ASB President steps down by
dianaDING & saumyaKUMAR
In the race of ASB, the baton was passed two weeks ago, as ASB President Kevin Chuang stepped down and ASB Vice President Sebastian Liu took his place as the new ASB president for the rest of the semester and school year. After much consideration and discussion, Chuang has decided not to return to his position second semester due to personal reasons. Chuang released a public statement on Wednesday regarding his resignation from offi ce. It is as follows: “Dear Lynbrook Vikings, After giving it much thought and talking to a multitude
of people, I have decided that I will not be coming back as your ASB President for the second semester. I hope all of you can support Sebastian as you have with me. The best is yet to come!” Liu will now take on full responsibility of ASB and the Leadership class. “I am supporting Kevin in his decision and I hope that this time off will be benefi cial to him,” says Liu, “The decision is his, and I am doing my best to step in to support him as vice president.” As for the remainder of the school year, Liu has some slight changes that he wishes to make with the goals of
see ASB pg 3
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS? PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY NEWS SECTION
Track and ﬁelds renovation delayed by EIR and concerns from a community activist group, LMU
teresaLIU & candyCHANG
In June 2009, Principal Gail Davidson was playing with paper cutouts. Important cutouts, of the track and fi elds. After hearing community complaints about the orientation of the fi elds that were planned to begin construction during the summer 2010, Davidson realized the necessity of responding to their concerns and promptly began creating a new design. Now, it is fi rst semester of the 2010-2011 school year and the fi elds have not changed. Since Davidson’s new design, which was approved later that summer of 2009, events have delayed the approval of the fi elds, namely the Environmental Impact Report (EIR), as required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The EIR makes observations on potential impacts and possible mitigation measures of a proposed project. Lynbrook has just fi nished the Draft EIR, which had
a comment period from July to Sept. 2010. The report received comments from 33 people. FUHSD Superintendent Polly Bove says that it is considerably diffi cult to process such a large volume of comments, some of which are more complex than others. Regardless, she says, “We are working hard to make sure we respond and do what is legally responsible to respond to those comments.” Not all of the community, however, is pleased with the possible impact of the new construction. An activist group made up of concerned residents from the Lynbrook and Monta Vista communities (where renovations are also scheduled to take place) called Lynbrook-Monta Vista United (LMU), submitted many of the concerned comments seen in the DEIR. Bob White, one of the residents who helped establish the group, says that LMU is “not against the school, but we certainly want to make sure that the community as a whole is included.”
LMU is most concerned with the 80-feet tall stadium lights—evening games typically translate to additional noise, traffi c and light impact on the privacy of neighboring homes. Although the lights have minimal spill, the streets adjacent to the football fi eld, such as Oak Park Drive, would still be signifi cantly affected. In the DEIR, however, the overall impact on the neighboring community of the tracks and fi elds renovation with some limits on the times and number of days the lights can be used is “less than signifi cant.” Assistant Superintendent Glenn Evans clarifi es that “CEQA doesn’t say you can’t have the environmental impact; it just says that you have to make an informed decision and make a defensible, justifi able decision with the knowledge of what the impact [is], if any.” In addition, the LMU is concerned that if the lights are
see LIGHTS pg 2
All aboard the Viking Boat by
danielleLERNER & brianZHAO
Concealed under the concrete base of our Viking Boat lies a relic of Lynbrookâ€™s past, a 40-year-old time capsule, buried by the class of 1970. This coming summer, when construction begins, the class of â€™70 plans to uncover this important piece of Viking history for the first time. The Viking Boat that resides outside the Cove was originally built by students from the class of 1970 as a gift to the school. Last year, National Honor Society (NHS) proposed not only retrieving the time capsule, but also building a new boat, as a large crack had formed down its middle. â€œIt was becoming unsafe, so it was going to be demolished anyway,â€? said Steve Chamberlain, Lynbrookâ€™s facilities manager. NHS then contacted architect Scott McCurry, who offered to provide his services for free in a joint effort project along with the school board, the district, and the PTSA. The PTSA has allocated $4,000 dollars from its own funds to the project, and has raised $2,612 so far this year through parent donations to fund the demolition and installation of water pipes near the new monument. Chamberlain estimates that the cost of the process will be between $20,000 and $25,000. Principal Gail Davidson says she and NHS began exploring ideas for the new viking boat last spring. The concept was to create a monument that still incorporated the plaques in a place where students could hang out, and at the same time be much more spacious. Davidson explains, â€œWe wanted something classy, but also something that would stand the test of time and continue to be a
place where students can gather.â€? Reinforcing Davidsonâ€™s words is 1970 Lynbrook alumnus Pat Kruse. Speaking on behalf of her classmates, she says, that they â€œabsolutely agree with the decision to rebuild. [The Viking Boat] has become a primary meeting place for students and also speaks to our Viking roots.â€? At their class reunion on Oct. 9, the alumni solicited donations from their classmates to fund the project, which they have dubbed the â€œSave Our Shipâ€? campaign. Their ideas, as well as the money raised will be presented at the PTSA meeting on Nov. 9. While they stand behind the decision to rebuild the beloved Viking Boat, the class of 1970 feels they have made a positive impact and will not be forgotten. Kruse explains, â€œWe made this boat as a symbol of our time in high school. Other classes followed suit by adding their own plaque â€“ incredible in that these classes were also acknowledging the symbolism and significance of their time at LHS. The boat is placed in such a prominent location as one enters the campus that we are sure it holds USED WITH PERMISSION OF SCOTT MCCURY quite a special place in many peopleâ€™s hearts.Â We wanted to leave our â€˜markâ€™ and have something that deThis birdâ€™s eye view of Lynpicted our legacy.â€? brookâ€™s new viking boat design. The alumni plan to uncover their time capsule this summer at Construction is set to start next the construction groundbreaking with the help of the PTSA and the summer. Lynbrook ASB.
LIGHTS|Opposition postpones construction continued from pg 1 approved and implemented, the community will no longer be able to give their input on extracurricular or out-of-district-teams field usage. Davidson responds by clarifying that community activities related to the new fields will be clearly drawn out after the EIR is passed. For school-related activities, stadium lights on the football field would be in use 6 days a week until 9 p.m., with the exception of football games, which would last until 10:30 pm. Marching Band, which would benefit from the stadium lights, has always practiced at Cupertino High School on Satrudays evenings with lights. Band teacher John Felder explains, â€œThe community at Cupertino has to deal with two marching band rehearsals and at least two games every weekâ€”thatâ€™s five nights of sound and light a week.â€? LMU believes that a middle ground could be achieved by installing lower-level lights that equally facilitate practice. Since Cupertino is currently in the process of reno-
vating their fields, the band has rehearsals at Lynbrook on Monday and Wednesday nights, with district-rented four portable light standards. However, Davidson says that these lower-level lights have an increased spill and would not be as safe for late-night football games. Instead of spending funds on lights, LMU wants to consider improving some of the FUHSDâ€™s unfunded projects, such as building new classrooms and installing increased fire detection technology, to prevent a repeat of the arson at Trace Elementary School this summer. Measure B bond money is allocated based on a districtwide master plan outlining the immediate and longer range needs at all district schools. It includes funds for increased campus security, and the improved multi-use tracks and fields are a priority and part of the stated improvements the community voted for when they passed the bond. Davidson emphasizes that a status quo of consistency does not apply here because â€œthe situation has certainly changed.â€? 40 years ago, Lynbrook was a â€œmuch smaller school.
