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Rio Americano High School • Sacramento, CA

Volume 48, Issue 5

Students celebrate heritage

December 18, 2009

AVID toy drive brings gifts and smiles

By ALEX CHAN Mirada Staff

Jeanine Durkee never knew she was related to one of the first women to vote in America. Alex Kleemann and Kevin Barlow never knew that some of their ancestors arrived in America on the Mayflower. Sean Shelton never knew former U.S. President Herbert Hoover once worked for his grandfather. All of these exciting family stories were revealed when the Junior Heritage Projects began. The Heritage Project, a milestone for most juniors, has brought families together in ways some could never imagine. English teacher Nina Seibel first developed the idea of creating a project that would unite her juniors with their families when she attended a California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) meeting. "I loved the idea, and I changed it all up," Seibel said. Seibel's rubric for her Honors English classes includes, among other things, a family tree, a family migration map, a timeline of family and U.S. history, family recipes and the story behind the student's name. At first, students enjoyed the prospect of a project that incorporated family memories with a bit of arts and crafts on the side. "I was really excited because I like doing projects like these where I get to be creative," Durkee said. Olivia Simpson, who completed her project in Jennie Scott’s English class, discovered that her grandmother moved from South Korea to Hawaii the year Hawaii became a state. “I knew life was harder back then, if you were poor like my grandma and See HERITAGE page 3

ALEX KLEEMANN/Mirada Staff

Mrs. Franz’s kindergarten class rips the wrapping paper off of their new presents. The bright smiles on their faces showed how grateful they were for all of the gifts from the AVID toy drive.

By RIVA BALLIS & ALEX KLEEMANN Mirada Staff

“This is the best Christmas ever!” kindergartner Keon exclaimed as he tore the wrapping paper off of a toy race car. “When I get home, I’m gonna open the box. I’m gonna rip ‘em apart and play with ‘em!” Keon was one of hundreds of students at Howe Avenue Elementary who were overjoyed by the toy drive put together by Rio’s AVID program. For eight years, the AVID students have been collecting and wrapping toys donated by the Rio community to take to the Howe Ave

This Issue English class celebrates their heritage

See page 2

Lights guide way toward winter fun

See page 11

school students whose families cannot afford gifts during the holidays. The toys are especially helpful in the economic hardships of the past two years. “It’s a total blessing. A lot of the kids don’t really have anything,” kindergarten teacher Mrs. Franz said. “Many families rely on everything they get.” AVID students realize the importance of giving and put a lot of time into preparing for the event. As she runs around, AVID teacher Nina Seibel appears to be overwhelmed by all the toys crowding the room. She is truly dedicated to

Teachers take break to make puzzles

See page 15

the toy drive and to making sure that every single child at the school has a present for the holidays. “It’s nuts,” Seibel said. “For me, it’s not like it’s terrible work but making sure I stay on my fellow teachers and students and making sure presents go where they need to go, in addition to all my other work, it gets really stressful.” It took a lot of hard work but once they got there, the toy drive was “smooth sailing” according to Seibel. Seibel enjoys watching her AVID students give back to the community. See TOYS page 2

Rowdy Raiders cheer on Jack Scott

See page 17

ALEX KLEEMANN/Mirada Staff

Sophomore Patrick O’Neil gives a present to a kindergartener.

Online Read and comment on this issue of The Mirada and view our photo galleries at www.riomirada.com


News

Page 2 • The Mirada

Friday, December 18, 2009

TOYS: Students inspired by gift giving Continued from AVID page 1

By THOMAS HEMINGTON Mirada Staff

Each year, the senior AVID students are in charge of the toy drive and delivering the toys to the Howe Ave school. Rosa Ramos is the senior in charge of collecting, organizing, and wrapping. “We get to help those kids in need,” Ramos said. “The toy drive is for those whose parents can’t afford to give them gifts.” Ramos and other seniors put collection boxes in volunteering fourth period classes three weeks ago. Rio classes each adopted a class at Howe. For two days before taking the presents to Howe Ave school, students were rushing around with presents wrapped in Christmas themed paper and ribbon. The AVID students and teachers are busily try to get all the toys ready to take to the Howe Ave kids on Wednesday. “Giving gifts really gives you that warm feeling in your heart,” Ramos said with a smile. Senior Brian Fernandez, the president of AVID, feels that the toy drive is an important part of the year for him. “It’s about giving back to the community in this time of receiving,” Fernandez said. “We want to give back to the little kids.” Fernandez expressed his thoughts on knowing the feeling of receiving a gift and wanting every kid to be able to have that same pleasure on the holidays. “Sharing that feeling with someone who’s less fortunate is truly a blessing,” Fernandez said. AVID students appreciated the quality

ALEX KLEEMANN & RIVA BALLIS/Mirada Staff

Clockwise from left: Kindergartener Neveah holds up the M&M candy cane she found in her stocking. Kindergartener Alexis tears open his new art set. Juniors Abby Raley and Sam Cunha wrap gifts for the toy drive. Sophomore Jenya Green dances with kindergartener Joshua.

and quantity of the donations. “This means everything,” Franz said. “The gifts are always so thoughtful and totally appropriate.” And Howe Avenue students really appreciated the gifts, according to students who passed them out.

“They are so grateful,” sophomore Jenya Green said. And the Howe Avenue students also got caught up in the giving spirit. Holding up the candy cane he had just received, kindergartner Nicholas said, “I’m gonna give this to my dad.”

Winter break? Think again “ ” By JESSICA OBERT Mirada Staff

School vacations, a time of worryfree relaxation, adventures and exciting trips. Well, not necessarily. Throughout the school year students count down the days until the next upcoming school break, looking forward to the time away from school. Breaks are a time where students are supposed to relax and refuel so they don't feel as burnt-out during the year. "I don't think we should have homework over break because we need some time to relax and forget about the stress of school," junior Caroline Stromick said. "All of the homework assigned over break should be able to be done during the school week. I know that teachers don't like to work over their vacation so why should students?" However, teachers share a different opinion on the matter and give homework to make sure students are on track. "I think teachers give homework over break because they feel the need to make sure that their classes are on pace, especially because STAR testing is so important and it is a little bit of pressure to make sure that we get

Grand theft in auto shop

I think it is very unfair because break is our one time to relax. — Junior Jarrett Tracy

(them) through all the information that (they) are going to be tested on," history and economics teacher, Natalie Hansen said. Instead of being able to indulge in the time off of school and enjoy the days with friends and family, students are forced to spend their last few days of such freedom immersed in homework. "Last break I had about seven hours of homework just working on the heritage project," junior Jarett Tracy said. "I think it is very unfair because break is our one time to relax and I don't want to spend two days of my break doing homework." With winter break coming up, students are once again going to have to take time out of their break to focus on the one thing they are supposed to be taking time off from school. However, finals are a week after break, and last minute projects are usually squeezed

into the remaining time. According to students, school breaks are supposed to be stress-free; they are supposed to be a time for students and teens to refresh. When students return to school, they are supposed to return feeling better than when they left, not worse. "I think that if homework can be prevented through proper planning then that would be best because it can not be fun to have a break when you have homework," Hansen said. Students wish to enjoy their free time off, but instead, find that school is constantly in the back of their minds. Not only that, but since many go on vacations, it proves difficult for students to balance their lives With winter break a few days away, homework is the last thing students want to deal with the arrival of the new year .

It was a dark rainy Monday when Larry Hawe, the auto shop teacher, walked into his classroom garage to see the door pried open. Someone had broken into his shop. ”Somehow they got past the back gate,” Hawe said. There are no suspects worthy of the blame. Hawe says, however, that he does not think that the thief is a student, but possibly a graduate who knows the campus well enough to get in. “I don’t want to say who I think the suspect might be,” Hawe said. The auto shop program gets one new piece of equipment every year and from this break-in, a welder and a plasma cutter were stolen. “We basically just took two steps back in our program,” Hawe said. “But we’ll have to press on and hopefully nothing more will get stolen.” He was shocked to find that someone had clearly broken into the garage; however he had experienced such devastation many times before. This isn’t the first time the auto shop or Hawe has experienced a break- in. In Hawe’s first year as the teacher, four cars were vandalized. “I’m very bummed about all this,” Hawe said. “I’m not happy, I don’t know why some people do this.”

Auto shop is looking for monetary or equipment donations.

Math teacher back in the saddle after bike accident By SUZANNA AKINS Mirada Staff

Math teacher William Dunkum III is up and running, back in business, and on his way to a full recovery from the spiral fracture in his tibia from mountain biking in Canada last August. “It’s getting better,” Dunkum said. “I had an appointment this last Wednesday. The doctor said it’s healing faster than normal, one of the ways it pays off to be fit.” Indeed, Dunkum is very much in shape, as he is already back to road biking. “The longest bike ride I’ve done was 30 plus miles,” Dunkum said. “I should be biking to school again soon.” Obviously, he is out of the wheelchair and off of crutches.

“The bone growth is looking good, and I’m still doing the ultrasound,” Dunkum said. “I can’t stand for long. It still hurts some in the knee and ankle. It’ll be a year before the muscle’s back.” D u n k u m’s flare for mountain biking has not subsided since his accident. “My wife is still racing, so I’ve been going to her races, and there’s lots of uneven ground, so when I walk around my leg starts hurting and I need a cane for that.” After a medical examination last Wednesday, Dunkum was granted permission to resume mountain biking, although the doctor has requested that Dunkum take it easy; no jumps. For now.


Friday, December 18, 2009

News

Page 3 • The Mirada

HERITAGE: Project with full stomachs, open minds Continued from HERITAGE page 1

her sister,” Simpson said. “But as orphans they had to raise themselves.” However, as the weeks passed and the deadlines neared, juniors realized that the heritage project required more than just interviewing relatives and pasting a few pictures into a scrapbook. In short, procrastination robbed them of their weekend. Some students pulled all-nighters loaded with caffeine and short naps in between lastminute runs to the craft store. “Of course I procrastinated,” Shelton said. “I actually had a lot of the material but didn’t end up putting it together until the weekend before it was due.” Shelton, however, does not believe procrastination played a major role in his final project. “I think it looks just as good had I done it a week earlier,” he said. Teachers offered their students the opportunity to express their creative side with the heritage project. While students were not limited to a single method of presentation, most decided to exhibit their project in the form of a scrapbook. According to Seibel, see-

MICHAEL MAHONEY/Mirada Staff

Junior Brittany Murphy and her English class celebrate finishing the heritage project with traditional family recipes, dancing and story-telling.

ing scrapbooks year after year never becomes weary. “There’s actually a variety,” she said. “They’re unique in a very special way, and it’s the story that’s different.” Some students, though, disliked a scrapbook’s limitations. Tandena Nelson wasn’t even sure she was capable of creating a scrapbook. She chose to make her own website instead. “It just seemed a lot easier to me,” Nelson said. “I wanted to be able to share it with all my relatives. With a

website, I could just send them the link, and they’d be able to see it.” Other students selected alternative options with their projects. In a tribute to his Chinese heritage, Tuan Phan crafted a massive scroll. Jacqueline Grossbard used Mixbook, an online scrapbooking site, to display her family history. On the project’s deadline day, students brought food encompassing their family’s favorite recipes. Students stuffed themselves with delicacies ranging from Japanese Mochi,

banana bread, and rocky road fudge. “Maddie Brown brought potato bread that was amazing,” said Simpson, whose class met in the library. Veronica Molina and Natalie Halvorsen served Spanish tamales, which, according to many students, were a hit in their classes. The food was so popular that even seniors crept into Seibel’s classroom to snatch leftovers from previous periods. Even with a few extra mouths to feed, plates full of leftovers remained on the table. Some students proceeded to distribute remnants of their food among their friends. Nearly every student brought in their family specialty for the class to sample, but in a room full of 36 different plates, students simply didn’t have the appetite to eat every dish offered. “There was such a variety of food, and I was so stuffed afterward,” Zachary Smith said. But to Seibel, the heritage project wasn’t merely about the students filling their stomachs to their maximum capacities. “I want the kids to have a better understanding of their own families,” she said. “A lot of people will build better connections with the grandparents because of this.”

