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Students spend a weekend connecting with celebrities during awards season NEWS Page 2

Palos Verdes Peninsula High School Vol. XXXIV Issue 6 March 14, 2014


As humanities majors struggle to find work, students favor science over history and art.


If we had the choice to choose our own names, how different would we be? FOCUS Page 7



A glimpse into the buzzy world of Senior Rachel Klose, beekeeper STUDENT LIFE Page 8


Girls overcome the stereotype with 99 Bay League titles. Boys have 71. SPORTS Page 10



The potential amendment of Proposition 209 threatens the meritocracy of color-blind college admissions.


In Jan. 2014, California Senator Edward Hernandez introduced Senate Constitutional Amendment (SCA) 5 to nullify parts of Proposition 209 from the state constitution. Proposition 209, first voted into the constitution in 1996, was intended to prevent racial or gender discrimination in government institutions; “The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment … on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin.” If SCA passes in the State Assembly, which is likely to occur, Californians will vote on the measure in November. SCA’s passing in the Senate has sparked controversy among public universities. The proposed amendment may have serious effects on students who are applying to UCs and CSUs and several are concerned and

upset. According to Andrew Kuo, director of the ACI Institute, Asian students already need around a 4.28 GPA to get into the top schools while other races need around a 3.7 GPA. The amendment of Proposition 209 would possibly create even more educational inequality. Senior Emily Ren believes that should Proposition 209 be repealed, public universities will be allowed “to set an informal quota” on specific races. “Repealing this law... [supposedly] will drop Asian American admission to UCs from 36 percent to around 15 percent, like private schools around the country,” Ren said. “My race, I feel, played a factor in my admission because many private schools set that informal quota.” Hernandez defends his bill by saying that Prop. 209 created more problems with racial discrimination than it solved. He intends for SCA Five to “undo the damage that Prop. 2009 did.” “There has been a precipitous drop in the percentage of Latino, African American and Native American students at California public universities, despite the fact that those same groups have seen steady increases in their percentages of collegeeligible high school graduates.”

Hernandez said. However, statistics from The Sacramento Bee and The LA Times say just the opposite. Both newspapers report that since Prop 209’s passing in 1996, California universities have seen a steady rise in the number of African American and Hispanic students admitted. The only percentage to fall in the last eighteen years was that of Caucasian students. “It is indisputable that both in absolute numbers and percentages, minorities that attend the University of California have increased and exceed the levels of minority admissions from the pre-Prop. 209 days,” Jennifer Gratz of The Sacramento Bee said. According to Gratz, SCA is “an astounding step backward” in the movement to eliminate racial barriers in society. When Prop. 209 first passed, California was praised for being a civil rights advocate, and soon several other states adopted similar bills. Both UC Berkeley and UCLA were listed in U.S. News & World Report’s Economic Diversity among the top twenty-five ranked schools for the 2011-12 year, with the highest percentage of undergraduates receiving Pell grants (financial aid for students from families making $20,000 a year or less). “Since the passage of Proposition 209, California’s public colleges and universities have embraced real diversity on campus through raceneutral alternatives, such as accepting the top percentage of students at all high schools, using socioeconomic consideration in admissions, adding mentorship and outreach to under-performing schools, dropping legacy preferences and expanding need-based scholarships,” Gratz said.

Unplugging and Reconnecting By TUNIKA ONNEKIKAMI As teenagers become more involved in the lives of celebrities through social media, a volunteer program allows students to interact with them in person. On March 2, the day before the Oscars, nearly 100 students gathered at the W Hotel in Hollywood to meet their idols while developing vital skills. Established in 2008, Celebrity Candie allows student volunteers to disconnect from their gadgets by escorting celebrities through a gifting suite. Students act as guides for each celebrity in “a huge gathering of celebrities [and] cutting edge products.” Junior Danny Gold has been involved with the program since Aug. 2013, and believes that Celebrity Candie promotes teamwork and helps both social and shy students gain new skills. By talking

to and leading celebrities through the suite during each event, participants are forced to think on their toes and step out of their comfort zones. These skills are necessary in order to gain job opportunities in a world where communication is conducted over social media in lieu of face-to-face interaction. Director of Celebrity Candie Bella Allen created the program with the intention of “[uniting] celebrities, innovators and ambitious teens,” under one roof. “Students participate in our events because they are fun, informational and can help propel careers in Hollywood,” Allen said. “Additionally, the students have the opportunity to meet the people they have dreamed about.” Students are also able to apply for internships under the organization, including graphic design, social media


