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Westlake High School



October 29, 2010

Class Rank Converts to Decile System Hanna Hong Staff Writer


STOCKING STUFFERS: In memory of WHS alumnus A.J. Castro, PTSA collected two truckloads of items for American soldiers overseas. PTSA sponsored the operation. Co-president Zach Winters (pictured above) helped organize the collection.

Operation Red Stocking Triples Collection in Honor of Alumnus

Celine Flores News Editor Alexandra Biston Advertising Manager For each of the four years the Student PTSA has been in charge of Operation Red Stocking, it has been able to fill one truckload of items for soldiers, but in honor of A.J. Castro, the group set a new goal for Operation Red Stocking’s fifth year; they aimed to fill two. After a week of collecting from fifth period classrooms, the group tripled its inventory from last year. “I think even for teenagers that have to maintain the ‘cool factor’ that this is something they take seriously and have the utmost respect for our soldiers,” said Roxanne Brown, advisor of the Student PTSA of the success. Operation Red Stocking became an annual project when Prudential Realty’s Sigi Ulbrich and Pam Moran proposed the idea to WHS five years ago; several teachers and staff had children fighting overseas. “As an advisor who has been in charge of this club

for six years, it is especially poignant because some of these students I have known for four years at WHS and some even since they were in third grade could end up over there fighting for our country,” said Brown. The list included items such as dry food, clothing, toiletries and this year they added books and CDs. “The soldiers look forward to their holiday packages every year, “ reflected Brown. “They are so appreciative of things we take for granted like batteries or used CDs and DVDs.” The winner of the drive was AP Statistics teacher Greg Hronek’s fifth period. He encouraged his class by sending out Edline reminders, emails and involved parents by presenting them slide shows. Co-president, Zach Winters ‘11 is pleased with the results. He believes the work and effort he contributed helped Operation Red Stocking go “according to plan.” The PTSA, Ulbrich, and Moran are thrilled with the outcome and are looking forward to another successful drive next year.

Coull Graduates to District Position

Novak accepted the responsibility, describing her new position as “both exhilarating, yet a little daunting, simply because it’s an important role to fill.” English Teacher and Department Chair, Greg Respected by his administrators, colleagues, and Coull, left WHS to take a position as BTSA Coordinator students, there is an overwhelming recognition that his (Beginning Teacher Support and absence will be felt. Assessment) for the Conejo Valley “Greg Coull is an outstanding Unified School District. teacher and effective instructional With only a week’s notice, Coull leader, and will be sorely missed at was scrambling his last teaching day, Westlake High School,” said Nicole Fri. Oct. 22, to pack up his room, Judd, WHS Assistant Principal of transfer the contents of his files, and Instruction in a faculty email. ensure that his students were in Coull hopes to return to WHS good hands. Leaving behind his nine after the three-year commitment, yet years at WHS became a bittersweet he is very enthusiastic about the new experience for Coull. opportunity at hand. “When you leave a job that you “I can do even more of what I like don’t like, it’s really easy. When you to do by helping more teachers, so I can A STUDENT FAVORITE: Greg Coull leave a job that you love, it’s really takes a job at the District Office. work with a thousand students, where hard,” said Coull. I can work with one hundred here,” Taking Coull’s position as said Coull. Department Chair, Lora Novak quickly adapted to her “Mr. Coull was a great leader in our department. new role. Very calm and cool,” said Novak. Alexa Lucas Staff Writer


Joyce Shi ’11 is the embodiment of a conscientious college-bound student. Her resume includes president of the club Mu Alpha Theta, treasurer of choir, member of the National Honor Society, and avid pianist since she was five. Shi has also loaded her plate with seven periods a day, taking classes ranging from Advanced Anatomy, Calculus, and Physics AP to AcaDeca, Mock Trial, and Choir. Because of Shi’s academic excellence, she has earned valedictorian status, and is ranked number one, according to her indexed GPA. However, class rank is irrelevant to WHS students now. In May 2010, a committee of District Office personnel and representatives from all high schools in the Conejo Valley met to discuss a change that would impact all high school students. They decided to transform the ranking system from class rank to decile rank, meaning class rank will neither be printed on transcripts nor be sent to colleges. Instead, every student will be ranked according to his or her weighted GPA. For example if a student has a GPA ranging between 4.4063 to 4.7500 then that student is classified in the “decile one” category, also known as the top 10%, and if the GPA is from 4.0250 to 4.3889 then that student is in “decile two,” and so on until decile ten. Nicole Judd, the Assistant Principal of Instruction, states the change to decile system is a “well-calculated decision.” Believed to “help all students,” and “benefit everyone,” the decile system will take effect this year. Because the indexed GPA only gives students an extra .02 for every ‘A’ they receive in an honors or AP class, in contrast to the whole point given to the student through the weighted GPA system, students do not receive the extra “bump” that may set them apart from their peers. Judd said that by switching to the decile system it will correctly depict a student’s standing while showing the high academic curriculum held at WHS. Even though the change is said to put students in the “best position to get into college,” some may argue this change lumps the highest ranked students into one category instead of individually defining them by their one digit rank. For example, Shi is now forced to identify herself not as the top one percent or ranked first in her class but as ranked in decile one. However, now the change in the system utilizes weighted GPA for the decile system and not the indexed GPA, signifying every CP class impacts a student’s weighted GPA. Because WHS no longer classifies its students based on their indexed GPA, Shi believes the decile system “doesn’t benefit everyone” because students at the top of each decile are lumped together with those at the bottom. Instead, she thinks “the new system may detract from a student’s desire to excel because those at the bottom of each decile look the same to colleges as those at the top.” Because other rival high schools around the nation utilize the decile rank system and because colleges—such as Boston College, University of Washington, and Cal Lutheran—have highly recommended the switch, WHS believes the change is in the students’ best interest. Counselor Martha Aggazzotti was a member of the committee that approved the change and describes the system as “new” and “different” to WHS. No college knows what an indexed GPA is. It is merely used by the Conejo Valley School District to identify valedictorians, so by converting to decile rank, it clears up confusion and provides an academic advantage over other schools still using class rank, according to Aggazzotti. In the end, the decile ranking style is devised to make students look better on paper when it comes time to apply to colleges. The change is official and in effect now.



IN BRIEF JSA to Attend Fall State WHS students will debate and discuss current political events at Junior State of America Fall State convention in Nov. JSA is a student organization dedicated to promoting student leadership and involvement in a democratic society. The theme of Fall State 2010 is “Energizing America: Capturing the Winds of Change.” JSA meets during lunch every Thursday in 42R.

Freshmen Elect Barrett President

Regiment Wins Sweepstakes Westlake Regiment won Sweepstakes, Grand Prize, at the recent Ayala High School Regiment Competition on Oct. 16. The band highly ranked against several other bands in the 3A Division, one of which had not lost in two years. Regiment also competed at Hart Rampage on Oct. 23 at College of the Canyons. In the coming weeks, WHS will perform at several other competitions.

Club Organizes to Promote Human Rights Amnesty International is an organization dedicated to advocating humanity, with a mission of transforming societies “to create a safer, more just world.” The Nobel Peace Prize-winning establishment has over 2.8 million activists in over 150 countries. On campus, the club promotes the campaign for human rights by organizing fundraisers for worthy causes, such as sponsoring children in Africa, The Greater Contribution, and more. Amnesty International meets every other Tuesday in 43G during lunch.

Applications for Service Academies Available Applications for a Congressional Nomination to one of the four U.S. Service Academics are due Nov. 1. Candidates can apply to their local Congressman, either senator, or the Vice President. If interested, more information is available from Cassie Sandifer in the College and Career Center.

Mock Trial Begins First Amendment Case Mock Trial opens a new case for the 2010-2011 school year. People vs. Woodson is a case regarding assault with a deadly weapon and a pretrial argument on the First Amendment. The team will meet twice a week for two hours to begin the preparation. With a new team and a new case, Mock Trial will prepare for the county competition that begins on Feb. 28.

Earth Club Helps with Worldwide Coastal Cleanup Gaby Breiter Staff Writer What do a chandelier, a briefcase full of graham crackers and a bridal gown have in common? They are all some of the peculiar items gathered at Coastal Cleanup Day. Members of WHS’s Earth Club, including Connor MacLean ’13, Savannah Speerstra ’11, Liz Whetstone ’11, Bethany Maddison ’12, and Andrea Teodorescu ’14, accompanied by club adviser Greg Coull were part of the thousands of volunteers scattered across 60 nations to scour the world’s coast for various items of shoreline pollution. The event, coordinated in Los Angeles by Heal the Bay and LA County Department of Beaches and Harbors, took place on Sept. 25. The club ventured off the sandy beaten path to the Pacific Coast Highway and got their hands dirty. They spent two hours collecting 13 pounds of trash. “I loved dodging cars with my friends along PCH,” joked first year participant Teodorescu. MacLean enters his second year of Earth Club with a mission. “We’re all just trying to preserve the earth for future humanity,” he commented. He is working to get people more involved in community service programs like Coastal Cleanup Day and improve the student body’s incentive to recycle. Speerstra, with a desire to improve the environment, aspires to go to UCLA and major in Environmental Science and


William Barrett ‘14 was elected freshman president in last week’s election. This year, Barrett will get to pick who will be members of his cabinet, but those members have yet to be selected. Going into this election, he felt confident that he would be the winner. As far as improving his class, he wants to make them more spirited and he wants to motivate them to win a rally. When asked if he plans to run for the class presidency spot next year, he replied, “Yes. Indeed.”

October 29 1010• THE ARROW

COAST IS CLEAR: Earth Club members Savannah Speerstra, Gaby Breiter, Connor MacLean, and Bethany Maddison worked along Pacific Coast Highway for Coastal Cleanup Day.

later work in city planning to find equal ground between the Earth and industry. “If I can make a difference and try to help change I feel good,” said Speerstra. Whetstone trampled through the side of the highway with a natural enthusiasm. She agrees with her friends: the world can’t heal itself.

President Maddison is in her third year of earth club; founded by her older sister, Emily Maddison ‘10. “I live in this world and as the youth of this generation it is our responsibility to do what we can,” said Maddison. Coastal Cleanup Day’s main focus is preserving the beaches.

Naviance Offers One-Stop Shopping Hanna Hong Staff Writer Naviance, an electronic college data management system, for students, parents, teachers, and staff, now provides even greater advantages, allowing teachers to use the website to access student information and upload recommendation letters. The user-friendly system has been in place for a few years, but recent efforts by the WHS administration now connects the counselors and teachers with the students and college admission offices of several universities across the nation. Naviance’s new advancement makes the college process one step easier and even more useful. Naviance attracts college-bound students looking for the perfect school to suit their needs and interests. From personality tests to brag sheets, Naviance has every link that aids students during the college application process. Just last month, the WHS counselors

transformed the Common Application process for most teachers and staff. By linking Naviance with the Common Application, the teacher recommendation process is now digitized and more environmentally friendly. Seniors no longer have to prepare numerous stamped and addressed manila envelopes for recommendation letters. This advancement not only affects teacher but also counselor recommendations, student transcripts, and secondary reports. College and Career Guidance Specialist Cassie Sandifer describes Naviance to be “quicker and more efficient,” as the college application process is “moving towards being paperless.” Saving hours for teachers who write countless numbers of recommendations each year, this new connection between websites is a mutual benefit for those writing the recommendation and for those asking for recommendations letters. Fully aware of the effort and

time necessary for recommendations, AP English Literature teacher and Department Chair Lora Novak, acknowledges the ease and swiftness this new process will have and excitedly anticipates the simpler “cut and paste” process that went into effect this month. She believes joining Naviance will “streamline the process” and “cut down on student errors,” ultimately eliminating the extra time and energy teachers spend. Even though Naviance mainly applies to seniors during the college application months, it is highly recommended that underclassmen start researching Naviance as well. Novak strongly suggests that juniors “familiarize themselves with their account.” Sandifer believes Naviance is a “one stop shop” where all students can find what they need. With features ranging from discovering summer enrichment programs to upcoming events and scholarships, Naviance benefits the environment, while continuing to inform, assist and update students.

