Rancho Bernardo High School
Friday, October 30, 2009
THE SILVER Read us online at
Vol. 22 NO. 1
Royal Regiment is still the best
Upcoming Events: •November 4-5-Human Relations Conference •November 4-7- Fall Theater Play: Blood wedding •November 6-RB V. Vista Football •November 13- Multi Cultural Faire & RB V. Poway Football
Upcoming ASB Events: •November 10-Student Senate •November 20-Midnight Madness! 10pm-midnight (Gym) •December 4-ASB apps due •December 7-11-ASB Campaign •December 11-ASB Elections
Look Inside for... News: RB High’s API scores Features: Texting in class Opinions: Senior voting poll Entertainment: Dear. Mrs Roosevelt book review Sports: football’s record
What are you doing this Halloween?
Ross Candelore, 12
“We are going to reenact “Star Wars” scenes with the Bernardo Boys.”
Lara Bourque, 11 “I’m going trick-or-treating and then to my friends’ house for a party.” CONTACT THE SILVER SPUR SEND EMAILS TO: firstname.lastname@example.org
Top: Royal Regiment performing their field show during Homecoming football game. Left: Brass section. Right: Drum line. By Brent Goldberg
RB High’s Royal Regiment won sweepstakes, the highest possible award, on Saturday, Oct. 24 at the region’s largest tournament where about 30 bands from throughout Southern California competed in the 33rd annual tournament of bands at Mt. Carmel High School. Band Director Tom Cole said the performance “went about as well as could be expected at this point in time.” The band has always maintained an outstanding level of achievement, and their latest performance has led many to be very optimistic for the future tournaments. It is still early in the season, yet they have already achieved a high standard.
Typically, the marching band competes against other high schools throughout Southern California during these tournaments in field shows as well as in parades. In the field tournaments, challenging musical compositions are accompanied by just as demanding movements on the football field. In the parades, a march is played by a select group of students who must perform at a high standard during tryouts to participate. Usually, the parades take place in the afternoon while the field show is performed at night. Band students put many hours into perfecting the field show. Aside from the two school periods dedicated to band every day, practices are held on Tuesday evenings, as well as on many
Saturdays. Additionally, students must learn difficult music and memorize it, which takes many hours of practicing outside of school. As one of the top bands in the nation, the Royal Regiment is one of the most successful programs at our school. They have beaten their competitors many times in the past, and many bands enter the tournaments with hopes of defeating RB High. The band has a tough season ahead. Aside from the fierce competitors vying to beat them, this year’s show is considered by many band students to be much harder than in the past. This year, the Royal Regiment will be competing in tournaments at Westview, Poway, Mira Mesa, Vista, and Arcadia
Photo by Robert Bojar
High School. They will also be hosting a second band tournament on Oct. 31 at RB High. Marching band students are looking forward to another successful year to add to their already distinguished history. Most are optimistic about their prospects in the remaining tournaments, and believe that this season will remain successful with the right attitude and by continuing to live up to their excellent work-ethic. “If we all come together and give our best efforts throughout the season,” Daniel Song, junior and three-year band member, said, “then we should be just as successful as we have been in the past.”
ASB gets a new advisor this year: Tristan McCoy By Jin Lee
RB High’s Associated Student Body started off fresh this school year with a new advisor, Tristan McCoy. McCoy taught in the Social Science Department last year. The previous ASB advisor, Robin Christopher, went to Del Norte, where she now teaches English and advises the yearbook class. McCoy is a graduate of RB High, and has been teaching here for seven years; he started teaching at Mira Costa High School in Los Angeles. When he came to RB High, he started teaching AP World History and U.S. History. “The teacher change made me nervous at first because teaching ASB is a tough job to do,” senior Sam Simmons said. “I didn’t know how a new advisor would do. Mr. McCoy has surpassed my expectations. My other peers in general were all, I think, reluctant at first, but now we are all warmed up to it.”
According to ASB students, McCoy is active in class and brings new ideas to the table. “Even though he’s new, he’s very active and cooperates well,” sophomore Lisa Kim said. “He’s like a perfectionist, and one change we have had so far this year is that as you might have noticed, for our first assembly, we tried to do a one big assembly so all students can unite and collaborate.” McCoy wants ASB to be more student-oriented. He wants to get more students around the campus to get involved and participate in the school activities, not just the ASB students. “Teaching ASB is a new challenge for me,” McCoy said. “As a classroom teacher, you have defined objectives to get students to understand the material. But in ASB, it’s fun and challenging because you get a broader view; you get to effect change campus-wide.” McCoy feels that ASB teaches
McCoy (left) poses for the camera with his student, Julian Pena (right).
important life skills, such as learning to navigate through life, since it is not as academic. ASB students learn how to plan, prioritize and take responsibility. There are so many programs and clubs on campus that students are fragmented, and McCoy wants to
Photo courtesy of Julian Pena
unite the student body. The future of ASB looks promising as McCoy and ASB students are putting their heads together to try new things. They hope their new events will help build RB High’s sense of community.
THE SILVER SPUR - OCTOBER 30, 2009
Poway Unified School District’s API scores shine R B H i gh comes i n t hi rd a m o n g PUSD high schools w i t h a score of 8 41 By Jin Lee
The California Department of Education released the Academic Performance Index (API) scores for 2009 on Sept. 15. Among the top in the county is the Poway Unified School District. The Academic Performance Index (API) is a measurement that is used in California to measure academic performance and the progress of individual schools. A s c h o o l ’s g r o w t h i s m e a s u r e d by how well it is moving toward or past that goal. The API is measured by Calif o r n i a S t a n d a r d i z e d Te s t s . F o r high schools, the California High School Exit Exam scores were also factored in. The district scored 876 overall, up from 870 the previous y e a r. T h r e e o f t h e P U S D h i g h schools improved, with the exception of Mt. Carmel. Poway High topped the high school list with 851. The other high school s c o r e d t h e f o l l o w i n g : We s t v i e w 848, RB High 841 and Mt. Carmel 815. Mt. Carmel saw a deduction of 12 points from last year; they had a score of 827 in 2008. The PUSD high schools were fortunate enough to score a growth target of “A,” which means the schools reached the statewide performance target of 800. RB High improved seven p o i n t s f r o m l a s t y e a r ’s s c o r e o f 834.
Last school year in May 2009, RB High put on an assembly n a m e d “ R o c k t h e Te s t ” t o e n courage all students to participate and do well on the Calif o r n i a S t a n d a r d Te s t s ( S TA R ) . Te a c h e r s and administrators w o r e “ R o c k t h e Te s t ” s h i r t s , a n d students were given incentives, such as parking spots and a free s h i r t b a s e d o n t h e i r S TA R p e r formance in 2008. A t t h e “ R o c k t h e Te s t ” a s s e m b l y, P r i n c i p a l P a u l R o b i n s o n s t a t e d R B H i g h ’s g o a l : a s c o r e o f 8 5 0 o r h i g h e r. R o b i n s o n a l s o proposed that if RB High met this goal he would get one of h i s e a r s p i e r c e d . U n f o r t u n a t e l y, that did not happen, but Robinson is still proud that RB High made an improvement of seven p o i n t s . R B H i g h ’s u l t i m a t e g o a l is to continue to improve. Robinson said he would like to try some type of assembly again this year to recognize students. He feels that the assembly last year was fun, and it helped students and teachers realize the i m p o r t a n c e o f t h e S TA R t e s t s . “I love our school, and I’m glad we made a good improvement,” Robinson said. “Raising API scores is important to our school because we always want t o a d d v a l u e . E a c h d a y, w e g r o w and learn, and that adds value to a p e r s o n . We a l w a y s w a n t t o b e better than before.” All PUSD high schools, middle schools and elementary schools exceeded the target of 800.
Plight of the library due to budget cuts By Emily Yavitch
The school budget cuts last year devastated all schools in the Poway Unified School District, and our libraries were especially hard-hit. “We got no money at all,” Library Media Technician Frances French said. As a result, a position was cut from all Poway Unified high schools. Cheryle Haygood was a library media assistant at RB High last year; she was in charge of the circulation desk in the library. Her responsibilities included cataloguing books, keeping the shelved books in order, laminating books, assisting students and teachers, and checking in books. When the library media assistant position was cut, Frances French, library media technician, and Benn von Wistinghausen, librarian, had to take over a workload initially intended for three. At the beginning of the school year, with the library media assistant position newly cut, French and Wistinghausen had a difficult time covering all of the work that needed to be done. “Just physically it was too much area to cover,” French said. French and Wistinghausen each have their own area of work. French’s responsibilities lie mostly within the textbook room. She is in charge of ordering new books, repairing old books, preparing class sets, and checking out textbooks to students. Wistinghausen’s expertise is in teaching. As the Librarian, his job is to help students find materials and learn how to use the library. The new workload was nearly impossible for them to handle alone. When the struggle with the huge workload became too much, Wistinghausen decided to try to bring the library media assistant back. Wistinghausen
A different view of the library shelves.
spoke with Principal Paul Robinson, asking him if the school would pay for half the salary of the library media assistant. The Friends of the Library (FOL) would put up the other half. Robinson agreed and the position was returned. Now two women share the job of Library Media Assistant- Cheryle Haygood and Mary Vedborg. No other PUSD high school has been able to bring the library media assistant back. This feat is in large part due to the existence of the Friends of the Library, which no other school has. The FOL was founded in 2003, a year in which there was a round of budget cuts. Prior to then, there were four positions in the library, but with the budget cuts in 2003, one position was lost, leaving only three positions. The FOL raises money to help the library buy books, technology, and pay for staffing. In prior years, the FOL money paid the library staff’s salary so that the library could be open before school, during break and lunch, and after school. This was a great advantage for students who needed a place to do homework or do some last-minute printing. This year
Photo by Robert Bojar
is different because the FOL money is now going towards paying for the two library media assistants to be in the library during regular school hours. The change in hours has a big impact on students. The library now closes at 3:00 p.m., instead of 4:00 p.m. like last year. Many students who depend upon the library for homework and research now have only 30 minutes after school to utilize the library’s resources, as opposed to an hour and a half. The results of the lack of funds do not only affect staffing. There is no money this year to replace old books that are torn and tattered. Some students do not have the books they need because new ones could not be purchased to keep up with the amount of students needing textbooks for classes. Some teachers are relying solely on class sets of books because their students do not have individual books. No money for textbooks also means no money to purchase new novels or research books. The situation is tough, but thanks to Robinson and FOL, the library is still able to pull through and help students.
