Striving for Recognition

Issue 20 features

Ellen Lei
Staff Writer

Students often aim to achieve success at school to obtain a sense of confidence and pride or simply to feel satisfied. In some instances, students can even be rewarded for their achievements through awards. Awards have always acted as a motivator for students to work hard and push themselves to their fullest potential. On the other hand, it can simply be a reward for students that have demonstrated an exemplary work ethic. There are several different awards that can be given out to students that meet the requirements. Although there are various awards, people should understand that if there is no true merit or significance for the award, it should not be considered an honor. Thus, students should focus their efforts on challenging themselves to accomplish greater achievements, not just on winning awards. It is time for students to take advantage of their potential and the future rewards that await them.

Katherine Gong
Staff Writer

The Truth About Trophies

When DJ Khaled released his 2008 hit song “All I Do Is Win,” the song quickly hit the Billboard Top 100, not only because of the song’s catchy chorus but perhaps also because it accurately captured humanity’s innate desire to always come out on top. Whether it be at the Grammys, Oscars or Golden Globes, winning awards is a feeling that everyone desires. However, what causes such ambition or happiness? What makes a trophy worth more than its physical form?

In 2006, researchers from Toronto’s Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Center conducted a study that revealed that Academy Award-winning actors and directors tended to live longer than their runner-ups. “We are not saying that you will live longer if you win an Academy Award,” said Donald Redelmeier, the lead author of the study, “Our main conclusion is simply that social factors are important… It suggests that an internal sense of self-esteem is an important aspect to health and health care.”

As it turns out, according to a CBS article, winning triggers a release of dopamine in the brain, causing a feeling that makes people happy and competitive. While awards promote a healthy ambition, people often associate winning with being the best. This sense of competition, despite the lack of permanence in the satisfaction it brings, leads to competitive mindsets and drive. As long as pursuing awards is kept at a healthy balance, winning accolades can create confidence and purpose within a person.
Jesse Rosales
Staff Writer

A for Effort

The “everyone’s a winner” mentality has emerged and is becoming more prevalent in the world today. In a match there are winners and losers. If a team wants a trophy, they have to be the best. However, the standards to be considered a winner are changing. It is becoming more common for children to receive a participation trophy. The phrase “A for effort” is seen as a compliment and a sense of achievement. A Princeton study on social interactions analyzed that schools, social interactions, even jobs are being influenced by this phenomenon.
By making everyone a winner, students are losing out on learning how to lose graciously or pick themselves up from a failure. Trying one’s best never guarantees that they will get the dream job, the big promotion or meet the requirements. Many argue that the biggest lesson sports teach athletes is how to face defeat and return another day to try and improve their game; until one day when they can put themselves and their team in a position to win. Yet, they remind students that their effort, regardless of ability or results, is valued. Participation trophies tell them that what matters is showing up for practice, learning the rules and rituals of the game and working hard.

The idea that trophies create an entitled generation who learn to expect praise for participation clashes with the idea of commitment and determination. There has been little research to prove the benefits or harm of participation trophies in sports. For now, participation trophies will continue to symbolize a transition to the different perspectives on the growth of students, athletes and workers.
Mia Takasaki
Staff Writer

Honoring Moors

There are many types of awards in high school. They can range from academic awards to extracurricular awards. A few of these awards include CSF, National Forensic League and MDDTUSA.

CSF, or California Scholarship Federation is a program that was started in 1921 by Charles F. Seymour. CSF is about recognizing students and their outstanding academic achievements. There are three types of awards given out, the first being the Seymour, which is considered one of the highest honors given to a high school student. The second award is the Outstanding Sealbearer, which is an award of $1,000 for students who do not qualify for the Seymour. There is also a third award which is for seniors who are part of the CSF chapter. Colleges throughout the nation still participate in this program, recognizing students for their great academic accomplishments.

Another company that gives awards and scholarships is the National Forensic League. The National Forensic League, now known as the National Speech and Debate Association, was founded by Bruno E. Jacob in 1925. The school with the most advancing rounds at the speech and debate tournament receives the Bruno E. Jacob award. There are also sweepstakes awards given out to the top schools at the tournaments.

MDDTUSA is another competition which frequently awards prizes to high school students. Miss Dance Drill Team USA founded by Kay Teer Crawford, is a dance competition for dance teams and studios. MDDTUSA has a scholarship foundation which gives out three types of scholarships to students: The Dr. Kay T. Crawford award, The National Solo Title Pageant Award and the Brenda Caspary-Crawford Scholarship award.

These are just a few of the many awards students are able to earn in school. With these and the many other awards available, students will continue to work hard physically and academically to strive for excellence.

Lynn Zhang
Staff Writer

Achievements Through History

Ever since ancient times, awards have been used to recognize outstanding victories. In fact, the English word trophy was derived from the French term trophée, which means “a prize of war” and the Latin term trophaeum, which means “monument to victory.”