Choir Kicks Off Year with First Concert Michelle Noyes News Editor “Choirs Under Construction,” held Oct. 16, was the first concert of the year for the Choral Music Department. Two groups have been rehearsing for only six weeks. “Not everyone is on the same level which makes it hard for the group to be at its best,” remarked Hanna Feinstein ‘12. This concert is deliberately scheduled early in the year so all choir members have

a point of reference. “Being able to look back in June and see how much everyone, in general, has progressed is always fun,” stated Vocal Ensemble member, Stephanie Giron ‘11. Under the direction of Choir Director Alan Rose four separate groups performed twice for an audience of predominantly parents and peers. The non-audition freshman group, started off the show by singing three songs—Cantate Brasilia, Follow the River, and Tear them Down—it had been working

on for only six weeks. This year, Freshman Choir exceeded its size to become the largest group—80 students. Mixed Choral, another non-audition group, sang three classical songs. Women’s Choral performed four classical songs. Vocal Ensemble was the last group to perform. The afternoon and evening shows both ended with all choir performers surrounding the audience singing “Peace Song.” “Performing gives you confidence,” said choir member Lexi Chase ‘13.



October 29, 2010• THE ARROW

Clubs Share Diversity in Rush Presentations Peng. Also a national club, Students Against Destructive Decisions, aims to “shed light on all the destructive decisions teens commonly make and try to prevent them by teaching teens the adverse effects,” remarked president of the SADD Club, Christina Vasiliou ’11. The club’s goals include creating a meaningful SADD Week where all

Stephanie Kim Staff Writer

students can be enlightened and warned of dangerous and reckless choices. Autism Ambassadors represents a more philanthropy-based club. The club seeks to create “an inclusive, welcoming environment for students with autism and to build real, sustainable friendships between students with autism and typical students,” said President and founder, Zak Kukoff ‘13.


Diversity rang in the quad as clubs displayed posters about their aims and aspirations during Club Rush on Oct. 15. Ranging from the Korean Club to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, various clubs exhibited their unique missions and goals in a school environment. American Born Confused Desi (ABCD) Club, for second-generation Indian students said that its goal, according to President Taha Esa ‘11 is a “form of self-expression,” also emphasizing the importance of the “dances we do, the outfits we wear, and the backgrounds we have in common that all tie in to presenting the culture and environment we come from.” Politics for the younger generation is easily accessible through Junior State of America. Its position as the “largest student led-organization in the United States promotes political awareness among high school students, to make them educated citizens of our democracy,” stated JSA President, Lisa Peng ‘11. JSA offers a welcoming, intellectual environment teeming with discussions of current events, where they welcome “all kinds of people and encourage RUSH EVENT: Juniors Jonathan Yan and Douglas Akahoshi recruit students to them to share their opinions,” said join Bazooka Club.

Autism Ambassadors is a global network where students obtain leadership skills. With the help of volunteer psychologists, students build emotional and social relationships with special needs students. Former Gay-Straight Alliance recently renamed Leading Our Generation’s Outreach Club. GSA changed its name to LOGO in order to emphasize equality among every possible minority or majority group. Member Giuliana PeBenito ’12 stepped down from her position as copresident to focus on statewide GSA Networks. Sara Gordon ’12 assumes the post, changing the goal and image of the club to one of welcoming equality. “The word ‘gay’ tended to turn people off from joining because they are afraid of being made fun of. I want this club to be a haven for everyone and for them to know how they are protected, whether it be by law or by friends within this club,” said Gordon. ASG has limited the number of new clubs, since many students wanted to start their own. Students are encouraged, instead, to find a group from clubs already in existence. The importance of improving mankind and representing cultures, as well as integration in current events, whether national or local, was evident at this year’s Club Rush.


STUMPING: Republican candidate Meg Whitman rallies supporters, including several WHS students, at the Hyatt Regency in Westlake Village before the election.

Motivational Assembly Speaker To Focus on Teen Challenges Julia Model Feature Editor Motivational speaker Keith Hawkins will present Stepping Up to the Challenge Nov. 2 in a double assembly for the entire student body. He will be sharing his stance on deci-


INSPIRING MINDS: Keith Hawkins will be guest speaker at a school-wide assembly.

sion-making processes, academics, and social issues. He will also be describing his beliefs on the stages of self-worth. “People don’t listen to what you say; they look at what you do,” are the words that first open on his website and describe his attitude to the importance of people’s life choices and actions. “He is a dynamic speaker who utilizes his humor to teach students how to handle real life experiences that many of us will be forced to face,” according to Dean of Activities Brandy LaRue, who has attended one of his conferences for Activities Directors. His aim is to teach students how to overcome everyday pressures placed upon students by peers, parents and even ourselves. He focuses on namely typical teenage challenges—including drugs, sex, violence, bullying, and academics—that everyone has to deal with at some time or another. Hawkins’ inspirational speaking company, Real Inspiration Inc. is a speaker consultant company that assists schools and organizations by customizing programs that will provide real inspiration to motivated students to lead successful lives. He strongly believes that everyone can be successful as long as they believe in themselves and stay committed to dealing with certain obstacles in a self-respectful manner.

Michelle Noyes News Editor American Civil Liberties Union is suing numerous schools in California, including Westlake High School, about funding costs in public schools. WHS is not the only one named in this lawsuit, which includes over 100 schools. The State guarantees every child a free education, yet students are being asked to to pay for miscellaneous items. “There is a difference between paying the school directly and paying a booster club,” said Principal Ron Lipari. Paying the school directly for books, for example is illegal, but paying a donation to a booster club, for a sport or to a music department, is legal. Books are provided free by the State for all California students. Booster clubs can voluntarily charge students for activities, but without those charges the activities would change dramatically. If a student cannot pay for an activity, the booster club often helps cover the cost. When the organization pays for the student, the booster club may ask that

student to work off the cost, even asking for the student to volunteer. WHS’s list of items requiring some payment is fairly short compared to that at other California high schools. Other schools are having students pay them directly for supplies, such as required books for classes. “Our school does not charge for AP workbooks like another school named in the lawsuit,” said Lipari. The ACLU’s complaint is against the State of California, which is not funding the schools properly. As a result the students are picking up the cost and paying for their public school education. WHS may start charging for the planner next year, since students are not required to have one. The planners cost about $10,000 for the school to buy, but the school gives them away to the students for free. If that optional cost started next year, it would be about $5 for the I.D. card and planner combination. For the time being the lawsuit is against the State to ensure that the budget sets aside more funding for the schools.


Shannon Reiffen Staff Writer Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the Olympic games, once said, “All sports must be treated on the basis of equality.” The dictionary definition of a sport is a “physical activity engaged in for pleasure; a particular activity (as an athletic game) so engaged in.” We all know the most common varsity sports—football, baseball, basketball, track, cross-country— demand a high level of skill, hard work and dedication. These all get a large amount of attention in high schools across the country and then from colleges. But what about the smaller sports? Such an example would be equestrian sports, such as horseback riding. An equestrian fits the category of physical activity. Why is it that although equestrian is clearly a sport, at certain schools it isn’t considered one? At WHS, equestrian is merely considered a club. However, riders compete against 70 other high schools in Southern California in the Interscholastic Equestrian League. According to, the official website for the IEL, the goals of this league are to “support and develop athletes for regional and national competition in equestrian sports.” And according to, the purpose of the Marmonte league, to which the sports of our school belong, is to “direct and control all interscholastic athletic programs of the high schools of the league.” These two are essentially the same goals. Westlake is not the only school with an equestrian club. According to their websites, Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, Agoura, and many others high schools also have equestrian clubs. Schools like La Reina High School, Louisville High School, and The Buckley School all have actual equestrian teams. According to the CIF website, equestrian isn’t an official CIF sport. Therefore, the school isn’t required to put money into making it a team. But why isn’t it? At each horse show, students compete against 70 other high schools in Southern California. Some of the other CIF sanctioned sports are basketball, cross country, gymnastics, badminton, golf, lacrosse, soccer and others. What is it that makes these sports “official”? To be the champion of whatever sport one is competing in, he or she has to defeat other teams and clubs in his or her area, proving that he or she is the best. At the Interscholastic Equestrian League horse shows, one must beat the other riders to earn his or her place in the ribbons, and to earn points for that school. That is essentially the same as other sports, especially considering that an average of 70 schools with about 14 to 20 people compete in a tournament. That’s a lot of people to beat. To those who still believe that riding horses isn’t a sport—it isn’t easy to ride an animal weighing up to a ton to jump over something that’s about 6 feet tall. That’s what Olympic riders have to do, and it’s no easy task. Furthermore, equestrian is the only Olympic sport where men and women compete equally. For one to argue that equestrian is not a sport would be discriminatory to all of the athletes who compete.

October 29 2010 • THE ARROW

Freedomʼs Dying Words

Harry Chung Staff Writer America is known as the land of freedom; it is a country where people can freely announce their beliefs without fear of persecution. However, this month, Snyder vs. Phelps, a case that is being reviewed by the Supreme Court, could greatly alter one of our most important rights, freedom of speech. This case is against Fred Phelps, Rebekah Phelps-Davis, and Shirley Phelps-Roper, founders of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC). The Westboro Baptist Church, a lunatic antigay hate group, is infamously known for protesting at the funerals of U.S. soldiers who heroically died for their country. These protesters arrive at the funerals of American soldiers to express their belief that military deaths are God’s way of punishing America for its tolerance of homosexuality. The WBC frequently turns up at these funerals holding obscene signs reading “Thank God for Dead Soldiers,” and screaming such profantities as “Your son deserved to die.” On June 5, 2006, Albert Snyder, father of a dead marine and a victim of WBC’s actions, decided to take action by filing a a lawsuit in federal court in Maryland against Westboro charging defamation, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. At first, the federal court claimed that the picketers were protected under the 1st Amendment, however, due to the controversy, this case has been reassigned to the Supreme Court. The actions of the Westboro Baptist Church are disgustingly ignorant and immoral. However, these actions should not be made illegal for the WBC to express their extreme prejudice. When the Founding Fathers of this nation created the 1st amendment, they created it with the intent that everybody deserves the freedom of speech. Not the freedom of saying morally right things, but the freedom of expressing one’s beliefs, no matter good or bad. Now this is exactly what the WBC is doing. Although their words and actions are nationally despised,


Equestrian Should Be CIF Approved Sport


Terrorists and Soldiers What draws the line between an appropriate game and an unacceptable one? Steven Paro Entertainment Editor Everyday, American troops are fighting overseas to protect our freedom as citizens. Currently, the war is brought to the television screen for all to experience. In Electronic Arts and DICE’s new war game Medal of Honor, gamers can play as the army’s special sector, Tier 1. Tier 1 consists of the most elite special-ops soldiers deployed in Afghanistan. Gamers can also play as the Taliban in multiplayer modes and kill the opposing team, the United States military. Many army veterans and soldiers thought that killing Americans, even in a video game, is pushing the envelope. This led to EA forcefully changing the title from “Taliban” to “Opposing Forces.” “At EA we passionately believe games are an artform, and I don’t know why films and books set in Afghanistan don’t get flack, yet games do,” said EA games president Frank Gibeau when defending the game in a statement to Game Developer. Regardless, gamers are still going to play. “It isn’t a big deal; it’s just a video game; it’s for fun, not politics,” said Dennis Sherry ‘10, an active gamer. “It’s a video game, people are making a big deal about it. If they tweak one game, what’s preventing them from changing every one of them?” Despite the name change, the game

will not be sold at military bases. In the USA Today, Major General Bruce Casella, head of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, said in a statement, “Out of respect to those touched by the ongoing, real-life events presented as a game, Exchanges will not be carrying this product.” Many believe that the subject would be offensive toward those related to or married to fallen soldiers. Banning it from selling at army retail bases would make it feel better for those soldiers. Karen Meredith, the mother of a soldier who died in the Iraq war, hailed the decision not to carry the game in military bases as a “small victory.” Changing the enemy from Taliban to “opposing forces” and avoiding selling it to those that mainly influence the game is simply delaying the inevitable. In many current video games, Americans can kill enemies, such as Russians or Middle Easterners, but if an American is killed in a video game, it shouldn’t cause a big stir. It is understandable why parents of fallen warriors would be a little disturbed by it, but changing the game is hurting the majority of the gaming universe. A game is just a game, not a terrorist provoking device. The game should have been left as originally planned because if one game is manipulated to accommodate one group of people, then every other game is subject to being manipulated as well.

the WBC is only expressing their thoughts on what is right. Indeed, they are doing this in a tasteless fashion that toys with people’s emotions, but freedom of speech should not be curtailed merely because it hurts people’s feelings. Furthermore, if the Supreme Court limits what the Westboro Baptist Church says, its decision will lead to a slippery slope of speech restrictions. If the Supreme Court rules against the WBC, it will do so on the claims that the church’s words are offensive and hurtful. However, virtually all United States citizens have said something offensive or hurtful in their lives. Will the Supreme Court illegalize our words as well? If it does, we can look forward to living life like robots, not being able to express our opinions. For the sake of our rights, we should defend not the WBC’s ideas, but the way it expresses them. Most Americans will agree that the WBC funeral protests are unreasonably offensive and should be stopped. Even so, we cannot just throw out the 1st Amendment on the basis that someone’s message is sickening. While it is a shame that Westboro Baptist Church is protesting such horrible beliefs, changing the 1st Amendment is not going to solve any problems. AP European History and Psychology teacher James Azevedo believes that the best course of action is to ignore the WBC’s atrocious acts. “I always treasure the 1st Amendment, but I don’t condone the comments by that group. I think if we could ignore them better, it wouldn’t be such a controversy,” Azevedo said. Every American is guaranteed the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Americans are entitled to announce their opinions, no matter how outrageous they are. Therefore, while we are allowed to judge others’ actions, we should not be allowed to dictate what they should believe or say.



