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A Rallying Cry Dustin Nguyen



PAGE 3 PUMPING UP SCHOOL SPIRIT (ABOVE): Paul the Patriot leads the cheer for the Oxford basketball team.

Oxford Academy’s Homecoming against Whitney High School rallies school spirit On Jan. 13, Oxford faced Whitney High School in soccer and basketball homecoming games with the help of a spirited crowd. Though there was no attendance count, staff and alumni who attended the game were pleasantly surprised at the unprecedented turnout. “It was probably the largest crowd we’ve had for Homecoming, [at least in recent years],” athletic director Dave Clifton said. With the large turnout of Oxford Academy supporters, fans cheerfully improvised seats. “The fact that people had to sit on [extra] chairs and on the aisles for a sporting [event] was the most obvious thing that made the Homecoming game stand out,” ASB president Mutahhar Sajjad said. Part of the higher turnout can be attributed to expanded participation. Although reserved in the past as a tradition for upperclassmen, this year’s Homecoming saw many junior high students in the stands as well. “What I noticed this year was that a lot more underclassmen attended the games which added to the overall support for [the teams],” junior Kelly Hoang said. Another first for Homecoming 2012 was the Calbi food trucks, which replaced the traditional tailgate barbecue. “The Calbi food truck was a first this year because we had no tailgate,” ASB activities commissioner, Kelly Chen said. “The food truck also got a lot of people out there that were not strictly Oxford students.” Students also rallied spirit with this year’s blue “I Heart OA” Homecoming T-shirts, which were sold before and during the games. “Homecoming T-shirts were a great success. If anything, ASB was shocked at

the amazing turnout for each,” Sajjad said. “Every single one got sold that day, all 150. They were so popular that we are ordering more.” The home crowd had merchandise fever as fans proudly wore blue shirts and waved blue pom-poms in support of a “Blue Out” cheer for the basketball teams. The total sales of the night resulted in huge profit for the school and reflected the support of the entire community. “I think the merchandise helped raise the spirit of the crowd. The pom-poms seemed to work out well because people just went crazy with them,” Hoang, said. The crowd’s energy caught the attention of senior varsity soccer player Tyler Hansen. “Homecoming always has a much larger turnout then other games, and it’s awesome

We definitely won in spirit, despite their black out attempt.

to have so many people cheering for you at once,” Hansen said. Oxford boys’ soccer resulted in a 7-0 victory against Whitney. The fans were especially pumped upon hearing the final score. “I guess it just felt really great to beat our rivals on homecoming by such a huge margin,” Hansen said. “We had a rough preseason, so I think that win gave the team a bit of hope for the games to come.” The girls varsity soccer game left Oxford with another victory, with a final score of 2-1. These victories rallied the crowd for the varsity basketball games.

Varsity girls played with determination while the crowd perpetuated its cheers against Whitney. During the latter half of the game, a surprise run-in of shirtless students spelling “OXFORD” with letters on their chest kept the crowd cheering. “The initial reaction was the strongest,” junior Jared Leeong said as one of the shirtless runners. “Everyone cheered when we ran into the gym. It was just a fun way to get everyone pumped up and spirited.” Despite the eventual defeat of the girls varsity basketball team, the crowd was in high spirits when the boys took the court. After the national anthem was performed by senior Johnny Cao-Nguyen, the game began with rallying spectators. The Whitney crowd attempted to host a “Black Out” by having students wear black shirts and dominate the stands. “We definitely won in spirit, despite their black out attempt,” junior Kristen Lim said. Dances from Paul the Patriot, cross-court running of the flag bearer, and running of shirtless students spelling “OXFORD” are all long standing Homecoming traditions that students had not forgotten this year. By the end of the night, the final score read 54-27, a victory for Whitney. Though disappointed, the crowd of fans maintained its energy and closed out with a rendition of the Fight Song. “We showed Whitney that we aren’t going to be sad over losing to them,” senior Evan Sanders said. Regardless of an atmosphere of loss, Oxford stayed spirited until the end. “I know a lot of people were disappointed that we lost,” Chen said. “Whitney just got lucky this time.”








S T A F F ALI FIGUEROA....................................NEWS EDITOR

GAIANA MORALES............................STAFF WRITER

SARI ZUREIQAT......................... .....SPORTS EDITOR

AMY CHI.............................................STAFF WRITER

GRACEE KIM.......................................STAFF WRITER

THERESA PHUNG..............................STAFF WRITER



TIMOTHY TORNO..............................STAFF WRITER

CAROL LEE..........................ILLUSTRATOR/ LAYOUT

JESSICA LIM..................................EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

VINCENT NGUYEN............................STAFF WRITER

CHRISTINE KIM..................................STAFF WRITER

JORDAN REYES..................................STAFF WRITER


DAVID PHAM.....................................STAFF WRITER


YVONNE NG......................................OP-ED EDITOR

DUSTIN NGUYEN..............................STAFF WRITER


ELLY SHIN...........................................STAFF WRITER


HIBA TAYLOR................................................ADVISER




January 26, 2012


Cops 4 Kids Toy Drive Keith Yoder

Oxford donates toys to annual community drive With the passing holiday season, Oxford academy participated in a district-wide toy drive to help support Cops 4 Kids, a program run through Anaheim Police Department, in encouraging the holiday spirit throughout the community in Anaheim. The program was offered to schools throughout the Anaheim Union High School District and to businesses throughout Anaheim to help fund the program with toys for kids of all ages. “Our toys stay here in Anaheim and we know that there are kids allover the world that need help but it means most to the people here in the city” Georgina Meza, the program coordinator said. The objective of the program is to help give a Christmas to children who otherwise would not have one, and is uniquely designed to help as many families as possible with the supplies given to Cops 4 Kids each holiday season. With the vision to provide for those in need, the program started four years ago and focused on a small number of families who the police department knew needed the caring support during the season

of giving. Unlike other programs, however, Cops 4 Kids individualized each gift, and also collected canned foods to help give the families holiday dinners with their loved ones. “Four years ago we had a bunch of toys that people had donated to us and we selected ten families with the city who had been contact with the police department for assistance. We delivered [the] boxes but when we got to the apartments we realized that they pretty much didn’t have the means to cook the canned foods.” Meza said. Since then, however, the organization has grown and was able to thoroughly support 268 families with food and toys for their children this passing Christmas. To avoid the canned food dilemma, however, a restaurant by the name of 195 offered to cook complete turkey dinners for every family and package them for delivery around Christmas. “The next year it was a collaboration with the organization leadership and the owner 195. they decided that they wanted to take the adopt a family concept and make it bigger. 195 cooked 125 complete

Giving back to the community Elly Shin

Junior Sophia Morgan Starts Tutoring Program As a part of an FBLA Community Service Project, junior Sophia Morgan started a Homework Help program at the Cypress Library. Morgan first got the idea for the project while outlining a list of possible programs for the FBLA Community Service Project. The project’s focus this year is on helping the Cypress Library. “Originally, I had thought of a oneon-one tutoring service that could be held at the library,” Morgan said. “However, after meeting with [the teen librarian], we agreed that opening a Homework Help Center that was designed as a homework lab would be more effective in bringing help to students and making them feel more comfortable in a friendlier atmosphere.” Susan Pina, teen librarian at the Cypress Library, welcomed Sophia’s initiative in starting the tutoring program as Pina had implemented a similar program last year at the Irvine Library. PIna started publicizing the program last summer, mostly within the library and also word-of-mouth through volunteers like Morgan. “Miss Morgan’s involvement has been fantastic,” Pina said. “She created awareness of the need for Homework Helpers for the program at Oxford and her awesome recruiting efforts resulted in twelve Oxford Academy students becoming Homework Helpers – without which the program probably wouldn’t be possible. The program depends entirely on volunteers, so we’re extremely pleased with Sophia’s efforts as well as all the dedicated Homework Helpers from Oxford.” The program holds its help sessions twice a week on Mondays and Wednesday, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., in the Cypress Library Community Room. Elementary and middle school students can come in unregistered for help on basic subjects.

