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Lowell High School, Red Edition, Vol. 220 No. 2, October 25, 2013,

Lowell The

Past classes Page 10 ■ What classes were

offered when Mr. Axt was a student? Read about extinct courses, from botany to public speaking.

Food trucks Page 20

■ Reporters review the wide array of food trucks the Bay Area has to offer.

What’s What’s




Alumni finally recognized over 40 years after winning gold medals

■ Many athletes have been added to the Lowell

Sports Wall of Fame over the years, but four of the greatest to ever attend the school received virtually no recognition due to their gender By Tyler Perkins


n 1971, a year before Title IX went into effect, seniors Heidi O’Rourke, Cynthia Anderson, Joan Busenbarrick (née Lang) and Amy Ross (née Miner) took a six-week break from Lowell to represent the United States in the Pan American Games in Colombia. They dominated the Games in synchronized swimming and brought home seven gold medals.


Synchronized swimming did not become an Olympic sport until 1984. The Pan American Games was the biggest international event offered for synchronized swimming at the time, according to Anderson. These athletes had many accomplishments during their careers, but nothing was as impressive as their dominance in the 1971 Pan American Games. The four swimmers made up the United States synchronized swimming team and won gold. O’Rourke and Busenbarrick also won gold for their duet, and O’Rourke won solo as well. O’Rourke, who is one of the greatest synchronized swimmers of all time, set numerous records in the sport. She is the only woman to receive all perfect scores at a U.S.

National AAU Championship in any sport, according to the International Swim Hall of Fame website ( In 1970-71, she received unanimous perfect scores in the four major solo competitions, before ending her career with three gold medals at the Pan American Games. O’Rourke won a total of 10 U.S. National Championships and seven International ones. The other three swimmers had impressive careers as well, traveling around the world to compete and coach.

Lack of Recognition

When the swimmers returned to school, after the Pan American Games, they were surprised by the lack of recognition. “I expected everything to be different when we got back, but most people didn’t even know where we had been,” Anderson said. “I was a Song girl and I got more recognition for that than my swimming. When our team was chosen by the US State Department to be goodwill ambassadors to several South and Central American countries, we had to miss weeks of school. When we came back, I had an ‘F’ in English and PE. My English grade was changed to an incomplete and we settled on a ‘B’ in PE. I had been swimming nonstop, but you

photo courtesy of Amy Ross

The San Francisco Merionettes swim team in 1971. Top Row: Chris Jeffers, Kathy Kretschmer, Amy Miner. Bottom Row: Sue Morris, Heidi O’Rourke, Barbara Cooney, Joan Lang, Cynthia Anderson.

can’t make up tennis.” Ross feels that recognition might have brought awareness to the sport. “It would have been nice to be acknowledged for our time on

task and that we had other talents outside of school,” Ross stated in an email sent on Oct. 18. “Many people thought we were doing water ballet See GOLD MEDALS on Page 5

LHS averts expected budget deficit

By Madelyn Chen


his year’s budget outlook is sunny, as a greater than expected amount of district funds have helped the school avoid a predicted deficit. Each year, the school plans for the upcoming year’s budget, which comprises two of the largest funding blocs — the Weighted Student Formula, a per-student allocation that accounts for demographics, and an additional supplementary fund that depends on the number of AP exams administered during the school year. But last year, an anticipated lower school enrollment and a decrease in Advanced Placement related funding resulted in a projected deficit of almost $375,000 funding for the 2013-2014 school year. (See

“School looks to AP exams to alleviate budget woes,” The Lowell, Feb. 2013). However, due to a larger than projected incoming class, a greater than expected number of AP exams administered and a new statewide education funding bill, the total student allocation to Lowell from the district for the current school year was large enough to close the deficit (See “The state of CA education funding,” Page 7). As a result, the school is not anticipating any cuts in staffing or programs, according to principal Andrew Ishibashi. The expected decrease in AP funding was largely due to a teachers’ union contract negotiated in Aug. 2012. The previous formula for calculating AP reimbursement allowed for one extra preparation period, in which teachers with two

or more AP courses taught four periods plus one for extra tutoring, per every 25 AP exams taken. Under those calculations, schools were given $720 per AP exam, an amount which decreased to $600. The issue is that, over time, the cost of hiring and maintaining teachers will increase due to inflation, whereas the payment of $600 per exam is a set amount. Because the new union contract was not effective until the current school year, the AP funding level for the 2012-2013 school year was still based on the formula from before the contract negotiation. With the implementation of the new contract this year, the specialty funding Lowell received for AP exams decreased about $160,000 See BUDGET on Page 5

Dance Co. sparks courtyard flash mob


■ Reporter goes in-depth on the new formula for funding public education in California




■ Reporter reviews book written by Lowell alumnus, coach and substitute teacher ■ Senior muses on minimalism trend in the inaugural article of her new fashion beat




■ Soccer team experiments with new coach, formation and style of play




■ Junior reflects on experiences as a competitive diver




■ Is technology the future or the bane of the next generation of students? Two students argue the pros and cons of hi-tech processes like online Arena

Photos courtesy of Zoe Kaiser

A flash mob put on by the Lowell Dance Company to promote the Homecoming Dance erupted in the courtyard during Mods 19-20 on Monday, Oct. 7. The surprise performance was shut down by the administration before it ended because administrators were not told about the event in advance. (Left) Members of the mob perform in front of an unsuspecting courtyard audience. (Right) The routine included dancing on tables.



October 25, 2013


Anthology features student poetry

A prominent Egyptian filmmaker visited the school to share experiences and teach a moviemaking workshop on Oct. 4th. Mohammed Diab, director and screenwriter of the critically acclaimed Egyptian film Cairo 678 came to Theresa Bookwalter’s 2nd Block Video Production class to talk about his film, which the students had watched the previous week. The visit was coordinated through the San Francisco Film Society, which was showing Cairo 678 around the city and bringing Diab to lecture to different audiences in the Bay Area. Cairo 678, based on a true story, sheds light on the epidemic of sexual harrassment in modern Egypt. Students were surprised to learn that an actress was actually sexually assaulted during the filming of the movie itself. “The thing that really got me was that one of women was really assaulted in real life,” sophomore Anna Zimmer said. “It gave the movie another level of reality.” In addition to sharing experiences of the filmmaking process and the effect that the film had on public opinion in Egypt, Diab gave advice to the budding filmmakers about the use of different shots, and how to subliminally affect viewers. “I learne da lot about the creative process of shooting spontaenously,” senior Eliya Hakim-Moully said. “He mentioned a lot of things about going off the storyboard and shooting things as they happen.” Besides visiting schools, Diab is currently an Artist in Residence at the SF Film Society, meeting with various groups and sharing techniques with local filmmakers. In addition to Diab, Bookwalter hopes to bring in other filmmakers to talk to her class. — Elazar Chertow f o r t h e c o m p l e t e v e r s i o n s of stories, please visit

The Lowell on the Web

Student work included in the “My Hometown” photo compilation, featuring high schoolers’ portraits of their unique communities

By Joseph Kim

ing analog cameras and black and white film. “I like it because he photography of 12 Lowell students was se- it’s more intimate and tangible,” she said. “You only have a lected for inclusion in a nationwide project to chronicle limited number of exposures, so a lot of thought has to go into each photo, compared to using a digital camera where you can American communities from a youth perspective. Students in last year’s Photography 2 classes submitted their take hundreds of photos and store them on a card.” Senior Christy Chia expressed her perspective by capturing photos for consideration for the “My Hometown” project hosted the flowers put on Sloat Boulevard in by The New York Times. memory of student Hanren Chang, In an attempt to profile the lives of who was struck and killed teenagers today, The New York Times The blog reflects not only at the intersection last asked high schoolers to capture im“I just went there ages of their lives and communities. the scope of young peo- March. to visit, and the newsA collection of roughly 4,000 photos — ranging from bustling urban city ple’s interest, but also casters happened to be there,” she said. “It was streets to sleepy pastoral settings — provides a portrait of important to me that they was selected and published in Lens, did so much to improve the street the newspaper’s photography blog. the rich diversity of the safety there.” ( Photography teacher Julian PolReflecting the diversity of backcountry’s communities.” lak explained the insight photogground and experience within San raphy gives into the lives of youth. Francisco, the subjects of the photos JULIAN POLLAK, “The blog reflects not only the scope taken by Lowell students include photography teacher of young people’s interest, but also portraits of immigrant cultures, provides a portrait of the rich diverscenic city landmarks and images of student memorials. Senior Julie Avetisyan reflected on her hometown in a photo sity of the country’s communities,” he said. Pollak will encourage his students to enter their photos into of her cousin dressed in traditional clothing at the Armenian Food Festival. “I’ve gone there since I was three years old,” other photo contests, including the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and the Photographer’s Forum & Nikon’s 34th Avetisyan said. “It takes me back to my roots.” Avetisyan prefers the traditional style of photography, favor- Annual Student Photo Contest.



Science-fiction author speaks about novel as part of city-wide literary outreach program

By Patricia Nguy

staring back at her one day and immediately closed her laptop. he author of a teen science-fiction novel set in “I will be more careful when downloading things, but I’m not San Francisco visited his readers in the Carol Chan- an activist yet,” she said. Doctorow, who is a self-described activist, was the ning Auditorium during Mods 6-7 on Oct. 3 as part of European director of the Electronic Frontier Foundaa citywide literary outreach event. Through the annual One City One Book program, Cana- tion, a nonprofit that defends digital rights, and he codian-British author Cory Doctorow came to Lowell to talk founded the United Kingdom Open Rights Group. “I about his book, Little Brother, and discuss one of its themes thought Doctorow was really impressive,” Innis said. — privacy violations in the modern age. “One firewall for “He’s very enthusiastic because he wants to spread his yourself is not going to fix the problem,” he said. “It’s a matter message. He has a lot of technological knowledge. But of the entire world, a network of computers. We need to solve if you didn’t know anything about the subject of the it for everyone.” The plot focuses on a seventeen-year old San book, you could still understand what he was saying Franciscan who takes on the Department of Homeland Security about how we are losing our rights to privacy.” In addition to attending Doctorow’s assembly, after it begins to infringe on basic rights in the aftermath of a twelve students from Innis’s AP class participated in terrorist attack. The school has participated in OCOB since the program’s an OCOB scavenger that related to the scavenger hunt inception nine years ago. Each spring, the San Francisco Public that introduces the plot in Little Brother. “They had us Library, along with its bookstore and program partners, selects go around the city looking around geographical landmarks, like a book, donates copies to schools and encourages community the main library, Civic Center and Mission District,” participant members to read the book and attend workshops held by dif- senior Kevin Tom said. “We were looking for objects and clues ferent SFPL branches. The SFPL especially wants to reach out and solved riddles. It was fun because I was with my friends, to high schoolers with OCOB, so they invite authors to talk but it was hard as Hell. I spent literally two hours on one part.” Previously through the program, students read other books to the students. English teacher Cathy Innis took interest in the event when it first began and became the Lowell contact with local relevance, such as China Boy by Gus Lee and Alive in Necropolis by Doug Dorst. Wu related to the local setting of person for OCOB. The school received one class set of Little Brother, which this year’s novel. “It’s a teenage book, and it seems real because is currently being used by Innis’s AP English Language and it’s in San Francisco, like Dolores Park and the beach,” she said. Composition classes. Both classes read the book and wrote essays on it. “We’ve been having discussions about that idea of privacy versus security,” Innis said. “The title of the book comes from the saying ‘Big Brother is watching you,’ which means the government is watching you. ‘Little Brother’ means the people watch the government, monitoring what the government is doing and warning people about it.” Students and staff reflected on the downsides of technology after reading Little Brother. “I take some steps to protect myself by minimizing my presence on social networking sites, but this issue is bigger than any one of us,” Innis said. Huimin Zhang Senior Xiaofan Wu admit- Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother, hands off a signed copy of his novel to sophomore ted imagining her webcam Lily Young, who is also a photographer for The Lowell, after the auditorium talk.



