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For the month of November, six brave Lynbrook teachers take on the challenge to grow out their facial hair for prostate cancer.

Bale along with five other staff members, Japanese teacher Jeremy Kitchen, Spanish teacher Michael Esquivel, History teacher Mike Williams, Art teacher Lee Akamichi and Student conduct specialist Jose Ramirez, have taken on the No Shave November Challenge, to support prostate cancer research and awareness. Men who participate are referred to as “LynBros,” but teachers are not the only ones sporting the new scruffy look. Many boys at Lynbrook, or “MoBros” have decided to put their shaving cream away for the remainder of the month. “The moustache is a very visible conversation starter for the cause that is unique to men. This makes the ‘MoBros’ a walking billboard for the cause,” says Bale. Approximately one out of every 36 men die of prostate cancer. Although “Movember” is a fun way to educate the public about this disease, the men and boys involved in it understand the gravity of prostate cancer. “Truthfully I have always wanted to grow my beard out,” says senior Bhaumik Kotecha. “I also understand how serious prostate cancer is, and how many men are affected by it. The fact that I get to grow my beard while supporting cancer awareness is a plus,” says Kotecha. Everyone can get involved with Movember by participating in the various activates at the top of the quad each week. One such Movember fundraiser is the giant head at the top of the quad during brunch that students can pay to take a picture with. Lynbrook has raised about $150 so far from the “Movember” activities, and is continuing to raise funds for the throughout the duration of the month.

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burns, otherwise known as a beard, or connect at the chin, known as a goatee. History teacher Jeffrey Bale brought the phenomenon to Lynbrook for the first time. “I decided to bring “Movember” to Lynbrook after seeing two of my fellow Lynbrook alumni last year at Thanksgiving with moustaches. These guys looked so hideous, so naturally I asked why they were sporting them. That’s how I learned about ‘Movember.’ This year I was able to recruit five staff members to join the challenge and we were able to launch Team ‘LynBro.’”

This November a new trend is growing on the students of Lynbrook, and their faces. Moustache November, commonly known as “Movember”, is a prostate cancer awareness movement that involves men growing their facial hair out for the entire month of November. “Movember” was started by a group of young men from Australia in 2003 as a fun way to raise money for prostate cancer research. The rules are simple: Begin clean-shaven on November 1st and do not shave till the end of the month. The moustache should not connect with the side-

Meet a few

LYNBROS mr. williams

mr. ramirez

mr. esquivel

Teacher models classroom after Mondrian art by


They’re a child’s best friend; the key to building elaborate cities and colorful spacecrafts; a source of entertainment for hours on end. And art teacher Paul Willson is aspiring to take Legos to a whole new level of creativity. A few weeks ago, principal Gail Davidson came to Willson asking him to help “spark up” conference room 75. Willson eagerly accepted, but wanted something more than just to hang student work. He says, “I wanted something simple and basic to highlight student work, since I’ve already displayed student art in over 70 locations on campus.” Taking inspiration from early 19th century Dutch painter Piet Mondrian, Willson commenced transforming the historic works into something contempo-

rary and modern. Mondrian’s work in the 1930’s, inspired in part by painter Vincent Van Gogh, was composed of various bold colors and lines arranged in bright, eye-catching patterns, creating unique patterns through use of elementary geometric technique. He was one of the leaders in the movement to create a new abstract art genre that became known as Neo-Plasticism. Following this example,Willson, with the help of his aide, stretched canvases and painted them with bold primary colors lined with sleek black tape to create a new twist on a classic artwork. This design functions to make a subtle frame for student pieces surrounded by a broad color field. After immortalizing Mondrian’s age-old techniques, Willson still yearned to do more to enhance the campus. He explains, “I thought, ‘how much fun would it

be to do Mondrian with Legos to hang pictures above the white boards in the room?’ It’s dead space up there anyways, so it sparks up the room a little more and ties together with the canvas pieces on the walls.” Willson has begun asking fellow staff members for donations of the colorful interlocking blocks, but still does not have enough to begin his creative project. He comments, “I’d love to approach parents and students”, adding that once he has all the Legos he needs, it shouldn’t take him very long to complete the series of one-foot squares he plans to exhibit above the white boards. Willson would very much appreciate donations of red, yellow, blue, black, or white Legos in order to get started “as soon as possible.” Students or staff willing to donate can bring their Legos to Willson in room 73, and help fuel the effort to keep Mondrian’s work alive on our very own campus.

Marching band’s triumphs Guidance by


Last Saturday, 130 students, surrounded by instruments march onto the field in formation, accompanied by the music “Of Sailors and Whales” and props depicting undulating waves. This year, the Lynbrook marching band is securing a triumphant season with a show based on Herman Melville’s novel, Moby Dick. The band has won 1st Place Class 1, 1st Place Percussion Class, and Guard Class 1 in the Cupertino Tournament of Bands; 2nd Place Class 4A in the Valley Christian Quest Classic; 2nd Place Class 1, 1st Place Woodwinds Overall, 1st Place Auxiliary Overall in the Foothill Band Review; and 1st Place Class 4A and 1st Place Percussion Class 4A in the Independence Invitational. The show, named “In Search of the White Whale,” utilized unprecedented props and sound effects to complement the instrumental music. This year was the band’s first time using a backdrop, which was a wooden board depicting ocean waves made by parent volunteers. Sound effects included stormy wind noises, bird cries and whale sounds. The music based on “Of Sailors and Whales” by W. Francis McBeth, was arranged by Lynbrook’s band director, John Felder. The show consisted of five separate movements and recounted a story of a crew at sea. The music followed the rising and falling actions of the story; it began peacefully to represent the calm sea, then accelerated and intensified to show the struggle between the crew and the whale. During the third movement, “Becalmed,” the entire band sang a hymn based on the story of Jonah and the Whale. Junior Allison Tani and sophomore Daniel Sun are codrum majors, and this year was their first time in leadership positions. “I personally think that we found success this year due to a real commitment to the program and the band by the members,” says Sun. “There was a sense of individual responsibility as well as a bond that formed between the members of the band. We all united for a single

cause and we took responsibility for our actions. We knew when to be serious and when to have fun and this balance held our band together.” The marchers say there had been large improvement this year in the band, both musically and visually. They credit the success to better drills, props and diverse sound effects. Flute section leader Cecily Lan agrees and says, “I think the band improved because the instructors set higher expectations to fulfill, which pushed everyone to try harder and perform better. The band’s been improving very fast and we were able to show our potential this season. I’m proud of what the band has accomplished and that we were able to finish off the season strongly.”


The Lynbrook drumline practices at Lynbrook for their very last competition and football game.

Candidates re-elected for board by


Not one, or two, but three. On Nov. 2, Cupertino and Sunnyvale residents re-elected candidates Bill Wilson, Hung Wei and Barbara Nunes to serve on the Fremont Union High School District (FUHSD) Board of Trustees for another four-year term. Three spots on the five-member board were up for grabs—the incumbents made a clear sweep, leaving no room for Michael Goldman, Miyuki Iwata Goldman, Monet Goldman and Pradeep Jain. The voice of the two cities came together when current board president, Bill Wilson, came out wiht 23 percent of the votes and clerk, Hung Wei and vice president Barbara Nunes, came out with 20 and 22 percent, respectively. The incumbents share excitement to serve the district for another term. “I think the experience I gained in the first four years will help in my second term,” says Wilson. “I’m very honored and thrilled to be re-elected,” Wei says. “To be re-elected [confirms] that our community recognized that the current board has served our students well.” The incumbents all came to a unanimous agreement that there is still room for improvement within the FUHSD. “The current Board will continue to watch over the financial situations of the district to ensure fiscal health. Edu-

cation is not one size fits all and changes according to demands and needs are always there,” Wei explains. The FUHSD is looking to implement changes as it addresses the needs of all groups of students in the district, despite the recent budget cuts. “It takes some experience in this economic climate to [make the right decisions],” Vice President Barbara Nunes explains, “Until money gets better, we’re working hard to keep everything [in place].” Each high school has their own Annual School Plan which, “details the different goals that need to be met by each school,” Wei says. Campus renovations, technology integrations and a variety of career programs are all changes the FUHSD hopes to fulfill with the years to come. With the support of Cupertino and Sunnyvale city residents, The School Facilities Bond, approved in 2008, provides the district with a lot of opportunities for individual campus improvements. Wilson says, “This [bond] will allow us to experiment with novel uses of technology for instruction and then roll out the most effective approaches broadly across the district. I believe our district can be a real leader in new ways to use technology to support exciting and innovative teaching.” Lynbrook is expected to receive a Global Learning Center in the near future to enhance the school’s integration of techology.

