Facing the Phobias

Issue 21_features

Lynn Zhang
Staff Writer

Everyone has a phobia of something, whether it is of something abstract, such as the fear of failure, or of something tangible, such as spiders. They affect people’s everyday lives, especially in the school environment and in the workplace.

Phobias have deep psychological causes and implications, usually caused by stressful situations or frightening events. Luckily, there are ways to deal with, or even overcome, certain phobias. Read on to take a look at how phobias are commonly developed and how they can be overcome.

Phobias Are Not A Problem
Michelle Lin
Staff Writer

It can be hard to live a life with phobias, and that is why professional are there to help and offer advice on how to cope with certain phobias. There are plenty of resources and assistance for people with different phobias, ranging from tips on self-help to techniques that therapists use.

Helpguide, a non-profit organization, recommends trying different relaxation techniques and meditation when trying to stay calm. A person under anxiety from phobia can try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and muscle relaxation, as these movements can help control the physical symptoms of anxiety. When self-help fails, it is time to seek help from mental health professionals. According to Mayo Clinic, the most effective treatments are exposure therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. Therapists use exposure therapy to help patients overcome their fears by presenting their fears right in front of them. CBT is aimed to change patient’s’ way of thinking and eventually change the way he or she feel toward a certain phobia.

It is only a matter of time before people find the best way to cope with their phobias. In the near future, as more information surfaces about phobias, more treatments will become known and available to the world.

Fears and Careers
Katherine Gong
Staff Writer

Phobias come in different levels of extremes, effects and places of origin. However, phobias can affect workplaces, regardless of the type of people that endure them. For example, glossophobia, the fear of public speaking, could inhibit the rising success of a CEO or executive. Regardless, phobias both major and small could potentially alter career choices, depending on how much a person allows it to impact his or her decisions.

Major fears include agoraphobia, the fear of crowds and open spaces, and claustrophobia, the fear of closed spaces, which could impact the working environment a person chooses to adapt to. Phobias that prevent skill-building and effective communication include: bibliophobia, the fear of books; decidophobia, the fear of making decisions; and epistemophilia, the fear of knowledge. Technophobia, the fear of technology, could even limit the types of careers a person chooses to take.

According to All About Counseling, phobias can be treated with a “combination of fear-reduction conditioning, behavioral conditioning, personal counseling, and medication.” Hypnotherapy is recommended to open a patient to a calmer mindset and prevent them from reacting to real-life situations in a defensive manner. Forbes also states that women are two times more likely to be affected by career-related phobias than men. Despite this, if a person has ergophobia or the fear of work, he or she has a lot of work to do!

Phobias Affect Students
Destiny Luna
Staff Writer

Some of the most common phobias that affect students are related to anxiety and can often last months at a time impacting the student’s education. The school environment often initiates these phobias.

Public high schools vary in size but the average classroom occupancy generally ranges from about 30 to 36 students. For some, the thought of being in large crowds is nerve wrecking and has already caused students to stay at home rather than attend school. According to Do Something, an average of 10 percent of teens suffer from panic disorders. Students who suffer from agoraphobia often have panic attacks. This affects the student when they stop showing up due to their phobia. When students feel uncomfortable within the school environment, they are less likely to attend school.

Another phobia that is seen within schools would be mysophobia, the fear of germs. Schools are full of germs in the eyes of those who have mysophobia. Those with mysophobia believe that they must always be clean. They are so distracted by the germs that they begin to lose focus in class and their education.

The Origins of Phobias
Jesse Rosales
Staff Writer

From cognitive learning to influencing phobias, the adolescent years absorb the most information in human development. A Harvard Medical School study analyzed that children look up at adults with trust and place their emotional and physical needs. The trust children give their caregivers leads children to avoid things that adults mark as dangerous. People often develop a fear of closed spaces if they had an experience of being trapped when they were a child. The study went on to also analyze that people can learn phobias from family members who have similar fears.