Egyptian filmmaker visits class

NY Times publishes student photos in national project


The poetry of four Lowell students was selected among dozens of entries to be published in an annual youth anthology. Poems by sophomores Riki Eijima, Thomas White, Allison Uba and Stephanie Li were chosen by California Poets in the Schools, an organization dedicated to teaching poetry to students, for its September 2013 anthology, Sing to the Heart of the Forest. Poetry teacher Susan Terence, who works through CPITS with 9th grade English classes at Lowell and other California schools to encourage creativity through poetry, submits her students’ poems for consideration for the collection each year. When writing the poems eventually published in the anthology, the students drew inspiration from subjects such as family history, ancestral viewpoints, and painted postcards. In her poem “Poon Wha: The Picture Bride,” Uba describes the immigration of her great-grandmother, a survivor of the Korean cholera epidemic, to seek a new life in Hawaii. Likewise, Eijima draws from her Japanese roots in her poem “Tsuyoi (Strong),” which sprinkles Japanese words and history between American dreams and ideals. Li too was inspired by family history as she conveys her grandmother’s struggle during the Japanese invasion of China in her poem, “Cold.” Departing from inspiration from the past, White’s poem, “August Moon Over San Francisco,” was spurred by a postcard of San Francisco, and uses metaphors to describe a lost look of the moon. For the student poets, the publication of their work was both surprising and exciting. “Honestly, I was really surprised when the anthology came in the mail,” Eijima said. “After having my poems published, I feel encouraged to continue exploring the power of verse, through both reading works by real poets and writing more of my own.” White was also influenced positively by the poetry unit. “As an art form, I wrote poetry occasionally, but I hadn’t really seen how much you could do with it until ninth grade actually,” he said. “It turned out to be a lot more fun than I thought it was, so I’m enjoying it more now.” Commenting on the anthology, Eijima reflected on the clarity of the young writers’ pieces. “When you read through this anthology, it is amazing to see how young people create simple, yet brilliant works,” she said. “There must be something that happens to us as we age that filters out this creative process.” — Madelyn Chen

Lowell High School

The Lowell

October 25, 2013



SAlly MA

(From left) Junior Victoria Yee, junior Tiffany Wang, Learning Resources teacher David Strother and junior Jessica Tung explore the environment in Lowell’s backyard, the garden.

SAIL club brings environmental awareness to students and chickens to school garden By Noreen Shaikh


new club sailed to school this year for members to learn about the environment and help with the garden. Students Actively Involved in and Learning about the Environment and Nature, (SAIL), is a new club that helps with the school’s garden and goes on weekend field trips around the Golden Gate National Parks Recreation Area to participate in habitat restoration projects. “These events are related to our club by bettering our environment, gaining knowledge of our natural resources and meeting new people,” junior co-president Jessica Tung said. Co-presidents Tung and junior Michelle Wong, who is also a reporter for The Lowell, founded SAIL after participating in a six-weeklong summer internship with Linking Individual Natural Community, a program which helps youth explore the outdoors through Golden Gate National Park Conservancy (GGNPC). The internship activities included weeding, restoration, painting ships, sailing,

hiking and camping. “Kids our age don’t appreciate nature as much as they should. They spend most of their time indoors studying or watching TV,” Tung said. “We want to provide an outlet for teens to come out and enjoy nature while giving back to the community.” “The summer internship was the greatest six weeks of my life. I really got in touch with nature and appreciated my environment that I would normally take for granted,” Tung said. After the internship, Wong and Tung created SAIL through a partnership with the GGNPC and two program leaders who led their internship, David Pon and Kellen Sarver. Wong’s inspiration for SAIL came from her realization that all Lowell students should appreciate nature. After her LINC experience, she asked herself, “Why don’t we have the opportunity to connect with our natural resources at Lowell? Why don’t Lowell students get out and explore the environment like we did this summer?” Both Tung and Wong were so galvanized by

their leaders at LINC that they wanted to bring a similar enthusiasm to Lowell. “David and Kellen, and Shahne, our other program leader, were all so inspirational and enthusiastic about their jobs, that I wanted to build a community like we had as LINC-ers here at Lowell,” Wong said. “At LINC, we started off as strangers, but later everyone there became my family, after we shared jokes, challenges and bonded.” In addition, SAIL plans on bringing chickens to Lowell in order to attract more students to the school garden. The school’s garden will have to be limited to four hens and no roosters, so as to avoid overpopulation. Money for the chicken coop is being raised through fundraisers, and recently, at Back To School Night, members of SAIL sold chili cheese dogs to help the fundraising efforts. Eventually, when the hens begin to lay eggs, they will be sold weekly along with other fresh garden produce. Proceeds from the sales will benefit the garden. SAIL will be primarily responsible for tending to the chickens, though AP Environmental

Science classes will also work with them for a field study project. Recently, SAIL participated in one of the GGNPC’s weekly volunteer projects by weeding out invasive turnips at Lands End, leaving only a bare and earthy ground of soil. “It was amazing seeing everyone work so hard together on such a beautiful day in San Francisco,” Wong said. “That hill went from a crazily tangled forest of ice plant to a clear, healthy dirt hill perfect for native plants to grow!” As a new environmental club at school, SAIL has gotten plenty of attention from students and teachers. “During freshmen year in biology class, I became interested in the environment and I noticed Lowell was lacking an environmental club so I was so excited to join,” junior Camila Kacimi said. “Weeding and planting during club meetings are really stress relieving; the smell of the garden helps me connect with nature.” The club meets in the garden after school on Wednesdays.

SBC redoubles efforts to decorate school dances By Tyler Perkins


f you are tired of the cheap paper streamers and ugly decor of school dances, then you might have some new motivation to attend. Student Body Council funded the purchase of many new decorations for the Homecoming Dance and plans to “go all out” for future dances. “We had twelve-foot tall cityscape cutouts, a balloon arch, a red carpet and confetti shooters,” senior dance coordinator Nilou Mostarshed said. “It contributed to the theme and made it like you were walking through the city. Also, there was tulle hanging in between the pillars of the courtyard.” There were also new activities for people who do not like dancing. “We rented a bar to serve Shirley Temples, Roy Rogers and non-alcoholic jello shots,” Mostarshed said. There was also a face painting and henna tattoo station for people who wanted to decorate their bodies, according to the Lowell Student Association Facebook page. Trophies also were awarded to the classes that showed the most spirit at the rally. In addition to the new decorations and activities, SBC invested in a new lighting system that will be used at all future dances. “The high-tech system is used in clubs and adds a light show to the dances,” Mostarshed said. “It was brought to our attention by the Theater Tech. teacher, Ms. Morris, and we decided that it would be a good investment.” DJ Credito, who is also the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corpse teacher, has

two projector screens that will show music videos and add another technological aspect to future dances, according to LSA’s Facebook page. SBC was planning on adding new decorations to dances for a while. “We have been talking about improving the decorations since the beginning of the school year to make dances more festive,” Mostarshed said. Homecoming was the first dance at which they were present. The improved decorations may attract a larger crowd to dances. “We know some people are discouraged because of the new dance policy, so hopefully the new decorations MONICA CAstrO will make people want to come,” Trophies were awarded to classes based on spirit they displayed at the Homecoming rally. Mostarshed said. The dance policy, which was from ticket sales though.” implemented last year, cracks down Not all of the decorations will necessarily be at future dances. on intimate contact between students. (See “New dance policy “These are just the decorations for the homecoming dance,” she gives timeouts,” The Lowell, Nov. 2012) The decorations were not cheap. “We spent a few thousand said. “We aren’t sure what we will have at future dances, but we dollars on everything,” Mostarshed said. “We made it all back plan to go all out.”



October 25, 2013

Lowell High School

With jests and contests, fall rally a big fest All Photos by Sally MA

On Oct. 11, the Lowell Student Association hosted the annual fall spirit rally. Activities at the hour-and-a-half long event included friendly competitions between the classes as well as performances by American Spirit League — Cheer, Song and Senior Letter — and the Junior Reserve Officer Training Core. (Clockwise from top) Senior JC Carvalho stands out during the senior class’ dance performance, for which they received second place. (Middle right) Sophomores strike a pose during their class’ dance performance, for which they received first place. (Bottom right) The senior class stands and shouts to show their spirit during the rally in an attempt to out-shout the other classes. (Bottom left) Juniors Gage Stange, left, and John Ray Guevarra, right, dash down the football field during the wheelbarrow game. (Middle left) Cheerleaders junior Izabel Jusino, left, and sophomore Kate Brookner, right, shout a cheer during their performance.

The Lowell

October 25, 2013



Four synchronized swimmers won international gold medals as juniors but were not recognized

See GOLD MEDAL on Page 1 and only floating around, but not really swimming.” The Lowell provided extremely limited coverage on these athletes, mentioning them in 1970 for other accomplishments, but failing to recognize their gold medals a year later. In addition to the lack of recognition, the girls faced constant sexism while at Lowell. “In 1968 girls were first allowed to wear pants to school,” Ross wrote. “I was sent to the dean to have a discussion when I wore them for the first time, as a teacher did not agree with the new policy. Also, my counselor at Lowell once laughed me out of his office when I said that I was interested in math and wanted to be an architect or doctor. He said only men did that and not women.” They were also prevented from joining any ‘male sports.’ “I asked the swimming coach if I could swim on the team and was told that girls were only allowed to time the events,” Ross wrote. “I told him about how I could swim faster than the second fastest boy, but he was not impressed.” Today, female athletes are given much more attention. “If female any athletes won a gold medal today, we would make sure everyone knew,” Physical Education teacher Sasha TaylorRay said. “We would put it in the bulletin and the School Loop homepage, as well as on the Lowell Athletic Association website and San Francisco Academic Athletic Association website. We would also have the names at school events and make sure they were recognized with senior awards.”

Their Time at Lowell

While at Lowell, the swimmers had little time for anything besides swimming. “We practiced before school; on some days we went back to the pool at lunch, and practiced at night,” Ross wrote. “For many years, I only ate dinner with my family on hol-

idays and the two week break from the pool after the U.S. season ended. I could hardly read anything in the evenings after a full day of swimming and school because we didn’t have goggles at the time. Long weekends and vacations from school only meant that we could swim six to eight hours per day instead of the four to six hours. My teammates and I were dedicated to what we could do together as a team, it was paramount, and propelled us to the pool day after day.” Anderson remembers her time at Lowell as well. “I was a smart kid, but in Lowell, everyone was smart and some of the teachers graded on a curve,” she said. “I had to be very organized to balance my schoolwork and training. Swimming was my first priority though. When done right, I would lose myself in the group; it became we and not me. I was a land geek and always the last one picked for land sports, but in the water, I was a different person.”


(Above) John Frank chats with Cynthia Anderson during October 2013. (Below) Anderson’s gold medal from the 1971 Pan American games.

Future Recognition

The gold medalists may soon be recognized thanks to another former Lowell student, John Frank. Frank graduated Lowell the year after the swimmers, in 1973, but didn’t know about them at the time. When he learned about their accomplishments, he was disturbed by the lack of acknowledgement and is now the driving force behind the recent push to get them recognition. He brought their story to the attention of The Lowell, and he is nominating them for the San Francisco Prep Hall of Fame. The San Francisco Prep Hall of Fame was See BUDGET on Page 1 established in 1983 to recognize the outstanding from 2012-2013. contributions of high school athletes, according Despite this decrease, the SFUSD deemed Lowell to have met certain to Hall of Fame president Marc Christensen. To budget standards for the current school year due to the increased total get in, athletes must receive a 75 percent vote student allocation from the new funding bill, higher enrollment and from a committee of 14. more students who took AP exams. As a result, the district withdrew a Frank seems optimistic about their chances. $50,000 buffer fund originally intended to help schools balance budgets. “Best in the world really says a lot,” he said. In the finer points of this year’s budget, the technology portion — “These women not only accomplished many money that is spent on electronics such as computers and media carts swimming feats, but also coached around the — is not being funded by the WSF this year, a move that the school world and pioneered techniques that are still anticipated last year, according to Principal Andrew Ishibashi. Usually used today.” the total technology budget of $60,000 is covered in equal parts by the Anderson, the only member of her team Parent Teacher Student Association, the Lowell Alumni Association present, drove over four hours, to meet Frank at and WSF money. To ensure that technology would be funded for the the nomination at Patio Español restaurant on 2013-2014 school year, Lowell covered an additional $20,000 of the Oct. 3, where they showed the committee her technology budget last year while the PTSA and LAA each contributed gold medal. “People retain 80 percent of what $30,000 this year to fully provide for the technology budget. they see as opposed to 20 percent of what they Despite the lower budget, there have been no cuts in overall staffhear,” Frank said. ing and departments have received a little more funding to spend on Frank still has to contact O’Rourke and classroom materials to benefit students. In addition, an extra $2,000 Busenbarrick in order for them to be eligible left over from the budget will be allocated towards textbook funding, for induction, but he is certainly up for the task. according to Ishibashi. “We’re very lucky to receive the funds from the “I didn’t want to be obtrusive, but I will call the district and provide the programs that we have, which makes Lowell a CIA if it comes down to it.” place where students thrive on our outstanding course offerings,” he said. In addition to the Prep Hall of Fame, Frank

Added funding helps cover tech


The following text, which appeared in the October 1970 edition of The Lowell, was some of the only coverage the girls recieved at school. This article discusses the summer before the Pan American games, but The Lowell did not cover that event. “Several Lowell girls can be traced throughout the country this summer. In winning the San Francisco Merionettes (which includes Joan Lang, Heidi O’Rourke, and Amy Miller) placed second in a tight finish at the National Outdoor Synchronized Swimming Championship in Dallas, Texas, in July. In mid-August, the same three girls were part of the team that represented San Francisco in an international meet in Osaka, Japan. Here the team finished first and confirmed the title of ‘World’s Greatest.’” sent an email to the president of the Lowell Sports Foundation, Terence Abad, in an attempt to get them inducted into the Lowell Sports Foundation Hall of Fame. “We are hoping to hold our next induction banquet sometime in 2014,” Abad said.



