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The Highlander Know your rights

May 2014, Vol V Issue VIII

What’s inside

By Brooke Buckley and Lauren Tierney Staff Writers

Question: Do I have freedom of speech?

In Memoriam: Emma Kasper

Student response: “No I feel like I can’t be one hundred percent honest with my words because the administration always assumes you are aiming to hurt others,” Lexi Jenkins.

Pages 10-11

Legal response: The supreme court said, “If conduct by the student, in class or out of it, which for any reason-whether it stems from time, place, or type of behavior- materially disrupts classwork or involves substantial disorder or invasion of the rights of others is, of course, not immunized by the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech.”

Seniors prepare to leave high school

Question: Can I be searched at anytime? Student response: “No, not unless there is probable cause,” Boston Funk. Legal response: School searches are only justified according to the Supreme Court “when there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that the search will turn up evidence that the student has violated or is violating either the law or the rules of school.” California’s own state Supreme Court has expanded upon the ruling by stating that “reasonable grounds” must be supported by “articulable facts.” Random searches and searches based on hunches or rumors are not justified. Administrative Vice Principal Ralph Crame: “If it is a school safety issue there is absolutely no restrictions on belongings being searched.” Question: Can anytime?

my locker be searched at

Student response: “No, my locker cannot be searched without serious suspicion,” Sarah Anderson. Legal response: Even though lockers may possibly contain personal property of a student, the locker is still school property itself. Therefore, it can be searched at anytime. Crame: “Lockers are school property and have a right to be searched at anytime.”

Pages 14-15 Photo by Veronika Dvorakova

Student freedom restricted on campus

By Brooke Buckley and Lauren Tierney Staff Writers

The second every student steps on campus they lose their rights. The first ten amendments to the constitution, or the Bill of Rights, grant Americans these freedoms. Students give up the protection of many of these freedoms when they walk on campus in order to keep the school safe. “I know that my rights differ on and off campus, but I don’t know what rights are limited,” said Junior Sarah Anderson. There are three tests the Supreme Court has developed in regarding the free expression of students. 1) Tinker standard: Schools may not silence a student’s expression because they don’t like it. They can only silence a student’s expression if it leads to substantial disruption of the school environment or an invasion of the rights of others.

When senior Nick Adams was passing out flyers at school expressing his governmental beliefs the school did not intervene. Adams said, “I was glad that administration was watching this happen and not making an effort to suppress the messages. Often they will stop students purely because they can and feel that they should. While I don’t feel that students’ rights are fully acknowledged at school the administration does seem to have some foundational boundaries for intervention.” 2) Fraser standard: Students must behave to the appropriate norms of society. This includes language, dress, and behavior. The Fraser standard allows dance teacher Ame Secrist to restrict her dancers’ clothing. Junior advanced dance member Frieda Freeman said, “At dance studios outside of school the teachers like us to wear as little clothes as possible so they can see how our bodies move, and point out what we are doing wrong. The more clothes you wear the harder it is to correct mistakes. The dance school attire is spandex shorts, and sports bras at every dance

studio. In Carlmont dance we used to be able to wear spandex, but the rules have recently changed. Now if we want to wear spandex we have to wear tights underneath, which is very uncomfortable, and restrictive to how flexible a dancer can be and not to mention hot.” Freeman said, “I don’t agree with the dance dress code at Carlmont because dancers should be allowed to wear clothes they feel are comfortable. If swimmers can wear tight revealing suits, why can’t we wear spandex anymore?” “The dancers are allowed to wear spandex as long as they are wearing their dance tights underneath. It is simply a modesty issue, because sometimes when dancing the shorts can ride up, and we have body parts more exposed than appropriate. The tights help to keep the shorts down. In the past the dancers did not have to wear tights, but it was very distracting to me as well as the audience. I think of my classroom as a performance venue, if a teacher walks in or a parent walks in I want them to see the dancers in a professional way.” said Secrist 3) Hazelwood Standard: The school has a right to take action based on anticipation (If the school suspects disturbance from a behav~Continued on pg. 25~

Question: Can the school take my belongings (Phone, ipod, exc.)? Student Funk.


“No, not at all,” Boston

Legal response: The school may take your personal belongings if you are using them in a way that violates school rules, but doesn’t have consent to search them without a probable reason that their is something on there that may go against the law. Without probable reasoning for going through your phone (or any of your personal belongs) you have the right to not give consent for your phone to be searched. ~Continued on pg. 25~

Infographic by Minh-Han Vu

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Opinion Do age gaps in relationships make a difference?

The Highlander

By Shayan Mandegarian Staff Writer

Next year, he’ll be off to college, but she’ll only be a junior. He says he’ll visit over the summer, and they can text during the school year, but it’s just not the same. Do age gaps have an effect on high school relationships? Sophomore Sirena Vasquez who said, “As long as both people really like each other, then there’s no problem.” Others say it depends on the people involved. Junior Liam Young said, “When it comes to one or two years it’s fine, but when it’s seniors dating freshmen I don’t approve since at that point the senior is a legal man or woman and the freshman is still a minor.” Senior Zhenya Farrington said, “When it comes to seniors and freshmen that can be a bit hard because there’s such a big maturity difference and what each person expects from the other, but other than that I don’t think there is a problem.” In California, if someone over the age of 18 has any form of sexual contact with a minor, it is actually considered statutory rape, even if the minor says it is consensual. California Penal Codes

May 2014

section 261.5 part a states, “Unlawful sexual intercourse is an act of sexual intercourse accomplished with a person who is not the spouse of the perpetrator, if the person is a minor. For the purposes of this section, a “minor” is a person under the age of 18 years and an “adult” is a person who is at least 18 years of age.” While not all relationships need to have that level of intimacy, it will always be a fact in the back of both partner’s minds. This could be a source of tensions or awkwardness in relationships between legal adults and minors in high school and the general dis-

approval of relationships of these sorts. Teenagers always want to fit in with the crowd and not be labeled as an outsider, and if that means being in a relationship, they might take anyone

you’re younger, it’s a lot easier to be manipulated than when you’re older and able to make better decisions.” Sophomore Bobby Goldie said, “A lot of the time people are at different levels of maturity and emotion, so it can be difficult to have a good relationship.” Of course, opinions will be completely different when the person involved actually has a relationship with an age gap. Junior Elena Winfield, who is in a relationship with a senior said, “He’s going to college next year, so it can be a little hard knowing that he will be gone soon, but we can easily stay in touch. For other people, as long as the other person makes your happy, then there isn’t a problem.” Age gaps in relationships outside of high school are very common because people are at around the same level of maturity at that age, but in high school a couple years translates to a large maturity difference, and that is the main reason some people don’t approve of relationships of that type. But really for any relationship, it comes Infographic by Arianna Bayangos down to whether both people care for one they can get. another, so as long as that happens, age gap Sophomore Isabel Enriquez said, “When problems disappear.

Breaking up before going off to college By Scott Schulze Staff Writer

cially when it is a long distance relationship.” Senior Danielle Bickel said, “Long distance relationships are very hard because you can’t see each other that often. You are already really busy with school and stuff, so that makes it even harder to communicate with each other.” Yes, you are able to text, call, and Skype each other whenever you are both available, but that could never replace being with each other, side by side. Since those alternatives cannot replace what the relationship is really about, being with each other, College provides you an amazing opportunity to meet as many new people as you want. It is very likely that you or your partner could find someone else that they would rather be with. Senior Lorenzo Fuentes said, “I feel like I’m going to want to meet new people and girls in college. I don’t want to be stuck with someone when I want to get to know someone else.” Most of the senior couples understand that their relationship most likely will not last too much longer. They realize that their whole relationship that they have built up over a period of time is going to become meaningless once they head off to college and separate from each other. Many seniors are looking forward to college because of the freedom it gives them. It gives everyone a fresh start and a clean slate. Hanging on to people of the past can hold you back from really enjoying college and meeting new people. College is an ideal place to find new and better people to create new, stronger bonds that can last beyond the years of college.

The end of the school year is coming very soon, along with many of the bonds between classmates and friends. The bonds will be severed as seniors graduate and move on to their new schools. Many of the senior couples will end up breaking up or struggle to keep their relationship together over the next few months. This unfortunate event happens every year. When students go off to college, they often lose the connections they formed with people in their past. The distance, even if it is only a few miles between colleges, is still far enough for their constant contact to dwindle and die off. The challenge for those senior couples is to keep a relationship where they saw and talked to each other everyday, suddenly changes to a relationship where they see each other far less often and lose interest in having constant contact with each other. Sudden change from a closely bound relationship to a distant relationship causes most couples to break up. Couples going to separate schools will not be able to see each other very often. It becomes hard for them to stay together when they may not see each other for a week, month, or longer depending on the distance of their schools and schedules. According to, on average, 70 percent of long distance relationships do not last longer than five months, and only 10 percent of long distance relationships work. Senior RJ Caslow said, “It’s hard to make things work with your high school relationship, while at college, espeInfographic by Melanie Hamaguchi

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The Highlander


Page 3 May 2014

The prevalence of racism in America Have Americans come a long way from before?

By Jessica Adair Staff Writer

In 1863, Abraham Lincoln uttered the words that went against the beliefs of every American citizen: “Achievement has no color.” It has been 150 years since Lincoln abolished slavery and changed the way white Americans look at African Americans. It has been just 50 years since Martin Luther King stood in front of 250,000 people and gave arguably the most influential speech in the history of civil rights. Today in 2014, there is no more slavery, and no more segregation. Yet, in light of recent events like the Trayvon Martin shooting and the Donald Sterling scandal, it has become evident to Americans that we have not come as far as we thought we had. “Those events show that the attitudes and prejudices of this country are pretty endemic. Donald Sterling is an 80-year-old white man who still has racist tendencies because of the time he grew up in. George Zimmerman was guilty of stereotyping and took actions that he might not have taken if Martin was white,” said history teacher Linda Garvey. Out of a poll of 150 Carlmont students, 97 percent believe that racism still exists in America, and some students believe that it will always be like this. “Racism is so ingrained in Americans because we have been racist towards our people for so long. Even if a person isn’t racist, he or she could still be influenced by their grandparents because they lived during that time. I don’t think it will ever stop,” said junior Danielle Al-Abed. Other people believe that racism will never stop because it is simply human nature. “It’s hard to escape history. Racism was not just part of our history, but also part of our culture. It’s sociologically implanted in our brains to look at a person who is different

and make judgements,” said Carlmont history teacher Linda Garvey. Over the last decade, racism has changed because of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Vine, where a person can post anything they want without restrictions. “Media can either be positive or negative; it can break down stereotypes and promote acceptance of minorities, but it also very easy, especially in social media, for people express their feelings freely without censorship or consequences,” said Garvey.

“It’s hard to escape history. Racism was not just part of our history, but also part of our culture. It’s sociologically implanted in our brains to look at a person who is different and make judgements.” -Linda Garvey, history teacherThe trend of racist jokes has also been intensified because of social media. After TMZ leaked Sterling’s voice mail, an image of Clipper’s point guard, Chris Paul, was circulating around twitter. The image was of Paul’s head photoshopped onto a “12 Years a Slave” poster, but the title was changed to “12 Years a Clipper.”

“People often tell racist jokes to get attention or because they think it’s funny. They don’t even consider the fact that they’re being racist or hurtful because it doesn’t seem serious to them,” said sophomore Alyssa Arredondo. Garvey added, “I think racist comments or jokes all depend on the context of the situation. But I do hear things that some kids say in class and I call them out on it because we shouldn’t tolerate that, and I don’t know where it the motivation behind that comes from ignorance or a lack of sensitivity.” Another popular joke fueled by social media is the phrase “stop white people,” which has amassed over 100 thousand followers. These tweets show white people doing various things, and lead some people to believe that reverse racism, or racism against a dominant group, exists in America. “We have a Black Student Union at Carlmont, but if we were to have a White Student Union, I feel like people would get offended and call it racist,” said junior Emma Lin. But others believe that statements towards white people are harmless and are not at all racist. “I feel like that’s not considered racism. White people aren’t discriminated against and are given equal opportunities. People just make fun of them sometimes,” said Al-Abed. But whether it’s racism against the minority or the majority, it is evident that it has not disappeared, even after legislation like the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil Rights Act. Even though America has made laws that outlaw racism, it is apparent that it is still deeply rooted, socially, in Americans today. “We’ve made a lot of progress; the laws have changed and social acceptance in the media is much more balanced. But we still have a long way to go,” said Garvey.

High standards for Asian beauty By Ivy Nguyen Staff Writer

From skin whitening creams in India to dyed hair in Egypt to eyelid surgery in South Korea, beauty standards have pervaded international beauty markets throughout the world. In Asia, a beautiful woman is generally seen as one who has big eyes, double eyelids, a small mouth, pale and bright skin, and a V-line jaw. Plastic surgery is the most common way of meeting these standards. South Korea has the highest rate of plastic surgery in the world. According to Asian Plastic Surgery Guide, there are 74 procedures per 10,000 people per year in South Korea. Brazil takes the second place with 55 procedures per 10,000 people, but Asia takes up a majority of the chart with South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, and China. Freshman Connie Yi said, “Surgery is really common in Korea. Many Korean girls get double eyelid surgery as a present from their parents when they turn of age.” Of course, plastic surgery is so popular because cultural beauty standards are at the root of every beauty industry. It is only destined to worsen—according to market research from Lucintel, rising incomes and changing lifestyles are driving the global beauty care products industry, which is forecasted to reach $265 billion by 2017. Senior Michelle Guan said, “These standards are most prevalent in the Korean pop industry. The idols often embody them and it makes people want to change themselves to be like these artists.” These standards have negatively affected many Asian girls’ self-confidence, just as each culture’s standards do to girls all around the world. Yi said, “I’ve been a swimmer ever since I was young, so I could never become the typical pale-skinned Korean girl. As I grew older, people would ask me why I wasn’t like the other pale Koreans. Not being the ‘perfect’ Asian is difficult because you see all these perfect-looking Asians and you see yourself and you compare yourself to them.” Girls often compare themselves to stars, and it is likely the number one thing that brings down their self-confidences. Sophomore Kyla Rivera said, “Sometimes I do want to change myself because I feel like I’m out of place when I see the differences between me and them. I see their pale skin and it makes me rethink about how my skin color looks.” Some people believe that Asian women desire to look “Western,” but this is an eerily ethnocentric and false generalization. It’s not that all Asian people want to look or be Caucasian. Many Asian beauty standards happen to coincide with how Caucasians look, but it does not mean that it is meant to mimic Caucasians. For example, white skin had been prized in Asia for centuries before Europeans came along, partly because it was a signifier of class. Each culture has the agency to determine its own (often messed up) beauty standards. Unfortunately, there is no “solution.” Avoiding one’s culture altogether isn’t likely to be easy, and self-acceptance is hard to come by these days. These cultural standards are deeply rooted in our society. Photo provided by Michelle Guan


Page 4 The Highlander

May 2014

ASB trouble News-blind students By Dominic Gialdini

By Dana Benelli

Entertainment Editor

Staff Writer

"And yes, we will gladly accept bribes/ food." These were the words that were posted verbatim on the "ASB Commissioner Interviewee" Facebook page. Every year, the ASB Executive Board (comprised of the incoming and outgoing ASB presidents and vice presidents) goes through the process of selecting students to become commissioners for ASB. For the past two years, I have applied and have not gotten in. In fact, I had tried to get into ASB on a grand total of five occasions (I ran for class vice president three times and lost each election). I accept that my class chose other candidates over me and that the Executive Board decided to appoint other people. However, my experiences with ASB have caused me to discover some questionable circumstances that I believe merit corrective ridicule, not for my own personal satisfaction, but for the sake of others who, like me, aspire at some point to get in to ASB. For my final ill-fated campaign, I decided to go all-out. This involved hanging about 180 posters all around campus. Some of them were put rather conspicuously on the "Carlmont High School" sign at the turnaround near the pool. Mind you, these posters didn't cover any words on the sign. A few days later, I was told by an ASB representative that "Unfortunately, though it isn't written that you cannot, please don't put posters on signs. I see no harm in it, but [ASB teacher Jim Kelly] is worried everyone might [put posters on signs] now and take it too far." Of course, since I thought it was a clever idea and because I wasn't breaking any rules, I was a little annoyed that I was told to take the posters down, but I obliged. What really bothered me, though, was that on that very sign just weeks earlier, I had seen an ASB-made poster advertising the Valentine's Day grams on sale in the quad! In regard to the poster, ASB teacher Jim Kelly said, "I'm sure it was an oversight and it isn't OK for it to be on that sign either. But it slipped through because I can't possibly monitor where all the posters end up." Of course, I didn't know that at the time, so it appeared to me as if ASB had special privileges over the rest of us. Since I wasn't breaking any rules, I found it rather unfair that I had to take my posters down because "everyone might [put posters on signs] now and take it too far." The last time I checked, I wasn't responsible for other people's personal decisions. If the other candidates neglected to use their common sense and ended up plastering all the signs at school with their posters and made it impossible for someone alien to Carlmont to navigate around campus, how could I be to blame when all I did was conscientiously obey the rules? Of course, there is a legitimate argument against my way of thinking. As Kelly put it, "I was afraid that there might be a snowball effect. I often try to think of what the worst case scenario could be and, in this case, it would be flyers and posters all over the signs. Sometimes when a potential problem arises, I try to be too careful, but I would rather be too careful than not careful enough." I understand where ASB was coming from, but since it took a considerable amount of time for me to put the posters up on the sign, it irked me nonetheless. However, what truly perturbed me was not the sign incident, but what was said at the ASB commissioner informational meeting and as well as on the Facebook page: "And yes, we will gladly accept bribes/food." According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a bribe is "money or favor given or promised in order to influence the judgment or conduct of a person in a position of trust." Now, most people would take ASB's statement to be a joke, as I initially did, but, as I observed first-hand it ended up being true. When I was waiting for my interview, I saw other ASB hopefuls go in for their turns. Two of them went into the ASB room with sweets. Both left without the sweets. Both got into ASB. That the food didn't leave the room again suggests that the Executive Board did, in fact, accept bribes. I'm not deluded; I knew the two people who went in with the food and know that they are qualified individuals, so I'm not trying to imply that the Board selects people solely based on favors. But they did accept food, and openly told everyone that they would accept such bribes. To me it's not a matter of if the bribes made an impact on their decisions, it's a matter of if they made any impact at all. If they did, which I'm sure they did -- after all, who doesn't prefer people who bring them things -- then that is unfair to all the 40-something other people who tried to get in solely based on merit. If it did, then ASB has lost all credibility. Bribes are unacceptable and dishonorable under any circumstances pertaining to the selection of students to be leaders of the school and I believe it wouldn’t be out of place for administration to investigate such occurrences. It concerns me that ASB can get away with accepting bribes without any repercussions.

