Page 1

Volume 58, Number 3

801 Ramona St., San Gabriel, CA 91776

Volleyball captains Ha and Lau leave behind lasting legacies Mimi Lam Senior Tiffany Ha has all the qualities of a volleyball player, from her tall 5’9” height to her social ability to communicate with others. Although she did not have any prior volleyball experience before her freshman year, she knows the importance of teamwork. “Team chemistry can’t be broken. We are connected while we play,” Ha said. “If there was a conflict, we would not do as well. People would try to look better as an individual player and be better than one another.” The varsity team practically spends every weekend together because of tournaments. They bonded over lunch and dinner, bringing them closer as teammates. “I liked the idea of being in a team because they are personally there for you,” Ha said. “You make new friends and do what you love to do. It’s a bonus.” Through her volleyball journey, Ha saw Coach Larry Kanow as a motivation to help her strive for success. “Coach Kanow pushed [the team] to do well. He gave us instructions on how to improve and see what we did wrong.” Although volleyball season was full of hard work and sweat put into making CIFs, Ha tries to make her senior year as memorable as possible.

Tiffany Ha

Photo by Jason Ngo, El Camino Real

Senior Jasmine Lau has been playing varsity volleyball for three years and started in the program freshman year. She was surprised to find that she was actually good at playing the sport. “My brother told me the [volleyball] program was good, and I gave it a try,” Lau said. “I thanked my brother [for it]. I have made many friends.” A veteran teammate, Lau is used to the game routines and has learned to stay calm. “When I am excited or nervous, I do not play the same way,” she said. Lau hopes that the underclassmen would learn to stay calm as well. Lau also picked up that teamwork and cooperation are important aspects of playing volleyball. “[I learned] to trust everyone. If one person is in a certain mood, the whole team is affected,” Lau said. “If one of us messes up, we tell them we are not mad. We have talks and say ‘shake it off.’” During the Pasadena Poly Tournament, the varsity team Jasmine Lau won first place for the first time Photo by Hana Ngo in four years. Since this is Lau’s senior year, she feels that winning the tournament was one of the best moments of the season and her volleyball career. “It was very satisfying [to win]. I felt that this was the starting point of the team,” Lau said. “It helped us grow.” After volleyball season is over, Lau plans on joining a co-ed intramural team outside of school.


Opinions collide regarding the justice of student supervisors S t e v en H o

My favorite beanie on my head, two light taps on the shoulder, and the bone-chilling words, “Stop young man,” behind me—that was all it took for a campus supervisor to confiscate my hat and force me to retrieve it after school. I was completely wrong to disregard the school dress code, so my punishment seemed just and according: pick it up afterschool and suck it up afterwards. However, as I was walking to class the next day, I saw the same supervisor, commonly referred to as a “narc,” tell a student to take off his hat. The difference was that she did not confiscate that student’s hat; she simply forced him to take it off and she let him go. Sadly enough for me, I did not let the situation go. I was furious to say the least; I assumed that specific narcs were unfair, situational, and maybe even racist just because the pardoned Illustration by student was of a different ethnicity. Jelina Luu This was “a hasty generalization,” as Polly Epsy might say in the short film, “Love is a Fallacy.” I made the mistake of quickly jumping to conclusions. Around San Gabriel, there are a large variety of viewpoints about the justice and integrity of narcs. Continued on Page 5

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 Focus

Southern California Spirit Pride stretches far down south of the state

10 counties, 8 large metropolitan areas

SoCal Southern California Population: 22,680,010


-Graphics by Steven Ho and Natalie Tran

Image courtesy of

To see what Southern California is all about, turn to the FOCUS pages 8-9.

Los Renombrados Semi-Finalists News

The Top 34

Dawn Au Karen Bach Jessica Cheung Dara Dan Jenny Do Isai Fernandez Freddy Garcia Pablo Garcia Melissa Hernandez Leanna Lai Austin Lam Monica Lam Duke Lin Ashley Luong Jelina Luu Armando Macias Katie Mai

Ana Michel Sandy Nguyen Yadanar Oo Sandy Peng Linh Phong Phong Quach Jefferson Sau Gloria Su Vannes Tang Jenny Teng Petty Thai Shuili (Lily) Wong Jenny Wu Janet Ye Charlene Yeung Xiao (Alicia) Zhang Richard Zheng

The Selection Process The title of Los Renombrados is given to hardworking and exemplary San Gabriel students who have shown their scholastic achievements through volunteer service, character, and extracurricular activities.

1. 2. 3. 4.

Seniors fill out an application given to them inside their registration packets prior to the school year. Applicants write short essay responses and verify their service hours. Candidates are then divided into two groups to be interviewed by three teachers, and their responses are scored. Those with the highest application and interview scores will become finalists and receive the Los Renombrados award. -Kathering Montelon





Band and PTSA persist in raising funds despite rain Matador Marching Band and PTSA split efforts when holding pancake breakfast and rummage sale St e v e n Ho a nd L a u re n Ka k a z u Under the cover of clouds and rain, PTSA held their Community Yard Sale at 7 a.m. while band held their Pancake Breakfast at 6 a.m. Due to the weather conditions, the yard sale was relocated under the A-Deck while the pancake breakfast continued to sell at the North Parking Lot. Cluadia Raphael, a mother of a San Gabriel student, explained how the location change and the weather conditions affected the yard sale. “The people who were already set up at the parking lot had to move to the front of the school. This made the sale kind of hidden from other people,” Raphael said. At first, there were mostly San Gabriel students who attended the yard sale so the students who were selling old clothes, toys, books, movies, etc. were also affected. Seniors Princess Kim and Jessica Cheung, who were selling old jewelry, handmade items, and a few antiques, thought the turn out for the yard sale could have been better. “[There are] not as much people as I thought it would be,” said Cheung.

PTSA Vice President Beda Ramirez gave her thoughts on how much the weather conditions affected the sale. “I would say it affected us by 60 percent. But we got rain,” Ramirez said. On the other side of the auditorium, Marching Band continued to sell pancakes, sausages, fruit cups, and juice at the North Parking lot despite the rain. Band instructor Tamara Cognetta explains why she decided not to relocate the breakfast when the rain started to pour in. “The crowd wouldn’t leave,” Cognetta said. “It’s been nonstop.” Knowing that packing up the already set-up grills and tables would be a lot of unnecessary trouble, Cognetta stood her ground and kept the breakfast in the traditional area outside the band room. Despite the volatile rain, a steady stream of hungry supporters came to the breakfast under the cover of numerous canopies. “People were in good humor and in spirits,“ Cognetta said. November 17 marked Marching Band’s seventeenth annual Pancake Breakfast, pushing sales through the rain until noon.

Winter Concert to bring early holiday festivities L a u re n Ka k a z u Christmas songs will fill the San Gabriel auditorium once again next month when all of the choir and band classes perform at the annual Winter Concert on Wednesday, December 5. Every year, before students and teachers leave for winter break, the choir and band classes gather at the auditorium to spread holiday cheer and display what they have spent the first few months of school working on. Band instructor Tamara Cognetta explained that this year’s song choice will be complex and festive. “[It’s a] variety of holiday Christmas favorites to novelty tunes,” Cognetta said. Marching Band, Concert Band, and Novice Band will perform different levels of songs. Some of the songs to be performed are “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas,” “Hallejuah Chorus,” and “Chirstmas ala Big Band.” Choir teacher Cecilia Revilla takes the time to choose the songs for both concert choir and advanced choir based on the level of diffculty for the group and the tempo. ”It depends on the level where they are. I try to pick a variety of fast and slow songs. I [also choose] a variety of different tempos.” Revilla said. The Mixed Choir classes will perform a variety of Christmas songs including “Christmas Miracle,” “Three Songs for Christmas,” “Christmas Finale,” “Ding-Dong Merrily On High,” and “A Bit of Holiday Cheer.” Advanced Choir will sing songs of a higher level of difficulty including “I Wonder As I Wander,” “The Christmas Song,” and “A La Nanita Nana” Afterward, both Mixed Choir and Advanced Choir will sing the song, “Sing A Song of Merry Christmas.” This year’s concert will not disappoint the returning audience of students, parents, and teachers. Before and after the concert, band and choir will accept $2 donations that will go toward both classes.

S o p h o m o re A m i e Tr u o n g s t a y e d throughout the entire breakfast and explained the band member’s tenacity amid the rain. “The band students are really dedicated, and [supporters] would do anything to help

the students,” Truong said. Both the Community Yard Sale and Pancake Breakfast pushed for sales amid the rain, and the supporters of both left San Gabriel satisfied and a tad bit wet.

Photos by Natalie Ma, El Camino Real

The Rummage Sale and Band Breakfast endured despite disruptions from the rain on Saturday, November 17. The Rummage Sale relocated to the A-Deck. Left: Senior Carmen Le organizes her booth at the Rummage sale, selling a collection of books, stuffed animals, and hand-drawn portraits of requestors. Right: Sophomores Amie Truong and Bicki Bui enjoy their pancake breakfasts at the North Parking Lot where Band continued to sell despite the unfortunate rain.

Tri-City showcases band, colorguard, drill team P ri sci l l a Li ang The thirtieth annual Tri-City Field Show took place on the Matador’s football field on Wednesday, November 14. The yearly district show included Alhambra High School, Mark Keppel High School, and San Gabriel High School. The show started with the three bands playing their individual parade pass-bys, and then each group performed their field shows. At the end of the outdoor concert, the three bands joined together to play three pieces in unison. The Alhambra High School ”Mighty Moor” Band’s performance was based on composer Dvorak’s New World Symphony. Mark Keppel High School Band’s selection was a rendition of the musical scores of the hit Broadway musical “West Side Story.” Finally, San Gabriel High School Band’s performance included three separate songs: a Latin number, “El Cumbanchero,” “Calle Ocho,” and a funky song, “Ain’t Nothing Wrong With That.” The mass band tunes were “Play That Funky Music,” “Teenage Dream,” and “Tear the Roof off the Sucker.” “It was a very cold night. Everyone did pretty well, but I believe we can still improve,” senior band member Leo Chen said. Chen believes that the bands would benefit from more support

f r o m t h e c o m m u n i t y, a n d h e emphasizes the effects that a lack of support has on cuts to the music and art programs. “I hope we can fill our entire stadium with people from all three cities. If this happens, I believe this will motivate students in all three bands to do better and recognize extracurricular activities as something we [cannot] take away,” Chen said prior to the show. The show started promptly at seven p.m. and lasted for one hour and a

half. After the show, there was a meetand-greet gathering amongst band members from all three schools. “It’s sad that it’s [the seniors’] last field show, but we went out with a bang, “ senior Drum Major Jacquelyn Flores said. Although school rivalries and differences may set the bands apart, appreciation for similar music brings together the musicians of all three school bands, which the Tri-City Field Show exemplified.

