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Pointing the way Compass Point helps students navigate toward academic and personal success by


College fever is in the air more so than ever as anxious seniors make final decisions this time of year. At Lynbrook, students are particularly invested in the college process. Possessing firsthand experience with this intense environment, Lynbrook graduates have created a mentor program called Compass Point Mentorship to help guide current Lynbrook students through the college application stage. 2010 Lynbrook graduates Kavya Shankar and Carl Shan created Compass Point Mentorship to connect Lynbrook graduates with rising juniors and seniors to provide them with college advice as well as opportunities for leadership development and personal growth. The program matches current Lynbrook upperclassmen with alumni who are working or majoring in their desired field. On founding Compass Point, Shan says, “Both Kavya and I are dedicated to helping others who were once in our position. Both of us came to the same conclusion separately that high school students could benefit greatly from being connected with mentors who are only one year apart and have many similar interests. I think we can both acknowledge that we both have undoubtedly benefited from speaking with Lynbrook alumni older than us [during our own high school years].” Shankar adds, “I think that there’s something really powerful about Lynbrook students helping Lynbrook students that made me want to start this program… I really want to be able to give back to the high school that gave me so much.”



LHS holds walk for lupus support in honor of Eric Lin by


Five million people around the world have some form of lupus, a chronic disease in which the immune system, the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria and germs, cannot tell the difference between safe human tissue and “foreign invaders.” As a result, the immune system starts to attack the body’s healthy tissues. On Feb. 12, 2009, Eric Hao Lin, a Lynbrook student who would have been a senior this year, passed away from lupus—he was only a sophomore at the time. The Lynbrook Teen Health Awareness Club will host an awareness walk for lupus on Saturday, April 30 from 1 pm to 5 pm at the Lynbrook track. Each lap that students complete on the track will raise money based on how much their sponsors pledge. All proceeds from the Lupus Walk will go to the research at Lupus Foundation of America in Eric Lin’s name. Students can get involved by picking up an envelope from the office, getting sponsors and participating in the Lupus Walk to raise money. Students can also spread awareness for the cause by coming to support the walkers and telling all of their peers and family members to attend the walk. The money raised will be matched by corporations throughout Silicon Valley. The Lynbrook Teen Health Awareness Club will also be creating a webpage titled Page of Hope,  where people can donate to the cause online at goto/LynbrookLupusWalk. In order to organize the Walk, Lynbrook Teen Health Awareness Club went through extensive planning; the president of the club, senior Jeffrey Chen, says, “Putting up a walk requires the support of the school, students and faculty alike. You need an idea of what the walk will be like, and you slowly work backward to think of ways you can achieve those goals. Sometimes when things don’t go your way, you just look for alternatives.” Although the club was originally involved in raising awareness to teens about Hepatitis B, Chen decided, along with other officers, to expand the horizons of the club to various other problems afflicting teens today. He says, “I just felt it was overdue that nothing was actually done in [Lin’s] memory. Eric Lin was a classmate that was respected by his peers. He was a great guy that exemplified the traits of a leader and potential.” Chen states that students should participate in the walk even if they did not know Lin personally because the walk “is for a good cause that will help you recognize something that is not in our everyday bubble.” Be sure to come out and support lupus research while honoring Eric Lin at the Lynbrook track on April 30 at 1 pm.


Vice President Anika Dhamodharan “I can say I’m most like Gabriella because she is very studious yet super involved with her school. Also, she supports Troy and the rest of the East High’s basketball team, just like how I’m our basketball team’s number one fan!”

Treasurer Andrew Wong “‘We’re All In This Together’ describes my life; school can be hell, but your friends pull you through tough times. Love it or hate it, we’re here for four years and should learn to work together to achieve what no one can hope to do alone.”


Secretary Stephanie Hahm

President Kevin Tu

Social Manager Alan Chung

Junior IDC Rep. Shirley Kiang

Senior IDC Rep. Darren Shim

“I’m most like Taylor McKessie. This smart teenager finishes her work with perfection. She is also known to be highly organized. Though I am not nearly as outstanding as her, I look up to her as a role model and can relate to her the most.”

“I’m like Troy Bolton! He’s everybody’s buddy, and just like him I strive to get to meet new people and make lots of friends. He is not only a leader and captain, but is also willing to step outside of his comfort zone and pursue his dreams.”

“‘Soarin’, flyin’, there’s not a star in heaven that we can’t reach.’ The song “Breaking Free” from the first High School Musical describes my life the most because it truly symbolizes all of our struggles to reach our goals.”

“I would say I’m most like Kelsi, the rehearsal pianist because I love playing piano. We differ because Kelsi is timid, and I am not very quiet, but being IDC representative is the same as when she connects everyone in the story.”

“I would describe my high school life to the song of “The Start of Something New” because I have met so many new friends and challenges that have made everything so fun and exciting during my two years at Lynbrook High School.”


COMPASS POINT|Guiding toward success

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Compass Point is unique in that is completely free, unlike many other comprehensive college guidance programs that require a hefty fee. Shankar also stresses that the mentors are “college students who understand what kind of a high school experience the mentees have had since they went to the same school.” This offers an easy bonding opportunity. Mentors undergo a screening process evaluating their high school and college activities, expertise in areas such as public speaking or SAT preparation and time dedication to the program. So far, Compass Point has recruited eight Lynbrook alumni as mentors, not including Shan and Shankar. A variety of majors and universities are represented, including Lynbrook graduates currently attending Stanford University, UCLA, and Harvard University.

Although Compass Point is entirely student-run, Shan and Shankar have been working with the Lynbrook guidance department and principal Gail Davidson to construct an advisory board consisting of administration, professional high school counselors and teachers in order to better integrate Compass Point into the Lynbrook guidance system. Guidance counselor Malissa Goldstein, who has agreed to serve on the advisory board, comments that “pairing mentors with students in the spring of their junior year to provide them with information on college life would be an advantage. It is sometimes not financially or geographically possible to visit college campuses, and Compass Point offers an inside look that the Lynbrook Guidance department can’t necessarily offer to students.” Despite her high hopes for the program, Goldstein expresses that its success will depend on a variety of factors.

She says, “It depends on how many people from the community are interested, and how many mentors [Shan and Shankar] can provide. If possible, [Compass Point] could be offered to all juniors.” Goldstein suggests that the program be piloted and evaluated for a small group of juniors in the first year, then revised based on feedback, saying, “In the initial stages, I can see it being very valuable.” Shan expresses his vision for the future of the program, saying, “Eventually I think both Kavya and I hope to see this program expand to underprivileged communities and underserved public schools that don’t share the advantages that we were luckily able to receive by being Vikings. I think it’s in these areas that we can truly change someone’s life for the better… At the end of the day, all the mentors and I will be happy if mentees can honestly tell us that they enjoyed and benefited from the program.”

Richard Ang honored by Foundation by

PTSA “Letter to a Lynbrook Freshman”


It is a story of courage and perseverance. A story that has affected the life of senior student, Richardson Ang, for the past 11 years of his life. Every year, the Fremont Union High School District Foundation asks high school staff members to nominate students such as Ang for their remarkable achievements both in academics and their personal life. This year, the Foundation was pleased to present Ang with the Most Outstanding Student Award at the district board meeting on March 15. “We were very excited to give Richie this award because he is such an amazing person,” says Assistant to

