HHS clubs host Green Fair to inform about sustainability

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he HHS Green Ops and Key clubs hosted a Green Fair on Friday, April 17 to celebrate Green Week after Earth Day.

This is the first time that Green Fair has been an event held at HHS. In previous years, Green Ops hosted guest speakers to discuss environmental issues.

“[The purpose is] to teach students about different things that they can do to make our community a greener place and also educate them about different issues that are going on in our environment,” club president and senior Emma Chan said.

Club members and officers set up various tables and handed out fliers related to sustainability and raising awareness about environmental issues, junior Helen Wang said. They had guest speakers and worked with a variety of clubs to provide information regarding Green Week.

“We had Design It and Engineering club make posters and we had FBLA hand out reusable bags,” Chan said.

The bags were a great success overall, Chan said. This got students more excited to learn information about sustainability in our community.

The activities offered to students, thus allowing for multiple learning opportunities, is what makes Green Fair unique, Wang said.

One way that sustainability was taught to students was through a “smoothie bike.”  Green Ops officers, such as Chan, participated in pedaling a bike in order to generate enough power to blend eco-friendly smoothies to show that saving the environment can be delicious.

Class of 2018 cuts loose at Panther Beach

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very year, seniors across the country participate in senior ditch day, meant to celebrate the near-completion of high school and the beginning of a new chapter in students’ lives.

This year, while some chose to spend the day in San Francisco or elsewhere, the main event took place at Panther Beach on May 11, with hordes of seniors gathering to play beach games, eat and enjoy one another’s company before graduation.

Senior Ashley Pae was among those in attendance, and said the experience was a nice way to end senior year and spend time with her classmates before parting ways in the fall.

“I thought it was a good experience overall, because it’s one of the first times our class could get together and hang out outside of school, regardless of our cliques and friend groups,” Pae said. “Everyone could have a good time and take a day off for once in our four years.”

However, she said there were also some downsides to attending the event, as most teachers advised against students participating in ditch day.

“Some teachers still assigned and planned important things, which was frustrating because ditch day is a tradition and it’s something that everyone should be able to participate in … even if the school doesn’t endorse it,” Pae said.

Though many students chose to kick back at the beach, some seniors, such as Danielle Yoshida, opted to remain at school, whether for assignments or to avoid an unexcused absence.

“I chose to come to school … to watch tapestries [the final project for contemporary literature],” Yoshida said. “Although I wish I was at the beach, it was important to me to watch my classmates’ presentations, because I know how hard I had worked on mine and I wanted to be there and support them.”

With the end of the year approaching, ditch day provided seniors with a chance to let loose and relax together before continuing on to their future endeavors.

 

Three rival schools battle for a spot at CCS

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Photo By Andrea Boyn
HHS competed against Palo Alto and Los Altos High Schools

hile tri-meets are regular for the professional swimming world, March 23 was the first time in HHS swimming history the team participated instead of participating in a regular dual-meet.

Coach Alex Romanko was faced with a scheduling conflict between a student club team event and the LAHS dual-meet. As a solution, the team decided to merge the PAHS vs HHS meet with the LAHS vs HHS dual-meet.

While in a typical duo-meet there may be six competing lanes, during a tri-meet there can be as many as nine.

Incorporating a tri-meet into the season will affect athletes in several different ways. In addition to making the overall season shorter, swimmers will also have one less opportunity to qualify for CCS.

Despite fewer opportunities to compete in CCS, Romanko says that he tries to find as many non-league opportunities that are authorized by CCS  to maintain a good balance.

Less chances to qualify also implies heightened competition. Many athletes agreed with Romanko that the added bodies in the water contributed to a better energy.

“It was pretty fun because it was a more competitive vibe,” junior Brandon Ligeti said. “Even if you lost to one team, there was still a good chance you could have [beat] the other [team].”

Despite the added nerves, HHS dominated the pool. The Mustangs won three of the four meets in the competition and seven out of eight including both boys and girls.

Although HHS will not be participating in any more tri-meets this year, Romanko said he hopes to have the opportunity to hold one again.

Frontier announces winner of writing contest, Tyler Deuel

Students submitted their creative works for Frontier’s writing contest throughout the month of March. The winner, Tyler Deuel, was announced on May 3 with his winning work “My Youth and My Now”.

Winner of Frontier writing contest, Tyler Deuel describes his inspiration behind his winning piece. Photo by Eileen Chih.

Co-Editor-in-Chief Kelly Fesler said that the Frontier writing contest first started as a way to reach out to students interested in writing and to promote involvement in their club.

