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“Trust results in team success” pg. 10-11

“Celebrity deaths are used for profit” pg. 4-5

THE

Matador

Volume 59, Number 4

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2013

FCC Kyle Qi Victoria Vu Kylie Tran Cassidy Pham Julia Nguyen

Photo by Derek Deng

SophCC Amber Huynh Amy Pham Andrew Tum Kenny Yeung Koby Khauv Shayna Quach

JCC Ashley Rodriguez Aydin Hau Denise Kha Ivy Pham Jenny Trang Justine Pham Macy Nguyen Matthew Diep Qi Guo Samantha Khou Sharon Cao Shannon Hang

SCC Alex Luu Chhe Tum Chris Lew Devin Chang Jason Ngo Katherine Nguyen Krystalynna Pham Pauline Vu Tommy Chu

Students lined up to vote at the quad for their future class council members. Candidates were given one week to campaign, and the following week was open for voting. Results were displayed afterschool on Friday, Dec. 13.

Before the clock struck 3 p.m., Freshmen Class Council (FCC), SophCC and JCC (Junior Class Council) candidates were shaking, imagining their names printed on the red poster on the building. The quad quickly filled with Matadors as they awaited the results of the votes. “I felt somewhat nervous,” SophCC candidate Kenny Yeung said. “I definitely wanted to win, but I also accepted the possibility of losing the election I felt as if I would be able to accept losing because I knew that the other candidates are outstanding leaders as well.” The results, posted after school on Dec. 13, left runners with mixed feelings: bitter defeat, strong joy, or relief. Shannon Hang, a candidate for JCC, was just on the bus when results went

up. “[My friend] told me, and I slapped the person next to me and was like ‘yes, I made it,’” junior Shannon Hang said. “I was really happy, and I still am!” Some were not so pleased. Junior Davin Vuong was among the 10 who did not make the cut. “Well I didn’t make it and I would say I gave it a good try,” junior Davin Vuong said. “I’m not gonna sit here and mope about it; thats life. I’m proud of all my friends that made it, and I’m thankful for people who voted for me.” After the voting process, candidates will undergo an interview from the first semester class council members. However, all senior candidates went straight to interviews this year because of the lack of candidates. “I [was] actually in fear of the popular vote at [first], so it puts that fear away

since there is no voting process,” SCC candidate Christopher Lew said. The election process may have changed slightly for the senior class, but the underclassmen still look up to the senior class. “I look forward to hopefully working and coordinating fundraisers and events with them,” Yeung said. “I look at them with respect, and I feel as if I can go to them if we ever need help with anything.” FCC member Kyle Qi is also looking forward to participating in class council. “All I know is that I want to make this year the best as possible for all the freshmen,” Qi said. “We can make the freshmen [feel] more comfortable [at] school with each other.” After the interviews, the final cut will be made and the winners will join their respective councils.

Nelson Mandela leaves lasting legacy on world Ca ro lina L o a s i g a a n d A m a n d a M o l i n a All anti-apartheid Nelson Mandela desired was a “Rainbow nation” and he did not stop until his dream was brought to life. He put his life on the line, being jailed as an innocent man for 27 years and portrayed as a dangerous terrorist by white South African leaders, and stood up for his African people until peace was found and South Africa was desegregated. Although is passing on Dec. 5 brought the world to tears, many people continue to pursue his legacy and dream of a colorblind world. Mandela, was born in Transkei, South Africa on July 18, 1918. He put himself through law school and in 1944, joined the African National Congress (ANC). During his time in the ANC he argued for the granting of a military wing. In 1961, his proposal was considered and it was decided that members who wanted to be involved in Mandela’s campaign would not be stopped. Mandela’s supposed violent tactics led to his sentencing of five years in prison. He stood in trial for plotting to overthrow the government and in 1964, Mandela and eight others were sentenced to life imprisonment. After his release in 1990, he continued to fight for freedom. “Comrades and fellow South Africans, I greet you all in the name of peace, democracy and freedom,” Mandela said as he spoke his first words outside of prison. “I stand here before you not as a prophet, but as a humble servant of you the people. Today, the majority of South Africans, black and white, recognize that apartheid has no future. It has to be ended by our decisive mass action. We have waited too long for our freedom.” Celebrating one of his personal heroes, President Barack Obama praised Mandela as the last great liberator of the 20th century, urging the world to carry on his legacy by fighting inequality, poverty, and discrimination. Obama described Mandela as “a man who took history in his

“Taekwondo disciplines CarrilloGallegos” pg. 12

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801 Ramona St., San Gabriel, CA 91776

Hopeful candidates run for council

Frank Lieu and Jus t in To y o m i t s u

Features-

Photo by South Africa The Good News/CC BY

Nelson Mandela, an advocate for racial equality, passed away on Dec. 5. Mandela is best remembered for his pursual of desegregation and peace in South Africa for his dream of “a colorblind world.”

hands and bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice.” Mandela was praised by former presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush. “History will remember Nelson Mandela as a champion for human dignity and freedom, for peace and reconciliation,” Clinton said. “We will remember him as a man of uncommon grace and compassion, for whom abandoning bitterness and embracing adversaries was not just a political strategy but a way of life.” Current President Jacob Zuma announced Mandela’s death in a nationally televised address. “Our nation has lost its greatest son,” Zuma said. “Our people have lost a father. Although we knew that this day would come, nothing can diminish our sense of a profound loss.” Outside the Soweto home where he once lived, a shrine with a picture of him bears the inscription: “Rest in peace, Madiba” -- his clan name. Mandela, who once said, “the struggle is my life,” left the world a beloved hero of both South Africa and the mankind itself.

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Students express Poetry Out Loud Kr isty Duong A hush fell over the crowd and footsteps echoed across the stage as the first poet took her place at the center of the rug. The floor creaked under her as she shifted her weight and began to speak. San Gabriel High School’s third annual Poetry Out Loud competition was held on Dec. 13 at the Little Theater, featuring 21 poets from English teacher Katy Burkhart’s senior and sophomore classes. Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitation competition in which students select and memorize poems and try to deliver their true essences that were intended by the authors. These student initially competed at the class level, and the top scorers moved on to the school competition. The night began with an introduction of the judges for the evening included alumnus and past Poetry Out Loud contestant Britteny Chieng and teachers Breanna Hunt, Virginia Parra, and Patrick Posada. Students were judged according to their physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, level of complexity, evidence of understanding, overall performance, and accurancy. To break the ice for the contestants, Burkhart’s sister, Dottie, an English teacher at Alhambra High School, recited the poem “It would be neat if with the New Year” by Jimmy Santiago Baca. Students then began to recite poems that they had selected and practiced weeks prior to the event. “Every night, I recited a couple times, and when I could do it without looking at the poem, I knew I was ready,” senior Judy Linh said. At the competition’s conclusion, the top 10 students who will be moving onto the district competition were announced. These students included Jenny Bui, Helen Chhea, Charlie Diep, Maria Gamino, Steven Ho, Mimi Lam, Alex Luu, Dean Menk, Tracy Nguyen, and Johnny Pizarro. However, due to an error made during the score tabulation, it was discovered following the announcement that Judy Linh would also be moving on to the district competition. “I’m proud of every kid that goes up there whether they perform perfectly or not. It’s about connecting with a poem and giving that poem to somebody else, and it just starts a chain effect of spreading poetry which is what I came into teaching for,” Katy Burkhart said. The district competition will be held today at 1 p.m. in Alhambra High School’s Little Theater.

Photo by Derek Deng

Senior Alex Luu expressively recited a poem by Walt Whitman, A March in the Ranks Hard-Prest, and the Road Unknown, during the competition.


NEWS

THE MATADOR

Choreo dances its way through new competition

Photo courtesy of Catherine Bocanegra

L a u re n K a k a z u The San Gabriel High School Choreo Dance team left Sierra Vista High School in good spirits after placing first at the SHARP Dance Competition on Dec. 15. After their performance at the homecoming rally on Oct. 14, Choreo coach Rosalee Cabral signed up Choreo to compete in the Sr. Pom category at the SHARP Dance competition. This was not the first SHARP competition that the dance team ever competed at, but this one proved to be different than the previous competitions. “It was our first time competing in a pom category,” senior Choreo member Crystal Tang said. “Most of the competitions we compete at, we compete in the hip hop category or a prop category. We had to focus more on technique and sharpness and hitting the moves with poms, which we have never done before … but overall it was a great experience.” Choreo competed against another school, Bell Gardens High School. “[The hardest part was] keeping the energy up, keeping [our] spirits up, and

The San Gabriel High School Choreo Dance team placed first at the SHARP Dance Competition with a score of 93.25. This year, they competed in the pom category rather the hip hop or prop categories.

seeing how the other teams are and pushing yourself to do better,” Choreo captain Tiffany Heng said. For many of the Choreo members, like junior Shannon Hang, this was their first time competing in a dance competition. “It was really exciting and nervewracking,” Hang said. “I was really scared but when I got onto the floor I [thought] ‘Oh, let’s just do it.’” After they competed, 10 Choreo members took the opportunity to compete in the Special Events. Every member who competed in a Special Event earned spirit points, which added to the team’s total score. The members competed in categories, such as highest kicks, best turns, best toe touches, best turns and best leaps. Junior and Choreo member Amber Dykeman competed for best turns. “I felt like I would do well in turns and I also thought it would be fun to participate,” Choreo member Dykeman said. At the end of the Special Events, awards were given out to the first place winners in all of the categories. The Choreo Dance Team won Sr. Pom with a score of 93.25.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2013

