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An Independent Publication of Leigh High School

Volume 49 Issue No. 3 December 16, 2010

constitio al


religi us freedom i a g birth h t controverosial s t decis on i protests o

Ch ic


Varija Yelagalawadi In-Depth Editor When recalling their high school days, the first thing that comes to many adults’ minds is a club they were part of. Most are more nonchalant, like Game Clubs, Duct Tape Clubs, or even Star Wars Clubs. But should the few which are of a serious nature be allowed on campuses at all? Every school has many such student- run clubs, some with a purpose and some solely for entertainment. In the past three years, the number of clubs at Leigh has increased exponentially. The process of applying for a new club on campus is relatively easy, and there is little to no chance that the club will be denied. In the beginning of this school year, Leigh’s Senator of Internal Organizations, Chris Wyman, and as well as Activities’ Director Gina Nicoletta approved a Pro-Life club on campus. Brianna Baxter, the club’s presi-

dent, has stated that they are an official chapter of Live Action. “We might be able to save a life, and that’s always really cool,” said Baxter. She declined to comment on the club’s mission, but had previously mentioned it was similar to Live Action’s primary objective. Live Action, an activist organization well known for its Pro - Life (anti abortion) beliefs, provides resources for teenagers to take the debate over abortion to their schools. Students can visit the group’s website and find methods to spread the Pro - Life message by rallying, protesting, “sidewalk counseling,” and otherwise creating awareness on school campuses. Because of the easily influenced age we are at, many are questioning whether allowing students to bring such controversies into school is appropriate. Vice President Jenna Neish said, “We would do more stuff on campus. A bunch of people disagree [with what CONTINUED on Opinion 07, ProLife

Opinion (pages 05-07)

Outdated library books - p. 05 The value of family dinners - p. 06 Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy- p. 07

In Depth (pages 08-09)

Consumerism and the decade’s trends

Features (pages 10-11)

Hiring during the holidays - p. 10 Cafeteria food investigation - p. 11

Photo by Varija Yelagalawadi

Pro-Life club rallied in front of Planned Parenthood on Saturday, December 11, handing out baskets and speading their anti-abortion message to passerby. Other demonstrators are known to use signs, such as the one an anonymous student holds above.

Cheerleaders demostrate inadequate knowledge of the game

Football Terms

as defined by the Leigh Cheer Squad First Down

A first down is when offense makes it ten yards closer to getting a touch down

Wide Receiver

A wide receiver is a guy who tries to catch the ball that the quarterback throws; he then has to scurry around the linemen to score

Special Teams

The special teams are teams within the team who are responsible for certain positions

Field Goal

Correct Answers Correct - the first of four consecutive plays during which an offensive team must advance the ball at least ten yards to retain possession of it. Incorrect - an offensive player positioned wide of the formation, as a split end, used primarily as a pass receiver. Incorrect - a group of players fielded for kicking plays, as punts, kickoffs, and fieldgoal attempts. Correct - a three-point goal made by place-kicking or drop-kicking the ball between the opponent’s goalposts above the crossbar.

Contents Drama’s Winter Showcase - p. 02 Local food banks struggle - p. 03 Forced sterilization in China - p. 04

Go defense! ...Oh wait, offense!

A field goal is worth 3 points and you try to kick the ball through the (I don’t know what it’s called!) ~info from Kelly Phillips

Dec 19: 5:30 pm-Reindeer Express Luxury Bus tours available at Vasona Park in Los Gatos Dec 22: ACT’s holiday tradition, A Christmas Carol at Geary Theatre SF Dec 26: Matinee showing of Denis Nahat’s “The Nutcracker” in the Center for Performing Arts in Downtown San Jose/ Boxing Day Dec 31: Noon Year’s Eve party in Children’s Discovery Museum Jan 1: Last day to visit Christmas in the Park in downtown San Jose Jan 3: First day back at school, beginning of New Years Resolutions Week Jan 9: Disney Live! Mickey’s Magic Show at San Jose Civic Auditorium Jan 14: end of the first semester/end of finals Jan 15: Thirty Seconds to Mars at SJSU Event Center Jan 17: Martin Luther King Jr. Dayholiday, no school Jan 18: San Jose Center for the Performing Arts presents Grease Jan 22: California Theatre presents My Fair Lady Jan 29: Winter Ball

News (pages 02-04)

i t death educ tion


Pro-Life a

Pro-life club ignites heated discussions

Your Events Calendar

Photo by Kelley Grogan

Shannon Keener Features Editor

The tight skirts, the hair bows, and the pom poms: all these things surround the football field to supposedly help cheer the football team on. Cheerleaders go to all of the football team’s games to root for them as they play, but do the cheerleaders actually know what they are saying when they yell, “Go defense!”? “I think that a majority of the

cheerleaders are clueless to what’s going on,” said junior Kelly Phillips, member of the Varsity cheer squad. “A lot of them don’t even watch the game, but there are just a few that really understand the game and know what the words in our cheers actually mean.” It’s embarrassing for fans and players alike to watch as the cheerleaders call out the wrong things, when they are supposed to be getting the fans and players all hyped up and excited. One of the most important

Entertainment (pages 12-13) Poetry slam - p. 12 127 Hours review - p. 13

Sports (page 15)

Boy’s soccer interview - p. 15

Flip Sidepages (page 16)

Holiday mishaps - p. 16 (see comic)

things to know as cheerleaders at football games, besides the cheers, is the football terminology. “Sometimes, they have really good school spirit, but sometimes they are just standing around when the team needs it the most. When the team needs it, the crowd cheers over them at times and helps [hype them up]. We do have some good cheerleaders, but just learning the game of football would help,” said Charlotte Donald, parent of Leigh’s wide receiver Larry Donald. Simple football terms including quarterback, wide receiver, end zones, and yards should be common knowledge to people at the games. Cheerleaders are at games to support the team, but football language is something that is incorporated into their cheers so that must be mastered in order for them to be taken seriously by anyone. “I think that they need to pay more attention to the game. The cheers need to correspond with what is going on on the field and sometimes they go off and do CONTINUED on Sports 15, Cheerleaders

12.16.10 news Santa Teresa loses student in drunk driving accident page 02

of brandy.” Not only did officers find a bottle of brandy in her car, they also found a bottle of Smirnoff Vodka. “California Highway Patrol an-

District Attorney charge the driver, a fellow cheerleader, with a felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter,” said Julia Prodis Sulek and Lisa Fernandez, of the We’ve all heard Mercury News. But about it, the DUI’s, the parents of West driving while intoxidisagree. cated. Most people “[When I visited] say it won’t happen she started tearing to them, they’d never up, and said she was get caught let alone sorry,” said Michael get into a crash potenWest, West’s father, tially killing someone; to the Mercury News. but for Jordan West it “No matter how I feel, became a reality. my daughter would On Nov. 22, want her best friend the 17-year-old Santa to have the best life Teresa student and possible, and I would cheerleader was ingo by what my daughvolved and killed in ter would want.” a drunk driving acci West’s case isn’t dent. the only recent report Photo by Sydney Black The driver, also a 17of a drunk driving Santa Teresa students sign their sentiments into a farewell note to year-old cheerleader accident in the San who attends Santa Te- West on a wall on the school’s campus. Jose area. In Sepresa, admitted to betember, Leland High ing intoxicated when the horrid event nounced Tuesday [Nov. 22], that it graduate, 18-year-old Roshan Rahbari occured. She said she had “three shots would likely recommend that the was killed in a drunk driving accident. Rebekah Hassen Staff Writer

The driver of the car, Mitchell Pennings, who was also eighteen, tried to flee the scene, but was caught. “He was arrested and booked on suspicion of felony DUI, felony hitand-run, and vehicular manslaughter,” states Stephan Baxer, of the Mercury News. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2008 alone, 6.6 million (17 percent) of 12 through 20-year-olds had admitted to

have engaged in binge drinking and 2.1 million (6 percent) in heavy drinking. Programs such as Every Fifteen Minutes have been traveling to high schools worldwide to try to make teenagers more aware of the consequences of drinking and driving. Leigh also has clubs such as S.A.D.D. (Students Against Drunk Driving) to help create awareness of the effects drunk driving can cause.  

Moments of the Month:

What’s been happening around Leigh Mike White gets in touch with his inner child at the Literaleigh Open Mic Night on Dec. 2.

Showcasing winter: Advanced Drama classes get their punchline on on-stage The showcase, along with the six live acted scenes, had two student written short films , directed

Alex Sainez Staff Writer The winter showcase, hosted by the Leigh High School drama department, debuted on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 10 and 11. The showcase was mainly a student run organization in which the Drama 2 class acted and the Drama 3 class directed. The showcase, called “The Sting of a Punchline”, was composed of six scenes, and all had some sort of moral to teach. “The acts are usually funny but tend to turn dramatic at some point, and they all have a moral to teach the audience,” stated junior Andrea Goeke.

Spring Film Festival. Theatre-goers were not required to purchase tickets for this showcase, instead the drama depoartment asked for five dollar donations at the door. The show’s highlights included both of the film segments, the first a comical reenactment of a popular violent video game, and the second was a dramatic story of two high school rivals competing for a lead role. Both were recieved positively by the applauding audience. The opening segment was also a high point, as it was the only musical number and gave strong singers a chance toi take the stage.

[ ] The showcase, along with the six live acted scenes, had two student written short films , directed and performed by students here on campus.

and performed by students here on campus. These movie clips served as a sampling of the drama program’s

Just checking in:

Link Crew leaders visit freshman classes Jennifer Park Staff Writer Link Crew Leaders are a group of student volunteers who are hand-picked by three teachers at Leigh. They help freshmen and upcoming Longhorn students become more comfortable and involved with their school community. From these students comes a smaller group, known as the Link Crew Elite, students who have more experience being a leader are usually the ones who become an Elite member. In the last month, the Elite members travelled around the school and visited freshmen classes and helped the students become

more involved by playing some games. These games helped students to think

and to be more social around their peers and other students.

Photo by Kylie Brown

Juniors Paulina Luckiewicz and Chad Moura sell hot chocolate at a fundraiser for Charity Club on Dec. 8.

Photo by Annie Jung

Things get tense in a Boy’s Varsity Basketball game against Los Gatos High on Dec. 9.

photo by Danielle Baldelomar

Volunteers from Leigh’s Dumbledore’s Army collect donations for their seasonal toy drive. photo by Annie Jung

Advanced drama students light up the stage at their annual winter drama showcase, held Dec. 10.

Link Crew leaders rally in front of freshmen

photo courtesy of Cornelia Barrow photo by Annie Jung



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Literaleigh showstopping

Debut of Literature club’s open mic night event

non-club members and $15 for members. The performances consisted of musical acts, poetry readings, and even Leigh’s creative writing club, Lit- a  three contestant soliloquy battle, eraleigh, put on its first Open Mic Night in which three performers acted out early this month to raise money for the the longest  soliloquy in Shakespeare’s printing “Hamlet” of  their litand had erary magathe auWe thought an open mic zine. dience O n j u d g e night would be perfect Dec. 2, each permany stubecause both our club formance. dents, par Soliloand open mics are all ents, and quy consome facultestant about discovering and ty gathered #1, Alex showing off talent in Room Kozint100 to sev, dewatch and scribed perform the audi- Leah Ginsky at the Open ence as Mic Night. “perfect.” The room was lit only by battery “They laughed at the jokes in my powered candles in the middle of each introduction, listened intently during round table. my performance, and clapped earnestly Food was provided for fifty cents at the end,” said Kozintsev. per item or $2 for a plate. “Literaleigh” The club plans to do another t-shirts were also available for $18 for Open Mic Night due to the success of Josh Vasquez Staff Writer

the first. The night not only proved to be a good fund-raiser for the club, but

“We thought an open mic night would be perfect because both our club and open mics are all about discovering and showing off talent,” said Literaleigh  club member Leah Ginsky, who performed an original song titled “Felix Felicis” at the event. “ I would  definitely say it was a success.”  T h e Literaleigh club meets  on Thursdays  in Room 55.

