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The Royal Tigers make their debut S

tudents celebrated Homecoming with the traditional assembly, picnic, dance, and game on Friday, November 3. Royal Tiger Court members were announced, clubs advertised their fares, and despite an earlier loss to rival San Marino, students took off after the game to dance in the fluorescently lit gym. The day’s events were the pinnacle of weeks of planning and Homecoming preparations. Publicizing the dance weeks in advance, ASB’s Nightmare on Diamond Street featured a live DJ, glow-in-the-dark ping pong, and a free haunted house. Class officers encouraged students to dress in their class theme throughout the week. Before students even arrived on Friday, Diamond Avenue was blocked off for Homecoming Picnic. By 1:00 pm, club tables lined the street. Students and faculty exchanged tickets for street fare, ranging from In-N-Out burgers to cream puffs. Biology teachers Elizabeth Pierson and Krista Gale volunteered for the dunk tank, getting drenched to benefit the TASSEL club. The DIY atmosphere was elevated by performances from student guitarists, and vocalists. Commissioner of Clubs Kenny Ryu invited students to audition for a rap cypher, which was well receivedby the student body, drawing spectators during the Homecoming picnic.

STORY DOMINIC MARZIALI & PRESTON SHARKEY PHOTO HELENA FU “It was a big success for a lot of the clubs, as the homecoming picnic is the biggest fundraiser of the year for these clubs,” Commissioner of Clubs Kenny Ryu said, “I feel like it was a big success for them. ” Homecoming festivities continued late into the evening. Under an elaborate halftime fireworks show during Friday night’s football game, Riley Segal was pronounced the “Royal Tiger.” The title, equivalent to Homecoming King or Queen, is given to the senior who amassed the most votes among the student body. The title’s change reflects the decision to make the role gender inclusive. “This was the best homecoming celebration in several years,” said SPHS Principal Janet Anderson. Anderson expressed appreciation for the “The Royal Court ‘reveal’,” [which] showcased a lot of the school’s talent.”




Read Associate Opinion Editor Peter Wang’s analysis contrasting the values of patriotism and nationalism in America today.

Meet Deisy Martinez, the woman behind South Pasadena’s favorite Salvadoran pupusas.

With the fall season closing, two South Pas teams continue to vie for a CIF title.

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SkillsUSA and FBLA are collecting toys, clothing, toiletries for Native American children with Walking Shield.

Veterans’ Day and a pupil free day bring a fourday weekend for SPUSD students.


The Do Something Club ends its book drive to help build a library in Kenya on Friday, November 17


02 NOVEMBER 9, 2017



Residents express concern over coyotes in South Pas STORY SOFIE DRESKIN & DAVID SEO GRAPHIC TRUMAN LESAK City Councilmember Diana Mahmud brought attention to complaints by South Pasadena citizens at a recent council meeting regarding the city’s coyote population. She cited the comments on NextDoor, a city-wide blog site, for the raised awareness about the issue. Despite resident chatter, however, there has not been a charting of an influx of coyotes. City councilmembers from nearby cities in the San Gabriel Valley recently expressed their concern of an increased population of coyotes at the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments Executive Committee meeting. The city made it clear that ensuring the safety and coexistence between the community and the coyote population is a priority of South Pasadena government organizations. South Pasadena Police Department Captain, and correspondent to the Animal Commission, Mike Neff discussed the lack of statistical information behind the resident’s claims. “There is no information describing any fluctuation in the presence of coyotes in the city and there is no difference in the amount of calls we’ve received reporting coyotes,” Neff said. Neff prioritizes education about coyote security and precautions necessary to keep pets and children safe. The commission has provided information for city residents on the animal commission website and encourages concerned residents to view it. South Pasadena Animal Commissioner Erin Fleming has actively spread awareness on the community handling of coyotes as well. In fact, the Animal Commission was created by the city council in the 1980s regarding the coyote problem that South Pasadena was experiencing. Fleming continues the commission’s seminal work today, educating the South Pas population on healthy habits regarding coyotes. “Essentially, what we found out that time they are part of the landscape of Southern California. There’s not much you could in terms of them. You can pick them up and move them around, but they will always come back,” Fleming said. “We need to co-exist with them.” Members of the city government advise residents to take action to prevent any dangers coyotes bring. Feeding pets inside and properly closing trash cans are simple steps that can be taken to avoid coyote incidents. Coyote population has remained relatively constant in the city despite slight fluctuation over years. Coyotes are an unchangeable presence in the community and the Animal Commission recommends keeping a positive relationship with them in order to keep residents safe.

FRESHMAN AUDREY ERNST delivers her campaign speech to fellow SPASM delegates.

SPASM delegates to attend Y&G Training & Elections I conference STORY ALEX BETTS PHOTO THOMAS FORMAN


PHS students will join delegates from all over California for Training and Elections I, the first of three 2017 Youth & Government conferences. Several South Pasadena San Marino (SPASM) delegation members will run for major positions at the convention in Fresno over Veteran’s Day Weekend. For sophomore Sydney Davis-Denny, the conference will culminate her two-month long campaign for the office of 70th Lieutenant Governor, who will later preside over the Senate in Sacramento. Despite being an underclassman, Davis-Denny emerges as a strong candidate for the position. “For me, [applying] was a way to get out of my comfort zone and give back to a program that means a lot to me,” Davis-Denny said. “I’m looking forward to creating a new atmosphere in the Senate which includes helping those who might have anxiety about public speaking and also making [the Senate] more technology-based as well.” The convention will also mark the end of the campaign of freshman Audrey Ernst, who is applying for Forum Chief Clerk.

The conference aims to introduce new delegates to MLC and the various program areas within the program. Students will choose and work in one of the sections, which range from National Issues Commission, the only program area that allows students to address national issues, to Legislative Analyst, where students speak on the financial feasibility and impact of bills. SPHS senior Cole Cahill was elected last year to the office of 70th Youth Governor, the highest position in MLC, and will make his debut at T&E I. Cahill is the third Youth Governor from SPASM, the most recent being Lena Gavenas in 2015. “I’m really excited to be able to set the tone for the program this year,” Cahill said. “It’s both a huge honor and responsibility to introduce Youth & Government to new delegates and maintain the program’s excellence for returners.”

AcaDeca prepares to dominate The team gears up for the first round of county competition STORY LUKE QUEZADA

an absolute necessity,” junior Steven Chin said.

After months of diligent training, Academic Decathlon prepares to embark on an intellectual journey through Africa in one of the most intense competitions on campus. After a successful season last year, the pack hopes to capitalize on previous victories and go farther in statewide competition.

So far, South Pas has been a formidable force in competition, securing first place in a scrimmage earlier this season. Now, after a four-day study retreat in Dana Point, the team hopes to channel this momentum into further success at county.

Decathletes will test their knowledge of Africa, this year’s national Academic Decathlon theme. The continent’s art, economics, language, math, music, science, and social science is all fair game for assessment in this intense battle of the brains. The science section, however, will specifically focus on virology in Africa and how diseases are transmitted throughout the continent.

“I am really excited about this year. I think this year’s team is really proving to be a coalescing team that really bonded with each other. Seven out of nine of our competitors are new which gives us a fresh perspective [on the competition],” advisor Mr. Oliver Valcorza said. “I think South Pasadena has a good chance at beating our own record and setting a new high score in the 39 year history of Los Angeles County.”

The new season brings higher aspirations for the team. Last year, South Pasadena earned a total of 51,919.7 points at the state level to give it a fifth place spot. This year, the Tigers are aiming even higher with hopes to place in the top three in California, a goal that they plan to accomplish by implementing additional techniques to use alongside to proven strategies.

THE ANIMAL COMMISSION gives tips on how to stay safe around coyotes.

Holding that position will make her accountable for directing freshmen delegates through the Forum program, which serves as a small-scale Model Legislature & Court (MLC) for ninth graders.

“Our motto this year is ‘balance.’ Traditionally, team [members] have earned top scores in their [respective] categories, but in order to solidify our performance at the regional, state, and national competitions, advancing on all fronts is

The team looks forward to the first round of the countywide competition of the year on Saturday, November 11.




