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Take a break... 3

table of contents


12 Scarred 10 Dressing up 14 Gangstas 30 Focus on ADHD 8 Waiting for... 36 Electro

CREATIVE WRITING 24 The War on Weed 16 Carousel 56 High Mark, Low Mark 57 Pro


26 Giants Parade 34 Running with eyes open 56 High Mark, Low Mark


40 Kenya Help?

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

The MArk, a feature magazine published by the students in Menlo-Atherton 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 Visit for daily news, features, sports coverage and the scoop on M-As hot topics.


PHOTOGRAPHY Alyssa Westfield

7 PHOTOGRAPHY Charlotte McMillan

ART Troy Davis

NO NEED FOR SUPERMAN It’s easy to agree with Davis Guggenheim’s recent “Waiting for Superman” because it expresses a genuine concern for the quality of public education. Following five kids as they struggle to be academically competitive, Guggenheim’s film poses a powerful message: that our public schools are failing, and charter schools are the answer. However, as a current student of one of the districts criticized by the movie, I found many of Guggenheim’s criticisms to be exaggerated, his comparisons of different schools to be false, and some of his facts entirely unfounded. The movie targets Woodside High School for its use of tracking on students. “Tracking” is essentially the practice of organizing students into groups depending on their academic abilities; schools like Woodside typically have classes ranging from below basic, basic, college prep, and AP/honors. Each level is considered a different track. The criticism on tracking is introduced through 8th grader Emily Jones, one of the five students featured in the film. When shown on screen, Emily comes across as both bright and hardworking, eager to learn and willing to put in the effort required to do well in her classes. Still, the movie explains how she was initially worried about attending Woodside High School as a 9th grader, fearing that her mediocre test scores would permanently strand her on a lower track. And, as the movie implies, this would have irrevocably condemned her to mediocre teachers, mediocre classes, a mediocre education, and an ultimately mediocre future. A school founded in the 1950’s, Guggenheim chastises Woodside for its perpetuation of an allegedly antiquated tracking system. While those on the revered honors track go on to graduation and college, the lower track kids receive only neglect from the system – or so the movie says. I believe this to be one of the most fundamental fallacies in Guggenheim’s Woodside criticism. Woodside is a part of the Sequoia Union High School District – a district which also includes M-A. As an M-A student for four years, I have ample firsthand experience with the tracking system. In my non-honors classes at M-A, I am appropriately challenged by the material, and still feel competitive as I apply to colleges such as ClaremontMcKenna, the University of Chicago, and several UCs this fall. As a student engulfed in the apparently giant and unforgiving demon that is tracking, I still manage to effectively take a variety of honors and non-honors classes. While not as advanced as an honors class, non-honors classes remain both instructive and appropriate. And, at Woodside as well as M-A, typically the lower level classes have significantly less students. Because support classes (which would also be considered a lower track) can be half the size of an honors class, the students who need more help receive far more individual attention. I’ll concede that many schools have flawed tracking systems, so Guggenheim’s disdain for them is not completely unfounded. Still, it is borderline absurd that he chose to exemplify a flawed tracking system with one of the few schools that actually does it right. Anyone affiliated with Woodside High School would agree that, had Guggenheim actually spent any time at Woodside, the school would not have been so falsely portrayed. Ultimately, I’ve found the tracking system to be beneficial, and certainly nothing for the likes of Emily Jones to fret about. Contrary to Guggenheim’s depiction, tracking in actuality is hardly a rigid system. While there are those who do firmly adhere to one track, most students at M-A take a variety of classes, some of them lower track, some of them higher. And, in no way is it difficult to switch to a higher track. If you have proved yourself able to keep up with the material, then you can change tracks with ease. According to Woodside’s Head Counselor, Francisco Negri, Woodside is no different. “We call them tracks,” says Negri, “But that’s not necessarily correct because you can literally jump from one to the other in subject area per semester or per year.” Negri also describes several enrichment programs offered to students doing well in regular classes: “If a student is doing really well in a regular class, then a teacher might give them enrichment assignments to help advance them to an honors level,” says Negri. Woodside High School Principal David Reilly experienced the same frustration at the movie’s interpretation of tracking: “they made it seem like

By Regina Mullen kids come in and we play the Supreme Being and designate their destinies.” Reilly was shocked that he was never reached for comment, given his own extensive knowledge on the school he runs. Reilly states his case simply: “In order to meet the needs of all our students,” he says, “we have to diversify and track to some degree.” “But,” he adds, “we are constantly combing our regular college prep classes for students who have the desire or potential to move to the advanced standing or advanced placement tracks.” Reilly explains how the justification for tracking comes down to finances. Woodside High School has 25 middle schools feeding into it, some capable of investing anywhere between 16 and 17 thousand dollars in each student, others capable of only 6 to 7 thousand dollars per student. This financial disparity alone ensures that each year Woodside High School will be receiving students on both ends of the spectrum in terms of academic ability. In many ways it would be irresponsible to attempt to conform such a range of students to the same level classes. However, “Waiting for Superman” praises charter schools for just that – for requiring all students to take the same classes. The truth is, to be at a charter school is to be on one all-encompassing track. And, unlike schools like Woodside and M-A, there are no other tracks to switch to if you find yourself unsuitable for a particular class. A current M-A student, senior Michael Dickey attended Summit Preparatory High School, a charter school featured in the movie, for one semester before transferring to M-A. Dickey says his initial decision to attend Summit was because “I thought I’d be able to stand out a little bit more there both academically and socially.” Dickey continues: “But, after I was there for a bit, the courses were a little slow in my opinion. Because they were working so hard to keep everyone at the same level, I felt like I was being dropped down a little bit.” Regarding his transfer to M-A, Dickey believes he “made a good choice.” “When I was at Summit – it was really nice,” he says, “the kids were nice, the teachers were nice, but in terms of education I think it was better that I came to M-A.” Summit looks much better on paper than Woodside or M-A. In Summit’s eight years of existence, 100% of its students have completed the coursework to qualify them for college. While this is impressive, to compare Summit to Woodside, where only 36% of students in 2007 completed the A-G courses required for admission to a UC or CSU campus, is entirely misleading. The movie fails to acknowledge the far more diverse range of students that public schools are required to accept. Although 18% of students at Summit are socioeconomically disadvantaged, each student in attendance still must have some form of supportive influence in their life. To go to Summit, you first have to submit your name to a lottery in hopes that you will be chosen. This means that each student at Summit has someone with a direct interest in their academic wellbeing, someone who actively took the initiative to submit their name to the lottery. And unfortunately, there are many students at Woodside where this is not the case, where no one has any invested interest in their academic career. In 2007, 34% of all Woodside students qualified for the free or reduced lunch program, and 40% of students were considered socioeconomically disadvantaged. Both those groups are significantly larger than Summit’s entire student body. “Waiting for Superman” never accounts for these differences. Principal Reilly concludes that “making some big generalization isn’t going to serve anybody.” Although “Waiting for Superman” brings national attention to a school system that sorely needs it, it also criticizes a school that doesn’t deserve it. Many schools track poorly, but Woodside High School is just not one of them. In 2010, Newsweek Magazine listed Woodside as one of the 1500 best high schools in America. Still, through his wholehearted appraisal of charter schools, Guggenheim simultaneously condemns public education, even the things that are working.



By Lindsay Keare


Up to Take

M-A senior Max Philp, once a victim of antigay bullying and now an outspoken advocate against homophobia, wants people to know that harassment about sexual orientation is not okay.