She added that she enjoyed reading about her students’ discussion about the true meaning of the American Dream. “It’s very heartfelt. It’s great to hear them talk about democracy like that,” she said. For some students, the project proved to be a burden, but most agreed that the results rendered something, as Shelton described it, “pretty cool.” “I had a pleasant conversation with my grandma,” Durkee said. “I really learned a lot about her.” Durkee warns next year’s juniors of the dangers when creating their heritage projects. “Don’t procrastinate and wait until the last minute. Spend more time on it and put a lot of effort into your work.” Despite the students’ general aversion toward the heritage project, Seibel wants this to be something her juniors can keep for the rest of their lives. “Hopefully they’ll have it as a keepsake. They can have it forever and show their babies,” she said.


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Friday, December 18, 2009

News

ABBIE JENNINGS

CIVITAS pledges support for KVIE

You are the gift: A holiday suggestion

C

an you remember three Christmas gifts you received last season? Excluding the possibility that you were so bad you got a lump of coal in your stocking, you probably can’t. Perhaps the reason you don’t recall is because those gifts may not have been meaningful to you; they may not have been true gifts. In fact, the anomaly, that we associate Christmas gifts with Santa Claus rather than with religion, is an indication that the two traditions have blended in a way that destroys the true meaning of the holiday. Christmas became a significant celebration in the Church calendar with St. Francis of Assist. His Christmas celebration was originally intended as a simple replication “of the stable with live animals and music,” according to Father Richard Rohr in the article “Is Christmas Christian?” from a recent publication, “Whose Birthday Is It Anyway?” St. Francis “was the great lover of poverty and simplicity,” according to Rohr, who reminds us that the saint would not have appreciated consumerism and commercialism. The celebration he started was about filling the needs of people and honoring the spirit of the season. Biblically, the first Christmas gifts were gold, frankincense, and myrrh given by the three Wise Men. These gifts were true gifts because they were meant to honor Jesus and they were precious. They were given and received in love. So how do we give a gift that fills a need and honors a loved one? It’s certainly not by spending $10.66 billion on material things, as Americans did on Black Friday, according to the National Retail Federation. Ask yourself, “what would St. Francis give?” The answer is: a gift of oneself.

One suggestion, from Tony Campolo’s article, “The Best Gifts at Christmas,” also from the pamphlet “Whose Birthday Is It Anyway?” is called “Treasured Memories.” This could involve you and your siblings gathering little strips of brightly colored paper and on each strip you write a favorite memory of you and your parents or grandparents, depending on the intended recipient. Put them in a pretty jar with instructions to take out one strip a day to be reminded of a happy memory. Not only does this encourage people to remember the good things from the past, but it honors the recipient because the gift is about them; it emphasizes their importance to you. Another idea that is not new but is still good is to give a gift of time. For example, help your mom or dad with a difficult chore or task that they may have been avoiding. Visit with a neighbor. Help a friend with a hard assignment. You can give the time that you would have spent standing in long lines at stores to buy something in easing someone else’s burden and showing that they are important in your life. A final gift idea, which is truly giving of yourself, is to give a gift of your performance. You could prepare a short music recital or memorize a poem. This gift is for the whole family and it would certainly be memorable to them. As the Rev. Sarah Butler Berlin says in her article, “Woodstock in the Stable,” also from “Whose Birthday Is it Anyway?,” Christmas is a time of having “‘too much, yet not enough. Too much to do, too much food, too much shopping . . . not enough time.” Give something memorable this Christmas; give yourself.

Page 5 • The Mirada

CHRISTIAN OLDHAM/Mirada Staff

Members of Civitas went to the KVIE studio to phone bank for Christian Oldham’s senior project, raising over $9,200 from 7 P.M. to 10:30 P.M. Above, Pano Roditis fist pumps J.T. McCalpin to celebrate McCalpin raising over $1600 in pledges.

Western Undergraduate Exchange program offers out-of-state bargains By DAYNA ISAACS Mirada Staff

Going out-of-state for college can be a bargain. Well, on the west coast, that is. As a California resident, a student has the advantage of attending select western public schools for a discounted rate. This is because California is part of the WUE (Western Undergrad Exchange) program. The program allows students to pay only 150 percent of the resident rate, when a typical out-of-state rate can cost up to 400 percent of the resident rate. The first step for students? Verify that the desired two-year or four-year school outside of California is part of the WUE program. Next, ensure that minimum requirements for the school are met, such as GPA and SAT scores. Lastly, students need to determine if their major of choice is a part of a school’s WUE program. Colorado State University resident tuition is $6,318 per year, nonresident is $22,240 and the WUE rate is $12,567. A California student saves $9,673 annually in tuition and fees. In addition, the University of Nevada, Reno, in-state tuition is $4,901 per year, non-resident is $17,241, and the WUE rate is $7,351. These college fees are now comparable to the tuition at the University of California at Santa Barbara, which is $9,077 a year. By going out-of-state, students pay less and often save thousands of

dollars every year from a variety of colleges. Over 140 schools are enrolled in the WUE program. These schools are located in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. However, not every school in these states participates in the WUE program. Senior Lauren Hotell has applied to Oregon State University and the University of Washington, but she says that not enough schools offer the program for California students. “The University of Oregon offers it for a bunch of states, just not California,” Hotell said. “I might be considering Montana State, who does offer it, and if I went there I would be getting a large amount money from them. I just wish more colleges did it, like some of the bigger universities.” But there are still many schools that offer the program for California students, including the University of Colorado, Denver. A student just needs to check online to determine if a certain school participates. Senior Ted Burchett has applied for the program in Hawaii. “The program takes around $8,000 off your tuition (per year). If I chose to go to the University of Hawaii, a lot of the money that I’m saving can go towards housing and plane fares.” There is no general WUE application. Instead, each student applies directly to the institution of their

choice, completing the WUE form right along with their college application. The student should receive the discount depending upon the school’s restrictions. Each college designates the discount only for select majors. This varies from school to school. For example, the only major that the University of Arizona offers as part of the program is Mining Engineering. In contrast, the University of Nevada, Reno, offers every major. Also, the school may have additional criteria for a certain high school GPA or ACT/SAT test scores. High school students, for instance, must have an accumulative 2.75 unweighted GPA in order to be eligible at Western Oregon University. If not, the students must have a combined SAT critical reading and math score of 1000, or an ACT composite score of 21. It’s also important to apply as early as possible, as the WUE colleges may only grant a limited number of tuition cuts. Sophomores and juniors may want to keep this program in mind while applying to colleges in the future. Junior Jasmina Girigan is considering leaving California for college. “I think that it’s a great program,” Girigan said. “Not everyone has the money to go out-of-state, but with this you can.” For students who worry that a California college is their only affordable option, the WUE program is worth taking a look at.


News

Page 6 • The Mirada

Head for the mistletoe Kissing builds immunity, study says By MOLLY INGRAM Editor-in- Chief

Instead of spreading holiday cheer this year, why not try spreading germs? According to Dr. Colin Hendrie’s scientific report featured in the journal Medical Hypotheses, kissing helps a person build up an immunity to certain illnesses, particularly to cytomegalovirus. This virus, which is present in saliva, can cause serious physical defects such as blindness in newborns if the mother gets it during her pregnancy. Hendrie, a researcher at the University of Leeds, reports that when people kiss, the man passes the virus on to the woman, which is supposed to allow the woman’s body time to build up an immunity to cytomegalovirus before pregnancy. In order to best prevent this virus, Hendrie recommends kissing the same significant other for at least six months. Aside from protecting women from cytomegalovirus, kissing also serves as protection from other everyday viruses. Senior Jens Driller, who has been dating his girlfriend for 13 months, thinks the new study definitely has positive benefits. “I haven’t gotten sick in a year,” Driller said. According to Hendrie, when two people kiss, they expose each other to

whatever viruses they may carry, and build up subsequent immunities to these illnesses, therefore making their overall immune systems stronger. Senior Katie Montgomery finds Hendrie’s theory to be perfectly plausible. “Exposure helps you gain immunities, and sharing germs with another person would certainly give you some exposure,” Montgomery said. Also, the Scientific American reports that kissing is presumably a stress reliever. Kissing decreases the levels of the hormone cortisol in a person’s body, which plays a role in stress. Driller has found that since he began dating, it has become easier to deal with the stress of school. “Instead of going home to do homework, I enjoy spending time with my girlfriend instead,” Driller said. LiveScience claims that kissing was developed to help our ancestors find good mates, which helps them determine if a person is capable of producing healthy offspring. However, regardless of the health benefits, some people simply kiss for the fun of it.

“It makes you feel loved and cared about,” Montgomery said. “Why shouldn’t it help with stress (too)?”

