Girls golf team struggles to win

The girls golf season is well underway and the Lady Mustangs are performing well individually. Though the team has lost their last three matches, the members are improving their personal scores.

“Record wise, not too successful. But as far as the team goes, it’s one of the most fun teams I’ve ever coached” said coach Gary Yoshida. Yoshida had coached the boys golf team since 2002, and this is his first year with the girls team.

Junior Maddie “Mad Dog” Thorp got her best round of the season with a score of 39 against Los Gatos on Sept. 21st. Freshman “Pushpin” Patel also recorded her first birdie of the season that same match.

The girls have found it important to remain positive and each one work to improve their scores and sportsmanship.

“The girls are a lot more of a team than the boys. They genuinely like each other and they encourage each other a little more” said Yoshida.

“My hope for them is to learn enough of the basics that they can take it past high school and have fun with golf as far as a life long leisurely sport” said Yoshida.

Disneylands take over campus

The “Happiest Homecoming on Earth” recently surfaced on campus, under the overarching theme of “Disneylands.” Seniors represented the famous Fantasyland, juniors crossed into Adventureland, sophomores into Tomorrowland and freshmen faced Frontierland.

According to the online Homecoming flyer, Homecoming is an exciting week of friendly class competition involving cheer-offs, activities and decorations. The week ends with an exciting Friday consisting of the rally, parade and football games.

“With all these activities planned out for the student body, there were a variety of things for students to do to keep them engaged,” ASB social manager Azuki Umeda said.

Lunchtime activities, fun games included limbo, musical chairs and games that pertained to each respective class’s theme, according to flyers posted around campus.

“I played ASB’s game limbo and it was okay,” junior Juliette Wong said. “It was fun yet embarrassing because you know that your whole class is watching you and that your friends would take pictures of you.” Wong said.

The games themselves were planned and executed by the leadership team, members of ASB said. However, with the events leading up to Homecoming, leadership students did more than just plan games.

Junior class secretary Elaine Nguyen said that she spent about ten hours per week planning Homecoming and that it was stressful.

“I think it’s because as a junior you have so much more schoolwork and extracurriculars to deal with at the same time,” Nguyen said. “Setting up the quad and float was especially stressful.”

Despite the difficulties, Nguyen said that Homecoming was fun and that she enjoyed her time there.

“It was fun seeing the whole school dress up and taking pictures with my friends,” Wong said. “I also thought the cheer-offs were fun because it was mainly the juniors against the seniors.”

The week was concluded with a football game against Santa Clara high school, where it was announced that the seniors had won the Homecoming competition between the classes.

According to ASB, points were given to each class based on each class’s spirit at the cheer-offs and the last class to successfully complete the lunchtime activities. For brunch cheer-offs and lunchtime activities, the loudest and most successful class was awarded 200 points. However, the float, decorations and video each placed a greater weight on the total amount of points each class was awarded. For the best in each category, 2000 points were awarded for that class.

Wong said that despite a loss at the game it was really fun to hangout with friends.

“I definitely enjoyed Homecoming a lot this year,” Nguyen said. “Seeing all the work that went into planning definitely made it more fun and worth it.”

Firebirds turn lukewarm

The ringing of the bell, the sound of victory, resonated throughout the crowd after the Mustangs football team defeated Fremont 27 to 7 on October 9th.

The Battle of the Bell is an annual traditional football game between rival teams, the Mustangs and the Firebirds. Each year, pride, honor and the famous red and green bell are at stake.

“[The game] looked like it could be anybody’s game… Fremont was coming in tough and we already have so many key players out injured, making it hard to gauge what the final score would look like,” football team assistant Julia Verbrugge said.

By halftime, the score was already 20 to 0, giving the Mustangs a strong lead into the rest of the game.

Though the team’s quarterback, Jerome Holloway, is injured for the rest of the season, upcoming star player junior Rajah Ward was “tearing it up” on the field, Principal Greg Giglio said on his Twitter account.