Construction begins for STEM building The new addition addresses the lack of classrooms and is set to be completed in the 2018-2019 school year STORY ISABELLA TSAI PHOTO ISAAC MARZIALI Demolition workers broke ground on construction for the new SPHS math and STEM buildings on Monday, November 6. The new structure, which will replace the current tennis courts and math bungalows, is expected to be ready for students by the second semester of the 2018-2019 school year. This new addition to the SPHS campus will allow more teachers to have their own classrooms, an amenity that science teachers have lacked in previous years. In the past, teachers often had to work their academic agendas around lab room availability. AP Chemistry teacher Benjamin Ku spent five years without a permanent classroom, pushing a cart full of supplies between periods to his next class. “Because I had to move classes, I had to do a lot of set-up and clean up before and after school,” Ku said. “The kinds of activities I could do couldn’t be super big or intensive because I didn’t have time. I also remember students had a hard time finding me, which limited the amount of support I could give students.” The two-story wing will be dedicated to the math and science departments, complete with fully equipped science labs, six standard classrooms, and a “flex” classroom, a new multi-purpose space. The four lab rooms will be connected to a communal prep and storage room, with two adjacent student restrooms. Administrators proposed creating a venue that can accommodate larger crowds, which led to the creation of the “flex” room. The room will include moveable furniture to modify the space to the particular needs of each specific event, and opens up doors for many potential new uses, one possibility being an engineering course.

The new structure also includes a courtyard area, complete with seating and water-filling stations. Administration will be extending supervision to this area so that students can spend their break and lunch in the new quad. New bleachers will also be set up facing the softball field, and the softball lockers will be located on the east end of the second story of the new building. These new additions are primarily funded by Measure SP, a measure allocating 98 million dollars in bonds, that was passed last fall. Finance for the science labs is not a part of this recent allotment, rather the measure makes it possible for the math and science buildings to be built together. Future Measure SP-funded projects include the construction of new athletic facilities, the restoration of the high school auditorium, and other minor renovations to the campus. According to Principal Janet Anderson, there is no definite plan as to which classes will be relocated to the new wing upon its completion, as classes, as well as teacher assignments, for next year are still fluid. In the meantime, Anderson says, construction should not be very disrupting and the safety of the students is the number one priority during this time.


DEMOLITION WORK began on November 6 and is expected to be completed in early December.


TIGER November 9, 2017


Andrés & Jonathan Oyaga

Juniors Jonathan and Andrés Oyaga’s Guatemalan heritage is deeply ingrained in their household from the traditional paintings on the walls to the hand woven placemats on which they eat. All of the Oyaga family members regularly visit Guatemala and make sure to bring back plenty of goodies to last them the times in between. The food on their table draws from customary time-honored dishes to street food found in Guatemalan alleyways. Latin basics like rice and beans are always served,

but Guatemalan main dishes distinctly differ from other Latin cultures. Giant Guatemalan tamales are served wrapped in banana leaves, filled with beef, pork, or vegetables, and topped with a rich mole sauce. Dessert includes champurradas—a sweet, crunchy cookie—dished out with rich Guatemalan coffee.

Guatemalan food and eating reflects the unity and love of Guatemala—that’s why coming together for dinner is so important for my family.”

Drew Sevilla Senior Drew Sevilla and his family keep their Filipino roots close with them; their dinner table is often adorned with traditional sculptures and capiz shell napkin rings. Wooden sculptures of large forks and spoons, a staple in Filipino homes, hang on the walls in their dining room. Within Filipino food, one can clearly see the East Asian and Mexican influence from vermicelli noodles to adobo chicken to fried rice—all created with vinegar and salt, essential Filipino flavors. Of course, there are unique foods only found in the Philippines: a layered sticky rice-cake flavored with coconut, ube, mango known as sapin-sapin, and

balut—a duck embryo dipped in vinegar eaten straight from the egg. The Sevillas bust out huge Filipino feasts, always eaten family style, during the holidays.

It’s funny, I always have people tell me about how crazy Filipino food is to them, but honestly to me, it’s just comfort food.”

The Dinner Table Tiger joins families of different cultures to enjoy their home-cooked foods


Sophomore Jio Park’s home culture is built around her close and busy family. Park has three sisters: 18-year-old Tei, 12-yearold Isu, and five-year-old Yui. Crayon masterpieces by Yui cover the walls surrounding the dining room table where the family convenes for meals. Once or twice a week the family dines on Korean dishes with American influences, cooked by Park’s mother Soojung or father Su-


mook. They take pride in the traditional food of their culture and recognize the meaning it has for their parents and grandparents. “It is important for our parents that we know and appreciate our culture,” Park said. Dishes that frequently appear on the Park’s dinner table are jhonn, a savory Korean pancake, and duk gook, a rice cake soup. Typical Korean meals consist of soup, rice, fish and small side dishes. The Park family’s love of food permeates their meals and the atmosphere of their dinner table.

It is important for our parents that we know and appreciate our culture.”

Jio Park OYAGA



Junior Jenna Noueihed’s Lebanese background centers around the Mediteranean food cooked by her family. Dinners of tabouli (herb salad), hummus, and kofta (seasoned beef or lamb) are commonly made by chattering family members while Middle Eastern music plays through speakers. The dishes include finely chopped herbs and vegetables mixed with Middle Eastern spices. Noueihed’s mom, Rouaida, has developed a reputation among her family for overloading her food with salt and lemon. She prefers strong flavors, eyeballing large amounts of spices and herbs. Rouaida communicated the significance of cooking tabouli for someone, saying, “If you

make tabouli for someone, that means you really love them.” The courses cooked by Noueihed’s family include healthy and high protein dishes. Jenna regularly joins her mother in the kitchen, continuing the culinary tradition of their Lebanese culture.

If you make tabouli for someone that means you really love them.”

Jenna Noueihed PARK










SPUSD neglects surrounding communities’ needs South Pasadena schools are an educational haven, but only for those who can afford to live within city limits


f you asked South Pasadena parents what brought them to the city, the vast majority would share the same answer: schools. We are accustomed to the idea that some areas have “better schools” than others, and South Pas is the archetypical place that attracts families for its well-renowned education. The reasons for the district’s success come down to its affluent, engaged citizens and their ability to influence school resources; organizations like SPEF (South Pasadena Educational Foundation) and the Booster club open up opportunities in South Pas that districts like Los Angeles Unified lack. However, this practice of living in a specific area for “good schools” indicates the flaws in American public schooling— why should living in one zip code grant a child access to a higher quality of public education than any other zip code? The concept of school district lines matching city boundaries is not only antiquated, but also contributes to widening inequality— particularly in a place like Los Angeles, where lines dividing cities often double as lines dividing economic class. By its very existence, South Pasadena Unified School District contributes to educational inequality—the city’s high cost of living bars low-income families from public education financed by well-to-do parents. In an area as racially and economically diverse as Los Angeles, no school district should have a higher proportion of privileged groups or more resources than any other. It is the responsibility of South Pasadena Unified School District to do its part in combatting educational inequality by expanding its boundaries and taking in students from the surrounding community.

South Pasadena is in a unique position to integrate students from low-income backgrounds into a homogeneously affluent student body. The city directly borders Pasadena and the Los Angeles neighborhoods of El Sereno and Highland Park, where over 70% of public school students are economically disadvantaged. In South Pasadena, that figure is only 17%. Allowing these populations to integrate at SPUSD schools would open opportunities for students to access resources they may otherwise not have. Expanding the boundaries of SPUSD is no easy task. Portions of Pasadena or Los Angeles Unified School Districts would not likely be willing to secede because they would take a financial hit from losing students. SPUSD could take in more students through an out-of-district permit lottery system, but that would present unprecedented logistical issues. The complicated task of South Pasadena schools joining the Pasadena Unified School District could be the most feasible option for integrating the region’s schools. SPUSD expanding the community it serves will not singlehandedly fix the education system in California or solve the societal inequalities that prevent every student from attending public schools like South Pasadena’s, but it will give more students resources for success they otherwise may not have. It will make SPUSD schools more inclusive, diverse, racially and economically integrated, and fulfill the district’s responsibility to its surrounding communities to put its resources toward those who need them.

Boos & Bravos

Tiger ’s cheers and jeers for the month of November BOOS


BOO to college application fees. If we wanted to pay to be rejected, we would get Tinder Plus.

BRAVO to the late start the day after Halloween. That extra hour and 15 minutes really helped after the wild night of... trick or treating?

BOO to all the seniors that applied ED to schools on the East Coast but also cried when the temperature went down to 68 last week. BOO to the theme at the Homecoming football game. No one needs a “blackout” when there is already a blowout going on. BOO to mono for taking out the freshman class. Also, boo to freshmen.

BRAVO to Ms Pierson for her Halloween costume. Her Mr. Wielenga was so convincing we all hid our plastic water bottles. BRAVO to the halftime fireworks at Homecoming. At least now we know why the social studies department hasn’t purchased textbooks since the Johnson administration.


06 NOVEMBER 9, 2017


Nationalism will never be patriotic STORY PETER WANG ILLUSTRATION ISABELLA FRESCURA n the current era of extreme polarization in politics, patriotism has surged as a binding force between many citizens. When this spirit of American values grows, powerful cries of nationalism rise as well. However, the line between patriotism and nationalism is often blurred. American nationalists need to realize that although there is no problem with patriotism, allegiance to one’s country must never override the value of human lives or the fundamental ideas of respect and dignity.


