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VOL. 54 NO. 8 ON THE WEB
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Teens seek contraceptives, some without parents’ knowledge have sought contraceptives in the past few years, Healthy Start Coordinator Judy Rauzi said it seems that now more freshmen and sophomores are coming in. When asked if he had names of students who knew of “Which is really scary,” she said. “They’re not rationally the Healthy Start Clinic on campus, social studies teacher thinking. It used to be juniors and seniors.” Jim Marrone directed the question to his class. “Raise your Despite Rauzi’s fears according to a 2011 Centers for hand if you know there’s a Healthy Start Clinic on cam- Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for pus.” Some hands went up. Then came the next question. Health Statistics study, teen pregnancy and birth rates since “Raise your hand if you know they have contraceptives.” the 1990s have declined by about one-third to a record low Fewer hands rose. of a 6 percent teen birth rate nationwide. The majority of Marrone’s class reflects the reality of how All of the services at Healthy Start are confidential. At unaware students can be. However, out of the students who the beginning of the year each student receives a Stagg Healthy Start Center Family/School Support Services form. This form is what parents fill out allowing their student to use the services at Healthy Start. Although most parents agree to let their students use the services “some parents will actually write on the consent, no birth control,” Rauzi said. For students seeking the services, most of the time it’s entirely paid for. Any service fees are based on the students’ personal income. According to Paige Cutburth, a registered nurse who works in Healthy Start, if a student seeks these services it is the clinic’s job to provide the right information. “There’s a lot of misinformation out there. My job is to give the information so you make the correct decision,” Cutburth said. Healthy Start does not lecture students who come in, they simply alert them of the consequences that can result from being sexually active. “Consequences. Are you going to be prepared if your photo by Erica Trevino condom breaks?” Rauzi Felicia Wimmer, senior, talks with her mother Shelina Trujillo about receiving contraceptives said. from Healthy Start. Wimmer and her mother have a very open relationship, and are comfort Felicia Wimmer, senior, able talking about the subject. is one student who has alTaylor Hurles
ON THE BLOG
GOOGLE ME GABBY: Discusses how the lack of hard work and determination from the Los Angeles Lakers team lead to their 4-0 sweep by the Dallas Mavericks. INSIDE THE ISSUE Senior Edition
NEWS IN BRIEF Last day of school The last day of school for non-seniors will be May 26. School will resume in late July. Sports banquet The spring sports banquet will be held on Monday May 16 at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria. Senior Information Senior graduation contract and book bill contract is due by Thursday May 19. Graduation rehearsal will start at 8 a.m. followed by senior picnic. Graduation will be held at the Stockton Arena at 6 p.m. on May 24. A Midsummer Night’s Dream The Drama Club will being putting on the Shakespeare play May 13 and May 14 at 7 p.m. Admission is free. Girls soccer playoffs The girls soccer team beat Edison 1-0, becoming the first team in SUSD to make it to the playoffs. On May 10 they played Beyer High School and lost 1-1, with 4-3 in double overtime penalty kicks.
the Stagg Line NSPA Hall of Fame newspaper Amos Alonzo Stagg High School 1621 Brookside Rd. Stockton, Calif. 95207
ready taken responsibility for her actions. Although originally she got birth control for her menstrual cycle, now she uses it for its intended purpose. “I think that we’re really fortunate to have birth control and things like this on the Stagg campus,” Wimmer said. When she got the contraceptives, she and her mother were open about the topic. Shelina Trujillo, Wimmer’s mother, said that Healthy Start providing these services to students is beneficial. “A lot of kids can’t go to their parents.” She also explained that early in Wimmer’s childhood she would talk to her about sex. Wimmer was introduced to the subject so Trujillo could make it comfortable for them to discuss. However, even if Wimmer did not tell Trujillo she was going to get contraceptives, she wouldn’t have been disappointed. “I don’t know that I would be hurt; I would just be glad she was doing something about it,” Trujillo said. She considers Healthy Start’s providing these services to be a valuable asset. “The school isn’t saying, Have sex, here it is if you need it. They’re just making it an available resource for kids.” Sierra Soto, sophomore, is another student who received birth control from Healthy Start. At first she did not tell her mother she was going to get contraceptives. “My mom found out,” Soto said. “She was kind of upset that I couldn’t tell her what I needed.” Despite Soto not telling her mother, both were glad that she was taking the proper precautions, explained Soto. Brandon Tindle, junior, is another student who has used contraceptives from Healthy Start, and thinks providing these services are beneficial to students. “It’s going to happen, either way; they’re going to get birth control from like Walgreens or something,” Tindle said. “At least they’re thinking.” Despite the benefits of Healthy Start providing contraceptives, a junior student, who wishes to remain anonymous, says it’s best to get contraceptives from one’s own doctor. When she first got birth control from Healthy Start she says she didn’t think it was right. “Because it’s not my doctor, it’s kind of like I’m sneaking.” Steve Martin, a senior, who raised his hand for both of Marrone’s questions, has never used the services at Healthy Start but expresses a positive opinion about them. “It’s there for your protection, and it’s really your choice, and your responsibility,” he said. Healthy Start is provided for students to take responsibility for their actions. “Since we are moms we want to make sure that you have the correct information and are making wise choices,” Rauzi said.
SHOULD SCHOOLS PROVIDE CONTRACEPTIVES TO TEENAGERS?
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37% of parents say YES, but only with consent. 30% say YES, to all who request them. 30% say NO, not at all. 3% are unsure.
WHAT EXAMPLE WILL CONTRACEPTIVES SET FOR STUDENTS?