Students who need help can check in and go to an empty seat to wait for an available high school tutor. All tutors are registered volunteers who turned in an application; twelve of the twenty volunteers are from Oxford. “All the Homework Helpers filled out applications at the inception of this program. We trusted the fact that those applying would have a stable academic standpoint and be strong in either Math or Language Arts, or both. Other than that, the Homework Helpers must be friendly, willing to help, and patient with the students,” Morgan said. About twenty students attend each tutoring session, and although originally intended for elementary and middle school students, the program has attracted many high schoolers. “The Homework Help is in its infancy, having only opened in November 2011. It’s a new service people are getting to know. Some are hesitant to try it,” Pina said. “It’s my belief some of the younger children are a bit intimidated by the room full of older students. Ultimately, however, the Homework Help Center attracts older students – that’s fine. We offer the service and whoever feels most comfortable using it is who will benefit from it.” Although part of the response to the Homework Help has been a bit unexpected, Morgan is positive about the future of the program. “I hope that in the future, more kids will be interested in coming to do homework or get help at the Homework Help Center, and leave feeling stronger in a subject area, be it math, history, English, or even organization,” Morgan said. “We want to make an impact in the community in that we hope our efforts at Homework Help truly make a difference.”

turkey dinners which includes turkey and all the sides already packaged and ready to go.” Meza said. While the number of families increases each year, Cops 4 Kids has maintained their tradition, and ensures to get the full name and age of each child from each family. From there, all the gifts that are picked up from schools and various buildings throughout the community were transported to Angel’s Stadium where they were all hand-wrapped and tagged for each child.

The tag specifically says “to” kid’s name “from” Cops 4 Kids.

“We will provide all the toys and every toy is wrapped and individually tagged. The tag specifically says “to” kid’s name “from” Cops 4 Kids. Then on the 23rd of December we get a group of volunteers that’s a lot of police officers and family and friends and they meet at a set location and we give them bags of family’s gifts to deliver to all the different families

throughout Anaheim.” As a secondary effort of the toy drive, police officers deliver the toys to develop a positive relationship between children and law enforcement at a young age. This year, the tote bags full of wrapped presents were picked up by police officers in uniform on Dec. 23 and distributed to each family along with individually prepared Christmas dinners. “It’s really nice because we try to get as many officers as we can to actually go in uniform. It’s sad but a lot of these kids, there interactions with a police officers isn’t always a pleasant one,” Meza said. Cops 4 Kids plans to continue their toy drive next year with the participation of Anaheim Union High School district. “We hope to be able to continue what we’re doing. Expanding would be great but just maintaining the level that we’re giving out as far as providing with gifts for all of their kids. We do what we can and it’s not helping everybody, but it’s helping some,” Meza said.


January 26, 2012



Club Feature: International Club Elly Shin

Going beyond the international assembly With a greater number of members and events, International Club plans on spreading more cultural awareness on campus by going beyond hosting the International Assembly. Last year, International Club was undeniably small in number with fewer than ten members cosistently attending meetings. The few remaining members thus formed this year’s officers, with junior Hanna Jeong and Hetal Shah as co-presidents. “Having a co-president can be difficult if the two individuals do not get along, but thankfully, Hanna and I do. When I am busy or can’t make it to an international meeting, it is nice to know that my co-president can fill in for me,” Shah said. “Also, since there are two presidents, there are more ideas for activities than if only one person was in charge.” The club also had a change in advisers as Spanish teacher Miguel Ramirez stepped down as coadvisor. “Mr. Ramirez and I were coadvisers [last year],” adviser Susan Stephan said. “Since Mr. Ramirez is so busy teaching two AP classes, I am having fun advising International Club this year.” Due to the lack of members, there was also a lack of cultural diversity within the club itself. Without the knowledge of various cultures, the club often had problems trying to host events that would spread cultural awareness on campus. “Last year, the club was filled mainly with [one group]. However, there are more [other ethnicities] involved this

Photo Courtesy of Marian Pascual year,” Shah said. A successful increase in, members from this year’s Club Rush has allowed more diversity within the club and thus more opportunities to host cultural events on campus. In previous years, the main purpose of International Club was to host the International Assembly, an event in March which showcases songs, dances, martial arts, and more from around the world. This year, the club is planning to go beyond just fundraising and preparing for the assembly. “I hope to actually publicize

unknown holidays to Oxford with flyers, video announcements, and posters,” Shah said. “I also hope to launch a new project [called International Bazaar], which will be similar to an international swap meet, if approval is obtained.” The club has also planned future events in collaboration with other clubs such as GSA and Film Club for No Name Calling Week and an International Film Festival. While the club has shifted its focus to wider variety of events, International Assembly will not be neglected. The club

Oxford adapts

will be looking to showcase cultural performances that deviate from the usual Kpop or Bollywood dances at the auditions coming up late February. “We are looking for entertaining acts that educate the school on a country’s traditions,” Shah said. “We will choose our participants based on skill, effort, and how well they represent a particular country. Also we would like more diversity in the acts.” So far, International Club has hosted Day of the Dead with the help of the Art Department and publicized Boxing Day with its publicity committee making posters and flyers. The club, however, did face some problems in trying to promote Boxing Day as its videos for the announcements were rejected on the accounts that it contained violent footage. “International Club has had a bit of a slow start because we’re focused to plan a lot of events, but we are not really sure how long it will take to get these events approved,” said publicity officer Marian Pascual. Despite the few shortcomings, the club is hopeful for future events and will be applying for a grant. “I hope that we are awarded a Target grant to bring more cultural acts to our school,” Stephan said. “I think we put on an amazing International Assembly every year, and I hope to grow our show and display of culture.” Celebrating culture (RIGHT): A folklórico dance performance in last year’s International Assembly.

to budget cuts Vincent Nguyen

Reductions affected Oxford Seniors more than Oxford classrooms due to college tuition hikes About $330 million have been c u t f r o m C a l i f o r n i a ’ s p u b l i c school b u d g e t a f t e r t h e s t a t e c a m e up sho r t o f i t s p r e d i c t e d i n c o m e . T h e predic t i o n w a s b a s e d o n t h e e x p e c t e d amoun t o f t a x e s t o b e c o l l e c t e d b y t h e state w i t h t h e g r o w i n g e c o n o m y . T h e cutbac k s w e n t i n t o e f f e c t w h e n t h e $88.5 b i l l i o n r e v e n u e g o a l w a s n o t met. $248 million were cut from public s c h o o l t r a n s p o r t a t i o n , w h i l e $80 m i l l i o n w e r e c u t f r o m p u b l i c school s . T h e s e c u t s a r e t a r g e t e d more t o w a r d s c o l l e g e s , c a u s i n g r i s i n g tuition c o s t s , t h a n h i g h s c h o o l s . “ B e c a u s e w e ’v e h a d b u d g e t cuts fo r 4 y e a r s , t h e i m p a c t s a r e n o t direct l y t o t h e c l a s s e s a n y m o r e ,” Princi p a l K a t h y S c o t t s a i d . “ W e ’r e used t o o u r c u t s . ” At Oxford, the area most affecte d was transportation for athlet i c s , f o r c i n g s o m e s t u d e n t s t o drive t h e m s e l v e s t o g a m e s . G o l f w a s cut al t o g e t h e r , b u t a c a d e m i c s w e r e left re l a t i v e l y u n s c a t h e d .

“Most of the budget cuts i s a r eduction in staff, it doesn’t n e c e s s arily affect the quality of e d u c a t ion,” chemistry teacher Robert N g u y e n said. “The science budget is t h e s a me.” Although the impacts on O x f o r d and other public high schools w e r e not as severe as expected, the i m p a c ts on higher education have b e e n costly. Consequently, high s c h o o l seniors that have applied to t h e U C , CSU, and community college s y s t e m s have to reevaluate their d e c i s i ons. “I have considered applying to m o r e private universities rather than U C s s i nce the UC tuition is rapidly a p p r o aching that of privates,” senior R o c h e lle Paz said. Some, rather than dealing with t h e c o st of higher public education in C a l i f o rnia, have opted for schools in o t h e r s tates. “It’s not exactly fair that I h a v e t o go out of state to get a cheaper c o l l e g e education as a California

resident,” senior Alyssa Sachs said. Ryan Javier, an Oxford alumnus in the class of 2011 who has experienced college in Arizona, chose to return to California for a community colle ge despite the increased tuition. “I know it’s more expensive than what community college [tuition] normally is. I’m okay with it. Even though the prices went up, it’s still a lot cheaper than in Arizona,” Javier said. “There are hardly any courses available because classes are overfilled.” The cuts do not affect Oxford as much as they affect colleges because Oxford has other means of obtaining money, mainly through the OA Foundation and fundraising by programs and individual teachers. Although fundraising is helpful, extracurriculars like art are still lacking resources. “The state isn’t giving me enough money to run the class,” art teacher Christine Handson said. “I’m

being very honest and transparent with my students.” Inadequate funding causes some teachers to spend money out of their own pockets (Handson spends about $100 a year) to supplement their classes, while others adapt to the decreased funds in other ways. “We are very thin on supplies. I have to ration what I use with projects because arts and crafts supplies are so costly,” history teacher Kellie Vosskuhler said. “But in terms of learning environment, I don’t feel that there is as big of an effect because teachers and students are so willing to adapt.” Teachers and students have had to be more creative and cautious, but there is an overall consensus that the academic rigor and quality of education has stayed the same at Oxford. “You just have to be a little more thoughtful about what you do and how you do it.” Vosskhuler said.