Celebrity Candie encourages teens to unplug from social media by giving them the chance to interact with celebrities and web design. “[Using social media] is our favorite way to find escorts, post information, and show amazing pictures from the events themselves,” Allen said. “As far as applicable skills, our events help teens learn how to be responsible social media users. [Teens] learn the boundaries, what’s acceptable and unacceptable, which can be applied to their everyday life.” Though a new member in a six-yearold program, Gold has already been promoted to West Coast Regional Scout Manager. His position requires him to recruit student-participants. “I have some shy friends that I have gotten to come into the program and I can say that they are more [open], where they were in their shells’ before,” Gold said. “It is a good way of getting people out there, talking and trying new

things.” Gold intoduced junior Renee Royals to the program; she joined to gain connections and meet new people. “I would definitely encourage students to [participate]. It is an amazing opportunity to be one-onone with the different people in the entertainment industry,” Royals said. “It is also a great building block for gaining confidence in yourself and your social skills.” According to Allen, there are no prerequisites to join the program. “Our escorts are an incredible mix of ambitious, motivated teens. We have dancers, honors students, actors and athletes,” Allen said. “We are not looking for a specific type [of student]. As long as [they] are enthusiastic, motivated and hard working, we would love to have [them].”

By SONIA DESAIDAMLE The annual “Walk For Life” fundraiser boasts havingover a thousand participants each year. Through the help of ASB, students, staff members, administrators and community members join together to support one common cause: the fight against cancer. In the past ten years, Peninsula has raised over $450,000. This year ASB hoped to generate close to the same total as last year, if not more, according to Activities Director Season Pollock. This year’s Walk earned a total of $25,000. For the first time since its start, participants could also donate their hair. ASB teamed up with Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths campaign to encourage students and faculty to donate their hair to make wigs for cancer patients. Senior Nicki Aviel, Commissioner of Environment,

and junior Golshan Helfman, Commissioner of Fundraising, were two major initiators of the hair donation program and were among those who chose to donate their own hair. “I think it’s really cool that kids were willing to do something as personal as cutting their hair rather than just donating money,” Helfman said. “I never expected so many people to be willing to do this.” By the event’s finale, 40 participants had chosen to donate their hair. ASB chose to donate to Pantene rather than Locks of Love because the minimum hair donation for Pantene is eight inches while Locks of Love requires ten inches. “It makes me really happy to see people around campus who have cut their hair and are excited about contributing to the cause,” Aviel said. Senior Samantha Wathugala is one of 22 Panthers who chose


More Ways Than One: Panthers support fight against cancer in new ways

Senior Samantha Wathugala cuts her hair in order to donate it to Walk For Life. Wathugala was one of 40 participants to donate to the cause. to donate hair. She has donated her hair to cancer fundraisers in the past. Rather than keeping her hair at a consistent length, Wathugala grows it out for

years at a time and cuts almost all of it off at once so she can donate as much as possible. “My hair grows fast and if I let it stop at its full length

forever, then that’s not really letting it reach its helpingpeople potential.” Wathugala said. “It can help people and it really doesn’t hurt me.”


PALOS VERDES PENINSULA HIGH SCHOOL 27118 Silver Spur Road, Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274 EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Izma Shabbir Stephanie Minn COPY/DESIGN EDITOR Sunnie Kim

NEWS EDITORS: Mina Zhang Tunika Onnekikami WRITERS: Amani Jalota Joven Du Sonia Desaidamle OPINION EDITORS: Caroline Park Uswah Shabbir WRITERS: Prashila Amatya Robert Broadbelt Sama Shah FOCUS EDITORS: Lauren Lee Soolgi Hong WRITERS: Esther Chu Jina Kim Marine Fujisawa Valeria Park STUDENT LIFE EDITORS: Fatima Siddiqui Florencia Park WRITERS: Alex Bologna Elisabeth Darling Jasmine Kim Rachael Ku SPORTS EDITORS: Amy Valukonis Noah Werksman WRITERS: Chris Kong Danielle Castaneda GRAPHICS Angela Song Jackie Uy Juliette Struye Justin Boisvert Yasmine Kahsai Isabelle Wang BUSINESS & ADVERTISING Liliana Pond ADVISER Katherine Crowley “The Pen” is the student newspaper produced by the advanced journalism students of Palos Verdes Peninsula High School. It is published eight times per year. Advertising inquiries may be directed to Advertising Manager Liliana Pond at (310) 377- 4888 ext. 652. The Pen editors appreciate Letters to the Editors, which may be accepted up to one week before publication. You may submit them to H52 or Katherine Crowley’s mailbox. Copyright © 2014