Photo by Derek Deng

Drum Major Jacquelyn Flores leads the San Gabriel Marching Band’s parade pass-by, which is “The Black Horse Troop” by John Phillip Sousa.The bands from Alhambra, Mark Keppel, and San Gabriel High School came together on the Matador field at the annual Tri-City Field Show, an outdoor concert free of charge that showcases the bands’ variety of sounds and images.

Cal State representative gives AVID guidance Der r ick Chi As seniors prepare for their college applications and edit their personal statements, Avid students were given an opportunity to listen to the challenges of getting into college. On November 15, Avid students were joined by a representative named Dora Armenta from Cal State Fullerton who came to talk about the difficulties of getting into college. Since Armenta is a first generation student to go to college in her family, her parents worked hard to support her ever since she was little.

“All I knew was that I wanted to go to college. I didn’t know what the steps were, but I wanted to get there,” Armenta said. Armenta majored in psychology because at first she was undecided, and her father told her that she might as well just take a major her older sister had majored in. In third grade, Armenta entered a writing contest that her teacher enrolled her in because she noticed that she had potential. She did not win, but it pushed her to work harder than ever.




School enters PI program year two Os c a r M o l i n a At the start of the 2012-2013 school year, the Alhambra Unified School District was advised that San Gabriel High School would be entering its second year of Program Improvement (PI) under the Federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Consequently, Principal Jim Schofield was required by law to inform students’ parents and guardians about the current status of the school. “The issue about our PI status is not a true identification of the excellent work done by our students and staff. There are many other factors that show the success of our students; that being said, there are still areas that, as a school, we need to improve on,” Schofield said. The reason that the school has entered PI is because it fell short

on meeting the requirements for the number of students scoring “proficient” or “advanced” on the California Standards Test for English-Language Arts and Mathematics, the graduation rate, and the Academic Performance Index. In reality, the school met the standards for every category except the California Standards Test for EnglishLanguage Arts. In this category, the school did not meet the requirement of 77.8% of students scoring proficient or higher, and it did not make Safe Harbor. Safe Harbor is where there has to be a 10% reduction of the number of underproficient scorers from the previous year. As a result of second year PI, 20% of the district’s Title One money will be set aside to offer families supplemental educational support, rather than being used directly for the schools.

In addition, San Gabriel has to use 10% of the district money for training teachers in the new curriculum that will be implemented to improve scores. Overall, the school is going to lose an estimate of $300,000 that could have been used for jobs and other activities. The administration plans to try to meet the requirements this school year by having sophomore English and math classes put aside time to review CAHSEE questions. It will take two consecutive years of meeting the requirements to get out of PI. Despite failing to meet the standards last year, San Gabriel has improved significantly in all sections of the Federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. “Our main goal as a school is to have students apply their knowledge in the real world and be successful in their post-secondary education,” Schofield said.

Feature: Spectacular people reflect talent Helimar Hernandez showcases artistic talent in ALA contest M o n i c a L am As a way to display cultural spirit, senior Helimar Hernandez entered an art contest hosted by the Alhambra Latino Association (ALA). A picture that features a sugar skull, a man, a woman, and flowers became one of the many art pieces Hernandez created, but what sets this particular are piece apart from the others is the first place award it won on November 3, 2012. Hernandez has been interested in art ever since the first grade and has continued to pursue her interest in this hobby. It was not until this year that Hernandez decided to showcase her artwork through the competition. “I wanted something to donate to the community. I felt that by entering in this contest, I would be able to show everyone my artwork,” Hernandez said. Through English teacher Sabrina Morales, Hernandez was able to find out about the contest that ALA host for the Day of the Dead. For several hours a day, Hernandez would work on her entry for the art contest. Results of the contest were announced during the Day of the Dead festival hosted at San Gabriel High School. Hernandez received a check to an art supply store and also

Photo by Derek Deng

Senior Helimar Hernandez holds her first place artwork which features and depicts a female, male, skull, and intricate flowers that frame the piece.

a ribbon as a prize. Art also has inspired Hernandez to expand her passion in the future. She has decided to become a tattoo artist and cosmetologist. “Art makes me happy and inspires me,” Hernandez said. She plans to enroll at an art school and improve her skills.

American Idol contestant wows students with powerful vocals K a t h e ri n g M o n t el on “American Idol” singer Antwan Michael performed at San Gabriel High School on November 7, sharing his passion for music. As a young boy, Michael thought about becoming a veterinarian, but one day, in church, he changed his mind. “My mom was like ‘Sing this,’ and someone told me it sounded good, and I go ‘Okay fine.’ Then I sang in church for solo one time, and I got this overwhelming sense of belonging, if it makes any sense, where I actually was exactly where I should be,” Michael said. School, however, was challenging for him because he preferred singing to math. He valued social interactions in school because it helped him learn how to deal with people in his professional life. Keeping up with homework assignments taught him how to juggle many responsibilities, such as meetings and rehearsals. “People may think that later on in life, school doesn’t mean anything. You’ll realize one day that we’ve all needed school,” Michael said. Michael’s singing career started when he auditioned for “American Idol” in 2009. “My girlfriend, at the time, told me that I should go because if I didn’t go, I would hate myself for not going. So I would always tell people when they want to do something, do it because you don’t want to have to look back, and say I wish I would have because you never know what could happen. If I never would have auditioned for the show I probably would not be singing for you guys today,” Michael

Photos by Derek Deng

Top: Antwan Michael gives a powerful vocal performance with covered songs like “Domino” by Jessie J and orginal songs like “Superman.” Bottom: Students gather with friends to enjoy and cheer on Michael’s performance at the pancake. said. For students interested in becoming singers, Michael advised, “Don’t ever stop because it’s very easy for people to just think like, ‘Oh I have been working really, really hard, and like things are really not, you know, things are not the way they should be,’ but the one thing you should always do is keep going...If you really believe in yourself and believe in your dreams, I’m pretty sure that it pays off. It really does and it’ll make you happy.”

NEWS Collab changes time slot from morning to afternoon

Irene Hong For the first time in five years, collaboration occurred not during the usual morning time period from 8:00 to 8:45 a.m. but at the end of the day. Because back-to-school night was on a collaboration day, administrators had to rearrange the schedule. Thus, on November 7th, the new schedule was put in place so teachers would have the necessary time to get prepared for the back-toschool night event. The new schedule allowed students to end school one hour earlier with fifth period ending before lunch thus many with early release got to go home before lunch. “I really like the reverse collaboration. I much prefer gettting out early than at 3:00 p.m.,” senior Matthew Ruiz said. San Gabriel is the only high school in the Alhambra School District that has collaboration in the morning. “The administration wanted to try this out since nearby schools were also doing this type of collaboration,” guidance techician Beda Ramirez said.
 Typically, after back-to-school night, students are given a minimum day, but because the school year is set to end earlier, administrators could not schedule a shortened day for students. Instead, students can look forward to another reverse collaboration in March when the second back-to-school night is scheduled.





Presidential Election 2012: outcomes and effects M a rv i n L u u With the election over, President Barack Obama was declared the winner of the 2012 presidential race on Tuesday, November 6. The polls indicated a 97 point Obama victory over Mitt Romney, 332 to 206 electoral votes predicted as of that Election Day evening. A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win. Shortly after his victory was finalized, Obama addressed an ecstatic crowd about his future goals and expectations for the next four years, thanked his supporters, and reassured the American people that he will work diligently to shape America for the better. “I want to thank every American who participated in this election, whether you voted for the very first time or waited in line for a very long time,” President Obama said. Initially, the swing states that were predicted to play a huge part during the election were Ohio, New Hampshire, Florida, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, and North Carolina. According to <>, Ohio, Nevada, and Florida were three states that Obama and Romney centered much of their attention to during the election in attempts to gain an upper hand and support of that state. President Obama had gone on to win all but one of the original seven swing states including Ohio, which was said to be the “most impor-

tant” state to determine the outcome of the election. From the seven swing states, Obama obtained 76 electoral votes versus Romney’s 15 from North Carolina. As for the Senate and the House, the Huffington Post reported that the Democrats have won the majority in the Senate with 55 seats (Angus King of Maine and Senator Bernie Sanders likely to caucus with the Democrats) and 45 for the Republicans. In the House, the Republicans took the majority with 234 seats to 195. In addition to the overall election, the California propositions results were finalized the next day. Prop 30, the tax initiative that would help prevent an additional 6 million dollar cut on schools, was approved with 54% voting yes. Prop 32, the anti-labor initiative which would have prohibited corporations and unions from collecting money for state political activities, was rejected with 56% voting no. Now that the election is over, many have high expectations for the president to make the change that he has promised the American people once more. Though it is evident that no president can make huge changes overnight, it is safe to say that critics and analysts will be keeping a close eye on Obama’s decisions and policies for a long time to come. In the meantime, the people must be patient to wait and see what will happen next.

Prop 30 allocates funds for education

59,142,004 votes Adapted from, google images and

Neighboring citizens in the community gather to cast votes Tran Lam

S t even H o With Proposition 30 recently passing after Election Day, on November 6, teachers, students, and schools have found a greater financial security for the next four years. Proposition 30 will at least increase California’s income tax by 10.3 percent for those who make more than $250,000 a year, and higher taxes will apply for citizens whose salaries fall in the brackets of $300,000, $500,000, and $1,000,000 a year. Teachers understood that if the proposition did not pass, cuts would be made to the schools, and the quality of education would be at a greater risk.  “My concern is [that] instructional school days are shortened,” Mandarin teacher Tonson Man said. Man supports the passing of Proposition 30, but he only openly shared his position after the election. He encourages students to be politically active and to, someday, run for an office position. “[I] urged them to voice concerns and participate as a citizen to exercise the right this country gave us,” Man said. Office manager Vicky Yum supported the passing of Proposition 30 because she was concerned about the health benefits that would be reduced if the bill had not been approved.  “Employees’ health benefits [would] be changed to a higher deductible,” Yum said. Yum was also concerned about how the schools would be forced to enact three furlough days for teachers, which would mean that the administration would have to force some teachers to not work. When the ballots were being counted and the results were being televised, Proposition 30 was generally heading toward the “No” direction; however, by the end of the election, more votes were being counted for “Yes,” and the  bill  was finally approved after a  somewhat shaky race. “I was surprised that it received heavy resistance,” junior Chris Lew said. Lew understands that the proposition is good for the school and colleges, but he believes that the proposition did have some faults. “[Prop 30 is] just putting all the money on [the rich]. [And in reality] not all money from the tax goes to education.” Proposition 30 will raise an estimated $8 billion in the next four years, in which 89% will fund K-12 schools and 11% will go to community colleges, providing a safer, more solid learning foundation for students.