Awards today do not look the way they did in the classical times, however. After a victory on the battlefield, the Greeks would use the arms and armors of their opponents to construct a trophy. The Romans’ awards took the form of columns and arches. There were also smaller awards, such as a twisted olive branch used at the original Olympic games in Greece. Although this does not seem like a lot today, it was a serious symbol of status in those times, given only to the most elite athlete.

In the Middle Ages, chalices were given to winners of sporting events. These chalices are the foundation of the modern-day cup-shaped trophies, such as the Davis Cup and the Stanley Cup.

Awards have also come to recognize achievement in music, acting, scholarly work and many other categories. For example, the Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, commonly known as the Tony Award, recognizes achievement in live Broadway theater. It was first awarded in 1949 and has numerous categories, such as Best Choreography and Best Play. Another well-known award is the Nobel Prize, a set of prizes that recognize academic, cultural and scientific advances. The first Nobel Prize was awarded in 1901.

The desire for recognition is an integral part of being human. History demonstrates this through the use of awards and trophies which have been used to mark achievement since the ancient times.

Destiny Luna
Staff Writer

1. Walt Disney holds the record for winning the most number of Oscars by an individual.
2. In 1934, Shirley Temple was the youngest person to receive an award at 5 years old.
3. The only movies to win 11 awards in one ceremony include ‘Titanic,’ The Lord of the Rings and Ben-Hur.
4. La La Land made history in January, breaking the record for the most Golden Globes won by a single film by snagging all seven of the awards for which it was nominated.
5. The Oscars are not open to the public.
6. One-quarter of the presidents have won a grammy, including Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
7. About 27 awards have been discontinued from the MTV VMA’s.

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Protesters Seeking Additional Funds for L.A. Schools

Staff Writer

Teachers, parents and students are recently participating in rallies across the nation protesting for increased support and funding for public education. In addition to more funding, activists are pushing for more emphasis to be placed on subjects such as art and music.

“If it truly does support students and their education, then by all means, paying more taxes wouldn’t be that much of a hassle,” AHS parent David Tam said.

According to Education News, budget cuts led schools across the country to place less emphasis on art programs because colleges mainly focus on core subjects. On the other hand, an article on Washington Post argued that companies such as Apple hire employees based on knowledge and technical education and place less emphasis on art.

“It’s important for students to know about art,” freshman Leslie Torres said.

Teachers are seeking to bring back more programs in subjects such as art, music and theater.

“I feel that the walk-in protests are for a good cause, because many schools are not receiving the proper amount of funding,” junior Alex Illingworth said.

FHA-HERO Advances to State Competition

Staff Writer

Led by president Celeste Olmos and adviser Julie Eyre, Future Homemakers of America, Home Economic Related Occupations (FHA-HERO) is a club that focuses on developing career and leadership skills.

“In the beginning [of the year we] gear towards training them for [skills to take on events such as] culinary events […] and job interviews,” Eyer said.

On Feb. 20, FHA-HERO sent seven students to Mountain View High School to compete in six different areas for the regional competition.

There are three levels of competition: regional, state and national. Students compete in different categories, including culinary and fashion. To qualify for state, a competitor must place anywhere between first to fifth place. To qualify for national, competitors must earn anywhere between first to third place during state competitions.

“Compared to last year we did exceptionally well [this year],” Olmos said.

Regina Rojas won first place in Event Planning. Fatima Torres won first place in Culinary Arts: Breads. Celeste Olmos and Kassandra Sanchez won first and fifth place, respectively, in Menu Planning and Table display. Angela Aylas won second place in Apparel Construction. Jasmine and Kathleen Flores won third and fourth place, respectively, in Culinary Arts: Wedding Cakes.

“It was a good experience. [I tried] something different, [learned] new skills and [made] it to [the] state competition,” Flores said.

Each competetor is qualified to move on to the state competition that will be held from Apr. 16-19.
“My hopes for FHA-HERO in the future are probably to get more active members, especially [students] who [desire] to be in a home economics career,” Olmos said.

Alhambra High School Chalk Art Festival Draws in Aspiring Artists

chalkart (1)

Seniors Tony Chavez and Celia Otero work on their chalk art piece in which they reconcile the past of Mexican culture with the present.


News Editor
Staff Writer

A myriad of colors decorated the Quad starting Thursday, March 3, as student artists worked diligently, sweeping chalk over the gravelly ground. The chalk art festival, held before Open House every year, is an opportunity for students to collaborate on chalk projects that depict images based on a theme. This year, the theme for the showcase was “culture.” In response, students produced various chalk art images, including depictions of American, Japanese, Russian, Chinese and Indian culture.

