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April 2018 | Volume 2 Issue 6 | San Joaquin Memorial High School

Dancing the Night Away SJM's Junior-Senior Prom, held downtown at Valdez Hall on April 14, 2018, was a smashing success. - News, Page 2


Kendrick Lamar's Pulitzer

- Opinion, Page 5

AP Test Tips and Tricks - Feature, Page 8

Juniors Brianna Kemble, Amanda Boutte, and Jessica Munoz celebrate prom night.

Photo: Elliott Nerenberg



The Red and Blue April 2018

Trade War Incoming Lokesh Bhardwaj Feature Editor

A trade war seems to be on the horizon between the United States and Chinese governments. As time progresses, it seems as if the United States is beginning to become more intertwined with policies of foreign nations On Tuesday, April 3, the Trump administration published a list of 1,500 Chinese exports, including aluminum, steel, and other goods, that would be subject to tariffs. This tariff plan instituted by Trump was likely influenced by the stealing of intellectual property by the Chinese government. After a seven-month investigation into alleged intellectual property theft by China, the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property reported about $225 billion stolen annually by the Chinese. Numerous acts of espionage and theft were a part of this event, alongside mandatory joint ventures for doing business in China. “We have a Trade Deficit of

$500 billion a year, with intellectual property theft of another $300 billion. We cannot let this continue!” stated President Donald Trump on Twitter. China and U.S. relations have been tense at times, In order to especially now with these new trade sanctions. fire back at the Photo: Getty Images billions of dolThey created a list of 128 different lars stolen by the Chinese govern- products, ranging from pork to ment, the Trump Administration steel pipes. A 15 percent tariff was plans to apply tariffs to about $50 put on 120 products, such as fruit billion worth of Chinese goods. and wine, and the other 8 had a 25 There are two initial sets of tariffs: percent tariff. The tariff was creatthe steel and aluminium tariffs, ed to pressure the Trump adminand other Chinese made prod- istration to back down from their ucts. new tariffs. The tariffs were mainly impleWith the back-and-forth tarmented to punish China without iffs being created by the two coundirectly hurting regular citizens. tries, a trade war could be seen in While it originally was only sup- the near future. A trade war is posed to hit Chinese technology the intentional damaging of anand machinery, unexpected items other countries trade, especially such as hearing aids, defibrilla- with tariffs and restrictions. If an tors, and syringes were getting all out trade war were to occur, taxed as well. A 25 percent tariff it would be a lose--lose situation was implemented on steel and a for both superpowers. Both coun10 percent tariff on aluminum. tries' economies will take a severe At this moment, China re- hit, which would be a terrible sittaliated, enacting tariffs of their uation for citizens living in both own on various American goods. countries.

Staff Box: Editors-in-Chief: Elliott Nerenberg Patrick Monreal

Head of Design: Camilo Daza

News Editor: Ryan Golden

Opinion Editor: Matthew Magill

Out of Uniform and Sports Editor: Ricardo Garcia

Feature Editor: Lokesh Bhardwaj


Braeden Bailey Tony Fagundes

Photographer: Presley Allen

Business Manager: Andrew O’Rourke

Social Media Manager: Evie Der Manouel

Cartoonist: Reilly Hendrix


Ms. Maria Lorenzo

A Series of Trump's Unfortunate Events Ryan Golden News Editor

What does the FBI raid on Michael Cohen mean for the Trump administration?

With the seemingly constant flow of news concerning the political world, it is no surprise that once again the government is what everyone is talking about. As the FBI’s investigation into President Trump’s ties to Russia has collided with the allegations of his affair and supposed disclosure agreement with an adult film star, Stormy Daniels, the bureau’s actions once again made frontpage news. The raid of Trump’s

personal lawyer Michael Cohen was a bold development in the investigations and we have yet to see what will come of it. One of the controversies that came from this surrounds the legitimacy of the FBI’s raid in the first place. Trump himself called the raid “disgraceful”. Many have called it unfair and unnecessary, especially as the issue of attorney-client privilege came into play when they seized large amounts of Cohen’s personal documents with client information. However, a legitimate search warrant was issued to the U.S. attorney’s office of the southern district of New York with a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller. As unusual as it may seem, it was legal by all accounts. “They’ve got to have reasonable suspicion that he is not forthcoming and that there’s documents in there that will help

Mueller. They can do that,” said history teacher Edward Borges. There is also the question of the legitimacy of Cohen himself. After he claimed that he had 10 clients but would only reveal two, he eventually revealed that he only had three clients: Trump, Elliott Broidy, who had Cohen pay $1.6 million to a former Playboy model after getting her pregnant, and Fox News host Sean Hannity. As Cohen has more lawyers for himself than clients, it seems that he is more of a “fixer” for his few clients, using shady means to get them out of trouble. But, he is a personal lawyer paid solely by his clients and can conduct his business as he wishes, as long as he abides by the law. “I would have to...this is hard... trust his integrity because there’s so much on each side of the scale and I personally have no trust for either side,” said math teacher

Mission Statement

The Red and Blue is an award-winning, student produced publication that is executed in a professional manner by delivering quality stories that are up to date and accurate. All staff members understand and abide by the standards of ethics and professionalism set forth by California State Law and the proposed Diocesan Publications Policy. The school community anticipates and appreciates the publication and plays an active rolein providing feedback. The thoughts and opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of San Joaquin Memorial High School and/or the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno.

Ron Moore. “I just hope truth prevails.” When it comes down to it, neither Trump or Cohen are allowed to withhold information from Mueller regardless of their positions. If evidence is found as a result of this raid that Cohen lied Michael Cohen pictured at Trump Tower. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty about details of said Borges, “So [if Cohen is conTrump’s affair with Stormy Daniels, he very well victed] it would reflect on him poorly as an individual, who hapcould be convicted. At this point, Trump, who is pens to be the president.” However, it seems to be the already on thin ice with a large portion of the American people, trend that Trump can get out of must be eagerly awaiting the re- anything. He said himself that sults of this raid to see what hap- if he shot someone on the street pens to Cohen, as it may dictate people would still love him and recent events have supported what happens to himself. Many might see Cohen and that notion. As Trump still has a Trump as a package deal since strong base in parts of the counone worked for the other. If one try, Cohen could go down withgoes down, they both do. Or if out him. “I don’t think that it’s going Cohen cooperates completely, it could mean that Trump is in big to affect Trump. I don’t think anything’s going to affect Trump trouble. “If there is incriminating ev- because there is too much of idence ... I’d hate to be his wife,” America that is persuaded by his philosophy,” said Moore.

The Red and Blue


april 2018


The Panthers' Prom WLC Gets Cookin' Ricardo Garcia Out of Uniform and Sports Editor

Elliott Nerenberg Editor-in-Chief

World Language Club is asking for your recipes to create a recipe book full of traditions.

Panthers danced ‘till they dropped at SJM’s 2018 JuniorSenior Prom.