The past few months have witnessed an increase in suicides amongst Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender teenagers in the United States. Clearly anti-gay bullying has become a pressing issue. Although his quest to stop bullying was not spurred explicitly by these suicides, Philp has been working intensely to combat bullying, especially bullying tormenting LGBT students, telling affected kids that “it will get better.”

Alliance, or GSA, and the nationwide GSA Network.

Philp has endured bullying related to his sexual orientation firsthand. Before he came to M-A, Philp had a Youtube channel where he would perform music videos and other antics. Then one day he went onto the site and found that someone had created a hate channel directed specifically at him.

Furthermore, “the phrase ‘that’s so gay’ is used way too often and a lot of people think it’s just common language like saying ‘oh, that’s cool’ ... but it’s degrading to a community of people.”

“Someone had made a channel mocking me, calling me gay and the f - word and all sorts of stuff,” remembers Philp. He put up with being pushed against lockers and verbal put-downs at both his old school and later at M-A.

“My main message was to tell people that they can be whoever they want to be and that there are always going to be people who love them. It was really just about people being able to come out as whoever they want to be whether they want to come out as gay or want to come out as an artist or whatever.”

“Prior to that I had gotten a lot of hateful comments but those I can just ignore. But when a hate channel and then shortly after that two more hate channels came up, that’s something that I can’t really ignore.” Philp deleted his Youtube videos and tried to get the other hateful videos taken down. Unfortunately, upon his arrival at M-A, some of Philp’s new classmates searched for him on the Internet and found the videos. “But it’s completely over now,” says Philp. “Compared to my old school people [at M-A] are much more accepting.” However, Philp states that work still needs to be done at M-A. The administration clearly thinks so as well, as an anti-bullying campaign called Teen Truth Live hit M-A last month.

As the co-president of M-A’s own GSA club, Philp is working to spread awareness about the LGBT community at M-A. “A lot of people don’t know that it’s there, but it is,” he says. “We’re trying to tell people not to use hurtful words such as f-a-double g-o-t.” “

On National Coming Out Day, October 11, Philp spoke to the school on the PA system to spread awareness.

Also on October 11, Philp chose to cross-dress, which ignited some controversy. Philp is not a cross-dresser, but “if I wanted to be I should be able to,” he says. “People should be who they want to be … don’t give them a hard time about it.” The GSA Network recently started a campaign called the Make It Better Project, which encourages working toward improving the lives of LGBT youth. The Project serves as a counterpart to the It Gets Better Project, a campaign started by gay blogger Dan Savage, who writes a column called Savage Love to tell possibly suicidal teens that it will get better for them.

In addition to his efforts at M-A, Philp spent one month of this summer living in Los Angeles and working for the Vote for Equality department of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center.

The Mercury News and NBC Bay Area recently interviewed Philp as part of stories about the huge number of LGBT youth suicides in the past few months, and consequently both stories used Philp as an example of a teen who is working to “make it better” right now.

There he spent his time researching gay marriage to help his department figure out how people’s votes on Prop 8 were affected by Yes on Prop 8’s advertisements. More specifically, the Center wanted to counter the ads created by those in support of Prop 8 that claimed children would be negatively affected by gay marriage.

In the coming months Philp plans to continue working on “anti-bullying stuff,” specifically related to LGBT bullying issues. Ultimately, he wants people to know that “if someone who was possibly thinking about suicide were to read this article that it’s going to get better and that people are going to be making it better now.”

While Philp interned he also had the chance to work with LGBT youth, inspiring him to become even more involved with the Gay Straight

wIt got better for Philp, and now he is urging others to “make it better” too.


A scar is never ugly.

“That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them.” –Little Bee, by Chris Cleave. Scars, emotional or physical, are nothing to be ashamed of. They are not signs of weakness, or failure, they are symbols of survival, and bravery. I know, that sounds cliché, but really, it’s the truth. There’s a story behind every scar and I was lucky enough to find other’s who are as proud of their scars, as I am of mine. As I wrote in the October issue of the MArk, I underwent open-heart surgery during 2009 and was left with a six-inch scar. At first I was embarrassed to show it so I wore crew-cut shirts and scarves to take attention off of the subject. But now I am completely comfortable with showing it and actually, I love my scar. I wouldn’t be who I am or even here today without going through that experience, and getting m scar. Jennifer Feldis, a sophomore at M-A, explained the story behind her scar. When Jennifer was born, she was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect called Double-Chambered Right Ventricle. She had a muscle growing within her right ventricle, which blocked her blood flow and needed to be cut out, as well as a hole separating the two ventricles that needed to be patched. This defect meant immediate surgery, which was preformed at Stanford Hospital while Jennifer was seven months old. Although this was a very traumatic event in her life, it has not held her back her in any way or limited her from participating in normal activities. The surgery saved her life, and gave her a badge of courage, also known as her scar. It starts at the base of her throat and reaches almost to the top of her belly button. To Jennifer, the scar is “just a part of who I am I guess.” Rather than hiding it and pretending like it is not there, she openly shares the story about her scar. Instead of thinking of it as an embarrassing mark on her body she feels “its kind of like an arm or leg [to her] because it has been there for as long as [she] can remember”. Her scar has always made her feel unique. But what means the most to Jennifer is not the fact that she has a scar, but12the fact that “the doctors who created it essentially saved [her] life”.

Prior to pursuing a career as a math teacher at M-A, Steven Kryger was as Oakland Police Officer. During his time as a policeman, he received a great deal of scars. He says; “ I have a few scars from surgeries. I have 2 on my left shoulder from 4 different surgeries.  I also have 2 on my right thigh, one from a gunshot and one from the subsequent surgery.  I received the gunshot from doing a “raid” on a house where a suspected drug dealer was selling drugs.  In general, the scars do not have much meaning to me as I rarely see them.  I do have regular pain in my left shoulder and numbness in my right leg, so that is more of a reminder of my injuries than the scars themselves. The injuries that caused the surgeries are what have “changed” me as a person mostly in that physically I cannot do much of what I used to be able to do.  The limitations are frustrating and I have spent considerable time over the years doing rehab, but with only limited success.” Steven Kryger sees a different view on his scars. As he rarely sees them, he has come to not think about them. Although he is now physically limited, the only thing that has changed him are the injuries and the experiences themselves. Zack Wentz, a senior, shared his story about his scar: “ I t was about a year ago at some barbecue with a bunch of families. It was extremely cold and all I was wearing was shorts and a t-shirt. So, as most people would do, I went over to the fire pit and posted up about 6 inches from it. However, because I didn’t have any feeling in my legs, I really didn’t know how hot it was. After about half an hour, I noticed that there were giant bumps on my leg. Turns out I had a second-degree burn on the side of my right leg. There were multiple blisters and my leg was completely red. The funny thing was that I couldn’t feel the pain, so I just sat there laughing to myself. I went in to the emergency room, and the doctor seemed intrigued by the fact that I was in absolutely no pain despite having a second-degree burn. Jokes on him cause I couldn’t feel it. This’ll go down as yet another one of the classic Zack stories. I love my scar, and I think it looks pretty cool. This scar epitomizes 2009 for me: a crazy year where numerous unexpected things happen to me. I love my scar, and it loves me. Yee”

“We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our little secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived.” –Little Bee, by Chris Cleave.