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There were no competitive sports for girls in 1965. The total number of sports and athletes has greatly increased in the last 40 years,â€? says Davidson. Regarding the changes, PTSA President Deborah Ward adds, â€œLynbrook High School is a very important part of this community; our house prices reflect the excellence of the school and updating the amenities is necessary to keep us competitive with the other schools in the area.â€? She also echoed a sentiment shared by many of the community members at the Sept. 23 Lynbrook track and field meeting meeting that she â€œwould like to see [the stadium lights] completed as soon as possible.â€? In the meantime, LMU is waiting for replies from EIR, keeping the Murdock Neighborhood Association updated with the latest progress and consulting with an attorney for advice. Leader in LMU and resident of the Monta Vista community, Dave Radtke says, â€œWe can understand that high school students would back a plan that would include lighted fields. But we do expect better from adults, whether [they be] parents, administrators, or others, when they realize that these neighborhoods are opposed to them.â€?
Online polling system started by ASB Elections Committee by
Keeping up with modern technological times, Lynbrook implemented an online voting system called eduBallot at the beginning of this year. As Elections Commissioner Candace Liu says, “The online polling system this year is more efficient than last year’s because it takes less time and people to count the ballots. We also don’t have to disrupt class to distribute and then collect ballots.” The administration decided to use an online voting system after observing other schools that have used online voting, specifically Monta Vista High School, which has been using online voting for several years. Implementing the online voting system costs $399, roughly the same costs as a year’s supply of paper ballots. However, the cost of eduBallot covers use for the entire year, instead of a fixed number of paper ballots. Assistant Principal Ellen Reller says, “Having unlimited uses also increases voting efficiency because we avoid wasting paper ballots, which were sometimes misplaced by teachers or not filled out seriously.”
Freshmen Guidance Night The Guidance Department welcomes all current freshmen and their parents to an informational evening on Thursday, Nov. 4 from 7 pm to 9 pm in the auditorium. The Guidance staff will be going over valuable information pertaining to high school success. Topics of discussion will include an introduction to the college process and requirements, an overview of LHS resources, graduation requirements, summer activities and more. Link Crew Halloween Carnival Trick or Treat! Come out and celebrate Halloween by attending the annual Link Crew Halloween Carnival on Friday, Oct. 29 from 3:15 pm to 4:30 pm in the quad. All current Freshmen are encouraged to come out attend this festive event. There will be booths with exciting games as well as prizes for the winners. Free food and candy will be available.
The new online system has already been used for school site council elections and Homecoming nominations and elections. It will be used in the future for any school-wide polls or surveys such as venues for Winter Formal, class elections and ASB elections. However, only a relatively small portion of the student body participates in online elections. For the school site council election, 44 percent of the student body voted, while 30 percent of the student body voted in homecoming nomination and 35 percent of the student body voted in the homecoming election. Reller says, “We hope to increase student body participation in online voting to 70 percent by the class elections. By then, people may have heard of online voting through word-of-mouth.” In addition, the administration plans to encourage students to vote by providing incentives, such as a chance to win a raffle. Reller says, “We’re providing students with a more natural way of voting with this new system instead of handing them a paper ballot and forcing them to vote. Now it’s the students’ responsibility to vote.”
Coffee with the Principal GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATION BY IRENE HSU
On Oct. 26, there is a Coffee with the Principal in which staff, parents and students can meet with Principal Gail Davidson. She will be discussing student accomplishments, the new Homecoming scoring system, Measure B Bond and upcoming plans for the 2010-2011 school year. Davidson will also be addressing plans and goals from the WASC committee and information about the Nov. 2 election. She will be open to any questions and concerns. CalGames Robotics Competition On Oct. 23 and 24, Lynbrook hosted its first ever CalGames Robotics competition in the gym where teams from across California came to participate. The objective was to compete against other robots in BreakAway, a game similar to soccer. The teams had designed and created pre-programmed robots ahead of time. In the first part of the competition, robots autonomously kicked balls through zones while in the second half, participants had to maneuver their robots to climb towers. The name of the Lynbrook team’s robot was Soccer Chimpbot Extreme. “Movember” For the month of November six Lynbrook staffers will be participating in an international event called “Movember,” a men’s health movement to raise awareness for cancers that affect men. The rules of “Movember” require participants to not shave their facial hair for the whole month. Mike Williams, Jose Ramirez, Michael Esquivel, Jeremy Kitchen, Lee Akamichi and Jeffrey Bale be officially participating, but Bale has prepared activities for the whole school to engage in. The details are being kept undercover, but expect “Mustache Mondays,” a montage of photos at the front of the school, and a large front gate decoration. There will also be a way to make donations in support of the cause. By Sahila Jorapur, Clay Song, Joy Shen and Austin Yu
ASB| Chuang steps down, Liu steps up continued from pg 1 ASB in mind. “I want to lead ASB to exemplify and represent the school in the best way as I can, as a role model. It would be great to increase student body participation so the students at Lynbrook have a stronger sense of unity,” says Liu, “not only as a class, but as a whole school.” The adjustment to Chuang’s resignation thus far has been a smooth one, both for Liu and the entire Leadership class as a whole. Principal Gail Davidson says, “I’ve been really pleased with how the leadership class is reaching out into new areas and working as a team. When Kevin did step down, the roles were reassigned. Sebastian and the leadership team worked together and didn’t skip a beat, especially right before homecoming, the biggest event of the year.” In addition, Leadership class advisor Tania Yang will be leaving second semester due to pregnancy leave, so business teacher Andrea Badger will be taking over the leadership class come January. “I’m definitely looking forward to working with Ms. Badger. I think she’s really well suited for this position and that we will be able to work really well and the transition will be very seamless,” says Liu.
Liu takes up new ASB president responsibilities
WASC inspires stress research group by
sonikaSUBRAMANIAN & janeJUN
As the school year unfurls, many students begin to utter the same complaint, “I’m so stressed out.” But this year, Principal Gail Davidson plans to form a new Stress Management research group to accomplish one of Lynbrook’s three Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) goals, which is to help students build resilience and manage stress effectively. The research group will be a committee of teachers, parents, students and professional researchers. “Every single school has its own unique, distinct culture. We want to better understand Lynbrook’s cultural components so that we can find out which ‘coping strategies’ work and share them to our students,” says Davidson. In order to gain more a comprehensive view on the matter, Davidson hopes to include Dawn Bridges, Lynbrook’s student advocate. Bridges wants to see more juniors and seniors helping out the committee. She believes that although Lynbrook
has generally high levels of stress, they seem to spike in juniors and seniors. She hopes that by more juniors and seniors joining the committee, they would contribute more information to help further the group’s research. Alyssa Fu, a Stanford Ph.D student studying social psychology, will be sitting in committee meetings, the first of which is set to be on November 1st. She will be offering qualitative professional feedback. Fu says the study is planning be trying to answer questions such as, “How are students experiencing parental pressure? Does it add to students’ stress or are there times when parental expectations can actually be motivating?” Although the members of the study group have been finalized, Davidson still encourages the Lynbrook community to contribute their opinions and experiences on the matter. “We really want more parents and students to be in- volved so [students’] voices can be heard, and we can better help the struggling students cope with stress in a healthy, productive manner,” Davidson says.
