Playoff Bound Tonight’s home game against the Edison Vikings First-round playoff game: 11/11/11 TCAL record 2-2
State-wide drill prepares students for the possibility of an earthquake
VOL. 55 NO. 3 ON THE WEB
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It meant duck and cover. There was a possibility of evacuation either to the football field or off campus. With Japan as a recent reminder of the destructive power of earthquakes, being adequately prepared for disaster is a concern. For students across Stockton Unified, Oct. 20 was a statewide earthquake drill that started at 10:20 a.m., lasting a total of a six minutes. During third period, students working in class were interrupted by Principal Bill Parks when he announced on the intercom that there was to be an earthquake duck and cover drill. Students were instructed to get under their desks and cover their heads.
“I discovered a whole new set of flavors of gum down there,” said senior Angelo Robles. For taller students, like senior Aaron Vega who is 6 feet 4 inches tall, fitting underneath a desk was difficult. “The desks were too short,” he said. The official method of protection during an earthquake is the duck and cover method. Other methods of protection such as standing under doorways are not advised. During an earthquake much of the danger is from flying objects, but placing oneself under a desk or table can provide protection. “If there was an accident, (students) would need to know what to do,” said science teacher Bill Lorentz. “Japan has
We do fire drills more often. We might as well do earthquake drills the same way.” RAVEN RAMIREZ sophomore
(earthquake drills), and they have far fewer deaths.” Sophomore Raven Ramirez believes the drills are important. “You never know what could happen, and California has a lot of earthquakes,” she said. “Having them a couple more times would be good so everyone can get used to it. We do fire drills more often. We might as well do earthquake drills the same way.” Others were not as enthusiastic. Sophomore Ved Patel said, “I just did it because we had to.” Students were told in advance the specific time and date that the drill would be taking place. Junior TiWhat to do if ara Freeman and sophomore Marco Galindo both you’re in one. thought that the adminDuck and cover istration should not have informed the students in Get under a advance. If it had been unstable table announced, “more people would take it seriously and or desk. Do participate more,” Freeman not stand in a said. doorway “We’ve got to do it unexpectedly,” Galindo said, Stay away who enjoyed the drill befrom windows cause “we got to waste class and unsecured time.” According to shakeout. items org, the official website for SOURCE: WWW.EARTHthe drill, in California alone there was a total of 8.6 milQUAKECOUNTRY.INFO lion people registered to participate. This included not just schools but also government offices and various businesses, as well as a total of 5,850 individuals and families registered to participate. For residents of Stockton who rarely experience earthquakes, there is a risk unique to the area. The levees in the area are weak, and if a powerful earthquake were to hit, the levees could break, causing a flood. If this were to occur, photo by Harmony Evangelisti then the school would need to evacuate. Senior Patrick Tomaszewski found it hard to fit under his desk during the drill. “They need to realize we are A question that Galindo asks is, “What if an earthquake really happens?” no longer the same size we were six or seven years ago,” he said.
ON THE BLOG
JESSICA MANGILI: Gives her take on what it takes to be successful throughout high school. SHELBY HIGHTOWER: Explains how Halloween spirit has diminished in recent years. INSIDE THE ISSUE hitRECord
NEWS IN BRIEF Senior pictures Seniors who have not taken their pictures must do so soon to have their photo appear in the yearbook. Yearbook There is only one month left to pre-order a copy of the yearbook for this year. No extra books will be ordered so order a copy soon. Science camp Juniors and seniors who are interested in becoming science camp cabin leaders can get information from Elizabeth Lewis in F-8. Students who participate will receive five credits. No school Due to Veteran’s Day there will be no school on Nov. 11.
Stagg Line NSPA Hall of Fame newspaper Amos Alonzo Stagg High School 1621 Brookside Rd. Stockton, Calif. 95207
Education, safety discussed at meeting DAMONHEINE
The last of seven town hall meetings held at the four comprehensive high schools, as well as three K-8 schools, was held at Stagg Oct. 28. The meeting focused on several issues that have been hot topics within the Stockton Unified School District. Some key information given out were statistics on the district. The district itself contains approximately 37,000 students, comprised of 43 K-8 schools and 11 high schools. Of those students 58.5 percent are Hispanic, 11.4 percent are African American, percent are English learners, and 86 percent come from a low socioeconomic background. Exit Exam results were also important to the meeting. “In English we are close to 70 percent of sophomores passing, and 60 percent in Math,” said Steve Smith, SUSD Area 7 board member.“A goal we have is for all sophomores to pass the Exit Exam on the first try by 2014,” said Julie Penn, Assistant Superinten-
dent. At the meeting the renovations to schools in the area was also discussed, including modernization of the Walton Center. The funds for these renovations came from outside normal operations, and were paid for by voter bonds. Other renovations included the new Pacific Law Academy, the completed Pulliam mod-
pus became a concern for many parents and members of the community. “Last year there were 279 requests for expulsion hearings in the district, and out of that number 191 were expelled,” Penn said. This year there has also been a sizable drop in requests for expulsions, with last year at the end of first quarter 76 requests filed, and this year only 25
We’ve been doing (town hall meetings) because it’s a district wide commitment to get the information out to the community.” JULIE PENN Assistant SUSD Superintendent
ernization and the Stagg athletic and softball fields. Safety was perhaps the biggest issue of the night. With the incident of a shooting near Edison High School two weeks before the first of the town hall meetings began, Safety on cam-
requests filed so far. Truancy was one of the many things causing safety problems in past years, and truant sweeps last year helped drop the truancy rate by 28 percent. And for a three month period, no crimes were committed at
any Stockton Unified high school. Another contributor was bullying, and several training materials have been sent out to schools that they can use while teaching students how to interact nonviolently. Toward the end of the questions and answers period, a question was asked about the challenges of the department. “How do we compare to other school districts like Lodi, Lincoln, Linden, etc.?,” asked one of the attendees. “It’s a challenge,” Smith said. “Their test scores continue to improve, our test scores continue to improve, but when you compare, you can’t just look at the base numbers.” They went on to discuss the various programs that state and nationally recognized and can be found in Stockton Unified. By the end of the meeting, a common purpose was established for the series of town hall meetings. “We’ve been doing (these town hall meetings) because it’s a district wide commitment to get the information out to the community,” Penn said.
photo by Adrianna Owens Parents and community members expressed opinions on safety issues in schools during the meeting. Parent Tara Lyons compared SUSD to other districts and schools.
