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Westview High School

We Go Together:

October 29, 2018 Vol. XVII | Issue 2 | @wvnexus 13500 Camino del Sur San Diego, CA 92129

The senior class earned first place in the ’50s floatbuilding competition, basing their design on last scene of Grease

Tiffany Le

Editor in Chief A football player, a yearbooker, an actor, and an ASB class president sit together in a circle behind the L-building. There’s glitter stuck in their hair, paint splattered on their clothes and ink stained on their skin. As the minutes pass, a few more join—a field hockey player, a band kid, a PUSD student activist. With a water bottle in one hand and a bowl full of food in the other, I, a Nexan, seat myself in the midst of my peers on the concrete ground. Tonight, we were eating deconstructed tacos for our dinner break. Some of us had never met each other before this day. And even for those who did know each other, most didn’t talk on a day-to-day basis. Yet here we all were, together. It was about 6:30 p.m., and at this point, we had been working on the senior class Homecoming float for three days—a total of 13 hours (and we still had eight more hours to go). We all had a common goal: finish the float and win the competition. I’ve participated in float-building for the past three years, and here I was, doing it one last time. Float building has been a tradition during the month of October where each class assembles together in a competition to create the best float. The week leading up to the Homecoming dance, students help their class build a float that relates to the Homecoming theme. With this year’s ’50s theme, “Rock Around the Jukebox,” ASB class presidents took inspiration from the 1978 musical, Grease, for the annual competition. The senior class typically has first pick over the specific theme of their float, but this year ASB decided it was more logical to go in sequential order of the movie. So, the freshmen based their float on the film’s opening scene and first song, “Grease,” and the seniors based theirs on the closing scene and last song, “We Go Together.” As for the other two

Top: Shane Strunk (12) and Abby Kooyman (12) lead the seniors in their dance and skit. Right: Jeffrey Zhang (12) and Paige Riza (12) paint the ferris wheel for the float.

See Floats, page 2 See Filming, page 2 Photos by Rohin Awasthi and Tiffany Le, Design by Andrea Chen

Over-invested parents Schas works on film in Bosnia, frustrate, discourage learns significance of teamwork children playing sports Jessica Lin Photo Editor

Sydney Alper

couraged her and made her frustrated instead of motivated. Driven only by a desire to win, Staff Writer Rebecca’s dad made her lose interest in playWe all know those parents, the ones who ing soccer. cheer a little too loud and cross that fine line According to psychiatrist Dr. Jim Taylor, between encouragement and aggression. a parent focusing on having their child win These are the parents who are over-invested means they are living vicariously through in the success of their child athlete, even if their child. This in turn takes away the exit’s just a recreational game. For Rebecca* citement of the win for the child. (12), this exact experience occurred when “These parents establish very high exher dad was her recreational soccer coach at pectations of success for their children and age 10. when they don’t live up “I remember he would to those expectations, I remember he would always cross that line of the parents perceive it too much support and he always cross that line of too as a personal attack,” would make the sport less Taylor said. “Kids fun,” Rebecca said. “If I much support and he would come to see that their would make a mistake, make the sport less fun.” parents’ happiness is on he would yell at me.” shoulders and this —Rebecca* their It’s 2011 and Rebecca is a crushing burden is playing in a recreationthat hurts their perforal soccer game. She dribbled the soccer ball mances and sucks the enjoyment out of their down the field, but was quickly stopped by a sports participation.” defender. Instantly, her dad would frown and Because of the demand to succeed, Rebecthe moment Rebecca stepped off the field, he ca said she would beat herself up over every would pull her aside. Then, the list of prob- little mistake. Instead of offering advice on lems with her play would begin. With his how to improve, her father would simply tell voice raised, anyone in the vicinity would her what she did wrong. hear. The car ride home would be a deluge “[I wanted him to] give me examples of of mistakes and things she should have done how I could do better instead of just saying better. I looked bad or I just messed up,” Rebecca She said this negative environment disSee Parents, page 11

News in Numbers 332

Dollars were raised in ASB’s milkshake fundraiser to support the Friends and Family Community Connection’s Thanksgiving event.

was assigned to be one of the two cinematographers, the people who controlled the cameras, on set. “The writers came up with the script and they did a pitch, where we all had a pitch day,” Schas said. “The mentors chose which script sounded the best and then the camera crew just did the cinematography.” The team decided on creating a dark comedy, one that focused on the adventures of two brothers in a rural setting. While the comedy aspect of the film dealt with the brothers’ close relationship, its dark mood was captured by Schas’ use of cool, dark colors when filming the religious spirits. Schas said she felt pressured to get the perfect scene. She wanted to make sure that she was able to contribute her best work in order to benefit the whole crew. “I was not able to get certain shots that I wanted based on the location [and limited] time,” Schas said. As she filmed the next scene, Schas slowly scanned the rundown and abandoned buildings around her, relishing in the sight in front of her. With each scene, they were surrounded by nature, using the mountain ranges and cool lakes that Bosnia had to offer as the main setting for the film. Schas wanted to capture it all. But she grew increasingly frustrated with herself, never feeling fully satisfied with the footage she shot. “I was picky on certain scenes,” Schas said. “I would film it over and over again

See Filming, page 5

Campus Counted... Do you prefer shopping at retail stores or at thrift stores?*

See Milkshakes, page 2

Retail Stores


Million dollars has been raised through SB1 for driving alternatives. Prop. 6 threatens this funding for transportation improvement projects. See Proposition 6, page 7

Thrift Stores


Percent of federal criminal convictions resulted from plea deals in 2017, a rate that has risen in the past 30 years, according to The Atlantic. See Justice System, page 8

Anastasia Schas (12) scanned the huge screen as she began to anticipate the series of films to play for the Mediterranean Film Festival (MFF) in Bosnia, Aug. 20. The festival was comprised of an array of short films that celebrated the collaborations between filmmaking mentors and high school students. As the film that Schas worked on began to roll on the big screen, she felt a pit in her stomach. She knew that because the dominant religion in Bosnia was Muslim, there was a strong possibility that the film wouldn’t settle well with the audience. “[I knew] there were some people who wouldn’t like [the film] because it’s religious and because the film had voodoo and magic,” Schas said. “There was a lot of controversy.” The film was a dark, spiritual comedy that centered around two brothers that were in search for their grandmother’s inheritance. But before becoming involved with MFF, Schas always worked by herself on short films. All she needed was a couple of lights, her computer and her camera. “I prefer to working in a smaller group of only two other people because it’s easier to get your point across and you can be more interactive with your crew,” Schas said. Before she started to film, Schas found herself fascinated by different movies as well as the behind-the-scenes footages of

movie productions. She found herself wanting to pursue a career in cinematography and being able to create something new and fascinating. However, Schas wasn’t comfortable working with a team. “Having a big group of people is harder to control for me because they all [want to do] their own thing,” Schas said. On Aug. 11, she decided to take a leap of faith by applying to MFF in hopes that she could immerse herself in filmmaking. After she was accepted into the program, she set aside two weeks in August for the trip. She and two other students who attended MFF were the only Americans there. “I wanted to participate in MFF to learn more about filmmaking and get an overall experience,” Schas said. Filming began in Siroki Brieg, Bosnia. While she expected the movie set that mirrored the ones she saw in behind-the-scene footage, she was not expecting to feel so out of her element. Schas had done all the filming, directing and editing before, but she realized that there were other people doing those jobs. “I was initially overwhelmed because I didn’t know what to do with the professional lights and camera,” Schas said. “Everyone was doing their own thing and I didn’t know what to do.” It seemed like a blur, she said. She was swept away by her two film mentors, who listed off the requirements needed for their film. With only a 10-day deadline, Schas

76% 24%

*Poll sample of 300 students

Why? “Think about the fashion and the duration, the time of what you wear will last,” Nathan Holden (11) said. “Getting new clothes will last longer. You also have to think about what [styles are] at the mall.” See Fast Fashion, page 7

Boal seeks normalization of male makeup artists Tristan Boal (12) applies makeup on Abby Kooyman (12) for the Theater Company’s production of “And Then There Were None.” See Makeup, page 14

Tiffany Le


Oct. 29, 2018


2 News

Float building promotes unity, school spirit From Floats, page 1

classes, they picked scenes and correlating songs in between—sophomores chose “Grease Lightning,” the juniors chose “Born to Hand Jive.” ASB Senior Class Presidents Ellie Cavendish (12) and Jenny Shadowen (12) planned to emulate the carnival in the ending scene of Grease for their float. “We wanted to focus on the symbolism of [Grease characters] Danny and Sandy riding off into the sunset in their car to [the class of ’19] riding off into senior year,” Cavendish said. “We focused on recreating the carnival and the whole song we chose starts with ‘we go together’ and in the end it goes ‘we’ll always be together’ so we wanted to go with that concept for our float because we want everyone to stay connected because once a Wolverine, always a Wolverine.” When Homecoming week arrived, Cavendish, Shadowen and their classmates pulled out the float’s wooden frame to the back of the L-building. I noticed it still had remnants of our class’s prior floats: the base coat of paint from junior year, pieces of wood used to create a ship from sophomore year, the backboard and platform from freshman year. Like always, the students from the class of ’19 began their Monday afternoon of Homecoming week by deconstructing anything they would not need this year, and divvying up components of the float that need to be made. “Students are not allowed to use power-tools so the parents mainly do the woodwork and use their construction expertise to support us,” Cavendish said. “So in terms of student work, I think that all the little details we do pull the float together—like seeing people make cotton candy out of cotton batting, and painting the backboard or the base.” So, while the parents may build the framework of the float, it is ultimately the students who finish the float, whether it be hanging lights, adding tinsel to borders or cutting out letters. The ferris wheel, for example, was primarily made by the student class. While the parent volunteers cut and put together PVC pipes for the frame of the wheel, the students took control afterwards. Within a day, over 10 students contributed to that one piece of the float, from spray painting the frame white, to creating the “seats” of the ferris wheel out of cardboard, to wrapping tinsel and lights around the pipes. In addition to this, the students hold the responsibility to creatively and effectively present their float in front of a panel of judges on the last day of float building. Each class float earns points for the following criteria: daily points (participation, safety, clean-up), meeting deadlines, and judging scores. This year’s judging panel included the ASB executive team, ASB adviser Shannon Parker, Principal Tina Ziegler, Area Administrator Darcel Glover, and PUSD board member Michelle O’Connor-Ratcliff. Because judging is the second largest category in terms of overall points, Cavendish and Shadowen recruited theatre students Abby Kooyman (12) and Shane Strunk (12) to act as Sandy and Danny during their skit and choreograph a dance number for the senior class’ presentation in front of the panel. In turn, Kooyman and Strunk rallied 11 of their classmates as back-up dancers. Because building the float itself took until Thursday afternoon, the only time the 13 of us could all come together to practice was after school, Oct. 12, which was the day of judging. Less than an hour before judging began, we scrambled behind the L-building to learn the dance moves and ex-

Float Scoring: Class Standings 1st Place: Seniors • Daily Points: 2557 • Deadlines: 100 • Judges: 97 • Overall: 2754

2nd Place: Sophomores • Daily Points: 2424 • Deadlines: 100 • Judges: 95 • Overall: 2619


3rd Place: Juniors • Daily Points: 2345 • Deadlines: 100 • Judges: 92 • Overall: 2537

4th Place: Freshmen Rohin Awasthi

Theatre members Shane Strunk (12) and Abby Kooyman (12) lead 11 other seniors during practice for their float presentation to the panel of judges, dancing to the Grease song, “We Go Together,” Oct. 12. ecute them in sync. We hadn’t even gotten through one clean run-through when someone yelled, “The judges are coming! Turn off the music!” All the background dancers ran behind the float, and we stood quietly, waiting for a cue from Kooyman and Strunk to emerge and perform the dance number. As soon as we heard, “we’ll always be together, right guys?” the rest of us screamed “yeah!” from behind the float and ran into formation behind Kooyman and Strunk. The Grease song, “We Go Together,” boomed from the speakers and for the last time, the class of ’19 danced and performed for the judging panel. Now, even though all the criterias of float building were now scored, there was still one essential tradition left to fulfill—show the rest of the student body and the community our creation during the Homecoming football game halftime show. That same day, at 7 p.m., I, along with the majority of the students who worked on the floats, showed up to the home game against Rancho Buena Vista. I stationed myself in the Black Hole with all the other football fans and cheered on the Wolverines while keeping an eye on the clock. But as it wound down, thunder began to roar. Flashes of lighting lit the sky, and what started out as light drizzling worsened into a heavy pour. Soon, an announcer called for an evacuation into the gym. “But the float!” Strunk yelled to me. We ran to the side of the stadium where the four class

floats stood and watched as parts of our creation fell apart. Fluff from cotton clouds drooped and pieces of popcorn blew away. After a minute, we were forced to abandon the float and head into the gym. After 30 minutes passed, we were finally given the news that the game would be rescheduled and the Homecoming festivities would be postponed—there would be no fireworks, no Homecoming court results, and no pulling of the floats around the track that night. After negotiations between Athletic Director Steve McLaughlin and the heads of Rancho Buena Vista, the football game was rescheduled to 4 p.m. Homecoming day. When Parker received this news, she knew that the halftime show could not be reasonably executed well if it was done then. “We were getting ready for a dance for 1,400 people that would happen three hours later, and so many people were involved in that halftime show—I would have had to rally dance team, all the class representatives for the floats, all the court people, ROTC, cheerleaders,” Parker said. “Plus I also felt like our community wouldn’t have been able to come out that quick to support the students’ efforts and all their hard work they put into that show.” After deliberation, Parker and the ASB executive team decided that it would be best to hold the halftime show in the plaza during Silent Sustained Homework (SSH), Oct. 16. And so, after lunch ended, Oct. 16, I, along with 10 or so of my classmates stood to the side of the plaza with our (slightly tattered) float. The song “Grease” sound-

• Daily Points: 2327 • Deadlines: 100 • Judges: 89 • Overall: 2516 Design by Tiffany Le

ed through the speakers while Dance Troupe performed a short routine. The freshmen pulled their float across the plaza for the student body to see. Emcee Adrianne McWilliams (12) announced the class of ’22 placed fourth. Following the announcement, the sophomores and juniors pulled their floats respectively, with Dance Troupe performing to the song their floats were based on. And finally, the moment came. Dance Troupe finished their dance snippet on the song “We go Together” and we were given the cue to start pulling our floats. As we made our way across the plaza, McWilliams announced that with a total of 2,754 points, the senior class took home first place. I felt an overwhelming amount of joy when I heard that statement. After placing third last year, it truly felt like a comeback. But to me, the things I’ll cherish even more are the small moments where I bonded with my class during float building: the time when Demi Lovato’s “Heart Attack” came on and everyone started to belt out the lyrics and break out in dance as they painted, the time when one of my classmates I hardly ever talked to gave me his jacket for the day because I was cold, the time when we first plugged all of the lights in and stood in awe for a second (only to be let down by a strand that refused to turn on). In moments like these, I really do think that “we go together” and I really do hope that “we’ll always be together.”

ASB partners with Fight Against Hunger, raises $332 for charity Grace Kim Staff Writer

Instead of hosting a typical bake sale fundraising event, ASB Community Service Commissioners Sarina Oshiro (10) and Ashley Robles (11) decided to switch things up: they created a student competition. “We didn’t just want to do a fundraiser because sometimes it can get watered down,” Oshiro said. “We thought it would be fun to do some community service aspect of Homecoming so we could do something to give back.” Oshiro and Robles chose four staff members: security guard Kevin Ashwell, humanities teacher Bob McHeffey, social science teacher Bruce Steel, and social science teacher Dan Lutgen. Oshiro and Robles placed four glass jars in the plaza. Every day from Oct. 8-11, students were encouraged to donate money to whomever they wanted to see have 168 ounces of milk-

shake dumped on their head. In the end, Steel won with a total of $161. In total, the fundraiser raised $332. The dumping of the milkshake was what most students looked forward to. Towards the end of the pep rally, Steel was called out to the center of the gym. There, two ASB representatives poured two big jugs of milkshake onto his head. Students cheered and in a few seconds, his blue Superman shirt was drenched in milkshake. Steel decided to take part in the fundraiser in order to be part of a good cause. “At any time you are doing something that helps people that are less fortunate, I think that’s what brings service to our community,” Steel said. Oshiro and Robles was given the freedom to decide which charity they wanted to donate to. In the end, they chose Friends and Family Community Connection (FFCC), a local

charity based in North County. It was their first time donating money to FFCC. Oshiro and Robles also partnered with Fight Against Hunger (FAH), a school club that is sponsored by FFCC. FAH provides opportunities for students to volunteer and participate in FFCC events as well as to spread awareness of the organization. “Friends and Family Community Connection is a community-service based organization in San Diego that helps families in need,” Jake Schwartz (12), the president of FAH said. One of FFCC’s goals is to help out struggling families in the local community. “FFCC helps 400 to 500 families every month with emergency food including garden grown and food rescue from stores,” Director of Family Support Beck Palenske said. Palenske works with any families, seniors, and parents that need help. “It’s usually about helping them navigate

through a financial emergency,” Palenske said. Additionally, FFCC travels to Haiti and Tanzania with their medical staff to offer care in orphanages and awards scholarships to students. Oshiro and Robles partnered with FAH for the milkshake fundraiser. The money will be sent through FAH to FFCC and will be spent on buying Vons or Stater Bros gift cards worth $25 each for food bags containing groceries, which in turn will be used for FFCC’S annual Thanksgiving event. “During Thanksgiving time, FFCC puts together meal baskets with Thanksgiving feasts for families in need,” Oshiro said. “They also put in grocery gift cards so families can buy more food after Thanksgiving.” Out of all the possible charity options, Oshiro and Robles chose FFCC because it was the most local. “We wanted to donate to a local organization so it would have a more direct impact on

the community than a bigger organization,” Robles said. FFCC receives school donations in various forms ranging from paychecks to gift cards and groceries. The money go towards events such as food packaging. “Most money collected from schools goes to our Fight Against Hunger events,” FAH Program Coordinator Bob Mckeon said. “We do food packaging events were we put dried items such as rice, beans, and dried vegetables in a pouch and seal it. We then ship it to countries such as Haiti, Tanzania, Mexico, or keep it right here in San Diego.” By choosing a local charity, Oshiro and Robles hope that they showed students the purpose and importance of donating to local charities. “It’s hard seeing other families not have sufficient food and adequate resources,” Oshiro said. “In this area, a lot of people tend to assume that everyone has money to buy clothes, but some people don’t have that.”

