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Features Magazine News Volume 69, Issue 6

Las Lomas Inspiring Women

Carmen Alsip- Varsity Wrestler

Carmen is a Sophomore at Las Lomas and it is her first year on the Las Lomas Varsity Wrestling team. Being a female wrestler has come with its own set of challenges: “A lot of people view women’s wrestling as a joke and I am often asked if I am “allowed” to wrestle guys. Female wrestling is viewed as “softer” than male wrestling and people view female wrestlers as weaker.” She is inspired by her mom, herself, and her goals. Her biggest goal is to compete at the state level and make others happy. 

Kyla Watkins

Kyla is the President of Las Lomas’ Speech and Debate team. She has competed on Varsity level, placing third, and recently qualified for State competition. On top of her amazing accomplishments in the debate field, she participated in the televised Poetry Out Loud county competition. In early 2019 she wrote her own legislation to combat homelessness in California for a competition with the Lion’s Club. On the side, she’s done some side acting in films, musicals, plays, and a couple commercials! Along with these, she has been the class representative for French for the past three years. Her siblings inspire her most, “I have never loved anything so much in my entire life, and they push me to be my best self. I just want to make them proud.” She describes the most special thing about her to be love: “I’ve been surrounded by love my whole life, and even when it was absent, I found love by giving love to others. I like to tell myself that love doesn’t disappear, and when none is given to you, give some away to receive some back in the long run.” As a woman, she has faced obstacles in most aspects of her various ventures. She believes that as a woman obstacles are inevitable and frequently people assume that women “just can’t do it.” However, she takes power in this. After being called numerous sexist slurs and dealing with sexism in the form of mansplaining, she finds empowerment “because, ‘sir, you’re talking to someone who can out-debate you, so I suggest you keep your comments to yourself.’” Her final message is: “You can do ANYTHING. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I’m not saying it to sound cliche, but seriously. Your ambitions are in your brain and your heart. If someone says you’re “too emotional,” then GREAT. Use that emotion to show them who the HBIC is. (Urban Dictionary HBIC.)”

Emma Mendelssohn

Emma is your “average 16-year-old girl” the main difference is that she had a liver transplant last year and is currently doing her best to live life to the fullest. On a daily basis, her donor inspires her to reach for her goals. A near experience with death has given her a different perspective on life. She’s noticed that many live their lives for tomorrow but she lives for today: “it took almost dying to realize I’d been living my life wrong, for 15 years.” The best way she can describe doing this is: “Watch the sunset and the sunrise, go out with your friends. Stop thinking about tomorrow, or worrying about college. Life can be taken away at any time, and everyone runs out of time eventually. You don’t want to run out of time thinking about what could’ve been, so just go for it. Live your life, because the pain goes away, regret doesn’t. So just yolo the freakin heck out of your life!”

Stormy Mercado

Stormy was a shift leader for and volunteered at Kaiser Permanente for 3 years. She has been on Las Lomas Cheer for 3 years and was head captain her enior year. As an honors student, she has kept good grades her whole life. In her sophomore year, she started a club called Asian Affiliation, which over 100 students have signed up for. She aspires to help others live better lives: “In college, I want to major in nursing and plan on furthering my career by becoming a NICU nurse. With my career, I want to travel back home to the Philippines and to other countries and help people in need and give them the care they deserve”. She is motivated by the idea that there are people in need that can’t access the health care they require because they can’t afford it. As a woman, she feels that generally women are underestimated, “Women are such strong and amazing people. Never underestimate the power of a woman”

Isabel Shic

Isabel’s primary focus this year has been playing the trombone. She is a part of our Las Lomas jazz band and wind ensemble, as well as the Diablo Wind Symphony and Oakland Symphony Youth Orchestra. In addition, she participated in our county’s annual honor band. There, she was awarded a scholarship! This summer she has also been invited to attend a music institute. Outside of schoolwork and band, she volunteers in Key Club, an international organization. As a member of our division’s (DIVISION 26 SOUTH!) leadership team, she helps to establish a media presence. Isabel doesn’t struggle as much with being a woman, but more with being herself: “Honestly, my biggest obstacle has always been myself. My insecurities and low-self esteem have kept me from stepping out of my comfort zone. Particularly as an Asian-American woman, I have struggled with identifying myself with a group of, for example, white men.” Overall, she has impacted Las Lomas’ community in more than one way!