Photo by: Zach Galou

Club presidents Bianca Broszus and Caralyn Lee rile up the crowd with club adviser Mike White.

Giving up the gown? High school dropout rates untraceable into question recently by several educators around the country who question the methods the U.S. Department of Education used to collect them. There is no official way to collect these statistics, meaning that there’s a large possibility that the graduation rate is much higher or much lower than the 75 percent that the NYT claims.

also served as a way for Leigh students to showcase their talents.

fall. That student has a high school diMarissa Rodriguez ploma, and is therefore by definition Staff Writer not a dropout, yet according to Leigh’s statistics they would be. High school graduation rates in Many schools don’t know exactly the United States are on the rise again, how this data should be collected, so after a steady decline in past years. they end up counting any student that According to statistics in a report transfers as a dropout as well. by The New York Times, the gradua And what about students who tion rate for high take five or school students even six years has risen from 72 to get their dipercent in 2001 plomas? “Suto 75 percent in per Seniors,” 2008. as they’ve Comparibeen called, tively, the Califormight be connia Department sidered dropof Education reouts as well, ports that Leigh’s because they graduation rate don’t graduwas 92.6 percent ate with the for the class of class that they 2008. enrolled in. If In early a student en2010, President rolls with the Obama anClass of 2012, nounced plans but graduates to deliver $900 with the Class million in grants of 2014, they to schools and might still be school districts considered a around the coundropout betry that are known cause of how as “dropout factolong it took ries” because of them to get their abnormally their diploma. high dropout It is rates. extremely In a statedifficult for ment released to schools—esthe Associated pecially public Press, President ones—to keep Obama stated, track of every Photo by: Zach Galou “Not long ago single stuyou could drop Potential graduate trashes the opportunities offered to future diploma-holders. dent who enout of high rolled there, school and reafor however sonably expect to find a blue-collar Look at it this way: if a student long, so accurate graduation statistics job that would pay the bills and help attends Leigh for two years, and then might not even be possible support your family. That’s just not the transfers to and graduates from Pio- If different states are collecting case anymore. Graduating from high neer, some schools would count that this information in different ways, school is an economic imperative.” student as a dropout from Leigh, which then the statistics are far from accurate, These statistics have been called would cause Leigh’s graduation rate to to say the least.

Hunger hindering the holiday season Food banks expect food supply won’t meet demand of the recesssion Berg, community relations and events director at Second Harvest Food Bank. This organization needs to raise The food banks of the U.S. are half of their annual revenue before the preparing for a lack of incoming food start of the new year, since the beginning of each new year for the needy. wanes in activity for As unemfood banks. ployment in the The problems US remains high, food banks are faced the need for these with are the lack of food banks indonations, volunteercreases. The new ing, and general ecoyear will yield nomic hardship. more work for “Starting in Janufood banks, beary, many of the accause more lives tivities slow down but depend on them. there is still an equal Second Harneed for volunteervest Food Bank ism,” said Berg. of Santa Clara, According to the California is adeUSDA, more than quately safe, but is 50 million Americans expecting troubles were lacking access during the new Photo by: Zach Galou year. Salvation Army volunteer better to readily edible and nutritious foods in “We are off than some this season 2010. From 2006 to still very active in 2010, Feeding Amerplans, but there will be several drives and fund-raisers ica has provided 46 percent more peothrough December,” said Michelle ple, which is 12 million more people. Zach Galou Staff Writer


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Aiming for a supreme ruling Prop 8 heading to supreme court in early 2012 of gay marriage, as two of the three judges were appointment by democratic presidents. Even the most conservative judge condemned those who valued “traditional marriage”. U.S. Court Judge N. Randy Smith pointed out that traditional

erosexual couples have?” Smith asked. “We’re left with a word: marriage.” Support for gay rights is evident on the Leigh High School campus through the increasingly popular “le On Monday, Dec. 6, 2010, the galize gay” t-shirts and the GSA (Gay controversial court hearing to deterStraight Alliance) club. mine the constitutionality of Propo Never theless, sition 8 took place in San there is also a strong Francisco. resistance towards gay Proposition 8, which marriage, despite the Bay prohibits same-sex marArea’s reputation of being riage, came into effect in a liberal hot spot. 2008, in response to the “I think that a lot California Supreme Court’s of people are afraid to legalization of gay marriage share their support for only five months before. Prop 8 because we live Last August, U.S disin such a liberal area,” trict court judge Vaughn said senior Annika ArWalker proposed to repeal rasmith. Prop. 8, stating that it “fails Although some to advance any rational bapeople think that gay sis in singling out gay men rights supporters may be and lesbians for denial of a losing hope, it is clear that marriage license.” the gay rights supporters During the first hour at Leigh are maintaining of the trial on Aug. 4, the Photo courtesy of their optimism. court examined controverPhoto courtesy of No on Prop 8 advocates protest in San Francisco Senior Leah Ginsial topics such as whether Voters rally in in response to Prop 8 sky explains, “I know same sex marhomosexuality can be Prop. 8 Schwarzenegger were approached to marriage values involving a man and riage will be legalized in California. changed and whether same sex parenting is potentially harmful to unconstitutional, but Walker’s decision defend Prop. 8 in court, but both have a woman should apply to every person When it’s going to happen is another regardless of their sexuality. question entirely, but we’ll get there.” refused. was not be the final word. children. “What is the rational basis then The general atmosphere of the The ruling was appealed to the The second hour was spent dis- cussing whether the gay marriage ban Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals court room on Dec. 6 was supportive if homosexuals have all the rights hetKim Foote Staff Writer

violates equal protection rights. However, it was not broadcasted on the internet, since the U.S. Supreme Court voted five to four that there was too much of a risk in the witnesses being intimidated during the testimony. Judge Vaughn Walker ruled

Ruling with an iron fist Forced sterilization used to deal with over-population in China Kelley Grogan Business Manager Welcome to Puning, China. In a recent expose, the stories of a few families from this district of 2.2 million people were shared. Forced sterilization, a term we are unfamiliar with in America, is being performed on women with more than one child--especially if the first child is a boy. The family members of those who refuse the sterilization are taken hostage for months at a time, or until the accused give in to forced sterilization. In a quote from the Marie Claire article, A 35 year old woman who had her brother-in-law imprisoned said, “The officials said there was only one way to get my brother-in-law released: I had to undergo forced sterilization.” But this is old news. It is a known fact that China has an overpopulation issue. It is known that there have been some highly unethical measures (taken in the past) to control their population. But even after taking the aforementioned into consideration, it is difficult to see the justification in their plan of forced sterilization. Amidst the argument attacking the district’s actions, one question remains: Is there any other alternative? 
 This “birth control” policy was launched in early April of 2010 by the local family planning bureau.

This campaign, targeting over 10,000 women, has the name of “The Iron Fist Campaign”. The goal is to seek out the women who have more than wone child and punish the mother for doing so. Thew consequence, amongst family members’ incarceration includes a fine. By the middle of April, 1,377 relatives of birth policy violators were being contained. From mid-April to midJune, the Chinese authorities claimed to have sterilized 9,000 of the original 10,000. What the real controversy within the policy is that it is in fact against the Chinese law: A 1995 regulation states that relatives of birth-policy offenders must not be penalized, detained, or used to pressure couples. “The central government uses such rules to pretend it condemns extreme measures to enforce the onechild policy, but it does nothing to punish local authorities that break them. It just turns a blind eye.” Said He Yafu, one of China’s leading experts on family planning. According to a local newspaper, the Nanfang Countryside Daily, ‘the regional Communist Party Chief Chen Hong-Ping had recently come under fire for falling behind with one-childpolicy enforcement, and he risked losing a promotion. Chen ordered the campaign to rapidly improve his numbers.’ He then went on to praise the campaign for making great achievements.

in San Francisco. The case is expected to ultimately go to the Supreme Court, probably in 2012. However, the pro-Prop. 8 side has had difficulty collecting enough people to promote the ban in court. Governor Jerry Brown and Governor Arnold

Timeline November 2003 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court rules state constitution guarantees equal marriage rights for same sex couples February 2003 San Francisco, CA - Mayor Gavin Newsome authorizes city officials to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples, marries couples himself. August 2004 California Supreme Court rules that San Francisco government officials “exceeded their authority” when they legalized same-sex marriages earlier this year, nullifies the marriages May 2008 The California Supreme Court rules that banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The ruling does not take effect until June, 2008. A ballot initiative, not yet certified, could allow voters to overturn this decision by amending the state constitution to define marriage between one man and one woman.


12.16.10 Editors-in-Chief Annie Jung, Maddy Kirsch Section Editors News: Jordan Boomsliter Opinion: Jenna Goeke Features: Shannon Keener Sports: Kelley Grogan Entertainment: Josh Vasquez In-Depth: Varija Yelagalawadi Visuals Editor Kylie Brown Business Managers Chris Wyman, Kelley Grogan Copy Editors Varija Yelagalawadi Staff Writers Josh Vasquez, Jenna Goeke, Danielle Baldelomar, Blayke Leach, Jennfer Park, Shayna James, Rebekah Hassen, Maddy Kirsch, Shannon Keener, Annie Jung, Varija Yelagalawadi, Jordan Boomsliter, Kelley Grogan, Alex Sainez, Spencer Thresh, Zack Galou, Terra Steadman, Jacob Parker, Kylie Brown, Abel Mariam, Marissa Rodriguez, Caitlyn Nurnberg, Nicole Hamilton, Andy Simionas, Arman Alam, Chris Wyman, Kim Foote, Jordan Weinberg, Sydney Black, Roya Askari Design Staff Josh Vasquez, Jenna Goeke, Blayke Leach, Jennfer Park, Shayna James, Rebekah Hassen, Maddy Kirsch, Shannon Keener, Annie Jung, Varija Yelagalawadi, Jordan Boomsliter, Kelly Grogan, Alex Sainez, Spencer Thresh, Terra Steadman, Jacob Parker, Marissa Rodriguez, Caitlyn Nurnberg, Nicole Hamilton, Andy Simionas, Arman Alam, Chris Wyman, Kim Foote, Jordan Weinberg, Sydney Black Visuals Staff Kylie Brown, Zack Galou, Abel Mariam, Roya Askari, Danielle Baldelomar Adviser Elizabeth Towner The Eleight is an independent publication of the Journalism class at Leigh High School. Its content reflects the opinion of the Writing Staff and does not necessarily reflect the views of Leigh High School, its Board of Trustees, faculty, administration or student body. If you feel that The Eleight improperly or insufficiently represents any part of the Leigh High community, or have any other questions, suggestions or comments, please email Leigh’s Journalism class via

The Eleight is an independent publication dedicated to honest, ethical, accurate and complete coverage of the Leigh High student body and its surrounding community.

