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The matador

friday, MARCH 15, 2019


French classroom bell fails to ring during lockdown BY TIFFANY NGUYGEN

Fr e n c h t e a c h e r S u s a n R o s e ’ s classroom bell did not ring to alert her students of the start of the lockdown on Feb. 22. Three men in ski masks had crashed on Ramona Street after being questioned by the police, prompting the Alhambra and San Gabriel Police Departments to call the school and tell them to lock down the campus and ring the bells as safety precautions. However, the bell in Rose’s class was broken at the time. It was fixed the Monday after the lockdown, which left Rose with some concerns. “It was a little worrying because unless the class is really quiet, we don’t hear the bells outside with the doors closed,” Rose said. “We just had to deal with it.” Only one student, sophomore Fabian Lua, heard the lockdown bell from a different building because he was seated near the door. “I noticed the bell went on longer than usual, so I automatically knew it was a lockdown,” Lua said. “I told the teacher and the class froze.” Since the beginning of December, Rose had filed repair requests to the Business and Activities Office with the


A new emergency bell was installed in room U48 on Feb. 25 after the old bell did not ring during the recent lockdown. The bell is attached to a white metal panel above the classroom whiteboard and is hidden behind a clock.

goal of getting her bell fixed. However, she understands that the delay was inevitable with the complications of employment after the retirement of the former Business and Activities manager. “That was one of the things that she would have been in charge of, [which was] maintenance requests [and] making sure they got to the right people,” Rose said, “but also according to what [the district repairman] indicated, [the repair] wasn’t specifically in reaction to the fact that we did not hear a lockdown bell, but

just that it had been on the list and it was our turn to get something repaired.” Senior John Villanueva, a student who was in Rose’s French class during the lockdown, views the inability of the bell to work as a safety hazard in the wake of a real emergency. Villanueva said that the new bell mechanism will be useful in the future. “I think the new bell will be effective because it’s really helpful, especially if someone outside from school came from the U-building instead of the baseball

field,” Villanueva said. Other students, such as senior Cindy Ho, who was in teacher Stella Lin’s mathematics class, also reported their bell not ringing when the lockdown started. “I felt panicked and anxious because we didn’t know what was going on,” Ho said. The new bell mechanism currently sits on the wall above Rose’s whiteboard in the front of the classroom. Rose said she hopes “this one lasts longer.”

Spring play still planned to run following Posada’s retirement BY KENNY LAM

In light of drama adviser Patrick Posada’s sudden retirement as of March 1 and the subsequent cancellation of this year’s spring play, Drama Club will be organizing their own student-run play during the first week of May. The play will center around high school life, with individual scenes focusing on a specific aspect of high school, all connected by an overall story arc. The play’s script will be completely written and directed by seniors Lily Cabrera, Genesis Landeros, Brandon Lien, and Brandon Tran, with assistance from teachers Cecilia Revilla and Vincent Gabucan. “We wanted to go by the phrase ‘write what you know,’ so we wanted to write about high school [problems] that people go through,” Landeros said. “I feel like ... everyone can relate to [high school]—even adults [since] they went to high school.” The play will incorporate experimental features and attempt to steer away from typical high school experiences, according to Tran. “We want to provide something for the [school] to find interesting and authentic to us, because we want to be different from other high school productions,” Tran said. The idea for a student-run spring play was brought up by Drama Club co-presidents Lily Cabrera and Genesis Landeros after the disappointment regarding the cancellation of this year’s play. Volunteering to run the play, they

spearheaded the production after getting approval from Principal Debbie Stone. “We wanted to give students the opportunity to get in there and do something instead of ending the year with nothing,” Landeros said. Landeros and Cabrera, who have acted in all the school’s play during their four years, were also interested in “stepping back from acting” and using the upcoming play as an opportunity to take a new role in theater. “We’d like to get involved with the more technical side of [plays], especially since all of high school we’ve been acting and now it’s cool to switch the roles,” Landeros said. Although Landeros said she would like the play to be successful, her main goal for running the play is to let others focus on the “fun side of theater” and share why her fellow thespians dedicate so much time to theater. “People just need to see what we do and why we love doing it,” Landeros said. “As long as we make someone happy, I feel like we’ve achieved our goal.” Cabrera also said she wanted new students to join the play and develop their own passion for theater. She hopes that as new thespians participate in drama, they can continue drama’s legacy at SGHS. “We don’t want to leave [drama] with just one or two people,” Cabrera said. “We want to gather everyone as much as we can and bring drama alive again.” Auditions for the play will begin on March 19 and 20 at the Little Theatre and will be open to all students.

The matador


friday, MARCH 15, 2019


briefs Junior Class Council announces Prom 2019 BY DONNA HERNANDEZ

This year’s prom is titled “Happily Ever After” and follows the theme of “Enchanted Fairytale.” The event will be held on Friday, April 26 from 7-11 p.m. at the Wallis Annenberg building. The venue is located on 3737 S. Figueroa Street in Downtown Los Angeles. Dance contracts are in the Business and Activities office and must be turned in to the Student Employee Welfare office by April 12, 3 p.m. Tickets are currently sold at the student bank, with prices starting at $105 with ASB and $115 without ASB if purchased between March 8-22, and $110 with ASB and $120 without ASB if purchased between April 1-23.

Campus celebrates School Breakfast month


(From left to right) Sophomores David Tran, Kelvin Luu, Mandy Hsieh, and Cindy Tran pitch their idea, Reducing Trash (ReTra), for the National Engineering Design Challenge MESA event. Their trash measurement scale promotes waste reduction.

MESA places at preliminaries BY ELSIE WANG

Math Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) Club competed in the MESA Day preliminary competition at California State University, Los Angeles on March 9, winning 32 medals and 22 ribbons. Out of the 61 students who competed, 30 students placed top three in their respective team events: seniors Michael Chen, Jamie Fong, Sam Houn, Andy Ly, and Eileen Ong; juniors Jasmine Chan, Jamie Chau, Dominique Dang, Steven Diep, Jason Gonzalez, Ashley Guan, Allen Lam, Kevin Lam, Jimmy Lao, Travis Lee, Kaitlyn Luu, Myat Lwin, Derick Pan, Vinny Thai, and Elsie Wang; sophomores Kelvin Hoang, Mandy Hsieh, Cory Luong, Kelvin Luu, Brandon Tran, Cindy Tran, and David Tran; and freshmen My Nguyen, Sophia Quach, and Sok Se Rey Sun. With more schools competing compared to previous years, the strong results exceeded president junior Vinny Thai’s expectations. “The MESA [competition] definitely ended

