The Pearl Post December 2022 Issue

Page 1

Students lose sleep during college application season

pages 8-11

Print Editor-in-Chief

Delilah Brumer

Online Editor-in-Chief Alan Ruiz

Art Director

Gabrielle Lashley

Managing Editor

Rikka Dimalanta

Features Editor Angela Ledesma

Opinion Editor

Satenik Ayrapetyan

Entertainment Editor Grant Asner

Sports Editor

Sabrina Robertson

Digital Media Editor Jenica Felicitas

Staff Writers/ Photographers

Jason Arevalo, Alysa Basmadzhyan, Elizabeth Rose, Keira Van Der Molen


Giselle Garzon, Maya Gelb, Kristin Intal Adviser

Adriana Chavira

The Pearl Post is an open forum for student ex pression as allowed by California Education Codes 48907 and 48950, committed to excellence in re porting, 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 pag es 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 Edi tor-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 edit ed for length. Letters with profanity and obscenity will not be printed. Unsigned or anonymous letters will not be published. Letters may be emailed to the

The magazine is published bimonthly and is the official campus newsmagazine of Daniel Pearl Magnet High School. The magazine is also posted online at

Design by Gabrielle Lashley News New cellphone policy / WMD photo essay Features Girls Build LA feature / Freshman chess player profile

Special Reports Teen sleep deprivation / Survey infographic

10-11 Opinion College applications stress / Cellphone policy editorial

Sports World Cup reactions / Athletes of the Month / Fall sports photo essay Entertainment Crumbl cookie Review / Patron ad / Winter movies / Winter fashion photo essay Back Cover Photo by Alysa Basmadzhyan

For this issue, we focused on several topics affecting stu dents, such as sleep deprivation and DPMHS’ new cell phone policy. We also made visuals a high priority to best showcase a variety of students and photographers. We created three photo essay spreads, with one being a look back at World Music Day and the other one highlighting fall student athletes.

During the production of this issue, the 4x4 schedule took its toll. With some editors and staff writers in fourth period and others in first period, communication was challenging. We’ve made it a goal to work on keeping each other updated more in the future.

Although we faced some difficulties, we overcame them through dedication, focus and lots of late nights. We hope you enjoy the issue as much as we did when creating it.

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A student browses through the day’s news while sitting in class. The new phone policy allows teachers to enforce stricter rules on cellphone use in the classroom. The policy has brought mixed reactions among stu dents, with some finding it frustrating while others think it’s a necessary step. “I can’t really say that I’m a fan of it or that I like it. I’m in the middle,” junior Anthony Jimenez said. “You’re in school to, you know, receive an education. You’re here to learn. And if you’re using your cell phone all the time, you can’t really do that.”

Cellphone policy aims to increase dilligence, rings in controversy

Previously, there wasn’t much science teacher Timothy Hughes could do when attempting to confiscate the phones of students caught texting or listening to music.

“I think it’s about time we actually have something written down,” Hughes said. “The good thing about the policy is that it actually just backs up the policy that I already have.”

On Oct. 6, Daniel Pearl Magnet High School’s (DPMHS) Lo cal School Leadership Council (LSLC) voted on whether or not the school should enact a phone policy limiting when students could use their phones during the school day. The vote’s major ity swayed in favor of the phone policy, which went into effect on Oct. 31. Emails were sent to parents and flyers containing the same information were passed out to students on Nov. 1.

“There was no old cellphone policy,” Principal Armen Petrossian said. “Nothing was being enforced. The request came from the community.”

The policy states that unless permitted by a teacher or required out of medical necessity, students must have all elec tronic devices put away during instructional time. These devic es will only be permitted for use before school, during lunch and after school, unless otherwise allowed. It also includes a progressive discipline system with levels of consequences.

LSLC student representative Delilah Brumer disagreed.

“I think the vote was quite unfortunate,” said Brumer, Print Editor-in-Chief of The Pearl Post. “It’s very infantilizing to have a phone jail where every student puts their phone in until the end of the period, which is what some teachers have done.”

Brumer also shared how frequently she was approached by students from all grade levels before the vote, requesting

that she resist it. She implores all students to come to the bi monthly LSLC meetings and to contact her with any questions.

”It’s important to have student voices involved in this,” Brumer said. “We can’t learn to manage our time wisely if we’re being treated like little children.”

While some students have already begun to openly protest the policy’s progressive discipline system, otherwise known as the infraction system, others are less resistant or even indifferent to the new rules being set in place.

