All posts by Clubs & Extra Curricular

Spider Man Unlimited Review

By Cameron Brooks

One of the most popular mobile phone game genres is the runner games. These are the apps that follow in the footsteps of Temple Run and Subway Surfers and it seems like half of everything that has ever been licensed, from Despicable Me to Sonic the Hedgehog, has its own runner game on the App Store or Google Play. Most of these games play very similarly to each other and do not offer much variety, but I find Spider Man Unlimited to be an exception in some ways. While most endless runners are endless, Spider Man Unlimited prefers to break the game up into stages which each contain mini levels where the main goal is to defeat a boss from the Spider Man universe. The main story describes how the Green Goblin was able to team up with the sinister six and open up a wormhole to other dimensions, allowing them to bring in clones of themselves from other dimensions to fight Spider Man. You play as Spider Man, unlocking your own dimensions and teaming up with other Spider Man clones to fight the sinister six. Because there are so many levels in the game (over 300 at the time of this review) there are consistently bad guys to fight and new areas to unlock and explore compared to other games, where you always play the same level hoping to go slightly further each time. This eliminates most of the monotony involved in the traditional runner games. Another element is the various enemy types you can encounter while running. These including flying enemies, ground enemies, and shielded enemies, and your attack´s effectiveness depends on which enemy you encounter. Flying enemies require jumping attacks, while shielded troops require kick attacks, etc. Once you begin running fairly fast it can be difficult to react quickly enough with the right moves while avoiding other obstacles and collecting the coins along the way making this game quite a challenge. However, the challenge is not enough to get under your skin and the game offers more variety compared to other runners, so overall, if you are a Spider Man or runner fan, I would recommend giving it a look.


A Rant on NFL Kneeling Ban

By Cameron Brooks

A ban on player protests in the NFL took place this Wednesday, proving that both Trump and the NFL owners don’t get it. Critics dismiss the players as anti – American with some, such as Trump, floating the idea of firing the protesting players. However, if you talk to any of the players involved in the protest, they will all say the same thing, being that they love this country and support those who serve and that they are protesting police brutality against minority communities. For some reason however, Trump and the republicans cannot seem to understand their basic, powerful message.


How to Hobby: Modeling

By Audrey Lechien

A particular hobby that has become more popular and more accessible is modeling, which I do myself. I enjoy modeling because I’m able to create art and express myself while also connecting with others. I became involved through portrait photography and Instagram. Modeling can take up as much time as you want it to. A photoshoot takes anywhere from 15 minutes to a full day. You can use Instagram to connect with photographers or other models and sometimes there are organized meetups in person. My advice for anyone trying to get involved with modeling is to face your fears and don’t be afraid of the camera.

Modeling has been around for a while but it used to refer to posing for portraits. But then cameras came around and people started to model as we know it today. Fashion modeling took over mannequins displaying clothes and this is when it became a job. Once people were making jobs out of it; modeling agencies started opening up. Although modeling is still considered a career today, many call it a hobby and create art just for fun. The evolution of modeling happened mainly because of social media. This is what makes it so easy for anyone to get into it.

How you get into modeling is how you would get into any other hobby; you start somewhere and get practice and exposure. Some people may find themselves to be naturals at posing, for others it may take more effort. In order to be a good model, you need confidence. You can build confidence by posing in the mirror and studying other models. However, the best way to improve is by getting out there and shooting with photographers.  Once again, you can use social media to connect with photographers and set up shoots.


How to Hobby: Chess

By Cameron Brooks

One of the oldest and most popular hobbies around the world is chess. From Asia to Europe to America, it remains one of the most widely played games. There is a chess club at our school, with its president being chess enthusiast Shane Johnson. When interviewing him, he stated that he first began playing at around the age of ten and immediately enjoyed the challenge involved in such an intellectual game. While there is no set amount of time he spends practicing, he attempts to get a game in with some friends every other day and at least once a week in chess club. He says that he started the club to have some tournaments at the school where all experienced or inexperienced chess players can come and enjoy the game.

Chess is one of the oldest games around today, with a very similar game being developed in India during the Gupta Empire in the 5th century. The game spread through the use of the silk road and was introduced to Europe sometime around the 9th century, where it began to morph into the game we know today. Modern chess was  developed in 1475 in southern Europe. The game became very popular during the mid to late 19th century with the first world chess tournament being held in 1886. The level of tournaments and popularity of the game grew during the late 19th to early 20th century, so much so that Tsar Nicholas of Russia became a chess grandmaster. Since the first tournament in 1886, there have been continual world chess tournaments, as well as, the development of other national and local tournaments.

The hobby is simple to get into as all it requires is a chessboard and a setoff pieces, which you can buy for as little as ten dollars for a a plastic set. It may also be helpful to have a friend or family member who is an experienced player who can play with you and teach the rules and strategies that go along with the game. Most people do not spend much time practicing chess. It is a hobby which can be done at any time and does not require much of a time commitment. A game can last for as little as twenty or thirty minutes. People mainly improve by playing a wide variety of players while adjusting to different people´s play style or by joining a class for beginners. Although most simply learn over time or by playing people on various websites where you can play a computer which can be adjusted to your skill level. Either way is an effective introduction to a fun hobby with a long history to go along with it.


Chess Club Spring Tournament

By Cameron Brooks

This week in chess club marked the start of the new tournament for spring, which will be the second and final tournament for the club this year. This event includes many more participants than the previous with around 20 members involved (with the rest just watching and eating lunch). The first matches occurred on the 17th of May and led to the first round of eliminations. The matches were decided on random with Sam Keeley and Shane Johnson, the founders of chess club, pulling the names randomly from a hat. The schedule was designed to have matches take place every Thursday at lunch in the library with time for unfinished matches to be continued in the next week, as the schedule left an extra week before school got out. The students who do not show up or are absent are given automatic losses unless a make up day is established to ensure that all matches can be finished before the end of the school year. By the final Thursday of the year the brackets will be completed and a chess champion will be crowned (not literally, but figuratively).