October 25, 2013

Inside The Cave:

Lowell High School

Ever wonder what student government does behind the scenes? Reporters Madelyn Chen and Amber Ly explore the inner workings of the Student Body Council and Lowell Student Association

By Madelyn Chen & Amber Ly


ehind every school rally, event and dance lies a group of students who work behind the scenes, putting together and planning activities for the student body. The school’s student government, Lowell Student Association, strives to unify students and the administration, represent student voice and improve the school with student input.

What is the LSA?

The LSA encompasses the Student Body Council and the four class boards, which all work together to enhance the students’ experience. Students have the ability to vote for SBC members, but they can only vote for their own class boards. The SBC is in charge of planning and organizing dances, rallies, the talent show and co-curricular days and fundraising to support school-wide events. “We do a variety of things: we plan, fundraise and execute events for the school,” 2014 class president Leila Chew said. “But we also want to promote school spirit and form an inclusive class culture where everyone can feel united and feel that they belong.” Planning for scavenger hunts and activities takes around two to three weeks, and dances take at least a month to prepare, according to SBC dance coordinator Nilou Mostarshed. Individual class boards are geared more towards fundraising for their specific grade’s activities, such as graduation or prom. Additionally, boards hold social games for class bonding, such as scavenger hunts.

Student Spirit

In addition to creating events, the LSA aims to unify students and increase class and school spirit. “The goals, in general, of the LSA are not only to create events that will bring lots of different types of students to enjoy, but also to try to build more class culture and school culture,” AP Psychology teacher and student activities director Sara Dean said. “There’s not necessarily a unity at Lowell. I think that there’s lots of groups that like to hang out together. We have a lot of club unity a lot of small group unity, but we don’t have an overall ‘We’re at Lowell type of unity.’ I think we’re trying to build that, but it’s a long and slow process.” Although the LSA is in charge of planning events for students, they need student help to make the events successful. “A lot of the success for our events is hugely dependent on the spirit of the student body,” Chew said. “If students aren’t excited about going to our events, it’s hard to make them successful.” Attempts to increase student turnout at events this year include the reintroduction of floats for homecoming court nominees to ride on and the purchase of new lights, like those used at concerts and clubs, to light up dances. Some members of the LSA hope to lead this effort by developing a class cheer to chant at rallies and games in order to unify the school more. “We really are trying to create a class culture, and we’re planning on creating a class cheer, something we’re all together on,” 2016 class treasurer sophomore Emily Chan said.

Student Voice

The members of LSA also serve as student representatives. “More than just hosting events, we want to have more communication among the whole school and provide a better community for the freshmen and future generations to come,” SBC secretary junior Janelle Lau said. While the LSA does not have a set schedule to meet with the administration, members said that vice-principal of student activities Margaret Peterson checks in with them weekly to tell them about administration meetings, and dean Ray Cordoba usually relays messages to them from the staff. This year, some changes are being made to increase overall student participation in LSA. For example, the Monday class meetings play a role in raising awareness about LSA activities. “The presentation got people’s attention focused towards spirit committee, and now the halls look absolutely gorgeous,” sophomore Gabby Birog said. According to SBC president senior Yu Ling Wu, monthly after-school question and answer sessions are being implemented into the LSA agenda.

LSA and the administration

After gathering students’ thoughts and ideas, the officers bring those concerns to the attention of the administration in order to bring about changes. “We realize that there’s a disconnect between students, staff and the administration,” 2015 class treasurer junior Jocelyn Chan said. “As student body officers, we have the responsibility to connect people with each other so that there is better communication.” The administration is also taking steps to be more receptive to student views and opinions. Principal Andre w Ishibashi voiced his respect for the LSA and said he bounces ideas off them and asks their input on his plans before introducing them to the rest of the student body. As examples of LSAadministration cooperation, Ishibashi mentioned choosing new bell schedules, talking about the dance policies and deciding school paint colors. “Anything that has to do with student activities, I go through the LSA first, even if it deals with

All illustrations by camilia kacimi

any kind of rule change,” he said. Recently the issue of the school dance policy has been a sore point between the administration and the LSA. “We argued so bad about the whole dirty dancing thing, about allowing students to dance that way, and I just can’t do that,” Ishibashi said. “I stood firm no matter how many times they came in and fought for students’ views on dirty dancing. But I’ve received student compliments thanking me for not bending, because they think seeing kids dance like that is disgusting.” Although the LSA voices student body concerns to administrators, there is a line between what they can do and what they believe is beyond their power. “We can’t radically change anything,” Lau said. “But there’s no necessary limit as to where we can go, we can always break that barrier a little bit, but we can’t go all the way.” SBC public relations officer senior Katie Hwang agreed. “There are definitely limitations,” she said. “We constantly have to check with admin about things we want to implement and ideas in general, and I think more than half the ideas we propose are usually turned away by admin. It’s a little discouraging, but at the same time, it helps us create more innovative ideas that both admin and the student body like. It’s definitely hard to find a balance though.” Ishibashi said that he admires the LSA for helping voice student opinions. “A lot of times they might not agree with me and it’s okay, because they are fighting for student views,” he said. “And I usually can bend, or compromise, but there’s certain things I can’t do, when it deals with school board policies or procedures, that are law, or state education code. There’s times when I will have to make unpopular decisions because that’s a part of being a leader.”

Student Feedback

Early in the school year, some students anonymously expressed feeling underrepresented by the LSA on the Facebook page of Lowell Confessions, a place where students can vent their thoughts about the school. Members said they appreciate criticism and suggestions, which points

out areas they need to improve, and subsequently, officers do their best to listen to those opinions, and act on them. “Criticism is how LSA moves forward as a whole, because if there wasn’t any criticism, we must be perfect, and we know we’re not perfect,” SBC events coordinator Jessica Weiss said. “We want to fix that and better ourselves.” The LSA is looking to widen its field and head more projects to benefit students. “We feel like only planning events kind of makes us the group that everyone thinks we are, the people that sit and don’t really do much,” Weiss said. “We really want to show students that we care about what they want changed in this school.” In an attempt to ensure that students’ ideas are being voiced, LSA is implementing several new systems that allow easier access to contact the council and boards. “We feel like a reason for a lot of the criticism we received was due to a lack of communication, like people weren’t sure exactly what we do, and didn’t feel their voice was being represented,” Chew explained. “We’re trying to combat that with the LSA website, with forums for people to speak with us, with suggestion boxes, so people can make their voices heard.” Junior Solomon Alpert is one student who wants the LSA to be more transparent and open. “I feel like they could be a little bit more inclusive to other students in their process,” he said. Extending accessibility and including a wider range of students in its activities is an issue that the LSA is still working on. “As a team, we need and want to work on inclusiveness. We want to make sure that everyone feels they belong in this school and create events and activities for everyone, not just certain groups of people,” Dean said. “We also want to work on creating effective avenues for hearing student voices rather than just hearing from a few random posts on a confessions board.”

Reaching Out Through the Web

The LSA has taken to social media as a tool for communication. “We’re really just trying to improve on communication with the student body as to what we do and just getting input from them,” Mostarshed said. “We launched an LSA Facebook page, and there’s Twitter. We have our LSA website, where we keep everybody updated on our projects and stuff.” Although the anonymous online forums on their website have helped the LSA receive student feedback, there is still the challenge of balancing majority opinion with minority views. “We’ve gotten a few ideas [through the anonymous forums] and it’s a new thing for us,” Weiss said. “The most difficult thing is balancing what this one person wants and thinking, ‘Would the majority of students agree with a minority opinion like this?’ But we’re trying our very best to take these anonymous submissions and try to incorporate them into what we do.”

October 25, 2013

The Lowell



illustration by monica lee

The state of CA education spending

■ In an effort to rectify five years of budget cuts and a complex funding system, an ambitious new state funding bill is in effect for the current school

year. Beneath the bureaucracy the plan is simple: more money for California school districts and more freedom to spend it.

By Madelyn Chen


ffective this year as part of Governor Jerry Brown’s new statewide education plan, the Local Control Funding Formula is projected to add around $25 billion to California education funding over an eight-year period. In addition, districts will have more freedom to spend the money after the elimination of some state requirements. With a focus on assisting financially disadvantaged youth, the plan has resulted in an influx of money to large urban districts such as the San Francisco Unified School District.

The Foundation: Freedom to Spend More Money Now (And More Later Too!)

roughly $7.4 billion previously held in categorical programs has been bundled into the basic per-student grant.

SFUSD: Assistance for a Disadvantaged District

For SFUSD, where 64 percent of students are classified as disadvantaged, the impact of the bill will be significant (1,113 of Lowell’s 2,696 students are classified as low-income,and 34 as English Language Learners). Although the district has yet to release its budget for the current school year, per-student funding is expected to increase by around $2,500 for high school students for the 2013-2014 school year under LCFF. At Accountability Under the LCFF the end of the eight-year period, the funding per-student may The elimination of government requirements does not mean even increase to $6,000 more than in the 2012-2013 school an end to government supervision of the public education system. The LCFF requires districts year, according to BeyondChron, an online San Francisco newspaper to make Local Control and Account( Plans (LCAPs) that aim to If there is more funding for ability Although each district will be boost district accountability and given the freedom to decide how it economically disadvan- transparency. By July 1, 2014, school gives money to its schools, SFUSD districts are required to adopt a taged students, the money LCAP for the 2014-2015 school year. already has a system in place — the Weighted Student Formula — that must include their annual should go to the students Districts allocates money to district schools goals in the LCAP, in areas such as on a per-student basis. student achievement, student enwho need extra help.” Despite the bulk of the money gagement, school climate, parental from LCFF arriving to SFUSD over ANDREW ISHIBASHI, involvement and implementation of the next few years, there have alprincipal Common Core state standards. In ready been some significant changes addition, districts have to spell out in the first year of the plan — namely the actions necessary to achieve the the elimination of furlough days and the restoration of the goals, and include the actions in their budget plans. school year to 180 instructional days, according to Gentle School district spending on disadvantaged students will be Blythe, the Executive Director of Public Outreach and Com- audited by county education offices, which could veto academic munications for SFUSD. plans if districts do not meet academic goals for disadvantaged Blythe spoke positively about the new plan. “Additional students at least two out of three consecutive years. The state funding provided under the LCFF combined with the ad- superintendent or board of education would penalize districts ditional flexibility from the elimination of most compliance that continually fail to meet student performance targets. In its entirety, the LCFF marks an important shift in Calirequirements for state categorical programs will allow SFUSD to allocate increased resources to serving our most vulnerable fornia’s education policy, with more money for schools, greater populations, as well as closing the achievement gap, keeping support for disadvantaged students and more control in the schools fully staffed and meeting the overall strategic goals of hands of school districts. the district,” she said.


By year five of the eight year plan, statewide education funding will increase by at least 20 percent, rising to a funding level on par with that of the 2007-2008 school year, the year before education budget cuts began. If Proposition 30, the tax measure that is funding the LCCF, brings in more revenue than is expected in upcoming years, funding levels could possibly increase even further, according to a February 2013 article on IVN, a political news website (www.ivn. us). The main method through which money was Govenor Jerry Brown spearheaded allocated under the initiative to restructure the state’s the previous fundbyzantine funding system. California’s per pupil spending is lower than the ing system — an spending in all but two states. amount given to a district per pupil, dependent on Small Change at First, Long Term Gains Under the new plan, Lowell received around $20 more grade level — has remained the same. However, the LCFF has increased this per-student amount, while providing an addi- dollars per student from the district for the current school year, resulting in a total student altional 20 percent of the per-student location for the 2013-2014 school grant for each unduplicated disadvanis around $140,000 more than taged student (low-income, English LCFF will allow SFUSD year the previous school year. Although Language Learners and foster youths) in a district. In addition, districts with to allocate increased re- the increase for this year is modest, as statewide funding rises, the school’s 55 percent or higher disadvantaged sources to serving our yearly budget is also expected to grow, students will receive a concentrato Ishibashi. tion grant: further 35 percent of the most vulnerable popula- according Incidentally, because Lowell rebase grant for every child over the ceives a large portion of its operating 55 percent threshold. A student can tions.” budget from sources other than WSF, only receive one concentration grant, regardless of how many categories he GENTLE BLYTHE, decreases in supplemental funding, or she falls into. sfusd outreach and communications such as Advanced Placement money from the district, have resulted in a The basic per student grant will current budget that is roughly $60,000 increase over time, and is expected to be $8,289 per student for high school students when the plan lower than last year’s. (Insert refer to other story). Principal Andrew Ishibashi expressed support of the LCFF. is fully implemented, according to a July 2013 report from the “I met with the governor and spoke with him in May of last California Legislative Analyst’s Office ( The LCFF also intends to give districts the ‘local control’ in year at an Association of California School Administrators is its name by eliminating most categorical funding programs. statewide meeting,” he said. “At that meeting, he addressed Only fourteen ‘essential’ categorical grants remain, including administrators and he personally explained his plan. I was one programs such as special education and ELL services. The of the few administrators who stood up and commended him


on such a plan.” The elimination of categorical programs will not significantly impact Lowell, according to Ishibashi. Lowell only has two categorical programs: learning resources and ELL money. Both programs are still protected under the LCFF, and are actually due to see budget increases. “If there is more funding for economically disadvantaged students, then money should go to students who need extra help in tutoring or support classes,” Ishibashi said.

