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PonyExpress Volume 45, Number 3 • San Marin High • Novato, California • January 24, 2013

Remembering Recovering from Israel-Palestine Mrs. Allen the Fiscal Cliff Media Bias pg. 4 pg. 3 pg. 7

Car Crash Impacts Community by Garbo Gan

Photo by Downtown Ignacio Tow

In the early Tuesday morning of November 20 last year, a 17-year-old boy driving under the influence crashed his SUV into the ditch at the Tintersection of Sutro Avenue and Vineyard Road, resulting in mild to moderate injury to five passengers and himself. The driver, whose identity will be protected, admitted to having engaged in marijuana and alcohol use prior to getting into the car with five passengers-- two boys and three girls, all San Marin High School students. Coming from Nicasio, the vehicle was traveling down Sutro Avenue at 60 to 80 mph when Vineyard suddenly loomed ahead in the dark. Unable to stop at the dead end straight up, the vehicle crashed through a yellow fire hydrant and a tree before careening into the creekbed. A fountain of water spewed from the pipe of the dislodged hydrant. In the dim street lights, startled residents from the nearby houses ran toward the wreck, some shouting, “Where’s my kid?” The totaled SUV after it was fished out of the creekbed. They met the sight of dumbstruck teenagers of which one required sutures. emerging from the ditch. Although nobody was fatally The driver faced two charges, felony DUI injured, a girl in the back seat suffered from a broken causing injury and felony reckless driving. Apart from jaw, uprooted teeth and cuts. Experiencing pain in their that, he was also charged for violation of laws for drivhips, she and another girl were transported by Novato ers with provisional licenses, which state that during Fire District paramedics to Novato Community Hos- his first year of obtaining the license, he may only drive pital. A boy in the front passenger seat had several cuts,

SM Students Make Waves

Information Courtesy of the Novato Patch

with a parent or licensed driver over 25 years old. When asked to comment on the accident, Mr. Littlefield, the principal, said, “San Marin offers programs... [such as] Every 15 Minutes, DUI in the Schools and Friday Night Live … to inform students about the consequences of using alcohol or drugs and driving. I am saddened by the recent accident that took place during Thanksgiving Break involving San Marin High School students. These types of incidents affect the entire school community. I hope that our school community can learn from this incident to minimize the risk of it occurring again.” It was “terrifying” for Michael LaScala, senior, to hear about his friend’s involvement in the accident. He reflects, “It could happen to anybody, DUI or not. I wish it didn’t have to come to injury and death for us to wake up.” Being a driver, he vows to try his best to keep his friends safe on the road. “[I] realized how much my fellow students mean to me,” he says. Sarah Campos, senior, puts it up front. “I’m disappointed,” she says. “Everyone at our school should know by now that drinking and driving isn’t a practice that anyone should indulge in and many, many people die from car accidents each year. If our friends are doing something that could harm themselves or others, such as drinking and driving, we should tell them to stop because they will thank you in the end.”

Harvard and University of Utah welcome athletes by Chloe Cheng

Photo by Yvette Blount

Diver Haley Blount perfects her technique before leaving for Utah University. San Marin’s swim program has a lot to boast about, as colleges have recruited members Haley Blount and Kenneth Castro Abrams. Senior Haley Blount has been accepted to dive at the University of Utah. Blount only started diving freshman year but began training at Stanford her sophomore year. As a junior, Blount won the MCAL Championship, placed 4th in NCS, and at the Summer Age Group Nationals, scored a personal best of 403.10

points for 10 dives on the one-meter springboard and finished in 3rd. Ryan Wallace, Blount’s Stanford coach, said, “She refuses to move on until she gets her dives down to near-perfection. She is very talented and Utah is very lucky to have her.” Concerning her future, Blount said, “Utah is in the Pac-12, so I have a lot of great competition to look forward to.” The Pac-12 is a college athletic conference in the Western United States. Academically, Blount said, “I will be a communications major following a pre-dental track.” Math teacher Mrs. Taggard said, “Haley is bright, vivacious, caring, persistent, a perfectionist, and a very wellrounded person. Her perseverance will take her wherever she wants to go. I care for her deeply and look forward to seeing what her future will bring.” Blount’s recruitment started in January of her junior year when she emailed college coaches. Arizona State University, Miami University, University of New Mexico, University of Utah, and University of Denver showed interest in her. She scheduled visits to all of the colleges, except for the University of Denver since Denver is a liberal arts college, and she wanted to focus more on the sciences. She said she didn’t pick ASU because “by the time the trip came around, I al-

Photo by Elizabeth Castro Abrams

Castro-Abrams charges through the water on his way to a Harvard education. ready knew I wanted to go to Utah.” She continued by saying, “What Utah had that Miami and New Mexico didn’t have was an immediate connection with the team. When I walked off the plane, I was greeted by a sea of swimmers and divers dressed in red.” Richard Marschner, Utah’s diving coach said, “the fit was so natural that there might have been a mutiny if she had decided to go elsewhere.” See “WAVES” on pg 3...


Pony Express

January 24, 2013 • Page 2

New Vice Principals Take Over by Niko Walas

With Assistant Principal Ms. Kempkey gone, Science in Science Education and has taught classes in it’s a great opportunity for Ms. Kempkey. She knows our school has seen many changes in its administrative Chemistry and Integrated Science and Mathematics. our challenges here technologically and will help us in seating. AP English teacher, Mr. Williams, and recently She has had past experience in her previous Assistant our goals. I’m looking forward to working with Ms. retired Mrs. Norinsky will be sharing the title of Principal jobs and is very enthusiastic about helping Norinsky again as she will help us build the STEM Interim Assistant Principals until the end of this year, with San Marin’s new STEM program. She is happy in program while it continues to grow here. Mr. Williams when a new permanent replacement will be found. her new position saying, “I’m really excited to be here is interested in becoming an administrator full time and Mrs. Norinsky works until 1 PM. until Mr. Williams and to get to know the students and teachers. I’m just this gives him a chance to know what to do and gain experience.” takes over for after school events and extracurriculars. Photo by Niko Walas With all these changes, many parents Both will share the activities conducted by an and students fear that there will be a assistant principal including discipline. negative effect on the school. A common Mr. Williams has given up two fear is that it may be harder for the school periods of teaching to commit to his new to process and correct problems from responsibilities. His second period 11th grade disorganization, but sophomore Gabby English class is now taught by Ms. Rosloff Skarka holds a different opinion. “It might and his sixth period English Language work because more minds means more workshop is taught by Ms. Greene, though input. People have individual perspectives Mr. Williams continues to teach his remaining which can benefit this school.” Mr. Williams AP English classes. Mr. Williams has been also shows an enthusiastic attitude to his introduced to many new commitments new position, saying “I’m very excited and work along with teaching his classes. about my new position. I’m eager to help As Mr. Williams describes it, “I have many with the creation of and launch of the new new responsibilities, which include helping with interventions so students can pass the Mr. Williams and Mrs. Norinsky get used to their duties as vice principals. STEM program. I can’t wait to work with the counselors, Janice Blair, and Laura Ramadan. I’m CAHSEE, or supervising athletic activities and dances overwhelmed with excitement right now.” Although Ms. Kempkey is leaving San Marin’s enthusiastic about a new push with reading and writing like Prom. I’ll also help organize events like Open House or Senior Awards Night. I help with student administrative team, she will still interact with and through the adoption of the Common Core standards. benefit San Marin. She has been promoted to the Also, I’m gung-ho about working closely with Principal discipline and staff evaluations.” Mrs. Norinsky has been working during the Director of Instructional Technology of NUSD. With Littlefield, and Assistant Principals Mike Casper and school day. She and Mr. Littlefield worked together 13 this new position she will be able to assist San Marin in Leslie Norinsky, all of whom have distinguished years ago when Mr. Littlefield hired her as a teacher. She the integration of technological utilities. Mr. Littlefield backgrounds in administration-- I will be trying to has a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Masters of has an optimistic outlook on the changes. “I think squeeze as much knowledge from them as possible.”

Turning a New Leaf: STEM moves forward

by Paige Taul

Lately there has been a lot of talk about an exciting new program soon to be incorporated at San Marin: the STEM program. Many hope that it will improve the reputation and prestige of San Marin. Many students have wondered how the classes that STEM offers will be different from regular classes. Three elements will distinguish them from the rest of the classes. First, they will have project based learning, where students are provided with the opportunity to learn with more hands on experience. Second, they will have integrated curriculum, and the curriculum in the classes will be related to each other. And lastly the technology usage in the class rooms is expected to increase. It is a goal in the future that students can bring and use their own electronic devises in the classroom. Applications became available December 1st and the deadline for them is January 31, 2013.It is an aspiration that each year the program will accept 60

students and in four years there will be at least a total 240 in the STEM program. Another expectation for this program is that it will increase the amount of students enrolling at San Marin. Another question about the STEM program is what will happen to biology since the Physics will be made into a two year course. Freshman year students will take physics coupled with an engineering class. Sophomore year students will take biology and biotechnology/ bioengineering. Junior year they will take chemistry, biotechnology, and will have the choice of taking aeronautical or electrical engineering. Senior year they will take either AP biology or AP physics. Even for the students who cannot enter the program have something to look forward to. Because the program is so technology based, new technology will and is being introduced to the school’s students and staff. Not only is the use of iPads increasing in

classes but, as Mr. Littlefield stated, students will be allowed to use their own personal devices in class and during school. There were two parent teacher nights to educate parents about STEM on December 5th and 6th. There were 300 people who attended these meetings. Mr. Williams, biology teacher and the teacher leader in the program, explains the parents’ reaction to the program. “The reaction was overwhelmingly positive.” He then stated that they recognized the value of a science and math program at the school. “The STEM program is for students who are passionate about science and are willing to learn in a different way. I’m excited to get the program off of the ground and I know that it’s going to be a success.” The teachers as well as the students are excited to find out the benefits the STEM program has to offer.

