Westview High School
March 15, 2019 Vol. XVII | Issue 7 wvnexus.org | @wvnexus 13500 Camino del Sur San Diego, CA 92129
Meet the Addams Top: The Addams Family cast performs “One Normal Night” from Act I during their dress rehearsal, March 5. Bottom left: Nathan Wang (12) and Lilith Freund (9) act as characters Lucas Beineke and Wednesday Addams. Bottom right: Shane Strunk (12) lies on a torture board as him and Freund perform “Pulled” from Act I.
Mock Trial places first at SD county competition, advances to states Rhea Jogadhenu Staff Writer
Having completed their final round, the Mock Trial team waited in anticipation for the judge to make his decision. After having placed second out of 26 teams in the preliminary rounds, Westview had advanced to the finals against Our Lady of Peace Academy. The winner of would secure a spot in the State tournament. The defense team sat in the audience with eyes closed and hands held, silently hoping that their name would be called. Finally, Judge David Gill of the Superior Court of California, Country of San Diego, announced the final verdict that Westview had won first place at the San Diego County High School Mock Trial competition. The team took a few seconds to regis-
ter his announcement then ed and decided to take a new stood up, erupting in cheers approach on how people get for their win. For the first time their positions in Mock Trial. in Westview history, the Mock In the end it felt worth it.” Trial had won the final round, For many members, the win and would now advance to came as a surprise. Vice Presthe state competition in Sac- ident Devanshi Tomar (11) ramento as the first-place San said she felt nervous about the Diego representatives, March how the team would perform 22-24. after the “This prosecuc l u b tion team The team victory, I speaks faced difv o l u m e s think, supersedes any emotion f i c u l t i e s in terms that someone can have about in their of leaderthird preship and their own personal interests.” l i m i n a r y learning,” —George Fratian (12) round. George “ W e Fratian got good (12), co-president of Mock scores in our first round for Trial, said. “Because our prosecution, but we got lower Mock Trial program is one of scores the next time that we the most independent clubs competed,” Tomar said. on this campus, we took on The prosecution team felt a huge workload. We dealt defeated and surprised after with new rules being updat- receiving off-putting scores,
News in Numbers
Westview students were chosen to participate in the California All-State Music Education Conference, Feb. 14-17. See All-State, page 4 Went towards buying toys and art supplies for Ciudad de Niños in Tijuana. Project Azul hosted an art workshop for orphans, Feb. 22. See Project Azul, page 9
Percent of female athletes said one of their teammates had an eating disorder. See Body Expectations, page 14
but later found out that they had won the case. Meanwhile, the results from the prosecution round energized the defense team to improve before their final fourth round. The morning of their final round, co-president Tiffany Le (12) and the defense team prepared to bring their team a win. “We got our scores back after the third round and they were seeming absurdly low,” Le said. “We thought we’d lose our chance to make it into finals, so we had to do our best in this round to win.” Le stood up as the first speaker for the team, presenting a pre-trial statement to the judge. This year’s case followed the story of a defendant who had been charged with a
See Mock Trial, page 3
A frightening family with a love for all things gothic, ghoulish and gory... See Addams Family, page 9
PUSD Career Connections hosts health, medicine sessions for student body Kevin Lu
News Editor Dentist Jonathan Lee never imagined that he would be running his own dental clinic when he was just a teenager. “To be honest, when I was in high school, I had no idea what I was doing,” Lee said to a group of students and parents at the Health and Medicine PTSA Career Connections event, March 4. In a large panel discussion that was followed by three different breakout sessions, professionals spoke to small groups of students and parents about why they entered the medical field and what the students themselves might expect once they enter the workplace. Cardiologist Jeff Cavendish discovered his passion relatively early on, fascinated with the circulatory system during biology class. Though he is no longer a student, he told everyone attending the event that studying never ends; he has to keep up to date with the latest technologies
and advances in the medical field. “A procedure that once required us to open up someone’s chest now only needs a small incision where a tube can slide through,” Cavendish said. “I have to read up on the latest developments a few times a week so we can provide the best treatment we can for our patients.” The medical professionals emphasized that treating patients was not the only side of medicine that students would have to deal with once they entered the field. They would also have to interact with these patients regularly to make sure that the treatment process went as smoothly as possible. Adel Battikha’s (12) first taste of the medical field came when he shadowed a neurosurgeon he talked to at the Cognitive and Social Science Career Connections event last year. “I wasn’t able to go into surgery with him because you have to be 18 years old to go into
See Career Connections, page 2
Campus Counted... If you have Snapchat streaks, do you hold conversations beyond “Gm” and “Gn” snaps?*
Yes No Why?
33% 67% *Poll sample of 300 students
“When it’s just a good morning and say-it-back kind of a deal, your friendship can fade, especially if you don’t see the person on a daily basis,” Brent Barker (12) said. “[The streak] just turns into a number.” See Streaks, page 11
Scrunchies for Sale
VSA club members Lauren Tran (10), Kimberly Duong (9) and Jade Nguyen (9) sell homemade srunchies, March 1, to raise funds for water systems in Vietnam.
See VSA, page 2 Jessica Lin
March 15, 2019
Masterminds Club participates in Brain Bee competition Lina Lew
Prisha Anand (10), Hannah Danzing (10) and Izzah Kamran (10) listen to social worker Gabriella Ohmstede during Career Connections, March 4. Ohmstede spoke about how she helps children with disabilities at the San Diego Regional Center.
Students meet with medical experts at Career Connections From Career Connections, page 1
go inside the rooms with his patients and see how he talks with them and the business side of medicine. It showed me how medicine is not just knowing the biology, but also building personal relationships with patients.” Battikha said that though he has decided to go into medicine, this event gave him a deeper understanding of what it would be like to become a doctor. “It was really interesting to see a lot of different fields and subfields in what I want to study,” Battikha said. “It’s cool to see how they got to their medical career right now from where they started. It gave me good things to look forward to when I go into medicine.” But for others who might not have as much direction in their career path, Career Connections provides a way for students to learn about specific fields. According to Rene Oglesby, chair of Career Connections, the goal for the program is to give students a better
idea of what lies ahead for them. to have forums that are of interest to as “When the speakers share their ex- many of our students as possible. It’s periences, many will share about their hard to have a forum that will entice career path and for many, it wasn’t a everyone at Westview to attend, but we straight line—they started out study- try to have a variety and hope that any ing one thing and ended up changing student would find the event interesttheir path, maybe returning to school ing.” or changing careers several times,” PTSA co-president Priscilla Nguyen Oglesby said. “We (11) attended the feel it’s important engineering Cathat high school reer Connections It showed me how students know that event freshman it’s okay not to medicine is not just knowing year, which helped know exactly what the biology, but also buildher reconsider her they want in a caclass schedule to ing personal relationships reer right now.” fit her career path. While there with patients.” “I got to talk are only four Ca—Adel Battikha (12) with different enreer Connections gineers and that events each acahelped me rethink demic year and a plethora of profes- my mathematics and science courses sional careers to choose from, Oglesby throughout high school,” Nguyen said. encourages all Westview students to “It inspired me to take AP Physics C, attend. and go into a rigorous engineering ac“It’s not too early for a freshman to ademic path.” attend or too late for a senior to explore Career Connections committee other options,” Oglesby said. “We try member Beth Kiernan hopes that stu-
dents will take advantage of this program when considering their future career as Nguyen has. “There are still kids who attend who say they have never heard of Career Connections until the night they come, and we’ve been doing this for five years,” Kiernan said. “I certainly never had this at my high school and didn’t have a great career center in college either. It’s a fantastic opportunity and unique in the district.” The last Career Connections event for this year, Law and Criminal Justice, will be held April 1, from 7-8:30 p.m. Even though it will be the last Career Connections event Oglesby will oversee, she said she hopes that the events will continue to inspire students to discover their profession. “I believe in this program and in its value to our Westview students,” Oglesby said. “This is my last year working with this program and I’m hoping it will continue on for years to come.”
VSA scrunchie sales fund water systems in Vietnam Alice Chen Staff Writer
Clean water is a crucial part of daily life, but for many elementary schools in Vietnam, it is not affordable. In an effort to aid the cause, the Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) raised $1,200 this year by selling handmade scrunchies. The proceeds from the scrunchie fundraisers were donated to Viet Dreams Charity, a foundation that builds clean-drinking water filtration systems for elementary schools in Vietnam. VSA began working with Viet Dreams in 2015, but the idea of selling scrunchies to raise funds started this year. “Last year we did a lot of fundraisers at restaurants,” president Lauren Tran (10) said. “Even though [Vietnam] is far from where we live, it’s not really hard to [raise money]. I think once people know what cause it’s for, they’re like, ‘That’s something good. I want to donate to that.’” According to Viet Dreams’ website, there is a significant lack of water systems in many of Vietnam’s schools. Since 2010, the foundation has installed 157
systems, which have benefited more than 12,000 students. Tiki Phung (10), the vice president, said that her Vietnamese heritage makes the cause very important to her. “Vietnam is a very poor country, so they don’t have [enough] resources and technology to build [water systems] for themselves yet,” she said. “It’s really nice to know that we’re giving back to our motherland.” One water system costs $1,300 to build, and VSA has funded two systems since the club’s inception. With the funds raised from scrunchies this year, VSA only needs $100 more to build its third water system. Tran said she keeps in contact with Viet Dreams to track their progress. “I email the head of Viet Dreams regularly,” she said. “For now he’s keeping the money that we’ve given him so far. Once we make enough money to build our water system, he’ll go to Vietnam and personally oversee [it].” VSA executive officers said that in the future, they want to continue supporting the charity and help VSA grow at Westview by doing more creative fundraisers.
“We don’t have the most members, and not a lot of people know about VSA yet,” Treasurer Megan Estanol (10) said. “But I know that people like when we sell scrunchies. They’re popular, and the money goes to our good cause.” The scrunchies are handmade by the executive board officers. For their fundraiser, Feb. 28 and March 1, they made about 200 scrunchies, with 30 different designs. Phung said her friend taught her how to make scrunchies earlier this year. “You make a fabric tube, and then you just add elastic through it,” she said. “We pick whatever [design] we think is cute. It’s actually really fun.” Although VSA wasn’t able to reach their goal of funding another water system through the recent scrunchie sales, Tran said that the fundraiser still did very well. The executive officers agree that the club has had a positive impact both in Vietnam and at Westview. “I think it’s cool that a smaller club like us can still do good things,” Estanol said. “Now that we’re the exec board, we can [keep] doing things like that for our club.”
“Doctor, I’ve been feeling weak in my right arms, and I’ve been more tired lately,” a volunteer role-playing as a patient said. “Do you have a family history of any genetic diseases?” another volunteer role-playing as a doctor replied. The two continued back and forth at the San Diego Brain Bee competition, Feb. 16, where 40 high school students watched this clinical diagnosis skit and jotted down possible diagnoses, causes, and prescribed medications based on the observed symptoms. Among them were Masterminds president Tina Huang (12) and members Ethan Nguyen (10), Nick LaRosa (12), Trinity Yacoub (10), and Amber Yacoub (10), each of whom individually devised a treatment plan for the patient as part of their test. These five members of Masterminds, a club designed to encourage the exploration of neuroscience, came prepared to test their knowledge on Brain Bee competition topics such as brain development, cognition and function, and neurological diseases. The Brain Bee’s preliminary round consists of three sections: a written multiple choice test, a live clinical diagnostic scenario, and three oral questions given to each competitor by the judges. Out of 40 contestants, Nguyen placed among the top 10 finalists. He qualified for the final round, where he faced-off in a triple-elimination Jeopardy-style game. Finalists were given a series of the same questions, and those who answered incorrectly were given a strike. Competitors who reached three strikes were eliminated. Nguyen made it to the second batch of students, in which the three competitors in fourth to seventh place, including himself, were triple-eliminated. Because Nguyen spent only about eight hours over the course of one week studying for the Brain Bee, he said his advancement into the top 10 came as a surprise to him. “I was inspired to enter and see how I’d do after taking AP Psychology,” Nguyen said. “I treated it casually, to just test my knowledge of psychology and have fun with friends.” Several Masterminds members who had not previously taken such a course still performed well by studying from a publication from the Society of Neuroscience called Brain Facts, issued months in advance by the Brain Bee to help students prepare for the competition. About a month before the Brain Bee, Masterminds used this 120-page book as a guide to study during meetings. They also hosted mock competitions that simulated the same clinical diagnosis scenarios and Jeopardy-style questions as the Brain Bee. “The Brain Facts textbook follows really well with the Westview AP Psychology textbook,” Nguyen said. “But it takes a more neuro-scientific approach to these topics, describing the chemistry and biology of the brain and how it interrelates with depression, childhood development, disorders and such.” Within the span of one year, the club increased from one to five contestants, the maximum number of contestants from each school being six. For many members, the Brain Bee became a chance to meet other students and bond over their shared interest. “During the lunch break we’d talk about our test answers, like ‘Oh I barely remembered this part, but pretty sure I still got it,’” Nguyen said. “It was much more enjoyable because it added a little more of that social aspect, which is also a part of psychology.” Though the Brain Bee was a first competition experience for several Masterminds members, many agree that they are excited to continue this tradition of competing in the future. “Seeing [Nguyen] and his drive in the club is really inspiring,” Huang said. “I hope next year’s executive board will be able to study more intensely for the Brain Bee and use each other for resources.” From learning psychology concepts at meetings for the rest of the year to competing in the annual Brain Bee competitions, Masterminds aims to continue expanding its exploration of these fields.
VSA members sell handmade scrunchies at lunch, March 1, in order to raise in donations for the Viet Dreams Charity.
News Stand What's happening around campus...
... and around the world.
The Westview Theater Company continues its production of “The Addams Family” today at 7 p.m. and tomorrow at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m..
“Safety is our number one priority and we are taking every measure to understand all aspects of this accident.” GORDON JOHNDROE, spokesperson for Boeing Com-
Start Smart will hold a class in the staff lounge for students who are applying for a parking permit, 5:45-7:30 p.m., March 20.
The Improv team is putting on their spring show, April 5 from 7-9 p.m. in the theater. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $5.
pany, in response to the recent 737 MAX 8 crash on Ethiopian Airlines. The crash killed all 157 passengers and has brought into question current airplane safety regulations.
“Given the budget hurdles we face this year, the president’s budget is a dereliction of duty.” JOHN YARMUTH, Democrat of Kentucky and chairman of the House Budget Committee, commenting on Trump’s $4.75 trillion budget for the 2020 fiscal year, which he proposed, March 11.
“[F]rankly, we don’t currently have a strong reputation for building privacy protective services.” MARK ZUCKERBERG, CEO of Facebook, discussing data privacy, online commerce and authoritarian regimes in a recent blog post. Zuckerberg has been working to redeem the company after a major data breach last year.
“President Maduro has ordered a deployment of ministers to ensure the Venezuelan people are attended to.” JORGE RODRIGUEZ, information minister of the Venezuelan government, explaining how Maduro plans to respond to the recent power outage in Venezuelan. The blackout has made day-to-day life extremely difficult.
Compiled by Zara Irshad, Jessica Lin, and Isabelle Ritter
March 15, 2019
Mock Trial wins qualifiers, prepares for states From Mock Trial, page 1
criminal threat and a false report of an emergency. The defense team, which consisted of Le, Fratian, and their co-counsel, was tasked with defending their client, Reagan Klein, against these charges in court. As pre-trial attorney, Le’s job was to have the criminal threat charge be dismissed before the trial began. “The way in which pre-trial pans out really has a factor in what happens in the trial,” Le said. “If I win, an entire charge gets dropped from the trial, so the attorneys might have to switch up their strategy.” Following Le’s speech, Nathan Wang (12), an attorney for the defense, presented the opening statement, where he explained the case story from his defendant’s point of view, and went on to prove that defendant Klein was innocent. Nathan and Fratian worked closely together throughout the
round to develop objections against the prosecution team’s statements and present rebuttals that responded to attack statements from the opposing counsel. Fratian ended the round by delivering a closing statement which summarized the trial. When the final round ended, it was announced that Westview would be advancing to finals. “This was my third time making it to the finals round through my four years of participation on the team, and we had lost the finals in previous years,” Fratian said. He was hopeful that his last time in a finals round would result in a win for Westview. Additionally, many members of the Westview team received individual awards. Tomar, who was a prosecuting attorney, received an Outstanding Trial Attorney award, while pre-trial attorney Michelle Wang (12) and defense witness Matt Clapsaddle (11) received best performance for their roles.
“Everything you do in Mock Trial is for the team, so it felt really good to be recognized for our individual performance and achievement for the team,” Tomar said. It was announced soon after that Westview would be taking on the role of prosecution in the final round. Realizing that this could be their last chance to reach the state tournament, the prosecution team prepared themselves to enter the round. “Getting to the finals was already a great achievement,” Nathan said. “When you get a little taste of those grapes, you kind of want the whole bunch, and I think prosecution could sense that as they went into their final round.” The prosecution rehearsed their lines a final time before stepping into the courtroom. “When finals began, I think we were all much more calm than we were during the regular competition,” Tomar said. “We
were already pleased about our earlier performance, so our mentality was to do the best that we could going into finals.” Fratian, Le, and the rest of the defense team sat in the audience, silently cheering for their team in the final round. “Since I wasn’t on the prosecution team, it was out of my hands,” Le said. “[The defense] really had to trust that the club members knew what they were doing and that their work would pay off.” The prosecution team fought hard in their final round, starting strong with their objections and witnesses. Despite issues regarding presentation of their evidence and questioning, the team persisted till the end of the round and brought the Westview team to a final victory. “The team victory, I think, supersedes any emotion that someone can have about their own personal interests,” Fratian said. “It’s just super awesome to be in this together.”
Courtesy of Howard Lipin/ The San Diego Union-Tribune
Members of Mock Trial cheer after being announced as finalists for the San Diego County Mock Trial Competition, Feb. 23.
Michelle Wang (12) Pre-Trial Attorney
Kailin Storms (11) Attorney
Noah Thomas (11) Witness
Mariah Hamilton (9) Clerk
Kennedy Youngholm (9) Bailiff
Pre-trial attorneys present their motion before the case begins. The verdict can play a significant role on the rest of the trial. They address a motion related to a Constitutional matter, this year’s topic being the First Amendment. Wang presented a motion in this year’s trial to ensure that a charge was not dropped, specifically a criminal threat that was presented by the opposing team as invalid. Wang also utilizes past case law, meaning she compares her case situation with past court rulings.
Attorneys perform direct examinations and cross examinations on witnesses. During the trial, the prosecution uses their witness’ testimony through direct examination to create a more compelling argument that the defendant at hand is guilty. When the defense provides their witness, the prosecuting attorney cross examines them in an attempt to make the witness, and by extension, the defense’s argument less credible. The attorney can also bring up objections against their opposing counsel.
Witnesses must have a strong understanding of the statement specific to their character. Before the trial, witnesses work with their attorneys to create direct examinations, where they answer questions to bring out the facts of the case. It is critical that witnesses know the details of their character, to be prepared for questions that an attorney from the opposing counsel will ask them during cross examinations. Knowing the facts and having a consistent demeanor determines their credibility.
The role of the clerk is to time each section of the trial with a stopwatch. Their job is important because, all openings, direct and cross examinations and closings must be completed within a certain timeframe. They must know when to stop the time after each section and when to hold up time cards that indicate how much time is left. The position requires making quick calculations when the team asks for a time check. The clerk earns points for their accuracy and professionalism.
The purpose of a bailiff is varied throughout the trial. The bailiff calls the court to order when the trial commences and swears in witnesses under an oath of honesty. The bailiff may also hold exhibits for the prosecution and defense, and deliver documents to the presiding judge. Additionally, the bailiff can stop the trial in the event that any disruptions or difficulties occur in their team. The bailiff also keeps watch over the audience througout the trial to ensure that they are following the rules of the courtroom.