up being a little tougher and stricter,” Thai said, “but I think in comparison, we did just as well or even better [than last year].” MESA Club placed second and third in National Engineering Design. The event required students to come up with a humanbased solution focusing on people and their specific needs using Arduino, an open-source electronics platform. Sophomore Cindy Tran, whose team placed second with Reducing Trash (ReTra), was surprised when they announced her name. “At the beginning, our expectations were pretty low [because] the prototype didn’t work out,” Tran said, “but it began to change as we progressed through the interview and competition because we got the motivation to be better.” Teams also swept in Wright Turn Glider, an event that required students to build a glider that lands closest to the target. MESA Club

placed first in the 9th/10th grade division and occupied the top three spots in the 11th/12th grade division. Freshman Sophia Quach said she feels her hard work paid off in the end. “I was really happy because I worked a lot on [the glider] on my own time, and when I tested it myself, it was really inconsistent,” Quach said. “I didn’t think it was going to work out.” Thai said he hopes to better prepare the club for next year’s competition with a better work ethic, but is pleased with how they performed this year overall. “To be honest, I’m proud of anything [MESA does] as long as I know they’ve tried their best and put in as much effort as they could,” Thai said. “In the end, I think that’s what really pays off.” Teams who placed first in their event will advance to MESA Day regional competition on April 13 at University of California, Riverside.

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Reporters: Lauren Ballesteros, Wendy Chau, Aaron Lu, Vincent Maresca, Jocelyn Montelon, Tiffany Nguygen, Winnefer Wu, Zhou Ye Xin

The Matador is published monthly by the journalism class of San Gabriel High School. 1,600 copies per issue are published at CA WEB PRINT Inc. The Matador is a public forum for student expression and highly encourages responses in reaction to issues discussed in the paper. The opinions expressed are those of the writers, not the faculty or administration. Articles without bylines are the opinion of the staff. Submit comments as a letter to the editor, signed (anonymity is guaranteed if requested), to H-2, or Ms. Kim’s mailbox.

The Grab ‘N Go carts and cafeteria featured new breakfast items from March 4-8, including special yogurt parfaits. On March 19, the carts will feature super sonic smoothies. Those that try them can enter a drawing for a smoothie party for 12 people. A student lunch survey is open for responses until 3 p.m. on April 5 at <https://>. The survey will be used to improve school lunch and service. The Office of Food & Nutrition Services is holding a video contest due April 29. The winner receives $1000 to split with a cafeteria worker of their choice. More information can be found at <>.

Juniors, seniors will take first official CAST BY EILEEN ONG

Juniors and seniors will be taking the first operational administration of the California Science Test (CAST) on April 8-9 and April 10-11 respectively. From this year forward, students will take the CAST alongside the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium in their junior year. “What happened was when [the seniors] took it in 10th grade, it was a pilot,” Assistant Principal of School Counseling Stephanie Hall said. “So it wasn’t the actual CAST test.” Hall is working with the school’s tech specialist to utilize the four computer labs for testing.

THE MATADOR Editors-in-Chief, Print



MESA members pose with their awards and projects after the awards ceremony at California State University, Los Angeles on March 9.

Open House offers workshops, reports BY VIVIAN ZHENG

The school is inviting students and families to attend Open House on March 21 from 5:20 p.m. to 8 p.m. Parents are encouraged to attend an informational presentation on enrollment and expectations of Advanced Placement and honors classes at 5 p.m. in the Matador Arena. Additional workshops are available in the library classroom on topics such as vaping and responsible social media use. Teachers will be available at the Multi-Purpose Room, while counselors and Career and Technical Education advisers will be at the library. Third quarter progress reports can be picked up at the cafeteria.

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The matador

FRIDAY, MARCH 15, 2019

Dedi“kat”ing this to you

Katherine Huang

Dear Bibian,


would like to start off by saying you really test my patience sometimes. As gentle and kind as your disposition leads on, your stubbornness can be overbearing at times, and as a result, you make some questionable decisions. I do wish you would take my advice more frequently so as to minimize regrets, but hey— you do you. Also, you are often too nice and sacrifice your sanity for things (and people) that are not worth it— understand your limits and set your boundaries. One of these days, I hope you will learn to put yourself first and spoil yourself a little more. That said though, it is that same kindness that has given me so much—from offering me the last tater tot, to tolerating my wild ideas, to prioritizing me over your bio homework. There have been so many instances and incidents in which I wonder why you still stick with me, but for having done so and for continuing to do so, I am grateful to you. For responding to all the messages I send at 3 a.m. and for being my biggest fan on Mall World, I can only rely on you to pursue these lessthan-remarkable endeavors with me. Who else would be willing to split a chicken with me in government class, or play eraser dominoes with me when I am falling asleep at a boring presentation? I think we all need someone to be stupid with, and I chose you. Congratulations. In spite of your absent minded nature and short attention span, these qualities are a part of your charm, and they are traits I have grown to embrace. Keep sticking those Ferrero Rocher stickers on random objects and people, keep wearing your leggings with holes, and most importantly, keep being you. I may not be there forever to remind you, but have more faith in yourself: you are cooler than you think. And as cliche as it is, in the nine years I have known you, we have been through a multitude of ups and downs, but here we are, at the final homestretch. Through the celebratory lunch that put us in a food coma and the tears spilled over the losses we have encountered, it has been an enriching experience to ride this rollercoaster with you. We are a package deal: we have always been joined at the hip, so I would be lying if I said I would not miss you when we part ways. This may very well be a farewell letter and as reality goes, we might even drift in the future, but know that these moments we have shared and memories we have curated have secured their spot in my heart. Who knows? Maybe one day we will return to our roots and have one of our last-minute McDonald’s dates or FaceTime each other when playing League. Regardless, for your time, support, consolation—for all that and more, I thank you. Love, Kat



Self-studying for SAT works


arents and students are being deceived. Tempting private SAT prep institutions that guarantee an improved and high SAT score lure in unsuspecting parents who simply want the best for their child’s future or hopeful students who believe SAT prep may actually help them achieve their desired SAT score. The emphasis on the SAT for college admissions has truly blinded students and parents from the truth of these institutions. Because the SAT is an essential determinant in college admissions, students are pressured to take the best educative measures in hopes of gaining admission into their dream college. In actuality, the results solely depend on the student. SAT prep can yield the desirable results it claims to guarantee only if the student is truly motivated to earn them. With self-motivation and determination, a student’s ideal SAT score can be achieved without throwing money down the drain. SAT prep classes may be ideal for students who need the structure of a class if they lack self discipline. However, paying a ridiculous amount of money for simply the structure is not worth it when the school offers SAT prep classes at no cost. It is

ultimately up to students to take advantage of the prep classes and register for them. It has come to the point where parents feel obligated or tempted

to spend hundreds and thousands of dollars for SAT prep with the mindset that if it is costly, it must be effective. The reality of this deception is most private SAT prep institutions only offer extra packets, homework, advice, PSATs, and tutors to reteach old, forgotten concepts. These are ultimately resources that can be found almost anywhere with little to

no cost. For instance, Khan Academy teamed up with College Board to provide practice SAT problems, PSATS, and conceptual videos. Best of all, it is available at no cost. There are many online resources such as Brightstorm that require only access to a computer or laptop —not hundreds of dollars. If not online resources, there are libraries that host free PSATs that simulate the testtaking process of the SAT. There are effective $20 to $40 SAT books that provide example problems, thorough explanations justifying right and wrong answers, and tips on how to tackle the SAT. The amount of money spent for SAT prep is ludicrous when there are so many free and effective resources available for students to aid them in performing their best on the SAT. Every student is capable of achieving their SAT goal without SAT prep institutions. The view that SAT prep can provide benefits that are unattainable from self-studying is a misconception. It is imperative that students and parents are cognizant of what SAT prep institutions truly offer and understand that the money invested in SAT prep can be spent more wisely. ILLUSTRATION BY ECHO DIEU

