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Launch Issue

The MArk


Launch Issue 2010


your eyes and let us see what you see. Let us share in your experiences and get a glimpse of your life. Let us amplify your voice—a voice that will no longer be unheard.


Open eyes to opportunity. The opportunity to share your latest masterpiece or even your first one.


Open your to a showcase of M-A’s talent, to the multitude of student voices that define our school. This is your forum. This is to recognize that not everything beautiful at M-A can be graded. This is the MArk. Make yours.

PHOTOGRAPH Allison Felt 3

The MArk

The MArk Contributors:IeJ Editors-in-chief: Adam Zuckerman Regina Mullen Kate Reardon

12 New Bell Schedule Feature 16 Zito: More Than a Suit 24 Change in accepted outside credits 40 AP Classes Save College Tuition 50 Celiacs: Prisoners of Wheat



Michael Abramson Trent Bastian Rachel Fox Taylor Gananian Russell Gurman Sofia Gutierrez-Dewar Wes Hagman Blair Johnson Anna Luke Haley McCabe Alexander Most Evan Peairs Ian Proulx Hannah Rosenfeld Stephanie Sabatini Jed Springer Conrad Yu

Creative Writing and Visual Arts Committees: Addie Brian Ali Candlin Sofia Gutierrez-Dewar Maddie Holtzman Fiona Kirby Sydney LeFebvre Lily Ning Laurin Noguchi Allison Silverman

Cover Art

Prescott Foland Juan Carlos Contreras George Carruthers Evan West 4

20 Teacher Personals

42 Married with Students 56 What Prom Needs 56 High Mark, Low Mark 57 Prom Alternatives


6 The Cottage 28 Alive 29 Curse 30 Painting


32 Unspoken Words 36 Drowning 46 Darrien


Launch Issue 2010 28 Curse 29 Alive 30 I am a Gangsta 31 Static


Table of Contents

S The MArk, a feature magazine published by the students in MenloAtherton High School’s Journalism class, is an open forum for student expression and the discussion of issues of concern to its readership. The MArk is distributed to its readers and the student body at no cost. The staff welcomes letters to the editor but reserves the right to edit all submissions for length, grammar, potential libel, invasion of privacy and obscenity. Send all letters to

18 Graffiti Art 52 All Aboard 48 Eric Evans 60 Album 63 Parting Shot


JeI:srotubirtnoC krAM eh 5

Ethiopian Embrace Photography Emily Johnson

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Launch Issue 2010



The MArk

by Conrad Yu As the hand ticks,

I could stand here,

The face contorts.

Looking at nothing.

But in no way am I to shame.

Funny how my eyes became so big

Deprivation is extended absence.

How they became so round.

A gift so malicious.

Funny how I looked in the mirror

Who to blame?

And it was the other way around.

I once believed that wishes

I saw a fish in the mirror.

Were like fishes.

Dumb-eyed staring.

So I cast my net.

Waiting too long will do that to you

And I never caught anything,

No love, no caring.

Even after my socks were wet.

So I’ll just continue waiting and hoping.

Now in my wet socks

Because there’s nothing I can really do.

And no fish in hand,

Nothing, except wait and hope

I stare.

That my wishes will come true.

Yet for an eternity

Photography Prescott Foland 8


What It Feels Like to Endure a Hot Day

Launch Issue 2010

By Megan Thomas

Oh joy, oh rapture unforeseen. Today is another sunny day in California. Triple digit highs and not one dismal cloud in the sky. Today is a day of sadness. When it’s hot you feel your shirt stick to your back, the sweat acting as glue. Your hands are melting and slippery. You never want to intertwine with your boyfriend’s fingers on such a toasty day. Your arms are crusted in salt and your pores are crying. Your toes feel like they are surrounded by plush slipper socks. Your legs are wrapped in Saran Wrap—no air, no ventilation. Your back begs for a swimming pool, one that’s not heated and hasn’t seen warm temperatures in years. Your neck is suffocating under your hair. Your face is a furnace, steaming from deep under your skin. Your makeup tries to hide and seek cover. It drips from your face like water from a long leaf. Hair assaults your temples. You look God-awful. And you feel even worse. Any clothing feels like a down comforter. Shoes seem to just insulate your poor toes. Every cell in your body seeks for something cold, something frozen to chill the heat. You can never escape from heat. It’s not like snowy winter days where coats and heater blankets keep the chills at bay. No amount of clothes, or lack thereof, can cool you down. No icy glass of water, no shady location can lower your temperature. You are perpetually stuck between melting point and a solid state. You can’t get away. You don’t want to move. Let your heart rate slow down. Now is not the time for cardio. Calm down. Just lie. Just exist. Do not. Ever. Move. Sit and be still and maybe the heat won’t see you. All you want to do is lie on the shaded and cooled concrete and spread your limbs like the roots of a tree. Ice water is never cold enough. But you can find solace in the fact that it, too, is sweating through the glass.

Photography Cat Carragee 9


The MArk

ublic displays of affection can range from holding hands and high fives to making out and heavy petting. So, where do we draw the line?

Any student, faculty member, or visitor to M-A can see couples smashed up against the walls, and boys and girls walking with absolutely no personal bubble between them. When asked about their opinions on the outward displays of affection that go on at school, the response was two-sided. Teachers and students that do not participate in PDA were equally disgusted, indignant, and uncomfortable. Lauren Diller, a sophomore here at M-A, was quoted saying, “They should all just get a room!” Junior Clemence Parmentier is among those students who do not mind public displays of affection. “I don’t think it’s awkward,” she says, “people should mind their own business because, it’s just, like, natural for us to be displaying our affection with someone.” Sophomore Michael Hester takes the middle ground saying, “I don’t care as long as tongues stay in the mouth.” There are stories all over the news of schools buckling down on rules about public displays of affection, and by looking at our handbook, it would appear that M-A is no different. The handbook states that, “Excessive displays of affection are inappropriate on school grounds or at school-sponsored activities. Excessive refers to kissing, petting, and other physical demonstrations considered to be inappropriate when conducted in public.” Although it seems like these rules would be enough to restrict students from getting too hot and heavy in the hallways, a simple stroll through Pride Hall would quickly disprove that assumption.   When asked about the rules pertaining to PDA at M-A, the school’s new Dean of Students, Sean Priest, commented on the administration’s main method of restricting excessive displays of affection. He says simply asking them to stop normally does the job, because “it generally kills the mood.” 10

PDA: A Bit More Than Bear Hugs by Stephanie Sabatini

Launch Issue 2010


Have you heard about the M-A mountain biking team? another common style of biking, ride heavy bikes with That’s because there isn’t one. Though M-A doesn’t oversized suspension, and try to get down a mountain sponsor it as a sport, mountain biking has a in as little time as possible, over rough terrain and dedicated following of students around the sometimes off cliffs. world. Many high schools even have their own teams. At some high schools, riders train and race on their school teams. In Marin County schools, Though it is fun to practice with a where mountain biking is more popular, team, the real appeal of mounthe cycling teams outnumber the foottain biking is the freedom. ball teams. These teams race in the The sport offers a more NorCal High School Mountain Bike personalized experience Racing League, which encomthan any team sport, as passes 23 high school teams from you can pick who you want Northern California, and incldes to ride with and where you many racers who compete indiwant to go. There are no rules, vidually without the support of restrictions, or referees to tell their school. The teams compete you what to do, and the only in races all around Northern California. limit is your own ability. The Peninsula Composite Team (PCT) is Most biking in the area participating in this year’s races, featuring takes place in small groups riders from Carlmont, Woodside, and Serra. of friends, but some people The PCT rides in local parks such as Water ride with friends on their Dog Lake and Skeggs Point for practice. “We favorite trails; bikers interaren’t just a race team,” says Nick Long, one ested in easier rides may go of the team members, “we’re also a club for to the Arastradero Preserve riders that like cross country mountain biking and other trails nearby, while but don’t want to race.” The PCT is curthrill-seeking riders may go to rently recruiting cyclists, and is happy Carlmont, which has some of to accept any M-A riders who love the most intense biking in the area to bike. right in its backyard. Since its beginning in the Perhaps the most common biking style is cross 1980s, mountain biking country rider, which entails less technical trails has grown to an estimatand longer rides. Though cross country bikers ed 50 million riders in may not seem as impressive as other bikers, imthe U.S. alone. Maymense stamina and skill are necessary for rides such as be some day we will the Tour Divide ride, a 2,700 mile race from Canada even have a mounto Mexico. Another style of biking is dirt-jumping, in tain biking team which the riders launch off dirt mounds. Downhillers, at M-A.