2

Viewpoints vary as Unz proposes to increase California’s minimum wage increase in minimum wage. The business owners are going to have to increase the Attempting to make California the state prices of what [they] charge.” with the highest minimum wage, millionaire Concurrent with government actions, Ron Unz proposed to increase minimum is the U.S. fast food workers’ nationwide wage from $8 an hour to $10 an hour in 2015 protests over low wages. Employees and $12 in 2016. working on a living of minimum wage Unz plans to pour his own money into the gathered outside several fast food chains measure, according to the New York Times. and retail stores in their respective areas. This leaves it up to California residents to Some strikers demanded their pay to be as vote whether or not to increase the minimum high as $15 an hour. wage, requiring 750,000 “I’d say $15 an hour is signatures to get the too much of a spike in proposal on the ballot. wages. If anything, I At $7.25, the current think $12-13 an hour federal minimum is reasonable,” Pham wage is 75 cents less said. “If the minimum than California’s. wage at fast food President Barack Obama restaurants were attempted to add into the t o i n c re a s e b y policy agenda a rising of that much, I feel the federal minimum wage t o that the younger $9 an hour, but Congress did generations will feel not adequately support his less of a need to get calling. a good education.” Illustration by Erin Truong “The amount of work that From an employee most minimum wage jobs require is standpoint, the increase in nowhere equivalent to the pay,” senior minimum wage might ease the worker’s Krystalynna Pham said. “From working a struggle but cause businesses and the few jobs, I’ve noticed that my coworkers economy to take a toll. Critics argue that are either college students or parents. The fewer jobs will be available, especially increase in minimum wage will provide because small businesses will face financial more for families who really need it.” challenges. Also, employee benefits will California governor Jerry Brown decrease because certain cuts must be made previously “signed legislation to increase in place of the higher pay. the minimum wage to $10 an hour in 2016,” “[For] the person who’s working, they as stated in New York Times; however, the get a little more money in [their] pocket,” California Chamber of Commerce believed Gin said. “But what’s the use of having an the bill would raise unemployment rate and increase in minimum wage if you don’t put the state’s economic recovery at risk. have a job? Businesses won’t hire as many “The only bad thing of increasing people.” minimum wage is you’re going to increase Unz’s proffer might cause conflicts the prices,” history teacher Raymond Gin between the employee and business, but the said. “When you increase the prices, you’re decision is up to California residents when going to have this little arms race of the citizens vote on the ballot in 2014. Mimi Lam

Multicultural Dance Club performs for elderly people I l e a n a P e re z The Matador Multicultural Dance Club (MMDC) will be performing at a  convalescent home in the city of El Monte during the first week of January. MMDC started at the beginning of the school year to teach and inform people about different cultural and dance techniques around the world. The club combines culture and dance with services around the community. MMDC will be presenting a traditional Hawaiian dance routine known as a

Polynesian dance, which involves rhythmic slow movements of the hips to a graceful song. The club will be dancing to a song called  “Hanalei Moon.” MMDC’s president Trista Rios chose this dance because the club seemed satisfied and content with it; it was also not one of the dances the club had previously danced to. “I thought that doing something like this for the winter season would be a good idea,” Rios said. The club has been practicing every Tuesday during lunch and is planning to meet up during the break as they try

to maintain a strict and productive work schedule. MMDC selected the convalescent home as their performance location  because the club wanted to go and meet the people there, since they might enjoy a show especially during the holiday season. “We thought that it would be nice to just go and visit, “ Rios said. “Nobody wants to spend the Christmas season alone.” MMDC hopes that they will be able to raise the holiday spirit in the convalescent home and continue to develop their skills.

Gardening Club creates funds through garden enterprise time and effort needed to clear up the dirt Jennifer Thai and begin seeding. Through this working experience, The Gardening Club, meeting every Wednesday after school and Saturday at students learn the process of gardening as well as business: the planting creating products grounds in and later selling front of the them. B building, “Our goal is to plans to create a substantial beautify the business to help school as create funds for well as gain San Gabriel,” senior business Brandon Ascencio experience said. by selling The Gardening plants. T h e Photo by Derek Deng project supervisor club aims Seniors Dat Le and Oscar Munoz helped with the Jesse Chang works for Kingdom to grow and digging and planting at the B building garden. Causes, under the sell their plants by January. Through their garden Neighborhood Gardens initiative which near the B building, its members plan aims to increase community engagement to grow various types of plants such as and health through school and community Mediterranean herbs and lavender. They gardens. Although he has already worked hope to finish in January, considering the with three other schools in the Alhambra

Unified School District, this project at San Gabriel High School is his first to create a business enterprise as well as being his largest scale project --almost a quarter of an acre. “Gardens can connect a community in creative and multifaceted ways,” Chang said. “My vision for this garden is an ongoing business and something the whole school can utilize and enjoy.” Working from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays and after school on Wednesdays, the club members show dedication as they clear roots and plant. “I believe that it [the garden] will grow and have more people come to help this project and group will expand,” senior Frankie Zhang said. The club is preparing for their ribbon cutting ceremony anticipated to be in January. “I am excited to see the final product of the garden,” junior Sabina Ma said, “It would help San Gabriel look a little bit nicer.” Beautifying the school, the Gardening Club seeks to change the school in their own unique way.

Photo by Derek Deng

The Matador Multicultural Dance Club rehearsed its Polynesian dance performance, which will take place at a convalescent home in El Monte.

Student journalists learn about privilege, oppression

Photo by Jennifer Kim

“Take two steps back if you’ve ever been stopped by a cop because of your race,” youth and community coordinator Mike Rabaja Pedro said. A few shy scuffles back, and then silence again. “Now take a step forward if you ever received educational assistance, like an SAT course or any sort of after school program.” A few unsure steps forward. “Now look around you; what do you all see in terms of privilege and where you all stand as a group?” To read more, go to thematadorsghs.com


3

THE MATADOR

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2013

NEWS

Students send holiday mail, express gratitude to armed forces R e b ecca Lei This Christmas, veterans and troops serving across the country and overseas will experience a tiny bit of the gratification owed to them in the American Red Cross event, “Holiday Mail for Heroes.” “Holiday Mail for Heroes” is a card-donation event, where volunteers who wish to take part will turn in cards across two channels — either mailed to a specified Red Cross headquarters, or turned in to participating local Red Cross chapters. The San Gabriel High School chapter is one such chapter. Students turned in colorful cards that came in all shapes and sizes, with only one similarity — a desire to express gratitude for the soldiers. “As soon as I heard that [Red Cross] was going to be sending cards to soldiers, I immediately started thinking up card ideas,” freshman member Diana Kou said. “The troops help protect America and its people, so it’s always a nice idea to send thanks, especially if they’re stationed hundreds of miles away from home.” Although the card donation has been a Red Cross tradition for over 60 years, it is the first time San Gabriel’s Red Cross chapter has ever undertaken the event. “I think we tend to forget that there are people putting their life on the line [for] our country,” Red Cross president senior Michelle Zhou said. “It’s definitely a worthwhile cause, and we should at least make an effort to [show] how grateful we are. The members are excited to do it, and it’s turning out to be quite successful.” In order to keep the event strictly cordial, the Red Cross has put out some restrictions on the choice and content of the card, such as forbidding the use of glitter in order to keep from aggravating potential health issues. The official Red Cross website also forbids the inclusion of emails and home address, stating that “the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships.” The collected cards will be sent to veteran hospitals and other military centers, where soldiers will be given a chance to experience some holiday cheer and appreciation for their service to America.

Photo by Rebecca Lei

Members of the Red Cross chapter at San Gabriel High School participated in the “Holiday Mail for Heroes” event by making holiday cards for soldiers stationed away from home.

Photo courtesy of Jane Luong

On Dec. 14, competitors from the San Gabriel Speech and Debate team, both novice and varsity, participated in the annual Fall Varsity at Arroyo High School, where they brought home six awards.

Debaters succeed at Fall Varsity C hri st op her Lan The Matador Speech and Debate team sent 26 competitors to Arroyo High School on Dec. 14, where they competed at Fall Varsity, the first varsity league tournament of the year. While the team had no awards of any kind at last year’s tournament, this year’s competition yielded two finalist trophies and four other semifinalist awards. Senior Alex Luu won second place in the final round of Oratorical Interpretation (OI), referring to his success as “the best experience of [his] life to date.” After seeing first-year novices at practice with memorized scripts while he was relatively unprepared, Luu felt ashamed and strenuously practiced the week before the tournament to improve and master his speech. “I worked hard, but getting a second place trophy was so much more than I expected for the work I put in,” Luu said. “The assistant coach, Angel Pinedo, told me that even if I didn’t deserve it, I sure earned it. I’ll treasure what he said and this accomplishment for the rest of my life.” After winning an award for National Extemporaneous Speaking (NX) almost a month ago at Fall Novice, freshman Tom Cheah advanced past semifinals into the NX final round at Fall Varsity, in which he won sixth place. Cheah’s greatest motivation was his desire to prove to his debate peers and coaches that their effort in helping him was well worth it. “[When] I saw I broke into finals for NX, I couldn’t believe my eyes… [and] was quite shocked,” Cheah said. “It was a really challenging, tiring, and rewarding

Band competes in Christmas parade Panther costume, while band members dressed as detectives with coats, hats, and fake glasses and The San Gabriel Matador band marched in moustaches, and color guard, as burglars with ski the 52nd annual Camarillo Christmas Parade masks and dark clothing. Complete with a unique last Saturday, under the theme “Four Paws of routine that involved skulking and turning, the Christmas,” taking home 1st place in Band and an band received an Honorable Mention for their Honorable Mention representation of the in the Walter Brennan theme. Award. “[This year ’s Senior drum major theme] was really Ryan Duong won first fun and [was] a new place for the drum experience compared major award. The to last year ’s color guard team, [normal marching]!” led by senior Dexin sophomore Koby Zuo, placed second Khauv said. for the color guard “Costuming was a and auxiliary award. hassle though, and The marching band sometimes interfered competition part with my playing and of the parade was Band members dressed up as characters from marching.” re v i e w e d b y t h e After the parade the iconic movie The Pink Panther in keeping up SCSBOA (Southern ended, band California School with the theme of the “Four Paws of Christmas.” members headed Band and Orchestra Association) in which they over to the traditional carnival at the Community played John Philip Sousa’s, “The Thunderer.” Center Park, which featured musical performances, “Though I wasn’t able to see how well we food stands, carnival games, animal association performed, I noticed that the musical elements that related booths. Ms. [Cognetta] and I heavily stressed were there,” “The carnival was really fun!” junior band Duong said. “I feel like the band performed pretty member Mytien Le said. “My favorite [booth] was well, considering the busy schedule of managing a the taco stand, and I got to reunite with old friends.” concert, parade, and morning practices.” Students and civilians alike gathered around the The band played a medley of “The Pink stage to witness the award ceremony at the end of Panther” and “O’Come Emmanuel,” to fit the the day, armed with shaved ice, bags of popcorn, theme of the parade, and Duong donned a Pink lemonade, and tacos. J u d y Ta n g

experience… but in the end it was all well worth it. The experience of a varsity tournament really helped me, a novice, learn a lot of new things.” Although Fall Varsity is a tournament designed primarily for varsity debaters, participation is open to any league member as an opportunity to gain experience. For San Gabriel, freshmen competitors earned all three semifinalist awards at Fall Varsity. In addition to winning sixth place in NX, Cheah also advanced into the semifinal round in Impromptu. Freshmen Carolina Garcia and Kelly Ho broke into the semifinal round in OI and Impromptu, respectively. “My perspective [on debate] changed a lot because [Fall Varsity] was so much more different from Fall Novice,” Ho said. “I learned about the different ways people can form speeches, and also the styles of a variety of people.” After the team’s relative success this year, with eight awards at Fall Novice and two awards at Fall Debate, Head Coach Andrew Nguyen looks forward to the remainder of the team’s year. “This year, both varsity and novice students have been supporting each other to an unprecedented degree,” Nguyen said. “That much of our success was from freshmen shows how hard the members have worked just this year, and how much potential they have going forward.” The following week on Dec. 21, both novice and varsity members will compete at Fullerton Invitational to conclude the first semester of debate competition. The team will then return from winter break to practice for the spring season, and ultimately state and national qualifiers.

