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Say goodbye to the Senior Court classrooms on the Saddlebags are big this Spring. Find out more about this season’s trends on

Senior Sam Fierro has the top mile time for the SDA girls track team. See more records on

Senior Sam Fierro

Junior Becca Bland

Maybe I’m just prudish, but is it weird that I freak out when I see my friend’s little cousin getting hormonal on some nameless dank bitty?

Which SDA teacher met Paris Hilton in the bathroom at Coachella?

Student Artist:


million students took the SAT last year Find out more about this test and its changes on

Find out at

Brett Wilson

Teacher Tidbit

Lily LeaVesseur contemplates the school dance environment on

I just listen to music and zone out. Then I paint what I feel.

Art by Roya Chagnon

NEWS EDITOR Nicole Smith




ARTS EDITOR Gabby Catalano OPINIONS EDITOR Kira Elliott SPORTS EDITOR Sarah Kochanek PHOTO EDITORS Tacy Manis Kirsten Walz


Sam Winter Sierra Zounes


STAFF WRITERS Linden Amundsen Marin Calloway Caroline Daniel Dylan Hendrickson Madison Hougard Chelsea Kanzler Madeleine Karydes Lindsey King Taylor Knudson Olivia Mock Katrina Olsen Ivan Ramales Joseph Swit Manon Wogahn

STAFF ARTIST Roya Chagnon ADVISOR Tim Roberts

The Mustang is the student newspaper of San Dieguito Academy. Advertisements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the newspaper. The Mustang is an open forum which welcomes letters. Letters can be submitted to room 98, emailed to, submitted at, or mailed to the above address.

San Dieguito Academy / Room 98 / 800 Santa Fe Drive / Encinitas, CA 92024


Drug culture at Coachella Teens discuss how big of a role drugs play in the annual music festival experience. Story by Elise Echeverria.


ith Coachella just one week away, almost 1 million future attendees, including some lucky teenagers, have begun packing the necessities: crocheted crop tops, flower headbands, tribal muscle tees, oodles of sun screen and for some, illegal drugs that are thought to be ubiquitous at most concerts and music festivals. It’s no secret that recreational drug use is prevalent at music festivals. From Woodstock in 1969 ( “ Don’t take the brown Acid”) to the two MDMA-related deaths this past August at New York’s Electronic Zoo music festival , this aspect of festival culture has never been concealed from the public. However, just how big of a role do drugs play in the Coachella experience?

Parental Concerns

Parents’ reservations about allowing their teens to attend Indio’s acclaimed festival have inspired online blogs as adamant as one titled “Coachella is a Festival of Disease and Sin. Your Children will most likely Die”: “With the amount of drugs and rape, your daughter or son has a large chance of dying from a drug overdose, alcohol poisoning, sex game gone wrong accident or [could] be murdered by a Ecstasy induced wizard.” Another less extreme blogger posted on a thread concerning whether or not parents would allow their teenage daughter to attend the festival argued that “as a teenager no matter how mature you think you are - you really aren’t that mature.” Blogs like these have sparked responses from determined teens like instructional wikihows on “How to Persuade Your Parents to Let You go to Coachella.”

What Teens Think About Coachella

In spite of wary parents’ perceptions, most teens seem to believe that although drug use is widespread at Coachella, it is not the essence of the experience and for some, wasn’t a part of their experience at all. The following student accounts asked to be kept anonymous to

A crowd waits in anticipation for an upcoming band at Coachella 2013. Photo courtesy of Cole Teza

protect them from association with any drug use. A 2013 SDA graduate that attended Coachella last year said: “People associate Coachella with the music. If excessive drug use is all they associate with the festival, then they have never been.” A current SDA student who will be attending the festival this year for the first time had a similar outlook: “I don’t think the drugs will be a huge part of [the experience]. I think the people and the music and dressing up and just being there is the experience.”

of Coachella,” said the SDA graduate. Another SDA student that attended the festival last year said that there was a lot of marijuana, alcohol and MDMA: “If you wanted it, you would more than likely succeed. Drugs are

Although, some believe drugs aren’t the biggest aspect of what defines Coachella, students are aware the increased prevalence of them at the festival. “Getting drugs at the festival was easy because everyone was very willing to share. It seemed like part of the camaraderie

Access to drugs causes some concern among parents, some fearing their children may have opportunities to do things they wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to do. “I don’t think an under 18-year-old needs to go to an all day concert alone because I think

How Common Are Drugs?

they are not old enough to make the smartest judgments,” said the parent of an SDA student. However, the SDA student who will be attending this year seems to think the first-time experiences is not an issue: “I don’t know if someone would want to

“Coachella was a place in which it was positive to be crazy and indulge in all kinds of extremes.” -2013 SDA graduate anywhere you want to find them.”

Are Drugs Really an Issue?

experiment there for their first time because I could see people being really nervous because it is such an intense environment.” Onsite medical attendants have a similar view. A representative from Symons Ambulance, a company that provides medical tents at Coachella and other music festivals, said they occasionally treat teens for

drug-related incidents. They “do not feel that the environment encourages experimentation; however, inexperience could be a factor,” event operations manager Wendy Summer said. A past Coachella attendee and SDA senior recalled from her experience that most of the people doing drugs used drugs regularly and although they might become more available at the festival, this availability didn’t alter which drugs you choose to do. Another SDA senior had a similar perception of drug use at the festival: “I think most of the people doing them had prior experiences with substances, but they were definitely using because of the setting as well.”

Does Everyone Do Drugs?

Some teens feel completely fine without doing any drugs at the concert; three out of the four students that went to the festival continued on page 05


Testing out a new SAT The SAT, a dreaded rite-of-passage for many stressed-out students, is looking to change its ways. Story by Madeleine Karydes.


he Scholastic Aptitude Test, more commonly known as the SAT, is currently undergoing major revisions that will be enacted for the first time in the spring of 2016. For the current freshman class, this means a whole new brand of SAT. The central aim of the changes is to make the test more accurate in its assessment of students’ academic abilities, an essential quality that standardized testing has long been criticized for lacking. Ultimately, the changing demands of colleges and employers, as well as complaints that the test favors high income families able to afford expensive test-prep resources, have forced College Board to adapt. In fact, one of the immediate steps that the College Board is taking to make the SAT more accessible is reaching out to the Khan Academy for a potential partnership in creating free, online review materials. The Khan Academy is an online-based educational forum that produces instructional lessons for the public, free of charge. The SAT hopes to work closely with Khan Academy in the future to provide sample questions and resources for all students. What does this mean for students still preparing to take the test? More practice, more exposure to the type of questions they will see on test day, and less money out of their pockets. The overall intentions of the reform appear to be generally in the students’ best interests. While the emphasis on standardized test scores for college applications is waning, a majority of schools still require their applicants to list their results in order to help the decision-making process. And with the shift in testing format, the College Board is also perfecting a proportional grading scale to weight the knowledge tested appropriately. As details and logistics are being released, both educators and test-takers are curious to see how the reforms will affect the next generation of college-bound students.

Old SAT Reading and writing sections focused mainly on reading comprehension and skill with writing mechanics.

New SAT Evidence-based reading and writing sections require students to justify responses with quotes and interpret graphics.

Reading content: •Texts display a narrower range of genres, mainly sample student essays or literature and poetry selections. •Texts were from vague or not well-known sources.

Reading content: •Increased diversity in documents to analyze (topics such as science or history) to give “real world context” for skills. •Texts selected from relevant documents often discussed in class.

Vocabulary questions test a student’s memorization of roots and obscure linguistic derivations.

Vocabulary focused on interpreting more applicable terms that will also be useful later in a student’s education and career.

Essay section: •Required portion of the test. •Prompt released to students on day of exam. •20 minute time limit. •Assesses a student’s ability to formulate and communicate a clear stance on an issue, and support using personal experiences or evidence.

Essay section: •Optional portion of the test. •Prompt released before test, with only the accompanying passage(s) unknown. •50 minute time limit. •Assesses a student’s ability to understand the way an author builds his or her central argument and analyze style throughout a piece.

Math section covers a broad range of topics and skills, but not a very thorough assessment on each topic; only one or two questions for each skill.

Math will cover a targeted range of topics in three core areas, including Problem Solving and Data Analysis, Algebra, and Advanced Math.

Calculators are allowed for the entire math section, so computations are more complex.

Calculators only partially allowed for the math section, so computations will have to be simpler.

¼ point deducted for each incorrect multiple choice answer to discourage guessing.

No “guessing penalty” for incorrect multiple choice responses.

Scores reported on a 2400-point scale (three sections worth 800 points each).

Scores reported on a 1600-point scale (essay score separate).

Questions 1-4 are based on the previous passage. The following are sample responses to the questions.