Lynbrook PTSA is offering an opportunity for five seniors to win new iPad2s. These will be awarded as prizes to students who submit the best submissions in the literature, visual art and video/ audio categories, in response to the prompt “Letter to a Lynbrook Freshman.” The application deadline is Friday, April 29, in the PTSA box, by 5 pm. The winners will be recognized at the Lynbrook Senior Award Night, which will also honor other senior awards/scholarships, on Thursday, June 2. In addition to being a senior, the applicant must have at least one family member part of PTSA. For more information on the application process, a link to the entry form and specific entry requirements, visit the link to “Lynbrook PTSA” on the school website. Senior Awards nomination Seniors are encouraged to return the Senior Awards nomination form (the pink form that the Guidance Department handed out in Feb.) to Rosemary Bulaich in the College and Career Center. Students can fill out on the form any awards and/or scholarships that they have received in the past year and they will be recognized at the Senior Awards Night as well. Questions and/or concerns should be directed to the PTSA president at lhsptsapresident@ STAR Testing Week STAR Testing week has already begun and will continue until this Friday. Seniors will be attending mandatory class meetings while freshmen, sophomores and juniors test. Tomorrow’s testing will focus on social science and Friday on life science. Senior sessions will take place in the morning on Thursday and Friday. Check the Lynbrook website for the special testing schedule; questions should be directed to Assistant Principal Sydney Marsh at Lynbrook Employees of the Year At the Fremont Union High School District (FUHSD) Board meeting on March 15, held at Lynbrook High School, Lynbrook Employees of the Year were recognized by the community. Science teacher Amanda Alonzo was recognized as Certified Employee of the Year for her inspirational teaching and her leading of student researchers. Groundskeeper Fulgencio Pelayo was honored as Classified Employee of the Year for his dedication to keep the campus safe and well-maintained. Call and Response Movie Screening This Friday, April 15, from 4 to 6 pm, Amnesty International Club will be hosting a movie screening of Call and Response, a documentary that exposes the reality of modern-day slavery. Attendance is free, and the movie will be screened in the auditorium, in order to raise awareness for modern-day slavery.

By Saumya Kumar and Teresa Liu


Senior Richard Ang poses with his Most Outstanding Student certificate and medal presented to him at the Lynbrook Celebration on March 15.

the Principal Jan Broman, “And there is something about his charm that just knocks you flat. He looks at everything in a positive way and lives life celebrating his successes.” At the district board meeting where Lynbrook was recognized for its successes and all of the year’s staff and student achievements were acknowledged, School Psychologist Brittany Stevens praised Ang for his academic achievements as well as his successful participation in extracurricular activities such as school clubs. At the age of six, Ang was diagnosed with a condition known as astrocytoma of the hypothalamus, an inoperable brain tumor that began the course for years of treatment through surgeries and multiple hospitalizations. Treatment was not easy for Ang, for his chemotherapy had many complications which eventually led to a three month stay in the Intensive Care Unit. However, no matter how grim the situation seemed to be, Ang kept a positive attitude through the support of those around him. “When I first found out about the tumor, I was a young kid and did not really understand the severity of my medical problem,” says Ang, “However, through the years, I began to better see the difficulties I would have to overcome and though it was never easy, I learned to enjoy life for the things I have. Through all of it, I have had a lot of support from my parents as well as the community, whom, have helped me greatly in overcoming my obstacles.” Christa McAuliffe School, which he attended from first to eighth grade, supported Ang through car washes, bake sales and other events, including a Richardson Ang Day, in order to provide financial aid to his family and to bring hope into their lives. While Ang’s medical condition has slowly stabilized, he still feels some of its effects in his daily life. Memorization and learning certain concepts are difficult for Ang; however, through the national Individual Education Plan (IEP), he has been able to successfully continue his education and excel in his classes. Under the IEP, Ang is given more assistance from teachers as well as extended time periods for tests. Despite the ups and downs he has faced throughout his life, Ang feels stronger than ever and hopes to be a source of inspiration for those who are facing their own struggles, whether in academics or life. “I want those that hear my story, to think, if a six year old can do it, then so can I.”

Egyptian scholars visit Lynbrook by


It all started with Singapore, then Korea and now Egypt. Lynbrook has received countless visitors from all over the world throughout the last school year. On April 7, six Egyptians scholars visited Lynbrook as part of an international exchange program known as Fulbright Scholars. The program, administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, is a division of the Institute of International Education (IIE). Barbara Nunes of the Fremont Union High School District Board of Trustees, Principal Gail Davidson and Senior Izzy Khalil, an Egyptian native, gave the Egyptian scholars a tour of the campus and taught them about various types of programs and resources Lynbrook uses to further enhance its educational program. “[They] were very interested in the way public schools are run since most schools in Egypt are private,” says Davidson. The campus tour began at the College and Career Center where College and Career Advisor Rosemary Bulaich talked to the scholars about the wide range of colleges and

universities Lynbrook graduates attend after high school. “In Egypt, the majority of the people typically attend one or two specific universities. It’s very different from the United States,” Davidson adds. The scholars visited various classes, such as Life Skills and Studio Art, during their tour of the campus. The visitors continuously commented on the enthusiasm of the teachers and how students are always intently focused in class.With the recent events happening in Egypt, the scholars said they felt mixed feelings about being in the states. “They felt happy to be here, but distraught with the recent events occuring in their homeland,” says Davidson. Senior Izzy Khalil recalls speaking with the scholars about various topics. “We talked about soccer, the revolution and made a lot of inside jokes that only people from Egypt would get,” Khalil says, “They asked questions regarding Lynbrook’s demographics as well.” Khalil described the tour as a positive experience, “I felt very privileged to be a student ambassador to my people. It was just really rewarding overall.”

Time to stop fishing for old ideas Lynbrook ASB needs to consider implementing more original activities to encourage student participation Lynbrook High School: “where extraordinary happens,” but where originality does not. Lynbrook has a stellar ASB of 33 amazing students, but one problem it faces is a lack of original and fun events for the student body. Lynbrook’s ASB needs to create an identity that has been missing from the school’s history. Without events that separate Lynbrook from other schools in the district, the school suffers from lack of spirit and participation. Students are finding Lynbrook’s activities to be less and less original; most activities like Spikefest, staff birthdays, online elections and the numerous games in the quad are borrowed from neighboring schools. As Lynbrook continues to borrow from other schools instead of creating its own original events, it will begin losing Viking pride in terms of activities and spirit. Freshman Caitlin Lee was ecstatic about her first Sadies dance. “I thought the dance overall was fantastic—but what I liked most was the theme of Take Me to Candyland; that’s just so cute,” Lee says. Little did she know, this theme was similar to Cupertino’s Welcome Back Dance this past year, which was themed Candyland Bash. After hearing about the similarities between the schools, Lee questioned why the chosen theme was so similar to that of Cupertino’s and asked that future dance themes be more different from those of other schools. Junior Katherine Huang, who transferred from Monta Vista High School, says of how ASB event originality adds to student spirit and participation, “Lynbrook is a nice school, but when it comes to the games in the Quad, Monta Vista has [newer] events throughout the year. All I see at Lynbrook are the same events going on all the time which people don’t really participate in.” Many games that Lynbrook students witness in the quad are taken from other schools in our district; Lynbrook does not have many unique events in comparison. When put into perspective, however, ASB is not at fault for the lack of originality of these events because Lynbrook students do not participate in them. ASB Secretary senior Dennis Zhao says, “We have a lot of events but no one wants to participate in them, even when they are brand new to the school.” The problem with getting students to

participate leads to the depreciation of both the originality of ASB events as well as school spirit. ASB Treasurer junior Kevin Tu describes the process through which ASB tries to create new events while making them more enjoyable for everyone. He explains, “We first brainstorm all our events in our commission, and then take it to our teacher and Ms. Reller to get approval. We [will] continue to plan these events and add to them until the day of the event.” Tu describes how ASB constantly tries to come up with original activities to accompany all of the student body’s needs and help appeal to students. During this process, however, the new events are introduced, hesitantly accepted and thoroughly examined to check if there are any possible faults. As a result the majority of ASB events result from borrowing from other schools that have already gone through the trial process, leaving Lynbrook with few events to call its own. Lynbrook is an amazing place with an extraodinary student body, but the students themselves can definitely work to help improve the originality of school events by making an effort to participate in schoolwide events. Sophomore class president Stephanie Hahm says, “It’s boring for kids to watch the same games played by the same types of people. We need different new events which would bring more people to participate.” ASB doesn’t put on original events due to low participation and students don’t participate because of boring old games; to resolve this issue, all students should participate more. When there is an event at the top of the quad, students should not hesitate because people “might” judge. With an increase in participation, originality will follow, inspired by the increase in school spirit. As more students participate, ASB will be able to implement a myriad of new ideas and events that will lead to the creation of a Lynbrook identity. This will enable Lynbrook to be distinct from other schools and have its own events. It is essential that Lynbrook restore its originality in its events and create an identity for itself again. Lynbrook’s originality is a big step in improving school life for students. By becoming the trendsetting school Lynbrook will define itself in the Fremont Union High School District and be an example for others to follow.

