tudents often start off every year with expectations and refreshed goals to strive for academic success. As college is a common end goal for high school students, many seek to join clubs to gain an edge in the competitive college admission process.
Commitments are made to not only school work, but to additional, rigorous academic courses, extracurriculars, and somehow still seek to maintain a social life. With the constant struggle to keep balance, it is easy to get caught up in the chaos and push aside volunteer hour requirements until the last minute, as experienced by junior Ananya Verma.
“I do not believe that volunteer hours and expectations are realistic for people because people have sports and have to deal with school, and all of their home work,” Verma said. “It is important to volunteer and help out the community but sometimes the expectations are a little high.”
Although some fail to complete hours all together, many are left in a gray area where they have managed to attend only a good fraction of the hours but not quite enough to receive the deserved credit or recognition. Often times, this can be the result of a conflicts in scheduling and is unavoidable.
From this issue arises the question whether students should claim to be a part of the club or not. A simple lack of one or two hours can suddenly create a divide amongst student whom have managed to open up their schedules for volunteer hours. HOP commissioner Brenden Koo shared his opinion on the subject.
“The truly dedicated HOP leaders work hard and have plenty of HOP hours,” Koo said. “Some last year even had up to 15 hours, so it’s not like we don’t give out hours opportunities.”
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.
Ditch day, held on May 11, brought the senior class together one last time. Photo courtesy of Becca Wong.
While seniors could spend the day anywhere, many spent it together at the beach. Photo by Lindsey Haynes.
Senior Ashley Pae and her friends relaxed on the beach to celebrate the end of the year. Photo courtesy of Ashley Pae.
Senior Rachel Sagherian met up with some friends from FHS on ditch day. Photo courtesy of Rachel Sagherian.
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”.
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.”
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.
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.”
Seniors will face graduation in less than two months. Here are a handful who have rough or solid ideas of what they wish to do after high school.
Senior Grace Kim said she is looking forward to attending a four-year college while majoring in either business or computer science. Kim said she has advice for new FBLA members. “Take advantage of all the opportunities that you have around, especially in FBLA,” Kim said. “I really, really got involved in my freshman year and kept up with it and I grew to love what FBLA has to offer and all the relationships I was able to build. Take advantage of those and make the most out of your high school experience.”
After attending De Anza college for two years in a TAG agreement, senior Alice G. Monteiro Da Franca said she will transfer to University of California, Santa Cruz, where she will pursue a degree in game design.
Da Franca said she is currently working on a game with her companion, Rutvik Katkoriya. “It’s a fantasy horror game; a bit of some psychological elements put into it,” Da Franca said. Our goal is to get people on a higher level of thinking and get people to answer questions about themselves and the world around them and see the world in a different light.”
Senior Isabella Rosado said she will attend Yale University this fall and will major in environmental studies. “[One advice for rising seniors is to] sleep,” Rosado said. “Sleeping is the number one, most important thing. I know studying and doing homework is so important, but making sure you’re staying healthy and taking care of yourself is also important.”
“I would like to be financially comfortable doing programming slash adjacent things,” senior Alistair Gray said. He said he plans on achieving a master’s degree in the later future.
Senior Frank Guerrero will major in kinesiology at San Jose State University. “I’ve been here for three years and the people kind of got boring, so I’m excited to meet new people,” Guerrero said.
Senior Karina Guzman said she plans to attend De Anza for two years before transferring to a school like USF to pursue nursing. When asked about her big goals in life, Guzman showed compassion and curiosity. “[My goal is] to help out my parents and to help out minorities. Also to travel the world,” Guzman said.
Guzman also said she has one piece of advice for struggling students and students who are applying to schools next year. “Don’t be afraid to ask,” Guzman said. “There’s nothing wrong with asking. I think that’s the biggest thing kids need to do nowadays. Just ask.”
Senior Austina Wang will attend a four-year college to major in film and animation, she said. “I think [high school] has prepared me for the rigor of college, or anything, because if you want to be good at anything, you have to work hard and working hard in high school parallels with that,” Wang said.
During her gap year, senior Lavender Payne said she plans to scrape up enough money to attend an art school in San Francisco for performing arts/theater.
After high school, senior Kevin Shum said he will attend college for film production. His goal is to become a cinematographer for films. “Get yourself out there and take any opportunities you can get,” Shum said. “The more experience you can get, the better.”
Although senior Louise House said she has received college acceptances, she is still unsure where she will go or what she will be majoring in. “[I’m excited to] explore more than I was able to in high school,” House said.
