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RHS sports now four coaches short

January 2010



By Re’anna Morris (’10)

The RHS Sports Department’s coaching roster has taken a major blow, as it is now four coaches short. In the past month, the school has lost its football, tennis, cheerleading and basketball coaches. First to go was football coach Fred Kelley, who resigned in early January after one year. According to Coach Kelley, he took the job under the condition that he would be also hired as a teacher. In an interview with The Daily Republic, Kelley stated that then

(Continued on page 16)

School calender seeking changes By Rachel Balella (’11)

Next year’s school calendar will be a bit different than previous years. The FairfieldSuisun Unified School District trustees are expected to adopt a calendar that will put all the schools on the same track. The plan blends the year-round calendar that some elementary schools have with the traditional schedule of high schools, said Mr. Rick Bryan, who is one of the teachers on the calendar committee. The proposed calendar is this: School will start Aug. 9. There will be a new three-day weekend Oct. 8-10, Thanksgiving vacation will be one week in November; winter break will be three weeks long instead of two, and spring break will be two weeks long instead

(Continued on page 16)

Car of the month Page 9

Students act out one of the possible consequences of texting while driving.

Illustration/David Melad

Driven to distraction Students text themselves into trouble By Nicole Levin (’11)

Senior Raycia Charfauros does not text while driving because she “just doesn’t text. Period.” The same cannot be said about all the students at RHS. Many students such as junior Nolan Weathers openly admit to texting while driving. “I get distracted by life” he says, “not

The sweet taste of chocolate Page 8

texting.” Out of more than 1,000 surveyed. 82 percent admit to texting while driving, according to research from insurance company Allstate. The numbers of RHS students’ texting while driving is nearly tantamount to the national average, based on student interviews. Kiani

Artistic students of RHS

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Garcia, junior class president, summed it up. “The question should be: ‘who doesn’t?” She said that there is “…really no good excuse for texting while driving, and yet people do it anyways.” According to, 4,000 teens die in the United States each year from car accidents.

(Continued on page 16)


School News… Pages 1-5,16 Entertainment… Pages 6-9 Opinion… Pages 10-13 Sports… Pages 14-15

Rodriguez High School

January 2010

Page 2

Club of the month helps students prepare By Khyona McCrear (’11)

For most high school seniors, college is right around the corner, definitely adding to “mountains” of homework, insane loads of stress, and less time to relax. While probably thinking twice about keeping your nose “stuck in the books” over the next four years, it is well worth it thanks to F-109. The College Club indeed prepares students for a successful education including scholarships, ACT/SAT information, upcoming FAFSA deadlines, and visiting local universities. “Since I am a first generation attending college, the most important thing is accomplishing my dreams,” says President Maria Espinoza.

Senior Jaime Solorzano is also excited about attending college. “I wanted to be aware and on track for applying to college because then we are prone to being more successful in life.” Not only will this inspiring club look fantastic on college applications, but it will also enhance leadership skills and responsibility. Vice president Alexis Fleming says she really enjoys participating in the club. “It is easier to be involved in College Club, rather than figuring out information on your own.” While visiting other local universities is also in the plans, the college club encourages all students to be successful throughout the future.

Members of the RHS college club.

iPod near D-Hall. She kindly turned it into the office even though the iPod was damaged

from being stepped on. “If I lost any electronics at school, I would want somebody to turn it into the office because parents work hard to buy us nice things,” said Ivett. The next day, Jessica noticed a green and silver cell phone near E-hall while going to fifth period. Since everybody notices cell phones, she said, “people were just passing by, like it was a leaf.” Although she almost passed it by herself, she also turned it into the office.

“Turning in a cell phone is the right thing to do because I know how losing things feels,” said Jessica. Assistant Principal Kristen Witt praised these two for their Samaritan actions. “Nowadays, electronic items such as iPods and cell phones are sought after and very expensive items. When an item such as these is found, an individual might consider keeping it. The students who turn these items in have found their inner strength to do what is right. These students are truly commendable.”

By Nicole Levin (’11)

will be given to Mission Solano to aid Fairfield’s homeless shelter in its year-round task to assist the homeless and hungry in Solano County. The drive ends Feb. 26, and anything is appreciated, club members said.

Do you want to work for the newspaper?

“Students do it all. They come up with the story ideas. They write the stories. They take the pictures. They sell the advertising and they design the pages. They also distribute the newspaper.” The newspaper is a member of the American Scholastic Press Association and the National Scholastic Press Association. The staff takes first and second places in those annual contests. The Stampede is published monthly and is usually distributed during tutorial. If you are interested, see Mrs. Bowen in F-106.

Photo/David Melad

Staff praises students’ honesty for doing it the RHS way By Khyona McCrear (’11)

From iPods to cell phones — who does not feel great owning the hottest items? Brand new iPods to stylish cell phones? Knowing you have what everybody desires, gives you a sense of euphoria, until it all comes crashing down when you realize it is no longer in your possession. The sudden “butterflies” of losing everyday materials can be frightening, but senior Ivett Ornelias and junior Jessica Pechner are great Samaritans. After lunch, Ivett discovered a black video

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Mission Solano needs paper products In these hard economic times the Social Justice club is doing its part to help the community. You can help too by bringing in paper plates, plastic silverware, cups and napkins to room E213. The donated paper products

Do you like to write or take photographs? Are you a good cartoonist? Are you curious about our world? If you answered yes to any of those questions, consider taking journalism at RHS. Adviser Rebecca Bowen is taking applications for next year’s staff. She is looking for students who are good writers, responsible, and curious. “There is a job for everyone,” she said.

Rodriguez High School

January 2010

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Rodriguez weekly broadcast is back News show is now giving information about college By Annalisa Kongvongsay (’11)

Five, four, three, two, one. Mustangs, the broadcast is back. The show didn’t air first semester due to some technical difficulties, but video production teachers Debbie Cook and Patricia Hernandez are working hard to keep it running. The broadcast is a news show dedicated to getting information about college events, what classroom activities and school sports news. Mrs. Cook is the third teacher to be a part of this news show. “It’s a lot of work,” she said The very first time RHS had a broadcast was in 2001 when Ms. Hernandez brought it to life. “I had a ghetto studio,” she said. She worked on the broadcast for about three years until it became too difficult to keep going with such a small studio. Finally, in 2007 RHS received a state grant of $250,000 and a larger studio was built. Then Mr. Jeremy Jeffries ran the broadcast for a couple of years. He left and Ms.Hernandez recruited Mrs. Cook to help. The broadcast didn’t air due to reconfiguration by previous workers on the show. Ms. Hernandez explained that the district tech coordinator wanted the studio back to its original specks so that future sponsors could take over and run it with ease. The studio is still under construction, so the shows are pre-recorded for the time being. Ms.

Hernandez said they hope to be live within a couple of weeks. Ms. Hernandez lets the crew decide what they want to see and explains that the broadcast is more “fresh” this year. “Mrs. Cook and I are really dedicated to making it entertaining for the students,” said Ms. Hernandez. “A lot of students want to get into this field as a career.” Senior Armando Rafael edits videos and puts the broadcast together. “Editing is something I do on my free time and it’s fun,” he said. Watching music videos has influenced him to be a video editor as a side job. “I like helping out the school because they need me,” said Armando with a smile. Junior Taylor Saenz is the main anchor. She reports the weekly bulletins. Taylor’s friend was a part of the broadcast last year and recommended that she try it. “I wanted to try it. It looked like a lot of fun,” said Taylor. She likes being able to inform students about the news. “Everyone makes it enjoyable,” she said. She said it is not a hard job. “It’s more nerve-wrecking because I don’t want to say the wrong thing,” said Taylor. She’s thinking about being a part of the broadcast next year, but “professional-wise, no,” she said. Junior Jessica Pechner is a sports an-

Ms.Hernandez and Mrs.Cook (left to right) pose in the broadcast room.

Photo/Bria Howse

chor. She started anchoring when she was in middle school for her video class. When she’s in front of the camera, she improves and tries to make it a piece of her own rather than just reading off of a script or a teller prompter, she said. “It’s an adrenaline rush,” she said about being in front of the camera. She has been thinking of being a weather anchor. “It’s a career path of mine,” she said. Senior Adrian Thomas is a camera operator and a video editor. Last year was when he

got really into filming in Mr. Jeffry’s class and started making his own films. During the summer he attended event’s and filmed with Mr. Jeffry and new that it’s what he wanted to do. He’s always wanted to be a part of the broadcast for RHS. “It’s stressful but it’s fun,” said Adrian. He is planning to attend the Academy of Arts College in San Francisco for film and broadcasting. The broadcast is helping students and helping them get a jump start for their future.

