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DAFT PUNK’S LEGACY: Think Globally, Write Locally


We review their soundtrack to the movie “Tron: Legacy”

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December 15, 2010

Volume XCIX, Issue 5

Classroom is vandalized, teachers left to clean up After a science class is vandalized, teachers question their responsibility in regard to the cleanup. Olivia Legan Staff Writer

Photo by Reva Santo

SHOWSTOPPERS: Junior Henry Boyd and senior Tiana Randall-Quant perform during the Dec. 10 perforsee Campus Life, page 3 mance of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Toy drive brings Bautista back to childhood Spanish Teacher Claudia Bautista and the La Sociedad club give back by holding a toy drive for local elementary school kids. Eloise Graham Staff Writer

Spanish teacher and La Sociedad adviser Claudia Bautista knows what it’s like to not have toys during the holidays. To give back, Bautista and the La Sociedad club are holding their annual toy drive to provide elementary school kids in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District with holiday toys. “I suppose it had something to do with my own history. I was raised Catholic and I’m originally from El Salvador, and we were very

poor. We didn’t have toys for the holidays,” Bautista said. “It’s all about random acts of kindness; not caring that you’re putting a little bit of your money in it and hoping that some day those kids will do it for someone else.” Bautista usually ends up sponsoring around 10 kids by herself. When she was younger, she was a recipient of a random act of kindness similar to the spirit of the toy drive. “When I was in high school I lived on my own with my three sisters. One

year on Thanksgiving, out of nowhere, these three ladies appeared at our front door. We had no idea how they got there and they brought a turkey and a bag filled with groceries. It was the most unbelievable thing because we weren’t even going to celebrate Thanks-

giving that year. I still have no idea where they came from, and when we asked they said don’t worry about it.” According to Bautista, some schools accept the gifts from La Sociedad and

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Photo by Nicholas Zarchen

PRESENT PACKER: Mariana Magaña wraps and packs presents donated during the toy drive.

Lopez’s language labs could make a comeback

Once a staple at Samo, the language labs, rooms where foreign language students could work on their oral and listening skills, may soon return. Chelsea Brandwein Staff Writer

Language labs may once again see the light of day. Language department teachers are attempting to obtain funding for the restoration of aged language labs, which were last used in the 1990s to better listening skills and pronunciation among all foreign language students. “[Language labs] improved speaking abilities, but I think the thing they did the most is improve listening compre-

hension. When you understand more, you can speak more,” Language Department Chair José Lopez. Samo had two language labs, each of which included forty enclosed stations equipped with a set of headphones. In each lab was a control consul where teachers could speak to and listen in on individual students to monitor their progress. Instructors could also connect students together in pairs or larger groups to develop conversational skills. A supervisor scheduled appointments and

coordinated materials. Lopez estimates that the numbers were among $120-140 thousand. Since the closing of language labs in the early nineties, language department teachers have noticed a decay in listening abilities. “The listening skills have declined over the years, including that of native speakers,” Lopez said. “Fortunately we have a department that excels in teaching these skills of listening and speaking, but language labs would definitely help everyone develop these skills towards fluency.” Just recently, Samo Principal Dr. Hugo Pedroza contributed two boxes of new head-

phones, which would be used in the language labs if they were to undergo restoration and be reopened for student use. Additionally, Lopez has sought funding from local businesses and the Rotary Club. As of now, these local establishments are suffering due to the recent economic decline and are not currently making donations. However, Lopez remains hopeful. “This community has always been very supportive of education, so I believe we will find funding from businesses within and from the school district.” Lopez said.

Quotes scrawled on bright pieces of construction paper cover Mary Beth Reardon’s classroom in the Science Building. Every year, her graduating students write a phrase that they identify with; it is a piece of them that will stay at the school when they leave. However, the area surrounding the clock is a white wall. The papers that once covered that area have been taken down following an incident of vandalism. According to Reardon, who was on maternity leave at the time, long-term substitute Pam Latham walked into her classroom on the morning of Nov. 29 to find a group of the aforementioned papers vandalized with permanent marker. The students reportedly climbed onto the counter and drew on the papers. “It is really sad that people are doing these sorts of things; people are coming in here and standing on the counters and writing things when a lot of the stuff in this room are things from my house,” Reardon said. “To be honest, it feels very violating.” Later that same week, Reardon’s class was doing a lab that required coffee filters. She opened a drawer and found the filters damp and stained. Thinking it was due to excess water, she removed them, only to see something brown in the corner. “I wasn’t sure what it was, it looked like a dead animal or feces; I freaked out.

One of my students took care of it and it ends up that it was feces. We assume it happened the night that the papers were vandalized. But that is taking vandalism to a whole other level,” Reardon said. “There is a difference between something that written on a whiteboard and … this. This is a health hazard. It is just so disgusting and wrong.” Reardon’s first period students were the first to see the vandalism, along with Latham. “Seeing the graffiti was really unsettling,” senior Conrad McKinnon, who is in Reardon’s first period class, said. “Ms. Latham was concerned because she didn’t know if they were targeting her, the classroom, or if it was random.” I-House Principal Renée Semik believes that Samo students have the power to stop vandalism. “I always say that the students decide how safe this campus is,” Semik said. “When the students decide that enough is enough, what is acceptable and what is not will change.” According to Reardon, there have been emails circulating among the faculty about the vandalism. Incidents such as this raise questions of teacher responsibility in regard to vandalism. “If teachers see something, we want to wipe it clean, but it is not in a teacher’s job description,” Reardon said.

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Campus Life.................3 Opinion...................4 An inside look at A&E........................5 the lives of those in Special Report..............6 Drumline. Feature...................8 Feature, page 8 Sports......................10


Page 2 Dec. 15, 2010

Bautista gives back with La Sociedad’s toy drive SAMO IN BRIEF:

(continued from pg. 1) the parents and families give the gifts themselves; in other cases, members of La Sociedad give the gifts directly to the children. In the past, Will Rogers, Edison and McKinley elementary schools have had La Sociedad distribute the gifts to the children. Before La Sociedad distributes the gifts, teachers and other faculty of the school will talk to the kids receiving the presents. “[The schools] usually tell them that they’re going to get a special toy because they’ve been good kids. The kids from La Sociedad hand them the toys. Some of the kids don’t know that we get their wish list and they get so surprised. It’s touching, you want to cry every time. It’s really emotionally rewarding,” Bautista said. The students in La So-

ciadad agree. “It feels really good it’s a really gratifying feeling,” junior La Sociedad president Paola Perdomo said, “You see them walk in with a very puzzled face, and they have no idea what’s going to happen.” Although La Sociedad’s toy drive is made available to all schools in the district, they do not end up sponsoring everyone. “We sponsor the schools that have the liasons reply back to us. Will Rogers, Edison and Grant are the quickest to respond, but John Muir and McKinley also [reply]. The economy being as bad as it is, the need has definitely gotten more,” Bautista said. Due to the economic crisis, the complications have come up with the toy drive. “Last year with the

donations that we got from teachers I bought gift cards to supermarkets and stores like Target. This year, though, I have had to use that money to buy gifts,” Bautista said. According to Bautista, she revels in giving back. “My birthday is Dec. 15, and it turns out every year that I’m either wrapping presents or I’m delivering presents on my

birthday. It is the greatest gift to myself every year; I don’t know how to explain it. There are no words to give to someone that doesn’t have anything or has less than you. You just hope that when they grow up, this is something that they will do for other people,” Bautista said.

Photo by Nicholas Zarchen

PLAYING SANTA: Junior Daisy Perez wraps one of the presents donated during the toy drive.