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49% of parents think it WON’T encourage earlier sex. 46% of parents think it WILL encourage earlier sex. 5% are unsure. Information compiled by Faith Harris Graphic by Michelle Pheav Source: Msnbc.msn.com
SERVICES OFFERED BY HEALTHY START • HEALTH EDUCATION • MENTORING • SUPPORT GROUPS • MENTAL COUNSELING • DRUG ADDICTION PROGRAMS • PHYSICALS • NUTRITION COUNSELING
• SKIN CARE • IMMUNIZATIONS • PREGNANCY TESTS • CONTRACEPTIVES • STD TREATMENT • HIV TESTING • LIFE COUNSELING
Graphic by Faith Harris
Opinion the Stagg Line
Striving towards ‘magnificent’
t’s a beautiful Saturday morning, with the sun rising in the sky and a breeze blowing through the air: perfect for a rally. Everyone is smiling. Everyone is laughing. Everyone is showing their pride. Everything is “magnificent.” On April 23 the Stockton is Magnificent rally, hosted as a backlash to Forbes Magazine for ranking Stockton as No. 1 on the Most Miserable Cities list, proved itself to be a fun, peppy event. Citizens of Stockton came out and supported their city by buying bright t-shirts and having fun. The excitement lasted from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and then it faded away along with the smiling people. The laughter on Miracle Mile became mute and the pride … well, that was captured in pictures and filed away as a longlost memory. Among those memories is one that refuses to be forgotten. One man. A man walking the street with his head held high. A man earning glares from the smiling people that surround him. A man that wears a shirt with three significant words: “Far From Magnificent.” To outsiders, Stockton is known for its crime and unemployment. Yes, we do have these elements, but so does every other city around the world. What Forbes and others fail to see is that Stockton is full of culture and diversity. It’s a community made up of so many different ideas and people. Stagg is a mirror of Stockton. We’re one student body made up of so many diverse individuals. Everyone has their own appearance and personality. But as a student body we look past this, because everyone has a story and lessons to
teach. We learn from one another. It makes us think; was Forbes right in naming us the most miserable city? No. Was Forbes wrong in naming us the most miserable city? No. We all live in Stockton and walk through the halls of Stagg five days out of the week. We all have friends and family that live in this town with us. As a student body we need to recognize that Stockton and Stagg are a big part of our lives. And once we recognize this we need to defend and improve it. We need to stop throwing trash on the ground. We need to stop vandalizing the walls. We need to stop hurting the people around us. We need to stand for something and have pride for what is a part of us. We know that Stockton isn’t the most miserable city in the United States, but we also understand it could use im-
art by Alisya Mora
provement. No matter how diverse we are as a community and a student body, we need to remember that we all have one thing in common. Stockton belongs to all of us and instead of adding to the “miserable,” we should strive towards the “magnificent.”
Student breaks away creating a new reality
usic is my escape.” How many times have you heard that phrase this school year?
10? 20? More? Not that it’s a bad or good thing to say, or that it’s untrue. But it’s starting to get a little old. Perhaps it’s time for a different escape. But what is an escape? A chance to run away to a completely different world. A fantasy land where you can be the hero (or villain) of your own story. The one that you write. That’s right. The one that you write. Writing is my escape. I started writing to escape when I was 10. I was being picked on and bullied every day at school, and I wanted so badly to be like the heroes in the comic books I read. The first time I used writing as an escape I created a short comic book where I was the hero. I still remember feeling a kind of power while I wrote. Like this was my world, and I could make anything happen. I liked this feeling, so I kept writing. A comic book series called “The Adventures of Super Team,” two books about a female rock star and her dysfunctional family, and several class freewrites later, I entered the ninth grade and began to write my first real novel. In four years I’ve gone from writing stories about the evil Dr. Atom to composing tales of a little girl with blonde hair and a black hoodie running around with some guy twice her age. Writing has always provided a home away from home inside of my head, giving me a place to run 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-Americans XX NSPA Hall of Fame, 2005 XX 5 NSPA First-Place Best of Show awards 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.
Shelby Hightower when I needed to get away from everything and everyone else. My fictional characters keep me company and give me guidance. They truly have been my friends. But writing has helped me in another way as well. All the practice I did by just writing for fun prepared me for my writing assignments. I looked forward to using my writing skills to get a good grade. All of my practice built up my descriptive skills. Instead of just saying “she stood there menacingly,” I would say “she stood there, her hair tossing in the wind, and frowned ominously.” A little more interesting, right? I taught myself how to do that just by writing for fun. I’ve also found that writing can help you deal
Mikeala Axton Editor-in-Chief
Taylor Hurles Editor-in-Chief
Don Bott Adviser 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 email@example.com
art by tiffany pech
with your problems. If you’re having trouble, incorporate that into a story, like how I did when I was being bullied. For example, if someone just died, you can write a story about reincarnation and bring that person back from the dead.
Gabriella Miller News Editor
Nicole Lawrence Opinion Editor
Kristin Acevedo Features Editor
Annamarie Cunningham Entertainment Editor
Reanna Rodriguez Sports Editor
Harmony Evangelisti Photo Editor
Damon Heine Blog Editor
Writing is a great way to escape from this world and into a new one. One that you create. So with pen in hand and paper in front of you, build your own story. Your second life. And make it the way you want it to be.
Faith Harris Annamarie Rodriguez Mia Torres
Journalism 1-2 contributors Shelby Hightower Jessica Mangili Adrianna Owens Viena Palacio Brian Walker Chao Xiong
Senior staff Chelsea Collura Jeremy Dela Cruz Jera Machuca Missy Rae Magdalera Alisya Mora Tiffany Pech Michelle Pheav Lissette Rodriguez Claire Scheffer Erica Trevino Xe Xiong
the Stagg Line
Graphic by Mia torres
appiness is pleasure. Happiness is a smile. Happiness is money. Happiness is the American Dream. These are some of the many connotations that come along with this word.But the truth is happiness is an abstract idea. Everyone has their own definition of it. To some, happiness is something that you can touch, but to me it’s something you feel, it’s an emotion. It’s a feeling like going through a long, hard-fought game ending with a victory. Happiness has much more meaning and value than just materialistic things.
