Vol. 52 Senior Goodbyes

Vincent Cortes, Editorial Editor

  Before I even realized, three years had passed: three years of being an esteemed member of Paw Prints Weekly. As I’m writing my final contribution to this program, I’d like to sum up my last year in one word: Goombas!

  Of course, you, the reader have no idea what this means, so let me explain. Goombas is the group of people I sat with this year (and is *ahem* also what C*ll**n calls me, but in all honesty, I think she’s just self-projecting). They are my fellow seniors who are also departing this program, and I want to first and foremost thank them for making this year full of joy and laughter. 

  I clearly remember showing up to my interview my freshman year. A wall of unfamiliar faces surrounded me, and I was terrified. Over time, however, some of those unfamiliar faces became amazing friends who I’d go to about anything. Of course, I joined journalism because I liked writing, but I ended up discovering a niche and family of my own (you guys know who you are hehe). 

  Funnily enough, I had no idea how a newspaper worked nor the material a school newspaper would write. I remember thinking to myself, “Would I have to just cover current events at school?” Good thing we didn’t. Though I am really biased, Perspectives and Editorial are my favorite sections—and not because I was editor for both sections—but because they gave me a voice to express my opinions no matter how polarizing, even if got backlash (see the Facebook comments to Cartoons today are lacking in depth, hurting society)

  Journalism has brought me so many opportunities and at the same time, responsibilities. Fun Fact! Editors don’t have to write themselves. However, in my opinion, editing is way more difficult because, in order to edit, you need to know why writing sounds good and the fundamentals of grammar. It’s a herculean task that has also elevated my writing to new heights to the point where I leave out the EM DASH in English class (and get points taken off because it’s somehow “wrong” >:[ )

  Journalism is a program filled with tons of inside jokes and filled with even more amazing people. I owe my biggest thanks to everyone there and it has been a privilege being your Editorial editor.

  However, I owe my biggest gratitude to the Editors-in-Chief Emma and Carol and our advisor Mrs.Robles. Without a doubt, they kept this ship sailing and are an example of hard work and dedication. 

  Running a journalism program takes a village, specifically a village of sleep-deprived caffeine-driven high schoolers. To the past and current editors, our advisor and writers your impact on me will never be forgotten: as a writer and as a person.

Vincent will be attending UCR in the fall as a political science major. He isn’t totally sure what he wants to pursue, but he wants to be an activist and fight for minority rights.

Colleen Gapuzan, Entertainment Editor

Ayo, quarantine senior goodbye check!

   I honestly don’t know where to begin. Looking back, if someone had told me that the Class of 2020 would end up being one of the most unique graduating classes ever, I wouldn’t disagree. 

  I could go on and on about how this quarantine season has impacted me in ways I wouldn’t have dreamed possible. For example, instead of going home at 8pm everyday after rehearsals, it’s safe to say that my free time has immensely increased. I remember crying every night the first week of quarantine, questioning why out of all the graduating classes, this had to happen to us. All of our plans, hopes, events—gone. 

  A month later, I’m so blessed to say that I’ve come so far from questioning all of the negatives into full acceptance of our unique situation. I’ve grown so much in learning more about myself and getting closer to my family than I’ve ever had and I’ll forever be thankful. 

  Writing has always been a passion close to my heart and I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to continue what I love throughout high school. Paw Prints Weekly is definitely such a unique experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything and I’m so blessed to have met so many new people in the process.

  To Carol and Emma, you will always be two of my favorite juniors (now seniors whaa) and I’m so glad to have met you both. Carol, YOU ARE SUCH A SWEET SOUL and I swear if anyone hurts you I will personally hunt them down. Thank you for always being willing to listen to my rants and for giving me the best advice. You radiate so much positive energy, and that’s something so rare to have. To Emma, sis we go way back. I love how we met through your brother HAHA and ended up reuniting three years later. You both are two of some of the most hardworking people I know and I can’t wait to have our banquet five years later to acknowledge all of your guys’ accomplishments. I’ll miss you cuties.

    Okay, my GOOMBAS, I love you three.

