Page 1

Vol 57 Issue 1

October 2012

Culver City High School


College Conundrum Pages 4-5


K-POP Fever Page 7 New campus empowerment opportunities Fifty-five official school minutes of Robotics by Sarah Dolan Opinions Editor After 11 years of competing at the regional and even national level, the school robotics team finally has a class to supplement their activities: ROP Robotic Engineering, a year-long course offered during fourth period. This class is offered for juniors and seniors enrolled in at least Algebra II and Physics, dealing mainly with pursuing engineering careers. The curriculum runs the gamut from history to labs, helping students improve their electronic and mechanical skills. Currently, the class is focusing more on basic mechanics but later on in the year they will move on to “the theory behind robotics and the tools necessary to make it work,” teacher Alex Davis said. Students will also have an “oral presentation, a research project…and labs dealing with programming, mechanics, and motors and wheels. Eventually, they’ll be building a

small robot.” The idea for this class was formed last year, when the ROP department and Principal Dylan Farris discovered that a curriculum for a robotics class existed, which prompted a year-long ef(See ROBOTICS, p.2)

Green Thumbs up for CCHS garden by Jessica Kim Staff writer Comparing the garden now and from last year it’s obvious how much work the Green Thumbs club has put into it. With a new fence and what looks like two stone wells nearby it is clear that the school’s “farm” is doing well. Having overcome gardening problems , finding the right fertilizer and setting up a watering schedule over the summer, the club is thriving and progressing well. The Green Thumbs Club (formerly the Agriculture Club) has (See GREEN THUMBS, p.2)

Chill, frosh are friends too Inspiring the underclassmen by Khrizia Allen Staff Writer On the first day of school, some may remember Finding Nemo Tshirts spotting the school. They were worn by Link Crew members, who have turned their club into a class this year. The Link Class is a year-long course dedicated to planning academic and social events for freshmen. The class’s goal is to help the freshmen through their first year of high school, “...the freshmen will be learning how to develop leadership skills with upperclassman’s help,” Link Crew Teacher

Melanie De Armond said. Link Class was not created until after registration because enrollment was not high enough. The class started with only a dozen students and was required to obtain 13 more within a 24 hour notice, so original class members began recruiting. Word got around school, mostly between juniors and seniors about the Link Class and through all the buzz the class exactly 25 students enrolled. Kari Buyard, club and class president, went to training with other Link Crew leaders so they (See LINK CREW, p.2)

Carlie Whittaker The Centaurian

ALL GLITTERED UP: Spirit Club member Angie Herrera paints glitter on Evany Travieso’s face in support for the boys football team in anticipation for the game against Bishop Amat.

School spirit shines

Students unite to boost school pride by Carlie Whittaker Staff Writer After all the members dressed in Centaur blue file into room 48 on the Friday of the game against Bishop Amat, English teacher Kim Ortega, one of the the advi-

sors, opens with the meaning of this club: “I want to unite the community in a positive way using school spirit and pride through this club,” Ortega said. The new club on campus was created by Ortega and cheerlead-

ing coach Lindsey Farris naming it Spirit Club. Meeting every Friday on various teams’ away games, the club discusses who will attend the games in support of the team and (See SPIRIT CLUB, p.2)

Counting on college fair Over 100 colleges fill the school hallways by Maddie Silva

editor-in-chief One hundred twelve college representatives from across the country lined the halls Monday, September 24 for Culver High’s 14th annual College Fair. Seniors and juniors were scheduled to attend from 6 to 8pm with the freshmen and sophomore following from 7 to 8pm. Lining first and second hall as well as the gym in alphabetical order, college reps set up booths to address questions

from the browsing crowd. In addition to the college fair, College Night kicked off the evening for seniors in the Robert Frost Auditorium. Beginning at 5 pm college representatives from UC Riverside and Cal State Northridge made a presentation about admissions and school requirements. College Counselor, Thelma Valverde expressed mild disappointment on how the presentation turned out, however, because she had originally publicized it as an application process presentation rather than an admis-

sions address. Overall, Valverde was very happy with the fair itself. About 500 students plus their parents attended and Valverde thought the flow was nice . “I think the set up helped a lot,” she said. In the hallways, university counselors addressed questions about financial aid, GPA calculations, major interests, the application process, details about their college’s admission requirements, their college’s atmosphere and more. According to Jonathan (See COLLEGE FAIR, p.4)




Link Crew jump from page 1 Green Thumbs for a

Green School

CCHS goes green with a new garden

Khrizia Allen The Centaurian

ENLIGHTENED Melanie De Armond discusses with Ricardo Ramirez, Melannie Batres, Vanessa Catalan, and Vanessa Naranjo the obstacles students face and how Link Class can prepare to help them through it. [LINK CREW, from page one] could prepare various activities for the freshmen. She said she is “honored and ready to accept the challenge and bring joy to the freshmen.” As a new class, there are obstacles that may be faced, like communication. Now that the class supplements the club, the two groups have to collaborate to spread news to the freshmen.