Why Gangstas Do What They Do By Tevita Langi

Let me ask you a question. Now, off the top of your head, what do you think of when you see a “gangster?” Your first thought probably falls under a modern stereotype. You probably think that they’re up to no good, probably selling drugs or about to start a shootout or some type of violence. Chances are, sometimes you’re right. 14


Well these people are mainly where they are because it’s their choice or because they were forced too. When I say that people are forced to, I mean that there are many more reasons for their actions than can be assumed. Let’s say you see me out on the street one night. You would probably ask yourself why isn’t he at home? What is he doing out there? Truth be told, I’m out there doing the same thing your parents do for you, except I’m not a parent. I’m an older brother and I do what ever it takes to provide for my family and to make sure they’re safe. You’re probably wondering why my parents aren’t doing this, taking care of us, and why I have to take it upon myself to go out and do the things I do. My parents are immigrants to this country like many others, so they don’t really know how to negotiate for better pay or working conditions. While you’re in your nice comfortable bed in your own room, I’m out there on the street getting money trying to make sure that my family will have food on the table the next morning. While I’m out doing things like this I rely on family or people I trust very much to watch out for my little sisters. People may judge and say what they want about me because of what I do. The only thing that they will never understand is why I do this. They all think that I’m a bad person because I’m out on the corner at night selling drugs or committing crimes. When really all I want to do is provide for my family and help my parents. But there is one thing all gangsters have in common and that is that we will do anything for our family no matter the cost. We believe in “family over anything” and I’m sure that gangsta or not you can relate to this. But some people would say “why don’t you just get a job and earn your money the right way like everyone else?” Well maybe if people were to actually give people off of the streets a chance we would try to get money the right way. Its just that when most employers see us they automatically jump to conclusions and think like a stereotype. Now I’m not a gangster. I’m just someone who claims my family and who is willing to do anything for them no matter the price I must pay. For example, you see someone out on the street at night drinking a “forty” or smoking a blunt. Most gangsters or people drink “forty’s” because it’s an easy quick buzz they could use to get through their day. You would probably think why isn’t he home or why is he out there this late. Well, he is probably

out there just to try to earn a quick buck. Most gangsters do what they do because they want to die with a reputation out on the street, or they do what they do because they want “to get rich or die trying.” They do whatever it takes to make them immortal out on the streets. Well, let me tell you something that’s just your common gangster. What most people don’t know is that in places that are really ‘ghetto’ or also known as “da hood,” people take up arms to protect the ones they love. So I guess you could say that some gangsters actually do what they do because of love. I know it’s hard to believe, but when you live in “da hood” and everything around depends upon fear and respect, you’re forced to do things you don’t want to so it will ensure your safety. I can tell you right now that there is one main code that they live on, and that is that “It’s a Fish Eat Fish World.” You have to do whatever it takes to survive in the hood. Basically, if you hesitate you’re going to end up in a grave or living in a box. In the hood the more respect you have the less problems you have. The only way to get this respect is by putting in “work”. Most people don’t know what gangsters go through because when they see a gangster their first reaction is to either walk away or to just walk rite past them. I know that you think that gangsters are really bad people but deep down inside there actually good people. All they are trying to do is get by, and feed their families. So the next time you see someone who looks like a criminal or a gangster or whatever you want to call it just remember that there also just trying to feed their family. So the next time you see someone who looks like they’re up to no good, at least take the time to get to know them before you automatically turn them away. Because most likely if there coming to asking you for a job then you should know that there actually trying to change. So yea I don’t know about you but I think that all people deserve a second chance. So why not try lending a hand next instead of jumping to conclusions and turning your back on them. So you want to know why gangsters really do what they do, huh? They do what they do because they don’t want to stay in the ghetto their whole life. So they go out and sell drugs, commit crimes, like robbing people or stealing their cars. They also do this because they have to support younger siblings. So yeah, they really do what they do because of love.



I always hated the smell of fried food so it wasn’t particularly intelligent of me to sit down next to a corn dog stand. There were thirteen other benches in the vicinity that would have worked substantially better than this bench due to the fact that they didn’t reek of the gut wrenching odor of trans fat, but I didn’t care, I chose this bench for one reason, the carousel. The carousel was my favourite thing to do with my father when I was a child. He would take me down to the peer and we would duck into shops, laughing at tourists and window-shopping. We didn’t have much money so we didn’t get to do this very often, but when we did, my father always made sure he had enough money to be me a ride on the carousel. He lifted me onto a racing horse bolted to the floor, and he would go sit on a bench to watch me while in taking the aroma of deeply fried food. But today was different; today I got to watch my father ride on this carousel. He mounted the same racing horse that the same oddly melancholy song began to play. I watched him spin around and around much like he did for me when I was young. But something was different now. I knew my father wasn’t there; my father had died of a heart attack last summer, but I still came to this carousel every day and sat in this same bench and felt the same way every day. I smiled and I stood up as I walked away from the fumes of that corndog stand. by Prescott Foland

ARTWORK Maria Ikonomou 16

W h a t I t h i n k of . . . Some refer to it as the ultimate feed for information. Some call it the perfect site to figure out what to do with one’s life. Some find it to be the king of spam and discouraging decisions.

Naviance, is a name heard, but probably ignored, by most students at M-A. “What is this magical sounding name?” You might ask yourself. Is it a mystic land found deep within one’s wardrobe? Is it a planet far beyond the sun that has blown scientists away? Is it a new weird flavor at Red Mango?             No. No to all of these.               Naviance is an extremely helpful website made for the maturing high school student who wishes to either find out their personality type, look at some colleges they might fit into, research some interesting career choices, or get their inbox utterly destroyed by more notification emails than “Facebook.”               The personality test is truly a treat because anyone who takes it can fill out about an hours worth of questions in order to discover who they truly are (because we like to leave other non-living entities with the responsibilities of defining us as individuals). Sam Hausman’s popular stand-up routine gives a spot on description of the subject. While going through each question you can decide whether you are either a Jake, the most popular guy at school with the most friends, most ladies, and greatest social capabilities, or an Ethan, who is socially retarded. So when it comes down to answering each question, it takes a good 5 to 10 minutes of heavy thinking to really decide “Gosh, which person

ax G


do I fall under, they are so unique!”            But some people do not even receive the luxury of filling the mold of one of these people. In fact, quite a few people apparently lack personalities altogether and get no results. This absence of personality will most likely prove an issue when a counselor needs to write a rec about you specifically…               Naviance also supplies students with nifty graphs that can chart where you fit in on a college’s acceptance rate, comparing you to other graduates from M-A. Nothing is more heart warming than plugging in your information to find that you fit into the “You have no hope in hell” section of the graph.  The “Careers” section is also quite helpful. The list of jobs one receives on Naviance is as diverse as the Menlo-Atherton student body. People have been suggested to be anything from tour guide t o painter, two jobs with very similar qualifications. And thanks to the “Cluster Types,” people can go through certain occupations and rate them to find the most appropriate career for them. So when jobs like “taxi driver” and “plumber” come up, students jump to “like” these superb professions.             Although Naviance does have silly personality quizzes, stress-inducing graphs, and a multitude of undesirable occupations, it also has a lot of applications that can help any Menlo Atherton student understand which college and career fit their lifestyle.



