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c e l Wac ome THE







...Well, sort of. PHOTO BY JETT LE

Inside the Pages

News, p. 2

VAPA classes adjust to distance learning in creative ways.

Focus, p.6-7

All about the upcoming presidential election: candidate profiles, why voting matters, and more.

Features, p. 11

Being a ballerina: junior Valerie Ng discusses standards and struggles.



thematadorsghs.us WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2020


Senior Jasmine Flores (left) plays her trombone in an “Among Us” costume, following the Marching Band’s annual tradition of dressing up for Baldwin Elementary School’s Halloween Parade. In a rehearsal for the upcoming fall plays, senior Ashley Young (top) narrates the “The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon” in front of a custom-made Zoom background. Speech and Debate sophomore Sophie Lin (bottom) recites a speech in preparation for the novice in-house tournament, an opportunity for first year members to explore the different speech events.

Performing arts students acclimate to online classes Performing arts students express their unease about participating in their classes, competitions, and events through distance learning. BY KELLY MA NEWS EDITOR


ollowing the school closure, performing arts classes have continued operating through virtual alternatives. Students voiced their discontent in regards to participating in their classes and developing their skills without an interactive environment. The Marching Band regularly updates practice logs and uses SmartMusic, a platform that checks for accuracy as students play their instruments. Since the district prohibited physical performances and marches at parades and concerts, the band plans to send pre-recorded music compilations for events such as Baldwin Elementary School’s Annual Halloween Parade. “Everyone has that safe haven in high school with all their friends, and that is what the band room was to me during these past four

years,” senior Ruby Guan, vice president and trumpet section leader, said. “The new members cannot experience everything that I love about the band, but we have been trying to implement more fun bonding activities during our

on the National Speech and Debate and Tabroom websites. Despite winning four practice competitions in class, sophomore novice Sophie Lin said that the unfamiliarity of communicating alone hindered her performance.

presence, and public speaking. Our captains are giving us a lot of guidance, but I am worried that when we return to school, the novices will be too far behind the rest of the class.” In preparation for their

“Everyone has that safe haven in high school with all their friends, and that is what the band room was to me during these past four years."

Ruby Guan Senior

socials. I just hope they will love their time in the band as much as I have.” While many of the band’s competitions were canceled, Speech and Debate practice tournaments continued on Zoom, and official competitions will be held

“Speech and Debate is all about communication, and that is something I find a lot harder to work on now that I have to speak to a screen for hours everyday,” Lin said. “There are aspects of an inperson debate that I cannot learn online such as posture,

plays, the drama students are learning new acting techniques and designing virtual backgrounds in the place of stage sets. They are currently rehearsing for their upcoming fall plays, “I Don’t Want to Talk About It” and “The Brothers Grimm

Spectaculathon,” which will both be shared to the public as videos in December. “I spent most of the five months in quarantine researching how to create the best lesson plans to ensure that the joy of drama class continues even in this virtual world,” drama teacher Kelsey McNeilly said. “Although it is challenging to make connections with students online, I strive to create a positive, meaningful, and fun learning environment for my students.” The district is revising distance learning policies that may affect how performing arts classes function this year. It is also working on hybrid learning and reopening plans that would allow performing arts students to participate in more engaging activities. Read more news online: The articles on page are only those with the strongest news values. Visit www.thematadorsghs.us to read all articles written by the Matador staff.



thematadorsghs.us WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2020

BRIEFS H Res. 908 addresses xenophobia fueled by COVID-19 BY TIFFANY NGUYGEN

In response to an increase in anti-Asian sentiment related to COVID-19, the House of Representatives passed H.Res.908 on Sept. 17. The resolution calls for the investigation of hate crimes against the Asian American community, recognizing students and staff who were associated with the pandemic. “When my family and I were out grocery shopping, a group shouted racial slurs at us for ‘starting the virus,’” sophomore Manting Yu said. “I am grateful for the response because it was an awful experience, and no one should ever go through that.”

District officializes proposal to eliminate valedictorian BY JUSTIN FANG


Sophomore Chris Yeung reviews his Spanish notes before taking his Quizizz test. Quizizz has time limits for students to answer each question, so many teachers use the platform to prevent online cheating.

Frequent cheating instigates test reforms

Although students and staff agree that cheating has become more prominent, many question whether new test revisions are necessary. BY LYNDA LAM COPY EDITOR


ith cheating occuring more during distance learning, teachers have either enforced new testing guidelines or discontinued tests to ensure academic integrity. While there is a mutual understanding about why the tests were modified, students and staff are divided concerning the necessity of the new policies. Many students in science teacher Jennifer Wright’s classes were caught copying from external sources, prompting Wright to only accept handwritten responses. However, students continued to cheat, so Wright decided to begin issuing out zeros on tests with any copied answers. “There were too many students to call home and cheating letters to go through,” Wright said. “Using the AP Lockdown Browser is a pain, and it does not always work on Chromebooks.” To combat cheating, teachers adopted various online platforms, such as Go Formative, which enables them to monitor students’ progress, and Quizizz, which imposes time restraints on questions. The Gallery View feature on Zoom allows teachers to monitor students’ papers and hands during tests. “It is uncomfortable being watched while I am trying to

How often do students cheat on tests during distance learning?