100 N. Lakeview Canyon Road Westlake Village, CA 91362 (805) 497-6711 ext. 4225 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Max Avruch MANAGING EDITOR Lisa Battaglia NEWS EDITORS Celine Flores, Michelle Noyes OPINION EDITOR Brian Chang FEATURE EDITORS Meini Cheng, Jamie Mark, Katelyn Masket, Julia Model, Michelle Noyes, Christina Vasiliou, ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR Zak Kukoff SPORTS EDITORS Jacob Cavanah, Dashiell Young-Saver ADVERTISING MANAGER Alexandra Biston PHOTOGRAPHER Steven Paro CARTOONISTS Harry Bachrach, Kabir Nagarkatti ADVISOR Caron Battaglia STAFF WRITERS: Gaby Breiter, Katrina Brewer, Harry Chung, Woody Chung, Orly Greenberg, Tucker Higgins, Hanna Hong, Stephanie Kim, Alexa Lucas, Alana Model, Shannon Reiffen, Ethan Reul, Julia Shi

The Arrow is written, designed and run by the students of the Advanced Journalism and Journalism 1CP classes at Westlake High School and is published monthly. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent those of the Conejo Valley Unified School District, Westlake High School administration, faculty, or student body. We welcome feedback. Letters must be signed by the writer, though names can be withheld by request in the publication. Please send submissions to Mrs. Battaglia’s box in the main office or to Room 42E. For The Arrow online, visit and click on Activities menu.


October 29, 2010 • THE ARROW

Do We Want a Higher California?


Since Prop. 19 was introduced, many have argued whether or not legalizing marijuana is in the best interest of California. Two journalists debate the pros and cons of legalizing the drug. of Mexican Drug Cartel revenue comes from the sale of marijuana. By legalizing it, citizens can help end the senseless violence currently tearing Mexico apart. It’s time to reform laws that don’t work. It’s time to change the regulated use of marijuana. And it’s time to close our budget shortfall. This November, it’s time for Californians to legalize marijuana.

Zak Kukoff Entertainment Editor

performance. Even the Drug Policy Alliance, an organization supporting marijuana, admits that “marijuana produces immediate, temporary changes in thoughts, and information processing.” With a marijuana effected minds, stu-

Woody Chung Staff Writer

This fall, with Proposition 19 on the Kush. Mary Jane. Weed. Pot. All of ballot, Californians have the opportunity these words are synonymous for one of the to take a forward-thinking position of most gripping topics smoking through the legalizing marijuana for adult use. In the nation. past, Californians’ ballot propositions Proposition have influenced the passing of laws on 19 is an attempt to both the state and federal levels, legalize marijuaand now it’s time to show that same na. According to kind of progressive leadership the Monitoring the again. Future Survey, in California is facing an 2009, 23% of 10th unprecedented budget shortfall. graders nationwide Not only have we had trouble have smoked maripassing a yearly budget, but we juana at least once have resorted to paying workers in their lifetime. with IOUs. In a state where All people will be Source: raising taxes is considered toxic able to access marfor politicians, the quickest way ijuana more easily to stave off the state’s impending Source:: with this proposidents will not remember what they studbankruptcy is to find new taxable tion in effect. opportunities. Economists from A major change for a WHS student ied and their grades will inevitably be lowboth sides of the issue have would be a decrease in academic and work ered. Once the proposition passes, adults predicted new, huge sources of over 21 years old will also be allowed to revenue if voters pass Prop. 19. Marijuana, possess up to an ounce of marijuana and which would be taxed and regulated for grow up to 25 square feet of marijuana the first time, could bring in up to $7 billion plants. With Proposition 19 in effect, there in annual revenue in taxes alone, according would be nothing stopping a teacher or a to Harvard economist Jeffery Miron. In school administrator from smoking. With the city of Oakland, where marijuana is this proposition in effect, doctors, lawyers, already being taxed, city officials have said construction workers, bus drivers, nursthat it will save parks, libraries, and public es, and even parents will be permitted to services. smoke. The work of all of these people is Other cities have encountered similar already hard to handle sober; Californians results. The National Organization for the do not need another mind altering drug to Reform of Marijuana Laws, a consortium interfere with their work. of cities, activists, and others, found that In addition, anticipate the effect of marijuana could bring in an additional marijuana on your health. According to Dr. $18 billion a year for the struggling Sanjay Gupta, “Smoking anything can seriCalifornia economy—enough to remove ously damage lung tissue.” Marijuana will the opportunity crushing fees that millions cause lung disease, not to mention high of students currently pay to attend the UC cholesterol from overeating. school system. Although supporters of marijuana Contrary to popular belief, legalizing claim that marijuana reduces stress, numarijuana would actually make it harder merous studies show that marijuana could to obtain. Currently, anyone over 18 years possibly lead to a higher chance of depresof age can get a doctor’s note to legally sion. “People who use cannabis at high smoke marijuana, and it’s a well-known levels on a regular basis…are at increased secret that some doctors are more likely to risk probably of developing depression” “prescribe it” than others. said psychiatrist Ian Hicke. Many Prop. 19 opponents have Supporters of the drug also claim that claimed that legalizing marijuana would marijuana has never killed anyone. Coincrease the number of students who caine was once believed to be medically smoke. However, many of these same beneficial as well. It was even included in arguments were made during the medical CocaCola during the 1900s. Today, cocaine marijuana process, and they proved to is concerned one of the most harmful illebe patently false. In fact, according to gal drugs. Newsweek, incidences of minors smoking There is always a possibility that peohave actually dropped since the lax ple are wrong. Before people fully undermedical law was passed. Netherlands, stand the effects of marijuana, they should where smoking marijuana is legal, has not blindly support it simply because of one-half the consumption rate of the the pleasure it brings. United States. Marijuana, no matter how beneficial Like many prohibitions, the ban on to the economy, is a drug that will ruin the marijuana has only strengthened the drug health of California. To legalize it would be cartels. The White House Office of National BLOWIN’ SMOKE: If Prop 19. passes, California citizens will be permitted to possess a to harm the lives of many. Drug Control Policy reports that over 60%

“23% of 10th grade stu-

“41.8% of all [high school] seniors in the U.S. have tried marijuana at least once in their lifetime.”

dents have smoked marijuana in the past month.”

small amount of marijuana for recreational use.

Cyberbully Tragedy Sounds Alarm Julia Shi Staff Writer The development of a rapidly expanding technological world sparked the creation of social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace, as well as new means of communication, like texting and video chatting. And although numerous students have reaped the social benefits offered by these high-tech tools, there are also those who have seen the darker side of technology. College freshman Tyler Clementi’s tragic suicide has made the dangers of the cyber world all too clear. Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate and another student used the Internet to broadcast his private

romantic encounter with a man. His death, along with a sudden epidemic of “bullycides,” has shed a very grim light on modern day bullying. Cyberbullying has become a new problem for today’s students. Unlike traditional, face-to-face bullying, cyberbullies can remain anonymous, and anything they post on the Internet, from cruel comments to compromising pictures, can be difficult to erase. Because most students have access to cell phones or computers, many run the risk of either being an online bully or getting harassed by one. According to a survey conducted by the Cyberbullying Research Center, an alarming one in five kids between the ages of 10 and 18 has been bullied online, or has bullied others

online. In addition, cyberbullying can have an even greater impact on its victims: a recent study made by the National Institutes of Health revealed that online bullying can result in greater levels of depression than conventional bullying. The negative influence cyberbullying has on kids makes it even more crucial to stop it as quickly as possible. Victims of online harassment should not directly confront the bully, which could make the situation worse, but instead collect evidence of any bullying, such as text messages or emails. Bullying, as well as the bullies themselves, can be difficult to identify. And the fact that many of the victims of harassment have, at one point, been the instigator, only makes the

situation more difficult to control. Dean of Attendance James Marshall is aware that many victims are scared to speak out. “They want our help, but they don’t want retaliation from the other side,” he admitted. However, Marshall strongly advises students who are suffering at the hands of bullies to confide in a school official or teacher. For those getting bullied online, Marshall recommends closing the account they are receiving harassment on. Bullying is a problem that affects, or has affected, many of today’s students. Especially now, it’s an issue that must be faced head on and stopped, for the sake of adolescents everywhere.



WHS Alumnus Runs for City Council

October 29, 2010 • THE ARROW

Katelyn Masket Feature Editor

Who Catches the Eye of America’s Youth?

Nixon appeared on television for the 2007, prior to the Obama McCain election, next debate, looking sickly not long after Hilton was asked when she last voted in the being released from the hospital. On the presidential election. She responded, “Last Whose face is more recognizable? other hand, Kennedy appeared clean cut, year.” This voting advocate was not aware California’s state senator, who represents and fresh looking. After this television that the last election was held in 2004.

 In our voice in the Senate, or a notoriously broadcast, the majority of the viewers 2008, Hilton was an advocate for what was risque pop star’s “poker face” whose songs began to support Kennedy. “trendy” at the time. So what appears to are branded in our minds? According to a “Those television viewers focused on be trendy now? Currently, a controversial recent poll of 24 freshmen, 23 sophomores, what they saw, not what they heard,” said issue in the news is the debate of the “Don’t 17 juniors, and 20 seniors at WHS, few teens Erika Allen of The Museum of Broadcast ask, don’t tell” policy, which prevented recognized C o n n e c t i o n s . gays from serving openly in the military. California This election Lady Gaga quickly took this issue into her ��������� S e n a t o r truly showed own hands, imprinting her strong opinion ��� B a r b a r a a drastic through obscene self-expression. �� �� �� Boxer, while precedent for Prior to Lady Gaga’s entry into the �� the majority media influence issue, few teenagers were aware of this �� were able to on political conflict. Not many heard of the debate in identify the issues. the Senate, but everyone became aware faces of two In the of Lady Gaga’s newest way of protest.
 To �� pop stars. past American catch the public’s eye, Gaga arrived at S t a t e p r e s i d e n t i a l the MTV Video Music Awards with her S e n a t o r e l e c t i o n dress, boots, hat, and purse completely �� Barbara Boxer between John constructed of meat. This shocking speaks for all McCain and ensemble was an attempt to spread the Californians Barack Obama, word of the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” issue in �� in Washington c e l e b r i t y a hope to gain support from the younger D.C., voicing support assisted generation. the state’s in spreading “I wasn’t aware that Lady Gaga’s � �������� ��������� ������ ������ important p o l i t i c a l outfit was supporting equality. I had heard ����� i s s u e s . k n o w l e d g e about the outfit, but I didn’t completely Despite her In a recent poll of 84 WHS students, an average of 91% to young know what her statement was about,” said importance, recognized Lady Gaga’s picture. adults. Besides Brittany Beckwith ‘12. she was O b a m a ’ s The singer’s attempt seemed to work, the least p o l i c i e s , yet her outrageous protest brought more recognizable famous figure to the student celebrity avocations played a large role in attention to the risque celebrity’s new population. Boxer was commonly mistaken his inauguration.
 fashion statement. Still, her protest set for Judge Judy, American televised judge, Through the endorsements of news stations and gossip sites ablaze with or Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House. popular pop-culture figures, such as this statement. 
 Lady Gaga, known for her outrageous Oprah, Tyra Banks, and Jennifer Aniston, To support her judgment against the performances was the most recognized the presidential election became more “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, Gaga stated, public figure. Britney Spears closely intriguing to “Equality is tied with Lady Gaga in the poll, yet the young adults, the prime rib ������������� recognition of important political figures providing more of America.” ��� was extremely low. awareness She went on Former U.S. Secretary of State, to Obama’s to discuss the Condoleezza Rice, was widely unknown purpose. legislation’s �� among WHS students. Only 33% of Celebrity abuse of freshmen, 33% of sophomores, 36% of sources are privileges juniors, and 64% of seniors were able to d e p e n d e n t to halt �� recognize Rice’s picture. She was often on what public issues mistaken for Michelle Obama or Rosa political issue from being �� �� Parks. 
 is considered presented Students retrieve their current news the new “in” “ w h i l e �� from sources that relate with pop culture, topic. Paris America is �� �� such as TMZ, magazines, Facebook, Hilton played watching.” � MTV, or rumor. Therefore, the influence the role as a F o r of celebrities is much stronger than that large advocate p u b l i c � of any news crew or politician to WHS in the 2008 issues to be �������� ��������� ������ ������ students and many other teens across the p r e s i d e n t i a l presented to ����� country.
 e l e c t i o n , On average, only 22% of the 84 WHS students polled the masses, The media’s sway on voting issues e n c o u r a g i n g recognized U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer. politicians can be traced as far back as 1960, the first more young must leave telecast of a presidential debate. The adults to it to the first debate of the 1960 election between register to vote. However, it turns out celebrities. “Being political is trendy. Nixon and Kennedy was broadcast on the that Hilton was not even registered to vote Celebrities sway trends; politicians do radio. From this debate, the ball appeared herself. not,” said Lauren Palotay, WHS history to be in Nixon’s court. In an interview with Larry King in teacher. Alexa Lucas Staff Writer

