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Daniel Pearl Magnet High School 6649 Balboa Blvd., Lake Balboa, CA 91406


Volume 12 Issue 3

February 19, 2021

To vaccinate? Or not to vaccinate?

See page 3



The Pearl Post

The Pearl Post

In this issue...

1 Cover Design by Maribella Ambrosio

Reports 3-5 Special COVID-19 Vaccine / Defund the Los Angeles School Police

6-7 News Impact of Edgenuity Booster Module 8-9


Importance of Vaccination / Editorial

10-11 Features Students and Sleep Cycles / TED Esports Club Corner

12-13 14-15

Entertainment “To All the Boys: Always and Forever” review / Olivia Rodrigo Artist of the Month


Gadgets to Improve Quarantine / Senior Athletes Reflect on Their High School Athletic Career

16 Back cover Photo by Samantha Fuentes

Letter from the Editor

For our first magazine of the new year, our coverage is mainly focused on the COVID-19 vaccine and the movement to defund the school police. Both topics are heavy and required extensive reporting. As the COVID-19 vaccine slowly becomes more available to Los Angeles County residents, we felt that we can provide a unique perspective to this as a student publication. To localize our reporting, we interviewed a DPMHS alumna who works at a vaccination site and has gotten vaccinated herself. As a staff, we also decided that this issue’s cover should focus on the vaccine as well. Our photo editor, Maribella Ambrosio, took a photo of herself wearing a mask and then designed a syringe onto the photo. The cover did go through multiple edits but the end product strongly encapsu-


lates the focus of our magazine. Although our defund school police coverage had been planned for a while now, the timeliness of this story became evident when a huge development on the story occurred only a couple of days before we went to press. The LAUSD school board voted on Feb. 16 to decrease its police force and divert some of its funding. With the help of editors, we were able to finish the story in time to include it in this issue. Many stories for this issue were incredibly timely, with new information coming out constantly. Despite the difficulty that distance learning has posed for our publication, we will continue to produce solid coverage for our student audience. -Itzel Luna

The Pearl Post | February 2021

THE PEARL POST Print Editor-in-Chief Itzel Luna Online Editor-in-Chief Parampreet Aulakh Managing Editor Alliana Samonte Features Editor Valeria Luquin Opinion Editor Daniela Rangel Entertainment Editor Sara Marquez Sports/Tech Editor Casey Wanatick Social Media Editor Delilah Brumer New Media Editor-in-Chief Harlow Frank New Media Editors Valery Barrera, Shannon Sullivan Photo Editors Maribella Ambrosio, Mahali Sanchez Copy Editors Jhonny Gonzalez, C.J Gorospe, Chareena Pascua, Cassia Ramelb, Jonathan Spahr Staff Writers/ Photographers Antonio Bedon, Delilah Brumer, Emily Flores, Branden Gerson, Evan Gleason, Gabrielle Lashley, Nancy Medrano, Jessica Melkonyan, Nathalie Miranda, Mario Ronquillo, Jair Sanchez Adviser Adriana Chavira The Pearl Post is an open forum for student expression as allowed by California Education Codes 48907 and 48950, committed to excellence in reporting, writing and photography. The magazine strives to inform and educate students and faculty on events affecting Daniel Pearl Magnet High School. Thoughts and opinions published in these pages are the work of journalism students and do not represent the position of DPMHS, its administrators or the Los Angeles Unified School District. An unsigned editorial is the opinion of the Editorial Board, which is comprised of the Editor-in-Chief and the editors. Signed opinions in The Pearl Post reflect the views of the authors. A signed cartoon reflects the view of the cartoonist. The Pearl Post welcomes letters to the editor. They should be 250 words or less and may be edited for length. Letters with profanity and obscenity will not be printed. Unsigned or anonymous letters will not be published. Letters may be emailed to thepearlpost@ gmail.com. The magazine is published bimonthly and is the official campus newsmagazine of Daniel Pearl Magnet High School. The magazine is also posted online at http://www.thepearlpost.com.

