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03 . 2 9 . 1 9 VOLUME 23 ISSUE 5



Letter from the Editor


’ve been thinking about sex lately. Sex has been on my mind primarily because I have been researching sex education. Turns out, there are a lot of people who have a lot of opinions (including our newspaper staff -- turn to page eight to check out the editorial). And, well, also, we were reading a lot of “The Handmaid’s Tale” in AP Lit. So, yeah, I’ve been thinking about sex. But not just sex. Because before thinking about sex, I have to think about relationships. About people. Human relationships are so complicated. When I was born, I had no idea what I was signing up for. I mean, all they really advertise about being human is opposable thumbs and walking on two feet. Okay, sick. What they don’t tell you is this: those cool opposable thumbs? You have to use them when you shake some-

ROLL CALL Editor-in-Chief Taylor Rudman Design Editor Simmone Stearn News Editor Aiden Fullwood Opinion Editor Sophie Hughes

one’s hand for the first time. And those two feet you get to stand on? They’re used when you walk away from someone for the very last time. In between all that, it can be kind of a blur. A blur of emotions. Blurs of conversations. Talking. Not talking. I don’t really understand the blur. By now, I thought that I might, but quite frankly, my awareness of it did nothing to increase my comprehension. That’s alright. I have learned one thing in my time -- it is best not to try and understand it all, but instead just enjoy. When it comes down to it, life is all of the little moments. A collection of fragments that make a whole. It is looking up and actually seeing the stars (maybe even seeing meaning in them? Horoscopes on page 22). It is sharing a meal with friends (let’s

hope those meals didn’t include soda-- see page eight.) It is smiling when you hear a certain someone call your name (check out some origin stories on page 14). It is stopping and smelling the flowers (or seeing them in full bloom, like our staff photographer did for the centerspread). So don’t worry. Not yet, anyways. There are just too many little things and too little time. Sometimes things will be unapologetically complicated. And, in brief and blissful bursts, they won’t be. Cherish both. (And yes, I know I sound like a greeting card. But how many greeting cards start off with a blatant intro about sex? Not that many.) Thanks for listening, Taylor Rudman Editor-in-Chief

NEED A HOT DATE? Upcoming events at SDA





A minimum day to kick off spring break. Spend that extra time outside of school doing something important, like watching TV or sleeping.

Spring break is now in full swing! Go to Mexico and party, or just eat some chips. Whatever floats your boat.

The first night of the spring musical, “Mamma Mia.” Live out your who’s-your-daddyGreek-island-70smusic dreams.

A mock SAT/ ACT because we let you have too much fun and now you need to start taking your future seriously.

Features Editor Sylvia Young Taylor Rudman Arts Editor Linnaea Erisman Humor Editor Sylvia Young Sports Editor Yari Sequeria Photo Editor Jaden Hauptman Business Manager Ally Joelson Online Editor Devlin Ott Shayna Glazer Online Sports Editor Alexis Price Staff Writers Aeon Benford-Combs Alex Storer Cade Culbertson Carolina Gutierrez Hunter McGahan Jeffrey Furgerson Jenna Weinhofer Joice He Kate Paxton Lauren Martinez Manelle Touzni Max Vennemeyer Maya Janaswamy Peter Gao Piper Ligotti Piper Nilsen Rayelyn Burrell Victoria Lee Advisor Tim Roberts

Cover Artist


Junior Leela Miller has been creating art for most of her life. She said, “I wish I had a good origin story for that, but it is just something I’ve always been interested in.” When Miller creates pieces, she enjoys mixing mediums, such as layering colored pencil, marker, and paints together. The cover piece is from her AP Studio Art concentration, a collection of pieces with similar themes. She said her concentration focuses on “the intersection of identity and home.” Though Miller doesn’t want to make a career out of art, she knows she will keep it as a hobby and firmly believes that “everyone should just make [art] stuff because it’s fun.”


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 42, or emailed to sdamustang@gmail.com. San Dieguito Academy Room 42 800 Santa Fe Drive Encinitas, CA 92024

MARCH 2019

Let's talk about sex, baby. Let's talk about you and me. Actually, first, I think we need to talk about sex ed. Story by Taylor Rudman. Design by Simmone Stearn.



dgenuity? “I think [the kids] feel like it is a little lame.” Just “scratch[es] the surface, kind of.” Not “terribly relevant or engaging.” “Just isn’t enough.” And that’s just what the adults are saying. Kids, well, kids are not quite so kind. Those videos? “They are so boring you just want to die.” “They did a good job of sparking fear in students.” “It’s poorly structured, unclear, outdated, and rather than educating us on topics it is supposed to, it creates even more of an uncomfortable taboo air about sex.” “Maybe because our sex ed is lacking so much, people don’t know how to behave themselves.” Some students and staff say the online freshman health program, Edgenuity, is not effective in teaching sexual education. Both consider the videos boring and unengaging, and many students say they do not pay attention, opting to instead look up answers for the quizzes online. And students and staff say that not only the online delivery method, but the content itself is lacking, as it could be more practical and “only scratches the surface, ” especially about LGBTQ relationships. Schools play an important role in sexual education because neither parents nor the internet can be entirely relied upon or comfortably turned to, students and staff say. According to an Edgenuity representative, 105,839 students were assigned a health course through Edgenuity in 2018, including those in SDUHSD. The district paid the Arizona-based company $62,500 for it last year, according to SDUHSD As-

sociate Superintendent Bryan Marcus. The 2016 California Healthy Youth Act, a state law, mandates comprehensive sex education. However, experts including an SDA counselor, a USC nursing professor, and a San Diego County Office of Education official, consider it difficult to teach comprehensive sexual education with an online course alone. They say that in-person discussions are needed, and that they should be led by a trained teacher. Edgenuity told The Mustang their curriculum complies with state law, fully covers LGBTQ relationships, and that students are more interested in the Edgenuity Health content than they are willing to admit due to fear of judgment from peers. Edgenuity says it encourages supplementing any of their online courses with an in-person discussion, adding, that like a textbook, the videos are a learning resource. The response from Edgenuity was received in an email, and all quotations were asked to be attributed to an Edgenuity representative. While SDUHSD currently uses an online course to teach health, it was not always this way. The inperson health class was eliminated from the district in the late 2000s in favor of an online model. Staff members speculate that this was a cost-saving measure. The district expects to re-evaluate the health program, and confirm it is still meeting guidelines, after the California Department of Education (CDE) releases revisions to the Healthy Youth Act in May 2019. They may consider using a different online course, according to Marcus. While some online programs can be successful on their own, the Associate Superintendent also recognizes the value of discussion. He was aware of students leaving the videos on in the background and Googling answers. Marcus said, “Yes, we can say that we are satisfying the requirement. Is it the best vehicle for students? That’s a question that I think we need to research.” Marcus oversees curriculum at the district level.

Continued on page four



NEWS KIDS DON’T REALLY PAY ATTENTION. There sits a freshman girl, relaxed with her laptop lying open on the bed. A Netflix tab is pulled up, and she’s made it to the fourth episode of “Sex Education.” (That’s when Margot Robbie and Asa Butterfield really start building chemistry.) The tab tucked behind it, rolling in the background on mute, is Edgenuity’s “Abstinence, Safe Sex, and Making Informed Decisions” unit. Oh, the irony. That was hypothetical. This isn’t: “I watched Netflix,” junior Molly Buhaenko said, “while [Edgenuity] was playing ‘cause it wasn’t interesting and I didn’t like it.” It is common for students, like Buhaenko, to become bored with the health videos and play them in the background instead of absorbing the content, students say. Paige Metz is the Health and Physical Education Coordinator for the San Diego County Office of Education. She said, “In some online programs, it is really kids just kind of clicking through, and going through the time and sitting in front of the computer without really having that deep level of engagement. If we really want to impact student’s decision making, then we need to make sure we are engaging them at a deeper level where that’s more likely to happen.” Most students did not watch the videos, and if they did, it was not with a full focus, kids said. Freshman Emilia Neyer said, “I do not know a single student who did pay attention, and I think the problem lies in the fact that the majority of students never watch the majority of the videos.” “It wasn’t informative, and then people didn’t watch it because it was boring,” freshman Lorelei Bell said. “If they did watch it, they were bored out of their mind and didn’t care, and if they didn’t watch it, then they didn’t watch it, so it was useless.” Junior Cameron Fozi said, “I haven’t met anyone who’s actually listened to the videos other than myself. That’s a big issue if we’re trying to keep students healthy.” “Nobody pays attention to the videos. Nobody,” junior Skylar Masterson said. “Maybe for the first two you think you could learn something, but after video 23, you know you are not getting anything out of that.” Are most students really that bored with the videos? Edgenuity doesn’t think so. “More students are generally interested in this information than are willing to say they’re interested,” an Edgenuity representative said. “Some students benefit from learning this information individually, where they don’t have to worry about how others are perceiving their level of interest.” Teachers and administrators, though, see a problem with students’ level of attention. Assistant Principal Robert Caughey oversees the PE department, which includes the health course in the freshman class. He said, “I think [the students] feel like it is a little lame, I think is their perspective. They kind of just click through the Edgenuity process; I don’t feel like they are super invested.” Physical Education teacher Robin Etheridge added, “I find that the videos are sort of lackluster; they’re not terribly relevant or engaging.” District officials are aware of this. “I can tell you, from my past experience as an administrator, there were kids that basically had it on in the background, and they were just Googling answers. Is that going to be the best form for them to learn? No. But do kids do that in other subject areas? Maybe,” Associate Superintendent Marcus said. “I don’t want a culture of kids that are Googling to try and find answers. I want to have a curriculum that kids are engaged in. So if kids aren’t engaged in this sort of curriculum, we need to look at how we can continue to support them.”


AND THEY CHEAT. Most students find clicking through the videos, which they are required to watch, easy enough, but then come the assessments. Many students then go to online sources, such as Quizlet or Brainly, to find the exact answers to the quiz questions. “Everyone I knew got the answers online instead of through the videos,” junior Roman de la Fuente said. “Although the videos are clear and easy to understand, they are so boring you just want to die. It’s a lot easier to just Google or even use common knowledge to answer the questions.” “There are multiple Quizlets with all the answers on them,” Masterson said, “as well as a website where you can copy and paste the question and it comes up with the answer, it is very easy to cheat. I know most people in the PE class cheated on those tests.” Junior Clara Conkling said, “What’s the point of wasting time on a boring, poorly designed 15- minute video when you can look up a question and find myriad better, more informative sources, or just the answers to BS your way through so you can be finished with the damn thing.” “Some of my fellow students found the answers online,” freshman Ava Barbano said. “There are actually a lot of Quizlets that have the answers for these videos, so some people just muted them and focused on some-

Most stu dents are generally interested in this information than are willing to say...Some students benefit from learning this information individually, where they don’t have to worry about how others are percieving their level of interest.” -An Edgenuity representative

BACK IN THE DAY, WE HAD IRL SEX ED For many students Edgenuity is all they’ve ever known. It is hard to imagine learning health in any other way; the awkward markup of the slides and a thumbnail of a thicklyaccented man, that is what they know. The thought of an in-person health course seems like a distant past, like rotary phones or VHS players or cable TV. However, it was not too long ago that health was taught by an actual teacher at SDA. Etheridge, Cannon, and Abrahamson all used to teach the in-class health course before online learning was integrated into Year One PE in the late 2000s. “I loved it. And I think the kids truly connected to it, and asked wonderful, relevant, personal questions. It had deep meaning,” Etheridge said. “Definitely I think the students are suffering the consequences now.” Many teachers saw the value to in-person education. Abrahamson: “Actually having props-- what does a condom look like? What does a condom feel like? What does a diaphragm look like? What does a birth control packet look like? Things like that-- I used to call it the bag of tricks, when we taught health. And we’d bring it out, and you know, funny things would happen, but at least they knew what they were seeing, and they could recognize it.” Originally, the class was taught quarterly-- one part PE, one part Health. Later, the format was switched to three days a week PE, two days Health. Eventually, the in-class health component was eliminated altogether. “I know the counselors here all feel like we could do so much more and so much better for our kids, if there was a true curriculum in a classroom setting,” Nebolon said.