Rebecca Thompson (11’)

“write a check for about $10,000,” it’s not that easy. On the bright side, there will still be a swim season, thanks to being able to practice at the pool at Solano Community College (SCC). Unfortunately, this pool will likely be shared with Armijo’s swim team and SASO, a community swim team. Home swim meets – probably on Wednesdays – will also be held at SCC. Rodriguez and Armijo swim teams might have to fight over space to hold meets. If the solution is to share, our meets could end up being at a later time and could possibly take longer. Ms. McLaughlin suggested a carpool system for swimmers in need of transportation to the college. Everyone on the swim team is dissapointed with the change and looking forward to swim.

RHS swimming pool update As most know, the water polo teams didn’t get to use RHS’s new pool during their fall 2009 season due to district budget cuts. The district determined that it cost too much to heat the pool. The swim coaches, as well as some swimmers and their parents, were hoping that a solution could be found before the spring swimming season began. But the money just isn’t there, they have concluded. Because RHS is a newer school, it doesn’t have the longtime financial network that a school like Fairfield High has. Fairfield High has raised enough money to heat its pool; however Armijo and RHS will share the Solano Community College pool. Varsity swim coach Sarah McLaughlin concluded that while she may want to just

Working for the man Rodriguez High School

January 2009

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Students enjoy the perks of having jobs By Annalisa Kongvongsay(’11)

When the final bell rings for school to end, some students head for sports practice, some go straight home, and others head for work. But for some, it’s not just for a couple of hours – some work four or more hours on school nights. Junior Daniel Garcia has two jobs. He works at Kmart in Fairfield five days a week, and at Kuman Learning Center two days a week. Between both jobs, he works 24 to 30 hours each week. He says that the only time his jobs interferes with school is when he has to work at both on the same day. On those days, he heads to Kuman from 4 to 6 p.m., then straight to Kmart for a 6:1510 p.m. shift. “You have to do everything at a fast pace,”

Daniel said. Daniel is a data clerk and an English tutor at Kuman Learning Center. He answers phones, puts students’ information into the computer, pulls inventory and tutors fourth- through eighth-graders. “I enjoy it very much,” said Daniel. “I like working with kids.” When Daniel works at the center he starts right after school, working from 4 to 8 p.m., but says he has learned to handle his time wisely. He’s been working at Kmart for three months. “I like to be independent and make my own money,” said Daniel. “I like what I do.” At Kmart, his duties including working on the sales floor, helping customers, and doing maintenance in the men’s department.

Junior Daniel Garcia doing his daily duties

Photo/ Annalisa Kongvongsay

French teacher stuck in France By Lisa Zacarias (’11)

In the past few years alone, the mail truck carrying his travel documents has been hijacked, a bank robber has stolen his identity, and his flights have been delayed for one reason or another. Needless to say, French teacher Sebastien Remy-Drysdale hasn’t had much luck when it comes to traveling to France over winter break.This year’s vacation was in itself hectic. He had gone simply to visit his family and attend his nephew’s baptism, but right when he got to Paris, the Al Qaeda-linked Christmas Day bomb plot on the Amsterdam-Detroit flight happened. If that wasn’t enough, his travel visa had expired, so the next day, after he went to the embassy to renew it, things only went from bad to worse. “They were freaking out [about the bomb threat],” he said, “so they made further verifications with everyone.” The sudden new procedures meant that he had to make another appointment, but that wasn’t easy either. “The problem with the embassy is,” he

said, “that every time you call, it costs $20! The first thing they do when they pick up is ask for your credit card number – only afterwards do you get a ‘bonjour.’” Moreover, the only reason you can call is to schedule an appointment, meaning that Mr. Remy-Drysdale wasn’t able to ask about the status of his papers. “They didn’t care about Mr. Remy’s passport,” he said wryly. “They didn’t care that Mr. Remy had to go back to Rodriguez.” It was obvious to him that things weren’t going to be ready in time for his flight, so he had to reschedule and stay a week later than planned. He flew back on Jan.13, and arrived on Jan. 14. “I’m just not lucky when traveling to France over Christmas break,” he said. “No problemo in summer.” His Visa’s good for three years, and only time will tell what might happen to him the next time he has to get it renewed.

Rodriguez High School

January 2010

Dancing through life

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Del Toro twins find outlet for their creative side By Alantae Breggs (’11) There is a long line of creativity that moves through our campus that we don’t know about. RHS has a wide range of musicians, artists, dancers, singers and many other students who possess great talents. Among them are Alysha and Ariana Del Toro. These twin sisters started competitive dancing at a young age with Dance Direction, before they were invited to become members of The Lisa Clark Dancers, where they began studying jazz, tap, ballet, modern, and several other styles of dance. The different styles of dancing captured them so powerfully that they were convinced that they, too, would grow up to be influential dancers. Alysha says she loves dancing; it became her niche. She has no plans to stop. Ariana said she loves when she learns a piece of choreography that she connects to, which is why she thinks she started dancing in the first place, and why she loves it. The seniors get a tremendous amount of support and inspiration from their mom, family, and friends, they said. “It takes an athlete to dance, but it takes an artist to be a dancer,” Ariana says. Alysha’s favorite parts about dance are being exposed to new styles, meeting new instructors, and new challenges. She prefers hip-hop and jazz styles of dance. Ariana developed admiration as a lyrical and contemporary dancer when she was commended by an instructor, who said she danced with her heart.

Get your money’s worth at Chipotle Mexican Grill

Alysha and Ariana, 17, are passionate about their work as dancers. They said dancing represents their creative outlet and is the only thing that really pushes them. One of the their biggest challenges is trying to balance school and dance, and to keep progressing in both areas. Both are honor roll students. While the girls struggle some to find their own individuality, they do share the same hobbies. Besides dance, they both enjoy snowboarding, wakeboarding, and drawing. Alysha loves doing anything artistic in her

spare time. As for Ariana, she wants to improve her wakeboarding and snowboarding skills. They have hopes to attend Saint Mary’s College and eventually enter into the medical field. The future holds endless possibilities. They strive to keep improving not only as students and dancers, but as artists. “Always give feeling to everything you do and never half a-- anything,” Alysha says.

Imagine eating three full carne asada tacos with cilantro, rice, lettuce and sour cream for only $6.61. That was my first experience eating at Chipotle Mexican Grill, a busy environment that looks like a warehouse inside. Chipotle specializes in burritos, tacos, fajita burritos, burrito bowls, and salads. You can choose from chicken, steak, carnitas, barbacoa, or vegetarian meat for your tacos or burrito. There are also kid meals for the little ones that come with quesadillas or small tacos. If you’re not so hungry, I would suggest getting a side order that consists of chips and salsa or chips and guacamole. The side orders are all about $3. Burritos and tacos prices range from $5.75-$6.61 depending on what type of meat you choose. Chipotle is a fast service restaurant where you get your food and then seat yourself. Come enjoy your favorite taco or burrito anytime from 11 a.m-10 p.m. any day. Chipotle is at 1568 Gateway Blvd., Suite B across from the Westfield mall.

a site anyone can look at is setting yourself up. I don’t do sexting, but if a couple has trust in their relationship and you know your boyfriend wouldn’t share the photo with anybody, then there’s no problem in doing it.” “You just want to make your boyfriend happy. When he asked me for the photo, I felt a little weird cause it was something I never did before. Once he receives one photo, he’s going to want another one,” says a freshman who asked to be left anonymous. Teenagers also send teasing, flirtatious text messages that are not always nude.

“I didn't show my face in it, and I wasn't naked. It’s like, once you give into any little thing, it’s just another little piece of innocence he's taken away from you. Now-a-days, girls don't even care about their morals.” Sending and receiving suggestive photos has become a huge issue in society, especially with criminals. Vacaville CHP officer Braulio Mendieta has been arresting criminals for many years now. Regardless, “almost all of the criminals CHP officers have dealt with had some sort of child pornography in their cell phone.”

