1. NEWS AND FEATURES
3. FALL SEASON
2. BRAVO NEWS
BRAVO MEDICAL MAGNET HIGH SCHOOL | LOS ANGELES, CA | VOL. XV, ISSUE iii | WWW.BRAVOWEB.LAUSD.K12.CA.US | NOVEMBER 9. 2011
Seniors Put ‘POW’ in Powder Puff By ALBERT PETROSYAN
Bravo High School doesn’t have a football team; that is a wellknown fact. However, once a year, Bravo is able to create a high school football atmosphere in the annual Powder Puff game. The Seniors (2012) and Juniors (2013) clashed on Thursday, October 27 on the hardwood of Bravo’s gymnasium. Even before the game, the two sides began a shouting and taunting match across the gym floor as cheerleaders from both sides urged their fans to cheer harder. Cheer they did as the Powder Puff girls from both teams broke through their respective banners and made their way onto the battleground. The Senior coaching staff was headed by Mr. Brandon Nakama along with Erick Mendez, James Pallo, and Christopher Hernandez. Ms. Judy Mendoza, Angel Arredondo, Irving Gomez, and Hanniel Catalan led the Juniors into this one. With the opening ceremonies out of the way, the battle was ready to begin. The game started off with a bang, much to the delight of the Junior crowd. The Juniors worked easily down the field and scored a touchdown on their first drive. Their defense was strong as well, forcing the Seniors to fumble the ball in their own end zone, resulting in a safety and two points for the Juniors. With the score 8-0 barely 4 minutes into the game, the Seniors knew that they needed to turn up their intensity or lose to the Juniors for the first time ever. And turn it up they did. Defensive back Vanessa Hernandez (’12) intercepted a pass from Junior quarterback Jasmine Alfaro (’13) and returned it for the first Senior touchdown. Right on cue, the Senior defense came up with a huge sack in the Juniors’ end zone for a safety to tie the score at eight. It was a whole new ballgame. Both offenses faltered a bit towards the end of the first half as both defenses took over. Senior safety Zuleyma Parra (’12) and her counterpart Megan Culp (’13) were everywhere – tipping passes and intercepting balls to kill drive. Culp (’13) had an incredibly athletic interception early in the second quarter a high-powered and fast paced passing attack which didn’t prove to be any more successful than the slower offense of the Seniors. The Juniors would end up giving up another safety to the Seniors to give the Class of 2012 a 10-8 lead. Senior quarterback Guadalupe Canales (’12)
Keep the Cafeteria“Cleen” The intentional misspelling of “Cleen” on the title of the campaign is a way to grasp the attention of students. By FRANCISCO PEREZ ARAUJO The dean, Mr. Hua, two Leadership representatives, an Anti-Defamation League representative, and a Vital Signs representative have initiated a campaign to reduce the amount of trash that is left across the school during nutrition and lunch. Extensive meetings took place throughout the month of September among the team discussing how to present the ideas to the student body. The
• Both the junior and senior male cheerleaders dance, but mostly wiggle, during the Powder Puff halftime show.
