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Students with classes in A-, B-, E-, and MS-buildings evacuate to the south parking lot during the morning of Feb. 5 after a fire alarm was pulled toward the end of first period.

Frequent fire evacuations raise concerns Students and teachers voice complaints regarding the time lost amid the fire evacuations. BY WALLY LAN

In light of the recent upsurge in fire evacuations, administrators on campus covered all fire alarms in the locker rooms to prevent further false pulls, and the San Gabriel Fire Department announced that any future intentional false pulls will result in a citation. Students and teachers also voiced their concerns regarding the inconveniences the evacuations have on their schedules. Within the past month, there have been six fire evacuations: Feb. 3 at 1:52 p.m., Feb.

5 at 8:50 a.m., Feb. 11 at 1:30 p.m., Feb 13 at 1:52 p.m., Feb. 25 at 11:12 a.m., and yesterday at 2:02 p.m. The evacuations were caused by both manual activations at pull stations and smoke sensor activations. Business and Activities Assistant Principal Diana Diaz-Ferguson said that in certain cases of manual pulls, there was no real fire. “Our concern is that any time we have something intentional happen, not only does it tie up our resources, but it endangers students and it endangers staff,” Diaz-Ferguson said. “You could have somebody getting hurt as part of an evacuation. We have the San Gabriel Fire Department coming in while they might have to respond to another emergency; [false pulls] are compromising the safety

of staff and students.” Among the teachers affected by the fire evacuations was English teacher Robert Huynh, who lost two periods of instructional time. “[Increased evacuations] will throw off how teachers teach and the rhythm [of] how one activity flows into the next,” Huynh said. “In a lot of my classes, they do very similar things, and [if a] period falls behind, I have to reteach that lesson the following day. When students come back, sometimes they’re distracted and it’s harder to get them to focus.” Since there was no official statement regarding the direct causes of the fire evacuations, students have questioned the school with its regulation and supervision

on the matter. Junior David Thai said that if more fire alarms are pulled, he would be frustrated depending on the class time he loses. “One of the fire alarms was pulled on a day and period in which a quiz was given,” Thai said. “As a consequence, the quiz on that day was voided, and my class and I were to expect a ‘different’ version of the quiz the next day. I was definitely annoyed and irritated.” In addition to citations, the San Gabriel Fire Department also said that any future intentional pulls may result in legal conflict with the Police Department, and there will be “legal repercussions” if fatalities or injuries occur during those evacuations.

New data science class teaches students coding, statistics BY IVY HO

Schools across the nation are beginning to offer classes to teach students real life skills through technology. This includes the Introduction to Data Science (IDS) class, which teaches the statistical analysis of big data through computing, mathematics, and hands on activities. What initially began as a partnership between the University of California Los Angeles Center X and the Los Angeles Unified School District opened up to high school districts, such as the Alhambra Unified School District. “IDS is similar to statistics, but the approach is different because in IDS, we use coding to analyze our data compared to doing it by hand in statistics,” statistics and IDS teacher Leah Ulloa said. “We work with much larger data sets, but there is an overlap in the concepts that we learn in both classes.” Though all students are required to take Integrated Math I and II, students have the option of pursuing a statistics pathway in their third year of math by taking regular or AP Statistics or IDS. “I took IDS because I wanted to try something new,” senior Wendy Gip

said. “The difference between IDS and other math classes is you’re working on computers everyday and not doing problems by hand. The computer becomes your calculator as you are mainly inputting codes that analyze the data for you. Everybody learns differently, but for me, it’s a lot easier to comprehend the lessons in IDS.” In IDS, students gather data to create labs and graphs through coding, so that they are engaged in their learning. “When students gather information about themselves, they’re more interested in analyzing data because it’s not just coming from a textbook,” Ulloa said. “They can say, ‘this is our data’ because their work will be meaningful and relevant to them.” Besides serving as an alternative to Integrated Math III for students, IDS also prompted community action on campus. When alumnus Matthew Perez noticed that breakfast foods were being wasted, he used data science to gather information about the most typical foods being thrown away. The Food Recovery Program was then started, allowing students to recycle uneaten foods. “Change can take place by what students


Senior Jason Lopez uses coding commands to construct a histogram, a visual representation of the distribution of a dataset, for a lab in class. are learning in this class, and I think that is really powerful,” Ulloa said. “We’re really lucky to offer IDS here because it is a high

tech, current class that engages students. They are never going to ask in that class, ‘when am I going to use this stuff?’”

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Local voters decide on Alhambra sales tax Through a new tax, Alhambra will close the budget deficit and gain money for the upkeep and safety of the city.

briefs AUSD holds COVID-19 informational meetings The district is collaborating with Monterey Park and its fire department to host informational meetings regarding COVID-19 throughout March. These meetings aim to educate the community on how to prevent contracting COVID-19, the symptoms of COVID-19, and instructions on what people should do if they display symptoms. The upcoming meeting is today at Monterey Highlands Elementary from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Future meeting dates, locations, and time are listed under “Coronavirus Update” on the City of Monterey Park’s website.

AP Physics no longer a two-year commitment BY CHELSEA NGUYEN


Before voting, senior Emely Alas checks in to see if she is already registered. Once she fills out her ballot, Alas will insert it into the scanner. would oppose [the tax] because they have to pay higher taxes now.” Measure AL was formulated after months of public input, engaging thousands of Alhambra households and obtaining over 600 community survey responses on local service priorities. To ensure that money will be spent as promised, Measure AL includes fiscal accountability provisions, such as public disclosure of all spending and annual independent financial audits.

“Last year, there were nearly 600 burglaries and car thefts in Alhambra,” the city council said. “Despite recruitment efforts, the city does not have the funds to fill the currently 10 vacant police officer positions—impacting neighborhoods, school and business patrols, response times, and overall city safety.” The measure will not be official until it is certified by the Registrar Recorder on March 27 and sent to the Board of Supervisors for action on March 31.