“I think it’s important to establish rules on phones because then, if we didn’t, everyone would take even more advantage of it, and just be on their phones all day and just be distracted,” freshman Jenny Marquez said.

Marquez added that she felt it was a solid policy overall and that enforcing it would enable students to pay more atten tion during class time.

Junior Anthony Jimenez shared Marquez’s sentiments, believing the policy won’t personally impact him as he already refrains from using his phone during most classes.

While the policy seems drastic to many students, their teachers are the ones who choose whether or not to enforce it. Petrossian insists the intention of the policy isn’t to punish students, but to aid those struggling academically.

“It’s a big distraction,” Petrossian said. “So hopefully, with the cellphone policy, as well as instruction being more engag ing, both of them will work hand in hand and students will participate more in class and be more engaged.”

Freshman Maya Gelb also contributed to this article.

ALAN RUIZ| The Pearl Post Junior Arvin Khosravy points to an audience member during his performance of “Blue Suede Shoes” by Elvis Presley during World Music Day on Oct. 26. ALYSA BASMADZHYAN| The Pearl Post Sophomore Alia Galvan sings “Love” by Zoe. “I think it’s a fun experi ence that you can share with friends and family,” Galvan said. DELILAH BRUMER| The Pearl Post Junior Josiah Lands plays “Infrunami” by Steve Lacy on the guitar during World Music Day. Junior Jenna Rodriguez sings and senior Jiszelle Arana plays time Sadness” by Lana Del Rey on Oct. 26. I felt pressured done correctly and you have to make sure you’re doing your

World Music Day spreads

After spending months practicing for the event, student musicians performed in Daniel Pearl Magnet High School’s (DPMHS) first in-person live World Music Day since 2019 on Oct. 26.

DELILAH BRUMER| The Pearl Post Arana plays backup during a performance of “Summer pressured because everyone is trying to get their part doing your part well,” Arana said. KEIRA VAN DER MOLEN| The Pearl Post Senior Lucia Avellaneda plays “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley. DELILAH BRUMER| The Pearl Post Music teacher Wes Hambright welcomes the audience to World Music Day and thanks the student performers on Oct. 26. DELILAH BRUMER| The Pearl Post Junior Valeria Negev plays the violin to the tune of “Lovely” by Billie Eilish. ALYSA BASMADZHYAN| The Pearl Post Senior Gabrielle Lashley participates in this year’s World Music Day by sing ing “Oceane” by RINI on Oct. 26. MAYA GELB| The Pearl Post Sophomore Leeron Nakash plays the piano during a performance of “Lovely” by Billie Eilish during World Music Day rehearsal on Oct. 25.

Helping Hearts build project to strengthen self-esteem

Junior Maggie Simonyan was faced with insecurities, but since joining Girls Build LA, she has gained more self-confi dence and began admiring herself more.

“I feel like the club really boosted my physical self-esteem,” Simonyan said. “After joining the club, I feel more self-assured because instead of a restricted mindset, I’m able to practice a growth mindset.”

The Helping Hearts is the Girls Build team at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School (DPMHS). The team, which was formed by Magnet Coordinator Natalie Berghoudian, has 10 girls in it and is now working on a self-esteem project that focuses on the men tal health and wellness of both students and adults. In addition to spreading knowledge about self esteem, The Helping Hearts create brochures, flyers and slide decks throughout the year that promote the buildup of higher self-esteem.

On Oct. 11, Girls Build had a summit that was presented by the LA Promise Fund. The summit was focused on training young women to steer communities toward a better future. The team at DPMHS was one of the teams featured out of the 65 nationwide teams.

“I wanted to join because I saw it as an opportunity to try something new since it’s my last year of high school and I really wanted to experience something that’s in school,” said senior Kayla Lopez, a member of The Helping Hearts.

Berghoudian joined Girls Build LA in 2017 at John A. Sutter Middle School with a group of 10 girls who participated in the Girls Build Challenge as well. Her team’s project focused on bullying. They visited eight local elementary schools and talked about what bullying is and how it can hurt people.

“It was a very positive expe rience for me working with the teams at the middle school level,” Berghoudian said. “I really built a relationship with all of them and I saw them become leaders both at our school and in the commu nity.”

The team at DPMHS submit ted an application to Girls Build LA in September and approx imately two weeks later, they received word that they had been chosen to take part. The team has been working on their project since mid-September and will keep doing so until the end of May. The Girls Build organization is planning a challenge and each team that participates in it receives a grant worth up to $1,000, which the DPMHS team received.