The distinction between patriotism and nationalism is the divide between love for a country and the belief in its superiority. Patriotism in the United States is often interpreted as support for the country and the freedom of its citizens, while nationalism exalts the interests of the nation above all else. As a result, patriotism promotes a sense of responsibility to ensure the advancement of society and the protection of human rights, while nationalism leads to a blind disregard for a government’s failures and the prioritization of the country’s well-being above others’. Sentiments of superiority and exclusivity brew within nationalist groups, often marginalizing immigrants and minorities. Nationalism is dangerous because unconditional support can mean tolerance of dis-

criminatory practices. During the panic following 9/11, the federal government implemented many policies—including the highly controversial Patriot Act and racial profiling programs—that were supposedly aimed at protecting Americans from terrorism. However, these ethnic nationalist policies violated personal liberties such as privacy, and wrongfully targeted Muslims and Arabs. Nationalist ideology, especially in such times of crisis, causes people to turn a blind eye to blatant human rights infringements. It is important to note that our Declaration of Independence outlined a commitment to the rights and liberties of all people, not just American citizens. The Founding Fathers based our nation on individual liberties, not ethnic nationalism. Nationalism and patriotism both unite a nation’s people, with the difference being that nationalism unites people against other people. Proper exercise of patriotism can create a progressive social environment, while nationalism promotes a toxic attitude towards certain groups. Patriotism can heal wounds in our society; nationalism will lead to further divides. Patriotism can help us rebuild connections, as long as it does not grow into fanaticism.

The woke olympics & performative activism STORY ISABELLA FRESCURA & CHRISTINE MAO ILLUSTRATION ELAINE YANG Today’s progressive teens are jumping on the “woke bandwagon,” racing each other to the top of the social justice movement. Often, students might demonstrate their political progressivism by making conscious choices about what they consume, avoiding corrupt companies and brands that are, for example, involved in sweatshop labor or have “problematic” CEOs. The teenage tendency to advertise their conscious consumption ultimately transforms this movement into a pageant of progressivism and Instagram likes. Although the practice is ultimately beneficial, the point is lost when progressivism becomes a competition for recognition. It is not uncommon that many teens endeavor to gain acceptance among their peers. People compete by appearing the most “woke,” advertising the fact that they buy products from companies that are fair-trade labeled, organic, or sustainable. Although some are able to boycott companies or brands, this trend of being “woke” becomes challenging for those who find it unavoidable to buy products from “problematic” companies. Many find it difficult to conform to the trend of performative social awareness due to limitations such as financial standings or circumstances. Progressive





concept of being “woke” shows others their extreme belief in what is right or wrong or how passionate they are about equality and sustainability. As this notion gains popularity, this trend grows into a battle of elitism. The merit of social advocacy is replaced with an impulse to appear progressive. Although these students have a point in representing their convictions, being performatively "woke" is pointless and unnecessary. When it comes down to it, there is no way for someone to completely, morally consume anything within a capitalist society. Those who tend not to subscribe to the woke one-upping might develop guilt. As “woke” people publicly praise themselves for boycotting a certain brand or company, they are put on a pedestal. Others begin to feel guilty for having moderate beliefs or for purchasing products from companies representing questionable political agendas. Of course, there’s nothing inherently wrong about knowing the injustices of capitalism, but it is unfair to expect everyone to know the specifics. People shouldn’t be thrust into a world of activism nor to be pressured into researching each and every business’ history. Essentially, one’s moral code cannot be defined by their performative "wokeness." A person's true integrity can only be measured by the actions they take when no one is looking.


To share or not to share I’ve been an open book for my entire life. In fact, I will flip the pages for you. My tendency to be open and honest about myself means I often walk the line between what is “okay” to share and what is deemed “too personal.” I have recounted numerous stories of exceptional bodily functions. I have written frankly about my life and my relationships. My go-to way of breaking the ice is sharing a mildly awkward story. Filling out personal essays and financial aid information for strangers to interpret means I need to be okay with floating my social security number and childhood trauma around. The college application

process has caused some self-reflection on the concept of oversharing. The reason oversharing is frowned upon is because it’s considered to be in poor taste to share potentially embarrassing details. I don’t get embarrassed easily. I feel the whole concept of embarrassment is subjective: what I consider embarrassing (for example, ignorance) differs greatly from what others consider embarrassing (for example, menstruation). I have concluded that I overshare to feel close to people. Even if it’s one-sided, we harbor some amount

of shared information. I like to think that others feel more at ease if I’ve made sure to set a precedent for openness. Oversharing, or just sharing in general, can be cathartic. People should be allowed to overshare at their own levels of discretion. However, I have learned that oversharing can make people really uncomfortable, especially when they are unfamiliar with the sharer. These boundaries depend on cultural, societal, and situational context. A job interview—or a college application—is not the best time to talk about your poop. Save those details for your friends, or your journal.



#NoMakeup: commercializing authenticity STORY SAMMY PARK ILLUSTRATION ELAINE YANG Young women in 2017 exist in a paradoxical relationship; they are conditioned to feel ashamed of their natural appearance, yet also shamed for taking steps to augment it. The recent minimalistic or ”makeup free” trend is yet another example of the contradicting existence that plagues young women. While the “right” women are applauded for not wearing makeup, others are shamed. The only women who are praised for forgoing makeup already have features that are considered beautiful. They possess skin untouched by acne, most of them are thin, and almost all of the “trailblazers” for the movement are either white or have extremely Eurocentric features. For a movement to genuinely counteract toxic issues regarding beauty standards, it has to be inclusive–a descriptor that this trend isn’t. Furthermore, the movement bashes women who genuinely enjoy wearing makeup. Proponents of the nomakeup trend perpetuate the narrative that women wear makeup for the male gaze, an inherently sexist belief. Ironically, cosmetic companies have begun to capitalize off of the no-makeup makeup trend. Instead of marketing to women with only products, beauty businesses are now

attempting to sell the message of empowerment (along with $22 subtle highlighters or $26 sheer foundations). On the surface, beauty companies with messages of empowerment seem like they’re affecting positive change for young women. However, that does not change the basic truth that they are still capitalizing off of people’s insecurities. Consumers, especially impressionable ones, are not always cognizant that companies’ motives aren’t as benign as they seem. Instead of the standard makeup marketing technique of using models who are obviously staged and in a studio with professional photographers and lighting, the use of selfies or photographs that seem like selfies give a sense of authenticity. This perceived sincerity is toxic to young women because it frames cosmetically enhanced women as “born this way” in an attempt to sell products. Teenage girls deserve better than to be shamed in an attempt to squeeze their parents’ wallets. While the nomakeup trend may seem liberating, it is just another attempt to shame and profit off of the most vulnerable young women’s insecurities.



can’t tell you how grateful I am for the visible gay people in my life. How essential those late nights in middle school watching cringey Youtubers like Tyler Oakley spreading their gay-positive message were for me. How The Ellen DeGeneres Show was a near-religious daily practice for me (even becoming the focal-point for my 8th grade promotion speech). How Frank Ocean, Laverne Cox, and Anderson Cooper have shown me that they could be LGBTQ+ and still kill it in their respective fields. I am grateful for these people’s influence in my upbringing, because many forces—from my family to my Christian faith—have told me that gayness is wrong. Peering out from the crack in my closet door, LGBTQ+ icons acted as guides while I was growing into my own orientation, their representation one of my few reprieves in a rather lonely place. I realize now what a formative place my closet was. My closet was the place where I was able to come to terms with my orientation. As much as I encourage everyone to be visible in the spaces they feel safe in, the closet is a powerful and undeniable right to all LGBTQ+ people. More important than finding pride for my identity, my closet helped me deal with my shame.

It is impossible to avoid the fact that gayness is gross and icky to many (for a long time, even to me). Living as an LGBTQ+ individual also means assuming the nasty stereotypes placed onto the queer community. We are sexual deviants, troublemakers, one-dimensional characters defined solely by our identities. When I look out into what my society has for me, it’s hard not to feel hopeless; we are a headline or hot gossip on a magazine cover. I see nothing done about killings in Chechnya. I see Caitlyn Jenner setting possibly the singular mainstream awful example of the transgender experience. I see Kevin Spacey using his identity to distract from his criminal pedophilia. These actions dig deep holes that the queer community is trying desperately to escape. Faced with these circumstances, stepping out of the closet is a scary task. Especially now, our closets are thoughtlessly deemed prisons that we should be racing to escape, instead of precious spaces that no one should ever be rushed out of. Pride and visibility are formidable forces, but they should not invalidate the quiet power of the closet. Taking away the stigma surrounding the closet makes the LGBTQ+ community more inclusive; being queer is something to celebrate, inside and out of the closet.