Caroline Lannes

Caroline is aspiring to be a film director and screenwriter. Overall film is dominated by powerful men. She expressed that oftentimes production heads don’t believe in female stories: “Breaking into the film industry is extremely hard as it is, so by being a woman it just adds another barrier”. She has found especially concerning the amount of information coming out about the women who’ve been sexually assaulted by these same powerful men. She is proud of what she has achieved but is most looking forward to what is to come: “I am going to SDSU for film production so I hope I can make more professional short films there. I’m extremely proud of my short film And She Was, which almost has 1,000 views!” Search “caroline&kaitlyn” films on youtube to watch!

Ms. Heckmann

Ms. Heckmann originally became a teacher to better the high school experience. Her goal now as a teacher is to make learning enjoyable so that students ‘thirst’ for knowledge and desire to continue learning.  Her personal goals include being a published author. She wrote a book several years ago about her animals and some funny childhood stories that she would love to publish. Generally, she isn’t inspired by just one thing “ My parents always instilled in my brother and me to do our very best on each of our endeavors.  So, I guess one might say it was my upbringing that inspires me. I try always to do my best each and every day…on EVERY task before me”. As a woman, she doesn’t face discrimination “The biggest obstacle is typically people’s attitudes and beliefs. We limit ourselves with our own thinking. We are often our greatest obstacle”. She is most proud of the impact she has on her students, she does her best to make sure each of them knows she cares about them as more than just students. She also guarantees that she will do her best every day (a momentous commitment): “I try to be positive and ‘lead by example’.  I try to show my students positivity and dedication and create a classroom environment that is supportive and friendly to all”. Her ultimate message is to “believe in oneself and to chase one’s dreams and to realize that there is more than one path to one’s goals. Sometimes in life, we are forced to take a detour, but that doesn’t mean we can’t reach our ultimate destination” and wishes LL had a petting zoo.

Ally McKay

Ally is a super artist. Over her painting career, she has done three public works, including a painted piano downtown. Ally has worked at an art studio for three years and recently was promoted to a teaching position for summer classes. Her number one goal is to become an illustrator because her passion is cartoons. Graphic design is a male-dominated field however which Ally recognizes and comments, “It’s really hard in graphic design. If you’re a woman you need to be REALLY good to be seen as ‘fine’” She is proud of how far she has come and promises to never stop working as her artistic talent grows every day.

Emma Casey

Emma is a Senior at Las Lomas who participates in Leadership and student government. As an aspiring woman her goals are to get a business degree, eventually earn her MBA, and then work somewhere like a federal reserve. She is consistently dedicated to improving herself. She’s an honors student with a rigorous course schedule and still makes time to train for half marathons and invest her babysitting money in the stock market. When she’s not running or doing school work she is the tennis team and soccer team captain and spends her time mentoring younger students. As a woman, she believes women need to be lifted up by each other, “Women who have achieved success should make an effort to help other women who are just at the start of their careers… a lot of the change should come from people in the industry themselves”.

Melanie Quan

Melanie’s passion lies in her love for environmental science. Through science fair projects, Outdoor Ed, and everyday California biodiversity Melanie has been able to thrive and achieve many of her goals. These achievements include a low cost water filter, a filtration technique for microplastics in soil, and creating a new type of plastic from waste products of algal biofuels. This has led to recognition from companies like California Life Sciences Institute, East Bay Municipal Utility District/ Contra Costa Water District, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US Air Force Research Laboratory, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In the future, she hopes to be able to use her work on research to influence environmental policy, invent environmentally friendly products, and promote the widespread use of sustainable practices. Melanie is most motivated by the sights she’s seen through travel: “I have seen first-hand how countries in poverty are significantly more impacted by the wasteful ways that society uses natural resources compared to developed countries, leading to extreme pollution and degradation of living standards for the people affected. Knowing the impact that my work can have to potentially aid people in their daily lives encourages me to pursue my various goals.” She also believes that the potential women bring to STEM is undeniable “Women bring valuable perspectives and ideas to all fields, but in STEM, these new perspectives are not only good for the industry, but results in more innovation/progress for society as a whole.”

