Page 1

Vol 56 Issue 7

May 2012

Culver City High School


Baseball Champs

Most talented of them all Talent show brings in the money by Jessica Marin Editor-in-Chief Crowds of students, parents and faculty packed the Robert Frost auditorium for CCHS’ third annual talent show on April 27. Planning for the show began before spring break and was overseen by Talent Show Coordinators Alexa Argumedo and Sienna Gonzalez. Tickets for the event sold for $7 each. Of the $3,444 raised, 20 percent was donated to the Huntington’s Disease Society of America. According to Argumedo, ASB reached a consensus about donating to this cause after being inspired by senior Isabella Gallegos’ song “Mr. Huntington” which she performed on an acoustic guitar. The song is about a woman whose husband dies due to Huntington’s Disease. Huntington’s Disease is a genetic progressive disorder that is passed down through families in

Culver’s robotics team ranked 12th in a division of 100 teams this past April at the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) championship event. Aside from attending FIRST, the team has made a name for themselves by attending two other competitions this year: the San Diego Regional and the LA Regional. They have attended a FIRST Championship only twice in the past, in 2002 and 2010. FIRST is a worldwide organiza-


Page 9

(See TALENT SHOW, p.2)

Holy act

Photo by Mia Mavromichalis

FLOATING ON WATER: Coach and teammates can’t help but celebrate in the pool after beating Beverly Hills to seal the title of Ocean League champions.

by Morgan Faulkner Design Editor

High five: Working all year

Experimental new wave disco pop. The genre is just as bizarre as the band members. Disco Jesus has created a name for themselves at Culver City High School with unforgettable performances at by Maddie Silva school events such as Springfest and a somewhat controversial Reporter performance at this year’s talent With 15 Advanced Placement (See DISCO JESUS, p.2) (AP) tests offered on Culver’s campus, 504 students are taking a total of 924 tests this month. Most tests were given in the multi-purpose room for a grueling three to six hours with one brief ten minute break. With the goal of gaintion that holds robotics competi- ing college credit in mind, stutions with teams from places such dents prepared heavily for their as Canada, the United States, Is- long-awaited test date. rael, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Australia and Great Britain. FIRST, according to robotics team coach Alex Davis is “sort of like CIF for athletics.” Students spent four days, April 25-28 in St Louis, Missouri where the event was held. The event had This letter is in response to the 403 teams split into 4 Divisions. A typical regional has around 50- staff editorial in the April edition of The Centaurian. The editorial, 60 teams. The competition is different ev- “On the Verge of Collapse,” levery year. The January before the eled harsh criticisms at ASB, deevent, FIRST tells each robotics scribing them as “ineffective and team what the game for the year unresponsive to students’ needs.” is, giving them six weeks to build It took aim at all things ASB; as(See ROBOTICS, p.3) semblies, student elections, fund-

Make it into a worldwide comp. Staff Writer

Page 10

which nerve cells in the brain degenerate. According to Dr. Peggy Simons, the biology teacher from whom Gallegos first learned about Huntington’s Disease, “It is a terrible inherited condition, in which the outcome is always fatal.” There is currently no cure for Huntington’s Disease. Gallegos was amongst a total of 19

Robots unite by Kris Punturere

We’ve got hate mail

Students work to earn a five on AP tests Approximately 80 multiple choice questions, a variety of writing portions, and for some, verbal response sections, are typically seen on an AP test, allowing plenty of content to be studied. An AP Euro student says she spent “two weeks hardcore studying” before her test. Several other students bought prep books and reviewed notes. In fact, AP European History and AP US History students claim that their tests were easier than the class itself, while some AP Chemistry

students profess the opposite. And while students studied, the teachers and staff prepared for the craziest part of the year, too. Teachers such as Andy Owens (AP US History), Rachel RubinGreene (AP Biology), Darrin Dennis (AP Language and Composition), Genevieve GilbertRolfe (AP US Government/Economics and AP Macroeconomics), Vivian Lezak (AP Statistics) and Rachel Snyder (AP European History) offered several week(See AP, p.5)

Principal backs up ASB Farris says harsh criticism not deserved raisers, and promotion of school spirit. The harshest criticism was targeted at their student leaders. While the concerns described in the editorial may be valid, I’d like to offer another perspective to some of the criticisms cited in the April editorial. First and foremost, the de-

scription of our student leaders as having a lack of commitment and divided attention is unfair, in my humble opinion. Students who desire to participate in student government tend to be those most involved in school. Their interests are divided among many (See FARRIS, p.11)




Disco Jesus stuns some Meet Next Year’s

[DISCO JESUS, from page one] show. The levity and light heartedness with which the members of Disco Jesus approached the interview for this story resembled the antics of a small child. The main members of the band are seniors Cody Lewis, Andrew Haley, Max Malsich, Nichi Hayashi, Alexander Matos, and Sung Jung. Prone to the use of alliteration, the band describes themselves as a “spiritual shout against the shackles of society.” When they perform they attempt to make their audience ponder about why their performance is abnormal. They do not like how society restricts them from expressing themselves in the way they choose. Disco Jesus encourage everyone to go back to their human urges and reach the primal levels humans once had. Disco Jesus caused some controversy at the third annual ASB-sponsored talent show last month. In the middle of the performance, one member, senior Nichi Hayashi walked to the front of the stage with his hood on and his arms out. Another member, Senior Alexander Matos then walked behind Hayashi with a large cross and acted out a crucifiction by dragging him off stage. They brought up the idea when they were backstage about to go on.

They thought it would be funny, then during the performance they found themselves acting out a mock crucifixion. Even though some students and parents were upset because of the incident, no consequences were given. The band was created about two years ago by some friends who “wanted to start something that anyone can join and be apart of,” one of the founders, Philip Bennett class of 2012, “something that required no skill or talent, just energy, love, and madness.” No skill is required because their performances usually consist of the group saying random lyrics, banging on a keyboard, simply letting go, and letting their bodies take over. Malsich started playing with the group early on because his brother, Zach Malsich, class of 2010, was one of the original member. The members who are now a part of Disco Jesus are all friends and enjoy making beautiful music together. You may have asked yourself, why the name Disco Jesus? Philip Bennett from the class of 2010 came up with name and the concept behind the band. Malsich said that the name was chosen by thinking about the last adjective you would think to put with the word Jesus. And BAM, Disco Jesus was born.

Stars of the night [TALENT SHOW, from page one] acts that performed that night. Students were not the only ones who performed that evening, Spanish teacher Carmen Crespo and counselors Daniel Fagas and Tim Walker showed their talent as well. Crespo performed a traditional flamenco dance from her native Spain while Fagas and Walker performed a duet by Claude King. The pair decided to sing “Wolverton Mountain” after reminiscing about oldies music. “I had to convince Mr. Walker to perform it with me,” said Fagas who concocted the idea. Fagas and Walker delivered their performance complete with props such as the overalls they wore and buckets they held as they sang. Some notable acts include seniors Samantha Suroca and Kelsey Uyeda dancing to a mixture of 90’s hip hop music like Salt-n-Pepa’s “Push it.” Senior Samy Ibrahim sang a cover of “Isn’t she Lovely?” At the end of his performance, with flowers in hand, Ibrahim asked fellow classmate Jasmine Chamberlain to prom. Chamberlain was not able to attend the talent show, but nevertheless the performance was videotaped and shown to her the following Monday. Sisters Desiree and Melody Benson sang a medley of pop songs. At one point Desiree botched the lyrics and older sister Melody called a “timeout.” They then continued on with a flawless performance. Junior Austin Ramos’ (AJ) rap riled members of the crowd, particularly some football players. They ran to the front of the stage and began jumping around and chanting along with Ramos until security shone a flashlight on them to disperse the rowdy bunch. The talent show not only entertained audience members with dancing and singing but also gave a taste of the Summer Olympics with rhythmic gymnastics. Junior foreign exchange student Kristina Alferova, from Russia, performed a tumbling routine with a ball and colorful rhythmic ribbon

like that of a professional. The most memorable moment of the night came when Disco Jesus performed. The band coincidentally was not listed in the program. Gonzalez affirmed that it was an honest mistake and that they were meant to be listed. Disco Jesus stunned many in the audience. Freshman Lindsey Tanita said, “It was crazy and I was very confused,” about the band’s performance. The band members ran around the stage banging their heads erratically, yelling nonsense, all while “playing” the drums and keyboard with no rhythm. At the end senior band member Alex Matos reenacted Jesus’ crucifixion. The band’s “performance” lasted about 7 minutes. Emcees Mariah Watson and Evan Wilson had to go on stage and usher them off. The final performance of the night was freshman Ryan Gacula who performed a Poi dance to the likes of Paramore song “Misery Business.” As Gacula began his act, the music abruptly stopped. According to Argumedo, the computer used to play the audio locked itself. Backstage fellow performer Tommy Phung assisted Gacula by playing his drums as Gacula performed. The auditorium lights were turned off for this performance since he used glow in the dark tethered weights. This year’s talent show had something for everyone. Singing, dancing, gymnastics, rapping and an overall fun and exciting night.