Although most students view procrastination as a harmful monster that distracts them from the task they should be doing, it can actually benefit us. Studies on procrastination have tracked the levels of stress, performance and health among students and concluded that those who do not procrastinate tend to stress during the beginning of a task, whereas procrastinators freak out only as the deadline approaches. While both parties may stress, procrastinators actually stress less because it is compressed into a shorter period of time. It is not in our human nature to be immensely productive for roughly 16 hours of the day. After procrastinating on an activity, you will feel more efficient and motivated to work harder in order to complete it. Those nights in which I stay up late encourage me to get more done in a restricted period of time. It brings me a sense of power and intense capability when I am able to accomplish so much in math, chemistry, world history, you name it, under pressure. Furthermore, procrastinating can act as a breather period. If we are like rubber bands that are stretched too tightly, we will eventually and inevitably snap. I do not regret the time lost to procrastinating, and neither should you.

My experiences with procrastination have led me to categorize the various forms of it into two categories: doing nothing or doing something. The latter form of procrastination means putting off an important assignment to work on a smaller project. Those who argue that procrastination makes them accomplish less might not realize the method of this “productive” procrastination, which can include putting off studying for a math test in order to finish a history DBQ. Productive procrastination merely means that both assignments will get done by the end of the day, but just in a different order. The problem that occurs is that we may not always have this productive, relaxed and optimistic mindset. People often neglect the benefits of procrastinating. Procrastination time does not have to be wasted by doing aimless activities. If you procrastinate on school work in order to talk to friends, bond with family members or explore hobbies, you are actually improving a whole additional set of skills that could not be obtained by pure steady schoolwork. Procrastination should not control you. You should control procrastination and tame it to benefit you.


Putting things off will pay off The monster ventures into our lives in consistent patterns. As much as we try our best to avoid it, ultimately, the creature makes us its victim. This beast is a frenemy you and I both call procrastination. Every morning, I come to school expecting my peers to be as enthusiastic and exuberant as I am. Instead, I am faced with unhappy faces as they say the usual, “Ah! I procrastinated so much.” Why so pessimistic?


staff editorial

Voice of the Epic

Clear policies for a fair fight Dancing, singing, magic tricks and pre-staged shoutouts from the crowd chanting the candidates’ names filled the room. In the past, ASB campaigns generally meant props, music and whatever else it took to make the speeches more entertaining. However, campaigning is now moving toward a more subdued approach of running for office. This year, restrictions on music and props during candidates’ designated 60-second time slots have been more strictly enforced. This has been a positive change since voters are now given a much clearer assessment of the candidates’ capabilities in a leadership position, rather than what they can do on the dance floor. The system is certainly not flawless, as there needs to be a clear, authorized list of what exactly the candidates are or are not allowed to do, but it is definitely a step in the right direction. Despite complaints from students about campaign speech limitations, these rules are beneficial in that they challenge candidates to present their ideas without distracting embellishments. Admittedly, it is more entertaining to see candidates perform tricks than hear a minutelong speech, but elections are not American Idol auditions or dance tryouts. It does not make any sense at all for candidates to display skills that have nothing to do with what their positions require. As junior Andrew Wong, who campaigned for ASB Treasurer, says, “[Limiting props and stage performances] did help some voters see which candidates were actually legitimate, and I personally believe that a good speech is stronger than any form of rap or dance

when it comes to officer elections.” Assistant Principal Ellen Reller also states the importance of giving speeches in an “assembly-worthy” manner. She says, “Almost the whole student body has assembled to listen, and this is an opportunity that the candidates should respect and use to their full extent. It is okay to do goofy things. But it is also your time to address the staff and the audience in a way that would be appropriate for such an assembly, instead of what we can see in the quad.” The sole problem with the new campaign guidelines is that the regulations are neither clear nor set in stone, so candidates can find ways out of certain rules. This gives those who choose to use this fact for self-benefit an unfair advantage over more role-abiding candidates. Furthermore, since the rules are not very specific, they can be viewed as subjective. Sophomore Stephanie Hahm, who ran for ASB Secretary, says, “Though they told us no props, costumes were still [okay]. But is a costume a prop? It’s up to you to decide. And the same thing goes for no rapping—though we couldn’t rap, we could give a poem instead. We could [have] easily cut corners with the rules that were given.” All in all, this year’s elections were more successful in representing the candidates compared to those of years past. As individual class elections approach, these changes should continue to be implemented. Now it will be a matter of developing a much clearer system so that all of the candidates may stand on the podium on equal ground.

A voice in curriculum for all with a renewed interest in learning. That doesn’t mean that the Independent Project is entirely plauHigh school. Teenagers across the nation groan at the sound sible for Lynbrook, however. “Lynbrook teachers have a lot of of it. Whether it is because of the social environment or particu- guidelines to be held to: state, district, UC. Thus, I don’t think that lar teachers or students, education has become slowly resented it’s easy to have something like [the Independent Project],” says by many. Although Lynbrook has been known for excelling in guidance counselor Shana Howden. With all the regulations that schooling and producing successful young adults, it is not un- teachers are held to, it is quite understandable that it would be difknown that America’s education as a whole has been on a decline. ficult for the school to suddenly implement a project as ambitious as the one in Massachusetts. Students are simply not interested anymore. If students Many students also agree with Howden in regards to the were given the chance to become more involved in cursuggestion of implementing a program like the Independent riculum planning, they would not become so bored Project. “Students can’t make decisions when it comes to curwith what they learn. riculum because they can’t make the difficult decisions,” says “I feel like sometimes I am learning things for the freshman Eric Chuu. Students are evidently not ready to make test and I’m just going to forget about them later,” the sacrifices that teachers have been making for years. says sophomore Nitya Dhanushkodi, “I wonder if A more reasonable goal would be to gradually include more I’m ever going to need them later on.” student involvement in the curriculum planning process. Students like Dhanushkodi are often easily distractOne of the Independent Project ideas that can ed due to their lack of interest in learning. Often, be applied to Lynbrook would be to crethe reason they learn the material is that they ate a large list of approved novels need to know it for tests. To ensure that stufor any literature program and dents are constantly engaged in the curallow student input on which riculum, teachers should actively ask books to read throughout the for student input and involve them course of the year. Another idea in planning for specific courses. would be implement a commitA school in Massachusetts retee or forum composed to sample cently started a program called students that would help advise difthe Independent Project, which ferent departments on new curriculum included ideas for introducing ideas and ways to make lessons more instudents into curriculum planteresting to students. ning. The project required that “I think it’s reasonable to start having a five students be isolated for an enlittle bit of student input in curriculum; stutire semester. The students designed dents should get a chance to talk about their own curriculum with the help of their what they are learning,” says guidance counselor, as well as junior Normand Overy. their literature, history, science With simple steps, the and math teachers. They were Lynbrook community can impleresponsible for monitoring each ment a program that slowly introducother’s work; there were no grades, es student involvement in classroom but the students evaluated one another at curriculum. Lynbrook has the chance the end of the semester. to create an entire new method of thinkSince then, the participating students, a ing when it comes to education. It has the few of whom had been considering dropping chance to make learning fun for all students out of high school prior to the Independent once more. Project, have returned to their regular classes GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATION BY OPINION SECTION




