Laguna Blanca School - 4125 Paloma Drive - Santa Barbara - California - 93110- email@example.com
December 17, 2010
Laguna Participates in Holiday Parade
“Songbook: A Musical Revue” Junior Cameron Platt creates and directs student run production By ANDREW MCCAFFERY
PHOTO: ELLIOT SERBIN
By TARA BROUCQSAULT
oaring down State Street in the annual 58th Downtown Holiday Parade were Laguna Blanca School students and beloved owl mascot, SWOOP! Proudly sponsored by Santa Barbara’s Rugs and More, the float carried the youngest of the School’s students from its K-4 campus in Montecito. Also on board singing carols to the 55,000 friendly faces along State Street were Headmaster Paul Slocombe, Head of Lower School Susan Naretto, and Kindergarten Instructor Mieke Delwiche. Aboard a festive and sparkling candy float, Laguna parade participants sang “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and wished all of Santa Barbara the sweetest and most magical of holidays.
Seniors Travel to New York City to Receive An Award of Appreciation By ARABELLA WATERS It was a cold night in New York City, but that didn’t stop one of the city’s biggest philanthropies, the American Friends of the Phelophepa, from celebrating a successful year of fundraising at their 8th annual gala which took place at the Grand Hyatt New York. Receiving an Award of Appreciation from the foundation for their short documentary called “Phelophepa: Train of Hope” featuring the Phelophepa Health Care Train were Laguna Blanca seniors, Arabella Watters and Arabella Weston-Smith. After spending their junior year fundraising well over $10,000 to be donated to help in the production of Phelophepa II (a second medical train which would help the train to reach thousands more South Africans).
The girls flew in late Tuesday night on Dec. 1 in order to make it to the black tie gala which PHOTO: FREDDIE WESTON-SMITH started at 6:30 p.m. the following evening. was an amazing experience. At the gala, Waters and I think we were finally shown Weston-Smith accepted their the reality of our accomplishawards and gave a brief speech ment. It was incredible to giving thanks for the op- meet all of these people who portunity to participate with had seen the film all the way the train and the American on the other side of the counFriends of the Phelophepa. try. It was also great to meet The organization, which all of the people behind the works directly with the train in Phelophepa organization,” South Africa, is sponsored by said Arabella Westin-Smith Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu. In addition to the award Tutu also endorsed the film, which both girls received, Miwhich was featured at the chael Boerner the Founder Santa Barbara International and CEO of the Unity MeFilm Festival and the US In- dia Group and Unity Mediternational Film Festival. cal Inc. was awarded for “Being honored at the gala his work with the train.
Owls in Wonderland: Carnival Brings the Community Together
Cameron Platt is well known around campus and in the performing arts community for her participation in theatre productions and musicals. On stage she is funny, exciting, and captivating, gluing you to your seat in fascination. Amidst all of her success, Cameron is taking her theatrical career to the next level, as a director. Cameron has assumed the role of director for Laguna Blanca’s newest theater production: “Songbook, a musical revue.” The production is a collection of songs from different musicals, spanning from classics such as “The Sound of Music” and “South Pacific” to new-age hits, like “Wicked” and “Hairspray.” In her words, “it’s not exactly a play... no lines or a story, just musical numbers.” The idea for “Songbook” was Cameron’s own, and its inception into Laguna Blanca was all her doing. In order to make the production possible, Cameron “spent a million hours getting everything ready.” She had to meet with members of the administration, create a timeline, make a schedule, hold auditions, research song possibilities, buy sheet music, cast and choreograph the different numbers, and hire an accompanist... all on her own. Because of all of her hard work -- and that of the Laguna students who will perform -Cameron’s “fascination with directing” has become a reality. Although this is her first time directing at school, Cameron has experienced life as a director before. “I’ve directed on a small scale... scenes and coached character acting, but never a full production.” Some of this directing experience comes from her work with UpStage Left Productions, a spin-off/continuation of the long-standing Stage Left Productions, which is for young children. Despite being recently created, the group is already off to a tremendous start, performing multiple times throughout the year at venues around Santa
PHOTO: ELLIOT SERBIN
Barbara. The ensemble’s most recent production, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” in which Cameron performed, was raved about by Laguna alumn Spencer Klavan in his article for the Santa Barbara Independent. When describing the theatre group, Klavan said that “each of the performers brings a unique passion to the stage, and the result is… hilarious and fun.” One can see -- through the multiple steps that Cameron has taken towards directing -- that it is impossible to instantly become a director. One must start out small, and gradually work his or her way up to the revered position of director: “you can’t jump into a leadership role without starting at the bottom of the ladder. There’s no sneaky way to the top, you just have to devote a lot of time and be willing to work like crazy,” Platt said. “All in all, one has to be determined in order to persevere in life, and in the theatre world,” Cameron Platt said. However, as stressed by Cameron, the theatre is not “only a place for performers.” There are opportunities to be a leader and succeed as members of the stage or tech crew, set and light design team, costume designers, marketing and so much more. “Half of my theatre friends are techies who have never performed, but they’re truer theatre kids than most actors I know!” “Songbook,” the culmination of Cameron Platt’s hard work, is being performed at Laguna Blanca, Wed., Dec. 15 at 8:00 p.m. However, the night is not Cameron’s alone; recognition must also be given to the many individuals who have worked very hard in preparation for this musical revue. So, in Cameron’s words, come support your fellow students, “it may be a school night, but come anyway! Who knows, some teachers might give you extensions.”
By ANASTASIA ANTONOVA
n an early Sunday morning, kids, aging from three to ten, go down the rabbit hole into “Wonderland.” “Owls in Wonderland,” the Laguna Blanca parent-created carnival located on the fairy tale campus of Laguna’s Lower School. Robin Fell, one of the parents behind the making of the carnival, came up with the idea. “The carnival was meant to be unique with an academic twist” coordinator Tara Broucqsault said. The themed activities in wonderland included painting the roses red, playing a royal croquette game, and sipping tea with Alice at a tea party. Although some activities were playful such as the giant caterpillar jumper, most had an educational component to them. Kids learned how to make kaleidoscopes and tell time in at the Art Inspiration area, while the Keys of Citizenship—responsibility, respect, kindness, service and honesty—were hung high for kids to
see while playing citizenship bingo and bean bag toss. In the Mad Science area, parents partnered with their son or daughter to volunteer on thirty minutes shifts. The interactive activities included the Einstein “doo” static electricity, a nail bed, and even simple games like making paper airplanes with science teacher Mr. Neustadt. Kids also visited the creative thinking lounge where they could play an oversized game of chess! However, not only did the carnival theme and decorations reflect the timeless tale of “Alice in Wonderland,” but all the attendees: children, parents, and the student volunteers were encouraged to wear costumes. Popular costumes included the Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire cat, the White Rabbit, and of course Alice! Even our own mascot, Swoop was there posing with guests as the Mad Hatter. “Everyone went all out for the carnival. It was so festive,” sophomores Chanelle Jans-
sens and Tess Elder proudly said after they helped with the carnival, along with countless other school volunteers, “It was a hoot of a time!” When carnival attendees became hungry, they could enjoy lunch by Tinker’s of Summerland and dessert from Here’s the Scoop ice cream stand. Andrea Brattfrick with the BUNS shelter program brought in adoptable rabbits, although they weren’t wearing pocket watches. Kim Stoud from Ojai Raptor Group and Gabrielle Drozdowski from Eyes in the Sky brought live owls for kids of our community to see. Ms. Broucqsault says that the carnival will definitely be happening again, “The event was a success in many ways and provided the community with an interactive way to explore the campus. The creative theme also provided a fun and whimsical way for children to enjoy learning.” Overall, the carnival was a fun day, and everyone hopes to see it become another Laguna tradition!
PHOTO: ELLIOT SERBIN
GRAPHIC: SEAN BURKE
A LOOK INSIDE
Letter from the Editor Hello Everyone! Happy Holidays from The Fourth Estate! We hope you enjoy our December issue. Focusing on the spirit of the season, we’ve included a series of student holiday stories (“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” pgs. 8 & 9), a gift giving guide (“Holiday Gift Giving Guide,” pg. 10), and an array of delicious cookie recipe’s (The Twelve Cookies of Christmas,” pg. 16) for your inner-elf. Everyone is looking forward to the break, including me. Sparkling holiday parties, endless cups of hot cocoa, and the sweet smell of pine are already calling my name. And while I’m looking forward to indulging in relaxation, I am also looking for ways to give back. Clubs around campus offer limitless opportunities to reach out to the those less fortunate (See “Students Give More Than a Helping Hand This Holiday Season,” pg. 3). This collective movement of charity and kindness around campus has truly touched me. It’s amazing to be surrounded by a community so willing to give, and I’m honored to be a part of it. I encourage everyone to give a little this holiday break, whether it’s donating to a charity or buying a homeless person a warm meal. In between a little R&R, or course! Wishing you a Happy Holiday! Sincerely,
Carolina Beltran Editor-in-Chief
Borders Closes on State Street 3 Ms. Roca Launches a Play at Lower School
Student Screenwriter Aija Mayrock 5 Hands4Others’s Holiday Fundraising Idea
Fair Weather Friends 6 What’s Your New Year Resolution?
THE DOUBLE PAGE Holiday Stories 8 & 9
Gifts Guide 10
Prepping Your Skin for Winter
Letters must be signed and be no longer than 300 words. Drop letters off in the main office or e-mail them to thefourthestate@ lagunablanca.org. Editors reserve the right to edit for length, clarity, and/or taste. Anonymous letters will not be published. The Fourth Estate accepts advertising. Contact Trish McHale, MJE. at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Subscriptions are also available.
Airport Security 12 Books We Love 13
Park Rats in Neon
Twelve Cookies of Christmas
he Fourth Estate is a public forum for student expression. It T is written and produced solely by the journalism students. The Fourth Estate welcomes guest articles and letters to the
Editor-in-Chief Carolina Beltran
Business Manager Olivia Berci
Senior Editors Lillie Hodges Jordan Shannon Arabella Watters
Online Manager Abby Reutzel
Photo Editor Elliot Serbin Copy Editors Helena Davila Andrew McCaffery Morgan Raith Zoe Serbin Artists Julia Kent Sean Burke
Staff Anastasia Antonova Brandon Bickett Caitlin Connor Jess Davis Jessie Dusebout Daria Etezadi Jeffrey Nelson Fletcher Sipple Monica Watson
Faculty Advisor Patricia McHale, MJE
Student Clubs Give More Than Just A Helping Hand This Holiday Season By MORGAN RAITH
Interact Club’s Canned Food Drive The Interact Club wrapped up its annual school-wide canned food drive for the Unity Shoppe on Nov. 19. The folks at the Unity Shoppe were grateful for the donation because food donations have been down 30 to 40 percent this holiday season. “It is important for the Interact Club to do what we can to help support local nonprofit organizations,” club president Helena Davila said.
Foster Care Holiday Gift Drive The Interact Club hosted its third annual holiday gift drive to benefit kids in foster families. Club members visited each Middle School advisory to talk about the program and to distribute gift tags on which were written the requests of foster care children. In prior years over 200 gifts of clothing, sporting equipment, toys, and gift cards were donated bringing a very Merry Christmas to kids in foster care.
Book Club’s Bake Sale The Book Club has been raising money to purchase items to send to troops of American soldiers stationed in the mountains of Afghanistan. The club’s recent Harry Potter themed bake sale was a success and they already have a few books that the soldiers have requested. The packages will also include stuffed animals and other items to remind the soldiers of home. “We thought this would be a great way to take the Book Club to another level while giving back to those who have sacrificed so much for our country,” said club leader Clarissa Coburn.
Heal the Ocean Club’s Beach Cleanup Over Thanksgiving break, club leader Elise Scheuermann, and members of the Laguna Blanca Heal the Ocean Club gathered at Hendry’s Beach with other HTO junior council members from Santa Barbara High and Bishop Diego High to comb the beach picking up trash helping to make Santa Barbara-beaches a little more beautiful.
Bikes for the Holidays This year the Bikes for the Holidays tradition continues to bring one of the simplest joys to children in need by collecting old bikes and fixing them up. “I find people willing to help me fix bikes that we then donate to the Unity Shoppe so kids can have bikes for Christmas,” said event organizer and club president Austin Rusack.
Amnesty Club’s Homeless Drive The Amnesty international Club will organize a homeless drive to help Santa Barbara’s less fortunate during the cold winter months. Bins will be put out around campus to collect warm clothing, umbrellas, socks, soap, hand sanitizer, and cup of noodles, to make care packages. Sometime before Christmas break they will go and lay out clothes that students bring and hand out the care packages.
PHOTOS: ELLIOT SERBIN
PHOTO: RAYTHEON EMPLOYEE
Searching for Inspiration: Engineering Club members visit Raytheon in Goleta. (Left to right) Mr. Paul Chiment, Pascal Karam, Lauren McAlister, Jake Bartlein, Dane Rios, Tabitha Bergerson, Abby Reutzel, Kai Gamble, Alex Hawker, Mr. John Berry, and Mr. Donald Chan.