62,615,406 votes

Neighboring citizens gathered and submitted their ballots at the local elections, held at the San Gabriel High School auditorium, for Election Day on November 6. Assisting with the organization of the event, workers and volunteers described the voting process as being fairly short, and simple.  “Basically, someone comes in, and everybody has their own designated voting area. They tell us their last name and then sign in,” volunteer Ann Ma said. Households with eligible people for voting were mailed a pamphlet containing information about the elections prior to the actual day. Residents had the option of sending in their vote by mail, or they could choose to make the journey to a location to cast their vote in person. “It comes to all the registered voters [in their] household. Each voter gets one of these initiative ballots. What it does is tell you the exact initiatives,” voter John Eccleston said about the pamphlets. Eccleston is also the vice president of the  San Gabriel Unified School District Board of Education. After the election, students were asked to share their predictions on the elections’ outcome, and explained their thoughts about the candidates’ views and promises. They expressed their con-

Instead of easily mailing in their voting pamphlets, neighboring voters eagerly waited in line to cast their ballots at voting booths located in the school’s auditorium.

tentment about the victor of the presidential election. “I think it was fairly apparent that Obama would emerge as the victor in the 2012 election. Remember that Obama inherited the economy when it wasn’t exactly in the best shape it could be. Considering how bad the economy was when he came into office, I think Obama has done a fairly good job during his first four years in office,” sophomore Simon Yung said. Pupils evaluated their favored candidates’ skills and virtues, comparing them to the opposing contender. “I believe Obama’s system is more effective than Romney’s. I like how he supports the middle/lower class. Afterall, if it isn’t for the middle class, there would be no rich people. Students need the money and schools already have bad enough cuts,” sophomore Michelle Lok said. Students also conveyed their approval on the passing of Proposition 30 which will go into effect in the beginning of the new year. “With Proposition 30 passing, I’m glad that we’ll be seeing more money being put into our schools. Sure, people are going to gripe about a slight tax hike, but they know that their tax dollars will be put toward bettering the state of California,” Yung said. Although students are not eligible to vote yet, most plan on becoming future active voters in the community.

Photo by Derek Deng

Commentary: Election 2012 Comic

Illustration by John Truong




Staff Stance

Several states threaten to secede from the Union After over half a century, secession is once again a topic of discussion among 23 states. These states cite the recent presidential election as their primary reason for seeking a ‘peaceful withdrawal’ from the Union. Texas leads the states in signatures on their secession petition, with over 34,000 as of November 12, according to <>. Each of the 23 states, which include Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, and New York have submitted petitions via <whitehouse. gov> in the ‘We the People’ section of the website. The sentiment here at The Matador for these actions can be no better expressed than in the words of the director of the conservative Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University, John Andrews, “Anyone who wants their state to secede from the Union is someone

whose brain has already seceded from their body.” It has become almost tragic, the way citizens abandon their government on a daily basis. The disrespect and disloyal nature these petitions reveal and encourage are unexcusable. These actions have the same malicious intentions as Republican Representative Joe Wilson from South Carolina shouting “You lie!” while President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress in September of 2009. When

people of our nation act as rashly and callously as these, how can we expect to have any respect for our nation or its government? We are constantly taking advantage of the rights granted to us in the Constitution. We use these rights as excuses to incite misguided petitions like the secession issue simply because ‘we can.’ The only way to prompt

change is to be the change. Secession is over and done with. We learned our lesson the first time. Maybe not all of us support the President, but to reject our whole government because of that is completely irresponsible and childish. The only way we will flourish is if we encourage the government the majority of the population has elected.

Illustration by John Truong

Continued from Page 1 bottom left

Narcs enforce rules to ensure safety

Illustration by John Truong

There are some students who find the actions of narcs unjust or innappropriate. Race, gender, or bias should never affect the way narcs enforce the school rules, but a few concerned students feel that enough is enough. “A lot of the Asian community is picked on,” sophomore Jacky Fu said. From his own viewpoints, experiences, and observations of others, Fu explains his standpoint about the narcs’ actions. “Some things are reasonable, and they [are right to] set the rules,” Fu said. “The way they do it is more directed towards the Asian community.” Fu adds that this year, the confiscation of items is stricter, and claims an uncomfortable learning environment is created. However, their actions cannot be defined as right or wrong from only one point of view; there are other viewpoints about the justice of the narcs. “There have been situations where we have been accused of being unfair,” Raul Ramirez, the head campus supervisor at San Gabriel, said. “It can happen because our job is flexible in when and how we

enforce things.” Ramirez explained that when a narc has another job somewhere else in the school, he or she may not have the time to handle the confiscation of hats when much larger tasks are of greater importance. Ramirez used the analogy that students may be angry about having their items taken as a driver is angry when he or she receives a ticket for a small violation; one may or may not get caught all the time, but it is still unacceptable to break the rules. “Unfairness is a perplexing topic,” Ramirez said. “If we enforce rules on students, [their] perception of us is negative.” Ramirez said that students also forget that the main focus of being a campus supervisor is to ensure the safety of the students and to justly enforce the rules; racism and discrimination are in no way a factor of how they perform their jobs. Attesting to this fact, senior Pauline Lao supports the actions of the narcs. “Some people say [the narcs] judge unfairly,” Lao said. “They haven’t gotten to know them, and you can’t judge them by their actions [alone].”

Lao argued that many students misinterpret and misunderstand the actions of the narcs, and she believes that the school rules should be followed. Lao feels that they are doing a great job of enforcing the rules, which should be their main priority. After understanding the various viewpoints, I have come to the conclusion that the narcs undoubtedly try their best to do their job and enforce the school rules. It is important to keep in mind that the narcs are busy and they are human, so they are prone to making a few mistakes if fairness is at question. Many students seem to forget about all of the positive organization and influence that the narcs enforce. Lunch lines would be disastrous, students would be late to their beloved fourth periods without that extra push, and buses would be stuffed at five people a seat. The narcs genuinely care about students, regardless of age, sex, or race. Despite common suspicions, it should be imperative for students to be grateful for the narcs in return. Going this extra step would make a person two taps away from ignorance.

Avere Fede

Debbie Dinh For all of those times My mother taught me my first lesson when I was four years old. Tears slid down my face as I watched her pour the purple liquid into a spoon. At the time, I could have sworn that it was an evil poison made to kill little girls like me, not a potion to make my flu magically go away. I remember screaming at the top of my lungs that hurt with every breath, “I don’t want to! I don’t want to!” My mother hit my hand when my crying never seemed to cease and chided with a strong tongue, “Why you scared all the time? In this world, girls need to be strong! Now drink!”   She forced the cough syrup into my mouth and I expected to disintegrate and turn into ash, just like that witch from the Wizard of Oz; but instead, a bitter taste lingered on my tongue and within the next hour I felt strong enough to play outside.  “See? Scared for nothing!” My mother huffed as she pulled me in, my hair in a tangled mess. But I didn’t listen. I was too focused on anything else but my mother’s words.  I ignorantly went on with life thinking that I was better and smarter than my mother, who viewed the world as a dangerous place for girls like me. I thought I was superior to my mother, who thought that an “A” meant success and a “B” meant nothing. I rolled my eyes at her whenever she worried about things that, in my mind, meant little to nothing.  I thought I was as strong and free as a dragon while she was a person who would never get to taste the sweet air of freedom.  I went on thinking like that until the end of my junior year when I thought the world could have opened beneath my feet and swallowed me up, and I still wouldn’t have felt a thing.  It was as though I had drunk poison that made my wings crumble, never being able to take flight ever again and forced to live on the same ground that I used to look down upon. That was when I truly saw my mother. I saw a woman who left everything behind to be where she is today. I saw a woman who woke up at five in the morning and came home at seven at night to keep food on the table. I saw a woman with exhaustion etched on her face, with eyes that shone brightly at the sight of her two daughters. I saw a woman with pain deep in her bones, scrubbing at the dirt and grime of our household. I saw a woman that loved us with every inch of her skin, blood, bones, veins, heart, mind, soul.  I saw a woman who was fearless. I saw a woman who was strong. I saw a woman who will give up everything for me, for my sister, for this family.  I realized that I am the one restricted; that my mother is the one who can truly say she can fly.   One day, I got home and saw her face—so tired, so sad, but still living on. I do nothing except sit next to her in silence, but my mind screams, “Thank you for everything. Thank you for the things that you do. Thank you for showing me how to be strong. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.” She runs her fingers through my hair, as if she heard all of my thoughts. “Mom?” My voice starts to shake. “I promise you that I’ll be strong.”




Views of make-up show difference in preferences Derrick Chi “Why are you wearing make-up? You’re just going to school, not anywhere special,” I said to my sister as she was applying makeup for school. Girls always want to look pretty whether it is for someone special or if they want to look different. Girls should not wear make-up to school to “improve” the way they look. There is no reason for them to wear it at school unless there is a special event that requires them to wear it. Wearing make-up and trying to look good at school is pointless because people do not judge the way you look at school. We attend school to learn and receive an education, not to dress up and impress others. Many teachers find make-up as a distraction as well because sometimes girls reapply their make-up and worry about how their face looks like during class when the teacher is lecturing. It also disrupts the class and distracts other students from learning. Not to mention, the germs and dirt at school can infect the eyes when you put make-up on. The time a girl uses in the morning could be used to prepare breakfast or to ensure that she brought all her homework to school. Other girls think it is not necessary for girls to wear make-up at school. “I think girls shouldn’t wear make-up because it hides the perfection of their face. Unless it is for an interview, then that can be an exception,” junior Stella Low said. Social media plays a role in young teens’ decision to wear make-up. Society teaches them that the pimples, acne scars, zits, or bags, should be covered with as much make-up as possible. Instead of seeking a solution in artificial products that only ruin their skin, girls should realize that beauty is more than just skin deep. Ashley Lauren from Smalls Strokes Fell Big Oaks says that “it can be free to realize that you don’t have to, not only because you’ll have more time for other things, but also because it can be extremely powerful to realize that people don’t necessarily even care if you do or don’t.” Although girls use make-up frequently to cover up “flaws” and “imperfections” on their face, it can also have long-term negative affects that damage the health of their skin. Mrs. Renee from Yahoo! Contributor Network said that “there is a large variety of chemicals that are of concern in personal care products. For example, did you know that almost half of products that are tested contain one or more ingredients that are known to be possible human carcinogens?” I’m not saying girls shouldn’t wear make-up at all, but I’m just warning them that it will damage their face if they wear it everyday. Beauty is important, but health is what girls should worry about more. For more information, go to: <>.