Designed by Rhea Jogadhenu, Written by Alec Felderman, Rhea Jogadhenu, Brynne Paiva
Gupta, Lam, Zou develop game at CodeDay Hackathon Andrea Chen
to solve small puzzles, such as the ideation phase, watching tutorials, downloading software, and creating the game itself.” Anushka Gupta (11), Jessica Lam (12) and William Lam said they planned pitfalls to make the game Zou (11) sat around a table, fighting the urge to fall more interesting. Some of these pitfalls were based asleep while studying the code-filled screens in front on jokes about internet browsers. For example, if the of them. It was the middle of the night, yet they, along player made an incorrect choice in using Microsoft with their teammate Zhilin Li, a UCSD freshman, Edge instead of Google Chrome to download softwere still hard at work trying to finish their game, “24 ware, they would be sent back to the main page, losHours.” ing crucial time. Like the title of the game, they had 24 hours to But even after all this planning for “24 Hours,” create a game or app of their choice at the CodeDay Team Hackable still faced a huge challenge. hosted in NEST CoWork in Downtown San Diego, “One of the main difficulties was that, although we Feb. 23-24. generally knew how to code, since some of us took “CodeDay is a hackathon, which is an event during APCS, we had never used Unity before,” Lam said. which people, usually high-schoolers but sometimes Furthermore, the members of Team Hackable had middle school and college students, form teams, come limited experience with C#, the language used to proup with an idea, code it, and present it to a panel of gram in Unity. Luckily, they found that C# is similar judges,” Lam said. to Java, which is taught in the APCS curriculum, acGupta and Lam attended the event together and cording to Lam. were looking for two additional teammates. They “For the first few hours, the three of us [Gupta, bumped into Zou when they arrived, and met Li, who Lam, and I] worked on learning how Unity worked served as their artist, later. and learning the syntax to C# with respect to Unity,” “The groups were formed by us socializing and get- Zou said. “Learning a new programming language in ting to know each other and just falling into place with just a few hours wasn’t an easy feat, and all the way people,” Zou said. up until the end we were still learning about the enThey formed their group, gine and the programming.” “Team Hackable,” and started Through a collaborative feabrainstorming, the time limit ture in Unity, the three were able Being able to work weighing heavy on their minds. to share their code with each oth“We had a difficult time think- with each other as a team er while Li worked on graphics. ing of what we wanted our game and communicate effectively However, they had to be careful to be,” Lam said. “Many of our was so crucial to finishing about what they changed and ideas were too complex and rewhen they changed it. alistically could not be finished our game." “If two of us uploaded our ver—William Zou (11) sion of the project and changed within the duration of the event.” Gupta said the group was sitthe same file in different ways, ting around a table, staring at the there would be a merge conflict,” ceiling, when Zou first suggested his idea for “24 Lam said. “In fact, one time, in the middle of the Hours.” night, there was a merge conflict that somehow trig“The idea for our game actually came because we gered a bug in Unity’s collab so we almost lost all of were struggling to come up with ideas for the game,” our data. Luckily, we had saved the important parts Zou said. “I pitched the idea that we should program of our code separately and also had a back-up of the a game of ourselves programming the game for Code- project that we could revert to.” Day.” According to Gupta, Team Hackable stayed up alRejecting it almost immediately, the group laughed, most the entire night, polishing their game until the typed the idea down onto a Google Doc, and kept judges arrived at 9 a.m. They were rewarded with the brainstorming. However, they ended up revisiting the Best in Class award for games. concept and fleshing out more details, liking it more “The judges had said that they chose our group beand more as they did so, Lam said. cause of the fact that we had a relatively polished and “Each of the four characters coincided with each of creative Unity game despite the fact that none of us our team members and they each had tasks to do,” she had ever used Unity before,” Lam said. “They were said. “For example, one character had to open Adobe particularly impressed with how much we had learned Photoshop and play a simple connect-the-dots game through the event.” to emulate drawing all of the scenes for our game Zou emphasized the importance of teamwork at while another had to open Google Chrome and down- CodeDay, without which “24 Hours” wouldn’t have load Unity, the software we used to create our game.” been the possible. To win the game, the player would have to finish “Teamwork was probably the most crucial part to all the assigned tasks within their own “24-hour time all of this,” he said. “Being able to work with each limit,” which was only three minutes in reality. other as a team and communicate effectively was so “It was a play on real-life inception—a game de- crucial to finishing our game. We created the product picting the different stages of the hackathon itself, as we learned, which was a really cool experience, hence the name ‘24 Hours,’” Gupta said. “Players and we took it upon ourselves to challenge ourselves, of the game have to wind through different levels finish[ing] just on time.”
Editor in Chief
March 15, 2019
Chamber choir performs with San Diego Master Chorale
Option 16 competes, wins Team Spirit Award at FRC Regionals Andrea Chen Editor in Chief
Decked out in team buttons, temporary face tattoos, self-made informational Very Included Person (VIP) passes, tie-dye socks and their trademark tie-dye shirts, the members of Option 16 waved their blue and white pom-poms with enthusiasm, chanting alongside the crowd as they waited for their next match to begin at the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Del Mar Regionals, Feb. 28 to March 3. Back at the driver station, black curtains obscuring the robot drivers’ view of the arena were pulled down. Suddenly, the buzzer sounded. Robots set off autonomously, racing to cross the lines of tape placed on the floor to score points during the first 15 seconds. Another buzz sounded, and the curtains were reeled back. The drivers were now allowed to control the robots, maneuvering balls into cargo bays and placing hatch panels onto rockets. The teams had two minutes and 15 seconds to score as many points as possible, Option 16’s robot focusing on loading cargo into the bays and blocking other robots from completing their tasks at the time. The members in the stands sat at the edge of their seats, leaning forward to get a better view and letting out an occasional yell of “Yes!”, “Come on!” and “We got this!” While their alliance ended up losing the match, the determination in the air was evident. The chatter of “next round, next round” began as some left to go to the pit area and others stared at the screen, analyzing the scores. “Overall, the competition went well,” Robotics President Summer Hoss (12) said. “Our robot was performing as intended and all parts were working, which is surprisingly hard to do.” According to Director of Engineering Sauhaarda Chowdhuri (11), their robot was functioning earlier this year, allowing the team to make it to all their practice matches. These practice matches are scheduled on the first day of the competition, but some teams choose not to attend these matches due to their robots not being ready to play, Chowdhuri said. “This was the first year ever that our robot was ready for all the practice matches we had,” he said. “What was incredible is that we were able to attend the first practice match offered in the morning on Friday. We were one of the only teams competing that early and it was a wonderful learning experience. ” After the competition, a meeting was held by the Option 16 members to analyze what went down at Regionals and to plan for the changes they want to make next year. They recorded these observations and suggestions in a Google Doc. “One of the things [we want to work on] is that mechanically, we want our robot to be much more consistent,” Chowdhuri said. “We’re going to adopt standard engineering practices like other teams and we want to meet during the summer too.” Option 16 ultimately placed 22nd out of 39 teams and won the Team Spirit Award, which is awarded to a team showing enthusiasm for FIRST Robotics competitions throughout the year. “When they started describing the team that would be honored with the award, I did not think it was us but then they started mentioning Pre-Season, Mock Season, and our VIP passes,” Hoss said. “The moment we jumped
Evan Buckland Managing Editor
Drivers Junyan Huang (11) and Ella Godun (9) focus on loading balls into the cargo bays. Option 16 placed 22nd out of 39 teams at the FRC Del Mar Regionals, Feb. 28 to March 3. up and cheered as a team just felt really liberating and it felt like all of our hard work during the year paid off. Leading the team down to the field to accept our award was truly a victorious moment for me.” According to Hoss, the leaders of Option 16 put a lot of consideration and time into how the team would present themselves and show spirit. “One of our leaders, Dhruti Pandya (11), organized a time on our bag-n-tag day for us to tie-dye some socks blue for competition,” Hoss said. “I was also experimenting with some ways to make homemade pom-poms out of tablecloths and ribbon, which we ended up using during competition.” Even more effort went into the team’s pit presentation and appearance, according to Hoss. Each team is given a small tent in the pit area that serves as a home base to service the robot and showcase teams and their work to judges, other competitors and guests. Option 16’s was set up near the entrance to the driver station. Their pit had a TV with a slideshow of the past year’s memories, a banner showcasing their curriculum, some photo props and containers holding their Option 16 buttons and VIP passes. “I think the holistic presentation of our team was really good from the pom-poms to VIP passes to the amazing banner that Sauhaarda created,” Vice President of Outreach Miriam Hamidi (12) said. “I was stationed by the pit as the public relations person, with younger students shadowing me. A lot of people stopped by our pit just to take pictures of the banner.” Hoss partially attributes the success Option 16 saw to
pre-season changes. Previously, there were seven tracks, or specialized areas in robotics, for students to choose from. Now, it’s a project-based system in which students choose what they want to learn, similar to a course schedule. This gave students the opportunity to gain experience in a variety of areas in comparison to only specializing in one. The members of Option 16 then stayed in these project groups to complete tasks in preparation for and during the season. “We offer 10 four-week projects and two eight-week projects in specialized technical and business areas,” Hoss said. “We implemented these changes for two main reasons: it allowed students to clearly visualize how their skills would be applied as projects establish an end goal and emphasize maximized hands-on time during robotics sessions, and it provided new students with an option to experience the hardware, software, and business aspects of robotics.” Moving forward, Option 16 is focusing on moving into the playoffs using the feedback they’ve received from other teams at the FRC Regionals. “I think every year, I am reminded that being a part of FIRST Robotics is so much bigger than just building robots,” Hoss said. “The experience [of competing and learning from others] reinforces the idea that teams can help each other despite the competition between them, and that in the end, it’s really all about having fun. Before the final playoff matches, we danced with the other FIRST teams in one big line of united members. It’s experiences like that that I know I will never forget.”
Musicians represent GOLD at All-State Julie Zhu Staff Writer
Hundreds of young, talented musicians gathered in Fresno to attend the California All-State Music Education Conference, eight of them from Westview’s own band. Organized by the California Band Directors Association and the California Music Education Association and taking place, Feb. 14-17, musicians from across the state applied for the conference in November by submitting video auditions. Those who applied practiced for the audition pieces on their own time. Abigail Whitehurst (12), a bassoon player in the Symphonic Band said she practiced by repeatedly recorded herself playing her piece, so she could play in front of a camera without feeling nervous. “I’m not quite at that point but I’ve been getting better because I’ve been [recording myself playing] for a couple years now,” Whitehurst said. “[Applying for All-State is] a lot of work on your own
because you’re not working in class to do “We also attended a concert every All-State stuff.” night to watch a guest artist and our peers After applicants sent in their record- from other groups.” Zhu said. ings, judges reviewed the audition tapes Although the program was work-intenand accepted students into three different sive and tiring, students agreed that they ensembles: Concert Band, Symphon- learned valuable new skills from playing ic Band and Wind with such a skilled Symphony. Once group of musicians. accepted, musicians “I was impressed rehearsed with their with just how quickCreating beauty out of ensemble for eight ly an ensemble full hours a day to pre- that love is truly inspiring, of equally dedicated pare for their con- and it’s enough to keep me players could [play cert, which took going so I can someday do the new music], so I place on the last two was forced to learn same.” days of All-State. to adapt quickly to —Helen Zhu (11) changes in music,” Helen Zhu (11), a flutist in Wind Ethan Olim (11), a Symphony, said that trumpet player in musicians attended master classes taught Symphonic Band said. by expert musicians, explored new proZhu said that listening to musicians grams and instruments at an exhibition, better than her taught her what to work and listened to student speakers present on. about various music topics ranging from “They played with a really full and instrument care to majoring in music. supported sound, which has led me to
prioritize my air support and tone quality,” Zhu said. Seeing other passionate musicians at All-State who loved playing music inspired Sarah Goldstein (11), a bassoonist in Concert Band, to improve as a musician. “Coming into contact and making friends with great musicians my age has really driven me to improve,” Goldstein said. “I’m more motivated to strive for the next level and prove that I can rightfully stand alongside them.” Meeting those talented musicians also renewed Zhu’s passion for playing music and changed how she viewed music. “I think I learned, or kind of re-learned that music is supposed to be fun,” Zhu said. “I was definitely far from the caliber of most of the musicians there, but to be able to see so many people in love with what they do, and creating beauty out of that love is truly inspiring, and it’s enough to keep me going so I can someday do the same.”
Members of Westview’s chamber choir were invited to participate in a local choir performance for the members of the San Diego community, March 2. More than 150 high school students from San Diego and Riverside came together to sing in a combining concert, under the direction of the San Diego Master Chorale (SDMC) Music Director John Russell, who has worked on orchestra projects around San Diego. According to Russell, the concert brought these students together in order for them to experience singing in a professional atmosphere as well as to put on a performance for the local community. It was the first time that all of these people have sung together in one culminating performance. “It was really interesting because everyone there had a different background in music,” tenor section leader Brandon Phu (12) said. “Sometimes you get so focused with what your own choir is doing, but it was nice to go out and find this community of high school choir students who all share the same passion.” Choir Director Daniel Moyer selected four students to accompany him in the performance, where they rehearsed all day at a workshop and performed the pieces immediately after. The combined choir sang a plethora of songs chosen by SDMC from various countries throughout the world, many of which were spoken in uncommon languages such as Hebrew and Arabic. “One of the songs named ‘Zikr’ was an Islamic song,” Phu said. “The song has a lot of consonants and you have to close your mouth really quickly after pronouncing an ‘m,’ and you have to use your tongue in a weird way to pronounce an ‘l’ sound. We also had a drum called a Jimbe that was played to accompany us because the song is really fast paced and it helped keep the beat.” On top of the lyrics, performers spent time at the workshop learning the notes and working on singing them together so that the sound blended well. “We were singing in a chapel and all 150 singers were singing in harmony,” Phu said. “The acoustics in the room sounded amazing but it was a lot of work trying to make so many people blend together to sound like one voice.” Musically, many of the songs from foreign countries had different musical structures and rhythms, making them more difficult to learn than the traditional western songs that high school choirs normally learn. “Some of the type of music we have performed before but others were completely new to a lot of us,” Phu said. “It was hard but it was also nice to see such a wide range of cultural music being performed together.” In order to create harmony, the choir is divided into four parts: soprano, alto, tenor, and bass. Sopranos are girls with high voices who sing the top part. Altos are girls with lower voices. Tenors are boys with higher voices. Bass singers have the lowest voice. “When each part sings different notes, we can create dissonance as well as resolution,” Brandon said. “We also have to work on shaping the sound by increasing and decreasing the volume.” According to Phu, it's important that the collage of voices come together in order to sound like one voice, something that is difficult to achieve with 150 singers. “This is why blend is so importnat in choir,” Phu said. “During the workshop we worked alot on shape and annunciation so that we were all shaping our sound the same way.” As well as singing combined pieces, each high school brought pieces that they had been practicing separately. “One slow song we sang was a Christian hymn called ‘Evening Prayer,’” Phu said. “It used a lot of floaty and bubbly words, lots of smooth legato feel. Hearing the songs that other high schools were practicing, and working with different directors and accompanists was really cool. It was just great to have this whole community come together.” As for Russell, he said he hopes the experience can be eye-opening to young choir students who want to perform music professionally or at least be involved with it past high school. According to Phu, performing with musicians at this level was inspiring, as he hopes to continue singing in college. “The SDMC is made up mostly of adults and they’re really experienced singers,” Phu said. “It was great getting to perform with these people and seeing how people are involved with music past high school.”
Schlusselberg, Jogadhenu, Zhu advance to Speech and Debate state tournament Alyssa Van Waas Staff Writer
Rachel Schlusselberg (12) desperately needed something to wrap up her last Impromptu speech at the California High School Speech Association State Qualifiers, held at San Dieguito Academy, March 1-2. After being provided with the theme, “If certainty were truth, we would never be wrong,” she made a point about slowing life down, emphasizing that it was important even if it meant, for example, taking the long route home from school. Right in the end of her speech, Schlusselberg suddenly blurted out of nowhere, “You might even see a barn!” The judge signaled shortly thereafter that she only had five seconds left to finish. “[The time limit is] why [the] Impromptu [category] is hard,” she said. “You never know what is going to come out of your mouth.” Schlusselberg ended up taking fifth place out of 60 in Impromptu and third place out of 33 in Original Prose and Poetry. As a member of the improv team, Schlusselberg decided to compete in Impromptu, due to its similari-
ty. Impromptu is a speech event in which competitors are told to choose from three topics and given two minutes to prepare for a five-minute speech. “This was only my second time ever doing Impromptu,” Schlusselberg said. “I decided to do it at the last minute because I do improv, so I thought those skills might transfer. I try to always make my Impromptu speeches funny because I always love to make people laugh, and I think that’s what helped me.” Competing in Original Prose and Poetry (OPP), Schlusselberg, instead of a poem, wrote a story that she prepared in advance about two friends going on the same adventure over and over again. She then had to act out the story in front of the judges. “Mine was about a grandpa and his grandson and they go on an adventure in the forest to look for a witch,” she said. In addition to Schlusselberg qualifying, Rhea Jogadhenu (12) and Julie Zhu (11) competed and qualified for state together in Policy, one of the five debate events, at Helix Charter High school, March 8-9. Together, they debated whether the U.S. federal government should reduce restrictions on legal im-
migration into the U.S. Each round, they had to argue one of the two sides against another team. “Every round we went into was unexpected and we had to be prepared to refute anything that our opponents brought into the round,” Jogadhenu said. Jogadhenu and Zhu took fourth place in the end, advancing to states, which will be held at CSU Long Beach, May 3-5. Currently, Jogadhenu and Zhu said they plan on partaking in mock debates and practicing in and outside of school to prepare for the state championships. Schlusselberg, on the other hand, said that she will be attending an invitational tournament, the Aloha Classic located at Schurr High School, April 13, to gain some extra practice. She will be competing in the Original Prose and Poetry event at states. Above winning awards, one of the main things that Jogadhenu enjoys the most about debating is the chance to be a part of a team that is supportive. “My favorite part of debate is my team and my partner,” Jogadhenu said. “Even though so much of the speaking is individual, everything we prepare for happens as a team, and I wouldn’t able to do it without them.”
Julie Zhu (11) delivers a rebuttal speech to the judge, arguing against a plan presented by her opponents.
March 15, 2019
Nexus Natural Disaster releases debut EP the
Courtesy of Natural Disaster
Max Struthers (11), lead guitarist and vocalist of Natural Disaster, performs at the SOMA for the band’s EP release show. Their first album included six songs and was released, Feb. 2. Alec Felderman Staff Writer
After three years of songwriting, jam sessions, and hard work, lead guitarist Max Struthers (11) and newest addition, drummer Riley Conway (10), released their band’s debut album, “Natural Disaster,” which is named after the band. The group has had ambitions of writing their own album since their inception five years ago, but according to Struthers, they wanted to hone their music skills first before taking on the challenge so they would be satisfied with the quality of the album when it was released. “After we paid our dues with doing covers and playing a few shows, we decided to actually write music and started to play bigger places that actually let us play our own songs,” Struthers said. The album includes six songs titled “Get Away,” “Farewell,” “Don’t Fall Asleep,” “Come Along With Me,” “Mary,” and “Loud House.” Originally, the band planned to have several more songs on the album. “There were a couple songs that
didn’t make it on the EP because we haven’t started recording them since we wrote them later,” Struthers said. Creating the album was no small matter, as the band had to write, record and produce the songs on the album without the help of a record deal. The beginnings of the album started with band members throwing around ideas during jam sessions or writing ideas down whenever they were inspired. A couple of songs resulted from this process, such as Struthers writing the melody for “Farewell,” sparking the rest of the band members to help develop the lyrics for the song, which focuses on society’s dependence on technology and experiencing the real world without technology’s influence. Struthers also wrote both the lyrics and music for “Come Along With Me.” Despite being new to the band, Conway hasn’t let that stop him from adding his own style to the writing process. For one, he helped develop “Farewell” with his drumming skills, creating more depth for the song. While it may seem to all come together instantaneously, according
to Conway, the writing process can be difficult due to every band member having an opinion on how a song should be written. “For all the songs that I worked on with Natural Disaster, we all had some sort of issue or disagreement during the songwriting process,” Conway said. “The reason it makes it so hard is because of how different each of our music tastes are.” Although the band members have clashing musical tastes, they try to reach compromises when writing. Once the songs were written, the band went through the recording and editing process with their friend David Smith, who edited their EP without the help of a record label. The editing process involves taking “dry” recordings, songs played without editing or amps, and mixing them. The mixing process allows the editor to add in the effects to the track, like the electric sound on a guitar or reverb. Then, the tracks went through the mastering process. Through mastering, an editor can find mistakes the band members make while playing the song and fix them by adjusting
pitch on notes through auto-tune, improving the track’s sound quality. Finally, the songs are all compiled into the album and published. Usually, a record label will publish the album for the band, but Smith used the publishing site Distrokid instead. “We published our music through a company called Distrokid,” Struthers said. “You pay [the company] and they put your stuff out everywhere [Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, Google] and we get to keep the royalties.” The band makes money off royalties from Spotify, iTunes sales and gigs. Along with the money, the members used their earnings per song as a guide for where they will take their music, but it isn’t the deciding factor according to Conway. The album served as a way for the band members to explore different music tastes. “The album represents how independent minds can come together,” Conway said. “It’s hard to say how it really represents us as a whole or individually but the songs show our different creative influences coming together to make a song.” Along with their first album, the band created a music video for their single “Get Away,” the main seller on the album.The music video is centered around lead singer Jackson Shaffer, “The Ratman,” who is being chased by the police, played by the other band members, for stealing some donuts. The video is compiled of chase scenes and the band playing the song, hence the name “Get Away.” “The Ratman” is also used in the gigs the band plays. “The Ratman is like his alter ego,” Conway said. “Sometimes we bring him out to shows for a little bit of entertainment value.” During their most recent gig, Shaffer ran through the crowd as if he was being chased; wearing a mask and a Nicolas Cage tank top, adding to the spectacle of “The Ratman.” With their first album out, the band has already set its sights on their sophomore attempt, which is focused on experimenting with new sounds and trying to find what works with the band. Struthers recently picked up the piano and Conway is beginning to write his own pieces. “We hope to stretch our music to new lengths, crossing many genres and taking a different perspective on songwriting and onstage performances,” Struthers said.
