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Adrianna Wu

Advanced Journalism Personal Goals

-Complete my very first page, even if it’s not as cool or stylish as I want it to be

-Edit stories efficiently and helpfully—I don’t want to write a bunch of comments that are useless to the reader

-Be encouraging, while still remembering to write constructive criticism when editing stories

-Distinguish members’ skills from one another so as to assign editorials to the strongest editorial writers,

features to the strongest feature writers, etc.

-Start on my story/page ASAP—since I am a page editor this year, I have to handle both writing stories and

laying out pages, so it is essential that I begin my research ASAP

-Conduct background research before an interview

-Maintain a positive attitude, even under stress

-Make room for continuous improvement

-Meet all deadlines

-Participate actively in discussions (small group, large group, editorial board meetings)

-Express my suggestions at meetings and during discussions

-Attend conventions and writing competitions

-Arrive to class promptly

-Appreciate praise while accepting criticism

-Learn from my mistakes (and there will be many)

-Cooperate with members of the staff, even if I disagree with them on how to layout a page or which stories to

run in the paper

-Use a variety of sources—staff members are not limited to the Internet or to the TV—we can take advantage of

magazines, newspapers, books, etc.

-Complete my beats on time

-Be willing to help members who are struggling or stuck on a story

-Remain optimistic even if I do not place at all at any of the conventions or competitions this year
Adrianna Wu
-Maintain an open-minded attitude toward new ideas or suggestions

-Be willing to learn from my mistakes and from others

-Resolve conflicts immediately because they won’t be going away unless they’re fixed

Since I am a new page editor on staff this year, the task of laying out a page, fashioning it, and then

refining it until it touches the fringe of perfection seems daunting to me. I believe the moment I complete a

page, no matter how ugly it is, I will feel enormously proud of myself for completing something that I had once

deemed impossible to execute. From that juncture, I would strive to improve my skills as a writer and a page

editor and to transcend from my starting point. As a member of El Vaquero, I hope to help as much as I can

those who are stuck on a story and are struggling to complete a story. I hope to maintain a positive attitude and

to remain calm under pressure. Retrospectively, I realize that I have made mistakes, such as not starting a story

right away, rushing into a story without a structured plan, and procrastinating on conducting background

research. I realize that as much as I would like to avoid them, I will probably be faced with more challenges this

year from which I will hopefully grow as a person and as a writer/editor.

Adrianna Wu
1.So I understand that the National Merit Scholarship Program has been here since 1955 and that it’s an

academic competition for recognition. Can you tell me more about what the program is?

2. Just to check, do the students enter the program by taking the PSAT?

3.How do you feel about having students from Irvine High being recognized for such an honor?

4. When students hear about this program, how do you hope it will influence them?

5. Do you believe this is a really good opportunity for students? Why?

6. Do you have a list of students that I can have who are being recognized/are semifinalists?

7. Do you have anything more you’d like to add?

Adrianna Wu
Adrianna Wu

WC: 257/200

National Merit Brief

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) has recognized 17 Irvine High seniors who scored

in the top one-half of the top 1 percent on the Preliminary SAT (PSAT) as semi-finalists in the 2009 National

Merit Scholarship Competition.

“I would like kids to gain from this—that when you work hard, you will get a benefit that is intrinsic,”

head counselor Linda Davis said. “Counselors are always working with trying to guide the significance of the

high school education as it relates to their future. We encourage kids to understand that each year counts.”

High school students can enter the academic competition for recognition and scholarships by taking the

PSAT, an exam initially designed to identify national merit caliber juniors all over the world.

Semi-finalists vied for finalist positions by completing packets in which they were required to write

personal statements and to obtain letters of recommendation from their counselors. Irvine High will recognize

all commended students, those who received a Letter of Commendation that highlighted their academic

potential but did not qualify as semi-finalists, and semi-finalists in a school reception in November.

The semi-finalists are Kellen Chen, Margaret Chiu, Benjamin Dong, Michelle Fang, Angela Fu, Austen

Greene, Thomas Hwang, Cynthia Kok, Jennie Lee, Anupama Murthy, Brandon Nguyen, Kimberly Nguyen,

Neil Saez, Adeline Tang, Yuxi Tian, Johnny Wu and Mason Yu.

“I am extremely honored that [NMSC] picked me,” senior Neil Saez said. “But in reality, whether I won

or not is really not important. As long as I know I did my best, that’s all that matters.”
Adrianna Wu
Man on the Street

Should gay marriage be a constitutional right? Should gays have the constitutional right to marry? Is gay

marriage unconstitutional?