District promotes participation in 2020 Census BY MYTAM LE

Due to deportation fears, the U.S. census has been historically inaccurate. People who are not legal citizens are hesitant to file, which may cause funding towards public facilities to be reduced, including public schools. The census is a survey that accounts for the US population every 10 years. The upcoming 2020 Census will guide the state on how to divide taxes towards public resources, such as public schools and libraries. “In the [census], there are several different areas where funding goes towards, it’s not just schools or hospitals or libraries,” Dr. David Reynolds, Director of Accountability and Assessment, said. If the 2020 Census reports having a smaller number of students compared to those who are enrolled, the budget per student would be reduced to meet the total count of students. “The government thinks our district has fewer people than we really do, so we get a smaller amount of money,” social studies teacher Raymond Gin said. “That’s why it’s important for our school district to count everyone and not be afraid.”




Following the proposal of Measure AL, a 0.75% local sales tax raise ordinance, citizens in Alhambra voted on implementing it in the March 3 presidential primary election. The measure is intended to improve the city’s local services, safety, and keep the city well-maintained. The measure required at least one vote over 50% for it to be approved. Vote totals from the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s office showed 4,980 “yes” votes (63.5%) and 2,863 “no” votes (36.5%) for the measure. As a result, the measure will raise the city’s sales tax rate from 9.5% to the maximum allowed under state law, 10.25%. “The state has taken millions of local tax dollars from Alhambra coffers,” the city council said. “[This leaves] the city in the unenviable position of needing to close a budget deficit for the past several years, deferring critical public safety and community infrastructure needs to make ends meet.” City officials estimate that Measure AL will raise up to $8.1 million for the city’s coffers annually. When enacted, Measure AL will provide funding to prevent property crimes, maintain police, fire, and 911 emergency response, keep public areas safe and clean, repair infrastructure, and maintain local control of local funds. Senior Emely Alas, who voted at the school’s polling center, said that she supports Measure AL because it will benefit the citizens in different areas. “For example, [there are] messed up roads, so [the measure] will improve our streets,” Alas said. “I think other people



AP Physics will no longer be a twoyear requirement, starting in the 2020-21 school year. Instead, students will able to be take the course without having to commit to two years of AP Physics. “AP Physics 2 was replaced with AP Physics C,” science teacher Alan Tran said. “[The one-year requirement] will help the course be more recognizable that way. It’s just a shame [that] AP Physics 1 doesn’t go over all of the material that regular physics normally entails. Sometimes students may not get the full picture of the topic they are supposed to be learning.”

Art gallery collaborates with drama department BY MELODY ZHANG

To accompany the Spring Art Gallery that will be showcasing students’ artworks, Art Club is working on a 3-D piece in collaboration with the spring play Little Shop of Horrors. Last semester, the club members constructed a door frame for Peter and the Starcatcher. “We saw how many people have enjoyed what we’ve done to the door that opens to the auditorium and have decided to collaborate again,” senior Art Club President Ariel Pan said. The deadline to submit pieces has been extended to today and can be submitted in room SA-8. The gallery will take place from the 18th to the 20th during lunch and afterschool in the auditorium foyer.

Junior Class Council hosts prom preview BY IVY HO


According to the California Census 2020, $2.25 million will be spent to promote the 2020 census for Education Outreach out of the total predicted $154 million, which includes Title 1 and Title 3 schools, K-12 schools, higher education, and state programmatic costs. Furthermore, the census dictates how many representatives a state gets in the House of Representatives. By extension, this determines how much leverage a state has in electoral votes.. “There are only 345 people that are a part of the House of Representatives,” Gin said. “The census is important for us because California is the most populous state. We’re about one-tenth of the whole country and if we get more people, we are given more representatives than

other states.” The school will hold an informational meeting during Open House where staff and students will explain the importance of completing the census and help parents register for it, with translation in Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Vietnamese. There will also be more events throughout Alhambra to promote the 2020 Census, such as the Census Day on April 1 at the Alhambra Civic Library. Further information can be found at 2020census.org.

This year’s prom is titled “A Night Written in the Stars,” following a starry night theme. It will be held April 11 from 7-11 p.m. at the Maya Pavilion of the Hotel Maya. The location was chosen by Junior Class Council after they met with an event planner as the venue includes an indoor and outdoor area. The venue is located on 700 Queensway Dr., Long Beach, CA 90802. Dance contracts are available for pick up in the Business and Activities office and must be turned in to the Student Employee Welfare by March 27. Tickets can be purchased at the student bank for $105 with the ASB card and $115 without, if purchased before March 17. From March 18 to April 8, tickets will be $110 with the ASB card and $120 without.

To read the full articles, visit www.thematadorsghs.us.



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WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2020