Mahmoudi helps organize Persian New Year Celebration with the Persian Cultural Center Grace Kim Staff Writer
Persian New Year, or Nowruz, is an annual celebration symbolizing rebirth, beginning on the first day of spring and continuing for 13 days. During the celebration, Persian communities come together to recognize new beginnings through different festivities. For instance, fire jumping is a popular event that takes place at night. During this ritual, people jump over a mini bonfire to secure good health for the future. When the sun is up, traditional songs fill the air as people dance and eat Persian food like herb pilaf. Children are also given new clothes and envelopes filled with money. In honor of Persian New Year this year, the Iranian School of San Diego and the Persian Cultural Center (PCC) partnered to organize several events and festivals for the Persian community. One such event was held at Mt. Carmel High School, March 10 at 4:30 p.m. At the open invite event there was live entertainment such as dance performances and singing as well as various activities like charity auctions for students and their families. In one performance, Shakiba Mahmoudi (11) played the tonbak, a Persian goblet drum, alongside a singer.
Mahmoudi is no stranger to the Persian community’s gatherings. Ever since she was 5 years old, Mahmoudi has been attending PCC. There, she learned about Iran and how to speak and write in Farsi. Unlike many teenagers in the Persian community, Mahmoudi didn’t quit attending PCC once she entered high school. Now that she’s older, Mahmoudi spends her Sundays, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., giving back to the school as the teacher’s assistant by looking after the children. “I’m proud of where I’m from and like to help out those who aren’t as informed about Persia,” Mahmoudi said. “It feels good to help out.” After seeing her impact on her students, like she did one summer her sophomore year during a summer camp, Mahmoudi was motivated to do more for the community. A specific instance that resonates with Mahmoudi was when she was able to help improve a student’s reading skill. “I was helping someone with their reading by answering all their questions and afterwards they came up to me and was like ‘Thanks so much for helping me. I feel more confident now,’” Mahmoudi said. Along with helping students, For three hours every Sunday at PCC, Mahmoudi either spends
ALUMNI TODAY: Mark Troftgruben Staff Writer
As Hailey Harbison (’14) walked across the turf of WRAL Soccer Park in Raleigh, North Carolina, March 4, a plethora of emotions raced through her mind. From the anxiety and pressure she felt about proving herself in front of the North Carolina Courage’s coaching staff to the pride she took in experiencing the moment of her lifelong dream, she felt overwhelmed, to say the least. Only two months prior, Harbison had been selected by the Courage with the ninth overall pick in the 2019 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) College Draft at the United Soccer Coaches Convention in Chicago, Illinois. “It was always my dream to be able to play soccer professionally,” she said. “I was kind of in shock when I was drafted because I didn’t think I would get picked in the first round.” Now, she was only moments away from proving that she was capable of performing on the big stage for the first time. “I had already met the whole staff at the draft,” Harbison said. “However, having the opportunity to play
time in leadership training, where they listen to guest speakers or learn how to be a role model, or leading musical activities such as rhythm clapping. Mahmoudi is also part of the PCC’s six person student board that was created last year. “I wanted to have a bigger voice in our community and have a bigger impact so I decided to propose to create a student board,” Mahmoudi said. The board meets once a month to plan activities and events such as candy giveaways and festivals. Furthermore, the student board helps the parent board in different ways. “We collaborate and help plan events to help the Perisian community like game nights and Norus where I help with makeup and costumes,” Mahmoudi said. Through community events like these, Mahmoudi said she enjoys knowing that they help create a close community. “Having a rich and filled history makes us different from other cultures because we had a lot of time to build and grow,” Mahmoudi said. “We’re like a giant family who’s proud of our culture.” Mahmoudi said she plans to continue and help out PCC even after she graduates.
March 15, 2019 In My Feelings A Sibling Survival Guide Lina Lew
To the shirt thief who lives across the hall from me, otherwise known as my younger sister: if you’re reading this, don’t be mad at what I’m about to say. Like most siblings, my sister and I have a complicated relationship—a little less give and a little more take. I’ve known her for a while now, going on 15 years, so I’ve seen every weird habit, every tantrum, every bad haircut. In earlier years, and in typical sibling fashion, we’d engage in battles until one of us (usually her) cried, and the other (usually me) bribed her not to tell our parents. And yet, it seems like for most of our lives we’ve practically been strangers. Though we live in the same home, we drifted apart at the age of 10 and 7, with me entering the glorious, much-anticipated realm of middle school, leaving her behind in elementary school dust. As we grew up living in separate worlds, we quickly went from childhood friends to associates, and then from associates to just siblings. We’re bound by the same last name, but for years, that seemed to be the only common denominator. And I let it happen. I started investing myself more in what Joey in Spanish class thought about my new haircut than I did about my sister’s transition into middle school. I started spending more time out past curfew than I did eating dinner with my family on weekdays. At home, we kept to ourselves, not because we particularly disliked each other, but because that’s what we knew best. Outside of the context of sharing the same bathroom and arguing over who does the dishes, I barely knew her. One week, when I found out my sister played water polo about a month after she’d started, I thought, this is it. My sister will forever be the person who lives down the hall from me, and nothing more. I found out how dangerously easy it was for me to slowly disengage with someone who should be one of the closest people in my life. Yet somewhere along the way, just when I thought things couldn’t be fixed, something changed. Somewhere along the way, she entered high school, and our worlds collided once more. For half an hour in the mornings and afternoons, I drive her to and from school. And, perhaps only out of pure boredom or the pressure to fill the space of long, uncomfortable silences, we started talking. And suddenly, something clicked. We started playing music and sharing playlists. She would ask me for advice and I’d impart my senior wisdom, something I had secretly wanted to do ever since she started high school. I’d talk to her about my own day, too—the small, stupid things you tell only your sister—and learned that for a 14-year old, my sister wasn’t so bad at listening. Surprisingly or unsurprisingly, we had a lot more in common than I thought. Soon, daily rides to school turned into latenight fast-food runs. Stealing clothes from each other’s closets turned into weekend trips to the Salvation Army. Eating dinner separately turned into attempting—and failing—to bake vegan chocolate chip cookies together. All along, here she was—my sister, who was also somehow capable of being my friend. I’m not sure what took me so long to realize that I actually liked the person living in the room next to mine. Maybe I just didn’t understand her. Maybe I just didn’t give her a chance. Or maybe, I just wasn’t ready to accept that we could actually be friends. And I wish I realized that sooner. I wish it didn’t take me this long to learn that relationships are a two-way street. That it takes more than just seeing somebody every day to really know them. That, like any other relationship, my family is not one to take for granted just because I’ve known them my entire life—after all, it takes time to relearn the small things I missed when I wasn’t paying attention. We’ve still got ways to go. Our affinity toward each other still fluctuates depending on how many shirts she steals from me, a habit that will unfortunately never die. But I’m not worried. Luckily, sisterhood is lifelong. Whether we like it or not, we’re stuck with each other, and we’ve got time.
Shakiba Mahmoudi (11) and Anahita Emami (12) rehearse their drum routine for their Persian New Year performance, March 10.
Hailey Harbison (’14) plays professional soccer for the North Carolina Courage. She was the ninth overall pick in the 2019 National Women’s Soccer League College Draft.
for this organization, I have a lot to live up to.” Indeed, the Courage are two-time winners of the NWSL Shield, an annual award given to the team with the best regular season record, and the reigning champions of the league. “It made me nervous coming into such a talented and successful team,” Harbison said. “But, I think that I prepared well for it and I was excited to finally start training with the team.” Harbison had her work cut out for her as she was just one of many new faces who showed up to compete for a roster spot at the first day of training camp. However, this season is unique in that it may provide Harbison with the exact opportunity she needs to really shine at this next level: the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Paris, France. Leading up to and during the competition, June 7 to July 7, the Courage could lose up to nine players, who would play for the U.S. and other countries. Even during camp, around 10 returning players were absent as a result of friendly World Cup-prep tournaments like the SheBelieves Cup. “Without some of the national team players taking reps, the opportunity for me to get on the field is there,” Harbison said. “It’s just up to me to be ready for it and
deserve it.” Despite the lack of experience and skill the Courage might potentially have at certain points of the season, they have to push on and cannot afford any setbacks as they look to defend their crown. “We want to get them used to our culture, our environment and what we believe in and our process of making players better,” head coach Paul Riley said in an interview with Pro Soccer USA last week. “Hopefully, if you put every ounce of sweat you’ve got into it, and you come out and you want to learn and you’re curious, then you’ll get better. If you’re not—you know, I’m not serving egos here, I’m serving aspirations. If you have an aspiration, I’m with you all the way.” With this in mind, Harbison proceeded to perform warm-ups with her fellow draft selections and the program’s returning players. In between bits of small talk with her new teammates, she reminisced about her past, reflecting on all the people who helped her and all the events that had led up this moment, her dream—or rather, her reality. She remembered the first time she kicked a soccer ball at age 4. She remembered the time her dad had gotten her her own soccer ball for her fourth birthday.
She remembered having a dominant season and winning States her senior year of high school with Westview’s soccer program. She remembered making it to the Sweet 16 her freshman year with her sister, Meagan, at Pepperdine University. She remembered being smothered with the embraces of her family and friends at the 2019 NWSL College Draft. And most importantly, she remembered exactly who she was and why she was here on the cold morning of March 4, being scrutinized by dozens of coaches. That day, Harbison said she felt confident about her performance. “I think I’ve done pretty well at camp so far and I’m happy with how the first day went,” she said. A year ago, the Courage lost just one regular season match on their journey to capture the championship. But the 2019 season likely won’t be as smooth, and the Courage’s success will likely be dependent on the ability of young players like Harbison to step up. “I am very excited for the season to start and am ready for any challenges that come my way,” she said. Harbison’s season begins, April 13, as she and the Courage take on the Chicago Red Stars at home.
March 15, 2019
Captain Marvel Movie
To improve her rock climbing technique, Sarah Fallah (11) practices bouldering at Mesa Rim rock climbing gym, March 9. Fallah climbs for a competitive team and practices four times a week, for a total of 12 hours.
Fallah rock climbs, overcomes phobia Sydney Alper Staff Writer
Sarah Fallah (11) grew up with a father who loved rock climbing, but because of her fear of heights, she never tried it herself until last year. “As a kid, and still now to be honest, I had anxieties about a lot of things and falling from great heights was one of them,” Fallah said. “I realized that the actual climbing part was extremely fun and I pushed myself to stop being afraid of falling so that I could continue to enjoy climbing.” Rock climbing has helped Fallah cope with her anxiety disorder, which was one of the main reasons she started climbing. “What really pushed me to start climbing and overcome my fear of heights was that I knew it would teach me principles that would help me deal with being mindful,” she said. “In climbing you have to learn to overcome the stress and anxiety of falling to progress, and to me that felt applicable to other situations as well.” Despite being afraid of heights she said that she immediately fell in love with the sport and soon became serious about it. Seven months ago, Fallah joined the high school rock climbing team at Mesa Rim rock climbing gym, where she practices up to 12 hours a week. She sport climbs—a climbing style where the rope is continuously reclipped as one moves up the wall. She said this type of rock climbing produces a lot of adrena-
line because the walls are so high. Currently, Fallah said her goal is to climb a level 5.12 wall. Class five rock climbing uses rope and is ranked on a scale of one through 15. She climbs at level 5.11. According to the adventure website Outdoors With Dave, 5.11 walls are steep, while 5.12 walls have much smaller footholds and are longer. She said she practices climbing walls using rope to build up her endurance for the 5.12 climb and bouldering to improve her technique. Boulders are shorter rock climbing walls; climbers scale the walls without ropes. Climbing boulders involves specific patterns with specific moves, which, according to Fallah, makes them better for perfecting technique. “I will go practice at the gym for a certain amount of time outside of practice and do things that would help reach that specific route,” she said. “If it involves a certain move, then I’ll practice that move over and over again.” According to Fallah, She said that she treats each rock climb as a problem to solve. “It’s not a sport where it requires you to think with others like team sports,” she said. “It’s like solving a problem but with your body. I like how [the physical challenge] intertwines with the mental challenge.” According to Fallah, this ability to think of rock climbing as a problem has helped her in her everyday life. She said that it helps her think more calmly and rationalize her way through problems. “I have to be pretty calm to [climb]; otherwise I won’t do well [and panic],” she said. “That’s cor-
related to school life because I have to think my way through writing essays without getting frustrated or doing math without getting frustrated.” Thinking of rock climbing as a problem has also helped Fallah get through some difficult situations. During her first time climbing outside, her hand got stuck in a the rock, but by staying calm she was able to safely remove it. Fallah still said she sometimes experiences mental blocks when climbing. “When I can’t get a [climb] done right, sometimes I just have a block saying that I can’t do it,” she said. “Sometimes I need to go back after a few sessions to finally get the [climb] down.” Having just been moved up to the competitive team, Fallah has yet to compete, but said that she's looking forward to experiencing competitions. “I know I’m one of the less skilled climbers on the team but my motivation to consistently improve has taken me to where I am now,” she said. “I go climbing whenever I have a free weekend for as long as I can before my fingers are completely destroyed.” Overall, Fallah said she finds rock climbing to be a really rewarding experience because of how much effort has to be put in to achieve her rock climbing goal, climbing a 5.12. She said she attributes her amount of practice and dedication to her continuing success in the sport. “The most rewarding part about it is that once you’ve accomplished one of your climbing goals, you know there will always be something harder to climb,” she said. “You can always push your limits.”
Jamshidi, Young create stock portfolios, find niche in trading, managing stocks Julie Zhu Staff Writer
When Omid Jamshidi (12) was in first grade, he bought his first stock with a box full of quarters. “My first stock was Apple in around 2006 when it was five or six dollars, and I bought it because I liked my iPod and my teacher in first grade said the fastest way to make money is through stocks,” Jamshidi said. “I went home and took my box of quarters and I told my dad to buy Apple [stocks] with it.” Stocks are shares of ownership in a public company. The value of stocks is dictated by supply and demand in the market. If more people want to buy a stock its price increases, and if more people want to sell, the price decreases. Jamshidi has since bought and sold thousands of shares in the stock market. Now, he manages his own stock portfolio where he trades shares of companies to turn a profit. Just last February, Jamshidi made his biggest stock profit through a first-aid company named Daxor Corporation. “[Daxor Corporation] was in the process of getting approved by the FDA,” Jamshidi said. “I read about it, and I purchased [their stock] at $4. The next day it went up $12.50. I held it for one more day and it dropped $2, went back down to $13 and I sold it there.” But prior to turning 18, he did this through a portfolio that was attached to his father’s. “My dad had a portfolio, and you can make a second portfolio, so he made another under his
name,” Jamshidi said. “When I wanted to make a decision, he would have to do it.” Like Jamshidi, Colin Young (12) trades stocks. He started his freshman year, but only trades in a simulation of the real stock market. These simulators replicate the features of a live stock market and allow players to buy and sell stocks without using real money. That way Young can practice trading stocks but not risk actually losing money. When actively managing their stocks, Jamshidi and Young wake up at 6 a.m. every day before the stock market opens. They review daily news regarding the stock market to decide whether to sell or buy stocks and check for any important news regarding companies and their stocks that could influence the market. Both traders also set aside other hours throughout the week to further monitor the market’s status, check for news, and make decisions to buy or sell stocks. However, the two use different strategies to make decisions about their stocks. Young manages his stocks through technical analysis, meaning he only looks at stock prices and volumes to decide whether to buy or sell. “I like to trade mostly using technical indicators,” Young said. “Technical analysis is looking at the graphs and numbers, so there’s different indicators like the MACD and the moving averages. You look at them and you begin to recognize patterns and then you know when to enter or exit a trade.” On the other hand, Jamshidi is more of a fundamental trader; he studies the market and
current news about companies to evaluate their financial condition and management, as well as overall economy and industry conditions. “The research I do is past earnings reports, prediction earnings, revenue, and public perception,” Jamshidi said. “It’s just financial information to see if this company is on an uptrend or downtrend, what their past trends are, what they’re releasing, any news they’re gonna release. All those go into consideration [when deciding to buy or sell a stock].” These constant variables in inter- and intra-company policy can make investing in the stock market especially risky. “One time [my stocks] were doing really bad; Russia was having issues with Ukraine, and there was a lot of political turmoil going on,” Jamshidi said. “The market relies on every aspect of the world, but political aspects especially. That was a good six to seven months of nothing positive.” Even though trading stocks can be risky and time-consuming, Jamshidi and Young enjoy investing despite the work and effort it can cost. “[Stocks are] fun; it’s like gambling because you don't win 100 percent of the time,” Young said. “Sometimes you lose, sometimes you win, and whenever you lose it makes you want to get better and you invest more.” “For me, it’s really gratifying to put in all this research and all this effort,” Jamshidi said. “[When] you finally purchase [your stocks] and see [them] go up in price it makes you feel satisfied that all your work was worth it.”