Peanut butter and trafﬁc jam Both parents and students are the reason for traffi c problems at Lynbrook—this needs to change by
An SUV’s front is smashed, steam rises from its engine and into the morning air. Shattered glass covers the ground. This is the scene of an accident on Rainbow Dr. last month. “It was really random. One car just suddenly rammed into the other and its windshield exploded,” says sophomore Edward Yeh. “I don’t think the driver was paying attention at all.” With drivers making illegal U-turns in the middle of congestion, kids getting out of cars in the middle of the street, speeding, breaking stop signs, “piggy-backing” (cutting your turn at the stop sign) and making three point turns, it is a miracle similar accidents don’t happen every day. On the other hand, bikers ride without helmets and break stop signs as if there was nothing in the world to harm them. “The main rule is that pedestrians have the right of way and sometimes the parents don’t realize that when their kid is late, they just want to go through,” says Miller Middle School crossing guard Jenny James. Lynbrook students are observant. They can see a disconnect between what their parents tell them to do—be a safe driver—and what their parents actually do—step on the pedal. Students begin to think that traffi c rules are not important enough to be adhered to word for word. It is easy to forget that not following traffi c rules is more serious and dangerous than cutting in line or watching too much TV. It is not just an issue of morality, it is an issue of mortality. It will be too late for teenagers to learn the hard way that invincibility is a product of an overconfi dent imagination. Regarding students’ lack of adherence to the traffi c laws, Assistant Principal Sydney Marsh says, “People
come to school later than I wish they would and it makes a huge congestion out there and in the congestion, people tend to make poor decisions.” “If you are at the school by 7:15 for four days of the week, and obviously on Wednesday by 9:00, you will have no problems and no safety issues and you will arrive at school relaxed and ready to start school,” Marsh says. That seems like a small thing to ask, but this solution rests solely upon students’ willingness to wake up a little earlier in the morning. Miller Middle School’s principal Sal Gumina, however, has another solution to offer. “It would be nice to have law enforcement here in the morning and afternoon,” says Gumina. “Whenever there’s a visual presence of law enforcement, obviously people are going to follow the laws of the road better.” This is an almost foolproof solution, but the police have more important things to do than herd Lynbrook students and supervise speeding parents every morning. “It is really hard to get them out to Lynbrook High School because we are not considered a safety danger area. There are some other schools who do have it worse than we do...so sometimes we think they’re going to come and they get called away,” says Marsh. Students who live far away have no choice but to take a car to school, but those who live nearby only add to the congestion by coming to school in cars as well. Fortunately, the city of San Jose has a remedy. “[They will] no longer have that center divider lane, where you can make a U-turn from it,” says Marsh. “They’re going to paint a series of diagonal lines, which means no more illegal U-turns.” The city might also add a drop-off zone along the edge of Rainbow Park that borders Rainbow Drive in order to relieve some of the congestion. In the meantime, the traffi c will continue to cause unecessary stress in the morning. Even with infrastructural changes, it is up to parents and students to permanently solve the issue by coming early and biking or walking to school.
Trouble spots near Lynbrook 1. Johnson Ave.
Frequent illegal U-turns made; heavily congested after 7:20 am. This street is the target of new infrastructure changes which will eliminate the center divider lane
2. Donington Dr.
Mostly pedestrian problems; students cross intersection and disregard trafﬁc
3. Rainbow Dr.
Heavy trafﬁc because students from Miller Middle School and Lynbrook High School arrive around the same time in the morning
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY NOORSHER AHMED
rigor than Brittany S. Pierce from Glee does (no pun intended) sexual partners. I’m talking about shows like CSI: Las Vegas, where tween “sensation” Justin Bieber was recently invited to play the troubled mastermind behind the crime of the season 11 premiere, in hopes of spiking ratings with some prepubescent hair-fl ips. It gets worse. Beyond Bieber, CSI: Las Vegas is also expecting actresses Elliot Gould and Ann-Margaret for some rating-rearing; Cougar Town reunites actresses Courtney Cox and Jennifer Aniston so as to get the show off its feet in its just-budding second season; and the cast of 90210 welcomes Joe Jonas. How this all plays out, however, is in the hands of the executive director. Fans are wondering if this carefully calculated strategy hasn’t already taken over Glee. Despite fi nishing its fi rst season as an extremely successful show that garnered huge Gone are the days of Friends, when characters success from all over the globe, its second season is dry in would record their season-spanning adventures at some comparison in terms of plot development. Starting with picturesque coffee shop and their apartments with the the middle of its fi rst season, Glee cannon-balled into spesame six people. cial-guest casting, taking in stars like Kristin Chenoweth, Say hello to shows that add characters with more Olivia Newton-John, Josh Groban and Neil Patrick Harris
To Gleek or not to Gleek
for short-lived and insignifi cant roles that do not serve the story as much as it does the audience. And despite producer Ryan Murphy stating that the current season will be focused on exploring the territory of the original characters, the risky (and potentially suicidal) move of promising stars like Zac Efron, Javier Bardem and Tim Curry future roles could prove to be a shot to the foot. It is hard to escape the fact that, ultimately, it is done to monger ratings that (albeit briefl y) promote the actor and the show, but not necessarily the story being told. Modern shows that overdo special guest appearances do so at the risk of eating up time normally dedicated to story exposition and regular lead character development, and can change the nature of the series. The priority of the show should be placed on the story itself fi rst, with fl ashy celebrities following the critical foundation in plot, and not vice-versa. The sheer number of TV shows inviting music industry bigshots has increased exponentially, and the suffering plotlines and slow decrease in ratings should be more than enough incentive to bring back the original characters and keep it that way.
Voice of the Epic
Lighting the Future The stadium lights are a necessary investment that will enhance the student experience Zoom in on Lynbrook in Google Maps, and the need to renovate our fi elds is apparent: the fi rst thing that catches the viewer’s eye is the dilapidated track. Zoom out a little, and the density of residential houses surrounding Lynbrook presents another problem—the light and noise impact of evening games on the surrounding neighborhood. But zoom out again, to Santa Clara County, and notice how all the high schools have beautiful, renovated tracks, save fi ve. The fi ve fi elds in Fremont Union High School District. Lynbrook needs new fi elds—fi elds with lights. They are 40 years overdue, and the Measure B bond may be the only money that is given towards facilities renovations for quite a while, given the state of the economy. The lights are not wished for by a self-centered student body. They are essential not only to our athletes and our musicians, but to our identity as a school. It is a given that sports and the Marching Band will be able to practice longer with lights; it is, apparently, also a given that all sides in this debate over lights are for the athletes and for the fi elds. Therefore, the disagreement remains over the disturbance that evening games and practices will cause. Even then, there are only fi ve or six nights a year when the lights will be on until 10:30 p.m. Those nights would be true home games, played at home, on Lynbrook turf—and neighbors would, like always, be welcome to take part. Even Lynbrook’s unarguably academic slant should not be an excuse for an outdated fi eld. Students will come and go, but the fi elds will not. As Superintendent Polly Bove says, “It’s not clear when we’ll have the chance to do this again. We’re planning for a very long future.” In ten years’ time, Lynbrook may well be the only school without lights on its fi elds. Standards may not be written down on paper, but to be the one school without lights—the one school that has to host its home games somewhere other than its own renovated fi eld—is at once an embarrassment and an inconvenience.