In a world that is more connected than ever before, many American teenagers remain uninformed and uninterested in keeping up with current events. At Carlmont, a recent poll found that 45 percent of respondents do not pay attention to the news often. Carlmont junior Andrew Wach identifies as one of those people. “I don’t pay attention to the news because it’s boring,” said Wach. “And it usually doesn’t apply to us as students.” Wach said that the news could be fascinating, but it was hard to relate to his own life. “It’s all about stuff in other countries, and things that affect some people in America, but not us.” “It’s weird what’s on the front page nowadays,” Wach continued. “Maybe if there was no money involved, then the news would be more interesting and more real. All they do is play up the bad things.” According to an article in Psychology Today, bad news is far more prevalent than good news, with a ratio of 17 to one. Negative news is reported more often by news stations because dramatic events capture people’s attention better. One study by found that the average click-through rate of negative headlines was 63 percent higher than that of postive ones. And as long as the strategy captures readers’ attention, news stations will likely continue to use it. Furthermore, studies have shown that the majority of network news focuses on people who have no control over the tragedy occurring to them. Being repeatedly exposed to such negativity can lead to feelings of pessimism, anxiety, and depression in viewers. Wach said that he would be more likely to read the news “if it was less negative, [and] more genuine.” Sydney Salzman is another Carlmont student who said that she does not keep up with the news. “It’s not that I directly avoid news, I just don’t go out of my way to find it,” said Salzman. According to her own experience, Salzman believes it is not common for high school students to pay attention to the news. “I think as a teenager, the news is somewhat irrelevant to me,” said Salzman. “I think the stories could be interesting if I cared about [them]. In terms of world news it hardly affects me at home, and even with local news it’s rarely [relevant].” Since the news is unnecessary, other events in Salzman’s life take precedence. “Some stories are interesting, but it’s not

something I spend my time looking at as opposed to doing other things that I find more important,” she said. If Salzman does get the news, it’s “by word of mouth, or sometimes I’ll be in the room when my parents are watching the news on TV.” Indeed, technology is changing the way Americans choose to interact—or not—with the news. The American Press Institute found in a recent study that Americans on average followed the news using four different technological devices over the past week. The study also found that as the number of devices a person owned increased, they were more likely to report enjoying keeping up with the news and were more likely to say doing so is easier than it was five years ago. “With the Internet, it’s a lot easier for everyone to have access to news, and it’s a lot more prevalent,” said Salzman. “You really don’t have to go out of your way to find it.” However, along with this increase in digital news-reading has come a decline in traditional news-reading. A Pew Research survey found that only 23 percent of Americans said they had read a print newspaper the day before. The online presence of news is part of why Clarissa Franke remains a student who pays attention to current events. “I check the news every day on Google News and I’ll look for the headlines,” said Franke, and if they seem interesting then she will read the articles. Franke said she keeps up with the news because, “[It] provides relevant information to what’s going on so I can appear intelligent.” Franke recognizes herself as a minority, however: “I find that there aren’t very many [high schoolers] who pay attention to the news. There is a good deal of them; it’s not everybody though.” As for what keeps her interested, Franke said that “Sometimes it will be really important and that will force it to be interesting. Or sometimes it will just be a tragedy, and the way humans work, we tend to focus on negative things.” “It’s just interesting to read it all and accumulate the information,” said Franke. However, relevancy is also a big concern for her. Franke said what causes her to read news the most is “Things that are going to be affecting me. The ones that are important globally are ones that are usually more interesting.” Relevancy and global significance, then, are two main qualities that high schoolers desire from their media in order to give it their attention. As student Leah Roe said, “To be honest, a lot of news is directed more towards older generations. But if they had news that was more directed towards us, with things that are relevant to us, I think that would get our age group to pay more attention to it.”

How to make the most out of junior year By Daniel Wang Staff Writer For some students, high school serves just as a learning environment. For others, high school is also a competition. According to Allen Grove, a college admissions columnist for website, many college applicants applying to Ivy League schools have near-perfect GPAs, along with SAT scores eclipsing 2250 and ACT scores exceeding 34. With so many applicants excelling academically, admission officers at these top colleges consider many other facets of the application -- especially extracurricular activities. Therefore, it becomes a race. Some overzealous students strive to be the student that can rack up the most community service hours; the individual who joins the most clubs; the one who can pull off a 5.0 GPA. To get into “that” college, ambitious juniors are also willing to sap their already limited energy and time with multiple AP classes and extracurriculars, all on top of an after-school job. But of course, all that effort won’t necessarily guarantee one a spot. Thus, you sign up for SAT classes to bump up your score by that last 50 points and take a plethora of college-level classes to demonstrate your “enthusiasm” for your potential major to the officer. After all, if you don’t make it into an Ivy League college, you’re a failure, right? The fact of the matter is, certain high school students need to relax. While by no means am I condemning students from working hard to improve their college admission chances, some students need to take their foot off the gas pedal a little.

With many high schoolers sharing the same sentiment that going to a top-notch college equates to a greater chance of being successful, students have to compete with hundreds of thousands of like-minded peers for those elusive spots at those top universities. But, since there are so many applicants and a limited number of spots at these prestigious schools, many applicants, as qualified as they are, will get rejected. Some students put in all this effort in hopes of attaining admittance to prestigious high-ranked colleges, but there are a plethora of other wonderful colleges and universities available for our disposal -- most of which have a much higher acceptance rate than some of the highly ranked colleges in America. The adage, “It’s not where you start, but where you finish,” applies to many aspects of life, with college being one of them. For instance, certain less-selective colleges, such as Occidental, offer a transfer program. According to Occidental College’s official website, this program entails that students attending Occidental can take classes at, earn a joint degree at, or even transfer to the highly prestigious Columbia university. Since potential employers only view what college a job applicant graduated from, a transfer program like the one Occidental College provides can present students with the opportunity to attend an Ivy League without having to face the especially daunting and stressful task of applying there directly from high school. High school is one of the special moments in one’s life. In these four years, teenagers mature, create lasting friendships, and discover interests. Rather than exhausting yourself to improve your SAT score by a small increment or joining another club that doesn’t interest yourself at all just to bolster your college admission chances by that little bit, go enjoy your limited high school years.


The Highlander

Page 5 May 2014

High school religion shapes lives

By Taran Sun Staff Writer

Religion can change the lives of those it reaches, and many Carlmont students practice religions that influence their activities both inside and outside of school. Many high school students feel led by religious ties to participate in activities such as a recent mission trip to Mexico. Members of the Peninsula Covenant Church, such as sophomore Jillian Huskey, journeyed to Ensenada and devoted their spring break to help take care of orphans and participate in construction. Huskey said, “The Mexico trip helped put things into perspective for me. The things that really matter aren’t always just school, money and social status. It showed me how love and kindness can take you places you never imagined.” Many people have begun to participate in volunteer work in local areas to practice the values of their religion and care for others. Sophomore Julia Hoffman said, “Once a month, there is a community service activity and we raise money for specific causes. I’m in the North Peninsula Jewish Teen Foundation, which is a board of 25 teens who do a lot of philanthropy work. I’m on the leadership

council and I plan the meetings for the board.” Among the many religions practiced at Carlmont, Christianity is a monotheistic religion that represents the belief and worshipping of God and the savior Jesus Christ. Senior Drew Jung participates in Christian activities during the school year. Jung said, “I usually go to Church on Sundays with my family and friends, and I play in the Church band. I also celebrate traditional Christian holidays like Christmas.” Judaism, also a monotheistic religion, embraces God similarly to Christianity. Unlike Christians, however, Jews do not believe Jesus Christ is their savior. They believe that the savior, the messiah, has not yet arrived. “I take part in lots of Jewish activities during high school,” said Hoffman. “I’m part of the North America Federation of Temple Youth, which is a youth group for reformed Jews. I’m also part of B’nai B’rith Youth Organization, or BBYO, which is a pluralistic Jewish youth group, and I have a board position. Each group is youth led, and we have events on Saturday nights.” Another religion, Islam, is also monotheistic, and worships God and the teachings of the prophet Muhammad. “I dress differently than a lot of my classmates because I’m Muslim,” said sophomore

Noor Dahbour. “I wear a headscarf, and people look at it and ask me about it, but I like it. I also dress differently and wear long sleeve shirts and pants, because modesty is valued by Islamic people,” said Dahbour. Sophomore Veronica Eghdami said, “My mom is Christian and my dad is Muslim. A lot of times when we celebrate holidays, my mom’s side of the family says a prayer and then my dad’s side says a separate one for each of their religious practices. My family also used to visit Iran yearly.” Practicing a religion can also provide a supportive group within school. Senior Rachel Andrews, Co-President of the Christian club, said, “It makes me feel really comfortable knowing there are other Christians around the school.” Hoffman said, “At school, being Jewish creates a whole additional community because I see people all the time that I’m friends with from my youth group.” Other students at Carlmont do not practice a religion, but also choose to participate in volunteer work in an effort to care for the lives of people around them. “During the soccer season I do some volunteer work,” said sophomore Spencer Stewart. “I help lead four year olds and teach them how to play soccer. It’s rewarding to me because it

The truth about Guantanamo Bay By Ayesha Abbasi Staff Writer

“As President, I will close Guantanamo,” said President Barack Obama in 2007. Located on the southeastern tip of Cuba, it is the only U.S. base located in a communist country. Guantanamo Bay has been a center for controversy for a majority of this century. This site is still open today and has been called on multiple human rights charges by organizations such as the United Nations. “The main problem I have with Guantanamo is that it’s in a communist country that we ‘hate,’ what is it even doing there?” said junior Zach Govani. According to an online article on Times, possession of Guantanamo was given to the U.S. under former Cuban president Batista in 1934 with a statement saying that the lease could not be terminated without both Cuba and America agreeing. Since the 2002 incidents of terrorist attacks on the U.S., Guantanamo has become a home for those suspected of terrorist activity or having ties to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Under Section 2, part of an executive order for the closing of Guantanamo Bay, it is stated that approximately 800 individuals whom the Department of Defense has determined to be, or to be treated as, enemy combatants have been detained at Guantanamo. The Department of Defense has determined that a number of the individuals currently detained at Guantanamo are eligible for transfer or release. According to Times, President Bush’s passage of the Military Commissions Act in 2006 authorized the use of military tribunals instead of using a court system to prosecute detainees, and justifies the use of some forms of torture during interrogations. The physical treatment sparked international outcry from the United Nations, human rights organizations and the Cuban

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government, which complained that the territory was being used as a “concentration camp”. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling later that year blocked the tribunals and allowed prisoners to petition for laws allowing detainees to be tried in a federal court. Of the 800 people detained in Guantanamo since its establishment, many were found to be not guilty and with no ties to either the Taliban or al-Qaeda, as many of them were wrongfully turned over by anti-Taliban bounty hunters in Afghanistan. In an op-ed posted on The New York Times by Murat Kurnaz, a wrongfully held suspect with alleged links to terrorist activities, he talks about his time spent there, “There were more beatings, endless solitary confinement, freezing temperatures and extreme heat, days of forced sleeplessness.” “I read two of the op-ed’s from freed detainees and I think the treatment is completely wrong, it’s not helping in any way and it just makes the U.S. look oppressive,” said junior Mitchell Wright. In a survey taken of Carlmont high school, 65 percent of Carlmont students didn’t believe in closing down Guantanamo Bay. “I think a lot of kids don’t know what exactly is going on there and therefore just don’t think it should be closed because everyone thinks it’s stopping terrorists,” said junior Isabel Zwass. Only around 170 prisoners remain in Guantanamo Bay, the majority of whom have either already been cleared or are expected to be cleared of charges due to lack of evidence. According to Politico, the Obama administration claimed that 50 out of the 155 men left at Gitmo are too dangerous to be released. “It’s been months since Obama said that he was going to pick a new site for Guantanamo and nothing is happening. It’s getting old and something needs to be done,” said junior Neeshae Wain.

Editorial: school days are the best days of our lives The graduating seniors are finally done; after years of grueling lessons, tireless homework, and so much more, they can all finally relax. Never again will they have to see the people that annoy them and they finally can become independent individuals. However, among all this relief and excitement for the future, one must realize what they are saying good riddance too. Our schooling days (kindergarten-12th grade) will always be the best part of our lives. We are quick to happily move on from all the homework assignments, tests and report cards, but we seem to forget the positive parts of school. School is where you meet your friends, where you find your passions, and in general spend a large portion of your childhood. Amidst the stressful assignments and work are memories of relationships, field trips, and recess. Long summer days spent with your friends during the 10 or more weeks of summer break and random three day weekends because the school board says so: two of many things that once we hit the real, working, adult world, are only memories that we can cherish. Even though school is not always the place where someone would spend their day off, it is really important to realize how much of our lives is affected by our experiences there. All the memories, from learning about our nation’s history to running laps around the track, to getting a detention and stressing out over AP tests, have helped us become the individuals we are today. So when the final name is called at graduation, and every speech has ended, while celebrating the fact that you never have to go back to school, take a second to appreciate everything school has done for you.

the highlander Staff Writers:

Ayesha Abbasi Jessica Adair Reggie Chatman Jr. Gabriela D’Souza Tara Ebrahimpour Graham Godwin Conrad May Isabella Paragas John Russell Katherine Savin Scott Schulze Daniel Wang Maxwell Ware Grace Yi

Naomi Asrir Angelina Castillo Tracy Chu Ariana Crame Matthew DeGraff Elizabeth Doctorov Athena Duran Alyssa Espiritu Rebecca Fradkin Aria Frangos Melanie Hamaguchi Danielle Hamer Sabrina Talpur Sarah Adams

makes the kids smile and helps them have fun,” said Stewart. The day to day lives and normal activities of religious high school students are affected by their beliefs as well. Sophomore Ethan Pike said, “For me, praying is part of being Muslim. It is customary to pray multiple times a day. The other day at lacrosse, I did a quick prayer at sundown during my game.” Although practicing a religion can affect many aspects of a person, it does not make the people with religious beliefs entirely different from those with secular beliefs. Jung said, “I think high school life looks the same to a Christian as to any other person. Christianity is not necessarily beneficial to success in high school; work still feels like work, hanging out is the same, and so on.” High school is a time when all students are developing their own beliefs, but in the end all students must face similar challenges. Jung said, “Is being Christian different than being not-Christian? Yes. There is a difference in your fundamental beliefs about the nature of existence. Does your high school life change because of it? I don’t think so. We’re all not that different, were just people, and I’m super thankful that so many people understand that.”

Mia Hogan Kevin Juarez Kian Karamdashti Genevieve Kellis Julia Kranzler Darien Malekos Shayan Mandegarian Jocelyn Moran Ivy Nguyen Lara Ostroff Sonia Paulo Danielle Schneider Tara Shahrvini Taran Sun

The mission of The Highlander is to accurately and honestly cover communal as well as school events. As a student run open forum newspaper, we strive to incorporate multiple views and represent the diverse community at Carlmont. Dana Benelli Iris Berber Brooke Buckley Tian Chary Josh Fagel Ravina Gujral Miranda Irwin Elena Mateus Amit Netanel Mateen Nozzari Kimiko Okumura Angela Perez De Tagle Justine Phipps

Claire Porter Nathan Rosenthal Sarah Schisla Gianna Schuster Marco Sevilla Victoria Shanefelter Julian Smith Alisa Takahashi Lauren Tierney Giorgi Trembley Minh Han Vu Alex Wildman Alex Yang

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Finding the right college for the right person By Julia Kranzler Staff Writer

College (noun): an organized group of professional people with particular aims, duties, and privileges. As graduation rolls around the corner, seniors leave behind a legacy made over the last four years as they descend into their adult life. For many, the next step is college. It is widely known that college has become increasingly more difficult to get into, which leaves students with minimal options to choose from. For most students, picking the right college may mean picking the “best” college. “I got offered a regent scholarship which automatically gives me priority for everything and puts me in their honor’s program. I also get priority for research opportunities. I also got into UC Berkeley, UCLA, USC, and UC San Diego but UC Davis was the right choice based on the opportunities they’re giving me,” said senior Bita Sharvini. But for some, the “best” college to them is the college that feels “right” to them. Senior Kalila Kirk, who was admitted

into Harvard University, opted for UC Berkeley instead. “I was deciding between UC Berkeley and Harvard. I visited both of them and I realized there was nothing at Harvard that told me it was the absolute wrong place for me but there was nothing there that was really compelling me to go there...I realized I would just be so much happier at Berkeley. I know I’ll be with people there who are like me,” said Kirk. Many say they received a certain feeling from a college which let them know it was the right one for them. These days, as college admission rates decrease year by year, gaining admission into a nationally ranked university is an achievement nonetheless, but not always taken with excitement. “I got into the business program at University of Washington and Cal Poly. Washington is ranked higher in that program, but I didn’t feel like that was the right choice for me because I don’t think I can survive in Washington’s rainy weather and I really wanted to go somewhere nice and warm and sunny like Cal Poly. It’s also a lot less expensive and I know I’m going to be happier there,” said senior James Schulte.

Students going to smaller colleges that receive less recognition may feel like their accomplishments are being overshadowed by fellow students going to big name universities. “I feel like a lot of people are just afraid to leave California and branch out...I chose to go to Loyola University in New Orleans because it’s a small liberal arts school and I can get a lot of one-on-one attention from teachers, they have a phenomenal music industry program where I can do a lot of internships, and New Orleans is an amazing place for music,” said senior Ethan Wallace. Whether it’s a UC, Ivy League, state school, or private school, choosing a college is a big decision, but in the end, it’s all about being realistic and finding a place where a student is guaranteed to thrive. “There are people I can think of that are going to really good colleges but I honestly don’t think they’re going to make it... people need to be more realistic about choosing a college rather than killing themselves working at a big name school,” said Schulte.

VS What people do the summer before college By Josh Fagel Staff Writer

Summer’s here and the time is right for seniors to…well, it depends who you ask. While getting a job, hanging out with friends, or watching every show on Netflix are the most common activities, some seniors have more unconventional summers planned. “My band is touring along the west coast for almost all of July. I’m trying to spend as much time as I possibly can with my band before I leave for New Orleans, where I’m going for college, in August,” said senior Ethan Wallace. Other Carlmont artists have similar, busy plans. “I'm understudying the role of Natalie in the musical Next to Normal at a theater company in San Jose. I have two guaranteed performances as an understudy, and the show runs late June through July,” said senior Catherine Luckenbach. Some are even physically preparing for fall. “I’m going to basic training for the Air Force,” said senior Nate Fischer. While seniors figure out their plans for the upcoming summer, several current college students offered advice on what seniors should do in the summer before college. “Make sure to spend lots of time with the people you care most about because it gets hard to keep old relationships in college especially if you go out of state,” said Matt Wood, a former Carlmont student and current sophomore at University of Oregon. “All of a sudden, you don’t get to see the friends that you spent up to 18 years of your life with,” said Wood. Other current college students also reflected the sorrow behind of leaving your loved ones. “It’s dismal but it’s important to bond with

your friends at home because you'll never be together like that again,” said Cierra Reimche, a former Carlmont student and current freshman at UC Berkeley. While remaining socially active was one of the most prolific pieces of advice that current college students offered, many students also advised incoming college students to prepare for college in different ways. “Practice budgeting your time and know when you need to buckle down and work and when you can sit back and relax,” said Wood. Jason Ho, a former Carlmont student and current freshman at UC Santa Cruz, said, “Look into what school clubs/organizations and research what classes you need to take for your major. If you have summer orientation, ask questions and get to know your school.” Ho also had some financial advice for incoming college freshmen. “You should definitely look for work or job opportunities to make some money to pay for textbooks and school and dorm supplies, as well as having extra spending money,” said Ho. “I recommend that you get a credit card and start building up good credit so that you have a solid credit score by the time you graduate from college,” said Wood. While there are many things to do and many people to see, some seniors will choose to spend the majority of the summer watching Netflix or playing videogames. “I highly advise that you get outdoors and just enjoy how perfect the Bay Area is and how awesome the people here are. If you’re leaving the area for college, you’re going to miss the incredible Bay Area atmosphere. Don’t take it for granted,” said Wood. But one thing that Wood said can apply to anything that graduating seniors do this summer: “Make a habit of trying new things because college is all about experiences.”