“Ler’’ning the culture



Tardies accompanied by absurd punishments Amanda Lerma Kind of, totally Latina


am Peruvian-Mexican-American and proud of it. My family is large in numbers and obnoxiously Latino, yelling in Spanish across streets and singing loudly at the top of our lungs. Every year we gather during Christmas, our hands covered in masa as corn husks are spread across the table to make tamales, and steaming cups of champurrado cover every other inch of space. At my cousin’s quinceañera teal tablecloths drape over and brush the floor. My plate is stacked high with pan dulce, conchas with their seashell-like stripes and sweet rolls. Despite it all, I’ve always struggled with not feeling Latina enough. My inability to speak Spanish is something that followed me, forcing me to question if I had any value to the Latino community. When Spanish was spoken around me, I folded myself into nothingness, curling up inside my mind with fear of Spanish being directed at me. Shame turned my cheeks bright red as my parents explained away my shyness when I was introduced to family who only spoke Spanish. Insecurity ruled me as my monolingualism was the barrier separating me from my culture. I felt uncomfortable in my skin. References to novelas or anything to do with my culture flew over my head as I simply laughed along. I just didn’t want to see the judgemental eyes, the ones that stared whenever I revealed that I couldn’t speak Spanish or that I disliked spicy foods. Most of my life I kept quiet out of fear of being told that I couldn’t be Latina because I didn’t check off the boxes others expected of me. Feeling invalidated in the culture I was born into caused me to shrink away from my family. It was incomprehensible to be surrounded by such strong Latino figures and, yet, not feel Latina enough. I identified as Latina and waited for someone to come up to me and say that I was not enough. To feel uncomfortable around people who reminded me of myself was like being pulled around like a puppet from being Latina to not being Latina enough. I felt completely and utterly alone. Until I was on the Internet and found people writing articles or making videos; people who felt the same way about not feeling like they have enough value to represent their culture but trying to anyway., and who felt Spanish was being lost through the generations of their families. Seeing others go through the same process of doubt that I do made me understand that it isn’t just me, and I’m not alone. Now, I wish I had taken the time to ask questions instead of pretending to understand, but I’m trying. I’m learning Spanish and, even though my accent is far from perfect and my r’s don’t roll like they should, it’s a step forward. As a Latina, I’m not meant to follow a list that measures my value. It took me years to realize but I am Latina enough. There is no wrong way to be Latina.


ardies add up, and so do the consequences. However, if a student’s parent notifies the school about an absence, they will be excused with little consequence. Most tardies are only between the span of a second to 10 minutes, so it is ridiculous how being tardy has more consequences than being absent. Once teachers fill out a referral for students with one to 10 tardies, detention slips are sent out so the students can make up for lost class time. However, students are hardly productive during detention and end up wasting their time. Students with excused absences, on the other hand, are not required to serve academic make up, unless they have exceeded a total of 13 days of being absent. Even if the student does surpass the 13 days, severe punishments such as being sent to court or reported to the police are not usually enforced. These students basically have the same punishments as tardy students, but the punishments are not enforced until the

student is excessively absent. In addition, tardy sweeps occur, where campus security distributes detention slips to tardy students, regardless of how many tardies that student has. Tardy sweeps are counterproductive as they prevent students from getting to class. Instead of tardy sweeps, the student’s teacher should simply mark them as tardy. Some teachers also have their own punishments for tardy students. Teachers may keep track of students’ attendance and lower students’ citizenship grades if they exceed a certain amount of tardies. Other teachers conduct their own detentions and give them to their students for arriving late. Tardy students take a hit to their grades, whereas there is no other consequence than having to catch up on work if they were absent and excused. Although some consequences are necessary, detention in the way it is conducted, is counterproductive and unreasonable. Considering it is an hour long with an insufficient amount of

seats, it is nearly impossible to make up “academic time.” The Student Employee Welfare (SEW) occasionally calls the student’s fourth period class to pull the student 10 minutes before class ends for lunch detention. It is ironic to pull students out of class to make up “academic time,” especially since students were already in class. Additionally, the SEW operator does not know that students are allowed to get lunch, so, students are not informed and are deprived from their nutrition. Overall, the administration desperately needs to revamp the entire system. Lunch detentions, tardy sweeps, and teachers creating their own punishments should be abolished. After school detention should be held in the library so students can access resources to assist them on assignments. In addition, the administration should make an effort to make it easier for students to be on time. For instance, the north parking lot should be opened for student drop offs, and staff should not do maintenance on the restrooms during passing period.

Bathroom lines give gift of detention slips BY MELODY ZHANG

Unpaid internships do not pay off BY ERIC MAI


bsessed with making themselves appear more appealing to colleges, students often sacrifice their labor and health just to say that they took up an internship. However, such jobs are not worth the emotional, mental, and sometimes physical toll it has on its young workers. Paid internships, however, help cushion the labor and intensity many internships require. Unpaid internships divert students’ focus from school and are no more than an excuse for companies to exploit underaged workers while not spending a dime on them. Students who take up internships lose precious time that could be used to focus on schoolwork. Most positions are filled by juniors, who generally have the heaviest workload of all four grades. Having to take challenging courses, study for the SAT, and research colleges is already difficult to handle by itself. While one student is studying and improving their test grades,

the student intern is toiling over their “job” and shows poorer performance at both school and work. Internships place unnecessary burdens on students who damage their academic statistics instead of advancing their studies. The Fair Labor Standard Act, passed in 1938, says that unpaid internships are

legal so long as the intern is the “primary beneficiary,” but that is hardly the case in high school environments. Internships are viewed in a positive light because college or graduate interns are advancing their research. On the other hand, a high

school student will likely do nothing but file and do busywork for their bosses, benefitting the employer rather than the intern. Since students are learning close to nothing while interning, most underage internships should be illegal. Internships are too time-consuming for students, considering most students are in clubs and extracurriculars that are equally, if not more demanding. Interns are pulled away from both their classwork and club activities. This makes students seem uncommitted and too busy for clubs, which harms their chances of being elected for leadership positions. Although interns think that their positions will help them mature and progress into the real world, the same opportunities are available at school. Clubs and classes such as leadership present similar experiences and have more meaningful activity. The students in such clubs go to high-stake competitions and learn to work with lifelike situations. Internships, on the other hand, function no differently from a class that just assigns loads of homework every day. ILLUSTRATION BY WINNEFER WU