“We noticed that our member base was pretty small, but we know that there are many writers out there,” Fesler said. “We wanted to find a way to reach out to all of them so our hope by starting this event last year was that we could increase engagement in not only our club but community writing as a school, as a whole.”

Fesler and her co-Editor-in-Chief Jasmine Liu said that each piece is judged by at least two English teachers who volunteer to to judge and give out scores.

“Writing is very subjective, so there’s no real one formula that will produce a winning piece so that’s why we just encourage anyone who has any idea to just write something and submit,” Fesler said.

Winner of Frontier’s writing contest Tyler Deuel said his inspiration for “My Youth and My Now” came from his own experience.

“‘My Youth and My Now’ began with a particular memory when I met my father when I was young for the first time and basically he picked me up and as he was leaving he gave me a dollar and put me back down and then kind of left,” Deuel said.

Deuel said that he became more interested in writing during his junior year through his English class.

“I’ve written stuff before and it’s really something I’ve been into since I was like six, but junior year is really when I kind of sprung forward, when I did the poetry unit, and took it more seriously,” Deuel said.

Fesler also said they accept submissions from students of any creative medium in regular Frontier issues.

“I think a lot of it definitely comes down to taking pride in your own creative work no matter how small you think it is,” Fesler said. “So being able to break out of your shell and publish it to the school and then have other friendly student writers read it, I think can help people grow a lot.”

Football springs back into season

 

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Although football fans may reluctantly put away their banners and green face paint at the end of the fall season, the game is not over for many players.

This spring offseason, for instance, the team maintains a rigorous practice schedule, training Monday to Thursday for two hours each day.

Head Varsity coach Milo Lewis said that the average practice consists of stretching individuals, agilities, 7-on-7 scrimmages and team offense or team defense.

Victory is the most important motivation for many on the team, such as junior Jarrett (“J-Money”)  Conkin and freshman Guy Haiby. Other players, such as junior Hector Sotelo Quiroz, described hopes of building a strong defense.

“It shows in the season, the amount of work you put in in the off season, even if it’s hard,” Haiby said. “You just got to think about, if you put in work now, it’s going to show as result in the field during the season.”

In particular, the team teams in hopes of making playoffs at the De Anza league next year. Although, The team has made it to playoffs at El Camino multiple times in past years, making playoffs at De Anza has been a long-term goal.

“That would the first time that me as the head coach had done it in the De Anza league … and I think that’s what our program is been about,” Lewis said.

However, the team also focuses on personal growth.

“Everybody’s got stronger with what they’re doing right now, compared to when they were freshmen. They’ve never seen what they’ve done and sometime they surprised their own selves,” Lewis said.

Although spring football requires extra dedication from players, junior Ryan (“QB”) D’Amour said it also provides time to learn and grow as a team.

“It’s about winning and really being a team, a football team … like it’s fun to come and just hang out with the team, but like we keep the season in mind a lot of the time” D’Amour said. “We want to do good during the season and it takes a certain amount of hard work.”

The Garlick Press: Unemployment among conservationalists

The school year is ending quickly, and as a second semester senior, I am looking forward to my college experience. In my free time, I’ve been researching my major, environmental science. Within the schools I have applied for, the programs are wonderful, with plenty of opportunities for internships and studying abroad.

I cannot wait to get started on my future, working in labs and publishing papers about pollution levels and the health of local forests.

After getting excited about my major, I started thinking more about where my future degree would take me. I searched for job opportunities that arise from an environmental science degree.

My excitement quickly diminished when I was dismayed to find the lack of employment within these jobs. I scrolled through forums among forums of people who had graduated with similar degrees and had been job-hunting for years, without prevail.

After freaking out for a short while, I wondered why this could be. But after revisiting CNN and ABC news later that day, it was clear what the reason was: our current government. Most of this conflict comes from political figures who refuse to support or believe the proof behind global warming and environmental change.

It makes sense, but baffles me at the same time. Why is it so hard to get hired as an environmental scientist, when global warming is looming over all of us? Yet still we hear about the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) being shut down more and more due to current political standings in the White House.

Hopefully, the future will not be so difficult to compete in for environmental specialists and consultants. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, environmental scientists and specialists should expect employment in their field to grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2029, a rate faster than average occupations.

My hope is that the looming threat of irreversible changes in the weather and our environment will spring every country to action. This may seem dire, but global warming is an imminent threat to the health of everyone on earth, and this field of study and advocacy will step up to solve these issues.