“Art helps you think and [helps you] use your knowledge to teach you critical thinking skills,” parent Jennie Mai said.

The event was a collaborative work that consisted of 24 students working together in 12 groups to draw their art piece.

“[I enjoyed the fact that] we get to show everyone what we can do, [and that art] is not just a class,” senior Jacqueline Gil said.

Each group was given their own chalk to use, but groups asked each other for additional colors when they ran out.
“A lot of us ran out of colors so it’d be better if we had more chalk next year,” junior Michi Takagi said.

Overall, despite some factors that can be improved in next year’s chalk art festival, this year’s festival appeared to draw the attention of parents, students and faculty.

“It is my goal to instill art, in any form, into our campus culture. By hosting this event, students are given the opportunity to showcase the art skills they learn in the classroom to the whole campus on a larger scale,” Ceramics instructor Jayson Pineda said.

Trump Supporters Say Bring Back Slavery

Staff Writer

On Jan. 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation to free all slaves in the Confederacy. The executive order was a monumental step toward equality for blacks in America and had the order not been issued, the degree of racial equality in America today may be much higher.

This ongoing and prominent issue has even affected the course of events in American politics today. For months, the United States has been preparing itself for the next presidential election, bombarding citizens with daily news of the candidates running for office. One candidate that receives much of the spotlight is Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner. According to a January YouGov/Economist poll, about 20 percent of Trump supporters do not approve of the Emancipation Proclamation, revealing just how much Trump’s followers advocate white supremacy. Trump is almost always drowning in controversy due to his racist and insensitive remarks, yet this allows him to garner high levels of support from America’s bigoted population.

It is absolutely ridiculous that a candidate running for presidency in a nation known for placing importance on freedom has supporters who harbor great hatred and prejudice toward others of different races and religions. It’s completely absurd to hear that there are still people in America who wish for slavery to exist and even more disconcerting knowing that they support Trump. If Trump were to become president, there is a high chance that the state of America will deteriorate. With such discriminatory beliefs, American will not reach the “greatness” Trump has promised to his supporters.

SLAM DUNK: Head Coach Firings Changing Traditional Professional Sports Culture

Sports Editor
In this modern era of sports, many aspects have evolved in a way that the traditional styles have almost become forgotten. For example, coaching has changed in that there are barely any traditional coaches left in each sport. In fact, the coaching job has changed entirely. The trend is that many more coaches are getting fired every single year. The leash and patience that coaches are given today are so quick that it’s hard to remember how coaches of the past slowly built up great teams and programs.

Let’s start with the NBA. There has been an average of 11 firings per season, 221 total since 1997. In the NFL, 22 teams have changed head coaches over the past four seasons. Half of those teams have had two or more changes. Consequently, those same teams have posted losing seasons year after year. It is not surprising that these teams are not successful after changes. The fact is that it takes time to build up a program and team chemistry and clear bad habits of the past. But owners are so quick to pull the panic button that it ends up hurting the franchise even more. For instance, Cleveland Cavaliers head coach David Blatt was fired recently despite reaching the NBA Finals last season and leading the team to a great record this season. He had the best record of any fired coach in the history of the league. As ridiculous as it sounds, this is the modern era where almost no coach has a guaranteed contract.

In contrast, some of the most successful traditional coaches today were not always winners. New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick posted a 5-11 record his first season in 2000, before becoming one of the most successful winners in NFL history. In the NBA, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich only won 26.6 percent of his games in 1997. Despite this, he became one of the greatest head coaches of all time. What do these coaches still have in common? They both struggled before figuring things out. Yet, if these coaches were fired as quickly as today’s coaches, history would have been changed.

All in all, the coaching culture needs to reverse back to the past when coaches were given time to make a franchise better. Constant change is not a solution, but a problem. Hopefully, owners will begin to realize that success takes patience as seen through the coaching masters of each sport.

Varsity Swim Kicks Into Season With New Swimmers

Staff Writer
The Moors varsity swim team has begun their season and are now into their fifth week of practice. Many new swimmers took to the water for the first time as the Moors kicked off their season with a decisive 124-21 victory over Pioneer High School on March 1, and a loss against Gabrielino High School. The swimmers, both new and old, are excited to get into the water and take on a new season.

“I think both the newcomers and the returners this year will have a lot of room for improvement. We all have potential and through our efforts in practice, we’ll hopefully be able to move up in league standings,” returning junior Aaron Shih said.

Although the season is still young, the team has increased the intensity of their practices every day in an effort to better their strokes and kicks prior to the start of many crucial league meets. Currently, the team practices every school day at Granada Park from 3:30-5:30 p.m. The team has been working on conditioning, hoping to quickly get back into shape and to improve stamina.

This year, the team welcomes the challenge of adjusting to their third coach in three years. Along with the challenges of improving every day, the team will try to adjust to the new leadership of Head Coach Jonathan Ruiz.