He shares that California has not really hit the issue because we are more of a liberal state, “unlike Vermont and Ohio, which are more conservative states. They have already introduced legislation towards sexting.” “As a CHP officer I would advise teenagers the dangers in sexting and how no matter what your age is, it’s a bad judgment.” Despite feeling under pressure sometimes, teens may not always think about what can happen if they get caught. Depending on the way you look at the situation, there can be many consequences to sexing.

Twin sisters dancing away

Courtesy Photo

Sexting causes teen-age controversy By Brittany Hernandez (’11)

“Send me a sexy picture” is, in fact, a commonly used text message teenagers receive now-a-days. Sexting is sending erotic messages via texts or emails with sexually explicit words or photos. This is a new trend teenagers have been easily influenced to follow. What do RHS students have to say about sexting? Senior Shalamar Jamerson believes there is nothing wrong with sexting unless you’re doing it over MySpace. She said, “Exploiting your pictures over

Rodriguez High School

Page 6

January 2010

The couple that lunches together, stays together By Rebecca Thompson (’11)

Juniors Kayla Trantina and Devin Underwood are the love birds who never fight, ever. They’ve known each other more than five years and met through a mutual friend. However, it wasn’t love at first sight. They were acquaintances for three of those five years and became friends before Devin asked her out a year later in January of 2009. The cute duet sits together at lunch every day. Devin loves how “Kayla can be herself instead of acting like a girly girl around me.” Kayla compliments Devin back. “He doesn’t try to be macho or cool; he just acts like himself around me. That’s why we never fight, we have no secrets.” Besides being true to each other, Kayla and Devin have lots of things in common. “We both have an obsession with Will

Ferrell,” they said at the exact same time. Their favorite movie is “Elf,” in which Ferrell is the star. The two enjoy being goofy and comical towards each other and their friends. Kayla likes to do different voices, like a British accent. Devin makes it to almost every one of Kayla’s water polo games and swim meets and Kayla tries to go to every one of Devin’s football games, home and away. Junior Kelsey Johnstone said she admires how Kayla hasn’t forgotten about her other friends. “I love that I can still have a conversation with Kayla even though she’s with Devin,” Kelsey says. Kelsey also has become good friends with Devin and likes that she can enjoy the company of both without feeling like a third wheel.

Devin and Kayla sit together at lunchtime everyday.

Sexy drama, yet mediocre plot In “Blood and Chocolate,” Vivian, the teenaged protagonist, keeps a dark secret. Each full moon this West Virginia teen changes into a wolf. It’s hereditary. After her pack mates kill a man and set fire to a barn,

the pack is forced to move to the suburbs of Maryland. When she starts her new school, she is shunned and tagged as dangerous. When she falls in love with a boy named Aiden, it causes an uproar in her family pack. The leader of the pack starts to show an interest in Vivian, which causes her mother to be jealous of her because her mother has a crush on the leader. Vivian is caught in a web of love and deceit. As her love for Aiden grows, she yearns to tell him her secret. As she grows, so does her hunger for acceptance and a deeper

relationship. I give this book, which is 164 pages, three and a half stars. The author Annette Curtis Klause has one other book called “The Silver Kiss,” which is a vampire tale. If you like mythology or extreme fiction, check out this read.

The colored key riddle By Lisa Zacarias (’11)

Jerry has hidden Tom’s wallet. He has told Tom that he will get it back if he finds it. Jerry has laid five colored keys in a row. One of them is the key to a room where Jerry is hiding Tom’s wallet. Using the clues, can you determine the order of the keys and which is the right key? Red: This key is somewhere to the left of the key to the door. Orange: This key is in the middle. Yellow: This key is next to the key to the door. Green: This key is three spaces away from the key to the door (2 between). Blue: This key is not at one of the ends. The answer to this riddle can be found in our online publication. Go to:

Photo/Rebecca Thompson

Kardashian Showdown: Kim versus Kourtney By Chelsea Ramos (’10) and Alantae Breggs (’11)

Kim or Kourtney Kardashian, you choose. “Keeping up with the Kardashians” is an American reality TV series airing on the network channel E! that documents the lives of the Kardashian/Jenner family. It is the highest-rated series among women aged 18 to 34. Kim Kardashian, 29, is a celebrity best known for modeling and for her appearance on their family reality show. Kourtney Kardashian, 30, is best known for her appearances on the family reality show as well as “Kourtney and Khloe Taking Miami.” They are the daughters of late Robert Kardashian, who was one of OJ Simpson’s attorneys during the murder trial. Their step-father is former Olympian Bruce Jenner. Their family lives in Calabasas and owns a clothing boutique called Dash. So, which Kardashian do RHS students like the best? We picked six random classes with the only criteria being that we wanted at least one class representing each grade level. Those voting preferred Kim Kardashian with a count of 65 votes. Kourtney received 43 votes. The rest of the students had no opinion.

Rodriguez High School

January 2010

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‘Nine’ proves less than a perfect ten The musical ‘Nine” has been a longawaited arrival at movie theaters and has been accumulating award nominations left

and right. “Nine” tells the story of a famous director who, through his many infidelities and fantasies, finally realizes what truly matters in his life. Although it has been so highly praised, “Nine” is simply not as good as one would be led to believe. The production of the film is top-notch and has the glitz of a musical. However, the general storyline of the film is set in a way that never truly concludes. Some scenes are almost randomly placed in the film and seem completely useless if not for the musical number that ensues. Consequently, the

ending of the film brings about more questions than answers. If you go to see this movie, I would suggest not going with anyone that you wouldn’t be comfortable seeing a provocative movie with. Most all of the musical

Complicated friendship should take it slow Dear CeCe, OK, so I’ve known this girl since eighth grade, and we have been friends ever since. Then, in ninth grade, we went out for a couple weeks, and then we broke up. Two weeks later she went out with my friend; then we got into a fight and didn’t talk all summer. Before school started we became friends again. Now it is almost the end of the year and I still like her, always have. What should I do? Would it be awkward to ask her out? -Mystery Dear Mystery, It is good that you are friends with her again, but I would hold off on asking her out. You two only went out a couple weeks and then she went out with your best friend almost immediately after. In my opinion, it makes it seem like she did not value the relationship you two had if she purposefully did something




like that right after the break up. Also, why did you two break up? Sometimes it is better to realize what does not work rather than waste time and emotion on something that you wish could work. You should also take into consideration how she may feel about the subject. You guys did not talk all summer and even though it may be all right now, it has still put a wedge into the relationship whether you want to admit it or not. Girls do not forget things like that easily. The best thing you could do is build the friendship up to where it

5 4 For Sudoku Puzzle 3 answers, go to our online website: 2 8 9 7

2 7 9 8 5 9 3 7 8 2 6 4 3 4 9 3 7 1 5 4 8 5 2 3

By Krysta Mccullough (’10)

is not still so fresh. Do not worry about time and school ending because if you guys really have any connection, you will find ways to hangout over summer. Just because school is ending does not mean you should rush anything. I say you wait and see how it goes. -CeCe Dear CeCe, My mom and dad just got divorced less than a year ago. The whole situation was really stupid, but my dad has just continued to make everything even worse for all my siblings and me. Eleven days after the divorce, my dad got remarried to this lady who I barely knew. She has turned out to be really nice and I am fine with her now, but at first it upset me. Ever since then, though, my dad has been a totally different person. He constantly yells at my siblings and me, he does not pay attention to anything that we say, and he has started to dress like a teen-ager. He even grew his hair out way long! I have always been really close to my dad but now I can’t even stand to be in the same room as him. What should I do? -Daddy Issues Dear Issues, You obviously really care about your Dad so the best thing you could do is talk to him about how you feel. Before you do though, you might want to think about why he may be acting this way. His fresh marriage and newfound happiness could be the reason for his sudden change in personality. The fact that you originally objected to his marriage could be the reason why he gets angry. I would try to think about it logically before approaching the subject with him so it does not end up as a fighting match. -CeCe

numbers are incredibly sexual and could create tension if you were with someone such as your mother. The movie is slightly racier than the trailers let on, and if you feel like it would make you uncomfortable, skip it. This movie is not for everyone. The humor in the film is something that is an acquired taste. Think twice and do some research before deciding to see this film. I give it three out of five stars. “Nine” is rated PG-13 for sexual content and smoking.

