Van Nuys High School APRIL 13, 2017 Volume 102 Issue 4
The Mirror vnhsmirror.com
Our countdown to the upcoming 2017 prom from dates to outfits to flowers PAGE 8
Does pineapple belong on pizza? The debate continues to generate controversy PAGE 7
It’s time that we let the death penalty die. Here are the reasons why. PAGE 11
ON-LOCATION WITH THE
Young Sheldon CREATORS, PRODUCERS & CAST OF THE MUCH-ANTICIPATED “BIG BANG THEORY” SPIN-OFF
By Keshan Huang & Khrista Sayo
any heroes and brilliant minds have come and gone through Van Nuys High School, but none have come close to the greatness of one individual. He was born in a Walmart in East Texas and managed to enter college at the age of eleven. He can be spotted wearing a nerdy Superman or Green Lantern t-shirt. His name is Dr. Sheldon Cooper, star of sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” and narrator for the much anticipated spinoff “Young Sheldon.” One of the most successful comedy series ever, “The Big Bang Theory,” stars Jim Parsons as
“Over 10 years throughout ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ we’ve talked about Sheldon’s childhood in Texas.”
Sheldon, a senior theoretical physicist at Caltech who has genius-level IQ. The show has been airing on CBS since 2007 and is currently in the middle of its tenth season. It has been renewed for at least two more seasons. Although a charismatic genius, Cooper lacks social skills, common sense and the ability to recognize irony or sarcasm. He displays a superiority complex and is especially unpleasant towards others. The new series, “Young Sheldon,” explores
Cooper’s formative years at Medford High School in East Texas in 1989. The classrooms and halls of the Science Building at Van Nuys High School will substitute for the fictional Medford High where Cooper started high school at age nine. Filming took place on campus in March. The child-prodigy in the new series is played by eight-year-old Iain Armitage, who has also appeared in the HBO miniseries “Big Little Lies,” and the films “I’m Not Here,” and “Our Souls at Night.” “Over 10 years throughout ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ we’ve talked about Sheldon’s childhood in Texas,” said creator and Executive Producer Chuck Lorre, who is also the executive CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
THE CHILDHOOD OF DR. SHELDON COOPER, VOICED BY JIM PARSONS AND PLAYED BY NEWCOMER IAIN ARMITAGE, IS THE SUBJECT OF THE NEW CBS SITCOM “YOUNG SHELDON.”
— Chuck Lorre, Creator and Executive Producer
Project Runway Junior: How Chelsea Won
2 | Van Nuys High School | The Mirror
vnhsmirror.com | April 13, 2017
“We looked at a lot of different high schools around the area, but Van Nuys had the architecture and the look of a Texas high school.” — Tim Marx, Producer
Young Sheldon CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
producer of “The Big Bang Theory” and “Two and a Half Men.” The new spinoff provides a further look into Sheldon’s persona and how he blossomed into his character on “The Big Bang Theory.” While it is known that Sheldon went to college at age 11 and earned his first PhD at 16, he was often a victim of bullying. The show is likely to touch upon growing up under these special circumstances. Parsons was readily on set during the development and filming, coaching Armitage. He originally pitched the idea of “Young Sheldon” to the CBS network and producers a year prior to production. Although the other main characters from “The Big Bang Theory” play a key role in Sheldon’s life at Caltech, none of the cast members from the show are listed to appear in the spinoff. Parsons is not the only star of the show in “The Big Bang Theory.” He costars with Johnny Galecki, who plays experimental physicist and best friend of Sheldon, Leonard Hofstadter, and Kaley Cuoco, who plays Leonard’s nextdoor neighbor Penny, Simon Helberg, who plays aerospace engineer Howard Wolowitz, and Kunal Nayyar, who plays particle physicist Rajesh Koothrappali. As for Parsons, he will narrate the series as adult Sheldon and serve as an executive producer for “Young Sheldon.” According to members of the film production crew, Van Nuys High School embodied the ideal setting because the campus had the look of a traditional high school. “We looked at a lot of different high schools around the area, but Van Nuys had the architecture and the look of a Texas high school,” said award-winning Producer Tim Marx. “It really has a period feel unlike other schools in the area.” “The science classrooms remind me of how I grew up back in New York,” said Director Jon Favreau about his own childhood back in the Big Apple. “I hope it brings that nostalgic feel that I had growing up.” Favreau has also directed “Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2,” “Elf,” “The Jungle Book,” and “Cowboys & Aliens.” He has also been executive producer on “Iron Man 3,” “The Avengers” and “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Favreau is an actor as well, appearing in the sitcom “Friends” as Pete Becker, Monica Geller’s boyfriend. In addition to the Science Building, the Warner Brothers film crew captured shots of the front of the school, the principal’s office, and the football field. “The hardest part [while filming with the extras] was making them put away their cellphones,” Favreau commented. Since filming is taking place on location and not on a soundstage in a studio lot, the cinematography will be “much more evolved” than on a traditional sitcom. Unlike “The Big Bang Theory,” which is filmed in front of a live-studio audience, “Young Sheldon” will be shot as single camera comedy, giving the show a different vibe. Each scene will be shot and reset numerous times with constant repositioning and relighting to capture different angles “Young Sheldon” will air in the fall season, and will likely be in the time slot after “The Big Bang Theory.” CBS will unveil its new fall lineup in May. Keshan Huang is Editor-in-Chief & Khrista Sayo is Staff Writer for The Mirror.
ABOVE: SHELDON COOPER, FROM “THE BIG BANG THEORY,” CONCENTRATES ON A PROBLEM AND SOLVES IT THROUGH THE ONLY WAY HE KNOWS HOW— RESOLVING MATHEMATICAL PROOFS WITH PHYSICS AND OTHER COMPLEX LAWS.
LEFT: NINE-YEAR-OLD SHELDON COOPER WILL BE PORTRAYED BY IAIN ARMITAGE IN THE NEW CBS SPINOFF, “YOUNG SHELDON.”
BOTTOM: STARS OF “THE BIG BANG THEORY” GATHER AROUND THEIR COMMUNAL LIVING ROOM TO DISCUSS THEIR MOST RECENT GEEK INTERESTS.