The anticipation. The preparation. The excitement. There are no nights quite like this. Prom, popularized in movies and pop culture, is an occasion that every student dreams of attending upon becoming a high school student. On the night of SJM’s Junior-Senior Prom, such dreams came to fruition. “Being prom royalty was something that my 8-year-old self dreamed about, so it was heartwarming that it became a reality,” said junior Presley Allen. The dance, which took place on April 14 at Valdez Hall, offered music, snacks, plenty of music, and a night of dancing. Allen, who was elected by the junior class to be Prom Princess, spent the night on the dance floor with friends. She made memories that night which will not be forgotten. “I enjoyed having dinner beforehand, so, at the dance, I could

Seniors Ari Garcia, Sarah Carlos, Evenia DiCicco, and Junior Jillian Jordan enjoy prom. Photo: Elliott Nerenberg

focus on dancing and enjoying my time with friends,” Allen said. Another aspect of the dance that others appreciated was its relaxed atmosphere. Even on the dance floor, students enjoyed themselves without getting too wild. They were able to have fun without being overwhelmed, and attendees like Jessica Muñoz, junior, were happy about it. “Slow dancing was chill,” Muñoz said. “There wasn’t as much pressure as I expected.” In spite of all the fun students had at the dance, they did share some criticism. Some, including Allen and Muñoz, felt that the venue was far too large than for what was necessary. Even then, some perceived that the number of attendees was smaller than ex-

pected. Not only that, but some felt that more decorations would have made the dance more attractive. “I felt that it was quite spacious, and that there was a lack of decor and what not,” said junior Kayvon Sadeghi. Nonetheless, these minor negative attributes seemed insignificant in the scope of the great time most people had at the event. As far as school dances go, the junior-senior prom was a success. Students arrived looking for a good time, which is precisely what they were able to find. “My favorite memory was when we were all on the dance floor having fun together,” Sadeghi said. “We had a blast.”

A recipe book has many meanings for a family. They contain traditions, memories of loved ones, and reminders of cultural roots. For Italian teacher Michael Giovannetti, it has been a recurring project, bringing to life old memories and traditions. “I have done this project in the 1970s and then again in the 1980s,” Giovannetti said. “It’s done regularly by various organizations, and the main purpose of the project is to collect recipes, but more importantly to collect traditions.” Giovannetti first did the project in Italy with a middle school, and felt that the community here at SJM was well represented by many cultures. “The inspiration [for the cookbook] is San Joaquin Memorial itself. It’s a very diverse school, diverse population of students,

faculty, and staff,” he said. “What better way than to capture something everybody enjoys, which is preparing special meals for special occasions.” The club’s hope is to get as many families as possible to participate, since the project is family-based. “We see Memorial as a small school, that we are a family,” club adviser Alicia Luna said. “It would be an awesome idea to have it for Memorial.” The goal in creating the recipe book is to help see what people have in common with each other and use these recipes to share Memorial’s rich traditions. “The one thing we accomplished in past projects is that people realized how much they had in common,” Giovannetti said. Once the book is finished, likely around Thanksgiving, the club ultimately hopes to use the opportunity as a fundraiser. “We’re going to try to use as many [recipes] as we can,” Luna said. The Google Form will not be open for long, so be sure to help out the World Language Club accomplish their goal! Contact Alicia Luna at or Sarah Carlos at with any questions, or, even better, recipes.

Out With The Old and In With The New for ASB Ryan Golden News Editor

The new ASB members are ready to put in work and make SJM a better place for everyone. As the year comes to an end and with summer right around the corner, it is a good time to recognize the people that have been working hard all year to represent the entire student body and ensure that student activities and school events run smoothly and efficiently. On behalf of the entire SJM family I would like to say thank you to this year’s ASB team: President Tony Fagundes, Vice President Patrick Monreal, Secretary Julia Gonzalez, Rally Commissioner Ally Martin, Spirit Commissioner Andrew O’Rourke, Treasurer Adam Kazarian, Publicity Commissioner Parker Nassar and Senior Class President Dean Raymond. I would also like to welcome and recognize the new ASB for next year, a well-rounded and committed group of students that

are excited and prepared to serve all of you panthers. Your new ASB President is Seth Freitas. Freitas has noticed a lack in spirit in his three years at SJM and plans to change that. He wants to make school activities, notably rallies and sports events, more lively and involved. “That’s my biggest plan for the time being, but I plan on much more than just improving school spirit,” said Freitas. Freitas’ right-hand woman next year will be Amanda Boutte. As vice president, she is ready to help him lead ASB and promote involvement at SJM. “I hope to plan events for the students that they will enjoy and be eager to take part in and that will encourage them to want to get more involved in our school community,” said Boutte. Angelina Anguiano is excited and honored to be the new ASB Secretary. She is psyched to be able to serve the school and is prepared to contribute as much as she can as the new team transitions into their positions next year. “As a player of our new team, I want to help motivate everyone in being bold in engagements, in our studies, in our service, and friendships!” Anguiano said. Maddy Wilkins will be taking

on the role of rally commissioner. Wilkins is not one to do the bare minimum. She plans to exceed her duties and make sure that all school rallies are successful. “I intend to not only have fun, interactive rallies, but to aid our spirit commissioner and fellow ASB members in promoting school spirit at events,” said Wilkins. Justin Hunt has big plans as the new spirit commissioner. He wants to make a change by getting the word out about school events to all the students, and even set up an incentive program for students to support their fellow panthers. “I plan to get more students involved with school activities, as well as build a culture of support for ALL students,” Hunt said. The new ASB Treasurer will be Nick Provenzano. He also wants to exceed his duties and plans to use his position to initiate change and improvement in the way rallies are run. “Students can expect rallies to be improved on the basis that categories will be changed and games will be more relevant to those categories so long as the students are willing to bare with us as we fix these issues,” said Provenzano. Presley Allen will be the new commissioner of publicity. After being a part of Journalism she

Juniors Justin Hunt, Angelina Anguiano, Nick Provenzano, Maddy Wilkins, Seth Freitas, Presley Allen, Hannah Schmiederer, and Amanda Boutte form Memorial's 2018-2019 ASB. Photo: Presley Allen

feels that she has learned the importance of supporting a staff or student body. Allen is determined that we can do better as a student body when it comes to promoting ourselves. “Yes, credit is due for the promo videos and posters made to spread the word on events, but I would really like to get us on the media and have an Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat—maybe even all three,” said Allen. Lastly, the new Senior Class President and eighth member of ASB is Hannah Schmiederer. She is excited to be as involved as possible and accomplish whatever is

needed from her to the best of her abilities. “My main idea for the senior class is to unify everyone together and make our last year the best one yet,” said Schmiederer. “I want to do what is best for everyone so with every decision I will always consider the needs of the student body.” Good luck to these eight exceptional panthers! I have no doubt that they will do a great job and serve our school well as this senior class moves on.



The Red and Blue april 2018

Facebook, Congress, and America Patrick Monreal Editor-in-Chief

Mark Zuckerberg’s 10-hour testimony was filled with clueless politicians, talks of monopoly, and many confusing moments.

The news broke in March that political data firm Cambridge Analytica had gained access to and was compiling private information from more than 87 million Facebook users. Earlier this month, the leak prompted Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress, raising questions about data management policies and even future government regulation of the social media industry. While more precaution to protect user privacy needs to be taken, government

regulation may not be the answer...yet. First things first, Facebook is a good thing. Even with all of the bad publicity the $350 billion dollar company has received in the last year, millions of people still use it every single day. Members of the SJM community use the social media platform for a variety of reasons. “The purpose of Facebook to me is more for entertainment purposes,” said English teacher Elena Navarrette. “I follow lots of pages with puppies. My use of Facebook can probably be summed up in The Dodo.” Many seniors have recently begun using it to connect with their future colleges and potential roommates. “I created an account because Saint Mary’s emailed me to join the class of 2022 group,” senior Ali Miller said. “How could I say no to that?” These examples illustrate the fact that Facebook provides an invaluable service to us—it connects the world. Unfortunately, as we have seen, this service comes

with a catch. With the Cambridge Analytica scandal in mind, one can only wonder what Facebook does with all our data. This thought has pushed some to go as far as deactivating their Facebook account. “I had Facebook for about a year and a half,” said Bruce Garabedian. “I deleted Facebook because of the news broadcasts I was getting about what had happened with the illegal collecting of data and all that.” So, while Facebook provides an invaluable service, it also poses significant risks. How do we reconcile the two? Some, as expressed at Zuckerberg’s hearing, believe that the solution is increased government involvement in the social media industry. Opponents of this argue that government involvement can lead to violations of our First Amendment rights. I, for one, just do not think our current politicians are knowledgeable enough to pass any comprehensive reform regarding Internet privacy laws. Even with the

Mark Zuckerberg testifies in front of Congress on April 10, 2018. Photo: CNET

help of aids, staff, and reports, the legislators were still asking Zuckerberg questions that made no sense. He found himself answering “Senator, I don’t understand” several times. Our representatives simply don’t understand social media enough to enact strict policy on it yet. At the same time, Facebook and similar companies still need to be held responsible for reckless data practices. There’s definitely a balance that needs to be

found. Regardless, our priority as citizens should be to elect more knowledgeable representatives. Zuckerberg said it best: “The Internet is growing in importance around the world in people’s lives, and I think that it is inevitable that there will need to be some regulation. So my position is not that there should be no regulation. But I also think that you have to be careful about what regulation you put in place.”