Alysa Basmadzyhyan | The Pearl Post Freshman Serena Elkins, a member of DPMHS’ Girls Build L.A., put up posters promoting self-esteem as part of their Helping Hearts project for the Girls Build L.A. organization on Nov. 10
I used to have bad habits of comparing myself to others and being insecure of the tiniest flaws that I noticed in myself. Maggie Simonyan ”

Checkmate: Freshman brings chess prowess to DPMHS campus

Freshman Daryon Bush took an interest in chess a few years ago because of its many different strategies that made the millennium-old puzzle game so entertaining.

“It was about four years ago he (Bush’s dad) showed me how to play,” Bush said. “At first, I was really confused but once you get the hang of it, it becomes fun.”

Thanks to Bush, Daniel Pearl Magnet High School (DPMHS) has become a hotspot for chess. Bush plays against anyone willing to compete with him and recently that has been against Humberto Renderos, a paraprofessional at the school.

“He’s actually really one of the best chess players,” Ren deros said. “If I don’t think things through, then his experience will easily beat me everytime, 100 times in a row. But when I sit there and think for a lot longer than him, I think that where my lack of experience can be overcome.”

Bush doesn’t just play in the DPMHS school cafeteria. He plays all around the United States. He usually attends com petitions once every six months, including his most recent tournament in Texas. The Texas tournament he attended was a 7-round

competition with 1,400 other people including professionals which Bush placed third in.

“I have competed in many tournaments around the coun try,” Bush said. “My most recent one I went to Texas where I did about average in the open tournament.”

When Bush can’t play chess with his friends or family in person, he participates in tournaments against random chess players in the Chess website to increase his skill and rank to become a better player. He tries to play regularly, ranging from one to two games or a couple hours.

“I do play mostly online. I have a tournament online every Saturday that I compete in, which I usually do well in,” said Bush, who always places in these weekly tournaments.

As for Bush’s future, he hopes to make a living out of chess because it’s been the only challenging hobby he’s picked up. He hopes that in the future he will either have a YouTube chan nel and make content to teach others how to play chess or play tournaments professionally.

“I hope to make chess a serious career but for now it’s just a hobby,” Bush said.

ANGELA LEDESMA | The Pearl Post Avid chess player freshman Daryon Bush plays against paraprofessional Humberto Renderos in a friendly game of chess on Nov. 18 during Fiesta Friday.

Sleep deprivation epidemic worsens with technology, college applications

Senior Andrea Aragon works late shifts after school, goes home to take care of her sisters, completes homework assignments and then finally goes to sleep. She also has insomnia, which keeps her awake and limits her to only five or six hours of sleep per night.

“I wake up tired,” Aragon said. “I feel terrible after not being able to sleep. (Some days), I can’t stay asleep.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officially recognized the widespread nature of sleep deprivation in 2014, declaring it a public health epidemic that affects both teens and adults. In response, California law SB 328 was passed in 2019, stating that all middle and high schools must start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. Although teens should sleep eight to 10 hours according to the CDC, a recent poll of 30 DPMHS stu dents of all grade levels revealed that 73.4% of the students still do not regularly meet the sleep recommendations.

“From what I’ve heard, (insomnia) runs in my family, so I’d assume that I have it too considering my sleep schedule,” fresh man Jordan Viviano said. “It might take 30 minutes for me to go to bed. Other times, I’ll be sitting there for two hours before I fall asleep. Sometimes, I’ll have completely sleepless nights, but

it’s very rare.”

The negative effects of sleep loss are noticeable at school when it is a struggle to pay attention to instructional lectures or grasp challenging concepts. As a result, extra studying may be required outside of school to go back to the material and un derstand it better, thus adding to the pile of homework waiting to be completed.

“In class, I’m just so tired,” Aragon said. “When we’re in a lecture, I can’t stay focused on that. I try to understand, but my brain is so tired that I can’t.”

Teenagers also need sufficient sleep to maintain a positive headspace for school. Otherwise, they are more prone to irrita bility, sadness and feelings of stress. Sufficient sleep plays a role in helping the brain process emotional information from the day and consolidate positive emotional experiences. According to the Sleep Foundation, insufficient amounts of sleep can be a factor in the development of depression and other mental health disorders.

“Normally, sleep is associated with my mood,” junior David Antonio said. “Sometimes if I don’t sleep, I get really tired and apathetic.”