Senior Kenneth Su said he has received acceptances from University of Michigan and Washington University, but he is still deciding where he will go. Wherever he ends up, he will pursue a degree in economics. “Don’t worry about colleges. Just live your life and show who you are in your [college] applications,” Su said as a word of advice for seniors next year.
Senior Grace Hill said she is considering political science as her major. “I’m excited to be able to not only learn from what I’m doing, but also make an impact by doing something new that I can learn from myself,” Hill said.
Senior Noah Abadano will attend classes at De Anza College while taking online courses for 3D animation, he said. “My only advice is … don’t dream too hard,” Abadano said.
While pursuing business to become a management consultant, senior Helen Rhee said she is also seeking an internship in the process. “The community fence in FBLA was a major part of me just assimilating to high school culture in general, but specific events like competitions or working with actual consultants also got me interested in [becoming a management consultant],” Rhee said.
“[I’m excited] to branch out and meet new people; internationally and across the country. Also being independent,” Rhee said. “It’s kind of scary, but I’m looking forward to it a lot, too.”
Senior Antonio Suarez said he would like to continue his passion for theater at West Valley college in the fall. He plans to transfer to a CSU after two years and study computer science, he said. “My biggest goal is to have a career I will enjoy,” Suarez said.
Senior Sujana Lewis said she plans to attend Foothill College for two years before transferring to a four year. Lewis said she is still deciding between taking courses in theater or psychology. “As long as you know what you want to do and as long as you know what’s in your own heart and in your own passion, I think you should do everything in your best possibility to actually pursue that,” Lewis said. “Every bump and obstacle in the road … that just happens. That’s life. Just keep going. Do everything you can. And if it doesn’t work out, don’t beat yourself over it because there are many, many, many other things out there in the world that we need. So don’t beat yourself over not becoming the next engineer, lawyer, doctor, business-entrepreneur person. There’s something out there for everyone.”
‘Tea.’ A three letter word that was once just a simple hot cup of water with herbs, is now a commonly
known slang word referring to gossip.
According to Merriam Webster, the word’s popularity and common use is owed to the drag culture. With all of the hustle and bustle in the drag world, there is loads of gossip to go around, requiring drag queens to create a slang term.
The most common usage of ‘tea’ is by saying “spill the tea,” meaning “spill the gossip.”
However teenagers’ prone laziness in this century has given the alternative spelling of ‘tea,’ simply using the letter ‘T.’
Though many teenagers are aware of ‘tea’ as a slang word, a special HHS staff member is not.
“Tea is used as a slang word when you say I ‘TEA-D’ you. It means you are pouring a hot cup of tea over someone’s head,” English teacher Steve Lavelle said.
Rated out of 10, Lavelle gives this word a very poor score with a negative three.
“My feelings toward the word are ambivalent because tea is a boring drink,” Lavelle said.
Lavelle also adds that he rarely uses the word even in a normal context because he never drinks tea.
The first usage of ‘tea’ was in the 1990s. Lavelle, however, claims he heard the word long before.
“I was in my mother’s womb and she was having a tea party with friends,” Lavelle said. “I heard the phrase, ‘pass the tea, please,’ so I was born with the word in my mind.”
For a slang word, ‘tea’ has stuck around for a long time. Many question how long it will take for the word to wear off.
“As long as it takes to dry the tea on your shirt!” Lavelle said.
Spanish Club / Spanish National Honor Society members came together last Saturday to make cards in Spanish for children in children’s hospital. Spanish Club president, senior Ali Farinas said they make and send the cards in hopes of making the days better for the children on the receiving end.
“We work with an organization called Cards for Hospitalized Kids, and we send the cards there and they distribute them in hospitals,” Farinas said. “We just want to help kids and make their day a little bit better.”
Activities director Alex Pavel said club members write the cards in Spanish for different seasons and holidays, and it brightens their day, especially if they receive them around Christmas time.
“They might not know any English, so writing them in Spanish will make it feel like they belong somewhere, like people care about them,” Pavel said.
Senior club member Michelle Fung said this event is different because they get to make cards for kids in a hospital and writing it in their language not only helps members practice Spanish, but also helps the children feel better.
“I think it’s really cool because I don’t speak Spanish at home but getting to experience more of the culture through the club is really fun,” Fung said.
Senior Hannah Moslemy said she has participated in a card-making event before and thought it was a great way to show kids in hospitals that people care about them.
“I think that it’s something really special to them because it is in their native language so I think it would be a lot more meaningful to them,” Moslemy said.
Secretary, junior Sophia Palmerin said she enjoys being able to reach out and give the hospitalized children support.
“I actually really like the fact that we’re in a way communicating with people that aren’t really advantaged with support,” Palmerin said. “The fact that they get cards to give them support, just feeling better, that just satisfies me.”