AND WHY WE DON’T NOW The general consensus among teachers and staff is that in-person health was cut to save the district money. When asked, Associate Superintendent Marcus said he could not find the history on the change. Cannon said, “If you look at the money that is saved, if LCC had a couple health teachers, there was one here, one at Canyon Crest, a couple at Torrey Pines, that’s a lot of money for our district to save every year.” The cost of hiring teachers specifically for a health course is considered significant. “It’s much easier to teach this course embedded within another class then to have a full time staff member… teaching that particular course,” Caughey, the assistant principal, said. “I understood, I believe part of why it went that way might have been because of budget concerns, and I get it,” Nebolon said. “So that was at least an okay solution for the time being, but if we’re looking to serve our students and support them in the way that they need, then it is kind of not really okay.”

MARCH 2019

NEWS LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX. LIKE, ACTUALLY. LET’S TALK. For sexual education to be taught effectively, there needs to be some in-person discussion, according to experts. Students absorb more, can ask questions, and get answers. “If a sex education program is taught online, I feel that there should also be a component where groups get together and talk to each other in person,” Dr. Teresa Granger said. “A big part of the curriculum is an ongoing dialogue between students and the teacher.” Granger is a USC Nursing professor and an expert in the area of adolescent high-risk behavior. For SDA counselor Ann Nebolon, it is not uncommon to talk to teens about relationships. She said, “The fact that something as important as the health curriculum is delivered through an online program, to me, right there, whatever topics it’s covering, it’s never going to be sufficient enough because of the lack of processing the information, discussion, conversation.” There is a question whether an online program alone can effectively teach comprehensive sex ed up to state Education Code standards. “I can’t say it’s not feasible, but I can say it is hard,” Metz, the county ed office official, said. “If you’re going to take a look at really teaching that content effectively, and if you’re wanting to use an online platform, I think that, yeah, having a hybrid class where it’s a combination of online and discussion, where kids can really process the information, I think is critical.” Edgenuity does not believe that its courses should necessarily stand alone. “We encourage an in-person discussion component for all our online courses, Health included,” an Edgenuity representative said. “Teachers play a critical role in the facilitation of learning with an Edgenuity course, just as they do in a course where the primary learning resource is a textbook.” Associate Superintendent Marcus sees the value in discussions, but also believes that online courses can be successful. “As a teacher, before being an administrator, I think that any time you have an open engaging dialogue or discussion about any topic, I think kids are sponges and they kind of listen and they take in more than they may on an online platform. On the other side of that, I would say that there are many classes that kids take that are solely online,” Marcus said. “There are online components that kids take and they are very successful in it. There are other kids that aren’t very successful in an online program. While experts say discussion is valuable in effectively teaching sexual health, the district has no requirement for PE teachers to discuss the content with students, PE teachers said. “There hasn’t been defined clarity from whoever is in charge of this particular program that we need to supplement, or that there is even a space for us to have a conversation,” Etheridge said. Physical Education teacher John Cannon said, “Edgenuity, from our district office, was meant to be done on the student’s own time, so otherwise it really cuts out a lot of physical education.” Some teachers feel that discussion is essential in getting the necessary information across. Physical Education teacher Deb Abrahamson said, “It’s having that candid conversation, about penises and vaginas. Some kids can’t even say those two words.” Students also see value in discussion. Junior Grace Warrick said, “I think direct instruction would be just the right amount of awkward and enforced content distribution to at least get the points across and facilitate to having more tangible examples to enhance student understanding.” “Students,” freshman Shea Irons said, “would understand it more because they would be able to ask questions.” Conkling said, “If the teacher had a good, well balanced, accurate, and helpful curriculum and taught it well without discomfort and a bad attitude, then yes! Gimme a sex ed class!”



IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE “DEAD POETS SOCIETY,” JUST SOMEONE WHO'S TRAINED Many students agree that an online course is not effective in teaching sex ed. Then who should teach it? According to the California Department of Education, sex ed must be taught by “instructors trained in the appropriate courses.” An individual qualified to teach an in-class sex ed program can range from a PE teacher with proper training to a healthcare professional. Granger, the USC Nursing professor, said, “I feel that, if you're going to have an online component, there should also be an in-class component that is taught by someone who is knowledgeable and can answer all types of questions. If this is a teacher with an experienced healthcare-related background, that is great. Generally, these courses are best taught by a registered nurse or an experienced health educator.” When SDUHSD had an inperson sex ed class, it was taught by trained teachers. However, in the program’s first year, experts were brought in. Cannon said, “When we first started with this program, we had Vista Community Clinic come in and teach the human sexuality part of the class, because that’s something they do daily -- to give teachers ideas and strategies on how to teach it and present it. After that first year, teachers themselves taught it.” Abrahamson has a Masters in Health, Physical Education and Recreation. “I’m fine, I’m comfortable, but I’m a health educator,” she said. “But there’s a lot of PE teachers that aren’t comfortable talking about sex, drugs, and rock and roll, as I used to call it.” Some students are concerned about discussing uncomfortable topics with unprepared teachers. “I wouldn’t want a teacher talking to me about sex ed and it makes the teacher uncomfortable too, hence that’s why they made videos,” freshman Hannah Waite said. Others welcome the discussion. Buhaenko said, “You should have someone [a sex ed teacher] who’s been certified, who knows what they’re talking about, to be able to share in-depth information about a really important universal topic.”

The CA Healthy Youth Act was meant to ensure that students were informed enough to make healthy decisions in regards to their sexual health. “For years, we didn’t have the legislation of the CA Healthy Youth Act to really guide what students know and their decision making around making healthy choices, specifically their sexual health,” Metz, the county ed office official, said. According to Associate Superintendent Marcus, Edgenuity complies with the state guidelines. However, students and staff are concerned the program is not practical enough and does not go in-depth enough. They say some topics are skimmed over, particularly concerning the LGBTQ community. “For the first time in a few years, I have heard more students than ever talk about how the current health curriculum is not preparing them for the kinds of things they need to know,” Nebolon said. Most complaints received are about LGBTQ relationships not being adequately covered, followed by relationships, anxiety, and depression— “all the real things kids are dealing with,” she said. Abrahamson said, “I think they’re [Edgenuity] scratching the surface, kind of. They’re telling you about the diseases and infections, but they’re not showing you.” Students recognized the “tell, don’t show” technique and said the program should teach more practical knowledge. “I kind of felt like it was trying its best to cover as much content as it could, to cover all the bases, but not really going in depth into anything,” an anonymous sophomore girl said. “[We need] more like teaching kids how to have safe sex, and not just telling them it is important. I can’t even count the number of times it has been shoved down my throat that it is important to have safe sex, but I don’t know how to use a condom.” Statistics and facts are used frequently in the videos, but students said they do not feel that they receive enough practical knowledge. “I could now tell you that birth control pills are 98 percent effective in preventing pregnancy, but I have no information on how or where to get effective birth control for myself,” an anonymous junior girl said. “I know that a diaphragm is 88 percent effective in preventing pregnancy, but I have no clue how to use it. Or where to get it for that matter.” “With Edgenuity we don’t even get the putting the condom on a banana,” Warrick said. “Protection is just an arbitrarily mentioned concept thrown at us.” “The videos pushed the outdated idea of abstinence instead of safe sex,” Masterson said, “giving so little information on safe sex, and how to practice it, they shouldn’t be allowed to call it education. I believe people will have sex, and when it comes to it, they should know what is safe and what isn’t and have a safe place to learn about it.” Students also felt that information on LGBTQ relationships was lacking. The California Department of Education requires “all instruction and materials in grades K-12 [to] be inclusive of LGBTQ students.” An Edgenuity representative said, “we do include LGBTQ romantic and sexual relationships and identities throughout the course. Topics addressed – among others – include: sexual orientation; the LGBTQ community and the media; the effects of bullying on LGBTQ youth; gender; gender expression; the spectrum of gender identity; and the importance of practicing respect, tolerance and acceptance. We also address a wide range of safety methods for both heterosexual and same-sex sexual relationships.” Still, some students said they did not see it, or did not recall it. “Zero mention of any LGBT anything,” Conkling said, “and as someone in the community and someone who's almost entire friendship circle and support network is part of the community, that really is upsetting and worrying.” Warrick said, “Regarding the mention of LGBTQ relationships, well, there wasn’t any. On top of the lack of applicable information for most students, I would figure LGBTQ students would struggle to find any relative information pertaining to their romantic and sexual relationships and identities.” Junior Saylor Sypeniewski said, “It lacks any type of queer sex, sex positivity, and anything involving consent. Basically, it’s just ‘don’t have sex, if you do, use a condom’ which isn’t helpful.” “In my recollection, the topic of relationships was never so much as mentioned, much less LGBTQ relationships,” junior Jenna Scime said. “In fact, I don’t remember any LGBTQ centered sex ed either. It’s a travesty that so few people know what dental dams are.” Some students remembered LGBTQ topics being covered, but not sufficiently. Waite said, “I think there was a little bit now that I think of it but they didn’t really go super in depth.” Continued on page six

With Edgenuity we don't even get the putting the condom on a banana. Protection is just an arbitrarily-mentioned concept thrown at us." -Grace Warrick, junior


NEWS SO WHAT IS THE DISTRICT DOING? While some students and staff believe Edgenuity may not be the most effective platform for learning, Marcus said it meets the requirements of the CA Healthy Youth Act. “We’re satisfying the requirement. I think that needs to be understood. Is it the best vehicle? I think that is kind of where the questions come up,” Marcus said. Before making any changes, the district is waiting for the California Department of Education to release the revisions to the CA Healthy Youth Act in May. “Then we can kind of sync the two [the health course and the revisions] together and have a more vibrant curriculum. Whether that’s Edgenuity in the future, I don’t know. It could be another online tool.” County ed office official Metz said, “It’s definitely been on their [San Dieguito’s] radar and it’s been an ongoing conversation.” However, Edgenuity says that the health course is already in-line with any of the potential changes. “Our CA-Contemporary Health course is already fully compliant with the proposed revisions,” a representative said, Some teachers are doubtful that the Edgenuity course, in fact, meets the state guidelines for comprehensive sexual education. “I’ll step out on the diving board,” Cannon said. “I don’t think we’re aligned at all. I don’t think we’re aligned at all, and I’ve yet to see how much of a priority it is for our district to align with it.”


Many students say that when they feel inadequately prepared by the health curriculum, they turn to the internet. Experts and state legislature encourage students to seek counsel with their parents or doctor, but this makes some students uncomfortable. Hence, the worldwide web. However, searching the internet for “how to put a condom on,” or “what is sex like,” can lead to faulty information and misconceptions. “The internet is just a crazy black hole of so much information out there,” Nebolon said. “If you are going to go to the internet, check the sources that it’s coming from; don’t go to Tumblr, that’s just people talking!” “If students don’t feel adequately prepared or educated, I suggest that they reach out to their parents/parental figures, their primary care provider or other qualified healthcare professional,” USC Nursing professor Granger said. “I think the internet can be a reliable source provided someone knows where to look.” Granger suggested several online sources, including the Life Stages and Population page on the CDC website, youngwomenshealth.org, and youngmenshealthsite.org. Many students find themselves getting information on sexual health from social media. “In all honesty I’ve learned all my sex ed through Planned Parenthood’s social media and the Buzzfeed, Cosmopolitan, other websites, Snapchat explore pages, “Conkling said. “Knowing everything I can about myself and different areas of my life is really important to me so I actively have sought out trustworthy, accurate, and data backed resources for myself.” The difficulty of finding reliable information on the internet can cause problems. Senior Agnes Lin said, “I think [sex education in schools is] super valuable, just because alternate sources, you can’t trust everything you hear. Especially on the internet.” Parents are expected to play a role in their children’s sexual education. That is not always realistic. “I think that sex education should not be taught in schools,” Cannon said. “It should be taught at home. However, it’s not taught at home. So I think that schools need to do that.”

