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651 Glenwood Road, Glendale, CA 91202 | (818) 242-6801 ext. 11202 Volume 81 No. 7 9
February 2011 April 26, 25, 2011
Gloria Hong is in the
Glendale DMV reopens its doors ALEX MIKHAILPOOR
reviously closed since August due to renovations and the state budget crisis, the Glendale Department of Motor Vehicles branch on Glenoaks Blvd. reopened yesterday. The City Council pressured state officials since December to reopen the branch due to complaints about the massive traffic the closure caused to other nearby branches. Dymond McRae (’11), who was at the Glendale DMV yesterday, said that the reopening saved a lot of time because he did not have to go to Pasadena for an ID card. Officials announced late last year that the branch, which had been scheduled to reopen on Nov. 1 after a two-month $900,000 renovation, was one of three offices in the area to be closed indefinitely due to limited staffing resources. The renovation includes new
self-service machines for renewing licenses, heating and air conditioning, flooring, furniture, signs, and fencing upgrades. Students took driving tests in neighboring cities and it was difficult to memorize the different speed limits and streets. “It made the test harder as it made me focus on more obstacles,” junior Medvin Baghasarian said. The Glendale branch is going through a shuffling of staffing and statewide budget cuts proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown, including transferring $71.6 million from the DMV to the state’s general fund. According to the DMV, the new staff is manned by 45 full-time and three part-time employees and all are highly trained for the job. The Glendale DMV serves 281,000 transactions annually which include permits, licenses, and registration of cars.
Read her story and personal tips on pg. 2
HARVARD: Later last month, senior Gloria Hong was accepted into Harvard with a full scholarship. Hong visited the university campus over spring break.
Students caught forging third quarter progress report cards ALLEN AU | TORNADO TIMES AUGUST: The Glendale DMV branch on Glenoaks Blvd., closed since August due to renovations and the state budget crisis, reopened yesterday after complaints about traffic the closure caused to other branches. People waited in line yesterday for the reopening.
Glendalians vote yes on Measure S MEAGAN KNIGHT arlier this month, students from Clark Magnet and Hoover managed to get their hands on the stock cards that the district uses for report cards in order to forge report cards. Because of this, the schools had to reprint the third quarter progress reports onto different blue cards instead of the original green and white and send them out later than scheduled. “I think if students would spend time studying, they wouldn’t have to spend so much time figuring out how to forge report cards,” Principal Jennifer Earl said. As for the consequences, the suspected students will have to deal with the law and the district. “I’m proud of the collaboration between the district and Clark and Hoover in discovering [this], finding out who it was, and isolating it quickly,” Earl said. The district is investigating the best precautions to be taken in order to prevent this from happening again, especially when grades are to be submitted. “Even if my grades were bad and I wouldn’t want my parents to know about it, that’s going too far,” Nick Bassirpour (’11) said.
MEAGAN KNIGHT easure S, the $270 million bond for the GUSD schools, passed on April 5 with a 69 percent of the vote, well above the required 55 percent needed to pass. The money will provide safe and modern school facilities, and technological upgrades in several classrooms. The Glendale Teachers’ Association (GTA) spent $40,000 fighting the bond and supporting school board candidates Nayiri Nahabedian and Ingrid Gunnell. However, that paled in comparison to the $160,000 spent on the “Yes on S” campaign that supported the incumbents, Nahabedian and Mary Boger. Nahabedian received the most votes, with 10,560 out of the 43,711 total. Boger received the second
most votes at 8,761. According the Glendale NewsPress, GTA President Tami Carlson did not support Measure S because “the district will not guarantee that they will funnel the proposed $19 million into class size reduction.” Because the bond has just passed, no specific plans have been made yet for changes in this campus. “The Board has discussed a number of times that upgrading Hoover’s football/soccer field is a high priority, so that could be one of the first projects to be considered,” board member Christine Walters said. Also, Councilwoman Laura Friedman became the city’s first female mayor in over a decade after being unanimously elected by her colleagues.
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April 26, 2011
Hong goes to Harvard SE YEON KIM ise and shine, honey,” your father says. Although your neighbors are still asleep, you stumble out of bed and flick the switch on, squinting at the sudden flood of light. The digital clock blinks in red: 12:00 a.m., midnight. Right on time, you think, and you open your textbook to study until morning. This has been the daily schedule of senior Gloria Hong. “Late at night, there are fewer distractions, like phone calls from friends or Facebook notifications,” Gloria said. Club officer responsibilities, string quartet rehearsals, editor duties for the Korea Daily student newspaper, and volunteer shifts at the Glendale Health Free Clinic in addition to maintaining her 4.5 GPA sometimes meant only three hours of sleep after school, but in the end, it paid off. On March 30, Gloria received an e-mail congratulating her ac-
ceptance to Harvard University. A few days later, the university informed her that she would be granted a full four-year scholarship. Gloria is among the 2,110 accepted out of 30,489 applicants this year, the highest recorded number of applicants in Harvard history. The week before Harvard notified Hong of her admission, she was anxious because the other Ivy League schools she applied to had put her on their waiting lists. As soon as she read the e-mail from Harvard, she shared the news with her parents, Cindy and Sean Hong, in tears of joy and relief. “My mom and I were both crying over the phone, asking each other, ‘Why are you crying?’” Gloria said. Gloria is most thankful for her parents who acted as her “one-on-one counselors” and gave her guidance and tips they learned from Korean education
newspapers. But according to Cindy, all she did for Gloria was “encourage her with compliments and give her car rides.” Cindy said her greatest hope now is for Gloria to look after her own health in college. As for Gloria, she plans to pursue Human Developmental and
Regenerative Biology in the future, and prepare to become a doctor. Gloria said that after volunteering at the Glendale Health Free Clinic, she realized that by being a doctor, she can “help [the patients] to the best of [her] abilities.” Harvard University is one of eight private institutions compris-
Building a Harvard-worthy application 1. Learn the material in class/school right then and there. Go to your teachers during snack/lunch if you have any questions. 2.Show, not tell, on college apps what you did by being in that position of a club/volunteer organization. 3. Never wait to prepare for SAT/ACT, to apply for scholarships, or to look for extracurricular activities. Start now, it's never too early!