Class competition update By Michael Rupic
Unlike several other schools, RB High does not have an ongoing class competition. If you have not heard of one before, a class competition is a school-wide challenge in order to find which grade level is the most spirited. This can be found in various ways, including spirit days, lunch activities, dances, assemblies, etc. Now that Tristan McCoy is the ASB Advisor, he is aware of the fact that there is no class competition on this campus. “Our school has stopped doing those [class competitions] like two years ago due to a lack of participation,” McCoy said. McCoy believes that students of
THE SILVER SPUR - OCTOBER 30, 2009
schools that have an ongoing class competition enjoy their time at school more than students of schools that do not take on the challenge of trying to be the most spirited class. “It is unfortunate, because we [ASB] know of several other schools that really get into class competitions, and have fun with it,” McCoy said. “But for some reason, it just hasn’t happened here.” Although a class competition has not been up and running at RB High for a couple of years, McCoy said there is a chance of it returning maybe sometime this year. “There is some talk of resurrecting the program, however, but nothing in stone yet,” McCoy said.
“There is some talk of resurrecting the program, but nothing in stone yet.”
Business program suffers from major budget cutbacks
By Brent Goldberg Business Manager
The Business Department at RB High has been forced to make major cuts this school year. Introduction to business, marketing, and accounting classes have been eliminated and are no longer available to students. These classes were cut due to a combination of lack of funding and low student enrollment. The elimination of these classes comes as no surprise because of the budget cuts made to education. Business is a popular major at the college level. A large percentage of college students major in accounting, finance, and business administration, along with many other business- related programs. Students wanting to get started in the
field of business during high school will not get that opportunity this year. It is a surprise that funding and student interest both fall short when it comes to high school business classes. The association between high school courses and what students major in should be more closely related. Students who would like to learn about different fields of study in high school have fewer opportunities to do so now. Vicki Wilson, business teacher at RB High, said these cuts will “definitely affect student’s interest” and will hurt those who want to get ahead in their field of study. Regional Occupational Program certificates were given out in the past to
those who completed certain business courses. These certificates show that the student not only has learned certain material, but also demonstrates to a potential college or employer that the student is dedicated to his or her major and career. With the possibility of more budget cuts on the horizon, these business courses may be gone for a long time. Nevertheless, students and teachers alike are eager for the return of these classes in the future. “I hope these classes are returned…,” Wilson said. However, any additional budget cuts will further delay elective classes such as these from coming back.
Kansas hate group makes an appearance at RB High
By Robert Bojar Photo Editor
The Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) picketed RB High on the morning of Oct. 19 with profane, brightly colored, signs such as “God Hates Fags” or “The Beast,” including President Obama’s portrait. Many students and administrators were present as well as police and news. The WBC made sure that every person in the intersection in front of RB High would be well aware of their presence. The Westboro Baptist Church announced early October that RB High would be picketed because it supports abortion, is too tolerant of gays— having a Gay Straight Alliance Club—, ethnic and religious groups. This group claims to be of a Baptist Church that follows selected sections of the King James Bible. They are from Topeka, Kansas and consist of an ambiguous amount of members, most of which are in the Phelps family. This group was started by fundamentalist attorney Fred Phelps in 1955 and is known for its anti-gay, antidiversity, anti-everyone-else, and anti-religious picketing. Many of their tactics are based on legal issues, such as the First Amendment and police protection. The WBC often aims to sue the city for not protecting them from anyone who becomes physical or violates their rights. In this case, the First Amendment is a double edged sword, as the WBC
is seen as a pest by many students. Several anti-picketing plans were devised by RB High students when the WBC’s picket was announced on their website (godhatesfags.com). Groups were created on Facebook to discuss a plan of action. Momentum was gaining, but, in the end, no organized antiprotest was created in hopes that the WBC would not even show up on that Monday morning and that giving them any media attention would only benefit them. Paul Robinson, RB High’s principle announced that the picket of our school would be the fourth picket of their tour in San Diego. And that the administration is hoping that there will be no media attention so they won’t even show up on the 19th. And if they do show up, then it’s best to ignore them because attention is what they want, he added. Since most of the anti-protesters would be RB High students, the risks of degrading the school’s reputation would be high. If it were a college, on the other hand, an antiprotest would be plausible and not nearly as risky, as college administration is not as restrictive as a high school administration In contrast, on the Oct. 19, RB High students crowded around the picketers in the morning without a concrete organization. It may be considered a successful picket for the WBC because Channel 10 News showed up and interviewed them. Many students crowded around the few picketers; some
brought signs, flags, and cameras. One sign said “Thank God for 7-11” in mockery of Shirley Phelps-Roper’s signs. Phelps-Roper is the daughter of Fred Phelps and is one of the leaders of the WBC. There were a few more picketers in addition on Monday, including three younger children, one being as young as 5 years old. “We are here to speak the truth!” one picketer shouted. “You are all brats that have been raised under the illusion that being gay is okay. Your kindergarten teachers taught you all that it’s okay to be gay,” she continued, while her daughter held her “God Hates Fags” sign higher up. “They are the epitome of ignorance and it’s best to not even get involved with it because they won’t listen, no matter what.” Senior Mateo Vargas said. “All we can do is educate everyone about their hatred and emphasize our own love.” He is the co-founder of a Facebook group that was aimed to educate students about the Westboro Baptist Church’s intentions. The group gained 300 supporters in three days. “We decided that any action against them would only benefit their cause,” Vargas said. “So we let everyone know that we do not hold responsibility for anyone who confronts them” The WBC got what they came for: attention. Surrounded by a singing crowd, police and a news station interviewing them.
Shirley Phelps-Roper holding up derogatory signs.
Photo by Robert Bojar
UC tuition increase stirs student reaction By Jin Lee Editor-in-chief
University of California officials met in San Francisco on Wednesday, Sept. 16 to push for tuition increases. At the meeting, UC officials presented their plan to raise tuition by 15 percent in basic student fees for the winter 2010 term, and an additional 15 percent increase next fall. If approved, in-state undergraduate tuition would go up by 32 percent to $10,302. The board is expected to vote on the plan in November. Demonstrators interrupted the meeting by protesting layoffs, furloughs, fee increases and other initiatives taken by university officials to address the 10campus system’s budget crisis. More than 100 protestors at University of California San Francisco stood up and shouted, “Whose university? Our university!” Campus police handcuffed and removed about 14 demonstrators who refused to leave. According to the Associated Press, UC President Mark Yudof said the fee increases are necessary to maintain the school’s place among the nation’s top research institutions. The undergraduate fees for California residents do not include room, board or campus fees that average $930. According to the proposal, fees for graduate and out-of-state students would go up by similar amounts. In addition, the university would charge additional fees for undergraduates in professional programs, such as engineering and business.
the Silver Spur
RANCHO BERNARDO HIGH ADVISOR
Liz Steigerwald EDITORS -IN-CHIEF
Kiana Said Jin Lee NEWS EDITOR Kiana Said Jin Lee OPINIONS EDITOR Emily Yavitch SPORTS EDITOR Geoffrey Bogan GUEST ARTIST
Above: U.C.L.A. students. Top right corner: U.C.S.B. students. Bottom right corner: U.C. Berkeley students
The proposed plan would produce an additional $378 million in revenue, of which one third would be set apart for financial aid. Students expressed concern about financial hardship the increase would put on their families. “I will be applying to the UC School’s in November, and I feel that this increase adds more stress to the students and their families,” senior Felicia Rubic said. “I know that with my family, it’s
exciting to go to college, but it’s hard because of how much it is to get in, and applications alone costs money as well.” Students who have looked toward and depended on UC schools now feel angry towards the proposed increase. “I’ve always wanted to go to a UC school because of its more affordable tuition rate,” senior Lorena Cuan said. “Now my family and other families will be forced to give up things like vacations
Photo courtesy of Google
just so that debts can be paid.” According to KSBY, a senior at University of California Santa Barbara, Janelle Mungo, said it is getting difficult to pay for a college education. Mungo and her peers started a campaign this year called “Don’t Cut us Out.” UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang said the campus has already been going through budget reductions since 2003. This year, UCSB’s budget was cut by $45 million.
FEATURES EDITORS Carrie Chen Hanna Lee
Brent Goldberg STAFF WRITERS Michael Rupic Stephen Bernard Stephen Karanewsky
ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR Celeste Conowitch
Silver Spur Editorial Policy The opinions expressed in the Silver Spur are not necessarily the opinions of the staff, administration, or the students of Rancho Bernardo High School. They are not necessarily the opinions of the Silver Spur staff as a whole. The Silver Spur is a public forum.