Engineering Club’s Design Advances to Semi-Finals in National Competition By ABBY REUTZEL This marks the first year Laguna Blanca has had an engineering club on campus. The goal of the Engineering Club this year is to design a product that could help a physically challenged person at their workplace. They entered their design into the National Engineering Design Challenge (NEDC) national competition which is an annual design competition in which students, in grades 9-12, put their creativity and problem-solving skills to use and create a workplace assistive technology device for a person with a disability. The club design called Extend-U-Rail, is a stair rail extender to help the client, Mr. Don Chan, walk up and down stairs. Chan has Cerebral Pal-
sy and works as an engineer at Raytheon. He arranged for the club to be treated to a tour of the Raytheon facility in Goleta on Nov. 10. This was a huge treat for the club since for most of the members it would be the first time they had ever seen engineering taking place first hand. During E period, they all piled into a school bus and headed out to Raytheon. Once there, they signed into the top secret building and were treated to a quick presentation about careers in engineering. Then, all types of engineers at Raytheon told the group about their roles at the company. Their jobs ranged from mechanical engineering to computer engineering. After the presentation, each
member of the club was given a knapsack filled with merchandise from MathMovesU, a program that has teamed up with Raytheon to help build young peoples’ interest in engineering. With knapsacks in hand, the club was taken on a tour of the building and even got to enter the testing lab where all of the Raytheon products are put through extensive testing to make sure that they work and will be reliable in the field. It was a once in a lifetime experience that will stay with the club members for years to come. It was very beneficial to be able to see firsthand what a career in engineering is like. Especially at such an impressive level that the company of Raytheon offers.
Santa Barbara Favorite closes its doors After 15 years, the downtown Borders Books, Music and Cafe will close its doors on Jan. 7. By HELENA DAVILA “TV. If kids are entertained by two letters, imagine the fun they’ll have with twenty-six. Open your child’s imagination. Open a book,” author unknown. The classical world of literature and the modern world of technology have been at battle since day one. However, as time has passed, the world of technology has become stronger. In turn, the industry of written literature has consistently fallen behind. In years past, words on paper were the only way to read. Today, the internet, iTunes, and digital reading devices such as the Amazon Kindle have made the process of reading and buying books both easier and cheaper. With the recent introduction of digital books, such as the Kindle and the iPad, the sales of paper books has plummeted, and retail book outlets have suffered as a result. This sudden and drastic renovation of the world of literature and books has had its effects not only on the consumer, but local book stores as well.
PHOTO: Elliot Serbin
Throughout the country, book stores have been forced to draw the blinds, and close their doors because of slow business. This coming January, Santa Barbara’s local downtown Borders will be joining them. Fifteen years ago, the downtown Borders stocked its shelves with books and opened its doors to the public. Initially, business boomed. Books, magazines, boardgames, and CDs flew off the shelves, and Borders’ numbers soared. However, with the introduction and mainstreaming of media browsers such as iTunes, local book stores such as Borders have begun to lose ground. Over the past few years, the downtown Borders’ revenue has consistently fallen short of corporate protocol. “The store just wasn’t meeting our business objectives,” Borders’ corporate spokesperson Mary Davis said. In its place, the entry level clearing house, Marshalls is slated to take over the Borders’ soon to be empty storefront. “Borders was always a place for me to relax with my Star-
bucks after I’ve been running around downtown. It’s going to be very different without it there,” sophomore Monica Watson said when asked about the change of hands. In keeping with the comments of those interviewed, technology clearly has a firm foothold in the shrinking world of written literature. “[Borders’ closing] will change the entire feel of downtown! I even went through and talked to the staff, asking why they were closing. I am very concerned that the local book stores are slowly disappearing. I think what we need to do is write letters to the editor. As a school I think we can make a huge difference in the life of our local book stores,” said librarian Mrs. Burke. As technology continues to progress, there is no doubt that eventually the world of digital books will supersede the sale of printed books and magazines. Although technology may end up outselling local book stores, there is no doubt that the world of books and literature will continue to thrive, be it on paper or in technology.
Breakdance Encourages Social Change What if hip-hop could unite a nation? What if that nation’s youth redefined the future of their people? By OLIVIA BERCI & JESS DAVIS “My name is Shaujia and I’m a b-girl”... “These are kids who have experiences they never should have had”... “They do this because they have no option--they have no one to show them the right way--they use hip-hop and break dance as weapons to tell people what is deep in their hearts”... “Society’s attempted to bury them, but they say ‘no, I live’”...”We are all the same. It doesn’t matter where I come from”... “Can one man’s dream heal the wounds of a nation?”... “I’m not a soldier so I’m not going to hold a gun. I’m not a politician so I’m not going to use politics. I’m a b-boy” (Breakdance Project Uganda Promotional Video). “My name is Shaujia and I’m a b-girl.” These are the stories that humanity is built on--stories of struggle-stories of strength. These are the voices that are rewriting the history of a country-a history scarred by genocide, poverty, and political instability. What if hip-hop could unite a nation? What if that nation’s youth redefined the future of their people? One man’s experiences influenced him to establish a project called Breakdance Project Uganda—a project that is uniting
GRAPHIC: OLIVIA BERCI & JESS DAVIS
the people of Uganda. Breakdance Project Uganda (BPU) was instituted in February 2006 by Abramz Tekya. Abramz believed that hip-hop could be used as a tool to empower youth across the diverse sectors of his country. BPU strives to engage young people in hip-hop culture to build leadership skills and promote social responsibility. The organization has attracted attention from across Uganda and the rest of the world, bringing people of different social status together. BPU is a youth focused project that works directly with young people. It is rooted in the idea that everyone is a teacher and everyone is a student—everyone has the capacity to be a positive role model to others. BPU’s mission is to create mutually beneficial re-
lationships between people of every walk of life. More than 30 per cent of people in Uganda live below the poverty line, and over 49 per cent of the population is under the age of 14. Development in Uganda has been hindered for over two decades
“These are the stories that humanity is built on—stories of struggle—stories of strength.” by conflict between the Ugandan government and the Lords Resistance Army or the LRA. BPU advocates for formal and non-formal education in a country that is beginning to recover from the brutality of the LRA forces.
Off to See the Wizard
LS Music & MS/US Chorus Instructor Adapts a Classic Film into a Children’s Musical
By DARIA ETEZADI
ince 1939, “The Wizard of Oz” has been a beloved classic that has warmed the hearts of children and adults alike. Laguna’s Upper School chorus director, Ms. Kasia Roca, is taking this old time favorite and bringing it to Laguna Blanca’s talented fourth graders. “Both Kasia Roca and her young protégé, sophomore Daria Etezadi are hard at work developing this musical that will rely heavily on student interpretation and student voice…We can’t wait to see these characters (in both senses) come alive in the new year,” said Upper School Head Mr. John Berry. Before she taught at Laguna, Ms. Roca lived in Poland, where she used theater and plays to instruct ESL to children ranging from ages three to fifteen. Ms. Roca has been directing shows put on by the children in grades K-5. since she started teaching at Laguna Blanca four years ago. Not only has Ms. Roca directed a number of performances, but she has also written several of her own plays and songs. “I have been performing all my life, in orchestras, bands, choirs and as a soloist…One of my best experiences was creating my own musical style and writing lyrics to songs with the band I used to have in Poland.” With so much to offer to the Laguna community, Ms. Roca is a musician who can’t wait to share her passion with Laguna’s fourth grade class once again. For this year’s production, Ms. Roca hopes to bring out the musical aptitude of Laguna’s students. “I am looking forward to seeing this talented class with great potential put their tremendous energy into acting, singing and dancing which I expect to be original, funny, and full of expression and color,” she said. Of course, every production needs its own signature. Although Ms. Roca aims to stay true to the soundtrack and dialogue of the original movie, she’s added a spin on some of the familiar characters by incorporating a number of narrators, casting two Cowardly Li-
The nonprofit partners with organizations to increase their members’ access to opportunities such as life skills workshops and voluntary counseling. BPU also provides academic scholarships to students who would otherwise lack the funding to pursue a sec-
PHOTO: CAROLINA BELTRAN
ons, and having a student play the role of Toto. She wants “the students find their own acting/singing style, rather than imitate the actors from the film.” In the end, the cast aspires to portray the diverse array of characters during their performances in January. Out of the entire cast of 22 fourth graders, Ames Bliss and Alexander Fell will play the parts of both lions, Audrey Shipper will be the Tin Man, Daniel Newton will act out the Scarecrow, Georgia Brace will be the Wicked Witch of the West, and Isabella Sabino will play the part of Dorothy. And, we can’t forget about the unforgettable soundtrack, which many of us know by heart. The musical will include “Somewhere,” “Over the Rainbow,” “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead,” and “We’re Off to See the Wizard” along with many other classics. In addition, a few new songs have been introduced to the musical score such as “You’re Out of the Woods” and “The Jitterbug.” With the collaborative efforts of an experienced director and dedicated actors, the cast members look forward to illustrating the “thrill of performing on the ‘real’ stage, the joy of working together as a group, and the freedom of expressing emotions…” to its audience in the performances of “The Wizard of Oz” on Jan. 28 and 29.
ondary education. Breakdance Project organizes weekly community workshops in which hundreds of people participate, breaking down social divides—involving people of all backgrounds. Inspired by how dance brought the entire Ugan-
dan community together, Everybody Dance Now!, a local youth-run nonprofit, is partnering with Breakdance Project Uganda in establishing a similar program in Santa Barbara. Everybody Dance Now!’s current model is to provide free dance classes that are based on a student to teacher relationship. Recognizing a need in our community, EDN! is looking to expand its current model in founding Breakdance Project Santa Barbara (BPSB). Breakdance Project Santa Barbara will provide a place where families, students, youth, b-boys, and hip-hoppers come to learn and to teach on a monthly basis. BPSB will encompass music, graffiti, dance, and motivational speakers, promoting positive creative outlets.
Everybody Dance Now!’s partnership with BPU will promote an interconnected global community, using dance as a platform to generate social change. EDN! will establish a sustainable foundation on which this program can develop, emphasizing the importance of a supportive and inclusive community. On a monthly basis, EDN! will coordinate a Breakdance Project event similar BPU’s weekly workshops. Everybody Dance Now! has hired Armondo “Junior” Cervantes as Breakdance Project Santa Barbara manager who will help to connect with other members of our community who might be interested in participating in our program. EDN! will publicize the event through press relations, but more so through wordof-mouth and localized community awareness. EDN!’s vision is that BPSB will encourage mentorship and healthy self-expression. The project will engage all members of Santa Barbara county, including the Laguna Blanca School community. On Jan. 15, EDN! will launch the project, anticipating that hundreds of people will attend. Laguna students, teachers, and parents with any level of dance experience are encouraged to take part in the event. “My name is Alondra Gatica, and I am an EDN! Performance Troupe member, but, like Shaujia, I will be a b-girl.” (Alondra Gatica, 12 years old)
Students’ Efforts Help Provide Clean Drinking Water Globally To donate simply text “H4O” to 85944 and donate $10.
By Monica Watson
embui is a ten-year old girl living to countries who have suffered natural in a typical rural village in Kenya. catastrophes (example, the earthquake She does not attend school be- in Haiti) as well as giving clean water to cause her walk to gather water every the countries that are deprived of this morning requires over an hour each simple necessity. Laguna senior Spencer Dusebout, way. She and her mother must often make junior Jack Davies, sophomore Jessie the trek two or three times in one day, Dusebout, and freshman Sammi Schurand Sembui becomes sore from carry- mer are a few of the young participants from Santa Barbara who are included ing the water jugs. Her thin 10-year old body tires easily in this group. They spend much of their from walking in the extreme heat, and time fundraising, raising awareness, she thirsts for water to soothe her dry, and presenting to various audiences. When they can, this group travels cracked throat. Sadly, the water that she works so hard to obtain is the same to impoverished countries to give the people hands-on-help obtaining water. water that makes her sick. “I’ve been to Africa and I’ve seen the Sembui must also share the little bit people that are of water she has living without with her father and water. It has reher mother, her two brothers, and “I’ve been to Africa and ally affected me and that’s why her baby sister who I’ve seen the people I’ve chosen to is malnourished and in desperate that are living without do this project,” said Jack Daneed of clean water water. It has really vies. – something that This ChristSembui cannot affected me and that’s mas, H4O has provide no matter why I’ve chosen to do created a spehow hard she tries cial fundraiser or how many times this project.” which will make she walks miles to it possible for the muddy wateranyone to doing holes she shares nate by simply texting “H4O” to 85944 with cows, goats and deadly diseases. In the end, everyone receives only and donating $10. Donations will a cupful of murky, bacteria-laden wa- translate into providing water to save ter, but they gratefully hold it in their lives in Africa. Although $10 may not seem like a hands as if it was a precious jewel,” significant amount compared to the (hands4others.org). Hands4others (H4O) is a nonprofit money spent on small items, now it can organization, involving young people provide clean water to a child for the and their families to assist countries rest of their life. Some opt to give to H4O in lieu of rewho lack clean water. They strive to provide access to pure ceiving gifts over the holidays. Instead, and uncontaminated water to more the money that would go to gifts goes than two million people in five hun- towards those in need of clean water. “This Christmas at H4O we’re askdred villages around the world by 2015 and to increase awareness to those who ing something really simple of you as to give up some gifts this year during know little on the topic. The countries they help include the holiday season and use the money Uganda, Haiti, Honduras, Pakistan, that would be going into those gifts to provide clean water for people in Africa Kenya, and many others. They help by providing disaster relief who have never had a Christmas with
PHOTO: Courtesy of H4O
Sembui makes her daily trek into the village to get water for her family. The efforts of Hands4Others will provide uncontaminated water for Sembui’s village and others like hers. clean water in their lives,” Spencer Dusebout said. H4O participant Sarah Armstrong started a chapter in San Francisco and raised enough money to provide clean water for a entire village by herself. “For young people, usually Christmas is about getting gifts.