Opinion the Stagg Line
IT SHOULDN’T BE ‘ONLY A DRILL’
t’s an ordinary day. You come to school, expecting to go to the same classes, and see the same friends. But today is different. The ground starts to shake, the lessons of the day are thrown aside, and the standard procedure of duck and cover is enacted. This is no drill. This is for real. Few students know what it feels like to be in a genuine earthquake. However, the earthquake drill has been a school norm as long as students have been in school themselves. It has its origins in the America’s Cold War days, as a protection from potential nuclear attack. It quickly became a part of Civil Defense drills that all American citizens were required to practice. Eventually, as the threat of nuclear annihilation waned as the Soviet Union broke up, the drill became more associated with earthquakes and for people in the American Midwest, tornadoes. Many students have grown to see the drill as a standard in school policy. Like walking outside during a fire drill and the teacher putting out a green OK sign during lock down drills. However, the students still ask how this will benefit. After all, what are the
odds of an earthquake happening any time soon? Unfortunately, earthquakes aren’t the type of things that schedule when they happen.
photo illustration by
One can happen anytime anywhere, especially in California. The events earlier this year in Japan were a sobering reality of the unexpected power
and destruction of a quake/tsunami. And the exact same effect could be experienced on the West Coast. The drill on Oct. 20 was a statewide effort, with nearly every student in the state participating. However, participation does not exactly mean full understanding of what’s going on. Students may think that the drill is just a reason to put the day’s lesson aside and take a break that’s spent under their desk. In fact, it’s much more. And it can prepare you for a disaster that comes without warning. If there ever were an earthquake, procedure has to be followed for everyone’s safety. Whether it’s cool or not to get under a desk won’t matter when the actual quake takes place. In fact, there probably won’t be enough time to think about how you will look under anything. From there on out, one must follow the rules or run the risk of getting oneself and others hurt in the process.Drills may seem mundane, even annoying to some. But in the end, they help a lot more than they hinder. It might be uncomfortable to sit under a desk. But that is a minor nuisance compared to being buried under rubble.
Law unfairly singles out gay historical figures
Teachers should focus on individual’s accomplishments and not on their sexual preferences
lipping through frayed pages in a random history book, I turn to the index. My fingers scan through the “h” section and land on the word “homosexual.” One page out of 1,000. That’s all there is on ADRIANNAOWENS them. And on that one page, three short paragraphs. But the lack of information on homosexuals will soon be changed. Gov. Jerry Brown has signed Senate Bill 48, legislated by openly gay Sen. Mark Leno, requiring California history teachers to add information on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans to their lesson plans, as well as that of disabled people and members of different cultural groups. This bill will also require teaching about the LGBT movement. It came about because some textbooks and teachers don’t address homosexual issues or their contributions to society. Just like the laws about teaching other races besides Caucasian, this bill will ensure that students are informed of the diverse group of people that helped shape our world. However, we will not be those students because textbooks will not be updated with this information until 2015. Here is my problem with this bill: a person’s sexual orientation shouldn’t be relevant in any history class. People should remember them for the mark they left on the world. Not their preferences. We don’t stop for every historical figure to classify them as straight, so why should it be any different for homosexuals? Wouldn’t it be singling them out, or placing a label on them? And aren’t we all supposed to be treated as equal? If the point is including homosexuals, then okay. They do deserve representation. But to distinguish noteworthy people as gay contradicts the idea that they
People should remember them for the mark they left on the world. Not their preferences. We don’t stop for every historical figure to classify them as straight, so why should it be any different for homosexuals? Wouldn’t it be singling them out, or placing a label on them?”
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 18 consecutive NSPA All-American rankings XX NSPA Hall of Fame, 2005 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.
are equal to everyone else – if we don’t point out heterosexuals for their sexuality, why treat homosexuals differently? Some people think that it will help students remember them. If so, then they will be remembered
as homosexual, instead of for their contributions to society. They are far more than their sexual orientation. We remember Abraham Lincoln for freeing the slaves, not because he was heterosexual. To distinguish someone for their sexual preference takes away from what they are being discussed for. The point of the bill is to give homosexual teenagers a sense of fitting in or hope to become someone who has made a difference, but if anything, singling out people in a textbook will just make them feel different. Another point of the bill is that homosexuals are often thought to be under-appreciated. So this got me thinking, do teachers feel the same? If they did, wouldn’t they bring this information into their lessons? And when the bill is reinforced by textbooks, will they only be teaching it because they have to? However the other part of the bill, I agree with. Students should learn about the movements that brought hope to homosexuals all over the world. Teaching the gay rights movements all throughout time – that’s history.
Mikeala Axton Editor-in-Chief
Taylor Hurles Don Bott Adviser
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the Stagg Line
Wall Street protesters prove they aren’t just another statistic
t has been just a few weeks since the Occupy Wall Street protests began, but already many other protests have popped up around the nation. You’ve probably seen them on the news various times as they’ve become a staple in mainstream media. The protests have become so inspiring that other countries are joining the fight against Fortune 500 companies. But the question is: why are the protesters so hell-bent on making a point against the wealthy? The answer is simply because of how hard it is to live these days. We’ve all had our share of money woes. Maybe it’s not having enough money to buy the shirt you wanted or watching your parents choose between food or rent. Money is hard to come by these days, especially in the state our declining economy is in. People are fighting tooth and nail to snag a job to pay for bare necessities. Okay, maybe I’m just blowing things out of proportion now and being a bit dramatic. I mean, compared to people in other countries, even some of the poorest of Americans are rich. It’s not like the 99 percent of Americans are struggling more than a poor child in a Third World country. It’s not that 99 percent of Americans just want a reason to get out there and join the mob for the sake of joining a mob. The 99 percent sense that the fundamental trade of our economy -- go to school, get a degree, work for an honest paycheck -- has been broken, and all they want is to see it restored. You can laugh and mock the movement, brush it off as nothing but a “First World problem,” but as corporations continue to systematically destroy the middle class, we are slowly devolving from a First World Economy into the second most polarized economy (Mexico being first) in the world in terms of income distribution. Everybody is affected by this. Whether it is the semi-successful small business owner or a single parent trying to support his or her family on minimum wage. This is all of us fighting. That is why the 99 percent
The system we so strongly believe in is broken in so many ways. More than 25 million Americans are unemployed, 50 million live without health insurance, and 100 million are poverty stricken.”