THE SILVER SPUR - OCTOBER 30, 2009
Poll taken of seniors shows changes in party affiliation By Brent Goldberg
A poll done in September has shown major changes in the voting patterns of RB High’s senior class, when compared to the class of 2008. Results show the two main political parties, Republican and Democrat, are now more evenly matched than two years ago. There is also an increase in the number of students who see themselves as independent, or not aligned with either the Republican or Democratic party. The previous poll was taken in January of 2008, when the presidential candidates were campaigning in the 2008 election. Hillary Clinton was still in the lead for the Democrats, and John McCain remained the most likely candidate for the Republicans. This year’s poll reflects the opinions of students after the election and with President Barack Obama in office for about nine months.
The biggest change is the shift away from the Democratic Party, which shows an 11percent decrease from almost two years ago. The Republican Party and Independents have both seen increases of 3-percent and 8-percent, respectively. The new administration could account for these changes. Tom Swanson, social science teacher at RB High, pointed out that the popularity of the administration in charge at the time of the poll is generally lower. Obama and former president George W. Bush have very different political views and both have dealt with some extremely controversial issues. These results possibly show the approval ratings of the current administration by the students at the time of the poll. Nevertheless, it is apparent that the support of our nation’s political parties is changing at our school, as the issues that concern students and the circumstances of those issues shift.
Senior Government Poll 60 50 40 % 30 20 10 0
Republican Democrat Independent
ASB creates a community of texting to inform students By Carrie Chen
As students are using text messaging as a major form of communication, ASB is using this as a way to reach the students at RB High and inform them about activities on campus. According to Tristan McCoy, ASB director, ASB signed up for this service through Tatango, a mobile group communication service. Students can sign up by texting a certain message to Tatango, which automatically places them into a distribution list. Once filed into a certain group, ASB can easily send out texts to these specific groups: seniors, juniors, etc. According to McCoy, a little over 500 students out of 2500 are signed up for Tatango. So far, the feedback from students has been positive. Convenience plays a big role for ASB; as cell phones are a big part of students’ lives, receiving updates through texts allows them to be informed in a way that fits their lifestyle and habits. ASB originally thought of this idea in hopes of uniting the student body. “One goal of ours is to unite RB and make it feel like a community,” McCoy said. “We felt it was fragmented, so we got together and thought of obstacles, and one obstacle was communication. Our ways of communication weren’t effective.” However, although many RB High students share a common love of texting, us-
ing it to unite RB High as a community may yield unexpected problems. While many RB High students may collectively use texting, students are physically being separated from the very community they are trying to unite by making the communication so impersonal. Therefore, using text messages as a means of communication could actually fracture the community they are trying to unify. Students who have not signed up to get these texts may feel out-of-the-loop and excluded, which may potentially fragment RB High as a community even further. Some students on campus may not have a cell phone; and those who do may not have a texting plan. This divide takes place among those who own cellular phones and are signed up for a texting plan, and those who do not own a phone, and those who own a phone but don’t have texting opting, and those who just aren’t interested for whatever reason. This could further fragment students as the program achieves even more popularity through the year and the upcoming school years, especially those who do not have cell phones or text messaging. Although many students have shown enthusiasm for the new text updates, it may fragment RB as a community by excluding students who don’t have the luxuries of cell phones or texting plans. While it was started with good intentions to unify the school, it could also do the opposite.
Illustration by Maranda Li
President Obama delivers controversial speech to schools across the nation By Brent Goldberg
President Obama delivered a speech to schools the day after Labor Day, when many students began the school year. Although the purpose of this speech was questioned, he discussed the importance of doing well in school and tried to persuade students to try their best. Many have wondered whether this speech should have been in schools, as was intended, or if Obama had an ulterior motive, like to brainwash school children. Some school districts chose not to show the speech, and some parents decided to keep their kids home from school to avoid the speech. Obama stressed the fact that in order to help their nation, students must not give up on education. When asked if children should be allowed to watch the speech, Gary Kroesch, government teacher at RB High, said that “It would be beneficial to hear what the president says about education.” Students who are having difficulty in school, or those who have major issues that would prevent them from excelling were persuaded by the president to stay in
there and try their best. Obama’s speech was reportedly altered and changed before he gave it. This led some to believe that he was trying to push his political agenda in the speech, but was not given the opportunity. Many wondered why a speech like this was made when so many other problems are affecting the nation. Some do not think this speech should have been made to students who would have trouble understanding the content of it anyway. According to Parker Conley, senior, showing this speech to elementary school children serves no point, “because they obviously will not comprehend his message.” Many teachers and students alike believe that parents, regardless of whether they agree with the speech or not, have the right to keep their children from viewing it. During these troubling times, with so many opposing view points on how the government should be run, the combination of politics and public education can easily cause many to question the motives of a speech directed at students. Improving our educational system is very important. Although opinions on how this should be done differ greatly, education, most agree, is the future of our nation.
THE SILVER SPUR - OCTOBER 30, 2009
Should sophomores have access to the student parking lot?
A new perspective of the student parking lot. A new perspective of the student parking lot.
By Carrie Chen Features Editor
For RB High students, a parking space in the student parking lot is a privilege reserved for upperclassmen. While many sophomores are taking the Drivers Ed classes and hopefully breezing through the exam, perhaps even driving smoothly down the road, they are denied access into the student parking lot. As skillful a driver as they may be, they lack two things: the seniority, and the license. As with every rule comes some disagreement. While several sophomores
Photo by Robert Bojar
display outright disapproval, others are more flexible. “I think that juniors and seniors should have priority,” sophomore Lindsey Sager said. “But if there are spaces, sophomores should be allowed to park in the student parking lot.”Sager has already gotten her permit and will soon get her license at the end of February. Though she would gladly drive herself to and from school if the rules permitted, Sager understands the administrators’ need to make this regulation. “It’s a privilege to upperclassmen,” Sager said, “and because they think juniors and seniors will be able to handle the
responsibility.” Although driving is a great freedom, with it comes great responsibility. Juniors and seniors that occupy the student parking lot bear on their shoulders: the liability of ensuring the safety of the other students in the lot. Senior Bethy Chien agrees with the administration’s decision. “I think the student parking lot is already too crowded,” Chien said. “Upperclassmen have priority. Besides, we had to wait until junior year, so sophomores should wait too.” Not only is it a question of responsibility, it is also a question of fairness. As the
rules have been this way for many years, a sudden change would potentially upset the upperclassmen who have waited through the freshman and sophomore year for a coveted spot. But however unchanging the rules may be, the administration has made an effort to reward deserving sophomores with access into the student parking lot. “I have a STAR spot,” junior Steven Gilmore said. “I’ve had it since March.” According to Principal Paul Robinson, the school awarded sophomores who greatly improved on their STAR exam scores a spot in the student parking lot. This system helps some sophomores. Doing well on the
standardized test may open up a parking spot for some sophomores in the future. As of now, the rule stating that only upperclassmen can have access to a parking spot stands; however, the rules are always subject to change. When asked if the administration would change the rule in the future, Robinson said, “It’s something for us to look at. Sophomores can always come ask us if they have a unique situation.” Sophomores who have transportation issues or no alternatives may go to the administrators and ask for permission. As the STAR spots have not been given out yet for this year and the rules have not
Pros and cons of listening to music while studying varies for different students By Michael Rupic Staff Writer
What is the correct way to study for a class? Every student has his or her own study techniques and habits. A hardworking student will do whatever it takes to get a good grade in a class. According to the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program, there are multiple types of learners. An auditory learner must listen to or hear the teacher in order to learn. A visual learner must see everything the teacher does and must pay close attention during class; he might need to sit up close in class and be able to clearly visualize what is being taught. A kinesthetic learner must be able to see that something is really there by touching it; he needs to be using his hands or doing something that involves motion. There are also different styles of learning. An individual learner works best alone and in an isolated place. A group learner works best with other people, either socializing, studying, or working. An oral learner prefers explaining problems by talking and communicating by mouth. A written learner prefers explaining problems by writing and communicating by pen and paper. According to a study conducted by The Washington Post, the way a student learns depends on how he or she is able to comprehend and apply material. According to Study Skills, an
Rama Manneh, a freshman, poses as a student listening to music while studying.
online site where people blog about different ways to study, states that “Concentrating is best achieved when studying without distraction.” Tanya MacMartin, a teacher at Bernardo Heights Middle School, plays music in her classroom every day. “When students enter or exit my classroom,” MacMartin said, “I like to play upbeat and encouraging music to get them excited about learning. But when my students are calculating or working on a lab,
I play quiet or classical music so they can concentrate.” MacMartin believes that playing music creates a certain mood or ambience, depending on the genre you play. Judy Donoghue, a math teacher at RB High, keeps her classroom quiet. “I don’t listen to much music myself,” Donoghue said. “I like to hear what is going on around me; the sounds of nature or having a conversation with someone.” If a student wants to listen to
Photo illustration by Michael Rupic
music while studying, Donoghue would recommend songs with no lyrics, including classical and “easy listening.” Anya Egense, a freshman band student, listens to music everyday while studying. She chooses to listen to classical music or any song that does not have lyrics. When Egense is doing regular homework, she listens to some of her more familiar or favorite songs, but when she is studying for a major quiz or test, then she listens to new songs.
“Listening to any kind of music while studying is okay for me, as long as it is in the background,” Egense said. “If it is completely quiet or too loud, then I have a hard time concentrating.” As a band student, music definitely impacts her learning style. Egense needs rhythm and structure to study well. No matter what kind of learner you are, remember that however you choose to study will impact how well you are able to understand the material in a class.