Dear Readers, Wazzup, y’all. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, take a break from doing derivatives and writing analytical essays. It’s time to eat snowmen cookies, and sleep the heck in. We hope you’ve enjoyed the 2010 editions of the Eleight. May the new year bring in even better editions. Feel free to send us feedback so that we may cover issues relevant to the Leigh community. Happy holidays. Thank you, Annie Jung and Maddy Kirsch

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Time for a few replacements Leigh library books are outdated and falling apart Christopher Wyman Staff Writer What do vinyl records, Nintendo 64s, am radio, and the Leigh High School library have in common? They are all outdated. The Leigh library offers a plethora of books to students; unfortunately, the quality o f coverage of some topics is lackluster. Although the library is a less popular source of information than the Internet for most Leigh students, it still is a valuable resource. According to a survey conducted by “The Eleight,” only 38 percent of students say that they use the library already, and 51 percent of students say that they would use the library more often if the books were more up-to-date and covered more topics. “I’m not a big fan of the choices we have [in the Leigh library]. Most aren’t really relevant to anything we’ll ever have to do in high school, and the topics that are relevant are either really old, out-dated, or are in horrible shape,” said junior Emma Canepa Some students such as Canepa have a hard time finding books that correlate to what they are learning in their classes, let alone finding a book

that interests them. In the same survey, 64 percent Leigh students indicated that they thought the books in the library did not relate to what they were learning. The success of the Leigh library hinges on a mutual effort by the librarian and the Leigh students. The prob-

lem with the books in the library being irrelevant is not solely the fault of the school faculty; Leigh’s students are also to blame. There is a lack of communication between the students and the librarian. However, if there were more communication between students and the librarian, the books on the shelves would be a better semblance of the combined interests of Leigh.

“The students should let me know what books they want to see in the library,” said Joyce Washington, the library’s book clerk. The average age of a book in our library is 24 years according to Washington. To put things in perspective, the average price of gas was 93 cents in 1986. Print media already is at a disadvantage compared to electronic media in terms of convenience, but when coupled with outdated books filling up the shelves, the prospect of using the Leigh library turns off many students. According to Washington, there is no budget to buy books, leaving her reliant on donations and late book fines. “The budget is always a limiting factor, and we’re always up for donations,” Photo by Roya Askari said Washington. “It’s the best we can do right now with the budget cuts and such. It is understandable, but now it’s up to us to donate or push for more funding,” said junior Amanda Cendejas. The library at Leigh is not the best of the best, but Washington tries her best. Next time you cannot find the book you are looking for, remember that the budget limits the number of books we can buy.

Laughter eases awkward tensions

Reasons behind laughing at disturbing or awkward things Blayke Leach Staff Writer

comedy. “What he says and the way he says it is just funny. I can’t explain it it’s just him,” said junior Jimmy Williams. Certain fundamental aspects of humor help explain why human misfortunes may elicit laughter, such as

Overexposure to mass media is desensitizing our generation to serious topics. Rape, murder, prostitution, abuse, and other touchy subjects are not funny, but we find ourselves cracking up anyways. People today find ways to laugh at anything presented to them, either via Youtube, modern television, or other forms of entertainment.  Most of the Photo by Kylie Brown videos with the most views on Videos such as the above “Bed Intruder” evoke huYoutube are about morous reactions from viewers, despite the seriousi n a p p r o p r i a t e ness of the topics. things commonly seen in society.  the “play frame,” which puts a real-life For example, a hugely popular event in a non serious context. video right now is a news segment Why people find it necessary about a man climbing into a house to make an in Chicago and attempting to rape a inappropriyoung woman. ate situa But the reason people watch this tion funny video is for the woman’s brother who is not too makes a complete fool of himself with hard to his accent, outlandish speaking style, u n d e r and mannerisms while explaining the stand. Peosituation. ple s i m While most would agree that p l y do the reason it’s so funny is not the not know content but actually the man himself, any other the fact of the matter is the video is way of dealing with something that is about intrusion and rape, and it’s in- awkward or sad. Laughter is a healappropriate that people see golden ing activity and instead of feeling

bad, they would much rather laugh at someone’s pain, even if deep down they feel for them. “People laugh because (the topics) are awkward, and people are immature and don’t know what else to do in that situation,” senior Kady Newbie explained. Shows like America’s Funniest Home Videos exploit this characteristic with their numerous videos of people injuring themselves in messedup ways and the reason it is still on is because people find it entertaining and funny. A few years ago a video about a soccer goalie getting nailed in the face with a soccer ball became extremely popular all over the internet. The person gets laid out and I’ll admit I laughed pretty hard the first couple times I saw it. The video is only five seconds long, but it has over 12 million views on Youtube. While the video is strictly about someone getting hurt, the common reaction to the video is laughter and a response about how badly that would suck. The way we get past this feeling of sympathy and awkwardness is laughter, and we continue laughing until it hits home. Imagine if your sister was harmed, or if you got knocked out by a soccer ball to the face. Would you be laughing?

[ ] People simply do not know any other way of dealing with something that is awkward or sad.


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Deferrals & Vanilla Extract Deferral. It ain’t rejection, but it sure isn’t acceptance. If Deferral and I were in a bar, I would probably tell him to man up and tell it to me straight. “Don’t give me none of this pansy beating-around-the-bush haberdash. Go on, tell me; am I in or am I out?” As I backed him up into a corner, I’d glower and say, “Come now, man - speak, I say! Then let us both go on our merry (or disappointed) way.” But Deferral is not a person, and we are not in a bar. I can neither threaten or coax him into revealing my final admissions decision. Instead, I must work furiously to kick my calculus grade into shape as I ride it out until early April, when they give me the official yea or nay of admission. What a sadist joke that would be - “Dear Annie Jung, we are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Pomona College...” I would feel a balloon of happiness with a joy factor equivalent to that of Nutella swell inside of me, only to be burst by: “...JK, you’re rejected. April Fool! LMAO. Love, Pomona.” Seniors, this is a scenario that many of us are dreading. Today’s calculus class acted as more of a lesson in admissions decisions and probability than differentiation review. We’ve all been rendered uneasy upon seeing how even someone with a perfect SAT score and the highest GPA in the Class of 2011 gets rejected - no deferral, no waiting list, just plain “no thank you.” Early decision/action letters and e-mails started arriving this past weekend, and as of yet, there have been none to receive the coveted letter of acceptance. Granted, this is likely due to the fact that we filled up the early action inboxes of the nation’s most prestigious universities (as in those with acceptance rates of about ten percent or lower) in a group with double the members of previous Leigh senior classes. However, the talk about prestigious colleges and the Ivy League are a bit unsettling and disappointing. There have been many posts/conversations about how if one were accepted into an Ivy, one would attend; how if one were denied from all the Ivies, one would cry and die; how one has applied to an Ivy under early decision, which is legally binding, without even knowing anything about that Ivy. It’s like the vanilla extract experience. You love the smell of vanilla - heck, who doesn’t? It smells of comfort, hugs, warmth, love, and delectable soothing. There you are, a wee cherub of four, seven, twelve, or fifteen (these are the ages that my friends and I have all experienced the following) who is struck with a yearning for the taste of golden, ivory heaven. So you climb onto your counter while your mom isn’t watching, search through the cupboards, and find the prize - le bottle de vanilla extract! Sitting your little bum down the counter, you wiggle with glee, holding the bottle tightly as you unscrew the cap. The perfume of angels wafts and sweeps over your olfactory system, which quickly texts your tastebuds “Yo, you gotta hit that right now. It smells divine” or “Have mercy, but you must taste at once that which produces such an elysian scent.” Having carefully measured out a

Please pass the love: the effects

of skipping family dinners Kylie Brown Staff Writer

A look through the pensieve large spoonful of the gods’ elixir, you take a final deep whiff as you prepare for a mouthful of pure, unadulterated delight. Then you clamp your lips over the spoon. “Mew! Blecharghpuffpfft.” Your eyes twitching and vision flickering like the overhead hallway lights when the Grudge approaches, you swallow the unpleasant bitterness quickly. All of a sudden, those vegetables on the counter awaiting the dinner salad guillotine start to look real friendly and you have a bite of the wrinkly carrot your mama left on the cuttingboard to mask the overpowering flavor. Revelling in the never-before delicious taste of natural sugar and carotene, you reflect, wondering what went wrong. That which had seemed so sweet, so lovely is actually quite unappealing when you finally taste that which you’ve hankered after. It seems, you realize, that what you had desired for so long was actually quite an ill-suited match for your tastes. Amusingly, several of my friends still do try this on a yearly basis - “Perhaps I just recall the taste incorrectly,” they hope as they uncap the vanilla extract bottle while baking chocolate chip cookies. I then have to steer their spitting mouths away from the cut-out dough. Which also fits a bit into the analogy - there are kids who obsess about attending an Ivy from elementary school on. Yet when we hit high school and tackle AP courses, some of those very Ivy aspirers turn up their noses at doing un-Sparknoteable work and whine about the work load. Yet the next year, they take even more APs, seduced by the promise of GPA points, only to herald their pain and woe over Facebook. We all have misplaced ambitions. However crushing the time of denial, of rejection, from what (or even who) we wanted so much, we often find that we would have been worse for the wear had our desires been fulfilled. Say that I am denied from Pomona come early April. Shall it be a heavy blow? Certainly, seeing as how I’ve read the brochures longingly, visited the campus multiple times, bookmarked the website, and spoken of it in my column for three years. But I’ll remember the vanilla extract. I’ll go to another school, because chocolate chips taste just as delectable. Even the colleges themselves tell you: in the end, the school you claim alumnus status to isn’t pivotal in the grand scheme of your life. Admission to all of the Ivys won’t do you any good if you try to coast; your life course depends on your effort. Keep in the mind the last couplet of the poem “Invictus”: You are the master of your fate. You are the captain of your soul.


It would appear that our generation and the preceding generation tend to be at odds with each other. We never seem to be able to agree with our parents on anything, and we just push them away. This is actually due in large part to the lack of a nightly family dinner in today’s common family. Teenagers are so disconnected from their parents these days, and it isn’t hard to see why. It’s so easy for parents, especially in Silicon Valley, to get wrapped up in their careers and work until nine at night. It’s a lot easier for them to just buy their children some fast food and call it a day. What they don’t realize, though, is that if they don’t really bond with their kids in any way, and they don’t have a time set aside for bonding over a nice dinner, they’ll grow more and more distant from each other. Although teenagers may not real-

ize it, enjoying a family dinner is your parents’ way of showing that you are a priority and they care. That quality time is essential to nurturing a bond between parent and child. “[My family and I] like to eat together. It’s a good time to talk and bond,” said Junior Rebecca Pa t t e r s o n , “spending quality time with my parents makes me feel like they care about me and support me.” In fact, family dinners even save kids from substance abuse and other common adolescent struggles. A 2008 study conducted by the Photos by Kylie Brown University Of Minnesota School Of Public Health found that girls who have five or more meals a week with their family are one-third less likely to develop

unhealthy eating habits such as anorexia, bulimia, or diet pill usage. Family dinners are also partially responsible for kids getting better grades. Results of a study conducted by Columbia University showed that teenagers who eat with their families at least five times a week are more likely to get better grades in school and much less likely to have substance abuse problems. Seeing the diminishing numbers of families that eat dinner together and the pros of dining with the family, it isn’t surprising to see the increased number of teens that abuse drugs as a potential result. So how can families who have been stuck to a system of retreating to their own corners of the house with their own meals and just do a complete 180 and dine together over a nutritious home-made meal? Easy. Just set aside time occasionally to enjoy dinner together. It’s the perfect time for everyone to share their day with each other and learn new things about one another. Besides, how fun is it to eat and converse with yourself?

[ ] Family dinners even save a healthy majority of kids from substance abuse and other common youth issues.