“Rajah was one of the key players, and that night marked his 1000 yards running just for this season,” Verbrugge said.

Many of the touchdowns were crucial and memorable to the game, especially for player Joey Davidson, who scored two touchdowns in his first game back.

While preparing for the game, a mischievous theory came to the attention of the football team and Coach Milo that HHS constantly loses this significant game when played at our very own stadium. To avoid this bad luck, the football team decided to wear their away jerseys and asked students to wear white, which indicated an away game.

This strategy, nicknamed “horse force,” was present throughout the student section. Rows of white struck the Firebirds on the other side of the field.

“I was very impressed with our section, and a majority of them were interested in the cheers,” Scream Team president Cameron Bunka said when leading the student section.

During the football game, the horse force was “filled with Mustang power,” Bunka said. The student section allowed spirited Mustangs to unite and support HHS throughout the night.

The famous bell now again resides in the main office, where students, staff and parents can enjoy our wonderful night of success.

 

Students fashionably showcase individuality

While the average high school students opt for the classics, hoodies and sweats, after the  the first few weeks of school, sophomore Yuzu Ido and seniors Jillian Trinh, Miles Crawford and Sophia Beliaev are some of the fashionable exceptions.

Yuzu Ido's fashion taste in inspired by Victorian and Japanese street fashion.
Yuzu Ido’s fashion taste in inspired by Victorian and Japanese street fashion.

Despite their notably different styles – Ido and Trinh following different Japanese street fashions, Crawford dressing in preppy-business casual, and Beliaev having a unique taste of her own – they all share similar experiences.

Making heads turn and defying ‘normal high school’ fashion expectations is their normal.

Ido explained that she wears different Japanese street fashions, the most frequent being Lolita and

Otome Kei, Victorian inspired fashion consisting of mainly intricate frills, laces and accessories.

Ido said that her interest in Japanese street fashions stemmed from books where the main characters dressed in various styles. Ido said that since she’s always been more prone to skirts and dresses and minimal exposure, the styles that she follows help her feel like herself and make her more confident.

“[Fashion is not just] one way that I make myself unique,” Ido said, “[but also a] reflection of what I want to be, [which] is elegant, refined and knowledgeable . . . it’s not me right now, but I’m hoping that will be me someday.”

Much like Ido, Trinh, who described her style as loosely based off of Japanese street fashions that leaned towards more of an edgy monochromatic style than grunge or soft-grunge, said that her style reflected who she wanted to be.

Jillian Trinh's style is inspired by Japanese street fashion as well as outfits seen on characters in books. Photo courtesy of Jillian Trinh
Jillian Trinh’s style is inspired by Japanese street fashion as well as outfits seen on characters in books. Photo courtesy of Jillian Trinh

“The way I dress – edgy black,” said Trinh, “it shows [my] independence [and strays] from the stereotype from how women ‘should’ dress.”

Trinh explained that she used to be shy, and that affected her clothing choices because she was initially afraid of standing out.

“I dressed normally but then I was like ‘oh you know what, I want to be really cute in my own way,’ so I dressed in all that pastel stuff – really girly,” Trinh said. “But now, I have had enough of the ‘girls dress this way for guys’, ‘girls wear makeup for guys or attention’ . . . I want to dress more like a badass bitch and no one can tell me what to do.”

Sophia Belieav describes her fashion as "comfortable" although to many, it has a distinct uniqueness to it.
Sophia Belieav describes her fashion as “comfortable” although to many, it has a distinct uniqueness to it.

Beliaev, on the other hand, said that much of her taste was a result of her mother’s style influence and love for dolling her up. With no singular label for her style, Beliaev described it as comfortable and said others have told her that it was quite distinct at the same time.

Beliaev admitted that her style had changed a lot since middle school when she experimented more, and that it had ultimately helped her grow.

