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Vol 57 Issue 4

February 2012

Culver City High School Elephants face CCHS hipster off haven?

Pages 6-7

Page 8

Racism in the hallways

Pages 4-5

THECENTAURIAN Sweater Shocker Not the first time either by Ana Cordero Reporter

Photo courtesy of David Cappoli

TEAM SHOCKOLATE: From left to right, team captain Sam Cappoli, Jason Kunisaki, Dhruv Kothari, Lucas Nozick, James Chandruang, and Gustavo Cruz pose with their winning project at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Culver’s best kept secret

Many high schools have sold senior sweatshirts to their graduating class with a unique design that represents their departing year. CCHS has followed that tradition, creating a logo with an outline of a hand gesturing the number twelve in the top left corner; however, it has created a lot of controversy. It has come to the administration’s attention that the logo printed on the front may be mistaken for an inappropriate gesture. The class advisers and administration were not aware of the meaning of the symbol until a couple of

See Sweaters page 2

8-0 and Counting

While others prepared for the football game of the year MESA club won big

by Jessica Marin

Online Editor-In-Chief Out of breath, anxious, and excited, seniors Sam Cappoli and Gustavo Cruz rushed to the caravan of student and faculty buses departing from the front of the school headed for the CIF football playoff game in Arroyo Grande. Despite being drum majors, Cappoli and Cruz were not a part of the televised sending-off celebrations that took place only moments before. Instead, both students spent the entire morning at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena for the regional/statewide finals of the “Kick into the Can Contest” invention challenge. Neither were Cappoli and Cruz present at JPL later that day when their team took top honors in the prestigious competition. Instead,

they were informed via telephone call that they had won first place. Capolli and Cruz, MESA club president and member respectively, had left the competition early in order to make the bus and fulfill their responsibilities as drum majors for the the school band. The MESA (Math Engineering Science Achievement) club spent three months building an engineering device capable of kicking a football over a two meter high barrier and into a small trash can five meters away. The project was essentially a giant pendulum that was stuck with two giant saw horses with a pole and mallet in the middle. Thirty pounds of weight were strapped to the pendulum to make it swing

down on the fence post, catapulting the football into the trashcan, according to Cappoli. Originally the project was to have a laser sight, Cruz said, but it broke. Despite this, the everso-adaptable problem solvers worked around the issue and used duct tape instead to line up the project. It is the team’s ingenuity that helped them beat dozens of other schools from all across LA County as well as Caltech students. One of their biggest rivals was Crescenta Valley High School. “They’re really good, they used robotics,” MESA Secretary Jonathon Im said. “Their technology

See MESA page 2

Kourtney Brodnax/The Centaurian

JUNIOR GUARD Taylor Tanita runs the pre-game gauntlet before one of the girls varsity basketball team’s many victories. The lady Centaurs will take on Hawthorne Tuesday in their last home game of the season. It is also Senior Night, where senior athletes are recognized for their achievements throughout the years. See for extended girls basketball coverage



Volunteer Ventures This year help others Need community service hours? Well, many foundations and nonprofit organizations near you need volunteers. LAC+USC Medical Center is looking for volunteers ages 14 and up. They need friendly visitors for patients, people to play with the kids in child care, volunteers to read to patients, and others to work in the gift shop. Visit their website, lacusc. org for more information. Reading Partners is an organization that helps kids who are behind on their grade level reading through weekly, 45 minute tutoring sessions. High school students are welcome. A one-time orientation and training is needed, but after that, you will be paired with a elementary child and your one-to-one learning relationship begins. Visit Readingpartners. org to learn more.


Cyber allies Students trying to stop cyber bullies by Aurora Nunez News Editor We’ve seen it before: long Facebook statuses with comments added every minute defending, or offending, a friend. Subtle comments directed towards another person, but intending to sting. Although we may not think twice about it, this is bullying. Cyber Bullying has been acknowledged as

a common cause of conflict between high school students. “Facebook has created a lot of forums for students to say things they would normally not say to another student if they were in the same room.” Rebekah Howard, school counselor, said. “Its easy to chime in. Before you know it, you just created a persona of a person that does not exist.” Last December, the Symantec Corporation, makers of the Norton Anti-Virus Software, and the Anti-Defamation League came to Culver City High School to offer a one-day workshop for selected students. Normally, the workshop would cost about $25,000 but the Symantec corporation, which has moved to Culver City recently, offered this workshop at no cost.


Cooper moves up Former counselor in new role as Assistant Principal of Discipline

Para Los Niños is a program that emphasizes child care and services, family support, and programs in education, recreation, arts, and sports. Look up and a volunteer application will be provided. All different kinds of volunteer opportunities are out there for you. You might join a foundation just for your community service hours, but who knows? You might just find that community service is something that you end up really liking. It’s surprising how confident and happy you will feel, when you help out someone else. Compiled by Maddie Silva

MESA continued from page 1 was more advanced.” Crescenta Valley High School, along with LACES, was up against CCHS in the final round of the competition. The competition was so intense that it had to go into overtime. CCHS won by a rim shot. The winning MESA team, named Shockolate, included Lucas Nozick, James Chandruang, Dhruv Kothari, and Jason Kunisaki, in addition to Cappoli (captain) and Cruz. CCHS has been competing in this challenge for the past four years, but this is their first win. “It’s pretty prestigious,” Im said. “Usually richer schools win.” Aside from not having the same resources as other schools, the MESA members planned and built their entire project without the help of advisor Jerod Dien. “I didn’t have much of a role per say. They planned a lot of it and built a lot of it themselves,” Dien said. “When the advisor’s role is that you don’t need him, that’s great.”

Aurora Nunez/The Centaurian

ROLE MODEL Lisa Cooper believes, good or bad, “there’s always a lesson to learn.”

by Geneva Monteleone & Jennifer Tang Contributing Writers Lisa Cooper is the new Assistant Principle of Discipline. Before tackling this position she spent five years as at-risk & guidance counselor at CCHS. With a total of almost twenty years of experience in education, she has excellent credentials for the job. Before coming to CCHS, she spent two years as an at-risk counselor at Bud Carson Middle School in Hawthorne. And ten years as an athletic administrator, coaching girls basketball at Bishop Montgomery High School in Torrance. Under her coaching, Bishop Montgomery was the only team in California to win four back-to-back state titles in their division. Now as Assistant Principal of Discipline,

Students were chosen for this workshop based on referrals from teachers, coaches, and counselors. During this workshop, entitled ‘Cyber Allies’, students were taught skills to stop or prevent cyber bullying on social networks. Several PSAs were created to be part of the morning announcements. Student’s planned on taking this to the middle school to inform younger students of the dangers of cyber bullying. “I want to help people who’ve been bullied.” Abir Algazairy, junior, said. As to whether or not the Cyber Allies will expand, “It’s a one time workshop,” Alagazairy said, “but if people in the meeting want to make it into a club, they can for next year.”