January 26, 2012



Super PACs Gone Wild Yvonne Ng Last June, political comedian Stephen Colbert announced the formation of the Colbert Super Political Action Committee (PAC). On Jan. 12, Colbert decided to take his satire one step further by handing over ownership of the PAC to Comedy Central colleague Jon Stewart from The Daily Show and then announcing his tongue-in-cheek run for the presidency, which ended on Jan. 23. But of course, professional satirists would never crack a joke or, in Colbert’s case, form a super PAC and briefly run for president, without a more serious purpose. To understand the inside joke behind Colbert’s act, it’s important to know what a super PAC is. First, a super PAC, technically known as an independentexpenditure Political Action Committee, is an organization formed by corporations and unions for raising and spending money to endorse candidates for political office. Unlike regular PACs, super PACs are allowed by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to spend unlimited sums of money to defend or oppose candidates, but they are also technically prohibited from donating money directly to campaigns or coordinating with candidates in any way. Admittedly, the concept of the super PAC would not be problematic if corporations did not wield the overwhelming power they have today. The concept of a super PAC as interpreted by the Supreme Court in the case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission is surprisingly simple and, above all, idealistic in the context of today’s political landscape. The Supreme Court ruled that super PACs are the means through which corporations and unions exercise political free speech by spending unlimited sums of money on the candidates they wish to endorse or oppose, as long as super PACs do not coordinate

with candidates in any way. The first problem with the Court’s interpretation is that it is almost impossible to ensure that coordination, as vaguely as it is defined, will not occur between super PACs and candidates. Even with the prohibition over coordination, the ongoing presidential primary elections have proven that super PACs provide politicians with what Colbert terms a “loop-chasm” through the FEC’s restrictions on campaign financing. The new title of the Colbert super PAC—“The Definitely Not Coordinating With Stephen Super PAC”—satirically reveals a hidden but disturbing truth about super PACs: the vague definition of “coordination” leaves too much room for super PACs and candidates to sidestep the rules under the thin veil of the media. The second problem with interpreting the super PAC as a device of free speech is the Supreme Court’s failure to consider free speech in the context of today’s mass media. As demonstrated by the millions spent by super PACs in the Republican Iowa caucus, super PACs help candidates win votes not by intelligently informing voters about their platforms, but by spending on mass advertisement. Theoretically, the expansion of the media to include blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and video streaming could make our political process more democratic by exposing a wider audience to American political culture. But as demonstrated by the Republican presidential primaries thus far, some independent-expenditure PACs spend even more dollars on publicizing and advertising for candidates than the candidates that the PACs support. While technology has made political media more accessible, the quality of political media itself is now often reduced to mere five minute sound bites.

The prominence of talk radio and lack of objective news reporting on channels like Fox News have created a media dominated by spin, propaganda that interprets facts in a biased manner in order to promote or denounce a certain organization or public figure. Clear and meaningful political discussion is now sacrificed for increasing the scope of cheap advertisement focused on creating rhetorical misunderstanding. In his commentary on the Constitution in Federalist Paper No. 10, James Madison warned about factions overtaking the political process and disenfranchising the individual. With the mass media having become the newest and most powerful political weapon, greater regulation over the mass media

is necessary to prevent corporations from becoming one of these factions, if they have not done so already. Without another faction counterbalancing the corporation, the unlimited resources harnessed by corporations have allowed them to undermine the free speech of the individual. The expansion of the mass media with the information revolution has created unprecedented consequences for America’s democratic process that today’s legal system has yet to learn to control. Over time, however, perhaps the Supreme Court will realize the importance of placing the issue of campaign finance in the current context and redefining what free speech is and what it is not.

Illustration by Carol Lee

Ineffectiveness of the California Physical Fitness Testing (PFT) Yong-Shing Chiang According to the 2011 California State Mandated Program Cost Report, 1.5 million dollars was spent on the annual California Physical Fitness Test (PFT), yet the test results are bleak with only a 31% pass rate. Using a Fitnessgram, fifth, seventh, and ninth grade students are divided between a “Healthy Fitness Zone” category and a “Needs Improvement” category, testing six different areas such as flexibility and abdominal strength. The test results are used to help students create personal fitness plans, assist physical education teachers with curriculum planning, and provide parents with a report of their children’s fitness. Though the Physical Fitness Test vaguely reveals a decline in the health of California students, the test is not accurate enough to be useful and

fails to actively improve an area in California’s curriculum that has faced severe budget cuts. As a self-reported test, the Physical Fitness Test yields estimated results that include students who record dishonestly, which means the actual decline in students’ fitness may be even steeper than indicated in the results. Such dishonesty also exemplifies a general dismissal of the test as an ineffective tool. The lack of consequences for schools that score low on the test fails to properly incentivize schools to fix the current decline in teenagers’ health and physical fitness. Similar to testing students on material they do not know, continual physical fitness testing will only yield low scores if action is not taken to restore the physical education program in

California schools. Ultimately the low test results are meaningless unless schools actively utilize the information to improve the program as intended. The goals of the Physical Fitness Test, however, are not aligned with the current situation in physical education programs. Budget cuts have resulted in large class sizes, reduced funding for physical education and sports programs, and fewer physical education teachers. Although the budget cuts are a logical reason for the low test scores, simply ruminating over the problem does not reduce its effects. Though the Physical Fitness Test is intended to improve physical education curriculum and keep parents informed, these optimistic goals are unrealistic with the lack of funding physical fitness programs receive.

The apportioned funding for the annual fitness test can be used to fund the physical education program or sports programs instead, because continued budget cuts on the program will only undermine its effectiveness and make high passing rates more difficult to achieve. Instead of using negative test results as a method to encourage healthy lifestyles, the state can use effective physical education programs to more actively convey this message. Students can better pursue a physically fit lifestyle through interactive sports programs and class time as opposed to the temporary shock that a low score can produce. By revitalizing the physical education program, the importance of physical fitness can begin to be restored.


January 26, 2012



The Medical Marijuana Debate Amy Chi

According to a twenty year study conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, smoking marijuana once a week or so does not harm the lungs. This kind of discovery can help us to finally resolve the issue of legalizing marijuana, for medical reasons at least. Legalizing medical marijuana will not only offer another treatment for cancer patients, but also allow the FDA to regulate the drug more tightly, ensuring the quality of the dispensed marijuana and the safety of its users, and furthermore prompt more research to be done to clear up many myths about the cannabis plant. Of course, smoking or ingesting weed recreationally is a whole different story altogether. Like all drugs, it should be used only when necessary, as it is still associated with dangerous side effects such as short-term memory loss, anxiety, racing heart, and psychotic experiences. While the use of cannabis could revolutionize medicine, it is likely that the casual use of marijuana among those with no need for its heath benefits could cause more harm than good, especially as knowledge of the substance remains insufficient. Despite its side effects, medical marijuana can be beneficial for patients of diseases such as cancer, as it is known to alleviate pain, nausea, loss of appetite, and other symptoms. However, fear and ignorance contribute to many misconceptions about medical cannabis, causing people to dismiss it as a treatment option without taking the facts into consideration. Even worse, this lack of knowledge fuels curiosity and rebelliousness in others, causing recklessness and misuse. Legalizing it for medical use under federal law, however, would help to dispel

Illustration by Carol Lee

misleading notions and encourage more research on the cannabis plant’s uses, educating people to prevent further abuse. Even though the therapeutic use of

marijuana has a history spanning thousands of years, there is relatively little information known for certain about its effects. Too few studies have been conducted on marijuana’s medical potential