  To my FAVORITE ABG Filipina Ana-Sofia, I am so glad that you joined this year. You genuinely have a true gift, and it was an honor to edit all of your entertainment articles. Your writing has inspired me so much, you have no idea. Aside from your writing, thank you for putting up with me in general. I’m sorry for putting you on the spot sometimes and forcing you to go to Jollibee even though you don’t like it like a normal Filipino. Thank you for supporting me in my life choices HAHA and best believe you’ll be my children’s godmother. Good luck in UCSB kapatid, I’m visiting sooonn.

  To V*nc*nt, ugh. Bye! Kidding.

  To GOOMBA, I don’t know what to say. You literally lied to me about your Tik Tok but it’s whatever. I don’t know whether or not to thank you for bullying me for 4 years or for annoying me so much to the point where I just start laughing. Even though I hate you the majority of the time (not really ok), I guess you’re like pretty great or whatever. Ever since you popped off in Mr. Thompson’s class during freshman year when no one else answered, I knew you were special. I’ve never met anyone so politically inclined and outspoken as you, in addition to being such a talented (ig) writer. Reading this now, you probably mentally corrected my grammar five plus times so sorry not sorry about it. You’re one of those rare types of people who thrive in literally anything they put their mind to, and I’m excited to see what you do in the future. Thank you for being you, and for being there for me throughout high school, I appreciate you a lot. Don’t miss me too much or I’m not voting for you in the next presidential election. I’ll miss you, k bye.

  To SHIRLEEN aka PRASHANT (also goomba), I love you so much. You’re one of the few people I can genuinely ask: where have you been all my life? Like tell me where. UGH. It’s funny how we knew each other for years but never really talked—a mistake. Thank you for always making me laugh till I get abs and for getting my humor. We relate so much when it comes to literally anything: food, traveling, people—it’s insane. I’ll never forget our ELAJEA experience when we literally caught up seven years in a 20 minute car ride. Also, it’s safe to say that Starbucks will forever be THE home to our favorite doppelgangers, and we love them. Thank you for being one of my top supporters and my favorite subscriber. You’re truly one of a kind and I can’t wait to backpack through Europe with you in like a year. I know we won’t miss each other too much because we’re calling everyday anyways. You’re going to do amazing things sis, love Jollibhea. #USC2024 

  To Ms. Robles, REMY (our mascot forever) and the rest of the Paw Prints Staff, thank you all for choosing to keep this program alive. This was such a unique experience that I’m so thankful to have been a part of. Journalism will always hold a special place in my heart, thank you for everything.

  To Volume 53, I’m excited to see what you all put out next year, y’all are going to thrive. 

Colleen will be attending Fullerton College in the fall majoring in Television/Film acting. She plans to transfer to Pepperdine or USC to get her BFA in Acting. She hopes to move to Paris one day, or if not, will continue to travel around the world & vlog.

YouTube: colleen gapuzan 


Ana-Sofia Munoz, Staff Writer

I guess this is goodbye.

  If I have one major regret about high school, it’s that I didn’t join Paw Prints Weekly sooner.

  At the end of junior year, I found myself with space for an extra class. Having always admired the work that Paw Prints published, I decided to apply for the program. I never would have imagined that I would become attached to this program and its members so quickly.

  Although I have only been part of the program for one year, I have come to find that I have never experienced anything quite as rewarding or gratifying as being a member of this staff. 

  From the very start of the school year, navigating the writing process and meeting the weekly deadlines never felt daunting. I have probably learned more about writing while being in Paw Prints than I have in any of my four years of English class. 

  However, I think the most important aspect of this program by far is the incredible people that make it up. 

  Even with such a small staff, every week I’m astounded by the work that this group has been able to produce.

  To Emma and Carol, the weekly issues that we produce would not be possible without all of the hard work you do. The two of you have always shown how committed you are to our little staff, and I’m grateful beyond words that you have been so helpful to me as a newcomer to the program. I know both of you will finish high school strongly and go far in whatever you choose to pursue. (Sorry for pushing deadlines to the very last second this whole year!)

  As a whole, all of the editors this year have put in so much hard work. You somehow managed to take every one of my articles, no matter how rough, and turn it into something worth reading.