Devastating Reality • 70 per cent of the earth is water - but less than 1 per cent is drinkable. If the world’s water fit into a bucket, only one teaspoonful would be drinkable. • The average person can live only 7 days without water. • 1 out of 6 people in the world lack access to clean water - that equals 1.1 billion people. • 9 million people will die this year from lack of access to clean water. • Every 15 seconds a child dies from water related illness. • Coverage remains below 60 per cent of the population in both Oceania and in Sub-Saharan Africa-whereas all other regions have coverage rates of 80 per cent or higher. • 2 in 3 people lacking access to clean water survive on less than $2 a day, with 1 in 3 living on less than $1 a day.
Aija Mayrock Wins Screenwriting Competition
Follow Aija Online! Aija’s Event Coverage Clyde Aspevig Exhibition November 29, 2010 at 12pm to February 6, 2011 at 5pm – Santa Barbara Historical Museum
By olivia berci Aija Mayrock, a Laguna Blanca freshman, was recently selected as a finalist in the local 10-1010 Student Filmmaking and Screenwriting Competition. The competition is an educational program developed by the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in 2004. The program aims at bringing together filmmakers and screenwriters with industry professionals, encouraging and offering guidance to the next generation of filmmakers. The 10-10-10 finalists from the Filmmaking Competition and Screenwriting Competition produced 10 films over a period of 10 days and are judged on a set of filmmaking and screenwriting criteria. I met with Aija, who found time in her busy schedule to fill us in on what she has been up to. On top of being a dedicated writer, actress, and dancer, Aija interns at an online magazine—a project established through the Granada Theater—and serves on the Editorial Board of Kids Mag.
“It Had To Be You” December 2, 2010 at 8pm to December 12, 2010 at 10pm – Center Stage Theatre Brian Regan December 9, 2010 from 7:30pm to 10pm – The Arlington Theatre Montecito School of Ballet presents “The Night Before Christmas” and “Les Patineurs” December 10, 2010 at 7:30pm to December 12, 2010 at 9pm – The Lobero Theatre
Q: Did you collaborate with anyone on the script? A: I wrote the script by myself. Q: What is the storyline of the script? Q: I absolutely love writing dramas so my script is definitely a drama, but I will not reveal the story line! You’ll have to stay tuned with the competition to find out! Q:What is your next step in the competition? A:I am currently working on my second draft. My final draft is due in mid January. It will be shot during a 10 day period towards the end of January. Then, on Feb. 6, it will be premiered and the winner will be chosen! Q:How did you hear about the competition? Were you surprised to hear that you had moved on as a finalist? A: My decision to enter the contest was very last minute. I found out about the competition two weeks before the due date and I was in the middle of
But this year, what if we made it about giving gifts, giving the gift of life and water to people in Africa? For them, water is life,” she said. H4O is helping the community make a difference and letting everyone experience the joy of giving throughout the holiday season
PHOTO: ELLIOT SERBIN
a rewrite of another screenplay, so I dropped what I was doing and decided to take a risk and hammer out a brand new screenplay in about three hours! So, yes, I was definitely surprised and of course extremely happy!’ Q:In addition to your interest in screenwriting, you also intern at a local nonprofit. What is your position at the organization? A: I intern at an online magazine called Santa Barbara Youth Arts where we share any form of information that has to do with the arts! Santa Barbara Youth Arts is a non-profit and our goal is to become a website where anyone that is interested in the arts in Santa Barbara can come to find out more about events that may be to their liking. Q: How did you get involved with the organization?
A: I heard that they did a lot of interesting things at the Granada Theater, and then I heard about this project. Q:Where do you see yourself being in ten years. Are you interested in writing professionally? A: I am very interested in writing professionally. I also love acting and directing. In 10 years, I would love to be acting, writing, and directing professionally. Q: What other extracurricular activities are you involved in? A: I take acting class outside of school and write daily. I also take dance class. I used to be a competitive figure skater, but I had to give it up after several serious injuries. I also just joined up with another magazine called Kids Mag as a part of their Editorial Board.
Santa Barbara YouthARTS is the complete resource for all youth-oriented (middle school and high school) performing and visual arts in Santa Barbara, California. A project of Granada Arts Education, the Santa Barbara YouthARTS portal is maintained by Santa Barbara students with a passion for the arts who represent area programs. Founding members include: Clayton Barry, Coby Kaufer, Jordan Lemond, Allison Lewis, and Emilio Madrid. For more information about Santa Barbara YouthARTS, or to post performances and arts educational opportunities of interest to youth in Santa Barbara, contact Laura Inks, Director of Education. (email@example.com) or 805.899.3000 x. 108
BFFN: Best Friends— For Now “Fair Weather Friends” High school friendships are sometimes fleeting. By CAROLINA BELTRAN
The Sermon of a Hateful God Religious Fundamentalism and the Spread of Bigotry, Inequality, and Extreme Conservatism
utting aside the terrors and violence of modern religious extremism, such as the September 11th attacks, abortion center bombings, and sectarian violence, religious fundamentalism seems to have fueled hate, intolerance, narrow-mindedness, and disparity throughout America and the world. Two examples that truly illustrate this are the protests and messages of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) and the treatment of women in fundamentalist Islamic culture. Many religious groups are also trying to fight progressive movements in society and science, limiting growth and restricting forward movement. In a neighborhood in pleasant Topeka, Kansas lies the Westboro Baptist Church which has become highly notorious in the past few years. Church members appear to be a peaceful group coming together to pray. Unfortunately, the truth is much more disturbing. Cult-like leader, Fred Phelps, whose congregation of 70 members, comprised primarily of his relatives, claims that Jews, Gays, Swedes, and any non-supporters or non-believers of the church are going to hell. The WBC is spreading the word of an angry and hateful god. Ignoring what would seem to be more important sins (such as, say... murder?), the church fights against those who they call “fags” or “fagenablers.” They consistently picket dead soldiers’ funerals with signs such as “Thank god for 9/11,” “Thank god for IED’s,” and “Thank god for dead soldiers.” The church backs their anti-gay messages with bible passages such as Leviticus 20:13, which states, “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” But for some reason,
By JEFF NELSON
they do not say that we should kill those who work on the Sabbath or who curse their parents, stated in Exodus 35:2 and Leviticus 20:9, respectfully. What the WBC leaves out that seems more important, is that Leviticus 19:18 states, “Thou shalt not avenge... thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” It is ridiculous to think that Jesus would stand alongside of these people, holding a sign that says, “Thank god for AIDS.” According to Fred Phelps, all disasters, such as September 11th and Hurricane Katrina, are due to god’s wrath because god has a plan for everyone. He publishes videos online stating that celebrities such as Heath Ledger, Bill O’Reilly, Stephen Colbert, and George Carlin, are going to hell and that their funerals will be picketed. Basically under Phelps’ ideology, everyone except the 70 plus members of the church are condemned. While the WBC preaches radical fundamentalism, they are not actually physically harming anyone. However, this is not the case for all fundamentalist groups. In Islamic cultures, women are constantly subjected to physical and mental abuse. Put in historical context, Muhammad came from a time when women were property of their husbands and unwanted female babies were buried alive, so it is not a surprise that the Qur’an is a bit sexist. The most obvious act of oppression against women are the “honor killings,” or murdering of female family members because of “disgrace.” It is estimated that approximately 5,000 women and girls are killed annually. A girl could be killed because she was a victim of rape. In Jordan, men are exempt from punishment if they catch their wife committing adultery and they kill her. This may oddly be interpreted from the Qur’an, such
as in Sura 4:15, which states, “Women who are guilty of lewdness ... confine them to the houses until death.” Another violent method of oppression is female genital mutilation to eliminate sexual desire. This is supposed to promote chastity among girls. Muhammad came from a time when women were considered property. The inequality of women can still be seen. For instance, it is legal for girls to marry at the age of nine in Iran. Not surprisingly, as Muhammad married his favorite wife, A’isha― one of eleven wives― when she was only six years old, and consummated their marriage when she was the prime age of nine. Forced to cover their bodies to avoid the lust of men, Saudi women are not allowed to drive, they cannot practice engineering or law, and they are denied governmental jobs. The status of women differs in various countries, but women in fundamentalist religious groups often have no power and are subject to the rules of their husbands or male family members. These are just two examples of how fundamentalist religion can promote hate and intolerance. In addition, such groups will often attempt to fight social progress, specifically in the sciences. At the beginning of the millennium, a group from UNICEF traveled to Nigeria to give free vaccines to prevent polio. A group of Islamic leaders declared the vaccine to be a conspiracy by the United States against the Muslim faith; they said that the vaccine would sterilize users. Within months, polio was back and had spread outside of Nigeria. The disease could easily have been prevented if the community simply took the vaccine, but religious leaders had to make a point that western progress and society is wrong.
Look where it has gotten them. Science is a tool used to explain the world around us and to help organize knowledge into a comprehensible fashion. Believing in scripture is fine, but people have to be able to accept research outside of the Bible, Qur’an, or any other holy book. Scientists create ground-breaking discoveries all the time―miracles, if you will. For example, we have completely eradicated two deadly diseases, we are utilizing embryonic stem cells (a religious debate in itself) to potentially cure Parkinson’s and re-grow living cells, and we are constantly learning more and more about ourselves, our environment, and the universe around us. Science can occasionally attempt to refute religion, or at least a select few religious beliefs, but science as a whole does not have to oppose religion, or vice versa. Religious fundamentalism has shown to often promote hate and inequality, while trying to oppose progress in society and science. For over fifty years, the Westboro Baptist Church has been preaching words of an angry, Jonathan Edwards-esque god who wants to send the whole world to hell. Extreme Islamic cultures are not only promoting hatred of western culture, but they are also oppressing their women in an early-aged, oldstyle Qur’an fashion. Religious texts often represent a different time of female oppression, slavery, and racism, but the majority of modern religions have thankfully moved past these notions. Today women are becoming more equal to men, at least in most western cultures. People need to get past ignorant beliefs and learn to “love thy neighbor as thyself,” as the bible states. People need to be more accepting. If they are not, they should not impose their hateful beliefs on to me or anyone else.
ARTIST: ARABELLA WATTERS
ARTIST: JULIA KENT
a t u r a l l y , a new group as if they friends give had always been there. and take from In addition to this natone another, like a bal- ural evolution of fading ancing act or seesaw. friendships, it can be difFriends share clothes, ficult to distinguish your help each other study for true friends from those exams, buy each other who may have ulterior lunch; all relationships motives. require a little leniency. “I didn’t realize she However, there are was a bad friend until aftimes when friends take ter we’d been attached at each other for granted, the hip for three years,” when someone simply says a student who wishuses a “friend” for his or es to remain anonymous. her resources and offers “Throughout our entire nothing in return. friendship she used me Whether it’s for math to become close with my skills, money, a great group of friends, to borcloset, or even a cute row my clothes, and to older brother or sister, stay at my house. We’re the deceiving motives not friends anymore.” people may have behind While popularity has hanging out with some- always been important one vary. to the average teen, it “It’s really frustrating has become more comto be or feel used,” says mon for teens to latch on junior McKenzie Scar- to one accepted friend in borough. “You just feel hopes of infiltrating his really betrayed. It’s pret- or her group. ty terrible.” In simpler terms, ‘mayToday, friendships be if I hangout with my are fleeting. There are cool friend, I can hang so many out with things that “It seems as her cool could go though our Face- f r i e n d s . wrong with book generation, Thus, I am a relationcapable of concool!’ ship. necting and creatIf you’re Looking ing friendships at kind, peoback on my lightning speeds, ple will four years can emerge from usually rein high a fallout without a spond to school, I scratch.” said kindcan only ness with begin to reapproval trace the weaving, wind- and acceptance. ing path that defines the But oftentimes, people lineage of my close rela- are seemingly kind while tionships. Not because I concealing false motives. was a bad friend, or beOnce they have obcause the people around tained what they initially me were, but because desired from your friendpeople change. It is only ship, they’re gone. And natural for people to out- just like that, you are grow each other. forced to forget them. A best friend might While it’s hard to get an amazing new boy- identify the bad seeds, friend who demands ab- remember to protect solutely all her time, and yourself from those who “poof” she disappears might only seem to like off the face of the earth, you. your old “bff” is now an Some words of wisawkward acquaintance, dom: be generous, but and you’ve moved on. not too generous. Be It seems as though our lenient, but don’t be a Facebook generation, push over. And always capable of connecting remember why you are and creating friendships friends with someone. at lightning speeds, can Do you both play the emerge from a fallout same sport or love cookwithout a scratch. ing? People move on from Can you laugh together relationships pretty eas- for hours on end? ily, forgetting their old Keep these question clique or crowd and, for and mind, and your mothe most part, reentering tives in check.