Often I hear people say that they aren’t happy because they don’t have a lot of money in their pocket, and while it’s true that money can provide stability, which can lead to happiness, that doesn’t mean that money is the sole creator of happiness. The rap music that our generation listens to with lyrics like “I feel like money” may contribute to the way our society defines happiness. We see all these big movie and music stars flaunting around their fancy cars, big houses, and the “necessities” that appeal to some desires, which makes others feel as though that’s true happiness. But in reality we don’t know what’s going on in their world and what problems they face. Even the
richest man can go home at night and be depressed. It’s hard to achieve happiness and even harder to maintain. Some may feel as though they will never be happy because they won’t ever make as much money as others. But if we let that mentality take over the way we think, then we won’t get out of the abyss and won’t ever be able to overcome obstacles and grow. Walking into a room full of laughter and life represents happiness to me. Being able to just make someone smile or laugh and make their day a little less stressful is also what I define as happiness. This is because it makes me upset when others are down and can’t bring themselves up.
Speaking from experience, I know it isn’t a good feeling to go around having a bad day. With my mother’s influence, I realized that I had to be a better person, and that meant having happiness flow in my life naturally. So having someone there (like a family member or friend) to cheer you up is worth more than money. Money only comes and goes. You can buy something with it or you can spend it on the unnecessary items in life. But you can’t buy happiness. You can only decide whether you want to follow the trend and always have that smile on your face. Just by having a smile on your face it can brighten someone else’s day.
• Believing in your own abilities increases happiness by 40% • Watching too much television can decrease happiness by 5% • Spending time doing something fun increases happiness by 20% SOURCE: 100 SIMPLE SECRETS OF HAPPY PEOPLE BY DAVID NIVEN, PHD graphic by Nicole lawrence
Bin Laden death causes uproar T
Political credit overshadows the heroism of others
he most wanted terrorist in the world is dead. The partying and celebration is predictable, but who deserves the credit for this is not so black and white. The people whom Damon Heine the media has defined as possible candidates for the honor are as follows: Is it A, Barack Obama, current president of the United States, who gave the order in October to conduct the operation? Political pundits have already classified this as the decisive point in Obama’s 2012 re-election bid. Is it B, George W. Bush, previous President and commander in chief when the 9/11 attacks happened? He is credited for starting the search for Bin Laden when the United States invaded Afghanistan in 2002. Or is it C, Bill Clinton, also a former President, who is credited with bringing attention to al-Qaeda’s attacks in the 1990’s? Of course, there is another possible answer: none of the above. Obama may be President, but it is hardly a reason to give full credit to him. While he did give the order for the raid on Osama’s compound, he should not be given credit for carrying out the act itself. And if anyone deserves credit for finding Bin Laden’s hiding place in Abbottabad, Pakistan, it’s the CIA. Many are saying that this moment is Obama’s chance to seal his re-election in election 2012, but that event is still a while away. It usually comes down to the state of the economy that decides the election, and this is still very much a tossup. It’s understandable why Bush would be recognized. He was president during 9/11 and did start the search for Bin Laden, ridding Afghanistan of the Taliban government. But to put it simply Bin Laden was never caught or killed under his presidency. Therefore, Bush can’t receive much credit for his death. Clinton’s case resembles Bush’s. He was president when al-Qaida was gaining worldwide notoriety as a terrorist group and also in office during the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993. While Clin-
Americans should examine their own hypocrisy before celebrating
ton did bring attention to al-Qaida’s actions, he had e got him!” little to no part in the operation. “Justice has been served.” Why these three Commanders-in-chief are being “DEAD.” credited comes down to the politics of Republicans On May 1, 2011, the mastermind behind the and Democrats. In a new Washington Post/Pew 9/11 attacks and the most hated man in the world Research poll, 81 percent of Republicans say Bush was announced dead. deserves some credit for the successful operation. Cue in the balloons and confetti and let’s wait for Only 35 percent of Democrats agree. the people to march onto the streets with party hats! With all the political fluff going around, it’s easy Let’s watch them jump in joy and scream obnoxto forget who is really responsible for Bin Laden’s iously! assassination. That is the group called Elite Navy Don’t get me wrong. I’m relieved that we finally Seals Team Six. Not just the regular Navy Seals, the got Osama Bin Laden, but you won’t see me wearElite Navy Seals. These are the people who should ing party hats, waving the American flag and jumpbe getting the credit. They didn’t do it because they ing onto my friend’s back screaming “JUSTICE had a political motive or thinking they were going HAS BEEN DONE!” into a news camera. to get something out of it. They did it for America. Osama They did it wiped out because they more than knew it would 2,973 people make the world and injured a safer place. an additional While many 6,000. politicians and However, we Americans do agree that the are responsible Navy Seals for the deaths deserve a great of more than amount of half a million recognition Iraqis during for the raid, I our 10-year feel as if they war in the have been Middle East. pushed in the The United background as States has the news talks also injured most about hundreds of how this afthousands fects President of people, Obama’s apengaged in proval rating. methodical It’s something torture, and that needs to wasted more be emphasized Mohannad Sabry/MCT than $2 trillion when this event A man shouts in favor of Osama bin Laden outside of the Nour Mosque on a war thatis talked about rally in Cairo, Egypt seems to drag in the future. on to no end. Where’s our humility? Are we really The president didn’t take down the mastermind of much safer than we were before? al-Qaida. The Seals did. And that’s all that should matter in an operation like that. We killed one assailant, but killing other people We may never know who the men who carried won’t end terrorism or the war in the Middle East, out the raid on Osama’s compound are. Their idenor educate underprivileged children around the tities are kept secret for their own privacy and safety. world. The least we can do is let them know we are thank It really isn’t going to solve anything in this ful for what they accomplished. world.