The iGeneration

What will the future generations say about us? ly, which cost the industry billions of dollars a year. Also, there is no human element to buying music anymore. It was rumored at a time that those “re Generation - the dictionary deficord stores” were places where people nition is “all of the people who were hung out and listened to music. It also born at approximately the same time, seems that interactions like going out considered as a group, and especially to places and talking to someone face when considered as having shared into face are changing with our times. terests and attitude.” From the flappers Connecting and communicating of the roaring twenties to the hippies of with others is another area of our lives the sixties, all generathat has been changed tions have some label by technology. Rememto them that defines ber when you wanted to them. go play with a friend as But what defines a kid? With permission our generation? The you had go out, knock answer isn’t 100 percent on their door, and ask since one would have “Can so-and-so play?” to wait until after our Or maybe it would ingeneration has grown volve calling them on up, but it’s a safe bet your house phone and to say that our generayou could dial it if you tion will most likely be were lucky. defined by the techno Nowadays, there logical advancements. are countless options on Our generation how to talk to someone has had the unique and as these options experience to grow grow, it seems like the up with the boomface-to-face encounters ing developments in shrink. For example, rePhoto by Kylie Brown technology that have cent research shows that influenced every as- The Apple store is the center of our technology-driven world. one in five relationships pect of our lives from started online. Think spending leisure time, about it. That means to connecting with other people. generation through music and the way that twenty percent of people who are Growing up, probably the most we get it. The words “record store” are in committed relationships didn’t meet advanced toy of our generation was the foreign and strange to most when com- face to face the first time, more like Nintendo 64. This was the start of the pared to “iTunes store” and Limewire face to computer screen. video gaming revolution with our gen- (RIP). With technology defining our eration. After this there were more and The technology influence in mu- generation and influencing nearly evmore advanced video games, made to sic has brought positives with acces- ery nook and cranny of our lives, there captivate our attention and drain our sibility through downloads, and how is a need for balance; a balance between allowances. easy it is to discover new music through human experience and technological In the span of roughly twenty sites such as But a huge ones so our generation will be known years, video gaming has gone from negative for music companies is the il- for utilizing technology to the best of amusing and relatively lighthearted to legal downloads that occur so frequent- its ability instead of overdosing on it. Andy Simionas Staff Writer

rendering players so involved that it blurs into addiction. Through this growth in the complexity in video games, people have become more invested in games that then going out and enjoying the real world. For a few, the situation is far worse: the line between reality and the fantasy worlds created by such high tech video games becomes blurred. Also, technology has shaped our

opinion Hear no evil, speak no evil

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View from the Sunroof

Discussion on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military regulation According to a survey taken by Zogby International in 2006, 73 percent of military personnel are comfort 75 percent of youths in America able working with lesbians and gays. If today are ineligible to be in the military their fellow service men are okay with because of inadequate education and it, it’s ridiculous that homosexuals are criminal and weight problems, while still not allowed to be open about their eligible young men and women who sexual orientation. The survey also are gay or lesbian are still not allowed showed that the majority of the youngto be part of the military. er generation, our generation, doesn’t care whether someone is gay or not, and they do not link job performance with sexual orientation. With all of this out in the open, it seems fair for people to be able to be open about their sexuality, even if it is unnecessary. “ I t ’s a q u a l ity someone has that not everyone has to know about, it’s personal.” said sophomore Peri Newby, a member of the GSA club (gay straight alliance) and hopeful recruit for the U.S Air Force. As of this year, 75 percent of Americans are supportive of homosexuals serving their country openly. With all of the tolerance we have now that we did not have when Photo courtesy of flickr the policy was initiated, people have to wonder why The “don’t ask, don’t tell” law was things have not changed yet. So many passed by congress in 1993. It is an act people are openly gay in America and mandating the discharge of openly gay, some are even open about it where they lesbian, or bisexual service members, work. If they can be open about it in an while also prohibiting the U.S. Mili- office, why not the military? tary from discussing or investigating While we are at war in Iraq the sexual orientation. Since 1994, more military has to recruit some of the best than 14,000 service members have and the brightest, and it’s unreasonable been fired for being openly homosexu- that the list is based on sexual preferal, according to Servicemembers Legal ence. That is not only holding back Defense Network (SLDN). It’s com- people of their true potential, but it pletely unnecessary and unfair treat- is holding back our country of all the ment for service members who have great military leaders it could have. done nothing wrong to be discharged. Today there are at least 66,000 What happened to the equality that is gay Americans in active duty, and one discussed in the Bill of Rights? million gay veterans. It’s amazing that Caitlyn Nurnberg Staff Writer

all of these people can serve in the army, and yet they are not allowed to be openly gay. If people in the army were to ‘come out of the closet’ nothing would change. Their work ethic and performance would not be hindered by the fact that they are of a different sexual orientation. No one can know for sure, but it is most likely that they would be treated the same, or at least they should be. After President Obama took office in January, he stated that he would put an end to don’t ask, don’t tell. After this statement, Admiral Michael Mullen told congress that repealing don’t ask don’t tell, often referred to as DADT, is the right thing to do. By a vote of 234 to 194, the House of Representatives made an amendment National Defense Authorization Act. This amendment could lead to the repeal of DADT in early 2011.

DADT Facts

Pro-life Club, continued from Front Page we’re doing], and we don’t want to disrupt anything.” when asked why the club has not done many in-school events or rallies. Instead of worrying about the consequences of introducing controversial issues onto campus, the club should focus on strengthening their cause. If students respond to their efforts immaturely, so be it. If the club can get their message out amidst opposition, then they will have succeeded. In an attempt to raise awareness, the club passed out cupcakes at the Homecoming rally and offered information on abortion and its disadvantages. However, most students

were unaware that anything more than free cupcakes were distributed. Controversy is an aspect of life that has always and will always be around. It is unavoidable. It creates divisions within countries and arguments even between the closest of friends. In high schools, differences of opinion can create cliques and alienation. But is that any reason for controversial topics to be avoided in schools? Without creating controversy, awareness can not be completely raised. People can not be made to think about a topic if there is no controversy. Granted, certain topics must remain untouched in classes, but clubs

Club Goals The annual SOS Fashion Show is given to raise money for the Princess Project, offering girls free prom dresses Key Club hosts fundraisers and events to raise awareness on important issues such as the Invisible Children seminar SADD (Students Against Drunk Driving) raise awareness about drunk driving in order to prevent student accidents Dumbledore’s Army hosts annual toy drives to donate toys, clothes, books, and movies to the Children’s Shelter

and groups on campus willing to tackle these topics should always be allowed to. Clubs such as Gay Straight Alliance, Junior Statesmen of America, and now the Pro-Life club are doing the school a favor by discussing current controversial issues. With the inclusion of such clubs, students have the opportunity to become politically aware and develop their own stances on issues. In JSA, regular meetings consisting of formal debates and other discussions occur throughout the school year. They have peers to debate topics with in a safe environment, and can fully come to appreciate and understand other peoples’ perspectives. Activist organizations such as Live Action also encourage rallying and protesting as a group outside of school, and doing so provides students with an opportunity to truly get involved in an issue they feel strongly about. Regardless of the potential downfalls around discussing major political and ethical controversies on campus, the introduction of these topics only further allow students and staff alike to grow. During a lunch meeting, members of the Pro Life club provided ideas for possible upcoming events on campus. Amidst ideas for the usual rallies and counseling outside abortion clinics, one seemed to stand out the most: a school-wide Pro-Life versus Pro-Choice debate.

Senior Moments Somewhere in the night, there’s the faint sound of a monstrous, animalistic roar. Then, somewhere close by, another unknown being echoes the sound. The sound makes chills run down my spine. The cool wind tousles my hair. My back starts to ache from awkwardly leaning around the passenger seat to stick my head out the sunroof of the car. The vehicle slowly creeps down the hill and around the bend, drawing closer and closer to the guttural growls emanating from the bushes. And there is the source of the noise. A tyrannosaurus rex, the source of the Hollywood-esque noise, stands to the left of an erupting volcano. The sound matches the scene perfectly, like a snapshot from “Jurassic Park”. Christmas is a big deal in my house, made up of many different traditions. One of the most memorable of these traditions is going to the “Fantasy of Lights” at Vasona Park. You’d think that it would gets boring after a few years because yes, there’s not much change in the lights from year to year. But it’s really not about the lights. It’s about the sense of family. Everyone in our family has our favorite—Dad likes Santa playing basketball, while my sisters and Mom love the bear that climbs up and slides down the candy cane. Every year we go through the park, we always see the little kids hanging out windows and standing in the sunroofs of cars. I don’t know why I never had the urge to do it; I guess it just didn’t appeal to me. But this year…this year, those smiling kids spoke to me. Ok admittedly, in the past we’ve always had the windows up when we go through the park so it’s quite possible that the kids have always talked and we just haven’t heard it. But this year was different. The window was down. We heard all of those happy kids yell “Merry Christmas!” at us as we passed them. We even heard the kids who were either trying to be clever or were very confused as they yelled “Happy Halloween!” But I heard them this year. I heard them with their high-pitched, pre-pubescent voices. They were so carefree. They weren’t worrying about an upcoming Trig test. They were so happy! They weren’t worried about the guy they liked, or the ex-best friend who stole the guy they liked. There was no worry about the recession, the lack of jobs, or the pressing need for a job to cover all the holiday expenses. They weren’t worried about what all these strangers thought of them as they cheered and sang. They were young. They were living the dream. Christmas was catered directly to their age group. The gifts in their stockings didn’t come from Target or Best Buy. No, their presents were reindeer-delivered and the direct result of sitting on an old man’s lap outside of Macy’s.

And so yes. Yes, I am proud to announce that I hung out the sunroof to see the lights. Were the lights different? No, they looked the same as they always had. Did I feel ridiculous? Yes, absolutely. I had a good ten years on all the other kids hanging out the windows. Was it worth it? Absolutely. To little kids, Christmas magic is pretty incredible. Free presents from a happy old guy who lives in the North Pole and has flying reindeer? Sounds pretty great. But once we know the truth, there’s no more magic. It’s all an illusion, really. And it’s just…not so fun anymore. It’s no fun to dwell on the realistic side of Christmas. Once you realize the truth about Santa, Christmas is forever changed. There’s no more anticipation on Christmas Eve or the lingering fear that you’d soon be the owner of a shiny hunk of coal instead of a shiny new iPod. That’s not to say that I don’t have fun with Christmas, because I absolutely do. There is nothing better than peppermint bark, hot chocolate, and gingerbread men. Call me a dork, but I can’t help but smile when I drive down Highway 85 and see Santa Claus plugging in the Christmas tree on top of Best Buy. I am a Christmas-music addict. I absolutely adore it. If you haven’t heard it already, check out “Dominic the Donkey”. It’s the most bizarre Christmas song ever, but it’s a Black family favorite. I love the Christmas specials on television. The Big Bang Theory Christmas special from a few years ago, where Penny dates the motorcycle guy, is the all-time best Christmas special. But Christmas is about more than all of lights, goofy songs, and presents. Santa Claus, Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman, and Yukon Cornelius (you’re amazing if you get that reference, by the way) are fun. But they’re not the important part of the season. Christmas is about the birth of Christ. Other than Charlie Brown, few TV characters will discuss it. But that’s the reason we celebrate Christmas. Jesus Christ was sent to be the Savior of the world. Christmas is simply about his birth. His birth in a very humble stable in Bethlehem. That’s what Christmas is about. Whether you’re religious or not, that is why we have Christmas. Even if the Nativity scene isn’t for you, the holiday season is the time where everyone tries to make the world a better place. There’s a tangible happy feeling during the holiday season. Blame it on the eggnog, the lack of school, or the knowledge that presents are heading our way, but people, as a whole, tend to be happier during this time. I’ve outgrown Santa and Rudolph. I do like going back to watch the clay-mation videos, but they’re from a chapter of my life that has closed. They’re fun, but they don’t bring the happiness and joy that they used to. I guess it’s a sign that I’m old that I honestly have no idea what I want for Christmas. No clue whatsoever. But Christmas isn’t about the presents. It’s about religious beliefs, morals, and traditions. You have yours, and I have mine. But whether you’ll celebrate Christmas by going to church, or if you only celebrate the non-religious part of the holiday: Merry Christmas. Happy holidays, Longhorns. Enjoy the break. Procrastinate on your homework and get some sleep.

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Need. Want. Desire.

More.Need. Want. Desire. More.