New Year’s Resolutions By LILLIE HODGES
It’s the time of year when many people reflect upon their past year and look forward to a new year and resolve to improve their lives. Sounds nice, but does it ever really work? ten when they engaged in goal setting, (a system where small measurable goals are being set, such as, a pound a week, instead of saying “lose weight”), while women succeeded 10 percent more when they made their goals public and got support from their friends,” says one survey done by the investigative social website Quirkology. My parents seemed to stumble on these secrets last year. Over the summer, they finally started the garage clean up. They always worked together, and decided to clean up one small area at a time. They would tell our gardener they had things to give away, and he would be there, eagerly encouraging them to fill up more boxes that he could haul away. So, New Year’s resolutions can actually be achieved –they just have to be measurable, very important, and realistic. When planning for next year, sit down and take time to come up with one resolution for 2011, and don’t be discouraged if you don’t complete it because you will unknowingly have benefited along the way.
Hugs Are Replacing High Fives in Social Circles
Make Only One Resolution: People often make the mistake of trying to achieve too much. The chances of success are greater when people channel their energy into changing just one thing. Plan Ahead: Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to think about your resolution. Last minute decisions tend to be based on what is on your mind at that time. Instead, take time and reflect upon what you really want to achieve. Avoid previous resolutions: Deciding to re-visit a past resolution sets you up for frustration and disappointment. Choose something new, or approach an old problem in a new way. Be specific: Think through exactly what you are going to do, where you are going to do it, and at what time. For example, instead of trying to lose pounds, excise more. Don’t be vague: Instead of saying that you will go running two days a week, tell yourself that you will run on Tues. and Thurs. at 6 p.m. Make it personal: Don’t run with the crowd. Think about you and what you really want to do for yourself.
ARTIST: JULIA KENT
Tips for Success:
PHOTO: ELLIOT SERBIN
hile New Year’s resolutions are fun to make with family and friends, they often don’t work out as planned. In fact, the majority of people who make New Year’s resolutions fail to fulfill their goals. My personal experiences seem to mirror this circumstance – specifically my parents’ five year long resolution to clean the garage. Our garage was a burying ground for everything that didn’t have a place. There were misshapen piles of old books, clothes, boxes of photographs that didn’t make it into photo albums, and even a fur coat that quickly became the favorite place for our two cats. The only thing missing from the garage was a car. My familial frustration surrounding the subject clouded my judgment. I sought information that would back me up and tell me what I ironically wanted to hear, that no one ever fulfills his or her New Year’s resolutions. However, in researching the subject, I discovered the problems with my reasoning and discovered a new outlook on the situation. The most popular New Year’s resolutions, according to a poll reported by the USA.gov website, are: drink less alcohol; get a better education; get a better job; get fit; lose weight; manage debt; manage stress; quit smoking now; save money; take a trip; and volunteer more. The poll also found that while 52 percent of participants in the New Year’s resolutions study were confident of success in achieving their goals, only 12 percent actually achieved them. I felt satisfied, my own experiences with New Year’s resolutions seemed to be supported by statistics. My frustration was valid. But, there was a twist. In fact, people who continually make resolutions, regardless if they fulfill them, are more likely to succeed in their general life goals. Success in achieving any resolution increases greatly based on two critical ingredients: choosing one thing that is really important to you and that you are willing to make sacrifices to achieve; and setting small, measurable goals and getting help from your friends to help motivate you to achieve them. “Men achieve their goal 22 percent more of-
GROUP HUG By ZOE SERBIN
ear-hugs, brohugs, grouphugs, sidehugs, tackle-hugs – the varieties are endless, and are becoming more and more popular among our society’s youth as an acceptable form of celebrating and/or congratulating. This begs the illusive question of whether or not hugs are replacing high-fives in social circles around the world. There are certain social settings in which high-fives will certainly always be regularly seen and used, such as during sporting events, family game nights, and moments where two seemingly different people discover that they both love the same television show. However, hugs are branching out as an acceptable form to convey contentment. In the past, a hug was commonly used as a form of conveying friendship – therefore, it was often done friend to friend, child to parent, spouse to spouse, or partner to partner. These relationships have stayed the same, but hugs are becoming more popular and frequent, to the point that they are seen almost all of the time in public places. So why is this? Has high-fiving become such a violent method of congratulations that
people are slowly drifting away from the seemingly barbaric tactic and trying out new, more subtle, and more cuddly ways? “I have bad handeye coordination. One time I was going in for a high-five and I missed his hand and slapped
and can even be used to keep two people warm for long periods of time. They are also incredibly accurate. It would be embarrassingly difficult to ‘miss’ a hug. There are, however, certain downsides to hugging.
“I have bad hand-eye coordination. One time I was going in for a high-five and I missed his hand and slapped his face. I have a better chance of nailing my target with a hug than trying to give a high-five.” his face. I have a better chance of nailing my target with a hug than trying to give a highfive,” said sophomore Chanelle Janssens. Opinions in agreement with hers seem to be widely supported by the student body, and there may be one larger reason for it: high-fives leave a nasty sting on the hand that often lingers on the palm for up to 15 seconds before dissipating. They often leave the high-five feeling discouraged, wondering ‘Why did I do that?’ and going on to question and analyze many choices made throughout his or her life. Hugs last longer, provide a certain ‘foodfor-the-soul’ type feeling,
When two huggers approach each other at a bad angle, or one doesn’t appear to be reciprocating the hug, an awkward situation can arise. This often leaves one person to feel insecure and unloved. Hugs also have the potential to send the wrong message to a friend, who may interpret the hug as a signal that the hugger is committing more than just a friendly gesture. “I suppose I’ve implied more interest in the opposite sex more than I’ve intended, with a hug,” said senior Marshall Alex. “I would never, ever, ever try to hurt someone through a hug,” said
sophomore Courtney O’Donnell. “I feel like a high-five is more of a joke. You highfive someone you’re not as good of friends with,” said freshman Lauren Mounts. Chemistry teacher Katherine Pointer has taken note of students hugging each other around the campus. “As long as it’s not for an overly awkward period of time, I think it’s fine.” “One could take advantage of another individual through a hug,” Visual Arts Department Chair Chris Johnson said. “A hug should be consensual.” So, despite some minor inconveniences, hugs are rapidly becoming the norm, and what may have started as a fad among friends is spreading into a worldwide phenomenon. Hugs can be used in a multitude of social situations, such as: an informal greeting or farewell, a method of reconciliation among bickering friends, way of congratulating an acquaintance who has discovered they are pregnant, a celebration of victory, physical representation of love, technique to keep warm, way to comfort, or a method of congratulating an acquaintance who has acquired a strike in a game of bowling.
Seniors reflect on their unique holiday experiences, from growing up celebrating in a split household, to the festive and culturally vital streets of Mexico, to a 50-person Christmas on the slopes of Park City, each offers a rich vignette on what it means to celebrate the holidays in our modern world.
Double the Presents? I Think Not The ups and downs of the holidays in a divorced household and how Christmas time has turned into more than a simple choice between eggnog and apple cider. By ARABELLA WATTERS To an outsider, celebrating the holidays with divorced parents seems to have its benefits: double the presents. Unfortunately, that is a myth which proves untrue in more ways than not. One, my parents share my Christmas list so the whole “double the present” situation never happens, and two, the negatives far outweigh the positives. After my parents split up, the holidays stopped existing solely for the purpose of celebrating togetherness and cheer and instead started being about choices. Mom. Dad. California. Connecticut. Belize. The Amazon. Skiing. New York City. Christmas Eve versus Christmas morning. And by the way, the whole Christmas Eve at one house, Christmas Day at another, is completely overrated. Choices which used to be made without thought now require intense deliberation. The drama and stress which now goes along with choosing which house to spend the holidays at is not something which they tell you about in the custody agreement. The day my parents told my brother and me they were getting divorced nobody mentioned that Christmas time would boil down to an intense competition. I, for one, love Christmas. It is one of my favorite times of the year. I love pretending that Santa Barbara actually has a winter and lighting up the fire place in my living room.
I love to lie on my couch, listening to Christmas hymns and falling asleep after we’ve decorated the tree. And, even now, as I near the threshold of adulthood, I still wait like a little kid to rip open presents on Christmas morning. The overstuffed stocking is my favorite part. I still get to indulge in these typical holiday pleasures, but now my Christmas is undeniably always tinged with just a little bit of guilt. No matter where I am celebrating, I always feel the loss of my other parent. It is something that will never change. My parents are not getting back together. I don’t want to make it sound like my holidays are all doom and gloom because they assuredly are not. F o r the first few years after my parents split up, my dad came and had Christmas at my mom’s house. Creating the illusion that
the divorce hadn’t happened, and it was still just the four of us, mom, dad, my brother, and me. It was surprisingly easy. I liked to play along and sit watching my mom peacefully drink her coffee and my dad smile at us from his seat on the couch, his hair sticking up at odd ends. Thesejoint
Christmas celebrations lasted approximately two years before my parents decided it was too weird; personally, I liked it. There were no choices to make and no feelings to hurt. Now three out of the four last years, my dad has jetted off to either exotic locales or
chosen to spend Christmas with my stepmother; I am invited, of course, but there is something about the non-seasonal sun of a Santa Barbara Christmas that always makes me want to stay. However, there are traditions I have managed to preserve throughout the ups and downs of the divorce. Every single Christmas after we’ve opened our presents, my brother and I watch the “ScoobyDoo Christmas Special” on Cartoon Network. We grew up watching Shaggy and Scooby trot around trying to avoid monsters and I love to sit with my brother and laugh as the foiled villain yells at Fred and Co, “I would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for you meddling kids and that d u m b dog too!” L a s t y e a r ’ s special involved a demonic snow-
man; it was incredibly entertaining. Another tradition I wouldn’t give up for the world is delicious holiday food. There’s a reason why people gain weight around the holidays. Last year my mom and I cooked up a storm: prime rib, lamb chops; we even conquered the meticulous art of making fondue. Last night, we were even tempted by the Candy Cane Ice-cream they had at Trader Joe’s. Eating delicious comfort food at the holidays is synonymous with that slow-paced, relaxing week before Christmas where the only obligations lie in wrapping presents, making gingerbread houses, and doing absolutely nothing. With my dad, every Christmas Eve we’d drive to Butterfly Beach at dusk and watch the sun set below the horizon. The sun usually turns a fiery orange and I get that poignant feeling of being in the right place at exactly the right time. It’s those moments which I make sure I hold on to even during the most trying of days. This year, as Christmas rolls around, I have another choice to make. Mom or dad? It is an incredibly frustrating battle every single year, and I don’t look forward to making the choice. I know that whichever house I choose I’m going to be watching a lot of Scooby-Doo and eating a lot of Christmas cookies. It’s stressful, but unfortunately, it’s a part of the holidays I’ve been forced to accept.
Celebrating Christmas in a Large and Closely-Knit Family By CAROLINA BELTRAN Peter Sorensen has eight siblings. Yes, eight. The real surprise about this extensive family is not their size, but the fact that they’re also incredibly tight knit. When the Sorensen’s celebrate Christmas, it is quite the festivity. “I have a lot of family in Utah, so for the first week of break we’re going to Park City, and that’s where we have Christmas. We get a nice big tree and go snowboarding and hang out with the family,” says senior Peter Sorensen. When the married siblings spend the holidays with their in-laws, the family is sometimes separated at Christmas. “This year, we’ll have twelve kids, two in-laws, my parents, plus the new baby. So that’s seventeen. We all stay together in a house in Park City. It’s really fun.” The family enjoys their time spent together doing a variety of holiday themed activities. “I love having a big family, there’s always something going on, especially at Christmas. Different people will do different stuff. Some people will go snowboarding and some people will go shopping.” Apart from the usual Christmas traditions the Sorensen’s throw a fam-
ily talent show and everyone participates. “My mom makes us do a big show, everyone has to have a talent. I’m playing a Christmas song on the piano this year. I do that pretty much every year, but you can do group acts,” he adds. “There’s been some pretty good musical numbers, but you can do whatever you want. My brothers recite poetry I think. Everyone does something, not just the siblings. My mom likes to video tape it.” When asked if he ever won the talent show, Sorensen replied, “No, maybe this year. The best act ever was my sisters’ interpretive dance, even though they did it as a joke.” “My grandparents had six kids, and they each had at least four. It adds up to like 50 people.” On Christmas day, the Sorensen’s go to church, read the Christmas story, and sing in the Christmas program at church as a family. “Sometimes, my grandparents put together a little scavenger hunt. They live in Hope Ranch, so sometimes it’s all over town, which is pretty cool.” It’s clear that Peter enjoys his family dynamic. In a world where teens can often be embarrassed to spend too much
time with their parents, Peter’s genuine enthusiasm for family time is refreshing. By the way he described it, who wouldn’t enjoy a Sorensen Christmas?
“I love having a big family, there’s always something going on, especially at Christmas. Different people doing different stuff. Some people will go snowboarding and some people will go shopping.”