News Stand What's happening around campus...


... and around the world.

Career Night, entitled “Building Sciences,” will host a panel of speakers in the staff lounge today, 7-8:30 p.m.

“The cover-up was one of the worst in the history of cover-ups.” DONALD TRUMP, President of the U.S., criticizing Saudi

Unity day begins Nov. 5, for sophomores with last names starting with A-L and continues Nov. 6 for last names M-Z.





The last day to drop or add classes for quarter two is Nov. 9. Students can pick up forms from the Wolverine Center.

Arabia’s response to the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. He told reporters that he would let Congress decide the possibility of sanctions and penalties.

“It’s not all good. We’re wet and we still don’t have a place to sleep.” JONATHAN PERALES, a Honduran migrant, sharing

his experince while traveling to the the southern border, preparing to cross into America. The crowd was confronted by Guatemalan police sent by Mexican authorites.

“Harvard has failed to show that it does not unlawfully discriminate against Asian-Americans.” THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT, lending its support to

a group of rejected students suing Harvard University. They alleged that Harvard discriminated against them, capping the number of Asian-Americans admitted.

“Sometimes I talk, and sometimes I listen. And yesterday, I learned.” MEGYN KELLY, the host of Megyn Kelly Today, apologizing for her statements addressing the cultural approprations of blackface. Kelly received backlash after she defended blackface. Compiled by Kevin Lu and Jocelyn Mi


News 3


Oct. 29, 2018

Who deserves your vote? Midterm Elections are approaching, Nov. 6. Below are candidates running for political offices in California. We break down their qualifications, experiences and stances, so you can make an informed decision.

Kevin de León (D) Kevin de León was born in Los Angeles. Both his parents were born in Guatemala, with his father being of Chinese descent. de León was raised in San Diego by his mother. He strongly identifies with Mexican culture, and grew up partially in Tijuana. The first in his family to graduate from high school, he earned his bacelor's degree from Pitzer College. He was elected to the California State Senate in 2010.

Gavin Newsom (D) Gavin Newsom was born into a family of politicians in San Francisco. He graduated from Santa Clara University in 1989 and went on to become the youngest mayor of San Francisco in 2004. That same year, he made headlines by issuing same-sex marriage licenses in San Francisco, a controversial move that brought him into the spotlight. Currently, he is serving as lieutenant governor of California.

Scott Peters (D) Scott Peters was born in Springfield, Ohio, but was raised in Michigan by his father, a Lutheran Minister. He received his undergraduate degree from Duke University, and earned a law degree from NYU. He moved to San Diego in 1991, and was later elected as the City Attorney of San Diego in 2008. He was then elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012, a seat he still holds.

US Senate Race  Where they stand: Immigration de León supports an open border, sanctuary cities, and wants to give drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants

Dianne Feinstein (D) Dianne Feinstein is a San Francisco native. She got involved in politics as a teenager, and graduated from Stanford with her bachelor’s degree in political science in 1955. She was elected as San Francisco’s first female mayor in 1979. After being elected to the U.S. Senate in 1992, she has served four consecutive terms. She is the current incumbent to the seat at stake.

Feinstein supports an open border, sanctuary cities, and a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants

Gun Control de León supports background checks on ammunition dealers, and wants wider definitions of assault rifles for banning

She supports the banning high-capacity magazines of over 10 bullets, and wants to end the "gun show loophole"

Environment He advocates for funding for hybrid and zero-emission vehicles, and wants California to be 100 percent clean energy

Feinstein rallys for animal welfare, environmental conservation, and prioritizes green energy

CA Governor Race  Where they stand: Immigration Newsom opposes the construction of a border wall, wants to continue existence of sanctuary cities in California

John H. Cox (R)

Cox supports the construction of a border wall, and doesn't believe in a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants

John H. Cox was born and lived in Chicago for most of his life. He grew up on the South Side in a single-mother home, and his mother worked as a public school teacher. After working as an accountant, he moved to Rancho Santa Fe in 2011. When he announced his campaign for governor, he was personally endorsed by Trump on Twitter. Cox didn’t vote for Trump in the general election, choosing instead to vote for Libertarian Gary Johnson.

Gun Control He supports background checks and reigstration, supports ‘smart guns’, and is against unauthorized gun use

Cox has said “Gun control doesn’t work, gun control is a waste of time.” However, he supports background checks

Environment Newsom has historically supported environment conservation, EPA overreach, and prioritizes green energy

Cox believes EPA overreach crushes business, and doesn't want federal environmental regulation for California

District 52 House Race  Where they stand: Immigration Peters opposes exiting the U.S. to apply for citizenship, is against the border wall, and wants to protect DREAMers

Omar Qudrat (R) Omar Quadrat was born and raised in Los Angeles. Both of his parents immigrated from Afghanistan in the 1970s. After graduating from UCLA, Quadrat eventually became a federal anti-terrorism prosecutor. He would make history if he is elected, becoming the first Muslim-American Republican to be elected to Congress. This is his first time running for public office.

Qudrat supports stronger border security but doesn’t directly support the creation of a border wall

Gun Control Peters is against sale of firearms after deliscencing closure, and co-sponsored the Fire Sale Loophole Closing

Qudrat supports the second amendment right to bear arms, and says we should follow the Constitution literally

Environment Peters supports restrictions on hydrogen sulfide emissions, and wants to treat energy security like national secturity

Qudrat doesn’t want government policies regulating businesses output and environmental impact

Design by Kevin Lu and Isabelle Ritter, Written by Isabelle Ritter and Zara Irshad

Ingram’s AP Biology class receives grant to fund analysis of gut bacteria Ameeera Kumar

said that Westview might be the only high school to take part in this project. “When I contacted the American Gut Program, he emailed In a few weeks, three staff members, three AP Biology stu- back and said that they usually have college students particdents, and one pet, will send oral, skin, or stool swabs to the ipate,” Ingram said. “He was very surprised that high school American Gut Project, based at the UC San Diego School of students were doing this and that it was an AP Biology class Medicine. This is a part of a greater research project to sys- wanting to do a longitudinal study.” tematically characterize microbial life across the country, and Students have already volunteered to take part in the study on Earth. After the samples are sequenced, life science teach- by filling out a questionnaire that included questions about er My-Nga Ingram’s three AP Biology classes will analyze dietary preferences and ethnic background.The grant pays for the data to compare the microbes in their participants’ guts to three students and three staff members to be analyzed, so Inthose in the guts of thousands of people across the country. gram now has the task of selecting from each class period The project, which typically costs upwards of $100 per par- one student who is representative of the Westview population. ticipant, will be fully funded through a grant from the Cal Then, students will have the opportunity to select staff memCoast Cares Foundation. Last summer, bers, from those who volunteered, to also Ingram received an email calling for apsubmit their samples. Finally, students plicants for the grant. In order to apply, will vote on a single pet to analyze. [Our genetics] have she had to answer questions regarding One of the focuses of the project for AP how the money would be used to im- been pretty consistent, so Biology classes is to learn about probiotpact students and how it would involve ics and prebiotics and whether or not they STEAM—science, technology, engineer- why is the increase in obesi- have a positive, necessary effect on guts. ing, arts, and math. “We’re just going to take a look at, is tyy occurring right now?” “I started thinking about what projects there any correlation to maybe some of —My-Nga Ingram these 21st-century diseases we’re starting I could do that incorporated this idea of science being an art, so that's where biointo see more of, like diabetes, obesity, Parformatics came in,” Ingram said. “It’s like thousands of pieces kinson’s,” Ingram said. “Our genetics for the human populaof data and then the American Gut Project presents it to you tion have been pretty consistent throughout the last hundred as a visual.” years, so why is the increase in obesity occurring right now?” Participants will receive kits to deposit their samples in, and To try to answer questions like this one, classes will read then send the kits to UCSD to be sequenced. Next, the scien- Alanna Collen’s Ten Percent Human, a book paid for by the tists at the American Gut Project will determine what kinds of grant, which examines how Americans have developed an immicroorganisms are present in the sample, as well as the abun- balanced relationship with the mwicroorganisms in their guts, dance that they exist in. The data from the samples will then and that imbalance may be contributing to the rise of certain be available in a public research database. AP Biology classes health problems. will use the data from their de-identified representatives to try “Overall health is not really about meds, it’s not about takto understand what role these microorganisms play. ing a pill to make ourselves feel better, it’s really about taking While taking part in real research can provide invaluable care of our gut,” Ingram said. “The gut, and the microorganexperience for biology students, the costs associated are often isms that are then main occupants of our guts, will do the rest too high for high-schoolers to participate. As a result, Ingram for us.”

Staff Writer

Westview Gold wins Rancho Bernardo Field Tournament, presents complex show medley Alec Felderman Staff Writer

Westview Gold won its first tournament of the year at the Rancho Bernardo Field Tournament, Oct. 6, scoring first overall, second in percussion and second in color guard. The band presented its marching show called Deco, a medley of pieces by George Gershwin, including “Concerto in F,” “An American in Paris,” and “Rhapsody in Blue.” Deco was not the easiest show to perform, according to percussionist Ryan Mell (11), due to the complexity of the songs and the amount of visuals, the formations or dance moves the band presents. “Previous pieces were easier than this years’ by a long shot due to more visuals and faster songs,” Mell (11) said. “Rhapsody in Blue,” for one, has complicated percussion sections throughout the piece. “American in Paris” has a section where the woodwinds have many arpeggios (a section where the notes of a chord are played extremely fast). Memorizing the songs is challenging enough, but coupling the marching movements with them is a whole different experience on its own. “Marching and playing at the same time is like learning how to ride a bike while juggling torches,” Band President Neil Slavick (12) said. While the concept of playing an instrument and marching seems challenging, there is a whole dynamic that can only be understood by someone attempting to do it. “You spend all of middle school learning how to play an instrument, and then are suddenly told to walk in a certain style, pace, posture, and direction once you get into high school, all while continuing to play that instrument,” Slavick said.

With the complexity of Deco, playing the songs sitting down would be challenging enough, but coupling it with marching in different directions adds a whole new face to the challenge the band faced to put on the show. The band had to dedicate lots of time and energy into making everything run smoothly for their performanc. Brass and woodwind sectionals were held on Wednesdays and Thursdays after school for an hour to learn the music and specific movements associated with their sections. Full band rehearsals were held on Tuesdays for roughly three hours and Saturdays for two and a half hours to work through issues such as blending, which is when everyone has a similar (or perfect) balance with each other and are all playing with uniform tone and volume. The band had to deal with the problem of the brass instruments, playing over the woodwinds, which create less noise. Visuals, were also a challenge the band had to face. “In the past we never really focused on visuals,” Slavick said. In previous years, the band focused more on the music rather than the presentation, but with judges putting more emphasis on visuals this year, the band had to adapt to their taste. “We are now lunging, tenduing and more all while still playing,” Slavick said. With long rehearsals and the repetition of movements, such a process seems like an endless grind, but the band members are dedicated to their craft. “Everyone has their own motivation for doing it, whether it be they enjoy the activity itself or they love the craziness of all 150 of their teammates,” Slavick said. With the Mt. Carmel and Mira Mesa field tournaments on the horizon, anyone interested in watching Deco will have plenty more chances.

4 Features



Oct. 29, 2018

Sword Play: Foiled Again

Elisha Tan (11), competes with the foil, one of three weapons used in fencing. Foil users are limited to the torso as a target area while sparring, as foil matches are meant to represent lethal attacks.



Tan demonstrates the parry 6, a defensive move that prevents opponents from striking her target areas.

Tan demonstrates the lunge, a fundamental offensive move that is used in all forms of fencing. 2


Photos by Rohin Awasthi Design by Michelle Wang, Lydia Zhang


She pulls back to ensure that her opponent has no space to hit her. The parry also places her weapon in a position that allows her to strike back quickly at opponents.


To perfect the lunge, she steps forward with her front foot, and keeps her back foot in place, stretching it as needed to reach her opponent. This footwork position allows Tan to get close to the opponent before she extends her weapon and strikes the target.

Rhea Jogadhenu Staff Writer

Competing in a field of more than 150 international participants, Elisha Tan (11) earned sixth place in the women’s foil fencing division at the U.S.A. Fencing North American Cup, Oct. 12-14, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “I felt very accomplished because it felt like all of my effort and sacrifices to train and be a better fencer was all worth it,” Tan said. “It was a really tough round to win, but I tried my hardest not to think and just enjoy. Everything else falls into place once I focus on having fun.” Tan was introduced to fencing nearly seven years ago when she attended a basic fencing program at Gateways Summer School. She became familiar with the three main styles of fencing, each of which focused on a different defensive strategy, target, and weapon. “There are three types: sabre and epee and foil,” she said. “Sabre is very offensive and fast. Eppe is more defensive because you can hit anywhere. Foil is really a mix between the two. If you take the saber target area and offense, as well as some of the poking of epee, then you get foil.” After becoming familiar with the three styles, Tan and her coach decided that she had the most skill as a foil fencer and she began training exclusively under that style. “Personally, as a foil fencer, my favorite move is flicking, because my metal blade bends and touches opponents,” she said. Within her first year as a foil fencer, Tan grew to enjoy it and decided to enter the competitive field. “I love fencing because it is the culmination of both physical and mental strength,” she said. “You could be

the most athletic person in the world, but without the right strategy you cannot win. It has surprisingly made me grow more mentally than physically.” When other parts of her life became stressful, fencing became an outlet for her to let go of pressure. Although it can be very competitive, Tan has come to love fencing because of its unique nature that separates it from other sports, and the level of concentration, focus, and mindset that it requires. “Fencing is not so much of a physical sport, but it’s actually a lot more mentally challenging than it is physically challenging,” she said. “To fence, you have to think a lot. It's basically the sports version of chess.” When Tan began competitive fencing, she started training at Golubitsky Fencing Center in Irvine, where she worked with her coach, Sergei Golubitsky. “He’s considered a legend in fencing,” Tan said. “He was a three time world champion in a row for foil, which is very impressive, and I’m lucky to have him as a coach.” As the three-time world champion in the Men’s Foil Fencing event and an Olympic silver medalist, Golubitsky has extended much of his fencing knowledge about moves, such as the parry, the lunge, the flèche, and other offensive and defensive moves, to Tan. More importantly, however, Golubitsky has helped her learn to value both her physical and mental strength. “Although he has helped me improve my technique a lot, I can say that the most valuable lessons he has taught me all related to my mental wellbeing,” she said. Every week, Tan takes four trips to Irvine to train at her fencing center. Through extensive training, Tan has also realized that teamwork is essential, despite fencing being a individual sport. “For fencing, you can’t just train by yourself, be-

cause it’s an opponent sport,” she said. “You can do technique practice by yourself but you can only become good by practicing with other people.” While a regular practice consists of some individual drills such as target and foot work, the most important part is when she works on opponent sparring with her teammates. As she’s advanced and trained rigorously over the years, Tan has found herself attending many out-ofstate and national competitions. She began traveling about four years ago, when she attended her first out-of-state tournament in Dallas. Each year, there are six national tournaments that are usually out-of-state. Because of this, traveling has become a regular part of her life. Tan also competed in England in the 2018 Manchester Cadet International fencing competition last month. For that tournament, she was notified just two days before, that she had been invited to compete. “This was my first international tournament, and it was cool seeing different fencers from so many different countries,” she said. Tan participated in two parts of the competition: poule and direct elimination. She finished in 33rd place, and this experience gave Tan the chance to compete against fencers from all over the world of many different experience levels. In the future, she hopes to take international fencing to the next level, with the aspiration to participate in the Olympic games. “Travelling a lot has definitely had a large impact on my academics,” she said. “I also don’t have a lot of free time because of fencing, which has really put a strain on my social relationships. But after being able to stand on a national podium, I know it’s all worth it in the end.”

