the Stagg Line Home of the Delta Kings
VOL. 54 NO. 5 ON THE WEB
ON THE BLOG
THAT RELIGIOUS GUY discusses friendship in the age of Facebook, Twitter, and Skype. FANATICAL FAITH examines compromises and how they can better a relationship. INSIDE THE ISSUE Four Loko dangers
NEWS IN BRIEF ITT Tech Field Trip There will be an ITT Tech field trip on Feb. 9 for graduating seniors. See Susan Suarez in the career center for more information. SIP Recruitment Students In Prevention is looking for sophomores to become drug education and prevention educators. See Judy Rauzi for more information. Up With Education A Student Financial Aid and College Awareness Workshop will take place on Sunday, Jan. 30 at Pacific. Registration starts at 8 a.m. This is for all grades. FAFSA For state universities, the FAFSA will be due by midnight, March 2. Private universities may have different deadlines, so check with the individual college. Basketball game There will be a JV boys basketball game today at Edison at 5:30 p.m. The Varisty game will follow at 7:15 p.m. Students will need to bring their ID’s.
the Stagg Line NSPA Hall of Fame newspaper Amos Alonzo Stagg High School 1621 Brookside Rd. Stockton, Calif. 95207
Lending a helping hand Volunteers work with special needs students as part of new program Annamarie Rodriguez To many teens, a grandparent is the relative who bakes them cookies or brings presents when they come to town. But to the students in the special education classes, a grandparent plays a very different role. Volunteers known as “grandmas” and “grandpas” lend a helping hand to about four special ed classrooms on campus. These grandparents come regularly to help students with their everyday tasks. “Being here at Stagg has been rewarding to see them grow every day and learn new things,” volunteer Kathy Thompson said. These grandmas and grandpas went through a program operated by Valley Mountain Regional Center. In order to qualify, they must be 55 years of age or older, get a physical, and get assigned to a high school. All of this is a part of the Foster Grandparent Program, which gives the elderly a chance to work with children and adolescents with developmental and mental disabilities. The grandparents work everyday for four hours assisting the teachers and giving students personalized assistance and individualized instruction. This allows students to have one on one help with math, reading, and other work. According to the California Department of Developmental Services brochure, grandparents receive one meal per day on duty, paid holidays, sick and vacation time, an annual health appraisal, and a tax exempt stipend, or a fixed monetary payment. At first the grandparents were nervous about working with the young adults. “I was anxious and ready to start working here with the younger students,” Thompson said. “I had worked at a retirement home before.” But that soon changed. The grandmas and grandpas are assigned two students to guide and look after for the whole year. However, their mentoring isn’t
photo by Michelle Pheav Avelina Abellana (volunteer) helps a student read one of the children’s books during one of their class sessions. Grandparents work every day for four hours one-on-one with the students in math, reading, and other lifelong skills they will need in the future as part of the Foster Grandparents program.
limited to their assigned students. “We help everyone but especially the two we are assigned,” Avelina Abellana, volunteer, said. The grandparents help with everything that the students need in school such as reading, writing legibly, and math. They also take the students out into the community so they can develop life skills and get used to interacting with people. With each student’s Individual Service Plan in mind, the grandparents work to achieve the goals set by VMRC. They go to places like the movies, grocery store, and shopping center. It is because they can do activities such as this that they consider the students very fortunate. “This country, young kids are very lucky
with all the facilities and programs,” said Alberto Acosta. As much as the students learn from
Being here at Stagg has been rewarding to see them grow every day and learn new things.” Kathy Thompson
them, the grandparents gain a lot from the students as well. Thompson finds the way they keep going despite what their disabilities inspirational. “To think about my illness and what’s wrong with me, and they don’t let anything get in their way.”
It is because of this mutually beneficial relationship that the bond between students and the grandparents is especially strong, according to Abellana. “We make them feel that they belong, give them love, and make them feel as though they are normal,” Acosta said. The students are more intelligent than some may give them credit for, according to the grandparents. Students in this special ed class can draw from memory and use the computer. Some are particularly good at memorizing science facts. “What they don’t have in speech, they overcome with art and computer skills,” Acosta said. What these grandparents are really trying to do is prepare students for life after graduation. They will be ready for the next step of life, which for many of these special needs students is a program called Project Life. The program teaches students, typically aged 18 to 21, more life skills, which prepares them for the future and an independent adulthood.
Students have noticed the new wireless modems and monitors, which were part of the initiative to speed up the District’s network, but were unsure of their purpose.
What will they be used for and when will they work?
Teachers and administrative staff will be able to use the modems. This wireless system is intended to be a cheaper How were they paid for? and more efficient alternative to speeding up the netThe funds are part of a work. They will be active near the end of February. grant that the district Are the black monitors in classrooms related? What are they for? applied for. The e-rate The monitors are also part of e-rate funding and will be used in case funding is geared towards of an emergency crisis. In the future they plan to use them for mul- aspects of technology and entertainment. timedia purposes, such as bulletin announcements instead of using the intercom.
Graphic by Michelle Pheav
Opinion the Stagg Line
SUSD restricts combined formal T rust needs to be earned. It is never easy to place one’s confidence in another, let alone a collective group of adolescents. Stockton Unified School District has learned this lesson after having been shaken by bloody, often gang-related conflicts that have taken place on and off campuses. Though acting with concern for our safety, SUSD fails to realize that people are innocent until proven guilty, that the actions of a few should not be an excuse to condemn the whole. Under the shadow of fear, SUSD has unfortunately ruled against having a combined winter formal at Stagg with all the comprehensive high schools, believing that the risk of violence was too great. Still, Stagg will be hosting a dance with the Institute of Business Management and Law, which we consider to be an opportunity to demonstrate that students can overcome interschool rivalries through an evening of socializing and amusement. The concept of a combined winter formal originated from two sources on campus: Principal Bill Parks and Martin Bagnasco. Sadly, the district rejected the idea in light of the recent shootings where several stu-
dents lost their lives. Parks decided to resort to an alternative plan, which SUSD approved, opening the Stagg winter formal to the smaller high schools. He reasoned that these institutions cannot afford holding dances and that there exists no considerable rivalry between Delta Kings and students from any of the smaller high schools. IBML, however, was the only one who accepted the invitation. In reality, a student’s life is already full of interactions with peers from the different high schools. . Athletes from IBML regularly play sports on teams with Delta Kings. Stagg students in turn attend plays or concerts at Chavez. At these different functions, frequent integration has diminished interschool animosity. Besides, it is highly unlikely that students who pay $25 to attend a dance will be willing to ruin their experience by starting a fight. After all the hard work involving saving money for the event, selecting an outfit, and getting a date, causing violence seems unreasonable. As an added safeguard, students with a history of suspensions and bad behavior can be prevented from going to the dance.
Art by Tiffany Pech
SUSD has decided to err on the side of caution because of unfounded apprehension. Yet uncertainty and hesitation are not valid reasons to separate students from each
other, which is essentially what is being done. Put another way, the district refuses to trust the student body, believing we are unable to act civilly or respectfully.
