Volume 22 Issue 3
T H E M U S T A N G
NEED A HOT DATE? Upcoming events at SDA
The annual alumni soccer game will take place on the field Come and watch!
Robotics Team Paradox 2102 kicks off their 2018 season
SDA’s production of Twelfth Night opens in the Clayton E. Liggett Theater
A Smart Start seminar comes to the Learning Commons for students who want parking passes
ROLL CALL Editor-in-Chief / News Editor Olivia Olander Design Editor Simmone Stearn Opinion Editor Mallika Seshadri Features Editors Taylor Gates Nohemia Rosales Arts Editor Taylor Rudman Humor Editor Nadia Ballard
TAKE A GOOD LOOK... Highlights in the Mustang December issue
See SDA’s choices for the best of pop culture on page 19 The Mustang polled 500 students to determine the most fun, impressive, cringey and serendipitous moments of 2017. Check out our tributes to the winners - from rap music to Encinitas hotspots to Trump tweets. Did your favorites make the cut? (Hint: If you love “Stranger Things,” you’re probably in luck.)
Explore the lives of real-life Santas on page 12 Those red suits and black boots from your childhood are hiding complicated and diverse backgrounds. Read about Santa’s hardest and happiest memories, plus find out how he gets his beard so white and curly.
“[Art is] kind of like my happy place. Whenever I’m sad, I draw and whenever I’m happy, I draw.” Emma Kuhlmann, junior, has a unique, sunny perspective on art, with humor in her pieces and a penchant to depict animals. Her art is often graphic and brightly colored. Fish is one of her favorite subjects. “They’re cute and silly,” she said.
Sports Editor / Business Manager Yari Sequeria Online Editor Sophie Hughes Assistant Online Editor Sylvia Young Photo Editor Patrick Hall Staff Artist Emma Toscani Staff Writers Tom Amoroso Drew Atkins Alyssa Fisher Ashlyn Haines Jack Hauser Ava Jakubowski Amelia Kaiser Sarah LaVake Julia Lucero Lena Mau Hunter McGahan Taina Millsap Sienna Riley Kamryn Romley Jenna Weinhofer Advisor Tim Roberts The Mustang is the student newspaper of San Dieguito Academy. Advertisements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the newspaper. The Mustang is an open forum which welcomes letters. Letters can be submitted to room 42, emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to the address below.
San Dieguito Academy Room 42 800 Santa Fe Drive Encinitas, CA 92024
Freshman Ella Isachsen got her first “real camera” about two years ago, though she had been taking photos for years previously. Since then, she’s been expanding her passion for photography though SDA’s photo club. This particular photo was taken in a garden in downtown San Diego. “I thought the plants were really cool because of the swirls,” she said. She described the background as “bokeh,” meaning it’s blurred while the rest of the photo is in focus.
A red light on human trafficking SDA clubs are working to combat human trafficking in San Diego. By Mallika Seshadri
ith human trafficking becoming more frequently discussed on social media, according to SDA counselor Ann Nebolon, Academy students decided to take action. The Amnesty International club is conducting a signature drive advocating for increased police involvement, and the Christian Mission Mustang club held a benefit concert called “Breaking Chains” to raise funds for faithbased organizations that combat trafficking. Human trafficking, often refered to as modern-day slavery, is where individuals are forced into participating in commerical sexual acts, according to the State of California Department of Justice. According to a study by the Joan. B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego and Point Loma Nazarene University, roughly 3,147-8,108 individuals are trafficked each year in San Diego. The study also said that 90 percent of victims nationally are female. Nebolon said Academy students have been trafficked in past years and “It has always started with online [and social media] connections.”
Amnesty in Action
The Amnesty International club at SDA is conducting a signature drive (a petition that allows minors to sign) to increase police involvement with human trafficking cases in San Diego. According to a press release from the San Diego County Sheriff ’s Department, the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force and the National City Police Department launched an undercover operation. The operation, which involved over 75 officers, resulted in the arrest of 13 sex buyers, the release said. So far, the club has gathered around 115 signatures and is aiming for 10,000, club president Autumn Goldstein, senior, said. The research by Point Loma Nazarene University and the University of San Diego states that roughly 15 to 20 percent of those who have committed trafficking offenses in San Diego were arrested. “We believe that the police department of San Diego is not only capable of finding and investigating these situations, but obligated to do so, just as SDA students are obligated to call attention to this problem,” the signature drive reads. “The police department exists to protect people. It exists to prevent these things from happening, and to put a stop to those horrors that do occur.” The club has gone to various locations throughout Encinitas, like Moonlight Beach and Ralphs, asking the public for signatures.
They have also been going to different homerooms to garner student support, which has given them “really good results,” according to Goldstein. She added that by reaching out to such a wide range of Encinitas’ population, the club has raised much awareness on human trafficking, which adds another layer to their success. “The more people know, the fewer people are going to stand for it,” Goldstein said.
The “Breaking Chains” benefit concert following SDA’s “Battle of the Bands” was held on Oct. 7. The event was spearheaded by senior Isaac Rosenbaum, a member of the Mission Mustang club. He said his hope for “Breaking Chains” was to “raise awareness of human trafficking among my high school peers” in addition to raising money for the organizations. The event generated just under $2,000 for ToGetHer Freedom, a San Diego based organization, and Hookers for Jesus, which is based in Las Vegas, Rosenbaum said. He added that by raising awareness through the “Breaking Chains” concert, they were “fighting [human trafficking] at its roots.”
According to University of San Diego and Point Loma Nazarene University’s research, the second to largest underground economy in San Diego is human trafficking. The first is drug trafficking. The findings determined that predators come from a multitude of backgrounds, and the “average age of entry into child commercial sexual exploitation” is 16-years-old. It also said that San Diego is listed in the top 13 areas nationwide for commercial sexual exploitation of children. The City of San Diego’s website said California is in the top four states nationwide for human trafficking, mainly because it is “a populous border state with a significant immigrant population and the world’s ninth largest economy.” Junior Quinn Vondle, a member of the Amnesty International club, added that because people don’t notice it, there is a false assumption that human trafficking isn’t a problem. “It just seems wrong that that stuff can happen and go on, and people don’t really care,” he said. Rosenbaum attributes the prevalence of human trafficking in San Diego — and the issue as a whole — to objectification. “I think human trafficking, in particular, reflects a bigger issue, where we stop seeing each other as
STUDENTS PERFORMING AT the “Breaking Chains” benefit concert to raise awareness and funds for human trafficking. Photo by David Schlesinger. valued human beings and instead as objects,” he said. Kim Berry Jones, co-chair for research and data for the San Diego Regional Human Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Advisory Council, said that while trafficking itself is horrific, it can lead to other challenges for survivors after they’re freed. “They use drugs and alcohol to numb themselves to be able to live through what they are going through. So, many survivors are... dealing with trying to get sober” in addition to attempting to resume a normal lifestyle, she said. Jones added that many high school survivors struggle attaining a college education: “When they look out to the future, they don’t necessarily see a lot of hope. So, the idea of a college education can seem so out of reach to them.”
Relevance to HS Students
According to the study conducted by the University of San Diego and Point Loma Nazarene University, of the 20 San Diego high schools that participated, 90 percent “reported documented cases of sex trafficking victimization.” These 20 schools collectively counted 17 recruiters targeting their campuses, according to the study. Jones added that the participating schools varied: “We didn’t just go to what you would consider like the ‘high risk’ high schools. We went all over.” This finding “surprised everybody. When we revealed that in the study, that’s when I feel like everybody kind of sat up straight,” Jones said. “A lot of times, kids will think
that...we live in such a nice area and we go to such a nice school, and that’s true, but human trafficking is happening everywhere,” Nebolon added. Though human trafficking has a presence on high school campuses, according to Jones, there are reasons to care on a broader level. “I think we should care about the marginalized around us and the marginalized in our midst. And there’s hardly anybody more marginalized than somebody who is being trafficked,” she said. Goldstein added, “We have a responsibility as human beings to care about each other, especially when it comes to people who are right in our city, in our county.”
Schools taking action
According to Jones, the San Diego Unified School District started integrating a program called “KNOw MORE” into the required curriculum. During the program, middle, high school and college students learn about the tactics traffickers use through a theatrical presentation, which eventually welcomes student participation in acting out hypothetical, but realistic, scenarios, according to Jones. “The goal is to take students and move them from being bystanders to what we call upstanders, where they not only recognize [red flags]... but they know what to do about it,” she said. “It’s actually opening up conversations for people that are really at risk, which is really the ultimate goal of it.” They are also educating high school faculty and staff in case a student seems to be at risk, Jones
Nebolon said that as far as she is aware, SDUHSD does not plan to implement such a program. But, she she urges high school students to become more aware of human trafficking and especially their interactions with others, both on and offline. “Kids do have to become way more aware of the threats... and I think they can be a lot safer if they’re a whole lot more skeptical and maybe stay away from meeting people online,” she said.
Rosenbaum said that in order to prevent human trafficking, “men and women of this world [must be] aware that they simply have to be the generation that stops buying people for sex, and stops selling themselves for sex.” According to Jones, student leaders are needed to raise awareness on school campuses and look out for their peers. “We feel really strongly that high school students are key to continuing to stop this in our community,” she said. “We also need to talk to our student leaders because they’re the ones that can mobilize other people. They’re the ones that other people listen to and they can spread the action further.” Though Jones feels that human trafficking needs to be more seriously addressed, much progress has been made: “There’s an incredible amount of work and collaboration going on...and cities all over the country are really watching San Diego to see what we are doing because we’re really on the front edge of trying to change it.”
Love don’t move with distance Going to college doesn’t have to mean leaving your high school sweetheart behind.
he scariest part about starting we sit down and talk every day. We a relationship in high school, don’t have those empty conversations aside from commitment about what we ate, or what our plans in general and feelings (yikes), is are for the day (although honestly the time after high school: college. we do talk about those things too); You and/or your significant other we get to have those real, deep, could be moving away. Whether rooted, emotional, ‘maybe I’ll cry’ it’s 30 minutes or 3,000 miles, it’s a conversations about the things we change that can be scary, costly, and want out of life and the fears we have emotional. that are eating away at us. It’s gotten I met my current boyfriend over to the point where he understands summer and definitely did not expect my habits and moods better than (or necessarily want) to go into a anyone else. Honestly I don’t believe relationship with someone about this would’ve been the case if it to leave for college, but apparently weren’t for the weeks we spend apart. feelings don’t care what you want. Being part of a long distance PSA: feelings are the worst, and they can be the ultimate test of your trick you into relationship and doing things I’m not a big fat panda. I’m THE big if you and your you don’t want significant other fat panda. to do! can survive it, But then you can -Kamryn Romley anyway, here survive anything. I am dating It comes someone down to the two 500 miles people in the away who I relationship and only have the the trust you have chance to see in one another. maybe once a month, and honestly it Long distance can make you feel sucks. I cry a lot, but seven times out like the air is being sucked out of of 10, it’s because of his absence. you at times but it also helps you Even though being so far apart value the moments you have with is terrible, I am happy. The distance one another and forces you to talk can help put things into perspective about your feelings. Honestly, my and make you appreciate hearing past relationships have all been not your partner’s voice, or the way they the best and maybe that’s because tell you they love you even more. of the person I was or the people It can help each of you learn to be they were but without the constant more independent and understand line of communication I don’t think the value of your time together. Most I would’ve really allowed myself to importantly, it forces constant and open up to him in the way I did, in a thorough communication. way I never have before. My boyfriend, in the time that If you’re worried about this he has been gone, has gotten to know situation, then my only advice to me better than anyone else because you would be to have patience. It’s
SAN FRANCISCO TO San Diego isn’t that far for someone you love and trust. Illustration by Kamryn Romley important to have a plan for when the distance will shrink, and to talk every day or as much as possible. Another hugely important thing it to try and see each other at least once
a month if possible, even if it is just one day together. Long distance is very worth it and can build your relationship into something stronger than whatever
it might’ve been. It’s something that you definitely shouldn’t completely bash until you try it because it is doable and in some circumstances you might regret letting that person go.
School phones should accomodate Spanish speakers Parents who call into attendance should get a Spanish option. Principal Adam Camacho said he agrees.
ny time my mom, a Spanish speaker, would call attendance in order to let me out of school early, she would struggle immensely with communicating to the office. Because my parents were unable to comprehend the English instructions on the directory, I was forced to go to the nurse’s office. I would feign illness instead of simply getting an off-campus pass. I dreaded anytime I had to leave for an appointment. It was more difficult than it should have been, and I was at risk for being late to appointments. Even fluent English speakers struggle to keep up with the quick pace of the directory’s instructions and choose a number within
seconds. This lack of Spanish inclusion inhibits parents’ ability to interact with the system and feel comfortable with it. They need to be able to understand the directions and descriptions in order to do what they need to. Concerning I like cats. attendance, students Nohemia cannot excuse Rosales themselves until they are 18, forcing Spanishspeaking parents to navigate the directory. Once again, we Latinos are put at a disadvantage. It’s hard to feel included when Spanish options are not.
The Latino population is around 14.99 million in California alone in 2015, according to the LA Times, compared to the 14.92 million population of white people. Though many good accommodations have been made for Spanish speakers—such as providing translators and providing bilingual flyers for students— more needs to be done. At financial aid night, attendees were given an earpiece that translated the information from Spanish to English. It was a good
way of translating efficiently, but it was impersonal. Luckily, Principal Adam Camacho agrees, and changes may be made to create a Spanish hotline soon. It would be a great achievement to keep communication, but it is also important to make sure there isn’t another gap where our school no longer has a Spanish option. When I was at Oak Crest Middle School, they had a Spanish option and receptionist who spoke Spanish well. Ocean Knoll had similar features, centering around inclusion and Spanish programs. SDA is lagging. A few years ago, SDA had a receptionist who was bilingual, and my mom was able to communicate
closely with her. With the changes to attendance policies and reception employees, inclusion and communication with parents has fallen. At the very least, being given the option to listen to a Spanish translation should be included when parents call in. That way, when parents call in, the language barrier would be less of an issue for students from Spanish-speaking homes. The person that listens to the recordings should also be either bilingual or accompanied by someone who is and can interpret what the Spanish-speaking parents say. The only thing left to improve the system by making it more inclusive is to follow the example of many other schools and include a Spanish directory.