Friday, December 18, 2009

District proposes new school calendar By DANIELLE ARBIOS & CADY WEST Mirada Staff

According to a new proposal by the District, the school schedule may undergo a drastic change in the 2011-2012 school year. The proposed new calendar would go into effect in the 20112012 school year, and would move the beginning of the school year to around Aug. 11, and finish around May 25, or Memorial Day weekend. “I don’t think they should change the schedule because then we would have to start school during the summer when it’s hot and humid,” sophomore Addie Marsh said. “Summer is meant for swimming and fun, not learning in a hot classroom.” With these new changes, finals would be the week before Winter Break, in December, instead of two weeks after students got back from Winter Break. A new semester would begin the week students came back in January. “I like that we would have finals before winter break,” freshman Michael Johnson said. “It would be nicer to have that weight lifted off my shoulders and it would give more time for a smoother transition into the second semester.” Thanksgiving break would remain the same; however, the pro-

posed schedule would eliminate the February break and replace it with a four-day weekend or two three-day weekends. “I also wouldn’t want to lose the February break,” Marsh said. “It’s a great time to go up to Tahoe and ski!” Of the approximately 100 students contacted for this article, most seem to reject the new schedule idea; those against the change nearly double those that support it. However, one of the school’s union representatives, English teacher Matthew Valencich, understands why this new schedule has been proposed. “The District believes students will learn better if the first semester ends in December,” Valencich said. “They also think it will allow students and teachers a clean break.” Although he dislikes certain aspects of the plan, he still believes the overall idea is a good one. “I don’t want to lose the President’s week in February,” Valencich said. “But I intent to support the plan.” Staff members throughout the District are replying to a survey about this proposed schedule to see if it will be the real schedule for the 2011-2012 school year.

Absence policy vote in district stirs controversy By TANDENA NELSON Mirada Staff

A proposed district policy change was defeated at a 3-2 vote at the last San Juan Unified School District board meetings. However, the board may need to revisit the issue if the district loses some state funding. The policy would have permitted students to gain excused leave for confidential medical appointments. The original reason for attempting to change the policy was to “clean up the legal language” according to Trent Allen, the district spokesman. It came up in the first place because of the changing system for recording attendance. The district tried to update the regulation and policy in response. It had not been updated “since 1992,” according to Allen. The entire change was supposed to be focused on the permitted activities that would result in an excused absence. However, the public’s response has been a concern that the district is supporting school absences for medical activities such as abortions. Some believe the permission for these appointments should be the parent’s responsibility, and not the dis-

trict’s. The language is ambiguous and can be interpreted in many different ways, which is leading to controversy over what exactly the policy change meant. In fact, this was also the reason for trying to change the policy. The policy change was defeated by a 3-2 vote because the trustees felt that it “did not need to be changed.” Allen mentioned that, depending on the legal consultant, “the current policy could be considered out of accordance with current Education Code.” The district could potentially lose funding if lawyers from the state come to perform a compliance audit. This is where they investigate and determine if the policy does not follow the Education Code. However, at the moment, no compliance audits are scheduled to occur in the near future. Another issue that was brought to light was whether parents would ever know of their student being excused for a confidential medical appointment. “The attendance record was never going to be withheld from parents,” Allen assured. The attendance is displayed online, and they could see the excused absence, even if the proposed

change had passed. Counselor Heather Jensen believes that it’s really a non-issue. “Everyone is so stuck on it being about pregnancy and abortion” when it only comes into effect “about five times or less each year.” In addition, she mentioned that it is already a law that students are permitted to get medical treatment. Since such events are confidential, she can’t say for sure what some of the students left school for, but Jensen does know that students would have

to get counseling for abuse or other traumatic situations outside of school since “most high school counselors are not licensed therapists.” “The sad part is people think we are not encouraging the students to talk to their parents, (when in fact) it’s our first goal,” she said. They have to leave school to get such counseling because “some parents are very much against those types of things.” “I can understand it as a parent, (but I am glad to) know students have

options to protect themselves.” The people who would be aware of the student leaving would be: the counselor, whom they informed of their need, the attendance lady, so she can record attendance, and possibly the vice principal, since they don’t want him to prevent the student from leaving campus at the wrong moment. It’s a rare event, though, even at high risk schools. Counselors sometimes go six years without having a single occurrence of the law coming into effect, as is Jensen’s experience.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Opinion

Page 7 • The Mirada

The Mirada RIO AMERICANO HIGH SCHOOL

4540 American River Dr. Sacramento, CA 95864 (916) 971-8921 ext. 80 www.riomirada.com themirada2010@gmail.com Editors-in-Chief Alex Reinnoldt Molly Ingram Alexis Shen Alex McFall News Editors Sarah Vaira Abigail Jennings Opinion Editors Jessie Shapiro Alex Chan Sports Editors Alex Kleemann Jessica Obert Features Editors Christian Oldham Tate Rountree Photo Editor Alex McFall Staff Writers Suzanna Akins Danielle Arbios Riva Ballis Jesse Bartels Brendan Cabe Dylan Cartier Lindsay Dehm Jessica Dyatlov Gina Garibaldi Jarett Hartman Thomas Hemington Alli Henderson Dayna Isaacs Evan Kubicki Eugene Kwon Scott MacDonald Elise Marsh Tandena Nelson Rohith Sachdeva Rebecca Sanford Cady West Business Manager Molly Ingram Website Editor Alex Reinnoldt Adviser Michael Mahoney mmahoney@sanjuan.edu The Mirada is the independent voice of the students and a forum for diverse ideas published by Rio Americano’s newspaper class. The Mirada welcomes story ideas, comics, letters to the editor and opinion pieces. Submit articles and letters to the box in A3 or the main office. Unsigned editorials represent the views of the Mirada editorial board. Opinion articles and letters to the editor are the views of the individual writer and not necessarily the views of the Mirada or Rio Americano High School. We welcome advertising, but reserve the right to refuse any ad.

BARBARA KALUSTIAN/Mirada Staff

Scheduling scheme sets us up for small reward It’s finally winter break and for weeks now, students have been counting down the days until we get a two week vacation from school. This 16-day break gives us a chance to spend time with family and friends, celebrate holidays, and bring in the new year. It’s great while it lasts, but everyone knows that in the blink of an eye, it will end, and school will start again. And what do we have to look forward to when we return? Finals. Just the sound of the word makes us cringe. Teachers say that the two weeks of winter break are a perfect time for us to review everything we have studied in the past four months. However, we all know that finals are the last thing on our minds over break; we are far too preoccupied with other activities that this time of year brings around. As a result, we forget everything we learned at school, and when finals roll around, we scramble to re-learn everything we knew before break. This isn’t an ideal way to review cumulative material from the whole fall semester, and having finals before break would easily fix this problem. We could come back from a relaxing break and have a fresh start in all our classes. Sounds like a good idea, right? Yes, it does. Most of us students would prefer to have finals before break. That is, until we hear the changes that come with the new schedule that has

OUR VIEW been proposed by the District. If we were to have finals before break, school would start two weeks earlier, around Aug. 11. That means 15 weeks of school without a real vacation, only two days off between the start of school and Thanksgiving break. That’s a long time. A really long time. Putting finals before winter break would also mean an extra long spring semester, 10 days longer than the fall semester, to accommodate the STAR testing program. The February “ski week” break would turn into two three-day weekends, or one four-day weekend, similar to the schedule before the District added the February break. However, we are opposed to losing this break, which was given to us just a few years ago to relieve us of the long spring semester. Without February break, we’d also have to endure another long stretch without a real vacation, approximately 12 weeks until spring break. Is changing the schedule that much really worth having finals before break? Not to us. We students would have to go a whole 15 weeks in fall, then 12 exasperating weeks in spring without

a real vacation. Since we would also have to give up the February break, we’d actually lose more than we would gain. There has to be a way to have finals before break without losing so many other days off throughout the year. Other schools do it, so why can’t we? Well, we think we can. We have come up with a better solution. School should start at the same time, and we should have finals the week before winter break, which would make the fall semester two weeks shorter than the spring semester. Though the two semesters wouldn’t be equal lengths, there isn’t a reason why this should be a problem. Teachers are basically done teaching before winter break, and no new curriculum is taught in the weeks after we return from break to take finals. By making finals before winter break and the spring semester start the week we come back to school, we actually allow more material to be taught. This is because there is less time wasted “reviewing” the weeks before winter break and finals, and teachers can finish their lessons without the winter break splitting them up. Though this idea may be a stretch, we think it will work. Trying it is worth a shot, and most students will be happy with the outcome.

Final thoughts... Gary Blenner, Teacher “I think it would be great if they kept either the February break or gave us a week in October. This allows for more time for AP classes. Plus sometimes it’s harder to get students’ attention back on track with two weeks off. A new semester in early January is a fresh start.”

Allie Mering, 9 “I would probably rather have finals before break, that way everything is still fresh in my mind.”

Harrison Ashen, 10 “I’m kind of split. If they were before break, it would put a lot of pressure with cramming studying in and what not, even if we do have the benefit of not coming back to them.”

Wendy Samuels, 11

“If finals are before break, I won’t be able to focus and study for them because I’ll just want to get them over with and be on break. It’s nice to know you have plenty of time to study and not have to worry about other classes and homework.”


opinion

Page 8 • The Mirada

The

Jessica Obert

W

ith all the different technological ways to talk and meet people, communication has changed. People used to talk on the phone and have conversations “in person”, but now, in the 21st century, relationships are made official by a simple request over Facebook, and an individuals whole life is available for the world to read in their personal profile. Technology has made communication impersonal. Instead of calling, teens text, skype and chat online. Most teens can’t leave home without their phones or go without checking their Facebook in fear of missing something important. This leads to the dependency on others and loss of self because they can’t spend time alone since most are constantly in contact with friends throughout their whole day. What ever happened to good ole’ fashioned communication? The time when people lived life without attachments and talked to each other in person and over the phone, those who didn’t live life by status updates. While there are positives to communication through technology, such as the easy accessibility as well as the facility to talk to people you would most often not talk to in person, it also leads to miscommunication. It also promotes laziness and meanness because of the easy capability to bully over the Internet. It is already difficult enough

Friday, December 18, 2009

to decipher body language face to face, and even more difficult over the Internet or through a text. When communicating through technology it is easy to take things the wrong way, leading to unnecessary drama. With the dependency on technology to communicate, we lose the face to face interaction that is vital in life. In reality, you cannot carry out a relationship over the Internet, nor by text. With generation after generation growing more and more dependent on technology, the original standards and ways of communication will be transformed into a detached form of conversation. With the society of today, those who usually would not be inclined to depend heavily on technology for communication are beginning to feel the pressure to join the pack to keep in touch with friends and family because it is easier to stay in contact with friends and family. The beauty of human communication is the contact between different and unique individuals. With technology used as a substitute for face to face communication, a vital component in life, the way people receive and deal with life is directly affected. I’m not saying we need to abandon technology all together and regress to earlier times, but a change in how we live our life is needed. Sure, technology makes it easier, but the question is: Is it healthy?