Case for a gen ed counselor STORY DOMINIC MARZIALI ILLUSTRATION KATE ROGERS More teenagers than ever suffer from severe anxiety. This mental health disorder has become a prominent issue for teenagers across the nation, affecting approximately a quarter of all children in the United States. At SPHS, the issue has become especially pressing, where resources for students are woefully inadequate. One of the few resources available to students is Ms Natasha Prime, who is currently working two jobs at SPHS, one as the Designated Individual Services (DIS) counselor and the second as the Train Your Brain specialist. The primary focus of her job as the DIS counselor is to work with students that are designated counseling services under Individual Educational Plans (IEPs), which provide special accommodations for students. To serve the general education population without IEPs, there needs to be another counselor at the high school to work with some of Ms Prime’s students, roughly 75 percent of whom struggle with anxiety. The ideal solution would be the addition of a general education counselor, whose full purpose would be to assist the burgeoning mental health needs, thereby reducing Ms Prime’s near impossible caseload. In addition to working two jobs, Ms Prime is

already working with half the number of students she worked with in the entirety of the 2016-2017 school year, just one week into November 2017. This illustrates the increasing need for more mental health support at SPHS. Interns in the SPHS counseling department are unable to provide the support students would receive from a full time mental health professional. Ms Prime will be using available resources to start a lunchtime group dedicated to students with anxiety and handling anxiety attacks effectively. The primary goal of the lunchtime group will be to help students realize that they are not alone, offer education about anxiety and its manifestation, and teach students about strategies for managing anxiety. While the lunchtime group is a step in the right direction, there needs to be more action by the school and district. More resources need to be committed to the counseling department as a whole to more effectively address the lack of a general education counselor. If a full-time general education counselor was implemented into the counseling department, students would be more able to fully take advantage of mental health support at school instead of being referred to an outside counselor, or having their issues neglected entirely.


08 NOVEMBER 8, 2017





he protest shaking up the NFL and national media is beginning to impact our community: several SPHS staff members have begun “taking a knee” during the national anthem at recent assemblies and football games. The inherently political statement started a conversation among students, educators, and parents on the impact of teachers making public displays of their political beliefs. Do teachers add valuable perspective to discussions when they make their partisanships known to their students, or do their opinions damage the neutral classroom environment?


MARK AFRAM If there’s instructional/educational merit, it’s appropriate for a teacher to share his/her beliefs. Of course, the teacher must not lecture the class or dominate the discussion. Also, the teacher must create a safe environment where all students can express themselves. And hopefully the teacher models respectful, appropriate sharing. The only harm I can see is if the teacher lectures, dominates, or attempts to control student thinking. Whenever I share my beliefs, I always preface my comments by saying, “This is not a class in mind control. You’re free to have your own opinion.” One benefit of having a teacher respectfully share his/her opinion is that it can stimulate thinking or open a discussion. Further, it can build a rapport with the class as teachers are seen as thoughtful individuals who consider life in “the outside world.” On occasion, I do share my beliefs in class. I will share my beliefs if I want to stimulate a class discussion on a topic related to the curriculum.

Left-leaning beliefs often overpower conservative voices in deep blue places like California, and South Pasadena is no exception. Our city has made its liberal and anti-Trump stances very clear in recent years: citizens flocked to the train station for the women’s march last January, the city was recently declared a sanctuary city for immigrants, and South Pasadena Unified School District’s resolution of inclusivity clearly indicated the district’s politics after the election. According to some students, this progressive attitude sometimes manifests in their teachers’ lessons. SPUSD’s board policy states that “in leading or guiding class discussions about issues that may not advocate his or her personal opinion or viewpoints.” Any teacher who does insert their personal political views in the classroom is technically in violation of district board policy and may be told to “refrain from sharing personal views,” or possibly face consequences. Policy emphasizes that teachers to provide facts to help students “draw their own conclusions.” Despite these softly enforced policies, personal views often makes their way into classroom dialogue. When teachers insert their biases—whether conservative or liberal— into their lectures, papers, and assignments, students who disagree describe feeling isolated and singled out. Many teachers make an effort to carefully tow the line between being biased and informative, and believe that some level of personal opinion is necessary to encourage civic engagement and activism. Others completely abstain from sharing their personal views, believing that any injection of partisanship obstructs students’ education. When instructors insert their political beliefs into classroom discussions and activities, there is a fine line between pushing opinions onto their students and educating them about various perspectives. Teachers are often discouraged from sharing their beliefs, and for good reason. Teenage brains are at the peak of their development and high school age students are very easily influenced by authority figures; students are taught that their teachers are almost always correct, so they may automatically accept opinions injected by instructors as fact.

Honestly, it’s not appropriate or necessary for me to share ALL my political beliefs in class. If I don’t have an instructional purpose, then I keep my thoughts to myself.

AKASH RATHI Living in LA, [politics are] a little swayed because most of the teachers at our school err on the side of the left wing. So there’s the occasional “Oh you know, our president.” Most of the time it’s discussing and it’s focused more on our opinions. Like in my AP Lang class, they’re more focused on having our beliefs injected than the slight frustration that sometimes comes with “our president” comments. I think [teachers sharing opinions] is good for our classes because, again, LA is very liberal. When we can have a few people talk about their opposing beliefs, it promotes [ideological] diversity which is what we need if we don’t want to be super narrow-minded with one belief or political side. I think that’s really important. Personally, I’m not opposed to having [teachers] share their beliefs, but I can see some students feeling a little bit upset [when] their grade depending on their beliefs differing from the teacher’s beliefs. When [students’] grades in the teachers hands, you can see how kids would be upset. But I’m all for teachers sharing their beliefs because I think it’s good for the community and our learning.

RUBY SORTINO Last year around the time of the election, I had a teacher who shared her political views—that she supported Trump. It made everyone in the class a little uncomfortable. There was one person in the class who agreed with her, and they kept talking about it in front of the class. It made the whole vibe of the class [feel] a little off, and everyone was awkwardly quiet. I definitely lost respect for my teacher last year when I found out they were a Trump supporter because I just don’t understand how someone could support someone so terrible. My history teacher this year didn’t even talk about it that much, but you sometimes just know someone’s view—I just have more respect for people when what they’re saying isn’t hurtful towards other people. If I agree with [a teacher’s] opinion, I’m going to want to talk about it with them [privately.] But in class, it can affect the environment, especially because most people in South Pas are very liberal, and some people are going to disagree with [the majority.] If it’s not affecting the curriculum, it’s ok. If it’s a history class and influencing students’ views, that’s a problem. But if it’s not offending anyone personally—which is hard to do when talking about politics—I’m ok with it. In history classes, teachers always touch on the subject of their point of view, but they need to make it clear that it is not the fact, this is what [they] believe. You want the whole story—you don’t just want the side of what your teacher believes, you want both sides.


Discussion and debate on history, literature, and current events is a crucial part of high school curricula and inevitably lead to politically charged dialogue. Healthy discussion between students is valuable, and many teachers take to inserting their views or playing “devil’s advocate” to enrich the conversation. Some believe that a teacher’s input in these discussions offers a different perspective than students, and that exposure to an educated opinion different from one’s own can encourage debate and push students to reexamine their own beliefs. To these teachers, the potential conflict with district board policy is worth the risk to provide the most enriching classroom environment.

It depends how the teacher shares [their opinion]. If they do it really lightheartedly, then you’re not sure how to react. But if they’re showing two different points of view and having the whole class discuss, then I think it’s more informative. You’re able to share your own opinion on the issue. I remember in elementary school right before Obama’s presidency. Teachers aren’t explicitly allowed to share [their voting plans], but my wore blue, saying “this is who I’m voting for,” and we all know that blue means Democrat. It builds a barrier between the teacher and the students because you know we have different political views. Another English teacher in high school would always bring out articles and really involved the class in discussing the issue and how different views can contradict, but we should all respect each other. I think that’s a lot more positive. If [teachers] just throw out, “I don’t like this [politician],” we don’t really know what to do with that. But if you’re supporting your opinion and involving the class, then I think it’s more appropriate.

MARYAN NIELSEN I don’t think teachers should do say that one belief is right over another, and certainly not ever tell a student that their belief isn’t correct. I would never tell students outright what my political party is who I’m going to vote for in an election, what I think they should believe, what party they should be in, or how they [should] vote. As an AP Gov teacher, we talk about that stuff all the time and my job is to teach about all those issues but not to sway their choices. For example, I encourage them to register to vote but I would never tell them what party to register for. Most students—even seniors—are still to some degree making up their minds about how they feel. They also have ideas, beliefs, and ideologies that they’ve learned at home and I would never want a student to feel that that was being challenged. But I’ve thought about this a lot lately with the presidential election that we had last year. I do feel that at a certain point as a human being and as a citizen, and maybe even as a teacher too, there does come a responsibility to stand up for what you believe in and know is right. I’m scared by a lot of what I see in society and I feel protective and defensive of a lot of my students because I feel that a lot of them are being attacked directly and indirectly. I would feel very terrible about myself if we were in a situation and I didn’t [speak up] and there was actually danger to our democratic society or literally to students lives. And just as a human being I sometimes have a responsibility to not be neutral.