Clubs donate to charity Vanessa Huang This winter, San Gabriel clubs like Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and National Honor Society (NHS) do their part in contributing to the community by donating canned food to the needy and less fortunate families for the holiday season. Donations will consist of canned meats, vegetables, fruit, peanut butter, jams and jellies, pickles, cornmeal, cereal, dairy products, and baked goods like pies, cookies, cakes, and bread. For FBLA, the food donations began during beginning of December and will end before the start of winter break, and students will receive service hours for donating. Cans will be collected in the nurse’s office and then delivered to the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) who will then distribute the food supplies to families. FBLA vice president Michelle Lok thinks it is an excellent way to help the needy during the winter season. Illustration by Cassandra Chen “It’s a great event especially because Christmas is just around the corner,” Lok said. “FBLA has participated in similar events [previously] and usually they’re successful. If the students are happy and the hungry families are happy, then why not?’’ NHS, also doing the holiday service as a way to give the donations as an act of kindness and giving, not getting. The charity of food can be given to the NHS advisor’s room, Karen Keller in SA-8 and will later be brought to the PTSA to distribute the canned food. The service will last for a few weeks and the last day to donate is on Dec. 13. Donating to families that are less fortunate can encourage students to be more involved with their community. “It’s a great way for students to give back to [the] community. Donating canned food is a wonderful and heartfelt service during the holiday season,” NHS pice president Jenny Bui said. “The food donations [from] students will bring an abundance of food to the families for the holiday season.”


OPINIONS idkanniemore

Annie Huang Let’s hear it for New York At this age, I find myself notorious for claiming to have fallen deeply in “love” with numerous men who knew nothing of my existence. What I will never in my life doubt, though, is the love for the most important man in my life: Manhattan. Yes, I do want to be like Carrie Bradshaw, who loves New York City with all of her heart, to wear nice clothes and meet extraordinary people, and to pretend I like coffee when really, I don’t. Dull puns and The Carrie Diaries references aside, I honestly cannot imagine myself being anywhere else other than that complicated, chaotic city. I often ask myself, “Is it the jawdropping, towering skyscrapers? Is it the streets filled with pretty lights and diverse people who are blessed with an extremely good fashion sense? Or is it its ability to bring out the best qualities of each individual and make them feel like they belong?” And maybe, it is all of those things about the city that have gotten me all worked up for these past years of my life. Along with this immense dream of mine come the anticipated doubts and snickers from prying eyes, of those who will nod knowingly and pretend like they have faith in me. However, nothing that people can say or do to me will ever make me question my goals. I have dreamed about this and worked for this for far too long to just let anyone stomp on it and tear it apart. In fact, I have learned that if I allow the opinions of others to hold me back from reaching my dreams and to determine the person that I will become, I will eventually become a lost cause. After all, when you stand for nothing, you will fall for everything. See, some people, including my own mother, like to believe that my so-called ‘dream’ is just a phase. They are simply ignorant of the fact that I see New York City as more than just pretty streets filled with pretty people and pretty lights. I see new opportunities and new beginnings and new experiences. But all that these people can see are complications, chaos, and uncertainties as the many downfalls of the city. Unlike them, I believe that a person who embraces uncertainties is an independent person, and I want to be that independent person. And fortunately for me, I tend to like most things complicated. However, I don’t feel the need to explain myself. Instead, I will be able to prove to them one day that I am capable of achieving things that they thought I could not. I love proving people wrong. One day, I will finish my master’s degree from New York University, live on the highest floor of my apartment building, own more pairs of shoes than I should, and laugh at those people whose own dreams were crushed and trampled on by the judgments of those who they thought mattered, who once upon laughed at the girl who wrote three different personal statements before the beginning of her junior year and knew the supplement questions of NYU by heart. At the end of the day, all you really need to do is find what makes you happy, and never let anyone take that away from you. Here’s to anyone who thought they couldn’t make it, and then did.

THE MATADOR TUESDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2013

Editorial

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Racial barriers divide sports, prevent integration With the arrival of the winter sports season, one quick glance across campus sports will often reveal an evident and profound difference between the crowds drawn into each sport, whether it be an overwhelming majority of Hispanic/Latinos dominating soccer, or a plentiful number of Asians participating in basketball. Regardless of the type of physical recreation, each sport contains a common ground in its midst that seemingly brings people of similar

backgrounds, many times racial nd ethnic, together. In essence, sports have unveiled a typical occurrence in schools and other corners of society; a multitude of forces guide people to where they are most comfortable, or where others pressure them to be. It is a natural tendency for people to gather with others of similar characteristics, especially when they seem to be pushed away from groups with differing members. The racial lines dividing sports should be broken down in order to encourage and promote a more unified and diverse environment where students can disregard any predisposed stereotypes. Participating in sports should above all build character and foster a supportive atmosphere for athleticism. However, with ethnic divisions in place, sports teams may appear oppressive and unwelcoming, thus causing apprehensive students to avoid reaching outside their traditional boundaries. The difficulties of creating

racial diversity in sports extend to divisions and stereotypes in typical school activities, such as honors classes, club participation, and even lunch groups. Ideal integration requires effort on behalf of both the visitor (minority person breaking the norm) and the receiver (majority group of similar makeup), where the visitor takes the initiative to try something new, and the receiver is satisfied with the newly introduced diversity. Many students too passively accept the current divided system that allows separation of all kinds to persist. It is in the best interest of everyone to make efforts to eradicate sports segregation. One solution is to actively integrate students of various ethnicities into a team. The most simple solution is to stop associating a given sport with a given race. Another effective solution would be to simply make it a goal to recruit both talented and diverse athletes. Walls must be broken down in order to open up experiences and to avoid predictability among certain groups.

Illustration by Oscar Molina

Celebrity deaths are used for profit case. In comparison to famous celebrities, political leaders and other significant people are not heeded as much attention even With every celebrity’s passing away comes the online formu- though they deserve it just as much as celebrities do. And in the cases of many megastars’ deaths, celebrity death laic mourning process: #RIPs, burgeoning likes and follows, and has become a highly profitable market. For example, emotional messages that appear one after another Bob Marley has become a legendary icon and in the news feeds of Facebook, Twitter, you a part of a capitalist enterprise. There are Bob name it. In fact, this trend has become a Marley speakers, messenger bags, and also routine for most netizens to share their a line of Bob Marley drinks called Mellow grief with the public when someone famous Mood and One Drop. According to Forbes, passes away.  Michael Jackson earned the title of the top It is one of the strangest parts of pop earning dead celebrity. Much of Michael culture, seeing the social network react Jackson’s money comes from two Cirque du when a celebrity passes away. The celebrity’s Soleil shows, Immortal, engrossing over $300 death becomes the talk of the Internet; there million, and One, which engrossed twice as will be people who may suddenly speak of much. Both shows feature acrobatics, but them with such admiration, even though they One comes with a hologram-like illusion of have never heard of them in their lifetime. There Jackson performing “Man in the Mirror” will be people who act as if they were personat the end of the show. ally devastated, but in fact, just “jumped on the This brings up the question of bandwagon.” However, as soon as this mourning whether people are just taking ends, much is forgotten about the celebrity’s advantage of celebrities’ death by death amongst the vastness of the Internet, exploiting their image and popularity as news is slowly pushed to the past. just to make a profit. This act of “con It is plain to see that in comparison to tinuing on the celebrity’s legacy” may as well be other notable people’s passings, celebrity a form of business to get fans to spend their money.  deaths are much more overrated. When Fast and People seem to put more importance on celebrity Furious star Paul Walker passed away, no one paid Illustration by Jennifer Thai deaths, but life and society revolve around more their condolences to the driver of the car, Roger Rodas, who also passed away, going as far as to say that it was his fault than just the entertainment world. There are other significant for the tragic accident, even though that may have not been the people who deserve the same amount of recognition. C hel sea H uynh

Social trends influence the buying of revealing clothing J ud y Tang I reached for the knit sweaters and tops, pleasantly surprised to see that the items were less than $20 each. However, toward the back of the shop, I noticed a few crop tops, tanks, and shorts that varied from $3040 dollars apiece. Why are these small, thin pieces of clothing so much more expensive than clothing that is less revealing? Granted, there are a lot of exceptions, like how some pieces of clothing, though made of less cloth, may be made of better quality fabrics and workmanship, it would be difficult to deny that less clothing means more money, since there are far too many examples of it in the fashion choices people wear throughout the year. I cannot help but feel that this concept applies more significantly to clothing that is more likely to create sex appeal than not. Tank tops, shorts, and other pieces are more revealing, and because of such a huge influence the views of society have on people’s choice of fashion, many people

feel compelled to pay way too much for a tank top that will show off one’s shoulders than a T-shirt that fully covers one’s body. “[Clothes made from less cloth] are market scams to make money off of insecure girls,” senior Dylan Chu said. Influences like Tumblr, Instagram, and celebrities act as models to imitate or follow, but often these influences exploit young generations and cause them to follow these trends. In a world where most of us yearn to be well-liked by others, or at least viewed as being “cool,” we follow the trend of donning a $50 cropped sweater, while the $30 sweatshirt sits, neglected. Because the cropped sweater is viewed as desirably fashionable, people gravitate toward it, whether to impress crushes at school or remain updated with the latest trends, regardless of the ridiculous pricing.

The point is, clothing made of generally less fabric, has grown more expensive, compared to clothing made of more cloth. People are so caught up in trying to keep up with fashion that they do not realize how outrageous their purchases are. Clothing choices are entirely an individual’s, but it would be wise to reconsider one’s purchase, and reflect: Is this article of clothing really worth the money I’m paying?

