Entertainment Magazine Volume 69, Issue 5

Speeding into Mediocrity

Sonic the Hedgehog, directed by Jeff Fowler, stars James Marsdon, Jim Carrey, and Ben Schwartz as Tom, Eggman, and the titular Sonic. Many know of this movie from the horrific 3D Sonic render used in the movie’s original shots, which garnered the movie all of its publicity. So much publicity that the animators re-rendered every scene with a new design for the character. But does that extra work and energy save this movie’s reputation? Well, it doesn’t make it worse. 

Every movie has its merits, so I’ll start with the positives. As mentioned above, the new sonic design looks much more faithful to the original incarnation, and is much easier on the eyes. Jim Carrey’s performance brought a good energy to the movie with jokes that actually made me laugh, which was arguably the best part of this movie. The movie also had references to Sonic’s previous appearances in both obvious and subtle ways, which goes to show that the studio really cared about the film. Unfortunately, that’s about where the good aspects of the movie end, and the mediocre ones begin. 

While nothing is particularly bad in this movie–outside of the horrifying flossing scene–everything else falls into the realm of mediocrity. The acting is as middle of the road as you can get. Mardson does a decent job, but nothing about it stands out as either good or bad. Schwartz does a passable job as Sonic, but again, it’s nothing special. Almost everything about this movie fails to leave any impact on the viewer: the story is predictable, the conflict feels forced, the characters are bland–outside of Jim Carrey–and the movie feels overly simple, if not entertaining, but that’s exactly what it needs to be. 

At the end of the day, Sonic the Hedgehog is a children’s movie and it caters to them perfectly. The movie saves itself from negative reviews because it knows what it is, and it embraces it. The movie doesn’t try to be groundbreaking, or fresh, or even very good, because it doesn’t need to be. It’s a simple movie that viewers shouldn’t bother seeing unless they’re under 12, or a die-hard fan of the Sonic franchise. At its best, the movie deserves a 5/10.

Features Magazine Volume 69, Issue 3

The School Play Falls Into Place

Fall is finally here and with it comes many exciting events for most students. One event students should always expect is the  all play, and this year is no different. This fall, the Las Lomas drama department will be performing Brighton Beach Memoirs, based on the play by Neil Simmons. It follows the journey of Eugene Morris Jerome, a young teenager living with his family in Brooklyn as he ascends into adulthood. The play also sees the rest of the Jerome family trying to survive at the beginning of World War II as a Jewish family. The play’s opening night was the 14th, but don’t worry. There will be one more showing tonight (November 22nd). The Page interviewed one of the play’s actors Charlie Sjogren-Black, who will be playing the part of Nora. This is her first time taking part in a Las Lomas drama production, and she is extremely excited for the upcoming performance: “I’ve never been in a Las Lomas show before, so I’m a little nervous…” but she still feels ready to perform. When asked for more information about the plot, she stated that “Brighton Beach Memoirs talks about the lengths that family members will go to for each other [and] .the love that comes with family.” Finally, Sjogren-Black’s closing words were, “The whole process of making this has been unforgettable… It’s really something special and it means a lot to all of us.”

The play will include Las Lomas students Charlie Sjogren-Black, Nolan Knudsen, Jason Rich, Taylor Glass, Riley Pellman, and Mariella Floum.  The play will also see Josh Roseman as the star in his first Las Lomas production. Be sure to catch Brighton Beach Memoirs before it is gone, it’s currently playing at the Las Lomas theatre. Tickets are $8 for students and seniors, and $15 for others. 

Entertainment Magazine Volume 69, Issue 3

Non-Traditional Thanksgiving Meals

When one thinks about Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving meals, one probably imagines the traditional image of a typical Thanksgiving table: turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, and more. The majority of Las Lomas students would probably tell you that that is the layout they’ve come to expect every year, but what about the students who would say otherwise? Maybe to them, their typical Thanksgiving table might not include a turkey, potatoes, and gravy. Some students might have something completely different at the table, while some may not have anything there at all. Everyone is different, and what you have for dinner may be different than what other students have. The following students are all people who eat something non-traditional for thanksgiving. 

One of the most obvious issues for some students with Thanksgiving food is the turkey. For vegetarian and vegan students, turkey’s off the table. Students like Raaghav Thirumaligai, who has been vegan for a while, says that for Thanksgiving, instead of a turkey, he eats tofu and other vegan friendly meat substitutes. Another anonymous Junior whose family has recently gone vegan, will have their first Thanksgiving without a turkey this year. They said that they will be eating “really annoying vegan stuff” such as seaweed pasta, black bean burger patties, drinks such as almond milk and soy milk, and lots of tofu.