In all honesty, I’ve learned all my sex ed through Planned Parenthood’s social media and the Buzzfeed, Cosmopolitan, other websites, Snapchat explore pages.” -Clara Conkling, junior


GUYS, IT’S SEX ED. WE NEED TO BE EDUCATED ABOUT IT. So why are we even talking about this? Why have you just made your way through this incredibly long article? To find out the sex ed program kind of sucks? Yeah, you knew that already. And lots of things kind of suck. So what? As it turns out, having comprehensive sex ed in schools is important, according to health officials, teachers, and students. “STDs and the lack of knowledge about their prevention and treatment remain a consistent problem in the United States,” Granger, the USC Nursing professor, said. “It is important for this information to be comprehensive and accurate. It is also important for the topic to be talked about in a manner that fosters healthy growth and development, and supports the development of healthy relationships.” “I think information is very powerful, and just because we might be uncomfortable with it, I still think it should be provided for children, information based on science and data that’s current and meaningful and could potentially change or save their lives,” Etheridge said. Students also feel that having sex ed taught in schools is valuable. Scime said, “We are taught from a young age that maintaining our health is important-- the ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ mentality. We are taught that if we eat healthy, exercise and seek medical care for illness and injury, we can maintain our health. When we reach puberty, however, the topic of sexual health is hushed.” “[Sex ed is] very valuable,” senior Gage Tanzman said. “It’s a part of adult life, whether schools want to notice that and take care of it or not.” “Most of my knowledge about safe sex and sex in general comes from my friends, my parents, my sister -- not the school in any way, which sounds really bad because it should be that, but it’s really not,” senior Gaby Vonder said. When it comes down to it, students need to learn about sex. They need to learn about how to be safe, how to understand their own sexuality, and how to engage in healthy relationships. At least, that’s what the California Department of Education seems to think. It seems students and staff agree. “I think that it can save lives,” Abrahamson said. “It can help save lives.”

Reporters Peter Gao, Shayna Glazer, Maya Janaswamy, Victoria Lee, Piper Ligotti, Lauren Martinez, Piper Nilsen, Devlin Ott, Kate Paxton, Manelle Touzni, Max Vennemeyer, and Sylvia Young contributed to this story. Photo credits: Birth control pills (page three) courtesy of Bruce Blaus; banana (page four) courtesy of Pixabay; condom (page five) courtesy of Wikimedia; IUD (page six) courtesy of Sarah Mirk.

MARCH 2019


Gulp: it’s a taxing situation Proposed state laws would tax sodas and regulate the size of drinks sold at restaurants and businesses in order to tackle the nation’s growing obesity and diabetes epidemic. Soda corporations and some state representatives disagree. By Carolina Gutierrez.


t is lunchtime, and the nearby 7-Eleven is bustling with students picking out bags of Hot Cheetos and Sour Patch Kids. Some slurp small Slurpees, others sip from cans of Arizona Sweet Tea. But there are some who drink from a Big Gulp, which holds a ton of sugar. It holds an amount that most people would shy away from, maybe even to the point of limiting it. This may be the case in the near future. California lawmakers have recently proposed several bills to restrict and discourage the purchase of such large sodas. The proposed bills aim to limit soda purchases in order to tackle the diabetes and obesity epidemic in the U.S. They would, along with a few other measures, ban beverages larger than 16 ounces, such as Big Gulps, label sodas with health information about their effects, and add taxes per ounce for soda beverages. “At the heart of this [obesity/ diabetes] crisis, overwhelming evidence links the consumption of soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages to a host of serious health consequences...That is why last month we, along with other California state legislators and a large coalition of health advocates, introduced...bills to address the public health epidemic caused by the sugar-sweetened beverage industry,” said Assemblymen David Chiu and Richard Bloom in an adjoined statement.


Republican Senator Patricia C. Bates, who represents Encinitas, said she was “skeptical of enacting a soda tax because it would make another product at the grocery store more expensive without making people healthier...Californians - especially with low incomes - are paying more than enough for the groceries they need and want.” Last year, Sacramento prohibited cities and counties from putting additional taxes on groceries until 2031 or taxes on sugary beverages such as soda. The bill was passed due to large soda companies, such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi, funding a proposed ballot measure that would make it difficult to raise state and local taxes. The companies agreed to withdraw the


measure if lawmakers supported the ban on taxing their sodas. However, the mayor said such lobbying of state legislators by the soda companies was unethical. “We need our decision makers to make policy based on what best interests society as a whole, and not based on the narrow financial interests of the industry,” she said. Passing a soda tax has not been a priority in Encinitas. “It hasn’t come up, ever, at a city council meeting since I’ve been elected in office,” said Mayor Catherine Blakespear. “In order to raise taxes, we have to take it to a vote of the people, and in Encinitas there is a reluctance to raise taxes.”


The ban could affect students at SDA. “I’ve seen kids at this school that go to 7-Eleven and buy, like, four Big Gulps,” said freshman Malia Martins. Students were against a tax that would raise the cost of sodas to limit the size. “I think it’s [the soda tax] probably mostly unbeneficial because nobody wants to pay more money for basic things,” said Mila Kennedy, sophomore. “On the larger portions it could be a bit expensive...,” said a freshman who wished to remain anonymous. Some believe that the tax could help improve public health by steering buyers away from unhealthy beverages. “...It’s kind of a problem that people are drinking unhealthy things, so maybe the tax would help for people to maybe switch to something else,” said Kennedy. An anonymous freshman said, “I think it’s a pretty good idea because, yes, a lot of people consume soda everyday in big amounts... So maybe they’ll [buyers] be like, ‘No, it’s too expensive, let’s not buy any [soda] this week. Let’s buy it next week.’” Another freshman who wished to stay anonymous said, “I do think it will [be] imposed...One, it’s a great idea, and two, no one wants a child who’s 400 pounds.” Diane Pratt-Heavner of the School Nutrition Association (SNA), stated that “Our [the SNA] advocacy efforts are focused exclusively on federal legislation and regulation impacting school meal programs at the K-12 level, so this is not legislation that we are tracking. However, SNA does support federal

rules that ensure beverages served with school meals are healthy choices for students.” She added that “...the school meal standards and Smart Snacks rules were designed to ensure that foods and beverages in schools contribute to healthy weights and lifestyles for students…(so no Big Gulps in school).” Some soda consumers are upset by the proposed tax. “This is a bad law...This is bad because Big Gulps are good,” said another anonymous freshman. “Being healthy is your own choice, so you shouldn’t be forced to be healthy.” They argue that their choice to drink sodas should be unmonitored.“It’s... the people’s choice, you know, to drink whatever they want,” said Kennedy.


However, some do not believe that the tax will be the most effective in helping to deal with the health epidemic. “I feel like if they wanted to attack the [obesity/diabetes] epidemic, they should not only do sodas but other foods, too,” said Martins. “I think the only way that we will stop [the obesity epidemic] is by getting rid of most of the sugar in our food,” said an anonymous freshman. “Ultimately, I believe consumers should use their freedom to make the best diet choices for them and their families by reading the nutrition labels on the products they want to buy,” said Senator Bates. “Knowledge can go a lot further than a tax in helping consumers make healthy choices.” The American Beverage Association (ABA) did not have anything to say about the recent bill proposals, but they did have this to say in response to a similar proposal a few years ago on their website: “It’s pretty simple – taxes don’t make people healthy. If we want to get serious about obesity, it starts with education – not laws and regulation.”

ACTUAL SIZE. SODA sale would be limited to 16 oz as opposed to the Big Gulp’s 30 oz size. Photo by Linnea Erisman. “[W]hen we’re young we don’t think about the consequences we might have later on in the future. Like, right now, we think we’re indestructible...because we’re young,” said an anonymous freshman. “But as teens we don’t really think about the future as adults...if we were more

aware of that, maybe that would change our minds about it.” Reporters Kate Paxton, Lauren Martinez, Manelle Touzni, Max Vennemeyer, Maya Janaswamy, Peter Gao, Piper Ligotti, and Piper Nilsen contributed to this story.



Online sex ed? It didn’t click Staff Editorial: Our sex ed? Not effective, not memorable, needs to change. These positions represent the collective position of The Mustang.


emember Edgenuity? Or, more importantly, remember that guy who couldn’t pronounce his “g”s and butchered the word “hygiene” about forty times? Do you actually remember anything he taught you? Yeah, we had trouble too. The effectiveness of the Edgenuity program has come into question recently, specifically in the realms of sexual education and LGBTQ+ relationships. In today’s internet age, teenagers seem to be turning to sites like Vice, Buzzfeed, and Cosmopolitan for their information, which (shocker!) isn’t always reliable. State law now requires schools to provide students with a form of sexual education. But the one our school provides us seems to be doing less than the trick—students are able to skip through the videos while watching Netflix on another tabs The end-of-the-unit tests don’t pose an issue either, since it’s easy to open a Google tab and type in the question and get a quick answer. The online videos are outdated, boring, and repetitive. They’re frustrating and don’t connect. And even for the select few who are honest and actually watched 100 percent of the videos (yes, there are actually some people who do this!) the test questions were confusing and weirdly worded. Not to mention, since these videos are years old, and haven’t been updated (save for the new LGBTQ+ ones) most of the statistics are out of date, since the statistics change every year Different PE teachers, who handle this health class, also offer different curriculum plans. Some

provide in-class time to watch the videos, while others have the entire program assigned to be watched on students’ own time. Some students even had a speaker come in every week to educate them about drugs. So what can we do better? What’s the fix? Well, we’d prefer an actual in-person class to the current online one we use -- whether it’s including face-to-face instruction in addition to Edgenuity, bringing back to “health” portion of PE, or adding a class into the Intro to Tech wheel, or any other small section of our class schedule. We all agreed that actual instruction was superior to online. Not only is the program boring, the design prevents students from asking questions and bringing up related topics. If we still wanted (or needed for budgetary reasons) to use an online course with a discussion component we could. But it should be something more engaging than Edgenuity. If we were able to find a new and more interactive program, students may be able to pay better attention and retain the information they need to know for their safety. Abstinence-only education isn’t effective, and prevents students from learning how to actually have safe sex. Even though the updated videos inform students about LGBTQ relationships, students say there’s no memorable information about safety measures for people who identity as LGBTQ. Students need a trustworthy source of sexual education that is applicable to their world now and moving forward, not what was “accurate” or “appropriate” years ago.

IT DIDN’T CLICK. The only thing we remember is this guy and not being able to understand what he was saying. But that won’t keep us from getting pregnant. A screenshot of Edgenuity lesson.

