twice, although no historical evidence suggests either occurred in real life. The uncomfortable scenes contained overly graphic rape and sexual assault, drawing public criticism for victimizing Monroe and ex ploiting Monroe as her consent to represent any abuse she may have experienced could never have been given.

At the beginning of the film, Monroe decides to get an abor tion to prevent passing her mother’s mental illness to her

18 l THE PROSPECTOR

ETHICS OF BIOPICS

marked as a biopic regarding Marilyn Monroe

child. Once the procedure be gins, Monroe begs the doc tors to stop because she has changed her mind. When Mon roe becomes pregnant again, a scene ensues in which Monroe imagines her aborted child tell ing her not to harm them again. She miscarries, and her regret for her previous abortion ampli fies, haunting her in her dreams. The repetitive anti-abortion un dertones are particularly jarring – an insensitive choice con sidering the polarizing nature of the topic, especially follow ing the 2022 overturning of the landmark abortion rights case Roe v. Wade. Monroe’s alleged abortions drew criticism for un realistically picturing a talking fetus and for depicting Monroe’s rights as violated during a time when advocating for women’s rights is incredibly important.

The film ends with Monroe overdosing on sedative drugs. Although the film decently por trays Monroe’s struggle with ad diction, the death scene is dis respectful as it was filmed in the same room where Monroe actu ally died. Critics called out this decision for exploiting Monroe’s addiction and overdose.

Andrew Dominik, the direc tor, has made some disturbing comments about his vision of the movie, often objectifying Monroe. Instead of focusing on Marilyn Monroe’s lifetime lega cy, Dominik has stated his be

lief that the movie should only focus on Monroe’s eventual death and what led up to it. He wanted the film to solely por tray how the industry sexualized Monroe and her feelings – not how she overcame those issues, formed her own produc tion company, and fought against segre gation and an ti-communist witch hunts. Dominik’s decisions re garding the film drew criticism for misrep resenting Monroe when Dominik want ed to create a film centered around the sexualization and struggles of women in the industry. Although some view ers would still claim that “Blonde” tells Marilyn Mon roe’s story in a brutal, but necessary way, its contro versy demon strates how film ing biopics may not always be a moral

ly sound choice. Ultimately, the producers’ and writers’ lack of consideration and respect to ward properly sourcing their ma terial is ethically wrong

LIFESTYLES | 19
abortion and drug overdose

STAFF SHORTAGES AFFECTING TINO STAFF SHORTAGES AFFECTING TINO

Uncovering how referee and coach deficiencies impact athletics at CHS

INVESTIGATIONS
PHOTO BY SANIYA LAUNGANI

COACH DEFICITS

From field hockey to football, athletic teams at Cupertino

overseeing coach recruitment, attributed the decline in Cupertino coaches to inadequate pay.

“They don’t get compensated well enough for somebody to want to really do this on a regular basis, and [the] time that they have to put in and the amount of money they make is not really worth it,”

Stevens said. “So, you have to really love what you’re doing — otherwise, it’s just not something you’re going to do.”

He notes that a lack of compen sation is especially evident when considering the water polo team. The pursuit of water polo coaches can be burdensome due to the scarcity of qualified individuals who desire to coach. This present ed an issue for Stevens when the junior varsity girls’ water polo team lost their coach. Fortunately, during the 2022 season, Larry DeMuth and Amanda Slowikowski chose to maintain the team, resolv ing the issue. Even high school football could not dodge the ramifications of coach shortages. Head coach Chris Os wald had a coaching opportunity open for two years but received no applications. Without the support of former players and his friends, the football team would not have had a coaching staff.

He attributed coach shortages at CHS to the school district’s re fusal to hire teacher coaches.

“The district doesn’t care,” Os

wald said. “They would rather survive the season than hire teacher coaches who are going to have an impact, a greater impact, on stu dents.”

Oswald expresses that as a coach on campus, he can establish more profound relations with his team. They often gather at lunch to observe films, lift weights during the school day and partake in oth er related activities. In comparison, off-campus coaches are only able to show up during allotted practice hours. He stated that the repercus sions of such a decision are ap parent in the losing record across every football team in the Fremont Union High School District.

