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J o h n W. N o r t h H i g h S c h o o l


1550 Third St. Riverside, CA, 92507

Friday, January 20, 2012

Volume XXVII Issue

Midwinter brings excitement to North Emily Chen & Selena Howard

Emily Chen / The North Star

Junior prince candidates cheer along with their class who took first place during the class competition. was held on Spectacular! Spectacular! Day for the craziest outfit. Additionally, the midwinter assembly was held on Jan. 13 showcasing the senior king, junior prince, sophomore knight and freshman squire candidates. Junior Elizabeth Martinez said, “The assembly was organized and loud. The candidates were great. They were all

well-dressed and cute.” Couture club hosted the yearly fashion show presenting appropriate attire for the upcoming midwinter dance. For the first time, the fashion show not only featured students but staff members as well. Teachers Roland Fezzey, Christine Schive, Greg Schive and Brenda

Valdez all had the chance to walk the runway garnering major applause from students. The traditional class competition was held under the new respect policy. Due to the implementation of this policy, seniors were disqualified from the competition during the first assembly for disrespecting the freshman class

leaving the juniors with first place. Sophomore Elisa O’Brien said, “I thought it was funny how the seniors placed last because they were so excited. Isn’t that what assemblies are for though? I don’t understand why they lost.” Despite these conflicts, students are still looking forward to the midwinter dance on Jan. 28.

Meeting tells of change Alice Koga

Unified School District (RUSD) campuses. Contrary to popular belief, the number of drug-related incidents on our campus are lower than at other RUSD high schools. The only category of North’s numbers that are higher than its rivals are the number of suspensions in the past few years, most of which result from students skipping Saturday school, having landed there in the first place due to electronics violations. At another of the three meetings, English and Social Studies teachers were introduced to, a website where teachers can check students’ papers for plagiarism. North has adopted the website’s services schoolwide, effective immediately. In a similar vein, the third workshop was aimed at acclimating teachers to using Haiku Learning Management System (Haiku LMS), a website where teachers can post events, assignments and lessons online for students to peruse. In the coming months, the three groups of faculty will rotate through the other two workshops, in order to participate in the workshops’ hands-on activities.


Selena Howard / The North Star

On Jan. 16, the African-American Historical Society partnered up with the Martin Luther King Visionaries to hold the 19th annual Martin Luther King Walk-a-Thon in honor of the civil rights leader and his achievements. Hundreds of community members, including numerous North students and staff members participated in this three mile walk throughout downtown Riverside. In this picture, walkers are warming up in preparation before the start of the walk.

Husky Calendar JANUARY

January 17 - February 3 January 27 January 28

PTSA Meeing @ Rm. 156 Cap and Gown Make-up Day Senior Parents Night Benchmark Testing Window (all subjects) End of First Semester - School not in session Midwinter Ball


January’s staff meeting took an unexpected turn for North’s faculty on Jan. 12 after the usual department meetings held every Thursday after school. The staff was split into three groups, each group participating in a different workshop. In a workshop facilitated by Assistant Principal Richard Davis, presentations were made by Dean of Discipline Richard Hardy, English teacher and Multicultural Council (MCC) adviser Carolina Tamayo and Officer Brian Haskell of the Riverside Police Department and North’s School Resource Officer. The presentations in this group were connected to discipline on campus as well as student involvement. Tamayo shared with this group the goals and projects brainstormed by student leaders during the North High School Student Engagement hosted by MCC in early November 2011. Hardy shared with the group statistics about North’s suspensions, expulsions and other disciplinary actions compared to other schools in the district. Similarly, Haskell shared his experience working on various Riverside




January 19

News in Brief Copper Wire Theft


As the new year began, the annual midwinter dance once again became a favorite topic among Huskies. To kick off the season, the United Student League (USL) held Winterfest Week which began on Jan. 9 and ended on Jan. 13. This year’s midwinter theme is L’amour Fou, or Crazy Love, a Parisian dedication to love. Appropriately, Winterfest spirit days connected to this Moulin Rouge inspired theme. The first day of Winterfest week was Disguise Your Love Day. Students were encouraged to “disguise” their love by drawing and wearing Parisian mustaches. Tuesday was Love that Crazy Hair Day which gave students the chance to show off their wildest hairdos followed by Parisian Stripe Wednesday during which Huskies wore striped clothing to represent the popular French fashion style. Thursday was Spectacular! Spectacular! Day. Students came to school in their most weird and mismatched outfits to show their enthusiasm for Midwinter. The week concluded with In the Spirit of Love Friday. Students showed their love for North by wearing blue and gold or North attire at the basketball game against across town rivals King High School. Along with the themed spirit days, USL also held lunch time activities such as the Muscle Obstacle Course, Hair Catcher and Red Light, Green Light throughout the week. A contest

Voice of the Huskies

February 1 - March 30 February 1 February 2 February 3 February 7 - 8 February 7 February 8 February 9 February 10 February 11 February 14 February 16 February 17 February 20

California Physical Fitness Test (Grade 9) First Semester Report Cards Mailed House of Advisory @ Rm. 323 Winter Assembly CAHSEE - ELA and Math (Grade 11 and 12) ICC Meeting @ Rm. 156 Our Proud Huskies Luncheon ELAC @ Library Registration Deadline for March SAT Benchmark Testing Scan Due ACT Valentine’s Day PTSA @ Rm. 156 Lincoln’s Day - School not in session President’s Day - School not in session

January 24 January 25 January 26




Read about Jerry Brown’s tax hikes and the possible effects on education and welfare. Learn about the consequences of using the Stand Your Ground Policy.

Get through your finals with our finals survival guide. Don’t forget to check your horoscope for this month!

Follow up on how girls basketball did in their game against Martin Luther King High School and meet the new coaches for winter sports.