But at the same time, it’s a good thing that we’ve got him since we don’t have to hunt him down anymore. In all honesty, trying to figure out how I feel about this whole Osama assassination Viena Palacio is proving to be one of the hardest things I’ve dealt with in a long time. I don’t think it matters in the slightest whether he is dead or not. If it changes anything it seems that it can only make the al-Qaida situation worse. Considering what we are really contending with is an extremist belief system, will the war continue until we have killed everyone with those ideals? Are we so weak as a country that we must rely on constant offense instead of building a defense system that works and doesn’t treat people as terrorists? I don’t know where the line is. The death of Osama may not have happened when they said it did or even at all. It doesn’t matter. The people’s reaction is the important thing and when I watch them celebrate in the streets, though I understand it on some level, I feel sick. Part of me still wants proof. I don’t know if it would ever be good enough but I’d like to know that my government is making an effort to be as transparent as they promised. That they don’t take the basic right to information away from me. That I am free to take in any evidence that I know I can handle. I don’t buy into conspiracy theories, but facts are facts and when they aren’t presented in an honest fashion my options become indifference or personal theory backed by emotion. I don’t like either. This is an important event on many levels, perhaps most importantly as an example of our ethics as a society. I am a lifetime away from understanding human beings.
Features the Stagg Line
‘You have to fall right sometimes’ Students risk injuries for love of rigorous physical activities Chelsea Collura To the eye it isn’t obvious that she is missing a rib or that the doctors placed a metal rod along with wires into her spine. It isn’t obvious that behind the varsity cheerleader is a girl stricken with scoliosis. And it isn’t obvious that senior Christina Jimenez has a scar running down the left side of her torso due to surgery. But for Jimenez, it is obvious that these setbacks aren’t going to prevent her from chasing her dreams. She didn’t know that she had scoliosis until after the car accident that sent her to the hospital with back pains. She was informed that if she didn’t get the surgery to straighten her back it would only get worse. The only option she had was to go through with the surgery even though it would put all of her athletic possibilities at risk. After the surgery that kept her in Shriner’s Children’s Hospital for two weeks, she realized a difference between her painful condition and other children’s struggles to even survive. Despite the weakness that she felt after surgery, it made her stronger physically and emotionally. The other children showed Jimenez that like them, she has every right to fight for the life that she wants. “I’d ask why this had to happen,” she said. “ But it’s something I had to go through. Scoliosis is the littlest thing compared to the 5 year olds facing life or death. Surgery changed the way that I looked at things.” Though it began as a burden, the surgery eventually turned into motivation to get back into cheerleading. From Pop-Warner cheer to high school, she wasn’t willing to give up her passion for cheer. She had to have surgery in January during the last year of her cheerleading career that in return, eliminated a large amount of her flexibility but that was not the end. “Sometimes I didn’t like to cheer. I was limited… and I wasn’t allowed to do much like tumbling, flying and stunting,” she said. But even then, Jimenez used that envy to push her even harder to getting back to where she was before surgery. Her cheer squad however, was a part of her inspiration to get back to doing what she loves to do. And though she was going to have to change due to her surgery, she was willing to if it meant she was able to
cheer again. For head cheerleading coach Paulene Juarez, having a cheerleader with scoliosis on the team was difficult. But it wasn’t difficult because she had scoliosis. Instead, it was hard because Jimenez never made any excuses. “I know there’s stuff that she couldn’t do but she never complained,” Juarez said. And though Jimenez knew that she wouldn’t be able to regain all of the flexibility that she once had, she eventually was doing all of the stunts that the rest of the squad was doing. “I had to give it a try, I just had to get used to it,” she said. For senior Jess Medina, the daily accidents on his skateboard or bicycle are just what he has had to get used to. Since the age of 10 or 11, Medina has been on his skateboard, falling and getting scars. But what’s changed his perspective is the near death accident he experienced while riding his bike. Medina was hit by a semi-diesel. Once he regained his consciousness he realized that his bike was smashed between the two large tires of the truck. “That could have been my body,” he said. With that thought, Medina walked away with a large gash on his arm. “I always get messed up when I ride my skateboard, but oh well,” he said. But he never let that fear of getting hit or falling down take him from the joy he gets from either riding his bike or skateboard. “I fall almost every day,” he said. “But I’ve learned how to fall. You have to fall right sometimes.” From bruises to scars, Medina won’t trade his board for anything because it’s both his best friend and source of transportation. “I wouldn’t trade it for a bike or even for a car,” he said. His skateboard may harm his body, but with it he is still able to chase his passions just like Jimenez. Medina says that skateboarding is his life. It’s more than just something to do, it’s something that he will always do no matter the obstacles that get in the way. Both Medina and Jimenez have faced challenges that have only made them stronger. When their stories are told, what meets the eye doesn’t match the story. Jimenez will still fly with her squad even beyond high school and Medina will ride his board no matter what’s in his way. Medina says, “my scars have become my stories.”
Despite the injuries that seniors Jess Medina and Christina Jimenez have obtained over the years, they have not let obstacles jeapordize their dreams. photo (top) by chelsea collura photo (left) courtesy of berlin hunziker
Senior works to lift chances of graduating on time APEX program helps Jorge Perez earn two years of credits in one year
photo by Annamarie Rodriguez Jorge Perez, senior, lifts weights during his weight training class, one of his eight regular classes in addition to taking two semesters of adult education, six APEX classes, and participating in two sports.