1. Do you predict the SAT reforms will significantly impact the difficulty level or complexity of the test? (A) “It is difficult to say whether a change in format is going to lead to a more rigorous test or not. I think what the new format does is that it democratizes the necessary information. The new test provides the necessary information to analyze, and requires students to utilize a particular skill set.” –Justin Conn, English teacher (B) “[The test is] still going to be hard, but more useful.”– Katie Wimsatt, Freshman (C) “I think the students will like the shorter test and without the fear of penalty for guessing, it will alleviate some of the stress associated with these high stakes tests.” –Michael Santos, science teacher 2. Based off of the data in the previous passages, would you prefer to take the current or revised version of the SAT? (A) “New one—learning stuff you could use in real life is a really good idea.” –Katie Wimsatt, Freshman (B) “I would choose the old version because you have the opportunity to be creative in a smart way with the essay. It’s a way to raise your score, especially if you’re not as good on the multiple choice. And the vocab isn’t that bad to put up with.” –Ben Ellerbrock, Junior (C) “I think that the SAT is like Windows. They see how Apple is doing something that then they try to copy it (and sometimes badly). The ACT is like Apple. The ACT has all the things that the new SAT is going to have.” –Michael Santos, science teacher (D) “It’s an even playing field. The test is new for everyone. Relax people.” – Justin Conn, English teacher

3. Do you think that the new test will more accurately assess the students’ abilties? (A) “It will make the depedence of relying on these expensive prep classes less necessary and make success on the test less dependent on a student’s family income. [The changes] allow for students to demonstrate knowledge they are more likely to learn in school rather than from prep classes that teach to the test.” –Michael Santos, science teacher (B) “It's going to assess a different set of students' abilities. There is no such thing as an exam that assesses all of the abilities necessary to succeed in college. It can't do much worse than the old SAT.” –Justin Conn, English teacher (C) “They’re taking out the essay, so we won’t be as stressed out.” –Chaitanya Hebert, Freshman 4. Do you believe the new test will directly impact education in the classroom? (A) “It just seems like the SAT is catching up to what other exams already valued. I've never seen a reason to test surface level fact-acquisition in my classes; you can Google that stuff.” –Justin Conn, English teacher (B) “Probably—less flashcards with random vocab.” –Katie Wimsatt, Freshman (C) “I don’t think that it’ll have any impact apart from some misguided jealousy.” – Ben Ellerbrock, Junior (D) “I don’t know if standardized testing can affect that [education] too much. I don’t think that much will change because of the nature of the bubbling multiple choice.” –Michael Santos, science teacher –Hana Chen and Layla Gantus contributed to this story.


Social media presents dangers

Concerns about social media exploitation were discussed at a recent forum. Story by Elizabeth Tarangelo.


ave you ever Instagrammed a selfie during a laid-back class period or while eating lunch off campus? If your answer is yes, it’s possible that that picture reached a much larger audience than just those following you. A panel presentation on the dangers of social media exploitation and sexting was put on this March by the SDA Parent Foundation and the SSS Council. It focused on how everyone in our society has two lives: a real life and a digital life. Jon Moffat, founder of Cyber Education Consulting, opened the session by demonstrating just how easy it is to find pictures of people anywhere, even of those who thought they had their account settings on private. He brought up maps of San Dieguito Academy and the surrounding area, dotted with recently uploaded Instagram photos, links to accounts, and Twitter updates. He could click on anything that showed up

on the map and it would take him to the account of the person who posted the update. This gave him access to not only everything else on that person’s profile, but also to the accounts of everyone that person was associated with, since accounts are all interconnected. All he did to get access to all of this information was go to the website and download the app Instamap. “Technology is a tool that has tremendous power… you have to use the tool to create a digital footprint that makes yourself look good, not bad, because there is no guarantee that your photos and videos will stay private,” said Moffat. Making sure your sharing settings are on private is the first step to keeping your digital trail minimal, but it is also important to make sure your accounts aren’t linked, and that you haven’t friended 1,185 people on Facebook. “What you post is only as private as your least trustworthy friend,” said Moffat.

“The Internet can bring out the dark side in people, because it’s anonymous.” Moffat has found that there are many anonymous forums dedicated to posting pictures of teenagers for others to use as they wish. There are threads where pictures of girls at the beach are altered using the “bubbling” technique, which involves blacking out areas to make the picture seem like it’s a nude. Other threads ask people to post multiple pictures of a girl so that they can use them in creating a fake account, which they then use to friend or follow people and obtain more pictures. Snapchat is another app that seemed to be secure, until hackers bypassed its security measures and revealed that they had gained access to account information for 4.6 million people. In this situation, the hackers were “white-hat,” meaning that they claimed their motivation in hacking the app was not malicious, but

instead to raise public awareness about digital privacy and to get Snapchat to fix their security issues. Moffat praises social media as a great way to share, but warns that it can also lead to cyber harassment, whether the subject knows about it or not. Moffat said that he “did see more of this than at other schools,” but he also found that when they saw this sort of thing, students did something about it, which he viewed as a step in the right direction. Moffat wanted students to remember that it’s not just about what a person says or does on their social networks; it’s also about what choices their friends make. One has to be aware of the digital company that they keep. “Technology is just a tool. You could take out a hammer and we could build a house together, or I could take it from you and beat you to death with it: it just depends on how I decide to use the hammer.”

“Drug culture at Coachella” continued from page 03 didn’t use drugs. “Abstaining from drugs at Coachella is not a big deal, and nobody will think anything of it,” the SDA graduate said. “I didn’t use any drugs; the reality is that although you can’t ‘get in trouble’ with anyone [parents], you can endanger yourself.” Those that are choosing to use drugs seem to be trying to take precautions: “I don’t want to get anything from strangers; I’d rather get stuff from people I know,” said one student “I think that’d be sketchy getting stuff from some random stranger.”

The Verdict

Regardless of whether or not teens choose to use drugs during Coachella, they all agreed that drugs are not what define the experience. “It is about camaraderie, liberation through music, and indulging the crazy personalities that reside in all of us. Sure, drugs are prevalent, but they won’t make or break your experience.”



Staff Editorial

New SAT, new look

The Mustang Staff finds the updated version of the SAT to be better suited for the task then the old test, despite a few concerns.


he SAT is a testy subject, no matter which way it’s looked at. And now that College Board is changing it up and pulling out a brand new test with all sorts of revisions, it has become a whole new conversation. So here’s the deal: what with Common Core focusing education on more projectbased learning and analysis, College Board has decided to one-up state governments who are adopting Common Core standards. The new SAT test will be released in time for the class of 2017 to stress over it. The SAT will be returning to the 1600

point scale, for one thing, and the test subjects will be clarified and more evidence based… whatever that means. (Breaking news – it means that test takers will have

time limit and, to top it all, will be optional – sort of like the ACT, no? There will also be no guessing penalty, so guesstimate to your heart’s desire.

The new SAT test will be released in time for the class of 2017 to stress over it. to justify their answers based on the material given to them, apparently.) The obscure vocabulary words will also be eliminated, thus decreasing the number of anxiety attacks in test-takers. The essay will have a longer

The new SAT itself seems leagues better than the old one – sort of like the Red Sox over the Padres, or Harry Potter over Twilight. The new changes are moving standardized testing in a positive direction, and the new test may end up being a better

representation of what colleges want to know. It may even be more practical in the long run. Evidence based discussion is much more important than trying to remember what abrogate means. (Fun fact: abrogate means to abolish, like the College Board will abrogate weird vocabulary in this new test.) Despite all this, there are some issues that cannot be fixed with this new test. For example, College Board hopes to decrease the disparity between test scores and income brackets with this new test, since it will require more critical thinking and less system manipulation. The truth of the matter is this:

some students will always be able to afford more tutors or test prep sessions than others. So is this new test just another opportunity for the money vampires of College Board to take advantage of prospective college students? Maybe not. Only time and the test results of the 2017 class will tell. We’re going to college. Let us know how this all works out.

The Staff Editorial is the collective voice of the Mustang staff. After a moderated discussion, the Opinions Editor then holds a classwide vote and writes up the staff’s opinion.

Collegiate fittings

Now that seniors have heard back from colleges, it’s time to figure out where to call home for the next four years. By Olivia Mock.


s March draws to a close, seniors have heard back from the colleges they applied to and are starting to make decisions on where they’ll spend the next four years of their life. Most people will have gotten a mixture of admissions, wait lists, and denials. I tend to focus on the negative side of things such as all the schools I was not admitted to, but for now I want to pay attention to the silver linings. I am lucky enough to have options to where I can attend college, as many do. I received admission to the SDSU Honors Program and admission to UCLA. Many students also applied to various safety and reach schools and were admitted to both. I knew I was originally drawn to UCLA over SDSU because, like most people, I wanted to go to a school with a fantastic reputation. However, each option has its own pros and cons. On one hand, SDSU is not my first choice and does not look

as good as some of the other schools I got into, but I wasn’t just accepted to the school. I would graduate from the honors program, which looks great. This program has lots of benefits, such as smaller class size that helps students get individual

attention and support, multiple counselors and, a first rate travel abroad program. Also, I would be a priority student. I would also get a medallion when I graduate, which is pretty cool. The smaller class sizes also allow for students to bond with

UCLA: Large campus,

SDSU: Small classes,

good school. Photo by

reasonable tuition.