Design by: Sunnie Kim Front Page Photograph by: Christopher Michel


Restoring faith in the humanities By SAMA SHAH According to federal data, the percentage of humanities majors nationwide dropped from 14 percent in 1970 to seven percent today. Elite universities such as Harvard, which has experienced a 20 percent decline in humanities majors over the past decade, are recognizing that the fields of science and technology are rapidly surpassing those of the humanities. The lack of interest in humanities is worrisome because skills learned in humanities courses such as critical thinking, perceptive reading and articulate writing, are essential in a majority of professions. “English majors often become lawyers and judges because they can read critically,”




What’s the difference between a U.S. citizen who votes and one who decides not to? Only that the one who chooses to vote also chooses to matter. Not voting for whatever reason gives up the most effective way to have one’s voice heard in the American democracy. It goes without saying that some laws in place are unfair and one-sided. A prime example stems from a practice found in many states:

Comparative Religions and Advanced Philosophy teacher Jim Maechling said. “The ability to take judicial principles, understand the intricateness of cases and apply the law to those cases requires someone who is well-read.” The declining interest in humanities is partly influenced by the further integration of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related programs into school curricula. For example, next year, Peninsula will offer three AP Physics courses in addition to AP Biology, AP Chemistry and AP Environmental Science. “Employment for humanities majors may be difficult to find and the ‘starving artist’ stereotype [may be] discouraging to those looking

for security,” junior Ellen He said. “While society needs its doctors, [science] researchers and engineers, it also needs writers, artists and historians.” The belief that humanities majors face a depleting job market is largely untrue, for they have potential futures as lawyers and politicians, among other elite careers. According to the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), 82 and 76 percent of law school applicants with philosophy and journalism majors, respectively, were accepted. In fact, California’s Governor Jerry Brown graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Berkeley. “If [one is] going to be in a position someday to make public policies or to understand

why wars are being fought, [one has] to know culture, language, customs, traditions, religions and various ways of thinking.” Maechling said. The humanities make one a more perceptive human being. To some extent, reading literature broadens one’s mind to understand various motives that affect human behavior as well as the historical and cultural contexts that mold it. It may be that reading “Les Misérables” will not compel an individual to launch herself into the role of a revolutionary heroine, but it will make her more conscious of the need to self- reflect. This is what makes the humanities, from the Italian Renaissance to today, a lasting area of study.

Affirmative Action. California, however, has eliminated this policy by ruling affirmative action in public universities unconstitutional, the first state to do so, through Proposition 209 in 1996. A proposed California constitutional amendment, SCA5, might appear on the ballot in November. This measure seeks to amend Prop. 209 to reconsider race, ethnicity and gender in the admissions processes of the University of California and California State University systems. With its recent approval in the state Senate, SCA5 will soon move on to the Assembly,

where its passage is also likely, but voters will make the final decision. Proponents of this measure argue that California’s Latino population has increased in the past two decades, but this trend is not reflected in admissions data. The number of Latinos remains low in the UC system. Since Prop. 209, Asians have dominated enrollment, particularly at UC Berkeley and UCLA. Though these facts may seem alarming, they are simply the result of an admissions process based on merit, and not one that relies on preferential treatment of minorities. To amend Prop. 209 would be regressing an

unfair law that in essence values certain ethnicities over others. A college acceptance should be awarded according to aptitude and achievement alone; a decision should certainly not be influenced by the fact that an applicant was born a specific race. This legislation demands attention, particularly of those who will be eligible to vote, as its outcome directly affects our future. The fact is, if we do not vote “No” on SCA5, our entire education system will change. Those who have the power to make a difference and correct a skewed law should.