There is a lot in store for the freshmen this year and in years to come. The class is preparing a year full of activities such as frozen treat socials, red carpet premiers, pool parties and much more. They hope to help freshmen transition to their second year in a fun and empowering way. This school year, students who are caught roaming the halls without a class pass and are

New Faces of the Administration Lisa Michel

Assistant Principal of Curriculum & Guidance Current doctoral student at UCLA Past Experience: Math teacher AVPA Chamber Singers director Teacher of the Year 2004 What she misses most about the classroom: “The look on their faces when they understand something. That ‘Aha’ moment.”

Jon Chapman

Assistant Principal of Attendance, Discipline & Athletics

Doctorate from UCLA

Past Experience: Social Studies teacher Basketball coach Principal of Culver City Adult School Principal of Morningside HS What he misses least about the classroom: “Correcting all the homework.”

Let’s Get Technical

Jessica Kim The Centaurian

GOING GREEN Advisor Keao Tano waters the recently developed garden, created and maintained by the Green Thumbs Club. [GREEN THUMBS, from page one] been maintaining this garden since last year. The club’s goal was to teach students healthy habits and environmental skills through growing fruits and vegetables. Club members alternate watering the plants and each member has their own gardening box in which they are responsible for taking care of. Planning for the fall harvest, the club will donate all of their grown vegetables and fruits to the CCHS biology and cooking classes. Members will also work with

Spirit Club jump from page 1 [SPIRIT CLUB, from page one]

learn how to get students more involved on campus. Not only do they support the football and basketball teams, but one of their main goals is to lift athletes’ spirits, showing them that they are all of the same level of importance. They will attend each game to cheer for the different teams in their own student section. Meetings will be held during the day of the away games each week. With ten members that are mostly senior girls, they are always looking for more

“ It’s been a really good combi-

nation of theory and hands-on experience.” - Bianca Huang

TOOLING AROUND: Junior Chris Hernandez selects tools to use for an upcoming project.

students that are willing to commit to the club, according to Ortega. Their goal is to represent the school in a uplifting manner, and provide fun activities outside of academics. The members help plan the pep rallies, make signs and create ways to get students excited about CCHS pride. Each member had the chance to buy a spirit jersey with their name on the back to wear on game days. “I think spirit club is a great way to figure out ways to promote school spirit while on campus and it shows our pride and appreciation to be a Centaur,” junior Lauren Richardson said.

[ROBOTICS, from page one] fort to get one in place. The process of assembling a proposition and appealing to the school board “took a lot of work from me, our administrative staff, and the ROP department,” Davis said. The class now

Sarah Dolan The Centaurian

the ECO station, an environmental science museum and exotic wildlife rescue center located south of downtown Culver City, in a sort of mentoring program. Representatives from the station will come down to visit the garden, and give tips and advice to the members of the club. Through this club, members hope to create a “green” community with as many students as possible. “I like connecting with people,” junior Kelly Chin said. “It’s nice to bond with people over plants.” The club meets in Dr Tano’s, room 105 on Tuesdays.

has 14 students. The reception has been overwhelmingly positive among students. “It’s been a really

good combination of theory and hands-on experience,” junior Bianca Huang said. Junior Theo Erickson also enjoys the class, saying that “I enjoy… learning about what I’m doing [in Robotics Club].” Both are involved in the Robotics Club, but membership is not required for students in the class. However, it is encouraged because in just a few months they will be assisting the robotics team in building their competition robots.


Assembly uplift

Enough empowerment to share

Tasfiya Islam The Centaurian

CLUB CRAZE: Students sign up for UNICEF at the annual Club Fair during lunch.

by Mirelle Rangel Staff Writer

A mix up between the CCMS and CCHS front offices led to the rescheduling

Was it worth it? Summer work impacts classes

of the ‘Get Involved and Empowerment Assembly’ on Wednesday, Sept. 19. The assembly, known to be an event greatly anticipated by most students, was postponed due to the accidental double-booking of the Robert Frost by both schools. Participants of the assembly itself were notified of the due-course of events during rehearsal on Tuesday evening. That very same evening,

News messages via e-mail were distributed to teachers campus-wide from Principal Dylan Farris and Lisa Cooper, the Assistant Principal of Discipline, Attendance and Activities. When asked about the last minute change, Carlos Valverde, the Director of Student Activities, attributed the mistake to the removal of organizational positions, or rather the missing ‘middle men’ of school events. “We don’t have a Facilities Manager. We used to have that a few years ago, which meant keeping track of dates and events. Unfortunately, due to budget cuts, we’ve had to eliminate certain positions.” said Valverde. Teachers too were slightly disgruntled as previously scheduled 20 minute classes were changed back to fit into the average minimum day schedule. “I was caught off guard. A bit surprised. In teaching a lot of things don’t go as you plan,” said Justin Wong, Geometry and Trigonometry teacher .The ‘Empowerment’ assembly was postponed to Monday, Sept. 24. The assembly, complete with peppy cheerleaders, pink socks and various clubs, went relatively smoothly albeit the date change. A mix up between the CCMS and CCHS front offices led to the rescheduling of the ‘Get Involved and Empowerment Assembly’ on Wednesday, Sept. 19. The assembly, known to be an event greatly anticipated by most students, was postponed due