THE SILVER SPUR-OCTOBER 30, 2009
BLINK 182 is back
Local Band Scene:
Blink 182, the pop-punk band from Poway, reunited on Feb. 8. They presented themselves at the Emmy awards and announced that they were getting back together. They started their 2009 tour last summer. “It was awesome,” said Josh Casillas, a senior at RB High. “Something that I think that couldn’t happen. It’s really cool that they did get back together.” Blink 182 released five albums before they broke up in 2005. The last album they released was their self-titled album in 2003. After Blink 182 disbanded, they went ahead to start their own bands, like Angels and Airwaves and +44. Angels and Airwaves released their first album in 2006 titled “We Don’t Need to Whisper.” It had re “When Your Heart Stops Beating.” Later this month, Blink 182 will be on tour at Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles, and the Santa Barbara dome.
Finding a great local band to see on a Friday night isn’t too difficult if you ask around. Most of these artists have worked hard to get where they are. The bands have been through many failures and debts and crises to rise up to popularity and do what they want to do. “Play to grab their attention, and play what you want to play,” local band The City Freeze’s bass guitarist, senior, Mateo Vargas said. “You have to play catchy tunes, and yet be independent.” he adds. “There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s not a successful sound, either.” Bands like The City Freeze and Auto Electric are local and relatively low budget but are very promising, catchy, and independent. “We’re in debt right now, like $100, so we’re selling CDs for $5. They’re just burned CDs with spray paint on them. Basically, Costco and coupons,” bassist for Auto Electric senior Philip Noel said. “But we’re hoping to raise some money or at least get out of debt at Controlled Chaos,” promises Philip. Controlled Chaos is an event at the The Rancho Bernardo Church on Oct. 30, featuring other local artists: Silent ArThe movie “Zombieland” makes another comical addition to the emerging fascination. Set in a post-apocalyptic world in which all but six people (including Bill Murray) have become members of the undead. The story follows the character referred to as Columbus because of his quest to seek his parents who may still be alive. Along the way, he meets up with Tallahassee, a zombie-smashing, banjo-wielding cowboy with a quest to find the world’s last
By Stephen Bernard
By Robert Bojar
Movie Review: “Zombie Land” By Celeste Conowitch
An undead craze has swept the youth of America; numerous cultural icons surrounding the flesh-eating walking dead have popped up including familiar titles such as “Shaun of the Dead,” “The Zombie Survival Guide,” and “Dead Rising.”
ENTERTAINMENT Book Review: Dear Mrs. Roosevelt By Hanna Lee Staff Writer
mada, Radio Racer and Remy Cox. All you have to do is ask around and you’ll dig up a local gig at UCSD or the recreation center down the street. Everybody has their own individual tastes, looks for something different or just heard about that one band at that one place.
Photo by Robert Bojar box of Twinkies. The two travel together in an effort to survive the constant torrent of undead. Later, the duo encounters a girl and her sister determined on traveling to their favorite childhood theme park, and after a series of cons and abandonment, the four end up together. Hilarity ensues as the group runs amuck in zombie-infested locations such as Hollywood taking advantage of human abandonment as well as impressive zombie
battles along the way. This movie succeeds at combining just the right amounts of horror and hilarity, making it a must-see for all who love zombie flicks, or just a great comedy.
The past and present: Michael Jackson’s legacy lives By Hanna Lee Features editor
Photo courtesy of google images
By Kiana Said Editor in chief
Since his death in late June, Michael Jackson’s music is being acknowledged again by teens and adults. A student says that she didn’t know who Michael Jackson was until after his death. His songs were incredibly popular in the eighties with the most famous album being Thriller. He had people moving across the dance floor with his catchy, unforgettable tunes. He was first known by people because of his family’s band, the Jackson 5. His popular songs included “I want you back” and “ABC.” His early music was thought to be different from his later songs, according to Melody Huang. “They are mainly about love and friendship while his later songs are about morals and being a better person.” Huang said. In the eighties, his songs started to have
a big effect on people. In the song “Billie Jean”, he showed off his moonwalk, as he glided across the stage effortlessly. His Thriller album won many awards, such as “Top Album.” Michael Jackson also cowrote the song “We Are The World” to help the African famine by raising money. Many of his songs had a good influence, then and now. “A lot of MJ’s songs have really good themes; the best one being Man in the Mirror since it tells the audience that if you’re looking for a change in the world, start with yourself.” Huang said. While many of his songs were fun and light, some songs had an emotional touch to it. In the song “You are not alone” was about isolation and loneliness as well as love. His song “Gone too soon” was dedicated to AID’s victim Ryan White.
The book Dear Mrs. Roosevelt is a compilation of letters from children sent to the First Lady Mrs. Roosevelt. It was put together by Robert Cohen and published in October of 2002. The letters were sent during the Great Depression, where food and clothing were scarce for many Americans. The book contains only the letters sent to the first lady and not the responses given by her or her secretaries. The book also contains some drawings sent by the children and some children sent Mrs. Roosevelt the advertisements of the things they wanted. The children asked for clothes, money, bicycles, household appliances, and more. Most children who wrote the letters told Mrs. Roosevelt that they were not beggars or to please excuse their letters. The letters contained grammatical and spelling errors, as many kids didn’t have the money and clothes to attend school. In most situations, at least one parent was out of a job or very sick. One child asks the First Lady for a few dollars so she could pay off their hospital bills because the child’s father and sister had an operation on the same year. Some children asked Mrs. Roosevelt for clothes. They say they cannot go to school because of their lack of clothing. “I’m ashamed to appear before my friends…in my tattered overalls and old coat, both of which I have sadly outgrown,” one girl said in a letter. The depression made it harder and harder for students to continue their schooling as books and clothes had to be bought. One girl asks Mrs. Roosevelt for her “old soiled dresses” so she can wear them to school. There are also letters that come from students who want to continue their education by going to college. The students ask for money and say they will work hard in school. “I must be a doctor!” one girl exclaims. Christmas during the Great Depression was probably the hardest for the children to endure. The giving and receiving of presents weren’t taken for granted. Many parents had to tell their children excuses of why Santa Claus couldn’t come that year. Some children asked Mrs. Roosevelt if she could send them old clothes or toys. “Please send me a kitten,” one child asks. Bicycles were one of the many possessions that children wanted in the 1930s. Some ask for any old bicycle she can give them, and others ask for money so they can buy the bike themselves. One boy asks for either a new pickup or car then lists how much each costs. The others who ask the First Lady for help are immigrants and the disabled, describing how they are dealing with the extra difficulties they must face. The similarity found in each letter in this book is that each child finds a way to show his or her respect to the wife of the president. They all express their respect through their words by saying how sorry they are and telling her what a wonderful woman she is.
The “King of Pop” : highlights from 1958 to 2009
1958- A star is born. Michael Jackson was born on August 28, 1958. He was the seventh of nine children.
1968- Motown Records. Michael Jackson and his brothers Tito, Jackie, Jermaine and Marlon, known as the Jackson 5, get signed onto Motown Records
1970-Hit singles.1970 The Jackson 5 hit it big with their singles “I want you back” and “ABC.” This was the beginning of stardom for 11-year-old Michael.
1972- Starting solo. At the age of 14, Michael Jackson found fame through his first solo album, “Got to be hit There,” and received his first number-one, “Ben.” Although he received fame as a solo artist, he was still committed to “The Jackson Five.”
1982- Thriller. The infamous “Thriller” album was released, selling 21 million copies in the US alone. This album was a smash hit world wide. According to Time Magazine, Michael Jackson made history with his “Thriller” album, being the top selling album for two years straight. Jackson was able to make it in the Guinness World Record book in 1985 for having one of the best sold albums of all time.
1983- The most important
music video of Jackson, “Thriller,” reveals its worldwide known dance move, the moon walk.
1984- Major accident.
While filming a commercial for Pepsi and dancing to Billie Jean, a major accident occurs and Jackson has to be hospitalized when his hair caught on fire.
THE SILVER SPUR-OCTOBER 30, 2009
Celebrating The Beatles: “Rockband” Release ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Bella Sosis ByRobert Bojar
By Geoffrey Bogan
Senior Bella Sosis, a deep thinker and experimental artist has revised her methods and ideas since a very young age, and recently she has adopted a new outlook for art to not be a Photo by Robert Bojar central focus in life, but a byproduct of life itself. Sosis is a painter, pianist, draftswoman, aspiring screenwriter and plans to explore much more. She has gone through artistic phases. “First,” she explains, “it was about technique, learning how to draw. Then, I became obsessed with beauty, and my art became all about the aesthetic itself.” “In seventh grade, I took an art class where my teacher singled me out to tell me that my art is great” Sosis said. “It reminded me that I do art for myself. When I got Crohns disease, I used art as a therapy in the hospital. I sketched a lot to develop my technique and style. I used my family the most because they were the ones I saw often. I put people in categories and family is where I see the rawest of emotions.” Sosis said. She has always been involved in some sort of art, but varying mediums and degrees all throughout her life. In the end, family has become an important and evident subject for Sosis. “Right now, it’s about what comes up; I’m not thinking about every step, and I’m not aiming to create art. It’s a therapy, rather than a goal.” Sosis said. “I absolutely adore oils, but colored pencils are much more easy to use and versatile, being portable. I use acrylic sometimes.” Sosis said, explaining
Wednesday Sept. 9 was a day for the history books. This day marked the release of The Beatles’ twelve re-mastered studio albums, as well as the Beatles version of the video game “Rockband.” The albums are complete with mini documentaries, as well as rare pictures of the band. Although these albums are new and re-mastered, they are still the same old Beatles. According to the Rolling Stones’ blog, “An enormous effort was made to stay true to the original mixes…they just sound deeper, richer and more fleshed out.” The albums did not get all the hype, the Beatles “Rockband” was also very popular. This is the same as the traditional “Rockband;” the only difference is that all the songs are by the Beatles. Some of the songs include “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds,” “Hello Goodbye,” “Revolution,” “Come Together” and many more. The story-mode of this game takes you through the creation of the band and tours it goes on. “It is as much a well-crafted lesson in music history as it is a video game,” Brett Molina said in a game review in USA Today. So, if you are a Beatles fan, or just enjoy music in general, these albums, as well as the video game, would be a great thing to get.
