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Smoke Signal

FRIDAY, JUNE 11, 2010


Mission’s Melting Pot

Celebrating MSJ’s Ethnic Diversity In

By Megan Bernstein, Sonia Dhawan, Niku Jafarnia, & Stephenie Yuan News Editor, Staff Writer, A&E Editor, and Staff Writer

the last twenty years, though MSJ has come to be known for its mostly Asian population, the diversity among its students is evident. Despite the ‘Asian stereotype’, MSJ continues to celebrate its appreciation for interracial relationships that emphasize each culture’s uniqueness. MSJ teens embrace their diversity and make efforts to celebrate every culture represented in their student population. There are many instances where MSJ has shown interest in celebrating diversity and raising cultural awareness, such as Multicultural Week, held by Leadership 2 and all clubs on campus. While many clubs such as the French Club, Bollywood Club, Spanish Honors Society, and Muslim Student Association create environments to celebrate their unique cultural heritage, the Ethnic Race Relations Committee (ERRC) aims to honor the similarities by adorning the school with decorations for cultural holidays. ERRC Head, Senior Anjana Bala said, “I think a lot of the time people assume diversity has to do with ethnicity, but in terms of talent, personality, and character, Mission is very varied…we really show more diversity on the inside. The purpose of the Ethnic Race Relations Committee is to spread cultural awareness and build racial tolerance. Not to say racial discrimination is not prevalent at Mission, but we do try to promote cultural awareness more so than racial awareness.” Though MSJ has large organizations on campus that encourage diversity, individual students themselves have also naturally accepted people from many different ethnic backgrounds. In fact, of the over 300 students surveyed by the Smoke Signal, 85 percent responded that they had a close friend of a different ethnicity. Sophomore Alyssa Castillou said, “I really don’t think race is a big deal with relationships or friendships. I hang out with people with similar interests and who I can have fun with. It doesn’t have to do with race.” Similarly, 75 percent of students responded that they have never felt excluded due to their ethnicity and do not think ethnicity is the most important social factor at MSJ. Despite the admirable interracial acceptance present at MSJ, there still exists cultural and ethnic boundaries that people must adjust to when making new friends. Much of the student body was split over whether or not ethnicity remains an important factor in friendships or relationships, as well as if it was realistic to spread awareness of every culture on campus and to encourage all interethnic relations. However, many students reported knowing a friend in a relationship with someone of a different ethnicity, or being in one themselves. In order to go beyond the numbers and learn what interracial relationships really mean to us, the Smoke Signal interviewed several MSJ students to gain their insight on interracial interaction at school. Friendship is ‘colorblind’ Despite a daunting barrier sometimes created by ethnic differences, many students have fully embraced the diversity at MSJ by forming lasting bonds with great Left to Right: Best friends, Seniors Golzar Yousefi and Jessica Tran; Junior couple Eric Smith and Priyanka Singh; and best friends, Seniors Youngjun Na and Nathan Ellebracht.

THE SIGNALS June 15-17 •Finals •Minimum Day Release at 12:10 pm June 17 •Last Day of School •Senior Check-out June 18 •Graduation at Tak Stadium at 7 pm August 22 •9th Grade Orientation August 23 •10th-12th Grade Orientation September 1 •First Day of School

‘Prince’ Could Use By Gurleen Chadha Staff Writer Every year, Memorial Day kicks off the unofficial beginning of summer, and we all know what that means: summer blockbusters! Prince of Persia does not fail to bring on the action and adds a heady dose of CGI animation that perks up what might otherwise be an unoriginal action film. Unfortunately, it also goes light on the plot, turning what could have been a great movie into only a good one.

Jake Gyllenhaal stars as the “rogue prince” Dastan, a former street urchin who was adopted by the King of Persia at a young age. When he loses a dagger that can control time, he has to team up with the Princess Tamina (former Bond girl Gemma Arterton) to stop it from falling into the hands of his evil uncle Nizam (Ben Kingsley). From the very beginning, Gyllenhaal plays a convincing Dastan. Each line is spot on, and his stunts are breathtaking (the only thing that is missing is shampoo: unwashed hair


photos taken by editor-in-chief jerry ting, staff writers diya roy, sarah li, & cassie zhang; courtesy of yearbook

More Charm

is not a good look for him). When he is with Arterton, you can almost see the sparks fly—but sadly, his partner doesn’t bring it. Arterton doesn’t really do much more than look beautiful. Princess Tamina’s attempt at killing Dastan is barely believable and her glares look suspiciously like pouts. Luckily, the bumbling Sheik Amar

See PERSIA, A&E Page 21

2 News

News in Brief

The Smoke Signal

MELTING POT | Interracial relationships celebrated continued from page 1

Eight activists killed in Israeli raid of Free Gaza flotilla On May 31, Israeli commandos boarded a Free Gaza humanitarian flotilla off the Israeli coast. Eight Turkish activists, including an American citizen, were shot to death and over 40 were wounded. The U.S. and the United Nations have called for a full, international investigation into the incident, but Israeli officials rejected the demands. The attack strains Israel’s relations with Turkey, which has long been one of its closest allies in the Muslim world.

Protestors march against the violence in Gaza. The Israeli government defends their decision to prevent the flotilla from landing.

Harvard Fraud A Harvard student has been indicted with 20 offenses including larceny and identity fraud. Adam Wheeler was admitted to Harvard in 2007 after falsely claiming a perfect academic record at Phillips Academy and a year’s study at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Wheeler’s attempt at a school endorsement for the Rhodes and Fulbright scholarship was ultimately his undoing, as his application was similar to the reading professor’s colleague. Before attending Harvard, Wheeler went to Maine’s Bowdoin College but was recently suspended for academic dishonesty.

Adam Wheeler was accepted to Harvard after falsifying his application. Wheeler was eventually discovered and is now on trial.

Family faces deportation Sixteen year old Washington High School student Eugene Kotelnikov and his 37 yearold mother Tatiana Miroshnik are facing deportation due to his mother’s visa conflicts. Miroshnik was never able to obtain a chance for permanent residency in the U.S. due to failing to appear in court while applying for a green card. If deported, Kotelnikov will be forced to move to Russia and to join the Russian Army at 18.

Eugene Kotelnikov, 16, is being deported to Russia. His Washington High School, classmates held protests in his support. COMPILED BY STAFF WRITERS SARAH LI, AILEEN LU, AND JUSTIN SHA

Friday, June 11, 2010

news editor megan bernstein

friends regardless of their heritage. Seniors Nathan Ellebracht and Youngjun Na and Seniors Golzar Yousefi and Jessica Tran are two pairs of students who shared their experiences as best friends of different backgrounds. Ellebracht, who is English, Dutch, German, and Norwegian, and Na, who is Korean, met in their honors English class in the 7th grade. The same year, Yousefi, who is Persian, and Tran, who is Chinese and Vietnamese, first encountered each other in an art class. Almost six years later, both pairs expressed a positive outcome from their ethnically diverse friendships. “I don’t think people see us differently because of our ethnicity,” said Ellebracht, “they see us differently because we’re interesting people. At a school like ours, it’s racially diverse enough that it doesn’t make a difference.” Both pairs agreed that having a friend of a different background

has helped them to broaden their perspectives and learn to appreciate and respect other cultures. “Sometimes people can’t tell what [ethnicity] we are,” said Tran, “it makes our friendship more interesting. We get to learn about each others’ cultures. Sometimes we even try to learn each others’ languages.” By learning about their friends, racial barriers have become unnoticeable and insignificant, unlike stereotypes often cast upon unfamiliar faces. Na remarked, “It’s something we don’t really notice. It’s not like I’m going to say, ‘you’re a white friend, I’m going to treat you differently.’” The experiences and friendships of students like Ellebracht and Na, and Yousefi and Tran help set positive examples of open-mindedness for other students at MSJ and continue to encourage acceptance and understanding. Many students intimidated by racial stereotypes can be encouraged to view their peers

for their interests and commonalities and not judge them based on their background. Yousefi said, “We are aware of each other’s ethnicities, but in the end our friendship will have more of an impact on our lives than being of another culture. Having that friendship and experience means so much more to me.” Love in every color For Juniors Priyanka Singh and Eric Smith, ethnicity has nothing to do with what they look for in a significant other, and has undoubtedly helped them maintain a successful relationship. Priyanka, who is Indian, and Eric, who is Irish, German, French, Japanese, Filipino, Native American, and Welsh, have been going out for “three months… and two weeks,” and are one of a growing number of interracial couples at MSJ. They met in Mr. Belotti’s class, where Priyanka sat behind Eric, and he “thought she was annoy-

ing.” However, he eventually asked her out, and she said yes. “We were walking and he got all awkward…” Priyanka said. “And he was like ‘Will you go out with me?’ awkwardly and there was an awkward hug.” When asked if they feel their relationship is accepted at Mission, Priyanka said “It was weird at first…I’m not going to lie.” Eric didn’t feel the same way. “Not that I see,” he said, but after some thought, he added “People called me ‘Indian lover’ for a week, but I don’t really care because I am!” MSJ’s increasing acceptance of interracial relationships points towards growth in the US as a whole. “I think it’s perfectly okay [to be in an interracial relationship] and there’s nothing wrong with it,” said Freshman Sanjana Kamath, “We should be with someone based on their personality and morals, not on their ethnicity.” According to the recent update of the US Census Report, about 40 percent of Asian Americans marry Caucasians, reflecting the steady shift of openmindedness in the population. Priyanka and Eric don’t pay attention to the fact that they have different ethnicities, but rather, focus on each others’ qualities that made them want to be in a relationship in the first place. Priyanka said, “Honestly, he’s a melting pot. I don’t even know what he is!” A peek into the future Though we are not yet in an ideal world, where everybody is accepting of cultures and races different than their own, much less accepting of interracial relationships, we at least know that we are one step closer to achieving this vision. As seen in our poll results, as well as results of the US Census, ethnicity often plays a factor in social relationships, but we are learning to be less limited by perceptions of others based solely on ethnicity. ▪

FUSD welcomes new superintendent By Sargunjot Kaur News Editor The Smoke Signal had the chance to speak to Dr. Jim Morris, Fremont Unified School District’s newly appointed superintendent. Smoke Signal: What do you look forward to upon your arrival to the city of Fremont? Jim Morris: During the brief time since I was selected as the next Superintendent of Schools in Fremont, I have been amazed by the warmth of the people I’ve met. I have seen and experienced a wonderful sense of community in Fremont, and I am excited about truly becoming a part of this community. I look forward to gaining a better understanding of the needs of the community and working with everyone to make sure that Fremont Unified School District continues to be one of the best school districts in the nation! SS: What changes do you plan on implementing, specifically at

the high school level, upon your appointment as the FUSD Superintendent? JM: In my visits to the high schools in Fremont, I have been impressed not only with the quality of the classes but also with the enrichment programs and activities available for students. It is unfortunate that the state budget crisis has caused such a serious loss of funds to schools and public education. A very specific example of a change I would like to make at the high school level is to implement a later start of the school day. The community and Board of Education recently considered this item and the Board decided to delay the new schedule because of the cost. I look forward to working with the community to look for ways to increase revenue so that programs and activities that are relevant and conducive for learning can be offered to our students. SS: The state budget cuts have taken a hefty toll from our school


• On page 11, in the article, “Multicultural Food,” it should state that sales of hot wings benefitted the class of Class of 2013.

district and its students. What plans do you have to overcome or manage this crisis? JM: My predecessor Dr. Werner and The Board of Education have done an incredible job of looking at the district’s budget and eliminating non-essential services and programs and really looking for ways to save precious dollars so that all available funds are focused on the classrooms. The Board is looking at local funding options that may help, but I think we have to become more active as a community in voicing our concerns to the elected officials in Sacramento that education must be a higher priority.

courtesy dr. jim morris

SS: In your opinion, what makes an efficient, respected, and effective school and school district?

JM: In my opinion, the winning formula for an efficient, respected, and effective school district is a constant focus on teaching and learning. It has been my experience that the best schools and the best school districts are those where teachers, classified staff, administrators, parents, and the community all join together in focusing on doing what is right for students... in every school... in every classroom... every day. That sure sounds like Fremont to me! SS: The physical education, computer, and science lab classes are being cut at the elementary school level in our district. What effect, if any, do you expect this to have later on as those generations of students enter high school and college? JM: It is unfortunate that the state budget crisis has caused the reduction of elementary programs. I strongly believe that every student deserves a well-rounded education and these programs are valuable for students. I hope that we can work with the community to restore these programs as the economy improves because for many students the earlier they discover their unique gifts and talents, the better prepared they are for college and adult life. ▪

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Smoke Signal

MSJ students stand up By Joy Xu Staff Writer

Budget cuts for the incoming 2010-11 school year for the Fremont Unified School District (FUSD) will reduce spending by at least $16 million, causing a chain of negative results that will directly impact students and the quality of education that they receive. The impending changes to the school system and their effects have created a flurry of activity from parents, teachers, and students, all of whom are protesting cuts being made to the teaching staff and extracurricular activities that are already strained due to low or non-existent funding. As MSJ students became more aware of the effects of the budget cuts, many took the initiative and posted notes on Facebook supporting particular teachers who had received pinkslips. Junior Jack Chen had posted a personal status as “pink hearts not pink slips. Show support for the estimated 300 thousand teachers being “slipped this year.” Other students joined in on protests with teachers, holding up posters and handing out fliers. Freshman Jasper Hsieh and his peers supported English Teacher Lili Kim by holding up posters that said “Save Ms. Kim!” and painting their bodies, chanting “Have a heart, don’t break us apart” all the while. Despite previous efforts, the biggest protest began when Junior Roger Chen created a Facebook group on March 20 supporting Math Teacher Charlie Brucker, garnering over 300 fans in less than 24 hours. It was quickly flooded with comments and anecdotes showing love and support for Brucker, who had recently been surplussed. Dozens of students sent letters and emails to the district board, some even created a petition. He was notified by one of his students in March and began to communicate with his students through the group, using it as way to connect with students, parents, and teachers alike participating in various efforts to

preserve education values in FUSD. On April 28, a big step was made in the effort to reduce budget cut effects during a board meeting when a call to attention was answered by 13 students and four parents, who showed up to support various teachers, share anecdotes, and protest the cuts being made to elementary programs. The biggest achievement of the night was seeding of the idea for fundraising to save FUSD teachers. Board member Ivy Wu and fundraiser Virginia Ham were both impressed by the strong appeal by the speakers and both allied with the fundraising cause. Joined by Seniors Joy Chen, David Cao, and Rebecca Xing, Brucker, Ham, and Wu began a fundraising effort along side Fremont Education Foundation to raise over 1.3 million dollars to secure positions for all the 9th grade Math and English teachers, as well as for elementary prep teachers. FUDTA, the teacher’s association, has already approved the project. In an informative Facebook message asking for volunteers (with the incentive of service hours) Cao said, “The more manpower we get, the better. If we want to retain all the teachers and their teaching positions, we’re going to need $1.3 million by this September. We have to move fast.” The students participating are truly making a difference, whether it be protesting, making posters or speaking at a board meeting; the actions of many are leading to even more developments in ways to work around the budget cuts. There is now a website called,, and more information can be found there as well as on Brucker’s Facebook group about getting involved. Brucker recently said online, “We need to throw all our weight behind the fundraising effort. There are all kinds of work for all kinds of people. Doesn’t it feel good to be proactive as opposed to clawing over insufficient funds?” For more coverage of fundraising efforts, visit ▪

News 3

Homecoming changed for Fall 2010 school year By Ravneet Kaur Staff Writer MSJ’s Homecoming preparations began as early as May to organize for the week long festivities during late October. Class officers have already begun the process of choosing next year’s themes and are set to immerse themselves into a summer of skit rehearsals, decoration meetings, and airband practices. This upcoming year, however, Homecoming preparations will be affected by a change in rules. The MSJ administration, in conjunction with Activities Coordinator Ben Breazeale, has agreed to implement a new set of rules for Homecoming for the 201011 school year. This year, concerns were raised by teachers and the administration regarding the amount of money and material used for Homecoming festivities. Breazeale and the MSJ administration decided to create a new set of rules mainly limiting the amount of decoration by students. “Basically, when classes have decoration day, they cannot decorate the whole school. The areas will be limited to the amphitheater up to the N-wing fence, railings along the grass, and the overhang near the horseshoe. No hardcore decorations [like previous years],” explained Breazeale. The new rule was created to encourage a more environmentally friendly approach and to minimize damage to school property. Decorations, from previous years, such as posters and streamers, from previous years have re-

sulted in chipped paint throughout the campus and excessive littering. The purpose of the new rule is to minimize spending on school wide decorations by focusing on decorating the amphitheater. “This is focus on quality over quantity. Classes can save a lot of paper, supplies and money in the process. Now classes can actually get together and focus on building a huge prop, etc. Resources can be concentrated on a couple things,” said Aditi Amlani, ASB Secretary for the 2010-2011 school year. Originally, Homecoming at MSJ began with only decorating the amphitheater but later evolved to encompassing the whole campus. Class officers agreed that the new rule would be beneficial and refocus the purpose of Homecoming to the skit. “If anything, hopefully, the rules can help classes come together and build something in relation to their theme, or have all the minds focus on a creative design for the whole area. It’ll be exciting to see what everyone comes up with,” added Amlani. Additional rules, such as the placement of Senior Lounge and rallying, have not been officially set and are still open to change. All rules and restrictions will be enforced by the administration and failure to comply could result in a loss of points from the judges. The new limits have been placed to benefit the student body and to encourage unity among the classes. “Classes will save money and [focus on] decorating the amphitheater extravagantly,” said Breazeale. ▪

Board rules less homework By Hannah Scobel Editor-in-Chief

The Fremont Unified School District (FUSD) has asked all teachers in the district of grade levels K-12 to comply with the new homework policy guidelines set forth in Board Policy 6154 when school starts in Fall 2010. The policy has been designed to reduce the amount of time students spend on homework each night by guiding teachers to assign less work over the course of the week and not to assign homework on Fridays or over breaks as a general practice. Each school is currently developing a site plan for homework that complies with the policy. This plan would then guide individual teachers’ policies that will be communicated to all parents of the students via course syllabuses, newsletters, or classroom webpages. The Board decided that a policy needed to be passed when parents in schools across the district voiced their concern that their students were receiving too much homework each night. The policy is being implemented as a way to lessen the burden of homework on children so that they might have time to spend on outside activities. The policy states that “the board believes in the development of the whole child and the importance of extracurricular activities, play, and socialization.”