ing the prestigious Ivy League, others being Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Princeton, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania. U.S. News & World Report ranked Harvard as the number one college in the nation in 2011. Although attending Harvard has been her long-time goal, Gloria kept this aspiration to herself because “if you tell people you want to get into Harvard and then not make it, you would become selfconscious.” Her greatest challenge in achieving this goal was balancing her social and academic life, especially after her snack and lunch times turned into “business hours” for club officer duties. Fellow Key Club officer and friend Diana Han (’12) said, “she was the best key club president we ever had and an amazing friend.” According to the Harvard admissions office, the university seeks well-rounded or “well-lopsided” students who show excellence in a particular area. Gloria believes the reason for her acceptance was because her application demonstrated that she was versatile but never forced herself to become well-rounded. “[Gloria] always says so calmly, ‘Yes, I can do it,’ and she does it,” counselor Sirvart Mouradian said. “I guess that’s what it takes to get into Harvard.”
April 26, 2011
ADS Tornado Times
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April 26, 2011
Opinion To r n a d o Times Herbert Hoover High School
“First Class with One Mark of Distinction” - National Scholastic Press Association
Staff Editorials CollegeBoard: now bringin’ SAT prep to 8th graders
Editors Editor-in-Chief Joice Lee Managing Editor Daphne Ong Layout Editor Alex Karibyan Copy Editor Linet Mardyrosian News Editor SeYeon Kim Opinion Editor Grace Nsavu Feature Editor Arpineh Oganesyan Entertainment Editor Lili Mikaelyan Sports Editor Edward Nadurata Graphics Editor Eunice Choi Photo/Design Editor Allen Au Ad/Business Manager Arpineh Oganesyan Website Editor Alex Karibyan Staff Writers Chalsi Dichupa Edwin Flores Katie Gates Crystal Gordon Greg Kalfayan Agnessa Kasumyan Meagan Knight Asher Landau Daniel Massey Alex Mikhailpoor Cody Senteno Maryam Soorma Michael Yapujian Photo/Graphics Staff Cain Buckler Troy Jonic Levon Ostakarayan Adviser Brian Crosby The TornadoTimesis a student publication that is distributed to all students and faculty, as well as subscribers. With a policy of printing anything that is of interest to the student body, the Tornado Times hopes to keep its readers informed of subjects pertaining to the school, no matter what the subject matter. Advertisements in the TornadoTimes do not necessarily reﬂect an endorsement of such products or services by the staff or students in the Glendale Uniﬁed School District. Printed by News Publisher Press, 215 Allen Ave. Glendale, CA 91201/ (818) 954-0775.
651 Glenwood Road Glendale, CA 91201 P: (818) 242-6801 Ext. 11202 F: (818) 246-7238 tornado-times.com
inEUNICEin The Japanese don’t fall through the cracks There is a sense of unity and calmness that has allowed the Japanese people to handle the crisis with pride and poise that we can all learn from. The situation is terrible, but their conduct remains impeccable.
level nine earthquake, one tsunami, 73 aftershocks, radiation leaks, and over 10,000 casualties later, Japan’s morale remains strong—a fact that we can all learn from. Despite all the Japanese people that have had to endure dire circumstances, there are no reports of looting, riots, and no Japanese equivalent of Kanye West going on television to say that the Prime Minister and government don’t care about the people. For those of you who have not yet realized it, this is a reference to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 when conditions got so bad that, as MSNBC reported, the mayor of New Orleans was forced to “order a crack-
down on looting.” The Japanese have stuck together in the face of all this trauma in ways that many nations can’t do even during times of peace and tranquility. There are people who claim that their peaceful way of handling the situation is due to the nation’s racial uniformity. While there may be some truth to this, it is their societal beliefs that have kept them so disciplined. Rather than living by the “me first,” individualistic philosophy, Japan has a collective society. For example, Kyung Lah, writing for CNN, reported that the Japanese waited orderly in line for their rations, and “at the front, which takes hours to get to in some cases, shoppers are limited to 10
food or beverage items. No complaints, no cheating.” They believe in putting the group—the country— first. And that is the most valuable lesson from these circumstances. But their dignity doesn’t just stop there. There are people who have deemed last month’s disasters as revenge for the Pearl Harbor attacks of World War II. Interestingly when Hurricane Katrina struck, there is little doubt that there were no Japanese people calling it an act of revenge for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan’s people serve as a social example for not just the United States, but nations around the world. Their calmness should make us question how we have handled ourselves in the wake of
natural disasters, government failures, and, perhaps, even personal failures. We tend to victimize ourselves and search for people to blame and people to feel sorry for us. Yet we don’t want to help the poor with socialized health care and we refuse to give up personal benefits when trying to come up with a national budget. Why? Because, unlike the Japanese, selflessness is not in our vocabulary. What it all comes down to is this: the Japanese have a remarkable sense of community. We can try to build the safest, most earthquake proof buildings on earth. Yet, who’s to say that if disaster struck, we would be able to handle ourselves with dignity?