Oswald advocates for a pay in crease due to rising transportation costs from gas price inflation and long-distance away games. Coach es are passionate about their sport and their players — however, the money they receive often serves as the most prominent factor contributing to their de cision to coach. Oswald said that although the dis trict has sufficient funds, they do not allocate this money to support sports teams. Said Oswald, “I worked 116 hours this summer with a football team. One hundred sixteen hours without getting paid. And I’ve done that for 30 years.”

Due to inadequate funds allo cated to the athletic department, Cupertino coaches find themselves at a crossroads between coaching the sport they love and a greater salary with less of a demanding time commitment

| 21
DESIGNED BY TARUNA ANIL
I WORKED 116 HOURS THIS SUMMER WITH A FOOTBALL TEAM. ONE HUNDRED SIXTEEN HOURS WITH OUT GETTING PAID. CHRIS OSWALD ”

TIME OUT

How the national referee shortage changes sporting events at CHS

Despite throwing in red and yellow flags during games all week, a select few refer ees in the Bay Area refuse to throw in the towel amidst the national ref eree shortage. With Bay Area offi cials retiring at an unprecedented rate, remaining and new referees often find themselves spread thinly across the coast.

“Every now and then, [the Cen tral Coast Referee Association] has a shortage,” John Fischler, a seasoned water polo referee and former player said. “I think on Tuesdays and Thursdays, they have a higher volume of games and high schools playing. [...] You might be asked to go solo on your own.”

varsity football officials on a Friday night. Right now, we have 100 on the roster. On any Friday, we’re running between 70 and 80 [officials] on a Friday night based on availability.”

Many older officials retired or quit over the past few years due to age, family issues or having a job that no longer allows them to be available during the games. Other factors, such as COVID-19 implications, rising gas prices and initial equipment costs, also played a part.

girls water polo coach Yuri Ujifusa, who firmly believes in calm com munication methods with referees, resorted to yelling at a referee to alert him of a hazard caused by missed calls.

“[If] they are letting things un called, that is making a dangerous environment for our players,” Ujifusa said. “There was a moment where [senior Baran Abbasi] was literally put in a chokehold, and the [referee] wasn’t calling anything.”

“ ”

WHEN I TELL YOU HOW HARD IT IS TO OF FICIATE, I KNOW THAT FROM PLAYING.

Bay Area Sports Officials sup plies referees for games across the Bay Area for nine sports: field hockey, football, volleyball, basketball, soccer, wrestling, base ball, softball and gymnastics. The number of newer officials joining BASO in the past few years has steadily declined, making it difficult for BASO to officiate with the same quantity and quality of games as in previous years. Rick Moore, owner of BASO, says the shortages impacted the organization heavily this year.

“Four to six years ago [...], we used to do between 20 and 24 [games] on a Friday night,” Moore said. “That’s between 100 and 120

The shortage also resulted in lower-quality wa ter polo referees in Fischler’s asso ciation. Since water polo is a more challenging sport to learn to offi ciate, he pointed out that the lack of available experienced officials makes it difficult for new referees to acclimate in such environments.

“I can’t think of another sport where an official can’t see the play er’s full body. When I tell you how hard it is to officiate, I know that from playing,” Fisch ler said. “I am just looking at a pool of water, and I just see some shoulders.”

Fischler’s water polo associ ation tried to bring officials from different sports. This decision reportedly frustrated teams and coaches, as newer officials may miss calls due to unfamiliarity with the sport.Cupertino High School’s

Students reported that the shortage stunts their ability to properly carry out gameplay due to a lack of regulation for dangerous acts. With the constant violent motions happening above and un derwater, referee calls are crucial to keep the game safe – with only one referee, the game can become dangerous.

“They are not able to see ev erything if the foul is facing the other way, and they are not able to call everything,” Ujifusa said.

Delving into the roots of this shortage, Moore offered the per spective of new referees on the current athletic atmosphere, identifying a de cline in sports manship over the past years as the main culprit for the scarcity of new recruits.