April 13, 2017 | vnhsmirror.com
The Mirror | Van Nuys High School | 3
BRIEFLY SPEAKING Appreciating Campus Cultural Diversity Multicultural Day will be held on April 18 in the campus quad during an extended lunchtime from 12-1 p.m. Many of the school’s clubs and elective classes will participate in the event, selling food and performing traditional cultural songs and dances representing different countries in order to recognize the school’s diversity. Students are invited to explore the different stands and learn more about each culture.—Yerin Oh
Previewing Prom Fashion: Met Gala 2017 Style The Prom Fashion Show for the Class of 2017 will take place in the Hubbard Auditorium on April 19 during third and fourth periods. The event will showcase tuxedos from Friar Tux and dresses from Hannah’s Flowers and Bridal. Select Seniors will model a wide array of donated formalwear that can be purchased for the upcoming Met Gala Prom on May 20. Portion of the profit collected from prom dress and tuxedo sales will be donated to Senior Board, which will help fund senior activities like prom. The show will also feature singing and dancing performances. Event is free, and only Seniors are allowed to attend. As seniors begin gearing up for their prom, the Prom Fashion Show will target the seniors who are looking for their magical attire. — Khrista Sayo
Piloting CAST/CAA Test for Next Students All students in a pre-selected grade (10, 11 or 12) will take the California Science Test (CAST), an online test, in the spring for the 2017 pilot. Based on the California Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), the CAST pilot uses the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress test delivery system. Students will have access to a periodic table and other reference sheets as universal tools throughout the exam. Although students will not receive scores for the pilot, data for the scores will be collected and noted for accountability. Keshan Huang —
WASC Review to Include Observations, Interviews The Accrediting Commission for Schools Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACS WASC) will hold an official inspection at Van Nuys High School from April 23-26. Eight members of the ACS WASC committee will conduct the inspection, which includes classroom observations and faculty and student interviews. The WASC evaluation, which takes place every six years, determines whether the school has clearly defined, attainable objectives appropriate to education and confirms that it has the proper resources to accomplish these goals. In order for Van Nuys High School to be qualified as a legitimate high school, its school systems must be examined by WASC officials. Administrators, faculty and staff have been engaged in ongoing preparations for the evaluation over the past year, which has included completing a full self-study and addressing ACS WASC criteria recommendations. —Woo Han
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: MONICA GARCIA, LISA ALVA, CARL PETERSON
The Battle for LAUSD’s Soul Charter school supporters go head-to-head against teachers’ union allies in School Board tug-of-war.
By Keshan Huang & Tyler Jung The Mirror Staff
he battle continues for the soul of LAUSD. The recent LAUSD School Board elections have pitted candidates supported by the teachers’ union against pro-charter school backers. Each side is still looking to claim a victory. Pro-charter school candidates want to radically reshape the district by replacing traditional schools with fixed attendance boundaries with schools that pick and choose their students from a pool of applicants. Supporters point to this as school choice. Pro-teachers’ union candidates seek to slow the rapid incursion of charters, which are taking a toll on enrollment numbers in traditional schools. The elections held in early March for three of the seven seats on the Los Angeles Board of Education, the governing body for LAUSD, left neither side able to claim a majority yet. The three openings in Districts 2, 4, and 6 presented an opportunity for charter school backers to capture a four-out-ofseven majority on the Board of Education, which would allow the block to make sweeping changes to the traditional district-funded and union-backed schools. Pro-charter Incumbent Monica Garcia was the only clear winner in the melee, retaining her seat in District 2 with 58% of the vote over challengers Lisa Alva and
Carl Peterson. Since the District 4 and 6 races had not clear cut winners, the seats are still up for grabs. An upcoming runoff could decide the fate of district policy. A contest between pro-union incumbent Steve Zimmer and pro-charter challenger Nick Melvoin in District 4 (Greater Los Angeles and West Hollywood ) ended in stalemate, since neither candidate garnered over 50% of the vote. Zimmer came out on top with 47% to Melvoin’s 31%. A similar situation occurred in District 6 (Northeast San Fernando Valley) where pro-charter candidate Kelly FitzpatrickGonez and pro-union Imelda Padilla faced off. Fitzpatrick-Gonez took the most votes with 36%, but it was not enough to avoid a runoff with Padilla. Both Padilla and Zimmer, who were endorsed by the powerful teachers’ union United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), ran on the platform that the school system was showing major improvements, and electing them would help stabilize LAUSD’s growth with program expansions. On the other hand, Melvoin and Gonez, heavily supported and endorsed by The California Charter Schools Association, want a complete reform of the current school system starting with a rapid expansion of charter schools in LAUSD. Charter school advocates need to win all three elections to form a four-member majority along with current board member Ref Rodriguez, who represents District 5. Increased charter school enrollment has occurred in LAUSD over the past several years. In the state, charter enrollment has increased to 16% of all students. While increased enrollment is beneficial to charter schools, it inevitably
decreases the enrollment for LAUSD schools, which leads to a drop in funding, which depends on enrollment. Privately funded charter schools—unlike traditional schools—typically have no unions and are exempt from some government regulations. This is especially problematic since privately-run charter schools observe less transparency. For example, they are not covered by the Freedom of Information Act, which requires that they release documents to the public when they are formally requested. Each side has certain strengths which they utilized during the primaries. Charter School candidates had overflowing financial reserves thanks to wealthy donors. However, union supporters had more supporters, including UTLA members. The election has also been wrapped around national politics. Union supporters painted Melvoin and Allison Holdorff Polhill, who finished third in District 4, as being controlled by President Donald Trump and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who vocally endorse charter schools. When DeVos was the chair of the American Federation for Children, a proschool-choice advocacy group in Michigan, she led the impetus for the spread of charter schools—most which have recorded student test scores below the state average in reading and math. On the opposite side, charter school advocates continue to criticize Zimmer for LAUSD’s ongoing problems and failures. The School Board runoff election will be held on May 16. The future of LAUSD and the over 640,000 students in over 900 schools lies in the success of the pro-teachers’ union candidates against the onslaught from the pro-charter school candidates.
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: NICK MELVOIN, STEVE ZIMMER, IMELDA PADILLA, KELLY FITZPATRICK-GONEZ
News&Analysis Increased Enrollment Promises Change for Upcoming Term By Woo Han & Tyler Jung The Mirror Staff
vnhsmirror.com Get all the latest campus news, sports, photos and videos
s the 2016-2017 school year comes to a close, VNHS administration is preparing for changes to be implemented in the upcoming year. Three new positions in math, Spanish, or history will be added to the Magnet faculty, according to Principal Yolanda Gardea. “Enrollment has increased,” says Principal Gardea, “We [faculty and staff] need to keep up with class size and student needs.” Last year, in order to adjust to the increasing student population, teachers were encouraged to teach more classes. This year, however, new positions will be added to better accommodate students and prevent overcrowded classes. Although new teachers will be welcomed to VNHS, several current teachers will be bid farewell. Five teachers have confirmed their retirements for the 20162017 year. Alongside the three new positions, five additional positions will also be available to fill the retirement vacancies. There will be no teacher or staff layoffs for the upcoming 2017-2018 school year. The AP Program will also be expanded with the addition of new classes. Organized by Magnet Coordinator Ms. Dawn
Brown, AP Seminar will be made available to students next year to learn and further develop their writing skills. Regarding the next year’s budget, Assistant Principal Marc Strassner provided some insight. “The budget is never enough!” exclaimed Mr. Strassner. By federal decision, Title 1 funds will be cut from a budget of around $1.29 million to $1.09 million—a funding loss of $192,540. However, funds earned from filming movies, television shows and commercials on campus will help bridge the loss. In addition, funds for General Supplies and Instructional Materials will be increased next year. There will be also be changes to room assignments for some staff members. Ms. Robbie Wedeen, the Newcomer Program Teacher Advisor, and Mr. Dan Levy, the Title 1 Coordinator and Athletic Director, will be move from 116A and 116B to 119A and 119B respectively. Room 119A was previously used for the Restorative Justice Program and 119B was the Project Steps office, but both programs are now retired at VNHS. The rooms 116A and 116B will then be used as classrooms for the teachers who taught in temporary bungalows located in the student parking lot. “We [VNHS staff] look forward to the 2017-2018 school year and the changes to come,” Ms. Gardea said.