Card promises rewards, produces frustrations
t was advertised as the 2010 must-have item – sleek, affordable, and stylish. Revolutionary and user-friendly. The miracle device in question is none other than the Delta King Card, a product manufactured by The Administration Inc. Touted as an award for exceptional California Standardized Test scores, the customized card was the subject of rumors boasting of its incredible features. As quickly as the halls filled Jeremy Dela Cruz with gossip of the card’s release, however, horror stories began materializing. Disappointed owners reported that the Delta King Card’s machinery was faulty. Apparently its “Off Campus Pass” mode was only good for two uses before it began breaking down. TAI, on the other hand, officially denied such reports, claiming that it was a case of mistaken identity: consumers were not using the Delta King Card but its less extravagant counterpart, the Brown and Gold card, which only allows individuals to leave campus twice. Still, troubles with going off campus marked a slow descent in the gadget’s performance. Fans of past merchandise from TAI hoped to use the “Free Athletic Events” function to bypass the entrance fee to the first home game in the new stadium. They were sadly disappointed since, having come with no instruction manual, the Delta King Card’s features were difficult to use. Being a Stagg product, the card had to have strings attached. This particular tool is only valid for games approved by TAI, which unfortunately does a very poor job in notifying clients which sporting events qualify. With mechanical errors harming the Delta King Card’s reputation, one would think that TAI would have programmed at least one feature to work correctly, right? Well, the “Discounted Yearbook Purchase” option misses the mark on this expectation. Having had insufficient communication with TAI, the yearbook manufacturers are unable to
the Stagg Line
Amos Alonzo Stagg High School 1621 Brookside Rd. Stockton, CA 95207 (209) 933-7445 ext. 8487 The Stagg Line newspaper is a member of the National Scholastic Press Association and the California Newspaper Publishers Association. Awards and recognitions include the following: XX 16 consecutive NSPA All-American rankings XX NSPA Hall of Fame, 2005 XX NSPA National Pacemaker six times XX NSPA First-Place Best of Show five times XX JEA Impact Award, 2002 Stagg Line student journalists have won many awards and scholarships over the years, including California Journalist of the Year, National Story of the Year, and National Photo of the Year.
lower the price of their product, fearing a loss of profit. Instead, they have opted to provide an extension of the December price of $70 until the end of January to apologize to customers. A high-ranking TAI executive claims that such a maneuver is technically a discount. Sadly, this special price of $70, which is oh so affordable to the average impoverished student on free lunch, applies to all customers, not just wielders of the Delta King Card. Therefore, the Delta King Card’s value is further diminished since one need not have it to be blessed with this “discount.” Want a cheap sweater? Evidently, there’s an app for that. But it doesn’t work. The fashionable individuals at Stagg will surely be disappointed as, like with the yearbooks, the “Discount on ASB Stagg Clothing” tool is virtually out of order. The Associated Student Body reports that it will not be marking down any shirts, sweats, or mesh shorts because revenues are important and TAI did not adequately discuss the matter ahead of time. About the only Delta King Card features that don’t totally disappoint are the “Free Dance Admissions,” “Get out of Detention,” and “Get out of Homework” options. Of course, they do have hidden rates and conditions. Like with free athletic events, free dance admission is only granted at pre-approved dances. TAI fails to realize that dances are rare and often cancelled, leaving free dance admission a tool that works but can’t really be used for much. With the other two features, reactions are mixed; some say they work and others say they don’t. There are students who have escaped the clutches of a detention and those who didn’t have to turn in a worksheet for homework. Then again, there are also individuals who were unable to get out of spending time in M1 and those who could not utilize the “Get out of Homework” pass in a certain AP English course… (Not that those students would ever try such a thing!) The most innovative aspect about the Delta King Card is that it was designed as a reward for high performing students with remarkable CST scores. This product was a great idea since it catered to an often marginalized group of individuals at Stagg. Its subsequent execution, however, was a failure. Rather than being a sign of the administrator’s appreciation, the memory of the Delta King Card will forever be mocked as an empty reward, tangled in red tape and disappointment.
Chelsea Collura Editor-in-Chief
Lissette Rodriguez Don Bott
The Stagg Line newspaper is published monthly and distributed free of charge to students and faculty. Our newspaper is a long-standing open forum for free student expression. Student editors and reporters make content and style decisions with the adviser offering guidance. Editorials reflect the view of the entire editorial board and therefore are unsigned. Opinion columns reflect the view of the writer. Readers are welcomed to write letters to the editor. We will make every effort to print any letter as long as it is not libelous. Letters longer than 250 words may be edited. Unsigned letters will be printed only in unusual circumstances, and only when we know who the writer is. Letters may be brought to the newspaper room, A-8, or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Graphic by Michelle Pheav
Claire Scheffer News Editor
Missy Rae Magdalera
Damon Heine Nicole Lawrence
Graphics Editor Photo Editor
Annamarie Rodriguez Reanna Rodriguez
Jeremy Dela Cruz
the Stagg Line
Music offers escape
Music doesn’t always need to be deep and soul-searching
t’s one of those days again, when music is your only friend. A guitar blasts into one of my earbuds as Matt Goods of From First To Last sings in the other. “If you’re with me, we’ll send the critics to Hell with the sound of our voices.” I smile. I feel so safe when I listen to music. So secure. I would die without my iPod. I’m in love with music with meaningful words. Words that touch. They may hurt, but they touch. That’s what counts. I walk down the hallway, trying to dodge security. Looking around with shifting eyes, I bump into my friend. We walk around campus, talking. As I listen to her, I feel the heat of someone’s gaze. Hmm. I wonder why she’s giving me a disgusted look. Was there something wrong with my hair? I hate it when it gets all frizzy... A few girls give me the once-over and then roll their eyes. “I seriously hate emos.” What?! “I know. If they’re so depressed with life, they should just cut their wrists and die.” Another sneers. “Maybe there’d be less idiots in this world.” They all exchange fits of laughter and walk off. Shaking my head, I walk a little faster as Ruth struggles to catch up. We sit down. Another group of kids look at us with intimidated expressions glazed over their faces. In a shaky voice, one of them whispers to another to ask if they could sit with us. The other shakes her head. “No. Emos are intimidating.” I try to shrug it off but the words stick. Intimidating. Depressed. Idiot. Freaky hair. I shouldn’t be surprised. I remember going to a mandatory workshop at school called Point Break. Everyone participated in this one activity called “Cross the line” in which we crossed a line if the statement being told applied to us. One of the volunteers asked for everyone who has ever ridiculed, bullied, has been bullied, or refrained from talking to someone who was in a certain stereotype, such as, dare I say, “emo.” In the end, everyone promised to never “judge someone by how they looked like ever again.” The first few days after a workshop, everyone was caring. But after the weekend, everyone was back to being their stereotyping, ridiculing selves. No one wants to be ridiculed for being who they want to be. Shouldn’t 4.5 billion years of adapting, creating, living teach all humans to be able to accept each other for who they are? The average person usually tells four lies a day or 1460 a year. A total of 87,000 are told when they’re 60. And guess what the most common lie is? “I’m fine.” Consider the girl you’ve known since first grade, unable to be friends just because people would laugh at you because she’s “weird” and you’re a jock. Your friends would simply laugh at the fact. So you refrain from having contact with her. No, that is not “fine.” Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, male, female, prep, emo, hipster, jock, nerd, goth, gangster, scenester, skater, metalhead, indie, outcast, cheerleader, gay, straight, bisexual. None of that should matter. So what if you’re best friends with the nerd even if you’re popular. Maybe that girl with the jetblack hair covering her eyes isn’t as intimidating as you thought she would be. Do anyone’s insides and outsides really match up? Do what you want to. Try not to let their words affect you. Of course, that can be hard. It’s only human nature to crave a sense of belonging. We just can’t help it. Maybe that’s why I listen to music, drowning out the conversations around me that all circulate around ridicule and stereotypes. Maybe I listen to it because my thoughts just sound better in songs I didn’t sing since I’m hopelessly uncreative. It’s the safety I feel when I realize the singer has the same feelings I
Graphic by Seyma Tap
do about society’s deterioration. Headphones on, world off. The only times when I feel absolutely safe are when I’m in my bedroom doing nothing, listening to my iPod, or in water. Like the bottom of a swimming pool, for instance. Weightless. Peaceful. Alone. Just the simple act of being. I go to class and see all of these kids bonding together. Kids I don’t fit in with. I wish I could talk to them without being told to “mind my own business.” Later on, I get home, still thinking. Those moments when I am alone, I think. A lot. “Maybe I should just change myself. Conform, perhaps.” The room is so silent, but my mind is so loud. It drives me crazy because I start to think about all the thoughts I’ve been trying to ignore. I really should change. I wish I could be the pretty girl with curly hair, confident with herself, happy. But I’m not. I am only the shy girl in class. I am obscure. I am lonely. I am apparently “emo.” I never chose to be labeled this way. It’s just how I dress and act. I’m nothing compared to what I wish to be. I will never win in this judgmental world. Those moments when I start to think deep, I sit up straight. A real person wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing right now. Struggling for words like a desperate panhandler. Begging for change. I don’t want to have to contemplate whether to be myself or something I’m not. No one should have to forget who they really are. As Matt Goods best said in the song “The Latest Plague.” “Fake faces everywhere I see. Fake people looking back at me. Sit down, don’t tell me. Don’t tell me where I don’t belong.” Music is powerful. And sometimes, it’s your only resort to stay away from judgment.