ways. More than 25 million Americans are unemployed, 50 million live without health insurance, and 100 million are poverty stricken. All while the richest 1 percent lie through their teeth, get tax breaks, and reap billions. Amidst this chaos, politicians
seem to all be caught up in a small competition on who can of us are occupying someplace, screw us over the worst. somewhere. Ever since 9/11 happened, the Let’s face it, all of us here live U.S. government has been graduin a First World so everything is a ally stripping away our rights. “First World problem.” In some cases they seem to The system we all so strongly forget that the Constitution believe in is broken in so many even exists (except for the most important Amendment: the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms. God bless America.) If we continue to let them do so, pretty soon the only thing we’ll be able to do is look back. We will be dumbfounded and wondering what happened to the “free country” we all so happened to live in. We are a nation of the people, by the people, and for the people. And despite what GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney said, corporations are NOT people. And it is time we stand up and stop letting the 1 percent run our country at the expense of the rest of us. After all, we photo by Rick Loomis/MCT are the 99 In Los Angeles, CA. thousands march in protest against the government and percent.
Simple traditions help brighten holiday season
hile you’re all still recovering from that sugar rush (hopefully not hangover) from a Monday night spent wide awake watching a horror movie marathon on AMC, or perhaps scaring small children and candy bag-snatching, I’ll tell you a little secret: The holiday season is here. Doesn’t this happen every year? You wait around in the dog days of summer for the cool weather to finally come, anticipating that special day of Oct. 31 and then WHAM! November! Soon Thanksgiving break will be staring you in the face. SOPHIADAVIDSON Then it’ll pass and Christmas will arrive. You’ll be eating free candy from October all through to February. YIPPEE!!! But have you ever considered how horribly bleak the winter months would be without holidays to look forward to? Without the heartwarming atmosphere of what’s known as the season of giving, we’d all be sad and moping, wishing our feet weren’t frozen. It may be different for everyone else, but for me January through art by Sophia Davidson April are the slowest, most depressing months due to the cold, cloudy weather and minimum breaks from school. I couldn’t imagine suffering the same during November and December as well. But how did watching “The Shining” as a family, singing “Feliz Navidad” in fake Spanish, and enjoying a “Twilight Zone” marathon while sipping Shirley Temples become highlights of each year’s end? Who knows! They’re just silly traditions that brighten up the winter months. After a year’s worth of constant changes it’s nice to come together and celebrate the same way I did as a child. I’ve never purchased any gifts at all and you wouldn’t catch me dead in public on a Black Friday. Everything that I give is handmade. For birthdays I typically paint an elaborate picture based on the recipient’s interests. But it seems as though the holidays somehow turn simple cloth and wire scarecrows and gingerbread ornaments made of clay and cookie cutters into cherishable gifts. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas simply give me the opportunity to become a bit childish again by encouraging me to be artsy-crafty. And why pay for everything when you can create gifts twice as special with household items? Putting more craftsmanship into a present allows me to avoid that madhouse known as a mall, and breaks the constant cycle of commercialism. Holidays are meant to brighten up everyone’s spirits. If you celebrate them at all, don’t ruin them by stressing about what expensive gifts or top-notch decorations you can buy. Keep it simple, but keep it special.
Freshmen begin with lack of foresight
remember my first day of freshman year. It was a little scary, somewhat confusing, and extremely intimidating. I walked onto campus with no idea what to expect. I quickly learned that high school had a different feel. I had to do things on my own. However, what I’ve noticed is that quite a few freshmen don’t realize that they have to be independent. They are still expecting their teachers to tap them on the shoulder and tell them what to do. This just isn’t possible. Not when they have 100 or more students per subject. Now before I start, I’m just going to tell you that I absolutely love freshmen. In no way am I trying to put them down. I just feel that they could use some perspective. I know that when I was a freshman, I took every opportunity to talk to my counselor and to talk to teachers. They were the ones that helped get me on the right path. I wanted to find out what classes I needed to be taking and
what I needed to accomplish. I see this year that there are some freshmen who will not take this initiative. In fact, when I questioned a freshman girl about her poor academic habits, she said that she wasn’t told “about credits or requirements at all.” My response was, “Why didn’t you ask?” And I’m not just asking her that question. I’m asking all the freshmen that don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing. Freshman year, believe it or not, is a very important year. I didn’t say it was the most fun, but it could determine the fate of the rest of your three years. I talked to another freshman, who said he didn’t “think freshman year was that important.” He said that “it’s a year when you can kind of slack off.” Okay, that’s true, That is if you want to be making up classes the remaining three years. Almost every class freshman year is required for graduation. Science, math, and English are critical subjects that need to be passed. If these aren’t passed, they will have to be made up. This
FAITHHARRIS puts students further and further behind each year. Freshmen need to understand the seriousness of their first year and buckle down before they fall too far behind. The less they take interest, the harder it will be to catch up. So yes, it is important if you want to be able to enjoy high school, especially senior year. Being a senior, I realized what my main priority was my career. What was I going to do with my life? What am I passionate about? When I signed up for my classes, I chose classes that represented what I want in a career and classes
that allowed me to pursue my hobbies. I have four electives and two core classes that I absolutely enjoy. However, I see seniors who are taking up to eight classes they don’t enjoy at all. Don’t fall into that category. Work your butt off freshman year so you can savor
your senior year. Even if you have a friend that occasionally slacks off, tell them that they need to be more serious about school. Regardless of whether you think it’s “cool” to get good grades. Your future is always at stake. Don’t fall into the habit of
saying to yourself, “I’ll make it up next year.” Before you know it, your senior year could be full of credit recovery, taking unenjoyable classes that you’ve likely taken for three years. Pass it now; don’t worry about it later.