Alexandra (Mimi) Mele

Throughout Mimi’s three-and-a-half years at Las Lomas, she has participated in extracurricular athletics, clubs, paid work, and volunteer work. She’s spent most of her community service time with the White Pony Express and helping Las Lomas’s own students succeed through free peer tutoring. Her academic awards include National Hispanic Scholar, National Merit Commended Scholar, AP Scholar with Distinction Award, and President’s Award for Educational Excellence. She was raised to believe there is no substitute for hard work, therefore her passion and drive motivate her. Overall she is aiming for a medical career and to a better life for her and her family, “I suppose that, in the words of Beyoncé, my aspiration in life would be to be happy. I hope to further my education and achieve a successful career in the medical field to pursue my interests and support my family.”

Emily Xie 

Emily recently developed an app, EverySecond, for which she won the 2020 Congressional App Challenge. In the future, she hopes to study more about computer science and neuroscience and use that knowledge to create fun and socially beneficial projects. Her friends inspire her most, “They’re all so motivated and unique, so I’m inspired to find my own goals and interests”. Emily feels that companies are actually getting better in creating a more diverse environment, “California has started to become more diversity-conscious in male-dominated fields (like computer science), so many companies and organizations are supporting and accepting more women.”

Katie Wilson 

Katie is a Junior at Las Lomas. In her three years, she has played water polo (JV freshman-sophomore year, Varsity junior year), done 680 club water polo in the winter, and swam on the JV swim team through high school. She’s been active in the church for the past 4 years: serving at Church of the Resurrection, youth group, and was confirmed last June. She’s been to various volunteering trips in places including Sonoma, Louisiana, and this summer to Paradise with other youth from Episcopal churches around the Bay Area. During the summer she is going to be a representative of the Diocese of California at the Episcopal Youth Event in Washington DC. Overall, her upbringing is what has pushed her most: “My parents and brothers have always pushed me to strive for the best possible outcome. From my parents, I’ve developed a really strong sense of motivation and I also know not to worry or stress if I fail, I can always work harder the next time.” Katie does believe that women are expected to do less and finds it difficult to push herself even when she’s not expected to do as much or as well.

Ms. Dáve

Ms. Dáve has been a teacher for a total of 15 years. This is her second year in AUHSD and her first year at Las Lomas. She worked as a newspaper reporter for about 7 years, publishing more than 200 stories, and earning two press awards. After changing her career she became a New York City Teaching fellow and earned a second Master’s degree in secondary education at Pace University. When she finds herself special because “I am a proud Indian American woman and the first one to be born in the U.S. in my family. I’m bilingual; I cook kick butt Indian food; I have a strong singing voice and know how to dance to bhangra music.” As a woman and especially as an Indian woman Dáve has experienced discrimination of every kind: “People have judged me for everything and based their decisions on such stereotypes. I have been scrutinized for my clothing; the scent of spices in my hair; my beliefs; my choice to be a vegetarian. Luckily, I have still found ways to be successful in academics and in the workplace though recently, I came to the realization that a strong, minority female in the workplace is sometimes threatening for certain people because they rock the boat of equity and equality, which the “machine” wholeheartedly opposes.” She has a lot to be proud of and she has earned and worked for everything she’s gotten, “I strongly believe I have achieved the American Dream. I have fought hard for my education and I believe it has paid off. I never went after the money, rather my passions and I felt nothing but stimulated in all the jobs I have had in my life, not to mention met incredible people along the way!” She advises that as women it is best to “always speak your truth as a woman and NEVER settle for the second-best of anything in life”.