Lauren Fukumoto Much to my dismay, make-up has become almost a taboo topic. Girls are afraid to admit they wear it, and I have heard boys make remarks from “I just want her to look natural” to “I don’t want to date a clown.” Well, I’m here to proudly announce that make-up is part of my daily routine. For me, it’s not about creating a new image or masking my true face, it’s about taking time for myself and making myself feel good. In a study published in the New York Times by Procter & Gamble (the word’s largest and most profitable consumer products company), it was proven that when shown quick images of women with make-up versus women without make-up, the ones with were rated to appear more “attractive, competent, likeable, and trustworthy.” However, as people were given a longer look at the pictures, the heavily made-up women were soon deemed “untrustworthy” and “fake.” It is no secret in life that more attractive people are usually favored in society. But that premise has little to nothing to do with the idea of make-up. Make-up does not change a personality, nor can it make up for skills and qualifications in the job market. Make-up is often a way to “get your foot in the door.” A well-groomed and ‘finished’ face has the same effect in an interview as a matching suit. It shows attention to detail and promotes ideas of professionalism and care. In high school, the idea of make-up has little to do with our desires to branch out in the job market. But perhaps for us, the placebo effect is what we chase. When I walk out the door wearing my favorite blush or having done my eyeliner perfectly, I feel ready to face the day. I feel the same way I would if I was wearing my favorite outfit or sporting a new pair of sandals. Many people have misconceptions that make-up is always about the attention of others. People accuse girls of being shallow and insecure for trying to attract attention by adding another layer of mascara. But what people refuse to admit is those very ideas are shallow and superficial, not to mention assumptions that often have nothing to do with the true reasons why we use make-up. Personally, make-up gives me the extra boost I need to face the day. I walk out the door ready to conquer the world, feeling like I have put effort into my appearance, and, even if not a soul around me that day notices, it gives me an intrinsic satisfaction. I don’t wear make-up to land a guy or be judged highly by people I have never met. I wear it for myself, simply because it makes me feel good. My actions are my own, and my choice to put on make-up as part of my daily routine says something about who I am. It does not automatically deem me a shallow and artificial being, but rather, one that reaffirms her self-confidence on a daily basis.

Illustration by Jelina Luu

Letter to the Editor : A relationship can harm people and their grades Dear Editor: After reading the article ‘A relationship can harm people and their grades,’ I was absolutely flabbergasted by the position the article took. To simply suggest that being in a relationship is the cause of failing grades is to suggest that sleep causes one to die. While people die in their sleep all the time, no one would point out the reason for death to be sleep itself. Saying a relationship is the cause of failing grades uses the same hasty generalizations. The further I read, the more I sensed a cause and effect fallacy; seems like love isn’t the only fallacy. This article only points the finger at the relationship but doesn’t consider other situations that could influence the academic drop. The material could have simply been more difficult as the year progressed. Maybe the individual had no interest in school and will never have an interest in school. The thing is we don’t really know why

the person’s grade is dropping, but to say that the relationship is the cause of this drop is simply correlation without causation – taught in the first week of AP Psychology. The article also makes every high school relationship seem as if it’s doomed to fail because your relationship must follow the three stages and will always end in “breakup horrors.” What about those high school sweethearts—the ones that met at Homecoming and stayed in the relationship and ended up getting married? This is exactly what happened with a former faculty member at San Gabriel High. While this may be a rare situation, it happens; high school relationships aren’t 100 percent doomed to fail with a money back guarantee. The article only acknowledges the negative aspects to high school relationships. What about times when seeing a significant other is the only thing prompting a person to go to school? What

about when you bring your grade up so your parents will let you spend time with the person you have recently begun dating? There are hundreds of scenarios where relationships in high school are beneficial to students. It helps growth and maturity, not to mention interaction with other people. What we may fail or be awkward at today, we will be better prepared for tomorrow. Grades aren’t everything in high school. While academic enrichment is the main reason we attend school every day, another fact of life is that we are teenagers, learning to navigate the world for the first time without a life raft. If we can find something that makes us happy, isn’t that what we’re all searching for? The next step to love isn’t heartbreak and academic probation, it’s growth and maturity whether it works out or not. While I do agree that relationships could be distracting to a student, to flat out say that a relationship is the leading cause of failing grades just isn’t true.

- Anonymous

Illustration by John Troung




Let the competition begin


Kaleen Luu

Illustration by Jelina Luu

Just without a thought

Competition helps spark motivation J e n n y Wu School has always been, and will continue to be, a competition. Whether we know it or not, we’re all fighting for our turn to be in the spotlight. And one day, we might just get there. When I was in the second grade, I wanted to be the person who read the most books in class by earning a multi-colored sticker every time I finished one. Every week, I would walk up to the poster that had my entire classroom roster on it and happily place my sticker next to my name, while secretly watching for the students creeping up behind my place on the chart. Looking back, I guess I wanted to seem smart by showing that I liked to read. And because I enjoyed that feeling, I continued to strive for the highest honor a grade-school student could receive—the “Student of the Month.” During elementary school, being the “Student of the Month” meant you were special. Smart. Distinct from everyone else. And you also got an exlusive treat, which was a plus. But in order to be defined as “special,” you had to compete

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against 35 other people in the class because there was only one certificate per month. If you earned the certificate, you automatically enjoyed the spoils that came with it, which wasn’t much. However, if you didn’t, you were always left wondering why. Once the “Student of the Month” was announced, an invisible “iron curtain” fell down to separate you from the recipient, or vice versa. You were automatically placed into the one percent who earned it or the ninety-nine percent who didn’t. So then, you would try your best to obtain one before the school year ran out of months. By the time high school came around, you began to compete against your classmates for two specific aspects that would haunt you for the rest of your life: honors and/or AP classes, and GPA. When you become a senior, you are reminded once again how competitive we are when your counselor shows you what number you’re ranked. This number, achieved by taking the average of your sophomore and junior year GPAs, can make or break your acceptance into a good college, where you will be compet-

The Matador Bullring What is the best thing about Southern California?

“The weather because it’s very cool.”

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 JEJ Print Inc. The opinions and views expressed in The Matador do not necessarily reflect the beliefs of the school or the Alhambra School District.

-Cassandra Rodriguez, 9th grade

“Disneyland because it’s fun. It makes me feel like a child.” -Kelsey Ko, 10th grade

“The sports, the tours, what you can do here. You never get bored of anything. You always have something to do.”

Assistant Editors: Vanessa De La Rosa, Kristy Duong, Annie Huang, Lauren Kakazu, Mimi Lam, Rebecca Lei, Jelina Luu, Kathering Montelon, Jenny Wu Reporters: Tran Lam, Kaleen Luu, Brian Rios, Michelle Tu, Crystal Wong

ing against not only your peers, but also students from all over the world. Founding editor of Student Health 101 Lori Mortimer agrees that school competition is not aiding students in their studies, and is pitting us against one another instead. “If we want [students] to stay interested in learning and to actually enjoy it, get rid of grades and competition in school. Lots of other changes would help, too, but this one change will let each child learn without looking over his or her shoulder.” Although we might not all accomplish what we want to do in the future, we have to at least try so we can motivate one another to do the best and look back with no regrets. So what if I’m not perfect? We have to remember that there will always be someone better than us out there in the real world. Someone who will inspire us to do better. And one day, when we’re old and wrinkly, we’ll look back and laugh about all the fun we had attempting to do things we never thought we could. But more importantly, we’ll reminisce about how we actually did accomplish them.

-Joseph Gomez, 11th grade

“Hollywood celebrities. There are famous celebrities [who] live in the same place.” -Hieu Phan, 12th grade

Photos by Derek Deng

“Hey, what are you even doing here? Can you even sing well?” a girl called out to me, with a malicious laugh. It was as if someone had come and knocked all the air out of me, and I froze. Looking back, I’m relieved that I couldn’t see myself then because I can just imagine how silly my face looked. I realized then, that it was no stranger. This is my friend, and a friend is someone I’m supposed to be able to confide in, someone I’m able to trust. A part of me wanted to defend her accusation, but what do I tell myself when I’m getting the short end of the stick? Surely she meant it as a joke? Unsure of her true intentions, I managed to give her a half smile before I darted away from sight. I was there to audition to be in choir at my middle school. It’s not something I would have normally done, I admit, and it’s not something I nurse a passion for, but it’s something new; something refreshing that I wanted to try. I had promised myself to always be open to new things, but her hurtful comment made me start to doubt myself. Would I be able to meet the expectations, or was she right afterall? “Why can’t I be here; what are you trying to say?” I confronted my “friend.” She tilted her head at me, and raised an eyebrow. “I was just saying, don’t get offended, but… you’re not the type to do these kind of things. I don’t think you’d be good at this…,” she faltered, seeing my annoyed expression. Excuse me? Saying “no offense” does not make your offensive and ill-advised comments any better; certainly, it does not excuse you and give you a free pass to say whatever you please to me! How do you expect me to believe that you really meant no offense, when just moments before, your words were laced with such malice? Sometimes, I wonder if people do mean the harsh words they say at first, but then try to take it back when they see the damage they’ve done. People try to defend their critical thoughts by saying they’re only joking around, but sometimes they need to understand that these little hurtful comments can build up over time and eventually, end the friendship. At every significant point of my life, there was always somebody already there; somebody just waiting for me to fall. Why do some people seem so eager to see someone they know fail? The thing that hurts the most aren’t even the words. It’s the person. I chose, and perhaps then it was my fault, to trust someone, but they chose to turn their back on me. It hurts because I trusted them, and in return, they go and prove that it was a mistake on my part. Though, without trust, there really is no real relationship.  I’ve never been the outspoken friend; just bursting with confidence and energy, but I don’t want to be the one whom everyone thinks they can walk all over, either. A re w e a l l d o o m e d t o e i t h e r choose between the hot porridge, or the cold porridge, as demonstrated in “Goldilocks?” Is there no in between, just right for me? The only sad thing, in the end, I suppose, is that now I can only say, “I’m used to it.” Call me jaded, but now, it’s hard for me to trust anyone. It’s nothing personal, really.





L A C O S I V LO los angeles is the heart of southern california culture Karen Rivera When one is thinking about Southern California, the city of Los Angeles instantly comes to mind. In Los Angeles, otherwise known as the City of Angels, there holds culture and diversity that is rarely experienced by many. There is the perception that L.A. is all about the stars and the fabulous life of the 90210; however there is so much more to the gorgeous city. Within Los Angeles, there is what everyone knows as the famous district of Hollywood where tourists and Californians go to embrace its culture. When you walk along Hollywood Boulevard looking down at the Hollywood Walk of Fame, visit the local shops, and check out the famous theatres such as the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, you will see the beauty that lies in the City of Angels. Shopping at small flea markets in Hollywood on Melrose Avenue is among one of the most enjoyable things to do. Melrose consists of vintage shops where the people are free and open minded. “I love Hollywood [and] the good vibes people give you. Everyone is friendly,” sophomore Mayra Jimenez said. Strolling through Hollywood is an experience that exposes people to the art and soul of Los Angeles. Vendors, musicians, artists, street basketballers, and fortune-tellers can all be spotted at the famous Venice Beach in Los Angeles. Along the boardwalk, people will find themselves encountering random dancers and people sand sculpting while the music blasts. The culture at Venice Beach is vibrant where people easily open themselves up to the artsy life-style. There are people everywhere. From surfing it up in the waters to playing street basketball, it’s a huge group of people with great diversity. L.A. Live in Downtown is where the best entertainment is. Staples Center is located in the plaza which is the home to both Los Angeles NBA teams - the Lakers and the Clippers, It is also home to Los Angeles Kings, the city’s NHL team. Within L.A. Live are five-star restaurants, the Grammy Museum, Nokia Theater, and the ESPN Zone and broadcasting studios. It’s a mix of people every night at the entertainment plaza. There is so much that Los Angeles has to offer. Anyone from anywhere can enjoy themselves because of all the diversity and culture that the city contains. Whether it’s admiring the art in Hollywood or going to a game at Staples Center, the fun is endless. The City of Angels is the capital of entertainment, sports, fashion, and so much more. What can be learned and experienced from the city may be fulfilling. The tourists keep coming, and the city is alive.