SEAN REGAN I choose not to share my political views. If I do, those who agree with my political views may stop thinking. [If they agree with my beliefs,] they may automatically trust the other things that I say; if they’re somebody who disagrees with my views, they may shut out anything else I say. Neither one is beneficial because neither is thinking. As a social studies teacher, my goal is not to create people who think like I do—my goal is to get people to think. With that in mind, I try to present many views on issues and play devil’s advocate a lot so [my class] is a safe place for people to share views. They can disagree with me, disagree with each other, but we have to do it in a manner that is respectful to each other. I don’t know if anybody can get through teaching without imparting who they are when they teach. In an effort to make sure that I’m being equitable— especially with controversial issues—I’ll do my best to present the other side, sometimes at the expense of my own views. It’s always hard, but ultimately it’s a lot more interesting when students are able to sound out thoughts and beliefs and views rather than parrot or argue with mine. A lot of times students will come up at the end of the year and ask “can you tell me your political views?” And the answer is no. As soon as we hear someone’s political stance on something, we assume all the rest; we box people in. Outside of class, I don’t want to share my [opinions] because it shapes people’s view in class. What I want most of all is for people to feel safe in my classroom. Safe to think, safe to share, safe to disagree. I can’t do that if I’m trying to impose my views on other people.


10 NOVEMBER 9, 2017




The town I learned to love Twelve-year-old me was probably the worst person to ever walk the crowded halls of SPMS. I hated everything and everyone. In my red plaid skinny jeans and black Nine West combat boots, I was both deeply insecure and highly judgmental. The idea that everything was the worst permeated my years of and white borders around poorly filtered Instagram posts. My dislike for South Pas manifested itself in the insistence that I belonged at LACHSA (first of all, I have zero talents) and would rather die than continue my schooling in South Pas. In my mind, there was no existence worse than the adolescent girl “trapped” in the suburbs. I disliked the fact that our small schools meant that teachers associated me with my brother and his acuity for STEM and standardized tests, because, despite widely accepted racial stereotypes, I am neither academically inclined nor good at math.

FRESH PUPUSAS are sold three days a week at Deisy’s Tasty Food at various famers markets and the rest of the week the stand focuses on lemonade.

Deisy’s Tasty Food unites South Pasadena families Learn the story behind one of South Pas’ favorite food stands STORY SOFIE DRESKIN & LILY AZAT PHOTO RICHARD GOMEZ Deisy Martinez—or as many know her, the woman behind the pupusas stand—is a familiar and welcoming face to many patrons of the South Pasadena Farmers Market. Selling food and greeting customers with a smile on her face, Deisy, her family, and their authentic pupusas are a staple of the city’s Thursday evening tradition. Better known as “the pupusa stand,” Deisy’s Tasty Food has been a regular vendor at the South Pasadena Farmers Market for an impressive 17 years of the award-winning market’s 18 years of operation. Of all the organic vendors, farmers, and businesses that have established themselves as standard South Pasadena sellers, Deisy’s Tasty Food is certainly one of the more iconic booths, specializing in pupusas and lemonade. Thanks to Deisy’s Tasty Food, the traditional Salvadoran dish has made its way into the diets of many South Pasadena residents. The gluten-free pupusas are made with real corn and can be filled with beans, cheese, and various meats to create many different flavors. The stand features five different flavor combinations, giving customers the chance to customize their meals to their liking. The construction of the dish comes from the indigenous Mayan people of El Salvador. “People tasting the pupusas [for the first time] say they are similar to a fresh quesadilla,” Martinez said, describing the taste of her food. “We grew up on beans and cheese. The tradition that we ate everyday is the recipe we make in the stand, [which] is why it’s so popular.”

Out & About

Martinez’s love for pupusas stretches beyond selling them. She ate them daily growing up in El Salvador and still makes them at home for her family, never tiring of the traditional taste from Central America. After arriving to the United States from El Salvador in 1985, Martinez worked in a Danish cafe, making apple pastries before she and her husband started their pupusas and lemonade business. She has cooked tirelessly at the family-run business ever since. You can taste closeness of the Martinez family through the food they cook together each day. “You can tell the food is made by people who appreciate what they are making,” said junior Kimberly Brown, a regular customer at Deisy’s Tasty Food. The Farmers Market is just one of many locations for the mobile eatery, but South Pasadena emerges as a unique location out for the stand. Deisy feels that South Pasadena’s market, although stressful, is an enjoyable and unique environment. “[South Pasadena] is fun and different, and there are very different kinds of people we serve here,” Martinez said. The Farmers Market is a beloved tradition that unites the South Pasadena community. Children and their parents play in the grassy space and socialize with other South Pas residents. As food created by a woman who so clearly values family, Martinez’s pupusas will always be a first choice for residents looking to enjoy wholesome food with their families.

Looking back, I realize two things. First, Madonna’s Material Girl collection, which was exclusively sold at Macy’s, was the most tragic thing to ever happen to my wardrobe. Second, the cynical perspective with which I viewed the world hindered my ability to enjoy my South Pas adolescence. I eventually grew out of my hate-phase (right around the time I realized how bad I looked with eyeliner on my lower waterline), and I came to the conclusion that South Pas wasn’t that horrible: my attitude was. Sure, we could stand to have more than five good restaurants within city limits, but I see what a privilege it was to grow up in a safe city of trees and little free libraries. My middle school angst was dominated by my misdirected general disgust over how unsophisticated my peers were. While I was a militant young self-described “activist” in eighth grade, my classmates seemed to be more focused on the newest episode of Pretty Little Liars than Miley Cyrus’ cultural appropriation or the government shutdown in October of 2013. I now realize it was ridiculous of me to expect my fellow middle schoolers to be as focused on national events as I was. So many of my perceived “faults” of South Pas became either proven false or actually appreciated. There are the small joys in small-town life: randomly seeing three of your friends at the intersection of Fair Oaks and Mission, or that even the most distant classmates know when I have my bi-weekly afterschool spin class because of my comically huge IKEA bag that holds my athleisure gear. Our quiet town has afforded me both opportunity and freedom that other places may not have. I was able to grow up in a consistent and caring community, one where I have known so many people all of my life. A couple of Friday nights ago, I walked the mile and half from the Metro Station to my house after midnight while dancing to Brockhampton’s “SWEET.” The only repercussion was my mother getting reprimanded at Bristol Farms by a former fellow Marengo PTA mom who saw me crossing at Stratford and Monterey. This is South Pasadena. This is home.

Tiger’s take on local eats and acitivities. Take one of our suggestions for a weekend adventure.


FOOD Located in a former bank on the corner of 8th St. and Spring St. in Downtown, Terroni offers traditional Italian cuisine and wood-fired pizza in a bright, open, and captivating interior. Prices are reasonable, but beware of the long lines after 7 PM.

FUN The annual Taste of South Pasadena bike ride will depart from the SP Metro station at 6 PM tonight! Join in on this familyand beginner-friendly event, which takes participants on a two-mile route that includes frequent stops at local eateries for samples. Admission is free.

ART Experience an interactive, light-based exhibition at the return of Enchanted: Forest of Light in Descanso Gardens in La Cañada. This unique twist on holiday lights features eight installations located around the garden grounds.




PERSONALITY PROFILES CIENA VALENZUELA-PETERSON Tackling social issues through art Each of Ciena Valenzuela-Peterson’s actions are charged with her innate sense of empathy. When President Trump was elected into office, her world crumbled; she clearly remembers sitting in front of the TV, devastated, as her family wept. She channeled her surrounding panic and got to work. Armed with a laptop and a tablet, Ciena fell into emotional autopilot. Out of hot anger blossomed a striking piece of art inspired by her Mexican heritage. Depicted is a Mexican girl­—hair, shrouded in traditional crowns of flowers, weeping with a face of utter despair. In her tears are both an American and Mexican flag; all the while, anti-Mexican rhetoric spewed by Trump floats boundlessly in the crown adorning her head. “It came out of the shame and hurt that Trump caused; he placed a target on all of our backs,” Valenzuela-Peterson said. “It devastates me to see such a beautiful culture completely obscured, stamped with disgusting claims.” Her painting was featured in RESIST magazine, distributed to tens of thousands at the Women’s March. Given the traction and platform, Valenzuela-Peterson was inspired to sell prints of her piece, raising upwards of $1000 for Border Angels, a charity dedicated to supporting undocumented immigrants.

CONTENT CREATOR: Ciena’s art has been viewed internationally across many media forms.