���������� �������

A graduate of Pepperdine University and currently an economic advisor, Millan hopes to become part of a council that pays attention to the public’s suggestions and concerns, highlighted in his slogan, “Because we need a City Hall that listens.” In an interview with the Ventura County Star, he said his community leadership will “put an end to stale political tactics and refocus on what unites and will improve this extraordinary city.” Millan understands the youth perspective on the city as well, for he grew up in Thousand Oaks and attended Westlake Hills Elementary, Colina Middle School, and Westlake High School. After graduating from Pepperdine, he moved back to T.O., where he runs his financial advisory business. His goals include access to government services through a Thousand Oaks 311 number and safer streets with an upgraded transportation system. “The city council knows how to stop bad ideas, but not enough about how to embrace better ones. We need a council ready and willing to draw on the knowledge and know-how of this community,” Millan said to the Star. In his plan to revamp the transit system, he hopes to install free WiFi at bus stops so riders can more easily get information concerning the bus schedule. Millan also wants to make transportation for students free and extend the operating hours of the bus to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays Most of all, Millan hopes to increase public participation in the local government, as he told the Star, “I’m not in this race just to hold an office, but to engage the energy and expertise of this community. The more the public is involved, the better the outcome and the greater the trust will be in the ultimate decisions.”

Pop Culture vs. Politics

���������� �������


Brandon Millan

THE FAME GAME: Music icon Lady Gaga, left, is far better known amongst high school students than California Senator Barbara Boxer, right.


For much of America’s youth, the world of politics appears slightly out of reach. Voting seems to be the greatest extent to which most in this age group are willing to participate in the political sphere; however, WHS alumnus Brandon Millan ‘03, is taking things quite a few steps farther. Shifting roles from filling out the ballot to having his name on one, Millan is running for Thousand Oaks City Council in the upcoming November election. Millan spoke to WHS Junior State of America club recently about getting involved in government. Connie Sun ‘11, Vice President of Chapter Affairs for JSA, said, “he is really interested in getting the youth involved in our community as well as in politics. He doesn’t care about winning as much as he cares about us all getting what we want. ” She continued, “he is very committed because he was able to take time out of his schedule and campaigning to talk to high school students about the election and how to run. Most people don’t do that!”



October 29, 2010 • THE ARROW


Two Pursue Dreams of Medical Careers

Students Master Culinary Skills Alexa Lucas Staff Writer

Jamie Mark Feature Editor


For most high school students, becoming a doctor is only a dream until high school ends, and medical school begins. However, for Ashley Chang ‘12 and Brett Kaplan ‘12, their dreams became a reality from June 14 to July 12 this past summer. Aspen Surgical Center, an affiliation with Simi Valley Hospital, housed a program for high school students who are interested in pursuing careers in the medical field. In order to be selected for this elite program, Chang and Kaplan had to meet and uphold a 3.2 grade point average, submit an application essay describing their interest in the program, and turn in teacher recommendations. The Board of Directors at Aspen needed to feel completely confident that they were choosing the right students since they were going to be faced with numerous responsibilities during the internship. “My responsibilities were assembling pre-operation packets and charts, turning over the operating and recovery rooms, assisting with the discharge of patients, and sterile processing of surgical instruments,” Kaplan says. Along with the usual medical procedures, the students learned about other special operations such as: knee arthroscopy, colonoscopy, hernia repair, cataract removal and tonsillectomy, according to the Ventura County Star. The students had to memorize a list of terms each week and study two cases, along with their practice with medical procedures. Their hard work earned them five credits, which is equal to a semester in a high school class. “The internship was an incredible experience that gave me the opportunity to see firsthand the inner workings of the hospital, its skilled surgeons, and, of course, the body,” Chang says. Jeanine Maurer, director of Aspen Surgical Center, wanted the main focus of the internship to give the students a greater sense of leadership. “This experience taught me more than I could ever dream of in such a short time period. In those few weeks, I learned just what it meant to be a doctor and about the intelligence, the rigor, and the morality that are needed to pursue this career,” Chang said. Medical school is many years away for juniors Chang and Kaplan, but in the meantime, they are continuing to pursue their love for the medical field by taking physiology, biology and psychology during high school. Chang and Kaplan would both recommend this intership for “students who have a deep interest for medicine,” Kaplan says. “I believe I have not even scraped the surface of the medical field and its numerous specialties. However, this internship has helped me create a narrower focus on what I might like to study in the future.” Chang and Kaplan will not forget what they have learned during this rigorous experience.

GOT COOKIES?: Yunie Youm finishes the red velvet cookies for the Blue Arrow Cafe.

Imaginative culinary creations are made on a daily basis in Room 22A, Maria Scirone’s new, Culinary Arts class. This class consists of the students that excelled in her prior Foods 1 class and decided to further engage in their passion for cooking. “This class’s focus is to lay the foundation for an exceptional cook or beginning chef,” said Ms. Scirone. This class follows the Johnson and Wales University textbook, “Culinary Essentials,” very similarly to that of a college Culinary Foods 101 class. Not only do the students learn the necessary skills to create mouth-watering dishes, but they are also educated in the Industry Standards of Safety and Sanitation. According to Ms. Scirone, this class provides “the opportunity to plan, problem solve, and evaluate their success.” This Advanced Culinary

class has become the cafe of WHS, “The Blue Arrow Cafe.” Currently, the class is organizing a faculty bake sale including a plethora of order forms requesting their delicious goods. Creating faculty menus for luncheons, the class is thoroughly involved every step of the way. This allows the course to focus on commercial food service and preparation. “We attempt to create industry standards for our students,” said Scirone. Scirone hopes to “see the classroom upgraded with commercial equipment” to give the students “an opportunity to have experience at the professional level.” She also plans for some of her advanced students to participate in internships at local restaurants. According to Scirone, she teaches a class of “focused, inspired, and enthusiastic students.” Scirone says she truly finds her students as her inspiration for this new class.

Competition Recognizes JA’s Deuces Wild Meini Cheng Feature Editor

Deuces Wild Company—one of the creations of WHS Junior Achievement— won an honorable mention at the North American Junior Achievement Company of the Year competition which took place in Minnesota from July 17-21. Five students in the WHS JA program-Lisa Peng ‘11, Ashley Lim ‘11, Roseann Zhong ‘10, David Cao ‘10, and Adam Raudonis ‘10—accompanied by advisor Dr. Laurie Looker, flew to Minneapolis on July 17 to attend the competition. JA is a worldwide organization that strives to teach the key concepts of “work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy” to students all over the world. The high school program involves

students in programs to better understand the role of business in society. Each year, the competition is a contest of the students’ business skills, ingenuity, and innovation. The JA Company Program selects finalists to “showcase their business acumen before a panel of independent judges” who evaluate each student company’s written report, business presentation, trade booth display, and interview performance. In the United States and Canada, 24 student-run companies were selected to participate. All the teams competed for the award “North American Junior Achievement Company of the Year.” Although designing and constructing a trade fair booth was challenging, the competition was a fulfilling experience for WHS students. Created and sold by

the school’s JA chapter, the Deuces Wild Card provides students with discounts and benefits at various local restaurants. “We learned a lot from the other student-run companies at the competition. We also shared tips and experiences of being in the program,” said Peng. Besides participating in the competition in Minneapolis, the team also visited the Mall of America, took a riverboat cruise down the Mississippi River, went to the Best Buy headquarters, and saw American Idol’s Paris Bennett perform. “The competition was a great opportunity to show our Deuces Wild card to people from different areas of the US and Canada, who never would have seen it otherwise. We made a lot of new friends and learned so much about business and teamwork,” said Peng.

Nov. 30th, 2010.

Nov. 30th, 2010.



Harry Potter is...


“just a troublemaker. If it weren’t for Hermione he would be dead, or worse expelled.” Meagan Salmon ‘11 “the only reason I really learned how to read.” Joacin Gurrola ‘11 “not just a book series, but a symbol that represents all courage, loyalty, and love in the world!” Carly Pierson ‘14 “the lumos of my life.” “a way of life.”

Taylor Rieger ‘11 Emily Detweiler ‘12

“the best treasure in my chamber of secrets.” Caroline Hollister ‘11 “a whiny baby. It’s all about Ron Weasley.” Pamela Guo ‘11 “has been a getaway to a mystical land that I al-

ways dreamt of.”

John D’Ambrosio ‘13

“is who I want to be when I grow up.” Ryan Costanza ‘13

1990: J.K. Rowling imagines the entire series on a delayed train ride from Manchester to London.

w ild about h P

henomenon comes t

Katelyn Masket Christina Vasiliou Feature Editors


vada Kedavra. Before 1997, most people would pass this short phrase as unknown and unimportant Latin wording, but now, after a whirlwind phenomenon of seven successful books and six successful movies, this Latin phrase is considered dangerous and taboo to many who consider themselves Potter fanatics. The haunting theme song is familiar to all, and the title font easily recognized. J.K. Rowling opened a window into a world of magic, fantasy, and heroism that have caught the eyes of millions, but once the credits start rolling on the final installment of the Harry Potter movies this summer, the curtains will finally close on the wonderful world of this boy wizard. Current high school students were merely muggle infants at the publication of the first novel, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, in 1997, and either novels or movies have been consistently released almost yearly since then. At first the books were marketed as a children’s story of science fiction and fant a s y, but throughout the 13 years of his existence, Potter and his magical world of Hogwarts have intrigued not only children, but people of all ages. Children and adults alike have made it tradition to preorder the latest novel months in advance and wait in line, in full costume of course, for tickets to the newest film for hours upon hours, but sadly these traditions must come to an end. Part

1 of the seventh and last movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, comes out November 19th while part 2 is released July 15. For its fans, the Harry Potter series is much more than a collection of books and movies. Children have grown up alongside Potter himself, as he learned valuable lessons that easily transcend the wizarding world into our own. Readers witnessed Harry search for his true identity while lacking a stable family, and audiences watched as he learned that with great power comes even greater responsibility. He struggled through adolescent angst, first loves, and the loss of loved ones, providing comfort and guidance for fans with the same issues. Potter culture is even pushing its way onto college campuses, as schools like Frostburg State University offer “The Science of Harry Potter” where they discuss how antigravity could be used to fly a broomstick and use the textbook The Science of Harry Potter: How Magic Really Works. Even Yale offers a course revolving around the boy wizard named “Christian Theology and Harry Potter”. And for students who have always felt a certain yearning to play quidditch, colleges including Harvard, MIT, UC Berkeley, Ohio State, and even Moorpark participate in the International Quidditch Association along with other teams from five continents. Harry Potter has all the makings of a classic work of literature, with a conflicted protagonist rivaling Charles Dickens’ Sydney Carton in A Tale of Two Cities, and the battle between good and evil, evident in such works as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird. Whether these books replace Jane Eyre or Brave New World as required reading in high school classrooms 100 years from now is hard to tell, but it is clear that fans of Har-

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Decades of Potter Mania 2000: Millions of fans wait until midnight to get their hands on the voluminous fourth book in the seven part series.