To acknowledge more academically accomplished students, the district board finalized the proposal from eight months ago to no longer recognize valedictorians and salutatorians. This revision will be implemented beginning with the class of 2021. Ranking will be determined by students’ cumulative seventh semester grade point average (GPA). A GPA of 4.40 or higher will be honored with Summa Cum Laude, a GPA of 4.0-4.39 will be awarded with Magna Cum Laude, and a GPA of 3.6-3.99 will be distinguished with Cum Laude.

Candy caravans offer Halloween alternatives amid COVID-19 outbreak BY LEANE CHE

Aiming to preserve the Halloween spirit, the City of Monterey Park will be hosting drive-through candy caravans tomorrow from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. While most Halloween festivities are canceled, this event enables local participants to celebrate the holiday safely. “My family was devastated that Halloween was canceled because it is our favorite holiday,” junior Jackie Lopez said. “Once we heard about this event, we were thrilled that we would be able to upkeep some of our traditions like trick-or-treating together.” The candy caravans will be located at the Bruggemeyer Library, Highlands Park, Hillview Avenue, Garvey Ranch Park, and Langley Center. Participants are required to stay in their vehicle and wear a face mask at all times. To read the full articles, visit www.thematadorsghs.us.

News around the globe BY NAN JIANG

TYPHOONS DEVASTATE VIETNAM Amid the flooding season in Southeast Asia, Typhoon Molave made landfall in the Philippines on Oct. 26 and in Vietnam today. The typhoon contributed to a series of ongoing floods and landslides in Central Vietnam that resulted in the evacuation of 1.3 million people and the deaths of over a hundred people.


focus,” sophomore Chris Yeung said. “I get worried that when I move my hands out of frame or stay on a question too long, my teacher suspects that I am cheating.” As some teachers discontinue or decrease the amount of tests, students question whether they will meet the academic standards of a conventional school year. “Cheating impairs students’ [education] and restricts them from growing as a scholar,” senior Dat Nguy said. “I want

new implementations to prevent cheating because I am not satisfied with the quality of my education.” Upon their first offense, students caught cheating are required to attend a meeting with their counselor. The student’s discipline file will include a write-up on the incident. On the second occasion, the student will be referred to the Office of Student Employee Welfare, where an administrator will determine further consequences.

BRAZIL TESTS COVID-19 VACCINE After the Russian Ministry of Health approved Sputnik V as the first registered COVID-19 vaccine, the Brazilian pharmaceutical company Brasilia signed an agreement to test and mass-produce the treatment on Oct. 23. If successful, the vaccine would support Brazil, which has the third leading number of cases, and may be produced abroad. SARS PROTESTS DEMAND JUSTICE The Nigeria Police Force disbanded the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) on Oct. 11 after weeks of protests. The movement gained global attention, coercing the Nigerian government to address police brutality and encourage law enforcement reform.



thematadorsghs.us WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2020

Exploring untapped learning resources ILLUSTRATION BY ANDREW LAM

Clash of cultures LAURA CAI REPORTER


t was either having slanted eyes and living in Mexico or living in the U.S. but not “looking” Mexican. Comments related to my distinguished roots or eccentric appearance made me feel excluded. My sensitivity was steep, and those words cut deep. In Mexico, I was constantly asked, “¿Hablas Español?” (Do you speak Spanish?). Timidly, I would take a long pause before answering, “Sí,” (Yes). They were astonished that I, an Asian, could. But I was unsurprised because every encounter I had yielded this same reaction. Everywhere I went, eyes followed me in every direction. Even when I didn’t make eye contact and ignored their tracking gazes, I always felt judged when looking at their emotionless expressions. After sixth grade, my parents decided to move to the U.S. I wondered whether I would still be the odd one out and, surely, I once again found myself alienated. Although not brought up as much, my Mexican roots were still mentioned when I first moved. I distinctly remember when a substitute teacher took attendance and called my name. He didn’t recognize me and asked where I was from. Shyly, I said I was from Mexico. I heard laughs spiraling and echoing the room, growing stronger and wilder. I didn’t know why they were laughing at me. Maybe they thought I was joking? Whatever it was, I was severely hurt. I sobbed endlessly until the bell rang, and all I could think of was getting home and feeling the comfort of my mom’s arms hugging me. I realized that living in Mexico and the U.S. wasn’t all that different. Despite this, I have fond memories of people reacting to where I’m from. I always talk with my family in Spanish, and because of that, some people overhear and immediately ask us where we’re from. When we say from Mexico, they smile and chuckle sweetly. In the U.S., I can immerse myself in my peers’ diverse cultures and they can learn more about mine. Meeting diverse people allowed me to begin loving my heritage and roots. I realized that my “differences” did not make me peculiar. These events made me emotionally stronger and able to love both sides of me. The languages, the foods, and the traditions of both cultures are now something I look forward to learning more about. My cultures have shaped me into the person I am now.


The struggle with transitioning online


he pandemic has taken its toll on society, but it has especially affected education. Teachers have had to alter lesson plans to adapt to distance learning, but these changes are too minute and ineffective. As a result, students are not fully learning the material that they would in a normal classroom setting. Teachers must fully utilize the advantages of online resources to maximize the effectiveness of their lessons during distance learning. Teaching techniques dependent on a classroom environment lose effectiveness once taken out of that setting. In the classroom, group work was vital in allowing students to learn from their peers’ perspectives, allowing easier comprehension. In distance learning, group work is ineffective due to lack of face-to-face interactions. In class, students’ webcams are seldom on, prompting minimal participation.