For Marvel Comics Universe’s first film centered around a female lead, Captain Marvel is painfully routine. Captain Marvel, played by Brie Larson, is first introduced as Veers, a warrior-in-training from the planet of Kree tasked with destroying a species of shapeshifters called the Skrulls. The film begins in the middle of the storyline, where the main character has the classic case of amnesia, sending her on a downward, frantic spiral as she lives to understand her past. She has vivid visions throughout the film that slowly reveal her life before she joined the Starforce. A failed mission then sends Veers plummeting towards Earth where she teams up with a young Nick Fury, played by digitally de-wrinkled Samuel L. Jackson, before the inception of the Avengers. Captain Marvel spends most of her time on Earth piecing together her past life, meaning that she runs through the course of the film without a clear identity or grounded backstory. For most of the movie, Larson is subjected to playing a girl with fiery fists that has a charming inclination for trouble, a character even the Oscar-winning actress can only do so much with. Towards the end of the film, we see Captain Marvel accept her imperfections and impulsive nature, supposedly the final fulfillment of her character arc, only too little, too late. Captain Marvel, along with the likes of Superman, exemplify how an almost invincible and savior-like hero makes for a boring character and, as a result, an audience that has trouble connecting with them. There is little compelling evidence that shows what defines Captain Marvel. Her formative years are shown through flashes of her getting up after crashing a go-kart or falling from a rope climb. And her greatest strength is later revealed to be the emotional side her Kree leaders have always told her to suppress. These factors—a resilient spirit and human compassion—are all classic underpinnings of what makes a good superhero, but Captain Marvel seems to throw these traits in casually, leaving them shallowly developed. Notably and unlike that of Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel has no love interest, and as a result, is given the screen time to grow into her own greatness. There is no man to save or distract her from her intergalactic mission, something refreshing to see normalized in films with female leads. Aside from Captain Marvel herself, the supporting cast held their own. Nick Fury arguably goes through a more entertaining character arc than that of Captain Marvel. Fury goes from doubting the existence of aliens to creating a task force, later known as the Avengers, that fights them. From the ’90s references like Blockbuster and RadioShack to the soundtrack filled with the era’s respective hits, the film has some engaging details throughout that make even someone like me, who has never lived through or seen the ’90s, feel nostalgic. But for the first Marvel film centered around a female lead, the plotline is one that falls mediocrely in line with the Marvel formula: good prevails in the face of evil because even the ugliest of villains have the softest of hearts. After leaving the theater, there was an underwhelming, unsatisfactory feeling that Captain Marvel was just a prelude to an unfinished story. And after the teasers for the upcoming “Avengers: End Game,” it seemed to me that Marvel, too, was acknowledging there is something bigger and better on the way.
Two Types of Stock Analysis Technical Analysis: Technical analysis mainly focuses on stock prices and volumes to determine the best time to enter and exit the market.
Technical Analysis factors: Trend Lines: the time and magnitude a stock price has been fluctuating. Technical Indicators: the momentum of a stock based on its current price and volume.
Fundamental Analysis: Fundamental analysis attempts to measure the intrinsic value of a stock, both quantitative and qualitative. A company that trades below its intrinsic value is a worthy investment.
Fundamental Analysis factors: Changes in Economy: anything that affects the overall economic condition. Management of Companies: the effect of public perception and leadership on stock’s future. Earnings per Share (ESP): how much of a company’s profit is assigned to each share of its stock. Design by Michelle Wang and Kevin Pert
Coughlin intertwines history with songwriting, performs at RB Inn Brynne Paiva Staff Writer
Martin Coughlin’s life is a balancing act: managing being a father, an AP class teacher, and a varsity soccer coach. What many of his students may be surprised to learn, however, is that along with all of this, he balances a music career. A few times a month, Coughlin spends his Friday and Saturday nights following one of his lifelong passions by performing songs at the Rancho Bernardo Inn. “Music gives me a nice little break from teaching and coaching,” Coughlin said. “Some of my friends will go bowling or they have some interest that they do. For me, it’s music.” Growing up in Scotland, Coughlin spent his time either playing sports or playing instruments, both of which he describes as integral parts of Scottish culture. “Everyone from Scotland thinks they are three things: a comedian, a musician, and a professional athlete,” Coughlin said. “So ever since I’ve been a little kid [music] has always just been a part of my family and what we do.”
After moving to San Diego at 11, and returning to getting ideas that I’m working on.” Scotland at 17 for a three-year professional soccer caMost of the time when writing, Coughlin will sit outreer, Coughlin came back to San Diego at for college side, alone, with a cup of tea in order to avoid the chaos and started performing music with his brothers. Cough- of his children running around in the house. lin consistently kept music as a side interest, even while Westview students might not expect this passion for he got his masters degree from Cal music if they only know him from State San Marcos and started teachlectures on history, but Coughlin said ing soon after. that there is actually a large cross[Songwriting] has Writing, recording, and playing over between what he teaches and live can be time-consuming, but caused me to be a lot more en- writes songs about. Coughlin finds ways to do this, since gaged in culture and politics, “Songs I write tend to have a theme he values keeping busy. of life lessons in them,” Coughlin “I just don’t feel like there’s any both things that inspire me.” said. “There's a lot of lessons and rebreaks in my life,” he said. “I’m themes in history, so there’s —Martin Coughlin curring not someone who likes to sit on my gonna be incorporations of that stuff couch and just chill. Even on days in my songs.” off, I feel like I always wanna do something.” This is evident in Coughlin’s song, “One-Eyed King,” He found time to record an album at Studio West in in which he sings about the rise and fall of a king, in2014 titled, “Postcards from Purgatory.” He wrote lyrics spired by corrupted rulers throughout history. He incorand recorded most of the melodies of the songs by him- porates advice into his lyrics such as, “Even when there’s self, playing all the instruments except for the drums. reason to doubt, you can work it out.” “I’m always writing,” Coughlin said. “If I do get time Coughlin also encourages his students to research muto just sit down at a piano or with my guitar. I’m always sic artists as one of their final projects of the year, for he
believes music can teach a lot about history. “Pop music, in particular, is reflective of what’s going on culturally,” Coughlin said. He draws inspiration from past musicians for his songs, citing major style influences like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Fleetwood Mac. He also said his songwriting is reflective of songwriters like Don Henley and Sheryl Crowe. He is always looking for inspiration for song lyrics. “[Songwriting] has caused me to be a lot more engaged in culture and politics, both things that inspire me,” Coughlin said. Currently, Coughlin has a contract with a publishing company that pitches songs to movies and television shows. He describes his recent performances as laidback, with just him singing and playing acoustic guitar. He also plans to record more albums in the future and will probably record a four-song EP this summer. Though it’s not his primary career, Coughlin emphasizes that music has, and will always be, part of his life. “My family, teaching, soccer, and music,” he said. “All four of those things have always played a role in defining who I am.”
March 15, 2019
Brown, Turkington compete in Irish dancing Grace Kim Staff Writer
Parker Brown (11) and Elyse Turkington (10) danced to the beat of the fiddle during their third annual Feis, Feb. 23, at the Sheraton San Diego & Marina hosted by their dance school Rose Ritchie Academy of Irish Dance. They balanced three-pound wigs while maintaining bright smiles under the spotlight. Their thousand-dollar white, black, and gold sequined dresses sparkle in front the dark crowd. At last, they pose, heavily panting but still smiling until they exit the stage. This is Irish dancing. Both Irish, best friends Brown and Turkington have been Irish dancing for more than 10 years and compete at the Championship level, the most advanced level above Novice and Prizewinner. They dance in places all over America such as Colorado, Arizona, and North Carolina. Their most recent competition was a local Feis with approximately 700 dancers competing. Their passion for Irish dancing began when they were 4 years old. After trying ballet and soccer, Brown and Turkington left practices bored and uninterested. It wasn’t until Turkington attended the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade held in downtown San Diego that she was introduced to Irish dancing. “I saw one of my neighbors in the St. Patrick’s Day parade and I was like ‘This is so cool’ and so I went to a practice and I was hooked ever since then,” Turkington said. Brown was introduced to the sport through her mom. “My mom had been helping out with the St. Patrick’s Day parade for a number of years and she had seen the Irish Dancing floats going through so she decided to sign me up and I’ve stuck with it ever since,” Brown said. Since they were 6 years old, dancing has brought Brown and Turkington closer. “We practice our dances with one another and help each other out when one is having trouble or not doing a step right,” Turkington said. Irish dancing consists of traditional dancing routines with performances and greatly differs between hard shoes and soft shoes. Hard shoes are similar to tap shoes while soft shoes are similar to ballet slippers. In addition to the shoes, costumes are an important component of Irish dancing, Brown said. These costumes are usually colorful dresses that come with all types of eye-catching embroidery, and typically cost several thousand dollars. Furthermore, the dancers wear wigs that form natural ringlets, that rose in popularity during the 1960s, that weigh anywhere from two to three pounds in order to stand out and fit the Irish Dance standards. “At the Championship level, most people start getting custom-made dresses with crystals on them with a lot of embroidery work and details,” Brown said.
Parker Brown (11) and Elyse Turkington (10) perform the birdie together at Feis, an annual competition held at the Sheraton San Diego & Marina, Feb. 23. Brown and Turkington have been Irish dancing for over 10 years and compete at the Championship level. To prepare for upcoming competitions, Brown and Turkington train two to three hours every day at Rose Ritchie Academy of Irish Dance in Rancho Peñasquitos. If they miss more than one practice a week, they will be kicked off the dance team, per a contract they signed before joining the dance school. A typical practice for them starts with a warm-up. “We get our shoes on and stretch our muscles so we don’t hurt ourselves,” Turkington said. “Then we go right into dancing.” In particular, they practice both soft-shoe dances and hard-shoe dances that have various time signatures. But Brown said the challenges come with hard-shoe dances like the hornpipe, also known as the sailor’s dance, which has a time signature of 6/8. “It’s very hard to keep your stamina up and if you mess up it’s really easy to tell because you don’t make the right sound [with your hard-shoe] or you completely miss the sound,” Brown said. To build their endurance, Brown and Turkington, along with the rest of the team, go over their routines
Li designs, sells hoodies, phone cases to sponsor children in need Jocelyn Mi Staff Writer
Every Sunday, Sophia Li (12) would enter church, only to meet peers with a general unwillingness to participate in church activities. Li then took the initiative to bring up a heartwarming idea to hopefully revitalize the church community. After talking to an adviser about starting a fundraiser at her church, Chinese Bible Church (CBC), Li said she felt that bringing an old tradition back could be a solution to the lack of motivation now. “I’m aiming to spread action to the church, because right now the church is a little bit mellow and died down,” she said. “We just need passion and I think that by allowing this [fundraiser] we can come together to raise funds and really have the heart to help others.” Two years ago, CBC started a fundraiser through Compassion International, a Christian organization, in order to aid in sponsoring children living in poverty all over the world. Due to insufficient funds, however, the advisers and pastors ended up paying out-of-pocket, which led to the church’s discontinuation of the sponsorship. This year, Li has partnered again with Compassion International, and with the help of her church, is now sponsoring a 10-yearold boy from Kud Yang, Thailand. Li’s sponsored child had the longest waiting time for his age range on Compassion International’s website. Ninety-five percent of the money given to the organization goes directly to the sponsored and supports his education, nutrition, and health. “One of the reasons we chose him was because of his age range, so that the youth of our church can walk through this journey with him,” Li said. “Our goal when we do this is not going to be a one time thing, we are going to sponsor him for a year and hopefully more. We’ll be exchanging letters with him and when our youth becomes older, we could also see the transformation in him as well.” To bring in funds, Li decided to design merchandise. So far, Li has designed a hoodie and phone case for the sponsorship. Her designs were sold and promoted at her church, but Li said she plans on expanding the sales if needed. As of now, Li has raised $300 through her sales, but has a goal of $500. “It cost thirty-eight dollars to sponsor a child for a month and our goal is to sponsor this child for a year so then it is around $500,” she said. “The sweatshirts make a profit of $10 each and if needed, the rest will be made up of fundraising efforts from selling food. Other efforts of fundraising can give the incentive to really have the action to do good.” With Li’s skills in graphic design and support from her advisers, she decided to re-start the sponsorship through the profit made from the merchandise she has designed. Designing has always helped Li express her creativity and seeing others satisfied with her work encourages her to experiment in her designs.“Seeing my designs on merchandise and other people liking it makes me really happy,” she said. “The fact that you [can] design something that everyone sees in their daily lives is really cool.” Li said she hopes her intentions of helping others will bring her church together and the motivation for others to do the same actions as her. “We really need to bring back the heart of giving to others in need and seek out opportunities like this,” she said.
more than three times every practice. By the time the competition date arrives, the dancers are busy preparing wigs, dresses and makeup for the stage. They tape the bottom of their shoes to provide grip and go over the routines in their head. Behind the stage, Turkington feels nervous. “I try to calm myself down before I go on stage by telling myself that I’ll do fine and that’s all I can do [in that moment],” she said. According to Turkington, once the group of dancers are called on stage, the nervousness and worrying all washes away. Unlike waiting backstage before her performance, Turkington recalls that confidence overwhelms her in the spotlight. “You have to walk on stage and have to be like ‘I got this!’ and stand there smiling at the judges,” Turkington said. “Stage presence is a huge aspect of it because if you’re a good dancer but nervous, then you won’t do very well.” During their two-minute dance, the judges determine the winners based on a system called Irish Points.
The raw points given to the dancers are converted to Irish Points through a converting sheet. Then, a random judge is chosen to determine where a dancer places in an individual round. At the end, the judges add all nine scores from the judges to determine the dancers’ places overall. As Brown and Turkington wait for the awards ceremony, they can’t help but feel a sense of confusion mixed with anticipation. “You can’t tell all the time what place you’re going to get,” Brown said. “One time you’ll get second, third, and fourth in the individual rounds but not place overall.” Similarly, Turkington has had baffling experiences with the unexpecting ranking system. “One time at a competition, I placed second in my set dance round but didn’t place any other time but ended up getting second overall,” she said. Despite the unpredictable nature of the competitions along with daily practices, Irish dancing is a sport near and dear to Brown and Turkington.
Kim, Yang teach, partner with special-needs students to play instruments, create art pieces Deepali Yedulapuram Staff Writer
Playing the cello has been a big part of Andy Yang’s (10) life since he was 8 years old. So last year, when he was introduced to an organization that teaches others how to play, he was thrilled. Yang has worked with the Academy of Music and Arts for Special Education (AMASE), which is run by the Korean United Methodist Church, since his freshman year. “I started volunteering with AMASE because you know, the best thing to do is teach other people to do what you love,” Yang said. The way AMASE works is that every Friday each volunteer, usually a high school or college student who are musicians or artists, gets paired up with a special-needs student to teach and provide them the opportunity to play new instruments as well as to learn about the arts. “AMASE is already a well-known organization,” he said. “Parents who have disabled children bring their children here so they can explore artistic things which they might have not done before.” Sydney Park (10), another member of this organization, has been playing the viola since third grade. She was
introduced to the organization by her viola teacher in 2017 and has been part of the team ever since. “Immediately, I felt drawn to their mission and what they do,” Park said. “I tagged along with one of my friends one week and even though it was just my ‘trial’ week, I was given a buddy and I was put to work. I’ve loved it ever since.” Yang teaches his buddy the cello while Park teaches hers the viola and painting. Yang and Park say that through the buddy system, the volunteers get to see how the students grow as artists. “My buddy for music is in third grade and he plays violin,” Park said. “He’s really cute, but his attitude and motivation to learn changes every week. It gets difficult to teach him sometimes because he can’t grasp concepts as easily as we do, but most days he does really try.” However, since all these buddies comprehend things differently, Park needs to cater the needs of her buddies when she teaches. “Every student requires different assistance because each student is different,” Park said. “I do adjust from my music to art students, my music buddy requires more attention, guidance, and encouragement. On the other hand, my
art buddy understands directions easily that I just tell him what the art work for that day is and he gets it. Very rarely does he need redirection.” Teaching these kids is something both Yang and Park have had to adjust to, as each student has different learning styles and ways they comprehend information. “It’s really slow progress,” Yang said. “You have to be really patient about what you say to them, how you handle certain situations, and I try my best to just teach my buddy how to play the cello.” Because the time, effort, and hard work that comes with teaching these kids, the result of it is something that Yang and Park are both proud of. “It's really amazing because one student I saw is also a cellist, and he’s been learning for quite a few years, and now he’s really proficient at it and he’s really great,” Yang said. “Before he learned the cello, [my buddy] played the piano, and he’s really good. He’s really good at memorizing things.” Being an organization that focuses on arts and music, AMASE holds recitals usually twice a year at the end of each semester where the buddies get to perform. “Each student usually has their own song they’re going to perform,” Park
said. “There is also a permanent ensemble of two advanced students and three volunteers who perform. Volunteers normally accompany or guide the students in case they lose their spot or make a mistake.” For Park, he especially likes the creative opportunities this program gives students. “My favorite part of AMASE has to be art,” Park said. “It’s really fun and amazing to see the white canvas become something unique. Of course, it’s not Picasso, but each art piece has their own taste and style, and it’s really cool to see them so excited to turn something plain into something so heartfelt.” In the end, the outcome and growth they see in the students is a rewarding feeling. Both Park and Yang said they appreciate and love seeing how the kids start enjoying what they’re learning and how they become more enthusiastic for the arts that they might not have had exposure to before. “Seeing the kids so motivated and passionate to learn and work hard is inspiring and makes me want to learn even more as well,” Park said. “The relationships between the volunteers and the students aren’t just pupil-teacher bonds; we’re best friends—family even.”
Rejected? It’s just not that simple I have yet—and I say yet because it is only March 15 and we are still in the early days of rejection season—to feel the crushing blows that often accompany a college decision email. I have emerged from the first two weeks of March unscathed, but I know that the dreaded “We regret to inform you” messages will soon be headed my way too, maybe even later today. In these two weeks, I’ve seen other people— better, smarter, more successful people—not get into their dream schools, not get into their safety schools, not get in anywhere. In a word, it sucks. And in those moments, when we’re all trying to make sense of what has just happened, I feel like we’re looking for just one explanation, a single reason for why a kid with a 1550 SAT score didn’t make it in, why a 4.3 wasn’t good enough. We’ll blame that one B we got in physics, that one mistake we made, or we’ll say, with confidence, that it’s yield protection. This preference for single-cause explanations is the result of something called a single cause fallacy, which occurs when people search for this elusive, one true cause instead of considering that many factors may be at play. We tend to believe that simple answers are correct answers. A study performed at UC Berkeley concluded
that participants were more likely to attribute two symptoms to one disease, even after being shown information suggesting that it was more probable that two separate diseases were responsible for the symptoms. I think it’s because there’s a certain comfort in believing that our issues stem from one root cause. If they can be minimized to a single source, a single factor, that means that our problems can be understood and contained. It means they can be controlled. It’s easier to wrap our heads around one enemy, like a single, seemingly inadequate number, than try to process armies on all sides—or face the reality that maybe you as a student didn’t holistically fit what the college was looking for. Acknowledging the complexity of issues means acknowledging the unsettling reality that our issues may be much harder to understand and deal with, especially when facing a monster as incalculably complex as the college admissions system. It’s easy to forget just how many factors can go into a college decision when the only thing we hear back is a yes or a no. Maybe your scores were too low, your extracurriculars too shallow. Maybe, the person reading those essays you slaved over for months just didn’t
Ameera Kumar appreciate your humor in the way you thought they would. Maybe that school doesn’t just pick out the shiniest applicants with the golden stats, but spends time searching for students who best fit the campus culture. Maybe there is some yield protection at play. There is no one answer for why you did or didn’t get in. Trying to find one, trying to pin the blame on one part of your application, on one aspect of you as a student and as a person, only makes it harder to move on; when you recognize the number of factors that could have contributed to failure, you can’t keep beating yourself up over that one thing you did in that one class that resulted in that one grade. In the weeks to come, we need to think in explanations that involve multiple interacting causes. We have to recognize that questions like, “Why’d they take her?” or “Why didn’t I get in?” are simply too big, too unanswerable, too multifaceted.You yourself are also too multifaceted, too complex to be summed up in one answer anyway. Trying to pin the cause down to one factor is as impossible as it is useless. We can’t change our applications, can’t sign up for the SAT one more time or nab another leadership position. The only thing we can do now is move forward.
March 15, 2019
The Addams Family Students work on set, makeup, and pit orchestra behind the scenes of theatre company’s latest production
Lindsay Chin (12) applies powder on Tyler Shaw (9).
Danielle Otero (10) drills holes into a wooden prop.
Choir Director Daniel Moyer conducts the pit orchestra.
It takes about two hours for Lindsay Chin (12) and her fellow designers and crew heads to get the cast ready for the show. “A designer is the one who makes all the [makeup] designs on paper and makes video tutorials for the actors to watch so they can learn their makeup,” Chin said. “Crewheads carry out the designs during show weeks. They put everything together, doing the hairstyles and final makeup touches for all cast.” According to Chin, each crew member is assigned a group of actors to work on so that time is efficiently used. An actor’s hair and makeup are done at the same time by two differ-
ent crew members. For this show in particular, Chin said that the crew members parted the actors’ hair into three or four sections and sprinkled baby powder between each layer to give them a ghost-like appearance. Also, they added pink or red eyeshadow under their eyes to add to the effect. There are three co-designers and co-crewheads who have been tasked with getting the actors ready for production according to Chin. It is in part thanks to their extreme efficiency and skill that the show is able to run smoothly during production.