Vaccine distribution creates hope for new beginnings, normalcy By Itzel Luna ith coronavirus cases consistently declining in Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has opened its first COVID-19 vaccination site on Feb. 17 in hopes of expediting the process. LAUSD schools have been closed for in-person instruction since March 13, 2020. Superintendent Austin Buetner announced that this vaccination site is an important step for resuming in-person instruction and prioritizing L.A. County school staff for COVID-19 vaccination. The vaccination site is located at the Roybal Learning Center near downtown Los Angeles and will be vaccinating school district staff aged 65 or older and employees who are currently working at coronavirus testing sites. “This will not only protect the health and safety of the essential employees in schools but will provide enormous benefits to children and their families, leading to a faster reopening of schools,” Buetner said during his weekly broadcast on Feb. 15. Teachers are expected to be added to the vaccine eligibility list in the next few weeks, according to Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer. L.A. County met the threshold necessary on Feb. 16 to open elementary schools but LAUSD has not announced when in-person classes will resume. As of now, no COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for those under the age of 16. This raises some concerns because LAUSD has more than 300,000 students who are under the age of 16. Although the COVID-19 vaccine hasn’t been made widely available to teachers yet, Daniel Pearl Magnet High School (DPMHS) social science teacher Brenda Helfing has received both doses of the vaccine through a site’s overflow line. Helfing received the first dose on Jan. 13 and the second dose on Feb. 12. She experienced side effects to the


vaccine, including arm soreness, headaches and fatigue. However, she believes those symptoms are manageable and appreciates the sense of security that the vaccine has given her when she is in public. “I have a level of comfort that I didn’t have a few months ago,” Helfing said. DPMHS alumna Astrid Cabrera is a sophomore at the University of California, Los Angeles and has received both doses of the Moderna vaccine. Cabrera has worked at a COVID-19 testing site since December and currently works at a vaccination site in the San Fernando Valley. After she and her family got coronavirus last April, Cabrera felt motivated to not only get the vaccine but to influence others as well. “I felt very fortunate to have the opportunity to get vaccinated,” Cabrera said. “I also took it as an opportunity to share my experience with others as well as act as a primary source… to inform people of when it is their turn.” As a vaccination site worker, Cabrera stresses that the vaccine is safe and effective. For students like DPMHS freshman Jeffrey Brennenman, the vaccine offers a sense of hope. “I would take the vaccine,” Brennenman said. “I think the vaccine will be effective in slowing and eventually stopping the spread of COVID.” According to Cabrera, the vaccine was not rushed since it did have to go through every phase and trial necessary for approval. “We have waited an entire year now and the end is near. There’s some hope,” Cabrera said. “We’re slowing the spread and we can see it statistically. So, just hold on to that hope and be a little patient.” Antonio Bedon contributed to this report. Instagram: @_itzelluna_

Photo provided by Astrid Cabrera While working at COVID-19 vaccinaton sites, Daniel Pearl Magnet High School alumna Astrid Cabrera has already recieved both doses of the Moderna vaccine.

Illustration by Shannon Sullivan

Special Reports | February 2021


Students achieve change within LASPD "Provide schools with more mental health resources such as psychiatric social workers and counselors."

"I think that the funds should go back to the department. They need that money to do their jobs and keep us safe."

"For better school facilities and necessary school renevations."

"Teacher's pay"

"Help with school counseling and school mental health. So many problems that get thrown at school police, could have been deterred with proper school counseling and mental health funding."

Infographic by Alliana Samonte On Feb. 17 and 18, 101 students and faculty staff from Daniel Pearl Magnet High School took an online survey created by The Pearl Post regarding the movement of defunding the school police and what they believe the LASPD’s funds should be used for.


By Alliana Samonte and Evan Gleason fter months of delay, the Los Angeles Unified School District agreed to cut a third of the Los Angeles School Police Department (LASPD) officers and reallocate funds in order to provide a stronger educational environment for Black students. “(School policing) feels like you have no freedom and it feels like you are being watched at all times,” junior Ethan Perez, a student from Birmingham Community Charter High School said. “It doesn’t feel like a school experience.” After agreeing to cut the LASPD budget by $25 million last summer, the LAUSD school board unanimously agreed on Feb. 16 to prohibit the use of pepper spray on students and reduce the LASPD by 133 positions, including 70 campus police positions. They will be replaced by “school climate coaches,” who will help mentor students. “No person should feel the presence of a safety officer on a campus as an indictment of them or their character,” Superintendent Austin Beutner said during his weekly message on Feb. 15. Given DPMHS’s small campus, 42.3% of students surveyed don’t believe school security is necessary. The police officer reductions are a part of the Black Student Achievement Plan, which plans to support 53 schools with the highest Black student population by directing $36.5 million dollars every year to those schools. This money would then be used for school wellness programs, psychiatrist social workers, climate coaches and restorative justice advisors. The multi-racial organization #Student Deserves has demanded a 35% cut to the school police budget so that they can be used to support the staff at schools with large Black communities. Led by students in schools across the district, #Student Deserves aims to defund school police.