AI: An Artificial Ambition Cinco De What? Elliott Nerenberg Editor-in-Chief

People have long questioned the ethics behind the development of a conscious machine. But is it even possible?

Advancing artificial intelligence has been a goal of scientists for decades. They seek to replicate the machines’ cognitive functions as well as human consciousness. This raises an ethical question: is it permissible to use the abilities of an essentially human entity for humanity’s own gain? “Because the human brain is essentially a complex computer, [artificial intelligence] would theoretically be possible,” said Lauro Platas, senior. “But there’s something that sets apart the human mind from simple computers.” Within seconds, modern computers can perform complex calculations far beyond the capabilities of the human mind. A more significant issue that Platas presents, moreover, is that the human brain possesses a consciousness that cannot be programmed. Computers can only accomplish tasks when given the appropriate commands; not out of free will. “Due to the way computers are structured, it’s not possible to program a machine capable of

understanding the world on a human level,” Platas said. “Machines can’t be programmed to be as subjective as humans.” This raises another point: part of being conscious is being able to interpret the world in a subjective manner. Computers might come to conclusions that fail to meet humanity’s needs. “The value of life isn’t something strictly numerical that can be programmed into a machine,” said chemistry teacher Jacqueline Ragsdale. “A computer would be able to come up with the best solution in terms of resource conservation, but would fail to realize the value humans place on life.” Let’s say, in some hypothetical situation, a new method of refining natural resources is developed. However, it requires extensive environmental modification that would displace and interrupt the lives of people living nearby, potentially even posing health risks. As the number of people living in this area is small, an intelligent machine decides to move forward with natural manipulation. In this case, the machine sees the population as a small sta-

tistic rather than a community of living people. Because computers are dependent on people, lack free will and cannot see the value of mortal existence beyond numerical value, it is not possible to replicate human consciousness onto a machine. In essence, a machine cannot be programmed to understand the implications of its decisions, only to make them based on algorithms and code. “In order for the computer to work, you still need to give it a command,” said English and history teacher Michael Urrutia. “It’s not capable of making its own decisions in the way people do.” Henceforth, artificial intelligence is not possible. Even then, humans cannot hope to replicate their existence without being able to know with certainty where it comes from in the first place. Thousands of years of studying and research have yet to solve this mystery. “The knowledge needed to recreate consciousness may not exist. Only God has been able to do it,” Urrutia said. “Imperfect beings cannot hope to replicate it.”

Evie Der Manouel & Ricardo Garcia Social Media Manager & Out of Uniform and Sports Editor

Cinco de Mayo prevented what could’ve been a monumental loss for the Union in the Civil War.

Why do you celebrate Cinco de Mayo? In the U.S. the holiday has become largely viewed as a party tradition, associated with alcohol consumption. “Tequila sales more than double” on this day, wrote the Boston Globe’s Matt Rocheleau. Unfortunately, this often distracts people from what the holiday truly means for people of Mexican descent. Many people who celebrate Cinco de Mayo as a cultural holiday do so to honor Mexican history. It is celebrated on May 5 to commemorate the victory of Mexico over the French in the Battle of Puebla in 1862. In spite of French advantages, the underdog Mexican army triumphed. It is argued that if Mexico was captured, France would have joined the Confederate army to fight against the North. If people are going to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, it should be

done so with respect for its historical and cultural legacy. Spanish teacher Alicia Luna hopes that all Americans, not just those of Mexican descent or birth, enjoy the special day. Luna stated that the holiday “is inclusive and all races are welcome to our celebration.” What makes the holiday special for her is that “it’s a time for me to be with family and give my daughters a taste of my traditions back home since we can’t return to Mexico.” Junior Esmeralda Altero’s family is from Puebla, and she explained that, “in the United States, the holiday is commercialized,” and in her home state, the celebrations are not as extreme as they are here. To the Luna and Altero families, Cinco de Mayo is a chance to embrace their culture and reflect on their rich history, something more than just a chance to destroy livers. While Cinco de Mayo is not recognized as a national holiday in either nation, it carries significance for those who understand its impact. It is disrespectful to Mexican culture and continues a legacy of cultural appropriation to use Cinco de Mayo as an excuse to wear a sombrero while taking tequila shots. For all of those who wish to celebrate the victory at the Battle of Puebla, however, this could be a good opportunity to learn more about Mexican culture and to celebrate it for the incredible victory that it was: that of the human spirit.

The Red and Blue



april 2018

Does Kendrick Deserve the Pulitzer? The 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Music goes to Kendrick Lamar, the first non-jazz or classical composer to win the award. His critically acclaimed 2017 album, DAMN., dominated the charts throughout the year. A debate has sparked on whether the award was appropriate because it broke traditions of the prestigious award.

Braeden Bailey Designer The Pulitzer Prize. A once great honor that has been slowly becoming culturally irrelevant due to evolving taste in music. This year, Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. became the first non-jazz or non-classical recording to receive the Pulitzer Prize for music. The prize is given “for a distinguished musical composition of significant dimension.” Strangely enough, previous finalists and winners for the awards have been relatively unknown and no one would even think that a rapper could win the award. I find this change of pace from the Pulitzer Prize to be refreshing; it shows that they are able to realize their dinosaur award needs a reboot. While DAMN. may not be his most lyrically impressive or complex album, Lamar still deserves this award and the recognition that comes with it. DAMN. was simply the massive commercial success that Lamar needed to be pushed into the mainstream and news outlets. I hope this will lead to him receiving more recognition for his powerful 2015 album, To Pimp A Butterfly. This album alone is a testament to Lamar’s incredible lyricism and story telling ability. Fortunately, Lamar has found a way to remain commercially successful while continuing to speak on social issues and advance the culture. This Pulitzer is a solid sign that the culture is advancing and with it, the archaic respect of the past. There has been outcry that Lamar does not deserve the award because DAMN. is far less “complex” than classical compositions. It is important to remember that the merit of music is not based purely on complexity, but rath-

er on the music’s relative quality within its genre. Lamar is arguably the best in his genre right now, and everything he records is sure to affect the trajectory of the genre in the future. He does not need the skill to compose an intricate composition because he has already impacted music more than those composers ever will. Hip-hop has been slowly seeping into the mainstream in the 21st century and is arguably now the most popular genre, especially among young people. In the wake of popularity, the genre became flooded with meaningless and often lackluster pieces. While I have nothing against the codeine-obsessed SoundCloud rapper, it is nice to see artists like Lamar still coming out on top of the genre. It demonstrates that listeners have found new ways of appreciating depth and meaning within music. One of this year’s finalist composers for the prize, Ted Hearne, even admitted to being a Kendrick Lamar fan after the award came out, saying, “hip-hop as a genre has been important to me as a composer, but Kendrick’s work in particular. He is such a bold and experimental authentic artist.” Giving the award to Lamar is recognizing far more than just DAMN. It is a sign of respect for a culture that has been historically downtrodden. The controversy alone that it sparked showed that the rest of the world may still be catching up to hip-hop.