Martin Beer and Kalena Kettering reflect on their upcoming roles A. Some challenges would be leadership, people taking initiative in work. Q. What are differences with running CPY and ASB? A. CPY is a group of people you mostly know after awhile, and ASB is school wide and it will be different because the school will take much longer to get to know me.

ASB Pres-To-Be Martin Beer by Tabish Khatri Staff Writer ASB President Martin Beer Q. What made you run for ASB president? A. I am tired of people complaining about school, and I want to make a change. Q. What are you going to do differently? A. I am going to run things differently and get to know people on campus. Q. What are some goals as president? A. Have everyone feel welcome, have peprallies not only for the football team but for other sports as well. Q. How do you plan on being an effective leader with extra curricular activities and how do you manage time? A. I plan on getting the school to know me. I manage time by just putting everything together and showing people that you can be successful even when having so much responsibility. Q. What are some challenges you think you will go through?


Q. What is your platform? A. Cut down on messing around because you come to school for seven to eight hours and you should just do your work. Vice President Kalena Kettering Q. Was running for Vice President your first choice? A. Yes, it was my first choice since the beginning of the year. Q. What made you run for this position? A. My friends encouraged me to run and I want to represent as the school’s Vice President. Q. What are your goals as Vice President? A. Establish an ICC which ASB did not have this year, help the president in any way possible, and also help ASB run smoothly. Q. What is your platform? A. Make sure everyone is on top of their work, I want to make the application process into ASB easier, and also I want to be a member of the board. Q. What are you going to do differently? A. Expand Vice President thoughts throughout ASB. Q. What are some challenges you think you will face? A. Changing the negative views of ASB.

C h l t u r b a Do your part to save the earth!


Cell phones iPods Chargers Cameras

In room 16


The row to college Row LA empowers girl rowers

Photo courtesy of Wendy Beckendorf

by Jessica Marin Editor-in-Chief Eat. Sleep. Row. Repeat. Juniors Michelle Castanaza, Dayana Garcia, Penelope Gallardo, Teresita Lozano, and Mariana Ogalde live by this. The girls are members of RowLA,

a non-profit organization based in Marina Del Rey. The organization strives to offer girls from underserved communities in the Los Angeles area intensive rowing activities, academic tutoring and college counseling as a means of encouraging them to become student-athletes. According to the organization’s website there are 2,000 college rowing scholarships available to high

News school seniors, yet each year LA’s minority and at risk high school girls miss out on these opportunities due to lack of access to the sport. RowLA’s main goal is to change this. The girls participate in this program cost free. RowLA was co-founded by CCHS English and AVID teacher, Wendy Beckendorf, alongside friend Liz Greenberger, a former AVID teacher at Santa Monica High School. The organization, Beckendorf calls “avid on water,” is modeled after Row New York (RowNY) and Girls Row Boston (G-Row.) One would think Beckendorf has been a lifelong rower, when in reality she created the organization shortly after learning how to row. ”I learned how to row about five years ago,” Beckendorf said. “I felt so graceful on the water that I realized I had found my sport.” Beckendorf was inspired to create RowLA after reading Savage Inequalities by Jonathan Kozol which is about the disparities that exist in education between schools of different classes and races. “I wanted to level the playing field,” Beckendorf said about increasing the availability of rowing to girls of minorities. Rowing is a predominantly white sport that is only available to those who can afford it. RowLA’s resources are limited compared to other row-


Story by Stephanie Liem

Come to room 41 for the opportunity to win 2 tickets to the concert

ing clubs. They have limited erg machines (indoor rowing machines), three quads (four seated boats), one double (two seated boats), and one single. Regardless, the girls pour heart and soul into rowing; making a huge commitment to the organization. On Mondays they have tutoring, Tuesdays they workout on erg machines at a rowing studio on La Cienega, and Wednesday through Saturday they practice at Mother’s Beach in Marina Del Rey. Their hard work and dedication was rewarded in last month’s Regatta where the team came in second place. The RowLA team competes with other rowing clubs from all over the coast. They are coached by Harvard alum Amanda Pfabe and by USC alum Alexandra Tapley. Both Pfabe and Tapley were on their colleges rowing teams. For those interested in joining RowLA, contact Beckendorf in room 47, like the RowLA Facebook page, or stop by the Marina on June third for National Row Day to learn the sport and become involved with the organization. Junior Penelope Gallardo who has been involved in RowLA since freshman year said of the organization, “It has changed my life in so many ways. It’s more of a lifestyle than an afterschool program.”

Volunteer Ventures

Robotics rocks it Prom of a Lifetime TV Network has chosen CCHS to participate in one of their TV shows. Through an audition process and a couple of interviews, several girls from across the country will be selectively chosen to star in a Lifetime Network prom documentary. This prom segment will show the entire journey of several girls’ prom experience, from the first minutes of getting their makeup done, until the last seconds on the dance floor. Less than a dozen girls had first interviews with the network on Tuesday, May 15. Lifetime will be filming CCHS’s Prom Fashion Show event on May 18 during lunch.


Senior Edition Here are a few foundations that allow you to cram in your hours and you can be of help at the same time. Also, keep your ears open for other community service opportunities that are shared over the daily bulletin.

Photo courtesy of Alex Davis

SAY ROBOT: The team is all smiles after winning 12th place out of 100 [ROBOTICS, from page one] a robot for the competition. This year the game was a stylized version of basketball. Culver used a robot armed with an extending tower and a ramp to reach and dunk basketballs into the hoops. In previous years the games consisted of things such as soccer, NASCAR racing, and tic tac toe. With every game comes a new robot. At competitions the game is played with teams of three robots against another team of three robots. Each robot comes from different schools and the teams are randomly selected until the quarter finals. In the quarter finals, the top eight teams get to choose the two other robots for their teams use. These robots will stay with them until they are either eliminated or win the regional. This year the team had a total of 20 members. In the past, the team has been as small as 15 and as big as 30, compared to other schools the team is small. Other schools have teams as big as 100 students. This year’s team captain is sophomore Arielle Singer who runs the team’s daily operations. On the team there are leaders for different departments: Amaris Bellord for drive systems, Taj Carter and Anneliese Meyer for mechanical systems, Bianca Huang for software programming and Nina Reynoza for electronic systems. By being

on the team students acquire a myriad of skills. They learn how to apply math and science skills as well as concepts of engineering design. The students on the team also learn to work with power tools, metals, gearing and transmissions, and software programming from a group of engineering mentors who work in the industry and volunteer their time. The team has a lot of sponsors this year which is why they were able to participate in three competitions. Their longest running sponsor is Raytheon, an engineering corporation and defense contractor. For many years they were the only major sponsor of the team and the only way they could afford to compete. M&K Metals, Culver Industrial Hardware, Culver Pool and Spa Supplies, Coast to Coast Cable provide donated supplies and discounts. They now even have NASA, JPL, Boeing, Google, and JCPenney as major corporate sponsors. They also also have a large number of private sponsors including the Culver City Rotary Club and various private individuals who donate directly to the team. The team has been featured in the Culver City Observer, the Culver City Crossroads and on local television broadcasts in San Diego.