School Based Management Team Gives Autonomy to VNHS By Jeehyun Kim The Mirror Staff
rincipal Gardea sits at the head of the table, with Assistant Principals Marc Strassner and Gary Kaloostian at her side. Across the table are numerous teachers elected by the faculty to manage the school. A few student representatives are there as well, ready to present the progress of their organizations and contribute their opinions on issues before the board. This is a School Based Management (SBM) meeting, which is held every month. SBM, a strategy to improve education, transfers significant decision-making authority from state and district officials to community members, teachers and administrators. School members are given the responsibility to influence decisions over their budget, personnel, and the curriculum. The meeting begins with the principal’s report. Single Plan for Student Achievemen and State Accountability System were amongst the topics Ms. Gardea brought up at the March meeting. The new California State Accountability System (SAS) is organized through a method that does not prioritize test scores. SAS now reports chronic absenteeism, suspension rates, English Lan-
guage Learner progress, graduation rates, and college and career readiness for each school. Ms. Gardea reported that Van Nuys High School excelled in all these areas compared to the district’s average. As the meeting progressed, representatives from student leadership programs made reports. Representative Patricia Huelgas, who serves as a member of the Superintendent Student Board, was the last to present. Rasing her primary concern, Huelgas discussed the possibility of building hydration stations in schools, the start of serving hot meals after school in Van Nuys, and the Superintendent’s desire to incorporate more diversity in the school’s extracurricular activities and events. Huelgas also noted that instead of cutting school site budgets for 2017-18, Superintendent King instead decided to cut central administration staff and spending to help bridge a $250 million LAUSD budget deficit. The meeting lasted for about an hour. The board discussed management issues for the school, which included a review of next year’s multi-million dollar budget. “SBM is beneficial because it allows the input of both parents and students who are major stakeholders for LAUSD,” Huelgas said. “It allows me to express my ideas and understand the importance as a student representative.”
April 13, 2017 | vnhsmirror.com
The Mirror | Van Nuys High School | 5
“I think it’s wrong of him to separate families, because he is making a big negative impact on their lives.”
Undocumented and Uncertain By Keshan Huang & Woo Han The Mirror Staff
early 11 million people in America live in fear. A fear that their families will literally be torn apart. “I think it’s wrong of him to separate families, because he is making a big negative impact on their lives,” said Senior Guadalupe Perez, an undocumented immigrant who attends Van Nuys High School. President Donald Trump’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants drives the force behind this potentially realistic future. Deportations would leave many children without parents. “Trump is taking away the beliefs and values that the parents would teach to their kids.” Norma Flores, a 38-year-old who has been living in the United States for 13 years, prepares for the worst.
She could be separated from her 10-year-old son who was born in the U.S., since she is not an American citizen. As the possibility of deportation looms, Flores, like many other immigrant parents, are resorting to signing the power of attorney to legal friends and relatives, which gives them the authority to act as a legal guardian for their child. Flores’s has chosen her friend Larry Love, who’s in charge of a Mormon stake—a level in the Latter-day Saints Church hierarchy—in Salt Lake City, to care for her son—if it comes to that. The most pressing concern for many undocumented immigrants who face deportation, is to ensure that their children’s lives will remain as unaffected as possible and that will continue to live out the American dream. Not only may parents be separated from their children, but siblings may even be separated from each other. Flores worries for her older 14-year old son—who was not born in the U.S. and is not an American citizen—because she believes that he will be bullied if he is deported
to Mexico for having grown up in the United States. She also worries that her younger son—an American citizen, unlike the rest of his family—will be all alone. But the trouble does not stop there. Flores has already purchased a plot of land in Mexico so that her family will not be homeless if they are deported. If she must return to Mexico, she fears for her family’s safety. Flores anticipates that residents of the small town where she expects to reside will assume the family has money, and her family may be victims of crime in Mexico. Flores is not alone in this state of perpetual fear and anxiety. More than 9 million people fall in a similar situation, where one or more members in their household are here illegally and the others not. With news of raids and round-ups occurring every day around the U.S., the power of attorney may be their last opportunity to save their family members in what they once saw as the land of opportunity.
6 | Van Nuys High School | The Mirror
To Pee or Not to Pee
The Trump Administration rolls back rights for transgendered students By Khrista Sayo & Elissa Choi The Mirror Staff
merica’s ostracization of the LGBTQ+ community has been further perpetuated by President Donald Trump’s unpredictable legislative actions. The rights of transgender students and their rights to use school facilities should be decided on the state level and not the federal, according to President Trump. He believes that the rights should be decided within the community where parents, administrators, and instructors have an upper-hand in the civil rights of transgender students. This action overruled former President Barack Obama’s nondiscrimination policy that allowed students to use their preferred bathroom. The Obama administration has advocated for transgender rights since his first year. Trump ruled to annul Obama’s extension of Title IX, an amendment to the education bill first signed into law by President Richard Nixon in 1972. Title IX prohibits any kind of sex discrimination in any federally-funded educational program. The Obama Administration extended the amendment to include the prohibition of discrimination against students who identify with a different gender.
However, Trump’s recent revocation of Obama’s extension of the Title IX amendment has sparked controversy all across various social media platforms. Those in opposition of this ruling chose to advocate for the human civil rights that young transgender students deserve. Protesters, online and in the streets, cried the mantra, “No hate, no fear, trans students are welcome here.” They also argue that this is a civil rights issue—not one of state nor federal concern. The federal government’s intervention in students’ learning experience has led many to believe that Trump’s ruling would place those students in tough positions of social vulnerability. Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of Education, even disputed the restriction for she believed it would compromise the protections of transgender students from discrimination, bullying, and harassment. Those in favor of Trump’s decision, primarily social conservatives, regard this act as preventing sexual predators from entering bathrooms and endangering the children. This concept is misleading because they assume that the reason for anti-discrimination measures would open opportunity for offenders to easily target transgender and cis-gender children alike. “We’re trying to use the bathroom. If a pervert wanted to harass you, they’d harass you. You shouldn’t attack someone if they’re transgender. The moment they walk
vnhsmirror.com | April 13, 2017
into the bathroom, you shouldn’t say, ‘You’re going to harass me!’ It doesn’t make sense. If someone wanted to harass you, they wouldn’t do it in a bathroom,” said Winter Christie, a transgendered student attending Van Nuys High School who was born female but identifies as male. However, Title 9 extensions were placed by the Obama administration in order to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students, no matter their sexual identity or orientation. Title 9 has also allowed for students in California since 2013 to participate in school sports based on his or her identified gender. The expansion of transgender rights for students has allowed for students to feel included in school activities that previously did not allow for opposite genders to participate in. The extension of transgender rights can also be seen in national organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Scouts of America. These organizations have recently added to their policies new guidelines to include transgender scouts. Gender-neutral bathrooms are already in place in some LAUSD schools, among other school districts. They allow adolescents to access a proper facility in their own schools and to use a bathroom that pertains to their self-identified sex. Transgender rights in schools and public institutions is a matter of sustaining basic human rights for all students. Failing to provide a public facility to students who identify with a particular gender is a strippage of civil rights. The transgendered community has struggled for years for acceptance. Trump’s revocation of bathroom rights is an action that threatens to negate an entire group of people. It is vital that this nation protects the rights of cisgen- KAISER PERMANENTE HAS ESTABLISHED IT’S OWN SET dered citizens who deserve OF ALL GENDER BATHROOMS, equal security under federal MORE COMMONLY KNOWN and state government laws. AS SAFETY BATHROOMS. WOO HAN | THE MIRROR
“We’re just about how we feel about ourselves and maybe the way we lead our lives just a little bit different. Why do you care what’s in someone’s pants?”