Adoption, it’s not insulting

Some people, call others adopted as an insult. Here’s why adoption isn’t an insult.


n movies, TV shows, and my own adopted I would not be living the life life, I’ve heard “you’re adopted” I am now. I might not even have a used as an insult. That has always home. Thankfully I was adopted as a confused baby, so I never had me. I myself to go through the am adopted foster care system. Don’t let anyone and have My birth dim your sparkle. never been parents relationship offended by was pretty rough, Alex Storer it, most times especially for my I am just birth mother. She perplexed. had a crush on The premise my birth father of the insult for several years. is that kids are adopted because their Eventually they did end up married. birth parents do not love them. I Later, before I was born, they got a am pretty happy I was. If I was not divorce. Without their combined


income my mother wasn’t able to care for me. As a result, I was put up for adoption. I feel bad for my birth mother. I keep in touch with her and she is one of the kindest women I have ever met. I even went to her college graduation a few years ago! I talked to another student to learn about her experience with adoption. I asked senior Julie Magnuson about some misconceptions people have. She said, “Foster kids may adapt easily or may not, but the movies and shows depict them as angsty angry and always getting into trouble. “I

also asked her whether being called adopted as an insult would offend her. Magnuson said, “Yeah I think I’d be highly offended because no one should be put in that position… All we want is a home and someone to love us. Why make fun of someone for it? It’s not funny. You don’t know the things we could have gone through.” When asked about how insults relating to adoption affected her she said, “People can say things, but they don’t know what they’re talking about.” A lot of issues relating to adoption can be misunderstood, because not many people have first

hand experience with it. As a result people think its something funny and insulting. I agree with Julie. We aren’t outcasts or weird. Just like anyone else we want to be loved and just to grow up like any other kid. I have always known my adoptive parents as mom and dad. They have done so much for me and I have never felt like an outsider in my family. I hope these variety of opinions have enlightened you to some issues adopted kids face. Everyone has issues, and some words cut deeper than others.

MARCH 2019


Remake Kim Possible. Impossible?

Photo courtesy of Disney Enterprises, Inc.

Illustration by Jeffrey Furgerson

Internet buzz surrounding upcoming live-action Disney movies reveal that people have forgotten one of the most basic principles of humanity: how to be nice.

Remakes of old Disney classics should be thrown in the trash. They don’t have the same spark. The end.



laddin” and “Kim Possible.” Two genius Disney creations loved by generations past and present. Two Disney live-action remakes hated by the general public. To be frank, I’m sick of all the bitter, elitist attitudes and disgusting Youtube Who’s that over comments there? I can’t about these read. movies. The unprecedented attacks speak to Aiden Fullwood a larger issue: cyberbullying disguised as opinionating. Now before you tar and feather me for violating your First Amendment rights, remember that publicly expressing dislike for something is different than jumping on the “I’m cool because I hate everything” bandwagon. That seems to be a common theme on the internet, actually. The majority of these comments are so artfully crafted by veteran Disney fans who forget that they can’t dictate what the new generation of children gets to experience and enjoy. Yes, I understand that you love the original films and TV shows and you don’t want your memories of them ruined by an unnecessary live-action version, but like I said, it’s not up to you. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. It’s not rocket science,


and it’s not like Disney is going to read your comment on how poorly acted the “Kim Possible” trailer is and think, “Oh God, what the hell are we doing? Call off the movie! Fire all the staff!” You’re not that special. Listen, I’m not saying I’m in love with these movies either. “Kim Possible” looks like it was written for children (which is actually the targeted audience, believe it or not), but “Aladdin” looks like it has potential and I’m excited to see in theaters. There’s even been many successful Disney remakes, like “Maleficent” and “The Jungle Book.” However, this isn’t about the quality of the movies themselves, or even our personal opinions on it. This is about the relentless cycle of negativity and cyberbullying on social media, particularly on forms of entertainment like these movies. Time and time again I see anticyber bullying campaigns online, yet people still turn around and say such hateful things meant to shame and humiliate. Anti-cyberbullying has multiple definitions, I guess, and hypocrisy is one of them. It’s even worse when you degrade the actors specifically rather

than the production. It’s easy to hide behind a screen and insult their acting and even appearances (a lowblow if you ask me), but I guarantee you wouldn’t have the courage to make those same remarks in person. Remember that these actors are paid to act. They are not the characters. The internet often forgets that living, breathing people with human emotions put time and effort into their work and don’t deserve to be ridiculed. And another thing—Robin Williams. One of the biggest complaints I’ve seen with the new Aladdin movie is that it will never the same without Robin Williams. Yes, he played an incredible Genie but it’s not like we can resurrect him just for this role. I think Will Smith is a fine choice for the part and you have no right to judge how he portrays the character until you’ve seen his acting in the movie when it releases and not just heard his single line in a 90 second trailer. All that said, this is an opportunity to reevaluate your choices if you match the description above. Learn how to voice your opinions constructively. Be mindful of others and their perspectives. Don’t fall victim to the hate-fest that social media can be. As Pinocchio once said, “Always let your conscience be your guide.”

im Possible,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Mulan,” “Peter Pan,” “Lilo and Stitch.” All remakes of Disney classics that are going to be released in the next few years. All marketed towards the “new generation” that hasn’t seen the original movies. Keep calm and fiesta on :) It has to stop. True Victoria Lee Disney fans’ exasperation with the remakes is not caused by the casting of actors, but by the fact that the company is remaking so many of the classics in the first place. Some of the remakes have potential, like the new Dumbo, Lion King, and Aladdin movies. However, I think everyone would be happier if Disney started focusing on creating more unique ideas for movies instead of trying to refine and modernize concepts from the classics. Simply put, the new live-action movies are lacking the spark that the classics had/still have. Disney fans are passionate about the quality of the movies that Disney creates and have high-expectations for new releases, and therefore view these new remakes as unnecessary and poorly-executed in comparison to the classics. Producers are desperately trying to infuse the magic from the original movies into their remakes, and are failing.

Some people argue that the remakes are good because the new generation of children gets to see old movies that are “polished” and live-action. But the truth is, kids don’t care whether DIsney recreates old movies or not. They just watch whatever is in the movie theater. It’s the older generation that is frustrated with seeing the same content over and over again in theaters. No one is getting on their knees and begging, “Disney, PLEASE remake Mulan so that I can finally be happy and satisfied with my life.” The younger generation couldn’t care less about this issue, and the older generation would rather have new movies to watch than the same plot and characters repeated in low-quality remakes. Therefore, if Disney were to stop remaking classics, everyone would be content. What the fandom needs right now are new, original movies. They’re tired of seeing the same concepts played out over and over again, and want to see unique stories like Coco, The Good Dinosaur, and Inside Out. In their opinion, the classics are better left untouched, and if a kid really wants to watch Mulan or Aladdin, they can just rent/buy the original movies and watch those instead.



A campus worth building There are many new changes being made to SDA so students should not neglect their opportunity to make a difference.


tudents at SDA have the opportunity to help their peers and future generations by creating natural areas on campus that can offer restorative experiences and reduce mental problems such as depression and anxiety. Growing populations have created a rise in urban settings. As a result, many cities must rebuild pre-existing areas in order to accommodate everyone. With its growing population, the SDA campus is undergoing plenty of these adjustments and as a result many new buildings are given the green light. A lot of students and teachers have latched onto the opportunity to form SDA into their visions. Martin Chaker is a math teacher who wants students to benefit from this opportunity. His vision introduces the idea of a restorative garden by incorporating natural elements that reduce depression and anxiety as well as enabling a space to recuperate. By opening these projects for the students, they can begin to make a mark on their campus. “I had the idea to not just create spaces around campus that help students regulate how they feel, but also give them an opportunity to make the spaces themselves,” Chaker said.

The opportunity of rebuilding also allows students to form a sense of identity according to Chaker. Students can now more than ever leave a sense of identity for future generations to enjoy. This identity makes a powerful connection to the SDA campus and provides the chance to unify students from Some call all backgrounds. me fisher Whether there is interest in wood Hunter or metal work, McGahan art and design, even technology and engineering, all can be brought together under the goal to help better the campus. But how can SDA students create a restorative campus? The first step is finding which environments are suitable. Turns out adding natural elements into a suburban area can offer a place to recuperate from the stress or anxiety that has built up during the day. Providing a space for people to reconnect with a natural environment can be essential for reviving mental health. When giving SDA the opportunity to sculpt its campus students should not neglect to incorporate natural elements. The American Society of Landscape Architects states that parks integrated into populated areas allow people to “step away from the

THE CONCEPT DRAWING for a proposed Japanese garden near the 120s. Illustration provided by Martin Chaker. noise and stresses of the city and find places for quiet contemplation or opportunities to gather with each other.” Chaker is creating just that, by giving the students projects such as the garden near the Mosaic Cafe and devising plans for a Japanese garden in the 120s.

These projects hit a dual benefit by not only providing students a place to recuperate from stress and lower the risks of depression, but also making the option for students to leave their mark on campus. This idea is not new but it is crucial to be reminded of. If there is an option to create a restorative cam-

pus, then it should be taken. Students can sculpt a sense of identity that can influence generations. “[These projects] are a symbol that you put up on campus to remind you of who you are,” Chaker said. “That really supports the idea of being a part of this campus because you have left a piece of your identity.”

Goodbye Buzzfeed, hello Sporcle Forget Buzzfeed quizzes, Sporcle is the best thing to happen to the human race since SPAM.


quizzing site that truly turned my uzzfeed seems to be the world upside down: Sporcle. ultimate hub of deranged I like to equate Buzzfeed quizzes to a media content, a website I donut. It looks bright and pretty and used peruse when my mind was it’ll fill you up enough, but it’s just plagued by boredom, or when I felt empty calories. It benefits you in very too sluggish to pick up my pencil few ways and and do homework. eventually you There, I would take In “Gone With get sick of it. quizzes to find out the Wind”. . . Sporcle, on the things I never even Simmone Stearn other hand, is knew such as what very similar to type of number those troddentwo pencil I am earth-colored (there’s more than healthy drinks one?) or what my slopped full choice in magician of slimy chia capes reveals about seeds. It’s not very pretty to look at my fertility. Okay, not really, but you and maybe tastes weird at first (probget the point. ably because you’re so accustomed to I used to think that was fun. Howgorging on donuts), but it’s good for ever, the lack of fulfillment from the you, and it’s fun. And I mean actual quizzes and even the ultimate lack of fun. fun itself wasn’t something I seemed This is something I attribute to to realize until I stumbled upon a


a seemingly infinite range of educational topics. Any random subject about which you feel particularly impassioned, sporcle will have quizzes on it. Do you know the closing lines of famous works of literature? Can you identify the presidents from their wedding photos? Do you know the time and place in which food originated? Can you master Georgia slang? Who said what in Gone With the Wind? But these quizzes are wonderfully different from the buzzfeed brand. Sporcle will challenge you and test the limits of your knowledge. And that makes it way more of an exciting ride than Buzzfeed, as it focuses more on factual knowledge and trivia rather than knowing what your favorite color is so you can learn what you’re going to eat for dinner (it’s spaghetti, duh). Simply put, you will have fun on sporcle because you

will learn. For example, on sporcle, I have taken countless vocabulary quizzes with words so disgusting you want to puke into some tinfoil. Surely it is difficult, but that’s the fun of it. I learned some pretty cool words. Floccinaucinihilipilification. (It’s the habit of estimating something as worthless. When I use it, it’s in reference to buzzfeed.) But if this isn’t the type of learning you are fond of, have no fear. As previously mentioned, Sporcle is home to quizzes covering every topic, all of which will teach you things. These quizzes introduce you to the kind of impressive knowledge I like to refer to as strange-but-reallycool-stuff-you-can-randomly-bringup-and-everyone-will-want-to-beyour-friend kind of knowledge. I’m talking being able to recognize 30 potato dishes, knowing the

names of different types of stoves, being able to tell what historical figure teddy bears are dressed up as, knowing quotes relating to chocolate, and having the ability to recognize Minion Pro when your friend points at a word typed in Minion Pro and wants to know what font it’s typed in (editor’s note: this is minion pro). That’s right, you can learn it all. The moral of the story is, if you’re bored, you might as well fill your brain with actually cool things and there is no better place for that than Sporcle. Forget Buzzfeed quizzes. Maybe come back once in a while to frown when you realize how much better sporcle is, but first begin by kicking donuts of your plate and instead slogging your throat with goopy frog-egg-like chia seeds and sloshing them around in your oral cavity.

