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K ING’S C OURIER El Camino Real Charter High School

Volume 43, Issue 6

Profile on Olympian

Make sure to appreciate

Economic Summit


November 20, 2012

Students learn how the economy works in different countries

El Camino remembers to give back during this year’s Thanksgiving season.

Olympic champion wrestler opens up in interview


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Model UN attends UCLA convention By CHRISTINE YUEN After a couple months of diligent preparation, the ECR Model United Nations club attended the much anticipated two-day Bruin MUN Conference held at UCLA. The ECR club brought a team of 30 students, each representing delegates from a foreign country, on Saturday, Nov. 17 and Sunday, Nov. 18, to the competition that annually attracts 1,300 delegates from around the world. This year, Model UN beat its previous record of awards at any conference it has attended, the club brought home seven awards, three delegate awards and four research awards. The most prestigious award, Best Delegation, was given to freshman Elnaz Guivatchian and junior Libin Kuriakose; senior Jacob Burman won the Outstanding Delegate Award, and seniors Joshua Villarreal and Jenny Chi won the Commendation Award. “I took immediate control of the committee and made sure everyone in the room knew my [country’s position],” Villarreal said, recalling the reason for his success in the conference. Yet, while making sure others knew he was competition, Villarreal also

had fun meeting the delegates and making memories with his MUN family. He said they told “horrid, corny jokes” and had fun during the breaks. With similar feelings of ECR camaraderie and her own methods of winning an award, Guivatchian, one of 14 new members, also shares her pride in working with such a “hardworking team,” as well as her belief that “persistence in debating” is crucial. Another challenge for a Model UN team is writing position papers before the actual conference. The best papers are given research awards. Junior Golnaz Guivatchian and senior Lisa Bauman, juniors Manali Kulkarni and Farah Najib, freshmen Vanessa Phan and Medinah Najib, and seniors Kayla Aihara and Yasmin Torabi received research awards. “I am in charge of teaching members how to write position papers,” junior and vice president of MUN Golnaz Guivatchian said. “The fact that so many people won proves that we have a promising team this year.” Because the team did much better than in previous years, UCLA will most

Golnaz Guivatchian/King’s Courier

Model UN team members Vistaa Farkhondehh, Rick Chattopadhyay, Jacob Burman, Libin Kuriakose, Riley Franklin, Kaley Cheng, Farah Najib, Vanessa Phan, Elnaz Guivatchian, Aria Mohseny, Madinah Najib, Emily Edgerton, Lisa Bauman, Josh Villarreal, Sami Delbick, Yasmin Torabi, Katrina Franklin, Manali Kulkarni, Ashley Yun and Golnaz Guivatchian gather together in front of one of the UCLA committee buildings for the annual BRUIN MUN high school conference. The conference annually attracts 1,300 MUN members from around the world. likely assign ECR to richer, and more well-known countries next year. “Everyone put his or her all into this conference,” said club co-president Jenny Chi, with a mile, adding that their efforts really shined. “I’m so excited for our next conferences, and I think with more training, we can earn even more awards.” The team has three more con-

ferences scheduled for the rest of the year: the Global Classrooms’ UCLA Model United Nations Conference, Berkeley Model United Nations Conference, and El Camino Real Model United Nations Conference. Replicating the mock MUN conference Chi and other club co-president senior Dahlerbruch hosted privately at ECR last year, they hope to make the event, called

ECR MUN, an annual tradition to help their club members become more comfortable with the MUN procedures and achieve greater success in the future. The MUN members who went to UCLA are part of the MUN club that meets Mondays at lunch in B118. The members had to apply and then have an interview. Over 50 members applied to go and 28 were chosen.

Key Club celebrates at Magic Mountain By GOLNAZ GUIVATCHIAN

Photo courtesy of Andrew Thai

Key Club attends the annual Fall Rally South spirit session at Magic Mountain. Key Clubbers performed their signature “eight-clap” cheer which brought the spirit stick home to Division 25 West, the district containing El Camino as well as surrounding schools.


Your brain on news!

What you need to know to seem smart.

Key Club members sported their pufferfish mascots in yellow and blue at the Fall Rally at Magic Mountain on November 10. Key Club is a lunch-time club at ECR which volunteers time and raises money for causes such as UNICEF. Other schools in Hawaii, California and Nevada also have their own divisions. ECR’s Key Club division, 25 West, won the spirit stick, which is awarded to the most spirited division. Key Club has been raising money for the Pediatric Trauma Prevention organization since April. The Fall Rally is where all divisions of Key Club in California and Nevada get together to celebrate all of their accomplishments and the money they have raised for the cause. ECR’s Key Club has raised $2,000 since April. “The most interesting thing I did to exude spirit was when I

was on stage. I put up a heart and my whole division put up hearts as well,” Key Club Division 25 West’s Lieutenant Governor, ECR senior Andrew Thai, said. Key Club vice president Negin Fadaee said that Thai has been dreaming of winning the spirit stick for his division for a long time, especially since our region’s Key Club won second place last year. “My favorite moment was when our division, 25 West, won the session two spirit stick,” Fadaee said. “It was even more memorable for Andrew Thai.” ECR is under Division 25 West and has the puffer fish as its mascot. A persistent stereotype at El Camino is that Key Club is all Asian, Thai said that differs from school to school. “Although many people assume that Key Club is just for Asians, there are just more Asian people in our specific division,” Thai said. “Other divisions are dominated by other races. Some are mostly Mexicans.”

5 Hour Energy Unsafe?

Dim the lights

China under new leadership

FDA investigates the energy supplement after three deaths have been directly related to the shot.

Studies show that bright lights may lead to depression.

Xi Jinping is the new ruler of China’s Communist Party, and will most likely replace President Hu Jinatao when his term comes to an end.

Sources predict that Twinkies will return to stores, just under a company other than Hostess.



Twinkies will make a comeback



18 ,

19 Check out our new website for daily news updates and our TV show “ECReality.”


KEY PDD: Professional Development Day GT: Grieb Theater AH: Anderson Hall




Varsity Football Banquet

27 Orchestra/Choir Rehearsal

Mr. El Camino Rehearsal


Orchestra/ Choir Rehearsal JV Football Banquet


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November 20, 2012 THURSDAY






Thanksgiving Break, No School l 29

28 AVID Event Orchestra/ Choir Rehearsal

Orchestra/ Choir Rehearsal ROTC Event Science Meeting


1 Orchestra/ Choir Rehearsal



Annual food drive continues Thanksgiving tradition By MAURINE LAMBERT

Photo Courtesy of Robin Stigers

(Above) The Stigers family -- Robin, Anat, Pete, P.J. and Sarah, along with their friend Shelby Silverman, were just one of many families at Dodger Stadium for the annual Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation benefit walk on Sunday, Nov. 11. (Left) English teacher, Natasha Zwick walks with her family team, Believing for Barry. Photo Courtesy of Natasha Zwick

With the holiday season here to stay, and more difficult than ever to ignore, many are in frantic preparation. Many people use these precious pre-holiday times to stress out over expenses and debate over gift giving. On the other hand, some use this time to forget about their own problems and give to others. Dean of students Wendy Treuhaft is hosting her annual Thanksgiving basket drive again to help out local families in need. She has been holding this Thanksgiving drive for the past six years. In this annual drive, Treuhaft collaborates with the staff as well as El Camino students to assemble turkey dinner baskets. The baskets include a complete Thanksgiving dinner: a frozen turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, vegetables, and more, all stored in a plastic laundry basket. Before the drive began, Treuhaft asked teachers to nominate students and staff members they knew were having financial troubles and could be greatly affected by one of these baskets. The goal is to help people with struggling families who may not

be able to afford a Thanksgiving dinner. All of these names were kept private. Treuhaft hopes to provide each of these families a Thanksgiving dinner. With all of the names submitted, she plans on filling 48 baskets to give away. Students and staff were encouraged to donate anything they could to support the project. Donations that she accepted included money, gift cards, and food. Every donation was graciously accepted and contributed to the drive. The main goal is to allow every family a Thanksgiving meal. Treuhaft and her helpers began putting the baskets together on Monday, and plan to give them out as soon as possible. Treuhaft is not only using this food drive to help out struggling families, but also to create a giving community within the school. “I believe that everybody wants to give, particularly at the holidays,” Treuhaft said. “Sometimes they hesitate to give because they don’t know where their donations are going. However, this project gives them the opportunity to give and know their donations are going directly to El Camino families,” Treuhaft added.