PHOTOGRAPHY Prescott Foland

by M


Cheated By School why does school really not work for me? I am not a stupid person. Do I talk too quickly sometimes? Yes. Do I constantly lose things? Without a doubt. Can I be totally insensitive? Do those jeans make you look fat? (The answer is yes.) But by all educational measurements, I am not stupid. Hell, I’m even kind of smart. And I’ve always loved school. From pre-K to about sixth grade, man, I was on top of shit.

quizzes graded cumulatively, meaning she would simply add a point for each correct answer or detail, then base the grading scale on the class’ performance. I usually got 32 or 33 points per five question quiz. When we took a final exam on different types of rocks in science, I got 100%. The trick is that although talc shares many characteristics with pyrophyllite, it has a soapy texture.

I learned to read in kindergarden, and excelled in all of those stupid weekly reading groups in first and second grade. On multiple occasions the “reading leader” would actually tell me to slow down or move backwards in the book if I was too far ahead. I was often embarrassed and did as they asked - by that time I had usually finished the book any ways. From third to fifth grade I was on top of my game. Math was no challenge and I usually completed whatever the worksheet was at school or on the bus ride home. In third grade I actually ran out of weekly books to read and ended up writing my weekly summaries on a nonfiction history of elevators. Fun fact, they use pulleys - who knew?! My fifth grade teacher - Ms. McGrath - would give us reading 18

By all accounts, I was that kid. Its clear that I liked school because it liked me. I got A’s and stars and smiley faces, but I’ve always appreciated school for more than the validation. School is important. School is the foundation of a civilization. And I’ve told people as much. School, if Sports ever tries to call you out in the cafeteria, or challenge you to a big fight outside yourself at 3, I’ll be there ready to throw down. So why does school really not work for me? Because it doesn’t. It absolutely doesn’t. And it hasn’t since about sixth grade. I can’t do homework, I can’t pay attention in class, and I find myself hating 3/4 of my schedule. Even now I should be writing an analysis of

the first 15 chapters of Pride and Prejudice - a novel I’ve read multiple times. I assume its to help us evaluate the writing and discover Austen’s prevalent themes concerning class and its affect on gender roles, society, and ultimately the frustration of expected love and true love. I need to do at least five pages of calculus to catch up: one on derivatives, one on limits, and three on the relationship between velocity, acceleration, and distance (x=1/2gt^2+v0t+x0 etc etc). And I really, really need to write a current event for government - three required pages that I hope will somehow prove I read both a local and national paper everyday. But I’m not doing any of them. I used to think it was simple laziness on my part, and for a long time I’ve really hated myself. I’ve hated myself for not respecting my teachers, I’ve hated myself for reading for fun when I should be reading for school, and I’ve hated myself for doodling comics and noting story ideas when I should be listening in class. And this is not some sort of “Oh I hate myself for [insert quirk I want to tell you about here].” I really, really have not liked myself for a long time because of my performance in school. I feel like I’ve been letting the School I loved so much down. For a long time I thought I was just lazy. But I have no problem spending two hours on a tumblr post, or all day baking bread. And I always help my friends with their work. So I don’t know what the problem is. It’s like I’m rebelling but have no idea what against. I want to get back to how it was before. I want to go back to the honeymoon phase, back when I thought teachers knew everything and homework was worth all my time. I feel frustrated and annoyed that I’m still a kid and still need to go to school. It kills me that none of my teachers actually know me. But mostly, School, I’m hurt. I’m hurt and confused and angry and sad. I don’t know if we can still be friends. 19 by Shelby Fero


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l i a M


Shameless Seduction BY PHILIP WITHAM

Recently my email has been cluttered whip out their lists of applicants and the college by more than the occasional male enhancement with the biggest one gets all the action while ad. For the past year and a half, college ads he gets makes fun of the other colleges with have quite literally been flooding my inbox. normal length lists. Colleges actually buy email At first I loved the attention. Unlike the male addresses and names from College Board just to enhancement ads that I got, college ads told me give their list an extra couple inches. Universities how perfect I was and that being Asian wasn’t at seem to have more insecurities than the average high school mathlete. all a disadvantage. The fact is that colleges advertise It was great, all of the colleges were begging me to apply – how could I say no? themselves just to reject you. It’s like that Yeshiva University, the foremost Jewish college obnoxious girl in your class that won’t stop flirting in New York, told me what a perfect match I was with you. You ask her to Homecoming and she for the school. I mean I might not be Jewish, but defers you, saying she just can’t accept right now. You dance with her for I always thought that I a while, you think you looked damn good in a feel a real connection Yamika. and then you find I got a her making out with message from Rhode some Tom, Dick, and Island School of Design Harry douchebag from also telling me to apply history class. Then you early, seeming to hint have to settle for the at sexual favors should Leonardo’s got nothing on me annoying girl who won’t I commit (the admissions officer is totally hot). It gave me the confidence stop talking about her cats. The worst part is that the colleges admit to jumpstart my own artistic career. I’m going for a sort of contemporary grunge that expresses the that they’re just being jerks. Earl Retif, Tulane’s vice president for enrollment management and pain of modern conformist society. I even received exclusive VIP status fulltime cock tease, admitted to the New York from Tulane. Finally, the recognition I deserve. Times, “we don’t need 44,000 applications.” In I’m not sure what it means, but probably that another interview made by the New York Times, I’m going to get into the school as well as receive Lucerito Ortiz, an admissions officer at Harvard, a personal entourage of buff bodyguards and a commented on the 7 percent admissions rate of special lounge for me to talk important person the previous year. “In a way, it’s sad, but I don’t feel guilty about it,” she said, “I don’t feel guilty stuff. But a recent article released by The New for giving students the chance to have their lives York Times reveals that all of the nice stuff those changed.” In case you’re wondering, Harvard colleges said to me, they say it to everyone else. gets over 30,000 applicants. That means 28,000 Sluts. Apparently Tulane gave that VIP thing to crushed dreams. A year. Don’t even look at your inbox or the 130,000 other people. And they admit 10,000. And Tulane kind of sucks. Stanford received full page spreads of those beautiful, brick and 32,000 applications from students deemed, ivy towers, the Nobel laureates… I hate you “simply amazing.” ... so I’m totally getting in. Harvard. Ignore the hussies and the harlots. The fact is, that this is all part of a popularity Drop out of highschool and do drugs, it’s not like competition between all of the colleges. They you’re actually getting into college.


Bon Appétit

By Bridget Magaña

Mama Magaña’s Seared Tuna: Serves 4-5 people 1 lb. of fresh tuna Sauce: 1 cup of soy sauce ½ cup of olive oil ½ cup chopped of cilantro 1 cup of chopped green onions 1 jalapeno (chopped and seeded) Mix the last 5 ingredients together then pour them into a pan over the stove on high heat, wait until the ingredients are sizzling and then add the tuna, cook each side of the tuna for 3 minutes. Then wait for it to heat up and serve it over brown or white rice.

Makes 24

Tangy Lemon Bars:

Crust: 12 ounces (3 sticks) cold butter, cut into small pieces ¾ cup powdered sugar 3 cups flour Preheat oven to 350 Mix crust ingredients into a food processor just enough to blend. Pat and spread dough about 1/8-inch thick onto bottom and up the sides of a 13” X 18” cookie sheet; do not over work dough (you want it to stay 22cool). Bake until light golden,

Filling: 1-teaspoon baking powder 4 cups granulated sugar 8 eggs ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons Lemon juice zest 3 lemons In a mixing bowl, combixned baking powder and sugar. Stir in eggs with a wooden spoon, set aside.