seemingly had a touchdown to end the first half as she ran the near full length of the court. However, referees Mr. Jimenez and Mr. D. Rodriguez rescinded the touchdown because Canales (’12) had allegedly tied her flag to prevent it from being pulled off. However, Parra (’12) ended the first half by intercepting a pass thrown by Alfaro (’13). The score was 10-8 with 2012 up. The halftime ceremony was entertaining to say the least as cheerleaders from both sides combined to perform their offbeat dance moves to various songs. Senior cheerleader Jesus Gomez (’12) dazzled the crowd with his sensational dance steps and sequences. The second half started off with a blur. Immediately, Canales (’12) faked a run play then threw to a wide open Abigail Alvarez in the end zone for a touchdown and for a 16-8 lead. That lead would shrink on the next play, as Alfaro (’13) ran a similar play and threw a touchdown of her own. However, 14 points were all that the Juniors would get. The Seniors played airtight defense the rest of the way with Parra (’12) coming up with her second interception. They ran the ball the rest of the way and got rushing touchdowns from both Canales (’12) and Senior running back Jazmine Cruz (’12), who got a “shorty!” chant after she scored, a playful slight from the crowd regarding her height. The Juniors never truly threatened after that as the Seniors took a 28-14 victory, continuing the Senior tradition. (Continued on page 2)
campaign is designed to exercise student responsibility and award the students properly. The cafeteria is divided into five areas: the inside cafeteria, two
Cartoon courtesy of Omar Gomez
halves of the outside cafeteria, the basketball courts, and the senior patio. The students themselves judge whether or not the area is clear based on the following set of criteria: No more than five large pieces of trash or food (trays, milk cartons, etc.) and no more than ten small pieces of trash or food (forks, grapes, etc.) per area; if four of five areas are clear, then the day is a pass, and if 80 percent of the month remains clean, then students are awarded with an extended lunch along with other student accommodations. However, there was no progress in the month of October. Students have not fully understood their role within this school and have neglected the need to step up and help out with the urgency. On the other hand, students have also been uninformed about both the staff that have left (Continued on page 4)
VOL. XV, ISSUE iii
NOVEMBER 9, 2011
BRAVO NEWS (Continued from “Seniors Put ‘Pow’ in Powder Puff,” page 1) The game was ugly. Numerous fights broke out during the course of the game as tenacious girls clawed, pushed, punched, and taunted each other. Senior linebacker Marta Miguel (’12) suffered a nose injury in the second half after playing a very strong game. With her nose bleeding, Marta left the gymnasium to a standing ovation from the Seniors. Allegations of flag-tying and other forms of cheating were thrown across the court, as both referees were cursed and screamed at for not giving a call that pleased a certain side. Matters got so out of hand that the referees were forced to give both sides a fair warning on cheating. However, line judge Carlos Jimenez was heard saying that he didn’t hear any complaints after the game, and he felt the game was called as fair as possible. The win, as ugly as it was, went to the Seniors. The Seniors showed extreme discipline and patience, and did not panic when facing an early deficit. James Pallo (’12), one of the Senior coaches, said, “I was scared at first when they gave up those quick points. But they pulled through, got angry, and motivated themselves. So I was pleased.” When asked what had ultimately won the game for the Seniors, Pallo said, “The 100 percent commitment from the girls and the play-calling from the coaches.” The Juniors are not discouraged by any means; in fact, they are motivated. “I personally think we did well. We tried hard and practiced hard. Some of us made sacrifices to play. We were all united and were determined to win but sadly didn’t. But we still have next year! Go Class of 2013!” said Junior linebacker Monica Hernandez. The Seniors of this year got killed in last year’s game, and that motivated them to win this year.
Bravo Health Fair Still Good Despite Cuts By KHTIJA KHAIR
Bravo held its annual Health Fair in the library for three consecutive days – October 17 to 19 – with a mere 10 representatives. The Health Fair normally took place in the gym and would be packed with at least 30 tables. This year, due to the few numbers of participants, it had to be moved to a much smaller location – the library (and a segment of the Lecture Hall).
the presenters, and showing them around the school. People who attended enjoyed themselves as well. Juan Llamas (’12) said, “Although there were less reps, the quality of the information was still good. I managed to learn more than I expected.” Despite the number of representatives, Bravo’s annual Health Fair was a success. Like many other programs, the Health Fair provides for a positive and enlightening environment here, at Bravo Medical Magnet High School.