Olivia Mock.

Photo by Olivia Mock.

their professors which in turn can lead to research, internship, or job opportunities. While the more personalized aspects of an honors program are nice, a degree from a world renowned university or college can do more for students than one from a California State University. As great as this program is, I also got into my first choice school, UCLA, one of the top ranked universities in the world. A degree from that school would help me take advantage of many opportunities. The professors are fantastic, the campus is beautiful, and the college provides incredible research opportunities. Unfortunately, the student body is huge and I could easily get literally and figuratively lost in the crowd. This worries lots of seniors because they would receive less support and attention. Large class sizes also mean that students may not be able to take the classes they need in order to

graduate within four years. I thought that I knew where I wanted to go to school; it would not matter where else I got in. However, after receiving my acceptance to the honors program, I have had to go back and weigh all of my options. At SDSU, tuition would cost less, I would get more attention and I’d graduate with honors. At UCLA, I would spend more on tuition and I’d have to fight to be noticed. Still, I ended up choosing to attend UCLA for the quality of education I will receive and the opportunities, such as working with Nobel laureates I can take advantage of. Ultimately, even if you get accepted to your first choice school, it is extremely important to consider every single one of your choices in order to determine the best fit for you. In my case, it was UCLA, but, the place you choose to attend should be the place you are genuinely excited to go to.


What makes you beautiful

Your taste in music doesn’t define you, but a bad attitude can. Don’t judge what makes others happy. By Kirsten Walz.


have a confession. A deep, dark, dirty secret. A piece of information so raw, so earthshattering, that I haven’t felt comfortable expressing it for fear of ruining friendships. However, I’ve realized that sharing my story could lead to the potential betterment of society as a whole, and that’s a risk I’m willing to take. Alright, here goes nothing. I like One Direction. Here is where I would like you to take a moment to reflect not upon my life choices, but your own. What was your gut reaction to that sentence? If it was something like, “Hm. That’s interesting. Well, whatever makes her happy!” then you don’t even have to bother with reading the rest of this; you already have the attitude of a winner and I commend you for that. However, if your response was more along the lines of, “That might be the single most disgusting thing I have ever read. Does she even like music? Probably not. Does she have a hearing problem? Most likely,” then I need to have a word with you. Don’t worry, I too was like you

Kirsten Walz being carried by members of One Direction. Art by Tacy Manis.

at one point. I actually thought I was better than people because of the music I listened to. I would disregard songs that were fun and catchy simply because they were in the top 40, but a lifechanging experience led me to drop these inhibitions. I got talked into seeing the One

Direction documentary “This is Us.” I initially went as some kind of practical joke on myself that I would be able to laugh at later, but I ended up getting more out of the experience than I ever expected. It hit me at one point during that cinematic masterpiece that I kind of liked

the music, not necessarily for substance, but because it made me happy. Then, in a quick succession of revelations, it came to me that I am in no way inferior because of that, and neither is anyone else who listens to them. And even if I didn’t like the music, that fact would remain.

Music’s sole purpose is to please the listener, so this idea that listening to a certain type of music devalues a person’s credibility is insane. What the person sitting next to you in homeroom is listening to has no effect on you at all. Even if the song currently playing on their iPod makes you want to leave the country altogether, you don’t have to listen to it and they are no less of a person because of it. They’re content, you’re content, let it go. The point is that when you finally come to terms with the fact that you like a song - not because no one else knows it, not because it was recommended by some bearded, flannel-clad hipster talking about it at a record store, but because it’s catchy and it makes whoever is listening feel good - the world becomes just a little bit brighter. Ever since I came to terms with the fact that I like One Direction, I have been as free as a dolphin in a sea of British boys with questionable haircuts and incredibly tight pants, and it feels great.

Dirty dancing at SDA

You may dance like no one is watching, but the truth is that someone actually is, and they are in your class. By Lily LeaVesseur.


’ll admit that I like to get down at the occasional school dance. On such a night, I will probably spend an hour getting ready so that I might look like I spent only five minutes throwing together some effortlessly casually cool outfit. I will have prearranged plans to go with friends so that I won’t have to walk in alone, but also so that I may have at least one person who is obligated to tell me I look hot. Then of course I’ll tell myself, “You’ve worked hard this week, Lily. There might be parent/ teacher chaperones here, but don’t let that stop You from Only Living Once.” So, yes, I do like to indulge in the school-dance game. As a teenager in her senior year who

is still waiting to be invited to the parties with all the cool drugs, I am not hesitant to walk into a dark and dank high school gymnasium with dozens of sweaty, erratically-moving preand post-pubescent bodies and unleash my most famous dance moves. Despite what music pages people ‘like’ on Facebook, no one can resist Turning Down for What to the tune of a good ol’ top-40 song. I do like these events. I do, I do. I buy into the whole damn thing. And yet. Even I acknowledge that at a school dance, I act a little bit more dumb and immature than I usually would on a normal day. I yell profanities and throw out rude gestures and do things

Students getting down at the Spring Dance. Photo by Kirsten Walz.

just short of sexual harassment to friends and strangers. And somehow this is okay, my solid excuse being that I Do What I Want.

I guess what I’m trying to understand is, what gives us the confidence to be so inappropriately different? Maybe I’m just prudish, but

is it weird that I freak out when I see my friend’s little cousin getting hormonal on some nameless dank bitty? When Monday rolls around, how am I supposed to look at my close girlfriend or that kid I used to sit next to in math when the last time I saw them they were getting down hardcore on someone’s lap? I guess it’s none of my business how you do your business on the dance floor. A high school dance is sometimes the only place for you to let your freak flag fly. Who am I, a Berkeley reject, to judge the spandex-clad youth of today for letting your booty get the best of you? Do What You Want, What You Want With Your Body, just know that I am never going to look at you the same way again.


The extra credit problem

Extra credit isn’t as great as people make it out to be because it does not provide an equal opportunity. By Ivan Ramales.


e’ve all been there, struggling to inch up a few tenths into the next letter grade, whether it be a GPA-boosting A- or an acceptable C-. For people like us, extra credit offers the chance to nudge our borderline grades into a slightly more appealing place. Sometimes, we get so excited about the possibility of bulking up our grades that we don’t take into consideration the people who might not be able to cash in their extra credit because of uncontrollable limitations. While some extra credit options are available to everyone, like saving up the bathroom passes till the end of the semester, some options could definitely be considered restrictive for certain people. For example, what happens if

Photo by Kirsten Walz.

one extra credit option is a movie screening in downtown San Diego? What if you can’t afford the movie ticket? What if you don’t have a ride? What if you have some sort of extracurricular activity that prevents you from attending the movie? Realistically speaking, you can’t dine on your slice of extra credit if you don’t have the money for tickets

and gas. Because of this, you could potentially be at a disadvantage because of your financial situation, while a more financially-secure person could buy a few extra points. You could be a rich teen with a car, attending the movie only to be able to skip tomorrow’s homework, drive to theater, sleep through the entire movie, then bull the assignment, and still be

better off grade-wise than a poor, shy student athlete/part-time cashier at McDonald’s. If your class is trading a few extra points for buying brand new shoes for homeless children, but you can barely afford shoes for yourself, well tough luck. You won’t get the points for you’re A- and little Timmy won’t get his fresh J’s to rock during the grueling winter months of

southern California. Teachers should look to offer extra credit options that are equal to everyone. No driving across the state to check out that one place where Einstein stopped to grab waffles when he visited Hollywood. No spending insane amounts of time, and Benjamins, on recreating the feast that our founding fathers enjoyed after sending the British back to their rock. Just keep it simple and make the opportunities fair. You know, like taking notes during the in-class movie, or bringing in a bag of chips for the class potluck, maybe even doing a little independent research. This way, students can actually choose to earn a little extra credit, rather than have the choice already made for them.

Like these opinions? Check out more at!


San Dieguito Sentinel Good Enough

buy one get one free

Student caught setting up illegal posters; Search for your words? The actions attributed to ‘things down there’ activity for Americ@!

A typical high school suspension illuminates a growing problem among young women. Story by Lily LeaVesseur. Junior Menstra Cycla was suspended for littering Monday when she was caught putting up non-ASB approved flyers around school. “This is not how we expect our students to conduct themselves,” said superintendent Cole Louless. “The incident is definitely not a result of staff negligence. In fact, this behavior is so unusual that we suspect the student was acting out because of problems at home. There is evidence to indicate that it was her ‘time of the month,’ if you know what I mean,” he said, giggling. After evacuating and shutting down the bathroom for investigation, used feminine products were discovered in several of the stalls. Senior Iggy Norant was asked to conduct the search. “I always thought there were candy or perfume samples in those little tin trash cans. Turns out I was wrong, dead wrong,” he shuddered, before sitting down to put his head between his knees. Junior Stu Pidd also noted that something was off with Cycla.

Take this challenge to prove to you and your friends that you have higher-than-average spatial intelligence!