Images used with a Creative Commons License

Custom Blend Hair Extentions

By Emily Wyant


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The Highlander




If you were to look up “ways to reduce stress” on the Internet, I guarantee that taking a bubble bath would be one of the first things to come up. While you’re in there you can read a book, light some candles, eat some chocolate, listen music, or make yourself one of those Santa Claus beards. Whatever makes you more relaxed, just don’t be one of those people who takes pictures of their legs in the bathtub and then posts them on Instagram.

2. Honk furiously It might not seem like the most conventional approach, but it is definitely fun and will let off steam. You might get a lot of angry looks or you might even get a ticket, but at least you are focusing on something other than the impending doom that is finals.

3. Binge eat When nobody else is your friend, you can always count on food. Food will always be there for you if you’re depressed, angry, misunderstood, stressed, or any of those other teenage emotions. Feel free to pig out and not hold back. Just promise yourself that you’ll eat better over the summer, even though we all know that’s never going to happen.


a Dvorako

y Veronik

Photos b

Six fun ways to release stress and have a few laughs 1. Take a bubble bath



Ways to reduce the stress of finals By Jessica Adair Staff Writer

May 2014


4. Make a finals voodoo doll I’m sure you have all seen at least one movie or television where an angry character makes a voodoo doll of their worst enemy and then sticks pins in it. I’m encouraging you to become that angry, psychotic character; except instead of making a doll of the person that you hate, make a doll that says ‘finals’ on it.

5. Dress fabulously

6. Have a personal dance party After you’ve done all your studying, have a dance party in your room the night before finals. It doesn’t matter what kind of music it is, although I’m sure classical or jazz won’t do the trick, as long as you have fun.

It doesn’t matter if you aren’t feeling good about your final, as long as you dress fabulous you will feel fabulous. I personally recommend wearing a Stanford sweatshirt or a Harvard sweatshirt to get the motivation you need in order to succeed.

The benefits of students taking finals By Sarah Schisla Staff Writer

In a recent poll, 85 percent of Carlmont students said that they found finals to cause significant stress. While finals may be unpopular, there are substantial benefits. One such benefit is the "spacing effect," which means that if a student has already learned the subject matter, studying the information again after a few weeks, months, or even years can produce a greater understanding of the material. A cumulative final takes advantage of this effect by forcing students to review lessons at the end of the school year that were initially covered months earlier. Math teacher Michael Skrable said, "It does cause people to go back and master basic concepts again. I’m no fool; I know that a lot will be quickly forgotten, but that would happen even more if we didn’t have finals." In math, many of the skills tested on the final will be needed for the subsequent course.

Throughout the school year, Skrable's regular tests contain easy, medium, and hard math problems, but the final has no hard-level problems. "I don't expect mastery to the same degree on a final as I would on a [regular] quiz or test. If designed correctly, finals can evaluate how well students have mastered basic concepts throughout the entire course," Skrable said. While every teacher at Carlmont is required to have a final assessment, each teacher may use his or her final differently. English teacher Sarah Clarke has a cumulative final on the vocabulary component of her course. “My students know from the first day of school what their final is going to be. In theory, if students have studied their vocab all the way through, they won’t have much work to do. I think the final exam has to be something kids feel they can succeed in,” she said. Sophomore Claire Wheeler said, "The time that I feel the most worried about my grades is during finals because you need to know everything from all your classes at one time." Many Carlmont teachers tend to have cu-

mulative finals that include everything covered throughout the course. Regarding her vocabulary final, Clarke said, "I have many other assessments throughout the year to test other skill sets, and it becomes difficult to assess mastery of so many standards in just two hours." Clarke is being forced to change her final exam starting next year because the vocabulary tests are not in accordance with the California Common Core State Standards. “Next year I’ll probably do a Socratic Seminar to assess the speaking standards,” she said. Some students voice concern that finals have too much influence over their final grades. "So much depends on just one test. My grade is already a reflection of what I know and how I've done in the class," Wheeler said. However, sophomore Alex Zuckut said, "If someone has an 87 percent, they could still use the final as a last-minute way to get an A in the class." For Clarke, the final exam is "just another test for the books." It receives no extra weight and accounts for a regular percentage of a stu-

dent's grade. "It puts a lot of pressure on students when you say it’s worth 20 percent of their grade. However, our finals in high school are preparing students for college finals, which are a huge part of the grade," Clarke said. College finals can be responsible for more than 40 percent of a student's grade. Some colleges have taken to using a 4.3 GPA system rather than a four-point scale. In the new system, an A+ can earn students 4.3 points toward their GPA. This serves as an incentive for even top students or those who are satisfied with their current grades to do well on finals. Clarke said, "Ideally, I would love my final to mirror the Advanced Placement (AP) test, which assesses several skill sets in one sitting. However, students are allotted several hours to take an AP test, unlike high school final exams. It's interesting that students are amenable to taking an AP exam (since they receive college credit), but have difficulty with taking cumulative high school final exams."

Page 8 The Highlander


May 2014

Students share their summer bloopers of the long gone past By Tara Ebrahimpour Staff Writer Most teenagers imagine and look forward to a carefree summer; one that is flawless, near perfect, and stress free. Summer is a time to let go and unwind. Let loose and enjoy life. A time where students in particular can hang out with friends and family and just have a great time. Without any cares or regrets. But, some teens get more than what they bargained for, and that’s not always in a good way. Let’s just say their summers didn’t go as planned. Imagine going on a nice and relaxing vacation where all you want is to be able to relax and sunbathe under the sun, hang out with friends, and avoid the dreaded summer homework, but instead, one experiences the unexpected.

A few summers ago, one freshman girl who asked to remain anonymous attended summer camp. In this program, she lived with a host family. As the week passed by, her host family was invited to a pool party at the community pool, as were many of the other families. While at this pool party, she was playing volleyball with a group of kids from the program, when she noticed that her bikini top had come undone as she reached for the ball. And, the next thing she knew was that her top came off. “I immediately slammed it [the bikini] down and just sat on the ground until someone gave me a towel and I quickly ran into the bathroom.” Once she returned from the bathroom, things only got worse. Many of the kids that she

“I think moreover it was how people reacted to it [throwing up]...everyone just stood there and it was very awkward”

-Ashley Wen, freshman-

was socializing with were from Panama and only spoke Spanish. The boys started screaming “Titas!” (breasts in Spanish) and “Do it again!” This freshman said it was very embarrassing for her and said, “I literally wanted to disappear because it was so mortifying.” Another horror story of summer vacation involves junior Alex Chung. Chung attended a summer camp called YEBW (Young Entrepreneurs Business Week). This camp is for students who want to learn how start their own business and to handle the business in the future. The camp sponsored a dance which, “Turned out to be really boring,” said Chung. Chung and six of his friends decided to “spice things up a bit.” These boys took off their shirts and pants and danced. Although this “spiced things up,” they were called out by the camp advisors and shunned by the girls as well. What was the worst part? Well, Chung and his daring friends couldn’t find their clothes after the embarrassment because some of the other campers had taken them. Chung said, “That night was embarrassing, but

now I have a great, funny story to tell.” Freshman Ashley Wen went to Italy when she was seven for a family vacation. Her family went on a tour of one of the famous cities. It was an extremely hot day which forced Wen to feel really sick throughout the tour. While her family was walking through the streets of Italy, she felt very nauseated. Trying to avoid throwing up on anyone, she turned around. She could started heaving and felt like she was going to throw up. Although she tried to avoid it, she ended up throwing up on a boy. Wen said that the act of throwing up itself wasn’t the worst part. Wen said, “...I think moreover it was how people reacted to it [throwing up]...everyone just stood there and it was very awkward, especially when you’re in a foreign country and you’ve just ruined someone else’s day. What then are you supposed to do?” Although many of these experiences were embarrassing for the students at the time, many of the students find them to be funny now, and learned from these experiences.

Books or beaches: the summer dilemma

Some opt for summer courses

By Danielle Hamer Staff Writer

The weather outside is gorgeous. The white sand and clear blue waves at the beach are calling your name. The faint shouts of toddlers on slip ‘n’ slides in neighboring houses ring faintly in your ears. The dreamy setting of summer is finally a reality. Yet, in front of you, stacked in a towering pile, sit textbooks, summer reading, and class material. You continue to read, despite the twinkling music of the ice cream truck outside and the thoughts of a fun summer day that attempt to drag you along with them. Through fall, summer, and spring, students work tirelessly to study, learn, and achieve good grades. However, for many hardworking students, this effort does not end when the school year does. Many students elect to take college classes at local community colleges over attending summer camp or going on vacation. Junior Liam Young said, “I would rather be relaxing on my vacation, but instead I choose take a lot of academic classes throughout the duration of the long summer.”

Summer classes can help students to get ahead in their courses, and are often used to put an edge to a college application- they show dedication to academics all-year round. In other cases, students simply prefer a college-taught class over one taught in high school. Young said, “Courses taken at the college level tend to be better taught and its more probable that I will be more successful in getting a better grade in a summer course rather than suffering through a high school class all year.” However important staying academically involved over the summer vacation may be, some students do not feel too inclined to give up their long weeks of freedom. Senior Marissa DaCosta said, “Over the summers, I do not do much academically. I go on fun vacations and relax. I find it helpful to recharge batteries on vacation.” Despite having to choose to have fun in the summer, one can also incorperate brushing up on material to be better prepared for the following school year. DaCosta said, “In between school years, I find it helpful to go over school subjects and topics I may have forgotten or

struggled with the previous year. Even if I am on vacation, I try to stay caught up and ready to go back to an academic life. Therefore, it is good to have a balance during the break.” Parents of high schoolers are also factors in how students spend their summer weeks. Mother of sophomore Ella Reich, Angela Banet said, “I don’t want to push my daughter. If she was struggling in school, I would help her over the summer. But summer is a time to have fun, relax, and spend with your family if you are all caught up in school.” Summer homework can also be time consuming during vacation. Advanced Placement and honors classes are assigned projects and writing, and most English classes require reading to be done prior to the beginning of the school year. Summer is a time to try new things, spend time with family and friends, vacation, catch up on life, and have a good timewhether that does or does not include extra courses. Graphic by Tara Sharvini

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May 2014


80 % of UV rays pass through clouds

Effects of UV rays dark patches wrinkles loose skin premature aging DNA damage eye problems sunburn




89% of Carlmont students do not wear sunscreen daily.

1 OUT OF 5

Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime.

What to look for in suncreen Broad spectrum SPF 30+ Water resistant

Graphic by Kimiko Okumura

The pressures of summer: going for the beach body By Angelina Castillo Staff Writer

Summer is around the corner and the pressure is on to have a “beach body.” Junior Cole Castro said, “There is pressure to look good because you have to look ripped and muscular so the other guys don’t make fun of you. Sometimes people are made fun of, it just depends on the person.” Sites such as Beachbody. com suggest the idea of what looks good and what doesn’t in peoples minds and it has become stereotypical: “While most people are most con-

cerned about the excess fat they’ve accumulated over the winter months when it comes to stripping down for the beach season, for the skinny guy, the concern is more of lack of muscle size and potentially, definition.” Many people worry about being too fat, or too skinny especially around the summer season. Some may find themselves comparing their own body to those around them which doesn’t show confidence. In a survey of Carlmont students, 63 percent of them feel they need to be in the best shape possible during the

summer. Junior Dan Carroll said, “You have to get your summer body on because you want to look good at the beach with your shirt off so you can get the ladies. It’s not the only way to get the ladies, but it’s like bonus.” Castro said, “You got to get that summer body and you got to look good to be healthy and show that you’re strong.” Junior Gigi Vlahos said, “It is not necessarily every person who feels the pressure to look for or be tan, if people are confident with their body the way it is then they can wear what they want.”

For some they don’t consider it to be pressure and they make the decisions not to feel it, but it’s not always the pressure of looking fig but it can also be the pressure to have a nice tan to show off. Sophomore Spencer Stewart said, “I don’t feel pressure to have a perfect body because I wouldn’t show my stomach off anyways; I would blind people with my whiteness. People find being tan attractive so if you’re looking to attract a significant other, you might want to be tan but looking fit also helps attract others.” Some prepare for this by

exercising a lot more or eating healthier, 49 percent of students workout extra before the summer season. Junior Nicole Dermenjian said, “Mentally, I think I do need to workout more and I repress my memory every time I eat Oreos and cake.” Carroll said, “To prepare I have protein shakes, eat salads, and hit the gym twice a day, I do the stair climber and a lot of cardio.” Sophomore Claire Wheeler said, “Personally I don’t feel pressured to have a beach body but a lot of other people feel pressure because a lot of the time if your friends are

skinnier than you and you’re going to be at the beach you don’t feel as good and Victoria’s Secret bathing suit magazines makes you feel bad too.” Media can also contribute to lowering ones self-esteem and that adds to the pressure as well. Vlahos said, “Magazines or models being shown at places us kids shop such as Hollister or Victoria secret adds to the stress because everyone is always comparing themselves and they want to impress other people so they feel the need to do that by looking exactly like those models in pictures and at stores.”

The summer climate changes the summer diet

By Sonia Paulo Staff Writer

From natural to processed foods, it’s hard to debate the fact that the food eaten is a big part of the summer season. Whether it be barbecued chicken or 7/11 slurpees, everyone has that food that reminds them of summer. Over those sunny months, more fresh fruits are available than during the winter making fruit a food many regard as “summery.” “I love strawberries,” said senior Charlotte Lewis, “They scream summer to me.” Strawberries are primarily in season from April to June and are the most cultivated berry in the country according to The berry itself is packed with nutrients and low in calories making it a healthy food. According to mother nature network, strawberries are packed with manganese, which is important in a

healthy bone structure. A study done at Ohio State concluded that the strawberry, along with other popular berries, contains the same cancer-fighting elements as found in exotic berries for less of the cost. There are also ways to enjoy the sweet taste of strawberries that involve a little more preparation. Some of the most popular include smoothies or fruit bars, and on the more indulging side of the spectrum, ice cream and milk shakes. Raspberries are another common fruit eaten over the summer. “I love the taste of them and they’re fun to eat.” Sain junior Amanda Breslauer. Raspberries were first cultivated by the Romans, but didn’t get popular until they were exposed to regions of Europe in the 17th century. Since then, raspberries have been spread all over the world including France, England,

and America. Like strawberries, raspberries can be prepared in many varieties as well. Pies and jams are all popular to make with the fruit, however more summery foods such as smoothies and popsicles are also common over the summer months. “I can eat raspberries plain,” said Breslauer, “but eating them with lemon curd is also really good.” For a common, cold treat involving the berry, raspberry sorbet is a good option. It is made with sweetened water and flavoring, making it sit lightly in the stomach on the hot summer days when you don’t want to feel bogged down. The sound of sipping slurpees or of the ice cream truck cruising by are all other signs that summer is here. “Hot dogs remind me of summer the most.” Said junior Andrew Wach, “They just remind me of warm

weather and outdoor barbecues with family and friends.” Hot dogs and sausages, originally developed in Germany, have become a staple of American culture ever since they were sold at hot dog stands for the first time during baseball games. Along side this staple of American culture, hot dog traditions include the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest held on Coney Island every July 4. This contest has been held every year since 1972 and is seen in relation to amounts of patriotism. Contrary to other sausages, hot dogs come precooked making them perfect to simply grill up at a barbecue. “Baja Freezes from Taco Bell are my favorite summer food,” said sophomore Jacob Segal, “They’re made of ice which make them cool and tasty to eat when its hot out.” Baja Freezes were introduced to Taco Bell in Aug. 2012. It is a tropical fruit

drink that is similar to a slushie due to its icy texture. It’s primary provider comes from Mountain Dew, and it is available in a variety of flavors including “Baja Blast,” “Black Cherry,” and “Typhoon.” Summer simply wouldn’t be summer without it’s most highly regarded seasonal food: ice cream. Sales of the treat sky rocket over the summer, emphasizing the truth behind a popular summer food. “I love Dippin’ Dots,” said junior Donna Ghaemi, “they’re like little balls of happiness.” Dippin’ Dots were first invented in 1987 and later became highly commercialized by the slogan “ice cream of the future.” They are made by flash freezing ice cream mix in liquid nitrogen. The conditions needed to keep Dippin-dots in their form are not available to allow them to be sold in stores, meaning they can only be

sold at individual franchised outlets. “I eat them whenever I go to amusement parks,” said Ghaemi, “they’re over priced but totally worth it.” “I always eat the drumstick ice cream cones over the summer.” said sophomore Gabi Dimick, “It’s like an ice cream sundae in a cone!” Drumstick ice cream cones traditionally come in a waffle cone, complete with a hard chocolate shell and nuts. They were first commercialized by Nestle at the 1904 World’s Fair. Nestle taglines its drumstick ice cream as “forever summer,” fitting the season that the treat is most popular.. Nestle drumsticks are available in over 21 different flavors, and sold in combo packs or solo at various stores. Whether it be the smell of funnel cakes at the fair, or picking berries at local farms, food is very much a part of summer.

Page 10 The Highlander

In Memoriam

May 2014

Remembering Emma Kasper By Claire Porter Staff Writer As seniors get ready to walk in pairs down the football field, pass around inflatable balls in the bleachers, and strut across the stage to receive their diplomas, it’s important to remember those who will not be in attendance. Emma Kasper, a student who would have been a member of the graduating class of 2014, who loved to dance, play soccer, and planned on joining the swim team, who, her freshman year, decided she wanted to be remembered at Carlmont and leave a mark upon the campus, passed away almost a year ago on June 10. Unfortunately, because her passing occurred over summer break, she was never officially commemorated by the school. Now, to honor one of the students who will not be walking across the stage, here is Emma Kasper’s story.

The beginning Soon after her sophomore year began, Emma Kasper realized she had developed a bump on the side of her tongue. Having recently gotten her braces off, she assumed it was a canker sore from her Invisalign. But oddly, after multiple doctor and orthodontist visits, medications weren’t helping the bump go away. On Oct. 15, 2011, Emma Kasper, along with her three best friends, senior Alison Fitch, Sequoia High School senior Rachel Hoke, and Notre Dame High School senior Haley Moore, went out to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. That night during dinner, Emma Kasper kept complaining about the bump on the side of her tongue, and she was even getting worried that it might be cancer. “We all just laughed and thought it was simply impossible for our best friend to have cancer. Never in a million years did we think that she would not just get oral cancer, but have her life taken away by oral cancer,” said Moore. The girls reassured Emma Kasper that everything would be fine, but that she should visit a doctor just in case. Oct. 30, 2011 turned out to be her last day of high school.