Emboldened by the results of her labors, Valenzuela-Peterson joined South Pasadenans for Immigrant Protection at the beginning of the summer. This group, disturbed by the pervasive anti-immigrant sentiment, fought

EUAN ZHANG Many students in high school recognize their greatest talent and dedicate most of their time working towards it. To senior Euan Zhang, however, anything that remotely interests him is worth his time. From recording music to studying medicine, Zhang will work at anything that captivates his attention.


STORY DAVID SEO PHOTO ALICIA ALDERETE to gain sanctuary city status for South Pasadena. Valenzuela-Peterson played a key role in its passing, giving an emotional recount of her grandfather’s difficult journey to citizenship in front of city council. This past month, South Pasadena unanimously voted to declare itself a sanctuary city, joining the state of California in its sanctuary stateship. Valenzuela-Peterson continues her political activism through the Progressive SPHS Club, which she leads with fellow senior Cole Cahill. Completely aware of the impact even a young person can have on the world, she wanted to give her classmates the resources to turn their passion into reality. Valenzuela-Peterson is also an active member of the Peer Mediators, inspired by their objective to address the lack of attention to mental health on campus. Valenzuela-Peterson continues her work through purposeful expression. In August of 2016, she started her own self-published zine called Etcetezine. It began as a disorganized motley of pages designed solely through a trackpad and a free-trial version of Photoshop. It has since grown into a polished and internationally contributed periodical focused around monthly themes, tackling everything from politics to horror. “[Ciena’s] creative intelligence has enabled her to not only create a zine all on her own, but to create beautiful art that inspires me to achieve every day,” said senior Will Hoadley-Brill. “Ciena is one of the smartest people that I know, in more ways than one.”

A man with many hats— from headphones to stethoscopes

Zhang’s first passion is electronic dance music. He first discovered EDM in his sophomore year of high school because of the rhythm video game Dynamix. The music from this game immediately caught his attention, and he soon found himself entranced by the music and set out to learn how to create it himself. From this creative spark, Zhang began to write his own music under the name Zenyu. He used his prior experience as a saxophonist in the SPHS jazz band to create original songs and publish them on Soundcloud. Zhang has played the saxophone for six years, but had largely kept EDM and jazz separate until his recent experiments with a fusion genre known as electrofunk. In this style, he combined his synth-heavy EDM with the saxophone to bring a new level of emotion to his sound. “I get a little idea, it could be anything from a drum beat to a melody to a synth sound, and I just keep building around it and adding stuff until it turns into a whole song,” Zhang said. A few months ago, Zhang connected with a studio named Wavefront Audio, and began to collaborate on songs with a Washington-based musician named Evo. He plans to release these songs in the near future. Though EDM is Zhang’s main interest, he acts upon his curiosity in the scientific world as well. During the summer, he got a job working at the UCLA Neuropathology Lab courtesy of his pathologist father. Zhang’s interest in medicine has helped him when studying how cells develop disease. His primary job was to identify the cause of death of medical patients with conditions ranging from brain tumors to epilepsy. As many families want to know what caused the death of a loved one, this job requires a significant knowledge of medicine, which Zhang has acquired through studies and experience. Though Zhang plans to focus on music in college, he still hopes to keep up his passion for medicine. Beyond his more professional talents, Zhang is skilled with a Rubik’s cube. As the president of the Rubik’s Cube Club, he owns an abundance of cubes and is able to solve a standard 3x3 cube in around 20 seconds. This year he entered the club into a Rubik’s cube competition and also hopes to increase club activity in other ways over the course of the year. As he moves closer to graduation, Zhang continues to follow his conflicting interests. While burdened with schoolwork, he still manages to write original songs and continue his scientific work to some degree. Zhang masters something that very few can—he succeeds at anything that captivates his attention.

A JACK OF ALL TRADES: Zhang doesnt stick to a single particular interest.


12 NOVEMBER 9, 2017


Stranger Things 2 surpasses expectations STRANGER THINGS 2 director

Matt and Ross Duffer







STORY LILY AZAT ILLUSTRATION KATE RODGERS The wildly popular Netflix original series Stranger Things aired its second season, ushering in a new wave of intensity and suspense. The show, created by the Duffer brothers, introduces new creatures and villains that differentiate the first and second seasons. The new episodes further develop and resolve the previous season’s story lines. Stranger Things 2 continues with its focus on tightly woven relationships between the Byers family members; the love triangle between Nancy (Natalia Dyer), Steve (Joe Keery) and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton); and Chief Hopper’s (David Harbour) role as the guardian of the children from the first season. Gone is season one’s lone “Demogorgon,” now replaced by a mysterious spider-like creature looming over Hawkins.

Bobby Brown) was presumed dead. Dustin, Mike, and Lucas energetically played by Gaten Matarazzo, Finn Wolfhard, and Caleb McLaughlin, have moved from Dungeons & Dragons to the arcade, and are still on the low end of the social hierarchy at school. Joining Eleven as a spunky and recognizable leading young lady is Max, portrayed by Sadie Sink. A skilled arcade gamer and skateboarder from California, Max is swept into the group despite living under the harsh, watchful eye of her older stepbrother Billy (Dacre Montgomery). The introduction of new relationships in the sophomore season ultimately plays a crucial role in the exploration and increased emotional depth of the characters. Rather than focusing solely on monsters and villains, typical of the horror genre, the writers give each of the characters a unique and intriguing storyline. More insight is given to the complexities of previously overlooked characters from the previous season, further strengthening the viewer-character relationship that is pivotal to the success of the show. Additionally, the breaking and forming of several relationships allows the audience to see different sides of the characters they met last season.

Stranger Things 2 lives up to, and possibly even surpasses, the expectations created by the original. It effectively escapes the trap many series fall into of simply repeating every success of the first season. This season includes all the 80s nostalgia in addition to the humor and fright seen The series opens a year after Will’s (Noah Schnapp) in the first season, all the while being completely return from the “upside down” and Eleven (Millie independent and original.

The hidden joys of Premium Jerky STORY & PHOTO DASHIEL BOVE


n the midst of the Sunday morning hustle and bustle of the Alhambra Farmers Market, across the aisle from the rows of lettuce and cabbages, sits a strange stand. The black banner, silvery letters, and plain showcase table hide a treasure trove of a very particular sort. This is Artisan Premium Jerky, a family-run stand specializing in that simple frontier pleasure: beef jerky. When customers first arrive at the stand, they are greeted by a cheery employee. Quickly, they are introduced to the impressive variety of jerky, how it’s prepared, and the ingredients. This tutorial in beef is quickly succeeded by the simple question, “Would you like to try a sample?” Artisan Premium Jerky offers a wide array of the cowboy’s favorite snack. From the more mild flavored, tongue-caressing Original to the various Ghost Pepper and Reaper Pepper blends that light the throat and tongue ablaze, there’s something here for everyone—so long as that something is beef jerky. What sets Artisan Premium Jerky apart from its gas-station-bought cousins is its artistry. Each piece has an even softness to it, with the meat giving way in the first bite and sticking ever-soslightly to the tip of the tongue. This is no freeze dried piece of preserved meat hastily assembled from various pieces of what might be actual beef. Instead, the excellently prepared high quality beef easily pulls apart in the mouth, allowing for an easier chewing experience without the stress of having to rip and tear into the meaty treat. Fol-

lowing the first bite, the added spice emerges and unleashes a climax of flavor. How long this burst of piquancy lasts depends on the flavor of choice. Soon enough, the burst ends, leaving the first time consumer in a state of shock. When the first piece is finished, you are left wanting more. Like hearing a concerto after infants pounding on piano keys, Artisan Premium Jerky may leave you speechless. It is entirely unlike its mass-produced counterparts. Sampling even just the barest amount of the stand’s meaty treats gives away another crucial fact: there are no chemical additives. The taste here does not come from a long list of nigh-unpronounceable spice concoctions, but from the even blend of peppers and well-cut beef that results in a soothing symphony of flavor. Of course, such excellence comes at a price. The stand is only open on the Sunday farmers market in Alhambra and the jerky itself can be a bit costly. The day wouldn’t be much of an issue if it weren’t for the fact that the market, and thus the stand, are only open from 8 to 1, hours that are inconvenient for the average student trying to sleep in on the weekends. The alternative to actually going to the stand is ordering from their website, but that just isn’t the same as chatting with the vendor, and experiencing the unique passion of a jerky expert. In spite of these limitations, Artisan Premium Jerky is something that demands to be tried at least once. The jerky here is unlike anything else and it may prove to be a replacement for that tried and true snack.

THE CRACKED PEPPER flavor of jerky was both meaty and soft, with a slight spice for some heat.