is irresistible voice. His bubbly beats. His unforgettable lyrics. His luscious locks that sway across his face. What isn’t there to love about Justin Bieber? Admit it. When you first heard “Baby,” you laughed and said how stupid it was, but then you heard it on the radio a few more times and suddenly it was stuck in your brain forever. You found yourself singing it, unable to stop. This phenomenon, called Bieber Fever, has seemed to plague our youth for the past few months and I am sad to say that I have been having the sniffles. I will be the first to admit that he is no John Lennon, no Elvis Presley, and no Elton John. He is superficial, poppy teeny bopper trash, but you cannot tell me that every person who listened to the Beatles was in love with the music. Sometimes, it is all about the fad. And the fad right now happens to be teens singing about angst. He has joined the ranks of The Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, and Demi Lovato, Disney Channel babies forcing their music down our throats. Yet, they got on Disney’s radar for a reason. For some reason, a talent agent saw them and saw something they could sell. This is the problem some people have with Justin Bieber and his crew of teen singers. They are superficial selling machines that have been produced, following a formula, to make us all fall for them. They have no heart, no soul, not even enough heartache to write a good break-up song about. They sing about things that they don’t really do. Miley Cyrus seemed so superficial and stupid when she sang a song about loving to listen to Jay-Z and then telling a reporter that she doesn’t even like him, but what do I care. Nobody is paying her to be a music historian; they are paying her to make cutesy teenage music that will make all the girls dance. In that, she has succeeded wholeheartedly. You get what you get with Miley Cyrus. She doesn’t try to pretend that she is more than she is. Their music may be stupid
Claire Scheffer and mean nothing to them, but sometimes, that is exactly what the world needs, something to dance to. When I have had a hard day at school, I do not want to go home and listen to a depressing, soul searching Elvis Costello song about the loss of a girl called “Alison.” I just want something that I can put on and not have to think about. Something that makes me forget my troubles and makes me feel good as I think about Justin Bieber just trying to make me smile. So what if Miley Cyrus doesn’t really listen to Jay-Z and Demi Lovato writes songs about hating fake celebrities, while being one. The point of them is not to be substantial. They will not be remembered 20 years from now, but not everything we listen to will be. Sometimes you just need to live in the moment and listen to light and fluffy music that makes you feel good.
Sweating out sickness, one insubstantial musician at a time
ood smile? Check. Fairly attractive? Check. Mediocre vocals? Check. Wait – FLIPPY HAIR? For the love of God, someone get a microphone in their hand, we’ve got our next big star! Okay, so maybe that’s not quite how the selection process works out. But in looking at today’s pop hit makers (like the infamous Justin Bieber) it’s hard to imagine much less than a commercial checklist. When it comes to people like Bieber and Miley Cyrus, I hesitate to use the term “musicians,” a word that would certainly fit if they made real music. Yes, they make music. Yes, it does sell. But virtually anything can be called music, and what they create is a loose, loose definition of the term. Their music lacks passion and real meaning. When Miley was asked about the “Jay-Z song” she mentions in her hit “Party in the U.S.A.,” she admitted to not even listening to Jay-Z. So if the lyrics don’t mean anything, how can the music be taken seriously? “Party…” is a hit for a reason – it’s ridiculously catchy, much like many of Bieber’s songs, but that doesn’t mean much. That isn’t to say that every artist needs to have the depth of Bob Dylan or the life experience of Johnny Cash, but it seems the ones
Mikeala Axton that do have this depth outlast the 15 minutes of fame (here, a moment of silence for the Jonas Brothers’ career). Bieber’s music feels more like a vehicle for fame and money than music for the sake of passion. It lacks substance and is ultimately made to sell, not for the sake of creating, making it hard to label these pop stars as any kind of “artist.” A large part of these musicians’ popularity is their image. It’s difficult to imagine catching a case of “Bieber Fever” if he were unattractive. To that end, it seems his fans come for the sweeping hair and stay despite the mediocre music. Image plays a larger part in their fame than musicianship. But this is music, not modeling. And while some stars can be both, pop stars like Selena Gomez and Bieber have more going for them in the looks department than anything musically. I’d like to say all those artists are entirely untalented and undeserving of their armies of teen and pre-teen girls, but I can’t. Because these kids work hard, shamelessly self-pimping at every turn, and slapping their name on any feasible object for sale. But all (accurate) kidding aside, Bieber and Cyrus aren’t untalented. They’re simply not talented enough for the amount of popularity they’ve garnered. I’m not here to rain on any pre-teen parade or flaunt an elitist taste. By all means, go party in your U.S.A.s; listen to whatever it is you want. But, baby, baby, baby, oh, please don’t confuse hit makers with artists or popularity for talent.