MATADOR BULLRING Students share their opinions on current topics.

How have teachers adapted to an online learning format? INTERVIEWS BY MYTAM LE PHOTOS COURTESY OF INTERVIEWEES

Teachers must adapt familiar teaching methods tailored to the classroom to complement the online setting. In doing so, teachers are able to maximize the benefits of distance learning. One distance learning benefit is that it offers teachers the opportunity to utilize resources that work best online. Teachers underwent hours of training focusing on implementing apps and programs in teaching. However, teachers are not taking advantage of these options and, instead, lecture continuously. This prompts the question of whether students are truly absorbing the information. Teachers must have flexibility when adapting their teaching style and seize this opportunity to explore new ways to maximize the potential advantages of distance learning. The expression “Do not fix what is not broken” appears to be the philosophy many teachers are abiding by during distance learning. Despite the

circumstances demanding change, they continue to assign the same amount of homework, under the impression that these are still pre-COVID times. Teachers must consider that learning at home is completely foreign for students, and students do not absorb lecture content as well as teachers expect, resulting in them facing motivational blocks and feeling stumped when completing independent assignments. “Do not fix what is not broken” cannot be the reigning mentality because of the flaws that need to be addressed. Teachers must ensure that they are exploring all possible resources in enabling students to truly succeed during this time. They cannot assume that students are fully mastering topics based on the inactivity of class. Teachers can utilize different online resources, like Kahoot or Socrative, to make class more engaging and adopt new methods of teaching in distance learning.

Cindy Phan, 9

Calvin Troung, 10

“I think the best approach to distance learning that I’ve seen is encouraging student interactions with each other, where they’d say “Hello” and “Bye” in [a] chat that’s open to everyone.”

“One way teachers have efficiently adapted to online learning is [by] giving their students breaks every once in a while. Small breaks and kind gestures have really helped me focus and stay on track.”

Joseph Becerra, 11

Esperanza Pacheco, 12

“Teachers have had to utilize a variety of websites to complete lessons now. Some of these lessons are actually a lot better now than they might’ve been in normal circumstances.”

“I think using Google Forms was a good idea for engagement. My teachers would use it as [a way to get] feedback [and] to try to get what we understand as lesson [reflections].”


thematadorsghs.us WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2020



Office hours: cashing in on free help

Predomi”NAN”t past



xtended Home Learning, commonly referred to as Office Hours, allows students to meet with teachers for more individualized support. Each session of office hours dedicates 40 minutes to a period, but with students rarely making an appearance, they go to waste. Students must take these opportunities to help recover from distance learning disadvantages. Office hours can recover time that students lose as a result of each class only meeting twice a week. Despite the dramatic reduction in instructional time, learning cannot be compromised because what students learn now acts as the foundation for future classes which tend to be more challenging. Office hours play a critical role in curbing this learning deficit and keeping students from being set up for failure in the current class curriculum and future classes. Attending office hours will help students understand the lesson while also being proactive and independent. Scientific studies convey that a vital component of learning is repetition and practice. Office hours provide that, so students who attend are able to recall the material better. By changing their explanation processes and adjusting to the students’ pace, teachers are also helping students learn to seek help on their own. When students attend office hours, they receive both academic achievement and valuable work-ethic traits. Office hours provide students with privacy that class time does not. Students are often afraid to ask questions or even participate because of Zoom’s spotlight feature, where the speaker’s face or profile picture is enlarged on everyone’s screen. This fear impedes their progress in class, but office hours allow students to freely ask questions

Life in a new country NAN JIANG REPORTER


without concern. Without these fears, students are more receptive to the teacher’s answer, as they will not panic over everyone knowing that they asked a question. Some students may find office hours unnecessary because they believe that the educational outcome will only be temporary. Also, students might suggest that club meetings or required attendance for other classes might be big disruptors. However, attending office hours will only benefit

students’ education in the long run because of their frequent attendance. Teachers’ support ranges from reviewing material to answering questions which dramatically elevates a students’ comprehension of material . Students must use office hours to their advantage as an opportunity to thrive academically and communicate privately. If unable to attend office hours, students can stay during the last 15 minutes of the period, as it is reserved for additional assistance.

Recognizing the importance of teacher-student relationships Investing effort into understanding students must be a top priority for teachers. KEN YU LIFE AND ART EDITOR


ow that students and teachers are settled into the distance learning environment, the traditional classroom setting has been shelved. Unfortunately, the lack of a physical classroom setting to engage students has also intensified teachers’ lack of empathy for them. Thus, teachers must put more effort into building relationships with students to ease the stress of distance learning. When a teacher makes an effort to understand a student’s personality and their general situation, this gesture becomes a precedent for other students to reciprocate towards their teachers and fellow peers. These actions indirectly teach students empathy, allowing them to also get to know their peers. These actions build trust among students and teachers, making students more open to confiding in teachers about their mental health. Teachers have complained about the lack of student participation, yet they do not understand the root of the problem. An empathetic teacher is much more appealing than a callous one who moves through the lesson

without concern for how students are adapting. Through connecting with students, teachers encourage them to learn and participate in class because they feel more comfortable engaging. Students will be more likely to voice their concerns and questions when it comes to the class, easing the burden teachers have in adjusting lesson plans to distance learning. Although distance learning certainly poses an obstacle in understanding students with the lack of physical face-to-face interaction, there are doors opened when others are closed. In a virtual environment, there are many new opportunities to expand how teachers can get to know their students better through various Internet resources. These resources come in various forms such as accounts of how teachers engaged students. Only by making an effort to understand students will teachers ensure participation and student motivation in their classes. Setting aside some class time to familiarize themselves with students in breakout rooms or assigning activities that allow students to express themselves will undoubtedly yield positive results for both sides.