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Julia Raven and Laura Darken

News Editor Features Editor Opinion Editor Center Spread Editors Arts Editors Sports Editor Back Page Editor Copy Editor Advertising Managers Circulation Manager

Sumaiya Mubarack Lauren Bollinger Nidhi Mamidi Laura Darken and Julia Raven Amanda Cardy and Jackson Grover Rachel DeFilippis Lauren O’Brien Katherine Minkiewicz Julia Raven, Liam Hoefer, and Garrett Sutherland Natalie Dybeck

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Scott MacLeod Adam Littlefield


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Pony Express


January 24, 2013 • Page 3

America Steps Back From the Fiscal Cliff by Katherine Minkiewicz

For President Obama, his holiday wasn’t as relaxing as it was for the rest of us. The fiscal cliff showdown that was looming in the nation’s mind forced the president to fly back to Washington during his vacation in Hawaii, to try and settle the dust within Congress regarding a compromise. On New Year’s Day, the bickering finally stopped as the House dispatched legislation to the president to avoid huge tax increases on most middle class Americans. It stopped deep spending cuts that would’ve affected various government programs, and increased layoffs of government workers and even troops. To avert this problem, Democrats and Republicans voted for the increase on income and payroll taxes for the first time in two decades. In a recent New York Times article, President Obama said, “The one thing that I think, hopefully, the new year will focus on,” he said, “is seeing if we can put a package like this together with a little bit less drama, a little less brinkmanship, and not scare the heck out of folks quite as much.” And hopefully that’s one resolution that Congress can work on, since talk about the fiscal cliff has greatly frightened the government, middle class Americans, and students. Before the compromise, senior Ana Camara-Flores said, “It would affect us high school students; less funding could result in loss of courses, school services, and after school activities. It could also cause fewer students to attend college, it would probably take longer to graduate, more loans would be used, and eventually more students would drop out.” In spite of party differences, the measure was voted for and signed at the very last minute. But how will this new measure affect America as a whole? First, the income tax increase will mostly apply to about 0.7 percent of families, and households that receive a net gain of half a million dollars will have to pay higher taxes. In other words, the wealthier are going to have to shell out more money for taxes than the average earning middle class. This deal will also help repair “WAVES” continued

Blount signed a National Letter of Intent, which committed her to the University of Utah, on November 14. In January, Blount was officially accepted to the University of Utah’s Class of 2017. Senior Kenneth Castro Abrams has been accepted to swim at Harvard University. It has been over 11 years since Harvard has accepted a San Marin student. Abrams has qualified for the National Championships, is ranked 20th in the nation for the 100-yard butterfly, 10th for the 200-yard butterfly, 37th for the 100-yard backstroke, and 9th for the 200-yard backstroke. He has been a finalist numerous times at Nationals and has been accepted as part of the US High School All-American team. Abrams said his future goals are “to help Harvard win the Ivy League Championships since they’ve been second to Princeton for a long time. I don’t know if I’ll win all of my events freshman year, but I’ll definitely make the top final and probably be in the top three.” Abrams wants to “major in economics, but government or politics would be interesting too.” Mrs. Taggard said, “Kenneth is an extraordinary young man. His work ethic is demonstrated through an over 4.0 average, with pretty much all AP classes, and with year-round swimming. He will thrive at Harvard, and they are

Illustration by Angela Ding

unemployment benefits. People who have been out of work for 26 weeks will be able to receive more aid for up to 47 weeks; however, this new program will only be used on states that boast the highest unemployment rates. Unfortunately there is a downside to these new measures as well, since people will receive less take home pay than they did in 2012. This in turn, has the power to affect high school students. AP Economics teacher Mr. Spinrad said; “I would expect to see less consumption, and a Students sigh with relief after the fiscal cliff scare. slight slow-down in economic growth. High school students would have less job opportunities and less allowances from increasingly strapped parents.” However, if an agreement wasn’t reached things would have looked a lot worse for the country. America would have fallen off the cliff; with huge spending cuts in government programs and schools, and could of even pushed us into recession part two. Nevertheless, the two parties were able to put aside their differences for a couple of days and reach an agreement. fortunate to have him.” Warren Lager, head coach of the Marin Pirates said, “Kenneth’s successes in both athletics and academics come about through his strength of character. He brings the highest level of dedication, sacrifice and integrity to everything that he does. He is a strong leader by example, and he has one of the strongest work ethics that I have seen in over 30 years of coaching.” In the spring, coaches from various schools including Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth, Duke, and Northwestern contacted him. Abrams eventually narrowed it down to Harvard and Princeton based on unofficial visits. This fall, Abrams visited Harvard and Princeton on official recruiting trips. In the end, he chose Harvard. Abrams said, “I chose Harvard over the others because it’s the best school in the country, and if I have a chance to go, why turn it down? I chose it over Princeton because I liked the guys on the Harvard team better, and I figured I’d be spending most of my time with them.” The Harvard admissions office approved Abrams for a likely letter on October 8th. In December, Abrams was officially accepted to Harvard University’s Class of 2017.

iCan’t Decide: Teachers debate tech in class by Julia Raven

At San Marin, Principal Adam Littlefield wants to make this a reality. “Bringing iPads into the classrooms would be a very effective way to save money on always having to replace old textbooks. Students would have the books on their iPads and could get new books as they go through high school without having to carry around textbooks,” Mr. Littlefield said. However, now the question isn’t just about the money, but about the teachers and the issue of incorporating iPads into their classrooms. Many teachers at San Marin are on board for incorporating technology in the classroom while some others don’t want to lose the value that books offer. Math teacher Ms. Laabs already uses projections and the internet to teach her students lessons or to have them take quizzes. “It’d be wonderful,” she said. “Students could take immediate quizzes, have more access to research, and also see videos that will help them on the subject.” However, she said there are some drawbacks; “it would cause its own problems and distractions… the issue of monitoring to make sure that students are on task would be a problem. While playing hangman is no less distracting, there are just more ways in which students can become side tracked.” English teacher Mr. Bussleman has hopes that it could be a successful tool, but worries about it getting out of hand, “It offers potential, but can go either way. If it’s not managed and I don’t have a good grasp on how to use it, then it’s a distraction. If I did understand them, then it could be a useful tool,” he said. When asked what he thinks about iPads being used as a replacement for books and textbooks, Mr. Bussleman said, “It always scares me when people talk about getting rid of books…books have been around for centuries and it’s very dramatic to say that we don’t need them anymore. They remind us to slow down.” History teacher Mr. Obstarczyk is very enthusiastic about having iPads in the classroom as

well, “I’m fine with it; it’s the way of the future and can be used well or abused. It would be nice not to deal with textbooks anymore.” Though he can see the potential problems adding, “(It would be difficult) not only preventing the students from getting distracted, but keeping the iPads from breaking would also be an issue.” English teacher Mrs. Smith sees a valid argument for both sides, stating that, “It’s a great idea. It would save the district tons of money and would help teach students how to research without having to go to the library or computer lab.” However, she says, “I also think that for me, holding a book and turning the pages, even just the smell of the book and the feel of the pages, treasuring a book, that would all be lost on a generation raised with technology.” Mrs. Smith followed up by saying, “I can definitely see how it would be useful for history or geography that is always changing, but for English, I really don’t know.” While most of the teachers are either thrilled to have iPads in the classroom, or are at least accepting of the idea that this is the way the future is going, every single teacher asked still had reservations about whether or not it would truly work. Whether or not the ability to research with ease in the classroom and cut down on textbook expenses outweighs the cost of the iPads and the possibility for students to get even more distracted, the teachers haven’t unanimously decided, but are able to see the benefit and the chaos of both sides.


Pony Express

January 24, 2013 • Page 4

In Memory of Mrs. Allen: A Mustang “Oh Forever More”

by Lauren Bollinger and Camille Pflugradt Her job description was campus supervisor. many a student with clean clothes, a ride home, and freshmen year escapades, “I thought I was sneaky, but However, to countless students and staff alike, Mrs. an open and empathetic heart. The school custodian, nothing gets past the almighty Mrs. Allen.” Nonetheless Allen was so much more. Described as both an Mr. Miller, said “Her rapport with the students was Mr. Horvath, the Resource teacher, remarked that Mrs. empathetic “mother away from home” and an “eagle- outstanding; she had a real sympathetic ear and was Allen’s “true purpose was not to catch people when eyed” campus cop, Mrs. Allen played a vital role in willing to put time into understanding each student.” they were doing wrong. Her primary focus, what she the San Marin community. As a mustang for nearly 20 This skill served a dual purpose, providing educators, wanted to do most of the day, was to help somebody.” years, she was eagerly involved in many school activities, with a clearer understanding of their pupils, and students Though her compassionate nature was such as weekly Jesus Pizza, renowned, other aspects Photo courtesy of Mrs. Zanardi Grupo Latino, and the of her character were less staff ’s annual Lottery pool. well-known. Possessing So, after students received an affinity for Latino the news of her cancer culture, Mrs. Allen was diagnosis in mid-October, involved in Grupo many at San Marin were Latino, in particular the sure of their beloved yard “comida.” As said by supervisor’s recovery. Spanish teacher, Mrs. Yet, on November 22, Lowrie, “She would Thanksgiving day, Mrs. always come into class Allen passed away after with the pretense of a short, yet courageous finding a food, but what battle with lung cancer. she was really looking As mentioned for was to get to know in her obituary, Barbara the kids.” Mrs. Allen Jean Allen (née Kohl) was also counted herself as born in San Francisco a devout fan of the San on April 13, 1947 and Francisco Giants, and (Left) Mrs. Allen enjoys la comida with Ms. Lowrie (Right) Mrs. Allen with her grandson, Charles, worked for years at Bank was often seen decked celebrating the recent Giants’ winning spree. of America. After spending out in black and orange 20 years at the company, she quit her job to move to with invaluable advice and guidance. In a mother’s day during the team’s recent winning sprees. Another Novato and devote her time to her beloved children, card to Mrs. Allen, an anonymous student wrote “I unexpected hobby was her love of San Marin’s resident John and Nicole. As they grew up, Mrs. Allen took up can talk to you, and you’ll listen and you always have squirrel population. As said by Mrs. Lowrie, “She loved a job at San Ramon Elementary to be closer to them, good advice. I think you’re the nicest and most caring the squirrels. Even though she would get in trouble, she and as they advanced through their school careers, she yard duty here at San Marin. Actually I think you’re the would still make it a point to feed them.” Professing followed her children to the blue and white of Sinaloa nicest and most caring person at this school.” hopes of building a memorial bench in honor of her Nonetheless, Mrs. Allen wasn’t afraid to colleague and dear friend, Mrs. Lowrie later reflected Middle School and eventually to the green and gold of lay down the law and enforce school’s policy. At the that a mere plaque wouldn’t do her justice, for “the San Marin High. There she found her niche in the school School Memorial held on December 6th, Principal whole campus is hers.” community, serving an as an vital intermediary between Mr. Littlefield remarked that “It was not unusual for As advised in her obituary, donations can be faculty and students. Lovingly called “Tía” (or aunt) by Barbara to be seen...monitoring the parking lot for made to: Hospice by the Bay, 17 E. Sir Francis Drake many at San Marin, Mrs. Allen was renowned for her the elusive 9th grade students trying to leave campus Boulevard, Larkspur, CA 94939 or Saint Anthony of seemingly infinite capacity for compassion, providing at lunch.” An anonymous student adds, recalling their Padua, 1000 Cambridge Street, Novato, CA 94947.