to the accidental double-booking of the Robert Frost by both schools. Participants of the assembly itself were notified of the due-course of events during rehearsal on Tuesday evening. That very same afternoon, messages via e-mail were distributed to teachers campus-wide from Principal Dylan Farris and Lisa Cooper, the Assistant Principal of Discipline, Attendance and Activities. When asked about the last minute change, Carlos Valverde, the Director of Student Activities, attributed the mistake to the removal of organizational positions, or rather the missing ‘middle men’ of school events. “We don’t have a Facilities Manager. We used to have that a few years ago, which meant keeping track of dates and events. Unfortunately, due to budget cuts, we’ve had to eliminate certain positions.” said Valverde. Teachers too were slightly disgruntled as previously scheduled 20 minute classes were changed back to fit into the average minimum day schedule. “I was caught off guard. A bit surprised. In teaching a lot of things don’t go as you plan,” said Justin Wong, Geometry and Trigonometry teacher . To avoid any further scheduling conflicts with the Middle School, the ‘Empowerment’ assembly was postponed to Monday, Sept. 24. The assembly, complete with a package of peppy cheerleaders, pink socks and various clubs, went relatively smooth albeit the date change, time was definitely at hand.

New tools to enforce old rules Passes and ID s required

by Nadia Hamud

by Austin Carey Staff Writer

Beginning this year, the AP/Honors summer work that students must complete to enroll in the classes was due on registration day instead of the first day of class. The classes that annually require summer work include: all AP Math, English, Science, and Social Studies classes along with Chemistry Honors, and English 9 & 10 Honors. The only difference this year is that it was due on registration day -- usually two weeks before school starts, rather than the first day of school. “It helps a lot of students finish their work earlier rather than the last week of summer,” junior Anisa Abbas said. “I believe it’s an effective system that shows both teachers and counselors which students are serious about the course.” While completion of the summer work has always been a prerequisite for AP and Honors math, science and social studies, this is the first year the English department has dropped students from these courses if the summer work was not turned in by the deadline. As a teacher of two AP Language and Composition classes, Darrin Dennis said that he believes that the students who chose not to do the summer work were students who wouldn’t have kept up with the classes anyway. The new requirement has had little effect on the number of students enrolled in AP and Honors classes, according to Dennis. However, there is one fewer English 9 Honors class this year. When asked about the size of the AP classes, counselor Daniel Fagas said that they were the same as usual -- packed. As to the purpose of the summer work, Dennis said, “I agree with what Malcolm Gladwell said in Outliers -- Students need work to do over the summer time if they’re not going to be involved in brain stimulation of their own.”

This school year, students who are caught roaming the halls without a class pass and are unable to produce a school ID will be issued a Saturday School and a detention. According to the administration this is just a new approach to enforcing an old rule that was already in effect. The administration has retired some of the “old tools” for enforcing the rules and have adopted some “new tools.” The administration are able to enforce the rules more efficiently because they have put out more manpower and they have coordinated better with security. Throughout the day you see administrators and almost all the security guards walking around the school to make sure things are running smoothly.

Staff Writer

Austin Carey The Centaurian

KEEP IT PASSY: Junior Jaqueline Espinosa walks the halls with a pass.

Lisa Cooper, Assistant Principal of Discipline and Activities said, “If you do not have a first, fifth, or sixth period you are to either be off campus or in the library.” In the past the student body was asked to wear their ID’s and were given lanyards so that they could wear them around their necks. Some teachers even made it a requirement to wear your ID’s in their classes. However, over time the majority of students stopped wearing their ID’s. Currently the administration is requiring students to just keep their ID’s accessible throughout the day. Jonathan Chapman, Assistant Principal of Discipline and Athletics said, “Having your ID identifies you as being one of the students, as opposed to someone who doesn’t belong on campus.” ID’s make it easier for the administration keep the campus safe. Although they have only given out one Saturday School/Detention due to being in the hall without a pass, the administration still stresses the importance of keeping ID’s accessible and halls clear.

