The creation of the group project was truly inspired. Without it, we were nothing. We had nothing. No sense of interpersonal communication, no time management, no organizational skills. Nothing. We were left to our own crude devices to learn how to communicate and work with other people. On our own, we were cruelly forced to put effort and thought into our individual work. We had to face the daunting task of accepting responsibility for the products of our labor and we had to learn for ourselves how to create and convey our thoughts and ideas. Fortunately, we were saved by one idea, one marvelous idea: the group project.
The group project allows people to gain valuable skills necessary to making them successful individuals in society. Through it, students are taught at a young age how to quickly recognize the smartest and most motivated student among them, compel this person to be in their group out of pity, and then be so uncooperative that the motivated student takes it upon themselves to complete the project. Through this method, the motivated student is able to be review information he otherwise wouldn’t because motivated students are the ones who need incentive to learn material. On the other hand, he or she is also able to have the opportunity to work with invaluable intelligent and competent people who he or she might not otherwise meet. The other group members who are not interested in their education are able to receive a good grade without putting forth any effort and are therefore shielded from the traumatic experience of learning responsibility. Since both parties benefit from this situation, a true sense of camaraderie is created in the group and everyone is left better off than they were before.
In the past, societies have valued ridiculous ideals like integrity, intelligence, and hard work. But it is clear through successes like Communist Russia, that if a nation hopes to create a happy, healthy environment, everyone must feel that they are equal to everyone around them, despite how hard they work or how smart they are. May we, as Americans, learn from such brilliance. May we seek to encourage the high work ethic and integrity promoted by the group project. May we make today’s world a little better tomorrow, one group project at a time.
P.S. If you agree with what this essay says at face value, stay away from me. This sentence is not satirical.
By Renae Andrade, Guest Columnist
Ms. Kastner is a math and dance teacher at Costa Mesa High School. Ms. Kastner said she loves teaching because she sees every day as a new adventure and she never knows what to expect. However, she said she doesn’t find grading papers very exciting.
She thinks of herself as a bubbly person, and you can tell how happy she is just by seeing her in the halls. Her inspiration is a Middle School teacher that helped her tremendously.
Her life was greatly influenced by her older sister who she said was like a “second mom” to her. Although Ms. Kastner’s sister is only four years older than her, she always could rely on her sister to be there and take care of her.
Growing up, she wanted to become a professional dancer on Broadway, but soon figured out that it wasn’t a very reliable career choice. However, teaching was her close second choice and now she wouldn’t be anything else.
In high school, Ms. Kastner was in show choir or “Glee,” as she joked. She has a love for performing and said that part of the reason why she loves teaching so much is because teaching is a like performance every day.
One thing she is proud of is her long lasting friendships and how she always tries to keep in touch. She believes it’s important to have those good friends especially because she met her fiancé through a mutual friend.
Ms. Kastner is engaged and she is going to have a summer wedding. She anticipates her wedding day as being the happiest day of her life.
Beside Ms. Kastner’s desk is a quote from George Bernard Shaw that reads, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world, the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
Things You May Not Know About Ms. Kastner:
1) She was born in the Bronx in New York and used to have a New York accent.
2) She would love to have dinner with Martha Graham, who was a famous American Modern Dancer as well as Obama because, in her opinion, who wouldn’t want to have dinner with the President.
3) If she could live in another decade, she said she would live in the 1920’s because she loves the fashion, style, and music of the 20’s.
4) As a child, her one of her favorite superheroes was Superman because she was intrigued by his super powers and his ability to fly.Written by Emily Timmons
Photos by Stephanie Rand
Senior, Matthew Morgan is in the semifinals to be awarded the National Merit Scholarship. Out of the 1.5 million or so who compete, only about 50,000 make it to the semifinals. Entrants must take a test that measures their critical reading, math, and writing on a test. Those in the 96th percentile make it to the semifinals.
During his junior year he was chosen to take the PSAT, being in the top 100 of the class. He PSAT score was high enough to place him in the national merit scholar program. To become a finalist, semifinalists enter their SAT scores, turn in commendations from their high school and show their academic and extra-curricular commitment to school. Should Morgan advance to the finals, he will be awarded scholarship money to attend the school of his choosing.
In elementary school, Morgan was taking middle school level classes. By the time Morgan reached Jr. High, his teachers decided to promote him half way through 7th grade to the 9th grade level. Skipping about two years worth of schooling, Morgan is the youngest senior at CMHS at the age of 15. Matt can be seen around our campus running with Cross Country, in various AP classes, and managing our school online newspaper.
Morgan plans to go to Cal Tech, one of the most prestigious schools in the entire United States.
By The Equestrian Staff
Last June, construction began on a new school theater and middle school enclave. In addition to modernizing much of the south end of campus, the project is promising to “provide facilities to meet current state educational requirements and improve student safety by completing specific projects through the school district.” This entails that many classrooms are going to upgrade to state-of-the-art facilities.
There will be a new area designated for students to socialize in, with the enclave being designed as “A space for students to gather separately from the high school areas.”
The crowning jewel of the construction will be the new theater that is to replace the lyceum. Both middle school and high school students will utilize the new facilities designed by the world-renowned HMC Architects firm.
In addition to this, CMHS Principal Dr. Phil D'Agostino is planning to “Overhaul to the parking lot,” and to construct a new clock tower.