THE MATADOR Editors-In-Chief, Print Editor-In-Chief, Digital News Editors Opinions Editors Focus Editors Life and Art Editor Sports Editor Features Editors Copy Editors Business Manager Social Media Managers Photoshop Editors



Wally Lan Qilin Li Amanda Lerma Leane Che Kelly Ma Andrew Lam Aaron Lu Chelsea Lam Chelsea Nguyen Ken Yu Eric Mai Mytam Le Tiffany Nguygen Justin Fang Lynda Lam Tammy Vuong Lily Cam Tammy Vuong Leane Che Lynda Lam Jett Le Andrew Bolivar Laura Cai Adwik Chaturvedi Nan Jiang Jett Le Anna Ngo Hanna Jalawan

The Matador is published monthly online and bi-monthly on PDFs by the journalism class of San Gabriel High School. The Matador is a public forum for student expression and highly encourages responses in reaction to issues discussed in the paper. The opinons expressed are those of the writers, not the faculty or administration. Articles without bylines are the opinion of the entire staff. Submit comments as a letter to the editor, signed (anonymity is guaranteed if requested,) to Ms. Jalawan’s email.

y name is Nan. It’s not an English name. It’s a Chinese character that means “wood.” My parents said it was “the only type of wood the emperor would build his palace with.” But in my perspective, my name does not represent royalty, but rather the struggles I endured to adapt to a different culture. Nobody in my hometown of Dandong ever considered moving out of the city, as there were no opportunities. My family, however, had much different plans. At five years old, I was plopped onto a train to Beijing to apply for a U.S. visa, or to interview for a U.S. visa, or to do something for a U.S. visa. When we finally got it, my parents immediately booked a flight, and we left our lives in China behind. When I moved to Alhambra to start school, it was apparent that nothing was as picturesque or effortless as it seemed. I had an ESL instructor who would pull me out of class to show me flashcards that depicted simple objects, but rarely did she do much to progress my learning. Day after day, the instructor would come over with flashcards, and I would study them while the other students laughed and spoke in a language I didn’t understand. I had no chance of making friends. My mother, with whom I studied English with for hours every night at the local church, was my only friend. Life in this foreign country seemed almost unbearable. There was no time to relax, to give ourselves a break from the joyless life of not being able to understand our surroundings or speak to a person in a common language. Night market runs with my friends in China turned into nights of flipping books with my mother. This went on for most of the school year, and it seemed like it was a rut I wouldn’t be able to escape from. But after a few months of countless nights of studying I began to speak a form of broken English that got me by. Slowly, in the next few years, I caught up to my peers in language skills. I remember having my first simple conversation about Spongebob and Beyblade. Coming to America has changed my perspective forever. Being able to speak the “language of the world” and live in a first-world country full of opportunities has been a blessing. Learning English has led me to learn Spanish and write in the school newspaper, things that I would never have thought of doing in China.




Do you think the voting age requirement should be lowered?






Are you pre-registered to vote?



thematadorsghs.us WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2020




n 2016, only 55% of voting-age Americans cast their ballot in the presidential election, making it the lowest since 1996. But the stakes in the 2020 election are even higher, especially since the elected candidate would be the one leading the United States through this devastating pandemic. By not exercising one’s right to vote, their voice in democracy perishes. Refusing to vote is forfeiting an

invaluable voice in democracy. The consensus of the people governs how a democracy is run. Not pitching in a voice to the public opinion allows others to assume that voice.

can be direct This year has b controversial qu political table: h COVID-19, how economy, and ho

“When voters are wel

feel that their voice mat democracy rings loud.” This results in an inaccurate representation of what the public wants, undermining the very purpose of democracy, to reflect public sentiment and to represent. Voting is a chance to move towards change and is one of the only ways an average citizen

issues on race Each person ha thoughts and answers to the questions. Votin the best answer and guides the initiative on the The vote lose

Joe Biden Democratic presidential candidate and former vice president.

Joe’s Vision

Angled as a challenge to President Donald Trump.



Counter the pandemic by making free testing available to all Americans, diverting more manpower into contact-tracing, and mandating the use of masks in public. Aims to preserve and improve Affordable Care Act by lowering medical costs and drug prices and protecting rural hospitals.