After she got sick the first time but recovered, I saw her at school once. I ran into her and we were both excited to see each other. We spent a few minutes catching up, mostly about school, and hugged goodbye. That was the last time I saw her. I remember she seemed so optimistic and positive. She was her usual friendly self. I was lucky to know Emma. Zoe Chien Senior

Diagnosis On Nov. 4, after unsuccessful doctor visits and finally a biopsy, Emma Kasper found out that the bump her friends thought was a sore on the side of her tongue was actually a cancerous tumor. She was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma. It’s still a mystery as to how she developed an adult disease as a child. Immediately after diagnosis, she underwent a 12 hour surgery to remove the tumor. “When she first got diagnosed, I never thought that this disease would take her away from us. I thought it was something that she would have to work through and then she would be okay and live a normal life,” said Moore. Doctors asked if she smoked, took harmful drugs, or drank heavily, which are common

causes of oral cancer. But Emma Kasper had done none. Kelly Kasper, Emma Kasper’s mother, said that the doctors never told them what stage the cancer was in. However, Emma Kasper’s sister, Olivia Kasper, said, “We’re pretty sure it was stage three or four -- it had started to metastasize down her neck.”

Fighting the battle Emma Kasper immediately had surgery to remove the tumor, which took about half of her tongue, along with the lymph nodes from the right side of her neck. Every day for six weeks she had radiation and chemotherapy around the area to get rid of remaining cells. “The radiation only took 37 seconds each time. She did really well at first -- they played Christmas music well into March for her. But as time passed, it started to play with her head. She started to get anxiety because she couldn’t move anything but her hands when she was under the mask,” said Kelly Kasper. However, Emma Kasper still appeared healthy and normal to her friends. “You couldn’t notice anything at first, her speech was just a little bit different because some of her tongue was gone. You couldn’t tell that anything was wrong because it was all in her mouth. She even got her hair highlighted — totally something she would do. Her hair didn’t change, her face didn’t change. Yeah she lost weight, but nothing super drastic,” said Fitch. Emma Kasper was even still up for outings with her friends. “After her first surgery, we went to the Stanford Mall. She could still talk and was up and walking around, but when we were trying clothes on, she told us that she had to go home because she wasn’t feeling well. That’s when Rachel and I realized that it was gonna be really bad. I think that was the last time we went out and did something fun,” said Fitch. Emma Kasper told Fitch that she’d be back at Carlmont in a few weeks, she just had to recover. but she kept extending that amount of time because the doctors kept finding more cancer in her tongue. “Her schedule wasn’t very flexible because of her doctor appointments, so I became an annoying mom telling her to text me at least once a week to give me an update,” said Fitch. One time, however, her report wasn’t reassuring. The cancer had appeared in her left lymph nodes, despite the radiation and chemo. ”That’s when it began to be more noticeable. She started to freak out about her appearance a little bit more. She never fully lost her hair which is really good. But after her surgery she didn’t really want to be seen so she stopped going out as much, “ said Fitch. “That was one of the worst parts for me too, because she began to finally look like a cancer patient.” “Emma did her research. Day and night. She had to know her doctor’s credentials, where he went to school, his middle name,

Photo courtesy of the Kasper family

everything. She challenged him all the time. She was so stubborn and bossy. She wouldn’t let them do anything until she was ready,” said Olivia Kasper.

Remission After her second surgery, Emma Kasper was told she was fine. “I actually still remember the Facebook status she made announcing her remission and how happy she was,” said Moore. Emma Kasper threw a party to celebrate her remission, which many of her friends refer to as the “Pink Party.” “I hadn’t seen Emma in a while before Pink Party, and when I saw her I honestly wanted to cry. She looked so different. She was so much skinnier,” said Fitch. A few weeks after the party, and only days before a local Relay for Life event that she was a team member of, Emma Kasper felt a new growth on the tip of her tongue.

I remember that when she was in remission at the Pink Party, I got to see her for the first time in a long time and she looked more beautiful than ever before. She had scars on her neck from the surgery, and it was amazing seeing such a stunning girl with these battle wounds on her neck. You could look at Emma, see scars and know just how strong she is. Hank Wilkerson Senior

Relapse But then, the tumor came back to the original spot on the side of her tongue. “She stopped texting, so I began talking to her mom, who told me she didn’t have much energy to text anymore. At that point I knew it was really bad. When you don’t have the energy to text, it says a lot about your physical

condition,” said Fitch. Emma Kasper’s condition got progressively worse as the months went by. While at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, it was discovered that her tumor had grown and was blocking her throat and making it hard to breathe. She immediately had a tracheotomy. “The options Emma had were to either have her tongue removed to give her some more time and a life without a tongue or to keep it, knowing the tumor would return. So she was constantly weighing the options. It sounds great removing it because you get to be alive, but when you think about never talking, never eating — I mean, how often do you go to lunch with your friends? She’d never be able to do that,” said Olivia Kasper.

Illness takes its toll Around this time, Emma Kasper’s terminal illness finally hit Fitch. “I remember I was in Langkusch’s AP English class and was in a group text with Haley and Rachel. One of them texted us saying that Emma didn’t have much time and that they should visit her soon. I tried to focus in the class seminar, but I couldn’t, and started crying.” said Fitch. Fitch found support and advice with others. “Ms. Langkusch was super understanding. As I was walking out, she said something that really helped me. She asked if I had seen Emma in the past couple of weeks. I told her I hadn’t. She told me I really need to see her in order to let her go. I told her I didn’t want to see her like that, but she told me the best thing for me right now would be to see her, because that would be the only thing that would help me through this,” said Fitch. Moore had difficulty handling the news as well. “All these thoughts came up like, ‘How am I going to live without her? How am I going to handle her death? Why does it have to be my best friend?’ But I realized I couldn't waste my time thinking about these things — I had to be there for my best friend,” said Moore. Although hearing the devastating news was tough, seeing her physical condition was even harder to handle.

Page 11

In Memoriam

The Highlander

May 2014

“I saw her in May [2013] of junior year and that’s when it got really bad. She couldn’t walk anymore and her face was super swollen, and her neck caved in on the side. The rest of her body was really skinny. I refused to believe that was her, because a couple weeks before that she looked so much better,” said Fitch.

Letting go

Emma Kasper and Haley Moore at the Cheesecake Factory.

Photos courtesy of the Kasper family

It was Emma Kasper who made the decision to stop fighting her battle with cancer. “Emma had always wanted to be a whale. She made a comment to me one time that she wanted to be a whale when she died someday. In the emergency room, she looked at me and said ‘Olivia, you know where I’ll be when I die, right?’ And I looked at her and made a swimming motion with my arms, and she looked at me and said, ‘Yeah.’ I think that was when she realized she wasn’t going to make it out of this,” said Olivia Kasper. The topic of dying and what happens afterwards became a common subject matter in the Kasper household. “Emma would ask questions like, what do you think happens when you die? And we would tell her what we thought. We had a spiritual counselor that would come and answer questions she had in a spiritual, rather than religious way,” said Olivia Kasper. “The counselor would ask her, ‘When you think of comfort, what pops into your head?’ and Emma would say a rainy day or the beach, and she would say, ‘Well that is where you need to put your mind to relax and comfort you.’ So when she got upset she would close her eyes and think about that,” said Olivia Kasper. “It’s really hard to think about anyone making that decision, knowing what’s ahead of them,” said Fitch. “I saw her the day that she died. Seeing her like that really helped me — I knew she couldn’t go on anymore living like that. I wouldn’t want anyone to continue living in that condition.” Emma Kasper’s friends agreed. “Part of Emma’s death came as a relief to me. A relief that she wasn't suffering anymore, that she wouldn't have to live with the pain of this anymore,” said Moore. The night before her passing, Emma Kasper, for the first time that Fitch was aware, became emotional and scared about her condition. “I was talking to her sister the night before, and Olivia told me that Emma had a panic attack. Emma knew her body was going through the process of dying, and that was terrifying. It’s a specific process — her mom even had a book about it. Her breathing started to get longer and longer and was catching,” said Fitch. “She was panicking but there was nothing we could do. We gave her ativan, and kept hitting the panic button on her morphine pump to give her an extra dose every 15 minutes,” said Olivia Kasper.

Emma Kasper before the Pink Party.

Emma Kasper with her cousins and Carlmont seniors Chloe and Chandler Davis.

The following day, on June 10, 2013, Emma Kasper passed away. She was only 16 years old.

myself what I would do if she was still here. Some days I think about it and smile because of how great of a memory she is to me and some days I break down crying,” said Moore. “But I know Emma is in a better place and that I have an angel watching over me every second of the day.” Emma Kasper’s passing was also a reality check on the fragility of life. “Emma was a symbol of hope, love, and happiness. She was so fun, funny, beautiful, and smart. She fought so hard the whole time. Her passing made me think about life and my friends so much. It made me realize how grateful I am for everything I have, my friends, my family, my life, and that these random horrible things could happen to anyone. Anyone. You can be perfect just like Emma and have something like this happen,” said Sequoia High School senior Hank Wilkerson. Emma Kasper’s celebration of life was on July 13, 2013 at Twin Pines Park in Belmont. “It was perfect and pink. My dad had this idea that we’d get 16 balloons, and at the end of the service we’d let them go. But when we let them go, they got stuck in the tree. So we went about the day and everyone was eating and talking but all of a sudden one of the balloons popped. And right as everyone looked up, the other balloons started floating away,” said Olivia Kasper. “It was on Emma’s time. She was still in charge,” said Kelly Kasper. Emma Kasper’s ashes are currently at home

Emma was always smiling and laughing. I never heard her put anyone down and she never seemed to have a bad day. When I found out she was sick, I just didn’t understand. She will always be on my mind when I think about high school. Kathryn Paraskevas Senior

Celebrating Emma “When Monday rolled around, everyone happened to be on their way to visit. Around 11:59 a.m., I noticed something didn’t look right with Emma. When I went in to check her pulse, she was gone. 12:00 p.m. on the dot. That’s Emma’s timing for you. And since the whole family was on their way, we had to tell them the news as they were walking in,” said Olivia Kasper. “It was like she waited for us to have the comfort of other people being here so that she could die.” “Losing someone so close to you is so surreal. I think about Emma every day and ask

with her family. “Since she wanted to be a whale, we’re hopefully going to Hawaii next June to spread some of her ashes in the ocean,” said Olivia Kasper. “They did take her tumor and they’re using it for science. She wanted that,” said Kelly Kasper. While it is wonderful that Carlmont seniors are celebrating and embarking on a new life journey, it is also important to remember Emma Kasper and other students that won’t have the privilege of walking across the stage in only a few days -- A privilege that many take for granted.

One of my favorite things about Emma is her laugh. She had the best laugh and I still smile now as I think about it. One of the happiest and funniest memories I have of Emma was when we sang at a Christmas concert in 1st grade. The boy standing in front of her was getting so into the music that he fell over onto Emma. Everyone couldn’t stop laughing for the rest of the concert. Nicole Galisatus Senior

Remembering Emma Emma’s friends share their favorite memories.

Everyday during lunch Freshman year I would ask if she would put her hair down because of course she had the most amazing hair ever Devin Peardon and she would alSenior ways keep it in her signature giant bun. On the one day she wore it down, she got so many compliments which made her feel good about herself, and I told her all along that her hair was amazing.

I remember seeing her around school, loving the messy buns she always had. And then when the first day Erika Kubish of junior year Senior started, she was supposed to sit next to me and I remember being like, “Yes! I can finally ask her how she does her fabulous messy buns.” But then she never showed. She was a young beauty.

We had PE together and were partners in the weight room. Once when I was absent, she messaged me on Facebook saying that she had Zoe Chien missed me in class Senior that day. I thought it was so thoughtful of her to notice I was gone and tell me I was missed. We joked around a lot. She was a beautiful person. She was funny and smart and very sweet. Everybody loved her. Infographic by Ashley Kawakami

Page 12

Lifestyle Using summer break to change your life The Highlander

By Reggie Chatman, Jr. Staff Writer

It’s summer break. Why are you bored? Summer break is the best break of the year. Warm weather and plenty of free time. It gives students time to hang out with friends at the beach and or stay at home and get better at their favorite video games. Either way, summer is a great time to do and try new things. “I feel like when you get older, summer becomes less of a break and more of a time to get your ideas and stuff together. Me being a senior going into college next year, I’m going to use it to get stuff in order, get a good wage coming in and have fun with the homies but at the same time be responsible,” said senior Jordan Benavidez. Each year of a student’s high school career has its own amount of expenditures. As students get older, more things need to get paid for. In a student's junior year, lots of kids need to pay for things such as the SAT, practice tests, tutors, and lots need to pay for gas or for a car. Senior year is even more expensive as they must worry about college tuition, supplies for college, on top of the costs for gas and cars. “I pay for all of my expenses. I pay for my gas and insurance. Anything I want, I have to pay for it myself. I’m not taking any summer school classes so I can work without any distractions, and can save up for college,” said senior Nina Malayeri. Practice makes perfect. The amount of free time during the summer allows athletes to get better at their craft. Whether its going to the gym, running or practicing and playing with a club or summer team. “I train two hours a day over the summer. I usually go to the gym for a hour and do

May 2014

technique and coordination for football,” said sophomore Sami Makaafi, “Some people do not know that you have to have that mindset to train to be the best. If you want to go somewhere you have to put all your effort into it. It’s a mindset thing.” With all this time and things to do, it’s a mystery as to why kids in this generation flock to social media as an outlet to express their frustration of having nothing to do. Why don’t more kids use summer as an opportunity to better their lives? “[It’s because] they don’t really see the life outside of school,” said Arian Tabarroj. “They think school is limited to just education, but there is more to life. Like working skills, getting more experience in the real world instead of school. They think that what they learn at school is enough, so they just stay at home.” “[I think it’s] because they have other distractions. Maybe it’s because they think that they are in school the whole year and that summer should be a time for them to relax. I can’t do that because I have responsibilities to take care of,” said Malayeri. Summer is also the best time to get better at the things you love to do. It’s an opportunity to make your resume stronger and get real world experience.

Infographic by Naomi Asrir

Current juniors prepare for senior year By Jocelyn Moran Staff Writer

The year they never thought would come is around the corner: senior year. “I can’t believe I’m going to be a senior. I remember being a freshman,” said junior Julia Semmler. As college applications await, students are doing what they can to prepare during the summer. According to a recent Highlander poll, 41 percent of incoming seniors are doing more than one thing to prepare for senior year including working, visiting colleges, and enrolling in academic programs. Visiting colleges is a common task to put on a student’s to-do list for the summer since deciding what college to go to can be a difficult decision. “I am definitely going to go visit different colleges during the summer because I’m not entirely sure what college I want to go to. I’ll be visiting colleges in San Diego,” said junior Sara Arredondo. Others, may already know what college they are going to and are enrolling in summer programs to help them reach their goal.

“I have a seven week internship at the UCSF stem cell laboratory this summer. I’m doing it because I want to get into Stanford. I also want to study neurology and biology engineering. I think this internship is definitely going to help me with my future,” said junior Raffi Samurkiashian. Preparing for college applications involves numerous things including essays, SAT’s and ACT’s, and extra-curriculars. “I really need to get my SAT score up, so I’m going to be working on that during the summer,” said Semmler. Arrendondo said, “I recently found out that UC’s give out their college essay prompts out during the summer, so I’m definitely going to be working on that.” Some students want to pursue a sport in college, motivating them to participate in intense training during the summer. “I will be doing club water polo and swimming during the summer to prepare for water polo in college,” said junior Kristen Denney. “I want to continue soccer in college so I am doing things during the summer to prepare for that. I’m going to Indiana for a college showcase and I’m going to Portugal, so I think that’s going to help me get into college and give me more options,” said junior Brandon Magpayo.

Not only do incoming seniors have to prepare for senior year physically, but also mentally. “I can’t believe I’m going to be a senior because I still feel like I’m learning how to do things,” said Semmler. As the last year of high school is on its way for current juniors, it’s their job to do as much as they can to prepare for their future. AVID teacher Matt Miskelly said, “I think something really cool that students are doing is taking math classes during the summer to improve their skills in college, and that can be really helpful. I also think they should be volunteering at programs so it looks good on college applications.” However, students may have different opinions than teachers. Junior Sina Gomez said, “Of course incoming seniors should be visiting colleges and working on college essays, but most of all, I think they should be focusing on what they want to do in college. They need to figure out what they want to do, and work on that one thing during the summer so they have better opportunities for their future.”

book page after I was looking through the people that were recently added to it. I saw that her profile picture was ballet and instantly knew we already had stuff in common so I messaged her wondering if she was looking for a roommate and she said yes. She only lives an hour away in Moraga so we decided to meet up in San Francisco and hung out for the weekend.” There are other websites to find roommates besides social media. is a college roommate finder that asks you to answer a series of questions and then puts you with a match. It focuses on habits like bed time and study scheduling so that you and your roommate agree on the issues that matter when it comes to living together. Your college roommate needs to be someone that you get along with, but above all, it needs to be someone who maintains the same habits as you. Fitch said, “I definitely recommend finding a roommate or

at least someone you have similar habits to. You don't have to be best friends with your roommate but it would be bad to live with someone who you don't get along with at all.” The most important thing to consider in a roommate is not that you both watch the same TV show. That won’t matter when your roommate is up studying past 3 a.m. and you’re trying to sleep. Then again, some still opt for random selection. “I’m definitely nervous that I might be annoyed by or clash with my roommate, or just be totally different from him,” said senior Franklin Rice who will attend UC Berkeley in the fall. College freshman at UCLA Christina Rice said, “I don't get along with one of my roommates, but I knew that there was a risk that would happen when I chose to have a random roommate. Even though I didn't end up being friends with her, I don't regret having a random roommate and I would make the same decision if I had to go back and redo it.”

The importance of finding the right college roommate By Kellan McDonough Staff Writer

Finding a college roommate is a daunting process; you want to have the college experience of making a new friend, but rooming with someone you know gives the comfort and security of familiarity. There is one way to beat the system, however. These days, social media allows students to get to know each other and find out if they would be a good fit before housing registration. Many colleges have private groups online for admitted students where they can search for a roommate. Now there is less risk of rooming with someone that is the opposite of yourself and you can still make a new friend out of your college roommate experience. Senior Allison Fitch, who will attend the University of Redlands, said, “I found [my roommate] on the Redlands Face-

Page 13

Lifestyle Photo flashback: Carlmont seniors then and now May 2014

The Highlander

By Gianna Schuster Staff Writer

A person can change a lot in four years. There are students who graduate high school as an entirely new people and students who graduate almost completely unchanged. Regardless of how people grow throughout high school, everyone changes--everyone leaves with new passions, new friends, new memories, and new personal qualities. People change, and there is nothing wrong with that. At one point in our lives, many of us have probably heard a friend or family member say, “you’ve changed” or “you’re not the same anymore.” We are not meant to stay the same way forever. The truth is that change cannot be controlled. Our faces, our personalities, our interests, our personal values--they alter from time to time. It is almost impossible for one to have such a great deal of experiences and not have a single part of his or her personality tweaked. A significant part of youth is living in the moment and finding yourself -- what you enjoy, what you despise, who you are. Without change, none of these discoveries could have been made. High school provides a lot of time for students to change. As seniors, perhaps many did change. Perhaps many are different people than they were four years ago, but that is a part of human nature. After all, people can change, but the impacts they make remain constant.