Bravo Debate at USC By WILLIAM NUBLA
The purpose of the Health Fair is to correspond to the “Medical Magnet” sector of the school. Presenters (who are experts in the medical field) were asked to attend for Bravo students in order for interested students to be exposed to the various professions in this career. Since there are a wide variety of options to pursue in the medical field, the Health Fair presented, and students explored, a more in-depth analysis of the medical aspect of science. Even though it is a wonderful opportunity, Bravo students had found this event curtailed this year (compared to the Health Fairs in previous years). The central reason for fewer presenters this year is due to the budget cuts. Nonetheless, there were still enough crowds to fill up the library and Lecture Hall. Bravo’s MD club members worked hard to make sure students interested in the medical field got the most of what was available. Club MD members facilitated the event by setting up booths and tables, talking with presenters, escorting
Several schools, including Bravo, are part of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League. They met up for their first debate tournament on October 7 and October 8 at the University of Southern California. Students in their respective debate team usually have partners to debate with. These students then debate against students from other schools. Some schools may offer debate as a class, whereas other schools offer debate as a club, which is the case for Bravo High School for the 2011-2012 school year. Despite this disadvantage, the Bravo debaters did well. Stephanie Situ (’13) was granted a third place trophy as best speaker of the Novice division; and both Stephanie Situ and William Nubla (’12) received the Quarter-Finalist award for the Novice division as partners. Also in the Novice division, Mizael Reyes (’12) and Fred Herrarte (’12), as a team, received the Quarter-Finalist award. For Bravo’s Junior Varsity debaters, Hugo Alvarez (’12) and Vito Perez (’13) took second place in the entire tournament for JV, losing the final round to Downtown Magnet High School. On a lighter note, Perez received a first place trophy for best speaker, and Alvarez received third. Finally, for Bravo’s Open debaters, Yinh Li (’13) received a first place trophy for best speaker, and her partner, Elvia Ahmed (’13), received a third place trophy for best speaker. With a lack of funding, Bravo Debate still thrives due to its loyal, but few, members. The club currently has about 19 members; some do not even attend meetings. Despite the encouragement from Mr. Foster – the new debate supervisor – and coaches, Max Burgov (’09) and Martha Ayon (’10), Bravo Debate struggles to upkeep its peak from previous years. Despite these grim depictions, one thing is for sure, Bravo’s few but loyal members are so determined that they still make an outstanding team.
Showstopping Costumes of 2011 By AJ SANIANO
Halloween Spirit • A Halloween Spirit • Angel
Martinez (’13) sported a Beetlejuice costume complete with his iconic striped suit and pants. His costume won first place!
Rite Aid representative, Tamara Hossain (’13), visited Bravo to cure fear with laughter instead. Her dashing attire won her second place!
• We were visited by nuns Poghos Harutyunyan (’13) and Aram Terteryan (’13) to spread love and peace among Bravo students. Their busty uniforms won them third place!
Bravo’s First Dance Cancelled By WILLIAM NUBLA Bravo’s first dance — the Dance of the Living Dead — was supposed to be hosted on October 21 but was cancelled. The cancellation was announced on Wednesday, October 19. The students who had already bought the tickets were told over the PA system that refunds were available at the Student Store. Here are some aspects of the dance that students are going to miss out on: It is the only dance whereby costumes are recommended. It also would have been hosted in the outside cafeteria. Representative from the Leadership class, Karl Pascasio (’13), said that there were just not enough ticket sales when they (Leadership) started selling them at the student store. They needed at least 125 ticket sales, but they did not reach the amount of sales they expected by Tuesday. With Bravo’s first dance gone, the next on the list is Bravo’s Winter Formal, where formal attire is required.