Illustration by Emmanuel Maresca


5

OPINIONS

THE MATADOR TUESDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2013

Privilege does not give one freedom Va n e s s a De La Rosa

being so mentally detached that one cannot even understand the consequences of their actions and being so egotistical that a In the case of Percy Levar Walton, who killed three people in person completely disregards the lives of others for their own 1996, Walton was sentenced to death by the jury despite being a enjoyment. diagnosed schizophrenic. Walton had a history of mental disability “Affluenza” is not even recognized by the American and incompetence, experiencing psychosis symptoms since Psychiatric Association, which further proves that being adolescence. His death sentence was annulled in 2008, and he was privileged in no way deters a person’s ability to make decisions. instead sentenced to life in prison without parole. Couch’s privilege that supposedly caused him to kill those In the case of 16-year-old Ethan Couch, who ran over and killed bystanders is the very same privilege that is keeping him from four pedestrians while driving under the influence, prosecutors serving time. pressed for 20 years in jail; he was sentenced to 10 years It is not fair for people who are more of probation. fortunate in lives to have the right Couch was not diagnosed with to do whatever they want without any real mental disorder, and the having to face severe consequences severity of his crime was more direr that rival the rigorousness of the than Walton’s. Despite this, crime committed. Walton was sentenced to life Anthony Lamanna, a person who in prison while Couch was had previously attended and met released under probation. Couch before the accident, claimed The difference between that he lived in solitude in a mansion verdicts was one sole, given to him by his father, drinking distinct factor: privilege. copious amounts of alcohol and It is so infuriating to smoking marijuana unsupervised. know that an overindulged “[He] kept saying that he lived adolescent can get away in the place alone and could do with murder solely because whatever he wanted,” Lamanna said Illustration by Steven Ho of the riches he contains, in an interview with Mail Online. while a man who is seriously mentally ill and detached from Couch seemed perfectly aware of his actions, his statement reality who cannot determine right from wrong is sentenced to life proving that he did understand the amount of power and in prison as opposed to getting the help he needs. freedom he had, enough for him to do whatever he wanted The defense attorney pled that Couch was suffering from a without repercussion. His privilege allowed for his attorneys to questionable diagnosis called “affluenza,” which is apparently scramble for excuses to save him; if this had been the case with when someone is so tremendously privileged, they can no longer another minority in the same situation, people would not go to discern right from wrong. such great lengths to explain and excuse his actions. It does not matter how wealthy someone is or how privileged Ethan Couch was simply an exceedingly fortunate boy who they are; that does not excuse them from disregarding the welfare allowed his greed to consume rational actions. Privilege does not of others. No amount of privilege can ever change the fact that affect basic human conduct, and it certainly does not free people he is a human being, and no amount of privilege can ever affect from their consequences. People should be responsible for their how someone’s mind functions. There is a difference between actions no matter how rich or poor they are.

Finals before break allows more time for relaxation H a n f re y De n g I woke up and slowly opened my eyes, taking a few moments to jump-start my groggy mind under my matted collection of hair. The warm blankets and comfy mattress provided relaxing protection against the chilly tendrils of winter. After a few moments of attempting to go back to sleep, I suddenly experienced a feeling I knew all too well, the nagging thought of my unfinished homework and my unprepared mind for the upcoming finals. Many students in high school are

woefully vulnerable to this endless cycle of procrastination. However, this year’s finals have been strategically placed precisely before winter break. This, of course, presents a new set of circumstances for students. Last year, I had gone through the more unfortunate path of procrastinating my whole winter break away only to meet the cold hard reality of rushing to finish my schoolwork in time just so I could try and squeeze in some studying time. This year, I’m not going to be able to repeat that process. In fact, I am basically forced

Steven Ho Oscar Molina Chelsey Tran Kristy Duong Rebecca Lei Opinions Editors Vanessa De La Rosa Lauren Kakazu Focus Editor Sonny Hy Life and Art Editors Derrick Chi Annie Huang Sports Editors Marvin Luu John Truong Features Editors Maggie Cheng Crystal Wong Copy Editors Chelsea Huynh Mimi Lam Christopher Lan Richard Yue Photo Editor Derek Deng Artists Cassandra Chen Annie Huang Emmanuel Maresca John Truong Business Managers Carolina Garcia Ileana Perez Website Editor Tran Lam Blogs Manager Judy Tang Photographer Derek Deng Adviser Jennifer Kim Reporters: Kathering Montelon, Hanfrey Deng, Angela Fong, Vanessa Huang, Frank Lieu, Carolina Loaisiga, Amanda Molina, Cynthia Navarro, Jennifer Thai, Justin Toyomitsu, Erin Truong, Anthony Yang, and Amy Yee

The Matador is a public forum for student expression and highly encourages responses in reaction to issues discussed in the paper. Submit comments as a letter to the editor, signed (anonymity is guaranteed if requested), to H-2, or Ms. Kim’s mailbox. The Matador is published monthly by the journalism staff of San Gabriel High School. 1,600 copies per issue are published at American Foothill Publishing Co., Inc. The opinions and views expressed in The Matador do not necessarily reflect the beliefs of the school or the Alhambra School District. The Matador and the Alhambra Unified School District do not endorse the vendors advertised in this paper.

This article is abridged. To read the full article, please visit www.thematadorsghs.com

The Matador Bullring

Editors-in-Chief

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into studying for finals before break simply because finals are before break. However, I am going to be able to enjoy my break without having to worry about finals. Being able to enjoy a two-week break without any additional stress for finals right when I come back to school is a good change that I am willing to cope with, especially because I’m probably going to get homework from my teachers anyway. If I am going to get work during winter break, then I might as well make the most out of it.

Why will you receive coal in your stocking this year?

I probably [will]…because I’m starting to think everyone is too lazy to get me a gift so they just dump coal in my stocking.” -Brandon Lau, 9th grade

Because I didn’t study a lot for my finals and I’m going to get a bad grade.” -Cassandra Rodriguez , 10th grade

Because I took a picture with Santa at the mall, and I pulled his beard, so I guess he’s still mad at me for that.” -Ricardo Contreras, 11th grade

[I’m getting coal] because I’m having a barbecue and asked Santa for some.” -Jennifer Ngo, 12th grade Photos by Derek Deng

‘Emmanuel’never4get

Emmanuel Maresca No ‘manuel’ for acting As a sophomore, I’ve already found my calling here: acting. Everything about performing in front of an audience makes me feel ecstatic. It is just the thrill of knowing that people paid money to see you make a spectacle of yourself that makes me happy. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Being in productions at this school has brought me closer to a lot of people I never would have had the pleasure of meeting. The entire rehearsal process is like hanging out with your best friends, and working as a team to bring excitement and joy to the audience. Even backstage during performances, we’re dancing around and getting pumped to take the stage. It’s truly amazing how great it feels to elicit responses from the audience when something dramatic happens during your performance. You can just feel the story and setting around you when you act. It’s as if you have traveled to a place you’ve never been to before, and you’re the one who created it. Sometimes I would get so engrossed in a scene that when it’s over, I have forgotten what I just did. Playing a character is not as easy as it seems. It’s much more than just memorizing lines and saying them aloud. You must literally become that character. Occasionally, a few cast members and I sit around the theater before rehearsal and come up with backstories for our characters. We come up with their birthdays, favorite foods, etc. All characters need a voice and a soul all their own. Another crucial part of live acting is your cast mates. We’re always helping each other out on stage in case any unexpected thing happens. Whether it’s a forgotten line or a door that won’t open, your cast members will be there for you. It’s a group effort to put up a fantastic show, and your friends and cast are extremely important. Acting is just like a sport. You gotta remember where to go and what to do. It’s very intense. The stages of our productions are always captivating and carefully put together. The cast was present during weekends to help build walls and paint the furnishings. Some of our stage managers even learned how to reupholster the furniture to match the time period. Set construction is a bonding experience for the cast and crew. One thing I’m really enthusiastic about is costumes. We get measured, and we rent custom fitting costumes for each of the cast members. It’s thrilling to try on your costume for the first time, as you fully start to become your character. Costumes as well as makeup really bring the show together. Some characters are older than others, and our makeup artists make sure we look stunning. I’ve played an older character twice, and putting on the makeup is meticulous. To depict accurately the face of a 55-year-old man, you have to find the wrinkles in your face by making crazy scrunched up faces and exaggerated smiles. I always start laughing with my makeup artist because of the process. Acting and drama has been quite an experience. The San Gabriel Drama Department is truly a family and I’m so happy that I’ve found my place in San Gabriel.


FOCUS

THE MATADOR TUESDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2013

what would you to do to be

FREE?

DIVERGING FROM PATH THROUGH ART Cassandr a Chen Pencil in hand, I sit struggling to focus and mentally push my way through completing my math assignment. In this struggle, I abandon my academic work and transfer myself to my world of paradise. Although I find tranquility in my artwork, my parents

What do you consider independence or freedom? “''I think independence is when you no longer need '"“"" 'Being able to anyone to help YOU with FINANCES, cooking, and cleaning. without having to be reprimanded by others and their ,'' thoughts,'' SENIOR JESUS MEZA SAID. SOPHOMORE LAWERENCE HUYNH SAID.

express yourself openly

You just live for yourself being by

“''Independence meanS that you don’t have to rely on any“I think independence is , but it'’s not good because you need one else all the time, people in life to guide you,'' FRESHMAN HELEN DANG SAID. ,'' JUNIOR JUSTINE MURRIETA SAID. Quotes gathered by Vanessa Huang

yourself

you can depend only on yourself, but we can’t always be expected to be on our own

6

7

THE MATADOR

tend to be unsure about whether or not it is a worthwhile pursuit. Growing up in the typical Asian household, my sisters and I would always get the same “find a good future” talk. They would demand me to get straight A’s, find a good job, become a doctor, and fulfill all other clichéd objectives. Due to my parents, my future has been basically “set out” for me. However, I do not share the same desires. Instead of studying for my math tests, I turn towards my computer, plug in my tablet and begin to draw my heart away. It doesn’t matter if I’m not inspired; I just draw because I want to do something other than what my parents expect of me, even if I feel guilty about it. “Don’t turn out like your sisters,” my mom would say.

FIND YOURSELF IN WHAT YOU ENJOY. INSTEAD OF OTHERS LIMITING WHAT YOU CAN ACHIEVE, ACHIEVE ANYTHING. YOU WANT TO Cynthia Navar ro I can easily claim a few moments in my life that describes me, but then I’d be lying. I was always different, I just didn’t know what made me different also made me unique.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2013

“You’re the last hope of this family. If you try hard, you can ;’;’ do anything. Get a good job. Secure your future.” Despite the constant pressure and high expectations, I have tried to go in my own direction. I want to create my ‘ path to independence myself. I have developed the notion that going to an university may not be for me. I do not see the point of earning a degree that won’t even help me with the career that I choose to pursue. My ideal path consists of diverging from the norm and using my artistic abilities to bring me somewhere. It doesn’t matter right now if I don’t know what I want to do; what I do know is that I want to draw. I want to build my own path to independence, and I will.

