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.”
o motivate HHS administration to repaint the — notably faded — green of the restroom walls on campus, students have turned to the ageless protest-method of high schoolers: vandalism.
Across campus, restroom patrons have dotted the walls of their stalls with everything from artwork to inspirational quotes to insults to comments on the quality of the bathrooms. The haze of graffiti has forced administration to repaint the stalls to cover up the vulgarity.
Although this has caused controversy, not to mention a wash of detentions, the vandalism is opening a necessary conversation about the quality of on-campus facilities.
Enticed by the new forest-green shade of many of the restroom stalls, the on-campus initiative Student Anarchy for Better Bathrooms (SABB) has begun discussing plans to expand to stealing sinks and breaking down stall doors.
“In some of the bathrooms, none of the faucets even work anyway,” SABB representative John Loo said. “The doors don’t lock either, so it’s not like we are making things any worse with these vandalisms.”
By all accounts, Loo and SABB compatrients may have the right idea. On-campus bathrooms have long existed in a state of semi-functional limbo. Since “when you gotta, go you gotta go,” Students weigh down latchless stall doors with everything from backpacks, to nearby friends, to the force of gravity and several carefully worded prayers.
The walls of non-repainted stalls reveal an unappealing history of inexplicable stains, white scratches and scrubbed-out graffiti. More to the point, most bathroom hand-dryers, though otherwise technical marvels, have sat inactive for months, when not for years.
Admittedly, the less-than-ideal state of the bathrooms is likely more an issue of communication than of simply administration failing to fix existing problems. There is no clear “complaint” box for when bathrooms are in need of repairs; students lack a clear medium to communicate their commode conundrums.
More to the point, the student bathrooms are only used by students. Since staff do not use student restrooms, staff is not aware of student restroom problems. While SABB’s methods are, admittedly, extreme, they provide a communication method that is both resoundingly clear and readily available to students.
So far, they have also proven effective. Across campus, several stalls have already been repainted to cover up the aggressive coat of graffiti covering them. The few that have not been are so heavily coated with graffiti that they look black anyway.
As a result, student morale has improved tremendously and lines for SABB treated stalls are out the (still lockless) stall door.
A new beautification initiative has added color to HHS’ otherwise green and white visage. “Gum” covers the entirety of the HHS campus. The project, which encourages students to decorate their desks with chewing gum, has greatly improved campus moral.
The gentle swirls of the gum on the desks add delightful refinement to the otherwise uninspiring wood. The work done by student has been compared to that of Michelangelo and Jackson Pollock all while they explore the potential of brilliant new medium. The swaths of gum that decorate HHS desks have raised this campus to the level of a shining — albeit gum-filled — beacon.
In addition to its aesthetic appeal, “Gum” has added new education content to many classrooms. The art department had begun an in-depth study of the spearmint gum art under the desk of sophomore Pierre DuPont while the math department has begun statistical analysis about how much money the school could save by constructing the new innovation hub entirely out of Hubba Bubba. There has been talk of starting a new class entirely devoted to the chewing and sticking of gum.
Moreover, HHS no longer remained confined to the shackles of the desk. A new mosaic project has started to turn campus sidewalks into glistening rainbow railroads. Students have started murals inside the bathroom stalls and have begun gum collections on the soles of their shoes. As a substitute for cafeteria lunch, students are simply encouraged to lick their desks. The school is saving thousands!
In fact, the only potential fault in “Gum” is the overall stickiness of the project. This week alone, five freshmen were found stuck under their desk by their hair. One was left at school overnight.
A found-art piece on the door of the Lower B building girl’s bathroom, entitled “Women,” boldly addresses the stigma surrounding menstruation.
Just as the the female figure typically depicted on restroom sign is completely obscured by a pad in “Women”, women who menstruate are often overlooked due to their biology. Society tells women to cover their periods up.
The stark juxtaposition of a sanitary napkin over the word “WOMEN” in the artwork questions American cultures’ pad problem. Menstruation is all too often treated as a “girl thing.” Periods are for women, so women deal with them. Where soap, toilet paper and other lavatory supplies are provided for free in public restrooms. Menstruators are forced to pay for their biology. Viagra is exempt from taxation, but feminine hygiene products are taxed in 42 states.
