Teachers Show Off Skills at Stage Show

Staff Writers

On April 29, the Alhambra Dance Team (ADT) hosted Stage Show at the auditorium from 7-9 p.m. Stage Show is an event that traditionally only includes the dance teams, but this year it also included teachers.

The purpose of this year’s event, which was styled as a dance battle, was to show friendly competition and interaction between teachers and students. In addition, Stage Show allowed AHS dance teams to present what they have been doing throughout their year.

“We not only dance for the audience but [also] for each other. It brings us together one last time before we start a new [year] with a clean slate,” ADT member Anne Chau said.

Teachers Jessica Bray, Ernie Chen, Melissa Fu, Natalie Jaurequi, Eileen Kaiser, Kristin Keenan, Jennifer Marquez, Tuan Pham, Jayson Pineda and Kevin Tong performed alongside the students. At the end of the competition, all the teachers were given certificates. The winning performers of the dance battle, Pineda and the All-Male juniors, were chosen based on the amount of applause they received from the audience. Pineda received an award designed as a wrestling championship belt.

Teachers put in their own time to practice for the performance.

“Practicing was very hard; I took 15 hours through lunch and on my own, but it was worth it and my freshmen girls gave me fantastic choreography! The Stage Show was scary at first, but I felt encouraged by the support of the students. Overall, it was so much fun,” English teacher Melissa Fu said.

Performers also learned from the experience.

“This year’s performance was quite different compared to previous years. It’s our first time working with teachers and that was definitely a challenge; however, it was a great experience to be able to bond with the teachers in a way we otherwise would not have [been able to]. Other than having the teachers on stage with us, we had 1,033 people sitting in the seats of the auditorium, screaming and cheering for us […] and that meant everything to us as dancers,” ADT member Mai Trinh said.

Each and every one of the student performers worked hard during practices that would often last from one to three hours. Their effort was rewarded with waves of applause.

“It was an amazing honor to get to perform in front of friends and families, especially since it was my last time performing with my dance family. It was truly special [and I felt] such a bittersweet feeling,” ADT member Jackie Gomez said.

First, Second, and Third World Problems at Economic Summit

Staff Writer

On May 13, students in an Economics course for the second semester participated in one of their final high school projects: the Economic Summit.

The summit is a hands-on activity that allows students to apply what they have learned in class to current world events. Preparation for the event started in February, when students were told to form teams of four and to choose the country they would like to represent during the event.

To avoid having two of the same countries a raffling process was done. Each student was given a player’s guide, a workbook that contained instructions on how the summit works and what they need to do in order to succeed. They were then given a chance to research their country’s traditions, current condition, imports/exports and problems it needs to overcome.

“I had to go shopping for clothing that I never thought in my life I would wear. Though sometimes a little stressing, it has been an interesting experience,” senior Genesis Barajas said.

The events occurred in the big gym, where students exhibited their display boards along with traditional food from their country’s cuisine, while dressed in cultural outfits.

To win the summit, countries must earn points by collaborating with other countries, making trading alliances to import and export goods, getting financial aid from other countries, and taking flag and trading quizzes. The country with the most points at the end of the day wins the summit; this year, the first place winner was Laos.

“[Because of Economic Summit] I have learned more about trade and how it affects the country. I really enjoyed [working on] this project. It’s a real step into a world [many high school students] do not really know,” senior Koby Arriaza said.
Economic Summit gave students the chance to practice real life abilities such as strategic planning, negotiating and extensive researching, while also teaching them about their country’s government, politics, trade, economy, demographics and culture.

“I had to do extensive research for the country I was assigned on topics ranging from the culture to the people, [which made me] very knowledgable because it has taught me about how countries in the world are ran and how they are balanced to keep the economy going,” senior Drew Vazquez said.

Moors Poet Society Competes at Get Lit Competition Semifinals

Editor in Chief

Deep in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, the L.A. Theater Center was brimming with activity on April 29. Just inside the lobby, 25 schools were gathered for the annual Get Lit Classic Slam of 2016. In the various theatres, the Alhambra Slam team, composed of senior Joseph Ney-Jun, senior Sania Luna, senior Tina Le, senior Vivyana Prado, sophomore Edith Garcia and sophomore Alycia Whyte, awaited their next performance with 47 AHS students cheering them on.