“The number one cause of the referee shortage is poor sports manship,” Moore said. “I’ve been told straight up [by new referees]: I’m not gonna go out there for that abuse. I know a lot of good people

22 | THE PROSPECTOR
RICK MOORE ”
WE NEED COACHES, PLAYERS, PARENTS AND FANS TO UNDERSTAND IT’S NOT A PERFECT WORLD OUT THERE.

that could actually officiate the sports. And they just told me ‘I’m not going up there for that.’ We need coaches, players, parents and fans to understand it’s not a perfect world out there.”

Televised sports often lead to unrealistic expectations of the quality of officiation, said Moore. Major league or Division I college referees are at the top of their game, with years of higher-level experience under their belts – lo cal officials can not deliver the same caliber of calls.

“These officials at the top of their game have worked so hard to get up there. So when the littlest mistake is made, it gets blown out of proportion. When people watch that, they think the high school of ficials’ [job] should be that easy. Mistakes are going to be made if you’re at that level.”

Lack of experienced referees and poor sportsmanship have re sulted in poor calls and a decrease in the quality of officials, exasperating coaches and athletes. Said Moore, however, the situation is not hopeless, although it will take a collective effort of coaches, referees, athletes and parents to turn the tide.

Said Moore, “The reason for quitting is [sportsmanship]. But it’s a good 90 to 95 percent good out there. It’s a lot of fun”

50,000 referees lost nationwide since the 2018-19 season

National Federation of State High School Associations

“The girl I was defending would put me in a choke hold, pull back my shoulder, kick me, and grab my legs back when I would try to swim away [...] Through all this, the refs did not call anything, nor acknowledge the danger I felt I was being put through as a player and athlete.”

National Association of Sports Officals

“Well, the referee shortage probably has affected our team on the quality of the available referees. Given that refs are typically not paid well for their position, this means that we’ll end up with less er-skilled refs.”

INVESTIGATIONS | 23
46% of officials said they unsafe due to spectator or coach behavior
Joshua

MATTHEW BENNETT

SPORTS
24 | DESIGNED
CREDITS TO TANVEE SAI

ATHLETE OF THE MONTH

Multi-sport athlete shares his journey with juggling multiple responsibilities

Multi-sport athlete Mat thew Bennett is making a splash in and out of the water.

Bennett plays four sports: volleyball, basketball, soccer and more recently, water polo. He enjoyed the athleticism and challenge water polo present ed because it went along with his excellent player awareness and ball control — all critical water polo skills. He is current ly Cupertino High School’s top-scoring water polo play er, averaging four to eight goals per game.

To Bennett, athletics are part of his identity.

“Some people might dread going to practice,” he said. “But it’s the best part for me […] I love the compe tition.”

This passion is why he never dropped the sports he picked in previous years.

“I love them all equally,” Ben nett said. “They all hold equal places in my heart.”

Bennett’s relationship with sports started when he was very young. His older brother Nick, a CHS grad who also played mul tiple sports, taught him soccer and basketball. He greatly in fluenced Bennett, although they were four years apart in age. The brothers played basketball to gether every night. Said Bennett, “We played super aggressive, super physical. He never let me win.” He says that he always wanted to beat his older broth

er and that motivation devel oped into a passion for sports. Said Bennett,“[My brother] has always been a guiding light for me.”

Balancing multiple sports is no easy feat. For Bennett, a typi cal week in the fall sports season includes 10 hours of water polo practice, five hours of volleyball practice, three hours of basket ball conditioning and sometimes a 12-hour-long club volleyball tournament, amounting to some 30 hours of sports per week.

championship last season and the team was an honorable mention for the all-league team award.

When he is not in a game or tournament, Bennett tries to have fun with his family and friends.

“I like to drive around with my friends and go to Main Street,” Bennett said. “Being able to go out on the weekends with the people you love is something I feel really strongly about.”

MATTHEW BENNETT

Bennett said that the toughest time of year is during home coming week, when three sports practices, homecoming dance practices and preparations, as well as several academic dead lines, crunch down at the same time.

However, the dedication pays off, as Bennett holds a long list of athletic awards. His soc cer team won the state cup back when he was in seventh grade. More recently, his volleyball club team placed outside of medaling in a national tournament.