Belgium wins Economic Summit; Peru, Hungary tied for second By CLARE RAMIREZ Dressed in cultural garments and bringing in a variety of ethnic food, seniors in economics classes participated in the annual Economic Summit on Wednesday, Nov. 14, during periods 1-4. Each group of students represented a country and were to accurately demonstrate their country’s economic policies and form trade alliances with each other. Winners of the Economic Summit are typically announced at the end of the event or by the following day. This year, however, winners were not revealed until Monday due to some cheating during the summit, economics teacher Robert Boyle said. “In order to try to make it more fair to the seniors who didn’t cheat, we had to take a few variables out of the judging criteria, especially money,” Boyle said. He added that variables such

as the groups’ trade issues and costumes were given more consideration, in an attempt to make it more “wholistic.” “It was more subjective than what I would have liked,” Boyle said, “but we really had to take money out of the equation.” After adding up all the points, first place went to Belgium, represented by seniors Seamus Sullivan, Feras Morad, Damian Miranda and Leah Overseen. Seniors Manuel Seraydarian, Cora Chan and Rebecca Simon represented Peru, and seniors Matt Anderson, Brandon Cagle, Derek Gomez, and Brandon Inatomi represented Hungary. Both countries received second place. Jamaica and Kenya shared third place. The former was represented by seniors Jerrad Gubani, Timothy Holcombe, Aaron Broctman and Chris Cerda, and the latter by Gabriel Fernando, Logan Sturney, Brandon Matsuda

and Houston Oyarbide. “Aside from the fact that it was really crowded, it was overall an amazing experience,” said Sullivan, who was part of the Belgium group. “I liked seeing the many costumes, and it was nice to know that people really liked [my group’s] trade proposals.” Anderson, who was part of the Kenya group, shared that while he had a lot of fun at the summit, he also thought it was “a bit unorganized.” “It was very rowdy, and a lot was very biased, especially because it was peer-judged,” he said. Boyle said that because of the subjectiveness of peer judging, he will “reinstitute parent judging,” as it has been in the past. “There were some complaints about the peer judging, and we’re definitely going to try new things for next spring to fix that,” he said.

Photo Courtesy of Emily Gilbert

Seniors Vanessa Vasquez, Sidnie Thomas, Anisha Weerasinghe and Emily Gilbert pose for a picture at the Economics Summit. The group represented Greece in the Summit and dressed appropriately in togas strategically made from bed sheets. The group pictured above is in Jennifer Rosenthal’s Economics class, but many other economics classes participated in the event, excluding all AP classes.


November 20, 2012


Alexandria House founder shares her story By ELNAZ GUIVATCHIAN Contributing Writer On an average night in Los Angeles, 84,000 people are homeless. Judy Vaughan has been fighting this problem for many years. Born on August 8, 1945, in Los Angeles, the third generation Angelino decided to found a shelter to reduce the number of homeless people. “I am an activist, so a lot of my life has been spent trying to work for social change,” Vaughan says. Vaughan founded the Alexandria House Shelter in downtown Los Angeles for women and children in September 1996. When Vaughan was younger, she wanted to be a nurse, but now realizes it would be a bad choice since she doesn’t like seeing people suffer. Growing up in the ‘50s pre-feminist days, she says that there weren’t many options for young women. Vaughan went to Cathedral Chapel Middle School and St. Mary’s Academy for high school. She went on to Mt. St. Mary’s College for a degree in sociology. She also went to San Diego State University for her master’s in sociology and the University of Chicago for a Ph.D. in social ethics. When Vaughn was 20, her sister escaped from domestic violence. Vaughan worked at the House of Ruth in East LA, so she says her family was not really surprised when she decided to found

a shelter. She says they were more surprised when she left her teaching job at Mt. St. Mary’s after getting her Ph.D. and deciding to work full time at shelters. “The car has become the new affordable housing,” Vaughan says. When a spot does open up at the shelter, she says it is hard to pick whom to accept. The board committee at the shelter looks to see if they have any other resources such family willing to take them, if they have very limited resources, or if they are having a hard time looking for a shelter that will take them in. This program has so far helped 149 families and the shelter is still in touch with 115 of the families. Vaughan says of that group, 82 percent are in permanent housing and many of them come back to volunteer themselves. The Alexandria Shelter has also been featured on the reality television show Secret Millionaire. From the show, the shelter has gotten many small donations, volunteers, and touching letters from people who have escaped domestic violence. In the future, the shelter would like to strengthen the job component, start a catering business, and get another apartment. Vaughan says that working with the shelter women is very rewarding. “I have had a very blessed life,” Vaughan says.

“No-Shave November,” Dhillon was happy to say, “It would be awesome to see the girls not shave their legs for the month.” So as the month of November settles down, and the beards keep getting longer, it is necessary to remember that while we look different, almost homeless, with anything from heavy peach fuzz to a heavy beard, it is all to support research and awareness about an illness people hope will be stopped, one beard at a time.

Photo Courtesy of Aria Mohseny

CLUB CORNER: TeenAge Republicans

By GOLNAZ GUIVATCHIAN Although many clubs at ECR are community service based, TeenAge Republicans mixes community service and politics. TeenAge Republicans club is indirectly sponsored by the Republican Party. TARS and Young Republicans two youth wings of the GOP. “The club’s main goal this year was to do everything we could, like volunteering, to help Republican candidates get elected,” TARS president Jung Won Kim said. “We weren’t exactly successful this year but we tried our best.” The club has been intern-

ing and volunteering at the San Fernando Valley headquarters where it goes door to door and makes phone calls to solicit for the Republican Party. “I started it because I found that there were no other student organizations in our school that provided a place where conservative students can discuss their beliefs and work together to promote Republican ideals,” Kim said. Most of the club consists of Republicans, but some are independents. “Students should join if they have the same or similar beliefs as the Republican Party and also if they want to actively help the Party,” Kim said. “This club is also a great boost on college

apps because it shows that the students are informed and active in the political world, which affects everything in America.” Now that the major elections are over, TARS will focus on the mayoral race that begins in March. On election night, Kim attended an election party for Todd Zinc, the California Republican candidate for Senate. He said that meeting Zinc was his favorite experience. Although most of the club’s activities are outside of school, the members still discuss politics and future plans in the club. TeenAge Republicans meets every Thursday at lunch in Spanish teacher Fabiana Cavileris’ room, Z-5.

Photo courtesy of Nora Murphy

Things are getting hairy at El Camino as the month of November wears down. For those who aren’t aware, November is when students and staff are encouraged to go a month without shaving to promote awareness for prostate cancer, one of the most common and lethal forms of cancer in men. Although this seems like a tradition that will always be around the campus, it is relatively new as we only started participating in this quirky activity since last year. Assistant principal Suki Dhillon was the man who first brought this national movement to El Camino, which should surprise no one, as he also came up with Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom. “I started the tradition because overall there are issues that men have to deal with that we cannot discuss,” he said. “Doing things like this can help men deal with these problems.” People participate in No Shave November for various reasons. Dhillon decided to focus this hairy month on prostate cancer awareness. “We decided to focus on prostate cancer because No-Shave November is all about masculinity,” Dhillon said. “Since women aren’t physically affected by prostate cancer, it seemed like a good focus.” Though not shaving one’s beard is what most people think about when they hear

(Above) Celina Beckham, Paige Tendler, Laylee Abedi, Quethzali Coronado, Madison Sidoti, Rachel Hambly, Samantha Scherer, Alexandra McMurray and Ayla Morton prepare to go on their limo for the homecoming dance. “The best part of homecoming was when I got In-N-Out with my limo after the dance,” sophomore Filamena said. (Right) Aria Mohseny and Meena Qayum pose at the homecoming dance at the California Market Center.

Elnaz, a freshman in Journalism 1, hopes to join the King’s Courier staff next semester.

No-Shave November supports cancer By ETHAN MILLMAN

Photo Courtesy of Rachel Hambly

Golnaz Guivatchian/King’s Courier

TeenAge Republicans president Jung Won Kim leads the discussion during a club meeting. The TeenAge Republicans meet Thursdays at lunch in Z-5, where they create a unique mix of politics and community service.




