Opinion


10 Things to Do in Winter

by Tiana Austel
Staff Writer

Winter is the season of love, beauty, joy, and generosity. Although the summer and lazy days in the sun seem far away there are still many exciting things to do in the winter. Here are some tips on what to do while you are cooped up at home:

1) Have a Movie Night
Bring on the hot chocolate and the movies. Winter is literally made for movie nights and snuggling up under a fluffy blanket. Dim down the lights and pop in a DVD for a whole night filled with laughter, tears, and cosy entertainment. Some recommendations are Elf, A Christmas Story, or A Charlie Brown Christmas.

2) Bake Some Cookies
Nothing is better than the smell of cookies baking in the oven. Bring back memories from your childhood and stick a batch of homemade cookies in the oven. Then to add a bit of excitement substitute ingredients to fit your taste. Add some peppermint for some Christmas cheer or mint swirl chocolate chips for an extra punch.

3) Have a Cheesy Holiday Sweater Party
Let everyone dig in their closets for their cheesiest, ugliest sweater and let the hilarity ensue. Side effects of this party may be hysterical laughter, mentally scarring photos, and an inability to look at moose the same way.

4) Read a Book
Yes, some people read for fun, and although it may be surprising they actually enjoy it. Go run over to your local library and grab an interesting book off the shelves. Then curl up at home on a comfortable couch and just read. While reading let your imagination run wild and bring the story to life.

5) Have a Bonfire
Grab a blanket and a buddy and go down to Dockweiler to have a night on the beach. Roast some hot dogs and some marshmallows and watch the sun go down.

6) Take a Weekend Trip to the Mountains
Just because LA is seemingly lacking in snow, doesn’t mean you can’t go to a place that isn’t! Leave Friday after school and take a road trip up to the mountains and go skiing.

7) Take a trip the the ice skating rink
What’s winter without ice skating? Take a trip over to the ice skating rink and strap on some skates. Bundle up with a warm jacket and wear some socks and spend a night filled with disco lights and laughter.

8) Take a Walk Outside and Look At the Lights
As the Christmas bells get close the streets start to light up. One day bundle up in a warm sweater and go and see the lights on Candy cane Lane or just down the street. Try to find beauty in the simplest of things and walk slowly to take the whole experience in.

9) Watch the Tournament of Roses
On January 1 wake up a bit earlier and watch the Rose Parade on T.V. or go and watch the parade live! Take part in the beloved tradition of the Rose Parade and watch the numerous marching bands as well as sweetly scented floats made of fresh flowers. Then later get your game on and watch the Rose Bowl game with your family.

10) Take a Trip to An Amusement Park
Just because it is not summer does not mean that all of the amusement parks are closed! Local favorites such as Knott’s Berry Farm and Disneyland redecorate their park for the winter to add an extra holiday feel. Take a day and go to a park with a bunch of your friends for enough memories to help keep the winter blues away.

Budget Cuts

by Ashley Fisher
Staff Writer

Budget cuts have affected El Segundo High School in many ways. The arts department has faced many difficulties and other programs have been cut as well. Junior Codi Myers says, “Arts programs are supposed to help each individual get good at something to create a talented group of students. This is harder to achieve when there isn’t any class time for individual attention.” Athletic programs have also felt the sting. Senior Joshua Clarke agrees, “We don’t have a lot of essentials this year that we had the year before.” Many students have been involved with sports since they were very young, but due to budget cuts, they will have a limited amount of time to do what they love.

Because of the ailing financial situation, many teachers have been laid off and were forced to say goodbye to the hallowed halls of El Segundo High School. Since the number of teachers has decreased, the number of students in each classroom has increased. Junior Lesley Mercado states, “In English, there are forty students when there used to be twenty students in a class.” Increased class sizes may make it more difficult for each student to receive the amount of individual attention that they need. This may cause students to fall behind in class, which can also affect their grades.

Many students struggle with the ups and downs of academics and the sports and electives have always been outlets from which the students can escape the burden of school. Having something to look forward to makes going to school more enjoyable. Classes and programs that many students enjoy have been cut or affected in some way, which decreases a student’s motivation to come to school. At the very least, the recent budget cuts may affect the morale of students and teachers alike.

Environmental Article

by Ashley Fisher
Staff Writer

You’ve probably seen or heard about what global warming is and what you can do to help stop it. You’ve most likely seen people protesting about global warming, driving cars, and eating or wearing animals. You may have been to Trader Joe’s and seen those people outside who try to convince you to “go green” or sign their petition to do something environmental.