April 26, 2011
Losing control over Lent
Tornado TALK What did you give up for lent?
Bring on the pollution GRACE NSAVU
ake a deep breath.
If you didn’t get lung cancer or break out in an asthma attack, you have the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to thank. At least for now. The agency regulates and aims to diminish emissions of carbon dioxide from cars, power plants, and oil refineries as a means of tackling global warming. Our ever-so caring and oh-so impractical Republicans held a hearing to pass a bill that would take away the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Mmm. There’s nothing like polluted air with a side of dirty water. With the budget deal that passed earlier this month, the House Appropriations Committee, which is in charge of distributing funds, cut the EPA’s budget by $1.6 billion— 16 percent of its annual budget. What’s even scarier is that if the majority of Republicans had gotten their way, the EPA would have been dismantled. I understand that this is a time of economic turmoil and that the government wants to save money, which involves cutting appropriations to many services, even the most important ones. However, among those programs that should not be defunded, and definitely not dismantled, is the EPA. People could argue that the companies would step up and do the policing themselves. But when it comes to business, let’s face it, things like global warming tend to be put aside. It is exactly for this reason that this agency was created. This is a program that affects everyone whether they are rich or poor, young or old, live in the United States or don’t, and should be at the forefront of our government’s agenda. With less funding, the agency will not be able to carry out its job efficiently. And were it to be dismantled, there would be no one to police our air and water quality. People’s health and well being is more important than the $1.6 billion the government would save, especially when it would have dire consequences that, in the future, would cost much more than a billion dollars.
“I gave up eating chocolate because it causes acne.” Lovern Mugol (’11)
TROY JONIC | TORNADO TIMES
’m giving up fast food.” “I’m giving up soda.” “I’m becoming a vegan.”
On one particular Wednesday at school, you hear these peculiar proclamations from your friends sitting next to you. Eavesdropping further, you realize that your Christian and Catholic friends seem to be discussing what they have “given up” for the forty days of Lent. The practice of Lent, which starts on Ash Wednesday (March 9) until Easter (April 24) is marked with acts of penance, and in today's context, the younger generation has been taught to sacrifice worldly goods that range from favorite foods to cherished T-shirts. Although it’s admirable that these students can give up items that are seemingly inseparable, it draws me to question our society’s will power. You can argue that the self-control presented by the traditions of Lent shows that we really can live a healthier life by giving up an idolatry of some form. However, our true colors are revealed after the fortyday mark, when we regress to our bad habits again. As we all know, the things we give up are usually just meaningless material goods; I haven’t heard of one person who has stopped eating fruit. The truth of the matter is, people don't truly sacrifice the most important things that allow us to function in daily life such as water or corn (corn is found in absolutely everything). As an atheist, I have never practiced Lent, so I just don’t understand why people can sacrifice things
for God but not for themselves. And then it hits me: selfishness. We are constantly pressured into bad habits through television propaganda, the Internet, magazines and newspapers, and, at times, even some of our friends tempt us into eating a McChicken every now and then. But the really appalling part of all of this is that we know the harmful or addictive effects that these things have on us, and yet, we refuse to stop eating MSG or checking our Facebook notifications after every sentence written for an English assignment. To many, this seems like a futile problem—so what if I want to see how many people think I look “totes hott” on my profile picture? But when further analyzed, this overblown ego can really have a harmful impact on not only ourselves individually, but on our society as well. If you lack self-control while making miniscule decisions such as sleeping late just to watch a movie or starting your project the day before it’s due, the choices you’ll have to make in life will only get bigger and bigger, and your will power will slowly dissipate. According to Science Daily, when a person sees another utilizing the powers of self-control, he is more likely to develop his own willpower, and vice versa. So next time you have to make a decision, make a wise one so that a friend will follow in your lead, and the chain will continue until every person in the world knows that self-control is an attainable asset. Then perhaps one day, my dream of a world with people who can manage more than 40 days without McDonalds will come true.