I don’t go with the flow; I make my own path. Some people like to make a ton of friends and be known; I prefer a small group of close friends. Growing up, other girls played “make-believe house” while I pretended to be a witch in the wizard world of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. To this day I am still waiting to receive my owl. To me theme parks were always nothing more than a waste of money when Renaissance Fair with its jousting tournaments, costumes, and beautiful, hand-made trinkets with gentle care and unimaginable detail is barely a hour away. I color my hair, not because everyone else does it, but because it represents me and like my hair--I just want to be free. I used to let what others thought about me enslave my soul. I would hide who I really was. Now I just let the comments go through one ear and out the other. The shirts I wear have pictures of things I actually like and not just because it’s the new trend. I don’t need to go out and spend a ton of money on things. Someone should pop me some popcorn and give me all three Lord of the Rings movies and I’ll start saying the lines with Frodo, Aragon, and Gandalf. Yes, I am a geek, but a proud one. You can usually find me with a book in my hand because I love the feeling of opening a book and letting my mind wander into the worlds that other people can dream up. It’ a little vacation from a hectic life. If I have no book to read then I always

continue to write my own book. One day I’ll find the courage to let others read those books but in the meantime I’ll just keep writing. While growing up I had little adventures on my own and had crazy memories being made every day. Some teenagers remember watching Disney movies while they were young. I watched those too, but I also watched movies like The Purple People Eater and Killer Clowns from Outerspace. Who thought popcorn and silly straws could be so dangerous? (Those of you who have seen this movie know what I mean). When I was about nine or ten, I watched the show Roswell , and really believed aliens were among us. Even if they were cute aliens, they were aliens so I had to watch my back. At twelve, my brother and I made a promise after watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the movie Ginger Snaps, that if one of us were ever bitten by a vampire or werewolf, we wouldn’t tattle tale to our mom. Imagine the reaction she’d have finding out if one of her kids was un-dead or chasing the neighbor’s cat every night. One day a dog bit me and me, being the little imaginative “weirdo” I was, I thought I was going to grow claws and a lot of fur just so my mother wouldn’t find out. The next night there was a full moon, I grabbed a sleeping bag and a flashlight and got comfortable in the tree house. Of course I didn’t turn into a werewolf, and of course I ran inside

FOCUS

FREEDOM AND INDEPENDENCE DO NOT ALWAYS LIVE UP TO EXPECTATIONS Ch ris to p h er L an I can’t tie my own shoes. I don’t know how to boil water. I don’t know how to cook rice or even turn a stove on or off, let alone cook anything edible without a microwave. An anomaly in my growth pattern is that I am generally less mentally mature than most of the peers in my year. I’d like to think of myself as two to three years younger than what my age displays. I still don’t mind being called a kid; it doesn’t bother me at all. A lot of seniors tend to regard me as immature, while I actually get along with many freshmen and sophomores more easily. Yet, as a senior, I am planning to move to a four-year college by myself, thousands of miles from home in less than a year. Am I ready for the college life? Probably not. But society doesn’t expect me to live with my parents until that maturity finally hits me in whatever number of years it will take; I am forced to venture off, completely unprepared, into a vast world of independence. I am not sure if I can meet up to others’ expectations in college. Students are supposed to enter college nearly mature and ready to pursue their passions in life, yet I see myself as the kid who is just going there after graduating high school. Am I expected to ask my roommate to make my bed for me? Frankly, I wish I could just bring my parents with me to my college dorm. On the contrary, it is not uncommon for me to hear classmates yearning about their desired journeys to the rest of the world, where they can stride through the great transition into adulthood. For them, independence is everything they wanted, the capability to leave their past behind and start their lives as young individuals, ready to release their ambition. For me, independence is also the next step in my life, but it’s a daunting step with no detours. Although independence is generally always a positive change for a person’s life in the long run, it is not a smooth change for everyone. A 2013 report, The American Dream 2.0, reported that 46 percent of American college students fail to graduate in six years. Most of these people never would have predicted such negative results. They walk into the open world, unaware and unprepared of the harsh reality to come. Many people who embrace independence with negligence will find themselves truly independent, with nowhere to turn for support. Independence is not a fairy tale; people do not usually end up living happily ever after. I realize that independence means severing my sources of dependency. I realize that there will be no one there to pick me up when I trip because my shoes were untied.

within five minutes of being alone, but if anyone asked, I ;’;’ stayed the whole night. I’m the kind of person who, when I like something, I like it with a passion; whether it be a book, a movie, or an ‘ artist; it does not matter. When a favorite book that I have read and reread over and over again to the point where the pages are worn down is made into a movie, I tend to freak out. I’ll be the person in the theater who will argue with the screen at all the changes made, and I’ll be the one to laugh or weep in advance already knowing what’s going to happen. It is those moments that I love. For some reason, I like to look at what many would call strange and unusual and find it extremely fascinating. People find idols in people like Rosa Parks and Angelina Jolie. I look up to people like Helena Bonham Carter and Lady Gaga. I think it’s because they are so different that I find people like them truly unique and different from what anyone wants them or expects them to be like. Many people let society embed thoughts into their minds and in doing so, they give away their independence. I try to swing away from the norm. I do what I think is best for me to be happy. I find it is better to be different and free than to just be one with the crowd. My independence sprouts from my way of thinking; I am not confined to a box.


FOCUS

THE MATADOR TUESDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2013

what would you to do to be

FREE?

DIVERGING FROM PATH THROUGH ART Cassandr a Chen Pencil in hand, I sit struggling to focus and mentally push my way through completing my math assignment. In this struggle, I abandon my academic work and transfer myself to my world of paradise. Although I find tranquility in my artwork, my parents

What do you consider independence or freedom? “''I think independence is when you no longer need '"“"" 'Being able to anyone to help YOU with FINANCES, cooking, and cleaning. without having to be reprimanded by others and their ,'' thoughts,'' SENIOR JESUS MEZA SAID. SOPHOMORE LAWERENCE HUYNH SAID.

express yourself openly

You just live for yourself being by

“''Independence meanS that you don’t have to rely on any“I think independence is , but it'’s not good because you need one else all the time, people in life to guide you,'' FRESHMAN HELEN DANG SAID. ,'' JUNIOR JUSTINE MURRIETA SAID. Quotes gathered by Vanessa Huang

yourself

you can depend only on yourself, but we can’t always be expected to be on our own

6

7

THE MATADOR

tend to be unsure about whether or not it is a worthwhile pursuit. Growing up in the typical Asian household, my sisters and I would always get the same “find a good future” talk. They would demand me to get straight A’s, find a good job, become a doctor, and fulfill all other clichéd objectives. Due to my parents, my future has been basically “set out” for me. However, I do not share the same desires. Instead of studying for my math tests, I turn towards my computer, plug in my tablet and begin to draw my heart away. It doesn’t matter if I’m not inspired; I just draw because I want to do something other than what my parents expect of me, even if I feel guilty about it. “Don’t turn out like your sisters,” my mom would say.

FIND YOURSELF IN WHAT YOU ENJOY. INSTEAD OF OTHERS LIMITING WHAT YOU CAN ACHIEVE, ACHIEVE ANYTHING. YOU WANT TO Cynthia Navar ro I can easily claim a few moments in my life that describes me, but then I’d be lying. I was always different, I just didn’t know what made me different also made me unique.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2013

“You’re the last hope of this family. If you try hard, you can ;’;’ do anything. Get a good job. Secure your future.” Despite the constant pressure and high expectations, I have tried to go in my own direction. I want to create my ‘ path to independence myself. I have developed the notion that going to an university may not be for me. I do not see the point of earning a degree that won’t even help me with the career that I choose to pursue. My ideal path consists of diverging from the norm and using my artistic abilities to bring me somewhere. It doesn’t matter right now if I don’t know what I want to do; what I do know is that I want to draw. I want to build my own path to independence, and I will.

I don’t go with the flow; I make my own path. Some people like to make a ton of friends and be known; I prefer a small group of close friends. Growing up, other girls played “make-believe house” while I pretended to be a witch in the wizard world of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. To this day I am still waiting to receive my owl. To me theme parks were always nothing more than a waste of money when Renaissance Fair with its jousting tournaments, costumes, and beautiful, hand-made trinkets with gentle care and unimaginable detail is barely a hour away. I color my hair, not because everyone else does it, but because it represents me and like my hair--I just want to be free. I used to let what others thought about me enslave my soul. I would hide who I really was. Now I just let the comments go through one ear and out the other. The shirts I wear have pictures of things I actually like and not just because it’s the new trend. I don’t need to go out and spend a ton of money on things. Someone should pop me some popcorn and give me all three Lord of the Rings movies and I’ll start saying the lines with Frodo, Aragon, and Gandalf. Yes, I am a geek, but a proud one. You can usually find me with a book in my hand because I love the feeling of opening a book and letting my mind wander into the worlds that other people can dream up. It’ a little vacation from a hectic life. If I have no book to read then I always

continue to write my own book. One day I’ll find the courage to let others read those books but in the meantime I’ll just keep writing. While growing up I had little adventures on my own and had crazy memories being made every day. Some teenagers remember watching Disney movies while they were young. I watched those too, but I also watched movies like The Purple People Eater and Killer Clowns from Outerspace. Who thought popcorn and silly straws could be so dangerous? (Those of you who have seen this movie know what I mean). When I was about nine or ten, I watched the show Roswell , and really believed aliens were among us. Even if they were cute aliens, they were aliens so I had to watch my back. At twelve, my brother and I made a promise after watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the movie Ginger Snaps, that if one of us were ever bitten by a vampire or werewolf, we wouldn’t tattle tale to our mom. Imagine the reaction she’d have finding out if one of her kids was un-dead or chasing the neighbor’s cat every night. One day a dog bit me and me, being the little imaginative “weirdo” I was, I thought I was going to grow claws and a lot of fur just so my mother wouldn’t find out. The next night there was a full moon, I grabbed a sleeping bag and a flashlight and got comfortable in the tree house. Of course I didn’t turn into a werewolf, and of course I ran inside

FOCUS

FREEDOM AND INDEPENDENCE DO NOT ALWAYS LIVE UP TO EXPECTATIONS Ch ris to p h er L an I can’t tie my own shoes. I don’t know how to boil water. I don’t know how to cook rice or even turn a stove on or off, let alone cook anything edible without a microwave. An anomaly in my growth pattern is that I am generally less mentally mature than most of the peers in my year. I’d like to think of myself as two to three years younger than what my age displays. I still don’t mind being called a kid; it doesn’t bother me at all. A lot of seniors tend to regard me as immature, while I actually get along with many freshmen and sophomores more easily. Yet, as a senior, I am planning to move to a four-year college by myself, thousands of miles from home in less than a year. Am I ready for the college life? Probably not. But society doesn’t expect me to live with my parents until that maturity finally hits me in whatever number of years it will take; I am forced to venture off, completely unprepared, into a vast world of independence. I am not sure if I can meet up to others’ expectations in college. Students are supposed to enter college nearly mature and ready to pursue their passions in life, yet I see myself as the kid who is just going there after graduating high school. Am I expected to ask my roommate to make my bed for me? Frankly, I wish I could just bring my parents with me to my college dorm. On the contrary, it is not uncommon for me to hear classmates yearning about their desired journeys to the rest of the world, where they can stride through the great transition into adulthood. For them, independence is everything they wanted, the capability to leave their past behind and start their lives as young individuals, ready to release their ambition. For me, independence is also the next step in my life, but it’s a daunting step with no detours. Although independence is generally always a positive change for a person’s life in the long run, it is not a smooth change for everyone. A 2013 report, The American Dream 2.0, reported that 46 percent of American college students fail to graduate in six years. Most of these people never would have predicted such negative results. They walk into the open world, unaware and unprepared of the harsh reality to come. Many people who embrace independence with negligence will find themselves truly independent, with nowhere to turn for support. Independence is not a fairy tale; people do not usually end up living happily ever after. I realize that independence means severing my sources of dependency. I realize that there will be no one there to pick me up when I trip because my shoes were untied.