Photo Courtesy of yahoo images
Celebrity deaths are more evident than ever this year By Stephen Karanewsky Staff Writer
Some major icons have died this year: Michael Jackson, Billy Mays, Farrah Fawcett, and Ed McMahon. Ed McMahon died at the age of 86.He was the announcer of the “Tonight Show”, which was hosted by Johnny Carson for thirty years, from 1962 to 1992. Entertainment Weekly named McMahon number one on its list of TV’s greatest sidekicks. Though McMahon was surprised at first to be mentioned as Carson’s sidekick, the two soon proved to have a strong chemistry. His catchphrase “Heeeerre’s Johnny!” became a part of our society’s vernacular. Farrah Fawcett, actress of “Charlie’s An-
gels,” an episodic drama that aired on TV from 1976 to 1981, died at the age of 62. She had been battling a rare, malignant form of cancer for three years. Fawcett’s battle with cancer was documented in a television special, which was mainly shot by her.Fawcett’s beauty and gleaming smile was printed on millions of posters, which is what initially made her famous. To many, Fawcett will always be best known of her red-swim-suited image on a pinup poster, which sold a reputed 12 million copies after its release in 1976. Michael Jackson, the “King of Pop”, died at the age of 50 from cardiac arrest. Jackson had many number one hits, and his “Thriller” album is the best-selling album of all time. Jackson was the seventh of nine
children from a well-known musical family. He is survived by three children, Prince Michael the first, Paris, and Prince Michael the second. He was acquitted of child molestation charges after a well-publicized trial in Santa Maria, California in March of 2006. Billy Mays, the “Infomercial King,” died at the age of 50. Mays was well known for his numerous television promotions of such products as Orange Glo and OxiClean. He was also featured on the reality TV show “Pitchmen” on the Discovery Channel, which followed Mays and Anthony Sullivan in their marketing jobs. Just before his death, Mays was on board a US Airways flight that blew out its front tires as it landed at a Tampa airport. Authorities have not said whether Mays’ death was related to the
Photo Curtesy of google images If you are looking for a laugh-out-loud comedy, then you must see Tyler Perry’s “I Can Do Bad All By Myself.” This movie is about a single woman, April, and how she copes with living by herself. One night, April’s nephews and niece break into the house of Madea, a granny with a big attitude. Since the children have no where to go, their aunt ends up letting them stay with her. After having lost both parents and a grandparent, the children start to adjust to a “normal life,” by attending school, going
1993- King of controversy. Jackson is accused of sexually abusing an13-year-old. He tells the public he is innocent. the court case is later settled out of court and Jackson pays the family around $15 million.
1991- Black or White. Michael Jackson does not stop here with his top selling albums. In 1991, Jackson came out with “Dangerous,” which became his third number one album and had seven hit singles. Jackson also released his 11-minute controversial music video, “Black or White.”
1995- Jackson releases yet another successful album: “HIStory: Past, Present and Future.” For the fist time, Jackson and his sister Janet Jackson perform a duet on one of the songs “Scream.”
1994- Lisa Marie Presley and Jackson get married; the marriage only lasts about two years.
Art by Bella Sosis
A student’s review of Tyler Perry’s “I Can Do Bad All By Myself” By Michael Rupic
1987- “Bad” hits the charts. Following Jackson’s successful “Thriller” album, he didn’t waste any time and came out with his “Bad” album, which included seven hit singles: “I Just Cant Stop Loving You,” “Bad,” “The Way You Make Me Feel,” “Man in the Mirror,” and “Dirty Diana.
her favorite mediums. With a past rich with artistic achievement and a very promising present, it may seemingly be surprising that Sosis is not going to strictly study art in college. She plans to go to San Francisco State for the beginning of her college career and then move on to study abroad for a year. But she plans to keep art close to her heart, as it always has been. Sosis is often seen sketching a teacher or a classmate in pen on her homework during class. She has a distinct and almost expressionistic style, which clearly alludes to Chagall’s Jewish aesthetic.
to church, and having a relationship with someone in their family This movie is one in the collection of Tyler Perry’s films involving themes and morals mixed with humor. Overall, critics did not like this movie. Some reviews said that it was too predictable and full of clichés. Stephen Farber, a critic from The Hollywood Reporter, said, “Part musical, part love story, part family melodrama, part inspirational treacle, Tyler Perry’s latest movie, ‘I Can Do Bad All by Myself’ is something of an unholy mess.” But some of the general population who went to go see this movie in theatres thought it was well-made and another unforgettable addition to Tyler Perry’s collection. One moviegoer said, “Although another film about divine intervention/redemption, Tyler always has a different twist with each of his films. Great acting…” I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone who is looking for a good laugh, especially during these hard economic times. I also recommend Perry’s other movies, musical productions, and plays that he has produced, written, and/or acted in; his work is never disappointing.
2009- Ready for a comeback. Jackson announced that he was preparing for a comeback tour called “This Is It.”
2003- Controversy again. Jackson is once again charged with sexual abuse, but this time on seven counts. All charges came from 14-yearold boy, Gavin Arizo. Jackson claims he is innocent and is later set free of all charges.
June 25, 2009- Legend lives on. Jackson dies at the young age of 50. Jackson fans all over the world mourned over the death of the legendary “King of Pop.”
THE SILVER SPUR - OCTOBER 30, 2009
Back-to-School Night’s new format has mixed reviews By Emily Yavitch
Back-to-School Night had a makeover this year. At the proposal of Principal Paul Robinson, teachers and staff at RB High decided to try an entirely different format. According to the traditional format, parents went to each of their child’s classrooms following their child’s schedule. In each class, the teacher would speak to the parents for about 10 minutes describing the course. After 10 minutes, a bell would ring, signaling the end of that class. Parents would then continue on to the next class, heeding the ring of the bell just as students do every day. Thus, each parent would learn about his or her child’s class, but very little about how their child is doing specifically. Hopefully the new format fixed that. The purpose of the new format was to give parents and teachers time to talk about students on an individual basis. This year as parents arrived, counselors handed them students’ six-week grade reports. Parents then went to the gym, where all of the teachers were seated in alphabetical order. Parents then had the opportunity to go to any and all of their student’s teachers to discuss their child. This new format is not Robinson’s creation. It has been used by other schools around the country. Although other schools have adopted the format, it is only on a trial-run for RB High. “It’s different,” Robinson said. “Some will like it; some won’t. We will welcome feedback to see what worked and what didn’t.” Teachers had to prepare differently this year. Generally, teachers just give a general description of the course and its requirements. Because of the new format’s emphasis on individual student progress, teachers had to ensure they know about their students enough to have a conversation with the parents. The benefit of having Back-to-School Night
later on in the school year is that it gives teachers more time to get to know each of their students. Susan Michelena, social science teacher at RB High, had mixed feelings about the new format. “The positive part,” Michelena said, “is that you have a good idea of what goes on with each student. Since Back-to-School Night is later this year, it gives us more time to know our students’ learning style, strengths, and weaknesses.” “The negative part of the change,” Michelena said, “is that though teachers will be able to have individual time with parents, it will be so rushed that there may not be enough time to have the kind of conversation some parents need.” There was also a worry of speaking for too long and not leaving enough time for other parents. “Mr. Robinson suggested we use egg timers to keep time,” said Michelena. Gerri Gorga, mother of senior Alex Gorga, thought the same thing after encountering the long lines for each teacher. “They [teachers] need a timer,” Gorga said. “There is a boatload of parents and the lines keep on backing up because some parents talk for longer, and everyone else has to wait.” Other parents commented that they preferred the old format because they were able to visit each classroom. “I’d rather just go to each class,” father of junior Alex Brunsell, John Brunsell said. “I enjoyed seeing the different environment in each classroom.” Despite some objections, many parents preferred the new format. The ability to speak to each teacher individually after receiving progress reports was a plus for many parents. Farrah Thomas, mother of sophomore Christopher Thomas, appreciated the one-on-one time she had with each teacher. “You are able to talk to each teacher individually,” Thomas said. “There is more time.”
Back-to-school night takes place in the gym.