More mind than manners
Girls should be encouraged to speak about their opinions and issues.
hen TIME magazine made morphing our polite exchange of the “silence breakers”ideas into a rather heated debate. -women who spoke up After the “discussion” concluded, I about having been sexually harassed- withdrew and broke down. I, having -the 2017 person of the year, I was been empowered to voice by beliefs ecstatic. throughout my upbringing, felt While I am thrilled see these ashamed of myself for speaking up; brave women garner the recognition I wondered for a few minutes if I they deserve for posting #metoo on should have abided by societal norms social media and raising awareness and not risked crossing that invisible about sexual abuse, I am even line by taking my opinion too far. more enthused because women I have since shared this are finally being anecdote If you see someone with girls and publicly praised for trip over something women, and speaking up about or even nothing, it’s everyone found their experiences probably me. my experiences and opinions. Often times, relatable. This Mallika Seshadri goes to show girls and women are discouraged that despite from speaking up beliefs that girls as we are taught are growing not to stir the up in times of waters and incite controversy. female empowerment, we still find This is in part because on ourselves conforming to what society one hand, society tells us to be considers acceptable. In doing so, we strong and voice our thoughts. On propel the same patriarchal mentality the other hand, we know there’s forward. We then pretend this is this invisible line that we are not an issue of the past and neglect to supposed to cross. And, eventually, enable girls to voice their opinions in if a conversation reaches that point, ways we need to now. many are left apologetic for taking This decision by TIME their opinions too far. magazine will hopefully empower A few weeks ago, I engaged girls to speak their minds and in a political conversation with a encourage future generations to woman I disagreed with. Gradually, understand that their stories and the tension at the table escalated, opinions matter.
THE SILENCE BREAKERS as the TIME person of the year. Photo courtesy of TIME magazine.
Unusual ‘Daddy’ phase of puberty Tweens going through puberty shouldn’t be called ‘Daddy’ but it’s sadly becoming the norm.
n Hollywood, the sexualization of children is common. Last month, the second season of “Stranger Things” was released, and fans got to see their favorite child actors almost two years older than they were in the first season. When the first season of “Stranger Things” came out, actor Finn Wolfhard was 12 years old. Now, he is attending high school and is fourteen years old. He has been very successful in his career thus far and played Mike in “Stranger Things” and Richie in “It.” But with good attention and fame also comes bad attention. Model Ali Michael posted a instagram photo of Wolfhard with the caption, “Hit me up in 4 years @finnwolfhardofficial.” Michael
is twenty seven years old, making Wolfhard a whopping thirteen years younger than her. Although the photo was deleted, it’s just gross. You shouldn’t find a child attractive at all. This situation reflects the non existent example of a 17 year old telling a five year old that they wanted to date the five year old in seven years. The horror continues with Wolfhard. After many fans started calling him “daddy,” he made a public statement asking them to “please stop.” It is disappointing and disgusting that a young child should even have to make such a statement. Wolfhard isn’t the only one. Similar events have happened to Wolfhard’s costar Millie Bobby Brown after Mike Sington, Senior
Executive at NBCUniversal, posed a photo of Brown with the caption, “Millie Bobby Brown just grew up in front of our eyes. (She’s 13!)” This may not sound that bad, but it’s just the fact that the tweet came from a This is my happy face. But trust me, I’m still angry on the inside. Lena Mau grown, thirty six year old man just really drives the nail home. This sexualization of children affects fans of all ages and especially
children. Kids start feeling inferior because they aren’t receiving the same attention and being sexualized like their celebrity idols. Ever wonder why kids these days aren’t going through their “embarrassing MySpace photos with bright blue and pink eyeshadow” phase? It’s because this sexualization has forced kids to grow up much faster. . Take Skai Jackson, child star who acted on multiple Disney shows including “Jessie” and “Bunked”, for example. Don’t get me wrong, she is a beautiful gal. But her makeup skills at 12 years old were as mature as mine are right now as a 17 year old three years ago. Although this is just mostly an issue for the younger kids being sexualized, it also takes a
toll on the older viewers. Because so many people are taking part in the sexualization of the kids, it normalizes it, making the sexualization of these young kids “okay.” These are children, young teenagers if you may. They should be worrying about getting good grades in school or going to the beach or spending time with friends. But the children now have to worry about pedophiles and being sexualized just for putting on some makeup or a nice outfit. So whether or not you actually watch “Stranger Things,” dislike or like the actors, you should remember that although they may act like adults on screen, these child actors are very much kids in real life.
‘Fake news’ slanders the press An old term given new meaning by the President of the United States has managed to slander the press for their motives.
ith the latest election came a poorly written response urging a new president. Along people to sue ABC for what he claims with him came the popuis “bad reporting” it shows how not larization of the phrase “fake news,” to talk to media sources. which brought many people to When the commander and question credible news sources like chief goes out of his way to discuss the New York Times and ABC News. fake news, there will be people who These are the top news outlets, and believe what he preaches, which afthat’s because they know what they fects how normal people receive and are doing. perceive the news. According to the New York Trump wants to undermine the Times website, they have been runcurrent news that disagrees with him ning for over 162 years and have in order to monopolize the media to over 58,000 issues in the electronic his liking . database and archives. This attack on the media is A source of media does not run partly unfair because news is always for 162 years without gaining some evolving as new information comes credibility, and even some fame. in. A story in development can have They are profesdrastically difsionals, and most ferent outcomes of their reporters from the original I’m the fake news YOU need! are well educated take because at individuals who the time there Hunter McGahan want to educate could have others about the simply been not world we live in enough informacurrently. They tion. A story in rarely make development isn’t mistakes, and fake news. when they do, it’s The majoran error, not “fake news.” ity of “fake news” does not deserve However, this does not excuse the title; rather it should be labeled as reporters from mistakes. People like inaccurate information. One mistake Brian Ross from ABC News, who in an article should not cause the accidentally misreported a crucial reader to disregard everything. detail following the plea of Michael Reputable sources like the New Flynn are examples of actual fake York Times do not purposely create news. “fake news,” because creating such Making mistakes is unacceptfalse content will do more harm than able, but the president’s retaliation good. Also it goes against the very toward the media is even more inbasis journalists stand for: to tell the excusable. When he lashed out with truth to the people.
A TRUMP COLLAGE of tweets. Art created by Hunter McGahan. The news media does not want to make mistakes. But editors are people, not machines, and mistakes are destined to happen. There is a smart solution to solving fake news, and yelling at the press for being incompetent may be a solution, but it is not the best.
Nevertheless, there is a benefit in having people like our President call out “fake news” even if it is inaccurate. It keeps the press in-line, and if they make a mistake it is most definitely heard. Instead, stay educated on current topics, and use multiple sources
of media to double check your information. When you do a see mistake then should you issue a complaint. It may seem obvious at first, but falsely attacking media outlets for “fake news” is detrimental to the future of a civil society.
Start dressing to impress yourself How you too could reinvent yourself with as little as a jacket.
t all started with a crappy $30 H&M jean jacket. And like a cliché movie moment, when I saw it, my perspective on myself changed indefinitely. I shed the safety of my pullovers and I upgraded. As I started to change my wardrobe, I started to change my self-image. If I was to look into the mirror and see my past self, I’d be unrecognizable. I was insecure and unsure, unaware and unfashionable. I was taller than everyone else, and was paranoid that all eyes were on me, so I tried to blend in. I wore the same two hoodies and the same jeans till they split down the sides; I not only faded out
of everyone else’s conscious, but my own. I had become so good at being normal that I was forgetting who I was. I was whatever trend rolled through the school hallways, whatever brand were flying off the shelves. But then I changed. Young Drew was insecure, but he could strap on a pair of suede boots and rock a denim jacket like he had been born in it. By changing my own appearance, I began to fashion (no pun intended) my own self confidence. For me, fashion was my secret ingredient to evolving from the shallow version of myself I was confined into. My past self from middle school
had become an entirely separate entity. Freshman year was the classic do-over, the chance to redeem myself from the mental pit that I had Narcisism? dug in middle I got plenty! school. I didn’t leave my con-Drew Atkins fidence up to others, I dressed to impress till I impressed myself. Through fashion I could tell myself that yes, I was worth it. I realized that if I looked good, I would feel good. It was as if every time I cleaned out my closet I was cleaning the clutter out
of my head. I was separating my past from my present and was becoming the person I always wanted to be, not the person others wanted me to be. No longer do I shield myself from the invisible eyes that preyed on my past life. Instead, I tell them to look further. I have created my own sense of self, and I’m proud of it. Fashion changed my self confidence in so many ways, and I know everyone can find their own confidence too. It doesn’t have to be with
clothes. It could be with anything. Just be the person you want to be or it’ll show. Fashion has helped me redefine myself in ways I couldn’t have ever perceived, and it excites me to think there could be more to come. I cannot wait to jump from my high school persona into the fully-realized dream Drew that I desperately strive to become. I am confident, I am strong, and I am self-aware. And most of all, I’m a catch who can rock a $30 denim jacket to its grave.
Accepting everyone SDA students have a long way to go in understanding why differences are so important for our school to be a diverse place
SDA STUDENTS COMING together despite their style choices. Photo by Patrick Hall
t a school like SDA, uniqueeveryone that still shops at Forever ness is everything. Getting 21 and jams to the occasional Taylor your clothes at a thrift store Swift. has become the norm, and listening As girls, we constantly feel the to obscure bands is a must. But when need to prove ourselves to others, does that due to a world that search for still makes so we I’m sorry that you feel that way. being difshould lift each other ferent start up instead of putting to inter-Taina Millsap others down for tryfere with ing to be themselves. respecting It’s contradiceveryone’s tory to what SDA’s preferphilosophy stood for ences? in the first place: freeOn dom to be who you multiple are with no judgment occasions, I’ve come across girls or whispers behind your back. insulting others over their “basic” Let’s stop calling other girls ‘Basic Urban Outfitters sweatshirt or their bitches’ and deem them less interestpoor taste in mainstream music. ing or inferior because of their choice If the point is to be yourself at in clothing, music or anything else. this school, we should stop judging It makes no sense to judge others
based on these superficial choices that don’t actually define who they are. The moment girls start to insult each other and create unnecessary drama is the moment that we let our gender be known for things like that. Let’s break that stereotype by accepting all, those with vintage band Tees and those in casual dresses from Tilly’s. Let’s realize that we’re all more than what we choose to wear or listen to, and those choices don’t indicate how interesting or unique we are. The solution is to be friendlier to those you usually wouldn’t interact with and get to know them in a genuine manner. This will make SDA, and the world, a much more friendly, peaceful and happy place to live in.
Just try to smile a little more It’s easier to frown, but if you’re positive, everyone will appreciate it.
ll of us have met at least one tive side of a situation, because there person who can find the always is one. positive side of any situation. Never mind that there’s always a They’re always happy, smiling, and positive side too. It’s just harder to just having a great time. And we find sometimes, and not to mention either love that they’re like this, or we usually harder to focus on. It also hate it, because they’re always just so doesn’t help that so many societal damn…happy. pressures make people feel negative, But that’s to draw them down because it’s into the deeper and easier for us darker moods. Whatever floats to be negative Social media sites your boat... because we such as Tumblr and don’t have to Instagram feature Sophie Hughes try. We have to emotion-evoking try to be posiposts and encourtive; we have age people to relate to try to be to them, or even say happy. Somethey relate to them, times we have to force a smile on our just for the sake of popularity or face. I mean, when’s the last time you agreeing with the popular opinion. forced yourself to frown? Because, maybe you’ve noticed or Humans have become lazy by experienced, most people get quite nature. Internet, smartphones, even hostile and negative when someone self-driving cars; we just keep comdisagrees with their opinion. I’ve ing up with ways to make our lives been a victim of it, and I’ve done it even easier. So it just makes sense myself. that we choose to focus on the nega-
It takes more muscles to smile than frown. Give your face a workout! Illustration by Taylor Gates
Say hello to the hallyu Ride the wave of Korean entertainment; it is fun time.
NOTHING BETTER THAN jamming to kpop music. Illustration by Drew Atkins.
sy’s “Gangnam Style” attracted a wide audience in the United States after hitting number two on the Billboard Charts in 2012. Besides leaving us with a new dance move, the song created a popularization in Korean entertainment. The growing popularity of Korean entertainment has been called “hallyu.” Meaning wave, it refers to the way Korea’s media is spreading around the world. I am an avid-Korea fan. My bias is Suga. I love to watch K-dramas (or KoJenna Weinhofer rean dramas) and visit conventions, but most of all, I enjoy their music. I always find myself singing the chorus or humming the tune to my favorite song. But when my interest in Korean entertainment is brought up in conversation, people ask, “Why do you like it when you do not understand Korean?” By looking past the language barrier, I started to love the Korean culture and what it has to offer. In comparison to American media, Korea invests a lot of time and money into its entertainment industry, allowing them to create songs and music videos that grab people’s attention on a worldwide scale. Solo artists and groups in Korea’s music scene are highly-selected
individuals. Unlike American entertainers, each artist has to be able to sing, dance, and act. Their exaggerated emotions and their breathtaking choreography make the music videos stunning. American artists, however, put a lot less time into their songs, music videos, and performances. This makes it harder for fans to feel connected with the artist on and off the stage. By enjoying Korean entertainment, I have learned that Korean morals revolve around peace and harmony; emotion is woven into every aspect of life and creates content that is genuine. Americans use their fame not for the glorification of their beliefs but to manufacture a false identity. Artists find themselves kneedeep in problems because they praise themselves as higher individuals. Their selfishness I feel, as a result, is off putting. American artists are not good role models for myself and others. Korean entertainment has allowed me to learn about the diversification of a culture other than my own. Korea, however, strongly delivers this for myself and fans a like to enjoy them from across the world.