Ingredients for Disney magic: film, fantasy and youthful fervor

Nora Murphy/King’s Courier

By CLARE RAMIREZ This Saturday, I had the pleasure of performing at Disneyland with ECR’s Camerata and choir. After our performance, we were free to roam the park and do as we pleased. At a completely random point during the day, I wandered off to admire the splendor of my surroundings. Before Saturday, it had been almost two years since my last visit to Disneyland, and I had forgotten how the park naturally emits a euphoric sense of imagination and mystery. Slowly breathing in that alluring aura, I wondered what exactly it is about the Disney enterprise that enchants people of every generation. As my eyes jumped from one attraction to another, I realized what they had in common: they reflect the true essence of Disney movies. It then dawned on me that Disney’s ability to captivate hearts and minds comes from its unmatched talent for storytelling through its remarkable movies. As a ‘90s baby, born during the Disney Renaissance, I pride myself on growing up with such motion picture classics. To this day, I enjoy watching these movies, even having memorized every


line and every song of Beauty and the Beast, Hercules and Aladdin, to name a few. Yet I have never wondered why this is so. If they are indeed the secret to Disney’s success, then what is it about these movies that makes us fall in love with them? Recently, my cousins and I watched the new Disney movie, Wreck-It Ralph. My expectations weren’t high, as it is my instinct to believe that this century’s Disney movies cannot compare to those of the 20th century. Though I still stand by that opinion, I never expected to enjoy Wreck-It Ralph as much as I did. With its witty wordplay and compelling plot, Wreck-It Ralph is probably one of Disney’s best movies of this century since Tangled in 2010. It was ingenious, clever and surprisingly heartwarming—all the elements that comprise an exceptional Disney work. How do the Disney geniuses do this? With their artistic originality and astounding attention to detail, they create stories that never fail to leave audiences smiling and in awe. We are drawn to Disney movies because deep inside, we are

children. We all have a little bit of Peter Pan within us, hoping to retain our youthfulness even as we grow older. Walt Disney himself, a man of creativity and vision, understood this before any of us did, and his entire legacy continues to produce movies that keep us connected to our childhood passions. The Disney storytellers have done impeccable work over the decades. Through their movies, they have taken us on magic carpet rides, shown us a life under the sea, and have taught us a problem-free philosophy that we’ll remember for the rest of our days. Near the park’s entrance, visitors can see the quote, “Here you leave today, and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy,” and this quote could not be more true. At Disneyland, the movies we see on screen come to life before our very eyes, transporting us to vivid worlds of fantasy and youthful spirit. It is where we can escape from the troubles of the real world, and where all people, no matter how old they are, can feel like a child once more.

Illustration by Jacob Biletsky

America’s position on pot

By SARAH STIGERS With the newest editions of Macbooks and iPhones and iPads -- oh, my -- it’s hard not to fall in love with Apple’s sleek, elegant style, paired with an easy user interface. In other words, once you go Mac, you never go back. Hash tag, first world problems. Procuring an iPhone through months of begging or working can be an enlightening experience. It is comparable to the literary allusion to Plato’s cave; once one leaves the cave -- in this case, of various flip-phones that never seem to break -- and sees the “light of day,” being the iPhone and the possibilities it holds, one can never return to his cave and continue to be content with his current means of technology. Our ignorance has been shattered; thank you, Steve Jobs. As shallow as possessing a dynamic duo, or even a trifecta of Apple products may seem, the reality is that if you treat these products right, they will last quite some time. Mac computers, whether they be of the book, desk, pro or air type, can be seen in the arms or on the desks of students ranging from middle school to college, and are heavily integrated in the business world.

Even our own King’s Courier and El Camino Reality staffs are part of the Mac family, as the newsroom is scattered with various Macbooks and lined with donated desktops which have helped both staffs achieve awards and honorable mentions in many competitions. An additional perk of being a “Mac” is the option of being able to buy, install and update the newest software available without actually buying a new computer. My personal Macbook, bought in 2007, has hung in there thus far with the help of multiple updates. So long, in fact, that this specific model isn’t even available for purchase in stores any longer, and still sufficiently runs the Adobe CS3 Suite and Google Chrome smoothly. I also doubt that any PC could look as nifty with a Snow White decal on the front. Although this battle between devout Mac and PC users seems like a constant battle of “anything you can do, I can do better,” with the one-ups and productbashing commercials, the real perception of which is the superior brand is the satisfaction of costumers. Judging by the number of happy selfies from iPhone users on Instagram, one can conclude that Apple is living up to their high expectations.

are responsible for many deaths. These substances are legal and taxed, but are far more risky than marijuana. Marijuana has fewer carcinogens than cigarettes, and is generally less harmful to one’s health in comparison to other mind-altering drugs. The federal government has not outwardly opposed these actions, but has not taken steps to put their support behind it either. Washington Governor Christine Gregoire said to the Associated Press that as things are, Washington plans to implement decriminalization—decriminalization just means making marijuana not a crime—but that she doesn’t want to spend a lot of money starting something if the federal government is going to try to block it. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, slightly more tongue-in-cheek, said that the voters’ voice needs to be respected and that the state intends to do so—but “federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug, so don’t break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly.” He also posed for a picture with legalization advocate Ean Seeb at a museum fundraiser, holding bags of Cheetos and Goldfish. Marijuana legalization is still pretty shaky, and federal government response isn’t set in stone quite yet. But the fact that two states democratically approved recreational pot use is a little exciting—it reminds us of our own power. Coming from someone who believes the presidential elections are a sick joke, the recent victories in Washington and Colorado put a smile on my face. For both the partakers in ganja and those who don’t smoke, and disregarding any individual ethical arguments, this is a testament to the fierce, effective power of citizens getting politically active on a local level and changing not just their own situation, but the entire nation’s. So with this still fresh in everyone’s minds, who knows which states will be next?

By BRIT-EL GIBSON For California, a less-thanstrict attitude toward marijuana is nothing new. In fact, according to a study conducted by the Research and Development Corporation, California smokes around oneseventh of all the pot smoked in the United States. For many, the state’s infamous tolerance toward weed is part of what solidifies a sense of pride in identifying as a Californian. California was the first state to establish a medical marijuana program brought about by a voters’ petition with Proposition 215 in 1996. The bill let people with lasting, painful medical conditions light up, and later in 2003, Senate Bill 420 clarified the scope of Proposition 215 and generally simplified things. All marijuana use is still illegal under federal law however, and until recently, recreational marijuana use was illegal in all states. But on Election Day, despite the prohibitionist federal attitude, Colorado and Washington voters approved measures to legalize pot for recreational use—for adults 21 and up to possess, buy, sell and grow it. Colorado’s Amendment 64 requires not only a 15% excise tax on pot, but that the first $40 million in revenue generated annually from the tax go to funds for construction projects for public schools. Washington’s equivalent, Initiative 502, would earmark their pot-tax revenue for substance-abuse prevention, research, education and health care. Such use of funds addresses anti-legalization concerns in an undeniably diplomatic fashion. It also touches on a powerful point—for a nation with our debt, it seems wasteful to pour money into trying to make people stop smoking and keeping people in prison because of it. There’s also the fact that pot is criminal while cigarettes and alcohol are not, two substances which cause lung cancer and

Are Macs really better than PCs?

Once you go Mac, you never go back

November 20, 2012


PCs are the one and only By JUSTIN HOANG Macs or PCs? How is that even a question? When it comes to raw power, there’s just no competition. There’s a reason why the majority of computers in the world are PCs. They’re fast, they’re durable and they’re affordable. From desktops to laptops, and phones to tablets, Microsoft has it all. When it comes to buying a computer, price is a big factor. Who wants to spend $1,000 for a sub-par computer when PCs of equal or better ability are available for half the price? Much of the hardware in a Mac is exactly the same as a PC, such as Intel processors, NVIDIA graphics, DDR3 memory and other components. Software. It’s what runs our computers. Whether it is Microsoft Word or the full-fledged Adobe Suite, it’s the crucial element in our productive workflow of everyday life. More specifically there is a noticeably significant difference between the amounts of software for PC versus Mac. Although gradually decreasing due to many companies begrudgingly converting their million lines of code into AppleScript, software for the PC is so much more available. Even if Mac versions of

these same programs are released, they are most often delayed for months, if not years. Though programs such as ‘Crossover’ are used to run Windows programs on Macs, they just aren’t the same. There’s a reason why most “tech guys” prefer PCs. We like that we can customize our computer to our specifications and not take what Apple wants to shove down our throats. We can upgrade our graphics card to devour the next game. We can upgrade our hard drive gets filled up with all those family photos. The upgradeable options are endless. As a computer technician, I often carry a work PC laptop to scheduled onsite appointments as opposed to using my personal MacBook, as I find things to be much simpler with the PC compatibility and functionality on broken unknown networks. So why do people choose Macs over PCs? I’ll admit, their designs are sleek and elegant, and their aluminum unibody keeps it nice and cool while stylish. But paying double the price for a PC hidden in an aluminum body, with a few more tricks and a glowing apple symbol on the front isn’t worth it. PCs are the computers of champions.