An embarrassment, because we will still need to borrow a fi eld when everyone else is defending their home turf; an inconvenience, because Cupertino’s community has been dealing with more than enough noise from hosting Lynbrook and Monta Vista games for 40 years. And to even suggest rotating between different schools to lessen the burden is ridiculous. All fi ve schools were given money to renovate their fi elds; Lynbrook should not be allowed to do a half-job. The renovations are not just there to facilitate game coordination and stay standardized. Principal Gail Davidson says, “The fi elds are classrooms. They are places where students are learning, not just skills, but teamwork, leadership, and all those other skills that students learn through physical education and through athletic competition, and through band performances.” In short, lighted fi elds are there to complete the high school experience, a mixture of brashness and brilliance that Lynbrook students, however studious, should not be deprived of. Installing lights in the fi elds would greatly increase the points of brilliance that graduates will be able to look back on with fondness. Lights mean evening games played at Lynbrook, on fi elds that have never hosted a homecoming game since their construction over 40 years ago. Lights mean increased pride in our facilities and our athletics, as well as ourselves. Lights mean a whole lot more than noise, rowdiness and traffi c. As a school with residential areas nearby, however, we have to reach out to our community. Without their support, nothing can be truly resolved. We need to show them that the new facilities would welcome them with open arms. Let us invite them to evening football games; let us offer them the opportunity to use our new fi elds. If they do not manage to stop the tide, they should at least be able to enjoy the ride. GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATION BY NOORSHER AHMED
Teachers should not be scapegoats by
Ranked 10th of a total of 1,236 public high schools n the state of California, Lynbrook is the paragon of academic excellence. This high achieving environment inevitably leads to pressure to succeed and a mentality that places the blame where it shouldn’t be. In general, teachers have been on the receiving end of these complaints. But the fact of the matter remains that it is not the teachers’ fault, but rather a fl aw in the mentality of the average high school student. The competitive nature of Lynbrook lends itself to the large number of high achievers at Lynbrook, with the top 10 percent of the graduating class of 2010 at a 3.94 to 4.00 GPA. With this much competition, a B or a C often leads to a never-ending stream of complaints by parents to teachers. Parents often ask why their son or daughter got a B when they tried just as hard as those who got an A. There’s something we need to understand about the American education system: Americans love the underdog. The classic rags-toriches story is loved by all for its promotion of hard-work. But teachers don’t give As for effort, they give As for the students’ results. Teachers themselves are under a lot of pressure to maintain a relative semblance of a Gaussian distribution in their grading. After all, an A-average would call into question the diffi culty of the class and even the competence of the teacher. Thus, it is impossible for teachers to give all-As. If everyone gets 100 percent, some 100
percents will inevitably, and as little sense as it makes, be worth more than other 100 percents. And where an A may be deserved, an A may not be given. Teachers always try to give an A where one is deserved but this is not always possible. This scenario generally leads to a parentteacher confrontation. Senior Timothy Chai, a four-year veteran of the Lynbrook grading system says, “Parent’s generally tend to trust their kids more, so when we tell them we’ve tried our hardest and that we think we deserved an A, they automatically assume that teacher’s at fault.” Unfortunately, this mentality is prevalent throughout the Lynbrook student community. And part of this is due to the high level of competitiveness and the high selectivity of colleges. Chai, however, chooses to trust his teachers. “Who reads your work and observes you in a learning environment for at least 45 minutes a day, seven days a week? Not your parents, that’s for sure,” he says. Whether the education system is “fair,” will be left for another story, but the answer whether or not the teachers are at fault is a defi nitive “no”. While some teachers may have rather bigoted grading policies, the vast majority strive to maintain a high level of equity. So the next time you get that B, don’t tell your parents to go duke it out with your teacher, ask yourself why you got that B and how you can improve next time around. Regardless of whether this is productive for you, it sure beats sitting in embarrassment as your parents harass your teachers.
Participation is essential for e-voting
nancyNAN & ireneHSU
Fourteen people walked onto the football fi eld at halftime of the Homecoming game on Oct. 15 as the crowd above them quieted and waited to see who would be crowned Homecoming King and Queen. Seventy percent of the crowd did not vote for those people. Voting for Homecoming was launched online this year and Lynbrook switched to EduBallot. Our new online voting system attempted to be more effi cient and decrease the number of wasted votes. Assistant Principal Ellen Reller also suggested the system could “help increase civic action and raise awareness of democratic participation.” However, the low number of voter participation suggests that even with the potential of the online ballot system, little will happen if people do not use it effectively. Only 30 percent of students participated in the nominations for the Homecoming Court and 35 percent voted in the fi nal election. Reller and junior Candace Liu, Elections Commissioner, sent out several emails through SchoolLoop and made daily announcements this month reminding students to vote. Students had 48 hours to vote, which is considerably more time to make a decision than the usual 15 or 20 minutes allotted under the old system. Even with the increased amount of voting time and information about the ballot, some students were not interested enough to vote. Sophomore
Eileen Chien adds, “I didn’t think that Homecoming was that important and I didn’t know what the candidates did, so I ended up not voting.” Though the small voter turnout doesn’t seem like a big deal, it corresponds to a larger issue: the shockingly low voter percentages for national elections. According to Gallup Polls, the expected voter turnout for young adults (aged 18 to 29) for the midterm election next month is only 19%. If students don’t even take the time to vote in a school election, they will have trouble voting in larger-scale elections, where the process is more complicated. As the percentage of people in our age group who vote decreases slightly year by year, we often take our right to vote for granted. Participation in public affairs is crucial to the functioning of our democratic society. If we ever want to be able to fully participate in national elections in the future, we should be more enthusiastic about comparatively smaller instances now, like the elections online. While it is true that some people had problems with the system or were unaccustomed to it, students are encouraged to send in suggestions to Liu and Reller. The problems can usually be remedied with time and experience as students become more comfortable with the system. However, the main problem is not the system itself; it is the lack of voter participation, and the only way to solve that is by voting and participating in future elections.
GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATION BY JASMINE MIRESHGHI
LHS students face political ignorance dianaDING
Everyone has seen those videos where a person with a video camera walks around interviewing pedestrians who come off as extremely ignorant when they can’t point out Kentucky on a map of the United States or name the Vice President. The sad truth is that our generation is not that much better. In a poll conducted by Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE), only 26 percent of those between age 15 and 24 believed that being involved in democracy and voting was ‘extremely important.’ In 2004, only 6 percent of American youth were following the presidential election. Our generation needs to be more informed about politics and our government. A few Lynbrook students have already gotten politically involved.
Junior Sandeep Peddada works with city councilmember Pete Constant and the Youth Advisory Council of San Jose (YAC) to voice the opinion of youth, helping to write budget proposals for the city, advocating to keep youth centers and libraries open, and helping serve the community in general. “I decided to join YAC because it was the only way for me to be able to do something that would make a difference in the city and I also think it is cool to see how I can actually have a direct voice in government issues,” says Peddada. According to senior Jonathan Zhang, who participates in the club Model United Nations, “Politics is something that people have to actively relate to them. Everything you do and all the laws are important to politics. People don’t really engage in it because it doesn’t affect their life.”
There are things students can do to be more politically informed. Watching or reading the news is a great place to start; humorous late night shows like The Daily Show with Jon Stewart show can lighten up political topics using satire. Students can have discussions with their classmates, teachers, or parents about various relevant political issues. Some Lynbrook students even participate fi rsthand in order to gain a better perspective. Senior Alick Xu, who interned with gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman over the summer, also realizes the importance of being politically aware. Xu adds, “A lot of students at Lynbrook say that they don’t have the time to care about politics, but I think you should be involved in politics because the ideologies you have now shape the political stance you have in the future.”