While some students have completely altered meals with foods that aren’t seen as traditional, other students like to add things to their grand meal. An anonymous 9th grader states that their family includes persian food on their tables to include their heritage into the holiday. 

Of course, there are some students who don’t celebrate Thanksgiving at all, for a multitude of reasons. It may be, in the case of Junior Martín Valbuena, that their culture doesn’t celebrate it. As he puts it, “Well, I’m from Columbia, and we didn’t have pilgrims and thankful Native Americans… we had spaniards and conquerors… not too much to be thankful for.” Some other students Thanksgiving don’t celebrate simply because they don’t want to. 

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and with it, comes a week that many students look forward to. Whether it is because they’re going out of town, visiting and spending time with family, eating way too much food (traditional or otherwise), or taking a well deserved break from school, everyone has something they can count on this Thanksgiving week. 

Magazine Sport Volume 69, Issue 1

Over The Net and into a New Season

School is back in session and sports have already started. One of these sports is girls tennis. The team is going to face a very tough schedule this year, but the team is ready to take charge and put together a productive season. The team will have practices Monday through Thursday, and matches falling mainly on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

A new year means new team members, and the tennis team is no exception. The team this year has 12 members on the varsity team, including two new freshmen joining them this year, which, as an anonymous member states, is “good, because there were no new people last year.” To give more insight, Nadia Grenville, a senior who is a member of the Varsity team, said that she is “…really excited about the season and new members… they all bring a new dynamic to the team…” She went on to state that  “two years ago, we lost almost all out seniors.” Last year, there were no new freshmen, and only sophomores and juniors, so it’s “…really great to bring some new blood to the team!”

The team is also looking forward to a fresh season in 2019, as Grenville puts it, “I’m really excited about the upcoming season and the past four years have been some of my best memories at LL.” This year they have great coaches which will really benefit the team. Even though the matches will be tough, she said that “it’s nothing that our girls can’t handle.”

Finally, when asked what was different about this season, Grenville said that, for her, being an upperclassmen and one of the captains, made her realize that, “throughout my four years I’ve always looked up to the older girls on the team and were so inspired by them. I didn’t realize how different it would feel to be a senior and lead the girls on the team.” She says that her co-captains are amazing role-models for the team, and she thinks that this will make a positive impact on the team. Grenville says that she is enthusiastic for the coming season and playing alongside her team. “I’m very excited for this year and want to savor every moment of it!”

Issue 6 Magazine Women's History Spread

Las Lomas Feminist Society

The Las Lomas Feminist Society meets every Friday in room 516 to discuss and debate issues under the umbrella term of feminism. The club is fairly recent and has been running for three years now, founded and headed by Zoe Larkin and Caroline François. The club generally meets and watches powerpoints prepared by one of the members, followed up with a debate or conversation about the aforementioned issues. In the Feminist Society, every month is dedicated to learning about, discussing, and shedding light on women’s history and feminist issues.

The Feminist Society at Las Lomas acts as a place where students can voice their opinions, thoughts, and feelings on the important feminist topics that don’t come up in day to day life, and instead are focused on in the club’s presentations, all in a supportive space. As Larkin puts it, “We need a community on campus where we can discuss important socio-political issues that may not be in the forefront of our minds… We try to talk about issues that you don’t normally talk about in day to day life.” Françious added, “It’s important to have a safe space for discussion…” 

For Women’s History Month, the Feminist Society doesn’t do many things different, because to them, women’s history shouldn’t be constrained to one single month. Of course, this doesn’t mean that they don’t want to do something special for it, outside of their club specifically. Despite this, the club has never got their wish. According to Larkin, “We would love to do more outreach activities…”, but the club has never been approached by leadership to host any out of club activity on campus. In fact, they aren’t sure that leadership has done anything at all. Larkin continues, saying that, “…in the past [we have] done things for other weeks, like feminist game show, but that’s more for CARE week, not Women’s History Month…” François also chimed in, stating that, “I don’t believe leadership has done anything for Women’s History Month, that could be wrong, but I don’t think they have done anything directly.” Besides putting up posters, leadership has not been active in holding any on campus activities for Women’s History Month. Finally, François and Larkin believe that other schools should definitely focus more on not only Women’s History Month, but women’s history in general. For the Feminist Society, every month is Women’s History Month, and they want Las Lomas and surrounding schools to take up this idea as well, and have the school devote more time and activities to the month of Women’s History Month.  “…[We] think that we should definitely devote more time. I believe that in class, we often won’t talk about women’s history… and I know many teachers try to include women and minorities, but I believe it often gets overshadowed… It would be great if the school put more focus on Women’s History Month and women’s history in general, not just in March…”

Entertainment Issue 6 Magazine

Captain Marvel Review

Captain Marvel had a tough job as the first solo heroine movie from Marvel Studios. It had the task of bringing in fans and getting them invested in a new story and hero, with Avengers: Endgame being just around the corner and coming out next month. Despite this, Captain Marvel is a decent movie that manages to make the best out of the situation it’s been put in. Of course, it still has its fair share of problems that kept it from being perfect. 