“Freshman year, I thought high school was all about getting the grades to go to a good college. As I got older I realized that high school is more for the experience of meeting new people, having an open mind, and experiencing things that you wouldn’t have otherwise. Now, I’m way more open-minded and willing to try new things.” -Tristan Gasperian

“I haven’t changed significantly from freshman to senior year, but I have grown more comfortable with the people at Carlmont and I am a lot less shy and timid. For what I’ve learned, don’t sell yourself short. You know a lot more than you think you do.” -Nicole Elia

“I look at it as like a thermostat kind of thing. I was definitely super lame my freshman year. I’m still lame, but now it’s raised a little bit. I was really weird. I’m still kinda crazy. High school has prepared me jack shit for anything academically, but it has prepared me enormously for any sort of social work environment and being able to work with people -- pretty much being able to bullshit anything you want and get whatever you want, and that’s all Carlmont has taught me.” -Ethan Wallace

“I’m a lot more confident with myself. I care a lot less about what people think. I have really come into my own and I’m not afraid to be silly and weird. I’m also a lot more independent -- junior year is a big deal with getting your license and being able to drive yourself places. I’m less about the [excitement of] ‘High school! Friends! Oh my gosh!’ It’s a lot more about just valuing family, friends, and people that are kind to you.” -Catherine Luckenbach

By Alex Yang Staff Writer

There is one thing in common that students look for during the summer. Jobs. As summer approaches, job opportunities for students are increasing. These opportunities include simple jobs, such as working at Rockin’ Jump or In-n-Out. Sophomore Camron Dennler said, “I think that Pump It Up is a really good place to work. All the people are nice there and you feel welcomed almost immediately. Also, it's just a really fun and good experience. recommend it anyone." With so many job opportunities to choose from, it may be hard to decide which job to apply for. Some jobs have environments that are relaxed such as Jamba Juice, while others are energetic and lively such as Pump It Up. Sophomore Evan Lee said, "I think that the right job depends on who the person is and what they like. It just matters on if the person likes lively places or more relaxed places. I think that the best job should have a balance of both so that the job isn’t boring but still has some breaks." One of the most popular summer job is lifeguarding. Some say lifeguarding is relaxing yet

potentially fun because students can do it with their friends. Another job that is similar to lifeguarding is being a camp counselor. Some camps that high school students can be counselors at include numerous camps at Redwood City Parks and Recreation, and Camp Galileo, which is located all around the Bay Area. Although some summer jobs are easy to get, they still require some qualities and skills that some students may not be aware of. Dennler said, "The best thing that someone can do to get a job is probably being energetic and happy during an interview. The employees look for someone who is not boring and can make the environment for the customers brighter." Other good qualities that will help students get a summer job are being responsible and professional. Freshman Daniel Wehara said, "I think being responsible and looking professional is the biggest factor to get a job. It just shows to the hirer that someone is willing to do the work and really wants the job, but also showing that the person is professional." Summer is right around the corner, and it is time to get those jobs.

Infographic by Ravina Gujral

The best summer jobs and how to get hired

By Becca Fradkin Staff Writer


ll thats left in your room is an empty mattress and a few articles of clothing in your bare closet. You shut the door to the room you have spent your whole life in, a room of familiarity and comfort, and open the door to your future. The door to college. Post graduation, seniors embark on the journey to their new home and a new chapter in their life. After saying goodbye to high school and home, the high school graduate faces college. “I cannot wait to get to college and restart my life. It’s so exciting to make new friends, gain new experiences and become more independent,” said senior Sydney Levine who will attend University of Colorado at Boulder next fall. College enrollment in California exceeds the nation’s overall enrollment of 65.9 percent of students attending college after high school as of 2011 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to the UC system, 74.2 percent of California graduates attend a university posthigh school. According to Carlmont graduate data from 2013, 62 per-

By Angela Perez de Tagle Staff Writer


on’t worry, we’ll be best friends forever,” they said. Though it seems unlikely for most seniors to maintain their current friendships through college, some remain determined to do so. The past is built upon years of shared memories and experiences between childhood friends, and much of the senior class is hesitant to leave those relationships behind. “I’ve known some of my best friends since elementary school. It won’t be easy to say goodbye after graduation,” said senior Jorge Rodriguez. However, regardless of the desire to hold on to prevailing social circles, the task is complicated and difficult to accomplish. The road to college is far from effortless; it is first and foremost a teenager’s transition into adulthood. With this comes the difficulties of saying goodbye, both to friends and family, as well as to the comforting, familiar

cent of graduates attended a four year college or university. In addition, 28 percent of the previous graduating class attended a Community College. Within the current Carlmont community, seniors will venture all over the country, and world, for their future. “I didn’t choose my school based on location. I chose Boulder because it offers me new opportunities that some California schools don’t,” said Levine. According to a recent Carlmont poll, 67 percent of seniors will attend an in-state university. College Counselor Connie Dominguez said, “California holds a lot of opportunity for college bound students.” Among those who will stay in California is senior Jay Aurora who will attend University of California, Berkeley in the fall of 2014. Aurora said, “Although I applied to some big name East Coast schools, I chose to stay in California for all it has to offer. In addition to beautiful weather and in state resident reduced costs, a beach is always 30 minutes away, who doesn’t love that?” As reported by UC Berkeley admissions of 2012, 21 percent of all undergraduate students are California residents. “While I don’t know the exact amount of seniors who committed to a California school for the fall of 2014, most apply to the UC or California State system,” said Domin-

arms of home. Teenagers are young and can easily adapt to change, which accounts for part of the reason preserving high school friendships is such a challenge. “People change. That’s what college is about. Discovering yourself and discovering new people,” said Rodriguez. While branching out and broadening social circles is exciting and a crucial aspect of college life, some seniors vow to prioritize the friends they’ve left behind in high school. “My best friends are my best friends for a reason. We’ve shared so much together, it’s not worth it to forget about them just because we won’t be seeing each other every day,” said senior Jenny Chen. Chen and her closest friends, who will be attending college several hours away from each other, have promised to keep in touch despite the distance separating them. “This is why Skype was invented. We’ll video chat when we have time, and every now and then we’ll mail each other letters and photos with updates about our lives,” said Chen. “It’s old-fashioned snail mail but

guez. “The liberal political atmosphere of California Schools in comparison to some East Coast Schools swayed my decision to go to Berkeley,” said Aurora. On the other hand, senior Charlotte Lewis will attend an east coast university, Suffolk University in Boston, thousands of miles from home. Lewis said, “I am so excited to travel across the country. It will be an adventure and a whole new world, which is all very exciting.” In addition to drastic weather changes, east coast universities differ greatly from the familiar UC system. “Both coasts attract different kinds of students although their education is very similar. And obviously the weather is different, next winter I will be trudging through six feet of snow,” said Lewis. However, graduates have other options differing from immediate college enrollment. Senior Julia Albertson kept her options open during the waiting period between college admission and acceptance. Opportunities such as a gap year is a perfect alternative for those who want to attend college but feel no need to rush into it.

With endless possibilities and a world to explore, seniors leave Carlmont with a bright future ahead.

it’ll help us stay interested in where each of attending UC Berkeley, found himself in a our college journeys are taking us.” similar position during his final months at Senior Silas Pang has given much thought Carlmont. to his college social life as well, and is both “My best friends moved to different colleganxious and optimistic. es that are all hours away, both in and out of “I’m definitely ready to meet new people. I state. We only see each other when we come don’t want to spend too much time hanging home for break. And even though a few close around high school friends because college friends committed to the same college as me, is our chance to associate with a bunch of I’ve met some really great new people and it’s different people, so why not?” Pang said. made my college experience much more reThough the excitement around estabwarding,” said Yen. lishing new friendships is evident amongst I n that sense, it is advised that incoming Carlmont seniors, many are confident freshmen remain open to and optithat the friends closest to mistic about the prospect of making them will continue to be new friends. Class of 2014 significant aspects of This is not to say that seniors should their lives. completely cut ties with their high school “We’ll keep in touch buddies, but rather allow each other to somehow, and we’ll make plans to catch up grow and discover new opportunities to over breaks. What’s nice about that is you socialize with different crowds. realize who your best friends are because of After all, seniors are not simply graduatthe separation. You wouldn’t want to spend ing from Carlmont High School. Seniors your one week of spring break with anyone are graduating from the childhood friendbut family and a few of your friends who matships that have shaped them and helped ter the most,” said Pang. bring them to where they are today, as well as Ryan Yen, a college freshman currently where they will be going in the future.

By Sarah Klieves Scot Scoop Editor-In-Chief


oodbyes can be extremely difficult. They can be painful. But no matter what they will happen, and saying goodbye to high school is not the end of the world. Making it through high school and graduating is an incredible feat, especially considering how challenging classes are these days. The United States Census Bureau reports that only 81 percent of adults over the age of 25 in California are high school graduates, however the same report says San Mateo County has 88.3 percent graduation rate. So graduation should be a celebration, not an event where students are sad about having to say goodbye instead of thinking about their accomplishments. If you’re not worrying about having to say goodbye to Carlmont itself, but instead your friends, you shouldn’t worry if your bonds with friends are really as close as you think they are. Senior Julia Albertson said, “[Students] have gotten so comfortable with their current friends, they can’t imagine themselves hanging out with anyone else, even though there are way more people to meet in college.” Senior Simonetta Cocco stated she believes students tend to be sad to leave high school “because whatever one ends up doing after high school, whether it is work or college or vocational school, is a new experience. [Students] might not know how to approach it and might be scared of starting a new life.” There are so many things that are more difficult in life than saying goodbye to the people you know from high school, however students may have a difficult time putting this into perspective and think about things outside of their “bubbles.” “I think that the most outgoing and adventurous students and the ones who have faced a significant challenge already know that leaving high school is not the most difficult thing they will have to do in their lives. Others might be scared merely because it’s something new that they are unfamiliar with and are maybe not sure how to approach,” said Cocco. Students are sure to stumble upon much more difficult things in life compared to saying goodbye to their high school friends. Albertson said that things were put into perspective and made her realize saying goodbye isn’t that hard when she got either rejected or waitlisted from the schools she thought she was supposed to choose from and attend in the fall. “It really made me think about what was more important to me: being at a college, or being [somewhere] that made me really happy. I never would have second guessed going to college until this happened,” said Albertson. Although Albertson was facing the decision of having to take a gap year, she was admitted to Vassar College and will be attending school there in the fall. Cocco has also had to face the challenge of navigating college applications and acceptances in addition to trying to meet all of her graduation requirements. She had moved to the United States from Italy just a few years ago, and stated that she had the disadvantage of “not having all of the preparation and information about applying to college, but everything turned out just fine.” “I don’t think it’s bad to have a little bit of a hard time leaving high school. It is a big part of your life, after all. As long as it doesn’t last too long and doesn’t get in the way of your college experience, having a little bit of ‘drama’ when leaving high school is good,” said Cocco. As you walk across that stage next month, next year, just think about the good times. Your life could be so much more difficult than it is. The least of your worries is having to say goodbye to high school.

Page 16 The Highlander


The benefits of a flipped class

By Miranda Irwin Staff Writer

The next best thing is not always the best thing for everyone. The environment in which students learn in is constantly developing, whether it be in elementary school, high school, or college, and its changes are sometimes difficult for a number of individuals to adjust to. Most students are used to attending classes in which they take notes, work on currents assignments, or engage in lectures and then go home and do nightly homework for that class. However, a new approach that some teachers are taking is one known as a flipped classroom. A flipped classroom is when assignments that would normally be given as homework are done in class while the standard classroom assignments and lectures are completed at home. AP Calculus teacher Amber Mills has been teaching at Carlmont for the past 14 years and just last year decided to take the approach of a flipped classroom. “I think a flipped classroom gives the most motivated students who want to do well more resources so they can access the information whenever they want. It puts the ownership of learning the material on the students more-so than a regular classroom,” said Mills. In Mills’ class she assigns her students to watch lecture videos that she makes herself, that go over the current materials she is teaching in class, as homework. Similarly, in her classroom, she allows her students time to work on the current material together and ask any clarifying questions about the previ-

ous night’s lecture. Some students prefer a flipped classroom to the normal classroom setting they have learned in all their lives. “I like the flipped classroom because I think we have more time to work with Mrs. Mills and I’ve always felt that with normal math classes it is hard to understand what’s going on when you don’t get direct help,” said senior Jack Tilly. Conversely, other students find it difficult to adapt to such an unfamiliar technique of learning. “Personally, I don’t like the flipped classroom. I prefer a typical classroom setting just because that’s what I’ve been exposed to my whole life and it’s what’s more comfortable for me,” said senior Charlie Bernardo. Clintondale High School, located in Clinton Township, MI, is a school that consists entirely of flipped classrooms. “Our teachers do not spend a lot of time on classroom lectures. Class time is spent developing critical analysis and higher-order thinking skills… we are able to create a personalized learning experience,” said the Clintondale High School website. A flipped classroom has many benefits such as helping students to develop a sense of responsibility, to stay on top of their assignments and to collaborate with their teachers. “The only problem I have with a flipped classroom is that I never get around to watching the lecture videos anymore because Mrs. Mills doesn’t check if we do our work,” said Tilly. Unfamiliar classroom settings can be a challenge for some students to adapt to, but unexpectedly effortless to others.

Flipped Classes

May 2014

Turning the traditional classroom upside down




Provides opportunity for



2 REASONS FOR THE FLIP 1. The traditional classes result in limited concept engagement 2. Increasing avaliablity of online video and technology Information from Infographic by Karissa Tom

Summer fever: (the lack of) studying during dead week By Mia Hogan Staff Writer

“Summer fever” affects students coming back from spring break, and increasingly worsens as the year progresses. According to recent Highlander polls, 35 percent of Carlmont students choose not to study extra before finals. Junior Monica Bayasgalan said, “In general I usually do not study for finals. I will review some stuff but I end up getting overwhelmed.” Despite the exhaustion, it is essential to persevere until the end of the school year. After eight months of hard work, finals is the last of it all. Is it worth all the work to let everything go at the last minute because studying seemed to tiring? Sophomore Sara Yolland said, “Since September, I worked so hard to maintain good grades. With a few weeks left of school, I do not want to put my year’s work to waste and let it all go down the drain.” Known previously as dead week, Carlmont

now considers the week before finals as review week. Within this time period, teachers and students are given the time to review the past semester’s material together in preparation for finals. With a week full of review, some students slack off while others take advantage of it. Students in the past who have taken it easy during review week start to feel remorse before taking a final and when summer kicks in. Bayasgalan said, “I have skipped studying for finals and the outcome was not good at all. Right before I was about to take the test, I was overwhelmed with penitence. Once the summer started, I regretted slacking because there is is nothing you could do to raise up my grade and it was really stressful.” “I slack off a lot during the last two weeks of school because I feel so ready for summer. Last year, I did not take studying seriously and kept my grade, which could have easily been an A,” said sophomore Claire Boman. Entering finals, some students aim to maintain their grade and enjoy a relaxing review

week. Sophomore Davis Schmitt said, “Last year I did not study for my biology final and I still passed because I knew the material really well. I do not regret anything.” Studying during review week does pay off, with many students receiving high scores on their finals and overall increasing their semester grades. “I was on the cusp for an A minus in the class. The final was the make it or break it for my grade, currently at 89 percent. I studied really hard for the test and I was rewarded with the A,” said sophomore Abbey Holbrook. Among campus, there is a discrepancy regarding what exactly is review week and it’s purpose from class to class. Principal Lisa Gleaton said, “Review week is for teachers and students to review the past semester to better prepare for final exams.” With one week until finals, many teachers dedicate this week for review and studying. However, some teachers cram more material into the last week.

Sophomore Alex Singer said, “Last semester in chemistry, the teacher crammed in half a chapter in dead week and left little time for review. Personally, I felt very stressed, worried, and unprepared for my final.” With summer nearing, some students lose focus on finals and gear their attention to summer break or give up. “Nearing the end of each semester, I tend to lose focus in school. Making a schedule of what I have to do and how much time I have always helps me finish all my assignments and thoroughly study. It helps to do one assignment with a thirty minute break and continue onto the next thing,” said Holbrook. Yolland said, “I always tend to focus on specific things my teachers hinted at to study instead of more broad subjects. Therefore I know my time studying will be beneficial rather than reviewing concepts that are not significant. When studying becomes overwhelming and I want to stop, I always remind myself that it is a final, and it will be awhile before I have to go back to school.”

Where: Where: Carlmont Carlmont High School When: a.m. to 9 am a.m.(24 (24hour hourevent) event) When:June June14-15 15-16910 am-10 What: and walk walk to to fi fight What: Fundraiser Fundraiser and ght cancer cancer To participate To parti cipate visit:visit:

Page 17


The Highlander

May 2014

School wi-fi affects students Smart and balanced? Common Core: the new standardized testing By Marco Sevilla Staff Writer

By Maxwell Ware Staff Writer Going into the Smarter Balanced test, drastic changes were expected. It was said that the test was going to be on a computer, which was very different from the pencil and paper of the STAR tests that the Smarter Balanced Assessment was replacing. “I liked paper better because you had space to write down your thoughts, while working with the computer was more complex,” said junior Daryush Shahid, one of many juniors at Carlmont who took the Smarter Balanced Assessment Field Test this year on April 28 and 29. Another difference between the STAR and the Smarter Balance Assessment was a 20minute interactive presentation on obtaining a driver’s license, which was used to ensure common knowledge on a subsequent math test that required students to analyze statistics on teen driving, which some students struggled with. “The questions were weird and random. For example, relating [the test] to driving. Why? Why would they do that?” said junior Kyle Snyder. While the Smarter Balanced assessment is different in many ways from the STAR test, it attempts to achieve many of the same goals. The Standard Testing and Reporting, or STAR, program has been used by the state of California since 1998 and tested students in grades 2 to 11 on four subjects: English, Mathematics, Science, and History. Most students took the California Standards Tests, or CSTs, in particular, but there were three

21 50

states participated in the Smarter balanced assessment

Graphic by Karissa Tom

STAR tests for students with disabilities or for Spanish speakers learning English. The STAR was used alongside the California High School Exit Exam, or CAHSEE, as part of an accountability measure designed to gauge student performance statewide. The tests were used up until 2013, when the STAR test was suspended by the California State Assembly. The components of the STAR program are to be largely replaced in a new state program called the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, or CAASPP. The CSTs in English and Mathematics are replaced by the Smarter Balanced Assessment, while the CST in Science is administered. The alternate tests that were a part of the STAR program besides the CSTs also continue. The Smarter Balanced Assessment is currently conducting a field test in 21 states, according to the program’s website, The website says that this “practice run” will help “ensure that test questions are accurate and fair for all students.” The test is designed to meet Common Core Standards, which are the new nationwide benchmarks designed to standardize the education of American students in English and mathematics. The Smarter Balanced Assessment is slated to commence in the 2014-2015 school year.