The Pearl Post | February 2021

“We want an end to random searches, policing, the defunding of public education, charter school expansion, reconstitutions,” #Student Deserves said on their website. The LASPD first emerged in the 1940s as a group of unarmed security guards who watched over campuses at night. LAUSD then officially structured the police force in 1984 and expanded it after mass shootings such as the 1999 school shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado. “School police are needed for schools with a track record of criminality, gang violence, students fighting, students who brought dangerous weapons in the past or who assaulted school officials and student’s safety,” Daniel Pearl Magnet High School senior Sydnee Blueford said. Many students attending public schools in LAUSD have had negative experiences with school police. At Fremont High School on Nov. 12, 2019, police officers decided to use pepper spray to stop multiple fights that occurred on campus. Senior Edward Sasson from Grant High School once witnessed a fight where another student ended up hospitalized. “The school police should have been there sooner but there were only two to three guards,” Sasson said. While a campus officer isn’t assigned to DPMHS, the school had a campus aid to provide security but that position was eliminated in 2017. “Honestly, because Daniel Pearl Magnet High School is a small school, I think it’s fine without the campus police, as there are hardly any incidents happening where police would be helpful,” sophomore Kennedy Fayton Guzman said. Nancy Medrano contributed to this report. Instagram: @gleason_evan1115 @alliana.faith


School police presence intensifies students fear of campus danger By Gabrielle Lashley ver since the police killing of George Floyd, awareness has been raised about defunding police, including school police. School districts in Minneapolis, Portland and Seattle declared that they will be removing officers from their schools, and making campuses a safe place again. While that is a wonderful thing, more work needs to be done before every single student across the U.S can confidently call their school a safe place. Having police officers on campus is an insufficient way of protecting students. According to a June 12 article published in The New York Times, many teachers, students and school officials believe that having police on campus is a danger to students and with good reason. There have been instances where on-campus officers have assaulted students, like this instance in the Los Angeles Unified School District at Fremont High School in 2019, where police went to unnecessary means to break up a fight by using pepper spray on students. In a meeting held on Feb. 16, the Board of Education came to the decision to redirect the $25 million in funding cuts toward causes that support LAUSD’s Black students and ban the use of pepper spray on students, which should never have been an option in the first place. While it’s amazing to see that steps are being taken in the right direction, we still have quite a way to go. According to an article released in 2018 by NPR.org, and another article released in 2020 by Chalkbeat, there is no concrete evidence that shows having police officers on campus decreases in-school crimes or makes schools safer. According to several New York Times articles, studies have actually shown that schools with more police officers have in-


Illustration by Gabrielle Lashley LAUSD agreed to cut the Los Angeles School Police Department budget and ban the use of pepper spray on their students. The district have decided to distribute LASPD’s funds toward “school climate coaches.”

creased rates of suspensions, expulsions, and arrests of minors for rather insignificant offenses. There are much better options to keep students safe rather than turning to law enforcement. Instead, it would be best to take a look at the root issue for why student bodies should need this kind of so-called “protection” in the first place: their mental health. Defunding departments like the LASPD and using that money for “psychologists to provide counseling and nurses to advise students on drugs and alcohol,” according to The New York Times, would be a much more efficient, and a much less violent, way of keeping students out of trouble. To keep students from getting into altercations or dealing drugs, troubled students should be given the chance to take counseling and lessons teaching them about the dangers of substance abuse. People who want officers on school

grounds just want to keep their students out of danger, especially from things like mass shootings. While that isn’t a bad thing, they are going about it the wrong way. Not only are mass shootings incredibly rare, having police officers try to stop them instead of reaching a troubled student beforehand can just put more lives in danger. Trained professionals who can actually help troubled students better themselves are the way to go. Making your school a police-free zone is a community effort. It’s important to talk to your fellow peers, parents, staff, and school officials about replacing the police in your school with counselors, and possibly nurses, if you want an overall safer environment that every student can flourish in. Schools are no place for law enforcement and it’s time people understood that. Instagram: @yogabbygabby_l

Special Reports | February 2021


Students’ Edgenuity struggles pursue through second semester

By Gabrielle Lashley hile many students have been having difficulties dealing with Edgenuity’s deadlines, tediousness and in some of their opinions, poor instruction, students like sophomore Dashiell Caloroso are trying their best to manage. “The only thing I’d say I like about (Edgenuity) is that you can get (multiple) tries on the test until you get it right (but) the pacing of it doesn’t even focus on the actual lessons,” Caloroso said. “It just focuses on how quickly you can get this lesson done before time runs out.” Edgenuity is a virtual learning platform that many schools have been using during distance learning to replace on-campus learning. The platform presents its work through lessons that primarily consist of the instruction videos, the assignment(s) and the quiz. The quiz gives the student two attempts to take it but the teacher has the ability to give their student more attempts if they see fit. Despite Edgenunity’s flexibility, students have mixed feelings about using that platform to learn. “I don’t like the way (Edgenuity) instructs things,” junior Nadia Montiel said. “For math, the videos they do are confusing and I would just end up being way more confused than before.” Edgenuity was not only used for everyday lessons but also for something the Los Angeles Unified District called the “Edgenuity Booster Module.” In this module, students were given the opportunity to raise their final grades in any class they took in the fall semester. Students who did this module were given a pre-test so they could demonstrate



