Junior Chamber Music

by Mona Narumi, Staff Writer

On March 9, 2014, young musicians from Los Angeles, Orange County, and Conejo Valley played a repertoire of chamber music at the Colburn School, Thayer Hall. JCM ensembles are motivated to improve their musical talents p through their own peer. The ensembles have fun as they rehearse for coaching sessions, master classes, performances, and competitions. Representing El Segundo High School, Mona Narumi (Junior) played in a piano (Clara Chin – West Torrance), clarinet (Molly Sour – CAMS), and violin trio in this year’s season. All as first years in the program, they performed a Khachaturian trio and a piece from “L’histoire du Soldat,” “The Soldier’s March” by Stravinsky. Both pieces, composed by Russian composers, were full of power and energy. The trio by Aram Khachaturian, depicted the fleeing of the Armenians by the Shah using contemporary phrases and contrast made the piano, clarinet and violin. The Soldier’s March, illustrated the trade between a solider (clarinet) and the Devil (violin).

 

JCM Performance 3-9-14 at Thayer Hall, Colburn School

The Pros and Cons of Being Short

by Christine Lim and Mona Narumi, Staff Writers

The Short Side of Being Short

There are definitely some disadvantages of having a phenotype of short stature. Here are some examples:

1. It’s hard to see what’s written on the board when a person sitting in front of you is tall (and it doesn’t help when they decide to put their hair in a high bun).

6. You can’t reach something on a high shelf.

2. You attempt to wave to someone in the hallway, but they don’t see you because you are underneath their line of vision.

3. Someone tries to look for you in a crowd of people, but they can’t see you because everyone else towers over you.

4. Short people tell you that you make them feel better because you are even shorter than them.

5. You have to walk at a faster pace because your tiny legs have a short stride and you have to keep up with the people who have longer legs and longer strides.

6. You get mistaken for being 11 years old when you’re actually 16 years old.

The Perks of Being “Fun-Sized”

As there are disadvantages of being short, there are definitely advantages of being short. For people who belong in the ’5’4 and under’ category, no fear! Instead of considering yourself as short, think it more like you’re…fun sized. And for the people who think we aren’t up for the challenge, here are some reasons why you would want to be us.

1. Who doesn’t want to be called fun?

2. It’s bubbly and energetic sounding.

3. You can fall asleep on the couch without having your legs dangle off the arms!

4. You see things from a different perspective.

5. You don’t have to write on the board because you “can’t reach.”

6. You can go get funnel cake instead of riding the scary roller coaster because you’re      apparently  “too short” to go on.

7. You can crash a picture of a club that you never go to, because they can’t see you in the back.

8. You can entice other people to do your bidding by using your cuteness.

9. You can actually fit underneath the table during an earthquake (drill).

10. You can easily get piggy-back rides from others.

11. If you love hugs, you get hugs from people everyday because they think you’re adorable.

12. You can pass as a child so you get children’s discounts at restaurants and theaters.

 

Although being fun sized also has it’s disadvantages, it is more important to focus on the positive side of our height and use it to help define your own personal identity.

(Featured Image: http://urbanmoms.ca/life/sports-outdoors/the_weather_up_here_is_fine/)

ACEing Autism

by Mona Narumi, Staff Writer

ACEing Autism was created in September 2008 in Boston to encourage children with autism spectrum disorders to play tennis. It later expanded to Los Angeles in 2010 by the UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment and Adaptive Recreation Programs.

From November 1 to December 22, 2013, the El Segundo Tennis Club volunteered to help the Vista Del Mar after school tennis program on Fridays. Disorders caused by autism can be characterized with difficulties in social interactions, communication and coordination. I also had the chance to participate in this program and some things that caught my attention were the special tennis balls. Unlike the hard neon colored traditional ball, this program uses special tennis balls that are less pressurized causing them to be more ‘flat’. Coach Harvey explained that “…our purpose is to help [students] hit the ball over the net, not kill it…so there isn’t any meaning for live balls.” The coach gives advice to students on how to hit the ball over the net, he encourages them but also gives advice that will help students outside of the tennis courts.

There were also many fun tennis games that challenged the students’ agility, coordination and concentration. One game was called Harvey’s Tennis Pinball. The objective of the game was to encourage the students to hit over the net by targeting the Tennis Club Volunteers on the other side of the court (knowing that they would be able to catch the balls). This helped them to direct the ball over the net without hitting them into it. Another game used the agility ladder. This game consisted of multiple patterns and rhythms of to cross one side of the ladder to the other. Although it was challenging to the students, there were smiles when they were able to reach the other side.

The ACEing Autism Program is still currently expanding and hopes to teach more children with autism how to play tennis in a fun way. Although there were a few communication obstacles between the volunteers and the students, was a great opportunity to experience. The El Segundo Tennis Club is thinking about cooperating again with this program.