November 20, 2012

King’s Courier


Editorial Policy: All editorials on this page are the collective opinion of the King’s Courier editorial board. As with all major daily newspapers, these consensus editorials run without byline. Contributing Editors: Mariapia Aquije, Amy Ayala, Brittany Brody, Rachael Cohen, Brit-El Gibson, Golnaz Guivatchian, Maurine Lambert, Ethan Millman, Clare Ramirez, Madison Spiegel, Sarah Stigers, Yasmin Torabi

Kindergarten wasn’t wrong; don’t hate


ate is a strong word. It’s one notch above dislike and two notches below

loathe. It seems we have become desensitized to the true meaning of hate, judging by the way we go around saying, “I hate her. I don’t know her but it’s something about her look.” We may not be fond of someone else’s style but disliking someone’s shoes should not escalate to hate. Even in the case of exaggeration, people take offense. We pride ourselves on being a close-knit community but when do you hear, “Hey there neighbor! I hate you.” Being a community means we need to be nice and respectful to one another. It seems like an elementary principle but after reading all the comments on the girls’ bathroom stalls, it’s apparent that we need to be reminded that people do, in fact, have feelings.

This doesn’t mean we should be making flower headbands for each other and adorning our classmates in friendship bracelets, but what we do need to do is reflect and determine if we really have reason to hate other people. Not all of us have the same beliefs and morals, so we are bound to come across people whose actions we don’t approve of. But we cannot hate people for doing things that are not our business. Before we go around ripping other people apart, we should consider the possibility of someone saying hurtful things about us. Imagine being friends with someone who used to hate you. It may seem like a trivial thing to worry about, but knowing that someone hated you, without even having any idea of who you are, is bound to make you uncomfortable. While some might dismiss the idea of hate without cause as a

strictly female tendency, boys are just as guilty. Boys admit to hating people just by looking at them as well. Whether it is because they look annoying or “it’s just something about them,” everyone shares in hating their peers. Admittedly, some people do have a certain energy about them that may not be agreeable. But is hating the appropriate way to react to people who aren’t our type? Why don’t we just let them be? They’re not bothering anyone; do they really deserve to be hated? We mean it in a hyperbolic way, but associating people with such a negative word is something we should not consider acceptable. To truly become a supportive community, we need to do away with negative comments. Allow us to take you back to your kindergarten class: if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

America: The land of the free and the home of the generous


any people are aware that America has put forth effort to benefit not only its citizens, but also the global population. If a disaster strikes, we do not hesitate to help repair the damages or help rescue citizens in danger. When one of our allies is attacked, we send aid as soon as possible. This loyalty is one of America’s best and worst qualities. It is reasonable to think that America’s instinctive response is great. Being humane and dependable is one of the best characteristics a country can have. It’s what makes America unique and defines us as a nation. Where would America be without these qualities? How could we expect aid from other countries if we did not help them in their hour of need? Although helping others is important and brings so many positive traits along with it, there are negative aspects that we sometimes forget. According

to the Huffington P o s t , America spends about $50 billion every year on foreign aid. That money is greatly needed in America. W h e n the next 7.9 earthquake hits Japan, America will be more than happy to help, as is its custom. Still, spending this money on other countries has the ability to backfire. When our country suffers a natural disaster, such as the recent Hurricane Sandy, we need those relief funds to restore order and rebuild our infrastructure. Our history of throwing money at problems has hurt us in the past, as seen during the Bush Administration and the two


Illustration by Charmaine Lai

wars in the Middle East. This spending, although helpful to other countries, can hurt us, especially as we are currently in $4.4 trillion of debt. There is no denying we have helped countries recuperate after disaster and will continue to do so, but we still need to keep ourselves in check by keeping an eye on the problems that need attention here in our own country.

Editor-in-Chief.......................................................................Sarah Stigers Online Editor-in-Chief.........................................................Clare Ramirez Managing Editor.................................................................Christine Yuen News Editors.................................Golnaz Guivatchian, Maurine Lambert Opinion Editors.........................................Rachael Cohen, Yasmin Torabi Features Editor.......................................Mariapia Aquije, Brittany Brody A&E Editors...........................................Brit-El Gibson, Madison Spiegel Sports Editors.................................................Amy Ayala, Ethan Millman Advertising Manager.........................................................Katherine Alas Photographer........................................................................Nora Murphy Pollster/Public Relations.......................................................Imani White Distribution and Exchange..............................................Isabella Chavez Webmaster.............................................................................Justin Hoang Adviser.......................................................................Kimberly Messadieh The King’s Courier is published by the Journalism 2 class of El Camino Real High School. Our address is 5440 Valley Circle Blvd., Woodland Hills, CA 91367. The King’s Courier is handdistributed, free of charge, to a student body and faculty of over 3,700. Advertising information is available by emailing us at Suggestions, comments, or letters to the editor may be dropped off during schools hours in room S-6, or placed in Ms. Messadieh’s mailbox in the Main Office.


Photo Courtesy of Robin Stigers

I would like to thank Shelby Silverman for always being the best friend that anyone could ever ask for. While filling out my application for Chapman University, the supplement asked what my favorite quote was. At first, I had quite some difficulty choosing just one, but I think I’ve finally reached a decision. I’m choosing to employ my creative liberty, and combine two quotes from two vastly different sources: Albert Schweitzer and Rihanna. “We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit,” because “life’s too short to be sitting around miserable.” There are many things to be thankful for, and on Thanksgiving, some choose to focus on the things that classify us as “more fortunate,” such as food and shelter. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be thankful for these things, but for me, Thanksgiving is a time to take a step back and be thankful for the people who have shaped my life and made me the person I am. These people may have given you something to fight for, or against, but nonetheless, they gave you passion. Recently, I was given eyeopening insight into the role my family and friends play in my life, as I faced a discovery I was not prepared for. I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes this past summer, and

although I’m too stubborn to let my life change too drastically, this experience has given me insight into the true character of my friends and family. My family has been strong for me from the moment I left the doctors office, and will be years after you read this letter. The reactions of my friends, however, is what has made me so proud. They treated me like the same crazy and loud Sarah that I had always been, and didn’t treat me as weak or fragile as I had felt. I will always be thankful for that. Friends are the family you choose, and I’m glad I chose them. More importantly, I’m glad they chose me, too. It’s really amazing how much more people can achieve when they band together. For instance, the clubs featured in this issue’s centerspread have accomplished more together than they ever could have single handedly. The members of WIN, for example, have taken it upon themselves to help the homeless women population here in our city. In my own experience, I know that I could never have accomplished half the goals I set in RAM without the help of all my friends who give their time and effort to help provide healthcare in California. In all, I know that I have more than enough people to be thankful for this holiday season, and I encourage KC readers to reflect on the people they should be thankful for, as well. I also encourage students to take a look at whom you’ve become in the past year, and see if you’re happy with the changes, or in some cases, the lack of change. Time is of the essence, so embrace the people who inspire you and ignore the people who dismiss you. After all, “Life’s too short to be sitting around miserable.”

-Sarah Stigers

Write to the Courier!

The King’s Courier is your newspaper, and we welcome your feedback. Tell us what you think of our coverage, for better or worse. You may submit articles for us to publish to S-6. Letters become the property of the Courier and may be altered by the staff of the paper for the sake of available space. Please include your name (even if you wish to remain anonymous), period 4 room number, and a contact number.