April 13, 2017 | vnhsmirror.com
The Mirror | Van Nuys High School | 7
ILLUSTRATION BY AMANDA GODFREY | THE MIRROR
THE GREAT PINEAPPLE PIZZA DEBATE
By Amanda Godfrey & Chandler Beon The Mirror Staff
striking photo of an open pizza box with a pineapple-less pizza, a five dollar refund, and the words “Couldn’t bring myself to put pineapple on it. That’s Gross, Sorry” written on the box has on the internet reignited the timeless debate of whether pineapples belong on pizza. The simple question has been the most controversial trend relating to pizza ever to gain such an immense amount of media attention. Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to Twitter to express their love or hate about the fruit on pizza. They use GIFs, reaction images, and all sorts of pop culture references throughout social media.
I don’t like pineapples on pizza because I don’t like sweet and savory together.
Although the question was raised in the past, the controversy exploded when the President of Iceland, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, jokingly declared to a group of high school students that he would ban pineapples on pizza if he had the power to. Twitter has been the battleground for the continuing dispute called the “Pineapple on Pizza Debate.” Pineapple, along with either ham or Canadian bacon, is the main ingredient on Hawaiian pizza, which was invented by a Greek restauranteur in Canada in 1962, according to the Food Network. Despite its origins in the frozen North, the dish has become a staple of American cuisine, served in nearly every pizza parlor. Besides tomatoes, pineapples are the only other widely-accepted fruit topping and one of the top 10 favorite pizza toppings, according to a Harris Poll. The same poll also concluded that pineapples were
one of the top three most despised toppings. Anchovies took the #1 spot. The question of whether or not pineapple belongs on pizza has grabbed the attention of celebrities, news outlets and everyday people, all who seem to have a strong opinion. “You don’t put f-ing pineapple on pizza,” boldly declared Chef Gordon Ramsay on The Nightly Show, which airs in Great Britain. Ramsay’s profane pronouncement caused Twitter to erupt, while traditional news platforms such as Fox News, CNN and The New York Times jumped into the fruity fray, even taking their own polls to resolve the dispute. CNN’s internet poll showed that lovers were beating out haters 56% to 44%. The pineapples on pizza controversy has divided students at Van Nuys High School as well.
Many students are quarrelling intensely over this question, which pits passionate pineapple lovers against pineapple haters, while some remain indifferent to the topping or prefer it with a certain meat. Arguing over the presence of the tropical fruit on dough may seem harmless, but the internet demonstrates the extreme reactions on both sides. Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, tweeted his support for Hawaiian pizza and triggered a stream of negative comments. People questioned his official power, claiming that his opinion would be used to implement laws regarding pineapple pizza. His opinion became so controversial that Prime Minister Trudeau apologized and clarified his statement in both English and Icelandic on a Facebook post. Even the Icelandic President was forced to walk back his initial proclamation in a Facebook statement.
Are pineapples too radical? Does this tropical fruit have a place on pizza?
I like pineapples on pizza because they taste great. There’s nothing wrong. It’s just a perfect combination of something sweet and something not so sweet.
Meehan Chowdhury Leo Brambila
Pineapples are the greatest things to be put on I like pineapples on pizza because it tastes good. It’s pizza. They add a little bit sweet, and pineapples are of zest and make it more colorful, more appealing amazing. to the eye. As a culinary artist, I view pineapples as a sour, sweet tornado to the mouth.
I like pineapples on pizza because I like feeling like a Hawaiian sometimes. I don’t like people who don’t like pineapples on pizza.
I don’t like pineapples on pizza because they don’t fit the ingredients of pizza. It floods my mouth with fruitiness.
Mr. Robert Crosby
People have different tastes. Pineapple is good with some things, I wouldn’t overdo it, but ham is always good. It’s a classic—pizza with ham and pineapple.
8 | Van Nuys High School | The Mirror
The Prom: M
prom WHAT: The VNHS Prom Met Gala 2017 WHEN: May 20 @ 6:30 p.m. WHERE: Sheraton Universal City Hotel 333 Universal Hollywood Dr., Universal City, 91608
PLANNING PROM HAS BEEN A PRIVILEGE AND I’M SO EXCITED FOR THE SENIORS TO ENJOY IT!”
I’M EXCITED FOR PROM BECAUSE I KNOW IT’LL BE A MAGICAL NIGHT WHERE I FINALLY GET TO FEEL LIKE A PRINCESS.”
I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE AFTER PARTY!”
I AM EXCITED TO HARDWORK OF YEARS OF FUND OFF. SHOUTOUT AND HARSHITA, DESERVE IT.“ Jesus Nolasco
PROM IS AND ALWAYS WILL BE AN UNFORGETTABLE NIGHT, SO ENJOY IT WHILE IT LASTS.”
IT WILL BE A NIGHT TO REMEMBER.”
Ti ca dr th pl pa gr ho in ta
I HOPE THAT THIS YEAR’S PROM IS LIT. I HOPE THEY GO ABOVE AND BEYOND BECAUSE IT IS OUR LAST YEAR, I HOPE THEY MAKE IT MEMORABLE.”
I HAVE BEEN LOOKING TO THIS NIGHT EVER WAS A FRESHMAN A WAIT FOR IT TO BE E I HAVE EVER IMAGINE
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m || April April 13, 13, 2017 2017 m
The dreaded question: Who will be accompanying you to the majestic event? Are you going to dance the night away with your friend group? OR, are you going to ask that special someone— with a fabulous “promposal?” DATE PROs: cheaper ticket, you have someone to slow dance with, iconic photos, and a hint of romance. FRIENDS PROs: you have more freedom to venture, you won’t feel obligated to stay with your date, you can make a dance circle and hype it up, and you’ll be perfectly comfortable.
O SEE THE F OUR FOUR DRAISING PAY T TO MS. CARR , THEY REALLY
Get the tickets at the cheapest possible prices! $120 for singles, $230 for couples! Dates make it cheaper *wink wink.*Tickets are sold during nutrition and lunch in the student store. Make sure you have a valid school ID with you.
Ladies, time to scrounge all over the city for THE dress. Don’t settle! Make sure you know upon first glance that your dress is the one for you. Look for inspiration from the Prom Fashion Show on April 19. Gentlemen, whether you’re renting the tuxedo or wearing your dad’s too-small-tux, be certain that it’s tailored to YOUR body. A tailored suit is life-changing.
Time to plan what your magical arriage ride will be. Will you be riving yourself? If so, lock down he vehicles for the night. If you lan on doing a limousine or arty bus, coordinate with your roup of friends and find out ow much you’ll all have to pitch n for the night. Unless you’re aking an Uber/Lyft…
G FORWARD R SINCE I AND I CAN’T EVERYTHING ED.”