“In middle school I was voted most unique, which I guess is a way of saying ‘you’re weird’ but I don’t mind that – I like that, I was glad I was voted most unique,” said Beliaev, “it kind of formed me as a person – it taught me not to care about other people’s judgement, and I guess that’s why now when I dress [up], it’s always been for myself.”

Likewise, Crawford, said he developed his preppy style because he had many family occasions to dress for, and proceeded to plan and assemble outfits.

“It’s fun to dress up,” Crawford said. “I [liked] the looks I got – like ‘Oh woah, he’s wearing a suit’ or ‘Oh wow look at his tie.’”

Crawford said the attention he received from his fashion choices was a positive thing and allowed him to stand out from the crowd.

Miles Crawford dresses in a self-designed business casual with the addition of his own personal touch to each outfit.
Miles Crawford dresses in a self-designed business casual with the addition of his own personal touch to each outfit.

“The fact that I can dress both in a formal and casual style shows that I’m versatile – I like to think that I’m very adaptive,” said Crawford. “I think that that’s something good to be known for – that I can dress up . . . because clothes present a specific image, when you dress well [it’s] not just that you feel good, I think it can make other people feel good [too].”

Similarly, Trinh said that even though she does receive stares, she likes to think of them positively and brushes off the negative judgement.

“For every one person that doesn’t like your style or that’s judging you, there’s gonna be like ten people who admire you for being different, being unique, being yourself,” Trinh said.

Their collective takeaway advice?

“Feel free, just go after anything that seems interesting or right to you,” Beliaev said. “You might have some really weird things that you look back on and regret, but in the end it forms your own style and it forms you in a lot of ways.”

2015 IDC Exchange at Lynbrook High School

I

n the FUHSD, students are given opportunities to spend a day at another high school in the district. This opportunity is called IDC Exchange and it stands for Intra-district Council Exchange.

According to the FUHSD website, every year, IDC Exchanges attract many HHS students that want to socialize with other students in the district and hope to learn more about the culture of different high schools.

“I think it’s one of the dopest ways to interact with new students and discover awesome events at other schools that are not hosted at Homestead,” senior Rohan Vaidya said.

At a typical IDC Exchange, visiting attendees shadow students of the host school and follow them around for the day. Visiting students are given the chance to take in their new environment and interact with students they have never met before.

The first IDC Exchange of the year took place last Thursday when FUHSD schools were invited to spend a day at Lynbrook High School (LHS).

On this particular day, Lynbrook High School celebrated their annual Homecoming, displaying school spirit by showcasing dance and skit performances.

“Lynbrook High students used most of their campus to place decorations and what’s awesome is that everything followed a theme.” Vaidya said.

Events such as LHS’s Homecoming are not uncommon on IDC Exchange days, and according to FUHSD Student Board Rep Cyrus Miremadi, these events, in addition to meeting new students and spending a day on a foreign campus, leave a very memorable experience for students.

“I definitely do recommend IDC Exchanges. It’s a unique and beneficial opportunity for Homestead students to be lent a great deal of perspective.” Miremadi said. “Plus, who wouldn’t want to see what other schools are like?”

There are five IDC Exchanges every year and if interested, additional information can be obtained from Homestead IDC representatives, Johnny Kobori, Rohan Vaidya and/or Cyrus Miremadi.
The next IDC Exchange will be held at HHS on Dec. 4.

New to country music? Then “Start Here”

New and upcoming artist, Maddie & Tae’s album “Start Here”, is changing the country music world with their relatable lyrics to teenagers and the criticism of the Bro-Country trend.

Madison Marlow and Taylor Dye, American female country music duo, are both singers, songwriters and guitarists. Their  debut album “Start Here”, released Aug. 28, peaked to No. 2 on the U.S. Top Country Albums on Billboard and features the No. 1 Platinum selling song “Girl In A Country Song”, while redefining the definition of country songs at just 20-years-old.