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COVID-19 causes unwarranted unrest BY MELODY ZHANG


stark contrast to the beginnings of the spread of the new coronavirus, current COVID-19 has garnered considerable attention, causing widespread panic and myths to propagate across the general population. Despite its rapid spread and perceived danger, it is crucial to stay calm rather than contribute to the spread of fear. With media and modern technology, the rate at which people receive information is rapid, especially in cases such as the virus, misinformation can spread easily. Constant exposure, accompanied with meticulous monitoring of new cases, particularly in the local, creates the perception that the virus is spreading quickly, with the possibility that many more infections will appear under the radar. The subsequent anxiety about contracting the virus can lead to stigmas against groups of people and

places associated with COVID-19, which can result in violence, ostracization, denial of healthcare and other opportunities. Myths such as packages from countries with cases of coronavirus will carry COVID-19 or that

eating garlic will prevent the coronavirus can be harmful; believing claims of miracle treatments or foods can delay one from going to medical professionals. Another trend is bulk-buying supplies, which has caused stores to station security

guards over certain products such as toilet paper, and prices for facemasks have skyrocketed. Instead of scrambling to clear out as many aisles as possible, being informed about COVID-19 is more important; knowing about the virus and how to prevent it can prevent wasteful consumption and allow others access to those products as well. The apprehension surrounding the virus is not completely unwarranted, however. About 1 in every 5 people who have COVID-19 need hospital care, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), and it is a valid reason for people to be worried. However, most cases are mild, and the death rates are low. Furthermore, there are not enough cases tested, leading researchers to believe that the death rate may be less than 1%. When the general public is informed and is updated on the disease through reputable sources, widespread panic can be avoided. ILLUSTRATION BY ZHOU YE XIN

Fire sprinklers could save time, energy, hassle BY TANVI MAI


he school has never had fire sprinklers. Because a fire extinguisher is not always userfriendly and the fire department takes several minutes to arrive, fire sprinklers should be put in place to further protect students and classrooms, as safety should be the number one priority. If sprinklers were installed on campus, it would create a much safer environment. Automatic sprinklers are a faster and easier solution to putting out a fire because handling a fire extinguisher may take too much time for those who are inexperienced. Heat-sensitive sprinklers could be connected to the location where a fire alarm is pulled, that way only a specific area would have to evacuate. Because the campus is large, it is necessary for all

students to evacuate. Sprinklers would save students and staff from having to evacuate unnecessarily, maximizing instructional time. For instance, within the past month, many falsely pulled fire alarms have occurred. If sprinklers were in place, this system would have saved instructional time and general frustration.

However, the science building performs many laboratory experiments, and the smoke or fumes from chemicals may trigger the sprinklers. Nevertheless, this is a small sacrifice to make if it means creating a safer campus. Installing sprinklers would create a safer school environment, and it would promote a more efficient fire evacuation system. ILLUSTRATION BY KEN YU

THE MATADOR Editors-in-Chief, Print

Lauren Ballesteros

Editor-in-Chief, Digital

Kimberly Quiocho

Managing Editor News Editors

Opinions Editors Focus Editors Life and Art Editors Sports Editor

Features Editors Copy Editors Photo/Video Editors Graphics Editor

Business Managers Media Managers Reporters


The Matador Bullring

Elsie Wang

What are your thoughts on the coronavirus?

Katie Phan

Wally Lan

Melody Zhang Aaron Lu

Sally Pham

Chelsea Nguyen Zhou Ye Xin

Ivy Ho

Ken Yu

Eric Mai

Andrew Lam Qilin Li

Amanda Lerma Brandon Tran Tanvi Mai

Megan Tieu

Wendy Chau

Tammy Vuong

Mytam Le

Tiffany Nguygen

Lily Cam

Leane Che Irene Yue

Hanna Jalawan

The Matador is published monthly by the journalism class of San Gabriel High School. 1,000 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

-Tin Nguyen, 9th grade

Everyone is worried about their health because so many people have died from the coronavirus. I don’t think it’s that big of a deal since it’s not in our area.”

Winnefer Wu

I think people should not be scared about the coronavirus because there are not many reported cases of it in America.”

-Kaylie Doughty, 10th grade I believe that everyone is overreacting about the coronavirus. Parents tried to close down schools, but the situation is not that serious. Students should stay sanitary to prevent the spread of bacteria.” -Clark Huynh, 11th grade

I have no opinion about the coronavirus, but I do think schools should provide students with more information about the virus and teach us how to protect ourselves from the epidemic.”

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. Jalawan’s mailbox.


-Vivian Pham, 12th grade PHOTOS BY TANVI MAI


“Rew”arding experience

Andrew Lam


Sick days

always considered myself a healthy kid. But in 2015, I struggled even to muster up just enough strength to walk to the kitchen with my nauseating lightheadedness. My coughing fits grew more violent and my breathing became more shallow. The bug persisted for a couple of days until we decided to get it checked. It was pneumonia. The diagnosis was some pretty grave news, but I had no clue the weight of it then. I was probably too groggy to even understand if someone tried to explain it to me. But, I wasn’t tired enough to ignore the worried looks on my parents’ faces that silently suggested this really wasn’t something small. The pneumonia eventually dictated my entire lifestyle. My diet was restricted to stale bread, soggy rice, and banana mush. My days were spent confined to the couch, either sleeping or forcing myself to doze off. If I were so brazen as to venture all the way to the kitchen, I would have to stop halfway before nausea overwhelmed me. I was sick of it. Eventually, the pneumonia worsened to the point where the clinic doctor suggested I go to the hospital. I didn’t want to hear that. The hospital was where really sick people went, people who were going to die. Was I going to die? I hated how I was worrying my family and how they had to sacrifice so much for me. My dad took me to clinic visits and stayed overnight with me at the hospital and my mom always stayed home to watch over me. Even my dog slept next to the couch with me. This was all on top of all the financial burdens. I had multiple x-rays, went to the clinic enough times to give a tour of the place, and had plenty of medications. Knowing that I had become a burden made me feel guilty in a twisted, weird way. Complete recovery took another week. I began to be able to move away from my strict diet and go outside for something other than a doctor’s visit. Doses of antibiotics grew fewer and farther between and my congestion cleared up. One day I came home to a colorful stack of papers on the couch. I scanned through it and found get-well letters from my fifth-grade class. A lot of these people I wasn’t even friends with, but I found it comforting nonetheless that they took the time to wish me well. I still have a lingering paranoia of another pneumonia episode and I sometimes get unreasonably freaked out whenever I have a slight sore throat. I am more cautious of my health and I wash my hands more, but you can’t let some bacteria scare you from living your life. It’s kind of funny that, out of all the things, pneumonia taught me that people make sacrifices for the ones they care for, like my parents or classmates did. I continue to try my best to help someone out whenever I can, just to pay forward the same kindness I was shown through my times of helplessness.