Working at Los Angeles Regional Food Bank is a helpful, fun way to spend your weekends. Projects such as food package assembly and food drives are offered, inviting volunteers to work up to six hours a day. Volunteer with your friends to feed and prepare food boxes for thousands of hungry Los Angeles residents. Minimum volunteer age is 14 and the work center is only about 20 minutes from Culver City. Go to to register and for more information. Operation Gratitude is another easy way to rack up the hours. Honor the heroes of America through sorting and assembling care packages for the troops. As you work, you will be supplying the troops with clothing and hygienic materials to create an encouraging and thankful bundle. Several consecutive weekend work days are offered now and until the end of school, allowing plenty of time for you to fit in the rest of your hours. Go to for more information. Culver Village Assisted Living is a place that welcomes students to spend time with senior residents. Brighten an elder’s day with your arts and crafts skills or sing-a-long fun! Just as easy as it is to collect your hours, making an impact on someone’s day is just as simple. Go to culvervillage. com to get in contact with their office and express your volunteering abilities. Compiled by Maddie Silva

4 History



in the making Golf makes CIF first time by Aurora Nunez NEWS EDITOR

We are the champions

Girl power Golf’s only girl hits hard by Tabish Khatri REPORTER

“I feel like I am good at playing golf but I can imp r o v e ,” s a i d Megan McKeon, the only girl on Culver City High’s golf team. The last tournament she entered was in 2011, and she came in first place. McKeon has been swinging clubs since the age of four, she feels unique about being the only girl on the golf team. She likes to play golf on the weekends or anytime she gets the chance to. She chose to play golf out of all sports because she enjoys the game. McKeon says golf keeps her occupied. She was inspired to play golf by her father who is also her biggest supporter. He drives her to all her games, pays for her tournaments and never misses a single game. Her father is not her only source of support, sophomore Amanda Prather has been friends with Mckeon since seventh grade. Prather says she is proud of Tabish Khatri/The Centaurian

“Hopefully in the summer,” Athletic Director Tom Salter said, pointing at one of the blue banners that decorates the school gymnasium. The golf banner is missing a patch, its first patch. For now, it remains bare, awaiting the token of the 2012 golf team’s hard work. For the first time in history, CCHS’s golf team has made the CIF finals. The team has won Ocean League against other schools such as Palos Verde, Santa Monica, North Torrence, Torrence, and Beverly Hills. Senior Bryan Gagnon tied for first in the playoffs against Tim DeSilva from Palos Verde. In their honor, a 2012 patch will be placed on the golf banner in the gym. “I’m excited,” Gagnon said. “As a team we did really good.” The team had nine wins and one loss prior to their team CIF match. They lost their first game to Santa Monica. However, during their last game against Santa Monica, they redeemed themselves. Both teams were tied, but freshman Brendan Nwokekoro made the winning stroke. “You can say Brendan made a clutch 5 foot putt to seal the victory, “ Gagnon said. It was the first time Culver City ever won league for golf. On May 7, the team played against the top teams in the region for the team league finals. “Santa Margarita, Santa Monica,... The top schools from each league,” Gagnon said. When asked about who their strongest player is, “Bryan” senior

Theo Theryan said. Gagnon humbly responded, “We’re all vital to the team. It’s a team effort.” Next week, May 21, Gagnon will continue playing for individual CIF. Gagnon is an Ocean League MVP and came in second place in the league championships. “It was thrilling watching him on Monday,” Salter said. “He parred in on the last four holes to help qualify to the last rounds. It’s the first time ever in 20 years anyone’s ever got that far.”

(see GIRL GOLFER page 5)

Kourtney Brodnax/The Centaurian

SAFE: Senior John Kocker steals second base in game against SAMO for league championship.

Baseball wins Ocean League title by Havana Aladro and Alexis Vasquez REPORTERS The Centaurs varsity baseball team defeated the Santa Monica Vikings 1-0 to capture the Ocean League Championship May 10 at home. The game was scoreless until the bottom of the seventh inning, when senior Pablo Saucedo reached home plate on a line drive hit by sophomore Darian Sylvester. The Centaurs ended the season with a 10-0 record while the Vikings had a 8-2 record. Left-handed freshman Jay Sterner pitched all seven innings and held the Vikings off, allowing

Team dominates for first time in 10 years REPORTER

JUMPING JUNIOUS: Senior Lunden Junious gets pumped at the rally where she officially signed to play basketball at CSU Fullerton.

line drive for a single. Senior Brian Ibarra moved Kocker to second with his own single. Saucedo then pinch ran for Kocker. Sylvester, who plays shortstop, hit a shot up the first base line, sending Saucedo home. The entire varsity team poured out of the dugout and dog piled Sylvester on home plate while the crowd cheered wildly. “I believe we played the best baseball that we’ve played in a while,” Sylvester said. “I was ecstatic,” after the win, Coach Rick Prieto said. “It was the greatest moment.” The Centaurs will face Eastside High School on Friday, May 18 at 3:15 on the CCHS field.

Swim Takes League by Allison Kelly

Kourtney Brodnax/The Centaurian

only one hit. In the top of the seventh inning, Sterner started getting tired and the Vikings started to hit the ball hard. The last out was recorded for SAMO when one of the Vikings sent the ball deep into right field. The Centaur’s right fielder, Saucedo, caught the ball and immediately slammed into the chain link fence. When Saucedo did not get up from the collision, his teammates ran out to help him off the field. “We battled the whole game,” Sterner said. “My teammates had more heart and stepped up to make plays that won the game for us.” With two outs in the seventh inning, senior John Kocker hit a

The Beverly Hills swim gym is quiet, still ringing with the roars that accompanied the final relay of the final swim meet, waiting for the winners to be announced. Coaches fiddle with their clipboards, people shift from foot to foot, and the members of the Culver City boys’ varsity swim team gather in front of the line of blocks. Waiting, stomachs tingling with anticipation. The speaker crackles on, and the progression of teams are announced for girls’ JV, boys’ JV, and girls varsity, each accompanied with excited cheers. The lower places are announced for boys’ varsity – fifth place, fourth place, third place – and in second place… Beverly Hills! The

Culver City team by the blocks and in the stands erupts into yells and cheers, punching the air or thrusting both fists into the sky. The announcement that Culver came in first is unheard by most in the midst of the excitement. Coach Nestor Dordoni pulls off his shoes and runs down to the pool in his socks, a grin splitting his face, and his team races to join him. One, two, three… they jump into the pool together, and come up still bellowing, posing for pictures with both pointer fingers held high. Number one. The Culver City boys’ varsity team has come quite far in only a year – they placed fifth at last year’s finals. This year, they finished with an undefeated season, overcoming historic rivals like Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, and grabbed the first place title in swimming for the first time in

ten years. Dordoni, who has been coaching aquatics at CCHS for 32 years, summarized his fourth league win and his boys’ season in one word, “Wow.” He was happy to win the league title so soon before he retires, and said that it was even more exciting than when he was younger. The members of the team themselves were ecstatic, especially the four seniors - Cristobal Galvan, Dario Fantella, Kendrick Langston and Pedro Dos Santos - many of whom had made this their high school goal. Chris Abdelmalak, Galvan, Fantella, Langston, Kyle Rovira, Sterling Salvaterra, and Dos Santos will compete in the first round of CIF on May 11 at Riverside.


PSAT awards money Milan Lay considered for National Merit Scholarships by Emily Wood A&E Editor Milan Lay, a junior at CCHS is being considered for both the National Achievement Scholarship Program and the National Merit Scholarship program for her academic achievement on the PSAT/NMSQT this Spring. Every year the National Merit Scholarship Program evaluates student scores on the PSAT exam and selects the top 50,000 scores from about 1.5 million total exams to be considered as Semifinalists. The Semifinalists generally score in the 96th percentile, or somewhere above a 200 out of 240. About 16,000 of the 50,000 will actually be recognized as Semifinalists in the fall of the following year, and an additional subgroup of 15,000 will go on to be considered as finalists. To be recognized as a Finalist, students must be endorsed by a school official and submit evidence of an outstanding academic record and extracurricular participation. Of the Finalists, only some will receive scholarships of $2500. The National Achievement Scholarship,

5 Every bottle counts News

that is open only to high scoring African American students, breaks down in more or less the same way, and 800 students are declared Finalists. Lay, who scored in the top 12 percent, is being considered for both programs. When asked if she had expected to gain any sort of recognition, Lay said, “Well, going into the PSAT I think that anyone would have a bit of hope that they would be considered; but, I didn’t expect it. I was pleasantly surprised.” Still, it was her second time taking the PSAT, and she said “as a result of taking the test two years in a row, I was expecting to receive a similar score or better. I received better.” In fact, Lay explains that she did not take a formal SAT class or use a review book, instead she says, “ I reviewed my Algebra and Geometry notes.” Lay hopes to attend a university in California where she is planning to major in business management. “My first choices are Loyola Marymount University and UC San Diego,” she said, and when asked about the potential for a monetary scholarship, she expressed “I would be grateful for whatever may come...I feel extremely honored and humble.”

