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Nexus The

S t e v i e Je s m e ( 1 1 ) p o l e vaults during track practice. The Nexus sat down with pole vaulters and sought to discover the mindset and physical aspects behind this lesser known field event.

Volume 9 Issue 8 March 11, 2011

See page 13

Westview 13500 Camino del Sur San Diego, CA 92129


thing you have to do: Quidditch

The Harry Potter Club is holding the second Quidditch Cup in Westview history, March 25 during lunch. Classes will compete against each other to collect the quaffles and bludgers scattered across campus. Last year’s winner, the Class of 2012, Hufflepuff, will unfurl its banner to start off the event.


Budget stabilizes, but cuts to be in future Joanna Jaroszewska Staff Writer

Hearing the good news first can be misleading. Monday night’s PUSD board meeting brought light to the good news first. According to Business Support Manager Maliga Tholandi’s presentation, there will be no layoffs in the upcoming school year. No more pink slips and no more disappearing teachers. Superintendent John Collins said that the reserves from this year can help the district hold tight for the upcoming school year.

“The good news is no March layoffs for teachers this year because we have those reserves [and] we’ve met our obligations,” he said. Unfortunately, the budget woes are not in the least; the looming deficit about to fall upon the district in the 2012-2013 school year, was a huge part of the agenda as well. Tholandi presented the calculated budget for the next two years by breaking down the financial future of the district into the next two school years. With the addition of money from the revenue limit increase, federal job bills and the left over money added to

the beginning balance, the district can Millions Lost Per School Year maintain status quo. But that’s all it can do. Year Millions The bad news is that even in the • $46 million ’10-’11 best case scenario, PUSD is expected • $37 million lost so far to lose $19 per student in the 2012-2013 ’11-’12 school year. • $41 million projected In order for this “best case scenarto be lost in the best case io” to play out, Governor Jerry Brown’s scenario proposed extension for existing taxes • $52 million projected to will need to be passed. be lost if Brown’s elected ’12-’13 Collins stressed during the meeting proposal does not pass that the June election regarding this mea• $67 million, the worst case sure is crucial to the financial survival of scenario being discussed in Sacramento See Budget, page 2

CIF gold for Manuche After four years prep

Triple Threat

things they won’t tell you:

Yoojin Kim Editor in Chief Claire Liu

Color Guard The Guard does not have its own set of coaches. It shares coaches with Del Norte, Mira Mesa and Eastlake. They practice more than 10 hours a week, even when it’s raining. When it’s too dark to practice outside, they get kicked out of the gym by sports teams and they get kicked out of the dance room by the Dance Troupe, so they practice at Adobe Bluffs.


things you need to see:

Chris Holmes (12) gets the word out about her music by uploading videos up on YouTube. She has received over one million views on one of her covers. See page 6 As a student, Thuy Tran (12) apprentices with a professional ballet company, performing with the masters she has looked up to her entire life. Tran trains every day, averaging 18 hours a week in the studio.

pinning down

Andrew Fan

Three winter sports secure CIF Championships


estview athletics put the win in the winter season. Girls basketball, girls soccer and roller hockey all dominated their opponents, bringing home the Division II Championship title. Boys soccer, which was one of the strongest contenders for the CIF title as well, was named the Palomar League champion, but was just barely eked out by Mt. Carmel in the quarterfinals during overtime in an anxiety-riddled game. However, girls basketball defeated the Sundevils for the team’s first CIF Championship, roller hockey brought home its third consecutive CIF trophy, and girls soccer came out victorious over La Costa Canyon. For more CIF coverage, See page 11

Linnea Whitney

Top: The girls basketball team receives its CIF championship patches. The Wolverines dominated MC, 50-44. Bottom: Alyson Rohane (12) and Natalie Gabriel (12) celebrate after Rohane’s goal. The team beat LCC, 4-1.

Michelle Song Staff Writer

“How exactly is it unique? Two words: testosterone and Chuck Norris. If that doesn’t get you pumped up for this diet soda, then go back to reading your Cosmo.”

See page 10

See Manuche, page 12

Chelsea’s Run unites community

See page 4

-Marc Finn

It was the perfect ending. After training for days, weeks and months for the past seven years, after doubting himself and his abilities for a few years, after placing third twice and fifth once in the last three years, Mike Manuche (12) finally won the CIF Championship in wrestling. His journey to this victory began when he was in sixth grade. Because of the three years of training, when he entered high school, Manuche 4 Years was well ahead of those who were 1 Journey just starting, and in his freshman CIF Champion senior year year, he took third in CIFs. “Taking third as a freshman 3rd at Masters senior year was really big,” he said. “That felt good. It made me think that I have 3rd at CIFs freshman year a future [in wrestling].” As he looked forward to the rest of his high school wrestling career, Manuche set the bar high for himself: win CIFs his sophomore year, place in the Masters Tournament, the State Qualifiers, the next year, and finish with a win at Masters. However, in his sophomore year, he placed fifth at CIFs, which was impressive to others, but not good enough for his personal expectations. Then, in his junior year, although he had participated in the Masters Tournament, he didn’t place as high as he had wanted. “When I was a freshman, I had really lofty goals,” he said. “But coming to the realization that some of those goals weren’t going to happen or hadn’t happened, that was tough.” As each season went by, both Manuche’s teammates and opponents were improving quickly. As someone who had begun wrestling earlier than most others, Manuche watched as his opponents, who had started in their freshman year, began to catch up to him. “I kept thinking, ‘I should be better, I should be succeeding, and I’m not,’” Manuche said. “It was tough feeling like I was behind and feeling like I wasn’t doing enough to be where I wanted to be.”

Andrew Fan

Thousands of supporters participate in Chelsea’s Run in Balboa Park, March 5. Chelsea King was an avid runner at Poway.

A sea of people entered the bridge in Balboa Park, March 5. However, amidst this mass of people, only one color illuminated: yellow. It was the color of a sunflower, Chelsea King’s favorite flower. No one expected more than 5,000 runners and 300 volunteers to all show up for the second annual “Finish Chelsea’s Run” Saturday in honor of Poway student Chelsea

King’s passing and the life that she had lead. Last February, when cross country runner Chelsea King was on her daily run by the Rancho Community Trail, she never came home. While running, she had been raped and murdered and her body was found in Lake Hodges six days later. Those deeply affected by her loss, came together and quickly planned a day to finish the run Chelsea couldn’t finish. What was expected to have a presence of 100 people, led to

thousands of community members coming together to honor Chelsea’s life along the Rancho Bernardo Community Trail. To honor her, runners tossed sunflower seeds along the way and, at the finish line, were greeted by Kelly King, Chelsea’s mother. After the inspiring turnout at last year’s run, Brent and Kelly King founded the Chelsea’s Light Foundation, an organization to unite the community to pro-

See Run, page 3



Word for word “I have participated every year and always see clubs that I never knew existed.”

March 11, 2011

The Nexus

Art show cut Best Buddies rallies support to end R-word due to lack of funding George Jeng Graphics Editor

Caryssa Cabrito-Jones (12), talking about her multiple Club Rush experiences. The spring Club Rush today will showcase the majority of clubs on campus.

“It was a reality check; it gave me a new direction and a new mind-set.” Stephanie Duran (11), speaking about the AVID trip, March 4-5. The AVID members who participated spent their time visiting SFSU, USF, UC Santa Cruz and San Jose State University over the course of their two-day trip.

“Do you want to be known for the next 50 years?” Alex Greenspan (12), speaking during the Elective Fair, March 8. Greenspan tried to recruit members to join the yearbook staff during this event, which gave multiple elective classes the chance to advertise what they do. Andrew Fan

“I have had too many friends who have died and if I can save a life, it’s the least I can do.” ENS teacher Tim Medlock, on donating blood for the blood drive, March 9.

The News in Brief Soccer club donates items, gains service Susan Nguyen Staff Writer Dylan Fortin (11) placed two empty cardboard boxes in front of social science teacher Rob Casas’, room. One by one, members of WIFA (Westview International Fútbol Association) walked up and placed their old soccer cleats in one box and then placed the soccer balls they had collected into the other. Although WIFA had many ideas in mind when it came to what direction they planned to have their new club head towards, Vice President Fortin said the club members eventually decided that community service would be their main focus. For their first community service event, WIFA has decided to give out two hours of community service in exchange for a pair of usable soccer cleats and one hour for a soccer ball, to be donated to the Escondido Impact Soccer Club, and delivered to kids who cannot afford gear. “By donating cleats and soccer balls, we guarantee that our old gear will be put to good use,” Fortin said. “I think that’s what it is all about, giving kids who may be having a rough childhood the chance to escape the stresses of everyday life and blow off steam.” WIFA is currently in the process of planning an upcoming community service event this month, a more traditional way for members to receive community service. The club is planning to team up with the U.S. Youth Soccer TOPSoccer organization. Christian Schuh (11), WIFA’s volunteer coordinator, said that the club members will then work to teach kids with mental disabilities how to play soccer. Whether the students are donating their time or items to the community, ASB Director Scott Wild said it does not matter how the club members earn their community service hours, as long as they are still focusing their efforts on giving back to the community. “Community service is helping other people and not getting paid for it,” Wild said. “Because it’s community service, it’s that internal drive to do it.”

Logan Kirk (12) and Julia Rogers (11) perform a dance in the quad to generate support to end the R-word, March 2. Best Buddies organized this and the week to end the R-word.

The spring art festival is no more, at least for this year. For the first time in five years, the annual art show has been cancelled, due to a combination of scheduling conflicts and budget shortfalls. Citing increased class sizes of about 20 percent as well as the five percent teacher pay cut, art teacher Keith Opstad said the department was faced with a major dilemma as to what it would cut this year. “At the beginning of the year, a lot of us were just in survival-mode,” Opstad said. “We asked ourselves how do you offer the same quality product, the same teaching experience as we are used to providing, in this horrible situation?” While it has always been a hit among students and staff alike, Opstad said that the art show was one of the first events to cut, because it was an optional event that although fun, was not absolutely necessary. “We weighed the pros and cons, and it wasn’t an easy decision to come to,” Opstad said. “It’s great for advertising for a lot of students, but there are many other opportunities for students to [showcase] artwork.” One of these ways is through the office where student art is currently on display and is updated regularly. Although money was a major factor in the cancellation, Opstad said that the timing of the show also contributed to it being cut this year. The festival generally takes place the second or third week of May, the same week as AP testing. In addition, the San Diego County Fair is the week before that, resulting in an already massive amount of preparation by both students and teachers. Just because the art show will not happen this year does not mean that it is gone for good. However, as for next year, Opstad said the teachers are playing it by ear. “We’re going to take this year off, reflect, provide some alternative solutions for displaying student artwork and showing people what we do,” Opstad said. “Then next year we’ll re-evaluate and see if the economy is better, see if our class [sizes] will be outrageous, and we’ll reevaluate once we have a little more grasp on what is going on.”

Meeting discusses proposed ’12-’13 budget Budget, from page 1 the district. The proposed extension does not, however, ensure that things will get any better. “Getting this June measure passed is just holding on,” Collins said. “It does not make us any better than we are today and we are not in a good space today.” Candy Smiley, the president of the Poway Teachers Federation, said that the Board needs to spread the word about the election, elevating it to the fore of voters’ consciousnesses. “If we are quiet, it will be devastating to our programs,” she said. If the proposed budget is not passed, PUSD may be looking at a

$29 million budget shortfall in 2012- this [June measure of Brown’s] is 13. one way we can get a little.” Board Vice-president Linda In California, only 25 percent Vanderof people acveen said tually have that the children in the “[Unless we have increased issue of public school funding]...there will be no education system. Luckshould be a ily for PUSD, extracurriculars, there will be priority for that number is voters. 30 percent. no programs, [and there will “This B o a r d be] class sizes in the 60s. ” far exceeds President partisan Penny Ranftle politics,” - Superintendent John Collins a n t i c i p a t e s Vanderthat this will veen said. be one of the “The education of students is too harder issues to overcome during important to be playing politics the June election. with. We need help, and right now “This is a state-wide ballot mea-

sure; that means only 25 percent of the people in the entire state have any invested interest in seeing this pass,” Ranftle said. Seeing the governor’s measure pass is PUSD’s hope for staying afloat in the 2012-13 year. The PUSD board made it clear that the district cannot let the good news of today distract the community from the reality of tomorrow’s deficit. “[Unless we have increased funding] we’re going to be looking at something so very different than what we’re used to here,” Collins said. “There’ll be no extracurriculars, there’ll be no programs, [and there will be] class sizes in the 60s. It just becomes incomprehensible.”

DECA competes, members achieve individual honors Katelyn Hennes News Editor DECA President Lydia Ameri (12) and the five other members who chose to compete in this year’s statewide DECA competition waited in the room of the Santa Clara Marriott hotel where the awards ceremonies were held. The room was packed with other schools from across the state. Their group of six clustered together and listened to what seemed to be award after award presented to Monta Vista High School and its 459 DECA members. Although competing against schools from major business areas like Silicon Valley made the state competition March 3-6 tough, DECA did receive a few awards from the event. As a group, it was recognized for recruiting 10 new members into the clun this year, bringing the total membership up to 16. Individually, Vice President Tony Chen (11) received third place in his professional selling event out of 43 members, qualifying him for the DECA international competition, which will take place in Orlando, April 30-May 3. During the competition, each member participated in a minimum of two events. Events are buisness-themed competitions designed to place members in real-life business situations. The events are divided into two categories: written or individual role play. For individual role play events, contestants are put in a room, where they are given a prompt. They then have 10 minutes to think of a response to the prompt, which is related to a spe-

Photo courtesy of Lydia Ameri

The six members who went to Santa Clara for the DECA state competition stand in front of their limo. The Westview team competed against other teams from across the state on March 3-6. cific business category like restaurant management. They are then judged on their answers. Written events, like the one Chen qualified for internationals by participating in, are carried in by the contestants and revolve around a presentation as well as a written document. At the awards ceremony, Chen also received eighth in the multiple choice portion of his professional selling and sports and entertainment marketing events, as well as eighth in his business math competition.

Ivan Ng (11) also received eighth in the multiple choice portion of his quick serve restaurant management event. Although there are still very few members on the DECA team in comparison to other schools across the state, Ameri said that Westview’s team has shown true potential through their recent success in the competition and hopes that the team will continue to grow as it becomes more established at Westview and that it can one day compete with the tougher, northern teams.

Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream and Smoothies Get 25% Off Purchase up to 4 Items Westview Family owned and operated 13550 Camino del Sur #5 858-484-1002 Monday-Saturday 11-9 and Sunday 12-9 Between Subway and It’s a Grind

March 11, 2011

The Nexus

Edward Xiao



Edwords Stricter standards mean no more days off for Ferris Ditching class is easy. Whether you choose to waltz out the gate or stay home, hooky at Westview is as easy as breathing. What’s simpler still is disregarding the punishments of ditching. For those who have never ditched, here’s how it goes: If you’re absent, your parents are notified. If the absence isn’t cleared, you are issued a detention. Should you miss detention, you will be assigned to campus beautification. At a glance, this system is fine. But, since detention and campus beautification are easy to ditch, they do nothing to correct truant behaviors. While I’m fine with hooky, I think Westview needs to be more forceful regarding truants. Not pressing on when students ditch punishments is bad for both the school and the students. As some may know, a school’s funding depends on attendance. If the number of ditchers increases, the school could be forced to cut back on programs. You might end up not even having a class to ditch because it got cancelled. Furthermore, what is failing to take further action going to teach students except that skipping school is no big deal? When people cut class, they’re depriving both the school and potentially themselves of valuable learning time. By enforcing detention and punishing those who skip detention, the school is ensuring that students realize that hooky is a very serious matter. Against my innate hedonism, I have to advise the administrators to enact a harsher system. This is what I propose: Send out another round of automated phone calls and e-mails to parents. Most parents would not stand for their kid skipping punishment. Furthermore, the school can conserve its resources in cracking down on truancies. Reaching out via electronics is costly than shepherding unwilling truants into kennel-like classrooms for Saturday School or sending merry bands of students to creep on one’s doorstep like other schools do. The only qualm I have with my solution is that it mollycoddles students like they’re toddlers who can’t take care of themselves. But then again, ditching school is child-like behavior, and it’s only right that people are treated how they act. After writing this, I probably can’t ever skip again; hypocrisy’s a no-no. But I suppose that’s okay. It’s not right of me to go into Ferris Bueller mode and avoid school anyway. Since everyone benefits from regular attendance, I’ll be fine with ditching my notions of hooky.

Madi Woodward

On March 5, the Chelsea’s Light Foundation held its second annual “Finish Chelsea’s Run,” in Balboa Park to honor Chelsea King’s life. Along with the run, there were family-fun activities and music inspired by Chelsea’s interests, while runners carried around sunflowers, King’s favorite flowers.

Community honors King with run

Run, from page 1

tect children. The Foundation has made this run an annual tradition in San Diego ever since. A year later, Chelsea has brought together more than 5,000 students, parents, children, teachers and members of the community to run and walk in her name. Because the tragedy hit so close to home for many Westview students, like Anna Fox (10), joined the community in honoring Chelsea’s life. “She was close by being in Poway, so it was nice to do something for her,” Fox said. “It was cool to be part of helping people to remember her and support the cause.” In addition to participating in the run, many students came out to show their support by volunteering during the event. “I just really wanted to be involved in the Chelsea’s Light Foundation because it was a really big deal last year and it was something that I want to do every single year [from now on],” Kavitha Lobo (11), a volunteer, said. “I wasn’t surprised, but I was glad that so many people came to support this run, even though many people didn’t personally know her. I’m really glad we live in San Diego, in a community where we support our children.”

Although the first run was held at the same place where Chelsea was abducted while out on a run, this year, the run was held at Balboa Park, one of Chelsea’s favorite places. “We chose to host this official ‘Finish Chelsea’s Run’ in Balboa Park because Chelsea loved to visit [here] and she also played the French Horn with the San Diego Youth Symphony here,” Volunteer Media Liaison Sarah Fraunces said. Even though the run was the central focus of the event, once runners finished, music and booths were available for family activities, which implemented things that Chelsea was passionate about. “In addition to the run [and] walk, there [was] a family festival with many ‘Chelsea-esque’ activities including a yoga booth and an organic produce booth because Chelsea was an avowed vegetarian and environmentalist,” Fraunces said. “At the finish line, everyone was handed a packet of sunflower seeds and a signature orange Chelsea’s Light bracelet which reads ‘They Can Because They Think They Can,’ Chelsea’s favorite Virgil quote.” “Finish Chelsea’s Run” is now the annual signature event for the Chelsea’s Light Foundation. The future plan is to have this run in five other cities, starting next year, adding one city every year.

“This event is about bringing the community together, to inspire and energize San Diegans [and other members] to know that they can be ‘changemakers’ by participating in this annual event,” Fraunces said. Counselor Mercedes Hubschmitt ran in the first run with her son and his friend and participated again, Saturday. “All of us in the community were affected by what happened; we always see these things happening but not to someone so close,” Hubschmitt said. “When it was evident that it was very close to home, you think of your own children; when you watch the kids who knew her and grieved and what impact she had on kids there, you realize what a special individual she was.” Hearts were moved and San Diegans smiled with warmth as Brent and Kelly King were on stage thanking the outpour of people for coming out to support Chelsea. One community united to venerate one girl who had been a daughter, a sister, a friend, an inspiration and a dream. “I think she was a very special individual because you want to honor her memory and the choices she made,” Hubschmitt said. “The initial thought for the run is about her and what she did.”



March 11, 2011

The Nexus


with the


Tran pointes her way towards professional ballet

Anna Buckley Features Editor

For Thuy Tran (12), it took one perfect and effortless intertwining of body and music to become an artist, to transform into something more than simply a ballet dancer. Tran was on stage and everything was just as right as it usually was; the spotlights shone, the music filled the theater and her body moved through the motions she had rehearsed to perfection. And yet in that one moment, everything changed. In that moment, for the first time in her 11 years of ballet, she became one with the music. “I truly felt as though my body moved because it was inspired by the music,” Tran said. “It was this euphoric sensation that I can’t concretely describe. My back, legs, feet and arms were bleeding with the emotion of the ballet. I poured all of my heart and energy into the performance and it was truly an unforgettable out-of-body experience.” This one experience, during her company’s performance of Les Sylphides, was the performance that provided her with a realization that has made her grueling ballet career worth it. “I realized that that was supposed to be what dancing really felt like: losing yourself within the melody of the music and the emotions of the role and allowing the choreography to be an accessory,” she said. “I felt as though I became an artist, not just a ballet student in a tutu who plastered on a smile and moved her body because that was what the director told her to do.” Tran began her journey from ballet dancer to ballet artist 12 years ago and devoted her childhood to ballet. After being invited to join, she began dancing with the California Ballet company, practicing at the California Ballet School. Her in-

volvement with ballet has never faltered, and her passion for ballet holds fast due to her personal investment in the art. “I’ve stuck with it because it’s the most honest means of communication I know of,” Tran said. “I live to inspire through movement and express myself through dance. Ballet is my identity.” There are always chances for Tran to express herself through dance. She dances every day, yearlong, and averages 18 hours every week. “My life revolves around ballet,” she said. “Working towards a higher purpose within dance is the ultimate goal, and I am driven by the possibility of one day exalting the beauty of the body and humanity through my dancing.” For years, Tran has worked on the technical aspects of ballet. The layers upon layers of technique have been built with strength and precision, allowing her to push herself beyond perfection. “Ballet entails years of training and is incredibly layered,” she said. “Learning and mastering technique is the most basic level. The best ballerinas in the world have that extra charm, style, grace and interpretation of the choreography and music. These qualities are innate, and if you have them, magic happens.” Tran’s apprenticeship with the California Ballet Company— a company in which ballet dancers dance as their career— has helped her to push herself ever further and delve deeper into the special qualities of a professional ballet dancer. Getting to work with professionals has provided Tran with an incredible chance to grow as an artist. “Being able to watch and dance with professional ballerinas that I admire is an amazing and unique learning experience,” she said. “Seeing how hard they work in upholding the integrity of their craft is really inspiring.” And yet, such opportunity does not

come without unbelievable effort in return. “Working with professional dancers can get extremely intimidating and pressuring,” she said. “You are expected to prove to directors, choreographers, dancers and yourself that you are worthy enough to dance in this setting. You are judged by everyone and almost never favorably so.” Tran’s ballet schedule is also incredibly demanding; on top of managing her school workload, Tran must add in two hours of technique class every day of the week, as well as rehearsals for upcoming performances. On weekends, Tran is at the studio rehearsing for a total of eight hours. “At the end of the day, your whole body aches [and] you just want to take a nap,” Tran said. “For me, I get so tired that I’m not hungry anymore. I can get weary knowing that this is what is going to happen for the next four months before the show. But I guess I push myself because I know that if I work to my maximum in rehearsal, performances on stage will be all muscle memory.” Even with such high standards placed upon her shoulders, Tran does not let her performance become weighed down by the pressure; she leaps above it. “The pressure isn’t something you deal with; you just have to accept it,” she said. “Having the opportunity to raise my own expectations of myself and develop my artistry makes it worthwhile.” The professional atmosphere and the challenging schedule are also made worthwhile for Tran when she steps on to the stage to perform her work. “I love the fact that all the grueling

work I put into rehearsals is transformed into effortless, ethereal performances on stage,” she said. “It’s truly a unique sort of payback.” For Tran, ballet is more than words; she said ballet transcends language and evokes feelings that can only be communicated through movement. “It’s actually very hard for me to describe in words why I love ballet so much,” she said. “In a way, I feel as though being able to express my thoughts in words Photo by Mary Kang Photo Illustration by Chelsea Park and George Jeng would defeat the purpose of ballet.”

Marksmanship team aims for perfection, unrenowned sport becomes recognized Michelle Song Staff Writer

Claire Liu

Connor Oberrick (12) aligns the barrel of his rifle to the target. Marksmanship team is a sport that focuses on shooting a bull’s eye.

Pictures Westview Life In

Three weeks ago, the Marksmanship team brought home an 11 th place finish from Nationals in Anniston, Alabama. Esther Stocking (11) and Connor Oberrick (12) know the secret to their success. “Imagine it in your head, imagine doing it in your head, then do it.” This deceivingly simple three-step process is one that the five members of the Marksmanship team must follow for every shot they take. Using .177 caliber air-powered rifles, members of the team must shoot for the bulls eye worth 10 points. They are given 10 shots for each of the three positions: standing, laying down and kneeling, total up to a maximum of 300 points. If a team has won enough local competitions, then it is qualified to compete in Nationals where the shooters instead make 20 recorded shots for a maximum of 600 points. Oberrick said that shooting in marksmanship is like aiming at a pin-prick in the middle of a quarter. Marksmanship is a very precise sport, so in addition to staying perfectly still, a shooter needs to control his or her breathing; each shot is taken within a few seconds of exhaling and before inhaling to prevent wobbling. He said that position and pressure are everything. The position of the rifle on the shooter’s shoulder, as well as the position of the shooter’s eyes and head determine how well a shot will be made.


Best Buddies holds the Spread the Word to End the R-Word rally, March 2. Lady Heat performed to promote this issue.

There must also be a steady increase of pressure on the trigger or even the smallest jerk may send a bullet off-course. Stocking said that marksmanship requires more than mastery of the physical skills. Much of it depends on the shooter’s mentality. “Honestly, once you have the how-todo-it down, if you take a bad shot it’s not because you did something wrong; it’s just a mental game,” Stocking said. “All of marksmanship is just a mental game.” Once members are qualified to compete in Nationals, the journey to Nationals is all about preparing mentally and emotionally. “It’s all about getting your head in the game,” Oberrick said. “You have to learn to block everything else out because the smallest distraction is big enough to get you from a high score to a low score.” Because one of the worst things that could happen to a shooter during a competition is getting distracted, shooters are put into different situations to test their foci and prevent from getting distracted. This is why, during the season from October to April, every Tuesday and Wednesday coach Lance Martini will tune two radios to different Spanish language channels in order to prepare his shooters to deal with distractions. “All you hear is a loud mess of incoherent words, but a good shooter can block the distractions out and shoot as if there is nothing wrong,” Oberrick said. In competition, right before participants are called, they immerse themselves


Stephen Green (10) and Jessica Prindle (9) play lead roles in the student-written One Act musical, “Our Little Kingdom.”

Andrew Fan


3 Band participates in the Elective Fair, March 8. There were 2o other classes that worked to recruit students for the next school year.




into their own worlds to alleviate any lastminute nervous jitters. Before Stocking competed in Nationals, Feb. 16-20, for the first time, only one song came to mind as she scrolled through her iPod to the song Be Like That by Three Doors Down. As soon as the strumming guitar and the soothing sounds of Brad Arnold’s voice began, the nerves disappeared. Before any competition, Stocking listens to this song right before her turn. “It’s kind of dorky, but it calms me down because it’s a song about how no matter what situation [you’re in], you can change the outlook,” Stocking said. Like any other sport, marksmanship members will have their good days and bad days. However, on those bad days, Oberrick said that dwelling on a bad shot will only hurt a person in a competition. “If you take a bad shot and you dwell on it, then your next couple shots are bad,” Oberrick said. “You have to be able to crack a joke [about it] because if you take it too seriously, it’ll end up biting you in the butt.” For Stocking, it was her first time going to Nationals. “It was amazing because it’s about how far you’ve come as a person,” Stocking said. Taking home 11 th place from Nationals was an accomplishment far beyond what the team had imagined achieving. “I was stoked because Westview has never placed that high and we had all put up our personal bests,” Oberrick said. “To be 11 out of 367 is pretty impressive.”

Madi Woodward

Madi Woodward

March 11, 2011


The Nexus



We all have scars, be they physical or emotional. Students share the stories behind their scars and the experiences that the scars remind them of on a daily basis.