PHOTOGRAPHY Keara Hadelman

When crust is done, remove it from the oven. Add lemon juice and zest to filling mixture and immediately pour into baked crust. Bake about 25 minutes until firm to

POWER AT M-A Who’s in charge of our school?

Board of Trustees The Board makes policies that direct and guide the district as a whole, including all five high schools. They also hire the superintendant.

MR. ZITO Mr. Zito’s main goal is to keep the global picture of the high school going. He has to make sure everyone is on the same page and, as collaborative as the school system may be, sometimes has to be assertive to insure everyone is moving in the same direction. “I am given a proposition, I weigh the pros and cons, and then I make a decision, typically without consulting with anyone.” However, the SDMSC is responsible for making larger decisions, such as the bell shedule. Mr. Zito....


Predominantly working for the Board of Trustees to make a district wide decision, Lianides is in charge of hiring principals and determines whether Mr. Zito keeps his job year after year. “Any good superintendent lets the principal run their school,” says mr. Zito. he works primarily with the board to make districtwide decisions.

The Foundation For the Future The FFF is a program run by Cindy Folker dedicated to providing funds for different projects regarding M-A. While the foundation is ultimately responsable for where their funds are distributed, most decisions regarding the funds are decided collaboratively with the SDMSC. The Foundation Funds... College counseling SAT prep classes Guidance Advisors AVID Program Library materials teacher’s salaries

Has final say on firing and hiring teachers Has final say on expulsions Makes decisions regarding how the school operates (such as fixing the lights or implenting new furnaces) Works with the district Consults with teachers and others involved in various projects Fundraisess with the Foundation for the Future and the PTA



The Shared DeciThe Parent-Teacher Associasion Making Site Council, tion, consists of a dedicated group is a decision making body that of parent voluneers. “We meet monthvotes on various decisions regardly wth Mr. Zito to make sure the PTA is ing the school. The SDMSC is made responsive to the needs of the M-A staff up of representatives from the PTA, the and students,” says Carol Orton, presi- Foundatin for the Future, the Site Coundent of the PTA. The PTA congruously cil, teachers, and student representatives. works with the Foundation for the Future Once a month, membes can give proposand the Athletic Boosters to coordinate als to the SDMSC, which the group will fund-raising and other events, and to vote on. Most school related decisions share resources. Two representatives most go through the SDMSC to be from the PTA have voting rights approved. This includes policies on the SDMSC, the Shared such as the bell schedule, asDecision Making Site semblies, and fundrais23 Council. ing decisions.

No Love: Put that S*** Out I am a high school student. Of course I’ve heard arguments for legalization, and I’ve heard them from stoners and parents alike. There are the classic points: marijuana isn’t really that bad, it’s healthier than legal tobacco, it would benefit the state economy, or that outlawing marijuana in fact doesn’t dissuade people from lighting up when their favorite Peter Frampton song comes around.  To those people, I have but one rebuttal.  Drugs are bad.  Honestly, I can’t at this point understand why we’re still talking about this. Drugs make people do bad things.  They encourage badness.  They are bad.


ake the example of the (admittedly hypothetical) Mike Rackpype. Mike’s parents were healthy, lawabiding members of society. They raised Mike on a strict 16th century ethical code, and abused only the legal drugs.  Yet somewhere between his father’s drunken rampages and his mother’s love affair with Vicodin, Mike one day chanced upon a cigarette that looked a little different from the ones his 11-year-old brother normally smoked.  With the intrepidity that others had always considered charming, Mike lit the cigarette, and fell under the spell of the Wicked Ganja-Witch of the Southwest.  Mike’s life was forever changed that day.  He began hanging out

and at jazz clubs, recording 20-minute jam sessions with his father’s Christian Rock band, and smoking as much of this ‘funny tobacco’ as he could find. Mike’s incessant munching drove his family to financial ruin; his friends abandoned him after listening to his daily ramblings about “how fingers are, like, the sweetest things ever” for three straight months; his girlfriend started seeing other guys when Mike told her he loved Haile Selassi more than her.  Ultimately, Mike mistook his new favorite band– The Grateful Dead– for a suicide cult, and took his own life.  All because of that one joint.


here will always be people who dazedly argue for marijuana legalization. What you, the informed, righteous, and sober American need to remember is that they’re just too high to think otherwise. Jefferson and Madison wouldn’t have wanted our country run by a bunch of hippies and tweakers.  In fact, to quote5 a famous saying by Abraham Lincoln, “Marijuana is the fuel of Confederates, terrorists, and Lucifer himself.”  So really, the question is: are you for terrorists and Satan, or are you for America?  I hope you make the right decision.

While On Drugs, People:

-       Crash cars/bicycles/scooters/on your couch -       Streak -       Write movies like those of Friedberg & Seltzer -       Incur public shame, a la Michael Phelps/Tim Lincecum -       Eat inordinately -       Commit homicide

While Sober, People: -       Run for president -       Build healthy relationships -       Avoid incarceration -       Have holidays named for you -       Engage in sophisticated discussion -       Most importantly, agree with me

One Love: A Message to the Haters I’m, like, a high school student, brah. Of course I’ve heard arguments against legalization, and I’ve totally heard them from ministers and hypocritical parents alike.  There are the classic points: marijuana will kill you if you even try it once, it will, like, lead to crippling crack and meth addictions, offices would resemble opium dens because workers would be allowed to smoke on the job (just as drinking is an accepted workplace activity now), or that the world really doesn’t need any more shitty Reggae and jam bands.  To those un-chill people, I have, like, but one rebuttal, man.  Drugs are rad.  Honestly, I can’t at this point understand why we’re still talking about this. Drugs never lead to bad things happening, ever, no matter what.  They lead only to happiness, deliciousness, and comedic gold.  Dudes may not realize the benefits of not hating on ganja until they appreciate the gravity (bong) of what has been called the “buzzkill effect.” Truncating for simplicity’s sake (since you’re brain is probably already pretty full of bible verses), it basically holds that “if you do not like ganja, you probably hate other fun things too, including meddling teenagers, people who are not like you, and puppies” With that fact of science in mind – not Bible faux-science, real science – below is a list of good things people do while on drugs. In case the utter depravity of these people hasn’t quite hit you, I have also included a lis of things people do while sober. You can make the comparisons yourself. I close with a very simple list, and you can take from it whatever you wish. I’m totally not insinuating anything with this. Select people who have smoked weed: Barack Obama, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, Steve Jobs, Bob Marley, Elvis Presley, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Salvador Dali, Jesus, and anyone who was alive during the 60’s. People who have not smoked weed: Nuns, Mao Zedong, Stalin, Dick Cheney, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, and Hitler So, which group would YOU rather be a part of?

While On Drugs, People: - - - - - - - -

Enjoy everythin more...everything Discover their inner-being Keep Taco Bell and frozen pizza makers in business Write movies like Pineapple Express or those of Harold and Kumar Incur public awesomeness, a la Michael Phelps/Tim Lincecum Have their cancer cured Look cool / make younger kids want to be like you And, most importantly...wait, what were we talking about?