southern cali serves as the mecca for historical sites and tourist destinations Jenny Bui Sunny sidewalks and bleached blonde hair are the many generalizations people make of the Sunny State. However, Southern California is home to many interesting and cultural places that definitely give the Sunshine State its distinct character. Located in Orange County, South Coast Plaza is known as “The Ultimate Shopping Resort” with world-wide known shops as Zara, Forever21, and H&M. Even better is its expansive location for high-end shops like Tiffany’s, Valentino, Prada, and Dior. Popular television shows like The O.C. and Beverly Hills, 90210 have mentioned the plaza as the hub of teenage life. Located in Beverly Hills, The Grove includes not only its historical background since the mid-1900s, but also its famous farmers’ market. Delicious aromas fill the air as vendors and bakers set out their goods. Even more exciting are the celebrities who often visit The Grove for free concerts, talk shows, and shopping. Shops include a three-story Barnes & Noble,

along with a toll-free trolley that takes you around the The Grove. Located in Anaheim, Disneyland is perhaps the most world-wide known amusement park due to its lovable mascot, Mickey Mouse, with various locations around the world like France, Japan, and China. As a family friendly resort, couples, friends, parents, children, and grandparents can enjoy their day with various rides, historical displays, shopping on Main Street, and relaxing at Downtown Disney. Located in Los Angeles, the Griffith Observatory sits on the south-facing slope of the famous Mount Hollywood. Visitors can see beautiful astronomical happenings and planets at night through various telescopes as well as enjoy an educational tour on astronomy. Beginning in Southern California, InN-Out is a hamburger fast food chain that is unique with its drive-through ordering. Delicious burgers and the secret menu of animal fries along with classic milkshakes give customers a satisfied tummy without hurting their wallets.

the differences between norcal and socal lives Vanessa De La Rosa Although Southern California and Northern California are known to hold a friendly rivalry against each other, they have similarities that tie them together and differences that distinguish each region. One of the most prominent differences is climate. SoCal is known for its consistently warm weather and sunny skies, whereas NorCal is cool, and rains often. NorCal has a more vivacious environment,

differing from the desert-like earth that is found in SoCal. Although they have completely opposite climates, both respective weather climates are almost always consistent. Southern California has more of heavily urbanized environment, while Northern California has more of an abundance of trees and natural life. SoCal’s demographic makeup can be categorized by four main ethnic groups: Hispanics, Asians, Caucasians, and African Americans. NorCal is less diverse than SoCal. It

is mostly made up of Asians and Caucasians. Both regions speak mainly English, Spanish is the second primary language spoken. People have arguably noted that people in NorCal are seemingly more laid back, but too obsessed with politics, while people in SoCal are friendly, but too fixated on the Hollywood lifestyle. Despite these definite differences between the two metropolitan regions, they are both filled with their own diversity and sense of individualism.





’ N I

You know you are from southern california when..

Photo illustration by Annie Huang and Jelina Luu

-You always wear flip-flops -You have tan lines in winter -You don’t trust the weatherman -You eat In-n-Out and know the secret menu -You drive next to a Rolls Royce and do not notice -You wear shorts in your picture with Santa -Everything else in the U.S. seems much cheaper -You go to the beach and not into the water -You learned Spanish on the playground -You go trick-or-treating at the Kardashians’ -You assume everyone is a vegan

-No one has a basement -There are Gold Rush fields trip in the 4th grade -You get excited for thunder and lightening -Avocadoes are incorporated in every meal -You blame getting sick on the change in weather -You say “like” or “omg” in every sentence -You sleep through earthquakes -You have never seen a fully indoor school -You pull a California roll at a stop sign -You know what “PCH” and “the 5” is -You classify people based on area code - Sonny Hy





Traditional Pokémon game evolves through time B ri a n R i o s Nintendo’s juggernaut franchise has adapted to appeal to a new generation. The core of Pokémon’s gameplay has not altered since the original titles; in fact, over time it has grown to become an even richer and more strategic experience. Released September 28, 1998, Pokémon Red and Blue are the games that started it all. The titles quickly made their way into the hearts of gamers with their fun gameplay and remarkably immersing worlds. The two games featured similar plots; however, the variety of Pokémon is different in each version. The concept of player interaction via the trade system was groundbreaking for its time. Pokémon Red and Blue became the best-selling Game Boy games ever, shattering records worldwide. Pokémon Yellow followed the success of the Red and Blue versions, but it was not overshadowed by it. Pokémon Yellow set a trend that each subsequent generation of core Pokémon titles has followed, wherein the third version is collection of content from the previous two releases accompanied by a larger variety of Pokémon. Basically a sequel to Red and Blue, Pokémon Gold and Silver for the Game Boy Color marked the beginning of the second generation of Pokémon. In addition to a new region, Pokémon Gold and Silver brought plenty of new goodies to the Pokémon party. The games added 100 new species of Pokémon to the National Pokedex. They also introduced a day/night mechanism. This new element inspired two new evolutions of Eevee: Umbreon, which

has to be evolved at night, and Espeon, which has to be evolved during the day. Other mainstays that Pokémon Gold and Silver contributed were hold items, which have different effects and became a key element to competitive play. The third installment of the second generation, Pokémon Crystal follows a similar story as Gold and Silver, with the addition of new plot points and features. The game expanded on the plot of Legendary Pokémon and gave the player the option to choose their gender. Crystal introduced the Battle Tower, which set the basic rules for all battle arenas in the future The first games of the third generation of Pokémon, Ruby and Sapphire for the Game Boy Advance took event in a new region. Naturally, with a new region came new Pokémon. 135 to be exact. Rather than fighting Team Rocket, the villains in the previous generations, the player is against either Team Aqua (Sapphire) or Team Magma (Ruby). One of the biggest changes these new games brought was a complete overhaul of the Stat Experience system. In Ruby and Sapphire, a Pokémon’s Nature also played a part, determining the growth rate of each stat. Another big change-up was the Pokémon storage system, which was now quicker and easier to use. Pokémon Emerald made great use of the fact that Ruby and Sapphire had different main villains, combining their threat into one and allowing the player to face off against

Illustration by Annie Huang

both teams. This use paired with a slight change in the story itself made Emerald a marked departure from its predecessors. Emerald improved the Battle Tower, which was expanded into an entire area called the Battle Frontier. Pokémon Diamond and Pearl kicked off the fourth generation of Pokémon with 107 new Pokémon and an updated graphics style. Diamond and Pearl allows players to transfer Pokémon from previous generations without trading. The games also revolutionized the trading system by making good use of the DS’s Wi-Fi capabilities. Without the need for a link cable, players could now trade and battle with fellow Poke Masters all across the globe. Like all third versions of the Pokémon series, Pokémon Platinum had a lot more to offer than just a larger selection of Pokémon. Not only were new characters added, but also the game sported a brand new sub-plot involving the legendary Pokémon Giratina, as well as a whole new area, the Distortion World, in which players encountered the creature. Another interesting element introduced in Platinum was that most of the opponents the player faced had higher level Pokémon than they had in Diamond and Pearl. The Elite Four also leveled up considerably after the player beat the Stark Mountain mission. The Pokémon franchise has kept its mechanics intact and has implemented new features and species of Pokémon to keep millions of people coming back for more. Pokémon, with its innovative and downright addictive gameplay, seems poised to continue this pattern of growth.

Photos courtesy of Wikipedia , and

LoL persists to inspire the community hours and hours, often with pre-made teams of five of friends, and lose themselves in the “You have slain an enemy, double kill, tri- joy of the game. It consumes many hours of ple kill, quadra kill, penta kill, ace,” says the the day as students are often caught in its announcer in the online, free-to-play video attractive allure. The ease of picking up the game League of Legends, as a player success- game, as well as learning how to play are fully kills all opposing team champions in often cited as key ideas that establish it as a strong force in the gaming industry. One of quick succession. League of Legends is a game to many of the quirky things about the game is how it the students at San Gabriel High School, but links together students who had previously it is also a code that some students live by. never had contact before. “Through playing this game, we build The game revolves around two teams, each bond and learn how to trust in each consisting of five players. Each other’s judgement,” player acts as a sophomore Michelle summonHau said. er who The game does picks one not only involve champiyourself, but nine on to use others who are all throughout trying to win the game; as well. champions Skills vary from that are creatures essenfrom the tial to voids of everyspace to day life the fictional conPhoto courtesy of are found t i n e n t League of Legends is a multiplayer online video game created throughof Ru- by Riot Games. It was released on October 27, 2009 and out this g a m e neterra Imagine Game Network (IGN) gave the game a 8/10 rating. and help to the various inhabitants of the world such as improve the various abilities that are comyordles or humans. Side goals that help your monly seen throughout the world. The community in the game is less than team in their cause, such as defeating the beast Baron Nashor, grant gold and power to the perfect, but the fact is there are people team. Magic and technology are combined in worth meeting. You would never guess that a mash-up of various items and weapons that the girl who sits across from you in Spanall help players battle each other on the Fields ish class would be playing too, if not for the of Justice, where the overall goal is to destroy reference to the quote, “Have you see my bear Tibbers?” which is a line that is often the other team’s Nexus. “It gives me a deeper way of connecting repeated and heard in the game. The game itself is free and it connects with friends and even strangers, transcending physical boundaries,” junior Justin Meng said. students through the Internet while bringMany students play League of Legends for ing together many in the school who play. Sonny Hy

Photo courtesy of

Slenderman makes his way out of the woods Natalie Tr an Our lives revolve the Internet, creating such a culture that nobody would have imagined possible 20 years ago. It has created a lot of crazy things – Facebook, online shopping, and the start of Justin Bieber’s career. One thing that goes for sure is the viral sensation that is Internet phenomenon, or better known as memes. The latest one is a little game known as “Slender.” The story of the Slenderman originates from a “paranormal picture” Photoshop contest on the forum Something Awful, where user Victor Surge posted up photos with an obscure creature by the name of Slenderman lurking in the back. Slenderman is depicted to be an tall, faceless man dressed in a black suit. The urban legend is that he has the ability to stretch out his limbs and uses that to capture his victims. It is also believed that he causes his victims paranoia, memory loss, insomnia, and audio/visual distortions. Slenderman’s popularity also surged fictional stories about the creature on Creepypasta and fan art, and finally, the game. “Slender: The Eight Pages” is a free, first-person horror game where

players are set out to find eight pages in a dark and deserted forest with only a flashlight in hand. As the player attempts to find these pages, they must avoid being seen by Slenderman, who unceasingly follows the player around. When caught, static is heard and appears on the screen – one of the few features of the game that makes an ode to the characteristics of Slenderman from the “Slender” myths. The game has become huge, garnering popularity with an audience outside of the gaming community. One of the most popular byproducts of the game are YouTube reaction videos – videos where players record their frightened reactions while simultaneously playing the game. Other things also include Slenderman costume pranks, Slenderman vs. “Gangnam Style” videos, and a meme about Slenderman’s flamboyant and fashion-savvy mannequin brother named Trenderman. The game will release a sequel, “Slender: The Arrival.” It will feature more levels and a more engaging storyline for its players. The Internet has become the most massive form of communication in this generation, and the “Slender” craze has become proof of that.