High School Pictures From the Past: 400 Building Edition by Nelly Almieda

Teacher: Mr. Busselman Subject: English

Teacher: Mr. Watson Subject: History

“T’was a tale of two halves.

“I was a class clown who

The first half was naive

was mostly concerned with

and immature. The second

playing hockey, making

half my mother refers to as

people laugh and getting

my dark years.”

into Cal Poly.”

Teacher: Mr. Lacy Subject: Social Studies “I didn’t like high school but I really liked to learn. I wasn’t mature enough to take full advantage of all that school had to offer.”

Which teacher’s yearbook photo do you want to see next? Email your suggestions to!

Pony Express


January 24, 2013 • Page 5

Dollars to Diss: Freshman Ca$h Cow gets paid to rap by Amanda Cardy

Of course, this service does not come free. An innovative way of confronting someone a rap which “disses” the person that he was hired to without actually having to confront them has been diss. He will write the rap based on the letter that you Ca$h Cow charges five dollars to write and perform available this year for students at San Marin. Freshman write to him. Although the rap is written to diss the a diss rap to another student. The raps would be Zach Klyse has started a rather unique business, Photo by Camille Pflugradt performed and the student will be confronted sometime during the school day, whether it’s which he calls Diss Raps for Hire. Going by at break, lunch, or the beginning of a class, his rapper name of Ca$h Cow, Klyse will if permitted by the teacher. So far Klyse has try to solve rifts that people have going on dissed a number of people in various places, with their friends or another student on one being Mr. Blok’s classroom. Mr. Blok said, campus by rapping to the requested person. “I think as long as he maintains proper school Klyse has already been hired by numerous verbiage of language and he expresses himself students on campus. People who have been at the proper time and proper place then it’s dissed have all reacted differently. While it good.” leaves one sophomore feeling sensitive and For just five dollars, someone can have not willing to comment on his experience, a relationship repaired with a good friend, or others like freshmen Trent Blake said, ”I a bully confronted and put to a stop. Klyse was dumbfounded; I didn’t know people wants to emphasize the point that this venture were that mad at me, I’m glad I found out is to solve problems, not create them. He is just though.” Ca$h Cow (center) diss-raps a student as others look on. simply the guy who lets people who are at fault The procedure of hiring Ca$h Cow know what they are doing wrong, in a creative and would start with finding Klyse around campus and bully, bad friend, etc., it is really meant to resolve issues. writing him a letter explaining the issue going on Klyse defends the point that, “these raps are meant to unusual way. If you are interested in hiring Ca$h Cow either between you and another student. Once explained, solve problems and make people realize what they are call (415)-524-5826 or find him around campus and doing wrong, so they can improve their relationships”. Ca$h Cow will work his rhythmic magic and compose give him a written letter explaining your problems.

Pass Rates Reveal San Marin’s AP Performance in 2012 by Garbo Gan and Lauren Bollinger Every May, students across the world undergo one of high school’s most stressful experiences: AP testing. AP classes feature months of rigorous study culminating in a single test, allowing students to prove their competency in a subject and possibly gain college credit. Last year, San Marin’s 18 AP classes experienced varying degrees of success. AP Spanish teacher, Mrs. Lowrie, recognizes the 100% pass rate as the outcome of her “very curious” students. “The group of individuals I had was amazing,” she says. “It was a group of hard workers--they loved language, and that’s what AP courses are supposed to be about.” These kids were “constantly asking questions.” Although the pass rate is sometimes Physics B credited to the enrollment US History of Latinos in the class, they are more native US Government and Politics listeners than speakers, and thus have just as much to Biology learn as the other students. European History Moreover, the students were open with one English Literature and Composition another and there were no English Language and Composition barriers. Mrs. Lowrie cites Statistics that students have to be immersed in the language. Microeconomics “That’s the way you’re Calculus AB going to learn, and yes it is uncomfortable, yes it is Spanish Language difficult, but trust me,” she 0� says. Students understand that it is only respectful to allow mistakes in the classroom so that they may teach one another. When asked about her experience in AP Spanish, Loes van Dam, now a San Marin graduate, said, “You learn a lot, especially about the culture. And you get to know your classmates really well. You learn most of the grammatical structures in Spanish 3, so you really work on speaking and culture in Spanish 5.” Despite the hard work, which led to some students leaving the class, she “ended up loving [it].” Similarly, AP Statistics is described by both students and teacher, Ms. Galopin, as a challenging yet intellectually satisfying course that rewards those who are passionate about the subject. Despite attaining a 67% pass rate, which is well above the global average of 59%,

Ms. Galopin urges students to prepare accordingly for the test. “AP Statistics and AP Calculus are challenging college-level classes,” she warned. “These classes are not for seniors suffering from senioritis.” Likewise, senior Ruthe Huang, who attained a 5 on the exam, urges current AP Statistics students to “do the homework!” citing that “the only way to to pay attention...and study before tests.” Moreover, she attributes her success to Ms. Galopin’s teaching style, saying that “[she] makes it really easy to succeed; she gives really clear, comprehensible notes and prepares the whole class extremely well.” Like

before embarking on a rigorous AP course. Most of San Marin’s students were first-time physics students, resulting in lower rates of comprehension. Ms. Nicolaisen also cites the ineffectiveness of the “flippedclassroom” model, a technique which inverts traditional teaching methods by delivering online instruction outside of class. “Many students were uncomfortable with the new method and, unfortunately, were too used to traditional passive learning.” Comparatively, she accredits proactiveness. “My most successful students were the individuals who played an active role in their learning...and were eager to take ownership of getting help.” Data compiled by Garbo Gan Nonetheless, Ms. Nicolaisen 2012 AP Test Pass Rates is hopeful for the future of the course. Recently, the AP organizers have decided to split the subject in two: Physics 1 and Physics 2, to be offered in the 2014–15 academic year. Ms. Nicolaisen is in full agreement with the appropriateness of the change, expecting that it would make the exam “more fair to Global first time Physics students.” San Marin High School Mr. Obstarczyk, AP US History teacher, believes that “nothing in particular” resulted in his 43% pass rate. It does not reflect truthfully the mastering of material, as he states, “some students are not good test-takers.” San Marin 10� 20� 30� 40� 50� 60� 70� 80� 90� 100� usually scores higher than the national average. Huang, senior Monika Neuweiler was not daunted by Although there were more students enrolled the exam’s rigorous requirements, enthusing that “I’ve in the class last year, there was “nothing radically always loved math and in AP Stats I think my whole different” in Mr. Obstarczyk’s teaching style. Given the class can agree that Ms. Galopin really prepared us sheer difficulty of the class, he believes that students well for the test.” As for the 2013 AP Statistics exam, who enroll have to be up to the challenge. When asked Ms. Galopin has high hopes for the future, saying that about his experience, senior Jason Tomczak, who “students in these classes are talented and I expect achieved a 5 on the exam last year, says, “Towards the them to do well on the AP exam.” end of the year, as things got more and more geared As teacher of AP Physics B, Ms. Nicolaisen for the test, Mr. Obstarczyk certainly helped us out attributes the class’s 42% pass rate to a variety of with... the admittedly very difficult material.” factors. “Firstly,” she says, “we compete against schools AP test pass rates are relative to how other with two year physics programs.” Normally, Physics students throughout the nation perform. There remains is presented in a two-year course, like Biology and more to be discovered about the factors that influence Chemistry, allowing students to gain basic knowledge pass rates.

Pony Express


January 24, 2013 • Page 6

Remember the Mustangs: Coach celebrates a great career by Amanda Cardy

After one of the best seasons that the Mustang Varsity Football team has had in a very long time, Dan Hickey will be retiring from his role as head coach of the team. Hickey, who took on being the coach for San Marin four years ago, is definitely leaving with a bang. Hickey and the team finished off the season with a record of 7-7, and got some of the best results in post season that San Marin has seen in quite a while. Although the Mustangs had a slow start during the regular season, they showed a quality performance during playoffs. The team ended up earning an impressive second place, after losing the NCS championship game to Justin Siena. Junior Vince Cerruti described the season and said, “It was a season that was constantly up and down throughout the regular season. Something just

Photo courtesy of Shaun Wong

San Marin football had the best season in years. San Marin’s reputation has been put back on top. clicked when we got to playoffs, and that was a good time for things to start to go right.” Coach Hickey Hickey said, “With a lot of commitment from the other coaches and the players, they have brought the also noticed the change in the team towards the beginning of playoffs and said, “They came together program back. I’m very proud of where it has come and decided that they wanted to play for each other from. “Players of the past few years are going to miss having Hickey as a coach, junior Manny Wilkins said, and from then on they played as one unit.” The varsity team will be losing many of its “It felt good to go as far as we did in his last year. He main starters next year because of seniors graduating. put me on varsity as a sophomore and trusted me this Several of the younger players all agree that it will year to take the starting spot as quarterback. I just be very different playing without the familiar faces want to thank him for his trust and support as a great coach.” of seniors on the team. Cerruti says, “Next year we will be out to prove that this season was not just a Hickey describes himself as a life fan of San onetime thing, we are going to try to repeat it, but Marin so he definitely plans on supporting the team finish it off for the seniors of this year.” led by a new coach in the years to come. San Marin in recent years has not been known for amazing football, but after this season