The intricate design of the Addams family’s gothic mansion all began with the vision of the set designer Emily Dumstorff (12). “When I design a set, usually I start by reading the script in order to figure technical setup, such as a specific number of doors, or if it’s a period piece, I do historical research,” Dumstorff said. “Once I figure that out, I do a few rough sketches to start, around three or four.” The sketches are largely focused on the aesthetics and theme of the set to fit the dark, gothic setting of the play. Dumstorff then considered the logistical aspect of creating the set. Each component of the set needed to
fit on the stage while staying within their budget and time frame to complete it. Crew members drilled, sawed and hammered at the wooden planks, piecing them together to make Dumstorff’s vision come to life. Dumstorff said she especially enjoyed designing the different components of the set due to the unique setting of the play. “The Addams Family was a lot of fun designing for, especially because of the dark and gothic aesthetic,” Dumstorff said. “Designing things such as a torture rack, a crypt, and an eccentric house was great because it was different from the typical locations from other shows we’ve done.”
After playing last year for “Legally Blonde: The Musical,” Michelle Hoo (12) returned to the pit orchestra to be challenged. Unlike Hoo’s experience in Wind Ensemble and Full Orchestra, where the music is strictly classical, a musical score features a breadth of genres: from fast-paced jazz to Latin to lyrical. “Pit really allows you to shine and play pieces beyond what you’re used to since the music is at a high, professional level,” Hoo said. With only 16 people in the pit, every note played is fully audible, holding each musician more accountable to their roles. “Each part only has one per-
son playing it, meaning every note played is basically a solo,” she said. “It really exposes your sound, which other ensembles don’t allow because of the large number of people.” The annual musical is a showcase of how theater, choir and band come to a creative crossroads. As opposed to performing with a pre-recorded soundtrack, pit orchestra gives theater the ability to time their music with the actors’ cues onstage. “There’s a lot of coordination that needs to happen between the music and the actors; we need to go through the script along with the score to know when to be conducted in,” Hoo said.
Cast List Kai Fernandez (12) as Gomez Addams, the proud father caught between his daughter and wife. Adrianne McWilliams (12) as Morticia Addams, the suspicious mother who believes her husband is hiding something. Lilith Freund (9) as Wednesday Addams, the witty, rebellious daughter who falls in love with a regular boy, Lucas. Shane Strunk (12) as Pugsley Addams, Wednesday’s brother, who loves his sister and would do anything to keep his family intact. Gunner Spencer (12) as Lurch, a butler and a man of very few, very slow words who’s defined by his iconic groans. Molleigh Verhoye (11) as Grandmama Addams, the odd grandmother. Nathan Wang (12) as Lucas Beineke, a young man who plans to marry Wednesday Addams and struggles with their odd family dynamic. Gabriella Diaz (12) as Alice Beineke, an eccentric housewife who will do anything for her family. Euan Cousar (12) as Mai Beineke, Lucas’ father who strongly disapproves of Lucas and Wednesday’s relationship.
Design by Alice Chen and Kevin Lu; Written by Zara Irshad and Michelle Wang
Freund leads as Wednesday Addams in her first musical Isabelle Ritter Staff Writer
Lilith Freund (9) is nothing like Wednesday Addams. Freund describes herself as a sunny, outgoing girl who loves to sing and Wednesday is, well, dead inside. That juxtaposition of her personality with her character’s, as well as her newness in the Westview Theatre Company, led her to believe she wouldn’t even receive a callback after her audition for Wednesday Addams in “The Addams Family.” “The audition process was very easy to go through and super fun, but nerve-wracking as well,”w she said. “I had no intention on getting the role of Wednesday or even really getting a callback.” However, within a week, Freund received the news that she had been cast as the lead in the school musical as Wednesday Addams. She is the only freshman in a lead role in this production, and in any production Westview theatre has put on this year.
It’s rare for underclassmen to be cast in main roles at Westview, and for Freund to be cast as the lead was testament not only to her talent, but to her poise and experience as a performer despite her youth. “I started musical theatre when I was very young, probably around 6 or 7 years old, and all I ever can remember about that time in my life is how much I loved to sing,” Freund said. “I was lucky to be able to do my first professional show at the age of 8, ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’, at The Old Globe Theater.” Freund said musical theatre is not just a personal interest, but a love that runs in her family. “I got into musical theatre originally because my mother was an actress and has done musical theatre all throughout her life, and all I have ever wanted to do is follow in her footsteps,” she said. When Freund found herself in the role of Wednesday, she said that it was nerve-wracking to face the perceived pressure she felt being less experienced and much younger than the other cast members. However, she said she
found her cast mates extremely welcoming, which made her experience amazing. “Being young and having a larger role in the show has actually been such a cool and eye-opening experience,” she said. “I have been able to learn so much more about theatre and Westview as a whole from the older members in the cast.” Freund said that she took the opportunity of being a younger performer to learn as much as she could. “I look up to them and have been able to grow as a performer by becoming involved with all the different kinds of cool people in the theatre company,” she said. Freund said the biggest challenge she faced wasn’t overcoming age barriers, but rather connecting with a character much different from herself. “Wednesday was a hard role to really connect with as she is very different than I am,” she said. “Her whole life she has been a very monotone and unexpressive person, where on the other hand I am loud and outgoing; I’m really gregarious.”
Much like everything else she faced throughout the musical, Freund decided to look at this challenge as a way to grow and become a better performer. “It was a fun challenge to play Wednesday and to be able to examine and inhabit that character and become more comfortable in my acting skills,” Freund said. She credits much of her growth to the leadership she found in director Robert Townsend, known by his students as “Mr. T.” “Throughout the process of the show I have definitely grown as an actor because of my amazing director, Mr. T,” she said. “He has worked with the entire cast so well and has taught me not only how to handle more intense scenes but also how to look at myself as an actor.” Freund said she is nervous but extremely excited to show off her and her troupe’s hard work when the curtain finally opens for “the Addams Family”, March 8. “I’m so thankful for this opportunity and experience, and I’m nervous, but so excited to perform,” she said. “And now, on with the show.”
Robles founds Project Azul, organizes art workshop for Ciudad de Niños in Tijuana
Jessica Lin Photo Editor
Ashley Robles (11), who was 7 at the time, gazed at the backyard with delight as she saw fellow kids run around and play. They played epic games of soccer, pushed each other on a tire swing, and squeezed themselves into hiding places during hide and seek. She remembers being invited to play with the girls, who offered their own dolls for her to use. She saw them as playmates, as friends. “[By playing with me, the kids] instantly took me in as one of their own,” Robles said. Whenever she went back to Mexico in the summertime, Robles and her abuelita visited the orphanage in Ensenada. And while they did this more often when she was in elementary school, Robles poignantly remembers the memories she made with the kids she met. There was one time where the orphanage had a pinata for all the kids to hit. Robles remembered that once it was her turn, her hit made candy explode all over the place. “Children of all ages were running around, collecting candy with their plastic bags,” Robles said. “We all sat around in a circle like a little marketplace and started trading each other for candy.” As Robles grew up and deepened her relationships with the kids, she began to notice little things: they lacked some of the basic supplies that she herself had always had, things such as construction paper, crayons and markers. Robles went home after that realization, feeling guilty that she alone had more art supplies than the orphanage and felt determined to do something.
“I want to make these kids feel powerful and capable of something greater,” Robles said. “I truly believe [they] can be inspired by even the littlest things, such as art.” On one of her visits, Robles, who was in middle school at the time, brought a pack of crayons to the orphanage. She expected the kids to be excited, but what she didn’t realize was the great impact it would have on them. “We transformed the floor into an explosion of color in a matter of minutes,” Robles said. When she went home that day, Robles knew she wanted to expose these kids to more forms or art and provide them with the tools to create their own. “These kids need[ed] to embrace their creativity,” she said. “I wanted to provide an opportunity for them to do so and experience the joys of creating something from scratch and calling it theirs.” After years of visiting orphanages with her grandmother, Robles officially launched an art workshop last month at Ciudad de Ninos in Tijuana. She chose this orphanage based on its location to make it easier for her to visit more often. In order to get the proper funds and support, she decided to start the club this year, Project Azul. With each club meeting, Robles made sure to set a monthly goal. For example, in December, the club’s goal was to raise $1,000. The club ran a fundraiser on Christmas Card Lane and decided that half of the money raised would be dedicated to buying toys for the kids and the other half would be used to buy art supplies for the art workshops. After the fundraiser, the first thing Robles did was take a trip to local art stores. She started with
the basics: tempera paints, paintbrushes, canvases, coloring books, and crayons. In her February meeting, she announced that the club would be visiting the orphanage, Feb. 22, to begin the workshop. ”The beauty of my club is that a member doesn’t have to be able to cross borders to help out the cause [because] they [can help out] in several other different ways,” she said. Even though Robles crossed the border and drove to the orphanage with only her and her parents, she became overjoyed. Instead of simply visiting an orphanage with her grandmother, she was able to bring a gift: a whole box full of art supplies. When Robles set the art supplies down, she saw their eyes lit up, smiles spread across their faces, and laughter resonated all throughout the building. After seeing the children’s reactions and watching them draw and paint, Robles said she realized how their happiness gave her another perspective. “Interacting with these children gave me an opportunity to make me appreciate the things I took for granted,” Robles said. When Robles left at the end of her one-day trip, she promised the kids that it wouldn’t be the last time they would see her. “I was really sad to go because I really built a strong relationship with some of the children, but I promised I would come back,” Robles said. She knew that these art supplies were materialistic things, but that wasn’t what she was focused on. “Through their youthful eyes, [the art supplies] are not ‘little things,’ but actually much needed outlets of creativity and diversión (fun),” Robles said.
March 15, 2019
March 15, 2019
Categorizing music as happy, sad oversimplifies art form Blake Parker Staff Writer
No one cries to Katrina and the Waves’ hit song, “Walking on Sunshine.” The upbeat tempo, simple major chords, and cheerful vocals instantly command a more positive attitude from its listener. In fact, cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Jacob Jolij was able to scientifically prove this to be one of the happiest songs in existence. Through a survey-and-response analysis, Dr. Jolij constructed a formula for the world’s best mood-lifting songs. He found that songs with a tempo around 50 beats per minute faster than that of the average song, positive lyrical content with references to elation, control, or determination, and a major musical key were most likely to be called “happy” songs. Dr. Jolij went so far as to create a playlist of the 10 happiest songs on the planet, which includes “Don’t Stop Me Now,” “I’m a Believer,” and of course, “Walking on Sunshine,” among others. It’s no wonder that “Walking on Sunshine” is used in the perkiest scenes of big budget movies like “American Psycho” (2000) and “High Fidelity” (2000) to emphasize a light-hearted and carefree atmosphere. This capitalizing on of cheerful songs is common, and remains true for what we consider to be “sad” music as well. Advertisements for medicine of-
ten use stereotypical “sad” music before the medicine is taken or introduced to a patient, as well as bright and “happy” music after the medicine has been introduced and health is improved. Our brain associates the differing tempos, instrumentation, and musical keys with either a dark, gloomy feeling or a hopeful, uplifting one. In essence, the division between “happy” and “sad” music becomes more distinct. When we begin to associate the qualities of fast tempos and loud, big bands with “happy” songs, any song without these qualities is no longer seen as positive. The same stands true for the “sad” songs of the world, which we expect to be slow and somber. So it makes sense that we subconsciously separate “sad” and “happy” music. In an attempt to gain a brand and followers, musical artists generally market themselves as either painfully depressing, such as Lorde, Sam Smith, Elliott Smith, and XXXTENATCION, or joyously uplifting, like Pharrell Williams, Jason Mraz, or Jack Johnson. The division isn’t just in artists, but in genres as well. Take hip-hop—rap songs are often used during events like school rallies and football games for their “hype” and motivational nature—and the other side of hip-hop is often referred to as “sad boi” music that’s made exclusively for a late night’s gloom. But when we pick and choose different artists or songs to listen to based on whether we want to revel
Snapchat streaks hold surprisingly meaningful role in modern friendships Tiffany Le
Editor in Chief Like many, I find comfort in routines. Every school day, I start my morning at 6:50 a.m. with the deafening ringing of my alarm. I roll out of bed, brush my teeth, change my clothes, and most importantly, I send out my Snapchat streaks. For those who are unaware, a Snapchat streak exists when you and a friend send snaps (Snapchat photos) to each other for at least three consecutive days. After three days, a “3” appears next to the friend’s name and that number will continue to increment so long as you and the friend send each other at least one snap every 24 hours. In the case where no contact has been made within approximately 21 hours, an hourglass emoji appears to indicate the Snapstreak is about to end. The routine goes a little something like this: I take a photo— sometimes of my current location, but typically a selfie—and mechanically add a caption—“Gm,” “Morning folks,” or “Streaks.” I hit the “next” arrow, scroll to the bottom of my friends list, and begin tapping away at the 32 names with an asterisk (added for easy streak identification). And with the press of the send button, I continue on with my day—that is, until I have to send a mass goodnight snap. I’ll pull out my phone, snap another selfie, add a “Gn” caption, and send it to the same 32 people. Admittedly, this routine, at times, has felt more like a self-inflicted burden than anything. Sometime during the past three years I’ve kept streaks, I realized I’ve grown overly-invested, dare I say borderline-obsessed, with the number by each person’s name. Oh my god, I forgot to send out streaks. Oh my god, there’s an hourglass emoji by his name. Oh my god, we lost our 400+ day streak. It’s just a number, I know that. But even though it’s just a number, that number serves as an unspoken, yet understood bond between two people. A streak can make a friendship feel concrete; there is physical, tangible evidence of the existence of a relationship, and it’s a source of validation that the friendship is, well, real.In actuality, the length of a streak is in no way a testament to the strength of a friendship or the level of commitment you have to another person. This is especially the case when you have what I call the “only streak” streak. These Snapchatters will send you one photo a day, max two. It’s usually a black screen with an “S” drawn with the red pen tool, but if you’re lucky, they might send a picture of their forehead with the caption “streak.” When the reasoning behind keeping a streak is simply to have a streak, there lacks any meaningful or deliberate intention behind the friendship. Yes, maybe you’ll reach 100, 200, 500, maybe even 1,000 days without breaking the chain of communication, but the word “streaks” twice a day to someone is not a conversation that holds value. Now, this is not to say that all streaks are a wasted effort. Out of my 32 streaks, eight are with friends who’ve graduated, three are with cousins I see once a year, and one is with a best friend who moved to Florida my sophomore year. Even taking into account the remaining 20 who go to the same school as me, the majority of my steaks are still with friends who I don’t, and oftentimes can’t, see in person on a day-to-day basis. While there indeed is a sense of obligation to keep in contact with my streaks, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Getting a daily peek of the life of an alumnus at Berkeley or what a friend’s life is like in a different state—that’s pretty worthwhile. To me, this has especially been true when a Snapchatter doesn’t just say “streaks,” and instead tries to make an attempt to initiate a conversation—something that can be as simple as “Gm, how are you guys?” or “Morning! My song of the day is Ultralight Beam.” Personally, I’ve found that streaks give people a reason to stay connected and provide a platform for a conversation. What’s critical though, is that the Snapchatter makes the choice to develop something beyond the number next to a username that increases with every passing day. Like many, I find comfort in routines. So yes, it stings a little when a 500-day streak breaks. But a relationship is more than a number next to a name, and once we realize that, that’s when it becomes clear that our streaks are not the thing we should be so focused on growing.
in happiness or wallow in sadness, this binary simply strips music of its ability to pinpoint the most complex of human feelings like love. According to Dr. Enrique Burunat, love is one of the most physiologically complex emotions. It involves multiple chemicals in the brain, as well as processing through multiple areas in the brain. Yet, it’s boiled down into simple feel-good love songs, or heartbroken ballads. Another case of just happy or sad. A musician’s complex craft of a song does not deserve to be categorized because of its tempo, or lyrics that require closer analysis. This is clear in songs like “Bohemian Rhapsody”, artists intend on telling a story that contains conflict and resolution. While one may listen to the opening of “Bohemian Rhapsody” and find it to be a pitiful ballad, the later sections of the song show more than just a tune to cry along with. The band has even claimed that they intend letting listeners develop their own meaning within the song, getting lost in the surreal narrative they’ve created. We don’t separate paintings into galleries by the “happy” or “sad” feelings they have. When we see a painting with predominantly light colors, it would be naïve to assume that the piece is simply “happy,” made to lift our mood. There are intricacies, subtleties that must be observed for a true understanding of the piece. Unfortunately though, complex emotions like “despair” or “vigi-
lance” just wouldn’t sell in the title of a Spotify playlist. The makers would rather oversimplify the art for easy searching and listening on their platform. On Spotify’s mood-related playlist section, the first playlists to come up are titled “Happy Hits,” “Mood Booster,” and “Singing in the Shower.” It’s clear that Spotify wishes to indulge us in our desire for happy music, leading us back to the music platform creating positive feelings and memories associated with it. If you continue scrolling downward, playlists with titles such as
“Life Sucks,” “All the Feels,” and “Down in the Dumps” are there for when we feel just that: down in the dumps. These blatantly “happy” or “sad” playlists are listed as the most popular on Spotify, with a couple million followers each. The other, potentially more interesting and complex mood playlists like “Lush”, “Tender”, and “Nostalgia” are crammed down to the bottom of the page, with typically less than half a million followers. Music is more complex than organizations and listeners make it out to be. Even music platforms are falling
into the trap of utilizing “happy” and “sad” generalizations of music, failing to appreciate the depth that a song holds. The complex meanings of songs must be preserved, and not oversimplified. Music is a friend, there to comfort us and reflect our emotions, which extend far beyond happy or sad. The emotions we feel are three dimensional, depthful. They’re not meant to be channeled into two different categories, not meant to be defined as positive or negative. Our feelings cannot be quantified in an x-y plane of happy and sad.
Misconceptions of gender inequity in sports abound
Brynne Paiva Staff Writer
Recently, girls athletics have gotten a lot of attention at Westview. This started when the Black Hole Instagram posted a picture with a caption telling students to attend the boys basketball game, then writing, “Come for the girls game to secure a spot [for the boys game].” In the comments of this photo (which has since been deleted) and at school for the next few weeks, many female athletes, upset about the lack of support girls teams seem to receive and the way that the Black Hole seemed to only promote the girls game in order to promote the boys game as well, spoke out. Female athletes are also discussing why they aren’t given the same desirable playing times, facilities, equipment, or publicity as their male counterparts. In an Instagram poll of over one hundred Westview students, 72 percent voted that they believe the school values boys sports more than girls. Many female athletes were quick to attribute the lack of support or funding from the school’s athletic department, but after further investigation, this common perception of inequality is proven to be a misconception. While it is true that there appears to be a large disparity between some
girls and boys teams, Athletic Director play on the same night. It is argued that Steve McLaughlin said that under Title this less desirable time slot contributes IX the school is given exactly $1,000 to the lack of student attendance at girls a year for each of its 28 sports teams, games, but this is not the school’s inregardless of gender. When there are tention. In basketball, for instance, the facilities that need to be fixed or re- girls varsity team used to play on difplaced, that money is pulled from the ferent nights than the boys, but, accordbudget of the sports that use that spe- ing to McLaughlin, their game times cific facility. were changed to Friday nights during The apparent disparities in the quali- the 2006-2007 season to try to achieve ty or amount of some teams’ equipment more student attendance, and only the and uniforms are largely due to person- 5:30 time slot was available. al fundraising by the teams. Though Also, despite the perception that McLaughlin said he tries to support boys sports achievements receive more each team’s financial recognition needs, booster prothan girls grams, which are run by Seventy two percent of West- sports, the a coach or parent group, school does are ultimately responsi- view students voted that its best to ble for raising enough they believe the school values ensure equity money to provide among both teams with equipment boys sports more than girls. genders. The that goes beyond basic Westview need. This is explains Athletics Inwhy we see some boys teams with new stagram page posts equally about both sets of jerseys each year, while their girls and boys sports. Claims regardfemale counterparts with less success- ing the homeroom announcements ful booster programs recycle the same over the loudspeaker favoring boys ones each year. teams also prove untrue, as the way Another topic of discussion is the school decides what teams are anwhether or not it is fair that boys bas- nounced is based on whether the coach ketball team plays at 7 p.m. while the of the sports teams requests it. Other girls team plays at 5:30 p.m. However, issues, such as the fact that students this was not decided by Westview, but were offered a bus to the boys soccer by the North County Conference, since CIF finals while a bus was not offered all teams in the league are mandated to to girls teams advancing just as far,
are purely based on the location of the games. Principal Tina Ziegler said that Westview is working on creating parameters to make sure that all sports on campus are promoted equally, and that the administrative staff is open to feedback on the issue. However, students still believe that girls sports are not valued. Whether this is because they don’t feel like they have enough student attendance at their games, they don’t have the same opportunities in terms of equipment and facilities, or they just perceive these disparities as a lack of funding from the school, their feelings are still valid. It is important that we acknowledge their conversations, especially in a society where, in 2014, Sports Center dedicated only two percent of its screen time to girls sports. These problems—lack of funding and desirable playing times—are not the fault of Westview. These disparities are a result of rules mandated by the North County Conference or greater steps taken by specific sports teams. But Westview can be a part of the solution. We can try to create stronger booster clubs and attend fundraisers for our girls athletic programs, we can advocate for girls and boys teams to alternate time slots on Friday nights, and we can use our voices as students to offer feedback and suggestions to the open ears of the school.