Jerry Lee, 9

“I believe everyone should have the same rights as everyone else. Restricting gays from marriage is unfair.”

Darlene Nguyen, 9

“People should be able to marry the person they love. If people are in love, they should have the right to get married.”

Brooke Podgorski, 9

“It doesn’t matter. If a straight person gets married to another straight person, it’s the same. Love is love.”

Daniella Jacobo, 9

“They should. They have the rights to free will. They have the freedom to love whomever they want.”

Clarke Finney, 10

“The United States is based on equality. Not legalizing [gay marriage] would be against our Constitution.”

Owrmazd Razz, 10

“They have the right. They’re people too. They’re just like us, but they’re gay.”

Katrina Yang, 10

“Everyone has their own rights. They deserve to have equal rights as everyone else. They’re human.”

Wendy Hu, 10

“Everybody should be able to choose who they marry. The government shouldn’t dictate the gender with which you have

to live.”

Matt Hoffer, 11

“No minorities should be denied rights. They should be equal to everyone else in this country.”

Emily Aquino, 11
Adrianna Wu
“If you don’t let them [marry], you’re depriving them of a lot of legal rights. Who said that ‘man and man or woman and

man’ was wrong? Love is love. You should have everyone be happy. How can you get peace if people are discriminating

other people? [Discrimination] just brings up problems.”

Rebecca Frechette, 11

“I’m so sick of hearing it. We should let people do what they want. It’s like telling people the way they should live. It’s

like controlling the way people live.”

Thu Luu, 11

“Prop 8 is wrong. Gays should be allowed to marry. Having gay people around isn’t going to affect other people and

their values. People should be able to choose what they want in their lives.”

Emmeline Yen, 12

“Everyone has a right. Everyone’s equal. Everyone is meant for someone. You can’t take away someone’s love.”

Scott Yokoyama, 12

“People should be allowed to marry whomever they want. Their gender shouldn’t be an issue.”


Grace Han, 10

“If Prop 8 happens, [the government is] going to face the issue—little kids would be exposed to gay people and they’ll

become gay. I don’t think that’s right. Men and women should marry.”

Albert Alix, 10

“It’s against my religion. It’s against my morals. It’s not traditional. Teaching gay marriage in school to kids is weird and


Vincent Lang, 11

“I’m religious. Marriage should be between a man and a woman. Parents are influential. [Gay marriage] is not what

society expects people to do.”

Elaine Lay, 11

“I’m against it. I don’t think it’s right. I don’t like the image they portray. They’re doing what straight people aren’t

supposed to be doing (Like men wearing thongs). If they want to get married, leave it out of the public school system.”
Adrianna Wu
Adrianna Wu
Should marriage be regulated by the state? Should the state law regulate marriage? Should the state have a say in

marriage (regarding age, number of spouses, sexual orientation, etc.)?


Vanessa Palacios, 11

“Since everybody has an opinion, they should have a right to vote on gay marriage. It’s not just the President [who

decides]. People can’t get married at 16 or 17. That’s way too young. They should wait until they’re 18.”

Angie Kim, 11

“When people are young, they are immature and more likely to make bad judgments. There should be a certain age for



Jelani Davis, 12

“It’s every person’s right to be who they choose to be. Either all of [marriage] is okay, or none if [marriage] is okay.”

Sam La, 10

“It’s for the people to decide. It’s the [people] who are in the marriage, anyway.”

Marcie Reihanifam, 12

“Marriage [used to be] for Christian couples. Now [marriage] is for everybody. It’s kind of late [for the state] to control


Ashley Herrington, 12

“I think people should marry whom they want to. [Marriage] should be about happiness. It shouldn’t be controlled at


Nicole Rosalez, 10

“Marriage is between two people who love each other, not two people and the government. Marriage is for two people—

the government wasn’t always [involved in marriage].”

Ian Hartdide, 9

“Just because someone [marries] the same sex, it doesn’t mean they can’t get married. [State regulating marriage] is kind

of stupid.”
Adrianna Wu
Stephanie Manaster, 9

“People’s argument is that they’re protecting marriage. If gay people get married, they aren’t going to kill their children

or making them gay. Just because other people are ‘sinning,’ people who are bothered don’t have to participate or be


Rebecca Welty, 12

“I would vote no on Proposition 8 because it’s stupid to tell people who the can or can’t marry. People should be free to

choose whom they marry regardless of sexual orientation.”