Foreign Policy Assures that he is unafraid to use the military, but diplomacy will be the main tool for America’s global engagement. Ensures that he will end costly “forever wars” such as those in Afghanistan and the Middle East.



thematadorsghs.us WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2020


against NOT voting

tly involved. brought many uestions to the how to combat w to revive the ow to address

value to voters when they feel they are merely picking the lesser of two evils rather than electing a candidate they truthfully support. Nevertheless, one of those

change the outcome was refused. Voters must research the candidates, their proposed policies, their background in politics, and any other information needed to best inform their vote. The 2020 election is just around the corner. There is not a more crucial time to start this research than now. When Andrew Lam voters are well-informed, Opinions Editor they will feel that their vote matters and their voice in candidates will ultimately be democracy rings loud. elected, and one should have a say in which candidate it will be. In the best-case scenario, the candidate one prefers is elected. By giving up one’s vote, they are also giving up their right to complain because the opportunity to

ll-informed, they will tters, and their voice in

and equality. as their own their own ese impactful ng allows for to be chosen government’s e issue. es its apparent

Which political party do you align with? DEMOCRAT THIRD PARTY REPUBLICAN

15% 14%



If you could vote, who would you vote for? JOE BIDEN DONALD TRUMP




Donald Trump Republican presidential candidate and current president.

America First

Focused on decisions in the economy, jobs, immigration, and foreign policy that will benefit Americans.



Implemented travel restrictions in February that denied entry to those who visited China for 14 days.

Promoted the construction of a wall along the southern border.

Urged Americans to wear masks, although unwilling to do so at times.

Took down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that exempted children brought illegally from deportation.




thematadorsghs.us WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2020


Senior Tyson Lo plays “Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War” on his computer monitor using his gaming controller. “The reason I chose ‘Cronos’ as my username was because about 6 years ago, I was very into Greek mythology,” Lo said. “There’s actually two gods or beings that make up my username, ‘Cronos’. Cronus, or Kronus, is another name for Zeus’s father, the Titan. While Chronos is another name for the god of time. By combining those two names, I got ‘Cronos’.”

Lo globally advances to tournament Senior Tyson Lo aces his opponents in his final airsoft scrimmage, setting his sights on a grander stage in the Netherlands. BY TIFFANY NGUYGEN FEATURES EDITOR

The smell of plastic game cases lingers in GameStop, as senior Tyson Lo enters with his older brother. Lo runs to the shelves, ecstatically perusing the new game releases and anticipating a present for his fifth birthday. At the same time, his brother makes a purchase at the cash register and surprises him with his first gaming controller, a gift that changed his life. What started as a childhood bonding activity with his older brother evolved into an enjoyable personal hobby that Lo continues

to pursue to this day. “He would always invite me to play games with him and his friends whenever I was done with homework,” Lo said. “I also just had interests in recreational guns from the start, especially when my dad bought me my first Nerf gun. It was amazing how guns would work and the type of sports that are played using these guns.” Going by the username “Cronos,” Lo has been playing airsoft and “Call of Duty” (COD) competitively with his team, AARPCQB, which stands for American Association of Retired Persons Close Quarter Battles, since 2019. Recently, Lo advanced to

the SpeedQB Global Invitationals, a tournament of COD-inspired airsoft scrimmages played with two competing teams. The winning team will win a trophy. “I joined this COD team to play competitively because there were trash talkers and doubters from the beginning saying that I wasn’t good enough,” Lo said. “Whenever I play, I keep what the doubters have said to me and use it as motivation to succeed. In the end, all the hard work I put into the tournament paid off.” After eight hours of daily practice, Lo and his teammates won 10-8 against the European team and 10-5 against the Australian team

in the finals. He recognizes that teamwork, communication, and self-improvement were crucial to his success as a competitive player. “All the strategies were unique and different, but in the end, they always had a purpose,” Lo said. “The tournament was a two-ontwo match. Against good players, the only solution is to always, and I mean always, try to single out or double team one player.” Currently, he balances playing first-person shooter games competitively with playing less violent games, such as “Genshin Impact,” as a way to relax after a long day of homework assignments. Both have shaped him into the

individual he is now. “For the past few years, I have been playing games, and I learned many ways to solve a problem,” Lo said. “In short terms, it definitely improved my problem-solving skills as well as helped me learn how to stay humble instead of bragging.” In March of next year, Lo looks forward to traveling to the Netherlands for a week of paid board and travel, where the Speed QB Global Invitationals will be taking place. Although Lo does not plan to pursue airsofting or gaming as future career paths, he will always appreciate the experiences of growing up with them.

Oreo Cake Pops Recipe This no-bake Oreo cake pop recipe is fast and effortless to make— the perfect treat for those who have a sweet tooth, leaving them wanting more.

Ingredients -4 oz. plain cream cheese -24 original Oreo cream cookies -12 oz. white candy melts -2 tbsp candy melting aid (to thin out the candy)

Instructions 1. Start off by pulsing the Oreos in a food processor until they turn into fine crumbs. 2. Add the cream cheese into the food processor and mix until the cream cheese and Oreo mixture resemble cookie dough.

9. Once sticks are inserted into the cake pop, put the cake balls back into the freezer for five minutes.

3. Take the mixture out of the food processor and dump it into a large bowl.

10. Pour the melting aid in the candy melts and melt it in 20-second intervals again until the chocolate reaches a liquid consistency.

4. Shape the mixture into small balls and place them onto a piece of parchment paper.

11. Dip the cake pops in the candy melt mixture and pull them straight out.

5. Place them inside the freezer for 10 minutes.

12. Put the cake pops face down onto the same pan with the parchment paper.

6. Microwave the candy melts in 20-second intervals until it reaches a smooth consistency. 7. Take a cake pop stick and dip the end into melted candy melts.