Loving ‘Sweet Dreams’ “You could be a sweet dream or a beautiful nightmare. Either way, I don’t wanna wake up from you.” Yes, it’s part of the lyrics from Beyonce’s new song “Sweet Dreams.” This is yet another one of my favorites, very high up in my playlist. “Sweet Dreams,” immediately drew me in when I first heard it on the radio. The lyrics are catchy and memorable, while the beat is upbeat and fun to dance to. I’m not sure what attracted my attention the most — the beat or the lyrics. The lyrics are sweet and any teen-age girl who has love in her life can relate to. The tempo is upbeat. I give this song 5 out of 5 stars. I can relate to it. The lyrics are fun to sing, the upbeat tempo makes me want to dance. It’s not very easy for a song to appeal to me enough to get 5 stars. Beyonce “Knowles” was born Sept. 4 1981 in Houston. That makes her 28 years old. Her debut solo album, “Dangerously In Love” released in 2003 topped both the R&B and pop charts in America as well as the main album charts in Canada and the UK. She has had four top ten singles on the Billboard Hot 100, including “Crazy In Love” featuring Jay-z and “Baby Boy” featuring Sean Paul.

Rodriguez High School

Page 8

January 2010

Staff samples Valentine chocolates By Nicole Levin (’11)

There is a saying that states that the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach. When it comes to Valentine’s Day this is especially true. A person can never go wrong with a box of chocolates… or can they? To help answer the question of which chocolate is truly the tastiest, The Stampede staff has put their taste buds to work. If one truly wants to impress their valentine, Russell Stover seems like the best bet. A box, which is available in a variety of sizes, also includes an assortment of chocolates and truffles. With flavors ranging from coconut to caramel, it universally appeals to all people on the chocolate spectrum. The only down side with this is that you don’t really know what you are biting into. However, a warning goes out to those with bad teeth. The caramel flavors are incredibly chewy. Russell Stover’s chocolates are not the right choice for a grandparent, or anyone in the denture wearing field. The Classic Ghirardelli Squares have a much softer caramel and their flavors are less surprising. For dark chocolate lovers ,they are the choice. Their gooey filling, which comes in raspberry, peppermint, and caramel, make for a sticky but not unpleasant treat. Costco is great for a variety of things, but when it comes to chocolate, its Kirkland Brand does not make the cut. The fla-

One of the chocolates the staff tasted was Hershey’s Pot of Gold. vors were incredibly rich, and while a few Chocolate Brand people loved the chocolates, the majority of Ghirardelli Squares The Stampede Staff was not impressed. The peanut butter flavor was disappointing, and Russell Stover as Rebecca Thompson put it, Kirkland- Chocolates “People are better off buying a Reese’s.” of the world Hershey’s Pot of Gold selection left a few staff members with a bad taste in their mouth. Hershey’s Pot of Gold

Photo/David Melad

Flavor BBD

Appearance C B C



While the design on the chocolates was aesthetically pleasing, Junior Brittany Hernandez did not like the taste. She stated that the only thing good about the chocolate was the

heart- shape box it came in. Overall, however, this brand was well liked. Remember, it is also important to make

sure that your valentine does not have any obscure allergies, and if all else fails, flowers are a nice alternative.

your way may seem the best, considering the insight of others can benefit you if you allow it to. Taurus (April 20 - May 20): There have been many things going on in your life and it’s almost overwhelming. Resist the urge to blame yourself. Simply take a deep breath and the solution to your stress will make itself clear. Gemini (May 21 - June 21): A big decision lies ahead and you are afraid to face it. While you may find it hard to trust in yourself know that the quickest way to failure is through hesitation. Cancer (June 22 - July 21): There are big problems that you have in your life right now. Be willing to devote your time and energy towards solving them and they’ll be gone in no time.

Leo (July 22 – Aug. 23): You’ve never been one to shy away from anything. Be proud of your boldness because it will be exceptionally useful this month. Virgo (Aug. 24- Sept. 23): You have a tendency to be blunt when talking to people. Being honest is good, but if you are too direct then you may end up hurting those around you. Libra (Sept. 24 – Oct. 23): This month has been fairly uneventful for you. Enjoy the quiet atmosphere which surrounds you because it is merely the calm before the storm. Be wary of complications to come. Scorpio (Oct. 24 – Nov. 22): You are rather comfortable with your present situation. However, it is not going to last. Prepare yourself for inevitable changes. Sagittarius (Nov. 23 – Dec. 21): You have

been unusually irritable this month. Even little things seem to annoy you. This has been placing distance between you and those closest to you. It is best to try to reconnect with them, but you should first wait for your temperament to return back to normal. Capricorn (Dec. 22 – Jan. 20): You have a secret that you are debating whether to tell people or not. The prospect of revealing it scares you but keeping it in drives you crazy. Just take a minute to weigh the consequences of both options before making your final decision Pisces (Feb. 20 - March 20): Confidence has become your best friend this month. If you continue to take new opportunities then this boost of confidence will become second nature rather than temporary.

Happy birthday mindful Aquarius Aquarius (Jan. 21- Feb. 19): People can read your emotions fairly easily. Whatever is on your mind clearly shows itself on your face. Even if you try to hide it, you often find that you can’t. It’s best to stop trying to hide it and accept that it’s ok to be open about how you feel. Aries (March 21 - April 19): You are notorious for being hard headed and unwilling to listen. You refuse to budge from your way because you don’t agree with others. While

Artistic minds roam the campus

Rodriguez High School

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Aspiring photographers and painters inspire others By David Melad (’11)

Walking the halls of RHS, you can spot the athletes showcasing their achievements on lettermen jackets, the academic geniuses with their textbooks, and even the fashionable modeling the newest fads. But one thing that may not be obvious to the eye is the abundance of artistic minds roaming our grounds. One of these underrated artists is sophomore Abby Alcala, whose hobby is photography. Abby has been taking shots of the world around her for years now. She first really got into it when she discovered the wonders of the macro button. Abby later furthered her involvement when she signed up for Flicker and learned from other photographers. The camera she captures her work on is her family’s Canon Power shot sd900. “To be a true ‘art’ photographer, you have to be able to look at things from a new perspective. Take risks. Experiment with your camera.” Abby also works a lot with Photoshop giving her the ability to create different ways to view photos. The photo displayed is taken at Discovery Kingdom and is of the carousel by the fountain. Abby has an impressive collection of photos she has taken; her work is always growing and improving.

Courtesy Photo

This photo was taken by Abby Alcala.

‘I think lots of people are creative; they just do not want to show it.’ Another talented individual you may come across is junior Anjelica Sauerwin. Anjelica has been painting since she could hold a brush, finding it a perfect outlet to relieve stress and show a sense of individuality. Originally borrowing her sister’s supplies until her family bought Anjelica her own equipment, and she’s been brushing on canvases ever since. Anjelica finds inspiration in other artists’ works and recreates things she observes on a daily basis but through her own interpretation. “I think lots of people are creative; they just do not want to show it.”

This painting was done by Anjelica Sauerwin.

Betty Blue is a beauty that doesn’t bug her owner By Re’anna Morris (’10)

Photo/Re’anna Morris

Senior Logan Wooden posing by his beetle “Betty Blue.”

Photo/David Melad

A shiny little bug has crawled its way into the Rodriguez High School student parking lot – a blue Beetle. Translating to “The people’s car” in German, the Volkswagen Beetle is known as a classic in the automotive industry, and senior Logan Wooden would definitely agree. “It was cheap, it’s great on gas, it’s really fun to drive…and it’s a lot simpler than modern cars.” he says.

Named “Betty Blue,” this 1970 Volkswagen is no ordinary Beetle. Logan has added a new stereo system, racing seatbelts, and a set of fuzzy blue dice to his car. “I like making modifications on it and making it my own.” This unique beauty may not be the newest car parked outside, but when you hear her engine running as Logan pulls out of the lot, Betty will be sure to catch your eye.


Rodriguez High School

Cartoon/ Rebecca Thompson

order to acquire these coarse pictures. Students have even received photos, shown them off the friends, and once an authoritative figure found out, the student who received the photo, not the student who took the photo of themselves, got into trouble. Sexting is not intended to hurt people, but it has the ability to ruin someone’s reputation or put them into more trouble than they intended to get into. While most of the sexting may not be a big deal, the consequences are, and people should think before they send something that could live in cyberspace forever.