“I gave up soda to be healthier and for my religion.” Michael Melikian (’11)
“I gave up my iTouch.” Hakop Keleshyan (’12)
“My two obsessive indulgences: Facebook and chocolate.” Alejandra Flores (’13) Compiled by Edwin Flores CAIN BUCKLER | TORNADO TIMES
One editor sacrifices animal-based products ARPINEH OGANESYAN
ne grilled chicken Panini with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, and onions, please–hold the chicken and the cheese. I love chicken because I’m utterly repulsed by the taste of beef and pork. So, ordering a chicken sandwich without the meat is a pretty silly order, isn’t it? Well, when you’ve given up animalbased products for 40 days, it’s pretty much your only option. I’d never really given much thought to the idea of Lent before. But my sister recently embarked on an “allorganic” food diet and thought giving up meat, eggs, and cheese for 40 days would “cleanse our bodies.” Being the easily persuaded person that I am, I
caved in. Since I never really liked to eat meat in the first place, my experience turned out to be much easier than I expected. But giving up cheese, especially Armenian cheese, did take some adjusting to. The hardest part of being a vegan is finding food you can actually eat, especially at school. I ended up spending a lot of time and money coming up with meals and dishes (mainly vegetable and potato-based) during my first two weeks. Soon, it became second nature. I automatically looked at the ingredients label before all food purchases, bypassing foods containing milk, eggs, or
cheese. I definitely feel a change in my body since embarking on this experience. I feel much healthier and less sluggish all the time since I don’t eat junk food like Doritos, Hot Cheetos, Pizza Hut, and Ben and Jerry’s anymore. I thought I would jump right back into eating like I used to starting yesterday, but so far, I haven’t. One, because I am afraid eating too much of something I haven’t eaten in a while may upset my stomach; two, because after not eating chicken for 40 days, the thought of eating it is as repulsing as eating beef and pork. Food is good. Healthy food is better.
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April 26, 2011
Feature Spanish Club visits Europe over Spring Break
e arrived in the morning at 11 a.m. at the Charles De Gaulle airport where we converted our dollars to euros and spent two hours waiting for our bus to take us to the Mercure Hotel, the best of the three hotels we stayed at during our trip. At 3:30 p.m., we took the Metro, which is like a subway, to the Notre Dame cathedral. It is the most common and convenient way to get around in Europe, even though some stations are filthy and smell terrible.
The architecture of the Notre Dame cathedral was extremely detailed, and like the rest of Paris, sophisticated and beautiful. At dinner, we met our tour guide, Laura, who would be with us for the next nine days. We had a common European dinner called “flam.” It is basically a really thin pizza only half a centimeter thick. While some people enjoyed it, I personally thought it tasted like a tortilla with mayonnaise and parmesan cheese. On day three, breakfast in Paris consisted of croissant rolls and cereal with roomtemperature milk. I was disappointed to find that the croissant rolls tasted identical to the ones from Costco, but I was not complaining…anything was better than flam. We went to the Louvre museum after breakfast, and took pictures by the inverted
pyramid. After that my friends and I decided to go to Denon, the best section of the three in the Louvre, and home to two major masterpieces: “The Winged Victory” (a.k.a. Nike), and the “Mona Lisa.” On day four, we were all excited to have a bus tour for the beginning of our day, because of all the walking we endured through our first two days. We were dropped off at the Arc de Triumph where we walked up over 1,000 steps in the spiral staircase to see the breathtaking view from the landmark which is in the center of Paris. After climbing back down, we de-
cided to visit the Eiffel Tower. Because the streets in Europe are not rectangular, but instead trapezoidal, we got lost for a good 45 minutes. We finally made it to the world famous tower – which is much more stunning in person. By the evening of the sixth day, we had our bags packed ready for our overnight train to our next destination: Barcelona. We were all very excited to be in a sleeper train, but when I found out there were four people to a room, and the room was so small that my arm span could reach from wall to wall, all I could do was laugh at the disappointing situation.
Opéra de Paris
fter a long night on the train, we woke up in Zaragoza, Spain. From there, we transferred our luggage to our tour bus, and drove a couple of hours to what would be our favorite city on the trip – Barcelona. We stayed in a hostel, a cheaper type of lodging mostly found in Spain and Hispanic America. Although we did not like it, we knew we would not be spending much time in it anyway.
Antoni Gaudi’s houses
Our first stop was Park Güell, where Antonio Gaudí lived and created his mosaic designs. It was amusing to walk through and be able to take pictures of what we once saw in our textbooks back home. In the late afternoon, we were free to roam around the city on our own. Of course, we went shopping and were a lot happier with the prices here compared to the designer price tags in Paris.
MEAGAN KNIGHT | TORNADO TIMES
he bus ride to Madrid took around four hours. We all tried to get some sleep during this excruciatingly long ride, but were unfortunately woken up by our guide almost every hour, to show us historical landmarks. Before arriving there, we stopped by the Plaza de España to see the Miguel de Cervantes monument. April 10. Day 9: In the morning, we went to the Palacio Real. We had seen the architecture of several buildings in France and Spain that were beautiful, but nothing compared to this palace. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take photos inside. By the evening, we were able to go to El Sol, the best part of Madrid. It was a lively area to shop in, and eat incredible food. In the evening, we stayed out late to go to the Chocolatería San Ginés to eat the best thing in Madrid: churros dipped in dark hot chocolate.