Goodbye childhood Has Disney Channel become a mess, or have we just gotten older? Or is it both? I need answers please.
ost of our childhoods have The episode ends with Raven been defined by what we and the model confronting the watched on TV. We spent event organizer in front of the entire our time enjoying comical shows crowd, saying that beauty comes in while learning valuable lessons on all different shapes and sizes. character that would help shape our Valuable life lesson, right? That understanding of the world. is the kind of meaningful content Take the that made Dispopular Disney ney Channel so Channel series much better to I can fit my hand “That’s So Raven” grow up with. inside of a Pringle for example. In But, the can. one episode, teen same cannot psychic Raven be said about Sienna Riley Baxter is becomtoday’s Disney ing a fashion deChannel. I signer and enters unfortunately one of her dresses stumbled upon in a contest. Though she won, it while flicking through channels she was not allowed to model her on the TV, and out of curiosity, I creation; the event organizer decided decided to see what was new. on the model with the conventionally The tasteful bits of humor skinnier body. mixed with moral life lessons have
been completely abandoned for boisterous over exaggeration and shallow plot lines. It seems that BEING AS LOUD AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN DICTATES HOW FUNNY YOU ARE EVEN IF WHAT YOU’RE
SAYING ISN’T EVEN REMOTELY LAUGHTER-INDUCING.
SCREAMING DOES NOT EQUAL FUNNY DISNEY; IT JUST MEANS BLEEDING EARDRUMS AND PARENTS WITH MIGRAINES. Moreover, actors like Jake Paul (yes, that sleazy filth) was the face of aforementioned in the new Disney show “Bizaardvark.” The fact that such an irresponsible scumbag was allowed to set an example on kids’ television -and still remains to be an example on social media - is worrisome. Future generations having someone like Paul as an “influential figure” sets the stage for
WHAT DISNEY CHANNEL looks like in my eyes today. Illustration by Taylor Gates. future generations of kids to be just as irresponsible and disrespectful. It’s almost like the evolution of Disney Channel is a reflection of what it’s like to grow older. The older we get, the crappier everything is. So, I guess this change is appropriate. It does make me worry about
today’s kids, however. What are they going to learn from a dog that blogs and can conveniently talk? Well, maybe I’m just suffering from the chronic illness of becoming older and I don’t know what entertainment is for kids anymore. Yeah, maybe that.
THE LIFE OF
Piercing blue eyes. Rosy cheeks. White beard. You know the type. Those eyes, when twinkling down, can warm a child’s heart. Those cheeks are rosy because all the laughter has made them so. The white beard has grown over countless years of bringing joy. Santa Claus is a symbol of hope and happiness for many. He is far more than just a man. Santa Claus is made up of many men. There is a real man behind every beard, and a real story behind each set of sparkling blue eyes. Few wonder about the life of Santa. Not the one in the North Pole, but the thousands that are devoted to keeping a child’s spirit alive. Here are two Santas and their stories. By Taylor Rudman and Simmone Stearn
andy Geiser, 68, shuffled into Betty’s Pie Whole dressed head-to-toe in a velvety red suit for his interview about being a Santa. His snow white hair fell past his shoulders, as did his beard. The cashier gave him a curious glance. After 15 years working as a Santa, it does not faze him in the slightest. We greeted him eagerly and found a quiet place to begin our interview. He sat down, pulling nervously at his white gloves. After introducing ourselves, the story began. What inspired you to work as a Santa? I had a friend who did a Mrs. Claus, and she needed someone to help her out. I kind of enjoyed it, but I didn’t I would be doing it too long. One of my first jobs, they sent me to an Indian casino. A little girl was in line and when she came up she was just very happy to see Santa. She looked pretty sad. I found out these were her foster parents. She said, “I don’t think they love me very much.” I said, “Well, Santa loves you.” When I saw how happy you could make the kids, that really got me interested in it. Then, the whole concept behind it. I was kind of anti-Santa before because of the commercialism, but when I saw how happy you could make people… I started doing more and more benefits. I don’t just do children either. I go into retirement communities, places with early alzheimers. They have a hard time remembering certain things, but you can just see their eyes light up when they see Santa. They remember Santa. They just go back to their childhood. It’s the joy of giving back. Of doing something with my life.
Have you ever been accused of being fake? Oh sure, of course. There are some that are on the borderline. The good news is that their parents tell me that they’ve been hearing at school that they aren’t real. And then I come in, they see me, and I’ve heard that I’ve made some of the kids believers again. They always like to make me take off my hat, and they see the hair, and then they say, “You’ve gotta be the real one, your hair doesn’t come off!” It’s fun. Is it a competitive market? There are some fraternal organizations, like clubs for Santa’s. There’s FORBS- it’s been around for a long time - that’s the Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas. And then there’s the International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas. I know the second one, I think there’s about 1500 of us. I think FORBS is even bigger. That’s just guys who are members of these. There are thousands of Santas. There still aren’t enough to go around. It’s a calling. What is being Santa all about? I think it’s all about, to me, Santa is looking for the good in people, the good in children. The message is, if you’re good, you’ll get a present. And then for me personally, it’s much higher than that. If we live good lives as adults, you realize there is a reward for being good. Has being a Santa changed your outlook on life? Yeah. As I’m getting older. I wasn’t the best person in the world in my younger days. Kinda wild. A wild and crazy party guy. But I think Santa has made me a better person.... When, you’re in costume, you’re
Santa, not you. You have a responsibility to the suit. I think by doing that for the few weeks I’m Santa has carried over in my life. I’m more tolerant than I used to be, especially with kids, and with other people. I think Santa has made me a better person.
GREGORY COOK HAS been working as a Santa for several years and loves what he does. Photo courtesy of Gregory Cook
Funny experiences? A woman came up to me one time and started touching me. I was working at a studio, a photography studio and I was standing outside trying to cool down because, you know, it was hot in there and she thought I was a stuffed Santa. One little boy, around five years old, wanted plane tickets to Wyoming because that was the place for finding dinosaur fossils. What is the most difficult part of being a Santa? Dealing with the terminally ill; the very sick children. I’ve also have had several occasions where, just last year, their father was killed in a car accident, but the mom still brought them to Santa. But when they’ve lost a brother or a parent or a loved one and they’re that young, they think I can do something to bring them back, but that’s not in my power.
FEATURES LEFT, RANDY GEISER holds one of many children that he has made smile. Not only does he visit children, but retirement homes as well. RIGHT, SANTA RANDY has met lots of animals on the job, as some parents like to hire petting zoos along with a Santa. Once, he even got to pet a reindeer! Photos courtesy of Randy Geiser.
hen the page loaded, his name appeared. Santa Greg. His jolly demeanor was evident even through an email. The 56-year-old Gregory Cook’s words seemed to dance off the page as he shared his story: he started his work in 2014 at the Jamul parade and took three or four years to grow his beard prior to that. He loves what he does and is extremely dedicated to it. How did you get into this profession? What inspired you to become a Santa? Well, I was unemployed and had a cousin that told me I should try it. He had a friend that was doing very well as Santa in Arizona and I look a lot more like Santa than he did. Then a few days later at the farmers market I was told the same thing by a stranger. So I researched it and found a great group of Santas- FORBS- The Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas. I received lots of advice and took some online classes. Why do you do it? It is one of the greatest things you can do. The looks on kids faces, the hugs from tiny folks that just adore you. Also, you get invited to many parties and you get money to be there. It’s the funnest job ever. Is it gratifying? What do you enjoy most? I’ve always had a special place in my heart for Christmas. I was born six days before it. So I feel Christmas is a big part of who I am. We would go get the tree on my birthday or soon after or before. Back when a live tree was the only option- and the smell of a tree, and the music, and the Joy and everyone loves Santa no matter how old. It is the best job ever.
What types of preparation goes into being a Santa every day? Well, on days that I have an event I start getting ready four or five hours before, trying to get my beard curled just right. But that’s hit and miss, so I leave enough time in there to give it a second try. I curl my mustache with something they use to make hair spikes. Then I go over my plan depending on if it’s a home visit or a big party or just working a line. That’s what they call it, where the object is to keep smiling and hope the photographer gets the child to smile too. And you just have a moment to chat and then get a picture. Home visits sometimes require more prep work I like to make it personal for the family find out what the kids have been up to what they need to work on and of course the wonderful times when they were especially kind. Then I open my book of lists and read it back to them.” What sets you apart from other Santas? Every Santa brings a little of himself into the role. They each have their own style. I consider myself to be a very happy Santa; I laugh a lot. Some Santas don’t smile enough, but I do. I don’t do magic, but some do. I was once asked if I did magic tricks I said no and the lady said oh good. ho ho ho. Some play the ukulele. I love chatting with children I never had any of my own so I find their stories and questions fascinating. I think what I have going for me is I look so much like what most people think Santa should look like so I can make great photos. I’m trying to improve my storytelling and am learning more songs each year.
Has being a Santa changed your outlook on life? I mentioned this to someone my first year of being Santa. This, to me, feels like the end of a very good book where Santa lives happily ever after. That almost makes me tear up to think about. What are the most difficult/atypical aspects of being a Santa? I am terrible with names. You tell me your name and three seconds later, I’ve forgotten it. Sometimes I ask the same questions to kids in a line then I forget if I asked them yet. Every new Santa movie gives you new rules like the movie ‘Santa Clause’ with Tim Allen? That one started the every child expects you to know his name. Do you ever feel bad not being able to fulfill their wishes? I always say I’ll do my best but can’t make any promises. They may be out of stock. Also I can’t bring back the dead. I’m only Santa not God. But I try to comfort them. Tell them that they still have that person in their heart and he or she lives on through them now and someday you’ll all be together again. How to look like Santa? For me, a lot of hair bleaching. Everyone that puts on that red suit looks a lot like Santa. My hair isn’t really white yet, but it was getting there. The more wrinkles I get, the better, but not too many yet. How are you employed as a Santa? Start with some classes, then friends’ kids, then join a group of Santas and they will help you. There are not enough Santas and everyone wants you on the two weekends
before Christmas, so once you’re booked up you start referring them to new Santas who still need to fill those days. Describe your average day as a Santa from beginning to end. What steps do you take to get into character? Wake up, turn on the hair curler, get a shower, get something good to eat as eating after you’re ready can get your clothes dirty and mess up your beard. So last chance to really eat something besides a chewy granola bar is now. Then I put hair curlers in my beard and watch Netflix or Hulu or Showtime on the computer while I blow dry my beard. An hour or two later, take out the curlers and see if it worked. If it looks great, I’m done. If it falls apart but looks okay I’m good. If not, I do it again only now I’m pressed for time. I go over the route on Google Earth or Google Maps and see exactly where I’ll park and figure out when I have to leave my house to get there with 15 to 30 minutes to spare. Just in case I hit bad traffic or forget my hat or something stupid and have to go back and get it. I put on my suit at about an hour to go put some red lipstick on my cheeks and nose and rub it in till it looks like I’m naturally red faced. Then I’m off to the party or event. I come in loud and happy, yelling ‘Merry Christmas,’ jingling my large brass bells. As I walk in sometimes I start with a story like ‘The Night Before Christmas.’ Using a big picture book where I keep pointing at me on every other page saying Ho ho ho that’s me. I am starting something new this year where I talk about life at the North Pole and how a few of the
reindeer got their names. Then pictures, then pictures, then pictures, then pictures till we’re all pictured out and everyone’s happy then it’s off to the next one or back home and I stop on the way home and get takeout food to eat after I get out of the Santa suit. Then I’m usually exhausted but it’s a good kind of exhaustion and I go to sleep thinking about all the fun I had and all the fun I’ll have the next day at another party. What’s the sweetest thing a kid ever said? I would like you to get some toys for my brother. Who’s too young to talk yet. Funny experiences on the job? When a child won’t sit with Santa or won’t even go near me so we have to trick him or her and let them sit in the chair and I sneak around back and photo bomb them. One time you could see my butt sticking out one side and my face on the other was pretty silly. Do you think the real/fake beard makes a difference? Santa is in your heart and whether it’s a fake beard or real you make it what it is and if it works and children love it you’re doing it right. Do you have a year round job? I also work at a middle school where I watch the kids eat lunch and clean up after them. They call me Santa but treat me like the janitor for the most part.
new clubs at
Take a look at some of the new clubs at SDA. By Nohemia Rosales
THE CLUBS DOING their respective activities. Oli Kaminski, senior, is blowing bubbles during the club fair, senior Alex Schenkhuizen is demonstrating a magic trick to his club members, and Kale to Action is demonstrating some healthy muffins that club founder Taylor Lessley made to promote healthy foods. Photo Courtesy of Jaden Hauptman
DA holds a variety of different clubs, each contributing to the immense culture it has. Whether it is the Key club, or National Honors Art Society, each holds an importance to the school and atmosphere as a whole. There are many clubs at SDA and the number keeps growing. It is hard to stay informed of clubs as they resurge, so here are three new clubs that have been created at SDA. Bubble Club Bubble club began on meets up once every month on Friday. The meetings consists of president Oli Kaminski presenting a PowerPoint and organizing potential weekend meetups where they blow bubbles and have fun at the beach. Mustang reporter Nohemia Rosales met up with Kaminski in order to get a better grasp of what the club was. Inspiration: “The club started as this fleeting idea while I was at moonlight beach during the summer. If you go there on certain days such as weekends and whatnot, you’ll meet this guy on the beach who has this gigantic bubble wand. He essentially just plays with kids and makes these massive bubbles that float across the beach and are just
so stunning. I was there with all of the founding members of the bubble club including Emma Toscani, Ale Adame, Sarah Willis, and Daniela Burrows I believe and we were all kind of just inspired by this and we wanted to bring this childish enjoyment and bubbles to SDA. It’s something super simple and super easy to do” Purpose: “We kind of want to provide like this safe fun space that is stressfree, and that’s why we only host it once a month on Fridays because going into the weekend, we all want to have fun, and loosen up” Activities: “We’re taking suggestions from people in our community. Outside of school, we are thinking of going to the beach and just having a little bubble time where you can bring your dog or cat and friends and we can all picnic and blow bubbles and take a stress-free time away from college apps and sports or whatever is troubling people. We could always go to elementary schools and blow bubbles for children. We were also thinking of blowing bubbles at school events. Maybe exhibition day and assemblies.” How the club represents SDA:
“The club represents SDA through the aspects that it provides a stress-free space and that it’s kind of quirky and random. I guess SDA is kind of a place for misfits and people who are looking for a place to fit in and since we have such an inclusive space here, and I guess that’s what we bring to the club, an inclusive space full of fun, happy, quirky people.” Social Media Information: The club has an instagram under the name @sdabubbleclub in which people can send them pictures of their bubbles. Club information and notifications of meetings are done through remind Magic Club: Magic club started early in the year. The group meets up in room 99 where they share and perform different magic tricks. Club founder Alex Schenkhuizen answered a few questions on what the club is about. Inspiration: “What gave me the inspiration [to start the club] was seeking growth in myself as a confident speaker and friendly person and wanting to share that with other people...I got to work starting on the club on the first day of school. It became official like two weeks in.” Purpose:
“It’s about learning to hone the practical skills you use when performing magic (i.e. how can we use magic not only to entertain ourselves but give ourselves good experiences preparing for life.” Activities: “We meet Thursdays at lunch.” How the Club Represents SDA: “[The club] represents SDA because magic is all about creativity, imagination, presentation, and meeting new.” Social Media Information: The magic club has an instagram account under the username @magicclubsda Kale to Action: Kale to action is a club in which club founder, Taylor Lessley, makes different healthy foods and puts together a talk and discussions on topics related to food and health. The club members often ask questions and bring up discussion on their opinions on the subjects presented. Inspiration: “My Gold Award [The Highest award for girl scouts) [inspired the club]. Also I really enjoy healthy eating and I think other people should be healthier. It is every other Monday in Mrs.Park’s room, room 94.”