she must be caring but stern. Her motto is “there is always a lesson to learn, whether it’s good or bad.” Cooper is currently, working on a doctorate degree in school leadership from Pepperdine University. A typical day on the job for Cooper includes; organizing ASB school activities, assemblies, club activities, and day-to-day discipline. “Though it’s also the most challenging part, the thing I enjoy most about my job is that each day is different,” Cooper says. Her secretary, Susie Flores, enjoys working with her and considers her to be “a great role model.” Flores says Cooper “is great with all students and cares about their success. She is very easy to work with and doesn’t mind jumping in to help when things become overwhelming.” Cooper is devoted to CCHS heart and soul that when she isn’t at school she says “I don’t have time for hobbies, every free minute I get is for my daughter.”

continued from page 1 students went to the administration office and explained that the gesture closely resembled “the shocker” symbol, a hand gesture with a double meaning of a sexual nature that is widely known among teens and young adults, Principal Dylan Farris said. The administration believes that CCHS cannot have its reputation, along with the students’ reputation, damaged over such a controversial issue. Senior Class President Amina Sulejmanagić and Vice President Lindsay Grossman declined to comment on the matter regarding the sweatshirt controversy. Former Senior Class advisor Leona Mullen also declined to comment. This is not the first time that an incident like this has occurred. The senior class of 2010 were bemused after receiving their senior sweatshirts with their logo -- two hand prints showing 10 fingers -- on the front (across the chest) of the sweatshirt instead of the back. ASB recalled the sweatshirts after receiving parent complaints about the design. The school’s dress code forbids clothing that portrays suggestive, offensive, insulting pictures or images which can be viewed in any way offensive or can be construed to have a double meaning. For this reason, the 2012 sweatshirts are being recalled, and are forbidden from being worn to school or any school event. “I think it’s pretty absurd that they did not revise the logo before selling the senior sweatshirts,” senior Ivonne Godinez said. A few solutions have been proposed to solve this problem. Students may return their sweatshirts to room 16 for a refund. The students can also keep the sweatshirts but they won’t be allowed to wear it on campus. Lastly the Senior Class Council is working with a vendor to create new sweatshirts with a different design to be available in the near future.

Black History Month

What BSU has in store this month by Aurora Nunez News Editor

In honor of Black History Month, Black Student Union (BSU) will be conducting activities all month long. Activities honoring those who fought for equality include reciting inspirational quotes over the daily announcements and posting them around the school.

BSU will also set up an exhibit in the multipurpose room showcasing the contributions of African Americans in music, art, and inventions. This showcase will be open February 13, 14, and 16 during nutrition and lunch. Students can enter the essay contest “What does black history month mean to you?” for cash prizes. Entries can be in

the form of an essay (500 words or less), a song, or a poem. First place wins cash, second and third place winners receive sweatshirts. All entries must be received by February 24 in room 74. “There’s more to black history than what we think,” BSU club president Kayla Valentine said. “[Black history month] gives us a chance to learn more about African Americans--not just slavery and civil rights--contributing more to society.”

February 2012


CCHS’s new Pep Band pleases crowds

Photo courtesey of David Cappoli

Performing at baskteball games, the new pep band awakens school spirit by Aaliyah Wilson Contributing Writer Fourteen musically-gifted Culver City High School students decided to break off from their usual routine of only playing

with the marching band during football season. They decided to broaden their horizons and start a new, separate “pep band.” This pep band plays at all of the home games during basketball season, during both girls and boys games, and is

FELA--an unusual

theater experience Center Theater Group’s latest production brings afrocuban music and history to viewers in an inspired way

run completely by students on a volunteerbasis. The pep band is organized by Sam Cappoli, a senior at CCHS, and also one of two drum majors for marching band during football season. Andrew Haley, Mark Hernandez, Alex Knight, Benet Markoe and Tommy Phoung represent the band’s drum line during pep band. Also participating are nine wind and brass instrumentalists, including Antonio Buyard, Melanie Cappoli, Sam Cappoli, Braulio Fonseca, Hervin Hernandez, Andy Kim, Max Malsich, Emma Manzuch and Natalie Smulevich. While fourteen people may seem like too many to be considered a subgroup of CCHS’s smallish high school marching band, compared to the sizes of other high school marching bands, the new pep band is not really that large. No matter what the size, getting a band like this started takes a lot of work, and the first step was to get the idea going. In fact, the idea had been tossed around between band-mates for years, but no one took the initiative to follow through with the expansion of the band until this year, when Cappoli and volunteer members put the idea into action. “I asked Dr. Spano if it was okay, and he said ‘yes’,” Cappoli said, when asked if there was anyone he had to go through to get the pep band started.

Digital Darkroom Through the Photographer’s Lense

In-depth review of a remarkable show, from the perspective of an aspiring photographer by Kristian Puntrere Reporter

by Emily Wood A&E EDITOR

Fela, a historically inspired musical about the extraordinary journey of Fela Kuti and his Afrobeats, showed at the Ahmanson Theater from December 13 to January 22. Originally scheduled to arrive in the Spring of 2012, when Center Theater Group was forced to cancel Funny Girl, the producers of Fela offered to bring the show to LA early. The musical tells the history of Fela Kuti, a Nigerian activist and musician, and daughter to Funmilayo Kuti, famous Nigerian feminist, intellectual, and political figure, fondly named “The Mother of Africa.” The musical details Fela Kuti’s journey to America to be educated as a medical doctor, but instead becoming enamoured with jazz, and his pursuit of an education in music at the Trinity College of Music. Fela soon formed his own band,

Koola Lobitos, and upon returning to Nigeria, brought his music with him. This extraordinary musician-turned human rights activist, quickly drew a following from Nigerians and Africans alike (composing music in English and Pidgin for all Africans to enjoy), combining Jazz, pop and Cuban inspired music with traditional African folk music to form Afrobeats. The Nigerian government, however was not so fond of Fela’s increasingly extremist views, and when he formed a compound for his band and family to live in, and began instilling a political message against the Nigerian military dictatorship, in part inspired by the American Black Power Movement, they took action, and raiding his compound, savagely attacked and raped many inside. Among the injured was Funmilayo Kuti, who was thrown from a second story window, and later died from her injuries. Unafraid and outraged by their callous actions, Fela wrote two powerful songs of protest, Coffin for Head of State and Unknown Soldier, and brought his mother’s coffin to the Dodan Barracks in Lagos. The incredible cast and musicians seek to fully involve the audience in the experience, requiring that they stand up, sing, and dance. The set design was minimal, but highly unique, giving way to the music and dance to tell the story. This highly affective historical play, combining an inspiring story, immensely instrumentally-talented cast (and great vocalists), and African-inspired dance, was a refreshing move away from the traditional at CTG’s Ahmanson Theater.


As for the permission from the basketball coach, Cappoli explained, “Dr. Chapman asked us to play for him.” The whole process of organizing the pep band was a student effort from start to finish. In fact Dr. Spano has been completely uninvolved in organizing the pep band, though still supportive: “I hope they [the student body] appreciate how much school spirit it takes. Not just this season, but football season, too... it takes a lot of effort,” when talking about the contribution pep band members are making. The student body really took to the idea of a pep band, especially on the night of the first game, saying that it adds to the excitement of the crowd during the games. “The band, providing a pulsating beat throughout the gymnasium, caused the crowd to go into a frenzy as they cheered on Culver as they raced toward the basket and against the opposing clock,” said freshman Elizabeth Johnson, when asked about how the presence of the band affected the crowd. Certainly the extra show of school spirit, and added entertainment, make attending the basketball games all the more enjoyable, despite the at times deafening drums; it’s all part of the experience.