Politicization of judiciary hearings disrupts democracy Devanshi Tomar Final Focus Editor
Neomi Rao was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee to fill the empty position of court appeals judge for the circuit of the District of Columbia, Feb. 28. Rao will replace Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh, who was sworn in Oct. 6 last year. “We are never going to do better than this,” Trump said after the announcement of her nomination. Since this initial announcement and a lengthy session of nominations hearings, Rao has been endorsed by the U.S. Senate. However, opinions from critics still remain that despite her attempts at apologies and backtracking, Rao’s views on matters such as rape and gay marriage are the same as they were in her college days: morally reprehensible. Rao was scrutinized by the Senate Judiciary Committee for her views on rape after an article she wrote as an undergraduate student for the Yale Herald resurfaced. In the article, Rao wrote that women who are raped are equally to blame if they are inebriated while said rape occurs. Other issues brought to light were Rao’s beliefs that neither climate change nor racial oppression are real. When questioned on her current beliefs, Rao avoided answering, stating “I’m not sure [of] the relevance to that.” When further prodded to answer the question, she declined. Still, many argue that Rao deserves to maintain her private views and must be trusted to follow precedent by not letting her personal views seep into public policy. Others advocate her nomination because they believe it is a step towards diversity in the federal judiciary, Rao being a South Asian daughter of immigrants. But given Rao’s record in matters such as sexual harassment, it cannot be expected that she will be able to bring fairness and independence to federal appellate courts. Although questions about Rao’s credibility and
qualifications to become a judge have arisen, what is equally, if not more, appalling is the cheap line of questioning that tends to occur at nomination hearings like Rao’s. Rather than testing her temperament for the court or her jurisprudential approach, Rao’s religious views came under speculation. The Constitution prohibits religious tests for public office. “The system is inherently broken,” Lindsey Graham, chairman of the committee, said. “I don’t know if it can ever be fixed.” The divide between true justice and politics has become increasingly unclear, seen in how many of the senators who run these hearings are largely influenced by the agendas of their own parties, not by the Constitution that states they must “advise and consent.” The Constitution prohibits senators running hearings to entertain and represent the interests of their own organizations, specifically their parties. Hearing processes becoming increasingly divisive and politically charged sessions instead of being unbiased oversight and consideration they should be. With all this in mind, the motive behind federal court nominations such as Rao’s have grown to appear as political ploys. Despite her lack of experience as a judge on any level, Rao was nominated because of her strong role in the opposition of policies that the Trump organization wishes to deregulate. These matters include healthcare, education, and environmental policies. As a judge in the second highest court of appeals, Rao would be able to fulfill her deregulatory agenda. This is because she would be able to make decisions on policies she worked so adamantly to deregulate in her time as administrator of the Office of Information of Regulatory Affairs.
Because her nomination was for political reasons such as further deregulation, and not because of her experience as a judge, evident political bias on both sides has seeped in. The concern is no longer about whether or not the court will have a fair and equitable judge when Rao is officially confirmed, the concern is about whether or not the courts should have a Republican judge on the bench. Historically, this divide wasn’t so strong. Justices such as Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg were respectively confirmed by the committee 98-0 and 96-3. Rao was voted in 12-10. However, this was not without reservation. Republican senator Joni Ernst voted for her, but still called Rao’s articles on rape “abhorrent.” With each individual who is nominated based primarily on their personal and party interests instead of their legal career and experience, the divide between parties becomes dangerously more apparent and more importantly, the line between party interests and judiciary blurs.
Westview • 13500 Camino del Sur San Diego, CA 92129 Tel: (858) 780-2000, ext. 3180 Email: email@example.com Website: www.wvnexus.org Journalism Education Association/National Scholastic Press Association Spring National Convention 2017, Fourth Place Spring National Convention 2016, Seventh Place Spring National Convention 2015, Second Place Spring National Convention 2014, First Place Fall National Convention 2013, First Place Spring National Convention 2013, First Place Spring National Convention 2012, First Place Fall National Convention 2011, First Place Spring National Convention 2011, Fourth Place Spring National Convention 2010, First Place Fall National Convention 2009, Fourth Place Spring National Convention 2009, Fourth Place Spring National Convention 2008, Third Place Fall National Convention 2007, First Place Spring National Convention 2007, First Place San Diego County Journalism Education Association Grand Sweepstakes 2005-2008 First Place Newspaper Sweepstakes 2006, 2007, First Place San Diego Union Tribune Best High School Newspaper 2007, 2008 National Scholastic Press Association Pacemaker Finalist 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2014 Pacemaker Winner 2003, 2008 Columbia Scholastic Press Association Silver Crown Winner Spring 2012 Silver Crown Winner Spring 2011 Gold Crown Winner Spring 2010 Gold Crown Winner Spring 2009 Gold Medalist 2010
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 Brynne Paiva Blake Parker 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 Regularly switching seats offers opportunities for positive group dynamics In a majority of classes, the seat you choose on the first day, along with the people you sit with, remains the same for the rest of the quarter. Allowing students to choose their own seats is a common practice among many teachers, possibly because of the simplicity and ease in having open seating. However, because most students gravitate toward their comfort zone and sit with their close friends, this often allows students to fall into a comfortable, yet complacent routine—sitting, learning, and talking with the same small group of friends for anywhere between nine weeks to an entire school year. While the same seating arrangement all year long can lead to forming bonds with only a few students, it also offers no change in classroom dynamic. By remaining stagnant in the same seat all year, students miss out on otherwise beneficial academic and interpersonal opportunities within the classroom. In order to promote a more dynamic and collaborative classroom environment, teachers should consider periodically switching seats in their classes. Along with other factors, such as teaching methods and the curriculum material, seating arrangements can play a major role in a classroom’s overall learning environment. Students come with various academic backgrounds, strengths and weaknesses in learning style, and the people they sit with can influence their study habits and attitude toward the class itself. A Carnegie Mellon University study by professor Sunken Lee found that exposure to new people made workers more creative, and that physical proximity promotes the exchange of valuable knowledge between newly met peers. In any class, whether it be calculus or history, students can help each other grasp certain material, allowing for a more productive educational experience. Lee’s study showed that moving people from different backgrounds together boosts both individual and collective performance. This can be especially helpful to lower-achieving students who tend to grow complacent in a classroom where they are free to choose who they sit with. A University of Montana study showed that by moving students around to different seats, the attainment of underachieving students was doubled, and sitting with a new group of students who bring a change of pace in attitude improves the mentality of a lower-achieving student. Switching seats regularly can offer a refreshing change especially in lab-based or project-based classes. Lee’s study found that, especially in an environment that subsists on sharing knowledge, switching seats increases creativity and the shift to more exploratory ideas within groups. Although the idea of switching seats may be scary to some, willingness to work and collaborate with new people is an important life skill for students to develop. Switching seats allows students to form deeper interpersonal relationships with a majority, as opposed to only a few, other classmates. When not placed among the same group of friends, students can learn and cooperate with different types of people. By breaking down predefined seating barriers, territoriality ceases to exist. Unexpected bonds are formed, group chats are made, and students can expand their comfort zone toward the rest of the classroom and the other students in it. Switching seats throughout the year offers beneficial changes in dynamic that require minimal effort from the teacher. By taking the time every month or so to move students around, teachers can create an environment where potential learning isn’t limited to one seat, but a place where students can gain a sense of camaraderie and collaboration with the entire class.
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.
March 15, 2019
Sanders villainized by 'socialist' labels Lina Lew
Opinions Editor Since Bernie Sanders’ presidential candidate debut in 2016 as a Democratic socialist, a leftie, a radical and an extremist, among other names, he has certainly made a splash in the world of politics. While his candidacy died against a Clinton legacy and a Republican powerhouse, the progressive flame that he sparked never quite fizzled out. Within the past two years of Donald Trump’s presidency, the American mentality has changed. Sanders’ bold takes on politics trailblazed a new era of progressive Democratic candidates who echo similar ideas and support for issues such as free education, higher minimum wage, and lowered taxes on the poor. And now, Sanders has resurfaced among the pool of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, predictably bringing his persistent progressive politics with him. While many in the Democratic pool share the same fundamental views, Sanders stands out as a front-runner with a millennial support system who has wanted to Feel the Bern for the last three years. But despite Sanders’ recognizable name and loyal support, his campaign’s downfall may lie in a single word: socialist. The biggest obstacle Sanders faces isn’t his policies themselves, but the right-wing’s villainization of the term “socialist,” a label Sanders has acknowledged since his 2016 campaign. The weaponization of this word be explained by a shift in the Overton window, a theory created by political scientist Joseph Overton that refers to a spectrum of policies that are considered acceptable or unacceptable by the general public. What’s inside the window is considered normal and expected, while everything outside is considered radical and extreme. The window shifts toward a certain side when people are forced to consider extreme ideas through repeated exposure. Even if they reject these ideas, the mere discussion shifts what was once considered radical towards the norm. This is exactly what moved the Republican agenda forward. For the past couple of years, frequent media coverage on Trump’s latest overzealous statement has pushed these radical statements and ideas straight into the public eye. In turn, by
enforcing these ideas and gradually shifting the window further right, Republicans have simultaneously shifted the American mindset to believe that leftist ideas are far more extreme than they actually are. Republicans have used this shift to their political advantage, weaponizing the socialist label to skew the American perception of the Democratic party and push Sanders’ ideas toward the far extremities of the Overton window. In the State of the Union address, Trump recently “avowed to renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.” “People have been brainwashed into thinking socialism means slave-labor camps, dictatorship and lack of freedom of speech,” Sanders said in the University of Vermont’s student publication. Sanders has not been shy about democratic socialism, but contrary to popular belief, the reality of this title is far from Marxism or anti-capitalism. “I don’t believe government should own the means of production, but I do believe that the middle class and the working families who produce the wealth of America deserve a fair deal,” he said. Sanders’ support and prioritization of the middle class serve as the basis for an ideology many people actually agree with. Whether they know it or not, the majority of Americans side with several of Sanders’ so-called socialist beliefs. According to a poll by Reuters, 60 percent of Americans support free education and raising taxes on the rich. Polls from Yougov, a data and market research company, show that a clear majority also favor a higher minimum wage and stricter anti-corruption laws. But, despite how many Americans agree with his politics, many hesitate to support a candidate branded by the term “socialist.” That’s where other candidates have the upper hand—despite having a larger support system than most fresh-faced Democratic candidates, Sanders also carries the baggage of the socialist label, which can weaken his presidential campaign like it did in 2016. Even now, in classic Bernie fashion, Sanders’ ideas are unsurprisingly considered more radical than the majority of Democratic candidates. While other Democrats’ support of the Medicare for All bill remains more reserved, Sanders continues to push this bill toward center stage. Additionally, when other candidates merely criticized Israel’s
response to protests, Sanders proposed cutting U.S. military aid to Israel altogether. Unfortunately for Sanders, 53 percent of Democrats want the party to become more moderate, compared with 40 percent who want it to grow more liberal, according to the Pew Research Center. Sanders’ stronger liberal views may be dismissed in favor of other Democratic candidates, such as senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, who have both publicly rejected the socialist label and have taken more moderate stances, giving them a better chance at gaining support. However, whether he wins the American vote or not, Sanders said it best: “Election days come and go. But political revolutions that attempt to transform our society never end.” Standing among 15 other Democratic candidates, a majority of whom support Medicare for All and free education, it’s clear that Sanders has put a progressive movement into motion. No matter who wins, Sanders has inspired an entire group of Democrats who will undoubtedly work to shift the leftist movement back into normalcy.
Green New Deal takes step towards positive change Ameera Kumar Staff Writer
Since its introduction to the legislative stage, Feb. 7, the Green New Deal has been met with scathing criticism from all sides.Proposed by Ed Markey, Democratic senator from Massachusetts and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, newly elected democratic representative for New York’s 14th congressional district, the resolution asserts the need for a 10-year ‘national mobilization’ that would involve major investments in both infrastructure and clean-energy—investments that would fundamentally uproot the American economy. But critics can’t continue to dismiss the deal as the “socialism that Stalin dreamt about,” or ridicule its attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as a crusade against “cow farts,” as some on the right have suggested. By labeling the plan as too radical, too bold, too expensive, too unattainable—as critics have been— we not only minimize the very real, very imminent threat that our environment faces, but also dismiss the only congressional plan that offers mitigation at the scale necessary to combat climate change. While this version of a green deal is unlikely to garner the necessary support and is arguably not viable as currently formulated, it still presents a goal to strive toward, and at the very least, deserves to be included in contemporary policy debates. Many on the right claim that the plan and its sponsors attempt to push a socialist agenda under the mere veil
of environmentalism, as parts of the and allow for a Green Job Guarantee. “green” deal seem to stray far from The private sector, such as energy climate change mitigation to call for technology, will grow. Whether these things like universal healthcare and opportunities will be enough to make a guaranteed minimum income. But up for massive blows to the economy the Green New Deal succeeds in rec- after decarbonization is unclear, but ognizing the multifaceted role that some economists argue that spendour government must play in miti- ing trillions now could save us from gation efforts. Transitioning away spending even more in future damfrom fossil fuels will require wide- ages if climate change is allowed to spread shifts in almost every sector progress any further. of the economy, shifts that simply But perhaps the most damaging cannot be accomplished without ex- criticism is the prevailing notion tensive planning and financing from that the plan is outlandishly naive, our government. The a fantasy conmeasures needed for cocted by a such an overhaul are The Green New Deal is idealis- crazed 29inextricably linked year old. This to drastic economic tic. But we can’t just crush that is partially change. idealism when it’s exactly what the product of Criticism that has we need to enact major change. inflammatocome from both sides, ry comments however, concerns the spread by othastronomical costs— er politicians; both financial and social—associ- at a rally in El Paso, Texas, President ated with many of the Green New Donald Trump said, “I really don't Deal’s proposed changes to infra- like [Ocasio-Cortez, Markey’s] polistructure, such as reimagining power cy of taking away your car, of taking grids to maximize energy efficiency. away your airplane rights...of you’re A report from the American Action not allowed to own cows!" Forum estimates that the total cost of The resolution does not aim to the plan amounts to $93 trillion, one force Americans into veganism, nor of the reasons that this version of a does it try to take away their cars. green deal is not viable. This means The resolution does aim to drasticalthat from 2020 to 2029, the Green ly cut the emission of fossil-fuels, to New Deal alone would be close to 35 which the beef industry and commerpercent of the gross domestic prod- cial air travel are big contributors. It uct. And there is no denying that de- does aim to “work collaboratively carbonizing the economy will devas- with farmers and ranchers in the tate communities dependant on coal United States to remove pollution mines and other fossil fuels. Howev- and greenhouse gas emissions from er, supporters insist that making the the agricultural sector as much as is transition will increase job growth technologically feasible,” and “over-
haul the transportation systems… including through investment in zero-emission vehicle infrastructure and manufacturing, clean, affordable, and accessible public transit; and high-speed rail.” It’s important to remember that the Green New Deal is not a bill, but a resolution, so if passed, it doesn’t actually do anything but encourage further steps to be taken with subsequent legislation. One thing the plan has already succeeded in though, is moving climate change to the forefront of the national conversation. Democrats running for office in 2020 now face a certain pressure to appeal to impassioned young voters who know that environmental policies now will affect them more than any other generation in the past. Because slow, incremental responses are no longer enough. When the United Nations reports that “limiting global warming wwto 1.5ºC will require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society,” maybe it’s time to listen. Maybe it’s time to take aggressive steps—steps that only the Green New Deal has proposed so far. The Green New Deal is idealistic. But we can’t just crush that idealism when it’s exactly what we need to enact major change. There is no precedent for the crisis our climate faces, no historical references we can look back to for help. There is no precedent for the dangers climate change will present. If ever a time called for innovative thinking, for bold plans and even bolder leadership, and maybe just a touch of ide-
Private Instagram accounts provide therapeutic outlet, platform for personal connections between teenagers Isabelle Ritter Staff Writer The last few years have seen the rise of “private accounts” on social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. Private accounts, also known as “finstas” or “privs,” are secondary social media accounts that are created so that the owner can post things only for their close friends to see. In comparison, the owner’s primary account, the more followed “main accounts,” are where they post much less personal content and put on a more public face. “Private accounts are always changing and portraying the ups-and-downs of my real life, like a constantly-updated, digital diary,” Dane Maximov, culture consultant for Vice Magazine, said. This “digital diary” is the epitome of oversharing. Each fleeting emotion, annoyance, and thought qualifies as content for private accounts, for close friends to see and comment on. While this may seem absurd and unnecessary, as oversharing typically has a negative connotation, in today’s modern landscape, oversharing isn’t such a bad thing, especially for young people. Teens within the last decade have faced—and continue to face—astronomically high rates of depression. The odds of adolescents suffering from clinical depression grew by 37 percent between 2005 and 2014, according to a study by Ramin Mojtabai, a professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Depression can be a nearly impossible thing to talk about, and yet speaking to a trusted friend or
a mental health professional is the first step for someone to overcome or cope with depression. Social media, especially private accounts, provides that bridge for struggling teens to vent their feelings about serious topics such as depression or anxiety, and allow loved ones to see such inner turmoil and reach out to support. Without an outlet for teens to rant about their troubles, many signs of these more serious issues could go overlooked. Many attribute the rise in mental illnesses to social media and the pressures young people face to look ‘perfect’ on social media. This is a real issue among teens: a study by the Pew Research Center found that about 45 percent of teens who use social media feel overwhelmed by the drama on the sites, and feel pressure to look “perfect” for others. However, many of the same teens surveyed also say that the positive benefits of social media outweigh the negatives—81 percent of the teens surveyed said that they felt more connected and supported by their friends due to social media. “While notable amounts of teenagers say they at times feel overwhelmed by the drama on social media and pressure to construct only positive images of themselves, they simultaneously credit these online platforms with several positive outcomes, including strengthening friendships, exposing them to different viewpoints and helping people their age support causes they care about,” Monica Anderson of Pew Research Center said.
Even in less dire circumstances, private accounts provide outlets for many teens to stay connected to friends and to vent day-to-day frustrations, which they say improves the overall quality of their friendships and helps them stay in touch. “Private accounts are a way to let all your close friends know about daily things that go on in your life,” Layla Shine (12) said. “It’s so easy to just take a photo and post it on your [private account] and have all your friends comment on it and get many different opinions.” Shine said that she appreciates not only the ease of social media, but the way it helps her feel connected to friends she might not see as often. “It’s nice to just have them read what I’m saying and have an understanding of what’s going on in my life,” she said, “even if I don’t see them in person.”