In My Feelings A Disconcerting Concert Lina Lew

Walking toward the concert venue, the only thing I could feel was my heart dropping to my stomach. This was it. Besides seeing one of my favorite artists on stage, I was finally going to meet him. He was a friend of a friend, a senior I’d come to idolize when I was just a young sophomore. We never talked, obviously, since I was too afraid to even look at him, but for years I had only heard great things about the guy: funny, good writer, great music taste, cool beyond belief—not to mention intimidatingly hot. Since we both had a good mutual friend, it was inevitable we’d one day hang out. And tonight was the night. No, I wasn’t just meeting him—I was spending several cozy hours with this guy I’ve only ever admired from afar. Today was a night full of first impressions, opportunities to prove I could also be just as funny and personable. As we walked in, my mind started nitpicking every single one of my life decisions. Was I wearing cool enough clothes? Should I say ‘hi’ or ‘what’s up’? I was contemplating the indie factor of my shirt when I looked up and froze. There he was. At that moment, every bit of charisma and charm I’ve ever possessed abandoned me. This was the guy, and here we were, and oh my god, he was a real person. I managed to wave hello and engage in painless small talk, but, all too soon, our mutual friend disappeared into the crowd. Oh no, I thought. No no no no, went my inner monologue as I was left alone with him. Be cool, I told myself, flashing him a smile he’d hopefully interpret as both polite yet inviting. I wanted to seem fun, so I swayed along to the music, consciously trying to make my body contort with the rhythm in a way that appeared like a natural dance. I wasn’t sure if I was doing it right, but he didn’t immediately distance himself from me in disgust, so I assume it worked. I wanted to talk to him, but the pounding of my heartbeat made it impossible for me to speak clearly. Minutes passed, each opportunity slipping through my fingers as I stood there, silent. C’mon, say something, weirdo, I urged myself. He’s gonna think you’re a complete social oaf. I was beginning to construct something witty to say to him, but just then, he leaned in and uttered a couple words my way— inconveniently, this occured right as the bass decided to pick up, muffling his words and leaving me clueless. I nodded and laughed, praying to god that he didn’t ask me a question. The band played, the crowd cheered, and after what seemed like hours, I was about to gather the courage to tap him on the shoulder and try again when suddenly the lights came on. We had exchanged maybe 10 words the whole night before the band started to clear the stage and thank the crowd for coming. After spending the whole night trying to exude confidence and coolness, I wasn't very pleased with the results. In fact, I felt a little disappointed. Sure, I didn’t embarrass myself in front of him, but I couldn’t help feeling like I wasted the entire night by fearing his judgement. With the lights back on and the pressure off my shoulders, I finally saw this for what it was. This was me, hanging out on a Saturday night, with another guy. He wore a regular t-shirt and sneakers, stumbled on his words and stood with me during most of the concert. He wasn’t this idol I’ve always imagined him to be—he was nice and down to earth and might’ve been as equally awed by me as I was by him. As we walked out together, I told myself I wasn’t going to let my self-doubt hold me back any longer. I would manage the small talk, the jokes, the eye contact, the taps on the shoulder. I would take every opportunity in my hands and make the most of it, no matter how nerve-wracking it may initially feel. And though the concert had ended, the night was still young, and I thought, maybe I could start right now.

Inspired by grandfather, Kapoor pursues medical internship Grace Kim Staff Writer

When Vinay Kapoor (11) was 5 years old, his grandfather would lie in bed and tell him a story every night. Twelve years later, they would be lying in a bed together again, but in the hospital. In 2014, Kapoor’s grandfather was diagnosed with Stage 4 esophageal cancer . “I went into shock for a couple of days and there was total silence [from my family],” Kapoor said. “Being 2,000 miles away, it’s really hard knowing that you can’t do much and that you’re sitting out here while [my grandfather and grandmother] are all suffering.” Kapoor quietly wept in his room. He felt angry and sad that someone he considered his own parent was diagnosed with cancer. However, Kapoor soon realized he needed to stand up and stay strong for his family because he believed that being down only discouraged his grandfather from surviving. From then on he decided to take a different approach to his situation. “I told my mom that if we cry and give up

hope, neither God nor anyone could help us,” Kapoor said. Kapoor said he felt it was part of his duty to help his grandfather fight cancer by understanding exactly what he was going through. When he flew to New Jersey in the summer, Kapoor took the lead by talking to doctors and observing his grandfather during treatments. Specifically, his AP Biology knowledge regarding cancer cells aided Kapoor in understanding the procedures the doctors were going to perform on his grandfather, like using an endoscopy to look inside his stomach. Frequent exposure to the hospital environment ultimately inspired him to change his career path and explore a different career: surgery. “Before, I wanted to be a sports journalist,” Kapoor said. “But talking to doctors about my grandfather’s procedures motivated me to go into a medical profession.” This year, four years later, Kapoor decided to apply to several medical programs during spring of his sophomore year. He ended up getting into and attending a two-week internship at SHARP HealthCare for the summer.

Every day from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m, he had the opportunity to experiment with various careers in the medical field by listening to lectures and performing activities . “One day we had an acupuncture and Eastern medicine day and another day we got to hear from cardiologists,” Kapoor said. But out of all these activities, the one that stood out the most to Kapoor was dissecting a human brain. Before dissecting, Kapoor observed a neurosurgeon cut the brain into different pieces. Then, the surgeon talked in depth about each part and its function. After, they used scalpels to perform their own cuts. Kapoor said his interest in surgery was strengthened by being able to be hands-on. “It’s more valuable being hands on in surgery because it’s an experience that you will never forget,” Kapoor said. Another memorable activity for Kapoor was when he learned how to stitch on a pig’s leg. In the beginning, however, Kapoor had trouble adjusting to the stitches. “On my first stitch, I went too fast and cut myself with a hook,” Kapoor said. “After that I went a bit slower and learned that I

could actually do it, and the plastic surgeon was really impressed with me.” In that moment, Kapoor felt as if he was going to be amazing in his medical career with the skills he possessed. Kapoor recalls watching a video about a 14 year old patient named Julian further inspired him to pursue a medical career. According to Kapoor, the video told the story of Julian, who suddenly collapsed during school. Fortunately, SHARP Healthcare was able to treat Julian and save his life after he fainted with a seizure. Watching this video inspired Kapoor to become a pediatric orthopedic surgeon. “[Julian] talked about how he felt like he was given a new life and that really inspired me because I would love to see the smile on [kids’] faces when I help them out,” Kapoor said. Kapoor’s resolve to enter the medical field has only been bolstered by the SHARP Healthcare internship, and as a result, he applied to more medical programs. Kapoor will be participating in the PathMaker internship with Palomar Health in December. For three months, he will be

working four hours a week with patients and helping nurses in different departments such as surgery, orthopedics and endoscopy. Looking back at the SHARP HealthCare internship, Kapoor said he is glad to have a found a new career interest in surgery through his grandfather’s cancer journey. “I feel like I’ve turned around the whole situation completely, in a new way, and I feel like something positive has come out,” Kapoor said. ” Although Kapoor’s grandfather still has cancer, he is doing much better. Kapoor’s grandfather is excited for what is yet to come in terms of Kapoor’s medical career. “[My grandfather] really saw something in me that he didn’t see in anyone else [in] that I took initiative through his situation to use it to my advantage,” Kapoor said. Kapoor also strives to leave a legacy behind for his grandfather. “He’ll be proud of me if I go into the [medical] field and be able to help other people like his doctors did for him,” Kapoor said. “I think that’s one way to give back to his life and provide a legacy for him that he developed me to be this person.”

Nygren leads Overwatch team, combats video-gamer stereotypes Alice Chen Staff Writer

Hannah Nygren (12) has a problem with the way people describe video gamers—weird, unhealthy, obsessive, or all three. “People are negatively stereotyping [video gaming], something I’ve always been interested in,” she said. “It’s difficult. I don’t like hearing it, [but] it’s so hard to control.” Nygren got her first taste of video game culture very early in her childhood, when she played Team Fortress 2. It sparked a passion that she hadn’t realized before and soon, video games became a huge part of her life. Because of this, she also saw the stereotypes associated with being a player of video games. “It’s hard to ignore, and people subconsciously do it,” Nygren said. “Stereotypes come with any group of people, and people often see [video gamers] as, ‘Oh it’s those nerds who lock themselves up in their room and play games all day.’ I feel like [the eSports Club] was made to change stereotypes.” To Nygren, it’s important that professional gaming isn’t associated with casual gaming. The professional video gaming scene is known as esports and—contrary to common belief—is not limited to Wii sports, FIFA and Madden. Professional tournaments are a marketable franchise for all types of games, and are reserved for only the

highest skilled and most well-rounded players. Similar to always a healthy balance. It’s always the most extremes the professional scene of traditional sports, members of that shed bad light on a community.” esports teams receive hefty paychecks and build massive As a result, to deter negative stereotypes, Nygren defollowings. cided to take advantage of her position as the secretary “[People don’t] realize that there is actual skill in- of the eSports Club. She had an idea to create a team of volved in playing video games,” she said. “Or understand video-gamers to represent Westview in nationwide vidwhy there is a ‘sport’ in esports. Obviously, video games eo-game tournaments. aren’t physically exhausting, but an esports athlete is To her, this could be a step forward for esports to be skilled in their reaction time, ability legitimized at Westview. to think ahead, and even just learning “It’s so widespread now that even the game, which is similar to [proIf you’re interested, just the NBA has established their own fessional] sports. Like football, there esports league,” Nygren said. “It are rules, like, ‘this is the game, this a little bit, let out those inter- [changes] the perceptions of, ‘They is what you’re supposed to do.’ I feel ests. Don’t be scared by the just sit in their basement and play like more people could be into this games.’ The eSports Club before was stereotypes.” once they realize what the [esports] very casual, all they really did was —Hannah Nygren (12) Smash tournaments. I wanted to get community is all about.” Nygren said that because esports something done, [to] set what we do are unlike traditional sports, they on a similar level to sports.” are often misunderstood, which in turn perpetuates steFor example, Overwatch is a popular, highly competireotypes that video-gaming is unhealthy. Professional tive team game. Similar to football, it has offense and degamers are still often made fun of by the media. fense. There are clear objectives to win the match, which “When the average person who doesn’t follow esports are akin to scoring touchdowns in football. at all is exposed to this type of commentary, of course Overwatch has a wide range of distinct ranks that evthey’ll have a tainted view of [video games] as a whole,” ery player earns by competing against other players, and she said. “Like any good thing, it can turn from a hobby a player’s rank is used to measure their individual skill. to an addiction. There are definitely people out there who Students that Nygren gathered for Westview’s official spend way too much time on video games, [but] there is Overwatch team all rank in the top 10 percent of more

than 30 million players. This team is competing in nationwide Overwatch tournaments that run through November and December. “Overwatch really is my passion,” Nygren said. “There is a [monetary] prize pool, but that’s not the focus of the tournament. It’s getting that recognition like, ‘This is what we do. Other high schools can get involved in this.’ We can do well in our tournaments and leave a mark on Westview. [I] just want to make [us] known for doing that, and when people know about it and people are proud of it, they will think, ‘Maybe I could get into this.’” Video games mean a lot to Nygren, so it also means a lot to her that other people see how cool esports can be. She said she hopes that the start of the Westview Overwatch team will set something in stone for future students. “I just have a passion, and I want to share it,” she said. “I hope other schools can do what I am doing. I’m not afraid to make mistakes because I will be an example to the next people. If you’re interested, just a little bit, let out those interests. Don’t be scared by the stereotypes.” Nygren sees considerable potential in the Westview Overwatch team. She trusts wholeheartedly that the team will promote a positive image for esports within Westview. “There is definitely promise,” she said. “I think we can get far. Maybe if we do well in tournaments, people will look up to us. It makes all the effort worthwhile.”


Features 5


Oct. 29, 2018




Kevin Pert

Jessica Lin

Anastasia Schas (12) edits segments for her short film, “Lost Love,” that features Emily Olds (12) and revolves around themes of relationships, friendship, regret and depression. Schas has been working on this film since this summer.

Schas films documentary in Bosnia From Film, page 1

because I had a specific vision I wanted to capture.” Schas realized that her input began to cloud the fact that there were other people around her to help. She realized that her stressing wasn’t benefitting anyone. In order for her to truly contribute to the team, she needed to change her mindset. “It was stressful, but I turned [that] into adrenaline and was driven and focused to getting all the scenes done,” Schas said. She found that the way she communicated with the rest of the team needed to change as well. She knew that the whole team was there for each other, including her. And it was during the project that she did something that she was not accustomed to: she asked for help. “[The mentors and I] would all just come together, talk about it, and find a way to solve the problem,” Schas said. Whether it was shooting on the grass fields or in an abandoned attic, Schas and the mentors determined which shots worked the best according to the scene. “We made thumbnails and drew out which scenes we wanted to do like close shots, high shots and medium shots,” Schas said. She was told to follow the thumbnails as a general guideline but to try out different techniques too. Schas found that the different ideas that were bounced off the crew helped her create scenes that were worthwhile,

which helped her solve the problems she faced. “There were some scenes where I took off the lense caps and made a lens flare [to emphasize the sunset],” Schas said. “[There were] little different things I did like color grading and [setting a] time for when we shot scenes, like at sunset.” After devoting sleepless nights to the film, it was finally complete. She knew that she gained new skills that she would carry for a lifetime. “I learned how to communicate because sometimes it was super hectic,” Schas said. “We needed to communicate clearly to each other without added emotions of stress and frustration, which [I learned] was not always easy.” Schas settled into her seat alongside the other thousand people who came to watch the MFF. Her whole production crew was well aware that the audience may not enjoy their film due to its religious controversy. The dark colors in the scene enveloped the screen as it projected different voodoo spirits. But as the film begin to play on the screen, Schas’ nerves began to subside into an immense joy. “I was very eager to see it on the big screen,” Schas said. “Since I was on the camera crew, I didn’t see the finished edit until the opening night.” The title “My Condolences” spread across the screen as Schas began to see the story unfold. She no longer was focused on the audience’s reaction; she was just in awe at the masterpiece she was able to contribute to. “There were definitely moments when I felt overwhelmed and exhausted, but turning to my peers for

help helped me a lot,” Schas said. “I loved having the support of a group of people who have similar interests and skills I could relate to and help me solve problems that I encountered.” Locals around the area, film enthusiasts, and fellow filmmakers all gathered to enjoy the films, small awards being given to the best films. While the film Schas took part of wasn’t entered into the competition, she relishes in the praises her film received from the film judges and reviewers. After, Schas began to reflect back on the experience. “I just love the whole process of getting people together and filming, telling a story and showing it on screens,” Schas said. “It’s crazy to think how much work was done behind the scenes to create one finished short film.” Schas came home two weeks later with newfound inspiration and the conviction that she wanted to pursue filmmaking in the future. But most of all, she fell in love with the intricacies behind filmmaking. “I knew [that] filmmaking was what I was interested in, but after MFF, it confirmed my decision to pursue film as a career,” Schas said. With Schas’ different short films in the making, she no longer relies on only herself to get it done. She now asks for help because she knows that with a group of people, she can be a part of something truly amazing. “I learned and embraced that filmmaking is an effort of total collaboration and teamwork," Schas said. "I learned so much from MFF and grew as a person and a filmmaker.


To all the boys I’ve looked at before This one’s for the boy in my third-period AP Bio class, with whom I know I will make eye contact at least 47 times in any given day. For the stranger in the hall whom I pass every day between the J building to the D. For anyone and everyone I’ve engaged in eye contact with, let me explain. The eyes are, if we are to believe Shakespeare, the window to the soul. Humans are one of the few species to have large sclera, meaning the whites of our eyes are much larger than the iris, a feature that makes it explicitly clear when we’re looking at something or someone. So I’m sitting in class. Having already allowed my focus to slip away from cellular respiration and bromothymol blue, I let my eyes wander straight across the room, only to realize that my own two eyes had met those of another.

If you’re at all like me—overly analytical, compulsively critical—you know that there are layers to eye contact. This particular one was the worst: the kind of eye contact that is decidedly not an accident, nor is it comfortable. Your eye contact partner seems to be staring relentlessly, in a way that, when undesired, comes off as exceedingly creepy. It’s too long, too intense, and in every way, too much. I, having also lingered for a second too long, did what any respectable person would, and made the conscious effort to avert my gaze, to free both him, the instigator, and myself from the pressure that eye contact entails. Now I’d like to believe that this kind of eye contact is a rarity, because it feels like, most of the time, it is truly an accident, an unfortunate, ill-timed look in the wrong direction. It’s the eyes’ equivalent to clumsily bumping

into someone in the hall, before muttering an apology and shuffling away. But regardless of the cause, in those moments, when I find myself locking eyes with someone from across a crowded room, I get scared. It’s because eye contact means intimacy, and intimacy means vulnerability, and that level of vulnerability with a stranger is scary. Researchers at Tufts University found that when eye contact was made, people were less likely to lie about owning money they found on the ground. Direct eye contact is like opening a door to the inner you. But for some reason, as scary as it is, we’re still drawn to it. When people make eye contact, they want—maybe subconsciously—more. Our eyes seem to have a visceral need to latch onto someone else’s. And so people look back. They take breaks, during which they attempt to look nonchalantly back

Ameera Kumar at the board, their phones, their friends, until they try to sneak just one more look. We’re trying to confirm that that initial look happened. Because if someone really looks at you, even for a second, it means that you’re really here, right here, right now. It means that you are seen, that you’re important, at least to someone. If we disregard all the creeps—all those who choose to stare unabashedly—I guess at some level, eye contact is comforting; to look out into a cold, lonely world, apathetic and indifferent, with everyone fixated on either ATP hydrolysis or themselves, and find that one pair of eyes trained on you, acknowledging your existence, affirming your relevance, feels good. So to all the boys—and girls—I’ve looked at before, and who’ve looked back, thank you for making me feel significant, if just for a second.