In a country where wi-fi is found everywhere, it’s hard to believe that some public schools don’t have high-speed Internet to serve the needs of many. In a Highlander poll of 150 students, 70 percent said that the Internet speeds at Carlmont were, in their opinion, insufficient for general school use. Junior Morgan McGraw said, “I use the Internet often at school. From my experience it’s usually pretty slow. I don’t think that a bunch of kids using it at the same time is a good thing.” Junior Dante Amigone said, “The Internet at Carlmont is definitely fast enough for what you need to do at school. It’s not fast enough if you want to watch YouTube at lunch or something like that, but it’s really spotty and works in only half the places on campus.” Many well-funded districts in the past few years have the mandatory use of Internetusing technology such as iPads and laptops which only increase the stress on Internet connectivity and would require the school to upgrade its speeds. On Feb. 4, President Obama announced plans for $2 billion dollars to be invested into giving schools high-speed Internet nationwide which he hopes to implement within the next five years. Director of Instructional Technology in the Sequoia Union High School District, Robert Fishtrom, talked about the district’s plans to upgrade the campus Internet speeds which will introduce Carlmont to new routers, technology and policies. Fishtrom said, “We are in the middle of a network upgrade that will result in the dis-

trict provisioning for a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy. Each classroom will have its own wireless access point; larger areas, such as the student union will have two access points.” The recent trial for the new Smarter Balanced testing was meant to test the limits of the school wi-fi. Junior Andrew Yazghur, who took the Smarter Balanced testing, described his experience with the Internet speeds. Yazghur said, “[The Internet] wasn’t that much slower and I believe it’s because not as many people were there to take the test as anticipated.” Fishtrom said, “The upgrades are to support not only the Smart Balanced testing, but the use of technology seamlessly in curriculum and as an extension of classroom instruction. We currently have a one gigabit connection from the San Mateo County Office of Education and we are in process of acquiring new core switchgear that will accommodate a 10 gigabit connection.” Students are often blamed for the slow Internet speeds can put up for their nonacademic usage of the Internet. McGraw said, “Kids need a break at lunch and they often go on social networking sites which do slow down the Internet even more for people who need it to study.” For the future, the administration hopes that speeds will improve drastically to fit both the needs of its student body and the staff. Fishtrom said, “We certainly want to provide the strongest backbone possible and hope that students use good judgment when using social media and other related websites. Above all, we hope students are not losing social [soft] skills with the ubiquitous technology that exists in our world today.”

Working together: pros and cons of group projects By Tracy Chu Staff Writer

Whether involving projects, presentations, or research, many teachers allow students to work in groups. Working in groups can be both beneficial and detrimental towards students. Sophomore Marion Demailly said, “Personally, I like working in a group, especially with my friends. I know I can count on certain people to do their parts, and it make my role in the project a lot easier.” Group work can be very helpful in certain cases, like when working on projects that require creativity or originality. Different people have different ideas and opinions, and they can each contribute in unique ways to the overall product. According to Carnegie Mellon University, working in groups allows participants to develop better communication skills. More people working together increases work efficiency and can help create an enjoyable working environment. In addition, teamwork plays an important role in improving relationships between individuals as well as providing an environment that promotes interacting with new people. According to Forbes, a recent study at the University of Michigan

Students work together on a project.

Photo by Marco Sevilla

found that “friendly, social interaction can boost [one’s] ability to solve problems.” Carnegie Mellon University also found that working in groups can also be beneficial for teachers. For example, instructors can assign more complex and elaborate problems that they wouldn’t normally give to individual students, which can enhance students’ learning experiences. At Carlmont, teachers teaching various subjects such as history, english, or science often allow students to work together to accomplish certain tasks. One such teacher is Patricia Braunstein, who teaches an AP European History class. In her class, students frequently work

in groups to apply the material that they learned to assignments that vary from research projects to video presentations. There are detriments to working in a group as well. The main issue involving group work is dividing the work evenly among group members. Some students complain that when working in groups, one person does all of the work while others sit back and do nothing. Sophomore Kelly Liu said, “It can be fun to work in a group with my friends, but sometimes I find myself doing a lot more work than the other group members when I work with people I don’t know as well. The frustrating part is that we all get the same amount of credit on the assignment.” Another problem that often arises during group work is distraction. Multiple students working together on one project may get more work done in a short period of time; however, in some cases, group members can be distracting and may hinder the project. Senior Sarah Lew said, “I can safely say that I’ve generally had good experiences working in groups. The people I work with are always friendly and fun to work with, and if given the choice I’d choose to work in a group rather than by myself.”

Page 18 The Highlander


May 2014

Dancing is harder than people expect By Elena Mateus Staff Writer

“How can a rehearsed performance be more intense than a contact sport like boxing? You know every move that comes next,” said sophomore Bijan Khalili. What people don’t know is that with every single move that comes next, there is another opportunity for disaster. “It only takes one move from one person to ruin the whole dance and the chance of placing highly,” said sophomore Emily Sevillia. While this also stands true for other sports, competitive dance leaves no room to make up for an error. Sophomore Taya Cowan said, “If you screw up onstage, you can’t fully compensate for it like you may be able to in other sports. What’s done is done.” What’s been done in preparation, however, is endless repetition.“You’ll practice the same move over and over again. It can get frustrating, because it has to be perfect. Teachers make sure of that,” said Sevillia. In addition, “Dance requires flexibility, controlled movement, perfect balance, and mental toughness,” said Cowan. While all sports require more or less of the

latter, dance is one of the most physiologically demanding activities, “You practice in a room full of mirrors; that adds a lot of pressure being that everyone can see you and you’re forced to look at yourself 24/7,” said Sevillia. To the public, dance, particularly competitive dance, is a sport often considered overdramatized and/or emotionally demanding. “Most dance teachers seem really mean and strict. They’re really just nitpicking every little thing,” said senior Amelia Tupou. This culture created around dance can be partially attributed to movies like “The Black Swan” and reality television shows like “Dance Moms.” Both of which dedicate a majority of their screen time to developing and exposing emotional trauma. “I think people that only watch Dance Moms and shows like that really only see the extremes of coaches, though there are some coaches like that, not all are crazy and get sued,” said Cowan. Cowan is referencing to the recent lawsuit filed on “Dance Moms” star coach, Abby Lee Miller, for assault. “I’ve had some teachers that err on the side of crazy. I think it’s because dance demands precision, and choreographers at a high level

are intense and strict and hold you to that standard,” said Sevillia. Though a dancer may not have to bench press 200 pounds or be rammed into by a six foot linebacker, handling the stress from teachers, parents, and peers is a notable challenge. In a study done by Donna Krasnow, M.S., Lynda Mainwaring, Ph.D., C.Psych., and Gretchen Kerr, Ph.D in “Journal of Dance and Medicine,” 69 percent of modern dancers showed direct correlation between negative stress and injury. The study also revealed that 53 percent of stress in dancers is from the fear of failure in the eyes of teacher and parents. “It’s so important to have a good teacher;

Photo by Veronika Dvorakova

they approve and disapprove of dances that ultimately decide whether you win or not. It’s hard to perform well if they’re unapproachable or you don’t like them” said Sevillia. Elite dancers are expected to have mental capacity to withstand pressure from their teachers, parents, and peers who demand exactness and excellence. “You have to do everything perfectly to be the best. Nothing less,” said Cowan. Even though dancers on stage may make a performance look effortless and smooth, the stress they are under from teachers and peers is not to be overlooked.

Ugly is the new pretty: How unattractive selfies took over the Internet By Sabrina Leung Editorial Director

Junior Kaitlyn Cheng was sitting in a dark corner of her living room, angling her glowing iPhone underneath her chin. She squinted her eyes, scrunched up her face and tilted her head downward. “This is the ‘uncomfortable and awkward double chin,’” she said as she snapped the photo of herself and sent it to her best friends on Snapchat. In a few seconds, three new images had flashed onto the screen. The first was an angled close-up of a girl’s cheek, her mouth curled into an intense frown. The second was a face with big eyes, angled eyebrows and a half smile. The third vanished from the screen so quickly there was hardly time to look before it disappeared. “Selfie” was the Oxford Dictionary’s 2013 word of the year. According to a 2013 survey by Pew Research Center, 91 percent of teenagers regularly share selfies on social media. There are the inevitable worries that come with any Internet trend and teenagers: the fear of smeared reputations or half-naked images gone viral. The "sexy" selfie, often involving hours of trial and error to get a single flawless shot, is known as the modern-day flirtation tool. Amid the bared midsections and flawless smiles flashed in these photos comes the explosion of the ugly selfie. It is a slice of authenticity in an age where everything seems airbrushed to perfection. The joke? “The better the friend, the uglier the selfie.” “We have created a world in which everyone is beautiful in every single photo. Ugly selfies, on the other hand, gives one permission to stop monitoring themselves for a moment,” said senior Kenneth Chen. Take a tour through, the selfiesharing iPhone app. One won’t find pouted lips but instead, close-up shots of double chins, exaggerated toothy growls and duck lips. Today, the “ugly selfie” is common among teenagers who use it to challenge conventional beauty standards. With normal selfies, the process of getting the "right" photo requires finding the best lighting, poses and filters, but an intentionally ugly picture takes the pressure off of having to look perfect. “My philosophy is, if you aren’t photogenic in pictures, making a face is a great solution. It adds ‘spice’ to the photo. The more chins, the more cross-eyed, the more Miley-tongue, the better,” said senior Josephine Kraemer. For some, ugly selfies are a matter of pulling the strangest or least symmetrical grimace possible. Others use it as a way of capturing the least

glamorous parts of everyday life. “I'm not a fan of posting selfies in general, but they should be almost exclusively reserved for sending weird faces to your friends. They will never call your faces ugly, they merely appreciate them for their unique qualities and effort,” said senior Kristen Dames. On Instagram, the hashtag #uglyselfie has nearly 40,000 results, and the phrase has spawned over a dozen variations for users to communicate through facial contortions. A Tumblr blog called “Pretty Girls Making Ugly Faces” reveals before-and-after shots of girls submitting their most exaggerated facial contortions. Filmmaker Cynthia Wade created a short film called “Selfie” earlier this year, where girls were asked at a workshop to capture, in selfies, the physical imperfections they would normally filter out such as pimples, freckles and double chins. The goal was to start a conversation about cultural beauty standards and self-esteem. “We spend so much time trying to hide our flaws because the culture has set it up that you have to be ashamed if you’re not perfect,” said senior Laura Kastilani. “Girls who take ugly selfies must have higher self esteem because they’re more willing to embrace the ugly or ironic.” While this generation may be more tech savvy than any other, that beauty ideal can be crippling. According to a 2009 University of Minnesota study, girls ages 11 to 14 are subjected to around 500 advertisements a day; staring at photoshopped images for just one to three minutes can have a negative impact on ones’ self-esteem. “We’ve created this culture where you’re constantly comparing yourself to other people, or images you see in the media,” said Cheng. “That’s where the pressure comes from, because I’m always having to measure up to today’s ideal beauty standards.” After years of being inundated with airbrushed models, Photoshopped body images and flawless faces on magazine covers, teenagers have been seeing more "real" people and visuals that focus more on personality and quirks instead of perfection and symmetry. Today, girls are beginning to see new models in social media who are driving this trend like Cara Delevingne, the rising British model, whose funny faces have inspired many a top ten list. “One of the things ugly selfies do for people is that it strips the conventional approaches to 'prettiness.’ We manipulate our faces to look a certain way is a reminder that you can have different facial expression that doesn’t necessarily have to be considered ‘attractive.’ It shows a different side of you,” said senior Alyssa Palma. There is a long history of people using the self-portraiture as a form of radical self-expres-

sion. In fact, the Russian grand duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna is believed to have taken the first-ever selfie, with a box camera in 1913 at the age of 13. Since then, the selfie has gone through many incarnations, from standing in front of an old, tiny box camera, to posting them on Instagram. Self-portraits tagged as #selfie began to appear on Flickr and on MySpace in 2004, and the first definition of a “selfie” gained entry on by 2005. Pamela Grossman, the director of visual trends at Getty Images, said in a recent New York Times article that a new generation of "ugly selfies" are staging "a visual coup d'état." With some skill, courage and creativity, ugly selfies are now altering the definition of the modern-day beauty standards that we see reflected in the media in a matter of seconds. “Instead of standing there, having every-

thing preplanned and letting the cameras do all the work, I are making, controlling, and discovering my self-images. There’s nothing ugly about that,” said Kraemer.

Special Upcoming Events:

12:00 pm Fri. 5/23 Hot Pilates 2:00 pm Sat. 5/24 Yoga 101 7:30 pm Mon. 5/26 Yin Yoga 3:00 pm Sat. 5/31 TRX Intro Workshop

Photo by Marco Sevillia

The Highlander

Page 19


May 2014

Bad boys and disturbing attrac tions Why do nice guys Turned on by forbidden love finish last? By Angela Perez de Tagle

By Iris Berber Staff Writer

Staff Writer

It’s the 21st century and not much has changed since the James Dean era: girls still want what they can’t -- and shouldn’t -- have. But what exactly is it about the bad boy persona that females find so alluring? Psychological studies have shown that there are several contributions that may explain why women are, quite simply, attracted to jerks. Scott Barry Kaufman, an American author and psychologist, analyzed traits of “agreeableness,” one’s ability to be compassionate and cooperative with others, and found that men with low agreeableness tend to be more successful in finding potential partners. Apart from this, Kaufman noted that men with negative characteristics often pride themselves in other ways, balancing the right amount of naughty and nice in order to win the hearts of unsuspecting females. “Bad boys tend to have lots of positive traits that come along for the ride of the badness such as good looks, confidence, humor, charisma, and high energy -- all things women find attractive,” wrote Kaufman. In addition, females often seek partners that can and will take charge. According to Your Tango dating experts, women need men they can respect. If a man lets a woman “walk all over him,” then the likelihood of him gaining her respect (and attraction) is quite low. It remains a case in the hands of Mother Nature. It is innate for females to seek a “dominant” partner to provide and care for them. A bad boy is demanding and incapable of commitment. Despite this, girls are hopeful of being that special someone to change their lousy behavior. The challenge! Women are chasers, and the modern female has adapted her mind to accept and devote herself to overcoming any obstacle. “Because girls think that they can somehow change a person for the better, they sometimes have a hard time seeing the negative qualities in that person,” said junior Mathilde Zanelly. A common misconception is that girls, in fact, like to be treated poorly by their boyfriends. However, the primary reason a girl finds it difficult to fall for “Mr. Nice Guy” is based on her perception of herself within society. What does she have to offer and how much are guys willing to give? Some girls find nice guys unappealing regardless of how decent their character may be. Other girls feel they are “too good” for “good guys.” And others still are skeptical about the existence of the so-called “nice guy.” Perhaps timing is wrong and standards are set too high, but for many girls, Mr. Nice simply isn’t Mr. Right.

Image used reprinted from

Image used via Wikipedia Commons license

Image used via Wikipedia Commons license

Over the course of several shows, a potentially dangerous trend has formed in regard to teenage girls and their attraction to disturbing and homicidal characters. These certain character types exist in, but are not limited to, popular shows such as Breaking Bad, The Vampire Diaries, and American Horror Story. However, regardless of the differences in these plots, one thing keeps the audience craving more--the bad boys. Often psychopathic, and occasionally narcissistic, the male leads of these shows specifically, somehow have left fans swooning and craving more of their dark personalities. The fondness developed for such characters has grown to a point where thousands of fan pages have been created solely for the character itself. For example, Tate, a character from season one of American Horror Story, had become a sensational hit especially among the female audience. The catch is that Tate is emotionally unstable and equally disturbed. While the attraction was not immediately present in most audiences, it was hauntingly surfaced as Tate’s darker characteristics and unsettling secrets were revealed. Despite this, the fandom that surrounded this emotionally taunted teenager only seemed to increase with awe and empathy as the season progressed. As Tate’s forbidden romance and the challenges he faced to express his love to a real girl became a main focus of the series, teenage girls in unison, fell for his romantic attributes while disregarding the disturbing occurrences of his past. Another example of this unexplainable attraction is the fantasy relationship many girls have created with bad boy Jesse Pinkman from the show Breaking Bad. Pinkman’s character is that of the unattainable rebel with a relatively good heart. However, he just happens to be a meth cook in addition to dealing drugs alongside his partner, Walter White. Even in regard to the primary meth cook and chemistry teacher gone bad, White built a large female fandom that held a key role in the show’s high ratings. However, real life romantic situations would not consider these relationships to be ideal--or healthy for that matter. In fact, if a teenage girl today were to be the love interest of Tate, would she let the flattery of his love and devotion overpower the effects of his previous existence

as a homicidal school shooter? Senior Claire Noemer said, “I personally find the actor, Evan Peters extremely attractive [which is] why I think I’m so attracted to his character, Tate.” It seems that for the most part, girls are unable to defend their almost fatal attraction to danger provided within fiction. Yet, when it comes to be realistic, “disturbed” isn’t on many lists of what girls look for in their potential match. “I would say girls may be attracted to Tate because they can relate in some way to his emotional instability. For this reason, it is comforting to see that addressed in Tate’s character. I also think the mystery surrounding his character draws a lot of people in,” said Noemer. Senior Sahand Janpass said, “I think girls are attracted to these types in a sense of rebellion because all their lives, they are told by their parents not to hang out with the ‘bad boys.’ From a guy’s aspect, I don’t think we normally go for girls who are emotionally unstable in that way. However, a guy can be drawn to a girl with problems because of his intent to help her.” Senior Jenny Chen said, “I think it’s a different attraction where the distressed character is more attractive because they are more interesting to watch. Yet realistically, you would not want any affiliation with a psycho killer, that could kill you at any given moment.” Senior Shaina Gulati said, “We are drawn to them because they’re unstable. [We] want them to be stable for us.” An article from the Scientific American conducted a psychological study upon where the sex appeal toward dark personalities derives from and why. “Although most people probably don’t consider narcissism or psychopathy desirable qualities in friends or romantic partners, many of us are mysteriously drawn toward people with these personality traits.” “The initial appeal of the narcissist or psychopath may be hard to resist. Physical attractiveness is often automatically associated with a host of other positive traits – a phenomenon known as “the halo effect.” When we perceive someone as physically attractive, we automatically assume they are also kinder, smarter, and more confident.” However, for those who plan on a serious realationship, these characteristics become less desirable. The Scientific American said, “When it comes to long-term relationships, either in fiction or reality, most people shy away from those with dark personality traits.”

Carlmont students share reasons behind favorite classes By Sarah Adams Staff Writer

A poll was recently conducted on Carlmont students to find out what they would choose as their favorite academic subjects. The poll revealed that the top three most popular subjects among Carlmont students are science, social studies, and mathematics. Science is tied for the most popular subject at Carlmont. According to a recent poll, 25 percent say that science is their favorite academic subject. Freshman biology student Hanna Wright said, “Science is my favorite subject, especially human biology. It’s interesting and important to know how the human body functions.” The interests Wright stated lie in the flow of information about mankind and what makes people who they physically are on the inside. On the science networking site imascientist. org, Why do you like studying science? was asked on a question forum. Research conductor on pancreatic cancer

and lecturer on biochemistry, microbiology, research methods Chris Scarlett said, “Science is everywhere, what you eat, how you come to be who you are, how your body works…, your environment...There is so much information out there that people should learn about.” Science communicator James Byrne also answered the question: “The best part about science for me was always the exploring...Figuring out how things work is very satisfying.” Byrne, Scarlett, and Wright all find science so interesting is because it is the world, it is everyone that lives in it, and that is fascinating. Social studies is also tied for the most popular subject at Carlmont. Sophomore modern European history student Blair Finlayson said, “Social studies is my favorite subject because I like to learn about the different cultures and about the past because it’s interesting, and because I think it’s really important to our future.” Finlayson labeled social studies as the course she likes most because she likes knowing how

the past impacts the future. On his website about teaching social studies, History Grants Coordinator for Education Service District 112 Matt Karlsen posted responses to the question Why do people like learning about social studies? The most popular answers were an emotional connection to the past, appreciation for change, insight into people in history, learning about events that shaped life today, and the work people have done to change the world. Math is the third most popular subject at Carlmont and a recent survey showed that it is 24 percent of students’ favorite subject. Senior and Multivariable Calculus student Franklin Rice said, “I really like my math class because it offers a complex mathematical explanation of many other concepts that I’ve seen in other courses like physics. It connects everything to the real world.” Rice enjoys math because he sees it as an opportunity to accomplish very difficult problems with large amounts of complexity, and to

really exceed at something he finds fascinating. In a New York Times article about Alexis Jane Torre, a math major in college, Torre talked about the impact of taking mathematics both in her academic career and in her life. Torre said, “Studying math has taught me what it means to really love something. To do something because I really want to, not just because I’m good at it or because I have to.” Torre thinks that every student should find a class that challenges them, even if that class is not math, simply because challenging yourself can actually be fun and keep you interested. While Torre commented on the positive aspects of studying mathematics in college, some students find math to be their favorite class in high school as well. Sophomore and AG/Calculus student Camron Dennler said, “Math is my favorite subject because I love the way everything seems to intertwine. And, there’s always a sort of satisfaction I get when I finish a process and get a correct answer. I can’t really explain it.”