Period 1 @ 8 a.m. - 10:05 a.m. Passing @ 10:05 a.m. - 10: 15 a.m. Period 4 @ 10:15 a.m. - 12:20 a.m. Period 2 @ 8 a.m. - 10:05 a.m. Passing @ 10:05 a.m. - 10: 15 a.m. Period 5 @ 10:15 a.m. - 12:20 a.m. Period 6 @ 10:15 a.m. - 12:20 a.m. Passing @ 10:05 a.m. - 10: 15 a.m. Period 3 @ 10:15 a.m. - 12:20 a.m.

On Jan. 1, while the staff and students were celebrating the new year, North’s maintenance department informed Principal Trevor Painton of a copper wire theft on campus. This theft was certainly an act of consequence as copper wires are crucial in powering the portables. Without them, classrooms would have no electricity available. The thieves accessed copper wiring through the backs of portable boxes while taking advantage of the empty campus. Wire was stolen from two portables in the 200 classrooms, two in the 300s and the majority of the 800s. As the thieves were cutting the copper wires, an alarm wire connected to the district was damaged as well. It was then that the district discovered that the thefts had occurred. That same day the robbery was detected, the district sent electricians to North to assess the extent of the damage. “The thieves did more damage than stealing the copper wire. They [actually] did not get a lot of copper wire but [we had] to pay electricians to come in on their day off to do repairs so there was that [extra] cost,” said Painton. Luckily, the maintenance staff and district electricians were able to fix the situation before students returned. The robbers were caught on footage by campus cameras but because the crime was committed during night hours, there was not a clear image of who they were so they still remain unidentified.

National Math Competition First established in 1950, the American Math Competition (AMC) is one of the most challenging series of competitions involving high school students from all over America. This year, the University of California, Riverside (UCR) is sponsoring an AMC preparation program at North. This program is administered by students from UCR along with North math teachers Sara Savage and Bill Cooper. Students have the chance to solve higher level math and reasoning questions. “These problems have proved challenging even for the teachers. They allow students to collaborate and experience new types of problem solving,” said Savage.

IB Parent Night As the new year begins, the time to introduce the International Baccalaureate (IB) program to eighth grade students in the district once more arrives. The annual IB Parent Information Night was held on Jan. 11 and 12 in the theater. On both evenings, IB Coordinator Christine Schive and Principal Trevor Painton gave presentations in an attempt to familiarize potential candidates with the structure and commitments of the program. Each night opened with a speech by Painton introducing the program followed by Schive’s powerpoint on the benefits of IB. Perhaps the most convincing argument in joining the IB program came from current IB students. Several senior IB students gave speeches that described how the program has changed their overall high school experiences. Topics discussed included their reasoning behind their decisions to join IB, why it has been a positive experience in their lives and their future plans for college and beyond. Schive invited a variety of seniors who were involved in numerous different activities throughout campus as a way to demonstrate the opportunities still available to students despite their rigorous schedules.

High Low High Low 63 F 40 F 68 F 40 F Saturday Sunday SAT I and SAT II Dates:

Marlyn Sanchez / The North Star



March 10

February 10





A cause Jerry Brown’s tax hikes will target education if not passed without a home Cesar Rivas



This column rotates among The North Star’s opinion staff to give a platform for our views.

Obviously we live in an imperfect world. Here is a good example: The life of a homeless person is no cakewalk. There is a stigma that surrounds homeless people. Cities enact laws to push them out. Many of us refuse to help, claiming that the homeless themselves are the cause of their situations because they’re drug addicts or lunatics. Maybe that’s true in some cases. Maybe their situation results from stupidity and errors in judgement but homelessness seems a disproportionate punishment for a mistake. And what of the high number of homeless veterans and people turned out of hospitals and rehabilitation? Perhaps worst of all and certainly least blameworthy, what of young people out on the streets? Innocent youth have little means of preventing homelessness. As people ages 12 to 17 (the age range of North’s student body) are at a higher risk of homelessness than adults, it should matter to us. Knowing that adolescents younger than me endure far more difficult lives is a chilling reality. The causes of homelessness among youth range from financial instability to abuse at the hands of a family member. A large number of teens are disowned because of a pregnancy. Similarly LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) youth become “strays” having been kicked out by disapproving families or running away from an intolerable environment. As it stands, 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBT. Although unaccompanied youth account for one percent of the homeless population, one thing is certain: This same one percent is just like us in that they need a home and a family. For homeless students, school is often the only source of stability they have in their lives. The positive role of a parent has obviously lost its touch, as the amount of homeless children has doubled in the past decade. There should be no children living on the streets, especially in the light of 21st century advances. By now, here in the United States, we should be able to feed and clothe all of our children, something that is a prerequisite to growing up healthy. Attending school is very difficult without a guardian, transportation or appropriate records. Nearly 75 percent of homeless children do not attend school. It is not an overstatement to say that homeless youth are engaged in a battle for survival. Foster homes and residential placements are often forced to push out “adults” once they are 18 in order to make room for others. They are left on the streets to take care of themselves. There aren’t many avenues where youth can earn money and consequently, they often resort to things like selling their bodies for food, clothes and other basic necessities that would otherwise not be met. True, there are larger crises oceans away but Americans cannot sweep the doorsteps of other countries when ours needs attention as well, especially in a predicament where our future is in jeopardy. When we help other countries we aim to be a model nation but when America cannot provide adequate schooling or even a home for every child, we prove just the opposite. If you aren’t moved by human suffering, consider what other countries will think of us. If the homeless are increasing by the decade, subsequent generations are in trouble as well. We are no help when we turn away. Simply offering loose coins doesn’t make a difference — it never has. I recall past Christmases when restaurants offered dinner to the homeless. Call me a cynic but I’ve always wondered about the rest of the year. There’s no Christmas miracle all year round. I’ve heard stories of homeless students who attended North High School, living out of their cars. If we believe in equality, aren’t these students entitled to a home just as much as we are? As students and as people in general, we need to do better.