“DAD, IS THIS A NIGHTMARE?” Joanna Jaroszewska Staff Writer

There were no tears. There was no screaming. There was only blood, a towel and a waiting room. When Amanda Shewry (11) first arrived at the Children’s Hospital as a 4-year-old, her face was falling apart. But the bob-cut blonde kindergartner came into the emergency room and was told that she would have to wait. “They gave me a new towel and told me, ‘Just hold your face together,’” she said. She held her face and the dripping towel for three hours. A few hours before, Amanda had just arrived at her friend’s birthday party. Only moments after she entered, someone opened the screen door to the backyard. It was only for a split second that Amanda was able to see her friend’s dog leaping up through the door straight at her face. Her dad, Steve, rushed in and found Amanda lying on the floor with her face bleeding. “I went in, and it was horrific,” he recalled. “She was in shock so she wasn’t really crying or screaming. We put a towel to her face. She had a bunch of fatty, pill-like blobs that were spread out from where the dog had bitten her.” Her frightened dad wasted no time and immediately rushed his daughter to the Children’s Hospital. Amanda sat in the front seat and continued to keep pressure on her face with the towel. “We were driving and I looked at him and asked, ‘Dad, is this a nightmare?’” Amanda said. “That still haunts him.” But the nightmare had only just begun for Amanda. Once she was taken in, the doctors were quick to perform a surgery that would help close up her torn left cheek. Amanda now faced a new life and a new image. Her face, now marked by deep, red scars, required care. Face creams became a part of Amanda’s daily routine and protection from the sun was crucial. She began to appear in a hat in all of her photos. Returning to kindergarten and the world of running, pushing and playing tag was risky. It wasn’t until a month later that Amanda could go back to school. “The kids weren’t so bad; they’d ask ‘What happened to you?’ and 30 seconds later they wouldn’t care,” she said. “But the parents would ask, ‘Oh my God, what happened?’ I would start crying because I was so embarrassed.” The first surgery was followed by another. Amanda was growing, and with her, so was the scar. At the age of 8, she had plastic surgery done to keep the scars from stretching. It wasn’t until middle school that Amanda’s scars began to cause her troubles. It was a time when the ruthless world of rumors and gossip showed no mercy. It was then that kids grew embarrassed to ask about Amanda’s scars. Inevitably, it was also then that they went around talking to others about it instead. “The worst part was that people started making fun of me,” she said. “They’d call me scar face and other mean things. I knew they were joking but it sucked because I knew it couldn’t go away and I couldn’t help it.” Amanda witnessed a huge change in the way people acted in high school. Students no longer gazed at her and wondered; they asked. And as they grew less afraid to ask about it, Amanda gained confidence. “It doesn’t matter to me at all anymore,” she said. “It used to bug me, but now people either know or aren’t afraid to ask.” Slowly, Amanda felt that there was nothing to hide. She was happy with the way she looked and so were people around her. “It’s pretty remarkable that the scar doesn’t seem to bother her at all,” Steve said. “My surprise is that she loves dogs still. She’s not afraid of dogs, and she’s not angry at dogs for what happened.” Amanda not only went back to visit her kindergarten friend and his new dog, but also owns a dog herself. Her love for dogs is so strong that she was upset when she found out that the dog that bit her had been put down. Sophomore year, Amanda was offered a fourth surgery to try to make the scar even less visible. After plenty of thought and asking around for her friends’ opinions, she decided against it. Amanda said her scar has become a part of her identity. “I don’t wear make-up, I don’t try to hide anything; it’s just there,” she said. “And you can think what you want, but I like it now. I go with what I have.” Amanda embraces the scar as just another permanent part of her appearance. She said she believes that every scar tells something about its owner and should be left alone. “I think they’re a part of you, and they show something that happened in your life,” she said. “If you have a scar then it must be pretty significant. You shouldn’t try to get rid of it.”

Photos by Linnea Whitney

When she was four years old, Amanda Shewry (11) was attacked by her friend’s Dalmatian black lab mix and had to have three surgeries to repair her left cheek. Shewry has grown to accept the scars on her face and she even takes pride in the story that they tell about her past.


Jacob Biehler’s (12) scar is a remnant of his heart surgery when he was three.

Melissa Truong It’s been a while since there has been a book packed so full of controversy, as Jodi Picoult tackles gay and lesbian rights, suicide, depression, abortion, religion and even music therapy in her latest release “Sing You Home.” And while I’m usually a die-hard fan of Picoult’s work, I honestly had mixed emotions about this latest work When music therapist Zoe Baxter’s latest pregnancy ends in a stillbirth, her formerly alcoholic husband, Max, files for divorce. Just as she is recovering from her lost child and marriage, she is slammed with ovarian cancer and finds herself falling for a local female high school counselor. Picoult’s readers wade into a court battle over three embryos frozen from Max and Zoe’s in-vitro fertilization. Zoe wants to gain custody of the embryos to raise a family with her partner. Max, on the other hand, seeks to give the embryos to his ultra-conservative, ultra-religious brother and wife. Picoult combines the two worlds of writing and music flawlessly through a CD that comes with

many of his fellow athletes were quick to come up with elaborate stories about his scar. They suggested that he should use them when someone asked about it. He never did. Biehler decided to stick to his own story. There isn’t much to it. Because his condition is hereditary, there was nothing Biehler could have done to prevent the surgery. Other than occasionally burning and itching when he’s working out, the scar is simply another part of Biehler’s appearance. Biehler’s scar is something that doesn’t remind him of any tragic event, and is something he feels he might as well been born with. “Because I was so young, in all the memories I have of myself I’ve always had the scar,” he said. “It’s always going to be a part of me.

“IT’S NOT 100 PERCENT BACK TO NORMAL” Alexea Kouris (11) only played for 30 seconds in the basketball game that altered her future permanently. Although she never enjoyed basketball as much as field hockey and lacrosse, Kouris decided to try out for the team her sophomore year. This choice changed her athletic career very quickly. Kouris put all three of her sports on the brink in those first 30 seconds of the first basketball game of her life. In her first moments as a part of the basketball team, Kouris was injured. “I got passed the ball and I went to pivot,” she recalled. “My knee didn’t go with me and I heard a big pop and fell to the ground. It was terrible.” Kouris’ coaches dragged her off the court, and she was immediately sent to urgent care. It wasn’t until three weeks of ineffective rehab passed that the consequence of her choice dawned on Kouris. The doc-

Sing You Home Book

Jacob Biehler’s (12) scars drew eyes from the swim team for two years. The long line down the center of his chest was hard to miss. But for Biehler, the scar is only a faint reminder of genetics. Biehler was born with a hole in one of the chambers of his heart; something his family thinks has been passed down from his father’s side of the family. He had surgery to repair it at the age of 3 so he wouldn’t remember. As a young boy, he was never bullied and only occasionally picked up a friendly nickname. “My dad always called me zipper boy,” he said. “My friends would catch on to that and started calling me the same thing too. I knew they weren’t ever being mean though.” During Biehler’s two years of swim,

tors told her she had shredded her ACL and MCL. “It sucks because I went out to play basketball for the first time and I come out with this injury which also affected my other sports,” she said. Although her scars make some of her friends cringe, she already feels they’ve become a part of her. “Some of my friends don’t find it too appealing,” she said. “But it doesn’t bother me. I’m so used to [the scar] that I can’t imagine my leg without [it].” The worst part of her scar is that it reminds her of an irreversible decision. For Kouris, the only thing she dislikes about her scars is that she knows recovering from the injury that created it would be slow and painful. “I can tell a difference; it’s not 100 percent back to normal,” she said. “I’m a year out of surgery now and I can tell my left side is weaker than my right.”


the book. Between chapters, readers are prompted to listen to a selected work. It was a nice, unique touch that provided more insight into Zoe’s mind. In true Picoult fashion, the novel rotates between perspectives: Zoe, Max and Vanessa, Zoe’s partner. As per usual, her writing is gorgeous, with parts that make the reader just set the book down, mulling over a sentence as if it were a fine wine. But while the writing and plot were solid, the characters were severely lacking. It almost seemed as though Picoult took a cue from Ayn Rand, having characters that seemed strictly either good or bad. Usually, Picoult writes with such an energy that the reader is always torn in choosing whom to side with because of the human emotions in even the supposed villains. This book, however, is different. It is blatantly clear what Picoult thinks of gay marriage and religion. Zoe, Vanessa and their lawyer might as well have halos on their heads. Max and his brother and wife, as well as the Christian congregation they are a part of, however, are evil and selfish. The character of Max is weak, bailing out on his wife, filing for custody of the embryos, going back to his alcoholic ways and sleeping with his brother’s wife. No sympathy for him. Not until the end, at least. But you’ve got to give it to Picoult. While this wasn’t my favorite of hers and will never rival her books like “My Sister’s Keeper” and “The Pact,” it is clear that she has not lost her touch.

Alexea Kouris’ (11) scar reminds her of the all-toobrief time she spent playing Westview basketball.


Movie Deeksha Phadnis ­A lthough its animated format might suggest otherwise, Rango is an intelligent, sharp-sighted film that captures all audiences. The movie begins with Rango, a lizard voiced by Johnny Depp, stuck in a pet cage in the back of a family’s car with a headless Barbie doll, a dead insect and his own theatrical musings. Like so many of us out there, he is lonely and caged in a glass box that he doesn’t know he needs to escape. Then comes a wild screeching car crash and the glass shatters; Rango is literally tossed into the heart of the Wild West. Arriving at the parched town of Dirt, Rango finds that he has been given a singular opportunity to be whomever he chooses and consequently transforms into a swaggering gunslinger dedicated to helping the citizens of Dirt. He finds that Dirt is plagued by an exacting drought and the creatures survive through sheer power of will. It is up to Rango to find the reason for the water shortage and bring back the water.

The dramatic backdrops of hardened valleys, great arching rock formations and endless plains of sand are beautifully done, almost matching the landmarks in real life. The equally spectacular meanderings of the guitar and soaring melodies of the trumpet from the soundtrack highlight the film’s intensity. A few images are so poignant that the “spirit of the West” will be forever burned into the minds of viewers; delicate yellow blooms closing in the moonlight, the malevolently glowing eyes of a terrifying snake, a panorama of mountains through which Rango and his fellow townsmen ride. Rango explores the interplay between destiny and choice through its characters; a kindly armadillo who points Rango to his destiny and a weathered man who symbolizes the “spirit of the west”— a demanding and tough-as-nails cowboy who teaches Rango to make the right decision despite previous choices. Thanks to Director Gore Virbinski, the tale goes beyond that of a search for water and delves into universal emotions—doubt, loneliness, love, faith and the sense that there is something beyond mere survival. By providing the town someone to believe in, Rango discovers that identity comes from choice. Virbinski has created a movie that provides insight for every age and every situation. This fresh take on the Western genre is a rousing success.



March 11, 2011

The Nexus

Andra Kovacs

11 reasons Reason eight:

“Hey Soul Sister” by Train (Cover) 1,517,728 views1 year ago

My American Idol Audition Experience 179,049 views1 year ago

“Waking Up In Vegas” Katy Perry (Cover)

81,356 views1 year ago Sidebar by Paulina Wroblewska Photos Linnea Whitney Art by Chelsea Park

The musical journey of ChrisHolmesMusic Dominic Lucisano Sports Editor Everyone knows Justin Bieber was discovered on YouTube. And whether Chris Holmes (12) gets discovered by her channel or not, she knows that it is still worth a shot. “The whole networking area of music and the business got me started,” she said. “You have to figure out a way to promote yourself. YouTube is one of the main sources being used.” When her channel, appropriately titled ChrisHolmesMusic, started in 2008, Holmes was excited to bring her eclectic style of music to the web and see where destiny might take her. Equipped with an acoustic guitar and no recording devices save for her digital camera’s video function, Holmes set out on her journey. “Music to me is the ability to express myself with something that isn’t just words,” she said. Putting an acoustic spin on various pop songs and even putting a video of an original song, the feedback from the YouTube community has been mostly positive. However, being a dedicated YouTuber hasn’t always been easy. “Starting out was difficult because I didn’t have a lot of views,” she said. “I was thinking, ‘Is this even worth it?’ But then it just took one video. It was a bit discouraging, but it got better.” That one video was a cover of Train’s famous song, “Hey Soul Sister,” a song that was at the top of many music listeners’ playlists last year. Holmes’ video now has over 1.5 million views.

“I found that song before it became really popular,” Holmes said. “I had heard it maybe once, [and] I thought ‘Oh that’s a cool song’ and I decided to cover it. I was one of the only covers on YouTube [at first]. It sort of caught on as the song became more popular.” When Holmes first started out on YouTube, she had no idea where her channel would be in the next few years, but she loved watching it grow. Holmes has now amassed more than 5,900 subscribers on the site, each of whom get notified whenever a new video is made. Her 18 videos have collectively been viewed more than 2 million times. However, unlike many successful YouTube musicians, Holmes did not take years to master her craft. She neither took steady lessons for guitar or vocals, nor did she spend days learning and perfecting songs. She was born with an incredible voice and creative ability, which earn compliment after compliment on her page from total strangers. Holmes said that the whole process of a video shoot is rather simple for her: learning a song in about 30 minutes, going through a few takes of a song while trying to get over the strange feeling of singing into a camera. “It takes a few tries because it’s really awkward sitting in front of this camera,” Holmes said. “[I’m] thinking, ‘What do I say to these people who aren’t even there?’ I try to tell them what’s going on or what’s new [with the channel]. Just try to fill them in and play them a song that they’ll enjoy.” The final product becomes one of the many

videos on ChrisHolmesMusic that gets positive reviews from viewers around the worldtime and time again. But sifting through the videos on her channel, one can’t help but notice that Holmes still doesn’t have it all that easy. YouTube is known for what users call “trolls,” who are people who start arguments or send hate mail just for attention or fun. And the trolls found her channel. Simply because Holmes has a short haircut, she receives hundreds of comments on her videos filled with negativity, including jokes and comments about her appearance and mocking her haircut. This hasn’t always been easy to deal with, but as the years passed, Holmes has developed a thick skin that has kept her channel running while keeping the trolls out. “I thought, ‘Really? You’re going to play that card and not even listen to what I’ve put out here for you?’” Holmes said. “I deleted them at first, but it goes on and then I just don’t care. I’ve heard it so many times [that] it really means nothing to me now. That’s the way I look at it.” And that sort of determination and attitude has gotten ChrisHolmesMusic far on a website that has many musicians hoping to be seen. She’s learned that anybody can get lucky on YouTube and that success can be reached no matter who you are. “I’ve learned a lot because different people offer different constructive criticism on my videos and I learn from that,” she said. “I [also] learn from other comments on what I’m doing right so I’ve become a better artist through it.”

“Bandos” justify passion for program Justin Cordua Staff Writer Band members are often asked: “Why do you do band?” Kaelyn Gima (12), inspired by her older brother, joined band to play trombone as a freshman, despite the media-driven idea that band kids are “weird.” Gima has a theory as to why band members have been stuck with that label, a theory developed after four years of being a selfproclaimed “bando,” and being involved with the school marching, concert and jazz bands and wind ensemble, as well as more than a few bands outside of school. “I think a good definition of band kids would be ‘people who don’t care what other people think,’” Gima said. “Being cool is pretty much caring about what other people think, and we’re not into that.” Over the years, Gima has put a lot of time into marching band alone. During marching season, her schedule consisted of practicing twice a week, marching three times a week and rehearsing every Thursday. The workouts were intense enough to injure Gima. “About halfway through junior

year, I noticed my shins started to a big way twice, first after the death get super tight and they started to of trombonist Matt Miller’s (12) fahurt a lot,” Gima said. “You have ther and again after Chelsea King’s to basically hyperextend your foot death, who was a French horn playupwards, and then you have to roll er in Poway’s wind symphony. In through, and that motion can put a the first case, band members made lot of pressure on your shins.” a card for Miller, and with King, However, to Gima, the social the band came together to make a aspect of band outweighs the com- poster for Poway, demonstrating mitment support of and pain. the band “[Band] c o m m u“Everybody will accept you. is having nity going 120-someb e y o n d Even if they don’t really like t h i n g s c h o o l you, they’ll try to be as nice as friends, boundar24/7,” she ies. they can.” said. “You Gima always have said the so-Daniel Alvarez (12) a place to cial atmogo, and you sphere that always have a lot of friends that comes along with being a memyou can hang around.” ber of the band program changes Trombonist Daniel Alvarez members’ perception of the work (12) said he feels the same about they are doing. the band community. “Being busy is not that bad “You’re pretty much in a fam- band, because it feels like you’re ily,” Alvarez said. “Everybody always with your friends,” Gima will accept you. Even if they don’t said. “And doing work with your really like you, they’ll try to be as friends is the best thing in the nice as they can. If you’re going world.” through rough times, they’ll help Gima said she thinks that beyou out.” cause people rarely venture into Alvarez and Gima said they the band room, they really have no had seen the band come together in idea of the hard work involved.