Familiar face in the counseling office Tran taking Mackey s place during maternity leave

Samantha Kim The Centaurian

by Samantha Kim Staff Writer

This year, one of the counselors from last year was replaced by a new counselor, who in turn was replaced by another counselor. It seems that the replacement counselor for

Eunice Vines, Candice Mackey, left on maternity leave, leaving in turn replacement counselor Catherine Tran as the new counselor for the beginning school year. For Tran this is the second time she has worked at Culver, as she was a student counselor intern for the office a year ago.“I really enjoy counseling at Culver, because I like being part of a team that helps students reach their goals and aspirations in life,” Tran said. She mentioned that her favorite parts about working at Culver are the helpful and collaborative staff, and watching the students that she helps grow into themselves. Tran believes that students should try to find themselves while they’re young, and has believed that since her high school days, from when she had a fohawk. Already, she has had a warm welcome among students and staff as counselor, Steve Gyepes says she is “one of the most

capable, interim counselors that I have worked with. She is smart, responsive, and handles the workload with grace.” Sophomore Andy Kim said, “Ms. Tran is very bright, has a positive personality, makes a person happy, and her quality of work is perfect. She is the #1 counselor.” Although it seems that the word of the counselor switch has not yet hit the student body, Tran has quite definitely made an impression on the students she has worked with. Although her position is temporary until Mackey gets back from maternity leave, Tran highly recommends Mackey saying that she is an excellent counselor, as she has had experience working as a college counselor at Culver before, and is very capable. It is unknown when Mackey will return but until she does Culver students are in Tran’s hands.




College Conundrum Price tag of education by Cheryl Hoffman A&E Editor

In recent years, students applying for colleges in the fall are beginning to choose two-year public colleges, rather than fouryear private institutions or universities. Due to the rising budget cuts for state-funded schools, as well as our economy’s fluctuating inflation, private and public colleges have been forced to raise tuition costs. Students who may have once dreamed of attending schools with a notable name and reputation are now required to settle for schools that may have not been in their ideal future plans. Jasmine Chamberlain, a CCHS alumna, has experienced the turmoils of financial issues in regards to college firsthand. Chamberlain currently attends Santa Monica College with a major in sociology; however, SMC had not been Chamberlain’s first choice in schools. In fact, Chamberlain had planned on attending Azusa Pacific University but due to her financial inability to afford the school, even after receiving an acceptance letter, Chamberlain was forced to turn down the of-

fer. In hope of informing upcoming applicants, Chamberlain said to, “beware of misleading online information. I thought I would be able to afford school because of what I read online, but it turned out to be unreliable information. Be sure to understand your own financial background before you go digging around for answers like I did.” Although Chamberlain was unable to attend her ideal college, she is content with her current college life, for SMC has proven to be a great fit for her. “I believe everything happens for a reason, and although I was upset at first with having to attend a community college, I am now glad to be here... Community college is a great option if you’re unable to afford other schools,” Chamberlain said. According to the Washington Post, student loan debt now exceeds credit card and auto debt nationally. Students must learn to juggle in a sense, for they need to become wise consumers, whereas, states need to contribute by making higher education a priority in their budgets. Higher education spending was cut forty percent last year, and therefore, provided a great boost to the on-

going tuition increases. The high tuition costs of schools not only affects students and their final decisions, but the higher costs also have an impact on the surplus of students flooding into two-year public community colleges. Instead of graduating within two years, student’s attending two-year community colleges end up staying three or even four years due to their inability to obtain their required classes. In any case, it is clear students are now forced to not only concern themselves over SAT and ACT scores, personal statements, and community service recognition, but they must now also consider the financial obligation higher education tuition and costs have placed on them in determining eligibility for attendance. Tuition costs are now a prominent factor in attending college, more so now than ever before. factor in attending college, more so now than ever before.alent to a high school diploma, there are still ways to apply all of your hard work throughout high school to a future that utilizes your acquired skills.

Rick Loomis/Los Angeles Times/MCT

Seniors’ political involvment Students help assist the presidential polls

Photo illustration by Sarah Handler

by Adriana Romero Staff Writer

Every election year a handful of seniors spend 2 hours of volunteer work for a political campaign working assisting the presidential polls. Students eligible must be 16 or older, have at least a 2.5 gpa, and be a US citizen. Only 30 out of the 45 students that apply get the chance to participate. US Govern-

ment teacher Kelli Tarvyd believes that this is a great way to get the teenagers on campus involved in political activities. “What I hope to get out of it is my students coming back frustrated, because there is such a low turnout at the polls,” said Tarvyd. “Sometimes i’ll ask them how many people showed up at the polls, and they’ll say 200 were supposed to show up but only 183 came.” Eventually, Tarvyd is able to turn this all

into a teaching experience where her students learn how many people in Culver voted and how many people voted a certain way. The Educational Foundation has even contacted CCHS, asking for help from students for certain jobs. Those two hours of services that the students work counts towards their government participation hours. Seniors must complete a total of 6 hours if service, in which they attend meetings, write reports, and do campaign work. The participation counts for 10% of their grade. Tarvyd explains that what the seniors get the chance to do is a great opportunity to be involved with the real world. Student’s believe that working in the polls is a great way to be involved with the presidential elections, and is the closest they will get this year since an amount of them cannot vote. Senior Rian Bull said, “I wanted to vote, but i’m only 17. So you know i’m really close , but this is a good way for me to be involved and know what’s going on.” Senior’s Gabriel Sedeno and Magali Martinez both agree that it’s great since it counts for community service and it will be interesting to learn how the process goes. “And i’m sure i’ll receive other benefits,” says Martinez. Training has not started yet for the 30 students yet, so their journey is yet to begin.





