Volume 45, Issue 1
Henry T. Gunderson High School
Beginning of the End By Lesly Hernandez, ‘23
You walk through the hallways and see students opening their new lockers. Try to take it all in and calm down your nerves. Breathe in, breathe out. Yes, it’s our last year in high school. It’s crazy to think that we already went through three years, going through the pandemic, transitioning to online classes, and coming back to a whole different school environment. “I feel very bittersweet about it because I think it’s exciting that I’m going to be able to start a new chapter in my life, but I also think that it’s sad that I’m closing this chapter,” Senior Malina Martinez said. “And I think I’m gonna miss a lot of things about it, but I’m excited to grow from it.” Senior year is an important year for us not only because is it our last year but this is the year we start applying for colleges, we tend to either get more or less work in our classes and we get to spend time with the Gunderson community one last time. Because of COVID-19, our freshman year ended short around March and then we spent our sophomore year entirely online. We came back our junior year but it was obviously very different. This journey has thrown many obstacles and challenges our way. “So far, it’s not that bad,” Senior Heidi Lozano said. “I mean, I don’t have that many classes and there’s not a lot of work yet [but] I also feel like I haven’t processed that I’m a senior. I feel like I’m still a junior.” Spending a year online almost made it feel like it wasn’t real. Classes weren’t the usual anymore. Instead of sitting at desks positioned a certain way, copying down notes from the board and once in a while whispering to your friend sitting beside you, it was
Bathroom Bylaws By Nic Gulizia, ‘23
Imagine you are sitting down in 6th period history and you really need to use the restroom. The bathroom pass, however, isn’t available. That one student who went to the restroom 25 minutes ago hasn’t returned yet, and you start to wonder if they’re even using the pass for the restroom or if they are wandering somewhere else. In prior school years, our campus has had issues with students going to the restroom with the pass and returning as soon as they are done. Often times, they are walking around the school, meeting friends, or doing practically anything but using the restroom. The admin have noticed the issue as well and decided to implement a new policy to combat the behavior. The line of kids leaving class to go to the bathroom is inevitable. Usually, when one gets back, the next one goes. The issue isn’t with the amount of kids using the restroom, though. It’s the amount of time that they’re not
just you sitting in your room staring at a computer screen for 8 hours a day. Lozano and Martinez share how their friends helped them get through the past years because having a good support system really helps, especially when you have a hard class. Although our high school experience hasn’t been the best of the best, we still have time to make it better. Martinez says she’s excited about “all the senior events like how we had the senior sunrise the other day” because we get to “do things all together one last time and celebrate.” The school events feel more special and fun when it’s the senior year because you know that it won’t be long when we find ourselves saying goodbye and going to college. “I would like to go to college [but] I don’t know exactly where yet,” Martinez said. “I have a few ideas but I have not gotten too far with that yet. But I do know that I would like to go and major in business and minor in fashion hoping to one day have my own business.” Sometimes we don’t have the exact idea of what we want to do after high school and that’s absolutely okay. Some of us have a career choice in mind and others have a dream they want to accomplish. As long as we set our heart and mind to it, we can accomplish anything. “I really want to finish the year feeling accomplished and knowing I did everything I could,” Senior Ariana Rodriguez said. “I also want to make memories with my friends and leave anything bad in the past.” There were moments when high school probably wasn’t the best experience but not everything is perfect. There will always be ups and downs, even after graduating high school.