The Times They are a Changin’

The MArk

M-A modifies bell schedule for 2011 school year

by Michael Abramson


he times are changing educate students on the benefits for M-A’s 2011 bell of getting an adequate amount of schedule. In an sleep each night. The program attempt to provide has been a success, just last year students with some earning M-A the prestigious much-needed sleep, the Sequoia Golden Bell Award for the Union High School District is “school’s leadership in raising revamping the bell schedule awareness about the importance next year to of teen sleep “I’d like to go to the accommodate and the the sleepier homes of the parents c o n s e q u e n c e s students in the of sleep that changed my district. These deprivation,” changes come schedule, and I’d like as it explains following the on the district dedicated work to change their entire w e b s i t e . of, most notably, schedule, then see how Leading this former M-A program has they feel.” parent Eileen been former Van Rheenen M-A parent -Mike Amoroso and Stanford Eileen Van sleep experts William C. Dement Rheenen, who clearly vocalizes and Mark R. Rosekind. Despite the dangers of sleep deprivation. the data supporting the benefits “There is data showing that of a later start time, many M-A drowsy driving is probably… teachers are frustrated by the as impactful or more than new schedule, believing they driving [under the influence have been given no voice in the of] alcohol.” Sleep process. While several different deprivation has been proposals are currently in the linked to other works, a few significant changes health risks as already look certain. well, including depression To understand the changes that a n d will be occurring, it is important to understand what prompted them. Since the 2007-2008 school year, M-A has had a comprehensive sleep program to 12

anxiety. Another important reason for starting later is that “adolescents have a normal biological shift in their circadian clock,” that leads them to stay up later and wake up later. This shift, affecting all but “about 2% of kids” means that students will very often be drowsy or fatigued in class. Besides, this type of schedule is by no means unprecedented. Woodside High School decided this year to start school at 9:05, and approximately 90 to 100 other schools around the country have implemented similar schedules. The overall reception of these changes has been overwhelmingly positive. “It’s hard to measure, but it looks like academic performance, athletic performance, mood, safety––it all improves.” Van Rheenen stood firmly behind her philosophy,

Launch Issue 2010

claiming that she “[doesn’t] think there has been a single school that has said it has been a negative change.” But on the other hand, “Many have reported that it was a hard change to make” because “people get used to routines…and start to feel that that is the way it has to be. But still, [the later schedule] has been very positive and people said they would never go back.” In the end, the basis of these changes stems from the fact that “It’s really important to look at not only how adolescents can help themselves get to sleep earlier, even if their biology is fighting it, but also what kind of institutional changes or organizational changes we can make to support the other end of it, which is the waking up end.” There are a multitude o f

options still being considered. The district is still meeting with principals and teacher representatives to determine the exact changes, but the goal is to settle the plan for next year within the next couple of months. The pending alterations will not apply solely to M-A, and M-A will not be able to go against the new schedule, as this new schedule is a district-wide decision. The majority of the M-A teachers have not embraced these changes. Frustration abounds as many feel the new schedule is the work of a few influential parents and board members, with little consideration given to the needs of the teachers. Ultimately, M-A principal Matthew Zito estimates that “around 80% of [teachers] are against it.” And, after hearing their thoughts, it isn’t difficult to understand why. “I’d like to go to the homes of the parents that changed my schedule, and I’d like to change their entire schedule, then see how they feel,” remarked frustrated US history teacher and varsity

baseball coach Mike Amoroso. History teacher and soccer coach Ben Wellington reinforced Amoroso’s complaints, “Honestly, I think they didn’t take into account athletics, and the people that it’s supposed to help, the people that usually have to travel farther, are actually going to be active longer because they have to start at 7:30. So overall it’s a negative.” When asked whether the teachers’ point of view was considered when making the changes, Mr. Wellington responded “No, of course not.” Others teachers have more mixed feelings regarding the new schedule. Math teacher Manja McMills admits “I don’t really like change,” and worries that “kids will just go to bed later, so I don’t know if starting later is going to help anyone with sleep,” but “I’m also open to see if it can help, so I’m optimistic.” In the end, the new bell schedule will likely earn many supporters and just as many detractors. Hopefully, the M-A community will be able to embrace the changes, understand their purpose, and, most importantly, start chipping away at that sleep debt.


The MArk

For Whom The Bell Tolls Some Proposed Changes

How You Will Be Affected

8:30 or 8:45 start time -- The main

Athletes: Sports will most likely suffer the

purpose of the new schedule is to provide students with the opportunity to get more sleep. To achieve this goal, school will begin at either 8:30 or even 8:45, forty to fiftyfive minutes later than when we start now.

School will end at 3:05 or 3:10 on regular days -- Because school starts later, school will end later. Sorry, that’s just how it works. We aren’t making the days any shorter or having any less class time, the start of the day is simply being delayed a bit

7th period before school -- 7th period will now be before 1st period, most likely starting at 7:35 in the morning. The logic behind calling it seventh period is likely that the period is irregular, and to call it first period might confuse parents and some students on regular schedules.

Block Days -- The proposals for the block days vary greatly, however, with one proposal having school start at 8:30 and get out at 1:50 while another takes the opposite approach, starting school at 9:15 and letting students out 3:05. Many teachers do not favor the second plan, as it allows for an hour and 35 minute staff meeting every Wednesday, an unbearably long time for most teachers.

7th period will only be available to students with 7 periods in their schedule -- That’s right, the only way you can start school at 7:35 is if you decide to take 7 periods per day. Students with regular schedules will not have a choice as to what time they start their day, even if they play a sport. 7th period will be used solely for classes such as ESL, AVID, and SAT prep.


most with the new changes. Many sports may be forced to hold early morning practices; beginning as early as seven and probably continuing after school as well. While the district is petitioning CCS to start games later, the lack of lights on most fields would make playing much later nearly impossible. Furthermore, the changes will likely force athletes to miss significantly more class trying to get to games on time, even more reason why the new schedule will hurt the grades of our athletes. You’re also likely to see athletes being forced to wake up early to do homework, as many will get home after seven with just as much homework as before. On the plus side, everyone will get out at the same time, so practices won’t have to be delayed for 7th period students.


While most teachers remain opposed to the changes, the schedule will likely affect them in similar ways as it will affect students. Still, teachers who live far away will be forced to leave later than they do now arriving home as late as seven or eight. These same teachers also fear having to face commuter-traffic every day, as the later schedule will force many of them into driving during the day’s worst traffic hours. Many teachers are involved in sports as well, so they will also be affected on that front.

Advanced Track Students:

Students in M-A’s advanced classes almost always take just six classes, so most of these students will be able to sleep in longer. Unfortunately, these students are generally not the ones in desperate need of more sleep. The truth is that most of these students come from well-off backgrounds that assist a student in managing both school and outside life.

Students in Support Classes: Students

taking ESL or other support courses usually take seven periods a day. While these students are usually the ones most in need of more sleep, they will be forced to wake up even earlier to get to their seventh period class if it starts at 7:30.

Launch Issue 2010

Artwork by Maria Iknonomou


The MArk

Z ITO: More than a suit.


by Regina Mullen

t’s easy to criticize Matthew Zito. As principal of MenloAtherton, he can be perceived as strict and unapproachable – a position more than a person. It’s easy to dismiss Zito as just a man in a suit who has to regulate, reproach, and restrict. But maybe you didn’t realize that his suit is always blue on a Monday, or that he would gladly exchange it for a bathing suit and a warm beach on any day of the week. Maybe you didn’t realize that, underneath the many layers of authority and responsibility, is someone who still turns red when you mention his senior prom date Kathy Hammond, someone who prides himself on his home-cooked Italian meals, and someone who, despite all dissent, is willing to go to any length for the sake of his students. Recently, Zito has been so busy that he hasn’t “even had the time to go shopping through student lunches,” but he managed to squeeze in an hour to share with me what Matthew Zito, the principal and the person, is all about. 16

Photography Eric Evans Almost nothing is known about your life outside of M-A. Can you tell us a little about where you grew up? Actually, I am a Southern California kid. My parents moved out here in the 1970s because my dad wanted to be a TV writer in Los Angeles, but they just never liked the L.A. vibe at all and kind of fell in love with Santa Barbara. So I grew up most of the time close to UCSB – I went to regular public schools, and I graduated from high school in 1988. So if you grew up in Santa Barbara – did you surf? No—at one point I could boogie-board fairly well, but I don’t think I could even do that anymore. I had a couple of friends who could, but it was amazing, most of us were just lazy. And it’s funny—when you grow up there, it’s such a different experience—you take the beach and all that for granted. From our high school to the ocean was a mile and a half. The bell could ring on Friday at 2:30 and you could be at the beach by 2:45. Okay, so if you didn’t surf, what did you do outside of school? Well, I was involved actually in doing all of the tech and production for the theater—it obviously wasn’t a theater like the PAC. It was a small studio theater, and I was the features editor for my high school newspaper. I ended up working in a movie theater during high school, so I got both myself and all my friends into free movies. We watched a lot

of movies, especially during the summer when there wasn’t much to do. Sounds nice. It was nice; it was a fun, relatively wholesome thing to do. And other than that, I can’t say I distinguish myself greatly in terms of hobbies or activities. I did a little volunteer work, but basically was just your typical high school student. Did you ever get in trouble for anything? I was never caught in high school doing anything naughty. So no—I was a pretty good kid. Just a couple of times—I think I was off-campus during my 3rd period P.E. class. Oooh... to do what? Well sometimes we’d accidentally go off for breakfast. It was the year I took sophomore P.E., and it’s really not handy to have all your friends in the same P.E. class. The teacher ended up going out on some kind of leave for a good part of the year, so unfortunately we always took advantage of the poor substitute a little bit. We always had a reason why we weren’t in class or why we came to class late, and she was probably a little too good-natured and looked the other way. So that was probably the only time I was bad in high school. What about prom, Mr. Zito? I went to prom. I think I had a bad rented tuxedo on, and a bright green cumber band. Is it called a cumber band? It used to be this ridiculous thing…I think it’s called cummerbund or cumber band. It’s like what fancy waiters wear around their waists, right? Exactly. It matched my date, Kathy Hammond; her dress was green and very pretty. We had worked together and I asked her to the dance. She was very nice – she was a fun date, and we went more as quasi-friends, because we had kind of dated a little bit. Sources tell me you enjoy good Italian cooking. I do, so I’ve had the chance to go to Italy a couple of times in the last few years, and when I have time, I’m actually not a bad cook. I make great risotto; I make great meatballs and marinara sauce. Some of the really complicated stuff I’m not so good at, but I can cook a good meal. Mostly I do it on the weekends. I live in the city, so by the time I drive back home, even if I get out of here at a reasonable hour, it’s a long day. Didn’t you used to work in the city? I was a teacher; I taught for four and a half years, so a fairly short period of time. I had a chance to work in a new school that, when I started,