TIGER 13 NOVEBER 9, 2017




ver the past two decades, an influx of trendy restaurants and shops have transformed Highland Park into one of the more “hip” cities neighboring South Pas. While some of the long-established, more affordable entertainment options remain for those living in Highland Park, many have been pushed out by more upscale and expensive establishments. On a hot Sunday afternoon, Noah Parker and I decided to take the Metro to the transitioning city to check out both the established businesses Highland Park has to offer and the more chic institutions that are quickly replacing them. Just one block south of the station lies a stretch of Figueroa Street featuring bakeries, cafes full of hipsters, and a variety of new, moderately affordable restaurants. For lunch, we were deciding between Folliero’s, a casual Italian eatery, and Cafe Birdie, a more hip and high-end restaurant. After looking at Cafe Birdie’s pricey brunch menu, Noah and I were reluctant to eat there. But our decision was made after seeing South Pas sophomore Dante Cimarusti and his dad Michael Cimarusti, the famed chef of LA restaurant Providence, exiting the establishment.

THE HIGHLAND PARK STATION is only a four-minute ride from the South Pasadena.

THE PRICEY DISHES found at Cafe Birdie were excellent, but not quite worth the expensive bill. We barely got a table before the Sunday brunch menu stopped service at 2:30. Noah ordered the Semolina Pancakes and I ordered the Moroccan-Spiced Fried Chicken with a side of potatoes, as recommended by our friendly waiter.

retro bowling alley’s wooden interior was a spectacle, but its $50 charge for an hour of bowling was too much for us, especially after the steep lunch bill. For cheaper entertainment we crossed Figueroa to the Highland Theatre, where we saw Happy Death Day for $8 each.

We received our food fairly quickly and after 15 minutes of Noah complaining about my food photography, we finally began to eat the now lukewarm meal. The fried chicken was undoubtedly the best of the three dishes we ordered. It was crispy on the outside, but the meat was moist and tender. The chicken was perfectly seasoned and was served with lime and harissa aioli on the side. The lime added a refreshing tartness to the chicken, but neither Noah nor I loved the side of aioli. The North African Spiced Potatoes were lightly fried and were topped with green onions and a salty seasoning, a perfect complement to the savory chicken.

To finish off our adventure with some dessert, we took an Uber a mile north to York Avenue. We walked past the long lines in front of Donut Friend to Scoops, an ice cream shop that serves a daily rotation of new, homemade flavors. Noah ordered a classic Dark Chocolate milkshake, while I chose a more unconventional double scoop of Birthday Cake M&M and Turkish Coffee ice cream. The unique mix of flavors paired surprisingly well and turned out to be refreshing under the sweltering sun.

After paying the $46 bill—the most either of us had ever spent on lunch in our young lives—we walked past a couple storefronts to check out Highland Park Bowl. The

Much like my ice cream order, our trip could be considered an odd mix. Cafe Birdie’s more affluent atmosphere was quite different from the one created by the Happy Death Day audience. Highland Park certainly has many niche and interesting places to explore, but if cost is an issue, options become limited.


14 NOVMBER 9, 2017


FALL MVP: MADDIE SAITO How the outsided hitter carried her team one final time


hen a team thinks of its most valuable player, members often visualize a hardworking leader who sacrifices their emotional and physical energy for the team. In this fall season where many players showcased their talent, Tiger Newspaper has named senior Maddie Saito the school’s Fall MVP.

Saito uses her experiences outside the gym to become a better volleyball player. As part of the varsity Virtual Business team, Saito has learned the importance of strong leadership and the ability to use constructive criticism to her advantage.


“I’ve learned how I can be a leader on or off the court. My hope is whatever I have learned, whether it is snippets of wisdom or quotes from coaches or my parents, I can share with my teammates,” Saito said. Although the team ultimately didn’t reach CIF playoffs, Saito believes that the season was still a success. Other fall athletes were in conten tion for the fall season MVP.

Saito led the girls’ varsity volleyball team in kills (102), aces (27), and points (118) throughout her final season. But the statistics only tell half the story; Saito showed tremendous poise and sportsmanship this season, allowing her to become a team captain and leader on the court. Saito, who has participated in varsity volleyball since freshman year, channels her emotion to become a vocal leader on the court. As an outside hitter, Saito shoulders a plethora of responsibilities. She rotates across the court, participating in serves and rallies, never taking a break from the action.



Saito showcased this versatility on the court in a pivotal league game versus Temple City. With her team needing a win to stay in CIF playoff contention, Saito rose to the occasion, collecting 15 kills and 7 points in the Tigers 3-1 victory. In another league win against Blair, Saito carried the team to a 3-0 sweep thanks to her season-high eight aces. The electrifying display of dominance from Saito demonstrated her ability to perform in “clutch” moments. In late October, Saito was named an All Tournament Player for her efforts in the Crescenta Valley High School tournament. The award recognized the top players in the midseason tournament.

ELEVATING OVER THE NETsenior Maddie Saito rises to strike the ball.

In the pool, freshman standout Eddie Lane-Flanigan propelled the team to a 8-2 league record and CIF playoff appearance. The versatile lefty did it all for the Tigers, providing offensive support while playing lockdown defense. The young athlete is only posed to become even more of a powerful threat, placing him as a frontrunner for Fall MVP in coming years. Elsewhere, senior Oliver Chang and freshman Brooke Robinson led the talented group of cross country runners to another successful year. Chang placed first in the boys’ varsity league finals with a 3-mile time of 16:03, while Robinson shined in her first year with a ninth place finish in the girls’ varsity event. Despite the respectable finishes against tough competition, the prolific cross country squad would be able to compensate the loss of the two athletes, placing them behind Saito in the MVP race.


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Fall’s most spectactular play STORY BEN CLARK The Tiger football team needed a victory badly when they began their battle against La Cañada on October 20. After a series of preseason victories, they had suffered greatly in the Rio Hondo League and had yet to win a regular season game. As they began to play, it was clear that their long-awaited victory was a possibility. The Tigers obliterated the Spartans and by halftime had already gained a lead of 27-0. At that point it seemed as though the game would settle down. The Tigers mauled the Spartans with such ferocity in the first half, that many people in the audience expected the team to settle into a comfortable defensive game. But this was not the case for senior Fernando Sornoso. Considering the possibility that the Spartans could rebound from their earlier thrashing, he prepared to strike them down for good with one more touchdown.

COOLING OFF AFTER PRACTICE senior Hank Rainey stretches on Roosevelt field.



n the cusp of a warm March night in Palm Springs, the boys’ soccer team was in the midst of a spirited CIF quarterfinal. Enthralled in the significance of the game, but not in the action, then-freshman Hank Rainey sat cheering on the bench. The early memories of his freshman year now seem drenched in nostalgia; the way that the enormous Palm Springs fanbase boomed over the pit-like soccer field and the air stood still over the almost-empty South Pas bleachers. Now a senior, Rainey still remembers the feeling of entering a hostile environment and yelling with passion as his team tied the game on a James Tulin header. The years following, Rainey slowly lost the scaffolding of senior leadership and developed his own form of leadership as the team’s “hype man.” While Rainey is fiercely enthusiastic, his sophomore season was marred by the team’s pessimistic culture. Since the previous year was so successful, team morale suffered under the constant barrage of defeat. The season didn’t result in anything significant, but it did yield the understanding that a team should feel like a second family. By the time Rainey was a junior, his eccentricities had

bled into his role in the program. During a pivotal, latewinter match against La Cañada, Rainey truly defined his hard-nosed style of play on defense. With South Pas down by a goal and the Spartans pressing hard into the Tiger defense, Rainey laid-out on an opposing player, infamously named “Crazy-Eight” for his dirty play. Although the tackle resulted in a yellow card for Rainey, it invigorated the rest of the team, and gave South Pas the momentum they needed to tie the game. The play that defined how Rainey will approach his last year is one he can’t remember. During his junior year, an opposing player pushed Rainey down head-first on the field. After losing consciousness and being rushed to the ER, he was diagnosed with a concussion and had to take a month-long break. “I wasn’t really enjoying soccer before my concussion. And then I couldn’t play for a month and I realized how much I loved the game. When I came back during the second half of the season, I felt this rebirth and improved my mentality,” Rainey said. Entering his final year, Rainey carries his natural sense of showmanship and learned leadership. With winter approaching, he follows the steps of his predecessors for a final chance at league and CIF success.