what topics they already knew and were then assigned to work on content they received less than an 80% proficiency in. “Last semester I got a B, so I was super close to an A and Ms. Hatamleh gave us the opportunity to boost our grade up so I took it,” senior physics student Brenda Zaragoza said. “I liked that it gave us a test first, to figure out what we already (knew) so that we (wouldn’t) have to retake stuff that we already (knew). It was like, specialized for us.” Students at DPMHS often complain that the instruction given by Edgenuity is

sub-par at best, usually when referring to math courses and that the instructional videos are often unclear. Other concerns they have are about how tedious Edgenuity videos are and how unnecessarily complicated the questions are sometimes worded on the assignments and tests. Even so, they do appreciate how the platform gives students the flexibility to go at their own pace and the ability to retake tests. “I don’t really dislike anything,” soph-

The Pearl Post | February 2021

omore Kennedy Fayton Guzman said. “Some of the assignments do take a long time to do but there’s really nothing. I like that it’s kind of self paced. Obviously there’s recommended due dates for stuff but I do like how it plans everything out for you.” Teachers on the other hand have their own likes and dislikes about using Edgenuity. They have concerns that the platform doesn’t give their students the proper interactions they deserve between their peers and teachers. While that is a worry of theirs, they appreciate how flexible they can be with what they assign students and how much the assignments and quizzes contribute to their Edgenuity grade. “It’s not personal. There is no interaction between the students and each other and the students and the teacher,” social sciences teacher Brenda Helfing said. “It can be useful for when kids need to catch up with a class, like the kids who got to do the Edgenuity booster over winter break but I think it can become monotonous and boring.” Teachers’ concerns have resulted in a few of them only partially using Edgenuity in some of their classes. Spanish teacher Glenda Hurtado was concerned that using Edgenuity in its full would be too much work for her students. Instead, she gives lessons in class while assigning supplemental work on Edgenuity. Teachers who exclusively use Edgenuity usually use class time to assign Edgenuity assignments and grade them solely through that platform. “We’ll be working on whatever I’ll be teaching in those two days and they’ll apply that to what I assign on Edgenuity,” Hurtado said. Instagram: @yogabbygabby_1

"I absolutely don't like that some lessons skip important directions on how to solve problems."

"Its extremely draining. I have issues with concentration and it takes literal hours just to finish it and then I barely have time for anything else. It stresses me out so much and is genuinely effecting my mental health."

"I liked how the assignments prepared us for the types of questions that we would be asked on the quizzes." In February, 71 DPMHS students responded to an online survey about their experience with Edgenuity and the Booster module.

News | February 2021



Student journalists persist despite pandemic, strained communication


eporting remotely through Zoom, editing stories, designing pages for the magazine and yearbook throughout a pandemic have been some of the most challenging things our publication staff has gone through since March 13, 2020. It has brought multiple obstacles such as building strong communication among staff members, juggling our classes and assignments with our journalism duties and staying motivated. With Student Press Freedom Day taking place on Feb. 26, the significant role student journalists play has never been more essential than it is right now during the pandemic. Aligning with this year’s theme of “Journalism Against the Odds,” student journalists have gone above and beyond in their dedication to sharing important news with their community. From reporting and covering an array of topics such as youth involvement in activism and facing censorship, they continue to inform their peers and community throughout this difficult time. Providing localized coverage in an accessible manner is at the forefront of a student journalist’s duty. During the coronavirus pandemic, student journalists have worked from home to bring updates on case counts, local school and district reopening schedules and hear from the students and teachers being directly affected by shutdowns and distance learning. Our publication has successfully reported on many important and time-sensitive topics despite the difficulties posed by distance learnCartoon by Valery Barrera ing. We have been


Photo by Maribella Ambrosio Daniel Pearl Magnet High School Student Media staff conducts meetings through Zoom, seeing each other only two to three times a week. Staff writers, magazine editors and Prestige Yearbook editors use their limited time to connect and produce content.

able to consistently report on COVID-19 throughout the pandemic, cover the 2020 Presidential Election and the Black Lives Matter protests last summer. There are many stories to be told within our own student population. Our publication has covered students who are overwhelmed with school work and taking care of younger siblings as well as those who are working during the pandemic. Our digital media editors have also continued producing video content despite remote learning. They have created content on music teacher Wes Hambright’s album and the importance of voting, all from their homes. It has not been easy communicating with everyone on staff since the class only meets about two times a week. In efforts to combat this, we’ve tried strengthening the bond by doing various ice breakers throughout the year. Although The Pearl Post did not produce a magazine from March through June 2020, we are now producing our third magazine of this school year. We