INFOGRAPHIC BY SUCHETA KORWAR AND BRIAN ZHAO
Becoming the next YouTube star the Epic staffer Shannon Chai shares her experience on the process of producing a video
YOUTUBE LOGOS USED WITH PERMISSION OF YOUTUBE PRESS ROOM
Girl sings like a man
if they are in no way related to your video. For example, I’m pretty sure “Bed Intruder” has nothing to do with a video of an innocent high school girl singing the National Anthem in a suspiciously low voice. Also, choosing your thumbnail is essential for viral success. This screenshot of you is the first impression you’re going to make on viewers. Cross your fingers that the three available thumbnails aren’t the awkward shots of you scratching your nose. Step 3: Your patience results in a fabulous reward After my video went public, I immediately bombarded whoever was online with demands to watch my video. Fortunately, my friends have connections, and in a few hours, my video was embedded on Tumblr, Facebook and even a random Korean pop music fan site. The feeling of joy I achieved when I received a comment or a subscriber is incredible because I know someone took the time out of his or her day not only to watch my video, but to provide insight and feedback. Or just a lame, “Thumbs up if you’re the 251st viewer!” After experiencing the same adventure as Michelle Phan, Ray William Johnson and other internet sensations, I finally realize that making videos is not that easy. Some people have hundreds of videos up, and they devote their entire lives to this spectacular invention of the 21st century. So if you’re up to the challenge, post a video response to my video at http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=OC6vz2DMMXQ showcasing whatever you like, and I’ll be sure to comment, rate and subscribe. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY SAUMYA KUMAR
Turn on your computer, check the news and an article links you to a controversial news video. You’re lurking on Facebook when your best friend’s new status pops up ordering you to watch a man crying over a double rainbow. Log onto YouTube and your subscription box is overflowing with a new batch of entertainment. Face it, people watch a lot of YouTube videos. However, few actually realize how the videos come to existence. So, I decided to go on a hunt for the secrets to becoming an Internet sensation. Step 1: Film yourself for the world to see First, let me clear things up; no, you don’t just set your cheap digital camera on a table and smile charmingly while perfect speech flows mellifluously out of your mouth. On take one, I looked into the camera lens and managed to get out five semi-intelligent sounding words before forgetting how to say my name. On take two, I was able to get through three lines of “The Star Spangled Banner” before utterly failing in patriotism and forgetting the lyrics. Finally, on my third take, I succeed in completing an acceptable, uploadable video. Step 2: Put yourself out there on the Internet My next step was to upload my masterpiece through my cleverly conceived username: ShantomOfTheOpera, a portmanteau of Shannon and Phantom of the Opera. After my video was uploaded, I proceeded to pick tags and a thumbnail. If you’re as astonishingly intelligent as I am, then you understand the secret to getting more views is to tag trending topics and popular phrases, even
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY VICKY RO
danielleLERNER & nancyNAN
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY DANIELLE LERNER, NANCY NAN & ALICE ZHANG
Getting fancy: Nails done in Grace Kim style by
When senior Diane Chao had to get her nails done for her brother’s wedding, she didn’t go to a salon. She didn’t do them herself either. Instead, she commissioned Lynbrook’s very own nail expert, senior Grace Kim, to paint them. After about two hours of intense concentration, Kim had completed her signature light and dark color gradient for Chao, whose nails were now glittery beauties. “I was definitely very satisfied,” says Chao, “My relatives and family friends all complimented me, and when I told them a classmate of mine did them for me, they were shocked!” It’s not surprising that Kim is so skilled: she’s been, in her own words, “obsessed” with nails since the 6th grade. “I got really bored of the dull one-colored nails. I mean, everyone can do that,” says Kim. So Kim started painting her own more creative designs, getting inspiration from whatever she can do with the colors she has and the patterns that come to mind. Some of her personal favorites include sky blue to navy blue fading sets and colorful stripes done with mood polish that changes color. Recently, Kim, who has had up to 40 different shades of polish at a time, has turned her passion for nails
into money by selling fake nails to her friends and family. Prices vary from $10-$15, depending on the price of the original nails, how much time she works on them and what customers want on the nails. But like any entrepreneur, high school or not, she has come across difficulties. Even though Kim tries to keep her business small, time management has been an issue: it can take up to two hours to paint just one set of nails, and at times it gets hard to reach the strict deadlines that her customers give her and still have time for schoolwork. “Usually, people really want them for dances and other events,” says Kim, “I don’t know how teachers will end up planning tests and quizzes in that specific week, so time management becomes a really big issue for me during the school year.” But Kim manages, and her customers are satisfied as she paints nails for friends, wedding guests and even her mom. “Her nails are just as professional looking as most other nail salons” says Chao. So next time you need to go to a special event, are bored of your normal nails or just want to see what your manicurist looks like when she starts bawling after learning that you’ve decided to let her go, try to get Grace Kim to paint you something with a personal touch. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY SAUMYA KUMAR
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY SAUMYA KUMAR
3D Design 2 students create donuts for Psycho Donuts that add to the store’s crazy environment
Sweets from Psycho Donuts do not meet the Epic staffer Sucheta Korwar’s expectations by
With its insane asylum theme, flamboyantly-named donuts and local art décor, Psycho Donuts is more of an entertainment hub than a donut shop. After stepping into Psycho Donuts, the open sign says “Open for Insanity,” with the most prominent aspect of the shop being the art by local artists. The paintings are bizarre, depicting spiderhumans, skeletons and monsters, adding to the psychotic ambiance of the donut shop along with dangling body parts, skeletons and caution tape. The cashiers, dressed like nurses, administer bubble wrap therapy, handing out squares of bubble wrap to help cope with the stress of deciding which donut to buy and selling coffee as shock therapy. A television playing the scariest moments in horror movies and a mirror that says “Psycho of the Month” complete the mental hospital theme. However, after all the theme buildup and imaginative donut names, the donuts themselves are a big let-down. Donut names like “Nutella the Hun,” “Noses and Eyeballs,” “Razveganpucker” and “The Michael Jackson” all suggest unusual donuts with exotic toppings and fillings, but they detract from the actual taste of the donut. Most donuts taste like average donuts despite interesting toppings and fillings like cereal and candy. Besides its extraordinary theme and decorations, Psycho Donuts is an average donut shop.
For the past month, the art aficionados and dilettantes alike in 3D Design 2 have been invoking their Rodin work ethics and chiseling, glazing and sprinkling their themed clay donuts for the new Psycho Donuts store. Students created their own original designs. “Students were expected to start with the concept of a donut and force it from there. They had to consider many elements like display, the overall presentation, and how it would look in a gallery or museum setting,” explains 3D Design teacher Charlotte Kruk. Students were encouraged to think outside the box. “We needed to make them as crazy as possible to reflect the craziness of the shop itself,” says Rashmi Raviprasad, a junior in the class. Many students opted to use mixed media elements like shards of glass, to emphasize the idea. After extensive brainstorming, students presented a range of different donuts. Some students made sophisticated donuts, such as Raviprasad’s Leaning Tower of Pisa donut, while others chose to create mad cow disease donuts after the mental disorder aspect of Psycho Donuts. Still others chose to create humorous donuts like obese donuts. Next time you run around the corner and the block into Psycho Donuts, be sure to grab a psychopathic donut and check out the clay creations of Lynbrook students.