Photo courtesy of: Brook Shaden

The World Above: one of the many incredible photographs displayed at the Digital Darkroom exhibition. Currently on exhibit at The Annenberg Space For Photography in Century City, Digital Darkroom, an eye-popping new show, features the work of 17 of the worlds best digital photographers, many of whom come from diverse artistic backgrounds. The gallery consists of many different experimental photos from 3D prints to photos placing animal heads on human bodies. This show brings a new feel to the wide world of photography, and is a prime example that although many artists still use actual film, through common use of editing programs, we are entering a strictly digital age. Adobe Photoshop has become one of the leading tools contributing to some of the most experimental artistic creations today. Many in the field today say that this program, and others like it, have become the digital photographers “darkroom” in a figurative sense. Highly popular programs such as these are where most of these never before possible made images come to fruition. Programs have allowed photographers, such as the ones

in this exhibit, to let their imaginations run wild with just a simple click of the mouse. Digital Darkroom is comprised of 80 images displayed in a variety of ways. In this exhibit the featured photographers work with many creative aspects of digital photography such as working in 3D, stitching images together, and the list goes on and on. It also includes a 3D presentation and a short film about the artists and how all of the work came to be. This exhibit is one to capture the eye of the artistic world for its photos consist of some of the most bizarre yet lively photos to date, as well as the most innovative in terms of technique. This exhibit is the perfect display for any artist to see. It is surely one to go experience for yourself, it without a doubt has changed my view of art and my hopes are that it captures the eyes of many other artists as well and gives them the inspiration to inspire others. As a photographer, I found this exhibit to be one of the best I have ever laid eyes on. The odd juxtaposition of images constitutes one of the weirdest yet most amazing works of art I have seen. Watching the short film regarding the process of creating these images, I was impressed by how one idea and a simple program could create something so beautiful. This exhibition is a reminder that the artistic world is in a state of constant motion, and sometimes it is hard to keep up (especially for young artists), it also made me realize that in order to be noticed in the world of artisticbased photography you must do something different. My word of advice to young photographers, or artists in general chasing the dream, is that you must strive to create something eye popping, something no one has ever seen before; something like the work featured in this show. Most importantly, Digital Darkroom should be a message to the entire artistic youth community, to seize the day, take hold of whatever opportunities can help your creative juices flow, and continue what you truly love to do.






fa r

hav e w e c o me ?

Racial comments create an unnoticed social norm In the midst of Black History Month, students ponder effects of language by Nicole Martin OPINIONS EDITOR Almost every student has had a similar experience, walking down the hallways to hear a racial slur shouted. A variety of students at CCHS have defined this experience as part of the social norm at the school. Students from a multitude of backgrounds have witnessed or been a part of a racist event at school. “Racism is a serious thing, but it is not taken seriously here,” said Claudia Anzures, a sophomore who identifies herself as Hispanic. “It is used as

a joke and people do it because it seems okay. No one gets mad anymore.” The racism problem at CCHS is not necessarily the actions or words of students, but rather the acceptance of racial slurs and jokes throughout the school. Whether it is comments between one race, or multi-racial offensive remarks, students from across the board have been at least a tiny bit bothered by the environment. Some students witness small actions, such as hearing “damn Mexican” in the hallway, said Natalia Saucedo, a freshman who identifies herself

as Mexican. Individuals witness stereotypes being reinforced within their own race, such as African American boys calling girls of the same race unattractive and continuously reinforcing stereotypes, said Tatierra Jones, a senior who identifies herself as African American. Other racial comments have occurred. Usra Hameed, a senior who identifies herself as Asian recalls student shouting, “America bombed Pakistan” right in front of her face. She explained how the comment created an uncomfortable environment, but the teacher simply settled down the classroom and

ignored the comment. To some students, the thought of racism being a problem here seems unrealistic. Racism is “hidden but visible,” and “overlooked by the administration,” senior Darrien Washington said. It seems as though these minor racist comments have become second nature to CCHS. Students often experience it, but no one dares to break the social norm. It has become the “accepted joke,” said Cinnamon Buckley, a sophomore who identifies herself as mixed race. On the administration side, Ian Drummond assistant prin-

ciple of discipline, “rarely sees it. I’m unaware unless a student reports [a racism incident].” There are very few reports of racism brought through the administration. Teachers are instructed to deal with a racial joke or slur in a classroom, just like any interruption. But it is really that simple to handle? Racism at CCHS is not as severe as at other public schools. According to Drummond, students do not come to school afraid for racial reasons. Yet, most of the students see the racial joke type environment. Is it possible and necessary to change the culture of this school?


We’re not in Culver anymore Cultural differences were evident at Arroyo Grande

Kourtney Brodnax/The Centaurian

AS THE CROWD CHEERS: Culver players and fans faced racial attacks during the Arroyo Grande football game.

by Kourtney Brodnax SPORTS EDITOR After the big pep rally with KTLA channel five news, a shortened day and the exciting road

trip on a deluxe charter bus to the outskirts of San Luis Obispo to Arroyo Grande, Culver City students could not have asked for a better Friday night football game. But, as the seven buses pulled up about two hours before kickoff, the environment changed. It went

Four clubs one goal Clubs promoting racial unity by Aurora Nunez NEWS EDITOR Culver City High offers a variety of clubs that embrace the many cultures of the student body. These clubs include Black Student Union (BSU), Latinos Unidos, Muslim Student Association (MSA) and the Student Intercultural Advisory Committee (SIAC.) Despite each club’s different backgrounds, they all have the same goal: to promote diversity and racial tolerance within the school. “We provide an open environment,” BSU President Kayla Valentine said. “We welcome

all races. Our members are very diverse. We talk not just about black people, but all minorities as well.” When it comes to racism, “People aren’t informed so they just subconsciously perform racist actions,” Valentine said. “We do not let stereotypes define us.” BSU meets Thursdays at lunch in room 74. Karen Valencia, president of Latinos Unidos, hopes to defeat negative stereotypes through education. Latinos Unidos informs its members of academic opportunities that can help them increase their chances of getting into college. “We try to encourage some of our members to join MESA.”