March 15, 2019
Sorry College Board: computer science, U.S. Constitution fail as keys to success Lina Lew
Opinions Editor As someone who has taken neither an advanced history course nor a computer science class, I felt a little inadequate when I read that College Board’s two ‘keys to life success’ were just that—computer science and the U.S. Constitution. David Coleman, College Board president, and Stefanie Sanford, its chief of global policy, said, “If you want to be an empowered citizen in our democracy— able to not only navigate society and its institutions but also to improve and shape them, and not just be shaped by them—you need to know how the code of the U.S. Constitution works.” Furthermore, they added that “if you want to be an empowered and adaptive worker or artist or writer or scientist or teacher—and be able to shape the world around you, not just be shaped by it—you need to know how computers work and how to shape them.” In some ways, they’re not wrong. The skills gained from taking AP U.S. Government and AP Computer Science are certainly beneficial for people interested in those specific fields, along with the learning to comprehend historical passages and the basics of coding. And it’s important to be aware in an ever-changing society, where activism and involvement matter in both politics and technology. But College Board’s over-simplified statement paints the world to be binary, outlining one general,
overarching equation to success. Asserting that “students need to master computer science to be successful” disregards the very nuances of success, and the fact that measuring success—an intangible and subjective term—often requires a qualitative, not quantitative, approach. After all, College Board is not the first, and won’t be the last, to come up with a list of keys to success. LinkedIn states that critical thinking and problem-solving skills are desirable traits in employees, and aids their success in the workplace. US News ranks leadership and collaboration high on their list of skills necessary for college success. Forbes lists adaptability and curiosity among the top skills needed to succeed in the 21st century. Success, it seems, is not black and white. Perhaps there is no quantifiable way to measure success because of the various ways it’s achieved in life— through connections, technology skills, the ability to communicate ideas, and much more. In fact, some might argue that other skills learned through AP classes, such as mathematical problem-solving or effective command of the English language, are better producers of success. If any of these skills are as universally accepted and suggested as several sources say they are, then we should start the preparation for life success in the classroom, revising courses in order to gain skills through the curriculum itself, not through standardized tests. However, College Board isn’t simply looking to advocate for general classroom emphasis on these key skills. They plan to completely revise the basis of their standardized tests. Based on their past revisions, College Board seems to measure success by the number of people who take their tests (which they conveniently happen to create, revise, and administer.) College Board made this message clear in 2014 by adding a passage from a U.S. founding document, such as the Constitution or a presidential speech, to the SAT reading section. Also, in 2016, College Board decided to revamp the AP Computer Science course
Border wall could offer socioeconomic benefits, limit influx of illegal drugs Alec Felderman Staff Writer
With the longest recorded government shutdown and rising tension in both the government and the public, the controversy surrounding the proposed wall on the Mexican-American border has caused increased tension. As many people primarily focus on the potential impact the wall would have on illegal immigration, most may not realize the socioeconomic benefits it could have for the U.S. Currently, the Mexican-American border is fortified by 654 miles of steel slat walls and fences, in addition to 130 miles of natural barriers such as mountains and ravines. Having 784 miles of fortifications seems more than enough—almost excessive. But our border with Mexico is 1,933 miles long, leaving 1,149 miles unobstructed for travel, save for the patrols conducted by border patrol agents, which can be avoided. If the lack of security isn’t enough to at least consider an extended barrier, then the opioid crisis and drug cartels may be a valid reason. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), opioid overdoses accounted for 47,600 deaths in 2017, making up 67.8 percent of all drug-overdose-related deaths in the U.S. A few major sources are responsible for the rising death tolls, one of which is the opium farm industry in Mexico. Opium is processed into heroin or synthetics like Fentanyl. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), almost all of these opium products are then smuggled across the border in cars, trucks, and other vehicles. Smugglers do this by putting the drugs in secret compartments in the door pan-
els of cars, the frame, and even in the engine. Cartels also use “mules,” people carrying heroine on their backs, to move their goods undetected over the unguarded Texas border, using lookouts to spot patrols. While our current border security is able to counter most of these methods with drug-sniffing dogs and car checkpoints, some smugglers still get through. Scott Stewart, vice president of tactical analysis at Stratfor, a geopolitical intelligence platform, estimates that the total amount of drugs smuggled across the border ranges in the tens of billions of dollars annually. If tens of billions of dollars worth of drugs are making their way across our border every year, there should be more urgency to find an effective way to counter this dangerous and lucrative business. Patrols and occasional physical barriers are clearly not hindering the cartels, and though we have a viable option to bolster our defenses against this threat, it’s been held up in the House of Representatives with no compromise in sight. Trump’s proposed wall offers a potential way of effectively combating the drug cartels. He even said in his State of the Union Address that its purpose is to stop the surge of illegal drugs over the Mexican-American border. The proposed plans for the wall are a 1,150-mile barrier constructed of 40foot high, 10-foot deep, and one-foot thick concrete panels. If the current plan is carried out exactly as it is on paper, the wall would counter many of the drug cartels’ general operating procedures. The wall would protect the 1,149 mile gap that exists with the U.S.’s current fortifications, cutting off cartel routes and forcing automobiles to go through vehicle inspections by border
patrol, and increasing the likelihood of smugglers being caught. Reaching depths of 10 feet underground, the wall would also hinder the construction of drug tunnels. It’s evident that the current arrangement of fences and steel slats on our border doesn’t prevent tunneling, as 224 tunnels were discovered between 1990 and March 2016, according to Rob Nixon, a homeland security correspondent for the New York Times. The extra length of the wall below the surface could help deter tunnel making, hindering a vital method of drug smuggling. The wall seems like a viable solution to the cartel threat and the opioid crisis, but as with all major government projects, it comes with a price. According to Liberty Vittert, visiting assistant professor in statistics at Washington University, the total bill would be about $25 billion, which would include material, labor, and land acquisitions from property owners. Wall maintenance should also be taken into account, as estimates range from $150 to $750 million a year. Twenty-five billion dollars seems like too costly of an investment, but in the grand scheme of the government’s overall budget, a proposed $4.407 trillion, it comes out as pocket change. If we can create total budgets in the trillions of dollars, then funding the wall should not be an issue. There is much to consider with building the wall, but without any action taken against the opioid crisis or smuggling runs of the cartels, we’re only allowing these dangers to get worse. Despite the controversy it has caused, the wall should not be counted out of the conversation for dealing with the socioeconomic benefits of eliminating the cartels and opioid crisis.
Made in Ameerica by Ameera Kumar
I have a sinking feeling that fixing the giant hole in Park Village is going to take just as long as the construction on Camino del Sur did. -Tiffany Le Valentine’s Day has long since passed but I haven’t received a single love letter from any college. Romance really is dead. -Andrea Chen I don’t know whether to feel flattered or offended when my science teacher says, “We’re going to use The Nexus for a project today.” -Sydney Alper In a way, anti-vaxxers are just saving a lifetime’s worth of money. -Blake Parker To submit a Praise or Folly, message us through Twitter, log onto our website at www.wvnexus.org, 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.
School rankings overvalue test scores, discount importance of safe learning environment, student satisfaction Grace Kim
for 10 percent of its overall score. If a high school has outstanding academics but an unhealthy learning environment with overly stressed Out of the 1,744 public high schools in California, students, it overlooks a necessary factor in holistiNiche, the Yelp for researching colleges according cally determining the “best public high school.” A to Forbes, ranked Westview as number 11. reputable high school should be well-rounded not Given Westview’s academically driven reputa- only in terms of academics, but also in its learning tion, this is not a surprise. With strong academics environment. statistics and a variety of student activities to boast, The reality is that test scores and graduation rates Westview has placed in Niche’s top 100 best public tend to overshadow the school’s other factors. For high schools in California for nine years straight. instance, questions like “How do students feel at When looking at which components affect a high school on a daily basis?” or “How stressed are stuschool’s ranking, such as diversity and facilities, dents on average?” should be investigated and rethere is one dominating factor that rises above all: corded. Surveys like these can portray the students’ test scores. Whether it’s AP attitudes and mentality, providtest scores or average SAT or ing a more all-encompassing ACT test scores, these num- Non-academic factors pro- view of the school. Currently on bers count for 60 percent of Niche’s website, the only surveys how high schools are ranked. vide a deeper look into high regarding students relate to acaAccording to Niche’s data, schools that can’t be found demics. For instance, one survey Westview has an average SAT asks: “What one word or phrase score of 1310, average ACT with a search on Google. describes the typical student at score of 29, and 44 percent this school?” Responses include AP enrollment. “academically motivated” and Compared with the No. 1-ranked high school, “diverse,” but not much is said about anything other Canyon Crest Academy (CCA), every other compo- than academics. nent such as ‘Clubs & Activities’ and ‘Teachers,’ reNon-academic factors provide a deeper look into ceived similar letter grades. The only differentiating high schools that can’t be found with a search on factor between Westview and CCA, according to Google. In order to truly be the No. 1 public school Niche, was that Westview received a lower percent in California, school ranking websites should recoggrade for test scores. nize factors other than academics that can arguably Niche ranks factors like academics and quality contribute to a student’s high school career. of facilities by gathering information from public In the end, it’s the learning environment that fosdata sources such as the Department of Education. ters students’ development as scholars. For instance, Niche’s research team also examines their online when we look at colleges, we want to attend one that student and parent reviews regarding schools when is not only academically prestigious, but a place that determining the overall grade. values students’ well-being. This mindset applies to Although it’s important to allow academics to high school as well. Parents want their students to determine a school’s ranking because academic test attend a school they feel represents both rigorous acscores are a measure of student aptitude, it's also ademics and a healthy student body mentality. important to recognize other factors that aren’t as Non-academic factors should be considered more heavily weighed, such as student satisfaction. Ac- heavily in high school rankings, because like people cording to Niche, the student opinion only counts say, grades don’t define who you are.
Big Wang Theory by Michelle Wang
14 Sports SCOREBOARD THE
March 15, 2019
Baseball 3/5: Win vs. Mission Hills, 3-0 3/8: Win vs. Torrey Pines, 7-6 Next Game: 3/19: vs. Vista, 3:30 p.m. (Away)
Boys Golf 2/28: Win vs. Vista, 205-Forfeit 3/5: Loss vs. Torrey Pines, 193-215
Next Game: 3/18: City Cup Tournament, 12 p.m. (Away)
Boys Lacrosse 3/5: Win vs. Bishop’s, 8-5 3/8: Loss vs. Grossmont, 4-3
Next Game: Today: vs. Eastlake, 7:30 p.m. (Home)
Maddie Sullivan (12) runs around the track during practice to warm up with the distance runners, Tuesday. Sullivan has returned to cross country and track and field after taking a year off to address her sports anxiety through therapy sessions.
4 - 0
Sullivan returns to track and field
3/9: Win vs. Patrick Henry, 10-5 3/12: Win vs. Canyon Crest Academy, 15-14
Next Game: Today: vs. Bishop’s, 5:30 p.m. (Home)
3/9: Loss vs. Mt. Carmel, 2-0 3/9: Loss vs. San Dieguito Academy, 4-3 Next Game: Tomorrow: vs. San Pasqual, 9 a.m. (Away)
3/7: Loss vs. Canyon Crest Academy, 15-3 3/12: Win vs. Sage Creek, 12-6 Next Game: 3/19: vs. Del Norte, 3 p.m. (Away)
3/9: Loss vs. Harker, 2-0 3/12: Win vs. Otay Ranch. 3-0 Next Meet: 3/19: vs. La Costa Canyon, 5 p.m. (Home) Records as of Tuesday Compiled by the Sports Staff
Walking down to the rugged turf of Westview’s football field, Maddie Sullivan (12) could feel the dread settling in the pit of her stomach. With every step she took, her heart rate increased, anxiety mounting. She could see her teammates warming up on the field, some stretching and others setting up equipment, as she walked down the stairs. Sullivan came to a halt as she reached the bottom of the stairs. Thinking back to her sessions with her therapist, she tried to ground herself, connecting her mind and body to the present, rather than stressing about the upcoming meet. She looked around, searching for five physical objects she could see, four sounds she could hear, three objects she could feel, two things she could smell, and one she could taste. As the seconds passed, she began to focus in on the faded red asphalt of the track, the piercing sound of the starter gun, and the cool metal of her jewelry, among other things. By grounding herself, Sullivan was able to put her situation into perspective and ease her nerves. With that, Sullivan confidently stepped forward to join her team, pushing back her anxiety and putting determination in its place. Sullivan had been experiencing sports anxiety, common among athletes, for years. It is usually caused by excessive stress regarding athletic performance and competition. Sullivan hasn’t always been able to handle her sports anxiety so efficiently or quickly though. A runner since middle school, Sullivan made both varsity cross country and varsity track and field team for distance as a freshman. One of the strongest runners on her team, she said that she was filled with confidence and excitement before each
race at the time. Although she did get anxious at times, her symptoms were manageable. However, as time went on and sophomore year came, Sullivan experienced increasingly intense anxiety, which caused her intense nausea and a quickened heart rate, weeks before races were scheduled. Determined to overcome her anxiety, Sullivan decided to take a year off from track and cross country her junior year, and instead focused on taking care of her mental health. Although it was a tough decision for her, she said that ultimately it was the right one. She learned some coping mechanisms from her therapist, such as breathing exercises and grounding techniques, and channeled her love for running into helping others by volunteering at elementary school running programs. She also visited her therapist more frequently. Sullivan said that therapy was one of the most impactful things she did during her time off; not only did she learn coping mechanisms to suppress anxiety on the spot, such as the grounding techniques she uses before meets, but she was also able to express her worries. “We just talk about what’s causing the anxiety because it changes and it gets triggered by different things at different times in my life,” Sullivan said. “It’s just kind of nice to be able to talk to somebody about it and when you’re having a bad day, to know that somebody is on your side.” Sullivan said that she has been going to therapy since she was a freshman, and that it has helped her to normalize mental health struggles in her mind. According to her, the main thing that her year off taught her was that she is not alone in her struggles. She said that she has become more open about her struggles too, embracing a more positive mindset and trying her best not to stress about the future. “I know that everybody has something that’s going on, and nobody benefits from pretending that everything is
okay, so just talking to people has helped me a lot,” Sullivan said. After taking time to focus on her mental health and learn how to cope with her anxiety, Sullivan made the decision to return to both cross country and track her senior year. She said that her teammates have been extremely supportive of her return, encouraging her every step of the way. “[My anxiety] is kind of hard to deal with because it’s an irrational thing,” Sullivan said. “People will say, ‘you’re going to be fine’ and it does nothing. There’s really nothing my teammates can do, but just knowing that they support me and they don’t judge me and they’re there for me [means a lot].They’re all great people and some of my best friends.” At the end of her cross country season, Sullivan won the “Guts Award” at the team’s banquet, which honors the athlete who showed the most courage throughout the season. She said that this accomplishment meant the world to her because of the journey that led her to it. “Freshman year, everything came really easily to me with running,” Sullivan said. “I feel like I’m a very much different person now than I was then, and I’ve faced a lot and [my anxiety] took a lot of struggle and, so it meant a lot to me that I got that award.” Now, as she embarks on her final track season, Sullivan said that she has considered taking up collegiate level athletics in the future, a feat that she said she never would’ve considered prior to working through her anxiety. “I’ve learned how much running does mean to me, and how the loss of running would be worse than the panic attacks to me,” Sullivan said. “I think just sort of coming to terms with the fact that this is going to happen and knowing how to cope with it has been difficult, yet rewarding.”
Female athletes struggle with conflicting body expectations Devanshi Tomar Final Focus Editor
Skinny waist, wide hips, thin thighs. These are only a few of the criteria that many females believe that their body must adhere to in order to feel beautiful, a consequence of being a woman in today’s age. However, in the world of sports, there is a different set of criteria: strong back, muscular chest, athletic legs. These are only a few of the criteria that women feel they must fit to be successful as an athlete. According to Libby Lyons, a social worker and eating disorder specialist, many female student-athletes struggle with the expectations of having a body that performs well in sports and simultaneously looks feminine. Softball and tennis player Julia Bennett (11) struggled with this. During practice, her teammates often commented on her skinny legs, some even calling her “chicken legs.” Bennett said that she felt this directly contradicted what society’s body standards expected of her—that she have thin legs. “You see this want for a thigh gap in the media and this need for muscle in sports,” Bennett said. “It’s like I’m stuck in the middle of two worlds, not really winning in either one.” Lyons said that this conflict causes female athletes to be at a higher risk of body image
distortion and a lower self-esteem than their non-athlete peers. “Coaches, sponsors, family, and peers can play a role in an athlete’s attitude toward weight and shape,” Lyons said. “It can lead to a detrimental body image.” Lacrosse player Ashley Dicarlo (11) has to maintain a stricter diet and workout regime than most girls because of what her sport demands. Despite knowing this, Dicarlo still compared herself to peers who weren’t involved in athletics. “As a defender, I have to be muscular in the lower half of my body,” Dicarlo said. “[I exercise more, so] I do have a higher carbohydrate intake than other girls.” Other athletes aren’t as safe with the measures they take to maintain their body. Lyons said that female athletes often fail to maintain a proper diet in an effort to remain thin. “Those who engage in sports [that focus on body size and shape] tend to have higher rates of disordered eating,” Lyons said. Although Dicarlo has not been susceptible to disordered eating and has put her health first, she said that she often felt insecure when she saw much skinnier girls eating less. “You watch these girls who are a size zero [in clothing] barely eat anything,” Dicarlo said. “But then you go, ‘I need to eat a big lunch because I have a tournament later today.’ That’s where I struggle with, especially
because I don’t have a fast metabolism.” For Bennett, her insecurities primarily emerged during tennis practice. “In the eyes of society, I can be seen as just top-heavy with skinnier legs,” Bennett said. “I feel so self-conscious at tennis sometimes because I can be seen as weak in the legs with a strong upper body.” According to Ron A. Thompson, a psychologist specializing in the treatment of disordered eating and body image, sports attire can exacerbate body insecurities. “A uniform can increase body consciousness and body dissatisfaction,” Thompson said. “Purely from a sport performance perspective, these uniforms can also distract the athlete, affecting sport performance.” For Bennett, the uniform for girls tennis highlighted her insecurities because of its short skirt and tight top. “My tennis uniform is extremely tight and short compared to many other sports,” Bennett said. “[Sometimes,] I feel exposed in the chest area. The short skirt makes me feel insecure about my legs and highlights the fact that I am top-heavy.” Despite this, both athletes have had to work on self-esteem. “I have had to work on acceptance a lot,” Bennett said. “I know if I keep my body healthy and in the best condition it can be in, then I will be able to play the best I can.” For Bennett, this conclusion came by not
trying to adhere to either set of expectations, rather focusing on what was good for her success in the sports she enjoys. Bennett said that, for her, the key to bridging this gap was realizing that no one will ever have the “perfect body” and still be able to compete in athletics. “I am neither perfect for society or athletics,” Bennett said. “I have bridged the gap by forgetting about the expectations involved in both.” Dicarlo agreed with this and said that she had to decide what made her happy. For her, she knew that the sports she played were what brought her joy. “For me, my body no longer matters to me as long as I’m healthy,” Dicarlo said. “I’ve learned not to care if I look bad in other people’s eyes as long as my heart’s healthy, my lungs are healthy, and I enjoy what I’m doing, which is playing lacrosse.” According to Lyons, a healthy body image is essential to the protection of health, and having a healthy body to participate in their sport. “These positive factors can lead to stronger endurance and longer ability to practice and perform,” Lyons said. For both Bennett and Dicarlo, they have grown content with their body on and off the court or field, learning the difference between being conventionally attractive and healthy.
Female athlete paradox: By the Numbers
of female athletes said they felt the pressure to feel pretty while competing.
of female athletes said they commonly worry about being too muscular.
of female athletes said one of their teammates had an eating disorder. Statistics from ESPN (200 DI Athletes)
Boys tennis takes second at First Serve tournament
Isabelle Ritter Staff Writer
Boys tennis competed in the Pete Brown First Serve tournament, Feb. 23. As a team, they defeated La Jolla Country Day, Steele Canyon High School, and Valhalla High School. The tournament was hosted by the Southern California Tennis Association, and was designed to give competitive experience to unranked high schoolers. There were four rounds of matches leading up to the tournament finals, one of which was a bye for Westview. Consequently, each of the members of the Westview team played three matches total. Due to these victories, the team advanced to the finals of the tournament. Westview was tied with Saint Augustine at three sets a piece and lost by the game count, placing second overall. In the finals, Alexander Do (9) and David Fisher (10) won a singles set, while Matthew Fan (9) and Aakarsh Vermani (9) won a doubles set.