Vandalism makes teachers question responsibility (continued from pg. 1) “Most teachers are more than happy to take care of it, but it is more complicated than that.” School custodian Felipe Cueva knows how difficult graffiti can be to clean up. “For the graffiti, there is only one chemical that really

works to clean up. We try Ajax and other ones but the only one that works is the really strong stuff. It is dangerous; sooner or later, you get lung problems from inhaling it. [The custodians] have to clean up graffiti everyday,” he said. According to Semik, the increase in graffiti at Samo

this year is partially the result of budget cuts, which have left the school with one less security guard to keep watch, and one less custodian to clean it up. “It’s irritating to know that this is how we spend our time,” Semik said. “I would rather spend it talking about how we can better your

From Beyonce to Samo’s jazz band

Wayne Bergeron, men- rigan, Bergeron brought his tor to artists such as Chris- experience and knowledge tina Aguilera and Beyonce, to Jazz Band. worked with the Samo Jazz “[These mentors] lead Band on Monday. Bergeron by example,” Corrigan said. is a jazz, studio/lead trumpet “How can you be a good player with a Grammy-Nom- musician without seeing inated album for Best Large what a great musician is? Jazz Ensemble. He is also a They show what can be done National Artist for the Yama- and motivate the students.” ha Corporation of America. According to Samo’s Nicholas Zarchen, Staff Writer band director Michael Cor-

Samo turned into a refugee “campus” A mock refugee camp, created by the Human Rights Watch Student Task Force (HRW) on campus, dominated the Science Quad during lunch on Dec. 7. The camp, made up of multiple tents festooned with informational materials, was set up to raise awareness for Darfur, as well as issues such as LGBT bullying, child trafficking and lack of education in schools. As students walked

through the Science Quad, they were given the opportunity to explore these tents and listen to club members explain specific issues in more detail. “We’re really proud of what we’ve done,” HRW president senior Esme Levy said. “We worked hard and the impact is visible.”

Molly Chaikin, Staff Writer

Video game competition held in library

learning experience or help you get into colleges instead of checking up on vandalism and how much it is going to cost us. Because unfortunately, we are the ones that have to pay for it.” Photo by Nicholas Zarchen

SAMO GAMERS: Students compete in a friendly game of Halo in the library on Dec. 10,

Campus Life

Page 3 Dec. 15, 2010

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

Photo by Reva Santo

Photo by Reva Santo

INCEPTION: Matthew Pender and Henry Boyd re-enact the story of Pyramus and Thisbe in the comic “play within a play.”

ABRACADABRA: The infamous trickster Puck (Raven Bennett), casts a spell on the lovers as they sleep in the forest on the outskirts of Athens.

Samo theater’s fall production of Shakespeare’s beloved comedy, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” was a success, filling the Humanities Center theater with laughter and the smell of mulch.

functional family. The high school students’ ability to transcend their normal dialect of casual slang language and easily speak the extended metaphors and complex personification that is Shakespeare’s trademark was nothing short of remarkable. Their acting abilities easily showed the underlying emotions and allowed the audience to easily understand and enjoy the play. Several audience members remarked on how this production marked it was the first time they understood “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” — high praise indeed. Shakespeare’s timeless words gracefully carried along the audience in a wave of humor, love, jealousy and nostalgia until the end was at hand. As hollow flute music played out above the audience, the final lines were said as characters departed, no more substantial than a dream.

Aliza Abarbanel Staff Writer

The Samo theater program’s haunting rendition of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” successfully bridges the gap between reality and fantasy, creating a bewitching quasi-reality. Throngs of eager audience members flooded the hallways, and others showed up only to be turned away from a rapidly sold-out theater. Although some latecomers slunk away disappointed, some last minute scheduling enabled some to enter the Humanities Center and become immersed in the play’s rich literature. Twisting vines and translucent canopies hid the stage,

creating curtain-like partitions and transforming the theater into a magical forest, with leafy branches and a mulchcovered floor. These swamplike surroundings stood in stark contrast with the elegant, Elizabethan costumes, creating a tangible sense of the difference between dream and reality. The wild sets displayed the powers of the fairies, whose magic and mishaps shape the plot of the play. What begins as a simple love story between Hermia and Lysander quickly becomes a sprawling, tangled mess of lust and jealousy as Helena and Demetrius are introduced. Demetrius’ unrequited love

for Hermia is only matched by Helena’s insatiable passion for Demetrius, who spurns her every advance. The lover’s cycle of jealousy and affection felt achingly real, and surprisingly reminiscent of high school today. When Helena’s refusal to believe Demetrius’ and Lysander’s love for her, and she waxes nostalgic on how close she and Hermia used to be, her reflection on friendship torn apart by romance is a familiar tale for the high school audience. The sequences of the lovers together resemble the fearlessly loving couples found about Samo, and Hermia’s refusal to follow her father’s wish to marry Demetrius places her centuries-old character with the hundreds of rebellious teens who argue with their parents today. Oberon and Titania’s quarrels and waves of affection are also fixtures in society today, as their love-hate relationship is typical of a dys-

Photo by Henry Boyd

NIP/TUCK: Professional production designer Shannon Kennedy trims straw ribbons in Matilda Mead’s hair while Ayinde Ross looks on.

Photo by Reva Santo

DEVIL’S SNARE: “Midsummer” assigns elemental qualities to each of the faries. Here, Rebecca Birkstock portrays a vine.


Art by Clare Sim

Tessa Nath Feature Editor We’re young, we’re active, we’re aware — not really. We live in a relatively sheltered environment. Los Angeles is the city of fame, fortune, and self-preservation. As long as we’ve got our coffee in one hand and college pamphlets in the other, life seems perfect. Granted, it might be. We might all go off and live fabulous, enviable lives. But chances are, at some point we’ll have to break out of the bubble that is liberal, safe Santa Monica and start facing the realities of the outside world. One of these realities is natural disasters. The last natural disaster to hit Santa Monica was the Northridge Earthquake in 1994; most of us were one, maybe two years old at the most. And was it traumatic? Not really.

But for people living in Haiti during the earthquake in January, or in Chile during the earthquake in February, or in Pakistan during the flood in July, or in Israel during the recent fire crisis, help from wealthy communities such as our own is vital. In Israel, the Carmel Mountains caught fire on Dec. 2. The fire destroyed four to five million trees, 8,000 acres, leaving almost 20,000 homeless and taking an estimated 42 lives in the process. Firefighters worked night and day to put out the fire; however, despite their efforts, the flames fed on the dry brush of the mountains overlooking Haifa, raging on for four more days. Israel even called in international aid, personnel and equipment which the U.S., Turkey, Greece, Jordan, Russia, Bulgaria, Britain, Spain, Egypt, Azerbaijan, Romania and other countries quickly provided. Finally, Dec. 6, rain

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Fires in northern Israel prompt international reflection

poured down on Israel after nine long, dry months, extinguishing most of the fire. This Hanukkah miracle provided welcome relief for the fire fighters working overtime to combat the flames. Besides from being the greatest natural disaster in Israel’s history, the Carmel Mountain fires alerted the world to Israel’s immense vulnerability. “This fire revealed sheer helplessness on Israel’s part, in its internal arena, to face a natural disaster that could occur at any time — whether as a result of arson by an unstable person or the explosion of a missile or rocket like those fired from Gaza,” Mustafa al-Sawaf of the Palestinian Daily Palestine, associated with Hamas, wrote. He went on to express his joy that “the defeat of Israel is possible and simple.” Now Israel faces a heightened crisis of survival. This fire has demonstrated their immense weaknesses,

especially if Islamic terrorists were to fire missiles into the dry regions of Israel. “If the firefighting services don’t receive resources, [in the future] the damage and civilian suffering will be greater,” LieutenantColonel Shavit Zalmi, who commands firefighters in the north, said. The Carmel Mountains used to be one of Israel’s hiking trails, a peaceful quiet atmosphere where Israelis could reconnect with nature. The shock of recent events is unnatural. There was never any hustle or bustle in Carmel — all was quiet as befitting an oasis in a desert. Now the Carmel Mountains stand barren and desolate, a testimony to the battle between life and death that Israel wages every day. We as healthy, active, able Americans need to lend our support to countries like Israel who would otherwise stand helpless without us. We might be content in

our own lives, but as young adults we need to be more aware of the misfortunes of those around us. Think about it — if we lost our homes in a fire and had no place to go, we’d want someone to care about us, too. In honor of the 18 nations that came to Israel’s aid, Israel planted 18 sapling trees in the destroyed regions. Deputy Foreign Min-

Nishok Chetty Sports Editor

saw a potential to create magnificent movies that would entertain the people. Through free digital sharing, Spielberg’s dream comes true. He is able to reach out to even more people. Perhaps his $1.6 billion income over the last decade did not reflect what he rightfully “deserved.” Maybe he should have made a few more million. Instead, since his movies have become more widely available, his audience has grown by a few hundred million. This is surely more valuable to Spielberg. Can one man really spend all that money, anyway? Furthermore, the advent of piracy forces industries to evolve. James Cameron filmed Avatar in 3-D to provide audiences with an experience. The full $18 price tag did not go to waste. Every amp of sound and every pixel of color was optimized, and I was more than happy to see it again and again in theaters. Cameron knew how to outsmart the pirates: he provided the audience with something truly magnificent which could only be delivered in theaters. Similarly, we see the effect of piracy when the bands we love make an effort to tour more often.

ister Danny Ayalon told the hundreds of foreign firefighters Dec. 8 that “this was the most devastating fire in the history of Israel, and your help shows the strength of the human spirit. These trees represent the roots all of you have now in Israel.”