He’s got his finger on the pulse

5 What’s in


from freshly manicured lawns, compact cars and palm trees to mountainsides, cattle and F150 trucks. “Something didn’t feel right in the beginning. It didn’t feel like LA anymore,” Koryn FryeFuentes, ASB Commissioner of

Valencia said. “With education, we can end stereotypes about Latinos and other students.” Latinos Unidos meets Tuesdays at lunch in room 68. MSA meets Thursdays in room 12 during lunch. The club strives to promote religious tolerance. “We try to get people from all different cultures, Muslims or non-Muslims.” Saira Mayet, MSA President, said. “We as Muslim students in a club, face a lot of discrimination from race ourselves so knowing how it feels, most of us make sure not to attack any other culture or any other religion.” MSA hopes to provide an open environment for students.“Students get a place to come and talk about their culture, and their religion and how it works.” Mayet said. SIAC meets in room 16, Thurs-

Activities, said. It was a different cultural atmosphere for the “City” students. Culver City, home to 33 different languages, is an area that is the polar opposite of the predominately Caucasian Arroyo Grande. The Arroyo Grande High School administration was hospitable, offering Starbucks to the CCHS administration, along with security and a lunch of tri-tip steak sandwiches for the football players. “When we arrived I personally felt welcomed and I was impressed with the levels of organization,” Principal Dylan Farris said, “I didn’t witness anything inappropriate while I was there,” Farris continued. But the students had a different perspective. The CIF finals game was intense; for a while both teams scores went back and forth, which kept the crowd on their toes. But during halftime, the excitement died down a bit when two incidents involving CCHS students occurred at the snack bar. One of three Arroyo men standing behind senior Lauren Mitchell, complained aloud to one of the guys standing beside him about the speed of the line, “If this negro wasn’t in front of me...” Another racial slur was thrown at freshman Micah Moore when standing in line as well. A man rudely asked him, “Y’all [Nword] ready to go back?”

Read the rest of the story on our website: days at lunch. Isabella Gallegos co president of the club says “we promote tolerance by engaging in discussions about the latest news. We try to share opinions and find a way to solve or better our community and society.”SIAC is currently holding a canned food drive until the second week of February. If you feel your ethnic, background is under represented, create your own club to share your roots with other students. Any student can write a proposal to create a club. Students who wish to start a new club, must draw up a proper constitution stating the purpose of the club and what it hopes to achieve. In order for a club to become official, it must be approved by ASB and the administration.

and so could you! The Centaurian is taking applications for next year’s editorial staff Editor in Chief Opinions Editor News Editor Sports Editor

Webmaster Design Editor Lifestyle Editor A&E Editor

No experience necessary. Writing sample required. Stop by room 41 today to get an application. Application deadline Feb. 29, 2012

a word?

The ongoing controversies of the n-word by Redmond Stephan EDITOR-IN-CHIEF The word is heard all around campus, in the hallways, and classrooms. It’s colloquial, it permeates every level of our society. Popular songs feature it prominently in their title and lyrics. Comedians throw it out left and right. But the N-word was, in the past, both more accepted and far more offensive. In the early days, it was derived from Spanish, Portuguese and Latin adjectives for “black” and was a neutral term for SubSaharan Africans. The first instance in the American colonies was in 1619 where John Rolfe called slaves “negars.” The term changed but continued to live on, entering the common lexicon as a word to describe any non-whites. It became a derogatory phrase, often used to refer to slaves. Today, it is used in a supposedly non-offensive variant ending in “-a.” The more offensive variant ending in “-er” was by many and a great deal of literature written about or during the period in which it was commonly used. One such piece of literature is Mark Twain’s classic The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. While some recent editions of the book have replaced the word with “slave” in all of its instances, the book continues to be taught in its unedited format in schools across America, including Culver City. Darrin Dennis, American Literature teacher, discusses the book in his curriculum. When asked when and how he broaches the word he said, “Generally, I don’t wait for it to come up, I just take it head on.” The N-word not only comes up in literature, but it’s increased usage as a phrase referring to a person means students are likely to use the variant ending in “-a.” Dennis has also planned for this scenario. “I’d say, ‘that’s really unacceptable’.” If a student becomes a repeat offender, Dennis says he will “write up” the student, proving that despite the N-word’s common usage, some still find it offensive.




Identity crisis: hipster education Get the scoop on the ever-present hipster culture by Elizabeth Moss TRENDS EDITOR Ratty jeans contributing to a disheveled appearance, Ray-Bans, messenger bag. Their title alone speaks wonders at the irony in their culture. The image of a hipster varies from person to person, but some ideas seem to match more than others. Stereotyped for being hypocritical, hipsters are known for rejecting anything “mainstream,” their uncaring attitudes, and making fun of other hipsters (An article on featured a quote, “93 percent of the people making fun of hipsters are hipsters.”). So, naturally, their culture comes with a fierce denial of it. “You can’t admit to being a hipster, even if you are,” senior Renae Nitzan said. “It goes against the unspoken hipster rules.” And there’s a lot more where that came from. Typically, they ride around on fixies, invest in thick-rimmed, non-prescription glasses and have a fiery affinity for the left side of the political spectrum. They’ve done everything “before it was cool” and carry around books no one has ever heard of to show off their intellect.

Their clothing matches their attitude, tending toward that I-don’t-care, justjumped-out-of-bed look. Short shorts, over-sized 80s sweaters, and hair feathers are just a few staples to the hipster look. Stores like American Apparel, a disputed hipster retailer, and Urban Outfitters cater to this look. “The first thing that comes to mind is combat boots,” senior Amina Sulejmanagić said. “High-waisted skirts, funky glasses, and high-collared shirts.” Music is underground and undiscovered paralleling their dislike of prevailing tastes. Vivian Girls, Com Truise, and James Blake are all bands that exist under-the-radar and make the hipster circuit. To be sure, not all hipsters have the exact same characteristics, and not all of them have every single one. Also, most information about them is highly subjective and debatable. Ultimately, a hipster runs from mainstream associations, including that of music, movies, style, etc. Some also use special lingo, from words like “piece” (cellphone) to “deck” (cool). Hipster culture has also spawned literature like The Hipster Handbook (, which sarcastically (and ironically, so it must be hipster) identifies hipster traits, styles and culture. Indeed,

The Hipster Handbook’s definition of a hipster is, “one who possesses tastes, social attitudes, and opinions deemed cool by the cool.” To people like Nitzan, however, that isn’t right. “Like, by definition, it can’t be defined. That’s the point, you’re unique from everybody else.” And others agree. Senior Kayla Guirguis said that, “When people create an image of a hipster, I get kinda pissed.” She went on to explain that you can’t label a group of people who are trying to separate themselves from those very definitions. And just as there’s a following, there’s a resistance, too. A quick Google search produces pages and pages of results on the topic, most of them linking to ironic or downright hipster-bashing sites. Websites like diehipster. com and, are forums where parties interested can vent their frustration about the apparent hipster take-over and read about other people’s encounters. But whether you hate them or not, their “culture” does remain somewhat undefinable and at times so general that anybody could be a hipster, really.

Culver City



rt shi ater d e lar a swe l o C er und

Let’s tumble hipsters


show their creativity by reblogging material on

ed siz r Ove digan car


Worn out tee (tucked in)

t o r

Hipster accessory



sse Me

High waisted, ripped shorts


Ba Oxfords




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Model: Ellie Yu

Model: Kristian Punturere

Cuffed jeans




Campus Comment


Transport What is a hipster?