RIKKA DIMALANTA | The Pearl Post A student falls asleep while taking notes after school to catch up in AP Environmental Science. In a poll of 30 DPMHS students, 50% said that they struggle with procras tination or staying focused, while 13.3% said they don’t struggle with procrastination.

One of the main causes of losing sleep is time spent on technology and social media. Before going to sleep, junior Cinthya Rendon occasionally spends time on her phone watch ing TikTok videos and then switches over to her laptop to watch YouTube. Such an activity can be addicting as the temptation to watch just one more video leads to a great amount of time passing unknowingly.

“I try putting my phone down at like 9 or 10, but it’s an addiction that I can’t stop,” Rendon said.

The blue light emitted by phones delays the hormone melatonin, which affects sleep schedules and feelings of drows iness. The light tells the brain that it is not time to sleep, making it difficult for people to fall asleep right after phone usage. The National Sleep Foundation recommends staying off a screen at least 30 minutes before bedtime, a suggestion that can prove to be challenging for some.

“When I’m in bed, the first thing I do is pull up an app, and that’s terrible,” Aragon said. “It’s such an instinct. When you find something you’re interested in, you have it at the touch of your hands. What’s stopping me from going at it? Nothing really, so it’s pretty addicting.”

Students have expressed their goals of getting more sleep by refraining from using their phones and social media right before bedtime. Still, 50% of students surveyed reported strug gling with procrastination, which can cause them to sleep less. Some students believe an effective way to prevent procrastina tion is using homework schedules that designate time slots for completing tasks and assignments.

One task that time can be set aside for is the completion of college applications. Seniors who plan to attend a fouryear university after high school have begun this tedious and

lengthy task.

“(College applications) have made my sleep schedule a little bit messed up from stressing about my future and trying to focus on getting the perfect application in,” senior Kennedy Fayton Guzman said. “I would stay up until 2 in the morning sometimes rereading my essays.”

Senior Samantha Willett has benefitted from the af ter-school college application workshops supervised by DPMHS counselor Martina Torres. These workshops provide a quiet space that allows students to get help with the comple tion of applications or enjoy a more focused setting to promote productivity.

“I find if I’m at home, I’ll be distracted or I feel like I won’t want to do (college applications),” Willett said. “But because you’re in a setting (during the workshops) where this is what you’re focused on and the people around you are focused and there to help you, you’re more encouraged to do it.”

Whether it is through the college application workshops or by scheduling work periods on a daily calendar, planning a time to complete college applications has helped students prioritize their applications rather than procrastinating and working late into the night during deadline season.

Despite the rise of technology and the intensified clutter ing of schedules as teens mature, many students hope to refine their sleep schedules to stay productive.

“We live in a society where the world constantly keeps on going and you kind of have to keep up with it,” Willett said. “One of the things you need to do to make sure you keep up is to make sure you’re aware, you’re focused and you’re present. Not having sleep takes all that away.”

The Pearl Post conducted a survey of 30 Daniel Pearl Magnet High School students of all grades to gather data on common sleep habits and patterns.

opinionCollege apps need to be made easier for students

As the Class of 2023 experienced the first several months of this school year, the perpetually looming stress of college applications has severely dampened the joy of senior year.

Our future after graduation should be something we look forward to with optimistic excitement. Instead, the pressure of admissions, financial aid, waiting for decisions and choosing the right fit turns college from an approaching opportunity to a worrisome burden.

According to a 2022 survey by the Princeton Review, 76% of students characterize their stress about college applications as “very high” or “high,” with only 2% saying their stress is “low” or “very low.” The college admis sions process does not need to take this significant of a toll.

While many schools, including Daniel Pearl Magnet High School (DPMHS) do take the time to give students access to different resourc es that help them in the application process, there’s still a constant stigma that if a student doesn’t go to a fouryear university, they won’t be able to have a successful life. This is why further funding for college application resources is essential for the well-being of DPMHS students, so we can have some of the crushing responsibility lifted off our shoulders.

It’s also important for seniors to be informed that there are options other than a four-year institution like community college, trade school or going straight into a job. It should be reinforced that there is no right answer when it comes to sen

iors’ futures and having that knowledge helps limit stress.

In addition to other stressors, the sheer amount of stu dents applying to colleges and colleges’ lowering acceptance rates can make gaining admission to college seem unachieva ble. For example, the University of Cal ifornia, Los Angeles (UCLA) received nearly 150,000 applications from the high school Class of 2022 and had an acceptance rate of 9%, according to UCLA data. This compares to UCLA’s approximately 130,000 applicants and 14% acceptance rate in 2019.