Need. Want. Desire.


More.Need. Want. D

I ShOp, Ther

Our society is based on the premise of not de

extra pair of shoes, we need to go to Taco Bell that movie a second time. Our incapability lies primarily in our belief that less is never m ing, and no one. We deserve everything our m We are worthy of spending more money than

There is a force so powerful it drives us to stay up all night. A force which compels the average soccer mom to turn into a crazed, blood thirsty beast that throws elbows and insults as it reaches for a pair of shoes that is 50 percent off. A force which has been embraced as an integral part of the American lifestyle. The force in question is consumerism, and it has us in its clutches. People in the United States tend to take products’ sides as if they were truly important concepts. There are millions of people “liking” (on Facebook and real life) everything from their clothing store to their computer brand. Our brands make our image, our personality. We love our material possessions, and are proud and loyal consumers when it comes to brands. You are either Pepsi or Coca-Cola, either Mac or PC. You can’t be both a Droid and an iPhone. You must choose between Abercrombie and Hot Topic. We let these brands and products become us. We have forgotten that under the thousands of logos, we are people. From an early age we are taught “you are what you eat,” and as a result, nobody wants just the generic cereal each morning. Brand names begin to define who we are as we reach for our Kellogg’s or General Mill’s. We have been told to be unique, original. Generic “soda” just doesn’t have the pop of some name-brand cola. The business of America is consumerism. The question is, are we negatively affecting our nation’s future by throwing our money at any new product our favorite brand makes? We have given them our consumer loyalty and with the brands the power resides. “By age 3 children represent a ‘$20 billion market,’” according to Susan Gregory Thomas author of the book Buy, Buy, Baby. This just shows that as a child you were trained to recognize their brand and grow up to replace an old consumer. We live cookie cutter lives and everything is predictable. Our realm of possibility has shrunken immensely. We have all become clones and our desire to fit in has us reaching for our brands.

School has just ended. You’re starving and you’re on the prowl for sustenance. How do you alleviate your hunger? a) Raid your kitchen’s pantries and cupboards. b) Hit up the vending machines or gas station for snacks. c) Get a bite to eat at a cafe or fast food restaurant. d) Unfold a napkin and peruse the menu at a sit-down restaurant. Look inside your closet. How long could you possibly go without wearing the same thing twice? a) 1 week or less. b) 2-3 weeks. c) About a month. d) More than a month, hey hey. Look at your current outfit. How many articles of clothing or accessories display a visible brand name? a) Nothing. b) A few items on your person. c) More than 50% of your outfit. d) You’re dripping with brand names and logos.

-Spencer Thresh, Staff Writer

In Depth created by Spencer Thresh, Nicole Hamilton, Abel Mariam, and Varija Yelagalawadi

Mostly A’s You are very thrifty and your financial habits ensure that

your wallet doesn’t lose much weight. Unnecsesary expenses and impulse purchases don’t happen in your accounting books. You’re selective about where and for what you spend your money.

Mostly B’s

You’re ain’t a spendthrift but you ain’t thrifty. You’re no Scrooge - you pay for things you need or really want, but you don’t throw money down for everything. Your financial status is stable. You make small purchases pretty often.



page 09

refOre I Am

-Varija Yelagalawadi, In Depth Editor

The Apple store is busy with the relase of its latest sleek must-have device. What are you doing? a) Facebooking on your Windows XP-running desktop computer. b) Googling away on your Windows 7-running computer. c) Keeping your Macbook Pro from a year or two ago. d) Getting the latest and biggest Mac computer. It’s your birthday and your grandma has sent you a nice, crisp Benjamin Franklin. How long do those 100 bones last? a) A month or longer - save, save, save. b) A few weeks. c) One week. d) A few days at most - you’ve got expenses to pay for. Time to go holiday shopping! How much do you spend on each family member and close friend? a) Nothing or a few dollars, as homemade gifts are the best. b) $15 to $30. c) $30 - $50. d) More than $50.



You’re no Kim Kardashian but you like the nicer, newer things in life. You do indulge in brand names and like to spend. Money is something you have enough of - it pays for your daily Starbucks and Chipotle runs.

o t l

Mostly C’s

Mostly D’s

The members of your entourage? A new BMW, iPhone 4, and hair that’s treated and trimmed every two weeks. You have the latest things, and cash flows easily from your Gucci wallet and the numbers shift frequently in your AmEx account. Designers and luxury are how you roll.

The American identity is rooted in capitalism, an economic system in which means of production are owned and operated for private profit. Within this system grew consumerism, a commitment to the acquisition of commercial products and goods. The rise of consumerism in the states is closely related with the rise of public relations. Edward Bernays, father of modern public relations, created propaganda techniques for the US Government to control public opinion about World War I. Bernays then went on to apply that knowledge in peacetime in the area of business. With holidays dedicated to feeding the pockets of big businesses, America has made a drastic change from the simpler times like those held by the pilgrims. We have created holidays like Black Friday to serve our insatiable need for material goods. Amidst the economic depression that America is in, we still manage to be break shopping records. Living in a consumer society, we grow increasingly competitive, only focused on having the latest gadgets. As the holiday season approaches we should all become aware of our spending habits. Being that this is the time of where we exchange gifts, we should remain modest. Surrounded by commercial propaganda, we can become easily manipulated and serve the interests of big businesses. Beyond financial strain, consumerism has contributed largely to the decay of morals and standards. A perfect example of this is Jdimytai Damour, a former Walmart worker who was trampled to death amid the frenzy of 2008’s Black Friday “festivities.” Though cases like this are rare, they are symbolic of the path that we’re on. - Abel Mariam, Visuals/Staff Writer

More.Need. Want. Desire. More.

esiring, not wanting, but needing. We need that instead of eating at home, we need to go watch to differentiate between our needs and wants more. To be satisfied is to be weak. To be nothmaterialistic world has to offer, and a little more. we have. We are Americans. We are consumers.

Need. Want. Desire.

Desire. More.Need. Want. Desire. More.

Money can’t buy me love


Grains of sand

Two words five letters I died on a beach, the sand squishing through my toes as I walked down the shore. The warm rays of sun hit my shoulders, and the salty air wafted in from the ocean as waves lapped at the shore. I walked with my mom, and as we talked, my time ticked away. I died on a beach. As we walked, I felt as if we both knew that my time was drawing to a close. Although aware of the approaching end, we continued with an unspoken agreement not to talk about it. Death followed behind us, footsteps muffled by our conversation and the waves. The last grains began to fall through the hourglass. I died on a beach. Seven grains left. We stopped walking. Six grains left. We looked at each other. Five grains left. My mom calmly said, “Are you gay?” Four grains left. The air escaped from my lungs. Three grains left. Gentle waves turned into a lion’s roar. I could not hear anything. Two grains left. A simple “yes” fell out of my mouth. The last grain fell through the hourglass. My lungs searched for air, my heart crescendoed, then stopped, the sea crashed upon the beach. I died on a beach. Pause. Then, the hourglass swung around, poised to resume. The sand began to trickle down. I was born on a beach. One grain fallen. I gasped for the air my burning lungs desired. Two grains fallen. My mom and I looked at each other. Three grains fallen. “I love you no matter what,” floated out of my mother’s mouth. Four grains fallen. I remembered to breathe. Five grains fallen. We hugged, and the ashes were swept away by the tide. Six grains fallen. The hug ended and we stepped back. Seven grains fallen. We stepped forward. I never considered the consequences of my actions, or the way that they would affect my mom. A porcelain façade hid the pain that my mom felt; it hid the emptiness that consumed her. I had stolen from her the moments she as a mother expected to come. She knew that she would not help a soon to be daughter-in-law plan a wedding, witness the birth of her grandchild, get to tell her grandchildren stories, or bake them cookies. I had stolen her perfect son, I had dam-

aged her reputation, and I chipped her porcelain mask. Coming out to my mom pulled the loose strings that held our fraying relationship. Coupled with differing political ideologies, religious beliefs, and a lack of communication, my admission left us trying to bridge the canyon separating us. Whenever we tried to talk, it resulted in us yelling across the canyon, words lost in the void, leaving us struggling to find common ground. A multitude of topics ranging from my “legalize gay” shirt, to a cake that a friend made me, sparked arguments with my mom. With my busy schedule, and my mom working two jobs, the windows of time that we were both at home were few and far in between, meaning that most of her adjustment was on her own. The brief windows that we were together ended up being occupied by screaming matches. Whether you’re admitting to your parent that you drink, that you have been lying, or coming out, all these admissions can affect your relationship with you parents. The process of coming out to a parent can be best described as a period of limbo. You will be stuck as your parent slowly accepts the change; this period is often marred by frequent arguments, as well as riddled with the holes these arguments create in your self esteem. As with any admission to your parents that they were not expecting, it can create a strain on a relationship. Having to watch my mom’s negative reaction felt like an ocean current was pulling me down. It felt as if I was struggling to stay afloat, as my mom and school weighed me down. From the bottom looking up to the surface, I appeared to be drowning in an indigo shade of melancholy. School seemed boring, extra-curriculars seemed pointless, and home seemed like anything but home. I felt empty inside as if every argument sucked away bits and pieces of me. I thought that things would never get better. I felt lost for a long time, but as time went on things got better. The arguments were some of the most painful moments I have endured, and I would never wish how I felt upon anyone. Coming out to a parent about anything is never easy, but regardless of what we may think, our parents just want the best for us. We may not always agree with what they believe is best for us; however, communication is healthy, and even if your parent’s reaction is positive or negative, it is always better to have told your parents than to keep secrets. The emotional repercussions of coming out to your parents about something often remain silent. We all will have to face telling our parents, spouses, bosses, teachers, co-workers, or family members something that we are not particularly proud of having done. This admission will most likely change the way they see us. We will argue, we will cry, we will argue more, but in the end, we will know that we did the right thing by communicating, because the biggest mistake that we could make is to stay silent. There is no sure-fire formula for how to handle the admission process, but in the end things get better. Sand falls through the hourglass, time passes. It is better for the people around us to hate us for the truth, than for them to love us for a lie.