Infographic by monica castro

The weighted funding formula went into effect this school year. Districts received additional per-pupil funding, with even more money going to districts with high numbers of lowincome, ELL and foster youth. The chart above represents an approximation of past, current and future per-pupil funding for a district with 60 percent of students qualifying for extra funding, similar to SFUSD demographics. (


Lowell High School

October 25, 2013



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October 25, 2013

The Lowell


Book review: ‘Beyond Folly,’ new fiction by alum and coach, captivates reporter By Sam Tick-Raker


e all know the feeling when a substitute teacher walks into our Precalculus class, but not many of us know what it is like to actually be a high school sub. Beyond Folly, Misadventures in Substitute Teaching, a new book by 2004 alumnus, frequent substitute teacher and Lowell baseball coach Emil DeAndreis, delves into the realm of this mysterious profession. Readers are introduced to Horton Hagardy, a frazzled substitute teacher in the San Francisco Unified School District. The book is composed of short stories about Horton and his bizarre experiences subbing in many different classes, ranging from College and Career to Physical education to Computer Lab. Though every story is laugh-out-loud hilarious, one titled “AP English” particularly stands out. The first part of the story describes how Horton’s uncle posts on Facebook that he is having a heart attack. This creative idea pokes fun (no pun intended) at the ridiculous posts people make on the most popular social networking site. When subbing for the AP class, he tells the students about his uncle’s update, but they are not surprised at all. In fact, they support his crazy uncle and his status update, telling his Facebook friends of his medical emergency. DeAndreis contrasts the opinions of this newer generation to an older generation on this contemporary, controversial topic. While the students understand his uncle’s reaction, Horton is flabbergasted: “My head is cascading into itself like molasses. Quick, someone throw me a cell phone. I must log on and shoot out a status of this cerebral lapse” (15). Horton’s sarcastic humor, which is evident throughout the book, brings his character to life and helps DeAndreis satirize this ludicrous aspect of how people use Facebook. The second part of the story follows the students’ discussion of books, which Horton oversees as the substitute teacher. The obscure books and literary terms that the students use are entertaining because as an AP English student, I can attest to how ridiculous these discussions can become. One make-believe book the class discusses is called Racing a Stopped Clock, by Joaquin Espacio Shoshanasburg, which “follows the paths of two young girls, a Jew fleeing extermination from a Latvian concentration camp and another girl as she follows the Yangtze

River south to avoid rape and murder during the Nanking Massacre” (12). The title of the book, the name of the author, and the storyline are all ridiculous, which is an important point. It is not just the title or the story that is incredulous as all three aspects (title, story, author) are crazy, which demonstrates DeAndreis’s skill as a writer. He is able to make the title thought-provoking, the author’s name humorous and the plot unbelievable while simultaneously recounting Horton’s troubles. Other book titles include: Suffocating from Air, The Pain of Numb and Breast Milk of a Man. But it is not only the faux literature that makes this piece enjoyable to read — it is the characters and their vocabularies. Attempting to sound brainy, students pepper their discussion with words such as “gargalesis,” “neo-pragmatism” and “knismesis.” The students’ clothing is almost as outlandish as the mock SAT-type vocabulary they exhibit. One kid is described as wearing “a Mr. Rogers-fashioned knit sweater and wooden clogs” (13). DeAndreis paints a detailed and vivid picture, which makes it easy to imagine in the readers’ minds, even if they do not know what “gargalesis” means. (I do not either, and I am in AP English; knismesis and gargalesis are scientific terms to describe tickling.) This combination of wild book titles, unfathomable language and “interesting” style choices makes “AP English” a highlight of Beyond Folly. “AP English” and the rest of the stories are fresh and make the book a fun read, but why write a book about substitute teaching? And why should you read it? One reason is that the book describes the crazy life of a substitute teacher, something that many people are not educated about; they do not realize how chaotic it can be. DeAndreis shows how subbing involves uncontrollable students, ridiculous administrators and odd coworkers. These challenges make substitute teaching much less relaxed than it looks. I would recommend Beyond Folly to anyone


who wants a good laugh and to learn about an underappreciated profession. So the next time a new substitute enters your Precalculus class, think twice about torturing him or her because, as you will read, DeAndreis addresses all jobs that appear to be easy in his fictional yet truthful stories. Go out and buy Beyond Folly on Amazon or download it onto your Kindle, iPad or iPhone. It’s a real page-scroller.

On trend: Senior reporter is mad for minimalism By Campbell Gee


eonardo DaVinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” This autumn, the renaissance man’s words ring truer than ever. Forget the flouncy florals in vibrant hues that dominated summer style and go back-to-basics with the trend of completely black and white getups. While a look with a lack of color is nothing new, high fashion houses and mainstream retailers alike are putting monochromatic clothing back on the racks by utilizing edgy and modern styling techniques. With major celebrities like reality TV queen Kim Kardashian and posh “Spice Girl” Victoria Beckham flaunting their masterful interpretations of the trend on the red carpet, it is easy to stand out in a crowd without using all of the colors in the rainbow. The key to a successful black and white outfit lies in playing with varying textures,

patterns and shapes. To avoid twinning with Michael Keaton’s character in the movie “Beetle Juice,” mix up black and white stripes with other prints such as polka dots to create a visually interesting look. And to escape monotone monochromatics and funeral-esque attire, evenly distribute the two colors and contrasting textures at different parts of the body. For example, play with hard and soft by styling tough looking leathers with light flowy fabrics like chiffon. And while it is necessary to stock up on wearable basics for achieving a practical black and white wardrobe, the addition of show-stopping pieces such as mesh crop tops, leather skirts and shorts, drop crotch pants and dresses made out of neoprene — a scuba suit-like fabric — takes formerly one dimensional two tone looks from “forgettable” to “fashion blogger.” Unlike seasonal or fad colors such as neons, reds, greens and oranges, black and white remain the perfect hues for any time of the year. Participating in the black and white trend also makes putting together a well coordinated outfit in the morning before school a much easier and less daunting task. With the revival of this two-color trend, eye-catching designs prevail as the main focus over distracting colors. Unusual textiles like white leather dominate when compared to its classic black counterpart and is featured in unexpected ways, such as in pants, peplums and blazers. And compared to the straight cut minimalist garments of yesteryear, this trend of simplicity has re-entered the fashion industry with an ode to angularity, featuring origami-like skorts, asymmetrical dresses and clunky pointed heels. Though the beginning of minimalism arguably began with early 20th century designer Coco Chanel’s “little black dress”— or LBD for short — the first major simplistic fashion movement surged in the 1980s, with the growing popularity of Japanese designers like Yohji Yamamoto and Comme Des Garcon’s Rei Kawakubo. Their black and white designs were deemed a form of artistic “anti fashion” and were usually presented in a drapey and

deconstructed manor. European avant garde artist Martin Margiela continued the trend into the 90s, making his designs out of materials that made an undeniably greater impact than color could. These jaw-dropping creations included tops made out of see-through plastic, dresses covered in synthetic hair and whole ensembles — shoes and all — made out of creamy white paper. Household name Calvin Klein also made his mark in black and white fashion in the same decade by featuring his famous silky lingerie inspired colorless dresses and shapeless two piece suits on models like Kate Moss. But for Fall/Winter 2013 Fashion Week, both European and American designers unveiled their current interpretation of colorless clothing for cooler temperatures. Compared to the more demure and pure black and white collections of the past, modern designers gave the trend a badass “in your face” makeover. For his first collection at the classic Parisian brand Balenciaga, longtime minimalist Alexander Wang opted to play with inventive textures and sharp shapes instead of color. His exquisite designs included long and heavy black dresses with varying geometric cut-outs at the torso and skinny trousers paired with high collared tops made in cracked paint textiles. Going in a similar direction, American fashion house Helmut Lang debuted their new simplicity-driven collection at New York Fashion Week. Known for their androgynous designs, Helmut Lang showed muted boxy coats constructed with thick wools, bold geometric prints and plastic-like metallics paired with neutral leather skirts

and pants. And if the addition of crazy silhouettes and outrageous materials into your wardrobe sounds intimidating, do not fret. Start small by picking out a few practical black and white basics like sharp blazers, fierce patent leather pumps, the perfect LBD or other garments that will remain in style even if the minimal trend eventually runs its course. This season, test the waters of minimalism and see fall fashion through a black and white filter.

photos courtesy of Campbell Gee


Varsit y soccer aims to defeat Galileo and reclaim top spot

Lowell High School October 25, 2013

Page 11

Sally ma

Senior running back Dillon Easterling surges forward in Lowell’s 36-14 victory over Thurgood Marshall, on Oct. 18. Easterling finished the game with 188 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

Vars football pummels opponents on home turf By Sam Tick-Raker


he boys’ varsity football team trounced the Thurgood Marshall Phoenix, 36-14 on Oct. 18, improving their record to 2-1 in Academic Athletic Association league-play. The Cardinals started with the ball, and on the first play of the game running back Dillon Easterling ran for 17 yards. This long run would set the tone for the rest of the game for the Cardinal running backs. The drive ended with a 30 yard touchdown thrown by quarterback Antonio Hughes to wingback and linebacker Wen Liu. The Cards then extended their lead to 8-0 after a two point conversion by short-yardage quarterback and safety Kenny Li. Lowell kicked off to Marshall who moved down the field and eventually completed a huge 45 yard touchdown pass with 3:14 to play, though the team was unable to get the two point conversion. The score was 8-6 at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, after an interception by Hughes, Marshall threw a 23 yard touchdown on 3rd and 10, but it was taken back because of an offsides penalty. The Phoenix’s inability to avoid penalties was one of the main reasons the team lost. More penalties landed Marshall with a 3rd and 25, and a key sack by defensive end Asa Evans brought up a long 4th down, which the Phoenix was unable to convert. Long runs by Easterling and Hughes gave the Cards a 24-6 lead to close out the first half. In the third quarter, Lowell put more points on the board as Hughes connected with Easterling for a 33 yard touchdown pass, putting the Cards up 30-6. Marshall got the ball back on its own 35 yard line and went on a long drive, converting on two fourth downs with timely passes and runs by the quarterback. But with 1:40 to go on the third fourth down of the drive, defensive end Darius Thomas came up with a huge tackle, stopping the Phoenix from getting a first down.

When the Cardinals got the ball back, Easterling had his longest run of the game, going 39 yards to Marshall’s 21 yard line. An 18 yard run by Easterling set Lowell up for a three yard touchdown by wingback Mark Bis, and the Cards led 36-6 after the third. In the fourth quarter, Marshall scored on a 25 yard touchdown pass and successfully completed the two point conversion, making the score 36-14The score stayed the same as time expired and the game ended. Good run defense and strong running by both Easterling and Hughes, with help from Marshall’s penalties, led to Lowell’s victory. Easterling finished with 188 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown. Hughes completed two out of five passes, with 63 passing yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, adding 65 rushing yards. Go out and watch the Cardinals take on the Burton Pumas at 3 p.m. today at Burton.

JV football suffers home loss at hands of Lincoln By Amber Ly

play snuck past and evaded Lincoln’s defense. fter squashing the Wash- The Mustangs’ mistakes led Wong to concoct ington Eagles 44-26 in the Battle of his own plan to get the ball to the end zone, the Birds and the kickoff game of the scoring Lowell’s first touchdown. Despite the regular season, the frosh-soph football team gain, the Cardinals were not able to keep their fumbled back into old habits of the preseason. momentum and come out with the win. Regardless of the The Lincoln Mustangs turnout, the players are overpowered the Cardinals 48-8 on home turf There are still an- thinking back on it in a positive light. “Some on Oct. 11. other five games players weren’t blocking The Mustangs took control of the game from left, so there’s a lot well, but we’ve started to get into the proper the outset, shutting out of improvement mindset,” sophomore Lowell 28-0 in the first Tiger Lao half. In one flopped play that can be done.” quarterback said. during the first quarter, With much of the the Cardinals set up an Jabes Rivera, season still ahead, the opening for a touchdown, co-head coach Cardinals are striving but many players did not to enhance their techstick on their blocks and the chance to score disappeared. Seeing no nique. “There are still another five games left, opportunity, sophomore wing back Daniel so there’s a lot of improvement that can be Wong had to cut back. “In a sense, I tackled done,” co-head coach Jabes Rivera said. “It’s myself because then two of their biggest guys going to be a very hard road and we can’t get came and trucked me and I went down,” satisfied.” Now with one win against one of their Wong said. “What happened here, eventually rivals and a fall to the other, the Cardinals are led to touchdown for the other team.” Midway through the third quarter, one 1-1 in league play and 1-4 overall.



