How to Hobby: Step 3

By Sophia Fakhouri

Fishing derived as a mean of survival in prehistoric times, but has now developed into a recreational activity, sport, and hobby. Eid Fakhouri takes a deep interest in fishing; whether it’s ice fishing in the Rocky Mountains or off the Ocean Beach Pier. He has taken time to master this hobby and enjoys it to its fullest potential. I interviewed Mr. Fakhouri to get more details on his hobby:

Q: When did you begin fishing as a hobby?
A: Probably 5th grade, about 1976.

Q: Why does fishing interest you?
A: I love being outdoors and learning new techniques on how to lure fish. It can also be a social event, my family, and friends also enjoy this hobby. In addition, I like to prepare and cook some of the fish I am allowed to keep.

Q: Where is your favorite place to fish?
A: Ocean Beach Pier and shoreline, Trout fishing in Colorado, ice fishing in Colorado, and even Santee Lakes and Lake Murray. Santee Lakes and Lake Murray are great for beginners.

Q: What is the average time you spend fishing per session?
A: About six hours, it is usually a full day event.

Q: What is the most interesting things you have ever caught?
A: A hat, someone else’s fishing pole, an octopus, my cousins face, oops, and a 125 lb bat ray in Mission Bay.

Q: Who do you enjoy fishing with?
A: Mostly my family, my son especially takes a special interest in the hobby.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add that we have not discussed?
A: As soon as you catch a fish you’ll be hooked on the hobby.

To dive deeper into this hobby and how it was derived, I extracted information from, which you can visit for more information! Taking it back to the beginning, deep sea fishing first became prevalent in the 15th century, but became extremely popular in the 19th century when steamboats were invented. At first, leisurely fishing was reserved for the wealthy class, but became more accessible to everyone with technological advances that produced more equipment at a lower cost. Although fishing is now seen as a sport, in some areas around the world fishing farms and fishermen can be vital to a growing economy. According to, “FAO statistics put the total number of fishermen and fish farmers to approximately 38 million”.

If you are interested in pursuing a hobby in fishing, there are many ways to get started. Santee Lakes offers daily fishing permits for under ten dollars. If your 16 or younger the permit is just six dollars; if you are seventeen or older the permit is nine dollars. At Santee Lakes, they sell poles, hooks, bait, and anything else you may need to launch your fishing hobby. The same thing applies to Lake Murray in La Mesa where you can even rent boats to fish off of. Grab some friends and spend the day fishing and practicing. You may come to find out it holds your interest!

How to Hobby- Night Diving

By Alyssa Jenkins

An interesting and unique hobby is night diving. If you enjoy the ocean,  sea creatures, or adventure this might be the your new hobby. There is not really an objective but to just have fun! Basically you put your mask on, wait until it gets dark and then you jump in the water with a flashlight and take a look at the night sea life. My dad actually goes down underwater and goes lobster hunting. With just a single breath. You try and find a lobster that is big enough (or legal size) and then you can take it and eat it or if you would like you can release it. There are many clubs that you can join to do this sport. This can take as long as you want, 10 minutes to an hour. My dad has been doing this for years and years and it never gets old he says. There is always something new and exciting to see.
Night diving has been around for years. There is not really a date or person that founded this sport. The sport diving and snorkeling was invented first, but then people wanted to catch lobster it made sense to go at night. They are nocturnal.

How to nightdive, all you need is a boat, time, a snorkel or scuba tank if you don’t want to do a single breath hold. You will need gloves, flashlight, and a net for the lobster. Another important thing to bring is a partner! Just to be safe. You want to have someone watching you at all times. You probably will want to do some research on the spot before because it can be kind of scary diving in the dark for the first time. You can take classes and join clubs and take classes to meet people with the same interests.

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.


Beat: Chromebooks

By Alyssa Jenkins

This week is a big week for seniors. If you are a senior you can buy your Chromebook for only $20. Here are the steps. First, you make sure you have returned the signed “Chromebook Purchase Agreement” to your English teacher. Second, on your class visit day, make sure to bring your Chromebook, your charger (if you have it), and $20 cash in exact change. Third, be ready to buy with your Chromebook this week with your senior English class. If you do NOT buy your Chromebook during your class visit. You will need to return to the library ON YOUR OWN TIME to return your Chromebook and charger by WEDNESDAY, May 30th. When returning your Chromebook and charger, you must pay for any damaged or lost items. If you do not buy or return your Chromebook and charger by May 30th you will be billed the full replacement cost of the items and your Chromebook will be locked. The last thing you should be aware of when buying your Chromebook is that you must have all your fines cleared before purchasing your Chromebook. Again, bring your $20 onMay 22nd if you are wanting to buy your chromebook. If you are not planning on buying it, then you must return it no later than May 30th. Don’t miss out on this opportunity!