Admittedly other necessities like band-aids, toilet paper and soap are taxed. However, such products are needed by everyone. Only people who menstruate pay for pads — garnering California alone $20 million dollars annually.
“The cost of pads has risen so much that this piece alone cost has been appraised at $5 million,” artist Frieda Flo said.
However, Flo’s artwork has met with some resistance.
“I just don’t get what the big deal is, women should just man up and bleed everywhere if they don’t want to pay for their periods.” protester Manny Menostrate said.
Members of the Meninist community have even gone so far as to call Flo’s artwork sexist.
“If we didn’t tax tampons, girls would just run around sticking pads all over the place. This artwork proves it!” Meninist representative, Guy Nopad said.
However, despite protests, Flo’s art strikes hard at an oft under-discussed issue. Although, on initial appraisal, her piece, seems as simple as a pad stuck to a high school girl’s bathroom, “Women” is one of the most influential feminist artworks of this century. Fearlessly, it symbolizes women’s struggle to overcome patronizing stereotypes gender types.
“Women” speaks boldly on female biology. The simple found-art piece places the pad — usually a subject of shame and secrecy — in honest view. In doing so, “Women” tears a rift in the way periods our treated, and sparks hope for a brighter future.
S ituated in the girl’s bathroom of the lower B Building, “I Hate Homestead” is often misinterpreted as a commonplace defacement.
This is not the case. Rather, “Homestead” is a high-brow form of conceptual art that offers a classic take on the trials facing modern secondary school students.
Admittedly, the piecemirrors the appearance of vandalism in many respects. It’s simplistic, illicit writing on a wall. However, by giving the appearance of graffiti, “I Hate Homestead” taps into the very fundamentals of the high school experience.
“Homestead’s” location in a high school bathroom strikes at the core of the teenage existence. In the bathroom, teens escape the confines of society and school. Lavatories serve as a vehicle for adolescent rebellion and autonomy. Makeup, gossip, gender roles, an obsession with exterior appearance, ditching class and restroom graffiti are all central to both the stereotypical teenage experience and the bathroom.
In “Homestead”, the artist’s simplistic scrawl and elementary terminology throw the typecasting of adolescents in modern society into question. While coming of age is a complex, individualistic process, teens are often pigeonholed by themselves, their peers and society. “Homestead’s”use of casual writing parodies this simplistic notion of the American teenager.
The use of graphite as opposed to traditional ink in “Homestead”emphasizes the transitory nature of the high school experience. Adolescence, like a pencil, is inherently temporary. Feelings that seem important during young adulthood, like those vocalized in “Homestead,” are ultimately fleeting.
Around the perimeter of “Homestead’s” central focus, text reading “I Hate Homestead High School,” other artists have added supportive commentary. Such supplements— including text reading “true story bruh”, “lol sucks” and “ikr”— represent young adulthood as a shared struggle.
Adolescence is difficult for everyone. “Homestead” captures how people can be drawn together in the turmoil of teenhood. Similarly, the use of abbreviations like “lol” and “ikr” illustrate the vital role young people play in moving society forward. From creating new slang like “true story bruh” to rebelling against existing authority with bathroom graffiti, teenagers shape culture.
Although “Homestead” offers a strong stance on adolescence, its message lacks originality. Just watch any teen movie; the idea that young adulthood is both superficial and necessary is widely explored. Although “Homestead” reiterates these themes from an original perspective, it fails to represent the teenage experience in a new light.
While brilliantly executed from a technical sense, “Homestead” conveys a tired message. By taking on a visage similar to stereotypical high school graffiti, it provides a slightly satirical outlook on the complicated, transitory and fundamentally individual journey that is adolescence.
“I Hate Homestead” offers a clear, time-honored message from a unique conceptual perspective. However, it lacks the complexity and thematic originality to truly resonate with viewers.
Freshman Eileen Hansa switched to Japanese this year after taking Spanish in middle school. “I like sushi… and my teacher is really awesome.” Hansa said. Although Hansa is glad she switched to Japanese, she was surprised by some aspects of the class. “We have to do Japanese exercises, like radio taiso, actual exercise.” Hansa said
On the other sentences freshman Haritha Muthu was surprised by how quickly her Spanish 1 class picked up. “As soon as I entered the class, the teacher started giving a lecture in Spanish without explaining anything,” Muthu said.