Life Without the Letterman: Club versus high school sports by Rachel DeFilippis

Unlike club sports, high school teams have the opportunity to represent Sleep, eat, school, sports, repeat. For many student athletes, this familiar their school. They have the support of their teammates and the entire school routine is a day to day lifestyle. As soon as one sports season ends, another community. “When you play a sport for your school, there are a lot more begins. Seasons make a tradeoff between fall, winter and spring; high school people there cheering you on,” said freshman Sophie Metzger. It’s much more and club. And for students who play a year-round sport, there is simply no off season. In every classroom, there is probably a handfull of people involved in rewarding to make a goal or break a record for a Illustration by Angela Ding school where you spend most of your time than a sport. But that doesn’t mean that they all play for for a club that you go to a few times a week. San Marin or wear the school colors. Club sports These days it is very common for an athlete are on the rise and can offer different opportunities to play a season of one sport in preparation for than the typical high school sports experience. another. A lot of athletes will also play a club Most high schools offer a cookie-cutter or year round sport to stay active and to make athletics program that involves a league of teams sure that they don’t lose any skills that they have that compete against each other. A typical season gained. Metzger said, “When you play club, you lasts three months, which is not nearly enough time to gain experience. On the other hand, most club get to see how other athletes from different schools play and then it can be easier to beat teams run year-round, which can give an athlete the them during high school season.” Also, different opportunity to improve. “With club volleyball, the teams offer coaches and workouts that the other atmosphere isn’t all ‘win, win, win’. It’s more relaxed, might not have. The choice to play for either team and you’re with a lot of players that have little to is the athlete’s decision but both serve the same no experience,” said junior Caprice Camilleri. Clubs High school and club sports clash. purpose; to teach the athlete and to help them grow and excel. help players improve all around and gain confidence in their Either way, you have to earn your playing time by working hard to defeat the sport. “You can only go so far with high school sports,” said sophomore and competitor. And if you are truly passionate for your sport, it won’t matter what gymnast Lena Strickling. But the downside with club sports is that `they can quickly get expensive with monthly dues. High school sports usually require one team you’re on, it’s the fact that you’re lucky enough to be part of one. donation that will help with the whole season and pay for equipment.


Pony Express

January 24, 2013 • Page 7

Students Excel During Winter Sports Season by Julia Raven and Natalie Dybeck

Georgia Dunkerly Varsity Cheerleading

As a sophomore on the varsity cheerleading squad, Georgia has stood out from the crowd. “She stands out with her dedication and self-motivation. She gets along with everyone on the team and is always willing to lend a helping hand. Being one of the main flyers, she has had to try some difficult stunts and continued to shine through a lot of hard work and talent.” Said cheer coach Kerrigan Andel. “Cheer has affected me here at San Marin by making me such a part of the school. Being at every game and preforming in rallies has gotten me very involved and spirited. I have also made great friends. Also being on a team with such amazing girls has been a great experience,” said Dunkerly. Her favorite part about cheer at San Marin is, “being at every game and sharing the excitement with my team and the crowd. I cheer with my favorite girls and love to see what we can do every week.” Dunkerly also has cheer in her after school life. “After school I love to dance, cheer and coach the little colt cheerleaders,” Dunkerly said. She also enjoys school and said, “My favorite part of school is making friends and challenging myself.”

Jason Reyff Varsity Boys’ Basketball

This season’s basketball standout is Junior Jason Reyff. Varsity basketball coach Craig Pitti said that Reyff has improved a lot throughout his years on the team. “Jason has done a very good job of refining his post-game by adding a lot of moves,” said Pitti. As seen in a game against Drake, Reyff used his height to assist his team in bringing the ball back down the court. Teamate Noah Everly said “He really likes to work hard and he’s a great guy to have on the team. Since he’s so tall, he’s great on defense and is a very physical player.” When asked why he likes basketball, Reyff said, “It’s a sport that uses a lot of skill and you can play it with a bunch of your friends.” Reyff has proven a very important factor to the San Marin basketball team as being an important defensive player and can use his height to block many shots. Pitti said, “He has become a much better player and his rebounding numbers have doubled.” When asked if he would like to continue playing after high school, Reyff said, “I don’t know for sure yet, but I think I really would like to keep playing.” Photos courtesy of Julia Raven and San Marin Wrestling

Clockwise from above: Georgia Dunkerly, Jason Reyff, Rob Smith, and Haley Nicolini.

Hayley Nicolini Varsity Girls’ Basketball

She’s been on the varsity girls’ basketball team since she was a freshman. Now in her senior year, Hayley Nicolini has become the team leader. “Four years of experience has provided her with the knowhow and experiences that it takes to lead a team,” said varsity coach Dan Lucia. “Leadership is not easy role and she has stepped up and done a tremendous job so far. She is also off to a great start on the court by playing hard and smart.” When asked about her basketball experience with San Marin, Nicolini said, “Throughout high school, basketball has always given me something to focus on and invest myself in. I am always excited to go to practice and be the best I can be.” Hayley said, “My favorite part about basketball is definitely having the camaraderie of the team and always having fun with everyone. I’m going to miss my teammates because I really love all of them and they always crack me up .” Lucia concluded with, “Hayley is our leader and we look forward to her having a great senior year.”

Rob Smith Varsity Wrestling

After falling in love with wrestling in seventh grade, senior Rob Smith has put in long hours to become a great wrestler and has been named this seasons wrestling standout. In two recent tournaments against Terra Linda and Justin Sienna, Smith won both of his matches which only added to his record this year. “I am nine and four this year,” said Smith. When asked why he likes wrestling so much, Smith said, “It’s fun to win and you make a lot of new friends to interact with.” When asked what makes Smith such a great wrestler, teamate Nephy Rameirez said, “He works really hard during practice and he practices more than anyone else off season.” Smith has had a great season so far with more matches to come that will only add to his win record. When asked if he had any final comments, Smith said, “It’s a great sport because while you get to interact with and get to know the team, it’s still individual and you don’t have to rely on anyone else.”

Pony Express


January 24, 2013 • Page 8

How to Survive an Apocalypse Handy tips to have during a disaster by Julia Raven

Zombie Apocalypse: If you haven’t read the Zombie Survival Guide, then Nuclear Missile Strike: If there is a nuclear missile strike, you don’t have too

here are some tips on where to go to survive a zombie apocalypse. It is best to go to a high place, one that involves climbing skills to reach because zombie’s are not the best climbers. If you have a giant tree house like the one in Swiss Family Robinson or Tarzan, you’re set to just sit back and watch the zombies stumble over themselves as they try to get your brain. If not, well, let’s just hope you live in a two story house. Put supplies upstairs including food, water, and silent weapons (zombies have good hearing) then chop up the stairs behind you so they can’t get up. Tip: make sure you are upstairs when you chop up your staircase, don’t blame us if you and the zombies get stuck on the ground floor together.

Planet Earth Explodes: Now this would just be inconvenient, but in case it were to happen in the future, you have time to prepare. First step is to build a laboratory large enough to build, store, and launch a spaceship. Second is to learn how to build a spaceship. Granted, this step may take longer than one would like, but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do. Third, don’t listen to people who tell you that you are crazy for wasting your life savings on a building for your rocket. Just look at Jor-El, father of Superman, they all said he was crazy but as young Superman was safely flying out of exploding Krypton all Jor-El had to say was, “Told you so.” You’ll be able to say that too. You’re welcome.

much of a chance of survival depending on how close it hits. Even if North Korea doesn’t hit Novato (which I’m sure would be their first priority strike) the radiation from a distance strike would kill you. In case you are that undying optimist who wants to get a head start on preparation, you can start digging that hole to China that everyone talks about so much. You and the worms will be nice and comfy in your underground safe haven while the rest of the world curses the fact they weren’t as intelligent as you.

Alien Invasion: I don’t know why everyone is so freaked out by a potential alien invasion. Actually I do know, remember that I can read minds; it’s because everyone assumes that aliens are scary, evil, cruel hearted monsters that would destroy the world and probably only land in America. I don’t know why, but in every movie and news report, they always land here. I have to say it straight out, I think that these stereotypes of alien people are very cruel and planetist (discrimination between species of different planets). I bet that aliens are all fine outstanding people who enjoy camping, chess, pina colladas in the rain, and long walks on the beach. When they invade, most people will scream and run away, but I’ll walk right up to the spaceship door with my chess board and a bag of Doritos, odd combination I know, but I bet my new alien friends will appreciate it very much.

Natural Disaster: This is a fairly broad way for the world to end, and I know I sincerely hope that these tips will serve you well. It isn’t too early to start preparing.

what you’re thinking, “What kind of natural disaster are we talking about here? Earthquake? Tsunami? What?” I hear you, believe me. I, however, have the solution to avoiding any natural disaster that may occur. Jet packs. Again, I know what you’re thinking. You’re saying, “But Julia, jet packs aren’t exactly available at Target, and how can you read my mind so well?” Well, I happen to be a mind reader and I just assumed that if you could figure out how to build a rocket ship, you could figure this out too! I believe in you. Benefits to the jet pack: Tsunami? Fly over it. Tornado? Fly away from it. Feel a major earthquake starting to rumble under your feet? You strap on that pack and fly baby fly! It’s pretty much foolproof.

While others are regretting their life decisions as the world explodes, we will be yelling, “I told you so!” from our spaceships and will give each other an air high five. Luckily none of these things happened when the apocalypse was supposed to happen because we would be freaking out and wouldn’t have bought any Doritos for the aliens, but in case of future disaster, we will all be prepared.

How Did You Think the World Would End? Photos by Laura Darken

Manny LaCaruba Freshman I thought that sharks and bees would mutate then fly out of the sea and kill everyone.

Jack Johnson Sophomore I thought that there would probably be some sort of nuclear missiles or meteors. Whatever happened, I thought it would involve a lot of explosions.

Sarah Rankin Junior If the world ended, I thought a meteor would have hit, but since the Mayans said the world would change, I thought there was going to be some sort of mind blowing change in technology.

Leo Goldin Senior I thought that the world would just explode from the inside out. I had a feeling there would be some sort of giant emplosion.

Dixie Thompson Freshman I thought it would have happened like in the movie 2012 with a giant tsunami. Whatever happened, I had a feeling that people would go crazy.

Jason Draper Sophomore If it had ended, I didn’t think it would be because of a disaster; I thought people would freak out so much that they would start killing each other.

Pony Express


January 24, 2013 • Page 9

End of the World, Start of the Party Doomsday celebrations from around the globe by Julia Raven and Laura Darken

Photos courtesy of

The end of the 5,125 year Mayan Cycle is celebrated through traditional ceremonies held in the ancient city of Tikal, Guatemala.