AP diagnostics should weigh more than a 4.0 by


The Lynbrook cafeteria is filled with students scrambling to find seats, but it’s not a regular lunch period. Instead, it is Wednesday morning, and many sophomores are about to take the AP U.S. History diagnostic test that determines whether they are prepared to take the AP course. Many students seem to be indifferent about the diagnostic test results that estimate how well they will perform in the AP classes they hope to take. Students should take diagnostic test results into deeper consideration because they accurately measure their skill levels, and falling behind in a difficult class can have major consequences. One reason students ignore the results of their diagnostics is that they do not think the tests can correctly estimate how well they will perform in AP classes. Sophomore CJ Ji says, “One test is nothing compared to the actual curriculum of an AP class. It’s not like you take one single test in the actual class and that’s what determines your grade.” However, diagnostic tests are actually designed to incorporate various aspects of the classes that are necessary to succeed in the courses. English department chair Nelda

Clark says, “The AP Language and Composition (APLAC) diagnostic is currently based on reading comprehension of college level material. Comprehending difficult text is a good indicator of whether or not a student is ready for the level of reading required in the course.” A diagnostic can show students the areas in which they need the most work in, and if the course will contain a lot of similar work, then students can consider taking a different class. Furthermore, blaming a lack of studying for performing poorly on a diagnostic is a weak excuse that students use to justify ignoring the test results. Ji says, “I knew I didn’t do well on the AP U.S. History diag, but I just convinced myself that it was because I didn’t bother studying for it.” Nevertheless, students should accept the fact that if the tests were hard for them, that likely indicates that the classes will be challenging for them as well. If students can’t even find time or motivation to study for one diagnostic test, then it is hard to imagine them studying enough for the actual course during the school year. Additionally, if students who do not do well on their AP diagnostic test still take the class anyway, they are at risk of being stuck in a class in which they are not passing.

Junior Charlene Young says, “We didn’t have an APLAC [diagnostic] in sophomore year, so a lot of people decided to take APLAC and might not be doing so well.” In fact, Clark adds, “This year, there’s a higher percentage of students with Bs and Cs in APLAC than usual.” Not only are the diagnostics intended to recommend students towards certain classes, but they also serve as quantity control. Clark says, “We want to make sure students who are really interested in the class also have a certain competency for the course.” If many students ignore their test results and decide to take classes not recommended for them, then AP classes will run out of space. Lynbrook hosts diagnostics for a reason; students need to realize whether an AP class will be manageable based on the results. If signs are pointing to significant difficulty in a class, students should consider taking a different class. Course selections will be sent out to be finalized in May, so it is not too late to reconsider and drop an AP class. Every student is responsible for his or her own course selection choices, so it is important to consider the options and choose classes based on what is suitable instead of taking as many AP classes as possible.

Students should help beautify school campus aliceZHANG

Looking across the city today, it is not too difficult to find downtown and suburban housing in line with the current sleek 21st century architecture. In many cases, architects and landscape designers of the current decade have tastefully created an integration of living, working and recreation space into one contiguous building unit. In fact, many schools in the district have already opted to institute more modern structures and geometrically appealing buildings, including Fremont High School’s mission-like school with bells, and Monta Vista’s slanted roofs and occasional glass walls. Back at Lynbrook, however, the dreary brick buildings mark almost all corners of the school, leaving a low aesthetic appeal especially in contrast with other schools in the city. It is time that the Lynbrook Vikings remodeled with the era. Facilities manager Steve Chamberlain speculates about the trademark brick buildings of Lynbrook and their history. “I believe the buildings were designed to have a kind of Viking look. That’s why the roofs look like they do.” He notes that “the rafter tails that support the roof originally stuck out past the edge of the eves which added to this look but they eventually had to be cut back to remove wood rot on the ends of the beams.” Due to many changes such as these over time, the brick buildings have lost their visual significance and no longer serve a purpose as many students do not connect the brick design back to the Viking aspect of Lynbrook. “When I look at buildings like the gym, to me it just looks unattractive. It never hit me before that they were in some way tied to the Viking theme,” says junior Kunaal Goel. Many minor repairs and upgrades funded by the facilities bond are currently being made to the school, such as planting more trees, adding new fencing gates and possibly constructing a new marquee. School administrators are also working to add an extension to the auditorium. Students should also actively work to personalize the campus and should strive to make larger, more notable aesthetic changes to their school environment. Goel says, “Lynbrook seems bleak and uninteresting. A lot of other schools have murals, which make them more

interesting and add another dimension to the school. I think Lynbrook should consider doing something similar.” This proposal is not as radical as it seems, as many schools such as Saratoga High School have included a mural near their quad. Another school, James Logan High School, exhibits student-painted murals on hallway walls that “improve school atmosphere, and show creativity,” as their Mural Club boasts. Lynbrook clubs such as ArtReach, or even the art department itself, could oversee mural art. Junior Alice Pang, president of ArtReach, says, “[We] would absolutely love to contribute artwork to our school. Our purpose is to serve

the community through art, so what better way is there to help Lynbrook?” Large projects such as these will not only spice up the campus appeal but also bond students together with a common project goal. If larger-scale endeavors such as the mural are too time and effort consuming, students can still contribute by donating funds. One possible recipient is National Honor Society, which is in charge of raising money for and contacting the architect of the new Viking Boat at the front of school. With a united vision and the motivation to help, students and administration can work together to finally create a more beautiful Lynbrook.



Above is one of many conceptual drawings for the redesign of the Lynbrook campus, to be funded by the facilities bond.

Looking into a different future Lynbrook students pursue unconventional jobs and chase their dreams

Erin Bechly: pastry chef by



“All my life I have loved to bake and cook,” says senior Erin Bechly, who began cooking at a young age with her mother and grandmother. As a sophomore, she decided to take a foods class with teacher Megan Hamilton and was inspired to take cooking more seriously. After spending a semester as an unpaid intern in the Cypress Hotel kitchen, Bechly was offered a job there as a pastry chef, where she works on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 to 5 pm, or later if needed. Her job, she explains, varies day by day as she makes pastries based on what the hotel needs. “If we’re running low on cheesecake, I’ll make cheesecake. If we’re running low on flan for a banquet, I’ll make that,” says Bechly. Although the job can be demanding at times, she enjoys the professional cooking atmosphere. “What attracts me to being a chef is that it is fun and it is an art,” she says. “It’s nice to get feedback about the food that you serve and to see all the delighted and impressed faces.” But Bechly’s job at the Cypress Hotel is more than just a hobby. The cooking enthusiast is serious about her work and plans to pursue a culinary career. Despite her unusual career choice, Bechly says that the response to her interest in cooking has been positive. “My parents were a little shocked when they realized culinary art was my passion, but everyone has been very excited and supportive,” she says. Above is a visual recipe for 5-minute chocolate microwave mug cake, a recipe Bechly learned from Ms. Hamilton. After graduation, Bechly plans to attend Cabrillo Community College in Santa Cruz, where she hopes to study culinary arts. She is confident that she will be “cooking [her] whole life,” and her work experience at the Cypress Hotel will no doubt help Bechly achieve this goal.


Senior Erin Bechly holds a mixing bowl as she takes a break in Ms. Hamilton’s cooking room.

Rohan Shitole: pilot




Junior Rohan Shitole leans against a Cessna 152 plane at the Palo Alto Airport in Santa Clara.


While other students are learning about Bernoulli’s Principle and the concept of lift, junior Rohan Shitole is actually applying and experiencing these concepts for himself in the cockpit of a Cessna 152. Below is a panoramic photo of Shitole performing a takeoff in his plane. At a young age, Shitole became engrossed in aviation. What started out as an interest gradually became a potential career. “I started enjoying aviation but never thought about it seriously until a US Marine pilot and my mom told me it could become a career choice,” he says. Shitole took his first flying lesson at the age of 14, and at age 16 he began training to be a pilot in earnest. While Shitole agrees that “flying is not the most ‘safe’ sounding extracurricular,” he says that it helps him relieve stress. “Once you are 10,000 feet in the air, all your worries disappear,” he says. Shitole flies once a week out of the Palo Alto airport and has big dreams for the future. “After college, I plan on becoming an officer in the Navy or Marines, specifically for aviation, and I’m looking to fly jets,” he says. After retiring, Shitole hopes to fly commercial planes. Currently Shitole holds a student pilot license, but he hopes to apply for an Federal Aviation Administration Private Pilot license when he turns 17. This license will allow him to fly single-engine airplanes with passengers over Half Moon Bay, the Saratoga Hills and the Bay Area, places he frequently flies over with his student pilot license. As for how his pilot training has affected his school life, Shitole says that there are both drawbacks and benefits. “It’s a lot more stress, but it will definitely help me find a career,” he says.