Purpose: “The purpose of my club is to promote healthy eating and to have open discussions about major topics pertaining to the food industry and personal and dietary choices.” Activities: “I make food, I bring it in, we evaluate how it tastes and I bring up topics of discussion about healthy food and the food industry. The last meeting we had, I talked about GMO’s and what those are and then we had an open discussion. We asked questions and talked about it. That’s basically what we do. You get free food. I am trying to bring it to Solana beach and the Girl’s and Boy’s club.” How club represents SDA: “I’m trying to make a positive difference at SDA and show people that there are healthy ways to eat foods and that there are healthy foods that taste good. Even though I have a small club, it’s a change that starts small.” Social Media information: Kale to action does not have any social media accounts as of now; however, Lessley has plans for an upcoming blog.
The fun, the weird and the wacky, such as Henry Arthor’s jump into the Polar Plunge. By Ava Jakubowski Picture By Henry Arthor
here are many different traditions that families and friends adopt into their holiday routine during the holiday season. From outgoing to obscure, the outcome of these holiday traditions make for an interesting experience for everyone involved. Thanksgiving: Freshman Henry Arthor said, “Every Thanksgiving we do a program that brings military members (marines) into our home for Thanksgiving who can’t go home for the holiday.” Arthor has been doing this for three years with his family. Arthor said he likes doing this because “you get to meet interesting people and they have a lot of stories about their lives so far.”
The program is done through the school of infantry and Camp Pendleton. You can sign up through the YMCA. Arthor said, “The satisfaction of bringing people into your house and how grateful they are to be there is really rewarding.” Christmas Eve: While there is something to be said for having a fun and extravagant holiday tradition, some people prefer a smaller and and more subtle transition for the holidays. Junior Melia Ennis takes part in a Disney tradition during the holiday. She watches “Tangled” every Christmas Eve with her older sister. Ennis said, “Six years ago Disney channel was playing “Tangled” on TV and it was on Netflix so we kept doing it and
made it a tradition.” Ennis likes doing this because she gets to spend time with her sister who she doesn’t see often. “We know all the lines to the movie so we just make fun of each other,” Ennis said. Arthor also participates in an activity on New Year’s Eve for a charity organization that funds firefighters and lifeguards. Arthor said, “we do the polar bear plunge for a charity organization where you jump into the ocean at like 7 in the morning when it’s really cold outside.” After the jump into the ocean, Arthor receives a donut for his hard work. Hanukkah & Christmas: Other people celebrate the holidays of two separate religions which makes for an entertaining
holiday season. Senior Sarah Wiles’ family celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas. “Some kids get candy in their stockings, we get oranges,” Wiles said. “My dad always did it and my mom just like jumped on it. And since we’re jewish we put oranges on our seder plate.” Wiles has been doing this tradition for as long as she can remember. New Years: “For New Years, my mom gives each of our family members a bowl of 12 grapes. The 12 grapes symbolize each one of the 12 months. The first 12 seconds of the new year we eat every grape while also saying a wish in your head at the same time to signify a wish for each month,” sophomore Alison Galvan said. Gal-
van has been doing this since she was a child with her family. “It makes you think and appreciate what you have and what you are looking forward to, and instead of committing to something for the New Year you are hoping for something,” Galvan said. Every culture and person has their own unique ways of celebrating and enjoying the holidays. And regardless of the ways in which you celebrate, the holiday times can be stressful and magical for everyone. They also have a way of bringing people closer together no matter how obscure or wacky they are. So embrace your funky traditions and live them up to their full wondrous potential.
Walkway of light up trees at the Global Winter Wonderland in San Diego.
it’s christmas time
illions- maybe even billions- of twinkling lights string together to form displays of arches and buildings, and illuminate the night as they tower into the sky. So many light bulbs that you begin to wonder what the electric bill looks like at the end of the day. Good thing they're LED. The holidays can be about many things. Whether you worship Santa, dreidels, or anything in between, the holidays are about having fun and having cute pictures to prove that you did. Global Winter Wonderland is a multicultural holiday themed lantern festival produced by the International Culture Exchange Group.
They travel all over the United States and this holiday season they set up shop in the SDCCU Stadium (former Qualcomm stadium) for the first time in San Diego and, boy, did they string up lights from Egypt to China. One of the best part of the holiday season is cruising through neighborhoods and looking at houses all decked out in lights. The Global Winter Wonderland takes Christmas lights to a whole new level. I lost my sense of direction in a dinosaur-themed maze and admired Japanese temples with geisha recreated out of lights. Exhibits ranged from Santa chilling with sugar plum fairies to the leaning tower of Pisa. Everything
was a great photo opportunity, I visited all 17 acres with my sister at night and the lighting was great! My only complaint is that my phone ran out of storage. And even if those Instagram likes aren't the biggest incentive to spend $22 on admission, the performances, rides, and food are well worth that hard earned cash. The festival features The Circus of Light with various circus acts such as flying acrobats, jugglers, fire dancers and contortionists. These performances incorporate multiple cultures showcasing their talents. Men in tight suits used one another to propel each other into the sky, a guy hopped, skipped, and jumped over fire. At one point he even swallowed it-
What a bright time, it’s the right time, to go see some Christmas lights. By Nadia Ballard. my Snapchat was lit! Even a magician showed the audience that science is fake and the laws of physics don’t apply. Rides range from carousels to bumper cars. There’s a Ferris wheel that can lift you into the sky and give you an aerial view of the festival or a ride that spins you so fast you fear for that third churro you probably shouldn’t have eaten. After nearly losing my lunch thoug, I was able to gorge myself on everything from funnel cake to Asian curry. Even the food was a global wonder.The best part of the holiday season is the Christmas aesthetic and Global Winter Wonderland is a fantastic blend of different Christmas-themed cultures from all
over the world. Maybe this year if your family isn't ready to drop $100 dollars on going to Disneyland for the holidays, you can spend a quality night getting sick on carnival rides, watching circus performances, and taking pictures with Santa. I doubt I’ll ever have enough money to travel the world, but at the very least I got to spend a night with my sister taking pictures with holiday themed landmarks and getting sick on cotton candy. A single evening wasn't enough, though. There was more to explore but we got so caught up with hiding from each other in the dinosaur maze that there just wasn't enough time. Good thing those lights aren't getting packed up until Jan. 7.
“NEVER DON’T EVER NOT STOP HORSING AROUND” - GANDHI
MARIAH CAREY’S RISE TO HOLIDAY QUEEN “All I Want for Christmas is You” and its voice cracking legacy. Illustration by Drew Atkins.
BIGGEST APPLE CONSPIRACIES OF 2017 The most prominent Apple conspiracy theories that left everyone SHOOK in 2017. By Lena Mau & Sienna Riley
f any noteworthy category deserves a “best-of” feature, it is of course “conspiracy theories of 2017”. The best one this year is the massive Apple corporation. A few conspiracies have arisen from secret inside sources about Apple, and we are here to expose them. First, iPhones get slower each time the new iPhone comes out. Secondly, facial recognition. Lastly, Apple is saving your nudes. 3, 2, 1… EXPOSED. Okay, the first part isn’t even a theory, it’s straight up FACT. Our very own Bobby T. #CONFIRMED that theory with planned obsoles-
cence, which is when companies produce a product and design them to last for a set amount of time. This is to ensure that consumers will continue to purchase their products. Companies have always had the CAPABILITY to make things that last indefinitely but they DON’T because of CAPITALISM. Second, please tell me why my (ok hypothetically) significant other, who doesn’t trust me (hypothetically, because I am v trustworthy) can through my phone by holding my cellular device up to my face while I am sleeping. The phone unlocks, all the receipts are exposed, now he knows,
and I am still sleeping, blissfully unaware of the utter betrayal. So whether or not you actually do have a significant other who may or may not be a complete SNOOP,
this is still a very weird feature of the new iPhone. Finally, APPLE IS FLIPPIN
PERVERT AND LET ME TELL YOU WHY. I tried this little fun experiment; search up the word “Brassiere” in your albums if you have an iPhone. (So far, this experiment only works for members of the female population. We have yet to receive positive results from specimen of the male population. SO, this was confirmed by Apple and it’s actually kind of the creepiest thing I’ve ever. wThe Apple Gods filter every picture or video that you have ever saved or taken. Try searching up anything under “albums” and then
the magnifying glass. Hats, snakes, sky. Anything. I did this, and came across the album labeled “Lizards” after I typed the letter “L”. It was two pictures, both photos of MY FACE. THE APPLE GODS CALLED ME A LIZARD (NOT CLICKBAIT!!!). Apple out here try’n’a be grade ‘A’ CREEPIZOIDS. Yikes... or maybe they are just trying to be helpful??? No definitely not. So whether or not Apple is actually the worst, these conspiracies are pretty heckin’ whack. Be safe this holiday season folks. Lena & Sienna, expert conspiracy theorists, out.
“NEVER DON’T EVER NOT STOP HORSING AROUND” - GANDHI
ASK A SENIOR! Senior Emma Toscani imparts her wisdom Who should I spend more time with over the holidays? A dog. It may be yours, or it may be a stray that has rabies. Just enjoy the company of a furry friend. It will fill the holes in your soul left by your absentee family members and fake friends.
Is Santa Claus real? Sweetie, of course he is. Do you ever feel like someone is watching you when you’re alone? That’s his eyes on the back of your neck. It’s his breath that raises goosebumps and sends a chill down your spine. He is everywhere and nowhere. You better watch out.
How full will you be after dinner on December 25? On a scale of 1 to 10 I will be a 0. I feel empty inside when I realize that I will never find love in this cold, wintry, hostile world.
What do you want for Christmas? I want a college tuition. Not too much to ask for right? A future should be available for everyone and I have no money so pay up Santa Claus.
♫ Seven different speeds ♫
Pisces If something sounds fake then that means it probably is. Follow your heart – unless that’s fake too?
♫ Ten unfair charges ♫ ♫ Nine sneaky tactics ♫ ♫ Eight blocked websites ♫ ♫ Six more fees to pay ♫ ♫ Five petitions to sign ♫ ♫ Four greedy corporations ♫ ♫ Three Republican voters ♫ ♫ Two fewer freedoms ♫ ♫ And a pay-to-play internet system ♫
jumbled mess of bass and mush.
Trust the stars to make decisions for you. By Nadia Ballard
Capricorn Don’t forget about self-care. Make sure to drink a lot of water and get enough sunlight because you’re basically a houseplant and that’s all you really need.
♫ Twelve corrupt bureaucrats ♫ ♫ Eleven different internet packages ♫
Aquarius Be careful of seemingly innocuous actions that will end up destroying you. Someone asks you what your favorite color is? So they can figure out your likes and dislikes? So they can know what makes you tick? So they can discover your weaknesses? Beware.
On the twelfth day without net-neutrality the FCC gave to me:
What should I get my Secret Santa? How much money do you have? None? Well I suggest an old bra. It symbolizes the support that you show towards your fellow being.
Do you watch the ball drop at 9 pm or midnight? I watch neither. I’m too busy getting wasted on snacks and Martinelli’s. By midnight I’m passed out on the couch with my dogs and a distended stomach.
Sagittarius This New Year’s Eve, be a classic memester and tell everyone you’ll see them in a year. Little do they know that you have your bags packed and at midnight you’ll leave society to live in an isolated cave for 365 days.
Twelve Days of No Net Neutrality
Aries This month you might be getting some honey nut feelios, but try to bottle them all up in one big cereal box and wait until later to crack open that cardboard and pour yourself a big bowl. Taurus Your favorite social media is Snapple; it’s a combination of Snapchat and a delicious pressed fruit drink. Gemini This month treat yourself to some headphones. Splurge on those new ones that beam the music right into your brain and leave your mind a
Cancer Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is the most famous reindeer of all? What about Oprah the 4.0 GPA Reindeer, huh? She graduated from Princeton School of Medicine and discovered the cure for the candy cane plague but, yeah, that light up deer is the most famous. This month remember that this cruel world is unfair and that history is biased. Leo One day your body is going to be decomposed by fungi, so whenever you’re eating mushrooms, make sure to chew gently so that they’ll return the favor to your corpse.