Features the Stagg Line
Having family on sidelines helps REANNARODRIGUEZ
Support: It’s looking up into the stands and hearing the cheers of your family. It’s striving to earn good grades to see their proud faces. It’s knowing that, no matter what, they’ll always be there for you. “I have four different families to support me,” Andres Flores, junior, said. Both his father and stepfather are coaches on the junior varsity football team. His sister Jeana Correa, senior, is a cheerleader, and his mother and step mother go to most of his games. He says that at times it can be awkward to see both his father and step father work together, but it’s nice knowing that they are there. Flores realizes that he has more support than most and he finds that it has helped him succeed. By having his family behind him, he has been able to do his best in school and athletics. Trenese Manning, senior, also finds that a big family full of supporters helps her work harder to succeed. She says that without her family behind her, her life would be a lot harder. “I’ve seen people who don’t have any support and it’s just terrible,” Manning said. Most of her family comes out to her games, and it resembles a “family reunion.” On game days, her family members are the loudest people in the stands, and she enjoys hearing them cheer her on. Manning says that she receives a lot of support from her brother, Treyvon Manning, but they often make things a competition. Whether it’s trying to see who can get the higher grades or who can score the most points in a game, they’re always there to motivate each other to do better. Correa finds that she competes with her brother as well and that they’re both pushed toward bright futures. “In my house, if you bring home less then a 3.5 CORREA then you’re asked, ‘What’s wrong with you?’” These students agree that the support they receive from their families gives them the motivation to be better students and athletes. They also believe that support is necessary in life because, without it, one can lose sight of where they’re going. “Some people are self-motivated, but it always helps to have that extra support,” Correa said. She thinks that while it’s possible for a person to succeed without support, a loving family and friends makes life a lot easier. Whether it comes from a bustling crowd in the stands or from proud parents at home, a supportive family inspires them to dream of a brighter future and to work towards it.
Some people are selfmotivated, but it always helps to have that extra support.” JEANA senior
After an incident with a player from Tokay High School, Andres Flores, junior, had his step father, coach Jose Correa, to comfort him and tell him to help his team as much as he could from the sidelines. photo by
It takes rhythm to balance school, dance High school and college students participate in Rhythm Inc. dance crew
Dance is obviously a good way to exercise. But to those who dance on a daily basis it is considered a lifestyle. Some students with a passion for dance were introduced to Rhythm Inc., a group through the University of Pacific that is a mixture of high school and college students. Senior Vinnie Phakeovilay describes Rhythm Inc. as a “hip-hop dance team and family to me.” Phakeovilay found this team through a dance team member last year when she told him about auditions. So he decided to take his dancing skills and audition for the team. “Everyone always tells me I have potential to be a better dancer, but I never took them seriously so I decided to test myself,” he said. Senior Brea Greene also found Rhythm Inc. through school. “I found Rhythm Inc. through Dance 1-2 at our showcase and it was just something that came natural to me so I decided to audition,” she said. Students practice on weekdays for about four hours, however, on weekends they practice for about seven to nine hours. So balancing school and dance may become hard to manage. “Sometimes it gets hard balancing (school and dance) but I don’t ever not do my homework,” Greene said. It gets especially difficult for Phakeovilay because he has to balance school, dance, and a job. “It’s all right and can be hectic, but I try to organize it as best as possible,” he said. Working with college students allows the dancers to receive extra help with their course work. “College
students help us with our homework and we sometimes have study groups,” Greene said. With the challenge of balancing school and dance they also have a demanding physical focus. “If we have a stronger core it makes you a better dancer,” Phakeovilay said. Their difficult workouts consist of constant running, leg lifts, and pushups. “We race to see how bad we want to be a team,” junior Efemeh Files said. All the hard work they put forth during practice prepares them for the many events they are a part of. The main event that they are currently preparing for is the Prelude Nor Cal dance competition. This event takes place Nov. 19 in Hayward. The dance competition showcases the best dance groups in northern California. Because this event is rapidly approaching they are taking every chance they get to be the best. “Hell Month” sets them apart as a dance group. “We go over the set multiple times until it’s perfect,” Phakeovilay said. They practice one set of six songs, meaning that they are constantly active and have to perform their steps as accurate as possible. Dancing incorporates many movements that need to be tight and smooth. Because they consider themselves a family they are able to motivate each other to be better dancers. Their intimate relationship helped them grow from a group of 13 to a family of 38. “As a family we help each other,” Phakeovilay said. Rhythm Inc. shows how successful their group has become and how they will continue to grow. “In numbers, experience, and in all kinds of ways.”
As a part of Rhythm Inc., dancers stay comitted to practices every day from 5-9 p.m. including weekends. Although it’s demanding, their hard work refelcts in their showcases. photo by
the Stagg Line
Choir carries Beating boredom, creating beats senior through — and making a profit on the side high school FEVALENCIA
In some, talent can go undiscovered, lying dormant until the day when, perhaps by chance, it might be awakened and cultivated. Senior Mariana Montufar is not one of these people. “I’ve known I could sing since I started talking,” she said. At a young age, Montufar, and those around her, recognized her vocal abilities. In childhood, Montufar’s talent was at once sharpened and used to entertain by performing for her family. “My mom used to watch soap operas and I would sing the theme songs for her and her friends,” Montufar said. Still today, in adolescence, “My mom loves hearing me sing,” she said. Montufar, having realized her ability early on in life, has been in choir every year since the fourth grade – except junior year, when she took a break to focus on academics. Now, in senior year, Montufar is considering her talent in sifting through her options for after high school. “I want to go to a college that has music,” Montufar said. “I want to continue with my voice.” One of her key proponents thus far has been choir director Mark Swope. Over the years of working with Montufar, Swope experienced first-hand the idiosyncrasies of Montufar’s voice. “She’s able to sing higher,” Swope said. “Her voice is stronger, and she has a beautiful tone.” In addition to the progress in her vocals, Swope has also observed developments in Montufar, as a person and as a student.