Graphic by Harmony Evangelisti
Living with the blind brings unique insights S
omewhere inside there’s a baby waiting to see the world that her mother has never been able to see. The sparkle in a mother’s eye when first handed her newborn baby will never be apparent. Teaching her daughter to put the same colored socks on her feet or arranging her room into the pink princess theme will never happen. She’ll never even know what her own children will look like, let alone the man she has married. She feels every moment, every ounce of pain, every second of happiness, but she’ll never see it. At birth my mother’s optic nerves were damaged, causing irreversible blindness. This wasn’t detected for three months, when my mother’s parents noticed her staring frequently at the sun. Growing up for my mother was a challenge. She had to learn how to take on the world differently, meeting it through her fingertips. For instance, when learning to walk, she began crawling backwards to avoid bumping her head. She developed techniques that sighted people do in the darkness, hands stretched out in front of her used as a safeguard. My mother also had to learn how to associate sounds
with objects and actions. In order from them. knows I have grown up much for her to learn left from right, She doesn’t wish she could stronger and independent by my grandmother would place a see, she doesn’t complain because experiencing things without her rubber band on her right wrist to being bitter isn’t better it just visual help. differentiate the two directions. makes things worse. She believes Most of us will never know Although I didn’t need a rubGod created her the way she was what it’s like to take on the world ber band to tell left from right, meant to be. Although she misses with our fingertips, the way that growing up for me has also been a out on the seeing side of raising my mother does. And though we challenge. I was never introduced children, she are able to see the blue sky and into the simple things of being a green grass, she’ll always feel girl because my dad has been the it. one who practically raised me. As a result, I missed out on the little things mothers do like shopping, cooking, and doing my hair for picture day. I never got the chance to dress up in girly dresses because my dad did the shopping, so instead I ended up wearing boyish clothes. He would always pick out jeans with lots of pockets and bulky, big, unfitting shoes, until I finally got old enough to pick out my own clothes. My mother’s theory is, “If I could see, we would be broke.” Being raised with my mother has shown me that seeing is not the essential key to life. As I watch my mother go on with her daily life I notice she makes the most of it. She is so careful to not spill the juice as Photo co Harmon she slowly reaches her hands urtesy o f Harmo y and he ny Evan r mom, S Day, 199 up across the table. She walks gelisti ally, on M 9, celebra t o in ther’s g togethe the house as she sees it and r at her preschoo she senses a person in the l. room with no words spoken
Features the Stagg Line
Young females unaware of hazards with popular alcoholic drink
ll her intoxicated cousin could hear outside the bathroom door was her throwing up. Constantly. Then, the booming thud of her head hitting the floor. Blackout. She lay on the floor, unconscious. It was one of the first experiences that senior Valerie Sybounheuang had with the alcohol drink Four Loko more than two years ago. “I couldn’t control what I was doing. It was all bad.” However, Sybounheaung can clearly remember why she had decided to try the drink that day. Because it was cheap and tasted like juice. All was fine when she tried her first 23.5-ounce can of the alcoholic energy drink Four Loko, she said. “I thought it was sweet. It didn’t taste anything like alcohol; it tasted like an energy drink.” She started to drink a second can and began to feel “emotional.” She lost control and perspective of what she was doing. And then she was out. Since then, she says, she has not consumed any alcohol. A senior girl remembers a party she attended more than a year ago where her experience with the Four Loko drink went bitter. There came a point when she stopped drinking from her Four Loko can and she blacked out. She has no memory of what happened that night. She just remembers waking up and vomiting repeatedly. Even after that experience she says that the Four Loko drink is one of the only things being consumed at parties. “It’s cheaper and everybody can afford it,” she said. What used to be an alcohol and caffeine mix drink, Four Loko became known across media outlets as “blackout in a can.” The drink was repeatedly making news headlines for sending college students to the hospital with alcohol poisoning, and for leading an 18 year old girl in Maryland into cardiac arrest and death. Since then, the Food and Drug Administration has banned the lethal concoction from liquor store shelves. Not long after that, Four Loko began to sell again. This time there is no caffeine or energy boosting ingredients such as taurine and guarana. Instead, one 23.5-ounce can of fruity flavored Four Loko contains the alcoholic equivalent of nearly six cans of beer. This hasn’t led another senior girl and her friends to stop consuming the drink at parties they hold almost every weekend. “I drink to have more fun,” the senior girl said. “I really don’t think about what’s in it or not. I just know it gets you re-
ally drunk.” Christiane Highfill, a substance abuse prevention specialist for the San Joaquin County Prevention Services, sees more severity in the trends among some of these young girls. “It’s unfortunate, but the cutsie kind of girl won’t take beer because of the bitter taste so they are given fruity drinks to get what they want,” Highfill said. “They drink more, not knowing that it can have negative effects.” Some of these negative effects include short and long-term effects. Highfill says that the younger a person begins to drink, the more likely they are to become an alcoholic in their lifetime. The chances of their trying hardcore drugs also increases. Ultimately, she says, it comes down to peer pressure. “They’ll drink it to fit into that cool crowd,” she said. “But people don’t realize what they’re drinking.” Some students who have experiences with the Four Loko drink can attest to the peer pressure they feel with this drink. A senior girl, who says she has only tried the Four Loko drink once because of the bitter taste, says she has felt the pressure time after time. “It just tastes like juice,” her friends repeatedly tell her. Dr. Michelle Rowe, who works in the Healthy Start office, says that drinking for anyone under the age of 21 is illegal, but minors who do drink must consider that the effects alcohol will have on them are SENIOR weight-based. The blood alcohol content per hour of an average 120-140 pound female should not surpass a .04 percent level. With one can of Four Loko, a person has consumed enough alcohol to be legally intoxicated at a BAC of .08. However, BAC only applies to people 21 years of age and over, not to high school students. Rowe said, “People under 21 shouldn’t be drinking anyways. Period.” Within this month, a new Four Loko flavor has been released called Four Loko XXX Limited Edition. The drink will continue to be produced with the absence of caffeine, but a new profile will be released every four months. Green apple and blueberry lemonade are among the upcoming flavors. Sybounheuang says that she does not agree with the Four Loko and other company’s attempts on marketing to a younger demographic. “I don’t want to be a hypocrite because I started drinking at a young age,” she said. “But you don’t have to drink to be cool.”
I don’t want to be a hypocrite because I started drinking at a young age. But you don’t have to drink to be cool.” Valerie Sybounheuang
Graphic by Seyma Tap
graphic by Seyma tap
Auto shop teaches mechanics of life Annamarie Rodriguez Loud noises echo through the halls of the K-wing during the auto shop class. Busy bodies make their way around the room, eager to get the hands-on experience they had looked forward to during the first couple weeks of just book work. Auto shop has not been able to take in any cars due to the work taking place on the new parking lot. However, they have been restoring two vehicles and welding miniature toy cars. To the students who have chosen this class as a step towards their career, this lack of access has not completely taken a toll on their learning experience. Despite the construction complications, these students have been able to have access to a few cars. Their work on a ’57 Ranchero and instructor Jim Griffin’s truck, for example, offers the students real life experiences. The students have also made car engines into barbeque grills. The AP Biology class used these barbeques to cook carne asada, chicken, hamburgers, and hot dogs for a fall break party. “This class has a lot of hands-on work,” said senior Santos Rangel. “We actually get to work on cars and not just watch others do it.” With the lack of traditional
tests, Santos said that some students view the class as easy to pass. They “look at it as an easy grade,” he said, without realizing the amount of work they are required to do. But it has been a long road from the beginning of the year, and now the students are finally able to get hands-on work. “This class is like a job,” Griffin said. “Attendance is a must.” Also like a job, this class requires students to be flexible, and for them not to overreact to difficult situations or a stressful setting. “I enjoy this (class) and I have the patience for it,” said senior Oscar Coria. Though the class is male dominated that doesn’t mean that female students are not a part of it. Some female students are using this class to learn about cars and break the stereotype that all males know more about cars than females do. “I take this class so that I can work on my own car and in the future I won’t have to depend on others,” said senior Omarai Villagrana. Some students say they will need this course for the future, making it understandable that they get frustrated when others come into the class with an apathetic attitude.