Recycling more evident on campus by Ana Cordero Staff Writer

CCHS ranks top 200 US News & World Report places our school at 176 in the state by Nicole Martin The US News and World Report releases its annual ranking each year for colleges, law schools, medical schools, and high schools. For high schools, the report ranks by state as well as throughout the country. This year Culver City High School was ranked number 176 in California. Additionally, CCHS ranked number 917 nationally. Rankings are based on three factors: student to teacher ratio, college readiness, and Academic Performance Index. With a student to teacher ratio of 27:1, CCHS is above the California average of 20:1. College readiness is based on the percentage of seniors who take AP tests and pass. The data was collected from the seniors of the 2009-2010 school year who took AP and IB exams. In this category CCHS scored a 33.5 out of a maximum score of 100. 46% of seniors took the AP exams and 29% of them passed. Academic Performance Index (API scores) range from 200 to 1000. CCHS has an API of 804, this achieves the California goal and is above the state aver-

age. The ranking process involves three steps. Step one involves looking at a school’s performance and comparing it to what is statistically expected in the state. The second step involves determining whether disadvantaged students are doing better than the state average in those groups. Once a school makes it through the first two steps, schools have the eligibility to be judged nationally on the criteria listed above. Only schools with values above 16.3 in college readiness met the requirements to be considered for a gold or silver medal selection. 16.3 was chosen as the minimum since it is the median of college readiness based on all high schools with AP or IB testing. U.S. News ranked 4,877 high-schools in the nation either gold, silver or bronze. Gold medals were awarded to schools ranked between 1 and 500, silver to those ranked between 501 and 2008. For our school the ranking means we are considered in the top 1,000. This is something for our school to hold pride in. According to Principal Dylan Farris, “It acknowledges the hard work and successes of the students and staff.”

[GIRL GOLFER, from page four] McKeon for being the only girl golfer on the team. “I support her in any way possible, and if she chooses to stay in golf she will go far,” Prather said. One of McKeon’s teammates, Owen Furuta helps her out in anyway she needs and calls her to go practice on the weekends. “She is always included,” Furuta said. He feels it is tough for her because she has to hit from farther back of the

course. “Next year she will contribute to the team a lot because seniors are graduating,” Furuta said. According to Coach Tom Salter it takes a strong girl to be a part of a boys’ team. He has high expectations of McKeon because he has seen her make a huge improvement from freshman to sophomore year. “Megan is a hard worker and is a pleasure to have as a part of our team, and she is also self-motivated.”

Opinion Editor

Swing like a girl

Recycling plays an important role in the environment. There are many benefits that can come from recycling. In order to keep the school clean, ASB has placed new recycling bottle containers around campus. Carlos Valverde, ASB advisor and Multicultural Literature teacher, devised the the idea of the new bins. According to ASB recycling coordinator, Senior Kayla Guirguis, Valverde noticed that the middle school had the bins and decided to order them through the cafeteria, “They seem

like a simpler way to get people to recycle their bottles since they look like bottles,” Guirguis said. The purpose of the new recycling bin containers shaped as bottles is to encourage students to put their empty water bottles in them. “When I’m walking around campus, I actually see people throwing their water bottles in those cool bins,” senior Jocelyn Torres said. Recycling bins help maintain a clean campus. The recycling bins were strategically placed around campus in various locations where they’d be easily accessible. Once the bins are emptied out, the bottles are either taken to a recycling plant and exchanged for money, or taken by the Culver City sanitation along with the other recycling bins. The recycling bottle containers are helpful because “they encourage students to recycle in order to improve our environment, ” Guirguis said. Aside from the water bottle shaped containers, EARTH club has taken the initiative to place recycling boxes with the phrase “nothing ooey, gooey, or chewy” in classrooms. EARTH clubs goal is to educate and inspire CCHS students to help the environment. “We made recycling boxes for all the classrooms,” President of EARTH club, junior Allie Zakin said. “The boxes help keep the school clean because now almost every classroom has a box and before they didn’t.” The recycling boxes in classrooms are intended for only paper. “Before the boxes were created, people would put a bunch of nasty things in the recycling cans like food,” senior, Nancy Santiago said. After the recycling boxes are full, the contents are placed into an enormous metal box by the tennis courts. The only way the contents can be recycled is if they are clean, this means the paper cannot have anything else, such as food. Recycling has many benefits, for the environment and our school.

Hardest test of the year [AP, from page one] end study sessions to review and reinforce past lessons. Study sessions were proven a popular study technique amongst students. For instance, Owens’ study sessions averaged 90 students present out of his 123. “It shows the students are motivated,” Owens said, especially since he does not offer extra credit for going. Mary Van Loo, the technology technician, also prepared heavily for the AP Spanish and AP Japanese tests that were taken in the tech center. Strict requirements were followed closely to ensure that the students were legitimately taking the tests. For example, since the AP Japanese test was taken wholly online and the AP Spanish test was taken partially online, each computer needed to be at least six feet apart from one another. That way, when the verbal response portion of the test was taken, background noise would be limited and easier for the graders to decipher. With approximately 90 AP Spanish students signed up for the test and a limited amount of computers for the students, rules also had to be strictly enforced. Absolutely no electronics or books were allowed during the waiting period to prevent any cheating. Fortunately, a new system

was implemented this year that minimized student wait time. By categorizing students into three groups and strategically organizing the portions of the test, students were able to endure less of a delay. Luckily, AP Japanese students did not have the same problem as the AP Spanish students. With the smallest amount of tests offers, 15 AP Japanese tests were given, with two of the students coming from other schools. Since Granada Hills Charter and Palisades Charter do not offer AP Japanese, CCHS hosted the two students for the test. CCHS also planned for the collision of AP test dates and CST testing dates. Since AP tests are the most crucial for students’ college credit and the prestige of CCHS, CST tests came as second priority. Make up days are offered after AP testing is through. In addition to short term preparation, year-long planning has been occurring amongst staff as well. Teachers collaborated within the school as well as with teachers across the country. Online websites allowed AP teachers all over the nation to share ideas with each other and ask and answer questions. CCHS teachers have also attended AP summer workshops through College Board.

Senioritis 6




Seniors Second time around Fading Quickly

Senioritis: noun. A crippling disease that strikes high school seniors causing a decreased motivation and effort toward studies, usually nearing the end of their school year or second semester Symptoms: laziness, sweat pants, pajamas, breaking school code and policies, “living #yolo”, tardiness, absences, and lower grades

Try teaching the lazy FEATURES EDITOR While seniors have already committed to their colleges and primarily have their plans set for after graduating, teachers find it hard to get students to not only do their work, but to still come to class. The typical “second semester senior” yearns to be out of high school and in the real world. “A majority are just focused on passing because many have already been accepted to schools and claim to have ‘senioritis’,” said Carlos Valverde, teacher of Multicultural Literature. High grades aren’t generally on seniors minds. Having post-high school plans set, students tend to drop off the closer to summer it gets. Those who are going to a state college or university may have more pressure to do well, but a high grade isn’t necessarily their main goal. This makes it extremely difficult for teachers who recognize this mind set, yet teachers still expect students to do well. “I don’t like to baby seniors,” Valverde said. “I continue to assign work and it is unfortunate to find work that is not quality.” The problem with students not attending their

Q. Are there seniors you meet with who are at risk from not graduation from their second semester grades? A. “Yes, not many, but I meet with seniors at every grading report to try and keep them motivated. At every quarter I pull students who have either a D or F and check in with them, but at second semester I will talk to seniors every five weeks.” Q. Are there some seniors who are

by Sarah Handler FEATURES EDITOR Every high school student embarks on a journey of maturity and educational growth. Learning various subjects, interacting with peers, and finding oneself are all aspects of high school. However, this process for some is not easy, and for others, may take more than the average four years. Meet Andrew Burke. Originally part of the class of 2011, Burke was not your average student. He

did a lot of partying and regarded school as simply a place to pass time. “I wanted to come in and come out,” Burke said. He already had a senioritis mentality: lacking the motivation of coming to school. By the middle of the second semester of his senior year, Burke wasn’t coming at all. “Life outside of high school is a lot different, and it’s true, it does get better, but you really don’t see your friends after.” Then a year later, something clicked. “[I realized] I had to grow up, and decided to come back to high school to finish my education and be something someday,” Burke said. There is a self-motivating drive that for some may come naturally, and for others may come with time. He re-enrolled at CCHS this semester to complete his senior year.