New cafeteria choices made for next semester

Zamudio rocks his way into the House of Blues

size more on healthy diets and physical exercises for students,” Executive Director San Gabriel High School’s students Vivian Watts said. Before entering the gymnasium, parand faculty participated in the decision of the district’s new cafeteria menu for next ticipants were greeted with a group of semester at Montery Highlands School on elementary school volunteers who conducted small physical exercises to promote Friday, November 16. “The event was crowded, but sur- good health and habits. All vendors had to be appropriate for a prisingly, school food is actually good.” healthy diet junior Christina and some Le said. “I felt even offered awarded for vegetarian being able to choices and make these defresh fruit. cisions because Some were the whole school even famildidn’t get to go.” iar with the The event Alhambra was held inSchool Disside of Montery trict, like SuHighland’s gymperior Foods, nasium, where Photo by Debbie Dinh who makes participants were given an The Food Tasting Food Fair took place at o u r l u n c h evaluation pa- Monterey Highlands School. Many staffs f a v o r i t e s per listing all of and students from the district attended. like teriyaki and orange the food offered at the tasting. Different vendors circled chicken. “The Superior Foods were really tasty around the gym with a variety of breakfasts and lunches up for judgement. Each rep- and I had a blast at the fair,” Senior Jesse resentative introduced their product, gave Perez said. The foods with ratings over four will samples, and participants were able to give be placed on our cafeteria menu starting the food a rating of five to one. “In recent years, we wanted to empha- in January of next year.

said, ‘yes,’” Zamudio said. “I’ve been a part of the band since that day.” Mark Zamudio is a 15-year-old drumZamudio names Buddy Rich as his inmer for the metal and post-hardcore rock spiration as a drummer. band, That One Band. Some of his favorite “When I was in the sixth grade, I saw bands include We Came As Romans, Sleep- videos of him drumming and I’ve been ing with Sirens, and Born of Osiris. playing the drums ever since. It’s been Other memfour years now,” bers of the Zamudio said. band consist Aware of the of lead vocalist possibility that Kashmir Renee music might not Quintana, lead be in his future, guitarist Peter Zamudio has a Hernandez, plan B. rhythm guitar“I would like ist Josh Ortiz, to be signed by a and bassist record label, but Kristen Spring if that doesn’t Quintana, all of work out, then whom attend I would want to Schurr High be a detective,” School. Zamudio said. I t w a s That One Photo courtesy of That One Band through ZaBand has permudio’s neighformed multiple The band consists of five members which bor when he times in public learned that the includes Mark Zamudio himself. The other including perforband was look- four members attend Schurr High School. mances at Moose ing for a drummer. Lodge, a party in Los Angeles and a bar in “They already had a band, but they Chino Hills. kicked the old drummer out. They asked me They are set to perform at the House of [through Facebook] to practice with them Blues in Anaheim on November 20, where to see how good of a drummer I was and I tickets are selling for $10 each.

De bbie D inh an d De rri c k C h i

Celine Dang

3D street art gives grafitti a whole new meaning Va ne s s a De L a R o s a Art has always been a form of self-expression, a way to describe the thoughts within oneself that could never be articulated through words and speech alone. Although art is a form of freedom through creativity and a sense of individualism, street art has created much controversy over what is to be praised as art and what is to be regarded as graffiti. The word “graffiti” itself now holds such a negative connotation that people have forgotten what the word really means; one usually imagines hardly legible letters and vandalism scribbled hastily by criminals and hoodlums who only serve to deface public property. Graffiti is another

word for drawings, writings, or doodles that have been drawn or written on a wall or surface visually accessible to the public. Some of the most prominent street artists who have made a massive impact on the misconceptions of street art and graffiti are world-famous street painter Edgar Mueller, sidewalk chalk artist Julian Beever, and inventor of anamorphic art, street artist Kurt Wenner. All three artists are expertly talented in the art of anamorphic art, or 3D pavement art. This art form combines Renaissance art techniques with street art in order to give graffiti a whole new meaning. Artists like these concentrate a lot of time and hard work into ensuring that their paintings retain the correct

angles in order to captivate people with optical illusions. By painting and chalking frightening realistic paintings on streets and sidewalks, these artists create breathtaking works that only serve to beautify and astound, to entertain and self-express. These artists create a new name for graffiti and street art alike, defying stereotypes and creating new worlds for audiences of all kinds to enjoy. One cannot simply disregard or overlook their efforts simply because of the connotation a term may have. All art forms are ways to convey things that some people find impossible to do otherwise, and one art form cannot be judged by stereotypes and misapprehensions people may harbor.

Photo courtesy of

The picture displays an example of 3D street art from a world-famous street painter Edgar Mueller. Mueller’s painting is called “Use your eyes”, where he tried combining Renaissance art techniques.

Hot Red Bus receives tasty review from the staff No meat. Check. No onions or garlic. Check. As a vegetarian, I was skeptical of what Hot Red Bus had to offer, but the “Battered Tatties” under the Munch Bites section proved to be worth a try. “Thick sliced potato, battered, fried and splashed with curry sauce and Julianne Teng cheese” sounded wonderful in my Rating: 4 mind, but when my dish was served, it didn’t look as appetizing. However, after one bite, I was pretty much sold. The “tatties,” or hash-brown-like potato pieces were smooth in texture, cheesy, and the curry drizzle completed the perfect taste. The only downside is that the place is not as spacious as expected, nonetheless, I will definitely be back to try “The Meat Dodger.”

I would definitely recommend the Hot Red Bus because of their unique British and Indian food. The Hot Red Bus was an amazing place to eat at! The restaurant has a casual appearance and atmosphere, with yellow painted walls and friendly service. Sitting there, I felt as if I was Derek Deng in a foreign place; it felt as if I was in a restaurant in Italy. I ordered “The Rating: 4 Clash,” which is a kebab wrap composed of salad, sweet spices, and salty beef, all wrapped up in pita bread. “ The best part was the food and the fast service. Overall, it is a good place to eat if you want to try something new and out of your comfort zone.

My visit for the most part exceeded my expectations. Anyone wishing to try out Indian food will enter the casual environment and order. However, the subtext explaining what the food is constituted of may be the only outlandish Christopher Lan aspect of the restaurant to nonregulars. Other than that though, Rating: 4 Hot Red Bus feels like any other fast-food restaurant. I ordered the “Double Decker,” which is a wrapped kebab with both Döner meat and chicken mixed with various vegetables and sauces. The mixed flavors of different meats coupled with the mix of sauces and vegetables produced an delicate taste. The service was quick and friendly, providing a great visit overall.

Photos by Derek Deng

Hot Red Bus is located on 31 E Main St, Alhambra, CA 91801. The restaurant serves from Indian and British cuisine. The top photo shows from left to right: The Clash, The Battered Tathes, and the Double Decker. With a nice atmosphere, Hot Red Bus is worth the experience.

In a Latino and Asian dominated area, anything else is breath of fresh air. The atmosphere was very casual. A collage of British newspaper cutouts decorated the tables. The Hot Red Bus has a menu unlike anything I’ve ever seen. After some thought, I settled on the thing that looked the Chelsey Tran most familiar. I ordered the Royal Standard, which is basically a kebab Rating: 4 wrap with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, carrot daikon pickle, and cilantro on pita bread with curry sauce. There was a choice between Doner meat, beef and lamb, or Madras Chicken but I stuck to chicken. Overall, the food was unique in a good way. I think this place is worth dropping in if only to experience the different type of food.


FRESHMAN 11/1 vs. Alhambra


Winter sports warm up for their upcoming season

FOOTBALL VARSITY 11/2 @ Alhambra




Boys Basketball Marvin Luu



GIRLS TENNIS VARSITY Individuals qualified to CIF for doubles

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL VARSITY 10/30 vs. Schurr 11/6 vs. Whitney* 11/8 @ Jurupa Valley* 11/10 @ Aquinas*

3-0 3-0 3-0 1-3


JV 10/30 vs. Schurr



FRESHMAN 10/30 vs. Schurr



* Denotes CIF game

Summary: Approaching the start of the 2012-13 season the team opens with some new faces and some returning members which include center Michael Borja, forward Kevin Loya, and guard Chris Valdez. There are plenty of solid players in the varsity team this year and only time will tell if the team can mesh and get together in two weeks for the opening season. Team Qualities: Guards Phillip Ly and Man Nong are likely to control the backcourt as Eric Alvarez, Daniel Ramos, and Justin

Tan will possibly man the frontcourt. Ly has improved on his dribbling abilities and has become a better scorer in the past two years and can dish out passes. Ramos is a scorer who will likely be the team’s threat from behind the arc. Nong is coming into his third year in varsity and is the youngest starter on the floor. With his ability to drive deep into the lanes and convert easy baskets, Nong will help bolster the team offensively. Tan has improved as one of the strongest post in the team but uniquely has enough ball controlling abilities to run a point guard position at 6’2’’. Alvarez has always

Photo by Derek Deng

Senior guard Daniel Ramos attempts to drive past Phillip Ly in preparation for the Don Bosco tournament. been the aggressive offensive force. Comment: “After four years of hardwork, I want to contribute to my team

both offensively and defensively,” Ramos said, “With my scoring ability I want to be able to put up points for my team.”

Girls Basketball prepares for second CIF run Karen Rivera

Wrestling attacks season head-on John Truong Summary: With the start of a new season, the Matador wrestling team consists of returning players Eddie Escobar, Jose Juarez, Gabriel Larios, Joseph Mayorga, Robert Mercado, Jesus Meza, Stephen Tam, as well as the addition of players Chris Alverez, Kenny Diep, Daniel Pollock, Wayne Pollock, and Ruben Vasquez. Team Qualities: The Matador team lost key player Joey Villalobos, who won the Almont League Finals at San Gabriel High School last year. Jose Juarez, a middleweight, was eliminated in the semifinals last year at the league finals. Joseph Mayorga, a middleweight, returns from a one-year absence from wrestling. Gabriel Larios, a middleweight, was unable to participate last season at League Finals after injuring his neck in a match. Jesus Meza, a heavy weight, returns from losing in the first match of the Finals. Stephen Tam was injured last season and did not participate in most of the league events. Robert Mercado made CIF last year and won 4th place at the League finals. Eddie Escobar, a middleweight, lost in the 2nd round of League Finals. With the return of many players as well as the arrival of new members, the Matadors are looking to win the Almont League championship. Comment: “We have a lot more guys this year and that would help our team to get more points and to fill in the weight lines,” Juarez said.