MARCH 2019

It’s time to talk wasps Though I am a huge proponent of bee preservation, wasps do not need the same protection. Art by Jeffrey Furgerson and Jenna Weinhoffer



ere’s the deal. There may be a part of me that really enjoys talking and educating people about bees but there is another part of me, a deep, deep, dark, and fairly tucked away I like bees. part of me that is really afraid -Shayna Glazer and disgusted by wasps and the subspecies of wasps known as hornets. So if you’re wondering how a girl so happy talking about bees could take such an opposite stance on wasps, I say wait a moment and listen! I don’t have an “opposite stance” on wasps, I just simply dislike them. I do not HATE them, like many other people I know, but there is no place of love in my heart for them. For starters though, people should be aware of a couple distinct differences between the two insects. The first has to deal with pollination. Both bees and wasps do pollinate flowers and both of their primary food sources does come from nectar. Bees, however, are the number one pollinators on this earth as opposed to wasps who yes play a point in the pollination cycle but are not the most critical creature in the process. The second (and most obvious) difference is that wasps will sting over and over (and over and over and over) when they feel angry or fall into a protective

state. Honey bees are not capable of multiple stings and bees that are not Honey Bees - such as Bumblebees - that can sting multiple times are not prone to aggressive behavior. Lastly, it’s obvious that the body shape of bees is vastly different than wasps- I mean, bees are cute and fluffy… wasps are creatures sent from the depths of the unknown and made to resemble bees. These creatures are purely demonic. Other terrifying facts about wasps (that aren’t terrifying but that are a bit wild): They are crazy good at knocking down the pest population! Wasps capture and kill insects, bringing them back to their nests. Therefore, wasps are good on large farms because they help farmers keep more of their crop yield. Only female wasps have stingers. Finally, they prey on pretty much every insect on our planet so they are in a way secondary or tertiary consumers. So, that’s my opinion. Bees and wasps need some important clarifications because let’s face it, bees are crucial to our world and unlike the demonic little creatures we call wasps (who, as you know by now, aren’t the most important), we couldn’t live without bees.

Two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom created the most valuable resource on our planet - water. We use it for everything. We drink it. We bathe in it. We swim in it. Let’s not waste it.



state (Sacramento Bee). I know what you may be thinking - California gets most of its water from outside sources, like the Colorado River. Yes, that is true, however, we should still be concerned. The consequences of You are what drying up these you throw critical resources away would result in the economic state of -Alexis Price California to take a hit, as agriculture makes up 2 percent of the state’s GDP. Also, 12.5 percent of the United States agricultural production rest on the California (NorCalWater). Here is another not-so-fun fact: the average American uses 80-100 gallons of water each day according to the Environmental Protection Agency, which accounts for showering, washing hands, bathing,

etcetera. We can do better than that considering only 2.5 percent of the water on Earth is drinkable and we have access to only about 1 percent of it (National Geographic). “Well, what else can we do about the our future water supply?” you may be thinking. Lots. Let’s start with the obvious - cut the 12-minute showers and do not run the faucet while brushing your teeth. It’s common sense. Let’s avoid dumping old water down the drain and pour it onto plants instead. Hey, pull a Nike and just do it. Let’s all do our part. Here are some easy tips for saving water in your house! 1. Take a shorter shower by a) being quicker or b) trying a Navy shower. Simply turn the shower on, wash yourself, turn it off, soap up your hair and skin, then turn the shower back on and rinse. It is definitely a chilly experience, but you save a

Freshmen don’t always get to write. But when they do, they write about obscure opinions that no one agrees with. We’re freshmen. -Kate Paxton and Piper Nilsen

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

Califonia drought? A constant. ulp. Gulp. Rinse. Rinse. Woosh. Water is everywhere and we need it to survive, duh. We use it for all different purposes - from brushing our teeth to growing produce - water gives us life. Despite January and February’s notable rainfall accumulation, California is still in a drought. At least, it should be. In recent news, the drought was declared over. But, eventually it will get worse, again, and as a state, we should not let that happen too quickly. In 2017, Governor Jerry Brown had declared the historic drought over, however, dry conditions still occurred until 2019 in much of the

21 unpopular opinions


3. 4. 5.

6. 7.

lot of water, money, and time in the process. If you have any old water left in cups lying around your house, give them to the plants or put them in your pet’s bowl. Unless you have a fish. If it’s yellow, let it mellow. Your toilet uses a lot of water, you’d be surprised. (at home only) Water plants in the morning to avoid evaporation. Ask your parents about greywatering your home - recycling water from your washing machine to the toilet. Or get a more eco-friendly washing machine that can control the amount of water used in each cycle. Don’t keep your hose running while washing your car, duh, or buy a nozzle for the hose. Be smart! Care about something bigger than yourself - our home, our Earth. Care for the future.

9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

14. 15. 16. 17.

18. 19. 20. 21.

Freshman should always be allowed to write in the newspaper PC’s are better than Mac’s Samsung is better than Apple Los gatos are better than los perros… I have my reasons Goldfish are better than Cheez-it’s Vanilla is better than chocolate Pineapple belongs on pizza, don’t argue Fruit is a dessert (according to mom) Warm milk tastes good Warm water is better than cold water (drinking wise) La Croix and San Pellegrino are practically the same and both SUCK College isn’t necessary Signatures are a bad way of confirming your approval. (I see you forging parent signatures, SLACKERS) Mermaids are really scary Thanos is the best Marvel villain “The Office” isn’t funny. Well, maybe just Dwight. “Friends” is overrated (Calm down, it’s a freshman’s opinion… “It’s like a cow’s opinion; it doesn’t matter. It’s moo.” -Joey) Denim on denim is okay (most of the time) Nail polish smells bien Acrylic nails aren’t worth it. Seriously, they look like claws Bras are unnecessary. PERIOD.


FEATURES RIGHT: DESERT SAND VERBENAS surround the the mountain landscape. BELOW: TWO HORSE STATUES, along with many other animals, are on a stretch of the desert.

Bloom Use your spring break to visit the super bloom taking over the Anza Borrego Desert. Story by Linnaea Erisman. Photos by Linnaea Erisman & Jaden Hauptman


ot. Dry. Sand stretching for miles on end. The only plants in sight are the stubbly scrubs sitting low to the ground. Hills surround the patches of sand and each looks almost identical to the one before. Then suddenly there is an explosion of color. Stretches of sand blanketed in purple, yellow, and orange. The bright contrast of colors pop up and take over a harsh landscape. Every spring the Anza Borrego Desert is transformed as flowers bloom across the seemingly infertile sand. Given the large amount of rain recently in Southern California, the desert has broken out in a super bloom. This means that the flower’s aren’t just popping up here and there, they are carpeting entire sections of desert. Words cannot describe how beautiful this rare blooming is. The sight is definitely worth the trip. The best time to visit is mid March to early April.

visit the desert and enjoy the beautiful aray of yellow and purple flowers MANY PEOPLE



For more details on the super bloom visit the Anza Borrego Dessert Natural History Association at: www.abdnha.org


flowers next to it.


one of the many desert sunflowers.

out against the yellow




MARCH 2019


From dreams to reality With the school year ending in only a few months, some seniors share their dream job for the future. By Cade Culbertson. Illustrations by Simmone Stearn.


wo of the highest paying jobs last year were pharmacy manager and pharmacist, but these aren’t exactly occupations that many people dream of pursuing. Instead, several seniors at SDA plan to go down far more unconventional career paths such as senior Mike Sturman, who wants to work at the “happiest place on earth.” “The career or occupation I wanted to pursue as a kid is the same one I want now,” said Sturman. “It’s called imagineering and that is theme park design for the Disney Company and that’s pretty much a group of people with various disciplines, anywhere from research and development to construction management, [and] architecture, and they all work together to create the theme lands in all the Disney parks around the world.” “I was going to Disneyland pretty frequently and I learned the term imagineer and I’ve always been amazed by what imagineers can do with storytelling and how they can create these masterful props and shows that resonate with so many people. It’s really incredible,” he added, also saying that he has been interested in this occupation since 6th grade. As a way to get an early start on experience for this job, Sturman said he has worked on various sets for the SDA theatre program. “Last year I designed for ‘The Birds’ and we created a mountain out of artificial materials,” he said. “For ‘Trials’... I designed the set for that and finally, for the last show of this year, ‘Failure: A Love Story,’ I designed a multilevel set that is going to be using some of the technology, known as projection mapping, that is


found in Disney Parks.” According to Sturman, imagineering is a very difficult job to get and said, “Disney only takes the best of the best because there is a lot of demand for the job, but hopefully I can become the best of the best.” Another student who shared what they want to do career wise later in life was senior Aaron Altona. “When I was a little kid I really wanted to be a paleontologist,” he said, “I really liked dinosaurs and thought it would be cool to study their fossils. It still definitely interests me. In fact, I just picked up a book about paleontology. It’s called ‘Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs.’” However, this is not the job that Altona wants to pursue presently. “Currently I’m very interested in entomology, which is the study of insects,” he said, “I am fascinated with insects, especially because I began keeping bees for a while and it really fascinated me watching the way they interacted and their behavior.” Of course, with most jobs, being an entomologist requires an adequate education and training When asked about what major he intended to pursue, Altona said, “Probably general biology to begin with in order to leave my options open in case I decide to split off from entomology. Realistically I don’t see why I couldn’t go into entomology. It seems like a fairy reasonable goal.” Senior Evan Davies said, “I wanted to be an engineer for most of my childhood because that seemed fun and interesting. Now I want to be a lawyer or work for the US foreign service, doing something with the government and foreign policy.” “I’d like to work as either an attorney at the Federal Elections Commision and handle compliance of election law and campaign finance regulation or be a foreign service officer and work at various US embassies,” said Davies.

To prepare for this career path, Davies also said, “I’m taking a double major of public policy analysis and international relations.” After, he added that he had also been doing speech and debate at SDA for three years, which is something he said he hopes will provide him with useful skills for the future. From around the age of seven or eight, senior Eoin O’Leary said he wanted to be some sort of engineer. Now, he says, “That was more because my dad was in that [field] and I thought it was really interesting.” “I definitely want to do something similar. Less like hardware based, but definitely something with engineering and computers,” continued O’Leary, “In college, I’m looking at majoring in computer science and either electrical or computer engineering.” With how many murals are around campus, there was bound to be at least one student who wants to pursue a career or hobby that involves the arts in one way or another and senior Garrett Brown intends to do just that. “I would have to say somewhere in like the arts department whether it was painting or glass blowing,” said Brown, who plans on attending Palomar College to take glass blowing classes in the future. When asked if he thinks he’ll realistically make a living off of this, he said, “I think it would be more of a cool hobby or something. Maybe I could sell part time.” Brown also said that he wasn’t entirely sure where he would end up in 10 years career wise, and when asked what else he wanted people to know, he s aid, “follow your heart.”



What’s in a name?

Giving a child a name is a big decision, how do parents decide? Babyname.com? Your late second cousin twice removed? A bar they went to freshman year of college? The winner of “Jeopardy” the night you were born? We asked students to tell us the stories behind their names. Story and photos by Devlin Ott.

Leko Ritchie, junior: “My name is Leko. My dad’s name is Leland, so my parents’ took the first two letters of his name- ‘Le’ and my mom’s name is Atsuko, so they took the last two letters of her name- ‘ko,’ and combined them to get Leko.”

Tatum Goodbody, junior: “My name is Tatum, and I was named after a Garbage Pail Kids card that said ‘Tatum Pole’ instead of ‘Totem Pole’ because my parents didn’t know what to call me. My name is ok, surprisingly, I used to get made fun of for my last name more than my first, Goodbody.”

Cassie Hicks, junior: “My name is Cassandra and my parents chose my name from the gift shop on one of those newborn baby name tags when my mom was in the hospital. In Greek mythology, Cassandra was a princess of Troy and she could predict the future but nobody believed her, which I think is a cool bit of history associated with it. Although, I don’t think my parents knew the Greek history when they picked it though.”