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Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) on Jan. 27. The National Woman’s political party first proposed the ERA in 1923, and Congress passed it in 1979. It was designed to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens, regardless of sex. The amendment originally had a ratification deadline of 1979, but Congress changed it to 1982 because protesters marched for ratification in March for the ERA. However, only 35 states had ratified it by then, fewer than

the 38 states required in order for the proposal to become an amendment. The House of Representatives voted 232-182 to pass the joint resolution to remove the deadline for the ERA on Feb. 12. Virginia ratified it, but it was after the 1982 deadline, making the validity unresolved. Although legal experts argued that the amendment could protect women economically, Republicans argued that the amendment is unconstitutional due to the issue of abortion; the amendment could impact abortion-related funding and regulations, and some abortion-rights advocates interpret the amendment as a way to bolster abortion rights.

If the ERA is in the Constitution, it would codify into law: “equal protection from discrimination for all people, a clear federal judicial standard for deciding cases of sex discrimination, provide a strong legal defense against a rollback of women’s rights, and improve the United States’ standing in the world community.” Five states attempted to repeal their approval of the ERA before the 1982 deadline. No state vote to withdraw approval of a constitutional amendment has ever been validated. However, if these states are allowed to rescind, the ERA would only have 33 ratifiers, not the required 38.



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rom the Chancellor of Germany to the CEO of Youtube, women dominate powerful positions all over the world. While one gender is no more worthy or deserving of these positions than another, women have consistently faced discrimination in the workforce, from glass ceilings to outright harassment. In recent years, however, women have been defying traditional gender roles and conquering the professional world. The iconic poster featuring Rosie the Riveter sparked the movement of women in the workforce.

Widespread male enlistment in World War II left holes in the industrial labor force, but Rosie, with her rolled up sleeves and can-do attitude, helped fill those holes with droves of women. During this time, women were welcomed into the workforce. After the war, they were no longer needed as employees, but many continued to stay in the workforce. Since then, women have been paid less than men in many fields and are less likely to be considered for leadership positions. Although still experiencing discrimination in the workforce, women have proven to Rosie that they in fact, “Can do it!” including

those in the district. From School Principal Debbie Stone to District Superintendent Denise Jaramillo, women within the district are challenging the traditional roles that many still pin on women. Furthermore, the administration team consists of mostly females, including D i a n a D i a z - Fe r g u s o n , Assistant Principal of Business and Activities, Stephanie Hall, Assistant Principal of School Counseling, and Amy Wu, Assistant Principal of Instruction. The demographics of the school administration transitioned from two females and four males in 2010 to five females and one male in

WOMEN MAKING HISTORY BY TAMMY VUONG Men used to dominate most jobs in society, however, things took a turn when women started working and fighting for equal rights. Several women left their imprint in history; for instance, Harriet Tubman was known for being the “Moses of her people.” Sally Ride was the first woman who traveled to space. Malala Yousafzai demanded an education for girls in Pakistan. All these women have been recorded in history for their actions. However, getting to where they were was not an easy task. They went through humiliation and pain, even with their outstanding achievements.

As an enslaved woman, Harriet Tubman was mistreated and abused. Through the Underground Railroad, she managed to escape and aided several dozens of slaves to freedom. Tubman participated in antislavery efforts and learned transportation routes, which made her useful to Union military commanders during the Civil War. Sally Ride was the first American woman in space. She had gone through various strenuous training programs to go abroad in the space shuttle Challenger. Ride then became the director of the California Space Institute at the University of California after an explosion of Challenger. She received many awards for her achievements, including the Space Flight Medal and is in the


National Women’s Hall of Fame. Malala Yousafzai braved against the Taliban, whose threats attempted to prevent her from earning an education. As a n e d u c a t i o n a c t i v i s t , she was awarded Pakistan’s National Youth Peace Prize. However, as her popularity rose, the Taliban sent death threats and one day, she was shot by a Taliban gunman. After surviving through countless surgeries, Yousafzai continued to advocate for education. She strongly promotes actions against illiteracy, poverty, and terrorism. These women have impacted the world with their accomplishments, inspiring women around the globe. All in all, these women have turned something seemingly impossible to something possible.

2020. Having more women in leadership positions increases diversity of thought, which is critical to a creative, vibrant, and thriving workplace, according to Equities News. These women demonstrate to female students how achievable it is to become a leader as a woman, serving as an inspiration to many. While there still may be plenty of inequities for women to overcome in the workforce, there has been significant progress for working women. Women will undoubtedly continue to succeed in positions previously reserved for men such as CEOs, senators, and superintendents.







The Matador

WEDNESDAY, march 11, 2020


LITTLE SHOP OF HO RR ORS SYNOPSIS The musical stars Seymour Krelborn and Audrey are co-workers at a run down flower shop called ‘Mushnik’s Skid Row Florists,’ owned and ran by Mr. Mushnik. Seymour is a poor young man living in an urban skid row and Audrey is a pretty blonde with a tacky fashion style. They both are dicontent with

MAIN CAST their status in life and the neighborhood problems. Seymour, however, has recently obtained a mysterious plant similar to a venus fly-trap. He names it Audrey II in honor of Audrey, who he is deeply in love with. The musical follows Seymour in his journey of raising a maneating plant.





as Seymour Krelborn

as Audrey


Little Shop of Horrors is a horror rock comedy written by Howard Ashman, famous for his work on several Disney animated films. The music was written by Alan Menken, also known for his work on Disney film music compositions and scores. Premiering Off-Off Broadway in 1982, it ran for five years until Nov. 1, 1987 making it the third longestrunning musical. Despite

never being made into a Broadway production, it was critically acclaimed and won several awards such as the New York Drama Critics Award for Best Musical and the Outer Critics Circle Award. The cast of Little Shop of Horrors is small, making it a popular choice for community theatre, beginning drama company, and school theatre productions.

as Street Urchin 1

as Street Urchin 2



as Street Urchin 4

as Street Urchin 3



The matador





Duong sheds light on having pet snake BY WENDY CHAU

One Christmas morning, freshman Adam Duong found a surprise waiting for him. That surprise was his soonto-be reptilian friend: a pet python he named “Houdini.” “The reason why I named him that was because the first time I ever got him, he got out and, even to this day, he’s still trying to constantly escape,” Duong said.