Internet Infection

BARBARA KALUSTIAN/Guest Artist

Alex McFall

T

he newest generation is far too dependent upon technology. In a world of ever-increasing interconnection, children are entering the digital realm at younger ages. But who dictates when a kid should be allowed to use technology? It’s not a child’s parents, but society that allows youngsters to massacre digital baddies or text their friends 500 times a day. And the acceptable age is younger than ever before. Young, impressionable minds are constantly subjected to the lures of technology, from the newest and most graphic video game to the latest commercial for the hottest new cell phone. The results of this: a seemingly incurable addiction, a spreading sense of apathy towards violence and an unhealthy love of technology. Kids are glued to their phones, waiting desperately for that next text, or loading and reloading their Facebook pages to see if they have a notification. But there is something that you, the respectable high school student, can do. Your vocabulary isn’t so badly degraded by text language and television that you can’t speak a sentence without “like” or “um”. You were alive before the Xbox, the iPod, and 3G phones. And you got along just fine. It’s up to you to show

these kids that life can exist without lol-laden texts and graphic video games. I believe in you, and in your ability to teach these kids what their society obviously isn’t: technology does not rule your life. The digital age has bred a generation of laziness and cowardice as well. Instead of talking face to face, today’s youth hide behind a wall of technological guards; Facebook, Myspace, texts and comments. So open these kids up, however you can. Get involved in their lives, take them outdoors, be their mentors. Do something. Step up and prove to the world that you were allowed technology for a reason; you know how much is too much. You enjoy liking people’s statuses as much as the next mouse-jockey, but you can break away. You know what it’s like to go outside and play. Only our generation, experts in the Digital Age, can carry over the best of our parents’ active childhoods forward into an increasingly tech-dependent society. We can find a suitable way to incorporate the benefits of technology; connectedness, entertainment, and education, into a lifestyle that keeps kids active, healthy, and happy. And if we fail, we can “lol” ourselves into a digital oblivion.

The catastrophic calamities of celebrity careers By DYLAN CARTIER & ROHITH SACHDEVA Mirada Staff

Reputations for celebrities are a huge deal, mentally and financially. Most of us are able to manage the reputations we desire because we try so hard to keep our blunders private. Celebrities, however, being in the eye of the public 24/7, don’t have this luxury, and are expected to perform perfectly all the time, no matter their occupation. Tiger Woods, recently accused of adultery, is one of these people as he is the figure for corporations and slogans across the world. Although marital adultery is not uncommon, Tiger’s name has been ruined because

he was a hero and an idol to so many. The scandal was blown out of proportion and audiences in general were fast to accuse Woods guilty of all the allegations against him. He’s lost his worth as a hero, and thus part of his means of living: his career, worth so much to companies as they rely on him to send out their message of wholesome goodness to the world. Because they care more about the money he’s pulling in, and not him as a person, they don’t have to pay ridiculous sums of money to keep him. Woods made an astonishing $110 million last year, all from sponsorships. Take that away, and he is left with the $10 million he won from golf

tournaments. While $10 million still does sound like a lot of money, this is coming from a man that is worth an estimated $1 billion. To put it into perspective, if Tiger was stripped by all of his sponsor companies, he would only make 9% of his estimated worth a year, with a staggering 99% loss in his net worth after his projected lifetime deals. Pete Rose, one of the greatest baseball players of all time, suffers from something that took place after he stopped playing the game. Rose gambled on baseball games for monetary gain through 19851987; a crime that didn’t harm anyone physically. Because of his gambling, his almost sure spot in the

Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown has been in jeopardy since then. He is currently ineligible for entry because of his suspension from Major League Baseball and most likely will never enter - a severe blow to Pete Rose supporters. Michael Phelps, winner of 8 gold metals at the recent Beijing Olympics has also suffered a blow to his reputation. Phelps was photographed smoking marijuana at a college party just after arriving home from the 2008 games. While he was only suspended from competition for three months by USA swimming, his main sponsor of Kellogg’s pulled out on him. His fans reacted instantly, with most sup-

porting but with others completely leaving Phelps’s side. Though the only person he physically hurt was himself, he lost the respect of millions and this will never be forgotten. Instead of looking at Michael Phelps the swimmer, we now look at him as the amazing swimmer with a dark side. Not only are we hesitant to support someone of this nature, but we also wonder if they are doing anything else secretly behind closed doors. So as you and your friends suffer “eternal embarrassment” from rumors spread through the halls of our school, remember how lucky you are that the gossip is contained to Rio Americano.


Opinion

Friday, December 18, 2009

Page 9 • The Mirada

: x o b n I Editor’s

Relax, writers!

Something to look forward to each month

Thank you for everything you do

I am a big fan of the newspaper you put out every month. I always look forward to break on the day it comes out just so I can have some time to read the articles and become informed on news pertaining to Rio Americano as well as the surrounding area. Whether an article as serious as a death via cliff diving or one as comical as pen flipping becoming a new sport, the Mirada Staff does a fantastic job putting together a such a high quality newspaper. Sincerely, Dylan Dickstein, 10

Go from good, to great I think The Mirada is a great newspaper! Since the first day it has come out, I’ve been reading it. I like how the articles in the paper are stuff that we actually want to look at. I think it would be fun to have a section for stats for the sports teams just to add some flavor. Sincerely, Justin Kim, 11

You guys are awesome! The paper is always so put together and organized! It’s really a joy to read. At many schools, the school paper isn’t taken seriously. It’s always really nice to see kids walking around campus reading the Mirada. The articles are always well written, and the pictures are relevant. You really get an insight to the life here at Rio. The music reviews are great, but i wish there were a few more. It’s nice to hear opinions about new music. Thank you for giving the girl’s water polo team a cover feature. It was a nice surprise, since we all felt we went unnoticed and unrecognized by the administration. Our peers don’t forget us! You guys rock, keep up the good work! Sincerely, Maddie Brown, 11

Keep us laughing I really enjoy reading those stories about individual students here at Rio. Learning more about my peers and things I would have never known about them is so interesting. You can never go wrong with the car of the issue or the bachelor and bachelorette. I’m digging all the fun little games in the issues as well. They help me get through a long day at school. I think that you should have a joke section. For instance, ask kids at Rio their best joke. I like jokes and they make me smile. Everyone needs a good chuckle here and there. I like pictures too and lots of them are just simple everyday pictures of kids at Rio!! Great Job Mirada keep up the fabulous work!!

It would be great to see more pictures in the Mirada. I love the newspaper and love how often we are getting them this year. It is very exciting and fun to read. I would also appreciate if it were more funny and/or if there were a comic section. At times, it seems way too opinionated for a high school newspaper, and it is way too serious. Sometimes it upsets me when writers take strong positions on issues in the school and world and just trash it. For example, what happened with the song and dance team. Thank you for accepting my letter.

Illustration by Eugene Kwon

From the staff to Ms. Seibel

-Tyler Pearson, 11

Wanted: Some Entertainment The recent edition of the newspaper appeared to be rather repetitive and dull. There needs to be an entirely new section devoted to satire. There is little to no humor within the paper, and lack of humor leads to boredom among the intellectually deficient. I strongly recommend that The Mirada change the overall appeal of the paper. In addition, there should be one newspaper issue a year filled with faux news stories. The model for the comical newspaper should be modeled after Faux News, pardon, Fox News. -Zachary Smith, 11

Incorporate new things I think the Mirada has talked about some interesting information that has happened around our school. However, I think it would be better if the Mirada expanded and went out and covered events outside of our school. Things such as jerking, sports events, and life out of the city would be much appreciated as they are the day-to-day activities of teenagers at our school. Other than that, I am pleased with the Mirada and how they are doing things this year.

Perfect Publications! Ever since I was 6 years old, I would see my brother reading the Mirada and that was over almost 10 years ago. Since I’ve been at Rio Americano, I keep seeing that the newspaper improves and each and every year. The articles change and are different, some are funny and some are interesting and some are serious. The music and movie opinion articles let us know if we should see the movie or are we wasting our money buying tickets or the CD. The articles that students write about sports or even other students make the people in those articles feel proud. The people involved in newspaper don’t realize sometimes how excited each student is getting their picture in the newspaper, it makes them feel famous. Each time the Mirada gets a reward, we all know that the students at Rio Americano deserve it. Every time the newspaper gets published, during break at school, all you can see are newspapers in every student’s hand. As you can tell, from the excitement from the students and the props that others give to the people in charge and in the class of the newspaper group; everyone loves our newspaper and it gets better each and every year. I just wanted to say that everyone involved in the newspaper does an incredible job. Signed, Tina Yan, 10

-Israel Tamiru, 12

-Callie Senna, 11

Love always, The Mirada Staff

LINDSEY DEHM/Mirada Staff

L

MAI

As the holiday season rolls around, teachers are overwhelmed with grading papers, organizing final exams, and maybe even planning a class holiday party. But English teacher Nina Seibel has much more on her mind. In addition to her duties as one of the most in-demand teachers for writing letters of recommendation, she also is managing a self-organized toy drive for the students at the underprivileged Howe Ave. Elementary. And although she will not admit it, organizing a toy drive is not all fun and games. She holds responsibilities for permission slip forms for her AVID students, collecting and packaging the toys from various classrooms, making sure that every age and preference is accounted for, and many more arduous tasks of which we cannot even dream. If you’re wondering how she can possibly finish all of these things, in a addition to staying on top of her grading, you’re not alone. We marvel at how she can finish a batch of eightysome essays, and then dive head first into a mountain of heritage projects that would make even the world’s most daring rock climber’s shudder. So if you happen to come across Seibel herself in this stressful time, although it may not be wise to waste her time as you grabble for the most admiring compliments, pay her a grateful smile and wonder how you have ever been able to call yourself a multi-tasker. Thank you Ms. Seibel for everything you’ve done; we will always appreciate everything you do for our school!

Submit your letters with your name and grade online at

themirada2010@gmail.com

L

MAI


By ALEX REINNOLDT & ALEXIS SHEN Editors-in- Chief

J

oy to the world. It’s that time of year again: two weeks off from school to celebrate the holidays and the new year. Though the cold weather of the winter may not seem quite as friendly as the warm summer sun, there are still plenty of great activities offered both indoors and outdoors.

1

ICE SKATING IN MIDTOWN Due to construction, the K St. ice rink across from the Westfield Mall will be closed this season. Instead, Midtown is hosting a rink on 20th Street between J Street and K Street. They will be open through the holiday season until Jan. 18 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., with special holiday hours. Admission is 10 dollars for adults and 7 dollars for kids.

2

Winter

WAYS TO SPEND YOUR BREAK

CARNIVAL OF LIGHTS Festivities will be held through Downtown, Midtown, and Old Sacramento until Jan. 3. In Old Sac, the Theatre of Lights features a ten minute light show at 6:30 and 8:30 on Thursdays through Sundays. At 7th and K Streets,

the Carnival at St. Rose, a winter carnival featuring arcade games, rides, food vendors, crafts and charity events, will be held.