Department implements changes



Take a deep breath. Smell the fresh air? Those are the changes that the Guidance Department have just blown in. During the new school year the Guidance Department has decided to make some major changes that will affect the student body as well as the school’s budget. At the start of each year, thousands of guidance packets are printed in order to accommodate the students and provide them with the necessary information on college, financial aid and the process. Guidance counselor Shana Howden says, “If you’ve come to any of the different guidance nights, we print out literally hundreds of copies. Now we’re making the packet available directly online or through email.” By making this change, the Guidance Department will be saving the school a lot of money as well as conserving resources. Reducing the amount of paper used for packets is only one of many ways the Guidance Department is going green. The Guidance Department is paving the way and setting an example for the rest of the district as well; Lynbrook is the first school in the Fremont Union High School District to go all online and create a new system of accessing the Guidance Department’s resources. In addition to the new online system, the department has accrued a new structure of Naviance; the parents of students starting from the class of 2014 will now have their own log in information to access their students’ Naviance accounts. Parents will be able to view their students’ accounts and information but will be limited in that they cannot make any specific changes. The Guidance Department has made numerous other changes and additions to their program; one such event is the new meetings for sophomores. Sophomores and their parents are invited to come participate in one time question and answer sessions about the procedure of deciding and planning for college in order to give sophomores a head start in the college process. The meetings will have a central theme, for example discussing the application process for small private schools or the University of California system, but for the most part students and parents can converse freely and have their questions answered by the guidance counselors. The sophomore meetings are still in the elementary stages and the specific dates are still to be determined, but more information about the meetings will be released soon.

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Fall Play: The Walk


On Friday, Nov. 19 from 3-5 pm, Lynbrook’s Interact Club will be hosting The Walk, the annual walk-a-thon with participants pledging to donate money based on the numbers of laps completed. All proceeds from The Walk will go to Shelterbox, an international relief charity that supplies emergency safety tools, food and shelter to areas decimated by natural disasters. There will be food rewarded to participants at the completion of every couple of laps, and musical acts and entertainment will be provided to keep everyone motivated and pumped. Anyone is welcome to participate.


What do you do when a person enters your life and refuses to leave? And when he then proceeds to upend your entire life? In two days, Lynbrook’s Drama Department will act out this situation in their upcoming comedy, The Nerd. The Nerd centers around the story of young architect Willum Cubbert. Willum, played by senior Thomas Okamoto, finds himself in a most unusual situation on the night of his birthday party. While attempting to please his rather boisterous boss Warnock Waldgrave and Waldgrave’s family, Willum finds an unwelcomed guest, Rick Steadman. Rick, played by senior Philip Hofman, is an army veteran who had once saved Willum’s life. Though Rick had played such a crucial role in Willum’s life, they had never actually met. However, as Rick steps through the threshold of Willum’s party, Willum soon finds out that Rick is one of the most obnoxious people he’s ever met. “It’s basically a juggling act between Willum’s boss and Rick as well as between all his other friends at the party.” says junior Gary Shoenfeld, who will play the part of Axel Hammond, Willum’s best friend. Adds Shoenfeld, “Each role has their own distinct character; that’s what makes the play so fun to watch.” And just as the roles consist of unique char-

Holiday Crafts Faire Come out this Saturday to Lynbrook’s annual Holiday Craft Faire hosted by Lynbrook Instrumental Music Boosters. This year, all merchandise is entirely handmade, and will be sold during the Faire’s hours from 9-4 pm. Students from the Lynbrook music department will be volunteering and performing background holiday music. LIMB encourages the community to come out and buy gifts for friends and family. There will also be a raffle during the first hour of the Faire, and all proceeds will go to Lynbrook’s Music Department. For more information regarding the Faire, please visit the Lynbrook Website under “LIMB.”

acters, the cast members themselves have added two new actors to their stage: freshman Nathan Kastle and sophomore Sabrina Woolhiser. Neither Kastle nor Woolhiser has ever performed on Lynbrook’s stage before, although they have had acting experience in community productions. Woolhiser, a former member of Children’s Musical Theater, says, “There [at Children’s Musical Theater], it was more about connections; here, it’s almost like a second home.” She adds that working with the main cast was “a little strange at first, [but the main cast] is so nice and welcoming and funny [that] it’s like a family.” Kastle, whose acting experiences include short films and commercials, agrees and says, “I’m very grateful to be cast. Both Ms. Cohen and all the crew are really wonderful people; they’ve helped me get used to performing in front of an audience, instead of a camera.” With this sense of camaraderie among the cast members, the production of the play has been progressing, with each three hour long rehearsal set on the goal of advancing the cast’s ability to perform well. The Nerd’s opening night is this Thursday at 7:30 pm. Tickets to this event can be purchased at the ASB office or at the door.

Valkyries Winter Show On Nov. 24, from 7-8:30 pm, the Valkyries’ Winter Show will take place in the gym, showcasing the dances the Valkyries learned over the summer at camp. Like every other year, filler acts are asked to complement the dancers, with performers ranging from Jeffrey Bale to the jazz choir, all of whom will be performing during the breaks between the dances. Several students from Joaquin Miller Middle School, who participated in the Valkyries’ dance workshop in early Nov. will also be performing choreographies. Tickets are sold for $5 each. For more information, ask a member of the Valkyries. Piano Club Concert The Piano Club recital will take place late January 2011. Tryouts are currently being held for members over the next couple weeks, and the official quota of repertoires will be varying so as to display the talents of the club. The composition section of the club is reaching out and raising awareness of the competitions available, such as the PTSA Reflection contests, and the piano performance section is helping to organize master classes and benefits concerts for more playing experience, whether it be in front of an audience or just friends. Chinese Math Olympiad Award Over the summer, junior Cynthia Day travelled to China to take part in the China Girls Math Olympiad (CGMO). CGMO is a prestigious international math competition held annually in China. The contest was held on Aug. 10-11 and the award ceremony was held on Aug. 13. The test entitles taking a two-day, eight question test, giving the test takers approximately an hour per question. Day joined one of two groups of four girls from the US. She received a silver medal. There were twenty gold medalists and forty silver medalists. On Oct. 26, Day was given a commendation ceremony at the City Council session for winning a medal at CGMO. By Sonika Subramanian and Yunqing Chen


Singapore school visits Lynbrook by


On Oct. 30, three faculty members of the Singapore Chinese Girls’ School boarded a plane 8,487 miles away from San Jose, with suitcases packed and notebooks to fill with American ideas. Their 17 hours of airtime in exchange for just a threehour tour of Lynbrook didn’t faze their aspirations. The three-member team, consisting of the school principal, the Head of the Science Department and the teacher for Special Projects, journeyed overseas with a clear-cut goal. As a top school in Singapore, the Singapore Chinese Girls’ School had recently made a decision to offer the more academically rigorous “Integrated Programme.” This is intended for advanced students to help them prepare for the General Certificate of Education Advanced-level examination, common to the Singaporean school system. The faculty members came searching for “innovative practices in curriculum design, the arts, sciences, gifted education and student leadership programs” that they could apply to their own school and “a time of professional sharing and possible joint projects that [would] provide more breadth and depth in learning that will benefit pupils from both schools.” Lynbrook High School was decided to be a solid fit for their criteria.

Lynbrook Principal Gail Davidson, who was contacted mid-October regarding the visit, says, “We wanted to make sure that we could meet the needs that they were looking for. Seeing like they were specifically targeting some certain areas that we would be able to share and are strong in, then it was just a matter of finding a date.” During their visit, the faculty members of the Singaporean Chinese Girls’ School received an overview of the programs at Lynbrook. They conversed with many of the different staff members and learned about the student-run activities and the different academic and guidance programs. They toured a couple art and science classes, the Leadership class and were shown the newly renovated Flex Lab. What they saw at Lynbrook impressed them; they were struck with many new ideas, including the Engage class and science lab arrangements. “Lynbrook is a very effective school. You get a sense of the fact that this school is an effective school just by how engaged the students are. In classes, there was no wasted time. Lynbrook takes care of every child,” says the principal, Low Ay Nar. In the future, the Chineses Girls’ school hopes to personalize and refine what they have seen and learned at Lynbrook and someday implement programs like Lynbrook’s


The failure of Proposition 19 is a lost opportunity for California’s economy to increase and the elimination of illegal drug dealing



