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My truck rolls down this lonely dirt road once more.  I’d believed—or rather, I’d hoped—I’d never have to make this pilgrimage again, but the dreams were too torturous to ignore.  My dreams of her were too powerful for me to ignore.  Just the thought of her would give me a terrible anxiety.  Even now my knuckles flash white as the grip of my steering wheel crunches under my palms.

The feeble headlights of my pickup venture vainly into the darkness that embraces this world, never reaching more than half a dozen feet or so.  The moon provides little light, it’s cowering behind a sea of dark, stormy clouds.

According to the weatherman, a storm should be on the rise soon.  Hell for all I know this storm may come to fruition tonight.  Why else would the moon be hiding?  Well, I suppose it could be hiding because it’s disgusted by me and by my actions.

I know that I, too, would hide from what I had done if I could.  Unfortunately, one is not allowed to forget nor ignore what one has done.

A painter can never erase their more revolting piece of art from the inside of their eyelids.

A composer can never stop the ringing of their worst piece of music that echoes off the walls of their inner consciousness.

A person condemned is not allowed to ignore their victim that walks around their head all night long and through their dreams.

As these thoughts cross my mind, my truck jitters up and down due to the irregularity of the road.  The road is very badly unkempt; it’s littered with rocks and dirt mounds that make for difficult driving.  Luckily, not many people venture down this road anyway.  It’s reserved specifically for those who have something to hide.

Or for those who seek what has been hidden.

The uncomfortable drive reminds me of the first time I ventured down this path.  It was not a path I was familiar with but was instead one I happened to stumble upon whilst racing through the dark on that fateful night.  With a precious piece of cargo rocking in my back seat, I raced down this road hoping to escape my fate.  Though I now see that fate had not forgotten me and had instead collaborated with my beloved in order to bring me back.

Well sweetheart, I’ll be there soon enough.

I snap back to the present, aware now that I must be approaching my destination.  I have no actual way of knowing this, simply intuition; a strong, otherworldly intuition.  One that is leading me to the location that was never marked but was never truly forgotten.  It is leading me to the place where my dark deeds were quite literally buried away; where my beloved is.

Where Susan is.

Oh lovely Susan, your death truly was awesome.  I mean that in the awe-invoking sense of the word.  I regret, however, that you left your eyes closed in your final moment.  After all, that was the whole point wasn’t it?  To see what you felt in your final moments was my primary motivation.  I wanted to obtain a clue as to what awaits us all.

Were you scared, Susan?

Were you angry, Susan?

Were you sad, Susan?

My dear, sweet Susan, don’t think, though, that I’m saying your death was in vain for in no way was it.  You did help me attain self-purification.  I had been struggling internally for quite some time now and you provided me with the outlet that released some of this turmoil and for that I thank you.  However, I still wish to know.

Were you calm, Susan?

Were you happy, Susan?

Were you accepting of your fate, Susan?

But now you won’t leave me Susan.  You invade my mind in the darkest hours of the night and roam around and never leave my inner eye’s sight.  Why?  Why would you do such a thing?  What did I do to deserve your wrath?  Why won’t you let me be?  Do you have something to tell me Susan?  Perhaps you wish to tell me what it was you saw in your final moments?  What was it, Susan?

Did it surprise you, Susan?

Did it shock you, Susan?

Did it enlighten you, Susan?

Regardless, you have drawn me back to you, Susan.  I hope you’re happy.

I snap back to reality and notice I am no longer moving.  Having reached my destination, I set the gear into park and kill the truck’s lights and engine.  Instantaneously, the darkness overpowers any and all light that lingered.  The roof lights of the truck flicker on once the truck is truly dead.  As I sit here in the cold glow of the lights, I wonder what I must look like from the outside, how I must look like to Susan.  A small man sitting alone in his vehicle with a feeble light cast over him; a rather pathetic light attempting to fight off the darkness that threatens to overwhelm the universe.  And this man, basking in the small light of this vehicle, is just sitting there and accepting the darkness, almost daring it to come at him.

Must be an odd sight.

I open the driver’s side door and allow for some of the truck’s light to escape into the night, only to be assimilated by the dark.  I step onto the ground and shut the door.  The light lingers for a moment or two but then soon dies out, leaving me in absolute darkness.  I look up and observe the expanse of clouds that hover above me.  I try to find the moon and see if it has made itself known yet.  I see no sign of that luminous coward save for a few beams of light that trickle through the clouds.  Nevertheless, I trudge on.

I pull out the flashlight sheltered in my pocket and flick it on, bringing a portion of my surroundings out of the dark and into reality.  I walk around to the back of my truck and reach into the back and grope around for my shovel.  I find its familiar grip and pull it out and rest it on my shoulder.  With my flashlight as my guide, I set out.

I walk towards the wall of trees that greets me.  The forest does indeed look menacing.  I don’t think I ever noticed just how menacing, though.  I shake off this feeling of fear and enter.

The air’s bite of cold and stream of wind is bombarding me as I make my way towards Susan.  My internal weatherman warns me that this cold and wind will only worsen.  But, this doesn’t discourage me in the least.  In fact, I anticipated nothing else.  After all, Susan wanted me to suffer, and so she chose this night to bring me to her.

As I walk on, I think again why Susan would bring me back to her.  Is there a final lesson she might want me to learn?  Is there something in her cold, unmoving eyes that could provide me with the enlightenment I sought?   Or does she simply want me to join her in her final resting place?

I’m sorry darling, but I can’t join you.  I’ve still got things to do on this earth.  I hope you understand.

I’m sorry Susan.  I don’t think I ever apologized, but I am sorry.  I’m sorry your time on this earth ended like it did.  I’m sorry no one recognized your passing.  I’m sorry you never got a true send-off into the next world.

Here, I’ll try to make it up to you.

This is a song I learned way back when; it’s meant for those who pass into the next world.  I hope you like it.

Pié Jesu, Pié Jesu, Pié Jesu, Domine.

            You know what, Susan?  Sometimes, as I lay awake at night while you’re running through my mind, causing destruction to my sanity, I sort of regret what I did.

Pié Jesu, Pié Jesu, Donaeis Requiem.

I think of the good times we had, of the memories we created together, and I become sad.  I want more of those, Susan.  I long for your smile, Susan.  I long for your laugh, Susan.  I want you back, Susan.

Pié Jesu, Pié Jesu, Pié Jesu, Domine.

Oh Susan, why did you have to go?  Why did you have to make me angry?  You know I was on the edge Susan.  Why did you have to give me that last, fateful push?

Pié Jesu, Pié Jesu, Donaeis Requiem.

            After all, you of all people should have known how fragile I was; should have known how little of a fuse I had.  Had you simply obeyed me, everything would’ve been fine.

Agnus Dei Quitollis Peccata Mundi.

            It was your fault this became your fate.  You should have remained loyal to me, Susan; you should have stayed by my side, Susan.

Agnus Dei, Donaeis, Donaeis.

            You need to leave me alone, Susan.  After tonight, I command you to leave me be.  Stop walking around my head and just leave me be!