Counting Down

What juniors and seniors should be doing for college now by Tasfiya Islam Staff Writer

The last two years in high school can be the most stressful due to the pressure put upon a junior and a senior with the worries of preparing for college, but it is not so bad once you break down what you should be doing now as a junior or as a senior. Let us start with juniors. “Right now, juniors should focus on their GPA and be giving their 110% effort in getting the strongest grades possible,” College Counselor Thelma Valverde said. “Sign up for the PSAT, get involved by volunteering, joining clubs, applying for jobs so you can build up your resume. Colleges look at your GPA, check what courses you took and the selection that your high school provides you, see what you got on your SAT/ACT, and look through your resume.” Juniors should also “attend SAT/ ACT workshops, start researching possible colleges that you want to attend, and get to know the admission criteria for your top schools,” Counselor Daniel Fagas said. “Take required SAT Subject Tests,” said the Kaplan Test Prep team members. Now let us take a look at what seniors should be doing now. “Seniors should be narrowing down their college applications and start organizing because the more organized you are, the more successful you will become. Make sure that your college applications are accurate with no errors, since

it will be the first reflection colleges will get of you.” Valverde said. “Also be sure to always check your emails just in case if you get any notifications of missing documents because that will bring delays.” “Take the SAT/ACT for your last time. In mid-fall, seniors should start talking to their high school counselors about scholarships. In spring, 12th graders should attend and apply for financial aid (FAFSA),” a member from Kaplan said. “During the summer before college, attend summer orientations and take a tour of where your new classes are,” Fagas said.

Top 3 Websites You Should Bookmark for College: 1)

SAT/ACT sign up and prep


Financial aid/scholarship help


High school student checklists/ payments/college planning

Maddie Silva The Centaurian

COLLEGE COUNTS: Students chat with college representatives and browse the college booths.

College fair jump from pg. 1 Gomez, a Loyola Marymount University college representative, the most commonly asked questions tended to regard average GPAs, class requirements, and offered majors. Along with the counselors, some alumni attended to answer questions about campus life and college extra curricular activities. Sophomore Kira Furuichi, said that “If you asked questions, [the college reps] pretty much had all the answers.” Although there were a few schools that did not show up, several universities such as UC San Diego or Syracuse University attended along with a variety of specialty schools including Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. A wide variety of majors were emphasized within particular schools as well. They ranged from Film and Dance to Nursing and Environmental Design to Cyber Security, Criminal Justice, Neuroscience, and much more. However, the college fair has not always been this extensive. It has expanded greatly from past years to what it is today. According to Valverde, only 30 or 35 schools were represented when she first was involved with the college fair. Most of those schools were either private or the

“typical UCs.” “It has grown exponentially,” Valverde said. College Fair is now more attended than back to school night.

“If you asked questions, [the college reps] pretty much had all the answers.” Kira Furuichi To supplement College Fair and College Night, college visits also fill out the year to keep students thinking about the future. Various colleges come by Culver High to make brief, 30 minute presentations about their school which are held in the College and Career Center. However, whenever a bigger school such as UCLA visits, the amount of sign-ups cause the presentation to be held in the Multi-Purpose Room. The presentations occur quite frequently, throughout October and November. Upcoming visits are announced in the school bulletin and students can sign up in the College and Career Center. If the visits are not held at lunch, signed up students will be excused from class for the presentation. St. John’s University is the next visiting school on 10/9 at 1p.m.

Proposing a Solution Prop 30 offers more funding for education by Maddie Silva Editor-in-Chief Prop 30 will increase personal annual income tax above $250,000 for seven years and will increase sales tax by a quarter of a cent for the next four years. This money will raise up to $9 billion a year to fund public education, including public universities.

If Prop 30 does not pass, over $5 billion will be cut from public education and hundreds of millions will be cut from public universities. The university cuts will cause an increase in tuition and LAUSD could face up to 15 furlough days “to absorb the cuts,” says John Deasy, LAUSD Superintendent.