Ways to Help:

Donate to the Jewish Federation wildfire fund at or by calling 323.761.8413, or by mail to The Jewish Federation Israel Wildfire Relief Fund, 6505 Wilshire Boulevard, Ste. 1000, Los Angeles, CA 90048. A donation to the Jewish National Fund to arm the firefighters with the protective gear and equipment they need at To replenish trees in Israel’s forests, donate $10 by texting JNF to 20222 from your cell phone. To give through American Zionist Organization, visit

A college admission deferred, Piracy is the mother of invention a dream detoured: a poem Mya McCann Opinion Editor

As we progress further into the holiday season, many seniors are receiving unwelcome gifts: deferrals of admission from the colleges to which they applied early. “Deferral” is not a rejection, but rather a suspension of the application. The college holds off on making their decision until spring, leaving the student to wallow even longer in the emotional turmoil of waiting.

What happens to a college admission deferred? Does it dry up on a desk, Like a rasin in the sun? Or feed on our suppressed hope –– Only to release none?

Does it stink like an uneaten treat? Or leave us disheartened, like bitter deceit? Maybe it just hurts, like a stubbed toe. Or does it explode?

Faculty Adviser: Kathleen Faas

The Samohi is a biweekly newspaper by, for and about Santa Monica High students. Our goal is to empower the student body through information. We do not represent the views of the administration or staff. We do not endorse advertisements placed in our paper. Letters to the editor should be sent to All ad requsts should be directed to ads@

Managing Editor: Carlee Jensen

News Editor:

Taylor D’Andrea

Feature Editor: Tessa Nath

Special Report Editor: Joe Colajezzi

Although pirating digital media may slightly reduce the already bloated profit margins of Universal, Sony and Warner, the proliferation of illegal media spreads art to those who cannot afford or are unwilling to pay $2 for a song or $12 for a movie, and forces artists to offer more bang for the buck. I’m willing to admit that I have bypassed the ticket/song cost more than a few times. To be honest, I am lazy. Downloading a movie from the comfort of my couch is so much easier. If I weren’t able to download movies myself, I would never take the time to walk to Blockbuster to rent them. Instead, I would have ended up watching Prisoner of Azkaban on ABC Family, yet again. Artists make movies or music because they’re inspired and have a passion — not to make money. Bono’s primary intention was not to be the richest Irish humanitarian of all time. Jimi Hendrix did not pick up a guitar and think about the potential millions of dollars he could have. Steven Spielberg began using a video camera because he

Editor-in-Chief: Jessie Geoffray

Online Editor Neil Thomas

Opinion Editor: Mya McCann

Contributing Artist: Leah Pomerantz

Campus Life Editor: Lily Cain

Sports Editors: Lianna Cohen Nishok Chetty

A&E Editor:

Max Tamahori

Photo Editor: Reva Santo

Copy Editor: Evan Kahn

Layout Consultant: Amy Clark

The music industry no longer revolves around selling music; it revolves around becoming popular and going on tour. Bands have to produce a more appealing “product” (a tour) to convince people to pay money. In the end, the consumer wins. Admittedly, independent movies are hurt by pirating. Because they are on small budgets, they cannot afford to make epics — so while these movies are generally better than the mainstream, a laptop can supplant a theater. However, it is very difficult to find independent movies, except for the rare occasions when they are leaked from an internal source. Technology has made the world more accessible. Why should art be exempt? Technological revolutions force artists to be ahead of the curve. Most see pirates as thieves for stealing from artists. Instead, pirates should be praised for forcing artists to offer more for the money and create a more cultured society. We are not taking away from an industry — just forcing it to evolve for the better.


Aliza Abarbanel, Rebecca Asoulin, Sam Boloorchi, Henry Boyd, Chloe Director, Chelsea Brandwein, Molly Chaikin, Eloise Graham, Daniel Karel, Owen Kneeland, Nadine Melamed, Alice Kors, Olivia Legan, Chase Wohrle, Nicholas Zarchen


Page 5 Dec. 15, 2010

All the Grid’s a stage —for robots Daft Punk return as orchestral maestros for “Tron: Legacy”

Max Tamahori A&E Editor

There shouldn’t be any doubt in anyone’s mind that a Daft Punk record is long overdue. The duo — French robots Thomas Bangalter and GuyManuel de Homem-Christo — last emerged from their Paris studio with the strippeddown-electro, viciously addicting “Human After All” in 2005. The world begged for more, and the two took to their pyramid and produced the Grammy Award-winning “Alive 2007” while on a 48date world tour. But then they vanished, receding from the public eye without a trace to leave the music industry, without a single remix or collaboration with the Daft Punk stamp. The world again begged for more, but the lords of electronic music did not answer. Or so we thought. The world’s favorite robots hadn’t been chilling in the south of France or on Mars … far from it, actually. For right before the final leg of the “Alive 2006/2007” tour, KCRW music director Jason Bentley and freshman film director Joseph Kosinski tapped Daft Punk for potential involvement in musically contributing to the remake of a 1982 Disney sci-fi cult hit. “[Daft Punk] are very meticulous; they don’t do anything without thinking about it,” Kosinski said in an interview/soundtrack preview conducted by Bentley last month.

“They wanted to make sure that this was something they could commit themselves to, creatively and completely.” After a year of courtship with the studio and two years of production in the U.K., the soundtrack to the upcoming “Tron: Legacy” was released last week. And they didn’t disappoint. For a group that is at the center of the canon of electronic music, Daft Punk are not only living up to their reputation, but also breaking out of the “dance” label and establishing themselves as media-hopping maestros who are as comfortable and successful with a symphony orchestra as they are with a synthesizer. Tracks like “Solar Sailer” and “Falling” illustrate Daft Punk’s raw musical power and genius through their seamless integration of hardcore electro elements and traditional orchestral themes. “[We all] knew we wanted to create a classic film score that blended electronic and orchestral music in a way that hadn’t been done before,” Kosinski said. “It was a pretty amazing process.” What really sets this apart from the majority of other scores is the fact that the film was largely edited to fit the music. Most soundtracks are primarily supplemental affairs that add color to what’s happening onscreen, but after listening to tracks like the explosive, glitched-out “The Game Has Changed” or the unsettling and powerful “C.LU.,”

Bru’s Wiffle: waffles reloaded Aliza Abarbanel Staff Writer Generally, waffles are associated with sleepy Sunday breakfasts, sausages and orange juice. However, new restaurant Bru’s Wiffle (2408 Wilshire Blvd.) is challenging the waffle stereotype head-on with its eclectic menu of gourmet waffle fare. Specialty favorites include the classic “dessert Belgian-style waffle,” pizza waffles, chicken curry waffles, and even meatball marinara-stuffed waffles. These gourmet takes on menu classics all point to one conclusion: this isn’t your average eatery. Bru’s Wiffle has mastered the art of balancing quirkiness with class; from decor to menu, everything walks the fine line between intriguing and going too far. The atmosphere is light and fun, and everything from the miniature bottles of ketchup and mustard to the massive jar of Nutella perched above the counter creates a delightfully eccentric mood. Foodies, rejoice. Toppings for various waffles include dried cranberries, sugary hunks of coconut and the delightful ambrosia that is Nutella, while the house specialty beverages include freshly made watermelon, strawberry and ginger lemonade. Sweet and homemade,

the lemonade is just the thing to wash down waffle-centric dishes. Be sure to order the waffle sliders — these bite-sized burgers on mini-waffle buns are flavorful and savory, and the new taste of a waffle bun instead of the typical hamburger bun adds a bonus layer of flavor. They come a bit pricey, at $8 for a plate of three, but their savory layers of flavor are well worth the price. For dessert, the simple joy of a plain waffle topped with powdered sugar, chopped almonds or chocolate chips is enough to satisfy even the most extreme sweet tooth. At $5, it’s the perfect price to share it with a friend. I had heard rumors of baked goods also being served, but the display cases are suspiciously empty. One can only attribute this to the restaurant being very new, and still in the process of finetuning, a fact that can easily be overlooked due to the quality of food. In the unlikely event that non-waffle lovers should stumble into Bru’s Wiffle, the chocolate mousse and variety of salads should placate them. However, it is the waffles you should come for; they push the the boundaries of countless culinary classics.