Recently Governor Jerry Brown released a new budget plan as part of his promise to close California’s deficits. This plan calls to raise taxes which give nearly $5 billion back to California’s education system. However there’s a catch. If these plans are not passed in November, the governor proposes cuts from education, welfare, healthcare and other public services to help balance the state’s budget. These cuts to education would include $200 million each from the University of California and California State University systems, as well as cuts to K-12 schools that would be the equivalent of removing three weeks from the school year. These seem like excellent reasons to pass Brown’s new taxes, many of which would tax the rich. However these new taxes would only account for

half of the needed funds Brown wishes to give back. The other half comes from social services like welfare, the courts and firefighters. Whether the plan is passed or not, other social services are on the chopping block. Certainly education more than deserves financial relief but citizens should wonder at what cost do we give back to the obvious social good of public education? Siblings shouldn’t fight each other for the attention of a parent, neither should education have to fight welfare and emergency services. However wishing certainly won’t make it so and there are difficult decisions to be made. It is true that we live in hard times and that the government has to prioritize when resources are scarce but using what has been deemed “scare tactics” by Brown’s political opponents is not the way to go about it. Ideally the governor would not have to threaten such programs in order to raise taxes to give back funds to education. This whole issue could be avoided if Repub-

licans allow the rich to be taxed. California is in the bottom five states when it comes to per student spending. We need to do better but risky tactics such as threatening welfare in order to strong-arm the legislature is not the best way to handle the problem. Nor do public education’s budgeting woes, at both primary and higher levels, amount to a full-blown crisis. When it comes to hard choices, public education would not disappear overnight if a few weeks had to be eliminated from the school year, nor would California’s two university systems. This budget plan Brown has proposed is not good for what the state needs at the moment — more so because of the risks involved if it does not get passed. If the tax hikes are passed, money will still be taken away from other social services, though admittedly less. Passing the plan is the lesser of two evils. Though the cause for funding for

education needs to make itself heard, other social services need attention as well. It is in fact reasonable for Brown to raise taxes in order to prevent taking a $400 million cut from California’s public universities. What is unreasonable are the alternatives. Every other part of this plan would prove to be disastrous for many other public services. The welfare cut would help close the deficits in part by eliminating grants for parents who don’t meet federal work requirements after 24 months, compared with 48 months now. The governor also called for a $71 family reduction, from $463 to $392, in average monthly grants to children whose parents are no longer eligible for the Welfare-to-Work Program. It’s also a bad idea to make cuts to healthcare when the United States is far behind other countries that have socialized medicine, making healthcare for the general public almost a non-issue. If this happens, then a lot of people will not be able to get special medical atten-

The Internet fights back against Congress’ bills Alice Koga OPINION EDITOR Two days ago, the English language Wikipedia had a worldwide blackout for 24 hours to protest the anti-piracy bills going through the US Congress. The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 (PROTECT IP Act or PIPA) are both aimed at protecting the copyrights of various artists such as musicians and movie makers. This all sounds well and good but the laws inadvertently hurt and censor innocent websites or at least innocent users. This has raised an uproar in the online community and has once again put the US in the international eye. In solidarity with Wikipedia, Google has covered its logo with a black censor bar and urges people to sign a petition to

keep Congress from passing the bill. Other opponents include groups like Facebook, Yahoo!, reddit and Human Rights Watch. Google says that SOPA and PIPA would cause difficulties for many US Internet companies that would have to constantly monitor everything that users link or upload. Another offputting aspect of these bills would be that the US would have to use methods similar to China’s to censor its Internet users. Association with autocratic or totalitarian regimes is not likely to make the US look good at home and on the international stage. Another good point against the bills would be the sheer difficulty of tracking down the sites that do specifically pirate copyrighted material. If enacted, the bill would cause legitimate companies to suffer. In simply weighing the pros and cons, both bills clearly need some revision. Being unable to catch the bad guys while hampering your own companies

is probably the definition of bad legislation. Like much of our national legislation, SOPA is well-intentioned in that it wishes to protect creators’ intellectual property. However like other legislative efforts it is not without its overwhelming flaws such as creating a mess for legitimate companies like Google and nonprofits like Wikipedia. While Wikipedia remains unfit to be a rigorous scholarly source, the fact remains that much of its content actu-

ally comes from experts in various academic fields. For general and useful information on all kinds of topics and for satisfying curiosity, this experiment of free information has been wildly successful. To enact measures that would shut down a benevolent, information-giving organization is a waste of taxpayers’ money and resources. On Jan. 24 Congress will vote on the two bills. Online piracy and intellectual theft are real issues but this is certainly not the way to go about addressing them.

Many states have a “Stand Your Ground” law that makes it legal to use deadly force against illegal intruders in the home. The law removes the duty to retreat or the duty to remove oneself from the situation when possible. The issue is when self-defense becomes a gray area and it becomes even more unclear when involving minors. In Florida, Jorge Saavedra stabbed and killed a bully who had been harassing him. In a controversial ruling, Saavedra is to go free. The pro side agrees with this justification while the con side believes that this policy should at least be restricted in cases like these.

PRO not one where a minor could avoid imprisonment. There are few effective forms of stopping bullies. Personal action is the best method to putting an end to this nightmare. The tables would have been turned eventually and Nuno would have been on trial for Saavedra’s death. You cannot paint an innocent face on something as wrong as bullying. Some suggest that the roles were switched once Saavedra pulled his knife out on Nuno. This isn’t a matter of pride: He wanted an end to the oppression, not to end Nuno’s life. Does this count for anything? Saavedra’s actions were clearly not a premeditated crime. In wanting to preserve your own life it is easy to panic and go too far, especially for someone as young as 14. The Stand Your Ground policy gives bullies who physically hurt others pause and should be a clear message to bullies that what they are doing has real consequences that are truly life and death.

The North Star JOHN W. NORTH HIGH SCHOOL 2011-2012

When is it acceptable to defend yourself against bullies? Under what law?