Gima said that when the Westview Wind Ensemble was invited to a music festival at Carnegie Hall in New York to compete against other bands from across the nation, the Wind Ensemble members had to put in hours of work into perfecting their festival pieces. “[Band director Jeri Webb] put a lot of detail work into [the pieces], and it was frustrating at times,” Gima said. “There was a lot of time that we put into that Carnegie Hall performance, and we had really hard [pieces]. It took a ridiculous amount of time to get that stuff prepared. There were some after-school practices too, which we never have. Ever.” People do ask Gima “Why do you do band? When asked, Gima pauses before she speaks. “You can have 50 people you come across in your life who [don’t understand] you, and who say ‘Band is not cool, and you guys shouldn’t letter, you guys don’t work hard,’” Gima said. “But then, you’re going to have 400 people who think band is awesome. Going through your life having that many people— that many friends— whom I otherwise would not meet at school, that’s what makes it all worth it.”

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Pressure. Doesn’t the word itself just build a little ounce of it? Maybe that’s only me. I have a very love-hate relationship with pressure. In this said relationship, pressure is to me as a mysterious girl is to an ignorant, lovesick boy. I can’t seem to figure “her” out, but I still can’t get enough. Pressure is something I’m comfortable with, something I work most efficiently under (thank you newspaper deadlines for teaching me well), and it is something that I even, to some extent, enjoy. Just as a diamond, the most perfected gem, is created under the pressure of the earth, I can perfect myself better under pressure. But pressure is also something that I am weak to— just one small fissure and I am prone to shattering. And it is that last nudge, that last word, that last straw, which I have become obsessed with understanding. I’m fascinated by the line between tolerable burdens and unbearable weight, which I have witnessed being crossed all too many times. And even more than that, my curiosity delves into the question of whether putting on the pressure will benefit, will end in harder work, in a higher success. Or if it will serve as the tipping point, the last straw, the conclusive blow to a failed attempt. My lacrosse team, which has so much potential that we allow to lay dormant, is a perfect example of my escalating question. Each day at practice we must consecutively complete the alphabet, with each successful pass counting as one letter. For some reason, we struggle with this drill more than almost all others, although it should be effortless for a varsity team. When it gets to the letter ‘W,’ we become fully aware that one slip of the hand, one dropped pass will put the past 22 perfect passes before it to waste. Is that pressure holding us back and forcing us to struggle, or is it more pressure we need to give us greater personal responsibility and intensify our efforts? Maybe it’s more of a trial-and-error process to figuring out the answer, but believe it or not, it was an 11-year-old girl who helped answer my question. Her name is Megan, she is nearly a stranger to me, and she is my eighth reason. Last week I attended an environmental forum where my whole question of pressure really kicked in. Sitting in a room of about 100 people, I listened to the mayor of Solana Beach repeatedly say “Our generation failed so it’s up to you! Its young people like you who we are relying on to make a change!” I quickly realized that I was one of about eight or nine young people sitting in that room. With that realization, her words swiftly transformed in my mind. It became, “Do something, everyone is counting on you, don’t let us down, it’s up to you.” No stranger to pressure, I immediately felt its presence. My thoughts honed in on all the times I’ve failed, all that I could do better and all that I haven’t done. The pressure was not inspiring or encouraging, it was tainting my mind with doubt, with the idea that the weight of the world was (literally) falling onto my shoulders. Then Megan was introduced. The sixth-grader had independently made a commercial of herself pleading for a “no” vote on a proposition that would potentially harm the Earth. After we watched her inspiring video, she stood up before nearly 100 people, including her nine young people and spoke about making a change. This girl had guts, and to quote my idols, Ernest Hemingway, “By guts I mean grace under pressure.” Megan showed me that it was not some different form of pressure or even pressure itself that can change an outcome—it is the way pressure is received. It is up to my team to embrace the pressure and grow from it. It is up to the “young people” of the world to take the pressure and do what past generations couldn’t for the environment. It is up to each person to receive pressure with pride and with courage so that it does not push them over the edge. Megan had received it with grace and with initiative, and reminded me that some of the earth’s most beautiful gems are made under pressure.

Claire Liu

Kaelyn Gima (12) begins warming up by playing several major scales. Gima has been in band since her freshman year.

March 11, 2011



The Nexus




AND I DIDN’T WANT THAT ” -Crystal* (12)

Claire Liu

Student overcomes drug-filled depression, embraces new life Andra Kovacs Final Focus Editor For the first time in five years, Crystal* (12) can sincerely say no. She can sit with the same friends at the same parties as she has countless times before. But for once, she isn’t the one smoking, the one rolling, the one abusing drugs. Since she smoked marijuana for the first time in eighth grade, drugs have shaped much of her life and ultimately was the avenue by which she came to a point of self-discovery. However, this came after years of drugs being a focal point in her everyday life. “[Drugs] weren’t my motivation, but they were more of a focus,” Crystal said. “I was focused on that stuff more than anything else. I would be sitting in class and just waiting to get out and go to the weekend. I lost track of time and what was happening for my life.” Because of the lifestyle she had adopted so early on, for the first years of high school, her life outside of weekends and parties seemed like a waste of time. “Earlier in high school I was really experimental; I wanted to try everything,” Crystal said. “I didn’t care about school or anything else because I was still so immature. I wasn’t obsessed, but I liked doing it, and allowed [drugs] to take away from everything else.” Crystal’s curiosity led her to experiment with xanax bars, mushrooms, ecstasy, Adderall and others until her interest became a habit. “I was smoking [marijuana] probably four or five times a week; I would drink on weekends and try some random drug during the week,” she said. “It was a lot—it was too much. I didn’t need to be doing that.” She had gotten so consumed in drugs that she began to struggle with depression—coming and

going throughout all of high school. Although she that this wasn’t the lifestyle she wanted any longer. said that other factors played a role in her states of She decided to turn her life around. depression, it mostly hinged on her problems with That summer, she and her friends were near drugs and the self-image they created for her, one downtown for the majority of the day, where Cryswhich she simply could not cope with. tal said that not much out of the ordinary happened. In her sophomore year, a new friend revealed However, it was once she was on the car ride home, that she had always seen Crystal as merely a stoner. still tripping, when an epiphany struck. Crystal had never dealt with that sort of reputation “I was sitting in the backseat and I felt really before and said that she didn’t know how to react. trapped,” she said. “None of us were talking, we “I was really surprised, and I didn’t want that were just listening to music, when we were drivname on me,” she said. “That made me really self- ing through Hillcrest. We were stuck in traffic and conscious. Around that time, I was getting even going really slow, and I looked out the window more depressed. I really didn’t want people to judge and saw all the homeless people walking by and me, and I didn’t want ev‘tweakers’ giving each eryone to look at me and other money.” my friends and have those Crystal said that in “I was getting even more dethoughts about us.” that moment, she became Crystal’s spiraling overwhelmed with emopressed. I really didn’t want depression and loss of tion and then knew that self-confidence hit an allpeople to judge me, and I everything would change time low throughout her for her. didn’t want everyone to look sophomore and into her “That moment, seeing junior year. It was at that those people in Hillcrest; at me and my friends and have point that drugs became I’ll never forget that,” she not a focus, but a distracsaid. “I saw the low of the those thoughts about us.” tion. She chose drugs as a low, and I felt even lowremedy. er. That was the moment -Crystal* (12) “I became really seI wanted to not do any cluded, and I felt like I [drugs] ever again.” could resort myself to smoking because it just made Crystal said that even though she was on drugs me relaxed,” she said. “But what I didn’t realize is when she came to this realization, she believes it that it slows everything down so I would end up was fully sincere and helped her come to terms just thinking about everything and being stuck with it even more readily. there, and that just made it all 10 times worse.” “It was scary, and I was just thinking ‘this is so Drugs had become something much more per- bad,’” she said. “I started thinking about my family sonal to Crystal. They were an unyielding curios- and everything and I started crying. It only lasted ity, an escape from her problems and ultimately, a 30 seconds, and I stopped. I realized that this [lifestyle] wasn’t what I wanted. I had seen the low of means to an end. It was in the summer before senior year, when the low, and I didn’t want that.” From that experience, Crystal learned more Crystal was with a group of her closest friends taking mushrooms for her third time, that she decided than she had expected, and gained an entirely new

outlook on her future and was inspired to make a change. She said that before, drugs had come close to consuming her life, and she had been apathetic about her academics and future. This year, she is working two jobs and is fully prepared to take her realization and make something out of her life. “It sounds really corny, but [mushrooms] really changed my views and my priorities,” she said. “Now I do really well in school, I’m getting straight A’s and I don’t really do any of that stuff anymore. I realized I would be stuck here if I went to a community college, and I didn’t want to end up like that. I realized I want to go to a four-year, so my senior year I’m retaking all the classes I got bad grades in because I had a really bad GPA. It gave me a lot of confidence; I used to think I wasn’t smart, but now I realize it was because I wasn’t trying.” Although Crystal said that her friends had never made her feel pressured and were supportive of her change in mindset, many of them still occassionally involve themselves in drugs and partying. Crystal said that she still goes out and has fun with her friends, but is now confident enough to have fun while staying sober. “If I go to my friend’s house where they’re doing that stuff, I just don’t do it; I just say no,” she said. “Now I just don’t have that same desire.” Crystal said that while much of her high school life was shaded by drugs, she is grateful for the experiences she has had and believes that without that influence, she would not be the person she is proud to be today. “Going through phases with drugs really made me realize what I want to get out of life and what I don’t want to end up as, and it made me want to do things and achieve as much as possible,” she said. “I’ve had fun experiences, and those are memories I’ll remember forever, but now I know I want to get more out of life.” *Name has been changed

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Editors in Chief Yoojin Kim* Melissa Truong* Managing Editor Devon Bohart News Editor Katelyn Hennes* Opinions Editor Derek Dyer* Features Editor Anna Buckley Sports Editor Dominic Lucisano Final Focus Editor Andra Kovacs* Photo Editor Andrew Fan Graphics Editor George Jeng Artist Ashlee Mednick Photographers Mary Kang Claire Liu Madi Woodward Staff Writers Drew Bohart Justin Cordua* Marc Finn Joanna Jaroszewska Grace Jeng Jessica Kim Susan Nguyen Chelsea Park Deeksha Phadnis Amanda Shewry Michelle Song Linnea Whitney Paulina Wroblewska* Edward Xiao* Adviser Jeff Wenger Assistant Adviser Jim Jennings *Member of Editorial Board

Staff Editorial

CSF nothing more than glorified back-patting service for Westview If you have ever been enrolled as a student at Westview, college paranoia in some form or another has probably kicked in. This paranoia is legitimate; committing to one school that will play such a huge role in shaping the future should create quite a bit of anxiety. However, this legitimate fear is being exploited. Worst of all, it is being exploited in an area where we have let our guard down: It is being slipped silently to us through our own school. Although the numbers fluctuate by semester, the California Scholarship Federation (CSF) has more than 500 current members in its database at Westview and receives an average of 350 applicants per term. This is a shame. Even though CSF is a valid organization that recognizes scholarly attributes in students, it plays off students’ fears of not getting into college and leads them into paying to be a member of�������������������������������������������� an organization that is completely unnecessary. Unlike what the majority of students believe, the “Scholarship Federation” is not designed to help students receive scholarships. On the contrary, it is an organization designed to praise students for their good grades. While recognizing students for receiving high grades is a good thing, these accolades come at a price. By the end of their senior year����������� ,���������� many students will have paid $60 to be 100-percent life members of CSF, and for what? A banquet at the end of the year? Although these students believe that being in CSF will help them get into college, what they are really paying for is a glorified pat on the back that comes in the form of the gold cord and other small accolades given to CSF members at graduation. Although nationally accredited, this organization holds little sway with colleges. It is only slightly more than fluff to fill space on college applications. In essence, CSF is a filler to say that you paid to be in an organization that recognizes the grades you already earned. Although CSF at Westview has recently improved through offering optional community service opportunities, up until this point, CSF has held little meaning other than long lines at lunch to buy a $10 card that you have to fill in your own name on. Students should save themselves the time and money of applying for CSF and instead focus their energy on things that will actually help them to get into college. A pat on the back is not worth $60.

The Nexus

March 11, 2011

The Nexus

Elementary schools flunk U.S. history Derek Dyer Opinions Editor

If there’s one thing you can count on every elementary school student in America knowing, it’s the name of Columbus’s three ships: The Niña, The Pinta and the Santa Maria. This seems a bit superfluous at first, but hey, you have to start somewhere when it comes to building the foundations for learning history. Unfortunately, however, in this case, superfluity is the least of our concerns. A persisting trend that often goes unnoticed is the deliberate revising of history taught to U.S. children. What teenager doesn’t remember the days when his or her class dressed up like Pilgrims and Indians and sat down for a reenactment of the First Thanksgiving? The elementary school version of European-North American contact is a story that doesn’t just stress the good times, but deliberately whitewashes over the not-sogood ones. This all sounds fine and dandy when it comes to teaching children the importance of accepting cultural diversity, but this lesson is misleading; Pilgrims and Indians were generally hostile toward one another, and peaceful relationships generally short-lived. If we as a nation have decided that young children aren’t ready to face the truth about this chapter of history, which in reality consisted of devastating diseases, years of bloody warfare and blatant exploitation of natives, then we shouldn’t be teaching about this topic at all. Skipping over the PG-13 moments in history would be far less counterproductive than purposely rewriting them. The way history is taught now, students spend years learning a glossed-over version of what actually happened. And it doesn’t end with early Indian relations; elementary schools teach a number of misleading lessons about the past, including the oversimplification of the American Revolution. King George III was a lot of things, but to

and a triumph against all odds. There’s no need for elementary level classes to gloss over the truth about our nation’s past. There are plenty of real examples that showcase what a great nation the United States is; inventing artificial examples is unnecessary. Rather than teach things one way in elementary school and another way in high school, our education system should be consistent. If learning the truth about Native American relations is too much for young children to handle, then we should wait until high school to cover that topic. Likewise, idealizing the American Revolution is a poor way to instill patriotism into students. The story of American history, while not always flattering or politically correct, is rich with insight into human nature and our national identity. It’s a shame that we’ve been willing to give that up in exchange for a feel-good version that tells young students little about this nation’s true past.