While Sober, People: - Make rules and assign homework - Drop the atom bomb - Hate on San Francisco - Have boring conversations that aren’t, like, heeeeeeeeeeella deep - Not understand the lyrics of any Phish song. Or for that matter, not understand why anyone is listening to Phish


Photography Prescott Foland

photography is serious business

The reason I want to be a photographer is because I want to recreate the world in the most intresting way possible. Taking photos really excites me and makes me have faith for my future.



by Suzie McMurtry

Here I am at 2 am writing an article on the increasing abuse of drugs


that help with focusing and working faster. And no, I’m not taking any. Everyone has a way of staying on track, something they do every time they need to cram or study or absorb large amounts of information. Hey, maybe that’s everyday. Some take a power nap, munch some “brain food”, or pop some un-prescribed medications. Medications for ADHD, Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder, include Strattera, Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, and more. These drugs help people who suffer from these disorders deal with their racing thoughts. It’s very hard for someone with ADHD or ADD to think about one thing at once. Helen Burke, a sophomore at M-A who suffers from severe ADHD says that it’s “obvious when someone with ADHD doesn’t take their pills.” They might have trouble with schoolwork especially, but even carrying out a conversation can be incredibly difficult. While these pills help her focus, Helen recalls that some pills reduce your appetite and could make you drowsy. With the prevelance of these drugs has come the temptation to abuse them. Two sophomores who have tried Adderall and Ritalin purely out of curiosity give us a better perspective PHOTOGRAPHY Mao Mei Sonkin

of why these drugs appeal to students without a prescription. They got the drugs from an older friend, formerly diagnosed with ADHD. And when offered the pills, they just “couldn’t say no”. Well, you can say no, but they didn’t. “We did like two weeks of homework in 30 minutes,” one exaggerates, “but when those effects are gone, you don’t want to eat. You can’t sleep. I didn’t do either for two days.” The students were left with headaches and some desire to take more -what one might call it a slight withdrawal- which luckily they resisted. When asked if using was considered drug abuse, one student said, “I don’t think it’s wrong, but it is stupid.” T h e s e students agreed the experience w a s unpleasant and unhealthy. Also, they added, “they taste terrible.”


“My There are three types of drinking: binge drinking, friend drank casual drinking and Four Loko drinking. Four Loko is said to almost an entire Four be the new alcoholic drink of choice among college students Loko on her own, because and in some cases, even high school students. This deadly she didn’t feel drunk while combination of cocktail type alcohol at 12 % and energy drink she was actually drinking it, so has been creating problems for the people who consume she just kept drinking. She went the product. One can of Four Loko is said to have the same downhill fast. She was running all potency as a 6 pack of beer and two cups of caffeinated over the place, and being really loud coffee says CNN news. Most of the appeal of this drink In the car, she was trying to hang comes from the effects the ingredients take on the body. The outside of the windows, and crawl combination of alcohol, which slows your heart rate down, and around on top of everyone, and then the energy drink, which speeds the heart rate up, confuses she just puked everywhere. She your body into thinking that it can take in more alcohol then was totally belligerent and no your body can handle “It tastes like a normal energy drink yet one could understand what when you drink it you do not feel the effects of being drunk. she was saying.” You can keep drinking forever and ever”, stated a UC Santa “My Cruz student. When I asked him what his experience was with Four Loko he replied “ See the fence out in the back yard, other friend who the broken one? That was all me”. Another appealing hadn’t had it before, drank factor is the look of the can. It looks as though it were most of it and was like going crazy. designed to specifically attract a younger crowd of How else would you describe a helpless people. The colorful, patterned exterior makes it look drunk person? He just was a helplessly like the typical soda or energy drink which appeals to helpless drunk. He was like falling over. It a younger crowd, yet the amount of alcohol and side felt like I was a wave in the ocean. I was effects are meant to be consumed by those who can kind of stumbling around and I relied a lot handle the consequences. on the walls. It was quite the experience. The appeal of the drink is not only found on I wouldn’t say it was like an unsafe college campuses but has grown to be popular among thing, unless you are drinking a high school students as well. Teachers and storeowners think that the cans are like any other energy drink and do lot.” not realize there is alcohol in them. Due to the misconception “The of the contents of a Four Loko, news stations have been drinks informing adults about the Four Loko drinks. Another reason are very easy to pour into why there has been such a buzz about this drink is the effect something else and just walk it has had in some cases of students having to be rushed around like in San Francisco or to the hospital. These students seemed to have symptoms related to a date rape drug, but it was later found to be the somewhere. Everyone can have the cause of Four Loko. shared buzz of lots of caffeine and a The dangerous repercussions of drinking this lot of alcohol without spending too beverage have become a huge topic of discussion. Is this much money. Even though they are beverage the answer to partying-student’s calls? Or is dangerous, kids just don’t seem this drink a serious medical concern?

By Anna Luke

to care, because that’s what makes them more fun” 29

ART Maria Ikonomou

: Seldom Recog I R




a yC


nn Ke

PHOTOGRAPHY Caitlin Kenney

b you’ve ever walked or driven down Middlefield Road, as you likely have, you may have noticed a series of nondescript, grayish colored buildings lurking across the street from M-A. Despite the low interest level the exterior of these buildings may inspire, decades of innovative research have occurred inside their unremarkable walls. The cluster of structures is a local branch of SRI International, an independent, nonprofit scientific research institute. Know as the Stanford Research Institute until 1970, SRI International, now independent of the university, is over a million square feet of space, located right across the street from Menlo-Atherton High School. It has been there since 1946, regardless of students’ notice of it, or lack of notice. SRI offers many opportunities to M-A students that they could easily take advantage of considering the institute’s convenient location of about 20 feet away from M-A. SRI is currently conducting a study on Adolescent Brain Development, and is one that many students have already participated in. Researchers working on this are now recruiting adolescents 14 to 18 years old, a prerequisite that applies to the vast majority of high school students. Another study that directly applies to high school students is called Alcohol, Sleep, and Brain Development. Little research was necessary to determine that alcohol is of

Hearing back from colleges


Dobby dies

little benefit to adolescent brain development. One of the largest centers dedicated to the research and development of artificial intelligence is SRI International’s Artificial Intelligence Center (AIC). In 1966, a mobile robot called “Shakey”, which was referred to as the “first electronic person.” A project that researchers at AIC are currently working on is AURA (Automated User-centered Reasoning and Acquisition System). AURA is a system meant to allow subject matter experts, such as biologists and physicists, to formulate questions to ask the program called Digital Aristotle. This program is a reasoning system that is able to answer questions and solve complex scientific problems. Its more specific

Infinite Campus replaces Communicado

Four LOKO comming back with no caffeine

ognized Inspiration purpose is a digital tutor capable of explaining scientific concepts to students and instructing them in subjects that are science or math related. In an evaluation of AURA in 2008, the system was able to answer 70% of the questions on an AP exam correctly, which is better than many AP students could do after a year of study. At SRI, scientists performed the initial research necessary to start the government remote viewing program funded by the CIA. Remote viewing is the scientific synonym for clairvoyance. This research fueled the start of an operation that included a military unit of psychic spies who supposedly spied on other nations with their minds. A movie that recently came out, The Men Who Stare At Goats, satirizes this government funded program. The program was a closely kept secret until the late 90s, and even then it wasn’t widely publicized, an understandable decision considering the CIA used millions of taxpayer dollars to fund a psychic military program that unsurprisingly didn’t work out all that well. An interesting invention by Dr. Douglas C. Engelbart and his team at SRI was the computer mouse in 1967. The first mouse was a carved block of wood with a red button. Even more interesting was SRI’s significant contribution towards the invention of the Internet. The Internet began as “ARPANET”, and in 1969 (which wasn’t all that long ago) the very first transition on the ARPANET was from UCLA to SRI. ARPANET was originally a network consisting

Bully assembly and SSR actvities

SRI g n i t s Intere ences: occur

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monke en by lab

cher bitt r a e s e r d • disclose the “first : y e k a tails not h ot S d the rob ” e t a e r c • ic person ter mouse n o r t c e l e u the comp ernet d e t n e v nt • in s ent the i v n i d t perform ts e a p h l t e h m a r • n g on a pro ost stude s m k r n o a h w t s • abiliP test c i A h n c o y r s e p t on bett yesearch r d e g to a ps n m i r t o u f b r i e r t p n • mans, co ties in hu military unit te in cur ing a y p i p c s i t c r i a h c op tudents t s s t i u r c • re ies rent stud of just four computers, one of which was located at SRI. Many students pass the research institute twice a day as the commute to and from school. They sit on and in front of the SRI sign every day waiting for the bus and have no idea what the institute is or what it has accomplished. The center will continue to make significant contributions to the scientific world, and as a student attending the high school across the street, you can easily participate in the effort.