Duong had originally asked for a snake in the past, but he was surprised that his parents actually gifted him one. “Having a snake is just a part of me wanting to be different, and I figured snakes are both different, dangerous, and exciting,” Duong said. Houdini has positively affected Duong’s life by giving him more confidence in himself. “It gives me a sense of pride to have him around,” Duong said. “On my more stressful days, I would hold him, and his presence would help calm me down. He’s the most caring thing I’ve got in my life. He means a lot to me.” Over a year and a month of having Houdini in his life, Duong has established a trusting relationship with his snake. “I’ve heard that being near my snake while he eats is a way to gain his trust because that’s naturally a very vulnerable spot for him to be in,” Duong said. “I just have to physically be with him and not do anything while he eats.” Although Duong said pet snakes do not tend to be emotional, he has seen Houdini display personality traits. Given that snakes are

usually quiet, he enjoys seeing the progress of how an unsocial pet can begin to grow a sense of trust around him. “He’s very curious and gets scared easily, even of his own food,” Duong said. “Then, there are times when it comes to feeding— all fear leaps out of his body, and he’s just a total killing machine.” Through caring for Houdini, Duong has had

his fair share of stories that have influenced how he cares for his pet snake. “I didn’t realize that a mouse could leave a scent on you, and snakes could pick that up. I bought a mouse and I put it in his aquarium to eat,” Duong said. “I didn’t wash my hands, so he smelled me, stopped paying attention to the mouse, and bit me. Then I freaked out and flung my hand so he flew across the room.” However, Duong encourages others to purchase a pet snake if given the opportunity. Although snakes are often misconceived, he believes they can surprisingly prove to be pets people can bond with. “Snakes are pretty exciting pets to have, despite being very slow and unemotional,” Duong said. “But trust me, you’ll find your share of stories in getting one.”


Duong considers his male ball python, Houdini, as not only his pet, but his companion.

Sonic skids into theaters




Despite its postponement, the actionadventure comedy movie Sonic the Hedgehog, released on Feb. 14, is a great addition to the box office and video gameto-movie universe. Due to popular demand to rework the Sonic design, Paramount, the studio making the movie, postponed the movie to fix it. They made the blue hedgehog speedster less realistic, more animated, and more like the video game design. The movie is more enjoyable with the revised style of Sonic, sticking to the design fans know and love. In the movie, Sonic (Ben Schwartz) journeys and befriends a human cop named Tom Wachowsk (James Marsden). They team up to retrieve Sonic’s lost rings so he can use them to leave Earth to escape the villain, Dr. Robotnik (Jim

Carrey). What differs from the video game was that the movie portrayed Sonic as a sad, lonely figure, in contrast to Sonic’s usual, cheery spirit. The audience cannot help but sympathize with Sonic as he did not have the opportunity to grow up with a family. Throughout the movie, the viewer sees Sonic’s inner struggle to be a part of something, such as a family, but he must keep himself a secret because of his powers, leading him to an isolated life. Eventually, he is unable to handle his emotions and exposes his powers, attracting the attention of everyone. Sonic’s internal conflict is relatable and portrays him as almost human. Although the movie provides light and family-friendly entertainment, Sonic the Hedgehog is heartbreaking and has many more nuances. Schwartz and Carrey did a fantastic job portraying the characters. Schwartz brings out a new voice to Sonic that is different from other games and shows. I enjoyed Carrey’s performance the most as he played more of a menacing villain than most thought he would. Carrey is known for his overly dramatic performance, which is why he worked so well as a crazy threatening villain like Dr. Robotnik trying to capture an animated hedgehog. Overall, Sonic the Hedgehog is a good movie. Although it is mainly intended for children, adults can be entertained as well. Iconic moments were also created, such as an entire scene of Carrey dancing wildly that added to the comedic tone of the movie. The buddy cop movie trope has been done multiple times, but the Sonic movie feels different as it gives a fresh take on friendship between a comedic hedgehog alien and a human with inner problems they solve in the end.

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Track and Field dashes to first in tri-meet BY SALLY PHAM

After three months of relentless practice, the Matadors hosted the school’s first ever trimeet on March 5 against Temple City High School (TCHS) and Lincoln High School (LHS). The Matadors gained victories in the frosh/soph girls, varsity girls, and varsity boys divisions with scores of 64, 57, and 61 points. “Initially, we were supposed to have a dual meet against LHS, but TCHS showed interest in competing against us so we decided to organize a tri-meet,” head coach Steve Morales said. Although it was not the team’s first time competing against TCHS, the Matadors had no idea what to expect from their new opponent. “When I saw them coming down to the track, I was really scared,” senior Maurelys Areas said. “I almost didn’t want to try in my races because I heard that they were good but I told myself to keep going no matter what happens.” The Matadors were at a disadvantage because they participated in only one preseason invitational compared to TCHS and LHS, who competed in two or more invitationals before the tri-meet. Despite the circumstances, the team was not discouraged from its inexperience, and each individual performed to the utmost of their ability. “It was a very competitive day as both TCHS and LHS had distance runners who I could barely keep up [with],” head captain junior Michael Wong said. “Regardless, I’m going to have an open mindset and motivate myself to push harder in our upcoming meet.” Throughout the tri-meet, the Matadors’ placement fluctuated in the sprint and distance events. However, the team managed to sweep placements in the jumps and throws events. “Our jumpers have been practicing with




2019-20 Spring Sports Scoreboard BADMINTON



(L) 3 - 18


(L) 0 - 17


(L) 2 - 23


(L) 1 - 16


(L) 4 - 14


(L) 0 - 30




(L) 2 - 9


(W) 17 - 16


(L) 2 - 8



(L) 7 - 19

A new member of track’s hurdles team, senior Maurelys Areas leaps through a hurdle in her meet against Temple City High School and Lincoln High School on March 5.