Westboro decision a victory for free speech Derek Dyer Opinions Editor It’s not every day the Supreme Court sides with the rights of a hate group; especially one that revolves around the catchphrase “God hates fags.” But in their recent decision on the controversial case Snyder v. Phelps, the majority of the justices defended the Westboro Baptist Church’s right to protest at the funerals of recently deceased American soldiers. Naturally, this decision has wrought a significant amount of outrage amongst the American populace. The emotional appeal of a family grieving over the death of their son quickly propelled the case to the forefront of national attention. That being said, the Supreme Court still made the right choice in siding with the church. The right to free speech is arguably the most sacred and fundamental clause of the U.S. Constitution. And as with most universal

rights, it comes with a price. In have been unpopular at first, but guaranteeing that all Americans their right to protest openly alhave the right to openly speak lowed them to gain the ground their minds, we invite the open ex- they needed to bring about legislachange of all types of ideas, even tive action. the ones we deem as hateful, diviThat being said, most Amerisive or just plain crazy. In defend- cans would agree that the message ing free speech, we are obliged to preached by the Westboro Baptreat all forms tist Church of expression isn’t nearly as equal, from as construcIn defending free speech, the most hearttive as that warming to the of civil rights we are obliged to treat most shocking activists. But all forms of expression as of ideologies. therein lies the The protecpoint of the equal. tion of controfree speech versial speech clause: freeis essential to dom of speech the process by which social and po- is guaranteed to be protected litical issues are brought to light. equally, regardless of the specific Had the civil rights activists message in question. in the South during the 1950s been If we were to treat hate speech forced to give up their protests, the differently, we’d be picking and movement would have capitulated choosing which messages the First to the majority viewpoint at the Amendment protects, thus making time: that blacks were inferior to the amendment conditional rather their white counterparts. than absolute. The protestors’ opinions may It is universally recognized

that picketing at a funeral is incredibly disrespectful. The Snyders have every right to be offended by the church’s actions. But in ruling on this case, the Supreme Court was forced to choose between two evils. On one hand, they could have ruled to allow a hate group to inflict emotional distress on a grieving family. On the other hand, they could have made an exception to Westboro’s Constitutional rights, inviting courts to make similar concessions in the future. It is truly a shame that the Snyders had to go through what they did, and they deserve the widespread public support they’ve been receiving. But to deem the Westboro Baptist Church’s actions as downright illegal would be to treat the Constitution like a set of guidelines rather than a set of rules. And the sanctity of our Constitutional rights is something that, no matter the controversy regarding the speech, should always take precedence.

GOP attempts to axe necessary abortion procedures Marc Finn Staff Writer Apologies to Charles Schultz, but happiness is not a warm puppy. Happiness is security, the knowledge that in a time of crisis, we can be taken care of. Much like Linus with his security blanket, Americans have had their hospitals to provide care in times of need. But the GOP plans to take that security blanket away for a lot of unsuspecting women. It’s the Great Abortion Attack, Charlie Brown. Two weeks ago, the House of Representatives approved a series of House bills that, among other things, is an attempt to keep the deficit from increasing more than it already has. One of the bills, introduced by Representative Joe Pitts, advocates allowing federal hospitals the right to refuse to terminate a pregnancy even when necessary to save a woman’s life. The other bill, the Pence Amendment, continues the attack on programs like Planned Parenthood. Currently, a pregnant woman who is in a life-threatening situation cannot be turned away by a hospital. But by order of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, hospitals are still obligated to provide emergency treatment in life-threatening situations.

Reality Check

Mission Statement

The Nexus is an open forum for student expression that aims to provide information to the public, following standards of accuracy, truthfulness, ethics and professionalism. The Nexus aspires to be a source of news, opinions and entertainment for its readers while showing enthusiasm in depth and coverage. In reporting information, writers strive for impartiality by presenting multiple viewpoints on issues. When opinions of an individual are expressed, they are labeled accordingly. Members of the editorial board write and select the staff editorial. The Nexus is published by Journalism 2 students, and as the official student newspaper of Westview High School, it strives to maintain the open flow of communication fostered at school. All editorial decisions are made by members of staff, with the guidance of adviser Jeff Wenger. The opinions published in The Nexus do not necessarily represent those of the Westview administration, Westview staff or the PUSD school board. Letters to the editor must be signed, as they represent the opinion of the individual. The editors select submissions for print based on relevancy to readers, and they may be edited for space or content reasons.

call him a tyrannical, all-powerful despot is a bit of a stretch. The reason the colonists were being taxed was because Britain had defended the colonies during the French and Indian War; as far as British colonies go, the colonists were treated relatively well. Now don’t get me wrong; the American revolutionaries were justified in their grievances, which include the lack of Parliamentary representation held by colonists at the time. But to dumb down the American Revolution by placing the blame squarely on the “evil tyrant” King George, elementary schools miss one of the fundamental points to history: that there are two sides to every story. Over-glorifying the revolutionaries serves only to dehumanize them, and viewing this moment in history as a cut-and-dried triumph of good over evil plays into children’s’ expectations of a fairytale-esque story consisting of a simplified conflict (in this case, the presence of an evil tyrant), a group of flawless protagonists,


But if Pitts’ new bill passes, that sacred obligation to save lives will be suspended for moral reasons. When it all comes down to it, a hospital now would have the choice to defy its duty to the American people. By turning away someone in dire need of medical attention, hospitals have forsaken their duty to serve the population. Supporters say the provision is intended to protect doctors who oppose abortion from government “discrimination.” Apparently, some believe that hospitals are being cruel to their employees. This is not cruelty, this is a duty. But that’s not all the GOP has set out to do. For the few programs that do assist women with abortions, it’s curtains for them. The new Pence Amendment, supported by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, eliminates “any and all” federal funding to the Planned Parenthood abortion healthcare provider and its affiliates. Representative Mike Pence, the author of the amendment, said that it was morally wrong to take the taxpayer dollars of millions of prolife Americans and use it to fund organizations that provide and promote abortion. Ironically though, Planned Parenthood can actually lower the abortion rates in this country by helping families avoid unplanned pregnancies. Programs like these offer counseling ser-

by Ashlee Mednick

Planned Parenthood Services Over 800 nation-wide locations Provides educational programs for over 1.2 million people Over 4 million U.S. activitists, supporters, and donors Sidebar by Marc Finn and George Jeng

vices and birth control to the American people that can help curb the abortion rates. Those “millions of pro-life Americans” may not approve of abortions, but when the lives of living, breathing people are at stake, the argument changes significantly. While there are incredibly contrary opinions concerning abortions, bringing morality into life threatening situations is unjust. Not all of America pays for their own abortions or wants to, but if lives could be saved by performing the emergency procedures, then personal choices must be set aside.These bills take away not only not only the ability to save lives, but also the right to security in our hospitals.

9 Closing the GATE on gifted classes

March 11, 2011


The Nexus

Praise or Folly

Devon Bohart Managing Editor

To whoever put the “Shake well before use” sticker above the toilet in boys bathroom next to the L building: I think you’re doing it wrong. -Justin Cordua

Oh, man, it’s scary in this dark, locked classroom. I wish I knew exactly what this procedure was called, and whether or not this is a legitimate crisis or just a drill. If only someone could tell me all of this over and over again. -Ashlee Mednick

New incentive to give blood; you might meet Edward Cullen. -Devon Bohart

I would like to thank people for reducing their usage of the “R” word and saying things like “lame” instead. Crippled people have great senses of humor. -Marc Finn

Dear senior with your fancy Cotijas carne asada fries: Sure, I may be jealous right now, but you’re the one consuming loads of calories and draining your bank account. I’ll stick to my PB&J. -Anna Buckley

I used to be really disappointed when I had tickets left over after Club Rush. That is, until I realized that the coupons on the back are worth more than anything I could have bought. -Jessica Kim

To all the people too scared of needles, way to go! I am so glad that teenagers have finally given up trying to prove that they are not selfish by donating blood. -Katelyn Hennes

To submit a Praise or Folly, log onto our website at www.wvnexus. com or drop your submission off in room L-104. Include your name, grade level or job title and phone number. The Nexus will decide which submissions to print based on quality of writing and value to readers. They may be edited for space or content reasons.

Money for school supplies: gone. Summer school: cut. Athletic funding: little to none. And now, elementary and middle schools are next, as their Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program is being targeted as the next thing to lose to budget cuts. High schools provide Advanced Placement classes in order to set apart those students who are looking for the next level in their education to continue to boost their learning. In elementary and middle schools, the GATE program acts as the challenge to help set up students for the rigor of AP and honor classes. But this opportunity, one that allows for all students to be challenged, is being taken away. Due to the cuts in education, the GATE program, offered at various elementary and middle schools across the nation, is being deemed too great a luxury to continue to support, as funding for this and other programs such as summer school and adult education has been reduced in PUSD from $254,820 in 2008-2009 to only $72,000 this year. In Poway Unified, the GATE program was cut altogether from all of the schools within the district, but with the help of other financial means, it has been able to stay afloat for the past three years. Mesa Verde, in particular, uses funds from other programs, such as extra classroom supplies or field trips, to cover the costs of GATE training for teachers said Principal Cliff Mitchell. “Because we don’t have money anymore, teachers are not receiving training from the schools,” he said. “We really just are using what we had previously, and relying on prior trainings.” The GATE program has remained a priority because it creates an alternative learning style for more intellectually advanced students, one that is more challenging that helps further success in the classroom for all students. Having this opportunity available is vital to the educa-

tion experience because when taking a class that is too easy for a student’s learning level, it becomes difficult to see academic improvement. By not providing a challenge for every student, many would lose interest in school or fail to gain a strong work ethic. It is understandable that cuts need to be made, but cutting something that helps students on a more personal level by giving them different types of opportunities to promote success is a shame. Students should be given as many opportunities as possible, and with the increase in the ratio of students to teachers and the decrease in other programs, GATE should not be sacrificed as well. America strives to surpass other nations academically, following closely behind India and China with their rigorous educational programs. By cutting a program that helps to match that of other great countries seems counterproductive to the nation’s goal. Keeping a program that adds a greater challenge for those more advanced students only improves their educational opportunities and will lead to a much closer competitive gap between other developed nations; this is an ambition that we want to uphold, which can be done by protecting GATE. Another repercussion to the erasure of the GATE program is the fact that students will not be prepared for the intensity of the learning presented in high schools’

AP environment. Students will underestimate the difficulties of these courses, and without preparation from their lower levels of education, they will be unable to take on the challenges of the course. By keeping the GATE program intact, students will progressively be capable of conquering tougher and tougher curricula until they reach the AP level. GATE classes, being analogous to honors and AP classes in primary schools, prep students for the challenges of advanced courses available in high school, thus offering a much-needed stepping stone to their futures. PUSD has worked hard to not lose the program to financial hardship because the program creates equality; it gives all students the equal challenge in their learning environment. While budget cuts have taken away various other programs to complement students’ learning, GATE ought to be spared for those students preparing for tougher high school classes and for those students who are more academically inclined. Without the ability to challenge every student through the use of GATE, many students will not be challenged, will lose interest in their education and will not be prepared for Advanced Placement courses. Across the nation, students will slowly watch their number of learning opportunities drop, as the GATE option is slowly taken off of the table.

Politician incompetence necessitates action Derek Dyer Opinions Editor The Founding Fathers were crusading abolitionists who worked tirelessly to put an end to slavery. Just ask Michele Bachmann. According to Bachmann, who serves in Congress as a representative from Minnesota, the end of slavery was of prime concern for the drafters of the Constitution. Never mind the fact that they wrote a provision that considered slaves to be three-fifths of a person. Or that many of them, including front man George Washington, owned quite a few slaves. Or that Jefferson even impregnated one. If that kind of knowledge was important, we’d probably learn it in high school. While Bachmann’s embarrassing comments about our forefathers were a comedic hit on YouTube, they reveal a much more serious issue: Do the men and women serving at the highest levels of our government really possess the proper knowledge

base required to run the country? the nation’s history, the political Based on Bachmann’s track re- process and especially the U.S. cord (which also includes claim- Constitution. ing that Obama’s recent trip to Failing to know any of the India would cost taxpayers $200 27 amendments is, for a senator, million a day; claims that Ander- inexcusable. The same goes for son Cooper quickly debunked), being unaware of the fact that the answer, in many cases, is a re- the Founding Fathers, visionarsounding no. ies that they were, were far from An incredible number of high- perfect. level U.S. politicians are grossly What this country needs is uninformed. an entrance exam Bachmann isn’t for all top-level alone; former politicians. What this country Senator ChrisMillions of really needs is an tine O’Donnell, Americans have when asked if to take a test to entrance exam for all she would supenter their protop-level politicians. port the repeal fession; lawyers of the Fourteenth have the BAR and Sixteenth Exam, realtors Amendments, have the Califorcould not recall what either of nia Real Estate Principles Exam them were. (or other state equivalents) and Coming from a U.S. Senator, aspiring doctors can’t even bethat’s rather appalling. gin medical school without first In order for politicians to passing the MCAT. If we hold so successfully carry out their jobs, many other Americans to certain it’s imperative that they have the uniform standards in order to ennecessary knowledge base to un- ter their profession, why is it that derstand the country they run. politicians don’t have similar reThis means being informed on quirements?

Comments like Bachmann’s and O’Donnell’s are frightening reminders that, left to their own devices, members of the American public are perfectly willing to elect representatives who lack the basic qualifications to perform their duties. Requiring the completion of a short exam to run for office would quickly solve this problem. Such an exam wouldn’t call for an excessive amount of political or historical knowledge from potential candidates; simply a basic understanding of the fundamental information necessary to effectively work in the political arena. It doesn’t sound like much, but it would filter out people like Bachmann and O’Donnell, who clearly aren’t qualified to wield the amount of power that they hold. Or, at the very least, it would force them to learn the relevant material before running. It’s time for us to test whether or not politicians are truly ready to have the power that they seek. After all, they’ve been testing our patience with their habitual incompetence for years.