Book those appointments! You’re going to want to get them weeks in advance because it’s prom season. Or, if you’re going to be doing any hair or makeup by yourself, look for prom inspirations. Check Pinterest, Instagram, or any other creative mediums to incorporate into your look.
I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE EVERYONE LOOK AMAZING AND JUST FINISH OFF OUR SENIOR YEAR.” Nicole Manansala
I CANNOT WAIT FOR MY INEVITABLE WIN FOR PROM QUEEN! I JUST FEEL BAD FOR ALL THE OTHER IMBECILES WHO TRIED AND FAILED TO RUN AGAINST ME!”
I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE MY FRIENDS AND CLASSMATES WHOM I’VE BEEN GOING TO SCHOOL WITH FOR YEARS LOOKING THEIR BEST AND FULFILLING THE TEENAGE HIGH SCHOOL CLICHE.”
I’VE BEEN DREAMING ABOUT PROM SINCE I WAS A LITTLE GIRL AND NOW IT’S FINALLY HERE!”
Gentlemen, get those corsages for your dates! Hit up your local flower shops and be ready to dish up some cash for it. Ladies, you can go ahead and buy your date a boutonniere. Challenge those gender roles! For the more crafty soul, try making your own. Grab some ribbon and flowers (real or fake) and prepare yourself for a frustrating but rewarding experience.
You didn’t go through all that effort to not capture the moment! Choose a place, preferably with lots of natural lighting, and someone to take all the photos. We recommend Balboa Park, The Getty Center, Griffith Observatory, or even your nice backyard that doesn’t get enough love.
PROM IS GOING TO BE REALLY FUN BECAUSE I’M GOING TO BE WITH THE PEOPLE I LIKE.”
Don’t forget to have fun! It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so enjoy every second of it!
10 | Van Nuys High School | The Mirror
vnhsmirror.com | April 13, 2017
Dear President Trump, I’m just getting better. The M irror vnhsmirror.com Don’t ruin me. Sincerely, The Environment
resident Trump has said that climate change had been “created by and for the Chinese.” Now Trump has brandished yet another detrimental executive order. His target this time: the already aching environment. A core value at the heart of his campaign for presidency was to bring back coal-mining jobs. On March 28, he signed an executive order that has kicked Obama-era regulations on climate change to the curb. Otherwise known as the Energy Independence Executive Order, it aims to end over half a dozen measures enacted by former President Obama and boost fossil fuels. What the President does not account for is the actual effectiveness of Obama’s policy. The coal industry constitutes a very small portion of the job market—approximately less than 100,000 jobs. Global market power plants have turned to using cleaner natural gas. There is no real advantage to this change; it would be ineffective for creating jobs. These policy shifts — which include a review of the Clean Power Plan — will surely lead to an outstanding increase in pollution and a parallel growth in climate change. The Earth as we know it continues to suffer from record-breaking global temperature, which is steadily increasing. This increase has some serious repercussions, like food shortage, drought, and flooding. 2016 was the warmest year on record. Global sea level has risen at least 17 centimeters since the Industrial Revolution, but the rate in the last decade is nearly double that of the previous century. Glaciers
Editors-in-Chief Keshan Huang Jeehyun Kim Shayda Shevidi Layout Editor Elizabeth Ortiz
Chief Financial Officer Lauren Yu News Editors Ezra Kim Tyler Jung
Features Editor Amanda Godfrey Opinion Editor Mayra Macias Entertainment Editor Jenisa Chuayjarernsook are retreating. We must make a vow to continue with the progress we’ve made. We must take a step forward, instead of two steps back.We all know that human history is responsible for the acceleration of climate change. However, it seems as though our President does not.
“TrumpCare” Takes the “Care” out of Healthcare
obody knew healthcare could be so complicated.” Apparently everybody except President Donald Trump. After eight years of calling for the repeal and replacement of Obamacare, the Republicans once again end up with the short end of the stick. Just when they finally had a chance to achieve their dreams with a Republican-controlled House of Representatives, a Republicancontrolled Senate, and a Republican-controlled White House, they have managed to prove themselves to be incompetent. Republicans don’t even like the Trump healthcare bill. While it is obvious that the Democrats opposed it unanimously in the House, many moderate Republicans and far-right conservatives were also displeased and they opposed it. TrumpCare or RyanCare, also known as the “American Health Care Act,” turned out to be as much hated as ObamaCare. The reason for such widespread unpopularity and lack of success is mostly because of one rather important issue: it just doesn’t work. The Republican’s healthcare philosophy revolves around allowing the free market to produce the best healthcare for every single individual in America—a theory that makes no sense whatsoever in practice. TrumpCare would have created healthcare costs per person that add up to twice as much as for those in the rest of the industrial world. Furthermore, insurance companies, with lack of regulation, would be allowed to discriminate based on a patient’s pre-existing conditions. It also allowed greedy companies to put on lifetime caps on coverage. Over and over in his campaign speeches, President Trump vowed to “immediately repeal and replace ObamaCare” once he was in office. Over two months have passed since the inauguration and it seems like fulfilling his promise has never been further from the truth. But it has. On the campaign trail, Trump assured America that he would not fiddle with Medicaid, increase funding for opioid addiction
Sports Editors Brian Clavio Nazaret Jarekian Photo Editor Shimla Rahman Social Media Editors Khrista Sayo and Elissa Choi Copy Editors Woo Han Theresa Nguyen Yerin Oh Magnet Newsletter Editors Esther Choe and Brian Choi Staff Writers/Photographers Jackson Beckman-Smith Chandler Beon Madison Brown Tommy Chan Brian Han Margarita Hovsepyan Antonio Ibarrola Gina Kim Jason Linares Giselle Lopez Chelsea Ma Kevin Mo Eralla Montgomery Christian Naves Jiyeong Park Ariana Rodriguez Lucas Shim Mhar Tenorio Lindsay Tidmasrsh Stefanie Tyo Ty Willis Lauren Woolsey Journalism Advisor Mr. Ron Goins
treatment, and magically fabricate a healthcare plan that would cover everyone. But like those of patients on their deathbed about to lose their healthcare, it looks like none of his aspirations will ever be realized. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that in 2018, 14 million fewer Americans will be insured were TrumpCare to be enacted. In 2026, a total of 52 million Americans would be uninsured, which is a 24 million increase over the 28 million uninsured under ObamaCare.
The Mirror is the student newspaper of Van Nuys High School. It is published five times per year. Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of the seniors on the Editorial Board. Letters to the editor may be delivered to Room 112 or mailed to 6535 Cedros Ave, Van Nuys, CA 91411. Letters must be signed and may be edited for space and to conform to The Mirror style and format. Advertising questions may be directed to Lauren Yu at lyu0006@mymail. lausd.net. Publication of an advertisement does not imply endorsement of the product or service by the newspaper or the school. The opinions expressed in bylined commentary articles and columns represent the views of the individual writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mirror or the Editorial Board.
