The MESA program at Costa Mesa High is dying and may not be around for future students.
MESA stands for Math Engineering Science Achievement and it was designed to help students who wanted to go to college for a career in math or science.
“MESA is a program that gives us a lot of experience in making things, it’s pretty fun, it’s pretty cool.” Senior Winston Khuu said.
Brian Maclean, another student in the class, said, “It’s a good class, with good kids in it. I’m into building so it’s a good class for me.”
The MESA program started the year off with 31 students and they have now dropped 20.
"I don't want it to die, but it looks like it's slowly dying." Mr. Poveda said when asked about the current state of the MESA program.
The lack of support is due to the fact that students do not have the time to commit to the program. Not only that, but interested students often had scheduling conflicts that restricted many of them from joining the class.
Students become stretched between AP classes, other academies, and sports. Mr. Poveda admitted that even the “veteran” MESA students are not as involved as they need to be. “It’s not that they don’t want to; they’re just very busy.”
Of all the Mesa programs that Mr. Poveda has come into contact with, he admitted that the most successful one was at Century High School. There were many staff members involved in the Century program (about a one to ten ratio), and students willingly came in almost every day to work on projects. The program would bring in guest speakers and do social events, such as an end-of-the-year barbecue. They also took field trips to schools like UC Berkley, Stanford, UC San Diego, and even went on a trip to the opening of the Santa Ana Jail to learn about its engineering and architecture.
There are about 8 freshmen involved in the MESA program and the MESA advisers are hoping that they stay involved and help keep the MESA program going.
"We're both frustrated with things, but we are still having fun," Ms. Ras said when asked about the MESA class.
Jorge Sibaja photoshopping a
picture for AP Studio Art.
Wallets and checkbooks are being emptied once again for this year's AP testing fees, and while there are some ways to soften this financial blow, many parents find this cost a little over the top. Let’s look at where and to whom all that fee money goes to.
First, let’s look at the prices themselves. Standard AP Course tests are at $87 a test, $117 if taken outside of America, and anywhere from $5-$53 with different district's price reductions. Additional costs can range from $8-$25 for over-the-phone score services.
While some families qualify for the reduced fee, many do not and they think these prices are too high, and unnecessary. For starters, students show no sign of slowing down in their use of the AP classes: students enrolled in the program have tripled in the past 10 years as is shown by College Board. Also, a good portion of students take more than one test as, in recent years, one million AP students have taken over two million tests.
So the need for the tests will not be going away anytime soon, but the fee could be saving you money in your educational future. The point of the AP program is to get high school students college credit and enough college credit can eliminate one of the courses you need to take in college. So choosing the right AP programs in high school can save you money and your valuable time. Also, many colleges look for students with AP credit and will accept these students first and some higher-end colleges even require at least two AP courses to be taken during high school. Thus, AP courses can pay for themselves if used wisely.
Seniors Kerlly Castellano, Chad Webster, and Caitlyn
Brock talking during AP Literature.
The source of these fees is College Board. College Board is a non-profit association created in 1900 that works to distribute standardized testing and ensure minorities and the poor a chance for education. College Board is also responsible for the Advanced Placement program, or AP program, to allow students an opportunity to broaden their educational horizons for a fee. This is where the AP fee comes from; the "test fee" is actually the cost of the entire course. The AP Program does not only administer tests but it pays money and supports AP courses and the professors of the AP courses. Without these fees the AP program would probably not exist at all and the unique opportunity it gives to students would be lost. Also one major factor of the test's high price is to help pay for those who need cost reductions. In the end, a small percent of the money you pay goes to your school district and everything else goes towards funding this program, and making sure future students can have the same, and possibly better, opportunities in education.
Photos by McKenna Patton
Finally! After so many years of Valentine’s Day being a day to celebrate love, it has become what it was meant to be: a day to celebrate your hate for love. V-day Grinches all over the world turning their noses away from all that sickening, sappy love. Love that’s so thick in the air, you could choke on it.
One of the most annoying things about Valentine’s is how unspontaneous it is. Everybody knows that when it’s planned, it’s not fun or special anymore. Just like how your birthday party and Christmas gift from your mom aren’t special anymore because you knew they were coming. Besides, couples should already be celebrating their own Valentine’s Day on other days. Except for Valentine’s Day itself of course, that’s not allowed.
A very hateful task that one must do during V-day is the bothersome chore of getting your significant other a gift. Buying a gift for someone you love to make them happy? Or worse, making them something. It’s just too much to ask! In fact, it has become an obligation to make your special someone happy at your expense. It’s enough to turn St.Valentine over in his grave (as well as your stomach).
Finally, the winning element that crowns Valentine’s Day as the most wretched, the most dreadful holiday: you remember you can’t join in on the fun. You remember that you are cursed. You remember that-gulp!-you are single. Better known as S.A.D. Day also known as Singles Awareness Day (a bit redundant, really), it is a day where singles look on disgustedly as the girl walks along with a teddy bear and flowers in one arm and the boy responsible in the other. There are enough roses in the halls to drench the school in red. And all those pastries! They half-heartedly nibble at their own half-hearted cookies and sniff “How dare they express their love for each other! In front of me! Don’t they know that
I’m forever alone?”