The Stand Your Ground Policy only enforces the universal right to self-defense. Jorge Saavedra exercised just this right. Dylan Nuno, age 16, followed Saavedra off a bus and punched him in the back of the head thus, instigating a fight. The judge presiding over the second-degree murder case argued that, “[Saavedra] had more than enough reason to believe he was in danger of death or great bodily harm.” In a question of legality, Saavedra is definitely in the right. Certainly the death of a minor, even a bully, is unfortunate but to call for Saavedra to be punished when he was only defending himself is equally unfortunate. Saavedra got off of the bus prior to his stop to avoid confrontation but Nuno pursued the younger boy. There was no telling if Nuno would have murdered Saavedra if he failed to fight back in self defense. Then the authorities would have another murder case on their hands and

tion they need. People rely on programs like Medi-Cal, the state’s healthcare program for the poor, to pay for medicines that otherwise would be unaffordable. If for no other reason, his proposal should be passed as the better solution to a difficult dilemma. Either way, welfare is in for a difficult fiscal year. It just gets worse if the plan is rejected by the Democratic majority of the state legislature, who are hesitant to approve it without estimates that would come in May of 2012. However there is some good news: Even without taxes, schools are owed about $2.4 billion more this year because of growth in state revenue and past promises made by state leaders. Revenue is increasing as well so there will hopefully be more money to help education when people pay their income taxes. Whatever happens, there will be difficulties — we can only hope for some relief in light of new taxes and revenue for all the public services that need it.

CON Saavedra was originally charged in juvenile court with manslaughter. But the judge ruled that according to the Stand Your Ground policy, Saavedra was in the right because it was not a premeditated murder. This law states that, “A person ... who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary ... to prevent death or great bodily harm ... to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.” Generally this law is used when people kill or attack an illegal intruder in their home. In this case of the death of a bully at the hands of his victim, it is easy to feel that Nuno had what was coming to him. However is death really an apt punishment for being a bully? While some believe that the psychological and physical suffering Saavedra had at the hands of Nuno, in addition to the awareness of being the cause of it, should be enough punishment for

Nuno’s death, it seems more likely that the death of many victims’ bullies would be more of a reward than a punishment as the victim will then not have to worry about the suffering they would have to face at the hands of their tormentor. Thorny issues like these beg the question of whether it is better to be a victim than a murderer. There is the famous saying that states, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” It is almost never acceptable to respond to violence with violence because it makes you as guilty as the person who is threatening you. Still, in cases like these and all over the United States, it is likely that there are times when true murderers go free. There are also certainly cases of self-defense where calling up this law is justified but in cases like these, our states’ justice systems need a better way to deal with the deaths and crimes associated with bullying. Compiled by opinion staff

The North Star is the recipient of the Riverside Inspirational Youth of the Month award for October 2009, the NSPA All-American Award 2002, the NSPA Best of Show Award First Place 1998, Third Place 2006, Fourth Place 2010, Fifth Place 2004, Tenth Place 2007, the NSPA Special Edition Best of Show Eighth Place 2002, the Los Angles Times High School Journalism Awards Third Place Award 2002, International First Place Quill and Scroll award 1996, 2002, 2004, 2007, The Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Medalist 2009, Silver Crown 2003, 2010 , the Overal Design Second Place, the JEANC Multicultural Journalism Award 1995, the American Scholastic Press Association First Place with Special Merit 1993, 1996, First Place award 1995, 1998, the Inland JEA First Place Sweepstakes 1998, Second Place Sweepstakes 1990, 1996. The North Star is a nonprofit publication created by the Journalism students of John Wesley North High School, 1550 Third Street, Riverside, California, 92507. The telephone number is (951) 788-7311, x 63117. Our website is The North Star is printed by Gardena Valley News Web Offset Printing Press and has a circulation of 2500. Letters to the editors are welcome and encouraged. Letters should be accompanied by a full name and signature. All letters may be edited for clarity and brevity. Please direct all responses to room 322. Advertisements, commentaries or political cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the paper, the school, the writers or cartoonists. Unsigned editorials are the views of a simple majority of the editors.

EDITORS Editors-in-Chief

Tyler Davis Falon Opsahl

Managing Editor

Kaitlyn Lozano

Business Editor

Kaitlyn Lozano

News Editor

Emily Chen

Opinion Editor

Alice Koga

Features Editor

Amanda Valdez

Centerspread Editors A&E Editor

Kara Billinger Kudo Sung

Dominique De La Rosa

Sports Editor

Usman Siddiqui

Backpage Editor

Caitlin Redak


Kathy Rossi

Californians want cannabis revisited on the November ballot Initiatives to amend the status of medical marijuana are on the November ballots for both Colorado and Oregon. California needs at least half a million signatures to get a similar initiative on the November ballot.

STAFF Alicia Alvarado, Anum Arshad, Claudia Barrientos, Maxene Denholtz, Salam Elchami, Tiffany Fors, Roberto Gutierrez, Selena Howard, Serena Howard, Jose Jimenez, Gabriela Kreszchuk, Arthur Love, Kazi Mahmud, Gilberto Melendez, Alissa Murphy, Noah Myers-Gilpin, Zahab Qazi, Sabrina Quillen, Cesar Rivas, Emily Roose, Marlyn Sanchez, Nancy Valdovinos.

CORRECTIONS There are no corrections.






Husky thoughts on winter formal

With this year’s midwinter coming up, we asked 420 randomly selected students how they felt about the dance and the theme, “L’amour Fou,” a Parisian dedication to love.

What’s your favorite part of midwinter?

Survival Guide Co mp le te p ro te ctio n f ro m the liv ing dre ad Compiled by features staff

Next week is finals week and we all know how that goes. This weekend you’re probably planning on sitting at your desk and studying night and day because this is your last chance to improve your grades. We get it, it happens to the best of us. Take a look at these tips that we’ve compiled for you and learn some things that could help you be successful over the next few days.



Hanging out with friends


Getting ready


The dinner before


Dancing, of course!

Do you like this Going witha date year’s theme? or with friends?