3 4 5

HOLIDAY SHOPPING Need the perfect gifts for friends and family? Stores both downtown and in the mall have holiday sales going on. Grab some friends and make a day of it. SNOW DAY Take a day trip to the snow and enjoy the outdoors. Find a small slope to go sledding and build a snowman, or head to a snow park like Boreal, Northstar or Sugar Bowl. GO TO THE MOVIES Head to the theaters to see the newest movies. On Christmas day, theaters will be playing newly opened movies, including: 1. Sherlock Holmes, a film based on the Holmes series featuring Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law and Rachel McAdams. 2. Up in the Air, a comedy-drama starring George Clooney. 3. It’s Complicated, a story where Meryl

ALEX REINNOLDT/Mirada Staff

From left to right: A snowboarder makes good use of some manmade snow in Lake Tahoe. • The Westfield Downtown Mall sports a festive look for the holidays, including this store, which is dedicated solely to holiday decorations. • Senior Ryan McKone skies on a trip for the Ski and Snowboard Club. • A downtown house decorates the front yard with television and movie characters every year. • Alum Lauren Reinnoldt built a snowman in Lake Tahoe with the fresh snow. • Junior Hannah Milstein and sophomore Dylan Frishman celebrate the holidays.

Streep plays the role of a woman caught in a complicated love triangle. 4. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, a film about a traveling circus master makes a deal with the devil and must live with the consequences. The film stars Heath Leger, Johnny Depp and Jude Law. 5. Leaves of Grass, a comedy-thriller about taking down a drug lord.

6 7 8

BAKE COOKIES Whether you go with the classic chocolate chip or the holiday sugar cookies, everyone will appreciate some goodies over break. Invite some friends over for some baking fun. STAY IN AND DRINK HOT CHOCOLATE Make some hot chocolate to stay warm on those cold, rainy days. Curl up on the couch to watch a movie or read a book and sip that rich hot cocoa. CHRISTMAS LIGHTS Every year, downtown houses decorate their houses with the “Fabulous Forties” stringing lights across streets and connecting houses.


ALEX REINNOLDT/Mirada Staff

ALEX REINNOLDT/Mirada Staff

Courtesy of Derek Sup

ALEX MCFALL/Mirada Staff

Illustrations by Eugene Kwon


Page 12 • The Mirada

Features

Friday, December 18, 2009

Ryan McKone’s “Surprise Cookies” Cookies: 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 1 cup granulated sugar 1 large egg 1/2 cup whole milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 14 marshmallows, cut in half Frosting: 3 cups confectioner’s sugar 6 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1/4 cup whole milk 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Make cookies: Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and stir into a bowl. 2. Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on mediumhigh speed until pale and fluffy, about two minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low; mix in egg, milk and vanilla. Mix in flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, until combined. 3. Using a 1.5” ice cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment, about two inches apart. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until firm, or about 10 minutes. Immediately press a marshmallow half on top of each cookie, and bake for another two minutes. Let cool completely on wire racks. 4. Put frosting into piping bag, and distribute evenly on each cookie, covering the marshmallow within. Let stand until set, about 10 minutes. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature for about two days.

SCOTT MACDONALD/Mirada Staff

Clockwise from top: Senior Ryan McKone’s winning cookies, known as “Surprise Cookies,” contained a chocolate base, with more chocolate dripped on top; inside was a marshmallow surprise. “I tried something new with the Surprise Cookies,” said McKone. “They had a case of the bombs,” he added. “Call me Mr. Fields.” Sugar-hungry students dive forward in hopes of getting a delicious cookie. Principal Brian Ginter and English and AVID teacher Nina Seibel acted as judges in the cookie contest. They tasted each cookie to see which one is the best of all. Seibel liked the entire presentation and saw the deliciousness in each cookie. SCOTT MACDONALD/Mirada Staff

Quality cookies duke it out By TATE ROUNTREE Mirada Staff

ALEX KLEEMANN/Mirada Staff

A cold, dark and rain-filled day led up to the Mirada's annual holiday cookie contest. During lunch last Friday in room A-3, students bundled up in mismatched scarves and jackets gathered around the long rectangular table in the back room to witness the commencement of the judging. Each of the 14 contestants brought in their favorite holiday cookie treats, with the intention of wining the contest. The contestants ranged from freshman to seniors, and were told that who ever created the best cookie would win a yearbook free of charge. Along with the contestants, another 20 students and some teachers came in to taste the delicious cookies and watch the contest. The fourteen students stood with anticipation as they waited for the judges to take a bite into their own unique creations. The judging panel was made up of the following people: Principal Brian Ginter, English teachers Michael Mahoney and Nina Seibel, Tesoro co-editor-in-chief Toni Smiley and Mirada co-editors-in-chief Alex Reinnoldt, Alex McFall and Molly Ingram. Students hovered around the table and watched while the judges nibbled on each cookie. Some of the judges' faces were filled with approval and happiness, but others had a more interesting look. Judging by the look on Ingram's face certain cookies did not meet her expectations. As the contest went on, it seemed as though any cookie could be rewarded the first place prize.

Ingram describes contestant number 10’s cookie as being "an unexpected marshmallow delight hidden underneath delicious creamy chocolate frosting." Smiley felt that contestant number four, Abigail Durkee, made cookies that were "really yummy and very pretty." Each of the judges' faces contained a different look, as they had almost completed eating the 14 different cookies. When the judges had completed eating each different cookie, they went into another room to converse with each other and decide the winner. All of the remaining students who were there to watch rushed the table and snatched as many of the left over cookies as they could, including the ones Ingram could not bear to finish. The winner of the cookie contest was contestant number 10: Senior Ryan McKone. All of the judges scored his "Surprise Cookies" very highly. Containing a chocolate base, with more chocolate dripped on top, McKone's cookies held a marshmallow surprise at the center. "(I) wasn't expecting that, but I really liked it," Smiley said. Even Ginter enjoyed this tasty treat. "This one was my favorite because the taste had something extra and I really liked the top portion," Ginter said. The judges even gave recognition to the second place winner, Matthew Walters, and third place winner, Jeanine Durkee. "Overall I liked the whole presentation and each cookie was delicious in it's own way," Seibel said.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Features

Page 13 • The Mirada

Recent Records

DâM-FunK isn’t your average “Boogie Man”

DâM-FunK “Toeachizown” The Los Angeles based hip-hop label, Stones Throw, is known for releasing not only quality rap and hip-hop music but also funk and other quasi-related genres. The label sports such artists as Madvillain, Quasimoto, experimental musician Gary Wilson, the late J Dilla, and the artist this review is focused on, Dam Funk. Damon Riddick, 38 year old, Los Angeles native, is creating some of the freshest and best sounding boogie music I’ve heard in the past few years. Riddick used to be a studio musician and after years of doing instrumentals for big name musicians, he finally decided to go out on his own and show what he had learned. His newest album, “Toeachizown” is a mas-

sive collection of the smoothest boogie grooves that clocks in at over two hours long, spanning five entire records or two CDs. The music itself is very true to the genre of boogie and funk music. Most of the songs are instrumental and if they have vocals, they don’t take over the song; the groove is the main part of Dam Funk’s sound. Riddick is very comfortable with the sounds he makes, taking you on a cheesy UFO ride all over the purple sky. The man knows his way around a synthesizer like the back of his hand. In a majority of the songs you can hear him improvising on his synthesizer adding a personal sense to these beats. If I were to visualize the sounds Riddick makes, I would say his music is like being stuck in a room filled with mirrors, lit with purple and pink studio lights, and completely filled with smoke. Did I also mention the shag carpet? Basically Dam’s world is one that would be seen in the set of a movie from the 60s or 70s, maybe even a science fiction film. Dam even says that in this age of “keeping it real,” he prefers to “keep it fantasy.” With songs titles like, “Searchin’ 4 Funk’s Future,” “I Wanna Thank You For (Steppin into My Life),” and “Burn Straight Thru U,” it’s easy to tell what Dam is going for. This album is truly something magical, as each song is its own world that is created by Dam’s meticulous hands. Once you get in the groove, you will never want to stop. -Christian Oldham

“Russian Mind” looks to the future

Oneohtrix Point Never “Russian Mind” “Russian Mind” is the third full length record released by Brooklyn based synthesizer artist, Oneohtrix Point Never. Daniel Lopatin, the man behind the name, has recently been spotlighted for making old analog synthesizers cool again. Lopatin has gained moderate fame from blogs and has even been highlighted on Pitchfork.com, one of the most popular internet publications on the web. Compared to past releases, “Russian Mind” not only showcase his skills as an electronic musician but also showcase his improvements from his very first cassette released in 2007. The album sounds as though it could be

the sound track to a black and white Blade Runner-esque silent film from a Slavic country. Each song carries such an emotional weight that it would be highly suitable for a silent film. The album opens up with “Months,” a perfectly calming song that fades in and out of your consciousness. Lopatin gives a sense of weightlessness to the song and makes the listener feel as though they are floating. The second track, and the longest on the album, is “Physical Memory.” Clocking in at just under 11 minutes, the song is definitely one of the shining songs, not to say that there aren’t others. The song fades in and it feels as though you’re above a gleaming metropolis and hearing what you see. “Grief and Repetition,” stays true to the name and features a piano loop with faint Terry Riley-esque keyboard sneaking from left to right. “It was one of the first things I ever recorded back in 2004,” says Lopatin in a conversation I had with him via e-mail. The title track to the album is like a lost sound track to an archaic Tron prequel. The track features sweeping arpeggiators of warm analog synthesizer. “Russian Mind” is a beast. It’s six songs of beautifully composed synthesizer music and it is Lopatin’s best work by far. He has truly mastered his craft and leaves listeners wanting more. -Christian Oldham

“Cold Hands “ will keep you warm this winter “Battle Studies” passes with flying colors

Jib Kidder “Cold Hands” When I first heard of Jib Kidder I heard a bizarre mash-up of Microsoft Windows error messages. I knew Sean Yent-Schuster Craig, Kidder’s real name, made other music aside from avantgarde mash-ups, but I had never heard it. When I got my hands on “Cold Hands,” I was pleasantly surprised to find that Craig had completely changed his sound while still keeping the same alias. In retrospect, I realize that I really shouldn’t put a label on the music of Jib Kidder. The idea behind the project is to house all different sorts of sounds and ideas that come up in Craig’s creative mind. The alias Jib Kidder is just an outlet for all

of Craig’s creative output. Jib Kidder seems to be a surprise release after release and that is what is so fun about the music. “Cold Hands” is a weird combination of 4-track lo-fi rock music mixed with moody guitar pieces that evoke an emotional response from the listener. Although “Cold Hands” is completely different from past releases such as “All on Y’all,” Craig’s cut and paste style shines through by the use of odd samples from old TV shows and other found sounds. “New Peace” is a minimalist guitar piece that would be fitting for a perfectly silent view of the snow falling just as the sun is rising. “Dog Breath” is a return to what I see as normal Jib Kidder. Craig samples a sound effect and changes the pitch of the effect to be in harmony with the sound of his guitar. “November,” which appears later on in the album, seems to perfectly match the month. Craig uses the sound of a guitar and plays it in reverse to give it an eerie feeling. The track “You Only Know Bits of it,” is one of my favorites because the song exactly reflects the title. Throughout most of the song is a loud guitar loop but over it is Craig’s own voice speaking, except each word is cut in half and impossible to decipher. This album is a new area for Kidder’s music if you are only familiar with “All on Y’all,” but it’s definitely a step in the right direction. -Christian Oldham