Down 120 credits. Unable to graduate. Why even try? For some that’s the mentality they have when they find out they may not graduate. However, for Jorge Perez, who began his senior year in this predicament, he found the ambition to keep trying. By taking eight periods, two semesters of adult education, six APEX classes, and playing two sports, he is going to graduate. Due to his previous high school years he was deficient in credits. Perez was not considering how important graduating is. “I messed up freshman and sophomore year,” Perez said. “I didn’t think about my future.” He got involved with drugs in the beginning of his high school career. This decision had a negative impact on his education. “I didn’t feel like doing my school work and I had no one to motivate me at the time,” Perez said. Being peer pressured was another reason he continued to mess up in school. He allowed others to influence his decisions, and was easily persuaded into illegal activities. “People would pressure
(Barris) had a talk with me and made me realize what my life would be like in the future if I didn’t graduate from high school.” Jorge Perez SENIOR
me into drugs, alcohol and fights, which was a distraction in school,” he said. He allowed others to take lead of his life and actions. “I was a follower, I had no one to guide me into the right path.” Perez was under his grandmother’s care at a young age, which also impacted his life. His parents, he said, weren’t the best role models and that’s when his grandmother stepped in and took the role of his parents. “I appreciate her,” Perez said. “My parents aren’t the best parents a kid can have.” Along with his grandmother’s positive influence, another individual who contributed to his motivation to be successful is his
seventh period sociology teacher, Sean Barris. “He had a talk with me and made me realize what my life would be like in the future and what a great (of ) a percentage that I would be someone in the future if I didn’t graduate from high school,” he said. Barris not only pushes him but his entire class. “It just depends on who wants to listen,” he said. Perez wants to do better for himself and for his family. “The thought of being the first to graduate and making my parents proud,” he said. “What else would I be doing if I don’t concentrate on my work?” Dedicated to his education, he has remained a diligent worker. “I started focusing and now I’m the top student in my (geometry)
class.” Perez picked up his cap and gown Tuesday, taking him a step closer to graduation day. “I feel relieved because I wasn’t going to graduate,” Perez said.”It feels good to graduate with my friends.” He also mentions that he is satisfied with himself and feels fortunate to have gone through this experience. “I’m glad that this has happened to me this way; it taught me responsibility.” Perez says in order to be successful in life the first step is getting a high school diploma and the rest will follow. In the future he sees himself majoring in art and doing tattoos, murals, and canvas art. “I feel like I can do anything that I set my mind to.”
the Stagg Line
Student grades unaffected by constant traveling Brian Walker Teenagers at times think their lives are stressful. They are forced to go to this place called “school” where they make them do “work” so they can “learn.” But for junior Lauina Cha, her experiences are different. She wasn’t brought up in a city environment with grocery stores and malls. Cha grew up surrounded by villages and agriculture. English is not her first language, Samoan is. At school, in Samoa, she did not shrug off a wrong answer; instead, she cringed for the pain that followed, a hit from the teacher for every wrong answer. Cha was born and raised on one of the islands of Samoa. She lived there until 2003 when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was constantly moving from her home in Pago Pago to New Zealand to get better medical assistance for her mother. When it wasn’t enough, her family decided to make the big move across the Pacific to America. Cha’s first stop on her journey through the States was Los Angeles. Her parents were looking for the right place to raise Cha and her nine siblings. Their search brought them to Salt Lake City, Utah. Due to her family moving around, she missed a year of school. When she went back to school, she continued school in the fifth grade. What Cha learned in Samoa helped her adjust to schools in America. “They focused on memorizing,” she said. “Also, solving problems is a lot easier when the teacher doesn’t have a 2x4. The schools in Samoa were violent.” Cha came into each new school observing the environment around her to find a way to fit in. When Cha’s mom finally overcame cancer the following year, the Cha family continued the search for a place to call home. They landed in places such as Las Vegas, Oakland, and Sacramento, before settling in Stockton in 2007. Cha went to Edison and Chavez before attending Stagg. Cha has been involved in many extracurricular activities and puts her education first. “What drives me is curiosity, I’m curious about things.” This curiosity is the reason her education comes first. Through her travels and even now, she has played softball, done gymnastics, has participated in youth church events, choir, and family troop, where she gets paid to dance traditional Polynesian dances on the weekends. Yet she is still able to balance all these activities with school. “School always comes first,” Cha said. “My parents and uncles push me and try to motivate me but I don’t need their motivation, I motivate myself.” Together her curiosity and self motivation have earned her a 4.0 grade point average. Cha plans to spend her final year at Stagg focusing solely on school. “My mom says next year no sports and to focus on my academics.” And with a tight stressful schedule like hers, she does not have a lot of time to spare. She plans to go to Sac State after graduation to study to become a nurse practitioner. “I am trying to set up a future for myself.”
My parents and uncles push me and try to motivate me but I don’t need their motivation; I motivate myself.” Lauina Cha JUNIOR
photo by Harmony Evangelisti Spanish teacher Raquel Chavez shares her experience with cultural shock from coming to the United States.
Spanish teacher recalls finding her way in different world Kristin Acevedo
Graphic by Seyma Tap flags courtesy of Creative Commons
Ending with a new beginning Retiring teachers plan to resume old hobbies and relax Faith Harris What is retiring really? Is it an end to something great or could it be the beginning to something even greater? Spanish teacher Maria Cordova and science teacher Jean Fujimura will be retiring this year. However, both teachers are excited to move forward. Fujimura has been planning for retirement for a long time. When asked what she did to prepare for retirement, she said that she “put aside money every month … since (she) started teaching.” Also, Fujimura won’t just be sitting at home. She wants to do a lot of fly fishing. She also plans to take up a lot of her forgotten hobbies that have been left in the dust during her years of teaching. “I love needlework … like sewing,” Fujimura said.