Virgo Break out some crayons. Squeeze out some glue. Go crazy. Libra This month you may be excited to decorate a Christmas tree and leave milk and cookies for Santa, but don’t give Santa all the attention. This year remember Santa’s lesser known brother Sadta. He’s sad because no one remembers him but this year leave some saltine crackers and crisp spring water out for him. He’ll appreciate it. Scorpio You have so much potential; too bad all of it is buried under mounds of self-deprecating humor and Cheetos.
hings feel wildly important when they happen. Each can have an overwhelming sense of permanence. Every alteration, big or small, makes its own dent on a timeline, it impresses itself upon someone’s life. The events of 2017 were no exception. Every breaking news headline to pop up on someone’s phone (the transgender military ban, Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuse allegations, Puerto Rico, the shootings, the Muslim ban). Every new song to blast its way through someone’s mediocre speakers (“Bodak Yellow,” “Despacito,” “Believer”). Every laugh shared, every smile exchanged (fidget spinner mishaps, quality memes like the stock photo couple). Each moment can feel important. Now, as 2017 washes away, these feelings are being replaced. Things that felt important just don’t anymore.They blur together. Some fade away entirely. “Look what you made me do,” will just be a song, “It” will just be another movie, Jobama just another dead meme, DACA repeal just another questionable/loathsome policy. As the unknown of 2018 quickly approaches, we should not spend our time sitting in anticipation. Now, as this year comes to a close, it is not the time to mourn or to fear or to dread. Let it be a time to reminisce, to remember the things that felt important not too long ago. Maybe these things aren’t quite as important as they once felt. Nevertheless, these are the things that shape us, whether they are silly or stupid or painful or frightening.
Before forgetting, take a chance to remember. With this sentiment at heart, The Mustang went out to homerooms, over 500 surveys in hand, to see what music, movies, memes and more SDA students truly felt were important this year. Some were so passionate their vehement scribbles could not be contained to a few mere checkboxes. Some felt the need to add their own comments to the side, knowing well that they would not be published but perhaps simply heard. Next to “Sky is a Neighborhood,” one student wrote YES!!! with three exclamation points. Another was skeptical about “The Simpsons” being nominated for the “Needs to Die” category, suggesting that it deserves to live forever. One particularly vocal student felt the need to comment on nearly every category, and after checking “The Boss Baby” as the best animated movie, they wrote, “I haven’t seen any of these, I’m not 12.” Other students returned surveys entirely blank, or only with a dismal few boxes filled in. Not everything feels important to everyone. Nevertheless, decisions were made and votes were tallied. Lives were lived and they will be remembered. Enjoy the results.
2017 THE MUSTANG
Story by Taylor Rudman Collage by Katie Eliceiri, Patrick Hall, Taylor Rudman, and Simmone Stearn
BEST OF MOVIES
THE EMOJI MOVIE
ne of the biggest cash grabs of the year, this movie wasn’t a disappointment – It couldn’t be; there was never any hope for it to begin with. When the production of an “Emoji Movie” was first announced no one wanted it and most thought it was just a meme. If you liked “The Emoji Movie” you could say that maybe the world wasn’t ready for it. That maybe society wasn’t ready for something like this and because of our ignorance and naivety the cinematic masterpiece that is “The Emoji Movie” has been wrongfully mocked and scorned by nearly everyone. And you would be right; the world was not ready for “The Emoji Movie” and the world never will be, because it’s just a disgusting hour and half long commercial that highlights everything wrong with Hollywood and their blatant atThe Emoji Movie 64% tempts to create movies that will bring in money and nothing else. “The Emoji Movie” has no purpose to it whatsoever. Most movies can Diary of a Wimpy Kid: be considered art. Movies (especially animated ones) can move people and The Long Haul 21% become so iconic that they define a generation; they can be iconic in their own The Mummy 06% right and inspire the future. The only thing that “The Emoji Movie” inspires, though, is disappointment to the greatest degree. It makes you lose all hope for Ghost in the Shell 06% humanity and count the days until dolphins take over society and hopefully Snatched 03% learn from our grievous mistakes. The plot of this movie doesn’t even matter, because it is such an offensive example of how out of touch Hollywood is with garbage animated movies that have shallow themes, lazy writing, and are overall just a product to sell and nothing more. The eight percent on Rotten Tomatoes is a good representation of how people feel about “The Emoji Movie,” but it still made over 200 million dollars worldwide so what’s the point? Hopefully the dolphins do better than us.
“The Emoji Movie” received eight percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures
STORY BY NADIA BALLARD
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2
rom the classic rock and disco tunes to the special effects in gross CGI detail to the snappy comebacks, “Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2” was not one to be dismissed. A summer blockbuster, the film is the long awaited sequel to “Guardians of the Galaxy” from 2014. “Guardians Vol. 2” has the same star-studded cast, but with a few additions. Kurt Russell is the most significant addition, playing Ego, a 33% Guardians of the Galgod that claims to be Peter’s (Chris Pratt) father. The movie largely takes place on the planet that Ego had created, a beautiful utopia with gigantic axy Vol. 2 27% Thor: Ragnarok bubbles everywhere. This movie continued to explore the relationships set up in the pre- 27% Spider-Man vious film, most notably the connection between Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and her sister Nebula (Karen Gillan) as well as between Peter and Yondu 07% Fate of the Furious (Michael Rooker). It was a satisfyingly complex movie with many layers. 05% Blade Runner 2049 This film appeals to countless interests of SDA students from comedy and old-school music to action-packed sequences and romantic stories.
STORY BY EMMA TOSCANI
This movie combines intense action scenes with a rockin’ soundtrack for amazing fun. Photo courtesy of Disney
rom my past experiences working at the YMCA, I know first-hand that children can be wise and cunning. They can wiggle themselves out of a problem and create havoc before I have noticed they have disappeared. In his movie, the Boss Baby does the same as all of those summer camp kids but in a The Boss Baby 25% suit and with a briefcase. Alongside his brother, Cars 3 23% he must develop battle plans in order to save the Lego Batman Movie 22% world. What are the intimidating, strong warriors in this battle you may ask: babies and puppies. Despicable ME 3 20% Other than cuteness, students were compelled Loving Vincent 10% that Alec Baldwin was in the film as a baby. This persona for him does not pair well with his typical suit look, but he was a baby one a SNL episode once. His performance on the show may have inspired him to pursue being the Boss Baby.
The Boss Baby grossed almost 500 million in the box office. Photo courtesy of Dreamworks Animation
STORY BY JENNA WEINHOFER
ask in the warm glow of crass humor while reveling in the comedy that is “Baywatch.” A washed-out Olympian (Zac Efron) joins with Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson) and his team of lifeguards to solve a crime of corruption on their pristine beach. While the plot was nothing more than to be expected, Efron and 69% Baywatch Johnson were able to carry a good bit of 08% Logan Lucky the movie on their heavily muscled shoulders. “Baywatch” is likely such a hit among 08% Rough Night SDA students because they are all fans of 07% The House the TV show that came out 25 years ago 07% The Little Hours that they definitely knew existed. After 03% The Meyerowitz Stories all, the lifeguards-turned-detectives shtick never gets old. A movie filled with profanity, insults, and skin, “Baywatch” definitely hit the sweet spot for high-school humor.
STORY BY TAYLOR RUDMAN
“Baywatch,” loosely based on the ‘90s television series, is a buddy comedy/mystery movie starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Zac Efron. Photo courtesy of “Baywatch” official Facebook page.
hristopher Nolan’s war drama, “Dunkirk”, was a universal success. Film freaks, WWII buffs, and One Direction fans are only a small number of the diverse kind of students affected by the film’s appeal. Nolan asked theaters to play their audio much louder than they normally would to increase the intensity, even if it means leaving the audience deaf after the notorious beach bombing scenes. The film doesn’t need the blood and gore of “Saving Private Ryan” to create an atmosphere of shock Dunkirk 52% and suspense. It relies on planes and battleships actually used in WWII to prove its authenticity. The Big Sick 17% It also seamlessly adds teenage heart throb Harry Okja 15% Styles to the cast, whose presence is surprisingly Loving Vincent 11% unobtrusive and engaging. Further appearances by Michael Caine, Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, and Only the Brave 05% Mark Rylance are among the few notable celebrities in a film mostly dominated by newcomers like Fionn Whitehead. ‘Dunkirk” has set a precedent for war films showing that it’s quite possible for them to receive wide acclaim among large swaths of audience members while also staying true to its source material.
BEST OF MOVIES
STORY BY PATRICK HALL
“Dunkirk,” a gripping war drama, chronicles a fierce WWII battle. Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers Studios.
n just another addition to the feminism and women-empowerment trend that popped up around election season, DC Comics and Warner Bros released its fourth installment of the “DC Extended Universe” (DCEU) films. The early-summer release was named number one by Rotten Tomatoes on its list of the “50 Best Superhero Movies of All Time” as well as helping DCEU pass $3 billion at the worldwide box office. Starring Isreali actress Gal Gadot, a sequel is set to be released in 2019.
STORY BY SOPHIE HUGHES
37% Wonder Woman 34% Baby Driver 13% Logan 08% Atomic Blonde 08% The Hitman’s Bodyguard
“Wonder Woman” wowed audiences with its gripping storyline, impressive visual effects, and fresh feminist viewpoint. It was a chance at redemption for DC after releasing several major flops. Photo courtesy of “Wonder Woman” official Facebook page.
BEST OF MOVIES
ot exactly a shock, “It” was voted best horror this year. The movie hype built for months before the release. Students who didn’t even know who Stephen King was waited in anticipation. Capitalizing on a newlyreawakened fear of clowns, King’s Pennywise was brought back to life. In this quaint tale, a group of misfits are able to use the power of friendship (also guns, knives, and pretty much anything with a sharp end) to rid their small It 52% town of an evil clown and overcome their own fears Get Out 27% in the process. The story resonated with many, and did a far better job of portraying the book than the Split 08% 1990 miniseries. Not only did “It” do well in the box Annabelle: Creation 05% office, but it also exploded in pop culture. Between Happy Death Day 05% sewer memes, Bill Skarsgard’s late night TV appearances, halloween costumes, and even SNL sketches, A Cure for Wellness 03% “It” most definitely made its mark. And, don’t worry, as with any successful book adaptation, there will be a sequel.
The red balloon and yellow raincoat will be iconic for years to come. Photo courtesy of “It” Official Facebook page.
STORY BY TAYLOR RUDMAN
BEST BOOK ADAPTATION
MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS
n the modern rendition of mystery writer Agatha Christie’s classic whodunit, “Murder on the Orient Express,” a train is trapped in an avalanche, and someone is murdered. Luckily, for the passengers, renowned detective--with a famously sprawling mustache-- Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) is on board. He works to determine who committed the 36% Murder on the Orient murder among several passengers: each Express comes from a different background, and 34% Everything Everything everyone’s a suspect, including a governess, a butler, a widow, a princess, a doctor, 14% The Dark Tower a butler, a professor and a gangster. The 08% The Glass Castle film stars many renowned actors including 07% The Circle Johnny Depp and Judi Dench.
Detective Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) works to solve a murder aboard a train, stuck in a snowstorm. Photo courtesy of Fox Movies.
STORY BY MALLIKA SESHADRI
EMBARASSING TO WATCH WITH YOUR PARENTS
50 SHADES DARKER
ver the weekends, my family and I typically watch television together. None of us know what to watch, so we flip through the channels until we land on something we like. Sadly more often than not, we catch a glimpse of something too embarrassing and silence fills the room. None of us make eye contact or dare to even speak of what we saw. Point being that no one would not want to sit through an 50 Shades Darker 84% entire movie with their parents, and SDA students Baywatch 08% would have to agree with me if the movie they were watching was “50 Shades Darker.” Between all the Battle of the Sexes 04% options presented in the category, it was obvious Atomic Blonde 02% that this film topped the survey. It is almost as if Alien Covenant 02% the movie had some sort of plot between all the sex.
SURVEY SAYS Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) have been the subject of quite a bit of buzz in recent years... buzz you never ever want to talk to your parents about. Photo courtesy of “50 Shades Darker” official Facebook page.
STORY BY JENNA WEINHOFER
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
o matter how bad the school week gets, there’s always a welcome bit of punctuation at the end - “Saturday Night Live.” The decades-old show has regained ground in the past two years, playing off popular distaste towards our current executive branch. Its satirical sketches, which a few years ago were largely ignored by the general public, have found mainstream success in a country whose president 32% SNL routinely subtweets North Korea’s dictator. SDA’s appreciation for the show has been mirrored by 27% Rick and Morty audiences nationwide - SNL won four Emmys this year, 26% Modern Family and aired “Weekend Update Summer Edition” instead of 07% The Good Place taking a traditional summer break. And while sketches like “Kellywise” and parodies of 06% Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Sean Spicer’s news conferences brought viral attention to the shenanigans of Trump’s aides, the show’s success wasn’t strictly political: some moments like Ryan Gosling’s “Papyrus” and Jimmy Fallon’s “Basketball Scene” worked more to distract us from reality than to directly mock it. This combination made for an enjoyable and well-received season that further solidified SNL’s position among TV’s all-time greats.
STORY BY OLIVIA OLANDER
Donald Trump (Alec Baldwin) and Mike Pence (Beck Bennet) sitting in the oval office. Photo courtesy of NBC
n a dramatic environment such as SDA with teenagers making a big deal out of literally everything, it is no surprise that the teen drama show “Riverdale” has reached so many. The show is in its second season on the CW. Even before the show came out, I heard so many people talking about how they couldn’t wait to finally watch the Archie comics based show. But I’ve got to be honest; it’s sometimes predictable, dramatic and a little cheesy but so incredibly addicting and entertaining. The show is based in “Riverdale”, following teenagers, their families and the many mysteries, uncovRiverdale 37% ering the darkness in what residents thought was an 13 Reasons Why 24% innocent town. Disappointingly to Archie comics’ fans, the show Game of Thrones 19% adds the basic “teen drama” staples, giving us the roThis is Us 09% mance, violence, and enough twists that don’t necesThe Good Doctor 07% sarily blow our minds, barely following the original The Handmaid’s Tale 03% comics and not sticking to it in every aspect, but keeping viewers entertained.The show has mostly been changed to be adapted to TV and to appeal to teenagers, only keeping the core appearances of the characters and loosely following relationships. Netflix has also made the show a lot more accessible to viewers by adding season one very quickly after it was done.