“She’s a wonderful student,” Swope said. “She’s a definite vocal leader in her group; the choir is definitely better having her in it.” With Montufar approaching graduation, Swope is reluctant to let her go. “I hate to lose her. I want some teacher out there to fail her so she can stay,” he joked. Beyond being in choir, Montufar is using music in other ways as she strives toward higher education. “(Music) helps me concentrate on my schoolwork,” Montufar said. “Instead of talking during class, I’ll think of a song in my head, be quiet, and focus.” Aside from concentration in school, Montufar also uses music as a coping method. “Sometimes I can get really upset and music just helps me through it,” she said. Some of the music Montufar turns to most, whether for practice or enjoyment, are bands like The Smiths and Florence and the Machine. When it comes to inspiration, one song rises above all others – “There is a Light That Never Goes Out,” by historically upbeat downers The Smiths. “It’s so heartfelt,” Montufar explains. “I can just relate to it.” Montufar has ambitions to be in a band of her own, although not for a salary. “I don’t really care to get paid for it,” she said. “I would just love to be in a local band and play local shows.” Her hesitation for having a band to perform with? “I’m really shy,” she said. Band or no, Montufar still looks to music as her passion and escape. “I feel like a song can express things you can’t express yourself,” she said. “If you can’t talk things out, you can sing it.”
Senior Mariana Montufar practices with the group for the choir concert, which was held last week.
For some diligent musicians, nothing can keep them from their instrument of choice — not even school. A recent craze of bringing stringed instruments (ukeleles and guitars, even an amp or two) has hit Stagg. ALEXIS JONES junior
Sitting at home, bored, some people will grab the remote, turn to Facebook, or even give the kitchen counter a wipe-down. But to Milton Sells, sophomore, being bored is the perfect time to do something productive. Sells started making beats at age 12. He learned from his brother. “I saw him make them,” Sells said. “Now he just raps to my own beats that I make.” He sits at his laptop and opens the program his brother introduced to him, Fruity Loops, a digital audio music system. “I like how easy it is for making beats,” Sells said. First, he chooses the right drums, instruments such as the piano, and sound effects. Then finally he “mixes it down,” where he makes everything sound equal. photo by Mia Torres Sells said he mixes it down unWhen sophomore Milton Sells gets bored he resorts to the music composing program Fruitytil it sounds the best. His favorite Loops, where he can simulate the different sounds of instruments and effects with his keyboard. type of beat to use is “Lex Luger.” His beats are made for rappers or people who want to sing to them, At a young age his biggest struggle was having confidence in the quality of his beat-making. He and he can make beats from country to techno. However, he does not gave out beats to people for free, and posted them to YouTube and Face- rap himself. The main people who rap to his beats are in his group called Pilot book. As Sells started to be asked to make beats, he began actually making Gang. Named such because “we’re fly.” His group helps him by giving money. As he began to sell more and more of his beats, it boosted his him more ideas on how to make his beats. From his group to his mom, he leaves different impressions every self-confidence. time someone listens to his beats. “I started to feel proud of myself,” he said. Two years ago, Sells was asked by J. Stalin, a famous rapper in the Bay “They make me feel pumped and ready to go,” said sophomore Marco Galindo. “ They make me feel like a rapper.” Area to make a beat for him to rap to. Not only did he feel proud of himself but so did his mother. Sells’ Galindo also said that it makes him feel like Lil’ Wayne when (Sells’ mother would spread the word and ask people if they wanted beats. He beats) come on. In Sells’ beats he uses a tag. A tag is when one uses a partciular beat said she would play them all the time: in the car and at home. “I’m proud of him,” said Lupe Zuniga, his mother. “He learned all on pattern or phrase in all of their beats. Sells’ tag is “June bug’s beats”. “My mom gave me that nickname and I just use it.” his own. It came to him naturally.”
Junior confident in acting career CHAOXIONG
and acted out scenes from TV shows with her friends. Occasionally they would improvise. But acting is not “It’s going to happen, I know child’s play. Only those that are serious can make it it’ll happen,” is what junior into the world of professional acting. Efemeh Files says every morning “They look for hunger,” Files said. “If they see that before an audition. you’re hungry and serious about your craft, then Starting at a young age, Files you’ll go far.” has done her best to learn about Only those who are focused and hungry for the job acting and various other performcan get more job offers, but it’s been a struggle for ing arts. Files to get a job. Although she’s dedicated to her She has gotten training from career as an actress and dancer, she hasn’t actually specialized schools, agencies, and gotten any jobs. Files receives three to four auditions even Stagg. every week, but only decides to audition for the roles Files trained at the Hilton Hoshe likes. tel’s training school and at Barbi She has received auditions from shows like “Shake zon Performing Arts School. She it Up!” and “Jessie” from Disney channel. But even if also trained at her agency, John she did want the job, she wouldn’t have the time for Robert Powers, and learned about it. acting from professional actors. “I’m still trying to balance school, my personal life, But her talent isn’t limited to and dance,” said Files. “But with time it’ll be easier acting. (to manage).” Dancing is another passion of But just recently, Files had a breakdown after her Files, and it’s also one of her favorgrades started dropping. A close friend from Los Anite things to do. Thanks to Debogeles called and told her that she already has everyrah Spector, dance teacher, she’s thing it takes to do her best, so she shouldn’t put learned various dance styles from herself down. being in Dance 1-2 and 3-4. photo by Kristin Acevedo Files understands that she is capable of doing her Other than in class, she per- Junior Efemeh Files sits with her headshot. She best, but said, “there are moments when I feel like forms with the group Rhythm Inc. takes a new headshot every six months with I’m a little person. But the spotlight is shined upon But what influenced her to start professional photographers. me so I can’t crack under pressure.” acting? Her interest in acting came from watching various TV shows. But the Her strong will to pursue her future and her love for acting won’t alone show that’s had Files so wrapped up in re-enacting the scenes was low her to give in so easily. “Whatever sacrifices I have to make to get where I want to, it’ll be “That’s So Raven.” As a child, Files didn’t play outside much, but instead stayed inside worth it.”