Robotics team creates the mechanical beast by


It is 105 pounds of power and speed. It has eight wheels powered by four motors that deliver pounds of force each, allowing it to reach speeds of 16 feet per second. At nine feet tall, this $3400 mechanical beast is designed for speed and precision. It is dubbed “The Hand of the Monkey.” The Hand of the Monkey is a robot designed by the Lynbrook Robotics club, officially team 846, to compete in the annual FIRST Robotics Competition. Several of the most unique features of the robot are featured below.

The “scoring system” has a grabber with dual rollers that grip game pieces and turn to manipulate the angle of a piece. To place game pieces on any peg on the scoring rack, the scoring device consists of a three-stage elevator which takes less than a second to reach full extension, or nine feet. The scoring system is on a movable arm that brings the grabber down to pick up game pieces from the floor or the feeder slot.

During the end game, minibots were deployed into the playing field. Confronted with the heavy minibots of other teams, Lynbrook Robotics put together a light, minimalistic design. Heavy gearboxes were removed from motors, and “wheels” consisting of thin metal shafts surrounded by surgical tubing were attached. Rather than using a clamp structure, a single rare-earth magnet was used to attract the minibot to the pole.

A t sixteen feet per second, the drive-train of the robot has enabled it to be one of the fastest robots in the competition. The drive-train, which moves the robot, is compriseds of four motors providing force to eight wheels through a two-speed transmission system. The front and back wheels are raised for ease of turning. “I think these are an advantage. We have a very good design this year, almost identical to the best teams, and that means we analyzed the game really well,” says Robotics club president Chinmay Jaju.



dianaDING & aliceZHANG

“Homework...y u no do urself?” Such phrases, which make no logical sense to the untrained brain, have taken over the Internet of late as prime examples of memes. An Internet meme is a cultural item, usually a picture reminiscent of careless Paint-created doodles and cutouts, that is transmitted by repetition in a manner such as blogging. Internet memes are usually created after someone comes up with an idea following a major event, and sarcastically spoof or mock the event. For example, senior Jasmine Yang explains, “After Christina Aguilera sang the wrong lyrics at the Super Bowl, a Christina Aguilera meme popped up that depicted her in the center and the incorrect lyrics to a song.” Yang is one Lynbrook student who creates her own meme comics on her Tumblr, a blogging website that allows users to share text, images, audio, links, and other mediums of communication. She first began making these meme comics to express her emotions after getting “killed early” on in the senior game Assassins. Yang says, “I was frustrated and needed an outlet on my anger...having been on Tumblr for a while by then, I was familiar with meme comics so I decided to create one depicting

my death in Assassins. It worked really well and I felt loads better. It made me happy that people liked what I made, so I started making more,” decisively concludes Yang. Yang has attracted over 1400 followers and her most popular comics receive around 20,000 “likes” and reblogs. Yang says, “I think memes are so widespread because they’re so simple yet hilarious at the same time. Such memes as ‘me gusta,’ or ‘philosopher lizard’ are everywhere because of their ability to be flexible and applicable to a lot of situations. Pretty much they’re popular because everyone can relate to them, which is why they’re funny.” Tumblr is not the only site for meme spreading. Websites such as, and are all venues for sharing funny pictures and internet memes. Some of the Internet’s most popular memes include the “Forever Alone” face which is used to make light of the awkward situations one finds oneself in while single, and the “FFuuu” meme, which is often used to express frustration, as Yang initially did in her first comic. Bordering this story is a collage of memes that are created by Yang, and other popular memes that have been circulating recently on the Internet.

Memes are means of student expression


Fairy tale movies don’t measure up by


Animal to wounded face, castle to New York City, Mrs. Potts to Jamaican maid—Beastly takes a modern approach to the classic “Beauty and the Beast.” Despite numerous attempts to revamp original fairytales through modern settings, technical aspects, and copious romance, Hollywood has not successfully managed to turn the Brothers Grimm fairytales into modern classics. Many remakes attempt to remake classics simply by having a modern setting, but end up coming across as shallow. Beastly, released on March 4, takes on the classic tale “Beauty and the Beast,” a French fairy tale about a spoiled man who turns into an ugly beast to find true love. While both versions emphasize the importance of what is inside rather than outside, Beastly attempts to connect with modern audiences by setting the classic in New York City. Despite the fact that Beastly follows the plot of the original almost exactly, the movie is unsuccessful in adding more modern lessons to the tale—the only difference is the setting. It superficially teaches against superficiality. Studios often try to wow viewers with technical aspects, but fail to preserve the original message. Red Riding Hood, based off of “Little Red Riding Hood,” manages to gain critical acclaim due to its cinematography, but completely alters the story of an innocent girl journeying to visit her grandmother who ends up in the stomach of a wolf. Red Riding Hood transforms the classic into a horror story based on Freudian pyschology in which an evil Father kills anyone who he suspects as the wolf. Instead of enhancing the experience of “Little Red Riding Hood,” its new version Red Riding Hood tackles romance, horror and womanly courage in a hodge-podge version that leaves the viewer confused to say the least. Hollywood is a booming industry and as the movie industry has advanced, so have many remakes such as Nightmare on Elm Street and Clash of the Titans placed successfully in the box office. However, when Hollywood does try to remake fairy tales by adding their own twist, they fail to preserve the movie’s original message.

Paparazzi magnet




Australian singer-songwriter Lenka may not be well-known, but since her solo debut in 2008 with an eponymous album, her songs have been featured in Old Navy, Olay and Coca-Cola commercials, the trailer for the movie Easy A, and hit series Grey’s Anatomy, 90210 and The Hills. With a soft, charming voice and sweet lyrics, it’s no wonder that Lenka’s music is highly sought after. Her second studio album, appropriately titled Two, was released on April 12. Three of the previously released tracks gave listeners an idea of what to expect from the full album. Surprisingly, Lenka strays from the folk and indie style of her debut album with slightly edgier instrumentals and lyrics this time around. The most shocking change in her released tracks seems to be the Gaga-esque approach. The repetition of the phrase “my heart skips a beat” in the chorus is reminiscent of pop sensation Lady Gaga’s repetitive verses in songs

fr o m s y a str o rigina ls

like “Poker Face,” and “Alejandro.” Furthermore, the promotional video for Lenka’s new song “Everything at Once” features black and white geometric patterns like the ones Lady Gaga is known for and has Lenka singing “oh-oh-oh-oh-oh,” in a seemingly more girly version of Gaga’s “Bad Romance.” In her attempt to pick up on popular music trends, Lenka loses the carefree melodies and quirkiness that made her first album endearing to listeners. Thankfully, she finds her own style again in her third promotional single, “Roll with the Punches,” using a cute melody and whimsical lyrics to convey a meaningful message about coping with life’s difficulties. Having seen different styles emerge in only the three promotional songs, it’s clear that Lenka’s new album will be full of variety and surprises. Despite some promise shown in her three new singles, it would be best for Lenka to stick to her original style of indie pop that her fans have come to love.