Senior Chris Alvarez and junior Wayne Pollock learn new techniques and strategies for their match on January 2.

Photo by Hana Ngo

Senior shooting guard Karen Bach confronts senior center Christina Co as she attempts to make a lay-up.

Summary: Ending last season with a record of 5-5 and a trip to the first round of CIF, the girls’ varsity basketball team is looking to go further this upcoming year with the help of Coach Honda. Despite having lost their effective point guard, Judy Huang has shown improvement to take over as point guard for this season. The team is strongly focusing on their strengths to contend in the playoffs. Other than having girls who can shoot from the outside, they have improved their abilities in the post with, Marisa Garibaldo,Arella Tagdhis, and Sandra Vasquez dominating. The team has eight varsity veterans returning, which increases the team’s experience and expectations to be successful in the playoffs. The team has been participating in tournaments against teams with championship experience before the season, to further their basketball IQ and to improve their overall game play. The girls varsity basketball team had their first scrimmage game on November 1 9 against Whittier. They have less than a month until their official season begins on December 4 against Temple City in the Azusa Tournament. Comment: “[The] team is looking stronger this year [since] every girl can shoot,” captain Arella Tagdhis said.

Boys Soccer under new direction Oscar Molina Summary: This year the varsity boys soccer team is under the direction of Coach Cesar Franco. With a record of 3-1-6 (wins/draws/losses) last year, the team is hoping to qualify for CIF after not having done so since the late 1990s. The team will kick off their season on Tuesday, November 27 with their game at Rosemead. Team Qualities: Junior Jose Castillo and senior Jonathon Aparicio are essential to the team’s offense because of their speed as explosive wing forwards. Senior midfielder Pablo Garcia is contributing to the team through his ability to control and maintain the team’s pace throughout the game. In defense the team has well rounded players such as Alexis Mercado, Joseph Gomez, and Vicente Saines. Despite these positive traits, the team still needs to improve their defensive coordination, as well as finish their offensive plays. Comments: “We hope to have more possesion [of the ball] in the games and be able to pass it around well,” Coach Franco said.

Seniors Jonathan Aparicio and Pablo Garcia practice passes in the air as they warm up for full-length scrimmage afterschool.

Girls Soccer plans road to success Brian Rios

Photo by Hana Ngo

Photo by Hana Ngo

Photo by Hana Ngo

Senior goal keeper Luwena Wou practices blocking penalty shots from junior forward Andrea Guzman in session before official practice begins.

Summary: With last season’s record 1-9 still in memory, the girls’ varsity soccer team is aiming to turn around the San Gabriel High School soccer program under second year Head Coach Monica Carrasco. The varsity team still boasts six returners: right defender Karen Lam, center mid-defender Ana Michel, forward Genesis Echeverria, center forward Andrea Guzman, goal keeper Luwenna Wou, and left winger Janette Nguyen. The Lady Matadors take the field against Rosemead High School in a home game on November 27. Team Qualities: The team needs to improve on communication and assimilate the new girls into making the transition from junior varsity. Last season the team had a competitive side and were up to par on the physical aspect; however, they lacked the mentality to finish games. In order to destroy the mental barrier holding back the team’s potential. Comment: “Dare to be great, don’t be afraid to challenge the misconception that we are going to lose,” Lam said.



Anxiety creates an extra game obstacle Sonny Hy

Illustration by John Truong

“I didn’t know what to do or what I was doing; I was freaking out about everything that could happen. I could’ve lost the entire game for my team. I could’ve even accidently hit the ball to a kid in the stands,” junior Angie Lin said about her first experience with playing in a volleyball game. The heart-pounding, gut-wrenching moments before anyone’s big show time is always the most anxious time of a player in any sport. Anxiety isn’t just a feeling, it’s a phenomenon that takes over the body, surfacing through butterflies inside of your stomach or the shaking of your entire body before a game. Going into your very first game, it’s actually normal to feel intimidated; in fact, it would be strange if you didn’t feel nervous about it. The pressure builds up inside of you. Will you make everyone proud or let everyone down? Doubt and anxiety take over your body, but the choice is yours: give in and choke or conquer your fear and achieve what you never thought was possible. “It was terrifying, it felt like every inch of my body was trembling with fear, but once I got onto the field, nothing mattered anymore besides me and myself,” senior Pablo Garcia said. The fear of failure cripples everybody, but when you’re performing in a sport where one person is unable to participate, the entire team collapses. The pressure you feel can make you collapse. The key thing to know is that you’re not the only one going through it. Everyone who has done anything from speech and debate to choreo has experienced anxiety, gotten used it and become comfortable with it. “Even now I still get anxious, but I am much more used to it. After so many times you kind of just start ignoring it,” junior Megan Molina said. Anxiety is a natural part of human nature, but how we deal with it is up to the individual. Overcoming fear and anxiety comes with hard work and determination. Ultimately, anxiety will always be a constant threat to a player’s thoughts, but their overall confidence and practice will allow players to overcome this obstacle and improve their performance.


Girls volleyball ties for fifth in Division 3A Sandy Peng

With his index finger and his thumb an inch apart, Coach Larry Kanow described how close the girls varsity volleyball team was to securing the third round of California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) playoffs. “We just needed this much more,” Kanow said. The girls swept Whitney and Jurupa Valley High School in the first two rounds of playoffs but fell short to Aquinas High School on Saturday, November 10. After a victory in the first round against Whitney High School, the Photo by Derek Deng girls went on to play against Jurupa Valley, a second place Middle blocker Tiffany Ha utilizes the Falcons’ double blockers team in the River Valley to right side tip and score. The Matadors lost to Aquinas, a League. The Matadors de- 2nd place team in the Ambassador League, 1-3. feated the Jaguars in three sets with scores of 25-22, 28-26, and 25-19. “They [Jurupa Valley] had a really good outside hitter but she wasn’t set enough to execute her talented hitting. We were too sloppy,” middle blocker Krys Pham said.  San Gabriel’s CIF run ended against Aquinas High School, a second place team in the Ambassador League. The Matadors lost to the Falcons 1-3. “It was a close game. We missed key serves while the other team stepped up their defense,” Kanow said. “It could have gone either way; sometimes you just gotta get lucky.”  Trailing behind Aquinas, San Gabriel was off to a rough start. Missed serves and shanked balls played an important factor in the outcome of the first set. The Matadors struggled against blocking the Falcons’ “quicks,” an attack where the middle hitter jumps before the setter sets, with the ball being set directly to the middle hitter’s hand. However, the Matadors made a come back in the second set and won 25-9. Libero Vanessa Linares led the team with several aces on the Falcons. The Matadors and the Falcons often traded points back and forth. With several kills and off-speed tips from middle blockers Tiffany Ha and Krys Pham, the team kept their momentum going in the third set but lost by two points at 28-26.  “I think that we gave it our best shot. It was a tough loss to our team. We had a chance, but we couldn’t come through.” middle back passer Jasmine Lau said.  The Matadors tied for fifth in Southern Section Division 3A CIF playoffs overall. 



Acuff, game creator and substitute

Tell Me

what’s the

Kaleen Luu and Tr an Lam

WORD. Famous Hallway quotes, Volume Thirty-two

“Is ketchup a smoothie?” -Student wondering about different forms of tomatoes.

“It’s Wikipedia- in book form.”

“Something’s wrong. I’m dizzy and my skin tingles.” -Teacher talking about caffeine.

“You’re going to become diff.” -Student talking about volume of the music.

“He’s a child killer!” -Student talking about a character in “Things Fall Apart.”

“Shoes have his rights and his lefts.” -Teacher talking about slavery.

“I have a classroom and she doesn’t.” -Teacher talking about substitutes.

“Houses are cheaping there.” -Teachers talking about house prices in Nevada and Arizona.

“It’s like an ant biting into my arm.” -Student talking about a blood test.

“My nails look like dirty rain.” -Student talking about nail polish.

All quotes overheard by The Matador staff.

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Kim

Veronica Lofthouse, a ray of sunlight who lights up any class C ryst al Wong One of the most well-known and beloved substitutes is Veronica Lofthouse, or more commonly nicknamed as “Grandma Lofthouse.” Before she became a substitute, Lofthouse was a hospital administrator for the Martin Luther King Hospital in downtown. She specialized in the special children’s program for lead poisoning in kids. “At first the [doctors] didn’t know what caused the poisoning,” Lofthouse said, “but then the program I worked in helped with a lot. We discovered that it was lead poisoning and the effects of it.” While working at the hospital, Lofthouse translated Spanish to patients, and also became associated with filmmaking. “I went to UCLA to major in filmmaking.” Although Lofthouse never intended to become a filmmaker, one of her managers noticed her napkin stories and proposed that she become a filmmaker. Despite the rumors of baking cookies for her students, Lofthouse denies them. “I used to be a really good cook when I was a teenager, but I don’t bake as much now,”Lofthouse said. As a fluent Spanish speaker, Lofthouse frequently substitutes for Spanish teachers since she can actually help the students. One of her most memorable phrases whenever she substitutes is “no violence” because classes would always be rowdy. Last year, a student-created facebook page of Mrs. Lofthouse had over 1,329 likes and several comments from students from different high schools. Despite having more than 1,000 likes on her Facebook fan page, not many students from San Gabriel actually visit the page. Often students would comment about how much they appreciate her and how she reminds them of their own grandma.

Between being a game developer, designing commercial characters, and writing books, Daniel Acuff, has accomplished numerous goals for success. Acuff has rendered a versatile collection of film scripts, non-fiction books, children’s stories and products, and poetry. He has been a seminar leader, speaker and radio host at various events around the globe. In his determination of personal and spiritual growth, Acuff has strained for a life of promising ambitions which led to his own idea of his pursuit of happiness. Acuff is the creator of KaBAM- a tricky, fast-paced vocabulary card game aimed at children between the ages of 8 and 12. However, older people may have some enjoyment in playing it as well, as it boggles the mind. “It’s a word game and it’s hard to explain in words, but basically, it’s a game where you form words using word [fragments] such as ‘ch’ or ‘th.’ It’s quick, fun and challenging. You can also learn some vocabulary,” Acuff said about his invention. Acuff was working for a consulting company and he was given the opportunity to have a hand in the development of characters featured in the “Spongebob Squarepants” television show on Nickelodeon when his company was hired. In addition, he was part of the team that drew the first sketches of the M&M’s cast for the Hershey’s company. “They hired us and paid us $22,000 to create the first drawings of the original M&M’s characters, then they improved them from there, so we can’t take full credit,” Acuff said. Acuff is a proud Trojan, having attended the University of Southern California, where he graduated with a Ph.D in philosophy and education. He attributes his motivation for being able to come up with ideas from his sense of adventure, and his never-ending curiosity. “I just love to create; it gets me up in the morning,” Acuff said. He has juggled many jobs throughout his life, probably due to what he calls his “adventurous spirit.” “I was also a marketing consultant; I had my own company for 27 years. Then I became a substitute for 13 years and a writer, “ Acuff said. Though he enjoys teaching students and enlightening them, his real passion lies in his writing. Already having accomplished so much, Acuff dreams of the day his stories will be published. He has written children’s books thus far, including a trilogy called, “The Dragon Boy.” “I enjoy writing, and for a while, substituting, but I plan on going back to the Peace Corps and go to Ecuador for a couple of years or something,” Acuff said Success might come a long way for most people, but for Acuff, success has already encountered him on the way. Acuff has an admirable philosophy, and being the optimistic person he is, he explained his idea of success. “I’m successful in my own way; it depends on how you define ‘successful.’ I mean, you can go up to a bum on the street and ask him if he thinks he’s successful, and he could say yeah. [...] It’s subjective. If you believe that you’re successful, then you are, no matter what your circumstances are,” Acuff said. According to Acuff, success has already laid itself out, showing him the way to a journey with hopeful dreams. He has lived a life with multiple latitudes of jobs, creations, and life-long achievements; he stretched the boundary to go where ordinary people have never aspired to inaugurate. From writing books to a developing a game, Acuff has shown an amount of effort to endeavor his ideal lifestyle. Photo courtesy of <>