Students in Tawian jump for joy at 11:11 A.M, upon hearing the news that the world did not go up flames at the predicted time.

A druid ceremony at Stonehenge marks the Winter Solstice, a new moon, and the day the world was predicted to end.

In Bugarach, France, people take comfort in the legends that claimed their city would be saved from any disaster that came to Earth. The rest of the country feared an alien invasion.

Behind the Calendar: A glance into the minds of the Maya by Garbo Gan

Photo courtesy of Google Images

As you have probably realized, the world did not end. Did the Maya lie to us? The Maya is an ethnic group of indigenous Americans living in Mesoamerica, which is now Guatemala, Belize, and some surrounding areas. They were known for developing sophisticated systems of math and language long before Christopher Columbus’s voyages in 1492. Even today, mathmeticians cannot accuratley calculate the same equations without the use of a computer. The Mayan calendar is composed of five units: one day (kin), 20 days (uinal), 360 days (tun), 7,200 days (katun), and 144,000 days (baktun). At the end of every 13th baktun, a cycle is complete. It marks the rebirth of civilization, deserving of celebration for the Maya. The calendar “stops”, but there is no indication of the “end of the world” as we put it. In fact, while some of us were stocking up on emergency supplies, the Maya were preparing for feasts and dances. So what started the doomsday hype? NASA writes, “The story started with claims that Nibiru, a supposed planet discovered by the Sumerians, is headed toward Earth. This catastrophe was initially predicted for May 2003, but when nothing happened the doomsday date was moved forward to December 2012. Then these two fables were linked to the end of one of the cycles in the ancient Mayan calendar at the winter solstice in 2012 — hence the predicted doomsday.”


Pony Express

January 24, 2013 • Page 10

Do you Hear the People Singing? Les Miserables movie adaptation gets a great review by Lauren O’ Brien

The classic musical, Les Misérables, has finally made its movie debut. This musical phenomenon held up to the expectation set by the stage performance. Les Mis captivates viewers for three hours with its portrayals of broken dreams, love, sacrifice and redemption. The film consists of an allstar cast, with actors such as Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried. It turns out that they are not only great actors but also fabulous singers. Their performances earned Golden Globe awards and Oscar nominations. During the first few minutes of the film it is difficult to understand what the characters are saying

as they adjust to the music. But after viewers are accustomed to the constant singing, the music seems to add a power to the story that words cannot. Because a majority of the lines are in sung, the actors had to sing their parts live, giving them more dramatic freedom. This technique is not usually used in musical films, where the soundtrack is usually prerecorded. But having the actors sing live enables them to add more emotion to the song and interact more with the script. Taking place after the French Revolution, Les Mis follows the life of the escaped prisoner Jean Valjean (Jackman), as he hides from the law in an attempt to lead a normal Christian life.

Throughout the film, Valjean crosses paths several times with the harsh and authoritative prison guard Javert (Crowe) who tormented him in his prison days. These two are foils of one another, yet both have an undeniable strength that makes them equals in the end. Even though the overall story is quite tense, there is humor sprinkled through by the gaudy and scamming innkeepers. Les Misérables causes viewers to become restless at times, but the powerful music and story captivate the audience, leaving the audience not only thoroughly entertained but also impressed with a few show tunes.

Dancing in the Dark: Dance feels overshadowed in smARTt by Niko Walas

With the ever expanding smARTt program, it might be easy for some other Included with the dance classes, the music classes also participated in the programs to feel under-represented. Recently, smARTt’s students and teachers Winter Wonderland show. Dance instructor Kate Kenyon believes that all classes have been traveling to various schools promoting the program. There is a lot of contribute equally to the smARTt program. “I think all the elements of smART attention focused on drama, musical, and art classes, so some may overlook San contribute very well to the group. I think the collaboration is really nice. Last Marin’s exceptional dance program. year we did a Dance Showcase which featured music soloists and art from our art Junior Valeria Luna believes that people tend to glance past the Dance classes hung up all over the walls. It was great to have so many elements working Program. “Yeah, drama definitely dominates people’s thinking and everyone tends together in one event.” to forget dance.” She says, “It’s an amazing, The Dance class was surprised by the Photo by Niko Walas fun experience and it’s my favorite class, [as] turnout at their Winter Show. It was a full house it always brightens my day.” Junior Camille both Friday and Saturday. On Friday, it was so Nichelini agrees and exemplifies the positive full some guests were turned away and seats attitudes prolific in the smARTt program, “I needed to be added on Saturday’s show. Junior think Dance is at times not as represented Caitlyn Keaney says, “It went really well. I was as drama, art, or music, but our class has surprised [by the size of the audience] because definitely been trying to improve this. In the football game was the same night. It was class we’ve been talking a lot about getting great to have an audience when the Dance more involved in new venues in order to have Classes 1 and 2 perform for their first time.” more recognition but we’ve also been talking Kenyon also showed her surprise, “I was very about how smARTt is about teaming up with impressed by the turnout. It was a packed house the other art department classes, so we’re which I wasn’t expecting.” not being competitive against each other or In terms of the overall performance anything.” quality, the audience and the dance class were Many students are surprised to know that left feeling completely satisfied. Kenyon said, dance is actually part of the smART program. “The show was perfection, it went really well. I Dance class students practice a routine for their upcoming show. Senior Michael Stompe said, “It may be really like working with the boys on the dancing because I don’t look into the smARTt program, but I personally believe that they Santa Number.” Junior Cody Flechsig, who saw the show on Friday, reflects, “I should probably do more to publicize the Dance Class’s performances because thought overall they did a great job. Especially Feliz Navidad. And I really like how those that I have attended have been extraordinary and a shame to miss.” they incorporated Jesse Northern into one of their dances when he was dressed Regardless of whether or not dance is equally represented in the smARTt as Santa Claus holding the puppy. I thought it was very well executed and very program, San Marin Dance still offers many opportunities to come and see the entertaining.” students perform. In addition to their presence in the Homecoming Parade, the Looking forward, there will still be an ample amount of opportunities to catch San Marin Dance classes put on their Winter Show this December instead of the a performance by the dancers from the smARTt program, like the showcase on Halloween Show they performed last year. April 5. Stay tuned for more details!

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Pony Express

January 24, 2013 • Page 11

The Boys Take on the City by the Bay

Date Night with Liam and Garrett: Cultural Edition by Liam Hoefer & Garrett Sutherland In our last adventure, Liam and I enjoyed the known of the ballet dancer before visiting the exhibit, hometown amenities of Novato, venturing to various but I was still able to find entertainment and meaning local businesses. But in this installment, we decided in Nureyev’s display, as it didn’t impart a message to do something fresh, something new, something of dance, but instead one of triumph, struggle, and cultural; we decided to travel across the bay toward redemption. the city upon a hill: San Francisco. We observed the works of Dutch Masters, and we The drive down into the city was uneventful, but studied artifacts from African tribes, hundreds, often as we took our first steps out into the early San thousands of years forgone. We pretended to Photo by Camille Pflugradt Franciscan morning we knew that our day would not be. Outlining the shore of Golden Gate Park’s Stow Lake, we walked toward our day’s primary destination - the de Young Museum. We briefly wandered the museum’s modest gardens, admiring the many statues of Arthur Putnam, before we ultimately broached the museum’s iconic central facade. We decided to start our expedition out on top, and being in the de Young Museum, the top meant the observation tower. Fortune smiled on us when we received a private elevator. As we began our ascent up to the observatory, I marveled at the speed of the elevator (that is negligible in regards to the story, but that elevator was fast!). The elevator reached the top. Liam and Garrett before their exciting day in the city. The doors opened. And in set the astonishment. It understand modern art, and we often staggered at the is an indescribable experience, the view from such a stark, poignant beauty of the museum’s sculptures. height, something that only clichés and poets have So, we liked it, how could you not? Ultimately, attempted to describe, and although this depiction the de Young is a wealth of cultures and art, both isn’t much more revealing, it speaks to the sheer American and international, which meld together to anonymity that beauty’s form can take. form a unique assemblage of beauty and style. We left the top amazed, inspired, and sadly, in Once we left, we realized that the museum had made an overly crowded elevator. Having the unfortunate us rather empty, rather bleak; we were in fact rather position to follow up an impressive first act, the hungry. museum’s intended attractions are what we turned our We settled on a nice, little Thai restaurant on gaze toward next. Larkin Street. We went down the street toward the An exhibition of the acclaimed Russian dancer, restaurant gleefully, still buzzing about the majesty Rudolf Nureyev, and many of his belongings and of the de Young. The minutes went by quickly in costumes were on display. I do not claim to have this fashion, until we arrived at the restaurant, Lers

Ice Skating

A staple of San Francisco in the winter time, it was only natural that we went ice skating at the famous Union Square. Coats buttoned up, we approached the kiosk where we parted with $15, $10 for admittance, and $5 for the rental of our ice skates. Having never been ice skating before, I felt the rink was more than accommodating to beginners with crutches and lessons readily available. The rink was crowded throughout, but with a pinch of assertion one is able to secure their place on the ice. As a whole the ice skating rink offers some lighthearted physical exercise at an affordable price.

The deYoung Museum

The foreground of the de Young is occupied by a serene garden, populated by proud iron wrought lions and slate lined paths, winding through secluded alcoves and around a still pond, filled with lily pads and reeds, which is in turn surrounded by tastefully modern benches bearing the names of donors. Tickets are $7 for youths and $11 for those over 17, moderately priced for the extensive quality of the museum. The first level of the de Young is where the more modern pieces are held. Among other things the first floor holds an elaborate array of charred planks hanging from the ceiling, which we learned were the remains of a southern Baptist Church, which had been destroyed by arsonists. The exhibits’ plaques detail the more

intricate meanings of the pieces which aren’t apparent at face value. The exhibition of Rudolf Nureyev, a revered Russian ballet dancer was ornately displayed, showcasing the elaborate costumes that this prestigious dancer wore in his performances, along with images of Nureyev himself being projected across the walls, leaping and twirling with a seemingly contradictory delicate power. The next portion of the museum contains both ancient tribal masks and sculptures and romantic landscapes and art from 18th century North America. For such a low price, we were somewhat shocked that more people weren’t there, observing examples of culture in a state of meditative ease.