“Helping” addicts quit cold turkey BY KIMBERLY QUIOCHO

Drug punishment compounds addiction BY LAUREN BALLESTEROS

Suspension or expulsion for drug possession does not stop students from he school uses a system continuing bad habits. According to a of progressive warnings study that appears in Justice Quarterly, and punishments against conducted by researchers at George students who possess Mason University, this punishment certain drugs and violate the California may ultimately encourage students to Education Code §48900. This system engage in secret activity. This makes of sanctions includes warnings, it harder for them to get caught; counseling, and ultimately suspension consequently, the student’s problem or expulsion after multiple violations. with drugs may persist and even spread The terminal punishment for those to others. In this case, the problem with who possess drugs does not solve the drugs becomes more serious and harder underlying issues with drug use, nor to cease. If a student appears to have does it benefit the student’s well-being. ended their drug addiction under the When a drug user’s case results in watch of the school, it does not mean suspension or expulsion, it most likely they have actually stopped. means they have a serious problem This policy against drug users at with drugs; punishing students this way school can send them down the wrong in an attempt to control their habitual path that may lead to more drugs or violations of the education code will other illegal activity. Suspending or not stop these issues. Students need expelling students for possession of consistent support, not punishment. illegal substances may ruin their future To truly help students, the problem opportunities. This harsh punishment needs to be cut off at its roots—they could leave them with an urge to need emotional backing to stop their engage in further criminal activity. It is addiction. better to be patient with individuals and


stop their addiction before it worsens. Though the school offers counseling programs, such as Gateway to Success, which helps students connect to agencies to support their issues, the ultimate punishment is still suspension or expulsion. If a student has to be punished this way, their problem will continue to reside after going through the progressive system of warnings and lighter punishments. The student should continue to receive help with their issues until they are solved. Therapy or counseling for drug addiction would most likely increase the likelihood of a drug-free campus. If the school wants to promote a drug-free campus, it should do more to make sure that students’ problems with drugs are solved when they arise. Help should be offered to ensure the student has truly stopped their use of drugs before enforcing harsh punishments. The school should attempt to end students’ urge to use drugs in order to create a lasting drug-free image and support students.


The matador


FRIDAY, MARCH 15, 2019

Letters from a student athlete BY LU JUNE LIN


ear Administration: There have been a lot of changes regarding service clubs, sports teams, and academic clubs -- even school spirit continues to decrease as time goes by. Many students who were once dedicated to sports are now quitting the teams. Why would a student who has been on the same team since they entered high school quit in their final year? One potential reason is the revolving door of coaches here. Coaches are not getting paid as much as what they deserve. Coaches make half of what the Speech and Debate adviser, band director, Associated Student Body adviser, and Academic Decathlon adviser make. These advisers all make around $6289 per season which is double what some coaches get. Coaches contribute just as much time, commitment, and efforts as these advisers. As such, they should at least have equal earnings. They deserve it because they spend all year training us. Even within the coaching community, football coaches get paid more than any other coaches. Why the difference in pay? The low pay coaches

Sur”viv”ing together

earn despite investing so much of their time can also be a factor on why there is a shortage of coaches. Some coaches are getting better offerings at different school. Another reason that students quit is the absence of the coach who they have already made a bond with. The constant changes of coaches in some teams do not

also compare the coaches and complain about the differences. ear Coaches: You are also held responsible for why teams are falling apart. The idea of being more strict or threatening us with bad grades does not mean that the team will get better. Being on a team means that we enjoy doing what we are doing, so we should not feel threatened for not being able to perform well. It should not be like a job where we clock in and out for practice. Not only do coaches need the right attitude to be successful for themselves, they also need to provide the motivation that their athletes need to strive throughout the season. Yelling is necessary in some cases but there is always a limit to it. Rather than wanting the students to perform at a level that meets your expectations, be more open-minded and understand that not everyone is the same. Do not expect us to prioritize the team over everything. We also have family and school to put our time into. It is not about winning the games. Do not set high expectations or compare us to the years before us. Putting pressure on us by comparing with the previous year makes us doubt our skills.

allow the team to develop meaningful coach-athlete relationships. There are barriers between the students who were in the team before the new coach, and the new students who just joined. For example, after the announcement of Coach Kwon not being rehired, most of the students on the volleyball team quit. Students would

Downside of removing French curriculum


he school administration recently decided to eliminate French classes due to its declining enrollment. However, removing one of the three foreign language courses offered at school ultimately obstructs linguistic diversity and limits students’ options. In order to satisfy the A-G requirements for CSU or UC college applications, students have to pass a minimum of two years of a foreign language class in high school. Removing French classes will limit students to only two choices—Mandarin and Spanish. Because passing foreign language classes is necessary to graduate, it would be in the best interest of students to have as many options available in terms of foreign language courses. Students with a larger pool of foreign languages to choose from have a higher chance of finding a language that they would be more interested in, and therefore, perform better in. Removing French classes can also

cause disappointment among the future students who are specifically interested in learning French. Not to mention, for the students who are already proficient in speaking Mandarin and Spanish, they will not have the option of learning another language at school.

With the elimination of French classes, it is likely that the French Club at school, which is advised by French teacher Sue Rose, will also be discontinued. For a school where Asian Americans and Latinos form a significant percent of the population, it is important to have as much exposure to other cultures as possible. French Club,

which is not exclusive to only students taking French, delves into French cuisine, history, culture, and art. If French Club were to end, it would reduce an opportunity to learn more about cultures outside of the ones represented in the school demographic. While some may argue that French is generally not as prevalent or useful of a language as Mandarin and Spanish in the community, French is known to be the international language of diplomacy. French is one of the two languages spoken on the five major continents and it is also the official language of the United Nations, the International Red Cross, and the International Olympic Committee. With that being said, French is a widespread language that is worth learning. Though the school will lose money from the declining enrollment if French classes continue, French classes are worth the money lost. Offering French classes help to promote the acceptance of diverse identities, and the class also contributes towards A-G requirements. Overall, French is a course that deserves to stay. ILLUSTRATION BY TIFFANY NGUYGEN

The Matador Bullring

How should the school deal with students who suffer from drug addiction?