But many don’t know, don’t care, or don’t want to know about anything having to do with the environment. Many teens today think environmental problems have no affect on them, downgrading its immediate importance. However, some share the same sentiments as freshman and Tree Musketeers activist Julian Poyourow, who says that, “The environment is our future, and if we don’t care for it, then there’s no future for us.” It’s our generation that will be living through the effects of climate changes, global warming, acid rain, and any other curve balls the environment decides to throw at us, so we might as well help care for it.

What does “going green” really mean and how can you help? In a nutshell, it means being environmentally aware in your everyday life and the decisions you make. There is plenty that teenagers can do to help preserve the environment that do not require much effort. Walking or riding your bike to school instead of driving, buying used clothes from thrift stores, and buying used books or borrowing them from the library or a friend are great ways to help.

Get involved! It’s a way to make friends while being environmentally helpful. Programs at school or in your community are great places to start. Organizations such as Tree Musketeers, Ballona Wetlands, Madrona Marsh, and Heal the Bay are always happy to take high school volunteers. The Roundhouse Aquarium is always looking for teenage tour guides to inform the public. You can also volunteer for the annual Beach Cleanup or Trees to the Sea right here in El Segundo. When volunteering, you can light two candles with one flame: help the environment and receive community service hours. Whether you volunteer occasionally or get together a bandwagon of followers, every act helps make a difference for the Earth.

Easy America

Easy America

Convenience and accessibility are what our world revolves around. Easy, fast, and cheap are the words that excite and entice. Open this can of beans with our new automatic can opener! Get a college degree online while sitting in your pajamas eating Pringles! Receive instant gratification! Look here! Buy this! It’ll change your life; you’ll never have to work again! Yes, easy is the word that rules, and our society has evolved to obey the law of the land. Everything from can openers to women have now become easier than ever before. Miss USA publicists understand that the big money lies not in the big hearts of their contestants but rather in their big chests and ease to expose them. Photographers recently held a photo shoot of the ladies that caused controversy. 51 women were dressed in large men’s shirts, fishnet stockings, lace panties and various other suggestive outfits (or lack there of) and posed for the camera. Outrage came from people who had once viewed the Miss USA beauty pageant as a classy showcase of women who were changing the world. Apparently there weren’t many viewers tuning in when that was the idea, so the show took a different approach. On Larry King live, representatives of the show tried to argue the new look by saying the photos were conservative and artistic. Hardly. I fail to see the modesty in Miss Iowa on a bed with her legs spread apart while gently tousling her hair. As for artful, well that’s a joke, and a bad excuse for the pictures that could be found in any $1.99 soft porn magazine at a gas station on a shelf above the Cheetos. Women with traditional values are speaking up against the photos, exclaiming that it is a negative image for young girls to aspire to. That is an unnecessary concern; even if the photo shoot never happened, there are still numerous other slutty role models for young girls to idolize. Although the tragedy does not lie with the Miss USA scandal alone, it certainly lies in the eyes of the 5th and 4th grade girls who look up to symbols of sex everyday and become nothing more than a part of the easy world we live in. The Miss USA photos were obviously taken as a part of an advertising tactic. Yet representatives still try to stand up for the pictures, and that’s a tragedy within itself. For if they honestly believe Miss Delaware puckering her lips and popping her booty in her black panties is acceptable for America’s youth, then that shows exactly how easy America has become.

Volcano

Volcano
By Brianne O’Donoghue
Staff Writer

80,000 is a vastly large number. It is the number of jobs lost per day due to the falling economy. It is the number of phones Google moved in its first month. It is also approximately how many travelers were affected by the eruption of the volcano Eyjafjallajokull last month in Iceland. While classes at ESHS commenced after spring break, many travelers suddenly found themselves stranded in their vacation spots. If any part of a vacationer’s itinerary included flying in to or out of Europe, they were stuck. Although the eruption occurred in Iceland, the cloud of ash that was released drifted down to mainland Europe. Had any plane encountered the flood of ashes, it would have definitely ended up with an engine drowned in the gray soot. It is no wonder as to why almost every airport in Europe closed down after the April 14 eruption.

This disruption of air travel was understandably deemed unprecedented. One third of flights were closed in one day and the situation began to look even bleaker when the volcano again erupted on April 19. Travelers too impatient to wait until the plume had passed resorted to taking ferries, trains, boats, buses and cars as alternate modes of travel. Travelers on the radio reported to have taken as many as eight trains, passing trough six countries to arrive home.