Education deserves immunity from cuts Justin Cordua Staff Writer

Chelsea Park

The government budget in California has been steadily declining in the past few years. While not anyone’s fault in particular, this decline has delivered a blow to every government system. According to the official governor’s budget, it’s happening again. The official 2011-2012 Governor’s Budget Summary states that “Specifically, [the Governor’s Budget] proposes significant reforms to state and local programs, substantial reductions to state operations and spending cuts across all service areas.” Perhaps Governor Jerry Brown is thinking that, seeing as a reduced budget is not the fault of any California government systems, all areas should take significant cuts. This is understandable; all of the governmentrun systems do important work, so there’s no obvious place to make heavy cuts, and giving preference to one is a hard sell for any political figure. However, if Governor Brown eases up on cutting the educational system, it would be justified; government budget cuts are picking away at the California educational system, and the cracks these cuts have created are becoming fissures. Some disagree with this, and arguments attempting to justify slashing the education budget exist. Most notably, naysayers insist that because education takes up the largest percentage of the budget (29.6 percent for K-12 and 8.3 percent for higher education), it must shoulder cuts that are as heavy proportionally as cuts to other systems. This argument is based on the fact that education is the most costly system. This is true, but considering all of the schools that educate over six million K-12 students and over three million higher education students in California, these expenditures are

reasonable; running enough schools to educate that number of students isn’t cheap. Statistics show that those who receive a proper education are generally more successful than those who do not. A recent report from the U.S Census Bureau estimates that a college master’s degree is worth about $1.3 million more in lifetime earnings than a high school diploma. Also, in 1999, the average annual salary of a high school dropout in the U.S. was $18,900, compared to the average annual salary of a college graduate, which was $45,400. Not only does education provide us with tools to live a more successful life, but it also indirectly benefits the other government systems. Perhaps the corrections system here in California wouldn’t need as much money if some in our prisons had received a proper education. Some argue that since teachers work part-time jobs, they don’t deserve the pay that they get. One can tell, simply by looking at the teachers here at Westview, that this argument has no basis whatsoever. While teachers do get to leave the school at 3:10 p.m. if they choose, many opt to stay after school to help students, and many come in early. Not only that, but when they finally get home, most use a great deal of time to read essays, plan lessons and correct tests and homework. Their work extends far beyond the hours they are in class. Elementary and middle school teachers, while they most likely have an easier time grading student work, have an equally daunting challenge, trying to control a group of 30 or so boisterous children. Not only that, but they have to coax these kids into learning. Imagine having 30 kids, and acting as their educator, police officer, garbage collector and role model, and you’re close to getting the idea. To suggest that

working as a teacher is a part-time job or “easy” is, to be frank, narrow-minded. Without proper funding for education, class sizes will inflate, causing students to become victims of a maze of chairs and bodies, thus making getting up to use the restroom more difficult than the class itself. Students will stay after class for extra help from their teacher and find themselves stuck waiting in a long line of their anxious peers. Inadequate class materials will be a nuisance in the classroom, and will frustrate teachers and students alike. Countless students will find themselves rejects from classes that they really wanted to take because popular classes will fill up so quickly thanks to a shortage of teachers. Teachers will lose their drive to go above and beyond the call of duty due to drastic reductions in teacher salaries. The list goes on and on. Preserving higher education is just as important as protecting K-12 education. Higher education is the victim of this year’s proposed budget cuts. While one could make a case for higher education cuts being better for California than cuts to K-12 education, I am of the mind that both are equally unfavorable. College allows students to discover exactly what they want to do with their life, and provides them with the tools necessary for whichever career they choose to pursue. If higher education continues to take cuts, tuition fees will skyrocket, and the number of scholarships being given out will decrease, effectively excluding students from lower- and even some middleclass families from attending college. If education in California continues to lose large portions of government funding, the quality is going to suffer. Up until now, California schools have enacted changes that, thankfully, the education system has been able to adapt to. But it won’t last.



The Nexus

Just For Laughs

Dr. Pepper 10: a soda for the manly men

Classes need not be restricted by grades Edward Xiao Staff Writer

Marc Finn Staff Writer Gentlemen, shame on you. Feel the embarrassment when you take a drink of that wimpy Diet Coke. Don’t think you can be the man of the house with that mere medium-sized hamburger in your increasingly metrosexual palm? Do you feel isolated in a sea of brand-name products too commonly associated with double-X chromosomes? Don’t you think it’s about time that men have a consumable product made for dudes only? Well it’s a good thing that the makers of Dr. Pepper finally know how you feel. With their new, in-the-works Dr. Pepper 10, men can have a soft drink with all the “health benefits” (as the sissy dieticians put it) of a regular diet soda, but with a bazillion times more testosterone. Now you can enjoy the sweet Dr. Pepper taste with the knowledge that women will never touch this manly diet soda. What makes it unique and only for men? It explicitly says “no women” written on it. Score one for masculinity. Personally, I think it’s about time, Dr. Pepper. Who wants to keep drinking sodas with ambiguous white labels that don’t reflect who drinks it? Some products have taken the right step. With Mountain Dew’s various campaigns, I’m confident that only snowboarders and flanneldonning “XTREME” athletes should be downing a bottle of that stuff. Other products like “Bawls” energy drink suggest through brand name alone that those without male genitalia shouldn’t so much as glance in their direction. But neither of these products have gone to the lengths that Dr. Pepper has gone to make a soda only for guys. See, the thing is, I’m still just not quite sure that those products are specifically engineered for guys only. I need to be positive about my drinks. So ladies and gentlemen (actually, just gentlemen), I would personally like to thank Dr. Pepper for making sure that men must no longer be embarrassed by drinking a diet soda. By proudly announcing their “bold new calorie taste” on the label and creating hysterical action movie-themed commercials that a go-getter suburbanite like myself can understand, I know exactly who will be drinking this incredibly revolutionary soda that, again, is completely unique. How exactly is it unique? Two words: testosterone and Chuck Norris. If that doesn’t get you pumped for this diet soda, then go back to reading your Cosmo. Don’t believe me? Just try it out! Mmm… you feel it? Feel those testosterone levels rising? Feel those sideburns growing? Dr. Pepper 10 just makes you feel manlier. There’s no doubt that only men would dare to venture to the cash register with a pack of this stuff in hand. If only men could have this satisfaction with the rest of their diet. Hey, why not? If women have nutrition bars, energy drinks, soy foods and even energy “shots” that benefit their health. There’s no conceivable reason why there shouldn’t be a separate “guys only” food pyramid. It’ll be like a regular food pyramid but with brawny forearms and chest hair. Men could have manlier broccoli, manlier beets and even manlier bread. We could rank all consumables on a manliness scale, from yogurt and soy milk to beef jerky and raw elephant seal blubber. Our grocery store aisle would be flanked by armed guards and have pictures of bikini-clad supermodels on the floor. And the ceiling. And the walls. And pretty much everywhere. Women can go about their business in the other aisles, which can have special discounts for their favorite products. Like kitchen supplies. And more kitchen supplies. And maybe some toys for the kids. Personally, I think we can all agree that the world is far better off with clearly defined sexuality lines among consumer goods like soda. It keeps women - er - people in their rightful place. Perhaps there could be legislation against the sale of “dudes only” products to women. After all, we wouldn’t want them messing with our completely different and totally unique food products that are only for us. I for one would be totally fine with driving down to the voting booth if it keeps my products from getting metaphorically castrated. We don’t need legislation for selling women’s products to guys though, because everyone knows that the man of the house is the one who gets food for the family. Women (for obvious reasons) shouldn’t deserve this privilege. I mean, after all, it was Eve who first screwed up with handling apples in Eden; who’s to say neighbor Evelyn won’t screw up handling the Heinekens and Buds in aisle five? Chicks just simply can’t be trusted with this kind of thing. Unless it’s Sarah Palin. Heck, any woman who can regularly shoot wolves from a helicopter can have my Dr. Pepper 10 any day of the week. Dr. Pepper is one doctor who should be applauded for creating a healthy soda that men won’t feel sissy while drinking it with their hunks of raw hippopotamus flesh. By following their example, men can reassert themselves as the dominant tribe in the consumer product jungle.

March 11, 2011

I can fit into those hats!

In terms of class scheduling, Westview is sort of the black sheep of the PUSD district. When the 4x4 system was originally devised years ago, it was made to give students greater flexibility in picking classes and more opportunities to accelerate their academic progress. Nine years later, however, the 4x4 system has found itself unable to fulfill its original promises because it’s bogged down by unnecessary district restrictions— restrictions that should be lifted. Across PUSD, board policies designate that certain courses be taken in certain grades. For instance, British Literature can only be taken as a senior (unless you’re an early graduate) and U.S. History is a juniors-only class. While that may strike some as an odd rule, what’s even stranger is the fact that while courses in the humanities tend to be offered to students in specific grade-levels, math and science courses are completely free of such restrictions. A freshman could, if he chose to, take AP Calculus BC and Physics C; it has been done before. However, if that same freshman wanted to take Honors Humanities or AP Government, he would be told that those classes weren’t for freshmen. In this respect, the standards are unfair and overly restrictive. It makes less sense to apply limiting factors to the history and English classes, which have no prerequisites, than to the maths and sciences, which oftentimes require students to take preliminary courses before advancing to the next class. These policies, which are derived from UC requirements, also prevent some students from accelerating their educations. Those who are proficient in language arts, for example, cannot accelerate their progress in those fields because the standards prevent them from doing so. Conversely, those who are exceptional in the sciences can take many science classes in one year because the limits do not apply to those courses. This makes the system unfairly weighted, shifting the curriculum’s focus from a balanced education to one centered on math and

science. In order to make things fairer, such standards should be lifted. The restrictions also seem pointless because there is no way to determine whether or not a student is better prepared for, say, AP European History or AP World History. Yet APEH is taken by sophomores, while AP World is for seniors. Between the two classes, other than course content, there’s little difference except that AP World is linked with World Literature 1-2, another seniorsonly class. But even then, who’s to say that only seniors are ready for World Lit? With history and English classes, the comparable difficulty levels become blurred because one class’s content is independent from the other’s. On the other hand, Algebra 3-4, for example, requires Algebra 1-2 knowledge. One certainly doesn’t have to take European History to take World History, and vice versa. In general, the knowledge of previous math and science classes is far more applicable to future math and science classes than previous history knowledge is to future history classes. Since that’s the case, it hardly seems reasonable that restrictions should apply to the classes that don’t have prerequisites as opposed to the ones that do have them. It could be argued that these restrictions are in effect because history and English classes have more open-ended, thought-provoking discussions and, as a result, require more mature students to tackle more mature topics. However, the fact of the matter is that people select classes based on how ready they think they are. Only students who are interested and are ready to tackle the course material in, say, World History, would take the class. The age matters not in this scenario; as long as the students are interested and willing to contribute to the class, then age should be of no concern. Winston Churchill once said, “There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction.” Removing the current restriction on when one can take a class is a step in the right direction. No harm will be caused in allowing students to stretch their academic limbs. In fact, doing so will be fulfilling the original purpose of Westview’s 4x4 schedule.

Recognize the men who fight for cleanliness Amanda Shewry Staff Writer As the famous Westview sign goes, “If the school isn’t clean, the seagulls get mean.” Guess who has to fight off those squawking, swooping scavengers? The six members of our hard-working custodial staff do. Just six bodies to battle the hoards of hungry birds every day after the bell signals the end of lunch. Every day, the custodians must brave the danger zone right underneath the flock that is ever ready to drop a bomb right on someone’s head as the birds circle around lunch spots that students have staked claims at. This is all in the name of keeping us students, who rarely even stop to talk to the custodians, healthy and able to thrive in a clean learning environment. The budget cuts didn’t just affect the teachers we do have to talk to every day; they affected the custodial staff as well, maybe even more. Students go home and complain about cleaning their rooms, a small square of space, less than the size of even

one classroom. The custodians, however, are in charge of keeping the entire campus, 50+ rooms, fit to be seen. Now, think of how we’ve been repaying them. Just think of all the times you’ve seen an empty bag of chips left on the ground become yet another scrap of trash in the garbage wasteland students transform the quad into during lunch. Think of when you walk by a hooligan who, thinking he’s the funny man on campus, throws an apple core at his buddy and leaves it there to rot to the point where even the seagulls pass it by. We are incredibly lucky in that we can trust the dedicated custodians to come in and save us from the pig sty we have created for ourselves. The custodians deserve just as much attention as a teacher who spends extra hours in the classroom. They have spent so many extra hours and work trying to fill the gaps the budget caused. They should be praised for facing the onslaught of trash left by the careless student body and keeping our school clean. Some classes have begun to help the custodial

staff manage the load by picking up trash in the quad during SSR, but that shouldn’t be necessary. All it takes is a little extra work on the part of each and every student to make the lives of our hardworking custodians a little easier. Our custodians go above and beyond their job descriptions, doing the dirtiest work in return for little to no recognition from the people they pick up after. They fulfill, and far surpass, the call of duty every day; if they didn’t commit to keeping things as clean, the school just wouldn’t look as good as it does. And with only six of them, it’s got to be pretty hard to maintain the cleanliness we’ve come to expect of our campus. But, they strive to reach our expectations and when we come to school in the mornings to a perfectly clean quad, you know these six men are the ones who deserve the thanks. So the next time you’re walking by those steps covered in trash on the way to third period, think of those six awesome people coming to clean it up, and help them out by walking the two feet to a trash can and throwing away your garbage.

Political correctness unnecessary in private setting, detrimental to bonding with friends Justin Cordua Staff Writer If you heard some of the things I say when I’m with my close friends, I doubt you’d like me. In fact, you’d probably hate me. What can I say; when I’m with the guys, my “political correctness” filter just switches right off. Considering that the U.S. is a nation of so many diverse groups of people, it is understandable that we value political correctness. This determination to be politically correct shows itself almost every day, whether it be the media jumping on Kanye West’s most recent insensitive tweet, or campaigns such as “Spread the Word to End the Word,” which asks us to stop using the derogatory “Rword.” This barrier of political correctness protects a lot of people from emotional damage. But, as I have said, when it’s just my friends and me, my concern with being politically correct disappears, and I make jokes and say things that, by the standards of our society, are very politically incorrect. I suspect I can’t be the only one; letting down one’s guard and speaking more crudely among friends is simply human, and offers us a much needed break from the grim seriousness of everyday life. My close friends are hardly bothered by my insensitive humor. If I make vulgar and generally insensitive jokes, my friends all laugh, and life goes on. They know that I don’t

mean anything by it, and choose to While it’s true that generally, enjoy the humor rather than obsess there’s no hate behind this insensiover the crude nature of the joke. tive sort of humor among pals, the However, I know a girl who nev- fact remains that nobody likes to be er laughs if any of my jokes contain made fun of. If someone hears a joke even the slightest hint of insensitiv- that is insensitive to something that ity or vulgarity. When I ask her why, pertains to or affects them, they will her answer is always the same. She be hurt, whether it’s meant to be hateasks me how I think someone of the ful or not. race, or the religion, or the situation But that’s just it. When these the joke describes would feel if they vulgar, insensitive things are said heard me say that. amongst friends, the speaker is conAnd I always feel like a jerk. fident that they’ll never reach the After all, I’m just a skinny white ears of anyone they could truly hurt. kid from subThink of it like urbia. I’ve the old saying: never known if a tree falls hunger or in a forest, Is there really any malice in down poverty or and nobody is discriminaaround to hear it telling a joke that you are tion. I’ve nevfall, does it really confident will never offend er been persemake a sound? cuted because It seems that or hurt anyone? of my relithis saying degion or race. fines the very So who am I fine line drawn to say these when it comes to crude things that are good for a laugh, political correctness: are the offensive but represent more pain and struggle words public or not? If the insensithan I could ever imagine? Who am I tive comment is public, then it has the to laugh at a joke about a fat person power to hurt. when I’ve never had a problem with For example, a religious quote my weight? on a poster might not be a big deal to But then I think a little further. you or me. But what does that postMost of us don’t tell insensitive jokes er mean to someone who came here because we’re hateful; we tell them from another country, fleeing relibecause, in all honesty, they’re funny. gious persecution? Unless our voices If insensitive, dark humor weren’t are the lone tree falling in the forest, funny, shows like Family Guy and they have an audience, and what we South Park wouldn’t be as popular as need to be aware of is that this audience may be affected by our words. they are. Dark comedy is just funny.