47% No

D a te






By: Telepath Emily Chen & the Great Seer Amanda Valdez Aries March 21-April 19 Your smile is so beautiful it radiates like the sun. Hey, we’re not kidding. You might want to cut down on that whitening tooth paste or something because you’re blinding us. Taurus April 20-May 20 If you don’t straighten up your act, your parents will hide your shoes. You’ll have to dig through your downstairs closet just to find a pair of sandals that are two sizes too big. Falon Opsahl / The North Star

1. Snack If you’re the type who crams don’t leave snacking out of your study plans. Stick to the top 10 stress soothers: blueberries, almonds, spinach, tuna, oranges, milk, brown rice, avocados, sweet potatoes and bananas. Phew! A mouthful but they’ll keep you from descending into madness. 2. Chew your way to the top When you are stressed out about a test it makes it harder to concentrate. So if you’re allowed, chewing gum helps to calm the nerves because according to a scientific study it reduces stress and anxiety. 3. Take a second and review Once you get your test look it over and answer all the questions you know instead of wasting time on questions you have to think about. That way you can spend more time on the harder questions.

4. Don’t fall asleep while studying No one really wants to do homework or study for a test when they could be watching the latest episode of Pretty Little Liars or playing Modern Warfare 3. While you’re forcing yourself to work, be sure you’re not in a place where you will knock out and wake up with your pencil stuck to your face. Avoid your bed at all costs no matter how warm and comfy it is. 5. Be creative Reading your textbook over and over is sleep inducing and mind numbing. Use productive methods to study such as highlighting, underlining, creating acronyms or making flashcards. You can also transform body language into active learning. Make up a dance or a story to go with the material you’re studying.

6. It’s not a jam session When studying for a test listening to either classical or instrumental music is better than listening to music with lyrics because it allows your brain to focus on the material better. 7. Turn off your phone No doubt cellular devices are one of the heaviest distractions. Press the “off” button for a few hours while you’re studying to keep your focus on the material. If every sentence you read out of the textbook is followed by a text, the only thing you’ll remember by the end of studying is buzz or bing. 8. Study in chunks Cramming can turn eve n the most levelheaded person into a wreck. Studying in 30 to 60 minute chunks doesn’t only help the material sink in better but it also gives you a break to walk your dog or check your Facebook for the 16th time.

9. Actually study This may sound like a given but believe it or not some people don’t study for finals at all. They just walk right in and take them without any preparation whatsoever. Maybe that worked back in the third grade but that just isn’t going to cut it nowadays. If you want to do well you’ll have to study. It’ll help you avoid a lot of stress too. 10. Be confident If you’ve packed enough knowledge into your brain before finals then don’t forget to breathe. Visualize your success because nothing or no one can keep you from excelling. 11. The most important thing Make sure you put your name on your test. If you put all of your effort into it, you probably want credit for it.

Minimum wage memoir:

NS: How do you think having a job will help you in the future? JA: Having a job has taught me how to be more frugal with my money in a way that my parents’ money never could. I buy all my own clothes and gifts for my friends with my own money. It’s a great feeling. NS: What’s your favorite part? JA: I try and keep the lessons as interesting as I can but I try to make sure that my students learn the correct way of playing [so that they] can become great pianists.

NS: What’s the most challenging part of your job? JA: The hardest part about teaching is that it’s sometimes hard to be patient. A student doesn’t always learn quickly and different students learn at different speeds. The best thing to do is to always be supportive and urge them to always practice, practice, practice. NS: How long have you been working? JA: I have been teaching since the summer after my sophomore year, on and off. NS: How much do you make? JA: I make $12 every half hour during school and $25 for a full hour during the summer. NS: What does your job require? JA: A lot of patience.

NS: Do you like doing this? Why? JA: I love my job because I love music, I love piano and I love teaching others how to play music.

Leo July 23-Aug. 22 Did you know cauliflower is actually a bunch of flower buds packed together very tightly? Take our advice and specify what kind of flowers you would like for Valentine’s day or you may be surprised with a bouquet of vegetables rather than beautiful roses. Virgo Aug. 23-Sept. 22 In your past life, you were a deprived monkey. That’s why you always have those weird urges to eat bananas every day. Libra Sept. 23-Oct. 23 You can’t tie your shoes without doing the bunny ears. It’s okay. There’s an excellent episode of Spongebob Squarepants that we highly recommend you watch. We think it will help you. Scorpio Oct. 24-Nov. 21 Never judge a book by its cover. That kid who sits next to you who you think wears the same shirt every day actually has about 15 of them. It’s his favorite shirt. It’s not his fault it looks like he never showers. Give him a break.

Capricorn Dec. 22-Jan. 19 In another life you were a caveman and you won your true love’s heart when you created fire. You smooth talker, you said your love made sparks fly. Now what happened to all your moves?

NS: How long do you plan to continue with this job? JA: By being a good teacher and actually [teaching] my students how to play their favorite songs I hope they will come back for more lessons and become better musicians … We’ll see what the future has in store. NS: How did you get the job? JA: For my summer students I was hired through a church my dad was doing a job for. They said they wanted to learn piano and [asked] me to teach them. I was hired by North students via concert choir ... Mrs. Flagg referred me.

Cancer June 22-July 22 Lose the ’stache because you have a few pieces of cookie stuck in it. What are those? Animal crackers? Unless you’re trying to date the Cookie Monster you need to reconsider that thing.

Sagittarius Nov. 22-Dec. 21 You’re attractive and we like you. In fact, we’ve been following you for the past couple of months hoping you’ll read our predictions and fall in love with us too. But you don’t and that makes us feel worthless. Thanks a lot for breaking our hearts and good luck knowing the future without us.

Not many people can say they love their jobs but to find a teenager who loves his j o b i s e v e n r a r e r. S e n i o r J o s h u a A r a g o n u s e s h i s p a s s i o n t o m a k e s o m e q u i c k c a s h . The North Star: What is your part time job? Joshua Aragon: During the school year I teach two students here at North how to play the piano but over the summer I teach some children through family and friends.

Gemini May 21-June 21 The next time you’re going to buy a new jacket, make sure you check the pockets. There’s a chance you’ll find a venomous snake inside that could violently attack you.