Jean Fujimura, science teacher, shows her students a globe during one of her science classes. Instead of teaching, she will be spending next year fly fishing and taking up her needlework again.
Cordova has been teaching for 35 years and said she’s also ready to “call it quits.” Cordova is looking forward to relaxing at home and enjoying her retirement. Though she said she loves the students and staff, she said she could serve a better purpose at home. Her husband isn’t in the best health, her mother is elderly and Cordova thinks she should be with them. “I want to be able to spend more time with my family,” she said. Whether it’s remembering Cordova for her Cinco De Mayo celebrations or remembering Fujimura for her fun and witty lab demonstrations, both of these teachers have had a significant effect on students here at Stagg. Sophomore Derric Vaughan is a student of both Cordova and Fujimura and said he will definitely miss them both.
He also agrees that they have been a huge help in his sophomore year of high school. “They are both hard workers,” he said. “I like them both.” His freshman brother, Darrin, recalls first meeting Fuijimura. “I remember one time when Derric dragged me into her classroom,” he said with a chuckle. So while the definition of retire is to leave one’s job and cease to work, the real work, to these teachers, will just be starting. During their retirement, both will be traveling, taking care of family, and enjoying the everyday luxuries of completing another chapter in their lives. So while some may see retirement as an end, to these teachers, it’s a new beginning. She doesn’t want any fancy party, the only gift Cordova wants from her students is for them to “keep working hard, value (their) education, and never give up.”
photos by Harmony Evangelisti Maria Cordova, Spanish teacher, is known for her love of festivities and enthusiasm about teaching. Each year Cordova spends time exposing students to the Spanish culture through celebrating the diversity of food, pop culture, and art. She’s been close to her students and plans to stay connected after retirement.
Spanish teacher Raquel Chavez was thrown into a completely different world during her high school years, stripping her away of the basic tools of knowing the function of society. Over night, Chavez and her two brothers had been abruptly uprooted from their life in Guadalajara with their grandparents and two sisters. March 10, 1985 became a day she’d never forget. It was the morning after her older brother got into trouble; their grandmother “had finally had it.” “She said ‘okay you guys are going to live with your mom now; you leave tomorrow morning so get ready.’” She could do nothing but cry, respect, and follow along, and by 5 a.m. the following morning she was on the tecolote, the “owl train,” on her way to Tijuana where her uncle then drove her and her brothers to Hollywood, CA. “Nothing was said; there was really no time to think,” Chavez said. Even now, nothing has been said about this traumatic experience that put Chavez and her brothers into cultural shock. “For three years,” she said. “I was at a standstill; I couldn’t grow as a person.” Her home was now with her estranged mother, whom she hadn’t seen or spoken to for seven years, alongside her step father and younger step sister, whom she had just met. She went from the intimacy of her hometown in México to the loose-knit islands nearby Stockton, where the closest neighbor was a mile away. Immediately her mission became clear: get back home to México. Anger would be natural in this situation, and Chavez was indeed angry – with the world. “I didn’t want to learn English; I didn’t want anything to do with this place, I just wanted out,” Chavez said. She refused to go to school for three years. So, for three summers, her mother made her work in the fields, picking onions and cleaning asparagus. Although her mother only had a third grade education, she somehow managed to make it clear to Chavez that without school, in those fields, under the scorching summer heat, is where she’d find her future. For a while it seemed impossible to move forward and gain a sense of belonging in America, let alone build a future. Compared to the heavily cultureoriented life in Mexico, individuality is an especially dominant characteristic in the “liberal” American society. “A person can get lost trying to find themselves here; it’s so easy to stray off to the darker side,” she said. In this new life, everything was already settled with a certain state of mind that, according to Chavez, passed judgment on her, except one: her little sister. Like Chavez, she too had to decipher this new world because she was so young, she was “still an individual with innocence and no judgment. Chavez found that perhaps she wasn’t thrown into this jungle completely bare, she had someone with her. She was mad at the world. She blamed the world. But she somehow found a way not to “stray.” Instilled in her by her grandparents are the aspects of respect and understanding for family. It was because of this, Chavez could not bring herself to be angry with her mother and grandparents. Until this day, she’s never questioned her mother about her absence. Chavez believes that this lesson embedded in her heart and mind that she was able to see past the anger that could’ve severely clouded anyone’s perception on life. She was able to see the “wise woman” in her mother and eventually get her General Equivalency Diploma and graduate from Delta and Sacramento State. She was also able to find a connection with her little sister, whom she grew to know as her “savior.”
Entertainment the Stagg Line
APPSOLUTELY AWESOME! In a world of complete and utter boredom, the magical iPhone, with the wonder and excitement of completely pointless apps, saves the day with much needed enjoyment. But which of these completely nonsensical apps should be added to the elite ridiculousness of the magic iPhone?