“Students shouldn’t take this class for just for an easy grade,” Rangel said. Some students consider the auto shop class to be like a job and that it requires the same amount of hard work. “I enjoy this class and I have the patience for it,” Coria said. The class also gives students relief from stress. “When I’m working on cars, all the problems and bad things go away,” he said. Rangel, who has a passion for auto repair, brought his ‘57 Ranchero for the class to work on. “I literally dug it out of the mud,” he said. “It started from nothing.” He brought this car two years ago and hopes that the engine can start in about a month. Rangel is optimistic about his car and hopes to be able to take it to his senior prom. “This class gives you more opportunity for life,” Rangel said. With all the work that has been done, students say that Griffin has provided them with the skills to actually make car parts, although he orders the parts that are more difficult to make. Griffin says he has high expectations for his auto shop classes. When the cars are done, he wants to enter them into car shows. He would also like to have a car show on campus, when the parking lot behind the K-wing is done.
photo by Erica Trevino Seniors Carlos Luna, Nicholas Vaccarezza, and Aureliano Lopez Mendez work together to turn on a blowtorch in order to bend and manipulate certain metals into car parts.
the Stagg Line
Bicyclists bustle to school despite weather conditions Missy Rae Magdalera It is 47 degrees outside. Cold air cuts the skin. Dense fog makes it difficult to see. Some people aren’t even awake yet. But the bicyclists who want to make it to first period on time are. They ride through winter weather, enduring both wind and rain. And whether or not it’s sunny, they’re in their seats, ready to go. Tardies are typical during first period, but senior Pongze Lor was always punctual when he rode his bike. “I would get here faster than the bus,” despite the five mile distance from his home. “I actually
got here kind of early.” But since his bike was stolen last year, he now relies on taking the transit, something that he said is “a pain.” Lor admits that despite missing the bus sometimes, he doesn’t ask his siblings for a ride; he has even jogged to school and “beat (the bus).” Junior Julian Nevarez, who also lives a long distance away, likes that bicycling “wakes (him) up so (he’s) not tired at school.” But bicycling hasn’t always been easy for him. “When I’m all wet, it’s no fun.” Nevarez and Lor especially dislike windy days when the weather is at its worse for bicyclists.
“Why would you want to ride your bike with the cold wind blowing in your face?” Lor said. Both agree that getting a ride from parents is a privilege. But bicycling has given students like Lor and senior Ashlie Hatler a sense of freedom. “I don’t rely on my parents to go anywhere,” Hatler said. “The upside is you can leave your house anytime you want,” Lor said. And regardless of distance, weather or any other obstacles, these bicyclists manage to make it to school. As Hatler put it, “it’s just the way we get transportation.” (Clockwise from top) Despite the cold mornings, Freshman Brian Reichenbach rides his bike to school for both fun and exercise. Though this may be a trend for some, Freshman Anthony Navarez and his older brother Julian, senior, travel in fog and rain to attend school. For most cyclists, it’s both a burden and a passion. photos by Tiffany Pech
Colleagues to couple Teachers meet and marry under unusual circumstances Faith Harris As a lovely teacher sat in her classroom during her lunch hour, her knight in shining armor broke down the door, and scanned the room for a fire breathing dragon… Okay, so maybe that’s not exactly what happened, but this is what did: English teacher Erica Donato and history teacher Kyle Dei Rossi married a year after he proposed on a beach in Monterey in 2005. Since then, they say they have been happier and more inseparable than ever. She is now known as Erica Dei Rossi, a respected English teacher. It all started with the students. “Once our students found out we were single and the same age, they started talking to us about us to each other,” Erica said. After a while, Kyle went to talk to her himself. He originally went in during lunch hour to ask her about a student they shared named Michael. However, Erica claimed that they talked for more than an hour. After a few more trips to her classroom, Kyle finally made his move. “The third time, I asked her if she’d go out to dinner with me,” Kyle said. With her eyes tearing up, Erica said, “I remember going home after our first date and I said to myself, ‘That’s the man I’m going to marry.’” To which Kyle replied, “I thought the same thing.” Well past the honeymoon
stage, students ask what they like about each other, and how they get along. Both of them agree that they were just completely perfect for each other. “A lot of people ask if we get tired of each other, but we don’t,” Erica said. Kyle agrees and would like to spend even more time with her. “We’re teaching most of the day, so we don’t see each other that much,” he said. One thing they say keeps them happy is the amount of understanding they have for one another. They said they can empathize for each other and, by having the same job, they know what kind of struggles and stress it can bring. They can relate to each other in a way that most couples can’t. Also part of their happiness is a great deal of compromise. One example would be that they only have one TV, and Erica isn’t the biggest sports fan. “I grade work while he watches sports,” she said. The couple brightens up the halls of Stagg with their genuine affection and understanding of one another. Although they came together under unusual circumstances they just think it was meant to be. “Birds didn’t chirp, hearts didn’t appear,” Erica said, smiling. Neither of them predicted being so happy in the future. In fact, Erica said she used to be frightened by the idea of marriage. “I guess you just have to find the right person,” she said. “He’s my best friend.
photo by Erica Trevino The Dei Rossi couple began dating in March 2004 and married in July 2006. Almost every day, Kyle and Erica make time to spend lunch together.
What were teachers before they were teachers? school district for San Jose where he tried attending another school for engineering. He ran out of At some point in life, especially money after four months. in high school, everyone has been “Idealistically you get whatever asked, “What do you want to be you want in life,” Ton said. when you grow up?” Although Health Careers AcadFor some it’s a loaded question, emy teacher Sabrina Edmond and as they answer it they heavily hadn’t had as clear of a vision spill out their entire life plan. of her future as Ton had in high For others it can be answered school, she had ideas. with a simple phrase from “a During high school Edmond lawyer” to “a fireman” to “I don’t also went to college, Flavio’s know.” Beauty College. She thought she Teachers were once this age, wanted to be in cosmetology. She and not all of them planned on thought she wanted to open up becoming teachers. When he was her own salon. But she “couldn’t in high school, geometry teacher see myself standing on my feet all Tuan Ton’s answer to “What do day doing hair as a career; that just you want to be when you grow wasn’t for me.” up?” had alBut like ways been “an Ton, Edmond engineer.” has had to He attended make her life San Joaquin decisions acDelta College cording to the and transferred financial posto University sibilities. Her of the Pacific to plans of being major in engian attorney neering. Unforwere put aside tunately, after by her grandonly the first mother when semester he had her education to drop out. in the admin“I went broke, istration of juman,” he said. venile justice Ton eventuin Los Angeles ally got an offer got too expenfrom Stockton sive. Edmond’s Unified as a bigrandma opMATH TEACHER lingual aide, an posed her offer he “had becoming of to take” due to the financial aid “the world’s greatest liar,” but that that was coming along with it. But didn’t hold her back from trying he still had it fixed in his mind once more, this time in Oklahoma that becoming an engineer was City. the path he was meant to be on. In the end Ton and Edmond’s He went back to UOP and again life didn’t unfold according to “went broke” after about three plan. Edmond returned to Stockmonths. ton and attended Delta for anHe found himself in the arms other two years and switched her of Stockton Unified once again, major to something her grandma but this time at Franklin High would pay for, business adminisSchool. “Sometimes life doesn’t tration. turn out the way you plan, but Ton has received his Master’s there are alternatives.” in Business Administration from It wasn’t until his third attempt Stanislaus State University. From to become an engineer when he time to time he considers going finally decided that perhaps it for his PhD. “You just have to play wasn’t meant to be. He left the the hand you’re dealt…” Kristin Acevedo
Idealistically, you get whatever you want in life. But sometimes, life doesn’t turn out the way you plan, but there is alternatives.” Tuan Ton
graphic by Tiffany Pech and Kristin Acevedo
Entertainment the Stagg Line
Mocking villains makes for mediocre movie
I-dosing. The new craze in getting high, digitally. No, really. All you have to do to get high is spend a couple of bucks, download an mp3, lie down in a dark room, and listen through headphones. Then BAM! You’re officially under the influence. If only it were that simple. Better yet, if only it actually worked, because just like so many other gimmicks made to get money, I-dosing is a fraud.