“My poem, ‘What I Learned from My Mother’ by Julia Kasdorf, had me at the title. My mom taught me a lot about just being kind, which is what [my classic] poem is all about. My response, rather than focusing on the positive things that I learned, focuses on the negative,” AMPS President Ney-Jun said.

There were six teachers who helped get every participant ready: Kristin Keenan, Nicole Hasenbein, Joshua Moreno, Carlos Villagomez, Lori Naylor and Leah Christian.

“It was my first time performing at Get Lit and my experience was really great. It’s amazing to go and speak your voice and writing and thoughts to people for them to hear and truly enjoy. I do and I can’t wait to improve and grow in poetry,” Garcia said.

Alhambra High Environmental Resource Awareness Society Hosts Eco Fair with Water District

Staff Writer

On April 22, AHS celebrated Earth Day with the Municipal Water District of San Gabriel Valley (SGVMWD) by holding its own Eco Fair.

Located in the Quad at lunch, the Eco Fair was hosted by ERAS and helped in spreading environmental awareness to students. Students who stopped by the Fair received lollipops wrapped with environmental facts, courtesy of ERAS. Furthermore, the SGVMWD, partnered with ERAS, also provided free items such as plant seeds and pens to students.

“I hope that the Eco Fair will show our students that our actions have consequences,” ERAS member Daniel Torres said. “Even something like tossing a small piece of litter onto the sidewalk can do its part in damaging the environment.”

Beyond the Eco Fair, ERAS participates in various services to extend their influence beyond AHS.

“I think ERAS has definitely impacted the students at our school as well as the community in a positive way,” ERAS Adviser Trieu Nguyen said.

Junior Council’s Prom Flies Students to Moon: One Last Dance



Staff Writers

On April 30, AHS held its annual prom organized by the Junior Class Council. Themed “Fly Me to the Moon,” the dinner and dance lasted from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The venue for this year’s Prom was the Samuel Oschin Pavilion in the California Science Center. The Oschin Pavilion is known widely as the housing area for the Space Shuttle Endeavor exhibit.

“Prom this year [was] special because students [got] the chance to dine under the Endeavor, a space shuttle used by NASA […] so students [had] a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” council member Cindy Lee said.

According to Junior Council, this venue will not be used again, as the Pavilion will be available only for private events in the future.

Some students found the prom venue to be of great splendor.

“I’ve always wanted to be at an event held at the Ronald Reagan Library with the Air Force One hovering over me as I dance. So, having the Endeavor is a dream come true in its own sense. The staff was so affable. They even snuck us desserts while everyone was still eating their main course. I loved it!” senior Zhayne Tanyag said.

Other students who were hesitant to go felt that the overall cost of attending prom was too high.

“I felt like prom was like every other dance at the school, just with formal attire. Going together with friends, taking pictures, and going to eat out afterwards,” senior Amanda Beeal said. “[However,] the venue was beautiful and the food was very satisfying. The only thing I did not care for was the fact that if we wanted to take professional pictures, we had to wait in a long line that took up our time [from] being on the dance floor.”

One hour before the end of the dance, Junior Council president Shekina Medalla took to the dance floor to announce the winners of the prom court: Prom King David Nunez and Prom Queen Giselle Diaz.

“At first I wasn’t really looking forward to prom even though I got nominated for Prom King. However, the day of, I started feeling the excitement and began to realize that [prom] was going to be one of the last times I was going to be enjoying myself with all of my friends,” Nunez said. ”Seeing everyone in their dresses and tuxedos having a good time just gave me a great feeling that I will never forget. The best part for me was winning Prom King and having all my friends cheer for me and congratulate me. I would recommend underclassmen to go to prom in their senior year; it is something that I will never forget and always cherish!”

Speech and Debate Members Qualify for National Tournament

Staff Writer

Three Speech and Debate team members, Taylor Thomas (TT), Tiffany Chiang (TC) and Brandon Chau (BC), qualified for the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) tournament. They are qualified for Original Oratory, Congress-Senate and Congress-House, respectively. The competition will be taking place in Salt Lake City from June 12 to 17.