Requiem, Requiem, Requiem.”

There.  That’s the song.  Did you like it, Susan?  I hope you did.

As I walk through this forest that became Susan’s final resting place, my attention wanders and I begin to scrutinize my surroundings.

Tall, strong trees elongate towards the night sky, looking like a barrage of arrows that seek to pierce the moon’s barrier of clouds.  The ground is littered with debris ranging from fallen leaves to the droppings of small animals.  The small amount of moonlight that does make its way past the clouds and past the treetops cast strange, distorted shadows all throughout the forest landscape.  Also noteworthy is the absurd amount of branches that claw at me as I make my way through the forest.  They extend out from the trees and poke at me with their sharp edges and rough wood.  I constantly find myself struggling to overcome them.  Makes me wonder how I was able to navigate my way through here last time when Susan was with me.

As I make my way deeper and deeper into the forest, and farther and farther down the rabbit hole that is my sanity, I begin to imagine strange things.  I imagine that the trees and bushes are mere spectators, watching with anticipation as I make my way towards the finish line.

I imagine that the shadows created by both the feeble moonlight and my pathetic flashlight, are actually the demons that haunt me…or the angels that are supposed to guard me…at this point I can no longer differentiate between the two.

The terrain slowly becomes more and more unstable as I make my way deeper and deeper into the forest.  The dirt is not as solid as it once was and I find myself sliding down small hills while also struggle to ascend others.  However in spite of these obstacles, I have no intention of turning back.  As they say, I’m a mile into the woods without a shovel.

Except, I do have a shovel…funny.

With every step forward, my heartbeat speeds up just a little bit more, my breathing becomes just a little bit more desperate, and my body shakes and quivers just a little bit more.  I didn’t expect for my body to react this way.  I suppose it could be the paradoxical claustrophobia I feel in this giant forest.  Instead of being a mere absence of light, this darkness feels tangible and solid, almost…alive.

Alive…and malicious.

As I continue my pilgrimage, the weather that seemed a mere threat while inside my truck slowly begins to worsen.  The clouds began releasing unto the world below them a light drizzle of rain that continues to worsen.  The wind has also joined the fun and races to and fro, gaining strength.  Luckily, the trees and foliage bear the brunt of this weather but I fear even they too will abandon me and leave me at the mercy of Mother Nature.

Suddenly, the world near the treetops illuminates for an instant…and then a moment later a boom echoes throughout the forest.

Thunder and Lightning…what a pleasant surprise.

I think back to how unfair and unjust Susan is being.  Why did she purposely choose tonight of all nights to finally reel me in?  Surely, I don’t deserve these terrible conditions on top of my already extreme anxiety, right?

I climb yet another hill and upon reaching its crest, notice a light floating about a hundred yards away.  In my heart I know what this means.  With renewed energy at the prospect of this journey finally reaching its end, I quickly traverse the distance remaining until I find myself within arm’s length of the light.

I take a breath and reach out as if to touch the light, but as soon as my fingers would have made contact, it vanishes.  Not in a puff of smoke or a dissolution of particles, but more of a now-you-see-me-now-you-don’t type of vanishing.

I look down at the spot where the light hovered above, and I am unsurprised to recognize it as the plot of land that serves as Susan’s final resting place.  I set my flashlight on the ground in such a way that it illuminates the spot where I intend to work, and I set about my digging.

As I dig deeper and deeper into the soft earth, an unprecedented calm blankets over me.  My working muscles release hormones in my body that help to alleviate the anxiety and fear that had been eating away at me for the past few days.  The shadows that had been stalking me throughout my journey recede back into the dark as the fog that engulfed my mind begins to abate.  As the physical labor continues to do its magic on my sanity, I scoff at the irrational fears and worries that plagued me throughout my trek into the forest.

However, despite my mild euphoria, or perhaps because of it, I begin to question once more why I’ve come back to Susan.  What do I have to gain from unearthing her body and looking into her eyes?  After all, it’s not as if I will achieve ultimate enlightenment or unlock the secrets of the universe from simply gazing into the fish eyes of my deceased beloved, so why bother?

As these questions flash through my mind, my shovel falls to the earth and rises up again slower and slower and with more and more hesitancy.  Just as I near the resolution to stop this nonsense and return home, my tool strikes something unnatural.  There’s no doubt as to what it is I have struck, but I still prod the thing a few more times simply to ensure that it is in fact not a mere clot of dirt.  After confirming what I already knew, I toss my shovel aside and fall to my knees and begin removing the remaining earth by hand, any and all thoughts of stopping having left my mind.

As I dust away the dirt and free Susan’s body, my euphoria slowly begins to recede back into the jumble of nerves and glands from whence it came.  The old fear and terror slowly makes its way back into my mind, but my current excitement acts as a temporary buffer for my sanity.  I realize as I uncover more and more of her body just how much I missed Susan and how desperately I wished to see her, alive or not.

The dirt slowly begins to abate and my beloved slowly begins to emerge from the earth.  I see that her beauty has not only been preserved but also improved, as impossible as that seems.  Her skin is almost without flaw of any kind (disregarding that nasty incision across her throat of course), this includes any and all bruises that she may have received during her “transportation.”  Her hair seems as delicate and as beautiful as the seed heads of a dandelion.  Her face, however, is what brings me the most joy.  I worried that so much time underground would cause her beautiful face to deteriorate but it seems to have done just the opposite.  Her white skin gives off the illusion that she is illuminating beauty.  Her pale lips are as tantalizing as the most delicious apples one may ever taste.  Her eyelashes flow from her lids in the most magnificent way.  In short, she’s perfect.

My hands make my way to her face and push away any stray strands of hair that have fallen across her brow.  I lightly caress her lips with my thumbs and lean in and connect my warm lips with hers that are anything but.  I savor her taste.

I eventually pull away and force myself to complete what I have set out to do.  With a heavy heart I slide my palms up her face, towards her eyes.  I place my thumbs on her eyelids and slowly roll them upward.

Finally Susan!  The time is nigh!  You will finally show me what it was you saw in your final moments!  I will discover why it is that you brought me back to you!  I will finally achieve enlight—


I cry out in horror and scramble backwards.  I claw my way away from the monstrosity lain out before me.  The rain and wind and thunder and lightning finally take their cue from those from the other world who sought to torture me and unleash their unrestricted fury.  I crawl and crawl and crawl backwards until my back hits a tree and I sit there, weeping and moaning as I cower from that thing that once posed as my beloved.

The rational portion of my mind that remained understood that all I saw were the eyes of the deceased and that I was overreacting.  However, with my sanity crumbling, I cannot seem to hold onto that train of thought as fear and terror and horror—O! the indescribable horror!—devour any and all senses of reason and rationality and any and all perceptions of reality.

I cower at the base of the tree and watch as the…the thing that was once my beloved slowly raises itself up effortlessly until it is sitting straight up and facing me directly.  Its jaw unhinges and its mouth is open in a ghostly, silent scream.  The skin that mere moments ago I perceived as the epitome of beauty has mutated into a pale, dry, revolting thing.  The hair that I praised as perfect now appears to be a dirty cobweb, littered with the scum of the earth.