Really, it’s better if the world stripped Valentine’s Day of its holiday title. Get couples to show their love for each other every single day, because they don’t already. But why stop at Valentine’s
Day? Let’s get rid of all those other pesky holidays, too! Who needs Christmas when we have 364 other days to give to the people we love? Every day should be Mothers’ and Fathers’ Day. And Fourth of July? Forget about it. Let’s have barbecues every day and fireworks every night, while we stuff our faces with some turkey and mashed potatoes. Then after that, maybe we could go trick-or-treating.
*Author’s Note: If you just nodded your head throughout this entire article, your heart might just be two sizes too small.
Photos by Royce Friedmann
Recently, body ink has become increasingly common amongst the hallways at Costa Mesa High School. Every student has different reasons for having tattoos. Some chose to have them because they want to be unique while others chose to have them to always have something to laugh at. However, many tattoos are not merely for a laugh as some have much deeper purpose to it, and are even dedicated to loved ones (and not in the usual heart with your name inside of it). People who don’t have tattoos, when spoken to about tattoos, seem to have a negative outlook towards them, usually arguing that a person should not deface his body with ink because they want to represent a group they are in or that only people with criminal records get them.
But in reality, tattoos symbolize something in a person’s life or want to be unique.
Mr. Kumar, a popular math teacher, when asked about his tattoos said, “It marks another thing in my life. I love my wife that’s why her name is on my back. I love the Lord that’s why there is a heart with flames on it on my back. Cause I’m a Catholic.”
Can one really say that Mr. Kumar chose to get tattoos because he is a criminal, or because he is part of some motorcycle gang?
No, he decided to have tattoos because, like a large portion of people with tattoos, he wanted to dedicate them to the things that he loves most in his life. Mr. Kumar, like all of us, has things in his life that he wishes to represent and keep in his memory.
Jack Bunker's tattoo on his arm.
Another reason people chose to have tattoos is to help them remember loved ones or to have something to dedicate to them. As all people know, things happen in life. People get in accidents, you lose your cell phone, and at times people who you love are separated from you for multiple reasons.
Marcus L. Hayes said “I got because I just wanted it... it kind of means something to me because my dad is in jail and it reminds me of him.”
Mario Smith said “I was young and I was into it but it was always my passion. All of mine are meaningful because all of them are family related.
Andrew J. Goldfarb, commonly known as Ag, said “I got my tattoo because my dad passed away and his favorite things were sparrows so I thought it would be really rad to get one tattooed on me. It’s definitely not something that I go around professing, not too many people know I have it. Just my close friends.”
People will sometimes overlook the fact that perhaps that one kid with the tattoo had it etched on him or her because they wanted to remember someone.
Another popular figure, Jack Bunker said, “Well, being a type 1 diabetic, you have to wear an ID bracelet saying that you’re diabetic just in case you have an accident or something and with this tattoo, I don’t have to keep buying bracelets because it’s permanent. People haven’t really changed their view of me, but they have definitely have given me their judgment and their opinion.”
He chose to get his tattoo because of something that he had lived with for his entire life; can you blame a man for that?
Not all people who get tattoos are bad and not all tattoos have to symbolize some gang they are in. Try to know both sides of the situation before you judge someone with a tattoo. You might just find out
that perhaps it means a lot to them.
Photos by Angel Fisk
Boring. Informative. Awkward. Touching. Inspiring.
Such were the colorful words used by CMHS students to describe the suicide prevention assemblies that took place on Wednesday of Yellow Ribbon Week. The events were hosted by licensed clinical social workers from the Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, a suicide prevention center.
The assemblies provided several facts about suicide, its causes, and its symptoms.
“It was interesting how they defined [suicide] as a disease,” says Marcie Mathieu, a junior.
There was also a story told of a girl named Phoebe Prince who was bullied to the point of suicide. Another tragic story was about a speaker’s brother, whose drawings about death were discovered too late.
The speakers emphasized that if you have a friend considering suicide, it is a secret you CANNOT keep, no matter how close they are to you.“Would you rather have a mad friend?” Allison, one of the speakers, asked the audience. “Or a dead one?”
The assemblies closed out with the teachers handing out suicide prevention center business cards, called Crisis Line, which stated that they are open 24/7 for anyone - (877) 727-4747.
Despite (or because of) the discomfort suicide can arouse, is it okay to have students be exposed to such topics?
The event was not mandated, but many of the students felt obligated to go to the assembly because their teachers had brought them. There were also several students who really truly did not want to attend the assembly due to the deep sensitivity of the topic or because of the particular class they were in when they went. On top of not wanting to go, there were parts of the assembly that may have been uncomfortable for some students. For instance, a speaker asked students to yell out the word “suicide” at the top of their lungs. Many did not.
Some students did not take the assembly seriously, and for others, the assembly was not serious enough.
“If it’s something serious like suicide, the assembly should be serious, too,” says Kyle Barnett.
Joey Nguyen, a junior, felt that the assembly was "not compelling". That it wasn't the right approach to get kids concerned about suicide. In fact, after speaking with some students, the assembly even got them thinking about suicide, which is the opposite effect of the point of the assembly.
On the other hand, very many students said attendance should be mandated, especially because it could save someone’s life. Kirsten Gyorgy, a freshman, felt that “students really need to know what suicide is all about.” According to Mr. Howell, who brought his classes to the assembly, every student gained something from the assemblies, whether they wanted to be there or not.
The event had both its positive and negative effects on the CMHS students, but many felt it was necessary because people needed to be aware of the situation. Sometimes people need to see and accept difficult truths, especially something as sensitive as suicide, because it could potentially be lifesaving.