April 13, 2017 | vnhsmirror.com
here is no justice in killing in the name of justice,” South African social rights activist Desmond Tutu once said. But those wise words seem to have fallen on deaf ears in the United States, where more than 2,900 inmates are awaiting the ultimate punishment on death row. That puts the U.S. in the company of China, Iran, North Korea, Yemen, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and the Islamic State. In most of these places, people are hurled off buildings, stoned to death or beheaded—not only for murder—but for more mundane offenses like armed robbery and homosexuality. In medieval times, criminals were drowned, burned, boiled in oil, and some were even dismembered. At least now, we use means in the U.S. that we like to think are more humane— even though the state of Arkansas plans to execute eight men in a span of 10 days in April. Capital punishment is carried out in various ways in the U.S., depending upon the jurisdiction: lethal injection, electrocution, lethal gas, firing squad, hanging. Are these executions immoral and unethical? Or are they crucial to prevent crime and bringing justice to the victims’ families? Supporters argue that capital punishment exists due to the fact that it brings closure to the families of the victims, who feel more at peace knowing that whoever hurt their loved one has paid the ultimate price. They also argue that this harsh punishment lessens crime. A 2003 Emory University study concluded that every execution results in 18 fewer murders. However, the accuracy of this research is questionable. A survey of the nation’s leading criminologists by University of Colorado found that 88% agree that the death penalty is ineffective in deterring crime. Other supporters point to the accuracy of DNA testing to determine a defendant’s innocence or guilt. But in an investigation of 843 rape cases, DNA evidence was found to have been inaccurate in 26 cases—more than five percent. There is reason to expect that such alarming rates would hold for DNA evidence in murder convictions as well. Beyond science and technology, human rationality can
the death penalty must
die. By MARGARITA HOVSEPYAN
The Mirror | Van Nuys High School | 11
be limited. Sometimes juries and judges—even those with years of experience—make mistakes and convict the wrong people. This has repeatedly been the case. After languishing on Pennsylvania’s death row for 22 years, Nicholas Yarris was exonerated of murder when DNA crime scene evidence proved that he was innocent. A Missouri inmate, Larry Griffin, was sentenced to death by lethal injection for his role in a drive-by shooting. After he was executed, a reliable witness testified that he
hadn’t actually seen Griffin at the crime scene. According to a study led by Samuel Gross, a law professor at the University of Michigan, 4.1% of inmates in U.S. prisons have been wrongly convicted. If those numbers hold true for inmates on death row, then potentially 119 innocent people are awaiting execution. Another issue that supporters point to is savings to taxpayers, but they are mistaken. According to deathpenaltyinfo.org, each execution costs taxpayers about $1.26 million, but life in prison only costs about $740,000 per inmate. That is a savings of over $500,000. Some individuals commit horrifying and morbid crimes. Some are so inhumane that hardly anyone has sympathy for them—other than their mothers. But for crimes so inhumane, execution is just an easy way out for the perpetrator. These criminals would suffer more if they were stuck in jail for their entire life. Every single day would be a reminder of their gruesome crime. In our system of justice, twelve jurors decide who gets to live or die. No one, not even a juror nor judge, should have that much power over another. Neither should the state. In November, California voters passed Proposition 66, which will substantially speed up executions, cutting the decades-long appeals process to a maximum of five years. A competing proposition which would have abolished the death penalty lost by a substantial margin. Instead of speeding up this inhumane punishment process, Californians should lead the rest of the world by abolishing Captial Punishment and showing more compassion to the those on death row than they showed to their victims. Margarita Hovsepyan is an Opinion Writer for The Mirror
12 | Van Nuys High School | The Mirror
vnhsmirror.com | April 13, 2017
TOMMY CHAN | THE MIRROR
Winborn His inspiration for basketball comes from the greatest players to have played the game, like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.
By Brian Clavio The Mirror Staff
e’s the leader, the top scorer, and, most of all, someone who helps his teammates improve so they can operate like a well-oiled machine. He also works hard to be a better man on and off the court. Tyree Winborn, the starting Point Guard of the Boy’s Varsity Basketball Team, is arguably one of the best players on the team. Averaging just over 20 points per game, along with 1.2 assists, 2.5 rebounds, and 2.1 steals, Winborn is an extremely valuable player. Winborn started playing both football and basketball at the age of four. But when he got to high school, he stopped playing football and decided that he would put all of his attention and devotion to only basketball. His dedication for the sport is truly admirable. When he was younger, he would wake up early to get in a little workout and try to improve his shooting, his ball handling,
or whatever he could work on. Off the court, he is a really playful, relaxed guy. But once he hits the hardwood, he transforms into a menace that is feared by the opposing team. His presence on the court can be shown through his explosive speed as he races through defenders to get to the rim—with his ball-handling skills—as he shakes defenders off him to give himself an open shot—or with his keen vision of the court—as he finds an open man and gives the team the best shot selection. His inspiration for basketball comes from the greatest players to have played the game, like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. “I used to hear about these stories about Michael Jordan, and how he’s the greatest player to have ever played the game and watched Kobe play as well,” Winborn said. “Just seeing those guys have killer mentalities, I thought that having that kind of mentality was for me. Now I start watching guys like Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, all those other guys and they all have the same kind of mentality to strive to be the best they can be. Guys like them made me choose basketball. Basketball, for me, is a killer mentality sport and that’s why I stuck to
basketball ever since.” Winborn originally attended Arleta High School and was awarded Player of the Year. But because the staff was “very picky, especially towards the basketball team, because the school favored football much more than basketball,” he decided to not attend Arleta anymore due to the unfavorable circumstances. When he was exploring his options for a new high school, he was drawn to Van Nuys. He knew that they had a good basketball program and thought “Why not?” And so he did. Coach Evan Porter and the rest of the staff welcomed and treated him like he belonged. “They treated me as if I’ve been here my whole life.” Winborn would go on to lead the team to a historic season finish with City Championship under their belts and a chance to win a State Division Championship. Winborn was named MVP for the season. “It feels good. It’s my 2nd time winning this award. I feel like I could’ve won back-to-back-to-back. But, as long as I got a ring and my team won a [City] Championship went to State, then I’m satisfied.”
A Historic Season for City Champion Boy’s Varsity Shooters By Nazaret Jarekian & Brian Clavio and the league in scoring. The Mirror Staff
his is a year for the record books. The Boy’s Varsity Wolves Basketball squad is riding high. Undisputedly the best basketball team in Los Angeles this season, the Wolves won the City Championship for the first time since 1996, as they also won the most games ever under Coach Evan Porter, going 23-10. Besides having the league’s best overall record, the team was second in League games (10-2) trailing only Sylmar high. The team also boasted some exceptional firepower. Prolific scorer Tyree Winborn had a stellar season, averaging a whopping 20.5 points per game, as he led both the Wolves
Running the team’s offense, guard Ethan Quiambao led the league in assists per game at 2.9. Both Juniors this year, Winborn and Quiambao will return next year. On the defense, Sophomore Matthew Sykes led the league in blocking—1.3 per game, was second in rebounds—5.8 per game, and on the offensive, he was fourth in league scoring, averaging 13.7 points per game. Individual accolades came through the team’s success. Coach Porter won Los Angeles City Section Division III Coach of the year. Winborn won Player of the Year. Kevin Hurlic III, Anthony Daniels and Quiambao were all recognized for their stellar play as well. Cruising their way to the City championship, the team defeated Sotomayor High
“We expect another
in the City finals, ending the Wolves’ 20-year championship drought. Coach Porter thinks that experience is what separated this notable year from the previous years he had coached. “The guys that we have now have been here the whole time,” he said. “In the earlier seasons—really the first season I became coach—it wasn’t really my group. They were just a bunch of guys that came in and took over the program.” “Then you get to the next year, you get younger guys and people who are really ready to learn and grow the ‘new Van Nuys way’, so we were able to improve based on experience and trial by fire.” Winning is no surprise for Coach Porter, which he expects.
