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From President Obama to Miley Cyrus: selfies tell a story

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In a small school like McClymonds, love takes different forms

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Stories, photos and illustrations by students in Journalism 1

Not everyone has a “love” on campus at McClymonds, a school of 270.

People have different passions, too: sports, video games, rap music, flowers, art, fashion, food and chocolate.

Here are the stories and photos we collected:

“‘You’re over my head…I’m out of my mind..’ Every time I hear Classic by MTKO, I just snap my fingers, sing along. That song makes me really happy and brightens up my whole day. I listened to it after I had fallen down the stairs at school, hit my head, and then went to track practice in pain.”

Jaden Nixon

For Rayana Delaney, her first love was lit inside her during a balmy, summer day, at McClymonds High.  At first sight, he seemed like the “one”: charming, funny, caring, loving and overwhelmingly attractive all described him well. Fortunately, for both, they were coincidently students at the same summer school.  Delaney recalls a latent excitement after smiling at him and a requited love-struck stare, immediately prior to an exchange of introductions.

“We became friends right away,” said Delaney. “He was really cute, and he showed a lot of interest in me.  After around two months of being friends and a quick spread of my attraction toward him through my friends, we finally had our first kiss, at school; it was magical.”

Since then, they have both been in an intimate relationship, and are planning on having their first date soon—at a local movie theater.

Delaney’s Valentine’s Day gift to her boyfriend is a card with hearts on it and some chocolate.  His match: a card with a picture of a teddybear on it and pink balloon.

Rayana Delaney, as told by Anthony Beron

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“Jessie was walking around her new high school and lost her way. A senior named Chris noticed her immediately and offered to help her. He walked around and around, and was so hooked he wouldn’t let her go home. There was a click between them. “We’ve been together ever since.'”

as told to Jasmine Vilchis

“My grandma makes us feel special: she brings us all together, we all sit on her bed and she’ll tell us a story. We’ll laugh and feel a special bond. We are family.”

J’Mya Gray-Martinez

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 “I love hamburgers because they are always there for me, whenever I need food, hamburgers are always there with melted cheese, a juicy patty, crisp buns, and delicious pickles. Every time I’m down and out, I have a hamburger.”

Parrish Kendricks

Ink of Art

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By Luckie Lovette

For most students at McClymonds, tattoos represent overcoming trauma or celebrating memory. The tattoos range from symbols like ankh to dates, names of loved ones or flowers.

Ask any student at McClymonds why he or she decided to get a tattoo and the responses range from remembering loved ones to celebrating newborns.

As for its legality, none of the students knew that in California, it is illegal for anyone under 18 (with or without parental permission) to get a tattoo. Most Mack students have had their tattoos done by friends or at tattoo parlors that cater to minors.

There’s nothing new about tattoos. Look at Japanese art and you’ll see warriors with tattoos of their battles or Polynesian tribes where the word tattoo derives from tatus.

Tattoos are trendy today, especially among teens.  With or without parental permission, some kids sneak out and get tattoos, hiding them with long sleeve shirts.  Or it could be a simple “ink hook up.”  In most cases, people preferred their name or that of their loved one to be inked on their body. People chose to get their arms, hands or shoulders designed in special cursive letters, graffiti letters, or fun letter and number fonts.

Gradually, tattoo lovers started exploring new ideas.

However, most students says they have been discriminated against and profiled because of their body art; adults think that a person who has a large tattoo must be affiliated with gangs and violence, which is not true for most people. Some argue that it’s just art, and not prison related.

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Monte Smith, a senior

Smith says his arm tattoos represent “Family, reminiscence, lost loved ones and prosperity.”

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Jermaine McCaints, a senior

Says his tattoos represent “Family”, with special colors of roses, which cost over $300 “Family is important to me because we all stick together as one,” said McCaints.

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Lavance Warren, a junior

His tattoo reads: “Rose.” He dedicated his art to his grandmother to remember her.  “I got my tattoo to remember my grandmother for making a big impact on my life,” said Warren.

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Luckie Lovette, a senior

His tattoo reads “1800”. Which is the block of 18th street and Linden.  “It’s home,” said Lovette.  Although the tattoo is designed in a style of a gang banger, it was transformed to remember his childhood home. “It give an appearance of an illusion to make people think twice what am I?” said Lovette.

DSCF2422Erin Nicholson, a senior

Her tattoo reads “De’miyah” which is the name of her niece.