But the eyes…O! the eyes are worst of all!  They cut straight through my body, soul and sanity and release the demons I imprisoned within the dark recesses of my mind.  The creatures of the darkness materialize from the shadows and make a circle around me, dark ghosts of laughter etched on their faces.  They taunt and jeer at my misery and look ready to devour my very soul.  All the while the corpse sits and stares, undaunted by the rain and wind and hail that rock my body.

I sit and scream with my hands covering my head and my eyes closed as my dark demons begin to close in.  I open my eyes and see a wall of darkness surrounding me, a crushing sensation.

I let out a mighty yell, rush to my feet, bolt through the wall of darkness, and run.  I take no notice that the corpse of Susan was lying undisturbed, as I had left it.

I run deeper and deeper into the forest.  Adrenaline heightens my senses, my night vision increases tenfold and my hearing explodes.  With this sight and hearing, I cannot help but see and hear all my demons that pursue and attack me.  They jump out of trees and up from the ground.  They reach out to me and attempt to grab me and pull me towards them.  They claw at my being and tear long gashes in my clothes.  I take no notice as I barrel through them all and run for my life.  I hear their laughter and jeering as they barrage my body.

Mother Nature also makes her animosities toward me clear.  Lightning continues to explode above the treetops and the sounds of thunder never fail to ricochet down to the forest floor and add to the already deafening amalgamation of horrid sounds. Mother Nature also unleashes an onslaught of rain and wind in the attempt of knocking me aside.  The rain drenches me in a cold, unforgiving fashion.  The hail pelts my body and strikes my face, hands, and back.  The wind whips through my clothes and worsens the gashes forged by my demons; it knocks me round and round.  The combination of all succeeds in knocking me over and into the wet, gross dirt.  I always claw my way up though and continue running.

Everywhere I look I see dark shadows and figures running alongside me.  They laugh and cry out to me while also stabbing me with their branchy claws.  They torment me and grab me and try to pull me back to them.  While battling them with my battered and bruised arms, I relish the sounds of their claws and arms cracking and breaking off.  Still, they are not deterred and continue their assault.

I run through them all. I run and run and run.  I run as though I can somehow outrun and outlive my demons hunting me.  I run as though I’m running towards some sort of salvation.  I run as though my demise weren’t inevitable.

The darkness is becoming more and more powerful and my body can’t cope.  The adrenaline and energy that gave me the strength to escape these monsters thus far begins to wane.  I find it more and more difficult to fend off these dark beings.

Just then, I see an opening in the forest and light from beyond.  With a renewed purpose, I make a final push for the light.  I burst through out from the tree line and onto a large, lush meadow.  The grass grows past my ankles and is decorated with flowers, all white, many of them dandelions.  I now see that the aforementioned light turned out to be moonlight.  I look up and see the moon has finally emerged from its seclusion, a tiny window in the clouds reveals the large, celestial body.  The luminous coward waited until my destruction was certain to make its presence known.

Nevertheless, I continue running.  I don’t stop because I know what awaits me if I do.

I notice that the meadow begins taking an upward slope, and I find myself running up a hill that dominates the meadow.  I think nothing of it; in fact, I think of little else save for the fate that would result from the darkness consuming me.

I reach the top of the hill and see a blur of light about twenty feet away from me.  Though I sense a terrible fate awaiting me, my body betrays me and thrusts me towards the light.

I reach the light and collapse onto my knees in front of it, my strength gone.

The light is Susan.

She has succeeded.

Oh, Susan!  Darling, forgive me!  I never intended for any of this to happen, believe me!  I still love you, Susan; I never stopped.  I’m sorry Susan!  I truly am!  Just make my suffering come to an end!  I beg of thee, make it stop!  Come, Susan!  Bring what you may!

I open up my arms to Susan’s ghostly being and say her name aloud.

“Oh, Susan…”

She looks at me, and smiles.  She too opens her arms and slowly the light radiating from her shimmering form expands outward.  Out of the corner of my eyes I see my demonic pursuers surrounding Susan and me at the top of this hill.  They watch us, completely stoic.  Once Susan’s light touches them, they dissipate and merge with the light, making it that much brighter.  I wait for the end to come and for whatever waits on the other side.  I can feel my bodily sensations disappearing as I myself accept my fate and prepare to join the nothingness.

However, once Susan’s light finally reaches me, I immediately realize that her light is nothing benign.  It is a dark light, and it’s a painful light.  The light brings a burning, dominating sensation that causes me unprecedented pain.  I scream aloud and scream for mercy.  I stare in horror at the smiling face of Susan as the light continues to overwhelm me.

I stare in horror at the apparition before me.  It looks nothing like the Susan I once knew.  I now realize that whatever does await me is nothing good.  I suppose now I must atone for what I have done.

I let out a final cry.  My screams fade to nothing as I am consumed by Susan’s darkness.


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With the sudden outbreak of Ebola in Africa, many U.S. Citizens fear the worst for what might happen here if this virus were to spread. Ebola is a severe, sometimes fatal disease. According to World Health Organization, Ebola is only spread through contact with an infected individuals’ body fluids. This includes blood, organs, and mucus. It is also noted that it is possible to get infected when said fluids are in bedding or clothes.

The Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976 in simultaneous outbreaks in Nzara, Sudan and Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo. According to the World Health Organization, the outbreak in Yambuku occurred in a village near the Ebola River, hence its name. The virus was traced back to forest animals that could have spread the disease the same way it is transmitted through humans, contact with infected fluids.

Ebola has been contained before when it first arrived in 1976. However, it cost nearly 300 lives and startles many of its return. The Ebola Virus is currently being investigated by WHO (World Health Organization) and the CDC (Center of Disease Control). So far, the Ebola Virus has been confirmed contained in Nigeria according to USA Today.

There are many ways to prevent the Ebola Virus from spreading. The simplest way is to keep up with good hygiene and sanitation. Ebola is spread through infected liquid contact, staying clean and healthy is the first line of defense. Another line of defense would be knowing the basics of quarantine and to be aware of your surroundings according to USA Today. Remember, Ebola is only spread through bodily fluids, this includes blood and vomit.

The main symptoms of Ebola, according to Mayo Clinic, include: nausea and vomiting, red eyes, diarrhea, raised rash, chest pain and cough, stomach pain, severe weight loss, and bleeding from the eyes, ears, and nose. Usually all symptoms are present in a confirmed infected person. If this is the case, do not hide it and seek medical attention at the nearest Ebola treatment clinic or hospital. It is also recommended you do not make physical contact with unprotected individuals.

It is vital that any future outbreak is contained with ease. Equally important is that remaining calm in such situation will prevent violent outburst and spreading. Ebola is only spread through poor conditions, poor hygiene, and lack of updated medical supplies, all of which were present in the virus’s country of origin. Remember to keep sanitary, have a healthy hygiene, and make sure to learn more into preventing any spread of this virus. It is least likely for you to catch Ebola if you are calm and know what you’re up against.