“ “

The school should [encourage] those students a little more to use the resources the school already has [like] therapists and counselors.” -Samantha Phung, 9th grade


Schools should offer more therapy groups like peer counseling that will give you information about what you’re doing to yourself and the harms it comes with.” -Diego Morales, 10th grade

“ “

Vivian Zheng





The school should first figure out the reason why they started [taking drugs] and support the students instead of scaring them [with] sending the police.”

They should communicate more to the person and help them learn through counseling and speaking to and hearing other people [who are in a similar situation.]” Lauren Campbell, 12th grade

-Kevin Nguyen, 11th grade



Dear Kat,

think we have long established that you’ll never admit that my name is anything else other than Bibian and that the only way for me to reach your height would be with seven inches of heels. Yet, we have never officially concluded my exact role in your life: am I your grandmother, sister from another mother, or buddy? Although I don’t exactly recall when you started regarding me as your “grandmother,” it probably began with my nagging. As much as the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos can fuel contentment, please take a break when you’re already alerted with a sore throat, or when you’re “yeet hay.” And I think we can reach unanimous consent when it comes to bestowing you the title of “Clumsiest Person of the Decade.” The Bruise family just never ceased to exist in our conversations—whether it was Mommy Bruise, Baby Bruise, Distant Relative Bruise, you name it. Honestly, I could sense that these concerns will continue. I recall that one time at Target when I was mistaken for your younger sister; we couldn’t stop smiling the entire way back home. I guess it was the bright Gap sweatshirt paired with light washed jeans that made me look more youthful, but I also know that you think otherwise. From deciphering the other’s wild text message typos to splitting an egg, we once had the notion that we understood each other better than ourselves. Still, I cannot promise where the changes in the future will take us. If I could choose a memory to keep, I wouldn’t be able to decide between our bickerings on the smallest things or the dreadful moments when we had to strategically avoided getting splashed on the way home on rainy days: I couldn’t have screamed or laughed any louder. And by embracing all these joys and worries, I am your proud grandmother, sister from another mother, and buddy. I can’t be any more grateful for all that I can be for you. Through the tears and laughter, we are almost there at the end of the fouryear marathon that we said we’d finish together, though I cannot imagine the scene of our final goodbyes. Thank you for using up all of your brain cells to discuss hypotheticals with me at 1 a.m., for tolerating me when I attempted to hand model for the 48 Ferrero Rocher stickers, for tracking the location of my Lyft rides, and above all, for looking after me when I didn’t want to walk another mile home and when my wifi broke down on the week of my bio exam. Before we go our separate ways, I would like to fulfill one of the many plans that we’ve made in the past nine years but never accomplished: instead of going to prom or grad night, would you like to go out to eat jajangmyeon and kimchi fried rice with me? Love, Bibian


The matador





Curios BY IVY HO

National Drug Helpline available 24/7 1-888-633-3239

Have you ever been pressured to do drugs?


California Drug Addiction Helpline available 24/7 855-980-1946


14.8% yes 237 students surveyed

Have you seen another student do drugs on campus?


Gateway to Success available on weekdays, 8-4 PM 626-943-3410


31% no

242 students surveyed

Are you aware of the health consequences of taking drugs?

88% yes 12% no

DISCLAIMER: These articles do not and cannot constitute medical advice. Please seek a doctor or medical professional for guidance and treatment.


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The matador

FRIDAY, MARCH 15, 2019



The impact and consequences of what you put in your body.

Dangers of over-thecounter drugs BY KIMBERLY QUIOCHO Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are medicine sold at regular drug stores without prescriptions from a healthcare professional. They are usually safe if taken at the recommended doses, but unprescribed medication, like any other drug, can be abused when used for personal pleasure as opposed to its intended use. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, some commonly abused medications include: cough medicines (Dextromethorphan), anti-diarrheal medicines (Loperamide), cold medicines (Pseudoephedrine), and motion

sity leads to experimentation

part of teen development desire to engage in the hat often begins as a casual ith drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, for some adolescents can me an unhealthy habit or addiction. ge of life, risk factors, r pressure, lack of parental nd substance availability, en one is constantly being ks, they can become more addiction, according to the tute on Drug Abuse. was just a curious thought dward* developed into a ck after he turned to smoking echanism for abandonment. in an environment where ere pretty much all around urious to try it out for ard said. “I always saw it as ut as my parents neglected to grow up on my own, I he stress was too much for by myself. So I thought, would do something for me.’” e was surrounded by people aped, and did drugs for fun wanted to try these things for hen developed an addiction rettes, and alcohol. ter eased off of them and ng as a way to combat his mporarily disregarding the th risks that also come with ed by fruity and candy-like gan vaping more regularly t is not as bad as drinking, oing drugs. a plan on stopping,” “I’m currently working on

stopping because I know it’s going to be harder to quit later on.” After getting hooked from experimentation and fighting a long battle with addiction, Edward is now starting to take the risks into more consideration. He still vapes to relieve stress sometimes; however, he is no longer addicted to any substance and wants to eventually quit vaping as well. Most of the time, student Dan* does drugs for fun. He regularly uses substances with friends for enjoyment. “It’s just that everyone has a fun time and it’s a phenomenal feeling,” Dan said. “I do know other people who do that and they say it’s fun, too.” He said that “as long as no one gets addicted, everything should be cool.” For Dan, peer pressure is not a concern because “no one forces anyone to do it.” “When it comes to my friends and I, we determine who’s addicted by seeing who wants to use substances every single time we hang out,” Dan said. “Then it becomes pretty obvious who is and we’ll tell them to stop. At this age, we should know well enough how to determine if we’re addicted. We should know our own limits.” He is aware of the negative consequences, both short and long term. “I’ve done my research,” Dan said. “But in the end it’s still my decision to make, and I still choose to do these things.” Despite the known risks, teenagers still indulge in drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and e-cigarettes for their own reasons, but once they fully understand the signs and symptoms of addiction, they can learn to resist them.

*Names changed to protect privacy.