Launch Issue 2010

only had ninth and tenth graders, so it was a real interesting experience watching it develop and grow. So would you say you like being a teacher better or an administrator? I had a great time being a teacher, and I was still very happy doing it when I made a transition into administration. Some people are moving into administration to get out of teaching or do something different, but for me it was really an opportunity that came up because of the small environment I worked in. I loved teaching tenth graders, so that was my favorite year. Tenth graders in most schools tend to be the ones kind of forgotten a little bit – a lot of focus on ninth grade, a lot of focus on eleventh and twelfth grade. They’re a little bit the forgotten grade level, so sometimes it’s fun teaching them. If you were still a teacher now, do you think you would like yourself as an administrator? I think so; I think at M-A the school is a little bit more hierarchical. The city, believe it or not, was more of a kind of egalitarian structure, and there wasn’t such a difference between the teaching staff and the administrative staff and the teacher’s union and the principal and the district. It’s more like: we’re the teaching staff, and you’re management, and some of that’s something that’s been developed over a long time in the school district, going back decades, so I think people would give me fairly high marks for running the school effectively. I don’t know, to be quite honest, if everyone would give me high marks for likeability. And that is that balance that you have to have. You want the staff to work as hard as they can for the school, and you want to support people. We support people well here. I mean, you’re given all the Xerox paper you need, and if you’re organized, you don’t have to do any of your own Xeroxing, it’ll be done for you. We try to take care of our new teachers, because I recognize they have a hard job. I think sometimes it’s easy to take for granted the supports that are here because its what you’re used to. But, at the same time, I’m not sure that in a popularity contest if I would score in the top with anyone. Well, I don’t know if any principal would. Yeah probably not. And it’s that whole balance: do you want to be respected or do you want to be popular? It’s a hard balance, and you have to be careful with not letting friendships get in the way of people’s performance. Because ultimately, my job is to make sure we have the best possible school and the best possible teaching core.

continued on page 58 17

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Launch Issue 2010


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Launch Issue 2010

Tongue Tied

by Russell Gurman

With a total of thirteen piercings, AVID and Math teacher Ms. Andres has a story behind each one. But the most interesting piercing story is not how she received the piercing, but how it was removed. In March of 2008, Ms. Andres felt that something was wrong with her gums. She went to her dentist and found out that her tongue

piercing had an infection. Her dentist sent her to an endodontist who usually deals with root canals. The endodontist told Ms. Andres that she either had to take out the ring, or lose her front teeth. The gums in the front of her mouth were receding and she was losing bone strength in her front teeth. So Ms. Andres made the easy decision: remove

the ring she had for eight years and have surgery. After deciding to have surgery, Ms. Andres went to a periodontist, a type of dentist who specializes in working with gums. About eight months after discovering the infection, Ms. Andres finally had the surgery. The periodontist was supposed to cut out skin from her mouth and sew it on to the inside of her gums to make them bigger and stronger. However, he sewed the skin onto the outside of her gums where it was un-needed. Frustrated, Ms. Andres reported the periodontist to the dental board and moved on to a second doctor. A year after discovering the problem,

Ms. Andres finally received the correct procedure to improve her gums. Now, Ms. Andres states that she “feels fine, although the roof of my mouth is still a little numb.� Even though there is still some recession, her gums are much better than they were nearly two years ago. However, instead of having her teeth cleaned every six months, she must clean them every three to four months. Not very many students know about the procedure. Some students who had her during the 2008-09 school year knew, since she had to miss school for the surgeries and meetings with her dentist. Photos courtesy of Ms. Andres


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approves VS

Ian Proulx (pronounced Proo), has been a video game tester for Video Game publishing giant Electronic Arts for several years. He shares his expertise on two major titles.

Who Will Claim the Throne? similar success to COD, but never Though COD has a better camIn 2008 I tested a pre-alpha version of the first Battlefield Bad Company. Though I was an avid COD player, the destructible environments in the first BC was something I had never seen before. I have eagerly anticipated the final release.

achieved quite the level of prestige.

Though the first BC made huge strides in technology with its fully adaptable and destructible environments, it did not quite meet its potential and was still lacking in areas such as its campaign and core gameplay. After two years of waitGamers around the world wonder ing, I hoped that the new version whether Battlefield Bad would meet my expecCompany 2 can live up tations. I was excited to the hype and surpass to get my hands on the Call of Duty as the king new Battlefield, and I of first-person shoothad high hopes that it ers. The first Call of could surpass Modern Duty was released in Warfare 2, which came 2003 and was an imout last November. mediate hit. With six After hours of installments in the playing, I compast seven years, Call of Duty has perfected its formula pared the two games based for developing first-person shooter on seven different categories. games, and Modern Warfare 2 is no exception. The Battlefield series The Verdict began in 2002, and Bad Company 2 It was a close call, but in the end, is the fifth in the series. They had the crown goes to Battlefield. 22

paign, overall feel, and lasting appeal, it does little to offer gamers something new beyond the last version. In contrast, Battlefield is able to offer great gameplay while making huge advances with its destructible environments. No other game on the market today is as realistic because of the completely dynamic environment that Battlefield offers. Only in Battlefield can you bomb a building and actually cause the building to collapse. The gamer feels like he is experiencing war firsthand. Battlefield Bad Company 2 has now legitimately taken over the throne that it has been after for the past seven years.

Battlefield Bad Company 2

Core Gameplay

• first-person shooter • gameplay feels slightly choppy • realistic • player-controlled vehicles


• modern combat • lacking storyline • variety of missions

gorgeous environments greatl details good character models good gun models bland textures **WINNER** • outstanding

Online play

• • • •

first-person shooter gameplay feels smooth realistic AI controls vehicles **WINNER**

• modern combat • good story, but not explained well • not as much variety, but more epic battles **WINNER** • good environments • good details • great character models • good gun models • detailed textures • very good

• realistically loud explosions

• somewhat realistic explosions

• guns feel and sound powerful **WINNER** • high lasting appeal • persistent ranking system

• guns sound acceptable but feel weak

• unlockable weapons/items • partly customizable guns • squad system makes it difficult to play with large group of friends



Lasting Appeal



• • • • •

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Launch Issue 2010

• 100% destructible • walls and entire buildings realistically destroyed • bullets penetrate **WINNER**

• highest lasting appeal • persistent ranking system • unlockable weapons/ items/perks • fully customizable guns • easy to play with friends **WINNER** • almost no destructibility • fixed walls • fixed buildings • bullets penetrate

• 24 players

• 18 players

• giant wars with fighting in air, on foot, or in vehicle • giant maps • no reward for kill streaks **WINNER**

• more of a skirmish than a war, only on foot • small to medium maps • kill streaks gain radars, airstrikes, and more


The MArk

Lydian Credits Not Accepted For M-A Grade Point Average

By Alexander Most

Menlo-Atherton’s Shared Decision Making Site Council (SDMSC) passed a unanimous motion in their October meeting that our high school would no longer accept credits from private institution Lydian Academy though exceptions can be made for cases like severe illness. A motion seemingly uncontroversial to most students and teachers that occupied little more than half a page of minutes is one that is strongly contested by Rhonda Racine, principal of the Lydian Academy. This debate raises questions about the fundamental nature of education and preparation for college. 24

The decision to formally block credits from Lydian was made for many reasons, reasons both explicitly written and unwritten. According to the minutes of the SDMSC meeting and a letter written by Gregg Whitnah, a leading member of SDMSC, to Trivocis (a letter that was not printed due to objections from Lydian Academy), M-A’s administrators and SDMSC members are worried about several key issues. According to Whitnah’s letter, the high cost of Lydian courses makes it “inaccessible to 95% of our students,” thus furthering the socio-economic gap at M-A. Furthermore, SDMSC

worries that the system of mastery-based learning taught by Lydian Academy, where a student completes the tests and homework until they are dropped for lack of effort or passed with an A, inflates the grades of Lydian Students and upsets class rankings. Additionally, SDMSC stated “We want M-A’s transcript to reflect work at M-A”. Finally, both the minutes and letter question the “breadth and rigor of the courses provided” at Lydian Academy. Off the written record, several M-A officials have cited major influences of the decision to be the fear of “teacher shopping”

Launch Issue 2010

and a strong belief in our high school curriculum’s preparation of students for the college environment. “Teacher shopping” occurs when students decide whether to take a class based not on differing curriculum or material, but on the like or dislike of specific teacher. Our

believe that a class at Lydian is not comparable to a class at our school or other public educational institutions. One M-A official described it as comparing “apples and oranges,” two inherently d i f f e r e n t products. Several M-A staff have specifically referenced precalculus at Lydian to be a primary example of the differences between the two schools. Allegedly, students have taken precalculus at Lydian but go on to receive a D in calculus at M-A. No specific student has been cited—though even if a teacher wished to disclose their name they legally couldn’t—and Lydian Academy contends that these claims are untrue and slanderous. Despite M - A ’ s objections, Lydian is a WASC ( We s t e r n Association of Schools a n d Colleges) accredited school, other local schools in our district accept Lydian’s course credits as comparable to theirs, and colleges will still accept Lydian credits even though they do not count toward a M-A diploma.