What with all the excitement abuzz lately in the entertainment industry, it’s no surprise that nowadays it is more and more common to log onto your favorite website and find people grieving over what they consider the “loss of stars with actual talent.” Rather than seeing this as what some say is evidence that society is dead, however, the optimist in me tells me to look at this as an opportunity. But before I embark on my journey to fame, allow me to disclose some trade secrets so that you too may join me on the red carpet: 1. Invent a phrase that is catchy, memorable and absolutely ridiculous Whether it is through explaining how one’s veins pulse with the blood of wild Asian felines (thereby allowing one to “win here and there”) or singing songs about everyone’s favorite day of the week, today’s idols have shown that when it comes to fame, choosing your words carefully is key. By “careful,” I mean say something that’s short and probably nonsensical. If possible, create your own phrase; doing so will not only allow your words to be easily remembered but also impress your English teachers, since you’ve shown clear knowledge of what a neologism is. It’s a win-win situation, or rather, one that is bi-winning. 2. Start a scandal about yourself, preferably one with photographic evidence While I don’t condone engaging in constant scandalous behavior, there’s nothing wrong with making the public think you’re up to a little monkey business once in a while for recognition. If you’re male, pull a Bieber and walk around shirtless with an attractive girl until the paparazzi fill memory drives with photos of you two. Even if you have an excess of nutrients around your abdomen and can’t get any girls, walking around the beach in your Speedo will still work. Before you know it, your profile will be all over National Enquirer in light of your alleged weight gain. For the ladies, following the steps of none other than Taylor Swift will suffice. Simply give a guitar a strum or two and sing about your broken heart, and you’ll have concerned fans everywhere praying for you in no time. For added effect, throw on a lacy white dress and find a muscled hunk to call you “Princess” and send messages from your neighbor’s window, at least for a bit. 3. Invest in clothes you normally wouldn’t be caught dead in Through careful observation, I’ve found that the best celebrities are often those who aren’t afraid to get crazy, fashion-wise. You don’t have to drape the remains of last night’s dinner over your back, but it does help to splurge on spankin’ some new clothes. Based on what I see from Yahoo!, the more you spend on an outfit, the more outrageous (and beneficial) it will be. Try outfits even your grandmother wouldn’t find cute; go for looks like neon polka-dotted leggings paired with a plaid skirt and checkered v-neck, complete with a Native American headdress that is simply impossible to ignore. This ensemble is even more desirable for the male star-wannabe, since it’d be much more radical for the likes of you. As a rule of thumb for how much to spend on a piece of clothing, think of it like this: if the numeric value of the price is higher than your best score on Tiny Wings, you’re pretty much good to go. Remember to smile for the camera! As excellent as these tips are, I can’t guarantee a 100% success rate. In other words, please don’t hunt me down if you find yourself being dubbed the new Rebecca Black. If it makes you feel any better, I probably know how you feel. In the meantime, if you need to contact me, feel free to visit my Youtube channel, which currently only has one video uploaded. It happens to be the video with the most dislikes in Internet history, which obviously tells you how much of a success I’ve become. I’ll see you in Hollywood, the Glorilla

Deprived p e e l S

the Epic examines the sleeping habits and overall school performance of LHS students by


Senior Esther Lee does not get much sleep at night; she goes to sleep at around 2-4 am and wakes up at 7 am for school, sleeping for a total of three to five hours a night. During the day, she “naps” after school until around 10 pm, then starts on her homework.She says, “I started sleeping really late during my junior year, because of the amount of homework I had, and also because of my time-management skills. Now, [in my senior year], I watch television online, like on Hulu or YouTube. I’m so absorbed by the things I do that I lose track of time and get less sleep, which is probably why I’m usually pretty tired during the day.” Sleep deprivation at Lynbrook is a more serious issue than many may think; 75 percent of a sample of 586 students sleep less than eight hours a night. Few are able to function with less than six hours of sleep a night; adolescents need eight hours for maximum performance in activities, or else memory relapses, weight changes, stunted growth and irritability may occur. Lee explains, “The fact that I’m the shortest out of all my friends may be because I don’t get as much sleep. I’m not really cranky when I’m sleepdeprived, but instead forgetful and distracted.” Lack of sleep has the same effect on adults in functioning and focusing ability as would ingesting the legal amount of alcohol in the blood—0.08 percent. For teenagers, this can impair not only the ability to stay awake during the day, but also other activities, such as driving. Senior Jay Pan*, who admits to having driven while intoxicated, explains, “Driving at my drowsiest state is even worse than driving after taking three shots of alcohol. When I drive, it’s hard to keep my eyes open; things just become fuzzy because I’m trying so hard just to stay awake and keep my eyes on the road that I don’t really pay attention to any pedestrians.” Reasons for sleeping late among students are similar; 82 percent of students with sleep deprivation reported that studying was a major reason in sleeping late, but 80 percent also claimed that procrastination was a large factor.

On the other hand, junior Kevin Tu consistently sleeps at around 10 pm, though he slept before 9 pm in his sophomore year. Tu says that, “Efficiency is key. When I work, I try to get off the computer to avoid distractions. Prioritizing is also important; I structure and plan my day ahead of time so I know how long I have for other things.” Tu receives about nine hours of sleep a night and states that he has never felt tired throughout the day. “I don’t really doze off in class, and I don’t think that I have ever taken a nap before in my life, ever. But when I am tired or stressed, I am noticeably less focused in class than I would be otherwise.” School therapist Dawn Bridges believes that sleep deprivation among students in Lynbrook is because “students stay up late doing homework; sometimes they have a lot, which keeps them up late, [otherwise they] do not manage their time well or get distracted by texting, Facebook and the internet. If students managed their time well and avoided distractions, they would get more sleep.” In a survey taken by the Epic on students’ sleeping habits, it was found that over 65 percent of the students who were sleep-deprived received a GPA between 3.7-4.0, and 14 percent received a GPA between 3.5-3.7. This correlation suggests that those who sleep later are more inclined to study during the hours they could be using to sleep. Extra-curricular activities also influence the amount of sleep students receive. Freshman Jenny Sung says, “I try to do as much as possible ahead of time, but there is always something left to do when I am home. I think that I manage my time pretty well though and I can get my schoolwork done. If I lack sleep and am tired, it makes me work harder to sleep earlier.” She sleeps at 1 am on a school night. Surprisingly, the distribution of sleep-deprived students among different grades in the sample taken is nearly even. Most students believe that juniors and seniors receive the least amount of sleep. Sophomore Derek Lou says, “Juniors seem to get the least amount of sleep, although seniors give a run for their money with the procrastination many have said are typical of college applications during first semester, and the more relaxing take on life spoken of by others during second semester.” *Name has been changed


Ghostwriters uncovered by

brianZHAO & vickyRO

Though literature teachers are fully aware of this problem, ghostwriting, or having a peer write an essay for a student, is something that is difficult to detect. Far from simply copying math homework, paying other students to write essay requires careful planning and execution. While some ghostwriters do it for the money, others do it as an attempt to help their peers. Students may choose to hire a ghostwriter for a custom-written paper because they feel too busy to do the work. Junior John Yeung* has helped such people he deems slackers get A’s and B’s. He describes one essay he wrote on The Great Gatsby that merely required Sparknotes, Google and less than an hour of work. Yeung himself had never read the novel; nevertheless, he was paid $20, and his customer received a B. When asked if this was a common practice among students, Yeung says, “If you offer the right amount, anyone will [write for you].” Senior Weilin Yu* has also charged money for writing English and History essays for his clients, and has written college essays for his friends. Ghostwriters such as Yu justify their actions by saying that “English classes at Lynbrook are not graded on a bell curve, [so] helping a student get a higher score than they deserve on an essay in no way hurts anyone.” However, literature teacher Nelda Clark believes the purpose of school is to train students to become competent in all subjects. To this, Yu simply responds, “The clients themselves are the only ones getting hurt. If they are making the de-

cision to come to me, I do not think it should be my concern for who gets hurt.” Regarding his friends, whom he does not charge, Yu says, “My helping them out is not the difference between going to a community college and going to Princeton University.” Yu defends that his very qualified friends can succeed at high-tier colleges but merely require a little assistance getting in. For junior Keo Gulan*, the motive for writing essays can be described as altruism. Though this may be perceived as cheating, Gulan says that is not always true. “People deserve their consequences, but 30 different people in a classroom all have to submit to one viewpoint, one style of writing. How fair is that?” In his World Literature class, Gulan helped a struggling friend write an essay that ended up beating the second highest score in his class by ten percent. Gulan says that the cause of the grade improvement was the injection of his own voice into the essay. “The teacher was very biased towards my style of writing. Other people could put in just as much effort, but they would be graded harder.” But because the English department has a system called “norming,” in which the literature teachers compare essays to ensure grading systems are fair, Clark would not draw the same conclusion as Gulan. In this system, English teachers bring in three different essays, one each of low, medium and high quality and discuss about grading with fellow teachers to make ensure that all teachers agree on the grade given. As a result, the large difference in grade that Gulan saw is not because of teacher bias but because of Gulan’s “superior writing skills,” says Clark.