Researchers do not know what causes complex phobias, such social phobias. However, it is thought that genetics, brain chemistry and life experiences all play a part in the development of complex phobias. The physical reactions a person experiences, when faced with their fear, is generally considered a reaction to something immediate that threatens their security or safety. The emotion of fear is an indicator that a species could physically be harmed. Fight or flight is considered a fear response and is the behavior of various species when they are threatened.
Phobias have protected humans from predators and other threats to their survival. It is no wonder that certain dangers evoke that emotion since fear helps protect and is, therefore, adaptive, functional and necessary.

Poll: Greatest Fear

What is your greatest fear?

Poll collected by Katherine Gong and Jesse Rosales
Staff Writers

Graphics by Xiaoye Wang
Staff Writer

Mia Takasaki
Staff Writer


1. What is one of the most known phobias?
A) arachibutyrophobia
B) arachnophobia
C) cynophobia
D) bibliophobia

2. What is cibophobia?
A) fear of ugliness
B) fear of clowns
C) fear of food
D) fear of dogs

3. What is the fear of getting peanut butter stuck to the roof of your mouth?
A) arachibutyrophobia
B) acrophobia
C) anthropophobia
D) arachnophobia

4. What is nyctophobia?
A) entomophobia
B) bibliophobia
C) spectrophobia
D) fear of darkness

Answers: (1)B, (2)C, (3)A, (4)D

AHS Prospect Season Encourages Students to Join Service Clubs

Staff Writers

As the school year comes to an end, service clubs at AHS have begun to prepare themselves for the recruitment of new club members.

Each spring, students are given the opportunity to join one of 10 service clubs that seek to aid the community in various ways. The current service clubs are LASO, Junior Civitan, Kokua Lima, Leo, Key, United Royals, Campus, Interact, Kaibigan and Pequenitas.

“Although the clubs may differ in size, environment and service attendance, each [allows] prospective members the ability to serve the community while meeting new people and making new friendships that may last for a long time,” Campus general member Zhayne Tanyag said.

From promotional events to charities, club members volunteer their time to help community events run smoothly and efficiently. Such events include the Electric Run, Color Run, Elevators are for Wimps and Firecracker Run. At these events, service clubs perform a variety of tasks to help event organizers as well as event participants.
“I love being in [a service club.] I have met so many people who have the same interest as I do and people [who] actually care about the community,” LASO webmaster Stephanie Rubalcava said.

All service clubs share a similar application process: they use stamp cards given in the beginning of prospect season. Each club holds two open meetings in which officers and members can explain the purpose of the club and how the club functions. Club socials, in which club members and prospective members will have time to socialize and interact with each other, are organized. At these events, there were also games to help members and prospects introduce themselves to each other. Lastly, clubs will hold a fundraiser that all prospects are encouraged to attend.

Before being considered for acceptance, prospective club members must complete a certain set of prerequisites. To be entered into the raffle, students must also complete a minimum of ten approved service hours. Additionally, each prospect earns one stamp for every club event they attend. At the end of the tryouts, the stamps will be entered into a raffle. The more stamps a prospect has, the higher his or her chances of getting into the club will be. Most clubs require that prospective members only attend one of two open meetings. The club social and fundraiser are optional.

“I believe the [raffle] system is definitely fair; it allows everyone to have an equal opportunity to be a part of a service club. Service clubs [serve] as a great way to support our school spirit and spread awareness,” ASB Assistant to Clubs Rodger Lee said.

However, some people believe that joining service clubs is unnecessary.

“Service clubs are not necessary for community service because there are other ways to do community service,” junior Kassandra Sanchez.

In addition, various individuals assert that the time devoted to a service club may interfere with their schedules.
“[Service clubs can] be time consuming and [take up time that can be used for] homework, friends, family and other extracurricular activities,” sophomore Dakota Dena said.

Cal State Schools’ Average Four-Year Graduation Rate Lower Than National Average

News Editor
Staff Writer

Cal States Info1


On average, less than one in five students entering a California State University (CSU) campus as a freshman earn a bachelor’s degree in four years, according to Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed budget plan for 2016-17. This is below the national average of 34 percent for public universities. In addition, 16 out of 23 CSU campuses have four-year graduation rates that are below the CSU average of 19 percent.