Indopak is an Indian-Pakistani dance club at HHS. They host many dance events throughout the year and participate in competitions and showcases in the Bay Area.
Every year, Indopak hosts a dance showcase called Sapnay. On top of the six dance teams from Indopak, nearby schools can also participate in the annual showcase.
This year, Sapnay will be held on May 19 in the large gym, and the proceeds from the show will be donated to the charity Akshaya Patra.
“What we aim to do is raise money to provide money for charities and spread cultural awareness of Indian-Pakistani dance through the performances,” co-president Nikhil Kulkarni said.
This year is Indopak’s 18th year of Sapnay. The night starts with Indopak introducing themselves and the officers describing their club, Kulkarni said. This year, a representative from Akshaya Patra will speak about the charity itself after officer introductions. From there, MC’s will take over the show and introduce each performance from their respective schools.
The process of preparing for Sapnay starts with live auditions from local high schools that want to participate in this event. Indopak then chooses performers from other schools based on auditions. The schools for this year’s Sapnay are still to be decided, though six teams from HHS are definitely participating, Kulkarni said.
Indopak has 12 teams in the club that all dance a different type of Indian-Pakistani dance. The six that will be participating will be Windian, the senior dance group, Bhangra, a high intensity dance team, Film, whch is comprised of Bollywood dance, Raas, a dance involving dandiya sticks, classical dance and a teacher’s dance.
“We’ve also managed to plan out lights and projectors and sounds … especially with budgeting, [we’re] making sure we have enough money to provide for the next year as well as provide a sizeable donation for charity,” Kulkarni said.
Kulkarni said the show will raise money by raffling off several gift baskets worth up to $50. They also plan to sell samosas during intermission.
Spanish teacher Lidia Ingah was born in Mallorca, an island in the Mediterranean Sea part of Spain.
“I was born and raised there, and I even went to the university there,” Ingah said.
Ingah said her childhood on Mallorca consisted of very fun and peaceful memories.
“We could just decide to jump outside and meet our friends at the beach,” Ingah said. “It was a lot of fun.”
When she was in elementary school, Ingah said there was a child with a speech impediment, and her time spent helping him be more comfortable with talking inspired her to pursue an education degree in college.
“There was this boy that always stuttered when he talked, but the teacher realized that whenever he was with me, he could talk normally,” Ingah said. “To be able to help him gain confidence really inspired me.”
Ingah said she met her husband when she was visiting her sister who was studying in the United States. Eventually, because her husband was an engineer, Ingah decided to move to the Silicon Valley.
Although Ingah said she had been learning English as a part of her studies while in Spain, she could not hold conversations because the language was taught so literally.
“It was really hard for me to talk with people and I felt like a child,” Ingah said. “I was always taught through fill-in-the-blank tests and memorizing vocabulary.”
Through this experience, Ingah said she was influenced to teach differently.
“I stress teaching with actual conversations rather than just vocabulary memorizing and translations,” Ingah said. “There should be chances for the students to actually use the phrases and things they learned.”
Prior to coming to HHS, Ingah said she also taught Spanish at other schools and organizations.
“It’s my fourth year [at HHS], and I really love the environment here,” Ingah said. “All the students are so willing to learn and understand the culture, and I really love that.”
Ingah said the advantages of being multilingual opens doors to more opportunities, both culturally and job-wise.
“If you know another language, there are much more opportunities for work, especially knowing Spanish in this area,” Ingah said. “Also, you can much better understand the people and needs of a different culture if you know the language.”
In her free time, Ingah said she likes to hang out and socialize with her friends, especially at coffee shops, and go on trips with her family.
“I really love traveling. I try to save as much money as I can and visit other countries. But the most important is visiting my family back in Mallorca,” Ingah said. “I want my boys to understand their culture and heritage.”
There are over 100 Red Cross centers stationed all over California, not to mention the Red Cross clubs run by high school students spread out over California’s 330 districts. With so many locations and vast availability of volunteers, the importance of a common goal increases.
According to the official Red Cross website, their network of generous donors, volunteers and employees share a mission of preventing and relieving suffering, here at home and around the world, through five key service areas: disaster relief, supporting America’s military families, lifesaving blood, health and safety services and international services.
This network of like-minded individuals provides a strong outreach to the citizens of California, especially students. Within FUHSD, Red Cross club is one of the most well-known clubs on the LHS, FHS and HHS campuses. With the increasing commonality of Red Cross clubs in Bay Area schools, groups from different campuses have created a system of resources that can be used to their advantage.
