Viva Cuba

By: Montserrat Lara 

We all know and love the queen of attendance, Ms.Esturo, but the time has come for her to leave and live her best life. Not only does she play a big role in the attendance office as a coordinator, she also took on the leadership role in supporting students through National Honors Society (NHS).  

Ms. Esturo has been part of our Ram family since 1988 when she was called in to sub for Mrs. Nieda. After that she believed South Gate High School was where she needed to be and it was that opportunity that made her change her life for the better. After her 31 years of service Ms.Esturo decided it was time to retire.  This is such a great loss because the rate of the school’s attendance will drop as students lose the one person who truly cares for their attendance and overall well-being. Ms.Esturo also made the decision to leave because of her parents’ advanced age and deteriorating health. As older people need more care and attention, she feels the need to be there and care for them instead of leaving them in a home. It is much easier for her to do so since she knows their specific needs. 

Leaving South Gate was not an easy decision for Mrs.Esturo. For her it is a difficult goodbye because of the friendships she has created with everyone she works with; it is hard to leave behind the people one has known for so long. Not only is it difficult for her to leave her friends but it is also extremely difficult leaving all her students, as for Ms. Esturo, helping kids is her purpose in life. Now that she is sent to leave, it is extremely difficult to not be able to help, For her, signing the prom forms or making sure students’ attendance goes up meant everything. Her 31 years of service to South Gate were the best to happen to her. It gave her life purpose and meanning. On behalf of the Rambler staff we wish you the best on your retirment.

The Use of Art in Women’s Rights Movement

By Alejandra Gonzalez

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, feminism placed an emphasis on cultural battles. Art had an important role that allowed women were allowed to express their experiences freely to show the world they’ve been ignored for too long. The most powerful tool to express their struggles as women is nonetheless through art in all it’s forms. Women were able to reclaim what had deemed them as less. Since it was men who painted women were often misinterpreted objects in the cultural art world. Although there’s no doubt some of them are world’s greatest artworks, it was time to bring to light the achievements of women in the field.

Despite the little spotlight on women’s work there are, a few notable works/artists: for example;  Linda Nochlin, an art historian, questioned through her article’s title Why Have There Been No Great Women Artist? The answer likely lies in the fact that women are neglected as artists. In 1964 Yoko Ono performed her Cut Piece. She had sat on the floor in a traditional, passive Japanese pose and let complete strangers cut pieces of her clothes until she was naked. This act was loudly protesting violence against women and it was the first of its kind to cry out for women’s rights. While challenging the domestic roles expected of women, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, the “maintenance artist” as part of her Maintenance Art manifesto, performed in an art gallery by cleaning it in 1969. 

With a few named works, women changed the political culture that revolve important issues through the use of art. Their artistic work continues to inspire new generations of young women artists and fighters for women’s rights, while bringing issues to light in creative ways that did get attention internationally and is still talked about today. It is fair to say that the impact of feminism certainly improved the status of women’s rights, even though there is still more to be done.

Categories Art

RAMbotics: The Story of Mr.Scraps

By Jessica Ramirez

        Our very own South Gate High School Robotics team made a historic appearance this March at the 2019 FIRST Robotics Competition’s LA Regionals, where we competed for the first time. As we all know, South Gate is not STEM specialized, and therefore opportunities in math, science, and technology are not always available. Seeking to open our school to the field of STEM, current senior Ashley Perez founded the club in 2017 and the club has since grown from a small idea to an unprecedented reality. Thanks to the hard work of our members, leadership staff, and mentor, Mr.Moraila, South Gate High School Robotics was able to not only participate alongside 50+ schools from all over the country, but excel as a Rookie (first-year) team and qualify for the World Championships in Houston, Texas. Behind this unexpected success, however, were endless hours of hard work, commitment, and teamwork that went into building our robot, Mr.Scraps.

           As aforementioned, our school is not traditionally STEM oriented which only made it more difficult to gain the support, resources, and professional mentorship needed to excel in such a high level of competition that FIRST represents. With the help of board members, Esteban Flores (Vice President), Andy Cristales (Co-Treasurer), Juan Flores (Co-Treasurer), and myself (Secretary), Ashley made this competition a reality. Once the $6,000 registration fee required to participate in the competition was paid, we received a kit of parts from which we had to plan, design, construct, and program a fully functioning industrial size robot in six weeks. At this point, we realized the magnitude of the task at hand, especially given our VERY limited resources. The storage room next to Mr.Moraila’s classroom became our workshop and meeting place three to four days a week. 