Camilo Daza Head of Design Jennifer Higdon, 2010, Zhou Long, 2011, Kevin Puts, 2012, Caroline Shaw, 2013, John Luther Adams, 2014, Julia Wolfe, 2015, Henry Threadgill, 2016, Du Yun, 2017, and Kendrick Lamar, 2018. Eight classical music composers, one rapper, and one award: the Pulitzer Prize for Music. Kendrick Lamar, the first and only non-jazz or classical composer to be awarded the prize breaks the mainstream. Sure, Lamar’s album has topped numerous charts, but there is a reason as to why only jazz and classical music has won this award in prior years. These genres focus so much on the intricateness of music, involving a massive technical skill and knowledge of advanced musical concepts. Take last year’s Pulitzer winning opera, Angel’s Bone, for example. The only award it won was the Pulitzer Prize for Music. DAMN., howe ve r, won six different awards, of which the Pulitzer is just one. Genres like hip-hop and pop have countless awards ceremonies and nominations, and if the trend continues, the Pulitzer Prize for Music will just become another one that will be crowded out by hip-hop. Yes, Lamar did put countless hours into producing this lyrically expressive and artistic masterpiece, but even then, I doubt

he would be able to compose or improvise a song completely by himself similar to a classical composer or jazz musician. Thus, he seems to lack the “musicianship” exemplified by previous winners. The production of classical and jazz music is one that cannot really be done in a short amount of time, but if one takes one look over to SoundCloud and just browses through a few uploaded songs, the genre of hip-hop and rap itself is not one filled with the high level of musicianship exemplified by that of classical and jazz music, and thus does not merit the prestige of the Pulitzer Prize. Musically, this album is so far removed as to what previous years have established as Pulitzer worthy. Even compared to his last two albums, DAMN. stays quite close to glorified radio pop, and I would even go as far as to say that Lamar’s 2015 album To Pimp a Butterfly is much more deserving of the Pulitzer Prize. Even Lamar himself as an individual is quite controversial, getting involved in activism and politics that seems quite different from previous Pulitzer winners, a majority refraining from this involvement. A few years back in an interview, he said that voting was useless, stating, “when I say the president can't even control the world, then you definitely know there's something else out there pushing the buttons. They could do whatever they want to do, we [are] all puppets.” Regardless, Lamar’s accomplishments are nothing short of praiseworthy and it is extremely important in today’s day and age for him to have won this award, and for that, I respect him. Physics teacher Greg Bamber puts it perfectly, stating that this occurrence is “just one more lead ball on the sinking ship of western civilization."

Child Killers or Life Savers? Opioids in America

Seth Freitas Incoming Staff

Opioids continue to revolutionize medical treatments, but is abuse starting to damage its reputation?

There has never been a more socially destructive yet medically influential classification of substances in human history as opioids. Historically speaking, opioids have advanced the way we treat life threatening wounds and conditions. However, it is because of this greater reliance on opioids that many have suffered from addiction and abuse. Beginning with the discovery of the opium poppy in ancient times, opium has been recognized for thousands of years as not only a recreational substance,

but a medical juggernaut as well. To date, opioids have had an overwhelmingly positive impact as medicine, especially for soldiers suffering from physical wounds. Though the U.S. Government has claimed that there has been a tragic opioid epidemic as of late 2017, the issue of opioid abuse has been documented all throughout human history. Opioids’ addictive properties and sensational effects have led many down the path to succumbing to a vital dependence on them. “I don’t think [the govern-

ment] should be as limited on everything,” claims junior Kayvon Sadeghi, “but they need to place limits on potent opioids.” The best example of a potent opioid would be alprazolam, or more infamously known by its name at pharmacies: Xanax. Taryn Cornell, a junior, has a somewhat differing viewpoint. “Sedatives and pain relievers are quite important for complicated medical conditions,” she says, “however, it is up to the individual to determine their limits and what defines abuse and addiction.”

Though there is obviously no simple side to pick for this crisis, there is decent reasoning on both sides regarding the use and moderation of opioids. The importance of opioids in society today is more important than its abuse, as it has helped to save a myriad of lives throughout the history of civilization. Though abuse is a growing issue that requires some degree of measures by the government, the societal benefit outweighs the cost.



The Red and Blue april 2018

Making the World a Better Place Presley Allen Photographer

Did you participate in Earth Day last year? If not, it’s okay! Celebrate this year and help make our planet a better place. Reduce, reuse, and recycle! With the passing of Earth Day on April 22, people need to start putting these words into action. Earth Day is considered to be the anniversary of the environmental movement that originated in

QNA with ReiKtnHen

1970. Its purpose, according to science teacher Jackie Ragsdale, is “to bring awareness to our planet and the issues that are facing our environment.” Earth Day can be an important time for people to unite and help the environment, but it seems as if most people completely neglect it. “Nobody really celebrates it,” said freshman Nicholas Alarcon, “[People] don’t take it seriously. They just know about it.” Why is that? According to freshman Emma Farris, the problem is people’s lack of awareness, not only of Earth Day, but of other environmental problems as well. “People need to be more aware of it,” Farris said. “If they see something, not necessarily

trash, but just something wrong with the environment, they can work on noticing it more.” Although it is beneficial to start making oneself more mindful of the environmental issues around us, more people should start taking action to try and solve them, and taking part in Earth Day is a good place to start. “I would say look online for events that the community is putting on because a lot of communities do particular things whether it be tree planting or cleanup days, things like that,” said Ragsdale. Farris claims that last year her school had a schoolwide pick-up trash day, and this year, she will encourage her friends to make sure they pick up after themselves. Whether or not you plant

trees, pick up trash, or simply recycle on Earth Day, just note that taking part makes a differ-


ence b e cause every helping hand contributes to having a better, healthier environ-

The Red, Blue, and Green

Braeden Bailey Designer

As the school year comes to an end, the AP Biology class puts the finishing touches on their year-long garden project.

In 2009, SJM welcomed the addition of a garden area by the junior lot. It looked promising, but has struggled to be a consistent blooming garden since science teacher Dave Duncan was often left as the sole caretaker. “The garden is hard to maintain over summer without student help,” Duncan said. This year, however, Duncan has enlisted the help of both his AP Biology classes to help him renovate and revitalize SJM’s garden. This serves as both an assignment in the class and a way to help the school grow. Students were allowed to choose their own groups of four and were assigned specific duties and responsibilities for the garden.

The newly renovated SJM garden is home to numerous fruits and vegetables that are ready for harvest. Pictured here is a fresh cabbage ready for picking. Photo: Braeden Bailey

Despite being separated into groups, the class found themselves often having to use teamwork in order to get things done and looking nice. For example, the planting group had to coordinate their duties with the irrigation group so that crops would actually grow and receive proper water treatment. “I’ve worked for many hours in the garden over the course of the project,” said senior Tyler Palmer. The renovations include many plants such as carrots, broccoli, tomato, and cilantro. Special plant beds and sprinklers have been set

up to ensure that the plants grow properly and can be harvested when ripe. The presentation group has worked hard to clean up the place and make it look presentable for all the students passing it as they go to their classes. One group even set up a structure that will be used for a butterfly garden. “I had the butterfly garden, which I enjoyed because it was a hands-on-project that allowed me to really be creative with how we put it together,” senior Summer Herrera said. Mr. Duncan is encouraging students to check out the garden and enjoy the fresh foliage. There has been a lot of work put into the project and it would be great to see that effort appreciated. “The garden is available to all students, anyone who has an interest in growing things. They should get involved, they can just see me for help,” Duncan said. “It’s almost like a canvas, every year something different can be planted.”