“This has been our plan the whole time, so I’m feeling very positive and looking forward to pushing towards the future,” he said. With six seniors on the Varsity roster leaving, Coach Porter still confidently believes in the power of the Wolves for next season, especially considering the returning players. “We have a really good core group coming back,” he said. “We got guys like Ethan and Tyree and we’ll be getting guys coming in for next season. We’ll be fine adapting and it won’t be difficult.” Even after a historic season, Coach Porter predicts another blockbuster run in 2018. “We expect another championship. It’s simple.”
championship. It’s simple.”
April 13, 2017 | vnhsmirror.com
The Mirror | Van Nuys High School | 13
Swinging for M Madison Dulkanchainun & May Nuchit
Success TEXT & PHOTOS BY SHIMLA RAHMAN
ulkanchainun, who stands at 5’4’’, has a handicap of 95 strokes for 18 holes. She started to play in her freshman year of high school, and learning by herself was a challenge. However, with the advice and tips from her uncle and Coach Nancy Poll, she rapidly improved and set a personal best of 86 strokes. Since then, the team has come to know Dulkanchainun for her lively and positive attitude as well as her impressive skills for chipping with an iron club. Dulkanchainun’s family also regularly plays golf together, creating an atmosphere of golf for her. She utilizes the family rivalry as motivation to improve her game.
any people contend that golf should not considered a sport and that it requires less effort than other sports. The captains of the golf team, Madison Dulkanchainun and May Nuchit, would strongly disagree. Earlier this year, the two were were selected to be co-captains of the Girl’s Varsity Golf Team. The girls find motivation and inspiration within each other, continuing to balance the team with their strengths. Dulkanchainun brings discipline to the team whereas Nuchit lightens them with her optimism and humor. Although they have contrasting strengths and weaknesses, Dulkanchainun and Nuchit share a sense of joint passion and drive. Playing golf requires a lot of strength and patience—as well as physical and mental stamina.
During the season, Dulkanchainun practices three hours a day, three days a week and encourages the rest of the team to join her. Even during off-season, she practices three times a week, working to perfect her skill. Dulkanchainun views the sport as a relieving and relaxing activity. When she feels pressured and rushed, however, her frustration builds and hinders her performance. Nonetheless, she is able to overcome her weakness if she relaxes and paces herself. Ever since she started to play, Dulkanchainun’s life has changed. She has learned that there are always different ways to approach things and has become more social because golf is a cooperative sport.
tanding at 5’6’’ with a slender and toned physique, Nuchit is often mistaken for a member of the Track and Field Team instead of a golfer. She has been chipping balls since elementary school. Her interest in the sport was sparked in ninth grade when she joined the golf team and began practicing with her grandpa, who still gives her advice and tips on her game. As a dedicated player, Nuchit practices two days each week for four hours outside of school—usually under the hot sun—to maintain her performance. Her handicap is 93 strokes for 18 holes, and her personal best is 89. Other team members praise Nuchit for
her outstanding chipping and putting. Determined to improve her skills to earn a scholarship in golf at a prestigious university, Nuchit plans to continue playing golf for her college. Her perseverance inspires the rest of her team as she demonstrates her leadership skills drawn from her position in JROTC as Company Commander. Although golf is widely known as a leisure sport, it does have arduous challenges that can stress players out. Nuchit has to be careful that she doesn’t let other people’s performance affect her own—especially if they are ahead. “You have to be mentally strong to be a golfer; you can’t let others affect your physical performance,” says Nuchit.
14 | Van Nuys High School | The Mirror
R E A L I T Y
vnhsmirror.com | April 13, 2017
T E L E V I S I O N
Chelsea Ma: How I Won Project Runway Junior
roject Runway” has been and will always be one of the most significant changes in my life. It has given me the experience and opportunities that I could’ve only dreamed of six months ago. It all started in April 2016 when my design teacher told me that there were auditions for “Project Runway Junior” Season 2. She insisted that I audition regardless of whether or not I would qualify. Since she told me only two weeks before the audition deadline, I had little to no time to prepare my portfolio. I spent the days doing school work and the nights staying for the next two weeks making clothes. I finally sent in my portfolio including pictures, a video, and a questionnaire, which were required. I waited for about two weeks before I received a call back from a talent producer. He requested an over-the-phone interview with me. From there, I had several more video calls with many producers to talk about myself and my work at the time, which help me make it to the semifinals! The semifinals was our first time meeting the producers in person. We had to bring our clothes and talk about ourselves on camera in front of two judges.
Walking into the room, my confidence slowly deflated after noticing the other designers’ work and how much more experienced they had in the fashion industry than I did. In the back of my mind, I thought, “I made a mistake. There’s no way I can compete with the other candidates.” When it was time to enter the room to decide my fate, I told myself, “You’ve already made it this far. Just do it, and leave with no regrets.” It was another month before I got the call from the producers saying, “You got in! You’re going to be on ‘Project Runway Junior’ Season 2!” I was dumbfounded. It had been the single best and least expected phone call in my life. From that point on I had one goal, and that was to make it at least halfway through the competition! I remember my dad begging me not to get eliminated the first episode. He said, “After the first challenge you can go, but please don’t be the first!” The first time filming for me was, to put it nicely, rough. It was a struggle adjusting to the new conditions we had to work under. Each challenge required us to finish an outfit within 10-12 hours. We had to work in a group setting and adapt to using industrial sewing machines instead of home sewing machines. For the first episode I decided to use organza and vinyl (not user friendly) which didn’t help my
IN THE REVAMP OF PROJECT RUNWAY, MILLENIALS GET A CHANCE TO SHOWCASE THEIR ARTISTIC CREATIVITY.