Two weeks ago, Californians voted no on Proposition 19, which would have legalized nonmedical marijuana for people over 21. This was a big misstep: in doing so, California has turned away to more than a billion dollars in revenue, set itself up for losing money combating drugs and has continued to let drug cartels increase their power through marijuana sales. Defeating Proposition 19 will not stop the usage of marijuana. People are going to smoke pot no matter what laws are in place. According to Joseph McNamara, former police chief of San Jose and research fellow at Hoover Institution, it is estimated that at least 10% of Americans have used marijuana in the past year, despite its illegality. Even in high school, the drug is definitely not impossible to get. As Lynbrook’s student conduct specialist Jose Ramirez says, “The sources are so open, so out there. I could give you 25 different ways [to get marijuana], and I still wouldn’t cover all of them.” Since marijuana will be used no matter what its legal status, California should at least reap the benefits. Cannabis is its biggest cash crop, accounting for 14 billion dollars a year in sales. If cannabis was to be taxed, California would also receive an estimated yearly 1.3 billion dollars. Now that the proposition has failed, that money will go to the hands of illegal drug dealers. California will now not only have to struggle with economic problems but also have to face the increasingly dangerous power drug cartels are gaining. The prohibition of marijuana can be compared to the prohibition of alcohol that took place in the 1920s: rather than stopping the consumption of alcohol, the prohibition produced

wealthy gangsters like Al Capone and created a dangerous underground market run by powerful gangs and mafia. Crime increased and alcohol consumption remained high. Today, as California is spending millions of dollars fighting marijuana, and drug cartels become increasingly powerful and violent, it can be seen that the prohibition of marijuana is failing in the same ways that the prohibition of alcohol failed 90 years ago. Legalizing marijuana could drastically reduce the influence of illegal drug cartels and dealers. Nobody knows better than junior Fred Chung*, who deals marijuana himself. “If Prop 19 [was passed], business would have gone way down,” says Chung, “If you can get marijuana at stores, nobody is going to need illegal [dealers] anymore.” Each year, the government spends millions of dollars fighting the futile war against marijuana. According to McNamara, last year, the police arrested 61,000 people for the misdemeanor of possessing marijuana. California government should instead be focusing on crimes that are more dangerous to society, like those of a violent nature, (60,000 of which went unsolved last year). The failure of Prop 19 will not keep California safer. It cannot stop the circulation of marijuana either, and Californians have shown to be stubborn by voting against it. Stubborn in thinking that voting for prohibition of marijuana will bring us towards an utopian society where nobody gets high. We have dug the ditch for the underground marijuana market, complete with crime, murder and money. If only everything could be brought above the surface; the cartels would be gone, the crime rate less and California a safer place. * Name has been changed



Response to “One Food, Two Different Stylings” Dear Editor, As someone who lacks the ability to remember when the newspaper comes out, I can confidently say how excited I was when this month’s the Epic was delivered to my 5th period classroom. What I was not excited about, however, was when I uncovered the article, “One Food,” which presented two different opinions about the Psycho Donuts donut store in downtown Campbell. While I respect that opposing views were presented in an attempt to remain objective, certain aspects addressed in one side of the article dominated. Admittedly, I do not disagree that Psycho Donuts’ taste is less than extraordinary, yet I feel as though the essence of Psycho Donuts—the same essence that makes them famous throughout the Bay Area—was sadly neglected. Psycho Donuts redefines the experience associated with buying and eating donuts—which

truthfully was already nonexistent in the first place. The creative and abnormal experience (exemplified in a theme so extensive that it saturates into every corner and crevice of the store) is what makes Psycho Donuts psycho, and creates a foundation contributing not just donuts, but a catalyst for a local artist to receive notoriety. Labeling this experience as “average” would be as much a stretch as labeling the Golden Gate Bridge a causeway. Again, I credit the mention of these extraordinary aspects, but I feel as though the true essence of Psycho Donuts had been trivialized beyond recognition in the article, invoking a tone that defames the entire cause of Psycho Donuts. Everyone holds their own opinions, so when I felt as though the article advocated detouring the donut shop, I was disappointed that some students may be robbed of this extraordinary experience by the prejudice of an inconclu-

sive newspaper article. I vehemently suggest that each student visit Psycho Donuts themselves and construct their own views concerning the store (for argument’s sake, one could spend twenty dollars and an hour in the store without even purchasing a donut—as I once did on monster-themed finger puppets). While Psycho Donuts’ donuts may not be what discern it from similar donut shops, what does—and what actually carries the most significance for Psycho Donuts—is its abnormal yet extraordinary theme embodied in everything down to the psycho—themed refrigerator magnet. Alexander Tanner (12) Letters can be emailed to

staff editorial

Voice of the Epic

AP entrance tests

Students who wish to take AP classes should need diagnostic tests, teacher recommendations At Lynbrook, most students are no strangers to AP classes. In order to embellish their college apps, many juniors and seniors willingly forgo months of stress and mountains of homework, sometimes even risking their sanity in the process. The sad reality is that many of these bright students are taking these college-level classes solely for this purpose, not because they have genuine interest in the material. Lack of passion in a subject is also what leads some to reconsider their course choices a couple of weeks into the school year, when it is difficult to receive schedule changes. For some classes, such as APUSH and APLAC, diagnostic tests are administered to assess a student’s ability. Diagnostic tests both give students a prediction of how they will do in the class and help dispel any rumors about the class. For certain math and science classes such as AP Calculus, a student must receive a teacher recommendation in order to take the class. However, a teacher recommendation can be overridden and even if a student receives a low score on the diagnostic test, it is still left up to students’ discretion whether or not they want to take the class. The obvious solution is to combine the two forms of assessment of preparation and put more weight on the value of the diagnostic test score. Hoping to prevent rash course decisions made by students, the Guidance Department introduced AP contracts. After signing the contract before enrolling in an AP class, students agree that if they drop the class, they cannot be enrolled in another course. For example, if a student decides to take AP English Literature and Composition, discovers that it is not the right

class for him and wants to drop the class, he can’t do so because he won’t be guaranteed a transfer to Contemporary Literature or British Literature. He must have a English class, though, since four years of English is required for graduation, so he must continue with the class. Efforts to deter students from taking on courses they cannot handle can be furthered by administering diagnostic tests for every AP test and requiring that teachers recommend students for next year’s AP classes. Science and math teachers are required to write in (on the course selection sheet) the level of science and math they believe their students would do best in for the next year. Why not extend this practice to other subjects, such as history and English? Ideally, students who score well on the “entrance exam” and receive positive recommendations would do well in the class. However, if the student is not a good test-taker, yet the teacher believes that he or she would do well in the AP class, then that should not discourage him or her from taking the AP class. A positive recommendation is just as good a predictor of readiness as a diagnostic test. Thus, students should only be allowed to take an AP class if their teachers recommend them as prepared and/or they score higher than a passing grade on the diagnostic test. In the end, it is ultimately up to students to decide which classes they will take, but these required diagnostic tests and recommendations will hopefully give students a good sense of what they should expect from the class, and from there, they can make a wiser course selection decision. PHOTO BY NOORSHER AHMED

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Response to “Peanut butter and traffic jam” At about 3 pm, Lynbrook-time, a phenomenon occurs upon the road facing our school. I call it “The Salmon Run.” It is to be feared, it is to be avoided…it must be averted at all costs! As a result, I frantically hurry the final class of the day to clean and organize my classroom before that fateful, final bell. If errant students should ask for last-minute assistance I (reluctantly) brush them away, wild-eyed, begging their pardon…“Sorry, it’s too late! I must avoid the salmon run!” They understand. (At the beginning of the year I had described the horror!) They kindly acquiesce. You might ask “What is this terrifying thing…this Salmon Run?” Well, let me tell you! If, at the ringing of that fateful bell, I am not exiting the door facing my strategically parked car, I will find myself in an infected queue of cars, cars that are becoming clotted like the blood in a corroded artery. And what is causing this clot? Arrogant Student Pedestrians! ARRRGH! Ahhh, yes…the Student Pedestrians. They have learned, at an early age, that they have the right of way to all roads and the iron horses that attempt to travel upon it. And so it should be…but please, with equal respect! In scenarios, let us view the antagonists in this plot. Three o’clock…the Salmon Run begins, Pedestrians vs. Cars: Pedestrians: Slowly sauntering students (one-by-one) cross the street. Just as one student (we’ll call her pedestrian A1) drifts by, another student B1, descends the curb to give a passing glare to the stopped cars as if to proclaim: “I am here…stop for me! I am a pedestrian! You (whoever you are, not that I care) are not!” Stopped Car 1: Mother (with headache), screaming baby and groceries in the back (melting ice cream). “Oh no,” she silently laments…“the Lynbrook regurgitation has begun!” Stopped Car 2: Bad day at the office, can’t wait to get home and find refuge; the fridge, the blessed lounge chair, the slippers, the mindless TV show. But no, sanctuary is postponed indefinitely. Stopped Car 3: Delivery van, deadline, late, job at stake. Result: road rage. There is a brief but vivid and gratefully unfulfilled vision of a drive by shooting. Stopped Car 4: Priest and nun rushing to provide last rights to a dying brethren. Stopped Car 5: A hospice provider trying to reach same address. (Maybe I am getting a little dramatic here...) Meanwhile, Pedestrians R19 and S20 pass: Halfway through the

intersection they stop, grasp and chat, “Oh, hi! Did you hear? X broke-up with Z! I know…I know, I can’t believe it either!” (face-fan, face-fan). All cars are patiently stopped, watching this inexplicable demonstration when angry Student Pedestrian T21 steps off the curb: “Brubdda, de Grubdda…mm, snort!” Then, seconds after that, Pedestrain U22, on the phone, stops in the middle of the road to articulate, “Yeah….yeah…No! Yeah!” Just when it seems that screaming baby, ice cream melting car #1 might have a chance to proceed (it cautiously begins to roll forward), a bike shoots out from the exit. Eventually, car #1 does find a break in the oozing molasses and eases forward into the next intersection! And so it goes for 12 minutes. (Pause), 13 minutes? (Pause, pause), cars back up for blocks. 14 minutes! Now, we teachers have sworn allegiance to the awkward-acronyms of WASC and ESLRS to which we are (of course) deeply, sincerely and profoundly committed. Among these doctrines is the intent to encourage our students to become productive members of the community. Well, what better place to start than this social lesson: be kind, and concious of your community. Solution: Might disparate students elect to band together at the cross-walk and as a group allow an appropriate number of waiting cars to pass, then, en masse breach the span? Attempts have been made to remedy the morning Salmon Run with the postings of staff members at critical intersections to assist in directing both the human and iron contenders of passage. But, in the unassisted afternoon, all hope is abandoned. Just to let you know, Stopped Cars 6 through 25 are your teachers trying to get home. We see the exodus and recognize the arrogant pilgrims-on-parade and those who postpone our attempts to return to the homeland. While we always have your best interests in mind, you might consider becoming aware of the others. Ultimately, whether it is street manners on “The Salmon Run,” socializing, grades or life, it’s all about a graceful and considerate passage and exit. Paul Willson, Art Teacher Letters can be emailed to