  Most importantly, the friendships that I have formed this year and the ways that this program has helped me grow, not just as a writer, but as a person, have truly made me who I am now. To the other seniors in the staff: sharing this last year alongside you has been one of the best parts of high school and I’m glad we were able to spend every morning together in class. You have all made being in journalism the highlight of my year.

  I have a newfound love for writing and can honestly say I am proud to have been able to take part in something so worthwhile. To the Vol. 52 staff: thank you for everything.

Ana-Sofia will be attending UCSB in the fall as an English major. She hopes she can use the skills she learned in Journalism as a tool to advocate for minorities and the disadvantaged. 🙂

Shirleen Kwong, Artist

I’m finally writing for Paw Prints!! I’ve never been good at writing or saying goodbyes, so I honestly have no idea how to start. It feels as if I’m going through a breakup, and I’ve never even been through an actual one.

  Towards the end of my junior year, I realized I’ve been busy filling my schedules with AP classes and tutoring, and found that I’ve left out a complete part of myself throughout high school. 

  Paw Prints has not only brought back my interests in drawing and creating, but also became my one motivation to even go to school.  Senioritis did hit, but because I genuinely enjoyed this first period class, I was able to make it through my final year without shrinking back into my depressed and slumped previous self. Being able to surround myself with such amazing people every morning gave me motivation to get through the rest of my classes. 

  Because of this program, I  found that I’ve grown to be way more outgoing and sociable. It’s also made me more aware of the things going on around the world…  thanks to current events every week. I can’t express how much I regret not joining earlier.

  Hi Jollibheacolleen! I remember being in Braun’s publications class together, but we’ve never really talked. Being able to reconnect was a miracle. We surprisingly had a lot in common, and the vibes are ALWAYS high. I’ll always remember Starbucks at ELAJEA with the Joker and The Weeknd. Your energy and positivity inspires me to be a better person every day. I know you’re going to do great things in the future, and I can’t wait to see you thrive on YouTube… I’ll buy your merch!! Also, I get the dragonfruit drink every Starbucks run now and we 100% have telepathy. LET’S TRAVEL TOGETHER. 

  To Annie M, I’m so happy we got even closer this year. You’re always the person I can openly talk to about anything, and I’m so, so grateful for our friendship. Your writing and work ethic is incredible. I’d go on your articles a lot and you’d always ask me if I was Anonymous [Animal], but your writing amazes me every time. Thanks for always being there for deep talks and spontaneous food runs like Panera. Your humor and outfits hit different and good luck at UCSB because you deserve all the best! 

  Thank you, Trapnvince (em dash). I’ve actually really gotten into astrology/horoscopes because of you and it’s given me so much insight on life and inspiration throughout this year. I was able to find myself again at one of the lowest points. Your ability to write such good articles in such a short amount of time is insane and you always have the best current event articles LOL. You’re a KING and I’ll see you at UCR!

  To Emma and Carol,  thanks for playing such major roles in this program, keeping us on track the entire year, and making the class something I look forward to everyday. It was always easy to come to you guys for questions or advice. I know Volume 53 will be even better, and I can’t wait for all the new articles and success!!

  Thank you Mrs. Robles for being such a great advisor, bringing together an amazing group of people, and organizing all our events. I really wish I had joined earlier. The memories I’ve made in this class are ones I’ll cherish forever, and I’ve really  grown a lot from being in Paw Prints Weekly.

  To the entire staff, it was amazing working with everyone and I know you all have a lot of potential in writing, art, graphic design, and photography. I wish you all the best! I’m also really grateful for the countless current events you’ve shared 🙂

  Even though our year’s been cut short, I’m glad we’ve been able to connect with each other in quarantine. 100,000+ hits on our website is unbelievable. Some tiktokers haven’t even reached that number of views. Others may have, but Paw Prints truly deserves all the hype. RIP Remy.

Shirleen will be attending UC Riverside majoring in biology, and hopefully do something related to forensics or become a flight attendant. She also wants to move to Seattle and continue her Starbucks addiction 🙂


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