NOVEMBER 9, 2011
VOL. XV, ISSUE iii
Thanksgiving Dinner across Three Cultures An Armenian Kef
A Filipino Handaan
By HELEN BEZIKYAN
By MONICA ROQUE
The food is set on the table and everyone is seated and ready to enjoy an amazing Thanksgiving dinner. The question is, what do we eat? Many traditional Armenian families serve traditional Armenian barbeque. On the other hand, Americanized Armenian families might prepare the traditional American Thanksgiving dinner incorporated with some Armenian dishes. An Armenian-Greek dish that is served on Thanksgiving is dolmades cooked vegetarian style, which is a grape leaf wrap stuffed with rice and greens in a light tomato sauce. Another dish is somewhat like an appetizer called buorek, which is a golden brown puff pastry folded with Armenian cheese and cream cheese inside. No matter what culture we come from and how we celebrate this holiday, in the end we live in America, and we celebrate Thanksgiving. This holiday is a great way to spend time together with family and just give thanks. Whether it’s giving thanks to our friends or family, the point of this holiday is to appreciate what you have. Enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner, and don’t forget to acknowledge the special people in your life.
A Mexican Fiesta By AMY GUERRA Although turkey and stuffing is a ‘musthave’ for Thanksgiving, so is abuelita’s famous garden salad. To add more flavor to the turkey, several small bowls of salsa grouped by level of
spiciness are laid out across the abundant dinner table. Nothing compares to tasty traditional desserts such as flan and champurrado eaten after the main courses. The sweetness of these desserts balances out the hot and spicy salsas. We must not forget about the homemade aguas frescas: Horchata, Tamarindo and Jamaica. These sweet refreshments always leave people wanting more.
Cartoon courtesy of Omar Gomez
It may not be the exact American way of dining on this particularly festive night, but it is perfectly acceptable intertwining both (Mexican and American) cultures to form a different yet unique celebration. The most important thing is that family and friends are gathered to celebrate for the same purpose. We, as a family, are joined to give special thanks for the multiple blessings in our lives. So whether it be a Mexican fiesta or an all-American outing, enjoy and eat like there is no tomorrow.
Regardless of the holiday, most Filipinos are eager to come together and celebrate—and Thanksgiving Day is no exception. To many, the meals served at a get-together greatly contribute to liveliness of a celebration. For that reason, Filipinos prefer not to skimp on the abundance of their menu for a festivity as special as Thanksgiving Day. Some Filipino families who have emigrated from the Philippines to the United States have warmly adopted the customary Thanksgiving feast, but have chosen to add an original twist. The Filipino counterpart of the Thanksgiving turkey is the lechon, a succulent whole-roasted pig large enough to satisfy a houseful of hungry family and friends. A popular noodle dish called pancit, comprised of rice noodles, wheat noodles, various sliced meats, and a variety of vegetables such as cabbage and carrots, is another traditional food served on special occasions. An authentically Filipino Thanksgiving is never truly achieved without the ever-present pot of steamed white rice. As with any party, a delicious dinner is incomplete without dessert. In the case of a Filipino festivity, the sweet delight that is the creamy leche flan pleasantly brings this feast to a close. Although a meal is what traditionally brings a family together, the admirable aspect of Thanksgiving Day in any culture is the notion of connecting individuals of every personality, gender, age, and background to offer thanks for the plentiful blessings enjoyed daily. Those who condemn this holiday for being solely dedicated to gluttony should instead appreciate this universal celebration of thanks and respectfully rejoice in the bounty of life.
Vegan Pumpkin Pie Brownie Cupcakes By CRYSTAL RIVAS Ingredients: Pumpkin Brownie Pumpkin Pie Layer: • 1 cup canned pumpkin Layer: • 1 cup canned pumpkin • 2 tbsp cornstarch (or • 1/2 cup + 3 tbsp sugar arrowroot/tapioca) • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract • 1/4 cup coconut oil, softened • 1/3 cup of sugar • 3/4 cup white flour • 3 tbsp almond milk • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice • 1½ tsp pure vanilla • Shaved chocolate, for extract • 1 tbsp cornstarch (or garnish (optional) arrowroot/tapioca) • 1/4 cup of cocoa powder Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a muffin tin. 2. For brownie layer: In a stand mixer or by hand, mix together the coconut oil, pumpkin, vanilla, and sugar until blended well. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking, soda, sea salt and mix until incorporated. Take about 2 tbsp of the mixture and place in muffin tin. Wet fingers and spread around evenly so it becomes smooth. 3. For pumpkin layer: In a large bowl mix together the pumpkin, vanilla, and milk. In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well until all clumps are gone. Now add approx 1½ to 2 tbsp of the pumpkin pie mixture on top of each brownie in the pan. Garnish with grated chocolate (optional). 4. Bake for 30 minutes at 350°F. Remove from oven and cool for 20 to 30 minutes, and then move to the fridge to chill for 1½ hours.