Possible health risks of electronic cigarettes BY WALLY LAN Electronic cigarettes, commonly known as vaping devices, are sold to California citizens age 21 and over. Within one year, the number of American high school seniors who have reported to vaping has increased from 27.8 percent to 37.3 percent. In 2015, the Public Health England stated that while electronic cigarettes are 95 percent less dangerous than tobacco, they still pose health risks. The Spanish Council of Scientific Research is measuring the volatile organic compounds (VOC) found in electronic cigarettes. VOCs cause eye, nose and throat irritation, frequent headaches, nausea, and damage to the liver, kidney, and central nervous system. Many users of electronic cigarettes are smokers attempting to quit tobacco, as the ingredients in electronic cigarettes are safer than a normal cigarette. Normal cigarettes contain nicotine and VOCs s uch as benzene and toluene. In the transition to electronic cigarettes, smokers have added nicotine in their devices to emulate the addictive effects of tobacco. Although nicotine is an addictive stimulant, the Cancer Research UK shows that the concentrations and quantities in e-liquid are safer and offer a substantial health risk reduction compared to cigarettes. However, for a non-smoker, electronic cigarettes, with or without nicotine, would expose them to carbon monoxide, nitrosamines, tars, and fine particles of smoked tobacco, which would put their health at risk despite there being a small amount of those substances.

sickness medicines. Although less potent than prescribed medicine, OTC drugs still pose a risk of developing an addiction for users who over-consume them. Abusing them through overconsumption can lead to health issues including memory loss, kidney failure, heart problems, and even death. Contrary to their intended use, OTC drugs are often used to selfmedicate for mental illnesses like anxiety and depression. While aiming to experience euphoria through these drugs, users can become addicted and face several consequences, risking the chance of overdosing and death. GRAPHIC BY KIMBERLY QUIOCHO

Help for addiction BY WENDY CHAU There are a variety of resources to rely on when it comes to seeking assistance for drug addiction. According to the American Psychiatric Association, drug addiction is defined as a brain disease manifested by uncontrollable substance use despite health risks. One method to address the problem is drug rehabilitation, where facilities provide support for those dependent on drugs. Drug rehab facilities offer group therapies and individual counseling sessions. In addition, patients in drug rehab facilities are taught how to combat triggers, act in situations that may prompt drug abuse, and change their habits associated to drug abuse. Partial hospitalization is another plan where patients receive medical monitoring for seven to eight hours at a treatment center and then return home. Gateway To Success, a district program, offers counseling services for students struggling with drug addiction. The program provides therapists or other health and wellness resources to help students work through factors interfering with their academic or personal life. To receive counseling, a Gateway referral must be filled out. More information can be found at <www.>. Another drug treatment program— outpatient treatment—typically works around patients’ schedules. Its main focus is to prevent relapse. Furthermore, for those who fear relapse, there are soberliving communities for patients to recover in a supportive environment. The website, HelpGuide, recommends looking for drug treatment programs that offer detoxification, behavioral counseling, medication, and longterm follow-up. It is also suggested to seek help from recovery support groups, family, friends, or a sober social network.


FRIDAY, MARCH 15, 2019

The matador

LIfe and art

Gabucan finds joy in performance BY TIFFANY NGUYGEN

Before Vincent Gabucan’s full-time job at San Gabriel, his typical day included going to auditions for television commercials, rushing to an acting class, creative writing for a few hours, and then working out at the gym. The next day will be a long teaching work day, followed by a comedy show performance. Then, repeat. Balancing acting, writing, and comedic improvisation for the past 14 years, special education teacher Vincent Gabucan draws inspiration for his creative work from his teaching experiences. Although managing his teaching and entertainment careers is a challenge, Gabucan finds joy in both. “I have written a TV series based on my teaching experiences,” Gabucan said. “I have done stand-up comedy before, and a lot of my material had to do with teaching. All those bits were very funny because they were truthful.” He aspired to work in the entertainment industry since he was a child. However, he found that just focusing on his entertainment career was not going to offer him enough financial stability to stay afloat. “To make a living, I would be a s u b s t i t u t e t e a c h e r, ” G a b u c a n s a i d . “Whenever I had time to go out for auditions, I did it, and when I had time to write, I did it. It’s a schedule that’s very open-ended, but you need to be pretty productive to get really good at acting, writing, and comedy to make a living.” Since he was young, he wanted to represent his culture and heritage in an industry which lacks Asian-American representation. He always had a strong


Special education teacher Vincent Gabucan (front, middle) kneels on the floor in a 2012 play at the Rosenthal Theater where he stars as the protagonist, Pan Ku, a mythical Chinese railroad worker. passion for telling stories and uses the arts as his platform to share his ideas and experiences. “I think being an Asian American fuels my passion, because you understand that there’s not a lot of representation out there, though now it’s a little bit better,” Gabucan said. “But ten years ago, there were not a lot of Asian Americans that you would see on television.” Despite the schedule differences in teaching and working in the entertainment industry, Gabucan sees a strong similarity between the two fields.

“You have to be able to connect with your audience, meaning the students,” Gabucan said. “You have to anticipate how they feel, and you have to be able to communicate what you want to them. When performing or acting, you want to also communicate the story to an audience and convey the emotions that you’re trying to make them feel.” Comedic improvisation is his strongest skill, but Gabucan said that he can still improve at his craft. “To get better, I need to keep doing it every day,” Gabucan said. “It’s like a

muscle. You have to keep exercising it.” Currently, Gabucan performs at comedy shows four to five days a week and will advise the upcoming student-run spring play. “I think I have different sides to my personality: one is a teacher, and the other is a creative person,” Gabucan said. “I would encourage kids who are like me to do the same thing. If they have different facets or different sides to themselves, embrace that and accept who they are, because we are complex individuals.”

The matador


Friday, MARCH 15, 2019


2018-19 Spring Sports Scoreboard BADMINTON



(L) 0 - 4


(T) 0 - 0


(W) 16-5





Captain senior Heaven Khem sprawls on the dry dirt ground and swiftly slides to first base after she successfully bats a ball. The Sacred Heart catcher’s softball mitt was inches away from tapping Khem’s shoulder when her hands reached the edge of the base.

(L) 0 - 4

2-20 VS LA PUENTE (T) 0 - 0 2-22 VS GABRIELINO (L) 1 - 9


(L) 6-11

3-4 @ EL MONTE

(L) 2-16

SWIM VARSIT Y 2-28 @ ALHAMBRA (L) 53-99 3-7 VS GABRIELINO (L) 38-130



The Matador varsity girls softball team put up a fight in their tug of war of points against Sacred Heart High School during their home game on Feb. 28, resulting in a loss with a score of 6-11. The first inning was slow for the girls who were struggling to get three outs and play on offense. Once the team was able to play offense in the second inning, captain senior Anrichelle Alegre gave the team and the audience an extra boost of adrenaline as she batted a ball that soared straight past the Comets, only to be stopped by the fencing around the field. Stunned, the audience showed a frustrated expression at what could have been a homerun. “[Getting that hit] felt really good, because I’ve never been that close.” Alegre said. “It hit the net, so it was

almost out, so it felt really cool.” After the powerful hit, the Matadors steadily racked up points against the Comets. However, they were not able to accumulate enough for victory, and their second preseason game ended after six innings. Captain senior Heaven Khem was proud of Alegre’s energizing near-homerun, giving her a pat on the back. “Oh my god, when Anricelle almost hit that home run—that was a good hit,” Khem said. “It was our first home game, and the fact that she did that, that’s going to be memorable.” H e a d C o a c h B e t t i n a S au c e d o w a s o v e r j o y e d w i t h t h e Ma t a d o r s ’ achievements despite their lack of experience playing together. “[The Matadors] were able to make the outs,” Bettina said. “They were able to get the hits in as well. Offensively,

we got seven hits.” The Matadors had less than a month of practice, which was shorter than usual due to the change of their coach. Despite the shortage in time, the team did their best to prepare themselves for the upcoming season. However, Khem and Alegre say that their team still needs to work on their communication. “For the next game, I believe [the team needs to work on] fundamentals like ground balls,” Alegre said. “Just communication as well. I feel like communication is really important when it comes to working as a team. Not just with softball, but any other sport.” Af t e r t h e i r h o m e ga m e a ga i n s t Montebello on March 12 which kickstarted their season, their last home game was held against Alhambra on March 14.