Trevor Ainge, 11

“I don’t think the state should take away rights. They shouldn’t have any control over marriage. I think it’s wrong that

Proposition 8 passed. I don’t believe [the state] has the right to take away rights. I think it’s wrong that the right of gay

marriage was here and then taken away.”

Adrianna Wu
Is it appropriate for a judge/court to overturn a proposition?


Ashley Herrington, 12

“I think it is fine if [a judge] overturns a proposition, if [the overturning] is just. I think the judge should overturn it if it

is about religion because religion and government should not mix.”


Riz Teves, 10

“That should be our decision whether or not we should change [the proposition]. It is our country. It is not the judge’s job

to [overturn] it unless we told him to do it, unless everyone agreed to change [the proposition.”

Grace Han, 10

“A judge is one man and people are more than one man. A judge is one person—thirty people are smarter than one man.

If it is something between right and wrong, you do not need education [to know whether to overturn a proposition], you

just need a conscience.”

Casey Soapes, 11

“People are the majority and one person cannot solely make that decision. If people have the majority and they all agree,

it should be [the people’s] way.”

Adrianna Wu

Is it appropriate for a judge/court to overturn a proposition/people’s vote?


Phong Kiev, 10

“He is the judge—he has training in the field of being a judge. He is more familiar with the laws.”

Sonaz Mehryar, 11

“It is the law that lets judges overturn propositions. It is a bill. It goes to the supreme court for [the judge’s] judgment.”

Ashley Herrington, 12

“I think it is fine if [a judge] overturns a proposition, if [the overturning] is just. I think the judge should overturn it if it
is about religion because religion and government should not mix.”

Lizzie Liu, 12

“It depends on the proposition, but sometimes the court has to make the choice with our best interests in mind.
Sometimes we just have to trust them.”

Julie Lau, 12

“If it is unconstitutional, then the judge has a right to overturn it. The judge knows the law and constitution better than
we do. Obviously, someone has to go to the judge and tell him [the proposition] is not right.”

Morgan Rosser, English teacher

“I would say that [overturning a people’s vote] is only appropriate when it is in consideration for what is best for the bulk
of people. If more people would benefit from the new ruling, but it is not appropriate if [the new ruling] would cause
more harm. I am [for a judge overturning a proposition] as long as [the judge has] evidence that [the new ruling] will
benefit more people than what the people voted for.”

Tracy Clark, French teacher

“If [the decision] was not always set up by the court system, then the court has the right to overturn people’s votes.”


Kelly Young, 9

“[The decision] should be [according to] what the people think. The fate of the nation is determined by the common
Adrianna Wu
Jenn Nessl, 10

“What is the point of voting if people do not have an actual say? The whole point of voting is our opinion and if [our
opinion] does not mean anything, then why bother voting?”

Grace Han, 10

“A judge is one man and people are more than one man. A judge is one person—thirty people are smarter than one man.
If it is something between right and wrong, you do not need education [to know whether to overturn a proposition], you
just need a conscience.”

Cyrus Hwang, 11

“It would be minority over majority. The people make up society and the judge should tend to [the society’s] needs.”

Dane Clemens, 12

“It is a country based on the government for the people by the people. One governmental branch should not completely
overrule the other.”

Kevin Chen, 12

“It ruins the purpose of voting. The democratic elements of this great nation would be upset by the excessive power of
the judicial branch.”
Adrianna Wu

Tokyo Table Review

WC: 184/150-200

Grade: A

Location: 2710 Alton Pkwy.

Hours: Monday-Sunday—11am-Midnight; Happy hour: Monday-Friday—4 p.m.-7 p.m.

On a fairly chilly night, I entered Tokyo Table, a modern Japanese cuisine, immediately warmed by the dark
décor and seductive atmosphere. Not willing to wait 20 minutes for a seat in the dining area, I sat on a white ottoman in
the bar/lounge area and enjoyed the Latin-jazz music. A unique chandelier crafted with lighted sake bottles provided
minimal light, which could be problematic when reading the menu’s small text. My waiter was efficient and patient as I
ordered green tea ($2.50), calamari tempura ($7.95), Tokyo cobb salad ($9.95) and an Udon Noodle Soup and egg
($8.45). A combination of chicken, edamame (soy beans) and mixed greens tossed in a not-too-salty, not-too-oily sesame
dressing, the Tokyo cobb salad was crisp and fresh. I was surprised, however, that the Udon Noodle Soup came with a
hard-boiled egg because traditionally the soup usually comes with a poached egg, but that was a minor mishap in a
generally scrumptious, satisfying dinner. Whether planning a family get-together or hanging out with friends, people of
all ages who seek high-quality Japanese food will enjoy eating at Tokyo Table.