WAT E R woes

California's drought concerns the nation, yet Peninsula students remain oblivious to the weight of the issue at hand. NASA has recently reported that the effects of the California drought are visible from outer space. According to the California Department of Water Resources, 2013 is the state’s driest year on record. Additionally, the statewide water reservoirs are 75 percent below their usual average. Southern California has no direct water source; therefore, the students at Peninsula must be diligent about conserving water and become more aware of their surrounding environment. “The Southern California area is a desert, and the area was developed with the intention of relying on water being brought from other places,” AP Biology teacher Carlie Perantoni said. According to the Huffington Post, the production of food in the agriculture sector is greatly affected by the drought.

California’s agriculture business generates $45 billion dollars each year and it accounts for 15 percent of U.S. crop sales. “We have water falling in the wrong places, and even though we aren’t literally dying of thirst, the drought is affecting our produce,” Perantoni said. However, because many seem to be oblivious to the ongoing drought in the state and its possible direct consequences, students at Peninsula fail to take action. “Many students are oblivious to the drought or do not seem to care,” junior Emily Starobrat said. “We need to put more energy into conserving water because without it, there will be serious consequences.” California is facing a major environmental and economic disaster as a result of this extreme drought. Governor Jerry Brown and his legislators have proposed

a $687.4 million emergency drought relief package. This relief effort will free up the state’s water supplies and help any residents who are faced with hardship during the drought. Equally important are the simple ways to contribute to the conservation effort. These include ensuring faucets at home are not leaking, taking shorter showers, sprinkler systems are not unnecessarily utilized and making sure that only full loads of laundry are being washed. By installing water-saving shower heads at home, Peninsula students could save 500-800 gallons per week. These acts may seem inconsequential in comparison to the nation’s water usage, but a united effort, will save thousands of gallons of water and help the state through this water shortage. Together, California can weather this drought.

“We have water falling in the wrong places, and even though we aren’t literally dying of thirst, the drought is affecting our produce.” -AP Biology teacher Carlie Perantoni



of students are unaware california is currently in a drought




of students think there is no need to conserve water because of the recent rainstorm




of students do not make a daily effort to conserve water

of students think the drought is not a major issue or have no opinion


*Out of a survey of 100 students



The “Name Game” evolves across the generations


In the mid-twentieth century, the most popular baby names were Mary and John and over the course of sixty years, have changed to Kenzie and Liam. According to the Daily Mail newspaper, names such as Susan and David topped the charts in the 1950s, while names such as Ava and Aiden are currently in the top ten name list. Popular names have evolved with an emphasis towards individuality as parents aim for the most eye-catching name for their child. Names may originate from cultures and religions, a specific word or phrase, or from their family tree. A more

idiosyncratic approach has arisen where parents create names out of non-name words, such as Poppy or Justice. A more personal name can be the combination of two family names, as in the case of sophomore Janeline Wong. Wong’s first name was created by combining both her grandmothers’ names, Janet and Emeline. Her parents wanted her to embody the values of her grandmothers. She believes that her name allows her to embrace individuality. “There is a move towards individuality as time goes on,” Wong said. “In the past, people were judged for their name

[as] they signified culture. Nowadays, people have names originating [from] all over the place and there is less influence on conformity.” Traditional names have been used in past centuries and are still commonly used around the world. Previously, common names, such as Joshua and Rachel, were chosen for their religious references. However, according to Nameberry, people are avoiding classical names, such as those associated with royal families and those from the Baby Boomer generation, and are favoring names such

According to Dongyoun Hwang, Professor of Asian Studies at Soka University of America, Korean surnames used to provide a lot of information about an individual. “Some surnames such as mine, came from then-China but many (like Kim and Lee) were also created based upon their local ties, jobs or social status,“ Hwang said. “Surnames such as Ma, Gol, Cheon indicate social status.” Korean surnames originate from an old social hierarchy, in which only the nobility had last names. When this class system was dismantled, servants took the names of their masters. Consequently, Korean surnames lack variety. “They have frequently served as a tie to local [and] regional or even national unity,” Hwang said.