Sheck Wes’ single, “Mo Bamba,” captivated hip-hop. Concerts, clubs and school dances everywhere weren’t safe from the song’s explosive energy. One Instagram video even showed a college dorm ceiling collapsing as a result of the song, captioned “‘Mo Bamba’ gets so rowdy people are jumping through the floor.” For the last few months, it certainly has felt like “Mo Bamba” has had everyone trying to jump through their floors. An anthem that has as much melody as it does aggression, “Mo Bamba” is simply a great song. Energetic crowds are far from the only ones supporting Wes—Drake, Kanye, and Travis Scott have all co-signed him, with the latter two signing him to a G.O.O.D. Music / Cactus Jack joint deal that’s earned him a spot on both the soundtrack for NBA Live 19 and the most recent Purge movie. So with a unique sound, sizable following, and ability to turn even overachieving Westview students into a mass of mosh-pitting savages, Wes’ album, MUDBOY released Oct. 5, had lofty expectations. Unfortunately, Sheck Wes did not meet these expectations. Many parts of this album are inexplicably bad, with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. One of these parts is “Never Lost.” At four minutes and 33 seconds, it would be an accomplishment for any SoundCloud artist—Wes or otherwise—to sustain the listener’s interest for this long, and Wes unfortunately proves himself incapable of doing this. He spends this time singing lyrics meant to be thought-provoking and emotional, but that ultimately fall flat. Wes isn’t a good singer; in fact, he’s a terrible one. He tried to make a trap ballad, but ended up with a song that’s both too out-oftune for radio and too lifeless to make its way into parties. Wes proclaims himself to be “the world’s best kept secret” but if songs like these are what he’s been hiding, perhaps it’s best they remain secret after all. “Danimals” may be an even worse vocal performance than “Never Lost.” It’s full of voice cracks, rarely on tune, and even his background mumbles are off. “Mo Bamba” reportedly took Wes 20 minutes to make, which leaves me wondering if he either somehow made this song in less time, or there’s an inverse correlation between his time spent on songs and their quality. Whatever the magic number is, Wes isn’t hitting it here. His next track, “WESPN” is a better attempt at a melodic track. It’s catchy and the production is dreamy and layered, but his singing is still off-key. Wes’ lack of lyrical-prowess on “Mo Bamba” could be explained by its purpose; it’s not meant to be introspective, lyrical or thought-provoking. It’s a party song. Throughout the course of a 14-track album, however, it becomes clear that his lyrical ability never existed to begin with. This shows through on his attempt at a trap-banger on “Kyrie,” but while it may have a hard-hitting beat, it feels generic for an artist with as much individuality as Wes. There’s plenty of cliche basketball references, and his signature ad-libs are replaced by run-of-the-mill hip-hop lines. "Burn Slow" is another prime example of Wes' missing the mark. He tries to weave his usual high-tempo style into a sleepy, dream-like beat, but ends up sounding out of place. Still, Wes shows promise. The same energy brought by “Mo Bamba” shows through on “Gmail,” “Wanted,” and “Live Sheck Wes,” even if the latter is hardly a new song. “Gmail” isn’t Wes’ most aggressive song, but its hypnotic production and 808 drums are still quality staples of MUDBOY. “Wanted” presents itself as another lower tempo Wes song until he unexpectedly bursts into a fantastic chorus over rumbling drums. “Live Sheck Wes” is the hardest song on the entire album. Before even rapping a verse, Wes jumps straight to a punk-like chorus: yelling, screaming and threatening anyone looking down upon him. The production is straightforward, but it fits the song perfectly. It’s not complicated, there’s no deeper meaning, it’s just Wes going all out, which he’s great at. He closes the album on “Vetement Socks,” which is a refreshingly original track that rivals even “Mo Bamba’’’s ability to balance melody and energy. Wes brags and reflects over a glossy, cosmic beat that evokes imagery of him walking across Harlem streets without gravity. If there’s any shining stars on this album, it’s the producers. Each instrumental creates a space-like vibe, and there’s not one song on this project without unique or amazing production. Wes’ in-house producer, YungLunchBox, particularly stands out. With the most production credits on the album, Box demonstrates that if anyone deserves credit for creating the atmosphere of the album, it’s not Wes himself. Still, in the midst of the hype, Wes fails to deliver. The album feels rushed and incomplete, with more filler than substance. Should we give up on Sheck Wes? No, but he certainly isn’t looking like “the world’s best secret” on MUDBOY.

Eight Ryu siblings rely on each other, bond despite age gap Andrea Chen Editor in Chief

The eight Ryu siblings, ranging from seven-year-old John Paul to 23-year-old Epiphany (’12), have always joked about middle child syndrome (the feeling that middle children are being excluded), according to Daniel Ryu (11). After all, he said, six of the Ryu siblings are middle children themselves. With that in mind, their entire family made a pact to celebrate Middle Child Day this year, Aug. 12. Except, Aug. 12 came and passed without notice, which was ironic because they had always joked about the middle children being forgotten. “We completely forgot that [Middle Child Day] existed, and we were like ‘oh wait, we were supposed to celebrate that three days ago,’” Daniel said. “We celebrated it just the way we should’ve. We forgot about Middle Child Day.” And while the Ryu siblings forgot about Middle Child Day, they always remember to appreciate what makes each one of them so special to each other. Some are still in elementary school, others have jobs already.

Some are introverted, others are extroverted. Some are sporty, others, book-smart. But all share a deep love for their family. “With the age gap it’s harder to connect [sometimes], and I definitely connect better to some of my siblings than others,” Daniel said. “But we also have these things that unite us. We all believe in God, most of us like to read, and [we all know] what it really means to sacrifice for another person, to take care of another person and to work together.” Faustina Ryu (9), sixth oldest, agreed with Daniel, emphasizing that she and her siblings take the time to help each other and bond, even with their different interests. “I think that what ties us together as a family the most is the fact that we’re always there for each other,” Faustina said. “Every single one of us is always willing to listen to each other’s problems, celebrate over our accomplishments, and laugh over memories.” Being the fifth and sixth oldest children in their family, respectively, Daniel and Faustina have picked up tips from their older brothers and sisters. In particular, their older brother

Leo Ryu (‘17) would help them by that could be used to study or do teaching them about classes at West- homework. view. “We all help each other out,” Dan“[Leo] was always helping me out, iel said. “In a large family, there’s watching over me, making sure I got no real room for selfishness, which my stuff done, teaching me how to I think is really good. You get an go through Westview,” Daniel said. awareness that it’s not just about Once, Leo even stayed up until 3 you, it’s about other people. You a.m. editing Daniel’s 10-page sopho- learn about how to work with other more thesis paper on The Lord of the people and care about them, which Rings. is really imAs for Faustiportant.” It’s crazy, stressful, inna, Leo gave tips Each of the like using the Bar- sane but also I wouldn’t really Ryu siblings ron’s prep book has their own for AP Chemistry trade it for anything else in schedule with as practice prob- the world.” different ac—Daniel Ryu (11) tivities to do lems to bring up her grade. and places to “It’s nice be, making knowing you have a free tutor just communication extremely important a call away,” Faustina said. “My fa- when it comes to transportation. For vorite part of being in a big family example, Faustina does taekwondo, is that [everyone] is always pushing but Daniel does robotics. each other to become the best person That sometimes means having to that they can possibly be.” give up an extra hour of sleep to get But out of all the things they’ve someone to school on time, not belearned from their brothers and sis- ing able to hang out with friends or ters, both Daniel and Faustina em- missing other extracurricular events. phasized the lesson of sacrifice. “Life having seven other siblings Sacrifice, to the Ryus, ranges from is busy, to say the least,” Faustina giving up something small like the said. last chocolate chip cookie to time Because all of the craziness that

happens in the Ryu family, Daniel considers his parents “superheroes.” His mom drops off everyone at school, drives them to their extracurriculars and makes sure they’re fed. His dad works long hours to provide for their family, running his own startup but maximizing the time he does have with his kids through small things like watching soccer together. With all these responsibilities on their parents’ shoulders, the Ryu siblings aim to minimize the strain by acting independently or going to each other for help. “If we brought all of our problems to our parents at the same time, it’s just overwhelming,” he said. “So, we really, especially the older siblings, make sure that we’re independent and that we teach our siblings to be more independent as time goes on. When they’re younger it’s fine that they need more help, then when they get to high school, then you start teaching them ‘ok manage your own schedule, manage your clubs, make sure you communicate with everyone, make sure you can do the things you sign up for.’” As Daniel’s now the oldest at home, he’s trying to pass on this

message to his younger siblings. He said that after Leo graduated, he felt like it was time for him to be one of the older siblings. He started helping his little brothers with their math homework, working with them on topics ranging from basic addition to equations. Whatever they needed, he would do his best to provide. “I really started to feel like ‘wow I need to step up now,’ he said. “I need to start helping my siblings and I need to be the one to help mediate things while taking care of my own stuff.” Slowly, the Ryus are flying from the coop one by one, going off to college, applying to jobs, but they always manage to find some time where all eight of them can simply be together. Sometimes, it’s a couple days here and there during summer, other times, a week during winter break. “Even if only one person is missing, the house feels strangely empty simply because we grew up in a large environment,” Faustina said. “You’re never really alone,” Daniel said. “It’s crazy, stressful, insane but also I wouldn’t really trade it for anything else in the world.”

6 Features



Oct. 29, 2018

Boal breaks gender norms with makeup Tiffany Le

Editor in Chief When Tristan Boal (12) creates art, he uses the typical tools of an artist: brushes, sponges, pencils, colors. He sits at his desk and pulls out a palette, thinking for a moment before picking a color to base his creation on. The masterpieces Boal makes, however, are not on a sheet of paper or on a piece of wood. Boal didn’t have to draw out a face on a sheet of paper before he could explore artistic techniques such as shading and shapes and forms. The face already existed. The canvas was Boal himself. The palette mentioned was not a Crayola watercolor set from Michaels, but rather an Anastasia Beverly Hills eyeshadow kit from an Ulta beauty store. The brushes were not dipped in acrylic paint, but rather into creamy pigments that were transferred onto Boal’s face. This new palette was, in fact, only his second because he was admittedly new to this. Boal spent hours that day watching YouTube videos, and eventually came across a challenge that caught his attention. In the video, the girl did everything in reverse: from inverting the colors she used to putting on primer last. Once the video ended, Boal looked at his own palette. His eyes scanned the array of colors. Purple, he thought. Purple felt different. Purple felt unique. As for the subject of the piece? He chose a face. Similar to the girl in the video, Boal chose unorthodox methods in painting this face. He took a swatch of the purple, and applied it onto the eyelid creases. Instead of grabbing the typical brown contour compact, Boal took another shade of purple to emphasize other aspects of the cheekbones and nose. He experimented with contrasts between light and dark, blending it all into one cohesive look. After an hour and 30 minutes, Boal took a step back and looked at his finished product. “It was gorgeous,” Boal said. “I was proud of it. But I was afraid of whether or not people were going to judge me and think that what I was doing was in some way morally wrong because of my gender.” But why did Boal feel such fear in something as simple as a piece of art? The answer laid with the canvas. “Makeup, to me, is just another form of art and expression,” Boal said. “But I think that the reason why people might look down upon me doing it is because [makeup] is stereotypically something that girls would do and I’m a male.” However, despite the potential for backlash, Boal consiously allows himself to feel vulnerable by applying makeup, posting videos about it on his social media accounts, and practicing his makeup skills on himself and friends. “What I strive to do with [makeup] is hopefully make

Tiffany Le

Tristan Boal (12) applies eyeshadow on Paige Riza’s (12) eyelids during a makeup trial run in his bedroom to show her a possible makeup look for homecoming. Boal started a social media account to showcase his self-taught makeup looks and expand his makeup knowledge. other people comfortable about it,” he said. “Everyone has a fear of the unknown. When I first told my parents that I wanted to do makeup, they were hesitant, and it really had to come down to me trying to explain how it’s simple as me just wanting to do it because it’s a creative outlet and it’s fun.” He explained that whenever he has a horrible day at school, he can always fall back on makeup to bring his spirits up. “Even when I feel the most defeated, I can create something amazing and feel like I am on top of the world again,” he said. While Boal does not typically wear makeup to school, he shares his artistic ventures with his followers online. His posts range from pictures and videos about his shopping sprees to makeup challenges, to makeup tutorials. But while Boal puts on a confident facade online, his offline self does not echo the same sentiment. “I think I definitely know more about what I’m doing now, but at first it was kind of a ‘fake it till you make it’ act,” he said. “I did that because I talked so much about how I was excited about this, and I talked like I knew

what I was doing because I had done so much research, so I felt like I had to prove that I was good at this to my friends who already had high expectations of my abilities.” However, as Boal practiced and posted more and more, he ended up faking it until he became it. With 273 followers on his makeup artist Instagram account, Boal has received more than 1,200 likes and 100 comments on his nine posts thus far. “After getting all that support, I just felt reassurance because no one had to do that,” Boal said. “It made me feel more confident in the fact that just because [makeup is] stereotypically for girls, it shouldn't serve as the blockade preventing me from doing it.” In an effort to further normalize male interest in makeup, Boal started a small business where he created makeup looks for his clients before the Homecoming dance, Oct. 13. Boal's clients paid 10 dollars for a full face of makeup done the day of the dance: from eyes, to brows, to foundation, to blush. The estimated time it took to complete the makeup is one to two hours, and the fee includ-

ed a makeup trial run free of cost. Boal said that by doing this, he additionally gained valuable experience with doing makeup on faces of different shapes and sizes with clients who desire different styles. Furthermore, Boal involved himself with the costume and makeup department of the theatre company for the school play, “And Then There Were None,” which ran Oct.4-6. As a part of the committee, Boal applied light makeup and styled the hair of numerous actors before the first act. “My parents always told me, ‘do anything that makes you happy that’s not dangerous for you or affecting others negatively,’ and I thought that [doing makeup] could only be a positive thing,” he said. And so, when Boal creates art, he uses the typical tools of an artist: brushes, sponges, pencils, colors. He sits at his desk and reaches for a camera. He places it on a tripod, adjusting it until he fits perfectly into the frame. He pulls out a palette, thinking for a moment before picking a color to base his creation on. And then, he hits record.

Bu researches magnetic microbots at University of Florida Julie Zhu Staff Writer

Prior to this summer, Amy Bu (12) had never researched anything in her life. That changed this past summer when she spent six weeks at the University of Florida participating in their Student Science Training Program. After sending in a essay, her transcript, and letters of recommendation, Bu was selected to participate in the program, which allows high schoolers to engage in ongoing research with members from the university's research faculty. Although most of the students selected were from Florida, all were rising seniors who expressed an interest in the field of science. At the program, each participant was assigned a lab with a different concept to conduct research on for the duration of the program. “It’s not like school,” Bu said. “It’s not just a program where we [learn about] the academic subject, it’s like actual research, so what you are going to end up doing really depends on what [is] happening currently in [the field].” Bu’s topic was magnetic microrobots. The goal was to accurately control swarms of microrobots with magnetic fields, which would be particularly beneficial in biomedical pro-

cedures. “The benefits of having magnetically controlled microrobots is that when you are doing biomedical procedures there are no wires, bulky internal power sources or power sources that can run out while [they’re] still in the body,” Bu said. These microrobots are controlled by magnetic fields produced outside of the body. It may seem simple at first, but there were many problems that came with using magnetic robots. “If you use the same kind of magnets to make the magnetic robots, they’re going to want to move in the same direction if they are in the same magnetic field, which is not useful.” Bu said. Bu's main goal was to manage magnets that were in the same magnetic field individually. “I was trying to figure out how to make them move independently and since the research is still in the very early stages, all I was trying to do was just make [the indicidual magnets] move at different speeds and different velocities as well as turn them on and off,” she said. Bu’s objective was to make individual magnets move or stay still, even in the same magnetic field. Even though she had no previous experience with research, Bu had some experience with magnetism through her AP Physics C

ALUMNI TODAY: Zara Irshad Staff Writer

“This is what democracy looks like” and countless other passionate chants rang through Sydney Pidgeon’s (’15) ears as she marched the streets of downtown San Diego. She found herself in the midst of a sea of posters, each with its own message related to women’s rights. “Girls just want to have fundamental rights” and “A woman’s place is in the resistance” lined the streets. Never, Pidgeon said, had she felt so empowered, so inspired. “It [was] an incredible experience to be in a community with women hoping to make a change,” Pidgeon said. “I think it’s a great space for men and women to learn what issues are surrounding all women.” After her impactful experience at the Women’s March in January of 2017, Pidgeon began to notice the lack of female leaders at her college, the University of San Diego, and around the world. She had always been a leader herself; a peer counselor since her sophomore year and a varsity tri-athlete, she is no stranger to guiding her peers. “I think Westview completely transformed my identity,” Pidgeon said. “I always joke around and say that when I’m rich and famous I’m going to give all my money to Westview because it really did help me under-

course. “[Though] the assignment [of] what lab you have is kind of random, I think mine actually really fit well with me because I had just finished Physics C in school,” she said. “Magnetism was the last unit [of the assignment]. I felt like I was just building on that knowledge even though I hadn’t actually learned about what they were teaching me at the lab.” At the start of the program, Bu was surprised to learn she would be researching by herself, without anyone her own age beside her. “The very first day, even before I met the lab I was gonna be working with, I was actually really worried because I didn’t realize that everyone would be on their own with the lab,” Bu said. She received help from the project’s principal investigator and a professor’s group, but mostly worked with a postdoctoral researcher. Nonetheless, she got to work and started the research process. On the weekdays, Bu spent hours every day working on her lab with her postdoctoral researcher. She also attended seminars and lectures on various scientific topics, as well as study groups to help with her lab. Bu learned how to use and make special magnets from magnetic compounds, called

electro-permanent magnets, which she theorized would be easier to turn on and off than other magnets. She tried making the electro-permanent magnets move at different velocities by applying varying levels of an external magnetic field to them. However, her theory that electropermanent magnets would be easier to use was proved wrong, since it ended up being much more difficult than she had thought to turn them off. With her packed schedule, Bu spent her weeks at the program trying idea after idea to make the magnets move independently. Although Bu didn’t achieve her end goal, she could successfully adjust the speed of each individual magnet. “I got to the point where I could make the magnets move at different speeds,” she said. “I put magnets on these tiny plastic boats, that I cut out of the bottoms of tiny red solo cups and that was my boat, and I could make them move at different velocities.” Although she had accomplished a difficult feat, Bu still felt a bit unsatisfied with her results, having not accomplished as much as she would have hoped for. “I could change how fast they move but they weren’t great,” she said. “I guess I expected more but the people I was working with said it was actually good and interesting research.”