A new kind of connoisseur Piracy allows consumers to sample their music before buying by

Stop the irrationality! For the most part, Lynbrook students are rational, logical people, but we do have some blind spots when it comes to certain academic habits. The most obvious signs I’ve noticed is our occasional regression into irrationality concerning A-s, A+s, the SATs and teacher recommendations. Complaining about an A- on a test: An A-, whether it’s a 91 or a 92, is still an A—and is defined as excellent. Moaning about your “low score” of a 91 on the last calculus test confuses some peers, who may have been previously happy with their 88 on the same test, and also makes you seem a little pretentious. We like other people to think we’re smart, but loudly pretending to be disappointed with an A- translates to unnecessarily putting down other people. Lying about when you’re taking the SAT: This is another behavior that initially confused me because I used to think that simply not publicly announcing your score would be easier than lying about the date you’re taking it. Maybe as Lynbrook students have become more competitive, we’ve also become less sensitive to other people’s privacy and their desire to keep their scores private. Luckily, there is an easy solution to the irrationality that is lying about when you’re taking the SAT: don’t nose into other people’s SAT scores and then trust that they will do the same for you. Pretending to not study for a test and then “magically” getting an A+: This is probably in the same vein as complaining about an A-, only it’s more befuddling. No teacher on campus makes tests easy enough to ace without studying, so you have to be lying when you say you don’t study for tests. Also, isn’t studying for tests a good thing? A sign that a student is hardworking and responsible enough to study on his or her own? Apparently it isn’t anymore—actually studying for a test means that you aren’t smart enough to ace a test without cramming days before. And, as I mentioned before, we like other people to think we’re smart so we pretend that we can do well on tests without studying. At least no one’s complaining about A+s—yet. Retaking the SAT for scores of 22002390: After confirming with my guidance counselor and deciding that there is no magic SAT score that assures admittance into an Ivy League, the easiest solution to stressing out about taking the SAT multiple times seems to be to simply be satisfied with your score. In fact, the College Board itself agrees with me. On my Official SAT Score Report, the College Board told me that people who retook the SAT with my math score got 14 points less on average, 68 points less on average in the writing section, and 10 points less in the critical reading section. No section had a positive point gain after being retaken, so I see no reason for students to take the SAT again in a desperate bid to get a 2400. Behaving sycophantically around teachers: Although this behavior has a pretty understandable cause—no one wants to be his or her teacher’s “Are You Kidding” student when it comes to teacher recommendations—there is no excuse to go overboard. By all means, participate, work hard in class, and use tutorial to connect with your teacher, but actions like searching for and “friending” your teacher on Facebook cross the line. Instead of maniacally pursuing relationships with all of your teachers just be yourself. So, Lynbrook students: relax a little, take a deep breath and stop the irrationality.


Metallica drummer and anti-piracy crusader Lars Ulrich once said, “One of my few shortcomings is that I can’t predict the future.” But the future is here, and the future is piracy. In the 21st century, the spreading of ideas is worth far more than actual tangible goods. As long as people do not claim credit or sell software, music, or entertainment that they did not create, they actually do more help than harm. According to The American Heritage College Dictionary, to pirate is “to make of or reproduce without authorization.” However, if a person is merely pirating and not reselling, is that person really doing harm? For example, it is not illegal to go the library and copy pages from a book. Many aspects of modern life resemble a fictional “postscarcity” society, where there are no shortages of goods. Air and music, at least in its digital state, are two examples of unlimited products. But businesses are able to convince buyers to pay money for things they can otherwise get for free while claiming that pirating is unethical. Do people pay for air? No! Then why should people pay for duplicatable digital codes called mp3’s? Nowadays, especially with mp3 players, laser printers and CD burners, you can make a band’s final “masterpiece” for less than $2 at home. Although musicians realize that their CD sales are going down, they rightfully understand that their art still has value. Pirating never hurt music that much anyways; according to music resource website, “A band can expect an average of $1.00 in royalties for each full-priced ($16.98) CD sold through normal retail channels.” Even before music sharing websites existed, musicians realized that most of their revenues were not from the 6 percent of their CD sales, but from concerts, guest appearances, or advertisements. Lady Gaga, for instance, would

obviously focus on profiting from an $81.35 concert ticket than a $15 CD. In fact, many artists have realized that becoming famous is more important than actually selling a lot of music. One instance of a “Myspace artist” is Lily Allen, who basically gained attention by distributing her music for free on a social networking site. After being rejected by several record companies, Allen, through the popularity of her Myspace page, is now signed with Capitol Records, which also manages other stars such as Katy Perry and Snoop Dogg. Many current startup bands prefer this method to trying to impress a record label. This way, they can still retain full control over their art. While people will certainly buy “classics” from their favorite artists, most albums turn out to be disappointing. The good thing with file-sharing is that it allows a buyer to “test the waters” before deciding to buy. You can listen and decide whether you like it or not. If not, you don’t buy. This is just like seeing a trailer for an upcoming film: they always feature comments from critics like “Two thumbs up!” or “Riveting!” If the actual movie turns out to be terrible, isn’t that scamming people of their money? When it comes to pirating, it’s not longer about protecting the art, it’s about giving the consumers a chance to understand what they are actually buying.


Ads should add to our budget by


In the midst of a dreary economy, schools need all the revenue they can get. A recent trend for money-tight schools has been to sell ad space on everything from lockers and school buses to homework and field trip permission slips. While on-campus advertising may be unconventional, it will help bring in much-needed money. The ads revenue could be used to fund school activities and classes; athletic boosters need the money to support Lynbrook’s sports teams, and more classes could be opened so that all students who want seven classes can get them. Supplies and instructional material could also be purchased for specialized departments like art and music. Some people are worried that ads on campus will have a negative effect on students and their surroundings. “Having ads everywhere would be disruptive to the school environment,” says business teacher Andrea Badger. “We are already bombarded by ads in everyday life. School should be neutral, a safe space for students and staff alike.” It would be distracting if big brand names were spray-painted all over campus, but people would get used to them after a while. “I wouldn’t mind having ads on my locker,” says freshman Amy Wei, “especially if it helps the school.” Unconvinced parents, teachers, and administrators are concerned that the content of ads may send students the wrong message through images of drugs or the use of sex appeal. However, the school can regulate ad content; as the client, we have negotiating power. Also, high school students can make decisions for themselves and won’t go clamoring after every item advertised. Of course, there is no ideal solution to the economic crisis. But if schools in other states have already implemented on-campus advertising, then it couldn’t hurt Lynbrook to try it, too. PHOTO IILLUSTRATION BY SUCHETA KORWAR & NOORSHER AHMED


Junior Kavitha Aravindhan has attended the Harry Potter Convention and she listens to “wizard rock.” She says the best thing about Harry Potter is “the world it has created all on its own, where people can dream and be themselves.The fandom is an amazing place and being a part of it is an experience I wouldn’t trade away for anything. I love Harry Potter because it has it has brought people together on taught valuable lessons.” Aravindhan says that Rowling has inspired her to become an author. Senior William Chiu has been a diehard Harry Potter fan for ten years. The reason Chiu keeps coming back to these books is because “of its overarching themes. The Harry Potter books teach us to be brave in the face of adversity, to be courageous in what we try to accomplish, to value friends as they are the ones who will always be there for us and that love conquers over evil.” Harry Potter has been involved in sophomore Patrick Smith’s life ever since he was six years old, when his grandmother read them to him during the summer. Smith says that he loves the books and movies because “they offer a sense of escape from stress and life situations. I just love the way that the reader has to be totally involved in reading

We only come for Hermione You’d think that the hottest hero on the silver screen would be the one with iron abs that could suck blood and turn into a werewolf in the Twilight saga, or the guy who nonchalantly takes out an entire mob of thugs using only a ballpoint pen in the

because every nuance such as complex characters, twisted plots, tiny items, contribute to the greater understanding of the book.” For ten years, junior Zia Syed is such a fan that despite being bullied in middle school for his Harry Potter obsession, he says, “It’s a commitment that I don’t regret making. I’ll never stop reading these books. I wouldn’t miss the opening night for anything. If people mess with Harry Potter, they’re messing with the moral code that people who read Harry Potter adopt; the moral code of right vs. wrong, honesty, etc. We’ll stand up to them, we always have.” Sophomore Aishwarya Borkar has been a Harry Potter fan for the past seven years; however, Borkar hates the movies. She offers a new perspective, saying, “If the movie producers waited until all the books released, then they would have been able to make sure all the important details to make the story flow were present. The movies just don’t go into as much depth and don’t do the books justice.”