The time allotted for homework in grades 9 through 12 averages in between 70-120 minutes a night, or 280-480 minutes per week. These time allotments for homework are for all courses, and should include the time a student needs to spend studying or completing outside reading. Due to the fact that students are taking a variety of different courses and one teacher cannot possibly know how much the others are assigning, Assistant Principal Zack Larsen said, “Each teacher should plan for about 20 minutes of homework a night, but realize that obviously there will be some variations. This policy is just a guideline for teachers.” As for students in advanced classes such as Honors/GATE courses, they are not to receive more homework than other students, but rather differentiated work to challenge them. However, these regulations do not apply for students with AP classes. Since AP classes are college level classes, teachers of these courses are allowed to assign additional homework. “Students who are taking extremely rigorous courses that include four or five AP classes are not very much affected by this new homework policy. These classes are supposed to prepare students for the AP exam, and if they are taking AP classes they should expect that they will need to complete an extra amount of work,” said Larsen. ▪

news editor sargunjot kaur

news editor megan bernstein

4 News

The Smoke Signal

Friday, June 11, 2010

Second annual Family Festival is fun for all By Rishi Das Staff Writer

MSJ’s second annual Family Festival fundraiser, organized by Leadership 2, offered Fremont families a day of fun filled activities and entertainment on May 22, 2010. The Family Festival began as an idea proposed by L2 last year as a fundraiser to replace the traditional Sunol Golf Tournament and with greater prospects for making profits. “All profits made by L2 are aimed at funding future school activities. This year we had much more investment, and we hope to continue to set a new standard for MSJ and expand upon the current activities which we already do. This year, L2 was able to fund a black light dance and a new sound system based on profits made from last year’s family festival,” said Senior Class Vice President Teddy Fong,. The profits from last year’s family festival ranged $10 to 15 thousand, and L2 is still in the process of assessing this year’s profits. Some of the most popular attractions included two Euro Bunjee Jumpers, a pony ride, bouncy houses, an assortment of carnival games, a Disney character dance as well as student performances during the event. The performances were multi-cultural, and included a Kung Fu display by Social Studies Teacher Karl Hui, a hip-hop performance from the G6 crew, an Indian dance perfor-

staff writer justin sha and editor-in-chief jerry ting

Clockwise, Junior Joy Xu paints faces, a carnival-goer enjoys the Euro Bungee, Mickey and Minnie Mouse characters delight.

mance called Tarana by L2 member Aditi Amlani and Monica Chitre as well as a musical performance by MSJ’s Musical Theater class. MSJ Senior Ryan Yu said, “The family festival was an exciting event for the community according to many families I talked to. I attended last year’s festival, and I am sure it was better with it’s wider selection of events and performances.” Senior Estefanie Del Sid said, “The reception was beyond expectations, with many more known to have attended the festival this year. The event included many performers who were not from MSJHS, and we believe we have succeeded in making the festival an overall family fun filled event.” An interesting approach was taken to fund the family festival this year. Not only did companies such as Club Sport and Farmers Insurance sponsor the project, but “L2 sold tickets in a pre-sale to break even before the festival began. The idea was to earn profit the moment we began the festival in the morning,” said Fong. Apart from the variety of entertainment at the festival, different MSJ students sold food ranging from hot dogs to churros to profit their clubs or organizations. “The idea was to not only bring together children of all ages, but to possibly give them a new and different perspective of Mission San Jose as a school,” said Fong. ▪

MSJ sends two to state convention By Audrey Wu Staff Writer

Chang, who is representing MSJ at the program said, “I hope to make the best out of my Boys State experience and to meet the other 993 boys who have been selected to represent their schools from all across California. I am eager to play a hands-on role in the government, and to come back home with a greater, more determined, and passionate perspective.” These two programs stand at a national level of recognition with famous alumni including Neil Armstrong, Bill Clinton, and Michael Jordan. Last year, Seniors Anjana Bala, Teddy Fong, Christopher Turner, and Shelley Wenzel proudly represented MSJ. Through their experiences, they gained invaluable knowledge and learned what it takes to become true leaders. “The best part’s being able to run your own government while building life-long friendships,” said Fong. ▪

Juniors Dillon Chang and Elisa Ting are eagerly preparing for The American Legion Boys State and the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State, two prestigious leadership programs of government training for rising seniors. Each year, students of high scholastic merit from every state, excluding Hawaii, are selected by teachers to apply for the Boys and Girls Nation. The nominees then attend an informational meeting where they receive an application packet and interview guidelines. Through a highly selective process, the finalists are chosen to represent their school in an intensive week of training, campaigning, and learning through hands on activities. Counselor Amy Drollette, the director of MSJ’s participation says, “It’s an opportunity for students to develop important leadership and public speaking skills and to meet different people.” The American Legion Auxiliary Girls State was founded in 1919 and is a nonpartisan, political youth program for young women to come together as self-governing citizens and learn about one’s duties and responsibilities as an American. Approximately 20,000 girls throughout the nation participate in the program, where they learn about the governing processes by creating their own mini-governments that abide to the laws of their particular state. The “citizens” are divided into Nationalists and Federalists and actively attend campaigns, rallies, and legislative sessions. Ting, MSJ’s female representative, is looking forward to this great opportunity. “I really hope to gain insight about how the government is run as well as improve my leadership skills that I can apply to my future careers.” American Legion Boys State, which began in 1935, strives to teach youths to develop an interest in the government, instill a sense of obligation to the community, and develop pride and leadership as an American citizen. Through similar proceedings as the Girls State, the young representatives follow through on court orders, present law enforcement assemstaff writer cassie zhang blies, and run for officer elections to learn Girls’ State nominee Junior Elisa Ting and Boys’ State nominee Junior Dillon Chang hope to gain new leadership skills by attending the convention. about their respective state governments.

Friday, June 11, 2010


The Smoke Signal

Smoke Signal

Mission San Jose High School Est. 1964 Vol. 45, No. 9 | June 11, 2010

41717 Palm Ave. Fremont, CA 94539 (510) 657-3600 Editors-in-Chief Hannah Scobel, Jerry Ting

News Megan Bernstein, Sargunjot Kaur Opinion Rebecca Gao, Jane Wang Feature Alissa Gwynn, Sonya John Centerspread Karen Lin, Tina Tseng A&E Niku Jafarnia, Cynthia Kang Sports Joseph Teng, Anthony Wu Graphics Elisa Ting, Albert Yuan Web Christine Cheng, Tanu Patel Tech Roger Chen, Raymond Zhong Ads Gurleen Chadha, Jamie Lin Business Henna Jethani Circulation Anastassia Tselikova Events Michelle Chu, Hannie Dong with Michael Feuerman

Writers & Photographers Rishi Das,

Chelsea Dass, Sonia Dhawan, Rebecca Dutta, Matt Farberov, Amisha Gandhi, Matthew Gosen, Sloka Gundala, Grace Han, Arthur Jeng, Ravneet Kaur, Mary Lan, Sarah Li, Aileen Lu, Megan McLaughlin, Mekala Neelakantan, Amit Patankar, Diya Roy, Justin Sha, Ginger Werner, Audrey Wu, Joy Xu, Vishal Yadav, Stephenie Yuan, Cassie Zhang, Jordan Zhang

Adviser Sandra Cohen Send letters to the editor to opinion@the Letters under 300 words may be considered for publication and must include a full name and school affiliation. The Smoke Signal reserves the right to edit for clarity and length.

To advertise in the Smoke Signal, e-mail Advertising that is included on the pages of, or carried within, the Smoke Signal, is paid advertising, and as such is independent of the news and feature content.

The Smoke Signal’s right to freedom of speech and press is protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution.

Just B


Could We?

By Rebecca Gao Opinion Editor

I could tell you to “break free” of the MSJ Bubble. I could tell you that the world is your oyster, exhort you to try new things, to take risks, to sign up for Aikido classes or to take up Zen Gardening – to travel to Belarus. I could tell you of the crossroads we now stand at, memories behind us and but hope in front. I could tell you what everyone might. This final column remains the hardest to write, an annual repetition of nostalgic recaps topped with inspirational candies of wisdom. So why don’t we address the fear beneath all our bravura. Through college essays urging us and pressuring us, insisting that we detail how wonderfully “unique” we are, I think we’ve all realized how… ordinary we are. Everyone seemed to have had a hidden talent, everyone a secret nerdy streak or some incredible humanitarian mission in another country. Everyone’s amazing. Or at least, everyone else. The disquieting question becomes: what if we get lost? We might harbor a creeping bit of doubt, a slight, hesitant shred of uncertainty about our futures, since when everything is possible, what is “correct” anymore? For possibly the very first time, the answer to “What should I do?” is now “Whatever you want.” We’re shaken bodily out of our set routines. The paved path to guaranteed success tapered off somewhere along the line, and we

are left with only a vague sense of direction. And once we move past the college tears, the seasonal drama, the incessant grade haggling, we discover – and not just theoretically this time – how little all that mattered. SAT books are burned, our colleges determined, parental restrictions forgotten, and even the very friends we’ve brought along with us since preschool scattered like so many pebbles across the globe. As liberating at it may first seem, what a burden freedom poses. Sometimes, the more choices available, the less satisfied we will be. Now the responsibility to find some new niche is ours yet again. Life will no longer be handed to us on a silver platter; we must actively chase down opportunities and forge our own luck. But we do have the one thing we might retain from high school. We may not remember Taylor Polynomials or the name of the main characters in 1984, but the connections we’ve interlaced will prove invaluable; the guy across from you in physics may one day, years from now, offer you a job. Yes, our experiences have made us all grown-up, haven’t they? Ready to take on the adult world. Then again, discovering that you still fit into your 6th grade jeans and still sleep with your stuffed Pikachu will ground you back into youthful reality. We’re still semi-kids. And once again, we’re allowed to begin afresh, to begin anew, and to once again be that little freshman unafraid to say, “I don’t know.” ▪ Send letters to the editor to

Inmigración Arizona By Jerry Ting

that illegal immigration in Arizona has been a long-standing problem that needs to be addressed by the federal government, but signing Last month, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer a law of this magnitude is a severe and gross signed an immigration law that unjustifiably overreaction by Brewer. increases how much power police officers have Living in Fremont, it is not hard to grow when dealing with potential illegal aliens. Im- subconsciously accustomed to a society where migrants are required to have proof of their le- acceptance of diversity is a norm, especially at gal residency at all times, and even those who MSJ which is overwhelmingly open hire undocumented workers are to cultural differences. The implesubject to arrest. Police officers mentation of the Arizona immi“can make a reasonable atgration law and the message of tempt” to classify a person’s discrimination that it conimmigration status if there veys, ask us to appreciate is “reasonable suspicion” how accepting MSJ and that the person is an illeits students are to peogal immigrant. ple of different ethThe law, which Presinicities. This aspect of dent Barack Obama the MSJ community stated “threatens to unis often overlooked and dermine basics notions of undervalued. fairness that we cherish as In other regions across Americans,” has sparked interthe country, discrimination is national outrage as well. Mexmore prominent, especially in ico’s president Felipe Calderon states with largely homogenous remarked that the law “opens populations. It is easy for us to the door to hatred, discriminabe apathetic about ethnic tion, and the abuse of law enforcetions like Arizona’s because we ment.” Simply put, Arizona’s new law flies in have the luxury of living in a society where the face of America’s long-standing dream of many of us are immigrants or the children of creating a nation built upon the ideals of free- immigrants. According to the 2010 Census dom and unity, instead promoting unqualifi- Bureau, immigration is projected to remain able invasions of privacy. Doesn’t this sound at a constant 880,000 people per year. That’s a little like Orwell’s 1984? Police officers are the beauty of America. To be an American is given the power to act as immigration officers, to be culturally diverse. It is embarrassing that conducting searches and raids almost solely Arizona is still taking steps backwards from based on their judgment. This law is simply an creating a nation of acceptance and diversity invitation for racial profiling. It is undeniable by opening the door to racial profiling. ▪ Editor-in-Chief

Opinion 5

InJanenious The End of the Beginning

By Jane Wang Opinion Editor

I’ll admit it – I don’t like change. To adjourn the present, to start anew, to be thrust into the arms of the vast unknown, scares me more than it should. You might have already guessed that the past few weeks have been somewhat uncomfortable for me. In a little more than seven days’ time, the graduating class of 2010 will arrive at the end of their high school careers. As we make our way across the stage at TAK Stadium, smiles will beam, cameras flash, and cheers erupt to celebrate the closing of the first major chapter of our lives. Yet, as the rest of my peers whisper excitedly in anticipation of what will come to pass, I can’t help but wonder whether we’re losing something when we leave, because really, the concept of graduation signifies the ending of something which (to the delight of many, I’m sure) we will never come back to. I do not harbor enough of the idealist in me to believe it possible to preserve every acquaintance I have made during my time here. Within the next four years, the greater majority of us will disperse to all corners of the country, and aside from a lucky few, seldom cross paths again. Many of our long-cherished memories, though they will never truly disappear, might gradually fade with time. Our characters and moral values, constantly shifting in this period of self-definition, are likely to morph once again. But in my thinking, I have also

come to realize that the creation of a void leaves room for the advent of new friendships and new experiences, more exhilarating and infinitely more enriching than before. We have only tasted the tip of life’s iceberg; let us find the courage to dive deep enough to touch the rest, to strive for greater goals than we have dared before and climb greater heights than we could have ever imagined. Because I have faith that the coming years will hold immense promise for us, if only we reach out and seize it. There are many among us who see college as an end, but for those of us already there, it is only the beginning. The beginning of a new phase in life; the beginning of the next great adventure. After all, isn’t this what life is all about? Starting and ending. Ending, but simultaneously beginning anew. Nothing lasts forever, but only we have the power to determine whether the next segment of our lives plays out to be better or worse. With this knowledge in mind, I hope that we will not conusme our hearts with worry and apprehensions of all we fear to lose, but rather with zeal and anticipation of what we have yet to find. At eighteen years, there remains so much we have still to see and discover and experience. So may we continue to dream ambitiously, live accordingly, and be true to who we want to be. To the Class of 2010, congratulations and good luck. For us, life has really just begun. ▪ Send letters to the editor to

6 Opinion

The Smoke Signal

Friday, June 11, 2010

FUSD Board Amends Homework Policy Props to the Policy

New Plan a Bust

By Roger Chen

By Arthur Jeng

Staff Writer

Staff Writer

In a study conducted by Mollie Galloway and Denise Pope in 2007, titled “Hazardous Homework? The Relationship between Homework is a great tool to reinforce Homework, Goal Orientation, and Well-Bewhat a teacher has been discussing in class, ing in Adolescence”, the researchers found but oftentimes it goes too far. Students are that “when students perceived homework as unable to participate in as many activities as more useful for their learning…they reported they would like, simply because they “have fewer stress-related physical symptoms and too much homework tonight.” more positive mental health.” We see this MSJ’s plan to follow the FUSD’s revised all the time, with some students dozing off homework policy promises to relieve pres- in classes and others opting to skip school sure by restricting teachers from assigning to catch up on sleep lost to homework. The homework “on Fridays, during breaks and problem of poor health needs to be addressed vacations as a regular practice.” The policy, before it evolves into a more dangerous issue. which complements the district’s approved Much of the problem lies in the honors Board Plan, provides a definitive set of and AP level courses offered at MSJ. Many guidelines to assigned homework, such that honors courses at MSJ present a curriculum homework should be “appropriate…and that rivals those in AP level courses at other relevant to classroom instruction as enrich- schools, and the teachers give correspondingly ment, reinforcement, and extension of learn- more homework to help students understand ing opportunities, not a displacement of or concepts. However, as the homework policy substitute for classroom instruction.” puts it, “the intent is to have Honors/GATE “We’ve never had a weekend where there students do differentiated, not more, homehas been no homework” says Junior Jacque- work.” Instead of assigning more homework, line Chu. The homework policy aims to cor- teachers should be more mindful of students’ rect this problem by “reserving weekends and time constraints, working instead to provide vacations for family time.” This policy revi- more relevant work instead. sion allows students to spend more time with The district acted in the best interests of their family and friends, giving them the op- the students when they pushed for this soreportunity to relieve stress in their lives. ly-needed revision of the policy. It’s about In addition, studies have found a correla- time that the school did something to loosen tion between the mental health of students the bonds that tie down MSJ students to a and the amount of homework they are given. stressful lifestyle. ▪