April 26, 2011
CHEW ON THIS! 2
4 EUNICE CHOI
fter being seated in Elena’s GreekArmenian Cuisine, I immediately noticed the heavy, meaty aroma that permeated the warm air. The restaurant is fairly casual and small, and has a family-like atmosphere with its lopsided tables and chairs cluttered tightly together. Somewhat questionable white columns border a couple of the walls, a weak attempt to have the customers understand the “Greek” portion of the restaurant’s name, while the “Armenian” part distinctly stands out in the food. And truly, the food is wonderful, which is poorly represented by the dining experience that harbors lagging, sub-par service. Warm lighting welcomes people when they enter and more noticeably, the meshing of various voices–most of them abundant with praise for the food. You can’t help but become expectant for an excellent meal. However, to get seated is a difficult matter when Elena’s is full of other customers which is most of the time. The waitresses will not be shy about yelling across the room to each other, throwing out options of moving already seated people around, or mashing tables together to accommodate larger parties that have entered. Very inconvenient. Nevertheless, once seated, a look at the menu will revert your initial thoughts about whether it was a mistake to come to Elena’s because the food is tantalizing and full of promise. It will be easy to figure out what the plates look like because the menu has generously placed pictures to illustrate for the people unfamiliar with the food. To start off, Armenian pickled cabbage called toorshi comes alongside the basket filled with large slabs of pita bread and indi-
5 Elena’s excites the senses vidual plastic containers of garlic butter spread. The toorshi is pink and sour, plentiful in quantity and well suited to being eaten alongside the main meals. Pita bread is versatile in being a wrap for the meat or simply being enjoyed with a dollop of the strong, salty garlic spread, which helps to zap the initial edge of hunger. One puzzling thing is the lack of plates. Unless you specify you would like plates, you will have to place your food on your napkin. Entrées come cozily partnered up with the choices of buttery, long-grain rice or French fries, strong lentil soup or a light, lemony salad. I would recommend going with the rice, as it is prepared in its own Armenian way. As for the soup or salad decision, it is completely dependent on your personal preference. The soup, although appetizing, does not merely flirt with flavor – it packs a punch and could even be overwhelming. The salad, on the other hand, is light and fresh, but might quickly become too bland for you to continue enjoying with genuine relish. However, there is no need for strenuous decision-making when it comes to the core of the meal because everything is assuredly amazing. The chicken shish kabob is just fabulous. Sprinkled with herbs and spices, the fat chunks of chicken just stream out meaty juices when you bite into the mind-boggling tenderness. A suggestion: eat the kabob with the grilled onions served alongside it and Armenian rice, because the result is a marriage of savory and delicious. The grilled salmon is rich in flavor, the tender fish separating into big flakes of soft
and mellow pieces. If you love wraps, then stuffed grape leaves, or dolma, are a choice to consider because it is Armenian-style ground beef wraps. Dark green grape leaves are wrapped tightly around a mixture of vegetables, rice, and ground beef, immersed in a yogurt sauce. Soft and marvelously flavorful, the stuffed grape leaves are unique, plump and large in quantity. And if you thought, “What could be better?” then there is an answer: combination plates. Perhaps you would like lamb, but also have an irresistible desire to try the lulu, which is an Armenian-style kabob. Or maybe after hearing raves about the chicken, you want that, but lulu still cries for your attention. Simply order the half lamb – half lulu or half chicken – half lulu plates. Thoughtful, no? With lamb that is layered with a wealth of spices and is fantastic in texture, you will be forgiven for wanting this along with the magnificent lulu that is a powerful character of robust flavor. For dessert, consider baklava, which is a turn from the Armenian taste and a small dip into the Greek. It is a pastry made with thin layers of dough, filled with chopped nuts and honey or syrup. Similar to a sweet, crusty croissant or pie, baklava is flaky and richer than sweet, yet very delicious. You can also go down the path of getting a cup of Greek coffee, which is earthy and heavy-bodied. Whether you are willing to go to the restaurant in person or enjoy the food in the comforts of your own home through free delivery, Elena’s food seems to have hit the mark of excellence and is worth trying out.