Ros Thai. We shuffled into the foyer, where I spotted a review by the New York Times, heralding the authentic Thai cuisine. After using the Sarah Winchester-esque bathroom, I came back to the table, where much to my surprise, the food was waiting. We did not eat as much as we inhaled, but we enjoyed the food all the same. Now full on food and culture, we felt ready for anything the city could throw our way. Being a staple of San Francisco in the winter time, Union Square ice skating seemed like a good idea, though I was somewhat shocked that it came to be the direction of our once dignified plans. Upon arriving, Liam shot me a glance and hesitatingly confessed that he had never been ice skating before. Much to his surprise and amusement, neither had I. The grace and gliding which are so often associated with ice skating were in rich abundance at the rink, just not from me or Liam. We staggered onto the ice, much in the same way a fawn awkwardly stumbles in its first steps. But unlike the deer, we never gained any form of elegance or poise. Though this was an embarrassing setback, we enjoyed the falling almost as much as others enjoyed the skating. Feeling thoroughly degraded from the skating, we decided it was time to bid the city goodnight and venture back into the warm nest of Marin County. As all things must at some time do, our journey had reached its end. We had no reservations about saying, “it was a great night, but it is over,” and like a great Viking chief sent out to the sea aboard his final resting place, we parted ways with our evening, content. Content that it had happened, and comforted to know that it would happen again, but moreover we were grateful for the fact that it isn’t what you do that makes an evening spectacular, it is with whom you are.

Thai Restaurant

In the Tenderloin, one would hardly expect to encounter such a restaurant as Lers Ros Thai. Shortly after we had sat down in the largely empty restaurant we were catered to by the friendly and attentive staff, to which we gave our orders to. We each got a lunch combo, two dishes off of a list, served with rice and a salad with a subtle but flavorful dressing, costing us each $8.95. Our food arrived quickly and we both regarded it as well nourishing and flavorfully delightful, with the exception of Liam who thought the barbecued chicken was somewhat undercooked. We left the sparsely decorated establishment without relinquishing an obscene amount of money and with content appetites. Overall Lers Ros Thai is economically prudent for the average high schooler while sufficiently tasteful. Photos courtesy of Google Images

Above: A view overlooking Union Square in San Francisco, where Liam & Garrett went ice skating.

Left: The Thai restaurant, Lers Ros, that Liam and Garrett dined at after ice skating

Pony Express

OPINION Photo courtesy of Google Images

January 24, 2013 • Page 12

Troubled by a Two-Timer Dear Sally, The guy I recently started “dating” goes to another school and I just found out he has another girlfriend there. I really like him and don’t want to end the relationship before it even really begins. When I asked him about it he said she was just an old girlfriend who still has feelings for him. He said he turned her down because of how he feels about me, but some of his friends that go to his school have been telling me otherwise. I don’t know who or what to believe. Sincerely, Getting Played?

An Israeli and Palestinian put aside their differences in a show of friendship.

Bias, Not Brotherhood: How the media

is preventing peace between Israel and Palestine

by Sumaiya Mubarack Objectivity is a challenge in and of itself, but when it comes to covering the highly controversial issue of the Israel-Palestine conflict, it’s almost inevitable that American media outlets also join in on the mud-slinging. Regardless of whose side you’re on, the bias of the media is a strongly divisive force. As a result, the American people argue until throats are raw, but ultimately, this perpetuates animosity and mindless violence rather than promoting peace. The conflict between Israel and Palestine began in 1948, when the state of Israel was created in Palestine, a homeland for Jews fleeing anti-Semitism throughout Europe. Conflict arose because in the process of sheltering one group of refugees, another was created as thousands of Palestinians were displaced. The Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip have been explosive regions in regard to the Islamic Hamas government, creation of Israeli settlements, and seemingly endless assault back and forth between the two factions. More recently, U.N. recognition of Palestine as a state and the fragile cease-fire in the Israel-Gaza war has stirred up further controversy. Ironically, there is even no consensus on which side the American media leans. Israel supporters accuse news sources of pro-Palestinian bias, and Palestine supporters do the exact opposite. A nonprofit organization that criticizes proIsrael media bias in the U.S., If Americans Knew, cites that the events are inaccurately reported based on skewed chronology and distorted death tolls. Nine days after an Israel-Hamas ceasefire was announced on January 18, 2009, major media outlets, including CNN, Fox News, the Associated Press, and the New York Times reported that Palestine had violated the agreement by detonating a bomb that killed an Israeli. However, the ceasefire had been broken seven times previously by Israeli forces when they shelled the Gaza coastline and shot several civilians. All the events that were reported were true, but the time frame in which they were shown may have wrongly blamed the Palestinians. In a statistical analysis of the New York Times’ coverage of the first years of the struggle, If Americans Knew found that Israeli deaths in 2004 were being reported 3.6 times more than Palestinian deaths, as seen in headlines and opening paragraphs. In fact, from the beginning of the struggle in 1948 until the present, almost

8,000 Palestinians have died as compared to 1,500 Israelis. English teacher Mr. Busselman agrees that the media is skewed, saying that news outlets are heavily partisan, and “are careful to vilify Palestine and glorify Israel.” Accusers of pro-Palestinian media bias are just as passionate. History and economics teacher Mr. Spinrad believes that party affiliation drives what the media puts out, and he criticizes the New York Times in particular, saying that because it is so liberal, it “reflexively takes the Palestinian side and characterizes the Palestinian people as victims.” CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting, criticized NPR for selective reporting, saying 77% more air time was given to pro-Arab speakers, with longer and more numerous radio segments. Using loaded language inappropriately is another complaint, as the organization FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) points out that 79% of news media calls Israel’s actions “retaliation,” whereas only 9% used the same term to describe Palestinian actions. CAMERA also claimed that Israel was being defamed in the media based on unchecked facts, and journalistic responsibility is being disregarded. Comprehensively speaking, the whole slew of opinions that embody this bewildering conflict leave me with only one definitive conclusion. The way the news is presented depends on the political climate, party affiliation, emotional impact first. The facts of the issue are almost seen as an afterthought, when it is the facts that we need the most. Consequently, Americans are left wary and exasperated with the media outlets that narrate their lives. As Mr. Busselman said, “Because of the finger pointing in the media, America has grown numb, and it has come to a point that people would rather ignore the conflict than deal with it.” Otherwise, people join in with their media groups and argue endlessly, but however many words are written on the conflict and however many hours are spent flinging opinions back and forth, the blood of innocent people in Palestine and Israel continues to spill. Ultimately, the evident bias present in the American media does little to educate the American people; rather, it suspends efforts for compromise, brotherhood, and peace between nations with a long and bloody history. Only when facts are presented and peace becomes and priority can Israel and Palestine finally reconcile their differences.

Dear “Getting Played?”, In your situation it is always important to remember that there are two sides to every story. It’s a good start that you asked him about the other girl and you were able to confront him, but you should tell him that you have been hearing these other things and see how he reacts to that. You should also let him know that he needs to tell this other girl that he is unavailable. Most importantly, don’t jump to conclusions and make sure you have all your facts straight before you make any harsh decisions. Good luck! Sincerely, Sally

Write in to the


Illustration by Paige Taul

Pony Express


January 24, 2013 • Page 13

What the Tech! Student opposes technology in school by Julia Raven

As glued as we are to the screen already, do the students of San Marin really need iPads, online textbooks, and big screen projections? For most students at San Marin, school is the time that they get a break from staring at the TV or computer screen and actually pick up a book. Being able to pull away from the computer during school allows students to use their minds and not strain their eyes. Replacing books and handouts with iPads and online work is not only not very cost effective, but it’s bad for our health. When going to the doctor, one of the questions asked is, “How much screen time do you get in a day?” I was very surprised that one should be staring at a screen for no more than two hours. That includes computers, TV’s, and cell phones. The reason doctors are telling us to pull away from the computer and put our phones down is because it is truly bad for you to be looking at a glowing screen for that long. To look at a computer too long is to put strain on your eyes and limit the amount of colors your eyes are taking in. When your grandparents say, “This entire generation is going to need glasses by the time they’re thirty” they may be on to something. By pushing technology into the classroom, we aren’t going to get a break from staring at a computer or iPad screen unless we’re asleep. We’ll wake up, get to school, go online and read books that have been purchased under our accounts on the iPad and go home. Once home, we’ll go online, watch TV, check Facebook or Twitter and be completely glued to them until we’re rubbing our eyes and falling asleep. I don’t think we need another four hours of screen time a day; that’s already more than the doctor ordered and we’re not even home yet. Another reason I don’t think that iPads and other forms of technology are the best idea for San Marin is the cost of it all. Getting the newest version of the iPad will cost a lot of money and getting an older version to save costs means that they will have

to be replaced sooner. Imagine buying twenty iPads, ordering books on them and replacing the broken ones with newer ones because the originals are no longer sold is not going to save money; now imagine doing that with classrooms full of iPads. The way I like to think about it is, how many times have you dropped a Illustration by Nidhi Mamidi

Kids depend on electronics to do their work. book? Luckily you can pick it back up again and keep working, but iPads are very breakable and can’t always be picked back up again, ready for use. I know that the school just wants to teach us how to utilize modern technology and I know that humans are rapidly moving

towards becoming cyborgs with computer chips in our brains, but for the meantime, students already know how to use most modern technology or can figure it out at a surprisingly rapid rate. It is often said that from the time you enter college to the time you leave it, the technology you were using before will be out of date. That’s the same thing that will happen at San Marin too. So, if the goal is to keep students up to date with the ways of modern technology, we’d be falling behind before four years go by unless we constantly buy new iPads or constantly update the old ones. While doing all of this, students are probably going to buy their own new versions of the iPads, iPhones and other technology and learn how to use it on their own time. The cost is only a minor problem compared to the amount of supervision and blocking of websites the school is going to have to do. I’m sure that everyone has seen people all throughout the day looking up something on the internet, playing games, snapchatting, or doing one of the many other distracting things on their iPhones that teachers can’t easily stop. Now if every student had an iPad, imagine how crazy that would be. Instead of reading, you’re playing the newest version of Words With Friends that is somehow different and now fun to play again or some other game. Unless the school blocks the purchasing of many apps, even the free ones, and blocks any internet sites that may also prove to be distracting, students are going to use the technology to have fun and not do the work they were originally assigned. This isn’t saying that students won’t want to do the work, or that we don’t like learning, but it’s a lot harder to get distracted with a textbook. I know that there are benefits to having technology in school, but I find that the cons outweighs the pros. It’s already difficult for teachers to keep their entire class on track without having to compete with a newer and cooler version of Angry Birds.