When you pick up your phone, is cancer calling? in the Wireless Age: An Insiders Alarming Discoveries about Cancer and Genetic damage.” Today, cell phones are not only Merry Christmas! You rip open used by adults, but children as well the packaging of what is going to be starting at ages even younger than your favorite gift yet: a brand 8-years-old. This fact is deeply new iPhone! Overwhelmed in the concerning to researchexuberance of receiving this ers around the world. amazing gift, you toss aside the “Children are instruction manual, more vulnerable to radiathe user guide, and, tion than adults,” explains most unfortunately, the Devra Davis to the “New warning label. York Times”, an epidemi That warning laologist who published a bel you just threw away book on cell phone radiacontained some valuable tion called “Disconnect.” information, including “Radiation that the fact that the phone penetrates only two inches you’re about to press into the brain of an adult to your ear could potentialwill reach much ly give you brain cancer. deeper into the Epidemiological studbrains of children.” ies, or studies that re Disney has recentsearch types and instances ly partnered with Sprint of disease in certain to create Disney-branded populations, are begincellular phones for ning to see a correlation Photo by Zack Galou families. The target age between cangroup, also known as the cer and cell phones. Students spend hours everyday on the “tweener marThe discovery that phone and don’t even think about the risks. ket” is ages 8 to 12 the radiation emitp o p u l a r. years old. Some feel that ted by cell phones could cause b e c a m e “Visit any public building, college having a cell phone is worth the risk. cancer disrupted the cell phone industry. In response, they were classroom, courthouse, or commuter “I would not stop (using the cell prompted to fund a 25 million dol- train, and look around. You’ll phone) because it doesn’t have a big lar research program to prove that see people using not just wireless effect on me” said Alex Lewis, a secell phones are safe. Unfortu- phones, but also wireless laptop com- nior who talks on her cell phone “a of times a week” nately, the results backfired. puters and miniature palm tops. couple So, what’s the verdict? Should “The epidemiological studies that What you won’t see are the micro- have used the phone thus far are waves that are criss-crossing in a we keep our beloved cell phones or are showing confined space where a number of throw them away forever? Whatus doubling and tripling the risk people who are not even using these ever the case, we seem to have of brain cancer and eye cancer” instruments are bombarded with a bit more time to decide. explains Dr. George Carlo, the these waves.” Carlo writes in his book; In the words of Davis, “I do think I’m chief research scientist of the “Cell phones: Invisible Hazards looking at an epidemic in slow motion.” Shayna James Staff Writer

research program. In a world with a total of about 6.8 billion people, the year of 2009 reached a total of about 4.6 billion cell phone subscriptions. That’s a lot of cell phones, and apparently a lot of radiation. The risk of brain cancer has experienced a 25 percent increase since cell phones

A brand new way to celebrate:

New ways to spend your New Year’s the person with the last remaining curse wins. For a night with those relatives: Family parties can be lame and There are many different acboring, so take the reigns and tivities to do on New Year’s Eve. The plan the party yourself. Movie activities that probably come to marathons are always fun. Spend mind for most teenagers are the the night with a activities you might marathon of your not want to adHow well do you know your New Years? favorite series— mit to your grandextended vermother. But there 1) During a fireworks show, what determines the pattern of firework explosion DVD’s are fun alterna- sions? are required. tives for a New a: the amount of gun powder Gather all your Year’s Eve for all. b: timing of the explosion favorite snacks and For a night c: the arrangement of star pellets inside the shell drinks. If there out: Hit San Franciswill be young co with some friends. 2) What year did the New Year’s celebration in Times Square begin? children attending Take a kayaking a: 1904 the party that are tour of the San b: 1912 either too young Francisco bay with c: 1933 or too obnoxyour buds and ious to last until see the lit skyline 3) Which place was the last to celebrate the new millennium on Jan. 1, midnight, celefrom a different 2000? brate the New Year angle. Tours leave a: Antarctica on New York time at 10 p.m. for an b: Russia and send the kids hour and a half c: Hawaii off to bed at and double kay9:00 p.m. Caliaks are available if 4) Which of the following is eaten to symbolize a financially prosperous fornia time. you want a buddy. New Year? There are tons If you want to be a: cabbage of other alternaon the water but not 1. C 2. A 3. C 4. A b: ice cream tive activities out in the water, there are Quiz created by Jordan Weinberg c: pork there to ring in plenty of cruises to Photo courtesy of epicfireworks the New choose from. Beware that some activities will have a hefty price, Apples”, “Scrabble”, and even “Mo- Year. Have chocolate syrup and cream fight. Make while others will be free. Make res- nopoly” can be made more fun when whipped ervations ahead of time if possible played with friends. And all of those marshmallow guns from PVC pipe and to ensure you have a spot. games leave plenty of room for snipe unsuspecting victims. Raid“Party America” for silly string For a night in: Throw your own good conversation and laughter. The game “Curses” is a great party and have an epic war in the backyard. New Year’s party. Google is swarming with ideas and tips for themed par- game. Players receive curses like Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider ties, but the party doesn’t have to “Make an animal sound every time is a classy way to drink in the new necessarily be themed. Invite only someone mentions food” that they year, and plastic fake champagne your closest friends for a low-key must keep for the entire game. Then glasses really complete the night. shindig at your house. Tell all players must act out silly combina- Like many things in life, your the guests to bring their favorite tions of crazy commands without New Year’s Eve festivities will be as snack, therefore eliminating the breaking any of their curses and fun as you make them. Sydney Black Staff Writer

need for you to provide all the food by yourself. Go through the cabinets and pull out the board games. While “Chutes and Ladders” might not be the biggest hit anymore, there are tons of party games that are still fun for teenagers. “Apples to



Lunchtime loathing

A week of cafeteria food causes boredom and distaste Jacob Parker Staff Writer

The line inches up as you gaze up at the haphazardly placed signs scribbled in sharpie, which miss about half of the items available for sale. The crowded lines are hardly distinguishable from one another as students jump around trying to find the smallest blob of hungry students or a place to cut. Leigh High School’s cafeteria has its windows open and is ready to serve the students who have persisted through two classes waiting to be fed.

“Ultra” Bean and cheese burrito with strange white chunks “I wait in the line for my lunch for five minutes and then a freshman goes in front of me and says, ‘Oh I’m just talking to my friend.’ But they always end up cutting and there are no railings in the lines to prevent it,” said senior Daniel Wiseman. Out of the five times I bought lunch this week, I was cut in front of three times. However, that is hardly the most unpleasant part of the cafeteria experience. After being informed of only a few items on the menu, one walks to the front of the line and is greeted with…nothing. A machine with buttons on it asks you to enter student ID, the cashier says nothing and waits, and no menu is visible. Assorted boxes litter the cart inside the cramped cashiers’ quarters. After almost rudely peering inside, one can see what’s on the “menu,” if the pile of burrito labels, Taco Nada wrapping, and rows of barely visible juice types can be called such. The first meal ordered consisted of an Ultra Bean and Cheese Burrito, an apple, and a bag of Sun Chips. The “Ultra” part of the burrito must’ve

been the disgusting white chunks that were visible after the first bite. Further nutritional information had to be requested after registering a ridiculous amount of personal information and has yet to arrive – their reluctance to give out nutritional facts speaks for itself. “This tastes like s***,” said senior Daniel Casey. After ordering the food, the person did not mention that ordering a “meal” would cost a dollar less. A meal consists of an entrée, a drink, and a fruit. A simple substitution could’ve helped me pay for the next day’s meal. The next day brought on a nutrient free pile of partially hydrogenated soybean oil, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, cottonseed oil, palm oil, and rapeseed oil. Some enjoy calling the processed mess a Smucker’s Uncrustable peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Although I had gotten the meal for reduced price, the apple was left unappetizing after being placed on the dirt and gum encrusted counter by the server. The sandwich, much like the quality of the food, was trash after an entire lunch was spent trying to get

Photos by Jacob Parker

people to try it. However, the prospect of pizza the next day made me excited… “The pizza is gross. The pizza is cold in the middle and it tastes like they microwaved it and then placed pepperoni straight from the package on top. Also, the cheese isn’t a layer – it’s practically crumbs,” said senior Tyler Marshik. When Marshik voiced the prob-

lems with the pizza to those cooking in the cafeteria, the workers simply ignored him and shot him nasty looks. Chicken nuggets – a food already infamous for their unethical methods of or being brought to our local fast food joints – were served the following day. After the first bite, it was appar-

A rather new take on chicken nuggets: no chicken. ent that no immoral practices of killing chickens had taken place from the manufacturer to my mouth; there was no chicken in the chicken nugget. “It has a spongy texture, almost like a soggy crouton, and I can barely bite it because it’s cooked so much,” said senior Andrew Lau. The grand finale included an apple, juice, and a Taco Nada. Almost a third of the recommended sodium is contained within this turkey enchilada along with partially hydrogenated soybean oil and bleached flour. At least it tasted good. Although there was poor service at the cashier, at least the cafeteria makes an attempt to be healthy by offering apples and juice. However, the only advertised products included ice cream and occasionally an entrée offered. Of course the sweets had appetizing pictures whereas the main dishes were scribbled last minute in black ink. In brief, the cafeteria provided unhealthy entrées that could be purchased at Costco for much less. Aside from the toll it takes on student health, the food itself is a rather poor choice for the palette and students often end up buying a tray of cookies or just a bag of chips. It leaves the students who buy food there out of necessity and choice with a typically unfortunate experience.

A winter worker-land Nicole Hamilton Staff Writer

Where to get hired over the holidays

The winter season is finally rolling around, and with it, the annual barrel of holiday stress as students scramble to find gifts for their friends and family. For many, this comes with the realization that, like it or not, they’ll need to find themselves a job if they want any money to spend for the hectic holiday season. This isn’t anything new for some students, however. Many Leigh teens have been trying to find a job for months, now, and have met with little success. This holiday season might be many struggling students’ beam of hope, however, as many establishments begin to open their doors specifically for the holiday season. Some even open up positions that are reserved specifically for high school students. Many companies, such as Coldstone and Michael’s, have easy to navigate websites that allow one to apply for a job quickly and easily. Primarily, the questions asked will proceed from being general to inquiring more about the student’s schedule and grades. “School has a lot to do with getting

Photo by Danielle Baldelomar

a job, because you’re still a minor.” said junior Brianna Housten, a former employee of Coldstone Creamery, “If you have good grades, then they assume you have good ethics and you’re responsible, and those are good qualities to have.” Shopping malls such as Oakridge are excellent hunting grounds for the job hungry student, considering the drastic increase in traffic during the annual gift-giving season. Retailers that specialize in holiday gifts, like the

Hallmark Store, will definitely be looking to hire some extra help. Don’t think that big-end retail is your only option for holiday work, though! A lesser-known opportunity that’s lurking about happens to be with local catering companies. Companions and families with money to burn will be throwing party after party over the holidays, and with the sudden influx of orders, it can be a golden opportunity for the weary, unemployed student.

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Pre-New Year’s Resolutions I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. I really don’t. I think they’re just a way for companies like Weight Watchers to make a bunch of money at the beginning of every year from people that don’t have the willpower to actually do all the hard things that are required if you actually want to lose weight. I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions, but I fully believe in December Resolutions. A couple of years ago, I made a list at the beginning of December of all the things that I’d like to accomplish before the year was over. I liked this so much better than making a list in January, because I knew I’d be much more likely to actually follow through with it if I knew that I’d only have one month—instead of twelve—to get everything done. So now every December, I make a list of all the things that I want to cram into the last 31 days of the year. This year, my list is 12 items long. Here goes nothing… Before Dec. 31, 2010 at 11:59 p.m., I will… 1. Help my Mom with the Christmas decorations. My house is literally filled with boxes and boxes full of decorations. 2. Update the software on my Mac, because as I’m trying to write this, my computer keeps making a “ping”-ing sound to tell me that I need to update everything. I think you’re supposed to do it every month, and I haven’t done it since February or something.. 3. Stop hating on people. There are a few people on this campus that really make me not very happy, and I’ve been very vocal about that to practically anyone who will listen. I need to stop using the word “hate” when I really mean “annoy.” So here is my formal apology to those people: I’m very sorry that I’ve expressed my hatred towards you. And from now on, I’ll stop saying that I hate you and maybe even try to get to know you. 4. Not fight with my parents during the holidays. Obviously it’s not good to fight with them ever, but after this year, I only have one more Christmas before I go off to college, and the official ending of my “childhood.” I love them dearly, and unfortunately, I’ve never really been able to express that to them. I’m sorry, and I hope we can make the best of this last year and a half together. 5. Talk to my Uncle Gary at the pre-Christmas celebration we usually have with my Dad’s side of the family every year. He’s one of the most interesting people I know, and I never really have the chance to sit down and ask him stories about his life. 6. Paint my room. I’ve had paint If you’re more of a heavy-lifting kind of person, an even less obvious an opportunity is with shipping companies, or retail distribution centers. Companies such as FedX and UPS will be overwhelmed as people ship gifts to one another worldwide, and a student who doesn’t mind a little muscle work would be a good potential employee. If you don’t manage to find yourself a job over the holidays, that’s certainly not the end of the road! Everyday students should take this opportunity to use their unique abilities to earn a little extra cash. If you’re a talented artist or writer, see if any of your relatives or friends

The pursuit of happiness chips sitting on my desk since July, and I’m beyond ready to get my room nice and organized. And for those of you wondering, I’m going beige… 7. Go running in the morning instead of the afternoon. I hear it’s a lot better for you, and also I’ll probably have more energy in the morning than if I ran at night or in the afternoon like I usually do. 8. Do all my APUSH study guides. Anyone who has ever taken this class or is currently taking this class knows exactly what I’m talking about. By the way, Annie Jung is laughing at all of you right now. Mwahaha. Hats off to you, Mr. von Rassler. 9. Talk to that one person that I literally pass in the hallways every day, and have never had a conversation with. You seem like a really cool person, and even though we’ve only had one class together, I don’t know you at all. I think it’s important to get to know the people in your class (whoo, 2012!) because these are the people we’ll be seeing at high school reunions for the next 50 years. 10. Stop spending money like it’s the end of the world. My bank account is seriously running on empty. 11. Buy my brother a Christmas present. We rarely get each other gifts, but this year he told me that he actually wants to get me something. Granted, it’ll most likely be something he picked up in the Target dollar section, but it’s the thought that counts, right? 12. Relax, and live in the moment during this holiday season. It sounds cliché, but Christmas only comes once a year, and life is too short to rush anything. I hope all of you have wonderful holiday seasons. And be prepared…I think 2011 is going to be pretty darn awesome. need custom holiday cards made. If you have family in an area where it snows heavily, offer to shovel their driveway for them. Students who like to work with their hands might consider making custom ornaments and decorations. And, for the brainiacs out there, consider all of the students who will be frantically studying for finals over the vacation, and offer to give them tutoring sessions. Many of these alternate solutions can be time consuming, but not only can they be used to earn a good bit of money throughout the year, you’ll find yourself enjoying the experience, too.