Aquarius Jan. 20-Feb. 18 Happy birthday! We saw that it’s coming up so we’re taking the opportunity to tell you right now don’t be bummed out about being another year older. You don’t look a day over 25! We’re not sure what that means but we hear it on TV all the time. Pisces Feb. 19-March 20 Usually our crystal ball sounds a little nuts but this time it told us that you need to follow your heart. We thought that was boring so we shook it a couple of times just to be sure. Sadly, that weird beating organ in your chest wants something.

Amanda Valdez / The North Star

These may sound a little far-fetched sometimes but didn’t anyone ever tell you to expect the unexpected? These fortunes may or may not happen and that’s totally up to fate. We are not liable for anything.




Just some bucket thoughts...

“I have always wanted to skateboard on water [or even just] to be able to walk on water. It sounds like fun. I want to go bungee jumping [and] wrestle with an alligator too.” — Freshman Samuel ODell


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“I am sort of a daredevil so maybe I'd like to go bungee jumping and explore the world. I'd like to settle down and have a family: I don't want to die alone.” — Sophomore Alexandra Woods-Foreman

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“One thing I'd like to do before I die is...go to Disney Animation, [as] that's where I want to work. I [also] want to own a hairless cat because they are always thought to be ugly and I think they are misunderstood.” — Junior Hannah Layfield


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“I want to produce all genres of music, perform at an event in front of thousands of people and have five kids. That’s what I have [for my bucket list].” — Senior Christian Busto





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“I t’s kind o f like ... in the movie Aladdin”


One Acts


When you think about Egypt the first things that usually come to mind are lots of sand, people riding camels and giant pyramids. However, sophomore Hussam Mohammad tells from firsthand experience that Egypt is much more than that. His family comes from Cairo, the capital of Egypt. Egypt is found at the northeast corner of Africa on the Mediterranean Sea, bordered on the west by Libya and on the south by the Sudan. It is nearly one and a half times the size of Texas. “When I am there I usually go sightseeing [since there’s a lot to see] and basically just visit family,” said Mohammad. Cairo itself is much like a typical city since it’s very modernized with large buildings. Yet other, more ancient buildings are also quite prevalent in Cairo due to the influence of Egypt’s unique culture shaped by its long history. “It’s kind of like how it [appears] in the movie Aladdin [as far as the style],” explained Mohammad. “You don’t normally see people riding camels and there is sand but not a lot.” Egypt is probably most famous for its pyramids which are known as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. “The pyramids are a big deal [of course] but I haven’t seen them yet,” Mohammad said. An interesting thing that Mohammad noted on the subject of community life was weddings. “Whenever I go to Cairo there’s usually a wedding. Weddings are [immense] in Egypt. I’ve never heard of someone [in Cairo] having a small wedding. [It’s not very common] since everyone gets invited,” said Mohammad. Religion is another major aspect in the daily lives of Egyptians. “You’ll see a mosque pretty much everywhere,” said Mohammad. In short, it is part of the everyday scenery. When asked about certain things like television and music Mohammad explained that “television over there is mainly focused on news or dramas like Egyptian soap operas. My mom once spent the whole day just watching soap operas.” As far as music they have their own types of music like Arabic pop. “Their music is a lot like music here with an upbeat sound where they talk about relationships and [things of that sort],” explained Mohammad. Kids Mohammad’s age have to worry mainly about school and grades, as education is a very important aspect of Egyptian life. “It’s uncommon for kids not to go to college [in Egypt],” said Mohammad. Children typically live with their parents until they get married and they usually don’t establish the same sort of independence seen in America until that time. In Cairo the Cairo Opera house is another one of Egypt’s world famous attractions. The Cairo Opera House is the city’s main stage for drama, dance, film and music. Different kinds of festivals and important events are also held every year in Cairo. Cairo is also the place of important cultural festivals relating to music, films and theater. The International Film Festival in Cairo is the most prominent cultural event in Egypt. Today this festival is recognized globally and attended by many prominent figures. Egypt’s International Photography Festival held every year in January is another important Cairo event. A third event, The Oriental Dance Festival, is a colorful festival that many people in Egypt attend. Other important events in Cairo are the Arabian Music Festival and the Cairo International Book Fair. There is no other country quite like Egypt in terms of its culture and people. If you ever go to Egypt, Mohammad believes that it is fairly easy to stand out. “There are all kinds of people in Egypt but it depends on how you act that people can tell if you’re Egyptian ... I don’t know how to explain it but people just know,” Mohammad said. As Mohammad would argue, Egypt is not quite the way most people perceive it to be.

Claudia Barrientos / The North Star

Senior Curtis Hatter and junior Danielle McDonald-Rogers performing in North’s One Acts on Jan. 7.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 20, 2012 Claudia Barrientos STAFF WRITER North’s Harlequins recently took it upon themselves to explore one of the world’s most complicated aspects of life, relationships. On Jan. 5-7 the Harlequins presented “Relationships: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.” The show included a series of eight comedic student directed scenes. These eight scenes were first performed on opening night, Jan. 5 at 3:00 p.m., and again on Jan. 6 at 4:30 p.m. and on Jan. 7 at 7:30 p.m. The play started with a single table and two chairs with lights just spotlighted on center stage. The stage props were fairly simple but were all that was needed. The simple tables and benches were enough to draw the crowd in. The play picked up quickly. The second play “The Best Daddy” was about the birthday of a little girl, played by junior Amara Channer, and the birthday gift from her father, played by senior Alexander Othon. This scene included a great deal of humorous irony. This silly scene set in motion the amusing mood of the whole play. The fourth presentation “Check Please,” directed by seniors

Amanda Egbu and Sierra Williams, focused on the crazy possibilities that come with blind dating. Junior Jayse Kulesa and senior Abigail Villeneuve played different characters who went through a series of ridiculous blind dates. This scene was one of the longest of the nights and had the most relatable plot line. The second half of the program contained more mature content and language. The scene “Small World” was about three different couples who coincidently are each other’s exes. As one character revealed the problems their ex had, the ex would continue it in their own perspective emphasizing what a small world it really is. This scene started out a bit confusing but soon turned into one of the cleverest of the evening. The combination of talented actors, writers and directors truly made this presentation excellent. The night was full of surprising scenes that pleased the audience and showed different perspectives on relationships. The Harlequins successfully covered numerous crazy possibilities that allowed the event to be enjoyable for all, including those who might have experienced some of those scenes in real life.