In order to alleviate some college worries, colleges that are able to should increase enrollment, making it easier to get in. In addition, financial aid should be made more accessible and students should be encouraged to work toward their postsecondary goals, whatever they may be.

DPMHS students can take several steps to help themselves throughout this process. They can form college ap plication study groups and rely on their peers for support. They can also attend college application workshops with DPMHS’ counselor Martina Torres.

With college application season in full swing and college decisions being released in the coming months, seniors are understandably nervous. We want the process and resources available to students to improve and we hope our peers main tain their mental health. We’ve got this, Class of 2023.

“ We want the process and resources available to students to improve and we hope our peers maintain their mental health ”
ELIZABETH ROSE | The Pearl Post Senior Dashell Caloroso receives advice on his college application from social worker Joanne Tuell during a college application workshop on Nov. 9 where staff assisted students with the applications. start to near for seniors.

New cell phone policy feels restrictive, stifling to students

The Daniel Pearl Magnet High School (DPMHS) cell phone policy, which went into effect starting on Oct. 31, is a restrictive policy that aims to control students more than help them. Not only is the strike system it implements overblown to the proportion of the crime, but the policy’s own existence is unnecessary.

Every teacher at DPMHS has had the ability and right to take away a student’s phone prior to the policy if circumstances necessitated it, making the written document appear repeti tive. Ultimately, it has always been up to the teacher to make up their own phone policy in accordance with how they saw students behave.

The implementation of the phone policy seeks to remove distraction from student learning, but in the process, restricts a student’s growth and ability in being able to make their own decisions. With this policy, students are infantilized by a policy that holds their hand into self-control, rather than allowing for growth and maturation of the mind.

The policy aims to change this and set baseline rules and punishments, but the latter half of the rules are preposterous considering the infraction is the simple act of taking a phone out in class. Students taken to the restorative justice program at lunch should not be those punished for simply using their phone in class.

The fourth infraction is worse, stating that a student will have their phone taken from them at the beginning of each day, every morning for a month straight. It will be kept either with the principal, only accessible during lunch where the student will be permitted to use it in the front office. Parents will be notified of this and possibly even fight it, but it is doubt

ful that the school will budge on the fourth infraction of this policy.

There are a myriad of reasons students go on their phones in class. Not all of the reasons are justified, but a student who has simply finished their work should not be treated with the same gravity as those who waste their time in class on en tertaining themselves. Yet, that is what this policy suggests teachers do.

Students that are of high school age should be expected to learn how to make decisions for themselves, on their own terms. The policy takes away their agency in maturing and learning how to use their own time wisely.

It is worth mentioning that the beginning half and es tablished rules were already pre-written in each class, slightly tweaked depending on the teacher but nevertheless already in existence. In fact, much of this policy seems to only regurgitate pre-existing policies in classrooms making its existence unnec essary and redundant, as well as restrictive with the infractions it brings down on students.

SATENIK AYRAPETYAN | The Pearl Post Staff members phones were placed in a mock-cage to symbolize the restrictive control enforced by the new phone policy, which went into effect on Oct. 31.

Students share World Cup excitement and traditions

After waiting for four years, the FIFA World Cup 2022 was delayed an extra four months due to the hot summer weather in the host country, Qatar. Soccer fans all over the world are eagerly watching the FIFA World Cup 2022.

“This World Cup will be kind of weird because they switched the time,” sophomore Rafael Lopes said. “The World Cup is supposed to be in July or June. But in Qatar, summer is crazy hot so I think that it shouldn’t be there.”

Due to Qatar’s intense summer heat, this World Cup began on Nov. 20 and come to a close on Dec. 18, making it the first tournament not to be held in May, June or July and reduced to a one-month period. The schedule also conflicts with LaLiga, the men’s top professional soccer division of the Spanish soccer league system that many World Cup players compete in.

“I don’t really like that it’s in Qatar because a lot of play ers are getting injured right now since it’s mid-season of their leagues,” said senior Elvin Xiloq, who is rooting for both Mexico and Argentina, who are competing in the same group stage.

Although some students have concerns that the World Cup is being held in Qatar, others are just excited to see the World Cup. And with such big events, there is always an occa sion for a party.

“Every time when there is a game, we all go to my aunt’s house,” junior Elizabeth Garcia said. “My whole family is over there and we’re all just having a blast watching the games. We all root for different teams, and I’m going for Argentina.”