ROYCE REYNOLDS sophomore
GABRIEL ALVAREZ sophomore VICTORIOUS GEMMA junior
Entertainment the Stagg Line
REGULARJOE HAS A HIT Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt creates website calling for creativity TAYLORHURLES
Barefoot, wearing black jeans and his hitRECord T-shirt, he sits. He has the fame, the looks, the talent, but he has much more. It’s what he does with all these components that is slowly changing the world of creativity. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, also known on hitRECord.com as RegularJOE, is this man. Levitt started hitRECord Production Company in 2005. This site became more than just an Internet site that people use to post pictures and record their every moment, but a place where people can create and collaborate. Instead of an artist placing a copyright on their work, where one can see but not touch, hitRECord is different. It is a site where people can post artwork, writing, photos and videos that can be remixed into new works of art that others can use in various ways. Levitt explains in an article with writer Joel Stein from Time Magazine, more about how hitRECord works. “If I see an artist who is consistently doing good work, I want to see what they do.” The site is continuously growing, providing artists, writers, photographers, and anyone in general, with a chance to get creative and share their work. On hitRECord uploads are instantaneous. News, upcoming events, and contributions can all be posted on the site for others to view without having to wait. “Having somebody take creative liberty with what I’ve done is fascinating,” Levitt said. One thing I noticed about hitRECord is how easy it is to join and be a part of a project. Unlike Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other popular Internet sites, hitRECord is a site with a lot of
potential and users who are seeking to exercise their talents. With more teens using the site, it would actually improve self-esteem, because one has the opportunity to be imaginative, allow their artistic side to show, and be productive. I’ve been to two hitRECord events and each time I noticed that the audience had more older people. I was slightly disappointed to see this because these events are amazing. They’re mixed with Levitt singing songs, reading short stories, and playing videos. Other artists perform at these events and members of the audience have a chance to participate in some activities. He calls people up to the stage to read some of the short stories, encouraging them to add a dramatic flare. At the beginnings of the shows, before he comes out, he poses questions for people to tweet their answers to. Also, he encourages audience members to be a part of hitRECord. He gets to know audience members by recording interviews with each other and then uploading them to the site. Just being at these events gives one a boost of self-esteem and the desire to express their artsier side. With more teenagers in the audience, absorbing the energy could influence them to create. And it’s a healthier way to spend one’s time, as opposed to sitting on the couch playing video games. HitRECord, which started small, is becoming larger. One man’s idea, with help from his brother, has now turned into a collaborative effort. Using his own ideas and remixing them with the contributions of others, backed by a strong support system, Levitt has created a beautiful project. There are no limitations on who can contribute and who cannot. HitRECord, inspiring people to exercise the right side of their brain, one could call it amazing but it’s much more than that. “Amazing is sort of an overused word these days,” Levitt said.
‘New Girl’ introduces viewers to fresh humor SHELBYHIGHTOWER
The new FOX sitcom “The New Girl” began its first season on Sept. 20. This show is about the quirky adventures of a newly single woman named Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and her four new roommates, Schmidt (Max Greenfield), Nick (Jake M. Johnson), Winston (Lamorne Morris), and Coach (Damon Wayans, Jr.). The incredibly random adventures of these five new friends begin as Jess catches her boyfriend cheating on her one day. She makes a decision to move out of his house. Then she answers an advertisement on the Internet to rent a room in an apartment with a bunch of men she’s never met. Normally this is not safe. But hey, this is television. So why not? The way Jess is portrayed is what makes this show even qualify as a comedy. Her outbursts, elementary school-level props, and theme songs she makes up for everything, give the viewer an idea of what kind of character she is going to be from the first episode. In fact, Jess is the main component that makes “The New Girl” different from any other evening sitcom. This show gives viewers the heartwarming feeling of friends helping each other out in the best and worst of times, while still almost constantly making them break out in a fit of laughter. Though it may be very original, to me this show feels similar to the popular sitcom “Two and a Half Men.” If one thinks about it, the two shows have some common features. There is a new roommate, the roommate causes some trouble, trouble is solved, they annoy each other, and then at the end of the day everyone is happy. But this problem can occur in any sitcom. Fortunately, it does not take away from the overall impression the show leaves on its viewers. With that being said, “The New Girl” is unique. Such as the over-exaggerated characters. Take Schmidt for example. Schmidt is the womanizing semi-alcoholic who will say and do anything to get with any woman. He focuses a lot on fitting in and his image in the eyes of his peers. His cockiness leads to him using his name in creative ways. Such as “You got some Schmidt on your face.” Every aspect of “The New Girl” makes its viewers feel what the characters are feeling. Each laugh, each cry, and each moment of awkwardness is exaggerated enough to make even the most serious of situations lighter. From Jess’s screw ups, to Coach’s over the top outbursts, there is always a laugh coming. This is definitely a show people should consider watching.
This show gives viewers the heartwarming feeling of friends helping each other out in the best and worst of times, while still making them break out in a fit of laughter.”
GOOD: Cheesy humor keeps viewers laughing. Deschanel adapts to her character’s awkward demeanor. BAD: At times the awkward moments don’t enhance the show.