Offer expires: Oct 15th 2010
Jake for Governor Some of my readers previously questioned whether or not my expertise only applies to high school relationships. To prove these disbelievers wrong, today’s gossip session will be transformed into a government and politics lesson. After participating in the Youth Leadership Mock Election and seeing all the candidates running for California governor, I have realized that I am actually quite the qualified candidate. The requirements to run for a state governor are as follows: to be a U.S. citizen, have a high school diploma or equivalent, be free of felony, have good moral character and to be free of any physical, emotional or mental conditions that would adversely affect one’s judgment. I am glad to say that I meet all of these conditions. I am a U.S. citizen. Sure, I probably don’t look like it with my hairstyle and super Asian wardrobe, but I know all the lyrics to the undeclared national anthem, Party in the USA, by heart. Also, every year on July 4th, I’m sure you all receive those miniature American flags unattractively planted in the most awkward spaces on your lawns. That is my doing. I have a high school diploma-ish. I basically fulfill most of the credits required by Lynbrook to graduate. What I lack in Econ credits, I make up for with my level 75 Maple Story character that has near perfect stats, with an impressive 436 points in intelligence. Don’t mess. As for the criminal record, I have a clean slate. Okay, fine, I guess I have committed a few misdemeanors of sorts. I do jay-walk to school almost daily, even when the crosswalk is in front of me, even when the crossing guard is whistling at me. But all the cool kids jay-walk, so it’s really okay. I also tend to be a napkin thief at McDonald’s, always taking more than 40 napkins and a couple handfuls of ketchup packets. None of the employees at McDonald’s ever say anything but instead give me looks of ultimate disapproval; so, it probably isn’t that big of a deal anyways. So for the most part, my record is free of scandals and crime. Now for moral character. Personally, I believe that judging moral character is incredibly subjective. While many tell me that the way I treat my girlfriend is abusive, and inhumane, I see it as preparing her for the real world. I really don’t see anything more sweet than prepping her for the millions of disappointments that she will have to experience when she fails. What some call heartless, I call tough love. Finally, I am definitely healthy. I am proud to report that my last visit with my pediatrician yielded a report with no diseases of any sort. The only problem that came up was that one of my nostrils is noticeably larger than the other. But I don’t believe this would hinder my performance as governor. My mental and emotional health is in tip-top shape. I don’t enjoy hurting myself, and I only cry after watching the most sentimental movies, like Secretariat or Dear John. I believe that I am more than qualified to be your next California governor. I would appreciate each and every one of your votes, and together we can change California. Unfortunately, I don’t have the necessary funds to put together a legitimate campaign; so, I have been reduced to campaigning in this measly 3 by 12 inch rectangle in the Epic. Hey, not all of us are head honchos at eBay or some bigshot mayor. I’m probably just going to write about high school relationships next time… Remember, Vote Lu, and girls will be stuck to you like glue! Check the box by Lu, and you won’t get the flu! Support Lu, and I’ll support you too! Pick Lu, if you don’t know the capital of Peru! If you’re sick of my lame rhyme debut, elect Lu! xoxo gossip boy, The Jake Lu
In today’s technologically advanced era, blogs, or web logs, are one of the fast-spreading phenomena that people use to express themselves. They’re places where users can share opinions and media like photos and videos, and discuss various topics in the form of an online journal. More and more students are now turning to blogs as an outlet for their thoughts. Junior Daniel Kao keeps a blog, though his is a
radical departure from the stereotypical blog. “Most people I know use Tumblr,” he says, which is an online blogging website where one can post anything from written to video entries, and can “follow” one another to see when others post new things. Kao is not an avid fan of Tumblr though; instead he uses his own web domain called Diplateevo. He started it freshman year as a personal blog, but gradually it became a place to share his Christian faith.
Religion is an important part of Kao’s life, and Diplateevo refl ects that. Kao regularly goes out on the streets to pray for and minister to other people. “On my blog I post testimonies of people who have been healed,” Kao says. “I also post some inspirational quotes I fi nd. It’s something I can and am glad to share.” Kao believes his blog is a vital part of his journey toward being a better Christian.
Senior Angela Wong devotes her time to a special interest blog called ZOMG!art. She uses it to share her artwork, from hand-drawn sketches to full-color digital drawings made with a tablet pen. She has posted her older pieces and her current work, a collection to which she is still adding. Unlike Kao, Wong enjoys using Tumblr, for its easy-to-navigate format and excellent support system. “Tumblr is a great online community,” Wong
says. “I’ve made many new artist friends from as far away as the Philippines, and we all give each other feedback on our work. Other artists’ opinions have given me helpful insight on how to improve my art.” When Wong has time, she takes artwork requests from other people. She has also made tutorial videos on request to show how she produces some of her pieces on Paint Tool SAI, a useful program for creating images with a tablet pen.
Wong sometimes gets inspiration for her work from other Tumblrs, which often link to the users’ pages on DeviantArt, a popular site made for sharing art. Blogging is a creative outlet for Wong. “It makes me think outside the box, and keeps me drawing every day,” she says. Other bloggers have clearly taken an interest in Wong’s passion, as she now has more than 1,000 followers.
Students use personal blogs to post updates on daily life, express their interests and write or rant about anything on their minds. Senior Kirstie Yu has a personal blog on Tumblr, which she fi nds is a great place to share her thoughts. “People are open and accepting on Tumblr,” she says. “They’ll follow you because they like what you post.” Yu often re-blogs images and videos from her favorite fan blogs, or blogs ded-
icated to a specifi c celebrity or product of popular culture. Among the fan blogs she follows are ones devoted to the hit Fox TV show Glee, actress Marion Cotillard and pop sensation Lady Gaga. “With fan blogs, followers keep one another updated on the latest celebrity news,” Yu says. “Sometimes on fan blogs you can fi nd previews of music from Glee before it actually airs.” On her personal blog, Yu also writes about her
stance on controversial issues like gay rights. She is comfortable expressing herself because bloggers form online communities where there is little bashing on opinions, part of the reason why Yu prefers Tumblr to other social networks. “On my blog I can really say what I think and my followers are supportive,” says Yu. “It’s nicer than Facebook, which is largely about maintaining a good public image.”
Cafeteria driving school into debt by
An effective yet precariously balanced system lies underneath the chaotic exterior of our school cafeteria. The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) was commissioned by President Harry Truman in 1946, shortly after World War II. According to its offi cial website, the NSLP aims to “provide nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day.” Being a federal program with a long history of development, the NSLP sets strict guidelines on both food quality and food safety. Lynbrook’s kitchens do not use fryers, and they offer whole grains, organic fresh fruits and vegetables, along with as little processed foods as possible. This program is especially helpful toward the students who are underprivileged, or do not eat well at home. Other students who do not live close to here or are unable to drive fi nd it convenient to eat at school. The cafeteria staff members also carefully manage production sheets to minimize waste and make sure to heat and reheat the foods properly. The schools participating in the NSLP, which include all public schools, such as Lynbrook, receive a standardized cash reimbursement from the government for each meal they sell, but must pay for the expenses in making meals themselves. In Lynbrook’s case, any surpluses or defi cits are added to or subtracted from the Fremont Union High School District (FUHSD) General Fund at the end of the year. Although full lunches are the cafeteria’s biggest source of income, Lynbrook actually loses 53 cents with every student purchase. For every lunch that it sells, Lynbrook is paid $3.50 by the program, yet spends $4.03 due to a low number of student purchases. Since the beginning of school, Lynbrook’s losses have totaled $3,200. While this may seem shocking,
this is only a continuation of a burdensome trend that has plagued Lynbrook for years. Even in something as inconspicuous as cafeteria effectiveness, Lynbrook comes in dead last: While Fremont High School leads the curve, with school lunch participation at 20 percent, and the district average at 12 percent, Lynbrook only has 10 percent of the student population buying full lunch. This results in the largest losses for Lynbrook out of any school in the district, as the other schools offer the same menus and prices as Lynbrook’s cafeteria does. On the other hand, Lynbrook ironically has the most food safety certifi ed staff in the district, with fi ve out of the seven members having received special restaurant-quality training. In the 1970s, Lynbrook broke even because it had a closed campus policy as well as two lunch periods. However, lunch was eventually reprioritized when considering more educational opportunities as well as students’ freedom. According to Bill Schuster, the FUHSD Nutrition Services Coordinator, “The biggest problem now is a long line, the cause of which is a poor cafeteria and serving area.” After Schuster fi rst entered the district three years ago, he increased participation by 345 percent since 2007 by changing policies and adding new foods to the menu; he is the man who invented the popular “breakfast pizza,” and introduced barbecue on Thursdays. He cites that the Measure B bond passed by community vote two years ago will be able to offer improvements to the Lynbrook cafeteria. When the bond pays off this year, Schuster, a former restaurant manager, imagines the redesigned food stations to be “much more friendly” and “appealing to all fi ve senses.” Whether or not the new system can sustain balance will be apparent once the renovations are fi nished and the students start lining up.