Riverdale, starring KJ Apa, began its second season in October. Photo courtesy of the CW
STORY BY TAINA MILLSAP
BEST OF TELEVISION
BEST CRIME SHOW
ebuting in 2005, “Criminal Minds” is on their thirteenth season of profiling and tracking down serial killers, abductors, rapists, cannibals, torturers and more. From the Reaper to Mr. Scratch, criminal profiler Jason Gideon from the FBI’s behavioral analysis unit and his team have encountered every criminal possible, or so we thought. “Criminal Minds”, being the first choice crime show for SDA students, never fails 49% Criminal Minds to disappoint with a new type of crime in each 34% Law and Order episode. The crimes varying from killers to kidnappers keep watchers interested throughout each 10% Castle season because no two criminals are alike; each 07% Forensic Files episode is a new idea with a new twist.
STORY BY SARAH LAVAKE
“Criminal Minds” is still strong in its 13th season. Photo courtesy of CBS
BEST OF TELEVISION
STRANGER THINGS 2
he beginning of the “Stranger Things” craze was all a blur to me. In a matter of months all I heard from friends, family, strangers in the streets, and the cashier at the grocery store was related to the show. I felt like pretty much the only one that hadn’t binged on the show, so when the second season came out I decided it was the perfect time to give the show a try. I was finished within a matter of days. If you’ve been living under a rock, you might not know that “Stranger Things” is a sci-fi/horror Netflix original show about a boy named Will Byers 53% Stranger Things 2 who goes missing in small town Indiana during the 80’s. This causes his friends 16% Riverdale and family to uncover secrets about where he might be and who’s behind it all. This year, the show won multiple awards at the MTV Movie and TV awards 13% Grey’s Anatomy confirming its success. 10% 13 Reasons Why The show does an amazing job at captivating a very wide range of au08% Game of Thrones dience members by portraying kids, teenagers and adults that are all equally important to the story. It has done what a lot of shows haven’t; reach so many different people with different tastes and ages. This audience includes, probably all of SDA’S students and teachers at this point which can be confirmed by the amount of merch I see people wearing around school. The show surprised me in so many good ways. At the beginning, I thought it was going to be just a horror show about little kids gone missing but it was a lot more than that. It deals with family dynamics, friendship, extremely charismatic characters that captured my heart and attention, all around amazing sci-fi elements, and ship-worthy love triangles. In general if you haven’t given this show a try, I highly recommend this FREAKING 5-star masterpiece.
This extremely addicting show has signed onto Netflix for a third season. Photo courtesy of “Stranger Things” official Facebook page.
STORY BY TAINA MILLSAP
NEEDS TO DIE
ONCE UPON A TIME
nce Upon a Time, a show’s plot was stretched so far, it needed to be put to rest. It was “Once Upon a Time.” Everyone is connected to everyone somehow, and none of them lived happily ever after. The end. Seriously, this show is somehow on its eighth season and it stopped making sense at season three. “Once Upon a Time” is what the kids call “a mess.” The show began as a story where fairy tales meet modern day, and it was interesting to me. The Evil Queen creating a curse condemn- 39% Once Upon a Time ing fairytale characters would be forced to live 19% The Walking Dead in the real world where no one gets a happily ever after? I can get behind that. As the show 19% Grey’s Anatomy progressed, though, the writers really began to 12% American Horror Story reach. The plot turned into too many subplots 11% The Simpsons that stretched too far for comprehension and it’s altogether awful. Please end this damn show.
SURVEY SAYS “Once Upon a Time” is on its seventh and hopefully final season. Photo courtesy of ABC.
STORY BY SIENNA RILEY
BEST STREAMING SERVICE
etflix once again dominates the realm of the streaming services, to no one’s surprise. Netflix wins almost every year due to its accessibility, simple mechanics, and the amount of time it has been up. It truly is a user-friendly platform. Using a friend or relative’s account to binge-watch “The Office” and “Stranger Things” has never been easier. Simply make a profile with a panda or robot icon and they won’t complain about you ruining their lists. There are many reasons why people love Netflix, but this year, the sole fact that “Stranger 90% Netflix Things 2” was coming out deserved to put Netflix on the top. 05% Hulu In 2017, “Alias Grace”, “Stranger Things 2”, “Dark”, “Godless”, “Good Morning Call” and many more made it into the Net04% Amazon Prime flix originals family, and some shows are returning after be01% YouTube Red ing taken off. Whether you feel like relaxing after a long day or school, or procrastinating before getting through a long night of homework, Netflix is the service for you.
Despite efforts from other streaming companies, Netflix still reigns supreme. Photo courtesy of Netflix.
STORY BY NOHEMIA ROSALES
BEST NEW SHOW
THE GOOD DOCTOR
ith the popularity of “Grey’s Anatomy” dwindling, SDA students have been in search of a new medical drama to meet their needs. “The Good Doctor” is just what we have been looking for. The show has had an extremely successful pilot season in 2017 and has received positive reviews from critics. In this medical drama, based on a 2013 South 35% The Good Doctor Korean drama by the same name, “Bates Motel” 23% Big Mouth star Freddie Highmore portrays Shaun Murphy, a brilliant young surgeon with autism and Savant 20% Dynasty Syndrome. After relocating to San Jose from his 11% The Mayor hometown of Casper, Wyoming, Murphy begins 11% The Orville work at St. Bonaventure Hospital where he brings many changes. The show combines tragic flashbacks, mysterious medical scenarios, and inspiring characters to create a compelling story that draws audiences from near and far.
Freddie Highmore stars as autistic surgeon in this new ABC drama. Photo courtesy of ABC
STORY BY SIMMONE STEARN
WILL AND GRACE
he “Will and Grace” reboot of the original 1998 show has left students excited for what is to come in the upcoming seasons. The original television show was cancelled at eight seasons and 200 episodes in 2006. It won 16 Emmy awards in that eight year span and was considered one of the most successful television series with a gay main character for its time. This aspect of the Will and Grace 38% show helped to provide a more public figure for Twin Peaks 28% people part of the LGBTQ+ community for that time so it is cool to see it blooming once more. Dynasty 19% 2017 seems to be the year for reboots, and the Curb Your Enthusiasm 14% “Will and Grace” TV show seems to fit into that theme. Critics said the show took off almost exactly where it left off with all the same comedicmain characters living together again, the only plot twist is that they are no longer in their 20’s, but rather their 40’s.
“Will and Grace,” a fan favorite in the early 2000s, has been renewed after almost ten years off the air. Photo courtesy of NBC
STORY BY AVA JAKUBOWSKI
ATTACK ON TITAN
t SDA, there are many groups who outwardly show their support; sport teams wear their jerseys on game day and the LGBTQ community wave their flags with pride. Little does SDA know that there is another community growing: the anime-obsessed. These creatures, however, are hard to find. You will need to break their Walls down, and only then you to find them huddled under their sheets binge-watching epi- 40% Attack on Titan sode after episode. And on the rare occasion, you can 28% Food Wars see the paraphernalia they hold on to dearly. One show 17% My Hero Academia that has hooked many students into the club was “Attack on Titan Season 2.” After waiting four years, it was 09% Kakegurui nice to see familiar faces (especially you, Levi) as the 06% Tsuki ga Kirei plot unfolded. It follows the Survey Corps killing titans, or giant, man-eating monsters, who are trying to destroy the population. The show’s action and heightened suspense attracts a wide audience and is a great first choice for those who wants to join the low profile community.
BEST OF TELEVISION
STORY BY JENNA WEINHOFER
“Attack on Titan” is airing its second season, leaving viewers pleased after four years of anticipation. Photo courtesy of the “Attack on Titan” Facebook page
BEST OF MUSIC
BEST OF POP
eelings are taboo. Sadly, that is what most teenagers believe who are scared to ask for help in fear of being “messed up.” They become stuck in this cycle, unable to differentiate the truths from the lies, and it slowly eats them alive. “No one will understand,” they start to say, “because the demons inside me are far worse than the others out there.” Listening to “1-8001-800-273-8255 32% 273-8255,” they started to change. Despite its Despacito 20% upbeat, anthem-like feel, the song title is the The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline; the Havana 19% lyrics give them the message and the hope that Shape of You 16% will get them through another day. The song, Praying 09% which is also The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, has the power to make a radical Sorry Not Sorry 04% change, to give support to those in distress, and to connect them with a helping hand. Now, they can live their lives their way without the darkness controlling their mind.
Calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline went up by 27 percent after the song’s release. Photo courtesy of Visionary Music Group and Def Jam Recordings
STORY BY JENNA WEINHOFER
BEST OF INDIE
t’s a song you’ve heard a million times, even if you don’t listen to Imagine Dragons. “Believer” topped out at number four on Billboard’s Top 100 list, but has become an increasingly popular song featured in movies, TV shows, and advertisements. In addition to its feature in the “Murder on 36% Believer the Orient Express” trailer and the season 34% Feel It Still one finale of CW’s hit show “Riverdale,” the 10% The Man song has been a forerunner in commercials for the Nintendo Switch. 10% Hard Times
STORY BY SOPHIE HUGHES
10% Sky Is A Neighborhood The song is about lead singer Dan Reynolds’s spinal condition ankylosing spondylitis. Photo courtesy of the Imagine Dragons Facebook page.
BEST OF RAP
G SURVEY SAYS
ucci Gang has been voted best hip hop rap song. This song not only won because of its catchy chorus that contains two words being repeated but because the lyrics are just so brilliant and really relate to society today. This really shows the intelligence of this generation. In this Gucci Gang 31% song it shows what kind of lyrical Humble 24% genius Lil Pump truly is. Lil Pump Bodak Yellow 20% impresses this generation by coming up with a 2 minute song that Rockstar 16% contains about 6 different words. If Tunnel Vision 09% you are looking for a song that will get stuck in your head but will have such a toll on how you see the world Gucci Gang is the song for you!
The music video for “Gucci Gang” has nearly three hundred million views on Youtube. Photo courtesy of Lil Pump
STORY BY JULIA LUCERO
ust hearing the first notes is enough to make you shudder. When “Despacito” came out in spring, no one could’ve anticipated its popularity, or its subsequent hatred. The song tied for the longest-running number one Billboard hit of the 21st century. This may sound like an honor, but because of the song’s enormous popularity, radios played the song constantly. “Despacito” quickly became inescapable 61% Despacito and that only made it worse. Whether you were shopping in Target for your school supplies, chilling on a beach in 20% Shape of You Mexico, or cruising on a road trip with friends, “Despa- 13% Something Just Like This cito” was there. The catchy beat and chorus that brought 04% Thunder the song to the top made former fans sigh every time they heard the song. As great as it is to hear Justin Bieber try- 01% Praying ing to sing in Spanish, it just isn’t worth the annoyance. “Despacito” will live on as a marker of 2017, reminding us of all the important moments we had while we complained about that stupid song.
STORY BY SYLVIA YOUNG
Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” music video has more than 4.5 billion views on YouTube. Photo courtesy of the Luis Fonsi facebook page.
he took the dollar sign out of her name but that doesn’t mean she isn’t making money, honey. Fresh from the highly controversial court case involving a sexual assault allegation against Dr. Luke, Kesha is finally free from her label and expressing herself in ways better than ever! The sweetest thing about Kesha’s return is just the fact that she can make music again. Her court case suspended any music making for such a Kesha 28% long time anything she puts out feels like a victory. Her long awaited (five years!) Kodak Black 24% comeback album “Rainbow” reinvigoMiley Cyrus 24% rated her already huge fan base and her Taylor Swift 15% renewed sound took the singer to new heights. Whether you were a die hard fan Mariah Carey 09% of “We R Who We R” of had a weird thing for “Cannibal”, I think anyone could get behind her brand new song “Woman.” America’s favorite glitter wearing, anthem singing, high note hitting icon is back,
Kesha released her long awaited album, “Rainbow,” in August. Photo courtesy of Kesha
BEST OF MUSIC
STORY BY DREW ATKINS
odak Yellow is a hype anthem for all the chicks dancing in their red bottoms. Cardi B is the original baddie with humble beginnings as a stripper who got herself to the top with hard work and determination. The song is perfect for screaming in the car, in the club, or classroom--just kidding... maybe. Cardi B historically reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100, who is the first unaccompanied female artist to do so since Lauryn Hill in “Doo-Wop (Do that thing)” in 1998. Not only is this song a jam, the lyrics 35% Bodak Yellow have feminist undertones and there’s boom- 27% Look What You ing bass that makes your booty pop and the Made Me Do wage gap drop. By making room for feminist issues to shine through, Cardi’s badass bars 27% Despacito set an example for women to do what they 12% Fetish want and stick it to the patriarchy! Don’t feel too guilty about listening to this guilty pleasure; it’s a bop and no one can deny it.
STORY BY AMELIA KAISER
The Bodak Yellow music video has over 350 million views on YouTube. Photo courtesy of the Cardi B Facebook page.
BEST OF CULTURE
! ! ! ! ! ! K K O O O H H SS
BEST SLANG WORD
hen simple words can’t begin to describe your convoluted teenage angst, shook steps in. To feel shook means to let your consciousness take a deliberate step back from a situation as your earthly presence violently convulses from a sudden and shocking event. When the world throws such a curveball at you that you end up completely plastered against the ground covShook 35% ered in barbecue sauce with a squirrel chewing off Extra 20% your hair you can’t be anything but shook. Shook is a perfect example of how far the human language Sus 18% has evolved over the years. If William Shakespeare Woke 13% could see us now he would be undeniably shook. Fam 13% 2017 has been many things, but the best way to describe how everyone feels leaving behind this year and tentatively entering 2018, is shook.