The Red and Blue



april 2018

Where Are They Now? Cortez Welcomes A New Panther

Elliott Nerenberg Editor-in-Chief

Reilly Hendrix Cartoonist

Former Panther Victoria Vidales, ‘17, provides insight into her current life and reminisces about her time at SJM. It should come as no surprise that SJM’s most hardworking students go on to great places, challenging both their intellectual capacities and the skills they have gathered in high school. As such, a student’s hard work continues far beyond high school. Victoria Vidales, ‘17, knows this well. “As a full time student, most of my time revolves around studying,” Vidales said. Now a freshman at Saint Mary’s College of California in Moraga, Vidales has adopted a rigorous academic schedule. There is no doubt, however, that her time at SJM has more than prepared her for what lies ahead. With a major in history and a minor in politics, she aims to concentrate such efforts on eventually building a successful career as an attorney, a lifelong dream of hers. “For as long as I can remember, my career goal has been to become a lawyer,” Vidales said.

Philip McDougal, Caty Otero, Victoria Vidales, and Ben Diener, all Memorial alumni from the class of 2017 pose together before a Memorial formal. Photo: Victoria Vidales

“I plan on attending law school at the conclusion of my college career, and have begun the law school advising process here in college.” Of course, Vidales moderates her work with fun activities, one of which is being involved in campus organizations. Among them is the Gael Sisterhood, a group in which women on campus can come together to bond and have fun. Not only that, but she continues to pursue her high school interest in journalism as one of the youngest staff members on The Collegian, her school’s own student publication. “It is a different turn around from high school because we publish weekly,” Vidales said. “[Regardless], I enjoy continuing to

write for a paper, which was one of my highlights in high school.” With so many changes in her life, Vidales often looks back at her time at Memorial fondly. She had not thought about it much before, but upon leaving high school, she quickly realized that the sense of familiarity she once had on a daily basis was now alien to her, and that she took it for granted. Thus, her advice to current Panthers is as follows: never forget your friends and focus on the present, for what you are experiencing with them now may very well be some of the best experiences you will ever have. “Seeing people [I] knew so well every day [didn’t] seem so important then, but it is something I miss in my new life,” Vidales said.

With a new addition to their family, the Cortez family welcomes new love into their lives. Jessica Cortez, the school’s retreat coordinator, is enjoying maternity leave with her new baby, Serenity. Cortez, now a mother of two, is ecstatic about welcoming new love into her life. “Grace is my oldest; she is 21 months old. Serenity is the baby, she is 1 month old (5 weeks to be more precise),” says Cortez. Even though there is a new baby in the house, Grace doesn’t have to worry. As all parents know, one child is never loved more than the other. With the love she is experiencing as a sec-

ond-time mother, Cortez knows that she’s truly blessed. “I can undoubtedly find joy in my baby girls! Grace is constantly smiling and laughing; it is highly contagious. Serenity does a lot of sleeping right now. Even in her sleep, she smiles and giggles.” says Cortez. With yet another bundle of joy in her family, Cortez has been given the opportunity to appreciate the new change. As such, she is having the time of her life with the perspective she continues to gain with her two girls. “They have refocused my eyes to appreciate many things I took for granted and also redirected my thoughts to what is most important. Life has been full of adventure, peace, and joy since they have been here,” Cortez said.


Gema Lopez: Teaching Art to Inmates Patrick Monreal Editor in Chief

Attendance officer Gema Lopez has begun to share her passion for art in an unlikely setting.

Whether you were late to class or trying to get out of a test, every Panther has met attendance officer Gema Lopez. While Lopez has been working at SJM for about 5 years, many may not know about her artistic background. Not only has she been painting her entire life, but Lopez has even begun teaching art classes at Pleasant Valley State Prison. “I always enjoyed drawing as a child, but my interest was really sparked when my grandfather on my mother’s side, who’s a muralist, came to Fresno and spent the summer with us,” Lopez said. “He brought his paints, set up his easel, and started painting scenes from Walt Disney. I just remember sitting there being totally

mesmerized by what he was doing and thinking to myself, ‘I want to do that.’” In her early childhood, Lopez painted ordinary things around her house. She continued this passion in elementary school and junior high, winning several art competitions. In high school, Lopez and her classmates’ artwork was even chosen to represent Fresno at the state capitol. “Our work was displayed at the capitol in Sacramento, where I got to meet Gov. Jerry Brown— the first time he was governor,” said Lopez. “I actually have a picture at my parents’ home of me, my mom, and the governor when he was young.” After high school, Lopez spent a year in Mexico studying with a painter who had worked with her grandfather. Then, she majored in graphic design at the California College of the Arts in Oakland. While working in the graphic design field in the Bay Area for almost 30 years, Lopez found it difficult to find time to paint. In the last seven years, however, Lopez has become more serious about her art. She has been painting on a more regular basis,

entering (and winning) competitions at art festivals, selling her artwork online, and, more recently, teaching art classes. Lopez has been asked to teach at places like the Frank Bette Center for the Arts and the Mendocino Art Center. She considers her greatest achievement to be displaying her artwork at the Elliott Fouts Gallery in Sacramento. “I had some of my artwork on Etsy, and, out of the blue, I got a phone call from the owner of the Elliott Fouts Gallery,” Lopez said. “He said he had seen my work on Etsy and wanted to show it at the gallery. So, I took my larger pieces there, and some of them sold.” In the last year, Lopez has begun spreading her passion for art in a rather unlikely setting: a prison. She currently teaches a weekly oil painting class at Pleasant Valley State Prison—a facility that has housed criminals ranging from the Menéndez Brothers to Robert Kennedy’s assassin. Lopez’s class covers the basics, delves into specific techniques, and guides the inmates in creating their own pieces. “The night before my first class [at the prison], I was tossing

and turning because I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know how I would be received, what it would be like, what issues would come up, but I was confident that once I started talking about art, I was going to be fine,” Lopez said. “That’s what happened. There’s been lockdowns and fights while I’ve been there, but I’ve never had

an issue with my students.” Lopez says that teaching at the prison has been a very rewarding experience for her. The class has also pushed her to dedicate more of her time to painting. In the future she hopes to take on another class and organize a way for the students to raise money for charity through their art.

"From My Garden" by Gema Lopez.

Photo: Gema Lopez



The Red and Blue APRIL 2018

Surviving Second Semester School is winding down, and it's now officially grind time. AP tests and finals are coming up, and for seniors, college is just on the horizon. Let loose and read up on The Red and Blue's advice for this last month of school.

Making to-do lists helps me prioritize my commitments while keeping me focused on what comes ahead, like AP tests. - Jillian Jordan, Junior

Ricky G's Tips and Tricks to Pass the AP Tests Ricardo Garcia Out of Uniform and Sports Editor

Simple tips to help you ace this year’s AP exams.