The frequent usage of certain surnames in history leads to the common Kim’s and the Lee’s seen at Peninsula today. Because surnames are primarily thought to indicate blood relations, the frequency of these Korean last names can cause confusion. “I was once asked if [chemistry teacher] Mr. Lee was my uncle,” junior Jamie Lee said. “I’ve also been repeatedly asked if I [am] related to several other students at Peninsula, just based on my last name.” According to Lee, this questioning about her surname can become annoying and seemingly ignorant. Furthermore, her common last name may sometimes interfere with others’ perception of her as an individual. She believes her personality is more relevant than the vapidity of her last name.

as Mason and Hazel. “A unique name is definitely more memorable and it is nice to never have to get confused with other people,” junior Kari Schoettler said. “[Our parents’] generation had a lot of generic names and they might have wanted different names themselves.” According to The New York Times, parents are pressured into finding the perfect name for their child: unique enough to make them stand out, yet not too strange or boring. Parents try to emphasize the importance of individuality through the names of their children.

Not a “fami-Lee”: Students with identical last names By JINA KIM

Flip through the yearbook, and 50 students with the last name Lee will appear, predictably followed by the usual 42 Kim’s and 12 Park’s. Most believe last names express indicate family relations, but for individuals with common last names, this is not always the case. According to the 2013 U.S. Census, America’s three most common last names are Smith, Johnson, and Williams. These surnames are equally as common at Peninsula, as there are 11 William’s, 9 Smith’s and 4 Johnson’s. Further down the U.S. Census’s list of most common names are Lee and Kim. According to the International Business Times, Dr. Donald Baker at the University of British Columbia says more than half of the Koreans in the world have the surname Kim, Park or Lee and, specifically, one-fifth of all Koreans are Kim’s.


Junior Jenny Lee also experiences feelings of banality because of her common name. “I know several girls who have the exact same name as me, which can get confusing,” Jenny said. “It’s definitely easy to be lost in the sea of Lee’s and Kim’s, but everyone has a different personality so [his or her] last name shouldn’t be of huge importance.” Similarly, junior Tyler Williams believes that the last name is the first layer of a person’s identity and does not dictate his actions or should affect others’ view of them. “With an overall common name, it gives one all the more reason to work hard to stick out in the crowd instead of just being another Joe Smith, or in my case, another Tyler Williams,” Williams said.



Names help us to create our own ‘name brands’ By MARINE FUJISAWA There is an ancient Roman saying, nome est nomen, meaning “name is destiny.” Names can carry information about a person like his or her ancestry, culture and tradition. According to The Week, a name is an important part of one’s identity and can influence a person’s life in more ways than one. Furthermore, names can affect the way one is perceived and can impact the decisions he or she will later make. Names can greatly influence decisions and behavior, and there are various phenomena that result due to names. One of these occurrences is “nominative determinism,” or when one has a profession that has been associated to his or her name, such as lawmaker Lord Judge or gardener Bob Flowerdew. Similarly, girls with more traditional “feminine” names, such as Isabelle or Mary, are less likely to apply for a job in the fields of math or science. Another phenomenon, “implicit egotism,” affects everyday life because, according to Sage Journals, a person is more interested in things, places and people that have a similar name to the person. In addition, when looking at applicants for an administrative business position, the Association for Psychological Science found that applicants with an initial of C or a D tend to have lower GPAs then people who do not. Furthermore, in baseball, batters with the initial ‘K,’ which indicates a strike, are more inclined to strike out than other batters. Investigators conclude this phenomenon occurs because people are subconsciously influenced by their names and initials. According to H. Edward Deluzain, author of “Behind the Name,” people tend to automatically associate themselves or another person, with a name. Consequently, since people associate themselves with the name, a person sometimes feel personally

insulted when his or her name is mispronounced because of the strong attachments one has to his or her name. Students on Peninsula also feel that their names are significant parts of who they are. Sophomore Golshan Helfman says that her unique name makes

“Names never brand us, but attitudes toward names might.” Psychologist Carol Francis her feel as if it is a part of her identity, since her friends tend to have more common names. “My name represents my heritage, which is cool since I live [in America],” Helfman said. “It reminds me of my culture.” Furthermore, certain names tend to have certain connotations associated with one’s ancestry or religion. According to The Week, the American public is more inclined to make more negative assumptions about a boy named Tyrone than about a boy named Phillip because of racial stereotypes. The same studies found that this prejudice held true in the job market as well. For example, resumes of those with African-American names were not reviewed as thoroughly as their identical Caucasian counterparts. Freshman Temishi Onnekikami says because her name can have racial stereotypes attached to it, she feels compelled to prove herself more. Her