Many families also have traditions that are alike no matter the cultural differences. Sophomore Ronaldo Aguilar also celebrates the World Cup with a barbecue while cheering on Portugal, eager for Cristiano Ronaldo’s victory.

“I go to my uncle’s house and we have a carne asada and sometimes after the games, we go play soccer to blow off some steam because when we watch soccer, we get really energetic,” sophomore Aguilar said.

Lopes, who recently moved from Brazil, anticipates that the younger generation on the Brazilian official team will elevate it to the finals. Though he is very confident in Brazil winning this World Cup, his second choice is Portugal as his father’s family and favorite player Ronaldo are from there.

“In Brazil, we have a really big culture related to the World Cup because all the countries watch it,” Lopes said. “I used to meet with my friends and watch it, have a barbecue and after we play soccer because when we watch it, we want to play like them. It’s a party for us.”

ANGELA LEDESMA | The Pearl Post Senior Elvin Xiloq and sophomores Ronaldo Aguilar and Rafael Lopes wear their team jerseys in celebration of the World Cup, which lasts from Nov. 20 to Dec. 18.

ROSE | The Pearl Post

Junior Arvin Khosravy wrestles with a teammate during a warm-up at Birming ham Charter High School on Oct. 28. Khosravy does Greco-Roman wrestling.

Athletes of the Month

Athletes welcome winter season

Athlete of the Month Arvin Khosravy, a junior, has been wres tling for several years. He partook in the U17 World Champion ships in the 71 kg weight category.

Question: When did you first find an interest in and start wrestling?

Answer: My dad (Shervin Khosravy) introduced me to wrestling when I was about 8 or 9 years old. He himself was an Olympian in the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Q: What aspect of wrestling are you best at?

A: There are two styles of wrestling: Greco-Roman and free style. I do Greco-Roman wrestling, which specializes in up per-body throws, so you could say I specialize in throws.

Q: What aspect of wrestling do you find most challenging?

A: Cutting weight. It takes a lot of mental and physical power to prevent someone from eating and to cut so much weight in such a short period of time. It’s just incredibly difficult.

Q: What moment in wrestling do you find most memorable?

A: I was wrestling a Croatian kid at World’s (Championships). He headbutted me and broke my nose. They told me in the middle of the match. They said we could either take it to the ER or we could fix it right here—and they just snapped it back into place.

Q: How long do you plan to wrestle? What are your goals in wrestling?

A: I plan to be an Olympian, hopefully. If not, that’s fine. Just to further my educational prowess.

Athlete of the Month junior Brisa Chajan has had time on the varstiy swim team. She has done waterpolo before but not on the highschool level. She is ready give it her all this winter season.

Question: When did you start playing water polo?

Answer: I started when I was maybe like 12 for a little bit. I started getting back in again this year. I’ve been on swim team with them before but never with water polo.

Q: Why did you decide to do water polo? Did someone inspire you?

A: My brother because he did it before so it kind of encouraged me to be as good as him.

Q: How did your brother being on the water polo team encourage you to join as well?

A: I saw how much fun he was having. All the teamwork and team building there was so I wanted to do that too.

Q: What’s your favorite part about doing sports?

A: Just kind of like my teammates it’s just you know being around them.

Q: Do you ever get intimidated by other teams?

A: Yeah I think there’s like a few schools that would be intimi dating but I have my teammates there so I’ll be prepared.

Q: What are your goals?

A: I want to try and move up to varsity and just stay varsity. I also want go to championships and try to win most of the tournaments we go to.

ELIZABETH SATENIK AYRAPETYAN | The Pearl Post Junior Brisa Chajan does eggbeater drills durring water polo practice on Nov. 4. This is Chajans first year on water polo, she previously swam on the varsity team.

Fall sports flashback

Daniel Pearl Magnet High School student athletes practiced and competed in the fall season of each of their respective sports, inculding girls volleyball, boys water polo, football, and cross country. The athletes juggle student life and being part of the Bir mingham Community Charter High School Patriots. Here’s a look at how they did.

GRANT ASNER | The Pearl Post Girls varsity volleyball team captain and middle blocker Naamah Silcott jumps to block the opponents’ incoming spike shot on Nov. 5. The Lady Patriots lost the 2022 CIF L.A. City Championships against San Pedro High School 3-1. “I think at one point we got too tense about how we were playing and we weren’t comfortable in trusting one another,” Silcott said. The team was awarded medals for coming in second place.