A few common details of the ghostwriters are of notable importance: in these cases, it was always the student who first approached the ghostwriter. None of the students, writers or clients, have ever been caught either. “[The larger picture is that] people believe that the ends justifies the means, which devalues the actual process of learning,” says Clark. Plagiarism may be the most prevalent method of cheating on essays, but ghostwriting is another serious concern that can’t be caught on Turnitin. Clark says, “Struggling writers might be tempted, but this pressure for grades and college shows their true character.” *Names have been changed


The curious case of the irrational fears by


“Toes are completely gross,” says junior Zia Syed. “They are just like, stumps with elongated skin with weird stubs on the end.” He is one of the many Ly n b r o o k students that have an unusual fear. “Mushrooms are just disgusting,” says junior Erica Yin. “I’ve always been afraid of mushrooms,


and even if it’s irrational, eating a mushroom is like eating a spider to me.” The cause of a fear is a perceived threat, and the presence of fear is a survival mechanism occurring as a result to a stimulus. However, an irrational fear is different. “An irrational fear is intense, and typically realitybased,” explains Dr. Gail Waxman, Lynbrook’s current school psychologist. “A fear becomes irrational when you have to avoid the stimulus at all times, or when it interferes with the person’s ability to carry out normal, everyday activities.” An irrational fear is different from an unusual fear. Having a fear of bad grades is not irrational, but obsessing over a 97% because it is not a 98% is. It is the extent to which someone would go to to avoid the fear that makes it irrational, not its cause. “Development of phobias generally starts with a fear that isn’t addressed,” says Waxman. Stimuli for fears that do not often appear in a person’s life are suddenly everywhere, causing a lot of stress for those who aren’t desensitized to the stimuli already. But when does a fear become a phobia? What constitutes the line?

According to Waxman, “the difference between fearing something and being irrationally afraid of it is when the fear starts to take over one’s decisions. It becomes irrational when you have to avoid the fear or the stimulus all the time.” One treatment for irrational fears is desensitizing the individual by exposing him or her to an abundance of the stimulus, or “looking at the positive aspects of the fear,” says Waxman. Junior Angela Hu has tried to see the goodness in squirrels, with little results. “I’ve tried to convince myself that squirrels are cute creatures by looking at cute cartoon pictures of them, but it does not work because there is no logic to my fear; they simply creep me out.” In contrast, Yin states that she would “rather not be afraid of them, especially after a friend showed me an article on how mushroom roots may be used in future products because they’re so versatile and sturdy.” Treatments depend on the person; there is no universal solution to fears or phobias. Fortunately, none of the student fears are considered phobias, as long as they do not affect the student too severely. Syed focuses on anything besides feet, and Hu “tolerates squirrels from a distance.” As she puts it, “I feel like if I talk to someone long enough about why my fears are my fears, they’ll see what I mean.”

Total Domination

Volleyball’s close bonds lead to success by


The stands weren’t full, but the boys still played as if all eyes around the world were on them. Within an hour, they managed to score point after point, leading them to easily defeat their greatest rival, Cupertino, 3-0. This was just one game out of many for the Lynbrook boys’ volleyball team, whose members have been working extremely hard to maintain an impressive undefeated record all season. One key factor which led to such success is the team’s excellent relationship with one another, both on and off the court. During an average game, the teammates can be seen giving each other encouragement, whether it be high-fives or pats on the back after plays. Junior Kevin Tu says of the team’s close bond, “We have gotten really close as a team and as friends.” One other action is equally as prevalent during games—the boys’ team chants. Through shouting chants like “One, two, *clap* three” after every play, the boys have been able to find support even on the court. Tu explains that these chants are meant to

“get us really excited after a big play or hard hit. It keeps us into the game and pumped.” Such chants actually originated from some of the players’ time together at Point Break Volleyball Club during the off-season. During this time, the boys’ cheer was “‘Point Break *clap*,’ so we changed it to fit,” says junior Sandeep Peddada. As seven out of eight players on the Point Break team this past year, sophomores Alex Lee and Paul Kim, juniors Bryan Le, Kevin Tu and Sandeep Peddada and senior Daniel Li, received extensive training by many coaches and competed against teams from Northern California. Lee says of the experience, “Being on a pretty much all-Lynbrook team [in Point Break] has definitely been an interesting experience. We all know each other from school, and that [helped] with our experience.” The varsity boys will play their next game on Friday against Eastside Prep, at which they hope to continue their undefeated streak. With just a few games left in the season, Li says that the team’s objective is to “win leagues and make it to the Central Coast Playoffs for the second year in a row. Given their current performance, this is a dream that is more than achievable.


Boys’ golf remains optimistic despite setbacks BY


With off campus practices and matches, costly equipment and demanding schedules, boys’ golf is far from an easy sport. As junior James Hu says, “It’s a lot of dedication. We practice ten hours a week and have to drive to matches half an hour away.” Matches last at least two to three hours and are often held at golf courses that take a while to get to. As junior Ryan Hong explains, “[matches] take up a lot of time that could be used to do homework.” Price is also concern for many players, who are required to pay for their equipment. Says Hu, “You have to pay for your own clubs, which can easily cost $1000 or more.” But to help alleviate the costs of playing golf, coach Art Zimmerman has successfully applied for Athletic Boosters money and grants. As a result of this, team members do not have to pay a team membership fee and also get

free access to the golf courses where they practice. The team practices twice a week; once at Deep Cliff Golf Course in Cupertino (which is also Lynbrook’s home field) and once at Pruneridge Driving Range, also in Cupertino. Matches are also held twice a week at different golf courses. Traveling to these far matches can sometimes be an issue. Explains Zimmerman , “[Traveling] is okay for the juniors and seniors who drive, but it is tough on the underclassman.” The distance also makes it difficult for staff and students to support the team. Since fans can’t easily walk to the field or gym from school, says Zimmerman, “There is little campus excitement about golf.” Boys’ golf has faced other difficuties this season, including attendance and weather problems. Says Hu, “We’ve been rained out a few times, and we’ve sometimes had spotty attendance for matches that cost us a few victories.” Unfortunately, chances for CCS are very slim because, as

Zimmerman explains, “For us to compete at [the CCS] level, the team would need to be committed to practicing year.” Many high school golf players in other schools have parents with country club memberships which gives them daily access to golf ranges to practice on. The majority of Lynbrook students, however, do not have constant access to such facilities, so practicing year round would be expensive and time consuming for most students. Players remain enthusiastic, as number one golfer on the team Hong says, “We have a great group of players this year”. Lynbrook golf has definitely come far. Since Zimmerman’s takeover four years ago, golf has transformed from a coed Lynbrook sport to highly respected single sex teams. Regardless of the difficult circumstances, boys’ golf players still remain enthusiastic. With three improving freshman and a skilled set of juniors, the team is optimistic for the future.

Swim team utilizes new drills DANIELLE LERNER—EPIC



Aside from the annual changes in swim attire and gear, the Lynbrook swim team has implemented new procedures in addition to the training they currently part take in. This year, a major change implemented for team practices include dry land conditioning three times a week for half an hour. Compared to no dry land practice last year, swimmers now complete different exercises including push ups, sit ups, planks, wall sits, jumps and other abdominal work outs to build their general strength. In addition to dry land training more fundamental drills have been focused on as well. One of the drills they practice is catchup. Swimmers are able to concentrate individually on their best stroke and improve them during practices while getting timed or simply drilling the stroke. Varsity swimmer sophomore Natalie Popescu (pictured above), who has improved all her times, reflects on the benefits of the new focus and meathods of drilling by say-

ing, “Even though drills might seem minimal and unnecessary, they’re actually crucial for those last few milliseconds you want to shave off during a really close race.” Developmental swimming has also changed from being co-ed to separate boy and girl training. Developmental swimming provides the opportunity for freshmen, sophomores and juniors to participate on the team, but choose how competitively they want to perform. They also take on the challenge by doing the varsity swim sets. Sophomore Sungmin Hahn says, “Even though we are on the developmental swim team we still work hard because of the new changes in our swim set.” Swimmers are also pushed to work harder. Challenge sets are offered at the end of each swim practice, which get progressively harder into the season. Since swimming is a more individual sport, swimmers are encouraged to work harder in order to make steady progress in their own records as the season continues. Currently, the aquatics team is training for leagues, where all schools in the FUHSD district gather to compete, which is scheduled to take place May 4 at Saratoga High School.