Bourne trilogy. Yet this Nov. 19, it turns out that the bigshot hero is the one that holds the record for number of faints in a single reel. I’ve read the books, and they are good. But the movies? That’s an entirely different story. Literally. Yes, the main plot is the same, and yes, Harry kills Voldemort, but the scripts have been extremely unfaithful to the books. From movies one to four, whole scenes were deleted, which really ticked off those who read the novels. It is understanable that movie adaptations of novels cut considerable amounts of the original book to fit the story into a 120 minute time frame. But the Harry Potter and his friends still have trouble taming their hormones after puberty. These awkward teen situations are hastily squeezed in, resulting in a rushed and confusing film filled with “what just happened?” moments. So what about the Deathly Hallows? The big finale? On the bright side, having two parts allows room for more story development, and we can expect superb acting

from the entire cast. On the downside, it is directed by David Yates; his feature-length films just never seem to work out. So far, the Yate installations of the Potter saga (5 and 6) have been disappointing. So why Warner Bros. is continually asking him to come back and direct? Another question is whether the story should be split into two parts. Although two would allow for more time, it seems that there is no effective way to create an ending in the middle of the plot, and then pick up again later in a second film. This could lead to a frustrating “to-be-continued” scene like the one in The Matrix Reloaded. Originally, the movie and its sequel were meant to be one. But because of the abrupt ending, no one could pick up on the next film. So what do you think? A box-office knockout? Or just another flick filled with emotional, wizard drama-queens? I’m going to see it just because I’m one of those guys who has to finish a series no matter how bad it is (And yes, I admit, I go to see Emma Watson.) But I’ll be attending with low expectations.



Three twists on one Thanksgiving classic by

charuMEHRA & laurenTAI

Food teacher Ms. Hamilton’s Pumpkin Pancakes

Do the annually unchanging pumpkin pies bore you to sleep (that, and the tryptophan in the turkey)? This Thanksgiving, spice up the usual cliché concoctions by trying some of these versatile pumpkin recipes. These recipes are brought to you by your fellow students and teacher at Lynbrook. They are simple enough for beginners to try but are so delicious that they taste like the food of an Iron Chef. Bon Appetit!

Ingredients: 1 tbsp baking powder 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg 1/4 tsp salt 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 2 tbsp sugar 3/4 cup ricotta cheese 1/4 cup pumpkin puree 2 eggs 2/3 cup milk 1/2 lemon, juiced and zested


Junior Katherine Chen’s Pumpkin Pockets

Ingredients: 8 ounces cream cheese 1/2 cup sugar 1 cup pumpkin puree 2 tbsp all-purpose flour 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice 1 package thin wonton wrappers 1/2 stick melted butter 2 tbsp sugar mixed with ½ tsp cinnamon water

Procedure: 1. Put cream cheese, pumpkin puree, 1/4 cup sugar, flour and pumpkin pie spice in processor 2. Take one wonton wrapper and brush two adjacent edges of the square wrapper with water. Put teaspoon of the pumpkin mixture onto the center of the square. Fold in half diagonally so the wet edges meet the dry edges and press to seal. 3. Repeat until all filling is used. Make fork-tine marks on the two isosceles sides. Bake at 375 degrees until brown on the edges. 4. Brush the baked pumpkin pockets with melted butter. Sprinkle the prepared cinnamon sugar over the triangles.

Procedure: 1. Combine flour, baking powder, nutmeg, salt and sugar in a small bowl. 2. Whisk together the cheese, pumpkin, eggs, milk, lemon juice and zest in a large bowl. 3. Whisk the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. 4. Spray a large nonstick pan with nonstick spray and preheat over medium heat. 5. For each pancake, pour approximately 1/4 cup measure of the batter in the pan and cook on both sides until light golden brown.

Sophomore Erika DuBoff’s Pumpkin Ice Cream

Ingredients: 3/2 cups whole milk 1 cup brown sugar 2 tbsp molasses 7/4 cups pumpkin puree 3/2 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp fresh ginger 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg 1/2 cup half and half 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 cup crumbled gingersnaps (cookies)

Procedure: 1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together milk, brown sugar, and molasses until sugar is dissolved. (1-2 mins) 2. Stir in the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Then add in half and half and vanilla. 3. Turn on the ice cream machine and pour in the mixture. Wait for 20 minutes. Then add in the crumbled cookies, and let it mix. 4. The ice cream at this state will have a soft and creamy texture like soft serve. If firmer texture is desired, then transfer the ice cream into an airtight container and place in the freezer for about 2 hours before serving.

Seike up a notch with aikidoawesome Seikekicks doesit karate so he is really by


As a freshman and senior literature teacher at Lynbrook, David Andrew Seike may seem like the average teacher on campus. However, a lot more than literary education occurs in room 202. With an extremely busy work schedule throughout the day, Seike still finds a way to incorporate his favorite pastimes at school. Martial arts has been a major extracurricular activity for Seike since his childhood, and he has tried his best to pass on that passion to students at Lynbrook. Every Friday at lunch, Mr. Seike teaches Martial Arts as an advisor to students in the Martial Arts Club. At every meeting, members dress up in full karate attire as they prepare for the day’s lesson. Done to mirror a formal simulation of a regular martial arts class, he guides his students to master a form of samurai art known as Aikido, which most nearly means a way to harmonize energy. Through this he proves to his pupils that contrary to popular belief, martial arts is more of an art form than a sport. It is about self-improvement rather than physicality.

“Because Martial Arts is about self-defense, competition cannot exist,” says Seike, “and competition breeds ignorance which I feel is something Lynbrook students need to learn; that not everything has to be about winning or losing.” While he has only been teaching it for a few years, Seike has been practicing this art for over twenty years from the time when he was a young kid. However, his long-term passion for martial arts did not exactly begin with a need for selfdefense skills. It was mainly for the strong motivation to become a man. “I grew up in San Francisco in an environment that wasn’t all Asian,” says Seike. “Being the small Asian kid that I was, I wanted to become stronger and martial arts was one way that I could do just that.” Martial arts was able to give him confidence as a child, and since then it has been a form of self improvement for him. “I’ve continued to do martial arts for so many years because it has helped me gain self control, a skill that I believe is very important in life,” says Seike. “Once you realize how much damage you can inflict on someone else, you understand that the thing you must fight is yourself.” LAUREN TAI—EPIC


Imagine walking into school or work one morning and finding the once occupied classrooms or cubicles completely deserted. This is the spectacle that greets Todd Dempsy when he walks into his office in the opening scene of the hilarious new NBC comedy, Outsourced. Dempsy, played by actor Ben Rappaport, is an eager new manager in charge of a call center for the company Mid America Novelties; but to his dismay, he walks into work and discovers that his entire team has been outsourced to India. With his only other option being unemployment, Dempsy grudgingly packs up his things and transfers to India, where he meets his ragtag team of misfit employees. Thankfully, Outsourced made the right decision to cast Indians for the Indian roles. However, in other aspects, the show does a poor job of convincing

viewers that it actually takes place in India. During an outdoor scene, Dempsy drives around on a road that is made to look like the bustling streets of India, but only looks like an American set filled with a few swerving cars and motionless bystanders. On the other hand, one of the best features of the show is that a new aspect of Indian or American culture is discussed in each episode. For example, one episode revolves around Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, while another episode focuses on the American tradition of Black Friday. Outsourced does a good job of balancing its content with Indian

and American cultural habits and educating viewers while making them laugh. The true essence of the show isn’t just about the fact that the workers are funny Indians working for an American company. It’s about regular office life, the growth and development of the characters, their intricate relationships and learning to embrace any culture. So, if you’re ready to laugh about both Indian and American cultural quirks, tune in to a new episode of Outsourced every Thursday night at 9:30 pm on NBC.