Senioritis comes with consequences

classes is the school loses necessary money. Teachers are unable to assign projects, homework, and tests without the full cooperation from their students. “I get a lot of incomplete or late work, especially as the year progresses,” Valverde said. Valverde says there is an inconsistency of work and a drop of concentration and energy level, especially as graduation approaches. However, John Bakunin, AP Physics teacher said, “I don’t really see a lot of [senioritis].” He said that in the past, seniors have told him that they are not going to get A’s for second semester and he’s responded by telling them they will. Sure enough they ended with A’s. Although, with seniors claiming to have “senioritis” to some degree, it’s a mentality that is more influenced by other students. “I believe it can be prevented,“ Valverde said.

by Ana Cordero STAFF WRITER Seniors have a tendency of slacking off the last months of high school after receiving their college acceptance letters. However, this tendency comes with many consequences. Universities require a copy of second semester grades to ensure that students do not fail any courses. If a college bound senior fails a class, their acceptance letter can be revoked. Even if a student plans to enroll in a community college, it is crucial for them to not fail any class; since the only admission requirement is to obtain a high school diploma. Students do not receive a diploma if they fail a class. “Seniors don’t recognize that colleges still want to see their last years transcripts,” Counselor Rebekah Howard said. “They want to see if the student kept a regular schedule.” There are cases where seniors stop doing their work and in a blink of an


Q and A with Fagas on Senioritis Q. How many students would you say are “diagnosed” with senioritis? A. “Well I have about 110 seniors in my case load, and I would say at least half of them have it to some degree.”

Super senior comes back for another chance


“I didn’t want to come, but it’s a high school journey,” Burke said. “It’s interesting seeing where I came in at 15 and now turning 19 in September. It’s all part of the process of growing up.” Although separated from his friends, Burke recommends coming back to high school if needed to further your education. He plans to attend Pasadena City College this following school year, and eventually plans on transferring to a university. Burke gets to experience high school again this semester, but he is not here for the social aspect, but the diploma. “I don’t plan on [graduating] with the class of 2012. I’m satisfied enough with just a diploma and that would suffice,” Burke said. “I’m still a student of 2011 in my mind. I just had a bonus year.”

With graduation so close, why stop now

How teachers deal with unmotivated seniors by Sarah Handler


then not able to graduate? If they don’t graduate, what are their options? A. “Yes, every year each counselor has a few students who are unable to graduate from their second semester senior year. If seniors don’t graduate, they have about a year to complete the credits they need and receive a full diploma.”



Q. Are there ever kids who are unable to turn around? What have students done if they find themselves in this situation? A. “Most are able to, but sometimes it takes more than one meeting. Those who don’t may end up at the Adult School. Only under special circumstances may a student come back to high school. ”

How to get through the last year of school even with a case of senioritis

Q. What do you do to keep kids motivated? A. “I try to show them how far they’ve come, and encourage them to not let what they’ve worked so hard to accomplish slip away.”

by Aurora Munez

Conducted by Sarah Handler

NEWS EDITOR Illustration by Mohammad Chowdhury

eye their grades drop quite low to D’s and F’s, thus putting them in danger of having their acceptance letters revoked. “Some seniors who experience senioritis react stunned when colleges send them a letter telling them that they won’t be able to attend the college of their choice,”senior Jessica Seogono said. Seniors tend to stop being productive in school towards the end of the year and their grades suffer as a consequence. This leads seniors into a dreadful situation in which the chances to fix their grades are few. Aside from neglecting grades, seniors also tend to become careless when it comes to their attendance. “Students who have excessive absences and tardies unfortunately can’t participate in the senior activities, get their diploma or cross stage,” Howard said. Also, seniors with less than satisfactory attendance cannot attend prom. Teachers and counselors understand that the last weeks of school can get stressful for seniors, not necessarily because of the workload, but because of senioritis.

You’re sitting in your room watching television. Sure, you could be doing that homework you’ve been putting off, but it’s your last year of high school. Now it’s the final weeks of high school for you. It’s been months since you’ve first given into senioritis and your grade has been suffering. You are failing a class. Not just any class, a vital class. One you’ll need to graduate/attend the college of your choice in the fall. Counselor Steven Gyepes knows how upsetting this could be from personal experience, “especially trying to be a student athlete,” Gyepes said. “Literally every summer, I get stopped by a former student who is at the adult school making up their high school credits.” Gyepes said. But never fear, there may be a way to fix this. Tip 1:Communication Talk with your teachers and potential college. Ask your teachers what you can do to bring your grade up--you never know, you might find extra credit opportunities. You are obligated to report any grades less than a ‘D’ for most colleges, but your ad-

Nevertheless, they still want all students to succeed by continuing to work hard. Counselor Steve Gyepes knows firsthand what senioritis can do to a student since he experienced it as well, “It was such an upsetting time, not only for me, but also for the family; especially if you are trying to be a student athlete.” If a student athlete does not meet the academic requirements that the college requires from them, they will not be able to play for the school’s team. If they were awarded a sports scholarship it can be revoked. No matter how bleak an individual student’s situation is, there is always something that can be done to fix their grades; but they have to address the problem before it is too late. Counselors encourage students to consider the consequences that could happen if they decide to give up, because according to Counselor Daniel Fagas, “Senioritis is not an option.”

mission may be revoked. “If they get in with a ‘D’, consider yourself lucky.” said Gyepes. “The risk is too high.” Tip 2: Turn in any or all missing work Better late than never. Rake in some extra points, but remember to ask your teacher if they accept late work first. Tip 3: Finals Finals can make or break you. Always study, and rom that point on Do your best. Remember, your high school diploma is on the line. Tip 4: Look for alternatives You may have to plan to finish credits after summer, if it comes down to the worst. However, If you you can find an online or community college course that covers the failed class at this point in time take it, but remember to check with your counselor to see if this arrangement can allow you to cross the stage on time. Tip 5: Never give up “Even though it’s late in the year, it might make a difference,” said Gyepes.




It’s just a little Guitars, bit country cadillacs, ablum provides country music hillbilly music This for every consumer.

If you ain’t heard country, you ain’t heard awesome... by Redmond Stephan Staff Writer “Don’t knock it ‘til you tried it, Well I tried it, my friend.” -Toby Keith, I’ll Never Smoke Weed With Willie Again Passion. Artistry. Shotguns. These are only three of the things that make Country Music amazing. Most people at CCHS seem to think that Country is some twingytwangy garbage sound that’s played and enjoyed exclusively by groups of toothless yokels. Because of this, they overlook some genuinely good Country and they certainly don’t listen to it. But, that’s the wrong thing to do. Country Music, simply put, is an important part of American history and culture, and furthermore is wholly enjoyable regardless of what one is used to listening to. Don’t misinterpret that statement; other music isn’t inferior, it just doesn’t offer what Country does. By that I mean, nothing else has the Sound. The Sound is hard to describe it’s not a specific note, instrument or musical scale. The Sound is just a pervasive feel about a piece of music, it is the shiver down the spine during a masterful performance, the slight quiver on a note, even the way a song can simply stop. Many other types of music have elements of the Sound, but in Country the Sound is everywhere. Take, for example, the song Whiskey Lullaby by Alison Krauss and Brad Paisley. It’s a very short song, only

about four verses, and it doesn’t talk about much. But, what it does talk about, it talks about with power. The lyrics, combined with Krauss’s ethereal voice and Paisley’s tone, make a simple scale and some words into a force of raw emotion. Whiskey Lullaby is almost too good of an example, though. A better one would be Toby Keith’s A Little Too Late. Keith is not known for being particularly deep, or subtle for that matter, and the song comes across with very shallow lyrics that strike you like a two-by-four. And yet, it has the Sound - it has a feeling to it that gives it life. It’s almost like the sound of the guitar, the steady rhythm of the drums and the story of the song make it important. There’s a good reason for the Sound. Country Music is descended from some of the best sounds of the Old World. It takes the banjo from traditional West African music, the fiddle - which was favored by the Scotts-, and the dulcimer from the Germans. Combine those sounds with the feel of Bluegrass and Gospel and you have a recipe for something deep. If you’ve a soul, a heart, or two working ears, then you have got to listen to Country. It’s possible, even if you have all three of those, that you’ll still find it wanting. That’s okay, as I said, other music isn’t inferior - and in some aspects, other music surpass Country. But, I’m almost positive that if you give Country a try, you’ll find that you like some of it, maybe even all of it.