Staff Editorial

True price of higher education As the importance of a college education increases, so does its elusiveness. We’ve all heard the inspiring stories of people who rise above their unfortunate circumstances through admission to college, but for most of us that is not realistic. Colleges’ selectivity is rising along with their exorbitant tuition, so students focus on making their resumes as impressive as possible, which, more often than not, is an expensive endeavor. And now that budget cuts are hurting public schools’ materials, resources, and extracurricular programs, students in poorly funded schools are not able to compete with privileged students who can afford to participate in a myriad of activities without worrying about the financial burden. Students are always encouraged to get involved in activities they are passionate about, but that often requires extra money- materials fees for art, instruments for music, equipment and uniforms for sports. These necessary additions add up, and many families

simply cannot afford all of them, which can inhibit students from padding their resumes with lots of extracurriculars, thus narrowing their chances of getting into top colleges. This means that students need to be even more proactive about getting involved, utilizing the resources Culver provides, and knowing what they want so that if they get into college, they can get the full value of a college education. It’s not just high schools that suffer from budget cuts- state universities are getting hurt, too. The California State University system recently got $750 million of their funding cut, forcing them to reduce enrollment. CSU Northridge could not accept any freshman or transfer applicants for the 2012 spring semester because they couldn’t afford to. And even if they can transcend that and get into their dream school, the sheer cost of tuition, room and board, and books is enough to prevent many people from going at all. Colleges do have financial aid, but with so

many students who need it, they can only pay for so much. Some people elect to go to community college and then transfer after two years, but this option has become so popular that two-year schools are becoming extremely overcrowded. But it may be bet-

ter than facing years’ worth of student loans after four years at a university. That’s not to say that students should give up on college altogether. There are lots of options after high school- people just need a reality check before they take college admission for granted.

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Illustration by Cheryl Hoffman

Current curriculum leaves out current events School should prepare us for the real world as well as standardized tests by Isaac Harris

The Centaurian Staff

Contributing Writer As I sat reading Time magazine’s latest cover story on government spending and where our tax dollars go, I remembered there was homework to finish. But then it dawned upon me that being informed on the issues our society faces every day is much more important than doing math problems or studying colonial America. School is about preparing students for the rest of their lives through education on a wide variety of subjects; even practical classes like auto

shop and graphic design are offered. Still, one of the most crucial aspects of modern society is ignored: current events. Throughout my K-12 education, I have been given very few glimpses into the world of international and domestic issues that affect our daily lives. Back in 7th grade, Mr. Wurzel assigned weekly paragraphs on the latest news, but no more than that. That same year, I remember taking an Algebra benchmark exam literally during President Obama’s inauguration speech. What could be more important at that moment than watching the first African American president take the oath of office? After school, whenever I approached a teacher to talk about

Editor-in-Chief Maddie Silva News Editor Stephanie Liem Lifestyle Editor Sarah Handler A&E Editor Cheryl Hoffman Opinions Editor Sarah Dolan Sports Editor Kourtney Brodnax Staff Writers Khrizia Allen Torres, Daisy Alvarado, Austin Carey, Priyanka Desai, Viviana Duran, Krist Fletcher, Nadia Hamud, Tasfiya Islam, Jessica Kim, Samantha Kim, Armani Moultrie, Mujahid Nawaz, Daniel Parra, Mirelle Rangel, Adriana Romero, Carlie Whittaker Adviser Penny Schulte Contact us at (310) 842-4200 x6041

a current issue, she would plead the fifth in fear of “influencing” a student with her political bias. In high school, classes like Global Issues and European History discussed 20th century events but faded out after the 1990s- without touching the 2010 congressional election or the Euro crisis. Finally, in 11th grade AP Language and Composition, writing essays and studying for the AP exam seems to have more prevalence than discussing the many controversial topics debated by the presidential candidates. I value learning about many different subjects. A good background in math is essential to making sound economic choices later in life; knowing our nation’s

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past is necessary to decide on its future. But all these classes that we take for granted in preparing us for the real world rely on a strong foundation of knowing what exactly that real world is. How can we handle the increasing problems of student debt when we go to college? What is our position on proposition 32 for November’s ballot? How do we lobby for more education spending in a state that desperately needs it? Are environmental regulations necessary to protect the planet of our children? These questions can be answered by a wide range of opinions. However, opinions cannot be formed without information, and schools must be the medium to provide us with

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that information. The current system sadly leaves these pressing issues out of its curriculum. With standardized tests and AP exams on their minds, teachers have no time to discuss the daily news. Still, the issue must be addressed. I urge teachers to simply inform students about the upcoming presidential debates or point them to a good newspaper article on the Syrian conflict. It is imperative that our generation becomes better informed about society’s concerns, and schools must take the initiative to educate on what really matters.

OCTOBER2012 KPOP hits the U.S. and rest of the world on a large scale

Stephanie Liem The Centaurian

KPOP FEVER The passion of the KPOP fandom is evident in the members of its club, including freshman Isabella Browning. News Editor During the past two months, America and the rest of the globe have been captivated by the South Korean viral sensation, Psy and his creation of “Gangnam Style” that had instantaneously struck popularity on YouTube, spreading the Korean Pop or “KPOP” addiction onto the CCHS campus. The hit video was released on July 15 on the Official Psy

YouTube channel and has now accumulated more than 300 million views. “Gangnam Style”, currently the most liked video in YouTube history with over 2 million likes is now also the most downloaded song on the iTunes website, overtaking American artists such as Justin Bieber and Katy Perry. Psy, upon recognition of his video and catchy dance, was featured on American TV shows such as VH1, Ellen