ALLEN AU | TORNADO TIMES
1. Pita Bread *Free* 2. 1/2 Shish - 1/2 Lulu $8.25
3. Grilled Salmon $9.99
4. 1/2 Shish - 1/2 Lamb $9.99
5. Stuffed Grape Leaves $8.99
Elena’s Greek & Armenian Cuisine 1000 S. Glendale Ave. Glendale, CA 91205
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April 26, 2011
Entertainment EDWIN FLORES
.B.—his initials are known around the world. No, they do not stand for Justin Bieber (sorry to those obsessed 14year-old Beliebers who thought this article was about him). Instead, they stand for the new upcoming advanced drama class production “J.B.,” written by Archibald MacLeish, premiering on May 13 at 7:00 p.m. in the auditorium, with a $5 student and $10 adult admission. So who is J.B. you may ask? To put it simply, he is a man of Biblical proportions. The play revolves around a Bible character, Job, played by Michael Yapujian (’12), and his internal struggle regarding his faith. MacLeish reinvents the story of Job by modernizing it; instead of setting it up in the desert lands, he places the setting in a circus tent which helps the audience comprehend the outlandish characters the story introduces. I mean who would be able to relate to J.B., a messiah from God? Instead MacLeish’s play includes more pertinent characters like Zuss (God), Nickles (Satan) and Sarah (Job’s wife), portrayed by seniors Sophia Brady, Ethan Fleitas, and Katy Gneier, respectively. “By having Zuss be a portrayal of God, and having a man be the cause of another man’s misfortunes, it’s easier for audiences to comprehend the storyline,” Brady said. The idea of having higher entities in the play makes it more “impersonal” to audiences since not everyone has the same faith. The audience is going to feel more involved in this play because the seating will be on stage. Yes, that is right, audience
members will be sitting under an actual tent to make the play more realistic and enhance the actor’s performances. As for the actors, they have had no problems working on the production. Since the play is being produced solely by advanced drama students, all of them have had at least three years of acting experience. Yapujian explains that it is easier to “interact and make connections” with his cast since they have all known each other for years. Drama adviser Dave Huber is excited for the premiere of the performance. Since the cast was limited only to those in the advanced class, the roles were “laid out” for him, but the decisions for the lead roles were “much more difficult due to the accumulated talent” in the class. With only a month to put on the production, they have been in rehearsals Monday through Friday going over their scripts and characters. “Memorizing the script is only a fraction of what we have to do to put on the play,” cast member Vicky Jimenez (‘12) said. “We also have to memorize [our] stage directions and the interactions our characters have with each other because it is not spontaneous.” Sirvard Ogtanyan, Yapujian’s mother, is “expecting great performances” from the cast. She has seen many of the cast members act before, and believes that they are going to be as “passionate as they’ve been before.” So even though this J.B may not be reciting “Baby, Baby, Baby, Ohh” the performance is sure to be worthwhile.
No more trials for J.B. May 13, 14, 19, 20, 22 $5 student tickets $10 adult tickets Auditorium 7:00 p.m.
PLAY: Michael Yapujian (’12) and Katy Gneier (’11) rehearse for the spring play, “J.B.” It is an adaptation of the story of Job, premiering on May 13.
ALLEN AU | TORNADO TIMES
April 26, 2011
Viewpoint Film Review “Your Highness” reaches new lows We we we so annoyed DANIEL MASSEY hether you love him or hate him, you’ve definitely seen a lot of him. That charming smile. That genderblurring haircut. That two-toned hoodie you saw and considered buying. Yes, I am of course talking about the cultural phenomenon that is Justin Bieber. Rising from YouTube obscurity to international pop star, Bieber has made millions cry, half out of blinding love and devotion, and the other half out of mourning over our increasingly plastic and generic music industry. The people who market the music of stars like Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga are completely in tune with what the average person wants to hear when they turn on the radio. Simple, but melodic hook-filled pop music. Those who find such music too mainstream usually will listen to less commercialized, “real” music on their iPods (or Zunes if you’re too cool). It’s for this reason that I don’t hate artists like Bieber, because there are many people who do enjoy his music, even if I’m not among them. My hate is entirely reserved for another recent phenomenon. I’m hesitant to name any names, but I’ll provide you with a single hint; her name rhymes with ‘Webecca Wack.’ Yes, I am so very unfortunately referring to the Internet sensation “Friday,” a song that deserves none of its now 90 million views. In case you’ve been hiding under an especially large rock over the past few months, or have been too proud to watch it, “Friday” is without a doubt the worst song ever made. Rebecca Black, only 13 years old, is about as remarkable as a butter knife. The producers used what sounds like the highest intensity auto-tune on the market to transform a 13-year-old girl’s already
Source: Stuber Productions COMEDIC FAILURE: “Your Highness” sinks to new depths of crassness while barely managing to entertain. It premiered on April 8.
he mood has struck, you need a movie; and fast. You’re looking for something classy, artistic, meaningful, and something your whole family can enjoy. I think I’ve just stumbled upon a film that’s the exact opposite of what I just described. I have a lot of mixed feelings about “Your Highness.” A part of me believes I just watched the worst movie of all time, yet another part of me feels like it achieves greatness for that reason. It is apparent, and slightly ironic given its name, that “Your Highness” sinks to the lowest depths of film comedy once you realize most of the jokes revolve around a certain part of the male body, with most of the punchlines sounding like they were written by a few stoned and giggling nerds in junior high. The plot revolves around the lazy and hard-partying Thadeous (Danny Mcbride), who lives in the constant shadow of his much more dashing and heroic older brother, Fabious (James Franco). All is well and merry until Fabious’ beloved fiancee is kidnapped by an evil wizard who intends to steal her virginity when the two moons align in order to summon a dragon or something. Yeah. It makes about as much sense as it sounds, but the plot is just barely tight enough to work. The movie feels more like a fantasy film than a comedy, with its heavy use of special effects. While creative, some scenes are pretty corny and cheap looking, so at times you feel like you’re watching one of those lame made-for-TV movies on the Sci-Fi Network. A part of me feels like this was intentional, but even so, it wouldn’t quite make up for it. Featuring an uncharacteristically big-named cast, the performances in this film can be interpreted rather differently depending upon your perspective. To the more classy, art house-type critic, the actors are merely phoning in their ridiculous lines with their quick paycheck in mind. However, to other, more open-minded, probably more immature audiences, the actors appear to be having a pretty good time up on screen.