May is quickly approaching, and that can only mean one thing: AP exams. Whether it is your first time taking an AP test or your seventh time, here are some tips and tricks to help you pass the AP test. 1. Look for a formula: Most AP tests have specific types of questions that appear every single year. For example, AP Microeconomics almost always involves graphing a market in equilibrium, and AP Calculus BC always

has a free response on a Taylor or Maclaurin series. Make sure you study these for a better shot at scoring high. 2. Get a prep book: Most of these books are between $10 and $20. The Princeton Review and Barron’s are among the most common ones used to review. These books cover the most pertinent information on the AP test and have practice questions similar to the style on the exam. 3. Practice under timed conditions: Time management is crucial to any test. Each section is timed on AP Tests, so it is best to practice under a time limit to see if you are finishing on time or falling short of the limit. For example, the AP Psychology exam, one of the shortest tests, asks 100 multiple choice questions in an hour and ten minutes, and two free re-

Juniors Liam Jacoby and Noah Menezes work hard in the final semester of their junior year. Photo: Presley Allen

sponse questions in 50 minutes. 4. Use online resources: College Board has released questions from previous exams so students can practice. Also, there are great series on Youtube such as Crash Course if reading is not your thing. Be careful, however, as these videos are often very quick and retention can be difficult. 5. Know what you're up against: Some AP tests have reputations for being very difficult. These would include science APs such as Biology and history subjects such as US History. 6. Set a time to stop studying: At some point while studying, your brain may become fried from reviewing. Set a time to cease studying and let the information settle into your mind. Furthermore, make sure to get some sleep. A well-rested brain will help you focus better. 7. Eat well the day of the exam: Like any test, eat a good breakfast the day of the exam. Ditch that customary Pop-Tart for some eggs. Substitute those Frosted Flakes for yogurt, fruit,

and granola. 8. Most importantly, relax: All that studying won’t do you any good if you do not relax. You may become so tense that you may forget everything you reviewed. You have spent an entire year to prepare, so do not let that go to waste. 9. Go to teacher review sessions: These help a lot to able to condense a years' worth of material into a few sessions such that you can have everything fresh in your head when the AP test rolls around. 10. Take advantage of collective knowledge and study with your friends: This can help iron out the small kinks in your armor when it comes to the extensive knowledge required for AP tests. It all comes down to this. An entire year’s worth of endless classwork and testing now leads up to one of the longest tests you will take. Don’t panic and take advantage of all your resources. And, of course, relax and get some sleep. Good luck to everyone taking an AP test!

Editorial: Seniors, Where Are You Heading? With the May 1 deadline on the horizon, The Red and Blue has the undecided seniors’ backs with a guide to choosing the right college.

May 1—the date that has been looming in the back of every senior’s head for the past few months. It is much more than the deadline for accepting colleges’

admissions offers. May 1 is the deadline for deciding where we will be going for the next four years of our lives. May 1 is the first step to our futures. May 1 is … fastly approaching. With that in mind, where are you going next year? Not sure? It’s okay, most of The Red and Blue's staff is undecided right now, too. Before we delve into the world of college admissions, however, we want to stress that choosing your college is a very personal decision. By that, we mean two things. For one, the most important factors in a decision for one person can and should be totally different from others. Second-

ly, the decision-making process should involve thoughtful discussion with loved ones. If you haven’t done it already, the first step to making the big decision is to narrow down your list. Whittle it down to two or three choices. It’s really up to you how you do this. Researching each college can certainly help. Sometimes, it’s a matter of cost, scholarships, and financial aid. With two to three choices in mind, now is the time to make visits if you haven’t yet. Take a tour, talk to students, and get a feel for the campus. For schools that are far away (or if the deadline is in two days), virtual tours are usually

available online. Check out www. for several interactive tours. While you may not be able to gauge the atmosphere of a university from a computer screen, you might learn new information about schools. As cheesy as it sounds, a pros and cons list can be extremely helpful in making your college decision. Physically writing out what you see in these universities can sometimes make the answer quite obvious. With the pros and cons list, you also need to decide what the most important aspects you are looking for are. Do you want to be close or far from home? How

are the sports at your potential schools? What are the dorms like? Semester or quarter system? What about the weather? Choose three to five factors that matter most to you. Use these in your decision. Prestige, money, friends, and family aside, The Red and Blue believes that it’s all about fit. Where do you fit in best? Ultimately, the decision is up to you. Take your time. You’re going to spend a significant chunk of your life at this school; you’re allowed to take time to think about it. Just make sure to make that decision by May 1. Committing to two schools is not fun!


The Red and Blue APRIL 2018


How to Fight Finals WHAT’S TRENDING? Evie Der Manouel Social Media Manager


"Supernatural" @GabbyMartinez

"The Ranch" @ToddAzevedo

2 Thessalonians 3:16 "Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all." Ah, finals week. To me that means living at Starbucks and cramming to get those perfect grades. However, that’s probably not the healthiest way to prepare for such stress. In fact, the best preparation methods are simpler than you think. As such, there are definitely a few things you and I can work on to make it through the week without combusting. Hydrate with H2O Let’s be realistic here. We’re all probably going to be hopped up by coffee, rebels, tea, or energy drinks this week, and while that’s okay, consider squeezing in a little


"Peaky Blinders" @AustinYniguez


ed the way I work is creating a study schedule as soon as I get home. Keep in mind that it is okay to take breaks, but keep them to a minimum and approximately 5-10 minutes long. Catch those Z’s Nothing is more important in this entire endeavor than sleep. It is scientifically proven that you will be less inclined to perform at your best academically if you’re falling asleep at your desk. Take care of yourself, take naps, and learn how to prioritize! Take care of yourself and try as hard as you can to capitalize on your free time. Believe in yourself! Remember never to doubt yourself, even when you think you’ll fail. No matter what your grade is, put 100% into those finals, and discuss with your teachers some realistic goal grades. Realize that sometimes straight A’s aren’t that realistic, and if you have them, that’s great! Just remember, you’re doing better than you think you are, you WILL get into a college, and your final grades will be a reflection of the amount of work you put into them.

Appreciate Your Teachers! Presley Allen Photographer

Sometimes your favorite teachers do not get enough credit. So, use this year’s Teacher Appreciation Day to show your teachers you care!

"Freaks and Geeks"

H2O. Water helps relieve fatigue, maintain energy, and can be a headache remedy for those of us who get them after studying for long periods of time. Don’t overdo it! Cramming a lot of information into a little amount of time can result in the scary possibility of not retaining anything. Take small breaks every 25 minutes to not only give yourself a physical break but to give you a chance to stretch and recenter yourself as well. “By failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail” -Benjamin Franklin When you are ~blessed~ with a final study guide, always make use of it. Try reading over it a few times and then getting to work. Luckily, you’ve already gone over the material, so if things don’t seem familiar, you know what you should focus on when you begin studying. Have a schedule Balancing swim, student council, and academics, I realized something needed to change so I wasn’t up past midnight every night struggling to get work done. One thing that has really impact-

Oftentimes students are found complaining about their teachers and the workload these teachers impose upon them. The halls are filled with venting along the lines of “I can’t believe she assigned us a project over spring break!” But, what students do not realize is that teachers are assigning us projects and giving us tests only because they want to see us work hard and succeed. Students typically don’t take this into consideration a n d probably have not taken the time to appreciate how much their te a che rs actually do for them. But,

with Teacher Appreciation Day coming up on May 8, it is the perfect opportunity for students to show their teachers that they truly care. Students this year are coming up with various ways they can show their teachers they are thankful. F r e s h m a n Siobhan Jacoby claims that in the past, her middle school had rallies and students brought gifts for teachers on Teacher Appreciation Day. Although she said she may bring her favorite teacher, Mr. Ferd, a gift, Jacoby says a good way to appreciate teachers is simple: “Be respectful in class and cooperate more because some kids don’t, and I’m sure this makes teachers’ lives stressful.” As for sophomore Geno Sciacqua, he said, “I’m going to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Day by telling all of my teachers how thankful I am for all they do for me.” According to Grant Heuring, junior, telling them “thank you” and that they are doing a good job is

sometimes all they need. As for the teachers, morality teacher Santino Reynolds said, “It is nice to be recognized and appreciated by the students.” But, he thinks that appreciating teachers needs to be more widespread throughout the student body. “Maybe all the students [need to] recognize it because I think, at times, it’s a lot of the same people that come in and say ‘thank you’ and ‘please’ and things like that.” I n R e y n o l d s’ eyes, simple politeness or recognition really takes the cake in terms of appreciating teachers. As for Stephen Ferdinandi, he appreciates students coming by and saying “hey”. So, this Teacher Appreciation Day, you can show your teacher that you are grateful f o r him or her by going big and getting a gift, or simply saying “thanks”. Either way, it will become known to teachers that students really do give them credit for working to help students achieve.