Image courtesy of

THE GAME HAS CHANGED: Daft Punk are expanding their musical style; the “Tron: Legacy” soundtrack is the duo’s first film score.

one gets the sense that the music is as critical to the cinematic experience as the images. “When you’re going to be so married to a musical piece there are certain rhythmic beats or cycles that you can’t fight,” Kosinski said in his interview with Bentley. “There are scenes where really the picture is cut to the music … those tracks would come in and they’d inspire you to add more energy to the cut or take the edit in a slightly different direction.” “Tron: Legacy” doesn’t hit theaters until this Friday, Dec. 17, so all we can do is hope that the film lives up to its soundtrack. But now, “Tron” aside, the big question: will Daft

Punk tour? Can they construct a performance with a film score as the base? If anyone can, it’s Bangalter and de Homem-Christo; they’re badass sonic architects who can make a catchy mash-up out of anything in their repertoire. Imagine classic Daft Punk hooks mixed with punchy brass lines, their signature arpeggiated synth lines working in tandem with spiccato orchestral strings — it can work. And it’s worth noting for potential Coachella revelers that … well, we’ll see when April rolls around. “Tron: Legacy” hits theaters this Friday, Dec. 17. It will be available in 3-D and standard projection formats.

Joe Colajezzi

pressure as her choreographer begins to favor the style of dancing Lily (played by Mila Kunis) possesses. Lily, clearly Nina’s polar opposite, is an incredibly sexual being who more or less challenges Nina’s future in their company. From there, Nina’s sense of reality starts to stray — and Aranofsky flawlessly depicts the psychological disparity of Nina as her sheltered existence starts to morph into self-destruction. Like most of Aranofsky’s films (“The Wrestler,” “Requiem for a Dream”) we’re presented with a very likable character

Key tracks on


Daft Punk released this as the first official, full-length song on a trailer cut to the track’s pumping, four-on-the-floor beat. Plenty of heavy modulation and digital blips.

Solar Sailer

Probably the most beautiful of them all. A steady electronic bass provides the perfect foundation for the following entrances of majestic and yearning orchestral parts.

End of Line

Bangalter and de HomemChristo are making a cameo appearance in the film as “DJ Programs” during a nightclub scene. This slower club track features a down-tempo backbeat and a simple analog bassline.


This track cuts right to the chase with a ruthlessly grainy kick pattern, then adds a screaming crescendo of white noise behind a rhythmic string line and sustained brass chords. Epic.

Adagio for TRON

Image courtesy of

This one’s a complete departure from anything one would expect to hear from Daft Punk. Slow, string-heavy and slightly cheesy.

A dark, haunting dance of perfection

Special Report Editor The need for perfection is one that has often fueled men and women past their breaking points. Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan” graphically epitomizes the emotional and physical morph into what we as humans often seek, yet cannot handle. The sport of ballet, although beautiful as a finished product, is in fact an incredibly grueling process. Point! Arabesque! Pirouette! Ask anyone who’s been to a ballet class — it ain’t as girly as it sounds. Aranofsky directs Natalie Portman in the role of her career: Nina Sayers, a young ballet prodigy who has quite clearly given up her life to dance in one of New York’s most prestigious dance companies. Her brilliantly promiscuous choreographer (played with exquisite creepiness by Vincent Cassel) casts Nina as the Swan Queen in Swan Lake — the ballet role of a life-time. The key to making the Swan Queen “work” is the transformation she makes from the lithe and innocent white swan to the sinister, yet passionate black swan. Nina has excellent technique and the virginal, kind spirit is no stretch for her — but it’s the lack of flare in her eyes that Nina can’t pull off. Nina begins to undergo immense

Image courtesy of

DARK: Portman in “Black Swan.”

that we want to empathize with. Aranofsky places these characters in incredibly grim real-life struggles that remind us how the world often operates. Although in this context, I prefer the term “psychological mind f–” (well, let’s just say thriller), the visuals displayed in this film are a horror-lover’s dream. The physical transformation of an over-worked ballet dancer is gross enough, but the horrific aesthetic transformation Nina undergoes is one of the most haunting displays in cinema I’ve seen since … actually, a previous Aronofsky


Black Swan succeeds because it triumphs in every aspect possible: tense, gripping direction, poignant acting craft and one of the most technically perfect sound, cinematography and film editing jobs I’ve seen in years; however, because of its subject matter. I don’t see it as a huge Oscar contender come February. Fret not, Darren Aranofsky’s “Black Swan” won’t be forgotten as one of the most effective psychological thrillers of all time.


e as students are introduced to the concept of homework as early as six years old. Unless you’re a student at SMASH or an artsy, liberal private school where homework is not assigned, homework serves as one of the pillars of education. Homework is meant to instill habits of responsibility and accomplishment, but after years of adjusting to the ever-increasing homework load (10 minutes a day added per grade, according to the National PTA and the National Education Association) we find ways to defy such a system by doing our homework in class or copying it from a friend. What our school system and community of educators don’t realize is that homework is completely necessary only if it is used to enhance the understanding of the concept. Endless hours of busy work, assigned out of habit rather than necessity, are ineffective. Just as we choose to embrace learning, we must choose to embrace homework. To benefit, we must do it out of a desire to enhance our understanding of the material, instead of a desire for a quick stamp or a measly five points we cheated to get.

Who really benefits from cheating? Quiz: What Type of Procrastinator are You? Chloe Director Staff Writer Cheating is wrong. There is no question about it. We have always been taught that cheating doesn’t pay, that cheaters get caught and that cheaters are failures at life. Unfortunately, I’m not so sure about that last part anymore. In movies, high-school cheaters are usually portrayed as grungy, lazy low-lifes with little ambition who need to cop a couple good answers from Ivy League Ivan in order to make it out of the 10th grade. But recently, it isn’t the lazy, apathetic, failing student who cheats. In fact, according to, a whopping 80 percent of high-achieving high-school students admit to cheating. While disappointing, it’s not all that surprising. Students today — especially at Samo — deal with constant testing, overloaded schedules, multiple AP classes, cutthroat sports and aggressively competitive extracurricular activities, all in the interest of getting into college. Under this kind of intense pressure, many are tempted to take the easy way out. Why not copy someone else’s homework, have your older brother write your paper or write the answers to the chem test on your palm? There’s so much competition to get into college, it isn’t fair no matter what you do. So, is cheating justified? No! It’s simply not fair. Cheating is an injustice to everyone else. But if smart kids are cheating, then are cheaters winners or losers? Cheaters are losers, even if they look like winners. Authenticity and self-knowledge help you reach your full potential. That’s what we should be striving towards anyway. Besides, cheating isn’t always going to work out, not for you or even Ivy League Ivan. So go on— spread the knowledge, read your book and write your essay, but don’t take credit for this one.

Do you have difficulty completing projects because you can never meet the high standards you set for yourself? The Decisional Procrastinator Type

This type of procrastinator is good at recognizing the work that needs to be done, but they have problems with making decisions, which puts pressure on them so that the work is started and completed at the last minute. This decision-making problem usually stems from perfectionism. The decisional procrastinator likes to view all the possible solutions or likelihoods for the project at hand before making a decision, wanting to make the right decision instead of making a decision. This results in a lot of wasted time in which the procrastinator accomplishes very little. Tip: Focus on what’s achievable, not the ideal. Let yourself mess up here or there and focus on what you feel is the most important. Nobody is perfect!

Do you worry so much about “what if’s” that you are too anxious to start a project? The Fearful Procrastinator Type

This type of procrastinator is unsure about their ability to complete the work. They are afraid of starting the work so they continually put it off. Often they wait until the last minute until the pressure builds up and they just do it. Tip: Make a list of what needs to be done and break it up into smaller portions. Homework is not a do-or-die scenario. A little at a time goes a long way.

Do you think a lot about things you want to accomplish, but rarely get them off the ground?

Do you go out to parties, hang out with friends and do other pleasurable activities instead of doing work?

The Escapist Procrastinator Type The escapist procrastinator is a dreamer, and has a tendency to only see the big picture in the near or far off future. They forget about the steps or the work that needs to be done to accomplish their dreams of success. Tip: Develop the habit of thinking in more detail, not just “I want to be successful,” but “What do I need to do to be successful.” Create realistic goals for yourself and put a time frame on them!

The Relaxed Procrastinator Type The relaxed procrastinator does not take work seriously and puts it off until the final minutes of his deadline. They have a tendency to indulge in other pleasurable activities instead of doing their work. Tip: Having fun is something that is so often neglected in the craziness that is high school. But being able to balance work and fun is essential. Be on the lookout for any selfcon or cop-out by which we deny the need to work right now, and start to think more rationally — you don’t have to go to every party, and don’t avoid work! Unfortunately, this type of procrastinator often needs a trigger even to help them realize that something needs to change. All these tips are merely platitudes, unless you realize that sometimes, no matter how frustrating it is, you just have to do it.