(L) 7 - 12

Mark Keppel every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday,” sophomore Tasia Nguyen said. “Their coach really helped us improve our marks and puts us in the same playing field as their jumpers, who are known as Almont League’s best jumpers.” Regardless of the Matadors having less experience in competitive racing, their preseason tri-meet demonstrated that the


team is more than prepared to enter the spring season. “I am happy with the team’s performance,” Morales said. “We do need to make some adjustments, but I believe our team will do well in our upcoming meet.” The first league meet will be held at home against Montebello High School tomorrow.



(L) 51 - 98


(L) 36 - 90




Boys varsity volleyball spikes down Valiants with 3-0


Senior Jonathan Cao (14) launches himself into the air and performs a spike against the St. Genevieve Valiants on Monday, securing the point for the team. BY KEN YU

Shouts and calls filled the Matador Arena as players from both St. Genevieve and San Gabriel High School faced off. On Monday, the boys varsity volleyball team won 3-0 against St. Genevieve. The Valiants and Matadors lined up at the ends of each court, eager for the upcoming preseason match. Choruses of ‘good luck’ and ‘have fun’ echoed through the court as starting players hurried into their positions. In the first few minutes, both teams engaged

in fast-paced trade offs between passes and spikes. Tied point for point in the final stretch of the game, sophomore outside hitter Brandon Phan relentlessly pounded the Valiants for each point to take the first set, 25-22. “That’s when I knew they had no chance of stopping me,” Phan said. “So, I just kept doing it. After every point, I just reset and then focus on the next thing in front of me.” Fresh into the second set, the two teams ran their game plays and strategies, each person playing a critical part in the heat

of the moment. Junior setter Jimmy Liung weaved his way across the court, turning opportunities into points with every set he made for the hitters. Sweeping the Valiants 25-13 in the second set, the Matadors stepped into the third set confidently, having grown accustomed to dealing with key players on the opposing team. “There was this guy—he was definitely their best hitter and we definitely had to watch him and block and cover him more because he was hitting well,” Liung said. Tension built as the viewers and players noted that the third set would be a pivotal one for either team. For the Valiants, winning this set meant a second chance at victory. For the Matadors, taking this set would end the match with them as the victors. Two points away from the matchpoint, the Matadors attempted to keep a level head to avoid slipups, and it paid off. They won the third set with a five point lead, securing victory. “Getting this win means a lot because we’re maturing more as a team and going forward instead of going back,” Liung said. “My goal is definitely winning the league first of all, and I think we can definitely do that this year. But I want to go beyond that. I want to go to CIF.” Closing up the gym and leaving as winners, the Matadors look forward to their upcoming home game on Friday against Bishop Amat.


(W) 14 - 4


(L) 5 - 13


(W) 14 - 4


(W) 15 - 3


(W) 16 - 2


(W) 57


(W) 61


(W) 64


(L) 44



(W) 3 - 0


(L) 2 - 3


(W) 2 - 0


(W) 2 - 0


(W) 3 - 2


(W) 3 - 0


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Cordova sprints through personal milestones PHOTO COURTESY OF KRISTIANNE CORDOVA

Special Education Department Chair Kristianne Cordova takes her two dogs, Gabrielle and Xena, to the Veterans Memorial Community Regional Park in Sylmar. “My body was sore all over for days after the hike,” Cordova said. “It is tough, but I have attempted to jog the trail a few times and will continue to because the incline is good training, especially as the LA marathon comes up next year.” BY TIFFANY NGUYGEN

Making her final lap around the track, Special Education Department Chair Kristianne Cordova picks up the pace and bounds into a sprint. The pounding of her feet hitting the track syncs up with her breathing. In. Out. In. Out. The finish is in sight and pushes herself across the finish line in a final burst of power. Cordova’s love for running and exercising started when she started working at the school four years ago. The motivation to maintain her weight through “clean eating and exercise” stems from health concerns

rooted in her family. “My parents both have high blood pressure and diabetes,” Cordova said. “I want to be healthy for myself and my family. I want as much time as possible with my family and I want that time to be fun and stress-free.” Cordova’s hobby was a fun way to prepare for English teacher Virginia Vasquez’s wedding and bond with her coworkers, Vasquez and former special education teacher Veronica Arellano. Although the trio stopped exercising together, keeping in shape is an energizing weekly hobby for Cordova. She tries to squeeze in time to

exercise whenever she finishes her duties at school, which is usually during her free sixth period, before school, or after school. “I try to run three times a week,” Cordova said. “Running and working out is like ‘me time.’ The first two miles for me are very challenging, but when I’m on the [third] mile, I can feel the runner’s high. It gives me space to think about what I want to do.” Recently, Cordova, special education teacher Ubaldo Villa, and Jose Zaragoza, Business and Technology Academy teacher, participated in her first marathon, the Firecracker 5K marathon in downtown Los Angeles.

“[Running the marathon] was kind of intimidating to be around everybody there,” Cordova said, “but it was really great toward the end because there [were] random people cheering you on.” Besides running more marathons in the future, Cordova plans to exercise with her running buddies and improve her mile time. She cherishes the moments she shares with other teachers. “It’s like girl time and you motivate each other to do the workouts,” Cordova said. “You put in a little bit more work because everyone else is really trying, so you want to try too.”