Both Marlow and Dye recently turned 20, but started as a duo when they were only 17-years-old and were signed with Dot Records in 2014. At such tender age, The Rolling Stone cited them as one of “10 New Artists You Need to Know” for their spectacular skills in harmonizing and killer vocals.

Most of the songs on ”Start Here” are relatable for the themes that are commonly seen in life of the listeners. The songs include themes about heartbreak (“Smoke”), bullying (“Sierra”), self-empowerment and independence (Waitin’ On A Plane), perseverance (“Fly”) and to not stereotype people based on appearance (“Girl In A Country Song” and “Sierra”).

Out of the 11 songs on the album, “Girl In A Country Song,” Maddie & Tae’s first single is one of the top hits of the summer/fall for its honest constructive criticism on the “Bro-Country” trend. The trend is the style of mainstream country music in which the songs are becoming more similar to the other genres of music and are about young women, rednecks, alcohol and trucks.

Maddie & Tae, known as the new Taylor Swift of country song, has been receiving more attention in the media lately for their “Girl In A Country Song” music video. The video comically switched the gender roles in country songs, by making the male country singers wear bikini tops, short jean shorts and cowboy boots. The regularly over-sexualized female companions of male singers are dressed more conservative in the music video, with more independence, which fit with the feminist declaration theme of the song.

The purpose Maddie & Tae had for writing “Girl In A Country Song” was that they “wanted to write the songs from a girl’s perspective” Dye said. “You know,  how does she feel wearing those cut-off shorts, sitting on the tailgate?”. Their second single “Fly” is a heartfelt and honest ballad that supports someone’s right to dream, doubt and make mistakes along the way.

Maddie & Tae’s debut album “Start Here” includes 11 songs, featuring the No. 1 Platinum selling song “Girl In A Country Song” and their current hit song, “Fly”.

In the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety we trust

Even with recent reports of police brutality nationwide, students living in Sunnyvale still trust the local police department.

For senior Nicolle Ayon Campos, upholding her trust in the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety is no difficult feat as she believes the media over-sensationalizes the frequency of police brutality.

“I think it’s a little bit blown out of proportion how common it happens,” Ayon Campos said. “Like if you look at studies that have been done, you can see that a very small percentage of police officers are actually proven guilty because all other allegations have been found to have…not sufficient information.”

Like Ayon Campos, junior Alex Lyon said he trusts the  local law enforcement because he has not heard any major incidents of police wrongdoing in our community and has had positive experiences with law enforcement .

Lyon said he believes Sunnyvale’s low crime rate is a factor as to why incidents of police wrongdoing here are rare.

“Since people are more inclined to follow the law here, there is not going to be a lot of police involvement,” Lyon said.

Lyon said he believes the lack of crime decreases the potential for there to be police brutality.

According to the Sunnyvale Uniform Crime Reports, the city has consistently had low crime rates in the past nine years. The violent crime rate per one thousand people in a community of close to 15,000 people has been between 0.98 and 1.39 crimes from 2006 to 2014.

Although senior Erielle McCloud said she generally distrusts police officers due to the homicides of unarmed African Americans by law enforcement officers, she does not exactly distrust the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety.

“They haven’t given me a reason to distrust them, but they haven’t given me a reason to trust them either,” McCloud said.

McCloud, who is African-American, said she and a majority of the black community feel safer being cautious around the police rather than trusting them and being easily targeted.

“It’s a known fact that people perceive black people to be older, more threatening, more aggressive even if we aren’t wearing the stereotypical clothes or exhibiting a certain behavior,” McCloud said. “We’re just automatically set up to be ‘threatening’ or we don’t evoke the same amount of sympathy for people.”

However, because she said she has not heard of or experienced any incidents involving excessive force from the local police department, McCloud feels they are doing a satisfactory job in maintaining the peace.

“I haven’t heard any problems so keep doing what you are doing,” McCloud said.