RATING: Four out of five
graphic and art by
Taylor Hurles and Annamarie Cunningham
Box office hit disappoints audience KENTALEYMCCURDY
GOOD: Some scenes in the movie excited the audience with unexpected events. BAD: The movie was generally boring, and did not keep the audience interested. It had typical scary movie events. RATING: Two out of five
Tense bodies, hands squeezing the sides of chairs, feet propped up to your chest, waiting on tenterhooks for the scare to come. But as hearts race and knuckles whiten on the arms of the seat—there’s the letdown. We wanted to be scared but couldn’t be because “Paranormal Activity 3” doesn’t have any real grit. We were first anxious as to what would happen next but after seeing it we were disappointed. Now this sequel shows viewers how the supernatural events began with two, sisters Kristi and Kati, who were also in the first two movies. The movie seems no different from the others besides the fact that the girls being recorded as children. The angle of the movie is just the same—a family that deals with the issue of having a “presence” in their home. Of course, someone is curious as to why these events are happening, and wants to help but obviously has to be punished by the great and mighty killer. This killer is an associate of the “presence.” Ah what a wonderful, unexpected thrill! Not. The viewers knew those things would happen. Predictable is an accurate word for the movie. The setting is a two-story house monitored by two cameras one upstairs one down, for a six hour time frame. During these scenes the slow and feverish music plays right along with the screams. The music slows down and people cover their eyes. Lights flicker and the
crowd goes silent. A door slams out of nowhere and people jump. Really, there isn’t much to it. Long periods of time pass before anything interesting happens. And before it happens we have to sit and wait for the boring music and panning of the camera to go back and forth. Interestingly enough, right after someone was frightened or screamed, 10 seconds later the entire crowd was laughing. Now whether this was from nervousness or just a lack of self-control I’m not sure. But throughout the whole film loud laughter rang in the movie section. People came to this movie to be scared, but rather than hearing screams, the most prominent sound of emotion was laughter. Seriously. Can we have some true fear in a so called scary movie? Isn’t that what people pay to see when they watch a movie of this nature? I would think so, but although they lack fear the Paranormal Activity movies have been a hit since they first came out. So
Right after someone was frightened or screamed, 10 seconds later the entire crowd was laughing. Now whether this was from nervousness or just a lack of self-control I’m not sure, but throughout the whole film loud laughter rang in the movie section.”
the better question is why do people continually go if the movies aren’t scary? Well, the simple conclusion is that many go because they think it’s scary from the gripping previews. Also, because the movie is a home video it is easy to think that the events could be real. Disappointment follows after finally finishing the movie. The thrill from the previews is exactly what movie lacks.
Sports the Stagg Line
PLAYING HARD FOR PLAYOFFS Delta Kings football advances to postseason for the third consecutive year
After scoring a touchdown, Maurice Boyd, senior, lies down on the sidelines where he receives help stretching.
A touchdown in the last 40 seconds. A sudden overtime win. A 37 yard extra point to win the game 20-19. Thrilling victories in intense games that have defined the football season. This has taken the team through the season with a record of 6-3 and a TCAL record of 2-2. This has led the varsity team to playoffs for the third year in a row. In each game there have been key plays and players that have led the team to their success. But what has brought them to this point? Prior to stepping out onto the field and into game mode, players prepare themselves for what’s to come. One way is by watching an inspirational video called “I am a Champion” and listening to head coach Don Norton give a speech. “I stress playing hard but stopping when the whistle blows,” Norton said. Players take the advice given to them out to the field. “‘Who are we? We are champions,’” said senior Marcus Barnett-Armstrong, quoting the video. “It helps motivate us.” Other players, like seniors Brian Wood and Treyvon Manning, pray before leaving the locker room. Once on the field, no matter who the opponent is, Wood said when he sees the other team he feels prepared. Manning feels ready when he steps under the lights and into the atmosphere of the crowd and cheerleaders. Players say that their success starts with what Manning believes is an “outstanding” defense.
Upbeat. Perky. Approachable. These are some of the many connotations associated with being a cheerleader. But behind these smiling faces there lies thoughts of upholding a reputation of being a competitive cheerleading team.. Some may fail to notice the hard work that gets put into the physical aspect of cheerleading. “Basketball players throw balls but we throw girls in the air,” said sophomore Jazelle Flores. Not only are there physical hardships in cheerleading but also emotional. Many cheerleaders walked off the field in tears after the homecoming halftime performance. This was because the dance did not turn out the way it was rehearsed. When senior Justine Cooper recalls what happend in their homecoming performance she recognizes the team’s mistake. “It is a reflection of what happens when we don’t work together as a team.” As a result of this, the cheer team worked out their differences. Ultimately cheerleaders are there to pump up the football players from the sidelines and excite the crowd. “When it comes down to it we are all here to support the boys through thick and thin,” said senior Sabrina Serrano. “Halftime is just a reward.We have to work for it.” So without the dedication and hard work from the
3Easy Workouts 3Easy Steps
Ricky Hodges, junior, scrambles to recover the fumble from the Tokay Tigers. Stagg went on to win, 55-21.
Beyond the pom poms: Cheerleaders compete ANNAMARIERODRIGUEZ
Junior Deante Chambliss agrees. “We have a strong defense,” he said. “Defense is what keeps us in the game.” He says that the defensive line “stops big plays that the other team’s offense could make,” which gives the offense the opportunity to score. Manning said that homecoming was a good offensive game which led to their 55-21 victory over the Tokay Tigers. “Throwing passes and running plays work,” Chambliss said. “Ryan and Trey are key playmakers on offense as receivers.” “We have confidence because we have experience going into playoffs this year,” Wood said. “I feel good because it’s our third year.” The team had hopes to gain home-field advantage for the first round playoff game which is no longer possible after their 23-21 loss to the West Wolfpack on Oct. 28. Some seniors say that because this is their last year they have something to prove to others. Although Wood feels confident about the team, he’s “worried a little bit because it’s (his) senior year.” The team has also been dealing with injuries throughout the season, many of which have happened in recent games. This has given some players more time out on the field. “St. Mary’s game, a lot of people stepped up that don’t have a lot of playing time because a lot of people were hurt,” Manning said. Despite these injuries Norton says that the off season program has kept the amount small. “Because of the weights program, injuries haven’t been a severe,” he said. Although they have already made playoffs, Manning treats every game the same. “I know we’re going … but it’s not playoffs yet.”
Basketball players throw balls, but we throw girls in the air.”
JAZELLE FLORES, sophomore
team things will go haywire. “It’s a team effort.” Serrano said. “If one messes up everyone is responsible for it.” In preparation for competition Sunday, cheer currently has three hour practices and Saturday practices as well. The feelings of being stressed, excited, and nervous has suddenly hit them. Because there has been a struggle to work together as a team, it hasn’t been the easiest time getting routines down. “It’s in a short amount of time so we go into panic mode and tension rises,” Serrano said. In order to cope with this tension competitive coaches go to their practices, and help them with their technique and their main events. “Cheerleading is blood, sweat, and tears,” Serrano said. “It’s not just the stereotype that because we are cheerleaders we sit around and gossip.”
Lie down flat on your stomach with your arms shoulderwidth apart.