After School

By Jayden Moreno

In this week’s beat I went to some  people and I asked them,: What’s your favorite thing about school, why did you choose to come here and lastly what is the school known for. The first person I ask said  their favorite part is how friends are here. They chose to come to West Hills because the academics are very good and they think West Hills is known for sports. The second person I asked said their favorite part is they get to play sports. They chose to come here to play football and they think West Hills is known for having good grades and great students.

Interview with Andrew P.

By Sarah Shields

What is your favorite sport you do?

My favorite sport is soccer

Have you played jv or varsity or both?

I have played varsity all 4 years and done jv track for 2 years.

How many sports have you done over the year?

I have done 2.

Which one was your favorite?

Soccer has been my favorite.

Which one were you the best in?

I was best in soccer.

What was the farthest your team had gone in league and possibly CIF?

My soccer team won leagues and we went to CIF one year.

Will you be doing any of these sports in college?

Mayve track

Are there any sports you wish you could have participated in and you didn’t?

I wish I had done cross-country.

What clubs are you involved in?

Key club.

Are there any clubs you wish you would have joined earlier on in the year?

Best buddies club.


ETHAS Mrs. McLaughlin

By Skye Finnestad

For my interview, I chose to interview my favorite English teacher, Mrs. McLaughlin. I think she’s a cool person and I thought interviewing her would be interesting. I asked her 15 questions regarding school and her life. I enjoyed conducting this interview, and I hope you enjoy reading it.

Q1: How does it feel to be ending the school year again?

A: It’s definitely exciting and much needed for many of the hard working students in my class.

Q2: How is it working with freshmen vs seniors?

A: Freshmen have high energy and I need to be more creative when I work with them, but they laugh at my jokes! With the seniors, I can have  discussions with them because they are deep thinkers and they transition better than freshmen.

Q3: What’s your favorite work of literature to focus on?

A: Hamlet. Its challenging and complicated and there’s so many twists and turns. It’s never boring. And it has a ghost!

Q4: What’s the hardest part of teaching?

A: Grading papers. It is so time consuming. I lose my whole weekend to grading papers. I hear how great everyone else’s weekend was, but I was grading in my kitchen the whole time.

Q5: Do you prefer teaching freshmen or seniors?

A: I can’t say. There are so many bonuses to both that it’s really hard to pick one. It’s like comparing apples and oranges trying to compare freshmen and seniors.

Q6: Have you ever shipped a couple? Did they end up together?

A: Yes and yes. I’ve had students come to me and ask if they could sit near a crush and after time they would actually end up dating. I just gave ‘em a little nudge in the right direction.

Q7: What’s one thing you would change about West Hills High School if you could?

A: Cliques, there’s way to much emotional drama. Why can’t everyone just be friends? I feel for the kids who get left out or ignored, because I was there at one point too. Kids can just be so harsh.

Q8: Is there another subject or grade you would have taught if you had to? What is it?

A: I originally wanted to teach kindergarten, but after some exposure to the kids and how energetic they were, I knew I couldn’t handle doing it for the rest of my life.  I decided I wanted to teach high school and I went and did all the schooling for it and here I am now.

Q9: What’s one pet peeve you have when it comes to students?

A: Spitting their gum on the floor. Spitting in general is disrespectful, but spitting gum on the floor is even worse.

Q10: What class pet would you have if it was mandatory?

A: If I had to pick one I would pick a dog to kind of go along with the wolfpack!

Q11: How did you and your husband end up together?

A: We actually were set up on a blind date and we really hit it off. We had a really good time, and after about a year, he proposed. I was shocked, because I didn’t want to get married. I said no and so we both went our separate ways. After a few years we got together again and ended up getting married!

Q12: What are your thoughts on love?

A: I think that there is truth in “the right person, wrong time.” If it’s truly meant to be, it will be. You don’t have to force anything with love, everything will come naturally. I’m no love expert though, so don’t quote me.

Q13: If you could offer any piece of advice to teens, what would it be?

A: Focus on yourself and your needs before worrying about anyone else. Your goals and desires are most important in the long run, so set your eye on a goal and work till you get it. Do not let anyone kill your dreams and never let anyone stand in the way. You are  more than capable.

Q14: How do you feel about the school year being just about over?

A: I’m shocked! The time just keeps flying, this year particularly faster than the others. I’m going to miss all my seniors.