The flyer in question. Photo by Kirsten Walz.

“I saw she had a Band-aid on her arm last week. I didn’t think anything of it then, but now it’s so obvious that she was trying to cover up the blood loss. She’s always been clever like that.” Sexual Education teacher Ian Kwaliti also thought something was up: “I heard her crying and talking with friends the other day, something about her pet dog dying. Any unusual emotion at all is a clear indication of menstrual illness. As an avid feminist, I try to keep up and do my research

on all the symptoms of this tragic and under-researched disease.” The administration felt that a week of suspension was a more appropriate than expulsion. “Her hormones will settle down in the next few days, and when she returns to school she’ll have realized that she was being irrational. We are very lucky that this is a co-ed school, and that we have emotionally stable male students whose behavior can always be justified by the fact that boys will be boys,” said Louless.

compliment principal moose weather naval desert

minor waste time chaste stationary plane

Courtesy of SDA Yearbook.


On the


Some students at SDA have family serving in the military. Carrying pride for their loved ones, they discuss how they have been changed by their experiences. Story by Elise gout


t’s 2.3 miles to Swamis. 4.1 miles to Grandview. 6.4 to Beacon’s. Since San Dieguito Academy is right next door to surf spots and sunset views, beach hangouts and volleyball courts, it can be easy to forget that just up the coast sprawls the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base. Its close proximity, though, means there is a greater chance of having kids from military families attend SDA. Though counselors Vicki de Jesus, Duncan Brown, and Anne Nebolon could not say exactly how many kids at the school have this in common, each knew of a few students with family in uniform. De Jesus suspects that some kids are “not necessarily going to share that right off the bat,” seeing as “it’s something that kind of remains a little private.” Eight kids shared their backgrounds growing up so close to the armed forces. Going extended periods of time without seeing their loved ones has impacted these kids in a variety of ways, and many of them have noticed misconcetions involving the military as a whole. Throughout it all, these students admire their family member’s decision to serve.

normal teenager.” Dana Weaver left for the Marine Corps six years ago and now travels back and forth from Japan. “I went from living with him, seeing him every day and then he was just gone for months at a time.” This absence is something senior Nicole Loya is beginning to work through as well, now that her brother was one of 50 selected to go into NATO fighter pilot training for the Air Force. “It scares me a little bit,” admitted Loya. “I’m not sure how much danger he’ll be in in the next upcoming years [or] when I’ll get to see him next.” Junior Hanna Kobayashi’s uncle was deployed to several areas including Afghanistan “many, many times.” She reflected on when she first realized the meaning of his profession: “When my Mom was getting his will straightened out. It was like, ‘Oh. He may not come back.’”

The Impact

The lifestyle of having a family member within the military has shaped each of the students in different aspects and to different extents. For the Feinberg sisters, the biggest effect came in moving so often. “I can’t imagine living in the same place all my life,” said Tenley Feinberg, who preivously lived with her family in Virginia and Iceland. The Absence “When I lived here and wasn’t on a military No matter what age they were when base and I just went to public schools, most it happened, no matter what reasons people would say ‘Wow, that’s got to be hard.’ prompted it, or what branch it was, each I mean it is, but it isn’t.” one could recall his or her feelings when a In discussing the key differences between loved one officially joined the military. living on and off base, she explained, “With Senior Kassandra Moquin’s father a military base, there are no teenagers. The recently returned after three and a half whole community is protected by armed months in Afghanistan. Said Moquin,“Just guards. Everything is safe. We kind of took not knowing where they were or if they were that for granted. When we moved out, we safe was a personal struggle - not knowing were like, ‘Wait, crimes can happen? Not when they would come home, and when I Jesse Loya, an SDA graduate from the class of 2009, took this photo with the family’s dog just before he left home. everyone moves every three years?’” would get to talk with him.” Photo courtesy of Nicole Loya. Logan Feinberg attributed this background Also deployed there, as a Navy doctor, to making her “more well rounded.” She said, was the father of sisters Tenley and Logan “I guess it gives me an opportunity to meet Feinberg, a junior and a sophomore, new people and to branch out. “ respectively. In face of this, they had to “change a lot of things.” Tenley For junior Rachel Littlefield, it was “more of the mindset.”Along with Feinberg explained, “We tended to do a lot as a family, but then when he her grandfathers formerly being in the military, she also has close friends wasn’t around that kind of stopped. We sometimes ate dinner together, in the Marine Corps. She explained that now, if ever talking to a “police but it became more of a ‘Hey just make your own dinner.’” officer, or any authority like that, it’s ‘yes sir, no sir.’” Similar to Moquin, Tenley Feinberg said, “I just felt kind of lost, I Moquin, too, felt that having her father in the navy taught her to be guess. Whenever I’d do things I’d normally do with him, I’d think about “disciplined,” as well as extremely “self-motivated.” how much better it was, being with him. I’d just get really sad about it.” Senior Nick Post, whose cousin in in the Air Force, acknowledged that “Most of when he was deployed,” said her sister, “my mom would be he now tends “to look on us being in other countries in a more positive the dad all the time.” way” than some of the people around him. During the time of her own father’s deployment, Moquin really “held For a number of them, having family members in the military held large on” to her friends for help. “Just because I was afraid to let them go,” she significance in inspiring aspirations towards a similar career path. said. “They were very patient with me.” Littlefield, currently hoping to enter the Marine Corps, said that her Meanwhile, Tenley Feinberg acknowledged that she felt like she “sort grandfather “giving advice, not complaining, and doing his job” helped of pushed people away.” continued on page 12 Senior Irena Weaver said of her older brother, Dana, “He was like a


“I’m very much the artsy-fartsy kid,” said Weaver. Tenley agreed, “They sort of frown on ‘Hey, let’s paint.”

The Misconceptions

A part of the United States Naval Sea Cadets program, Kobayashi attended a shooting competition this past March at Camp Pendleton and placed second. Photo courtesy of Hanna Kobayashi.

continued from page 11 contribute. Post’s cousin was “definitely part of the reason” he wants to be in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps for the Air Force next year. As early as middle school, Kobayashi had started to become involved in military programs herself, attending a boot camp at age 13. “Honestly,” said Kobayashi, “as cheesy as this sounds, I didn’t really quite fit in until that program. It’s amazing,

the leadership opportunities, the education that they give you. I just want to continue on with it.” In another light, Weaver and Tenley Feinberg had the opportunity to realize that the armed forces were, in fact, not the right pursuit for them. “My Mom kind of talked me out of it,” said Tenley Feinberg, and Weaver found herself not “fit for that culture” after her dad signed her up for a Navy program some years back.

Exposed more than most to the military’s interworkings, the students each had opinions on what they found to be frequent misconceptions of their, and their loved ones,’ lifestyles. One of the first things in Logan Feinberg’s mind was how a lot of people are “scared” of her dad. “That’s really weird,” she said, “because he’s like five foot two.” Grinning, she amended, “No he’s not, he’s five foot six.” “I kind of feel like some people think [joining the military is] just a really cookie cutter thing that you have to conform to,” said Tenley Feinberg. “That’s not true; there’s so much more. I personally love being in a military family. It is a community; no matter where you go, people are going to welcome you.” Several students addressed the assumptions made about how they felt. “People look at it as a really sad thing,” said Loya. “But for us, so far, it hasn’t been sad.” Whenever Logan Feinberg’s father was away, “people acted

like it was a really sensitive topic.” To them, though, “it really wasn’t” because they “knew he’d be back in less than a year.” Along with this, widely commented upon was how people sometimes generalize what being in the military truly entails. Said Kobayashi, “Only because I understand the history really well and I understand the basic customs and courtesies and everything, I just think that some kids today get the wrong idea. They just think, you know, off to war, getting a gun, shooting people, fighting for your country.” “You definitely get people with negative feelings towards it,” said Littlefield, “Things like ‘Oh you’re just going off and killing

overzealous stance for American pride.” She explained, “I’m not saying our family isn’t prideful of our country. Obviously we are if we’re willing to work for it. I just think, sometimes, that whole image gets blown out of proportion. From what I’ve witnessed, it can be a career goal, but also a stepping-stone for bigger and better things.” A few of the students have even dealt with judgments from those around them based on their family member’s jobs. “A lot of people have actually told me that my dad’s decision to go into the military was the wrong choice,” said Moquin. “[They say] my Dad is fighting for money over in Afghanistan,

“[The military] can be a career goal, but also a stepping-stone for bigger and better things.” - Senior Irena Weaver random people.’” Weaver finds that often individuals expect she and her family must have “this

fighting for oil and territory.” Being pro-military herself, Littlefield has met many people who interpret that if “you’re pro-


military you are pro-war.” She finds not only is that inaccurate, but it is often the opposite. What she would say to those

it’s always a really special treat.” When they were younger, the Feinbergs’ father returned around the same month when he

“...we just couldn’t let go of him. There were so many tears. We were so happy to have him back.” - Senior Kassandra Moquin with such impressions? “I guess, don’t hate on the people. You can be against what they do. You can be against war. And that’s fine. But don’t hate on the people. They don’t deserve it. They’re going and doing their job, serving for what they think is right.”

