With the wrestling CIF finals done, both the boys teams and the girls team have finished their season as 605-League Champions. With Coaches Monico Enriquez leading the varsity team and Adrian Enriquez leading the junior varsity team, the boys were able to obtain a record of 12-3 for JV and 14-7 for Varsity. Despite their best efforts, though, neither team was able to make it past the second round of the CIF tournament, with Daniel Espinoza being the only boy to qualify during the 1st round.
When asked for comments, both coaches agreed that Jacob Enriquez and Julian Rodriguez were highlights of the team, stepping up from their first year (normally first timers are JV) to wrestle for Varsity. They also mentioned how proud they were that Freddie Valdivia finished off his senior year as the varsity wrestling Captain. The girls wrestling team, on the other hand, are able to win all of the league dual meets. Led by their Coach, former JGHS alum Hector Ramirez, they were able to win the 605-League Championships. Sadly, they weren’t able to progress past the first round of CIF, though. When questioned, Coach Hector mentioned Mia Ramirez and Rain Aranjo as the people he believed went the farthest.
So, Valentine’s Day has arrived, and everyone is ready. Students bought flowers from ASB to send to each other. Others are going on romantic dates. Maybe even a few are wondering why they are single and contemplating the choices in their life that led them to this moment.
Now, for context, I don’t care that much about love or Valentine’s Day or things like that. If someone likes me, cool; but I’m not going to seek out a significant other. As the headline suggests, yes, I think that Valentine’s Day is a scam. Yes, I have an actual reason for saying that. And no, I’m not upset over being alone.
In my opinion, one of the biggest markets available is for Valentine’s Day, and it’s clear to see why. Imagine walking into a Target, or a Walmart, or some sort of store in the past couple of weeks. Most likely, you saw big, overhanging signs with a big Valentine’s Day section being right at the entrance. All the employees’ uniforms changed, the whole store took on a more red and white look, even the music was changed to songs about romance (though that probably doesn’t change many of the songs). And what’s that to your side, you may ask? Hallmark. So. Much. Hallmark.
You’ve got cards, you’ve got toys; heck, sometimes you see toys BUNDLED with cards. And for one little card? Anywhere from $3-10. For a card. Toys usually go for around $15. And you’ve got the Hallmark channel as well.
Please, don’t get me started on the channel.
Point being, we need action. We need to start a Hallmark boycott or something. We don’t need a big mega corporation (about $3.5 BILLION/year. I checked.) to tell me to take care of my loved ones. It’s like if President Biden told everyone to make sure to breathe every so often.
We need commercials or something. Make it like those “vote for proposition” commercials that always have a woman saying something like, “Join us on February 14th as we express our rights, and vote YES on prop 496: ELIMINATE HALLMARK.”
Louie Esparza is probably one of the most friendly and recognizable staff members here. He is also one of the best, as he was recently voted in by the rest of the classified staff as “Classified Employee of the Year” for 2021-22. He is usually stationed near the 1000s building, and welcomes anyone to hang out there. Luckily for me, he was also willing to provide some insight on his life, both in and out of school.
Q1: Where did you go to High School and College? What type of degree(s) did you get?
I went to Franklin High School in Highland Park, and then went to Rio Hondo College. Specifically, the Rio Hondo Police Academy, where I got my diploma and my concealed carry permit.
Q2: What did you originally plan to do as a career?
I originally wanted to have a job that works with kids.
Q3: Where have you worked previously?
I’ve worked for companies like Coca-Cola and Naked Juice as private security. I’ve also been hired by celebrities like Kobe and Beyonce as a private bodyguard, and have been hired by Coachella for the past 10 years.
Q4: What do you believe is your favorite part of Glenn?
The students, working with students and giving them a safe environment. My strongest belief is having a bully-free campus and providing a safe area for the students to hang out. I sometimes find kids by themselves, and I tell them that, “You can come hang out in my area, you don’t have to talk to me but just feel safe.” They come and sit around where I’m at, and I just kinda keep an eye on them. Knowing I have a safe environment for the students brings me warmth to my heart.
Q5: What is your average, out-of-school life like? Do you have any pets, children, etc?