Q15: Last question, Team Jacob or Team Edward?

A: Jacob, he’s still living.

I chose to interview Mrs. McLaughlin because she is my favorite teacher and I figured it would make for an interesting interview. I wanted to ask her questions regarding her career and regarding her students. I also ended up asking her a few extra questions.


By Alex Leggate

The library has many new and cool things that can be useful to students. One of the library aids put together a little fitness program for students that also has the school schedule. It has a mix of 3-5 different exercises focused on certain muscle groups for certain days. Like Monday will be arms, Tuesday legs, and Wednesday back. Also, you can go to readers and writers club in the library and help recommend books to other students so they can enjoy them as much as you.
The library has a green screen in the back that students can utilize. If you need to film a project for school and want a green screen background there is a room with a large green screen, lights, tripod, and a door to help block out the noise in the library. A new thing one of the library aids made is a scavenger hunt  completely out of original poems and when completed you will receive a prize.

ETHAS Coach Searls

By Avila Ashland


I chose to interview Coach Searls, a teacher here at West Hills in the Math department because he’s been a super helpful teacher to me whom I’ve learned much from. I know he puts a lot of effort into his career of helping students, so I knew he’d have much to share. He is also a coach. I knew he’d be able to add an interesting side to this interview with his experiences in teaching and coaching.


  1. Q: How long have you been teaching here at West Hills?                  A: 18 years


  1. Q: What other jobs have you had and how do they compare to your current job? A: I worked at a Casino for 5 years, a research project for 2 years, and as a Vet Tech for 3 years. All of the jobs are so drastically different. The casino was helpful when dealing with people, while the other the jobs  had me always doing research and keeping up with latest practices.


  1. Q: How much time, not at school, do you take out of your day to plan lessons, grade papers, etc.? A: About an hour every day, but I spend most Sundays planning for the week.


  1. Q: What are the biggest challenges that come with being a teacher? A: It is difficult to balance student needs with the learning environment. Every student is in a different place when they enter the room and it is hard to sometimes understand that my class is not always the most important aspect of his/her life.


  1.  Q: Is there a part of teaching that you find rewarding?                      A: I love it when a student gets an “ah ha” moment. When it finally clicks for that student.


  1. Q: You also coach swim and water polo, is it hard to balance your coaching and teaching job? A: I make sure that I have hobbies that balance my life outside of school. I do crossfit almost every day and have gotten into obstacle course racing.


  1. Q: Is teaching something you always imagined yourself doing?     A: I was pre-vet in college and then when I returned back to California I realized that I enjoyed working with high school students better than animals.


  1. Q: What made you choose math, what do you like about teaching this subject? A: You hear so often how people do not like math, so I wanted to find a way to assist students that struggle with math find it more enjoyable. You take that first fear away, then the math concepts will follow.


  1. Q: How do you make sure you are reaching every student when kids have all different kinds of learning styles?                                         A: Of course, test and work might show understanding for most, but the ones that struggle you find ways to help them individually and that is one of the reasons it is important to know each student.


  1. Q: What are the similarities and differences between teaching and coaching? A: Coaching is teaching,. It is making sure the athletes know concepts and skills and know how and when to put them into practice.


  1. Q: What is your approach to students who are struggling in your class? A: I try to get them to come in for individual tutoring and I give them websites and other extra learning methods. I have them show understanding in non-traditional ways.


  1. Q: What are the greatest differences between high school now vs. when you were in high school? A: Technology, how much it benefits both teachers and students,. It is also a detriment to student learning. It can be a distraction in the classroom. It has added more bullying, cyber bullying, and has hindered many student’s interpersonal skills.


  1. Q: What is something that you think we students don’t realize we’re lucky to have? A: Also, technology, it is so much easier to look up information when you have questions or need to do research. I would spend hours in the library doing research papers and when I was in my master’s program several years back I was able to find all of that same information without leaving my house.


  1. Q: Is there ever drama within the teaching staff?                                    A: Not that I have witnessed. We are all professionals and we take pride in our careers and drama would not be acceptable in the work place.


  1. Q: What’s your piece of advice for everyone as they graduate from high school? A: Do what you love. If it is not something that can be a career then make it a hobby. You have to love what you do or have something that you love to do. I am lucky enough to love what I do and outside of school love the hobbies I have.

From this interview I learned much about the school experience from another perspective. It was super interesting to hear what Coach’s views and thought process about the education system and teaching students. I found this interview really enlightening to the fact that some teachers really do care and work their hardest to help us succeed and go far.