Contact the editors at: Illustration by Charmaine Lai

“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” -Epictetus, Greek philosopher “Life’s too short to be sitting around miserable.” -Rihanna “There is more to life than simply increasing its speed.” -Mahatma Gandhi

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the ca “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentr

What is Appreciation? By BRITTANY BRODY Appreciation is an “expression of admiration, approval, or gratitude,” according to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary. Sometimes, people keep the appreciation they have for others to themselves, often not realizing how much it could mean to those people if they shared their feelings aloud. Showing appreciation towards others has been proven to positively affect the lives of both the people receiving and giving the gratitude. It would seem that, with the passage of time, people have become less appreciative of the assets they have and the possessions that are so easily afforded to them. Nowadays, there are elementary-school children walking around with iPhones, living through the internet rather than appreciating all that the real world has to offer. Expressing gratitude can be as simple as saying “please” and “thank you,” the two “magic words” Barney and Sesame Street have taught children for generations.

Americans take for granted so many possessions, freedoms, hopes and dreams while others suffer and can only wish for such things. The United States is protected by trained and able military, made up of our people who are willing to serve our great nation. To show appreciation for these brave soldiers, civilians, such as math teacher Sue Schuster, donate their time to write letters and make packages of goods to send to the troops to remind them that what they are doing is incredible and that all of those at home are thankful for what they are doing. These packages are sent year-round, but are customized depending on the season. Other people show their appreciation by spending some of their free time doing volunteer work for those in their own communities who are less fortunate. Dean Wendy Treuhaft, for instance, spends time each year packaging meals to give to ECR families who otherwise wouldn’t be able to have a Thanksgiving dinner. Others, donate their time or money to soup kitchens and serve the homeless and the poor.

“I have three or four binders of stuff students have given me. I think it’s cool when they bring me something that reminds me of the inside jokes we have.” -Karen Ritchie

Simple Ways to Show Your Appreciation •Say “please” and “thank you” •Make a handmade gift •Give someone a note/card expressing your gratitude •Bring them chocolates or baked goods •Give them flowers •Offer to buy them coffee or food •Give them a hug •Give them a gift card •Offer to lend them a hand •Share your gratitude by telling them face to face

past, “In thents have stude me given [as gifts,] cups hey and t e me forgiv I don’t when mber reme names.” d their -Davi rso Robe

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even tou “Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not,

Clubs and Organizations Remote Area Medical: RAM raises money and supplies, such as donated glasses and toiletries, to send to the RAM California foundation which brings the supplies to conventions that supply free dental, medical and eye care for people who can’t afford health care. The club meets Thursdays at nutrition in C18. Women in Need: W.I.N. is a club at ECR that volunteers at and supports shelters for the homeless and women in need. They also collect canned goods and are part of a penpal system where they make friends with and write to kids at the shelters where they volunteer once or twice a month. The club will be volunteering on Dec. 15 at a fundraising block party at the Alexandria House Shelter in Los Angeles, featuring LMFAO. W.I.N. meets every Friday at lunch in B113. Salvation Army: The Salvation Army is organizing the third annual Rock the Red Kettle Concert. Performers this year include Owl City, Bridgit Mendler, Hot Chelle Rae and Andy Grammer. The concert is free and will be held at L.A Live in downtown L.A. During the concert, the audiences can make donations to the Red Kettle or text the word GIVE to 80888.


“I like wh students sh en their apprec ow iati through cardon s that they me and the give me what th y tell learned throey’ve u out the clasghs.” -Setareh B ah

Operation Gratitude: Operation Gratitude works year round to send care packages to deployed soldiers. The packages include entertainment items, snacks and personal letters addressed to them. You can get involved by volunteering your time at the Armory, organizing a collection drive, writing a letter, or donating hand made crafts such as scarves or bracelets. Visit for more information.


Thanksgiving: Where it Started By MARIAPIA AQUIJA

d on

“[I used t hot coco get] mugs, o cards, a [and] gift b feel ba ut I would d gettin fr g were faom people w it h il would ing because o s t il them. S l have to fa I come b ome studen il they ch ack and tell ts m ose a c areer be ecause of my -Frede class.” ric Bee rstein Pictures by Mariapia Aquije and Imani White/King’s Courier

Each year, on the fourth Thursday of November, Thanksgiving is celebrated by spending time with family and expressing gratitude. The tradition of Thanksgiving dates back to 1610 when the first permanent settlers in Jamestown celebrated it. In 1621, the Pilgrims celebrated the first modern Thanksgiving at Plymouth, located in present-day Massachusetts. The feast lasted for three days and was a way to express thanks for a successful harvest season. On October 3, 1863, nearly 242 years after the Pilgrims celebrated their Thanksgiving, Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving an official, national holiday. Expressing gratitude for the Union’s victory at Gettysburg, Lincoln stated in a speech that Thanksgiving would be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of every November. Each year on this holiday, families get together for a Thanksgiving dinner feast. It is common for family members to express what they are grateful for. A traditional Thanksgiving feast tends to include that the Pilgrims ate on their first Thanksgiving, such as turkey, fish, pumpkin pie and potatoes. The United States is not the only country that recognizes the Thanksgiving Holiday; Canada celebrates Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October. Other countries celebrate a similar format to America’s Thanksgiving including Japan, Germany, Liberia, The Netherlands , The Norfolk Islands and some European Countries.

“Those who have the ability to be grateful are the ones who have the ability to achieve greatness.” -Steve Maraboli, writer “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” -Robert Louis Stevenson, novelist

andle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” -Buddha rate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” -Oprah Winfrey

uched - they must be felt with the heart.” -Helen Keller , there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion.” -Dalai Lama

Arts & Entertainment


Photos courtesy of Julie Gelfand

American Music Awards 2012: 40th birthday celebration

(Above) Justin Bieber accepts his third award of the night for Best Artist of the Year. Bieber overall took home the most awards of the night.

By MADISON SPIEGEL With the awards show season in full swing, the American Music Awards delivered a spectacular show, complete with star-studded performances, memorable tributes and notable fashion choices. Despite the extensive advertisement for the show’s 40th birthday celebration, ratings fell drastically from last year’s, dropping from approximately 12 million viewers to only 9.6 million this year. The 40th annual American Music Award ceremony Sunday night began and ended with high-energy performances. The first performance of the night was given by Usher, with green laser lights beaming onstage as he performed a num-

ber of songs including “Numb,” “Climax” and “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop.” Usher performed in an all black outfit with the exception of red shoes, kicking off the recurring fashion trend for the night. Taylor Swift won her fifth consecutive award for Favorite Country Female Artist. “This is unreal. I want to thank the fans. You guys are the ones who voted on this,” she said. She later performed her new song, “I Knew You Were Trouble,” also wearing red and black. Kelly Clarkson performed, too, making a nod to her start on American Idol by wearing a number on her chest, and singing to three judges sitting in chairs. She sang a few of her older songs such as “Miss Independent” and “Since U Been Gone,” ending with her latest hit, “Stronger.” Justin Bieber ultimately took home the most awards of the night

for his wins for Artist of the Year, Pop/Rock Male Artist, and Pop/ Rock album. He also performed an acoustic version of his hit “As Long As You Love Me,” as well as “Beauty and the Beat.” Other winners of the night included Carly Rae Jepson for New Artist of the Year, Katy Perry for Pop/Rock Female Artist, and Maroon 5 for Pop/Rock Band of the Year. The show closed with international online sensation PSY, performing his hit, “Gangnam Style,” with a surprise from MC Hammer in the middle. “I thought the show went incredibly well, and I think everyone had an incredible time,” said the assistant director of the show, Julie Gelfand. “The AMA’s celebrate what we love about music. Everyone that was a part of it did just that,” said Gelfand.

Paperbacks versus silver screens A PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE By RACHAEL COHEN The wonderful thing about reading is its invitation to imagination. A book comes with descriptions of its characters and setting, but every reader mentally envisions the details differently. Although people read the same plot, the personal experience each creates is unique to the reader. Books present a wonderful opportunity to create your own version of a published story. This raises a few questions: Do movies based on books ruin or enhance the reading experience? Or, does it eliminate the need for books altogether? Personally, I always look forward to seeing the on-screen adaptations of books I’ve read. I’m interested to see how another person envisioned the same words and story line I read, how they pictured a certain character or how they

would portray a certain scene. I don’t find a book “ruined,” per se, if it is turned into a movie, no matter how unsuccessful it turns out to be. To me, sharing with the world how you saw the story is an artistic form of self-expression. It doesn’t have to resonate with everyone, however, a problem many people have with screen-interpretations is accuracy. It would seem that most people would agree with the spot-on nature of the Harry Potter series based on the popularity of the movie series, as each role seems to be perfectly cast and each setting designed to a T. However, not all interpretations can be as in-sync with the general reader interpretation, as Harry Potter was. Another unavoidable problem is the length restriction of movies. Many movie-goers are outraged when parts of the plot are cut out, simply to save time. They see it as the director

not staying true to the story. Even series such as Harry Potter and Twilight have split their final segments into two parts to preserve the accuracy and completeness of the plot. As entertaining as movie versions of books can be, however, they will never render written stories obsolete. The reason that movies like Twilight and The Hunger Games are so successful, is the momentum built by the release of the book. Only after readers clamored for more vampires and fighting teenagers did Hollywood wise up to the possibilities of bringing these stories to the screen. As many successful screenplays are written, nothing compares to the excitement of seeing the portrayal of a previously loved novel. Does watching the film version of a book ruin the freedom of imagination and creativity involved in reading? Not really. Just as long as you read the book first.