Keeping it Religious Gracee Kim To the average American, protection of freedom of religion and speech is no new concept. Religious institutions have First Amendment rights. The rules of each individual religion are an expression of free speech protected under the First Amendment. If the government and state were to overturn the rules and regulations of a religious group, the action would be suppressing the expression of certain beliefs. The First Amendment has long allowed religious organizations to freely choose ministerial leaders according to their own precepts for nearly two hundred years. At the same time, a church is not permitted to discriminate against a janitor who has absolutely no connection to the church’s religious affairs. In more recent times, the Supreme Court has tried to reconsider the extent to which this exception reaches. In the HosannaTabor Evangelical Lutheran Church v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission case, claimant Cheryl Perich contended that the church dismissed her from the Michigan elementary school after she threatened to sue them if they fired her for narcolepsy. The church argued that Perich broke a long-standing Lutheran rule, which requires that all conflicts be resolved internally and not by filing a civil court case. Through this case, the Supreme Court reconsidered whether the law also allows religious schools to discriminate against teachers who teach secular subjects in their classes. However, the

definition of “ministerial leader” belongs not to the jurisdiction of the state, but to that of the church. If Perich had won the case, the state would have crossed the boundary that separates itself from the church. Perich’s victory would have shown that the state and government has the power to overturn the church’s rules—rules she had agreed to when she first decided to work as a teacher. If the state interferes with the rights of a religious institution to define the extent of the “ministerial exception,” and to whom it applies to, the state inevitably suppresses the beliefs of the group in the process. A tentative solution would be for churches to clarify the religious precepts governing its employees before assigning him or her to a certain position. In addition, churches must explicitly make certain as to whether or not an employee is a minister. This solution would allow the church to eliminate arbitrary decisionmaking and any future discrepancies over whether or not an employee works under the “ministerial exception.” One thing for certain is that the separation of church and state is absolutely mandatory in order for the protection of speech and religion to stand firm in America. As demonstrated through Perich’s case, state interference in church affairs infringes on the church’s right to express its individual beliefs. The church is an individual body and therefore must receive its constitutional rights.

to thoroughly determine exactly what help or harm it causes. However, legalizing marijuana would help rectify that by prompting more research like the recent study showing its effects on the lungs. There are may potential myths that still need to be explored, such as the concept of marijuana as a gateway drug the theory that it leads to physical addiction and dependency. Deeper research on the marijuana plant’s uses and effects are necessary to help people become more informed; however, this would be easier to achieve were medical cannabis to be federally legalized. If the federal government were to recognize marijuana as a legal medical treatment, it would save billions of taxpayer dollars in marijuana-related enforcement and arrests. In fact, it could even increase revenue with the taxing of cannabis. With marijuana legalized, drug cartels would be greatly deterred and weakened with the loss of marijuana profits. Furthermore, weed obtained through illegitimate drug dealers is unregulated, possibly unsafe, and poses a bigger danger than weed itself. Legalizing marijuana would allow the FDA to regulate sales, quality, potency, and safety of any weed on the market. The federal legalization of medical marijuana would effectively aid medical patients, lower costs, trigger more complete understanding of the plant, weaken drug cartels, and permit government regulation. Although casual use of the substance should still be banned due to the harmful effects it can cause, the legalization of cannabis for medical purposes would only benefit the general public.



January 26, 2012



The Black Keys Experience

January 26, 2012

Photo courtesy of Nonesuch Records

FUN LISTENING (CENTER): The chill vibe of this record calls for a mandatory road trip such as “Hell of a Season,” which echoes “Lonely Boy,” and “Stop Stop,” which serves as an intro to the proceeding track, are used to create smooth transitions and adjust the mood. Reminiscent of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” “Little Black Submarines” begins with Auerbach crooning softly, gently picking the guitar; the slow song comes to an abrupt stop,

the listener is caught off guard as screeching reverbs enter the scene accompanied by furious drumming and the song is continued in a different rendition. Carney putting down his drumsticks can be heard in the last seconds of “Sister,” which further testifies to the casual attitude they aim to give off throughout the entire album. “Money Maker” is a personal standout as

David Pham it creates an appealing fantasy of driving through the dusty New Mexico desert under a sweltering hot sun with the windows rolled down and radio blasting. The lyrical theme of the band’s entire discography of the duo remains consistent in this album, Auerbach continues howling for his one true love and confesses his undeniable attraction to the mystery woman he has been serenading to since The Big Come Up in 2002. In “Nova Baby,” Auerbach mourns about how his love is wasted and underappreciated, while “Lonely Boy” could appropriately be the anthem for all who find themselves stuck in a dysfunctional relationship. The album comes to a close with the final track “Mind Eraser.” The placement of this tune seems strategic; the hypnotic bass line leaves a striking impression and the lyrics reflect and sum up the El Camino experience. Auerbach sings “Don’t let it be over, no, don’t let it be over,” which could be interpreted as a promise that The Black Keys won’t be retiring anytime soon. El Camino delivers the band’s music completely raw, its sounds unfiltered and unprocessed. The album serves as evidence that casual ambiance can be created without the use of lo-fi. Casual, however, doesn’t equate easy listening—it may take a few listens for one to wholly appreciate the album. The mercurial music industry may have shifted from garagerock, dance-rock, even to emo-punk over the years, but the members of The Black Keys prove that they still haven’t lost their signature garage-rock sound which seemed to be muted in Brothers. If the band aimed to retrace its origins and go back to the basics with simple but moving tunes, it has most definitely accomplished its mission.

Amy Tan’s new fiction short story “Rules for Virgins”—her first publication in six years—transports readers back deep to the heart of 1912 Shanghai, into an illicit period of eroticism and seduction. In contrast to many of the renowned author’s past novels such as The Joy Luck Club and The Bonesetter’s Daughter, “Rules for Virgins” details the strikingly sensual world of high-class courtship, where extravagant and beautiful courtesans compete for the patronage of wealthy gentlemen. Enter Violet, an aspiring courtesan whose dream is to make it in this industry. Young and inexperienced, however, the only way Violet can make it in this dogeat-dog world is to ask for assistance from the veteran enchantress Magic Gourd, a once top-of-the-line courtesan herself. Though Violet may have youth and vitality, she is bound to fail without Magic Gourd’s knowledge. The ancient tricks of the trade are not written down, so in order to teach Violet, Magic Gourd must delve back into her own professional past, bringing these lessons to life by retelling colorful stories and anecdotes from her years charming and manipulating men. “Rules for Virgins” is a transcription of a one-sided dialogue from Magic Gourd to Violet; we only hear Magic Gourd’s voice. Unlike her other novels with multiple settings of immigrant tales, we are transported into an intimate setting between Magic Gourd and Violet. Tan’s style in the short story is drastically different from the “family talk” we are used to in her previous novels such as The

A Dark Movie for a Darker Novel

Photo courtesy of IMDb

Fincher’s portrayal of the novel softens the characters, but largely stays true to the finer details of the plot. His choice to follow the novel’s pacing does slow the

movie to a long two and a half hours, but it is necessary to capture the suspense and intricacies of the novel. Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara’s portrayals of protagonists Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander are more socially acceptable than the original characters. Blomkvist’s womanizing habits are toned down with the exclusion of some of his sexual escapades, while Salander’s introverted interactions with others are a little less painful. Part of the reason for the movie Salander’s relative normality can be attributed to Mara’s too smooth rendition of her character. Lisbeth Salander is supposed to be a socially awkward yet talented deviant; Mara is natural and likeable. Also, Mara did not strongly exhibit the violent and vengeful impulses that made the original Salander independent, strong, and vicious. Watching some of the more disturbing scenes on the screen may be more provoking than reading about them. Fincher manages to capture the terror and hopelessness, as described by author Stieg Larson, in the rape scene creating believable and shocking footage. Moviegoers are forced to witness Salander’s helplessness and vulnerability, brutally shattering her usually tough persona in a moment that seems to last for hours. Though the movie is a dark take on an even darker novel, there are a few scenes that manage to reveal the brighter, more compassionate sides of the

Joy Luck Club. Chock full of metaphorical language and written in an almost a dreamlike, nebulous prose, the latter story is filled with descriptive language that almost overwhelms the readers’ sensations. In this story, however, there is no such language. The tone is cruel, calculating and manipulative. Loaded description comes few and far between. Magic Gourd is straightforward; she does not hide behind any metaphors while she teaches her student how to be a potent seductress. Similarly, this story, like many of Tan’s works, explores the motherdaughter relationship, with Magic Gourd being the mother figure and Violet the daughter figure, albeit in a very extreme situation. The world of sexual intrigue “Rules for Virgins” reveals actually existed once, and Tan expertly recreates it. Yet, this short story is more than that of a historical fiction piece. Besides conjuring up unique tales, the intimate confessions of Magic Gourd create a makeshift guide on manipulation for women. Stripping away all the eroticism that comes with courtship, Magic Gourd’s wisdom and knowledge is timeless, specific, and applicable, exposing the workings of folly, vanity, manipulation, desire, and calculation. In all, Tan’s “Rules for Virgins” is another enchanting tale which defines the complex human condition.

Photo courtesy of Byliner

HOW TO SEDUCE A MAN (RIGHT): “Rules for Virgins,” Amy Tan’s first e-publication.