When insensitivity is made public, there’s no guaranteeing who is going to see it, nor is there a guarantee that they will understand that its intent is not malicious. But among friends, one can be positive that nobody will be offended. Is there really any malice in telling a joke that you are confident will never offend or hurt anyone? I’m not trying to justify the insensitive crap that we say with our pals. However, I honestly don’t believe that what people say to their friends in jest, no matter how insensitive or vulgar, is at all representative of the person they are. They, like so many others, are just hoping for a laugh, and whatever they’re saying is being said in full awareness that it will never reach the ears of someone it could truly hurt. So, perhaps we don’t need to feel too guilty about what we say among our closest friends. Besides, there is something sacred about the idiotic, vulgar, and often insensitive banter that goes on between good friends. It creates an odd sort of bond, by affirming that everyone in the group is comfortable speaking freely around one another. To censor our words for the sake of someone they will never affect would only degrade that experience. Everybody could use an escape from everyday life, where in a public setting, they are expected to censor themselves, and while this particular method of escape may not be pretty, it certainly isn’t hurting anyone.

March 11, 2011


The Nexus

A Season of Champions

This is the most successful sports season Westview has seen in its nine years of superb athletes and phenomenal teams. This one stands out because three of our teams have claimed the CIF champion title. In a span of four days, roller hockey, girls soccer and girls basketball were crowned champions. First, roller hockey achieved a three-peat, winning three titles in a row. Then girls basketball capitalized on their third trip to Jenny Craig Arena and brought home the championship trophy. And girls soccer dominated the finals. This winter season was one for the record books.

Lady wolverines reach their season-long goal Anna Buckley Features Editor For girls basketball players Melissa Peng (12) and Taylor Suggs (12), this was their third time playing in the CIF Finals, and their second time battling Mt. Carmel for the title. But what was different this time was that when the final buzzer sounded and the game was over, the Wolverines walked away as CIF Champions on March 4, with a final score of 50-44. “Freshman year I watched as we played MC but we lost, and I just remember hoping after that game that we would get to play them again for the title before I left,” Suggs said. “So when we found out we were playing them for the title this year, I was overjoyed. Being a senior, it was like things were finally coming full circle in my basketball career at Westview. It was time for the rematch I had been waiting for for four years.” Excitement. Joy. Happiness. All were feelings that Peng experienced after she and her team accomplished their main goal for their entire season: Win CIFs. “That was what we shot for at the beginning of the year,” coach Bob McHeffey said. “I said, ‘I don’t care about league, we’ve won league, we need to win CIF.’ We played to get to this one game.” Going in to the final game, McHeffey said that they prepared the same way they had the last time they played MC. “We did not prepare any differently than the last time we played them, because we beat them last time,” he said. Peng said that because they went in to the game knowing how the other team would play, and so they had a pretty good sense of what they needed to accomplish in order to secure their first CIF title. “We knew what they were going to do,” Peng said. “We’ve played them three times this year al-

Win 50-44

Andrew Fan

Elizabeth Smith Carpenter, 20, (10) goes to hug Karen Hopkins, 22, (12) as she returns from receiving a CIF champions award. They defeated rival Mt. Carmel to win the championship, 50-44, March 4.

Heartbreak in CIF overtime Jessica Kim Staff Writer

It’s a sad day when you see an entire boys soccer team collapse on the field in grief, some with tears on their faces. When Westview lost the CIF game against rival Mt. Carmel, Feb. 25, with a score of 2-1, that’s exactly what happened. Although for the majority of the game, Westview maintained its lead of 1-0, MC came back with a much-needed goal, ultimately clenching the victory with a mere penalty kick. With less than a minute left in the game, fans in the stands sat back in their blankets. The score was 1-0, with Westview in the lead. While it wasn’t the crushing victory the Wolverines had expected after winning the Palomar League, it was enough for the team to advance to the semi-finals; it would do. But in the remaining seconds, the Sundevils booted the ball towards the Westview goalie in a last attempt to score. A lucky spin off the ball was all MC needed to tie the game. “It was the worst feeling,” captain Riley Keating (12) said. “We gave up the goal, and it was demoralizing because we thought we won the game.” Although Mt. Carmel’s last-second goal was the typical rival-game shocker, it was nothing compared to the events that ended Westview’s season. But throughout the entire game before the final whistle, it was clear which team was to advance in the tournament. The Wolverines moved the ball with ease, and the game was under their control. The players and crowd, patiently waited for what they expected to come. A roar of approval sounded from the crowd when Dylan Fortin (11) scored the first goal of the game dribbling down the field from the right, taking a clean shot to the left corner of the goal with four minutes left in the half. But none of the fans and teammates imagined this goal would be the last goal of the season. “There’s no difference that I scored a goal,” Fortin said. “A loss is a loss.” Ultimately, it came down to overtime. Similar to the way the rest of the game had been playing out, Westview kept the ball on offense. While the less confident crowd lined up against the front fence of the stands in apprehension, the possibility of actually losing still didn’t seem to register. “[We] were still pretty confident because we were playing well, and we really didn’t think that they would get any other chances,” Keating said. But in one of the few moments that Wolverines did not have possession, the ball was booted to the right corner of Westview’s 18-yard line. A Wolverine defender and a Sundevil forward raced to it, only to end up at the same spot at the same time. The MC player fell, and the whistle was blown. MC kicked; it was a goal. The game was over. Angry students slammed the fence with their fists, yelling at the referee. Coach Martin Coughlin, on the other hand, said that while the loss ended the season, he couldn’t have been prouder of the team. “For me, the guys were the best team I think I’ve ever had at Westview,” he said. “The boys were consistently good and this game was just one game.”

Loss 2-1 (OT)


ready; we’ve played with some of them and against some of them our entire lives.” However, at the start of the game, nerves did play a factor in the team’s performance. “I [knew] it was going to be a little ugly early on because everyone’s really nervous and it’s a different gym, but once we settled down, it was fine,” McHeffey said. As the game progressed and the girls settled into the flow of the game, Jamie Legaspi (10) said that it became easier to sink her three-pointers, sinking three of them in the second half. “I am so glad they went in, that’s all I can say, because in the beginning they weren’t,” she said. “But everyone said, ‘Keep shooting,’ so I just kept shooting.” At the half, the Wolverines had a slim lead over the Sundevils, 18-16. And for the rest of the game, Westview was able to keep a lead over Mt. Carmel. Suggs, who was a powerful force in the key during the game, said that it was fairly easy to keep her composure throughout. “I don’t know what it was about this game, but since we were just playing MC, it really didn’t feel like a championship game,” she said. “It kind of just felt like we were back in our gym playing them, so I didn’t feel too nervous and it wasn’t too hard to stay somewhat composed.” With two minutes left on the clock in the last quarter, a steal by forward Katie Buell (11) picked up the team’s momentum for the rest of the game. MC soon came into foul trouble, sending Buell, Legaspi, and Suggs to the free throw line for oneand-ones. With their consistent free-throw shots adding to the scoreboard, the gap continued to grow and it became obvious that Westview had secured the title. The Black Hole began its goodbye chant and when the buzzer sounded, and Westview had won the CIF title. “We [are] the first [girls basketball] team to get a banner up there, and for us, that’s huge,” Peng said. “That’s what we wanted, that was our main goal this year, and it got accomplished.”

Roller hockey achieves elusive three-peat Amanda Shewry Staff Writer They did it again. A three-peat has only happened once before in Westview’s history. The roller hockey team skated to their third CIF championship win, March 2, with a 2-0 victory over the West Hills Wolf Pack. The team was back in the finals for the fourth year in a row, expecting to continue Westview’s two year reign as the CIF champions in the Metro Conference. “The girls [soccer team 07-09] did it first; they ran three and we wanted three,” coach Mike Kurth said. “It was the three-peat chance so there was pressure to do that and it makes it much more real.”

Win 2-0

The Wolverines came into the tournament as the fourth seed forcing them to beat the No. 5 seed Scripps Ranch in the quarterfinals, the No. 1 seed Rancho Bernardo in the semifinals, and finally the second-seeded West Hills in the championship game. The team spent two full lunch periods and a team dinner going over the one period of film they had on West Hills and devising a plan to shut down the top player in the league and combat their overwhelming speed. In 48 hours, they had torn apart and rebuilt their game plan and were ready for the finals. From the beginning, the game was a back-and-forth battle. However, just over halfway through the first period, Dylan Dixon (11) made a break for the goal

netting a shot to put the Wolverines ahead 1-0. Then, with less than six minutes left in the second period, Dixon took a long range slap shot that beat the goalie, putting the Wolverines up 2-0. From then on, their game plan was to maintain their lead. Surrounded by the Black Hole and a mass of Westview alumni, parents and students who constantly banged on the glass, the Wolverines stuck to their plan to shut down the Wolf Pack. With just a few minutes left, captain and goalie Greg Kurth (12) withstood a last-minute onslaught of offense from the opponents. Racking up a total of 38 saves, he listened as the crowd around the rink counted down from five. “I never really look at the clock because I’m kind of superstitious

that way,” Greg said. “But when the game was over, it was bittersweet because I knew we won and it was our third in a row, but it was my last game and I wasn’t going to play with those guys anymore. So, that was kind of bad, but I just focused on celebrating the fact that we won.” The Wolverines had come together to fill gaps in the roster when scheduling issues came up this season but had come out every game looking to win. They kept alive the legacy roller hockey has begun in the last few years and got the threepeat. “We were really pumped and again coming off of a challenging last third of a season to kind of put pieces together,” coach Kurth said. “We really had to play: I mean these were games. So I think it really, really made it special.”

Girls soccer wins title with four goals Marc Finn Staff Writer As the stoppage time ran out during the girls soccer 4-1 victory over La Costa Canyon, March 5, the bench erupted with the cheers and screams of a CIF champion. The Wolverines obliterated the Mavericks after allowing one goal in the second minute of the game. “It feels amazing,” defender Megan Wagner (11) said. “This was just such a great win for us, a great way to end the season.” Wagner made several key stops on defense in the first half, including breaking up a potential game-changing cross. But the day belonged to the offensive game of the Wolverines. Miranda Canales (11) was the beneficiary of some excellent passing and scored both the first and last goals of the game. Alyson Rohane (12), who leads the team with 16 goals, added two more to clinch the victory, including one off of a highlight-worthy pass from Sarah Adams (11). Rohane’s passing skills were on display as well, as she connected with Canales off of a nice cross for the match’s first goal. Meggie Gulczynski (11) was a key part of the offense as well, triggering the Wolverines’ transition game with crisp passing from the midfield. The defense performed exceptionally as well, halting the Mavericks’ potent scoring punch with a variety of midfield challenges and tackles early on. Goalie Ariana Zargarian (12) made a spectacular diving save off of a Mavericks’ breakaway with two minutes left in the half. The Wolverines managed to stop the ensuing corner kick and entered halftime with a comfortable 3-1 lead. They wouldn’t give up anything else. By winning the CIF title, the Wolverines earned the chance to take revenge on San Clemente, who beat them 3-0 earlier in the season.

Win 4-1

Linnea Whitney

Danielle Gonzalez (10) dribbles past two La Costa Canyon players in the CIF final last Saturday. The Wolverines dominated the game with a flurry of scoring, in the end racking up four goals in the win. However, that loss and the lack of the league title spurred the team to new heights and they worked furiously to reach the CIFs and beyond. “I think that having won the CIF this year, it makes it a lot easier to look back [on last year]. It helped us move forward and keep our team together,” Rohane said All the players felt that the CIFs had to be their prime focus in order to avenge the previous losses. “When we lost [the] league, we were 10 times more motivated for CIFs” injured defender Linnea Whitney (12) said. “Winning the CIF gave us this chance to try and beat San Clemente.”

Though the impending match with San Clemente was on the horizon, the team marveled at how far they had come. “We have a lot to live up to, and winning the CIF makes it really special,” added Whitney. With about 15 minutes to go, the starters were subbed out and the realization that the team had just clinched the CIF title started to sink in. The team embraced each other on the bench, as the final whistle sounded, and they poured onto the field (and cold water onto coach Peter Stogsdill). “For our seniors especially, this was the perfect win,” Wagner said. “It was a memorable moment for them, and just great for all of us.”



Update Sports

The latest in Westview sports

Spring Sport Kickoff

Baseball Next Game: Today @ Steel Canyon, 3:00 p.m.

Boys Golf Next Game: 3/15 vs. Ramona, 3:30 p.m.

Boys Tennis Next Game: 3/15 vs. Cathedral, 3:15 p.m.

Boys Volleyball Next Game: Today vs. Canyon Crest Academy, 3:30 p.m.

Girls Lacrosse Next Game: 3/16 @ La Jolla, 5:30 p.m.

Gymnastics Next Game: 3/17 @ Poway, 3:30 p.m.

Softball Next Game: Today @ Mira Mesa, 5:00 p.m.

New coach, same goals for tennis Melissa Truong Editor in Chief

As boys tennis begins the season seeking to clinch the CIF championship title for the second year in a row, the team is now under the new leadership of girls tennis coach Suzie Engel. The Wolverines started the year off strong with an 18-0 victory over Orange Glen and will be rejoining the Palomar League this season against powerhouses like Torrey Pines, Rancho Bernardo and Poway. This year, when former coach Amy Cook stepped down from the program, Engel immediately volunteered for the position. “I love coaching tennis here, and I have always wanted to coach the boys team as well as girls,” Engel said. “When the opportunity arose, I immediately said yes.” With an experienced group of athletes and with the season just getting started, it remains to be seen how Engel’s fresh coaching style will affect the team. Captain Cameron Amyot (12) said that Engel’s practices are very time-efficient. “[Engel] was very organized and I thought she did a really good job,” Amyot said. “Our practices have been relaxed and we don’t have a set time for everything, but she’s very planned out and organized.” Compared to the Valley League the team played in last year, the Palomar League has an exceptionally difficult schedule rapidly approaching for the team. They are set to play two matches each against powerhouses Torrey Pines, Rancho Bernardo and Poway, each of whom have reigned as Division I CIF Champions in the past three years. “It’s an extremely difficult schedule,” Engel said. “Nonetheless, if the boys play well and put out their best effort every match, we will be very competitive.”