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Magazine News Sport Volume 69, Issue 6

Boys’ Volleyball

Photography by Jackie Veliz

The Las Lomas boys volleyball team has begun their new season. Last season the team was extremely successful and was ranked by MaxPreps as the 91st best team in California. Last year’s squad was 17-12 and ended up with the 4th seed in the second division in the NCS (North Coast Section) playoffs. They ended the season with a loss to Northgate in the NCS semi-finals, Northgate is one of the best boys volleyball programs in the entire country. The Las Lomas vs Northgate battle of the creek games are always something to look forward too, “This year I am really looking forward to the Northgate vs Las Lomas because our teams seem to be matched up very well with each other.  Both the Northgate and Las Lomas teams have excellent hitters that will play a very big factor in whether either of us win or not, but anyway it will be a spectacular game to be a part of,” said Las Lomas freshman Michael Wood. The team played an extremely tough schedule last season and they will again this season, as the league they play in includes some incredibly good teams such as Acalanes, Campolindo, and Northgate.

This season started with a matchup against Miramonte High School in the Deer Valley tournament, in which they easily handed them the loss by winning every set. They would win every set for the next 5 games as they went on a six-game winning streak to start the season and take home the tournament trophy. “Well the volleyball team has been a lot of fun and everyone on the team is very nice and fun to be around.  The team definitely has a lot of potential to be the best around…” said Wood. In high school volleyball, the teams play in “sets”, not quarters and the first to reach 25 points and lead by 2 wins the set.

 Last season the team did not find much success in league play only going winning 2 games out of 8. The team will start their league matches on March 26 when they play at College Park, which is a team who had lots of struggles last year, but the Knights can”t take them lightly if they want to win” Nevertheless, the team will still have tough battles with their opponents.  “My goal for the team is to really fulfill our potential and become the best we can.  I think we can beat some of the really good teams in our league, we just have to focus in and play our type of volleyball,” said Wood.

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Magazine News Opinions Volume 69, Issue 6

Is Masculinity associated with Leadership?

by Mateo Requejo-Tejada

At Las Lomas we have several student leaders, both male and female, that represent each grade and the school as a whole. It is the job of these students to carry out school wide events, whether that’s by planning dances/activities, decorating, raising money, or helping represent clubs at school. As the Advisor to leadership, Ms. Miranda is tasked with approving all the events, interactive activities, and setting calendar dates for said events and activities and attending all leadership events. According to Ms. Miranda, 60 out of the 87 leadership positions on campus are held by women. 

These positions look like ASB President, ASB treasurer, President for each grade, vice president for each grade, secretary for each grade, and treasurer for each grade. Women at school hold all these positions, except for Junior president, Junior secretary, and Freshman treasurer, and all the vice president positions except Senior VP. requirements for taking on leadership roles on campus is not a simple task. “For All ASB and Senior class presidents, you have to have one year of experience to run and for all elected positions, ASB and Class Officers, there is an application including teacher signatures, 1 teacher recommendation, 100 peer signatures, video and speech.” says Ms. Miranda. One of these campus leaders is Melina Rafferty. Rafferty is currently the sophomore class treasurer along with other class officers she works to set up events. Rafferty has always had leadership qualities herself, and says that masculinity has no direct correlation to being a leader. “Masculinity is the definition of being a man, but that’s so unclear, and it’s more powerful thinking that [makes you a good leader] not masculinity.” Outside of Las Lomas Rafferty attends different social action events and gatherings as a leader in the community. Rafferty says she often tries to work on her public speaking and she speaks at some of the social action events. As well as taking action in her community, Rafferty is a part of speech and debate. Whether or not her male counterparts are taken more seriously, Rafferty said, “ yeah, especially in speech and debate I get notes on my clothes and I see the notes about the guys and they’re not about their clothing.” These notes can look like “I like your outfit; extra 2 points, or your skirt was too short” says Rafferty. A majority of our leadership officers at Las Lomas are women, and several of them continue to be involved on and off campus with setting an example of what a leader looks like; And what a leader is is someone who can show patience, courage in the face of adversity, someone who can work with others, and someone who is well integrated into the community just as so many of the women on campus are.