For sophomore Zachary Yam, physics honors was the obvious choice.“I am very enthusiastic about this subject and hoping to have a future in this industry,” Yam said. Although Yam thinks students get enough freedom in course selection, he could imagine resources that would make choosing classes easier.
“They should put at least put like one videotape of like one class online; an official class on a random day,” Hays said.
Sophomore Sonia Parikh choose regular chemistry as a balance between the other options available. “I didn’t want to deal with chem honors because I hear it’s like a really hard class, and also I’m not that intrigued into chemistry, so I wanted to take normal chem so I could take physics honors next year… [chemistry] is like more of a fun environment and I like it,” Parikh said.
Although Parikh is glad she chose chemistry, she thinks the class could be more challenging. “I think they made it seem like an easier version of chem honors, but it’s easier than I expected actually” Parikh said.
Chemistry honors sophomore Eshan Jain picked the class because of his interest in labs and experiments. Looking back, however, Jain thinks physics might have been the better choice.“If I could go back, I’d probably take physics instead, because I feel like physics would be more interesting and more life applicable,” Jain said.
Although Jain mostly knew what to predict out of this year, he was surprised by the intensity of some of his classes. “I feel like I am spending a lot more time on homework for each class then they said homework would take,” Jain said
Unlike most classes, American Studies (AMSTUD) meets daily. The class combines American history and American literature honors into one course taught by two teachers.
Junior Arjay McCandless decided to take AMSTUD because of its focus on group work and relatively manageable course load. “It’s kinda nice to have the same class every day,” McCandless said.
Alternatively, Akhil Sanka said he chose AMSTUD because it intertwines history and literature. However, he was surprised by AMSTUD’s class dynamic. “There really is a huge emphasis on group work that I wasn’t expecting,” Sanka said.
Junior Neeraj Senthil took AP US History (APUSH), which is known by students at HHS for its rigorous workload, to challenge himself. “The class has been rigorous so far and the tests have been difficult, but I think it’s all part of the journey and growing as a person,” Senthil said.
However, Senthil would have liked more information about APUSH before choosing the class “The only real quantitative measure of your readiness for APUSH was the preliminary exam, but it wasn’t really reflective of people’s readiness for the class,” Senthil said.
Instead of combining literature and history with AMSTUD or focusing in-depth on history with APUSH, many students, like Jannie Zhong and Caleb Chang, opted to take American History as a stand-alone course.
“I didn’t want to take five AP tests,” Chang said. “AMSTUD has a really big classroom and I work better in smaller team environment.” “Listening to all of my friends talk about how bad APUSH is, I’m kinda glad I didn’t choose it … for me, it’s mostly harder because I do a fall sport and don’t get home until seven … even nine,” Zhong said.
According to Zhong and Chang they both anticipated a slightly easier workload in regular history, however they otherwise felt well-informed about 11th grade history options.
Senior Shae Walker said she chose British literature as her English class for a variety of reasons. “I chose Brit Lit partially because I like Shakespeare, but not a lot of the stuff we learn generally in literature classes … I didn’t exactly hear the greatest things about contemp, and myth was interesting; it just wasn’t my first choice, and I was not gonna do AP, so Brit lit seemed like the best fit,” Walker said.
Senior Ivy Janes chose contemporary literature because of the class’s emphasis on personal exploration appealed to her. “I like that contemp kinda focuses on emotions and is a very deep kind of class.” Janes said.
Senior Vicky Xu said she had trouble getting an clear idea of what AP literature would be like before she signed up for the class.“ [I] feel like that the class is pretty fickle … like a little twist to the curriculum every single year … the only people that I somewhat got an accurate description of the class from was the AMSTUD teachers, Gonzo and Clausi.” Xu said.
Although AP literature isn’t an easy, Xu explained she is gaining a lot from the class. “People get pretty ‘meh’ grades at the beginning. It’s definitely a blow on the ego, but you learn from it… I think that’s kinda the point of AP lit … It doesn’t matter about the grade, it matters what you get out of that grade.” Xu said