Sophomore Hasan Selimovic twists away from a tackle in Lowell’s 48-8 defeat against Lincoln.


By Whitney C. Lim and Michelle Wong


HIS HALLOWEEN STUDENTS got an early treat from the administration: course selection. Current Lowellites chose classes from almost 200 courses ranging from Principles of Biotechnology 1B to Latin 3B for the next semester. Flash back 10 years ago and the school offered a host of other intriguing subjects. So what were they?

Following in the inspirational footsteps of Judge Judy and Reese Witherspoon’s daring character from Legally Blonde, some students might have wanted to start their career in law early. A one-semester introductory course offered to 1012 graders, Pre-law focused on how laws affected daily life and was taught in partnership with the University of San Francisco’s Law School.

Numbers can get tedious, and to some students back in 2003, how a potato shoots out from a cannon was more in their gravitational field than calculating the spud’s initial velocity with operations and angles. A year-long course for freshmen and sophomores, this class put a twist on physics by emphasizing “comprehension rather than computation,” according to the 2003 Student/Parent Handbook. Students delved into familiar models of events to understand fundamentals like universal gravitation, light, dynamics and magnetism.

Sick of those “classic” novels that everyone’s heard about but few want to read? Juniors and seniors in Current Literature only read pieces from the last 30 years. It was still an English class, however, so students studied language and form, discussed and wrote about values and predicaments and developed insight into the present-day by analyzing contemporary literature in this course.

Sometimes making those colorful family trees in fourth grade are not enough to quench cultural curiosity. Sophomores, juniors and seniors back in 2003 could take Latin American, African American or Asian American elective history courses in which they studied the descendants living in the United States in more depth than a regular history course.

Those lucky students back in the 2000s. Nowadays you have to go off-campus or online and pay to take this course! Before, students learned how to drive at school and study for the written test by using a simulator and driving around the parking lot. “A semester was split: half for health ed and half for driver’s ed,” class of ’99 alumnus Michael Fong said. “Health ed gave us the fears of STDs, while driver’s ed made us watch a movie where brains were strewn across a freeway as a result of teenage accidents.”

Woman power! Back in 2003, sparkling feminists and combative masculinists explored the history of challenges women face including violence against women, economic disparities, health care, body image and activism in this elective course.


A place for shy turtles to come out of their shells and voluble souls to sharpen their skills, Public Speaking 1, 2 and Advanced were offered to all grades. Along with written addresses and evaluations, students learned to perform formal, humorous and extemporaneous speeches. Class of ’83 alumnus Steven Chang remembers one assignment in particular. “The one-minute speech was tough, because for every second plus or minus 60 seconds, your grade would be downgraded,” he said. “You could get an A only if the speech ended exactly at 60 seconds. If it was 59 or 61 seconds, you got a B.”


Health Ed gave us the fears of STDs, while Driver’s Ed made us watch a movie where brains were strewn across a freeway as a result of teenage accidents.” MICHAEL FONG, alumnus

With our new and growing garden behind the tennis courts, some students may wish the Advanced Biology/ Botany Horticulture class still existed. Juniors and seniors 10 years ago learned about plant structures, their functions and their ecological needs. They participated in an on-site garden project and performed lab research on such topics as enzymes in this science class. But why cut these courses? “Sometimes, there is just low student interest in the topic,” assistant principal of curriculum and instruction Holly Giles said. “Other times it’s because UC does not recognize the class as an a-g course, which is what colleges look for, or we don’t have teachers who can teach the class.”


October 25, 2013

Lowell High School

Athlete of the Month:

Dillon Easterling

By Joseph Kim


Senior running back Dillon Easterling scores a touchdown in Lowell’s 47-6 victory over the Washington Eagles. Easterling scored four touchdowns in the game. Zoe Kaiser

f you have gone to a boys’ varsity football game recently, you probably saw senior running back Dillon Easterling shaking off opponents and sprinting into the end zone. As one of the main offensive threats on the team, Easterling’s charging runs are key to the team’s success on the field this season. Easterling’s recent performance at the Battle of the Birds on Oct. 4 highlighted his importance to the team; he scored four of the seven touchdowns in the game and finished with 225 plus running yards. The game ended in a 47-6 victory, giving the Cardinals back-to-back victories against the Eagles. But not all stars are born great. “When I first saw Dillon as a freshman, I didn’t see anything special,” assistant coach Al Gamboa said. “I originally thought that he would be a slacker, unmotivated and not disciplined enough to learn and get better. But since then he’s grown a lot, as a person and as a player.” Since the start of his football career, Easterling has pushed his way through difficult times. “I actually only played football for a short time in freshman year, and quit because I felt like I wasn’t good enough,” he said. “I later realized that it was a really stupid reason to quit and decided that I should work hard to improve myself.” It was through his defensive game that Easterling shows his greatest advance-

ment. “By learning how to block, Dillon was able to learn the definition of true teamwork,” Gamboa said. “When you’re blocking, it’s no longer about trying to take the spotlight, but about doing whatever you can to make someone else look like a star.” Easterling’s motivation comes from his love for the sport. “The rush that you get and the contact that you make with other people is something that appeals to me,” he said. “Being able to hit other people as hard as you want; you don’t get that in many other sports.” In addition to his turnaround in football, Easterling later went on to join the school’s track team to compete in the 100 and 200 meter dash. Whether it means making a single yard, or scoring a touchdown, Easterling always gives his all. “Even when times get tough, there is no quit in him,” Gamboa said. “In every play he’s always thinking about how he can break through, and about how he can make a difference.” However, Easterling helps the team in more ways than just excellent personal performances; Easterling is a team player. “He works hard and is very supportive to the team,” Gamboa said. “He’s sensitive to what his teammates need to hear and helps when he can, but he won’t be that guy that yells and demands things out of the team.” With a star like Easterling, the boys’ varsity football team is sure to set themselves up for a great season.

October 25, 2013

The Lowell



Eddie Mayer, from Lowell to the big leagues

ddie Mayer was born on November 30, 1931, a San Franciscan born and raised. He graduated from Lowell High School in 1950, and then went on to play for UC Berkeley. He played six seasons in the minor leagues before being called up for the Chicago Cubs late in 1957. After two years in the Major Leagues, he retired after the 1959 season. Last week, reporter Ian James sat down with him for an exclusive one-on-one interview.


When did you first start playing baseball? I started playing when I was eight years old. My dad was big into sports, and he was the coach of my baseball team.


What do you remember about playing for Lowell? I was a center on the basketball team, and I made all city the year we won the championship. Obviously I also played baseball, and the time we beat Poly was great because that was always a really tough game. I pitched that game for Lowell.


Who were your baseball heroes growing up? When I was growing up, there were no Major League teams out here. I followed the Pacific League, which had some talented semi-professional players. I followed the San Francisco Seals because there were no professional teams to follow.

eMark Koenig, Jerry Coleman­­— there were a lot of future professionals who played high school

ball when you were there. What was it like playing in such a talented high school league? San Francisco was a real center for baseball. A lot of good players came out of San Francisco during this time. We could play year round because there was no snow, which was not true for most of the country. There were many, many leagues. My grammar school, Andrew Jackson, which was right up the street from Lowell, at Masonic and Hayes, played in a league where we beat all the other grammar schools.


It takes a lot of talent to make it as a professional. Did you do any extra training? No, I never did any extra training. I just played all year ­— first base, pitcher, year after year. There was no need to do any special training I just played baseball.


When did you decide that you wanted to play professionally? I pitched at UC Berkeley after Lowell. However, I didn’t like my major, Business Administration. I went and told my counselor, and she gave me all kinds of tests to see what major I should do and they came up with nothing. I told her I wanted to play baseball and she told me to go try it, and then I could come back and finish my education. I came back and became a teacher, something I had always been interested in.


How did you attract the interest of the Cubs? I worked my way through the different minor leagues. I was in a winter league in Cuba when scouts saw me. Then the next season I was pitching in AA in Fort Worth. They just called me up.


Who was the best player you ever played with or against? There’s no question, no question in a thousand years. Willie Mays was the best player I ever saw. He could do anything — batting, running, fielding; he could do it all. The first time I started was against the New York Giants, who Willie Mays was playing for at the time. I got the first two batters out, but then he came up. I threw a pretty good fastball, and he hit a line drive over my head. It just kept going, straight over the wall of Wrigley Field. He hit a homerun and a double off of me that day, although I did get him out the third time. I had a pretty good record against hall-of-famers, they batted .210 against me, but he was special.


Was there a time you thought about giving up baseball? No, I always wanted to play baseball. My dad was always involved, and he was a good semi-pro player. I just assumed that if I was good enough I would play.

eHow has professional baseball changed since you played?

It’s all different. The money is a million times bigger, the stadiums are all different. We never had lights at Wrigley Field, it was always day games. When I played, there was none of this safety equipment. There was no batting helmet; we used to bat just in little caps with a bit of cardboard in the front. The players these days are faster, stronger and bigger. I think the overtraining is why so many more players get injured. My shortstop when I played, Ernie Banks, was a hall-of-famer, and he wasn’t huge, he looked just like a regular guy.


What was your best pitch? The sinker.


Current day Lowell is more known for its academics. True in your day? Lowell was very heavily academic when I was there, and I got a really good education there. It was also really good at sports as well, much like it is today.

Kimberly Ly


What advice would you give to current Lowell baseball players? I have one bit of advice: don’t let your thoughts interfere with your play. Obviously be aware of what’s happening in the game, but don’t worry about the walks or strikeouts. Just let your body do what it knows how to do. Baseball should be played naturally.


REDEMPTION? Senior co-captain Aaron Moyé shows us the definition of intensity in a 3-0 shutout of O’Connell on Oct. 8.


October 25, 2013

The Lowell



With new head coach, boys’ varsity soccer switches emphasis to attack After ending last season as co-champions with Mission, Lowell Soccer is more determined than ever to bring home gold. With Juan Lopez at the helm as head coach, the team is playing more adventurously. By Andrew Pearce

have not completely translated into goals. ITH A NEW coach, the boys’ On Sept. 17, the Cardinals suffered their varsity soccer team is experi- first loss to Lincoln, 3-1. Although disapmenting with a new formation pointing, this game helped the Cardinals realize what they needed to work on. “We and a new style of play. Juan Lopez, physical education teacher were still trying to figure out where people and now head soccer coach, has brought should play,” Lopez said. “After that loss, with him major changes in style. Instead we’ve regained our focus and commitment of last year’s defensive-minded 3-5-2 in not only trying to win but also succeeding formation, (with three attacking and two as a team.” Lopez derives his coaching abilities from defending midfielders) the team now emphasizes attack with a 3-4-3 formation. 20 years of playing the sport. He started Rather than playing with only two forwards playing soccer when he was 11 years old and three attacking midfielders, the team and played all throughout high school now has three strikers and four attacking and college, only recently stopping. “My midfielders. “I think the new formation is experiences as a player were not only about discipline and effective and commitment gives us a lot of players out It allows for more creativity to the sport but also to on the wing on and off the ball; where to oneself as a who we can Louse to control move and how to support person,” pez said. “My play and get the ball up the players. We are elevating our p h i l o s op hy is that we field,” senior soccer game into a more ad- use the game co-captain of soccer to a n d c e nt e r vanced level.” teach us more midfielder than just Will SlotterJUAN LOPEZ, passing and back said. In new head coach d r i b b l i n g : congruence it’s character with the new, more offense-oriented formation, Lopez building, and it tests your ability to strive for has instituted more offensive drills in prac- greatness and deal with obstacles.” Last season, Lowell tied Mission 1-1 in tice. In addition to the new formation, Lopez the championship game. Lopez, along with changed the playing style. The new style is the rest of the team wants to make sure that more technical and possession oriented. they get to the championship again, but win “It allows for more creativity on and off the this time. According to Lopez, if the team ball; where to move and how to support works on the basics, the Cardinals will make players,” Lopez said. “We are elevating our the championship. “It all starts with executing the game plan; the guys need to know soccer game into a more advanced level.” In order to successfully adjust to these how to keep possession and how to defend changes, the team practiced once in the as a team and attack as a team,” Lopez said. morning and once after school for the first “If we can do that, then we’ll be able to make two weeks of the season. These practices the playoffs and the championship.” Lopez is proud of his team and is hopeful included getting players in shape and up to game speed, working on ball control for the rest of the season. “I’ve got a great and dribbling. According to Slotterback, bunch of guys, and they’re committed to the double practices helped build intensity not only developing as soccer players but as people,” he said. With a strong team at the beginning of the season. Although the team is now working on and fresh leadership, the future is looking moving the ball up the field, the new tactics bright.