“Hopefully, I’ll be able to adjust well to leading this new team. I hope to help the swimmers improve their strokes and their times, and I expect to see them all work hard in order to do so,” Ruiz said.

As the team enters their regular season league meets, every athlete hopes to see improvement in their times. With time, team chemistry will grow and along with that, so will performance both in individual and relay events. The Moors will have their next race against Bell Gardens on Thursday, March 17.

Introduction: 3.14 Cheers For Pi Day!

Staff Writer

This past Monday was annual Pi Day, which is the national celebration of the mathematical constant π. This number is often simplified to 3.14, since this notorious number extends past a trillion numbers. Due to this simplification, it was chosen to be celebrated annually on March 14 in order to represent the number in month to day form. Pi Day consists of fun and creative ways for everyone to celebrate its significance, such as baking pies or participating in fun games such as trying to memorize as many digits of Pi as you can.

Boys’ Varsity Volleyball Passing Through Preseason


Junior Jia Li prepares to spike the ball during Alhambra’s second varsity home game against the Gabrielino Eagles on March 9. The Moors won 3-2 after a 15-9 victory in the final set.


Staff Writer
The boys’ varsity volleyball team is setting their way into preseason with a current record of 3-1. Every week, the boys practice for at least two hours, from 5 to 7 p.m. Sometimes, the team practices on Saturdays if they need more improvement.

“Our team has potential that needs to be refined and it will make us an even better team. The simplest mistakes kill us, but we hope to win as many games as possible,” libero Vongpor Lim said.

The varsity team has four returning players with a mix of some JV members from the previous year.

“This season I expect the same as I always do and that is a winning league. This year we have a group of solid players and if we could start gelling by the time league rolls around, we’ll be in good shape to make a run at league,” Head Coach Charles Tran said.

Winning league is something a team would always want and this preseason the boys are pushing hard to make sure that it will happen.

“This preseason we are definitely going back to the basics. And I’m not just talking about passing, setting and hitting but also necessities such as team communication and chemistry,” setter Greg Kurniawan said.
Eight seniors graduated last year, leaving the team to be relatively “new.” During their practices they try to focus on communication and confidence.

“A lot of players have the skills but don’t believe in themselves as much, so we try to work on confidence in oneself,” Tran said.

The team’s next game is at the San Gabriel Tournament on Friday and Saturday, March 18-19.

Pie Recipes

Staff Writer

Craving something rich to satisfy your sweet tooth? Try this recipe that takes less than an hour to make!
Coconut Cream Pie
Prep: 10 min.
Cook: 35 min.
– 1 blind-baked 9-inch pastry shell
– 2 ¼ cups whole milk
– ¾ cup sugar
– 3 eggs, separated
– ¼ cup cornstarch
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
– 1 ¾ cups toasted coconut
– 1 tablespoon butter
1) Preheat the oven to 400° F.
2) In a saucepan, whisk 2 cups of milk and ¾ cup sugar together. Place the pan over medium heat and bring the liquid up to a simmer.
3) Whisk the egg yolks together. Temper the hot milk into the egg yolks and whisk together.
4) In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining milk, making a slurry. Whisk the slurry into the hot milk mixture.
5) Bring the liquid up to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly for about 4 to 6 minutes, until the filling is thick.
6) Fold in the vanilla, coconut, and butter. Mix well.
7) Pour the filling into the prepared pan and cool the pie completely. Using an electric mixer with a whip attachment or a whisk, whip the egg white to soft peaks. Add the remaining sugar and whip the egg white to stiff peaks.
8)Spread the egg whites over the top of the pie. Place the pie in the oven for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until the meringue is golden brown.
Recipe provided by Emeril Lagasse of Food Network

Want something hearty and savory? Chicken pot pies are filling and make a perfect dinner!
Classic Chicken Pot Pie
Prep: 20 min.
Cook: 40 min.
– 1 box refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
– 1/3 cup butter or margarine
– 1/3 cup chopped onion
– 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
– ½ teaspoon salt
– ¼ teaspoon pepper
– 1 ¾ cups chicken broth
– ½ cup milk
– 2 ½ cups shredded cooked chicken or turkey
– 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1) Heat oven to 425°F.
2) Make pie crusts as directed on box for Two-Crust Pie using 9-inch glass pie pan.
3) In a 2-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender.
4) Stir in flour, salt and pepper until well-blended. Gradually stir in broth and milk, cooking and stirring until bubbly and thickened. Stir in chicken and mixed vegetables.
5) Remove from heat. Spoon mixture into crust-lined pan. Top with second crust; seal edge and flute. Cut slits in several places in top crust.
6) Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown. During last 15 to 20 minutes of baking, cover crust edge with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe provided by Pillsbury

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