The theater and middle school enclave are currently in their final phases and construction is expected to finish in the 2013-2014 school year, while the clock tower and parking lot renovations are still in the planning stages.
The costs of all of these projects combined add up to about $30 million, a figure financed by taxpayers through Measure F. Measure F was passed by voters in 2005, allocating $282 million of bonds to renovate the facilities of many Newport-Mesa Unified School District schools.
Other projects paid for by Measure F include the enclave at Corona Del Mar, the already built Tewinkle Gym, the Newport Harbor Robins/Loats Project, Jim Scott Stadium(opened in 2008), and the CMHS Aquatics Center(opened in 2010).
Despite all this, Kyle Hefner spoke for many students when he said he knew “nothing” of the planned changes to the school. Many current CMHS students will have graduated by the time the full scope of these projects is realized, but as the renderings below illustrate, it will be worth the wait for those that get to enjoy them.Written by Preston Trieuhttp://prestontrieu.weebly.com/
Since the creation of CMHS, The Hitching Post has been the official school newspaper, providing all kinds of information to students. In recent years, however, the number of writers for The Hitching Post has declined, along with its number of articles written and its general organization.
For the 2011-2012 year, experienced Journalism advisor Jennifer Hays handed off the program to first-time Journalism teacher Sigfried Abuel. After recruiting about 20 new general staff and a new leadership team of about 10 seniors, Editor-In-Chief Brooke Morrow set off with her team of journalistic rookies to resurrect the school news under a new title: The Equestrian.
Journalism can once again claim its own period, albeit zero period, and is trying to become as relevant to students as possible by moving entirely online and posting articles with little delay.
In addition to this, Journalism is reviving Pegasus, CMHS’s artistic journal, with a new base of contributors and a new Editor-In-Chief, Sarah Yuen.
The leadership team of Journalism is very excited for the new school year and hopes for The Equestrian and Pegasus to become widely read and relevant to student life once again.Written By: Cesar Chavez and Matthew Morgan
Ten years after 9/11, I wondered if CMHS students could even remember that tragic day. Today’s high school students were only around the ages of four through eight and essentially grew up hearing about what happened after the fact, rather than seeing it and remembering.
Sophomore McKenna Patton has a clear but brief recollection of that morning. She remembers waking up and getting ready for another day of preschool. While eating Lucky Charms at the counter, McKenna turned on the television to the media coverage of New York City. Her first instinct was that it had to be some sort of intense movie and called her mother in the room. The last thing she remembers is her mother freaking out.
Sophomore Elaine Moya does not remember what she was doing that morning, but does recall junior, Noah JeyaRajah in a t-shirt with a picture of the twin towers on it, a t-shirt that his mother had bought for him as a souvenier just two weeks before the attacks.
Some of us were all too young to even have a clue what we did the morning on September 11. Some of us were shielded from it by well-meaning adults. Juniors Andres Chamu and Michael Panh couldn't conjure up any memories of it. Senior Eric Medina remembers both parents dropping him off at school and leaving him in order to watch the news coverage. Junior Marilyn Armstrong went to school that morning and remembers that nothing was brought up to the students about what happened.
So what did some CMHS students do on the most recent 9/11?
Senior Nathan Alvis, sophomore Sophie Harriman, and junior Eloisa Martin watched news coverage and documentaries dedicated to the attacks that they were too young to comprehend at the time. Memorial documentaries on television stations are one of the many things contributing to remembering September 11. And for us too young to remember, that may be enough. Enough to remind us that we will continue to grow as people and as a nation. Written By Kelsey Armstrong
At 5:30 pm, last Thursday night, Costa Mesa High School cheerleaders and football players took to the field and each gave thanks to a special staff member of their choice from CMHS. Football players gave their jerseys to their selected staff member to wear that day. Many of the players say felt honored to see the teachers wearing their jerseys to school as well as at the game. Sporting players’ jerseys and with silver pom-poms in hand, teachers and staff members posed for pictures prior to the start of the game. More than 80 staff members stuck around for the game that night to root on the players in the first home game of the season against Katella High.
During halftime, all teachers and staff members present walked onto the field. They bolted through a sign made for them that read "We Love Our Staff & Teachers". While the team prepared for the next half in the team room, the staff and cheerleaders lined up on the field. Ms. Scott, the ASB Advisor, announced the students’ names followed by the teacher they chose and a few sentences saying why they chose them. Each football player or cheerleader had a chance to write a few words about why the teacher or staff member they chose is so important to them. They described not only how much they loved who they chose, but also the positive impact that these teachers and staff members have made on their lives. Although it is not yet staff appreciation week, CMHS students never miss a chance to show teachers and staff how much they care.Written By: Jennifer Melendezhttp://jennifermelendez.weebly.com
The new DELTA program at Costa Mesa Middle School is changing the way students will study science in the future. The program began last year to help students who were already excelling in math and science to have an incentive to excel even more in order to take harder classes in high school.
There are few people on this campus that know what Pegasus is, partly because this would be the fourth year of not publishing it. For those of you not in the know, Pegasus is a literary journal composed of photos, poems, drawings, and short stories submitted by students of Costa Mesa High School. Run as a club and distributed for free, Pegasus ended in 2009 after being printed but never given to the public.