“We want M-A’s transcript to reflect work at M-A.”

administration has expressed a belief that preparation for a college environment stems from the traditional high school’s transition to larger amounts of personal responsibility in managing your own work without the constant attention of a teacher. High cost is another major concern expressed by SDMSC. Many members believe that some of the students at our school simply cannot afford to pay for a Lydian class, though it should be noted that several students have been given scholarships in previous years. Rhonda Racine states that it is not so different from hiring a tutor to help with a course at M-A. However, it appears that neither the cost nor the class rankings were the primary concern in the minds of M-A officials. Most of the arguments raised question the quality of a Lydian education. Rhonda Racine counters this doubt with her school’s AP scores: a 100% pass rate among seventeen AP students. Yet M-A officials

In addition to the official reasons, the unofficial reasons also present compelling arguments for blocking credits

from Lydian Academy. The idea of ‘teacher shopping’ may seem farfetched, and Racine says that only one or two out of a hundred students enroll at Lydian for this reason, but a small sampling of students interested in attending Lydian may suggest a larger percentage. A group of approximately ten Juniors that is looking to take AP Physics are considering Lydian Academy for several reasons. Oftentimes they cannot take it at M-A, as we have a prerequisite of AS Physics, or they desire to have a different Physics teacher than the one they would have at M-A. The belief that the environment of M-A is more preparatory for college raises debate over the educational result of class size. Most college classes are not remotely similar to the personal one-on-one curriculum of Lydian. M-A is a step closer to the anonymity of a UC where there may be 400 or more students in an auditorium and a teacher student ratio of 20:1. Larger class sizes are generally considered a negative, but some believe that they do prepare students for the next step of their education. Because of this, M-A’s administrators suggest that students interested in taking classes outside of our grounds do so at other similar institutions like the community college system. 25

The MArk


an N ash

n er to

Titt a i ph



re Aud 26

w Bull

l inke






Launch Issue 2010

Satire by Jonathan Hoech


The MArk

The soft winds go to my core sharpening every sense by Carmen Garcia to rot in this Earth. Chained I may be but that can all change to those laughing skulls dance with my despair with angelic wings that soothe the mist within me. Shot with red in the depths of my soul to flow in my sweet sorrows causing chills down to my agony tears. In this moment of my crystal lake dreams silence soon follows still the time of need. Death follows the bloody diamonds. It’s known to curse you still eternally. The death scent of pure love will curse you till the end.

Drawing Dakota Snow 28

Launch Issue 2010

Fielani Pohahau

And when the feeling begins to take me and my darkest side begins to break me Beaten down and wish to strike me, swamp my mind and dare to fight me Drown my soul in wash of sorrow, build my doubts and leave me hollow Fight my grip and let me win, carved false hope and twist it in, Like a dagger plunging smoothly into flesh that blankets over me, surge my heart in evil’s vanity Rising pits of warm insanity, let it fester let it feed, let it nurture let it breathe And restless doubt it thickens, tightened chest and panic stricken Cast the shadows to the depths, wrestle rising waves of misplaced stress Always run don’t look back to the light, refuse to sink without a fight Fortune favors those who strive... I’ll never let them take me alive. 29

The MArk

I am a Gangsta by Marquisha Cheadle

I am a Gangsta I wonder when I will die I hear gun shots I see people bleeding I want to help my folks I am a Gangsta I pretend nothing is wrong I feel bad for my mom I touch my 9mm I worry I will have to use it 1 day I cry out “It’s whatever!” I am a Gangsta I understand people hate me I say “I don’t care.” I dream I don’t have any problems I try to avoid My problems I know they won’t go away unless I face them I am a Gangsta 30

the record scratched cross faders jammed the tables turn but no microphone stand his reasoning expressing his self was never a part of the plan so he amplifies his headphones through his mixer doesn’t speaker language but knows he’s a contender just how many others have had a set who cares cuz if he don’t get the gig he can walk off knowing he gave his best. Lil does he know her ear presses to the radio anxious to hear the rap played at his first show. but adolescences unplugs the cord cutting the music that made her soar. she’s told to throw the stereo aside let someone else’s flow enter her mind but she is determine to make herself better for his next audition here she will stay hopefully he too until static goes away


Launch Issue 2010

Poetry Deonte McCall


The MArk

by Yuki Nakayama-Larrabee

Somewhere on this planet, there is an

actually, there are several doors. Only one

apartment. It’s in a city that I can’t remember

of them is important though. Room 3B.

the name of, in a country that I’m not sure exists.

But it is there. I am sure of it. You’d think that

stands in front of the door.

A large, imposing figure

a structure so ugly would be torn down in an It is a lion. The king instant, but you’d be wrong. How ugly, you ask?

of the jungle. And

Well, it looks as if God drove a concrete slab into against the ground and then taped some windows and odds,

all the

doors on it. He was probably drunk at the time, king of the too, which would explain why he pissed on his

jungle is the

cre a t io n, creating an odor comparable to that


of a New York City subway. Within the walls of





drab rundown

building, there is


door. Well,


apartment. And


Artwork by Sofia Dewar

Launch Issue 2010




There is a certain sadness within them. The

The lion raises a paw and knocks

lion then clears his throat and asks for the rent.

softly on the faded, wooden door.

It’s overdue, he explains. The octopus has no




s o u n d

words. He just stares at the lion, his melancholy

f r o m

eyes piercing him like a hook. He doesn’t have

within the

the rent. The octopus doesn’t actually say


this. His silence speaks louder than words.

About eight

The lion understands. He has no reason to


do so, but he does. Of course he doesn’t know



that the octopus was fired from Best Buy two



weeks ago. Or that his son was killed in an



automobile accident a few months back, his life

The door creaks

snuffed out like birthday candles. Or that his

open slowly, and an

father lies in a hospital bed all day, lung cancer

octopus emerges. The lion

eating away at his vitality. The lion doesn’t

is instantly captivated by

know these things. Yet, he understands. So the

his enigmatic

lion nods. A simple, compassionate gesture of

c o m e s



supreme understanding. And he walks away.


The MArk


by Reed Foster


here’s nothing professional about them anymore. A sad trend is emerging in ‘professional sports’: the antics of the clowns that rake in millions of dollars because they can jump forty inches high, land a golf ball on a dime from a hundred yards away, or throw a ball faster than the speed of sound.

and game worn apparel we as spectators seek for memorabilia. But, for the players whose smelly undergarments and sweaty headbands we push and shove for, this is all about to change, and they have no one to blame but themselves. Evidence #1: Days after his November 27th “car crash” outside of his Florida home, media sources revealed an alleged affair between Tiger Woods and several Until recently, these rare other women. Weeks later, specimens of talent have been hidden behind a lawyer’s press viewed upon with awe and respect. release filled with words bigger Hence the infinite amount than Queen Latifah’s gut, Woods of autographs, photographs, announced he would be taking an 34

indefinite leave from the game of golf to repair his marriage. Woods has had so many rumored affairs that Nike is allegedly considering changing its slogan from “Just Do It” to “Just Do Me.” Evidence # 2: Gilbert Arenas, known in the basketball world as deadly “Agent Zero,” was recently charged by District of Columbia Police with felony possession of a weapon charges and an ensuing suspension for the remainder of the NBA season by commissioner David Stern. When questioned, Arenas claimed the guns were for protection. Later it was revealed that he used

Launch Issue 2010

Unprofessional, Unacceptable the weapons as a scare tactic. Arenas allegedly placed multiple firearms in front of teammate Javaris Critterton (the two had a gambling dispute) and bluntly dared him to ‘pick one’. Evidence # 3: Like all of Major League Baseball is on steroids. Recent confessions by Mark McGwire, Andy Petite, and David Ortiz are just public examples of the new fad in clubhouses across America: sticking shady needles where the sun doesn’t shine. The past decade has been a sad one for baseball – our national pastime has transformed from the classic game defined by finesse and speed to the brawny, bashing slugfest in which the players can be mistaken for the incredible Hulk culminating in the title of The Steroids Era. As a culture, we have long been sports fans. The World

Series games of the 1930’s were a refreshing escape for many proletariat Americans who sank farther and farther into poverty. Golf has become an international arena, creating a global community that should be cherished. We willingly spend our hard-earned money to buy tickets to sporting events because we appreciate the extraordinary level of talent on display. We ask for players’ autographs and jerseys because we want to establish a level of connection, albeit distant, between them and us. As a kid, having Barry Bonds sign my baseball was greater than Rugrats, Playdoh, Toy Story, and Thomas the Tank Engine train sets combined. With these constant acts of misbehavior, the spiral of lying, and the suspicion of cheating that seem to be evident in nearly

With these constant acts of misbehavior, the spiral of lying, and the suspicion of cheating that seem to be evident in nearly every athlete, society is reaching its limit.

every athlete, society is reaching its limit. These screw-ups are becoming an increasingly evident reminder that these athletes should no longer be looked at with reverence, much less the ones supposedly setting examples for our youth. If athletes don’t lose the primadonna behavior and get a reality check soon, it won’t be long before teams are playing in empty arenas and the only crowd cheering on Tiger Woods as he tees off will be his band of mistresses sucking at the tit of fame and fortune. Because, although we appreciate their ability, we have morals – morals that advise us to not cheat on your wife (especially when she’s pregnant with your son), or threaten teammates with deadly weapons, or cheat the game by taking banned drugs and then lying about it in public eye or giving some pathetic excuse. Gilbert Arenas claimed the guns were for protection, and McGwire and Pettite both cited steroid use as a way to alleviate public pressure about performance slumps. Here’s a reality check for you men: there will come a time, Gilbert, when you won’t need to protect yourself. McGwire and Petite, you won’t need to search for a way to prove the critics wrong. Why? Because there won’t be anyone left to critique you. We will have all stopped caring. 35

The MArk


H by Laurel Hill


er friend stumbled. His feet twisting, body turning and twirling in the air. He tilted toward her; his drink crashed to the ground, ice and glass shattering into pieces. His full weight lay upon her body, knocking the wind out of her. She reached out to him but he was already on the ground. Everyone watched her face fill with fear as she fell backward into the pool. She could not swim. What would she do? Would her friends save her? Then the frigid surface of the water soaked her jeans, continuing to wet her down until finally engulfing her whole body. She sank down hard. Her arms and legs fought to reach the surface spinning in circles frantically. She had no 36



time to get air before falling in. She was running out of time—she did not know how to save herself. Her friends stood watching her, hopeless and drunk, and she wondered what they were doing. Was anyone ever going to save her? She saw her friend’s hand protruding into the water—it must have been her friend who fell. Was he trying to save her or was he knocked out cold on the pavement? She could not find a way to effectively move her body toward him; she could not break the surface of the water. She kicked her feet and slapped the air bubbles underneath, but the water would not let up—it only pushed her down farther, pulling harder on her clothes. She knew she was trapped and by now a friend should have saved her. Some friends. She relaxed and let the idea of death

Launch Issue 2010



embrace her. Her arms slowed, her legs stopped kicking, she was like a car running on empty. No more air circulated to her brain; her lungs let the water rush in. She hung, suspended near the floor of the pool. The last bubbles of her breath floated to the surface. Her friend, who was knocked out, woke up dizzy and confused by the faces of his friends. Were they staring at him or was there something behind him? He looked over his shoulder, still not understanding. Where was she? The water was still and he saw nothing while staggering to his feet. He looked out and around, letting reality set in once he noticed the shadow at the bottom of the pool. His arms reached above his head, hands pointed, legs propelling his body into the water.