1997: The first book in the series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Philosopher’s Stone-UK Edition) is released.

2007: The much anticipated final book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is released, becoming the fastest selling book in history.

2001: The first book is adapted and released into a major motion picture feature film.

2010: An exclusive $20 Harry Potter theme pa do, Florida.



J.K. Rowling and the Enchanted Express Max Avruch Editor-in-Chief

to a close

y, Dumbledore, Hagrid and the crew will not let the series ade into oblivion. Phoebe Ng ’11 agrees: “The ‘boy-who-lived’ is a legnd, and his era will never come to an end.” She adds, “his tory will live on in the hearts of Harry Potter fans forever.” Nostalgia greatly contributes to the mixed feelings of ans, as they prepare for the last movie. “It’s kind of bitterweet that the final movie is coming out. I grew up reading Harry Potter and then watching the movies, so it will feel weird when the era is officially over,” said Katy Cutaran 11. J.K. Rowling herself still does not know how to feel bout the end of her greatest professional achievement thus ar. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Rowling admitted, Initially I was elated [about the final book], but then I cried ike I haven’t cried since my mother died.” Although the series seems to be coming to an end, Poter has already cast a spell on the world leaving his eternal ightning shaped mark. Thankfully, true Potter fanatics do not have to wait for their letter of acceptance to Hogwarts to xperience Harry’s world. Only a short plane trip separates them from The Wizrding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida. On June 8, 2010, an extension of Universal Studio’s Islands of Adventure, the Harry Potter themed amusement park opened o joyous visitors. Available activities include battling a dragon on the Dragon Challenge rollercoaster, choosing a wand at Ollivander’s Wand Shop, relaxing and enjoying a delicious buterbeer at Hog’s Head Pub. Clearly, the theme park will increase Potter’s longevity mong the masses. While most of us can hardly remember a time before Harry Potter mania, maybe its absence will make way for a new fantasy-themed phenomenon. One thing is certain however— the boy clad in glasses with a lightning bolt scar will live on forever.


2011: The final movie in the eight-part adaptation of the series will be released in July, 2011.

00 million furbished ark opens in Orlan-



Sitting in a cafe and writing on scraps of paper, Joanne Kathleen Rowling continues writing about a scrawny orphaned-boy wizard entering a world of magic, mystery and mayhem. Flashback to a train ride from Manchester to London five years earlier in 1990. Rowling stares out the window and the workings of a fantasy series formulates in her head. The plot thickens as the train ride continues into London. By destination, Rowling knows the fate of this boy wizard, his best friends and what becomes of the magical world in a classic but epic battle between good and evil. The Harry Potter series is born. Like her famous protagonist Harry Potter, Joanne Rowling was born on July 31, 1965 in Sodbury, in southwest England. Rowling grew up with a younger sister Dianne and cherished writing as early as five or six years old, even writing her own short stories. When Rowling went to the University of Exeter and read for her BA in Classics and French, Rowling hoped to continue writing as a career choice. Rowling studied abroad in Paris and then moved back to London, where she worked for Amnesty International. At 25 years old, Rowling’s life changed as the idea for the Harry Potter series came to her. According to the Boston Globe, Rowling said, “I really don’t know where the idea came from. It started with Harry; then all these characters and situations came flooding into my head.” Rowling immediately began work when her train arrived in London. Rowling’s inspiration for her story continued until Rowling’s mother died from multiple sclerosis, causing Rowling to temporarily halt her writing. Rowling said in her own website biography that her mother’s death heavily affected her and her writing. Dementors, creatures who suck out one’s soul, in the Harry Potter books were products of Rowling’s mother’s death and its effect on her imagination. At that time, Rowling moved to Portugal to teach English and married a television journalist. In late July of 1993, Rowling gave birth to her daughter Jessica but the marriage did not last, and in December of 1993, Rowling moved back to Edinburgh, Scotland. While living as a single parent in Scotland, Rowling continued work on the first Harry Potter novel. To make her daughter fall asleep, Rowling brought Jessica to cafés, including Nicolson’s Café, which has now become a tourist attraction for Harry Potter fans. Yet, lacking a significant income, Rowling was diag-

AVADA KEDAVRA: At the midnight release for the final seventh book, Rowling entertains millions of fans by reading the first chapter, The Dark Lord Ascending.

nosed with clinical depression. Six years after the birth of Harry Potter sparked into JK Rowling’s mind, Rowling finished writing the first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone or Sorcerer’s Stone (U.S. title) and got publishing rights with Bloomsbury. The books received national recognition and in the spring of 1997, an auction was held in the United States to sell the American rights to her novel. Scholastic Inc. bought the rights for $105,000. Rowling reached international fame quickly. The first book received the Nestle Smarties Book Prize and also won the prestigious British Book Award for Children’s Book of the Year. Rowling’s final book sold 11 million copies on the first day in both the United States and the United Kingdom combined, becoming the fastest selling book of all time. Since the publication of the final book, Rowling has taken time off to spend with her family. What Rowling has left in her wake is an international phenomenon that branched from paperback books to feature films to endless memorabilia and to a defining culture. Rowling simultaneously provided millions and millions of readers and fans the opportunity to explore fantasy at an entirely original level. Her subjects, including friendship, loyalty, love, and good and evil, were all creatively incorporated in her seven book saga. Now a multi-billionaire, Rowling has said she will always continue writing and plans to write another book in the near future.

Which Hogwarts House Are You? Founder: Godric Gryffindor Animal: Lion Element: Fire Values: Courage, chivalry, loyalty

Founder: Helga Hufflepuff Animal: Badger Element: Earth Values: Hard work, patience, friendship, fair play

Founder: Rowena Ravenclaw Animal: Eagle Element: Air Values: Intelligence, knowledge, wit

Founder: Salazar Slytherin Animal: Snake Element: Water Values: Ambition, cunning, resourcefulness



October 29, 2010• THE ARROW

PLAYING THE COLLEGE NAME GAME Alana Model Staff Writer With college on the horizon, students often stress over not being able to get into the school of their choice. To any senior applying to college, success in the future is critical. Students constantly tell themselves that if they do not go to the highest ranked school on their list, they will not get a good job once they graduate from college. Does a college name really determine whether students will be successful in the future? Not necessarily. “A recognizable name is always a bonus, but more important is passion, drive, and ability,” said Deanna Kubit, owner of NorthStar College Advisors. ”A student can always succeed if he or she believes in oneself.” The name may look impressive on a diploma, but what is important is doing well at the college one chooses to attend— no matter how highly ranked the school is. Although going to a reputable school can lead to networking and job opportunities,

a student who goes to an average undergraduate school can have those same options if he or she demonstrates good grades. According to WHS counselor, John Lisowski, if a student has a goal of attending a prestigious graduate school, earning a diploma from a well-respected institution may give that student broader prospects for future employment. Just like everything else in life, it’s one’s achievements that count. It can easily be assumed that when it comes to launching a career or applying to graduate schools, getting involved and making connections are valued more than speculated. If one does not get into the school he or she has always dreamed of attending, don’t stress. There are alternative options. It is important to work hard and get involved. Students may be surprised to find that he or she may like a school more than previously ascertained. If not, students are permitted to transfer in their sophomore or junior year to the school that they initially aspired to attend.

People often overlook several of the benefits of attending a community college. If a student is set on attending his or her dream school, community college for two years is a reasonable option. A transfer can then be made for the beginning of sophomore or junior year. According to College Board, community college is not only less expensive than public and private universities, but also offers smaller classes and an opportunity to figure out what a student wants to do with his or her life.

Judge a school based upon ways it can enrich a college education and forget about the popularity contest.

Making the College Process All Worthwhile

Julia Model Feature Editor

Application deadlines are approaching, and the excitement of what college life has to offer persists as each day passes. Graduation is looming and seniors are beginning to form a list of expectations for the next chapter in educational life: college. Before creating that image, it is important to look beyond the outrageous parties, relationships, and Greek life. Instead look towards declaring a major and taking responsibility for a fulfilling college education. “Some expectations that students quickly realize are false mainly concern relationships and how long they can last at college,” WHS alumna and USC student Kayla Greenberg ‘10 said. “The new college environment should get students to explore themselves, and it’s hard to branch out when dedicated to one person.” Some may make it a goal to avoid gaining the “freshman fifteen,” maintaining a job and attending classes simultaneously—everyone has different expectations. According to an article from the Wall Street Journal, living up to personal

expectations rather than familial expectations is extremely important in discovering true character. Parents, and even friends, should not dictate what is the ‘best’ major to get a degree in. “There is a variety of courses to take, so take advantage of those options and learn about what is of interest to you,” Greenberg said. “Developing personal goals makes students more likely to accomplish them, and other people’s opinions should not be a distraction.” A great college experience balances both fun and hard work. Grades, internships, and relationships all have a heavy impact concerning the choices students make in college. Simply find the path that is crucial to obtaining an enjoyable career and a comfortable lifestyle post graduation. In planning where to apply as well as where to attend, students often misconstrue a school’s up-sides and down-sides. According to a U.S. News and World Report, some students will commit to a university simply because it is a parent’s alma mater, they are a fan of the college’s sports team, a boyfriend or girlfriend is planning on going there, or simply because it is close to home. “Focus on factors like distance from home, the amount of financial aid that

the school offers, the school’s reputation, social life, whether the school is public or private and what resources are offered,” WHS alumna and UCLA freshman Vivian Shi ‘10 said. Sufficient research is essential in the college decision-making process.

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Fall Application To-Do List •

For many seniors, the autumn months are the busiest months of the year. Here are some objectives to keep in mind to stay organized during the application process:

• Narrow the list of potential schools to between roughly five and ten. Take advantage of the counselors advice and ask for his or her input in your choices. •Visit Cassie Sandifer in the College and Career Center to learn about financial aid and scholarships. •Double check high school transcripts with the counselors and fill out a diploma card to give to the office. •Make




including application deadlines, test dates, and payment deadlines.

Compiled by Celine Flores

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•Get the Senior Checklist from the counselors and complete it before scheduling an appointment!

•Ask a minimum of two teachers for recommendation letters and supply them with a list of necessary deadlines.

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•Write several drafts of the personal statement essay and double check college lists for applications outside of the Common Application.

•Do not neglect classes! Colleges will be informed of current grades and require final transcripts at the end of the second semester.

Make a college plan before stepping foot on campus, and do not allow outside distractions to prevent a dream from being fulfilled. “Remember that you’re capable and in control of where you end up,” Greenberg said.