For all my fellow aspiring environmentalists, our efforts will not be in vain to make a difference. Saving the planet will be our job, and protecting our future is in our hands.

What makes a break a good break?

The approach of a break is always a sign of hope for high school students. Break means no early morning alarms, lectures, pop quizzes or tests.

It is often difficult to determine what balance is needed for a break.

It is hailed as a time for rest and relaxation, and for most high school students, as a getaway from school.

Unfortunately, breaks always have an end.

The reality is that when I am on break, the knowledge that it will be over soon and I will have to return to school holds me back from truly enjoying myself. And for some, this thought encourages them to do the opposite, essentially having the “you only live once” break.

This doesn’t necessarily mean going bungee jumping off a cliff, but rather looking past the idea that your break will end, and enjoying the moment.

If you are able to go on a tropical vacation away from home, that’s a wonderful opportunity, but keep in mind that shifting back into school mode after returning home is quite difficult.

At the same time, staying home while studying and doing homework is not much of a break either, which poses the question of how one can create the perfect break.

Think of how much you need this break. If it is a three-day weekend and you don’t feel drained, then stay at home and work on your homework, but set aside some time to go on a hike or shopping with your friends. This way, you are not confined.

But if you just finished a long week of finals and can no longer look at a textbook, then it is best to take some time away from school work and enjoy what makes you happy, so your break is memorable.

Really, it’s about the balance that fulfills your need for a break.

The Hart of the Matter: Gender disparity affects all

For years now, women have outnumbered men in college. In a patriarchal society, this is hugely significant; knowledge is power.

In 2017, women made up 56 percent of students in college, according to the U.S. Department of Education. While this may not seem like a significant difference, that is 2.2 million more women than men.

The gender disparity, though it favors women, is a product of sexism. Gender norms hurt everyone. Although there are many factors affecting the disparity, such as high school graduation rates or a higher likelihood for men to enter prison, a large factor is unwillingness to enter female-dominated fields.

Women have been entering male-dominated fields at higher rates each year. Since Rosie the Riveter in WWII, women have succeeded in traditionally masculine careers, despite barriers against them. They have become doctors, lawyers, scientists and businesspeople. While these fields may still hold more men than women, women are present and rising, which can be seen in the U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau’s annual statistics.

Meanwhile, few men seek female-dominated careers. Traditionally feminine fields such as teaching and nursing have very few males pursuing college degrees in the subject. This is seen in the workforce — according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 90 percent of nurses were women in 2011.

Essentially, women are expanding in career choices, while men refuse to. As a result, more men opt for careers that do not require a college degree but still fit into the traditional notion of masculinity, such as manufacturing or construction.

While no one should feel forced to attend college, men should not feel pressured into any career because of gender roles. The disparity in college attendance is one of many examples of the ways sexism hurts men. Males are conditioned by society to fit into the idea of masculinity, which is a very narrow and fixed concept. Even the traditionally feminine gender roles set for women have wider bounds allowing more freedom.

The point of feminism is not that more women should be in college than men, or more men should be in college. It’s not even that there should be an exactly equal amount of each gender in higher education. There shouldn’t be any societal barriers stopping anyone from pursuing what they truly want.

The incurable disease of senioritis

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here reaches a point in every teen’s life when one realizes their high school is ending. This is called senioritis, and it might as well be an actual, clinical disease.

The early symptoms seem normal. Hitting the submit button on the last college application and beginning to hear back from schools is definitely an incredible feeling.

But the moment I officially committed to the University of Montana, I began thinking less about high school and more about my future and how different my life will be in five months. That’s when senioritis hit me. And, for me, it’s terminal.

Long before my self-diagnosis, I found myself often bored after school. It was hard to get motivated, especially as second semester approached.

So, I took the matters of motivation into my own hands and found myself doing stuff that I actually enjoy. I figured if I found motivation for other things in life, such as a part-time job, school would come easier. However, the opposite occurred.

And that’s when the symptoms really flared up.

Symptom 1: prioritizing sleep over homework.

I don’t get much sleep anymore because I often work late. The loss of sleep makes me lose even more motivation for school. And as a result, I began prioritizing sleep over homework.

Years ago, I would never have even let that thought cross my mind, especially not in junior year.

Symptom 2: excessive tardiness.

As a freshman, I always made sure to show up at least 10 minutes early to school. For the rare times I was late, I would basically get a sick feeling in my gut that lasted all day long.

But now, when I wake up late, since I already know I’m late to class, rather than rushing, I take my time and have a huge breakfast or grab a cup of coffee before sauntering in under the 30 minute “truant tardy” cutoff.