         The club’s 15 members took turns helping with the design, electrical, and technical aspects of the robot and soon we became like a family and constantly working together to conquer this intimidating project. When working out of the storage room became difficult, we saw ourselves having to go from garage to garage trying to find a work space where we had access to the necessary tools. Once again our lack of funding became an issue, as we had to borrow tools from individual members’ homes in order to complete the construction of Mr. Scraps. It was not the most ideal situation. Feeling the time pressure on us, we reached out to Jordan High School’s Robotics team, who were helpful in helping configure the technical parts of the robot. Unfortunately, our six week deadline was approaching and we were not able to include the main design components that would allow Mr. Scraps to complete the assigned task: place hatch panels on cargo ships and carry a ball into those same cargo ships. We had no other option but to stop construction and dedicate our robot to playing defense.

          On March 21, a handful of our members went down to the Convention Center from 8 am-6 pm for registration day. There, we met many teams from all over the state, and even from Chile, who had nearly 20 years of experience participating in FIRST. Seeing the sheer size of other teams’ robots, we knew we stuck out as the clear underdogs and truthfully did not expect to be successful. Our spirits quickly changed, however, when neighboring teams showed up to our pit willingly offering their assistance. With the help of over 10 other robotics teams, we were able to get Mr.Scraps moving and set up a defensive game plan for qualification matches the following day. If it had not been for the friendly, more experienced teams at the competition, Mr. Scraps would not have even moved and our hard work would have been for naught. Sticking to our defensive strategies, our team, #7871, was able to provide defensive play to our alliance and avoided being the last-ranking team throughout Friday’s and Saturday’s qualification matches. Despite our better-than-expected performance, Mr. Scraps ultimately ended with a ranking of 44 out of 56 competing teams. At that point, we were relieved about not coming in last.

        Once again, our hopes changed later that Saturday when the Award Ceremony began. We were one of two Rookie teams that competed at the LA Regionals and would thus be considered for the two Rookie Awards, meaning we had a 50/50 chance of being recognized. The other first-year team was awarded the “Rookie Inspiration Award” which recognized their teamwork abilities and dedication. To our surprise, the highest-ranking Rookie team would not be automatically awarded the “Rookie All-Star Award”, but rather the most deserving all-around team would. Sure enough, our team number 7871 was announced and we were being recognized as the 2019 FIRST Robotics Rookie All-Star Team, qualifying us for the World Championships to be held in Houston, Texas! Shock, disbelief, and excitement overcame us, and we were proud of what we managed to accomplish. Here are some words from our club advisor, Mr.Moraila: “I want to tell you guys how proud I am of what you were able to accomplish. You are well deserving of this award based off all the adversity you faced these past couple days. You guys learned to much from each other, from other teams, and most importantly about each other. What you guys faced is real life. Pressure. Deadlines. Collaboration”.

Although we initially had our hearts set out on making it to Houston for the Championships in April, we soon realized we would not able to afford this $15,000 trip due to our lack of funding and short deadline. We had not fundraised enough as a club for such a large trip, nor did we have access to all the tools we needed to make improvements to Mr. Scraps. Unfortunately, we did not reach our fundraising goal and saw no other option but to shift our focus to the club’s future. Having gained such a valuable experience through this competition, our club members were able to grow in a variety of skill sets from wiring and coding to networking and public relations. The undeniable benefits that Robotics Club introduced to South Gate High School has sparked a new interest in STEM among our students. We hope to once again compete in the FIRST competition and qualify for the World Championship next year.


Downey Insane Asylum

By: Samantha Perez

The “Downey Insane Asylum” is often used to refer the abandoned building located near South Gate. However, this name often paints a negative picture of what this hospital once was. Originally named “Rancho Los Amigos”, this facility was built in the year 1888. It served as a safe place for all the homeless, disabled, mentally ill, and the elderly with no home or family. 