“She’s my love, she’s my first niece, and she’s my little angel. I got her name tatted so I can remember her everyday,” said Nicholson.

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Jonae Scott, a senior

Has a tattoo of her niece’s name “Ja’dore.”

“It means I own my skin, and I love my niece, she means everything to me,” said Scott.

DSCF2421Shamiela Watkins, a senior

“It just simply means a symbol of life,” said Watkins .

“Some get tattoos for the heck of it but I got mine to enjoy the quality of a positive life,” said Watkins.

“It didn’t hurt as much, but it was worth the cost,” said Watkins.

Better, faster, livelier: why GTA 5 rules

gta-5by Jacob Miles

In Los Santos, 17-year-old Andre Price plays big dreamer Franklin, out-from-Witness-Protection Michael and hustler Trevor. He races a Rari at 110 mph, wields shotguns and manages to amass $600,000. Of course, that puts him in 1st place in the world of Grand Theft Auto V, the latest version of the popular video game.

It’s the talk at Mack, and at schools throughout the Bay. Released just a month ago, it has sold out in one week everywhere, making Rockstar Games, the creators of GTA, over $1 billion, according to press reports.

“To me Grand Theft Auto V is the best game I have played and keeps me on the action of the game for several hours,” said Randall Coleman, a senior. He says the game’s dialogue is so realistic that it takes you to another world. It’s also a game in which your character sweats through his clothes when he runs; crash barriers on freeway medians work; flip flops actually flip and flop.

But beware of downloading a version on your PC: it isn’t out yet and any version you can filth will come back to phish you, or infect you with a virus.

The Chicago Tribune reports that those downloading GTA for PC use from torrent sites are encountering malware.

There are also no breaks for transferring your skils: the game maker says that users who will repeat missions on the online version will only receive half of the reward money the second time around. Bummer.

Grand Theft Auto V, 15th title in the series,  was released last month with much buzz for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles.

The game is set mainly within the fictional state of San Andreas (based on Southern California) and lets the player roam the countryside and the fictional city of Los Santos (based on Los Angeles). The story is told through three player-controlled protagonists among whom the player switches and it follows their efforts to plan and execute six heists to accrue wealth.

It took Price most of the night to beat the game, but he says it was worth it.  “It takes the whole online experience of racing and having shootouts to a whole new level, a player’s paradise.”

Sneakerheads: the seductive appeal of Jordans

quaylin jordans

opinion piece

by Janaya Andrews

What’s the deal with Jordan shoes: these sneakers are taking over the world and  people will do anything to get them, even if  it  means selling them for money to get a new pair or stealing them when there are other shoes. Lots of other shoes.

You mostly see these shoes more than you see other shoes on people’s feet.

Why this obsession? There are sneakerheads and people are flipping AirJordans and  Foamposites at Sneaker Conventions. You must be kidding? Sneaker conventions?

I guess if they don’t have their designer sneakers,  then they  don’t  feel like they belong. Sad state of affairs, when your friends judge you on the brand of sneakers you wear.

Even sadder that people get shot waiting on line to buy those $1,500 Paranorman Foamposites or $185 AirJordan V Bel Airs. In Wilmington, Delaware and in  Las Vegas, guys camped out to wait for their release, only to be shot.

It doesn’t make you original, only an OG. You are just following  in someone’s footsteps just because you want to be popular or just fit in.

Teens say that they  buy Jordans because “they  look  nice  and  they’re popular,” in the words of freshman Quaylin Wesley.  “They’re expensive and the  main topic to talk about  in  school,” he added.

In West Oakland (and East), they add status. “It says something about how brave you are, how much clout you have, how much nerve you have,”says Yale sociologist Elijah Anderson about the street value of shoes.

But much of the real value is to Nike, and other big brands profiting from the sales of these shoes, turning athletic shoe market into a $21 billion a year industry.  New sneakers may sell for up to  $270 for a pair, all because Michael Jordan and other basketball stars put their name and logo on the shoes. 

Just DON’T do it. Just be you .

Accessible with breathtaking views: West Oakland’s pride

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photos and story by Luckie Lovette

They stroll, skate, cycle and stare.

For the first time in 76 years, the Bay Bridge is now accessible to pedestrians and bicyclists.

“I went in through the Burma Road path in West Oakland and  it took 20 minutes to walk from the entrance to the Oakland touchdown,” says McClymonds senior Aronisha Smith. ” I was tired when I made it halfway, but it was a beneficial walk that made me healthy.”

