EppsNet Archive: Northwood High School

A Sound Sleeper


A girl who’s going to be a senior at Northwood came over to the house this morning to borrow my son’s AP U.S. History study guide. He took the class last year. Last night, he told his mom to wake him up at 8:30. At 9 this morning, there was a knock on the front door. The boy pulled on a baseball cap, took out his retainer, pasted a big smile on his face and answered it. He gave the book to the girl and she gave him a doughnut. When she left, he went back to bed. “Wake me up at 11:30,” he said to his mom. “What are you going to do in college when I’m not there to wake you up?” she asked. “I’ll be fine.” His mom and I have been waking him up for 18 years. The past few days, he’s started setting an alarm… Read more →

Northwood 2011 College Decisions


Unlike highly recruited athletes, kids who are highly recruited academically don’t get to go on TV and turn over hats so everyone knows what college they’re going to. Northwood doesn’t have highly recruited athletes, so there’s a Facebook site where they can check in and state their college choice. Also unlike athletes, who are evaluated on a 5-star scale, Northwood students are evaluated on a 3-star scale, according to the commencement program that I have right here in front of me: *** = Highest honors (4.3 GPA or above)  ** = High honors (4.0 or above, but below 4.3)   * = Honors (Not sure; close to a 4.0 but not quite there) It looks like Cal got the best recruiting class this year with three 3-star prospects and no one lower than 2 stars. USC and Stanford each got one 3-star recruit, as did Harvard and Yale. To the kids… Read more →

Live Like a Jackass, Die Like a Jackass


To anyone who misses Ryan Dunn, may I suggest that you honor his memory by getting drunk and driving your car into a tree. The tragedy here is that Bam Margera wasn’t in the car with him. I object to having these guys introduced into my life via front-page headlines. Why is Ryan Dunn’s death more noteworthy than any other moron with a fast car and a drinking problem? Because he shoved a toy car up his ass? Here in our neighborhood in Irvine, we had a drunk guy a few weeks ago run a red light at Irvine and Culver and smash his truck into a car containing a father, his 14-year-old daughter and three of her friends on their way home from a birthday party. One of the girls, a freshman at Northwood High School, was killed. The fact that Ryan Dunn killed himself and a 30-year-old man… Read more →

Graduation Still Life


Time passes. Listen. Time passes. . . . — Dylan Thomas, Under Milk Wood Unlike Paul Cézanne, I didn’t spend hours setting this up. I captured it just the way it looked when I came downstairs this morning. As one chapter ends, another begins. For the kids — most of them — the next chapter is college; for the parents, old age and death. Happy Thursday, everybody! Read more →

Prom Night


The Irvine high schools — Northwood and University — have prom tonight. Our boy goes to Northwood but he’s attending the Uni prom with a girl from that fine institution. I met her. She seems nice. She’s going to Stanford in the fall. Our boy is going to Cal. Opposites attract. Today is also the girl’s birthday, so the boy is paying for dinner. “Did you see a birth certificate or a drivers license verifying that today is really her birthday?” I ask him. “Not to suggest that women are looking to take advantage of a man if he lets his guard down, but did you see the birth certificate or drivers license?” Woodbridge and Irvine High — the weak links in the Irvine chain of education — may have prom tonight too, I don’t know. Nobody cares about those schools. Read more →



My kid played his last high school concert last night. The last piece was a mambo number that showcased the percussion section. People got a chance to see their musicianship, that they’re not just kids who hit things because they can’t play a real instrument. There were four Northwood groups performing, followed by an orchestra from Mt. SAC. It was a long program and we decided to leave after the last high school group. In the parking lot, a bus driver standing next to his vehicle asked us in an Eastern European accent, “Is the concert over?” “No,” I said. “There’s one more group.” “The college!” he said. “Right.” “I brought them!” he said proudly. “You not going to listen to them? They good!” He was almost beside himself with disbelief. “Yeah, no,” I said, “but thanks for making us feel bad about ourselves.” Read more →



My kid plays his last high school hockey game(s) tonight — semis at 7, finals (maybe) around 9. Read more →

Field Hours


It has come to my attention that Northwood High kids can get “field hours” for Environmental Science by visiting zoos and watching movies at the Spectrum. How lame is that? Shouldn’t they have to rescue a seagull or something? Read more →

Quick Thinking


My kid is in San Francisco with a Northwood High musical group. Among the chaperones is the school principal. We don’t like her. More on that later. “Avoid the temptation to push her in front of a cable car,” I advised the boy. “Why?” he asked. “Well . . .” Now I had to think of something. “Because her fat ass would derail the thing, costing innocent people their lives.” Read more →