by Morgan Faulkner Design EDITOR I love country music. I know I am the minority at Culver City High School, but Waka Flaka or Drake has never made me feel the way I do when listening to the sweet sounds of Miranda Lambert or Brad Paisley. Usually, when I’m in the car with people I am forced to change the radio station from GoCountry to some mainstream crap like KISS FM. However, now, that The Band Perry exists, it fulfills my need for country but is still pop-y enough so that my passengers don’t search for the “passenger seat eject button” along the way. The Band Perry is an American country group composed of three siblings. Their genre is country pop/folk, and they fit somewhere in between Taylor Swift who is very pop-y, and Carrie Underwood who takes on a more country feel. Their first and only self-named album has five hit singles so far. The RIAA, Record Industry Asso-

ciation of America, has certified their #1 smash, “If I Die Young” Quadruple Platinum for sales exceeding 4 million. The songs in the album are mainly related to young women and their relationships, and the tumult that accompanies them. It encourages young women to stay independent and stay true to themselves, saying that if they do they will reap the rewards. One of the songs on the album, In the Middle, is going to be my wedding song. It talks about how the singer waited for the man of her dreams for a long time, and now that she has him she wants the world to see them and their shared love. One reason that I love country music is that every song tells a different story, a narrative poem set to music. I can always find one that perfectly describes how I’m feeling or what I’m going through, since I’m not a rich playa making it rain on them hoes. The Band Perry accomplishes this without being over-the-top-country. The Band Perry is an upbeat album that can instantly put me in a better mood. I know that at Culver City High School most student instantly stick their nose up to my beloved country music but The Band Perry is a good band for “country beginners,” so keep an open mind. I cannot wait for their next album to drop.

DJ, spin dat funky pineapple Hawaiian trip-hop is a magical music peanut butter cup that satisfies the senses. by Redmond Stephan Staff Writer

The internet is home to a lot of weird stuff - don’t go looking into that, just trust me; you don’t want to know how weird it gets. Every now and then, I get the urge to google something and see what I come up with. Usually it’s something mundane, like, “How many teeth do walruses have?” or “What is the plural of walrus?” But, sometimes my searches bring me to something awesome. I searched “hawaiian trip-hop/underground luau” after watching an episode of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Being a semi-reasonable person, I figured that there was no such type of music. As luck would have it, though, there was exactly one album of this peculiar music genre. Duncan Lincs released Islands W/In Islands in April of 2012, apparently having been influenced by the same show that

inspired my google search. The 10 track album is available for free at duncanlincs., and if you are within arms distance of a computer you need to download this album. Go ahead, this review will wait. If you haven’t downloaded the album yet, instead choosing to finish reading this article, you’re probably wondering what “Hawaiian trip-hop” sounds like. It’s a lot like a peanut butter cup, only instead of someone mixing together chocolate and peanut butter, they mixed upbeat tropical music with techno. It’s rather enjoyable, especially considering the fact that tropical music doesn’t sound like it should ever be mixed with techno. For example, the observant ear will notice the Beach Boys in the background and the familiar tones of ‘Hukilau.’

Interspersed between the songs are sound clips from Always Sunny that refer to Hawaiian Trip-Hop. The clips add a sense of comedy to the album, which is good because they often come before tracks that are slightly more downbeat than the rest. “Undies Bridge” is a prime example - coming just after one of the comedy tracks, the song just feels slower and more depressing than, say, the first song “Let Things Be, Early In The Morning.” All told, the album is positively spectacular. While it is short, it excels in almost every way. It sounds good, the album cover looks good, if it had a physical presence then it would feel good - probably warm and fuzzy. If you still have yet to download the album then go do so, now; it’s not like it costs anything.

May 2012


AVPA presents Are we there yet?

Dancers combine graduation and dance in a modern performance. by Nicole Martin Opinions EDITOR

Walking into last month’s dance concert, Are We There Yet?, was quite surprising: the show began with a mock graduation ceremony, jokes, and what most viewers without much dance experience would consider minimal dancing. The initial graduation ceremony dance scene seemed to be a reflection of high school life, showing current seniors going through the rush of emotions with graduating. While some aspects of this first experimental dance were amusing, it seemed to drag on a bit and it was a relief when the next dances began. The concert was a mixture of many different dancing styles, from very

classical to ethnic-inspired, to modern, with something to suit every taste-even the little versed in dance or choreography. Most of the seniors dance department performed solos, and the musical accompaniment ranged from traditional music to Skrillex. The dancing itself was wonderful. Everyone appeared prepared and seemed to know what they were doing. The different numbers kept the show very lively and interesting. Beginning with a catchy song, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, that everyone could sing along to. One number involved traditional Mexican Folklorico dance skirts, which was very cool. Also noteworthy was the traditional ballet solo performed by dancer Laura Schaffer, in which Schaffer seemed to glide eas-

ily across the stage through a set of intricate footwork. A jazz number in which the dancers were clad in sequin ensembles took the audience back to the roaring 20s, while another number involved a dueling mix of modern and cultural dance, with belly dancing skirts that jingled, and middle eastern elements. The music was interrupted by little transitions performed by theater members including sophomore Chris Clark, that involved some element of performance. Some of them were cute and funny, involving a little dancing Snoopy doll. A majority of them though, were overly drawn out jokes, which were not truly funny, more of a “Haha” type moment. There was a “Bachelor meeting” thrown in throughout the show, which seemed to occur mostly because there were no males in the dance concert itself. Additionally, the big punchline was that the girl picks dancing Snoopy over Clark. It took the entire show to get to the joke, slightly ridiculous. There was another transition involving the reading of a book, the “Dancer’s Guide,” and dif-


ferent dancers mimed along to the instructions. The message of growing up and change was deluded through the more unnecessary transitions just put in for continuity. Lighting set the tone for a majority of the dances, adding a fun twist to each performance. Although, a few scenes were a little bit on the darker side, it was apparent that it was for artistic effect. Through most of the show, the music was well done, although a few incidents did occur during one show in which the speakers caused irritating high-pitched noises, distracting from the show. At one point it became so apparent, it was impressive that the dancers could remain focused. Overall the dancing itself was wonderful, and everyone appeared prepared and seemed to know what they were doing. The different numbers kept the show lively and interesting. Additionally, the show ended with a song that was upbeat and fun. For the end-of-show bowing the seniors all jumped dramatically off the edge of the stage.