Girls basketball defeats cross-town rival Wolves Emily Roose

Sports in Brief

STAFF WRITER Last Friday the lady Huskies took the court to show Riverside who is on top when it comes to basketball. After a devastating loss to the Santiago Sharks on Wednesday by a mere four points, the girls were motivated to bounce back and prove that they are the top team in Riverside. The home games always bring in a big crowd especially when North is playing one of our Riverside rivals. As the boys game ended with a double-digit victory for the Huskies, the girls game was sure to be a good one. With a new coaching staff made up of head coach Leonard DeCoud and assistant coach North alumnus Desmond Granger the team is well equipped to win it all. This year’s captains are seniors Akilah Martin and Brittany Crain who have both already made a huge impact on the team by earning full ride scholarships to the University of California, Riverside (UCR). Crain said, “Teamwork is what wins games. When we communicate and unite as one we are successful and that’s what won us that game.” With the news of the new coach, the team has drawn in many transfers from all around such as juniors Simone DeCoud from King and Kamille Diaz from Indio. These girls knew they could change North’s previous season records considering they play on a successful travel ball team together. This new and improved team had no trouble beating our cross-town rivals, the Wolves. However at the end of the first half the Huskies were down by three. Things then turned around and the girls

Almaguer and Mendoza

Marlyn Sanchez / The North Star

Forward Brittany Crain dribbles as she reads the defense and sets the Huskies up in an offensive play. came back out ready to win it. Throughout the game the girls were all on fire and with Martin scoring seven of her 10 three pointers, she tied with her co-captain, Crain, for a total of 21 points each. “Brittany and I are always trying to outscore each other but it really isn’t a big deal [to us] as long as the team wins,” said Martin. Junior Priscilla Brooks had the most rebounds to ensure that win for the Huskies.

This team is striving to be the best and this victory puts them one step closer to reaching their goals. “We’ve set our goals high and we’re working as a team to achieve them,” said senior Alley Wholley about the season so far. Junior Kamille Diaz has definitely left her mark on North with her amazing shot from the three point line. “Well the first half we weren’t playing very well but then our coach gave us a very inspiring speech at halftime and

we came back out with a new attitude ready to win it,” she said after Friday’s game in which she scored six points to aid the Huskies to a victory. The younger DeCoud has made an impact as well. She has shown all of North how well she can read a play and let everyone know just how fast and agile she is when on the court. She excites the crowd whenever she touches the ball with a crossover or a threepointer. The final score was a blow out of

76-55 that left all the girls in a great mood and brought their confidence back up after the loss to Santiago. Now the team is practicing hard for their next rematch with Santiago where they plan to gain back the respect that they know they truly deserve. With their new state ranking of 16 and being nationally ranked number 72, these girls have made a tremendous change to the program and the seniors will be leaving a legacy to be followed next year.

Wolves too much for girls soccer in Big VIII league game Emily Roose STAFF WRITER

Usman Siddiqui / The North Star

Coach Mario Mendoza demonstrates an exercise with senior Amia Palmer.

Last Friday, the girls soccer team took on the cross-town rival Martin Luther King Wolves. The Wolves have always been a very strong opponent when it comes to girls soccer especially after they won the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) championship two years ago. As the girls from King were coming off a very hard week, losing to their rival Riverside Polytechnic Bears as well as to the girls from Roosevelt High School. They had a lot of anger to take out and unfortunately, it fell on the Huskies. Although the girls came out ready to play, King was much more prepared than they imagined. While the Huskies held off the Wolves for a good 20 minutes, eventually they broke through the Huskies’ tremendous line of defense and got a rocketing shot off which ended up just out of goalkeeper Jenni Dooley’s reach and into the back of the net. Once the first goal had been made, King had a sudden urge for more. As the first half progressed, King kept the shots and breakaways coming. Although Dooley had many heroic saves, she couldn’t get all of them. By the end

of the first half the score was 0-3. As King came back out after half time, they had an all new line up. Their last defender was now their center forward. The Huskies came out in the second half with a new mindset. Right off the bat they were on their half of the field and even had a few shots on target. The girls were able to rattle King’s coach and he immediately put his starters back in and moved his players to their normal positions. This scare was enough to give the Huskies a fighting chance to hold the Wolves to just one more goal in the game. However, once again, King wore down the girls’ defense with ball after ball being lobbed over the top. “As hard as we tried and as physical as we played, the King girls have always just been bigger than us and have always had a very aggressive offense. I’m just proud to say we held them off for so long,” center defender Haly Mount said. As the game came to a close, the Wolves had the victory in the bag with a win of 5-0. Although North put out their best effort, they still have yet to defeat King in soccer. The girls are still full of pride in their school. They held their heads high as they congratulated King on their victory and wished them luck with the rest of their season.

New coaches kick off their seasons with their teams Coach Leonard DeCoud

Coach Michael Bartee

Coach Marilyn Doughty

The girls basketball coach, Leonard DeCoud, has turned the program around in less than a year. Last season, the team finished league with a 1-13 record. With the start of the new season, the Huskies have already obtained an overall record of 16-3. Their current league record is 5-1. The last time the girls started off with such a good record was 2008 when they went 9-6. The team is being led by seniors Brittany Crain and Akilah Martin, who have both signed for full ride scholarships to University of California, Riverside (UCR). With these two powerhouses and a new coach with plenty of tricks up his sleeve, the girls team is setting out to stun all those who doubted them.