Feliz Navidad: A Christmas Story brinas (Dec. holidays) which are celebrated for the Virgin of Guadalupe. The town of Romita is split into eight cuarteles (sections) and each one covers the cost of the celebrations for a day which includes decorations, bands, dancers, and food. “You can often see people dressed in indigenous outfits in honor of the Virgin of Guadaloupe,” says Celene. The festival not only has cultural importance, but it also has social importance. “The town where I live is small, but during this festival people come back from all over Mexico and the United States to experience the festivities with their families who they may not see very often,” says senior Celene. Every night of the festival there is a fair that is frequented by the whole town, no matter the age. “I haven’t been back to celebrate fiestas dicembrinas with my family and friends since I moved to the US. It’s hard because the dates always conflict with school.” Right after fiestas dicembrinas, people start making the nacimiento de navidad (nativity scenes). Everyone, regardless of age, helps to build the scenes in front of the houses. “Every year my whole family makes the trip to the church to buy the intricate pieces that everyone needs to decorate and build the scenes.” The decorations generally need to be made before the start of Las Posadas. Las Posadas, nine consecutive days of candlelight processions and lively parties, begin shortly after on Dec. 16. From Dec. 16 to Dec.
24, processions reenact Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter in Bethlehem. These processions lead to a different house every night for the culmination of the posada - a fiesta. After Las Posadas are finished on Christmas Eve, people prepare themselves for the culinary adventure ahead. In fact, the dinner, like anywhere else in the world, is a very important aspect of Christmas Eve. However, because the traditional foods (tamales and ponches) take a very long time to prepare, people start cooking early in the morning. The process is complicated, but ultimately produces fantastic food. “Last year,
my mom was sick so my sister and I were stuck making two huge pots of tamales, over a hundred in total.” However, the celebrations are not done yet. On Christmas Eve, after consuming massive amounts of d e l i ciously
home-cooked food, each family arrollan el niño dios (cradles the baby Jesus) and then places the baby Jesus in the Nativity scene. “The first year I went back, we got into the car, all of us, and drove
around the town, taking part in other peoples’ rituals. The best part is when the families give out candy to all the participants. It’s like Halloween, but better because my town is mostly Catholic, meaning everyone will do these things, so it’s a sure bet that you get candy,” says Celene, laughing. It is an important time for Celene and everyone else who gets to come home during the holidays to be with their families.
ARTIST: JULIA KENT PHOTOS: ELLIOT SERBIN
elene Silva is a typical Laguna Blanca girl, with one small twist. She not only has a strong connection to the school and her friends, but she also has distinct ties to her cultural heritage. Moving to Santa Barbara in 2000 from Romita, Mexico, Celene has a large portion of her family still living there. Considering she spent eight years of her childhood in Mexico, her sense of cultural appreciation is strong. This year, like almost every other year, she will go home to Mexico for the holiday break to celebrate Christmas. Her family, including her mother, brother, three sisters, and their families, gathers in Celene’s hometown of Romita. “Going down to Mexico during Christmas means a lot to me. It is the only time of the year my whole family is together and every year it’s different. I have a new baby niece, who will get to be a part of all of this for the first time.” The holidays are always an emotional time, spending time with family is both a blessing and a burden. Every family has its quirks and they often create problems during the holidays because everyone is cooped up together. Celene, however, is looking forward to the emotional roller coaster and the reunion with her family. For Celene, the holidays are filled with the familiar family dramas but also with the cultural holiday traditions of Mexico. Christmas festivities in Romita begin on Dec. 2 and last until Dec. 12 with the fiestas dicem-
By LILLIE HODGES
Un Grand Patisserie
Style Profile: Julian Messina & Olivia Leibman
A taste of Provence in Santa Barbara
These Laguna “Lovebirds” dress to impress with their edgy, urban style. Despite the stresses of school, they always seem to look picture perfect.
BY JESSIE DUSEBOUT
BY MORGAN RAITH
Olivia L. What she’s wearing: “A Free People dress with tights from Urban Outfitters paired with Marc Jacob ballet flats.” Where she shops: “Free People and Wendy Foster.” Her inspiration: “Just by what I like and things that are different.” Her closet favorites: “One pair of leather shoes that were my mom’s and oversized sweaters.” Labels she loves: “I love to wear Free People and Prada bags are beautiful, but too expensive.” Favorite season to dress for: “Winter.” Best Jewels: “My Harry Potter watch and earrings are my favorite pieces out of any of my jewelry.” Most Recent Purchase: “A pair of tights from American Apparel.” The Future: “I really love fashion and everything that goes with it, but I don’t think a career in fashion is for me.”
PHOTO: ELLIOT SERBIN
Sitting Pretty: Julian and Olivia happily perched on an outdoor school bench, looking effortlessly chic while staying true to their unique and eclectic style.
Julian M. What he’s wearing: “Urban Outfitters flannel, Levi’s jeans, and Urban Outfitters Vans.” Where he shops: “Urban Outfitters, American Apparel, thrift stores, and antique shops.” His inspiration: “I like the styles of 80s musicians and the 80s era in general.” His closet favorites: “A 30-year-old black leather jacket that was my dad’s.” Season he likes to dress for: “Winter.” Did Olivia help you pick out your ensemble today: “Yes, but not always.”
PHOTO: JESSIE DUSEBOUT
Bonne Appetite: French pastries including various flavors of eclairs, fruit tartlets, and Mille feuilles made fresh daily with the finest ingredients fill the display cases at Renaud’s.
estled inside Loreto Plaza on State Street, Renaud’s Patisserie and Bistro offers the people of Santa Barbara a perfect place to grab a cup of coffee or tea and a pastry on a cold winter morning, an inviting atmosphere for the family for breakfast or lunch, or it can be a handy place to pick up those last minute desserts for a party. According to the restaurant’s website, their priority is to “offer an extensive menu inspired from the Provence region of France.” This can be seen in their extensive menus that offer large varieties of au-
thentic French breakfast and lunch items. After walking into the aroma of freshly baked desserts and freshly brewed coffee, we ordered at the front counter. While ordering, we examined rows of attractive and neatly organized French pastries in the display case. We chose our pastries and found our way to the back and sat down. Studious students, romantic couples, and cheerful families squished together inside Renaud’s rose-colored walls to enjoy delicious food and accommodating service. We admired the gilded mirrors, authentic French illustrations, and large porcelain carafes of specialty coffees and teas while waiting for our breakfasts to arrive. Renaud’s detailed décor embodies characteristics of an authentic French bistro. The courteous waitress didn’t leave us waiting long. She brought over tea and fresh squeezed orange juice which was quickly followed by the cinnamon twist and almond croissant. The cinnamon twist was braided into a long strip and was topped with cinnamon sugar. It was flaky and crunchy, but not too hard. The almond croissant was airy and soft with vanilla glaze and sliced almonds on top. Our steaming hot main dishes arrived promptly after we finished our pastries. The fried egg sandwich which consisted of a crispy English muffin served with Gruyere cheese, sautéed mushrooms, and bacon was served with a side of freshly cut strawberries, bananas, and cantaloupe. We shared the original omelet with mushrooms, peppers, ham, tomatoes, and fresh spinach, also served with fresh fruit. Both were perfect breakfast meals, not so heavy or filling that we’d need a nap after, but filling enough to keep us full until lunch. The eggs were cooked perfectly and the combinations of ingredients brought out the best in each other. Visiting Renaud’s Bistro tasting their authentic food, enjoying the warm atmosphere, and exceptional service has made me a new regular.
William Sonoma Peppermint Bark $26.50 williamsonoma.com
Pink Martini Christmas Album Joy To The World $15 pinkmartini.com
eCreamery CreateYour-Own Ice Cream Let your friends create their own flavors! $50 for 4 pints ecreamery.com
Great finds for the fashionable...
Marc Jacobs Cracked Heart compact $7 marcjacobs. com
BY CAROLINA BELTRAN
Bobbi Brown Bahamas Bronze Set $55 bobbibrown.com
Tory Burch Makeup Cases $65-$125 toryburch.com The Selby is in Your Place by Todd Selby $35 yoox.com
Chanel Nail Colour Mica Rose, Illusion d’Or, and Pulsion, $23 each. chanel.com
Warby Parker Glasses For every pair of Warby Parker glasses sold, a pair is donated to a person in need. $95 warbyparker.com
Keeping Skin Healthy This Winter Santa Barbara weather may not be the harshest, but keeping healthy skin during the winter is important anywhere. By CAITLIN CONNOR As the short shorts go back into drawers and boots start appearing around campus, another major change is taking place. The switch from fall to winter, which not only dictates our clothing choices, but also our skin regimens. Even in Santa Barbara, where the change is not so drastic compared to that of New York, the air tends to become drier with this drop in temperature. Thus the season of winter tends to leave the skin dry and lips chapped. It is this dryness that forces one to change how we tend to our skin in these upcoming months. Many people experience that annoying “winter itch”. While it is common to try and cover up scaly skin by lathering on moisturizer, another way to avoid “the itch” is to increase cell turnover by exfoliating throughout the winter season.
While many people believe that exfoliating dry skin will only dry it out further, it actually increases cell turnover, allowing cells of the upper epidermis to retain water more easily, thus no itchy nerves. However, it is still essential to slather up with moisturizer to keep the skin hydrated. Skin cell turnover also plays a factor in flaky skin. The combination of dead cells and cold weather results in the thickening of the intracellular glue, thus preventing the dead skin cells from flaking off easily. Winter skin can actually be a healthy experience if treated and protected carefully. The cold season also causes skin to be stressed. If skin is stressed and dry it can lead to unwanted wrinkles, causing even young skin to prematurely age. It is vital for one to keep their regimen appropriate with each passing season. So even if the weather outside isn’t all that frightful, everyone’s skin is still getting that face-hurty feel. Even in the cold frightful weather though that people head off to for the winter break, it is essential to take warm, and not hot, showers. Even though after a day in the snow or cold it is tempting to take a long hot shower to rid oneself of that chill, you should avoid them. Hot showers actually draw the moisture from skin, causing it to become dry, itchy, and irritated. As a tip, try switching to a moisturizing body wash, such as Dove’s, and only taking
Step By Step Guide to More Beautiful Skin 1. Always Exfoliate
Rid yourself of dead skin and increase cell turnover.
Keep your skin healthy and do away with dryness.
3. USe Sunscreen
Winter sun is still extremely damaging to skin so never forget to protect your skin.
Keep drinking water. Hydration comes from the inside of your body just as much as from the outside.
5. Catch some zzz’s
This simple secret proves to be beneficial for your skin health. quick warm showers. And again while out on the slopes, as many Laguna Blanca students will be, it’s crucial to put on sunscreen. UV radiation, which can be extremely damaging to skin, increases a drastic 5 percent for every 1,000 feet of elevation according to NOAA.com, a national weather service. So even though summer is over, sunscreen is a necessity even if you can’t see the sun. Another tip to avoid getting those non-kissable lips is to constantly apply a lip balm with sunscreen. After using a gentle exfoliator before you jump in bed, try to remember to not lick your lips or breath through your mouth as both can severely dry out your lips.
Many people tend to ignore their hands and feet, but they too can be affected by cold dry air. In order to keep them up to par, cover up and protect them from the elements. No one wants dry, cracking feet that are prone to having fungal infections. Infections and influenza are unwanted, yet usually a prerequisite when talking about winter. Because of this, many people tend to wash their hands more than usual. Just make sure to put on some hand sanitizing lotion to keep those hands clean and hydrated, because once you have that down in your regimen for winter, your skin will stay healthy and beautiful.
Restaurant Monopolies in Santa Barbara By JORDAN SHANNON PHOTOS: ELLIOT SERBIN
Santa Barbara has always been known for its exquisite and unique variety of restaurants that cannot be found anywhere else. What makes our town so special is its small cluster of restaurants that provide our small beach town with a diverse local flavor. Recently, many small local chains have expanded their restaurants to various locations around the Santa Barbara area due to increasing demand and popularity. Local chains such as Jeannine’s American Bakery, South Coast Deli, and Panino have all expanded their influence. These once one-spot lunch favorites have now grown exponentially and have undoubtedly become local monopolies.
Where: 3607 State Street, 805-687-8701; 15 East Figueroa Street 1253, Coast Village Road, 805-9697878; www.jeannines.com What: Full service bakery and cozy cafe serving breakfast, lunch, and sinfully decadent slices of cake
South Coast Deli
Where: 1436 Chapala Street, 10 East Carrillo Street, and 185 S. Patterson Avenue.