Captain Marvel is a 2019 superhero movie by Marvel Studios. It sees Brie Larson playing the role of Carol Danvers, A.K.A Captain Marvel, and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. The movie acts as a backstory for Danvers, which means the movie is set before the events of Infinity War and most of the Marvel movies thus far. The story follows Danvers as she travels to Earth to try and learn more about her past, where she is suspected to be from. Other characters that she meets along the way play a large role in the majority of the movie, but this is a spoiler-free review, so go watch the movie if you’re interested in more of the plot. 

As I said above, I actually enjoyed this movie, so I’m going to start with the negatives because there are less of them to talk about. The movie’s overall plot was not very engaging. It was average, and while the twist caught me off guard, it still didn’t give me a reason to care about the majority of the characters that weren’t Captain Marvel nor Nick Fury themselves. Lots of the side characters weren’t given enough scenes, so they barely had time to develop, apart from one or two scenes here and there that tried, but failed, to develop any real personality. While that doesn’t sound like that much, it does bring the movie down, taking it away from the title of a great movie to one that’s just OK. 

Even though the movie stumbles in some places, it still does plenty right. While the side characters weren’t the greatest, the two leads really brought these characters to life. They were fun to watch and while some of the jokes didn’t land, most of the time they were funny. On top of all that, there’s one character that makes this movie shine. Goose, the cat, is the best character in this movie, hands down. I won’t spoil anything, but Goose makes every scene she’s in simply better. The movie is also just fun, like most big action-packed superhero movies, with explosions, lasers and fighting. It’s entertaining, and that’s what should really matter.

All in all, Captain Marvel manages to keep fans interested, and with an after credits scene teasing Endgame, it manages to keep the hype train going. While the movie wasn’t perfect, it left a positive impression on me. Captain Marvel is an above-average movie that checks all the boxes for a fun summer movie. 6.5/10.


Students of the Month

Thalia Weismann

“She leads in Public Speaking first and foremost with her dedication to her craft of speaking publicly. She is also observant and caring to all students around her and as a result is a magnet for positivity.”

Evan Devine

“An upbeat, supportive and hardworking Spanish student. While I acknowledge that Evan has developed and continues to strengthen his Spanish skills, I really admire his enthusiasm, respect and humor in the classroom.”

Sarah Granskog

“A key team player who always goes above and beyond to create beautiful, accurate and wide ranging publications. She is responsible, helpful and diligent, and shows she cares about the Las Lomas community.”
Issue 5 Magazine Opinions

Why Wasn’t the Schedule Changed Sooner?

As many students may know, this was the last year where the fall finals happened after winter break. I’ll give you a second to let out a sigh of relief. When students come back from a shortened summer, the finals will take place before winter break starts, instead of after like in past years. This change will cause the summer (of this year only) to be shorter than it would typically be but will go back to normal in the following years. Now that the facts are out of the way, I think we can all agree that this is a much better situation than what students here at Las Lomas were subjected to for a long time. This new schedule change solves so many issues, and in the end leaves many students, such as myself, asking why they didn’t change the schedule earlier? 

    There are very few pros to the old schedule but, since I like to see myself as a glass half full kind of guy, I’ll take a second to look at the upsides of the old schedule before diving into the cons. How does the old schedule benefit students? As it turns out, it doesn’t. When trying to defend the old finals schedule, only one thing comes to mind. That one thing is the fact that students get two whole weeks to prepare, and the dead week to talk to teachers. In theory, this is good, as it allows students to get more time to prepare than they will get with the new schedule, letting them get their questions out of the way, and making sure they have ample time to study. Of course, this idea is only useful in theory, since there are very few students who willingly want to take advantage of this time, and who can blame them? It is called winter break for a reason; this is a time for kids not to have to worry about school, not to mention during the holiday season. Having finals after winter break instead causes kids to stress about their upcoming finals, so they end up needing to make sure they stay focused on schoolwork for at least half of the break. These are all issues that the schedule change can fix.