John Mayer “Battle Studies” After going nearly three years without a new John Mayer CD, a new album, “Battle Studies,” is finally released to the hungry Mayer fans. Mayer’s fourth studio creation has lived up to it’s long-awaited expectations. Mayer is known for his extremely thought-out and rehearsed albums, such as “Continuum” and “Heavier Things,” and thankfully, “Battle Studies” does not disappoint. Along with Steve Jordan on drums and Pino Palladino largely on bass, Mayer creates more than above average performances throughout. In “Battle Studies”, Mayer exhibits his blues side, with trumpet and saxophone accompanying him on numerous tracks. The first single “Who Says”, which was re-

leased back in October, is quite possibly the most catchy. Having said that, a few tracks are somewhat depressing. “Heartbreak Warfare” tells of Mayer’s recent relationship struggles, as in his references to “clouds of sulfur in the air” and “bombs everywhere”. This is a recurring theme throughout the album, as evidence in other songs “Perfectly Lonely” and “Half of My Heart”. Songs such as “Friends, Lovers or Nothing” and “Assassin” are very typical Mayer; they do not disappoint with Mayer’s outstanding guitar and vocal ability. Mayer’s duo with Taylor Swift in “Half of My Heart” along with his cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire” create an unique part of the album. “Battle Studies” isn’t Mayer’s best album to date, although in no circumstances can it be considered his worst. It doesn’t quite match the quality of “Continuum,” but easily surpasses “Room for Squares.” More time could have been put in to clean up a few gray songs, however “Battle Studies” is a fairly accurate representation of Mayer’s best work -Dylan Cartier


Page 14 • The Mirada

Features

Friday, December 18, 2009

Wes Anderson’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox” stays true to its name By JESSE BARTELS Mirada Staff

It’s difficult being an animation aficionado. People don’t take the medium seriously and the artistry of the “old” hand-drawn process has been taken over by the cheaper and less labor intensive CGI format. To make matters worse, the storylines of these modern animated films are merely cheap entertainment for children; tossed off without a moment’s notice (Pixar is the welcome exception). I was beginning to lose hope, but this year there has been a sudden trickling of quality animated works. Henry Selick’s “Coraline”, while not perfect, still showed the world that stop-motion animation could be done, and that animation didn’t have to have infantile storylines. Now, to add to this, we’ve been given “Fantastic Mr. Fox”, directed by Wes Anderson. Interestingly, this production was originally going to be directed by Henry Selick, but he backed out to

direct “Coraline”. The film itself is an adaptation of the Roald Dahl novel of the same name, about a wily fox that constantly outwits three bumbling farmers. The film takes many liberties with the novel, adding scenes and extending the story, but obviously it’s needed to carry the film. I think overall Wes Anderson did a brilliant job adapting the book. The animation is one of the best things about the film, with a style all its own. The movement of the characters and environments isn’t perfectly smooth, but I think that’s the idea, and it lends the film a kind of homemade charm. It feels like watching an old 1970’s children’s special, in a good way. The stop-motion puppets look good and are surprisingly expressive for such a low-budget production, and each shot is framed beautifully, in a way that makes the 3D stop-motion environment look 2D. It’s a great style and lends itself

The Raider Quiz 1. What would you do with a million dollars? a. Considering real estate prices, I’d probably buy a nice cardboard box somewhere. If I’m lucky I might find something beachside. b. Keep my woman in check! c. In the words of Weezy, I would, “Take it out my pocket and show it.” d. Helicopter. e. Umma ice myself out! 2. How will you spend your holidays? a. Passed out under questionable circumstances... b. With a whole lot of Nog-a-sake c. A series of awkward moments with the whole family. d. Crying inconsolably after watching the Rudolph special with the misfit toys. I can sympathize. e. Say, that Xmas tree looks mighty fine. 3. What is the most dangerous game? a. Eagle punching. b. Javelin catching. c. Urban sprinting. d. Slapping various govt. officials on live TV then escaping via segway. Pelosi is double points this week. e. Neg’s Burger bowl-off

“Fantastic Mr. Fox” gives new life to animated movies, and shows that they can be quality cinema, and enjoyable for everyone.

easily to the film’s tone. The storyline is fun and engaging, with witty jokes and a perfect sense of timing. Many of the jokes rely on what is known as “anti-comedy”, where the humor is derived from the awkward silence of the characters or the lack of a punch line, and surprisingly, it works well in this film.

grating (the replacement of swear words with “cuss”, for instance), and some of the humor that relies on awkward silence and breaking of the fourth wall just doesn’t work within the context of the film. I also get the distinct impression that this is a Wes Anderson film, not a Roald Dahl film. Dahl’s trademark black humor and dry English wit is sadly missing, but Anderson’s adaptation is so good that I can forgive him. Overall, the film is a rollicking good time. It’s funny, the animation is beautiful and the voice acting is top-notch. If you like animation, or if you just want to see some lighter fare next to serious films like “2012”, I’d give “Fantastic Mr. Fox” a shot any day. It just goes to show that traditional animation techniques are still alive and well in this country, and with Disney’s hand-animated film “The Princess and the Frog” on the way, I’d say we’re in for an animation renaissance. Wouldn’t that be… well, fantastic?

Jib Kidder cuts and pastes his way to fame CHRISTIAN OLDHAM ON EDGE You wouldn’t expect someone named Sean Yent-Schuster Craig to be someone who runs an extremely well reputable deep south rap blog or a mash-up artist or an artist who utilizes a four track and makes somewhat melancholy ambient music. Well think again. Craig goes under the alias Jib Kidder, and seems to be infamous for several reasons. His rap blog, “Twankle & Glisten” features seemingly unknown vinyl records and cassette rips from obscure and defunct rappers based in the deep

4. In what ways has the stress of school started to get to you? a. I wake up singing the throaty croons of Señor Gaga. b. Reading the dictionary out loud to my Chia Pet® has become my favorite pastime. I’m hoping it’ll begin to form coherent sentences soon. They just grow up so fast. *sniff* c. I slapped my brother and said “Just in case.” d. I don’t feel, and it feels great. e. *Insert witty comment here* We’ve chosen to leave question five blank because we got a totally awesome idea. Send in your own Raider Quiz questions and answers (1 question w/ 5 answers) to: themirada2010@gmail.com. We will select our personal favorites in the categories of funniest and most hilariously terrible. Good hunting!

No, it’s not Monty Python and it’s not going to make you think, but why would you expect that from a movie like this? It’s self-aware, and it’s entertaining. The characters too, are endearing and likable. George Clooney as Mr. Fox has a never-ending sardonic wit, always seeming calm and collected in the direst of situations. Meryl Streep as his wife, Felicity Fox, speaks quietly but always seems to have a fuming anger and frustration just underneath, as that is where her husband has brought her. In fact, the voice acting is great across the board, something that is extremely rare in animation these days. Almost every line is given a completely deadpan delivery, and it’s hilarious. William Dafoe’s cameo as Mr. Rat was also great, if unexpected. I honestly can’t think of very many bad things to say about this film. It’s good old stop-motion fun! However, not all of the jokes work. Some of the “quirky”, ironic humor can get really

Jib Kidder’s visual art, in conjunction with his music, are not only cohesive, but seem to reflect the music

south. Basically it’s one of the few gold mines for fans of the genre and Craig’s commentary on each release he uploads is not only informative but quite funny and thought-provoking. In addition to uploading other artists’ albums, Craig uploads his own mixtapes. These usually follow a theme, such as slow jams or music specifically from New Orleans. Not only does Craig do mixtapes, but he is also makes his own music. To describe it as a genre I would say that it is mash-up music but at the same time it is so much more. Craig’s first official release, “All on Y’all” comes with a comprehensive description of the type of music he makes. “All on Y’all is not a mash up. All on Y’all is not a party record. All on Y’all is not a pop culture reference joke waiting to happen. All on Y’all is a RECORD.” The way Craig makes music is by chopping up sounds and bits and pieces from other songs and throwing them all together to make some sort of genius creation. The source material Jib Kidder uses and the final product are completely different things. The nice part about Craig’s music is that you can really tell he has a deep affinity for deep south rap as there is so much of it sampled in one way or another throughout “All on Y’all.” One of my personal favorites is a song called “Windowdipper,” which starts off with Microsoft Windows error messages that soon becomes a beat for a cut up version of Freak Nasty’s “Da Dip.” Lately, mash up has been a way

for people to make party music, but Craig has taken it to a whole other level, by making people think about the sounds that he is using, which is really what I enjoy out of his music. When not doing mash up music, Craig utilizes the use of a four track and makes bizarre and oft-kilter rock songs, ambient soundscapes, and repetitive goofy loops. Jib Kidder plans to release two new cassettes in the near future, one titled “Cold Hands,” and another titled, “Scrap Junts Get Gnared.” “Cold Hands,” is a masterpiece and shows off several aspects of Craig’s work as a musician, showcasing his skill at genre bending.

Jib Kidder’s first album “All on Y’all” takes the phrase “cut and paste” to a completely different level.