within five minutes of being alone, but if anyone asked, I ;’;’ stayed the whole night. I’m the kind of person who, when I like something, I like it with a passion; whether it be a book, a movie, or an ‘ artist; it does not matter. When a favorite book that I have read and reread over and over again to the point where the pages are worn down is made into a movie, I tend to freak out. I’ll be the person in the theater who will argue with the screen at all the changes made, and I’ll be the one to laugh or weep in advance already knowing what’s going to happen. It is those moments that I love. For some reason, I like to look at what many would call strange and unusual and find it extremely fascinating. People find idols in people like Rosa Parks and Angelina Jolie. I look up to people like Helena Bonham Carter and Lady Gaga. I think it’s because they are so different that I find people like them truly unique and different from what anyone wants them or expects them to be like. Many people let society embed thoughts into their minds and in doing so, they give away their independence. I try to swing away from the norm. I do what I think is best for me to be happy. I find it is better to be different and free than to just be one with the crowd. My independence sprouts from my way of thinking; I am not confined to a box.


LIFE &ART

THE MATADOR TUESDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2013

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Border illustration by Cassandra Chen

‘The Ice Kingdom’ delivers joy for family during the season C y n t h i a N a v a rro

Glimmering ice sculptures instantly surround one when they step foot onto the Queen Mary, the coldness emanating from them remindng people of Christmas. People can visit a new kind of winter wonderland right here in sunny California on the Queen Mary’s Chill. Be sure to bundle up and wear gloves for when entering the Ice Kingdom the first thing many will notice is the freezing cold wind gusting this way and that. Temperatures can easily drop to -9 degrees in the Ice Kingdom with more than two million pounds of ice. It is surrounded by many ice sculptures, the World’s Largest Snowman Bouncy, and the World’s Largest Rocking Horse. Looking around people can be reminded of how magical the holidays can be with its colorful lights and cheerful live holiday music and carolers who can put anyone into the holiday spirit. Chill also has ice tubing down a two-story 100-foot ice slide for the adventurous and an outdoor ice skating rink for those who prefer gliding through the ice in peace. To make the moment last forever or even to make your Christmas card this year, families can climb into

a giant snow globe to take photographs. Chill will be open Nov. 22 to Jan. 5 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and every Tuesday at 8 p.m. is Merry Movie Night were movies will be screened on a 16 ft. screen in the outdoor skating rink.

Queen Mary’s, “The Ice Kingdom”, brings families together during this festive season. The location offers ice skating, ice tubing, concert performances, and other forms of entertainment for people.

Image courtesy of dadogic.net

Address: 1126 Queen Highway, Long Beach, CA 90802 Parking: Public Parking Prices: $29.95 for adults, $14.95 for chidren Dates: Nov. 22- Jan. 5 Hours: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m; 3-11 p.m. on Dec. 3-5; Dec.10- Dec. 12 & Dec.17Dec.19, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Dec. 31; CLOSED Dec. 2, 9 & 16 Website: www.queenmary.com/chill

Image courtesy of 4.bp.blogspot.com Image courtesy of www.queenmary.com

Winter mystery play captures audiences’ amusement J u d y Ta n g Tears fell just as fast as the bodies did; drama teacher Patrick Posada presented Agatha Christie’s mystery book, And Then There Were None with an unforgettable performance by students who performed at a level beyond imagination. A group of ten strangers gather in a tower on an island; the suspense grows, and one by one, each character dies. The question on everyone’s mind is who is the murderer, and who is the next victim? Featuring elegant furniture reminiscent of older time periods, the stage was set in the vast living room of a luxurious mansion on an island. Other factors that contributed to the older and authentic feel of the setting included the oldfashioned clothing and vernacular. The varying lighting that signaled weather changes through the day was a nice and effective touch, and contributed heavily to the moods of suspense and tranquility. Actors vigorously and enthusiastically embodied their character’s personality and status within the group of ten. Freshman Angelica Morquecho’s portrayal of old and conservative Emily Brent was absolutely seared into the reaches of my memory by bringing out the grouchiness and strictness of a traditional woman’s role in a society where women were commonly degraded and discriminated against based on behavior and misconceptions in life such as choice of clothing and association with certain people. Senior Rayanh Guttierez’s depiction of Vera Claythorne seemed completely natural, spot-on, by highlighting the femininity and vivacity of a young woman cast onto a mysterious, murderous island. Junior Andy Tran’s representation and depiction of Lawrence Wargrave was well beyond what I expected; his ability was astounding not only to me, but my peers as well. His initial calmness and composure allowed him to keep the audience in anticipation, as well

as disbelief as they were betrayed by him when he revealed his true identity as the play’s main antagonist. Though adapted from Agatha Christie’s mystery book, a few aspects of the play had been changed for a younger audience. These aspects included minor changes in the cast and in the way two characters had been murdered. The changed ending, though seen as silly and boring to some, was a relief to me. The romantic ending was cliche, but emotional. I felt complete by the end; the play was astounding. I was captivated by the mystery and enraptured with the characters and their unique relationships. Accents, though not masterful by any accord, were well-developed for high school students who are still developing their acting chops. Despite this grievance, the characters still were able to portray a strong variety of emotion that will remain memorable for every audience member.

The Matador Muse A Once Buried Heart A girl on a bench alone Silent and still like a doll An emotionless puppet Her feelings buried deep   Children taunt and insult her A statue breaking inside Hopes of being rescued   An empty paper and pencil Her only salvation Reaches towards her savior Begins to write a poem

Each word appear on the page Sealed emotions drift like snow Chains slowly wither away Poetry flows from her eyes

Photo courtesy of Natalie Ma, El Camino Real

Seniors Rayanh Guttierez as Vera Claythorne, and David Pham as Captain Lombard ponder the mystery of the murders.

-Lauren Kakazu, 12


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THE MATADOR TUESDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2013

Playlist of the Month Reb ecca Lei

It’s the most wonderful time of the year...and it really is. December is a time for warm sweaters, hot chocolate, and everyone’s favorite gift-giving holiday - Christmas. Therefore, it is time to bring back the sounds of Christmas in this compilation of cheery winter songs, all recorded by various artists. These songs are all timeless classics, some recorded back in the 1930s (“Winter Wonderland” by Felix Bernard) and some quite recently (“My Favorite Things” by Kelly Clarkson, recorded October 2013). No matter what the time difference between the songs is, one thing is apparent—these songs are catchy tunes, beloved by all, especially when the holiday season comes by. “Frosty the Snowman” by Steve Nelson is an iconic song of the 1950s that will remind students of childhood times, filled with magic and talking snowmen. The song’s cheerful beats and catchy lyrics will leave students singing along and smiling. Also unforgettable is country crooner Carrie Underwood’s rendition of “Do You Hear What I Hear”. Underwood utilizes her beautiful vocal range to produce a stunning Christmas carol that few will forget. The track is a brilliant tribute to original artists Noël Regney and Gloria Shayne Baker, who wrote and composed the music. “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” by Elmo and Patsy tops off the playlist with a whimsical and comical feeling, reminiscent of the of joy and cheer during the winter season. The song’s intriguing lyrics bring a refreshing change to the traditional style of carol1. Winter Wonderland by Felix Bernard 2. Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helms ing. 3. Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow! So pull up a by Dean Martin up a chair, heat 4. Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt warm cup of 5. It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year hot chocolate, by Andy Williams 6. White Christmas by Bing Crosby and enjoy the 7. Feliz Navidad by José Feliciano Christmas feel8. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town by Miing this compilachael Bublé tion of 16 songs 9. Silver Bells by Bing Crosby will brings to 10. Little Drummer Boy by Pentatonix 11. My Favorite Things by Kelly Clarkson you. 12. Do You Hear What I Hear by Carrie Underwood 13. Frosty The Snowman by Steve Nelson 14. Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer by Elmo and Patsy 15. All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey 16. My Only Wish by Britney Spears

LIFE &ART

Tis’ the season for holiday traditions Teachers were asked to talk about their Christmas traditions. RIchard Romero Math teacher Richard Romero has two identities. A high school teacher by day and a chef by Christmas night. Romero is half Chinese and half Mexican, so he cooks many, many things. “I normally eat menudo, a typical Mexican soup made with beef stomach in broth with a red chili pepper base. It is my families staple dish,” Romero said. He also enjoys the pleasure of his aunt’s homemade pork and jalapeño cheese tamales. “My favorite part of Christmas is watching my aunts and family all cook their delicious tamales,” Romero said. But just as he has his favorites from his Mexican family, he also enjoys his Chinese side as well. “Christmas for me is really a huge feast. I eat [food from] both of my cultures and I enjoy it all,” Romero said. His Chinese foods include the famous dumplings, mooncakes, and fried rice. He also enjoys unusual dishes. “Although I do enjoy my fair share of dumplings, I love swordfish with eggs and rice,” Romero said. Photo by Carolina Loaisiga

Virginia Parra

Most people look forward to Christmas because it is a sign that winter break is coming. Although the break is great, for English teacher Virginia Parra, it is a time to celebrate the festivities by gathering with family and practicing old family traditions that keep their heritage alive. One of the traditions she always looks forward to is the freshly made Mexican delicacies during the holidays. “Every year, we make tamales,” Parra said. “We usually have about 40 or more people for the holidays, so we make about 30 or more pounds of tamales. Three generations of women in my family, including my grandma who is 90, all sit around the table, talk, and make tamales.” For Parra the holidays mean that family is visiting, and everybody is united once again. “[Holidays] always mean just having my family around and having a lot of people at home.” The holiday season is long awaited for Parra, but it is always worth the wait, and her family’s traditions make Christmas day even more special. Photo by Amanda Molina

Tonson Man

“ For Christmas we eat turkey. The turkey is roasted and not stuffed. We roast the turkey so that it is half crispy and half yummy. I go to Las Vegas with my whole family. This year we are going to take four kids of ages three to five. Since it’s a big family, we have to reserve four rooms before Christmas because it’s cheaper. We’re planning to stay two nights and three days,” Tonson Man said. Man also volunteered last year during Christmas in the El Monte Community Center for an event to help the poor and needy. This event is called The Holiday House. Man volunteered with 10 students in his AP Mandarin class by taking pictures and using the money earned for the Holiday House event. He will continue to volunteer for the Holiday House this year, where it will be transformed into a “Holiday House Winter Wonderland.” Sometimes, Man would travel outside the United States to countries like Japan during the holiday season with his family to spend the time together.