‘Sexting may seem like a fun activity, but it’s more trouble than it’s worth.’

Page 10

Obama: first year in review By Megan Bonilla (’10)

Texting takes a naughty turn To sext, or not to sext. That is the question. Sexting, a method of sending and receiving provocative photos or suggestive messages through e-mail or texts, has become a major issue in today’s society. Teens, even adults, are ditching their Playboy magazines for this much-more accessible method of receiving raunchy nude photographs. Sexting has become a new form of flirtation, and is getting to be increasingly popular. According to the AARP Organization, this racy activity is most pursued by teens between the ages of 13-18, but even adults as old as 55 are participating in the on-coming trend. Sexting is harmless. It technically isn’t hurting anyone, and doesn’t result in death, but if the photos are found by an authoritative figure, or reported, the sender can be charged with child pornography fines. Submitting nude photographs via text message and e-mail may be harmless, but can also be dangerous. The photographs can easily be acquired from involuntary sources. Snatching a friend’s phone to see the picture they received from their significant other is an invasion of privacy that occurs all too often. Starlet Vanessa Hudgens sent scandalous pictures to her boyfriend when she was about 15, and those photos have been leaked onto the Internet for the entire nation to see. This upset her fans, upset her employer, and got her in a world of trouble. Most people involved in sexting aren’t likely to delete the photos right away or make them unavailable to other people, so sexting can also turn into an invasion of privacy. The persons participating in sexting should know of the possible consequences. Sexting is easily and quite commonly used as a form of blackmail after a bad breakup. Photos and embarrassing messages can be posted on the Internet. People have to acknowledge how they’d feel if those photos got out, and if the school system found out. Sexting may seem like a fun activity, but it’s more trouble than it’s worth. There are countless stories about people showing off the pictures they’ve received from friends, and of people texting on another person’s phone in

January 2010

Nov. 4, 2008 marked an historical night for America. It was the night that Barack Hussein Obama was the first African American man to be elected president of the United States. He officially took office Jan. 20, 2009.  Now, one year later it is time to reflect on his presidency. The year before him is faced with many more struggles and challenges. Many have criticized Obama for what they consider a lack of accomplishment. Rather than a failure, his attempts to change things for the better should be seen as much needed progression. The beginning days of his time in office could best be described as fast and furious. In early February his large stimulus plan was one of the first things he initiated. This plan was intended to stimulate and rejuvenate the downward-spiraling economy. The summer brought the start of the healthcare debate which would rage on for months to come. Throughout the debate Obama continually pushed for reforms to be passed, refusing to settle for the present state of things. Things got so heated in health care that when Obama was delivering a speech on it in September, a congressman from South Carolina named Joe Wilson yelled “You lie” in response to the topic of health care for illegal immigrants. Obama, however, accepted the congressman’s apology and moved on. Instances such as these

truly reveal his diplomacy and his ability to just deal with things as they come. He is good at keeping the peace as was demonstrated with his “beer summit” between Henry Louis Gates Jr. and the police sergeant James Crowley who arrested him. The arrest brought much controversy with the issue of racial profiling. Obama chose to intervene by inviting both men to have a friendly beer with him.   Throughout the past year he has exhibited diplomancy in a manner of different ways such as his back to school speech directed towards students from grades kindergarten to 12th grade. He encouraged students to give their best in school as they will be America’s future.    Perhaps the most remembered part of Obama’s presidency thus far is that he won the Nobel Peace Prize in October. People were skeptical of this because they felt as though Obama did not deserve it. According to www., the committee for the Nobel Peace Prize awarded Obama the prestigious prize for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” Obama saw this award as “less of a recognition of his own accomplishments and more as a ‘call to action.’”. He understands there is still much work to be done yet is undaunted by what is to come.     We look forward with hope for what year two will bring.

Losing your religion? Rodriguez High School

Religion has a valid role in our society By Joshua Ortez (‘10)

Core, soul, backbone, center for our being and life. Organized religion sets the backbone for a moral and “refined” student. One who treats others well, respects his superiors and holds a fruitful future. Things change and ideals are as solid as the tides of the ocean. Organized religion is like a set of training wheels that has been created to guide humanity towards a healthy lifestyle that they don’t truly understand, but desire and need. The belief in the religion one chooses isn’t what creates the morality I speak of. It is the rules the religion enforces. If one grows up in a stable faith, the “writtenin-stone” rules that chafe against our natural disdain for authority are permanently engraved in our mental being.I myself have been raised in a Protestant Christian home and, although I think of myself as Agnostic, I learned the basic teachings I grew up with: don’t lie, cheat, commit adultery, hurt another or idolize. Treat each other with respect and respect the meaning of hard work and dedication. I wouldn’t say that any belief should be


forced onto another, but the experiences I have had with organized religion has made me a better and moral individual and I am grateful for that. “I just hate all the rules they make; I mean they don’t let us do anything fun,” says junior Kelley Nettles. What we think is fun are things like going to parties, and we could probably be much more studious, which would be beneficial to our future. Perhaps we need a more solid backbone core soul in our lives because those parties and more risky situations we find ourselves in won’t pay our bills.

Who gives these guys the corner on truth? By Lisa Zacarias (’11)

Religion. It’s one of the most influential aspects of human society, but is it really everything that it claims to be? According to, there are over 4,200 religions in the world, and each one pays homage to a different deity. In accepting one, you deny the others. But, really, what makes any one “right” and the others “wrong?” Aside from that, religions aren’t even


January 2010

Page 11

Cartoon/ Lisa Zacarias

concrete. They can be changed, they can be split into factions, and they can even be completely erased. Take the ancient Greeks, for example. When they were alive, their stories of the Gods were real to them – they were what made the world tick. Now they’re little more than children’s stories. But it was their truth, and if what religions teach is true, how come the truth keeps changing? Even more so, there seems to be precious few who actually follow their entire religious creed. The universal example is the “golden rule.” Sure, we follow it, if you count dropping bombs on each other as treating others the way you want to be treated. Either way, the lessons that these rules are trying to teach can be taught by any competent parent – no religious affiliation is actually necessary. And it’s because of all of this that agnosticism

seems to be the only sensible choice. It is the belief that a higher power might exist, but that it’s not necessarily guaranteed. It is also the belief that if there is a “god,” no one on this planet truly knows what it is, or how to worship it, meaning that organized religions are pointless. A single, general, unifying faith for those who want it would be better in its stead, still providing everything that all of the religious seek – a sense of guidance, protection, and salvation. Regardless, even if religion isn’t infallible, neither is science. The quest to find out exactly how to world works leads only further into the unknown. There may be concepts that humans just don’t have the brainpower to comprehend, so why bother? The truth doesn’t have to be known, or even believed, in order for it to be true.

alternatives. The USDA pesticide data program found 12 different pesticide residues in different bananas, 34 in grapes, and 42 in apples. These pesticides range from cyprodinil to thiabendazole. While their names may appear cryptic, there effects are less so. Exposure to pesticides can result in hormone imbalances, brain dysfunction, and even (and unsurprisingly) cancer, according to the website whatsonmyfood.

com. An apple a day no longer seems as healthy as it once was. The effects of pesticides are even more prominent at the source of food production. Banana plantations common in Costa Rica supply many people with jobs. They are even nice enough to create housing on the plantation for the workers and their families. However, when they spray the bananas with pesticide, they spray the housing as well.

Do you know what your really eating? By Nicole Levin (’11)

In America, a person bites innocently into a banana. In Costa Rica, a child is born with a birth defect. The link between these two seemingly dissimilar actions is pesticides. Pesticides are used on farms and plantations around the globe to prevent unwanted weeds and insects. However efficient these chemicals are, something that is lethal to bugs and plants cannot be healthy for humans.

Cartoon/ Nicole Levin

And they aren’t; the American Medical Association recommends limiting pesticide intake and using for healthier, safer,

Rodriguez High School

Man on the Street By Rebecca Thompson (‘10) What are the most useful and the most useless classes at Rodriguez? What class would you like to have at Rodriguez that we don’t already have? Senior Courtney Ridens “ Econ/ Gov teaches skills that you can apply in the real world. A really useless class is ceramics because it’s usally only taken up to fill up an elective.” Sophomore Rachel Tiss “Any class above algebra 2 is a waste of time unless math has to do with your profession. History is useful because you’re figuring out how the world evolved. One class I want to see at Rod is Latin; it really connects a lot the languages.”