Senioritis is not all bad, however. Experiencing the “disease” has been a learning opportunity for me. Through my job, I have effectively learned how to work on a team and have come to value the significance of a good work ethic. These are skills I could actually apply to my later life and that will help me in the future.

Senioritis allows students to experience what life is like outside of school, and for that reason, we should embrace it as a natural part of life.

So class of 2019, embrace your academic death.

 

JNHS volunteers at Cherry Blossom Festival

Members of JNHS promoted Japanese culture and explained how to play yoyo tsuri. Photo by Eileen Chih.

JNHS members volunteered at the Cherry Blossom Festival held on April 28 and 29 and participated in spreading Japanese culture through a game and interaction with children. JNHS event coordinator Erin Tsai and secretary Kaitlyn Lee said the club attends the event every year.

“It is a really significant holiday in Japan and this year it’s being held at Memorial Park so it’s a way for people here to celebrate Cherry Blossom Festival,” Tsai said.

Lee said this event is different from other volunteer events because they get to organize their own booth instead of volunteering through another organization.

“We do yoyo tsuri, which is like a traditional Japanese festival game where you try to fish yoyos out of a pool of water and it spreads appreciation of Japanese culture,” Lee said. “It’s really fun to play with the little kids, they’re always really excited. It’s fun to explain what it is and talk to people about Japanese culture.”

Sophomore club member Kelly Chow said she always wanted to attend the Cherry Blossom Festival and thought it would be fun to see it while running JNHS activities.

“It’s a fun way to learn about Japanese culture,” Chow said. “Seeing a bunch of different cultural things around is really cool, like seeing live taiko performances and Japanese games like yoyo tsuri.”

Tsai said she enjoys seeing how happy the kids are to be there and interacting with the community.

“Being in JNHS or J-Club isn’t just using what we learn in Japanese,” Tsai said, “but how do we apply that to the community and how do we help out more, while learning about the culture and being involved with it at the same time.”

The Denome’s Advocate: California’s crime against inmates

The recent fires in California have wrought incredible damages on the state, particularly in the human cost. According to Reuters and NBC News, 45 people total died between the Tubbs Fire in Napa and the Thomas Fire near Los Angeles. The human costs don’t end with just the deaths, however — some 3,800 of California’s firefighters are inmates battling blazes for a dollar an hour, according to KQED.

The inmate firefighter program has existed in California since World War II, when, according to the Atlantic, California pressed prisoners into service to replace the men who had gone overseas to fight the war. Since then, the program has expanded and become voluntary.

In the program’s history, four inmates have died in action, including two in the past two years, according to the Los Angeles Times. Not counted in those deaths are inmates who died in the program while not fighting fires; just recently, an inmate perished on a training hike, according to KQED.

This begs the question of how humane the program actually is. Regardless of whether the inmates are volunteers, no one, incarcerated or free, should be receiving slave wages for a job in which they run the risk of death.

In its explanation of the conservation camps, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation stresses the work that the inmates do, and the results of their efforts. It particularly highlights the public works projects and safer activities, such as conservation projects and search-and-rescue missions.

And yes, we should recognize the good work these camps do, whether it be fighting fires or clearing a hiking trail. However, The Marshall Project, a criminal justice watchdog, showed that the inmate firefighters are typically responsible for more backbreaking and thankless labor while fighting fires.

This only adds to the heightened risks for diseases firefighters already face. According to the International Association of Firefighters, a labor union, all fighting personnel have a higher risk for cancer, heart disease, respiratory disease and hepatitis B and C. In short, California sends 3,000 inmates into treacherous situations, with their risking death or impairment down the line — all for a dollar an hour and a few days off their sentence.

Does the system necessarily need to be done away with? No, the inmates are volunteers, and housing them at conservation camps year-round helps reduce California’s overcrowded prison system. However, does the system need reforms? Most definitely.

Inmate firefighters deserve a far higher wage than they currently make, one that, minus the cost to the state of housing them, is on par with that of normal CalFire personnel. If the fires are going to continue and more people are going to be incarcerated, we might as well compensate them fairly..

The Impatient Patient: Reduced, heightened expectations pressure minority students

Racial stereotypes have been proven to invoke reduced expectations and heightened pressures for students in affected groups. Not only that, but these racial stereotypes also contribute to the achievement gap, or set of disparities in testing scores, between Asian and white students versus non-Asian minorities, according to the National Education Association.