Track and Field dashes ahead of Montebello Oilers BY SALLY PHAM

3-7 @ MONTEBELLO (B) (L) 44-83 3-7 @ MONTEBELLO (G) (W) 67-60 FROSH 3-7 @ MONTEBELLO (B) (W) 80-28 3-7 @ MONTEBELLO (G) (L) 42-66


(L) 0-3


(W) 3- 0


(L) 2-3


(W) 3- 1

3-8 VS BISHOP AMAT (W) 3- 1 3-12 VS SCHURR

Softball pumps it up against Sacred Heart

(W) 3- 1

After three months of relentless practice, the Matadors jumped into their first league meet of the season on March 7 against the Montebello Oilers. The Matadors gained a victory in varsity girls with a score of 67-60, but were defeated in varsity boys with a score of 44-83. “Our preseason race [in Arcadia High School] showed us what we needed to improve as a team,” sprints captain junior Tammy Dam said. “Since then, we have been strengthening ourselves with speed and endurance conditioning in preparation for our first meet.” The Matadors were at a disadvantage, because they had only one preseason invitational compared to last year when the team had three preseason races. Despite the circumstances, the team was not discouraged from their loss in varsity boys. “Although our team is less experienced, we were able to utilize what we have been doing in practice into a real race,” jumps captain sophomore Dexter Thai said. The Matadors arrived at Montebello High School to participate in a series of events including sprints, distance, hurdles, jumps, and throws. The Matadors’ placement fluctuated in the sprint and distance events, but they were able to gain points from the


(Left to right) Senior Kenny Lam, sophomore Vincent Chu, and senior Kurtis Wang sprint the final 100 meter straightaway, securing top three places in the 200 meter race against the Montebello Oilers. varsity girls 4x400 relay. “Our 4x400 varsity girls team originally wasn’t going to happen due to a shortage of members, but we were able to get a last minute substitution,” Dam said. “Since our opponents were taller and more experienced than us, I was doubtful of whether we would be able to beat them or not, but surprisingly we pulled through with a 100 meter lead and won.” T h e Ma t a d o r s a l s o m a n a g e d t o sweep some top three places for jumps and varsity girls hurdles. “Montebello didn’t have a coach for jumps or hurdles so there were very few

people in those respective events,” Thai said. “Even though our jumpers were inexperienced, I’m proud of them for getting their first mark and placing.” Although the Matadors have less experience in competitive racing, their first league meet demonstrated that the team is not far behind their opponents. “I believe that this meet should be enough to motivate us to train harder for the rest of the season,” Thai said. The second league meet was held at Alhambra High School against the Moors on March 14. The next league meet will be a home meet against Schurr High School on March 21.


Friday, March 15, 2019

The matador

sports Baseball opens season against Bell Gardens BY JOCELYN MONTELON


Senior outside hitter Ryan Tien (22) soars through the air in a mid-way split, tipping the ball onto San Marino as senior middle hitter Humberto Rivera (1) and senior libero Jerry Tran (10) cover Tien.

Varsity boys volleyball check San Marino off hit list BY AMANDA LERMA

Varsity boys volleyball triumphed in a dramatic home game against the San Marino Titans on March 7, exciting the audience with a 3-1 win. SG took the lead in the first set with their hits bouncing off San Marinos’ arms as the Titans ran desperately to save shanked balls. However, it did not take long before the Titans began to dominate, leaving SG desperate to regain their lead. Points spread out, and no team managed to gain a significant amount in a row as the ball hit the floor on both sides of the court. Eventually San Marino pulled ahead and wrapped up the first set quickly, managing a 25-19 success. Having suffered defeat in the first set, the Matadors fought for victory in the second. A Titan ascended into the air, arm raised over the net and smacked the ball down with a loud snap, but senior Jerry Tran rushed to save the play and passed it safely to the setter. With high sets placed perfectly for hitting, senior Sammy Nguyen jumped up, found an empty space to hit the ball, and left the Titans sprawled out on the floor. Afterwards, the ball flew back and forth, with neither team willing to lose the second set. In a triumphant end, middle blocker senior Humberto Rivera leaped into the air and struck the ball, bouncing off a Titan’s face and effectively earning the game point, causing SG to beat San Marino in the second set 25-17. “After the first set we had a talk,” outside hitter senior Patrick Ma said. “We decided to pick up passes and that all we had to do was play defense before we could do anything else.” Once again dominating the beginning of a set, the Matadors won five points, an

encouraging start for the third set. At this time, both teams had won a set and needed two more sets to win the game. The Titans refused to back down, blocking hits and developing rallies that had SG scrambling for the ball. Each play challenged the teams as hitters faced off at the net. In one instance, Nguyen meant to tip the ball softly into the court where no players resided, but ended up facing off against a Titan who was determined to block the ball. The ball hung in the air between the players’ hands before slipping past San Marino and rolling to the floor. Even closer in points than the last set, SG defeated San Marino 25-21. “The most memorable moments were when we would score, when we all do our jobs and communicate,” Rivera said. “I loved the environment; everyone was hyped for the game.” The Matadors needed to win one more set—the Titans, two. The score went back and forth, with neither team managing to pull far ahead. Nearing the end of the set, the Matadors scored four points consecutively, giving them a two point lead. On their last point SG served the ball, and it went sailing over the net. Quickly received by San Marino, the ball soared high into the air and was hit down against the Matadors, who rushed to save the ball. Finally delivered to front row, Ma leaped into the air and smacked the ball, which hit the floor with a loud bang, leading SG to a 25-22 victory. “The rallies were very intense,” Rivera said. “San Marino was a very good game, and it wasn’t an easy win. It was constantly back to back.” The Matadors conquered the Titans 3-1,, and the team expects to win every league game while earning their chance for CIF.