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Horror films have arisen again.  The new movie As Above, So Below is the most recent horror movie out there.  It takes place in Paris, and has its style set as a found footage film.  Compared to other found footage films, it does not suffer, however, it does lack some of the major qualities such as not relying too much on jump scares and add in there own horrific effect that others such as Paranormal Activity and Chronicle have.  The grandparent of all found footage films, The Blair Witch Project has managed to rival the new film in terms of fright.


   As Above, So Below is based on an archaeologist set out on finishing up her father’s work.  The storyline is explained thoroughly enough to get the point across, although some details might be overlooked and could mess up the plot for anyone, really, one missed detail and you could be lost the entire movie.  This movie does pack a punch as a horror movie, and adds more to it being a found footage film.  The scares take their time to get to you and it all depends on whether or not you are willing to sit through the first forty-five minutes waiting for a jump scare.  This new fright movie justifies the horror of being enclosed in tight spaces and even scares audiences more that the fact that there is no easy way out.  That being said, there are no easy ways out to see this movie thoughtfully.


The Blair Witch Project is considered an underdog in the horror movie genre.  The budget for the movie was incredibly small, yet it fascinated audiences of its time.  The movie came out roughly a decade and a half ago and still manages to terrify audiences that come across it, especially with its incredibly convincing scene with actress Heather Donahue, making us think again, is this move real?  The movie takes place in Maryland where several college students investigate the disturbances of folklore.  During their time, they enter a forest in search of the ghost entity known as the Blair Witch.  Although this classic set the standard for most found footage films, this movie still took a while for any actual scares to take place.  Unlike As Above, So Below, the story invests in overall creepiness and the insanity that consumes the human mind.


In the most recent film, archaeologist Scarlett investigates one of her father’s cases which revolved around Paris, France.  His case involved discovering a treasure that can create unlimited riches and an everlasting life.  This treasure was located somewhere beneath the grounds of Paris in the catacombs.  Brilliant setup, except for the fact that the main character cannot wear anything other than an off-shoulder top and fail to tell the others she’s bringing into this trip that there’s a possibility of DEATH.  However, it’s all in the name of uncovering your dead father’s truth about his last case and archaeology at the risk of your friend’s lives!








"Nominees, please open your envelopes..."
“Nominees, please open your envelopes…”

Homecoming week came to a climactic conclusion on September 19, with an entire week’s worth of spirit and anticipation culminating at the Friday night football game, during which the Corona Panthers played La Sierra High School and the Homecoming King and Queen were crowned.

A tradition that is observed by many high schools throughout America, Corona High School kicked off the celebrations with it’s annual dance, promoted and carefully constructed by the Associated Student Body into a “Moonlight Masquerade”, based on the chosen theme of Mardi Gras.

“Being in ASB, we had a committee, so there was a specific dance committee that planned how everything was gonna work, and we came on Friday and Saturday and we helped set up the dance,” stated senior Amelia Zabala at the beginning of the dance.  I think the turnout is gonna be really good because it’s really early and I feel like there’s already a lot of people inside.”

Lasting from 7 PM to 11 PM on September 13th, the Homecoming Dance was declared by many students to be a spectacular success, though some did state that there seemed to be a problem with the air conditioner on the dance floor. According to senior Celine Doan, “[The dance] was good! The AC sucked, but other than that, I enjoyed it much more than prom.”

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Homecoming Dance, “Moonlight Masquerade 2014”


Underclassmen also revealed that they, too, enjoyed the dance. Sophomore Jasmine Garcia said that she attended homecoming “because I went last year and it was fun. You see people dressed differently than they ever would at school.”

Fellow sophomore Gabby Enriquez, who attended the dance with Garcia, also added, “It’s really cool seeing everyone, but I don’t like going really early because it’s like…”

“Nobody’s here!” Garcia interjected as Enriquez nodded in agreement. “They should make it earlier, like say it starts at five and then everyone will actually show up at seven.”

More students did eventually show up as the night wore on, and began dancing to the music chosen by ASB. Senior John Quinn Noreyko commented that he “enjoyed the dance. The music selection was in great taste for dancing, ranging in genres. The addictive quality of an outside area was also a great idea. Although,” he added. “This is only because of the fact that the dance floor was extremely hot.”

At approximately 10 PM, the Homecoming Court was announced, a list of nominees chosen from various seniors nominated by various clubs and sports who were then voted for by the student body prior to the dance. These students would then have the privilege of walking onto the field at halftime during the homecoming game the next week, and two of them would be crowned Homecoming King and Queen.

While being overall a tremendous success, the Homecoming Dance was also the subject of a curious incident involving an ASB promotional video that surfaced on September 11. The video featured two members of ASB imitating a homecoming proposal. When turned down by the girl of their choice (which included the following dialogue of “No way José.” “..my name is Juan!”), the two boys then decide to go to homecoming with their “squad”, followed by a promotional shot of a “Moonlight Masquerade” poster.

The video, which garnered almost 700 views in less than 24 hours before it was asked to be removed by the school administration, was seen by some as satire. Others, however, saw it as offensive and slightly racist.

When asked about his reasoning behind the video being taken down, Corona High Principal Dr. Danny Kim explained, “It didn’t represent, I think, Corona High School, it wasn’t really an ASB authorized video…I think it was well-intentioned in that ASB students individually were trying to come up with a way of really promoting the dance, but altogether I think there were better ways we could do it.”

However, students who had seen the video, such as sophomore Jasmine Garcia, had a different view. “I liked the video, you know, it was funny. I don’t see myself as a person who would probably be like that, so I don’t see why it would be offending anyone.” she said with a shrug, before going on to enjoy the rest of what many others described as an overall spectacular dance.

Later on in the week, any casual visitor to Corona High School on Thursday, September 18, would have witnessed a strange sight.

“Generation Day”, where students dressed up as a certain generation based on grade (freshmen as babies, sophomores as toddlers, juniors as adults and seniors as senior citizens) was just one of five school spirit days chosen by Corona’s Associated Student Body to help celebrate and raise school spirit for the homecoming game on Friday.

Students were encouraged to show up to school in their pajamas on Monday, while others sported handmade and bought tie-dye shirts for Tie-Dye Tuesday. Wednesday was then Mix Match Day, with students finally being encouraged to wear as much red on Friday to show support for the football team.

“I would say about 70% of our students are wearing red today, so that speaks volumes. But I think our goal is 100%, until we get 100% of our students to feel excited about being at Corona High School.” Dr. Kim stated Friday, looking around at the campus as students displayed their Panther pride. When asked what he thought made spirit week so successful, he replied, “I think it really starts with the leadership, so I give a lot of props to our ASB. I think they’re very conscientious.  I know I’ve been in some of their meetings, they’re really thinking about, ‘how do we really make students, our classmates, get really connected with the school’?”

ASB certainly put in quite a bit of effort into this year’s spirit week, promoting it through posters, lunchtime demonstrations (featuring the Homecoming Court nominees, who also sported the various spirit day attire), and various social medias such as Twitter. Their efforts clearly paid off, as many students could be seen throughout the week showing off their school spirit.