I have 2 daughters, 16 and 18. I have 3 pets; I have Lucy, a 12-year-old turtle, who has been with us since she was a baby. She’s a tortoise and she’s huge. And we also have a dog and a cat. I also love the outdoors and like to do hiking.
Q6: If you could give the students one piece of advice (Life, School, etc.), what would you say?
Ever since the beginning of November, we have had a 10-minute Zoom meeting discussing different parts of the student handbook for JGHS during 4th period. The first one was about the phone policies, the second was about tardies, absences, and the procedures and consequences of both. The most recent ones were about dress code on November 17, and information about tutoring this past Wednesday, December 1.
The main point of these meetings is to make sure students stay informed and know what the rules are at school. Dr. Padilla also puts the slides for each meeting on her weekly newsletter, and then tells us the subject of the next meeting and the pages of the student handbook to look for.
In my opinion, we are actually better off without these meetings. When Dr. Padilla tells us what is going to be covered days beforehand, we don’t really need 10-15 minutes of class time to be lost just for the school to tell me not to flash people with inappropriate clothing. And that is assuming that students are actually paying attention to said meetings. If they aren’t, then it just seems to waste everybody’s time.
Instead, I propose that we should just have a friendly reminder whenever situations get too extreme (for example, if people are on their phones way too much during class, we should have an announcement saying that the next day, phones being used for unimportant reasons will be taken away).
Starting this November, the entire school menu, for both lunch and snack, has been revised and reworked.
At snack, bean and cheese burritos, chocolate muffins, new cinnamon rolls, and PB&Js will now be served on a rotating basis. As for lunch, each quick lunch lane will now be giving out only a select few items, so make sure you know your lines!
From left to right, these are the selections:
1 and 2: Pizza only
3 and 4: Cheeseburgers, Chicken Sandwiches, and Taco Nadas
5: Premade Asian bowls on Monday and Tuesday, and Tyson Popcorn Chicken Nuggets on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Friday.
6: Sandwiches (Turkey, Italian, or Both), Chicken Salad Wraps, and Yogurt Parfaits.
The inside left lane is also getting changed. In addition to the usual fried chicken, some days will also allow you to make your own Asian meal, with a choice of Orange chicken or Korean beef and Chow Mein or Rice.
Every food item is also getting a designated side (except for the Yogurt). Asian bowls are getting a cookie alongside it (chocolate chip for make your own, double chocolate for quick line), and every other item is getting a bag of Doritos. Veggie smoothies will also be offered as a side on Mondays and Fridays.
Imagine you were sitting on a bench in the middle of the Boardwalk Square, talking to a nice dressed man. Someone was on the side of the road was selling newspapers, others were just strolling about, but aside from a few baseball bats (maybe they were just going to play a game), it was nice. The man is reminiscing about “a dame I had met at the Coasters diner.” She sounds nice enough, but it was getting late and you mention that you need to be back home by 6:00. He gave you a friendly wave goodbye, but you couldn’t help but double back and notice the giant hole on the side of his face.
You were in the Gore-ing ‘20s, the new scare zone for Knott’s Scary Farm, located in the left part of Boardwalk. It’s a seemingly nice place, full of color and life. Well, sort of. All the people are dead, but less in an “I’m going to haunt you” way but more in a “Casper the Friendly Ghost” way. It’s more peaceful, but not without the occasional double back or jumpscare. Either way, it’s a pleasant break from the horrors that you would have seen for the past 4 hours.
I decided to embark on this trip, and I bought a ticket for Knott’s Scary Farm on Friday, October 8. I went in almost blind, but in a 6-hour trip, I was still able to go through 4 out of the 8 mazes and take a quick visit through all of the scare zones, though that isn’t even half of what the expansive horror experience has in store. In addition to over half the mazes being located in a spot behind ghost rider that is usually locked, there are also 30 different specialty foods, 4 different shows, and 3 different art galleries, all of which I could unfortunately see. Either way, Knott’s Scary Farm is definitely popular, and if someone is able to scrape up a whopping 108 bucks (or find some sort of discount. Here’s a tip: I got my ticket through the TAP, at a third of the price), I would recommend it, so long as you get some sleep beforehand.