Most of the performances are humorously bad, including the always stunning Natalie Portman, whose British accent is equally stunning. She plays the cliché “strong/independent” woman warrior Isabel, whose parents were slaughtered by the same dude who kidnapped Fabious’s fiancée. This essentially makes her a more annoying Batman, which offends me on several levels. I can’t quite tell whether this is a case of a good actress acting badly on purpose, or a good actress just acting badly. I hope Danny McBride, who co-wrote the film, recognizes that he wrote his own character to be pretty unlikable. Most of the lame jokes come from him, and I feel like his performance was the least desirable of the whole cast. His bowl-cutted manservant, Courtney (Rasmus Hardiker), on the other hand, stole many a scene with his charming lack of intelligence and hilarious facial expressions; hopefully, this role nets him more work in the future. The best performance ironically comes from the actor who appears to put in the least amount of effort. James Franco, fresh from his Oscar-nominated performance in “127 hours,” delivers a rather... interesting performance in “Your Highness.” I’m not one to jump to any conclusions, but I’m pretty sure he was high during most of the shooting, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing for viewers. He delivers his lines with all the energy of an average sloth, and the constant threat of breaking into giggles is pretty obvious. Normally, I would describe this as totally unprofessional, but in this case it kind of works. I found his deadpan and apathetic style very entertaining, albeit pretty ridiculous. It took me a while to realize that what makes “Your Highness” awful also makes it somewhat beautiful. It’s a “so bad it’s good” type of film of the highest order, and I would recommend it to any person who is willing to leave his brain at home for a while and share some immature, but satisfying laughs with a friend.
awful voice into an even more awful 13-year-old robot girl’s voice. The melody and background music itself, although heavily annoying, are nothing in comparison to the song’s claim to fame: its aweinspiring lyrics. Rebecca Black can be referred to as a modern day Socrates, as her song features one of the most thought provoking questions of our age. Upon seeing her other annoying friends drive up in a convertible with only one available seat in the back, she utters the incredibly deep, “Which seat can I take?” Besides the atrocious lyrics, some of which I absolutely refuse to mention, the song also features tacky and obvious green screen work, and a terrible and out of place rap verse from the song’s 50-year-old producer, who creepily happens to be going to the same party as Rebecca and her posse. People everywhere are lamenting the decline of the music industry because the Rebecca Blacks of the world are famous. The truth is, this “decline” is entirely our fault, and in our hands to reverse. It’s pretty obvious that the makers of “Friday” crafted the song to be as awful as humanly possible, and thus as popular as possible. They knew what kind of comments it would stir, and we as a music listening public took the bait and blogged, and reblogged, and reblogged until “Friday” became the viral sensation it is today. If we took more time and effort to spread that amazing, but obscure song we just discovered, our news feeds and radio stations would be filled with music made by people with actual musical talent. To those who complain about Rebecca Black and her undeserved fame, stop fueling the fire with your groans and try to spread some real music for a change.
Source: ARK Music Factory
Taking a ghostly adventure EDWARD NADURATA pirits and monsters have enthralled human minds since the dawn of time, stimulating the senses as one sees a shadow, or the fast movement of a silhouette in the corner of the eye. "Ghost Adventures," a Travel Channel show, is available both on DVD and Instant View, and is a good alternative to quirky comedies and typical dramas most of us look for. The show is about three friends who go around the U.S. in search of the scariest places in the country. Now you might think that this is just
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some typical horror show where they try to go to an old abandoned hospital to try and contact the dead…well, that is not all they do. There is a catch; they are locked in the establishment until dawn, and, yes, they experience “trippy” paranormal activities. One of the hosts was so scared, he jumped from the second floor of an abandoned hotel. The show is rather unique in the way that it is just the three of them. One acts as the cameraman, the other as hosts in the abandoned locations. This adds to the au-
thenticity of the show, although subjective. They also use static cameras besides the handheld ones, because it is impossible to record every angle while moving. The group also uses innovative devices that supposedly detect what a spirit wants to tell them, via the likeness of the voice of Stephen Hawking. And believe me it is kind of scary when a device randomly blurts out the word “die.” The belief of the paranormal is still based on our personal discretion, but "Ghost Adventures" will surely give you a hair-raising experience.
10 Tornado Times
April 26, 2011
Sports On Edward’s Defense
You just got served ASHER LANDAU pring: the time of year when school athletics halts to a standstill. With fan favorites such as basketball and football long gone, much of the enthusiasm with sports has retired. Not this year, though. The boys’ varsity tennis team is shaping up to be one of strongest, wellput together teams the school has had all year. The boys’ varsity tennis team has always been highly competitive and was only one game away from making playoffs last year, an honor which goes to the top four teams in league. As far as league games go, the tennis team has one of the best records of any team this year, with 8 wins and 6 losses. Coach Julie Hoppe and her team have confidence that their losses will not increase. The first game of the season against Burbank was the first serious match of the year that any member had competed in and, as Hoppe put it, the team “went in blind.” Hoppe was unsure of whom to pair in the doubles teams, resulting in a loss, but only by a small margin, with a score of 83-82. After a few matches, the team realized who worked well together and it felt assured that its current doubles teams were “solid”; the rematch against Burbank turned out much differently with a win of 108. The next matches against Crescenta Valley and Pasadena tallied easy victories, scoring 11-7 and 18-0, respectively. Hoppe did not consider CV and Pasadena as threats in the preliminary playoffs
S Drinking our games away EDWARD NADURATA
ith a few weeks left until the end of the spring sports season, most teams are preparing to compete against their rival schools, anxiously waiting for that decisive moment that will make their season memorable. Not unless your school cancels the rest of your season. Last week, the Burroughs High School baseball team, which was third in the California Interscholastic Federation Pacific League, was disbanded and its season canceled by its principal due to underage drinking. On a trip to Arizona two weeks ago, one of the coaches served beer to 11 players, which resulted in their firings. What coach would ever serve minors liquor? There are laws and rules set in place and this is clearly a misdemeanor. Many kids in our school, whether we admit it or not, see drinking as a leisurely illegal activity. The decision of ending the season with only two weeks left seems unfair to many, and I agree, but it is far more important that we follow the rules imposed by the law. When questioning the decision of Burroughs’ administrators, remember that a crime is a crime. The team members are at fault to succumbing to underage drinking and must accept the repurcussions of their mistakes.
