O H CI E A A L LT & H E IS M S OT U I E O
HAWAII BAPTIST ACADEMY
VOL 33, NO 3 MAR 2019
rowing up, I never thought much about the media’s influence on our lives. It wasn’t until Always’s “Like a Girl” ad campaign that I started to pay attention to all the messages we get from the media. During the 2015 Super Bowl, Always, a major feminine product company, launched an ad centered on female empowerment, specifically addressing negative female stereotypes. In the minute-long commercial, Always asked a variety of adults and children what it meant do something “like a girl.” They contrasted the responses of little girls to those of adults and boys. For the latter group, “like a girl” implied weakness or ineptitude. For little girls, the phrase didn’t carry any negative meanings.
LIKE A GIRL 1
→ By Kristin Lau (‘19) EDITORIAL
The ad opened my eyes and resonated with something in me. I was both inspired and touched to see through the innocent eyes of the little girls in the ad. “Like a girl” wasn’t an insult but a term of empowerment, telling them to try their absolute hardest. It made me realize how ridiculous it is that to run, throw, or basically do anything “like a girl” has become an insult.
I began to notice the impact of media in our everyday lives. The media’s presence in our lives used to be primarily in the form of magazines, television shows, and movies. However, with the widespread availability of the internet, the reach of the media has grown exponentially. The messages, however, still remain the same. Whether it’s an Instagram post of picture-perfect models or a YouTube video featuring the life of a celebrity, the media continues to promote idealized lifestyles. As we consume these unrealistic ideals, I, like many other girls, often feel obligated to live up to a perceived expectation of beauty. According to Renee Hobbs, a communications professor at Temple University, “the average teen girl gets about 180 minutes of media exposure daily and only about 10 minutes of parental interaction,” and when that media exposure portrays unrealistic body images, it can cause girls to be unhappy with their bodies. On the flip side, people tend to adopt an “anything goes” attitude with boys. Society constantly makes up excuses for boys when they are being too loud, irreverent, or inappropriate. Yet, when girls speak up and appear aggressive, they’re either seen as bossy or dramatic, and are expected to be more ladylike. Sayings such as “man up” and “boys will be boys” reflect what society expects and tolerates when it comes to men. When Harvard’s 2012 Men’s soccer team’s “scouting report” of their women’s soccer team got uncovered in 2016, many people didn’t think much of it, excusing the lewd content on the report as merely “locker room” chatter. However, the women’s team was quick to respond, pointing out how people should not brush off this behavior as just “normal.” After an investigation, Harvard found that the Continued on Page 5 >> incident wasn’t an isolated one. The school
Cover Photography by Kaycee Nakashima (‘20) Illustration by Daniel Jurek (‘21)
EAGLE EYE Hawaii Baptist Academy 2429 Pali Highway Honolulu, Hawaii 96817 Hawaii Baptist Academy’s Eagle Eye is a student-run and student-centered publication. Distribution The Eagle Eye is distributed at no charge to the Hawaii Baptist Academy middle and high school students, faculty, and staff. Mail subscriptions are available for a fee.
EAGLE EYE TEAM EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Kristin Lau (‘19) STAFF Jarin Ashimine (‘20) TJ Halemano-Reed (‘20) Jayni Ishikawa (‘19) Daniel Jurek (‘21) Marcus Mau (‘19) Kasandra Miao (‘19) Lance Tasaka (‘20) Zadie Young (‘22) Advisor Eunice Sim
Free Range, Internet-fed HOW THE INTERNET & SOCIAL MEDIA HAVE DEFINED A NEW GENERATION → By Zadie Young (‘22) FEATURE
Generation Z, also called Gen Z, is defined as people who are born between 1999 and 2015. What sets them apart from previous generations is that they are natives to the digital world. Very few of them know what life is like without smartphones in the palm of their hands. Many high school students at HBA received their first smartphone in elementary school. Within this generation, the first iPhone was sold (2007) and Instagram was released (2010), connecting people to the digital world like never before. Social media, made possible by this digital connectedness, has changed the way people interact with each other. An Eagle Eye survey of about 190 HBA high schoolers found that 90% of them use social media or the internet to interact with others. While this may not be a surprising statistic in current times, it is remarkable that less than 15 years ago, this was not the norm. (Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat were launched between 2006 and 2011.)