Page 20 The Highlander

May 2014

Misogyny in the world of video games

A mic clicks on and I hear a male voice. He says, “Nice kill, baby.” I don’t respond. A few minutes pass and I hear him again. “Wow, you’re good gamer for a girl.” I don’t reply. “What, you don’t like compliments?” “Uh, not really.” Suddenly he’s angry, and he shoots back “Whatever, bitch, I was just trying to be nice. You know what, if we’re not on the same team in the next game, I’m gonna rape you.” That’s what it’s like to play online and be a girl. Some say it’s anonymity that causes people to act this way. Some say it’s just the consequences of being online. However, video games are a special case. In video games, there is a level of misogyny that is unmatched in almost every other form of entertainment. Explanations for this sexism are clear. Video games are mostly a boy’s club. This is evident in both the development side, and the player side of games. According to an article by, only 12 percent of game developers are women. In addition, a study by the Entertainment Software Association reports that

only 25 percent of dedicated players are women. These low numbers are reflected in the content of many games. “Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2,” released in 2009, featured “advertising focusing on the motion-controlled breast jiggling feature, while the actual game is about being a ninja,” said an article from Furthermore, “Call of Duty,” a popular first-person shooter franchise, had seen nine installments over 10 years before the developer included the option to play as a female soldier. When members of the gaming community hold discussions about creating more diversity in games, their attitudes often reflect reluctance and outrage., a heavily moderated online gaming forum that is known for its well-behaved members, still contains sexist opposition in these discussions. When the developers for “Grand Theft Auto V” revealed that there was no opportunity to play as a

female character in the main story, members of NeoGaf defended the developer’s decision despite the fact that a woman could have easily been incorporated into the narrative. Member 2san wrote, “It’s ... possible the writers aren’t good at writing female main characters and wouldn’t do the female gender justice. This is probably for the best.” Chezzyman (who was later banned from the site) wrote, “Ugh. Another person whining about GTA

By Danielle Schneider Staff Writer

Cartoons by Isabella Paragas

A new look for the Marvel comics By Sabrina Talpur Staff Writer

Meet Kamala Khan, a 16 year old PakistaniAmerican Muslim high school student, and the new Ms. Marvel. Khan might not be Marvel’s first Muslim superhero but she is the first to get her own solo title. Due to the main character of the comic being Muslim, it has received a lot of media coverage. The majority of superheroes are almost always white and male, as shown by Marvel movies such “Iron Man,” “The Amazing Spider-Man,” “Thor” and many more. “The new Ms. Marvel is definitely empowering for the young Muslim community because Muslims are portrayed negatively in most media,” said senior Iman Fawahl. “This new comic series could be really helpful to a young American Muslim growing up around movies that usually depict Muslims as terrorists.” The new Ms. Marvel comics were created by editor Sana Amanat, writer G. Willow Wilson and artist Adrian Alphona. Their new story follows Khan, who is described as “an ordinary girl from Jersey City” by Marvel. Suddenly, Khan is “empowered with extraordinary gifts” and “takes the Marvel universe by storm.” Khan has shapeshifting abilities, and discovers that she has “Inhuman heritage” in the aftermath of the "Inhumanity" storyline and takes on the name Ms. Marvel from her idol Carol Danvers, also known as Captain Marvel. This series not only includes conflicts with supervillains but also explores conflicts Khan faces with her home and religious duties. Wilson explained that Khan has a conservative

not having a female protagonist. In a way these people are more sexist than rockstar [the developer] themselves. Its [sic] their creative vision, not yours. Heck, this is probably going to motivate them to continue NOT having female protagonists simply because of how annoyed they must be by people telling them how to make their games.” Other members brought up how having a female protagonist in that game would be unrealistic, considering the characters commit murder, robberies and frequently carjack pedestrians. Yet this is also a game that allows the player to carry dozens of guns and a rocket launcher in his back pocket. Women, aware that the game was not intended for their consumption, can often feel like outcasts while playing games. Senior Zo Higgins said, “Video games are considered to be a dude’s thing.” Even if women ignore the uncomfortable feelings they may harbor while playing, they also compete with the “special snowflake” concept, the idea that they are faking their enthusiasm for games or other typically male entertainment for attention.

brother and a paranoid mother who believes that if she touches a boy she would get pregnant. But this comic series isn’t meant to be directed just at Muslim readers; it was created to have a universal problem many people could identify with. Amanat said, “As much as Islam is a part of Kamala’s identity, this book isn't preaching about religion or the Islamic faith in particular. It's about what happens when you struggle with the labels imposed on you, and how that forms your sense of self.” Like many comics and books before this series, it could receive criticism one way or another and some believe it might come from both sides of a spectrum. Senior Lauren Livengood said, “The comics maybe might not only receive criticism from people who are anti-Muslim but also certain Muslims who would want a Muslim character portrayed in a certain way.” Wilson had considered this when she thought of writing this comic series. She had explained that there would be a “burden of representation” when writing Khan’s character. WIlson also added that Khan is not “a poster girl for her religion and she doesn’t fall into any neat little box.” “I think Marvel is great for the diversity that they have in their comics. Recently I heard they had a same sex marriage occur in an ‘X-Men’ comic. Marvel definitely has stories that most anyone could relate to and feel appreciative of,” said junior Jessika Ruiz. Four issues of Ms. Marvel have been released so far and the fifth has been set to be released on June 18, 2014.

In fact, many women often feel as if they can’t mention they play games due to fear of ostracism. Higgins said, “If someone talks about games, I’ll say I play, but I feel weird about bringing it up.” Some claim that gamers just want to relax, have fun and escape from reality while they play, and not be bothered by “political correctness.” This concept is not limited to the male perspective. Yet when games involve the sexualization, objectification and harassment of women, it’s hard to feel like it’s an escape from reality when these are issues that women face in daily life. Perhaps if people opened themselves up to the idea of having more female protagonists in games, or treat women who play games as less of an anomaly, it would be a more positive environment for everyone. After all, games such as “The Last of Us,” “Bioshock Infinite,” “Portal,” “Final Fantasy XIII” and “Beyond Two Souls” sold millions in the past few years and all featured women as the protagonists or as the main focus of the game -- something that couldn’t be said 20 years ago. Obviously, the gaming industry has responded to societal changes and has made strides in diversity, but we still have a long way to go.

Antiheroes emerging on TV By John Russell Staff Writer

Right and wrong is an ancient concept. It's a binary that has defined the human experience since we painted on cave walls. It has perplexed us for thousands of years. Fast-forward to the present day and our proverbial cave walls are backlit and WiFi connected, but the same questions still remain. How we have approached these questions hasn't changed much over the years. From ancient mythologies to “The Sopranos,” morality has been dissected and challenged from all angles. At the moment, the antihero is in vogue; those Emmy-gobbling roles are nearly fetishized on cable and HBO. The morally ambiguous main character does bad things but struggles with the moral implications of his actions. Modern conceptions of good or evil are no more intricate than those of previous eras, but now these delicately crafted morality plays are being given a platform that is unprecedented in size. People are bored with heroic heroes and evil antagonists. The antihero is a reactionary idea, one that seeks to examine if we are really only good or only evil, and to what depths we can sink and still be redeemed. Walter White, Frank Underwood, Tony Soprano - all men whose actions and inner turmoil are smeared out in heart-wrenching detail to the viewer. We watch atrocious acts of violence and are challenged to keep rooting for these people. Murder is almost

acceptable when you see the toll it takes on the person; the good (albeit misguided) heart under the black exterior. And it seems distant. It seems like it's an effort to expose the moral grey areas these men face in their criminal underworlds. That's the trick of the antihero, to make you think these men are merely the products of their environments. The one common thread between all of these characters is that a staggering amount of the evil is internal, wrapped and entangled around their inner demons and insecurities. Tony Soprano and Walter White were keenly aware of their mortality when we were introduced to them. The question posed by the antihero is not whether you can still be a good person and do bad things; it's really asking you to question how different you are from these men. The depths we can fathom are far more pleasant than the depths we can sink to when pushed. It’s biologically encoded within us to do what we desire, even if that means we sacrifice the things we used to hold dear. Antiheroes are the Id, the darkness contained within every man, woman and child. These characters are meant to start conversations within ourselves, and with each other. “We have two choices as human beings. Conversation and war. That’s it. Conversation or violence.” Sam Harris is of the mind that dialogue is an imperative; the only tool in our arsenal to better ourselves as moral creatures. Antiheroes are far more than just cautionary tales. They are catalysts for moral evolution. Good art never preaches but it does shove us in the right direction, however subtly.

The Highlander


Page 21 May 2014

Music snobs: staying ahead of the curve By Alex Lay Staff Writer

Today’s musical society can be categorized into people that are considered overly passionate about the music they listen to, often referred to as music snobs, and those who are not. Music snobs become upset when songs they have long enjoyed become popular, as it makes them feel less special. In a Highlander poll, 46 percent of students say they become upset when songs they like become popular. “I think people are protective of their music. They have so much appreciation for the artist and their art and when someone doesn’t express the same enthusiasm it makes them feel upset,” said sophomore Melody Shanahan. Some people considered obsessive about their music are simply people who care a lot about their musical taste and don’t like it when others trespass on songs they are passionate about and feel some ownership over.

“I definitely think I am a music snob. I really dislike it when a song I’ve been listening to for a while becomes mainstream. I am happy for the band’s success, but it’s just annoying,” said Shanahan. People who aren’t overly passionate about their music often take offense to those who are. This tends to cause conflict within the less popular genres and the music world in general. One genre, alternative rock, often faces the issues of music snobs. With bands such as Vampire Weekend, The Neighbourhood and Phoenix, the passionate fans obsess and can become upset with casual listeners.

The Neighbourhood is well known in many other genres due to its popular song "Sweater Weather." Dedicated fans often take offense to the song’s sudden popularity because they feel like the other people are disrespecting the band and the band's ability to be appreciated within a musical community by focusing only on Photo by Ivy Nguyen one song instead of the band’s extensive catalog, according to Shanahan. Some people do not have any issues sharing music with other people. “I really like all genres of music, and when I come across a song I like, I love sharing it with other people. It builds a sense of community. I think some people can be overly protective of music, but I think music should be accessible to everyone,” said senior Charlotte Jackman. Other people take offense to the actions of music snobs.

Sophomore Michael Lima said, “I believe music snobs are the way they are because the idea of a ‘hipster’ ideology of originality. They believe that since they heard the music first, they are entitled to own that artist’s music while new fans aren’t as accepted as much as the original fans.” A main goal of many passionate fans is to be the first passionate fan. This adds to their obsession because being “first” increases the belief that somehow it was them who made the band as famous and successful as they became. The drive to “beat” others to bands is also influenced by the band’s recognition of the fans. As a band’s popularity increases, the less likely it is for them to recognize fans, like tweeting them back or responding to an Instagram comment. “Overall, I think music snobs should find something else to waste their time on instead of shaming new fans to their favorite artists. I think if they were true fans they would want success for the person or band they admire the most,” said Lima.

Facebook over time: an online phenomenon gram and Vine. “Among teenagers, Facebook isn’t as popular as it was a year ago,” said sophomore Isabelle de Wood. “Other social media like Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr have gained popularity among teenagers in the last couple years because they’re simpler and ‘cooler’ to use.” In the past year, Instagram has seen a 900 percent increase in users reaching the 200 million mark recently, while Twitter has continued to steadily grow to 250 million active users. With the use of these social media applications only rising, this could only hurt Facebook, right? Well, not necessarily. On April 9, 2012, Facebook purchased Instagram, back then an up-and-coming social media application that was becoming popular among the younger generation. Today, Instagram is home to 200 million different accounts. Facebook, which makes more than $1 billion dollars a quarter, receives 82 percent of its revenue from advertisements bought by large corporations such as Ford, McDonalds and Visa. Soon, within the next year in fact, Facebook will introduce advertisements onto Instagram, their “child” Infographic by Lara Ostroff company. By Kian Karamdashti "Theoretically, [Instagram] could be making hundreds Staff Writer of millions of dollars today, but they would need a big As a direct result of the world’s technological advanc- sales force and they would risk polluting the environes, social media is evolving into a very big aspect of our ment," said Pivotal Research Group analyst Brian Wieser. lives. It is becoming more and more uncommon to find Junior Fabricio Custodio also has similar feelings to someone without a social media account. With participa- Wieser. tion in social media only increasing, many websites have “A big reason why I prefer Instagram to Facebook is the found a huge amount of success. lack of advertisements on the app. I feel adding advertiseFacebook, the social media giant is the most popular ments to Instagram would lower its popularity.” and, arguably, successful social media website in world. By adding the option to purchase advertisements on Facebook averages about a billion visitors a month, al- the fastest growing social media application in the world, most 700,000 more visitors than the second most visited Facebook will look to almost double its profits. website, Twitter. “I wasn’t even aware Facebook has owned Instagram for Founded by former Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg the past two years. I had this idea in my head that Facein 2004, Facebook has grown into a multi-billion dollar book was going to have the same ending as Myspace and company with more than six thousand employees. other unsuccessful websites, but they’re still making a very Although these statistics tell the story of an accom- large amount of money,” said Chow. plished and rising business, Facebook’s image from a Another boost to Facebook’s rising power is the inteenage perspective isn’t necessarily a positive one. crease in adults signing up for the website. Since the end According to a poll of 790,000 people on Yourather. of 2012, Facebook has seen a 46 percent increase in adults com, 76 percent of them would rather give up Facebook aged 45 to 54. than YouTube. According to a study taken by the Pew Research Center “I’ve heard kids at school joke about how Facebook is 73 percent of adults online have a Facebook account, a 4 ‘dying,’ and they’re kind of right,” said sophomore Jason percent increase from last year. Chow. “People still post pictures and have the occasional To drag in an even bigger “older” audience, Facebook status update, but most people our age have moved on to is also using its advertisers to offer promotions such as other websites and apps.” coupons and discounts to draw in parents. According to a According to poll of 150 Carlmont students, 67 per- statistic taken by, 50 percent of mothcent of them don’t use Facebook as much as they used to. ers on Facebook will like a brand on the website to receive A main reason for Facebook’s decline among the teen- special promotions in return. age generation is the rise of other social media websites Despite common belief, Facebook will be here to stay, and applications, such as Twitter, Tumblr, Youtube, Insta- for a while at least.

-weight gain Page 22 -heart disease -diabetes The Highlander

-poor posture -back pain -strain tendons

Lifestyle Bad Habits

-arthritis -nerve damage -tissue damage -tendonidus

-weight gain -metabolic syndrome -diabetes -heart disease

-wrinkles -blotches -discoloration -skin cancer

-weight problems -low energy levels -low blood sugar

May 2014

Info from: Readers Digest - 10 Bad Habits and the Best Ways to Quit Them

People know that bad habits can be bad for your body but they just ignore that fact.

Eating too much fast food

Carrying a heavy backpack

Using your phone

Drinking diet soda

Being in the sun too much

Skipping breakfast

-weight gain -heart disease -diabetes

-poor posture -back pain -strain tendons

-arthritis -nerve damage -tissue damage -tendonidus

-weight gain -metabolic syndrome -diabetes -heart disease

-wrinkles -blotches -discoloration -skin cancer

-weight problems -low energy levels -low blood sugar

Infographic by Ariana Crame

Bad habits and their effects:

Modern trends are evolving into dangerous ones By Aria Frangos Staff Writer

When firing off messages to friends and family, the first thought in a texter’s mind generally would not be, “I could get arthritis from this.” But should it be? There are many bad habits in a teenager’s daily life that, although may not be considered ideal activities, most people would not consider threatening. Texting, drinking soda, skipping on a recommended amount of sleep and even carrying heavy backpacks are among these hidden dangers. Professionals like Margot Miller, president of the American Physical Therapy Association's Occupational Health Special Interest Group, agree that texting, especially on devices with touch screens like the iPhone, can legitimately damage nerves, joints and tissue. This can lead to inflammation, tendonitis and arthritis, which are all serious and can leave lasting harm. The new generation of constant cellphone users may face consequences previously unheard of pertaining to their hands and fingers. The touch screens of many devices make it so there is no resistance against one’s thumbs while typing, causing the user to tense up their hands for a more accurate texting ability. The type of repetitive strain injury caused by this continuous tapping on device screens is commonly known as Blackberry thumb. The official name of the injury is De Quervain syn-

Info from: Readers Digest - 10 Bad Habits and the Best Ways to Quit Them

drome, and includes pain and disability in the thumb and wrist from tendon overuse in those areas. “I haven’t heard any bad effects of texting with your hands,” said sophomore Isabelle de Wood. “I never find my hands hurting, but I guess you could say they get a workout.” The possibility of future health detriments, however, is often not a strong enough incentive to stop teens from continuing these habits. “Honestly, I don’t think people really care about that right now,” said sophomore Stephanie Supelana. “When you text a lot and your hands hurt a little, you don’t immediately think about getting arthritis.” Many teens also regularly drink diet soda. Diet soda has artificial sweeteners instead of sugar and can be attractive because of the supposed benefits of this factor. However, these sweeteners, as well as other traits of diet soda, can be very harmful over a long period of consumption. Among side effects of steady diet soda drinking is higher susceptibility to kidney failure, impaired dental health, cell damage, obesity and high cholesterol. Although these sodas are marked as “diet,” some of the ingredients can actually lead to obesity. A study by Purdue University suggested that this could be caused by the disruption of natural sugar regulators in the body becoming disrupted by the artificial sweeteners of the soda. “I really like diet soda because it gives you some energy,

doesn’t have any calories and it still tastes good,” said sophomore Cassidy Sobey. “The problem is that the artificial flavors and acids aren’t good for your body. Plus, if you have a lot it can cause problems with your teeth.” Additionally, less than eight hours of sleep per night is not an uncommon habit for many high school students. A chronic lack of sleep has been found to be a possible factor leading to depression, aged skin, and obesity. A poll taken in 2005 by Sleep in America showed that people who slept less than six hours a night were often those diagnosed with depression or anxiety. According to WebMD, when a person doesn’t get enough sleep, the body releases more of a stress hormone called coritsol that, in excess, can break down proteins in the skin. This can lead to acne, dark circles, and wrinkles. This excess of cortisol can also cause blood sugar levels to rise, leading to heart trouble and obesity. Many students are at least aware of some possible consequences of these types of actions; after all, drinking soda or not getting enough sleep is already widely considered to be unhealthy. So why do these habits continue to spread? This generation is the first to come in contact with a lot of these issues at such a concentrated level. Only the thumbs of today’s teens will show how much of an effect that Blackberry thumb might have in the future.