Former Aztec graduate Ramirez makes her mark in the AUSD K ri st y Duong “San Gabriel Guidance, how can I help you?” This phrase is one that Beda Ramirez has probably said hundreds of times. As San Gabriel High School’s guidance technician for 12 years since March 1, 2001, Ramirez has certainly made her mark on this school. “I register every single student who comes here. I go ahead and help with translation and do check outs. I also go ahead and provide information for other clubs or students who need information. I was also a part of coordinating the scholarship programs,” Ramirez said. Ramirez is also in charge of taking school ID pictures. San Gabriel High School is actually the first school in the AUSD to create student ID cards. In addition, Ramirez is First Vice President of the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA). She believes that it is important for people to get involved with PTSA. “I’ve been in PTSA since my kids were five-years old. It is important to be a part of school and to become aware of the

needs of students. I think this is the time when parents or staff members become aware of the needs of the students. For example, if there’s someone who needs help but doesn’t want to come out and say it, it is so important. I think that is my whole goal is this, to help them out,” Ramirez said. Over the years, Ramirez has taken on many jobs. She has been in the Alhambra School District for over 25 years, and she has worked at every school in this district. Ramirez worked for 17 years as a translator at Fremont Elementary School and five years for the Regional Occupantion Program (ROP). Ramirez is currently involved in the Alhambra Latino Association as well. Furthermore, Ramirez was a graduate of Mark Keppel High School. After high school, she majored in social welfare at California State University, Los Angeles and minored in Chicano (multicultural) studies. Because Cal State LA did not offer all the classes that Ramirez desired to take, she attended Cal State Dominguez Hills for one quarter, Cal State Long Beach for one quarter, and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) for two quarters. However, she ultimately graduated from Cal State LA. “I would say that I went to different schools because they didn’t have what I wanted at Cal State, and I really wanted to go ahead and get

involved with my minor, which I did,” Ramirez said. Overall, her favorite part of her job at San Gabriel High School is getting involved with the kids and talking to the parents when they first come to register their child. Ramirez, like many teachers, agrees that she enjoys seeing her students grow over the past four years and especially enjoys seeing them when they come back to visit. She gestured happily to her collage of student photos on her wall. “I may not remember their names, but I remember who they are,” Ramirez said. Photo by Derek Deng

-Teacher talking about encyclopedias.


As Ramirez continues her work as a guidance technician, she describes her experience working in the district as a journey filled with love and warmth.


Teen drivers refrain from texting on road Derek Deng Suddenly seeing the bright red light devouring her windshield, she pushes the brakes, but her reaction was not fast enough. Her car rearended a vehicle that was slowing down because there was a car accident ahead. It was 3 a.m., and Michaella Tastad, who was 19 at the time, (the sister of a well-known mixedmartial artist Urijah Faber), was coming home with a friend from Black Friday shopping, when the accident happened, causing her to suffer from a collapsed lung, damage to internal organs, as well as other injuries. Tastad was better after two surgeries. “She gave a peace sign and wiggled her toes,” Faber said. Between 2007-2010, teen related car accidents totaled 2,191, according to the data obtained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). “Many of the most dangerous driving situations occur when teens are with multiple passengers, when they are out late, or when they are excited or acting out,” Bruce Simons-Morton, senior investigator and chief of the Prevention Research Branch of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Maryland, said in the American Automobile Association’s Westways magazine. In fact, there are more teens who die or get injured because of car accidents than drugs or medical issues. “Motor vehicle crashes are the No. 1 cause of death for adolescents,” according to Teenagers have the highest number in death tolls due to car accidents for a variety of reasons. The most common reasons are that teenagers believe that they have everything under control when they are texting or eating while driving.

Researchers have proved that average teens are adequate at dealing with the individual task, such as texting, but lack the ability to balance two tasks at the same time, such as texting and driving. There are teen passenger restrictions that are part of the graduated driver licensing (GDL) process, enabling drivers to gain experience behind the wheel. Teens should refrain from doing any other tasks while driving. “The first time I text[ed] while driving, I almost got into an accident, so since then, I stopped,” junior Kim Huy said. “Whenever I get an important text, I just pull over to the side of the road to reply.” The crash rates per miles driven for teens are four times higher than adults, and teens are 50 percent more likely to crash during the first month after obtaining a license compared to driving after one year, according to studies made by the AAA Foundation. It only takes good driving techniques and lots of practice to help teenage drivers become more aware of their surroundings. There are many sources that can provide drivers with up-to-date information regarding driving safely, such as <>, the All State Foundation, and the National Organizations for Youth Safety. Driving does not necessarily have to be intimidating for incoming drivers. It takes patience and time to get the right education to prepare young drivers for the Illustration by John Truong road.

Participate in five kilometer walk and turkey feeding activity for the holiday Illustrations by Annie Huang



On November 24, while most people will be at home, sleeping, others will be at the annual Santa Monica Gobble Wobble Walk. The walk consists of five kilometers that can be either ran or walked. However, the walk does not consist of just one singular event, as it also has activities for children, such as the one-kilometer walk, called the “Widdle Wobble for Kids.” There will also be a Gobble Wobble Kid Zone, where kids may face paint, make balloons, or create arts and crafts. Participants can also take part in a turkey-calling contest, a potato sack race, and a costume contest. Visit <> for more details.

It’s that time of year when turkeys get to be the guest of honor. Literally. At Farm Sanctuary, Thanksgiving is celebrated annually by honoring the rescued turkeys, usually by giving them a feast of their own. Visitors can walk from barn to barn meeting along the way the animals who call Farm Sanctuary home. Afterwards, the feeding of the turkeys will begin, followed by the feasting of the participants. This year, the feeding of the turkeys will be on November 11th. Visit <> for more details and a location near you. -Briefs compiled by Rebecca Lei

Main course, appetizer, and sweets formulate the perfect Turkey Day recipe Jelina Luu Roasted turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, roasted butter nut squash salad, and the classic pumpkin pie – where do you even begin? With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, it is that time again where the family gathers around and feasts to their hearts’ delight. A variety of main courses, appetizers, and deserts are usually served on the dinner table, but what exactly are you eating? There are several recipes to choose from when it comes to the main course. The classic approach involves our friend, the turkey. One recipe calls for making a butterand-herb-roasted turkey with Madeira jus.

Butter, garlic, and herbs help give the turkey its flavor and the Madeira jus, which is made from turkey broth and pan drippings, is served alongside the turkey as a substitute for gravy. After the turkey is cleaned out, sliced garlic and onions are placed under the skin of the turkey. It is then placed and rubbed with the herbs and seasoning. After the turkey is roasted, you can pour some of the drippings on top of the turkey so that it flavors the meat. Aside from the turkey, you can also make sage-and-garlic crusted pork tenderloin. All it takes is a mixture of chopped garlic, sage, and olive oil to give it some flavor. Plus, it only takes 40 minutes to prepare. Appetizers can range from turkey croquettes to salads. Yet not all appetizers have to involve complicated recipes. Something as simple as dip can feed those hungry appetites. The sweet onion dip is made from sautéed onions and

mixed with a light cream cheese and sour cream. Within minutes, the dip is prepared and can be served with vegetable chips. Cornbread can also be served and is simple to prepare. After preheating the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and making the batter with buttermilk, cornmeal, flour, and salt, pour it into a pan and bake it for about 40 minutes. The result is a sweet and moist cornbread. What makes Thanksgiving a unique holiday may be the variety of pies it offers. The classic recipe is none other than pumpkin pie. After making the crust, put in the pumpkin filling and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes. Cut it into slices and serve it with some whipped cream and it’ll be ready to be eaten. Aside from the pies, cranberry-port sorbet is a refreshing dessert after a big feast. After simmering the cranberries until they are tender, pour them in a blender and puree the cranberries. Strain them into a bowl and refrigerate for about two hours. Then freeze the mixture and put in an airtight container. After freezing for another hour, the sorbet is finished and gives your taste buds a balance of sweetness and tartness. Some of these recipes are easy to prepare, but some may prove a bit more tedious. However complicated the recipes may be, all of the foods are made with effort and purpose. Thanksgiving dishes have their own unique take on foods. Why else do people gather around the dinner table? Most likely the food attracts them. A variety of recipes can be found online, ranging from main courses to desserts. For more recipes visit < http://>, <http://www.finecooking. com >, and <http://www. thanksgiving/index.html>. Illustration by Jelina Luu



Aiming to terminate cycle of poverty, Downtown Women Center handcrafts essentials for sale Vanessa De La Rosa MADE by DWC not only empowers women by encouraging them and their talents, but also by aiming to break the chains of homelessness and destitution. It is located beside the Downtown Women’s Center in Los Angeles. The store features mainly organic and handmade items, most of which are made by the women in the Downtown Women’s Center themselves. Some unique handcrafted products include all natural soy candles that come in various fragrances and colors, all natural soaps that are fragranced with 100% pure essential oils and are designed with intricate patterns, repurposed journals bound by the Japanese method of book-binding, cacti arrangements, travel pouches, and various household items that have been repurposed by decoupage art. Other organic items not made by the women are wooden pencils made directly from authentic wood and colored pencils and pencils made from discarded newspapers, the containers they come in being refurbished toilet paper rolls. MADE by DWC also has an indoor café for people to relax and interact in. They work with local food vendors that are committed to promoting healthy lifestyles by providing seasonal, organic food that is both beneficial and appetizing to their customers. All of the profits and proceeds that come from MADE by DWC go directly to help and support homeless and low-income women from the Downtown Women’s Center. MADE by DWC not only aids in raising money to help support homeless women in Los Angeles, but it also serves as an outlet for women to embrace their skills and talents. By putting them to use, they help gain money to help other women just like themselves facing deprivation, bringing themselves one step closer to breaking the cycle of poverty. Photo courtesy of <>

MADE by DWC makes handmade soaps, candles, and travel pouches. For more information, visit <>.


TM- November 2012  

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