How It Works
The way I-dosing works goes like this. When you put the earphones on and press play, two different low-frequency tones will be played into each ear. The two tones have a sort of pulse, but the two tones are pulsing into each ear at different times. Eventually the two pulses will be changed into one beat by your brain. The two separate beats are called “Binaural Beats”. Binaural beats were discovered in 1839 by a physicist named Heinrich Wilhelm Dove. Although discovered over 100 years ago, those beats were pretty much disregarded until the late 20th century. But they became popular in the science world because they can apparently induce various mental states such as meditation and creativity. And now they are being projected as a way to get high. But, no, they really don’t work.
Top Five Tunes:
All of the different I-doses have, for the most part, a sort of white noise sound. Some sound more like static while others are similar to microphone-feedback. But a common theme between the different I-doses is the repetitiveness. Every song is four or five or 10 minutes of the same continuous droning. Each song has its own theme, but it’s all just the same ceaseless ringing. Dumb. Well, at least that was the first thought that came into my head when I looked at the list of most popular I-doses on the website and took the time to listen to some. I decided to try and have more of an open mind and decided to read about at least the “Marijuana” song. Surprise, surprise! What do I get from trying to be open-minded? More dumb! The description of the song was incredibly cheesy and filled with overthe-top words like “epic.”
1. Marijuana 4. Trip
So what would possess people to spend $4, $5, or even $200 to buy these? (And yes, there are two I-doses that cost $200, the names of which are “Hand of God” and the equally ridiculous and “epic” sounding “Gate of Hades.”) I suppose that would be like asking why people spend $5.25 on a pack of cigarettes. I-dosing has been called a gateway drug, which means that it can lead to the use of real drugs. In all truth, this is only a gateway drug for those who have no wits about them at all. Just like any other drug, it’s a complete waste of precious time and money.
graphic by Michelle Pheav
Claire Scheffer There is one fatal flaw in all superheroes. One weakness that makes the bad guys win when they shouldn’t. This weakness is their goodness. All a villain must do to get the superhero to leave them unscathed is threaten a human life. But, what happens when the superhero is bad? When the villain isn’t so sure the superhero is a hero at all? The movie “The Green Hornet” tries to answer this question. The title character (Seth Rogen) and his faithful partner Kato (Jay Chou) are good guys pretending to be bad guys to dupe the real villains. Although the performance by Rogen is unimaginative, and the villain (Christoph Waltz) becomes unbearable to watch, the awesome fight sequences, cool special effects, and Kato’s badass character ultimately make this movie enjoyable. The movie starts off with a crazy party. Britt Reid (Rogen) is shrinking away from his responsibilities and trashing a hotel room. The hotel room becomes a metaphor for his life as we see that he has no job, no ambition, and no place of his own. His father (Tom Wilkinson) wishes that he were more like him, writing editorials to stop crime in Los Angeles. When his father suddenly dies and leaves Reid his newspaper empire he realizes, with the help of Kato (his father’s longtime employee) that he has been wasting his life. This revelation causes him to don a mask and become a superhero fighting off the crime his father wrote against. But was his father’s death really an accident? And how long can the Green Hornet cause trouble for the villain before he fights back? Even though it sounds like it, this is not a superhero movie. It’s a comedy, starring Rogen, playing the same character he always plays, a bumbling moron, who by the end finally realizes that he needs to become an adult and be responsible. The premise of the movie is such a good one, a superhero pretending to be a villain in order to trick the bad guys, but Rogen falls short. He blathers on through car chases and distracts the audience with random punch lines when we should be focused on the action. But it isn’t really his fault; he is not an action star. He is made for comedy. But Rogen is an Oscar winner compared to Waltz, who plays an annoying villain so obsessed with trying to seem threatening that he comes off as childish and weak. When the movie begins, Waltz uses sarcasm to destroy an
associate and then blows up his business in a fiery explosion. As the movie progresses, he uses the same shtick over and over and it just gets boring. He is so wrapped up in trying to be a caricature of a villain and trying to be funny that he comes off as lame and unfunny. The only bright light among the acting performances is Kato. He is the real hero and star of the movie. He is a fighting machine who matches Rogen’s idiotic humor with quick wit and hilarity. He is able to slow down time, sees every weapon the thugs have, and uses his karate skills to defeat them. He is the one I want saving me when I am being mugged, not the Green Hornet who cries for Kato to save him and then tries to act as if he is the hero. The fight sequences that feature Kato and the Green Hornet really make this movie something to see. The action is slowed and the audience is able to move along with Kato as he beats up the bad guys. We are able to see
Good: Special effects, fight scenes. Bad: Overbearing performances from Rogen and Waltz. Rating: 3/5 inside his mind. And the explosions surrounding each fight are so outrageous, they are hilarious. The explosions that fill the movie, from a tricked out car explosion to a restaurant fight scene, are large but not overpowering. They give just enough energy to the movie to make it enjoyable. So while Rogen and Waltz’s performances become tired and overbearing, the character of Kato, the mind-blowing special effects, and cool fight scenes save this movie from being unbearable. But, as with the Green Hornet, you must take the bad in order to get the good.
‘Script’ gives deep range of emotion, sounds
Good: The wide range of blended instruments give album a unique sound to its genre. Bad: Songs lack distinguishing traits. Rating: 4/5
Musical artists too often have to choose between image and substance. Fans argue over what determines if an artist is artificial or if their passion for music is real. The Script, being the unique group that they are, chose to take on a completely different idea that still manages to stay true to their image and provide substance. In the case of their new album, “Science and Faith,” there is no reason to argue. It blends science and religion together wonderfully, but not in the way most would think. A title such as “Science and Faith” can lead people to think that this album is based around religion and biology. But this isn’t the case. The entire album is based on the life and experiences of two people, a guy named Science and a girl named Faith. Every song on the album was co-written by singer Daniel O’Donoghue and guitarist Mark Sheehan, creating a personal feel that seems to have come out of their diary entries. Songs about love and relationships fill the album with undertones of real world problems. Their lyrics have a brighter outlook on life than their previous album, which was written while the band was experiencing death.
The Script’s influences come from groups like U2 and The Police, which is apparent but not so overpowering that they lose their identity. Lead singer O’Donoghue’s vocal technique of making his voice sound like a violin was influenced by Stevie Wonder. This technique makes for beautiful vocals that wouldn’t sound right any other way. He also incorporates a hip-hop feel to the way he sings, which creates a twist to the alternative/pop rock genre. The lead single off of the album is “For the First Time,” which has peaked at No. 4 on the UK music charts and No. 1 in Ireland. This song is emotional, like the rest on the album, and discusses a couple’s relationship and all the struggles they face, yet doesn’t make us feel pity for them like similar songs can. Their lives are full of hardships and they realize they don’t know who the other is. After they acknowledge this flaw, they reconnect. The lyrics convey a message of perseverance: “We’re going to make it work when it hurts/ When you pick yourself up you get kicked to the dirt/ Trying to make it work when man these times are hard.” The Script continues to bring the emotion and longing in the songs, “Nothing” and “If You Ever Come Back.” In both, O’Donoghue sings about a
relationship in which a girl has left him and all he wants is to get her back. Lyrics in “Nothing,” such as “So I dialed her number and confessed to her/ I’m still in love but all I heard was nothing,” could make him seem pathetic for loving a girl who clearly wants “Nothing” to do with him. Instead, they inspire sympathy. “If You Ever Come Back” has a theme similar to “Nothing.” O’Donoghue has been left by a girl, but is still holding out for her to come back to him. This motif feels a little repetitive but not to the point where it’s hard to enjoy. It doesn’t greatly affect the album because writing about love is just who The Script is; anything else would feel forced. Yet the unforgettable lyrics are not the only thing that makes this band appealing. The addition of violins to the songs creates a depth that mirrors the raw emotions present in the lyrics. They come at just the right time, when the song is getting its most intense adding to the entire effect causing all who listen to feel the way the couple feels, lost in their own relationship. “Science and Faith” is an album filled with many songs worth listening to 100 times over. It follows a great debut and gives listeners something amazing.