My family and I were a few of the travelers who found themselves with some extra time in Europe. My dad is originally from Ireland so we were on our annual trip there to visit his family. Fortunately for us, we stay with my aunt when we visit so we had a place to wait during the five days we were stranded. Many people were not so fortunate. People and families of all ages could be found sleeping and living in the airport terminals. Of these people, a fair portion had run out of money and had no access to food or a hotel. Driving around Ireland in our rental car, I remember hearing countless news reports on the topic. People were shocked at the intensity of the eruption. Airport employees expressed their fear and surprise at how desolate and hopeless the situation was. I recall one employee say that she was nervous that air travel would never return back to normal. Others expressed anxiety at the idea of losing their job as airline companies lost millions, some billions, of euros per day.

While the situation was indeed horrifying, it is a prime example of how people come together during disaster or adversity. For every news report about the inconvenience of the whole situation, there was one report of how bed and breakfasts and even regular people around Ireland were opening up their homes to travelers who had nothing. Callers constantly rang in to the radio station to offer travelers a free place to stay for the night, transportation to and from the airport and even a free meal.

To the relief of many travelers, airplane travel was approved on April 23. Passengers boarded their long-awaited flights home, many with bittersweet feelings, as I had; the sadness of finally leaving, but also harboring a growing feeling of homesickness. After a week of hectic rescheduling of flights, scrambling to find a place to stay, and the varying controversy of the disruption, the anxiety of the travelers was abated as they slid back into their daily lives.

Editorial

Editorial –by Emma Smith

On May 5, 2010 it seemed that most of El Segundo had gathered at the softball field at Recreation Park. They were there to watch the varsity team play, buy a special dinner, participate in an auction, buy tickets for a raffle, or make a donation –somehow taking part in the “Love for Lizzy” event created by the ESHS Girls’ Softball organization (headed by Coach Keith Cameron). What those in and around the overflowing stands saw was a community coming together to honor and support someone who shows what it means to be brave on a terrifyingly daily basis. Elizabeth “Lizzy” Garland played varsity softball as a starting third-baseman and was a 2008 ESHS graduate. Recently, through a series of unfortunate events, doctors discovered that she has brain cancer. Lizzy has spent the last 3 months in and out of the hospital (with surgery, chemo, and radiation). Her story, and the people who rose out of the woodwork to offer financial and emotional aid, remind the rest of us about what should be recognized as important in life. For far too much of the time, high school students obsess over parties or grades, escaping or obsessing over academics and their respective futures. Sometimes it is easy to forget that the emphasis should be placed on doing what we love because we love it; whether that means becoming an artist or a neuroscientist, while cherishing those who offer encouragement along the way. With the school year nearing an end, it is important to take a figurative step back and remember that the time period after high school is called the rest of your life –however long or short it may be.

APs

APs by Jack Li

El Segundo is a school that takes great pride in its academics. Our school is ranked among the highest performers in California and our students regularly outperform others on standardized testing. However, one area in which El Segundo is lagging behind other schools is AP classes. To be exact, our curriculum is missing some important APs that provide vital skills to students who take them. While other schools may have over twenty AP and IB classes, El Segundo’s number has dwindled down to just nine. In this sense, our students are at a disadvantage.
Two of the most important AP classes available at other schools are Chemistry and Economics. AP Economics gives graduating seniors a leg up in the college discipline of business, while AP Chemistry prepares high school students for the rigor of college level laboratory experiments. Both are very important classes, and both are classes that El Segundo lacks. AP Economics used to be offered at our school, yet it cannot be taken now.
This problem of lagging behind other schools has a simple solution -just start offering the aforementioned classes. Our faculty may lament the excessive budget cuts, but I assure you, there will be minimal extra cost compared to what we offer now. If AP Chemistry were offered, many sophomores would opt to take that class instead of regular chemistry. Thus, we could just reduce the number of regular chemistry classes and have a physical science teacher switch to AP chemistry. AP Economics would not be difficult to include either. Like Chemistry, many seniors would rather take the AP class over the regular class. We could simply reduce the number of periods for regular econ and add a period of AP econ.
The other consideration would be that of rigor. The more AP classes a high school offers, the more competitive students are supposed to take. Top tier colleges expect that students will take the most rigorous course offerings available. Expectations are higher for students whose high schools offer more AP classes, allowing them a competitive edge in applying for college.
It baffles me why El Segundo chooses not to offer these classes. If they were available, I already know many scholars who would enroll in a heartbeat. The material that they teach is necessary in college and will give our students a competitive edge over others in the real world.