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Bravo High School Anticipates 2011-2012 API Score by Monica Roque

Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School eagerly awaits the official release of its API (Academic Performance Index) score from the 2011-2012 standardized testing results. Students and staff hope to break last year’s record score of 831 and rise to even greater academic heights. The API score is an annual measurement of a school’s performance in the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) and the STAR (Standardized Testing and Reporting) program, which includes the CST (California Standards Tests). Calculated on a scale of 200 to 1000, the cumulative score generally reflects the school’s level of success in educating its students in the subjects of English, mathematics, science, and history. According to the Los Angeles Unified School District website, Bravo scored an outstanding 95% on the top nine list of district-wide



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Does another milestone lie in Bravo’s near future? schools with the highest CAHSEE pass rates for 10th graders, a terrific third place title. Despite the severe effects of California budget cuts on the LAUSD, Superintendent John Deasy is “proud of what’s been accomplished” in “[achieving] a record-setting pace


this year for 10th-grade students.” With our school’s determined students and exceptional staff working to ensure the high quality of their pupils’ education, Bravo’s “API 800+ Honor School” banner on the second floor lobby is sure to stay.

Early to School, Early to Break by Jeremy Villarreal

When it was revealed that the students of LAUSD would be going to school early, it was no secret that there would be much hardship. What is surprising is the fact that the weeks have gotten so short. Unassigned days and professional development days are far more common this year. An unassigned day kicks off the Labor Day weekend, leading to two back-to-back shortened weeks. By advancing the start of the school year, administrators hoped to give students a jump on course work, specifically AP students. The problem with the theory is that there is a fixed number of hours that students must be in school. To

for students to get into a ‘rhythm.’ Students will be deprived of quality classroom time with the teacher, making new skills harder to acquire and old skills more difficult to reinforce. A new emphasis might have to be placed on homework and self-reliance to get the same amount of learning done. The fact of the matter is the sheer volume of vacation days will affect students drastically, and it is unclear of whether or not hit that mark, all manner of shortened that will be for better or for worse. and unassigned days had to be shoehorned in to the usual schedule. These unassigned days will make it hard



Latest Additions to the Bravo Castle by Elizabeth Jektyan

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Bravo’s 2012-2013 school year is full of new faces. In the Social Studies Department, we welcome Ms. Ruedas, Mr. Smith, and Ms. Diaz, as well as our new art teacher, Ms. Sebanz and Mr. Nava. With Bravo’s

new staff members, a new type of energy will be sprinkled throughout the school. Ms. Diaz came very well prepared on her first day. Most of her students admire her organization in the classroom. Student Eduardo Mendoza (’13) comments, “Ms. Diaz is a really good Economics teacher. Her strategies are really good, and she explains very well.” Most of the students, who have one of the newest Bravo teachers, give positive feedback and are very accepting of them. The teachers are also happy to be

part of the Bravo Medical Magnet High School staff. They feel pleased that they are so welcomed by the staff, administration, and students. As Ms. Diaz says, “It is great to be given an opportunity to work at the school I graduated from. The staff at Bravo has been very welcoming and helpful, and the students have been great to work with. I look forward to the years to come.” Ms. Diaz, Ms. Ruedas, Mr. Smith, Ms. Sebanz, and Mr. Nava, welcome to the Castle!

Check out past Vital Signs issues online!







Adopt-a-Freshman Day 2012 by Carmina Paz

Photo Credit / Karl Kevin Pascasio

from left to right: Amy Morales (’13), Suhani Bhakta (’13), and Shana Pili (’13) cheerfully adopt Joann “Baby Zayn” Diaz (’16).

Photo Credit / Elihu Rodriguez

Jennifer Moreno (’16) and James Gallegos (’13) pose for their first photo as Senior parent and Freshman child.

Senior Year News by Karl Kevin Pascasio

To start the 2012-2013 school year off, Bravo Leadership hosted Adopt-aFreshman Day, the first senior year event on August 27, 2012 during lunch outside in the basketball courts. Numerous seniors lined up with their shy freshman to receive their certificates of adoption: a name tag of confirmation. Some seniors stood in the middle of the swarm trying to spot a freshman to adopt; apparently, few seniors were not prepared and waited until the last minute to find one. Many of the freshmen were confused as to what was going on. What is the reason for this event? It is so that seniors can act as mentors to freshmen and guide them through high school. This will be the Class of 2013’s fourth and final year and it is important to let freshmen know what will be ahead for them in their upcoming four years at Bravo. Recommendations for AP classes, sports, extra curricular activities, and teachers would be beneficial for them. Seniors should encourage their adoptees to try their best this year. Many freshmen may think that their first year in high school does not really apply to their GPA. However, some seniors can easily prove them wrong. Remember freshmen, if a class is not passed with at least a “C,” retaking it in sophomore, junior, or senior year can cause a major drawback. It is better to start off strong and end strong than to start off sluggish and struggle throughout.