13-24 year-olds spend an average of 16.7 hours a week on Facebook. Samo’s school week is about 35 hours long.

Statistics according to Procrastination information according to

Quiz by Rebecca Asoulin, Staff Writer

Homework A Special Report Weighing in:

Students who Have Not Cheated on Homework

Students and teachers give their input

Students who Have Cheated on Homework (81%)

It’s busy work and it consumes a lot more of my life. It’s harder and you can’t leave anything behind. You can’t procrastinate.”

-Palmo Farber, Sophomore

Students who Haven’t Cheated on a Test (52%) Students who Have Cheated on a Test (48%)

I do believe that homework is important, it is necessary, but when we have one hundred and fifty students we can’t be checking everyone’s homework. Students have to be responsible. -José Lopez, Spanish teacher

Compiled by Alice Kors and Aliza Abarbanel, staff writers

13% of the time and cheat on tests and quizzes 6.5% of the time. Seniors are 2x more likely than Freshmen and

On average, each Samo teacher has caught

2 students cheating on tests/quizzes and 5 students cheating on homework this


Seniors are 50% more likely to cheat on tests and quizzes than freshmen and sophomores and

16% more likely to cheat on tests than juniors.

-Ivan Rios-Fetchko, Sophomore

-Jason Oyakawa, Freshman

Samo students cheat on homework

Sophomores to cheat on homework and 7x more likely to cheat than Juniors.

[Homework] can go either way. Some teachers will give you busy work while others give things relating to the subject that you will actually learn from.” Homework is a way of reinforcing the learning, but sometimes it doesn’t help at all. [When] kids don’t understand the work, homework helps them to create the questions they need to ask in class.”

Students feel that 31% of homework at Samo is busy work.

Right Mindfulness Carlee Jensen Managing Editor

At this very moment, I am sitting in my fifth period statistics class. Mr. Tipper is giving a lecture on confidence intervals. I am ignoring this lecture. I’m not ignoring it because I don’t respect Mr. Tipper, or because I don’t care about accurate polling, or because I’m an all-around delinquent kid who has no desire to better myself through the study of mathematics. I’m not ignoring it because I want to fight the man, rebel against the public education system, or waste taxpayer dollars. I’m ignoring it because, 12 minutes ago, I remembered that I had promised Joe Colajezzi that I would write an article for the Special Report on homework. I promised I would have it by the end of school — today. Which is in 1 hour and 22 minutes. So I had to choose: pay attention in statistics, or write this article. Buddhists say we should strive to achieve a state of “mindfulness” — to be mentally and spiritually present in every moment of our lives. Wherever we are, we should focus on being there, rather than allowing our minds to wander to the past and future, or concerning ourselves with the things we could or should be doing. This is a beautiful ideal, one I find myself contemplating every time I pull out my notebook in second period to study for a third period quiz, or crouch outside my gov-

Surveys designed and conducted by Samohi Survey Club

ernment class finishing a worksheet I hadn’t realized was assigned. I’m thinking about it now, while I ignore Mr. Tipper and write this article, knowing that tonight I will have to struggle to teach myself this lesson at home. Life is hectic, and it’s easy to let little (or big) things slip through the cracks. At some time or another, we’re bound to forget something — a homework assignment, a promise to a friend, an errand we needed to run. Forgetfulness isn’t a cardinal sin, and doing a homework assignment in class isn’t the worst thing in the world. But we have to realize what we’re giving up when we choose to fulfill one commitment at the expense of another. Every time we do homework in class, we’re moving further away from mindfulness. We pull ourselves in far too many directions at once, and can’t dedicate ourselves fully to anything. Maybe it’s worth it to lose a few points on that sixth period quiz, if it means you have the chance to really benefit from that fifth period lecture. Maybe what we lose as a result of forgetfulness is less important than what we gain through active participation. I’ll leave you to chew on that. Now, I need to learn about confidence intervals.


Page 8 Dec. 15, 2010

The beating heart of Samo’s marching band

Photos by Nicholas Zarchen

S TAT U S C Y M B A L : D r u m l i n e e x p r e s s e s i t s p r i d e w i t h t h i s h a n d - m a d e s i g n d i s p l a y e d o u t s i d e o f t h e b a n d r o o m ( l e f t ) . D r u m l i n e (right) runs through their set after school on the basketball courts.

Drumline, a medley of cymbals, snare drums and bass drums, is a family within a family. Percussionists spend over 20 hours a week together, perfecting their rhythmic movements.

Aliza Abarbanel Staff Writer

Entering the Drumline room is like entering a secret club. Drummers sprawl across the floor, finding space between Congo drums and practice pads. They sit in circles complaining about difficult pieces of music and throw out phrases like

“six triplet” and “pit” in a lively stream of chatter. Everyone has to work to be heard above the constant noise; kids bang on the walls, on their chests or on practice pads that are sometimes being used by three musicians at once. There is a tangible feeling of camaraderie and shared passion for music.

“What sets us apart is the fact that the drums we play are so different from all the other instruments in the band — visually and audibly,” senior percussion captain Jack Cramer said. “We also have a lot of extra rehearsals away from the band because it takes a lot of specialized training and practice for any drumline to play cleanly. We’re part of the band but we’re also sort of our own separate entity, as we often perform on our own without the band.” Drumline has no late start; they come to school at 7:12 on

Sam Borghese: getting serious about funny business Olivia Legan Staff Writer Sam Borghese makes quite the first impression. As he walks out of his Freshman Seminar class, Borghese quickly and nonchalantly does a front handspring in the hallway. Once he returns to a vertical position, he grins and says hello. The freshman used to simply consider himself a class clown, but now he’s getting serious about being funny. Borghese started performing at Open Mic Night at The Sandwich Spot on Ocean Park two months ago. “When I was a little kid, I would always be making jokes. I started being a comedian in sixth grade and people would tell me that I was funny, but then I just started doing stand-up,” Borghese said. Being the class clown can get one in trouble sometimes. Borghese chose to do a persuasive speech on pronudism for his English class. When he finished, he pulled off his button up pants, revealing only bright blue spandex shorts on the bottom. “Mrs. Faas said that I had to wear some sort of clothing, or it would be indecent expo-

sure,” he said. “I walked down the Tech building hallways after class, still in the spandex. All my friends were like ‘Sam, what are you doing? You’re naked.’ I got a B -. Oh well, at least it’s on YouTube.” Borghese wishes to attend film school, and wants to have some part in show business, though not necessarily in front of the camera. Borghese would love to be a director or writer for comedies. “Sam has always been a really cool guy. One of the reasons we’re friends is that he makes me laugh literally all the time,” freshman Ben Gelfer said. “His talent is telling jokes; his stand-up is great, he gets the whole crowd roaring.” When I ask him to tell me a joke, he whips out his iPhone and opens a note. On the digital yellow lined paper, he scrolls down what appears to be pages and pages of jokes. He searches for a “good” one, explaining that in his stand-up, he has been trying out awkward “Office”-style humor. “While I am so forgetful with names and faces, I have a few favorite introductions. My best one is when we introduce ourselves and then there will be an awkward moment and then I hug you, whispering

Art by Leah Pomerantz

Wednesdays to enable maximum practice time. Drumline — along with the rest of the marching band — also has some Saturday practices that can go on for hours, in addition to competitions that typically take up the entire day and go well into the night. However, these long hours of practices have led to an incredibly unified group of musicians and friends. “It’s worth the extra time, because the extra time we put in results in extra closeness,” junior cymbal player Caitlin Brady said. “We are so much more closely knit because we’re a smaller group.” This intense group dynamic provides a feeling of familiy that is only slightly intimidating to newcomers. “When I first joined, I felt really shy, I didn’t say anything,” freshman bass drummer Ben Canales said, as a chorus of fellow drummers chiming in interrupted him, “Yeah, you said nothing!” “Now,” he said with a wry grin, “I’m really loud and I talk to everybody.” Canales joined Drumline as a freshman bass drum player, and as time progressed, he became more and more involved in the experience. Now that the fall season is almost over, he’s looking toward the future. “Right now, I play bass drum, but I’m auditioning to play tenor drum for indoor Drumline next week. Hopefully,