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Rest Your Way to Better Health Julia Shi

Staff Writer Between juggling homework, tests, and after-school activities, high school students end up sacrificing hours of sleep. It’s not unusual for students to work until the early hours of the morning; sometimes, it’s even expected. The National Sleep Foundation recommends eight to ten hours of sleep for adolescents between the ages of 13 and 18, but finding that much time to rest can be a challenge for modern day students. Staying up late to cram for an exam or complete an important project is a dangerous situation. Numerous studies have linked sleep deprivation to a variety of serious health problems. For example, research has pointed to an affiliation between sleeplessness and diabetes. According to a study released by the Center for Disease Control, about 21 million Americans had diabetes in 2005, compared to a shocking 23.6 million in 2007. Decreases in the amount of shut-eye people are getting might explain the steady rise of diabetes. It has been found that even a single night of wakefulness can cause an increase in insulin resistance. Consistently getting less than six hours of sleep a night can result in severe consequences. A study conducted by researchers from the University of Warwick and Federico II University revealed that those getting less than six hours of sleep a night are 12% more likely to die early. Just one hour of extra sleep could dramatically boost mood, alertness, health, and productivity, says James Maas, a professor of psychology at Cornell University, and co-author of the new book, Sleep for Success! Everything You Must Know About Sleep but Are Too Tired to Ask. Getting a sufficient amount of rest often comes down to a handful of things, such as time management and diet. For those with trouble sleeping, eating certain foods (and avoiding others) can help. Sesame seeds, for example, contain an abundance of tryptophan, an amino acid that prompts feelings of drowsiness. Wise bedtime snacks for the stressed include oatmeal with banana, and red bell peppers. Also, try to not drink caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea at least three or four hours before sleeping. Instead, swap those drinks with unsweetened cherry juice, which should be consumed an hour before going to bed. The juice stimulates feelings of relaxation, and the minimal amount of sugar isn’t enough to prevent you from going to sleep. Of course, avoid stimulants like nicotine and alcohol. In addition, napping can help alleviate daytime tiredness, if done properly. The ideal nap should be about 30 minutes, in the afternoon from two to five. Any napping conducted too late in the evening can disturb sleep cycles, and make it more difficult to doze off at night. Research has also shown that having a 30 to 60 minute period of relaxation before going to bed can help people fall and stay asleep. Leslie Robledo ‘12 acknowledges that her school performance is affected by the amount of time she sleeps. “I get lethargic and space out during class,” she says, regarding the day after a restless night. When suffering from sleep deprivation, Robledo admits that she relies on coffee and gum. Hopefully, small tweaks in schedule and diet will help students scrape together some extra time to sleep. Rest is crucial for both the brain and body, and students will reap the benefits of a good sleep in both the present and the future.



October 29,2010 • THE ARROW

Miracle Foods Discover physical, emotional, and mental nourishment in the form of everyday foods.

Improve Your Memory

Meini Cheng Feature Editor

Enzymes in garlic help increase the release of serotonin, a neurochemical that unleashes a feeling of relaxation. Serotonin has also been shown to enhance memory function. In Ancient Greece and Ancient China, garlic was used to treat low energy, respiratory problems, poor digestion, and even parasites. Garlic contains several sulfur compounds. According to the World’s Healthiest Foods of the George Mateljan Foundation, the average U.S. diet may be deficient in sulfur, which makes it especially important to eat foods enriched with sulfur.

Food is the substance that sustains life. People consume food to quell their hunger, gain healthy nutrients, and satisfy their cravings. When broken down to a chemical level, specific foods can even be used to improve mental and emotional conditions.

Boost Your Mood

Dark chocolate--but not milk chocolate or dark chocolate eaten with milk--is a potent antioxidant, says Mauro Serafini, Ph.D., of Italy’s National Institute for Food. Research shows that dark chocolate can increase the flow of blood to the brain and improve heart health. Because this type of chocolate boosts serotonin and endorphin levels, it can put the consumer in a better, more positive mood. Cocoa levels of 60 percent or higher can also increase levels of focus and concentration. Yale University professor Dr. David Katz conducted a test in which the blood pressures of 45 adults were measured before and after eating dark chocolate. The results showed that the adults’ blood pressures dropped and blood flow improved after only two hours. After seeing the results, Dr. Katz believes that “dark chocolate isn’t just good; it’s good for you.”

Avoid Depression

Salmon, which offers high quantities of omega-3 fatty acids and a nutrient called uridine, has natural depressionfighting qualities, according to a study in the Psychosomatic Medicine. Scientists have noticed that nations of people who regularly consume fish have low levels of both heart problems and clinical depression. A 4 ounce serving of wild salmon equals a full day’s requirement of Vitamin D. Because low levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) cause depression, salmon is loaded with EPA and DHA to fight feelings of depression.

Increase Efficiency

Kidney beans provide a source of thiamin and riboflavin. Both of these vitamins help the body use energy in an efficient manner. Thiamin, also known as Vitamin B1, is central in enzymatic reactions for energy production, says the World’s Healthiest Foods of the George Mateljan Foundation. Vitamin B1 is also crucial in the synthesis of acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter essential for memory. An effective energy provider, kidney beans can replenish iron sources. Because of constant growing and maturing, children and adolescents have an increased need for iron.

Relieve Stress

Chewing gum relieves anxiety, improves alertness, and reduces stress, according to research studies led by professor Andrew Scholey, Ph.D., of Swinburne University in Australia. The research studied 40 adults, averaging 22 years of age, whose stress and performance levels were measured while chewing and not chewing gum. While chewing gum, the participants showed a 16 percent decrease in levels of salivary cortisol, a physiological stress marker. David Zinczenko, food and health expert, believes that the drop in stress level when chewing gum might be because “we associate chewing with positive social interactions, like mealtimes.”



October 29,2010 • THE ARROW

Taming of the Shrew Sets Stage for Battle of Sexes

Jamie Mark Feature Editor


10 THINGS TO LOVE ABOUT THE SHREW: (LEFT TO RIGHT) • Petruchio (Dylan Wakelin) attempts to woo Katherine (Violette Nelson) to be his wife. • Katherine berates Bianca (Katie Woodward) for continuing to charm her countless suitors. • Baptista (Kevin Shi) comes between his two fighting daughters.

Drama students are bringing physical comedy to the stage this winter as they perform their first play of the year, Taming of the Shrew written by William Shakespeare. Westlake High School English and Drama teacher, DeDe Burke will oversee all details of the production. Sibling rivalry, the ever-present battle between the sexes, and romance—all these make Shakespeare’s play timeless. The play demonstrates the power of love, and the obstacles individuals must overcome to make relationships work. Two comrades, Hortensio (played by Kevin Shi ‘14/ Daniel Weisman ‘13) and Petruchio (played by Mike Ghaussy ‘14/ Dylan Wakelin ‘12) travel into the city where two wealthy sisters, Katherine (played byViolette Nelson ‘11) and Bianca (played by Katie Woodward ‘14/ Sarah Kinney ‘14), reside. Conflict ensues when the girls’ father Baptista refuses to allow suitors to woo the young, beautiful Bianca until her shrewish older sister Katherine, a stubborn and wild vixen, marries. Self-serving Hortensio presents the dashing Petruchio with a challenge: to tame Katherine and rid her of her fiendish ways so that he can court Bianca. Petruchio accepts without hesitation. Eventually, after verbal and physical duels, the spiteful, yet romantic Petruchio achieves his goal, and Katherine is dragged into marriage. Can Petruchio, however, tame the shrew? “[Petruchio] is a fun character to play because I can be a jerk and get away with it,” Wakelin said. With all the emotion and physical contact in the play, the drama students have been working hard to master their parts. “We have done improvisation, body position, voice usage, posture, and just a lot of rehearsal,” Burke comments on the hard work that her students have done. Shakespearean plays are often difficult to master; but, “once students do Shakespeare, hopefully the other plays will seem a lot easier,” Burke said. “The drama students, however, are doing an excellent job portraying their roles.” “I’m hoping the students will be very proud of themselves,” Burke says. She expects the play to be entertaining and hopes teachers will give students extra credit opportunities for attending. Burke is excited about her new experiences with the WHS students, and she is already fitting in very well. “The drama classes are like a big family; we are all very good friends,” said Steven Armstrong ’14. The play will be performed in the Carpenter Family Theatre on the nights of Nov. 18, 19, and 20, as well as a matinee performance on Nov. 20. General tickets will cost $10.00 and student tickets will cost $6.00.

Drama Teacher directs new scene at whs


BURKE RULES: DeDe Burke, former Colina teacher, transferred to WHS to oversee the Drama Department.

Katrina Brewer Staff Writer Toward the end of summer, an impromptu phone call and an impulsive decision led to an exciting addition to the WHS staff. English and Drama teacher Catherine Conti, at the end of last school year, announced she was taking a leave of absence. WHS, left without a drama director, posted the vacancy and legendary Middle School Drama Director DeDe Burke seized the opportunity to join the faculty. Teaching since 1985, 10 years of which were spent at Colina

Middle School, Burke has built a steady reputation as an energetic and fearless educator of history, English, debate, and the performing arts. For years the drama department at Colina has been regarded as elevated far above the middle school level, and Burke now feels it’s time to take the

next step. “I jumped on the opportunity because I figured it probably wouldn’t come around again; it’s important to take opportunities when they knock at your door.” At WHS this year, Burke teaches English, theatre, and tech theatre. A separate class for tech was long a dream for her at Colina. The members of the tech theatre class will do the lighting, sound, costumes, and props for the productions. In a testament to her popularity, over 20 previous Colina drama students have returned to participate in the drama program this year. Burke is highly flattered with this outstanding turnout of prior students and appreciates that she can now work with

them on a higher level of maturity. Around campus, Burke has also enjoyed encounters with previous students. “It’s so warm and fuzzy to see them again! And they get to see me as a human being rather than their scary teacher from Colina.” Far from a scary teacher, Burke admits how lost she was her first day at WHS. “I’m so used to knowing my schedule, I felt like a little freshman that didn’t go to WOW week.” However, she has found working with older students more like slipping into a comfortable shoe than a difficult adjustment, “They get my dry, sarcastic sense of humor quicker without taking it personally [and] the maturity level makes them overall easier to work with. I’ve found that the extra years of world exposure really shine through in their character portrayals.” The WHS Drama Department’s first production will be Taming of the Shrew, a Shakespearean play about an audacious young woman and her journey of love through a man who sets out to pacify her wild spirit. The show premiers Nov. 18, and continues with a matinee on the 20th. Well known for favoring Shakespeare’s works, Burke said, “I love Shakespeare and I want kids to love it.” She feels that once an actor conquers Shakespeare, anything is possible. In Elizabethan times, Shakespearean plays were so popular because they contained everyday trials and tribulations of life and love that people could relate to, but the archaic language has made them convoluted to teens in modern day. Burke’s knack for helping her actors understand Shakespeare’s prose and accurately portray them through physical

comedy and unity with the character leads to a clear and entertaining portrayal of the plays that even young audiences can identify with and enjoy. However, Shakespeare is not all Burke hopes the Drama Department will be showcasing; she has a big dream for WHS. Burke envisions productions where all of the performing arts departments can integrate and combine their talents in spectacular shows appealing to wider audience varieties, “I think you can unite a school through performing arts...choir, drama, band, dance; I want to bring us all together.” “In order to make something great, everyone has to be doing great things.” She does not believe in one man shows, or stars of the show, but everyone working together to create something unheard of at WHS before. Burke also hopes to bring more controversial projects to the drama department, adding interest and difficulty in depicting heavy topics that will spark discussion across campus. One of these productions is The Laramie Project, which analyzes the aftermath of a hate crime murder through the reactions of society to the event. Despite her new and exciting adventures at WHS, Burke’s 10 years of working with her middle schoolers will always be special to her. “I love them and miss them, I really do, but hopefully I’ll have them when they come to high school and are ready to really act.” Pausing for a moment, Burke adds an afterthought, “Oh, and I still have my rules: 1. Burke is always right. 2. If Burke is wrong, see rule number one.”

Amusement, Controversy Abound With Muse Staff Writer

Zak Kukoff Entertainment Editor

the best parts of the film by far are the small touches. The score, the best since The Social Up, was written by Trent Reznor Network, the new of Nine Inch Nails fame. Aaron Sorkin/David The witty dialogue makes Fincher movie the more than two hours fly. chronicles the nowBut the directing really infamous facebook brings the story together. founding story. At For example, each it’s core, however, character’s recollection of events it’s a story about is tinged with a slightly different friendship. color scheme. Written by The scenes, some of Aaron Sorkin (of which are silent, range from West Wing and emotionally powerful to Charlie Wilson’s War FACES OF FACEBOOK: Zuckerberg, Lee, and Saverin pitch their idea to Vendepressing to laugh-out-loud fame) and directed ture Capitalists to secure funding for Facebook. hysterical, further attesting by David Fincher to David Fincher’s masterful (Fight Club), the film least by women) and is soon discovered direction. is a masterpiece. The plot development by the Winklevoss twins, who are looking The very real aftermath of the onscreen is exquisite, the writing snappy, and the for a gifted programmer for their new site, lawsuits is less clear. The Winklevosses directing beautiful. The Social Network The Harvard Connection. (played by one person in reality, using the begins with Mark Zuckerberg on a date The film, which uses numerous same camerawork employed in The Parent with his girlfriend. We see a sampling depositions and legal arguments as a Trap) have been generously paid—to the of his wit—and snobbishness— and his frame around the central story, speeds tune of $65 million. driving motivation is established: to get up from here. Zuckerberg builds The And while Eduardo Saverin, Mark’s a coveted invite to a final club, or a sort- Facebook, and, with the help of his best spurned cofounder, made only $300 of fraternity for the best and brightest at friend Eduardo Saverin, launches the site. million for his 24% stake, don’t feel too bad Harvard. Soon, Zuckerberg is moving out to for him—with just a 5% ownership stake in We see Zuckerberg get drunk and Palo Alto and partying with Sean Parker, Facebook, he’s currently worth over $1.6 begin to code. We see him making his first the founder of Napster. billion. creation: FaceMash, a way for men to rate Eduardo is pushed out, and The Social Network is one of the the general attractiveness of female co-eds. friendships are ruined. best films of the year, earning a high Zuckerberg is soon reviled on campus (at While the plot and acting are fantastic, recommendation from many critics.