Photography Eric Evans


He pulled his way down, found her, and carried her securely all the way to the surface. He hoped to God she was not dead. It would be his fault— they were best friends. What would he tell her parents? He rolled her onto the pavement. Her body remained heavy and lifeless. His hands made fists and he prepared himself to give CPR. He had not ever done it before, but there was a first for everything. He punched his fists into the middle of her chest—first try, nothing; second try, nothing; third try, nothing. Mouth-to-mouth, he breathed air in, but no water came out. Fourth try. She spit up all the water and gasped for her first breath of air in minutes. He picked her up and squeezed her tightly, shedding tears of joy and relief. She was alive. 37

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Can you name all 38

Launch Issue 2010

l of these teachers?

(answers on page 44)


The MArk

AP Tests save college tuition

by Hallee Foster

Doling out a couple $88 Kleeman, our insightful college checks? You might be questioning counselor, reflects on the influence the rationale behind emptying out of AP testing on college admissions your piggy bank for what seems in one pithy sentence: “AP scores like three hours of death on yet are self-reported.” Any college that another Saturday morning that was takes into serious consideration stolen by standardized testing. We statistics that 17-year olds are all know the basic implications of reporting on their supposed honor is the SAT—one of the most decisive painfully naïve—and you probably sections of a college application— shouldn’t be applying there anyway. and STAR testing—virtually That being said, Alice Kleeman irrelevant to students. With SATs, confirms that colleges just “want spring break, and prom, second to see that you have taken the AP semester can be chaos exam,” as it not only for juniors and seniors. Alice Kleeman reflects your ambitious On top of this, the confirms that schedule, but also majority of juniors and your commitment and colleges just seniors begrudgingly moral fiber. “When add two or three—four “want to see that signing up for an AP or five for those with class, the assumption you have taken a death wish—more is that the student proctored tests to their the AP exam...” will take the AP test,” plate (maybe even according to Alice twice that if you count Kleeman. While it is the practice AP’s). All for what? not required here like it is in Texas There are essentially three and Florida, and M-A will not reasons to follow through with the remove that coveted GPA bump, assumed commitment of taking surely your teachers, the college an AP test when enrolled in the gods, and your conscience will respective AP class: respect for frown upon you if you portray only teachers and M-A’s reputation, the façade of being an AP student. pride (as if most of us need any A large portion of an AP class more), and personal gain. While is already devoted to preparing it may seem that I’m overlooking students for the AP exam, and one the all-consuming obsession of should not simply blow off the every high school junior—college test because it is not mandatory. admissions—rest assured that AP Before actually taking the tests results have little to no bearing test, it might be worth expending on whether you will graduate minimal extra effort in order to Harvard summa cum laude. Alice receive a score higher up on the AP 40

scale. While the difference between one and five may seem marginal to the ordinary human being, in the convoluted world of APs, the difference is crucial. The results of AP tests are directed back to our teachers and eventually projected as part of the banner of M-A’s national repute. AP Calculus and AP Statistics teacher Gregg Whitnah explains that “teachers receive a list of each student’s results from the AP exams and use the results as feedback.” If you don’t perform on the AP test to your full ability, some might venture so far as to call you a liar. You would be misleading the teachers about their class, teaching tactics, and ability to instruct an AP program effectively. As Alice Kleeman candidly puts it, “it would be giving your teacher a slap in the face.” Now before fantasizing about that idea; picture Ron Weiss, noble AP Statistics teacher, with his cable knit winter sweaters, stitched fingers, and puppy dog eyes… now who would want to slap such a benign soul? AP tests are more than a gauge of our knowledge of derivatives, Spanish idioms, or crafty synthesis essays. They are a test of our respect for those who have infused us with knowledge, those who have gone out of their way to provide us with a program to increase our college preparedness, those who put a roof over our heads, and most importantly, ourselves.

Launch Issue 2010 think of your beloved mom and pop. At most schools, save Harvard where a five is compulsory, a passing grade on the AP exam will exempt you from having to take college level French or US History. Now why would your parents care? While your dad may be whining about the $704 check he has to fork out for his two children’s AP tests this week, a passing grade could save thousands on tuition payments in the future when you do not have to take Calculus yet again. These seemingly painful $88 dollars really might be a worthy investment for you, your familial bank account, your brain, and your beloved teachers. Now that’s a win-win situation.



ni G


to G

If all else fails, do well on the AP tests for yourself. Colleges will see that you have persevered through M-A’s sea of cutthroat intellectuals and made it to the other side—a truly admirable journey. Karl Losekoot, AP English teacher, asks a thought-provoking question: “What does the AP test mean for you?” Ideally, the AP test should be the culmination of your potential as a persuasive writer or cat dissector. While the actually qualities of being a good student have seemed to fall by the wayside for many point-mongers, the AP test—with its minimal college bearing—is a relatively stress-free opportunity to display that you still have some remaining brain power. If all of this has not yet convinced you to make those three hours of AP Computer Science your absolute finest, j u s t


While M-A does not receive government subsidies or increased funding from exceptional AP scores, these results do show themselves to the world via our school report. Steve Lippi, instructional Vice Principal, explains that “strong AP scores contribute to a strong accreditation for Menlo-Atherton.” While this might as well be written in pig latin for many, the accreditation that Mr. Lippi is referring to is sent out to applicants’ colleges on the standardized school report. When colleges view your success, or lack thereof, in light of M-A’s rigorous reputation and standards, they may take a more sympathetic view towards that one soul-shattering C+. Or you can use the AP test as your chance for vindication; you can redeem that C+ in AP US History by scoring a 4 or 5 on the AP exam, proving to your college of choice that you did, in fact, master the material despite your disappointing g r a d e .



The MArk


Haley McCabe asks the married couples on campus a few questions: Caryotakis Burton-Tillson





We didn’t have an engagement ring


Ring: Heirloom or New?


Wedding: Big or Small?




Kids: How Many?

Yes. Two

Yes. Two

Yes. Three

Dream Vacation Home. Beach, Mountain, or City?

Beach/ Mountain


Match made at M-A or elsewhere?

Movies or TV Shows?

Dinner Table Talk?

How often do you recieve emails for your spouse? Drive Together?



At M-A

TV Shows

At M-A



Big, Mr. Wong was a groomsman!


Yes. Two

Yes. One




at M-A

We met in the Peace Corps.

TV Shows

TV. We unwind with a balance of Jeopardy and TMZ.

Tahoe. Beach Combination and Mountain of all Three We met at a different school





TV Shows


Sweet & Sour

How Was School?


We need more!

2 or 3 times a year




10 times a year





No, never

You’re suppossed to eat at a table? Too often


WHAT HAS THE Performing Arts Center DONE FOR YOU? Launch Issue 2010

After millions of dollars and six months of being open, the following events have been featured at the PAC:

1. Author Events: Barbara Kingsolver in November

4. Spring Chorus/ Guitar concert

2. City of Menlo Park Events: Dance Performances, City of Menlo Park Chorus Performances, Spirit of Uganda - Ugandan dance group consisting of Ugandan orphans

5. Spring Musical, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

3. School Events: the Senior Fashion Show, the Fall Play, Chorus and Guitar Concerts, Band Performances, including a Northern California-wide band competition on Friday 3/5, Professional Training for Teachers, testing (AP or California Exit Exam)

6. Other events, like a memorial service for an M-A parent

7. City of Menlo Park community Lecture event 8. Dance Team Fundraiser

“This space is wildly different - the space encourages people to live up to the potential of the building, and expand their abilities to match the space. I encourage everyone at M-A to get involved with the arts or to see what they can do in the space - whether a movie night or an Open-mic, the space can handle it.” ~Cara Arcuni, PAC Manager 43

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Launch Issue 2010

42 Amazing Years Wimberly looks back on her career


by Adam Zuckerman mob of angry students, trash cans hurled through windows, innocent students and teachers hit and injured on Pamela Wimberly’s very first day as a teacher. The race riots that erupted on the first day of school in 1968, a blemish in Menlo-Atherton history, did not discourage Wimberly from following her dream of becoming a teacher. Mrs. Wimberly moved to California to become a teacher believing the West to be the “Land of Opportunity” and more racially accepting. She moved from the East Coast and took a job at MenloAtherton under the impression that “things would be fairly mild.” However, midway through her first day of teaching, some of the African-American students broke out in a riot. Wimberly recalls, “we were told to keep students inside the locker room, keep all doors locked, and to not leave the area unless there was a signal from the administration.”