braces by Dr. Kathleen Brennan Tavarez

1785 San Carlos Ave #7, San Carlos


Lifestyle Summer is around the corner and hydration is key

Page 23

May 2014

The Highlander

By Alex Wildman Staff Writer

Alex Chan, a swimmer on Carlmont’s Varsity Swim Water. It’s everywhere and has countless uses, but it is Team, said, “I try to drink three big water bottles a day, so often taken for granted. about 3,000 milliliters. I get thirsty a lot so I drink then, In January 2014, California State Governor Brown but I also eat a lot. One strategy I have to stay hydrated is declared a drought state of emergency. to drink whenever I eat, so I’m drinking constantly Although the state of emergency was only isthroughout the day.” sued this year, California has really been under Dehydration causes an array of symptoms ranging a dry spell for the past three. from headaches to fainting. With the driest months of the year ap“One of the main problems that I deal with is proaching, people must become more aware of heat illness such as heat exhaustion, heat stroke how they are using this limited resource. and heat cramps. All need to be taken care of in A state sponsored website, saveourh2O. a quick manner, otherwise they can be fatal,” org, was created in 2009 to spread awaresaid Little. ness and share tips for conserving the Dehydration is a threat to everyone, but at dwindling water supply. least Americans have the resources do someThe site offers many tips for everything about it. one to conserve water in their everyday In reality, the drought that California is lives. These tips include only washcurrently experiencing is no match for the ing full loads of laundry and watering lack of clean water in developing countries. plants at cooler times of the day. Africa alone has 345 million people that “Personally to reduce my water use I live without access to clean drinking waam trying to take shorter showers and ter, and worldwide that number more than turn the water off when I’m not using doubles to about 780 million human beings it," said sophomore Micaela Lopez. human without a resource necessary to their survival. Water is one of the major necessities In America no one ever thinks about being of humans. We are composed of 60able to access water because it’s everywhere. 70 percent H2O, and therefore we can Anyone in the states can turn on the faucet only live about three days without any or press a button and have clean water for water consumption. their use. Lopez said, “I drink water every sinMeanwhile, it was estimated by the World gle day to keep myself hydrated and to Health Organization (WHO) that over 40 make sure I have enough energy." billion work hours have been lost to accessIt is recommended that one drinks ing drinking water in developing countries half their bodyweight in ounces of walike India and sub-Saharan Africa. ter every day. For instance, if a person Junior Taylor Sexton said, “That is terrible weighed 130 pounds, they should drink and somebody should be doing something to 65 ounces, about eight cups of water. Infographic by Tian Chary help them.” Carlmont Athletic Trainer Jessie Little For people who do want to help, there is a website, wasaid, “Athletes and students both need water to be able, where they can learn more and find out what to function during the day. It's much more important they can do to help. for athletes to hydrate because their bodies are under a And for everyone else, the next time time they take a sip lot of demand from practice and competitions.” from the water fountain or buy a bottle of water maybe Although that might seem like a lot and it might take they will take a moment to appreciate their ability to access some getting used to, it is incredibly important to drink the resource that keeps them alive. enough water.

Photos by Veronika Dvorakova


The Highlander

Student rights From page 1

Crame: said, “If there is a school safety issue belongings can be confiscated especially if it has something on or in it that can be a potential threat to the school.” Question: Can the school search my car even if its off campus? Student response: “Well the school has no rules so they can do whatever they want. But if you’re not on their property or in the church(because they are with the school) then they need to get a warrant from the police,” said Simon McCarthy

Legal response: If the school has probable cause they have the right to search your car on or off campus during school hours. The campus police man can search your car off campus if the search is requested by the school, but if the police are conducting the search then they need a warrant and probable cause. Crame: “The school cannot search your car off campus unless there is a legal cause.” Question: Does

said Megan Guillermo

Legal response: If a student is disciplined at school, parents and the student have a right to know what the student is accused of doing wrong, which rules allegedly were broken, and what the consequences will be. Crame: “The school should notify your parents if you are in any moderate amount of trouble.” Question: When being questioned can I choose not to comment?

the school have

to notify my parents when trouble?

I get in

Student response: “I think so, yes,”

Student response: “You always have the right to refuse to be interrogated you don’t shed that right

Page 25 May 2014

walking on to a school campus.” said Senior Andrew Wedvick Legal response: Administrative Vice Principal Ralph Crame said, “Yes, you could choose not to comment.” Question: Can the school get me in trouble for what I post on social media? Student response: “The school should not be involved in any outside student activity unless it is endangering the school. Everyone has the right to freedom of speech and privacy to this freedom when they have left the campus,” said Adrianna

Campus speech From page 1

ior they can take action). Junior Scott Grogan-crane said, “I was going to start a white student union club because Carlmont has a black student union club, but I knew the school wouldn’t let me.” The administration would have a right to stop Grogancrane from creating this controversial club because they can anticipate that it would create a large disturbance within the school, and endanger students safety. Although the rights of students are altered upon walking on campus the school does this only to insure the safety and proper functioning of the the school community as a whole.

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Boubalos. Legal response: Though it is yet to be tested in court.. under freedom of expression students are protected from the publication of “underground” newspapers and web pages as long as the distribution of those papers or use of those websites is not done under school computers. Crame: “If it is a disturbance to this campus or is considered harassment to another student the school can get you in trouble, but criminal matters unrelated to the school are handled by the police department.” Being an American citizen means you are born with certain rights.


Page 26 The Highlander

May 2014

Do you want to win the game or not? How sports superstitions affect the game outcome By Justine Phipps Staff Writer

Lucky socks. That’s the key component for a team to win. For another, it’s the orange armbands. But sometimes, the superstitious mentality is not a team belief. For one individual, it’s the same white pants every other game. For another, it’s the music they listen to before they go on the field. From baseball to football, soccer and more, sports teams throughout Carlmont practice rituals when it comes to game time. In a recent poll given to Carlmont students who play sports, 66 percent said they have team or individual superstitions. “We’re extremely superstitious,” said varsity softball player Kirra Loucks. “When we do our cheer, [we have to] stand in a specific order.” According to Wiki Answers, humans, “since their development of the brain and their consciousness, have with their mental ability registered concepts and correlated it with knowledge by developing skills of understanding the natural phenomenons that they were often able or sometimes unable to explain.” For example, you knock on wood and prevent an action from occurring. There’s no way to know if knocking on wood actually prevents anything from happening, but the subconscious mind tells us to do so anyways. The phenomenons that occur “resulted in the creation of superstitious beliefs, more so in the ignorant mind or in the rigid framework of the mind influenced from earlier generation by

tradition, customs and beliefs.” Superstitious beliefs have adapted over time into an almost subconscious routine that many individuals follow. According to a Gallup poll by David W. Moore, one in four Americans is superstitious. The superstitious mindset is present in many athletes at Carlmont. “[We wear bows] at every game. We have a bow schedule,” said Loucks. “[Our team] has one person who ties each of our bows.” Like the members of the varsity softball team, junior varsity basketball players are also very superstitious. “We always shot our free throws before the game in the same order,” said junior varsity basketball player Ahna Kay. “[For example], I would always go second and Caitlin [Caslow] would always go last.” A person who goes by the username "Jaclynn" on the Exact Sports website said, “What sports psychology suggests is that if an athlete believes that what they did before a game is going to make them have a great game, they are most likely going to perform that way. Superstitions and rituals are simply just athletes’ lucky charms that really inspire them and motivate them to do well during their match.” Jaclynn’s philosophy seems to ring true throughout sports teams at Carlmont. “Baseball players are superstitious about everything. If one thing goes wrong, everything has to change,” said varsity baseball player Alex Pennes. “[For example,] if one person has a beard one game and they do bad that game, they have to shave their beard. The whole team has to follow this rule.”

However, not all teams have rituals. Although the varsity baseball team doesn’t have a team ritual they always perform, many individuals on the team do. “[I don’t think] our team as a whole is not superstitious, but a couple of players have their own superstitions,” said varsity baseball player Matt Seubert. “[For example,] I put on my left sock and my left shoe first, then my right sock and my right shoe.” The same principle applies for members of the football team. “The [varsity] football team as a team does not have superstitions,” said varsity football player Tristan Gasperian. “Everyone has their own kind of ritual they have before every game.” Even though the team does not share a superstition, Gasperian has one of his own. “Before every game, I [would] put my right sock on before my left, and my left shoe before my right,” said Gasperian. “I don’t know why I do it. I do it subconsciously.” The feeling of missing a ritual is a psychological factor that gets into a player’s mind and changes the way they feel the game will go. “If you are to miss doing your ritual before one game, it does not mean you are going to play terrible. Now, if that is the case, it is most likely because you are thinking about how you are going to have a bad game because you skipped your ritual, and the psychological factor goes back into play; if you think you are going to play bad, you probably will,” said Jaclynn. Some student athletes, such as Kay, have first-hand experience with superstitions messing with mental motivation. “I [feel like] superstitions affect the way I play because I feel like if I don’t do something right or in the right order, it will get inside my head and it will mess me up,” said Kay.


11th grader Elise Dimick, runner and swimmer, knows the health benefits of each sport. Running is a high-impact, Water-based exercise such as swimming can reduce your body weight by high-intensity form of land-based exercise. as much as 90 percent, reducing the stress on your joints.

Swimming for thirty minutes

Running for thirty minutes



In running, your upper body moves in order to keep the exercise efficient.

Your arms and upper body muscles work to pull your body through the water. Swimming is a great cardiovascular exercise which can improve and increase

As you move your leg forward,

you use mainly the quadricep muscles at the front of your thigh.

our overall fitness,


As your body moves forward, the ac-

tion switches to your hamstrings, which straighten your hip and begin to bend your knee.

At the same time, the muscles of your lower leg, the inner

377 calories.


outer calf extend and flex each foot as you land and push off.



Swimming is also considered to be one of only a few physical activities which train nearly all

major muscle

groups in the entire body.

Your legs are powerful, large

muscles that you use to kick your-

self through the water; they contribute the most to swimming.

Sources: , ,

Infographic by Alisa Takahashi

burns up to 444


The Highlander

Page 27 May 2014

Earthquakes: one season into the rebrand

2014 has been a redefining year for the San Jose Earthquakes By Matt DeGraff Staff Writer

Ten games after unveiling their new logo, the San Jose Earthquakes have only collected two wins. There have been mixed reactions to the new logo, yet all Earthquakes fans can agree that this season has been far below what is expected of the Earthquakes, a team that missed out on last season’s MLS playoffs by one game. Sophomore Colley Loum said, “I have always liked the new logo, unfortunately, it has not brought much luck to this year’s season.” Sophomore Lucas Alonso said, “I think that the new logo is a good update because it looks better and is more modern than the old one.” Loum also said, “I think the main problem with this season has been the scoring strategy. This year they have focused on lobbing the ball up to big strikers like Alan Gordon or Steven Lenhart, but it is not effective. In my opinion they need to have a more possessive strategy with lots of passing in the midfield and wait for chances, not try to force them.” One bright spot in the Earthquakes’ season thus far has been Yannick Djalo, on loan for the season from Portuguese club Benfica. Djalo scored the winner in the Earthquakes’ first victory of the season.

Loum also said, “Djalo has for sure been the standout player this year, he has made a huge difference in their offense. He is quick, and knows what he is doing with the ball. He has come through for us multiple times, especially in the win against Chivas.” That victory came against the only team below them in the Western Conference standings: Chivas USA. Alonso thinks otherwise: “In my opinion, Chris Wondolowski has definitely been the best Earthquakes player this year because of his consistency. Nobody else has scored goals like he has, even in losses he can usually find his way onto the scoresheet.” Wondolowski has accumulated five goals so far in this campaign, three more than the Earthquakes’ second leading scorer, center back Victor Bernardez, who has two. Outside midfielder Shea Salinas leads the way in the assists category, with four. Sophomore Max Lieberman said, “I think that Salinas has been playing some great soccer this year, but he’s probably flown under the radar a little more than the others because nobody has been able to finish most of the chances he makes.” Lieberman also said, “I think he should have way more than four assists, I think he may be one of the most underrated players out there.”

The only other players who have any assists at all are center defenders Clarence Goodson and Bernardez and goalkeeper Jon Busch. The Earthquakes’ offensive players will need to step up their games if the Earthquakes are going to stay competitive this summer, while main goalscorer Wondolowski looks set to be called up to the US Men’s National Team for the 2014 Brazil World Cup. Goodson and Bernardez also seem poised for a call up to the US and Honduran national teams, respectively. Backup center defender Ty Harden has looked capable when called into action so far this season. The Earthquakes’ other backup center defender, Jason Hernandez, has not yet played this season. The defensive situation is further complicated by the loss of defender Andreas Gorlitz for the season to an ACL tear. Brandon Barklage will most likely continue to play defense in Gorlitz’s absence, having been the starter for most of the season. Loum also said, “The defense has not been a problem yet this year and I don’t see it becoming one. I’m just a little bit worried about the offensive production, but the Earthquakes keep getting better with every game, so I think they can turn this season around and maybe make a run into the playoffs.”

Opinion: athletes shouldn’t complain

The deliberate and intense practice of being an athlete By Isabella Paragas Illustrator and Staff Writer

Students that choose to commit themselves to become great athletes need to put the hard work in. As simple as that. There are many student athletes at Carlmont, participating in team sports like basketball, lacrosse, and soccer while others prefer more individual sports like swimming, tennis, and cross country. All are competitive and physically and mentally strenuous in their own ways. Practices are necessary for all sports; team or individual, on land or in water. It is not uncommon to overhear talk of brutal morning practices or of exhausting two hour workouts throughout the hallways. But there is a difference between just talking about it and complaining. No one can force someone to join a sport. Most of the time, joining a sport is completely voluntary. Remember, “voluntary” means that the person chooses to commit themselves to putting in the hours and the hard work, and wants to do what it takes to become a great athlete. When working out, athletes are forcing

their bodies past their physical limits, ripping holes in the muscles from the strain. Ouch. It’s not fun. Inherently, working out is not supposed to be fun, that’s not the point. Coaches create workouts for the purpose of strengthening muscles and honing technique. And coaches are right when they say that “practice makes perfect.” Scientists believe that two non-neuron (or “glial”) cells that exist in the brain play a role in creating new myelin. The first is a glial cell called an astrocyte. Astrocytes monitor neuron axons for activity, and lots of repeat signals from a particular axon triggers the astrocyte to release chemicals that stimulate the second cell (known as an oligodendrocyte) to produce myelin, which wraps around the axon. So as we practice, whether by doing sprints on the track every week or hitting jumpshots on the basketball court, we trigger a pattern of electrical signals through our neurons. Over time, that triggers the glial cell duo to myelinate those axons, increasing the speed and strength of the signal. But it is not simply spending hours and hours of mindless practice that brings about improvement, it is the way an athlete practices.

To get the most out of any practice, one must be focused and deliberate. Most people practice by mindlessly repeating an activity over and over without any clear goal of what they want to accomplish. “Deliberate practice,” on the other hand, is designed with clear objectives and goals. When top performers practice, they break down their skill into sharply defined elements. After breaking down a skill into parts, a top performer will work intently on the element they need to improve most. During the entire practice, they focus solely on that one aspect. That’s why having a mentor or a coach help you by designing practice sessions can be invaluable. They have the knowledge and expertise to break athletes’ skills down into specific elements. Coaches can also see you in ways you can’t see yourself and can direct you to focus on the elements that you need to work on most. Ted Williams, the greatest hitter in baseball history, would practice hitting balls until his hands bled. Basketball legend Pistol Pete Maravich would go into the gym on Saturday mornings and practice shooting from a specific spot on the court until the gym closed at night. To be the best, you have to put in the time.

Yet there can be a strange kind of exhaustion after a good workout. The muscles may be sore and complain whenever the body moves, but it’s a good sort of hurt. Almost as if it feels good to hurt. It’s satisfying to know that you’re going to get out as much as you put in. That your body is going to recover and come to be stronger and better than ever. Of course, it’s not always going to be this way. A lot of the time it’s going to hurt. And just suck. This is where the workout separates great athletes from all the rest. Great athletes can push themselves past the pain and ignore the voice in their heads telling them it’s okay to not try as hard or to not do their VERY best. If one cannot mentally propel themselves through the practices, they will not be as physically prepared as those who were able to do so. There are many naturally gifted athletes at Carlmont, which will certainly give them an advantage, but talent will only get an athlete so far. Even the most talented of athletes must work hard to train and improve. Many athletes are talented, but not every talented athlete is a great athlete.

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Kristen Dames

College: UCSB Weighted GPA: 3.84 Desired Major: Pre Biology then Aquatic Biology “I love UCSB because student-wise, it’s amazing. Best school for my major. I didn’t get into my top three choices but I definitely wasn’t disappointed in UC Santa Barbara.”

Ethan Lee

College: CSM Weighted GPA: 4.29 Desired Major: Psychology, Double major or minor in music “If I go to CSM, I would save money for the same amount of credits and later can transfer into UC Berkeley or UCLA.” American Univesity Arcadia University Arizona State University Art Center College of Design Boise State University Boston University Brigham Young University

California State, San Diego California State, San Francisco California State, San Jose California State, Sonoma Carnegie Mellon University Chapman University College of San Mateo

LMU Menlo College New York University Northeastern University Norwich University Oberline College Occidental College

Columbia University Duke University Florida State University Foothill College Harvard University Harvey Mudd College Louisiana State University

Saint Marys College Syracuse University Texas Christian University University of Arizona University of Arkansas LR Universidad de Ciencias Medicas

Pitzer College Purdue University Rose-Hulman Institute of Tech. Santa Barbara City College Santa Clara University Seattle Pacific University Stanford University

Berkeley Davis Irvine Los Angeles Riverside San Diego Santa Barbara Santa Cruz

Chicago Colorado Idaho Illinois Michigan Oregon Pacific










Katie Stratton

College: UPenn Weighted GPA: 4.25 Desired Major: Biological Basis of Behavior “UPenn does a lot of integration of the school work into the community in doing volunteer work. And they have that different major which is not usually offered everywhere and it really caught my attention. Plus it’s a great school.”

Lexie Liu

College: Bryn Mawr (Philadelphia, PA) Weighted G.P.A: 4.3 Desired Major: Biology “I decided to go there because I like the small campus. There is also a high percentage of students who are admitted to Med School and I want to be a pediatrician.”

Vassar College Wake Forest University Washington State Wellesley College Whittier College

*Poll data subject to student participation in the online survey

University of San Diego University of San Francisco University of Southern California University of Washington Vanderbilt University

University University University University University University University UPenn University


Each dot represents a school that a Carlmont student will be attending

College Decisions Class of 2014

California College of the Arts (San Francisco) Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo California State, Chico California State, East Bay California State, Fullerton California State, Long Beach

Graphic and research by Graham Godwin, Ryan Freeman and Grace Yi

BYU - Hawaii Bryn Mawr College Bucknell University California Baptist University Canada College California College of the Arts (Oakland)

Final issue may