name, which means, “God has made me whole,” is a Nigerian name. For her, the name pushes past the stereotypes attached, for it has helped her through countless hard times by reminding her that she is whole and strong. “When people say my name I always think, ‘Oh they must think I have such an African American name,’” Onnekikami, said. “I felt like people need to know it’s ethnic, it is not just some weird name.” In addition to Onnekikami, sophomore Arman Ramezani also has similar experiences of being racially profiled because of his ethnic name. He says that many adults can be inquisitive about his name, and some people have even teased him about it. Even so, Ramezani says his name makes him special and has grown to appreciate his name. “Now I feel that it has made me different from the herd and makes me a bit unique,” Ramezani said. “When you don’t know someone personally but you know their name, you can make some judgments about it.” Psychologist Carol Francis says that names can never brand a person, but can impact whom she is and what she is going to do depending on their attitude toward her name. “Names never brand us, but attitudes toward names might.” Francis said. Francis concludes that the important thing is to focus on the opportunity to influence one’s name, for that person and for the surrounding people, so the energy in the name is positive. The name, according to Francis, is an indication of how people feel about the owner of the name. “It is focusing on the influence that you have about the name. You should be in charge of how to get your name to roll off people’s tongues in a positive type of way,” Dr. Francis said. “To take charge of yourself is a really important skill.”



Up Klose and personal with stingers Senior Rachel Klose checks for drones, bee larva and honey in a beehive. Klose removed this unwanted beehive from a residence and transferred it to a safer area.


How to remove a beehive: Step 2 Wait until dusk to vacuum the hives.


Step 1 Gear up in a bee suit and gloves.

Step 3 Relocate the bees to new hives.

The team created a bee vacuum and ensured that the air pressure would be safe for the bees. Klose then vacuumed the bees into a box and relocated the bees to Keese’s outdoor hive. The team checks each frame of honeycomb for bee larva,

use. “I always have fun when Near a Portuguese Bend we collect honey,” Klose residence, senior Rachel Klose, said. “We even made lip along with her team of six balm a couple of times.” beekeepers, is greeted by an In addition to monitoring, angry swarm of bees. The team extracting and collecting patiently waits until dusk when honeycomb, the beekeepers the bees have calmed down, and inform the public about bee Klose and her team cut safety. the branch holding the Klose found hive. out about the 4-H “We go in and safely remove organization when 4-H is an nationwide organization founded for the hives and transfer them to she was in seventh youth development in but she began a safer location where the hive grade, individual communities. beekeeping in ninth Every month, Klose, her will benefit the community. ” grade. After three team and her three-year years, Klose is now Senior Rachel Klose 4-H leader Dee Keese a youth leader. Even assist the community though Klose has by removing unwanted been stung a number beehives. of times, she does “We go in and safely remove not see a reason why drones and honey. They also the hive and transfer them to anyone would turn down monitor the bees’ population a safer location where the hive such a unique opportunity and determine whether or not will benefit the community,” to start an additional frame with to work with bees. Klose said. Klose hopes to continue preformulated wax or let the In one instance, Keese this hobby throughout bees produce wax themselves. discovered a hive burrowing college and plans to start If a hive fills up, they create an under the roof of her house. additional box for the bees to her own club next year.



Junior Courtney Schmidt poses in her six second Vine videos. Schmidt has gained 33,000 followers and posted over 111 Vines.





rises to fame on 6 Seconds to Fame : SelfieC mobile Vine app By RACHAEL KU

to share a variety of videos but with a catch: Videos cannot be When junior Courtney longer than six seconds. The Schmidt posted her first video on limit may seem like a hindrance, Vine, a mobile social media app but people like Schmidt, who that allows users to share videos, goes by “SelfieC,” have been she never expected it would able to use their creativity and bring her fame. Now, she has 400 wit to launch themselves to thousand hits and more than 12 fame. thousand followers on Twitter. “I do a lot of Vines that have “I’m not sure how I got so to do with music,” Schmidt said. famous,” Schmidt said. “I only “I also do collaborations with started getting more followers a other people on Vine. People few months ago.” comment on my videos and Vine now has more than 13 sometimes they’re famous.” million users, allowing each user Schmidt is part of a vast