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Magazine News Sport Volume 69, Issue 6

Historic Season for Boys Soccer

by Josh Morgan

There are so many ways to describe the Las Lomas boys soccer team’s amazing season, but despite a league championship win and an appearance in the Northern California semifinal, there is one thing that the players and fans will remember for years to come: for the first time since 2007; Las Lomas is the NCS Champion.

“It’s a great feeling knowing that all of our hard work paid off,” said senior goalkeeper Noah Rosen. Rosen played in the Knights’ NCS semifinal loss last year against Richmond, and used the loss as motivation this season. “After last year’s loss, I promised myself that I would do everything I can to help bring a title back to Las Lomas, and it’s a good feeling knowing we could do that, especially in the senior’s last season.”

The Knights started off the season with an incredible 15 straight wins. Their first loss came by a score of 2-1 against Ygnacio Valley. Ygnacio Valley scored on a penalty kick to take the lead that would eventually win them the game. Rosen guessed the right way, but the winning goal barely flew past his outstretched arms.

The team rebounded with a win over American Canyon but tied their very next league game against College Park. A league title that was almost a guarantee was now in jeopardy. However, the team won their next game against Alhambra, and then faced Acalanes in a game that would likely decide the league championship. After a hard-fought defensive game, junior defender Martín Jimenez scored on an incredible free kick that Rosen cites as one of his favorite moments of the season.

They then played Benicia on their senior night with a chance to clinch the league championship, but the game was stopped in the first minute after a violent collision between senior striker Colby Allard and the Benicia goalkeeper. The game would eventually be postponed, and despite an easy Las Lomas win, they were faced with the loss of one of their best players for the rest of the season.

The team was given the #1 seed in NCS, and cruised through their first three games with wins over Alameda (2-0), Bishop O’Dowd (3-0), and Newark Memorial (3-1). They then had the championship game at home against Redwood. The Knights took a 1-0 lead on a header from senior defender Saul Bronstone before allowing an equalizer on a collective defensive lapse. The Knights took back the lead with another Bronstone header, and now had that one goal lead to protect in order to win NCS.

Bronstone admitted that the team didn’t play very well in the game’s final 40 minutes. “We were playing survival in the second half,” he said. However, the team was able to hang on to their lead and win NCS, in large part to a remarkable penalty kick save from Rosen. The save will surely go down as one of the clutchest moments in Las Lomas soccer history. 

“I was just ready for the next play,” said Rosen. “Thank you to (junior defender Kirk Wilson) for clearing it after I saved it because it really would have sucked if they scored on the rebound.” The Knights played out the final minutes of the game, and the fans then stormed the field as their team had finally brought the NCS title back to Las Lomas.

Sophomore midfielder Hadi George, who had to move to striker in order to fill in for Allard’s absence, says the team rallied around his injury. “Due to Colby’s absence, we had to step up and work together as a team, and it led to us winning NCS and making history here,” said George.

The team then made an appearance in the state championship tournament, and won their first game against Menlo-Atherton before losing 1-0 against eventual state champion Sanger in the semifinal game. However, after accomplishing their main goal of winning NCS, the team wasn’t too upset about losing in state. 

“Not many Las Lomas teams can say they even reached state, so it was a good way to wrap up the season even though we didn’t win it,” said Rosen.

Even though the team will be losing a number of key seniors next year, George still thinks the Knights can be competitive and make another deep postseason run.

“We’re losing our two varsity goalkeepers and they’re irreplaceable,” said George. “Same thing with “Saul the Wall”. We’re also losing Joey and Colby and that’s a tough blow to the team, but we’re gonna step up. We’ll train hard and try to win it all next year too.”

Even though they may still be good next year, George knows that this team was a very special one.