Shook is defined in Urban Dictionary as “shocked or surprised af. Can’t believe what you’re seeing.”
STORY BY NADIA BALLARD
BEST TRUMP TWEET
SHORT AND FAT
new category this year, “Trump Tweets” has the ability to make us both laugh and cry. Laugh because, hey, they’re hilarious! Cry when we remember they were sent by the leader of the free world. After his two week trip to Asia, President Trump channeled his inner petty toddler and pulled a classic. Trump made a speech warning North Korea, and their Foreign Ministry responded referring to Trump as a “dotard.” After googling “dotard” and finding out it essentially means “old lunatic,” he handled the comment 53% Short and Fat in the most diplomatic way he could think of. The com- 25% Covfefe bination of foreign policy announcements and passive 16% Little Rocket Man aggressive trash talk streaming from the POTUS Twitter feed has been a shock for many, and even after living 06% Bad Ratings! through 2017 it is still hard to adjust to. Even without a twitter account, SDA students buzz the day after one of these notorious messages thanks to Instagram, Snapchat, and other “news sources” that keep us informed. South Park, SNL, the CMAs and others have taken this opportunity to poke fun at the president while helping the easily distracted (read: high schoolers) get their fill of current events.
Donald Trump is notorious for tweeting about political subjects. Photo courtesy of Twitter.
STORY BY TAYLOR RUDMAN
onroe, as a Democratic republican, believed that more power should be given to State government rather than the federalist government. Monroe grew up in the planter class in Virginia, for which he became Senator in 1790. This most likely contributed to his choice of political party since the Democratic Republican party believed in supporting common people, not the wealthy. During the Revolutionary war, Monroe also fought as a soldier, which enforced his want Obama/BIden 25% for a fight for individualist freedom, something Stock Photo Guy Looking at that Democratic Republicans believed was better granted through more powerful state government. Another Girl 20% In addition, he attended the College of william and Mocking Spongebob 19% Mary where he studied law, partially under ThomDancing Hot Dog 19% as Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson, being a Democratic Republican, most likely influenced Monroe’s The Floor Is... 10% political views. This may, in part, be a reason why Student Athlete 07% Monroe came to support the Democratic Republican party, the political party which encompassed his views on higher State political power.
Obama and Biden’s bromance inspired a new meme as the country awaited Trump’s Inauguration. Photo courtesy of Dschwen.
STORY BY EMMA TOSCANI
he rainbow hues of the Grades app were pleasant at first, but now they only inspire anxiety and dread. The Grades app is basically just a portal to Aeries accounts that does not require repeated log-ins that includes a few special features. The app doesn’t sound all that exciting, and certainly isn’t as entertaining as the many games and social media apps that were popular this year. However, the app holds a special place in the hearts of SDA students. Almost every student has this amazing app. The ability to constantly check grades is a big draw for many students. Some students use the app to obsess about their grades more than they already did. How else 46% Grades can you know if you’ll become a rich CEO or a home26% Bitmoji less failure besides knowing your grades to the fraction 16% Ballz of a percent? Others use the app as a way to know their grades 07% Wordscapes before their parents and brace themselves for a lecture. 06% TBH Of course, the most important part of the app is being able to know exactly how low a grade you can get on your midterm while still maintaining a B in the class. Overall, the Grades app is an important part of every SDA student’s life.
STORY BY SYLVIA YOUNG
The app that makes freaking out about grades quick and convenient! Photo by Patrick Hall
or a few weeks during the ending days of the 2016-2017 school year, the fidget spinner became, for better or for worse, one of the most ridiculously addictive fads to ever exist. A trend so malignant and distracting that students risked having them confiscated by frustrated teachers. The premise was simple; a bearing attached to a three legged piece of plastic (or metal for the professionals) spins in between the thumb and index finger to the beholder’s delight. Its purpose was as inexplicable as its fame, the best explanation being that it helps mitigate the efFidget spinners 32% fects of disorders like ADHD or anxiety, which has not Slime 20% been confirmed, scientifically at least. The variety of Highlighter 19% activities possible with the toy initially seemed to be exEyebrows 18% tremely limited apart from spinning it in between your fingers. Eventually, this dilemma led it to take on a form Live videos 11% of fashion, adding vibrant color schemes and upgrading the plastic body to painted metals. The fidget spinner disappearance was as miraculous as its sudden popularity. The remnants of their legacy are still visible in dollar stores and 7-Elevens desperately trying to get rid of the toy that temporarily rivaled the cell phone for its space in our fingers.
With 2017 nearing to a close, just the sight of this three pronged nightmares can induce PTSD. Photo courtesy of Arní Dagur
BEST OF CULTURE
STORY BY PATRICK HALL
BEST VIDEO GAME
SUPER MARIO ODYSSEY
n a big year for gaming, Super Mario Odyssey was voted SDA’s favorite video game of 2017. Nintendo launched their latest console, The Switch, earlier this year and Odyssey is the first big Mario game to be released on this platform. The Switch has been selling incredibly well, as it became the fastest selling Nintendo console ever in its first month. The latest installment in the Mario franchise features a collect-them-all style game design that comes 15 years 41% Super Mario after Super Mario Sunshine, the last Mario game of this 28% Call Of Duty: WWII genre. The goal of the game is to travel around the im28% Destiny mersive and vibrant world that Mario calls home to collect power moons from all different kinds of kingdoms in 18% Star Wars Battlefront II order to power your ship, the odyssey. It’s the first Mario 05% Dark Souls III game to feature a game mechanic where Mario can throw his hat onto enemies and take control of them; allowing players to play solve puzzles and get past obstacles by using enemies any video game player is familiar with. Super Mario Odyssey is a testament to Nintendo’s mastery over how to make a fun video game.
STORY BY JACK HAUSER
The Mario graphics have gotten a serious upgrade since becoming popular in the 1980s. Photo courtesy of Super Mario Odyssey Facebook page
BEST OF CULTURE
MOST SHOcKING POLITICAL NEWS
LAS VEGAS/TEXAS SHOOTINGS
remember waking up on Oct. 2, exhausted after going to the Shins concert with my friends and subsequently sleeping over at one of their houses. Through bleary eyes, I checked my phone. “2 dead and 24 injured in shooting in Las Vegas.” I was a little shocked and somewhat worried because I knew a lot of people that lived there, but I didn’t dwell on it because I had to get to school soon. Not likely that I would have known any of those 24 right? They’ll be okay, right? Later on, my mother called me before we left for class. She said that there has been a shooting. I said that I knew about it. She said that our close family friend had been shot. Her words didn’t register. I just said okay after she told me that he went into surgery and that his wife will call my mother when they got any news. As I got into class, my news alerts started to flood in, and those small numbers from just a few hours ago had multiplied. I still didn’t know how to feel about anything, and this mantra had started to play in my head as the day wore on. “He was shot. He was shot. He was shot.” I was worried that my childhood friends had been there because I hadn’t gotten any snapchats from them. My nerves were fraying and I finally broke down and cried, reading through the now numerous reports about the aftermath of the biggest shooting in modern US history. I remembered that my friend, the one that got shot, now lived in Austin, Texas, and had come back to Vegas for that weekend. He shouldn’t have even been there. This couldn’t be happening. But it was. Fifty-eight innocent lives were
lost that day, and 546 people were injured. Thankfully, my friend was one of the lucky ones and survived his gunshot wound, but so many people were not. Others were affected by this shooting more than I, and the pure shock of these events is something that was felt by everyone around the world. In a single night, the entire city of Las Vegas was overloaded with bloodied bodies and the horrible aftermath of an unprecedented tragedy. This was all the more shocking because of the amount of video footage to come out of it. The following day, there was a SnapChat story full of the footage shot by users of the app that had probably been filming Jason Aldean’s concert just seconds before the gunfire started. It shocked the masses because there was live footage of the chaos, something unique to the world of today. The Las Vegas shooting was an act of terrorism that will forever be burned into our memories and a constant reminder of how fast everything can happen in a horrible instant. But despite the shock and subsequential outcry that happened in the aftermath, little has been done to move gun control legislation forward. Since the shooting, there have been more. In Texas, a church was open-fired upon just barely a month later. A month after that, another shooting occurred at a New Mexico high school. Something has to be done about this.
49% Las Vegas/Texas Shootings 23% Trangender Military Ban 20% DACA repeal 07% Hurricanes Irma/Harvey
STORY BY EMMA TOSCANI
MOST SHOCKING CELEBRITY NEWS
ARIANA GRANDE CONCERT BOMBING
Musician Ariana Grande held a tribute concert and visited injured fans in wake of the concert bombing. Photo courtesy of Bonnielou2013.
SURVEY SAYS Ariana Grande Concert Bombing 38% Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez Back Together 27% Kylie Jenner Pregnancy 20% Harvey Weinstein Sexual Assault Allegations 15%
Memorials across the United States honored those affected by the Las Vegas Shootings. Photo courtesy of VOA Kukohserve.
ithin seconds, a night of excitement turned into a traumatic event for the teens and families exiting the Ariana Grande concert. 22 were killed from the suicide bombing, the youngest victim being only eight years old. Some severe injuries were caused by the panic and chaos of families trying to locate their loved ones, and trampling over others. The 59 wounded were taken to eight different hospitals. The suicide bomber responsible was Salman Abedi. He was killed by the explosive device near the exit of the Manchester Arena. Nearing the end of the concert, video was filmed of teens screaming, making their way through the finale of pink balloons as the bomb went off. Many people opened their doors to concertgoers, and cabs offered free rides to those affected by the explosion. Despite the fear provoked by this event, Grande continued her tour and held a tribute concert in Manchester. She did the concert for the lives lost, and as a benefit for those wounded from the terrorist attacks. She said she wanted to spread love and unity. Grande played “My Everything” as a tribute with the Parrs Wood High School Choir, which quickly went viral. Additionally, Grande visited injured fans at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.
STORY BY TAYLOR GATES
he pinnacle of coffee shops in Encinitas is Pannikin Coffee & Tea. Sure, the Java Hut has nice espresso and Better Buzz is both basic and easy, but no coffee shop beats the ambiance of Pannikin. Their in-house blends are always served piping hot. Their bakery makes the most delectable croissants and other assorted pastries. They have a shop where you can buy a plethora of different grounds, assuming you’re the kind of person who brews coffee at home. My personal favorite is their Indo Noir espresso blend; however, it is quite 42% Pannikin expensive, clocking in at around $14 per pound . Still, if you want the best coffee and ambiance in the area, Pannikin is a clear choice. Pannikin doesn’t have Wi-Fi 35% Better Buzz because they believe that conversation should prevail over your Candy Crush high 09% French Corner Cafe score. If you’re looking for a quick caffeine fix and a place to do your homework, try 08% Philz Coffee Starbucks instead. However, if you’re looking for a place to have a good conversa06% The Quick Fix tion and some good coffee, look no further than Pannikin.
STORY BY TOM AMOROSO
Pannikin is know for its great breakfast food and iconic location in the old train station. Photo courtesy of Pannikin Coffee & Tea
BEST THRIFT STORE
ith its prime Highway 101 location and endless themedhomecoming-ready ensembles, there’s no more iconic SDA thrift shop than Flashbacks. The Encinitas institution has never been afraid of loud prints or colors - unlike other thrift stores, the clothes in Flashbacks beg to stand out of one’s closet, not to serve as mere discounted blue jean and button down staples. While this makes their pieces inherently trendy (who’s going to wear a neon orange track jacket for more than a few seasons?), the store simultaneously defies popular styles and Flashbacks 43% encourages shoppers to create outfits without consideration for the status quo. Though its reputation as a haven for over-the-top “decade” Halloween cosThrifty Threads 26% tumes is certainly well deserved, Flashbacks is routinely honored by SDA students CRC Resale 26% as the best local thrift shop because it encourages us to break out of our wardMy Sister’s Closet 13% robe routine on normal days. The perennial complaint of a “dying SDA spirit” Hospice 10% seems to be slightly remedied every time someone chooses big plastic hoops over rhinestone studs and a vintage ugly sweater instead of one purchased on Amazon. These are conscious statements of style, of acknowledging that we work too hard through our short youth to dress boring on top of it all. Flashbacks provides SDA students with a local location where they can peruse items that are too dated or divisive for most retail stores, and experiment in creating their own tastes. The relative rarity of the pieces also means you can’t accidentally twin with a friend in a Flashbacks jacket like you can in your BDG jeans and Patagonia puffer. The store promises a creative outlet for all fashion-driven individuals in the Encinitas area, and makes it easy for all others to find fun clothes to wear on special occasions. This widespread appeal has led Flashbacks to yet another decisive victory as SDA’s favorite thrift store.
Flashbacks. Take a blast to the past at Flashbacks, located conveniently on the 101. Photo courtesy of Patrick Hall.
STORY BY OLIVIA OLANDER
BEST LUNCH SPOT
eople often ask me, why am I like this? And I often answer, “I am what I eat.” I am what they say, a professional when it comes to In-N-Out. My résumé is the mere fact that I’ve eaten enough hamburgers to clog my arteries for an eternity. I have been to many of the famous restaurants and I always come back for In-N-Out Burger. In-N-Out was a clear winner for the best lunch place category, the others didn’t stand a chance. With the simple menu that sticks to what they are good at, to the secret food that can only be obtained if asked, In-N-Out was a stand out compared to the rest. If only In-N-Out was more accessible, and had a better location overall, then it would have been the perfect fit for Encinitas, and more specifically 41% In-N-Out SDA. As it stands the traffic get bad, and it is tucked between a corner next 15% Moonlight Yogurt & Ice to the freeway. This is horrible treatment for such a holy fast-food restaurant. Additionally, students have to suffer through the five minute drive for 14% Noodles & Company these greasy fries; and while they wait in utter pain for their goods, they are 11% Chick-fil-A forced to observe as the chefs craft each piece of the burger for a final result. The menu is also poor for vegans and vegetarians, cutting off nearly half 10% Subman of their menu, but that is their sacrifice; as a humble omnivore I am proud to 09% Jorge’s say good riddance to those poor souls -- which include my own mother -- and all other people who have the displeasure to not experience what In-N-Out has to offer. It is their fault for being who they are. You can quote me on that. I am a proud In-N-Out supporter, and I always will be. Never change you calorie filled, heart killing, fast-food restaurant. Never change.