Vegetarianism: Saving the world and your waistline by Nelly Almeida I once read a sign that said “Vegetarian is Indian for bad hunter.” It made me laugh, but sometimes it troubles me to think that some people don’t see at all why vegetarians don’t eat animal. At times, it seems like non-vegetarians go around thinking of vegetarians as only dramatic animal lovers, and vegetarians go around thinking of non-vegetarians are murderous carnivores. Of course, these are just stereotypes, and they’re not true. Out of the numerous reasons for vegetarians to not eat meat that don’t all revolve around a deep compassion for animals, a common reason is the vegetarian lifestyle will make them healthier. Just like religion or style, being a vegetarian, vegan, or whatever else, is a choice that people make depending on their personal beliefs. The beliefs of a person are shaped by the environment which they grow in, so it is never right for anyone to assume just because someone doesn’t have the same diet as them, that they are either uncompassionate for eating meat or insane for not. Maybe it’s just better to let people have their reasons and not worry about them. But I’m someone who has always loved animals because I grew up going to farms on weekends and always had at least two pets. For this reason, being a vegetarian just feels right, and any other diet just never will. But I think if everyone took some time to think it through, then the people who don’t realize it yet would see that, when you eat meat you are eating an innocent life. Animals don’t share the same language with us; they are not capable of thought that will save their lives from humans who have guns, and other things like those, that easily overpower them. All they really know is their instincts; they never mean to harm us, like we do them. I’ve heard it said that Native Americans would pray for the spirit of an animal every time they killed one, and they would even thank it for providing them with food. The Native American’s did not have any other choice but to kill animals, but today when we do we have so many resources we have forgotten something they never did. Killing an animal is not simply natural, or as a lot of people like to put it, “the circle of life”; Killing an animal is a sacrifice. Animals naturally have feelings and are just as capable of love as humans are. For humans the animals we share the world with are an opportunity for us to give and receive love. So when we kill an animal we sacrifice our chance to give love and receive love. Not to mention how animals bring joy to humans in many ways, like companionship. Animals are also vital in keeping the environment around us balanced. A lot

of people don’t realize when an animal dies, it’s not like they’re just gone and that’s the end of it; the lack of their presence in the living world causes a ripple effect that eventually harms us. If an animal dies, anything it used to eat now has one less predator and their numbers will increase. If they increase too much they take away needed resources. When a whole species goes extinct the ripple effects are much greater. Also, what most people don’t realize is how much eating farm raised meat pollutes the environment and harms the entire world. Would you ever open your refrigerator, pull out 16 plates of pasta, toss 15 in the trash, and then eat just one plate of pasta? How about destroying 55 square feet of rain forest for a single meal or dumping 2,400 gallons of water down the drain? Of course you wouldn’t. But if you’re eating chickens, fish, turkeys, pigs, cows, milk, or eggs, that’s what you’re doing—wasting resources and destroying our environment. This world can seem like it would be nothing without humans, but humans wouldn’t be anything without the other animals on the planet. The question hasn’t been important because in the past other factors made surviving for us more difficult. But maybe now, it’s time for society to take it question off the backburner and think it through. Why not choose to spare innocent lives, pollute the environment less, and live healthier lives?


Pony Express

January 24, 2013 • Page 14

Oppa Gangnam Style! by Angela Ding

Oppa Gangnam Style! Best three words I never understood- or, so many people say. Early October this year a single song took the world by storm, a Korean song titled, “Gangnam Style.” This track has shattered the American tunnel-vision of music. Everywhere people are repeating the phrase, “Gangnam Style,” and more places than not, students are advertising the signature “Gangnam Horse” dance move. It seems as if the genre of K-Pop has resurfaced, basking in the reflected glory of a single song and people think, “Ah, so this is what Korean Pop sounds like.” Many think that this one song represents the entire genre, but one song does not equate to really knowing what K-Pop is. What about all the people who were fans before Gangnam Style swept the country? Simply knowing Gangnam Style does not do K-Pop justice and it certainly does not give people bragging rights. The world of K-Pop is a diverse one and, believe it or not, it’s been around for about as long as American pop has. Some say that Korea keeps to itself and that’s why no one has really known about K-Pop until now. That is partially true, but then again, looking at Asian countries such as Japan, China, and even Malaysia, K-Pop has been a very common, well-loved genre of music. In fact, Korean Pop is even spreading into Europe and the United States. However, although the cultural diversity is a good thing, several other troublesome factors come with it as well. In the case of

Gangnam Style, thousands mindlessly sing along, or try to, emphasizing the English words because that is all they know for certain. But what exactly do the lyrics mean? Does anyone even know what the phrase, “Gangnam Style,” refers to? “Gangnam Style” is referring Photo Courtesy of Google Images

Psy performs the Gangnam Horse. to a materialistic city that is iconic of South Korea’s economic growth, a place thought to be an Eden of sorts where the people are rich, the girls are pretty, and everything is supposed to be cool. Hardly anyone does and even less take the time to find out what it means-

Letter to the Editor

after all, this song is what’s popular and human nature pushes us to conform to the norms and in the process, the song becomes little more than an object with hardly any meaning- a fad. This depreciates the integrity of Korean music and as such, depreciates the true fans of K-Pop. The sudden intensive interest in Gangnam Style leaves many K-Pop fans questioning the truth behind it. Do the people truly like the song or do they only “like” it because everyone else does? Assuming that those fans of Gangnam Style are only taking interest because it’s popular, and as such, many K-Pop fans feel like they’re being mocked. Junior, Julie An, who is 100% Korean stated, “It is upsetting that people see Korea as this man doing this silly horse dance when there is so much more than that. I do like how K-Pop is becoming known and I’m all for new fans, but if someone is going to be a fan, don’t be fan because of the dance or the music video. Also, learn what the lyrics actually mean before saying it doesn’t make sense.” Next time someone asks, “Do you know what K-Pop is?” think before you answer. Do you know who Girls Generation is? Do you know who Super Junior is? If not, then take some time to explore the unique groups Korea has to offer. You will certainly find some interesting things and it will give you an even better understanding of what K-Pop truly is.

Post it. Heart it. Reblog it.

Tumblr teaches teenagers to be unique

by Laura Darken

If you’re part of my generation, then chances are you’ve probably heard of or use Tumblr, or at least overheard those girls in class say, “That’s sooooo Tumblr.” If you’re new to this, allow me to introduce you. Tumblr is a micro blogging website that runs “underground” and combines what teenagers do best: social networking and self-expression. It allows users to upload their photos and other types of art, then watch it gather “notes” as it appears on blogs from kids around the world. Some love it, others love to hate it. What can be seen as another distraction is really one the better websites our generations has come to use, if it’s done right. Facebook is great for connecting you with everyone you’ve ever made eye contact with at school, but Tumblr rules are as follows: if you like something, reblog it. If you don’t, well, then don’t. It is not about who or what you pretend to like. “I use Tumblr to express myself; it’s like my diary but with pictures. It’s all of my thoughts and everything I’m thinking that I can’t put into words,” said junior Mickayluh Cavasso, a Tumblr user. “Tumblr is where I can be myself without worrying about anyone judging me or putting me down. You can just be yourself.” More than that, it has become an outlet for stress, expressing individuality, and all types of teenage emotions. It promotes creating relationships over common bonds. It’s a snapshot of your interests and an insight into you as a person, and if you use it enough, it can become a timeline of you in more than just words like most social-networking sites. It allows anyone to start a blog and make it exactly how they want it. Not surprisingly, 50% of all Tumblr users are under

Photo by Laura Darken

Tumblr creates blogging craze among teenagers. the age of 24. It’s easy and it’s free. That’s why it works. People complain that it’s like a high school clique and becomes a popularity contest to see who can get the most followers. Others see it as a self-esteem crusher as kids reblog thousands of pictures of perfection. And yes, there are pretty girls on Tumblr. But that is just a fraction of what exists on the website. For every photo of an Australian girl on the beach there are a hundred compelling pictures showing human nature at its finest. However NUSD has currently blocked Tumblr from school computers, which raises the question about what should and shouldn’t be allowed on campus. However, Cavasso believes this is a good move because it can be a “a huge distraction and shouldn’t be allowed at schoool.” Maybe this is just another phase that will quickly die out, but this website proves what our generation finds refuge in; art. And as much as I’d love to tell you how Tumblr will finish your homework for you, I have a blog to run.

Senior Defends Teen Grievances

In “Malala: Risking her life for the right to learn”, Garbo Gan, a writer for the Pony Express, compares the legitimate complaints of a 14 year old Pakistani girl who is a strong advocate for women’s education, to the seemingly excessive and outrageous education related grievances of Marin County teenagers that she interacts with at school on a daily basis. Garbo takes notice that Malala and her community are in desperate need of resources such as libraries, computers and things as simple and necessary as books, but she can’t help but notice that her friends still have grievances even though their circumstances can hardly be described as needy. Garbo goes into detail, “our iPhone Safari is too slow. Our parents make us work for our allowances. Our teachers give too much homework.” However, Marin kids are viewed as highly privileged compared to most of the world, so naturally their grievances are seen as ridiculous by less privileged people like Malala and her friends, whose complaints are appropriately more serious. This shows that whether or not a complaint is viewed as credible depends on the awareness of the audience’s own privileges; but none the less both parties, even though in totally difference circumstances, have grievances and petition for change regardless of their circumstances relative to each other. It is human nature to demand change and that allows us to dismiss what we have to be thankful for and even criticize it; no matter if our external circumstances are viewed as good or bad, rich or poor, people will never be satisfied, always cause change and always strive for excellence whether it is real or not. As Garbo poetically puts it, “It is the eternal desire for something different that dulls our mind to the richness and glow of life around us, because the grass is greener on the other side.” However Garbo thinks this arrogance of never being satisfied is a fallacy and a product of ignorance, I on the other hand, say it’s internally programmed behavior and that it is even advantageous. I derive from this need of change a truth, which is that people have an uncontrollable nature about them to be similar to a catalyst, speeding up change and leaving things different in their wake. Sincerely, Isaiah Minor, Class of 2013

Pony Express


Waxy, Sooty, Purple and Hairy Uncommon christmas gifts by Natalie Dybeck

Christmas tree shrouded in weird gifts. A heavy box wrapped in shiny paper topped with a sparkly bow – it must be a perfect gift. But when the paper’s ripped off, expectations don’t always match reality as many San Marin students find their holiday gifts leaving them speechless and confused. “Last year, I wanted Beats headphones, and my parents got me vegetable beets instead,” said senior Giacomo Poggi. Luckily for Poggi, his parents were just fooling around and he got his Beats after all. Freshman Cole Erickson had a similar experience, “As you know, my name is Cole, so one year my older cousin told me all I would get for Christmas is coal. I was about 5 at the time. As Christmas morning came, I ran downstairs to find all of my presents. As I opened them one by one, all I got was coal.” Erickson’s parents waited until the next morning to let him open his real gifts.