in class listening to the lesson or doing their work that they’re spending walking around school instead. With the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year, each student who uses the restroom during class must set an 8 minute timer to ensure that the only thing they are doing with the pass is using the restroom. The new policy so far has been successful in keeping students from wandering the halls and forces them to return to class quickly so they can continue their work. In addition, if another student needs to use the restroom at the same time, they won’t have to wait 15, 20, or even 25 minutes for the prior student to return. Instead, they may have to wait a maximum of 8 minutes, and most likely less than that. Obviously, there must be consequences for the student who does not return from the bathroom in 8 minutes or less, or they wouldn’t feel as if they need to follow the rule. Returning in more than 8 minutes can result in the teacher issuing lunch detention to the student. Nobody wants lunch detention, considering all you do is sit quietly in a classroom and eat your lunch, probably without socializing or using electronic devices, so this
One thing we can do as seniors are try to help and give advice to underclassmen with things we probably struggled with. “Make sure to do your research on the classes you’re choosing like ask other upperclassmen how the class is because that definitely helps,” Lozano said. “[Also] find a good support system like have really good friends because I feel like they can either make or break your high school experience. Surround yourself with people that truly care about you.” We all know that there are times when everything feels like it’s too much and you can start to give up. But we have to stay positive and keep going. It can start feeling like “why am I doing this” but it’ll all be worth it in the end. Martinez tells underclassmen to always do their homework because it’s useful and will eventually help them in the classroom. “Definitely study and if you don’t know how to study just ask because I didn’t know how to study for a while but there are different techniques for everybody.” As seniors, we have to keep in mind our end goal: graduation. All the hardships we went through will eventually feel worth it once we put on our cap and gown and receive our diplomas. Both seniors and underclassmen should always remember to “just stay driven as long as you can [and] don’t let anyone get in the way of your goals or your passion,” Martinez says. “Just be stern in what you want.”
is a good choice for a consequence. The idea of setting a time limit for restroom use during class is a great idea. It keeps students quickly coming in and out and doesn’t make other students, who need to go, wait far too long to use the restroom. The policy itself is great. The time that students need to be back in, however, is slightly too short. 8 minutes is pushing it and honestly makes students rush too much. 10 minutes would be a perfect time to implement in the future, as it factors in any other issues that may make the bathroom break take longer, but also doesn’t give students any time to wander the halls.
2 The Diversity of Ethnic Studies Gunderson High School 622 Gaundabert Ln, San Jose, CA 95136 Editorial Board Editors-In-Chief Lesly Hernandez Zoe Harms Layout Editor Lesly Hernandez Editors Nic Gulizia Jaden Reyna Staff Writers Mark Enriquez Incoming Staff Writers Gregory Darling KK Furtado Phuoc Loi Harrison Nguyen Ashley Trejo Vanessa Valdovinos Flores Chris Viramontes Kenneth Vu Advisor Lindsay Rosenberg
By Lesly Hernandez, ‘23
Being lost in a conversation can be a difficult experience, one that schools are now actively trying to rectify with new classes for students. Assembly Bill 101, approved by Governor Gavin Newsom on October 8, 2021, attempts to create “existing law [that] requires the Instructional Quality Commission to develop, and the State Board of Education to adopt, modify, or revise, a model curriculum in ethnic studies.” The bill also indicates that it “would add the completion of a one-semester course in ethnic studies, meeting specified requirements, to the graduation requirements commencing with pupils graduating in the 2029–30 school year, including for pupils enrolled in a charter school.” What this means is starting the 2029-2030 school year, it will be required for all California high schools to implement an ethnic studies course for students to enroll in or they won’t be able to graduate. 2029 seems a long way to go, but Gunderson decided to offer a social science ethnic course starting last school year and even decided to go further by adding an ethnic studies literature course this year. The social science ethnic studies class is taught by two teachers here: Joseph Miclette and Sonia Rebelo. Rebelo shares how the course is meant to “highlight the historical contributions of certain groups to American history.” The course covers many different topics that include groups that have been ignored or misrepresented in our history. “I go unit by unit chronologically, so I start with the Native Americans and they do slavery and then move up from there,” Rebelo said. “Chinese Americans, Filipino Americans, Latino Americans, Vietnamese Americans, [and] Chinese. Then, we end with movements like Black Lives Matter and we do the Civil Rights Movement kind of throughout [and also] the Stop Asian Hate Movements at the very, very end.” These groups are a major part of our history and many choose to ignore that fact. Not only will this class help students get exposure to such groups and their contributions but it will also help them apply that knowledge to their own lives
and to the real world. “Our goal is to give students an opportunity to explore their identities and to give them an opportunity to really think about how they identify,” Rebelo said. “Do they identify as Latina or do they identify as Latinx? Do they identify as Hispanic, Hispanic American, Latino American, [and] how do they see themselves? So it’s really neat to see the students sort of really thinking about [that].” Nicole Zaccheo teaches the new ethnic studies literature class that was added this year. The class is very similar to the social science class however this class focuses more on the literature area of ethnic studies. Similar to the social science ethnic studies class, the syllabus for the ethnic studies literature states that “the year-long Ethnic Studies Literature course centers on the experiences of historically marginalized communities, voices, and identities.” In doing so “students will be asked to analyze, critique and challenge narratives of power and privilege and will cultivate an understanding of the counternarrative. From their analysis of such readings, students will cultivate and strengthen their own agency.” In other words, the syllabus says that students will learn about marginalized groups and analyze readings on these groups. The readings will give them an insight into the experience that the groups endured. This course itself may cover the same topics as its social science counterpart yet students will learn through readings rather than through other assignments. “One of the core principles of the class is to conceptualize social justice, social responsibility, and social change,” Zaccheo said. “It’s a program that should span across all disciplines to address Eurocentrism, oppression, and identity - whether that’s in history, literature, science, and even math.” Ethnic studies is a very broad topic that can be shared in many different ways. It’s more than just a “history” class. And students at Gunderson have more than one way to learn how such topics.