After her six weeks at the program was over, Bu learned most about what the experience of research was truly like. “[Research is] a much slower process, and it’s not as easy to get to the end result,” Bu said. “You have to do a lot of little things first and I was just doing little things, but I succeeded in doing a small part of the big picture.” Bu had done a small part in progressing researchers’ knowledge in the new field of magnetic microrobots. By the end of the program, Bu not only learned what professional research was really like, but she also mentioned that she no longer felt uncomfortable researching by herself. In fact, she even felt eager to test out new ideas she had thought of even after the program had ended to improve her microrobots. “By the end of the research I was sad that it was ending because even though it stressed me out a lot, by that point I was already thinking of new ideas to keep trying,” Bu said. For Bu, the program opened her eyes to the details of the research process and increased her chances of conducting research in the future. “I realized [that] research is a more tedious procedure than I may have expected, but it's also really rewarding even if you don't get exactly what you expected as a result,” Bu said.

Sydney Pidgeon (’15) uplifts women across San Diego through “Empower and Lead: A Workshop to Inspire Women” that she developed during her sophomore year of college at USD

stand how your identity is so connected to the way that you can create social change.” After starting college and recognizing the lack of female leadership around her, she began to wonder how she could make an impact on her campus and change that. “I recognized that when I was with my girlfriends and we were encouraging each other to apply for leadership positions or be a voice on our campus, it really became powerful because we started to see more female leadership,” Pidgeon said. “So we decided why not make a group [whose] whole purpose is to create more female leaders and teach girls how to be a voice in the community.” And that’s exactly what she did. Along with one of her close friends Kendall, Pidgeon embarked on what she now refers to as one of the most meaningful journeys of her life. They decided to create “Empower and Lead: A Workshop to Inspire Women” that encourages women to stand up and overcome the discrimination that many of them face each day in order to become leaders. The workshop is open to anyone who wants to gain a deeper understanding of the struggles that women face in society, but mostly women attend. “Our workshop is a time for women to connect with each other and learn what it means to be a strong and powerful woman in today’s society,” she said. “What

we’re doing is teaching leadership skills, and connecting girls with one another, and teaching girls how to use their voice productively.” While Pidgeon developed this workshop during her sophomore year at USD, she compiled research on the struggles that women of all backgrounds face in life in order to gain a deeper understanding of how to help women to overcome those issues. The end result was a thorough and interactive workshop that Pidgeon said she is extremely proud of. The very first one was run at USD as a pilot workshop, and eventually picked up, occurring at middle schools around San Diego every couple of months. Pidgeon and Kendall begin each workshop by sharing their own personal testimonies, regarding what it means to be a woman and why that is a powerful thing, in order to catch the audience’s attention and inspire them from the beginning. They then gather around for a team-building activity in which everyone stands in a circle and steps forward when they hear a statement that applies to them. Next, they discuss common stereotypes with the workshop-goers, aiming to disprove them. Finally, they conclude the workshop with a simple partner activity in which the attendants apply their own skills to hypothetical scenarios in order to recognize their strengths and weaknesses. The workshop was so successful during its first year

that Pidgeon was asked to run the workshop during freshman orientation for the USD class of 2022. “I have been completely amazed at how this program has shaped these girls first-year experience,” Pidgeon said. “At the end of the workshop we get the girls to connect with each other and [now] I see these girls walking around campus together all the time, so you really see the way that it’s been able to connect them; it was wonderful.” Pidgeon said that although she leads the workshop, she doesn’t consider herself the teacher. Rather, she likes to think that people who attend the workshop are constantly teaching each other, presenting their unique perspectives and contributing to the conversation about female empowerment. She is continuously working to improve her workshop, and has now started to bring it to local schools. In fact, Pidgeon said that she has been working closely with the PTSA to organize an “Empower and Lead” workshop at Westview, and hopes to hold it November or December. “Expect to be in a space where your [voice is] heard and you’re accepted and your experience is necessary to learn from,” Pidgeon said. “We really just want to create a space that allows women to sit down with each other and be present and then be able to act after that, so basically be excited to make a change and to stand up with [your] voice.”


Opinions 7


Oct. 29, 2018

WILL YOUR HALLOWEEN COSTUME OFFEND SOMEONE? START HERE Are you wearing a Hawaiian shirt to dress up like Halander? Yes


Does it reference a specific culture?


Is it humanoid?


Is it an animal?



Aliens will not stand for this disrespect. They deserve more than petty humans insulting their culture and appearances.

Is it a politician?

You should be!



You’re good!


Is it a plant?


Shame on you. This is insulting vegans and all that they stand for. You’re supporting the cold-blooded murder of millions of helpless animals.



Is it Bernie Sanders? All other costumes that reference cultures are inherently offensive. Please refrain from wearing costumes that perpetuate cultural appropriation.

Vegans will get offended. Please try to respect their lifestyles and food source.


No Yes

You’re good!

Is it a Disney character?



All other politicians are offensive. Bernie Sanders is the only wholesome politician left. But Disney is iconic! How dare you.

YOUR COSTUME IS OFFENSIVE Well, offensive in the sense that someone, somewhere will get offended. Of course, it’s important to be sensitive and respectful, but in our political climate, an offended person isn’t hard to come by. But don’t fear, Halloween isn’t dead quite yet: we can still dress up as Halander.

Stop right there. Disney portrays princesses as women who need men to save them.

Design by Andrea Chen and Isabelle Ritter, Art by Alice Chen

Prop. 6 endangers environment, compromises transportation repairs

Thrifting offers eco-friendly option, cuts environmental, social cost of fast fashion

Evan Buckland

Lina Lew

Managing Editor

On Nov. 6, millions of Californians will be voting in the 2018 midterm elections. While they will be deciding a on a new governor and representatives in the House and Senate, they will also be voting on a series of propositions to the state legislature. Proposition 6 promises to reduce the gas tax bill that was set in place by the Jerry Brown administration. The existing bill, SB1, used this tax money to put $54 billion over the next decade into transportation improvement projects towards providing safer travel, reducing gridlock, and improving transit operations in California. However, much of this funding will dissipate if Prop. 6 passes. We can’t overlook the fact that California’s transportation infrastructure is severely lacking. Many of its roads are full of potholes and our bridges are in very poor condition. On top of that, traffic has become a major issue for California drivers who don’t have the option of a train or a bus. When it comes to this extra tax, it makes sense that California drivers should have this burden placed on them considering they are the ones who use the roads and highways. Not only will funding for transportation infrastructure decline, but Prop. 6 will be a major setback for the environment as well as it plans to eliminate funds dedicated to expanding commuter rail lines, buses and other public transportation services. These forms of mass transit directly reduce air pollution and carbon emissions. Private

transportation such as cars on the other hand, increases both of these things. Prop. 6 also threatens more than 450 public transit projects that have already been put in place by the state. These projects include expanding urban light rail, commuter and intercity passenger rail lines, and increasing bus service to impoverished areas. California has been leading the way for America’s transition away from a carbon-based economy, but approving Prop. 6 would mean that all of California’s progress was for nothing. While gas prices would be slightly lower, we are sacrificing the funding for mass transit; something we need if we are going to reverse the damages done by climate change. California needs to set an example. If Prop. 6 passes, then it is likely that other states would follow suit. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that we only have 12 years to make massive unprecedented changes to global energy infrastructure if we want to prevent mass devastation. Reversing the progress California has achieved in the last five years could be catastrophic. Current polling has revealed that voters are split on Prop. 6 and we likely won't know California's true opinion on the issue until November 8 on voting day. Some sources say it is likely to pass, while others say that the measure has failed to garner enough support. This can be attributed to the fact that there are contradicting reports on the state of California’s gas emissions. In their report, California’s Air Resources Board stated that California had achieved its 2020 emissions reduction targets four years ahead of schedule. However, the report also mentioned that emissions r o s e slightly

in 2016 due to gasoline that was used in on-road vehicles. This report shows that while California is leading the move away from a carbon economy, more and more people are still using cars. Prop. 6 simplifies the decision: do we let go of our car culture for a better Earth? The ballot initiative calls itself a gas tax repeal but it is more than that. While car owners might be paying a slightly cheaper rate for gas, billions of dollars of public money that was set aside for infrastructure improvements would disappear. SB1, which raised the gas tax from 18 cents per gallon to 30 cents per gallon raised $5 billion every year for mass transportation projects in California. Most of this money was used for repairing highways and fixing local roads. A part of this also went to transit and transportation projects meant to facilitate active transportation like walking and biking. All of this funding accumulates to $850 million dollars that has been put forth for driving alternatives. This money has supported hundreds of statewide projects. In Los Angeles, it went towards repairing and resurfacing various section of the State Route 57, which was suffering from damages. The funding also goes into different alternative methods of transportation such as public transport, biking, and walking. In Orange County, it replaced broken slabs and resurfaced concrete pavement on more than 46 lane miles of State Route 57. In the San Francisco Bay Area, this money is helping to install hundreds of new BART trains on the rails as well as increasing train frequency so that they are more accessible. Santa Monica is receiving $500,000 to increase the safety of biking and walking for senior citizens, while Bakersfield is getting $825,000 to create a greater pedestrian access in its downtown. We will lose more than just this funding if Prop. 6 passes. California drivers will suffer as they give up the much-needed repairs on what has been ranked the worst roads in America. The state economy will also be negatively affected by this measure. Fewer infrastructure projects will lead to fewer jobs for construction workers while more time spent in traffic will mean less time people spend actually working. All of this together decreases productivity and hurts the California economy. The U.S. must move away from automobile transportation if it’s going to help fix the damages of climate change. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, cars and trucks emit around 24 pounds of carbon dioxide and other global-warming gases for every gallon of gas. About five pounds comes from the extraction, production, and delivery of fuel, while the majority of the emissions comes straight from the vehicle itself, with around 19 pounds per gallon. To move away from private transportation, we must improve public transportation and other transportation alternatives. We shouldn’t decrease the price of driving because this creates the idea that driving isn’t a problem. We must set the price of gas to reflect the harm it does to our environment, and we can do this by voting no on Prop. 6.

Opinions Editor Look around campus, and you’ll see students wearing the same popular brands—Forever 21, H&M, ASOS. These have become closet staples for millions of teenagers alike because of how cheap and trendy the clothing is, but the way these brands have built their massive, unethical fast fashion empires comes from a dark place. These multi-million dollar corporations manage to build their success by using manipulative tactics to create a sense of urgency amongst consumers who want to stay in-style. Instead of the typical four seasons, many fast fashion stores have adopted up to 50 micro-seasons within one year, with each one bringing a new collection of trends and hot items that will only be on the racks for so long before they’re eventually replaced by the next big thing. As a result of fast fashion, consumers have developed impulsive spending habits—the average modern consumer buys 60 percent more clothing than in 2000, but only keeps each garment for half as long, according to the World Resources Institute. The companies’ relatively cheap prices are also a big incentive for shoppers to continue spending at their stores. Buying from these stores may be convenient and trendy, but the two weeks they’re worn until they end up at the bottom of your dresser, never to see the light of day again, aren’t worth their longlasting social and environmental costs. This fast fashion clothing cycle is supplied directly from sweatshops across third-world countries, where the conditions for workers are abysmal. Because the demand for clothing is so high, fast fashion textile factories prioritize speedy production over the safe treatment of their workers, with 170 million being children, according to the International Labour Organization. For as little as two dollars a day, these workers risk their lives amongst dangerous machinery, poor air quality, extreme heat, and multitudes of safety hazards, working nonstop to produce cheaply made, poorly stitched items. Consumers’ constant closet cleanouts and shopping trips also have terrible effects on the environment. More trends means more purchases, and when consumers buy from fast fashion, these items are rarely up-cycled or donated, but rather thrown away and added onto the world’s increasing landfills. Due to the sheer number of people buying from these corporations, almost 11 million tons of clothing get dumped in landfills and contribute to the release of billions of tons of greenhouse gases every year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. It’s doubtful that the fast fashion industry will stop to develop ethical factory standards or slow down the speed of fashion seasons, but there are still steps that individual consumers can take to escape this harmful cycle. Instead of buying from this unethical industry, sustainable shopping can be achieved from second-hand thrift stores, which run primarily through donations and the recycling of clothes. These stores usually have year-round deals that are cheaper than those of fast fashion brands. Clean, quality clothes can be as inexpensive as one to five dollars, gently worn over time but still in good condition. Shopping at thrift stores can also create a sense of internal gratification when you happen upon the perfect item after hunting for hours. Instead of wearing mass-produced clothing items from the mall, buyers with a good eye can discover hidden gems, high-end brands, and one-of-a-kind clothing. But best of all, thrift stores promote intentional purchases that don’t contribute to sweatshops or environmental waste. As consumers, we must practice wise and ethical spending and be aware of the larger impact our shopping decisions make on the world. Our fashion choices can be the next step toward supporting an unethical industry or reducing the harmful effects of the fast fashion cycle. So when you’re looking for your next pair of jeans, give thrift stores a try because you never know if you’ll chance upon the perfect pair of Levi’s for $5 instead of $55 from Urban Outfitters. By saving in your wallet, you’ll also indirectly save on the detrimental social and environmental costs of fast fashion.



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8 Opinions

Editors in Chief Andrea Chen* Tiffany Le* News Editor Kevin Lu* Features Editor Lydia Zhang* Opinions Editor Lina Lew* Sports Editor Mark Troftgruben Final Focus Editor Devanshi Tomar* Photo Editor Jessica Lin Managing Editor Evan Buckland* Staff Writers Sydney Alper Rohin Awasthi Alice Chen Alec Felderman Zara Irshad Rhea Jogadhenu Grace Kim* Ameera Kumar* Jocelyn Mi Kevin Pert* Isabelle Ritter* Alyssa Van Waas Michelle Wang* Deepali Yedulapuram Julie Zhu Adviser Jeff Wenger Assistant Adviser Stephanie Tanaka

To advertise in The Nexus, please call (858)-7802000, ext.3180 or email us at thewvnexus@gmail. com *Member of the Editorial Board

Staff Editorial School should provide more college resources to aid application process The stereotype of an overextended, overwhelmed senior always seems to ring too true during college-application season. A time where essay writing is reluctantly put off until the weekends and the workload and onset of senioritis of senior year trumps applications. As the stress of applying to college weighs on seniors, Westview mostly focuses on how to effectively spread the necessary college information, like deadlines and forms, in the most digestible way. After years of trial and error, the school has decided on Wednesday mornings for application meetings. In these hour-long sessions, the counselors mainly cover how to navigate the Naviance website and emphasize upcoming deadlines. Even when faced with low attendance, these Wednesday morning meetings are the optimal time for gathering students in one place. They do exactly what they’re meant to do: spread mass information. But with more than 500 seniors each year, one challenge Westview faces is ensuring these students not only understand the countless forms and college systems, but also the nuances that make an application competitive. As a next step, we think the school should use this forum to go beyond discussing the basics of a college application. These new seminars could feature outside private college consultants, former Westview students, or anyone else that could give unique insight on the college-application process. Meetings could cover pressing and specific topics from effective personal statements to college fit to major selection to financial aid. Granted, specialized attention for each senior is beyond what the school is capable of, especially in one hour each Wednesday. So, online resources like career selection and reliable college search quizzes could give each senior a list of fields and schools to explore. Similar to the Naviance career quizzes taken in freshman year ENS, these questionnaires would be even more useful to the student body now as seniors. Still, the idea of college readiness goes beyond meeting deadlines and finishing personal statements. It’s knowing where to apply and why you’re applying. It’s understanding which teachers to ask for letters of recommendation, and how to do so. It’s even just knowing what a liberal arts school has to offer. For students, waiting until August to begin the process is often too late, even if that’s when most of the applications open. It would be beneficial for counselors to begin their Wednesday morning workshops in the Spring of students’ junior year. Teachers can help too. Some have taken it upon themselves to give lectures to their underclassman classes on what the following year is going to look like, covering how extracurriculars look on paper, how community college classes can give you an edge in admissions, and even how the Common Application works. Given that one of the highest priorities for students and their parents is ensuring that Westview prepares students for college, asking teachers at all levels and in all grades to incorporate a lesson or two about the application process would be tremendously helpful to students. As is, far too many students postpone any serious consideration of college until they enter their senior year, and the main reason for this is that the entire application process is shrouded in mystery. Teachers and counselors can help demystify this. Even a brief timeline of their upcoming responsibilities provides much needed foresight. And while hardly advertised, sophomores and juniors should also be encouraged to take advantage of the college visits on campus, being one of the only opportunities to gain insight into a school beyond what’s stated on their websites. The sheer act of acknowledging the coming months of college applications and the expectations of senior year makes the stressful process a little easier. By actively offering more opportunities to get comfortable with the college-application process, teachers and counselors can convey that the school is there for them through every step of the way.