A week in the life: William Scott

Athletes train hard and for long periods of time like William Scott, junior, who is on varsity cross-country. The team trains five days a week after school from 3:30 p.m. to around 6 p.m. and occasionally lifts weights until 7 p.m. The team trains on their own on Saturdays, which contributes to a total of six days out of the week total the team trains for cross-country.

Scott originally joined cross-country because a lot of his friends were doing it, and he wanted to do something that would improve his fitness. But, later he realized that cross-country is a lot of fun because of the team aspect.

“I like being a part of a team and even though you run your individual race,” Scott said. “What you do really impacts the other people on your team and in your race because you’re scored together.”

Scott said there is pressure to run well because if you have a bad race there is room for improvement. But there is still a team aspect. Being on varsity, there is competition to outrun each other for both girls and boys to become better, faster, stronger.

“The girls are just as competitive as the [boys],”Scott said. “There [are] a couple of [girls] that are definitely really good and train really hard and keep up with some of the guys and that makes us work harder.”

Scott says he likes the challenge the other runners give to the team. Other than cross-country, Scott spends three hours a day on weekdays doing homework, which could become very frustrating to most. But Scott said that as long as you manage time well there is enough time to do cross country, homework and also sleep, which is important too.

On the weekends, Scott drives to state parks, goes hiking, studies random trivia and competes in Quiz Bowl tournaments and cross-country tournaments. Scott does not only succeed on the track but also in the classroom!

Stick it to ‘em

With players ranging from all grades, the field hockey teams are looking forward to an upcoming season.

“I’m looking forward to all of the team bonding and hopefully winning some of our games.” varsity player Julia Kryzan stated.

Many members of the field hockey team join their first year of high school.  Senior varsity captain Allison Auten first joined for sports credits, then realized she enjoyed playing.  Kryzan and Auten both played field hockey at a Saint Francis High School camp the summer before their freshman year.

“I went to the [Saint Francis] camp over the summer and I liked it, so I tried out.” varsity captain Allison Auten said.

“I wanted to try something new and I knew that [high school] field hockey players didn’t necessarily need to be on a team before [high school].” Kryzan added.

Both team members expressed excitement over meeting new teammates, especially noting freshman and new varsity players.  Playing in games is another upcoming season highlight that both girls are looking forward too.

Newcomer Ali Ambach also provided an insight to the team’s dynamic.  Ambach, a freshman, plays soccer competitively, however knew she wanted to try another sport coming in to her first year of high school.  

“I wanted to try [field hockey] mostly because it looked fun ” said Ambach. “[I’m looking forward to] getting better and improving my skills.”

If you want to catch the Lady Mustangs in a game, they have alternating home and away games every Tuesday and Thusrday until November 5th.  Varsity and JV game times switch off between 3:30 p.m. and 4:45 p.m.  

 

Author speaks about “Love Letters to the Dead”

Ava Dellaira stands in the library, leaning on a podium in front of projection screen. “Dear Kurt Cobain,” she reads from her novel, “Love Letters to the Dead.” The audience is entranced. When she finishes the chapter, the crowd bursts into applause. She smiles, thanking them.

Like her protagonist Laurel, Dellaira grew up in New Mexico, but she now lives in Los Angeles.

“It’s the book I’ve been saving my entire life for,” she said.

[pullquote speaker=”Ava Dellaira” photo=”” align=”center” background=”off” border=”none” shadow=”off”]I think there’s something really hopeful about writing a letter, whether or not someone can get back to you.[/pullquote]

Before writing “Love Letters,” Dellaira contributed to the screenplay for “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” film. Her ideas for the screenplay led Stephen Chbosky, the author of “Perks,” to suggest she write her own book.

She said the experience also helped her learn how to edit her own writing. “Maybe I put a month into writing this paragraph,” Dellaira said, “but ultimately it didn’t fit into the narrative.”