I started out my night by going through the Mesmerizer Maze, the newest maze located in the Carnevil Scare Zone. Set in an carnival overseen by the great showman Mesmerizer (yes, that’s his name) the Mesmerizer takes you through many aspects of a fair, but also included lots of the freaks advertised around Boardwalk, along with hypnotizing you (you walk across a “tightrope” and walk through a room with swaying walls), and scarers dressed as carnies are everywhere. I especially like how all the scares were set up. For example, one of the scarers was tied to what I believe is a bungee cord, and she would jump down for a ledge to scare people, rather than just hide behind a wall, which is a decision I respect a lot. Overall, I’d give this a 9/10. It’s definitely really good, especially for a new maze, and I hope to see it again next year.
The next maze I went to was Dark Ride, located at the Dark Castle/’80’s Dance Floor/Storage Building. This one made us travel through an abandoned theme park ride, with us walking through the ride in its entirety. One thing I do praise is the fact that they took what I last remember being a dance floor and being able to turn it into a full blown maze. Other than that, it’s alright. There weren’t many scarers, and the maze mostly relied on the shock value every time you turned another corner. I also didn’t really hear as many screams from in front of me as others. I feel that the knowledge that something scary coming up shakes you up a little bit, so missing that element really made this maze lack fear. Overall, I’d rate it more on the lower side of the spectrum, maybe a 4.5/10. It’s not the best, but if there is no line, I would think twice before walking past it.
The third maze I went to was Wax Works, which involved us exploring a (you guessed it) wax factory, run by an evil man named Agustus Scratch. He uses his factory as a cover, and turns people that visit into statues for display. Even before you get in, the scenery is full of TVs showing old-style ads for the wax sculpture tour. A giant devil’s head is mounted on top of the entrance, and whenever Agustus talks, the devil’s mouth moves as well, which I found cool. You are mostly taken through the main factory work area, with few scares with people and more of just visual props. Written on the walls on multiple occasions were the words, “I will mold you into my image,” many prop structures involved people being tortured, and one of the handful of scarers was even “stuck in one of the vats.” I think this maze pulled off visual scares better than Dark Ride did, and I would put this higher up on the list at maybe a 7/10. If you don’t know where to go next, I definitely think this one is worth checking out.
The final maze I went to was Paranormal Inc. Right off the bat, I knew something was different in this one. Instead of people being put into the maze one by one, they were sent in droves, and I immediately knew this maze was not like the others. When I got to the front, we were told that we were a live audience for a ghost hunting show, and it was especially cool because it was the last season. We were brought into an area in a sanitarium, where a previously caught ghost was accidentally let loose. The scares don’t start immediately, though; instead, the actor talked to the ghost on a clock nearby before it sprang out and a person dressed as the ghost was carried by. From there, we are told to evacuate the scene, and we travel through the sanitarium before actually being sent back to the 1860s, when the place was still open for business. Overall, I think that was the best maze I’ve been on, and it’s definitely a 10/10. But I later found out that the maze was actually closing, and I am happy that I was able to go on it before then.
The scare zones were pretty cool, though the main attraction was definitely the mazes. They all felt similar, except for the Goreing 20s area, but they all had their quirks that separated them by more than just theme. The Forsaken Lake area, though small, was the only area to be covered in fog. Carnevil had vicious clowns roaming around, and if you stopped to look at them too long they weren’t afraid to stance you up (my sister now knows that from firsthand experience). The Hollow mostly relied on it’s darkness, which actually got me a few times. One person was hiding in what I now see as an obvious spot, but walking past I didn’t give it a second though until it was too late. The Ghost Town Streets, in addition to being the biggest zone, were also the best in my opinion. The scarers were all dressed as cowboys, but they had metal on their shoes and hands that made sparks whenever they slid on them, which I found genuinely awesome.
Overall, I liked my experience, and would definitely go again. The price is very high, but I feel that for the most part it’s worth it. If you are able to get enough money for a ticket, and have at the very least a decent sleep schedule, try setting off a night to go. I guarantee you won’t regret it.