INFORMATION PROVIDED BY BILL SCHUSTER
GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATION BY IN-DEPTH SECTION
Additions to the by
The average American family has approximately 3.5 people in it. While one-half of a person may be impossible, for three Lynbrook students who have half-siblings and step-siblings, this description can be used to explain their family situations. Sophomore Leecie Suyeda has one half-brother, one biological brother and one stepsister. Halfsiblings share one parent while stepsiblings do not have blood relation. Although she did not grow up with them, Suyeda is close to her half-brother and step-sister. She says, “I feel like my half-brother [who is 23 years older than me] is my real brother: we complain about our mom, play video games, he picked on me when I was little…it’s not much different from any other sibling.” They behave so much like regular siblings that Suyeda was shocked to fi nd out that he was a half-brother a few years ago. Her stepsister, the daughter of her father’s long-time girlfriend, is currently a junior at Saratoga High School. After knowing each other for seven years, they discovered they share interests like drawing and watching the same TV shows. Suyeda even feels comfortable enough around her to have her stepsister move in permanently. Like Suyeda, junior Lillian Li has strong ties to her half-brother. Over several summers, she vacationed in her father’s house in Canada, where her stepmother and half-brother, who is nearly two years old, live. To Li, having a new half-brother could not be more exciting. When Li was at the airport, her father called her telling her he had a
surprise. Says Li, “At fi rst I thought he got a dog. [When I found out he meant a new half-brother,] I screamed.” Rather than being a wicked sister, Li is clearly an adoring sister to her baby brother. Gushing, she says, “He’s just so cute. I’m sad I don’t get to see him more often.” She only visits once per year and admits that he can be quite a handful. “He screams like a parakeet and bites me. Once he took out all the pots and dropped them onto the fl oor while sitting there laughing. [Still,] I love him a lot,” she says. Sophomore Kevin Wu, who currently resides with his mother, step-father and older stepbrother, agrees with Suyeda and Li. To Wu, living with a stepbrother did not make a large impact on his life. He says, “Besides another prepared room and more food for dinner,” he was not forced to change his lifestyle. In fact, he relates this experience to having a brother-in-law and a sister-in-law but feels closer to his new siblings than to in-laws. For all three students, the different ideals that their step-siblings and half-siblings grew up with never caused any problems. Suyeda says, “We understand what our parents went through and are going through, and we just want our parents to be happy.” Similarly, Wu says, “I don’t really fi ght with any of my siblings, real or step. In the end, [nothing is] serious enough to cause arguments.” Even though Suyeda, Li and Wu experience different family situations, all can attest to the fact that half-siblings and step-siblings are truly no different from and are just as lovable as regular siblings.
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY AUSTIN YU
Junior Joyce Chen drives a shot off the side of the green at Deep Cliff Golf Course. Chen is currently practicing towards the final competition of the year: CCS
Girls’ golf tied for 1st place in league by
They were number two in the league last year, and are currently tied at number one this year. With a current win:loss:tie score of 13:2:1, the girls’ golf team is determined to make the CCS championships on Nov. 2. But in order to do that, they have to place in the top 25 percent at the Coyote League Championships tomorrow at the Coyote Creek Golf Course on the Valley course. Other schools competing against them are Evergreen Valley High school, Saratoga High school and Homestead High school. At the championships, the team will have a chance to redeem their loss against their biggest competitor, Evergreen Valley High School; though the Evergreen team does have the Tiger Woods’ niece on their team, the Lady Vikes are practicing particularly harder to defend their rank in the league. Senior Celina Nanbara is confident that Lynbrook will make a comeback. “They think they are good, but we know we are better,” says Nanbara. Coach Art Zimmermann adds,“Many teams in the league have one or two great golfers out of six and the remaining four golfers are beginners. Lynbrook has two great golfers and four very strong golfers. Our depth of players is better than [that of] any other team in the league.” Sophomore Kimberly Vaz says that the team is strong in driving shots down the fairway, but when it comes to putting, she admits, “Coach Zimmermann can see that everyone needs to work on it.” Aside from Lynbrook’s rivalry, the team’s strong bonding this year has really helped them get to know each other better. The team members usually relax at the golf course clubhouses to discuss their performance at the game. Also
most of the team members are returners who already know each other well. Nanbara says this helps the team bond, “because we have more things in common to talk about.” Juniors Liz Liao and Evelyn Chu are the strongest golfers on the team. Despite constant appearances in local newspapers, Chu says, “I am proud to be playing with my fellow golfers. I don’t feel as if I am under a great amount of pressure because everyone on the team does an amazing job every game. I have been playing for about six years and it wasn’t until last year that I decided to focus on golf. Even then, it’s a great feeling knowing that the work I put in paid off, but it definitely isn’t the end of the road— there is still work to do.” The team is proud to have the league’s number one and two players golfing with them. Chu and Liao help their teammates and are always the first to step up to the challenge. Zimmermann says, “Liz and Evelyn always help their teammates with any part of their game they are struggling with. They are always there for the team and wait on the final tee to cheer their teammates on and are always encouraging them. Both are also very humble about how good they are.” He also adds that they are “grace under pressure,” being consistent with their shots and attitudes. The team is confident that they will make CCS again this year. Zimmermann agrees that although it was tough to start the girls’ golf league, and the score system put the Lynbrook team at a disadvantage, “I am confident we will dominate in league finals where five scores will be counted.” says Zimmermann. The girls’ golf team’s final match of the season is on Wednesday, Oct. 27 at the Coyote Creek Golf Course in Morgan Hill.
New coach brings positive spirit to LHS field hockey by
With CCS as a tangible goal, field hockey’s new coach Jenny Dumas emphasizes the importance of a good attitude while pushing the team to be its best. This is a distinct change from last year’s disappointing season. Under Dumas, practices still consist of a good amount of conditioning, but girls also are working on things like stick skills and game situations a lot too. Dumas’ coaching style is more positive than previous coaches. “Last year we dreaded getting on the field, we were afraid of making mistakes.” says senior Chelsea Zimmermann. Dumas is extremely clear about what the players need to improve on, but she also focuses on what they do right. The girls have had to adjust to Dumas’ more positive and supportive style of coaching.Junior Katie Chon says, “[After last year] it’s taken a while for us to look forward to practice again.” As team members begin to enjoy the game again, their passion for playing grows. She says,“This is the year we’re going to make it [because] we work well together and we’re having a lot of fun.”
GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATION BY JOY SHEN AND SONIKA SUBRAMANIAN
Boys’ polo ready for rematch against Wilcox by
After losing a tough match against Wilcox for the second time on Oct. 7, the Viking boys’ water polo team’s eligibility for CCS had been left uncertain for some time. This has been their second consecutive loss to strong rival Wilcox, placing them at the top of the division. Only the top seed from the division can make CCS playoffs. The team will have to defeat Wilcox in the league championships assuming Wilcox does not suffer any losses. The boys look for revenge through a decisive victory. While morale has been hindered by the losses, the team is still confident in their ability to defeat Wilcox. With a league record of eight wins to two losses, the team has easily championed over all their other opponents.“None of the other teams have given us any trouble,” says freshman Rishabh Hegde, an accomplishment the team is highly proud of. Looking for a victory with a newfound sense of energy and momentum, the players eagerly await their playoff determining confrontation against Wilcox.
“We’ll win,” says senior Vikram Kanth, “I mean, we lost by one [point] and we were up at the half four to two, so I don’t think we’ll have the same thing happen again.”
Junior Jeffrey Chen prepares to throw the ball past Santa Clara’s defender on Oct. 19.