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Roll call:


Three courageous men take on the sushi challenge

Before we go into detail about nuke style, no matter the score. couldn’t take it and uttered his final rush. It hit me like an atom bomb and Round one of roll call featured words, “I’m full.” I tried to stomach it, but I couldn’t will Thresh’s wrestle with wasabi, let’s look at the facts. Sushi Factory This sudden twist left more it down and up-chucked…multiple Blayke Leach on Branham Avenue has an sushi than there were people times. The result was a green spew and Staff Writer unlimited sushi lunch special and created a bigger problem took up most of the table. It wasn’t pretty,” explained Thresh. on weekdays until 3:30 p.m. for the final two. Spencer Thresh The taste of defeat and regret linand our three food challeng Now Thresh and Leach, Staff Writer ers decided to see who could along with their own rolls of gered on Thresh’s palate. With the roll gorge themselves the most on sushi, had to eat all of Simionas’ counts final and two disqualifications, this month’s food challenge winner was With sweat pouring from his raw fish. round two sushi, as well. brow, Spencer Thresh eyed the wasabi The rules of the challenge Soon it was the beginning of Leach who jumped to a surprising lead ball like a seeker sniffing out a snitch. were simple. Each contender the end as Leach, If he could just capture and conquer it, would choose one roll that each who was quite a person would have few rolls ahead, to eat. stopped eat E v e r y ing and decided round three new to wait and see rolls were chosen, if Thresh had and the contendenough gullet to ers varied their secatch up. Obviround. lections from the Each of the participants completed the first ously struggling, Photos by Josh Vasquez savory beef teriyaki Thresh was getting roll to the spicy dragon the Philadelphia roll filled with cream closer and closer to givcheese and crab, the crazy roll, a deep- ing up, and for Leach roll. If anyone said the fried California roll, and the fiery victory seemed near. forbidden word, “full,” Godzilla roll filled with spicy tuna and All of a sudden, they would be disquali- a tangy sauce that torched the taste Thresh grabbed that fied immediately and buds with heat. wasabi and shoved it in Thresh dove in with an all-out his mouth, attempting wouldn’t be able to par- attack, while Leach and Simionas took to survive the slow and ticipate any further. Spencer Thresh trying to finish a wasabi ball. But if any con- their time and paced themselves. Each fiery death. Andy Simionas and Blayke Leach fill up on raw fish. testant felt the need to competitor handled the first round Tears welled up and the sweat late in the second round. As Thresh washed up and the he would win eternal food challenge give up, they could reach for the game without a problem and easily made dripped from his pores as he whim- glory. Out of nowhere, he reached for changer. If they managed to eat the their way to round two. pered and closed his eyes. Then, the men prepared to leave, only one word As the rolls for the second unexpected happened. was perfect enough to describe the victory in the form of green fire. No- golf ball of wasabi, then they would body expected what soon followed. automatically win the challenge, tact- round were being served, Simionas “I wasn’t ready for the flavor challenge: raw. Andy Simionas Staff Writer

The unknown art of

poetry slammin’

fact that they’re being recited out loud. There is a completely different feel to poetry when you’re hear When someone thinks of poetry, ing the person saying it instead of it’s usually the boring Shakespearian reading it. stuff that’s Spoken outdated word has a and doesn’t feel to it that make sense. can’t be repBut poetry licated from is not dead paper and and lives pen. The San Jose Slam The Blue Candle - weekly through po Kahlil 2nd & 4th Mondays - monthly (poetry / comedy open-mic) etry slams. Gibran said 8 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Dorsey’s Locker These “Poetry is a MACLA 8:00 p.m. 11:30 p.m. slams take deal of joy 510 S. 1st St. San Jose, CA 5817 Shattuck Ave, place all and pain and Oakland 94609 around the wonder, with bay area The San Francisco Slam & Experi- a dash of the Poetry Express open-mic and happen dictionary.”  mental Mic (weekly) 2nd Sundays Monthly Priya Indian Restaurant weekly, giv A n d 7:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. 2702 San Pablo Ave ing people poetry slams Mama Calizo’s Voice Factory 7:30 p.m. the opportuare a win1516 Mission @ 11th nity to share dow to seeSan Francisco 94103 their work. ing those These emotions poems scan portrayed in the spectrum of human emotion from common denominator, which is the a way that is truly unique. Andy Simionas Staff Writer

poems of despair to accounts of joy and comedy, and the structure ranges from a couple of words to more intricate rhyming works. But all of these poems have a


The Beatles are back Josh Vasquez Entertainment Editor

On Nov. 15, Apple announced that “Tomorrow is just another day. That you’ll never forget.” The reference was obvious to most and the next day, Apple CEO, Steve Jobs announced that they had acquired the rights to The Beatles entire catalogue and it would finally be available on iTunes. All thirteen studio albums are now available in the iTunes store, each with a mini documentary video. An exclusive package is also available including the full discography (with mini documentaries) and video of the bands first concert in the US in 1964 for $149. So now that the most iconic and influential group of all time is on the leading digital music company, what does that mean for the music industry? While fans of the band rejoiced at the announcement, many others were not as pleased. Apple fans who didn’t understand the reference were anticipating a great announcement from the company more along the lines of a new product.

But that didn’t hurt sales. In the first week alone, over two million individual tracks were sold and hundreds of thousands of albums. These albums were already available before iTunes in their physical forms yet they are being purchased like they are brand new. It’s no big surprise that physical CDs have been on their way out since the beginning of the digital music revolution. Could The Beatles be the last big hump to getting rid of CDs altogether? Some seem to think so. Karl Hodge, a writer for TechRadar. Photo courtesy of com, says, “This is about much more than a band and a download service. It’s a tipping point. The Beatles on iTunes sends a clear message: These are the last days of the compact disc.” It could be argued that if kids of this generation wanted to download digital copies of The Beatles songs, they could have done it from torrents or Limewire before its discontinuation. “I download music illegally, as I’m sure many high school students do,” said an anonymous Leigh student. “So I don’t think The Beatles being on iTunes will affect me or the CD industry in a major way.” The sales of the digital albums on iTunes already are an argument against this statement in themselves. The Beatles weren’t the only ones still holding out on going digital. Big names in the industry like AC/DC, Kid Rock, and Def Leppard still have yet to give in to digital downloads. But none have as much influence as The Beatles do. No one in music history is as timeless and as loved as The Beatles. From here, it will be east to acquire any remaining artists who aren’t already available for digital download now that The Beatles are on it. Compact discs will become obsolete if every artist out there is available for us right on our computers.



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music scheme accompanied by softer was featured in the movie Sex Drive tones and the occasional pertinent as well as episodes of Grey’s Anatomessage. However, the band Vega4 my and One Tree Hill. Now do not does this and more. let the cliché title fool you, for the ET! is beautiful and worthy SWEitself ME CUS IMsong Much like the bands Augustana, Snow Patrol, Phoenix, Keane, The Af- of commendation from just a first dy Kirsc ters, Coldplay and Modest Mouse, this Mad glance. Theh message behind the er that persuades people Staff Writ band offers a mix of modern rock with words is one the frequent intertwining of alternative to appreciate life, a message that we t prat. liqua iriusci sounds and softer notes. Much like iusti the simscarcely Tisl see in modern music mesat,all). augiat alis ver reetany messages lobo(or band Keane, their songs range fromduntsages Sustisim quifrom their augait, sum sit nos augueraes slow and soft to more upbeat vulla and con“Life is Beautiful” came is eliqu o corti do io nost elit ui facid temporary. bla most recent album called “You and feum feu nulla in 2006 in the r sequisreleased Their music is overwhelmingly nostrud dit volo Others,” am in the eliqu2007 henis at, upbeat and easy to listen to at non any time UK,com andmod iniam August erat, elit atum duis rosto etue of day. It would honestly bequis easy to US. Vega4 has released two albums, nos was reeum dunt which inibh “Satellites,” nostother m nit the wake up and fall asleep to this band. secte sit r bore volo am, verit it dolortie It seems so uncommon to findauga a single leased in 2001. adit velis it quip am, im velen band that can do both so perfectly. lore con Vega4 was actually origielisse with its verostio augait,formed verit nally “Life is Beautiful” is perhaps num one in dit London, um Bruce quat rem volo min uisi et laore of their best songs, if not the best, veliqand four members: lead guitarist ero McLelad zzrit tem re dolo ecte Gainsford, drummer Bryan nisptat dolu nim num odio lan, lead singer Johnny McDaid, my McDaid or sum to odol molo and reros bassist Simon Walker. tetue nullu velis ut ut nulp and Walker originally formed the band e essis adip dolu and mmo addeddiate members Gains- ford and m veni doloreFox elis nisGavin min McLellan. has qi el in ctemreplaced vulput ilisse since eCo reet umm yOb orem Nos exer sim inissiscilis ex ea autatin henibhIm exerit at. Ut la facilis ad dolobor eraesse quisim voloborer sum nit praes

has made its distinguished mark in the US. Although this distinguished mark is so small, the entire point of music and bands is that there are thousands of them, many of which never receive radio time or reach the top ten on iTunes. But this does not mean that the band isn’t any good. Sometimes delving into the music world

Walker in December 2006. Along with their hit “Life is Beautiful,” there are several other praiseworthy songs including “Traffic Jam,” “You and Me,” “Sing” and “Tearing me Apart.” Vega4 offers a new sound that originated all the way from Europe and

a n d looking beyond the most known bands may be the best choice you’ve ever made. There is an entire unknown universe full of every genre of music,


Jenna Goeke Opinion Editor

Genre: Indie/Alternative/Rock Sounds like: Snow Patrol, Coldplay, Muse Rarely do we find bands that are capable of creating an alternative-rock

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Roya Askari Staff Writer Based on the 2005 French film “Anthony Zimmer”, a surprisingly unsuccessful movie, it’s mysterious as to why it would ever be remade. However, I walked into the theater with pretty

build to pose as himself, she hops a train in Paris to do so. It is there that she meets Frank Tupelo (Johnny Depp), a humble, widowed school teacher from Wisconsin venturing throughout Europe on vacation. Unlike most of his films, he plays a more low-key, subdued character. Frank believed their encounter was all chance, but little did he know he was now part of a grand scheme. A decoy to throw off Elise’s pursuers, he is then dragged into her perilous world of espionage, while in the meantime they develop a strong attraction for one

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high expectations. Unlike the trailer, which suggested a dark and mysterious thriller, it was definitely more of an action moviewith a touch of comedy and romance. Starring a couple of Hollywood’s most renowned actors, Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, and set in the beautiful backdrops of Paris and Venice, one may wonder what could go wrong. Jolie stars as Elise Clifton-Ward, a rather strange and mysterious woman hoping to reconnect with her lover Alexander Pierce, who just so happens to be a sought-out criminal mastermind. She stays connected with him through letters, and when he instructs her to seek out a man of his same height and

another. There was good chemistry between Jolie and Depp, the acting was quality, and it was clear that the budget was far from low. However, as the movie progressed, the plot grew more and more predictable. No, I didn’t walk out of the theater with any sense of enlightenment, and no great moral was portrayed, but it was still an enjoyable, aestheticallypleasing action movie. For those who loved Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Ocean’s Eleven, the Tourist would definitely suit up. Grade: B-

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desperation, and laughed at his clever remarks. Glancing at the video camera, Ralston narrates his predicament, imagining himself at one point as a television host and at another as

much of it largely unheard of to listeners. Although there may be five bands that may sound like one another, the constant goal is to find that perfect sound for yourself, the music and band that speaks you. It may sound cheesy, but finding your personal perfect “sound” only serves to put you in a good mood. But music makes the world go round, and bands such as Vega4 only keep the music industry from conforming to a mere fifteen artists that are on constant replay.