Question: How do you feel about making it to Nationals?

TT: It was absolutely surreal to qualify to the national tournament. After spending three years in Speech and Debate, I was really proud of everything I accomplished in forensics. But, to be honest, there was no better way to end my debate journey than at the national tournament. I’m so grateful to be ending the culmination of years of hard work surrounded by the best in the nation in Salt Lake City.

TC: Speech and Debate plays such a large role in my life, so I’m extremely grateful and happy that I was able to qualify to Nationals my senior year.

BC: I feel very accomplished for making it to nationals especially as a freshman. I feel like I made my captains proud as well as my coach [Mr. Tong]. I’m very excited to go to Nationals because I never really traveled before.

Question: How has making it to nationals impacted you?

TT: Qualifying to the national tournament has truly helped me realize how rewarding Speech and Debate has been for me throughout high school. It reminded me why I spend so much time practicing and why I love doing what I do. Language is so unbelievably powerful and, as kids, we don’t often realize that. The opportunity to have my voice be heard by others who share the same activity is going to be an experience I’ll never forget.

TC: As a captain, I felt discouraged that I missed qualifying to the state tournament by one point because I felt that I wasn’t living up to certain standards or proving my abilities through results. Although I was discouraged, I felt the support and love of my friends and Mr. Tong, and I feel truly honored and humbled to be part of such a wholesome team. Being able to share this experience with two of my closest friends, Taylor and Brandon, is just the icing on the cake!

BC: I’m excited because I get to compete against some of the best in the country. It provides me a chance to learn and meet new people.

Students Strive for Moor on MESA Day at University of Southern California

Staff Writer

Alhambra High School’s Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) went to California State University, Long Beach on April 9 for Senior MESA Day. A majority of members placed and won trophies in the final competition.

“MESA Day [was] a huge success for AHS because MESA Club [had] the greatest amount of people qualified to go that we have seen in previous years,” sophomore Jesse Rosales said.

According to MESA president Catherine Nguyen, competitors who placed first, second or third [at] Pre-MESA Day at USC were allowed to compete at Regional MESA Day on April 9.

There were a total of nine events held at the competition: Speak Out, Prothestic Arm, Mousetrap Car, EggExpress, Civil Structure, Balsa Wood Airplane, Model Science and the Solo Math Test that all competitors (except for seniors) had to take.

“We [spent] at least two weeks making the model and [perfected] it [to] the best of our ability,” second place winner in Model Science Human Heart Peter Shi said.

Although many of our students qualified, the day did not go very smoothly for some of them.

“I feel like it was really disorganized because there was only a fifteen minute window between the math test and our competition,” junior Kristi Mai said.

Other winners include Bryan Kwong and Ben Li for second place and Qi Wen Li and Pauline Ma for third place in Balsa Wood Airplane. As for Civil Structure, Motoe Hiraki and Susan Gu took first place for overall and second place in creativity. Sophomores Sophia Tan and Jason Zhu both won second place on the sophomore Solo Math Test. Zhu also won first place in Mousetrap Car and third place in Mousetrap Distance up the ramp.

“I believed that the victories were well deserved since every member in MESA has worked vigorously to participate and triumph in their competitions,” senior Jonathan Banh said.

Grad Nite 2016: Senior Class Visits Happiest Place on Earth

News Editor

On Saturday, May 21, some graduating seniors will arrive at school at 9 a.m. The purpose will not be to take a class or exam, but rather to board the bus to Disney California Adventure Park. In celebration of their graduation, high school seniors partake in a tradition known as Grad Nite, during which they visit Disneyland Resort Grad Nite at Disney California Adventure Park and enjoy the park with other graduating seniors.

“Because I usually go to Disneyland with family members instead of friends, I feel like this experience will be more fun. I’m excited for the food, the rides, taking tons of pictures and spending time with friends. However, I’m not looking forward to waiting in line,” senior Donlie Gu said.

Students will be allowed to go around the park by themselves, but will not be allowed to continue enjoying the park if they break the rules for Grad Nite. Participating seniors who get in trouble while at the park will be chaperoned by an adult until the event ends. Participants will return on Sunday at 3:30 a.m.