put that through a spin cycle AVPA dancers give “dirty dancing” new meaning by Kourtney Brodnax Sports EDITOR What do a laundromat, cappuccino and dance recital have in common? Well the Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre alongside Culver City’s AVPA Dance Department could express the correlation to you quite clearly. With the use of chairs, washing machines and dryers as props, the relationship was explained through emotional contemporary dance. “[The company] has enjoyed a long history with the CCHS dance department and Julie Carson, the Creative Director who is just fantastic... Students have been invited to watch rehearsals and attend performances by HDDT and last year a special

lecture demonstration was designed so they could learn more about the process of creating performances in non traditional settings,” founder Heidi Duckler said. Last Thursday at The Washing Day Coin Laundry and adjacent Rumor Mill Coffee House, students performed excerpts from one of Ducklers over 100 pieces, which have won worldwide acclaim. The original 1988 Laundromatinee was followed by a group piece created by AVPA students debuted at 5, 6, and 7pm. The two free shows, each about 40 minutes long, intrigued the audience whom filled the places to capacity. The dancing was both intricate and exciting, with dancers moving literally into and out

of the dryers and machines in complicated progressions. “HDDT has a commitment to provide access to our performances in public spaces,” Duckler said when explaining the decision of venue for this student-performed piece. But such a commitment to making dance into public performance art has its complications, with students competing for space during rehearsals with usual customers in the cafe and laundro mat. Duckler herself sees the benefits, though, “often rehearsals are open to the public in order to connect our audience to our artists and practice. This past performance had no admission charge to ensure that the entire community could enjoy the performance, even those that were doing their wash!” The girls first danced in the laundry mat to music for about 10 minutes. The following intermission was only long enough for the dancers to change wardrobes and audience to quickly change locations to the adjacent Rumor Mill for the AVPA student-choreographed piece. The group danced first in the windows of the Coffee shop and slowly made their way inside to play out their message with the use of table chairs. Overall, the performance was a very dramatic ensemble that showed off the dancers true talents. Duckler was very pleased: “The dance students at CCHS were focused, hard working, creative and enthusiastic. Every dancer worked at a high level of artistry and professionalism and contributed greatly to the project. I think it was a wonderful experience for all of us.”




Clear, simple, and elegant

Math doesn’t add up for some, but it does for me by Sara Murphy Contributing Writer “Why do I have to learn this? I want to be a/an [insert future job here.]” Students frequently groan and ask this very question; unfortunately, math seems to be the prime target of these remarks. True, a student’s future job may not require such skills as the derivation of the quadratic formula or knowledge of the unit circle. Fair enough. However, this should not determine whether or not students learn these things.

As soon as a student thinks they should only learn what they need for their future occupation, they confuse job training with education, and the two are far from the same. Since the time of the ancient Greeks, education has supplied people with knowledge about the world and the societies around them. Education does not provide people with the bare essentials for survival; it enriches their life. An educated person knows something about everything, including history, language, art, science, politics, and yes, mathematics. Math is one of the most fascinating components of education, but unfortunately many consider it a nuisance rather than an art. Why has “I am not a grammar person”

Photo Magic

remained unacceptable in today’s society while “I am not a math person” has become a common lament that many sympathize with? Math builds on itself as a subject and the skills learned in one course are required for the next course. As a result, one year of disinterest can lead one to feel utterly lost. Unfortunately, people often give up on math near the beginning, because they are taught nothing but arithmetic for the first several years of their math education. While arithmetic has many uses, it is also downright dull. The beauty of math does not lie in long division; arithmetic only comprises a tiny piece of what math truly is. The art of math lies in the magnificence of a simple, reasoned, and clearly

Letters to the Editor

Pres lauds ASB feats

Beauty in a flash by Kris Punturere


With a head full of courage and a heart full of daring excitement he prepares to attempt a stunt that many of his peers wouldn’t even consider trying. With his eyes on the prize and an intense jolt of adrenaline pumping through his body, he takes one large leap onto his sled and goes for it. Slipping and sliding down that long treturous hillside at high speeds his heart is pumping, driven by a cacophony of emotions. He approaches craftily made ramp with a rush of feelings: excitement, fear and determination. The ramp sends him shooting through the air, when suddenly, snap! All of those emotions and intensified motion are instantaneously captured with the simple snap of the shutter. A photo has been taken, a photo that may give this young teen memories to last a lifetime. The power of a photograph is immense. It tells the viewer a complex story, practically putting the viewer into that exact moment captured, giving them a clear idea of what being in that moment would be like. By viewing a photograph such as the one I just explained can connect the viewer can connect with the subject quite intimately. Photographs have always been used as a form of visual storytelling and representation of emotion. One cannot truly understand the emotions behind a story because you are solely limited to what details the author gives you. But when shown

a graphic display or photograph to accompany the story, many people can develop a better understanding of the little details. The photo shown is one that supports this explanation perfectly. When being told about this adrenaline supported, courageous moment, the words do not fully represent the moment. A written story leaves it up to your mind to create an image of what is going on. But when given a photograph like this one, you can truly comprehend the emotions overcoming him and how intense that astonishing moment really is. A lot of people spend their whole lives searching for a new perspective on life, to be able to see the world in a new, wondrous sort of way. And what better way to do so than to pick up a camera and explore all the big and little wonders that the world has to offer that we often don’t tend to see while even unaffectedly walking down the street. The joy brought to a photographer when viewing a photo perfectly captured such as the one of Martin Beer performing such a daring stunt, brings a feeling rather unexplainable, one that forms a sense of awe. One moment engulfing a mixture of pure motion, emotion and beauty captured by an image is absolutely beautiful. To be able to capture a moment in time, be it sad, happy, angry, or a mixture of all three and more is one of the many extravagant wonders that life has to offer. The process of this artistic practice creates a feeling of disbelief, love and happiness. Our world is beautiful, and if we stop, take a deep breath, and look for the smallest of beautiful objects that make our world what it is, we can truly appreciate the earth we live on and be able to pull the beauty out of even the ugliest of things.

structured argument. Once an idea in math is proven, it will forever remain proven. No new theories come along. We do not simply accept that the square root of two is irrational, it was verified thousands of years ago, and it can never be disproved. And these arguments are so clear, simple, and elegant, that without a doubt their beauty equals that of any piece Mozart ever wrote or picture Monet ever painted. I long for the day when people can push past their initial impression of arithmetic and see the true beauty of the art of math and logical argument. In the end, the point of education is not utility, and the same goes for math. Do not confuse job training with education; instead realize that education is about the human mind and what it can accomplish. And the next time you feel disenchanted with math, look up the logic behind why we know the square root of two is irrational. You will be struck by the simple beauty of it. Trust me.

As we approach the end of this memorable school year, I would like to thank our hardworking Centaurian for its support and constructive criticism that they have not only given to the Student Council, but the entire Student Body as well. After reading the previous article about the Associated Student Body, I would like to list the many accomplishments and successes that ASB has made. ASB, along with the football team’s success and board approval, created a CIF championship pep rally that involved the entire school. The pep rally was so successful in fact, that it made live television coverage on local news stations; creating well deserved media attention for Culver City High School. Blood Drives have been at an all time high this year, with ASB averaging over 120 sign ups for each of their blood drives, saving hundreds of lives. Fundraising was also a major success as ASB raised thousands of dollars, which will help pay for an exciting Summer Bash and our next Homecoming. Winter Formal and the Talent Show were both sellouts, and the Yard Sale held in front of the school included the entire Culver City community. I am proud to say that the positives of Culver City High School far outweigh the negatives! In conclusion, I would like to invite the Editor and the entire newspaper staff to an ASB fourth period class. I promise an open arms welcome and the ears to listen to any ideas that you all may have. Lukas O’Connor, ASB President

FTN The Centaurian: an outdated worthless endeavour You probably aren’t reading this story. If you are, it’s because you are bored in class or the title caught your eye while you were folding it into a paper airplane. The fact is, the overwhelming majority of the students who are given copies of the school newspaper just don’t read it, and those who do are disappointed by what they read. First of all, the newspaper comes out only once a month. The majority of the stories are written about things that happened weeks ago. For the most part, the student body has lost interest in the topic. Culver made it to the CIF championships for football? We know, and most of us already know more than what little info is given in these 300-word stories. In an age where information travels at lightning speeds, a school newspaper can’t keep up with Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr. Not that I’m suggesting publishing weekly issues. Once a month is more than enough. That one monthly issue is a big enough waste of money as it is. Every month, the dozen or so dedicated journalism students manage to scrape together enough cash to pump out as many as two thousand copies of the paper. That’s between $450

and $750 per issue, spent on a newspaper nobody reads! Now, to their credit, the journalism students do fundraise and such to raise that money, but is all that work really worth it to see the newspapers scattered around the campus like tumbleweeds? On a final note, lots of the stories are written about groups or clubs, varying from AVPA to ASB. Most of these stories show a clear (often negative) bias about that club, which generally offends the group as opposed to making them feel proud to be written about. With a readership as small as this one, maybe the “reporters” should try and not offend the few who use the newspaper for something other than making hats. The bottom line, two or three readers who actually made it to the end of this story, is that the The Centaurian is a huge waste of time and money. Its out-ofdate, often offensive, and a lot of times poorly written. Maybe that five or six hundred bucks a month should be spent on something a little more worthwhile. Josh Call, Sophomore

The staff editorial is a collaborative effort by all of the editors of The Centaurtian. All eight editors decide on the staff editorial topic, contribute ideas, compose, revise, and approve the final staff editorial before it goes to print.