Spring Fashion

Kevin Luong & Vincent Nguyen With Niels Arden Oplev’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo garnering broad reviews, the 2011 American remake has a high standard to match. David


Rules for Virgins: A Review

Hanna Jeong After the release of the acclaimed Brothers, The Black Keys strut confidently back into the scene with their seventh studio album, El Camino, cementing the blues-rock duo’s status as one of the most original and dedicated American rock bands with its raw, soulful sounds. The album cover consists of a 90’s model of Dodge caravan parked on a cracked pavement in a dreary suburban neighborhood. This iconography continues throughout the four inner flaps and even the CD booklet; the usual lyrics are replaced by several more photos of beaten up vans. The Black Keys apparently feel a deep connection with van traveling; in a recent interview, the duo states that their music was partly inspired by their early days of traveling through the country in an old mini-van. El Camino, which means “the road” in Spanish, is supposed to translate their initial struggles as a band. The album starts out promisingly with “Lonely Boy,” with drummer Patrick Carney banging out steady beats and guitarist and vocalist Dan Auerbach delivering fast-paced, gritty guitar riffs. The backup female vocals in the chorus provide a polished effect to balance out the overall abrasive feel of the recording. By the end of the first song, it becomes amazingly easy to lock in with the laid-back, road trip-y vibe of the album. The memorable chorus of the first track still lingers in the mind as the song dissolves into a ballad-like tune of “Dead and Gone,” where one can detect a hint of synth masked by the rhythmic snare drum. As the album progresses, songs like “Gold on the Ceiling” and “Run Right Back” stand out with their catchy anthems and defining guitar solos. On the other hand, tracks


Christine Kim

characters. For instance, Lisbeth’s love life, usually buried beneath an uninviting exterior, is exposed in a few touching moments. Fincher’s film adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was a comprehensive reflection of the book. Nearly all parts of the plot were covered, a detail made apparent in the pacing of the movie which was similar to the pacing of the novel. Especially in the exposition, Fincher takes time to flesh out the characters. The result of his meticulousness, however, is a movie that will keep its audience emotionally invested and eager for the next scene. Long time fans of the trilogy will not be disappointed by Fincher’s reflection of the novel, and those experiencing the complexities and suspense for the first time will find a moving experience. Beneath the crime thriller frame of the movie lies common themes about society’s stigmas towards women, corruption in the government and corporations, and the rebuilding and understanding of dysfunctional relationships. It is a movie that will appease both those looking for a suspenseful thriller and those who are willing to consider the darker themes of humanity. SOFTER (LEFT): David Fincher’s remake stays true to the plot of the novel but dials down the eccentricities of some of the characters.

Be first to hit the sidewalks with this season’s styles Welcome back to a world of color. A more attractive array of hues awaits those willing to shed heavy winter grays and browns. For bold color lovers, raspberry pink, citrusy orange, and shimmering gold beckon, while sweet lilac, seafoam green, and powder blue offer a gentler transition from monochromatic monotony. This season’s bursts of color are accompanied by updates in shapes, prints, and flourishes. The waning military trend is making way for biker-tough gear, while 2011’s florals and polka dots are being eclipsed by bird prints and an emerging aquatic theme. Humor your frilly side with peplum and rejoice in color blocking. Express your newfound freedom from stuffy winter wear with 1920’s style flapper dresses, or flatter your figure with full skirts that come in at the waist. While shopping for spring attire, look out for pieces with movement and unique colors. The runways have not underestimated the male population’s longing for an escape to vernal style. Contrary to the neon on pastel palette for women’s fashion this spring, the male selection includes robust reds, burnt oranges, and bronzy amaretto

as well as deep and navy blue. Wider, slouchier legs and pleated trousers mark the revival of relaxed men’s pants after an era of slim, slim legs. Fall 2011’s double breasted blazers boldly return with the classy, nautical combination of blue, white, and gold. Hands down, navy blue and blazers dominated the spring 2012 shows. Combine the two to form a navy blue blazer, and you will have an Oxford worthy staple that will last far beyond just one season. Best of all, this season’s styles are applicable to school wear. Save the biker accents for the weekends, and use accessories to your advantage during school hours. Pastels and underwater accents are not acceptable within the dress code policy, but hair bands, jewelry, and backpacks are not restricted as long as they are not dangerous. Fledglings to avian prints can start with simple details like logos. Brands like Aerie, American Eagle, and Hollister all feature bird logos which makes it easier to find bird patterned apparel. Lucky for boys, red and navy blue happen to be staples of Oxford attire, and wide legs are not only an option, but a necessity. As for

Photo courtesy of Lizzi Lim the oranges and yellows, button details and accessories like watches can easily add flair to a repetitive weekday wardrobe. Most Oxford lads prefer to lounge around in jeans on the weekends, but can dress up their button downs and blazers with trousers in a neutral or earth tone color, or even bare a little skin with tailored trouser shorts. With the bright spring sunshine, blazers might be too heavy, so try a vest with quirky

or colorful buttons. Spring 2012 offers classics with twists in color and shape for clothing that lets you have fun in the sunshine. Celebrate freedom from saggy winter with fashion from the runways that can fit right in your closet. KEEPING WITH THE TREND (RIGHT): Artists illustrate runway fashion for the upcoming season.



January 26, 2012


Chicken Soup For the Teen Girl Soul Hanna Jeong

A perfect procrastination tool filled with glamorous eye candy and worldly insights Grown Man’ sections respond to reader submitted questions ranging from serious issues like family problems and depression to typical teen ones like boy crushes and pimples. Its light-hearted, often humorous tone prevents it from coming off as a professional, therapylike Q&A session. The site welcomes reader submission works; girls all around the world have submitted polaroid collections and essays of personal observations. On top of all that, ‘Dear Diary’ is updated every Wednesday; four girls from different walks of life offer their musings, dreams, and complaints of their daily lives in form of diary entries. The reader comments posted serve as a testimonial to how well the readers can relate to these girls and their outlook of the world. Aside from all the fashion editorials and how-to’s, “Rookie Mag” offers more serious, thoughtprovoking writing confronting common problems faced by girls today like sexism and body image issues. The online magazine also fiercely tackles taboo topics such as masturbation, rape, and mental illness, attempting to educate its readers and encouraging them to embrace instead of hiding. “Rookie Mag” should perhaps be most applauded for its “Live Through This” articles, where some of the older staff writers share their personal experiences growing up as teenagers. Through addressing best friend

breakups and feeling alone in a small town, the collection of writings succeeds in soothing the angsty, misunderstood souls with its wise, “we’ve been there, don’t worry” reassurance. “Rookie Mag” prides itself on being cultured and independently minded, unlike many websites that blindly follow the pop culture. Idols worship in this site is reserved for the likes of Bob Dylan, Björk, and Kathleen Hanna. Weekly Friday playlists are stocked with PJ Harvey, Hole, and Kate Bush; current music icons like Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and Justin Bieber are nowhere to be found. Book and film reviews inspire readers to look beyond

the trashy MTV reality shows and seek out art with substance. “Rookie Mag” openly takes a feminist, body positive stance, setting it far apart from the often self-esteem crushing fashion websites and Tumblr thinspo blogs. It embraces the Riot Grrrl subculture with starting an allgirl band DIYs and advocates female empowerment with interviews with successful female designers and comedians. With its regular writers as well as guest writers and reader submissions, it is safe to assume “Rookie Mag” will never run out of topics to write about.

ROOKIEMAG.COM (RIGHT): A perfect procrastination tool filled with glamorous eye candy and worldly insights

Double Crochet: The double crochet is very similar to the half double crochet with one key difference. Instead of pulling through all three loops, pull through the first two, then again through the last two.

Gaiana Morales


Basic Crochet Stitches

“Rookie Mag” is an online publication that aims to entertain and enlighten teenage girls with introspective articles and artistic features. After its launch in September, the website has proven to be a success as it continues to stir buzz among fashion and feminist blogospheres. “Rookie Mag” is updated three times a day, after school, after dinner, and before bed, and prides itself on its line of dedicated staff writers. It’s a publication run by girls for girls, featuring photography, tutorials, illustrations, videos, and writing. Each month is given a relevant theme (September was ‘beginnings,’ December is ‘home’) and the contents of the site revolve around it. In any given day, the posts updated can be educating, touching, or hilarious. “Rookie Mag” wholly embraces the do-it-yourself ethic, offering ideas on room decorating, sending friends care packages, and making forts out of blankets and chairs. Although plenty of articles talk about make-up and pink, sparkly things, it also encourages readers to step outside of the standards set for teenage girls by the society and channel their creativity with some of the more unconventional tutorials on skateboarding and home music recording. Unlike most online magazines, “Rookie Mag” works energetically to connect to its readers with various features. ‘You asked It’ and ‘Ask a

Chain Stitch: Chain Stitch: First make a slip knot. Insert the hook in the slip knot, pick up yarn with the hook, and pull through the loop. (Chain stitches are the foundation of any crochet project, they’re easy but essential!)