situation with the construction of my garment or my time management. Fully recognizing my lacking in technical skills, I didn’t think I would make it far. When it was time for the first runway of the season, I almost vomited. Naturally, your first runway show should be one of the most anticipated and exciting events in a designer’s career, but I couldn’t feel more opposite of that feeling if I wanted to. When I was called up as either one of the bottom or top three, I’m sure everyone, including myself, believed I was in the bottom. I’ll never forget when host Hannah Jeter called my name, paused, and said “We loved it!” Every ounce of doubt I had disappeared, and I transformed into a different person. I wasn’t someone making clothes anymore. I was a fashion designer. Before “Project Runway,” I had never pushed myself to think outside of the box. I never had the courage to bring forth unique and technically difficult designs when I was at home. Watching Ruby go home during the first episode for doing something the judges called “simple, and basic” was a red flag for me. My new motto became “go big or go home.” There was no just sliding by. There were many times when neither the other contestant nor Tim Gunn understood or liked my designs. They were either too unwearable, ill-fitting for the challenge, or unrelatable. It made me doubt myself countless times, but it also made me a better designer. In the end, no matter what I did, I always stuck to my gut
instinct because if there’s anyone I can trust completely, it’s myself. There were many moments when I would scrap a look and completely restart. I’m sure everybody else thought I was insane, but if I was going to be eliminated, it was not going to be for a look I wasn’t proud of. One of my proudest accomplishments on the show would have to be my surprising track record. I was safe three times and on the top two times. I won four times, and I was never on the bottom. Also, I’m proud to say that since the first episode, I have never sewn a model into an outfit. In total, I won four challenges: the fourth (“Step It Up From Day to Night”), seventh (“High End Italian Fashion”), eighth episode (“Race to the Finale”) and the finale. Looking back, I’m always reminded of how even when I didn’t believe in myself, I was able to accomplish my goals. The show taught me that I am strong-willed, talented, and capable of making it in the fashion industry. Coming into this competition, everybody’s main goal isn’t necessarily to win as it is to be able to show a collection at fashion week. We were used to pushing ourselves on a day to day basis, but the finale was a whole new ballgame. There was no challenge
brief we had to fulfill, and we had an insane budget of $4,000. We were also given five weeks to work (during school time). I used a clip from the video game, “Overwatch,” as inspiration for my story line. From there I made about two collections, which I ended up not using. I disliked my collection, my grades were dropping, and the finale was getting closer by the day. During the last week before we had to return to the show, I stayed up sewing day and night, finishing about four-and-a-half looks—which was risky because I needed six. When we were all unveiling our finale collections, I felt deja vu. It felt like the first episode all over again. I almost vomited. There was this constant drive in the back of my mind saying that I needed to continue being the frontrunner to win. I didn’t want to let myself down knowing that I could’ve done better. I ended up hustling the entire week to get things done. This had to be one of the hardest times in my life, but I made it work, and I won. Winning “Project Runway Junior” Season 2 was never something even conceivable to me during the first episode. I am beyond thankful to my parents, my teacher, the cast, crew, producers, judges, and most of all Tim Gunn for always being the most sincere and loving mentor. I’m excited to make new leaps and bounds into my career and I am forever grateful for Project Runway for making this possible.
April 13, 2017 | vnhsmirror.com
The Mirror | Van Nuys High School | 15
Classic Movies about Prom
“CARRIE,” (TOP), “PRETTY IN PINK” (LEFT) AND “MEAN GIRLS,” OUR TOP THREE PICKS FOR PROM BINGING.
While Carrie is one of the older films on this list, it’s also one of most well-known high school horror films ever. And it’s not hard to understand why, from the beloved John Travolta archetypal jock to Carrie’s frighteningly religious mother. Carrie is mercilessly hated by her peers due to her mother’s absurd views, which is why the complete turnaround of Tommy Ross (William Katt) is good cause for suspicion. Prom quickly approaches and Carrie is named prom queen—leading us to a classic yet revolting scene. Somehow, the pig’s blood is not the most shocking thing that goes down in the school gym. You can certainly say that this film’s prom night was “lit”—but maybe not in the way you’d hope yours to be.
Pretty in Pink
This classic teen romance will inspire you to DIY your prom dress this spring! The classic John
Hughes film is the iconic story of a down-in-the-dumps loser Andie (Molly Ringwald) and her life changing due to a school dance. While the plot is cheesy, overused, and ridiculous the rat pack’s Molly Ringwald will captivate you.
Number three on our list consists of a modern day Heathers girl gang dubbed “The Plastics” by their lesser peers, a white girl from Africa, and two comedic outcasts (Lizzy Caplin and Daniel Franzese) with arguably the best dialogue in the film. Watch as Alpha Plastic Regina George (Rachel McAdams) and her fellow minions (Lacey Chabert and Amanda Seyfried) rule the school while looking devilishly good. You can expect pink silk mini-dresses to be paired with back braces from this movie’s prom, along with an emotional crowning of a conflicted mathlete and part-time mean girl Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan). Tina Fey’s comedic one liners leave you
gasping for air and simultaneously regretting your own high school experiences while we follow the overdramatic pitfalls of previously homeschooled new girl Cady Heron’s educational life. Imagine that the two movies Clueless and Heathers had a baby. You’d get Mean Girls: a comedy overflowing with hilarity, wit, and the color pink. So fetch.
10 Things I Hate About You Lovingly rebellious Kat (Julia Stiles) doesn’t want to be her sister: popular and acting like she shouldn’t be passing her classes in any way. Her actions make her out to be an outcast and when the seemingly deviant Patrick (Heath Ledger) convinces her to go to prom, her introverted personality seems to fade — of course she’s not aware he’s being paid to take her. Cameron James (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) also happens enlist Patrick’s help in getting Kat’s
sister fall in love with the dreamy Heath Ledger, while we watch this iconic 90’s flick.
High School Musical 3: Senior Year The teary end of the beloved High School Musical trilogy is sure to bring you to tears more than just once. Watch as Troy (Zac Efron), Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens), and the rest of the gang graduates from their time in high school while dealing with the woes of deciding which colleges to go to. Feel free to grab some tissues and reminisce about your childhood while our favorite high schoolers sing their way through prom.
Original scream queen Jaime Lee Curtis makes number six on our list. In this movie we watch a typical high school prom unfold and Curtis portrays Kim in director Paul Lynch’s slasher flick.
Prom Classically, high school overachiever Nova Prescott (Aimee Teegarden) is thrown into a state of disarray when the prom decorations are vandalized. The only person she can turn to is stereotypically dreamy bad boy Jesse—who turns out to be much more helpful than the frantic class president expects. Nova finally sees him through a different light and just in time for prom. Around them the geeky boy struggles to get the beautiful sophomore, Tyler (DeVaughn Nixon) asks out long term girlfriend Jordan (Kylie Bunbury) but is quite obviously keeping a secret, and an unnoticed loser struggles to find a date to the much awaited prom. Disney’s incredibly formulaic guilty pleasure is worth the watch. List compiled and written by The Mirror Staff Writers Madison Brown and Lindsay Tidmarsh
16 | Van Nuys High School | The Mirror
vnhsmirror.com | April 13, 2017
Beauty and the Beast STUDENT PRODUCTION PRESENTED BY THE VAN NUYS HIGH SCHOOL ACTORS IN ACTION MARCH 16-25 AT THE DONNA HUBBARD AUDITORIUM PHOTOS BY THERESA NGUYEN
TALE AS OLD AS TIME SENIOR OLIVIA RODRIGUEZ AND JUNIOR IAN FOSTER ENCHANT THE AUDIENCE WITH A MAGICAL DANCE.
BE OUR GUEST ACTOR JACOB ZELONKY ACTS AS LUMIERE AND PERFORMS WITH THE DANCE DEPARTMENT.
GASTON SOPHOMORE DARIAN CALDERON STARS AS THE NARCISSISTIC VILLIAN.
Sophomore Sarah Choe participates in an international competition to represent USA.
PROVINCIALS BELLE STRIVES TO CONVINCE HER FELLOW VILLAGERS THAT THERE IS A KIND MAN BEHIND THE BEAST.
STAY STILL LUMIERE AND COGSWORTH, PORTRAYED BY JUNIOR VINCENT MACIAS, REMAIN MOTIONLESS WHEN THEY HEAR A NEW FOOT STEP INTO THE CASTLE.
Published on Apr 7, 2017
A student publication of Van Nuys High School in Van Nuys, California USA Issue date: April 13, 2017 Website: VNHSmirror.com