Records & Standings Teams Galileo Lions Lowell Cardinals Lincoln Mustangs Balboa Buccaneers Mission Bears SFI Huskies

Record (W-L-T) 10-1-0 9-1-1 8-1-2 8-3-1 8-2-1 8-3-1

The Season at a Glance Notable Results

Points 30 28 26 25 25 25

Top Scorers Name Position Elijah Alperin Forward Cian O’Dwyer Forward Tony Torres Forward Will Slotterback Midfielder Aaron Moyé Midfielder Alex Ruppert Midfielder

(Above) Senior forward Tony Torres holds off an O’Connell defender during the Oct. 8 3-0 shutout. (Below) Junior midfielder Alex Ruppert drives the ball upfield in the same game.

Year Goals Senior 14 Freshman 13 Senior 12 Senior 3 Senior 3 Junior 3

Lincoln Sept. 17: 1-3

Junior midfielder Even Berhe scored Lowell’s only goal of the game. Lowell’s domination of the second half was not enough to overcome a 2-0 deficit at halftime. The Mustangs did a better job of putting away their chances.

Washington Sept. 26: 6-0

Freshman forward Cian O’Dwyer had a break-out game, scoring a first half hat trick to help the Cardinals lead comfortably 5-0 at the half. Last year Lowell faced the Eagles in the first round playoffs.

Balboa Oct. 3: 1-1

Senior forward Elijah Alperin gave the team the lead with a penalty in the first half. The Buccaneers came out strong in the second half and equalized late in the game. The Cardinals were unable to capitalize on a number of chances.

Games to Watch

Galileo Oct. 25

Currently top of the league with only a single loss (as of Oct. 21), the Lions are having a stellar season after missing out on the playoffs last year. This game will likely determine the top playoff seed. They will play at 3:45 p.m. at home.

Mission Oct. 29

Last season, Mission broke Lowell’s undefeated streak with a 4-2 victory, then tied the Cardinals again in the championship 1-1. The two teams will face off again at 3:45 p.m. at Lowell.

Playoffs Oct. 31

Playoffs for the league start Oct. 31 and continue on Nov. 5 and Nov. 6. The winners of the two previous games will compete for the championship on Nov. 9 at 1 p.m. at Boxer stadium.


October 25, 2013

Lowell High School

Grit gives former teacher the ‘Genius Grant’

By Samantha Wilcox

someone has to their intelligence,” Duckworth said in a May chology in mind. “I used to teach math for five years before ANY GO ON TO DO GREAT things after their 2013 video interview with the MacArthur Foundation. Reverse coming to UPenn,” Duckworth said. “I found myself constantly time at Lowell, but not everyone manages to win correlation in this example means that as one’s intelligence frustrated with the amount of time students were willing to the prestigious title of MacArthur Fellow. The Ma- increases, their amount of grit decreases. “People who things give to me in the classroom, and their lack of improvement cArthur Fellowship, more commonly known as the Genius come easily to are not required to learn how to get up again because of it.” Duckworth left classroom teaching to become a research psychologist in order to study why her students were Grant, is an award for individual researchers who hold promise after disappointment and failure” she said. Grit, as Duckworth describes it, is something that Lowell underperforming in some cases, and how she could change in their field. Former Lowell teacher and current University the classroom dynamof Pennsylvania Professor Dr. Angela Duckworth is one of students are very familiar with. The ability to ics of schools across the the privileged 2013 Fellows, breaking down walls by studying remain committed to a task despite challenges is nation. a skill that most of us students’ behavior in and out of the I found myself constantly With the MacArneed to have, whether classroom. thur Fellowship comes it is needed to study an Potential Fellows are secretly frustrated with the amount a considerable amount extra hour for a dreadchosen by a committee, and are not of time students were of money to further the ed final or to grovel notified of their eligibility unless recipient’s research. “In for extra credit. “Lowthey win the grant. “When I first willing to give to me in the the lab, we are currently ell students are hard found out that I had won, I felt at classroom, and their lack of studying how to obtain workers who don’t first shock and awe, and then those measures of one’s give up,” Duckworth led to intense gratitude,” Duckworth improvement because of it.” better grit and self-control,” said. “However, a lot said. “I was surprised when I imDuckworth said. “We of the time they don’t mediately thought of the teachers I ANGELA DUCKWORTH, have a deep passion in are also studying interhave had in the past and how they former Lowell teacher vention - can someone their lives, something have helped shape my views and get grit later on in life, or that they are deeply my research.” are they born with it?” committed to - it’s the During her time at UPenn, PHOTO COURTESY OF ANGELA DUCKWORTH Grit and self-control seem to be common sense. However, same with my students at UPenn. This Duckworth has studied how selfDuckworth’s in-depth research and analysis on the subjects commitment and “grit”, or how someone remains committed can compromise their long-term commitment. ” Although she is currently one of the most renowned names continue to pave the way towards exciting new ideology for to long-term tasks, affect how students succeed in life. “I have found that there is a reverse correlation to the amount of grit in her field, Duckworth did not always have a career in psy- the entire psychology community.



Couple creates first full-time Islamic school By Noreen Shaikh

two teachers, one Arabic language teacher and T’S ONE THING TO LOVE learning one regular school teacher. The Sunday school, which provides reliso much that you challenge yourself at Lowell, but it’s another to create a school gious classes to children preschool through with the same high expectations as your alma high school age, will continue to operate. mater. This year an alumni couple realized About 210 students currently attend weekend their dreams of establishing the first Islamic classes. Lowell senior Nehad Abdelwahhab is a long-time student of the Sunday school. private school in San Francisco. Kashif Abdullah, Class of ’95, and his wife “SFIS is very supportive to me, inside and outside hours of the Leticia Abdullah, school,” she said. “I Class of ’98, founded have known the staff the San Francisco Isfor years now and lamic School, which they are all nice and is taking on its first genuinely care about group of students for students. I am althe 2013-2014 school ways excited for the year. The couple has next Sunday because been working toI learn so much.” wards this goal for SFIS will add to years, first finding the variety of schools an Islamic Sunday in the San Francisco School in 2005. SFIS KASHIF ABDULLAH, Bay Area. Prior, San is based on the founLowell alumnus Francis co lacked dation of the Sunan official Islamic day school, but with school that taught a typical five-day religion along with regular academic classes. school week. So far the first year of operation has gone This new school provides an Islamic environsmoothly. Currently at a temporary location, ment for muslim children and youth to grow, the school has a total of six children attending: according to the Abdullahs. “Our goal was to four kindergarteners and two first graders. The not only be able to provide this option but to school plans to add a grade level each year, and say that we’re a strong school in all aspects hopes to eventually foster an environment with and have the students that attend to not only the high academic standards of Lowell, accord- have strong faith but also to be good students,” ing to the Abdullahs. The school currently has Kashif Abdullah said.



Eighteen years after graduating, Kashif Abdullah reflected on his experience at Lowell. “I made lifelong friends and I took advantage of the teachers’ knowledge,” he said. “The rigorous standards taught me a sense of responsibility.” Leticia Abdullah also expressed that she learned valuable lessons at Lowell. “The social aspect of Lowell was challenging,” she said.

“Learning to get along with different types of people is not easy, but it is important.” Although it will be at least a few years before SFIS has a complete school with all grade levels, the Abdullahs expressed the importance of the school to the Muslim population in San Francisco. “This school was a basic need in the community,” Kashif Abdullah said. “It was something I felt strongly about.”

This school was a basic need in the community. It was something I felt strongly about.”


A teacher from San Francisco Islamic School teaches students the Arabic alphabet in Sunday school. SFIS did not want to reveal the identities of the students attending the full-time school.

October 25, 2013

The Lowell



Junior diver delves into the depths of unique sport By Andrew Pearce


week. I have to manage my time wel l and do homework on the train, because I don’t get home until pretty late. It can get annoying diving so far away, and I often wish that there was a diving program nearer, such as at Lowell. Saint Ignatius is the only high school in the entire city that has a diving team. Although I have to deal with taking the train, I feel very privileged to be able to dive at one of the best facilities in the country. Over the past two summers, I have attended a diving camp at Indiana University. While there, I was coached by some of the top diving coaches in the nation, including Jeff Huber and John Wingfield, both former Olympic coaches. Learning from them was truly eye-opening. They helped me understand new concepts that gave me much more insight into the sport of diving. The people and the environment of the camp made me realize how much I love the sport. I consider myself part of the diving community, and will always be connected to the feeling of the spring that launches me in the air, accelerating me towards the clear, blue concrete. Few people can associate themselves with diving, and I’m proud to be one of them. an eV


ris Ch

hen I tell people I am a diver, they immediately imagine colorful coral reefs and big scuba masks. Then, after a little thought, they ask, “Oh, so, like, the thing with the springboard and the flippy-things into water?” Yes, I reply, I am a springboard diver. I have been diving for four years at the Stanford Diving Club, a club for youth located at the Stanford Aquatic Center in Palo Alto. Before I began diving, I did gymnastics for seven years, first at American Gymnastics, then at Acrosports, both of which are located in San Francisco. I switched to diving because my real passion was tumbling, which is only a section of gymnastics. My friend on the gymnastics team was a diver and introduced me to the sport. Diving is the closest thing next to tumbling, as it involves flipping and twisting, only it’s in the air instead of on land. I am grateful for my background in gymnastics; otherwise I probably would not have gotten into diving. Many divers have had some kind of gymnastics training, giving them a platform that helps them understand diving concepts. Diving has many aspects and is much more complicated than people think. Though similar to gymnastics, diving is unique in many ways. Not many sports test your ability to deal with fear and anxiety as well as your ability to perform physically. Being

three to 30 feet up above the unforgiving water, ready to throw yourself off, while simultaneously twisting and flipping, is not an easy challenge for your brain or body to handle. This means I face fear almost every practice when I stare down the end of the board. My brain is constantly telling me that there could be serious consequences. To overcome the fear, diving requires great concentration and focus. If my mind is not in the right place, I could get hurt. If you do mess up a dive, the only way to fix it is practice: doing it over and over again.This has taught me patience out of the pool as well. It has helped me control my frustration when I cannot accomplish something the first time I try it. Despite the constant knowledge that something could go wrong, diving is incredibly rewarding.When I do a good dive with little splash I can feel it when I enter the water. It is also very satisfying to get new dives. Currently, my favorite and most difficult dive is a back one-and-a-half flip with two-and-a-half twists from three meters. I like to challenge and push myself to perform better. As a diver, if you are not motivated, it will be hard to accomplish anything. Because I dive at Stanford, about 45 minutes away, I take the Caltrain to Palo Alto and back four days a

Devoted Girl Scout reflects on experience By Deidre Foley

Photo illustration courtesy of KT Kelly


rowing up, I sampled and rejected different flavors of activities: the roughand-tumble of sports, the forced catechism classes as bland as the rice-cake “bread” we received at Communion, the hours of immersed fiction reading that could never fulfill the need for social interaction. At the ripe age of eight, however, I was introduced to a group I would immediately relish, and continue to savor for the next ten years — Girl Scouts. As an organization aiming to empower young girls and teach them values and skills ranging from honesty to pocket knife safety, Girl Scouts provided my elementary school self a safe place to learn and laugh with a similar group of kids. At the time of my induction, our troop consisted of about twenty bright-eyed and bushy-tailed girls. Initially, our troop met once a week at our elementary school to work on Try-Its — badges for Brownielevel Girl Scouts — and learn about the traditions of Girl Scouting. One week we would create wearable art for a crafting badge. The next week we would learn safety skills and appropriate behavior for the highly-anticipated cookie sales. The following week we would learn the Girl Scout Promise and the story of how Juliette Gordon Low founded Girl Scouting in the United States in 1912. After graduating from our elementary school and going off to different middle schools, many girls stopped scouting. Although our troop shrunk in size, we continued to meet at our alma mater every other week to earn badges, plan volunteering outings and bond with one another to become a tighter group. Through my years of scouting I have had numerous opportunities to take leadership positions, especially in working with younger girls. Since earning the title of Program Aide at the age of twelve, I

worked at half a dozen weekend-long “camporees,” serving meals to young, whiny girls (and some even whinier moms), dragging moldy mattresses uphill (to even moldier tents) and playing hide-and-seek with girls during downtime. I have volunteered at such weekend-long camporees for years, and attended them for even longer. Although these weekends have always been enjoyable because of the people, there has been a few weekends with too little food, outdated activities and overall poor organization. At one generic “Winter-themed Camporee,” a low-budget activity consisted of cutting up paper plates into snowflakes. Another featured an hourlong lecture on astronomy, which really captured the attention of over-energetic elementary school girls. My troop always complained about these lackluster events, saying we could organize something totally rad and way more fun. During a summer meeting last year, we finally took initiative by proposing our idea to the San Francisco Service Unit, which oversees all activities of San Francisco Girl Scouts. For the next several months we worked — and argued — together about every little detail: food, budget, costs, activities, size, sleeping arrangements. All of our tedious planning, including deciding whether or not we

could afford free trade chocolate for the s’mores (we could not), paid off when the event rolled around in January. On the first evening of the camporee, over 70 girls came to the campsite, sleeping bags and mothers in tow. We started off the weekend with wanddecorating and a sorting hat ceremony. Saturday’s workshops consisted of a charms session where girls learned “spells” and crafted charms, a potions session involving more arts and crafts, an herbology-themed hike focusing on the plants and foliage around the campsite and a muggle Quidditch workshop. The fictional nature of our activities based around a saga we all know and love — the Harry Potter series — allowed us to be immersed in the planning, and for participants to get more excited about the activities. At the end of the long weekend, we were met with all-around positive reviews from moms and girls, and encouragement to plan another one for the following year. Through my nine years of Girl Scouts, I’ve learned lifelong values like integrity and life skills ranging from fire safety to leadership, and made strong friendships with the three other girls in my troop. With all I have gained from this, there was no need to scout for another activity.