When asked what he thought the best dress-up day was, Dr. Kim stated, “You know, I like the Tie-Dye Day, that’s kinda going retro, I haven’t seen tie-dye shirts in a long time. I was scrambling to find a tie-dye shirt, I couldn’t find one, so I looked like the only person without a tie-dye shirt on Tuesday. But I thought that was pretty neat to see.”

Members of Make a Wish promote their club by donning morph suits
Members of Make a Wish promote their club by donning morphsuits

All the school spirit finally culminated Friday night, kicking off with the homecoming carnival that lasted from 5 to 7. Various campus clubs and sports set up booths and sold items such as donuts (Drama Club), soda (Community Service Club), chips, (MECHA), baked goods (water polo) and others. Other groups decided to take a more creative approach, setting up booths with activities for passerby to try, such as Key Club hosting a booth of free games such as a penny drop and throwing cards into a hat, and ASB hosting a free obstacle course by the pool.

See footage from the 2014 Corona Homecoming Carnival here

Throughout the afternoon, students wandered from booth to booth, buying pizza (Relay for Life), root beer floats (Madrigals), and listening to the music being played through the loudspeakers. Members of various clubs could be seen dancing outside of their booth, or carrying signs through the carnival advertising their wares. ASB also advertised a face-painting booth, and many students could be seen walking around with their faces colorfully decorated in the school colors.

Relay for Life's booth, selling pizza for $2 a slice
Relay for Life’s booth, selling pizza for $2 a slice

At 7 PM, the crowd shifted over towards the Panther Stadium, as the carnival was hastily cleaned up and the Corona football team prepared to play La Sierra in the traditional homecoming game.

“I’m not a predictor of final scores; I can only say that we are well prepared.” Dr. Kim had stated when asked his opinion of the game only a few hours prior that afternoon. “I talked with the coach, I’m talking with the players, they’re well prepared, so we’re just hoping for a good outcome, so. Victory is what we’re hoping for.”

By halftime, however, things did not look quite so good for the Panthers, as La Sierra led by one touchdown with a score of 21-26. As the players rushed off of the field, however, ASB ran onto it, carrying with them several props to be used in the Homecoming Halftime Show, during which the annual Homecoming King and Queen would be crowned.

With AP U.S. History teacher Paul Schroeder as ringmaster, assisted by senior Hannah Sullivan, the entire Panther stadium enjoyed performances by the school marching band, the girls’ dance team, and FPK (Funk Phresh Krew). Finally, the Homecoming Court was announced, and the nominees took their places on the field.

See the full 2014 Homecoming Halftime Show here

Once all the nominees had been announced, last year’s King and Queen, Jimmy Hernandez and Nicole Blanchette, stepped forward to crown the new King and Queen amid cheers from the crowd, as Schroeder told the nominees to look in the envelopes that they carried with them onto the field and that the “Mardi Gras King and Queen will have a gold necklace”.

homecoming king
Homecoming King Malique Deshaun Berry

All eyes were then on Malique Deshaun Berry and Jessica Dubowski, who pulled out their gold necklaces to roaring applause, screams, whistles, cheers, and hundreds of purple and gold streamers were shot into the air. As Blanchette and Hernandez crowned their successors Dubowski and Berry, respectively, students flocked down to the fence separating the stands from the field to congratulate the King and Queen.

“I don’t know if anyone saw my face, but I looked down and I had a good couple seconds trying to figure out in my head, ‘is this necklace like literally gold? This necklace is really gold!’ It was a really big moment of disbelief.” Berry stated once he had left the field, accepting congratulations and taking pictures with scores of well-wishers.”I feel on Cloud Nine right now, it feels honestly so amazing, so amazing.”

homecoming queen
Homecoming Queen Jessica Dubowski

Dubowski, too, had an enormous smile on her face as she accepted congratulations. She admitted that she had been “nervous and excited” while opening her envelope, but her happiness was evident as she wore her crown like the Queen she is.

Dubowski and Berry were not the only winners that night, however. Once halftime had ended, the Corona Panthers took to the field once again, this time determined to defeat La Sierra and win the Homecoming Game.

It appeared to be a very close match – with 7 1/2 minutes to go in the third quarter, the Panthers had managed to pull ahead, bringing the score to 28-27. However, La Sierra still managed to score again, bringing the score to 35-35 with a minute and a half left in the quarter. It wasn’t until the final quarter that Corona got it’s chance. A touchdown by the Panthers finally brought the score up to 42; another touchdown secured Corona’s win at 49-35 in a play that made the crowd go wild.

The Red C erupted into a cacophony of screaming, cheering, waving signs, and overall enthusiasm. Several people had brought baby powder, which they happily pelted the crowd with, covering mostly everyone in the student section in white powder (also causing the football commentator to announce over the loudspeaker, “Baby powder? Really?“) .

As the final seconds counted down and Corona High celebrated its homecoming win, the stands erupted into a loud cheer one last time – everyone, from the freshmen to the football players to the teachers to the graduated students who were back home to visit their old high school, felt it. That undeniable school spirit, that Panther pride.

“It’s important to students, but not just to students, but our whole community.” Dr. Kim had explained that afternoon when asked why he thought homecoming was so important to people. “As you know, this school’s been around since 1896, right, so when we say a ‘tradition of excellence’, it really brings out tradition, it brings out people coming back to their home. I saw some staff members that graduated here, they brought their letterman’s jacket from the class of 1978, 1979.”

"Fire it up, fire it up, fire it up fire it up fire it up!"
“Fire it up, fire it up, fire it up fire it up fire it up!”


Homecoming, is, in essence, a celebration of school spirit. The entire week had been a celebration of what it means to be a Panther, and Corona High School did not disappoint at all.

“You have people that are excited, and we’re expecting people to come to this game that have graduated here throughout the years. There’s a sense of nostalgia, there’s a sense of tradition, there’s a sense of coming back home to root on the old team.” Dr. Kim stated, watching students decked out in the school colors walk past; red, gold, and white. “That’s the purpose of homecoming, for current students and alumni to celebrate Corona High School.”



Ko-Hi-Nur’s staff editor Nicholas Sanchez also contributed to this report.

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The cast of Into the Woods (from left to right):
The cast of Into the Woods (from left to right): Joel Martinez, Sara Sanchez, Katie Southard, Styles Kim, Angelica Virrueta, Karissa Man, Kelsie Berger, Sara Trujillo, Mackenzie Frankl, Allyson Stokes, Gio Solano, Kyle Wilson, Hannah Van Patten, Krista Hanson, Rafael Torres, Rachel Comeau-Andres, Jose Alanis, Jocelyne Zaragoza, Kellina Doerr, Emma Stokes, Frank Carlin, Hector Mejia, Alex Tuong, and Eva Galdamez

Last year, Corona High was treated to the experience of The 25th Annual Putnam Count Spelling Bee, a musical directed by Ms. Brockie of the theatre department and Ms. Eden of the choir department, and performed by the talented students who had worked for months to make it a successful performance. This year, they did it once again with the famous Sondheim musical, Into the Woods.