Too cool to market Sounding off on why I think hipster retailers Urban Outfitters and American Apparel are performing differently by Elizabeth Moss TRENDS EDITOR Like I mentioned in my article on the facing page, the hipster “revolution” has caused the publication of websites and books (see The Hipster Handbook), not to mention all the retailers that support and clothe such style groups. But why are some businesses doing better than others? Consider this: Urban Outfitters and American Apparel made a combined earning of approximately $2.8 billion in 2010. For Urban, there was a 17.4% increase, while AA almost went bankrupt last year. Now what do these retailers have in common? Their customer. Each, as we all know, advertises to appeal to a unique aesthetic, particularly that of a hipster. American Apparel embraces this image, even directing some advertisements in ‘hipster’ style - including model in signature clothing, party scene, beer in hand (though not PBR). But why Urban and not American? Perhaps, right there, is the answer. At the moment, people seem generally dissuaded by America and her government. With our economy in the slums, and more businesses outsourcing jobs, we want change. Ironically, however, AA’s biggest claim to fame is that they manufacture right here in downtown LA. Urban does the exact same thing, only in Philadelphia, where they’re based. But the name alone - Urban Outfitters - has

more youthful connotations to it, while AA may sound like it’s a brand designed for old confederates. American Apparel is not Urban Outfitters. This seems obvious, right? But what I mean is that AA offers clothes for the preppier hipster. I don’t know about you, but I think I may know about one preppy hipster, and they don’t shop AA. And besides, the definition of a hipster is too broad to really be applied to one single person. A person may have one or two characteristics, but not really be a hipster. AA seems to sell only to that kind of client, and a promiscuous one at that (some ads have been banned in foreign countries). Urban Outfitters, on the other hand, provides a wide variety of clothing to choose from and also cover areas like accessories very well. Are their profits really coming from hipsters? Urban dresses for a client ages 18 to 45, meaning that older folks, who are settled down and are more likely to have a stable income, are shopping too. And while this is happening, AA is dressing a much younger client exclusively, shutting out any potential older customers. So American Apparel is going to have to alter a few strategies before they’re ready to make any new profits. And as for Urban, they should keep doing what they’re doing, ‘cause it ain’t hurtin.’

“Theatre kids, and I mean that in the nicest way possible.” -Tonya McClendon, 11th

“It’s this post-modern phenomenon...[They] go back to the past and put outfits together in ecclectic ways.” - Genevieve Gilbert-Rolfe, teacher

“They’re basically the originators of everything.” - Jerrad Maxberry, 10th

Hipsterville deemed a “hipster haven” by

the New York Times, Downtown Culver City offers the best in Friday night entertainment, restaurants, and shopping.

Words, words, words hip-ster (hipster) n a person “typically in their 20’s and 30’s that values independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indierock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter.” (Urban Dictionary)

That’s deck for the 21 and older crowd. PBR is a popular drink of choice at social events, i.e. parties.

“Little fixie kids.” -Shelby Yamada, 12th

a ssic

e by J

ORIGIN Pre-predecessor to the word “hipster” is Hepcat, a 1940’s term to describe an aficionado of jazz music. Both the word “hippie” and “hipster” derive from this word. Hepcat was followed by the 60’s word hippie, which describes those who came of age during the 60’s and 70’s. Young people who rejected the conventional ways of society, often turning to psychedelic drugs and a vagabond lifestyle. The word is derived from the suffix “-ster” that forms a noun that refers to an occupation while the prefix “hip” means well in formed/ familiar with latest styles and ideas, etc.

in Mar

“A group of people who eschew the idea of normality.” - Sam Cappoli, 12th




Who Will Be Obama’s Challenger?

Republican candidates dominate the media, with primaries and debates filling your TV. But what do their policies really mean and how will it impact you?

Orlando Sentinel/MCT

Charlotte Observer/MCT

Mitt Romney

Newt Gingrich

Rick Santorum

Ron Paul

Opinion by Evan Wilson

Opinion by Sarah Handler

Opinion by Elizabeth Moss

Opinion by Chris Canes

Gay Rights: Equality for all is what America prides itself on, but we don’t really have equality for all. Same-sex marriage is still not legal in every state and if Mitt Romney had his way it never would be. Romney has said he wants to protect the LGBT community from discrimination but he believes marriage should only be between a man and a woman. He flip-flops on the issue of gay rights, because in 1994, while running for Senate, he wrote a letter in which he said he wanted equality for all people no matter their sexual preference. If elected Romney would move to ban same-sex marriage, which would mean not everyone would be equal. This would also outrage the LGBT community, as it should, and would lead to a big fight between the government and LGBT movements. Despite the fact that he doesn’t support same-sex marriage, Romney wants to protect the LGBT communities from discrimination, but to what degree is he willing to do this?

Gay Rights: If Gingrich believes homosexuality is a sin, that’s his own prerogative; but then to not even allow couples to adopt children is simply sickening. The most difficult problem with same sex marriage is the conflict between religious moral beliefs and the law. There should not be a mix of church and state, and personal ethics shouldn’t affect polices. The problem is, in today’s society, traditional families aren’t as common to find. We have a high divorce rate, single-parent families, compound and complex marriage families, homosexuals, transgenders, and mixed raced. To only allow homosexuals the freedom to teach is repulsive, rude, and ignorant. They deserve to obtain the same constitutional rights as any other couple.

Abortion Santorum strongly believes that every life is a deserved one. And though his idea that every unborn child deserves a life is a great point to champion and is important to uphold now that the number of abortions is rising, Santorum presents an almost robotic viewpoint, emphasizing that we were born to procreate and that this is the natural course of our lives. A major proponent of pro-life, Santorum has cosponsored and wrote numerous legislation concerning abortion, such as the Partial Abortion Ban Act, which made illegal getting an abortion if the woman has been pregnant for six months or more. He continuously supports initiatives that encourage women to give birth to and support their children. For teenagers, that means a harder time getting an abortion, and possibly parental consent down the road.

Fiscal Policy: Republicans applaud Paul’s desire for limited federal government involvement in the lives of Americans. Paul scores big points among most conservatives with his fiscal policy, which is centered on the abashment of all individual income taxes and a one trillion dollar federal spending cut. Like most republicans however, Paul remains vague on how infrastructure would be paid for without income tax revenues. With less money on hand, the most likely result of a Ron Paul Administration is the cutting of seemingly necessary government spending on various infrastructure including but certainly not limited to: police, fire fighters, parks, postal offices, public museums, libraries, roads, bridges, sewage systems, and public education. From his economic policy, it is pretty clear Ron Paul doesn’t mind if no one answers his 911 call to report a burglary or fire, parks for kids to play in, or roads and bridges to drive on. In fact, it does not take an extraordinary leap to say Ron Paul could care less about where his fecal matter (poop) goes after he flushes his toilet.