Pearl Post Varsity middle blocker Cheyanne Losino high fives her teammates before the start of the 2022 CIF L.A. City Section Girls’ Volleyball Championships on Nov. 5. The Lady Patriots lost against the San Pedro High School Pirates 3-1.“Our goal the entire season was to get a ring and to win championships, and so to get so close and lose was really difficult,” Losino said.


(wins) (losses)

18 - 15
The BCCHS varsity girls’ volleyball team ended their season with a 54% winning average. The Lady Patriots came in second place in the Divison 1 2022 CIF L.A. City Section Girls’ Volleyball Championships
DELILAH BRUMER | The Pearl Post Freshman London Vidosola runs the ball during a Junior Varsity football game against Taft Charter High School on Sept. 30. The BCCHS patriots went on to win their game against William Howard Taft Charter High School. 26-6. SABRINA ROBERTSON | The Pearl Post Freshman Tobias Bechdholt receives a pass from his teammate on Sept. 30. The BCCHS Patriots went on to win 26-6 against William Howard Taft Charter High School. Bechdholt is the junior varsity starting quarterback. ALAN RUIZ | The Pearl Post Junior Maggie Simonyan jogs around the football field during a preseason cross country meet on Nov. 2. This is her first year on the BCCHS cross country team. ALAN RUIZ | The Pearl Post Sophomore Josiah Lands tosses a ball to a teammate during pre-game warm-ups on Oct. 24. The BCCHS Patriots went on to beat Cleveland Charter High School 12-7. The BCCHS varsity boys water polo team ended their season 26 wins and 8 losses.
SABRINA ROBERTSON | The Pearl Post Sophomore Deven Szymczak runs laps during cross country practice on Sept 22.

Food Review

Watch your bank account ‘Crumbl’ with these cookies

Crumbl Cookies has become nothing less than a sensation among Los Angeles with its weekly changing flavors for its residents with a sweet tooth.

What was once just a family recipe that got its first cookie bakery located in Logan, Utah, in 2017, Crumbl Cookies now has its very own franchise of 600+ bakeries in 47 states thanks to the hard-working cousins Jason McGowan (CEO) & Sawyer Hemsley (COO).

Crumbl is known for its wide range of always changing cookies with either new sweet concoctions or classic flavors, like mouth-watering buttermilk pancake and chocolate Oreo. Without a doubt, each and every customer should expect a beautiful showcase of innovative and delicious cookies, but for a hefty price. One of Crumbl’s cookies can range from $4 to $6, and that’s almost $20 for 4 cookies.

During the week of Nov. 14, I picked up some of the most seasonal flavors of fall. Crumbl’s menu was selling pumpkin

cake, lemon blackberry, apple pie and hazelnut sea salt cookies. From someone who’s never had Crumbl, I’ve never seen a better-presented cookie in my entire life. These desserts are big too, with a circumference of 4 ½ inches. Due to these cookies’ huge size, they are best eaten with a friend.

After trying each of the four flavors, I must say I am a little underwhelmed but mostly satisfied. Getting the cookies, I formed unrealistic expectations. Each of the flavors was packed with its own strengths. It was very hard picking a favorite but the apple pie cookie definitely deserves it for its originality and how the flavor is identical to an actual apple pie. Hazelnut sea salt and pumpkin spice were fantastic as well. I can’t say I’m a big fan of the lemon blackberry because of the tart yogurt taste the icing had. It just wasn’t my cup of tea.

I highly recommend the Crumbl Cookies experience for any newcomers who are looking for some of the craziest freshout-of-the-oven cookies you’ve ever seen.

GRANT ASNER| The Pearl Post A sample of Crumbl Cookies sit in an open box. These cookies tasted as good as they look but cost a lot of dough, amounting to $20 for four humongous treats.

Curl up to these 4 movies during this winter break

Winter break is the time to sit back and enjoy some winter classics. Make sure to add these fantastic movies to your watchlist.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

This stop-motion movie from 1993 is a Christmas and Halloween classic. It follows the Pumpkin King of Halloween town, Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon and Danny Elfman), and his discovery of Santa Clause. Things start to unravel as Jack decides to take on the role of Santa Clause. This movie is a must watch.

Home Alone

This Christmas comedy is an absolute must watch. It stars a young Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister who has been accidently left home alone, as the title suggests. As Kevin rejoices that he’s been left all alone, two con men are planning to rob his family’s home. Kevin sets up elaborate traps to stop the two men from getting into his house. The movie is full of hilarious moments that guarantee it a spot on this list.