Savoring Summertime By Sargunjot Kaur News Editer

One of summer’s definitions is “a period of greatest happiness, success, or fulfillment in the life of somebody”. If you read that again, you will notice that there is no mention of studying, resume-padding, or homework. However, at MSJ, summer has come to mean just that. The ring of that final bell on the last day of school should conjure images of lazy afternoons spent on the beach, getting lost in time while reading a good book, or traveling - activities in which you find yourself in a state of personal satisfaction, your happy place. That is not to say that you should not engage yourself in research, travel abroad to immerse yourself in different cultures, or learn C++, but only if you have a passion for what you’re doing, not because of what that certain admission officer will think of your summer “activities.” Do what makes you happy. Genuine activities are worth a lot more in the long run than the torture of watching the clock tick in a classroom. After high school, there are very

few summers where you can be as carefree. After college comes either the labor of graduate school or the workforce. Before you know it, you will be reminiscing about the summer months that you could have spent pursuing your passions and interests rather than taking college courses or volunteering someplace you don’t want to be at. “My summers are spent working, going to frozen yogurt, and hanging out with friends and family. I think getting real-world work experience is more valuable than taking more classes because you’re able to learn in a more hands-on manner and if it’s a job that you like and are interested in, it’s fun, not simply a resume builder—that’s a bonus. Also, summer gives you the time to reconnect with people you don’t get to spend time with during the school year,” says Alisha Azevedo, a Presentation High School graduate and incoming UC Berkeley student. Throughout the school year, we often times put our school work and extracurricular activities over attending family events and celebrations. Summer is the chance to put your family and your interests first. ▪

Recall our younger days of throwing temper tantrums at multiplication tables and nonsensical assignments teaching us to add “–ed” to demonstrate past tense. Our parents preached that homework was for our own good. That was way back when I was too little to understand. Even now the concept still baffles me; homework is being reduced in the name of stress reduction and my own good. The recent change in the homework policy slims the average minutes of homework and prohibits homework given on Fridays, counterintuitive for a school like ours. With no change in the policy since 2002, MSJ has succeeded in becoming an increasingly robust academic powerhouse. Students have been complaining about the stress associated with community expectations, but across both generations and schools, student complaints about stress have always been prevalent; misguided change can pose even more problems or be ineffectual at best. Only now, new communication networks such as “msjtalk” have allowed the thoughts of the minority to accelerate changes in policies that affect the majority. Think recommendation letters. The formal homework guideline is now 280 to 480 minutes a week compared to 450 to 600 minutes before the change. First off, the attempt to quantify something is point-

staff writer sarah li

less. The policy states that the times are based on “an average student working at an average pace.” But who’s to say who is more “average” than another student? The entire policy is filled with other vague statements including “homework should be reasonable, appropriate, and relevant” and “AP classes may require additional minutes of homework.” As a result, the new homework policy fails to address any real problem and seems more like a weak attempt to pacify critics. Most students have not even seen the homework policy. For such a seemingly important code, it takes quite a bit of digging around to reach it. If anything, the homework policy augments stress. Since teachers are either reluctant to change the assignments given or cannot adjust their pre-planned curriculum, homework assigned on Friday is effectively annexed with Thursday’s. And because most students tend to procrastinate, it ultimately results in more homework on Sunday, the day before all the assignments are due. By taking away homework necessary to understand course objectives, the emphasis on learning is lost. Different courses have different expectations, and by signing up for the difficult classes, we must understand our commitment. We can criticize MSJ for being nerdy and obsessed with academics but reducing homework is no solution. Homework forces us to understand important concepts that are critical to our future success. ▪

To the Beat of Your Own Drum By Michael Feuerman

portunities to commit social faux pas, such as not replying to a wall post on time or liking too many pages and clogging up the live feed I am a little antisocial. (seriously, stop it, it’s getting on my nerves), No one ever believes me when I say this, or worse, not having a Facebook at all. and I don’t blame them. I certainly don’t act Now, if you’re someone who’s socially awklike it. That’s because I understand the im- ward, there are a few things you can do. First, portance of being social, especially in school. play it safe; only speak when spoken to. SecBelieve it or not, I find nine out of ten con- ondly, when you do decide to talk, talk about versations to be a pain. Talking to people is the subject you were engaged in, not whatever just... who would want to talk to people? And is on your mind at the moment. And third, they always want to talk about the most bor- if you really want to talk, find someone who ing subjects... But I do it anyway, out of the is antisocial. Seriously, antisocial people and goodness of my heart. socially awkward people get along better than I am not, however, socially awkward. anyone. Antisocial people are typically antiThere’s a difference. Antisocial is the guy social because we are bored by ordinary conwho sits in the back of the class and keeps versations, and socially awkward people have to himself, possibly anything but orthe subject of much dinary conversagossip and speculations. tion amongst the As for everyfemales around one else, don’t him (something be afraid to talk I’ve been trying to to an antisoemulate for a while cial person. The now). “Socially worst we’ll do is awkward” is the guy humor you. As who tries to be part for talking with of the social scene a socially awkbut fails miserably ward person, (i.e, me in elemenjust prepare for staff writer michael feuerman tary school). more conversaUnfortunately, we live in a society that tion than you expected. doesn’t allow you to be socially awkward. I Being social is very important. Take it from always kind of laugh when I hear someone me - without it you become incredibly egotiscomplaining that social networking sites like tical. (I’m still recovering from my social isoFacebook allow us to live more isolated lives. lation in elementary school). Besides, it’s an Of course, these are the people who had to important aspect in making all of the major walk to school five miles in knee deep snow, decisions in your life. For instance, I decide to uphill both ways, so their primary form of in- eat lunch with my friends because I never see teraction probably involved shadow puppets. them otherwise. I hang out at a seventh periThe truth is that Facebook brings us closer od class because that’s where all the nice folks apart than ever. Too close. As someone of the from theater are. And I decide my schedule antisocial inclination, this is fairly bad news. next year based on whichever class happens For someone who’s socially awkward, this to have the most attractive girls in it. means death. Now there are even more opIt’s been working for me so far. ▪ Staff Writer

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Smoke Signal

When I was Your Age...

Opinion 7

“I certainly feel that MSJ is like home to me at this point. I have been a student and employee since 1976. It prepared me to get my degree in mathematics. MSJ wasn’t nearly as rigorous back then as it is now.” - Jan Frydendahl (MSJ Class of 1980, math teacher at MSJ)

How has MSJ affected your life beyond college and academics? In retrospect, what advice would you give to current students? What sets MSJ apart from other high schools? What lessons have you taken from MSJ?

“Attending MSJ has by far been the most valuable asset for my career thus far. The people I met, the experiences I had and the education I received (mostly out of class) were unparalleled. Despite having attended a top 20 university and worked at some of the best companies in the world, I still feel like the smartest people I’ve ever known were those who attended MSJ with me.” - Gagan Biyani (MSJ Class of 2005, UC Berkeley Class of 2008, co-founder and president of Udemy, a company building a virtual classroom)

“Skills such as time management and organization were skills that I developed at MSJ and applied in college to give me a much greater advantage at UC Berkeley. Since UC Berkeley is also a very competitive school, I was better able to cope with the competition…because it was similar to the environment at MSJ.” - Eric Ching (MSJ Class of 2005, UC Berkeley Class of 2008, UCSD Law Class of 2012)

“Don’t let minor shortcomings such as not getting nearly as high a grade as you wanted or not being on a team you wanted to be on, because in the end, it is all about gaining experience. The results of exams or courses, even, seldom matters as much as the way you approach them and make your way through them. I have found, that at least in high school…the journey matters far more than the destination.” - Dipayon Roy (MSJ Class of 2006, USC Class of 2010, USC Masters Class of 2011)

“Success in college depends on a lot of things but one of those things is time management. Between school, working for the Smoke Signal and high school sports, MSJ laid the foundation for me in terms of time management.” - Gurshawn Sahota (MSJ Class of 2006, University of the Pacific Class of 2010, Arthur A. Dugoni Dentistry School)

“When I went away to college, I found that there were people around me who were really not prepared to be there or to do college work. But it was a very smooth transition for me from high school to college. I was able to look back and think very positive thoughts about the education I had, because it helped make all aspects of college enjoyable for me.” - Zack Larsen (MSJ Class of 1993, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Class of 1997, MSJ Vice Principal) “The best friends you make in high school are the friends you carry with you for life. No matter if you all end up in different places after graduation, when you hang out your high school crew, it always feels like you’re back home.” - Raja Bose (MSJ Class of 1999, UCSD class of 2003, UChicago Class of 2005, Sling Media Employee)

“In retrospect, my advice to current students at MSJ would be to try out every type of extra-curricular you can fit into your schedule, even if you’re not sure if the activity is for you. The more things you ‘try on for size’, the more you will discover about your real strengths and what truly piques your interest.” - Vidya Bala (MSJ Class of 1998, UC Berkeley Class of 2002, University of San Francisco School of Law)

“It is only now that I realize how lucky I was to go to school where the value of academics was stressed. Most kids aren’t lucky enough to go to such schools and are thus excluded from many of the opportunities and joys that an education provides. Looking back, I realize how lucky I was to go to a school like MSJ.” - Hirsh Jain (MSJ Class of 2005, UC Berkeley Class of 2009, Harvard Law Class of 2013)

“Our school does not reflect the America out there, not in terms of ethnicity nor high school behaviors. I personally know many students who experienced culture shock because they have never immersed themselves in the dominant social group of America (a.k.a white male). Moving on, drinking and sex are some of the most frequent encounters in college....but...we (average MSJ students) do not think it’s a problem. These topics are practically censored...” - Eric Ding (MSJ Class of 2009, NYU Class of 2013)

“Don’t spend the majority of your free time in the library - it’s social suicide. Try your darnedest to break out of your comfort zone and get to know new people….A significant percentage of my Facebook friends are from high school…I imagine a good majority of MSJ’ers become doctors, lawyers, and ka-billionaires. [But] MSJ is the only school where you see fights over math & science questions.” -Don Le (MSJ Class of 2001, San Jose State University Class of 2005)

“MSJ has helped me become competitive and prepared me for early years of college...I made lots of close friends who are everlasting - even after college. “ - Michael Tao (MSJ Class of 2006, UC Berkeley Class of 2009, PhD student at UC Berkeley)

“The strength of MSJ’s academics is made even clearer to me now; in my medical school class of 125 students, there are a total of five students who graduated from MSJ. This is the largest representation of any high school, and demonstrates just how well MSJ students tend to do after high school...Looking back on my years at MSJ, it was the friendships I developed that mean the most to me today. High school goes by very quickly, so you need to make the most of it while you still can!” - Kelly Mahuron (MSJ Class of 2005, UCSD Medical School Class of 2013)

“MSJ tends to breed competitiveness, especially academically. What I learned quickly while in HS and after leaving was that it is not the ability to compete with your peers that gets you ahead in life but rather the ability to partner and collaborate with them... The community [is what sets MSJ apart from other high schools in the US]. It’s a very open minded student body, supported by an open minded faculty, an open minded set of parents and alumni. It’s willingness to embrace & accept new values and new ways of doing things that keeps MSJ students competitive and successful in the real world.” - Sundar Balasubramanian (MSJ Class of 2000, UC Berkeley Class of 2004, Qualcomm Inc. Product Development Employee)

“It’s important in college to not only learn the material but to question its validity and practicality. That’s how I believe MSJ has helped me. It’s taught me to be confident and question everything.” - Jay Sethna (MSJ Class of 2006)

“The most important lesson I learned [at MSJ] is that every individual has the potential for great ideas and creative thinking. Keep an open mind, demonstrate empathy and be a careful listener and you will be constantly surprised and delighted.” - Michael Xing (MSJ Class of 2004, UC Berkeley Class of 2009, Google Business Analyst Employee)

“MSJ must be doing something right. For decades, the school has produced outstanding students and prepared them for the world. And I know how true that is. My beloved Class of 1981 has made its mark in this world, many times over. My hope is that all of you at MSJ today and will go out and reach for even greater heights.” –Kevin Wing (MSJ Class of 1981, graduate of Ohlone and SJSU, currently Bay Area TV Reporter)

“I think the most valuable things I learned from MSJ were how to deal with large amounts of stress, how to study effectively, and (ironically) how to put in the optimal amount of effort for the best possible grade.” - Calvin Lee (MSJ Class of 2008, Princeton Class of 2012)

“In retrospect, the thing I liked most about MSJ was its diversity. Even before entering ‘the real world’ (whatever that is), the student body at MSJ inherently taught me a lot about other people and it exposed me to perspectives I would not have otherwise known.” - Mike McLaughlin (MSJ Class of 2005, UCSD Class of 2009, Congressional Aide for Congresswoman Susan Davis)

“What sets MSJ apart from other high schools? We’re very protected, in a shell almost. Understand that what we went through is very different from mainstream America, and be open to ideas from around the world. High school is just the beginning of adulthood and responsibilities. You are not measured by how you started, but by how you finish. ” - Howard Gan (MSJ Class of 2005, UCLA Class of 2009) compiled by staff writers, graphics by staff writer cassie zhang

8 Feature

The Smoke Signal

Organization peer Spotlight: counseling

post Secret

“You will find your answers in the secrets of strangers,” inspired by a dream, this message became the foundation of a now internationally known movement called PostSecret. The founder, Frank Warren, created PostSecret when working on a community art project in November of 2004. He handed out hundreds of self-addressed post cards to strangers in the Washington D.C. area, requiring only that the secret was true and never told to anyone else. The response was phenomenal. This is the first year that MSJ’s Peer Resource has done PostSecret. It all started when Peer Resource Teacher Jaime Richards stumbled across some PostSecret books at Urban Outfitters. Everyone has a secret that they are dying to tell and this event provides a safe place for people to do so without having to worry about being judged. The “idea is that we get the word out that I’m not the only one thinking this way,” said Richards. The goal is to provide catharsis for both those reading and sharing the secrets, as students can learn that they are not struggling alone and that others at school also feel the same way or share the same secret. PostSecrets can range in topics from being light-hearted and funny to the oftentimes deep and serious, which cover issues such as divorced parents, broken relationships, depression, and eating disorders. Richards said that it’s also about “getting the word out, telling who peer resource is…we’re trying to expand beyond just the oneon-one and this way more kids may open up to us.”

By Chelsea Dass, Mekala Neelakantan & Ginger Werner Staff Writers

Peer Resource is a seventh period class consisting of about 25 students who dedicate their time to reaching out to MSJ. They offer counseling and support for any kind of circumstance and are always there to talk to. This year, the class has put together several events, such as PostSecret, Peer Talk, and Formspring, as outlets for students to ask questions and express their feelings.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Peer TAlk Thursdays Peer Resource began their Peer Talks a few months ago, as part of a way to better connect with the student body. It quickly gained popularity, and has now become a thriving forum for students to discuss weekly topics during lunch, in Mr. Richard’s room, B33. Topics discussed include eating disorders, divorce, and other delicate issues. According to Peer Resource’s Vice President Golzar Yousefi, “These issues impact so many of our students’ lives, but they’re rarely openly discussed. At Peer Talks students give personal testimonials about how the said topic has affected/continues to affect them or the group just asks questions and provides answers to help better understand the topic.” However, Peer Talks do not just cater to student afflicted with such issues. These weekly meetings require no prerequisite for attendance. “Your parents don’t have to be divorced and you don’t have to be diagnosed with an eating disorder. If you want to learn about something, you can come. If you want a place to eat or escape the weather, you can come”, said Yousefi. In addition, these meetings are entirely confidential, providing a safe and secure environment for any student who has something to say or just feels like they need a helping hand. ▪ is a free social networking service that allows users to make an account that allows questions to be anonymously asked, with the answers being public on the user’s personal webpage. Peer Resource has recently implemented their own variation of this idea, using to allow students to submit their questions confidentially to Peer Resource’s account. Members of the club respond with helpful advice, offering confidential guidance. The site also offers a way for students that are too shy to reveal themselves for a face-to-face chat with the Peer Resource counselors to discuss sensitive topics of a personal nature. The account was created two months ago and has received over 160 questions to date. “I think we’re on a good track with our goal. We got [the] question on formspring several times “What is Peer Resource?” A lot of students didn’t even know about our existence! We’re completely focused on serving Mission, said Peer Resource’s Vice President Golzar Yousefi. To submit your own question and see the responses of the Peer Resource counselors, go to



s s o l h t i w g Copin, feature editor sonya john


Friday, June 11, 2010

The Smoke Signal

Feature 9

By Hannie Dong, Grace Han & Aileen Lu Staff Writers

In late September 2009, hundreds of MSJ seniors breathed sighs of relief when the school administration removed class rank from released high school transcript reports. Without this percentile ranking, college admission officials are forced to scrutinize other factors of students’ academics, like overall GPA, SAT scores, and extracurricular activities. Albeit this huge change in the college application process, class ranks still remain available upon request for institutions and scholarship programs.

It’s true every sports season is filled with plenty of highlights, but there’s no doubt a NCS title tops them all. The Girls’ Team started the sports year off on a high note by bringing home both the team and doubles NCS crowns and showed that MSJ isn’t just a school for academics. What’s even more impressive: the team won all 84 matches in league play, sweeping every team 7-0 not once, but twice.

When students arrived on the first day of school, they were greeted by the sight of the newly constructed Awing near the front of the school. Construction began a little before the school year finished last year and the buildingwas available for use by September. The new wing features a multi-purpose room, teacher’s lounge, and three classrooms for everyday use.

The 2010 US News & World Report’s list of best high schools ranked MSJ as the 36th best academic school and the fourth best public school in the US. In California, it was classified as the second best public academic high school. This trend showed a continuation from 2009, when MSJ was also ranked the 36th school in the nation.

Inspired after reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and watching the film Invisible Children, Mrs. Wong’s Junior classes joined together to create Project Love, a group that benefits the community through volunteering and performing small acts of kindness.

Sadies in the 80’s will certainly leave a legendary mark on MSJ’s history of dances. It was MSJ’s very first black light dance, and the crowd turn out was great. On the Thursday before a four day weekend, MSJ girls were excited to dress up in their big hoop earrings, colorful leggings, and big baggy tees while MSJ boys were frantically trying to figure out how to match their date’s wild outfit. For three memorable hours, MSJ students grooved to the beat, 80’s style under the black lights.