Raise your body by extending your arms till they lock out.
Put your arms straight at your sides and rest your hands on your hips.
Step forward with one leg and slowly bend. Keep your back leg straight.
Lower your arms back down to a 90 degree angle and then repeat from step one.
Stand up and repeat from step one.
Cheerleaders practice their dance routine to perfect it for competition Sunday in Sacramento.
Lie down with your legs straight and together on the floor.
Lift your legs straight off the ground and hold it for a few seconds.
Bring your legs down and repeat.
graphic by Reanna Rodriguez and Mia Torres information compiled by Brian Walker
News the Stagg Line
UOP DIALOGUES OF DISTINCTION
Students participate in workshops to discuss how to improve school environment FAITHHARRIS Coming to Stagg, the speakers of the Dialogues of Distinction included students in a discussion. This discussion got students involved in coming up with various solutions for issues they proposed. Students got to participate throughout the whole workshop, and thought it was beneficial. Senior Sierra Brandt was one of many students satisfied with the way the workshop went. She was impressed with the turnout. “Our entire chemistry class was there,” she said. This presentation was held a little less than a month ago. When those attending walked into the theater, they received an orange folder. Each had a colored dot on the back, which signified what group they would be discussing in. But not before
Nicole Lawrence Volunteer writers from the discussion took down notes of the group members’ ideas and viewpoints on parental support for students. photo by
the introductions and questions. Principal Bill Parks began by welcoming the guests to Stagg High School, and how proud he was of all the students. He, of course, talked about what could improve as well. Keeping it short, he said to the group, “I was generally one of those students that needed someone to push me, I understand.” And that’s exactly why this group of individuals met, to find ways to push students. Superintendent Carl Toliver said very bluntly, “If you drop out, your chance at success is low.” These speakers were followed by Dr. Elizabeth Molina Morgan, who talked about how “education is the gateway to opportunity.” During her brief introduction, She turned to Parks and asked him to clarify his comment about the dropout rate. When Parks told her that Stagg had a graduation rate of 90 percent last year, she replied with “that’s incredible.” “However, we are here to make that 100 percent,” someone murmured in the crowd. Going in with a determined attitude, all attendees went to their designated areas to discuss their topics. They were to present possible suggestions to the rest of the group when it was time. Brandt enjoyed having this time with a smaller group and found it the most effective. “When we were separated, it was good to elaborate on specific issues,” she said. The first group was to discuss how the community can get involved in education. When they came back as a whole group, they proposed several suggestions. They recommended mentoring and more internship programs. A heated topic was parent involvement. One group talked about the importance of parental figures. Those in the group said things like “parents need to make the child want to come to school” or “some kids don’t even talk to their parents.” Brandt was all ears when it came time for the suggestions to be presented. “It was nice hearing everyone else’s opinions,” she said. The final two groups discussed how to include the youth’s voice in issues and how to make schools better overall. They proposed similar things: strong,
photo by Nicole Lawrence Students from Franklin also participated in the discussions. After breaking into small groups they brainstormed ways of getting the community involved in schools.
safe programs and pushing determination. Parks and several other speakers commented on the fact that there were a good number of students present. Parks was impressed. “I’m happy to see students here,” he said. “That means they are starting to show initiative and that’s what we want.” Senior Aaron Vega and other students that went to the workshop seemed to have the same judgement. “I really liked it,” he said. “I thought it was a very pleasant experience.” Parks thought it was a pleasant experience as well. He smiled and thanked students that participated and shook their hands. Students walked away with newfound knowledge.
Post-Secondary Pathways Center OPEN WEDNESDAYS AND THURSDAYS TO ALL STUDENTS A teacher or counselor can help you with • writing personal statements • finishing applications • applying for scholarships • signing up for financial aid • choosing the right major You will have access to • computers • information on SATs and CSTs • a list of requirements for CSUs and UCs • multiple college catalogues and brochures • college preparatory checklists for each grade level
LOCATED IN THE BACK OF THE LIBRARY
information compiled by Jessica Mangili graphic by Seyma Tap
DISCUSSION TOPICS Participants discussed and brainstormed solutions for the following problems in education: Community involvement Parent involvement How to encourage the voice of youth Bettering education overall
Leadership works with new advisor to preserve traditions ALYSSAMACATUNO
Associated Student Body has had four advisors in the last year, as well as a few substitutes. But the class remains student conducted. “Students run the class,”said Sabina Griffen, senior class president. Leadership class is straightforward. The students lead the class, the teacher advises the class, and that’s how it goes. However, things can be challenging when there is not a permanent advisor. “We’ve had Bagnasco, Stoner, Spector, Halekakis, and few subs,” said Jeana Correa, student body president. ASB has had many advisors in the course of only a few years, but they’ve managed to keep things intact and successfully complete planned school events. “(Things) go way smoother because there’s no distractions,” Correa said. “We’re in charge.” ASB’s job is to carry out school traditions each year, and a change in teachers can lead to disorganization when it comes to planning events. The students have ideas of their own, and all they need is an approval of an adult to say yes or no. “We could make it happen,” said Malibu Manivong, ASB vice president. Yet, this year there’s a new ASB advisor, Madalyn Gonzales. “It’s a lot different from last year,” Griffen said. This year the students have an advisor who, despite being new to the school, has ideas to share. However, the students are used to coming up with ideas on their own. Students’ duties include coming up with ideas for activities,
ASB has had many advisors in the course of only a few years, but they’ve managed to keep things intact and carry out with their planned events for the school.”
organizing student events, and maintaining the student store. There could be the “this needs to happen,” or the “she said we’re not doing that” moments. However, Gonzales doesn’t want things to be like that with her students. “I don’t want to be like a Hitler and make changes,” Gonzales said. As the advisor, she helps the student leaders carry out their plans for the school and supports them along the way. The students have a lot to say and their plans are what matters. Gonzales doesn’t want to dictate them.“We mentor each other and I give them my input,” Gonzales said. “(I don’t) veto.” The students plan and organize school events, create fun activities, and set an example for the rest of the student body. “These are our future leaders,” Gonzales said.
This is the third issue of the year, published in November 2011.