“Kids were throwing garbage cans through windows,” remembers Wimberly, “and unfortunately innocent students and teachers were hit and injured. The school was in turmoil. I remember the helicopters circling over the school trying to keep things from getting too out of hand.” The riots, which were the culmination of mounting racial tension, attracted national attention. “Police cars lined the street and the National Guard came on campus.” The scene, which became a focal point for AfricanAmerican protest, was an attempt to bring to light the problems that were troubling the black communities. The “African-American community just wanted to be heard, and

they thought this was the way to bring attention. They just wanted equal rights and equal access to education, and they wanted to have cultural things that would be brought to the campus, so others would know what our culture was.” Mrs. Wimberly also remembers similar inequality when her children went through the Palo Alto School District. Wimberly was left with the impression that “the AfricanAmerican culture was ignored” because her children “didn’t learn about any African-American authors or literature or anything like that.” Despite any qualms she may have had about her new career that day, Mrs. Wimberly says she always believed that “everything would work out for the better.” According to Mrs. Wimberly there have been no major riots since 1968 and racial tension has decreased dramatically. Wimberly’s career has flourished over the last 42 years. In 1968 she began teaching physical education, coaching basketball and softball at Menlo-Atherton, and has since taken over the position of Athletic Director. Wimberly was recently named Model Coach of the Year by the California Interscholastic Federation because of her dedication and leadership on and off the field. This prestigious award places Wimberly among the elite high school coaches in California. Wimberly has led the girls’ basketball teams to 638 wins with only 303 losses capping off her incredible career by leading the team to the CCS finals this year. After 42 years of faithful and devoted service, with several more to come, Mrs. Wimberly will never be forgotten. 45


by Maddie Holtzman


The MArk

n suburban California just south of San Francisco a train snakes through suburbia on an iron track. On the upper level of the train, a boy sits with his back to the wall and his feet on the seat in front of him, book in his lap. Sunlight, the color of fire and newly minted copper pennies, pours through the window in a brilliant deluge to settle in his lap, over the book. It stains the pages gold. The boy coughs twice, covering his mouth with a slender, birdboned hand. His pale, spidery fingers tap twice against a roses-and-cream cheek. I check my watch: fortythree minutes left to watch this strange, beautiful boy. The air in the train is musty and dry, dead. It smells exhausted of all life but teeming, pernicious bacteria. The boy appears to know this—a faint look of disgust crosses his perfect, androgynous face. His bowed, rose-and-cream lips part faintly as he sighs, and I see his teeth are crooked. The bottom row of teeth, while perfectly white, are crowded and turned. He is a 46

Donatello David, perfect and pale. A stripling with no hint of muscle, and no hint of curves. He is pale and straight and flat. Across the aisle, I inhale shakily. He is not quite beautiful per se, as he has crowded teeth, gangly limbs, and he looks so bored. Trains have no oxygen. The air is dead. This boy is neither dead nor boring. He is very pale. He is very pale and very slim, and his existence contradicts itself. He is not beautiful, and perhaps because he is not beautiful, he is beautiful. He’s not very tall, just over five and a half feet, with eyes burning tawny gold in the sunlight. His other eye, his left eye, is blocked by the shadow of his loud, wild mane. I glance at my watch again. Thirty-six minutes left, unless he gets off sooner. His hair is gold. Not yellow-gold, or orange-gold, or red-gold, just gold. Not the color of straw, but slightly darker. The short layers on top rise into great, spiked peaks that must have been the result of hours of combing and hairspray. It falls just past his shoulder in choppy, rock-star layers.

Launch Issue 2010 He only looks about eighteen at the most, but he’s obviously gone to a great deal of effort to look older and more glamorous. He’s a wannabe rockstar. He is dressed for it, too: accompanying his wild tangle of hair are the costume clothes and accoutrement. The boy is dressed very, very dramatically, to say the least. Although he’s not wearing it, he has a broad-brimmed purple fedora with a peacock feather tucked into the band next to him on the seat. He’s got at least eight visible piercings that I can see: two in his left eyebrow, one in his nose, three in the lobe of one ear and two in the other, in the cartilage. His eyes, the color of the sea on fire, are surrounded in great dark blots of makeup. Although he wears no lipstick, it takes no leap of imagination to picture him with lips of deep carnation. He’s wearing pants, even though it is the middle of July and the air outside is scorching and hot, and the train, though air-conditioned, is far from an icebox. He’s wearing tight, black cigarette-legged jeans patterned with vibrant rusty-red bleach stains. The knees are torn through with large, ragged holes. Instead of seeing a pale bony knee beneath, he’s wearing tights. I’m not certain, but I think they’re striped, red and black. His arms are bare, because he’s wearing a v-necked vest in shades of burgundy and purple. I lean a little closer, and the buttons look like brass. I check my watch: twenty-eight minutes. I stand up and stretch, walking down the stairs and into the aisle below with the bikes. I’ve never been yelled at for not having a bike, but I probably should have been. Briefly I scan the row of bikes, to see which one is his, but none of them stand out to me. I walk up the stairs on the opposite side, and pause near him. My breath is shaking. “Um, can I sit here?” I gesture to the seat across from him. He glances up from his book and grins with his half-crooked white teeth. “Sure. I like the collar, by the way.” I slide, a tad clumsily, into the seat. “Thanks. What are you reading?” He sighs heavily. “The Great Gatsby. I’m reading it for school, and the only thing I really like about it are the parties. There’s this guy, Gatsby, right? And he throws these fantastic parties, with champagne and

oranges and ‘yellow jazz music’.” He turns away, close to me now, and shakes the hair out of his eyes, and they scintillate. I nod. “That sounds fun,” because I’m not going to disagree with this boy. “Where are you headed?” His face falls a little, and a tiny crease forms between his beautifully arched golden brows. “Oklahoma. I’m going to stay with my aunt for a while.” I’m sorry, but I can’t quite say it. I made him unhappy, and I’m tarnishing his beauty, and: “I am so sorry. Forget I said anything.” He shakes his head absently. “Where are you going? I’m Darrien, by the way. And you?” I fumble a little, stuttering, “S-San Francisco, I’m taking a class there. Clutch. I’mI’m Clutch.” He nods again, processing. “Clutch. What are you taking?” He looks straight into my eyes and I can’t help murmuring, “The color of the sea.” Suddenly I don’t mind drowning. His brows furrow again. “What?” Darrien fiddles with his necklaces: a metal fang on a fine pewter chain, several strings of round plastic beads that would not have been out of place at a street festival. He’s wearing about a million belts, too. One has a single row of pyramid studs, one has some sort of rainbow pattern, and a third is just a chain fastened around his waist. I realize I haven’t said anything in what would pass in this conversation for a very long time. I shake myself. “Nothing. I’m taking Fashion Design, and Fashion Construction. I like the way you dress…” Darrien giggles. I mean truly giggles, high and pleased. “Is that why you were watching me for half an hour?” I nod. Yes, Darrien, that is why I watched you. “I really want to be a writer, though. Some day I’ll write something about you.” He laughs again, and stands lithely, like a cat. “I’d like that. This is my stop, so I’ll be seeing you, perhaps never.” His perfectly-manicured hand brushes my shoulder, and he vanishes below.



The MArk

Hot shot wins prize Photography Rachel Fox

by Rachel Fox

Eric Evans is obsessed with photography. For those who know him (let’s face it), it’s pretty much his passion. For those of you who don’t know Eric directly, you may have seen his pictures around the school or at least on mabearnews. com. But what you probably don’t know is that Eric, a junior here at M-A, won third place in a photo contest in the well-known magazine Popular Photography. That definitely gives him something to brag about.


How do you feel about winning this international contest? I’m really happy, but actually I’m still kind of in awe. Overall I’m feeling pretty accomplished.

Is this your first big win? I hadn’t entered contests for quite a while before this photo, might have even been a year or so. So, when I finished this photo off I thought it had gotten pretty good results on Flickr, people seemed to like it a lot, and I thought “Well, what’s the harm in trying it out?” and it worked out pretty well. Have you won any other contests? I was a runner up in a college photography contest, but it wasn’t very big at all—pretty small stuff. This was really my big break though. How long did it take you to set up your picture? It didn’t actually take that long. I was pretty frustrated toward the end; I was just saying, “Why can’t I get this

to look the way I want it to?” But I took a step back, took another look, rearranged some things, changed the lighting, and it all came together. How long how have you been doing photography? What got you interested in it? I’ve been doing photography since 7th grade. I didn’t do much photography freshman year, but I got back into it a lot sophomore year. But what really got me into it was probably the thrill of developing my own film in the darkroom. What do you mostly like to photograph? I don’t really have a preference. I like to shoot a variety of things, so that I don’t get caught up in like a state of mind. Shooting different things lets me branch out, and have interest in everything so I don’t get bored. Do you generally prefer film or digital? They both have separate purposes, and a lot of the time, time constraints make digital a much better option. Money constraints make digital a much better option as well, because developing costs are pretty wild. And I don’t own my own darkroom. [laughs] Film has its place—it definitely does. There’s a certain look to film that digital hasn’t gotten yet. So there are pluses and minuses but overall I prefer digital. You do lose something when you aren’t going through the entire development process of your own film though—that’s really something special. I didn’t treasure that enough, printing my own film, I mean. How do you feel about Photoshop? I don’t do that much of it, and when I do it’s for making posters or just light touch ups and adjustments. But right now I’ve been using Adobe Lightroom, too, which I’ve found very popular. It pretty much saves me the trouble of going into Photoshop. It’s like iPhoto on steroids. What advice do you have for aspiring photographers? Keep shooting, and try new things. Don’t get stuck in a groove where you’re only doing one thing, where you’re only doing a certain style. I would definitely say that if you’re shooting a lot, and trying different things- even if they don’t work- trying them and perfecting them and finding out what you like, as well as keeping your options open, is my best advice. As long as you’re clicking that shutter, every time you get a little better. To see more of Eric’s work go to:

The MArk

Celiacs: Prison

by Jed Springer


heat can be deadly. This may her reaction as “the worst possible stomachaches sound ludicrous to the average imaginable”, and admits that she has been to person, but for people who the emergency room several times thinking that suffer from Celiac Disease, she is having an appendicitis attack. The intense they must live with it every pain comes only when she accidentally ingests a day. There are both Gluten-free students and staff significant amount of gluten. When Libby ingests members among us here at M-A. It is time we ask gluten in smaller quantities she experiences “nausea, what we can do as a school to accommodate them. migraines, and ridiculous mood swings, confusion, as Celiac is caused by intolerance to gluten—a well as overall joint and muscle compound found in foods such as bread, pasta, pret- pain. After five zels, muffins, stuffing, pancakes, and cereals. These years of moving foods are excluded from a gluten-free diet because from doctor to they contain grain. Grain of any kind will cause mi- doctor, Libby was crovilli which line the sides of the stomach to be dam- finally diagnosed aged severely and flattened. with Celiac Basically, eating gluten dedisease stroys a Celiac patient’s abilabout three ity to digest food effectively. years ago. The reaction is so violent beWhen Libby cause their immune system goes out to recognizes the gluten being eat she must absorbed as a foreign agent. constantly Symptoms associated question the -Libby Farel with malabsorption in Celiac waiters about patients include excruciating what is in the stomach pain and fatigue. As a result these people food and usually settles must live a life completely free of gluten and for a salad without wheat grains in any form—far from a minor task. anything on it—no Gluten can be found in products as surprising as croutons, no meat, no pepper, toothpastes, licorice or salad dressings. dressing. When baking Although only 0.02% of the population is cookies with friends, thought to have Celiac Disease, there is evidence most people use Betty to support that numbers are increasing in the U.S. Crocker mix. Libby Several members of the M-A community are gluten- must mix together free, whether out of necessity or choice. These seven different types of flour, weighed include Sophomore Libby Farel, Senior Alexander out precisely in order to make her vegan, glutenMost, as well as counselor Paula Kousounadis. and nut-free cookies. Despite the inconvenience Farel experiences severe adverse symptoms of her condition, Libby is thankful doctors finally when she accidentally ingests gluten. She describes diagnosed the problem. She is grateful, saying, “ The

She describes her reaction as the “worst possibe stomach aches imagineable.”


Launch Issue 2010

oners to Wheat majority of the people who are diagnosed with Celiac disease are middle aged. I can’t even imagine having to suffer through all of the pain for DECADES!” In contrast, Ms. Kousounadis describes herself as “borderline celiac,” meaning that she experiences an upset stomach and some pain after accidentally ingesting gluten.

She says that there are pros and cons to following a gluten-free diet. Positives include a healthier diet, free of nutritionally-poor flour products and most kinds of desserts. Ms. Kousounadis agrees, though, that it is tough to adhere to her diet when these kinds of foods are offered to her, and on very rare occasions

“cheats” and takes a couple bites of a dessert. While Ms. Kousaounadis experiences few adverse symptoms from her body’s inability to digest gluten, Alexander Most, a senior and writer for our staff, has a severe case of asymptomatic Celiac disease. Most is an extremely rare case. He is asymptomatic, meaning that his intestines are harmed by the presence of gluten, but he does not experience symptoms associated with it such as pain and indigestion. He must bring a special lunch every day, and avoid class snacks. Although one can hardly expect our Food Services Department to cater to such a small percentage of the student body, the fact remains that there are very few choices on our menu for gluten-free people. Of the 27 breakfast and lunch choices on the menu, a gluten-free person can eat four: fruit, juice, milk, and crouton and dressingfree salad. When this is taken into account, it is no wonder that glutenfree individuals tend to be smaller in stature than the average person. While the diet of somebody with Celiac disease can be challenging, accomodations can be made. Italy has begun providing subsidies to gluten-free citizens in order to cover the increased cost of food. Here in the United States, Whole Foods Market has begun including effecive substitutes like coconut flour, brown rice pasta, and soy sour cream geared specifically toward gluten-free shoppers. High schools such as Rancocas Valley High School in Mount Holly, New Jersey offer cooking classes designed to educate gluten-free individuals and make it easier to stay faithful to their diet. Hopefully one day our school, and community as a whole, will be able to make accomodations for gluten-free individuals. 51

Launch Issue 2010


Launch Issue 2010


The MArk











What do these items have in

common? by Anna Luke

These are all items someone would find Geocaching. Geocaching is essentially a global treasure hunt.  The objective of it is to use a GPS or phone to locate containers filled with common trinkets like the ones pictured above. Once found, Geocachers can log discoveries online or on a slip of paper found in the Geocache box. Geocaching offers a thrilling way to spend free time. It gives a sense of a real treasure hunt and can be played anywhere in the world. The locations of the Geocache are almost always outdoors. Geocaches range from as small as Altoid boxes and film canisters to larger sizes, such as shoe boxes. The first step to Geocache is to become a free member by logging on to http://www.  After becoming a member,


g arou Searchin


so the wall

lo f St. Ma

click on the “Hide & Seek a Cache”, then you will be able to enter in a postal code or an address to find the Geocache closest to you. Geocaching is great to do with friends and to spend time outdoors. People are also able to create their own Geocache and log it to have others try to find it. Geocaching can be especially fun when in different countries. You get to see the logs of people from all over the world. While on vacation in Dinard, France, I went Geocaching and had a fantastic time. My search sent me all around beautiful St. Malo and Mont St Michel, both cities in France. My journey took me all through the two towns and showed me some truly wonderful places with deep history. Without Geocaching I, would never have been able to explore the town to its fullest.


ach f


at Mo

nt St.



Launch Issue 2010

photo Gizela Renkel


that give the teams with the most division Paul Snow, the Menlo-Atherton girls’ points priority in qualifying for atsoccer coach, learned that his team was large berths into playoffs. These bylaws too qualified to clinch a Central Coast proved to be the difference as Carlmont Section bid last Saturday. finished fourth while the Bears finished fifth in the Bay Division. The meeting in San Jose was bound to get confusing and unreasonable The case does not end there, though. as multiple teams were tied in Carlmont and Palo Alto, who had points. Menlo-Atherton’s team (10the same CCS points with 41, had 8-2) attained more CCS points (42.5) to be decided by a tie-breaker. than Carlmont and Palo Alto(41). Since they didn’t play each other this year, Palo Alto won the tie with “I think that the CCS point 7 bonus points, to Carlmont’s 6.5. system exists to reward teams with the best overall seasons, Paly then went through and and we clearly had a better overall Carlmont took the last at-large berth. The Lady season than Carlmont,” said Snow. Bears fell short of a CCS bid against Carlmont, as the Scots had acquired more PAL points. These statistics seemingly went unnoticed when Carlmont finished Snow shared, “I will bring this issue league play with more divisional points. The to our league and hope that the other Peninsula Athletic League, like many other coaches see the flaw in our system and leagues, possesses playoff requirements vote to re-write our bylaws somewhat.”

“We clearly had a better overall season than Carlmont.” - Paul Snow


The MArk



By Alexander Most

Prom is right around t h e corner, dates have been asked, tickets have been purchased, and new brands of Old Spice have been bought. But how much of a bummer would it be to show up only to find a dance that is...lacking? Here is a short list of things we feel the dance needs to be a major hit. Right sized dance floor: have you ever been to a dance where there simply wasn’t enough space? Or for that matter, have you ever been to a dance where the floor was more space than people? We don’t want to be dancing in the tennis shed, but we don’t want to be dancing on the football field. A correctlysized dance floor is crucial in making or breaking a dance; if people don’t feel comfortable with where they are boogeying down, they clearly won’t have a good time.

No Show Teachers at Disaster Drills

L o w lights: To be honest, I don’t want to be able to see the face of the girl whose grandmother just rolled over in her grave, I don’t want to see what the couple is doing a yard to my left, and I sure don’t want to see who decided my “bum” was their new property. Low lights are key for keeping anonymity, and we all know people tend to be more wild and free when anonymous. Good decorations for the theme: Now, it’s going to be hard to decorate for “Arabian Nights” without being a tiny bit stereotypical, but I would love to see something new and distinct to match the theme. Maybe a


Keep the teachers away from the dance floor: I’m dancing, I’m having a good time at Winter Formal, I glance over to the—HOLY SH** Zito, Stuart, and Todd are all staring into the crowd. Buzz kill… Teachers have to worry about safety and all that junk, but they certainly do not need to stand in packs feet away from the dance floor, simply staring at the freaking crowd. Last I checked, there are more subtle spying places than right in plain sight. People: For any dance, you need people to show up. Plain and simple. So cross your fingers and pray that we don’t have another Winter Formal of ’09 fiasco.

Pressure mounts over M-A loses stress to be drama clever in prom teacher proposals

Stealing students’ stuff and holding it for hostage for parking a bike in front

Low Marks


camel and some trained performers who curl up in lamps. Better yet, pass out burkas and watch the dancing contracts fulfill themselves.

D -


D +

C -


by Trent Bastian

Prom is typically known as an upperclassman rite of passage. However, not all prefer the overcrowded, high-priced event. Some people can’t bear the awkwardness, intimacy or absurd dance moves commonly used by the majority of dance attendees. Some don’t want to shell out $50 with the addition of a clothing rental and/or transportation fee. Some get cruelly rejected. When April 9th comes, you’ll probably be left with no one to hang out with, so I’m offering some alternatives to keep you occupied: Play Facebook Dress World of WarStalk the Person up as a monthat Rejected You: craft. Why would Rejection is a sad reality. you go to prom with a key and throw But out of spite you should bwunch of silly girls when bananas at random meticulously point out all of you could hang out with your potential prom date’s virtual wizards and people. faults.

Pretend MTV Cribs is at your house. Walk around like a superstar talking mindlessly to yourself about your dirty bathroom.

cat dissections in AP Bio raise stock in nose plugs

C +

constant New Dean fashionable remodeling dresser at M-A

High MARKS B -


B +

A -

Stay up to the wee hours until someone posts prom pictures, then comment on them like you were there.