November 20, 2012

Humanitas starts new record

By YASMIN TORABI One of ECR’s defining characteristics is its respect for tradition and encouragement for student involvement. Humanitas students show this passion as they prepare to release their third benefit album. Humanitas is a writing based academy that puts students in the same grade level a certain group of teachers who coordinate lessons. This small learning community aims to create relationships between the different classes that students take. “Students all get together, write songs, record them, select the best ones, and those make the benefit album,” explains Humanitas coordinator Dean Sodek. The Humanitas benefit album is a student-created project, and 100 percent of the profits go to a non-profit organization. This year’s album will benefit Friends of the Island Fox, a group that focuses on saving the Island Fox, an endangered species off the coast of California on the Channel Islands. “We look for an organization that’s looking to solve a particular problem that we see in society,” says Sodek. “We take requests and pull information for students and research to make sure we always work with a reputable organization that’s doing good in the world.” The album was first inspired by the Gulf oil spill three years ago. Seeing how other creative groups and artists put their talents to use to support the relief effort, Humanitas decided to be a part of the effort.

“We thought, ‘Gosh, we have a lot of creative students in Humanitas,” says Sodek. “What we wanted to do is pull our talents and do something to create some positive change in the world.” Students work in groups to write lyrics, create a beat and record a song. Even if students are not musically inclined, they can help with the technical rather than creative parts of producing music, like using Garage Band to find an original beat. “Everyone finds a niche and a way to contribute,” Sodek says. Freshmen Nicole Meron and Carolina Calderon are working together, along with two other students, to produce a song called “I’ll Remember” about relationships between friends and lovers. “I was really excited because we’ve never done anything like this,” says Meron. Though writing lyrics sounds difficult, it was relatively easy for Meron and Calderon. “We just said what we felt,” says Meron. “It actually took us a day.” Putting yourself out there can be nerve-wracking, as it was for Calderon. Even though she felt it was embarrassing, she says “it was really fun to do.” Although the album is released in the spring, students begin working on the album early. “It takes about two months of song writing and recording to get the demos in,” says Sodek, “and we hope to have all the tracks chosen before the winter break.” This year, the album will be sold in a deluxe package including the album, vinyl, a poster, and guitar picks for $20.

Vox Pop: Do movie adaptations of books live up to expectations? “The Lord of the Rings lived up to my expectations because it was very close to the book.” -Jason Kelly senior

“I think that sometimes they are done well, but most of the time they change the story line for Hollywood.” -Vanessa Kingery junior

“I think the books are always better because they have much more detail.” The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, and The Lord of the Rings are among many books that were turned into successful movies. All three are notable due to their close similarities to the original books and accurate casting.

- Melissa Marroquin freshman

All photos Madison Spiegel/ King’s Courier

November 20, 2012

Arts & Entertainment

My first time...

At the El Rey Theatre in Hollywood By NORA MURPHY

My dad, aunt and I attended a Bob Mould concert at the El Rey Theatre in Hollywood the night before Halloween. Bob Mould is an American alternative rock musician, popular among listeners of not only his solo work, but also of his previous work in the bands Husker Du and Sugar. Driving down the streets of Hollywood at 7 p.m. gives you the chance to see the caliber of night life that the area has to offer. By this time, many clubs are just getting ready for the hours of the night that lie ahead, and valet attendants are waiting to park cars for those heading into classy restaurants. The El Rey theatre is a concert venue on Wilshire Blvd. It has the outside look of an old movie theatre but once you step inside, you see nothing but a large open floor lit by chandeliers, with numerous couches and chairs lining the walls. Upstairs is one of the bars, and a luxurious VIP balcony view with tables and large booth areas that are either reserved or can be rented for the night. From the balcony, you can see the entire downstairs section of the venue, and the stage is in perfect perspective, guaranteeing a good view. Since the musician happens to be one of my dad’s favorites, he thought it would be worth the $75 for a table on the balcony, and it was. Wanting to get pictures and video of the night’s performance, I liked the high view much bet-


New play parodies U.S. history By GOLNAZ GULVATCHIAN

Nora Murphy/King’s Courier

Bob Mould and his band rocked a very packed house at the El Rey theatre in Hollywood the night before Halloween. Unsurprisingly for a rock concert, the show included a very enthusiastic and possibly intoxicated fans in the pit who spent a good deal of the concert gripping the edge of the stage, head banging and bouncing up and down. ter than getting trapped between a large number of older, drunk and energetic fans. As soon as Bob Mould and his band appeared on stage, he said nothing, but just began to play. The main focus of that night’s show was an older album called Copper Blue from Mould’s 1990s band, Sugar. However, Mould also played several tracks from

his newly released album Silver Age. The first aspect to get used to was the volume level. As the music played, the whole venue seemed to fill with drum beats, the sound of fans singing along, the bass and the vibes that accompanied each performance. After a while, the abrasive noise died off, and I began to enjoy the atmospe-

here. Hearing musicians on the radio is one thing, but seeing them perform live is another. Even though it isn’t the music of my generation, it was still a concert worth remembering. Attending concerts to enjoy music and be around people with similar musical tastes, is quite an experience.

Conform, consume, obey: when the satire of pop culture actually becomes popular achieved through repetition. The phrase “Obey” was inWalking around El Camino spired by a scene from John Cargives some insight on current penter’s 1988 film They Live, popular culture and tastes. Some where a character -- after donning people wear their tastes on their special sunglasses -- sees the real clothes with phrases like “cult,” messages behind advertisements: “posse,” and basic universal sym- “consume,” “conform,” “obey.” bols of wealth, like diamonds or Fairey’s work is a rather straightgold. forward criticism of American It sort of seems like clothes society’s consumerism, and subare showing off collective consequently pop formity to some culture in genauthority, and “His whole fame, and the eral. youth culture’s fact that he let himself “I think he strange fixation knew he’d get become that famous is with money popular off it,” mocking consumerism.” is almost like said sophosome strange more Brady -Brady Hogarth Hogarth rehash of the of sophomore Fairey’s work. “American Dream.” “His whole Clothing serving as stylized fame, and the fact that he let himadvertisement—Hollister, Aber- self become that famous is mockcrombie—is nothing new. This ing consumerism. He’s blatantly bunch is different, though; young making fun of people and the fact people seem to have gravitated to- that they don’t know they’re beward clothes that seem to weirdly ing made fun of.” style itself after and parody miliThe “Obey” merchandise is taristic, totalitarian propaganda. actually 100% nonprofit, going to Shephard Fairey’s “Obey” various charities benefiting Haiti, campaign in pop culture is prob- Darfur, environmental and other ably the most ironic of all the causes picked by Fairey himself. brands. Assuming everyone in So while the causes are coma Fairey-designed “Obey” shirt passionate, the true intent of his isn’t making the subtle, ironic so- work is still not completely uncial commentary the shirt was ini- derstood, and is basically seen as tially inspired by, it is somewhat just another hip designer lable. confusing as to why the majority “I’d hope that it’s popular beof young people have gravitated cause it mocks propaganda, and toward apparel with often con- why people get so fascinated in sciously designed authoritarian following others so easily,” said themes. senior Adrienne Lane. “However, Years ago, Shephard Fairey it is probably so popular because started his “Andre the Giant” it looks cool; again, presenting street art campaign as a satire the irony of ‘people getting so of government propaganda, and fascinated in following others so the concept that power would be easily.’” By BRIT-EL GIBSON

Photo Illustration by Brit-El Gibson

Brands like Shephard Fairey’s “Obey” seem to capitalize on the very concepts they satirize -- mass success in popular culture, consumerism and propaganda. The caption under the “Obey” logo on the Obey Giant website reads “Manufacturing Quality Dissent Since 1990,” obviously consciously using the paradox of “manufacturing” dissent.