The new east span of the bridge, which had a piece collapse in the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, opened three weeks ago. Since then, thousands of people, including residents of West Oakland, have walked over, and were captivated by the breathtaking views of cranes, the old bridge and the water.

There are two lanes for bicycles and one lane for pedestrians. The views are amazing, but riders should be warned that the path is not for the unconditioned heart; the trek is entirely uphill from Oakland going to Yerba Buena Island.

“It would be a pretty long walk if you’re not biking,” said McClymonds alum Paige Seymore.

Oakland city leaders and transit officials unveiled the green-and-white sign at the entrance of the path bearing the name of late city planner and longtime bicycle advocate Alexander Zuckermann.

Zuckermann founded the East Bay Bicycle Coalition in 1972 and lobbied the Metropolitan Transportation Commission for years to bring greater bike accessibility to Oakland and other parts of the Bay Area.

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One unique feature is that the bike path hangs slightly away from the bridge, with a vent to draw away exhaust from passing cars. While you might want to make your way to Yerba Buena Island and/or Treasure Island, you will have to wait until after the bridge bike and pedestrian lane opens.

Some bicyclists are asking why the path doesn’t continue all the way to San Francisco. The Bay Area Toll Authority is looking at that very idea, with a study due out later this year.  Design chief Steve Hulsebus said the bike path’s connector can’t be completed until the infamous “S-curve” is demolished in 2015.

“We’re gonna get people halfway to Yerba Buena Island from Oakland.  The real goal is to get all the way to San Francisco from Oakland. Then it can be a transportation facility and not just a recreational bike path,” Hulsebus said.

Much of the $500-million price tag  to finish the rest of the new bike path will likely come from higher bridge tolls, putting any dreams of biking to San Francisco nearly decade away.

Is it worth the wait? Some of its new admirers think so. “It would be cool to be able to walk to Yerba Buena Island,” says McClymonds physical education teacher Jeremy Namkung, who has not yet walked the bridge. “Although, I would be more eager if it connected all the way to the city (San Francisco).”

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Discrimination against Emo as hateful as any bias

Opinion piece

by Janaya Andrews

People say that we are the most dark-spirited of all “others” and treat us accordingly, as if we were invisible.

The term “emo” originated as an insult. Not as an identifier. It’s an abbreviation for a type of music known as “emotive hardcore,” which has been described by some as “punk music on estrogen.”

Bands like Five Finger Death Punch, Escape the Fate, Bullet for My Valentine, and Black Veil Brides created the sounds of the latest emo revival with lyrics like “You take my sanity, I’ll take the pain.”

Though kids who belong to the Emo counterculture can be identified by dark clothes, piercings, and black nail polish, an Emo is more of a relationship to music and “otherness,” or being an outsider.

Because we wear a lot of black and listen to unpopular music, such as rock, heavy metal, hard-core, and Scree-mo, other people assume that we are radically different; that we cut ourselves and are suicidal.

“The songs are yen-y and sad, which kind of fits into the way teenagers feel,” says Rebecca “Kiki” Weingarten, M.Sc.Ed, MFA, Parenting Coach and Co-Founder of Daily Life Consulting.

 I believe that we are the same and shouldn’t be treated differently.  Emos are like Goths, only we are a lot less “dark” and much more “Harry Potter” and like to be passionate to others.  We also try to reach out to those who are sometimes left out, just need comfort, or try to hide their crying.

However, there’s been an uproar against Emos.  In Mexico there have anti-Emo rallies and Emo beat downs.

 In England, police in Manchester now label attacks aginst Goths, Emos, punks and metallers as “hate crimes.” The move was a response to the 2007 killing of Sophie Lancaster was attacked by a mob for being a Goth. Only 20, she and her boyfriend were brutally beaten as they walked home.

In Iraq, there was a string of homicides last March against Iraqi teenage boys who dressed in a Westernized emo style.

In February 2012, the Baghdad Morality Police published a statement criticizing emo teens for wearing “strange, tight clothes with pictures of skulls on them,” and “rings in their noses and tongues.” The statement condemned emo as Satanic.

In my opinion,  we  are all not to  be  disliked  for  who  we  are  but  to  be loved  inside  and  out.  So, please stop the snide remarks about Emos.  Aren’t we more tolerant here at McClymonds and in Oakland, California?