BEST OF ENCINITAS
If you don’t smell In-N-Out during third period after an hour lunch, then you’re not in class. Maybe you’re at In-N-Out. Photo courtesy of Patrick Hall.
STORY BY HUNTER MCGAHAN
“Pull quote” -name here
THE GIRLS SOCCER team mentally prepares themselves for CIFs by focusing on a key word that describes the way they want to perform and recording them on tennis balls. Photo Courtesy of Morgan Busick.
Get your head in the game
Athletes dedicate time and effort to the physcial side of sports and tend to look past the importance of being mentally prepared. Yet when facing athletic challenges, the mental side of sports is crucially important and can often be the difference between winning and losing. By Yari Sequeira
efore every high school soccer game, senior Nadia Haghani would take 10 minutes to visualize the way she wanted to play. With earbuds in, hype-up music playing, and a few minutes to spare, she focused on her first touch to prepare herself physically and mentally for a great performance. It was time to play like a champion. The mental side of sports is often overlooked, but when integrated into the daily grind of athletes as Haghani does, it can have a gamechanging effect on individual and team performance. Mental toughness is an athlete's ability to maintain a strong state of mind when undergoing challenging athletic circumstances. It is a habitual process and can be developed through varying techniques and mechanisms revolved around rooting focus, positivity, and self-confidence, said Corrie Samaniego, owner and co-founder of Mindset Sports. To break it down for athletes, Samaniego, suggests that athletes focus on what they can do before the game, during the game, and after the game. “Figure out what it is that you want to do to be successful for that training or for that game,” she said.
“During the game you can work on items like mistake recovery or how to be more positive with your self-talk. After the game, which I think a lot of athletes forget, [you can work on] visualizing and again looking at things that you did well but then looking at your mistakes, figuring out what you can do to recover from those mistakes, and then transferring it to the next training or the next game.” There are many factors that combine to create a strong mindset, especially when athletes are constantly faced with new challenges such as distractions, fatigue, or negative thoughts. To deal with these issues Samaniego suggests that athletes give themselves something they can say or do to snap themselves out of it and remind them to stay focused. “For example, the US Women's Soccer Team used to wear rubber bands around [their wrist],” said Samaniego. “If they made a mistake or they just weren’t feeling like they were on their game they would snap it. It's kind of was a figurative way of snapping them back into focus and I think having something physical to keep you on [your game is important].” “It helps me,” said sophomore and soccer player Morgan Busick
who uses the rubber bracelet technique to maintain a positive mentality. “Whenever I have a negative thought, I pull [my rubber bracelet] back and slap myself on the wrist. People are like, ‘Why do you do that?’ That’s a negative aspect,’ but I feel it's not because it helps me to realize I have a negative thought and then reminds me to change it to a positive one.” Staying in the moment is another key attribute to maintaining focus and producing optimum results. According to mental toughness expert Chad Busick, Morgan Busick’s father, athletes tend to be fixated on the outcome and distracted from the present situation.“They want to make sure they score enough runs, score enough points, or whatever the case may be,” said Busick. “But the moment that they’re in is the only moment that matters. One of the sayings I like to say is focusing on the past whether good or bad takes you away from the present and by taking you away from the present it affects negatively the future.” This season, Busick will be working on mental preparedness with the girls soccer and basketball team. Along with staying focused,
some believe that self-confidence is at the core of being mentally strong. “From personal experiences I know that when you are mentally prepared and confident before you perform, you'll do a lot better than when you're stressed out or your head's not in the game,” said junior and field hockey player Christina Tarangelo. Samaniego agrees that a positive mindset is rooted in self-confidence. Samaniego spoke with Anson Dorrance, head coach of the women's soccer team at the University of North Carolina and holder of one of the most successful coaching records in the history of athletics. According to Dorrance, the biggest thing missing from female collegiate athletes is self-confidence. Lack of confidence can often hinder an athlete's playing ability, pushing them into a negative mindset. This, Busick explained, is when it is most important to enforce positive self-talk. “When things tend to fall South and aren't going our way we tend to beat ourselves up when what we really need is to stay positive and stay focused on the moment and turn that around as quickly as possible...Positive self-talk is key” Methods and techniques contribute to developing a champion
mindset. However, these aspects are commonly overlooked, despite having the potential to significantly enhance an athlete's performance. When speaking with athletes from a variety of sports, Busick found that the majority of players feel that 50 percent to 90 percent of the game is mental. However when he asked these athletes how much time they actually spend on the mental side of the game, no one could respond with anything near that percentage. “First and foremost, I think what athletes need to understand is that [mental toughness] is definitely something that they need to put into the preparation of their sport,” said Samaniego. “A lot of people don't focus in on that area. They tend to focus in on the technical and tactical part of it and the physiological part, but we all seem to forget about that whole mental side of it. It is definitely something that has to be a learned skill, something that has become a habit, and once it becomes a habit it's a powerful tool that you have to help yourself be a better athlete and a well-rounded individual.”
JUNIOR ALEXIS PRICE, left, senior Ruby Feeney, above, and senior Kara Clancy pictured above passing to their teammates during their matchup against Santa Fe Christian. Varsity is currently 3-9, their first win against SFC.
Photo Courtesy of Joe Rudman.
Meet the ‘Eggheads’ With the second year of girls water polo in full swing, the Mustangs are breaking barriers that most have never had to face. By Sarah LaVake and Ashlyn Haines.
ast year, girls water polo debuted at San Dieguito Academy, the first sport to be added to the school in the past few years. Jumping straight into division three, the ladies were faced with many tough challenges, especially building the program from ground up when playing established teams. “I think it was hard because we didn’t have too much experience and there was a lot of stigma. We lost pretty hard a few times and refs would come up to us and make jokes and it was funny but we definitely had stigma around us,” said junior Gracie Williams. While the team did receive many dismissive looks for being new out in the pool, many teams were also incredibly supportive of the Mustangs, “some teams were super nice about it and have been really helpful and are cheering us on at tournaments when they see us like ‘Go SDA!’” Williams said.
This season, however, the selfproclaimed ‘Eggheads’ are off to a much better start after winning their first game against Santa Fe Christian 16 to 6 on Nov. 28. This is the team’s second league win ever for varsity. This may be due to having many of the players on the team play club water polo during the offseason. “At this point there’s a lot more people that have experience and so we have more stuff to build off of whereas last year we didn’t know what to expect at all going into a game” Williams said. “We have people coming up that are new who have people to learn from whereas last year we didn’t have anyone to learn from.” As tough as this new program has been, it definitely has its upsides. Players brought up how amazing it is being on a team with such determined and driven players, “I like how we are all very determined because although we haven’t been
playing for a very long time, we know it takes a lot of hard work and determination to do it” Williams said. On girl’s water polo, many different people from all different grades come together for the love of the sport. “I definitely wouldn’t have met them if I hadn’t played water polo because most of them aren’t in my grade but I still love them all,” sophomore Siona Rector said. Despite the age differences, the girls all spend as much of their time together as they can, showing how close and committed each player is to the sport and the team. Junior Julia Mendoza said, “I never would’ve met most of them if it hadn’t been for water polo, I spend every day of my life with all of them and I’m just glad that we get along.” Water polo can be quite brutal, “we we’re playing Oceanside in a tournament once and I was playing set guard so I was guarding the
offense girl right in front of the cage,” Williams said. “She turned around and she grabbed my suit and dug her nails into my neck and pulled me underwater for a few seconds.” Rector also had a painful encounter: “Somebody elbowed me in the face and so my tooth moved a little bit and that hurt.” If that isn’t even bad enough, Mendoza and Rector recalled when senior Ruby Feeney broke her finger on a ball and then a few weeks later, “a girl jammed it into a fist and she said ‘owe that’s my finger’ and the girl said ‘tough!’” One of the main differences between boys and girls water polo is that the girls tend to get away with more underwater assaults than guys do because there is more suit to grab. “Girls are a lot better at hiding the illegal beating each other up than guys are,” Mendoza said. “If you watch a guy’s game a lot of them get ejected and get fouls way more so
you think [boys’ water polo] is more violent but girls just do more under the water. They’re way more secretive about it so it almost might be more violent but the refs can’t see it.” Another difference between the girls and boys game is in shooting: the girls team has to focus more on where to place the shot rather than how hard they throw it. “It isn’t just about power: you need to have a balance,” Williams said. The self-given title of ‘Eggheads’ has a very simple background. According to Williams, “That started last year, but it’s basically that we look like eggs with our white caps and so a lot of inside jokes have branched off from that.” This joke even stemmed its own cheer that all of the girls recite and know: “Egghead eggheads one two three. Do you want to scramble me.”
Same support, different sport Girls athletics aren’t always known for greatness at SDA, but with support, they will get better. By Lena Mau
ports aren’t really SDA’s strong suit. Everyone knows this. The only “sport” that we consistently kick ass at is Comedysportz. So the lack of fans at almost every sporting event is to be expected, right? Wrong. The fan turnout for the boys teams usually doubles the boy’s This is my happy sistering girls face. But trust team. Although me, I’m still sometimes the angry on the two teams work inside. it out so that they end up watching Lena Mau at least a little bit each other’s game, it is usually the girl’s team that actually pulls through on their promises. This generalization can be seen in both of the sports that I play, but also in girls water polo, soccer, softball and honestly almost every girls team that SDA offers. “We go to most if not all of the boy’s home games. They rarely come to any of ours,” said Senior Lily Kreps, girls water polo goalie.
I play both varsity lacrosse and varsity basketball, and I can confirm this idea that the boy’s teams don’t support the girls teams as much as the girl’s teams support the boy’s teams. This basketball season will mark the second year that the boys varsity team would rather ride a separate bus to the games than ride with the girl’s team. During league, the boy’s and the girls basketball teams have games at the same places only a few hours apart. When we rode together last year, the boys would have to sit through our game while they waited to play theirs. The girl’s team would graciously return the favor and support the boys team when they played a few hours later. But now they take a separate bus to the games, so that they arrive just before the start of their games. Not only does this take away fans, but taking separate busses also cost the school twice as much
GIRLS VARSITY BASKETBALL warms up for a home game Photo by Lena Mau money than just taking one bus. Although the boys basketball team did support the girls basketball team a few times, it was disheartening to see the lack of support from within the program all the times they did not come to watch us play. Going back to lacrosse, the majority of the girls program shows up to every boy’s lacrosse home game. That’s the way it’s been since I started playing at SDA. But on the other side of this, I have only seen a majority of the boys program show up to one of the girl’s lacrosse games. Rumor has
it they only came because the boys would have to run sprints at practice the next day if they didn’t come. One could make the excuse that girls are not as athletic, so it’s not as fun. That is BS. Some girls may not be as athletic, but they make up for it almost always with the passion and aggression that they play with, and that I can vouch for. How does the boys teams not coming to a lot of the girl’s games have anything to do with the amount of fans who aren’t on those boys teams? Well the answer is simple,
any support is positive support. With the positive support from the boy’s athletics more and more people will come to watch the girl’s athletics at SDA. And ladies, let’s support each other, go with the “Girls Supporting Girls” vibe. So this year, no matter if you do or don’t play a sport here at SDA, go watch our girls soccer CIF champions win some home games, or the basketball girls win enough games to move up a division this year. Support the fast growing girl’s lacrosse teams, or water polo girls.
One is dumb
The NCAA’s “One and Done” rule is outdated and criminal.
ollege basketball has been the only place for young athletes to play before going to the NBA without playing in overseas European leagues for the past eleven years. A rule was implemented in 2006 that all players who want to enter the NBA draft must wait one year out of high school before becoming eligible to be drafted. This rule was progressive at the time, but has since become outdated and archaic in the modern age of scouting and recruiting. This rule came at a time where Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett, who were both drafted straight out of high school, were dominating the NBA, and high school phenom LeBron James had just been drafted #1 overall in the 2003 draft. Joining the NBA straight out of high school became a growing trend that the commissioner David Stern, thought was poor for the game of basketball. He wanted older, more developed players entering the league. Since then, a plethora of NBA
The last sports boy.
superstars like Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis have spent a single year in college before moving onto the league. This has been coined the “one and done” rule and it has helped college basketball improve the level of competition. However, for a league where the players make no money and only risk getting injured, it is a complete abuse of the youth. Players who wish to be paid straight out of high school are usually forced to sign one year contracts in China. The NCAA receives annual revenue of about $10.8 billion a year, but none of it goes to the players. The league should not force 18 or
19 year old kids to move out of the country if they want to be paid for something they are exceptionally good at. The kids that have elected to follow this path, like Emmanuel Mudiay and Brandon Jennings, have had overall very lackluster and disappointing careers compared to the hype they got coming out of high school. Scouting and player development have advanced far enough in recent years that the industry can recognize when a kid possesses talent developed beyond his years and is capable of playing in the NBA straight out of high school. Kyrie Irving missed two thirds of his only season in college, still went #1 overall in the NBA Draft because scouts were able to recognize his special talent, and is now a frontrunner for MVP. Kyrie was lucky that his injury did not affect him long-term, as the number one ranked player out of high school last year, Michael Porter Jr., recently suffered a back injury
GUARD KYRIE IRVING, a top 5 recruit, during his senior year of High School. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
and is projected to miss the rest of his freshman year in college and potentially hurt his chances at being superstar in the NBA. This year especially, guys like 7’0”, 260 pound Deandre Ayton from University of Arizona and incredibly talented 18 year old Marvin Bagley Jr. from Duke University look
completely out of place against the weaker competition of college basketball. These kids are risking injury that might disrupt their entire career while receiving subpar training and no money. Players should be allowed to join the NBA straight out of high school.