Illustration by Angela Fong

To listen to the songs on this playlist, please visit our website <www.thematadorsghs.com> Photo by Derek Deng

All briefs written by Carolina Loaisiga, Amanda Molina, and Kathering Montelon

Winter concert showcases musical talents for school’s bands,choirs Sonny Hy San Gabriel High School’s various choirs and bands entertained an appreciative audience at their annual winter concert on Dec. 11 in the auditorium. The performance began with a twist: band was to perform first and then choir, to save all audience members and performers time that was usually spent organizing the stage. “It was really nice; I thought that everyone sounded good, and I think the entire thing was really nice to see my friends show what they have been working on,” senior Vivian Sy said. Beginner band, which is composed of novice musicians, some playing for just one semester, started off the evening, understandably, with a little nervousness - a stray note heard at times. As the beginner band members began to take a hold of themselves and settled into being on stage, they grew more confident and consistent throughout their performance. Their efforts and earnest music was refreshing as audience members empathized with the progress they had made in their musical education. Concert band, which has about 40 members, followed beginner band and produced a sound that consisted of

strength and confidence. Then marching band with over one hundred members concluded the performance of the bands. From the onset, the marching band was electrifying and emitted an aura of extreme professionalism and power. They blew the entire audience to silence with their overpowering, beautiful music. They were definitely the highlight of the concert. “Coming here was really great because I got to support our school while also enjoying some music from my friends,” senior Naree Dachrucha said. Mixed choir began their performance with smiles and obvious preparation. When the piano began, the singers all seemed to fall in-sync, with their mouths synchronized and smiles lighting up the entire auditorium. The cheerful music beautifully fell upon the ears of the audience members as hushes fell. The simple song-list consisted of lyrics fitting to the weather as their music melodiously combined into an array of beautiful notes. They showed huge growth from their onset. Halfway into their performance, choir members were relaxed and completely devoted to the music. “It was really fun performing and seeing my friends perform too,” junior choir member Joyce Tien said. Advanced choir followed with strength. Songs, cheerful

and fitting to the theme, were performed with professional manner. Singers were energized with their music, seeming to feel it in each breath they spoke. They were extremely audible. Their music carried well piece-to-piece, with notes flowing very smoothly. They hit notes so beautifully, chained to a resounding section of harmony coming from the male tenors, supporting the strength of the sopranos and altos. “Performing in advanced choir was really fun, and I learned a lot about myself and everyone around me. It kind of felt like we were a team. We were singing together. When everything really flew together, it was beautiful,” senior Alison Lo said. The songs were very well chosen, and the concert was another success for band director Tammy Cognetta and choir teacher Cecilia Revilla. “The entire concert was really fun to watch, seeing my friends sing, it was a nice thing to see,” senior Vicki Liu said.


SPORTS BOYS BASKETBALL

GIRLS BASKETBALL

VARSITY 12/06-12/14 vs. Gabrielino 79-39L vs. Los Altos 66-32 L vs. South East 34-38 L vs. Bassett 39-38 W vs. California 54-24 L vs. Paraclete 36-27 L vs. Arroyo 40-38 W vs. Arcadia 58-47 L JV 12/05 vs. Monrovia 52-25 L

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THE MATADOR TUESDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2013

VARSITY 11/29 vs. La Puente 11/30 vs. Monrovia 12/3 vs. Price

78-26 W 60-26 W 57-32 W

JV 11/25 vs. Whittier 12/13 San Gabriel Tourn.

N/A N/A

FRESHMAN 11/25 vs. Whittier 12/12 San Gabriel Tourn.

N/A N/A

GIRLS SOCCER

BOYS SOCCER VARSITY 12/03 @ Rosemead 0-4 L 12/09 @ Monrovia Tourn. 10th Place 12/11 vs. San Marino 1-2 L JV 12/03 @ Rosemead 12/11 vs. San Marino

1-4 L 4-2W

VARSITY 12/03 vs. Rosemead 12/05 @ Azusa

1-12 L 3-7L

JV 12/03 vs. Rosemead 12/05 @ Azusa

0-7 L 0-5 L

Track coach and daughter share passion for sports O s c a r M o l i na Waking up to the ringing sound of an early morning alarm, Steve Morales prepares himself for a 20-mile ride on his Specialized bike through the San Gabriel Valley. Dressed in his biking gear, he pushes down on his pedal and begins his exercise for the day. Quadriceps pumping, eyes focused on the road, Morales’ soul and body are inspired to push their limits. Neither the first nor the last in his family to participate in athletics, Morales, the head cross country and track and field coach, has had his fair share of family figures influence his sports life. Born and raised in Hamilton, New Zealand, he moved to America when he was 13 and began attending Alhambra High School, where his life commenced to revolve around running. “I think being in sports is very important because it teaches hard work, dedication and teamwork,” Morales said. “Whether you are talented or not, these principles translate into having a better lifestyle. Morales’ father, uncle, and grandfather, dominant male role models in his early development, guided him into participating in athletics. His grandfather, Elmo Morales Sr., was a military boxer, while his father, Esteban Morales Sr., ran 4:20 mile in high school and a 1:56  800 meter at Eastern Michigan University. In addition, his uncle, Elmo Morales Jr., was part of the national record holding 4x400 meter relay team at Whittier High School. His uncle was one of the first Hispanic runners to receive a full scholarship to Michigan University, where he participated in the national champion-

ship for cross country and track and field. I n learning this about his uncle, Morales began to realize that he could use sports to excel simultaneously in academics. “My family taught me to be involved in sports to keep me out of trouble and to be the best that I can be,” Morales said. During his time at Alhambra, where he was a varsity level competitor for 10th through 12th grade, Morales was awarded with being the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for four years in row. After graduating, Morales went to Mount San Antonio College and then East Los Angeles College (ELAC), which he transferred out of to attend the California State University, Los Angeles. In his two years at ELAC, Morales also took the MVP title, as well as 20th place at the state community college cross country championship meet, and fifth in the 1500 meter race. “I encourage the younger generations of my family to stay active,” Morales said. “It helps if they know the history of our family.” Due to his support, Morales’ two sons and a daughter, have all been involved in some type of sport, whether it be running, or playing soccer. Despite Morales’ evident athletic accomplishments and fervent passion for running, he respects and acknowledges the fact that his children may not exhibit the same eagerness and success as him, but he explains that he do encourage them to do their best. “My father’s accomplishments do make me want to do better,” freshman Gabby Morales, his daughter who is a San Gabriel soccer player, said. “I care, but I just try to do what I can do.” Since the pinnacle of his athletic career, Morales has

Photo by Justin Toyomitsu

continued to stay active, such as by running in occasional distance races, like the Los Angeles Marathon, or with his cross country and track runners during practice. His passion continues to burn powerfully as he spreads his athletic enthusiasm to others.

Wrestlers’ weight control poses health risks While most people cheer at the sight of smaller digits on the weight scale, wrestlers may cringe at the sight. They are expected to maintain a weight on a narrow interval, determined in the beginning of the year, to continue competing. However, maintaining or increasing weight, can be just as stressful or dangerous as losing weight. There are many elements that need to be taken into careful consideration for the health of the wrestlers. Across the nation, wrestling teams may pressure their members to adjust their weights to fit into a weight class. “Sometimes, a weight class may lack members, and wrestlers may get recommended to lose or gain weight,” senior wrestler Tommy Chu said. “It’s not easy for a lot of people, but sometimes it’s what they have to do.” According to Doctor Keith Wilson on MomsTeam, young wrestlers focus too much attention on weight control and dropping weight class. The optimal weight class in which to perform is one that fits an individual’s natural weight. Intentionally diverging from that class may lead to health risks that can greatly put one’s body and health condition

under stress. Fasting and intentional dehydration may be successful in terms of losing weight, but only from muscle atrophy. It also reduces metabolism, so returning to a normal diet will cause a sharp rate of weight buildup; this phenomenon is known as the “yo-yo effect.” Once people who lose weight are content with their “progress,” they return to a normal diet and instantly regain the weight at an unprecedented rate. Artificial methods of losing weight, such as diet pills and induced heat, can not only fail to produce desired results, but also harm the body. According to WebMD, diet pills contain dangerous drugs such as caffeine that can lead to “dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.” A label proclaiming a medication is natural does not necessarily mean it is completely safe for the body. Actions such as exercising are legitimate “natural” ways to lose weight, not little pills concentrated with an assortment of chemicals and drugs. Weight loss is usually a positive action, as long as all the actions taken are safe and monitored. Around three pounds weekly should be the maximum weight an individual can lose without sacrificing health. Even so, three pounds per week is usually obtained after a combination of a commit-

ted diet and intense exercise. Any method that requires less effort, such as fasting and dehydration, lowers weight in a negative manner. The golden rule of weight maintenance is to keep a safe, stable weight suited for the individual that is possible to retain by a healthy, balanced, diet. There should be no severe or long-term diet adjustments for the sake of maintaining a specific weight. Receiving the proper balance between carbohydrates, proteins, and fat is the most significant health factor to improve performance. A proper diet may lead to weight loss without sacrificing muscle proteins.