Out of Uniform

The Red and Blue APRIL 2018

Exploring Lao Cuisine VR: The Movie Lokesh Bhardwaj Feature Editor

Andrew O'Rourke Staff Writer

A shining source of culture and food is explored in Fresno during the Lao New Year festival.

Based on the successful book by Ernest Cline, “Ready Player One” downloads into theaters near you.

Culture, at a basic level, is “the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively.” While a dictionary definition gives a blanket statement for what culture is, it does not exemplify the meaning it has to smaller individual ethnic groups. It is relatively unknown that Fresno houses one of the largest Lao populations outside of their native country. With there being only about 8,000 Lao people in Fresno, they take their culture seriously and bond together as a community through the celebration of various cultural events, one being the Lao New Year, celebrated from April 14 to April 16. The Lao New Year is held at the “Wat Lao Dhamma Sacca”, a Buddhist temple located in South Fresno, and unites the Lao population as a whole. The event consists of numerous Lao food venues gathering at the temple and serving various cultural dishes, ranging from pork barbecue to regional fermented cuisine. I personally enjoyed the different kinds of juices offered at the festival. Being of Indian descent, I absolutely love sugar cane. After I took a sip of the Lao sugar cane,

At the annual Lao New Year, you can indulge in treats such as barbeque pork sticks or dried squid. Photo: Lokesh Bhardwaj

I was filled with nostalgia, practically bringing me back to India. Food enthusiast Ian Cochiolo, senior, attended the event and had quite a bit to say about the various cultural foods. “The pork skewers were full of fatty juicies and [were] overall fantastic,” said Cochiolo. “The New Years celebration was chaotic, yet fascinating. It was interesting to see how the Lao celebrated this event through food,” Cochiolo added.

Matthew Ricci, senior, attends the festival yearly and thoroughly enjoys the event. “The Nam Khao dish, which is essentially fried rice, is absolutely fantastic,” Ricci said. “Not only is the festival interesting, it is from a unique subgroup of the Fresno community,” he continued. The Lao New Year is a truly unique event with even more unique food. I would highly recommend that more people go next year.

Virtual Reality was made into a movie when “Ready Player One” hit theaters. Based on the book by Ernest Cline, this movie is a pop culture junkie’s dream. In a world where everyone communicates with each other through a virtual world called the OASIS, it becomes a hunt for three keys to become owner of the OASIS. After the creator, James Halliday, dies, he leaves behind all of his money and stock to the person who finds the three keys first. Throughout the movie, there are references to other famous movies and forms of entertainment, including “Back to the Future” and “The Iron Giant”. No one other than Steven Spielberg, who was the creator of some of those famous pop culture figures

Ready Player One poster. Photo: Flickering Myth

was worthy enough to have directed this movie. “I loved seeing the book come to life,” said senior Ryan Golden. Since the movie is advertised as a virtual reality world, that’s exactly what it was. The visual effects were amazing. That is, it feels like the audience is with the characters in every scene of the movie. The battle scenes look as if it’s a campaign of a video game. “Everything about the movie was intense and I loved every minute of it.” Golden said.

Up and Coming Uchis Releases New Debut Album Evie Der Manouel Social Media Manager

Kali Uchis goes all out for her new album, Isolation. Singer-songwriter Kali Uchis released her debut album on April 6, 2018, titled Isolation. Her Latina heritage greatly influences her artistry today as her upbeat song “Nuestra Planeta” tells a love story in Spanish. The upbeat Colombian and Reggaeton create a unique track that reflects her roots and love for Reggae, revealing how her early musical inspirations shaped her as an artist. Uchis grew into a disobedient teenager who used her familial frustrations to motivate her to accomplish her dreams. Growing up with abuse in her extended family, Uchis explained in an open inter-

view with popular magazine company Fader that “One can never forget about that kind of abuse.” Perhaps it could be concluded that the title “Isolation” is a reflection of her evolvement into a lone star from a feature artist, but on a deeper level that she considers herself an outsider. Her rebellion against her parents’ rules would subsequently lead her to being kicked out of her home at age 17. Living in her car, Uchis took her punishment as a way to prove that her parents were wrong and that she could survive on her own without rules. She worked at Whole Foods and maintained multiple jobs while she occasionally attending high school, but her main outlet became writing poetry, which would later evolve into song lyrics. “[She’s] bold, independent and bad,” said junior Lili Lopez. “You can tell she is confident in herself with her accomplishments in her videos and performances,

which makes her that more enjoyable to watch.” Her collaborations with Tyler the Creator and Gorillaz member Damon Albarn incorporated her style with other well known artists, thus launching her career. Senior Christian Fung added, “Like I said, she’s her own person and isn’t copying anybody’s else’s style. She has her own identity. She’s in the same category as Tyler the Creator and Brockhampton.” Uchis released her album on the same day that Alina Baraz, The Weeknd, Famous Dex, and Cardi B released albums, which caught the attention of those who hadn’t originally thought of listening to her album. Despite this, Uchis’ album had no trouble staying in the Top 10. “There wasn’t one bad song on the album, and I feel like what sets her apart as an artist is that she takes common feelings of women and makes them into relatable songs with an upbeat twist,” said

sophomore Tess Solomon. Being supported by music moguls such as Snoop Dogg has made Uchis a

definite artist to watch this year, and in the meantime, we’ll be playing Isolation on repeat.

Kali Uchis' recent breakout success is a testament to the very high quality of the music she produces. Photo: Clash Music

The Red and Blue APRIL 2018



Boys Golf Gets Gains Jillian Jordan Incoming Staff

Boys Golf swings their way through an impressive season. So far, the Memorial Boys Golf team has had an impressive season. Initially placing second to their longtime rivals, Bullard, during the CMAC #1 Tournament, the boys came back with vengeance to overtake them for

the first time in five years at the CMAC #3 Tournament at San Joaquin Country Club. It was an exciting day for the team, especially the seniors, who have yet to beat Bullard as a team. Senior Andrew O’Rourke, a four-year member of the team, delved into their accomplishment. “It felt great to beat Bullard because in four years of playing golf, I haven’t beaten them,” he said. This is a prime example of hard work and dedication paying off. The boys’ continued enthusiasm for the sport kept them prac-

Coach Tony Smith, senior Gavin Chauhan, sophomore John Cullins, seniors Ben Camarena, Tony Fagundes, Andrew O'Rourke, Carlos Torres, and coach Ricky Altero form a part of the successful Memorial Boys' Golf team. Photo: This Week at Memorial

ticing all year until they achieved their desired goal. Sophomore John Cullins agreed with O’Rourke. “It was really cool. It felt awesome to do something like that because it hadn’t been done in so long,” he said. Commenting on the team’s strengths, Junior Matthew McDougal said, “We are really laid back, as we like to have a fun time during practice, and because of that we don’t crack under pressure.” The team’s ability to decompress while playing such a high pressure sport is beneficial as they utilize the support from their peers to remain cool, calm and collected. The boys have a great chemistry not only with their teammates, but with their coach as well. “It’s really fun to be around the guys. Coach Tony isn’t just a coach, he’s more of a person just to hang out with,” said Hector Madrigal, senior. Seniors Andrew O’Rourke and Ben Camarena have already qualified for Valleys this year. The rest of the team is waiting to see if they qualify as well. With three wins, one tie, and one loss, the boys hope to finish off their season strong. Good luck Panthers!