The Nexus Mission Statement The Nexus is an open forum for student expression that aims to provide information to the public, following ethical standards of accuracy, truthfulness, and professionalism. The Nexus aspires to be a source of news, opinions and entertainment for its readers while showing enthusiasm through in depth 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 guidance of advisor Jeff Wenger. The opinions published in The Nexus do not necessary represent those of Westview administration, Westview staff, or 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.

Oct. 29, 2018

A true hero, Christopher Columbus rises from Native American ashes Zara Irshad Staff Writer

Here’s an idea: what if we annually dedicated the second Monday of October to a slave-trading, Native-killing rapist? Post offices would close, stores would shut early, and you know what, we might as well give some kids the day off of school, too. Everyone should be able to relish in this joyous celebration! We could call it Columbus Day, a day to honor America’s so-called glorious discoverer. After all, what would we have done without him? The world, and this very country, would be so very different. Just think… Millions of Native Americans would have lived long, happy lives in their homeland, untouched by the plagues of the Old World. They would have managed to grow crops on that land, raise children on it, and expand their territory across the entire country. Thank goodness for Christopher Columbus, who, as we all know, “sailed the ocean blue in fourteen-hundred-ninety-two.”If he hadn’t saved the Natives from their settled lives, how would the Europeans have gotten more land? With a vast empire under its wing, it was clear that Spain desperately needed the extra territory at the time. How kind of the Natives to make room for them, welcoming Columbus and his crew with open arms. But as the saying goes, “you give them an inch and they take a mile.” Ever the explorer, Columbus recognized his immense duty to the Spanish people, who were practically drooling for land, and decided to claim the entire region of America for his people. What a hero! It’s no big deal that the Natives had been there first; his discovery had more meaning than the thousands of years of customs and art and culture that the Natives had established. Columbus had the bravery to claim America for the white man, and for that, we are ever so grateful! Some Natives just didn’t understand. They didn’t understand that land was to be owned rather than lived with. Why a foreigner stole their resources. Why he forced them into slavery. Why he imposed Christianity on them. They didn’t understand that Columbus was really saving them from their own savagery, and fulfilling manifest

destiny. Obviously. Their belief in the spirit world and respect for their land were simply outrageous. The Native Americans’ uncivilized and stubborn resistance forced Columbus to take extreme measures against them, although the old world diseases took care of part of the task for him. Ever the realist, he observed in his journal shortly after landing in North America that “they do not carry arms or know them....they should be good servants.” The Native American savages accepted Spanish conquest grudgingly (after only a handful of major rebellions), but were ultimately too stubborn to appreciate his immense generosity. Not only was he attempting to civilize the Native Americans, but he was giving them purpose to their otherwise meaningless lives by putting them to work for the Spanish. Columbus was thoughtful enough to exploit their land in a way that their uncivilized ways prevented them from doing, as they believed in living with the land, not on it. The Natives repaid him by making his already challenging task even harder; refusing to devote their entire lives to serving the Spanish and succumb to slavery, they slowed down Columbus’ plan for colonization. Now he had to dispose of an entire race; what an inconvenience. But our beloved Christopher Columbus persevered, recognizing that the colonization potential of the land was worth the struggle. A true American hero. After all of his miracle work in America, poor Columbus had to face the Spanish monarchs, who had the audacity to get upset with him for doing whatever it took to gain the land. They simply didn’t understand his civic responsibility: to provide for the Spanish people. Killing a few (tens of thousands) Native Americans was a small price to pay for the Spanish dominance of the Natives’ homeland. It wasn’t his fault that the Natives refused to comply to his demands, they were practically begging for genocide. He was dragged back to Spain in chains and stripped of his territorial governor title

by the Spanish government, his determination to claim the land for Spain left unappreciated. That was until 1792, when the first Columbus Day was celebrated in New York by Tammany Hall on the 300th anniversary of the voyage. This recognition continued for years, and the celebration was rightfully declared a national holiday in 1937 by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who gave into pressure from the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal organization. It just makes sense. After all, Martin Luther King Jr. earned himself a national holiday for fighting for equal rights. George Washington earned his holiday for founding the very nation in which we live. So, of course, it makes sense to honor Columbus alongside them. Not only did he dispose of Native Americans so efficiently (he killed nearly 10,000!) but he also managed to exploit their land, which had been occupied by natives for thousands of years (what an achievement!). So what if Columbus wasn’t actually the very first person to find America? Hey, nobody’s perfect. That’s the way that most schools teach history anyway. In the end what really matters is the result. Is America not a prosperous nation because of his discovery? I can’t think of a more fitting way to honor this American hero than a national holiday.

Abundance of plea deals shows flaw in system Kevin Pert

Staff Writer

When describing criminal sentencing, ‘relieved’, ‘happy’, and ‘reassured’ are probably not adjectives that come to mind. But as it turns out, many people experience these positive emotions when pleading guilty. Upon hearing her charge reduction, Shanta Sweatt, a Tennessee woman who has maintained her innocence but pleaded guilty “embraced her friend and wept with joy,” according to one Atlantic article. Weeping with joy upon pleading guilty seems illogical, yet, in this day and age, this isn’t uncommon—the Atlantic reported that in 2017, 97 percent of federal criminal convictions were the result of plea deals, and this is a statistic that’s only been rising in the past 30 years. Sweatt may have been relieved by hearing that she wasn’t receiving prison time, but she hardly had any other option. Plea deals dominate the criminal justice system to the point where the alternative—a jury trial—is rare. This is counterintuitive. After all, the Sixth Amendment ensures the right to an attorney and a trial by jury, which ooks good on paper, but the reality is that these rights don’t get you far. The “right to an attorney” means that you’ll be provided with a public defender, but doesn’t actually mean that your attorney will be effective. Public defenders are often called “public pretenders” for their incapa-

bility of actually defending clients in court. In this day and age, these attorneys essentially act as negotiators—not negotiating innocence or guilt before a jury, but negotiating the punishment that clients face regardless of their innocence. As much as this sounds like the defender’s fault, it’s not. The system is at fault for this; defense attorneys are given hundreds of cases a year and only so much time on their hands, which leaves their clients with no options other than plea deals. The Bureau of Justice Statistics even found that in 2007, 40 percent of county-based public defender offices had no investigators on staff. So, these public defenders are both swamped with cases, and without useful evidence to work with. This is a system that is completely absurd. It becomes clear why the vast majority of clients plead guilty once they realize the limited options that they’re given. They can either hire a lawyer, resort to a public defender, or plead guilty. Paying a private lawyer is out of the picture for most people; they simply can’t afford the hefty costs. Public defenders have a microscopic amount of time to build a convincing case for them, which usually leaves defendants waiting in jail—which can take longer than their actual sentence—while their attorney constructs a defense. So there is really one reasonable option for most people: plead guilty. Prosecutors will also often involve

friends or family member sentences; offering a defendant’s acquaintances reduced sentences if they plead guilty to their charges. But loved ones should have nothing to do with an individual’s criminal case. This gives prosecutors the upper hand; if district attorneys can offer a defendant’s loved ones as benefits, it can coerce them into taking a deal that they shouldn’t. On top of that, almost all prosecutors have fewer cases to take on, giving them far more valuable time to build a legal argument, according to the National Legal Aid and Defender’s Association. Despite many being relieved by their deals, most people don’t realize the effect that any criminal offense, no matter how small, can have on them after they plead guilty. Even if you simply receive a misdemeanor, it stays on your record permanently, which severely affects your employment chances. A University of Michigan study showed that applicants with a criminal record have at least a 60 percent lower chance of being called back for a job interview. Those who serve time in prison also often come home to no job opportunities and no way to support their families. Still, despite these discouraging results of plea deals, most people have no other option. This is unacceptable. Public defenders make around $50,000$75,000 annually, despite having to go to law school, which is both expensive and time consuming. This

dissuades many attorneys from becoming public defenders; few people are going to take a job that pays poorly when law school costs tens of thousands every year. Sure, plea deals work for those who are clearly guilty and don’t want to waste time or pay court fees, but this doesn't apply to 97 percent of defendants. Not only does this system give prosecutors all of the leverage, it also gives criminals leniency on sentences that they should be serving. Real criminals shouldn’t get breaks due to plea deals, but by putting everyone under the umbrella of “guilty,” this is what happens. Unfortunately, there is no easy solution. The influx of plea deals stems from all sorts of problems: heavy sentencing, lack of funding, excessive arrests, etc. What has to happen is that criminal justice reform must be at the forefront of political issues. There’s an array of solutions that include shortening sentences, allocating funds and decriminalizing certain drugs, but in order to implement these, we have to pay attention to this issue to begin with. Few government operations are as fundamentally backwards and broken as our criminal justice system. It’s easy to overlook the importance of this issue; it doesn’t always grab the attention of younger generations, it won’t produce the same sound bites as controversial social issues, but it is incredibly important. This is a system that needs to be improved upon.

Save the chickens: Prop. 12 provides animals more room, promotes ethical livestock standards Devanshi Tomar Final Focus Editor

Voters will soon be asked to cast their vote on a variety of notable and serious issues: housing assistance programs, road repair, transportation funding and more. But the proposition of the most importance deals with a matter that affects the daily lives of far more Americans than assisted housing and construction funding do. It's about farm animals. Nine billion egg-laying hens, veal calves, and pregnant pigs are consumed by Americans yearly. Pre-consumption, these animals receive barbaric treatment. But, to the chagrin of many vegetarians and conscious consumers, these conditions continue to be allowed in America’s livestock farms. With Americans’ meat consumption at an alltime high in 2018, it is time for America to make changes to how we treat our livestock. Proposition 12 establishes stricter standards of confinement, providing more living space for these animals. This proposition is similar to Proposition 2, one that was enacted in 2008 and dictated that animals be given enough space to turn around freely, lie down, stand up, and fully extend their limbs, putting an end to cramped cages. Though the proposition had good intentions and garnered some change, no specific measurements for the size of an animal's cage were mandated, and measurements varied from farmer to farmer. As a result, the average egg-laying hen was given less

than a square foot, causing atrophy of muscle and bones from a lack of use according to the Legalistive Analyst's Office. Proposition 12 acts as a supplement to Proposition 2, and aims to increase the minimum cage measurements of livestock animals to at least 144 square inches starting 2020, and eventually, to enforce required cage-free housing in 2022. Proposition 12 is backed by nearly five hundred veterinarians and numerous mainstream animal welfare groups, such as the Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Those who oppose Proposition 12, such as the Association of California Egg Farmers, argue that it is too drastic of a change, with costs of buying new cages reaching a collective cost of $250 million. Yet, costs of egg increased by only nine percent in 2015 after Proposition 2 was enacted according to a study by Purdue University. The National Park Producers opposed the measure as well, claiming that the mandatory changes in housing expansion would be pricey, and with nearly 62 percent of California’s farmers not using cage-free housing, it’s clear that poultry prices would rise. However, this is a price that must be paid in exchange for better, more humane treatment

of hens, pigs, and calves. Stricter regulation on the pork and veal industries will prove to be instrumental in the same guidelines being implemented in other states, as sales from other states not meeting California's standards will be barred. Many grocery stores and fast-food companies, such as Walmart, Safeway, McDonald's, have shown their support for Proposition 12, pledging to serve and sell only cage-free, free-range eggs to their consumers. With nearly 95 percent of America’s eggs coming from caged hens, change to livestock housing regulations is long overdue. So, this Nov. 6, vote yes on Proposition 12. The inhumane treatment of veal calves, mother pigs, and hens must be put to an end.


Opinions 9


Oct. 29, 2018

Students risk insincerity by exploiting personal tragedies in college essays Isabelle Ritter Staff Writer

The importance of uniqueness and personality in college essays is dangerously misunderstood in today’s generation of college hopefuls. When teenagers begin crafting their college essay, many people have this thought in the back of their mind: “What personal tragedy can I milk to make myself stand out?” What many don’t seem to understand is that those kinds of thought processes are inherently detrimental to their essays and reflect a poor personal self-image that students need to fix before they can truly write about themselves well. By assuming the only way one can get into college is through exaggerating a tragedy, or perhaps wishing for one to happen, it’s suggested that the writer feels they have nothing else truly worthwhile to present to college admissions officers. That’s both a disservice to themselves and to the colleges that will eventually read their essays. In her article, “Your Family Tragedy Won’t Get You Into College,” Alison Deegan (who has a doctorate in education, and her own college consulting company) outlines the negative impact of the sob-story. “The essay shouldn’t include a laundry list of challenges or even tragedies students have survived with no reflection on what these events have contributed to the people they are today,” she writes. “The least fun part of being a college admissions guide is

telling someone his or her family tragedy is not interesting enough to get that person into college.” Instead, the first thought should be, “What do I like about myself” or “What have I done in my life that makes me proud?” Yes, resilience is a vital attribute, but at such a young age, it only makes sense that many teenagers have not experienced significant hardships. And that’s not a bad thing. In fact, it’s good that many teenagers still have youthful optimism and purity of spirit. That should be celebrated, not something to feel ashamed of. Great college essays, just like great people, aren’t one-size-fits-all. One example of this is Brittany Stinson, who was accepted into Stanford and five Ivy League schools. Her essay, which was re-published by Business Insider, was described as “a study of Brittany’s curiosity and exploratory nature. She speaks of the real-life applications of physics and history, as well as asking philosophical questions.” She didn’t milk any personal tragedies. She didn’t need colleges to feel bad for her. She wrote her college essay about, of all things, Costco. An excerpt from her essay reads: “My intense desire to know, to explore beyond the bounds of rational thought; this is what defines me. Costco fuels my insatiability and cultivates curiosity within me at a cellular level. Encoded to immerse myself in the unknown, I find it difficult to complacently accept the ‘what’; I want to hunt for the

‘whys’ and dissect the ‘hows.’ In essence, I subsist on discovery.” She didn’t need to lie about something bad happening to her, or pretend she was bullied, or make up an obstacle she had to face. She just looked around her, and found something that genuinely represented who she was. Not who colleges wanted her to be, not who she thought she had to be. Who she was. She saw grocery trips to the store with her mom, weird thoughts she had as a child, and her inherent creativity. And that was enough. The most important part of all this is the significance of authenticity. It is all too prevalent nowadays for people to be so desperately driven to differentiate themselves that they exaggerate their own life struggles, or sometimes even go as far to lie in their college essays. Many times I’ve heard people say, “I wish something bad happened to me so I could write about it for my college essays.” The fact that someone would want something awful to happen to them, be it a parent dying, a life endangering illness, or a car accident, just so they could get into college? It hurts me to hear that. It hurts for a few different reasons. Primarily, it’s disrespectful to those who have really been through something hard. Second, it reflects an overarching insecurity and anxiety of our generation. The status symbol of an Ivy League or a UC is prioritized above the general wholeness and happiness of self. Students would rather have gone through something terrible and get into an Ivy League school than live a happy and full life perhaps going to a slightly less prestigious university. In the greater sphere of life, it’s a sad phenomenon. Third, on a smaller scale, it reflects an individual’s insecurity about their privileged lives. After experiencing a tragedy or a traumatic event, its a common thread amongst survivors to say humble, modest things like “I wouldn’t wish what happened to me on my worst enemy.” The fact that someone would say something about wishing something bad had happened to them shows more that they’ve never been through anything really, truly hard. Instead of wishing for something bad to happen, shouldn’t they be joyful they’ve been privileged or, I suppose, lucky enough to never have gone through something awful?