During the school year, Seniors Aatash Parikh and Jerry Ting decided that MSJ needed a TV organization. They filmed and reported on events that clubs and other organizations on campus were hosting in order to inform MSJ students about what was happening. With MSJTV, they wish to promote awareness of these events to increase attendance.

This school year, Peer Resource decided to introduce Peer Talk Thursdays, their new outreach program. Peer Talk Thursday is an open forum and discussion on specific topics such as depression, eating disorders, divorce, etc. Members of Peer Resource hope that the peer talk meetings will reach out to many people. They want to show students that there will always be a welcoming support system at MSJ, and it is encouraging to see how caring MSJ’s peer counselors are.

The ASB Election Debates were established this year in order to promote voter awareness within the student body. During the assembly, candidates answered questions asked by a panel within a short period of time. They testified to their leadership qualities, delivering prepared and extemporaneous speeches against their opponent. These debates essentially allowed students to hear the aspirations and qualifications of all ASB officer candidates firsthand, creating a fairer vote by a more educated population.


10 Feature

The Smoke Signal

Friday, June 11, 2010

By Rebecca Dutta, Henna Jethani, Diya Roy & Cassie Zhang Staff Writers

Re-invent Yourself! Re-decorate Your Room: Most of us girls went through a phase when the coolest thing in the world was to have our rooms painted bright pink, with stickers and posters covering every available surface. And boys? Don’t deny the time when Hot Wheels cars covered your desk and posters of coveted cars were on your walls. But that was years ago. Isn’t it time that your room portrayed the smart, sophisticated, Mission student you have now become? Go on, give your room that face lift it desperately needs. Re-paint the walls, move around the furniture, and get new posters! Discovering Family Think you know everything there is to know about your family? Chances are, what you know is only a small fraction of the whole story. With a little prodding, your parents are bound to spill story after story about your aunts, uncles, and long-lost relatives. Find out more about where you get your odd habits, likes, and dislikes! And why not write a letter to a cousin you haven’t talked to in a couple years? No, Facebook messages don’t count. Seriously, when was the last time you received a full on letter that wasn’t from a prospective college? Snail mail may be old fashioned but it has an unrivaled ability to give you a special, warm, bubbly feeling inside. It may even start an unexpected friendship in the process.


o o B

t s i L

Re-think Your Hobbies: When we were little, our parents dragged us to various classes to “discover our Just For Fun interests”. Many were a complete failure (sorry Mom, ballet classes didn’t Tye-Dye The Plum Series by Janet Evanovich work out) while some stuck with us. But who’s saying you can’t re-visit Shirts If you want a good laugh or just a some of those classes and find you’re interested in some things Brighten up your day by break from school literature, this crime you weren’t as a kid? With a little researching, you can creating tye-dye t-shirts. Tye-dye fiction series will definitely please. Trenton find everything from ballroom dancing to kungshirts are an easy project that is fun to bounty hunter Stephenie Plum chases unruly fu to computer animation. Besides, those share with friends. To make these shirts, all criminals for a living and still manages to keep classes sure beat SAT classes! you need to purchase are plain white shirts, differher cool...usually. Each book presents a different ent colored dyes, rubber gloves, plastic bags, fiber reactive runaway fugitive and more hysterical plot lines. Just dye, and some creativity! The dye is permanent, so wear shoes make sure you’re ready for some serious laughing fits! and clothes you don’t mind getting dirty(or you might have some not-so-happy parents!). Once the shirts are done, you’ll have to wait For the True Intellectual about 24 hours before you wear your masterpieces. Tye-dye kits vary The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (695 pages) Summer Checklist: by quantity of dye; numerous kits are available at Michaels. If you can’t keep away from the high of serious, mind-racking _ Read books for fun literature, The Fountainhead is a perfect summer read. Centered _ Re-invent yourself Midnight Bowling around Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism, this novel follows the jour_ Be a tourist in San Francisco Midnight bowling is a great way to chill with friends at midnight! ney of the passionate architect Howard Roark, whose individuality _ Climb Mission Peak Not only is the activity invigorating and exciting, but it is also cheap makes him a threat to his society. _ Have a picnic at Lake Elizabeth on Mondays. After 9 PM, each game is one dollar. Furthermore, a slice _ Go-Karting of pizza, a soda, and shoe rental are each one dollar. This special lasts For the Mystery Lovers _ Paddle Boating until 9 AM so you have plenty of time to enjoy the discounted price. The Best Laid Plans by Sidney Sheldon (358 pages) _ Aqua Adventure Waterpark This story about power and revenge explores the corruption of _ Great America Go-karting American politics and media through the story of a revenge-seeking _ Swimming at Silliman Center Ready, set, race! Feel the rush when you sit behind the wheel in one newspaper mogul and an ambitious presidential candidate. The (Newark) of Malibu Grand Prix’s go-carts next month. Malibu Grand Prix is numerous plot twists will definitely keep any mystery lover _ Drive in movie theater (San Jose) located in Redwood City and it houses a go-karting track, an arcade, hooked. _ Visit the beach numerous bumper boats, and an intricate mini-golf course. If you _ Laser tag take your license with you to the Prix, then you are allowed to go on For the Adventure Seekers _Midnight bowling the Grand Prix go-karts, which can go up to an exhilarating speed The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy (384 _Ty-dye t-shirts of 55 miles per hour. What makes the race even better is that pages) the track is long and winding. Prices vary depending on In the midst of the French Revolution, the what attractions you want to visit and how many influential Lady Blakeney finds herself laps on the race you desire to cover. To get at odds with her husband’s secret more information, visit www.malibuendeavors. Meanwhile, the scarlet pimpernel, a disguised aristocrat, has been secretly rescuing French citizens from the guillotine much to the disSome people may see San Francisco as simply for tourists, may of British but it holds many attractions for locals as well. That may be officials. why Bay Area dwellers overlook the juiciest parts of our beloved San Francisco. Lucky for us, we have the convenience of BART – only a 50 minute ride – to ease the trouble of find parking spots and paying fees. Must Sees: Visit Alcatraz: Once home to several of niently be entered right out of the Bart station at the America’s most notorious criminals such as Powell stop. Al “Scarface” Capone, the Visit Graffiti Hot Spots: prison is open to the pubSan Francisco is packed with graffiti in scattered in lic for tours and special various streets and alleys. Get the best views of them evening programs. at these areas: Visit: www.alcaAmoeba Records parking lot - 1855 Haight St. a sleepover with access to aquarium and indoor rainforest. Tickets seem pricey at $119 without for tour (Upper Haight Street) and ticket information Bluxome Alley – near 430 Townsend St., in the membership, but it may be well worth the money. Don’t forget to see them in the daytime too, with Golden Gate Park: Soma district a regular ticket price at $19.95 for students and The largest park in San Clarion Alley – between Valencia and Mission $24.95 for adults. For more information, visit: Francisco covers over Sts. 1,000 acres at three Lilac Alley – between 24th and 26th Sts. Volunteer or participate in the annual AIDs miles long and half a Museums and Exhibits: mile wide, making it even Visit San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SF- Walk – July 18, 2010: Start your summer break by bigger than New York’s Central Park. MOMA): SFMOMA exhibits the foremost artists taking action! With the starting line in the beauFisherman’s Warf: Make sure you try the and designers of our era. Exhibitions and events take tiful Golden Gate Park, the annual Aids Walk advocates reducing the number of new HIV infoods and see the seals. Also, there tend to be place inside throughout the fections in San Francisco by raisdancing robots around the area. year. Tickets are $9 for stuing awareness and raising funds to Must Dos: dents with a current ID, and reach their goal. The event is also a Ride a Cable Car: Surprisingly, many Fre$15 for adults. For more ingreat service learning opportunity! mont dwellers have never ridden a cable car. Find formation, visit: www.sfmoFor more information, visit: www. tickets at Muni stations (the local transportation agency). There are over two dozen destinations Visit California Academy of For a list of festivals and street fairs, that the cable cars can reach, a few of which inSciences: Sleeping next to visit: clude Golden Gate Park, SF MOMA, California butterflies and penguins? It’s Academy of Sciences, and more. unheard of – except at California Academy of Sciences. Additional helpful websites: Find a street musician: They’re all over the On July 16, 18, and Aug ▪ place! 13, the academy is hosting Shop at Westfield Mall: This mall can conve-

San Francisco,,,,,, staff writer audrey wu

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Smoke Signal

I, Aastha Verma, bequeath Amun Rattan, Gurleen Chadha, Sehej Chadha my love for SAGA and all things Hindi. MBK FTW! I, Achille Peiris, bequeath my SAT books and locker to my sister Shantel, my speed in sprinting to Audrey Wu, Maryanne Ching, Lynn Chang, and Michelle Huang, and my luck in college apps to Jay Sheth. I, Albert Yuan, bequeath to Cassie Zhang and Sarah Li the vanishing cabinet, to Roger Chen old computer parts, and to Jordan Zhang my Korean and Japanese music collection. I, Alexis Kageyama, bequeath my gummy bear collection to Lindsay Kageyama. I, Allen Chung, bequeath the keys to the Corolla S to Crystal Chung, my HAWTNESS to Thomas Lee, my Hummor to Jason Lau, my gullibility to Lily Xu, and my cuteness to Theresa Liu. I, Allison Hsueh, bequeath my brain/a manshe/rainbows to Ilene Tsao, my 3-step strides for hurdles/a manshe/rainbows to Alyssa Fujikawa, Green’s soul to Dennis Lee, and my ADD to Nichole Tan.

the Silly Rabbit’s tricks. I, Catherine Chen, bequeath my hurdle workout obligations to Alyssa Fujikawa and my Kodak moments to my dear Syncopasians! Oh and Raymond Chen, you can stop turning around in class and giving me weird looks now. I, Jaimish Gwalani, bequeath the ‘Common Application’ and the worries of college to my fellow juniors (Liu, Sudteja, Chu, Chen, Chang)!!! I, Jeffrey Lee, bequeath to Connie Lee part of my intelligence and charm and my computer.

I, Catherine Lu, bequeath my plastic trophies and (occasional) lucky guessing skills to Rebecca Wang.

I, Jennifer Young, bequeath absolutely nothing to absolutely no one. Nobody can fill my shoes. Except for maybe Jeffrey Liang.

I, Colette Jaycox, bequeath the Phoenix to Chelsea Dass and Jamie Lin, and all of my SAT prep books to my favorite little brother, Adrian Jaycox.

I, Jerry Ting, bequeath my photography/ writing to the Smoke Signal, my leadership and vision to MSJTV, my eye for photography to the “Picture-That” photography club, my uselessness to next year’s L2 UC, and everything else worth bequeathing to my sister Elisa Ting.

I, Cynthia Kang, bequeath the amazing A&E section to Vishal Yadav and Jordan Zhang, my iTunes library to Alissa Gwynn, popcorn to Tina Tseng, senioritis to Justin Sha, RFS love to Joanna Chow and Vanessa Chu, “skypee” to Mihir Jain and Ezra Koenig to Will Gu. I, Cynthia Yang, bequeath my graphing calculator cover to Michael Wu and my AP English books to Monica Yang.

I, Joanne Choi, bequeath my ability to never get in trouble to my sister Shannon Choi. I, Joei Chou, bequeath my hugs and kisses to Sai Moorthy, my unhealthy over interest in boys to Lily Xu, my ability to speak English to Hank Huang, and my heart to Kyle Cho. I, Jocelyn Ho, bequeath Adrienne Lam and Phoebe Jen my throne to the Plastics, and Justin Han and Eric Yai my eyes.

I, Alyssa Gilbert, bequeath my good looks to Megan Howland and my terrible case of senioritis to Josh Yang.

I, Danika Park, bequeath my bathroom to my brother, Jason Park, and all my love and best wishes to Vincent Tian, Heather Tang, Adrienne Lam, and Hilary Yen.

I, Alyssa Tao, bequeath my cereal to Jennifer Xu and my Pooh Bear charms to my brother, Albert Tao.

I, Danny Yeap, bequeath my passion for robotics to Kevin Yeap and my benevolence to Sara Au and Dilip Nallur.

I, Joseph Teng, bequeath the JT legacy to Jonathon Teng, the Oceans Brotherhood to the new cats, my toughness to the Tigers, and the Sports Section to my boss editors Grace Han and Amit Patankar.

I, Amy Lam, bequeath the task of carrying on the Syncopasian legacy to my acapella babies, blogging crazy rehearsals to Tien Lu, and youth group leadership to Jorgie Wu, Alyssa Fujikawa, and Brandon Fuhs.

I, David J. Wu, bequeath the title of “boss” within MSJ Syncopasian to Elaine Kuo.

I, Joshua Kan, bequeath Nathaniel Kan my beautiful bright blue Crocs.

I, Dawei Liu, bequeath my ballerness and cool cat nature to Prithvi Ramesh; and I bequeath my Daweiisms, especially “You’re Kewl” to Amit Patankar. Finally, I entrust Justin Sha with the Speech and Debate Club.

I, Joy C. Chen, bequeath my stacks of text books to AC’s kids and only what’s left of my luck to Kevin Wu, Jared Shen, and Jo Melville, who already have everything they will ever need.

I, Anamita Guha, bequeath my coveted west coast theory files to Prithvi Ramesh and Amit Patankar, the wonders of democracy’s spectatorship to Hiba Saeed, 2 steps to Jeffrey Liang and Anna Korotina, and my luscious locks to Justin Sha. I, Andrew Hsu, bequeath my legacy of awesome flute-playing to the underclassmen band kids, my liberal political views to Tim Steele, my intelligence and motivation to Robert Wang, and my SAT/AP books to Calvin Hsu. I, Anjana Bala, bequeath the title of “fun police” to Dillon Chang, my love for hip-hop and dictatorship to Tessa and Jason, my craziness to my XC girls, and my neverending love and happiness to Eric Yai, Theresa Liu, and Aditi Amlani. I, Anna Meng, bequeath my robotic-ness, fermenting sparring gear, pre-congratulations for the future 2nd/3rd degrees, and all my love and luck to Uma Palaniappan, Sonia Dhawan, Ipsita Dey, Alekya Rajanala, Neha Verma, and Nihal. Thanks guys. Best. Team. Ever.

I, Deepak Lingam, bequeath to my little sister Sneha the ability to get eight hours of sleep each night, to the Insomniacs team underneath the robots, and to Sam Jafarian the Insomniacs drive team. I, Diana Chen, bequeath my Senioritis t-shirt to Juliane Sun. Have fun being a senior next year! I, Diana Dinh, bequeath my endless wardrobe to Gabriel Chow, my everlasting love for clubs, organizations, and sports to Adrienne Lam, and my awkwardness to Frances Tao. I, Dorothy Lin, bequeath my haiku writing skills and In-N-Out burgers to my favorite geography freshmen & junior: Jessica, Melody, Surbir, Brandon and Sharan! I, Edward Wang, bequeath my brains to Ilene Tsao, and my sprinting skills to Noah Yang.

I, Anna Ong, bequeath all my love and awkwardness to my little sister, Priscilla Chiao, and my 7th graderness to my daddy, Andrew Ren, and my mommy, Calvin Lui.

I, Emily Han, bequeath my awesome art skills to Judith Zhu, my amazing tact to Ankita Safaya, and my paper airplane building prowess to Pooja Jethani.

I, Anne Liu, bequeath my Division to Nitya Subramanian, my pinata to Steven Wong and Ati Kak, and my plaid hipster lumberjack shirt to my favorite little baby sister in the world, Gillian Liu.

I, Fareeha Waheed, bequeath Mariya Waheed pens that don’t write, locks with combinations long forgotten, the keys to my van, and my trusty TI-84 for the next best two years of your life. ILY

I, Annie Yu, bequeath reign of the pole vault pit to Leona Zhu, Josephine Suen, Ariel Cheng, & Tessa Anderson. I also bequeath my Barrons AP Stats book free of charge to Leona Zhu. :)

I, Felix Feng, bequeath George Feng all the hot, cute, nerdy, and fobby girls at mission as well as the ability to score a 2200+ SAT.

I, Anthony Wu, bequeath the “A” in my name to Stephenie “With an E” Yuan, my bossness to ladies’ man Leland Bernstein, and the crown jewel of the Smoke Signal (aka the Sports Section) to Grace Han and Amit Patankar. I, Benson Chien, bequeath my SO STYLISH to Thomas Lee, my badminton skills to Raymond Chen, my captain-ness to Lisa Chang, and my parking spot to Theresa Liu. I, Benson Zhang, bequeath my sprezzatura and exclusiveness to Oceans 2012, my blazing speed to the MSJ Wrestling team, and my drive, experience, LOVE, and everything else to Willson Zhang, brother extraordinaire. I, Brandon Pang, hereby bequeath my driving skills to Angela Wu, my flash drive to Ginger Werner, my common sense to Willson, Kyaw, Josh, Dustin, and Ronnie, and my heart to Sonia Liou. I, Brendan Tsao, bequeath sports head to Eric Yai, my track powers to Noah Yang, and the legacy and honor of the Tsao’s to Ilene Tsao. I, Brent Hsu, bequeath my ability to create stupid metaphors to the lost fisherman Sean Yao, the skill of swooping “leg pillows” to Beatrice Sun and Austine Lee, and my laziness to Michael Choi. I, Bryan Tsang, bequeath Ariel Tsang with my awesome sarcasm, Vincent Yang with the power to continue the TsangYang Dynasty, and the MSJ Badminton team with

I, Gina Gori, bequeath my twin, Adriana Aboumrad, my fantastic hair and perfection of next year’s L2 and Taylor Garden my skipping school skills; use it well. I, Golzar Yousefi, bequeath PC VP duties to Sonia “Brown Bear” Dhawan and sweeping B33 to Sharon Chung. Spread the love sweeties pies. <3 I, Grace Baek, bequeath all the KOREANJESUS love to my one and only Isabelle Yi and my UGLINESS and QQ moments from physics to Eric Liu. I, Hannah Imhof, bequeath my swimming skills to Anna, Ginger, and Kelsey, my tiny polo suits to Laura and Tati, and finally my car and amazing senior year to my brother Matthew Imhof. I, Hannah Scobel, bequeath my position as Editor-in-Chief of the Smoke Signal to Alissa Gwynn and Elisa Ting. I, Hannie Dong, bequeath my dancing powers to Jessica Lee, Polly Ma, and Hilary Yen. I, Henna Jethani, bequeath my killer robots to my sister Pooja Jethani, my spirit to the best robotics team in existence--The Insomniacs, and my endurance through many robotics all-nighters to my declared siblings Nitya, Adrian, and Behroz. I, Isaac Wu, bequeath Audrey Wu the art of sleeping late, Joshua Wu the leader in theological apologetic (using unbiased scientific/historical evidences), and Victoria Lee the thought of always being a kid.