Kid Cudi’s album fails to take off by


Kid Cudi has a reputation for being inconsistent. In the first half of his first mixtape A Kid Named Cudi, Cudi reflects upon loneliness, wonders how he will be remembered after death. But by the later stages, he was reduced to babbling about marijuana. After a successful debut to mainstream audiences with last year’s hit album Man on the Moon: The End of Day, many wondered if his second album would be able to surpass the first. However, Kid Cudi has clearly matured by following up with an impressive second showing, Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager. Within the album, Cudi experiments with a variety of singing voices since his earliest days, ranging from pure rap in “Scott Mescudi vs. The World,” to singsong whisper in “MANIAC,” to mournful chanting in “Trapped in My Mind.” The album’s darkest moments come up when Cudi discusses his former cocaine addiction. In “The End,” the hook, “I’d never do it again,” is repeated throughout the song as guest rappers describe their experiences with the drug, and in “All Along,” Cudi expresses remorse as he finally realizes “I don’t want what I need, what I need hates me.” While Cudi shows both musical and personal growth throughout Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager, the album’s dulled impact can be attributed to the lack of anything particularly ear-catching. Cudi’s singles this album, “REVOFEV,” “Erase Me,” or “Mr. Rager,” aren’t bland, but none of them come close to last year’s smash hit “Pursuit of Happiness.” Out of the three singles, the most promising track, “Mr. Rager,” continually builds up but never satisifies. Overall, the album is enjoyable, and is an impressive sophomore album. It is clear by the musical changes in this album that Cudi has grown a lot. His first album was dreamlike in quality, and depicted a young upstart caught up with being famous. In his second album, Kid Cudi shows that he was more than willing to descend back to Earth.

Shop ‘til you drop! Every boyfriend’s worst nightmare is approaching: Black Friday. Lucky for you loyal followers, I have created a guide so you are familiar with what is to come and hopefully devise a plan to get out of this disaster. You wake up: Because the best deals are all sold before 5 am, expect to be awake at 2:30 am and ready by 2:40 am. You need to be filled with enough bread to last you 10 hours inside a crowded mall full of lunatics that are trying to buy completely unnecessary items marked on sale. Expect to be circling the parking lot at around 3 am for half an hour. Odds are that your parking spot will be a dreadfully long walk from the mall, which you’ll come to regret later when you have a million bags in your arms. But moving on, after you arrive at the mall, you will then realize that your girlfriend lied to you, because the mall doesn’t open at 3 am, it opens at 5. But in order for you to get into the lines that let you in the stores, you need to wait in line to go inside the mall. Basically you are getting in line to get into another line. (Yes, believe it or not, this is the event girls love, also known as shopping.) You wait for her to find something: When you finally get into the store, it’ll probably be about 5 am. Think of all the things you could’ve done in those few hours you’ve been lingering around aimlessly; you could have gotten to Platinum ranking in Starcraft 2 or made some progress in your COD mission. Unfortunately for you, it doesn’t end there. You’ll also be standing the whole time, as the only one or two husband chairs (a chair strategically placed by the retailer for the guys to sit in comfortably while women do their thing) will almost definitely be occupied by a husky, menacinglooking man that could probably break you in half if you stepped too close. By now it’s too late for you to make your escape. She finds something: Now, just because she has finally found a blouse that looks exactly like the one she wore last Friday does not mean you are even close to concluding this fiasco. The worst part is when your girl tries on the clothing item(s) that she finds, and asks you for commentary. By trial and error, I can tell you no matter what response you provide, it will result in either: an unsatisfactory grunt, some form of corporeal punishment, or the worst, a desire to find a completely new outfit. There is truly no distinction between “looks good,” “ehh,” and “what were you thinking…” And take it from me: pretending to be asleep during this process will not get you anywhere. She finds something, and ignores you: Once again, don’t think you are in the clear yet, because even if she finally decides to purchase something, she can, and probably will, change her mind faster than you can assemble your homework during tutorial. The two hour line at Forever 21 gives her plenty of time to rescind her decision, and if that happens, you’re back to square one. She just might see someone on the other side of the store with the very same jacket, but with a shinier button, which means that not only will you go back to the drawing board, you will be employed to search past 500 people that just seem determined to prevent you from finding that hideous jacket. Somehow you arrive at the register: Congratulations, you made it to the home stretch! People say that Black Friday is a great shopping day because of the multitude of sales going on. This is simply an excuse for your lady friend to triple the amount of things she would have normally gotten. And what’s worse is that it’s your wallet that’s taking the hit. After you leave the mall and weep over this disastrous holiday, you and your companion will realize that you have both forgotten where you parked earlier. Hey, be glad, 364 days until the next Black Friday! xoxo Gossip Boy, The Jake Lu

Lynbrook students brings imagination to life with “do-it-yourself” approach to fashion dianaDING

Most people go to the mall when they need a new outfit, but some students who have a way with fabric take matters into their own hands. Clothing has become much more than a necessity to these students; it is a means of self expression and has had a deep impact on their lives. Senior Adam Lee started sewing in 7th grade core classes, but his love for the craft soon moved outside of the classroom. “After I learned to sew at Miller, I started ‘youtub-ing’ videos and began to experiment more with the sewing machine,” says Lee about his first experience with creating clothing. Lee has come a long way since his beginnings as a seventh-grade pillow maker; he has made various dresses for past fashion shows, including one made of newspaper. Lee and other DIY-ers feel satisfied after completing a piece because of the responses that they receive. Some students comment on the originality, while others were in disbelief that the garment was actually handmade. Says senior Alyssa Look, who is President of In Design, “It’s rewarding because you feel a sense of accomplishment and your hard work is definitely paid off. You can feel proud when people say, ‘That’s a really cute dress, where did you get it?’ and you can say, ‘Oh, haha, I made it.’ To see their reaction is the best.” The key to a one-of-a-kind piece is the design. Because of this, some students prefer not to use patterns, templates used to trace pieces of the garment, because the clothing is not as distinctive. Look jokes, “Patterns are my worst enemy in the sewing world.” Avoiding patterns requires creativity, and designers often find inspiration where it is least expected. Senior Jasmine Yang explains, “I get inspiration from random places, like if I see something I like on a girl around school, I might take that aspect and try to design something around it, or if I’m on Tumblr or something, they have interesting fashion pictures.” Yang is not only developing as an aspiring fashion designer, she has also begun to profit off of her talents. “Last year I asked my friend if she would be interested in paying me if I made her [a dress] and she told me yes, so that’s when I started designing for my friends. I gradually got better and more people were interested in me making something for them; I had a whole list last year that I actually didn’t get to finish of dresses and such and I even made a vest once,” says Yang. Even at Yang’s level of experience, each one of her creations is no simple feat, the simplest of designs can take around half an hour. But Yang’s more sophisticated designs can take anywhere from a week to two. Yang’s proudest accomplishment was a pink seersucker dress that made its debut at last year’s 2009 In Design Fashion Show. It was a proud achievement marking her experience from when she started in grade school. Each person takes a different approach towards the designing process, while most begin with sketches to outline their basic ideas, Yang prefers to store as much as possible mentally, and continuing with her idea on her mind, not putting things on paper until near finalized. Yang wishes to keep designing after high school and continue her entrepreneurial spirit. Like many others, she has run into a few obstacles, but is willing to explore new opportunities. “My parents aren’t all for me to going to a fashion school so I’m most likely going to a UC and double majoring design there.” However, she says, “ I guess I’ll try maybe starting an online business first and see how that goes.” Student interest in the fashion industry continues to grow, and hopefully can grow more, with the success of the previous In Design fashion show.




Coming by car, train and in bike lane Teachers try and get the best of both worlds by commuting to school everyday by


They come by car. They come by bike. They come by…train? Most commuting teachers come by car, like literature teacher Maggie Welsh. Roy Rocklin, chemistry teacher, bikes to school. And then there is Robert Richmond, also a literature teacher, who takes the Caltrain from San Francisco to get to Lynbrook. For the most part, the time spent getting to and from school is relegated to the farthest corners of one’s consciousness. But for these teachers, commuting occupies more than just a small portion of their awareness. Most teachers can cite the cost of living in the Lynbrook area as their major reason for commuting far distances. There are, however, some other factors that come into play. Rocklin, who lives between Fremont and Homestead High School, could easily drive to school in ten minutes. “But,” he says, “I chose to ride because I need the exercise. A slothful lifestyle means you won’t be living a long life.” Rocklin travels the 5.6 mile distance from his home to Lynbrook in around thirty minutes, carrying all his materials in a pannier strapped to his bike. In the winter, however, he often drives instead to avoid safety and weather problems. “I wish bicycles were more important to the community,” says Rocklin. At the same time, he recognizes that it is ultimately each individual’s choice to bike or not. Says Rocklin, “I live relatively close, so it’s not that hard to bike.”