8. Insert the stick halfway into the cake ball.


13. Leave them out to stiffen or put them in the freezer for five minutes. 14. Decorate as desired and serve.

history: from Irish to student traditions


not common now, many students still love to purchase Halloween-themed sweets while others bake and share their homemade treats instead. “When it is specifically Halloween, I like to create themed foods like muffins,” junior Kassidy Wong said. “I [would often] share what I make with others and would, sometimes, watch classic Halloween movies too.” Halloween actually has a long history in the entertainment industry. During the holiday, the industry often capitalizes on the spooky atmosphere by releasing a variety of horror movies. An ultimate classic among students includes the Halloween franchise directed by John Carpenter. The success of the franchise helped set a precedent for more horror movies, like Friday the 13th, Scream, and Nightmare on Elm Street, to come. “I don’t really do anything for Halloween since I like to stay home all day,” junior Danny Thach said. “If I am feeling really festive, I might go watch classic Halloween movies or Halloween-themed episodes from different shows.” Due to the pandemic, certain traditions, such as trick-or-treating, will not be widely practiced this year. Nevertheless, there are still activities students can do while social distancing. Having Halloween watch parties and baking will always be an option. Students can also get creative and decorate pumpkins or play multiplayer horror games with friends.



P L AY E R Halloween night— playing with friends or by yourself?





“Phasmophobia” is a 4-player cooperative game where everyone acts as paranormal investigators visiting various haunted locations, like asylums and street houses, to uncover what spirit is haunting the location. Players are equipped with a range of ghost hunting equipment such as night vision cameras, thermometers, and an ouija board.


A SICK HALLOWEEN he moment October rolls around, stores love to display unearthly decorations for Halloween festivities. However, the playful celebration of Halloween has changed over the course of time. The holiday has transformed from an eerie time of the year to a chance where everybody can feel a sense of youthful exuberance and mischief. Halloween originated 2,000 years ago from Celtic festivals of Samhain in Ireland. During this time, Oct. 31 was synonymous with death and the Celts tried to ward off unwelcome spirits by wearing costumes consisting of animal heads and skin. To placate the spirits, food was prepared on banquet tables. Centuries later, the tradition changed to something more kidfriendly: trick-or-treating. Today, trick-or-treating is practiced primarily among younger kids, but there are still teenagers who participate in this activity. “Although I probably can’t do it this year, I always go trick-or-treating with my family and, sometimes, my friends,” sophomore Madison Dang said. “Looking back, I never had a theme or pattern for my costumes. My costumes were usually just random things that I liked at the time.” Handing out food was not only reserved for the spirits back then. It extended to those who were poor and hungry. In exchange for prayers for deceased relatives, people shared “soul cakes,” small, round pastries topped with raisins with those who were starving around Halloween. Although soul cakes are



thematadorsghs.us WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2020


“Granny” is a singleplayer game with an objective to escape the house of a zombie-like grandma who chases players down with bear traps at every sound made. As of last year, the developer, Dennis Vukanovic, released a second chapter of “Granny” which includes an additional enemy, “Grandpa.” WRITTEN BY CHELSEA LAM PHOTOS FROM STEAM ‘Video Game Controller Icon’ BY WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/CC BY 1.0


WORTH THE WATCH A checklist of freakishly good movies for Halloween night. Monster House *Available on Hulu

Spiderwick Chronicles *Available on Netflix From flying fairies to shape-shifting ogres, this American fantasy movie is filled with magical creatures. The plot is driven by twins Jared and Simon Grace, with their sister, Mallory Grace. When the Grace family moves into their great-great-aunt’s house, a book written by his great-great-grandfather catches Jared’s eye. However, when nearby ogres discover that the Graces are in possession of the book, they begin swarming to the family. It is now up to the Graces to protect the book at all costs to prevent humanity’s demise.


In this comedy-horror film, three friends, DJ Walters, Charles “Chowder,” and Jenny Bennet, join forces to save their nei ghborhood from a ghastly and life-like house that holds a painful and chilling history. Bennet, Walters, and Chowder explore the strange, eerie building, facing thousands of obstacles, however, they continue on in hopes of finding the truth to the ominous building.

Frankenweenie *Available on Disney Plus A new take on the classic novel Frankenstein, Frankenweenie tells a story of a young boy, Victor Frankenstein and his dog, Sparky. Heartbroken after Sparky’s death, Frankenstein brings his dog back to life with the help of a massive thunderstorm. As he tries to keep Sparky’s resurrection under wraps, his peers also discover how to bring the dead back to life, and the town is swarmed with monstrous animals. Even filled with fear, Frankenstein and Sparky endeavour to save the town.




thematadorsghs.us WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2020


Junior opposite hitter Washington Nguyen runs a hitting drill at Garvey Park with his volleyball coaches. Nguyen practices in his own free time at the park with other players who frequent the area.