Photo Credit / Elihu Rodriguez

“We wanted to adopt the best. Fortunately, the best came in a pair,” say Elihu Rodriguez (’13) and Dorga Kim (’13) about twins Alejandro Vega (’16) and Miguel Vega (’16).

Photo Credit / Elihu Rodriguez

Kevin Martinez (’13) and Giselle Salinas (’13) take Christofer Guerra (’16) under their wing.

Bring Your Appetite to the DOTW Fundraiser at Shakey’s by Ani Amirkhanyan

Senior Portrait Make-Up Day Tuesday, September 11 (at the Lecture Hall) • For those who are retaking photos, please note that there will be a charge of $20.00. •Proofs are SAMPLE photos only. They are not the actual photograph you are buying.

Dances of the World is proud to announce the second annual family fun night fundraiser at Shakey’s on Cesar Chavez. It will take place on September 25, 2012 from 2:30 - 6:00 p.m. Feel free to bring friends and family; the more people, the better. Last year was a complete

Senior Class Meeting Thursday, September 13 (during lunch at the Lecture Hall) • The meeting will discuss senior class events, senior class sweater designs, dues, and other important information that needs to be addressed.

A Shakespearean Night at Griffith Park

Senior Class Sweater Sales Tuesday, September 18 – 28 (during nutrition & lunch at the student store) • Sweater design and pricing is to be announced at the senior class meeting.

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success in breaking Bravo’s record in fundraising; it brought great expectations to the DOTW team. “We were blown away, from how crowded Shakey’s was last year and how much support we received from everyone. We are expecting another successful fundraiser, but this year we are going to break

the record once again. Bravo Knights stick together,” says DOTW instructor Ana Cobian. Come join us!

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by Katherine Navarro

Bravo Knights met up at Griffith Park in the Old L.A. Zoo area on August 30, 2012 for the Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival. The Jumbo Shrimp Circus and the Independent Shakespeare Company put on a great performance. Before the play, The Jumbo Shrimp Circus entertained the audience with a series of acts, some of which involved the group. An older man brought the crowd to laughs with his invisible ball and paper bag act, followed by an excellent performance by two juggling men and three young girls from the public. The participants

had to stand completely still while the two men juggled “flaming blades of death” (juggling clubs) in front of and behind them. After the Circus’ finale, the audience was ready for a presentation of Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors. As the sun set and the lights brightened, the spectators settled down around the small stage. Two young women sang the intro for the play and soon the stage was transformed into a meeting

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place for Dromio of Syracuse, Antipholus of Syracuse, and First Merchant. Then Dromio of Ephesus andAntipholus of Ephesus soon met. The two pairs of men happened to be related. They were twin brothers; sons of Egeon and Emilia. Adriana had her husband (Antipholus of Ephesus) mistaken for the other and sometimes the situation got quite confusing. But in the end, it was all a great laugh. The performers bowed and thanked the crowd. The evening was spent well with friends and family. The vibe at the end of the night was relaxed and filled with happiness due to the wonderful performances.






iHeartRadio Music Festival 2012 Keeps on Beating by Anee Davtyan The iHeartRadio Music Festival is known across the nation as “the biggest live music event in radio history” with a “coming together of artists.” This year, the two-day music extravaganza is held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on September 21 and 22. Some of the Top 40 artists include David Guetta, Lady Gaga, Coldplay, Alicia Keyes, Nicki Minaj, Bruno Mars, John Mayer, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, The Black Eyed Peas, Jennifer

Lopez, Jane’s Addiction, Rascal Flatts, Usher, Aerosmith, Kenny Chesney, and more expected to be added onto the bill. This massive event has quickly sold out: over 25,000 seats in ten minutes! It will be hosted by the creator of iHeartRadio,

of 102.7 KIISFM, and host of American Idol, Ryan Seacrest. T h e iHeartRadio Music Festival is to promote the iHeartRadio smart phone application, which enables “app” owners to access their preferred radio stations while on the go—just

For more information on sweepstakes, visit www.festival.