Manuche, from page 1 On top of some of these struggles on the mat, in order to maintain his weight for wrestling, Manuche gave up some of his personal wants as well. When his friends host a party or gather for dinner, or when he opens up his refrigerator to see a full jug of soda or a tub of ice cream, no matter how much he wants to, sometimes he just has to say no. “I can’t risk doing things that might cause me to be kicked off the team or be injured or prevent myself from having that sport that I love,” he said. “There are definitely some negatives, but I felt that wrestling was more important than those negatives.” Sometimes, even after all the personal sacrifices and grueling days of practice, matches end in disappointment. However, when he does win a match, when he does beat that threetime state finalist from New York, when he does rank in the top 12 in a tournament with 10 of the state’s top 15 wrestlers competing, all those pounds shed, all those skipped meals, all those hours of conditioning become worth it.

Track & Field Next Game: Tomorrow @ Bronco Relays, 9:00 a.m.

Tennis coach Suzie Engel instructs Garret Gooch (12) and the rest of the boys team during a match, March 8. After a vacancy opened for the boys coaching job, Engel readily took the opportunity to coach. Though Engel has taught the girls team for the past three years, she has also been the assistant boys tennis coach at Torrey Pines for the past three years. She said this experience has taught her to appreciate the different styles and approaches between boys and girls teams. Nevertheless, she has had to adjust her teaching styles accordingly. “I think the differences have more to do with the relative experience levels of the individual players,” Engel said. “I know many of these guys from

reputation because this team has a lot of tournament players who play year-round. That lends itself to a different style than with past girls teams. It’s fun to come out every day and see the energy and competitiveness the guys bring out to practice.” Though the boys have had to make the adjustment to Engel’s teaching style, both the boys and Engel herself are optimistic about the upcoming season. “She’s been successful with the girls team, so I think it should be good,” Amyot said.

“The competition in wrestling, the practice room, the dieting and the there’s nothing like it,” Manuche said. emotional ups and downs,” Mike’s fa“When you win a wrestling match, you ther said. “I am very proud of how Mike know that it’s because of your hard stayed so focused, worked so hard and work, because of your drive, because overcame his doubts over the years. of what you did in practice. You can’t It can be very hard because there are say, ‘Oh, there no guarantees, was this really and an athlete “The competition in wresgood quartermust overcome back that won the the thoughts tling, there’s nothing like it. game for us.’ It’s that spring from none of that. It’s doubt. It’s very When you win a wrestling all you.” easy just to quit match, you know that it’s Through all sometimes. If I of his struggles had any influbecause of your hard work, and triumphs, ence, I hope that Manuche has had it was to help him because of your drive, beconstant encourthrough the times cause of what you did in agement from he may have had his dad, who atsome doubts practice.” tended all of his about himself.” matches, occaEven after - Mike Manuche (12) sionally helped victories, Mathe team during nuche never practices, and settled for good who always had a supportive comment enough, as he always had the extra for him when his morale and confi- push from his dad. dence hit low points. “He’s never let me be satisfied “Wrestling is perhaps the most with just being good,” Manuche said. grueling sport in high school, due to “It really drove me to be better. I don’t the intense conditioning, hard work in know if I would have worked nearly as

hard if he hadn’t been there. He knew that I had the potential, and he didn’t let me waste it. He knew I could be a CIF championship state qualifier. He pushed me to be that.” After years of wrestling, in his last year of high school, Manuche finally managed to place third in the Masters Tournament to advance to the CIF State Championships, in which he went 2-2. “I felt pretty disappointed at the time, but looking back, I feel alright about how I did,” Manuche said. “I’m proud of getting there and winning a couple matches.” As he prepares for college, Manuche has been in contact with a coach from Williams College, a Division III school, and has also been considering walking on to a Division I team. Despite the difficulties of wrestling, Manuche is intent on continuing with it. “Every wrestler has a time when they think, ‘Why am I doing this when I could be hanging out with my friends or I could be eating?’” he said. “But for all those times that I thought about quitting, I’ve always thought, ‘Why give up something I love?’ I love the sport; I love wrestling.”

I N T H E S p o t l i g ht : Pa i g e s i n i s c a l c h i ( 1 1 )

Next Game: Today @ Poway, 3:15 p.m.

Andrew Fan

Manuche’s determination pays off at CIFs

Swim & Dive

Sport: Lacrosse Position: Midfield

How is the team looking for the season? Siniscalchi: At the moment, we’re not used to each other but as the season goes on, we have a lot of potential, we could potentially win league. I have faith in our team. What are your main goals for this season? Siniscalchi: I want to step it up and be a key player. I’m also trying to get recruited so I just want to be more known. As a team, I want us to work together and stay intense and have enough space to work on the underclassmen’s skills because we’ll be losing a lot of seniors this year. What is it like replacing the seniors?

Siniscalchi: As a team, we’re more spread out in terms of skill but this year we have a lot of good players, so I think we can work as a team more. We still have people on the team who stand out like the seniors from last year did. After being on varsity since your freshman year, how has the team changed over the past three years? Siniscalchi: Well I know it’s changed personally because when I was a freshman I was more timid and focused on just keeping up. But as I got more used to the team I started realizing that freshman year, we had a decent team. Last year though, we had a really strong team and our best players and they ran everything and we had our other team members. Now the other team members are the ones who are leading the team this year. Also I think we’re a younger team. You recently completed a marathon. What was

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March 11, 2011

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similar about training for running a marathon and training for playing in lacrosse? Siniscalchi: They’re similar. Although I didn’t train as much as I should have, I trained about 30 miles a week and basically on the weekends; I had to do a long run which was from 12 to 20 miles, but on the weekdays with daylight savings, I ran from five to eight miles. I went to the gym and did core training, but I mainly I had to get the long runs in. The training is similar because I have to do a lot of running in order to prepare for both. How has outside training, like for marathons, helped you to prepare for the season? Siniscalchi: It’s helped a lot because by getting all the running in, when everybody else is dying from the runs in practice, I’m just used to it now. The bad thing is that I’m used to running slow runs, and not fast sprints, but I can do sprints and keep going. I’ve definitely seen that I’m still in shape compared to everyone.

March 11, 2011 Dominic Lucisano

Pro Quo

Mormons have the advantage in honor When I saw the story, I just shook my head. Brandon Davies, of Brigham Young University’s mens basketball team, was suspended for the season because he had sex with his girlfriend. How would the sporting world take this one? Well, various blogs led me to believe the answer was “immaturely.” And if you’re a sports fan, before you laugh at BYU’s “stupid” honor code while dancing around merrily in your SDSU T-shirt, think about the situation in this way. Davies undoubtedly knew what he was getting into when he went to BYU. He understood that the school had an honor code, and had penalties for violations. Davies knew that sexual conduct was a major infraction. He lived in Provo, down the street from BYU for goodness’ sake. He always knew what kind of school BYU was, and how they have chosen to deal with students who violate its honor code. Yeah, the rule and the honor code is unconventional by society’s standards of the wild, drinking and partying college student. But when you think about it, if colleges don’t put out some effort to educate students with some strict rules once in while, their students won’t come out of school as prepared as they could be for life. There’s no abstinence rule here at school, but it’s safe to say that there are rules that might not make sense to us now. But, there’s reason for them nonetheless. The fact that BYU has an honor code of that type isn’t ridiculous at all, we go through somewhat of a code at Westview even. Maybe not an honor code, but definitely some rules that students question. Why do students have to take those extra five P.E. z each year? Why do seniors who have all their credits even have to go to school for the second semester when they could go out and get jobs before college? We have to dedicate a whole semester on a P.E. class because it’s important to truly understand the evergrowing importance of exercise in a growing country. And by growing, I mean by the waistband. As seniors, we go through our full year to take advantage of our great school and to learn the lesson of following through with the tasks we set out upon. So the story here isn’t that BYU is behind the times and that they aren’t a so-called progressive institution. It’s that Davies’ was a knucklehead who broke a rule he had known about for years. So party on SDSU fans, our rivals’ season may be over soon without their big man. But before we laugh at BYU or its honor code, remember that a hard lesson learned may be better than none at all.

Unlocking the (pole) vault - Stevie Jesme (11)

“Unlike just sprinting, you don’t move your arms while running; you have to remember to keep the pole steady. It requires a lot of arm strength.”

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“I definitely don’t look down.”

- Heather Hatfield (12)

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In the final stage, pole vaulters allow their legs to fall downward. This helps their upper torsos fly backward, to clear the bar. Athletes lift their arms to avoid hitting the bar and land on their backs with their knees bent. During the swing up, vaulters gain speed and power by swinging their hips upward. The goal in this step of the process is to try and get vertical with the pole before it finishes straightening. The arms are used to help with lifting the athlete’s hips up and over the bar. The pole vaulters focus a lot of their training on arm strength by doing plenty of push-ups and pull-ups during practice. The plant is one of the most crucial moments of the process. Often times, the pole is lowered too quickly, causing it to bend prematurely and throw off the balance of the jump. Both hands need to be used to lift the pole; otherwise, it may hit the box too early. This box allows the pole vaulter to transition from the forward motion into a vertical jump. In the approaching run, there is a delicate balance between getting enough speed for a successful launch and making sure to not waste energy needed for the take-off. Some pole vaulters will walk backwards in order to count the steps they need before planting.

Stevie Jesme (11)

Photos by Claire Liu Graphic by Marc Finn and Joanna Jaroszewska

14 Final Focus

March 11, 2011

The Nexus


Mouthing Off: As one of society’s most prevalent and damnable words, ‘fuck’ is also one of the most elusive. Its untraceable origins have incited countless urban legends. Here’s a look at some widely believed theories:

Revealing what reads between the lines of society’s most taboo words

During the Black Plague in England, when a couple wished to reproduce, they had to “Fornicate Under Consent of the King.”

Deeksha Phadnis Staff Writer

A Dirty Mind Kids know several things with absolute certainty by the time they reach their 10th birthday: grown-ups always have more fun, Christmas is for presents, and undeniably, indisputably— swearing is fun. Although many parents may disagree, Timothy Jay, a professor at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, feels that swear words serve an integral purpose in language, providing people with a way to express a range of intense emotions. Usually, people use the left half of the brain when they speak, drawing upon logical and objective functions. When they curse, however, the right half of the brain, which deals with emotion and intuition, lights up. Some scientists, therefore, believe that swear words are linked to emotion rather than logic. Cursing is a reaction similar to that of a cat yowling when it is stepped on. A study performed by Robert Stephens and his colleagues was published in the journal NeuroReport and found that swearing also lessened the amount of pain people feel. It tested the hypothesis that pain perception would increase with swearing. In fact, the opposite occurred— the subject’s pain perception decreased and they were more tolerant of pain than when they did not swear. The researchers concluded that it was possible that swearing induced a fight or flight response, masking the pain and increasing heart rate. However, there are some holes in the knowledge scientists have. It’s still not clear exactly why cursing, as opposed to perhaps screaming the alphabet in terror, helps raise the pain threshold.

As Stephens concluded from the NeuroReport, swearing is emotional language. “It’s the vocabulary we turn to at those emotional flash points in life,” he said. “That’s why swearing exists and why it will continue to exist.”

Creating “Frick”tion Golly. Just over 100 years ago, this euphemism for God was one of the vilest curses uttered, excusable by none and shunned by society. Now, it is almost comically ineffective, often reserved for adorable, pigtail-laden little girls with big eyes. While communication gaps grow deeper between generations, it is becoming apparent that the media is becoming more accepting of some profanity than it previously did. A recent example could be when Melissa Leo dropped the f-bomb during her acceptance speech at the traditionally elegant Academy Awards. Another good example would be the widely youthful prevalence of the abbreviation WTF. Few find it particularly offensive, though it obviously implies “the mother of all bad words.” But do teenagers now curse more than they did back in the day? “Teenagers do swear more now [in my experience], but I also think their parents swear more than, say, 50 years ago,” Fire Science teacher Bill Briscoe said. “When I was in high school (in the ’60s) guys would swear some and the girls never did, but now you hear [people] swear all the time.” Robert Kluender, an Associate Professor in the UCSD Linguistics department, said that

this could be due to the fact that curse words are frequently heard in everyday environments. Kids are simply more exposed to profanity than they used to be. “Teenagers and children always like to emulate adult behaviors [like] smoking, drinking, sexual activity,” Kluender said. “Cursing is the same way. Plus, taboo language has filtered into the popular media to such a degree that children can’t avoid hearing it.” ENS teacher Kelly Balmforth agrees that swear words have become much more accepted by the media and public and said that students now use these words much more than previous generations of kids did. “I absolutely think the media has become too lenient with the use of curse words,” she said. “The only channel where I do not hear curse words is Nick Jr.” While it is true that the media has become slightly more accepting of curse words, it is most often peers and family that shape kids’ and teenagers’ cursing etiquette according to Jay. “Institutions like churches and schools restrict usages of words, thereby empowering [those] words,” Jay said. “Parents inculcate these values in children through child-rearing practices, such as punishment for saying taboo words.” Sirisha Varigonda (11) knows firsthand that, most often, parents and families are the ones who expose their kids to swear words. “I actually don’t know my native language that well, but I’ve picked up a lot of swear words from my grandma,” Varigonda said. “I usually say them with my sisters just to joke around, especially since they sound really funny, in the communal spirit of not understanding what we’re saying.”

There’s no escaping these words; they’re as intrinsic to language and culture as verbs and onomatopoeia. “Like most things in life, I understand there is a time and a place,” English teacher Jim Jennings said. “[However], cursing was a rite of passage; there was nothing more liberating than saying the f-word out loud for the first time.” So, what does it all mean? What do curse words word— and our aversion to them—reveal about our psyche? Most curse words deal with religion, sexual activity, genitalia or excrement. Kluender said that these taboo words and concepts can seem quite arbitrary from an observation point outside the culture. “[For example], in a study of Dutch women, ‘tuberculosis,’ ‘cancer’ and ‘typhus’ were among the 10 most frequently used swear words in Dutch,” Kluender said. It may be becoming more socially acceptable to use certain curse words, but the things that are taboo in our culture haven’t changed much in the past century. “Our conservative religious and sexual standards are very prudish and were here since the time of the Puritans,” Jay said. This begs the question of whether we will have the same standards two centuries from now. Will future generations say karma’s a warthog instead of karma’s a bitch? Every language in the world has some version of George Carlin’s list of seven forbidden words. They allow people to express the intensity of their emotion. After all, in Jennings’ undeniable words, “Can anybody listen to Rage Against the Machine’s ‘Killing in the Name’ and not scream the repetitive chant at the end of the song?”

When prostitutes were convicted of their crime, they were labeled “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge,” hence the . name of the famous 1991 Van Halen album.

In Norway, “fukka” means to copulate or hit and in Sweden “focka” means the same. In Denmark “fokken” means to breed or strike, suggesting that they all follow a similar root “to strike.”

Sidebar information from and Graphic by Paulina Wroblewska

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