Track hurdles towards success by


With the shot of a gun, yet another race begins. May the best competitor win. In another corner of the field, athletes prepare themselves to throw a shot put, take a long jump, hurl a discus or sprint the hurdles. Such is the scene that greets the eyes at a track meet. But in a sports team so big, we oftentimes tend to take at face value the results we hear on the announcements, and fail to go deeper and celebrate the successes of smaller groups and individuals on the team. For example, as a team this season, Lynbrook girls just barely qualify for CCS, while boys aren’t even projected to qualify. However, there are individual successes within the team that often go unnoticed due to the team’s large size. As Coach Wright says, “[The track team] has a lot of outstanding participants in many events this year.” One such athlete is sophomore Ethan Chiou. He placed first in the froshsoph division for the 300 meter hurdles race at the K-Bell meet on March 12. He attributes Chiou’s success to a variety of different factors. “We have a good coach, and it’s easier to win in the froshsoph division in hurdles, because there are not that many competitors. Most schools tend to take their top three competitors and send them in the varsity division.” Nonetheless, success is success, and Lynbrook students are proving their competence time and time again. Regardless of the performance of the team as a whole, each individual Viking is putting in their all, managing to shine in their own ways, this track season.


Sophomore Ethan Chiou leaps over a hurdle during the track meet against Palo Alto on March 31.

Strategic stacking Let’s say your sports team sucks, especially varsity, but your junior varsity team might have a chance against the other teams if the players were just a little bit better and more experienced. But you only have a couple of days to prepare your team, and giving them the required skill set will take a whole season. What will you do as a coach? You don’t want to lose. The answer is really simple. You do the “un-sportsman” tactic of “stacking.” You take a varsity athlete, one who has the experience or skills you need and the age of a junior varsity athlete, and play him or her in the junior varsity team. This seemingly unfair and controversial tactic of stacking, a well known and much used strategy in sports is against the rules of the many rule making bodies of high school sports. It is considered extremely unsportsmanlike. But is it really? Sportsmanship is when athletes and teams show fairness, respect for one’s opponent, and graciousness in winning or losing. Is stacking fair? At first glance, it seems to be extremely unfair to the other team. It pits junior varsity players against varsity level players. The varsity players will dominate, unless some miracle allows the junior varsity team to overcome and win. Unfortunately (or fortunately), that isn’t the case. Stacking is a widely used strategy, and chances are, the other teams are stacking their players too, making the games completely fair. Stacking is just a tactic. It is neither respectful nor disrespectful to the other teams, especially if most teams are using it. However, it can be considered disrespectful to oneself, admitting that your team does not have the capability to win. It can also be considered disrespectful to the game. By breaking its rules you send the message that you care about winning and not having fun by playing the game. But when it comes to sportsmanship, it is respecting the other team that counts in the end. When it comes to being gracious about victory or defeat, stacking players will most definitely bring a win, and everyone is gracious about winning. It may, however, cause the other team to be unsportsmanlike with them complaining that you used the unfair tactic of stacking, but in the end, stacking does not break the rules of sportsmanship. It is a valid tactic that will bring easy victories home to Lynbrook, and no one can say we were unsportsmanlike.

Opening the airways

Athletes discuss their experiences with asthma by


Imagine walking down the street, when suddenly you find yourself struggling to summon oxygen to your lungs, straining to carry out an action that is instinctive to most human beings: breathing. Most people are lucky enough to never have this experience. But for others, this horrific scene is a possibility that looms everyday: the risk of an asthma attack. Asthma is a disease that affects the breathing passageway to the lungs, caused by chronic inflammation, making the victim increasingly susceptible to “triggers� in the environment. These triggers can be anything, from air pollution to animals or molds. Exercise is one of the most prominent asthma triggers, affecting an estimated 90 percent of people with asthma. Junior Jared Kim is one of the 17 million asthmatic people in the United States. Kim has been living with asthma for “as long as [he] can remember,� and simultaneously playing ice hockey for thirteen years. His condition has improved, and he is now mostly off medication. Kim says, “people usually don’t believe I’m asthmatic or they sort of put it off in their mind because they don’t usually fully understand the disease.� Still, Kim admits “several times while playing

hockey I’ve had to step off the ice to reach my inhaler. Especially in new rinks there tends to be a lot of unknown substances like mold or whatever that affects me quite a bit.â€? However, he doesn’t let the physical restraints of his condition affect him mentally, saying, “It’s not the greatest feeling knowing that sometimes you might collapse and not be able to breathe. I’ve had to stop for moments in practice and usually that doesn’t feel too great because you feel like you’re not working as hard as the rest of your teammates when in reality, you can’t. As for self esteem I don’t let it affect me because if I do then all the other players have the advantage.â€? Like Kim, senior Elizabeth Swan has also been affected by asthma from a young age. When she was four years old, Swan suffered an asthma attack and, after a monitored hospital stay, was officially diagnosed with asthma. Since then, her condition has improved. As a member of the varsity cheerleading team, Swan doesn’t let her asthma restrict her, saying, “I put in all my effort and if I start to feel slight discomfort in my breathing I ask to be excused and take time to control my breathing again or use an inhaler if needed.â€? Unlike many asthma patients, Swan has no idea what specifically triggers her asthma. As a child, “attacks would occur randomly and I could never figure out what caused them‌ I would sometimes black out during running or other sports. There hasn’t been any clear answer what triggers it, but usually sickness or allergies nothing really else,â€? Swan reflects. More than physical implications, Swan has had to deal with the mental effects of asthma. She reminisces, “In elementary school until the beginning of high school, I never talked about my asthma because most people associate it with nerds with glasses which began to lower my confidence.â€? However, Swan observes this attitude has changed, and she is more able to accept her condition, stating, “ Now, I don’t really care, because [teasing] is so rare and people have really outgrown that immature phase. I’ve grown up with asthma and it will always affect me.â€?

Freshman Hubert Tsen has actually experienced the nightmarish scene described above. On March 23, Tsen was at swim practice when he suddenly collapsed on the pool deck. The coaches were able to stop him from hyperventilating, and Tsen was rushed to the emergency room. He says, “It was so bad that if it wasn’t for the great coaches on deck, I may not be here.� Astonishingly, this was the first time Tsen had been exposed to the risk of asthma. Before, he did not even know that he was asthmatic. After his diagnosis, Tsen reflects, “ Many years ago I’ve always noticed something was wrong when I swam, but I never took any action or took the time to figure out was wrong.� His symptoms only occur following rigorous exercise, but he is still cautious, saying, “ I take a puff of my inhaler now everyday before practice, and I bring it to the pool deck just in case anything happens.� Even after his life-threatening experience, Tsen is still accepting of his asthma, saying, “It’s just part of my everyday life now.�







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Lynbrook Springs into April by


As spring rolls around, Lynbrook students participate in various school activities. Clockwise from top left: The senior officers and their class advisor Jeffrey Bale pose at the first annual Lynbrook Short Film Festival hosted by the class of 2011. Senior Shannon Tolani is launched in the air by football players at the spring rally. Lynbrook Bhangra ends their routine at Interactâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual International Night hosted at Lynbrook. The sophomores perform a dance routine at the spring rally.

Issue 8, 2011  

Volume 46, Issue 8, April 13, 2011

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