The Pearl Post | February 2021

have come back stronger and found ways to adapt to the unideal circumstances of distance learning. Some of the yearbook editors were given laptops to help them finish the yearbook from last year and are currently putting together the 2020-21 yearbook. The website has been constantly updated with new stories throughout distance learning on an array of topics. Staff members from both publications have attended virtual workshops, including the national high school journalism convention in the fall and have received various awards from contests we’ve participated in. Despite all of the challenges and dedication that come with being a student journalist, our work is crucial and necessary. They have the opportunity to voice the opinions and thoughts of their fellow peers and teachers. We are able to give a different perspective of the historical time we are living through right now.

Protect LAUSD students’ health; enforce staff, faculty vaccinations By Nathalie Miranda


lmost a year into the pandemic that forced students out of school, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) still doesn’t have a return date. Ensuring all staff is vaccinated before reopening will provide a safeguard for returns and the health of students. LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner shared on Feb. 8 that the earliest reopenings of elementary schools would only be made possible through the vaccination of 25,000 district employees. However, to ensure safety of all, district teachers and staff must receive the vaccine before returning to in-person school. Vaccinating staff prior to returning to school would benefit Nathalie not only those returning to campus but also students struggling with distance learning. Insuring the health of instructors will allow for students to return to school and remain there with a lessened risk of contracting the coronavirus. Getting the vaccine would also send students back to school much quicker. While some students haven’t had a huge problem with school this year, there are many students struggling, especially students learning English. The number of failing grades for students learning English has increased by 15 percent this school year. Many students would benefit greatly if they returned to school and making the vaccine available to teachers would allow students to go back quicker

and still be safe. So far, the Pfizer-BioTech vaccine has shown 95 percent effectiveness and the Moderna vaccine has shown 94.1 percent effectiveness in preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in people who haven’t had the illness yet. Additionally, the side effects from both vaccines have been relatively mild, with only a few people experiencing a bit more severe side effects. Experts also believe getting a vaccine can prevent serious illness even if someone contracts COVID-19. While it is still unknown how long the protection from the virus will last, it is clear that getting the vaccine can help protect othMiranda ers. Though students will still be unable to get the vaccine, if teachers who can safely get the vaccine do get it, it will increase the safety of those around them. Wearing a mask and social distancing will only do so much in slowing down the spread but the vaccine is the main tool in putting a stop to the pandemic. While many people have no problem with the vaccine, there are a good amount of people who have many concerns. One of their biggest concerns is getting COVID-19 from the vaccine. This is something that has not been proven to be true. The vaccine does not contain the live virus that makes people sick, so there’s no chance of getting seriously sick from the vaccine.

Wearing a mask and social distancing will only do so much in slowing down the spread but the vaccine is the main tool in putting a stop to the pandemic.

Most of the common concerns about the vaccine have been disproven and health officials have repeatedly assured the public that the vaccine is safe. Those that can safely get it need to get the vaccine so that this pandemic can hopefully come to an end and students can get the education they deserve. Instagram @nathalie61313

Opinion | February 2021


Students’ sleep schedule out of sync !"#$%&'()*(%+&"&,)#$-.(&$#)/%0()'+(%$(.)%&)-&/(%*$/1)#'/(.-*()23+)$/(45 #(*0(#6)7/"*()#34()/%0()$+"(.)$3)2"8)"$9)4%:"&,)$/()'/%&,()/%#)&3$);((&)(%#16) By Jessica Melkonyan


s strict quarantine protocols continue to regulate students to learn from home, senior Kevin Castro believes that this routine is the result of his unhealthy sleep schedule. “I believe my schedule has been affected because of the discipline dependency of staying home,” Castro said. Quarantine, distance learning and the overall virtual life all students are pushing through for almost one full year next month leads to unhealthy sleep schedules. Students like Castro continue to struggle with adjusting to distance learning schedules in the spring semester after months of the same routine. Monotonous days and thrilling nights restrain students from conscious thoughts during daily Zoom meetings. To think naps during the day would be of assistance to students during the day to balance the cycle, junior Allison Puc proves otherwise. “The worst part is definitely the headaches and dizziness. I feel so unmotivated,” Puc complains. “When I take a nap, I wake up with the worst headache.” With technology being used throughout most of the day, it’s tough keeping up with daily assignments because of low motivation due to the lack of a healthy sleep cycle. While the nocturnal lifestyle may be deleterious, students like sophomore Dashiell Dekker experience more eventful nights rather than the daytime. “I usually use time during the night to talk to my friends,” Dekker said. During the night, some students use the time for themselves and reconnect with their well being. Others simply take advantage of the alone time. “I enjoy the peace and quiet,” Puc said. “I love how no one is there to tell me anything and I can just chill with myself.” Although the silence and self-recon ciliation may be temporarily beneficial