“The team chemistry we have is unbreakable. That’s what I think got us as far as we did. We’re a unit. This is a brotherhood. There probably isn’t gonna be a team like this in Las Lomas history ever again.”

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Magazine News Opinions Volume 69, Issue 6

Should WNBA Players Get Higher Pay?

by Josh Morgan

Graphic by Christy Knudson

Here is a question I have heard a lot from people in popular culture. Would you rather have $5 or your local WNBA team win a championship? The result of the question usually tends to be that most people can’t even name their local WNBA team.

Due to the league’s inferior popularity to the NBA, many argue that it makes sense that WNBA players make less money than NBA players. The average salary for a WNBA player is around $115,000 per player, while the NBA dwarfs that number at $7.7 million per player. Many people are going to justify that number by saying that the NBA accrues $8 billion of total revenue per season, while the WNBA falls far behind at $60 million per season.

However, the people who so quickly shun the idea that WNBA players should get paid higher are simply uneducated on the topic. The argument is not that WNBA players should make closer to the amount of money that NBA players make. The one thing that both sides of the argument agree on, even if they don’t realize it, is that NBA players and WNBA players both should make salaries that are proportional to the amount of revenue that the league brings in.

WNBA player Sue Bird sums it up pretty well: “Look, we’re not over here saying we should be paid the same as the men. We’re realistic. We understand that this is a business and that their revenue is insane compared to ours. But there is a bias that exists.”

So, should WNBA players make more money? What is that bias that Bird talks about? Well, out of that $8 billion per season that the NBA brings in, the NBA pays its players around 50%. The WNBA, on the other hand, is paying their players less than 25% of their $60 million dollar revenue.

There is only one problem. To understand the problem, we need to understand the difference between revenue and profit. There is a certain cost to running a basketball league, and since the NBA revenue is so high, they make tons of profit. However, the WNBA makes way less profit since a majority of their $60 million goes to running the league. Still, the bottom line is that regardless of whether or not it is realistic for WNBA players to make 50% of their league revenue, they should definitely be getting paid a higher share.

No one is arguing that WNBA players should make millions of dollars a year, at least until the league starts to make more money. However, WNBA players should be taking in a much fairer share of their league’s revenue.

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Entertainment Magazine News Volume 69, Issue 6

Onward Movie Review

by Nolan Runkle

As everybody knows, Pixar has produced cinematic masterpieces time and time again. However when it comes to Onward, directed by Dan Scanlon and starring Tom Holland and Christ Pratt, things just fall flat. It’s hard to create amazing films over and over again, I get it. When Pixar makes movies that last through decades, like Up and Toy Story, it’s a painstaking process, and you can feel the love that is put in the movies. But Onward feels like it lost a lot of that originality, and is instead like a drag and drop of existing movies. Onward feels empty, devoid of love, and very lacking in so many departments.

Dan Scanlon is the mastermind behind Monsters University, so already we can see where this movie went wrong. With new Pixar movies, they usually find some way to make fans relate to or just feel attached to the main character. In Onward, the main character Ian and his brother Barley, voiced by Tom Holland and Chris Pratt respectively, fall flat and are quite frankly, bland. Both these characters are chiches of characters we’ve seen countless times before, almost a copy and paste of an already overused character archetype. You have Ian, the nerdy, “relatable” main character who does a complete 180 from his personality at the end of the movie, almost an exact copy of Mike Wazowski. And then Barley, the slightly annoying, oafish comic relief, basically a “cookie-cutter rehash of other Pratt or Jack Black characters,” as said by The Hollywood Reporter. I don’t know why, but Chris Pratt’s choice for this role seemed off, like his voice didn’t quite fit the character, but Disney needed a big celebrity’s name to slap on the project to sell more tickets. 

The movie’s main thing is that magic was almost forgotten about, so the world they live in, which is filled with a classic Dungeons & Dragons aesthetic, is becoming increasingly modern, and Ian wants to learn forgotten magic to bring his dad back. This plot would have been fun to discover along the way, but they pretty much spoiled the whole plot before the movie even came out, as in you can see the trailer and not feel like you missed anything.