Where: Serving Goleta, Montecito, Solvang, Los Olivos, and Santa Barbara, (805) 963-3700, paninorestaurants.com
What: A unique local deli that serves a wide variety of options such as sandwiches, gourmet salads, and breakfast
What: A seemingly ever-growing mini-empire of made-to-order gourmet sandwich shops
How Much: French toast with bacon $9.95; chopped salads $5.25-$10.95; egg salad sandwich $8.25; 6” carrot cake $27.95
How Much: Sandwiches $7.25-$9.95, Salads $7.50$8.95, Breakfast $1.75-$7.99
How Much: Sandwiches $8.50-$8.95, salads $8.50-$9.95
The Scoop: Jeannine’s American Bakery and Cafe has three Santa Barbara locations: Montecito’s Coast Village Road and upper State Street on East Figueroa Street. Voted best by The Independent year after year for best cakes, it’s no surprise that this charming bakery decided to broaden its reach to two other locations in Santa Barbara. If in the mood for enjoyable people watching on Coast Village road or just popping uptown for a quick lunch break bite, Panino’s menu is full of treats to satisfy hunger pangs as well as your sweet tooth and caffeine cravings. The inviting Montecito location is difficult to ignore with its picket fence and white sidewalk tables. Meet the end of the line at the front doors and order cafeteria style after walking by the Stumptown Coffee sta-
The Scoop: Whether you decide to eat downtown or in Goleta, South Coast Deli is the best place to get the best of both worlds. If you desire a sandwich, salad, or both, South Coast is sure to meet your desires. Featuring nearly 30 different “sammies”-hot, cold, and grilled-as well as soups and salads, it’s a great place for a quick and tasty bite. A local favorite is the toasted South Coast Turkey sammie with cheddar & provolone cheese melted with red onions, red bell peppers, basilmayonnaise and topped with lettuce & smoked turkey. If you prefer a salad, the Flank Steak Salad combines Southwestseasoned flank steak, corn, black beans, red bell peppers, and cilantro atop romaine lettuce and cabbage. Best of all, the salad, topped with South
The Scoop: Panino will fix any hunger and quench any thirst, offering 30 sandwiches and 10 salads. It’s not just variety for variety’s sake, either; Panino serves up clever combos like roast chicken with pesto, and a curried chicken with pine nuts, dried cranberries, and apple, and a roast beef served with a zingy horseradish cheddar. Panino’s sandwiches are all custom creations of high standard of preparation with fresh, quality ingredients. The ingredients used in each sandwich and salad are of unmatched quality, character and taste. But, it’s really the attention to details that raises Panino above the bar - anybody can put raisins in a curried chicken sandwich, but cranberries? That takes some creativity. Panino also offers a variety of daily soups to enjoy with your sand-
tion, pastry filled glass case, and daily chalkboard specials. Enjoy a similar ordering style, chopped salads, and decadent confections uptown where both in and outdoor seating is also available. Order their classic fluffy pancakes (check daily specials for flavors such as pumpkin or pecan), authentic Challah French toast, or the classic Eggs Benedict. Eight deli sandwiches and nine chopped salads decorate the lunch menu with classically simple recipes such as the California Chicken Salad, the Mediterranean, and Jeannine’s Original Club. Special order a carrot or decadent German Chocolate cake for any occasion. Whether you’re craving a hearty breakfast, delectable sandwich, or satisfying salad, this local monopoly is sure to please any taste.
Coast’s own chipotle ranch dressing, is easily large enough to share with a friend. If you can’t quite wait until lunchtime, you can always go before school for a quick coffee and Breakfast Sammie. South Coast offers a plethora of coffee house favorites as well as others provided by Peet’s Coffee. Breakfast items include classic breakfast scrambles, a toasted panini, and if you’re really ravenous, the “morning three-way” a tripledecker sandwich with eggs, ham, cheese, and tomatoes. Due to increasing demand from locals to open in new locations, South Coast Deli has expanded to two new locations. The next time you have a craving for a salad or sandwich, be sure to drop by either of South Coast’s friendly, locally owned locations.
wich or salad. Soups include garden vegetable, chicken noodle, or roasted eggplant. With all of these mouth watering options to choose from, it’s no wonder Panino has expanded it influence to several locations throughout the Santa Barbara County. Before the decade is over, it’s likely there will be a Panino in every fancy mall of America. Owner Carter Benson has swept down the mountain from what is his Santa Ynez family business and set up three outposts in the Santa Barbara area, stretching from Goleta’s Calle Real shopping center to the Von’s lot on Coast Village Road. He’s now busily scouting the great megalopolis to the south. So, if you want thinking outside the (lunch) box, this is the spot for you, and you will be sure to find a wide variety of options to feed your mood.
With New TSA Procedures Comes an Increase in Criticism Commentary By JEFF NELSON
've been waiting in line for the past hour or so; after getting cut in front of by an obnoxious woman, getting smoke blown in my face for 20 minutes while winding in circles outside, and pushing my 50-pound bag a mile around endless ropes and dividers, I have finally made it to the security checkpoint at the Chicago O'Hare International Airport. I step up to the counter, where an overworked, ticked-off TSA agent asks me to take off my jacket, shoes, belt, hat, backpack and to remove my wallet, phone, laptop, and liquids―of course, I only have three one-ounce containers in a clear one quart-size zip locked bag! I start to walk to go into the metal detector, but one of the agents tells me to step into this new "21st century technology" Xray machine. I step in, wait a bit while my body gets slowly radiated, and watch as a basically nude picture pops up in front of Mr. TSA on the computer next to me. As I await my results, I have to stand eye-to-eye with a 6'5, 230 pound tough-guy to make sure I don't try anything drastic. After about a minute, he smiles and tells me to move on. Phew! As I gather my things, I look to my side as an 80-year-old woman gets a very thorough breastexamination because she was randomly selected for further scanning. Ever since the horrors of September 11, security in airports has been getting tighter and tighter. It seems normal now after we hear of a new terrorist with a bomb in his underwear or shoes while
GRAPHIC: SEAN BURKE
trying to mix chemicals to blow up a plane. The problem is not that security is too high; the problem is that we are scrutinizing the wrong people, letting the underwear bombers potentially go free to try to blow up our planes. It’s a good thing that someone tackled him before he could blow himself up on the plane! Lately, the TSA has been under harsh criticism, as they have passed new screening procedures, adding more of these X-ray scanners that portray relativelynaked pictures and allowing intensive, and debatably inappropriate, pat-downs that often involve the feeling of private parts.
Not only are many people uncomfortable with the new system, but more importantly the system is unnecessary. Other than the idea that my body is getting radiated, I think the idea of X-ray machines to detect bombs is a good idea, but it's inefficient and not really necessary, especially when so many people will get offended by it. Several experts have suggested the idea that America should use Israel's anti-terrorism system. El Al Israel Airlines, named Global Traveler Magazine's number one in its "Best Airline for Security" for three years straight, has been free of terrorist attacks for 30 years, and has had only
one hijacking in its history. The former security chief for El Al, Isaac Yeffet, says that America should adopt their system of interviewing each individual, with a focus on those who appear more threatening, aka profiling. He makes sure to say that this is not necessarily racial profiling or discrimination, as they do interview everyone. “Technology in general can never replace a qualified and well-trained human being,” Yeffet said. The idea is that the large majority of fliers are completely innocent, so it is unnecessary to scan all of them. With interviewing, you can find those who seem
Julia DePaoli Stars as Clara in “The Nutcracker” Set to the music by Tchaikovsky and performed at the Granada, “The Nutcracker” promises to be enchanting.
By JESS DAVIS
ith the holiday season comes the return of the long-standing tradition of “The Nutcracker.” It seems there is no limit to the number of times one can watch this production — the magic of the sugar plum fairy and the charm of Clara capture audiences perennially. On Saturday, Dec. 18 at 2 p.m. & 7 p.m. and Dec. 19 at 2 p.m., State Street Ballet will perform their annual presentation of this crowd pleasing favorite. The performances will be held in the recently renovated Granada Theater. The ballet will be performed by members of State Street Ballet’s professional dance company alongside students from the Gustafson School of Dance. Laguna Blanca’s own Julia DePaoli, a sophomore, will be starring in the show as Clara — the young girl who receives a toy nutcracker as a Christmas gift from her grandfather. The ballet, which is based on the book “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” by E.T.A. Hoffman, takes audiences on an imaginative journey with Clara and the nutcracker. Clara encounters characters such as a terrifying rat king, a group of snowflakes, and an Arabian princess. Tchaikovsky’s score for the two-part ballet has become
one of his most famous compositions of all time. Although it is Julia’s third year participating in State Street Ballet’s “The Nutcracker,” she is looking forward to the show and is happy to be performing as Clara. “It’s a pleasure to be able to dance with a professional company. Also, it is really exciting because The Granada is such a beautiful big theater, which makes performing in general that much more special and fun,” said Julia. Julia, who fell in love with dance at the young age of five, has rehearsed tirelessly in preparation for the performance. “We began rehearsals in early September,” said Julia, “and a lot of effort has gone into publicizing the production through radio and newspaper interviews.” Her dedication to dance and commitment to preparing for the show will be apparent in her performance this weekend. Julia encourages the Laguna Blanca community to attend the performance. “The performance is something that is really great for all ages. It is a holiday tradition that everyone can enjoy and it will get you in the holiday spirit!”
PHOTO: DAVID BAZEMORE
suspicious for whatever reason and then fully search them. The process will take longer for those who fit the profile of one who may be suspicious, but overall the system is highly effective and not invasive―at least for those who aren't getting a full body search. On the flip side, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs claims that the American and Israeli systems cannot be compared, as Israel has two international airports and America has 450. Many airports in America are now considering getting rid of their TSA programs and hiring independent companies. At the moment, 16 airports, such as San Francisco International
Airport and Kansas City International Airport, have done so. They are a part of the TSA Screening Partnership Program. These independent contractors have to follow TSA guidelines for screening passengers and baggage. The Sanford Airport in Orlando, Florida is considering doing the same. Though a large portion of people have been offended by the new TSA procedures, others believe they are good for the overall safety of the country and not as invasive as have been stated. “I think the airport security is effective. The new measures they are taking, which have been so hotly contested, are a good thing. I disagree with the sentiment that it invades people’s privacy; if you look at the images the TSA will be seeing, it’s clear that these scanners are far from overly invasive. I just don’t see the problem in it,” senior Fletcher Sipple said. Nevertheless, security risks are certainly high. Thus, the country needs a system to prevent any future disasters, whether using the TSA, El Al, or any other system. There is no perfect method― the TSA gets criticized for inappropriate procedures and El AL’s interviewing system could be interpreted as “profiling” in America’s overly politically correct society. Though I joke about naked pictures from the body scanners and breast-examinations of 80-year-old women, the important thing is to find a way to prevent terrorism so that America, and the world, can be safe and not afraid.
The Cheer in the Coffee Cup: Holiday Flavors Around Town By ARABELLA WATTERS
PHOTO: ELLIOT SERBIN Full of Cheer: (Above) Four cups from local coffee shops featuring holiday themes. (Below) The holiday themed interior of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in Montecito.
PHOTO: ARABELLA WATTERS
here is something magical about the holidays. Christmas carols are heard ringing in the halls and on the lips of Laguna Blanca students and the spirit of giving is in the air. One of the most welcome and exciting aspects of the holidays is the plethora of different comfort foods which pop up during the months of Nov. and Dec. Starting mid-Nov., the scents of pumpkin and mulled spices start to waft out of coffee shops and restaurants everywhere. The usually generically decorated chain coffee houses Starbucks and the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf are touched by the Fairy Godmother of cheer and spirit. Overnight, the dull blackboards and harsh chrome espresso machines are covered in red velvet, artificial tinsel, and enough sparkles to knock out an elephant. Walking into a mecca of holiday cheer concentrated into 300 square feet is the highlight of the day for many. I, for one, look forward to having my dose of holiday cheer along with a delicious Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks, or a deliciously brewed Gin-
PHOTO: ELLIOT SERBIN
Yum Yum Yum: A local ice cream parlor’s festive flavors draw crowds to sample its ice creams and frozen yogurts. gerbread Cookie Latte at the Coffee Bean. As one employee at the Coffee Bean stirred a hot chocolate happily it was clear that holiday cheer is in the air. “All I Want for Christmas” played softly in the background as the barista told me, “The most popular drink during the holiday is definitely the Winter Dream Tea Latte. Another one that’s really popular is the Peppermint Mocha with whipped cream. People love that one.” Not only are festive holiday drinks sold, but gingerbread cookies, fla-
vored coffees, and specialized mugs are sold during the season. As soon as December comes, peppermint starts to permeate the air. Coffee shops are not the only places which embrace the holidays, McConnell’s Ice Cream and Yogurt pumps up their holiday flavors to full voltage. Pumpkin, peppermint, cinnamon, and eggnog ice cream are popular, but WowCow frozen yogurt also offers fat free, soft serve versions of the flavors. Nothing says Thanksgiving like two large scoops of pumpkin ice cream melt-
ing slowly in a pool of hot fudge underneath a swirl of whipped cream. Christmas can be epitomized by a scoop of peppermint on a chocolate dipped cone. An employee at McConnell’s talks about the rush at the holidays, “My arm gets tired from scooping so much ice cream because people are constantly asking for Pumpkin or Eggnog. When we’re replacing the flavors so much, they get really frozen and it’s hard to scoop.” The unique flavors of the holidays create memories for friends and family alike.
The Book Review By ARABELLA WATTERS & JULIA KENT
“I Am the Messenger”
“I Will Always Love You”
By Markus Zusak
By Leo Tolstoy
By Jonathan Franzen
By Cecily Von Ziegesar
This novel, dismissed by Russian critics of Tolstoy’s time, has been hailed as “the best ever written” by William Faulkner and has become a key installment into the literary cannon. Tolstoy reveals the story of two women, one ensnared by her own vanity, the other torn between society and passion. Kitty Oblonksaya scorns the advances of the man who loves her in favor of the dashing Alexei Vronksy, only to lose him to the bewitching Anna Karenina. Anna is a young woman trapped in a marriage who fights, but ultimately succumbs, to her passions. Tolstoy draws upon Russian history and politics in a time of turmoil to bring depth to a novel lost in the chaos and hypocrisy of high Russian society.