Bruno Mars Launches Out of this World

Woody Chung

Staff Writer Since his rise to stardom, newcomer Bruno Mars has captivated the hearts of countless people throughout the nation with relatable songs about love, frustration, and the lazy days of life. WHS students are no exception. “He captures those everyday emotions and puts them into a song that makes us feel the same way,” said Sophia Yu ‘12. Mars has been in the music business for a few years. Beginning as a producer with the Smeezingtons in 2008, Mars has produced the songs of Flo-Rida, Justin Bieber, Sean Kingston, and many other artists. As a talented songwriter, he has written songs for Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine and hip hop artist K’naan. Mars

was first acknowledged as a masterful vocalist when he collaborated with B.O.B. in “Nothin’ On you” and Travie McCoy on the recent megahit “Billionaire.” “[Bruno Mars] is one of the newest and greatest up-and-coming artists of the decade,” claimed Brandon Gehring ‘13. Bruno Mars’s talent and newfound success have compelled him to create a new album titled Doo-wops & Hooligans. After hits such as “Billionaire” and “Nothin’ on You,” this album satisfies all of he fans hungering for more of Mars’s masterpieces. A diverse album, Doo-wops & Hooligans ignites several emotions. On one hand, Mars’s sultry singing “candles are burning and our bodies are yearning” in “Our First Time” gives off a slow and seductive vibe. On the other hand, “Runaway Baby” is a

surging, fast paced proclamation on the importance of love. At the same time “The Lazy Song” is a humorous, easy-going tune about taking life slowly—a theme that most teenagers and adults can relate to. Performing since the age of four years old, Mars is a natural performer. “Unlike most pop artists, Bruno Mars demonstrates masterful vocal skills,” said choir member Raymond Sun ‘12. Guest singers of Doo-wops & Hooligans from different genres of music such as Cee Lo Green, B.O.B, and Damien Marley broaden the appeal of this album to lovers of funk, soul, rap, and reggae. With Doo-wops & Hooligans kicking off the start of his solo career, Bruno Mars is expected to release more masterpieces in the near future.

Movie Series Continues to Deliver Laughs


For the past decade, English sensation Muse has been notorious for challenging the commercial music industry to fit them into a genre. Fusing haunting vocals, thoughtprovoking lyrics, and a wide range of instruments, Muse creates a unique sound that can only be described as its own. Muse has sold over 10 million albums worldwide, failing to disappoint its dedicated following from the release of Showbiz in 1999, to Black Holes and Revelations in 2006. Album after album displayed mesmerizing tracks with original lyrics, earning it countless nominations and awards, including five MTV Europe music awards. Within the past few years, however, Muse’s work on The Twilight Saga movies sparked controversy. Stephenie Meyer (author of The Twilight Saga), known to use Muse’s music as an inspiration during her writing, stated, “I think I would have always felt like there was something lacking in the soundtrack if they hadn’t been a part of it” on the subject of Muse’s contributions to the soundtracks of all three released movies in the Saga. In 2009 Muse launched their most recent album: The Resistance. It was well received, selling over three million copies. “Uprising” was considered the most popular song from this album, according to Billboard Muse’s promotional tour for this album arrived at the Staples Center late this past September. The concert included projections on LED screens of clips simultaneously with the songs and close-ups of the performers, as well as special effects such as fog and lasers. WHS students who attended the concert had mixed feelings. Blake Nahmias ‘11 was impressed, expressing, “I loved the constant incorporation of the LED screens and just the performance as a whole. They are all so talented and I really loved the revolving/raising and lowering drum set.” On Muse playing “Neutron Star Collision (Love is Forever)” from The Twilight Saga, Nahmias was indifferent. Andrew Stone ‘11 was torn between Muse’s ability to put on an amazing live performance and the content of the concert. “Obviously, I thought it was unbelievable because no matter what, Muse puts on one of the best live shows ever…[but] I would really have liked to see some more rare songs at the Saturday show and not just their big hits.” As far as Muse’s contributions to The Twilight Saga, Stone is not a fan, but remains loyal to Muse nevertheless. The future of Muse’s musical career remains in its decisions to come, and ultimately lies in the hands of the fans. As to whether or not Muse will continue to “sell their soul,” fans can only hope the music off of their albums will continue to capture the original essence of Muse.

Social Network Connects with Users


Katrina Brewer



October 29, 2010 • THE ARROW

JACKED UP: The people of Jackass risk their lives in the new 3D movie.

Steven Paro

Photographer It has been ten years since the guys of Jackass debuted their daredevil stunts and wild antics. This time they return to the big screen in the third dimension in Jackass 3D. Headed by Johnny Knoxville, the gang of hell-raisers are back to push the limits and to bust a few guts. From water skiing into a wall, to playing instruments in front of a ram, nobody can do it like the Jackass guys.

The big emphasis this time is the new addition of 3D. Most of the 3D comes from the opening and ending sequences. Though short, the use of 3D is appropriate. It makes an already funny sequence into a hysterical one. In the center of the movie, however, it felt more like a normal 2D movie and the new technology should have been implemented more frequently for a better effect. As for the plot, it is safe to assume that none exists. One can walk into the theater and

the only part of this movie that may be unfamiliar to normal Jackass-watchers are the people’s personalities. The stunts have been escalated from the previous movies and the TV show. Pulling a tooth via a moving car, super-gluing two people together, and launching a port-a-potty ten stories high are just a few of the disgustingly hilarious stunts that will leave the crowd laughing and sick to the stomach. For those with a weak stomach or those who want to eat in the theater, a different movie might be a better choice. Most of the stunts are well put together, but others, like Knoxville falling from a tree and Chris Pontius going bananas in an ape costume, seem to be a little stretched out. The use of slow motion was clever and funny at first, but by the fifth time it got repetitive. Jackass debuted its opening weekend earning an estimated $50 million. The film now holds the record for biggest October opening of all time. It smashed the totals of the first two movies during their opening weekends. Jackass 3D delivers to loyal fans and new watchers alike—people are interested in the dangerous stunts. Despite some repetition and some shaky camera work, Jackass 3D delivers a a blockbuster comedy.


Treats Are For Those Who Think Young Alexa Lucas Staff Writer According to the U.S. government consensus, 41.0 million children between the ages of five and fourteen trick-or-treat every year. What about all the teenagers and adults who take part in this festive occasion? Often, trick-or-treating is considered a child’s activity, yet so many teenagers and adults enjoy this annual festivity. Walking through the neighborhoods on the night of Oct. 31, ghosts, ghouls, monsters, and an array of trick-or-treaters can be seen all around. Some say anyone above adolescence should only participate with the accompaniment of a youth. “As long as you have younger family members, it’s okay to trick-or-treat with them until they stop looking cute,” said Chase Rosenberg ’14. Others feel there is never an age limit for trick-or-treating. “I don’t think you are ever too old. I love candy, so if there was a way I could get it, especially Goodbars, I would continue trick-or-treating,” said James Azevedo, history and psychology teacher. Yet Ari Sadwick ‘12, thinks differently, expressing that once “you look old enough to babysit the little kids standing next to you,” you are too old for the trickor-treat chant. “Those that believe in an age limit for this candy hunt spend their Halloweens going to costume parties, watching scary movies, passing out candy to the local children, or going to ‘horror nights,’” said Kirstyn Ormsby ’11. The most popular way to celebrate Halloween among high school teens is at a party. Parties are “socially important experiences,” said Matt Kaufman ‘12. Regardless of age, no one is ever too old to take part in the devouring of candy or dressing in their favorite costume. In total, Americans of all ages take part in consuming a total of 2 billion dollars worth of candy and decorating 931 million pounds worth of pumpkins every year.



Films to Scare on Halloween Entertainment Editor Our generation has been blessed with an abnormally large amount of fantastic Halloween movies. Here are the best films from recent years:

Paranormal Activity

Born out of a director’s house, Paranormal Activity was made for $15,000 but grossed $200 million. Paranormal Activity, which is the story of a family haunted by a demon, was reportedly so scary that when it first came out, test audiences had to remove themselves from the room because they couldn’t watch anymore. Paranormal Activity is out on DVD and the sequel is currently in theaters.


Halloweentown, one of the best of the Disney Channel movies, covers the story of a girl, Marnie, who finds out that her mother and grandmother are witches. Marnie is soon swept up in an adventure trying to save Halloweentown .from Calabar, an evil wizard, who wants to steal Marnie and her family’s powers. Halloweentown is available on DVD and plays frequently on Disney Channel.

Alana Model Staff Writer The Reign of Terror Haunted House at the Janss Marketplace has returned for nine, bone-chilling nights. Starting Oct. 15 through Oct. 31, the Reign of Terror Haunted House will be open, bigger and scarier than ever before. Not only has there been a second house added, but the original haunted house has also been updated with several new scares and terrifying rooms. The annual event first began in the backyard of Bruce Stanton, the selfconfessed Halloween enthusiast and founder of the Reign of Terror Haunted House.

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2. When the cookies are cool, pipe on frosting bones.

One of the few good vampire movies, Let the Right One In is an incredibly creepy Swedish movie about a meek schoolboy and his vampire best friend. In the movie, the boy and vampire bond, and she eats his classmates who bully him. The movie, which was recently remade for American audiences, was considered one of the best films of 2008.


Possibly the quintessential Halloween movie, Saw and its sequels follow the exploits of the Jigsaw Killer, a crazed psycho who tortures his victims to give them a better appreciation of life. Saw, which was made for $1 million, grossed over $100 million at the box office. The final film in the series, Saw 3D, premieres today.

Hocus Pocus

Hocus Pocus, a classic children’s movie, covers the exploits of 3 witches who are awakened from death after putting a spell on themselves in the 1800s. The witches, who were brought back to life, are trying to suck the life-force from younger children to make themselves young again. Hocus Pocus is rated PG.

Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas

Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas features Jack Skellington who lives in a town filled with Halloween creatures. After traveling through a portal, Jack ends up in a Christmas world feeling out of place being a frightening skeleton. Tim Burton is famous for his quirky and spooky films such as Corpse Bride, Alice in Wonderland, and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a classic send-up of monster movies. Brad and Janet, a soon-to-be-engaged couple, become stranded in rural PA. The couple soon meets Frank, the creator of Rocky Horror, the Frankenstein stand-in for the movie. Through a series of musical numbers (which includes The “Time Warp”, the film’s signature song) the group finds everything ranging from aliens to former science teachers. Look for the movie on DVD and for the remake by Glee-creator Ryan Murphy.