The Matadors won their first varsity boys baseball game against the Bell Gardens Lancers on March 5 with a final score of 8-6. The first couple of innings were intense as sophomore Leonel Cordova struck a fast ball and had to walk to first base. As Cordova secured a spot, senior Angel Licea moved up to second base, and both awaited for senior Abel Sotelo to drive them in to home base. “Abel was up next, and Abel is a good hitter so I [knew] we were good,“ Licea said. “I didn’t feel as nervous anymore, because I knew he was going to bring Leo and I in [to home plate].” As soon as Sotelo hit a double, Licea and Cordova were able to make it home and score a run. With the spirit of the game rising, the Matadors started to get more involved in the game and later scored more runs. As the team enters the upcoming season, they hope the preparation and practice they have done will change the previous record of the baseball teams. “The team and I [have] been working hard from the start [of the season] just so we could start winning some games,” Cordova said. “We went into the game like we knew we were going to win.” The Matadors managed to recuperate from the three runs the Lancers were up by in the first couple of innings. “Being down 2-5, due to minor errors, eventually result[ed] with a win,” senior Nathan Gazcon said. “The game itself was memorable. After adjustments [we finally finished] with a final score of [8-6] overall.”


The matador

friday, march 15, 2019


From Parra to Vasquez BY WALLY LAN

In 2014, English teacher Virginia Parra’s best friend insisted that she try online dating. After her best friend passed away, Parra felt as if she owed it to her to try online dating, so she signed up on a site. “A few months later, I met my husband online,” Parra said. “Turns out we lived near each other, and his family had attended San Gabriel High School. We went out on about six dates before he asked me to be his girlfriend. Three years later he proposed, and on January 19, we married.” Due to their contrasting personalities— Parra being an introvert and Vasquez being an extrovert—their relationship helped Parra become more compatible with differing personality types. “Our relationship has helped me grow, especially by being with someone who balances me out,” Parra said. “Being together has taught me so much about

myself, but it’s also challenged me to step out of my comfort zone.” During their three years of dating, Parra and Vasquez often discussed the idea of marriage. “We both share the same values which made it easier to talk about marriage and our future,” Parra said. “We bought a house together about a year ago.” Although Parra did not enjoy the planning aspect of the wedding and all the details involved, “everything exceeded her dreams.” “We were surrounded by our families... close friends, [alumni, and students], all 190 of them, at the Los Angeles Athletic Club in Downtown Los Angeles,” Parra said. “The wedding was so much fun.” Parra said that her married life is treating her well, and she is now being referred to as Mrs. Vasquez. “We are excited for this new chapter in our lives and hope to travel and enjoy each other’s company,” Parra said.


English teacher Virginia Parra and her husband Sergio Vasquez gaze lovingly at each other on their wedding day at the Los Angeles Athletic Club in Los Angeles on Jan. 19.

Love, loss, happiness: the story of Maria Avila


Although her grandkids are now teenagers, Maria Avila still remembers taking them to the park when they were little. “I love them,” Avila said. BY EILEEN ONG

To many, Maria Avila is the smiling cafeteria lady who stands by the breakfast carts and helps students punch in their

ID numbers. Behind the initial image is a woman who has pushed through loss after loss and eventually found her happiness. Born in Michoacan, Mexico, Avila immigrated to the United States when she was 13 years old. “I got married when I was 17 and a half,” Avila said. “And I moved to Germany [for two years]. My oldest son was born over there because my husband was in the [military] service.” Avila had four sons. Unfortunately, two of her children passed away. “The first one—he was four-and-a-half months old when he died,” Avila said. “They said it was crib death, died while he was sleeping. And then my oldest one, he was 33 years old. He had a heart attack.” After 33 years of marriage, she and her husband divorced. She later got into a relationship and moved up north. “[That relationship] didn’t work out so I came back,” Avila said, “and I was coming here to take care of my sister too because she had cancer.” Her sister passed away two years ago after battling cancer for 10 years. Avila

remembers her sister as an “awesome” and “very strong lady.” “My sister was suffering so much that it came to the point that I was praying to God to take her,” Avila said. “Even though I was going to suffer so much not seeing her, I love her so much that I don’t want to see her suffering.” She said it has been difficult still living in the same place where her sister used to live. For Avila, losing her older sister felt like losing a second mother. “In two years, I lost two sisters,” Avila said. “I lost my parents, and I lost two kids. To me, those are the hardest pains you can get.” Despite the losses she has been through, Avila has been trying to make the best of everything. “We need to be strong too, because I could have just let myself go and be sad and probably die after her,” Avila said, “but I have my kids and my grandkids, and I want to enjoy them. I want to stay strong.” Avila has been working at San Gabriel since 2007 but left for three years before coming back last year. She has found an

additional family with her co-workers. “Whenever they send new managers here, they always say this school has the best group of people because I don’t know how, but we get everything done,” Avila said. “It’s because we all help each other.” Seeing the students every day, she said they remind her of her own kids. “This is like my best time of my life,” Avila said. “I love working with the kids. Seeing them every morning [makes] me full of joy. I love kids. I love what I do.” Avila typically works the morning shift and leaves for her secondary job cleaning beauty salons and houses every other Monday. With a lot of free time on her hands, she wants to help others. “I’ve been thinking about doing charity, like going to a senior center or something and help people,” Avila said. “I’ve been thinking about doing that, because there’s a lot of people that have no one, and I have all this free time so might as well do something.” Avila said she tries to live her life as much as she can, doing what she loves. She believes that “when you’re happy, you have everything.”

Castillo provides support for veterans after son’s death BY TIFFANY NGUYGEN

Tears start to form in district truck driver Ray Castillo’s eyes and his voice shakes as he remembers his son. His son, Randy Castillo, was a corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his service in Afghanistan, a bomb explosion left him with brain damage and memory loss. Once the war ended, the young corporal developed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The U.S. government was 40 days late in providing him medication.

At the age of 25, he committed suicide in Phoenix, Arizona. “I was in shock,” Castillo said. “I couldn’t believe it was really happening. I would say I was stunned for about a good two years.” Castillo has many fond memories of his son. One that stood out in particular occurred after the bomb explosion. “The last time I saw him, we went fishing at Catalina Island, and we spent the day out there just talking about different things,” Castillo said. “I was

trying to bring back some memories, but he had no memory [of the past] anymore.” His son had many hobbies and interests as a child and adolescent, such as sports. Castillo describes him as a “great kid.” “He was real positive [and] really friendly,” Castillo said. “He had friends [from] all walks of life. He played ice hockey for Disney Ice [and] played baseball, and most of that kind of stuff when his mom passed away when he was 12 years old.” Though Castillo grieves his son’s passing every day, he also uses it as motivation to help others who are facing similar experiences. He is a proud member of Valor USA, an organization providing assistance and resources to suicidal veterans. Castillo also works with veteran hunters to give support to brain-damaged veterans. “We go downtown and search [for] the younger [veterans], like my son, [who] are brain-damaged and we kind of guide them, because they can’t live for themselves,” Castillo said. “It’s not that they [just] go fight for our country—they get brain damaged and they [have] to [fight] a whole different battle when they come back.”