Topping The New York Times BestSellers list this year, Freedom by Jonathan Franzen is a multi-faceted, multilayered, raw, and honest take on the typical “All American” family. Franzen exposes the dysfunction and love present in a family. The family fights over politics, infidelity, and intimacy like any other family, and it is the realistic nature of the novel which makes it such a joy to read. It is an addictive intellectual novel which explores the ups and downs of family through both teenagers and parents. Heartbreaking at times and uplifting at others, the novel is nothing short of brilliant. Pick it up at Chaucers and feel yourself grow a few more neurons after you’ve lost them listening to Christmas tunes.
The final installment in the Gossip Girl series is like a peppermint hot chocolate, addictive, rich, and deliciously indulgent. Following iconic Upper East Siders Blair, Nate, Serena, and Chuck in the years after graduating high school, the novel is written in vignettes. Stuffed to the brim with outrageously expensive clothes, catty drama, and incestuous love triangles, the novel is full of Ziegesar’s clever wit. Grab this fun holiday treat, snuggle up next to the fire with a cashmere blanket (Blair and Serena deserve nothing less) and enjoy a story about New York City’s ridiculously wealthy and undeniably beautiful teenagers.
“The Prince of Tides”
“Her Fearful Symmetry”
By Pat Conroy
By Audrey Niffeneger
This magnetic novel draws from the author’s own violent childhood and irrepressible attraction to the unfathomable South, portrayed as a place of magic and of malice. The story follows Tom Wingo as he talks to the lovely psychiatrist Dr. Lowenstein in hopes of helping his talented, but suicidal sister who uses razors to try to break herself free of the oppressive weight of the past. Conroy’s lyrical prose serves as the perfect balance to the harsh reality of Tom’s abusive father, his manipulative and beautiful mother, his caliginous brother Luke, and his poetic sister Savannah. Conroy slowly unravels a family shadowed in secret and scarred by unimaginable tragedy. Put your own problems in perspective with this novel, filled with domestic turmoil, as you take a break from your holiday shopping and present wrapping.
Coming off her first novel “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” Audrey Niffeneger crafted a complicated and darkly beautiful novel about two twins stuck in the limbo before adulthood. In “Her Fearful Symmetry,” twins, Valentina and Julia couldn’t be more different, but are bonded with each other just as their mother and her twin Elspeth were before. When Elspeth dies, Valentina and Julia inherit her flat in London, which is haunted by Elspeth’s ghost. The experience the twins have sheds light on dark familial secrets and the betrayals which caused them. Niffeneger never fails to please with unexpected plot twists and heartwarming descriptions of the love between siblings and between husband and wives. Smile, cry, and furrow your brow in confusion at this supernatural take on coming of age and the tragedies of love.
Ed Kennedy’s existence is wretched. He is desperately in love with his best friend, plays pokers with his sharp-tongued loser friends, and he drives a taxi (after he is forced to lie about his age to get the job). It isn’t until he inadvertently thwarts a bank robbery that his life becomes extraordinary. Soon after being proclaimed a “hero,” Kennedy receives a mysterious Ace card with times and locations on the back. The novel follows Kennedy as he unravels the mystery of the cards. Watch Kenney come of age as you sit down with a cup of hot cocoa.
“Suite Française” By Irène Némirovsky Némirovsky was taken to Auschwitz and killed in the gas chambers in 1942 before finishing the last three novels. Her work, which was written as the very history that shaped the book took place, was kept unread until 2004, when her daughter started to read a small notebook filled with cramped handwriting. Her two novels, tempête en juin (storm in June), and dolce (sweet), were published together under the name Suite Française, becoming an immediate best seller in France. The first part shows the citizens of Paris fleeing as the Germans advance on the city. The second part shows the eerily peaceful German occupation of a suburb of Paris, Bussy, and how the occupation seamlessly unravels the small town. The links between the two story lines are subtle. Némirovsky’s writing style is delicate, fresh, and artful as she weaves a timeless story of human existence in the context of wartime.
“My Name is Memory” By Ann Brashares If Christmas time makes you wistfully romantic, ask for a copy of Ann Brashares newest novel “My Name is Memory” and retreat into your room to become enthralled with the epic love story of Lucy and Daniel. Not your typical star-crossed lovers, Lucy and Daniel’s romance transcends life and death. Brashares creates a world where only a few people have something called “the Memory” which allows them to remember all of their past lives. In the story, Daniel has the Memory and Lucy does not. The novel follows their love through multiple lives, starting in ancient Africa and weaving artfully to the contemporary campus of the University of Virginia. It is a challenge to finish the novel without crying, both a compliment to Brashares deeply moving descriptions and the ultimate escape from the stress of the holidays. Get ready to feel your heartbreak, a Christmas cookie is recommended for solace.
By FLETCHER SIPPLE
PHOTO: RICHARD WESTIN-SMITH
Bump, Set, Destroy: Senior Amanda Schulenberg takes a flying leap to spike the ball during one of the preliminary CIF games. The lady Owls Volleyball team is no stranger to CIF play. In the past few years they have won a championship, haven’t missed a CIF bid, and have made it to the finals on a few occasions. This season was no different as the Owls as they started CIF play following a regular season in which the Owls dominated League play. Defeating our three biggest in League opponents, Dunn, Cate and Thatcher in sometimes nail biting but generally dominate finishes. The Owls opened up CIF play at home against Twentynine Palms School. The gym was packed and the fans wild as the Owls started the game off. Nerves ran high as players were forced to shift around as a result of some injuries. Laguna opened up strong but the ladies of Twentynine Palms fought back. Laguna took the first game 25-20. The second game was more of a lopsided affair as the Owls
dominated 25-16. The third game, which ended 25-22, was a battle, as Twentynine Palms didn’t go down without a fight. Freshman Clara Madsen made her impact carry the Owls to victory scoring some points off serves to shift momentum to the Owls. Junior Amanda Harvey had 22 kills, while seniors Lillie Hodges and Amanda Schulenberg made an impact as Hodges posted 26 digs and Schulenberg added 18 kills. The Owls then went down to Bretheren Christian for the quarterfinal match. Bretheren Christian, who had the home court advantage, came out fired up knocking the Owls off balance. The Owls, who were down two players due to injuries, were overcome rapidly by the Warriors who played off their large crowd and excited atmosphere to put the Owls away in a sweep. Amanda Schulenberg made the AllTeam CIF.
This season was one for the record books as Laguna finished this record breaking at 6-4 after loosing in a lopsided contest against Santa Clarita Christian. After finishing the regular season at 5-3 the Owls received an at-large bid to the CIF Southern Section playoffs. For only the second time in Laguna history the Owls football squad jumped into post season play with all cylinders pumping. This year’s Owls team fielded some of the strongest football talent Laguna has ever produced most notably big offensive linemen Chase McAdams and running back Austin Rusack. The Owls crushed many of their opponents by huge numbers this season, however, they lost a heartbreaker to Thatcher at home in the rain. Laguna struggled in contests against Cate who smothered the Laguna offense and to Santa Clarita Valley Christian who put a stop to Laguna’s early season undefeated run. The Owls opened up CIF play against Capistrano Valley Christian at a Friday night game down south. The Eagles who came into the contest with a winning record were not easy task for the Owls. “We had one of our best
PHOTO: WARD RITTER
games that night, the whole team was really up for it and excited, that is why we played so well and dominated on both sides of the ball against Capistrano,” said captain Jeff Nelson. It was a lopsided affair as the Owls dominated on both sides of the ball. Senior Austin Rusack had one running and two receiving touchdowns for the Owls. Senior Kevin Drew ran a kick back 67 yards for a touchdown. Defensively, the Owls forced four fumbles and intercepted the Eagles once winning 2812. The quarterfinal round was hardly a similar story for the Owls who took on Santa Clarita Valley Christian at home.
PHOTO: GAYLE ADAMS
Hardcore Parkour: One Student’s Efforts to Bring Parkour to Campus
Santa Clarita who hadn’t lost a game in seasons and who was defending last year’s CIF Title fielded a running back that the Owls couldn’t handle. Things started off even as the Owls came out fired up but the game soon got out of hand. The offense faltered and the defense crumbled as the Owls lost by mercy rule 50-0 early in the third quarter. “Even though we struggled in our final game against Santa Clarita, I was happy with how well our team played this year,” says senior Kevin Drew “we aren’t a huge school like Santa Clarita or a powerhouse in the football department but we had one of Laguna’s most successful seasons in history… it’s something to be proud of.” “Everyone really worked hard to improve no matter if they were looking to win races or to just get into better shape,” commented Senior Cross Country Captain Parker Lilly. It’s always exciting when the cross-country squad gets to cruise down to Mt. SAC, the sight of CIF Southern Section prelims. This time the Owls fielded a group of talented boys and a group of talented girls as well. Lilly got an 8th place finish and sophomore Marla Bonser got fifth. Qualifying for the Finals. “We both went into the finals with confidence,” says Lilly “I had run the course 12 times before that race, but it was pouring rain.” Instead of the usual hilly terrain CIF made the running course level changing the race significantly. Both Lilly and Bonser nearly made state.
Girls Basketball Welcomes Coach PHOTO: ELLIOT SERBIN
CIF WRAP UP
By JULIA KENT
Parkour is defined as getting from point A to point B in the most efficient manner possible, no matter what obstacles – buildings, walls, trees, small children etc… – are in the way. The word is derived from a unique French military tactic used in World War I. Georges Hébert, a French Navy Officer, drew on the gymnastic-like combat skills he saw in Africa to create a new style of attack. He dubbed his new tactic parcours du combatant. Today, parkour has moved beyond its military roots and has become a phenomenon that has spread across the globe. Parkour is often con-
fused with free running, which involves flips and tricks as opposed to the “purist” form of parkour. The public uses the two interchangeably. La-
PHOTO: ELLIOT SERBIN
guna alum and parkour enthusiast, Sam Kent, joined an underground parkour club at Boston College his first year. Parkour is an “individual sport, but, since it is not based on competition, it fosters a sense of fraternity with mutual appreciation and a similar goal,” says Kent. Not only has parkour hit the greater Boston area, Laguna senior Austin Rusack is trying to bring parkour to campus.
Rusack has tried in the past to start a parkour club on campus, however he has lacked the numbers. The club would meet, try out, and film their tricks to post on YouTube and to the school’s website. Since he could walk, Austin has been doing flips, tricks, and stunts, although, only recently has he discovered that he has been doing parkour all along. He officially started doing parkour in freshman year and would like to start a club for Laguna students to join. He explains how his love of parkour plays a huge role in his future plans. “My ultimate goal is to become a stuntman.” Although parkour is a notoriously dan-
“My ultimate goal is to become a stunt man.” gerous sport, Austin has never been seriously injured, other than “various bruises, scratches, and sprained ankles.” The risk of injuries, Austin claims, makes it that much more exciting which adds a “mental aspect to the sport.” “The hardest thing about parkour is convincing yourself to try the moves. If you don’t feel completely confident and don’t mentally commit yourself to the move your about to attempt, you won’t land it.”
By BRANDON BICKETT The new girls basketball coach has, without a doubt, turned the team into a fundamental machine. With the absence of 6-footer Megan McAlister, who provided a mammoth inside presence and acquired most of the team’s rebounds, the girls team relies on quick senior guards Julia Kent, Natalie Nomura, and Amanda Schulenberg to propel the team to new heights. Chris Foster, the new basketball coach, while introducing new drills, strategies, and concepts to the LBS squad, was the former coach at San Marcos High
School. “I really like him,” said senior Amanda Schulenberg, “He makes us run a lot, but that will only make our team better.” With the loss of their season opener to a tough Valley Christian Academy team, partly due to committing too many fouls and with the loss of starter Zoe Serbin-out due to injury, the teams looks to winning more games in the future. Senior point guard Julia Kent said, “He listens to us, so it makes more interactive and open. It’s been great being coached by him. We’re so exited for the season.”
The Science Behind the Choke: How Nerves and Emotions Affect the Athlete By FLETCHER SIPPLE
very person to have ever played sports knows that feeling as you are walking out onto the field during your first game or during that big game against the rival team. The butterflies in your stomach and the nervous feelings are distractions every athlete has experienced. Emotions involved in games can make the average athlete great or the standout athlete flop. Turns out that sports psychology is serious stuff and has become big business. There are thousands of sports performance establishments throughout the nation that cater to the mind of the athlete. From high school to the pros it’s important for athletes to never let their primal emotions interfere with their performance. While these primal triggers, such as the flight-or-flight, were meant to help early humans deal with physically and mentally demanding situations, today can be detrimental to our body’s natural emotions, nerves, and responses. So much of what the athlete experiences in instinctual especially when emotions come into play. As sports psychologist Craig Manning told the Deseret News “the mentally tough is going to win every time.” Such a true-ism can be shown in today’s biggest rivalries. Take BYU-Utah or South CarolinaAlabama in college football.