“My sister and I wanted a dog for the longest time,” said Junior Jason Freeberg. “One Christmas morning our mom called us down and said that she had a four-legged present for us. We sprinted downstairs assuming there was a new dog, but it was just an electronic dancing dog toy. Cruel, but very funny.” These students are joined by some whose parents gave toothbrushes, their own childhood toys re-gifted, and soap…lots and lots of soap. Some gifts are just weird. Sophmore Howard Hadley confessed that he received “a clump of hair from a very memorable friend.” Sophomore Diana Kosta had a gift to complement Hadley’s hair. “One year my friend brought me a Christmas present from Belìz and it was a shrunken head with feathers on it. I was like 8 years old and it freaked me out. It’s still hanging in my room today.” Of course grandmothers take the top prize for unusual gifts. Some give strangely shaped backpacks, brightly colored jackets, and matching outfits for grandchild and grandmother. Some grandmothers just re-gift the re-gifted. “Last Christmas my grandma gave me a cactus candle holder,” said junior Ellie Cantor. “The most awkward part was that she had given it to my cousin years before, and then my cousin re-gifted it to my grandma who forgot she had given it to my cousin. When I opened it I almost peed myself knowing how many times it had been re-gifted in the family. I plan on giving it to another cousin this year.” The perfect present may not always be what was expected, but all of these students will never forgot the outrageous gifts they have received.

Kick Starbucks to the Curb

Recipes to revamp your cocoa experience by Sumaiya Mubarack

Here are three taste-tested recipes for hot chocolate that you can make in the comfort of your own home, flannel pajamas and all, and with luck, you may never need to see a Starbucks barista ever again. Peppermint White Hot Chocolate RATING: **** This version of hot chocolate uses sweeter white chocolate to balance the peppermint flavor from both the candies and peppermint extract. Beat 1/4 of a cup of whipping cream in a bowl and incorporate 2-3 crushed candies. While that chills, simmer one cup of milk over medium-high heat and whisk in 2 ounces of white chocolate until smooth. Finally mix in a few drops of peppermint extract. Layer the flavored whipped cream on top and serve with a candy cane on the side for good measure. The peppermint cuts through the richness of the drink and the candy canes provide a scrumptious crunch. Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate RATING: **** Sea salt adds an unexpected flavor to this version, and caramel rounds out the flavor with rich and buttery notes. Heat a cup of milk and two ounces of chopped dark chocolate in a saucepan, whisking thoroughly before adding in two ounces of caramel and a sprinkle or two of sea salt. Continue stirring until smooth and serve with whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel. Overall, the drink is creamy and dark, and the salted caramel makes it all the more decadent. Gingerbread Hot Chocolate RATING *** Reminiscent of the holidays, Gingerbread Hot Chocolate takes inspiration from wintery flavors, including ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Slowly heat a half-inch piece of ginger, 2-3 whole cloves, and a cinnamon stick and a cup of milk on the stove until it comes to a simmer. Then remove the pan from the heat and steep for 10-15 minutes before straining out the ginger and spices. Then heat the milk again to a simmer, and add 4 ounces of milk or dark chocolate and 1-2 teaspoons of brown sugar, whisking until incorporated. Steeping the milk packs the drink with plenty of flavor, bringing back the holidays even after the season has passed.

January 24, 2013 • Page 15

This Time For Real

New Years Resolutions for 2013

by Camille Pflugradt

Jake Scott, junior: “I want to stop saying “gay” offensively. It’s a really bad habit and it’s about time I stop.” Vini Souza, senior: “World peace...and just take it sleazy.” Kylie Phillips, freshman: “I’m going to try to stop eating fast food. Maybe not completely, just less.” Mr. Busselman: “I’ve written a couple books now without endings, my goal for 2013 is to finish writing one of my books.” Mr. Lacy: “In 2013, my number one goal is to not murder any students.” Mr. Davis: “I don’t have New Years resolutions. It would be admitting fault and implying that I need to change and that I’m not perfect.”

Winter Wonderland

5 ways to spend a winter day by Nicole Zona

1. An all time favorite winter activity for students is a weekend trip up to Tahoe. Filled with skiing, snowboarding, and snow ball fights, it’s a fun trip only available for this season! A popular resort to visit is Heavenly Ski Resort, which, this weekend only, is offering a program called Peak Performance Academy where you, no matter what age, can learn to ski and snowboard from the pros! 2. If you’ve caught the winter chills, cozying up by the fire with a movie playing and a hot chocolate in your hand (see left for recipes) is a great way to pass the day. Coming out this weekend, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, is available at Century Rowland Plaza for that perfect winter thriller. 3. A shopping trip is always a necessity for this season. Whether you’re still looking for that perfect gift or a treat for yourself with the post-holiday deals, your shopping cart should always be full! 4. If you're looking for a great way to exercise but not get caught outside in the winter chills, House of Air, located at 926 Old Mason Street, is a must go for this season. Offering workout classes, birthday parties, and much more, this exciting indoor trampoline park is open throughout the week and is a fun day trip to San Francisco. Only priced at $16.00 on Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and $13.00 for Tuesday through Thursday, this destination should definitely be on your list of places to go this season! 5. Whale watching season for gray whales runs from December to April. You better bundle up for a fun, action packed day on the water and keep your camera and binoculars ready. Priced at $79.00 per adult and $60.00 per child(3-15) this whale watching tour ranges from four to five hours. Departing daily at 8am from Pier 39, San Francisco Whale Tours is an activity you don't want to miss this winter season!


Pony Express

Did You Know?

Fun facts to amaze your friends by Camille Pflugradt and Amanda Cardy

-It cost seven million dollars to build the Titanic and 200 million to make a film about it. -Laughing lowers levels of stress hormones and strengthens the immune system. -About 97% of all American money has traces of cocaine on it. -The teddy bear is named after Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt. -It is possible to serve as president for ten years, not just eight. -The act of tickling someone was originally used to torture people. -We’ve already forgotten 40% of what happened to us yesterday. -Fortune cookies were actually invented in America. -It’s impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.

January 24, 2013


a YAY to 2013. Let the senioritis a NEIGH to the Mayans. Finals begin. week was stressful without your calender. a YAY to the Oscars. The fancy version of the Golden Globes. a NEIGH to writing the wrong year. Thanks for the eraser a YAY to boys basketball smudge in the corner of my beating Novato. Giving ‘silence homework. is golden’ a whole new meaning. a NEIGH to breaking New a YAY to Les Mis. French Years resolutions. Don’t make it people have the best British if you’re going to break it. accents. a NEIGH to icy mornings. What a YAY to people with weird or happened to no snow Novato? funny laughs. Your laugh was better than the joke itself. a NEIGH to procrastination. I’ll think of an explanation sentence a YAY to news about the later. cafeteria. Maybe it’ll finally be ready in 2075. a NEIGH to hashtag abuse. #stop #thisisFacebook a YAY to Buckwild. When in #heythisisfun. doubt just Buck it! a NEIGH to the people that a YAY to SM alumn becomig work at DMV. We were already head coach of the Chargers. stressing out before you started Making a name in history for all talking. of us.

HORSESscopes: Discover what 2013 has in store compiled Angela Ding and Paige Taul

Information Courtesy of:,, www. Leo (July 24- August 23): In January 2013, you may find Aquarius (Jan 22- Feb 19): The year 2013 is all set to bring yourself with more than one argument with the authority a pivotal shift in Aquarius people’s life. Hence, you should figures in your life. You will find various people looking remain flexible and embrace changes. down on you. But remember, if you try your best, individuals will realize that Leo cannot be pushed around.

Pisces (Feb 20- Mar 20): Pisces people may look forward to see plenty of positive changes in their lives in the year of 2013. Creativity may flourish. You may gain momentum on the social scene as well. Aries (Mar 21- Apr 20): The year 2013 holds many possibilities and promises. You will need to be vigilant about your health, your relationship with your parents may change and you may feel powerful both socially and professionally. Taurus (Apr 21- May 21): In the year 2013, Taurus natives will need to be very careful in order to keep things sorted. The year may, well, be full of challenges, especially in the social front. Gemini (May 22- June 22): Gemini people shall be happy and experience good times. Both your health and wealth will be enriched. Trust your instincts and present to the world the real you. Cancer (June 23- July 23): In the year 2013, Cancer people would face immense difficulties in the first half of the year but the latter part of the year would be beneficial for them. You may also become aware of your hidden talents; try to take a middle path instead of drastic steps.

Virgo (August 24- September 23): There are many aspects of your life to make progress in. You have the ability to pick the best path for yourself, and right now you can help to get other people to follow your lead and help them see your point of view. Make the most of things, but don’t forget to keep your feet on the ground. Libra (September 24- October 23): This year, many of your plans and ideas will take wings. Your conscience and values might be put to the test throughout the year. Get in touch with those around you. Communication will become important in your times of need. Scorpio (October 24- November 22): Whatever your New Year’s resolutions were, you intend on keeping them. Prepare yourself for hardships in your future. Sa gittarius(November23December 21): Issues could come up with friends around the 14th, so be aware of that. An increase in support from your seniors is possible to. Capricorn (December 22- January 20): This is a period for low activity and low immunity. So look out for your health. You will experience a revival of energy and activity later in the month. There could be competition with those close to you in any aspect, so look out for that as well.

Pony Express Jan. 2013  
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