Sports the Stagg Line
TAKE YOUR POSITIONS Stopper “I clear the balls to make sure that nobody gets into the back. I’m like the first sweeper. I work players by putting pressure on them.” Darlina Serrano SENIOR
Injury sends star basketball player to the sidelines Chelsea Collura
Lineman “I stop the plays, sack the quarterback, hit anybody with the ball except a teammate, and block.” Benjamin Eth JUNIOR
Catcher “I’m the team’s eyes, I check all aspects of the game. I control the tempo of the pitcher, make sure he hits his spots. The catcher is a cement wall behind the plate, no balls can get past you. You must block, or catch every pitch thrown at you.” Jose Sosa SENIOR
Libero “I just pass. Usually the first balls are mine. I have to keep my energy up and be ready for any ball. I make sure that no balls drop around me. I stay on my toes and get ready for any ball.” Michelle Phradichith Point Guard JUNIOR “I run the plays, I’m like the quarterback on the court.” Francisco Ortigoza SENIOR graphic by Mia Torres and Taylor Hurles information compiled by Reanna Rodriguez
She went up to spike the ball during warm-ups before the game against Tokay not knowing it would be her last hit of the season. The best rookie on the volleyball team fell to the ground only a month before the next season would begin. Her face was as red as the blood that filled the entirety of her kneecap. That moment also prematurely ended her basketball career, forcing her onto the bench and become part of the coaching staff. Senior Channa Prak has not been able to suit up for this year’s basketball season. Instead, she’s been on the sidelines cheering for her team. The spike that was made during volleyball season causing the tear of her anterior cruciate ligament was devastating not only to her but also to the basketball team. Like the ligament that connects the femur to the tibia in the center of the knee, Prak was the ACL to the girls basketball team. Some teammates felt like she was the center of the team. Prak started playing streetball around the age of 6. Since then, she has gained a large amount of skill. She has learned techniques that made it easier for her to play on a real court with a real team. “She picks up the team and the team plays well with her out there (on the court),” girls basketball coach Hung Nyguen said. Even from the sidelines Prak proves that “she loves the game.” While she sits on the sidelines during the game, off the court during practices she’s part of the reason why the girls dont lose faith. Even to the players who don’t know her well, she’s still able to pump them up with encouraging words and a silly face. Though she can’t be a part of the game, she plays through her teammates. When the girls aren’t performing to their full potential, that silly face transforms, telling a different story. “I tell them if they’re doing bad but to keep pushing themselves,” Prak said. “We’re not good, but we have to settle for what we got.” Though she tries to hide her pain
photo by Harmony Evangelisti Senior Channa Prak (right) , although not playing with the team due to an injury, still participates in the team’s practices and games from sidelines.
beneath influential words, her teammates know that she wishes she could be on the court. “I know she has a lot of potential,” junior Samantha Wang said. “If she had gotten to play we would have been better.” Other teammates agree their season could have been better if Prak had been on the team. Prak would be a returning fourth year varsity starter and most likely the leading scorer. Unfortunately, all she can wait for is the surgery on her knee. Her surgery won’t take place until well after the season is over. “It hurts to know that you can’t play your senior year but there’s not much that you can do about it – you just have to live with it,” Prak said. As she sits on the sidelines and watches the clock tick down to the final buzzer, she has come to accept that her high school basketball career has come to an end. She does not plan on playing any more sports after her surgery. Prak looks back at the countless points she has scored over the span of three years and has accepted that although she couldn’t score any points this year, she knows her presence is helping out her team.
Girl wrestlers struggle beyond the mat Xe Xiong It’s the final round with 50 seconds left in the match and everyone on the home side is screaming for the wrestler. The rest of the varsity players are on their feet screaming out words of encouragement and moves for her to do. Despite all the noise from the crowd, junior SkyDawn Wilson Leggett said she can’t really hear anything because of the head gear she wears and even if she does, she “usually (blocks) it out and (stays) focused.” Last week Wilson was the first to catch the spectators’ attention at a wrestling match against West High School here on campus. During the final round, her opponent had her locked in a position from which it was hard to escape, but through her tactics, she was able to overturn her opponent with 20 seconds left. She scored 2 points, totaling 12 overall, which is more than any varsity player had received so far during the match against West. West is one of the better schools in wrestling. Wilson is the only female on varsity in the boys lightest weight class of 103. Being a mere 5 feet tall makes other wrestlers underestimate her, but she doesn’t let that bring her down. Describing a previous match, Wilson said, “I had him down and pinned … he started to cry (and) he wouldn’t shake my hand” after the match. Now she goes into her matches with more confidence, but when she was first moved up to varsity, she “didn’t want to do it” and yet she “didn’t want to back down.” Despite her fear to defend a position, Wilson said, “I was happy.” Junior Mary Stoker is on the JV team and serves as co-captain along with senior Andrea Avila. She has her own experience with male wrestlers.
Wrestling against a male scared her at first, but she said, “He might have looked like he had muscles” but when she got on his back, he looked like a “fish.” Wrestling may look hard and practice may be hard but Wilson said “it’s easier when you stick it out.” Senior Taylor McCann is a first year wrestler who stuck it out. Despite coming in as a senior, McCann still works hard. She said she really wished she had joined as a freshman but “coming in as a senior makes (her) try harder because it’s (her) absolutely last shot.” Over the years, people told her things such as, “I don’t think you’re tough enough” but now that she’s on the team, the comments have become “Good job … I want to see that part of you.” McCann’s family has not softened up; they are still not comfortable with the idea of her wrestling. When it comes to losing weight, McCann would skip meals, which made her family suspicious so she had to “lie to them” and go to a teammate’s house to spend the night. The rules in wrestling are very strict. Wrestlers only have one chance to make weight. If wrestlers do not make weight, they are disqualified. Wrestlers are not allowed time to lose the excess weight but they are able to challenge the scale. Since wrestling is a sport where both boys and girls compete with each other, Wilson, who usually weighs 98 pounds, had to gain weight to qualify in the match. The lightest weight class for a mix competition is 103 but for an all girls tournament, the lightest class is 98. Wilson weighed 102 last week, but at a tournament this past weekend, she dropped back to 98. Although there are challenges to overcome, Stoker said you have to “do what you have to to win.” She also said, with more confidence, “I have the moves, I know what I’m doing.”
photo by Erica Trevino SkyDawn Wilson Leggett, junior, wrestles with her male opponent from West High School during a match. She is in the 103 pound weight class.