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School lunch could be better Cafeteria lunches might change RHS students eating habits By Re’anna Morris (’10)

Hungry? Feast your eyes on the numerous choices offered in the RHS cafeteria, let your mouth water over the delicious entrees at the lunch windows, or for a quick snack, drop by one of the many snack bars, conveniently available across the entire campus. There’s no need to feel guilty, those gooey enchiladas, greasy slices of pizza, and stacks of cookies loaded with sugar are completely nutritious! What else would you expect from your high school’s food system? They do, after all, emphasize the importance of a healthy diet and exercise in your teenage life. So dig in! Our high school prides itself in being active. Our freshman physical fitness scores have increased since previous years, we heavily

support all of our sports teams, and we are now participating in The Governor’s Challenge for the second year in a row. So if being healthy is so important, why are we being sold such unhealthy foods? Now, this is not to say that all of the Rodriguez Cafeteria cuisines are fattening and harmful. Salads and wraps are offered, and there are low-calorie snacks available to substitute the junk food. Take a bag of chips: the average snack-size bag of chips has at least 9 grams of fat and 300 calories. Here, snack bars are stocked with baked chips, with less than half the fat of a regular bag. However, this is one of the only healthy substitutes offered. Why isn’t fruit sold alongside these chips? If you search hard enough, you might find an apple here or there. How about granola bars? Or

yogurt? These are healthy and filling snacks that’s could be sold, but don’t seem to make the cut for lunch. Drinks are an entirely different matter. Sure, sodas aren’t offered, but Gatorades are. A Gatorade has almost equal amounts of sugar as a Coke, so what’s the difference? Some electrolytes that scientists debate are even beneficial? The lack of carbonation does not make these drinks healthy. Flavored waters, Minute Maid’s Light lemonade, V8 fusions, or Crystal Light drinks would all be better choices than a Gatorade or sugary Capri Sun . With so many other healthier alternatives to satisfy us at lunchtime, there is no reason to continue selling these calorie-loaded lunches. It’s definitely time to make some provisions to the RHS menu.

Project green finds new use for old clothing By Joshua Ortez (’10)

Freshman Kyle Larrick “Science is the most useless class and math is the most useful. I would want to have wood shop here; that’s one class I could really use in life.” Junior Nolan Weathers ‘‘P.E. is the best because it keeps you healthy and being fat sucks. Concepts in algebra 2 and up are never used when you get out of school.’.

Photo/ Rebecca Thompson

Project green is an organization that focuses its efforts on helping the planet stay green using recycling methods that many high school students do not utilize. Over the year they have participated in several activities regarding Rodriguez High and the environment we live in. Some people ask what they will do next for RHS. The answer is “clothing swap” plain and simple. An event involving fashion and recycling utilized to the fullest. When I first heard of this I asked myself “what is a clothing swap?” “A clothing swap is where people give us their slightly used clothes and we let them pick something to take from the clothes that

have been donated,” states sophomore member Avalon Rodriguez. This answer brought up several more questions. I had heard and seen the posters of their last attempt at a clothing swap but failed to see the event. When I inquired as to why, I was told that they didn’t have enough clothing to swap our donations with. But a recent series of donations sets this clothing swap into action as an excellent way to, not only show off our caring for our planet by eliminating waste but to acquire some fashionable new ones. My second question occurred to me as, “Why would RHS want to wear someone else’s old clothes?” the answer wasn’t apparent until I spent some time listening to my friends

speak of a recent shopping trip. They explained that a shirt they purchased didn’t look the way they wanted and they hadn’t kept the receipt so returning the item was impossible. The item was not more than ten dollars so she decided to throw it away. Then the answer came to me. Donate your out of date or recently acquired fashion that you no longer want or can’t return and get someone else’s clothing item of the same history. Don’t waste your money and hurt the environment. Donate and start a new beginning for your style and maybe you can find an expensive brand for free. The RHS clothing swap will be held during lunch on Jan. 27 and 28 in the wrestling room.

Why isn’t Twitter popular with teens? By Carissa Demasi (’11)

Just about everyone knows about Twitter. It’s been written about in the papers and joked about by late-night comics such as Conan O’Brien. is a social networking site (as is Facebook and MySpace) where you can “tweet” little snippets about your life to your friends. You can tweet from any computer even your phone or iPod Touch. But is Twitter really that popular among teens? The answer at RHS seems to be no. Some teens use it, but it’s not nearly as popular as Facebook or MySpace. So why aren’t teens

using Twitter? For one thing, there’s nothing to do. All you do is log in, type a status update in the box that you want to let your friends know, then log out. You only have 140 characters to work with, so your status has to be really short. Or, you have to post what you want to say in 5 different tweets. Another reason is because it’s a different type of social networking site from Facebook and MySpace. Facebook and MySpace are closed sites that are all about connecting with people and sharing information with them. These are networks of people that the user

trusts with your personal information. You know who’s seeing your status because you added or accepted every friend request. But on Twitter, users have no privacy. Whoever wants to see your status updates just has to go to your profile and “follow” you. And you have no say in who follows you. Complete strangers or people you may not want seeing your status, will see it. According to a 15 year old teen of a high school in Washington, It makes teens feel unsafe and exposed that random people are seeing what’s going on in their life. It’s a completely open network.

Rodriguez High School

January 2010

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Does the way a teacher dresses make the teacher? Instructors should wear what they want

Professionals should dress the part By Joshua Ortez (’10)

By Annalisa Kongvongsay (’11)

The way people dress doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be taken seriously or respected. In Hollywood we see celebrities dressing to impress, but that really is just a typical stereotype. People don’t have favorite actors just because of the way they dress. Let’s say you have a teacher who wears suits everyday or wears heals that make a clicking noise every time she walks, does being dressed this way make the individual a better teacher? Does a teachers dress affect the amount of respect they receive from students? Social science teacher Robert Bonifacio says his students are behaving better since he started wearing a suit to class. Really? I’m not so sure. Teachers shouldn’t be obligated to dress in classy suits, heals, or a button-up shirt and slacks; it’s unnecessary. That doesn’t mean that teachers should come to school looking like they’re going to the gym or just got out of bed. Who cares if they wear jeans and shirts? Who even pays attention? As long as a teacher has good teaching skills, then that’s all that matters. Let’s talk about the first day of school. Everybody is wondering what kind of teacher they’ll have. We walk into the classroom, check out their style and their personality. At the end of the day, all students care about is a teacher’s character and teaching style.

Clothes make a man, the adage says. So RHS social sciences teacher Mr. Robert Bonifacio decided to test that idea. He has worn a suit to school each day for a year. He claims that it has made a difference in student behavior. I suspect that he is right, but I wondered why that might be. How could wearing a suit create better behavior? I thought about how attire has affected my opinion of my previous teachers and I realized that the scarier ones dressed more professional. Here’s an example: A teacher who is wearing a “Hello Kitty” t-shirt and tight jeans notices that you are texting in class and asks what you doing. (Clearly, this is a rhetorical question; she knows what you are doing.) She asks that you give her the cell phone so that she can send it to the office. This isn’t your first time getting caught texting in class. You know will have to have a parent pick it up, but the conflict is that your only parent commutes from San Francisco everyday and doesn’t get home until very late in the evening when the school is closed. Do you hand her your valuable connection to life? What if that teacher was wearing a three-piece suit and looked down at you like he was from “The Matrix?” You know that he means business.



“I think teachers that aren’t easy to walk over are respected more,” said an anonymous freshman when asked if teachers are respected more if they dress nicely. “I don’t pay attention to what they wear,” she said. Many students said the same thing. “I respect a person the way they are not the way they dress,” said junior Daniel Garcia. He believes that teachers should dress anyway they want. “ I would not care,” he said if a teacher came to school In sweats. “Teachers should be appropriate, but dress however they want.” Teaching should be a comfortable job but not too comfortable. Sophomore Jazmine Cable thinks that teachers should look somewhat professional. “Teachers shouldn’t be in sweats,” she said. Still, “The way they dress doesn’t affect the way they teach.” When English teacher Mariah Morgan began her teaching career, she wore suits every-

day. As time went on she became more comfortable. She felt she didn’t have to dress that way anymore. She believes that anyone can get respect regardless of what their wearing. She likes to keep her classroom comfortable and expressive— just like her style. “It’s casual but not distracting,” said Ms.Morgan. It’s OK when teachers are casual, the clothing just should not be distracting — like the clicking sound of heals or the feeling of being taught by a priest because he’s dressed in a suit. History teacher Patrick Gai and Principal Amy Gillespie both agree that looking professional doesn’t mean just wearing a suit and that the day to wear jeans is Friday. Mr. Gai believes it’s not OK to wear graphic Tshirts. Mrs. Gillespie said that teachers who dress too casually could get mistaken for students. But most teens can tell if someone is older than 18-years-old. We know who the teachers are. What teachers wear should make no difference.