One event that joins local club presidents together is the monthly Silicon Valley Chapter Liaison meetings. These meetings not only bring together Red Cross clubs from the FUHSD, but from outside the district as well.
“We often are able to bring up and discuss ideas for new events, which we can implement into our clubs,” LHS Red Cross President Aarushi Agrawal said. “We also are able to host join blood drives and other meetings, which also allows for greater attendance and correspondence between clubs.”
Frequently-held events include disaster and refugee simulations and radio training. Other events include the “Pillowcase” project, where students teach kindergarteners about disaster preparedness, and the “Sound the Alarm” project, where students help fix and install fire alarms around the neighborhood.
HHS Red Cross President Reet Mishra and FHS Red Cross advisor Mary Crawford provided updates on what each respective school was currently working on, as well as their plans for the rest of the school year.
“Currently, we are in our Health & Safety Unit, so we are offering [free] CPR/First-Aid classes for members that volunteered over 10 hours this year, and a fee for those who haven’t,” Mishra said. “This is in accordance with our chapter, so students from all over the district will be there.”
Meanwhile students at FHS are taking action to help those in need across the nation by working towards providing relief for the hurricane that occured in St. Thomas, a city in the U.S. Virgin Islands. In the future, Crawford reports that FHS Red Cross plans to continue the progress made this year by contributing to the community through certifying more members.
As for upcoming HHS events, Mishra informs that students can expect to see a 5k Charity Fun Run in the near future, that will raise money for the wildfires that ravaged California last fall.
“We are still in the logistics stage, but hope to do it around late April, early May,” Mishra said.
The communication between factions has made for cohesive programs that act in accordance to neighboring schools. Despite coming from different schools, areas and social backgrounds, through Red Cross club, FUHSD students join together to provide compassionate care to those in need.
Mustangs express their unique qualities through phone cases. Click on the images to read more, and scroll down to find links to some of these cases and accessories.
Sophomore Ben Boulon took interest in a sticker he bought at Monument Valley, UT.
“My phone is a way for me to express myself, I can decorate it and style it however I want,” senior Casidy Chen said.
Chen likes to decorate her phone case with charms she collected from conventions and online.
“I watch videos [on my phone], get messages through text and get annoyed at random numbers calling me for no reason,” junior Dana Bilderback said.
“[My trip to Maui was] awesome. It was my first time ever and it was a great trip,” AP Secretary Lisa Fisher said.
“One of the kids in the office had the same case and I went to Maui over the [ski] break, so I thought I needed a fun case to go to Maui with,” Fisher said.
Senior Jackson Clarno’s Star Wars themed phone case is exclusively sold at Disneyland.
“It was very cheap,” sophomore James Lu remarked when asked about what he liked about his phone case.
Sophomore Rachel Payne keeps an Instax Mini photo between her phone and her case.
“My best friend gave me my phone case when I got an iPhone 7 and she’s like, ‘oh, I have an extra phone case. Here, take it’ and I took it,” junior Jehan Bhandari said.
“When we went down Pasadena [for the Rose Bowl parade], there was a little vendor and I broke three corners of [my old phone case], so I thought ‘I should probably get a new one!’,” junior Kelly Quick said.
Senior Kevin Wang browses on Reddit in his free time.
Senior Leah Simmons uses YouTube on her phone the most.
Junior Zoey Sun likes her transparent phone case because it shows the uniqueness of her phone. “Not a lot of people have red phones,” Sun said. Sun purchased her phone case at the AT&T store where she also got her phone.
Junior Bill Lei’s phone case is a reference to the movie “Kingsman: The Secret Service.”
“I prefer durability [over the appearance] of a phone case because if it’s over the screen wouldn’t hurt it [if I dropped it],” senior Leslie Garcia said.
English teacher Megan Rupe has a circular magnet attached to the back of her phone case to mount on her dashboard while she drives.
“I like how it feels in my hand and how it fits in my pocket, like if it’s easy to take out of my pocket,” senior Mitchi Phung said.
“I like how it expresses something I’m interested in; something I like. Harry Potter is one of my favorite series and it kind of reflects that,” sophomore Noa Bronicki said.
Freshman Vanessa Tuck likes to kill time on Instagram, Snapchat and other minor games on her phone.
Senior Zoie Smith used sticker paper from Michaels to create stickers with her friends over the summer. “I printed out a bunch of whale [pictures] ‘cause I think whales are pretty sick and I drew on the extras. (…) I have sticker anxiety so I don’t actually stick them onto things, so I decided to trap them in the phone case,” Smith said.
Smith is selling acrylic orca whale and narwhal charms she drew, which 10% of her profit will be donated to whale charity.