Patients were able to work in the gardens, tend to the small animals, create crafts and woodworks, and also receive therapy.     The hospital flourished and became well known until the Long beach earthquake of 1933 hit and changed everything forever. Many victims from the earthquake flooded to the hospital, urging the staff to allow them in. After so many people’s traumatizing 

stories, Grace Wagner, the secretary of the establishment became emotionally unstable and committed suicide by jumping out of her office window.     As World War II approached in the year 1939, the U.S. army turned Rancho Los Amigos into Camp Morrow where soldiers were stationed. Slowly but surely, the hospital began to gradually move into another location. Up until 

1988, 100 years after its initial opening, the hospital turned into a storage space and an area used for U.S. Marines to train in an open field. One day, as the marines participated in drills, a group of troops opened a freezer and they discovered a box of amputated body parts. It was confirmed by Judy Hammond, an L.A. County spokeswoman that the box was in fact filled 

with 10 legs, some feet, and bits of brain matter. It is unknown exactly what occurred within the facility while it was opened, but it is suspected by locals that satanic rituals were performed within the facility.    To this day, many locals claim screams were often heard, and they feel a sinister presence as a they pass by the abandoned facility.

Being LGBTQ in a Hispanic home: Eddy’s Story

By: Jessica Ramirez

Being part of the LGBTQ+ community is oftentimes surrounded by social stigmas that are furthered by traditional cultural norms. Conservative ideals, especially those found in older Hispanic generations, cause people to have trouble accepting others for who they are, which can create conflict for those who do identify as LGBTQ+. In addition to the general social pressures, strict and conservative families make it difficult to feel welcomed and accepted. One South Gate student, Eduardo Cholico, exemplifies this situation in his struggle to find acceptance in his Hispanic home.

A current senior, 17-year-old Eddy, comes from a family of eight, but lives with two brothers, one of which is his twin, an older brother, and his parents. Growing up, he remembers never really questioning his sexuality but knowing he liked boys and simply being himself, or as he describes it, “being in my own little world”. In elementary school, people began noticing and insulting him for his mannerism, saying he walked and talked like a girl. Eddy remembers struggling to conform with the labels of “LGBTQ”, but eventually identifying as genderqueer. To him this means being his own person somewhere in between male and female, or as others deem him, a very feminine boy. As he grew up, Eddy always knew he was attracted to other males but was drawn to females when it came to friendships.  

While he never officially came out to his parents, Eddy always felt as though his sexuality was established but ignored. He recalls a time in 6th grade when he was writing a letter to a boy confessing his feelings, when his dad walked into his room and demanded to see the letter. With tears in his eyes, Eddy’s dad asked if he knew what that letter meant. Taking ownership of his feelings, Eddy said that he did, in fact, know what his words meant. Since then, his sexuality has been a quiet subject and only been addressed once more in 10th grade. He remembers being in the car with his mom when a very inspirational song played and he just simply declared that he liked boys. Feeling as though he needed to confirm something that was never acknowledged, Eddy officially came out to his mom in a very sudden and unplanned way. In response, she said that regardless of anything he is still her son and will be loved no matter what, but Eddy knew that it would be difficult for her to ever be fully accepting of his identity.

Coming from a Mexican household, conservative ideals are dominantly present in Eddy’s home life. His dad has been especially unforgiving, claiming to have stopped believing in God and almost entirely refusing to talk to him . His dad especially favors his twin, Benji, who to him, embodies the ideal masculine son. “Machismo” is a form of toxic masculinity that plays a big role in why Eddy’s dad is so intolerant of his identity. There is little communication between them not only because of his dad’s blatant rejection, but because Eddy is fearful of fully expressing himself. His dad believes that “boys shouldn’t act like that” and wishes that he would just subject to male gender norms. His mom on the other hand, tries to be accepting but Eddy knows she does not agree with some of his behaviors and choices. Eddy explains, “She loves me as a son, but not me as a person”. Having been the school dance team’s captain in the beginning of his senior year, competitions and performances required him to feel confident and empowered, which is something he felt from wearing makeup. His mom, however, is adamant about him not wearing makeup, seeing it as a too-obvious manifestation of his sexuality. Eddy explains that most of her concern is for his safety because she knows that there are homophobic people out in the world who express their hate in many, often violent, ways. Despite this, to him makeup is a form of expression that allows him to feel confident, which is why he continues wearing it regardless of his parents’ disapproval. His actions are often scrutinized by both his mom and dad, who look for any excuse to discourage his feminine behavior. In addition to that, the lack of communication on the topic makes it difficult to overcome these differences of opinion and results in a strained family dynamic. Over time Eddy has come to realize that his parents were raised in a very different time and environment, which accounts for their lack of understanding. Regardless, he knows that they will always love him, but will never fully accept the person he is. 