Into the Woods tells the familiar stories of different fairy tale characters, as well as a new story about a baker and his wife who are cursed by a witch so they may never have a child.  The original 1988 Broadway production was called “strikingly original”by the New York Times and won two Tony Awards for Best Original Score and Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical. It has been largely praised for the way it handles a multitude of topics, such as growing up, parenting, and right versus wrong.

“There’s a lot of funny stuff, but there is also a lot of serious stuff,” states Senior Gio Solano, who played the part of the Baker. “I think  some kids are going to be able to relate because they see their parents having these kind of arguments, and then they have these kind of arguments with themselves.”

Giovanni Serano and Kellina Doerr as the Baker and his Wife
Gio Solano and Kellina Doerr as the Baker and his Wife

The musical mainly focuses around a Baker and his Wife (played by  Senior Kellina Doerr), who has been cursed by the Witch who lives next door (played by  Senior Mackenzie Frankl) to be unable to have children. She then tells them that if they collect a series of items (“a cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood, hair as yellow as corn, and a slipper as pure as gold”) in three days before midnight. Their quest into the woods to find these items and therefore grant their wish of having a child brings them into the lives of several other fairy tale characters, such as Little Red Riding Hood ( Freshman Eva Galdamez), Jack in the Beanstalk (Freshman Joel Martinez), Rapunzel(Senior Katie Southard), and Cinderella(Junior Hannah Van Patten), each with a wish and a dream of their own.

Mackenzie Frankl  as the Witch, performing the final number, "Children Will Listen"
Mackenzie Frankl as the Witch, performing the final number, “Children Will Listen”

Overall, the musical was a pleasure to watch, with memorable songs such as “Into the Woods” (part of the Prologue and Finale) and “No One Is Alone”. The characters are memorable and engaging; the Baker struggles to learn from his own father’s mistakes in order to raise any future children he might have as best he can, along with the help of his Wife, who is the real strong character in the musical; Little Red Riding Hood describes in her song “I Know Things Now” about how her encounter with the Wolf (Senior Kyle Wilson) has changed her, whether for the better or for worse; Cinderella struggles to remain herself while traveling through her fairytale, not sure where she belongs, being the kitchen maid or the princess (“On The Steps of the Palace”); and the Witch, who at first seems like the unsympathetic antagonist, reveals herself to be the only character capable of always telling the truth (“The Last Midnight”).

When asked what his favorite number was, Joel Martinez, who played Jack, replied, “Giants in the Sky. Also, The Last Midnight, the Witch’s song. But they’re all good, I love all of  the songs.”

 The musical ran from April 17-19 and 24-26, with a special Children’s Matinee and Character Meet & Greet on the 19th.


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Every girl has their special technique that they use to make their makeup look incredible; they want to look flawless. Girls use several different makeup products to change their looks. One of continuously stay on your eyes and never come off. Waterproof mascara is used to make one’s eye lashes “pop” and “plump”. This product is meant to never run down your cheeks.  Although, waterproof mascara sounds like a good product, it sticks itself on your eyelashes and is practically impossible to get off. Why is such a product designed to make us look like a million dollars, but yet causes so much hassle? Waterproof mascara is not just a hassle it is a problem. This type of mascara removes some of your eyelashes by rubbing your eyes just to get it off. In certain cases, is waterproof marcara worth wearing, knowing it may remove some of your eyelashes and even make them brittle?
Most websites claim and give information about waterproof mascara about how they can cause harm. Do potential buyers read this? Do they even wonder about the potential harm that mascara does? Do they even care?
In an article, by beautybets.com they pronounce how waterproof mascara is potentially running your look, while so creating so much depth in the process.
Not just the websites, but some students also state how waterproof mascara is not really worth what it claims to be.
Sophomore kaitlynn Hartson believes, “not on a daily basis should one wear waterproof mascara, but for certain events yes.”
Senior Ashley Anderson also states, “No I would not wear it, unless one plans on getting wet, or watching a sad movie; I say stick to normal mascara”.
Many girls are so infatuated with makeup they do not care about the pain or even potential risks and even hard work that comes along just to look stunning.
Anderson also utters, “society has made people to think that they need makeup to stay beautiful and because it stays on linger it makes the mission easier”.
Waterproof mascara is great for a night on the town, but on the other hand the pros outweigh the con’s that are not even worth it. Next time you are going to use waterproof mascara really think about if it is worth the hassle and your eyelashes being removed. If you are one who decides to continue this extraneous process of waterproof mascara do not be surprised if you wake up one morning having no eyelashes.

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In the early hours of the morning of March 8th, 2014, 227 passengers and 12 crew members boarded Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Of those 239 people, 154 were Chinese, 50 were Malaysian (including the crew members), seven were Indonesian, six were Australian, five were Indian, four were French, three were American, two were Ukrainian, two were New Zealanders, two were Canadian, and there was one Austrian, one Russian, one Italian, as well as a person from the Netherlands.

Unfortunately, none of those people have been heard from since little over an hour after takeoff. At approximately 1:30 AM local time communications with the plane and the transponder signal were lost and the plane all but disappeared. Soon thereafter, the search began.

As of March 17th, 2014, 26 countries have joined the search Flight 370 yielding little to no success. Malaysia, Australia, China, India, Japan, Russia, France, the U.S., Vietnam, and many others have been searching in an area that encompasses most of the Indian Ocean as well as many parts of Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

Theories of what happened to Flight 370 range from electronic malfunctions, to terrorist attacks.

Some experts theorize that perhaps the pilot slipped off the radar on purpose. It was thought that the pilot may have intentionally plotted a course that would lead the plane through terrain that would effectively conceal the plane from radar. The theory goes that the plane flew low to the ground—5,000 feet or less—through mountainous terrain and thus evaded radar detection. Why the pilot would do such a thing is a mystery and that question is perhaps the theory’s major flaw.

However, as with all frightening events, many people were quick to jump on the idea that terrorists had seized the plane and flew it off course. This is supported by the fact that two of the aforementioned passengers (the Austrian and the Italian) were actually from Iran and had possession of stolen passports. Though Interpol later investigated the two men (seemingly unassociated with one another) and deemed the possibility of terrorist involvement unlikely (both men seemed to be seeking foreign asylum), it should be noted how quickly our society was to believe terrorism was once again on the rise. One little hint of suspicion and uncertainty and millions scream terrorism and attack, even if both are illogical.

There are many, though, who believe that the plane did not disappeared but rather believe that the plane is no more. It was thought that the plane simply crashed into the ocean or maybe exploded in the air above empty waters. Both ideas, however, have proved to be inconclusive as no debris or oil (that would undoubtedly spilled from a sunken plane) has been found as of yet. The countries in charge of the search have even gone so far as seeking help from citizens by setting up websites that display satellite images of the watery areas it is suspected the plane may have crashed into. And while it is heartening to see so many people genuinely caring about the welfare of the passengers and their loved ones, the results are inconclusive.