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3 Freshman’s Declassified School Survival Guide By Zoe Harms, ‘23
Walking into a new school can be scary. Especially when you’re a freshman trying to balance all your new classes, you don’t know the school, there’s a much bigger campus, figuring out how to open your locker, etc. Getting your VPA’s out of the way freshman year is a great choice. They’re typically pretty laid-back classes because they are much more creative than a standard English or Science class. Also, since you only need two years of a language, try to get them done freshman and sophomore year so you don’t have as many classes senior year. You won’t always get the class you chose because counselors make schedules based on seniority. Talking to your counselor about the best classes for you is the best thing you can do to make sure you set yourself up for whichever path you choose to take after high school. “My freshman year I took woodshop [and] I don’t know if it’s available now. But sculpture would definitely be a great class to take. Ms. Lopez is a great character,” Senior Edgar Quezada Padilla said. Managing your classes can also be a struggle because we have eight classes and homework for almost all of them. However, since we have a block schedule, you are not cramped with SO much homework and the best thing for you to do is get it done the day it’s assigned. That doesn’t always work, because we are only teenagers and our best skill is procrastination, just don’t put too much pressure on getting everything done and make sure you pace yourself and take breaks.
“Do your homework,” Senior Livana Berhe said. “You will fail if you don’t do your homework. It takes up a good percentage of your grade.” But it’s not just the school aspect that can be a struggle but also the social part. Being social can be hard especially if you’re an awkward freshman (which we all were at some point), and picking the right people to hang out with can be its own obstacle. If you’re the kind of person who enjoys music, maybe go out for the band, if you like soccer hang out with the soccer team, but make sure you are with people who make you feel like the best version of yourself. “Pick positive people who you want around you and that will help you become a better person,” Junior Grace Harai said. A lot of the teachers here at Gunderson connect with the students, they ask about your day, and your family, and most of the time they know you as well if not better than your friends. Since we’re young adults, they treat us as such and don’t act like we are still in middle school. “Be social with your teachers,” Quezada Padilla said. “If you help them out they’ll help you out, bring them gifts, bring them something tiny, you know, a water bottle, an apple. Something tiny [as] an act of kindness will go a long way with [a] teacher.” However, teachers aren’t the only people you need to connect with. Admin is just as important when understanding your new surroundings. Admin includes Dr. Dalal, Mrs. Crawford, Mr. Miller, Ms. Rice, Mr. Chew, and Mr. Pors. Knowing which counselor is yours can be very confusing. Three different counselors can be assigned to you depending on what your last name is. Jacklyn Pomele is for all students A-Gol, Patricia E. Lopez is Gom-Pa, and Angel Winn is Pe-Z. “Know which room your counselors are in or which one their office is. Just know which rooms the admin are in because that can help you a lot if you ever need help,” Berhe said. In high school, you will make some of your best memories, but also some of your worst. These are your last years to have fun without real-life consequences, so the best thing you can do is make the most out of it. “I feel like this time in high school is like about figuring out who you are,” Harai said. “And I would say definitely spend time doing that and just working on becoming a better person.”