In the Eagle Eye survey, close to 80% of students said they spend about two hours or more per day on the internet, either on their phones, tablets or computers. The most time on the internet is spent doing the following: watching movies and videos; using social media apps and interacting with others; and listening to music. Other uses include: looking up information; playing games; shopping; and reading. Using two hours a day as an average, that means most students spend about 730 hours (or 30 days) online in a year. One appeal of the internet and social media is that people are able to exist in two worlds at the same time. For example, while waiting in line for lunch, one could be actively playing a live multiplayer game on a smartphone with people elsewhere. While a majority of students (61%) say they spend more time interacting with people face-to-face than online, 31% of students say their time is split 50-50. Shiraishi said, “I would say that I’m half and half. I spend a lot of time on the Continued on next page >> internet because you have to keep
On a typical morning before school, freshman boys hang out outside the Learning Center, playing video games or watching videos online.
Today, there are those who frequently share their lives on social media for followers to see. Instagram user freshman Julia Sakamoto said, “Overall I share a lot because I feel like my life [or] wherever I am is fun and people would laugh to see it.” Others only periodically post highlights on their stories or feed. “I put around like 50% of my life
on social media,” said freshman Eliana Tsutsui. “I choose to only post my happy times or good times on social media because I like to have some space from others.” Sophomore Reiko Shiraishi only posts on special occasions like birthdays, family events, or sports events. “I don’t post much on my social media...because I don’t feel like I need to show everyone what I do every day,” she said.
FREE-RANGE, INTERNET-FED From Page 2
up with the daily news and trends. But at the same time, I also spend a lot of time in the real world with my family and activities.” Most students in the survey believe that their online interactions have little to no effect on their choices in real life, but high school vice principal Ryan Frontiera disagrees with this perception. “Even when we know [about the potential of negative influences on the internet,] we allow ourselves to be influenced way too easily. It’s amazing how we allow ourselves to be swayed into what to believe because someone is funny or talented. This happens when we compare ourselves against our peers, too,” he said. Social media has also opened the door to people having different personas. In a system that trades in “likes” and comments, social media encourages people to make themselves seem like the perfect person in order to receive praise or approval from their peers. In a post on their website about social media, The Child Mind Institute—a non-profit that helps children and families with mental health and learning disorders—states that “teens who have created idealized online personas may feel frustrated and depressed at the gap between who they pretend to be online and who they truly are.” Junior Grace Higa thinks that online personas shouldn’t have to be true to life. She explained, “I wouldn’t hide [who I really am] from my friends but I would be more cautious online.” A majority of students (43%) in the Eagle Eye survey say their online personas are “a little different” from their real-life selves. Less than 5% of respondents chose the “very different” category. Freshman Kaylee Tani expects some level of authenticity when it comes to online personas. “You [shouldn’t] pretend to be another person and change your personality entirely,” she said.
10.4% NO 6% 14.8%
1 HR < 30 MINS TOO LONG TO COUNT
SOCIALIZING MUSIC STREAMING
SEARCH FOR INFO
SHOPPING DIGITAL BOOKS
VIDEOS & MUSIC
39.3% 25.1% 8.7% 6%
RESPONDENTS PICKED THEIR TOP 2 ACTIVITIES
61% 31.1% 7.9% YES
Many adults are, at best, cautious about the benefits of social media. English teacher Alexandra Taylor said, “I think adults tend to look at social media as something awful and distracting for kids and we thank our lucky stars that we didn’t have those things when we were in high school. I don’t see much good coming from any of it. To me, it’s all negative for teenagers.” Frontiera also thinks that “life is much harder for students as a result.” In a 2017 article titled “The Secret Social Media Lives of Teenagers,” Ana Homayoun wrote in the New York Times that “[t]eens can quickly get caught up in the feedback loop, posting and sharing images and videos that they believe will gain the largest reaction. Over time, teens’ own values may become convoluted within an online world of instantaneous feedback, and their behavior online can become based on their ‘all about the likes’ values rather than their real-life values.” These attitudes reflect a divide between Gen Z and the generations that have come before. To adults, social media and the internet are distractions from the real things in life; teenagers and young adults, however, see the digital world as a natural extension of their existence.