    With the upcoming schedule change kids will not worry about the upcoming finals and in turn, have more open breaks. The new schedule will free up kids’ breaks, allowing them to do more with their two weeks instead of having one week of break and one week of finals preparation. With the new schedule, the only things students will have to worry about is their performance and final grades. Which, admittedly is pretty scary, but you can’t have everything. 

Even though the old schedule may have had some benefits, none of them were provided a good enough reason to beat the idea of a schedule change, something we have been asking for for a long time. The schedule change goes into effect next year, bringing a shorter summer with it (only for next summer of course), but in return giving many students relief and freedom to enjoy their whole break. While this updated schedule should have been there from the beginning, it’s nice to see it finally put into effect, and now we need to wait and see if it was worth the wait.

Issue 5 Magazine News

Finals Week Schedule Change

For many years at Las Lomas, finals have always happened the week after students return from winter break. Next year, however, this will change. The school schedule at the Acalanes Union High School District, including Las Lomas, will change, with school starting at an earlier date so that finals will take place before winter break, instead of afterwards. This change will make the school year start on August 13th, instead of August 20th –starting a whole week earlier than it has in the past. The summer of 2019 will be shortened by a week, but the summer will be of normal length at the end of the 2019-2020 school year, and in following years. 

The finals schedule and the change has been a topic of discussion among students for years. For many students this new schedule change will be a relief, and they have been anticipating this change. Annalise Anderson, a 10th grader, said she believes it will “…make school go much smoother…,” stating that would give students ease and peace of mind over break. “You get [finals] out of the way, no need to worry about them.” An 11th grader, who prefers to remain anonymous, said, “…[the schedule change] will open up my break, so I can do things without having to worry about studying…,” going on to state that even though it will get rid of the extra time to study and the “dead week,” (the week that happens before finals where nothing is learned,) “…The benefits of the switch outweigh the negatives…”

Some students support the old schedule, however, stating that they liked the old way as it gave them time to study and get their questions answered in the long break period. A 10th grader who would rather remain anonymous said that they liked the older schedule, stating that they believe that it “…gives [students] more time to study and prepare, more than you will get when the schedule changes around….” They added that they believe that the new schedule coming around will give them “…less time to work on what we need help with, and less time to prepare compared to the old finals schedule…”.

No matter the opinion, the schedule change is happening for the years or 2019-2020. As mentioned above, the change will cause school to begin one week earlier than it normally does, which in turn will shorten the summer for 2019, but will go back to normal in the following years. 

Issue 5 Magazine News

Teacher Walkouts in the US

Teacher walkouts have occurred all across the United States in recent months. There have been instances of these walkouts in Oklahoma, Denver, Colorado, Arizona, and California. Teachers have already had a walkout in LA and Denver. Closer to home, there are recent rumblings concerning a teacher walkout in the East Bay, specifically Oakland. 

     The walk outs can be a powerful tool for teachers looking to bring attention to their cause and to show they are serious about their concerns and demands, but they can also be disruptive to students’ learning; for example, the Los Angeles teachers’ walkout interfered with over 500,000 kids learning and classes. However, many teachers’ demands were arguably for the benefit of both the student and the teacher in the long run. In addition to demanding higher pay, as well as more rights and protections for school staff, the teachers of Los Angeles took to the streets demanding smaller classes. As of now, the teachers demands were met and the walkouts have ended, at least in the Los Angeles area.

     In a more local region, teachers in Oakland considered the possibility of joining in the same form of protests as their fellow Southern California teachers with a similar walkout strategy, and recently, have voted to authorize a strike. Beginning their “indefinite strike” on the 21st of February. The requests of the Oakland school teachers mirror the demands of teachers in LA and across the country: higher wages, smaller classes, and more guaranteed rights and benefits for teachers and staff, and they teachers state that they will not go back to the bargaining table. Though the walk outs have gotten the attention of the students and parents in their districts, and some national publicity, it remains to be seen whether they will result in the change the teachers want, or if they will be forced to compromise after a long stalemate. According to strike opponents, a big stumbling block is money. Higher pay, smaller classes, more classroom space, more teachers, and more benefits for teachers, like increased healthcare coverage or retirement coverage, all take more money. Districts and the state claim they do not have the budget or the additional money for these demands. It may be a case of meeting in the middle, waiting for state or district to cough up more money or for the teachers to back off on some of their demands. Negotiations are crucial in a walk out or strike, and these cases across the United States are no different.