I’ll have the chance to switch,” beats on jean-clad legs. Then, Canales said. an explosion of movement and If his audition goes as sound. planned, he’ll be leaving the Tentative beats are quickly bass drums behind to play a new replaced by vibrating booms, instrument, and achieve a new each note sharp and sure. What position in drumline. With the begins as a quiet drumming on current numbers of five cymbal a snare drum escalates as tenor players, four snare drummers, drums, cymbals and bass drums two tenor drummers and five join in. Before long, the entire bass drummers, there are many Drumline is playing. seniors who will be leaving new Everything moves like a spots behind. well-oiled machine. The cymHe breaks into discussion bals are rubbed together, pushed on this topic, animatedly gestur- outward and swept in close to ing with a drumstick for empha- muffle sound. The tenor drumsis; however, the room quickly mers focus, their arms moving empties out once practice be- like octopi dancing across the gins. The cymbal players slip drums. Drumsticks are shuffled on biking gloves, a precaution and slid down the snare drums against “really nasty calluses,” as the bass drums steadily keep and gaps are filled in their for- the rhythm. Arms move out, mation until everybody is in darting like a snake strike as the their place. set progresses until the end is alThis sequence of move- most at hand. ment and noise is routine, just Steady beating progresses one rehearsal in the long lineup into flashy choreography, the of Drumline practices. snare drummers saluting the auAt Samo, Drumline plays dience with their drumsticks in the tricky role of being a group the last few measures. Tension within a larger group. As a and tempo builds into a final, smaller section of marching massive note, and then every band, they perform as a smaller drummer throws out their arms ensemble at games and have ex- from their body, thrusting their tra practices. shoulders in a final gesture. It’s quiet out on the basket- Their stance challenges their ball courts, and the wind whips currently invisible opponents, around the group of students, daring them to do their best as holding their positions in an or- the sounds of the drums bounce derly line. Their static stances off the gym walls and echo into are broken by flurries of move- the night. ment, casually spinning drumsticks or tapping out syncopated

‘handshakes are for strangers.’ Made a lot of new friends that way,” he said, laughing. And of course, Sam plans to end with a joke. When asked where he sees himself in 10 years, he answers, “... dead ...” with a completely straight face. He then smiles and says, “No, but really, I am going to own my own country and get assassinated ... all before I turn 25.”

A joke from the “fourteen-year-old dynamo”: But um … I think my grandma’s on drugs. I was in the car with her and we’re crossing a four-way intersection. So the light changes red so my grandmother stops … in the middle of the intersection. When I told her I was going to use it in my stand-up she said, “You should have been there the time I did a U-turn on the freeway!” So yeah … pretty hard drugs.

Photo by Nicholas Zarchen

DRUMROLL PLEASE: Snare drummers Hanyu Chwe, Jack Cramer and Emory Mugalian lay out a beat during an after-school sectional.


Page 9 Dec. 15, 2010

Jason Battung: exercising mind and body

Photo by Nicholas Zarchen

BAM! TO THE RESCUE: Jason Battung is now subbing full-time for Michael Felix’s U.S. history classes.

Aside from coaching football and substitute teaching, Jason Battung uses Eastern yoga philosophies to help students.

made them proud. His senior year at Penn, the team won the Ivy League Championships, beating Cornell in the champiin academics and athletics. onship game. Chase Wohrle He maintained a 4.2 weighted After college, Battung Staff Writer GPA and was a starter on his began working with Rustic As a substitute teacher, school’s varsity basketball Pathways, a company that Jason “JB” Battung takes team as a freshman. helps groups of kids travel However, the real athletic internationally. Besides movteaching and makes it his own creation. During a lec- attention came from starting ing around in the U.S., he ture, he’ll sit cross-legged on the first game of the season as temporarily lived in Costa a desk and tell of the Ameri- a varsity football quarterback Rica, Fiji, India and Thaican Revolution leisurely, say- his sophomore year. Battung land. It was around this time ing the Americans were “just led his team to become the that he submerged himself in a bunch of dudes who wanted best in its region for three sea- the culture and philosophy of sons. With his name in the lo- Southeast Asia. their rights.” After school, Battung cal newspapers almost weekly, “I was observing little can be found coaching foot- Battung’s father wouldn’t per- things I enjoyed about the culball against the pink sky of the mit him to read the papers dur- ture, layout and people of a setting sun. On the field, Bat- ing the season from his junior given city,” he said. tung is the same, bringing his year on; he feared the attention In fact, one of his most calm, understanding method would go to his son’s head. memorable experiences took “I’m really glad it place in Thailand’s Udorn of teaching to the fast-paced sport of football, always ap- worked like that because it Sunshine Garden. The garden proaching his players with a was an awesome lesson,” Bat- is home to a famous Thai botasmile. nist whose work “He’s just “In one of his books I read that with natural ana great coach in we don’t teach children how to love, ti-malaria medigeneral,” sophocines, orchids more Wellington to lose, to really live. Learning how and dancing Vicioso said. to read and write isn’t easy, but they plants is world“He pushes you renowned. to do your best, still do it. When I read that about eight “They take but he does so in years ago, it really struck me.” cancer and AIDS a way that makes there, so - Jason Battung said of Buddhist patients you want to do they can witness your best.” monk Thich Nhat Hanh’s philosophy the power of the Battung mind,” Battung grew up in Eastlake, Ohio. The tung said. “Just as quickly as said. suburb, lying near Lake Erie, they’ll praise you, they’ll chop While traveling with a was filled with other children, you right down.” group of musicians, he deFor college, Battung at- cided to investigate this. At providing ample players for games of baseball or football tended the Wharton School the garden, scientists had been in the street. An active child, at the University of Penn- selectively breeding plants so Battung kept busy, playing tag sylvania, majoring in busi- they would more readily react or swimming in his neighbor’s ness. The summer after his to human stimulus. The mufreshmen year, he decided sicians began to play, testing pool. As Battung grew up, his to take a month in Spain to this theory. According to Batparents, especially his father, study abroad. Battung lived tung, the plants began to move imposed their values of hard with an old couple in a noisy, slightly. The next test they work in him. From as early as run-down apartment com- performed required everyone fourth grade, Battung began plex without air conditioning. to focus on a single plant and working, helping his father on There he experienced severe attempt to move it, just by foconstruction sites during the isolation because of the lan- cusing their minds. summer and running a daily guage and cultural barrier. “After a while, nothing “I had only my mind to happened,” he said. “But then paper route. He was required to pay $10 monthly rent to his keep me company,” Battung we noticed all the other plants father; that money went into said. around it began to move like Back in Pennsylvania, crazy.” an envelope that would eventually go into his college fund. football had begun to fall off Inspired by his experi“It was challenging of his list of priorities because ences and the positive impact growing up with him,” Bat- of his broadened perspective it has had on his life, Battung said. “Early on he was of the world that he took from tung has zeroed in on yoga showing me how things work, his Spanish experience. How- and Eastern philosophy as his instilling a sense of work eth- ever, he decided to keep play- main focus to help students being for his parents. He said he cause of the positive impact it ic.” Throughout high school, knew they supported either has made on his life. Battung performed well both decision, but playing football “I was really getting

deep into my yoga practice, using those tools that yoga was teaching me to deal with things when they didn’t go just how I wanted or expected,” Battung said. He believes that yoga should become a course in every school so that all students can reap its benefits. This inspiration stems from the Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh.

“In one of his books I read that we don’t teach children how to love, to lose, to really live. Learning how to read and write isn’t easy, but they still do it,” Battung said. “When I read that about eight years ago, it really struck me.” Battung considers yoga a better alternative to physical education for some students. “By high school, kids have a pretty good idea on whether they want to play sports, whether or not they are ‘athletic,’” Battung said. To him, America’s current form of physical education is outdated because the students are being taught something that they aren’t interested in and that they will not use. “Badminton teaches great hand-eye coordination, but you’re going to use it probably twice in your life, if that,” Battung said. He appreciates that Samo has a yoga program because he uses it a foundation for incubating his ideas. “The beautiful thing about Santa Monica High School is that they currently have yoga as a P.E. elective,” Battung said. “I’m hopeful that the school understands that this can be a breeding ground for something that I really want to pioneer across the country.” Santa Monica in gen-

eral is also ideal for new yoga practices. “It’s a culture that understands the importance of it. The conditions are best here,” Battung said. As for himself, Battung hopes to become a full-time yoga instructor at Samo. “I want to have something that’s so solid, that it meets the current P.E. standards and also reevaluates them,” Battung said. “I live here. I work here. I breathe here ... I want to teach here.” High school students are especially great targets for yoga because of their open mindedness. “The approach I take is slightly different because I think high school students are more capable of taking in the philosophical aspects,” Battung said. “At the high school level, there’s been enough life experience so when I talk about suffering and happiness, they get it.” Battung’s students really “get it” when it comes to the practice of yoga. “JB has great energy. He is very positive and inspiring,” sophomore Josh Picker said. “He has encouraged me to really get into yoga and let my chi flow.”