Sexting is harmless. It technically isn’t hurting anyone, and doesn’t result in death, but if the photos are found by an authoritative figure, or reported, the sender can be charged with child pornography fines. Submitting nude photographs via text message and e-mail may be harmless, but can also be dangerous. The photographs can easily be acquired from involuntary sources. Snatching a friend’s phone to see the picture they received from their significant other is an invasion of privacy that occurs all too often. Starlet Vanessa Hudgens sent scandalous pictures to her boyfriend when she was about 15, and those photos have been leaked onto the Internet for the entire nation to see. This

upset her fans, upset her employer, and got her in a world of trouble. Most people involved in sexting aren’t likely to delete the photos right away or make them unavailable to other people, so sexting can also turn into an invasion of privacy. The persons participating in sexting should know of the possible consequences. Sexting is easily and quite commonly used as a form of blackmail after a bad breakup. Photos and embarrassing messages can be posted on the Internet. People have to acknowledge how they’d feel if those photos got out, and if the school system found out. Sexting may seem like a fun activity, but it’s more trouble than it’s worth. There are

Sexting usually harmless, but you never know By Rachel Balella (’11)

To sext, or not to sext. That is the question. Sexting, a method of sending and receiving provocative photos or suggestive messages through e-mail or texts, has become a major issue in today’s society. Teens, even adults, are ditching their Playboy magazines for this much-more accessible method of receiving raunchy nude photographs. Sexting has become a new form of flirtation, and is getting to be increasingly popular. According to the AARP Organization, this racy activity is most pursued by teens between the ages of 13-18, but even adults as old as 55 are participating in the oncoming trend.

countless stories about people showing off the pictures they’ve received from friends, and of people texting on another person’s phone in order to acquire these coarse pictures. Students have even received photos, shown them off the friends, and once an authoritative figure found out, the student who received the photo, not the student who took the photo of themselves, got into trouble. Sexting is not intended to hurt people, but it has the ability to ruin someone’s reputation or put them into more trouble than they intended to get into. While most of the sexting may not be a big deal, the consequences are, and people should think before they send something that could live in cyberspace forever.

Rodriguez High School

January 2010

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Varsity basketball striving for the best Varsity boys plan to dominate By Ray Maldanaldo (’11)

The Mustangs’ boys basketball teams are determined — on and off the court. At a recent away game against Armijo, both varsity and junior varsity played a close game, but came out on top. The freshmen, unfortunately, lost, but only by a mere point in which Armijo scored in the very last seconds of the game. Varsity has a lot of expectations to fulfill. So far, they have yet to disappoint. With a record of 12-4, the team is dominating its way through the season. Even after their win against Armijo (53 – 50), the boys strive achieve more. “I think we could have done better,” says point guard Rodney Fisher. “We could have played better defense and more boxing out. We gave up a lot of offensive rebounds. I’m happy we won though.” Both Rodney and his teammates are all assured they’ll make it to the championships. The recent game against Armijo was filled with excitement in all three divisions. Junior varsity, by the fourth quarter, was behind by 8, but extraordinarily caught up, tying the game before the final buzzer, forcing the game into overtime. And by the end of

Tyler Idowu attempts to score a point against the Armijo team. O.T., the boys finished strong leading the game by 7. Varsity started out a little slow, letting Armijo get a good 10-point lead. But Rodriguez played a great second quarter and astonishingly finished the first half leading

Great expectations for varsity wrestling team in the 2010 year By Megan Bonilla (’10)

The varsity wrestling team is off to a great start this year. They secured the SCAC league title for a second year in a row last year and in addition they were the 2009 SJS Division III champions. The team has high hopes for doing as well this year. In order to prepare for their matches, the wrestling team has a grueling two-hour practice every day. According to senior wrestler Mark Ocampo, the practice is “hard but good.” This is his third year wrestling and he has an impressive record of 24 wins and 4 losses. He hopes to place in the top eight at state later this year. Why did he chose to do wrestling? “I like tough sports.”

For senior Matt Bowen, this is his second year wrestling though not consecutively. He did it as a freshman and then last year felt the call again when he had class with some wrestlers. “I always thought to myself I could beat them.” So far Matt has a record of 8 wins and 2 losses. Being a part of the team this year, Matt describes them as “a pretty good team, most of them are really dedicated.” Additionally Matt said he felt lucky to have Mr. Michael Clarkston as a coach because “he’s a really good coach and he has a lot of experience.” The wrestling team has promising season in front of them. The next match will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 27 at Hogan.

Photo/Ray Maldanado

33-25. In the second half, an injury occurred on Armijo’s team, but that didn’t slow them down any. Both teams were neck and neck until the very end, RHS of course coming out with the win.

RHS is having a great season this year. Players such a varsity’s Tyler Idowu is without a doubt that his team will finish this year off with excellence. Tyler and his team expect greatness from themselves.

By Rachel Balella (’11)

forts to make the possibility of Stevenenson becoming headcoach reality by getting the parents involved. Most of the varsity team is having their parents write letters to the school supporting the hiring Stevenson. The varsity girls acknowledges that moving up Coach Stevenson would leave the junior varsity team without a coach, and the interview process would simply proceed to find that replacement coach. The junior varsity team will be reunited with Stevenson soon enough, and the varsity cheer squad needs an experienced coach who can help the team live up to their reputation for great cheerleading. Miss Yevette said she supports Coach Stevenson to take her place. “I would love for Shawna, (to replace her) but she has to go through the interview process, and the decision is ultimately up to the school.

Cheerleading coach steps down Two, four, six, eight, who do we appreciate? Mrs. Yvette! Cheerleading coach Ms. Yevette Nanney is stepping down as the group’s adviser at the end of the season. Miss Yevette has led the squad for five years. She said she was stepping down because of the time commitment and because her own daughter was graduating.Some of the varsity cheerleaders said they hope that junior varsity coach Shawna Stevenson will move up into the head coach position. “We’ve won competitions with Shawna already, so the team really trusts her and knows her well,” said junior Vanessa Ceja. Some of the girls said that it is “unfair for the junior varsity to have a better coach than varsity, when Varsity is supposed to be the more advanced team,” states Ceja straightforwardly. The team is taking up further ef-

Rodriguez High School

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January 2010

Male athlete wrestles school Female athlete juggles her and outside activities daily honors classes and basketball By Bria Howse (’11)

It’s 1:30 p.m. and junior Jesse Manriquez has just finished a photography project that took half of the class period. But the day isn’t finished. At 3:30 wrestling practice begins, and for Jesse this means the hard work has just begun. Freshman year ended up being the spark that Jesse needed to start wrestling for the first time, and with success he made the varsity wrestling team. Since wrestling is mainly based on weight class, Jesse sometimes finds himself in a bit of a challenge. “It’s hard sometimes because I only weigh 135, but that doesn’t stop me from taking my opponent down. … But when it’s all over with the feeling of having your hand held up for winning is overwhelming … in a good way,” he said. As much as wrestling is on Jesse’s to-do list, so are his academics. Coach Michael Clarkston makes sure that the athletes on his team are treated just the same as the students in his classroom. “I get no leeway from Clarkston,” Jesse says while laughing. He is in Mr. Clarkston’s conceptual physics class. “Everything, including grades that we get, are earned. If we don’t do well on a test, then that’s what grade we get.” Like many athletes at Rodriguez, tutorial is a big help in getting homework done and staying on top of school work. Since practices can take up a lot of time, Jesse is glad that Mr. Clarkston and the other coaches

By Bria Howse (’11)

