Opinion


Don’t Dial and Drive

In recent years, intoxicated drivers have caused numerous deaths, causing car accident related demises to skyrocket. Even more recently, distracted drivers have proved to be a hazard on the road. In an attempt by the California legislature to stop these deaths, Governor Arnold Swartzenegger signed a law in 2008 that requires all drivers over the age of eighteen to use hands free phone devices.  Drivers who are under eighteen cannot use phone devices whatsoever while driving.  Everyone is texting these days, even grandfathers, which is why a new law came out prohibiting texting while driving.  The question is, are these new laws the right move and will it really make a difference?

Studies have shown that drivers from between the ages of sixteen and twenty get into more accidents than other age group. This makes them more of a liability to insure, and increases the cost of car insurance. Many young drivers think they know everything there is about driving, which can make them selfish drivers and cause dangerous overconfidence. This overconfidence makes drivers feel the need to break the law and talk on the phone as well as subtly text while driving.  When in fact, the reason teen drivers are such a liability is because they do not have enough experience on the road.  Adolescent drivers are often so confident about their driving abilities that they do not think they need to improve or practice their skills on the road. This ignorance in young drivers is probably the reason why they get into more accidents each year.  But will not allowing teens to use cell phones fix the problem? Or is it better to take more drastic legal action by only allowing those eighteen or older to drive?

Drivers who are allowed to use handheld devices are split in terms of what side they choose. Some think it is a good idea to use handheld devices, while others find it an unnecessary hassle .  Those who think it is unnecessary believe that handheld devices exacerbate distractions. For instance, some Bluetooth equipment and handheld devices stress drivers out more, especially when they fail to work properly. On Sepulveda Boulevard, people can be seen right and left in their cars screaming or making angry hand motions. This anger can lead to more aggression by drivers on the road, which can also cause more accidents.  Others who find handheld devices unnecessary are those who think they are talented enough drivers to talk on the phone and drive simultaneously.

However some drivers like the change to handheld devices.  Many say that instead of causing more stress, it causes less by allowing drivers to relax while talking to a friend or taking care of a business call in the car.  It also can be considered more convenient because they are able to put both hands on the wheel instead of using one hand while holding the phone.  Drivers who agree with this law also say that it will cause fewer accidents and distract fewer people from doing what they need to be doing while on the road: driving.

There is obviously a lot of debate on this issue over whether drivers should be able to drive while using their cell phone or not.  But it can be said that this law is a step in the right direction as far as protecting more people from those careless, distracted drivers.  However, who knows whether or not this law will actually save lives. Now that this law has been set into place, there is hope that this is a step to making the road a safer place.

City Council Filming Update

City Council Filming Update

by Cora Chong

In the midst of California’s devastating budget crisis, nearly all schools statewide have been cutting back on spending, penny-pinching their way into the 2009-2010 school year. El Segundo has seen its fair share of budget cuts, as the last year was characterized by regretfully putting many programs and new teachers on the “cutting board”. Fortunately, many teachers and programs have been kept from being cut, yet still the school’s funds are in a grave position.

One of the most unique and quite flattering methods of generating income for ESHS is through filming. Filming is no a small matter for ESHS students – many can proudly tell others that their school was THE filming location for Superbad, CSI, 90210, and The O.C. From the name and the fame associated with the school, studios pay big bucks to use the attractive campus in their shows. Those top dollars help contribute greatly to the success of the school; it goes towards purchasing new textbooks, supplies, and other such needed materials, keeping ESHS students up-to-date with all of the most current learning standards. So, why not increase the number of allowed filming days to rake in more of the much-needed funds? The answer is simple: ESHS students, staff, and families are not the only ones around El Segundo with a voice. An epic battle exists between the school, which embraces filming, and some of the residents, who frankly, despise it.