Volleyball prepares for new season BY KEN YU LIFE AND ART EDITOR


fter the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the 2019-20 sports season mid-spring, the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) adjusted the sports schedule for 2020-21, placing both girls and boys volleyball seasons together for the fall season. In accomodation to these changes, the coaches of the volleyball team

held optional joint practices for both teams. Over the summer, the volleyball team met over Zoom to discuss staying fit at home due to strict health restrictions preventing summer practice with each other. As a result, joint practices only recently started and are optional to players as coaches cannot mandate practice under CIF rules. “We’ve been holding small gettogethers at Garvey Park,” junior

outside hitter Brandon Phan said. “We also rent out an indoor gym once in a while. We all split the cost, and depending on how many people go to the indoor practices, the price could vary. It’s usually [around] $10.” Although practices have been held outside of school for the volleyball teams in wake of relaxed restrictions, the players still abide by health guidelines set by their coaches to ensure their safety. “When the kids come to

practice with us, we check their temperatures, make sure they sanitize their hands after each drill, [and we] don’t encourage any handshakes or high-fives, [or the sharing of] any personal belongings with each other,” volleyball coach Bryan Pagdilao said. Despite the leeway allowed for practice outside of school, the turnouts vary due to the unavailability of the Matador Arena, which students find more

convenient to practice in. “I definitely think it would be more convenient to have practice at school,” junior opposite hitter Alondra Zubiate said. “It’s easier for my teammates and I to get to practice since it’s closer.” This volleyball season will be different for both volleyball teams, as the seasons will be running concurrently. As a result, practice time for both teams have been limited with scheduling problems and the split attention. “It will take a lot of hard work from our coaches because we will have to adjust our schedules in order to make this work as well as it can,” Pagdilao said. “The players have to get extra reps outside of SG, whether practicing at home or with their teammates at the local park.” There has been no information about whether or not audiences will be allowed for the scheduled sports games. The volleyball preseason begins in mid-December with official matches starting up in January. As of now, according to the CIF Southern Section calendar, the boys volleyball team will be playing against Garey High School on Wednesday, Dec. 16, in a home game. The girls volleyball team will be playing in an away game against Arcadia High School on Saturday, Dec. 19. “Even though our schedule is very tough, it will prepare us well for league when we take on Mark Keppel, Alhambra, and the rest of the teams,” Pagdilao said.


(Left) Freshman Adwik Chaturvedi performs a cardio kickboxing jab. Along with this includes multiple upper and lower body exercises to do.

Workout of the month: cardio kickboxing ADWIK CHATURVEDI REPORTER


Due to quarantine, most students sit on chairs for the majority of their days, which can be tiring for the body. Cardio kickboxing is the perfect solution for the lack of physical activity . Combining stretches with fast-paced exercises, cardio kickboxing is a benefitting workout that can be done anywhere. Not requiring any equipment, these exercises

can be done at one’s own pace. Beginners can start off slow with light warm-ups and gradually progress toward more complex techniques, such as shadow boxing. The latter requires one to constantly move their legs with their upper body in a circular motion. Simple workouts include uppercuts, roundhouse kicks, and forward kicks. Roundhouse kicks and forward kicks are done by keeping the back straight. Punches, jabs, and

uppercuts are done by keeping the arms tight and releasing with force in front or above oneself. All exercises are done in incraments of 40-second exercises and 20-second breaks. Repeating this five times is recommended. Overall, this workout improves many aspects of the human body, such as flexibility and strength. Incorporating this exercise helps relieve stress and anxiety while helping students become more active and healthy.



thematadorsghs.us WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2020


Junior Valerie Ng (top middle right) poses with her ballet team and performs a back Coupé. “This was the opening scene for our annual performance for Giselle,” Ng said.



ntering class, junior Valerie Ng finds herself in a sea of tall and thin ballet dancers. She attempts to make herself look taller to match the other dancers around her. By stretching her body as far as possible while switching positions, she is able to finally fit in. At three years old, Ng began her ballet classes after her mother enrolled her in Li’s Ballet Studio. As a 5’2” dancer, she was one of the shortest and would usually be in the front row during group performances, subjecting her to the judging eyes of the audience. “Looking around our class,

only a few of us fit those tall and thin stereotypes of ballet dancers, but it still bugged me,” Ng said. “I constantly compared myself to the other dancers and would always

At her lowest point, Ng began to realize that she had to learn to focus on her ability as a dancer rather than her physical appearance. Instead of striving to

“Looking around our class, only a few of us fit those tall and thin stereotypes of ballet dancers.”

Valerie Ng Junior

think of ways to become like them.” During eighth grade, Ng hit a rough patch when all her peers had growth spurts, but she did not. To feel as though she belonged, since

Meet our

“Naturally, the stereotype became something we worked towards,” Ng said. “I would always try to jump rope at home and make myself look taller on stage.”

fit the norm, she surrounded herself with a supportive community that shifted her negative mindset. “I am with teachers and other classmates that can relate and help

Q: What is the meaning behind your username? A: "When I was younger my mom would call me 'solecito', which means little sun, and because [my username] also could come across as a little sun, I chose that as a username."

Tik Tik Tok Tok stars

Seniors Alison Hernandez and Roger Lara gain a surge of followers on TikTok as they learn how to produce creative videos and gain insight on worldwide trends.

she was shorter than the average ballet dancer, she constantly attempted to change herself to please the standard of a perfect and taller ballerina.

@alilsun 200


Following Followers


Q: What is your most popular video? A: "[It] has 278.7k likes and 1.4 million views. I duetted a popular creator, Jacob Sartorius, who had mentioned in his video that girls with glasses were attractive to him. So I quickly took my glasses off my face and threw them out of the frame."