Page 12 Dec. 15, 2010

Team bonding brings success on the field Rebecca Asoulin Staff Writer

On Sundays, the members of Samo’s girls’ soccer team can be found noshing and talking over bagels at Bagel Nosh after a strenuous workout on the stairs. “Everyone bonds over food and working out, basically the two things we love: food and soccer,” Kaishma Narayan, junior and varsity defender, said. Even though the team is only in its pre-season, their bonding has already created an obvious fluidity among the players. This year they are particularly dedicated to making the season the best it can be. “This year’s team has about 12 seniors and in their last year of Samo soccer they want nothing more than to do well. Such energy and focus can be seen in every player on the team,” captain Kristen Vasquez said. Their record currently stands at a 1-0 win against North Torrance, a 1-1 tie against Notre Dame, and two losses, the last a close 2-1 game against Marymount. Despite their losses they are positive about their chances for CIF this year and are slowly but surely putting all their individual talents together. “This year there’s a lot more connection off the field, and so it’s easier to play on the field,” Narayan said. A major part of the unity of this year’s varsity team can rightly be attributed to coach and Spanish teacher Jimmy Chapman. “Chapman is a great coach; you feel like he cares, like we are his team. He puts so much effort into our team, more than most coaches do,”

junior and defender Claire Saiza said. Chapman goes above and beyond the duties of a coach. He diligently and painstakingly watches the tapes of all their games, and texts his players about what they can improve on, what pitfalls to avoid and what they did well. His reach extends even beyond varsity. According to junior varsity player Eden Carriedo and several other players, both Chapman and his assistant coach Angel Vasquez help junior varsity players and both of the new freshman and junior varsity coaches. Chapman texts not just varsity but all of the girls in the soccer program about upcoming games and events. The unity created by both of these coaches is truly incredible and it is a thrill to watch all of this years’ soccer teams play. As the Lady Vikings got together in a huddle at halftime of their last game, they played around and laughed, their intensity and joy infectious. The freshman soccer team and their friends and families broke into cheers as the players ran to their positions. Throughout the game one could not help but cheer excitedly, groan sympathetically or unabashedly tell the referee exactly what they thought about that last call. With the energy and ability of this year’s team, this season is pure potential.

Photo by Sam Boloorchi

NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND: Coach Jimmy Chapman carries senior Liz Lyons off the field after she collided with another player in Samo’s Dec. 9 game against Marymount. Lyons returned to the game for the second half, but couldn’t save the team from a 2-1 loss.

Athlete of the issue: Julia Glanz Rebecca Asoulin Staff Writer

Upcoming games: Dec. 15 @ Peninsula Dec. 18 @ South Jan. 5 vs. Palos Verdes

Photo by Sam Boloorchi

“HAMM”ING IT UP: Soccer superstar Mia Hamm coaches Julia Glanz’s (above) club team, Slammers.

Profiling Samo’s offense

Liz Lyons

Current senior and midfielder. Lyons is an intense player who refuses to stop for anything, even injury. At Friday’s game against Marymount, Lyons collided with another player and fell down on the field in obvious pain. Despite her pain, after the half she came back in as strong as ever. Committed to Fresno State on a full soccer scholarship. Teammates say: “She does not stop fighting. If we are losing some people put their heads down, but if you look at Liz, her head will never be down. She will keep fighting; even if she is injured she still comes back in the game. She runs everywhere doing not only her job, but filling in the empty spaces on the field.” Photo by Sam Boloorchi

HEAD TO HEAD: Sophomore defensive midfielder Rachel Paris bodies up against a Marymount player to get her head on the ball.

being on the team really well. At first she was shy, but once we started team bonding she really opened up and is just a fantastic player. She is really tall and quick and is always able to get balls near the goal and slide them in.” Memorable play: “She was just going with the ball and she bulldozes through three players...I mean, she just plows through everyone.”

Kristen Vasquez

Freshman on Samo’s varsity soccer team ‘07-’08, current senior, forward and captain. Teammates say: “Kristen has so much experience, she always says the right things to uplift our team. She is just the positive kind of girl and player that everyone can get along with and work with.” Cheyenne De Los Reyes “[Vasquez] tells people to relax, and take it easy. She Only freshman on varsity helps people ease through for the 2010-11 season. Teammates say: “[De Los and play together in uniReyes] has been handling son.”

As children, we all have role models. But not often is there a child who not only wishes to emulate her hero, but actually has the ability to do so. “When I was eight or nine, people would always tell me that I would be the next Mia Hamm,” senior Julia Glanz said. Glanz has been playing for the Samo girls’ varsity soccer team since her freshman year and is one of its strongest forwards. Her ability is clear to anyone who watches her play the sport she loves; so the frequent comparisons to Hamm (who has scored more goals than any player, male or female, in the history of professional soccer) come as no surprise. What did come as a surprise to Glanz was when the coach of her club team, Slammers, announced that Mia Hamm was going to help coach the team. “When he told us, I mean you can ask anyone, I was crying,” Glanz said. Starting earlier this year, Hamm has been coaching Glanz and her teammates every other Tuesday. The team’s improvement has been incredible and Glanz is working harder than ever as she runs through the drills set up by her childhood hero, amazed that she is really here. Glanz has been an essential member on girls’ varsity since freshman year, when her team made it to the semi-finals of CIF. Glanz was instrumental in getting her team there. In

the final minutes of their second-round CIF game, Glanz scored the game winning goal, breaking the 2-2 tie. Unfortunately, Samo has not made it this far in CIF since Glanz’s freshman year, but she and her teammates are optimistic about this year. “Our team has been bonding a lot more this year. We have a lot of seniors. This is the last time we get to play and we want to make the most of it,” Glanz said. Glanz is dedicated to her team and and inspires her teammates through her playing. “Julia stepped it up this year — she has become a great team player and she takes the initiative. When she is playing the field she commands the ball; her presence really organizes us,” junior and varsity defender Claire Saiza said. Glanz will be attending the University of Arizona next fall on a full scholarship because of her superb soccer skills. Past college, she has no definite plans to pursue soccer, but is simply letting things play out as they will and seeing where the sport leads her. There is no doubt, however, that wherever she ends up she will always have soccer in her life. “I have been playing soccer basically since I could run,” Glanz said. For Glanz it has always been soccer. And maybe one day there will be a little girl who will play with such skill that her family will watch her, smile and say, “You’re going to be the next Julia Glanz.”


Page 10 Dec. 15, 2010

Bo y s ’ soc c e r on t r a c k Danny Karel Staff Writer

Three years ago, Samo’s boys’ soccer team finished their season with a record superior to every other team in their division. They bested every competitor from the top of California to the bottom, and finished ranking first in the nation. They began their season with seven returning starters and finished with 29 victories, no losses and a single tie. This year’s team has the potential for a repeat. “This year we have around seven returning starters,” said senior Nick Herrera, one of the varsity players to represent Samo during this soccer season. “The majority of us have been playing together since we were little kids.” The current varsity squad has been waiting patiently for this season — the last the majority of them will play for Samo — to showcase their talent and potential. Just five games into the season, the boys have already managed to soundly defeat four of the teams that they have played against, and have tied just once. The scores speak for themselves. On Nov. 23, Samo beat out Beverly, winning 2-0. Their next game, played against Bishop Montgomery, ended with Samo winning 5-0. Two days after that they played Lynwood again, finishing 4-2. North Torrance, a team rated above the Samo squad, was defeated 3-1. Their sole tie was against Palisades. The ’08 team sustained their only tie in the beginning of the season, so such a result is not entirely indicative of what is yet to come. Nevertheless, the team has taken the tie as a wake-up call. “When we tied Palisades it really had an effect on our team,” Herrera said. “It felt worse than a loss in a way. It was a reality check that we can’t relax no matter what this season.” However, it is not just the players that are pushing for success on the field. The boys are led by three coaches: Andy Rock, Serafin Rodriguez and José Lopez, who founded the Samo soccer program in ’71. Their leadership, along with that of the senior captains Trevor Kovacs and Daniel Hulbert, makes this season one to keep a close eye on.