Currently, 20 days are the maximum number of days film crews are allowed to film at ESHS. After long days of organization and proposal, the Mayor, City Council, and many local residents, including a number of teachers from ESHS, sat down in city hall on the night of September 17th to discuss perhaps adding 20 more days to the maximum permitted filming days. Brave and eloquent testimonies from parents and staff including Mr. Garza, Dr. Gen, Mrs. Burns, and Ms. Cobb boldly defending the students’ needs, outlining the ongoing budget crisis and providing possible solutions to inconveniences caused by the filming. On the other side, residents living near the school raged on about the “generators going on for 24 hours a day, suffering from the burning of the diesel fuels, loss of parking, disrespect of personal property, and (hilariously) the film crews creeping around back and front doors”. The meeting carried on for nearly two hours, bouncing back and forth between solutions, such as providing film monitors to make sure the residents are not impacted by the filming, and objections by council members favoring the residents. In the end, after seemingly reaching no compromise, 5 more days were added to the permitted 20 days. While 5 days brings in a less handsome profit than 20 more days, it is quite nice to bring in some extra income.

Survey September 2009

by Anna Gutierrez
INTERVIEW/SURVEY RESULTS:
Questions for Boys:
When you look at girls at school, what is the first thing you notice?
eyes: :3
body: 3
face: 4
other

Do you prefer girls with provocative clothing?

yes:2
no:2
sometimes:6
other

What is the most attractive attitude a girl can have?

confident:3
humble:4
humorous:2
other:1

Do you prefer girls who are intelligent? If not, then do you prefer girls that are a bit on the slower side?
intelligent:6
smart…but not smarter than me:3
not smart
I just want her to stand there and look pretty:1

What is the most attractive thing a girl can wear?
short skirt:2
nice dress:4
jeans and a t:2
other:2

Questions for Girls:
When you look at boys at school, what is the first thing you notice?
eyes: 3
car
body:3
hair:4

What type of guy do you like?
Skater:3
Jock
Nerd:1
Indie:1
No Real Type:5

Do you like intelligence in a boy?
YES! I want him to be able to teach me something.:6
I want to at least have a decent conversation with him:3
No, I want to be able to show him up
I just want him to stand there and look pretty:1

What is the most attractive attitude a boy can have?
laid back
adventurous:6
humorous:4
other

What can a guy do to get your attention?
Be funny:7
Be sweet:3
Act like he’s not interested:1
other:

It is quite apparent to anyone who has ever had, or thought about having a relationship, that the thought processes for each gender is dramatically different. But just HOW different are they? I went around and personally asked ten males and ten females questions about one another, and the results might come as a surprise.
For all the single ladies out there looking for a guy at this school, here are a few helpful tips: Guys are more interested in the aesthetics than girls are, so keep yourself looking your best (meaning whatever you feel most comfortable looking like. If you like it, then the right boy will too). Personality is key when it really comes down to it, but initial attraction is important too. Most of the guys interviewed liked some skin showing every so often, and only one wanted someone who did not leave anything to the imagination. Which leads me to my next point: when asked, guys said they wanted a humble girl. Confidence was next in line; it just goes to show, being confident and being conceited are two very different things. Girls, guys want someone intelligent! When asked to give some advice to girls at the school, senior Brian Ash stated, “Don’t dumb yourself down to get a guy. It will make him not respect you.” Any guy that does not want you to speak your mind, or wants you to act stupidly for his benefit is not worth your time. Senior Robert Cordobes noted, “Be yourself. Don’t try and be someone you’re not”.
Alright, now to help out some of those guys out there. When asked, girls said they noticed hair before anything else. So if yours looks like you just got out of muddy football practice, then you need to fix that. Say it out loud, “Shower”. A majority of girls admitted to not having a particular type of guy, so just be yourself; again, if you’re comfortable with you, then she’ll be comfortable with you too. To no surprise, girls want an intelligent boy! If talking to you feels like talking to a brick wall, you’re not going anywhere. If you have a problem articulating, practice… Say a few things in front of a mirror each day, kind of like getting ready for a class presentation. Guys, take some risks, girls like a little adventure in their lives, it can get a little boring with the same old routine. Try a new place to eat, or an interesting date (see Meagan McCall’s piece). Senior Christina Wise says, “Girls like it when you at least seem like you’re trying.” Last but not least, humor is the way to a girl’s heart. If you can make us laugh, then you’re in.