Single Crochet: When making the first single crochet in a starting chain, insert the hook under the top loop of the second chain from the hook, Wrap the yarn over the hook and pull through both loops.

Half Double Crochet: When making a half double crochet, wrap the yarn over the hook once, insert the hook in the stitch below, hook the yarn and pull through the loop. There is now three loops on your hook. Pull the string through all three loops to complete the half double crochet.

Treble Crochet (Triple): To begin a treble crochet you must first chain up four additional stitches to your foundation chain. This is for the height of the stitch. Next yarn over your hook twice, push through the stitch below, and yarn over again. After yarning over, pull back through the stitch, pull through the first two loops resting on the hook, the next two, and the final two.

Slip Stitch: After making your foundation chain of stitches, insert the hook in the very first stitch you made. Yarn over the hook and pull through both stitches. The chain is now joined and makes a circle. This stitch is used most often in items like hats.


Lifestyle Along the Paseo

January 26, 2012


David Pham

Tucked away along the windswept rolling green hills and sunstreaked California coast lies one of the most spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. There, time seems to slow down as the breezy winds caress your hair, and the stresses of daily life simply disappear as awe and wonder take over when you look into the never-ending horizon. Your senses are inundated with the smell of the ocean and the taste of salt in the ocean air. Angels Gate Park gives host to this unique sight along the famous Paseo Del Mar. Located on top of a steep incline, the park is probably the only place to view the Pacific, the Los Angeles Harbor and the California coast at the same time. Though a frolic through the park is satisfying enough, Angels Gate is home to many attractions. A lesser known alternative to tourist-rich Signal Hill, it provides an outdoor basketball court and multiple hostels for weary travelers. The park is also home to a cultural center with artist studios, galleries and the Fort MacArthur military museum, attractions which everyone can visit. The most well known attraction at the park is the Korean Friendship Bell, donated by South Korea to the people of Los Angeles in order to celebrate the United State’s bicentennial of American independence in 1976. The intricately designed seventeen ton bell, and its pavilion honors the veterans of the Korean War, commemorating friendly ties between both countries. It is also popular amongst couples who want to tie the knot. The bell was modeled after the Bronze Bell of King Songdak, which was cast in 771 A.D, and the pavilion is designed in traditional Korean architectural style. Home to Fort MacArthur, Angels

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Song: Kids of the Black Hole Artist: The Adolescents Album: The Adolescents Lyric: Kids in a fast lane living for today/ No rules to abide by and no one to obey/ Sex, drugs and fun is their only thought and care/Another swig of brew another overnight affair Description: A classic tune epitomizing the punk subculture’s “Live Free Die Young” lifestyle and wreckless fun.

Song: Complete Control Artist: The Clash Album: The Clash Lyric: All over the news spread fast/ They’re dirty, they’re filthy/They ain’t gonna last! Description: A hymn to punk autonomy at its moment of eclipse.

Gate Park also was part of a former United Slayer. Angels Gate Park is rich and States Army installation. In 1888, then President Grover Cleveland designated decadent with history. With its honorable an area over the San Pedro Bay as an military past and visually stunning unnamed military reservation that was panorama views, everyone should place it intended to improve the defenses of the high on their bucket. After all, there are growing Los Angeles harbor. Additional not many other places where you can say land was purchased to add to the area that you had a picnic on a former fort. The park is open to the public previously designated by Cleveland. Fort MacArthur was formally created on every day from 10am until 5pm. It is October 31, 1914. This fort was a training located on 3601 South Gaffey Street, San center in World War I, with the first Pedro, California. For more information batteries for harbor defense installed in about the park and its attractions, visit 1917. During the beginnings of the Cold h t t p : / / w w w . l a p a r k s . o r g / d o s / p a r k s / War, Fort MacArthur was the first line of facility/angelsGatePk.htm. defense in targeting enemy aircrafts. In more recent history, Angels Gate Park has been used as backdrops in OVERLOOKING ANGELS GATE movies such as Unusual Suspects and in (RIGHT): Battery Farley, part of Fort television series like Buffy the Vampire MacArthur faces the Pacific.

Song: If the Kids are United Artist: Sham 69 Album: The First, the Best and the Last Lyric: Freedom is given/Speak how you feel/I have no freedom/How do you feel/ They can lie to my face/But not to my heart/If we all stand together/It will just be the start Description: A fast-paced, Oi! tune pushing for unity.

Song: Sonic Reducer Artist: Dead Boys Album: Young, Loud and Snotty Lyric: I’ll be a pharaoh soon/Rule from some golden tomb/Things will be different then/The sun will rise from here Description: An early punk classic about nihilistic boredom, angst, and desolate dreams.

Surviving the Spring Christine Kim

An Oxford Student’s Guide to Braving the Changing Seasons As biting winds and stormy skies recede into the past, spring fever comes to the rescue with a bit more appealing view in the window. Yet, students shouldn’t underestimate spring, as she arrives armed with UV rays, pollen, temptation, and other pitfalls. Fortunately, these tips have been compiled to ensure that we hold the upper hand against the change in weather.


1 Banish winter’s scaly shins and white knees with lotion. Before going to sleep, liberally slather on lotion or even Vaseline onto feet and then put on cotton socks for skin softer than a baby’s bottom. This also works for hands. 2.Don’t forget your sunscreen. Wearing sunscreen is always important since the sun can pierce through clouds, windows, and thin clothing, and even more so in the bright spring sunlight. Hold your clothes up to a light. Anywhere you see light coming through is letting through harmful UV rays. Make sure to wear sunscreen under clothes that let in a substantial amount of light. Use a lip balm with sun protection, and don’t lick your lips when it is hot or dry. According to Blistex, saliva not only dries out your lips, but also forms a lens that intensifies the sun’s rays. 3.Safeguard yourself against spring’s allergen-filled breezes. Change from outdoor clothes to indoor clothes and shower or rinse your hair before you sleep since pollen and dust can easily stick to hair, skin, and clothing. Avoid outdoor activity in the mornings when pollen counts are at their peak. The best time to go outside is after rain, which helps clear dust and pollen from the air.

5. Have mercy on your wallet and save on clothes this spring.

Wear last season’s boots, tights, and scarves while busting out your new clothes. Boots can shield your feet from spring showers, while tights can keep out chilly breezes. Scarves can be taken on and off easily to match weather in the moment.

6. Be a smart shopper. Seniors, buy your bicycles for college in early spring for off-season prices. For everyone else, the new wheels will help fulfill your exercise-related New Year’s resolutions. If you want name brand without emptying out the bank, buy designer “resort wear” intended for wealthy customers who migrate to the other side of the globe during the winter season. Look for discounts on such “resort wear” after January. Forget about love, February 15th is the day to stock up on chocolate and rejoice in your budget-friendly loneliness, and go for round two post-Easter. At the end of spring, think ahead a season and check for any remaining winter goods at sale price. SPRING IS AROUND THE CORNER (RIGHT): As temperatures rise, our lifestyles shift to accommodate the changing seasons

4. There is no better time than now to shed those holiday pounds.

Aim for 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Make your P.E. teacher proud by using that FITT formula to plan your exercises. In case you forgot, FITT stands for frequency, intensity, time, and type of activity. Time spent rushing to class counts as exercise! Take advantage of all the delicious in-season fruits and vegetables making their return to your local grocery store, as well as the local farmer’s market. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


theFort� 10

January 26, 2012


Amidst the oversized sweaters and knit scarves, the fashion forward begin to sashay into spring fashion, sporting soft pastels inspired by the Calvin Klein Collection and sparkles and gold reminiscent of the glamorous Roaring Twenties. Also, patterned prints covered in shapes, lines, and colors bridge winter and spring fashion by pairing nicely with both long, black trousers and flowy maxi skirts. Fortunately, new looks are available for low prices from recent designer collaborations at affordable stores such as Target and H&M. At Target, you can find Jason Wu’s new collection including women’s clothing, handbags, and scarves starting from $19.99. From bold color block dresses to bright, floral crossbody bags, the Jason Wu collection has enough color to brighten the remaining winter days and neatly transition into spring fashion with its light dresses and fitted shorts. Also, H&M’s collaboration with Italian fashion house Marni will include striking colors and richly patterned tribal prints for the women’s collection, and the men’s collection will be geared towards a more casual look, only using the tribal print for minor detailing. As you begin to put away your winter favorites, look forward to bold colors and interesting patterns this spring. Jason Wu for Target (February 5 - March 6) Marni for H&M (March 8)

- Yong-Shing Chiang


- Yvonne Ng

- Kevin Luong

As the Republican primary season rolls along, we must remember that politics isn’t about the people who represent, but the people who are represented. Individual citizens this year will push back harder against corrupt politicians. Bills like SOPA and PIPA this year moved entire communities to political action, and hopefully it will be a change that will continue into 2012. 2011 has seen great international and national change as the individual begins to understand what it means to have a voice in politics. Though dying down in strength, the Occupy protests demonstrated how the voice of the individual could be amplified through cooperation. Expect politics this year to start on a road to change, however slowly, as the net and other resources become more widely used in citizen politics.