“It’s really surprising, because I didn’t expect it to be that low. I thought it would have been at least 60 percent,” sophomore Aaron Robles said.

On Jan. 7, Governor Jerry Brown presented his 2016-17 budget proposal to increase funding for CSU schools in an effort to improve graduation rates and implement more balance in campus diversity. Brown’s proposal included information on the CSU campuses’ four year graduation rates and revealed that while three CSU campuses, San Diego, Maritime Academy and San Luis Obispo, met or exceeded the national average of four year graduates, the other 20 CSU campuses did not meet the national average.

Some may argue that the four-year graduation rate is not an indicator of a school’s performance.

“Schools should be rated on how much effort teachers put into teaching and how much effort students put into learning, instead of the percentage of four-year graduates,” freshman Bibianna Godinez said.

However, students who are working part-time and simultaneously balancing classes may require more than four years to graduate; thus, the four year graduation rate can be argued to be an inaccurate reflection of a school’s level of competence, according to the L.A. Times.

“Schools’ success and performance shouldn’t be determined by the four-year graduate rate. Instead, factors such as employment, personal family situations and difficulty in getting classes contribute to the low average,” senior Aleida Yu said.

Various reasons, such as unavailable classes or lack of decisiveness in choosing a major, can lead to additional years in college. To remedy this, Vice President of Student Affairs at CSU Dominguez Hills William Franklin said that investments in peer mentoring as well as advising programs are helpful to increasing the four year graduation rate, according to the L.A. Times.

Study Shows Significance of Taking Morning Exams

Staff Writer

According to the Huffington Post, PhD economist Hans Henrik Sievertsen and his team of researchers at the Danish National Centre for Social Research examined 2 million test scores from 2,105 schools and 570,376 students from age 8 to 15 and found that test scores decreased by 0.9 percent for every hour later in the day the tests were taken.
“I believe my test performance is better in the morning because I can focus more in the morning. I do not perform well on tests during the afternoon because I cannot concentrate on the exams since my body is exhausted from the day,” sophomore Po Ma said.

The researchers suggested that students appear to be more aware at the start of the school day and may begin to experience cognitive fatigue as the day wears on, which impacts their ability to perform well on exams. Yet, some students disagree with the researchers’ conclusion.

“I might perform better if I take a test later on in the school day because my brain has already ‘warmed up’ and I am not sleepy anymore,” junior Amber Li said.

The report also states a possible solution to the disadvantage of starting a test later in the day: taking a brief break before the test. The average test scores improved by 1.7 percent when students took tests after a 20-30 minute break.

“I think students’ test performance depends on several factors. If students have excellent time management, [proper] sleeping habits and [a regular] appetite, they will do well on their tests. However, they won’t get a good score if they procrastinate until the last minute or are not eating and sleeping well. Otherwise, it does not matter whether the test is [during their] first or last period,” school nurse Anita Man said.

Los Angeles Makes Bid To Hold 2024 Olympic Summer Games

Staff Writer

The last time Los Angeles hosted the Olympics was in 1984, almost 30 years ago. Now, Los Angeles may have the chance to host it again. Los Angeles is now competing with Paris, Rome and Budapest to host the 2024 Olympic summer games.

According to the US and World Report News, bid CEO Gene Sykes said, “We’re going to come up with some things that will really help the games get to the next stage.”

Los Angeles has many advantages to hosting this upcoming 2024 Summer Olympic. Already 97 percent of the venues are already made or are already planned by private investors. The Olympic Committee has pointed out that Los Angeles would not be needing any extra infrastructures besides what was already planned. The committee has even claimed that they have acquired $35 million dollars in cash commitment in just three weeks of launching their bid last September.

“That is the definition of sustainability in terms of legacy and cost. There’s no risk involved with venues or facilities,” stated Casey Wasserman, chairman of LA Olympic council, according to the US and World Report News.

The Olympic Games would be held around four areas of California: downtown Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, along the coast on the city’s west side and in the South Bay. The Committee is planning to use stadiums such as the Memorial Coliseum, a 22,000 seat stadium in the heart of Los Angeles. They are also exploring options such as the planned NFL stadium for the Los Angeles Rams, which is a 80,000 seat stadium in Inglewood with some of the best technology as of now.