Drew Atkins, senior: “So I go by Drew, but my full name is Robert Markley Atkins IV. My mom didn’t want my name to be Robert, and my dad, who happens to be Robert Markley Atkins III wanted to carry on the tradition. What they came up with was ‘quadruple,’ which is anything that comes in fours. Basically, Drew is just short for quadruple, like qua-Drew-ple.”

Zaya Woody, freshman: “My name is Zaya and my name was found on accident. When my brother was little, his best friend’s name was Isaiah but he couldn’t pronounce it, so he would ask my mom if he could go to ‘Zaya’s’ house. From then on my mom knew that if she had a girl her name would be Zaya and thus, my name was created. I really enjoy my name. I never have to go by a last name or any of that jazz.’”

Sheridan Valente, junior: “My name is Sheridan. My name comes from a combination of my mom and dad’s names. My mom’s name is Sharon, Shari for short, and my dad’s name is Daniel, Dan for short. I quite like my name, the story behind it is unique and it is always fun to watch people come to the realization when they discover the story behind it.”

Ellery Bolton, sophomore: “My name is Ellery. My mother liked to read mystery novels by a man named Ellery Queen, and traditionally it was a male name, but both my parents liked it so thus my name is now Ellery.”

Brighton Rain, senior: “Not too long after my parents got married they went on a trip to England with my uncle and aunt because my aunt is from England. They spent a night on Brighton Beach, a very fun night I guess, because they decided to name me after the beach that I later found out I was conceived on. Also, it was the name of the midwife that delivered me.

Jayden Masukawa, junior: “My full name is Jayden Lucky Masukawa. When my grandmother was pregnant with my dad, she went to a horse race and bet on one of the horses. The horse was named Lucky, and she won, so she gave my dad the middle name of Lucky. My dad then wanted to call me Luckier and if I had children, call them Luckiest, but then there would be nothing to call their kids after that, so he gave me the middle name Lucky. I do like my name, it is definitely unique.”

Hannah Flores, junior: “My name is Hannah Clare Flores. My first name my brother picked out, because he told everyone that he had a little sister named Hannah before I was even born. My middle name is Clare after my grandpa, Clarence. I was going to be named Clarice, but then ‘Silence of the Lambs’ came out and my mom didn’t want me to be made fun of. Little did she know, Hannah Montana would come out the same year I started kindergarten. I love that my middle name is after my grandpa who has sadly passed. It’s like he’s always with me. Hannah I like because my brother picked it out which is so cool.”


MARCH 2019





Art teacher Zachary Ramirez paints during his live painting show in the gallery. Photo by Rayelyn Burrell.

Sophomore Lily Spence admires the AP Studio art show. Photo by Rayelyn Burrell.

One and only student art gallery Never been to the art gallery on campus? Now’s your chance. Story Rayelyn Burrell.


hat started as a snack bar window to the Mosaic Cafe has flourished into the first student art gallery in the school district. Featuring over a hundred different artists per semester, the gallery, next to the cafeteria, displays parts of SDA’s most prominent factor, creativity. During shows, the gallery is open during school hours, allowing students to visit anytime during the day. And with new shows three to five times a semester student are constantly left with a “sense of wonder,” as art teacher Jeremy

Wright described it. The shows feature extraordinary and unique pieces, anything from china being hung on a thin string to collages made of newspaper scraps. “I like that people will see it and wonder who made it, why they made it, and how. I enjoy knowing that other students might feel inclined to put their own art in the gallery as a result,” said sophomore Sadie Burrows. Burrows was featured in AP studio art show, one of the most recent events in the gallery, that ended March 5. Also in this month, Zachary

Ramirez, a new art teacher, drew and painted live in the gallery. Students were free to see the process and pick Ramirez’s brain with different kinds

April 5-19 24-hour comic show 22-3 Surfer vs Skater Show

May Mental Health 10-17 24-7 End of the YearShow Show

of questions. The gallery is a vital piece of SDA culture. “It is an important space for students to use, to showcase, and to celebrate their work,” Ramirez said. The 24-hour comic show will be hosted at the gallery from April 5 - 19. Following that there will be the “Surfer vs. Skater Show: A Dedication to Tim Roberts” celebrating SDA’s diversity and culture, “as well as honoring our beloved ‘Rob Dog,’” art teacher Angela Jackson said. This exhibition

will occur April 22 - May 3. May 10 - 17 is the “Mental Health Show” that senior Dana Journey will be curating. It will exhibit visual art emphasizing the importance of mental health. And finally, the end of the year show will open May 24, exhibition day, and end June 7. When visiting the gallery be sure to leave a kind note in the guest book near the door to the artists and students that help keep this funky little legacy alive.

Your life is your own If only being psychic helped you finish your math homework. Story by Joice He.


rom the author that brought you the 2015 hit superhero show “One Punch Man”, “Mob Psycho 100” is animation company Studio BONES’s spectacular new flagship show. Having recently aired its second season, “Mob Psycho 100” continues to push the limits of animation by breaking convention with wild, psychedelic fight sequences and juxtaposing its mundane story line and absurd art style with high quality, surreal visual storytelling. Our protagonist is an unassuming, mediocre middle school psychic named Kageyama Shigeo, otherwise known as Mob. Despite being a


nearly invincible psychic, Mob doesn’t know how to express his emotions or opinions, and struggles to be anything but a background character in his mundane school life. Though it has a very simple concept, the show is interesting in that it draws its essence from using contradictions and taking conventional anime tropes and shoving them back in their face. The fiery protagonist typical to this genre of anime is replaced with a lukewarm background character (who starts out practically invincible rather than growing in power over the series,) the caring mentor is replaced with a sketchy con artist, even the animal

mascot has been kicked out in favor of a green, booger-like evil spirit set on world domination. Because of this, “Mob Psycho 100” is able to explore different themes compared to conventional anime. The importance of an adult figure in childhood is explored, along with how having something – like psychic powers – doesn’t make you superior to everyone else and, more recently, how your life is your own to do what you will with. Despite the ingenious humor, interesting story arcs, and phenomenal opening song, the narrative storytelling of the show can be a bit messy. Even though

OFFICIAL “MOB PSYCHO 100” cover art. Photo courtesy of Studio BONES.

they are very different characters, Mob still felt a bit repetitive as a main character since Saitama, the protagonist of “One Punch Man,” and Mob share the same lukewarm attitude about everything and overwhelming, anticlimactic power. Furthermore, while the storylines exploring Mob’s psyche are interesting, the shorter story arcs about characters other than Mob can

end abruptly with barely completed narration obscured thinly with “Mob Psycho 100’s” natural absurdity. Overall, the show is definitely worth the watch, if not for the crazy, over-the-top convention smashing, for the dynamic cast of characters. Though I personally thought the storytelling can be improved, the show as a whole is still a masterpiece and isn’t like anything in its genre.

MARCH 2019


Reaching new heights

— 11’8 RECORD

After a long gymnastics career, senior Alyssa Fisher tried pole vaulting and found a sport she loves and excels at. Since then, Fisher has seen huge success and last year she won the Divison II CIF Championship. By Yarisette Sequeira.


ost athletes train for years in a sport before winning a CIF Championship. Most athletes don’t break records their second season in. And most athletes definitely do not rank in the top six in San Diego by their third year of experience. However, for senior Alyssa Fisher, these achievements have only been the start of her career as a pole vaulter — a sport she never anticipated trying and a sport that she has been recruited to continue in college. Three years ago, Fisher was a dedicated gymnast and avid soccer player — pole vaulting had never crossed her mind. However, 11 years of intensive gymnastics training became hard on her body and Fisher decided to quite. Shortly after, her mom pushed her to try pole vaulting. “She was like ‘you’ll be good at it,’ but I was really not open to it at first because I was playing soccer too at the time,” Fisher said. After putting it off for nearly six months, Fisher gave into her mom’s suggestion and attended a camp at the Olympic Training Center during her sophomore year. “It was super intimidating because the kids who go to the Olympic Training Center to do pole vaulting are amazing at it and it was my very first time. I hadn’t even picked up a pole before,” Fisher said. “It was so scary. But just the fact that I was kind of thrown into it made me feel the need to prove myself.” Since that first day vaulting, Fisher fell completely in love with it. Sophomore year, Fisher joined the track team as a pole vaulter. With a known background in gymnastics, she felt an immediate pressure from her coaches to excel quickly because


of the similar strength and flexibility demands between both sports. “But I didn’t,” Fisher said. “I wasn’t super consistent in gymnastics. I always had to work harder than everyone else.” That year Fisher had an 8’6 season record, but struggled with the frustration of comparing herself to more experienced teammates. “Obviously it was my first time and there was no way I could be jumping at the level of people who have been doing it for two years,” she said. “But just seeing other people and having high expectations made me harder on myself and it made the process more challenging.” However, the encouragement of her parents and teammates pushed Fisher to believe in herself during moments of self-doubt. “[Without them] I would have been so hard on myself. I would have quit.” Right before her junior track season, Fisher found herself struggling with big decision. She had a passion for both pole vault and soccer, but felt that in order to give herself the best opportunity to excel at one sport, she needed to let go of the other. “I matured from realizing how much I love both sports. I had to make one of the most grown up decisions of my life and really decide what I wanted to pursue,” she said. After a lot of thought, Fisher decided to continue pole vaulting, feeling refreshed and excited to pursue such a unique sport. Following this decision, Fisher’s improvements skyrocketed. Private lessons and club training became a full-time commitment and during her junior track season, Fisher was accelerating at a high speed. Jumping from a personal record of 8’6 to 10’6

from sophomore to junior year was a big second season accomplishment for Fisher. “It was crazy because that progression is not something you normally see in high school,” Fisher said. Junior year, Fisher beat the school 9’9 pole vault record for the first time with a 10’1 jump. “I’ve just been continuing to beat my own record and that’s something I never imagined doing,” she said. “It makes me smile so hard thinking about it because it’s just such a big thing for me.” To top off her junior year achievements, Fisher finished with an undefeated league winning streak and won the Division II San Diego Section CIF Championship. Fisher attributes the quick strides in her success to her gymnastics background. “With the strength and discipline that I got from [gymnastics], it feels like I’ve been training my whole life for this, cause they’re really compatible sports,” she said Fisher holds an overall 11’8 record from her 2019 indoor club season. In the high school outdoor season, Fisher is ranked sixth in San Diego with an 11’3 record. As she heads into her last high school track season, Fisher’s goal is to reach 12 feet and compete in the state meet. Following high school, Fisher plans to pursue pole vault at the collegiate level. The top schools she is considering are currently the University of Nevada, Reno and the University of Notre Dame. “Just the fact that I am here and I have the goals that I’m pursuing right now, it’s unbelievable and I’m so happy,” Fisher said. “It makes me so excited. That’s an awesome thing.”

SENIOR ALYSSA FISHER with her 11’8 pole vaulting record marked above. Photo by Jaden Hauptman.




WARNING! Side effects may include: brain death, normal death, realizing you have nothing to live for, getting divorced, inexplicable crying...