How to Hobby: Makeup

By Gianna Creighton

The beginning of freshman year was when Neve Balagot really started using makeup and teaching  herself how to do it. Neve started learning how to do her own makeup because she “ wanted to actually start looking presentable at school so I looked up how to perfect the looks on Youtube.” Neve says she was inspired to start trying makeup looks because of all the famous people and their videos on Instagram. When asked what Neve’s best area on the face was she answered, “I am a professional at eyebrows in my opinion. I have basically perfected the brow.” Neve says she prefers to “go with light makeup to school. I don’t want to look like I am trying too hard so I usually do just mascara, eyebrows, and a little bit of concealer.” She also says that knowing how to do her own makeup benefits her because she no longer has to pay for people to do her makeup or help her do her makeup.

Makeup was first created in 164,000 BC. During this time the makeup was made from 57 crushed up and ground rocks that had pinkish and reddish tones. Then in 70,000 BC people began painting their bodies with mud and their own homemade paints. Then in 100 AD, Roman people began using barley and flour on their pimples and sheep blood and fat on their fingernails. The 1800’s were a landmark for the makeup industry because there was a bunch of makeup recipes created for freckle removal, gray hair removal, wrinkle removal, and complexion enhancer. Lastly in the 1920’s the first nail polishes and powder blushes were made.

You could get into makeup by watching Youtube videos and Instagram videos. This hobby can be very expensive because you need every type of make-up for all parts of your face. You need to purchase different makeup tones for the different parts of your face. You also need to study different looks off Youtube or Instagram and be able to perfect them. You can become better and more skilled at it with lots of practice with different looks.


Interview with Mr. Ross

By Gianna Creighton

Mr. Ross is a history teacher in room W11. He teaches AP United States History and a college prep senior class on economics. He has been teaching at West Hills for over twenty years and loves every moment of it. Mr. Ross attended University of California at Riverside and now lives in Santee with his wife. He is a very energetic and sarcastic teacher and is liked by all his students.

What is your favorite thing about teaching upperclassmen?

They are more mature than the other grade levels

Where did you go to college?

UC Riverside

What degree(s) do you have?

I have a degree in United States History

If you could teach any other subject what would you teach and why?

I would teach English because an essay in English is as close as I could get to a DBQ in U.S. History.

What is your favorite drink?

Diet Pepsi

Who is the one person who you look up to?

One person I look up to is my mom because she is the strongest person I have ever met and known.

What made you want to become a teacher?

I wanted to educate young minds on the history of our nation

What kind of activities do you like to do outside of school?

I help correct and edit author’s books or former students essays.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I see myself finally being retired and living with my wife somewhere pretty.

Where is your favorite spot to go on vacation and why?

My favorite spot to go on vacation is Hawaii, just like any other person, because it is just so different than any state we have.

What other profession would you like to be in if you were not a teacher?

I would like to be a stand-up comedian because I like to think I am pretty funny.

What is your favorite color?


What is your favorite TV show or movie?

My favorite movie is basically any documentary or show that has to do with history.

What is your pet peeve?

When students do not complete their work even though they had a whole week for an assignment.

What skill would you like to master?

I would like to master the skill of sarcasm. I think I have it down  well, but I want to perfect it.

Throughout this interview we have learned that Mr. Ross’ overall favorite subject is United States History. He loves the movies that involve history and even has a degree in it. Mr. Ross also hates when his students do not turn in their work but is a big fan of the color blue. In ten years he hopes to move and retire somewhere other than Santee. Lastly, Mr. Ross’ favorite drink is Diet Pepsi which is extremely apparent because he drinks one almost everyday in period 4.


Asian Culture Club and Drama Club

By Gianna Creighton

Asian Culture Club takes place on Thursdays every week at lunch. The purpose of this club is to educate students about Asian American cultures and to create a campus of tolerance for every race. They hold potlucks monthly and usually center their food choice around Asian culture. They introduce new types of food and tastes to all the students who attend the potluck. The club is open to all members of any race.

Drama Club takes place on Fridays every week in the theater. Drama club has a warm and bubbly atmosphere as soon as you enter the theater room. This is a club where people can relax and hang out with members who share the same passion as them. This club also offers performing arts members more time on stage to practice or just have fun. They put on many fundraisers as a club and advertise for upcoming plays.


Art Club and Key Club

By Gianna Creighton

Art club takes place on Thursdays at lunch in room A1. The president of the club is Belle Lerdworatawee and the vice president Samantha Ryan. The goal of the club is to create an environment for all levels’ of artists who can share ideas. Art club is a way for students to express themselves through their art. The club has access to all types of art supplies and it can take the stress off of school.

Key club takes place on Mondays in room S8 at lunch. The president of the club is Noah Palafox and the secretary is Tanner Coe. Members of Key Club seek opportunities to perform service around the community. Members are free to contribute different public service ideas and volunteer options. The club is open to all people no matter their service background.


New 3D Printed Chess Board

By Cameron Brooks

This week chess club received a custom made 3D printed board from 3D design. This new board gives the members at chess club a new board option with custom pieces. The pawns appear to be just regular looking pawns until you look at the top of them and see a paw carved into the plastic. The king says West Hills on it and the coolest piece, in my opinion, is the knight, which is a wolf with teeth carved into it. The board comes with the pieces is also a solid plastic and matches the West Hills blue color theme. The pieces also match the colors, with one side having dark blue pieces and the other using black pieces. We still have some extra regular chess boards left, so if you are interested in playing or learning how to play, be sure to visit chess club every Thursday in the library.