Girls’ volleyball reaching new heights by
For the girls’ volleyball team, how you play is how you practice. And the more you practice, the better you play. On the court, it is the ability to stay focused and aware with consistency that makes or breaks a game. But working under pressure is not a problem for our girls’ volleyball team. In a matter of minutes, the girls are executing the new play and working on the fl ow as a group, helping each other out and changing positions to ensure that the overall result meshes with the dynamics of the team. It seems improbable that there might be more freshmen than seniors on Varsity this year. But that is not all. For the freshmen, a major factor in their ability to keep in shape by participating in club volleyball teams. “I think many of the players on the team were more accepting of the freshmen since they knew we had prior experience,” says freshman Stergiana Amberiadis. Being part of clubs like Stingray, City Beach and Vision provide experience with demanding practices, which help the perceived amateur and inexperienced develop their skills. In fact, participation in clubs is encouraged within the team, as it helps members bond outside of practice times. The hours spent with each other at clubs and other bonding activities brings the girls closer. The difference between previous seasons and this one is more than just age-deep. According to Assistant Coach Joe David, “There’s a lot more depth this year. They know a lot more than is expected. Last year, we played a lot of players who were good, and had potential, but were out of position. Hopefully, we can grow as a team and fi nd the rhythm that’ll get us to our goals.” With last year’s record of coming in second at leagues and making playoffs, the increasingly intense practices this year mixed with more extensive experience gained from clubs encourages the team to achieve equal, if not greater, results. “They’re young, energetic, and eager to learn,” says Head Coach Bill Fowler, “I intend to make the most out of that.”
You can run from P.E., but you can’t hide
Junior Gavriela Fine taps the ball over the net at the home game against Milpitas High School on Oct. 19.
Dual coaching beneﬁts cross country team by
With nine races into the season, the cross country team is still doing strong despite being in one of the toughest leagues of CCS. Head coach Jake White says, “A lot of our runners run personal bests at each race, and we’re running really well as a team, so we’re doing pretty well.”At the Monterey Bay Invitational on Oct. 15, the boys varsity team placed eighth, and the girls’ varsity team placed fi fth. Senior Cindy Huang came in third, while sophomore Shaelyn Silverman came in fi fth. Both belong to the girls’ varsity division. However, one of the highlights of the meet were the large number of runners who had ran personal bests. Sophomores Silvia Signore and Jessica Fan ran their personal bests, beating their old times by roughly two minutes. Junior Andrew Kuo and sophomores So Masuoka, Anthony Hwang and Jeffrey Pea all ran personal bests in the boys’ varsity and junior varsity divisions respectively. All of the above runners had beaten old times by over thirty seconds. The team’s next goal are to have both girls and boys teams at CCS, and to have individual runners advance to the state meet on Nov. 26. White says, “The four other teams in our league all placed in the top 15 CCS, so we’re defi nitely in a competitive league. We’re just going to run our best and try to get to CCS.” The team has been greatly aided in its efforts to get to CCS this year by the addition of a new assistant coach, Richard Stiller, who is not new to the cross country scene. He’s been running long distance since 1968 and has logged over 100,000 miles over the years.
He also made several acquaintances with current cross country coaches in this area while running in long distance races against them over the last thirty years. These include Hank Lawson, Lynbrook’s previous cross country coach; Jake White, Lynbrook’s current head coach; Danny Moon, Saratoga High School’s cross country coach; and Walt Van Zant, Wilcox High School’s cross country coach. Stiller says, “I’ve been in these area for a long time, and I’ve known these guys and raced against them for about 30 years. These folks are all good friends.” From them he had learned a lot about how to coach teenagers. Stiller’s longstanding friendship with Lynbrook cross country’s head coach Jake White led to his current coaching job at Lynbrook. He and White ran together many times over the summer and it was White who fi rst brought up the idea of a job at Lynbrook. Stiller says, “[White] began a seductive process; he would bounce some of his ideas for the team off of me, and eventually asked if I would consider coming over to Lynbrook to coach cross country.” Now, he and White are working cohesively on coaching the cross country team. Combining both of their skills they have been able to foster the talent of the team. Stiller says, “My four goals for the cross country team are for the team to have fun; to help team members run the best they can, given their individual motivation and abilities; to support Jake’s, the head coach’s, vision; and to help runners learn something about themselves in the process of reaching these goals.” Stiller wholeheartedly supports White’s goal “to have every runner, regardless of their ability, reach the best performance they can. My job is to help get the varsity teams to the CCS fi nals.”
You know it’s a typical day in the locker rooms when you walk past rows upon rows of teenagers eagerly voicing out their pure hatred towards physical education, while deviously plotting a scheme on how to fake cramps or injuries in order to skip out of the day’s activities. I’ve heard excuses ranging from your standard, “I sprained my ankle,” to the more personal, “It’s that time of the month again.” But alas, being the intelligent Lynbrook students we are, I’m sure we’re all aware of the fact that most teachers do not fall for these pathetic so-called “excuses,” so it’s back to the drawing board for students to devise the ultimate fool-proof plan regarding their permanent removal from the P.E. attendance roster. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and it seems to me that the ultimate solution students end up administering is a little something called “P.E. Athletics.” Instead of taking two full years of P.E., students have the option of playing a sport to satisfy their physical education credits. Students who take the high road and opt to suffi ce their physical education credits through sports receive a sense of satisfaction, thinking they’ve come up with an easy way out of P.E. There’s no doubt that P.E. Athletics is a popular choice among sophomores, juniors and seniors, as with seniority comes lack of motivation and a strong desire for the most minimal amount of classes possible. People, in general, are lazy. We’re always looking for shortcuts—in school, life, everything. The ultimate goal of a physical education class is to emphasize the importance of creating a healthy, active lifestyle in contrast to a hectic schedule of all work and no play. By allowing students the choice of opting out of P.E., we are fueling the train for America’s onset towards obesity. Sure, it’s understandable how people would moan and cry at the thought of running seemingly endless laps around the track, but in reality, these mere laps prove to be nothing in comparison to the intense conditioning and practices members of the sports teams go through. A large portion of the students who resort to P.E. Athletics end up joining sports like cross-country or track, and ironically end up running ten times the amount they originally would have if they had just taken a normal P.E. course. Many of us would much rather prefer to run four laps around the track every now and then, than to run the equivalent of twenty laps, or more, on a daily basis, which is precisely the reason why P.E. Athletics should be reserved for athletes who take up sports for the love of them and not just as a shortcut to laziness. There are numerous devoted athletes who play sports because they possess a strong sense of passion and respect towards the game, not because it provides them an easy ticket out of an extra and exhausting class. They put in tremendous amounts of effort during practices and constantly strive for perfection. Lynbrook sports teams, as a whole, are very competitive and selective when it comes to choosing its members. Lack of interest and effort inevitably show upon players who do not take the sport seriously, which makes attempting to play a sport for the sole reason of not having to take P.E. more diffi cult than it may seem. The truth is most teams already have enough experienced, truly committed players, and don’t need half-hearted students with questionable intentions to be a part of their team. In the long run, you end up back where you started if you don’t make any sports teams—having to take P.E. So why waste all that valuable time and effort when you could be playing Starcraft or catching up on the latest episode of Glee? Because the truth hurts, and the truth is that our sports teams would probably be better off without any extra noobs.
GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATION BY ANTHONY DING
Home away from home by
danielleLERNER & austinYU
Lynbrook High School students typically have unique working environments. Whether it’s settling down in a quiet corner at the library, lying on the grass in the park, relaxing on a bed or simply sitting at a desk, our surroundings are personalized to refl ect our needs and interests. Teachers are no different. Studio Art teacher Lee Akamichi’s (top) offi ce is decorated with students’ work as well as some of his own creations. Similarly, art teacher Paul Willson (middle left) displays his Mad Men adoration and eye for color through fun furniture and 80s colored paint. Spanish teacher Michael Esquivel (middle right) shows off his heritage by hanging posters and banners portraying Spanish soccer teams, artists and the cartoon series Homies. Foods instructor Megan Hamilton’s (bottom left) neatly organized desk is surrounded by colorful food pyramids and ceiling ornaments. 3D Design teacher Charlotte Kruk (bottom right) furnishes her newly renovated offi ce with a comfortable couch and colorful paper art made by her students. Teachers’ rooms and various personal touches provide relaxing places for them to sit down, focus and release the stress of the day, all while feeling perfectly at home.