The Reunion

For some, the moment when their loved ones returned from being away was unforgettable. “Beyond happy” were the words that first came to Moquin. “It was so joyful and we just couldn’t let go of him,” she said. “There were so many tears. We were so happy to have him back.” For Kobayashi, seeing her uncle was “hilarious,” because of his humor. “When you see him

left the year before. “He got to be there for my birthday,” Tenley Feinberg said, smiling. “My dad, my mom, and I all have birthdays in the same week, so that was the week he came back.” Loya’s brother left again in February for Texas, but was home for a couple months. “I actually got to see him for a pretty long period of time ... for Christmas,” said Loya. “That was nice.” When Weaver’s brother visited, he decided to do so without telling their family first. “I was actually home sick and I heard a knock on the door,” said Weaver. “My other brother answered and it was great, definitely surprising, especially because I hadn’t seen him in three months and so

much had changed.” Laughing, she explained: “Apparently there wasn’t anything to do in Japan and so he would just sit around and work out the entire time. He came home huge.”

The Admiration

Despite the challenges they’ve faced, and the resilience those challenges have tested, the students all expressed a kind of special gratitude in light of their loved one’s choices. Loya admires her brother’s “intense” dedication. “I don’t know how he did it,” she said. “We’re really proud because we know that he’s, right now, kind of at the top with what he’s doing.” Although Weaver had a hard time with her brother’s absence, she knew “it was worth it” when at his graduation ceremony. “[It was] really emotional,” she said, “to see him fulfill what he was working so hard to achieve.” Logan Feinberg values how her father “almost always has a positive outlook about his deployment.” She said that he, after Afghanistan, “would always talk about the funny parts. How they would just put rugs in the middle of the road for no reason and cars would just drive over

Moquin (far right) and her family attended her father’s retirement ceremony last November. Photo courtesy of Kassandra Moquin.

them. He would talk about weird things and not the fact that he went there to fight a war.” Tenley Feinberg took a long moment before selecting the right words. “He is very focused on right and wrong, and how we should always do right,” she said. “He always tries to be there for us, even though he works a lot.

Sometimes he can’t be around, but when he is, he tries to make the most of it so that we can get the most out of it.” Moquin hopes most of all to take after her father’s ability to be “very open to other ideas, other people, and other walks of like.” With an affirmative nod, she said, “My Dad is really my hero.”


Tear Up Before It’s Torn Down 47 fire alarms set off

Whether you’ve thrown your first lumpy pot as a freshman in Tech Wheel or sent in your last college application as a senior in College Apps, chances are that you’ve had at least one class in the buildings surrounding Senior Court. Starting in June, these buildings will be torn down. In commemoration of the teachers, students, and stories they’ve held, here are a few of the moments* that make them unforgettable.

317 surf videos watched

1,000,000 dishes washed

2 Latin pop star posters

2 eyebrows lost

52 pens up Mrs. Duck’s nose

3,980 y’alls 3,764 hearts broken

723 hopes and dreams crushed

237 college application meltdowns

1,453 hiccups cured by Hrzina

5,427 pounds of clay recycled

30,743 pots made 11,082 broken 1 roundabout theater

2,642 chalk stained hands making Exhibition Day mandalas

*Numbers may not be completely accurate representations of these statistics.

1 old recording studio

Art by Roya Chagnon. Coloring by Tacy Manis and Kirsten Walz. Story by Katie McPherson and Elise Gout. Inspired by Chris Ware.

7,469 ASL vocab words

1,263 water balloons thrown for senior pranks

546 Zimbardo videos watched

419 language airband rehearsals

113 boulders thrown onto Piggy

132 dia de los muertos altars

32 noise complaints 1 neverending flush 205 cows seen

89,083 bad puns

765 incense candles burned by Bode

93.2 faces on the planter

1,832 crappy as hell Holden Caulfield drawings

87 cucarachas 543 buildings designed in Architectural Design

12,583 sheets of paper not recycled

1 not-so-secret Robotics bat cave

2 blanket forts

967 existential crises

9,851 hours spent academically supporting students

327 Journalism deadlines missed

549 Russian names mispronounced while reading Crime & Punishment

4,901 classes interupted by the neverending flush

6,893 hours of SolidWorks


Baby, You Can Drive My Car San Dieguito Academy students share the reasons why they carpool. STORY BY MARIN CALLOWAY


or many, the word carpool brings up images of moms driving minivans full of kids to elementary school. But, the idea of carpooling did not die in elementary school; in fact, SDA is keeping it alive. Carpools take on a variety of different forms at SDA from more traditional minivan style arrangements to innovative student setups between friends and siblings. Jennifer De La Fuente, mother of freshman Julia De La Fuente, has been participating in carpools with other parents for as long as her children have been in school. To her, sharing rides is important because it conserves energy. “It’s dumb to be driving a minivan around with one person,” she said. According to De La Fuente, carpooling saves time for parents too. “Everyone I know does [carpools]. I don’t know any [kids] that [have] parents that are super happy to drive them to and fro every day,” said De La Fuente. For juniors Josh Perkins and Emily Templin, carpooling is also about convenience. According to Templin, carpooling with Perkins accommodates their parents’ work schedules. Templin’s mother drives them to school while Perkins’ mother drives them home from school. The two have known each other since elementary school and have carpooled since sophomore year. While the arrangement usually runs smoothly, there are occasional mishaps, they said. “Sometimes I’ve forgotten [Emily] at school…and often times I’m not ready so they leave without me,” said Perkins. Though many believe carpooling is limited to parents driving underclassmen or students without a driver’s license or car to use, students at SDA have taken carpooling into their own hands. Many students even upperclassmen participate in carpools in which other students drive. For example, senior Fiona Riebeling drives her sister, freshman Annalena Riebeling, and senior Caroline Pickering to school every

morning. “We like to listen to the impossible question on the radio in the morning and also yell at other cars (but they can’t hear us, we’re not that mean),” said Riebeling. Pickering and Riebeling live on the same street so carpooling in the morning is easy. But, after school is harder. Riebeling plays lacrosse and Pickering has a free fourth period so they are unable to carpool home. According to senior Ian MacGregor, after-school activities are an obstacle for many students trying to carpool. “It can be awkward to ask around or find others who live nearby. And then with activities, it’s just hard to do,” MacGregor said. Even if finding and arranging a carpool is hard, it can be fun. According to senior Aaron Steger who carpools with senior Ty Gibson, not only do carpools mean fewer cars on the road, but also a more interesting drive to and from school. Steger thinks sharing rides “builds camaraderie” and he credits his exposure to “cutting edge music” to driving with Gibson. “The greatest part about it is that it’s easy. You don’t have to think about it. More kids should take advantage of it,” said Gibson. Assistant principal Dr. Jeanne Jones would also like to see more students carpooling. “It would alleviate a lot of the traffic around school,” she said. As construction continues and portable classrooms take up space in the student parking lot, it would help to conserve parking spaces, said Jones. Jones is even interested in San Dieguito Academy setting up some sort of carpooling system in which the students could find other students to carpool with. When the academy first opened the administration tried to organize such a system, but it was too much work, she said. Jones suggested that ASB or individual students work together to create a carpooling initiative. “I can certainly see the huge benefits of carpooling,” Jones said.

Senior Adira Fogel occasionally carpools with senior Cohen Christian. Photo by Katie McPherson.


A Cultural Exchange Senior Cooper Hoffman spent a semester in Japan. Find out what he experienced half a world away. STORY BY LINDEN AMUNDSEN

Senior Cooper Hoffman and his new schoolmates. Photo courtesy of Cooper Hoffman.


raveling the world is a desire often found on bucket lists, a goal or dream for little children and the elderly alike. For many, the idea of exploring faraway places may be a wish, and will always only remain a wish. But for senior Cooper Hoffman, distant travel became a reality through his own hard work and determination. After completing a long application to AFS , a program that sends exchange students to school in foreign countries, Hoffman spent the past fall semester attending school at Tsukuba-Shi in Ibaraki-Ken, Japan. Completely and suddenly immersed in Japanese culture, Hoffman delved into a lifestyle utterly unfamiliar to him. Surprisingly, “It was not scary,” Hoffman said. “I only spoke Japanese, which was very hard at first, but then I became fluent and it became fun.” Hoffman went to Tsukuba Nichidai Chutou, a regular Japanese school, which, according to Hoffman, wasn’t that dissimilar from SDA. “I guess the main difference between Tsukuba and SDA was the kids studied more than played. The hours were very long, from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 pm, but because of that everyone became really good friends,” said Hoffman, “Other than that, Japanese students pretty much act the same as American high schoolers, and there aren’t that many dramatic differences.” Hoffman quickly made friends in Japan, “I thought it was cool to be able to communicate in another language and meet people outside of California,” he said. “I made many friends that I still keep in contact with. After the trip, I really realized that lasting bonds can be made with anyone and they can redefine you as a person and change your outlook on life,” said Hoffman. “I learned that it doesn’t matter where someone’s from, or what language they speak; anyone can be your friend.” Alongside these new buddies, Hoffman spent his free time exploring Japan. “Going someplace nearby was like an adventure, because I didn’t know the area that well,” he said. “I explored Japan’s countryside and stores, and everything was an experience.”