Black Friday By VALERIE CONDE
It is Thanksgiving night, 11 p.m.; pack up your tents, lawn chairs, and blankets – it’s going to be a cold and stressful night because you are going to be camping out. Black Friday usually kicks off the Christmas shopping season; retailers open their stores as early 3 a.m. or even earlier. Stores advertise the greatest deals on the most difficult day to shop in America. It is the busiest day to shop, but it is all worth it. You’re waiting for countless hours until the store opens. Once inside the store, costumers are exposed to wonderful deals on items they have been waiting to buy. Stores lower prices on popular items to attract shoppers for this specific Friday. Although the economy has not been the most productive, people are still eager to spend money on Christmas gifts. They simply live up to the motto, “shop ‘til you drop,” which encourages them to buy as much as they desire. People spend hundreds to thousands of dollars searching for the perfect gifts for the holiday season. Running out of money is not an option – people simply whip out their credit cards. Black Friday can turn hectic – people shoving one another for that last item on the shelf. They may be accusing one another of cutting in line, and there might be a stampede of people running through the stores. Beware and look out, there will be plenty of crazy sights shopping on Black Friday.
VOL. XV, ISSUE iii
NOVEMBER 9, 2011
(Continued from “Keep the Cafeteria ‘Cleen,’” page 1) our school and have misinterpreted the intent of the Keep the Cafeteria “Cleen” campaign. Further meetings have taken place among the student representatives, the dean, and other staff that want to take part in expanding the campaign. The first move was having Bravo High School host an E-Waste fundraiser in which electronics were recycled properly on Saturday, October 29. The plan is to use funds to support a schoolwide positive behavior plan, and use the funds to motivate students to improve their behavior by means of incentives. The last thing needed to accomplish these goals is for students to begin taking responsibility and getting involved in school issues. The staff and current student representatives have worked hard to allow this opportunity to take place within the school. Step it up Bravo Knights!
College Corner Mount St. Mary’s College By MONICA ROQUE Be empowered to find your individual strengths at Mount St. Mary’s College, a prominent liberal arts college in Los Angeles, California. In addition to its Bachelor of Arts majors such as American Studies, English, Psychology, Political Science, and Religious Studies, Mount St. Mary’s also offers undergraduate majors in Biological Sciences, Biochemistry, Social Work, and Nursing.
“Although Mount St. Mary’s College is largely a liberal arts college, we offer an outstanding four-year Nursing program. With the science and medicine-oriented classes available at Bravo Medical Magnet, many Bravo students are well-qualified applicants for Mount St. Mary’s.” ...
Carla Nunez Admission Counselor While 95 percent of first-year undergraduate students consist of women, the prestigious college still admits men into its Music and Nursing departments. According to the 2007 U.S. News & World Report’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges,” Mount St. Mary’s College is one of the highest ranked master’s-granting universities in the West Coast.
Claudia Gonzalez Director Admissions, West Region Syracuse University’s outstanding Bachelor of Architecture program ranks a stellar #2 in the country according to “America’s Best Architecture and Design Schools” 2010 published by DesignIntelligence. Through a Study Abroad program, internships, community service, and undergraduate research opportunities, Syracuse thoroughly prepares students for challenges in the real world.
Katherin Javalera Managing Editor
“Syracuse University appeals to students throughout the world because of its abundant school programs, diverse student population, and readily available mentoring support. Syracuse is for the student who wants to take part in an enriching experience and feel the ‘orange love’ of Syracuse’s warm and enthusiastic school spirit.” ...