Jib Kidder Links Twankle & Glisten • Twankleandglisten.blogspot.com Jib Kidder •www.jibkidder.blogspot.com •www.myspace.com/jibkidder •www.twitter.com/jibkidder


Friday, December 18, 2009

Features

Page 15 • The Mirada

Puzzles help give teachers ‘piece’ of mind By JARETT HARTMAN Mirada Staff

Students may be puzzled upon discovering what teachers do in the teacher’s lounge. And what some teachers do is, well, puzzling. For years now, puzzles have been a method for calming and relieving the stresses of everyday life not only teachers, but also for administration workers, teacher assistants, and even bus drivers. Jigsaw puzzles are put together during any free time people may have, which is usually before school, during break and lunch, and after school. Two of the frequent puzzle-goers are math teachers William Dunkum III and David Robertson, who have been working on puzzles together for over seven years. “I like the puzzles because they’re a stress reliever,” Dunkum said. “But it’s a social tying. All of the teachers talk about lesson plans, discipline, and all that kind of stuff.” Robertson also believes the puzzles are a great way to wind down from a stressful day at work. “It’s definitely a stress reliever and a social tool,” Robertson said. “There’s enough stress at school, so I think

we’re better people when we leave because the puzzles are here. And I think we’re better teachers because of them, too.” The teachers do an assortment of puzzles, ranging from 500 to 3,000 pieces and of all different shapes and sizes, including circle, squares, shaped, and even 3-D puzzles. The pictures on the puzzles can vary almost as much as their shapes, ranging from artwork of M.C. Escher, Star Wars, futuristic wizards and “just about anything you can imagine.” “There’s puzzles everywhere,” Dunkum said, pointing to the many puzzle filled cupboards in the teacher’s lounge. “We’re running out of storage.” Puzzlers, as Robertson refers to the teachers who work on the puzzles, do anywhere between 12 and 25 puzzles a year, depending on the size of the puzzle and its difficulty. Usually a puzzle takes from a few days to a few months to complete, which can fluctuate due to testing and the schedules of the teachers. The teachers can now finish more puzzles in a year because of the addition of a second table top, which was made and donated by Robertson himself. “We had one small dining room table and we were working on a 3,000

piece puzzle,” Robertson said. “There wasn’t any room, so I built a table top probably 18 months ago. Now we can work on two different puzzles at one time.” At the moment, teachers are working on another 3,000 piece puzzle, which depicts a sail boat sailing on the sea. Just before starting this puzzle, the puzzlers completed a circular puzzle and a shaped like a peacock. After finishing this puzzle, the teachers will probably redo a puzzle which they completed years before. “We’ve got puzzles we did three to four years ago that we’ll probably do this year,” Robertson said. Puzzlers receive their puzzles from a variety of sources: students, parents, colleagues, and teacher wish lists. Over the years, the puzzles have served an important purpose besides helping teachers cope with their busy schedules; the puzzles have helped bring many teachers together and create friendships. “The thing I have enjoyed most about the puzzles is watching Mr. Kossack get better,” Dunkum said, chuckling. “And he has gotten much better since he started. “I like that it’s really more of a collaborative effort,” Robertson said. “I

JARETT HARTMAN/Mirada Staff

William Dunkum III and David Robertson work on a 3,000 piece puzzle of a sail boat on the sea. “There’s puzzles everywhere,” Dunkum said. “We’re running out of storage.”

get almost as much enjoyment from watching others do it.” As years have passed, many things have changed: the students, the teachers, the parents, and the staff. But one thing that has remained after all this time is the thrill and friendships cre-

ated because of the puzzles. “I often see a group of people huddled around the puzzles and hear them talking about who knows what,” math teacher Robyn Cox said. “It’s really a great thing to see.”

Fred Flare keeps fashion famished shoppers full By MOLLY INGRAM Editor-in- Chief

Want to know the best-kept fashion secret? Fred Flare. Founded by Keith Carollo and Chris Bick in 1998, Fred Flare began by small means when the two owners started selling stationary off their bikes in Soho, New York. “After the success of their stationary, they decided to branch out into selling all things cute,” Fred Flare Customer Service Assistant Nicole Schlomann said. Although Fred Flare may seem like just a website, it’s actually far more. The website includes many fun extras such as a virtual boombox and video blogs featuring celebrities such as Amy Sedaris and French pop singer Sliimy. And of course, the Fred Flare blog is an equally important addition

to the website. The founders of Fred Flare are dedicated to bringing unique clothing and accessories into the lives of their fans. And unlike most websites which sell clothing, they are entirely committed to making their customers happy. Although the store is situated in Brooklyn, New York, west-coast shoppers such as ourselves can still purchase the trendy clothes and cool electronic gadgets online. In fact, discount codes are frequently posted on their blog which makes shopping even more affordable. Each week, the website offers new, reasonably priced items for purchase. From funny accessories like mapleflavored toothpicks that are rarely seen anywhere else, to ultra trendy clothing worthy of any occasion, Fred Flare has something for everyone. “The owners pick which items

the site fun and fresh...(and are) very passionate about supporting indie DIY designers (especially local Brooklyn artists) and exposing them to a larger audience.” The electronic items offered on the website are similar to those Courtesy of www.fredflare.com which can be Each week, Fred Flare updates their homepage found at Urban with creative advertisements for sales they are Outfitters, such having. as Diana cameras, would work best for the website, and iPod accessories and vinyl record playwhich would work best for our physiers. However, Fred Flare can hardly be cal store,” Schlomann said. “They try categorized with Urban Outfitters. their best to keep the selection on

Unlike Urban Outfitters, Fred Flare offers hand-crafted items, created in-store, or as a collaborative project with independent designers. “We also import a lot of unique items from countries such as Japan and Spain,” Schlomann said. “I think the variety of items we offer on the site, from frying pans to frocks, makes us extra special!” So, next time you’re surfing the web for that perfect Christmas gift, why not visit Fred Flare and check out what they have for sale, or crank up the virtual boombox while you’re doing your homework? Or, why not take a trip to New York? It’s the perfect excuse to meet Keith, Chris and the rest of the Fred Flare gang.


Page 16 • The Mirada

Features

Ultimate Experience: Students vs. Faculty

Government teacher Justin Mason goes airborne to snatch the frisbee from Elliot Bartlett during the ultimate frisbee game between the Ultimate Frisbee Club and the faculty on Tuesday afternoon. MICHAEL MAHONEY/Mirada Staff

Holiday Word Scramble

Friday, December 18, 2009

Bachelor and Bachelorette

Tomek Buras, 10

Kayla Soskin, 10

What is the first thing you notice about a girl? Her curves.

What is the thing you first thing you notice about a guy? Their eyes and smile.

What is your best pick up line? If I were to ask you for your number, would your answer be the same as the answer to the question?

What is the nicest thing a guy has ever done for you? Scrape gum off of my shoe.

What is your perfect date? A dinner, movie, and SKIING!!!

What is your ideal date? It would be going to the beach, dinner, and then a movie.

Which celebrity would you want to go on a date with? Doda Elektroda.

Which celebrity would you like to go on a date with? Taylor Lautner.

What do you want to say to all of the single girls out there? I’m up for grabs (winky face).

What do you want to say to all of the single guys out there?

-Jarett Hartman

-Jarett Hartman

Upcoming Events On Campus Winter Break Monday, Dec. 21 - Jan. 1 Hope you have a great holiday! First Semester Finals Finals 0, 1, 3 - Tues., Jan. 12 Finals 0, 2, 4 - Wed., Jan. 13 Finals 5, 6 - Thurs., Jan. 14 Don’t forget to study! Non-Instructional Workday Friday, Jan. 15 Relax after a hard week of finals. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Saturday, Jan. 18 Hope you are rested after this great four day weekend.

Blessure Grave come to burn down the house. Fancie, Pregnant, David Reza Jaberi Sunday, Jan. 3, Cypress House, Donations welcome, 7:00 P.M. Try and make it to this show of weird and extremely talented artists. Definitely not a concert to miss! Pale Blue Sky, Cloaked Light, Josh Burke (IL), Pedestrian Deposit, Infinite Body (LA), Earn (LA), Mirror to Mirror (LA) Thursday, Jan. 7, The Villanova House, $5, 7:00 P.M. You can’t miss this all star drone line-up featuring artists from all over the US. Once in a lifetime event.

Winter Dance Friday, Jan. 22 Dance the night away with your friends at the last informal dance of the year!

James Ferraro, Sun Araw, Infinity Window, Wingdings Monday, Jan. 11, Natsoulas, $5, 8:00 P.M. Come see some of the most well recognized and amazing names in psych and experimental the night before finals!

Music & Arts

Wallpaper., TBA Friday, Jan. 15, Luigi’s Fun Garden, $5, 8:00 P.M. Get your boogie on with Oakland band Wallpaper.

X (All original line-up) Tuesday, Dec. 29th, Harlow’s, $30, 8:00 P.M., 21+ No one can go to this but wouldn’t it be nice to see X?

By Danielle Arbios & Alli Henderson

Stay single because I’m ready to mingle.

Blessure Grave, Chelsea Wolfe, TBA Wednesday, Dec. 30, The Hub, $5, 8:00 P.M. San Diego Cure-esque goth group

Kevin Greenspon, Nicole Kidman, John Thill, Pregnant Friday, Jan. 15, Luigi’s Fun Garden, $5, 8:00 P.M. Be sure to come to this show that features all different kinds of music from all over California.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Boys Basketball

Sports

GO RIO RAIDERS!

BATTLE THE FOE FOR GREEN & GOLD! READY TO MEET ALL INVADERS

WITH OUR HEADS HELD HIGH YOU WILL HEAR THE VICTORY CRY AND WHEN THE BATTLE IS OVER AND ON HIGH YOU’LL HEAR OUR NAME YOU WILL KNOW THE RIO RAIDERS HAVE WON ANOTHER GAME!

SWISH!!!!! ALEX MCFALL/Mirada Staff

Senior Andy Bissell leads the Rowdy Raiders in a rollercoaster cheer at Friday’s basketball game during the Jack Scott Tournament.

Game Day Details

DANIELLE ARBIOS

Rivalry resumes at Jesuit tonight Get ready for one of the biggest sporting events of the school year: the Rio vs. Jesuit basketball game. Everyone will be there today, at Jesuit, supporting the Rio boys basketball team. The Raiders get rowdiest when we play our rivals down the street, and not a seat will be left unfilled in the house by the time varsity starts. “The Jesuit game is the biggest game of the year, and the Rowdy Raiders will be in full force going crazy,” junior Aaron Goldwyn, covice president of the Rowdy Raiders said. Even though the game is at Jesuit this year, junior Zane Alajou doesn’t think it will have too much effect on the team.

Date: Friday Dec. 18 Freshman: 4 p.m. JV: 5:30 p.m. Varsity: 7:00 Purchase tickets at the financial office for $5.