10 Features | February 2021

for one’s mental health, this lifestyle poorly affects your mental and physical health during the day. Particularly during a pandemic, stress and other mental health factors are blended in with insomnia, creating a more significant situation of irregular sleep. Receiving healthy cycles of sleep help with your immune system and with sustaining low blood pressure, according to an article from Sleep Health Solutions. The basics of a healthy lifestyle and sleep cycle includes around 7-9 hours of sleep each night, according to an article from Sleep Foundation. Reverting back to a healthy cycle isn’t so easy. Dekker admits that it’s tough to get back to that lifestyle. “I tried at the beginning of the year,” Infographics by Valeria Luquin Dekker confessed. “It’s hard to revert In February, 69 DPMHS students responded back to my old schedule because I’m so to a survey about how their sleep schedule used to the new one.” has been disrupted duing distance learning. Instagram: @sh.jeess

Club Corner:

Leave stress behind, join the leauge online By Nancy Medrano


he new Team E-sports DepartmentClub allows students to take a break from schoolwork, play video games and socialize with their friends. “We wanted to start this club as a way to do what we enjoy, which would be playing video games and to relieve any stress students may get from classes through playing games,” club president William Myers said. Myers and fellow juniors Nickalas Lembo and Jose Arcilla helped him create the club. They wanted to create a setting where students shouldn’t worry about the amount of unfinished work they have to get done. They usually only play online during the club, then it’s back to work. The club began on Jan. 26 and meets every Tuesday and Thursday. They recently moved their club time to 2:15 to 3:15 p.m. The club was originally held from noon until 12:30 p.m. but the students in the club quickly realized 30 minutes was not enough time to play a good game. “I think it’s better because League of Legends games take a long time and the start-up for it isn’t really particularly quick,” Arcilla said. The main goal of the club is for students to take a break from all the school work and hang out with their fellow classmates. Since the club starts after the last period of the day, it is a good way for students to not stress about their classes or schoolwork. “The purpose of the club is to play team-based online games,” Arcilla said. Math teacher Lori Seo, who is the advisor of the club, recently had a discussion with fellow students about turning the club into an esports. If this ends up being the case, that means the people in the club will technically be in a sport as well. Turning the club into an esports would also allow our school to virtuallycompete against other schools across the country.

Photo by Nancy Medrano Members of the new Team E-sports Department Club are split into two teams to play a round of League of Legends on Jan. 28. Club advisor Lori Seo’s team won during that round.

“We were ecstatic when Ms. Seo told us the club would be converted into an esports group because that was one of the reasons for creating the club,” Lembo said. At this moment, there are still no new updates about the club being turned into an esports team but many of

We’re here to teach more people about how fun the game can be. Jose Arcilla

“We have no new updates but we are doing our research so that we can make this work out and that we can try to fill out all the requirements one way or another,” Myers said. Students often have enough time to play one or two rounds but each round is just as fun as the previous one. Even if you have never played the game and are interested in joining the club, many members of the club would not hesitate and teach you how to play. You can ask questions as you play along or you can simply ask before you start the game. “It’s an easy game that gets easier to understand over time and we’re here to teach more people about how fun the game can be,” Arcilla said.

Instagram: @n.ancyyyyyyy

the club members are hopeful that they will receive news soon. In the meantime, they will continue to practice and improve their skills.

Features | February 2021


“To All the Boys:”A final goodbye to the high school sweethearts By Nancy Medrano


n “To All the Boys: Always and Forever,” the main character Lara Jean, played by Lana Condor, faces more coming of age struggles. The movie which is the conclusion to the trilogy, based on the books by Jenny Han, was released on Feb.12 on Netflix. In the previous movies, the main focus is Lara Jean’s relationship with Peter Kavinsky, played by Noah Centineo. Whether it is insecurities within their relationship or their roles in outside relationships the couple was always able to find their way back to one another. In a refreshing turn, this movie stars the relationship Lara Jean shares with her sisters Kitty, played by Anna Cathcart and Margot, played by Janel Parrish. As Lara Jean comes to the end of her high school experience, she finds herself unsure of where life will take her and how her decisions will impact her family dynamic. Lara Jean is faced with two very different opportunities. One that keeps her close to her changing family and her boyfriend. The other gives her the chance to grow her independence while living in a city that quickly felt like home. Amidst all this, Lara Jean has a wedding to plan. Her father is marrying his girlfriend Trina Rothschild, played by Sarayu Blue. While she and her sisters are happy for their father, they struggle with the idea that their mother would be erased. Seeing Trina’s belongings in their home is bittersweet. Attending a college close to home would allow Lara Jean to remain close to her little sister Kitty and her new family. Peter is also considering a college close to home. Attending the same school would prevent an inevitable post-graduation break up like Margot and Josh experienced in the first part of the trilogy. Prior to their senior trip to New York City, Peter meets with his father who walked out on him and his family.