and in their rematches, the boys’ varsity tennis won with scores of 13-5 and 17-1. Its most challenging matches were against Arcadia and Burroughs, in which there was a substantial loss with scores 15-3 and 11-5, respectively. Hoppe was not vexed by this loss because each year, Arcadia and Burroughs are almost guaranteed a spot in playoffs. The BGD home match was not so easy either and Hoppe asserts that the team’s strength is on singles, while Glendale holds a myriad of skillful doubles teams. Although the team lost 12-6, she hopes to come back in the next game with a strategy called “stacking the doubles” in which stronger singles players are placed in a doubles team. The rematch will take place at home on Thursday so Hoppe predicts that “our boys will have home court advantage and feel more pumped up and ready to succeed.” The success of the team has been attributed to the chemistry between players. “We are like a family and I consider my teammates like brothers,” Sage Berry (’11) said. Hoppe’s coaching has also been a significant factor in preparing the players for sets. “Coach Hoppe has trained us mentally and physically to perform at our best in league,” said freshman Oleg Simonyan. “She turns underdogs into champions.” With its victories against Burbank and CV, the tennis team has almost gained its position in this year’s playoffs.
CAIN BUCKLER | TORNADO TIMES OVERHAND: Singles player Oleg Simonyan (top) and doubles player Vardan Adzhinyan (bottom) hit the ball during the March 17 match at Glendale High School. With 8 wins and 6 losses, the team has a promising spot to finish at the top of the league.
April 26, 2011
11 Tornado Times
FLAGS PLACES AT NATIONALS ALEX MIKHAILPOOR s emotions ran high, flags flew strong as the school’s pep flags made a final and lasting impression at Nationals late March in Anaheim. Tears were flowing when the team finished and was rewarded with its trophies. The team earned second place for one flag routine, third place for two flag routine, and the overall sportsmanship award. “Placing at finals was my goal the entire year,” captain Aneeka Atwal (’11) said. “However, winning the sportsmanship award meant the most to me as people not only observed our skills as a team, but also our personalities.”
The team accredited the strong family bond and the goal of placing as the main reason for being successful this year. The team practiced “anywhere and anytime [it] could find a place with an outlet for [its] boom box,” Atwal said. Atwal believes the team will be even better next year and has high hopes that “the team can be National Champions.” The team still has its biggest show remaining, the Pep show occurring May 27 in the auditorium, where the seniors will perform for the last time. “We’ve been training day in and day out all our high school lives for this,” member Stella Yi (’11) said.
Pep flag tryouts in small gym
April 28, 29 5:15-7:30
April 30 9:00-3:00
ATHLETE OF THE MONTH
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FLAGS: (clockwise from topright) Captain Aneeka Atwal displays her enthusiasm toward the crowd. The team keeps its poise during its one flag routine last month where it placed second. Soo Lee catches a flag during the two flag routine in which they won third place.
ALLEN AU | TORNADO TIMES DAPHNE ONG omplete bliss struck Cameron Doran (’11) after the April 15 away game against Glendale. Striking out 11 batters and only allowing three hits, Doran led the varsity baseball team to a 5-3 league win. Doran joined the team his freshman year and was placed on the JV team. The next year, he was promoted to varsity, and eventually became a captain. “Cameron is someone I can always depend on for any situation,” teammate Thomas Alchermes (’12) said. “He doesn’t back down.” His baseball career started at the age of 4 when his parents enrolled him in the Jewel City Little League. He also played on travel ball, an elite youth baseball team, for five years. His highlight was when he was
chosen to play in a tournament in 2006 in Copperstone, N.Y. where he was able to experience the life of a professional baseball player by playing two daily games for two weeks against 89 nationwide teams. “My favorite thing about baseball is being able to just be between the lines,” Doran said. “When you are on the field, nothing else matters.” The biggest motivation to keep playing on the team is looking forward to playing baseball after high school. Seeing many of his friends play college ball and being able to see them “eat, sleep, and breathe baseball” has always been his dream. He plans on continuing baseball at a junior college. From there, he hopes to transfer to a four-year college and play there.
12 Tornado Times
April 26, 2011
The 2011 April issue of The Tornado Times. Distributed on April 25, 2011