As diverse and accepting of a campus HHS is, it is still not spared from this issue. According to an editorial done in print issue four of The Epitaph, the racial makeup of HHS (73 percent being Asian or Caucasian, 27 percent other) is not consistent in AP and honors level classes.

The achievement gap is not limited to distinctions between different racial groups but also gender and socioeconomic factors. According to an article in US News, the achievement gap between black and white students has improved little over the last 50 years.

Previously, 87 percent of white students in their senior year of high school outscored black students also in their senior year. According to the article, black students placed in the 13th percentile of the score distribution for their white counterparts.

Currently, black students place in the 19th percentile. It has been estimated that should these low rates of change continue, the gap in mathematics between the two groups will be closed only after two and a half centuries. The fact that black students have to wait 250 years for the gap to be closed is ridiculous.

Nationwide, black and Hispanic children account for 37 percent of students. Within this 37 percent, only 27 percent take at least one AP class. Location is another factor in this disparity. Black, Hispanic and Native American students are more likely to live in areas with schools that do not offer advanced courses.

According to a study done by School Psychology Quarterly, teachers viewed black students with lowered expectations and disproportionately refer black students to special education and disciplinary action as compared to their white counterparts. Regardless of high academic standing, black students were given less attention.

Students who are victims of this bias have not only been found to have lower grades, but also a lowered motivation to excel.

The stereotype of black students as “troublemakers” manifests in harsher punishments are doled out by teachers after two infractions due to the belief that this bad behavior is likely to continue. Black students are therefore three times more likely to be suspended and expelled.

If a student is continually led to believe that academic success is not inherent in their racial identity, how can they be motivated to exceed academically? Not to mention, if a student is placed with lowered expectations immediately, it is harder to deviate from these ingrained expectations.

For black and Hispanic youth, the desires to prove stereotypes wrong, or even simply the knowledge of these stereotypes, causes the body to produce more stress hormones as a form of a “coping mechanism.”

According to a study done by Educational Theory, the resilience within successful black students to overcome negative stereotypes manifests into a greater issue of a mental health crisis.

According to the author, “black students work themselves to the point of extreme illness in [an] attempt to escape the constant threat of perceived intellectual inferiority.”

A phenomenon dubbed the “stereotype threat” describes the impact of stereotypes on a student’s development of their identity and intellect. Black students were found to underperform on tests that were not “diagnostic of intellectual ability” due to the “priming” of negative racial stereotypes. Asian students were found to have lowered concentration skills and performance on quantitative skills test due to the “priming” of so-called positive stereotypes such as their presumed adeptness in mathematics.

Moreover, although Asian Americans are not negatively impacted by the achievement gap, racial stereotypes still come into play. Asian American students were viewed as “cooperative” and more successful academically, as per the “model minority” stereotype.

The model minority myth is described as a “cultural expectation” on Asian Americans. Perhaps the most detrimental aspect of the myth is the assumption that Asian Americans are never in need of assistance. The impacts of this is that Asian Americans are less likely to report issues of stress and hopeless feelings, yet not seek help from a counselor.

Asian Americans may be successful (for example, compared to their white counterparts, Asian Americans have a higher percentage of individuals with a bachelor’s degree or higher) but these high-achieving statistics mask groups who do not reflect the ideals of the model minority stereotype imposed upon them.

Teachers have been found to be three times more likely to expect their Asian American students to go to college. But 10 percent of Laotian Americans, 13 percent of Hmong Americans and 16 percent of Cambodian Americans in California have some of the lowest attainment of college degrees. In addition, Hmong and Cambodian Americans live in poverty at higher rates than black and Hispanic individuals. These statistics are said to be masked by Chinese and Indian Americans, and as such, is not an accurate reflection of Asian Americans.

As an article in The Atlantic puts it, “The consequences are classrooms where Asian students not excelling in math are seen as an oddity, and black students excelling in math are seen as an outlier.” The stereotypes placed onto these two groups have very real effects, and are more than just unfortunate statistics.

There are countless students who feel as though they may never amount to anything, or inversely, students who feel inadequate because they do not fit into the “mold” of what is expected.

Asian and black individuals are on opposite ends of a spectrum where negative stereotypes are place on to black people and more “positive” ones are placed onto Asian individuals. In the end, both  stereotypes have a negative effect.

We as a whole need to understand that different groups are subjected to different barriers in their success. It is useless to place blame on certain groups for the achievement gap. Stereotypes may always linger, but your choice to partake in the belief and perpetuation of these stereotypes is dependent on yourself. Stereotypes are more than just unfortunate statistics, but have real-life impacts that need to be recognized.