A classic Christmas comedy starring Will Farell as Buddy the Elf is a perfect way to kick off your winter break. Buddy is a human raised as one of Santa’s elves. As he grows older, he starts to feel like he doesn’t fit in with the others. So he takes a trip to New York City to find his real father. Buddy gets into different hilarious situations that make this a must watch.

Knives Out

In this star-studded dark comedy mystery film, there is a pos sible murder that needs to be solved. When Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) dies in mysterious circumstances, private detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) comes to investigate. The Thrombey family starts to turn on each other. This is a perfect movie to curl up and watch this winter break.

“Knives Out” is a 2019 mysterious murder comedy, directed

BY DISNEY PLUS Released in 1993, Tim Burton’s stop motion film “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is a winter classic, following the Pumpkin King of Halloween town, Jack Skellington. by Rian Johnson.

“My style is basically everything. I like whatever I see that’s cute at the store and whatever is in trend. I don’t have one set style. I like dressing up, but it’s definitely not something I’d do every day. I show my character in how I dress, as do a lot of people. For me, I wear a lot of baggy clothes and mellow colors. That shows how I am.”

Students show off their

“My style is a bunch of random colors splattered on. Sometimes it’s also more pale colors. Sometimes I wear accessories. (My style) really expresses who I am. I’m a really expressive person. I think a bunch of colors bring that out. I love to wear corsets. They’re really fancy and I love the lace on them.”

Junior Natalya Lembo: GRANT ASNER| The Pearl Post
As the weather cools down, students are showing off their winter styles and sharing what fashion means to them.
GRANT ASNER| The Pearl Post

“Artists have their canvas and I feel like to me, my canvas is my body, so I get to put my art on my body and dress up however I want. So I guess it’s a way of self-expression. I guess I’m trying to go for a classy but comfy look. I like a lot of neutrals so I feel like fall fashion is really just my staple for the whole year, like lots of brown, burgundy and oranges. My favorite piece of clothing, that’s so hard, but I might have to go for turtlenecks. They’re just nice fitting and I like how it looks on me.”

“My style is very pastel with lots of flowers. I like lots of little flowers all over and I usually like to match colors with other colors. In the winter, I wear more layers. I wear all the same dresses but with long sleeves underneath those dresses but usually with tights and boots. I love dressing up and I love wearing clothes that make me look nice whether it’s fancy or casual looking because it’s just a way to express myself. My clothes show off that I am a bubbly person.”

Sophomore Isaac Herrera

“My style is a combination of aesthetics I see on Pinterest with a ton of sweaters because I love sweaters. The winter changes my style in a good way because I have a lot more choices to go with because I have more sweaters and more jackets. So it’s easier for me in the winter than in the summer. Dressing up is a positive way for me to express what I like.”

“I’m really into earth tones. My style is kind of, like, old white people’s clothing. I have to put on more layers in the winter. It’s more complicated. (My style) helps make me feel more comfortable with my body. It helps me like myself more.”

Senior Jessie Witt Senior Joseph Botti GABRIELLE LASHLEY| The Pearl Post GRANT ASNER| The Pearl Post GRANT ASNER| The Pearl Post ANGELA LEDESMA| The Pearl Post Sophomore Genesis Cuellar



Senior Vince Gillen sings “TV” by Billie Eilish in the 2022 World Music Day performance on Oct. 26. In the 13th annual World Music Day of Daniel Pearl Magnet High School (DPMHS), students performed in two concerts on Oct. 26 to prepare for the final performance that was on Oct. 27, where parents were welcome. Students chose songs that pertain to the theme “Live, Love, Laugh.” This was DPMHS’ first live performance since 2019, due to COVID-19 restrictions. “When I was a freshman, I was nervous for the seniors because I’ve never seen that before,” Gillen said. “Now, performing it as a senior in front of my underclassmen and my peers, I think it’s really trivial for me.”

Submit your best photos with a brief description to for a chance to be featured in the next issue of the The Pearl Post newsmaga zine.

Junior Alysa Basmadzhyam is a first year staff writer for The Pearl Post. She’s recently gained a passion for photography and hopes to improve her skills throughout the year. She looks forward to the challenges of being a staff member and is ready to accomplish her goals for The Pearl Post. She practices photography on her own time to enhance her skills. Alysa aims to be a part of the student publication until her senior year and learn the depths of journal ism and photography.