Some advice for both female and male alike is, don’t force it! Senior Laura Lindsey states, “Don’t try so hard. Just find someone you click with.” If you think you’re in love with a boy or girl who has no interest in you, nothing in common with you, or who you know nothing about, you are wasting your time. This is high school, and you shouldn’t be tied down unless you find someone who’s really worth the trouble.

Opinions

Monetary Madness

Monetary Madness
by Kim Keener

As most everyone at ESHS knows, El Segundo and most public schools are experiencing severe budget cuts. Furthermore, as these budget cuts continue, they invade the student body like locusts, affecting multiple aspects of academic life. This crisis has caused the school board to decrease its budget by several million dollars. The ways which budget cuts have affected students the most include the reduction of staff and teachers, cuts in sports and academic programs, and a drastic reduction in field trips. Because of the filming in the past years at ESHS, many have made the assumption that the budget cuts would not have as depressing of a turn for El Segundo High in comparison to other schools. However, money from filming has devastatingly been decreased due to a harsh city council limit on filming allowed to be done on school grounds and in the city. This means that some sacrifices will have to fall on students.

The most notable change as fall rolls around is that there are only two counselors instead of three. Mr. Jack Cassette took a pay cut by stepping down from a counselor to a teacher because he is the only one of the counselors with a teaching credential. Senior Alissa Cooley commented on this by saying, “Now that we have two counselors, I waited over an hour to get my schedule changed.” Many others experienced this as well; with so many students to satisfy, our counselors are more than likely to be stressed. So appreciate them! A particular setback for seniors is that many of them will be experiencing difficulties in asking a counselor for a letter of recommendation. Those seniors who had Mr. Cassette as a counselor will now have to ask either Ms. Moon or Mrs. Burns, who would not know them or their academic achievements as well as their counselor for three years did. Not to mention teachers such as Mr. Barker, Ms. Roggin and Mr. Valenzuela are no longer with us: meaning bigger class sizes and less one-on-one time for students with teachers. ESHS also lost a custodian, which means that as much as students may try to keep the school clean, the likelihood of that happening is slim. Also, Mrs. Allen, the school registrar has been cut 20% so people who need her help of transcripts will see her less. In addition, Mrs. Gen, the district librarian has been cut by 50%. While one of the library clerks can still check out books for you, getting help on your research paper will be more difficult.

When classes and services are cut, it means less variety for students, less opportunity for them to find help, and in some cases, to be less competitive when applying to colleges. Last year, the French program at ESHS was extremely close to being cut. Junior Andrew Clark contributed, “…At my old middle school there were three languages. The French program was almost cut; now there’s only one language. It has been speculated whether or not there will be a French program in the future.” True, Andrew used to live in Washington D.C versus southern Califonia, but still. A great aspect of Los Angeles is the culture and diversity; as a county our diversity is most admirable and interesting. To completely loose the study of the French language and culture at ESHS would be terribly tragic. Woodshop and its teacher, Mr Barker was cut, which is inconvenient for those who want to learn industrial arts.

Other programs that are suffering are sports and clubs. Junior Andrew Clark also commented on the effect on our sports teams saying, “Sports teams- there’s a lot less of them. Basketball has fifty freshmen trying out for the team, but most will be cut due to budget cuts. The JV football team got cut which means less playing time”. As a small high school, El Segundo needs all the good sports players it can get, which puts the teams at a further disadvantage when up against bigger schools like Torrance and Mira Costa. Plus, a lot of sports athletes have grown up playing a certain sport; with budget cuts they will have less time playing and doing what they love. Without sports, many could feel less motivated and not want to come to school, which would also decreasing funds because the government pays the school according to enrollment numbers. For those athletes hoping to get sports scholarships to college, the chance of a scout or college representative willing to give them a scholarship is less likely because many athletes will loose playing time. Varsity teams will also get more competitive and cut many people, even if they happen to be a returning player.