I, Joycelyn Wong, bequeath lunchtime bullying sessions to Ethan Chang, Dennis Liu, and Thomas Feldmeier, TeleblubbiesTM Rights to Gina Bumbo Youn, my love of wordplay to Andrew Han, and much love to my amazing friends! :] I, Kamya Raja, bequeath my Bloody Brilliant British Accent to Justin Sha and mis proezas espanoles a Megan McLaughlin and Shayaan Qazi. :) I, Karen Lin, bequeath Centerspread editorship to Aileen Lu, leg cancer to Brian Ning, my sharpest hair-cutting scissors to Tom Li, and my four children to Tina Tseng - I’ll be waiting for you at Berkeley! I, Katherine Au, bequeath my SAT books and my ingenuity to my younger brother Brandon Au. I, Keila Mah, bequeath my volleyball jersey to Elisa or Tiffany, my innocence and morals to Ilene, slaps and handshakes to Jess Woo, and nap time to my basketball girls. I, Kimberlee Hu, bequeath the MSJ Gymnastics team to Courtney Cheng and Trina Duarte, Community/CFS Committee and all my L2 love to this year’s L2 juniors, and the high school experience to my brother, David. I, Kimberly Tom, bequeath my out of control supply depot and bunker wall skills complete with tanks, marines, SCV repairers, upgraded weapons, increased attack range, and (if I’m still alive) turrets to Gordon Tom. I, Kylan Nieh, bequeath Tarang Patel, Theresa Liu, Aditi Amlani, Connie Chen, and Dillon Chang for a successful ASB and Leadership Two year! I, Leon Leung, bequeath to Alex Yi, Anirudha, Isaac Chang and all my great and irreplaceable AP Chinese classmates my perspicacity. Cherish and savor your moments as high school students. Time flies by too quickly. I, Linda Xu, bequeath my “I’m not gonna lie...” statements to Alison Lenci, my Grammy-winning singing voice to Madison Hirsch, my devotion to saving the manafesto to Erika Cherk, my sense of direction to Shruti Merchant, and Evan Dankiewicz to Evan Dankiewicz. I, Lydia Lui, bequeath MishiSyu our future book o’sonnets, PVAileen long chats and love, VaultGirls fail friendship bracelets and daydreams of flying, NYangster change, Calvy luck, DYoon morning texts and optimism, and 4x400mGURLS post-meet highs. I, Matthew Gosen, bequeath a fryingpan to Matt Farberov, my coffee addiction to Victoria Cheung, my Bay Street Coffee hangout to Jessi Cheung and my procrastination habit to Vaishaal, Vishal, Neil, Eric, Josh, Evan, Joey and a taco to Omar. I, Megan Bernstein, bequeath the most important section of the Smoke Signal to my incoming Newsies Megan McLaughlin and Gurleen Chadha, all my BC and smokie lovin’ to Alissa ‘Granny’ Gwynn, the years of memories to my Yoko’s girls, and my organization and diligence to that other Bernstein I call Leland.

I, Megan McElligott, bequeath my Fosbury flop to Tian Shi, my plethora of jokes to Leona Zhu, my love for lunges to my jump buddies, and infinite pouches of Capri Sun to Jessi Cheung. I, Melody Tay, bequeath my dishwashing, EasedUP rules(thx2me), and my LightblueBrokendoorOldComfy minivan to my baby brother Wayne Tay. Don’t DUI of a key lying around. I, Misha Yalavarthy, bequeath Manisha my attitude, Jessica my BBA and flippy shades, Lucy a couple inches, Carolyn my love for duckies, and Maya the greatness that comes with number 25; Emily can have my stronger whip (sorry Kevin). I, Natalie Ariathurai, bequeath the Ariathurai legacy to Shivani Ariathurai and my ballin’ skills to Chaz Lee, Josh Yang, and Megan Howland. I, Natasha Parikh, bequeath my van and broken laptop to Nihar Parikh, music to Elaine Kuo, “cute” earrings to Sharon Chung, track spikes to Lica Monobe, and relationship advice to Sonia Dassapa and Maanasa Sundara. I, Nick Patel, bequeath Dustin my mismatched shoes, Jessica my great taste in girls, and Tarang the birdcalls of the Patel family (KAKA). Leo gets taylor all to himself, and Kevin can have my whip (sorry Emily). I, Nicki Gallinatti, bequeath my dance legacy to Tessa Shanley and my powers of parental persuasion go to Jacqueline Kohler. Use them wisely, ladies! I, Niku Jafarnia, bequeath my Smokie PC love to Sonia Dhawan and Stephenie Yuan, my amazing studying skills to Jordan Ye, the best section of all to Vishal Yadav and Jordan Zhang, and my godliness to Alissa Gwynn. I, Nina Kaushik, bequeath to my brother Nikhil my SAT books (good luck with them, little bro; love ya). I, Otis Lee, bequeath all my band-related skills of class disruption to Atisheel Kak, my street smarts and fluid gracefulness to Adrienne Lam, and total backfield control to future sweeper Neil Marion. I, Phoebe Chou, bequeath my huggableness to Alyssa Fujikawa and Eva Leung, the responsibility of playing for Kraft every freaking thing that’s drum set related to Edward Leu, and my title of “the cool female drummer” to Jonathan Dierkes. =] I, Preetman Sandhu, bequeath my K-RYE skills to Chaz Lee and Josh Yang. I, Pooja Shah, bequeath Rohini’s playing cards to Mihir Jain and my jain-ness - actually my “shah”-ness - to Jasleena Sahni.

Centerspread 11

I, Sarah Dressler, bequeath my “no touch” skills to the volleyball team. Beast it up next year! I, Sarah Rose Thomsen, bequeath the future of the speech program to my wonderfully talented students. I know you’ll make me proud in the years to come. :) I, Sheila Lin, bequeath my late nights, proficient driving skills, Jack-in-the-Box cravings, and obsessive compulsive habits to Allison Tong. I, Shelley Xia, bequeath my love for all Japanese things and awesome samurai stickers to Mika Tohmon. I, Shelly Domadia, bequeath Angela Zhu my ability to remain mentally stable while around Tony Zhang. I, Siddhant Parihar, bequeath my love for music and laziness to Ray Kuo, my focus and dedication to Alvin Zhou, my nerdiness to Rose Liu, and my emotional nature and experience to Jeffrey Kanemitsu. I, Sonya John, bequeath my love for PC, the lovely Feature section to Sonia and Audrey, passion for ACS to Vivian, my “interesting” music to Justin and Neil Marion, my drivers license to Jay Sheth, Bhangra practices to Sharan, my messy left-handed handwriting to the amazing Alissa, my watermeloneating skills and love to Vishak, and all my love to my seester Jasmine. I, Sophia Lee, bequeath my inner Kardashian charm and the best of luck to my favorite junior and twinny Alysha Mistry and all my love to baby llama Liu. I, Stella Chung, bequeath my disdain for cleaning up after someone else’s mess to Dr. Frydendahl. I, Stephanie Ge, bequeath LEO district fun to Brian Ning and hax graphing calculator programs to Willie Wang. I, Stephanie Kwok, bequeath Youth Alive and all the moistness I can muster to Sonia Fan, Theo Ma, Jorgie Wu, Lor-Shing Hsu, James Chang, and those beautiful Korean boys and my shortness to Christina Cheng. I, Tanu Patel, bequeath my title and role as Vice President of Model United Nations to Gurleen Chadha. Be safe and visit me! I, Tian Tian Zeng, bequeath my superior charm, wit, and brains to Michael Wu <3 and my awesome art skillz to Simin Wang and Justine Liang. I, Tiffany Han, bequeath my green M&M story to Shivani Ariathurai and my hypothetical adventures to Ashwin Ganesh and Farhaan Serang.

I, Priya Muley, bequeath my love for sweets and my stupidity to Sonia Dhawan and my amazing texting skills to Aditi Rijhsinghani.

I, Tiffany Yen, bequeath my lovely vibrato to Denise and Samantha, intelligence to Grace Han, “dropshot” to Sahana and Sonia, peanut butters and bus stops to Theo, and all my love to Youth Alive.

I, Rahul Rana, bequeath COPY! to Alyson Au, mini-me tendencies to Mika Tohmon, intense psychotherapy & tough love to Michael Wu, and my sarcasm and affinity for scandal to Aileen Ren!

I, Timothy Fok, bequeath Jeffrey Fok with the will, strength, and heart to outperform expectations in high school, protect our young sister, and above all - continue to destroy me at Street Fighter 4.

I, Raymond Zhong, bequeath an EPP authorization code to Roger Chen and Edward Wang, word-count-reducing hyphens to Nitya Subramanian and Sarah Li, and diamond-tipped scribes to Jordan Zhang, Richie Zeng, Carl Gao, and Eugene Choi.

I, Tracy Chow, bequeath my Cheez-It boxes and sloppy cartwheels to Justine Liang and her brother Kyle.

I, Rebecca Gao, bequeath the Opinion section to Roger Chen and Arthur Jeng with the hope that they will finally understand the following concept: Mission = MSJ and a roll of pennies to Matt Farberov. I, Rochit “Dope” Gupta, bequeath my amazing trumpet-playing skills and solo creativity to Jocelyn “Cheeks” Ha. I, Sargun Kaur, bequeath all the power of the News section to my successors Megan McLaughlin and Gurleen Chadha, the countless fobby stories about stalker Punjabis and biology gossip sessions to Jasleena Sahni, and my teenybopper love, the ability to get lost in San Fransisco, and the Dakota Fanning memories to the always beautiful Alissa Gwynn. I, Sam Kim, bequeath my fly dopeness to my grandchildren, Nichole Tan & Polly Ma (ACCEPT ME EMILY HSU), my hurdle bruises to Alyssa Fujikawa, baby <3, and my many chins to Christine Gan & Jeffrey Liang (derp). I, Samuel Ji, bequeath my brother Joshua Shao my intelligence, Mihir Jain my aloofness, Vincent Yang my good looks, Elaine Kuo my placidity, Beatrice Sun my adorable nature, Crystal Chung my innocence, and Stephenie Yuan my charm. I, Sara Garden, bequeath Taylor Garden and Marisa Lenci my best friend adventures, my math class my anti-Senioritis and my iPhone... NOT, Allison Lucarelli my car, Ramsey Fisher my virtual foosball skills, and Connie Chang my love for Damon.

I, Varsha Gupta, bequeath Sanjna Shukla my sense of humor and witty sarcasm and Goonjan Agrawal the ability to put up with Sanjna. I, Vikash Patel, bequeath always looking good to Tarang Patel. I, Vikram Sangha, do bequeath:Yearbook to Alyson Au (&FT/AT/AL/MT/CY), Interact to Michelle, Nikita, Alex, and Angela, publicity to Richard, L2-fliers to Sarah Ching, and my large-and-in-charge-ness to L2 juniors! Oh and Gurman: carry on the family name! I, Vito Prasad, bequeath some Taco Bell, acorns, and XC luck to Omar El-Sadany; Google-fu and procrastination skills to Amit Patankar; and the keys to 4chan to Jeffrey Li. I, Shelley Wenzel, bequeath to Ginger Werner the fun and always pleasurable Mr. Johnny Appleseed. May you love him forever and never forget our dear friend! :) To Connie Chen, I bequeath the job of ASB Treasurer and all the love and stress that goes with it. Good luck and I’m always here for you; enjoy your new home, the Student Store! :) I, Yihuan Zhou, bequeath Mika Tohmon my walking GPS, Jessie Chen my procrastination skills, and Michael Wu my earring. I, Youngjun Na, bequeath to Jeffrey Li and Richard Zhang the future of MSJQB, to Jared Shen, Audrey Huang, and Wesley Chou my hatred of marine biology, to 3rd period stats my lolz sleeping habits, and to Prithvi all the angst I can muster. I, Yuping Lin, bequeath my spirit of deviant creativity to Tabitha Chew.

12 Photo Pull-out

The Smoke Signal

Friday,June 11, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Smoke Signal

Senior Superlatives 13

14 Centerspread

UC Berkeley (64)

Grace Baek Nate Bailey Arjan Bains Pratik Bhonsle Jeff Chang Rachel Chang Geoffrey Chen Stella Chung Tara R. Damani Rishi Das Hannie Dong Nathan Ellebracht Felix Feng Matthew Fong Valentina Fung Stephanie Ge Anamita Guha Rochit Gupta Tiffany L. Ho Manning Huang Niku Jafarnia Chenyu Jia Sonya John Cynthia Kang Sargunjot Kaur Robinson Kuo Eugene Kwok Carrina H. Lai Sophia Lee Nan Li Karen Lin Sheila Lin Anne Liu Leslie Liu Stephanie Liu Patrick Long Arissa Ma Youngjun Na Kylan Matthew Nieh Ikem Okwudiafor Siddhant Parihar Aatash Parikh Tanu Patel Malika Rajvanshy Pooja Shah Aniket Soneji Alyssa Tao Neha S. Teekappanavar Katherine Trinh Matthew Tse Jessica Wan Justin Wang May Wang Ryan Wang Isaac Wu Andrea Wu Allen Xiao Jerald Xu Sucharitha Yelimeli Tiffany Yen George Yiu Benson Zhang Susie Zhang Emily Zheng

UC Davis (38)

neel Bhadra Munira Bootwala Andrew Chen Paul C. Chen Diana Chen Tanaz Chhor Eric Chin

Shelley Chu Alyssa Gilbert Morten Graversen Kimberlee Hu Jeffrey Hwa Henry Jia Aalap Kaipa Susan Kang Nina Kaushik Sam Kim Stephanie Kwok Ryan Law Steven Lee Jeffrey Lee Otis T. Lee Megan Ling Michael Liou Jason Liu Lydia Lui Alisha Makmuri Alex Mawla Priya Muley Kevin Nguyen Andrew Pham Ashwin Ramesh David Roche Connie Sung Thu Tran Rajan Vedula Varsha Viswanath Fareeha Waheed

UC Irvine (21)

David Cao Alvin Cheng Proshmita Dutta Matt Gosen Tiffany Lind David Luo Kunal Pathak Rahul Rana Ritesh Ravi Kimberly Tom Emily Tsai Dhrumil Vyas Linda Xu Golzar Yousefi Dianna Yu Mike Zheng Grant Widjaja David J. Wu Cynthia Yang Eugene Yang Danny Yeap

UC Los Angeles (21) Rita Chen Christopher Chiang Alex Chiou Joanne Choi Phoebe Chou Shelly Domadia Amanda Fung Varsha Gupta Emily Han Brent Hsu Rohini Jain Michael Kozachenko Dorothy Lin William Nguyen Vincent Tai Anastassia Tselikova Eric Wang Jane Wang Stephen Wen Albs Yuan Kevin Zhang

UC Merced (1) Josh Kan

UC Riverside (17)

Briana Borda Abhishek Chowdhury Ameya Deodikar Allison Hsueh Robin Huang Moez Hudda

The Smoke Signal

Friday, June 11, 2010

Jai Kakkar Krishna Kolli Alvin Lee Samantha Mak Tulsi Mehta Ram Musunuri Danika Park Nikhil Rashinkar Sheba Roy Vikram Sangha Lulu Shaw

UC San Diego (48)

Zishan Budhwani Kevin Chan Catherine Chen Helena Chen Joei Chou Tracy Chow Allen Chung Estefanie Del Cid Shaurin Desai Nirati Gautam Hermione Gaw Tiffany Han Lindsay Henderson Desiree Ho Jocelyn Ho Cassie Huang Chunjie Hui Vicky Hwang Ernie Hwaun Ashwin Khurana Jeffrey Kiu Albert Koh Ashlyn Kohler Cathy Lee Julie Lee Allison Lin Yuping Lin Andrew Liu Anna Meng Prashant Muralidhar Terrence Ngu Vikash Patel Sara Shroyer Monica Tay Bryan Tsang Namrata Vora Joycelyn Wong Kit Wong Jesse Wu Misha Yalavarthy Alexander Yang Christopher Yang Nicole Yen Ryan Yu Carolyn Zhang

UC Santa Barbara (5) Mina Chen Alexander Cheong Timothy Fok Vicki Kao Mingchen Shen

UC Santa Cruz (20) Reyer Band Joey Chou Thomas Choy Howen Jou Alexis Kageyama William Klepac Leon Leung Shinan Liao Megan McElligott Nune Mesropyan Rohan Narayanan Michael Okuma Nick Patel Kelsey Paulling Kyle Richter Melody Tay Jessica Lei Tran Aastha Verma Shixin Yu Tianyao Yuan

Arizona State University (2)

Megan K. BeDell Hannah Imhof

Boston College (1) Cecilia Huang

Boston University (2) Nicole Buechler Rohith Mohan

Brigham Young University (1) Kathryn Brinton

Carnegie Mellon University (2) Tiffany Tsou Yihuan Zhou

Case Western Reserve University (1) Virginia Ju

Columbia University (1) Colette Jaycox

Johns Hopkins University (3) Stephanie Hur Samuel Ji Deepak Lingam

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2) Joy C. Chen Henna Jethani