Both BYU and Utah are at the top and other factors probably also deof the Mountain West Conference clined. These effects compounded and every year they face one anoth- to hurt his decision-making. “Once you start thinking the er in what college football calls “the wrong way, you’re going to crash Holy War.” Both teams training regiments no matter how much potential or and talent pool are very much the how hard you train” says Manning. same. Three years ago, the stand- It should come as no surprise, that out BYU quarterback Max Hall was such emotions could work conthe center of attention for the Utah versely, to motivate athletes above their normal potential. defense. During that Hall, who now same game, plays in the NFL, had established “Once you start thinking Austin Collie, another BYU himself as one of the wrong way, you’re player who the premier college football quar- going to crash no matter now plays for the Colts, ran a terbacks. He threw how much potential or kickoff back 70 five interceptions yards after bethat game. how hard you train.” ing heckled by To everyone in the entire Utah the crowd it was cheering section obvious that the first couple interceptions were a prod- which he stood in front of. Collie uct not of his bad arm but of his even went so far as to wave to the crowd to be louder before he ran distracted mind. With a packed house and a bowl the kick back. Perhaps that is why when people game on the line, not to mention the rivalry, the environment, not talk “momentum” they are really the Utah defense, was what got to describing the inflation in motivaHall. Emotions seemed to get in the tion of one team and deflation in way as the first interception rattled motivation of the other. Mental performance helps athletes off the his mind and nerves. His “internal monologue” the field as well. In Vail, Colorado a group of ski term sports psychologists use to describe one’s flow of thoughts dur- instructors have pioneered what ing competition probably became they call the Focused Learning Sysnegative, his “attention focus” or tem which is a ski school that not ability to block out emotion, crowd, only caters to the physical aspects
FEATURED ATHLETES By FLETCHER SIPPLE
of the sport but also to the mental aspect. They use positive visualization, fear mitigation, and nerve control techniques to increase the overall performance of the ski athlete. As project director Larry Simpson explains to the Denver Post “Anxiety can be a limiting factor when skiers get into a certain type of snow or terrain they’ve struggled with in the past. We coach people in fear mitigation or anxiety mitigation so they can continue to learn…we have a good sense of the movements people need to make…but if you don’t understand learning and the principles of human behavior, you tend to compound the problem rather than help it.” In simple terms, the brain’s emotional output can often times work as a filter for actions and commands from the brain to the nervous system which “under stress, blocks out the ability to be creative, to think about a movement change” says Simpson. This new field in sports performance is allowing athletes of all types, whether on the field or the slope, to reach new heights. In fact universities, athletes, and professional clubs are all investing in training in this new realm. Mental preparedness often times makes the difference between success and failure.
Park Rats and Neon the New Age Ski Style Commentary By SEAN BURKE
PHOTOS: ELLIOT SERBIN
Pascal Karam: Soccer
KELSEY DOUGLAS: Soccer
Pascal Karam earns his spot as featured athlete of this issue for two reasons: one, he has been a force on the soccer field as a four year starter in goals leading his squad to a few CIF berths. Two, he played his first year of “American” football this season for the Owls making some noise on the gridiron as well. Pascal has been a force on the field says fellow soccer player Sean Burke, “I’m glad Pascal is our goalie, I would argue that he is the best keeper in the Condor League.” A starter since freshman year Pascal has played great on the soccer pitch bringing his intense focus into action. Pascal also filled big shoes as the goalie preceding him continued on to play on the collegiate field at Union. “Pascal brings the intensity when he plays,” notes Burke “sometimes it’s a little scary but it works, he saves a lot of goals from going in the net.” Pascal tried his hand in football this season. While he started late and ergo had difficulty seeing the field he notched some big time plays in some big time games. Most notably he had 112 yards receiving against Cate. “He was a solid addition to the squad” notes Kevin Drew, a fellow wide-receiver. “I never thought Pascal would strap on football pads but I’m glad he did…it was a blast playing with him.” Pascal also plays volleyball. He helped lead the team to one a solid finish last season as an opposite hitter. Pascal enters his senior year as a four-year starting goalie and now a senior captain for the Owls soccer team. The team, which is currently en route to a winning season, will surely continue to look to Pascal for leadership and the much-needed intensity he brings to the field.
Kelsey Douglas has been a force on the soccer field for the lady Owls for a few years now after helping the squad, who has gone deep into CIF play in the past few years, reach a level of perfection rare amongst other Laguna sports. Last season Kelsey scored six goals as a defender which is pretty unheard of, and is returning as captain of the team this year along with fellow standouts, senior Lauren McAlister and junior McKenzie Scarborough. Scarborough comments, “I’m glad to be captaining this team with Kelsey this year, she’s been a star for us on the field all these years. I think she will do a great job leading the team.” Defensive player and fellow senior Carolina Beltran says, “Having played alongside Kelsey for the past four years has taught me a lot and I really admire her skill and appreciate her advice.” Kelsey has sustained several soccer related injuries over the years but continues to push through and return to the field. She has played club soccer for years and brings this competitive and dedicated edge to the Laguna squad. The Owls have seen CIF playoffs every year in the recent past even making it to the finals and semi finals on a couple of occasions. With a new coaching staff and possible a new system which accompanies coaching changes, the Owls will rely on Kelsey and her fellow captains to provide that much needed sense of togetherness after loosing former Coach Greg Luna who led the team to some of its most successful seasons. “I always can rely on Kelsey for defense, she’s a wall back there. She plays hard even when she’s hurt and she cares a lot about everyone on the team,” says senior Arabella Watters, goalie.
Remember when skiing was about gracefully carving down steep snow-covered mountainsides? It was about smoothly gliding through powder at blistering speeds. Well, that was then, and skiing has now become a flashy testosterone-driven vanity contest. Skiers are now judged on how many times they can awkwardly flail in circles after shooting off heaps of snow. New age skiers, commonly referred to as park rats, spend all of their time going through the half pipes and off large jumps. Park rats have not only defaced skiing as a sport but also have personally tainted my ski vacations. I spend my ski trips stuck with brainwashed park rats taking a two minute ski lift to the top of the terrain park PHOTO: ELLIOT SERBIN over and over until one them Mountain Fun: Kevin Drew pauses on the slopes for snaps their ankle, or until I a photo. pass out from boredom. But if I had to choose one thing Despite the skis lack of craftsmanabout the new age of skiing that bothers me most, it has to be the ridiculous ship and sturdiness they are insanely amount of effort that goes into having expensive. A year ago my friend wanted a pair the brightest and most obnoxious skiof very expensive Armada brand skis. wear possible. The skis were P e o p l e covered with spend huge “Park rats have not only what apamounts of peared to be money to get defaced skiing as a sport but a random the brightest also have personally tainted rainbow patshade of neon tern with the jacket that my ski vacations.” brand name they can find ARMADA or to buy the written on the most psychedelback. After hours and hours of begging ic and colorful skis possible. It all revolves around getting noticed and pleading with his parents he finally by others from up on the chair lifts; convinced them that the graphics on they look like little Christmas lights the skis were worth it, and yet a week later I was sent on a mission to get as shooting through the terrain park. But as you get closer, their jackets many stickers as I could so he could look like sown together leftovers from cover the skis with them to give off the some Care Bears that fell into a blend- false impression that he’d had them for er, and are at least two sizes to big for a long time. I am guilty of falling into this disthem. Their jackets are nothing compared gusting culture, as I ski with a pair of to their skis. It appears that the quality large bright green felt ski goggles, and of today’s skis is virtually irrevelevant. red skis with bright yellow stickers on All that seems to matter are the graph- the front, and I do envy my friends ics that are on them, which are basical- when people line up to watch them ly graffiti tag names or ugly demented soar through the air upside-down, but is this what skiing should be all about? forest creatures.
The Twelve Cookies of Christmas In spirit of the holidays, the staff of The Fourth Estate challenged the Laguna Blanca La Honda yearbook staff to a friendly Christmas cookie competition. We baked, we tasted, and we chose. Visiting eighth grade parents were the judges. Here are the top twelve winners of “The Ultimate Christmas Cookie Competition”: from the perfect chocolate chip cookie to the festive Linzer Star, you’re bound to find a treat to appeal to your taste buds. By CAROLINA BELTRAN, LILLIE HODGES, ARABELLA WATTERS, JORDAN SHANNON Snickerdoodles 3 tbsp sugar 1/2 tsp cinnamon For the cookie dough: 3 1/2 cups flour 1 tbsp baking powder 2 teaspoons baking soda 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp cinnamon 1 cup butter 2 cups sugar 2 eggs 1 tbsp light corn syrup 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract Stir together the sugar & cinnamon and set aside. To make the cookie dough, stir together the dry ingredients. Cream the butter in a bowl. Add the sugar and continue to mix, then add the eggs, corn syrup, and vanilla, and mix thoroughly. Add the dry ingredients, mixing until blended. Chill dough 1 hour if it’s sticky or difficult to handle. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Roll balls of dough (walnut sized) then coat them in cinnamon sugar. Place on an un-greased sheet pan 2 1/2 in. apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until puffed up and the surface is slightly cracked.
Oatmeal White Chocolate Chip 1 cup butter 1 cup light brown sugar 1 cup white sugar 2 eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 cups rolled oats 2 cups white chocolate chips Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease cookie sheets. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until smooth. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, stir into the creamed mixture. Finally, stir in the rolled oats, white chocolate chips and pecans. Drop by tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from baking sheets to cool on wire racks.
Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1 cup butter, softened 1 1/2 cups white sugar 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 bananas 2 packets of oatmeal chocolate chips Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.
Oatmeal with “Oomph” 1 ¼ cup flour 1 tsp baking soda 1 cup softened butter ¾ cup sugar ¾ cup brown sugar 2 eggs 1 tsp vanilla 3 cups oats 1 cup chocolate chips 1 cup butterscotch chips
Beat the butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Gradually add the flour and the baking soda. Stir in the oats and then the chocolate/butterscotch chips. Drop the cookie dough by rounded tablespoon onto an ungreased baking sheet. Cook them for 7-8 minutes at 375 degrees (or until the bottoms are turning light golden brown) for chewy cookies. Let the cookies cool on the pan for several minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies will set as they cool.
Linzer Star Cookie 1 cup sliced almonds 2 cups all purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup unsalted butter, 2/3 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 large egg yolks Zest of 1 lemon 1/2 cup Raspberry Jam In a bowl, whisk the flour, cinnamon, and salt. In an electric mixer, beat the butter and remaining sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract, egg yolks, and lemon zest. Beat in the ground nuts. Add the flour mixture, just until incorporated. Half the dough and shape into 1/2 inch thick rectangles. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (at least one hour). Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove one rectangle of dough and cut it out with a cookie cutter. Place the cookies about 1 in. apart on the sheet. Use a smaller cookie cutter to cut out the centers of half of the cookies on the baking sheet. Repeat with second half. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool. Heat jam, coat one cookie, sandwich the jam with sugar on a side.
Julia’s Chocolate Chip Cookies 1 stick of butter (at room temp) 1/2 cup sugar 1/3 cup brown sugar 1 1/2 cup flour 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 1 egg 1/2 tbsp of vanilla extract 1 cup of chocolate chips Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Beat the butter and both sugars on high. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Add egg and vanilla to the butter mixture and cream together. Add flour and butter mixtures together and mix, careful not to over mix. Add the chocolate chips. Scoop the cookies using a medium sized ice cream scooper. Bake at 375 degrees for 11-12 minutes or until golden brown.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip 1 cup canned pumpkin 1 cup white sugar 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1 egg 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 tsp baking powder 2 tsp. ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp milk 1 tbsp vanilla extract 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, and egg. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly brown and firm.
Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened 3/4 cup granulated sugar 3/4 cup packed brown sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 large eggs 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) Nestle SemiSweet Chocolate Morsels 1 cup chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tbsp onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Peanut Butter Blossom HERSHEY’S KISSES Milk Chocolates 1/2 cup shortening 3/4 cup Peanut Butter 1/3 cup granulated sugar 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar 1 egg 2 tablespoons milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie.
Peanut Butter Surprise 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter 4 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp 1 cup packed light-brown sugar 2 large eggs 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt 1/3 cup granulated sugar 36 mini peanut butter cups Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using an electric mixer, cream peanut butter and butter. Add brown sugar; beat until combined. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until mixed. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually beat in flour mixture in two batches. Scoop off dough by the tablespoon; roll into balls. Place granulated sugar on a plate; roll balls in sugar, coating completely. Place 2 inches apart on a nonstick insulated baking sheet. Bake until cookies begin to puff up slightly, about 7 minutes. Remove from oven. Press one peanut butter cup in center of each cookie. Return to oven; continue baking until cookies are golden brown and chocolate has begun to melt, about 6 minutes more. Let cool at least 10 minutes on baking sheet before transferring cookies to rack to cool completely.
Festive Fruit Cake Cookie
cup butter, softened 1 1/2 cups sugar 3 eggs, separated 3 cups flour, divided 1/2 lb golden raisins 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 lb chopped candied cherries 1/2 lb chopped candied pineapples In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar; beat in egg yolks. Sprinkle the rum over the fruits. Chopping the fruits and nuts is made easier with a food processor, or simply mound them together Stir the remaining flour together with the spices and salt to mix evenly. Then add remaining ingredients Beat the egg whites Bake at 350°F for 10-15 minutes.
Pinwheel Cookies 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened 1 cup confectioners’ sugar 2/3 cup granulated sugar 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 3 cups flour 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a bowl. Resift again into another bowl. Beat the butter with the brown and white sugars in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until smooth. Bake in preheated oven until set, 5 to 6 minutes. Set on cooling racks for a few minutes before serving.