Liu learns to master multiple languages


Senior Victor Liu continues to perfect his English after moving to California four years ago without any prior knowledge. BY SALLY PHAM

When senior Victor Liu moved from his home of 15 years in Mexico, he was unsure what California would have in store for him. Thoughts of starting high school in a new environment intimidated him, but he kept his head held high in anticipation of what was to come. “I was fully prepared to enter high school in this new environment because being raised in Mexico taught me not to care about what other people think about me,” Liu said. “I have been the center of jokes in my hometown because it is uncommon for an Asian to speak fluent Spanish and live in Mexico, so I don’t really let it get the best of me.” Although Liu was able to easily integrate himself into the school’s densely populated community, he felt isolated because of the contradiction between his ethnicity and the language he grew up speaking.

“Last year, I was the only Asian in my Spanish Honors 3/4 class, so I felt misplaced because of our cultural differences,” Liu said. “Even though I was able to speak the language fluently, I didn’t feel like I belonged in the class because of my ethnicity.” Growing up in a Chinese household in Mexico, Liu had to master his native language as well as the regional language. Liu was forced to attend Chinese school for six years by his parents. “My parents feared that I would not be able to communicate with my relatives in China so they encouraged me to study Chinese and practice my speech at home,” Liu said. “Most of the time, I speak a mix of Spanish and Chinese to my parents and when I forget a word in one language, I say it in the other language.” However, Liu considers Spanish to be his most fluent language and continues to refine his vernacular in AP Spanish Language and Culture class. While he still faces difficulty in pronunciation, he has gained more knowledge of the Spanish language and has cultivated his understanding of Spanish culture. “I still keep in contact with some close friends from Mexico, and learning about Spanish culture brings nostalgia of my hometown and makes me feel like I’m connected with my old friends,” Liu said. Aside from Spanish, Liu has made it a personal goal to improve his speaking in English as he had no prior knowledge of the language before moving to California. “I feel like I have a lot to learn in these languages, so there’s always room for improvement,” Liu said. “I especially want to work on improving my English because it’s the language that I am less familiar with.”




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Chen whips up batches of homemade sweets BY IVY HO

Senior Vicky Chen sets a plate on the table, and the dish’s aroma fills the air. At the request of her younger sister, Chen sprinkles some powdered sugar and drizzles chocolate syrup onto the plate of freshly-made crepes. Chen grew up watching her mother cook in the kitchen ever since elementary school, which allowed her to learn from her how to cook and bake at a young age. However, it was only at the beginning of high school when Chen decided to start cooking and baking more often. “I began watching more cooking videos during freshman year and started to learn by myself without my mom’s help,” Chen said. “Now, whenever I see her make food that turns out good, I will always want to try making whatever she made on my own.” Aside from remaking her mom’s recipes, Chen goes on apps such as YouTube

and Pinterest for inspiration when she is stressed. Making food helps her relax, and she enjoys bringing homemade sweets to school for her friends. “My specialty is desserts such as cakes and brownies because I really like sweets, and I like to give them to other people as well,” Chen said. “I’ve made a birthday cake for my friend before. I make food for my friends in my free time when I’m not busy with school.” Although Chen cooks as much as she bakes, she constantly searches for new dessert recipes and is always looking forward to her next baking session. “I want to learn how to make a raindrop cake, a jelly-like dessert that looks like a raindrop, made out of water, gelatin, and other ingredients,” Chen said. “It looks like it might be simple, but I’ve never made it before, so I want to give it a try.” In addition to being open to try new recipes, Chen is considering careers related to the culinary arts after she graduates. “In the future, I want to open a half bakery, half cafe possibly with my mom,” Chen said, “because she wants to open something similar as well. So maybe we can have a joint business.”

Senior Vicky Chen often makes crepes or flan pudding for her younger sister, who has grown fond of her desserts.

Huynh bakes to take break BY TAMMY VUONG

A rush of excitement engulfs sophomore Kassidy Huynh as she peers at the mixing bowl in front of her, spatula in hand. Her hands itch to begin mixing the clumps and chunks of ingredients into her favorite mouth-watering dessert, a warm and soft banana walnut bread. Huynh’s aspiration for baking traces back to seeing her mother bake. In her eyes, her mother’s desserts are the best because they taste unique and are made with love. “I remember when I was little, I used to watch my mom bake and I would think about how cool it was to be able to create food so beautifully,” Huynh said. “When I was 7, my mom finally let me help her in the kitchen and I immediately fell in love with the art of baking.” Huynh’s mother slowly introduced her to different recipes and continues to try to lift Huynh’s spirit through baking to this day. “Every time I had a bad day, she always knew what to bake to cheer me up,” Huynh said. “One time, my mom made me a pistachio cake, and it made me feel special since she went out of her way to bake me something. I PHOTOS COURTESY OF VICKY CHEN, KASSIDY HUYNH

don’t remember anyone ever going out of their way to make me feel better, so it made me feel ‘seen.’” Huynh and her mom bake monthly, strengthening their bond while also experimenting with new recipes. Her fondest memories revolve around baking. “When I was about 12, I spent a whole week just baking and my parents had to force me out of the kitchen because I didn’t realize how much time had gone by each day,” Huynh said. Among the various treats Huynh bakes, she makes monkey bread the most, but banana walnut bread holds a special place in her heart as she enjoys mashing the bananas. Huynh often passes out the goods she makes to her friends as a kind gesture to put a smile on their faces. “I love seeing my friends happy,” Huynh said. “Some of my friends don’t have lunch, so it’s also for them to have food throughout that day.” Above all, baking has enabled her to become more expressive and comfortable with herself and others. “Baking has made my life better in so many ways,” Huynh said. “It allows me to take a breather every once in a while. It’s a time when I can just relax and be creative in my own way.”

Sophomore Kassidy Huynh’s exposure to baking as a kid blossomed into a vital aspect of her life, with her baking everything, especially her favorite, banana walnut bread.

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The Matador: Issue 7 - March 11, 2020  

The Matador: Issue 7 - March 11, 2020