Photo by Netflix Closing up the trilogy that follows Lara Jean’s love story and high school journey, “To All the Boys: Always and Forever” brings a whirlwind of events to our protagonist throughout her senior year.

Their estranged relationship puts pressure on his relationship with Lara Jean. Lara Jean promises to always choose Peter, unlike his father. While out exploring the city with her best friend Chris, Lara Jean runs into Gen on her tour of NYU. Gen’s tour guide invites the girls to a party later that night. While at the party Lara, Chris, and Gen are recruited to steal a pink couch belonging to the tour guide’s friend. The girls carry the pink couch across the city and into an empty subway all while joking and laughing. At the end of her trip, Lara Jean finds herself interested in attending NYU and living in New York. This idea feels like a betrayal to the promise she made to Peter, leading to Peter questioning their relationship. While this movie is still a romcom, I found the coming of age aspect more enjoyable as a viewer. We all were still rooting for Lara and Peter to have their happy ending. The romantic ending was predictable. But Lara Jean’s growth within the movie made the film relatable. As high schoolers, we find ourselves with a “set plan” for our futures and as we change so do our plans. Lara Jean’s passion for reading

The Pearl Post | February 2021

about romance turned into a passion to major in English literature, pushing her toward NYU. But the love she feels for Peter and her family pushes her to the colleges close to home. “To All the Boys: Always and Forever” perfectly closes the chapter to high school Lara Jean and opens the chapter to who she wants to become. Instagram: @n.ancyyyyyyy

Rodrigo drives all the way to the top of the charts with new single

By Delilah Brumer


t only 17 years old, actress and singer Olivia Rodrigo is already making a name for herself. The Disney Channel star has quickly risen to fame after releasing her hit single “Driver’s License.” “To see it do really well — to have this really painful moment in my life, and turn it into something beautiful that can maybe help people through a tough time that they’re having, like I was having a tough time — it’s just so empowering,” Rodrigo said in an interview with Billboard. “And I feel grateful that I got to do that.” Rodrigo’s most famous song, “Driver’s License’’ was released on Jan. 8 and has since broken multiple records. It has even become the fastest song to ever reach 200 million streams on Spotify as of Jan. 21. The song has reached over 380 million streams on Spotify as of Feb. 17. In the song, which happens to be her debut single, Rodrigo sings about her personal experience of a relationship ending and the loneliness that ensued. Rodrigo, who is from Temecula, California, grew up constantly singing and learned to play piano and guitar by the time she was 12 years old. Her idol, as well as her favorite artist, is Taylor Swift. Rodrigo is also well-known for her role as Nini Salazar-Roberts in the Disney+ show “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.” Rodrigo also played the role of Paige Olvera in the Disney Channel show “Bizaardvark’’ from 2016 to 2019. Rodrigo plans to release her first EP in the near future and continue to act in “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.” She may be young but Olivia Rodrigo is extremely talented and her best is yet to come. “There’s a music project coming up this year, but I’m not sure about the specifics of it,” Rodrigo said in an interview with Vogue. “I’m just trying to soak up all the craziness in my life right now. I feel so grateful.” Instagram: delilah_rose2004

Infographic by Sara Marquez Photo by Walt Disney Television Singer-songwriter and actress Olivia Rodrigo has created quite the buzz since the release of her single “Driver’s License.”

Entertainment | February 2021


Gadgets that will improve your quarantine lifestyle in 2021 By Branden Gerson

New tech gadgets are continuously coming out onto the market in an attempt to make your life better. Each of these 10 technology products can help improve students’ distance learning experiences or lives in general.

Shure Motiv MVC5 Microphone The Shure Motive MVc5 Home Office Microphone helps provide higher quality sound for everything from video conferences to video games. This microphone is equipped with a speech enhancement mode, producing clear and consistent speech. You have the option to plug into your headphones and it connects directly to Mac or PC with a USB-A or USB-C.