Q: What have you learned from doing TikTok? A: "From TikTok, I’ve learned that no matter what you do there will always be people who will criticize you, so you might as well just do what makes you happy."


eliminate this stereotype,” Ng said. “Mentally, I would say that I started to concentrate on other things more, like improving my technical skill, which distracts me from thinking about my insecurities as a dancer. I could then feel more confident about myself.” Currently, Ng is less affected by those insecurities that held her back. She understands that her insecurities do not classify her true abilities as a ballerina. By establishing her own standards, her ballet experience has become more enjoyable and memorable. “I know that these aspects are not the only characteristics that determine whether or not you are a good dancer,” Ng said. “I would say my biggest takeaway is being happy with the way I am now.”

Q: What is your favorite trend? A: "My favorite trend is the Fuller House [trend]. It’s a video where you and friends record yourselves doing something then look at the camera and wave. I like this because you can be creative and do it with friends."

@duhitzroger 161


Following Followers


Q: What is your most popular video? A: "[It] got 91.4k likes and 196.4k views. The video is me doing a dance to 'Heart Don’t Stand a Chance' by Anderson Paak. [Honestly], I really don’t know why it got so many likes."

Q: What have you learned from doing TikTok? A: "TikTok showed me to express myself no matter what and to just be me. In a world like now, many people are really scared to just put themselves out there. I try to always make myself stand out [and am] always open to make friends that will last a lifetime."



thematadorsghs.us WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2020

Prentice sells soles for social change BY LILY CAM SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER


he words “Black Lives Matter” (BLM) appear across numerous news headlines as junior Shane Prentice turns on his phone. Prentice is in dismay to see that George Floyd, a Black man, had died due to police

brutality. He decides he needs to make an effort in contributing toward the BLM movement, which aims to dismantle institutionalized racism against the Black community. To encourage change, Prentice decided to resell shoes and donate 100% of his profits to the movement. He began selling streetwear, typically consisting of shoes, two years ago. Prentice was motivated to start this fundraiser last May due to the

protests surrounding Floyd. “Many BLM riots and protests were happening,” Prentice said. “I felt very useless about not being able to go out and say anything about it. That’s when I decided to start a fundraiser on my reselling Instagram page, @lacedla_626, to donate to BLM organizations.” As a non-Black person, Prentice acknowledges the privilege he has to simply participate in the BLM cause while others are living through the hardship. He uses his privilege to support those facing various racial disadvantages in order to bring

awareness and to be an ally. “I am not Black, and I will never understand what it is like to be Black, but I sympathize with the BLM movement,” Prentice said. “My cultural background has kept me determined during the protests. My grandma used to tell me that my family came to America during the Fall of Saigon with little to nothing, working two full-time jobs. These stories inspire me to work as hard as I can to help others.” From the

In preparation for an upcoming order, Prentice packages a pair of Nike Dunk Lows in the colorway of “Brazil (far left).” He mainly sells Nike Jordan 1 shoes due to their high demand and profibility.

fundraiser, Prentice collected $900, which he donated to the Black Visions Collective and the George Floyd Memorial Fund. Prentice ended the fundraiser last August to focus on school; however, he continues to support the BLM movement by signing petitions and encouraging others to do the same. “BLM is important to me because seeing others being discriminated against for the color of their skin is plain wrong and evil, especially when they are getting killed,” Prentice said.


Macias invests in pastries to promote racial equality TAMMY VUONG BUSINESS MANAGER SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER

Walking up to the front door, junior Ashley Macias waited patiently for her friend to let her in as usual. However, this time, she was greeted with the heartbreaking words, “Sorry, my parents think you’re going to steal.” As the door closed, the words repeated in her head, and tears welled up. It would become just one of the many racially charged situations that has affected her. Macias was categorized into a stereotype based on her ethnicity, leading her to hear racial slurs targeted towards the Latinx community. Because the Black community has also experienced racial prejudice, she tries to support local businesses, like Charity GRAPHICS BY WENDY CHAU, VECTEEZY.COM

Cakes (@charity.cakess), founded by Mark Keppel High School (MKHS) student Amanda Lee, that speak out about these social injustices. “I want to financially contribute to raise awareness,” Macias said. “This is why I purchase from businesses that support activist groups or causes.” Although Macias’s parents disagreed with her stance on the Black Lives Matter movement and systemic racism in the U.S., she still purchased from the business. “To earn money, I babysat for my family,” Macias said. “I was then able to use my own money to purchase these cupcakes. Since they were just cupcakes, my family thought nothing of it.” In the future, Macias hopes to establish a platform, such as a website, to share information about social issues. She believes that everyone should do their

part to rid the injustices that plague society through simple acts, like donating money, signing petitions, and educating themselves on systemic racism. “It can be intimidating to read up on these issues due to not knowing where to start, which is why I want to have more resources available,” Macias said. “Being part of the change is important. This way, I am not complicit but rather contributing to a solution.”

Junior Ashley Macias supports Charity Cakes, a small business founded by a MKHS student, Amanda Lee. “Onehundred percent of their proceeds go towards causes and organizations such as the Yemen Crisis, Emergency Release Fund, the COVID Bail Out NYC, and the Lebanon Red Cross,” Macias said. PHOTOS COURTESY OF AMANDA LEE, ASHLEY MACIAS

Profile for The Matador

The Matador: Issue 2 - October 28, 2020  

The Matador: Issue 2 - October 28, 2020