And then, of course, there are the conspiracy theorists who claim the disappearance of Flight 370 was orchestrated by some of the governments who are members of the search party. These theorists point out that the mainstream media has concerned itself primarily with the flight and its disappearance, even though the news stations do little more than merely speculate as no conclusive evidence has been unveiled. These theorists claim that the disappearance is being used as nothing more than a distraction for people so that they will ignore the more severe ongoing problems of the world such as the Ukrainian/Crimean/Russian crisis which may very well lead to war and/or another Cold War with Russia.

Yet despite all these pessimistic and vague theories, perhaps the most disconcerting fact about this whole ordeal is the fact that all these superpowers are at such a complete loss in such a crisis. Such a force of nations united under a common cause has not been assembled in who-knows how long, and yet it can do nothing to solve the current dilemma. 26 of the world’s most powerful nations cannot, with all their combined resources, find one single airplane.

After all, that is the main issue here: where the plane is. It does not matter why it disappeared, it does not matter whodunit, it does not matter if this was an accident, an attack, or a conspiracy, what matters is that answers are found and that, hopefully, the passengers and crew members of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 are found and safely returned to their loved ones.

Unfortunately, the sad fact of the matter is that valuable time is slipping by and the plane has yet to be located. If the plane did indeed explode, then what hope is there of finding evidence now? If the plane did indeed sink, then would we still be able to discover its whereabouts by now? If the plane was in fact hijacked, then does that not mean the perpetrators could very well be home free by now? And why have our leaders been unable to find any substantial evidence in such a long period of time?

If our leaders wish to maintain the faith we have in them, then they need to get their act together and prove to us that they can handle any situation that may come our way, including finding a missing airplane.

However, as of Monday March 24th, 2014, Malaysia Airlines have announced that the plane did indeed crashed somewhere in the Indian Ocean. The Prime Minister of Malaysia said on Monday that,

“…it is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that according to this new data, flight MH370 ended in the Southern Indian Ocean.”

So now it seems as though they are no longer searching for survivors but corpses.

However, the Prime Minister and his allies are still only speculating. This answer was simply the result of a much more intense process of elimination. They still do not have an exact location. They still do not have substantial evidence. And they still have no legitimate answers.

Whether or not the plane did indeed crash, it does appear to be as if 26 of the world’s most powerful nations have simply given up. Which deeply detriments the assurance of security and protection our leaders claim we have.

In the end this tragic even has evinced some of the incompetence of our leaders and of the technology which is meant to make our world safer and better. It is an extremely disconcerting and saddening matter which we can only hope shall never be repeated.

And we thought Waldo was difficult to find.

Note: Featured image source: The Guardian

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The gaming console seen here is seen as one of the best but is it really true?
The gaming console seen here is seen as one of the best but is it really true?

With the advent of the next generation consoles finally upon us, it seems like a good time to compare console gaming to another popular gaming platform. No, not mobile games or handhelds, this article is going to be talking about consoles versus PCs.

First, what exactly is a console and what is a PC? The former is a machine dedicated to the purpose of playing video games, which connects to a television or similar device. The latter is, as the name implies, a personal computer (in most cases, a computer which is running Windows) which can be used to play games.

Console Gaming

Console gaming is likely the well known gaming platform, and for good reason, it’s been around since the 70’s.  The NES (released as the Famicom in Japan) was arguably the beginning of console gaming as a successful industry and the oldest well known console, despite being predated by older systems released ten years earlier.

Fast forward a few decades. Not long ago, we saw the release of the Wii U, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, thus starting the eighth generation of consoles. Before that, we had their direct predecessors, the Wii, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 making up the seventh generation.

Traditionally, consoles are machines built with pre-determined and static hardware, meaning that the capabilities of the individual console will not change as time progresses.

What this basically means is that consoles won’t have their parts updated to keep up with advances in technology. While new models can be released, these are almost entirely updates to the exterior cases, making new versions less bulky or more aesthetically pleasing to the masses rather than actual upgrades.

So, a fancy new shooter might look flashier or fit more objects on screen at once, but it will be because the developers learned how to make better use of the console hardware or updated the engine that the game is running on. This can be restricting, as it means that games are inherently confined to certain limitations.

On the flipside, consoles that don’t change their capabilities means that consumers won’t have to repeatedly put money into upgrades to ensure that they can continue to play the latest releases. It also means that no research has to be done on which new parts are superior to previous ones or which ones are compatible with a given machine.

In other words, “it just works”. Plug it in, insert the disc, and play.

Something else to take in account is obviously cost. In general, a current generation gaming console will cost at least $200 and no more than $400, not including the cost of peripherals like extra controllers.

On the other hand, the price of most retail games will be around $60, which should clearly be taken into account as well. Assuming someone purchases more than one game a year, spending over a hundred dollars on games annually is not only common, but to be expected. Factor in the average lifespan of a console generation (seven to eight years), and this means that the average gamer will likely spend at least $840 to $960 on games for a single console.

Even being conservative and cutting the number of games purchased per year to only one, this is still $420 to $480. Putting aside possible sales or price cuts,  this means that the money spent on a gaming collection will almost always exceed the money spent on the initial console itself. In some cases, it’ll even be twice as much.

Pricey, is it not?

PC Gaming

PC games first appeared in the early 50’s and 60’s, but it wasn’t until the early 80’s that they acquired widespread popularity.

junior Kristian Vargas reveals, “While consoles cost a fraction of what a high powered computer might, the digital sales featured on online distributors vastly trumps the GameStops and EB Games of the console world.”

while both systems can be quite pricey, you are still getting a great value for each system. the controversy still stands whether pc or console gaming is the best, it is truly up to the players who can really decide its fate.

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20140219-214208While most Panthers sleep in and arrive at school no later than 7:30 a.m. (or at least, they should), a small group of students gather at B9 at 6:45 in the morning. These Panthers are no ordinary Panthers, they were specially chosen by Lynette Menter-Hartman, an AP/History teacher who doubles as the Acadec advisor, in order to be a part of Corona High’s Academic Decathlon; which was, for the first time ever, offered as a zero period. Also for the first time ever, Corona High was to enter two teams into the competition: the Red Team, Corona’s main team, and the Gold Team, Corona’s secondary team.


All during first semester, these decathletes spent every morning studying seven different subjects about the Academic Decathlon topic for this year: World War One. The decathletes studied the history, literature, art, music, mathematics, science, and even the economics of that era. Not only that, the decathletes also had to prepare to deliver two speeches, write an essay, and be interviewed by a panel of judges. Needless to say, the decathletes put in a lot of time and effort for their cause.


January 25th, 2014 was the first day of the competition and the day the decathletes delivered their speeches, wrote their essays, and sat through their interviews. Afterwards, each and every Panther felt as though they had performed excellently; each of them felt as though they had made a great impact on their judges and had exceeded their expectations.


The following week, the decathletes crammed like crazy in preparation for the upcoming Saturday; the second day of competing which would truly determine the results of the Riverside County Academic Decathlon Competition.