New York University (5)

Armaan Ali Louisia Chan Nicki Gallinatti Heidi Poon Kathy Y. Zhao

Northeastern University (1) Katie Au

Oregon State University (1) Max Asa Albert Dornfest

Pace University(1) Megan Chi

Cornell University (2) Penn State Tiffany Leung University (1) Vito Prasad

Jaimish Gwalani

Dartmouth University (2)

Princeton University (1)

Kirk Jing Shelley Wenzel

Duke University (2) Trisha Lian Dawei Liu

Gallaudet University (1) Timothy Yu

Harvard University (1) Bonnie Hu

Raymond Zhong

Purdue University (6) Rijul Goyal Shash Natarajan Jesse Ng Simon Soumya Srivatsa Cyrus Sutaria Mrudula Vemuri

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Smoke Signal

CSUs California Maritime Academy (1) Azam Malik

Cal Poly Pomona (1) Shannon Rosete

Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo (7) Kelly Cheung Justin Jang Sasha Kravets Elaine Lau Felix Ng Sherman Sandhu Hannah Scobel

CSU Chico (2)

Claremont McKenna College (1) Lawrence Zhong

Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (1) Vivian Trang

Harvey Mudd College (1)

Natasha Parikh

Emmeline Wang

Notre Dame de Namur University (1) Amrun Singh

Miranda Alam

Petrina Cheng

San Diego State University (2)

Santa Clara University (3)

Pepperdine CSU Sacramento (1) University (1)

Kevin Kurien Amy Lam Sarah Rose Thomsen

San Francisco Academy of Arts (1) Stanford University (5) Colby Williamson Anjana Bala

Catherine Lu San Francisco State University (8) Sharleen Tu

Rhode Island School of Design (1)

University of Missouri - Kansas City (1)

Robert Morris University (1)

University of Nevada, Las Vegas (1)

Vanessa Shing

Candice Koh

Samford University(1) Jenny Dong

Seattle University (1) Michael Feuerman

St. Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s College (1) Katie Huang

St. Louis University (2) Shuran Ma Edward Wang

Tulane University (1) Kamya Raja

University of Arizona (2) Varun Aasuri Justin Chow

University of Chicago (1) Amisha Gandhi

University of Illinois (1) Benson Wang

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (3)

Farhan Hormasji Arun Kuriakose Brandon Pang

Supriya Dasari

Angelica Lee

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill(1) Trey Howell

University of Oklahoma (1) Ethan Jose

University of Oregon (2)

Gina Gori Christina Stumbo

University of Pennsylvania (1) David Xu

University of Texas, Austin (1) Nicholas Bagga

Universtiy of Washington in Seattle (2) Melissa Carter Andrew Wang

Washington University in St. Louis (1) Daniel Tian

Wellesley College (1) Kara Lu

Poyeh Chiu Allison Day Cheng-Hao Hsueh Shruthi Kathiresan Sam Lam Ernest Luong Nimit Patel Jon Yip

San Jose State University (20)

adithya Avala Justin Chan Luna Chang Paul Chen Frances Cheng Max Horng Wen Yao Hung Kelley Hwang Brian Kao Revathi Kotni Sruti Lankireddy Justin Lau Seung Lee Jeffrey Liu Keila Mah Arkesh F. Patel Katy Perng Aneesh Saha Rahul Tirumalareddy Jay Yueh

California Private Universities Art Center College of Design (1) Kim Ryu

Azusa Pacific University (2)

Jennifer Young Annie Yu

California Institute of Technology (1) Christine Cheng

Chapman University (1) Sarah Dressler

Foothill College (3) Sabrina Hsu Maximilian Pitner Hans Strobl

Fullerton College (1)

Lance Klegg Smith Jr.

Mission College (3) Marc Carman Josh Sangha Vani Suri

Loyola Marymount University (2) Ohlone College Scott Kavanagh (35)

Natalie Ariathurai Dita Kruger

Sara Garden David M. Westerhoff

Centerspread 15

Christopher Turner Zhejun Zhou

University of the Pacific (5) Ted Chang Tiffany Huang Risha Shah Aaron Tsai Diana Yan Timothy Ye

University of San Diego (1) Brendan Tsao

University of San Francisco (1)

Alexandra Borgzinner Kevin Frank John Britto Austin Chen Christopher Chen Brian Cho Emerald Clifford Ryan Dang Diana Dinh Elliot Espinoza Alondra Fernandez Ronak Gajjar Chris Gonzalez Chad Ho Lydia Hou Amanda Howland Lei Huang Sophia Jiang Ron Kazemi Francis Kim Phillip Leu Akbar Moinuddin Yussra Mossadak Ali Naqvi Justin Ng Brandon Nguyen Kristi Nguyen Justin J. Renteria Yasmin M. Saad Caleb Scherer Anna Paula Sedano Masha Sergeeva Ishan Shah Jorden South Connor Stokes Ying Ho Wong


Justin Pang

Navy Seals (1)

University of Southern California (18)

United States Marine Corps (1)

Cassandra Ang Megan Bernstein Catherine Chang Charles Chen Benson Chien Michelle Chu Rebecca Gao Tiffany Li Avni Shah Kevin Shen Bonnie Shih Kevin Sui Joseph Teng Jerry Ting Veronica Tse Anthony Wu Shelley Xia John S. Yi

Community Colleges Columbia College (1) William J. Christian

De Anza College (4) Monica Li Stephanie Quan Ali Rahman David Jonathan Wilson

Keane A. Pois

Erik Knutson

United States Military Academy at West Point (1) Theodore M. Fong

United States Navy (1) Ryan Zargari

Out of Country China Medical University (1) Sandeep Mann

Oxford University (1) Elena Sizikova

Tianjing Medical University (1) Anna Ong

University of Edinburg (1) Brian Shi

16 Senior Superlatives

The Smoke Signal

Friday, June 11, 2010

photos by staff writers matt farberov, sarah li, aileen lu, diya roy, cassie zhang, courtesy otis lee and sophia lee

Friday, June 11, 2010 The Smoke Signal

Photo Pull-out 17

photos by staff writers sonia dhawan, cassie zhang, ravneet kaur, amisha gandhi, roger chen, stephenie yuan, feature editor alissa gwynn, editor-in-chief jerry ting

18 Feature

The Smoke Signal

Samantha Wainwright (English) (2 years) Advice for students. Just to keep making choices that are right for you, whether they are the same choices that the majority of your classmates are making or not. You’ll end up where you’re supposed to be. MSJ Changed Me. Definitely. Just the experience of teaching, and being able to teach in a place where the vast majority of students are eager to learn. It was rewarding to begin my teaching career in a place that prioritizes academics the way that Mission does.

Karen Ashcraft (Spanish, US History) (18 years) Advice for students. Knowledge without integrity is dangerous. Looking forward to. I’m looking forward to taking my dad on a Mediterranean cruise for his birthday. We’ll visit Venice, Barcelona, Turkey. I’d also like to take better care of my health, spend more time with my friends and get more involved with my church.

Pauline Townsend (French) (24 years) Memorable moment. [The most memorable moment was] when my name was actually on the College Board web site. Our students here at MSJ are so incredible that [Valérie] Hodin and I were commended by the College Board for having the largest number of students taking the AP French literature exam that year. But even better, we were also acclaimed for teaching French so effectively that our students earned the highest grades in the U.S. on this very tough exam.

Angela Jeng (English) (1 year) Favorite/Will Miss. How students impress me in a myriad of ways every day. You have the kid who comes in with no backpack and knows the characters in a book sometimes more intimately than I do. And then you have the silent ones, from whom I’ve heard maybe three words from the whole year, who are ranked number one for their sport or who have to take on extra responsibilities at home or who have braved rough patches and never make a show about it. Or you have the kids who manage to make everything really funny. Or you have the kids who kindasorta care about school, but really know how to care about people. And there are the students who are mature enough to appreciate their parents despite all the pressure. All of that and more I find very impressive. Carolyn Lincoln (Health) (13 years) Looking forward to. I am looking forward to spending more time with my grandchildren, especially with the new one that’s on the way. I would like to travel, have adventures, maybe take on a different job, and develop my other interests. Remembered for. I would like to be remembered for [the fact that] students always felt that my classroom was a safe, fun, caring home away from home, where they felt they had a place to go. It was sort of like a sanctuary, and their needs or concerns were filled here.

As the school year comes to a close, we want to acknowledge our teachers who may not be at MSJ next year. Their hard work and dedication to their jobs have helped many students succeed. We will miss them, and wish them good luck as they begin new adventures.

Ben Epler (English) (12 years) Memorable Moment. When I was coaching Freshman Football and after a long season, on a rain-soaked field, we were able to beat American 28-0. Looking forward to. Moving to Colorado, my wife and I are establishing our careers and a new beginning and hopes of a family. Lili Kim (English) (2 years) Favorite part of teaching. Seeing students being vulnerable and open enough to share their true feelings, watching them struggle over an issue and then overcome it. I love how every day, we discuss, we learn, and we always have something to laugh about. Remembered for. For not being afraid to be my true self. High school can be a tough time, when you’re unsure about who you are and what to do with your life Believe in yourself, but surround yourself with people who will also support and encourage you.

Jason Kinser (Special Education) (5 years) Favorite part of teaching. The energy that the students bring and atmosphere here at Mission makes it a fun place to be. The students want to learn and do better academically. Advice. High School is temporary. Once you leave no one cares about it, so don’t stress.

Pat Gordon (Biology) (1 year) Looking Forward to. In order? Sleeping in! Cleaning my house! At least those are the short terms goals. My long term goal is to continue to work in the area that most concerns me – the environment. I hope I will now have time to... work on local environmental projects. Of course, I am also looking forward to traveling and birding (which is a passion of mine!) the whole way.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Barbara Carroll (US History, Geography) (25 years) Advice for students. To follow their instincts and trust themselves. To know that high school is just a piece of your life. To meet as many people as possible, don’t limit your friends to your immediate circle. Character counts. Remembered for. I’d like to be remembered for being a teacher who cared about students, and wanted to help them understand the world better, and their place in it. As a teacher I valued each student for their own special strengths. As someone with high standards, though I demand a lot, students respond.

Teresa Martinez (Resource Officer)(5 years) An integral part of our school, Officer Martinez has ensured the safety of MSJ students for five years. Through her many actions; including investigations, lockdown instructions, and instruction on penal codes in government classes; she has served as a definitive bridge between both the school and the Mission community. Officer Martinez is returning to the force and will have a Fremont assignment. photos by staff writers sarah li, jamie lin, diya roy, joy xu

& cassie zhang

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Smoke Signal

Opinion 19

guest artist vanessa shing, 12

guest artist mingchen shen, 12

guest artist valentina fung, 12

guest artist justine park, 11


staff writer aileen lu, 11

guest artist jeff liu, 12 guest artist anqi chen, 11

guest artist kunal shah, 10 guest artist michelle lee, 11

staff writer roger chen, 11

guest artist anna meng, 12

guest artist frances cheng, 12

guest artist sierra fields, 11

20 Arts & Entertainment

The Smoke Signal

Friday, June 11, 2010

By Ginger Werner, Vishal Yadav, & Jordan Zhang Staff Writers

After a year of homework, SATs, and APs, summer is a chance to finally relax and have some fun. There are many entertainment opportunities to enjoy this summer, ranging from music to theater to anticipated summer flicks. So take a break from internships or prep classes and explore the following list of various events.

In the Wake Berkeley Repertory Theater Runs until June 27 $30 to $70

MGMT Congratulations Tour MGMT recently launched a spring and summer tour to compliment the release of their most recent album, Congratulations. The band has been able to deliver spectacular live performances, getting the entire crowd dancing with songs from their new album and their previous hits like “Kids” and “Electric Feel”. Take advantage of this summer vacation opportunity to see MGMT live in the Bay Area. Location: Oakland Fox Theater Date: July 21 Cost: $46.90 plus convenience charge.

You Can’t Take it With You 4000-B Bay Street in Fremont July 16th-August 14 $17 for a student

In the Wake Written by the creators of Broadway’s Well, In the Wake tells the story of a woman named Ellen who, after a fantastic Thanksgiving, experiences an act of passion that destroys her faith in herself and everything she believes in. This play embodies the stresses of a modern American life and has been hailed as a major American work of our time. Coupled with Berkeley Repertory Theater’s extraordinary delivery, this performance is something to look forward to.

Outside Lands Festival The 3rd annual Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival is held to benefit SF Recreation & Parks. Not your typical music festival, Outside Lands goes above and beyond with its overwhelming selection of music, wine, and art. The official lineup for 2010 includes Al Green, Cold War Kids, Kings of Leon, Phoenix, and The Strokes. Location: Golden Gate Park in San Francisco Dates: August 14-15 Cost: $170 for a 2 day pass

You Can’t Take it With You You Can’t Take it With You (shown above) tells of two opposing families: the delightful Sycamore family and the permanently unhappy Kirby family, and how their lives are intertwined when children from the two families fall hopelessly in love. The charming local theater Broadway West provides complimentary refreshments and offers an intimate and personal trip to the theater.

AT&T San Jose Jazz Festival Arguably one of the U.S.’ best jazz festivals, the AT&T San Jose Jazz Festival showcases a variety of jazz music, as well as Latin, electronica, and reggae. Each year, the festival draws crowds of over 100,000 people. Attendees can expect a day of delicious food and a variety of hands-on activities, along with some quality music to top it off. The festival promises to engage music lovers no matter what their taste. More information can be found at Location: Downtown San Jose Dates: August 13-15 Cost: Approximately $5.

Toy Story 3 Fifteen years ago, Toy Story was released in theaters. Now, it’s become a classic. And with such memorable characters as Buzz and Woody, it’s not hard to see why. In the latest film of the Toy Story series, both Buzz and Woody are back, along with all the other toys, for another adventure. They find themselves in a day care, and must fight their way to break out and return to their owner Andy. Be prepared for new faces, a Spanish speaking Buzz Lightyear, and, of course, the return of some familiar quotes and songs. Don’t miss out on this nostalgic trip down memory lane. Release Date: June 18

Inception Christopher Nolan, director of The Dark Knight, is back this summer with his mind bending sci-fi movie Inception, in which Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), who specializes in stealing secrets from people’s dreams, must do the reverse: plant an idea in somebody’s mind. The two trailers feature 2012 style earth-shattering visual and demonstrate that in dreamscape, there are no rules limiting the scope or this movie. With Ellen Paige and Joseph Gordon Levitt adding to the hype, Inception is poised to be the biggest blockbuster of the year and is a must see. Release Date: July 16

SF 4th of July Celebration This is an annual event that happens in the Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf area. Throughout the day, you can enjoy many of San Francisco’s unique attractions, from the street performers to the antique arcade museum and World War II submarine tour to the famous clam chowder shops. Be sure to browse through Pier 39’s shops and dine at famous seafood restaurants like Bubba Gump and Neptune’s Palace. The fireworks finale starts at around eleven at night and concludes a day of festivities and fun. Location: The Embarcadero at San Francisco Date: July 4

Gilroy Garlic Festival Now in its 32nd year, the Gilroy Garlic Festival has become one of the biggest summer attractions in the Bay Area. Featuring live music, many garlic-infused foods (including the infamous garlic ice cream), and celebrity cooking performances, the Gilroy Garlic Festival can be enjoyable for anyone. To get tickets and other information, visit html. Location: Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy Dates: July 23-25 Cost: $17 for general admission

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Smoke Signal

Arts & Entertainment 21

‘Robin Hood’ Misses Under the Radar: the mark TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB By Christine Cheng & Amisha Gandhi Web Editor and Staff Writer

Robin Hood delivers plenty of blood, gore, and violence to satisfy the appetite of any action flick lover. The cinematography, set, and costumes are incredible as well. The main fault of the film, unfortunately, is the plot. It was an amalgamation of many variations on the pre-Sherwood Forrest Robin Hood legends, which ultimately results in a nearly unrecognizable version. The film begins in the late 12th century England where Robin Longstride (Russell Crowe) is an archer among the troops of Richard the Lionhearted during the Third Crusade. With his fellow soldiers, Alan A’Dale, Will Scarlett, and Little John, Robin returns to England ten years after fighting for the King. He witnesses the ambush of the Royal Guard by Sir Godfrey (Mark Strong), an English knight with French lineage and allegiance whose character fills the void left by not including the character of Sir Guy de Gisborne. As Godfrey flees the scene, Robin manages to reclaim all the late king’s possessions and promises the dying Sir Robert Loxley to return his father’s sword to his home in Nottingham. In England, the arrogant King John assumes power and increases taxes throughout the land because of his brother’s crusade. He sends Sir Godfrey off to the North to collect the money he believes that he is entitled to. Unfortunately, Sir Godfrey is an agent of the French King and uses this Royal Decree to stir up enough unrest to cause Civil War in England.