Riverside Hall of Fame coach Michael Bartee has returned to coach the boys basketball team after retiring in 2008. Bartee coached for nearly three decades and in that time, accumulated a total of 554 wins. Of those 554 wins, 535 of those wins were accomplished at North which also happens to be his alma mater. Under Bartee, North won 16 league titles and made it to the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Southern Section finals seven times. Of those seven times the Huskies won twice, in 1984 and 1993. This season the Huskies are already demonstrating signs of similar success. Like the girls, the boys have started their season with a 5-1 league record. Overall, the team is 14-4, an achievement that already surpasses last year’s 19-11 record.

The girls water polo team named coach Marilyn Doughty their head coach for this season. Before coming to North, Doughty was the junior varsity girls coach. Also, she was a member of the California State University San Bernardino (CSUSB) women’s water polo team. Coincidentally, her coach at CSUSB was former girls coach, Lorenzo Maya. Although the girls team has gotten off to a rocky start, with a 0-5 record, the season is not yet over. However with a new coach who has plenty of experience with coaching as well as one who has played water polo throughout her life, there is no doubt that she will be able to help the girls team here at North recover from the slow start. compiled by Sabrina Quillen and Marlyn Sanchez

As a freshman, Jasmine Almaguer won the first round in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) tennis individuals tournament. She did this again as a sophomore and now as a junior on North’s tennis team she cruised through the 2011 season finishing with an undefeated record to win the Big VIII League championship for the third consecutive year and advancing to the round of 16 in the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section (CIF-SS) individual championships. Almaguer has only lost one Big VIII League match since joining North’s team and even managed to soar through four straight sets this year without losing a point. This kind of determination and skill would not go unnoticed and Almaguer was bestowed the honor of being named HSGameTime Girls Tennis Player of the Year. But Almaguer was not the only North student to earn fame. Mariel Mendoza finished second in the first big cross-country meet of the season for Southern Section teams, finishing just 12 seconds behind the winner. At the Woodbridge Invitational in Irvine concluding the three-mile tour Mendoza finished in 16 minutes 55 seconds. She finished second in the girls sweepstake race. She is now mentioned as one of ESPN Los Angeles’ Inland Empire Athletes of the Week and is now the second best runner in the nation.

RCOE Rewards Girls Tennis This past semester has been a great success for the girls tennis team. Not only did it produce California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) qualifiers but the team also collectively received a 4.15 grade point average (GPA). This accomplishment has been widely recognized by the school since the girls are the only team to receive an academic team award from the Riverside County of Education (RCOE). The team consists of two seniors, five juniors, three sophomores and two freshmen. The juniors who will be leading the team are Jasmine Almaguer, Jennifer Bu and Ashleen Lai. Not only were these three girls the participants in last season’s playoff rounds but these players are key to the impressive GPA maintained by the team. Almaguer went on to win the Big VIII League singles tournament and also played in the CIF individuals tournament. Unfortunately she lost in the fifth round of the CIF tournaments. She maintains a 4.71 GPA. Bu and Lai participated in the doubles tournament of the Big VIII League. Lai has a 4.35 GPA and Bu has maintained an amazing 5.0. She also scored a 2380 on her Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT). Sophomores Alicia Fan and Jennifer Fan also played a notable role in the team’s earning of this recognition.

Coach Mark Parades Coach Mark Paredes turned the football team around in less than two years and led the Huskies to the quarterfinal round of playoffs. Due to his amazing feats, Paredes received the honor of being named the Big VIII League Coach of the Year. This is well-deserved. Nearly a decade ago, Paredes guided North to two Southern Section football championships and then enjoyed more success as head coach at La Puente Bishop Amat High School. Later he coached at Riverside City College (RCC) only to relocate back to North. This return occurred in 2010 when the Huskies finished the season with a 2-8 Big VIII league record. However in this last season the Huskies finished with an outstanding 9-1 record. Coach Paredes and his coaching staff returned this season with the playoffs in their sights. The football team worked rigorous hours with practice three times a day in the summer and when school started, the team was occupied before and after school. Going to the weight room was also an everyday thing. These intensive workouts and very disciplined practices led to the tremendous turn around that the team experienced this year. Coach Paredes, the Big VIII League Coach of the Year, received an amazing honor and has truly made North proud.






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As many around North’s campus and every other campus across the United States are aware, we have been facing serious budget cuts for the past few years. With school days cut one week shorter last year in Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) students know well that these cuts can have negative results. Now Governor Jerry Brown has proposed a tax hike. This hike can do one of two things. 1) If the tax passes when it is voted on in California in November of 2012 the money would be used in part to help fund education, equating to

fewer budget cuts. 2) If it does not pass Governor Brown will be forced to take money away from education budgets to make up for the state deficit. However either way there will be cuts to social services like welfare. On a school level it seems as if things have been looking up lately with fewer noticeable cuts this school year. This could be due to numerous facts such as a new principal, more money or even just a false understanding. But bottom line is that there seems to be a calmer state when it comes to money. There were however still the normal cuts made to North before the current school year. Assistant Principal Megan Mcgroarty said, “This isn’t un-

usual for us but because of enrollment numbers we had to reduce our staffing numbers which equated to having to reduce by five classes which is [equal to] one full time teacher ... We didn’t lay any teachers off of course but ... it’s never easy to have those conversations ... When we need to reduce staffing this is what it does.” The RUSD Superintendent Dr. Rick Miller who hosts a blog titled “RUSD Live” posted just before school started that with an unusually early budget decision there would be no further cuts to K12 education in Riverside. An area that will be seeing a large number of cuts is higher education in the University of

California and California State University systems. This will affect those students currently attending or applying to the universities. All this budget talk is not to get students down however. Mcgroaty said, “Keep in mind that budget cuts are hard on everyone and that while the district kind of seems like an abstract concept there really are people working very hard to protect the interest of students on this campus ... It is painful to have to make budget cuts ... There are people who are working very hard to not make cuts if at all possible.” These cuts may have negative effects but without them our schools could be in much worse shape.

January Issue - The North Star  

This is the fifth issue of The North Star newspaper from John W. North High School in Riverside, California.

January Issue - The North Star  

This is the fifth issue of The North Star newspaper from John W. North High School in Riverside, California.