Eddy is one of countless other members of the LGBTQ+  community that struggle with finding acceptance within their families and communities. He believes that a big reason why this happens is because of the desperate need for labels in society. Labels were originally imposed by people who needed a way of classifying people who are different, but Eddy explains that the LGBTQ+ community has embraced them as a way of providing unification for homosexual minorities and eliminate their negative connotations. Nonetheless, he recognizes that while labels and titles are not important to him, he accepts the fact that they help others understand and respect the differences that make us all unique. 

Respect, acceptance, and support are some of the main things that make Eddy and other LGBTQ+ members feel confident being who they are. He details the importance of accepting yourself despite what others may  think: “At the end of the day regardless of what happens at home, I still find a way to be open with myself as a person, seeing as I am more than proud of my differences regarding my sexual orientation… it is important to feel comfortable and safe just being honest about who you are because no one should have to keep that a secret. I personally am not afraid to flaunt my sexuality and I want to encourage others to do the same, as we can be all the better for it and make the world more accepting of who we are as individuals”. Wise beyond his years, Eddy is an example for many other young LGBTQ+ members who struggle understanding their own identity and seek the freedom to express themselves openly; it is okay to need encouragement and support, but it is always most important to stay true to yourself.


E-Dating: Is it a real relationship?

By Amy Manzinas

Getting attached to an online person way sound crazy, however, talking to people whom one has never met is not something new or out of the extraordinary. Ever heard of pen-pals? People have been writing to others from foreign countries since the early 1900s and throughout time, the mail correspondences evolved into emails and texts to fit the modern world.

Whether it’s through fandoms, gaming or social media, it has become easier to encounter “random” people on the internet and build friendships with them. It is no doubt that people do it all the time and that online friendships have become a natural thing. When it comes to dating, it is no surprise that people use apps, such as Tinder or Bumble, to meet others. The interweb is an accessible outlet where most of get to explore their interests. So why not do the same with love interests? The foundations of what makes a relationship stay consistent; it’s all about mutual sentiment. As long you’re safe about it, you shouldn’t feel restricted to dating friends from your clique.

The Start of Something New

By Aranza Carrillo and Emely Martinez

Junior year is a great time to start thinking about college admissions. Instead of stressing about the process during the fall of your senior year, get ahead of the game and start planning now. Here are a couple of things you can do now as a junior in high school that can help your case as a college applicant next year.

Finish Strong: Many counselors will argue junior year grades are the most important in college admissions. When you are applying to colleges in the fall, the second semester of junior year will be the final grades you will report at the time of the application submission. Therefore, it is very important to finish the year strong.

Connect with teachers: Get to know your teachers and let them get to know you on a personal level. Colleges will need recomendation letters and it’s always best to have a letter that can speak highly about a student. 

Continue preparing for the SAT and ACT: Some colleges require the SAT or ACT; those test scores will play a role in the college admissions decisions. In adittion, many colleges use your test scores to determine financial aid. 

So, not only does a better score give you a boost in admissions, but it can pay off big time in the form of financial aid. 

Stay Involved: Get out of your shell and join as many clubs as possible. The more you are involved, whether through clubs, sports or community service, the more competitive you will look on your college application.

Avoid time consuming distractions: It is very easy to lose track of time, therefore it is very important to avoid distractions. Get used to this habit and you will be able to reduce the chance of getting “senioritis” next year.Start planning your summer activities: After all the hard work you’ve achieved this school year, make fun plans with friends or family this summer.  Relax and enjoy your break, you deserve it. It’s important to prepare for senior year.