To read Sports Recaps, visit www.thematadorsghs.com

Illustration by Cassandra Chen

C h i rs t o p h e r L an


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THE MATADOR TUESDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2013

SPORTS

Moc suffers injury, undergoes long rehabilitation J o h n Tru o n g Saturday. June 26. 2009. The SGV youth travel ball team played against the ARC basketball team at San Pedro High School and for then sixth grader Andrew Moc, it was like any other typical game. In the midst of the competitiveness and physicality of the basketball game, Moc was pushed in mid-air by an opposing player after grabbing a rebound, landing on his right knee. “I landed on my knee and initially, I didn’t feel anything,” Moc said. After this incident, Moc was rushed to the hospital via ambulance and there, he was told that he had torn his ACL. On the same day, he was given clearance to receive surgery to reconstruct his torn ACL and would be required to sit out for about 11 months. “It is very unusual to hear of sixth graders tearing their ACL’s,” Moc said. “The ACL is the thing that holds everything around the knee and in my case, it was a pretty severe injury.” The ACL, or the anterior cruciate ligament, is one of the four major ligaments in the knee and an injury to the ACL can be

debilitating to the overall function of the knee. Tears to this ligament are prevalent in high contact sports such as football and basketball. It’s been four years and Moc is now a sophomore at San Gabriel High School. Today, he continues to wear a knee brace both in and out of practice, as a precaution to protect his torn knee. “The injury to my knee made me five times slower with no vertical leap at all. I’m pretty sure I could have been dunking by now,” Moc said jokingly. For numerous months after surgery, Moc’s physician required that he go to a rehabilitation center which he recalls as being boring, but necessary. “I always hated rehab because the therapists would make me do extremely easy things, but I just wanted to get back on the court immediately,” Moc said. As a current junior varsity basketball power forward, Moc states that he has had to face much criticism and jives from his peers and teammates. “Many of my friends view me as being lazy, but half the time, I can’t even practice because of the nagging pain,” Moc said. “I

Left: Andrew Moc received surgery to his torn ACL in the sixth grade. Right: Moc is currently a sophomore and the power forward for the San Gabriel Junior Varsity basketball team. Photos by John Truong

just zone out what they say and not let it get to me.” Despite this afflicting injury, Moc has had many memorable high points in his basketball career. “My best moment was making it onto the junior varsity squad in my freshman year,” Moc said. “I think I am one of the very few freshmen in San Gabriel history to [have

made] the JV team.” As a testament to his basketball experiences, Moc aspires to become a professional NBA player. “My dream may sound unrealistic, but it doesn’t hurt to try,” Moc said. “If I actually make it, I want to be a role model to others to show them that they shouldn’t give up on their dreams.”

Trust results in team success Sonny Hy Being in a sports team means abandoning your own identity; it is like a cake. When someone bakes a cake, each egg, flour, or anything else becomes one central being: a team. There is no time or place for an ingredient to break apart and go lone-wolf, each player must work with the other to create a cohesion. Achieving this cohesion relies on trust, each member of a team has to trust the other to perform their respective role, whether quarterback or anchor, each member of a team must trust their teammates. Without this central trust, what is the difference between the ‘team’ and an assortment of random, independent students thrown into a game. “Being on a team is a really great experience. I love all these girls and I love meeting other teams,” senior Susanna Chen said. “I learned to trust them and their decisions, playing along side people who love and play the same sport as it really helps you learn about them, the game, and generally life. Trusting my teammates is a big part of any sport. You expect them to play their best and they expect the same of you. Without trust, our team would fall apart.” Working together on a team is the central part of any sport. At any moment someone becomes a ‘ball-hog’ or decides to play lone-wolf, then the entire team falls apart. There is no question or any remorse; teams are completely reliant on each other to compete. Practice, team bonding, and socials all help reinforce this needed connection between teammates. However, when there is no bond or connection, each player has

no innate trust for their teammates, then they become consumed in the idea of achieving glory or fame for themselves. When one team member achieves something, the entire team earns the same accomplishment. There is no individuality in a sport; forcing members to work together is like trying to force water and oil to converge, as it is not going to happen. Thus, teams need to trust each other ’s decisions before they can really perform at the necessary level to compete.

Sports expenses become unreasonable with rising costs Mar vin Luu

Illustration by Cassandra Chen

Travel jackets, t-shirts, sweats, practice gear, warm ups, shoes, and duffels: these are some of the many expenses of being an athlete, as the truth is, it pays to be in sports. “You’re going to have to pay to play any sport,” Senior Peter Vo said, “but when the prices are so high for your gear, it might take away from the fun of the sport.” The fact of the matter is that every sport requires athletes to leave a share of their money to invest in equipment. However, not all of these expenses are quite necessary. Most of the time, the outer scope of sports inspired culture pushes many to spend more than they really have to. After spending three years on the San Gabriel basketball team, I have realized that I have spent more on basketball shoes than I wish I would have today. I was purchasing shoes that would last roughly a year and half for $150 and buying knee braces and sweat bands that were extravagant and highly useless. A pair of Kobe 9’s would be nice to have, but it is not really worth spending $225 for a pair of shoes that are as literally as good as any other basketball shoe that can protect the ankles and has proper grip. In addition, trends often fade and by two years something special would likely catch the wave of consumers. “I personally think that overpriced shoes like those from the Jordan brand are a waste of money,” junior Calvin Hoang said, “if you own a pair of Jordans, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will be playing like [Michael] Jordan.” Durability is also an issue that many do not realize when it comes to purchasing sports equipment. If an item is likely to last only two years regardless of the quality of the product, why not make a purchase that is cheaper than what is considered the “best” or the “highest performance” brand. If a baseball player knows that he is likely going to use a bat for only the year, why buy one that is significantly more expensive when money could be saved for the next year? “It is all in the marketing and advertising,” Hoang said, “most shoes and equipment are the same, only the brand’s reputation makes it look good.” Athletic expenses are not only limited to clothing and accessories as sports and energy drinks have found their way into the traditional pre-game, in-game, and postgame rituals of many athletes. A gym once filled with water bottles are now being replaced by Gatorade bottles. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, water was and still remains the best drink for most young athletes during tough competitions. Once again the big industries have capitalized on yet another aspect of athletics. “I prefer water in the long run because the sugar from the Gatorade eventually wears me down and makes me feel more tired than before,” Vo said. Sports expenses have grown in accordance to the pop culture surrounding athletes and their influence on those who look up to them. In a world where professional athletes are pushed by their sponsors to promote their brands, no one can deny the fact that sports is part of a huge lucrative business that just sucks in customers that are not careful with how they use their wallets.


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FEATURES

THE MATADOR TUESDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2013

Taekwondo disciplines Carrillo-Gallegos

Tran Lam Some kids might join recreational sports or clubs, while others like Paloma Carrillo-Gallegos focused more on trying to become a fighter, to become more disciplined and discover what martial arts truly is. Born and raised in Washington D.C., CarrilloGallegos did not know what taekwondo really was nor took interest in it, until she moved to Mexico City in 2001. She attended the T.E.D. private school where she had to choose whether to take a regular P.E. class or a taekwondo one. Entering the Taekwondo School, Carrillo-Gallegos had to start from the basics: the white belt. Practicing six days a week, she met new friends and improved her sparring and fighting skills. The levels range from white, yellow, green, blue, red, and a deputy belt. “Taekwondo is not just about fighting. Since taekwondo was mostly what I participated in growing up, it disciplined me and taught me that martial arts is truly an art and a way of life,” she said. When Carrillo-Gallegos moved to Raleigh, North Carolina in 2004, her family found a taekwondo school near her new home and school, making her continuation of taekwondo and transportation there more convenient. It took her six months in order to receive the deputy belt, which concluded her lower level training. It was now time for her to step up her game by testing to acquire the almighty black belt. After attaining the first degree black belt, she had to wait one year until she could receive the second one. And after acquiring the second one, she had to wait two years before acquiring the third one; and so on. After years of training, she finally acquired her third degree black belt. On test days at the Headquarters, the instructors would test her power by having her strike wooden boards; she broke a total of seven. On a different day, she sparred against four other people. The sparring was to test her self-defense skills. Every punch was important; one hit is one point. She had to focus and corner herself in order to fight against four people. If she did not, then the fighters could have punched her from behind. Although she does not attend taekwondo classes anymore, the memories, lessons, and experience have shaped her to become a better person today. Without taekwondo, she would have never Photo courtesy of Paloma knew what hard work, training, and discipline are. Carrillo-Gallegos

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Comic by Cassandra Chen

Bitcoins: the modern currency of the Internet Mimi Lam A capital “B” rests on a gold coin with two vertical slashes that run through it, similar to the dollar symbol. No one can rub it between their fingers, sniff its metallic odor, or hear its clunking sound as it is dropped onto a hardwood floor. It is not a sacred coin hidden as buried treasure, but rather a virtual currency, a bitcoin. Created as Internet currency in 2009, the bitcoin brought up controversy following a recent theft from an illegal market place known as Sheep Marketplace. The Bitcoin’s value soared from pennies to $1,200 per coin. Bitcoins, created under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, are produced and managed under cryptography, which prevents consumers from “double-spending.” A trusted third party administers transactions through a ledger, according to Wired Magazine. Users must download a free application called the Bitcoin Miner into their computers in order to transfer the digital

currency to others. Bitcoins skyrocketed na“It’s kind of like playing the stock market tionwide, which peaked its value at $1,240 per except you’re using online money,” Khan coin as of November. Senior Shahreare Khan said. “You have to be smart about withdrawhas used bitcoins through the mining process. ing or buying bitcoins. It really isn’t much of “I was browsing Reddit when I saw people a problem if you know the patterns.” talking about how their bitcoins have accumuDespite its fluctuating values, the first lated a lot of money,” Khan said. “That hooked decentralized currency has its perks. No my interest; I then researched bitcoins bank is required between transacand thought of it as a cool tions, allowing direct transfers way to make money.” from person to person. There A recent bitcoin crash are no prerequisites and ardropped its high value of bitrary limits, which gives $1,200 per coin on Dec. 5 to users the freedom to spend less than $600 on Dec. 6. China’s bitcoins without prior relimitations played a great role, strictions. instructing the country’s financial “[Bitcoins] are coninstitutions to stop accepting bitstantly being used in the coins, according to Los Angeles market, and a few major Illustration by Jennifer Thai Times. Bitcoins may still circulate the online websites are actually country but at the owner’s risk. Although the starting to accept them,” Khan said. bitcoin has existed over four years, there is no As long as online businesses allow the telling of its survival as a national currency bitcoin to be used through their transaccompared to the U.S. dollar, the British pound, tions, bitcoins can be allowed to purchase and the euro. a variety of items. Certain services began

accepting bitcoin payment such as OkCupid, Foodler, and Reddit. However, the currency is prominently used among online black market trade sites such as Silk Road and Sheep Marketplace. A controversial issue concerning bitcoins arose after the FBI arrested Silk Road website operator Ross William Ulbricht, confiscating “around $3.6 million worth of bitcoins,” according to IT Pro Portal. Ulbricht was charged with “conspiracy to traffic narcotics from the site.” Dealing with illicit commerce involving drugs, Silk Road requires users to solely pay in bitcoins and was only accessible on The Onion Router or Tor network, an anonymous web browser. Silk Road competitor Sheep Marketplace shut down after it was robbed $5.3 million worth of bitcoins, as stated in IT Pro Portal. A message posted on Sheep Marketplace’s home page stated that on Nov. 21, the theft of 5,400 bitcoins took place. Whether one chooses to use bitcoins or not, there is always a price.


December 2013 Issue