Rocklin says that personally, biking is good for another reason. “I definitely sleep better at night when I ride to school. If I don’t get enough exercise, I wake up in the middle of the night and it’s hard to go back to sleep.” Rocklin has practical reasons for choosing a different mode of transportation; so does Richmond who, along with simply liking the idea of taking the train, finds that it is a good time to do work. “I get a lot done grading and marking and planning,” he says. “If I were driving, it wouldn’t be possible to do that.” Every school day Richmond and his wife, who teaches literature at Monta Vista, get up at 5 am and leave for the 22nd Street Station in San Francisco by 6 am They take the Caltrain until the Mountain View station, where they have two old cars parked. From there, they drive to their respective schools. Last year, Richmond’s commuting met with a complication. The Mountain View station had changed the weekend parking spaces, but the changes were not clearly marked. As a result, Richmond and his wife had their cars towed away. “I missed a lot of school. It cost hundreds of dollars to get the car back,” says Richmond. “That was a bad, bad day.” Although timetable complications make the additional drive from Mountain View a necessity, Richmond is very content with his current situation. “I definitely did not want to give up this job,” he says about his move to San Francisco at the end of the 2008-2009 school year. At the same time, he likes what San Francisco can give him. “I didn’t grow up in a city, but I’ve found that I’m very much a city person…I like being able to walk and

exercise and see all kinds of interesting people.” Being able to have the best from both communities is also the reason why Welsh chooses to commute. “I really wanted to work in this kind of atmosphere. At the same time, I don’t want to live in San Jose. I want to live near the ocean, and I want to live in the Santa Cruz community.” Welsh’s situation is slightly different from most teachers commuting from Santa Cruz, as she has a daughter who commutes with her and attends Miller Middle School. “She longs to be in the same neighborhood, to go out and bike with her friends. She really only has one close friend in Santa Cruz. We also don’t live in their neighborhood, so it’s not as natural. That loss of a connection to the neighborhood...That’s the only thing I don’t like about having to commute.” What she does appreciate is the environment that her daughter can grow up in. As a teacher, she has the ability to bring her daughter into the district, even though she lives in Santa Cruz. “Lynbrook has different Asian cultures that have very protective parents who are involved and highly focused on their son/daughter’s education. This is an extremely positive thing—so positive that I want my daughter to have the effects of that,” says Welsh. A different observation, Welsh says, is that “in Santa Cruz, people are very capable of relaxing…I feel like [Lynbrook] is so focused on the goal of getting into a very good college that sometimes the students aren’t really balanced out that way.” Teachers may come by car, bicycle or even train, but they ultimately have the same goal as the two thousand students on campus—brave the traffic and get to school on time.

Lynbrook students go organic for health and community by


In a time where health is on everyone’s mind and organic is the new fad, students and their families are taking measures to eat as healthy as possible. One example is senior Erin Bechly and her family, who get their fresh produce from www.freshnessfarms. com, which lets them buy produce, eggs and bread from local farms and bakeries and then pick up the produce at a selected location each week. Bechly says, “We decided to switch to organic farms a few years ago because we just thought the food tasted better and seemed to be more nutritious.” The farms that sell produce through Freshness Farms are located in Watsonville, Pajaro Valley and Aptos, California. Produce is grown and then sent weekly to customers around the Bay Area. Each week, customers can order either a “full bag” or “half bag” of produce that consists of seasonal produce and that can be grown without artificial fertilizers. Bechly says, “We usually get a lot of food in those bags, and by the time the next food shipment comes we still have vegetables left over from the last one, so the amount of food isn’t a problem.” However, Bechly’s family does supplement their shipment with food bought at conventional food stores and farmer’s markets. Other students like junior Samar Khan get almost entirely all of their food from local sources. Over the summer, she and her family purchased two chickens for eggs after learning how hens are cruelly treated in factory farms.

However, her chickens are not old enough to produce eggs yet, so she buys eggs from a neighbor with chickens. Khan says, “The eggs you find at the grocery store are all uniformly shaped and sized but the eggs from these chickens are all different shapes, sizes and even colors. Some are dark brown, some tan, some are even green. And they all taste better than anything from [conventional grocery stores].” Khan’s family goes to local farmers markets to get fruit, vegetables, and other food like bread. However, Khan’s family also purchases local meat. They get their meat directly from a Vacaville farm called Nature’s Bounty, which raises sheep, goats, and cows without hormones or chemicals. Customers are allowed and invited to come see their animals and the healthy environment they live in. The animals are also slaughtered on the farm according to customers’ destires. “The meat is really good quality, when we first took the meat to get skinned and cut by our butcher, he said he was surprised by the firmness of the meat, and how the skin did not slide off easily like other commercial chickens,” says Khan. Khan’s family’s decision to switch to all organic food mostly stemmed from a desire to be healthier, b u t they also switched because of a sense of responsibility. Khan says, “It feels good to know that your food came from close by, and that you’re supporting your community while eating healthier.”


Junior Tiffani Lau prepares the pass to one of her teammates after a successful counter attack at the CCS game on Nov. 10 at Lynbrook against Mitty.

League champs undeterred by CCS loss by


As the final seconds on the clock ticked down, the girls’ faces lit up as the crowd cheered. The girls had just defeated the Wilcox Chargers and won the league championship. The win against Wilcox was very unexpected for the team, as the Vikings had lost to the Chargers repeatedly throughout this year’s season. This surprising victory proved Lynbrook’s improved ability to compete at a higher level, where the team had the opportunity to face opponents from the upper leagues as well as teams from all over Central California. This is the second time in 12 years in which the Lady Vikings have qualified for CCS, allowing them compete for an advance in the water polo championship. Furthermore, this is the first time in six years that the

Football: rebuild foundation before winning With the Giants having just won their first World Series in 56 years, us, Bay Area folks, tune our televisions into the next showing of our beloved San Francisco 49ers and/or Oakland Raiders. Having only another half of the regular season to make a turnaround, the pressure is on for the local football teams to

team has made it to CCS, changing the outlook of the Vikings water polo future. Sophomore Emily Fong says, “This game proved how much we have improved because when we played Wilcox the first time, it didn’t turn out so well.” The final score of defeating the Wilcox Chargers ended with a nine to five victory with seniors Caroline Diehl, Ashley Tsai and Emmeline Tsen and sophomores Fong and Natalie Popescu scoring. The Varsity girls’ team practiced countless hours learning new techniques, strategies and new plays in order to prepare for CCS. Says junior Tiffani Lau, “Practice got harder as we prepared for CCS.” Diehl was voted captain of the team and led the team to bond and work together, ensuring that everyone played to the best of their ability. Head coach Scott Blake spoke highly of his girls. As a previous girls’ water polo coach at Archbishop Mitty High

impress us much like the orange and black clad Giants did. But how are they doing right now? As the 49ers enter their 64th franchise year, it’s evident that there is definitely room for improvement, It’s not like they’re missing any form of talent in their game; star players like running-back Frank Gore and tight end Vernon Davis on offense along with defensive end Justin Smith and inside linebacker Patrick Willis prove that the team’s problem doesn’t come from their skill, but perhaps in their ability to play together and collectively as a team. Coaching the team for his second consecutive season, Mike Singletary steps onto the field weekly to direct his 49ers to a hopeful victory. Finishing his pioneer season as head coach last year with an 8-8 record, he has shown that he is capable of leading the Niners to victory. But with a 0-5 start to the season, it he may need a bit more time to settle in with his new team.

School, Blake feels that the girls have come a long way. He drilled his team, teaching them all the tricks in his book in preparation for the big game. In the first round of CCS, the girls played against Archbishop Mitty, a team two leagues above them. The girls were trailing right behind Mitty ending the first quarter with a score of four to one with Mitty up three. Unfortunately, the Monarchs kept the lead and defeated theVikings, ending a memorable season. Says Diehl, “I’m sad I have to leave when it really looks like things are just starting to get going for [the team]. I will miss it a lot, but I’m glad that we got to prove a lot of people wrong this season. As they go on as a team they can really turn around girls’ water polo program at Lynbrook.” Despite the loss at CCS, the Varsity girls’ water polo team still ended the season with the league champions title. Diehl says, “I am proud of what we have accomplished this year and could not have asked for more. I [hope] next year we go to CCS continuing our legacy as league champions.”

A new coach in a struggling team doesn’t guarantee immediate results, but rather, a period of rebuilding which should improve the team in the second half of this season and in future seasons. On a more player-oriented note, the Niners’ slightly struggling defense could also use a bit of a mental boost. If they manage to successfully adopt a new mentality for combating their battles on the hundredyard turf, the capabilities of the Niners should never be underestimated. Even though I don’t see the 49ers being Super Bowl champs or even as a playoff trekking team, I must acknowledge that this season will be important for them. As a season that should be spent rebuilding the foundations of the team, completing plays as a team should be the primary concern for the 49ers. But if Mike Singletary cannot regroup his team together (more notably his defense), then the team’s problems aren’t

limited to just this season. At the other side of town, the Oakland Raiders have proved to be quite the capable team this year. With a current winning record of five wins to four losses, it seems that it is possible for the Raiders to finally mark a turning point for their franchise. While the Raiders haven’t had a winning season since the one in 2002, I don’t think it’s completely impossible for the Raider Nation to be in for a treat this year. Considering the unquestionably horrible previous seasons for both the 49ers and Raiders, it’s hard to say that they’ll make it far into the season this year, but it’s never impossible for the teams to prove me wrong. ‘Course I’d love to see a Super Bowl trophy for either team, but it’d better be one helluva game to trump the Giantsgenerated excitement from the fantastic baseball season.