Deathly Hallows part one!!

Lights settlement!

Hearing back from colleges


The Queen By Conrad Yu

My dear friend, I’ll tell you the story about the queen of hearts. She lived in her palace, In the kingdom of malice, Where everywhere unkindness ruled the charts. Life loved to test just how much her heart could endure. But she bested them all, and her heart remained pure. She remained strong, loving and gentle When her subjects became weak, cold and unsettled. Yet no one knows her plight, Nor do they know her episodes of sorrow. Promises broken, no reasons spoken, they do not know. The universe from the beginning set in motion A principle and story for her, the notion That she is the one who can raise others up, Even when others have crippled her. To absorb despair and agony is no easy task: To show one’s true face when others’ are behind masks, To smile brightly when the mind only frowns, To expose it in the lusty jewels beneath the crown. The queen of course, so unselfish and kind, Makes you forget the troubles you are willing to find. She’ll take you from the troubled edges of the sorrowed pile,


Slap you on the cheek, kiss it, and


make you smile.



Running Eyes... If you run through Menlo Park, you’ll see oddities and aspects of everybody’s life. All these things are constantly there, but running gives you the time to really see them.


PHOTO ESSAY Shayda 35 Abadi

sex, Drugs sex, Drugs





ust like video killed the radio star and Internet killed the video star, DJs and MCs are beginning to kill our rock and roll stars. The likes of Steve Aoki and Armen Van Buren are using their turntables and mixing boards to rise above a longterm staple in music- the rock star. Many longtime musicians have begun to drop or transform their entire style in order to keep up with what is new and hip. Motley Crue drummer and notorious bad boy Tommy Lee in particular has gone from selling out arenas with his heavy thrashing bands to mixing bass and synth in sweaty smoke filled venues. There will be more to come. The electronic music industry today has also proved itself as a much more lucrative business than that of Rock and Roll. Vans Warped tour sold around 40,00 tickets at their Los Angeles stop for twenty five dollar a ticket (plus convenience fees), while the electronic summer event Electric Daisy Carnival hosted 130,000 people, charging around $60 per ticket. Similar events in Los Angeles County also sold over the 100,000 tickets throughout the year. Not all electronic music is classified under the overused umbrella of techno. Just like rock has blues, folk and progressive, electronic music has its variety through its difference in style. Dubstep, which is made up of excessive bass and reverberant drum patterns, which sounds like porn for transformers, is one of the most popular sub genre’s of electronic music. While the big names of electronic anybody outside of the scene, they are in as rock stars. The groups are still small times get face time with their favorite artof Rock and Roll.

music are virtually unknown to a way as adored by their fans enough that fans can oftenists, much like the beginnings

Electronic music’s grasp on the music equally impressive, if not more impressive, than been blasting through people’s radios for the past few decades.


industry will soon become the Rock music that has

by Prescott Foland Photography Prescott Foland

Felix Cartal From

Spookfest 2010


Chlorine, Dirt, and Sweat: The Cologne of Tomorrow by Roger Upton

You walk into English, prepared for another block day all about writing topic sentences… but wait! New seats! Finally! You’ve been waiting for months to be moved to a group that actually does their homework and participates in class! Sadly you study the seating chart, only to find you sit behind the kid who never showers…oh no! Maybe this month will be different… Sadly you know it won’t be different, you’ll still dread fourth period and what can only be described as a mixture of sweat, dirt, chlorine, and public restrooms emanating from the seat in front of you. So for those people who have somehow accumulated all the scents that a taxicab embodies, here are some tips to make everyone’s life within ten feet of you a little bit better. First, despite common belief, showers are not the devil and they won’t hurt you. Try one, you might like it. Second, rolling around in mud isn’t the only way to protect yourself from the sun, the only reason pigs do that is because sunscreen gives them rashes. Last but not least you might want to try a stick of deodorant or maybe a sprits of body spray to combat your natural essence. After the shower there are a few ways to make yourself smell a little better, scented antiperspirant always helps but the thing that separates most people from the crowd is body spray. And before we get into the body spray I’d just like to stress how important the shower is.



PHOTOGRAPHY JP Nash You can’t just use more body spray to try and hide the fact you haven’t showered today, you’re not fooling anyone. Right now you just smell like last night and . Gross. Before we get further into this let me just say that overdosing with body spray can be just as bad as rolling around in mud and going to school, everything in moderation (except the mud, don’t do that.) Some popular scents include Tag, Old Spice, American Eagle, Abercrombie (But only if you have a six pack and like smelling like effeminate lacrosse players) and Axe, but we’ll talk about Axe later… And by later I mean now. I must stress my ‘everything in moderation’ point I made earlier, because while Axe is one of the most popular fragrances known to man, it’s strong. IF you decide to buy Axe, don’t use a lot, because if you do, you will have gone from choking people with how you smell, to choking people with how you smell. Lulz. To summarize, step one is to shower, and step two is to find a reliable body spray that smells good. If you’re not sure what smells good, ask someone of the opposite gender to come with you to help. Nothing like who you’re trying to attract to tell you what they like. I hope that after reading this article your opinion on conserving water has been changed so that it allows you to shower and that your English group will finally start talking to you now.