WC: 122/150-200

Grade: C

Location: 2700 Alton Pkwy. # 119

Hours: Mon-Thurs—11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.; Fri-Sat: 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Sun. 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Although the hot pink walls of this self-serve Italian Frozen Yogurt eatery may catch the attention of customers
who are inside, Cefiore is hidden in a small niche in the Diamond-Jamboree Plaza and can be easily overlooked.
Nonetheless, Cefiore serves smoothies as well as yogurt and offers more than 30 yogurt toppings. At 39 cents per ounce,
it is a bit overpriced, especially for the less-than-impressive watery, slightly sour yogurt—my small yogurt cost $3.90.
The bright decorations, young employees and techno music reveal Cefiore’s target customers to be teenagers and college
Adrianna Wu
students. Cefiore is a new restaurant, so it has plenty of time to improve and catch up with veteran yogurt eateries. But
for now, stick with your current yogurt store.
Adrianna Wu

WC: /300-350

Principal Monica Colunga as Chapman assistant softball coach

“As I became older, I realized the game is a microcosm of life. It’s something I try to help young women
understand. You set yourself up in the best position as possible by being diligent at practices. You do everything you can
to do well in school. A game is like an assessment. By the same token, you could have done anything possible and you
still might not come out in front. You learn to persevere through disappointment—and disappointment can change with
just one pitch. And one incident can change your life dramatically. It’s something as simple as not making the best
decision and things change for us. Sometimes we get lucky.”

“In elementary school, I enjoyed playing. I had a blast. My parents supported me—they took me to games. I developed a
love and passion for the game.”

“The [young adult women] play because they love the game. There are no athletic scholarships. There is a huge
commitment on their part. Because [the team is] together for 4 years, they develop a bond. It is very much a family

“[Coaching] relieves my stress because I am able to play and focus on softball. Everything else moves out of the way. I
love the challenges that [softball] has. It really helps young people develop a positive attitude. Always striving to figure
out how to best be successful in a game of negative data is something that intrigues me. I love being able to share
information and knowledge with young people. If there’s a way for me to help kids whether it be on the softball field or
on the high school campus, I try to take the opportunity. It’s my way of giving back. It’s fun.”

“[My favorite thing about coaching] is watching the students do their thing, watching them grow as people through the
lessons that they learn through the sport.”

“[Outfielder] is a very tough position. You have to be mentally focused with the possibility of never seeing a ball. The
mental toughness needed to play that position is incredible.”

“I try to really focus on fundamentals. I usually break things down very basic. We do that until the point when an athlete
is a senior she can break it down to the simplest format. We build. We explain. We model. We practice. We tweak. We
provide feedback. We practice again.”

“I don’t even define being a principal as work. I get paid to have the best job. I see coaching softball in the same realm.
They’re both work, but they’re not jobs—they’re passions.”
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WC: 453/300-350

Students see her on campus clad in a stylish suit and pumps, but principal Monica Colunga is just as comfortable in
athletic garb as a volunteer assistant coach for the 22-member Chapman University women’s softball team, the Panthers.

“She has been not only a great coach but a great motivator,” Chapman senior and Panthers outfielder and 2008 All-
Independent Player of the Year Erin Dudzinski said. “She’s a great addition to the team, the missing piece to the puzzle.
She’s a very strong and empowered woman.”

Colunga has played softball for 15 years, starting on youth teams in city leagues. She competed in middle school and
continued in high school as a pitcher and an outfielder.

“In elementary school, I enjoyed playing,” Colunga said. “I had a blast. My parents supported me. They took me to
games and I developed a love and passion for softball.”

As a student, Colunga played softball for Chapman, but quit freshman year after struggling to balance academics and
athletics. While working on her masters in education at Azusa Pacific, she developed a conditioning program for The
Panthers and in 1995 began working with the outfielders as part of the program. She’s continued ever since.

“[Coaching] relieves my stress because I am able to play and focus on softball,” Colunga said. “Everything else moves
out of the way. [Coaching] is not a job, it is a passion. It really helps young people develop a positive attitude.”

Colunga works with the team in the spring season most weekends for a 2.5 hour practice that includes warm-ups,
conditioning and drills and has created team exercises.

“Colunga has really helped with team bonding,” head coach Janet Lloyd said. “She started activities that made the team
better and has been helping me since 1995. Whenever she gives us her time, it is great because the girls respect her and
look up to her. She loves to work with them and it is fun to have her around. I don’t know what the Panthers would do
without her.”