Photo by Emily Yavitch
Semesters vs. trimesters vs. quarters: Which system is best? By Carrie Chen Features Editor
The five high schools in the Poway Unified School District follow three different grading periods: Mt. Carmel and Del Norte use trimesters, while RB High and Poway use semesters, and Westview uses quarters. While many students at RB High prefer our system of semesters, it is worth looking at the negatives and benefits of each system. At Mt. Carmel and Del Norte, the schools go by a five by three system, meaning that the students take five classes per trimester that last 12 weeks, adding up to a total of fifteen classes per year. “I think the trimester system allows students
flexibility in choosing classes and earning credits,” Counselor Charlene Rolls said. Going on a trimester system increases the number of credits a student can get per school year, giving students who have failed a class more chances to make up credits for graduation. However, this also means three finals, rather than two, and less time to learn the material for the final. Del Norte and Mt. Carmel’s dates for the finals are Nov. 10 to 13, March 3 to 5, and June 4 to 8. With less time in the grading periods, students have less time to learn the content. Also, this new system may pose new problems when a student has to transfer schools. Because the trimester schedule differs so greatly from the semester and quarter system,
students may be put at a disadvantage when confusion arises. Students involved in a school switch may find that the different pacing of learning can greatly affect their grades. Westview operates on a system of quarters, otherwise known as four by four. Students take four classes a quarter, adding up to a total of sixteen classes per year. Finals occur on the last two days of the second and fourth quarter, which occur respectively on Jan.15 and June 8. Midterms are given at the end of the first and third quarter, and the dates depend on each individual class. The grading period, which is half as long as RB High and Poway High’s system of semesters, forces students to learn and comprehend the information much faster and
at a quicker pace. Students may rely on pure memorization to do well in the class, and when finals come, the concepts may not be retained. However, the sixteen classes per year gives students much more opportunities to make up failed classes than the semester schedule. RB High and Poway High operate on a system of semesters, otherwise known as a six by two schedule, and students take twelve classes per year. “I like semesters,” junior Ilene Chen said, “because you have a long time to pull up your grade, and you have a longer time to learn the material more thoroughly.” Students under the semester system get more time to understand the concepts, more opportunities to ask for a teacher’s help, and
more chances to make up for a bad grade. However, semesters may allow students too much time. “Students have too much time, and they might slack off during the middle of the semester,” sophomore Lisa Kim said. Because of the extended length of the grading period, students may procrastinate during the middle of the semester, which may potentially form bad work habits. Whether schools operate on a semester, trimester, or quarter system, there are advantages and disadvantages to each. Credits, stress, and procrastination are all factors that come into play when deciding which system is the best; however trivial it may seem, the length of time between grading periods can be crucial to a student’s success.
This year’s Club Rush was a huge success By Geoffrey Bogan Sports Editor
Mabuhay club dances on the stage during Club Rush.
Photo by Stephen
This year’s Club Rush was one of the best RB High has had in recent history. With its two-day format, the attendance, and the number of clubs, it was a huge success. “We typically have between 40-45 clubs,” said junior Corey Permann, who is ASB’s vice president of communications. “This year we had 73 clubs, which is the most not only the school, but the district has ever had.” The number of clubs allowed to attend was one of the big changes made possible this year by Permann. In addition to the quantity, club officers were allowed to perform on stage as a way to promote their clubs. One club that took advantage was the Mabuhay club that danced, while sporting the “jerk with Mabuhay” sign. The Dodge Ball club also took advantage of this opportunity by playing a game of dodge ball on stage.
One thing that stayed the same this year was the popular booth contest, which is a contest to decide which club has the most attractive booth. The winner of this year’s contest was Mabuhay; the criteria of the contest was based off visibility, handouts, information, creativity, and quality. Something else that added to the success of this year’s club rush was the diversity of the clubs. One person who helped contribute to the adversity was junior Joe Nickless, who is the president of both the Snowboarding Club and the Friends of Earth Club. “I love snowboarding and also care a lot for the environment,” said Nickless. “By running these clubs I get a chance to share two of my loves with the students of RB High.” Nickless would like to commend ASB for making this year’s Club Rush such a success. Clubs will be approved the week after Homecoming by Permann and the rest of ASB. Club officers will know if their club was approved by the ICC meeting, which is Thursday, Nov. 19.
THE SILVER SPUR - OCTOBER 30, 2009 FEATURES 9 “Navy brat”: an up-closeLink Crew welcomes back Dasteel and-personal look By Kiana Said Editor-in-chief
Photo courtesy of Link Crew.
Link leaders and officers gather to cheer on the freshmen football team
By Kiana Said Editor-in-chief
Link Crew officers and members were able to pull through the obstacles of not having an advisor during summer preparation for Bronco Camp and the beginning of the school year, but Marie Dasteel, their previous advisor, is now back at RB High and has also returned as the Link Crew advisor. When Link Crew officers found out a week before Bronco Camp that their advisor, Dasteel, would no longer be working at RB High and would not be able to fulfill the task of being their advisor, many of the students were upset and stressed. “I found out late in the game, around July, that I would no longer be teaching at RB High, and the union rules stated that a non-teacher could not advise a club like Link Crew,” Dasteel said. “At that point, I gathered up all the officers and prepared them to work together to lead and keep Link Crew organized.” A lot of the Link Crew officers and students were saddened when they found out Dasteel would not be their advisor. “I was extremely upset because Miss. Dasteel was almost like our second mom, and she had been such a big factor to the success of Link Crew,” senior Gil Aloni,
Fundraising Commissioner of Link Crew, said. “We didn’t think we would be able to pull it off on our own.” Link Crew had done a lot of pre planning, and that really helped them when they had to carry on without an advisor, and Dasteel prepared the officers to take on their first big event, Bronco Camp, on their own. “We took everything Miss. Dasteel had taught us and used it to make everything work,” Aloni said. With only a week’s notice that they would not be having an advisor for Bronco Camp, the Link Crew officers and leaders pulled it together as a team in hopes of making Bronco Camp a success. They had to plan and get everything organized, from food to name tags to balloons; these Link Crew officers made sure everything was ready for Bronco Camp. “We did not want to let anyone down, especially the freshmen, so all of us officers got together every single day the week before school started and spent endless hours planning and organizing,” senior Kimya Liaghat, President of Link Crew, said. “We all got barely any sleep that week.” “I was extremely proud of their success at Bronco Camp,” Dasteel said. “All of the
officer’s hearts where in the right place, and they did not let the difficulties and pressures get to them.” From the success of Bronco Camp, Dasteel was happy to know that the officers worked together. “I thought Bronco Camp was a success; the Link Crew officers and leaders really pulled together to make the event run smoothly,” senior Link leader Jenna Hering said. “Even though we were upset that our Link Crew advisor was gone, we all worked together to make it happen.” Following the success of Bronco Camp, and two weeks into school, the link crew officers were informed that Miss. Dasteel would be working at RB High again, and would be able to return as their Link Crew advisor. “I was so excited when we found out Miss. Dasteel would be returning,” Maxwell O’kieffe, senior vice president of Link Crew, said. “Link Crew was not the same with out her. She was proud of all of us for working hard as a team, when there was no advisor to guide us. It was an emotional moment when we found out she would be returning because we are like a family.” Dasteel worked as a substitute teacher since the first day of school, and Aug. 31 was her first day back as permanent teacher.
Dodgeball Club members recruit more members during Club Rush By Geoffrey Bogan Sports Editor
One club that took advantage of this year’s Club Rush was the Dodge Ball Club, who acquired one hundred plus members. This club, run by junior Kyle Keller, stood out above the rest for a number of different reasons. “The Dodge Ball Club is run by a group of students whose main focus is fun,” said Keller. The Dodge Ball Club was started about mid-year last year, missing out on Club Rush. This made it difficult to recruit new members; however, this year Keller, along with the rest of the group, did a good job during Club Rush and got many students to join. “This club is open to everyone; we are in need of underclassmen to help carry on the tradition after we graduate,” Keller said. “Although we are just a club now,” Keller said. “Our goal is to become a team.” This is hard since no other school has a team, but when they do, Keller said they will be ready. Junior Louw Scheepers, a club member, said he has aspirations to make the varsity team in the future. Kevin Keller, world history teacher and
club advisor, said he was happy when he was asked to be the club advisor, because dodge ball promotes teamwork, and this is something the students on our campus could benefit from.
So, if you are still looking for a club to join and not sure what to do, make the Dodge Ball club an option. It is a good club for anyone who wants to meet new people and have a little fun while doing it.
Louw Scheepers and Brian Huynh promote the Dodgeball Club.
Photo by Kiana Said
Living in three different continents up until your teenage years is not part of the average teen’s life. When many people hear the term “navy brat,” they think of something negative, but in reality it simply means that at least one of their parents served in the navy during their childhood. Most navy brats have not lived in one house for very long. Many of them have lived all around the world, and have been exposed to different people and cultures. There can be both negative and positive aspects to this lifestyle, but according to junior Laura Mooney, she feels that her experience as a daughter of someone in the navy has helped her adapt to all types of situations. She has lived a childhood that most teens cannot imagine. Since the day she was born up until she was 13 years old, Mooney’s dad served in the navy. “Having lived in three different
Laura Mooney poses for a picture.
Photo by Robert Bojar.
A navy ship in the water.
Photo courtesy of Google
continents, which include places such as Hawaii, Virginia, Guam, Seattle, England, and Connecticut,” said Mooney. “It has made me a diverse and open-minded person.” Mooney explained that sometimes her dad, as a submarine captain, would be put on missions where he would be deployed for six to eight months, and she would have any contact with him. It was not like she could send care packages to him, because he was out on the open seas, where it was not possible to communicate with him. When asked about her views on the war in Afghanistan today, Mooney said, “I do not support the new draft bill because it just means more families are going to be worried about losing their loved ones that are over seas.” The life of having a parent in the navy may seem difficult, but there are positive and negatives to every situation. “I know I have not had the typical childhood, but I am so appreciative of all the places I have gotten to see and experience,” said Mooney.