Kenya Help

When her teaching career at Menlo-Atherton ended in 2004 for the second time, Margo McAuliffe knew that she wanted to do something beneficial with her newfound free time. After Margo McAuliffe’s husband died in 1999, she knew at some point she wanted to take action on her dream and go teach at a school in Africa. She contacted the founder of the St. Francis Secondary School for Girls in Kenya, but Father Daniel Kiriti told her they had all their positions filled. However, she was determined to get involved and Father Daniel Kiriti informed her they still needed a school for the students to learn in. This school was not built just to educate, but to empower girls and give them self-confidence in knowing they can create their own futures. Margo McAuliffe went to Africa herself and was able to see how desperately in need of money the students were. Margo decided to take on the challenge of raising money to help build the school, and Kenya Help was born. Kenya Help is a non-profit organization created by Margo McAuliffe, a former math teacher at Menlo- Atherton, to benefit impoverished women and children of Kenya by providing them with a quality education. A few years ago, a local parent went to one of Margo McAuliffe’s meetings and was inspired by what she heard. This parent, Rebecca Bloom, decided she wanted to get personally involved, but knew she could not do it alone. She got her daughter Samantha Bloom involved along with her friends, and as one of their fundraisers they got their basketball team involved in this meaningful project. Although they were only sixth graders at the time, the young ladies were excited about being a part of Kenya Help. The basketball team started doing annual hoop-a-thons to raise money for the cause, while the girls sold art products to do their part. They also sent money to build a basketball court for the girls in Kenya, and sent this along with an inspirational video to teach the Kenyan girls the rules of basketball. That first year alone they raised over $13,000. Today, Kenya Help is as strong as ever. Over the years, the Kenya Help girls have raised over $30,000 and the foundation have raised oveer $90,000 for the St. Francis Secondary School for Girls. Although the school is close to completion, there is still a pressing need for money in Kenya. They have implemented a scholarship program to help pay the $650 yearly tuition for girls who cannot do so themselves. Recently, the Kenya Help girls have painted a beautiful, inspirational tapestry to send to the school in Kenya as gift to the graduating class. Also, the Menlo-Atherton Pals Around the World Club has started writing to the girls at the St. Francis Secondary School for Girls in Kenya. However St. Francis Secondary School for Girls is not the only foundation Margo McAuliffe has sponsered, she has also supported boys at Archbiship Ndingi and the orphanage at Mji Wa Neema because she believes boys and girls should have access to education. The fact that in Kenya schools are not free, they are called “government schools” who only take top students, make it harder for children to get the education they need to support themselves in the future. Anyone can get involved in this fantastic cause and the organization is still in need of money. If you would like to donate or find out more information about the cause, visit If you would like to do your part without spending money, you can also donate TI calculators or soft-cover children’s books, particularly books from Magic School Bus and The Magic Tree House series. Specifically, they are also in need for the books The Red Tent by Anita Daimant and Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristoff, but any books would be appreciated. If you are going to donate books, make sure they won’t offend the students or teachers, as it is a very religious and modest school. If you would like to hear about other ways you can get involved, don’t hesitate to contact the founder of the charity, Margo McAulife via her email, or by phone at 650322-0821. by Sarah Katz, Anna Argente, & Olivia Baker 40

Mural done by M-A Students

“The earth does not belong to us; it is on loan from our children.� -Kenyan Proverb



A Fish Under the surface of clear blue a swirling mass of splendid hue. Sparkling incandescence attracts dancing colors persuade, distract. Beneath the waves and ocean swirls below flashes, diamonds, and pearls. In the heart of Neptune’s abode distant from the sun, shrouded in cold A beast of colors grey and dulled with scales of grime, not a hue bold. beast of legend and ancient times A great beast of whispers and rhymes. But with eyes of such tenderness The things they had seen, none could guess Eyes of shining obsidian eyes that render the heart undone And when the man pulled in his net, struck to the soul when gazes met. Forgot his catch of shining gold colors mottled in the netted folds Those fish of insignificance that did nothing but swim and dance Their sparkling hues, so quick to fade lost to their fate, shovel and spade. Those eyes that had seen the old earth gaze held secrets of untold worth Two orbs filled with stories untold two portals to the ocean’s soul Fish of true wisdom and virtue a true gem in sea of false hues. The man could not let her die from his greed and let true beauty return to the sea.

Philip Witham


ART Sofi King

Who is


As Christmas approaches, you are sure to know some little girl who will receive a Barbie doll as a present. But it is unlikely that this girl will consider the history and meaning of that doll, representing American history and femininity, through out the years. As she holds that Barbie in her hand, perhaps you will think of the growth of woman in the last 51 years that has brought Barbie to be who she is today. Barbie first appeared in 1959. She was a different kind of doll; someone focused on fashion, who sported a feminine figure and a sophisticated look. This contrasted sharply with the baby dolls that were more common for the time, bringing a new idea of womanhood. With each coming decade, Barbie styles came out exhibiting each new rage of the season. During the sixties, the skirts changed lengths with the trends, while the facial structure of Barbie updated to be more youthful. During the seventies, the fashions again changed, with more of an emphasis on hair and bright colors. The eighties brought the rise of glamour and stardom. The nineties placed more of an emphasis on accessories,

by Alyssa Westfield

while the don of the new millennium aspired to represent the huge variety of America’s girls. Now Barbie represents popular celebrities or achieves career goals that any little girl could have. In addition to the change in styles, the ideas behind each Barbie reflect the ideals of the time. The sixties sought to represent the American girl, introducing Barbie in a babysitting outfit, wedding dress, prom dress, or office garb. The seventies Barbie was relaxed and natural, with the accessories and clothing “Flower Power” themed. The eighties Barbie sought glamour and representing the multi-culturalness of America. The eighties saw women taking hold of their lives by establishing careers and taking charge of their fitness. Thus, Barbie did the same. The nineties showed Barbie driving a car, enjoying rock and roll, and rising to any occasion. Modern times show Barbie being able to do or be anything, as has been the motto throughout Barbie’s existence. Today’s girls have no limits, and neither does Barbie.

“Even though we are older, we still write letters to Santa about what we want for Christmas.” -Niesha Ford

“My mom, my brother, and I go and visit our family. My uncle is Jamaican and one of his family’s traditions was to roast a whole pig on Christmas. When he came to America, the tradition carried over as well, and now every Christmas we eat pork. I’m a vegetarian…” - Sarah Hoffman

Jeff LaPlante Gaby Busque

The holidays are a time of family, friends, and traditions. Whatever the cause to celebrate, this time of celebrations is mostly joyous and festive. Though religion can also play a huge part in the holidays, the togetherness of the family brings out the laughter. Everywhere people have different traditions and ways of celebrating. Each of these M-A students have shared some of their stories, but there are still many more.

“My mother is Italian, and so each Thanksgiving she makes ravioli which take 2 days to make. She has no instructions on how to make them, she just does it all by memory.”-Mr. Giambruno “One time, my older cousin was trying to pick up my younger cousin. He accidentally stepped on the bottom of his pajamas as he lifted him up. He wasn’t wearing any underwear, and our entire family watched.” -Alex Gow “All of my family sleeps at my aunt and uncle’s house in Santa Cruz on Christmas Eve- which is like 15 people.” -Spencer Gump

“One Christmas morning, I heard a continuous thump inside the house. It turns out that it was my sister falling down the stairs. She was seventeen.” - Maria Ikonomou


The MArk Staff

Holiday F u n n i e s

“I hang a pickle on my Christmas tree for good luck. Usually the tradition is that one person in the family hangs it from the tree and the first person that finds it wins... but our family doesn’t do that.” -Ruth McGee

“Elf is a movie we always have traditionally watched on the eve of Christmas. Christmas being the birth of Jesus.”-Brittany Badduke







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COVER ART Mikaela Flink PEACOCK Maria Ikonomou BACK COVER Sofia Gutierrez-Dewar

Photo Contributors Prescott Foland JP Nash Naomi Pacalin Brooke Delly Mao Mei Sonkin Nathaniel Skinner

Photo Editors Emily Johnson Keara Haldeman

Staff Anna Argente Olivia Baker Sasha Bobrowicz Helen Burke Gaby Busque Max Goldenstein Russell Gurman Nicky Hug Sarah Katz Caitlin Kenney Tevita Langi Jeff LaPlante Bridget Maga単a Suzie McMurtry Jason Mouchawar Laurin Noguchi Lauren Smith Roger Upton Alyssa Westfield Philip Witham

Resident Artist Maria Ikonomou

Layout Editors Blair Johnson Anna Luke Stephanie Sabatini

Executive Editor Rachel Fox Managing Editor Haley McCabe Art Editor Sofia Gutierrez-Dewar


the mark december 2010  
the mark december 2010  

the mark december 2010