Photoshopped presidents with cigars and smug, surprised expressions covered the hallway walls, preparing students for another drama production, this one, a distinctly interactive play tailored especially for the election season. “We did this play to help educate the students -- with humor -about America’s past,” said junior Darian Nejad, a member of Play Production. The Play Production director, Sue Freitag, came up with the idea to do a parody of U.S. history, because it was election season. “My favorite aspect of the play is that even though we’re all Americans, we can still look at our country in such a cynical way,” said Nejad. The interactive production featured a ‘splash zone’ where students were sprayed with water guns used by some of the soldiers in the play. The production parodied and mocked U.S. history, and, in fitting with the title Complete History of America: Abridged, skipped over the 30 years of the United States’ Industrial Revolution, when times were “not funny,” as the characters in the play explained. “This play is very different from our other selections. Although we love doing things that will inspire people, this play was really just fun and a break from the inspirational pieces we do,” Nejad said. The play consisted of skits mocking various important eras from U.S. history including the Revolutionary War, the exploration of the West, the Civil War and both world wars. “My favorite aspect of the play was getting to play so many different characters,” senior Play Production member Jacob Bernardino said. Bernardino played Clark during the Lewis and Clark skit, among other characters. “Because the show was written for three people, it was interesting to see how it looked with a full ensemble.” Most of the audience seemed to enjoy the play, laughing at the cynical jokes satirizing American history. “As this was the first play I have ever seen in El Camino, I was really impressed by the quality of the production,” freshman Elnaz Guivatchian said. “It was a really well-executed parody.”

Feel like displaying your musical or artistic talents in the Courier? Know about some cool local creativity you should know about? Contact the Arts and Entertainment editors, Brit- El Gibson or Madison Spiegel, at



Alumni basketball games give experience to players

Junior Julian Richardson handles the ball during a game last year against Taft. Last year, Richardson averaged seven points a game along with six rebounds. Now, after a successful 2012 season, the team prepares for the annual alumni basketball game, where the players get a perfect mix of a fun and competitive game. The alumni games will be played tonight; the girls start their game first at 5:30 to 7. The boys will play directly after the girl’s game and will end at 8:30. Though the competition seems tough on the boy’s side due to the high skill level of last year’s graduated seniors, the boys still have have the skill of Richardson on their team.


event is what made it a tradition. Though intimidating as it may Every year seniors in the ECR seem for newer players, returning sports program, graduate and varsity players encourage the upsometimes continue their athletic and-coming athletes to participate legacies into college-level sports. in the event. Though some sports choose not Sabrina Halloran, who now to showcase the alumni, the bas- attends CSUN, experienced this ketball team does. situation first hand. The boys and girls basketball “My junior teams will play year I was against return- “It is going to be a fun and scared to play ing veteran competitive game. My team in the alumni players. game, because and I can not wait.” “I am so that was my excited to play -Sasha Samuels first year on against gradufreshman varsity,” said ates of El CamiHalloran. no,” freshman “But when Sasha Samuels the game came said. “It is going around again during my senior to be a fun and competitive game. year, I knew our team could My team and I can not wait.” win.” The new players will get to Not only is this an opportunity experience competition with to grow as athletes, but it is also some of the best basketball play- a chance to showcase talent on ers from El Camino’s past. both sides of the court. The name of this game is ex“When I was ready to play perience and improvement. The my senior year, we had the right alumni players have gone though mind set going into season, and the same situations that current we were ready to show the alumplayers are going through. ni what we were made of,” said The successful nature of this Holloran.

November 20, 2012

Photo Courtesy of Julian Richardson

Thomas and Chan sign letters of intent sizes, it was a better fit rather than a big school.” “They have a lot of connecMany student athletes have tions with companies so I’ll have dreams and aspirations of making a higher chance at getting a job,” it to the next level and playing the Chan said. game they love in college, while Both of these athletes have getting an education at the same had goals to play past the high time. school level, and onto college, a Recently, two ECR basket- dream they are currently achievball players signed their way to ing. “It is a dream of mine to colleges that not only offer what play basketball beyond college,” they want in education, but also a Thomas said. “I’m hoping to place to play the sport they fell in make it happen, whether that be love with. in the NBA or overseas.” Those two students are var“I don’t plan on going on to sity basketball players Michael play professionally,” said Chan. Thomas and Cora Chan. “I just want to continue playing Thomas signed his letter of and I have the opportunity to play intent to the at a higher, University compet“Following my coaches more of Hawaii in itive level and advice and being humble Manoa, and beyond that I Chan signed feel moving enough to accept criticism to Westmont to play profesand correcting it,” University sionally is not in Santa Bar-Michael Thomas for me.” bara. They both senior attribute There their were several success on the factors that court to their coaches and team went into the decision of what mates. school to attend. “Coach Cara Blumfield has Thomas said what made the helped me by showing me differUniversity of Hawaii stand out ent ways of seeing and playing was its “focus on school and bas- the game,” said Chan. “She has ketball, and the fact that it’s Ha- put me through all types of chalwaii.” lenging situations that I needed to There were other schools he learn to overcome, to become a was considering such as the Uni- better teammate and player.” versity of California Santa Bar“Following my coaches’ adbara, Boise State, and Northern vice and being humble enough to Arizona. accept criticism and correcting it” Although the University of helped him prepare the most to Hawaii is a division one school, play at a higher level, according Thomas said one of the main rea- to Thomas. sons he chose to go there was that All the hard work and disciit is one of the top schools for the pline these players endured durbusiness and international busi- ing their high school careers definess majors that he is interested nitely prepared them for the next in. stage, but as of now they have one As for Chan, she said that more season to play high school even though Westmont has a basketball. good basketball program, one of Thomas said, “Right now I’m the major reasons she chose to at- focused on high school ball and tend there was the fact that “they winning it all here. We have lofty are a private school, so when I expectations and we plan to fulfill heard that they were having small them.” By AMY AYALA

November 20, 2012



Boys varsity Cross Country advances to state meet

Sports Faceoff

By ETHAN MILLMAN The boys and girls cross country teams participated in the L.A. City Section Championships on Saturday at Pierce College. The teams clearly had success as the boys took second overall, allowing all of the boys team to advance to the state meet, rather than just the two El Camino runners who placed within the top 12 in the meet. The individual qualifiers among the boys were junior Ezra Soriano, who placed eighth overall, along with fellow junior Ricky Buckelew, who placed 11th. The boys are clearly happy about this second place victory as they seem to be very team oriented. “We did well because our team was able to constantly push each other,” Soriano said, “especially our captain, Austin Walker.” Buckelew’s thoughts are similar to Soriano’s. “It’s all about achieving focus and pushing yourself and your teammates to the limit,” he said, “and having a team filled with runners who plan on helping each other helps a lot.” The placers all did similar things. “I just listened to Coach,” Soriano said.

Sports Editors AMY AYALA and ETHAN MILLMAN debate the question...

Photo Courtesy of Ian Plocky

(Left to right) Mason Fordham, Jonathan Garcia, Ezra Soriano, William Weber, Ricky Buckelew, Anthony Campos and Austin Walker make up the state-qualifying, second place varsity boys Cross Country team which will travel to Sacramento for the State race. Soriano and Buckelew placed as individual qualifiers in eighth and eleventh place respectively. A team needs motivation to get anywhere. “Most of our motivation comes from our coaches and the rest of the varsity team,” Walker said. Even as captain, Walker does not take credit for the team’s suc-

cess. “Being captain is just organizing workouts and keeping people together. Anyone on my team can do what I do. We are only great when we are together.” Now that the team is advancing to the state meet, they have to change their intensity.

“We were surprised when we found out that we qualified,” Buckelew said. Even though the state meet is different from the others, “we are still doing our normal training and treating this like it’s just another meet,” Soriano said.