Hoffman and his host brother in front of a Japanese temple. Photo courtesy of Cooper Hoffman.

At home, Hoffman lived with a host family. “Living with another family was strange, but good because even though we were very different we still had common interests,” said Hoffman. “for instance, my host mom and I both love reggae.” They made many memories together over the course of his six month stay, “We had a lot of fun times together; we shared many thoughts and experiences, including a family trip to Mt. Fuji,” Hoffman said. “They were like my normal family. Every day with them was a lot of fun.” As for Hoffman’s reasons for going, “I went in order to learn more about foreign culture,” he said. While he definitely achieved this goal, Hoffman has decided he is not done with his foreign travel. “This helped me realize that the world still has many things left for me to uncover and that I will spend the rest of my life searching for more new experiences,” he said. Additionally, Hoffman found new ways to appreciate his own culture, as well as Japan’s. “After learning English through a Japanese point of view I am very grateful I learned it as a child because it is a very difficult language to learn,” he said. Prior to his trip, Hoffman spent time researching means of going to Japan. Along with a friend, Hoffman found an online program that would send him there. “The best way to go to a foreign country is to find a program yourself, because from the start to finish it is all about the drive to go out and explore a bigger world,” he said. “Also, for students interested in similar experiences, keep in mind that many programs are around that can take you almost anywhere in the world.” “I think it was a good, fun experience and that anyone interested in foreign affairs should try it,” Hoffman said. To students who hope to one day become world travelers, or perhaps even do a similar program, Hoffman said, “It’s important not to limit yourself to one country. By looking at different countries, and trying to understand their people, the whole world can be connected.”


Sound and cinema

March was filled with new and memorable entertainment. From grim sounds and mystic guitar chords, to everyone’s favorite talking puppets and a dystopian love story, these albums and movies make the start of spring seem worthwhile.

Rooms of the House

Lost in the Dream

By Gabby Catalano

By Sara Portnoy

There’s nothing like a ghostly theme in an album to really put the emphasis in the title “Rooms of The House.” Reminding me of the novel “House of Leaves” and the film “The Conjuring,” La Dispute’s third alternative-rock album is a morbid tale of a family and the strange dilemmas that they face. The lyrics in each of the tracks are grim and haunting, especially when displayed on screen in the album’s 40 minute music video on YouTube. “There are bridges over rivers, there are moments of collapse,” are the beginning lyrics in the first track “Hudsonville, MI 1956,” which begins the story of the family and the haunted house they live in. Screaming sound effects and blaring guitar riffs are prominent, as well as quiet to loud vocals, similar to bands Nirvana and Octaves. La Dispute has a reputation for being both creative and dark when it comes to making music. Vocalist Jordan Dreyer’s voice is almost a speak-shouting style with passion and emotion, and his lyrics are poetry-heavy and narrative. Having their first album at the top of my playlist and now their third, dark poetry mixed with shrill vocals really seems to intrigue music fanatics, and by that I mean me. No other 21st century band has accomplished the task of combining morbidity, emotion, and poetry into their music - I would like to see another band try. Compared to their other two albums “Somewhere at the Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altaire” (2008) and “Wildlife” (2011), the latest tells an easyto-follow story with a haunting message: “there are rooms in these houses, there are rooms in these houses.”

Muppets Most Wanted By Tacy Manis

With all the new and energetic music coming out this year, I never thought I would hear an album like this. “Lost in the Dream,” the third studio album by indie rock band The War on Drugs, It contrasts to the mainstream music of today with its slower tempo and dreamy sound. Lead singer and songwriter Adam Granduciel made this album very personal, helping listeners connect to his heartfelt vocals and soft guitar chords. “Lost in the Dream” presents a feeling of relaxation and tranquility, something rare from the music of today. The album features songs that reflect on Granduciel’s existential view of life experiences, such as dealing and trying to makes sense of heartbreak. Often compared to the likes of Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, Granduciel’s powerful lyrics give the listeners enough room for their imaginations to run wild. “Lost in the Dream” essentially puts listeners in a mystic trance of long songs of substance and thought provoking lyrics. It’s easy to detect the melancholy emotions of Granduciel through songs depicting him as a lonely man looking for a purpose in life. Even though most of the songs sounded quite similar, the album was enjoyable all the way through. This album proves the idea that music can transport us into a tranquil state of mind, even with the stresses of everyday life. The rock sound that’s provided makes “Lost in the Dream” timeless, almost as if it could have been written at any point in the last 50 years. If you haven’t already, definitely take some time to listen to what this album has to offer.


By Katrina Olsen

As we all know making a sequel is a risky business. Even before “Muppets Most Wanted” started, I saw the horrors of misplaced Hollywood demand; apparently someone decided “Planes 2” was a good idea. I guess I should begin by saying that the sequel wasn’t quite as good, but I’d pay to see this movie a couple more times. Beginning right where the last film ended, the Muppets head out on a world tour at the suggestion of their new tour manager, Dominic Badguy, played by Ricky Gervais. Little do the Muppets know, but Dominic Badguy is working with the most dangerous frog in the world, Constantine, who happens to look almost exactly like Kermit. As one can probably guess, Constantine infiltrates The Muppets while Kermit gets locked up. I have a lot of childhood nostalgia tied to this movie, but even if you’re new to the Muppet universe, “Muppets Most Wanted” is filled with charming musical numbers, fabulous guest stars, and classic muppet comedy. “Interrogation Song” is a delightful duet of witty rhymes between Ty Burrell’s character, Jean Pierre Napoleon, and Sam the Eagle. From musicians Tom Hiddleston to Lady Gaga, the celebrity cameos make up for moments like that.

The best way to describe the new box office star, “Divergent,” is to compare it to the bestselling, fan-worshiped novel by Veronica Roth of the same name. After the respective success and failure of “The Hunger Games” and “Mortal Instruments,” movie producers seem to have picked up that when readers call for a “book adaption” they really mean a “visual audio book with abs.” Fortunately, “Divergent” stepped up to the plate. The only divergence from the book itself was to clarify, emphasize, and explain aspects of the world that the written adaption didn’t recognize or consider like specific reasons for why the main character, Tris, is able to fight manipulation. Even then, those differences were minimal and only explicitly required given a movie’s inability to represent internal dialogue and its two hour time limit. The movie describes a teenage girl’s choice between following her family or her heart in a dystopian Chicago, all the while hiding a secret that can get her killed. May the author and book lovers not strike me down but, to anyone who has the slightest inclination to read “Divergent,” just watch the movie.


What’s in your bag? Coachella is a much anticipated event for SDA students. Seniors Jack Boyce, Kelly White, and Nate Willert and junior Francesca Stastna provided their thoughts on this year’s trends, and their planned music festival experience. A peek inside Boyce and White’s bags, gives a glimpse into the awaited Coachella fashion. Story and photos by Madison Hougard.

Senior Jack Boyce: “It would be a sad time at Coachella without my sunglasses, those are essential. I’ll be sure to bring my Vans and anything else that’s comfy, and a lot of water.”

Why Coachella? Boyce: “Everyone says it’s the icing on the cake for senior year; there’s great music, great people, and great vibes.” Willert: “I love music and you get to see more than a years worth of concerts in one weekend.” White: “I had so much fun last year that I had to go again. Also, some of my friends and my brother are going. We are all going to Weekend 2 because then I get to miss school.” Stasna: “The line up is pretty good, all my friends are going, and it sounds like it will be super fun.”

Senior Kelly White: “I’m going to bring to Coachella my favorite pair of sunglasses, a big hat, a backpack, and a bathing suit.”

If you have been before, what was your experience? Were you prepared? Boyce: “I’m a first timer.” Willert: “You don’t need much other than some cash for food, WATER, and trunks (bathing suit) and a tee shirt. This is my sixth time going.” White: “Last time all I brought was a pair of sunglasses. I wasn’t prepared at all because I wasn’t sure what to expect. The day was super hot but at night it cooled down. There is such a creative aspect to Coachella and you can tell that the people who run it spend a lot of time preparing.” Stasna: “I haven’t been before.”

Are you stressed at all about figuring out what to bring?

What is your go-to look?

Boyce: “I guess. I don’t have to do the outfit planning like girls do. I’m bringing whatever will be most comfortable honestly.” Willert: “Not at all, the least amount of clothing the better because it is hot.” White: “Yes! I don’t know what I am going to wear. I am going to bring a fanny pack or a small camelback because those are the easiest things to carry around.” Stasna: “Not really.”