Considering the dominating coverage of protest movements in the media throughout 2011, it was no wonder that Times magazine named The Protester as its Person of the Year. Clearly, the mass protests of 2011 are only one symptom of the persistent worldwide rise in income inequality stemming from. According to a recent report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, it is possible for governments “to fight rising inequality with policies that simultaneously curb the income gap between rich and poor while boosting economic growth.” As we enter the new year, the discontent of protesters around the world have demonstrated this need for government not only to enact policies for increasing GDP but also to prevent the poor from growing poorer.


Economy & Politics


2011 was the year of infectious girl pop, with artists Katy Perry, Adele, Lykke Li, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, and Lady Gaga dominating the top charts. 2012 will continue this trend of pop female singers; the super-hyped singer Lana Del Rey will make her debut with Born to Die, Estelle will release her All of Me in February, veteran Madonna is staging a big comeback, and Nicki Minaj will put out her Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, which promises more rap and less pop. The new year also seems to be filled with rock band comebacks as Nada Surf and Dr. Dog are both revealing their sixth albums and The Shins’ Port of Morrow will debut in March. Dubstep, what once was presumed to be a fad, continue to spread through mainstream America, as rave scene masters Steve Aoki and Skrillex will finally release their debut albums after months of touring.

In addition to all the albums, outdoor music festivals will be more popular than ever this year, as 2011 proved to be a year of record-breaking ticket sales and attendance for events like Coachella and Lollapalooza. Coachella recently released its 2012 lineup, which includes The Black Keys, Radiohead, and Dr. Dre as headlining acts. Likewise, with all the new albums and bands going on tour, festivals like SXSW, Bonnaroo, and ACL are sure to have excellent lineups.

iPad 3 (rumored March)

The Shins, Port of Morrow (March)

Dr. Dog, Be the Void (February 7)

Lana Del Rey, Born to Die (January 31) Windows 8 (rumored October)

Skrillex, Voltage (Date TBA)

- Hanna Jeong

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (April 13-15 & 20-22)

Apple TV (Date TBA) iPhone 5 (Date TBA)

- Carol Lee

Nicki Minaj, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (February 14)

Expect your social media footprint to grow. CD and DVD based software and game sales will continue to decline. Apple has already started to push to eliminate the optical disk. Microsoft is also going to push digital app distribution via the Windows App Store component of Windows 8. Likewise, game companies will continue to push more games via download offerings, including Steam and Xbox Live, eschewing traditional discs. Apple will release a triumvirate of products, including super slim iPad 3, the long awaited iPhone 5, and Apple TV. Amazon will introduce a completely redesigned Kindle Fire. Windows 8 will arrive at the end of the year. Other upcoming gadgets expected for 2012 release include the PlayStation Vita, Wii U, and Quad Core mobile devices. Voice recognition will go mainstream. Expect malware to creep into your smartphone. Also prepare for an explosion of tablets.



In 2011, readers were introduced to a boom of technology—Barnes and Noble’s Nook, Amazon’s Kindle, and Apple’s IPad2 have all proved popular throughout the months. Although electronic readers have started to enter the market, good old-fashioned books are still alive and thriving in the 2012 forecast. As in tradition, this year is also host to a versatile collection of books that are sure to please any reader. For the fans of chick lit, Joshilyn Jackson, author of Gods in Alabama will be releasing A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty late January. For the young adults, there’s Natalie Babbit’s The Moon Over High Street in March, and for those seeking thrillingadventure, Justin Cronin’s post-apocalyptic The Twelve is sure to entertain. While readers can look forward to releases by their favorite author’s though, Southern California should anticipate Los Angeles Times’ yearly Festival of Books. Held at the USC campus, the Festival of Books offers free admission and features seminars with book printers, popular authors, and other reading enthusiasts. Joshilyn Jackson, A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty (January 25) Natalie Babbit, The Moon Over High Street (March 1) Jonathan Safran Foer, New American Haggadah (March 5) Marilynne Robinson, When I was a Child I Read Books (March 13) L.A Times Festival of Books (April 21-22) Justin Cronin, The Twelve (May 10) - Theresa Phung


Last year was an exciting year for the film industry, offering everything from the epic finale to the Harry Potter series to George Clooney’s self-directed The Ides of March. As for 2012, movie-goers can expect the return from some famous film giants. Peter Jackson continues his Middle Earth legacy with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Quentin Tarantino’s explores the Antebellum South in Django Unchained, and Tim Burton returns with yet another gothic horror with Dark Shadows.

Most noticeably, however, is the massive onslaught of super-hero movies hitting the big screen in 2012. Comic fans will be delighted to hear about the new Spiderman rendition, The Amazing Spider-Man featuring Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield, along with a Ghost Rider sequel and yet another X-Men film titled The Wolverine. Besides excessive fan service though (The Avengers), comic book fans and regular movie goers alike can look forward to Christopher Nolan’s final entry into the popular Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises in summer 2012.

Besides excessive competition between comic book powerhouses DC and Marvel though, movie goers can also anticipate many laughs with film titles such as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

I Am Bruce Lee, (February 9)

The Lorax, (March 2)

The Avengers (May 4)

The Dark Knight Rises (July 20)

The Odd Life of Timothy Green, (August 15)

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (December 14)

- Theresa Phung

January 26, 2012




New resolutions for boys varsity soccer Timothy Torno

Team works to find its voice on the soccer field The boys varsity soccer team demonstrated resilience through its current three game victories after pushing through athletic limitations this season. The team has proven it can step up to the responsibilities its sport calls for. The players realize that the only way to improve their performances is to return to the basics and confirm the value of these skills by analyzing previous games. “It was more of the fundamentals [that we needed to work on this season],” forward Imon Santos said. But attempting to get back to the basics is challenging, especially with a new

a new play at practice or working with the coach proved invaluable, but more importantly reminded the boys the reason they played. Showing commitment to the team also allowed other teammates the chance to reveal their talent. Midfielder Scott Wun earned the respect of his team for his defensive skills this way.

“Our captains told us we all had talent,” Park said. “We just needed to work together [to find it].”

“[We realized that] Scott has just been really consistent [as a player] this entire “[When we don’t call out names] we tournament,” Dimas said. often get confused […] which causes a lot of balls Team captains Tyler Hansen and Erik to go out of bounds,” midfielder Rodrigo Dimas Skinkis have also excelled this season. Instead of said. simply advising the team on offense and defense, Technicalities aside, the players did not they continually challenge the players to develop need to look any further beyond one another to their aggression in games. They balance their be inspired this season. Simple acts like running efforts with simple words of encouragement.

“We always want to do better […] to win games,” goalkeeper Fernando Serafin said, “but if we can get more united [as a team], then that is always a priority.”

of coordination on the playing field, which is only slightly apparent in earlier games, has led to costly mistakes of late. In the home game against Laguna Beach, the team’s defense was quickly exhausted because it relied too much on one person’s skill, not the rest of the team’s availability. While most players admit that communication is one of their central weaknesses, they view it more as a practical issue.

As seasonal hopes are concerned, the varsity team aspires to reach league and county finals, but also to revisit the fundamentals. Their appreciation for what they do helps them approach the games ahead.

FOCUS (RIGHT): Senior Ryan Ly prepares to pass the ball to a fellow teammate.