Loyalty and flip floppers By AMY AYALA Sports are widely known as a time for recreation, fun, and a time of togetherness. When fans come together to watch their favorite sports team take on the enemy for the day. But the way fans are come to be known now is very different. There are those fans who always stay loyal whether it’s their home team or another team in another city or state. Win or lose those fans stay behind their favorite team and cheer them on, although they all enjoy a win every now and then, those never-failing loyal fans are always there. However, there are those flipflopping, band wagon fans that always seem to root for the best team in the league or their city. For example, in 2010 most people in Los Angeles were diehard, loyal fans of their home team champions, the Lakers. The following season “fans” everywhere were hoping that the Lakers would win for a third consecutive year, but sadly they got swept out the playoffs for the then champions the Dallas Mavericks. As soon as that happened, some of those die-hard Laker fans became Clipper fans by the start of the next season since they acquired the great Chris Paul as they sang along to “Lob City.”

Somehow this season, those fans once again jumped the bandwagon when the Lakers acquired Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, and now have a super team. So much for loyalty. The perfect examples of loyalty are people like Clipper Darrel, Jack Nicholas, or Spike Lee, take your pick. The teams these three people root for have had their ups and their downs, but they are always there sitting, watching, rooting no matter what the score board says. All these fans show that even in the worst times you stick with your team and cheer them on no matter what. Being a fan is a commitment much like a marriage, for better or worse, through sickness and health, ‘til death do us part. But we live in LA, so I guess it is understandable why “fans” divorce their teams all the time. Loyalty has gone out the window as we want to be pleased by wins from a team that we could have hated last season or last night for that matter. Like those fans that hated Lebron two years ago are now his biggest supporters since he got his first ring. There are also those Dodger and Angel fans, do they just decide to root for whoever they find more appealing that season? Another example this very

Illustration by Charmaine Lai

year in the NBA is the New York Knicks. They have had a lot of either terrible or mediocre seasons in past years. Now this season the team is having some success as they hold the best record in the East. Now that they are winning

all of a sudden there a bunch of Knicks “fans” who were supporters this whole time There are still those fans that players look forward to playing for and those are the fans that drive the other team nuts. What kind of fan are you? Speak now or forever hold your peace.

Athlete of the Month: Jing Yang

Q.) How long have you been playing golf? A.) I have been playing for two years now

Q.) Are you planning on continuing after high school? A.) Yes, I plan on playing in college.

Ethan Millman/King’s Courier

Q.) How did you get started? A.) My family and I were on vacation and I just got started playing. I also took the summer camp and tried out for the school.

“Are the New York Knicks a contender in the Eastern Conference?”

Amy’s Side: In the NBA, the Eastern Conference leader is obvious with the defending champions, the Heat. There has been a surprise team in the East this season, the New York Knicks. With their squad I have no doubt the Knicks can be a dangerous threat in the playoffs. They have arguably the best scorer in the NBA with Carmelo Anthony; last year’s defensive player of the year, Tyson Chandler; and proven veterans such as Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby, Rasheed Wallace and Kurt Thomas. Not to mention they still haven’t gotten back Amar’e Stoudemire. With the East very open with the Heat and Celtics being the top teams, the Knicks have been playing very well and can give any team a hard time. They have the best record in the East (8-1), the season is still young, and they still have work to do. The Knicks can definitely be a top team in the East and a contender to take it if they keep moving at this pace. While many doubt them because of the Heat, this team is quickly gelling together and can make great strides in the post season. Ethan’s Side: The NBA has already taken many twists and turns but none more unexpected than the Knicks being the best in the East. The question now is this: is it a fluke? The answer to this is yes. Even though the Knicks are doing well now, they will once again be defeated early in the playoffs. As far as I have seen, the Knicks are a team of old players, Carmelo Anthony being the only exception. People are saying that they are playing great now and will be even better when Amar’e Stoudemire comes back, a common misconception. Stoudemire will come back rusty and will not play like the superstar he was known as. Let’s not forget the defending champions. The Miami Heat are far too strong for any team in the East to contend with them. Anthony can not match up with Dwayne Wade and definitely not with Lebron James. In the end, The Knicks are going to crash and burn.



November 20, 2012

Girls water polo dives into new season By MARIA AQUIJE

Justin Hoang/ King’s Courier

Junior Allison Hacker and seniors Scarlett De Jean and Emily Gilbert run drills during their practice after losing their last game 17-2. The additional skill, stamina and strength exercises will help the team build the fundamental basis needed to have a successful season.

Champ wrestler shares journey to Olympics By ETHAN MILLMAN Jake Varner is known as a California wrestling hero and his resume describes it all. After winning the state title his junior and senior years in high school, Varner won the NCAA championship title twice while attending Iowa State University. This year at the London Summer Olympic Games, Jake Varner took home a gold medal, making him one of only two American male wrestlers to place first. Like all stories of great athletes, Varner’s started at a very young age. Varner had a wrestling background, as his father was the coach of highly-regarded great California wrestling school, Bakersfield High School. “I started competitively wrestling when I was five years old,” said Varner, 26, who has now wrestled for a total of 21 years, When Varner started high school at Bakersfield, he recalls not having an easy time on the mat. “It was a team filled with seniors,” Varner explains. “I would get beaten up by these older wrestlers,” he says. As the training aspect goes, Varner was unique. “I never lifted weights until I started college,” he says. “What our coach would have us do back in high school was just run a ton of sprints after we were done wrestling.” Two years of losing in a medal match would deter many, but not Jake Varner. In fact, this may have been a factor in Varner’s success. “I hated losing,” Varner said, multiple times. Not once did Varner say anything about winning, just about wanting to stop losing.Varner would win two state championships in a row, followed by an impressive college career. Though Varner is now known as the best in the world at what he does, his story is unique. While some champions get their national victories at early ages, Varner never won a national title until college.

College is when Varner became the wrestler he is now. “By college, things changed,” Varner explains. “My attitude and intensity had changed.” He credits this to his coach, the great wrestler Cael Sanderson. “[Sanderson] is the whole reason I had decided to go to Iowa State when I went to college,” Varner explains. “He told me that he could help me win an Olympic gold medal.” Varner says that winning Olympic gold has been his goal since he was in middle school. Varner was able to trust Sanderson’s promise of gold, as Sanderson had been down the Olympic road not long before, winning the gold himself. Vartan trained seven years with Sanderson before his goal of winning the Olympics was realized, but not before trying for the Olympics back in 2008 for the Beijing Games. Four years after his denial of going to the Olympics, four long years of training with Coach Sanderson, Jake Varner would go to London to wrestle in the freestyle wrestling tournament. Varner said all of the training he had done for 21 years led to this moment. All of the training for a 16-man bracket, a total of four matches. Four matches later, after wrestling the best wrestlers in the world, Varner could finally call himself an Olympic champion. What ultimately won Varner the Olympics was one of the best ankle pick takedowns hit in the whole entire tournament. On the topic of this takedown, Varner couldn’t help but smile. “I always loved ankle picks,” Varner says. “I was good at them before, but working with Coach Cael was great,” he explains. “I mean, he was the ankle pick master. During the gold medal match. I just felt it and hit it.” “It was this great feeling of relief,” Varner said, “It left me thinking about what I wanted to do next,” Varner says with a smile.

The girls water polo team took on Eagle Rock High School on Friday with an non-league away game. The final score of the night was 17-2, ECR losing to Eagle Rock. “Friday’s game was a great eye opener,” says team captain and starting goal keeper Taylor Barrett, who has been on the team since her sophomore year. “A lot of the girls had never played this sport before, but through Friday’s game they have now learned how things work.” The team also faced other weaknesses during the game, including their inability to spread out more in the water. “We needed to be more open,” says sophomore Samantha Flamenco. The team was also not able to stay on their opponents, as well. But the team still kept its confidence up and was able to have a good time on the water. “Though we lost, we still went out and gave it our best,” says Flamenco. “We still had fun.”

The team is already preparing for its next game against Palisades Charter High School. The team’s strongest point is unity. “We are so close to each other,” says Barrett. The girls’ unity helps them work more efficiently together out on the field, but the team is now focusing on improving skills before the next game. Hoping for a win on the next game against Palisades the team has been training hard and focusing on improvements, since some of their players will not be able to play on the next game. They have also been working on trying to make more goals and passes to each other and they have been focusing on improving their weak point. “We are all very passionate about the sport,” says Barrett, “and we get very frustrated when things do not go our way.” Girls water polo will play again next Wednesday with another non-league away game against Palisades Charter High School.

King's Courier - Iss. 06 Vol. 43  

El Camino Real Charter High School: King's Courier Issue 6, Volume 43 More at

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