Fiscal Policy: Romney makes it obvious that he wants to cut deficit spending but his method for doing so changes daily. He says he will balance the budget and stop wasteful spending by cutting Obamacare, which is not only a big step towards universal healthcare but is also very similar to his own health-care plan. He also says he’s going to give more power to the people by reducing the size of the federal government, which makes him sound more like a revolutionary than a presidential candidate. If anything, his ideas sound a bit reckless. Electibility Against Obama: Is Mitt Romney a viable candidate against Barack Obama? Romney is definitely the most viable Republican, but he is too inconsistent to be able to beat Obama. A lot of people find Romney to be boring and emotionless, which is why some call him the Tin Man, and they say he lacks a spark that Obama has. When it comes to issues, most Republican voters don’t like Obama so they’ll vote Romney in the end, but it all comes down to popularity. By this time in the election most people have already made their decision and since there is no one running against Obama as a Democrat each side has made up their mind. Romney is not a viable candidate, but he’ll have to do, because the other Republican candidates are too radical to stand a chance against Obama.

The Island Packet/MCT

“I’m not a natural leader. “[Contraception is] a liI’m too intellectual; I’m too cense to do things in a sexual abstract; I think too much.” realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.” -Newt Gingrich Drug Policy: Gringrich opposes the legalization of marijuana, which is not only hypocritical, but not a decision the federal government should enforce. Yes, there should be a regulation on drugs and alcohol to help monitor the safety of society, but there should also be a balance of individual rights to one’s body. You should be able have individual choices to make proper decisions that directly affect your well-being for yourself. Like the tobacco industry, the federal government’s legalization of marijuana will help boost the economy. Electability: Even with Gringrich’s surprise victory in South Carolina, he’s not going to be president, sorry. And if he is, it will be a shocker. Not only did he lose Florida to Romney, he is too radical, and is extremely unattractive, but no one would be able to take him seriously. Further, he left his wife when she was dying of cancer. If he can’t stay committed to someone who is dying, how can we expect him to stay committed and strong to this struggling country and hold an effective role?

-Rick Santorum Fiscal Policy Under his tax plan, approximately 69% of Americans would receive tax cuts, according to CCNMoney. I say, who doesn’t want less taxes? As a young adult turning 18 this year, I’d like to know that my future won’t be taxed incessantly. Of course, from an economic standpoint, it’s a smart move. In a recession when everyone is saving instead of spending, a decrease in taxes prompts people to reach into their pockets again, hence stimulating the economy. On that front, Santorum is commendable. Electability Against Obama: Although his platform seems like it could appeal to a lot of people, some of his points set him back. His restrictions on birth control and abortions isolate a lot of women (and some men). The legislation that will work against homosexuals also prevents him from gaining new voters. Strict family values, good or bad, can isolate voters because they prefer an ability to have options, without government force.

Myrtle Beach Sun-News/MCT

Electability Against Obama: Barring an unforeseen set of circumstances, Ron Paul will not win the Republican nomination. Ron Paul may get a significant amount of votes from people not satisfied with other GOP candidates, however he will likely fall short as many voters view him as too extreme. It is a sad day in America if men are given strong consideration for the presidency after essentially telling Americans to our faces that they do not care about the greater good. Ron Paul’s campaign slogan is “Restore America Now”, however, if elected, Paul is far more likely to destroy America now than restore it. For the sake of all Americans, we can only hope that Congressman Paul and his radical ideas do not come to fruition and this time next year, he is somewhere in Texas doing book tours in some dingy bookstore and not sitting in the Oval Office instituting policies which may cause irreparable harm to this great nation whose people deserve nothing but the best.

Who’s next to go?



Staff Editorial


Is a joke only the beginning? Comedy sketches often rely on racial jokes. This form of racial comedy, today a readily accepted form of colorful humor, once was considered to be based in truth, and later, as society progressed, to be a gross violation of civil rights and a form of discrimination. Today, racial humor permeates our daily conversations, jokes, and even mainstream entertainment--but should it? Do the jokes simply advance the age-old problems surrounding racism and stereotypes, or do the jokes show a new level of acceptance, in which society has moved on from earlier discrimination, to a new ability to find humor in the shortcomings of all ethnic groups? In entertainment, the usage of jokes appears in various common television shows. For example, popular TV shows, Saturday Night Live and South Park often rely on racial humor. Saturday Night Live has been depending on racial jokes since its first season, with the Racist Word Association Skit in episode 7. In this skit, an interviewer asks the potential employ, Mr. Wilson, to mention the first word that comes to mind. Ultimately, it becomes a show down of racial slurs, causing tons of laughs in the audience. Additionally, many modern comedians use racial jokes, such as a recent Jay Leno skit.

used? Therefore, the best action to avoid using racial slurs. On the other hand, the ability to laugh about racial stereotypes demonstrates social progress. While in the past, individuals used racial commentary and humour in a directly negative and derogatory fashion, some individuals believe that racial humour now creates an environment where people are able to laugh at each other in a friendly form. Ultimately the usage of racial jokes has become a key element to our society, whether that may be beneficial or not. When it comes to mainstream entertainment, popular television, comedy acts, etc., individuals can choose not to listen or support racial humour, by changing the channel, or simply turning off the radio or television. However, students and staff cannot choose what they hear in the hallways, or what is proclaimed at public events, and Illustration by Sarah Handler therefore, out of respect it’s both prudent is evidence of a more accepting society, in and imperative that individuals limit the which stereotypes are something to laugh usage of racial humour in public places, at, this falsely accepting atmosphere how- such as the hallways. It is essential that we ever connotes a deeper issue. Not only can take a look at how we use these jokes in people easily misunderstand comments our daily lives and ensure that we do not said, regardless of the tone, but how can advance the remnants of a culture of racracial and ethnic stereotypes be expulsed ism and stereotypes, mistaking it for a false from our society if they are continually sign of progress.

“Why are we so funny?”

The continued use of racial jokes is silently condoned, and even advanced. Racial jokes can potentially even lead to the development of genuinely racist thoughts. Simply laughing at these racially motivated jokes serves to reinforce the very stereotypes history has fought so hard to dissolve. People have argued that this racial humour

Aborted Candidates These candidates have said farwell to the race for a number of easily spotted reasons “I will tell you: It’s three agencies of government, when I get there, that are gone: Commerce, Education and the- what’s the third one there? Let’s see.... OK. So Commerce, Education and the- I can’t. The third one, I can’t. Sorry. Oops.”

"John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa," and "that's the kind of spirit that I have, too." -Michele Bachman The actor was born nearly 150 miles away. It was the serial killer John Wayne Gacy Jr. who lived, for a time, in Waterloo.

“I do not agree with the way [Obama] handled [Lybia] for the following reason — nope, that’s a different one. [pause] I gotta go back and see. I got all this stuff twirling around in my head.” -Herman Cain

“This race has degenerated into an onslaught of negative and personal attacks not worthy of the American people and not worthy of this critical time in our nation’s h i s t o r y. ”

-Rick Perry

The Centaurian newspaper is made possible by donations from the Culver City High School Alumni Association. For more information go to Email: CCHSAlumni@

The Centaurian Staff

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You Abaca Press/MCT Orlando Sentinel/MCT could Printed by the writeStephan a letterGardena to Valley Editor-in-Chief Redmond News News Editor Aurora Nunez beloved, inyour Centaurian is a Design Editor Morgan Faulkner stead write aThe letpublic forum, published Features Editor Sarah Handler by journalism students. ter to the editor A&E Editor Emily Wood Trends Editor Elizabeth Moss Opinions Editor Nicole Martin Sports Editor Kourtney Brodnax Reporters Ana Cordero, Kristian Punturere Online Editor-In-Chief Jessica Marin Adviser Penny Schulte

Comments and editorial opinions expressed in The Centaurian are those of the staff and do not represent those of Culver City High School, its administration, student government, or Culver City Unified School District.