Randy Castillo, district truck driver Ray Castillo’s son, smiles in Afghanistan during his military service for the U.S. Marine Corps. By assisting others, Castillo is able to direct his grieving in a positive path, taking inspiration from his son who would have helped “everybody and anybody.”


The matador

friday, MARCH 15, 2019



e t h g li n e e p o r u E , Trips to Asia BY ZHOU YE XIN

dropped as she Junior Lily Ta’s jaw e of gold and ad m gazed at buildings above in Vatican marble towering mes and endless City. The colossal do rows of columns arches supported by y in comparison. made her seem tin bl en de d in wi th Li fe lik e sta tu es r, and scattered tourists around he tural light that na ed m windows welco ricate interior. illuminated the int nu al fa m ily Ta go es on an by he r au nt s d ne an va ca tio ns pl tries around the and uncles to coun her trips have y, globe. Unknowingl w. vie rld wo r illuminated he ign places re fo e os th all g “Visitin y culture er ev w made me realize ho w we live ho to d re pa m is different co id. in America,” Ta sa toured Europe Ta and her family

ch as Italy, Vatican to visit countries su It was her visit to City, and France. at fascinated her. th ty the Vatican Ci ued by the ability Her interest was piq st to build grand of those in the pa without modern architecture even technology. ere, I thought, “[When] I was th old,’” Ta said. “I was ‘Woah, this is really w everything was really amazed by ho e it was marble, constructed, becaus in the buildings.” gold, [and] all that vacation to Her recent family Thailand in k ko Phuket and Bang ened her op o als k ea br during winter po and op rtunities eyes to the privileges not have. other people may by Th ai la nd , ct “I wa s im pa ed loping country, because it’s a deve e looking [at my] so when I was lik ought, ‘Oh wow, th I surroundings, e in America,’” Ta I’m so lucky to liv

in a bus going to said. “When I was ctions, I saw the the different attra ey were kind of neighborhoods. Th e people lived m so [run-down] and on boats.” r opportunities Ta appreciates he d meet people an te sta to travel out of ltures. Her family from different cu nturous spirit. trips fulfill her adve California] is [in “Being stuck en you go out to kind of boring, so wh fun to see other explore, it’s kind of cultures,” Ta said. s to visit Asian If possible, she want an or Korea with countries such as Jap her friends. the street food “I really want to try it historical vis d at those places an interesting it’s e us ca places there, be to me,” Ta said. s a family trip For now, Ta predict ar. to Hawaii next ye

Popemobile, Pisa, pizza: Alcayde experiences Italy BY MELODY ZHANG

r ay de (le ft) an d he Fre sh ma n Ka ui Alc the in ch lun za for yo un ge r sis ter ea t piz iting the Leaning vis er aft ce ren Flo city of fer en t fro m the dif s wa To we r of Pis a. “It n ge t in Am eri ca ; it no rm al piz za yo u ca tas te, ” Alc ay de sa id. [ha d] a go od , fre sh

Junior Lily Ta poses in fron t of a bu ild in g in th e An ci en t Ci ty in Th ai la nd . Th es e tri ps he lp Ta ’s fa mi ly co nn ec t an d ha s in tro du ce d he r to ne w ex pe rie nc es .

Ancient temple ruins, once used to worship gods and goddesses, lay old and weathered. Walking through the ruins of Pompeii, freshman Kaui Alcayde found herself lost in her adventure through Italy. Going to visit Italy was a dream come true for Alcayde. From a young age, she was fascinated by Greek and Roman mythology, and a chance to go to their country of origin appeared last summer. “My parents were planning a trip to Rome anyway with their friends, but they knew I really wanted to go there,” Alcayde said. “I wanted to go since I was five.” The locations Alcayde visited with her family included popular tourist destinations such as the Colosseum, Pompeii, the

Leaning Tower of Pisa, and Trevi Fountain. While in the Vatican City, Alcayde saw Pope Francis reading gospels and riding his popemobile. “On [the Pope’s] way going [somewhere], his guards picked up kids and gave [them] to him,” Alcayde said. “That sounds really weird, but he was blessing the kids.” Alcayde and her sister found themselves lost as they explored the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Despite not understanding the language, the two found the experience enjoyable. “I think it’s kind of the thrill,” Alcayde said. “We had no idea where we were and it was really hard to ask for directions because we didn’t know what they were saying,” One of Alcayde’s highlights was the food Italy had to offer, especially the

differences the pizza, pasta, and gelato had compared to their American counterparts. “Gelato’s really what you gotta [try] when you go as a tourist,” Alcayde said. “Even if that’s touristy stuff, their gelato’s actually really, really good; I think it’s better than American ice cream.” During the trip, Alcayde found herself enjoying the time she spent with her siblings, as they often played games and watched TV until three in the morning at their hotel. “Usually I can’t stand my siblings, but they made it really fun,” Alcayde said. “I liked acting touristy, taking pictures and stuff. At the Leaning Tower of Pisa, we took those cheesy pictures. It was really fun hanging out with my family outside of my house.”

Miller discovers love of art, Spanish through travels BY WENDY CHAU

The design of Barcelona’s “Sagrada Familia” cathedral and the architecture of the city’s hospital intrigued speech therapist Sabina Miller when she traveled to Barcelona and Valencia in Spain last summer with her parents. Her trip was not only full of scenic sights, but also full of nostalgia as she had previously been to Spain for a study abroad program. “I went to visit my old university there,” Miller said. “I [also] got to see a lot of different neighborhoods and sights that I haven’t seen before. We also went to see Hospital de Sant Pau. The architect believed that if you h a d b e au t y around you,

you would heal faster. It has beautiful tiles and white tunnels with beautiful windows.” Miller’s appreciation and love for traveling developed at a young age when she traveled with her family to locations such as Europe, London, Germany, Holland, France, and Italy. Her trips proved to be very influential as it inspired her to study art history as an undergraduate. “When I was young, trips to Europe were lifechanging in a way because it made me really appreciate art,” she said. “I loved museums and worked in them. I saw docents give tours and deliver information passionately, which made me want to teach others about art and history as well.” Out of the places she has visited, her favorite destinations are regions where she can speak Spanish.

FUNDING S T R AV E L Miller visits a house in Park Guell, a planned housing community and park on the hillside of Barcelona, Spain designed by Antoni Gaudi in the early 1900s .



“I enjoy meeting people that are from there and having an authentic experience getting to know the culture,” Miller said. “I learned most of my Spanish from being immersed in the culture and having to use Spanish. I can really get to know the people there and talk to the people [in Spanish]. You just feel a better connection to the country, the people, the culture through the language.” She believes the exposure to different cultures during her trips benefited her in many aspects. “Traveling has made me [open] to new experiences, given me different perspectives, helped me to hopefully be more understanding of other people and situations, and understand that there is more than one way to live your life,” Miller said.

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The Matador: Issue 7 - March 15, 2019  

The Matador: Issue 7 - March 15, 2019