Robin and his companions move to Nottingham, where he continues to impersonate Loxley to prevent the family lands from being taken by the crown. Loxley’s widow, Lady Marion (Cate Blanchett), eventually comes to accept him after a rocky introduction. The film climaxes with a spectacular invasion on England’s south coast by the French army, who return pretty quickly. The English, no doubt, are victorious in the battle, during which Robin slays Godfrey with an awesome shot through his eye from a great distance. Unfortunately, with the conclusion of the battle, King John begins to view Robin as a threat. He labels him an outlaw forcing him to move into the Sherwood forest. Robin embraces this move, and continues to help the people of Nottingham with help from Lady Marion and his friends that become the Merry Men of Sherwood Forest. The occasional romance scenes were worked into the rest of the movie well, but the lack of character development made such moments rather superfluous. Though the quality of the acting was unquestionably good, the plot simply fell flat, leaving viewers feeling like there was something missing from each scene. Also, the disparity of Robin’s age between traditional legends and the film made the actors seem too old for the roles that they were playing; Robin seems to be a jaded ex-soldier in his early forties in the film, but one imagines him to be a stillsprightly bowman in the early prime of his life in the legends. The film was good mindless entertainment, but when it comes down to paying ten dollars to watch it, think twice before you visit the cinema. ▪ Rating: B-

Visually Stunning but Lacks Content and deadly Seso (Alfred Molina and Steve Toussaint in lighthearted cameos)to the rescue. Molina in particular deserves mention: some of the funniest lines in the movie are delivered with such offhand nonchalance that it is impossible to stop laughing. The comic relief is very handy when the script’s complex plot gets overwhelming. No review of this movie would be complete without mention of the stunning graphics. The spectacular views of Persia and (even cooler) the climactic scene where entire buildings crumble into sand is mind-boggling, even for someone who has no knowledge of graphics whatsoever. The animation is bound to be appreciated by those who played the video game before seeing the movie. In the end, though, Prince of Persia is a video game at heart. Despite a great final scene, the screenplay never strays too far from the usual clichés and predictability that make up most action movies. So while Prince of Persia isn’t going to win an Oscar any time soon, it is perfect for those long summer days. Watch it with a group of friends, but a word of advice: don’t buy nachos. This movie is cheesy enough. ▪ Rating: B-

Unlike most indie bands who emerge out of relative obscurity, Ireland’s Two Door Cinema Club have had the good fortune of being publicized months before the release of their debut, Tourist History, from Passion Pit tweets to Kanye West’s blog to Phoenix remixes. Of course, it helps that they are signed to Kitsuné, a French record label that manages acts such as Crystal Castles and La Roux. As a result, they certainly have quite a few expectations to live up to and luckily Tourist History succeeds, delivering 32 minutes of infectious hooks and dancehall beats. Simply put, TDCC is the epitome blend of electronic and rock. TDCC knows how to entertain, sticking to catchy guitar lines, synth loops and tracks that never drift past four minutes. They deliver optimistic and energetic songs that uplift the spirit, backed by boyish vocals—think Bloc Party meets Ben Gibbard. “Cigarettes in the Theater” opens with a fast-paced trumpet solo before jumping into an equally fast guitar line, an indicator of what is to come. The rest of Tourist History

Jack Johnson Surfs on Success By Alissa Gwynn Feature Editor

Prince of Persia continued from page 1

By Cynthia Kang A&E Editor

follows basically the same format, with each track blending into another. The album’s addictiveness hits its high points with “Something Good Can Work” and “I Can Talk”. Though the lyrics are somewhat simplistic, it’s difficult to fight the urge to sing along and fizzling staccato beats more than make up for the hollow content. “Eat That Up, It’s Good for You”, however, is a rare find on the album that manages to convey a deeper meaning without losing the electro-pop backing that lures audiences in. “You would look a little better/don’t you know/if you just wore less makeup” croons lead singer Alex Trimble, while still crazily dancing along to the beat (or so I’d imagine). On the other hand, TDCC’s trademark energetic style is too consistent. The entire album gives off a monotonous vibe, with each track being relatively indistinguishable from another. They place too much emphasis on their marketability instead of experimentation and end up with a sound that is borrowed rather than original. “Undercover Martyn”, however, stands out with its bold guitar lines and subtle bass. Clocking in at a little less than three minutes, Trimble’s melancholy vocals paint a game of hide-and-seek, an interesting contrast to the cheerful, frenzied instrumentals. Tourist History shows us that TDCC knows what to sell and how to sell it. The album is short enough to maintain interest and is filled with glittering hooks to guarantee instant satisfaction. But apart from a few sporadic flashes of innovation, the band plays it safe and keeps their toes well within the line of experimentation. Nevertheless, their debut is a solid foundation and here’s hoping that they will venture a little bit more outside of the box with future releases. ▪ Rating: B

Music Picks from the Editorial Board

This Month: Grad Songs

Albert: Snowflake by FLOW Alissa: Don’t Forget To Remember Me by Carrie Underwood Anthony: In This Diary by The Ataris Christine: Pomp and Circumstance by Edward Elgar Cynthia: Ceremony by New Order Elisa: Better Together by Jack Johnson Hannah: We Are The Champions by Queen Jane: Closing Time by Semisonic Jerry: Forever Young by Alphaville Joseph: Over by Drake Karen: In My Life by The Beatles Megan: Here’s To The Night by Eve 6 Niku: These Are Days by 10000 Maniacs Rebecca: If Today Was Your Last Day by Nickelback Sargun: Up Up & Away by Kid Cudi Sonya: I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack Tanu: Graduation by Kinetics & One Love Tina: I Made It by Cash Money Mrs. Cohen: School’s Out by Alice Cooper Listen to the playlist at graphics editor albert yuan

In his fifth studio album, To the Sea, Jack Johnson delivers the perfect combination of breezy melodies and catchy tunes just in time for lazy summer days spent lounging by the pool. Although nothing revolutionary— Johnson’s acoustic hits and laid-back attitude are what propelled him to fame in his previous work—To the Sea nevertheless provides listeners with easy, enjoyable tracks inspired by Johnson’s late father, Jeff Johnson. It’s no surprise that Johnson was born and raised in Hawaii, for the surfer-dude vibe is apparent event in the opening track, “You and Your Heart.” The following tracks, “From the Clouds,” “Turn Your Love,” and “The Upsetter” follow the suit, though they are almost indistinguishable from each other in a halfan-hour of mellow guitar strumming. But enjoyable strumming, nonetheless. Yet despite the seemingly carefree melodies, Johnson conveys depth and maturation in songs like “My Little Girl,” in which he croons, “You’ve gone and stole my heart and made it your own / Stole my heart and made it your own.” The overarching theme of this album is family and love, as evidenced by the dedication (to his father, who passed away last year), four love songs for his wife, and his own reflection of fatherhood through “My Little Girl.” Regarding the title of his album, Johnson reflects, “Water is the subconscious, and that

water for me is the ocean. To get to the sea is being able to dig in and touch things that aren’t on the surface. That reference - that `we’ve got to get to the sea’ - is about a father leading his son to try to understand himself.” Even amidst the philosophical metaphors, tracks like “At or With Me” (in which he occasionally interjects, “baby those are such great shoes”) and “Red Wine, Mistakes, Mythology” will have listeners humming along and tapping their feet with the infectious clapping interludes and bluesy choruses. Overall, To the Sea is the quintessential summer album. Although there isn’t a song that can necessarily be dubbed a “summer hit,” as a whole, To the Sea is a seamless compilation of songs perfect for lemonade, beaches, and warm summer nights. ▪ Rating:

22 Arts & Entertainment

The Smoke Signal

Throwing In The Contract You know that game, the one where someone says a sentence and you go around a group and each person adds on a new sentence to the story until it’s absolutely ridiculous and has everyone in hysterics? Television and movie producers apparently really like this game, regardless of the number of years they’ve been playing it. A recurring problem throughout the entertainment and movie industry alike is their lack of a sense of where to end things. Instead, television shows, movies, and even albums, will drag

ducers never expected Shrek to be such a huge hit and therefore did not plan out the story line to go past Shrek and Fiona’s marriage. This trend applies even more to the television industry. Shows like 90120 were done long ago- producers are trying to bring the dead back from their graves with the new version. Popular shows like Grey’s Anatomy and One Tree Hill just never knew when to stop. Each season became progressively worse, until viewership dropped so low that the shows were cancelled. The problem with television series like these is that producers can never plan for there to be more than one season at a time, so with each new season they need to add more and more

on for years until audiences finally realize that they’re wasting their time trying to hold on to the great past of their entertainment. Movies like The Karate Kid and Shrek are recent examples of this flaw of the entertainment industry. Karate Kid had run its course, a long course, many years ago. Putting aside the fact that each sequel following the original decreased in quality, Karate Kid ended with the last generation. Children going to see Jayden Smith’s karate moves are the children of Will Smith’s generation. The newest installment of the movies did nothing but stain the memory of the great Karate Kid movies of the past. As for Shrek- some things are only funny the first time around. You might get laughs the second time, but honestly… a fourth? That’s pushing it. A big ugly green guy can only hold his comedic appeal for so long. The plot becomes more and more ridiculous with each new movie, because of course, the pro-

ridiculous twists just to keep ratings up. The music industry cannot be left untouched- how many of your previous favorite bands have you grown disappointed in with each new album, as they grow more popular and shell out more and more mainstreamsounding beats, losing that unique touch that you originally fell in love with? Bands like Backstreet Boys, who came out with their latest album only a few months ago, still attempt to mold themselves into the adolescent pop stars they once were. When you’re singing about the same heartbreak you cried over ten years earlier, it’s time to reevaluate the meaning of your music. The question comes down to this: what is of greater value? Churning out ridiculous and useless media for the sake of an easy pay check, or sticking to the true meaning of arts and entertainment and creating works of art with the use of creativity and inspiration? ▪

By Niku Jafarnia A&E Editor

Friday, June 11, 2010

Bieber Fever By Jamie Lin Staff Writer

How do you describe Justin Bieber? In 2010, he was nominated for ten awards. In April, he was the musical guest for Saturday Night Live, making him, at 16, the youngest male solo musical guest ever to appear on the show. And on COED Magazine’s list of the 50 Most Popular Women According to Google, Justin Bieber comes in at number seven. All these things make him remarkable, but not especially special. Yet his fans clearly think otherwise, given the crazy antics they’ve shown, all due to Bieber fever. He’s had two performances cancelled, on account of an inability to control the crowd. At an airport, a teen fan stole his hat only to later upload a

Meyer’s vampire romance saga launched obsessive fangirl mania for Edward and Jacob. Yet despite seeing countless images of women, at least forty, desperately asking Taylor Lautner to marry them, we have yet to call them out on their actions, which imply very inappropriate feelings towards a boy, no matter how built he is, who is still a child. As for Michael Jackson, he was the ultimate child star. Charismatic and unbelievably talented, he headlined his family’s pop group and stole the hearts of the world. Later on, despite all criticism, no one ever denied his musical genius. In June 2009, his death was mourned across the world. And a few months later, a certain Canadian with floppy brown hair and round brown eyes released his debut album and crooned his way into the hearts of 14-year-old girls and 40-year-old women. Critics lauded him while,,

Beiber Fan Theory #247: Confused by the sparkles and effeminate nature, fans mistake him for a Twilight vampire.

staff writer michael feuerman

video, demanding essentially ransom for the hat. Furthermore, after he jokingly called reality star Kim Kardashian his girlfriend, his fans sent her death threats. What is it about Bieber that makes girls (and guys) of all ages go crazy? We haven’t seen fans so devoted since the likes of the Beatles or the ‘90s boy band days, but even those girls weren’t as extreme. Furthermore, the age group hardly ranged as far as it does for Bieber Babies. Most likely his overwhelming popularity is due to two people: Stephenie Meyer and Michael Jackson.

his sweet voice mended the broken hearts of the 40-year-olds who just wanted a replacement child popstar (and caused 14-year-olds everywhere to want him to call them “Baby” fifty-four times). His music is catchy and his voice pleasant, but besides that, Bieber really isn’t so special. What’s caused the intense hysteria we call Bieber fever is really just great timing on the part of his marketers, for releasing him in an era when we yearn to have Michael Jackson again and allow girls and old women to go crazy in the name of fangirl love. ▪

Upcoming Concerts 6/18: Portugal. the Man @ The Fillmore 6/19-6/20: Goldfrapp @ Fox Theater 6/26: Warped Tour @ Shoreline Amphitheater 7/8: Marina & the Diamonds @Popscene 7/18: The New Pornographers @ Fox Theater 7/20: Keane @ Fox Theater 7/21: MGMT @ Fox Theater 7/23: Adam Lambert @ The Warfield 7/24: Robyn @ Mezzazine 8/6: Crystal Castles @ Fox Theater 8/20: John Mayer with Owl City @ Shoreline Amphitheater 8/22: Matt Kearny @ Swedish American Hall

a&e editor cynthia kang

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Smoke Signal

Classic Teen Films By Sarah Li Staff Writer

Ah, summer—the perfect time to catch up on all the studying you’ve lagged behind on during the school year. And what better time than now to brush up on your history of the American teen? Listed below are classic films crucial to the teenage experience, so don’t pass up this excuse to watch great films this summer. Rebel Without a Cause (1955) Largely known for launching the teenager revolution, protagonist Jim Stark ( James Dean) of Rebel Without a Cause is the epitome of the troubled teen, emphasizing the internal struggle of a teenager torn between childhood and adulthood. Jim lives in a dysfunctional family and is caught in a dispute with a local gang. After the leader of the gang dies in a conflict with Jim, he, his love interest Judy (Natalie Wood), and his young protégé Plato (Sal Mineo) run off to an abandoned mansion and play house. However, they can’t live in their fantasy world for long, and reality soon returns in a violent struggle to the end. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) Director John Hughes was well known for his portrayal of teens in his films, some of which (e.g. The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles) also deserve mention on this list. Ferris Bueller, though, may stand as the best. Detailing the

Artist Spotlight: Keenan Grundy

one perfect day in which Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) decides to skip school with his girlfriend and best friend to enjoy their city of Chicago, this film is one of our greatest modern comedies, pure and light-hearted. After all, who hasn’t dreamed of that perfect day to skip school and spend it with our closest friends? 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Heath Ledger, and Julia Stiles: is there any reason not to watch this film? Based on Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, 10 Things I Hate About You takes liberties with the original play but stays fairly true to its portrayal of modern teens. Cameron James (Gordon-Levitt) pays the rebellious Pat Verona (Ledger) to woo the equally rebellious Kat Stratford (Stiles) so that her father will allow her pretty and popular sister to date. What ensues is tension-rife conflict, love (or something like it), heartbreak galore, and a charming romantic comedy for all.

Mean Girls (2004) Back when the name Lindsay Lohan didn’t raise eyebrows and when Amanda Seyfried and Rachel McAdams were mere blips on our cultural radar, there was Mean Girls. Written by comic-genius Tina Fey, Mean Girls takes a hilariously sharp look at modern high schools as Cady Heron (Lohan) infiltrates and tries to bring down the elite clique, the Plastics, only to be drawn into their toxic lifestyle. Those who are already Mean Girls fans may also enjoy the ’90s comedy Clueless (1995) or the dark ’80s comedy Heathers (1988). ▪

Arts & Entertainment 23

SS: What came first: your desire to create music or your knowledge of musical instruments? KG: My material knowledge of music came first. I remember playing the piano and being forced into playing classical music; at the time I hated it, so I quit. Four years later, I started to play the guitar and the piano again my late-Freshmen to early Sophomore year. From there everything just snowballed. Drums, bass, etc. – I now play 13 different things.

staff writer justin sha

By Justin Sha Staff Writer

Many of you probably know him as that one kid with all the “likes” on his Facebook fanpage; another chunk of you might know him through word of mouth: “amazing”, “music flows through his veins”, etc. However, one thing is for certain: Senior Keenan Grundy is a talented maker of music. Smoke Signal: The music you create is really diverse. How do you manage to create so many different and unique sounds? Keenan Grundy: I listen to many different styles of music. I cover just about every single genre and I treat them all differently. As far as the systems go, I play the music that I hear running through my head, working it out through the instruments I play. I’ll put one instrument down such as drums or bass and then overlay it. SS: Tell me about your writing process. Is there any particular frame of mind you need to be in? KG: Not really, I can’t sing and there’s no mood I need to be in to make music.