Vine community. Schmidt and her Vine friends greet fans and hang out at parties. The sudden popularity does at times seems overwhelming. “My close friends treat me the same, but I know that people I’m not close to treat me differently,” Schmidt said. “I get a lot of stares.” Freshman Janice Lee immediately recognized Schmidt from her videos after seeing her on campus. “I have watched her Vines before, so I immediately

recognized her as ‘SelfieC,’” Lee said. “It was really cool seeing someone so famous on campus.” For Schmidt, the recognition is both thrilling and suprising. “I don’t consider myself to be famous, but it is kind of cool,” Schimdt said. With the sudden rise in popularity, Schmidt is forced to deal with setbacks. “There are always hate comments but the hate doesn’t affect me,” Schmidt said. “[In fact], it made me realize

that what people say online, shouldn’t affect what I do in real life. It doesn’t change who I am.” Despite all her hits and followers, Schmidt is still a student, and Vining is not her top priority. “[While Vining] has changed me by giving me a lot of opportunities to meet new people and go new places, I’m just focusing on school right now,” Schmidt said. “It’s not a big part of my life, but it is also fun so I’ll be doing it as long as I can.”

Land of the free, Home of Peninsula’s ROTC program By ALEX BOLOGNA For many of those currently defending the United States in the armed forces, life-risking combat training begins in a collegiate program like the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. The ROTC program channels interested students to various branches of military service including the Navy, Air Force and Army. The program, according to ROTC department coordinator and UCLA army reserve officer Sacco Nazloomian, offers college opportunities. “We look for students who may be captain of a sports team,” Nazloomian said. “We want to help students succeed

in future tasks by putting them and UC Berkeley. Hall hopes as it has increased the number in situations like small unit to commission as a military of roles offered to women. infantry tactics, [which] will help intelligence officer for the army. In the future, Hung wishes to us observe leadership behavior.” “I want to serve my country remain an active duty officer in Students who want to enlist while learning leadership and the armed services. through the ROTC pathway are practical skills, as well as have “An aspect of the army open to full scholarships. that really sparked my Often those students interest is the disciplined tend to major in the ans structured environment “I know it will pay off in the sciences, technology and as well as needing to use long run.” engineering, as well as both your physical and foreign language studies. mental strengths in order to Senior Adam Hall “[The program] makes accomplish tasks,” Hung said. people more culturally “I’m aware that throughout esteemed, [and] teaches the whole process I will them how to socialize as career experience that can lead most likely be paying with leaders,” Nazloomian said. me towards jobs in federal or blood, sweat and tears.” Senior Adam Hall began his local law enforcement,” Hall The ROTC lifestyle is application to ROTC for a foursaid. rigorous. Cadet training year full-tuition scholarship last Junior Audrey Hung has also requires students to engage semester and plans to apply it expressed an interest in the in bi-daily physical training towards colleges like UCLA ROTC program opportunities, exercises, military subject

classes and field training exercises, on top of the normal course load. “The only worry I have right now is surviving college as an ROTC Cadet. I know, however, that it will pay off and give me an edge in the long run,” Hall said. According to Terri Lewallen, director of the College and Career Center, ROTC is not just an outlet to pursue future military opportunities. It is a resource that promotes education not available to a number of students. “For some students, it’s the path they wish to take,” Lewallen said. “There is no wrong path, it’s just which one fits you the best.”



Community loses control over rivalry competitions By NOAH WERKSMAN

n o i t a n i m Do

By CHRIS KONG A common misconception is that boys are naturally better athletes than girls, but at Peninsula, female athletes have transcended this stereotype. Since the founding of Peninsula in 1991, girls’ teams have won over 100 California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) league championships and state championships collectively; the boys’ teams have won only 56. Title Nine, as a part of the Education Amendments of 1972, has evened out the playing field for girls in sports. Dictating equal program funding, Title Nine has given girls the fair chance to show their athletic ability on a bigger stage. On March 8, in the girls’ track meet at Paramount High School, the girls’ 800-meter sprint medley relay team set the nation’s second best time for that event. The four-girl squad was anchored by varsity sophomore athlete Tunika Onnekikami, who ran the last 400 meters of the race in 55.83 seconds. “Underclassmen girls are outstanding performers,” track sprinting coach David Solomon said. “At this young age, they are in prime shape to perform at the highest level—prepared for the intense high school competition.” On the court, the girls’ varsity tennis team has shown its strength


with a perfect 27-0 record during the season. The team went on to make its 13th State Championship appearance and win its 11th State Championship. “Some of the best tennis programs are here in southern California,” varsity tennis Head Coach Mike Hoeger said. “The depth of talent and variety of