Bennett helped the CHS basketball team win the league

Bennett’s experience in team sports provided him with many precious things. He explained that playing sports gave him skills to develop positive re lationships with fellow stu dents on the court and in the classroom. Sports connected him with his friends during the pandemic, as he found peo ple willing to go outside and play sports. Another skill Ben nett has gained is finding mo tivation. Said Bennett, “In AP Physics, I like the hands-on experience.” He finds that an in teractive environment helps him stay motivated.

Bennett’s top goal is aca demics, he said. He wants to get into a highly-ranked college, with playing sports as a bonus. “With me playing all these sports, peo ple might view me as a jock,” he said. “I get it, but it’s associated with being dumb, so it’s not how I identify myself”

SPORTS | 25
“ SOME PEOPLE MIGHT DREAD GOING TO PRACTICE. BUT IT’S THE BEST PART FOR ME […] I LOVE THE COMPETITION. ”

OVERCOMING DEFEAT OVERCOMING DEFEAT

The Cupertino High School boys water polo team is no stranger to defeat. No torious for their inability to win, the team faced ridicule from neighboring schools and their own during the 2022 season. On Oct. 13, the team left their senior night with their first victory of the year, earning the respect of the water polo community.

The team managed to win only one game in the two years before their 2022 season. Their downfall continued at the begin ning of this season when they lost 12 straight matches before a victory.

“We always feel that same sense of loss after each game.

But there’s a bigger sense of reflection,” senior and captain Siddharth Kadari said. “We’re al ways looking forward. We keep our heads up. We just decide to

Season Results

1 - 17

move on and get better for our next game.”

Larry Demuth, retired teach er and former boys water polo coach, returned this season to lead the varsity team as head coach alongside Steven Puc cinelli. Demuth has numerous

years of coaching experience under his belt, even leading the 1996 boys water polo team to win the Central Coast Section Championship.

“There was a coaching shortage, and Mr. Pucinelli ap proached me and encouraged me to come out and play,” De muth said. “I feel very strongly about Cupertino High School and their aquatics program. I didn’t want to see it go under, so I came back.”

When Demuth returned, he discovered that the team lacked proficiency in fundamental water polo skills.

“I think the team was inex perienced – the majority of play ers did not come from the swim team, so we were a slow team. Water polo requires swimming

26 | THE PROSPECTOR
Boy’s Water Polo shares insights on their two-year journey to a win

speed, and to really compete, you have to be a fast swimmer,” Demuth said. “Our focus was on fundamentals of water polo this year. Before you can go farther than that, you have to master those fundamentals, and that’s what this year was all about.”

Determined to break their losing streak, the team contin ued to reform their practices.

“During practice, some times we look at the game film, and our coach will point out the things he liked or didn’t like,” Kadari said. “We watch the film to figure out, visually, what we’re doing wrong, what other teams are doing right, what we need to grow on and recurring prob lems.”

Demuth’s coaching positive ly impacted the players this sea son.

“Before we get into the pool and start practicing or playing, our coach will always talk to us about a few specific things we need to work on,” said Jay Shah, a current senior and fourth-year team member. “I really liked the change compared to the previ

ous season because I think that helped us focus on key things.”

The team vastly improved throughout the season – the mar gin of their losses against the same team, Fremont, decreased from 16 to 5.

After a riveting match against Wilcox that stretched two peri

some random chance. It was the accumulation of us practicing, losing all the time and building up new experiences. Finally, we were able to pull through,” Shah recapped.

Following their win, the team shifted their mindsets.

Said Shah, “We’re more con fident in our skills, and we’ve shown the league what we can do [...]. We have that confidence that we are a real team, a com petitive one that poses a threat to other teams in the league.”

The team is optimistically looking forward with elevated spirits and confidence due to their improvement.

ods into overtime, the Cupertino boys water polo team won their first game in two years, their se nior night.

Said Kadari, “Everyone was hyped. There was so much en ergy, and it was coming from ev eryone on the team.”