Photo courtesy Nancy Alegria

Senior Deidre Foley, left, selling Girl Scout cookies with fellow Girl Scouts in 2003.


October 25, 2013

Reporter advocates for the school’s newest tech changes By Jakob Hofso

arena should not be dismissed, we should HE TRANSITION FROM physical to recognize that they are short-term. The development of online arena was online arena was the latest and most visible example of Lowell’s gradual echoed in Lowell’s transition to Synergy, a move towards online systems, which are district-wide system that provides counselors more comprehensive and efficient than their and administrators with students’ records. Just like online arena, Synergy replaced an forerunners. Despite these advantages, the reaction to old system- in this case, Student Information many of these systems has been decidedly System. Synergy also has some bugs that mixed. In part because of this negative should be resolved soon. “We’ve had our reaction, discussion of these systems has problems with adjusting to the new system. been focused on the challenges the systems We’re still working out some kinks,” Lee said. have faced rather than the successes they “I know the system has had its growing pains, have had. Although these systems have faced but I think in time it’ll all work out.” Because Synergy is more comprehensive some initial problems, they provide upgrades than SIS, it has been implemented despite their predecessors cannot hope to match. Online arena is especially helpful for for the bugs. Synergy “encompasses and covers counselors and administrators. According to a lot more information than the old one did,” Lee said. “It’s more elaborate, and probably principal Andrew a little more Ishibashi, the timeinformative in saving system saves some cases. It the administration The new system saves the gives us many “hundreds of more options to hours of work.” administration hundreds input data and In addition to the information incredible increase of hours of work; it should we weren’t able in efficiency, the only increase as online are- to before.” The reduced burden new system will on administrators na becomes more efficient. incorporate allows Lowell to attendance shift resources away records and from scheduling. The introduction of online arena also School Loop to create a more complete allows teachers to hold classes on the vital database for administrators and counselors. Synergy and online arena are only the day before finals. Students also benefit from having a self-scheduling system that more most visible of the latest technological closely resembles those of colleges. “Colleges developments at Lowell, which also include have been doing it this way for ages, and it’s online remedial classes, online locker taken us so long to get to the same point,” registration, and updates to School Loop. The introduction of these systems follows a counselor Tony Lee said. Detractors of online arena have pointed similar pattern: a sudden change improves to the bugs and crashes students suffered the system and adds new features, but bugs through last semester as a reason to abandon make the transition to the new system more the online system. However, these problems difficult. Once these bugs are resolved, the are temporary. “All the problems that showed systems should follow the lead of previous up are because of the stage of development technological developments and become this program is in,” Lowell senior and co- integral parts of life at Lowell. creator of online arena Ofri Harlev said. “All programs start out with bugs and tics.” While the problems students faced in online



Lowell High School

Student points out faults with Lowell’s latest online systems By Gisela Kottmeier

classes is that for many subjects, the majority of the work is multiple choice. Many students didn’t even read most, if any, of their class lessons. “I simply looked at the questions and then either used the ‘find’ feature to search for a word that would lead me to my answer, or I simply searched the question online,” said a student who Online Arena Last semester, I sat in the computer lab chose to remain anonymous. The school anxiously waiting for my turn to register attempted to control this cheating by forcing for classes during arena, the online self- students to come to a computer lab and take scheduling process. After what seemed the online quizzes and test in a room with like hours, our arena time began and the a teacher. But, the teacher did not monitor program started up, only to crash moments our online activity. Many students looked up the answers to the final while sitting in later. Arena was already a tedious task. It the computer lab. Also, at the conclusion of the course, students only added to were able to retake my irritation section reviews when I, along up to ten times with the rest Having homework posted to improve their of the students online is helpful but should grades. Obviously, with 13th Odysseyware pick, had to not replace talking about promotes cheating sit and wait and guessing rather for almost 20 the assignment in class. than learning the minutes for material. I managed the staff to fix to blow off both of the program. When it was finally fixed, some of the class the entire courses until about two weeks periods were different than the announcer before they had to be completed, skim had specified, causing confusion for through the multiple choice questions and students. This forced students to make last- drag-and-drop proofs fast enough to receive minute decisions that were different than one “A” and one “B.” Clearly, you could pass their original plans, defeating the point of this program while learning very little, if anything. the announcer. There are many other problems with School Loop On another note, I did not even need to online arena. For one, changes in course selection cannot be made until the use School Loop my freshman year. Now following semester. There are months many of my teachers no longer even tell between course selection and arena, and us the homework in class. Instead, they in that time many students need to change expect us to check School Loop every night. their course selections, due to poor grades Assuming everybody has online access, or indecisiveness. This used to be a simple which is another issue in itself, what do task — one could simply talk to a counselor you do if you have a question about the at arena, who would write a note on the assignment? You can try to email or message course sheet and the switch would be made your teacher on School Loop and hope they — but the online system has turned this see the message before the following day, into an over-complicated process. Now, we but that’s unreliable. There is no way to must wait until the know how often your teachers check their beginning of the email. Already, in one of my classes, there new semester, was confusion on an assignment causing assuming we are many of us to do the assignment wrong. even able to talk Having homework posted online is helpful to our counselor but should not replace talking about the within the first assignment in class. Plus, School Loop is few hectic days unreliable. Teachers have many problems of school. This with the website, including it crashing and pushes more of the students’ scores being deleted spontaneously, scheduling process off yet administration expects them to use it. to the beginning of Synergy Recently, we switched from the Student the following semester, causing more students to Information System to Synergy. In the stand outside the counselors’ offices attempt to upgrade our system, attendance waiting to change their schedules. So wasn’t posted on School Loop and was not counselors who are already are extremely on the first grading period progress reports busy at the beginning of the school year are sent home. These errors made it harder for teachers to keep track of student citizenship burdened with even more work. grades and prevented parents from seeing Odysseyware Odysseyware is a program offered to their children’s attendance. Overall, the school’s online switches students to retake classes independently and complete labs assignments for their classes. are causing more problems than they are From personal experience, I know that this solving. We are seeing this over and over again through online arena, online courses, program is ineffective for many courses. First of all, there is a reason we have and attendance records. Individually these teachers. Learning from a computer screen are small problems, but together they impact is not nearly as effective as learning from the school negatively. If we are going to move to the web, we at a teacher. In a least need to go classroom you slower and plan can ask questions, Individually these are small out changes in work with your for them peers and get problems, but together they order to be productive. one-on-one help from the teacher, impact the school in a nega- Our generation should not have so any confusion tive way. to be guinea can be cleared pigs for all of up. Given all of these online these benefits, if systems. As we a student still had trouble learning a subject within a semester, can see repeatedly, these changes are having there is no way he or she could successfully a negative effect on the student body as a learn the subject in less time from a whole, and therefore we should reconsider the amount of technology we incorporate computer screen. Another problem with these online into our school.


OMPUTERS AND MACHINES are supposed to make things easier, but Lowell’s recent technological upgrades have shown that rather than helpful, these “advances” are more of a burden.








The Lowell

October 25 , 2013


To help students, bell system should be added



ITH CROWDED HALLWAYS, short passing periods and a large campus, Lowell students are faced with the daily dilemma of whether to be late to their class or to make a mad dash for it. However, when teachers don’t abide by their schedules and let their classes out late, students are guaranteed a stern look, almost definite tardiness and possible punishment in their next class. To avoid this, administrators should implement a bell system that would alert students and teachers at the end of the class period so students won’t be late to their other classes. In a school with over two hundred teachers, it is impossible to synchronize clocks across campus. While some teachers have chosen to abide by satellite time, other teachers simply use the clock in their classrooms, which may be off by a few minutes. Although it is officially illegal under school policy for teachers to grade students based on their attendance, many teachers continue the practice. “I have teachers that detract two percent from my overall grade every time I am late to class,” junior Hana O’Neill said. “It’s not acceptable that the mistakes of other teachers are going unpunished and I have to deal with the consequences.” Participation grades are an integral part of grades at Lowell, however students cannot be active participants in class if they are constantly sneaking into the classroom late. When teachers are so enthusiastically involved in the content they are teaching that they go over their allotted time, they are not helping their students, but compromising them. A bell system would clearly mark the beginning and end of classes, allowing students their full amount of time to get from one side of campus to another. It’s not only students that the addition of a bell system would benefit. “My students constantly walk in late to my classes and reg,” math teacher Ernest Li said. “It’s not only disrespectful to me, but to the other students that their class is distracted by their classmates coming in late.” The constant opening and closing of classroom doors is widely regarded as annoying by all students, and that problem would become obsolete if there was a bell system. A bell system could soon be a reality. “We have the software and equipment necessary to allow a bell system beyond the beginning and end of the day,” assistant principal Margaret Peterson said. “It could easily be incorporated into campus life.” A bell system would not only help to improve our school schedule by synchronizing the start and end times of classes, but it could potentially increase the grades of students by minimizing tardiness and increasing the participation of everyone.

E-cigarettes pose major health risk for teens


HROUGHOUT THE AGES, SMOKING TOBACCO has been seen as not only cool, but also as a rite of passage for young people. Whether it was passing the peace pipe during the summer of love, or watching Fonzie with a pack in his jacket on Happy Days, cigarette smoking and perceived teenage rebellion have gone hand in hand for generations. However, there is a new way to smoke that is getting teens around the country hooked, and wary of the consequences: e-cigarettes. These products, which are currently unregulated with the exception of use limited to those over 18, have the potential to affect the health of students our age, and should be avoided under all circumstances. E-cigarettes, which go by many other names, have taken the nation and it’s teenagers by storm. Instead of inhaling smoke directly from a cigarette, users inhale a vapor that contains nicotine, the substance that causes smokers to become addicted. Even though in theory e-cigarettes should be safer to use than regular cigarettes because of the lack of actual smoke and tobacco, studies so far have been inconclusive, primarily because of the presence of potentially toxic chemicals such as diethlylene glycol within the vaporized nicotine-containing liquid, according to a Sept. 5 article in USA Today. The perceived relative safety when compared to traditional cigarettes has been the reason for the dramatic increase in use among teens. According to a Centers for Disease Control study published on Sept. 6, the number of high school students that have used e-cigarettes more than doubled, jumping from 4.7% in 2011 to 10% last year. More shockingly, the number of middle school students who have tried them has also risen significantly, experiencing an increase of 192% in the last year, according to the CDC study. Students who are using these smokeless nicotine products do not always see the consequences of their actions, and are just as likely to get addicted to them as to cigarettes themselves. No teenager dreams of living their adult life as a cigarette addict, and addiction is a major deterrent to smoking cigarettes. However, the same view is not held for e-cigarettes, which are considered at the moment to be just as dangerous and addictive. In addition, our legislators in California have done little to sufficiently regulate e-cigarettes and stop companies from getting teenagers in our state hooked on their product. For instance, in 2009, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill that would have increased regulation on e-cigarettes. Swarzenegger, stated