“The most expensive and technologically advanced stadium will be a key part of our plans going forward,” Wasserman said.

If everything goes according to plan, The Los Angeles games would be held from July 19 to Aug. 4, 2024. The Paralympics would then follow through on Aug. 21 to Sept. 1.

JV Baseball Starts Off Season Strong

Staff Writer

With the JV baseball team’s season underway, the team has gone off to a hot start with a record of 5-0. They are where they believe they should be. Having high expectations for the baseball program, the Alhambra Moor JV baseball team has lived up to expectations so far. They still have a long season ahead of them but they have come out of the gates swinging for the fences.

“The season has been going great from levels freshman to varsity; we’ve been working hard and winning games. I’ve been improving on my arm strength since I’m coming back from an injury, and the team and program has been improved on the field just by becoming closer. Our ultimate goal this year is another league title and a deep run into CIF,” junior Noah Rinard said.

Their season has been going better than expected, having been undefeated, but they understand they still have a lot of work to do if they want to win the league title. They want to focus on shorter swings to cut down on their strikeouts and get the ball in play to make it more difficult for their opponent and it seems they have doing their job.

“We’re off to a great start. Back in October when we [were] first practicing we were looking for the team’s identity. Once the boys became comfortable with each other, trusted each other, and were able to get some games under their belts, we started to look like a strong contender. We have focused on being consistent and getting the Almont League Championship,” Coach Eric said.

According to the coach, the team has found their identity after starting off 5-0 and staying consistent. He believes they can continue this trend and accomplish their goal to win the Almont League Championship. They have been staying within their strategies and it has paid off. If they keep it up,the Moors will come out on top.

The Moors will next play Pioneer High School on Monday, April 4.

JV Softball Slides Into New Season, Hopes To Win Almont League Title


Freshman first baseman Jaelynn Moran pitches to her teammates during a girls’ JV softball practice in preparation for the April 4 game against Pioneer High School.


Staff Writer

Alhambra High School’s JV softball team has been working year-round to be in the best condition possible for the upcoming season. The team’s long-term goal is to win the Almont League title and are determined to do their very best. With so much practice all year long, the Lady Moors are positioned very well for the season.

“They have improved all across the board and become a better team offensively and defensively,” Head Coach David Robles said.

The team’s daily routine is to stretch and throw for about 15 minutes and to then throw infield and outfield. They then take rounds batting at the plate to work on hand-eye coordination. Afterwards, they work on what the coach assigns that day depending if it is an offensive or defensive practice day.

As a result of practicing so much for this season, the softball team has made many improvements since last season both individually and as a whole.

“We have grown as a team by creating a stronger bond as a team and are improving our communication,” center fielder Arlene Contreras said.

Overall, the team has made huge improvements and is slowly getting better with every day that passes. After preparing so much this year, the team has great odds against upcoming schools such as Pioneer High and Mark Keppel. With the great commitment and determination, the JV softball team has very high chances of winning the Almont League title this year.

Varsity Badminton Flies into Season, Expects To Qualify For Playoffs


Varsity senior Melissa Jian prepares to hit the birdie during a varsity badminton practice. The Moors coed badminton team is currently third in league, only three games in. Their next game will be against the Mark Keppel Aztecs.


Staff Writer

As the weather gets warmer the birds will start flying, from one side of the net to the other. The spring sports season has arrived and Alhambra’s varsity badminton team has officially kicked off their season. Holding a 2-2 record thus far, the team hopes to maintain a great sense of optimism throughout the rest of the season as they hope to ultimately improve their overall record.
“Our expectation is to win all of our individual matches, bettering our team record,” senior Chi Yu said. “We are also aiming to be qualified for CIF playoffs.”

The Moors have been practicing daily in the small gym in lengthy two hour sessions, working on swings, serves, backhands and drives. Since the season is still young, many athletes are trying to get down their timing and accuracy. Along with that, the doubles players will have the added task of focusing on working out the proper chemistry in order to create an effective duo. Practices have placed emphasis on stamina and getting each athlete back into shape. Each player hopes that their efforts in practice will increase their playing ability on the courts as the season progresses and ultimately aid them in reaching their goals.