Reign of Terror Visits Janss


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Let the Right One In

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October 29, 2010 • THE ARROW

Ten years ago marked the first Halloween that the Reign of Terror took place, and it has expanded ever since. According to the Ventura County Star, Stanton and other volunteers have put forth tremendous effort to make this year’s haunted house better than the last. In addition to investing $20,000 in new artifacts and effects, Stanton undeniably incorporates many distinct sounds and smells to enhance the individual’s sensory experience of the haunted house. The scary tour begins with several rooms inhabited by the restless undead. The tour then expands into a butcher’s shed, replete with blood dripping into a garden, and ends at an Insane Asylum. To attend the unforgettable Reign

of Terror, come to the Janss Marketplace located at 275 N. Moorpark Road above Gold’s Gym. Admission per person costs $13 at the door from 6:30-10:30 p.m. Additionally, tickets can be purchased in advance at Buca di Beppo, GodSpace, Simply Ceramics, Invitation Spot and Thousand Oaks Beauty Collection at the Janss Marketplace. The event will take place from 7-10 p.m. on Fridays, 7-11 p.m. on Saturdays, and 7-10 p.m. on Sundays with the exception of Halloween, where the haunted house will be open until 11 p.m. For more information, go to


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Water Polo Sets Sights on Playoffs Dashiell Young-Saver Sports Editor

Still the Team to Beat Girls Varsity Tennis has won all of its league games except for a loss to T.O. Julia Shi Staff Writer

this year’s team. Among them is Sivan Krems ’13, who claimed the title of League MVP and went undefeated last season. Other familiar faces include Sarah Contrata ’13 and Chaya Boks ’12. Annie Sundling ’12, Elise Bass ‘12, and Lisa Peng ’11 will also fulfill key roles on the team’s roster. “We’ve all been working together and cheering each other on, and it’s been really fun,” said San Martin about the season. With such a talented team, it is natural to aim high. “Our goal is to win the Marmonte League and advance in CIF,” said Coach Flanderka.


WHS girls tennis, led by Coach Connie Flanderka and team captains Juana San Martin ‘11 and Lissa Gallucci ‘11, has won all of its league games except for one against TOHS, a team that it had already beaten this season. Now, WHS and TOHS are trying to earn sole posession of the top rank in the league that both of them already occupy. Although WHS lost in a non-league game against Valencia, they were able to recover quickly and came out victorious in their game against Simi Valley the next day. The team finished the first half of the Marmonte League games undefeated, and has been

continuing strong. However, WHS sustained its first league loss in a rematch against Thousand Oaks. Upcoming games include another match against Simi Valley on Nov. 6. Many other matches against competitive high schools are to come. This year, there are several new additions to the team. Newcomers include freshmen Gianna Insogna and Kristina Ferrari. Both girls have made important contributions to the Varsity team. Insogna plays number two singles, while Ferrari usually plays on the number one doubles team. As expected, experienced returning players make up much of

BALANCE AND THE BEAST: Sivan Krems ‘13 returns a fast volley.

Spikers Dig Deep To Stay in Contention to us and our preparation for the season,” said With a Rittenhouse. tough league In highand a high level pressure situations of competition, the team works Coach Ernest well together Rittenhouse still to win their expects the girls games. The varsity volleyball difficult matches team to be a to come will be contender for the the competition league title. against Royal and At the start Thousand Oaks of the season, High School. The Acorn In the game recognized team against Royal captains Hannah last Wed., WHS Schuett ‘11 and scored 1-3. Girls Paige Harris volleyball also ‘12 as standout lost to TOHS by a performers to score of 3-0. watch. Their The team A LEAPING INTENSITY: Hannah Schuett jumps for a spike during a match against Moorpark High School. coach agrees. traveled to “ P a i g e Phoenix, Arizona has been very to compete in a aces and 46 kills. standout, we work well together consistent in a tough job (libero) Although the team members and all bring the best out in each Nike Tournament of Champions and Hannah is on pace to break credit their success on their group other,” said Harris. over the weekend. team assists records,” said dynamic, Emily Detweiler ‘12 “We have good balance on The team played about Rittenhouse. noted Schuett’s strength on the 20 matches in their summer our offense, coming from many Schuett, the senior setter is court, calling her a “beast” in her league and beat many of their hitters. The same can be said on a school record setting pace performance. regular season opponents. “[The with our defense which has many with 464 assists along with 34 “We don’t have a single preseason] is always a benefit contributors,” said Rittenhouse. Lisa Battaglia Managing Editor


Past the halfway point of the league season, boys varsity water polo has lost most of its games with a league record of 3 wins and 6 losses. The team has won 7 games and has lost 11 games overall. In order to achieve its goal of making the CIF playoffs, the team will have to place at least fourth in the league. “It is up in the air right now,” said Coach Todd Irmas about the potential playoff berth. “We have to do better the second round of league.” Every team in the Marmonte League plays one another twice during the regular season. WHS boys water polo will have to beat teams that they have lost to such as Newbury Park High School and Thousand Oaks High School to secure the fourth spot in the league and go to CIF playoff. The team was close to making CIF last year, when it tied for fourth place with Newbury Park High School and Moorpark High School at the end of the season. However, it lost a game that decided who moved on to the playoffs. According to Irmas, the main reason for the team’s losing record so far is its lack of consistency during games. “We haven’t been able to put together complete games because of fundamental mistakes and loss of focus,” said Irmas. Some games have been close until the final quarter such as the first match against Royal. There, the team was only down by one point at the end of the first half but then lost in the end by a score of 16 to 9. In other games the team started off poorly and then rallied towards the end, but it did not make the final cut. However, Irmas is still optimistic that the team can reach CIF playoffs as long as the inconsistencies are eliminated. The team showed improvement by losing their second game against Royal, ranked 2nd in CIF, by only one point. Beating other league teams is possible as long as the athletes play well together and keep their poise throughout the upcoming games. The team’s three returning starters, Team Co-Captain and WHS assists leader Nick Doder ‘11, Team Co-Captain and defensive leader Sam Delaney ‘11, and Tyler Shepard ‘11, will have to lead the team to the CIF playoff spot that the WHS boys varsity water polo has not reached in 2 years.



October 29, 2010• THE ARROW

Cross Country Varsity Team Advances to CIF Prelims Stephanie Kim Staff Writer The Cross Country team won third place in the Division II race at Mt. SAC, Oct. 23. For the girls’ varsity team, Nicki Ghazarian ‘12 ran 18:47, leading WHS to third place in the race. Cross Country continues to power through meets, starting off with a strong, initial surge of victories in the Marmonte League. Current Marmonte League

standings for the varsity boys remain at 5-2, the frosh/soph boys at 3-4, while the JV boys stay at 4-3. Four returning varsity runners, as well as two freshmen, make up this year’s boys varsity team, earning second place at the Woodbridge Invitational on Sept. 18. The varsity roster for boys includes seniors, Tim Snyder, Jonny Miller, Martin Arreola, and Ryan Chu, along with freshmen Mikey Giguere, Chris Costa, and sophomore Michael

Lacey. For girls’ varsity, Ghazarian, Ashley Bridge-Jackson ‘13, Katie Woodward ‘14, Kelly Colwell ‘14, and Brooke Edell ‘14, join returning seniors Caroline Hollister and Emily Turner. Girls’ varsity stands at 3-4 in league, while the frosh/soph and JV teams lead 5-2 and 4-3, respectively. This season’s cross country has consistent freshmen athletes running with the varsity team, something not seen since the 2007 season.

“Our team succeeds not because we have a single superstar, but many great athletes who work well with a small time gap,” said Coach Chad Scott. “We have heard later that our athletes will encourage one another in the middle of a race if a person is showing signs of fatigue,” he continued. The Marmonte League Finals are set to take place on Nov. 4, with qualifying varsity teams advancing to the CIF Prelims at Mt. SAC.



October 29, 2010• THE ARROW

Warrior Kicker on the Ball Jacob Cavanah Sports Editor As a sophomore, kicker Alex Ball ’12 joined the Warriors, and has been contributing for the offense ever since. “He works really hard at practice, and is just a great tool to have,” said captain and linebacker, Adam Lazar ’11. The Warriors notice Ball’s work ethic, noting he can always be counted on to execute on the field. Ball’s longest punt, so far, is 45 yards, and he is averaging 34 yards per punt. He also has numerous touchbacks, 39 out of a total of 48 kickoffs. Through seven games of the season, Ball has scored a total of 50 points for the Warriors. Ball is receiving interest from big Division I universities, including Louisiana State University, Boise State, University of California Los Angeles, and the University of Georgia.

Because he is only still a junior, getting this type of attention from top universities shows the talent he has at his position. To raise his level of play, Ball utilized the gym during this past off-season to improve his leg strength. His long punts and touchbacks are a result of the time and effort he put in during this past off-season. Ball also made sure he worked out hard enough so he could successfully perform long field goals. “People expect me to [make long field goals] because of what I have shown in practice,” said Ball. Ball plans to continue scoring points for the Warriors, and raising the number of touchbacks he already has, as seen in the game against Newbury Park. “I didn’t really choose to be [a kicker]. When I was a freshman at practice, they asked if anyone could kick, and I didn’t say anything. Then one of my friends pushed me on to the field so I decided I would try it, and I have been a kicker since,” explained Ball.

BALL’S BOOT: Alex Ball attempts a field goal against Oaks Christian.

Mowry Mows Down the Competition Jacob Cavanah Sports Editor For the past three years, captain Tavior Mowry ’11 has been the starting running back for the Warriors, and this year he has come out as explosive as ever. “I improved my strength and my speed,” explained Mowry. “I lost ten pounds from last year and just got in the weight room to get stronger.” All of the hard work he put in during this past off-season is paying off, as seen in his current seasonal records. Mowry averages eight yards per carry and ten points per game and he has had ten touchdowns through seven games. Besides Mowry’s skill set, the Warriors tough offensive line helps Mowry gain his yards and score his touchdowns. “We both look out for each other and keep a happy, laughing environment. We are kind of like a family,” said Mowry. Another way his hard work during the off-season is paying off, is all of the attention he is getting from prominent football universities. Air Force University offered Mowry a scholarship, and Arizona State Univer-

sity, University of California Berkeley, and Stanford have shown high interest in him. “My dream school would be Cal,” said Mowry. Although the Warriors pulled out an easy win over their 2009 CIF Championship opponent, the Moorpark Musketeers, Mowry suffered an ankle injury. On his way down from getting tackled by a MHS defender, Mowry’s ankle folded, and he had a sprained ankle. The sprain was not too severe, and he was able to play in WHS’s 38-7 win over the Newbury Park Panthers. Mowry is also prepared to play in this Friday’s away game, against the Agoura Chargers. It looks like it will be a big night for Mowry because the Chargers defense has given up a total of 287 points this season. Even though Mowry put in a lot of work during the off-season to make him the player he is, he still has aspects of the running back he needs to work on. To be a complete running back, Mowry is working on his blocking skills to help out his quarterback, Nick Isham ’11, on passing plays. “He always has a very positive at-

titude,” exp l a i n e d Isham. “He’s always out there having fun and getting everyone excited to go play hard.” E v e n with the impressive play which Mowry is displaying in his final season as a Warrior, he believes that he has the potential to keep on improving his skill set. “I’m my toughest critic, so I’m still striving to get to where I want to be,” said Mowry.

MOWRY’S MOTOR: Tavior Mowry takes a handoff from Nick Isham in the 31-12 victory over Oaks Christian.

Shepherd Rallies the Defense


JACK ATTACK: Jack Shepherd and teammates take down an Oaks Christian player.

Tucker Higgins Staff Writer On the defensive side for the Warriors, the linebacker position has proven to be a

pivotal role fit for players equipped with a combination of strength, speed and toughness. One player who has proven to have these characteristics is Jack Shepherd ’11.

So far this season Shepherd is averaging an impressive nine tackles per game and has accumulated a total 65 tackles in seven games. However, such eye-opening stats are not gained without putting the time in during the off-season. “By working out with the trainers at Body Logic, I was able to improve upon my strength and speed,” said Shepherd. As seen in all levels of athletics, the athletes who devote the most time in the weight room are the ones that experience higher levels of performance on the field. But Shepherd also values a realm of sports that is often overlooked—the mind. “In addition to lifting, throughout this season we’ve worked as a team on studying game films and the mental aspects of football throughout the week to help prepare us for the upcoming games,” said Shepherd.

In response to what part of his game is his best attribute, Shepherd said, “I feel my biggest strength is my ability to run down ball carriers in the open field which also helps prevent big plays.” As well, Shepherd believes a large part of WHS’s success in shutting down powerful offenses, like OCHS and TOHS, can be attributed to the Warriors’ unrelenting swarm on the ball. As WHS’s prowess in football continues with a combined varsity record of 21-0 in the last two seasons, players like Shepherd have potential to get the attention of California scouts. Shepherd is currently interested in West Coast schools like UC Davis, Cal Poly, San Diego State University, and University of San Diego. With much more football still to come, Shepherd is looking forward to finishing off the season with a hit.