DeGeneres, NBC and even the Video Music Awards. The song itself has reached such popularity that it had been added to the play lists of local music stations like AMP Radio and KIIS FM. To quote Psy himself, “Dress classy and dance cheesy.” On a another note, 14 El Monte lifeguards were fired after publicizing their paraody of the famous KPOP video for misusing public property. “Gangnam Style” has even impacted audiences within the CCHS campus as it was played during a recent school pep rally, where students flash mobbed in correspondence to Psy’s famous ‘horse dance’. It was shown in a random poll that only 3 out of the 15 students surveyed had not known about the video. Some students commented on the video being “godly” “epic” and “awesome”, whereas some students had given a bit of negative feedback. “I was half way through watching it and my vision blurred, so I stopped watching,” sophomore Kira Kishi said.

When asked as to why the video had become so popular, various students said, “Because it’s Korean and we don’t understand what he’s saying” and “Because the video is so random.” On behalf of her club, KPOP club president Brijae Morris expressed her opinions on the matter and said “It’s so interesting to see American people accepting a different language of music with open arms. People should be more open to other music like Gangnam Style and open up our music market.” Many KPOP artists have been raising revenue through their live performances in large concert halls like Madison Square Garden, Staples Center, and the Honda Center. The SMTOWN Concert World Tour, which is held annually across the globe, featuring famous Korean artists


Gangnam is the New Black

by Stephanie Liem



such as TVXQ, SHINee, Girl’s Generation, and Super Junior, still holds its repeating record of selling out within the first 20 minutes of ticket releases, regardless the country. Additionally, various idols groups have even collaborated with famous American artists such as Kanye West, Akon, Lil’ Kim, Will.I.Am, and Flo Rida. KCON, a convention for all things KPOP will be coming to the Irvine Verizon Amphitheatre on October 13. Additionally, Big Bang, yet another KPOP sensation will soon be making their way to the U.S. in November for their upcoming concert. The KPOP genre has impacted not only CCHS, but the rest of the world, and is gradually evolving into a world wide accepted style of music.

Cassiopeia/Cassie: fan of boy group DBSK (Dong Bang Shin Ki/Rising Gods of the East) E.L.F (Everlasting Friends): fan of boy group Super Junior Shawol (SHINee World): fan of boy group SHINee V.I.P: fan of boy group BIG BANG SoShi (short for SNSD): fan of girl group SNSD (Sonyeo Shidae/Girl’s Generation)

Novick takes center stage Theatre director by Krist Fletcher Staff Writer This year Jill Novick takes on The Academy of Visual and Performing Arts Theatre Department as the new creative director. Novick has many aspirations for the department and the students that are participating in it. A lot of different tasks have been placed on Novick’s plate in order to keep the department running. These different tasks include company meetings, hiring the teachers for the course classes, producing plays and much more. Novick started acting at a very young age. She participated in a program similar to AVPA called

The Performing Arts Curriculum Experience at Mamaronick High School in New York. She performed in the plays that were produced and continued acting

“Don’t be an actor to become famous, do it because you love it and you can’t imagine doing anything else.”

Jill Novick

outside of high school until she found her passion for teaching. In the theatre department

Novick hopes to encourage those who are passionate about acting to improve their craft and for others to feel more confident and better about themselves. “I want, first and foremost, for my students to be able to express themselves creatively, have a good time, to feel accepted by others, and to learn more about themselves.” Novick arranges for the stuKrist Fletcher The Centaurian dents to act or work as stage crew AT HOME in the Black Box, Director Novick conducts her class. giving them many opportunities the Drama Teachers Association want to participate in the theatre and experiences for participation of South California (DTASC) department or to pursue a career in plays such as the upcoming fall or the Thespian Festival which in acting and that is to be preplay Our Town, the spring musiallows the students to compete pared, be focused, and be passioncal Rent, and a collaboration of against others, meet new people, ate about it. “Don’t be an actor to multiple AVPA departments for and expose them to other types of become famous, do it because the musical Cabaret. There are theatre. you love it and you can’t imagine festivals outside of school such as Novick’s advice for those who doing anything else.”

Film Room Relocated New film department hub allows breathing room by Danny Parra Staff Writer At the beginning of the school year a change took place for returning film students -- the switch of the film room from room 7 to room 93. For Alexis Butler, the Creative Director of AVPA Film, the change has had a huge impact on her original teaching purposes. The new film room quadruples the size of the old room, allowing for much greater storage and computer hardware space. It also has parking lot access that helps for the purpose of moving film equipment to and from film shoots relatively quickly. “Now I have the space to grow and teach lighting and make sets,” Butler said. When asked whether or not she missed the old room, she said, “Not at all.” The new film room’s large size now supports a much larger film screen, which also has led to a huge membership increase of the