Upcoming September Concerts

Walking Paradox by Vito Perez

compiled by Mary Boyadzhyan & Elihu Rodriguez

When people are around me, I wish to be alone. Yet when I am in solitude, I wish I had company. Life becomes a monotonous routine and, I, a mindless drone. On the inside is turmoil; on the outside, harmony. A living paradox, an unsatisfied memory. Scouring the earth for the missing piece. Devouring my insides, meditating for peace. Speaking out as much as I please Against oppressive, invisible entities. A just cause with countless misdeeds Sowing fertile ground with dead seeds Never ends with success—as with unuttered creeds. I don’t know who, how, or why I am, What to do nor what to think. Flowing not with the breeze, but thrown along with the gust. But since I am, Then perhaps I must.





Linkin Park and Incubus


My Morning Jacket

The Wiltern Theater, Los Angeles


The Vaccines

The Troubadour, West Hollywood


Dethklok and Lamb of God

The Gibson Ampitheatre, Universal City


The Airborne Toxic Event

The Troubadour, West Hollywood


Sean Paul

The House of Blues, West Hollywood


Owl City

The Fonda Theater, Hollywood


Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes

Royce Hall, UCLA, Los Angeles


Rise Against

Honda Center, Anaheim


Earth, Wind and Fire

Fairplex, Pomona

From Iconic Cancer Survivor to Debased Has-Been

Home Depot Center, Carson

NY Med: A Must-See T.V. Series by Nina Gonzales

by Cynthia Valadez “My name is Lance Armstrong. I am a cancer survivor. I’m a father of five. And yes, I won the Tour de France seven times.” With these enthralling words Lance Armstrong introduced himself to the World Cancer Congress on Wednesday August 29, 2012, just days after being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and receiving a lifetime ban from cycling. Needless to say, his accord to avoid arbitration with the USADA for the doping allegations in his name resulted in a potpourri of perplexity and mayhem. The whole situation is quite an enigma. Whereas some dub his renouncement to be a confirmation to the allegations, others see it as a means of culminating the horror story that had plagued his life for eight years. Technically, Armstrong has not conceded to utilizing performance-

like how online radio Pandora launched their “app.” Unable to attend? No worries. The iHeartRadio Music Festival 2012 will be streaming live performances on its website. Just type in the name of an artist of your choice, sit back, and enjoy the show.


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enhancing drugs. “I know who won those seven tours,” alleged Armstrong in a statement, “nobody can ever change that.” However, by refusing to continue to confront the charges against him, his name has been severely tarnished. Not all, however, have concurred to carry on with their lives as if nearly every one of Armstrong’s accolades never existed. In fact, now more than ever, people are siding with the founder of the LIVESTRONG Foundation; some have gone as far as proclaiming him their “hero.” Whether Armstrong is liable for the accusations or not, there is no denying the marvels he has done serving people and families affected by cancer. Ultimately, Armstrong has vowed to not allow the doping scandal to impact his charitable work; he has also resolved to “turn the page” without forfeiting focus of what is really significant.

As the scene opened to chaos in the emergency room of one of the busiest hospitals in New York, viewers were instantly hooked. NY Med, a television show on ABC aired its first season on July 10, 2012. Unfortunately, the hospital reality series only ran for an eight episode season. But with a program this genuine, people were hooked during the first few minutes. It showed the average everyday life for all types of doctors, residents and students. To see all the things these people do, balancing their work and personal lives, is an interesting experience. While in their own

homes, viewers feel the off-screen tension and stress, sharing the same frustration and anticipation as the doctors and patients. Students who aspire to be in the medical field will surely benefit from watching NY Med. It is a great opportunity to see what could possibly happen if they choose to be involved in medicine. Viewers of this show will learn from observing the day to day struggles that face doctors, nurses, and patients alike. To view episodes of NY Med, visit

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The 2012 Republican Party Convention by Maria Guillen Despite the dreary weather conditions that struck Tampa, Florida, thousands of loyal Republicans could not be swayed from attending the Republican Party Convention on the week of August 27, at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The Republicans’ tactics at the convention were clear: Ann Romney, the Republican presidential candidate’s wife, and Chris Christie, the charismatic New Jersey governor were, as the Los Angeles Times phrased it, to “warm up and then fire up” the audience. Mitt Romney has

come off to many voters, including some Republicans, as somewhat aloof. The effect wanted—and acquired—from the convention was to build a good-natured personality for Romney, and make an antagonist out of President Barack Obama. Ann Romney was the first to speak. Rather than touching on delicate social terms, she addressed her life with Romney, emphasizing their marriage, family, and personal struggles. “We got married and moved into a basement apartment. We walked to class together, shared