“Our captains told us we all had talent, we just had to work together to find it”

coach offsetting the team’s normal routines, a heightened reputation at stake, and mounting responsibilities on and off the field that hinder individual efforts to improve. The seniors on the team, however, believe that these challenges would ultimately strengthen their morale. “Getting into the mindset is a big part of [the game]” midfielder Alberto Vasquez said. “We [realized that] the team had a lot of mistakes, but we also knew what to do [to overcome them].” Now they hope that their teammates will understand and use their advice in the coming games. “We’re looking forward to that moment when our efforts work out [in the team],” forward Sam Park said. While sportsmanship is not a main issue for boys varsity, communication is. A lack

Boys basketball

battles for homecoming Jordan Reyes

Despite persistent efforts, team breaks winning streak The Oxford Academy basketball team, having won its homecoming game the past two years, was unable to mark its success with a threepeat. The team’s goal, however, was to remain competitive throughout the entire game. “We wanted to play a competitive game because the past couple of games before that we had kind of lacked competitiveness by our team, so in this game, one of the main things we wanted to do was compete and try our hardest throughout the whole game,” senior Kevin Warren said. In preparation for one of the Patriots’ biggest games, varsity coach Andrew Scimeca scouted the opposing team and had his team work on their passing game. Scimeca wanted to make sure that Whitney’s leading stealer and scorer would not have many opportunities to create turnovers. “Coach usually scouts the teams, so we already knew what type of defense they

set up, so we were prepared from previous practices,” junior Kevin Ngo said. The beginning of the game was similar for both sides. Both Oxford and Whitney made most of their shots, due mostly to little ball movement within the teams. Towards the end of the first quarter, however, the Wildcats began a streak that would carry them through later in the game. The second quarter was the most successful for the team as a whole. The Patriots were able to execute Coach Scimeca’s passing and scoring plan. The quarter displayed increased home team passing, resulting in more successful shots. The increase of successful passes and shots on the Patriots’ side ended the first half with only a seven point deficit against the Wildcats. During the third quarter, the team showed weakness as a whole but was notable for some of the aggressive players. Despite being knocked around and fouled deliberately

by the Wildcats, Ngo played a very strong third quarter; he was able to enter the key, each time resulting in a successful finger roll. However, the team as a whole could not repeat the success or the ball movement of the previous quarter. Near the end of the quarter, the Patriot offense began to slip. “I think the longer half-time affected us a bit. We weren’t used to sitting in the locker room for that extended period. We just came out flat at the start with our legs not as warm as the start of the game,” senior varsity captain Daniel Lee said. Although the Patriots began to finally play more aggressively during the fourth quarter, the offense failed to impress. The ball moved around minimally and the attempted shots were unsuccessful. However, some of the players, such as Lee, began to play a more physical and vigorous style, resulting in maintained rebounded possessions. As the quarter neared its end,

Whitney made a final effort to maximize possession of the ball, resulting in multiple turnovers on the Patriots. The steals and turnovers allowed the Wildcats to increase the score gap and win the game. Despite the unattained goal of three consecutive homecoming wins, Patriot basketball did have some impressive moments. Highlights included the Patriots ball movement in the second quarter, Kevin Ngo’s focused driving in despite being severely fouled twice in the game, and Daniel Lee’s commanding playing style late in the game. Although Oxford Academy lost, the players on the team each left the game with a positive mentality. “I want our team to realize that no matter what happens on the court, we never give up on each other. We play until that final buzzer sounds,” Lee said.


January 26, 2012

Indie Sports:

RollerDerby Sari Zureiqat What do you get when you put ten women (with the occasional man in the mix), ten pairs of roller skates and a skating track together? An intense game of roller derby. The concept of this American game is remarkably simple—two teams of five players attempt to lap one another for points while skating counterclockwise on a track. One player on each team is predesignated to be the “jammer,” set apart from the other players who are considered “blockers.” The jammer is the primary scorer of the game, scoring points each time she passes players of another team on the track. Each play is considered a “jam” and lasts up to two minutes. A bout of roller derby, 30 minutes long and divided into two periods, is made up of these various jams. Here’s where the game gets more interesting: in order to score, jammers must initially pass all opposing blockers, after which each pass counts for points. Between the two teams, the jammer to first complete this task is noted as the lead jammer and has the power to end the game whenever the score is more favorable to her team. Now the game isn’t just a skate in the park; roller derby is actually a very physical, energetic contact sport. Blockers must form a pack within ten feet of one another, and these team members must essentially play both offense and defense. Their job is to create loopholes for their jammer to pass through, while at the same time blocking the other players. Blocks do follow certain rules, prohibiting blocking by hands, elbows, head and feet—but even so, injuries varying from minor bruises to concussions can occur. Intensity aside, the game is still unique and extremely entertaining. Helmets may be embellished with stars or stripes to denote a player’s position. Typical attire involves knee-high socks, stockings and shorts (war paint optional). Roller derby is relatively inexpensive but very thrilling to watch; lists it as one of “10 Cheap Date Ideas She’ll Actually Love.” And luckily for Oxford students, Long Beach Roller Derby is conveniently located not too far away. So drive down there (it’s unfortunate skating would be a hassle) in your free time and get jammin’. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

PUSH COMES TO SHOVE (BOTTOM): The Texas Lonestar Rollergirls fight to claim victory in their trademark attire.



Girls basketball tackles challenging season Theresa Phung

Young team prepares for future seasons With no seniors on the varsity team and an amount of returning players that can be counted on one hand, the girls basketball team has received no easy challenge in its efforts to win. While unable to garner any victories since the start of a shaky season, the team’s main asset this year is undoubtedly its vast capacity for improvement and its determination to obtain it. “We’re improving. Every game we’re getting more points and more points,” Kimia Hashemian, the team’s only senior player, said. “We just have to get used to being around each other.” Hashemian is among the large number of new members. In fact, the majority of the 20112012 girls basketball team consists of freshman and sophomore players who have only been recently introduced both to one another and to the sport as a high school organized activity. With both fundamentals and intricacies to learn, many players are struggling to step up and fill in the gap left behind by the absence of experienced upperclassmen. With a disorganized yet revamped team for the winter season, the girls basketball team has been forced to focus more on the rudiments that should already be basic skills. Their lack of experience is an obstacle difficult to overcome, as can be seen in their Garden Grove Tournament results—no victories, all losses. “My personal goal before winning is to play as a team, just be able to execute. I feel we’re still disconnected in a way,” varsity captain Aimee Morita said. As the team members endeavor to familiarize with one another and the sport, many have come to accept that this year’s season is more of a pre-game warm-up for next. It’s more of an

opportunity to practice than to really contend. “Even though it’s competitive it’s not really about winning,” freshman varsity player Angela Lee said. “It’s about learning because most of our team is new.” With shorter, lighter players in comparison to other varsity girls teams, the Oxford girls team has decided to substitute weight and power with meticulous, effective teamwork. Through running sessions outside of practice and other social bonding events, the team continuously tries to build its team dynamic on the court through all means possible. “The team is very encouraging,” Hashemian said. “They encourage each other, if they make mistakes they say it’s okay, try again. If

you fall, everyone always gets back up.” Disadvantaged with athletes of less experience and smaller stature, the girls basketball team has done less than stellar. Despite a long, worn-out season though, the girls express enthusiasm and hope for the following year. Many believe that it holds much better prospects with more experienced members and more coordinated teamwork. “Next year, we’ll be making a comeback,” freshman Christine Alcanar said. “We’re underdogs. We want to win.”

HEAD IN THE GAME (RIGHT): Morita prepares to drive the ball past the opposition.

Girls JV soccer shows promise Timothy Torno

Drastic changes raise team efforts for improvement It may not have been an exceptional start of the season for the girls JV soccer team, but as a result of their games, the players have emerged more skilled and inspired. They now approach the demands of practice sessions and games more mindful of their potential as athletes and as a team. After a recent game against Bolsa Grande, the girls improved, though what was most evident was the newfound teamwork. “[The girls now] rely on each other a lot,” team captain Michelle Guzman said. Guzman owes the team’s success to the personal growth she sees in the players, who became more focused, driven, and ambitious over the course of the season. The girls went so far as to personally seek help from the new head coach, Douglas Washa, who now is their source of motivation. “Coach Washa gives everything he has to the game,” Guzman said. “[He] knows the plays […] gives advice […] and taught us to not be afraid to go after the ball.” Now that the girls are less anxious of one another, they have made great attempts to discover their talents. Certain athletes, like Summit Alegre and Zeana

Zoreikat, even switched up their field positions for a change with successful results. Co-captain Clarissa Torres, aware of their achievement, understands the importance of a closely-knit team when it comes to the pressure felt at the games. “We’re developing that team chemistry,” Torres said. “Even though we haven’t [played] as well as years past, we’re pushing ourselves much more [this year].” The team’s coherence and determination in practice translates well into the actual games. In the game against Bolsa Grande, the main concern was that the girls struggled to possess the ball. But what they lacked in offense, they players made up for with a composed and organized defense. They worked together by communicating to get the ball as smoothly as possible past the opposing goalkeeper. Summit Alegre believes that the team’s resourcefulness came from practice sessions that incorporated a variety of skills and exercises. “We’ve been doing a lot of new drills [this season],” Alegre said, “[and] they helped us with our teamwork […] and endurance skills [during the games].” The JV team hopes to create new strategies and hone its skills on offense

before the next game. Its reputation, though, isn’t priority. For the time being, the girls want to continue developing their friendships and discovering their abilities. “The record doesn’t matter,” Torres said, “when we work together, […] form those bonds, […] [and] realize [that] we always can do better.”

(CENTER): Alegre dribbles down the field.

Volume 8 Issue 4  

The Gamut's December/January Issue

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