SS: What’s the story behind the Facebook fanpage that you use to share your music? KG: Before, I had a bunch of really bad demos; I emailed my friends, asking them “What do you think of this” and the like. I did this more and more often based on who was online at the time, which eventually led to me emailing a huge list of people my music. Later on, people would frequently ask me if anything was new, and it got to the point where I’d email them and then five minutes later email the next person. I eventually got so sick of it that I decided to make a Facebook fanpage. SS: Can you tell me about anything upcoming that we should be looking out for? KG: I’m working on a strange blues-fuseoriental-Japanese-zither right now, and also I’ll be performing at an Open Mic soon so definitely look out for that. SS: Why do you enjoy making music? KG: I enjoy it as a good stress reliever. I like it because it’s challenging, and it never ends. Scales or patterns – it’s like you can always find something new to do, and you can never really master it. And as much as I try to do everything, I can’t (even though I really want to). I love music, and I really just want to try to get as far as I can get. ▪

24 Sports

The Smoke Signal

Friday, June 11, 2010

MSJ CHEER OVERCOMES ADVERSITY AND RELOADS FOR NEXT YEAR to perform, the girls have also started funraising for next year’s equipment. They held a car wash, a fifty-fifty raffle, and a yard sale with proceeds going directly to uniform costs and a new stunt mat. Finally, after a challenging beginning, the cheerleaders will be starting the next year with excited energy,

By Elisa Ting Graphics Editor

Pom poms are waving, the crowd is screaming, and the MSJ cheerleaders are rallying students as they cheer on the Warriors. Masking their difficult situation with 1,000watt smiles during performances, the cheerleaders began the year without a head coach, a place to practice, or funding for uniforms. However, the cheer squad is concluding the year with a new head coach and eight addi-

courtesy jasmine chen

From left to right: Senior Angelica Lee, Freshman Ariel Lee, Sophomore Jasmine Chen, Coach Ashley Dollard, and Juniors Natalie Parke and Sarah Platt.

courtesy natalie parke

The cheerleaders smile as they perform an impressive routine.

tional recruits. Para-educator and JV Softball Head Coach Krystal Sanchez volunteered her time to coach the team when no other coach was available. As a junior high cheer coach in the past, Sanchez had the experience to oversee the girls at various sports games. When the cheerleaders needed an adult supervisor, Sanchez volunteered to take on that role. “I stepped in and supervised the girls when they had no coach, but they weren’t allowed to do stunts because I’m not the head coach,” said Sanchez. With techni-

By Michael Feuerman Staff Writer

The 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa is upon us. The teams have qualified, the fans have gathered, and Team USA is looking the best it has in years. America managed to finish first in its qualifying Hexagonal, the North, Central America, and Caribbean Zone. And in the previous Gold Cup, a tournament organized by CONCACAF (the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) last year, they nearly claimed first. They were defeated by Mexico and forced to settle for second. They also surprised the international world of soccer when they came in second in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, beating out favorites such as Spain and only losing in the final match against Brazil, 3-2. The USA’s recent performances certainly are promising and many players are hoping to carry that momentum into the World Cup. However, previous World Cup experiences are less encouraging. The US has never come close to winning the tournament. In fact, in the 2006 World Cup, USA was eliminated in the first round. Team USA faces some tough opposition in the first round. They have to contend with Algeria, Slovenia, and heavyweight England. If they can come in at least second place in Group C, then Team USA will qualify for the next round. Many fans expect both

calities limiting their stunt performances, the girls had to keep their routines largely dance related to reduce the chance of injury. In addition to their troubles, the cheerleaders also had to fundraise for their own cheer gear. “We had to do most of the things ourselves like ordering uniforms, going to the games, and making routines,” said Senior Captain Angelica Lee. Even without a coach, the girls met for practice and everyone made large contributions to choreography and preparations for games. “[Being] without a coach was really stressful.” said Lee. “We weren’t even sure if we were going to have a cheer team.” Within a few months and with the help of Principal Sandra Prairie, the cheerleaders were assigned a new coach, Ashley Dollard. “We really like her,” said Lee, “she has [a

2010 WORLD CUP KICKS OFF IN SOUTH AFRICA England and the USA to continue on, and many are optimistic about USA’s chances of coming in first in Group C. It’s not an optimism shared by everyone, but it’s certainly likely we’ll perform better than last year. The important match will be USA vs England. If we can scrape a victory against them, Slovenia and Algeria shouldn’t pose too great a threat. But if we lose the game and our momentum, there’s no telling whether we will move on at all. USA is coached by Bob Bradley, who initially took the job almost as a caretaker position. However, after his performances in the Gold Cup and Confederations Cup, it’s clear that he’s here to stay. “We’re very proud to have finished at the top of the final Hexagonal,” Bradley said after the qualifiers. “It was a great effort and required a great deal of determination on our team’s part. Every time we took the field we spoke about proving to the world what we were capable of and I think we did just that.” Star Landon Donovan leads the team in goals scored. It will be up to him to inspire the team and carry them through the tournament. In addition, the team is looking at a roster of seasoned players and new recruits, a strong mix that may be enough to surpass the United States’ past performances. America’s first game is slated to take place tomorrow, June 12th, against England. ▪

lot of ] experience and is fun.” At the end of April, 25 girls tried out for next year’s team, but only 14 were chosen. This spurt in interest is largely due to the new coaching style Dollard offers and her eagerness to find new opportunities for the girls to perform. “I mainly tried out this year because [Dollard] has a lot of great ideas for the cheer team and since there’s more people, we might be able to have three flyers [for stunts],” said Junior Margaret Ju, a new member of the cheer squad. The team is also requesting ASB permission to perform during homecoming week. “It’s unlikely that [the cheerleaders] will have time to perform after the [senior] skit, but they might be able to perform at the homecoming game.” said next year’s ASB President Tarang Patel. In addition to looking for more chances

courtesy jasmine chen

The squad triumphantly performs a lift.

new equipment, and a coach who has experience cheering in both high school and college. “I think [Dollard is] the best coach we could have ever gotten,” said Junior Natalie Parke, “she knows what she’s doing.” With a great addition to the team, the cheerleaders anticipate a bright year ahead of them. ▪

MSJ SPORTS: BY THE NUMBERS Information provided by Athletic Director Tom Thomsen

628 males and 544 females 2 teams, Girls’ Tennis and Badminparticipated on sports teams during the year.

ton, were crowned NCS Champions (NCS has 171 member schools).

13 out of the 23 Varsity 7 straight NCS titles won by BadSports championships in MVAL minton. were won by MSJ. 8 individual athletes placed first at 67 athletes from MSJ were NCS, and Senior Ikem Okwudiafor selected as First Team All MVAL went to state for 110 M hurdles. candidates. 7 Varsity teams won the NCS 10 Varsity teams went unde- Scholar-Athlete Team Award. feated in the regular season.


The Smoke Signal

Friday, June 11, 2010


Sports 25


feat. Masta A & Docta J Track 9 : “Wu-Teng Revolution”

By Joseph Teng & Anthony Wu Sports Editors

By Joseph Teng Sports Editor

This is the time of year where we begin to reminisce about the four years that we’ve traveled through at Mission. It is our turn to sign our names on the college posters in our Calculus classes. Congratulations - we’ve made it. Throughout high school, we’ve all longed for freedom from the regulated school schedule and from parents. Yet, as corny as it sounds, I have realized that I regret nothing about my high school experience. Obviously, I’ve made mistakes and suffered from the rigorous academic onslaught. Yet, for all the times I’ve fallen, I’ve always gotten up stronger than before. This is the part where I give a shout-out to all of my homedawgs who have supported me throughout my life. To my OCEANS, we cats have pulled through a lot of changes and have stuck together; thank you for holding me afloat. Hyao. To my RSM, all those nights practicing our sexy airband moves and our man-dinners will never be forgotten. Man-law for life. To my class, we’ve seriously revolutionized MSJ this year. L2 has done an incredible job in running the student body. Yearbook has once again produced a timeless book of memories. To my beloved Smoke Signal, I will never forget the countless memories we’ve shared in the backroom. To my co-editor Anthony Wu, WuTeng forever reigns supreme. To the rest, I love you all and will never forget you guys. One of my friends once told me that the world was shady. It’s true; in college, everyone is new and you will know nothing about your peers. However, at MSJ, we all know this fact: our class is boss. There simply is no other way to put it. With this, I wish all of you good luck wherever you go. The end is never the end. A new challenge always awaits. Look forward to making an impact on the world out there. Don’t look back to the past; instead, look forward to the things which are to come. Wherever we go, remember what we shared in high school. As we sign yearbooks, tears will inevitably fall, but hold your heads high and walk away a proud Warrior. And until we meet again, goodbye to the Mission San Jose Class of 2010. ▪

Our last Wu-Teng column of the year. Enjoy what we have to say about the role of tradition in sports, and make sure that you read our closing thoughts and words of goodbye on either side of this page. The Issue Chained down by limitations, Suppressed by old traditions. Stuck in the rut with no creation, Bogged down by expectations. Break free from the mindset, from the prison. Ignore all the old oppression. Start the jailbreak, start a revolution. Follow through with your own new vision. Follow Wu-Teng, join our commotion. As we break through tradition with the WuTeng Revolution. Docta’s Diagnosis Obsessive traditionalist disorder (OTD) the scourge of sports fans. Of course, we respect traditions because they hold special meaning throughout history. But remember that everything needs to be in moderation. Masta’s Analysis Tradition is one of the greatest aspects of sports. Thanks to tradition, people can celebrate achievements while honoring the heritage handed down from years past. Can you imagine a world in which players don’t give their coaches a Gatorade bath after a championship? Probably not. However, people should not hold tradition in such high regard that it limits sports.

Unfortunately, that is what it has come down to. Sticking to tradition can in fact prevent sports from keeping up with the times and even take away their integrity. Take a look at Major League Baseball. Last week, umpire Jim Joyce blew a call which robbed Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga of a perfect game. This led to yet another storm of calls for the league to look into using more instant replay. But one of the most used arguments of those against added replay is that “it isn’t traditional.” People need to remember that the MLB was founded in 1869, so changes to original rules are expected. Sure, the human element of the sport is important, but when technology allows us to improve the game, isn’t it only logical to take advantage of it? Now consider soccer, which is going to be sweeping the world in the form of the World Cup that starts today. When teams cannot break a tie after a certain amount of time, they participate in a shootout to decide who advances to the next game. This is a terrible way to designate a winner since blocking a kick depends on luck; either the goalkeeper correctly guesses which way to dive for a stop or the kicker cracks under pressure and misses the goal altogether. Soccer confederations need to figure out a better method to resolve draws, as the current one is unfair and often dreaded by players. For more information on these examples and others, go on and search up “Top 10: Useless Sports Traditions.” One should see that tradition can constrict sports to the obsolete customs of old; we can only hope that the people in charge recognize this too and make the appropriate changes. ▪

staff writer cassie zhang

Look for next year’s anointed Sports Editors Grace Han and Amit Patankar to break from the traditions we set and take the Sports Section to even greater heights.

By Anthony Wu Sports Editor

Congratulations my fellow seniors; we’ve made it to the doorstep of graduation, and it’s been one heck of a ride. Personally, I’ve always looked forward to growing up and leaving this academic battleground we call MSJ. It wasn’t until recently that I’ve truly appreciated what going to this school has given us (it’s funny what a few exclamations of “This is the last [insert event] of our high school careers!” can do to you). Awesome friends, crazy adventures, and lasting memories… you name it, we got it. Granted, there were late nights and mountains of work that threw people into despair and caused some to just give up. But I believe that those hardships actually brought us closer; it’s pretty hard to imagine a class of five hundred getting along as well as we do. Almost all of us can feel camaraderie with others who have experienced the trials and tribulations that we have, and we take full advantage of it. Combine that with the social networking of today’s age, and it’s easier than ever to connect with people even if they’re not your close friends. Not only that, but our class has a great reputation as a whole, and that is no reputation at all. We’re not known as the jerks, the wannabes, the nice people, or the smart kids… we’re just the ones with the coolest number as our graduating year. So good luck with whatever’s in store for you next year, whether it be staying local, going across the country, or anything in between. More memories are out there for us to make, and we shouldn’t hesitate to pursue them. But whenever we have the time, let us look back to our high school days and remember all of the great times that we shared. They say that being young is the best time of your life, and they’re right. Goodbye to RSM and the Smoke Signal. Goodbye to the blissful youth that we are leaving behind. And until we meet again, goodbye to the Mission San Jose Class of 2010. ▪


Junior Phoebe Jen is a swimmer, but she doesn’t race. Instead, she participates in a sport that involves more dexterity than speed, formerly called “water ballet.” A synchronized swimmer since 4th grade, she will be representing the US at the World Junior Championships this August as part of the National Junior Team.

staff writer cassie zhang

Smoke Signal: Could you briefly explain what synchronized swimming is all about? Phoebe Jen: Synchro is a combination of sports: speed swimming, dance, gym, and ice skating. There is a routine portion (done in a team of eight) and an individual portion. In the team

event, you are judged on technical elements, synchronization, and artistic impression. Individually, you are judged on how well you can perform a given skill. SS: What's your favorite part of the sport? PJ: It’s an ultimate team sport. You train with a team of eight all year and every teammate contributes to the routine. The best part about synchro is the second family. All of us live off of the others. SS: What kinds of challenges have you been through? Have you ever wanted to quit? PJ: I've never really thought about quitting, but there have been many challenges. I broke my wrist in 7th grade and wasn't able to swim for three months, which was a huge detriment to my team. Another challenge was when I hurt my back doing lifts, which left me out of the pool for three weeks. When I got back in the pool, it was very challenging to make sure that the injury wouldn't happen again. SS: How has synchro impacted your life? PJ: Synchro has definitely taken a huge chunk of my time! I don't get to hang out as much with my friends, but they are all really supportive of what I do. I think synchro has helped me

with school because it has taught me time management, communication skills, and how to respond to different situations. Swimming puts a large amount of pressure on me, but it also helps me get away from the other stressful things.

of dancing such as salsa, cha-cha, and ballet. All of these teach us carriage, posture, and how to use our bodies.

SS: Do you have any swimming rituals? PJ: Before a big competition, we always pump ourselves up by dancing to "our" song. This year our team song was "In my Head" by Jason Derulo. SS: Have you been to any competitions lately? How did you do? PJ: Our last competition as a team was nationals. We won junior nationals and placed 5th at seniors. SS: What's a practice session like? PJ: In the beginning of the year, it starts out as four-hour practices on weekdays and five hours on Saturdays; then we build up. The majority of our time goes to practicing routines. I think it’s funny how we spend half of our lives trying to perfect a four-minute routine. SS: How do you practice outside the pool? PJ: We have cross training which includes yoga, dance, gym, and Pilates. We do different types

courtesy phoebe jen

Junior Phoebe Jen and her teammates move in synchronization.

SS: Are there any other sports that you do? PJ: I used to dance; lyrical and jazz. I also did speed swimming and a little ice skating. SS: What are your goals right now? PJ: To medal at Junior Worlds with the junior national team. I haven't decided what I want my future as a synchronized swimmer to be. ▪

26 Sports

The Smoke Signal

Friday, June 11, 2010


By Matthew Gosen & Amit Patankar Staff Writers

Over the course of the school year, MSJ’s various sports teams all made great achievements and proved that the Warrior spirit is not to be ignored. Several teams stood out from the rest, dominating both regular and postseason play.

Boys’ Soccer

Boys’ Cross Country 6-0 MVAL Champions

Girls’ Cross Country 6-0 MVAL Champions


Girls’ Water Polo The Girls’ Water Polo team finished with a commanding 9-1 record to take first place for the fifth year running in league. The team also made it to NCS, where they lost in the second round to San Ramon Valley, finishing in the top 16. “Even though six seniors are graduating this year, the team hopes to have a great season next year and do well in MVAL and NCS,” said Junior Anna Kim.


Coach Tom Thomsen trained his wrestlers for another successful season with his regime of grueling workouts practicing takedowns and pins. The wrestling team won many of their matches throughout the season and the team ended their season with nine people making it to NCS. Special recognition goes to Sophomore Corbin Lee for advancing on after NCS to the CIF state championship.

6-6 4th Place in MVAL Girls’ Soccer 7-2-3 MVAL Champions Wrestling 5-1 3rd Place in MVAL


0-6 6th Place in MVAL

Girls’ Water Polo 9-1 MVAL Champions

Girls’ Tennis

Girls’ Volleyball

With Senior captains, Keila Mah and Allison Day leading the team, MSJ’s Girls’ Volleyball team played a great season, finishing with a record of 10-2. The team placed first in the Wolf Pack Classic and Husky Volleyball tournaments in addition to winning league and taking 4th at NCS. “Next year we’re losing nine seniors and Coach Donny Hui.It won’t be the same without them.” said Junior Maggie Chang.

Boys’ Volleyball

With a season record of 12-0, the Boys’ Volleyball team placed first in league and MVALs as well. They made NCS but were eliminated in the first round after a loss to De La Salle. With four seniors leaving next year, Junior Zaki Sarwary is confident in his team’s resiliency. “We are going to come out strong and try to go further in NCS.” said Sarwary.

12-0 MVAL Champions

Gymnastics 4-1 MVAL Champions

Girls’ Golf 4-0 MVAL Champions

Girls’ Volleyball 10-2 MVAL Champions

Girls’ Basketball 8-4 2nd Place in MVAL

Softball 0-12 7th Place in MVAL

4-1 2nd Place in MVAL Girls’ Soccer

Girls’ Soccer came out this year determined to motivate their team to compete and finish the season with a fierce intensity. Coach Kamal Della coached the team to a 7-2-3 league record. The team ended their season with a loss against Washington High school during the league championship to place second overall.


Badminton enjoyed another successful season this year. Despite having graduated a significant number of seniors last year, the team nonetheless came out with an undefeated season and placed 1st in both MVALs and NCS. Practices consisted of conditioning with sprints, long distance, and lower body exercises, followed by hitting drills and scrimmages.

Badminton 12-0 MVAL Champions

Boys’ Volleyball 12-0 MVAL Champions Girls’ Basketball

Led by Coach Doug Sakamoto, the Girls’ Basketball team finished strong with a league record of 8-4. Senior Captains Rachel Chang and Misha Yalavarthy led the Lady Warriors to second place in league. “The hard work everyone put into the team this year made it possible for us to go to NCS for the second year in a row.” said Yalavarthy.

Boys’ Tennis First year coach Barry Poole along with the help of his three captains Junior Evan Dankiewicz, and Seniors Brandon Nguyen, and Kyle Richter helped to motivate and train the Boys’ Varsity tennis team to another successful season. The team held an impressive record of 17-2 to take first place in league and make semifinals at NCS.

Boys’ Swimming 6-0 MVAL Champions

Girls’ Swimming

Boys’ Basketball 3-9 5th Place in MVAL

3-9 5th Place in MVAL

Boys’ Golf

Boys’ Water Polo 4-6 4th Place in MVAL


6-0 MVAL Champions Cross Country Coach of the Season Jack Marden led his Varsity boys’Cross Country team to take first place in the league and the girls Varsity team to tie for first. The boys’ team had a record of 6-0 and placed first at league finals. The girls’ team had a record of 5-1 and tied for first place, in MVALs, becoming co-champions with Washington.

White Sweater Awards:

Boys’ Track and Field 4-2 3rd Place in MVAL

Girls’ Track and Field

Allison Day Teddy Fong Keila Mah

2-4 5th Place in MVAL graphic by staff writer diya roy, smoke signal archives

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Smoke Signal

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The Smoke Signal

Friday, June 11, 2010

photos by staff writers joy xu, stephenie yuan, justin sha, cassie zhang, chelsea dass, editor-in-chief jerry ting

The Smoke Signal Vol. XLV No. 8  

June 2010

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