by Gabriela Corona

by Hannah Contreras

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Daisy Flores Editor

Monica Roque

Miriam Ifegwu

Maria Guillen

Carmina Paz

Karl Pascasio

Vito Perez

Hannah Contreras

Cynthia Valadez

Anee Davtyan

Jeremy Villarreal


Managing Editor Photographer-in-Chief Editor Editor

Editor Editor Editor Editor Editor

On September 30, 2011, an innocent life was cut short: Cindi Santana, a seventeen-yearold girl from South East High School was stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend, Abraham Lopez. Almost one year has passed since the horrific incident, yet her memory lives on in the hearts of many. Today, Lopez is behind bars awaiting trial as the South Gate community hope to see him convicted with first-degree murder and finally receive the punishment he deserves. Of course, there is no reason to focus on a monster that was capable of slaughtering a girl he was allegedly “in love” with. Santana was known to be a beautiful, smart, and upbeat type of girl. Santana’s school friends recall her relationship with Lopez to be confusing and unstable; the two would often disagree and argue. When they finally broke it off, Lopez did not

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.

take it lightly: if he could not have her, no one could. A week before her passing, he made death threats and was subsequently arrested for. Upon his release, Lopez approached Santana at lunchtime and during an intense argument “[Lopez] began suddenly striking [Santana] with his fists and then pushed her to the ground [and] then stabbed the victim several times before being subdued,’’ according to an L.A. County Sheriff’s Department statement on the incident. The young girl died a few hours later at a local area hospital. C i n d i Santana should not be remembered as “the girl who was slaughtered by an ex.” She is much more than that. She is a young woman who had a bright future ahead of her, who had endured an abusive relationship. Anyone who is or has been a victim of dating or domestic violence can learn from this tragedy that violent behavior should never be tolerated. Google Images /

Amy Guerra

ownership rights and retirement of the crew is certainly a sure way to spark dreams and aspirations in Los Angeles. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, was ecstatic to take the shuttle into the arms of L.A and is certain that the Endeavour will “motivate and inspire millions of young people to dream about possibilities. [It] will be a brilliant centerpiece for LosAngeles and will assist in our city’s economic revitalization.” Science Center President Jeffrey N. Rudolph claimed that “Endeavour will provide an educational platform for the public to celebrate California’s long time leadership in science, technology, mathematics and engineering [that will] engage the next generation [to partake in] these fields.” Congratulations to the California Science Center for acquiring a piece of history that L.A. will surely appreciate. Hopefully, the Endeavour will inspire students to take part in fields of science, mathematics, and engineering to create their own contribution to history. them to get motivated. The Endeavour is set to open to the public October 30, 2012. Hope to see you there!


Chris Christie’s words were enthusiastically received by the Republicans present in the hall and also by those watching from their televisions. The Democrats were not as eagerly responsive to Romney’s sentimental appeals or to Chris Christie’s political invectives. The debate, however, is far from over. The Democratic Party Convention is sure to stir up loyalty among the nation’s Democrats as the Republican Party Convention did among its supporters.

Cindi Santana Remembered

Los Angeles’ Great Endeavor

Los Angeles has widened its scientific horizon by adopting one of NASA’s three remaining space shuttles. After officially signing the ownership rights of the Endeavor to the California Science Center’s Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center in 2011, the largely anticipated shuttle is set to arrive in LAX September 24, 2012. 78 feet wide and 170,000 pounds, the Rockwell International Space Systems built the shuttle 20 years ago. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Endeavour is estimated to be worth $1,980,674,785 and is a hearty contribution to L.A. The great shuttle (1992) and went on to carry out 24 more successful missions, carrying a total of 139 people through 115 miles of space from Earth orbit and back. Endeavour’s crew came together for the final time to commemorate the “bittersweet moment” of the shuttle’s last hurrah. From the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, Mark Ridley-Thomas, claims, “[the] Endeavor is special. It is the embodiment of American perseverance, of tenacity and of hope.” The historical signing of the Endeavour’s

the housekeeping, and ate a lot of pasta and tuna fish,” she reminisced. “Our dining room table was a folddown ironing board in the kitchen. Those were very special days.” In stark contrast, Chris Christie’s approach was to totally dehumanize the Democratic Party. The New Jersey politician called them “cowardly and selfaggrandizing” and made the insinuation that the opposing party was too absorbed in their own well being to face national problems. Both Ann Romney and

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: or Drop them off in Mr. R. Rodriguez’s mailbox or in Room 312

SEPT 2012  

Issue describing our anticipation of the API score.

SEPT 2012  

Issue describing our anticipation of the API score.