Rough Ruggers Keep Grinding Louden Nidy Incoming Staff The Memorial rugby team in its short 3 year existence has already shaken up the valley’s rugby community with not only its skill but determined players. Last year the Panthers took second in the division 2 state bracket and ended with a 6-1 league record with only 22 players. They faced well established rugby programs such as Bishop O’Dowd and De La Salle and shattered expectations for a club of their size. Fast forward to this year. The team has grown in quantity to 32 members, many of which have never touched a rugby ball before. However, the team’s dedicated volunteer coaches, Rudy Negrete, Nizzle, Chris Comstock, and Andrew Pickerel quickly readied the mostly green team into formidable rugby players. “The coaching staff is great and makes us the team we are,” captain of the backs and junior Jake Negrete said. Those not acquainted with rugby may find the game quite barbaric and rough in some areas, especially to those who have never played a contact sport before. However, players are taught to minimize injuries by following

many regulations and techniques. This keeps the game physical and safe, even without the protection that is worn in football. “In football, you’re taught to hit with as much force and momentum as possible, head first,” says sophomore Mateo Escobar, who is a first year rugby player. “In rugby the player has to almost lock up with the enemy in almost a wrestling kind of grab, that way it kind of hurts less when you get hit, even without padding.” T h e coaches are not alone in training the rookies, however. The team consists mostly of seasoned rugby players who’ve played the "gentleman’s game" for many years before. They have helped out with training and conditioning the newcomers in order to allow them to feel more comfortable when facing up against more experienced opponents. Personally being a fairly new rugby player myself, I have witnessed first hand the level of skill

and dedication in our players performance at practice and on the field. Many of our first year players who have come from football easily picked up on the flow of the game and were able to get right into the starting lineup within a few weeks. However, for the few of us who have barely played any kind of physically aggressive sport, it may take a bit longer. N e w comers have been taught the basics such as how to pass the ball, how to hit and get hit, and how to run properly. Lessons also included more complicated tricks like taking down people larger than you or finding a position that suits your athletic ability. This year the Panthers continued to break expectations with an impressive 5-2 record only being defeated in two heartbreaking games against Bullard. The team has since learned from their defeats and are more than ready to take on what comes next. The Panthers now prepare themselves for state playoffs next weekend at Memorial.

San Joaquin Memorial Girls' Softball team.

Photo: Reilly Hendrix

Building Spirit Reilly Hendrix Cartoonist

Up next to bat, team spirit! During this season, SJM’s Softball Team hopes to build upon their preexisting spirit and group chemistry. As an already close-knit group, they have so far played 15 out of 21 games. Coach Kim Cristobal takes pride leading her team and does so enthusiastically. “Coaching is awesome! You get to see the girls grow on and off the field and utilize what they have learned in softball to tackle life’s challenges,” Cristobal said. While the team was practicing in Ryan’s gym due to poor weather conditions, the players continued working on catching, one

of the most important aspects of softball. Senior Julia Elgorriaga, a 3rd basewoman and infielder along with Mindy Pacheco, the sophomore captain, rate softball a solid 8-9/10. “[Softball] is a great stress reliever,” Elgorriaga said. Part of this relief comes from being around great friends. “You get to see a lot of new people,” Pacheco added. Teamwork definitely makes the dreamwork when it comes to softball. “I feel like I am part of something [when I am playing softball because] everyone here is like [family]. We are really close,” Pacheco said. Fellow panthers, let’s rally behind our softball warriors this season as they build their team spirit on and off the field.



The Red and Blue APRIL 2018

A Sense of Promise in Fresno NBA


Camilo Daza Head of Design

Andrew O'Rourke Business Manager

Goals, celebrations, and a fantastic atmosphere. Fresno FC is here to stay. Many months in the making, Fresno FC has finally debuted at Chukchansi Park, and just over a month into the season, it is apparent that it is only up from here. Almost 20,000 soccer fans have spectacted the first three home matches of Fresno FC. With everything from wins to losses to draws, the Foxes have caught the Central Valley’s attention. Senior and varsity soccer player Alan Diaz-Barriga embraces this, stating that he is “extremely hyped for what is to come” due to the uniting atmosphere provided by the fans. Additionally, Diaz-Barriga continued, adding, “the team has a lot of potential to become a great club. With more local players, [Fresno FC] can show what the Valley is made of.”

Looking ahead to the many different teams and stories in the NBA Playoffs

Chuckchansi Park in downtown Fresno is the new home of Fresno FC for the time being. Photo: Camilo Daza

So far, the Zorros have recorded two wins, three draws and one loss to open up the season. The club stated that “while the season is young, [Fresno] is unbeaten in six games and [they've] brought in players and coaches from around

the world to stick to [their] commitment to the Valley." With youth, experience and homegrown talent, including Christian Chaney, Bullard High graduate and Juan Pablo Caffa, captain and former player for

Spanish teams such as Real Betis and Real Zaragoza, the Foxes have everything set for the future. Fresno FC continues looking to the future, with the club adding that the club is “committed to winning and [their] ultimate goal is to become the Valley's most dominant sports team.” Throughout the six matches thus far, the Fire Squad, Fresno FC’s very own supporters group, has added enormously to the entire match experience at Chukchansi Park. They have been engaged, energized and sometimes even a bit vulgar, keeping the Chuk filled with energy and helping the Foxes fight back from behind numerous times. This occurred at the opening match on March 17th when Chaney netted a goal in the 89th minute, sending the near-8,000 fans in attendance into jubilation with smoke bombs, scarves and flags filling the sky. Upon reaching out to Fresno FC for statement, they replied highlighting multiple facets of Fresno FC. “We pride ourselves on building a club for everyone, from all parts of the Valley, because that's exactly what the beautiful game does around the world, and to finally have a professional team to call our own is a dream for soccer fans here at home,” said the club. Back in September of 2017 when I wrote about the establishment of Fresno FC, I mentioned a quote from Ray Beshoff, president and owner of the club. Back then, he said, “you’ve got to put a good product on the field.” Many months later, it is apparent that Fresno FC, its players, and its staff have done just that. Feel free to follow the Fresno FC Foxes on Instagram and Twitter @FFCFoxes. The club’s next home game is Saturday, May 9 at 7:00 P.M. at Chukchansi Park against the Rio Grande Valley Toros.

The NBA Playoffs have begun. After a dramatic 82 games, the next 3 months will be even more exciting with intriguing matchups in every round. Here are 6 storylines heading into the playoffs. 1. Houston, we have liftoff: After having the best season in franchise history, the Houston Rockets are the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. With the addition of Chris Paul in the offseason, the Rockets seem like the only challenge to beat the defending champions: the Warriors. 2. Reliable Raptors: After another great regular season, the Raptors are again the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. But, even with the high seed, people seem to be doubting the Raptors with the notion that they always choke in the playoffs. This is the time for the Raptors to demonstrate that they are more than just Drake’s team from Canada. 3. Health of the Warriors: With Stephen Curry likely out for the first round, the health for the rest of the Warriors is imperative to win back-to-back titles. Draymond Green and Klay Thompson may hurt their chances of winning by a percent, but they still have the best roster in the league. 4. Trust the process: The 76ers have been the talk of the league for the last three to four years by coining the phrase “Trust the Process”. Now, after earning the No. 3 seed in the East, do we actually Trust the Process now? After exceeding expectations, it’s time to see if this young team is trustworthy or not. 5. The Return of The King: Even being the No. 4 seed in the East, LeBron is still back in the playoffs trying to make a run for his eighth straight finals. Even without Kyrie Irving, the Cavs are still favorites because of LeBron. 6. Surprise teams: Going into the playoffs there are favorite teams destined to be the champs. But, who could be the surprise teams to sneak into the finals? Could it be the Thunder with Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony? While the playoffs may last about three months, it still won’t be long enough for me to still put the Warriors against the Cavaliers in the Finals with Golden State winning in six games. Even though it’s not March, there still can be madness.

April 2018