LHS cheer competes in USA regionals by


The heat of competition was on as colorful pom-poms flashed in front of an enthusiastic crowd of spectators— all waiting to experience the fiery passion and intensity brought about by the sport of cheerleading. Lynbrook placed fifth in their division on Nov. 7 at the USA Regional Competition. The team received 72 points, three points away from qualifying for Nationals. Varsity captain, Senior Elizabeth Swan, says, “ For that competition, with it being the first one, [the result] was pretty good.” For many girls on the team, this competition was their first official introduction to the competitive world of cheerleading. Sophomore Shirley Kiang explains, “We didn’t go to any competitions last year, so [this competition] overall is just for experience.” The girls have experienced countless changes throughout the season, including stricter attendence policies and more rigorous warm-up routines. However, the greatest change for the team this year has been the arrival of their new coach, Margaret Robinson. The team agrees that Robinson has been a positive impact on the group. “Our new coach is stricter than our previous coach, she makes us work harder. [However] you can see in the results, we’re a lot cleaner [in our performance].” Kiang explains. Robinson has also brought about some additional changes to the team. In previous years, it was a default notation that only upperclassmen were allowed to perform in the front row of a cheer routine. Coach Robinson has changed this policy so that dance formations are solely based off of skill and effort which means that it is now possible for underclassmen to appear at the front of a routine. After completing a solid performance, the girls walked out of the competition floor feeling relieved. “I think we did a pretty good job for [our] first competition,” freshman Selin Toprak said after the team finished up in the Intermediate division. As for Nationals, Swan says, “I definitely think we can qualify [next time].” JOY SHEN—EPIC

The cheer team strikes its ending pyramid stunt during the USA regional competition on Nov. 7 at Washington High School in Fremont. The team placed fifth in its division.



Although the scores of the cross country CCS meet were not available at the time of publication, the team ran at the meet on Nov. 13. After a successful season in the most difficult league of CCS with several runners making personal bests at each meet, the season as a whole was a successful one. and qualifying for CCS was even better of an opportunity for the team. After both the boys and girls varsity divisions placed third at Leagues, the cross country team qualified for CCS finals. Coach Jake White says, “We are really hopeful for the upcoming meet and our strong performance at Leagues has made us more optimistic for CCS and the state meet Nov. 27.” At Leagues, all league varsity runner Andrew Kuo finished fifth. Senior Cindy Huang finished third and sophomore Shaelyn Silverman finished right behind her, placing fourth, in the girls varsity division.

“Huang and Kuo are very likely to qualify for States,” says Silverman, “and although everyone is saying I may too, it is a lot of pressure.” Silverman, Kuo and Huang may qualify for the state meet on November 27 if they run a certain time that would qualify them, or if they place in the top 14 at the CCS meet. Huang says, “It’s been a really great season and I’m really looking forward to CCS. The whole team is hoping to do well at CCS.” The week before the meet, the team followed a very relaxed training schedule. Because training has to be done throughout the season, the team took it easy, running only five to seven miles, and around two for the rest of the week. “We wanted to make sure we were relaxed but at the same time in great shape for the meet,” says Silverman, “We had trained hard throughout the season, so the mean prepping was done.” The team got together to prepare for the meet by having a pasta party on Nov. 12. The qualifying runners will run on Nov. 27 at States.


Cross country runners hope for state qualification

Junior Andrew Kuo, an all league varsity runner, finished fifth at the Crystal Springs meet on Nov. 2.

Girls’ golf triumphant in CCS despite obstacles by


It’s her first game. She played for the past two years, but this is her first tournament. Sophomore Kimberly Vaz recalls, “It was my last hole and I knew I had the concentration to do it. I putted carefully and watched as the ball nearly missed the hole. I looked again and surprisingly saw that the ball was in the hole, and I knew I did it. I happily jumped up and down as I had just completed my first tournament.” The Lynbrook girls’ golf team is placed first in the Blossom Valley Athletic League and two juniors Evelyn Chu and Liz Liao, participated in CCS. The Central Coast Section Championships were held in Rancho Canada golf course at Carmel on Tuesday, Nov. 2. In regards to CCS, Liao says, “CCS is an amazing ex-

perience because you meet people who you never knew played golf—there are just so many good players out there and it is good to go to these tournaments to see the scope and skills of the playing field.” Coach Art Zimmermann stays positive about the team and adds, “Due to an unfortunate situation Evelyn and Liz were late to the course and had little time to warm up. It took them several holes to warm-up but at this level, every hole counts. However, I am sure they could have come very close to qualifying and there is always next year. We finished in the top 20.” According to Zimmermann, the team needs to work on putting for the next season. The team’s motto is, “Drive for show, and putt for dough.” Zimmermann adds, “We have great depth on this team and tee box to green we are number one in league. This

will carry over to next year and we will be even stronger with three seniors and three juniors as starters. I am sure we will be going back to CCS.” Junior Evelyn Chu says, “I’m happy that I made it to CCS this year, but I know things could have gone better. The Carmel championship was one of those days that everything was not working too well. Still, I really enjoyed it and it was an amazing season with the team.” Reflecting on the entire team experience,” Chu adds, “As a team or individual, all of us can really improve on stepping up when we really need to. Especially in games against stronger opponents, it’s a time where it calls for everyone to have a good game.” The team hopes to have more people try out next year in order to help continue the amazing legacy that the ladies have established.

Getting in sync with the water ballerina Reporter Irene Hsu interviews sophomore Sara Aurora about synchronized swimming Irene Hsu: Why did you decide to pick up synchronized swimming?

SA: Competition itself is scary for the first time in front of a bunch of people you don’t know.

Sara Aurora: When I was six, I saw my sister, who was eight, do synchronized swimming, and I immediately wanted to join.

IH: How do you balance that with schoolwork?

IH: Who do you look to for inspiration when you do synchronized swimming? SA: I look to my coaches, Chris Carver and Kendra Zanotto. They’ve both been involved in the Olympics, and to be coached by them is great. Coach Carver coached the Olympic team, and Coach Zanotto swam on the team in an Olympic game, so it’s a great experience to learn from them. IH: Are you on multiple teams, then? SA: No, I’m only allowed to swim for one club at a time, so I go to Santa Clara Aquamaids. It’s pretty much all year, except for a few two-week breaks over the summer. I haven’t gone on vacations for a long time, but it’s not just because of synchro. We’re always practicing for competitions, and the whole team gets to go. IH: How much time do you spend practicing a week? What do your practices consist of? SA: I spend about 25 hours a week for synchronized swimming, including in the pool and out of the pool. Outside the pool, we do workouts at the gym to build muscle. We have practice 3 hours everyday, except Sundays. I don’t think I’ve missed many practices; my coaches are really strict about attendance and get really mad if we don’t show up. DANIELLE LERNER—EPIC IH: What is the most difficult thing about synchroAurora swims for the Santa Clara Aquamaids year-round. nized swimming?

Offer expires: Oct 15th 2010

SA: Yeah, that’s really tough, but I try to get most things done throughout the day. I usually stay up until 12 or 1 am, finishing homework after practice. It sucks, because I have a first period, but I usually get things done. IH: A lot of people say that synchronized swimming is like dance and swimming combined. Do you think this is true? SA: It is, but I would also say it is like cheer or gymnastics, in terms of stunting. We sometimes lift girls in the water, like cheerleaders would on land. That’s probably one of my favorite formations. IH: Have you ever gotten injured during performing during a routine? SA: Yeah, two years ago, I popped out my shoulder while lifting someone for our routine, and it still hurts if I don’t use [my arm] correctly. It’s healing though, and hopefully it won’t bother me too much. IH: What reaction do you get from people when you tell them you’re a synchronized swimmer? SA: Some people know about synchronized swimming; others have no idea what it is. IH: Do you plan to pursue synchronized swimming at an Olympic level? SA: I don’t know, I’ll have to see how things turn out these few years. I’m going to keep swimming until the end of highschool, so maybe.



(Pet)ite Friends by

danielleLERNER & austinYU

The old proverb “a dog is man’s best friend� does not apply to everyone. These Lynbrook students have unconventional pets covering a wide variety of species. Christina Sung (11), top right, holds her red-eared slider turtle up to the camera. Kathleen Sun (12), top left, cradles her chicken, which resides in a coop in her backyard and produces eggs daily. Lucas Ranieri (10), bottom right, affectionately reaches out a hand to his pet chinchilla, a member of the rodent family. Shravya Adusumilli (9), middle, poses with her talking parrot during one of the rare moments it would sit still. These students take pride in their unusual choices of animal companionship, ultimately proving that best friends come in all shapes, sizes and forms.

Issue 3, 2010  

Volume 46, Issue 3, November 16, 2010

Issue 3, 2010  

Volume 46, Issue 3, November 16, 2010