“We’re used to playing away games and I know the Rowdy Raiders will be there for the team,” Alajou said. “The Rio fans can help by being louder than the Galley Crew!” The varsity boys basketball team has been doing well this season, having already won the Alumni Game, scoring 92 points to the Alumni’s 58. They also won three out of four scrimmages on Nov. 28 and placed third in the Jack Scott Tournament the weekend of Dec. 5. “Jack Scott was a good test for See JESUIT page 19

Tourney win streak ends at 3 By MOLLY INGRAM Editor-in- Chief

With the end of the 35th annual Jack Scott Tournament held over the weekend of Dec. 4, the boys varsity basketball team lost their chance of winning for the fourth year in a row. “We didn’t win because we didn’t execute right,” junior David Deloney said. Although the team successfully defeated Galt High School on the first night of the tournament with a score of 65-34, they were unsuccessful in their Friday night game against Foothill High School, losing merely by nine points. “It was a big game and we were trying to make big plays by ourselves,” Deloney said. “It was good that we learned that we need to play together in big games. We can’t be learning that in games later down the road.” Foothill High School won the tournament, but the team did manage to place third overall

in the tournament after winning Saturday’s game against Oak Ridge by 11 points. Seniors Zach Nathanson and Abe Leibovitz were awarded All Tournament Selection plaques, which honored them as the most valuable players of the tournament. According to Maxpreps.com, Nathanson scored a total of 65 points during the entire tournament, which is more than any other player on the team scored. Although the team wasn’t as successful as they had hoped to be in the Jack Scott Tournament, Deloney is thinking positively about their upcoming games, particularly tonight’s game against Jesuit. “Jesuit is just another game on the schedule,” Deloney said. “Sure, people will talk about it and people will show up, but if that gets to us, we’re not gonna play well.” See SCOTT page 19

Page 17 • The Mirada

MOLLY INGRAM

Don’t be rude, have a good attitude

T

he varsity boys basketball team never ceases to amaze me by providing the school with the most exciting sporting event of the year: the Rio vs. Jesuit game. I don’t have a problem with the players on Jesuit’s team, because they’re not the ones who act rudely towards our players. Ironically enough, it’s their supporters in the bleachers who tend to be the rudest. And while Jesuit does seem to have a decent team, I can’t help but feel disappointment when they win. Perhaps it’s because my status as a Rio student automatically makes me somewhat prejudiced, but I honestly believe the worst part about the game is the opposing fans. A Jesuit student who wrote on a Facebook event page for the game stated, “I think its funny ‘cuz every single person I know at Rio has acknowledged the fact that they have no chance haha.” Clearly, this Jesuit student doesn’t know many of us. Judging from my past experience from attending the Rio vs. Jesuit game for the past three years, I’ve witnessed despicable actions across the court, and heard the shouting of profanities not even worth repeating. Yet for someone to be so bold as to say that we basically have no faith in our players is extremely insulting; if we didn’t care about our team, then why would we even bother going to games, or dressing up on spirit days to show our support? And statistically speaking, Jesuit doesn’t even deserve bragging rights. According to Maxpreps.com as of Dec. 13, Jesuit’s senior MacKenzie McCullough averages 10.8 points per game, whereas our own senior Zach Nathanson averages a significantly better score of 17.6 points per game. While other factors must be taken into account when considering what makes up a better team, there is no reason why we can’t win tonight’s game. Although it’s entirely biased to say that our varsity boys basketball team is far better than Jesuit’s, I’m entitled to my opinion just like everyone else is. While our Raiders may get a little too rowdy, hopefully we will never degrade ourselves by acting in such a rude manner as some of the members of our rival school have done in past years. Instead of wasting energy by hating Jesuit, let’s put that energy to use by purely supporting our players, and celebrating the fact that each and every one of us-players, Rowdy Raiders and cheerleaders alike are truly more civilized individuals who are proud to attend the best public school in the city. The only thing worse than losing to Jesuit tonight would be if we sunk to their level of rudeness.


Sports

Page 18 • The Mirada

ALEX REINNOLDT/Mirada Staff

Senior Gavin Moler hands off the time chip to teammate senior Aaron Goodrich who is anxious to run the last leg of the CIM relay.

Students run from Folsom to Capitol in Cal Marathon By ALEX KLEEMANN Mirada Staff

The California International Marathon (CIM) fills the streets of Sacramento every year. Sunday, Dec. 6, over 13,000 runners from around the world made their way through the streets of Sacramento. Among the crowd of international champions, Rio students made their way from Folsom to the Capitol, a total of 26.2 miles. The event filled the streets of Sacramento with crowds of runners and admiring fans. “The atmosphere was very energetic at the beginning. Everyone was excited and lots of people were cheering on the sidelines,” junior Lauren Dvorak said. Most of the student runners participated in relays. “The Great A’s”, a coed student relay team of crosscountry runners, got 3rd place in the coed high school division. Junior Ansel Mills ran the first leg, followed by seniors Alex Reinnoldt, Gavin Moler and Aaron Goodrich. With nearly 1,000 running the relay, race day was crowded. “It took three minutes to cross the starting line,” Dvorak said. Lauren Dvorak ran the race with her two sisters and her father, they called their team “Three Sisters and a Dad.” “I’m really glad I ran with my family,” Dvorak said. Goodrich has been doing the race for the past three years, and also runs cross country. “I didn’t really have to practice at home(outside of cross country),” Goodrich said. The race started at seven in the morning, and though it was a nice sunny day, it was nearly 40 degrees outside. “I was pretty cold; it felt like my fingers were going to fall off!” Go-

odrich said. “But I love running in the cold, so it wasn’t really a problem.” The cold definitely helped. Goodrich ran his five and a half miles in 38 minutes and The Great A’s finished 3rd in the coed high school division. “As a team, we ran the whole 26.2 miles in 3 hr. 12 minutes,” Goodrich said. The Three Sisters and a Dad had a successful race also. “Our team beat our goal by over half an hour,” Dvorak said. “We were really proud that all our hard work paid off.” Dvorak started the race, running the first leg, around 5.9 miles, in a little over an hour. “I prepared by running with my dad around my neighborhood and on the bike trail,” Dvorak said. The race proved to be quite an event. Students joined their peers and family to make it through the 26.2 mile race. After hard work, practice, and a lot of talent, they made their way through the streets focused and proud and in the end, they felt like champions for simply trying, enduring and running.

Courtesy of LAUREN DVORAK

Junior Lauren Dvorak poses for a picture with her relay team after running the CIM and receiving medals.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Friday, December 18, 2009

JESUIT: Team gives all to get revenge Continued from JESUIT page 17

us, but nothing can match the intensity and atmosphere at the Jesuit game,” junior Andrew Haugen said. “We just need to get our flow and chemistry down, then only the sky is the limit.” All of the players have been extremely dedicated to the team since the beginning of Nov. “Everyone is really committed and has been practicing hard for the last few weeks,” junior Blake Bender said. Hopefully all that hard work will pay off and lead to a victory. Even Jesuit players think the game will bring some good competition. “I think the game will be as great as it has been in the past years,” junior Rhys Hoskins, a player on Jesuit’s varsity team, said. “Whoever plays the hardest will ultimately come out on top.” However, the boys at Rio know what it will take to beat Jesuit. “We have to stay calm, follow our game plan, and play tough throughout,” Bender said. The team is confident that they will bring their A game. “This year’s game will be awesome,” Haugen said. “We need our revenge from last year and we’re going to give 110 percent to win.”

JACK SCOTT: 3rd place Continued from TOURNEY page 17

Sports

Page 19 • The Mirada

Devoting Her Life to Taekwondo By ELISE MARSH Mirada Staff

Since age six, junior Callie Senna has had a passion for Taekwondo. It all started when she wanted to take gymnastics classes, but her brother was interested in taekwondo. She went to sign her brother up for lessons, and that’s when she decided taekwondo was the sport for her too. “I was watching all the kids in the class and I saw all the girls, which I thought was pretty cool,” Senna said. Since that day, Senna has been practicing hard to be the best. As a third degree black belt, Senna attends hour and a half practices six days a week during the off season. In her busy schedule, she also finds time for wrestling. This is Senna’s second year on the wrestling team, which runs from November to February. However, this season Senna hurt the inner side of her knee in a wrestling match against Consumnes Oaks High School and is now on crutches. It was her opponent’s first year and Senna said, “He kind of shoved me in a way that my knee went into the mat. I felt it right away and I called a time out. I lost, but I still finished the match.” Despite her injury, Senna is still dedicated to both wrestling and taekwondo.

“I still go to all my practices and watch, but its hard being told I can’t do something,” she said. Wrestling overlaps Senna’s Taekwondo tournament season by one month, adding to her already busy practice schedule. When the tournament season begins in January, Senna heads to practice right after school to train until 8:30 p.m. All of Senna’s dedication arises from her goal to be in the top three at the USA National Competition the first week in July. “USA Nationals is how you make the Olympic Team,” Senna said. Senna placed fifth in her division in 2009 and ninth in 2007. In addition to these achievements, Senna is a four-time national champion for the United World Taekwondo Association Competition and has many first and second place

medals from competitions at the regional and state levels. Thus far, Senna has earned a total of 83 medals and 17 trophies. Senna has further plans for her Taekwondo career beyond competing. “When I get older, I want to open my own Robinson School and continue training with my instructor,” she said. Taekwondo is a sport she hopes to remain involved in throughout life. “Taekwondo is my dream and my passion,” Senna said. “I have devoted my life to it.”

Junior Callie Senna does a jump side kick. Courtesy of Callie Senna

PREPS of the Issue KEVIN AKERLAND, 10

SHANNON LOUTHER, 11

JV Basketball

Varsity Basketball

How long have you been playing basketball? Since 2nd grade, I guess...

How long have you played basketball? I’d say like five years.

What originally made you want to start playing? My mom wouldn’t let me be a cheerleader and she said she wanted me to do something active.

What originally made you want to start playing? My older brother played and so did my dad.

What position do you play? Half the time I don’t even know. ALEX MCFALL/Mirada Staff

Junior forward Andrew Haugen goes in for the shot at the Dec. 11 game against Foothill.

However, for tonight’s game against Jesuit, the Rowdy Raiders have something special planned. Instead of dressing up in the traditional colors of green and gold, students attending tonight’s game are asked to wear all black. “Korey Geist and Aaron Goldwyn came up with the idea to have the entire (Rio) section wear black because it will look cool and Jesuit wears all white, so we wanted to make them mad,” senior Andy Bissel, president of the Rowdy Raiders, said. “Also, the Blackout will create more hype for the game and will get the fans more excited. The Rowdy Raiders have been selling special shirts in front of the financial office for the past two days at lunch, as well as after school. Set at an economically-friendly price of five dollars, which happens to be how much tickets to the game cost, the black shirts features gold lettering which reads “BLACKOUT 2009”. Today will be the last day the shirts will be available for purchase.

What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you on the court? While I was dribbling, this girl on the other team told me she liked my hair so I stopped, turned around, and said, “Thank you so much,” and then the ball got stolen from me and the other team scored. Needless to say, I did not play for the rest of the game. Do you like the coach? Yes. He’s a very tall, lovable man. And he makes fun of me a lot. I have a habit of spacing out at practice and when he asks me what’s going on I can give him back word for word what he just said, so I never get in that much trouble. Do you plan to play after high school? Not at all. Coming from Loretto, what would you say is better or worse about Rio basketball? Rio basketball is funner. That’s not even a word.

- Suzanna Akins

Do you plan on playing after high school? I’m gonna try. Do you like the coach? Yeah, I love him. How do you manage your time? I do my homework during open 6th. How did you get selected captain? Coach saw a lot of leadership skills in me and my determination on the court. What position do you play? Mainly a shooting guard. What has been your most embarrassing moment on the court? The first time I aired a free throw in front of a big crowd. What are you looking forward to most this season? My first experience being a part of a Rio versus Jesuit game and a successful season with the team.

- Suzanna Akins


Journey T

ack Scott

Senior

Zach Nathanson, All-Tourney

Senior

Abe Leibovitz, Photos by Molly Ingram

All-Tourney

Senior

Masson Prowse


December Issue 2009