Graphic by Seyma Tap photos courtesy of Creative Commons
‘Elephants’ stays afloat even though weighed down by Witherspoon Gabriella Miller
Good: Pattinson and Waltz seem handpicked for their roles; their acting is superb. Bad: Witherspoon’s acting is lackluster and the music contibutes nothing to the excitement of the movie. Rating: 4/5
An elephant is a creature with an excellent memory. An elephant is majestic. An elephant is one man’s escape from a dangerous lifestyle with the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Based on the New York Times bestselling novel by Sara Gruen, “Water for Elephants” follows a failing circus during the Great Depression. It was a time when jobs were hard to find and many Benzini workers were being red lighted, or thrown off the moving train, to save money. Enter Jacob Jankowski, played by Robert Pattinson, who is at his acting best. Despite the bad name Pattinson has received from many critics for his role as Edward Cullen in Stephanie Meyer’s “Twilight” series, he is, in fact, a genuine actor. He slides easily into his role as someone who is not a boy but not yet a man. Jacob stumbled his way into the circus after leaving veterinary school the day before his graduation. His sudden departure
is due to his parents’ death in a car accident. Upon entering the circus he meets the ringmaster August (Christoph Waltz) and the beautiful yet somewhat cold wife Marlena (Reese Witherspoon). Waltz enchants the audience as the alluring yet dangerous ringmaster August. Waltz is no stranger to playing violent characters who have no compassion for human life. In one of his first American movie roles, “Inglorious Basterds,” Waltz plays a malicious colonel who is known by most as “The Jew Hunter.” Waltz received an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for this role and could very well win awards for his performance of August. August is a physically and mentally abusive husband and boss and he instills fear in his employees and his own wife. His behavior causes Jacob to develop a foolish hero’s complex; he feels the urge to save Marlena and Rosie. Witherspoon was attracted to the role of the survivor Marlena from the beginning. Too bad her interest was not enough to
help make her performance come to life. Marlena ends up as a background character compared to August, Jacob, and Rosie. Rosie, the elephant, is the one hope to bring the Benzini Brothers show back to life. When she becomes a new act, Marlena and Jacob are forced to work together to make the show a success. While working together, the pair grows closer and the romance part of the movie begins. The chemistry between Pattinson and Witherspoon is fairly strong, but the romance between their two characters takes on a Titanic-like feel. You know, the girl who is already with someone, but the guy is in love with her and still foolishly chases her? The forbidden love they share is one aspect of the film that seems as though it has been done 1000 times. However, the core of the movie, the circus, brings the movie and characters to life. From the animals, the acts, even down
to the big top, everything brings you to the thrilling yet dangerous life of traveling circuses. The movie, directed by Francis Law-
The forbidden love they share is one aspect of the film that seems as though it has been done 1000 times.” rence, brings to life characters and themes that are relatable to people everywhere. Jacob and Rosie’s relationship represents Jacob’s journey into maturity and discovering the horrors of the world. “Water for Elephants” brings the circus to life and, with two superb actors, puts audiences under its spell.
Sports the Stagg Line
Growing up with soccer Mikeala Axton Their eyes are focused, unblinking. Mouths set in a determined line and hair is pulled tight away from their face. Ready to take on the challenge of an opposing team. It’s what you’d expect from any team about to take the field. But if you’re looking for freshman Estela Rodriguez, you’ll find her doing something quite different. “I sing before every game,” Rodriguez said. “It keeps me focused and helps get me pumped.” Being the only freshman on the girls varsity soccer team, focus is a necessity. “I tell myself that I have to push through (challenges),” she said. Rodriguez applies this same mantra to sustaining injuries. “I just get up, walk it off and keep playing.” In addition to Rodriguez’s selfmotivation, she has the strong support of her family behind her,
Freshman starter helps team make it to playoffs
eight siblings strong, six of whom also play soccer. “(My siblings) play soccer with me every time I don’t have practice,” she said. “Sometimes we fight. We throw each other to the ground so we can win. And I have to win.” The sports and support the siblings share isn’t limited to soccer; they help each other through any sport they may participate in. “Right now (my siblings) are playing baseball,” Rodriguez said. “So I play catch with them.” Rodriguez’s father has particularly worked with her to develop her skills. “I tell my dad how I feel about my practice,” Rodriguez said. “He tells me what I could work on, how I can fix it. I go out the next day and do what he tells me.” This determination and push for self-improvement helps drive Rodriguez on the varsity team as
well as in playing for Stockton Youth Soccer Association. This conviction is well paired with Rodriguez’s passion for soccer. “I love the sport,” she said. “I like just to go out there, to be able to step on the field and just have fun.” This love is an element that particularly resonates with girls soccer coach Chris Viri. “As a coach you get really lucky with players,” Viri said. “With Estela, I got lucky because she loves soccer like I do and wants to get better, which makes my job easier and more enjoyable.” Aside from her love for the sport, Rodriguez also “brings an element of speed (the team) didn’t have,” Viri said. This is particularly important for Rodriguez’s main position as a forward, and is a likely contributor to her claim as the highest in-league scorer in the school.
“It’s actually pretty remarkable for a freshman,” Viri said, referring to the eight goals she’s scored since the season began. Rodriguez’s age gap has clearly done nothing to hold her back. “She fit in right away,” said Kylie Gacer, a senior on the team. “(Rodriguez) is definitely someone we’re grateful to have on the team. We all love her; she’s like a new little sister.” Cassandra Romero, another senior on the team, agrees with this perspective of their youngest player. “I love that little girl,” she said. “She’s really aggressive and really quick. She works hard no matter what.” “She’s a freshman that took on a big responsibility,” Gacer said. “Without her I don’t think we would have accomplished as much as we did this year.” And this year the girls soccer team has accomplished more than
ever, qualifying for playoffs for the first time, a feat that has never been achieved by any team in all of SUSD before. “This is the best I’ve seen the team,” Viri said. “It’s a testament to how much the program has grown since I’ve been here, and that’s not my doing. That’s their doing.” But the team’s triumph isn’t to say they’ve been at their best the entire year. “We’ve had our rough patches, but in the last two weeks we’ve started coming through as the team I thought we could be.” Rodriguez’s position as the team’s only freshman doesn’t appear to have been the cause of these challenges. “She assimilated really well. She’s a real team player,” Viri said. “I look forward to her growing over the next three years. And taking the mantle as (the team’s) star.”