Enjoy a leisurely night playing bingo at the local retirement home.

Teachers reprimanded by Zito for texting

M-A hires as new football coach

er e om

Prom Alternatives

Launch Issue 2010




Zito continued

The MArk Are there any moments you wish you could redo? Any moments I wish I could redo? Yeah, you know sometimes I would go back and change my strategy in approaching things, and trying to get more buy-in to make something successful. There are some things I can do unilaterally and can make happen, and there are some things that I need the cooperation of people that you really can’t mandate. So it’s that goal, how much do you mandate? But also, knowing when to filter out those things that aren’t problems and obstacles, but are really just about complaining. So, there is this part where you have to ask, “ok what’s the real issue, are we just complaining to complain or is there a fundamental issue here?” Do you just not want to do something because you don’t want to be told what to do, or is there a real reason for why we shouldn’t do that. So if there’s a reason for why we shouldn’t do it, or there’s something legitimate going on, tell me so we can work on that. But sometimes what I will get is “morale is really low”, and the implication there is that “you’re making morale low, you’re the administrator, and particularly, you’re the principal.” And yes, I heard this before I came to M-A, that the morale was really low. And then the first principal I worked with here got blamed for morale being low, and I read our accreditation report from thirty years ago and I read that morale is low. So is morale low, or are we using this as a justification for not doing something? What I hate, what I really dislike is this culture of negativity. Acknowledge the problem, let’s address the problem, but we just don’t want to stay in this place of negativity, let’s move on. Yeah that makes sense. Right. Schools are challenging places to work, this is a challenging position, but ultimately, if you don’t like schools, if you don’t like teenagers, well then don’t work in one. And you know that’s a very hard thing, and I have to be careful to bite my tongue sometimes at meetings to not say that. So, by all means, let’s resolve things and work through things, but we need to keep moving forward. For a long time M-A kept moving sideways, and sometimes moving backwards, so our goal is to keep moving forward. The school is a lot stronger than it was five, six, seven years ago and we’re going to continue to address our issues and make it stronger and the best place. This is only your 6th year at M-A, and 3rd year as principal, yet you seem to have made a lot of improvements. The campus, for instance, is nicer. The campus is nicer; it’s also a lot calmer. “Calmer?” What do you mean? It used to be that some Friday afternoons were kind of wild. Sometimes


at lunch on Thursday or Friday there might be two or three fights. There was always something – a dice game in the boys bathroom, kids wandering on and off campus, sometimes after the bell would ring, there’d be 100, 150 kids in the hallway. And that’s a lot. When the bell rings, we’re in instructional time. I realize that probably out of the 1900 kids that are on campus one day, yeah about twenty, sometimes maybe thirty kids are late. Yeah, I’d like that number to be less, but the first couple of months I was here I was horrified at how you can have 150 kids in the hallways. So there were some things that you didn’t like, and then there were, of course, a lot of great things about M-A, great traditions that you want to carry on and respect. Our goal was changing the things that aren’t working, and then building on the areas where the school has a lot of strength— academics, athletics. Yeah, I have a friend who went to M-A 10 years ago, and he says it was way worse then. Yeah, it had a little bit more of an edge to it – and that’s not to say that every day is perfect and every kid is perfect, but the climate and atmosphere around campus is a lot mellower, and then the campus used to look just so horrendous. Well so what’s your philosophy behind the improvements? Well there were a lot of people that helped support the improvements, so the staff was very, very cooperative. I think we got a lot of buy-in and support, but some of it was reestablishing order on the campus. So, who’s in charge? Well the adults are in charge. And not to say that people then can’t use that to be abusive or to be capricious, you know, not everyone has a great day every day. But that there’s a certain sense of the students are to be in class, that the drinking that would happen on campus and especially at off-campus events needed to be reigned in. It was definitely more of the culture, just kinds of mildly lawless behavior. Shaking people down for money in the bathrooms, smoking on campus, the kids ignoring the campus aide. Pride Hall used to be like a gauntlet to go down. People couldn’t teach with their classroom doors open because it was so noisy during class time. So it was getting kids into classes, it was improving some of the programs on campus that had fallen apart. There were certain areas, our special education program, our academy program, some of the lower level classes, that were not being taught as well as they could have been. So the environment in those classes was not helping; it all bled back into the overall campus environment. And then we had to expel a number of students, we had to put some kids on probation, we had to move some kids over to Redwood, and I dropped some kids too. So we dropped a bunch of kids and then reestablished the climate on campus with hall sweeps, better supervision, more adults out on campus, and also trying to strengthen the teaching faculty at the same

Launch Issue 2010 time. So this is all just over the past 3 years?

mind—but I saw the movie “Precious” this weekend. Oh, okay I haven’t seen it.

The physical improvements on the campus all started about 9 years ago, so that predates me. Judy Duran and I, who were hired at the same time as VPs, along with a whole host of people, were responsible, I think, for a lot of fine-tuning the operation of the campus. This was before we had a dean, so we made a decision: we need to bring the campus back under control. For instance, kids weren’t being suspended for fighting a lot of times, so we changed the policy to if you’re involved in anything—if you’re being aggressive, you’re in a fight, you’re around a fight, you take a swing at someone, you automatically are suspended for five days, no exceptions. We don’t care who starts it, who stops it, or how you’re involved, and that had not been the case before. And I remember it was in November, yeah it was probably early November of that year, there was a Friday where we suspended 16 kids, five days each for fighting, and you know there was some yelling on the telephone from parents and such, but we just said if you don’t like it then leave the school. And the principal at the time wasn’t that involved, but he supported us, and so some of those things and some of the hall sweeps and some more supervision started to calm the campus down.

Yeah, it’s very disturbing, but what it shows is someone helping the neediest people in our communities and how that has great benefit. Sometimes I feel like, as much as I love dogs, you feel that people in this country like their pets more than they like children in some of the communities that are near them. And it’s kind of a shame, this priority. We have a little bit of that, and specifically I’d like to help make California less dysfunctional.

What do you think is the most common misconception about you? Um, you know I don’t know, I don’t know how to answer that; I don’t know that I always get the most direct feedback. But I think that I’m more approachable and accessible than sometimes I seem. And you know it’s hard – having a secretary is a real advantage, but it’s also a disadvantage because it provides a screen between people and me. And some days I just have appointment after appointment, so if someone wants to talk to me about something, every time they walk by there’s someone else in here. Sometimes I wish we operated a little more informally in this wing. If you had a million dollars today, what would you do with it? Me? I would probably buy a condo in the desert to go relax on the weekends because I love the hot weather. Like Palm Desert? Yeah, I love that area. You know what, I know it sounds funny, I like being by the pool, I like playing lazy tennis, and I just like being outdoors. So that’d probably be what I would do with some of it, and some of the rest of the money I would love to use it to provide opportunities for people who don’t have them. So I saw the movie, it’s a little violent so I’m not sure if it’s uh—well you can make up your

So, how would you do that with a million dollars? I wouldn’t be able to do that with a million dollars, you would need probably 50 to 100 million dollars to make those changes, but there’s some movement afoot to restructure our state government. And some of it’s unpleasant; people should prepare for the fact that you know sometimes you have to pay higher taxes. So it’s not very popular you know, not always popular. But I do believe that some people – people of means that want to be philanthropic—would do a better job giving that money to help make our state more functional rather than starting their own endowment or foundation. And there’s lots of ego involved in starting your own foundation. Instead of having a foundation named after yourself, what you can try to do is to make the state operate more effectively because you’re going to impact potentially millions. There are 6.6 million kids in the Kindergarten through 12th grade system in this state. You could influence 500 of them, or by changing some of the school funding you could influence six and a half million kids. But that just wouldn’t be very popular then…? It would not be very popular, but the whole idea is: do you want to live in a state that is just so dysfunctional right now in terms of what we want to pay in taxes versus what we want to receive in services? I guess you aren’t unaccustomed to being an advocate of the unpopular. I guess so. Right, so you’re saying it’d be more beneficial to just fix the state rather than have your own agenda. Exactly. Would you like to have roads that are filled with potholes? Would you like to have public school systems in collapse? Welfare is never popular, but helping people become self-sufficient is a laudable goal. So you can pay for it, but where do you want to pay for it? And even if it is more expensive, is it the right thing to do morally and ethically? So anyway, I still want that condo in Palm Desert too.


The MArk


Photography Tess Cain

Launch Issue 2010

Photography Nicholas Dudet

Photography Greg Schulman


The MArk

e k a t o t s n 10 Reaso

: m s i l a n r Jou

heard. be o t it t n a w ou and y 1. You have a voice /photographer t is rt a r/ e t ri w d e h is a publ 2. You want to be erience xp e g in rn a le on sd n a 3. You want a h table skills e rk a m ou y s e ch a e t that 4. You want a class credit. 5. You need elective e MArk h T of rt pa a be o ake cool fliers m 6. You want t n ca ou y so n g si e graphic d r computer lab 7. You want to learn ou in ” e om h m ro f e away 8. You want a “hom your classes. ll a in r e t t be o d o 9. You want t doing it! re a s id k g in st re e t 10. All the in more details! or f r lo se n u co r ou y lair or well as ces the MArk as See Mrs. Snow, Mr. McB

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Submission Guidelines: Submit photography, fine art, poetry, creative writing, or anything else you are proud of to or to G-3 (Ms. Ventura’s Room) • Submissions may be manipulated or edited as staff deems fit • Submissions are for current students only • Submissions should include first and last name, title of work, contact information and date of creation • The submission staff reserves the right to hold submissions for later editions.


Launch Issue 2010

“A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful implanted in the human soul.� Johann Wolfgang Goethe

PHOTOGRAPY Lachlynn Warner

Back Cover Art Zaid Vargas 63

the mark launch  

the mark launch