“For the seniors it’s about leaving everything on the court during their last season, but for us juniors we hope to reach new heights and improve ourselves from last season. Hopefully we’ll be able to do well,” junior Stanley Keung said.

As the season goes on, each athlete hopes to learn from mistakes and build off of each other. Above all, the goal of greatest importance is to improve each individual athlete’s individual skill sets, which is achieved through constant practice. By the end of the season, the team hopes to have won enough matches in the Almont League to qualify for CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) playoffs.

Every player hopes to hit over the net and make this season a successful one. Whether goals are met or not, the hard work and effort put in by each of the players will be greatly pay off in the future. The Moors will next play today on their home court against their rival, the Mark Keppel Aztecs on March 5.

Justice for Peter Liang: Accident, Not Crime


Staff Writer

2015 saw an increase in understanding and recognizing social inequality, as evidenced by the growth of the Black Lives Matter movement. This movement, among others, serve as potential gateways for other minorities to rally against unequal treatment, something various Chinese Americans have begun to do for New York Police Department officer Peter Liang.

On Nov. 20 2014, Liang was patrolling with his partner when he pulled out his gun and accidentally shot a bullet as he opened the door leading to a stairway of an apartment floor. The bullet then ricocheted off a wall, ultimately hitting and killing Akai Gurley. Liang was convicted of murder on Jan. 20. According to the New York Times, questions arose about why Liang, a rookie police officer, was assigned to patrol a neighborhood with high crime rates. It seems as though Liang’s convinction was a result of the various calls for justice in other cases wherein African Americans were shot.

One such case, according to the Huffington Post, was Eric Garner, a 43-year-old black man who was killed by a New York police officer who had a chokehold on him for 13-15 seconds; the police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, was not indicted by the jury. Similarly, 22-year-old Amadou Diallo was shot 44 times by four police officers who thought he had a gun when in reality it was just his wallet. In both instances, the police officers were white and acquitted. These are only two of the many incidents where white police officers have killed African Americans on duty and did not receive legal consequences. While Peter Liang’s case was an accident, he was convicted. For Liang to be indicted for a mishap while white police officers involved in more serious crimes are allowed to walk free shows how much we still have to do to achieve equal rights for all races. Our society still has a long way to go in terms of becoming advocates of a more just society and ensuring that no one is subject to cruel and unusual punishment.

What happened to Gurley was indeed a tragedy and Liang should still be penalized, but the previous police officers who have acted in a similar fashion should also recieve a form of punishment. Those past officers should have faced their own punishments and be fined and incarcerated. The voices of minorities need to be heard and justice to be received equally for everyone no matter what ethnicity they fall under. Ultimately, it is evident that America still has a long way to go before equality is achieved for everyone and Liang’s case could have served as the first step towards progress.


On College Yield Projections



Editor In Chief

With most college admissions out, it’s pretty easy to get frustrated if a school you expected to get into (otherwise known as a safety school) has chosen to reject you instead. In some cases, this is a result of a practice known as yield projection, in which schools try to yield a higher number of attendees in relation to the students they accept. Basically, schools try to accept students who are more likely to attend their school over those who are not, even if they are more qualified.

Now this is not the case for every rejection letter — oftentimes, admissions officers might not think that you would be a good fit at their school. But if you’re feeling a bit down about getting rejected from a safety school, don’t fret. Be honest with yourself: it was a safety school because it wasn’t your top choice. Sure, it’s nice to have it there for security, but with this practice, spots go to people more likely to attend the school than you are. There’s little to no sense in a school accepting you if you do not want to entertain the notion of prioritizing it as one of your top choices.

Naturally, there are those who genuinely want to attend a school they were rejected from. Luckily for you, appeals exist for a reason. It’s important that, during this period of finally hearing back from schools, everyone keeps in mind that whatever happens is not the end of the world: if you didn’t get into the schools you wanted, there is no harm in attending another school or transferring from a community college. While it might seem like our futures are in someone else’s hands now, just remember that it’s up to you to control what you do with your life.

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