By MONICA ROQUE Syracuse University, located in central New York, boasts nine meritorious undergraduate colleges offering liberal arts and professional studies. With over 200 majors, including Biochemistry, Political Science, Pre-medicine, Aerospace Engineering, Public Relations, and Fashion Design, this exceptional university allows its students the flexibility to explore a multitude of interests.
Albert Petrosyan Editor
Jacqueline Romero Editor
Monica Roque Editor
Editorial Matter Opinions expressed in Vital Signs belong to the writer. They do not reflect the opinions of the journalism staff or those of Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School.
Caffeine: America’s Legal Drug By MARIA-FERNANDO GUILLEN As more and more caffeinated drinks are introduced into the market, the horrifying percentage of caffeine addiction among young adults rises at an alarming rate. Excessive caffeine consumption among young adults is comprehensible. Teens often have to manage school, sports, and a strenuous job, and end the day exhausted and seeking energy. Caffeine may seem like the best option to keep up with a hectic lifestyle, but there are other healthier solutions for lassitude. Exercise, a healthy diet, and sleep are ideas worth bearing in mind. The satisfaction and energy achieved from this healthier way of living are much more effective than the momentary jitters and horrible crashes resulting from caffeine consumption. Despite the various alternatives for vigor, the consumption of caffeine is still appreciated much more than a change in lifestyle because of its immediate somatic effects. The harmful effects that caffeine can produce on the human body are more immediate, but not pleasant. Even the pleasant side effects attained from caffeine have a not so ratified cause. Some studies have shown that when caffeine is consumed on a daily basis, the human body grows dependent on it. In addition to this research, according to an FDA study conducted at the government health offices, the addiction process of caffeine is similar to that of cocaine and heroin. Furthermore, because of the strong addiction it produces, drastic caffeine withdrawal can lead to depression, headaches, and the frantic urge for replenishment. What few people realize is that energy drinks are advertised despite the health risks. Energy drinks are sponsored everywhere: at sports arenas, on television commercials and on billboards across the nation. These energy drinks are wrongly credited for inconsequential health effects, but acknowledged for “0 carbs and 0 sugar for hours of energy with no crash!” These types of drinks promise multiple benefits, but the damaging truth about them remains unstated. For example, one Monster energy drink contains an excessive 160mg of caffeine; while two pain-killing, Excedrin Extra Strength pills contain 130 mg. Diet Coke (12 oz) contains 45 mg of caffeine — if only one is consumed — while brewed coffee has 115 mg. The question still remains: How much caffeine is harmful? Physicians and nutritionists agree that awareness of the amount of caffeine consumed is the key. Alison Evert, a nutritionist from the University of Washington says that “…It is okay to have one or two cups of coffee, tea, or cola a week, but try to give them up completely if you can.” Any more than 100 mg of caffeine a day may lead to a serious health issue — caffeine addiction. Excessive consumption of caffeinated beverages may result in insomnia, dehydration (due to the fact that caffeine is a diuretic), loss of calcium, unwanted weight gain, seizures, respiratory problems, and osteoporosis (fragility of bones). A crazy caffeine rush can also lead to an unwanted visit to the Emergency Room. The overconsumption of caffeine is unhealthy, but that only depends on the frequency and amount of consumption. Caffeine can be safe, but only when consumed with moderation and common sense. It is fine to have coffee once in a while, as well as an occasional energy drink, as long as it is kept in mind that a person’s health may depend on whether that second cup of “morning Joe” is ingested.
Letters to the Editors Letters to the editors concerning any topic relevant to Vital Signs are welcomed. Please refrain from using vulgar or disrespectful language. Letters should be brief and should be edited to maximize space use and heighten clarity. Letters may be anonymous or signed by the author. Please send letters to: email@example.com or Drop them off in Mr. R. Rodriguez’s mailbox or in Room 312