Titles won since 1991* 3 State


16 CIF







skill on the girls’ team has helped them become Bay League champions for four consecutive seasons.” The last time the boys’ tennis team won CIF Division 1 was in 2001. Athletic Director and former varsity girls’ basketball Head Coach Wendell Yoshida believes that girls are performing better. “There is more parity in the talent of


s t r o p s r Girls lead in the race fo

boys in sports; this makes achieving success harder because there are more good teams to compete with,” Yoshida said. In the South Bay, there is a higher frequency of female students actively participating in sports; this gives those girls’ teams the upperhand in regional and national competitions. In the gym, the success of the girls’ volleyball team has trumped that of the boys’. The girls have had five consecutive winning seasons, dating back to 2009; The last winning season that the boys’ achieved was in 2005. The achievements of girls’ golf is another testament to the depth and strength of female athletes at Peninsula. “Girls’ golf only started in 1998 and there wasn’t even any girls’ golf team before that,” golf coach Glenn Van Enk said, who started coaching the girls’ team in 2001. “The sport started becoming very popular after the Title Nine bill was passed.” Since its arrival at the school in 1998, girls’ golf has won three consecutive state and national titles. The boys’ golf team, far shy of the girls’ prestigious record, has yet to win one. “We are lucky to have a school with students who are dedicated to the sports they play,” Yoshida said. “Coaches expect just as much out of girls as they do out of boys.” *Excluding sports that do not cater to both genders (e.g. football, wrestling)

High school sports can engender fanaticism and extreme loyalty for a team, but when fervent fans get out of control, who is there to tame the fire? No one hushed the Red Tide, Palos Verdes’ student-fan section, during the away girls’ volleyball match-up on Oct. 17. One unsportsmanlike and gross incident occurred when student-fans from PV broke out into songs from the Lion King, directing their chorus at the sole AfricanAmerican player on Peninsula’s team. On Nov. 5, at the varsity boys’ water polo game at PV, the Red Tide started chanting anti-Semitic and other rude remarks at a couple of players in the pool. It took a Peninsula parent, who was watching the game from the opposite side of the pool, to put an end to the savage taunting. Even after the shockwaves of this incident, the bigotry and degradation did not cease. During the varsity boys’ basketball game at PV on Feb. 7, parents were riled up to the point of yelling at the kids on the court— getting up from their seats, pointing fingers at the referees and screaming at whomever would listen. The sportsmanlike behavior we expect our parents to teach us was not present in the Red Tide that day. We students are taught to behave properly in the classroom, and we understand that there are consequences for misconduct. But in sports, where bitter competition often renders violence and cruel behavior, model citizenship is too often forgotten. My mother taught me that character counts when no one is looking, but it should especially count when everyone is looking. It is not enough to dictate punishment after a crime has been committed; we need to avert trouble in the first place. Neither the Red Tide nor the Zoo should ever conduct themselves in such a way that suspension or complete disbanding of the cheer sections are even discussed. Unfortunately, we are forced to set up precautions to avoid unseemly behavior. Rivalry competitions are arranged for players and fans to have fun, to declare bragging-rights and to settle claims of stardom. We try to save the environment, we do the Walk for Life, and we meticulously throw away our garbage in the dumpsters; why can’t we treat the kids who live in our neighborhoods with the same respect that we give to our earth and to strangers who are suffering from cancer? Character does count, in school, on the field, beside the pool—in fact, it’s the most important score there is.


Number of Students (tho


University of California Admissions Data By ISABELLE WANG

60 40 20



Number of Applicants in 2014




2013 Applications and Admissions




Los Angeles

Riverside Santa Barbara

100 Applied






4 5




20 0








Los Angeles


Berkeley 73,711

Freshmen Class of 2013 California Out-of-state International

Santa Barbara 66,756




Number of Students (thousands)

Davis 60,496


Los Angeles 86,472

67 33 Riverside Santa Barbara





Total: 6,053

2109 2840 858




Total: 5,807

Irvine 66,426

939 2,042 3,019

Los Angeles


Total: 6,000

The Pen  

Issue 6 of The Pen for the 2013-2014 school year.

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