Why students go against school rules and text in class By Michael Rupic Staff Writer
Not all of us do it, but those who do are going against our school’s policy. Texting during class is not permitted at RB High, along with a number of other campuses in the district, city, region, state and country. So, why do many students do it anyway? Why can’t they just wait until after class and have a real conversation? Nicholas Noble, freshman, said he texts in class occasionally, and he has never been caught texting in class, so he has not yet had to face the consequences that many students have had to face, including punishments all the way from confiscation to suspension. “I do not text during class while I am taking a test, quiz, or anything other important,” Noble said. “In other words, I don’t cheat.” Noble believes that for the most part, the school-wide policy is applied equally, but he also thinks that it depends on the teacher you have, the subject you are in, and your grade level. Sharon McGlocklin, an English teacher at RB High, has only caught one student texting in her class throughout her career as an educator. “This doesn’t mean others haven’t been texting,” McGlocklin said. “I just haven’t caught them.” McGlocklin said that students could use
phones in class for a variety of reasons, such as taking pictures of tests and handing them on or taking pictures of notes on the board so they don’t have to do any writing themselves. No matter the reason, McGlocklin believes that “students should be focused on their studies.” As far as the school policy goes, McGlocklin thinks that the administration is trying its best to enforce what was started last year, “Bag, Tag, No Nag,” and to continue it. While following the school policy, which he helped write, Assistant Principal Keith Koelzer said, “Texting outside of the classroom is fine just as long as you don’t bump into someone.” The school policy about using cell phones, which is found in the RB High Student Handbook on pages 12 and 14, states that “Cellular phones are to be turned off and hidden from view during class time.” The policy also states that “protecting instructional time in the classroom is essential for creating an excellent learning environment.” Koelzer believes, “the classroom is a hallowed place of learning and should be free of all distractions.” Koelzer said that students who decide to text during class need to ask themselves, “How is using a cell phone in the classroom improving [my] learning?”
SAT 2 is not required at UC schools starting in 2012 By Hanna Lee Features Editor
Recently, it was announced that the Class of 2012 does not need to take the SAT 2 in order to get into a UC school. The SAT 2 is an hour-long test that shows how much knowledge one has in a certain subject. The basic subjects are English, history, science, math, and languages. There are tests for each category. According to counselor Tim Sager, the state system did not require students to take the SAT 2, but the UC schools and
some private schools still required them. He notes that even though the SAT 2 results will not be mandatory for admission into a UC school, certain majors will still want the SAT 2 scores. Tiffany Dharma, senior, has taken the SAT 2 twice for U.S. history, biology, and molecular biology. As of now, she is sending in applications to two UC schools. Her opinion is that the SAT 2 should be more important than the SAT. “SAT 2 is more in line with knowledge,” Dharma said.
However, she does not think the SAT 2 has a big enough impact on acceptance into a college or major because there are other factors to consider, such as a student’s GPA and teacher recommendations. She also thinks that AP tests will be a better indicator of a student’s knowledge than the SAT 2. Dharma said though that she would prefer to not take the test. “Some people have the opportunity (to take the test), while some do not,” Dharma said. One sophomore said that she would feel
better if they did count the SAT 2 scores as part of her admission to a UC School because it may help her get in. Whether the sophomores and freshmen of RB High consider themselves lucky for not having to take the SAT 2 for a UC school, Sager wants students to know that the schools always take the best score, without considering how many times the test was taken. “Do not withhold any score because they’ll use the best,” Sager said.
Abigail Finney poses as a student texting during class
Photoillustration by Michael Rupic
THE SILVER SPUR - OCTOBER 30, 2009
RB football carries prideful record
Left: In mid-play action. Right: Evan Mattern watches the ball.
By Kiana Said
RB High football has started off strong this season with an unbelievable record of 6 -1. Already beating Torrey Pines, Mt. Carmel, San Pasqual, Carlsbad, Rancho Buena Vista and El Camino the players believe that all their intense training is paying off. The football team is already exceeding last season’s record of 2 wins, 8 losses. “This year we are working harder and putting more effort on and off the field,” senior varsity defensive Afsheen Moshtaghi said. “Everyday we try to improve our skills, and the seniors on the team definitely came together to be good leaders and keep all the juniors in check.” The team’s maintained focus does not start on the night of the football games;
it actually started during the summer. Senior varsity player Dan Reyes said that the coaches knew the team had potential and pushed them to the fullest extent during summer work outs. “While everyone else was sleeping in during summer,” Reyes said, “the RB High football team had to be on the field bright and early at 7 a.m. for a grueling lifting and running work out, followed by an additional workout with Coach McCoy.” The team went through two-a-day extensive workouts. Two-a-days is when the team has practice twice a day, once in the morning and the other in the afternoon. These workouts have obviously paid off, considering the teams strong victories. Getting off to a good start is one of the goals the team has already accomplished. “In my four years of playing football at
Photos by Robert Bojar
RB High, we have never won three games in a row,” said Moshtaghi. “It feels good to know that as a team all of our hard work is paying off and making us stronger.” Many people are so thrilled about this year’s success. The enthusiastic crowd is filled with students who are supporting their team. “We like to show our spirit for the football team whether, they win or lose,” senior Julian Pena said, who is in charge of the pre-game tailgates. “We try to show as much spirit by wearing bronco blue and being really loud so the football team is given that extra motivation.” The football team’s main goal for this season is to be respected, to improve every week and most importantly, to play with heart through out the each game and never give up.
RB Athlete Spotlights: Golf: Madi Mendiola By Geoffrey Bogan
The girls golf team is off to a great start
this fall. One team member who stands out above the rest is junior Madi Mendiola, who looks to achieve some big goals this year. “I started playing golf when I was three,” Mendiola said. “At first it was just because
Above: Madi Mendiola at the driving range. Photo by Jin Lee
my dad and older brother played, but when I was ten, I started taking it more seriously and started taking lessons.” Last year, as a sophomore, Mendiola took the last spot in the sectional qualifying round to qualify for regionals. From regionals, she played well and was able to take the last state qualifying spot. This year, she hopes to qualify a little easier, by going sub-par in the qualifying rounds. But as of now, Mendiola said she is just trying balance golf and school. Over the summer, Mendiola had the opportunity to play in the Wal-Mart First Open in Pebble Beach, California. This tournament was not your average tournament. While in Pebble Beach, Mendiola played with celebrities and professional golfers, like Mike Hulbert and 1992 US Open winner Tom Kite. To play in the tournament, Mendiola had to be nominated by other golfers in the San Diego area. Upon being nominated, she went to New Hampshire to qualify. This trip did not only consist of golf. After each round, Mendiola was interviewed to see if she met the tournament’s criteria. In addition to playing golf and being interviewed, she had to pass a test on the principles of golf, showing that she understood the game of golf. Mendiola said it was a great experience. When asked her about post-high school ambitions for golf, Mendiola said she aspires to get a golf scholarship to a decent school, and from there, make it professionally. As stated before, Mendiola said she is just trying to balance school and golf, so she has not put a whole lot of thought into what the future holds. “I would live out of my car as long as I could still play gold,” Mendiola said. There is no doubt Mendiola has a great passion for golf, especially considering that she has played the sport for over ten years. So make sure to watch out for Madi Mendiola as she works towards achieving her goals.
Volleyball: Tanner Clayton
Football: Friday, Nov. 6 @ Vista
By Emily Yavitch
Friday, Nov. 13 vs. Poway
Senior Tanner Clayton, due to his volleyball skills, had a special opportunity to do what few other teens have had the chance to do. Clayton had the honor of representing his country at the FIVB Boys’ Youth (under 19) World Championship as a substitute member of the U.S. volleyball team. Clayton, along with 11 other boys, traveled to Italy to play volleyball against teams from around the world. The U.S. team played teams from Iran, Serbia, Japan, Brazil, Egypt, Algeria, and Poland. Though from different countries, the rules of the game were the same throughout. “The only thing that was different were their mannerisms when they played,” said Clayton. The U.S. team finished tenth out of 16, with a record of 5-3. They won four of their first five matches; within that time, they lost only their match against Serbia, who finished in first place. The final blow came at the end of the tournament when the U.S. team lost two matches to Brazil. Though of course it was exciting to win and upsetting to lose, whether or not they won was not the most important thing. “We were away representing the whole nation,” said Clayton. “It was a big deal to everybody on the team that we were representing our country.” The team included 7 boys from Southern California, 3 boys from Hawaii, and 2 from Wisconsin. Tryouts were held last February to find the 12 boys who would make up the 2009 U.S. Boys’ volleyball team. Boys from varying regions across the country tried out to see if they could attain one of the coveted 12 spots on the team. Though tryouts were in February, the results were not announced until August. At the end of August, 19 boys were chosen make up the training team. The boys trained in Florida for two weeks. At the end of training, the final 12 who would make up the team to represent the U.S.
internationally were chosen. Clayton was among them. “I was excited and relieved,” said Clayton, about finding out he made the team. Though it was with volleyball that Clayton had the opportunity to play internationally, volleyball was not the first sport he played. Clayton played basketball for years before he started volleyball in his freshman year. He tried out for volleyball at the suggestion of his basketball coach. Clayton had no experience with volleyball, but the two sports were similar enough that it was not too hard to catch on. Aside from the similarities, Clayton had a personal advantage over the rest of the players- his 6’8” figure. “My height was the only advantage I had [when I started],” Clayton said.
Cross Country: Palomar League FinalsSat urday, Nov. 14 @ Kit Carson CIF FinalsSaturday, Nov. 21 @ Morley Field CIF State FinalsSaturday, Nov. 28 @ Fresno Field Hockey: Wednesday, Nov. 4 @ Westview Friday, Nov. 6 vs. Rancho Buena Vista Wednesday, Nov. 11 vs. Poway Volleyball: Tuesday, Nov. 3 @ Vista Thursday, Nov. 5 vs. Poway Waterpolo: Tuesday, Nov. 3 vs. Grossmont Thursday, Nov. 5 @ Poway
Above Photo of Tanner Clayton in a game against Westview.