Don’t get me wrong, Onward was a passable movie, but that’s all it was. Passable. It’s certainly not up to the standards that Pixar has set themselves at, and was an obvious filler movie for 2020 until Disney comes up with a more passionate project. The whole movie felt like filler, and was designed to be nothing more than a way to sell more merchandise at Disneyland this spring.

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Magazine News Sport Volume 69, Issue 6

A Fresh Start for Girls’ Lacrosse

 Late February marked the start of Girls Lacrosse, and with it comes a whole new season for the team to compete. These girls didn’t just start playing Lacrosse, some of these athletes have been playing the sport since they were in fourth grade; so by no mistake did they make the NCS Playoffs last year, as they plan to do so again this season. In order to make it to the NCS playoffs the team had to have won a majority of their games and train to be the most competitive and determined of all teams. Many in the Girls lacrosse team last year and this year had been playing together for years. “Our team was very close last year on and off the field.  The amount of trust and communication on the field last year was amazing,” says Carol Halpin, number 18. “I am really excited for this season. We lost some of our key players from last season, but we have also gotten some new girls that are great additions to the team,” says Halpin. She explains that this year, “we have started off with a lot of chemistry on the field and if we can keep improving it, I think it will take us really far this season.” With each practice lasting about 2 hours these players are putting in all the effort they can into ensuring they can have the best possible outcome in the games to come. #16 Amelia Metcalf, who is also a member of our schools leadership, says that she believes they’ve “got a pretty strong team.” Metcalf says that “[the team has] a new head coach and a brand new assistant coach that are going to bring us to success this season.” Last year there had been management issues with the previous coaching staff which had  momentarily inconvenienced the lacrosse team. commenting on these challenges Metcalf says “Although we had a lot of issues last season, as a team we came out stronger and ready to play for this season.” According to Halpin the team’s current head coach has been the assistant coach to the Las Lomas Girls Lacrosse team for 3 years. “The returners on the team are already very comfortable with her, since we have all been coached by her before. She also pushes us to our limits, which helps us improve our skill and improve our team chemistry.” says Halpin. Hopeful for this coming lacrosse season, Halpin explains that she would like to see results that match the team’s effort and ability on the field. “We are Playing many competitive teams this year , and the rest of our season will be filled with good games that will push us as a team. If we keep playing the way we are now, this season will be a strong one..”

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Features News Volume 69, Issue 6

Barriers to Gender Equality

During the current United States presidential campaign,  New York Times reported that Bernie Sanders told Elizabeth Warren that he does not believe that a woman can be elected to this office. This candidate’s view illustrates that sexist attitudes continue even in 2020, posing barriers to women’s political progress. Obstacles such as these confront women in the form of gender discrimination in various areas of today’s society, even though there are laws in place to protect against this unjust treatment.

In the United States, most gender discrimination occurs in the workplace: hiring, pay,, and career advancement, despite legislation in place to prevent it, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Equal Pay Act, Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. As such, according to the National Partnership for Women and Families,  white, African American, and Latina women are paid $.79, $.68, and $.55, respectively, for every dollar paid to men. In terms of workplace leadership, only 6% of CEOs of the 500 largest companies are women and for every 100 males promoted to manager only 79 women are, according to study by McKinsey Company.

 Globally, women face even more extreme sex-based discrimination throughout all levels of society. Politically, 155 out of 173 countries continue to enforce laws that allow for unequal treatment of women. In terms of education, one out of every four girls does not attend school in developing countries. Economically, although women represent 50% of the population worldwide, they own a mere 1% of the wealth, according to the Peace Corps.

Locally, Las Lomas students feel that gender discrimination is a concern at school. According to Sophomores Keilah Wright and Eliza Loventhal, although neither has personally experienced inequitable treatment directly, both “believe that gender discrimination exists at Las Lomas.” Wright explains that “it often occurs subconsciously” and she “often notices comments made that are sexist and demean girls,” which confirms the belief that broader sexist attitudes prevail across our society.