Additionally, students that are kinetic learners, those who like to get out of the classroom to learn, will suffer because it is harder and harder to afford the costs of a field trip with school busses costing on average around four hundred dollars, plus the cost of a driver. Finding enough people to go on the field trip is hard work and often takes a lot of time and research to plan. Many older students may think that they can just drive separately to the field trip destination to save a bus driver and bus fee, but field trips occur during school hours, meaning that the school needs to hire a subsitute for the teacher to go on the trip. Field trips break up the monotonous routine of school days and are needed to make school more enjoyable.

The budget cuts are just one more way to make school unbearable and many are bound to consider the purpose of going to school anymore. The motivation of coming to school everyday especially when there’s a nice peaceful beach minutes away is quickly dwindling.

First Day’s Fashion Statements and Remarks

First Day’s Fashion Statements and Remarks
by Nikki Ochoa

First days of school are the same old introductions, syllabi, and greeting games. The only factors that seem to change are the short stacks straight out the oven that are referred to as freshman and, of course, the ‘new back to school fashions.’ Actually, that is false. To be accurate, it must be said that sadly, year-to-year those trends are more or less the same supply of cottons, satins and 90% polyester 10% nylon threads from the same ‘coolest’ of stores. Walk into any Urban Outfitters, Active, American Apparel or Forever 21, purchase what’s on the mannequin from plastic neck to ankle, buy the shoes placed where the feet have disappeared, and wha-bam! Hello new wardrobe. Walking out of the security sensitive doors with purchases in hand, you’re a little worried that the buzzer going off is in regards to that shirt they missed when you paid. But you’re glad to see the security guard is too interested in the small space between the changing room wall and curtain that closes it off to notice anything but the activities inside. With half a smile and half repulsion, a last thankful glance is beckoned toward the manufactured model for inspiring a fresh collection of clothes. Hugging the store bag tightly, a daydream materializes about the first day of school. The scene’s setting is school’s first period, with stage directions as follow: slow cool walk into first period with Starbucks in one hand, texting utensil in other, and a breezy ‘I’m still in summer mode’ smile on the face. Pause, glance at peers, bask and breathe in offhand stares as well as admiring gapes from bodies at desks as they admire your garments and aura.

Unfortunately, the production didn’t turn out as well as the director intended. Turns out 20 other girls decided that cowgirl boot chic would be a terrific way to say, ‘I’m different’ in a now commonly accepted way. Rings and gypsy jewelry no longer say, ‘I’m a crazy nomadic woman who will steal your baby and swap it for bread.’ But now carry the tone of, ‘I got this wooden tree bark necklace 50% off of a hundred dollars from Urban Outfitter’s Urban Renewal Line.” Of course now, saying something eco or peace- friendly with your clothes is a craze, but think, are TOMS popular because people care for the poor children’s thorny bleeding feet that will be fitted with a pair of shoes for every pair bought? Or are they simply popular because mindless trend chasers will empty their wallets for a fad. Although it must be said that the irony of the TOMS shoe movement is nothing compared to the beauty of the classic sock and sandal with basketball shorts elegance that so many boys grace our halls with. That fashion statement definitely says, ‘I be ballin’ all day long.’ Very cool guys. The flannel ‘I’m a laid-back lumberjack’ statement also seems to be back for more with girls and boys this season. And of course the ever so ‘steezy’ active screen print t-shirts make their appearance on many males who would like to state simply, ‘Hey, I bought this shirt at Active.’ Very fashion forward.

However delayed or advanced our school may be lies in the hands of the students and what they feel is most important to voice through the subtle yet effect means of fashion. What has been in vogue has always been directly connected to the events of the times. The styles of the roaring twenties was a direct rebellion from years of orthodoxy and traditional often-demeaning values for women. The 60’s style is of course known to represent the ‘free love’ and psychedelic drug induced views of the counter culture. Style is much more than shopping to buy what is ‘popular’ in fact its quite the opposite, this abstract form of history and art is to meant to signify our generation and what we did to the world that was unique to our time on it. Make a statement.

Douglous M Edit