On September 10th, our new principal, Dr. Jennifer Padilla, allowed me to interview her as a way for us to better understand her goals at this school. During the interview, she was very proud of us and what we have accomplished while she was away. Nevertheless, she wants everyone to succeed, and wants to let everyone know that no matter what, her door is always open. She allowed me to record the conversation, and the full Q and A is below:
Q1: Where did you go to High School and College? What type of degree(s) did you get?
A: I went to Victor Valley High School, and I graduated in 1996. I got my AA degree at Victor Valley Community College, and then I transferred to Cal State San Bernardino, where I got my Bachelor’s degree in language arts. I got my credential and masters degree with Chapman University and then my doctorate from Pepperdine University.
Q2: What did you originally plan to do as a career? When did you realize you wanted to work in education?
A: I decided on teaching kind of on a whim. I remember being in my high school counselor’s office and them asking me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and I thought, “I don’t know… I like language arts, I like theater and drama, maybe I’ll be a teacher.” And at that time we didn’t have a lot of access like you all do now with, you know, the internet and being able to really research a career. I think I decided based on what I knew, and that was school. I’d been in school, so I decided really early, at like age 17, that I wanted to be an English teacher and I just did that.
Q3: I heard that you were here at Glenn before as the interim principal. Where did you work before that? And what did you do after that before returning?
A: I taught for about ten years before I came to NLMUSD. Then as an administrator, I started at Norwalk High School as the “Dean of Students” for a couple of years. Then I was promoted to assistant principal over here at Glenn. I was here for five years as assistant principal and then the principal took another job [during the second semester], and that’s how I became the interim principal for a few months before I moved on to be a middle school principal in another school district for a while. I did a few other things, but I came back home!
Q4: What do you plan to do differently compared to when you were here five years ago? What do you plan to keep the same?
A: I feel like some things have stayed the same but so much has changed since I was here last that I don’t know that I can fully answer them now. Unfortunately, I do know that Glenn has always had a lot of people in the community and surrounding areas have really this negative perception of Glenn. I’ve heard it from parents and community people, like “Oh, that school.” But I know and the people who are here know that that’s not true; we know that Glenn is a great place. There’s a lot of great things going on here. I think that one of my biggest goals is to help the community and the people who don’t know to better understand that it’s a good place and we have a lot of great things happening for students. I would say that’s my biggest goal.
Q5: What do you believe is your favorite part of Glenn?
A: The people. I was telling someone the other day that I didn’t realize how much I missed the students and teachers here. I had an opportunity to go and experience and explore other districts and there’s something really special that feels like a family here at Glenn. There are wonderful things about academics and we have some great programs and academies but it’s definitely the students and staff that I enjoy the most.
Q6: What is your average, non-principal life like? Do you have any pets, children?
A: I have my husband and my three little girls that are 7, 6, and 5. So, I’m very busy being a mom when I’m not here. I would say that most of my off time is doing that. You know, you have all those mom things that have to be done, right? They are my world, outside of work, for sure.
Q7: If you could give the students one piece of advice (life, school, etc.), what would you say?
A: You can either work hard now or work hard later. Don’t be afraid and set goals for yourself. Everything you do on a day-to-day basis should be working towards reaching those goals. So, if your goal is to graduate high school, then every action you take should help you with that. Focus on those things, but have fun, keep a balance. Enjoy being a teenager, but definitely keep focus, and it will happen.
(Dr. Padilla hard at work in the principal’s office. photo by Jacob Miranda)
Jacob Miranda is a Junior at John Glenn High School, and the Junior Copy Editor for The Shoemaker Bugle. He takes an interest in Golfing, but also is looking into tennis. You can usually find during breaks in the cafeteria, working on the far right fast lane. He has a family dog and pet fish, but owns a bearded dragon himself. He likes reading and playing video games when he isn’t doing homework, and wants to pursue engineering as a career. His preferred news sources are CNN, NBC, and KTLA 5.
For an Instagram and Facebook account where nothing is posted, go to jakad_05 and Jakad Miran, respectively.