“I’m not excited about waiting in line for the good rides. I’ve been to Disneyland before, but I’m not excited about being chaperoned by the high school. It’s annoying because we can’t drive ourselves there,” senior Andrew Simmons said. “[However,] I’m excited for the big turkey legs and [hanging] out with senior friends who I most likely won’t see after high school.”

Many seniors are excited to attend Grad Nite as they feel it will be a new experience and one of their last high school memories.

“I’ve never been to Disneyland, so I don’t know what to expect. I’m excited for the rides, but the food seems oevrpriced and I’m not excited for long lines,” senior Kathryn Lee said.

Automation Invasion


Can You Dig It-


Opinions Editor

Computer-driven automation, the technology that runs self-checkout registers and automated customer service lines, appeal to the average consumer because of its ability to quickly complete traditionally manned tasks. A majority of today’s labor intensive industries are almost fully automatic. Agricultural, mining and manufacturing companies, for example, rely on the science behind robotics to truly drive productivity in their large volume operations. By drastically reducing manual labor and production costs, the rise of robots in the workforce promises a more efficient and successful future.

According to Business Insider, Andy Puzder, the CEO of Carl’s Jr., is considering opening an employee-free, completely automated restaurant. Puzder believes investing money in automation far outweighs investing in paying employees high salaries, especially when the cost of minimum wage is rising in the U.S. Unlike humans, robots do not get tired, lazy, sick or come late to work, making them “perfect employees.” Envisioning an entirely robotic restaurant is a testament to how tech-dependent we have become. Robots performing human tasks are no longer something we dream or read about; robots are already here, and automation is in full swing. Machines taking over the work force is both a distressing and fascinating thought: at this rate, will this technological emphasis on efficiency and perfection cause the need for human labor and interaction to disappear completely? As efficient as automation is, I do not dig the potential prospect of being surrounded by inanimate and programmed objects more than our own living, human race. Automation has certainly reshaped our economy and means of productivity, but it should not affect quintessential social skills.

The next time you go shopping and find yourself choosing between using a self checkout system or approaching a human cashier, it might be worth your while to pick the one-on-one interaction with a physical being. After all, the rise of robots is no longer science fiction.

Liabilities and Losses: $15 Minimum Wage Increase

Staff Writer

On March 28, California Gov. Jerry Brown announced that he had reached a deal with lawmakers and labor unions to raise the minimum wage from $10 per hour to $15 per hour by 2022. The law, known as SB-3, would essentially allow the governor to delay minimum wage hikes during an economic decline. Proponents argue that the legislation would benefit workers, leading to greater work efficiency, lower rates at which businesses lose staff, and greater gross domestic product. Labor unions had initially started a $15 minimum wage initiative called the Fair Wage Act of 2016 that was certified for the Nov. 8, 2016 ballot but due to the passing of Senate Bill 3, the act will most likely be withdrawn.

According to the Los Angeles Times, there are also several problems that will accompany the enaction of this legislation. When the minimum wage rises, the cost of goods and products will also rise. This ultimately results in inflation when the rise in prices leads to the lessening ability of customers to buy goods and services. Contrary to the belief that raising the minimum wage would lead to lower turnover for businesses, this piece of legislation would actually lead to greater loss of staff for employers since these business owners would have to pay more money to their employees. While some employees may be making slightly more money, others will inevitably be left unemployed. It’s essentially an ineffective tool to combat unemployment as business owners would eventually consider replacing workers with robots or computers. The result will be a huge burden on businesses and consumers alike.

Raising the minimum wage to $15 could also present various challenges for parents. Since the cost of services will rise, so will the cost of day cares which is already high enough as it is. Parents would have trouble searching for day cares they can afford, and child care programs may also start going out of business. As such, students with younger siblings may realize that a higher minimum wage results in negative effects such as less allowance and greater difficulty for parents to support their children’s college tuitions. The idea of raising the minimum wage to $15 is supposed to create a “living wage” instead of creating more poverty and inequality.
Although SB-3 comes with certain advantages, the reality is that a $15 minimum wage would simply be a tax on everyone. The point of raising a minimum wage is to provide a “living wage.”

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