“Our coaches told us that it wasn’t a fluke. It wasn’t just

“Every year is different; what makes a team is its players. You have to be able to learn and listen. It’s teaching. Obviously, winning at a high level is fun, but watching players improve, like this year, is also fun for a coach,” Demuth said. “I had just as much fun coaching as any other year”

SPORTS | 27
CREDITS TO TANVEE SAI
I FEEL VERY STRONGLY ABOUT CUPERTINO HIGH SCHOOL AND THEIR AQUATICS PROGRAM. I DIDN’T WANT TO SEE IT GO UNDER, SO I CAME BACK.
” LARRY DEMUTH

Little Mx wears headphones while blasting music 24/7

Little Mx got detention for cutting the lunch line or ditching tutorial

You cut the lunch line to get your hands on a mediocre cin namon roll. To your surprise, admin hands you a limegreen slip; now you have to stay in during lunch on Friday. But the cinnamon roll is worth it, right?

Little Mx never does school readings but reads romance novels on their own time

When The Weeknd said, “If it ain’t XO, then it gotta go,” I don’t think he was talking about your hearing ability.

Little Mx sponsors the vending machine

You haven’t read a book for school since seventh grade, yet you have an overwhelming stack of Colleen Hoover books on your bookshelf at home. Ironic.

Little Mx goes to Main Street three times a day to

get Philz

You fell asleep in class, again. You ask your friend to get Philz for you only to realize this is your third cup of coffee today. Your bank account is crying.

Little Mx stays up until 4:00 am to study for their AP classes

You took 91042 AP classes for academic validation. How does it feel to get two hours of sleep every night?

You abuse your Apple Pay every time you go to the vending machine because you get hungry Little do you know you forgot to press complete, now scammed of $5.

Little Mx.

Cupertino

A take on the Little Mx trend for Cupertino High School Students

Little Mx Went On a “Bathroom Break” to Walk Around Campus for the Rest of the Period

You asked your teach er if you could use the restroom 12 minutes into the period only to walk around campus with your friend for the next 70 minutes.

Little Mx didn’t download Securly because they thought it was too suspicious and can’t connect to the school WiFi

You find yourself constantly re jecting the certificate and you can’t use school WiFi anymore. “Oh well, I’ll just use hotspot again.”

Little

Mx

had a letter sent home for excessive absences

You ditched class to study for your upcom ing AP Biology test. One ab sence can’t hurt, right? Wrong. This is your thirteenth absence this week because you thought the same thing every time. Ab solute academic weapon.

28 | DESIGNED BY EVAN LU POSTSCRIPT
ARTWORK BY EVAN LU AND RISHITA SHAH

SWEATHER WEATHER

the transition from summer to fall and getting into the cozy season

Fall, harvest, equinox, au tumn; take your pick. It is the time of year daylight begins to fade while darkness lies ahead. Change is in the air; soccer and basketball re place field hockey and volley ball. Shorts grow into jeans, and pollen turns to rain.

As we prepared for the au tumnal equinox this year, we cut up our UGG boots and cel ebrated the 22nd anniversary of “Gilmore Girls.” We curled up on the couch with our co ziest blankets while watching Rory Gilmore apply to college, all while the seniors wrote their applications. We woke up for school only to fall back asleep, confused by the darkness peering into our bedroom win dows. We dug through our closets to find our favorite flan nels and long sleeve shirts. It is a stressful time for most of

us as we cram before finals season and take the last push to bump up a letter grade.

We have changed our Starbucks orders from cold iced coffees to seasonal pumpkin spice lattes and re stored scarves from the boxes in the garage. The wax of our last At The Beach candle from Bath & Body Works has melt ed away just in time for us to buy the fall collection’s Warm Vanilla Sugar.

People often overlook fall due to the red and green de cor lining Target shelves the second after Halloween takes place; there is no time to en joy pumpkin spice caramels without seeing racks lined with candy canes. Take a chance to enjoy all autumn has to of fer. Beautiful shades of red, orange and yellow emerge to replace the previous green while the weather shifts to the unwelcoming sight of winter.

As the leaves fall, we hear the crunch beneath our fleecelined boots. We stock up on our favorite Trader Joe’s lim ited pumpkin-flavored snacks and finish them all too quickly. Autumn is home to the cozy and comforting months that motivate us through the start of the school year. So grab your favorite cardigan, queue “Sweater Weather” by The Neighbourhood and get out the door before the sun slips past the horizon and says goodnight

POSTSCRIPT | 29
Describing
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