“The championship was really close. We were tied at 3 sets a piece and lost by the game count,” Fisher said. Do won three out of his three matches, which helped the team to gain enough total game wins to advance to the finals. “The last match of the day, in the finals, was really challenging for me,” Do said. “My opponent was very skillful and the match could’ve gone either way.” The tournament was the season’s first competition, which the boys took as an opportunity to start off the season well. “The challenge was that we didn't play much with each other beforehand and in doubles, the communication between the two players is crucial,” Fisher said. “The main highlight was beating some good teams en route to the championship.” Despite the tournament being the first gameplay for the boys, Vermani said they were able to come out strong as a team due to the practices they had before the tournament. “Although tennis is an individual sport, I think team practices are important because they improve
team chemistry, so we can provide better mental support for each other during singles matches and play better together in doubles matches,” Vermani said. In order to be successful as a team, Pham believes the team needs to work on chemistry above all else. “The other teams we will come across this season might consist of better individual players, but if we have a better team chemistry, we have a good chance of winning overall,” he said. Pham also found the team’s experience in the tournament to be a great way to start off the season. “It allowed us to bond more as a team, because we didn't get in too many practices before the tournament,” he said. “Through our practices, we can form more chemistry to play better in our double matches. This chemistry will be crucial for our success.” Pham said despite losing in the finals, he is still proud of how the team performed. “I’d consider our experience a win because we came together for the first time and placed very well in our first tournament,” he said.
March 15, 2019
A Tale of Two Champs
SIG NIFICANT FIG URES
Boys soccer wins finals, competes in regionals
Smith: 2 goals
Sydney Alper Staff Writer
As the Wolverines entered the final minutes of regular game play, they were still tied, 1-1, against Poway, Feb. 23, in the 2019 San Diego Division II CIF Championship Game at Mission Bay High School. The game entered into a 15-minute golden goal overtime, meaning that the first team to score a goal would win. The stakes were high, and with 10 minutes left in overtime, defender Ryan Murphy (12) passed the ball into the right corner, where forward Izel Smith (12) received the ball. Poway’s keeper was drawn away from the goal, giving Smith the opportunity to pass to forward Lorenzo Paroline (11). Paroline shot the ball right in the middle of the undefended goal, winning the game for the Wolverines, 2-1. “Scoring the game-winning goal was unbelievable,” Paroline said. “Hugging everyone after the game and watching the team run onto the field and the stands emptying was something I will never forget.” Throughout the game, the Wolverines dominated possession. Four minutes in, the ball moved past the Poway defense right to Smith, who shot the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal, putting Westview up, 1-0. Midfielder Adrian Olfato (12) said the team’s initial strategy was to score early and try to keep the lead from there. “We like to have a high press and by doing that we like having the ball on their half because we have a lot of dangerous players,” Olfato said. Westview’s intense pressure and aggressive playing allowed them to maintain a 1-0 lead for the first
Courtesy of Nathan Celo
Captain and defender Connor Bondoc (12) prepares to pass in the CIF Championship game against Poway, Feb. 23. Westview went on to win 2-1 in overtime. hour of the game. Then, a defensive breakdown had no one defending on a Poway player, allowing for him to score a goal, tying the game, 1-1. Both teams fought hard to try to establish a lead, taking penalty shots near the goal and trying to create opportunities with long throw-ins. Going into overtime, knowing that the next goal would win the game placed immense pressure on the players, but the Wolverines were able to pull it off. Paroline said that their strategy going into overtime was to prevent any defensive mistakes. Olfato attributed the Wolverines’ success in the game to their perseverance.
“Our team has gone through so much with people leaving and injuries,” Olfato said. “Since we were able to overcome that, there is just so much that we could achieve because we’ve gone through so much.” For the first time, the Wolverines were the runner ups of the 2019 CIF Southern California Finals, when they then lost to Cabrillo High School, 6-2. “I knew what we had achieved will be remembered for a long time,” Olfato said. “Despite the fact that we lost, I’m still extremely proud of everyone and everything we had achieved this season.”
Izel Smith (12) scored both of the Wolverines’ goals in their 2-1 regional semi-final win over Godinez High School, Feb. 26. Smith scored his first goal off a breakaway at 27:54 and his second at 4:19 in the second half. His second goal was even more impressive since he was dealing with a leg injury received after his first goal from a cleats up slide tackle. Smith continued to play with the injury throughout the game. The win propelled the Wolverines to the state finals, where they lost to Cabrillo High School 6-2. Sydney Alper
Chang: 10 kills
Girls water polo wins CIFs for first time in history Brynne Paiva Staff Writer
Abby Kooyman (12) passes the ball in the CIF finals, Feb. 12. Westview beat Torrey Pines, 6-1.
With 3:50 left in the fourth quarter, girls water polo led Torrey Pines, 6-1, in the 2019 San Diego Division I CIF Championship at La Jolla High School, Feb. 15. Goalie Piper McCulloch (12) reacted quickly to a Torrey Pines set player who was preparing to shoot, leaping out of the water to block her fourteenth shot in this high-stakes game. “Leading up to the game, I didn’t really know what the outcome was going to be,” McCulloch said. “I was just focused on playing my best game.” In one of her last games as a Wolverine, McCulloch certainly did this, making eight saves in the first half alone. Her efforts to protect the goal played an essential role in the Wolverines’ 6-2 victory, making them CIF Champions for the first time in Westview history. Westview’s offense started the game with two quick goals in the first quarter by Kaia Wong (9) and Julia Derunes (11). After a goal by Lauren Kim (12) in the beginning of the second quarter, Lauren Jennings (9) passed the ball to Derunes, who pushed away her defender as she scored the Wolverines’ fourth goal. Near the end of the first half, the ball was passed between every Westview player in
the pool, each struggling to get a shot off. Eventually, Jennings received a pass and immediately fired a shot into the net with four seconds left on the shot clock. This trend continued into the second half with two more goals by Katarina Zajonc (10) and Jennings while the Falcons only scored two more the rest of the way. “I knew that if we played together well, and gave it 110 percent, we would do well,” Zajonc said. Since the Wolverines had suffered a loss to Torrey Pines early in the season that the players attributed to a lack of teamwork, each of them stressed the importance of working together in this game. “Leading up to CIFs, we started coming together and bonding as a team,” McCulloch said. “We had more team dinners, we finally began to be so close, and then we started winning more.” The strong bond and trust between the team was evident at the end of the game as the players, some of whom had tears in their eyes, scrambled out of the pool for a group hug. “It’s such an honor to be here with this team,” Brisa Nelson (10), a first-year varsity player, said with a huge smile on her face after the game. “These girls mean so much to me. We all work so hard and push each other to be our very best and that’s why it’s so amazing for us to win.”
On March 4, boys volleyball faced Sage Creek High School, one of the top teams in the county. After being down eight points in the first set, middle blocker Adam Chang (12) scored an ace serve, bringing momentum back up for the Wolverines and allowing them to win the set, 27-25. In the third set, Chang blocked one of the Bobcats’ hits to bring Westview to set point, allowing the Wolverines to take the game. With 10 kills and 6 blocks, Chang led the team Brynne Paiva to a 3-1 victory. Written by Alec Felderman and Deepali Yedulapuram
BLACK & GOLD
Jackson Nau (12) is back to playing on the baseball field while recovering from a torn labrum ligament in his shoulder. This has posed some challenges for his arm when throwing. “I’ve cut pitching completely,” Nau said. “I just have to be smarter and do my best to catch everything instead of playing to make a throw.” Despite the difficulties with his throwing, Nau has started the first seven games with a .375 batting average and five RBIs. For the remainder of the season, Nau plans to improve his arm strength through shoulder workouts and throwing more often.
TRACK AND FIELD
VOLLEYBALL, Outsider Hitter
Once a self-conscious athlete, Sayra Owens (10), is now dubbed “Bulldog” by her coach for her strong performance. Owens said she always felt like she wasn’t as fast as the other kids. Yet, with support from her team and coaches, a boost in her self-confidence has encouraged Owens to increase her performance, and earn the co-captain position. “I’m still learning and I’m still self-conscious, but every passing day helps me, and that enables me to support other people and have them feel confident in what they are doing and how they are swimming,” she said.
Before playing lacrosse, Luke Xitco (11) played basketball for various clubs. In order to become more acquainted with the lacrosse, he tried to play the game how he played basketball. He would move the ball around in order to find spaces to shoot when the opportunity presents itself. “I learned the sport through making a lot of mistakes honestly,” Xitco said. “My early coaches and my teammates were really great at helping teach me about the rules." In his first three games this season, Xitco scored three goals and two assists.
As a varsity tri-athlete, Trang Woolridge (10) has dealt with the stress that comes with each of her sports: soccer, cross country, and track and field. As a CIF placer and state competitor for track and field from last year, Woolridge has learned how to persevere through the intensity of the sports. In addition, her coaches hold her to higher expectations due to her experience. “I try to just do my own thing,” Woolridge said. “I stay positive about my race times and placing and I just keep reminding myself that I’ll get better over time.”
Having played volleyball since age 5, Slater Bird (12) uses his knowledge of the game to his advantage. “I know exactly where to put the ball and what to do,” Bird said. In addition to experience, Bird also benefits from his immediate family members playing the sport. “Watching my brother or sister play, really made me better,” Bird said. “Everyone in my family—they helped me out.” All of these factors have contributed to Bird’s success—he secured 15 kills and 5 aces against Carlsbad, February 26.
After being in club gymnastics for eight years, Adrianna Ngo (12) decided to move on to high school gymnastics. After tearing a ligament in her elbow for the second time, Ngo sought a less strenuous, competing environment, while continuing the sport she loves. “I love competing for Westview,” Ngo said. “It’s one of my favorite parts [of gymnastics]. [I like high school] rather than club gymnastics [because it has] more of a team aspect.” Ngo is now a varsity optional gymnast, the highest level in high school, and averages between 8.5-9.25 in all her events.
16 Final Focus
March 15, 2019
The Puzzle of Personality
Personality tests aid in college and career planning, the search for affirmation and self-understanding
For Isabelle Leung (12), the pieces of the puzzle were always laid out. Leung had never thought much of the pieces that lied before her. She didn’t feel that she needed to understand the junctions, to find the correct fits. But after taking the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), Leung, like others, was brought to a greater sense of self-awareness and understanding. Though not backed with a scientific basis, the MBTI and many other personality tests have been taken in mass. According to the Washington Post, since the test was first published in 1962, the MBTI has grown in popularity—more than 50 million people have taken the test, with that number growing by two million a year as of 2018. This test and others are used human resource management and education counseling, being used by more than 10,000 companies and 2,500 colleges in America. Through the development of personality tests, we have sought to cure one of our greatest desires: to be understood.
A Better Understanding
After Leung and her friends took the MBTI specifically, she found that the results gave her greater insight into others, allowing for a greater understanding of her acquaintances. “I thought that it was cool how every friend group is made out of a variety of [personality] types,” Leung said. “It changed my perspective on everyone else.” Leung was able to view those around her through the scopes of their personalities, more clearly outlining their traits and the ways they act. According to Brian R. Little’s book, “Me, Myself, and Us,” these new perspectives offered by tests do hold value to our social interactions. “As you reflect on your own personality and the life you wish to lead, you [need] to explore new ways of seeing and making sense of the other individuals with whom you share your life—your family, friends, and work colleagues,” he said. Little said that this stems from the need to be adaptable in our own lives, which in turn comes from having a better understanding of everyone’s different ways of functioning mentally. But for many like Lily Pham (12), the benefits go beyond just understanding those around us. Pham had always felt creative and idealistically driven—these are just a few traits of her MBTI personality, the Mediator—but the test results allowed her to take a greater notice of these strengths. “[After taking the test], I felt like I understood my dominant traits more,” Pham said. In his article, “What Personality Tests Really Deliver,” Harvard Professor Dr. Louis Menand says that most find the MBTI to be comforting because of its dominantly positive nature. “[The test] is a gentle way of helping people orient themselves in a confusing world,” he said. “It [gives its takers] schemes for identifying the kind of person they are.” Once traits have been identified through a personality test, the use of these results can go in many different directions. From there, the test results inspired Pham to explore underdeveloped sides to herself. She found herself drawing more often, exploring new mediums and emotional content of her artwork. “I [began] diving into the creative side of my personality more than I would’ve [before taking the test] ever since I’ve figured out that it’s one of my major strengths,” she said. Pham’s thought process has also changed as she engaged in her artwork. She found herself embracing
some of her most prominent strengths of creativity and idealism. “I try to let my brain roam around and think of the different possibilities when I’m drawing,” she said. “I think, ‘what can I do with this media?’ or ‘how can I change the feeling of this art piece?’” When Leung focused on using the test for self reflection, she discovered that the greater benefit of taking the MBTI took place in the safe space of therapy. “[During] my therapy session after I found out my personality type, it became easier to describe my weaknesses,” she said. “The test shows your weaknesses, and I can easily [work on] those weaknesses in areas of my life.” For Leung, the test specifically helped her accept her quiet nature. Before taking the test, she felt that this trait was inherently negative, but the test helped her to believe that it was simply a natural behavior, neither good or bad. Menand says that much of the MBTI’s popularity comes from society’s false notion that our behavioral differences can be correct or incorrect. “You can waste a lot of energy and bring on a lot of psychic pain if you think of these differences as incompatibilities that have to be ironed out,” he said. “These are not imperfections to be corrected. They are hardwired dispositions to be recognized and accommodated.” Leung was also able to use the MBTI personality types to more efficiently describe to her therapist who she interacts with, and how. “Sometimes, my therapist would ask me questions about [people in my life] and lately I have been explaining my friends, co-workers, and classmates through the [MBTI] because she understands it as well,” she said. From there, Leung said they could more easily talk about the fundamental behaviors of the people in her life. Little said that although it’s easy to do, there are harmful effects of relying on personality tests to define those around us, as Leung has done. “When we [define] another person, we create the attribute that we then regard as having emanated from the person we are [defining],” he said. “Our inclination to choose particular sets of constructs that we then apply to others can pose problems when they turn out to be inaccurate or simply different from others’ constructs.” To Little, it all comes down to the way we cognitively define people and concepts around us. Though sometimes helpful, it can be dangerous to attempt at defining others through a personality test—we all have different perceptions of others, which don't necessarily align with their own self-perceptions. Each of us is a puzzle of personality, a combination of many pieces that fit together to form an identity.
Making A Plan
Though mainstream personality tests like the MBTI hold value in illuminating some of these puzzle pieces, Little says we must be careful of oversimplifying others, so that we’re able to adapt to interpersonal conflict. But personality testing has had its applications beyond just the MBTI. Many less-marketed tests are used when it comes to career and future planning. For one, Rachel Brownlee (11) garnered a stronger interest in her potential career field through a personality test that focused on career aptitude. Though Brownlee said she felt she already had a basic idea of her career path, she was prompted to take
the detailed, 100 quesetion online test by her college planning advisor. “I've known for a while now that I want to get into film or television production, and I knew that going into the test,” Brownlee said. Despite this strong grip on her interests, Brownlee found that the details given by the test were helpful in discovering particular roles within the broad field of film and television production. “I didn’t really know the difference between [roles] like a director of photography and a director, so the test helped me to figure out what I might want [to do in the future],” she said. Brownlee found the test especially beneficial in its ability to connect her personality traits with a field of interest. By reinforcing Brownlee’s aptitude for and interest in film production, the test ultimately facilitated Brownlee’s greater involvement in film production-related activities. “The test gave me that little push to go out and take specific action for what I wanted [ to do as a career],” Brownlee said. “I’ve looked into different film classes. I've looked at summer film programs away from San Diego, like up at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.” While Brownlee’s passion for film production was reinforced after taking the career aptitude test, Arav Watwani (11) found that his eye for visual design and composition shined through the results of a career-based personality test. Though Watwani has never considered pursuing a career in the arts, he was anything but surprised by the results of the test. “I [practice] photography and graphic design, so [potential careers] like ‘interior designer’ made sense,” he said. Still, Watwani found that the test helped reinforce his strengths of design in other activities, like computer science. “I code lots of websites for organizations, and I get lots of compliments on my art and aesthetics of the website,” he said. For Brownlee, the test allowed her to build her class schedule for her last two years of high school with her interests in mind. “I’ve looked into more classes like Broadcast Journalism and Digital Media Productions and Film Studies,” Brownlee said. “I’m hoping to take more classes that are in that realm.” Ultimately, the test reaffirmed Brownlee’s interest in film and television production, providing her with a sense of identity through her passion. “The results [of the test] made me feel hopeful that there was a career out there for me,” she said. “I thought, ‘Okay, I definitely want to do this. I want to work towards a career that can make me happy.’”
As Little said, the positive sense of identity that stems from personality test results is a common phenomenon. “People readily identify with their personality profiles, whether they are presented in the form of MBTI-like profiles or as scores on more finely differentiated dimensional scales,” Little said. “It becomes part of their identity.” Psychology teacher Laura Cox has witnessed the identity elicited from personality tests. After integrating personality tests
into both her Psychology and AP Psychology classes, Cox said she has found that the accumulation of self-knowledge, as well as knowledge of others, aids students in social development and self-understanding. “In their introductory letter to me, I always ask my students why they take [psychology],” Cox said. “Most of the letters say that they want to know why people act the way they do, why their family or friends act the way they do. They want to understand why they’re personally not studying enough, or why they’re self-sabotaging some of their goals.” Cox finds this natural curiosity to be indulged through personality testing, and from there, the test results can become more applicable to daily life. “You can disagree with the way someone thinks, or what they do, but if you do a brief assessment, it helps you better relate to a teacher, a boss, a professor, or someone who can help you out,” she said. But what Cox has also noticed is that with this desire to be understood, many allow these tests to overor re-define themselves. “The Myers-Briggs does measure our natural inclinations, our strengths, and weaknesses, but that doesn’t limit us,” she said. “It’s a cop-out to say ‘I can’t do this. This is all I am.’ I’ve seen that people limit themselves and think that the test justifies and excuses their behavior. It also allows them to [discredit their own] personal growth.” According to Little, this limiting effect is detrimental to our interaction with the world. “Personality tests can begin a conversation with ourselves and others, but do not come anywhere near being the ‘last word’ of that conversation,” he said. Because the pieces of a puzzle were made to snap together, when they don’t, trying harder accomplishes nothing. Despite these drawbacks, Cox said she ultimately believes in the benefits of personality testing in education. “[These test are] a way for us all to understand each other and boost productivity and morale in the workforce and education,” she said. For Watwani, the most effective use of the personality test results has been to simply acknowledge and possibly integrate these strengths into his involvements. “I didn’t just try to follow the traits given to me by the test,” Watwani said. “I wanted to use them in different ways. I’m happy to say that I can apply those traits into many different things, other than just art itself.” Little says that personality test results can be utilized best when considering a broader definition of one’s personality, as Watwani does. “Your life is more actively shaped by your goals, aspirations, and personal projects—self-defining ventures that provide meaning in your life,” he said. “Looking at personality in this way provides you with a vantage point from which to reflect upon your life and think about your future.” Just as Little said we must do, Watwani was not limited by the personality test, understanding that there is a broader sense to personality that can always be completely quantified. “[The test] taught me that I should try to showcase [my talent for design] more, and apply it everywhere else,” Watwani said. “It showed my liking for the arts and this showcases who I am as a person, not just personality traits. It showed that that’s me, that’s who I am.” Both Menand and Little say that these tests offer benefits, serving as tools for us to navigate the complex worlds of forming an identity. Personality tests are not, and should not be, an instruction manual on how to build our puzzle. Rather, they’re a fresh set of eyes, that can find new junctions. Personality tests hold value to our roles in a complex world, whether they’re giving us some peace of mind or simply a piece of ourselves.
Art by Alice Chen