SDA teachers were interviewed by a private investigator after the unraveling of an elaborate whoopee cushion prank. By Simmone Stearn


pon arrival to school on April 1st, April Fool’s Day, every teacher found that a whoopee cushion had been inserted into their desk chair cushion. They were made aware of the foreign object’s existence when they sat down and a fart sound originated from their chairs. The whoopee cushions were skillfully inserted into the chairs, as no lacerations on the seat cushions could be found. SDA Principal Ahem Comeatchu hired a private investigator to find out who inserted these whoopee cushions. Rumors have been circulating that it was not, unlike initial belief, a student. Rather, the act is now believed to have been carried out by a teacher. “All of us [teachers] were competing in a sort of unofficial prank war this April Fools. We were competing for the title of ‘Prankster Beast,’” said history teacher Kelpy Hahkids. “But whoever did this took it too far. Luckily, for me, no one was in my classroom when I sat down at my chair this morning, but I have no clue how to


remove the whoopee cushion without ripping up the seat cushion. I’ve been standing all day. All day!” The private investigator began meeting with teachers yesterday morning, collecting alibis and clues. The first teacher to be interviewed was Spanish teacher Shohn Floid who claimed it could not have been him, as he was up late editing and uploading a video of him doing the Fortnite dance challenge to YouTube. “I think it’s so silly we’re all getting interviewed like this. They were treating me like I was a criminal! I’ve never done anything wrong in my life.” In response to complaints from teachers, Assistant Principal Sellest BarnNet held a meeting with SDA faculty to explain the importance of finding the culprit: “We don’t want to go pointing fingers and we don’t want to have to bring a private investigator in, but we also don’t want our chairs to sound like big farts,” she said “We’re doing this to ensure the safety of our teachers here at SDA. Farts, you know, can be silent, but

deadly. If you smell something, say something.” The teachers at the meeting reluctantly nodded, as it is common belief that a fart is a threat. In the meantime, all of the afflicted chairs have been replaced by basketballs, as the school did not have enough funding to fix the old chairs and to pay for new ones and there is currently a district-wide yoga ball shortage. This has sparked new complaints from teachers. Teachers are complaining that they are uncomfortable and unreasonably small and cannot be a substitute for a chair. “Basketballs are not chairs,” said history teacher Kheari Choduh. English teacher Robhurt Rhoss

has encountered a different problem. “Yesterday, I got up from my basketball to help a student and when I got back to my desk, it was gone. Two of my students started playing pass and they wouldn’t give it back. We played monkey in the middle for 45 minutes. I didn’t win.” The investigation has since been moving forward. “We’ve been finding some major clues,” said Comeatchu. “Yesterday, an isolated whoopee cushion was found in a drawer in Truckdena’s room. He claims it was for ‘fun’ and that ‘fart-sound-gen-

erating devices can be considered useful for teaching physics.’” Chemistry teacher Fuss Dayvidsun claimed he had seen the whoopee cushion, but wasn’t sure if it would be considered evidence. He said, “I knew something smelled fishy,” to which Truckdenas responded: “Whoever smelt it dealt it.” The private investigator has yet to follow up on this lead so, for now, SDA teachers must stick with their basketballs. “I just hope they find who did it soon and make them pay for new chairs or for fixing the old ones,” Said Choduh, “because, like I said, basketballs are not chairs, I mean come on, people. They’re not chairs.”

MARCH 2019


THE “MUSTANG” MEME REVIEW:TIK TOK EDITION WARNING! Side effects may include: brain death, normal death, realizing you have nothing to live for, getting divorced, inexplicable crying

Roses are red, violets are blue, we welcome you, to Meme Review! Story and Illustrations By Jeffrey Furgerson and Victoria Lee.

Making a Deal with the Devil Jonathan Beck (@brokeboybeck) is hands-down the sexiest person I’ve ever laid my eyes on. He looks like a smoking hot Minecraft Steve (which is saying a lot, since Steve is already incredibly desirable). You may not like it, but he has the ideal male body.His box face is sculpted to perfection, and his jawline is carved to cut. In hisTiktok, Beck asserts his dominance by screaming, “You like making a deal with the devil???”, and then he laughs at all of the peasants watching his video whilst choking them through the camera. He knows we are all inferior to him, and his arrogant aura is what makes him so enticing. The devil would make 100/2 deals with this man.

BEAT ME UP SIS Julia Sufyan’s assertive aura arouses me and makes me feel scared. When she whips out her fist I look away, flustered. My cheeks flood with color, sweat drips down my face, and my hands shake. I can’t handle being under her powerful, passionate gaze. Is this what love feels like? I take out my Black, Leather-Bound, Secret Crush Diary and write the title of today’s entry: Scared to Love. In my fantasies, her breath smells distinctly like Takis as she yells, “BEAT ME UP BEAT ME UP SIS BEAT ME UP BITCH BEAT ME UP PERIODT BEAT ME UP”. I always love it when she compassionately expresses her love for me through tender, kind words :). I rate My Love 5/5 stars. -XxTakilover40296xX

You Was at the Club “You was at the club, Bottoms up when I first met you️”. Raini Rodriguez sways to the beat of the music in her turquoise quinceanera dress. She’s surrounded by people, and their faces are all a blur. She’s waiting for one person and one person only. As ella baila around the room, she bumps into a tall, dark figure. She notices a white, Styrofoam cup in the dark figure’s hand and gasps. It’s him. He looks down at her and says, “Hola mamacita, you look like a princesa tonight ;)”. He puts one hand on her waist and grips his empty cup tightly in the other hand. They dance the night away and eventually, Celoso by Lele Pons comes on over the speakers. “Omg this is my favorite slow-dancing song!” Raini exclaims. They slow-dance as Pons sings, “Rom pom pom pom pom pom pom.” Then he says the words she’s been craving all night, “Baile, bebé, baile.” Raini melts into his black, leather jacket, feeling gratis and free. Then her worst nightmare comes true. He says, “Ew your turquoise dress clashes with my black leather. Adios amiga.” He wiggles his eyebrows as él sale la quinceañera. Tears flow out of her deep, brown eyes as she sings... *alarm noises* She wakes up and realizes that it was all just a dream. We give Raini’s fantasy a 500/4 Fiestas, and hope Raini will be able to find true love at her next quinceanera. Remember, “Keep Calm and Fiesta On.”

Microwave challenge For some reason, people like to sit on the floor and pretend like they are in a microwave. It’s kind of kinky. I guess they think that spinning on their butts in slow motion is funny? This is one of the worst Tik Tok trends this month, so it deserves -200 out of 200 stars because it exposes people’s unholy fetishes of roleplaying as kitchen-appliances.

SO LCC IS COMING FOR A VISIT... And with it comes a whole new array of educational discpline that will alter SDA forever. By Hunter McGahan


s you may know, SDA has the wonderful opportunity to welcome Sunset High School into the P-Quad. With it comes plenty of questions for our future, but sadly the majority of students don’t know that La Costa Canyon is also joining our campus next year. Apparently a high ranking school person of some sort is offering La Costa Canyon refuge in a portion of the new buildings. Numerous sources state that La Costa Canyon is simply jealous of all our new buildings SDA is creating and has convinced the district to share the upcoming new one. It will only be offered to seniors who can drive from area to area and will house a select few classes.


The idea first sprouted with the intent to make a unique opportunity for students at La Costa Canyon to be introduced to actual artistic talent. With this change, the district has implemented an experimental system knowing that combining three schools with very diverse cultures will not have the most peaceful results, especially with one of them being a rival. This includes solutions such as ten police officers in riot gear who will oversee all student activity. If the students get rowdy and cause trouble with some unsuspecting freshmen, a squad member overseeing the area will take the humane action of beating him mercilessly. This is mainly pointed at our competitive friends at LCC but do not

think you are off the hook Sunset. The second solution is still being polished by the school administrators, but the idea boils down to mounted turrets. These hardy turrets will be mounted on all buildings and will aid the officers if the situation escalates. Don’t worry though! They can only shoot large darts that sting for the rest of the day. I look forward to the many paintings our students will attempt to put on the turrets only to be darted into submission. No representative or official has given any formal statement on the upcoming changes, but they got to be hard at work, right? So instead of complaining about the inevitable destruction that SDA faces with the introduction of two new schools,

we should focus on the positive. So I compiled a mix of benefits that everyone can partake in: The first being we will probably be the first American high school with A.I. turrets. This landmark will spark followers and become a leading example for mandatory peace. Who doesn’t love a quiet campus? Bullying will no longer be a problem due to the multiple horrid consequences that would follow simply by acting suspiciously. Hell, probably everything that involves stepping out of line will be stopped since the turrets are not capable of differentiating students or their activities. (The A.I doesn’t have sci-fi powers, come on.) You now have three times the

opportunity to make friends (that is if they don’t forbid communication outright). And finally, more diversity! (Even if SDA tends to only favor diversity within their own preset ideals and shuns those who go against their thought process.) So instead of moping and being sad that our school will function like a high security prison, think positively. Imagine all the time to study and keep to yourself because of the vaguely descriptive outlines the school releases on what triggers the policemen or turrets to respond. This wonderful school is looking brighter and more diverse every year and next year will definitely not be different.




WARNING! Side effects may include: brain death, normal death, realizing you have nothing to live for, getting divorced, inexplicable crying...

The stars will set us free. By Sylvia Young Aries Be bold and wear only bright orange for the rest of the month. The traffic cone color may suggest caution, but the exciting style choice screams recklessness. Taurus All of your friends wanted to go to that St. Patrick’s day party, but you were dead-set on checking all 32 of your leprechaun traps. You guys didn’t end up finding anything and your friends resent you, but at least you know that you didn’t have a leprechaun only to let it get away. Next year, your traps will be so good that they’ll have to come. Gemini College decisions are coming out this month, but remember, the best way to

make a decision is to go back and forth between options until an hour before the deadline, and then end up choosing based on a coin toss. Cancer What did you dream about last night? I hope it was good, because in exactly 14 years, you will live that dream. If you don’t remember what you dreamt about, then you’re like everyone else who can’t see into the future. Sorry, I know you wanted to feel special. Leo March doesn’t have any breaks, so make your own pre-spring break and take a week off of school. As a bonus, you can tell everyone that you broke your neck and get the attention that you need and deserve.

Virgo Some people meditate or exercise to calm down. You build Ikea furniture to cope with stress. Now, you’ve got a bunch of random screws and shoddy tables, but at least you’re not stressed. It’s normal to cry about not being able to untangle your charger, right? Maybe you should get an Ikea cord organizer. Libra You may be feeling a bit unbalanced, but you can easily fix that by wearing ankle weights on just your left leg. But whatever you do, DON’T wear them on your right ankle. That will only bring pain and suffering.

Scorpio Some people might say that not every argument is worth having. But those people are wrong, and after an hour-long formal debate about that subject, your opponent will give up. Then, you’ll know you were right, and that sense of validation will give you the confidence to insert your opinion on another topic you know nothing about. Sagittarius When your mom tells you that the novel you wrote should be required reading, remember that no one actually pays attention to those books.

Capricorn When you take the next “Which celebrity is actually a lizard in a human suit” quiz, consider the idea that you may in fact be the lizard in a human suit. Aquarius Your Starburst wrapper portraits of the 2020 Democratic party candidates will determine who wins the primary. So choose carefully when picking the colors of each one’s face. We all know the pink one will win. Pisces Others may say that you’re like a manatee. But it’s not because you’re fat. It’s because you’re a kind, gentle, waterbeast, with no intelligence.