Age 14 Age 6 Age 11 GRAPHIC BY MIA TORRES AND REANNA RODRIGUEZ PHOTOS BY HARMONY EVANGELISTI AND COURTESY OF ESTELA RODRIGUEZ
Who knows varsity catcher Jose Sosa best? Teammates Nicholas Vaccarezza, Devante’ Harris, or brother Christian Sosa?
Dragon Ball Z
Doesn’t watch TV much
Dragon Ball Z
Jersey Shore Character
Modern Warfare 2 / Call of Duty: Black Ops
Lil Wayne & Drake
Red & Blue
Call of Duty: Call of Duty: Black Ops Black Ops
Graphic By Mia Torres and Harmony Evangelisti Information Compiled By Jessica Mangili
News the Stagg Line
New kids on the block
IBML students to become Stockton Law Academy next year at Stagg But, according to sophomore Aliya Chavez, “Everyone’s looking forward to coming to Stagg.” Though there are still some uncertainties, this Ever since Principal Bill Parks became principlan is intended to be advantageous to both schools. pal, he has experienced many changes within the “This will be mutually beneficial,” Parks said. “It’s school. These changes include: having a new stanot going to detract anything whatsoever from our dium, baseball field, pool, and tennis court. A new program. It’ll probably add some positive things.” change that has left Parks without all the answers is According to Parks, having SLA on this campus the relocation of IBML onto Stagg campus. can save the district up to half a million dollars. “The decision was only made in January that The district’s money that would have been used to they were going to leave where they were. The decibuy or rent a campus will instead be invested in the sion was made in March that it was coming here, students. and the decision that Bill Parks was going to be the “If we put it at Chavez, there’s principal overseeing both programs was made two no room, and it’s not close to the weeks ago,” Parks said. He isn’t certain of many college,” said Parks. “And if they things because “the plan is literally evolving.” put it at Franklin it’s the same Parks will be supervising the Stockton Law Acadthing, and Edison same thing.” emy, which is to be located in the S-wing next year. Having SLA at Stagg “made the SLA is the new name for the smaller high school most sense” because it was closer now known as Institute of Business, Management to UOP. and Law. Stagg has many classes like the SLA will be its own learning community. The pharmacy and dental magnet two schools will be separated by a fence but the stuprograms and Pathway to the dents are allowed on either campus. Pacific that are in a partnership Students may have the choice of taking a class with UOP, but Stagg has yet to at SLA and SLA students can take courses at Stagg. have a law program. Stagg stuIMBL sophomore Maria Orizaba said she likes the dents who are interested in law idea of mixed classes. “I get to have other choices may have the opportunity to and majors (to choose from).” take those courses in SLA next Other than sharing classes, SLA will also be sharyear. ing facilities like the theater, gym, stadium, cafete “We’re already sharing so havria, and restrooms. ing another school will be okay,” Even though the schedule is not complete yet, Parks said. Stagg is currently SOPHOMORE the plan is to have schedules that allow things to sharing some of its facilities with run smoothly next year. It is certain that Stagg will two elementary schools. have a block schedule, but the schedule for SLA “The first year is going to be has not been confirmed yet. “The way it looks right kind of like putting on a brand new shoe and getphoto by Harmony Evangelisti ting blisters, but once you get used to it, it will go now there is about an hour difference,” Parks said. “I can’t even predict because until next week I’m Former IBML student sophomore Stephanie Nguyen uses her hands to explain what used to happen during away,” Parks said. “And how that will play out, I not going to have a sit down discussion with the lunch at IBML. She also describes what changes she thinks will happen next school year. can’t really predict.” Chao Xiong
university to know just how far and how broad their curricular offerings are going to be.” “I’m half excited and half worried,” said junior Randi Rogers. Having attended IBML, Rogers knows how both schools can benefit from each other. SLA students get more electives coming to Stagg
and Stagg students may get to take classes that deal with law and early childhood development. According to sophomore Brianna Williams, an IBML student, “A lot of parents (are) worried about their kids going to Stagg,” and the reason for this is that parents had heard “bad things” about the school.
That the change is good and bad because I think that IBML benefits from having its own place. It’s going to be different next year. Stephanie nguyen
STACKING on the classes A teachers’ vote of 80 percent in favor of the block schedule means Stagg will be implementing it starting next school year. However, it is not the same block schedule from other district high schools like Edison and Chavez. This one will be called the A-B schedule, where classes vary among days of the week. “I think it gives kids an extra day to process the information,” RSP math teacher Dan Offield said. English teacher Erica Dei Rossi also voted in favor of block schedule. “In the English classroom there’s sufficient time for bell-work, reading, discussion, and writing. Therefore curriculum has more of a flow.” She added, “I went through block schedule as a student at Stagg, and I enjoyed having two evenings to work on assignments opposed to one.”
CLASS WARS At Night Rally and Last Chance Dance students show pride
MONDAY periods 1-6 56 min/class
TUESDAY/THURSDAY periods 1,3,5 117 min/class
WEDNESDAY/FRIDAY periods 2,4,6 117 min/class
Graphic by Xe Xiong
photos by Harmony Evangelisti Clockwise (from top left), senior Berlin Hunziker and Assistant Principal Carol Sanderson lip sync to “Forget You” by Cee Lo Green. Sophomore Victorious Gemma cheers on his fellow classmates during the relay races. Seniors Elina Samol and Everardo Ramirez participate in a round of musical chairs in which students had to immitate the Sun Drop commercial dance. Freshmen Angela Campbell and Paola Rodriguez-Arriaga piggy-back race during the relay after popping three balloons with their butts.