News the Stagg Line
Student disrespect is the greatest cause of the high number of referrals over the last few years
about 50 referrals,” Sanderson said. “Some of those were multiple ones for the same student.” Referrals can be sent to M-1 in the traditional write up and electronically through e-mail. M-1 had a recorded 44 referrals received last week alone. Ninety students were sent without referrals, such as campus security monitors bringing students in. Students have also felt the negative aspects of receiving a referral. “I’ve gotten two or more referrals ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL for talking in class, some in the same class,” said John Lee, sophomore. “Me and the teacher don’t get along.” Consequences for students can differ depending on the cause for being written up. “I got sent to ASC for a period,” Lee said. Disciplinary actions can result in a period in ASC or a day of in school suspension. Students who commit a more serious offense will be suspended from school. A paper or e-mail can get a disruptive student out of class, but it can’t change the fact that discipline can get in the way of something more positive and productive. “The biggest thing I would rather be doing is going to classrooms and talking about positive things,” Thom said. “I’m here to help kids graduate, if a kid misses three to five days, then they’re missing out on being prepared for that class.”
The biggest thing I would rather be doing is going to classrooms and talking about positive things.”
As Assistant Principal Joshaua Thom sits at his desk, the atmosphere of the room is tense, as he deals with yet another disciplinary issue. Referrals may seem a minor classroom distraction, but they can take a valuable amount of time out of a student and administrator’s day. Administrators are required to deal with disciplinary issues before more positive matters. “If a student gets into a fight, we have to call the police,” Thom said, describing the frustrations of the referral process. “They may arrest the student, and then we have to tell the parents what happened,” he said. “In that amount of time, I could be helping two students who are having a problem in their class.” According to Thom, three to five students show up daily at his office without a referral. Sometimes the number of students without paperwork could go up from three to five students to 10-15 in administrator offices per day. “A lot of things compete with discipline,” Thom said. “When someone is in trouble, I can’t just put it off.” Defiance and disruption of class remain popular causes for referrals, and it is teachers who have the final say on what behavior is defiant or disruptive. “The referral system is teacher driven,” assistant principal Carol Sanderson said. “Each teacher has their own expectations in class.” The time of the week and year can also be factors in the referral numbers. “During the week before Christmas vacation we received
Stagg surveyed parents, students, and staff as part of a report for the upcoming Western Association of Schools and Colleges visit.
WHEN I ASK MY TEACHERS ABOUT THINGS I DO NOT UNDERSTAND, THEY HELP EXPLAIN THEM TO ME.
COUNSELORS HAVE MEETINGS WITH STUDENTS ABOUT GRADES, GRADUATION, AND PLANS AFTER HIGH SCHOOL.
Admin enforces stricter ‘no-go’ policy
I FEEL (MY CHILD IS) SAFE ON STAGG’S CAMPUS.
71.03% 60.98% 52.81%
48.38% 21.47% AGREE
IT IS EASY TO COMMUNICATE WITH SCHOOL STAFF WHEN I HAVE A QUESTION.
TEACHERS ARE WILLING TO TALK TO ME ABOUT MY GRADES AND OFFER WAYS TO IMPROVE THEM.
Graphic by Seyma Tap
THE SCHOOL CELEBRATES STUDENTS FOR THEIR SUCCESSES WITH REWARDS, CAMPUS WIDE ACTIVITIES, AND/OR RECOGNITIONS.
Smaller schools invited to combined winter formal Nicole Lawrence Tomorrow the first multischool dance will kick off on campus at 7 p.m. “I think this is a great opportunity to show the district that we can have multiple schools together without chaos,” said senior Meilani Quilenderino. The winter formal is going to be combined with the Institute of Business, Management, and Law. “They were really excited when we invited them,” said senior Nyeema Carter. “They don’t have big dances, so we figured we would ask the smaller schools to come because they don’t get that experience.” The dance was originally planned to be with Franklin High School, but the district turned it down. That is what brought the idea to invite the four smaller schools: IBML, Stockton Early College Academy, Merlo, and Weber. These schools do not always have big dances, because they are small schools. The Associated Student Body, which was
notified that they could no longer have the dance with Franklin, was told two weeks before the date of the dance. The formal was originally planned to be in Lodi, but now that there was a downfall, the location has changed to Stagg’s own gym. “I feel like I have something on my shoulders,” said senior Kasandra Hinojosa, “I always think to myself, are we going to have enough food and drinks? Is the music going to be okay? Are the decorations going to be nice?” But Hinojosa isn’t the only one who feels a big load on their shoulders. “Since there was that last minute change, we don’t get to order our decorations,” said Quilenderino, “so when we decorate we have to start from scratch, which requires way more creativity.” Working together was the key in being able to bring all the elements together to make this dance enjoyable. Some members have taken this experience and learned from it for next year. “I don’t think we really had
Art by Tiffany Pech
It’s a cold day and many students are pulled out of their classes. They are then told to proceed to the theater where they file in and sit down. Once there, they wait and wonder what is going to happen. A few moments later, they receive a lecture. Students with high book bills and/or disciplinary issues are now being put onto a more enforced “no-go” list. The administration is trying to get students to return their overdue books and pay for those that they have lost. “It’s been around for a while, but lately we’re really trying to enforce it,” said Carol Sanderson, assistant principal. Students on the “no-go” list are unable to attend social events and sporting events. On Tuesday Sanderson and Martin Bagnasco, activities director, decided they would allow students with overdue book bills to attend winter formal. They made this decision based on the fact that the people on the list for book bills were notified at the last minute. Students on the “nogo” list for disciplinary reasons aren’t allowed to attend. “If the student takes care of business then they can get off of the list,” Sanderson said. By taking care of business, Sanderson means that students have turned in all overdue books or paid their book bills. For those students who were suspended or had bad behavior, they are expected to stay out of anymore trouble and serve any past detentions they failed to attend. Jose Jauregui, senior, was SENIOR among the group of students that were pulled out of class for a meeting with administration. When asked how he felt about being on the “no-go” list, Jauregui responded in awe. He said that he had no idea that he was on the list and felt that he didn’t deserve it. “I don’t have any overdue books. I only owe $5 for an I.D.,” Jauregui said. He said that he finds it “ridiculous” that temporary I.D.’s are no longer available and that something so small is putting him on the list. “I get straight A’s. I was doing the responsible thing and now I’m on the no-go list.” “I don’t even know what that is,” said Joseph Rowbal, sophomore, when asked about the “no-go” list. He was suspended earlier on in the year and said that the restrictions related to being on the list, don’t affect him. “We really need those textbooks,” Sanderson said. Administrators are hoping that the list will get lost textbooks returned or paid for. With the budget deficits, Sanderson is hoping that a stricter “no-go” list will give students that push to pay off their bills. Students have until mid-February to pay off their bills and any seniors who have not paid their bills will not be allowed to walk at graduation.
I get straight A’s. I was doing the responsible thing and now I am on the ‘nogo’ list.” Jose Jauregui
photo by Erica Trevino Junior Justine Cooper gets information about guest passes while buying herself a ticket for winter formal.
any struggles,” said senior Jasmine Pitts, “I think I would try to contact the district beforehand (next time).” This could possibly lead to more multi-school dances, if it is a success, and the idea has the potential to rub off on other schools as well.
IBML might be sharing Stagg’s campus next year, so this will be an opportunity for them to get a taste of what this campus is about. “If they’re going to be here next year, I want them to feel welcome,” said Principal Bill Parks.