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Culver’s Fab Five

National football signing day for the class of 2012 inspires the “City”

Loose handles

CCHS boys basketball fighting to get to the playoffs

Kourtney Brodnax/ The Centaurian

Kourtney Brodnax/ The Centaurian

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Alex Jackson, Khalil Pettway, Kevin Porche, Michael Horchin and Yamen Sanders.

Kourtney Brodnax Sports Editor National signing day for the class of 2012 included five Culver City football players. Last Wednesday during sixth period, friends, teammates and family gathered in the Del Goodyear Gym to witness Yamen Sanders, Michael Horchin, Alex Jackson, Kevin Porche and Khalil Pettway sign their letters of intent. All have committed to play at four year universities next season. Michael Horchin will be attending Western New Mexico University which plays in the Rocky Mountains conference. Yamen Sanders will be attending the University of Arizona and will ultimately meet his former teammates, Pettway and Jackson, at Washington State during a seasonal Pac-12 game. As for Porche, he chose Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, who have recently moved from Division Two to the Big Sky Division One Conference. But this day did not come as a surprise considering over the years Culver has been consistent in producing a good number of athletes. In 2001 Karl Paymah, a Culver alumni, signed with Washington State then later, in 2005, was drafted to the Denver Broncos. In 2010 Victor Bur-

nett committed to Washington University and in 2011 Ijumaa Armstrong did the same to Hawaii University. “It’s an awesome day, a great celebration. These boys are a good example of what it takes with hard work and dedication. They are the blueprint for all underclassmen and future players,” Jahmal Wright, head coach, said. Senior David Paniagua, who played in the offensive line, was excited and has known Jackson and Pettway long before their Culver days. “I played pop warner football with Khalil and Alex. Hopefully they make it to the NFL and I can tell my kids about them,” Paniagua said. Off the field, Wright along with the rest of the teaching staff, encourages all kids to be student athletes and self guided achievers. Jackson, who had a rocky high school academic career now realizes how imperative it is to excel off the turf as well. “Take school seriously. It may not seem that important in the beginning but it will catch up to you.” Horchin will be majoring in pharmacy, Pettway will be studying kinesiology and Porche will be concentrating on accounting. Sanders will focus on business marketing and management while Jackson is still undecided, but interested in business and criminal justice.

AND 1: Senior point guard Aamahd Walker going up strong against their toughest competition this season, the Inglewood Sentinnels.

Sarah Handler Features Editor With a win against Hart for their first home game of the new year, the Culver City boys varsity basketball team ended their December dry spell. “It’s been kinda rough for us, but we got to keep practicing hard and we can turn things around. [Hopefully we’ll] be undefeated. It’ll help our record a lot and just improve us as a team,” senior point guard Aamahd Walker said. However, their home game on January 11, against Morningside, left Culver stumped once again. Julius Wilson, Ahmad Walker, Keilan Horton, Malik Deckard, and Isaiah Taylor started the game. Walker made the most baskets, scoring a total of 22 points for the team, and kept the game close until the end. With Culver having a lead of 19-9 at the end of the first quarter, Morningside made a come around, and played with a slight lead until the game’s end. Ending the half with a Morningside lead of 33-27, and then the third quarter with 48-40, there was still hope for a Culver victory throughout the crowd. The game ended with a 66-60 Morningside victory. The Centaur game against Santa Monica, on January 13, left

A splish-splashing season Girls water polo dominating the waters this year Maddie Silva Contributing Writer

Maddie Silva/The Centaurian

The water-soaked ball soared through the air, over the swim-capped heads, and slammed directly into the net of the goal. Water splashed onto the sides of the pool as Culver City High’s water polo players cheered. Culver City High School’s Girls Water Polo JV and Varsity teams are off to a momentous start this season, with the varsity team having a satisfying record of 14-1 three months into the season. Junior

them at another loss 61-67. They trailed the first quarter with 15-7, but were able to close the gap before halftime with a score of 27-21. Horton and Walker each scored 20 points, and kept Culver going. The third quarter was played hard once again, but it didn’t prevent them from starting the fourth quarter with a score of 48-40 in Santa Monica’s favor. In the end, the Centaurs faced another loss of 67-61. “[It’s been a] little bit worse than expected, I thought we have the capability to play a lot better than we have been. We don’t really have an experienced team, and so we’re kind of making beginners mistakes.” Jonathan Chapman, head coach, said. However, during the critical rivalry match against Beverly Hills, Culver won 87-81 in overtime. Walker scored 33 points during the game, and Horton scored 30. The boys average per game is 65 points, 28 rebounds and 16 steals. On Tuesday Feb. 7 the Centaur boys play Hawthorne, two days later they’re up against Beverly Hills. “We first have to play better, beginning with every next game and practices, and hopefully we will make playoffs. Then [we’ll see how far we can] get in playoffs.” Chapman said.

varsity is also off to a strong start at 14-2. The girls have beaten powerhouse schools such as Santa Monica, El Segundo, Mira Costa, Marymount, and Redondo. Several of those schools, such as Mira Costa and El Segundo have beaten Culver last year, but with the strength of this year’s players, Culver High was able to take the win. Allison Kelly, junior varsity player and substitute for varsity, claims their best game of the season so far was defeating Mira Costa because they were, “one of the hardest schools. Our hardest treading exercise is actually named after them.” While competing in league play, varsity hopes to reach the top this year. In comparison to past years, head coach, Nester Dordoni, said the team is doing “very good!....Excellent!”



A fresh look

New uniforms for teams


Kicking down competition Girls soccer rejuvenating, now second in Ocean League

Kourtney Brodnax/ The Centaurian

GEARED UP FROM THE FEET UP: Senior point forward Lunden Junious sporting the new Adidas basketball uniform.

Kourtney Brodnax Photo courtesy of Richard Hibbs

Sports editor “We try the best we can,” Jerry Chabola, Culver’s former athletic director, said in regards to all thirty-three sports teams uniforms played and sweated in for each season. Some have been passed down for years and others are thrown aside for a brand new set, and if the budget allows, even the JV teams will receive a cut from that too. Track and football fund raise most of their money and just last year, the boys soccer team received a generous donation of a complete set of 120 blue and white new uniforms. All of the teams are given free range when it comes to deciding on which style will make them shine when competition arises. As long as the colors are consistent with the original centaur blue, white and silver (or grey in some cases) there is no criteria in which the uniforms must match. From there the range of combinations are immense. Sports brands play a huge factor in deciding what to buy too. The boys varsity tennis team, girls track team

and girls varsity basketball team all ordered new uniforms this year from Adidas. Nike is also a top choice when it comes to the latest team fashions in sports like football. “The district allocates $20,000 for us to spend. $5,000 goes towards equipment, first aid and the training room. $4,000 is for fees for state and league meets, etc and whatever is left we try and utilize and spread out so everyone can get new uniforms,” Chabola explained. The budget pays for new water polo caps, aquatics sweatshirts and the restock of uniforms after the senior girl soccer players graduate and not only take their diplomas home but their framed jerseys too.