Dellaira said she used letters because they allow for connections. With the letters, she said, you can see the phases of relationships.

“I think there’s something really hopeful about writing a letter, whether or not someone can get back to you,” Dellaira said.

The movie rights for “Love Letters” have recently been picked up by Fox. Dellaira said she was lucky to also get to write the screenplay for the film, but there are clear differences from writing the book.

“It’s you alone writing it,” she said.

However, with the screenplay, she gets notes from Fox, the producer, and the director. Although nobody said she must do something, she said that each person has their own interpretation of the book and how the film should go.

At the end of the presentation, Dellaira also gave advice to aspiring writers. She said the best way is to write as much as possible. It might take 50 pages to get that one good sentence, she said, but you have to keep writing. If you have writer’s block, read until you can write again.

She says she encourages everyone to write because it can be a very therapeutic experience. Writing “Love Letters” helped her get through her own mother’s passing.

“Writing can be helpful for all of us who have been through hard things,” said Dellaira.

We’re all looking forward to The Weeknd

Canadian singer Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd, breaks hearts and blows minds with his new album, “Beauty Behind the Madness.”

“Beauty Behind the Madness,” released on Aug. 28, followed his album Kissland, which was released in 2013.

Taking over the music world in big strides, “Beauty Behind the Madness” became his first number one album on the Billboard 200. His three songs “Earned It,” “The Hills” and “Can’t Feel My Face” have all attained the top three spots on the Billboard Hot R&B Songs chart, according to Billboard.com.

Some might think of “Beauty Behind the Madness” as “just another R&B album.” But if you pay attention to the beat and the lyrics, you will find that many of his songs are quite different from your stereotypical rap song.

In a few songs, The Weeknd will use random instruments and mix them together to create a unique sound. His emotional and “real” lyrics often present feelings of sadness and hurt, even if they are often based around the ideas of partying, sex and women.

While The Weeknd’s music is not exactly alternative, I do not believe it is completely R&B either. He uses different beats, different sounds and instruments, and has some occasionally very unique or “weird” lyrics as some might put it. For example, the title of his hit song “Can’t Feel My Face” shows just how funky it can get. Because of his unique sounds, he has an alternative R&B sound.

All in all, when I listened to Beauty Behind the Madness I found myself dancing and humming along to the catchy lyrics and beat. I enjoyed this album quite a bit and I can definitely say that it is worth the $12.99 I paid.

Art department requires show attendance

A

s 3D-Design teacher Clare Dee sat in the nearly empty auditorium during a play she was chaperoning, she said she could not help but think of the packed bleachers and energetic crowd of the football game she had recently attended.

Determined to make a change, Dee met with the other art department teachers, who decided to begin requiring students to attend one visual or performing art even during the year for credit as a way to attract more students.

“Whether it’s music or an art show or theatre, they gain an appreciation for what their peers can do,” Dee said.

The requirement, which has now been in place for three years, requires students to either get a ticket signed as proof of attendance or take a selfie at the event.

Katie Schiltz, who teaches ceramics, said she believes the requirement forces students to break out of their comfort zones and become more involved with the school community.

“I think it broadens their scope and understanding and appreciation of the arts and their fellow students,” Schiltz said.

In addition to requiring attendance at a show, once a year Schiltz takes her classes to view art at De Anza College to encourage further respect for the arts, a trip she said many of her student enjoy.

Another benefit both teachers credit to the program is offering students a new perspective on their classmates involved in the productions.

Dee said she hopes one student attend a show who came back amazed by the acting skills of a classmate they had only before seen as a quiet person in their math class.

In order to receive credit, Dee said, students must attend a paid or free event on campus, as well as write a short description afterword. While the assignment is not a huge factor in the final grade, both teachers said they believe it serves an important purpose in artistic growth.

“Culture is an important part of our social environment as we grow up,” Schiltz said. “We need to be able to cultivate students to appreciate the arts.”