COOKING FOR ONE deck deck deck. By Shayna Glazer and Taylor Rudman


elcome back, ladies. I know a lot of you were afraid that I would discontinue this blog after I got engaged. But don’t you worry, because hey, I’m not hitched yet! Plus, my loyal readers are like my family. Unlike my father, I don’t believe family can just be replaced with a Ford Mustang, a midlife crisis, and the blonde bimbo he met on eHarmony. So you guys have nothing to worry about. Where was I? Right. Now that I have a fiancé, life is so much more complicated. This is because, well, Brad may or may not have forgotten to ask for my dad’s blessing before he proposed to me. And when I say “Brad forgot,” I mean one night when I was a little wine-drunk I told him “screw it, we’re in love and I don’t care who knows it, let’s just get married.” And now I don’t have my father’s blessing. Which I need. I mean, I don’t need it, (I’m a strong independent woman), but, well, I need it. And NO, I do not have daddy issues. Do I have a highly complex relationship with my father in which I constantly seek his unattainable approval? Yes. But I mean, who doesn’t? Anyways, Brad and I are hosting a BIG family dinner tonight with


both sets of our parents and somehow we will have to break the news that he’s proposed. And, in my defense, I sort of already told my father. He just didn’t believe I actually might be getting engaged. My boyfriend is real this time, okay Dad? So there. My goal is to make sure my father does not guilt trip us the whole night about “not getting consulted before such a monumental occasion” and to make sure my mom doesn’t fall into hysterics because her “little baby girl is all grown up.” My parents are creatures of habit. (Read: they are controlling and do not do well with change.) I was the perfect daughter all throughout high school and mostly in college, making sure to get good grades and be home by curfew. You know that “teenage rebellious phase” that so many girls go through? Yeah, I didn’t have one of those. More so, I realized my free spirit sometime in my late 20s and haven’t quite finished the phase. Well, let’s just say I don’t only like to experiment in the kitchen. Anyways, back to more normal topics, (I get it, I ramble) Brad’s family is completely average and relaxed . And look at what an attractive, respectful, and kind young man they produced! Maybe all the strict

rules and big life lessons my parents FOOLPROOF because salmon is so my perfect salmon, would I stop impressed upon me weren’t even hot right now. Plus, normal people them? No! But this night is about me necessary… Who knows though. are impressed by salmon, so not and Brad and our undying love, not Sooooo, Brad and I are prepar- only will I fulfill my parent’s dietary my parents’ complicated representaing dinner for the family and taking restrictions (keeping them docile), I tion of how my life could end up. some extra precautions with meal will also impress Brad’s parents. Who Anyways, I’ve never seared fish planning since my dad is trying out knows, maybe after hardly speaking before. Or succeeded in a healthy the paleo diet with his new girlfriend for 15 years, my parents will bond relationship. Wish me luck, ladies! and my mom has recently decided over their mutual disdain for gluten! that she is gluten-free. Because, I’m not getting my hopes up, though. apparently, that is a choice now. I This isn’t “The Parent Trap.” If my couldn’t make choices about what parents happen to fall in love all brand of cereal I ate, or going to parover again over ties or staying up past 11, but hey, my I’m super proud needs of my mom a while s for finding her min 15 choice-making power. er. nd pepp Alright h salt a ver wit o ll a s hen life llet ladies, here’s n the fi ause “w fillet bec 1.) Seaso ch ea the move: loover on that on juice ss salm er said eeze lem cally sourced and ” Whoev - skinle 2.) Squ e? d a n o lem perfectly seared s, make u lemon fillets gives yo salmon, accompafather. juice met my ic, and nied by a perfect ot have er, garl n st - lemon u m oil, butt e v li o with bed of broccoli. ehow! oil season ent som roughly - olive Perfect. It will be 4.) Tho f resentm o r o v a y. e fl r hen enjo mask th perfect, just like . Gotta fillets. T - butte parsley nd sear a n a p Brad and my marital ick a non-st t oil in - garlic bed. Our whole mar5.) Hea riage. Perfect. y - parsle Anyways, this meal is pretty much

Salmon d e r a e S

MARCH 2019



...looking up when your friends say ‘gullible’ is written on the ceiling, speaking in old English, laughing out loud, cravings of sardines

Double the seniors, double the great life advice. Between the two of us, you’ll learn everything you need to know. By Aeon Combs and Sylvia Young. Art by Camille Zimmer and Jeffrey Ferguson. Why do the bathrooms smell so good? Aeon: Hmm… Must be some air freshener? I couldn’t imagine what bathroom freshener smells like “cotton candy” or “mango,” though. Sylvia: Have you been inside the girls’ bathroom? It’s not that great. Luckily, girls sometimes go into the same stall together, and I’m sure they’re working on inventing an air freshener. Why do seniors dress so much better than underclassmen? Sylvia: Because they have reached self-actualization. Or given up on what other people think. To channel a senior’s style, imagine that

you’ve worked hard for twelve years and are beginning to realize that none of it mattered and the future is a dark void with no clarity. This will create a serene, personalized style that everyone will admire. It also might lower your quality of life. But hey, at least you look good. Aeon: I’ve noticed this too. There are a LOT of classic fashion mistakes that kiddos make these days, including some that I’m guilty of. I used to wear the same pants everyday just to see if anyone would notice. But after four long years we seniors finally understand that NO ONE CARES how you dress, you just get made fun of. Nothing personal, kid. Are you excited to graduate? Aeon: ArE yOu ExCiTeD tO gRAdUAtE?1!?1!!1! I feel like I have answered this question SO many times, from the awkward family reunions where no one else knows what to talk about, to the kind lady at Vons when she finds out I’m a senior. Let me just say this: Everybody poops! And, for the most part, everybody graduates! So it’s not THAT CRAZY

that I’m graduating. Sure, I’ll miss parts of high school like not doing my homework and passing my classes with less than flying colors, but there’s nothing I can do to prevent graduation, so I’ll enjoy the dying moments of my childhood and patiently wait for the dismal abyss of adulthood… Sylvia: Excitement is basically the same as anxiety, right? Because my heart starts racing when I think about leaving high school. I’m just not sure if I feel good or bad about it. Sometimes, leaving the monotony of high school sounds incredible, but then I remember the whole “future” thing and suddenly staying right here seems pretty nice. What are your plans for the weekend? Aeon: Work, unless you’re trying to do something. What do you want to do, man? Sylvia: On Saturday, I’ll work. Sunday is reserved for crying and existential crises. They say time management is an important skill to develop before college.


In a battle between the mindest of both a surfer and skater, senior Kiersten Noonan fights her alter ego Kiery Noonz. By Alexis Price


ocks and sandals are... Surfer: Not a go. Very uncomfortable in between the

toes. Skater: Definitely wear them, they help me get my inverted tricks down. Surfer, socks and sandals is a comfortable style - you’re just doing it wrong. The proper way to wear socks and sandals is by replacing flip flops with, as I like to call them, “Jesus Sandals.” They are just Birkenstocks (I buy the knock off brand - aka White Mountain) and when you wear those with a fuzzy or nice, clean pair of socks, that feeling creates a comfy environment for your feet to party. That’s why I must award you, Surfer, with only 10 points because you must expand your shoe collection. Skater, I whole-heartedly agree. Get those inverted tricks down. Do you have a preferred sock brand or type with your sandals? If not, try stance socks. Everyone has them apparently, and if you don’t, you’re not a serious skater. Those are ridiculously expensive though, so another great option are old man socks. Like the ones your grandpa wears. Some of them go above the


shins, perfect for when your shins hit the concrete. No blood no foul. Skeeda Deet Bop Bop. I award 23 points to you. Putting pineapple on pizza is... Surfer: Yeah it’s good, it’s like an ocean type fruit. It’s really tasty and part of my heritage. Skater: No, it’s weird dude. Keep the fruit off the meat and cheese. Surfer, I sincerely appreciate the way to hold onto your heritage, but you’re wrong. Pineapples originated from South America, more specifically Paraguay and southern Brazil. The first pineapple was not planted in Hawaii until 1813, crazy right? So the question is – why did you steal the pineapple from the South American natives, Surfer? Either you’re dumb, or you’re mean. Either way, you’re a bit messed up. Your heritage is lying to you, but it’s about time you figure out if your heritage is legitimate. I’m going to give you 4 points Surfer. Skater, you know what’s up. Pizza is meant to be a savory experience - pineapples wreck that vibe with nasty sweetness. Pizza is best served with pepperoni, olives, and artichokes on top. Delicious.

Another factoid to spice up your day – Naples, Italy is the first place to have created the pizza. Cool, right? Yeah it is. The real question is what is the best pizza in town? None of those chains Anyways, skater, I am going to give you 20.5 points. What is the best type of cheese and why? Surfer: Pepper jack. It’s spicy but good on anything. Like grilled cheese, just don’t even get me started. Skater: Cheese Whip. You know that whip cream thing. That’s perfect. Surfer, I am going to have to disagree with you on this one. Pepper Jack cheese is the absolute worst – change my mind. Cheese is eaten in order to savor the flavor in a meal, not for burning your tongue off your mouth. That role is for Hot Cheetos or Takis. Grilled cheese should include a variety of cheeses – brie, gouda, and parmesan are my favorites – and initiate a comforting feeling, which pepper jack does not. Surfer, I award you 13 points. Skater, although I do not believe that cheese whip can even be considered a cheese, I think your answer is better. Whenever I go camping with my family, we eat

Can you tell the difference between surfer Kiersten and skater Kier? Photo by Alexis Price cheese whip, salami, and crackers for happy hour after a long day of hiking. Boy, does that bring back some good memories. Yeah, the whip may not be extremely pleasant to eat when you are sitting on your couch at home. However, if you are starving on a hard camping chair with 5,000 layers on, but you’re still freezing, and there is epic darkness past dem trees and bears erywhere... eating

anything with just a bit flavor taste 100 times better. Even if that edible substance is made up of sodium, acids, and enzymes. Skater I award you 54 points, which is equal to amount of sugar in one tablespoon of cheese whip. Surfer: 27 points (loser) Skater: 97.5 points (winner)



KEVIN ANDERSON hopes to reach people with his murals: “I want people to walk by and inspire them to feel something.” Photo by JadenHauptman.

Murals and more

A new mural is being created on campus by professional painter and alumnus Kevin Anderson. By Manelle Touzni.


ainter Kevin Anderson takes a break by the half-painted wall. Paint is smudged and smeared on his hands, shirt, and pants. There is even a little blue splattering on his sunhat, which shelters his graying, long, blonde hair. This is the new mural on campus, and with paintings of local trees and flowers, a mustang, the beach, and the bell tower, it’s going to be more than what we thought it was going to be. It even includes the little green alien painted on the trash can by the bell tower. “They weren’t really gonna have a mural like I’m painting, they were just gonna have the letters and maybe the horse, but we are getting a lot more than that now,” said Kevin Anderson, painter and SDA alumnus. Anderson said that other SDA alumni chose him to paint the mural: … “[w]hen they found out that I went to the school- I graduated in 75- they liked the idea that I was already a professional mural painter, and that I went here. They put all those together and thought it would be great to have a mural.” “...it’s a wonderful opportunity to celebrate history, the present, and what a remarkable gift to our alumni and to our


current students and future students,” says Leslie Saldana, SDA alumna and executive director of the foundation. She says that they have been raising money for a while, and that people can still donate on the alumni website, the foundation website, and on facebook. Anderson has been working for six hours everyday on the mural. He first planned out a smaller version on a piece of paper. Then he sketched the design on the wall, and finally, started to paint. Because of his experience painting so many murals, he is now very familiar with that process. Surprisingly though, he didn’t take up painting until college. “I learned to paint [in Palomar College]. I then went to Long Beach State, which has a really great art department… I didn’t really professionally paint until I graduated. I took a job with a professional artist…. So I worked with him, and learned about the profession of it.” Anderson’s art can be found around town. “Down in Cardiff I have done a lot of murals,” he said. “I did one at Besta Wan pizza, VGs donuts, the barber shop, the bar down there. Here in Leucadia, I have one on 101. Basically

the theme is Encinitas, and it spans from like Leucadia to La Jolla.” He has also painted several murals in Las Vegas and downtown San Diego, as well as on some houses. Additionally, he recently finished a big project in Mission Valley that took about four months. Anderson said that it “feels really good” to have his art displayed at the entrance of SDA. “I mean, as an artist, the way you stay a professional artist is having people see your work. The more people that see your work, the better it is for your profession... for me, I want people to see them because I want to do more and keep going.” He also likes the location because of all the students he can inspire. “Most of the time when I paint murals, I want people to walk by and inspire them to feel something. And the feeling that I’m trying to get across is joy, happiness, and good feelings. I love nature, so I want people to see the nature and love that too. I’m kind of telling a little story … and getting people to look at their surroundings. I want people to come away feeling good.” To see more of his work, visit www. kevinandersonpaintings.com

MARCH 2019

Profile for The Mustang Newspaper

March 2019  

March 2019