Baggage Buddies: How to Save $3,500 on a Flight from OC to SF


A large group of kids from the music program at Northwood High School are traveling to San Francisco next week. Half are flying up on United and half are flying on Southwest. As you probably know, Southwest doesn’t charge for checked luggage. United does. Each kid on the United flight will give his or her suitcase to a “baggage buddy” on the Southwest flight. Each Southwest kid will check two bags while each United kid will check none. Using this arrangement on both legs of the trip cuts the travel cost by $3,500. Read more →

Northwood Basketball Awards


Here are the awards from last night’s basketball banquet at the Tustin Ranch Golf Club. Read more →

Hamlet Backwards


This semester’s AP English final is on Beloved, a depressing novel enjoyed by no one. “I need an 87 on the final to get an A in the class,” my boy says. “That sounds manageable,” I say. “Not really. I knew Hamlet backward and forward and on that test I got an 86.” “What is Hamlet backward? It’s Telmah, right?” Read more →

The Elevated Scrub


For most of the season, my boy’s been one of the kids who only plays in the last few minutes of blowouts. He’d like to play more but he’s never been on a basketball team before. To me, the fact that he tried out at all is a win, making the team is icing on the cake, and whatever happens after that is up to him and the coach. He told me he’s had some of his best practices lately, and in last night’s game, he got in for a few minutes in the third quarter and then played the whole fourth quarter. “I’ve elevated myself from scrub to super scrub,” he said. Read more →

Trying Out for Basketball


My boy tried out for varsity basketball at Northwood this year. He likes basketball, but he’s never played on a team before. He plays roller hockey at a pretty high level, and if you break it down to fundamentals, basketball and hockey are pretty similar: you score goals at one end, defend the goal at the other end, and play together as a team. He practiced a lot and worked out a lot and he made the squad. I’m proud of him for trying out. When I was a high schooler, I could easily talk myself out of trying anything where I had a good chance of embarrassing myself in front of my peers. Read more →

High School Confidential


I ask my boy how school’s going this year, his senior year in high school. “It’s okay,” he says. “I don’t enjoy it that much but I do it anyway.” When we get to the subject of his English teacher, he says, “He’s fine, other than he’s got a Napoleon complex and spends the entire class talking about himself. I know everything about him and I’ve learned nothing about poetry. “He has a two-year-old daughter and another daughter six months old. He coaches a cross-country team. He considers himself the greatest runner of all time. We don’t know what pain is because he has a messed-up knee and he runs on it anyway. “He thinks Mr. Plette [the AP History teacher] is soft because Mr. Plette give higher grades than he does but don’t tell Plette he said that because Plette’s his boy. “He’s a San Francisco Giants fan. He’s… Read more →

Twitter: 2010-06-27


Did You Know? Benny Feilhaber attended Northwood High School in Irvine! # Read more →

Northwood High School, Irvine, CA


— I see you’ve got a real international student body here. — Um, not really. It’s 49.6 percent Asian, 49.6 percent white and 0.8 percent everything else. Try finding a black kid. — I’ve seen a couple of black kids. They play football. — Try finding one in a classroom. Try finding a Mexican kid. If a Mexican kid walks on campus, the whole school goes into soft lockdown. Read more →

Grand Slam


Northwood High had a roller hockey game last night against Newport Harbor. After my kid fired several pucks off the post and off the goalie’s face mask, a couple of his teammates invented a new stat — the Grand Slam: four goals, four assists, four shots off the post and four shots off the goalie’s head. He missed out on the Grand Slam by two goals and one assist. Read more →

Tips for Test Takers


My son has a math test today. He was up till 3 a.m. studying for it. In my experience, a positive mindset is essential to successful test-taking, so on the drive to school, I give him a piece of advice. “Walk into the classroom,” I say, “look at the teacher and lay down a challenge, like ‘Let’s do it.’” “It’s not her test,” the boy says. “What does that mean?” “It means every class takes the same test — Schneider, D’Antonio . . .” “THAT DOESN’T MATTER,” I say. “The important thing is to lay down the challenge. ‘Stop bitin’ on my styles.’ Granted, that one doesn’t make any sense, but it gives you the positive mental framework that you need for mathematical success.” Read more →

How to Get an A in Hell


At Northwood High School, Honors Euro Lit is known by its acronym — HEL (pronounced hell) — and widely regarded as the hardest class at the school. In order to get an A in the class for the first semester, my son needed a very high score — around a 98 — on the final exam, didn’t get it, and finished with a semester grade of 89.27 — a high B. If he’d had at least an 89.5, the teacher would have rounded it up to an A. So out of 1,000+ possible points over the course of the semester, an 89.27 means you missed an A by only three or four points. I’ve always encouraged the boy to be proactive with his teachers. Some people call this “sucking up” but I’ve been a teacher myself and I can tell you that teachers like students who are engaged and make… Read more →

Next Page »