Dear Editor, People ask me why don’t I like Lowell. One reason is that I hate the mascot. As an artist, it hurts to be at a school with colors you don’t like and a mascot logo that’s been plagiarized. Think about it like having to wear an ugly uniform to work. Even though P.E. is one of my favorite classes, I hate dressing up for it. Since P.E. is a class where you have to move around a lot, it’s not a good time to wear a white t-shirt because it’ll get dirty. Besides, the shirt has an unnecessary rectangle behind the cardinal and doesn’t have the word ‘Cardinals’ written anywhere on it. Why should people have to pay $15 for an awfully designed shirt? It’s because Lowell’s mascot is a red and white cardinal. Not only do I want to change Lowell’s P.E. outfits, but I also want to change the mascot. Lowell uses the same logo as the Arizona Cardinals. If the mascot is changed, it’ll be a step towards ending plagiarism at this school. The mascot I prefer Lowell to have is a rhino. Over the summer of 2013, I’ve made plenty of designs for Lowell’s potentially new rhino mascot. I also associated some cool colors to go with it. I’m sure a lot of people can agree with my opinion that red, yellow, and grey is better than red and white. However, I’m not saying the rhinos are better than the cardinals. What I will say is that they’re more original. There are only 3 obstacles I’ve thought of that

will prevent this change from happening. 1) THE COLORS ARE SIMILAR TO LINCOLN. Well, De Anza also has red and yellow colors, but they still get to play with high schools in San Francisco. That means they’re included in a community of Bay Area high school sports. If two schools in the same community get to have the same colors, why can’t we all share the same colors? 2) CHANGING THE MASCOT WILL BE TOO EXPENSIVE. True, but the Lowell family can always fundraise. If the Book to Book store sells hoodies that are red and grey instead of burgundy, red, white, and black, I’m sure there’ll be a significant rise in sales. The t-shirts and other merchandise I’ve designed can also contribute to this fundraiser. And if other students want to design a rhino-themed shirt or jacket, we can finally have a mascot that’s ‘made by Lowell students, for Lowell students.’ 3) IT WILL EMOTIONALLY SCAR PEOPLE WHO FEEL VERY CLOSE TO THE CARDINALS. I’m not forcing this change to happen. Instead, I want there to be a poll on School Loop that let’s students, parents, staff, and alumni vote for which mascot Lowell should have. If people really don’t like my rhino designs, they can just vote for the cardinals. - Michael Yap, Reg. 1418

See for full designs

Editors-in-Chief Elijah Alperin • Cooper Logan Deidre Foley • Henry Hammel News Deidre Foley, Cooper Logan Sports Henry Hammel, Ian James, Sam Tick-Raker, Andrew Pearce Features Kai Matsumoto-Hines Columns & Profiles Elena Bernick, KT Kelly Opinion Elazar Chertow, Spencer Thirtyacre Reporters Natalia Arguello Inglis, Elena Bernick, Madelyn Chen, Campbell Gee, Luke Haubenstock, Joseph Kim, Gisela Kottmeier, Whitney C. Lim, Amber Ly, Patricia Nguy, Andrew Pearce, Tyler Perkins, Noreen Shaikh, Pasha Stone, Spencer Thirtyacre, Sam Tick-Raker, Samantha Wilcox, Michelle Wong Art Editor Kimberly Li Illustrators Camilia Kacimi, Christine Van Photo Editor Huimin Zhang Photographers Karina Huft, Zoe Kaiser, Amber Ly, Sally Ma, Cate Stern, Lily Young Multimedia Editors Monica Castro, Luciano Chan Web Content Editor Elijah Alperin

Social Media Managers Pasha Stone, Michelle Wong Business Managers Martin Costa, Carissa Ng, Gabe Schumm

Red Samantha Yu Cardinal Lael Bajet


Published every four weeks by the journalism classes of Lowell High School, Room S108, 1101 Eucalyptus Drive, San Francisco, CA 94132 Phone: (415) 759-2730 Internet:; All contents copyright Lowell High School journalism classes. All rights reserved. The Lowell and The Lowell on the Web strive to inform the public and to use their opinion sections as open forums for debate. All unsigned editorials are the opinions of the staff. The Lowell welcomes comments on school-related issues from students, faculty and community members. Send letters to Letters must be signed. Names will be withheld upon request. We reserve the right to edit letters before publication. 2012 NSPA Print Pacemaker 2011 NSPA All-American 2011 NSPA Online Pacemaker 2009 NSPA First Class Honors

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that “if adults want to purchase and consume during the next legislative session. This clearly shows these products with an understanding of the the power that lobbyists for the industry have. Our associated health risks, they should be able to do representatives in the state legislature should have so”. our best interests at heart, and Proponents for not be so easily swayed by re g u l a t i o n s u ff e re d special interests. another blow this year Although it is a personal E-cigarettes, which go by choice when a bill put forward to use e-cigarettes, users many other names, have are unaware of their dangers. In by State Senator Ellen Corbett was shelved for past, users of conventional taken the nation and it’s the the session just hours cigarettes, smokers had the before it was to be heard knowledge to weigh pros and teenagers by storm. which. The bill, which cons for themselves before would have banned going down a path that may e-cigarette smoking in all places where conventional change their lives. The same should go for using smoking is banned, will have to be put forward e-cigarettes.


Y yo








~ By Natalia Arguello-Inglis

By Elijah Alperin By Luke Haubenstock

Got buns? Leading the rapidly growing Bay Area food truck scene is The Chairman Truck, serving up mouthwatering “baos” (the Chinese word for buns) stuffed with innovative fillings like tender pork belly with pickled daikon radish and spicy chicken with a toasted sesame puree. This food truck has taken the city by a storm, operating at around 25 locations every week with lines as long as 5 dozen people. The Chairman truck caters to all tastes. First, there is a choice of either a soft, steamed, taco-shell shaped bun or a larger baked sandwich bun. Next is a selection of fillings, which includes everything from melt-in-your-mouth pork belly, to lip-burning spicy chicken, to sweet Coca-Cola braised pork. Don’t eat meat? No problem. The Chairman Truck even offers a delectable crispy tofu bun, which can satisfy even the most flesh-craving, bone sucking meat eaters. Loyal patrons of The Chairman Truck also know about its secret menu, much like that of In-N-Out and Jamba Juice. “Order the ‘Porker’ or the ‘Meater’ to see what you get,” selfproclaimed “Chairman” Curi Kim hinted. “And for those who are vegan, we offer a vegan bun.” The Chairman Truck was first introduced to the Bay Area in May 2012. The truck was inspired by “the chef ’s [Curtis Lam] love for baos — baked baos, steamed baos, sticky baos, pan-fried baos — all kinds,” Kim explained. The Chairman Truck constantly changes its schedule, showing up at a different set of locations each week. The truck is a key player in a number of Bay Area food truck events, including Off the Grid, Movable Feast and the San Francisco Street Food Festival. The truck also shows up regularly on the SOMA StrEAT Food Park’s rotating lineup of food trucks. According to Kim, the truck sells about 400 buns per location — around 10,000 every week! To avoid waiting in a long line of gourmet hipsters, check the truck’s schedule on their website ( to see where they will be serving lunch, which is always considerably less crowded. So, take the Great Leap Forward and get yourself some nice, hot buns at the Chairman Truck!

Hankering for an authentic Mexican “street” taco? Well Choosing a vendor at Off the Grid, is always difficult. look no further, because the three El Tonayense food trucks With sights and smells from all corners of the globe, the pla- along Harrison Street in San Francisco are serving hundreds toon of food trucks that sets up shop each Thursday night by of happy customers every day. The colorful orange and black Kezar Gym can be a curse of too many options. But if you trucks are among the many Mexican food truck chains that ever find the wealth of choices daunting, take my advice: try have exploded over the city to satisfy the growing appetite Señor Sisig. among San Franciscans for “street” Mexican food. ParticuThis Filipino fusion truck, founded by Daly City na- larly popular are the satisfyingly spicy tacos. tives Japanese-American Evan Though the trucks’ menus Kidera and Filipino-American include burritos, tortas and queGil Payumo, serves down-tosadillas, their true claim to fame earth Filipino takes on classic are their deliciously authentic The Americanized version canTaqueria fare. The specialty — “street” tacos. The tanot compare to the spicy, juicy Mexican and namesake — of the truck is cos served by the El Tonayense a dish called sisig, (pronounced and savory flavor and flare of an trucks and restaurant are almost “see-sig”) chopped meat mariidentical to those served by authentic Mexican street taco. nated in a blend of spices and street vendors in Mexico. They charbroiled. The traditional Filiconsist solely of a soft and warm pino version uses less desirable corn tortilla, fresh and flavorful cuts from a pig’s head, but the Señor Sisig team uses the more meat, cilantro, onions and one of the two secret salsas, verde palatable pork shoulder, along with offering chicken and tofu and rojo. Only the founders of El Tonayense, the Santana alternatives. The recipe is a Payumo family secret from Pam- family, know the recipe for the two savory salsas. panga in the northern Phillipines, and the staple is featured Though for most Americans the thought of tacos might in numerous ways on the menu in burritos, tacos, rice plates, evoke mouth-watering images of crispy taco shells, rice, resalads and more. fried beans, sour cream and chicken covered in a thick layer At peak hours the line at this popular truck can snake of melted cheese, the Americanized version cannot compare across the Off the Grid courtyard, but once you order, the to the spicy, juicy and savory flavor and flare of an authentic food is out in a flash. During my visit to the truck, I ordered Mexican street taco. a regular pork California sisig burrito and a spicy pork siThough best known for their trucks, the El Tonayense sig taco. Both were outstanding. The burrito, which uses legacy originated in our city first as a restaurant. Accordfrench-fries instead of rice to complement the usual fixings ing to the El Tonayense website (, the of cheese, meat, sour cream and salsa was well packed, and restaurant was established in 1993 when creator Benjamín each bite was filled with a tasty mixture of succulent pork, Santana, wanted to bring the original Mexican food to the crispy fries and flavorful salsa. Make sure to order a drink, United States. The family originally comes from Tonaya, as the inclusion of fries makes for a very starchy meal. The Jalisco Mexico; hence the name of their restaurant. Formerly taco was equally delicious, especially since it was silog-ed, or located on 24th Street, the El Tonayense restaurant was part served with a fried egg for an extra dollar. The yolk was per- of the Mission District for 15 years before moving to their fectly cooked, and oozed out over the meat after the first bite new location in the Bayview District. to mingle with the cilantro cream sauce, mellowing the spicy Next time you are on Harrison Street near 14th, 17th or meat and creating a particularly caloric indulgence. 19th Street and your stomach starts to grumble, think twice So if you’re looking for some unique San Francisco grub about getting that cheesy, bean filled American taco and try at a food truck gathering, give Señor Sisig a try, and remem- out the El Tonayense trucks’ delicious and satisfying tacos! ber; as the slogan on menu board exclaims, “Just silog it!” Chances are you will be hooked too.


By Cooper Logan

Vegetarians are out of luck when they see the towering bull’s skull - symbol of the Boneyard food truck - belittling other trucks that boast “organic” and “vegan” options. The slogan “Meat your destiny,” aptly conveys the singular focus of the Boneyard truck - to serve the greatest possible variety of tender, barbecued, protein-rich animal flesh to the hungry public. The aromas of fried bacon and countless beef dishes saturate the air wherever the truck happens to be parked in SF. The extreme menu makes the adventurous diner feel like a full-fledged member of the YouTube cooking show “Epic Mealtime”: from pancakes topped with pulled pork and maple syrup to the “Fatty Melt” burger served between two grilled cheese sandwiches instead of a bun to the “Cooped Up” shredded chicken topped with bacon and a fried egg: The Boneyard does not disappoint. The Boneyard covers two distinct sides of the taste spectrum; the delicious, gourmet mindset and the instant gratification of pure fatty meat. This balance is certainly present in the Pulled Over pork sandwich topped with a sunny side up egg. The mild coleslaw and bacon aioli perfectly complement the smoky, juicy pulled pork. The new Waygu Beef Sando, served on toasted sourdough, did not fall short of expectations. The grilled steak was juicy and rare, and coupled well with the horseradish aioli and grilled peppers and onions. My selection of barbeque sauce from the wide array available on the side of the truck was a happy accident. I doused the sando in a homemade smokey-sweet hickory mesquite BBQ sauce, and couldn’t resist sopping up the sauce that had dripped onto my plate. Beware: Napkins and toothpicks are a necessity! Follow at BoneyardTruck on Twitter or like on Facebook for updates on the truck’s location.

By Ian James

Juicy ribs, tender tri-tip and creamy cheesecake are only some of the affordable treats at The Rib Whip that appeal to a variety of tastes. A food truck selling traditional southern barbecue, The Rib Whip serves comfort food with a San Francisco twist. The menu classics are the Ribs Tips and Grandma Ruth’s Buttermilk Pie, which was voted the best dessert from a truck by SF Weekly ( If these options are not enough to satisfy your taste buds, they have plenty of specials, such as the pulled pork sandwiches. The succulent pork, made in front of your very eyes, is hard to beat. In addition to a unique menu the Rib Whip also has a unique kitchen. It is the only food truck in San Francisco with an onboard smoker. The smoker is used to make barbeque to order, which gives it an advantage over potential competitors who have to make their barbeque before hand and then reheat it later. The made to order ribs and pork are juicier, and so retain much more of their original flavor. Their maroon food truck spends its time cruising the streets of the Bay Area looking for crowds to feed, like the ones found at the Annual Bluegrass Festival or Cal Berkeley football games. If going on an adventure to track down the Rib Whip does not sound appealing, you can often find it at the Lunchbox, or Off the Grid. The Lunchbox is on Ritch street, between Bryant and Brannan. Off the Grid is a food truck haven close to where Haight Street hits the park. So whether you’re looking for a quick snack or stomach stuffing lunch, skip over the traditional restaurants and spare a thought for a more unique style of dining.

The Lowell October 2013  
The Lowell October 2013