Money-Suckers: Rise up against the machine

Farris letter cont. from page 1 areas: sports, Youth & Government, Speech and Debate, AVID, Robotics, AVPA, or any of the myriad of student clubs and organizations. Many of them also carry heavy AP course loads. Their high level of involvement in these different areas is exactly what makes them good candidates for leadership. It is only reasonable to expect that our student leaders are involved in school beyond their roles in ASB, and it can be difficult for students to balance and honor all of their commitments. We can keep this in mind when we elect our leaders, but we also need to offer support to them as they

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

1955, CB obtained administration of the Advanced Placement Program, which had functioned to some effect since 1952. What started as a way to “simplify the application process for students and colleges” has turned into a pecuniary nightmare. Let’s consider a random person’s schedule. They sign up for a handful of AP’s, take the SAT twice, not to mention the prep class with it, along with several study books. Altogether, they’ve spent a whopping $2,162 (approximately) by senior year, not including senior activities and such. Not only did they pour these dollars into their future, but they probably spent a lot of time freaking out about it, even missing a class or seven to study. AP’s are hard on the teachers, too. The validity of their teaching is based on this test - scores are immediately compared when results come out. Classes become monotonous as our instructors are forced to teach to a test instead of having free range

with the subject. When it comes down to it, teachers do their best to get students to pass the test and spend tons of extra hours offering review for students, costing everyone a lot of time. But what does this mean to the execs running the show? According to a tax report from 2009, the CEO of CB makes approximately $872,061 in compensation. That’s double what the President of the United States makes. Other salaries include that of the Vice President, who makes a sorry $250,000 in comparison. Giving that kind of money to leaders of an organization doesn’t make a better CEO, as it’s supposed to do; it creates a greedy machine interested in making more money off students. And they know how to do it. The CB understands students anxiety over tests and getting into college, so they create deadlines and “deals” to accommodate your fears. The “rush” option when preparing

honor all of those commitments. We understand that they will have divided attention. I believe the missing perspective in the editorial is the historical perspective. I have been with Culver for 11 years, and I can tell you that CCHS is a much different place than the school I started teaching at in 2001. School spirit was at an all-time low. There were no winter formals or Sadie Hawkins dances. We couldn’t sell enough tickets to hold any kind of dance outside of Homecoming or Prom. It was a struggle to get students to wear Culver blue or represent Culver pride. Over the last few years, with the work of ASB, this has changed dramatically. Students are proud to be Centaurs. There were two things that happened this year that demonstrate the increased spirit at school. The first was when the entire

school rallied behind our football team at their CIF Championship game. The second was possibly the highlight of my entire CCHS career. It occurred at the Homecoming Dance. Many of you may recall the theme – Footloose. All of ASB performed the Footloose dance at the Get Involved Assembly. Next, the entire football team performed the dance at the Homecoming Assembly. Then at the high point of the night during the Homecoming Dance, the DJ put on the Footloose song. Over 400 students danced their hearts out to the Footloose song, line dancing the entire time. I have never observed a stronger sense of unity at Culver than that moment. ASB students are among the most dedicated in the school, and they put in countless hours outside of class to serve the student body. Many of their efforts go unnoticed,

The Centaurian Staff

On a dark and stormy night, in the depths of your dreams there arises a hideous creature, looming, advancing upon you, fangs bared... a vampire! You run for cover feeling a pull like a magnet, and as you struggle against it, small personal items fly from your body: coins, pencils, your watch. You turn around only to realize the thing you’re running from has morphed... into the College Board! As more and more students each year sign up for Standardized Aptitude Test’s (SAT’s) and Advanced Placement Exams (AP’s), among other things, the College Board (CB) grows outrageously, gathering excessive amounts of money in the process. There are more ways to compare the CB, but in essence, they exist like a parasite, feeding off students desires to go to university -- and their pocketbooks. They’ve made themselves vital to students’ futures, monopolizing an industry that is virtually unopposed. Originally named the College Entrance Examination B oard, the College Board was founded in 1900 and consisted of 12 colleges. They sought a more efficient way for students and college admissions offices to apply, resulting in the creation of a common test for college-bound students -- later known as the SAT. This, however, was created more for elite prep schools and prestigious colleges, as the students attending college in those days were usually among the smartest. Over 50 years later, in



MAY2012 Staff Editorial

Editor-in-Chief Jessica Marin News Editor Aurora Nunez Design Editor Morgan Faulkner Features Editor Sarah Handler A&E Editor Emily Wood Trends Editor Elizabeth Moss Opinions Editor Nicole Martin Sports Editor Kourtney Brodnax Staff Writers Ana Cordero, Tabish Khatri, Kris Punturere, Redmond Stephan Adviser Penny Schulte Contact us at (310) 842-4200 x6041

Printed by the Gardena Valley News The Centaurian is a public forum, published by journalism students. 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.

Culver City High School 4401 Elenda Street Culver City CA 90230

Check out our website at

to send SAT scores is a farce: CB doesn’t actually “rush” your scores as they claim. The $26 late fee attached to AP tests couldn’t be more unfair, as the $92 test charge is already burdensome on many students. Their selling of test prep materials (i.e. SAT prep book), is also unethical because as test distributors, they need to treat all test takers fairly. Selling those materials gives advantage only to wealthier students who can afford it. In addition, the CB offers no scholarships of their own; the PSAT is only administered by them. If the CB is making billions a year off students, they need to be giving that money back to students. But you can’t throw all the blame on the Board. Colleges have as much to do with the “problem.” Most schools require SAT scores and your CSS profile, making it difficult to avoid these costs. SAT Subjects are also necessary for most competitive schools. Colleges aren’t making it any easier for students to afford their futures. In the end, the real vampire is the one taking your money for its own vitality. Students are penalized for being ambitious and competitive. And before the AP test wasn’t needed to get the GPA boost, students were paying for a grade. CB needs to simplify the costs in order to create true equal opportunity for students.

and often the student body never knows about issues they fight for with administration. Yes, we will have DJ Vision at prom. You can thank Junior Class Council and ASB for their unrelenting efforts for us to book him. I believe the editorial reflects the increased expectations of the student body for ASB. ASB raised the bar for themselves over the last few years, and now the student body wants to raise it higher. This can only be good for our school. I expect great things for ASB and our student body. For the record, I believe ASB has done great work for Culver City High School, and I support them 100%, dirty laundry and all. Sincerely, Principal Dylan Farris

If you hate the newspaper as much as Josh Call does, write a letter to the editor!



n June 2, hundreds of students from CCHS will flood into an old Cathedral on Main Street in Downtown L.A, armed with corsages, smart tuxedos, and gala-esque dresses. Walking through dark double doors, guests enter a long entrance hall, the floors black and white checkered. Behind another set of doors, the ceiling opens up, supported by grand columns lining the hall. “You have to think of yourself walking through a forest at night in the moonlight,” said Absala Joseph, Junior Council Vice President. This year’s prom will be held at the Vibiana, a 35,000 square foot special events venue. Last year’s Junior Class Council chose the Italian Baroque structure over a year ago, along with the Bella Notte theme, Italian for “beautiful night.” The colors will consist of blues, whites, and light browns. Tickets can be purchased for $90 with ASB and $95 without this week. Founded in 1876, Vibiana was turned into a special events venue after the Northridge earthquake of ‘94 closed its doors. After somewhat of a custody battle, a team of developers renovated the church, preserving most of what was there in the first place, down to the confessionals on either side of the building. -Elizabeth Moss, Trends Editor

2012 Junior Senior Prom Bella Notte at The Vibiana 214 South Main Street Los Angeles 90012 PERSPECTIVE This Google Map shows the Vibiana and surrounding attractions

8pm-12pm Photos by Elizabeth Moss & Kristian Punturere

The Centaurian  

Vol 56 Issue 7

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you