127 Hours is an unlikely comedy, with much of the film grazed with Fraco’s charming wit. Even in the most gruesome of situations, Ralston always provided some comic relief. The film is extremely powerful

Abel Mariam Staff Writer In April 2003, hiker Aaron Ralston, played by James Fraco, found himself in the remote canyons of Utah alone, trapped, after a boulder falls on his arm. During the next 5 days, Ralston re-examines the error of his ways and attempts to free himself from the boulder. Based on Ralson’s memoir “Between a Rock and a Hard Place,” Boyle stayed true to his story and spirit. In bringing the dreadful, inspirational story to the screen, director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 28 Days Later) stayed true to Ralston’s witty personality. Boyle composes scenes that are hard to bear, such as the cracking of a bone, or the severing of an arm. These scenes communicate the pain that Ralston felt. This film took viewers on a roller coaster as they agonized with Ralston in his quiet

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himself. He creates this seamless conversation where he reflects upon the mistakes he had made that led him to that point - specifically about the fact that he neglected to tell anyone where he was going. In response, Ralston says “Oops.”

as it takes audiences on a captivating journey dealing with fragile nature of life and a human’s will to survive. This film leaves you thankful to be alive. Grade:

Dear Readers,

If you have any suggestions of local or unsigned bands for

following months of “The Eleight Recommends,” you can email them to All suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Josh Vasquez, Entertainment Editor

page 14



sports Fightin’ for the “A” Grade


Girls basketball works hard to get back on the A-League and make this season a victory

team hopes to have those games lead into an intense and fierce season. They are determined to make this season a victory. The season is starting up again “I think we have and this year the Varsity a core group of athletes girl’s basketball team is 2-2. that will get us back to The team was once an Aan A-league,” said Zielaleague, and they are now zowski. a B-league. The girl’s have The team has to have a a lot of determination certain amount of wins and and they are willing to losses to be able to qualify in do whatever they can the A-league, and because of to make it to the top the ending stats, they didn’t again. There are a lot qualify. of vital things the girl’s The head coach, Paneed to do in order to mela Zielazowski, and win a game. the two assistant coaches, “The easiest way Dawn Marie Andrade and would be to win the Ed Harris, have been workleague, but play coning over time to get the girls sistent, and work on back into shape for the new shooting skills,” said rounds of competition this Zielazowski. year. “They need to “The team went down use their teammates’ to a B-league because they strengths and commuwent 0-24 in 2008 because nicate on the court,” of injuries and grades,” said said Andrade. Zielazowski. Everyone knows The Varsity team will that communication in be participating in a total any sport is key, to be of three pre-season tournasuccessful. ments and played one pre If they put their season game against Santa game face on and imClara. Photo by Zack Galou prove their commu The first tournament Lauryn Saunders goes up with the ball at the Santa Clara nication skills it will was Nov. 30 through Dec. game on Dec.7. drastically improve 2, and the team ended up the last day of December, and the their game. in fourth place. Danielle Baldelomar Staff Writer

Both JV and Varsity walked away with a win after playing against Santa Clara on Dec. 2. The tournaments will end on

Cheerleading, continued from front page... so that must be mastered in order for but the overall knowledge of what they them to be taken seriously by anyone. are cheering for proves to be the exact “I think that they need to pay opposite. more attention to the game. The            “I was a cheerleader and we had cheers need to correspond with what to know the game so that we would is going on on the field and sometimes know what cheers to do. Maybe that they go off and do their own thing in- would help if they knew the game of stead cheering for what is happening,” football. You don’t want to say the said Donald. wrong things at the wrong at the wrong Although the cheerleaders did time; like if they are cheering and were take first place in their most recent not the ones who got the touchdown,” competition, that professionalism does said Donald. not show It is when they true that are standing some cheeron the sideleader might They don’t even face lines. want to “They need learn more the game. The Velto know about the croed-on smiles. The what they game, but are talkthe honest same cheers done by ing about truth is that every troup in every or else they most of look stupid them don’t state. or they [end care too up] rootmuch for it. - Sports Illusrated’s ing for the Calling Rick Reilly other team. out the corI actually rect cheers really like at the right [the cheerleaders being at the games] time is a big part of cheering at the because it makes me feel like at least games, but if they don’t know what’s somebody is watching our games. happening on the field then how are Some do [know what they’re saying] they supposed to know what cheer is I think, but others have no clue,” said appropriate. junior Nic Le, linebacker for the Var- “There are a couple of girls who sity football team. don’t really understand what’s go Most fans in the crowd and ing on 100 percent of the time, but students at Leigh only know the I don’t think we get enough credit for cheerleaders by what they do at the knowledge we do have about footthe games, so in order to keep ball,” said junior Julia Loper, member a high image of themselves they of the Varsity cheer squad. should learn what is actually go- If a few of the cheerleaders do ing on in the game right behind have knowledge about the game, their backs. then it just isn’t showing through All cheerleaders want to be taken to the fans in the crowd and the seriously and have a respected image, players on the field. Most fans that

watch the games expect the cheerleaders to be on the same page as the players. “I wish that cheerleaders were informed by the coaches or whoever of how the game works, that way standing and cheering for them would have more meaning. I think that we owe it to the football players to know what we’re saying when we cheer for them,” said Phillips.

page 15

‘Goals’ of the season Boys soccer’s Daniels talk about soccer Arman Alam Staff Writer Jordan Weinberg Staff Writer The Eleight sat down with a few soccer players on Leigh’s boys varsity team (Daniel Ross and Daniel Kidman) to get a sense of where the team is headed this year. Where do you see the team at the end of the season? Daniel Ross: I think that we can win the 1st this year. Our team is really stacked this year and we think that we can go all the way. Daniel Kidman: Yeah, we have a lot of talented juniors as well as the seniors that have already been here so yeah, I agree. Who are the leaders of the team? DR: Thomas Murdick, Trevor Pardula, and Nick Logsdon. They are the three captains from last year. DK: Same. They are definitely the leaders.   Are any colleges actively recruiting you? DR: UCLA, Maryland, North Carolina, and California just to name a few. Last year was one of the best years for me so if I don’t let down the scouts this year I should be going to a top flight school for soccer. DK: No, I’m only a junior and they don’t really get looked at as much as seniors.   Who is a professional player you model your game after? DR: Cristiano Ronaldo, he’s really fast and sexy like me. DK: Garreth Bale. I like his style of play and the leadership that he brings to the locker room and the team.   What does the coach bring to the team?

DR: Conditioning most definitely. We run more than the cross country team practically. It’s ridiculous, but in a good way of course. DK: Yeah, definitely conditioning. We are like the kids from that movie Coach Carter. We will most likely be the team in best shape no doubt. What position is the most important to the team’s success? DR: Center midfield is the most important because it’s the distributor. DK: I’d have to agree but since he said that I’d say that the goalkeeper is really important because there is a lot of pressure on their shoulders.   How do you prepare for the game? DR: The team dinner is good because there is lots of camaraderie. DK: I like to listen to music to pump myself up.   Do the right cleats make a difference in your playing? DR: Yeah, fake ones suck and are less comfortable. When I wear good cleats I got hella swagga, na’mean? DK: There is definitely a difference in comfort and how you are able to kick the ball, so yeah, I would have to say that there is a big difference. What do you do to stay in shape during the offseason? DR: I lift weights and stick to a strict diet. I run Harwood every morning on weekends and occasionally on weekdays when I am bored. DK: I don’t really have to do anything because I am always in good shape and I play on a club team so there is really no offseason.   What makes soccer the best sport? DR: First off it is the most popular sport in the world and also it requires the most finesse and skill. DK: It takes the most talent of any sport out there.

Spotlight 1.

2. The boys soccer team walks off the field after their game

1. Players fight over ball during a game

Photos by Zack Galou


page 16


cartoons in an effort to end child abuse. It seems like they don’t People all over the world realize that it has no effect. recently changed their Fa- This isn’t supposed to be cebook profile pictures to negative, just honest. And Andy Simionas Staff Writer

honestly, changing your profile picture to catdog isn’t going to help stop child abuse, although catdog is pretty awesome. When someone wants to support a cause, they donate their time or money, and when someone is too lazy to do either of those, they become a slacktivist. The almighty urbandict-

Where’s Smith?

12.16.10 defines a slacktivist as “A person that does simple things like change their avatar color or post a status update about a cause instead of actively supporting the cause.” So instead of clicking away on Facebook, how about actually visiting a website where you can learn more about how to stop child abuse and what you can do to help. Boom, roasted.

Photo by Annie Jung

Holiday Cards for Dummies Maddy Kirsch Editor-in-chief

It’s that time of year when postoffices rejoice, millenium children learn what stamps are, and snail mail becomes slightly useful again. That’s right, it’s time to send out holiday cards! But we all know that the glossy finish Kodak cards aren’t really about sending out holiday wishes. They are more than that. They’re about sending out glossy finish extensions of our consumerism

and narcissism. Here’s your guide to being the perfect (and we mean Photoshop flawless) conformist this year! First, gather your family together for a pristine photoshoot, preferably in front of your Nordstrom’s designer Christmas tree or your catalogue door sign and matching seasonal foot mat. Make sure to incorporate all members of your brood, dogs included. Arrange the scene as follows: Mom and Dad in the back, hugging and smiling, kids in the middle pretending that they’re not angry about

standing so close to one another, and pet Rufus in the middle (with everyone “lovingly petting” him, but actually preventing him from running off after a squirrel). After you get your perfect shot, spend hours editing the contrast and blotting out pimples on Photoshop, only to eventually upload it to Shutterfly and condense the pixels to the point of no clarity. Then spend another batch of hours debating whether to use a template that reads “Merry Christmas”, or the more politically correct

“Happy Holidays”. After deciding on the latter as to aviod offending your myriad of Jewish friends, move on the color/size debate: 32 point and black or 48 point and red? Next move onto the “checkout” section and select the number of cards you wish to order. Open the dropdown menu and select the number 100. Outwardly sulk and lament about the high price associated with such a volume, but secretly smile and pride yourself on having so many friends!

Photo by Zack Galou

By Kylie Brown

The Eleight December 2010  
The Eleight December 2010  

The Leigh High School Newspaper