Interactive technology compromises artistic integrity in T.V. shows Jessica Lin Photo Editor

Black Mirror: a dystopian anthology show that has left millions with emotional pain and, yet pure delight. It is a series that has both happy endings and tragic endings. Some episodes revolve around a protagonist that doesn’t properly fit the mold of a typical one. None of the episodes have connections with the others: but they have one thing in common: they each had their own eerie yet realistic connection to our modern day, and that’s the beauty of it. Now, with the show’s fifth season theorized by fans to be released this December, Netflix wants to implement an advancement that has been in the making for two years: interactive technology. The concept was introduced to kid-friendly shows such as Puss in Books. A game control icon allowed the audience to choose which action they wanted the character to do, ultimately leading to an ending of their choice. With this technology, the audience was able to choose what they want to see; the director was no longer in the driver’s seat. Other television shows, such as Netflix’s upcoming Minecraft, have targeted older, more mature audiences with these new mechanics. Now, Netflix is planning on utilizing this interactive technology for at least one of its new episodes of Black Mirror. The idea is still up in the air, but as of now, it seems like the new technology will ultimately leave the TV show devoid of its original artistic license, which is to enlighten the audience with their own lessons and morals. Interactive technology does not allow

the audience to watch the plot unfold. Rather than have productions determine the intricacies behind plots and endings, they instead entitle the audience to make decisions on their own. These shows lack the clear perception of the producers. The audience can never get a complete understanding of the lessons the producers want them to understand, no matter how broad or specific that message may be. Netflix is diminishing the artistic value and creativity of TV shows right before our own eyes. The option of having multiple endings to a show may appeal to Black Mirror lovers, but at a hefty cost. Each individual episode is meant to teach us something about society, to open our eyes to a new, idealistic possibility of our reality can evolve into. The amazing thing behind each production is that the director has shown people his own perspective on the world. These new outlooks on the world, ones that can fascinate and even horrify the audience, all contribute to an hour-long episode that result in a different ending. Captivating shows like Black Mirror are heart-wrenching because of one thing: their endings. Black Mirror’s endings were never the cliché happy endings and usually left the audience questioning the concept of the show. And while the ending may not be what the audience expects, there’s always a clear reason why the show was made that way. While TV productions may be solely used for revenue, there is a much greater purpose behind the creation of Black Mirror. Each episode meant to broaden our understanding about our continually evolving society. Creator of Black Mirror, Charlie

Brooker, told The Guardian that “each episode has a different cast, a different setting, even a different reality. But they're all about the way we live now – and the way we might be living in 10 minutes' time if we're clumsy. And if there's one thing we know about mankind, it's this: we're usually clumsy.” Having multiple endings in a film ruins the art and integrity of television shows and movies; that’s what video games and game simulations are built for. The shows are raved about are the ones with thrilling plots and iconic, unreplicable endings. Joel Collins, Brooker’s film partner, said that they wanted Black Mirror to seem like “everything is now a tower of futurism.” He expanded this further by stating he wanted to “give the audience a chance to really think, ‘this is what’s right around the corner.’ And not draping complexity around the actors and action and the exposition, that takes the eye away from watching the prize, which is this very insular story playing out about people and how they interact with technology.” It’s unclear which type of endings Black Mirror will incorporate with this new technology, but it’s easy to say that having audience interaction will have a detrimental effect on the true meaning of the show. While I wish that interactive technology never becomes utilized in TV shows and movies, there’s no telling how far this technology will expand. My hope is that we appreciate movies and TV shows is to see it as a movie with real meanings and artistic integrity—not just another cliche happily ever after or a simulation game.

Made in Ameerica by Ameera Kumar

People think I’m super spirited because I wear black all the time but really I’m just emo. - Tiffany Le Fall is here, which means under 70-degree weather and parkas for San Diegans. - Sydney Alper If I got a dollar every time someone stepped on my foot while dancing at Homecoming, I could afford surgery to fix my broken bones. - Tiffany Le After taking that AP Bio final, it’s confirmed that I’m majoring in the humanities—not that I have a choice. - Devanshi Tomar To submit a Praise or Folly, message us through Twitter, log onto our website at, or drop your submission off in room L-104. Include your name, grade level, 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.

Dishonest play during golf matches, tournaments warrants coach supervision, veracity Kevin Lu

News Editor During the boys golf league tournament last year, a player from another high school was found lowering his own scores by four strokes, erasing his scores on some holes and replacing them with lower numbers. The player wasn't barred from future matches or tournaments however. Since players exchange scorecards and score each other, it requires them to be honest and fair to each other. Without referees or spectators watching, the integrity of each golfer is especially important. If this blatant stroke shaving were allowed to occur, then the integrity of the game is lost. Unless it is CIFs or the City Cup tournament, nobody is in charge of scoring and providing rulings to the golfers. Unlike other sports, with the exception of tennis, there are no referees watching each point or each stroke. Players have to keep tabs on others’ scores, while playing their own shots. When everyone hits into the middle of the fairway, cheating is not an issue. But as players scatter their shots into the rough or near hazards, the opportunity to cheat arises. For example, if a player hit a ball well out-of-bounds, they might miraculously “find” it in some secluded area. In reality, they just took another ball from their bag and dropped it. Only their playing mates can keep them from being dishonest about their scores, and for the most part in my experience, they do. Still, those few cases where players are able to lower their scores violate the integrity of the whole tournament. When the scores are eventually posted, we can only wonder how many scores are untruthful. We can trust the results of a football or basketball game, as the numbers will paint a clear picture of how the game turned out. Golf deserves the same. Unfair play compromises this trust.

Cheating is less likely to happen in higher levels of competition and in larger tournaments, as walking monitors (usually coaches from other schools) are placed in each group. Responsible for counting each golfer’s scores, their presence drastically reduces the potential for cheating. If cheating allows players to rise into higher levels of play, only to be monitored closely, why cheat in the first place? Coaches and other players will expect those athletes to post a low score, but they will be unable to deliver. In the short-term, these players may benefit from these small victories. But in the long-term, they gain nothing, as they have sacrificed their character to get where they are, with an unimproved swing and mindset. If placing coaches in each group at tournaments forces players to be honest with themselves, it isn't entirely inconceivable to come up with a similar plan for league matches. To curb cheating, coaches could use their carts to follow the groups and ask for scores after each hole is finished. That could be challenging, since it would require coaches to give up a few rounds of golf of their own to supervise multiple games. But the main responsibility of upholding the rules lies within the golfers themselves. Common sense like keeping tabs on the other teams’ balls and confirming scores are extremely important to the integrity of the game. Taking a photo of the scorecard before handing the card over is another form of verification. While some of what I am suggesting is common sense for most golfers, there is still plenty of room for cheating. After all, golf is an individual sport, and you have to focus on yourself. I don’t want to believe that when golfers find an opportunity to cheat, they will take it, nor do I want to make it seem that way. But I do believe that something can be done to prevent further incidents from happening.

Big Wang Theory by Michelle Wang



Oct. 29, 2018



Hit and Rip: How to tackle Football players learn two main types of tackles: the head-up and the hawk-roll

Boys Cross Country 10/6: 37th Annual Running Center Southern Cal Inv. 10/20: Mt. SAC Cross Country Inv.

10/6: 37th Annual Running Center Southern Cal Inv. 10/20: Mt. SAC Cross Country Inv. Next Meet: 11/10: NCC Championships (Away)

Field Hockey

15 - 2 - 1

10/15: Win vs. Chaparral, 14-1 10/16: Win vs. Mt. Carmel, 2-0


1. Dominic Morrow (12) crouches down to get his eyes near ball level 2. Morrow sinks his hips, hooks his arms underneath Patrick McClellan (10) and uses his lower body strength to push upwards 3. Morrow continues to push upwards, while simultaneously beginning to drive the knee 4. Morrow accelerates into a run to push the ball carrier to the ground

The Head-Up

Girls Cross Country



Next Meet: 11/10: NCC Championships (Away)


Next Game: 11/2: vs. Mt. Carmel, 3:30 p.m. (Home)



Next Game: N/A


Girls Golf 10/10: Loss vs. Del Norte, 232-238 10/11: Win vs. Mt. Carmel, 236-273 Next Game: N/A

2 - 10

Girls Tennis

1. Morrow crouches down to get his eyes near


ball level

2. Morrow lowers himself close to the ground, wraps his arms around McClellan's waist

3. While planting himself on the ground with his legs, Morrow uses the strength of his core and arms to begin 4. Morrow continues with the twisting motion, rolling the ball carrier to the ground


Isabelle Ritter

Next Game: 11/5: CIF Individual Championships

Staff Writer

14- 15

10/17: Loss vs. Poway, 3-2 10/19: Win vs. Mt. Carmel, 3-1 Next Game: TBD

Boys Water Polo


Photos and design by Tiffany Le

10/11: Win vs. Poway, 12-6 10/16: Loss vs. Rancho Bernardo, 11-7

Girls Volleyball

The Hawk-Roll

10/12: Loss vs. Vista, 41-21 10/19: Loss vs. San Marcos, 48-14


12 - 13

10/20: Win vs. Alta Loma, 12-5 10/20: Loss vs. Canyon Crest Academy, 11-6 Next Meet: 10/30: vs. Poway, 5 p.m. (Away)

Records as of Tuesday Compiled by the Sports Staff

For Westview’s football team, tackling is broken down very specifically at the start of the season. According to head coach Kyle Williams, tackling is taught to the entire team at once. Once the players have been taught the different components of tackling, the players are broken up into different “tackling stations” to learn the different kinds of tackles. “Head-Up” Tackles Players will use this tackle when chasing a member of an opposing team down the field. “This means that at the time of the tackle, all the tackler can see is the running back’s profile,” Williams said. “Therefore, the running back cannot make an extreme cut on the defender.” The tackler does not break down; rather, the tackler will sink their hips to attempt to get their eyes at ball level. The tackler will explode the hips and uppercut the arms, striking with the front part of the shoulder pad,

and accelerating the feet in order to drive the ball carrier backwards. Corner/receiver Dominic Morrow (12) typically has to decide between using the head-up tackle and the hawkroll tackle while making a play. “It just depends on where my angle is at,” he said. “If I’m running head-on at him, I’ll probably tackle straight at him, with my elbows behind his back. But if it’s at an angle, I’d probably do the hawk-roll because I’m one of the smaller guys on the team and I wouldn’t want to risk myself getting hurt.” When the ball carrier is square to the tackler, the tackler will perform a near foot head-up tackle, which means the player will get the feet underneath the opponent’s armpits, bend the knees and sink hips, and get the shoulders on a 45-degree tilt. Once balanced, the tackler will use multiple short steps to attack the ball carrier. “Once the tackler can step on the toes of the ball carrier, the tackler will strike,” Williams said. “Hawk-Roll” Tackle For a hawk-roll tackle, the tackler will near the foot of the player to strike; however, rather than upper-cutting

the ball carrier, the tackler will wrap his arms around the waist of the ball carrier and roll the ball carrier to the ground. Morrow said this is the most common tackle he and other players of the same position use in games. “If they’re bigger, much heavier and you’re a much smaller guy, a good way to tackle is the hawk-roll tackle because their legs are what keeps them moving and taking their legs out of the equation and rolling them, it’s just easier and safer,” Morrow said. The hawk-roll has become more popular after concussion research has come out, with more positions reverting to this kind of tackling, according to Morrow. “I believe many positions are going into the hawk tackling now, not just Corners, because it's safer, and everybody is starting to realize that, just looking at Westview and our team, we have a lot of small guys, believe it or not, and other teams have bigger guys in general” he said. “Yeah, we can have speed and we can be quick but if we're not heavy--and they have decent speed too—we look around and everybody's fast now. Everybody wants to be safe and not want to get hurt so I feel like everyone now is converting to the hawk tackling technique.”

Dibsie implements offseason program, improves players' skills Alyssa Van Waas Staff Writer

Jocelyn Mi Staff Writer

and building each other up.” First baseman Cashel Gubernick (10) has had experience with school, travel, and preseason teams. Noticing that teamwork and friendship are some of the most important and most enjoyable aspects of softball, Gubernick appreciates this program along with Dibsie’s implements of patience and a community like spirit in his coaching styles. “Here, there is no inter-school competition, we’re all Wolverines here. I don’t want the other girls to feel like they are not representing their schools. I want them to feel pride in their school when they play,” Dibsie said. Similar to Gubernick, second baseman, Mckenna Berner (10), appreciates the preseason because it gives her and the rest of the team the opportunity to further their skill set, while also initiating bonds with each other that will carry on into the high school season. “It [the preseason] is definitely giving us a head start and is also building that


Generous to help both new and old players, JV softball coach Tim Dibsie started offering an off-season program to improve skills and bond. Dibsie’s vision for this program focuses on getting players ready for the regular season. Last spring Dibsie had to take time during the season to introduce new players to what experienced players already knew. “If we could have started with where the new players ended up in the [last] season, think about how much better our team would have played,” Dibsie said. “My hope was to get girls [to join] that have not played the game before, and were interested in playing softball.” Starting this program was a big accomplishment for Dibsie. He knew it was going to be Westview's first softball

preseason, and after figuring out how to navigate within CIF’s strict regulations on after-school pre-season programs, the Wolverines Fastpitch was created. Having a no try-out policy, Dibsie wanted any interested high school girl to join. Therefore, consisting of 12 players from multiple schools, Dibsie created a roster that varied widely in terms of skill and age. Given this range, Dibsie said this team would focus on the education of the sport, which greatly differs from the more competitive travel ball teams during the fall. Holding more experience coaching some travel ball teams, Dibsie knew that for the pre-season, he needed to create an environment more focused on community rather than competition. “High school is different from travel ball, and it’s because there’s more of an element to play for your community,” Dibsie said. “In travel, everyone’s at the same level and if you aren’t, then you can’t play. In high school, I believe, the emphasis should be put on community

team dynamic,” she said. “We are starting to get to know the freshman and building that community dynamic early on.” Left fielder Vanessa Dewitt (10), agrees with Gubernick and Berner on the team bonding aspect of the team. “Everyone is willing to help one another,” she said. “Even though we have one practice a week, we all work really well together… it’s like a family.” Dewitt has not only noticed the team grow as a whole, but the girls also grow individually in their positions on the field. “I got better at being an outfielder and hitter because it is now a habit to drop step to get the ball and use angles,” Dewitt said. Dibsies overall vision has become a reality. “It’s not necessarily what you see on the scoreboard,” he said. “At the end of the game, I want to see the girls improve, and get to know each other, you’re not just an athlete or just a student, but you’re a teammate, always.”

Julie Zhu

New offseason softball coach, Tim Dibse works with Vanessa Dewitt (10) on her swing.


The lowdown on upcoming games...

...and why you should go.

Nov. 2 vs. Mt. Carmel, 3:30 p.m. (Home)

Oct. 30 vs. Poway 3:15 p.m. (Away)

Nov. 5 CIF Individual Championships

Last Match vs. Mt. Carmel: Win, 2-0, Oct. 16, 2018

Last Match vs. Poway: Win, 9-8, Oct. 10, 2017

Returning CIF Finalist: Jane Wang (11)

We have beat them once and with it being all of our seniors’ last match-up against MC, we’ re ready for another win.” —Jade Treese (11)

It’s going to be an exciting game for sure! It’s the deciding game for the league championships so if we win, it will be our second year in a row as league champions! Come out and witness Westview get that ‘W’ at Poway this Friday!” —Joren Frazier (12)

Our goals are to do our best and take it all—League and CIF Individuals.” —Olivia Speir (11)

Photos by Rohin Awasthi and Jessica Lin, Design by Mark Troftgruben and Kevin Lu


Sports 11


Oct. 29, 2018

Competitive parents spoil sports for kids

Sports parents, from Page 1

he wasn’t really listening because he just wants me to do better, but now the more that I talk to him about it, the more he understands and the more he can see [the pressure],” Powell said. Powell’s father, Blaine Powell, saw positive changes in his daughter, causing him to understand the benefits of his change. He said he still wants her to reach her full potential, but now knows that his well-intended pressure became too much for his daughter. “At first, it is hard to hear and understand because your actions are well-intended. You just have to trust what they are asking for will help,” he said. “As a result, I think Isabel became more self-motivated to continue to improve as a swimmer. She also has become more connected with her teammates who are facing the same challenges athletically.” Her father, she said, holds back more now, but he wasn’t always like that. Years ago, when she first started swim, Powell said her dad would push her super hard, wanting to see himself in her, even though he never actually

said. Similarly, multisport athlete Melissa* (12) experiences post-game rants from her step-dad about what she did wrong. She said these rants frustrate her to the point where she stops listening. “[I just wish he would] tell me what I was doing wrong and tell me what I can do to fix it and move on,” she said. Melissa said she is criticised every time she plays a game, especially when it’s basketball. Her stepdad introduced her to the sport, and because of this, she said that he feels his advice is always right. “[My parents] tell me ‘you’re not doing this right or you’re not doing that right,’” she said. “It’s a little heartbreaking.” Rebecca quit her club sport partially due to the stress from her dad, but still plays for the team at Westview. Isabel Powell (11) used to feel the same about swimming, but because she talked to her father about lowering his intensity, the issue was resolved. “At first it was kind of hard because

swam. Mr. Powell said his parents never pushed him in sports, which inspired him to do the opposite for his daughter. “It’s easy for parents to want more for their children, whether it be sports, education, or lifestyle in general, ” he said. Taylor said that one red flag of sports parents occurs when parents seem to merge with their child, turning their child’s sport into a “we” event. “Basically, these parents don’t have fulfilling lives of their own, so they overly invest their self-identity and self-esteem in your children’s athletic lives,” he said. This need makes athletes like Rebecca, Isabel and Melissa feel as though they are letting their parents down if they do not meet their unrealistically high expectations. “He would say a specific [swim race] time that I needed to get and to focus on that time,” Powell said. “[If I didn’t get it,] I would be letting him down in a way. I wouldn’t be doing the best that he wanted me to do.” But despite all the negativity and their desperate desires to please their

parents, Rebecca, Isabel and Melissa say they still feel passionate about their sports. They know that their parents’ intensity comes from a good place, but they still wish their parents expressed these emotions a little differently. They all said they wished for a positive attitude and encouragement, instead of harsh criticism. Athletic Director Steve McLaughlin said that failure is a natural part of life and supporting one’s athlete through a sports failure is essential for parents. “Their role is a supportive one, not an overarching ‘this is about me’ type of thing,” McLaughlin said. “Their goal is to do everything positive.” He said that parental enthusiasm is always encouraged, but sometimes parents need to learn their limits and let their child be free to make errors so they can learn on their own. “Failure is a part of life,” McLaughlin said, “We fail at all kinds of things and we learn. The good ones learn, and we grow from [failure] and we get stronger because of it.”