Boyce: “I have to bring my sunglasses. Other than that, I’m definitely bringing my Vans and anything else that’s comfortable.” Willert: “Trunks and a t-shirt. Cool t-shirts though of course.” White: “I am going to bring my favorite pair of sunglasses, a big hat, a backpack of some sort, and a bathing suit.” Stasna: “I am for sure bringing sunglasses.”

What do you think the biggest trend will be at Coachella this year?

Are you planning on dressing comfortably? How do you think other people will dress?

Boyce: “Ugly Christmas sweaters.” Willert: “Everyone has their own trends but last year, people were knighting people with a light saber and calling them the kings and queens of Coachella so I literally have no clue.” White: “That’s hard to say because everyone dresses so differently. I think maybe a floppy hat, sunglasses, and some sort of printed dress?” Stasna: “Last years trend was flower headbands. Maybe this year it’ll be daisies because those are super trendy.”

Boyce: “Oh yes. For a 12-hour-a-day festival, comfort is the definite priority.” Willert: “From past years I’ve seen so many outfits from Vikings to Gumby, and girls with literally bathing suit bottoms, some trippy body paint and pasties on their breasts.” White: “Yes definitely! I think there will be a lot of people in bathing suits and lots of maxi dresses and skirts with boots because it is so dusty.” Stasna: “I don’t know what I’ll be doing all day so I’m going to dress very comfortable. As for other people, I don’t know if they choose fashion over function.”


A little spring in your step A look at spring 2014’s biggest clothing trends, such as ombre sunglasses and saddlebags. Story by Annie Smith.


Junior Becca Bland wears a petite black and white saddlebag. Photo by Annie Smith.

hed your heavy coats and scarves, put away your rain boots and umbrellas - spring is here! Oh wait, we live in Southern California. With warmer than usual weather on the horizon, you might opt to leave your lightweight sweater at home and try some of these new spring trends to get in the spirit of the season. This year seems to be all about the accessories: decorative sunglasses, petite saddlebags, and nail art have been recognized as great finishing touches to the perfect spring outfit. From unusual shapes to interesting plastic add-ons, sunglasses have become a popular accessory to add a little fun to any outfit. Small saddlebags are great for spring because they are easily slung over a shoulder and are light enough to carry to the beach with just a tube of sunscreen, a cell phone, and some money. Nail art gained a lot of follow-

ers in 2013, and it continues to be popular for spring 2014. Floral, ombre, and color blocked pastel nails are a creative way to “polish” up the perfect outfit this season. Aside from accessories, spring fashion is also all about wide-leg pants, crop tops, white on white, and iridescent pastels. High waisted wide-leg pants are making a comeback this season, as they look great with a crop top and flow nicely over some ballet flats or sandals. White on white great for spring since it looks fresh and crisp, as well as shows off a great spring break tan. Also a color trend, iridescent pastels add color and shimmer to outfits for a hint of spring happiness. Last but not least, make-up this season is minimal; it’s all about big brows, a light lip, and nude eyes. Spring is about a fresh start, so experiment with your look and have fun!

Senior Camryn Eakes wears black and white ombre sunglasses. Photo by Annie Smith.

Classics never die Preview of an upcoming event that shows how classical music is making its way into the arts. Story by Gabby Catalano.


rtistic insights, in-depth discussions, and classical music! The San Dieguito Academy Foundation will be hosting an interactive event that presents a new outlook on how classical music is infusing its way into popular culture. The San Dieguito Academy Performing Arts Center will be crowded with students, parents, and teachers to hear award-winning UCLA professor David Ra-

vetch from 7 to 8 p.m. Saturday, April 26. “This event will provide an entertaining experience for students,” said Paul Abel, Board Member of the SDA Foundation and professor of Marketing. “They’ll be exposed to the ways in which classical music infiltrates pop culture, and interact with expert David Ravetch through movie clips and stories of musicians.”

Ravetch is a professor of management at UCLA as well as an experienced musician. Each year, both Abel and Ravetch attend a UCLA retreat in Lake Arrowhead, where Ravetch delivers presentations to Bruins and their families about music in pop culture. Abel was so amazed by Ravetch’s presentation that he asked him to give it at SDA. “He loves education and enjoys helping students find and fol-

low their passions,” said Abel. The event will also feature a question and answer period. Preparing questions ahead of time is recommended for discussion, and Ravetch is willing to answer anything, Abel said. This isn’t only an event for students. Teachers and parents are more than welcome to come, and Abel is hoping for the event to create a “buzz” on campus. Tickets are $2 for students and

$5 for guests, and all the proceeds go towards SDA programs and students. Tickets can be bought at the SDA Foundation Center or at “My hope is that students will leave entertained and have a greater appreciation for the arts and music,” said Abel.



Get Your Head in the Game The SDA Mustang interviewed former NFL player, Brent Boyd. He gave the story of his life-long struggle with this disease. STORY BY LINDEN AMUNDSEN


so abundant people forget what a risk it was to speak out against the rich ere at SDA, a school proud of its lack of football, many students and powerful NFL and our union, the NFLPA, in 2007. Folks who make have no interest in the sport. However, lately, football has given billions tend not to like it when someone attacks their product, [those who us some insight into a gravely important matter: CTE. With the do speak out] tend to ‘disappear’ or have ‘accidents.’” recent news of Junior Seau’s suicide, and then the release of his diagnosis, Things have not settled down in the realm of CTE awareness. A lawsuit has brought san Diego residents, including SDA students, into the realm claiming that the NFL did not inform players of the possible dangers they of CTE awareness. faced on the field was filed against the NFL by over 4500 former players CTE research and news continues to come into being. News channels, like Boyd. The lawsuit is backed by players and the family of former players, newspapers, and magazines are abuzz with new information on an issue including that of former San Diego Charger linebacker Junior Seau. just scratching the scientific surface, and at the head of this outcry is an The NFL offered a settlement of $765 million, which would be distributed old star: among roughly 18,000 players for the purposes of medical compensation In the 1980 NFL Draft, Brent Boyd was selected by the Minnesota Viand research on CTE. NFL Executive Vice President Jeffery Pash spoke kings to play as an offensive guard. He would play with the team for seven of the litigation agreement, “This is an important step that builds on the years before retiring in 1986. significant changes we’ve made in recent years to make the game safer, and It wasn’t until 1999 that he would be given a diagnosis that would change we will continue our work to better the long his life: term health and well being of NFL players.” Brent Boyd had CTE, or Chronic Traumatic Many players weren’t satified with the offer. Encephalopathy, a progressive, degenerative Boyd said, “The proposed settlement has disease caused by head injuries. CTE results been denied by the judge because there is not in extensive brain tissue damage, as well as enough money offered by the NFL to cover all the accumulation of tau protein, a compound the retirees affected.” that, in large quantities, can defect and lead Although it has finally acknowledged the to Alzheimer’s. Victims express symptoms, existence of CTE, Boyd said, “The NFL has sometimes gradually, including dementia, been dragged kicking and screaming and depression, mood swings, aggression, and resisting all the way.” confusion. While the NFL has attempted being In an email interview with The Mustang, cooperative, Boyd says many players are Boyd said that he had been suffering with disheartened with the League. “Their public the symptoms of CTE for years prior to his actions have only been because guys like me diagnosis, but had no idea what he was dealing were speaking to the media, Congress etc. with. “I graduated UCLA with honors, and them a PR nightmare. Any positive was accepted to law school. Concussions my actions they have made are because of our first season [playing for the NFL] made that From right to left: Brent Boyd, coach Don Riley, advocacy and persistence,” Boyd said. impossible. I wasn’t told I suffered concussions, and teammate Jim Main, playing for UCLA in Recent research on CTE has another so I had no idea why I just didn’t have energy 1979. Photo courtesy of frightening implication. Around 7.7 million or motivation anymore. My life was, and is, high school students, 56% of the American severely affected by failures and hardships high school population, participated in organized sports in 2011 according caused by brain damage,” Boyd said. to the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). The cause of Boyd’s CTE, repetitive concussions on the field, could Recent studies by Boston University’s CTE Center show the disease is have been lessened or avoided. However, the NFL evaded discussing the not only affecting professional athletes, but also students. Studies have injuries. Boyd said that because of this sidestepping, he was unaware that found CTE in athletes who stopped playing after high school or college. he was inadvertently traveling down the path to CTE. An 18- year-old high school football player was found by the research team “The NFL purposely did not tell me or any player/retiree of the dangers to have succumbed to CTE after suffering many concussions on the field. of concussions, as they told me they would ‘never open that can of worms’” Additionally, football isn’t the only sport that poses a threat. High school Boyd said. “For many years I didn’t know what I was dealing with; the NFL soccer players also suffer a great deal of concussions, which could lead to kept concussions a secret. I lived in Del Mar as a single dad to my son and CTE., a site dedicated to concussion awareness, said tried to cope with life, but had a hard time keeping a job [because I had] no that 400,000 concussions were reported during high school athletics in energy [or] memory.” the 2008-9 school years. When he was diagnosed with the degenerative disease, Boyd began to, a site offering information on concussions, said that, publicly speak about his condition. As a pioneer in CTE activism, Boyd said “1 in 5 high school athletes will sustain a sports concussion during the he became known as the “Father of the New Concussion Awareness.” He season.” While SDA is safe from football related injuries, the remaining founded Dignity after Football, a community of CTE activists united under 53% still remains, and according to is made up of mostly ice the belief that they “are committed to getting every story [related to CTE] hockey, lacrosse, and soccer. told in public, every truth brought before Congress.” Boyd’s endeavors Boyd said, “I would advise kids to avoid sports that have a high incidence were not limited to educating the public: “I went to court,” Boyd said, of head injury. We ALL felt bulletproof as kids and in our 20’s, but brain “then US Court of Appeals, then to the US House Judiciary (twice), and US injury is not like hurting your lose your personality, potential, Senate commerce committee where US Senate Leader Harry Reid gave an ability to hold jobs and relationships...the price to pay is far too high for a impassioned speech about me on the floor of the Senate in 2007.” kid to gamble their life away .” “I was scared for my life many times,” said Boyd. “Today the stories are


Girls Lacrosse

Record: 3-6 League Record: 1-4

Junior MacKenzie Haller runs the ball up the field in the March 17 game against Ramona. Photo courtesy of Carolyn Kinnare.