PhoneSoap 3 Wireless UV Smartphone Sanitizer The PhoneSoap 3 Smartphone UV Sanitizer allows your phone to be cleaned while it is charging. Its medical-grade UV lights kill 99.99% of germs. Additionally, this UV sanitizer can be operated to clean other items such as money and keys.

MaskFone The MaskFone is a water resistant face mask with replaceable PM2.5 and N95/ FFP2 filters made with a built in bluetooth microphone and earphones. This mask and earbud combo allows you to maintain clear speech while talking and wearing a mask. It also prevents separate earbuds or headphones from interfering with the mask’s effectiveness. There are command buttons set on the bottom left of the mask in order to control the volume of the earphones.

Ember Temperature Control Ceramic Mug The Ember Temperature Control Ceramic Mug allows you to set your hot beverage to your preferred drinking temperature from the Ember app on any capable electronic device. There is an LED light that turns on to indicate when the drink has reached your prefered temperature. This mug contains a built-in battery in order to maintain your set drinking temperature and includes a charging coaster with purchase.

14 The Pearl Post | February 2021

Smart Power Strip This smart USB power strip contains 4 smart AC outlets and 4 USB charging ports. Once you download the “Smart Life” app, you can schedule your electronics to power on and off as you please or you can set a timer for the power strip to turn the appliance off automatically. You can also connect this power strip to your Amazon Alexa and/or Google Home devices.

Theragun Mini Applying quiet force technology, this compact handheld massager can relieve you of your pain wherever you are. The deep tissue massage helps treat your muscle pain and improve stiffness not only from workouts but also from a long day of sitting down at your desk. The Theragun Mini has three power settings and a 150 minute battery life.

Seniors share highlights of being a student athlete By Emily Flores


lthough she hasn’t been able to compete during her senior season, track and field runner Cassia Ramelb achieved some memorable achievements: She’s competed in the United States America Track and Field Nationals, participated twice in the CIF State Meet and was ranked in League Champion multiple times. “Track was customary for me since I have been running for almost 10 years,” Ramelb said. “I loved the relationships I formed with my teammates and coaches, as well as the connections and opportunities I got.” Since their freshman year, the senior athletes worked hard to get on the varsity team and hope to play in the CIF finals, CIF championships, and more. With their senior year in athletics cut short or due to the pandemic, we’ve asked them to reflect on some of the highlights of their years playing high school sports. “It may not be much, but starting as a junior varsity bench player, I successfully became the varsity water polo team captain and won awards like the year’s defensive player and eighth man of the year,” varsity water polo player CJ Gorospe said. Senior Anthony Martinez is a varsity soccer player who was successfully able to train with a professional team. He is also planning to play in the Major League

Photo provided by Cassia Ramelb Senior Cassia Ramelb jumps over a hurdle during a track meet. Ramelb has been on the track team throughout her four years of high school.

Soccer (MLS). “One of my most successful moments as a goalkeeper was training with a semi-professional team called LA10, which was managed by one of the greatest soccer players who ever lived,” Martinez said.

I loved the relationships I formed with my teammates. Cassia Ramelb

idea of playing sports in jeopordy. “Honestly, I hope to have fun, with everything with coronavirus ruining our year,” Sanchez said. “I want to have a good time with my friends and the team.” The senior athletes have also formed friendships and created memories that will last a lifetime. They love to engage in activities, laugh, practice and have a positive impact on their team. Gorospe loves having good laughs and creating an awesome connection with his team. “My favorite memory of playing sports for me was when my water polo team and I went to a Denny’s after a tournament and were just laughing and crying, because of the chlorine in our eyes, for a good hour straight before we even got our food,” Gorospe said.

This year, senior athletes such as Amelia Sanchez, were hoping to have fun during her final high school year. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit and put the

Instagram: @smalls2203

Tech/Sports| February 2021


Samantha Fuentes is currently a freshman at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School. She has never physically been to the campus, except the parking lot if that counts. She was the president of the National Junior Honor Society in her middle school before she moved and has won many awards because of her academics. Before COVID-19 and moving schools, she was the best cellist at her school, playing first chair. She’s involved as a member of the American Sign Language Club along with the Library Advisory Committee.

Students enrolled in the Introduction to Photography classes were assigned to take a five-minute walk around their neighborhood. They were told to take landscape photos of their surroundings during this walk to practice the concepts of rule of thirds in photography. This rule refers to the basic principle in photography where the photo is divided into nine segments with three horizontal lines and three vertical lines. This creates a pleasing composition, helping draw the viewer’s eye. Fuentes took this picture in her own backyard. She spotted these white roses and decided to make them the focus of the image. Submit your best photos with a brief description to thepearlpost@gmail.com for a chance to be featured in the next issue of the The Pearl Post news magazine.

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The Pearl Post February 2021 news magazine