BASKETBALL: AN ODYSSEY Photo by Lianna Cohen

DISTRIBUTOR: Junior Kane Kennedy hooks an inbound pass around Sheldon’s defense during the lost match.

Owen Kneeland Staff Writer

Once again winter is upon us, and that means boys’ basketball is hitting the floor and beginning its season. Last year the Vikings were Ocean League champions and fought their way to the CIF championship, where they lost to Lezuinger. With the departure of 10 seniors, the Vikings have had to rebuild and start the year with fresh new faces. The Vikings have started off this season with a respectable 3-3 record. A week ago, the Vikings finished fifth in the Pacific Hills tournament. They will also be competing in first boys’ basketball tournament hosted at Samo.

Select Samo football players recieve Ocean League honors Chase Wohrle Staff Writer

Eleven Samo football players seized spots on the AllOcean League first and second teams. The first team was monopolized by six players as second team had five. Both seniors, guard Austin Ehrlich and receiver Kris Comas (with 20 touchdowns this season) took spots on the first team offense. The only Samo junior on the offense was running back Kori Garcia. Samo’s offensive line was more present in the second team offense. Senior linemen Evan Parra-Raygoza and Joel Ramos held spots with sophomore Rhys Gervais,

the quarterback. “It feels great,” Collins said. “It gives me good expectations for next year.” Junior outside linebacker Chris Collins was priviledged with a spot on first team defense along with senior middle linebacker Justyn Coker and senior defensive back Brandon Taylor. “To get two out of our three linebackers in the Ocean League — it’s great for our defense,” Coker said. Second team’s defense was comprised of senior nose tackle Terrance Sadler and junior corner back Dylan Muscat.

Recently they lost to a highly talented Sheldon Sacramento team. The Vikings played sluggish in the first half but were able to rally back in the second half. After being down by 28 points they quickly trimmed the lead down to 14. Unfortunately it still wasn’t enough as they lost 60-78. There’s no question this year that the Vikings have been playing elite teams across the state, but senior captain Holden Foshag says they are up to the challenge. “We are a young and fairly inexperienced team,” Foshag said. “We have the talent and all the tools to make this season successful. It’s a long season and it will

be full of ups and downs. Our team knows we need play hard every game and leave it all on the court. As long as we don’t let the wins get to our heads and the losses to our hearts, we will go far.” This year the Vikings work as a fast and athletic team, but lack the necessary size and strength to compete with the top teams. The Vikings have some lethal shooters and a pack of guards who know how to handle the offense. One player in particular who has been making a lot of noise is sophomore Jordan Mathews, who recently moved to Santa Monica from Riverside. Matthews joined the team at the beginning of the summer. He is currently the

76th rated player in his grade on ESPNU college basketball recruits and 16th ranked in his position. Jordan averages the most points per game of anyone on the team. Standing at 6 feet 2 inches and 175 pounds, Matthews is the quickest player on the floor and has amazing jumping abilities; he can dunk whenever he wants. Scouts believe that he can be a promising combo-guard in a Division I college. There is no surprise why Matthews has so much talent — his dad, Phil Mathews, is currently an assistant coach for the UCLA men’s basketball team. There is no doubt that the Vikings have a lot to do to measure up to last year’s team. They have the potential

to repeat as Ocean League champions, but it will be a tough struggle to get back to the CIF championship. The players and coaches know that there is a lot of pressure and they won’t settle for anything less then success. Assistant coach Shaun Higgins notices the hard work the team puts into practice and understands that it is going to take more than hard work for them to be successful. “Our guys work hard every day,” Higgins said. “There are times where we have mental breakdowns and mess up, but that’s all part of the game. I’m looking forward to see how we do in our upcoming games.”

Eloise Graham

competitions that happen on Saturdays. According to band director Michael Corrigan, the Samohi marching band competed in five competitions this year, winning none. Corrigan credits their poor record with the band’s enrollment in more difficult competitions this year. In these competitions, which last all day, a panel of band experts judges the band on musical and visual appeal and general effect. The music and visuals are judged according to the high standards of professionals but the general effect depends on how entertaining the audience finds the show. Corrigan explains that precision is key in these performances especially. Because the

band plays outside, in unstructured and sound absorbent areas, its sound disappears if the members do not do exactly the same thing at exactly the same time. Because of the way different instruments’ sounds travel, different band members have to play at different times. The band members at the back of the band have to play ahead of the beat, the band members in the center of the band play with the beat and the band members in the front of the band have to play ahead of the beat. “Imagine having your coach decide when you were allowed to breathe whenever you ran … on top of having to play an instrument and do choreographed moves at the same time,” sopho-

more Eli Brown said. According to Corrigan, drum major and senior Scott Operman is the keystone of the band. “The drum major and the drums are constantly trying to keep the pulse steady. Without them, [the band] can very easily split and tear and they don’t know it because they can’t hear the other band on the other side of the field,” Corrigan said. Marching band is not for the faint of heart; it requires skill, finesse and dedication. Band members recognize the challenges they face, and embrace them with pride — a pride that transcends wins and losses.

Marching band steps up competition

Staff Writer

It’s 7:00 a.m. and the metronome is ticking. Marching band is practicing. The wrestling team is running laps around them. You can hear the splash of water polo swimming their own laps. According to its participants, marching band is extremely laborious, intensive and complex — not unlike a varsity sport. Most see the marching band’s performances at halftime at the football games as part of the final pageantry of football — an end in themselves. But to the members of the marching band, these performances are merely a practice for the real


Page 11 Dec. 15, 2010

Starved for victory, Samo wrestlers feed off middle school programs

Neil Thomas Onlne Editor

All Omar Solorza wants to do is go eat ice cream, but he has to wrestle. Before every tournament, Solorza has to cut 11 pounds to make his 112 pound weight class, and of all the things wrestling has made him sacrifice, he misses food the most. Solorza is not alone in his lack of food — he estimates a 10 pound average weight loss per wrestler per tournament — but he is unique in that he one of the few juniors this year who has not been wrestling since eighth grade.

This year’s varsity team is comprised mainly of kids recruited from the newly implemented John Adams and Lincoln feeder programs, where eighth graders can jump-start their wrestling careers. Over half of the team has been wrestling together since then, resulting in a team that has one more year of experience than any previous Samo team. “For the juniors, this is where the last three years of work will pay off. It’s the equivalent of their senior year,” Wesley Evans, one of two seniors on varsity, said. The team works so much as a unit that there is no de-

finitive leader. In the past, seniors have assumed the role of captain, and played the mentor to the younger team members. While the general consensus seems to pin junior Enrico Cascio as the leader, the lack of a clearly defined captain has taken its toll on the team. “There is no clear leadership, no one wants to stand up for the captain’s position” junior Gianni Forster said, “[Without] the senior leadership, it has been harder to practice, harder to focus, and harder to compete.” However, what the cohesive unit loses in individual performance, it has made

HIT THE DECK: Sophomore Jesse Matty sprawls off his opponent’s shot.

Photo by Neil Thomas

up in team success. Last weekend, at the Warrior Invitational in West Torrance, the team placed second overall, with many of the wrestlers nabbing silvers and a few nabbing golds. Last weekend’s success took its toll on the team, though, injuring four of their regular, lighter weight, varsity wrestlers: Omar Solorza (112 pounds), Sam Gleitman (119 pounds), Jake Keller (125 pounds), and Gianni Forster (135 pounds). “I have a broken finger, but if I had a serious injury, like a stomachache, I wouldn’t be wrestling,” joked an injured Tanner Mill-

er, wrestling at 130 pounds. Even with their lower weights struggling, the wrestling team pulled through in Friday’s duels against Bell and Mira Costa, beating Bell with a flurry of pins, and decisively defeating Mira Costa. With a major meet at Rosemead next Friday, and looking into the future, the team is focused on solid performance across the board. “For the past eight years, we’ve sent at least one person to Master’s and State. But rather than focusing on individuals, I think we need to focus on getting a larger group a distance [through

CIF].” Cascio said. Cascio also has high hopes for the team’s success, citing Robert Forster’s Phase IV fitness program and the middle school feeder programs. “We’re only going to get better,” Cascio said. Forster, however, puts this optimism into perspective. “The season is only going to get harder,” he said. And for Solorza, with some wrestlers considering dropping an additional weight class for Rosemead (an extra 5-10 pound loss), ice cream prospects are grim.

Photo by Neil Thomas

HOW DOES THE MAT TASTE?: Junior Tanner Miller attempts to turn his opponent.

Cycle 5  

The Samohi Cycle 5 - 12/15/10