Earlier in the game, Sornoso scored a 15-yard touchdown with an effective running play, so his team was very confident that he would be able to run the ball even from a long distance. When junior quarterback Justin Huff prepared to begin the play, the Tigers’ offensive line stood 72 yards away from the end zone. It was a long shot, but they were prepared to fight their way past a complete defensive line to reach the other side of the field. No one in the audience knew what to expect from this seemingly normal run. As soon as the ball was hiked, Huff handed the ball off to Sornoso on the right side and he began to surge forward. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw La Cañada’s safety barreling towards him, yet before he could reach his target, the Spartan was struck down by a block from senior tight end Matthew Walker. Another defensive lineman approached, aiming to bring Sornoso down, but he deftly cut around the player and continued his sprint forward. At that moment, the fate of the play was sealed. La Cañada’s secondary tried in vain to catch Sornoso, only to be blocked off by senior Sidney Luna-Long leaving Sornoso free to cross into the end zone. Throughout the entire play, Sornoso was untouched. His team had blocked off any possible defense and the 72-yard touchdown was complete. La Cañada sulked in silence as the Tigers celebrated their massive touchdown. Soon the defensive line prepared to take over as the Tigers punted the ball back to La Cañada, their confidence bolstered after Sornoso’s touchdown.

Dynasty watch: girls’ golf & boys’ water polo STORY ALEX BETTS PHOTO THOMAS FORMAN One on the rise, the other on the decline. In the 2016 season, boys’ water polo underperformed, as they returned several adept starters but never quite put the pieces together. On the contrary, girls’ golf extended its winning streak to eight years and gained contributions from a variety of players on its way to the Montview League championship. Unlike in other sports, these performances gave no hint of what was to come. In 2017, boys’ water polo showcased a new look as a mix of five freshmen and five seniors formed a unified group in the preseason. The squad stormed the league with commanding wins over San Marino and La Cañada, both teams that were above South Pas in the 2016 RHL standings. The Tigers and Temple City clashed in a battle of the undefeated, but Temple City emerged victorious 7-6 in a tough overtime game. Rebounding with three consecutive wins, the team defeated Monrovia to clinch a spot in CIF for the first time in two years. In golf, the Tigers entered the league season riding a eight-year undefeated run that outlasted the 2011 insane South Pasadena windstorm. For at least those seven years, the team maintained a state of excellence, qualifying for CIF several times. Then, on September 14, the squad faced Gabrielino. “Our freshmen were pretty nervous [heading into Gabrielino], not knowing how the game usually goes,” senior captain Bethany Chen said. “We had heard that Gabrielino had improved a lot, but I figured that it wasn’t any use worrying - anxiety only brings the score up.” Unfortunately, the Gabrielino squad played incredibly, totaling a score of 214, just a single stroke better than South Pas’ squad.

TREADING WATER senior Alex Fonseca prepares to pass the ball to a driving player. “We were pretty shocked. Looking at the scores without adding, it looked like we won, as we had more scores in the 30s. We re-counted like three times,” said Chen. “It was a let-down, especially because our team consistently scored better than 215.” In a chance for redemption, South Pas and Gabrielino faced each other on October 3. Both teams improved their scores, but Gabrielino dominated, beating South Pas 211-204.

“Of course I was sad that our streak ended but as cocaptain I knew that I had to set a positive example for my other teammates, so I tried to stay positive while moving forward,” said senior Nicole Srisutham. Due to numerous league losses, girls’ golf did not capture the Montview League title. However, the team still posted a remarkable 10-2 league record and will advance to CIF, despite four of six starters being underclassmen, which indicates future success.


16 NOVMBER 9, 2017


Cross country competes in league finals STORY ALINA MEHDI The South Pas cross country teams performed exceptionally at the Rio Hondo league finals on Thursday, November 2, nearly sweeping the meet. Among the six league teams, varsity boys placed first while varsity girls came second. As anticipated, both teams qualified for CIF Preliminaries which will take place this Friday, November 10. The varsity boys unsurprisingly maintained their first place reign by a long shot. Nearly all Tiger racers placed in the top ten of 40 runners. Key senior Oliver Chang placed first in the race, running a time of 16:03.16. In third place overall was sophomore Sam Clark with a time of 16:25.31. Junior Alexander GrijalvaMoreno claimed fifth place overall, running in 16:31.17. Junior Kai Dettman, senior Ben Clark, and junior Michael Xiong followed consecutively, with times of 16:38.47, 16:42.65, and 16:43.25, respectively. Closing out the Tigers was junior Nicolo Porcu with a 16:58.52. While unable to surpass La Canada’s reigning cross country girls, the Tiger girls put on an impressive performance with all runners placing in the top 20. First for the Tigers and ninth overall was junior Brooklyn Robinson with a 19:22.23. Senior Bailey Wu followed close behind, running a time of 19:34.84. Third for the South Pas girls was junior Lindsey Calva with a time of 19:49.92, followed by senior Maddy Engelsman who ran a 20:13.90. Seniors Celeste Amaya, Caroline Liu and junior Elizabeth Bock finished in succession with times of 20:49.16, 20:59.97, 20:56.36, respectively. “All of our divisions of our team put everything into League Finals to end our season with a bang. Our JV teams won first in league with incredible times, Engelsman said. “Our varsity teams are excited and eager to head to another year at CIF.” If successful at this week’s CIF Preliminaries in Riverside, the Tigers will move on to finals the following Saturday, November 19.

AT THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE South Pas’ defense waits for San Marino to snap the ball.

Sidney Luna-Long’s swan song

STORY NOAH PARKER & PRESTON SHARKEY After four years of playing at SPHS, under three different coaches, Luna’s high school football career had come to an PHOTO LUKE QUEZADA


oing into the locker room during Friday’s season finale versus San Marino, senior Sidney Luna-Long knew he only had one half left in his high school career. One half left to leave it all out on the field. Although the team ultimately fell to the rival Titans 55-14, Luna-Long did just that. After replacing an injured Justin Huff at quarterback, Luna-Long took it upon himself to get his team on the scoreboard. In the third quarter, Luna-Long fooled the defense with a read option run, prancing into the endzone for the Tiger’s first touchdown of the game. A couple possessions later, Luna-Long connected with fellow senior Dorian Torres for a 82 yard catch and run, South Pas’ longest play from scrimmage this year.

abrupt ending. Despite never beating San Marino as a varsity player, Luna was proud to go down fighting with his teammates at his side. “It’s not easy. I was with my guys and we ended the way we wanted to: as a team,” Luna-Long said. “I was just happy to be with the boys one more time.” Throughout the year, Luna-Long showed his ability to lead the team, both on the field and in the locker room. The versatile athlete accumulated 455 total yards (182 passing, 48 rushing, and 225 receiving) and 10 touchdowns in his senior campaign. Luna-Long also served as a team captain, responsible for inspiring the team before and during games. Luna-Long hopes to take his playmaking and leadership abilities to the next level after graduating from SPHS.

CIF: the remaining championship contenders STORY ISABELLA TSAI & LUKE QUEZADA PHOTO HELENA FU The fall sports season is coming to a close and teams are gearing up for the approaching CIF playoffs. This year, South Pas offered three CIF contenders, each with a different story: the boys’ water polo team, coming back from a disappointing season last year, the girls’ golf team, who had an eight-year winning streak up until this year, and the consistently strong cross country team. After graduating eight players last year, boys’ water polo recruited five new freshmen players, four of whom were made starters. Despite so many new and younger players, the team became a cohesive unit early in the season, and finished off league play with a solid 8-2 record clinching a spot in CIF playoffs. The team proved its strength in a 16-8 win against first round opponent Martin Luther King High School and a 10-7 quarterfinal win against Montebello. Last Saturday, the team surpassed Santa Monica and is advancing to the semifinals on Wednesday, November 8.

SENIOR MADDY ENGELSMAN leads the pack in the Rio Hondo finals.

Cross country has a long history of postseason play— the team advanced all the way to the CIF Finals last year, and they look to maintain their prowess in this year’s playoffs. Many runners have stepped up into leadership positions that were vacated by graduated

seniors. Senior Alex Gallardo, junior Nicolo Porcu, and sophomore Sam Clark are just a few of the varsity runners that have led the cross country pack to CIF. The team won first place in the Rio Hondo League Finals and are headed to CIF preliminaries on Friday, November 10. The girls’ golf team continued its season into CIF play. The loss of key seniors led to two losses against Gabrielino earlier this season, marking an end to the girls’ eight-year streak as league champions. Despite this blemish, the team advanced to CIF playoffs and sent senior Bethany Chen and sophomore Victoria Tskvitichvili to round two of CIF. Other teams weren’t as fortunate. Varsity football crumbled this season after making it to the first round of CIF in the two previous years. Although the squad started strong in the beginning of the season, securing a 4-1 record in preseason, the team failed to capitalize on its momentum, ultimately leading to its downfall. For girls’ varsity volleyball, success was hard to find; the team ended with a 5-5 record in league play, which was not enough to send them to CIF. Girls’ varsity tennis spent this season acclimating to its new team dynamic after welcoming coach Sean Taroli. The team began with a five game preseason winning streak, the Tigers could not get past the La Cañada and San Marino squads, finishing with a 2-6 record.


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SPHS Tiger Newspaper

Tiger Newspaper November 2017  
Tiger Newspaper November 2017