Though the girls lacrosse team struggled at the beginning of the season, they have a somewhat consistently strong defense and a promising offense. They’ve scored 65 total goals, and allowed 86. They hope to win games versus rival teams such as San Marcos, who they play at home on May 2. San Marcos beat SDA in a close game earlier in the season at an away game, so the Mustangs are ready to take back the bragging rights and pave their own road to CIF playoffs.

Boys Lacrosse Senior Chase McCloskey runs up the field past a Pacific Ridge defender. Photo courtesy of David Jennings.

Junior Mason Nolan beats his opponents to pick up a ground ball. Photo courtesy of David Jennings.

Senior Iris Pazevic prepares to pass the ball to a teammate. Photo courtesy of Carolyn Kinnare.

Boys Golf

Record: 0-5 League Record: 0-2

Record: 1-4

The boys lacrosse team has had a rough start to their year, though with good reason. Their tough opponents included the 6-0 Carlsbad Lancers and the 5-0 Pacific Ridge Firebirds, who they faced early in the season.

Overall Team Average: 222

League Record: 1-4 Opponents Average: 220 SDA Best Team Score: 209

For the most recent sports scores and photos, scan the code below to visit


Track and Field

Fastest Times for the 2014 Season 1600m:

Junior Robert Stegman 4:27.10 Senior Samantha Fierro 5:22.32


Senior Sam Junge 10:25.32 Senior Serena Saake 12:33.67 Sophomore Jake Stamos runs in the 100 meter race in the March 13 meet versus Orange Glen. Photo courtesy of Steve Kimball.

Janine Sherman, senior, sprints in the meet on March 13 versus Orange Glen. Photo courtesy of Steve Kimball.

Senior Matias Marquez pole vaults in the meet on March 13 versus Orange Glen. Photo courtesy of Steve Kimball.

110m Hurdles: Senior Lance Johnson 18.38 100m Hurdles: Junior Sophia Hernandez 16.37 For the rest of the list of events and record times, scan the code:


Baseball Record: 1-7

League Record: 0-0

Mustangs baseball has gotten off to a slow start. However, they have begun to gain momentum and have time to pull a strong unit together before playing essential league games. Jack Williams and Chris Nobis, seniors, both have four runs each so far this season, and senior Zac Cohen has the most stolen bases with three successful attempts out of four. Senior Christian Thompson pitching. Photo courtesy of Suzie Kaplan.

Senior Mark Kaplan at bat. Photo courtesy of Suzie Kaplan.

The varisty players support their teammates from the dugout. Photo courtesy of Suzie Kaplan.


Boys Volleyball Record: 0-4 League Record: 0-3 The SDA boys volleyball team has had a rough season so far, starting out with a few losses in a row. They need to turn it around soon in time to win enough games to qualify for the CIF playoffs in May. A few of the losses have been close ones, however, with two of the games even ending in a best four out of five match-ups. Garrett Stone, sophomore, bumps the ball for his teammate. Photo courtesy of Karobstudios.

Senior Nick Brown setting the ball for senior Jacob Gonzalez. Photo courtesy of Karobstudios.

Boys Tennis Record: 4-6 The boys tennis team started this spring season in a tough position, with talented Division I opponents such as Torrey Pines, Westview, and Rancho Bernardo. However, they also had close victories such as the match they won 11-7 against San Pasqual on March 27.

Freshman Colton Dils serves the ball. Photo courtesy of Trivia Bridges.

Senior Viraf Macchi prepares to backhand the ball. Photo courtesy of Trivia Bridges.

Softball Record: 1-8

League Record: 0-0 Though the softball team has only one win so far this season, sophomore Tara Stewart currently holds an impressive batting average of .407 and 11 hits in only nine games.

Kiana Indian, junior, steps up to bat. Photo courtesy of Maddy Fournier.


Surfer vs. Skater: Art teacher surfer Jeremy Wright and skater senior Jacob Gonzalez answer questions and are randomly awarded points. Story by Lily LeaVesseur. Why would you want to kill two birds? Surfer: Cause I hate birds. If I could do three, I would do three. Skater: You wouldn’t. Unless you could with one stone cause that’s damn impressive. Surfer, I dislike animals just as much as the next guy. When someone tries to show me a picture of a cat eating a banana or a video of a baby goat standing up on its own spindly kid legs for the first time, I feel emotionless. Sometimes irritated, even, that they are imposing their dumb animal videos on me. I am an important person. Why would I have time for your intrusive look-at-this-dog-nursing-thisbaby-bat posts on my Facebook newsfeed when I’m trying to procrastinate on my homework? It’s similar to how people start cooing and cuddling over an infant child. What did that baby do to earn your respect? Be born? Be cute? I’ve been born, not to mention quite adorable, for at least seventeen years now and no one applauds me for peeing in the toilet or eating bananas or being

able to walk. So I can understand your animosity towards the birds. Maybe you, too, feel neglected when your friends start paying more attention to those flying turkeys than the human right next to them who laughs politely at their bad jokes and tells them of course they should buy that burlap jumpsuit with green trim; it looks GREAT. But is killing three birds the right answer? Are there any real answers to any of these questions? No. But minus 30 points anyway (ten for each dead bird, blah blah blah) cause I don’t want people to think I actually condone the stoning of animals; I have an image to uphold. Skater, I don’t quite understand. If you didn’t want to kill the birds in the first place, why would you make the effort just because you could do so with one stone? I guess I don’t really expect you to have the answer. I know you are just trying to say something clever so that you may earn points. But I really want to know. Why kill the birds? Why? For dinner? Are you a bird collector? I really, genuinely

don’t understand. Wouldn’t we be better off saying ‘spear two pancakes with one fork,’ or ‘wipe two spills with one towel’? Eating pancakes and cleaning messes is justifiable. Maybe I’m just a G-rated weenie, but what would you do with that birdie carcass? Plus no points because I have gained no new insight from your answer. What do you say when someone says you’re in denial, but you’re not? Surfer: I’d say I’m in California. Denial is in Egypt. Skater: You deny it...and then realize you have a problem. Surfer, as I am an expert on humor and comedy, I get what you are trying to say. Really, truly, I do. You are making a play on words about denial, the Nile river, etc. (Doesn’t a joke get a lot funnier once someone explains why it’s funny?) But what if someone takes it the wrong way? What if someone misunderstands you and thinks you are making a generalization about denial in Egypt? Not that I know what’s happening over there anymore

Photo by Tacy Manis.

(there must not be anything going on in the world now that the Olympics are over), but you’ve got to watch out for those uninformed readers who don’t take the time out of their day to keep up with current events. Even in jest, we at The Mustang like to make sure we offend nobody. But I know you were just having a little fun. Plus 10 points for your really quite clever and original pun, I don’t think I’ve ever heard it anywhere until now. Skater, that sounds like the beginning of a problem, not a solution. Some readers come to this column for legitimate answers and advice, but you’ve just left your (my) dear fans

hanging. If they follow your words as religiously as they do mine, they will find themselves in a sticky situation. What would they do after denying their denial? Blame this column for whatever misdirection and love me just a little bit less than they did before? Unlikely; their feelings are unwavering. But still. Minus 20 points for putting my untarnished image in jeopardy.

Surfer: -20 points. Skater: -20 points. Yay No One! No one wins anything. Such is life.


Sophomore Jarod Bednar flies over a bar.

Unlocking the Vault With the new field comes San Dieguito Academy’s first ever Pole Vaulting Team, a subset of Track and Field. The addition of Pole Vaulting will gain SDA’s Track and Field team points they normally have to forfeit. photos by katie mcpherson

Senior Matias Marquez. prepares to jump over a bar.

Senior Alex Vickery propels himslef.

SDA Mustang Apr. 2014  
SDA Mustang Apr. 2014