Jesse Manriguez

Photo/ Bria Howse

offer split practices which lets varsity players practice first while JV has study hall and vice versa. “A good amount of my homework is done during study hall and tutorial.” Jesse would like to attend Sacramento City College not only to be with many of his friends but also to be a part of a highly ranked wrestling team. To keep his love for wrestling alive, Jesse lives by the quote, “Pain is temporary while pride is forever.” Here are more facts about Jesse. Favorite food: Nachos Favorite color: Red Favorite TV show: “Two and a Half Men” Favorite athlete: Cael Sanderson Favorite drink: Orangina Favorite book: “The Kite Runner” Favorite music: Scream-O and Christian Favorite movie: “Navy Seals”

For sophomore Alliyah Taylor, the ending of basketball conditioning was the beginning of many transformations. “During my freshman year, I was never a point guard,” Alliyah says, “ but this year my coach wanted to see how I did as point guard and it ended up making my skills improve.” When the position as point guard became available, Alliyah saw this opportunity as being exactly what she needed to help carry the team. “I had to work on a lot of the fundamentals, including my dribbling and lay-ups.” Alliyah explains. This season the Mustangs have more freshmen than veterans. “It’s different, but I think they’re doing well and they’re learning the plays really fast. I have a feeling that this season is going to be a good one.” As far as classes Alliyah’s schedule has changed by adding on one English honors class. “I thought I would have trouble with it, but it’s going really well and my grades are

on track, so I’m doing pretty well,” she says with a smile. Alliyah takes advantage of tutorial to get studying done. She also brings her books to study during varsity basketball games. Like every previous season, the Lady Mustangs’ main opponent is Vanden High School. “Mostly all of our focus has been on them and I think we’re ready,” she says with confidence. Alliyah plans to continue playing basketball throughout the rest of her high school career. Here are more interesting facts about Alliyah. Favorite Food: Chicken Favorite color: Purple Favorite TV show: “Keeping up With the Kardashians” Favorite Athlete: Candace Parker Favorite drink: Fruit punch Favorite book: “My Sister’s Keeper” Favorite music: All kinds Favorite movie:“The Princess and the Frog”

Track team shows dedication and promise for season By Rachel Balella (’11)

Pre-season for track has finally started already leaving its participants with no rest. The team practices everyday immediately after school from 3 to 4:15. Drills that focus on speed and strength are the main activities. The official track season starts in early March. The team is making up for its loss of last year’s senior track stars: Nicole Terrell, Terrance White, and Vijay Tidwell. But with some help of our talented new

freshmen and with the support of a number of returning players, they are anticipating a successful season. This year’s seniors such as Anthony Riggins, Kieren Broussard, and Jordan Morrow are left to lead the team to sections and hope to make it to state. “Coach Childs is very passionate about the team”, said third-year track runner Zoram Dean. “He has a lot of experience and knows how to lead the team. He knows his stuff.”

Sophomore Alliyah Taylor enjoys basketball

Photo/ Bria Howse

Rodriguez High School

January 2010

Page 16

Next year school calender seeking changes... (From page 1)

...of one. Mr. Bryan said it was difficult creating a schedule that pleases everyone. “It’s hard to merge the school calendars. Elementary likes their year-round calendar and the schools that were used to a more traditional schedule didn’t want to change their school calendar either,” he said. The process was a lengthy one that involved the school board and the employee unions. “Working with many different groups, like administration, the district, etc. made it hard

to find a compromise that pleased everyone. It was a bargaining thing,” Mr. Bryan said. The calendar was finally agreed upon on Jan. 13. Reactions of students was mixed. Sophomores Rebecca Bommarito and Charles Domingo, who attended year-round schools in the earlier grades, were worried. “This new calendar is going to throw my whole work ethic off, and make it harder to stay organized. Your body gets into a habit of either relaxing, or working hard. It’s nice to

just have three months to relax and not worry about having to go back to school anytime soon,” Rebecca said. Junior Taylor Saenz was also concerned. “Why would they take away more vacation off of the season with good weather? I’d rather have a vacation when the weather’s warm than when it’s freezing and too cold to go outside.” Other students, such as junior Jack O’Brien, welcomed the change. “Heck yes! That sounds amazing to me.

That means another extra week to snowboard, pow-pow!” Still other students were indifferent to the news. “I wish we still had more summer off, but I’m really liken the sound of two weeks for spring break,”said junior Nicholas Warner. Love it or hate it, what will be, will be. “The following years after this should be very similar to the school calendar we have planned,” Mr. Bryan said.

Coach shortages continued... Girls tennis coach loses position for no given reason (From page 1)

By Nicole Levin (’11) and Megan Bonilla (’10)

For the girls tennis team, the 2009 season ended with a league championship. Also ending was Stephanee Lawrence’s position as the Rodriguez girls’ tennis coach with no given reason. This was an unexpected turn of events because she has been girls’ tennis coach since the school opened in 2001. Under her leadership the team was successful taking league in the majority of the 10 years she coached, and at one time held a record of over 50 matches won in a row. Players, such as Junior Kristin Witte, were surprised by her dismissal. “It came out of the blue, and I am worried that our coach next year won’t be able to prepare us the same way.” Former coach Lawrence was herself surprised. “I put a lot of time into coaching… and I

didn’t get a lot of reason.” While at her new teaching position at Green Valley Middle school, she was called into their office and was informed by Rodriguez administration that she would no longer be coaching tennis at Rodriguez. “They didn’t give me a reason, so some people might think the worst.” Lawrence’s major concerns were for the fate of school athletics as a whole. She is worried that teachers, while knowledgeable in their own subjects, lack the experience of other professional coaches to effectively coach a sports team. New state laws give teachers priority when it comes to coaching. “A lot of off-campus coaches are going to be replaced, it is really sad.” Lawrence explained that in the last 10 or 11 seasons she has come, “to love the players and teachers at Rodriguez,” and is going to miss the team.

...athletic director Bob Pickett promised him a position. When the semester ended with still no job, he quit. “If they had something, they would probably hire me, but there’s not a job to be had,” he told the Fairfield newspaper. Previous football coach David Fishleigh, who led the Mustangs to three section play-offs and a 2007 Division title, had previously shown interest in returning to Rodriguez after hearing of Kelley’s resignation. However, he has now decided against the idea. Following the loss of Coach Kelley, girls tennis coach Stephanee Lawrence was fired from her position shortly after. The reasoning behind Coach Lawrence’s dismissal remains vague, under what assistant principal of athletics John Lammon determined as “without cause.” The girls tennis team won five championships under Coach Lawrence. In an interview with Daily Republic sports editor Paul Farmer, Coach Lawrence stated,

“I think it is very typical of the administration at Rodriguez…they can’t keep good coaches. They have a total disrespect for the effort and hours off-campus coaches put into programs.” She also said that she may file a harassment suit against the district. No administrators will comment on the situation, other than that they wish her the very best. Cheerleading coach Yvette Nanney has also turned in her resignation. After five years, she has decided that the amount of time she must dedicate to the team is too much. So what does that mean for the Mustang teams? According Farmer, who is considered an expert on Solano County prep sports, it could jeopardize RHS’s ability to be successful when it shifts from the Solano County Athletic Conference to the Monticello Empire League in 2012. It often takes a coach a couple of years to put together a winning team, as was the case with coach Fishleigh.

Texting while driving continued... (From page 1)

...Numerous students interviewed , such as junior Kausik Mishra, said that texting while driving is “stupid.” “I don’t text while in the process of driving,” he said. “It is really stupid.” math teacher Rick Bryan said. He suggested that maybe teen text even while knowing that it could be dangerous because “they have yet to have a bad personal experience.” This does not appear to be the case with senior Courtney Riddens. As a fervent texter, she was in traffic one afternoon and decided to respond to a text from her mother. She looked at her phone for a few seconds and when she looked back at the road, she crashed into the vehicle in front of her.

“ The car was right there, it seemed to come out of nowhere.” Apparently texting is a hard habit to break. “I still text while driving, even though my mom made me promise not to.” While Courtney was unharmed in her accident, this is not always the case. According to the California DMV “traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for teen-agers in the United States.” It is because of this fact that insurance agencies and programs like are working on educating teens about the perils of distractions while driving so that maybe adolescents will think twice about putting themselves — and others — at risk when they are behind the wheel.

January 2010 issue  

school newspaper