Catching the New Season By Jaden Reyna, ‘24 Sports can be a memorable part of high school. They’re a way for students to socialize with their peers after school hours, and create tons of fun memories. Fall sports are underway, which include football, water polo, girls tennis, girls volleyball, and cross country. We also have cheer. Our cheer team is normally at football games, and during the winter season, they cheer at basketball games. Our dance team normally performs during school rallies. Kiara Anima, a junior on the football team, is very excited about their upcoming season. This is her first year playing football for Gunderson. Anima played her first Gunderson football game the night of August 26th. “[Students] should come out to the games because it’s a good opportunity to socialize with friends and support the school at the same time,” Anima said. “Doing so betters the school community and helps bring them closer together.” Anima also enjoys other sports and likes to show up and support when she can. One sport she always makes sure to watch is girl’s volleyball. In previous years, Anima would play volleyball and never lost support for her team.
Junior Hailey Castelar, a varsity player on the volleyball team, is ready for her season. This year the girl’s volleyball team has moved down a league, but it has not dampened their spirits. “I am very excited for our upcoming season, although we moved down a league, we are now in a league where we can improve through playing with teams of the same skill level,” Castelar said. “It will give us a better opportunity to be successful this season,” Castelar’s teammate, Josie Matuk (12), has no ticed some issues with the team’s transportation. “We were trying to get buses to away games but that isn’t a realistic option at the moment with our limited budget,” Matuk said. However, their team has kept a positive attitude about the upcoming season and strongly encourages others to come out and watch them play. “Volleyball games are really fun to watch because they are fast-paced and exciting,” Matuk said. “I recommend coming and watching because it’s fun to be involved with the school and support your friends.” The girl’s volleyball team will be having back-to-back home games on Thursday,
September 15th, as well as Tuesday, September 20th. Another fall sport that is soon starting its season is girls’ tennis. Senior Jeanice Trat is captain of the team. Trat is a huge supporter of her team. She is always cheering on her teammates, bringing snacks, and encouraging others to watch her sport, as well as football and volleyball. “I’ve created monumental bonds and the team has truly become a second home,” Trat said. “I’m thrilled because I get to welcome new recruits and work together to become better athletes and overall people.” Another sport that has huge support from their teammates is water polo. This year we have a girls and boys team, who practice together. This allows both teams to help each other learn and grow, as well as have a scrimmage against one another. Junior Edward Davis, who’s on the waterpolo team, has been training hard for his upcoming season. He thinks that the team is looking promising, especially since they moved up a league. “The best part about the sport is getting an amazing workout and amazing friends that you can talk to,” Davis said.
Be Aware of Self Care By Mark Enriquez, ‘23
A new school year is always unique for each student at Gunderson. For some, it marks a fresh beginning at high school. For others, it’s the end of a long, four-year grind and the start of independent adult life. Regardless of what stage students are at, each of them tries to make the most of what they have. For freshmen, the transition to high school from middle school has never been easier. A recent California law passed, pushing back high school start times to much later in the morning at 8:30 AM. That same law says that students in middle school start no sooner in the day than 8 AM. 30 minutes may not seem like a lot, but it goes a long way in providing students extra leeway during their morning prep. “I’ve adjusted to going to high school pretty fast,” Freshman Landon Koutz said. “It’s a lot easier to manage my daily routine due to school starting later than
in middle school. I do like school starting later as it’s easier for me to get ready.” The current setup for school start times is very convenient for Gunderson families because they won’t be as pressed for time to drop off students. The 30-minute difference between middle school and high school changes little for those already used to the clock. “I don’t think I’ve really changed my habits coming to Gunderson,” Koutz said. “I still wake up at the same time and since my brother already goes here my parents didn’t need to accommodate my schedule.” The switch from middle to high school isn’t all that different, and it comes as no surprise that new students are already used to having a structured routine similar to what they had the entire time. However, for seniors, their paths aren’t quite as laid out them. For seniors especially, life after graduation comes with its own
“I’m probably not going to college first thing after high school,” Senior Alexander Rapp said. “I plan on enlisting in the army, then banking on the G.I Bill to have [college] paid out for me.” For seniors nearing the end of their high school lives, the idea of graduating next summer is something to look forward to. Being free from the clockwork schedule they’ve kept to for years adds a new spark in ambition. After having school shut down from COVID-19 their freshman year and having to attend school online their sophomore year, seniors will be glad to travel off the beaten path. “I want to go out and see the world. I don’t want to be sitting on a desk in front of a computer anymore,” Rapp said. “I think I’ve had enough of that.”