The Great Wall: Offensive Line Center:

Right Guard:

Right Tackle: Christian Artates

Jack O'Brien

Abdul Deeb

Left Guard:

Christian Pursley

*Names have been changed

Left Tackle: James Fordham


3 goals

As boys water polo took on Alta Loma High School, Oct. 20, the Wolverines trailed the Braves, 5-4, during the fourth quarter. But George Fratian (12) secured the win for the team when he executed a roll-away hat trick, consecutively scoring three times without any players from either team scoring within that time frame. Fratian said that despite not having the ball, he maintained the upper hand by dominating in both size and skill. He stole the ball and swam across the entire pool to complete the hat trick. The Wolverines won, 12-5. Rohin Awasthi

11 Height: 6'5'' Weight: 300 lbs

Height: 6'1'' Weight: 250 lbs Playing on varsity since freshman year, Artates has the most experience on the line. His knowledge of offensive schemes has allowed him to assist O’Brien with in-play adjustments and play calls. His experience has allowed him to dominate defensive ends and use various techniques to counter any moves they attempt on him. According to O’Brien, some of the blocking and shuffling techniques that Artates employs are similar to what linemen at the at the college level use.

Height: 6'4'' Weight: 225 lbs

Although he is a senior, Deeb started playing football only two years ago. Despite a lack of experience, his towering stature and overwhelming strength makes it seemingly impossible for any defensive lineman to get past. Deeb is a great blocker and excels at controlling the defensive linemen in front of him. If offensive coordinator Doug Brady is going to run the ball, he will, more often than not, have his running backs head in the direction of the wide gaps that Deeb opens in the interior or on the outside during pull blocks.

Being one of the more experienced veterans, O’Brien makes a great fit at center where he makes in-play adjustment calls and describes the defense’s formations to the rest of the line. For O’Brien, this understanding of the offense and defense is necessary as centers must be on the same page with the quarterback and offensive coordinator. Most centers are the smallest players on the line, but this is not the case for O’Brien at 6’4’’. While he said his height can make it hard to maintain a low pad level, O’Brien uses this height to his advantage.

Height: 6'1'' Weight: 245 lbs Pursley isn't the biggest of the linemen, but he is tenacious and, according to O’Brien, he has “some of the strongest legs” he’s ever seen. Pursley uses the strength from his legs and his tenacity to drive and dominate defensive players for the entirety of the play. Perhaps, one of his greatest strengths are his eyes and head, which are always up and looking forward. This allows him to pick up some of the later blitzes from linebackers and even safeties who try to pressure the quarterback.

Height: 6'2'' Weight: 230 lbs It takes a lot for a sophomore like Fordham to start on varsity, especially on the offensive line where strength and size matter so much. Although he is the youngest on the line, his intelligence has allowed him to pick up offensive schemes quickly and display an advanced level of technique when blocking players much larger than himself. While he is lighter than almost everyone else, his weight has contributed greatly to one of his greatest strengths—his speed. His quick feet have allowed him to get to multiple defenders in a single play.

Jessica Lin


Westview was up 20-14 in the fourth quarter against Mt. Carmel, Oct. 19, but the players were beginning to get tired. Having lost a point to Mt. Carmel, Kayla De Los Reyes (12) saw the chance to earn one back by receving a pass and smashing a kill. The team was back up and one step closer to a win. The audience roared and watched on with anticipation. This kill provided the team with the spark it needed to close out the 25-18 victory. De Los Reyes finished with 11 kills, 11 digs, and two aces.

Written by Tiffany Le and Grace Kim

Designed and Written by Mark Troftgruben, Photos by Rohin Awasthi



Hunter Bohannon (10) lives for Friday nights. The cheering fans create an environment like no other and motivate him to make the best plays he can. As a free safety, Bohannon is generally considered the last resort to stop the opposition from scoring a touchdown. Not being the largest player on the team, Bohannon has worked on his other attributes in order to be a successful defender. “Knowing I wasn’t the biggest guy, I really tried to work on vision, speed and instinct,” Bohannon said. “A lot of football is mental so having that mental aggression can really propel you to make big plays in a game.”

Zara Irshad

Deepali Yedulapuram

Evan Buckland

Jessica Lin

Grace Kim

Sydney Alper

Jessica Lin





VOLLEYBALL, Middle Blocker

TENNIS, Doubles



FIELD HOCKEY, Right Forward

Freshman year, Emilie Comer (12) decided she wouldn’t let her lack of experience stop her from playing volleyball. “I always felt like the worst one, and it felt like I was holding people back in practices,” she said. Determined to change, Comer directed all her efforts toward improving. “Her freshman year, she was just a tall 6’2’’ freshman with no control over her body,” teammate Maddie Li (11) said. “Now in her senior year, she’s a beast on the court and just dominates. Emilie stands out amongst others by being positive and being herself on and off the court.”

Marin Wheeler (10) never backs down. Wheeler’s first year as a varsity player could’ve very well been full of anxiety and hesitation. However, Wheeler knew that wasn’t the kind of player she wanted to be. “As a tennis player, I usually get called the ‘human wall’ because I end up getting every ball back which frustrates a lot of people,” she said. “Basically everyone I go against during matches hates playing against me, which I find very enjoyable, not gonna lie.” Wheeler usually plays doubles, but said she's always up for the challenge as a singles player whenever her team needs her.

Since making varsity his freshman year, Omar Perez Vazquez (10) has impressed many with his speed and overall running performance. Despite his smaller stature and stride, Perez Vazquez has become the third fastest runner on the team. For many runners, being short can limit the length in strides taken when running. Perez Vazquez, however, has used this to push himself, and has since increased his threemile time from 18.15 to 17.15. “I feel like if I mentally put myself through it, if I work hard enough, my smaller build will not be a problem,” he said.

As a goalie and captain, Gabriel Schiering (11) tries to build a strong relationship between the varsity, junior varsity, and novice levels through communication. He said he stays after his practice to help the younger players, making a point to talk to them. When he was a freshman, he said the older players helped boost his confidence and inspired him to keep playing, making him the captain he is today. “That had such an impact on me,” he said. “I had never played water polo before and they made me feel like I belonged there and I was good. That really helped me and made me want to do that for other new water polo players.”

On the field, Kacey Ly (11) is best at blocking her opponents’ shots into the goal. Her defense was on full display during the final minutes of a 2-1 win against Mt. Carmel. Ly was quick to defend a shot made by the Sundevils by quickly maneuvering through the sideline. “She was going down the field and almost at the goal and I was able to take the ball from her and bring it up the sideline,” Ly said. Ly’s move sealed the Westview victory. Ly continues to push herself to improve her skills and towards her goal of winning CIF.



12 Final Focus

Oct. 29, 2018

Mirror , Mirror On The Wall

Through self-care and therapy, females begin to overcome insecurities about their bodies and love themselves Devanshi Tomar Final Focus Editor

Until her freshman year, Emma* knew who she was. She didn’t think twice of her scabbed knobby knees, her downy skin, her short hair. Middle school was a simpler time. She felt secure, happy with herself and beautiful as a girl. “I didn’t define a woman as anything beyond biological terms,” Emma said. “But high school came, and things soon became more complicated.” As middle school came to an end, Emma’s definition of beauty was challenged as she underwent changes in her social life. “Once high school began, I noticed how everyone had changed,” Emma said. “My friends started wearing makeup. Their bodies filled out almost overnight. They started to get attention from boys. All I got from puberty was awful skin and insecurity, so I kind of got left in the dust.” As she drifted away from her former friends and retreated into herself, Emma began to wonder what was wrong with her, quickly becoming hyper-focused on her body and her looks. “I never had to worry about who I was or how I looked before,” Emma said. “It all hit me kind of suddenly, this narrative of the ‘perfect body’.” According to the National Institute on Media and the Family, 78 percent of girls are unhappy with their bodies by the age of 17. Advocates for Youth states that 91 percent of adult

women are displeased with their body and feel the need to diet, while only five percent of the American female population possess the body that is portrayed in American media. Everyone thought Sophia* was obsessed with herself. “My friends would tease me [and] say that I was full of myself,” Sophia said. “I guess I’d post a lot [on social media].” Sophia would pay special attention to every single detail, making sure that every picture, every video, every caption was perfect. Sophia was obsessed with herself, but not in the way many thought she was. “I spent about three or four hours on Instagram every day,” Sophia said. “That instant feedback that you get, the empty compliments, the likes. That’s why [I posted]. I thought it would help me like who I was.” Having amassed more than two thousand followers, social media became a job for Sophia, rather than a way to express herself. “I’d spend about an hour editing my pictures, almost until I didn’t really look like myself anymore,” Sophia said. “I’d blur my skin, PhotoShop any lumps or bumps I saw in the clothes I was wearing so that I wouldn’t look fat.” According to Jennifer Torio, a social worker and psychotherapist who has treated eating disorders and exercise addiction, a perfectionistic personality perpetuates a critical view of one’s own body. “The perfectionistic personality can lead a person to examine the body for symmetry, clear or even skin, the right hairstyle or makeup and desire for the body to look a certain way in clothing,” Torio said. For Emma, this mentality festered in the hours she spent alone in her room. Emma often spent time alternating between staring at herself in the mirror and comparing what she saw to the social media accounts of young models and socialites. Rotating and pivoting slowly in front of the mirror, Emma examined her body, searching for the flattering angles, grimacing and noting every single flaw she saw: her bony knees, her hip dips, her protruding rib cages. “I don’t think people realize that skinny people feel insecure as well,” Emma said. “I never found anything special about my body. I was just skin and bones. I didn’t think there was anything pretty or ideal about that.” According to Torio, the

idea of the perfect body isn’t a constant, but rather evolves to reflect the cultural values at the time. “We, as a culture, body shame women and men for the shape of the time,” Torio said. “Right now, big butts and small waists are in and the waif-like body is out.” In an attempt to attain her perception of the ideal body, Emma began to eat excessively in hopes of gaining weight. “I ate a lot of fatty foods,” Emma said. “I didn’t really know what I was doing, eating so much. But I wanted it to work so bad. I wanted to look like [the girls on Instagram].” Meanwhile, Sophia took to excessive exercise and dieting to maintain the body she had nearly starved herself to gain. “I’d go to the gym four to five times a week,” Sophia said. “I stayed away from the weights though, I didn’t want muscle.” She wanted to stay skinny, sacrificing being healthy in the process, limiting herself to less than a 1,000 calories per day. According to Torio, a negative body image perpetuated by such actions can lead to comorbid mental illnesses. “Some respond with preoccupation with looks and negative emotions such as shame and disgust and see the body with distortion,” Torio said. “At the extremes, eating disorders and substance use can become ways to cope.” What began as a conscious attempt to gain weight evolved into a coping mechanism for Sophia. “I’d get frustrated,” Sophia said. “I felt lonely, ugly, disappointed. I’d eat to distract myself.” As she became more inundated with self-criticism and shaming, Emma’s lack of control began to extend beyond eating, seeping into her schoolwork and family life. “I got what I wanted, I gained weight,” Emma said. “But I still didn’t feel fulfilled or complete in any way. Life just became more and more messy and depressing.” Emma’s grades dropped significantly. She distanced herself from her teachers, from her family, from the few, close friends she had. At that point in her life, Emma did not feel beautiful. Nor did Sophia. “You get so consumed with what people think,” Sophia said. “So consumed that you’re not even doing it for yourself anymore.” For nearly a year, Sophia had been suppressing her appetite and overexerting her body from exercise. In addition to being underweight, Sophia had a weakened immune system and experienced inconsistent menstruation cycles. Peers eventually began to take notice of Sophia’s sallow appearance. “I’d tell anyone who asked [about how I looked] that I wasn’t wearing any makeup,” Sophia said. “It made sense. Makeup makes you look pretty. No makeup makes you look sick.” A few days after others began to take notice, Sophia’s friend confronted Sophia of her unhealthy eating habits. “We weren’t especially close,” Sophia said. “But she noticed, and she cared more than some people that I thought were my best friends in the world, people I thought knew me well.” Torio says that to accept one’s self, one of the most crucial steps is to surround yourself with people who look at people beyond face value. “Seek people who avoid talking about diet and appearance,” Torio said. “The first step is reaching out to a trusted person.” For Sophia, her friend’s act of intervention helped to change her outlook on what was important in life. “Getting to know this person, it showed me that there are people who will accept you for who you are inside,” Sophia said. “It burst this bubble that I had, where image was the only thing that mattered.” But Emma had yet to break out of this bubble, and found difficulty in facing her insecurities and shame head-on. “It’s like this imaginary beast inside of you,” Emma said, “One that you just keep giving to, but it’s never satisfied. It keeps you from feeling whole. I don’t know when, but at some point, I decided

that I had enough.” It began with talking to her parents about how she felt, with whom she hadn’t held a heart-to-heart conversation with for months. She approached them where they sat in the living room and froze when she saw the quizzical, worried looks on their face. “I didn’t want to disappoint them,” Emma said. “I worried that they’d think less of me. That they’d think I was irrational, or just plain stupid.” Emma’s words lodged in her throat. “But then you have to think, ‘wait a minute, this is a wall that I’ve built for myself, screw you, wall,’” Emma said. “It was my first time moving past that barrier that I built.” As tears came to her eyes, Emma talked more than she had for the past seven months.. “All those words I swallowed down, all that hurt, I let out as much as I could,” Emma said. “And I wouldn’t have done it any differently.” With the support of her parents, Emma sought therapy and was diagnosed with binge eating disorder. According to Torio, when seeking outside help, it is important to find a psychotherapist who understands the benefit of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The American Psychological Association states that CBT is a form of psychotherapy that reframe a patient’s negative thinking patterns to improve one’s quality of life. Counseling psychologist Raphailia Michael, MA, says that self-care is any act one does deliberately to improve one’s self. Michael says that good self-care can improve one’s mood and reduce anxiety. “My therapist encouraged me to try new things that I wouldn’t normally do,” Emma said. “I started meditating and keeping journals.” Since beginning her therapy and self-care, Emma has begun to embark on the road of accepting who she is amidst all of the flaws and faults she used to see in herself. Sophia’s first step to developing a more positive body image was parting with her social media. “I deleted it,” Sophia said. “The whole thing. It was scary, you get dependent on something for what you thought was happiness for so long, but it turned out to be so freeing.” According to Torio, self-care and finding purpose for one’s phase in life are only a fraction of the healthy measures one could take to focus on accepting and loving themselves. With her newfound time, Sophia immersed herself into yoga and painting, therapeutic activities recommended by her mother and counselor. “I looked beyond myself for the first time in a while,” Sophia said. “And I realized how much worth there was to the things I did, the things I created, that my body and my appearance weren’t the only things that defined me, nor would I let them define me.” Self-care can vary from reading inspirational books or learning useful life skills to simply eating right and getting a good night’s sleep, Torio said. “I eat at a normal level,” Emma said. “It gets easy to relapse to old patterns but since I began therapy, my self-control has improved a lot.” As for Sophia, positive changes have been made to her nutrition to properly accommodate her dietary needs as a growing teenager, focusing on foods with protein and healthy fats that were good for her and her body’s strength. “I used to avoid carbs and fats like the plague,” Sophia said. “But I’ve learned a lot more about nutrition, and I’m determined to be healthy from now on.” According to Torio, one who has a healthy body image understands that no one’s body will be perfect. “A healthy body image is a commitment to care for the body physically and emotionally,” Torio said. “[One with a healthy body image] understands one’s values and lives accordingly, [and] places importance on how the body functions.” She said that the key to change in self-perception is redefining how one sees themselves in the mirror and how they compare to the doctored and altered women in the media. “Look at yourself as a whole person,” Torio said. “Become a critical viewer of the media.” For Emma, the key to becoming satisfied with herself was focusing on her positive aspects. “Think of all of the things you love about yourself,” Emma said. “Your long eyelashes, your pretty, brown eyes, your smile.” Sophia created a safe haven for herself through meditative therapy and introspection. “Create a beautiful place inside yourself,” Sophia said. “And grow and build outward from there. Be kind to others. Be kind to yourself.” Because the mirror shows who we look like, not who we are. *Names changed

Art by Alice Chen

Issue 2, 18-19  
Issue 2, 18-19