For the rest of the article, check out our website at cchscentaurian. com

BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM: Senior middle forward Lydia Chodosh fighting to keep the ball in bounds during an away game.

Kristian Punturere Reporter Regardless of their setbacks, it seems that the girls varsity team still has a chance to reach the level of last years team. Last Wednesday, they defeated Santa Monica by 2-1 for the first time in six years which bumped the girls into second place overall in league. Coming off of an impressive season last year with 20-6-1 record, the girls varsity soccer team hasn’t hit the same stride halfway through this season with a 12-71 record. From multiple injuries to players quitting, the lady Centaurs have run into a few bumps in the road right from the start. “We’ve had all of these injuries all of the sudden, that’s what has hurt us,” head coach Scot Mair said. “We could easily be 13-2 if it weren’t for injuries and silly mistakes.”

Hayley Pina, Natalie Estrada, Paola Cueva and Sydney Hibbs have ankle injuries, Jazmin Orozco and Lydia Chodosh are playing through knee injuries, and Shandell Martinez has bruised ribs. “Those injuries have had a huge negative impact on our team,” assistant coach Jennifer Kochevar said. “We are just hitting the middle of our league season and I believe the health of the team will greatly influence the outcome of the season.” Their most profound injury this year was their top scorer, sophomore, Hayley Pina. In a recent game against the Inglewood Sentinels, Pina severely sprained her ankle in a collision with another player and is expected to be out for 2-6 weeks. “She has been the only one scoring in double digits,” Mair said. Compared to last year, scoring has dramatically decreased due to the loss of two powerful top scor-

ing seniors from the class of 2011, Lili Valverde and Jennifer Mair. Home field advantage has not been a benefit this team enjoyed, as the poor condition of the field seems to have been a factor in player injuries. “All of the major ankle and knee injuries have occurred on our home field,” Kochevar said. “We have had no major injuries on any of the artificial turf fields (Santa Monica, Beverly, El Segundo) this year.” Many of the lower classmen are prevailing because of the experience that came with playing for highly talented club teams. “I’m proud of the girls’ camaraderie,” Kochevar said. “In years past we have had teams that were very clique-ish and I don’t see those cliques with these girls.” Mair, commenting on the team’s quality, said, “We set our expectations high. It takes a lot, but we know their potential.”

Phenomenal fencer dreaming of Olympic gold Michael Costin following in his father’s footsteps with his new victory Ana Cordero Reporter

Kourtney Brodnax/ The Centaurian

Junior Michael Costin recently participated in the U.S. team at the Cadet Saber World Cup in

London on January 29, where the American team beat their tough rivals Ukraine 45-29 and Italy, 45-43. The Americans deafeted Germany 45-42 in the final gold medal round. Aside from participating in the fencing World Cup, Costin won two gold medals in the Cadet and Junior events held at the United States Fencing Association North America Cup that took place in Austin,Texas in November. The two medals he won were for the men’s saber cadet and men’s saber junior events. Costin has been in fencing

school almost all of his life. He has been fencing for eight years now. His father, Daniel Costin, coached the Romanian Saber Olympic Team in the late 80’s and early 90’s and is often credited as being the best fencing coach in the United States. “I got inspired because it’s a mental sport as well as physical.” Costin said. What he admires most about fencing are, “the beauty and tactics involved, it’s a beautiful mixture of strength and intelligence.” Costin has thought about be-

coming a professional fencer, but has given it a second thought since fencing is not a paid career in the United States. If he were to pursue a fencing career he would have to apply to a New York league. For the moment, Costin is interested in becoming a political writer. He admires political writer Henry Miller because, “his style of writing is a combo of autobiography and fiction, it shows deep emotions of human beings.” Since fencing has become a part of his regimen, it doesn’t interfere with school activities.

“School has never been real hard for me, so I balance them both pretty well.” Costin said with confidence. He trains six days a week, three hours a day at West LA Avant Garde Fencer’s Club. His goal is to start a school fencing team. In order to do this, he has to get at least three other people to start the club. Costin has been a United States national finalist nine times since the age of 10. His ultimate goal is to obtain an Olympic gold medal for fencing.


February 2012


A Canvas in the Sun

Students combine forces with Center Theater Group and set designer Janne Larsen to create installations inspired by the play currently showing at the Kirk Douglass Theater, A Raisin in the Sun by Redmond Stephan Editor in Chief

Maybe you saw the chicken-wire and foliage people growing out of the earthen hill near the Robert Frost Auditorium, in a manner that would most assuredly be frightening if encountered in poor lighting conditions, but somehow captures the viewer and holds on. Or perhaps it was the plastic sheet of text and strip of grass by the main office that got your attention, or the flag on the Senior Lawn. If you looked closer, you would have noticed that these artistic installations served a very distinct purpose. They were all part of a project through which 16 AVPA Art students col-

laborated with Center Theatre Group’s (CTG) set designer and independent visual artist, Janne Larsen to develop a series of installations based on the text of A Raisin in the Sun--a play that CTG is performing until February 19 at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. The master class lasted 12 weeks and was part of a new initiative called “Front and Center” whose goal is to help bring comprehensive theater education to Culver City Unified School District students. In total, four groups of students worked on separate installations which were erected on campus and formally displayed on the evening of December 19 when students led guided tours of the installations for friends, family, faculty and school

district/ board members. All of the installations were based on themes found in A Raisin in the Sun, a play detailing the socioeconomic struggles of an African

“Our installation made me see how the process of installation can evolve and change over time.”

-Carina Samayoa American family sometime after WWII, and drew off of students research of artist who worked based off of other texts. “I learned about Installation Art and how to express and create work in an environment that can have an impact on

those who experience it,” said Carina Samayoa, participating art student and senior at CCHS. “It was interesting to me how everyone interpreted different meanings of the same script and how they represented their idea,” Samayoa said. A few of the installations are being shown at the Kirk Douglas Theater for the duration of the play’s run, some as photographs, and have also been featured in the LA Times. The wire mesh figures have recently been installed in the front yard of a building adjacent to the theater, and owned by Kirk Douglass, adding some interesting public art to the downtown Culver City restaurant scene. And students seem to appreciate the vibrancy that the installations have brought to campus,

“It’s refreshing to see such interesting subject matter in an area or in media that we can see every day just walking to class,” senior Sam Cappoli said. “The one [installation] near the front [of the school] is so cool!” Fellow student Gustavo Cruz said, “I really enjoyed the atmosphere the installations created at our school, the creativity that they incorporated.” Students involved in the class seemed to really benefit from the experience of working first-hand with a professional in the field of theatrical installation set design. Samayoa summed up the experience saying, “I learned so much from working with the set designer. Overall, I am proud of the work that our group created.”

Photographs courtesy of Marylin Liu, Emily Wood

The Centaurian  

Vol 57 Issue 4