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Magazine Sport Volume 69, Issue 6

Girls’ Softball

Photography by Yiying Zhang

The Las Lomas softball team has started their season off. Last year the team started off struggling with having a 2-7 record to start the season. But then the team bounced back going 7-2 in the second half of this season with their final game being a loss in the NCS (North Coast Section) playoffs against Benicia losing 6-0. Overall, the team had an even 9-9 record but had an excellent league record with 8-2; Coming second to Acalanes which went 10-0 in the league. Currently, the team has an 0-4 record.

I had the chance to interview Junior captain Mia Hanson and she is remaining optimistic about the season, “We’ve only had a few games but we’ve already been able to improve on many things both skill-wise and in terms of team cohesion.” Hanson also wanted to emphasize the importance of team chemistry, “I think that just being able to practice and team bond is very important in helping us prepare to work together on the field”, her teammate Junior Sydney Fippin agreed, “ I think throughout the season we will improve on many things and overall become a stronger team.”

When I interviewed these two, I learned that this year’s team consists mostly of sophomores. The roster includes three Juniors, six Sophomores, and three freshmen. It is important to note that there is not one senior on the team. However, Fippin was not at all discouraged, saying, “Obviously since the season has just started there are things we can work on but considering that we are a young team I believe we are performing well.”  Hanson added by saying, “So far the team has been doing well considering we’re a young team.” Being a young team they may not have much success this season, but they may have extremely good seasons in the next one to three seasons.

The team has already had one league match with Battle of the creek against Northgate, which they lost 5-0. The league games will start back up on April 14 when they play at Ygnacio Valley. The team will most likely be competing with Acalanes for the league title again this year. “ …I’m looking forward to the Acalanes game this year because last year we had some good competition with them,” said Hanson. The team looks to win the league title, not for bragging rights, but to clinch a spot in the NCS playoffs. Last season the team was 15th seed in the NCS Division 2 playoffs. Unfortunately, the team lost in the first round to the 2nd seed Benicia. 

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Magazine News Volume 69, Issue 6

Pressure to be Perfect

The media has a large influence on how we view society. Consequently, the media’s objectification of women is extremely problematic. Through television, advertising, and social media, the sexualization and objectification of women has spread like a wildfire, burning up all progress made by women in the past. In the media, women are presented as sexual objects, and set standards of beauty that other women are expected to match. These standards are often unattainable, and lead young girls and women towards a negative self-image. 

In television, women are often the subjects of sexual exploitative jokes and comments. These jokes are intended to make viewers laugh, and the more they are made, the more normal they become to people. As long as media producers and outlets continue to find the degradation of women funny, airing the content, the impact and seriousness of sexual exploitation will continue to be understated and not meaningfully addressed in our society. Many of these shows are labeled as comedies, and laughing at degrading jokes about women makes these ideas normalized.

Women are portrayed to be somewhat perfect in the world of advertising. The fashion industry has created a new type of woman. Many common features of this almost artificial woman include: smooth skin, a small waist, perfect teeth, and shiny hair. With the goal of selling a product, these advertising companies utilize this perfect version of a woman to attract consumers. What is not taken into consideration is the impact that the vision of women in advertisements has not only on women, but on men too. Everyone that views an advertisement takes it a different way, and in many cases, the standard of the average woman may change due to this image of a perfect one.

Social media is very important to today’s society. People present themselves however they want others to see, and those who see these images are only getting a piece of their personality. Many young women use social media as a way of appearing perfect to their peers. Through apps such as Instagram, Snapchat, and VSCO, many girls post pictures with the intention of making others jealous or just to make them like them more. These perfect representations of themselves that many girls post on social media platforms can make other girls self-image degrade. Although some women post for themselves and not to impress others, many find themselves retouching and editing their photos to meet the unattainable standard that Instagram models and their peers set. The media’s view of women comes into play with younger women in situations like these.