On Saturday, February 1st the subject testing began at around 8:00 a.m. and ended at around noon. Decathletes from all over the county took all seven of tests, fifty questions each (except the math test; that had only 35 questions) back-to-back. The tests were strenuous; the decathletes themselves were exhausted, but they still retained their optimism.  And that optimism got them through the Super Quiz that took place after the subject tests.


This “Super Quiz” tested each division of each team (Varsity, Scholastic, and Honors) on 12 questions about any and all of the seven subjects, but giving the decathletes only 7 seconds to answer each one. While the Corona High teams did not do the best, they did do considerably well. Once the testing was finally over, the decathletes took pictures, shared some laughs, and celebrated a job well-done. Then, at around 4:30 p.m., the awards ceremony began.


At the awards assembly, the students who performed achieved the highest individual scores were given individual medals and the teams who achieved the highest score overall were rewarded with trophies. The ceremony started out well for the Panthers; two decathletes from Corona received the first medals of the night for their success in the Math portion of the testing and that made it seem as though Panthers would be receiving medals here and there throughout the evening.


However, it was not to be.  Aside from the medals, given to the top scorer of each division of each team, only one more Panther received a medal that night; Vicky Le received a bronze medal for her essay. The majority of the medals were given out to students from Elsinore High School, West Valley High School, and, the big winner of the night, Hemet High School.


While the students of those three schools no doubt earned each medal they received, the Panthers felt as though they earned more than three medals and half a dozen consolation prizes. In the end, Corona’s top team, the Red Team, placed 7th whereas Corona’s second team, the Gold Team, placed 15th; in total there were 18 teams. Walking out of the theatre room where the ceremony took place, the Panthers were disappointed.


However, despite these less-than-satisfactory results, there was a silver lining. The Panthers may not have won this year, but that defeat only motivated them to work harder next year. They have realized their faults and recognized their opponents’ strengths.


Many of this year’s decathletes were brand new to the whole experience and had never experienced the bitter taste of defeat. Now that they have however, they know they must dedicate more time, effort, and passion than ever before if they hope to come out on top next year.


Junior Vicky Le, who is the current president of Corona High’s Academic Decathlon and has been a decathlete since her freshman year, had this to say about the results:


“AcaDec has definitely been a growing experience. The results of the competition were not exactly what we expected but we improved from last year! It has given us momentum to strive for the best next year. I am so proud to be a part of this nerd family, and a part of the rebirth of Academic Decathlon at Corona High!”


While they may accept this defeat, Vicky and her fellow decathletes will never forget. The results this year have only intensified the decathletes’ goal of bringing home Corona High’s first Academic Decathlon trophy.


In the end, can this defeat really be considered a loss? Or can it be seen as a wake-up call which will prompt the Panthers to work harder? Perhaps the writer Zig Ziglar said it best when he said, “If you learn from defeat, you have not really lost.”


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Mess night, or dinning out, is one of the very events that are not a drill meet or the Annual Military Inspection that has every cadet in a stir. Males rush home to shine their shoes, put together their dress blues, and assemble their combo covers while females rush home to put on the night’s gown and do all the activities that they would do as if getting ready for homecoming. All cadets attending prepare to face what is coming on the night’s events: the parade of staff, the presentation of the colors, the charging of the grog bowl, dinner coupled with charges, toasts, a change of command, a speech by a guest speaker, and finally for the most anticipated part of the night, dancing.

This event took place at the Eagle Glen Golf Course where cadets attending were expected to arrive before the dinner bells rang at six o’clock. Before the start of the event, cadets were to greet fellow cadets and all guests of the mess, or face the later consequences. Once the dinner bells ring, everyone is to find their seats and remain standing for the Parade of staff, where staff members, instructors, school officials and their escorts line up to strut under a line of swords.The president of the mess, or the Commanding Officer of the NJROTC unit, orders Madam Vice, or the Executive Officer of the unit, to March on the Colors. Then, with a tap of the President’s mallet, all members of the mess may take their seats.

Cadets (from left to right) Jimi Franz, Anthony Bates, and Alan Arevalo arrive at Eagle Glen before the dinner bells.
Cadets (from left to right) Jimi Franz, Anthony Bates, and Alan Arevalo arrive at Eagle Glen before the dinner bells.

The First order of business: Parade the colors and charge the grog bowl. During the week prior to mess night, every platoon and the staff create a mixture of drinks to be poured into a large bowl centered on the dance floor. The mixture of drinks from every platoon creates the Grog. Usually the look and taste is revolting and this year was no different. The purpose of the grog is to become one of the consequences for breaking the rules of the mess. Usually even a small sip is dreadful!

Next is the parade of the beef, where cadets get to enjoy a small comedic moment, dinner, and fining. During the dinner, cadets get to “tell” on each other when they break the rules of the mess. Some rules include, but are not limited to: cursing, inappropriate conduct, uniform mess-ups, and every little thing that has happened through out the year. The penalty for being fined may result in a drink from the grog or a simple apology. This is one of the high lights of the night as it provides a great sum of entertainment and comedy. Freshman Tyler Fregeau states,

“My favorite part of mess night was the charging of other people. It was really funny to see people have to drink the gross grog and to see their faces after they drank it.”

Not just Fregeau feels this way. Sophomore Gloria Benitez thought, “I thought the charging was funny because when they had to drink the grog they would make a funny face. The grog tasted gross like vomit.”

Once the floor is closed for charging, the president opens the floor for toasts where cadets can give a toast. Like usual there were toasts to the different branches of the military, the instructors, the parents, the guests of the mess, and to the ladies and men of the mess.

Then comes the part where a few cadets were waiting for, the change of command and listening to the guest speaker. During this time the current Commanding Officer is relieved of her position and passes on the responsibility to the incoming Commanding Officer, usually the Executive officer. Just as practiced, Cadet Commander Jessica Quintero passed on her command to Cadet Lieutenant Commander Erin Brandt. Upon the reading of orders, Cadet Brandt was to assume position of Commanding officer that following Monday while Cadet Quintero assumed the position of Instructor’s Assistant/ Company Adviser. This year the night was honored by Marine and Devil Pups Instructor, Sergeant Salzlein. Her speech reached out to the cadets and encouraged them to keep going and work hard.

Finally, with the thankful words from the new president of the mess and the last prayer of the night, it was time for the cadets to get down with their bad selves! Here the cadets finish off the night by dancing the night away.

It's approximately nine o'clock and it's time for the cadets to gather on the dance floor to get down with their bad selves!
It’s approximately nine o’clock and it’s time for the cadets to gather on the dance floor to get down with their bad selves!

The popular opinion of the night was a good night. Sophomore Saiid Sanchez states, “It’s a fun event where someone could go and hang out with [their] friends or date, charge them for the funniest or stupidest reasons, and get to dance like crazy in front of them.” Senior Alan Arevalo says,

“Overall I have to say I’m proud of all the cadets who participated. This was one of the best mess nights in my for years in ROTC.”

By the end of the night, all the cadets had a great time, laughed together, teased each other, and danced together. Overall, Mess Night was a huge success.