The Panthers’ ultimate goal is to win the national championship and to be the team with the top grade point average
(GPA) in the nation. They won the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III National Championship in 1995
and have been the team with the top GPA twice.

“As I became older, I realized the game is a microcosm of life,” Colunga said. “It’s something I try to help young women
understand. You set yourself up in the best position as possible by being diligent at practices. [But] you could have done
everything possible and still might not come out in front. You learn to persevere through disappointment—and
disappointment can change with just one pitch.”
Adrianna Wu


Adrianna Wu 3/17/09

1. Monday, Feb. 21, 2009

2. TIME:,9171,996174-1,00.html
3. Will Teenagers Disappear?
4. Walter Kirn, author of Thumbsucker: A Novel claimed by Tim Appelo of to be the “truest book about
adolescence,” takes an interesting angle on the teenage world. Unlike adults who often take teens for granted, Kirn is
concerned that the role of the teenager as the rocker, Internet-user and devoted television-watcher will become as extinct
as the dinosaurs. He claims that the greatest and most influential of all post-war inventions is the bona fide teenager—the
rebel who made mistakes but was allowed to learn from his mistakes without being subjected to serious punishments that
are serious even for adults. 21st century teenagers are growing up too fast. Pop songs, cars, acne ointments, proms,
allowances, and slumber parties are rapidly being replaced by problems usually associated only with adults—engineering,
real money (not merely allowances), stockbrokers, Prozac, and jail sentences. The traditional interval between a boy’s first
shave and his first million “need not be much of an interval at all” i.e. silicon billionaire Jerry Yang of Yahoo, 31. Kirn predicts
that if current drug and diagnosis trends continue, it won’t be long before doctors are prescribing teens and their parents the
same strong doses of anti-depression medication. It won’t be long before doctors are prescribing “shy 16-year-olds” with
Viagra—an era in which “teenagerhood” will have officially disappeared. In the future, as penitentiaries replace detentions, a
generation of “Goody-Two-Shoes” will be “too frightened to chew gum.” A world without teenagers would be a world with
adolescents feeling the same pressures their parents feel: succeeding financially, staying healthy, and remaining on
society’s good side. Affected by such stress, teens would be taking medication, spending money, and asking for legal and
professional advice. As Kirn puts it, “The carefree years will become prudent years, and the prudent years will continue
throughout life.”
5. This story immediately caught my eye because most or even all of my friends and I invariably talk about how stressed we
are all the time. Our problems only seem amplified in the midst of the economic recession. For fear of failing the SAT and
our classes and in the frenzy of trying to get jobs to earn money for gas and to support our families, we seem to have
forgotten how it feels like to be a teenager. I’ve felt this way for a long time, but I’ve never thought that anyone else, let
alone an adult like Walter Kirn, truly related to me so when I found this article I was not only surprised, but I also was
relieved. Although it may appear so at first skim, Kirn is not encouraging teenage recklessness. He is merely reminding
society of the costs of modernization. Come the invention of the computer, of the iPhone, of technology in the world is
unfortunately more work. Perhaps Kirn is subtlety asking his readers to reminisce upon the a simple time, a time when only
the privileged owned televisions times when face-to-face conversations were the only conversations, when people were a
bit more lenient upon the follies of the teenager. This story would inspire an editorial on the focus page that reminds people
of all ages that society is forcing teenagers to skip the wild years and to head straight into more conservative years, into
adulthood. Perhaps the whole editorial can focus on the economic recession or on teenagers in general. I don’t think we’ve
ever had a page that celebrated the being of the teenager and I think it’s high time we do one.
Adrianna Wu


A renowned scholar and statesman, Sir Josiah Charles Stamp once said, “It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but
we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.”

With the assumption of rights granted by the law inevitably comes responsibilities. When a teenager turns 18, he
officially becomes a legal adult and thus possesses the privilege of legally excusing himself from a class. Although the
occasional act of excusing themselves for legitimate reasons is inculpable, students who are 18-years-old should not
abuse the law by excusing themselves for petty, trivial reasons.

NOTE: My story isn’t finished because I am using specific data from the El Vaquero survey to prove my thesis. But
here are the points that I am planning to expand on…

1. Issues brought on by senioritis; students have the mentality that they’re essentially done with school, according to
Mr. Meader; students develop bad habits

2. There are dire consequences (such as not being able to graduate if you have 15 unexcused absences in one class;
calls are still made to parents; letters are still sent to houses)

3. Talk about “Allow 18 Year Old Students to sign out of school” petition by Grand Blanc high school; counterpoint