recently formed Film Club, drawing in over 40 new members during the course of Club Fair. Originally Butler was not planning on this change. In fact, the transition was proposed by Jill Novick’s, the Creative Director of AVPA Theater, petition to Principal Dylan Farris for a room suitable for her purposes. As new department head of the AVPA Blurred Vision Theatre Company as well as one of the newest English 11 teachers, room 7 has proved to be a perfect fit for Novick. It not only provides the stage she wants, but also serves as an ideal location for any theater director to do their job efficiently, for it shares the same building as the Robert Frost Auditorium. Despite the clear advantages the new Danny Parra The Centaurian room possessed, the decision whether or OPEN SPACE Film teacher and AVPA Creative Director Alexis Butler conducts her not to accept her proposal ultimately rest- class with much more freedom to move around. The film room was relocated from room ed with Farris. “It all worked out in the 7 to room 93, where the film department is enjoying four times the amount of space. end,” Novick said.




Kourtney Brodnax The Centaurian

The battle against the Bishop

Centaurs take on the tenth ranked team in the state by Kourtney Brodnax Sports Editor & Webmaster

Friday, Sept 28, the Culver City Centaurs faced their toughest competition of the year against the Bishop Amat Lancers who are ranked tenth in the state, 52nd in the nation and previously coached by Culver City’s new athletic director Tom Salter. Salter is a 1979 alumni of Bishop Amat High and was presented the assistant coaching job of the varsity football, basketball and baseball team from 1982-1993. In 1994-1998 he took on the head coaching position for football. “All of the assistant coaches now, I coached, and the head coach Steve Hagerty and myself went to school together. He was one year behind me,” Salter said. The Centaurs departed Culver City High at 3 p.m. and traveled approximately 30 miles east to La Puente, Calif to promptly swap hits with the Lancers at 7 p.m. “We feel confident going

into the game,” head coach Jahmal Wright said. “The key for us is to be prepared and not make any mistakes and be focused.” As the tailgate brewed in the Lancers’ parking lot, Salter was on the field being greeted with much enthusiasm before the kick off. “We needed a game, they needed a game and it

w a s an easy game to schedule. Next year they’ll come out here,” Salter said, “and I was very pleased and really impressed with the students, spirit squad and parents. I think we represented Culver City well.” Culver City opened up the game with an onside kick and was able to match Bishop Amat’s quick offensive game by bringing the

heat with their just as talented defense. Senior running back Akili Skannal, knocked down a short pass followed by senior linebacker Keishawn Haley’s sack on junior quarterback Koa Haynes. With the Centaurs rushing the offensive line heavily, the Lancers were forced to punt at 10:57 to place the ball on the 31 yard line. As the Centaurs get a turn to showcase their skills offensively, sophomore wide receiver Stanley “Scrappy” Norman, blew by three defenders for a gain of 38 yards. However, an interception was caught by the Lancers at the 15 yard line and the ball was turned over to them at the first and 20. But the Lancers could not pull off a score. As the Centaurs defense continuously stopped the Lancers, they were forced to punt and Norman ran back 44 yards to put the ball on the 15, yet, Skannal fumbled on second down with 8:24 to go. As the quarter came to a close, both teams were in a heated battle anticipating each other’s next move. The first five minutes of the second quarter, the score

board stayed at zero until the Lancers scored the first touchdown at 17 yards with 7:10 to go. But the Centaurs remained calm and relied on their defense as senior defensive back Sean Floyd knocked down a 31 yard end zone pass. But the Lancers were still in field goal range so they tried for a 26 yard kick after a five yard penalty on the Centaurs, however the attempt was shy of the goal post. With 1:30 left, even though the Centaurs were having trouble advancing offensively, their defense was still intact. Senior defensive back Siaee Shaw, impeded a 20 yard end zone pass with 45 seconds left which caused the Lancers to scramble and try for a field goal with almost no time on the clock. Once again, the kick was no good and the score was 7-0 at the half. The third quarter was dominated by the Lancers. After a fumble recovery by Bishop Amat on the 29 yard line, they ran 12 yards for a touchdown pushing the score to 14-0. With 7:25 left, the Lancers had run for a total of 71 yards in 12 plays and by the end of the

quarter, the Centaurs had thrown two interceptions and the Lancers scored once more. Going into the fourth and final twelve minutes, the Centaurs continued to carry momentum as Skannal sacked Haynes for a loss of 14 yards. Nevertheless, the Lancers fought back and completed a 33 yard field goal with 10:04 left hiking the score up 24-0. Thereafter, the Centaurs threw another interception allowing the Lancers to score off a 22 yard throw 31-0. But the Centaurs did not lose sight. As junior wide receiver Mark Conley drove the Centaurs to the six yard line, the Centaurs first score of the night by senior wide receiver Justin Montgomery occurred at 1:45. Bishop Amat then proceeded to run out the clock ending with a final score of 31-7. Next week the Centaurs play their first league game at home against Hawthorne High at 7 p.m.

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Latest Issue October 2012  

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