Saturday Nov. 7 vs. Rancho Buena Vista @ La Jolla HS
THE SILVER SPUR - OCTOBER 30, 2009
Cross country team exceeds expectations at meets
Left: Michell LeReux at Mt. Sac Invatitional. Above: Anthony Girlamo, Noah Resto, Geoffrey Bogan and Kevin Schubert .
By Stephen Bernard
Above: Molly Grabill at the Mt. Sac Invitational Photo by Geoffrey Bogan
The RB High cross country team is in good shape this year. Last year both boys and girls teams were dominated by the underclassmen, but this year they are all a year older and exceeding their expectations. “It can’t be questioned whether you’re going to run everyday-- it has to be an absolute,” Noah Resto said.
“To me, cross country means a lot, it’s almost my life,” Resto said. “I have no idea where I would be without it. Running/cross country to me is real; running is the realest thing I know.” Resto placed at the Stanford invitational for the boys. His finishing time was 16:01. He placed 18th overall. For the girls’ team, Molly Grabill took first place and had a finishing time of 17:22. More recently Resto placed 25th at the Mt. Sac Invitational in the individual sweepstakes race. Grabill places 1st in the same race for girls with a finishing time of 16:40, the fastest time at the meet by about twenty
ASB starts new pregame tailgate for RB High’s spirited students
Photos by Geoffrey Bogan
seconds. Resto also believes that there is no more space to run anymore. “It’s hard to find grass and dirt trails nearby; there are just too many homes being built, hopefully those trails that are left will be left alone; not every corner of the planet needs a house built on top of it.” This is one of the problems the Cross country teams have to face. All the once good places for an endurance runs are being replaced by buildings and parking lots due to companies buying more areas. “The guys cross country team really wants to make it to states this year,” Kevin
An update on girls’ sports this season
By Geoffrey Bogan
Above: Matt Hogan, Jon Beck, Alex Reyes, Ryan Park, Jake Devlin
By Michael Rupic
The football season at RB High is well under way. One way to come out and support your school’s team is by attending the pre-game tailgates. The tailgates are a new idea that was started this school year by ASB. “It is the same as any other pre-game tailgate, with snacks, drinks, music, and face-painting,” ASB Advisor Tristan McCoy said. The event is free, and ASB provides the drinks and snacks. A ticket is not required, and all students are welcome, but no char-
Right: Matt Togni, Devin Beck, Caitlyn Chesler, Aly Faucett
coal grills or barbeques are permitted. If students are interested in attending, the pre-game tailgates take place before the home football games in the student parking lot, starting at 5:00 pm. A new club has been formed, TWSS (Tailgating with Spirited Students), and their purpose is to plan tailgates for sporting events throughout the school year. If students are looking for an opportu-
Schubert said. State championships could very well be a possibility this year, especially after their success at the Stanford invitational. “At the Stanford meet, we definitely showed everyone who Rancho Bernardo was,” Schubert said, “and this was one of the best experiences ever. There is no doubt in my mind there will be plenty more great experiences coming this season.” Kevin Schubert wasn’t far behind from Resto when he finished 16:59. Resto explains how he trains. “For me, preparing for cross country means running 7-9 miles everyday with an occasional afternoon run ranging from 3-5 miles,” Resto said. “A long run of 15 plus miles and about three hard workouts during the week either alone or with the team. Sometimes, preparation also meant swimming, biking, or pool-running to supplement running.” Cross Country requires a lot of physical training. “It’s also a mental game,” Schubert said. “You can’t let the heat get to you, and you can’t psyche yourself out for a big meet. You have to be physically and mentally prepared.” One of the most important aspects of cross country is the team. “The team will support you through anything,” Schubert said. “It’s like having a second family, and that’s what makes it so great.” “I would definitely recommend cross country to others,” Resto said. “I think it’s a great thing to do, plus running is the foundation of all sports, almost every sport involves some sort of running motion. I would recommend someone to do cross country, but they should aware that it takes a lot more work than it seems.”
The girls golf team is off to a great start this year. With a record of 14-3, including a win over Poway, the team looks to achieve some big goals this season. “We want to finish in the top 2 at CIF,” Coach Tim Steigerwald said, “so we can move on to the Southern California Region. We then want to finish in the top 3 at that tournament so we can move on to the State Championship.” It was also noted by Steigerwald that the girls are one of the top teams in the county. Two key players that contribute to the team’s success are team captians junior Madi Mendiola and senior Sara Zeimentz. Of the three loses the team has, two of them were very close matches. The team as a whole is a young , having only three seniors, four juniors and three freshmen. Because of the talent of the underclassmen, the team should be strong next year and in years to come. Photo courtesy of Alexandra Reyes “This is the most talented team we have ever had at RB High,” Steigerwald said. nity to get involved, come to room 801 Some big matches coming up for the or contact Julia Pena, who is representing girls are the North County Championships ASB for these events. on Monday, Nov. 2, and also CIF Champi“It is a positive way for students to get onships the following Monday, Nov 9. together and get excited about football “If we make it through CIF, we should games and sports in general,” McCoy make it to states,” said Zeimantz. said. Another thing that contributes to the sucMcCoy also believes that the football cess of the team is how close they all are, players and coaches appreciate the support with the team only having ten people. and feed off the energy of the crowd.
By Celeste Conowitch Entertainment Editor
Volleyball is one of RB Highs rarely talked about sports, yet one that boasts some of the proudest team members. Just what exactly makes a girl try out for the team? JV player Sara Higgins has been playing volleyball long before she came to RB High. Higgins said “she quit soccer to try it and immediately fell in love with the sport.” Varsity player Kimberly Pierce, sophomore, shares the same sentiments; her friend invited her to attend a volleyball summer camp and there she also fell in love with the sport. Freshmen player Hannah Liam said that the team is a big family; all the players are welcoming and nice. Pierce commented on the “high energy, and up beat tempo of the game,” while Higgins said that “volleyball teaches life lessons, like how to work together as a team, how to stay positive and push through problems.” Pierce in particular had a special experience with volleyball this year; she was upgraded directly from the freshmen team last year to varsity this year. “At first I was intimidated by the transition. But the team was very welcoming and encouraging,” Pierce said. All three players commented on the camaraderie displayed by the members of the volleyball teams. The words welcoming, positive, and accepting seem to occur again when talking about girls volleyball.
Girls tennis works hard in hopes of a succesful season By Hanna Lee
The girls tennis team can be seen every day lugging their heavy tennis bags to and from school. The team consists of 14 girls, with nine starters. They meet at 4 o’clock, everyday, on RB High’s tennis courts, and they play about two matches per week. The team has been to the CIF finals for the last four years. Last year, five doubles teams went to CIF finals, and two teams won. Nicole Kresky, senior, has been on varsity for four years. This year, as captain, she hopes to be a good leader, to inspire motivation and to get the new members to play at the varsity level. Melinda Chu, a junior and co-captain, hopes to get the girls to believe in themselves more. She said that because they lost so many players from last year, the team has started to lose faith. “This year is a rebuilding year, with
first-time varsity players who are learning how to play at the level and few returning players,” Coach Mike Parrinello said. Both captains agreed that their favorite match was against Poway last year for the Palomar League Championships. The Palomar league consists of RB High, Poway, Carlsbad, Vista, El Camino, and Rancho Buena Vista. That match determined the Palomar League champions. It was a close one, but RB High won the title as champions. According to freshman Dawon Lee, Coach Parrinello, often says, “Do me a favor.” he even has a t-shirt with that phrase. Coach Parrinello’s favorite part about tennis is the interaction with the players and the competition. Kresky said her favorite part about tennis is all the friends she has made and the gratification of winning. She also likes that it keeps her in shape.
“Being part of a team makes it more enjoyable,” Chu said. The girls tennis team hopes to have a successful team this year. Maybe they will even beat Torrey Pines.
Above: Girls tennis motivating each other before a match. Left: Senior Nicole Kresky during a match.
Photos by Michael Rupic
THE SILVER SPUR - OCTOBER 30, 2009
whaley house haunting By Brent Goldberg
Imagine entering a house the Travel Channel considers to be the most haunted in the country. From ghostly apparitions to reports of being greeted by real spirits, the Whaley House in San Diego attracts those who are looking for a scare. Self-guided tours are held year round with seasonal hours. Thrill seekers who take a group tour are educated about the history of the house as they hope to be greeted by one of the many spirits that supposedly haunt the historic landmark. On Halloween, the house will be open until midnight. Tales of ghosts will be told, and music will be played for the guests as they discover why the Whaley House has earned its unique reputation. Thomas Whaley, the designer and owner of the house, first came to California during the gold rush and eventually made his way down to San Diego. He and his family built the house above an execution
site, and Whaley was determined to construct one of San Diego’s finest properties. The mansion became San Diego’s first commercial theater, the county courthouse, and a general store, all at the same time the Whaley family was residing there. Today, visitors of the mansion have reported seeing the ghost of Thomas Whaley, as well as several of his family members, a criminal that had been executed on the grounds before the construction of the house, and even the fox terrier that lived with the family. The deaths of many Whaley family members were unnatural, and range from suicide to an accidental consumption of ant poison. The house is a top destination for many paranormal investigators, including the Atlantic Paranormal Society and T.A.P.S., a group associated with the popular show Ghost Hunters. Out of the thousands of haunted dwellings in America, The Whaley House is considered to be the single most haunted house in the country. With its grim history, it’s no wonder why. If you ever get the chance to visit this spooky attraction, make sure to bring a camera and an audio recorder. You never know who, or what, will be greeting you.
top-five costumes Michael Jackson