43.4% THE SAME
A LITTLE DIFFERENT
This survey was conducted in February 2019. There were 183 respondents, comprising 58 HBA freshmen, 44 sophomores, 47 juniors, and 34 seniors. As the survey was emailed to students during a class period, the almost instantaneous responses of many students illustrated the hyper-connectiveness of our school environment. infographic and illustrations by zadie young (‘22)
Learning how to interact with teachers is an essential part of one’s school experience. (Above, left to right) English teacher Dynah Ustare with junior Nicole Arakaki; Physics teacher Isaac Duncklee with junior Tyra Hayashi; and Art teacher Juri Yamashita with seventh grader Justin Venegas. (Left) Math teacher Aaron Kondo with sophomore Tiffany Leung.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL & EMOTIONAL LEARNING → By Jayni Ishikawa (‘19)
On the first day of school, many teachers ask students to introduce themselves to their classmates and to name a favorite item or hobby. This get-to-know-you ritual may seem like an unremarkable ice-breaker but what these students probably don’t realize is that it’s also part of their education. Learning to speak up and introduce yourself is an important life skill. Math, English, History, etc. Most people see education as a pursuit of knowledge and understanding. However, the process of education also teaches students emotional and social skills. This process is formally called social emotional learning, also known as SEL. According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, or CASEL, SEL is “the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.” SEL is
taught all around the world, and it is mostly introduced and learned in school, from preschool through college. SEL is commonly broken down into into five parts: self-awareness, selfmanagement, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. Educators believe that SEL is a crucial part to one’s life as they grow up. HBA Director of Counseling Danford Chang said, “Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is crucial because in the world today, it is so important to be able to both agree and disagree in a respectful manner if you want the chance to be heard. I think the old adage applies that ‘they don’t care what you know, if they don’t know that you care.’” At HBA, Chang is currently leading an SEL initiative, aimed at helping HBA faculty understand and use SEL tools for themselves and in the classroom. Chang hopes to equip faculty with tools to cope with their own emotions, and to help them see the importance of self-reflection and self-awareness in their professional life. “The plan is to continue to do good work with the faculty, [and] I am so proud of them,” Chang stated proudly. Continued on next page >>
You Won’t Find It In the Textbook
YOU WON’T FIND IT IN THE TEXTBOOK From Page 4
Art teacher Juri Yamashita appreciates the value of SEL. “Yes, I do think it’s important to go through social emotional learning. Because, once we understand our emotions, we can start to understand how to tackle them,” she said. Chang believes that SEL helps the young and old communicate with each other. “I think the biggest thing for adults is the awareness that their emotions have an impact on others and students ... that we co-regulate each other. I think that if adults and students can see how they can positively affect each other, everyone wins,” Chang explained. He states that the plan is to eventually have faculty incorporate SEL components into their lessons. “I believe the major work will come through tying in what we are doing every day in the classroom and in how we interact with each other,” he said.
“..if adults and students can see how they can positively affect each other, everyone wins.”
Middle school Health and P.E. teacher Tiffany Aguiar introduced two SEL tools—the Danford Chang, HBA Director of Counseling Mood Meter and the Meta Moment—to her seventh grade students this quarter and is encouraged by their response so far. The Mood Meter is a way for students to express how they feel. The Meta Moment is a method of selfreflection when faced with conflicts. “[The Mood Meter] has really helped [my students] think more deeply about how they are feeling rather than using vague words like fine or good. [It has helped us] communicate more quickly and accurately about how we feel in class,” Aguiar said. She has also seen students apply the Meta Moment when things get overly competitive in P.E. class. “The Meta Moment has given my seventh graders helpful steps like seeing your ‘best self.’ If they get frustrated with someone on their team, they pause and remember their ‘best self’ and try to respond with that positive image in mind. It’s a work in progress, but they are using the tools on their own,” she said.
LIKE A GIRL From Page 1
subsequently canceled the rest of the 2016 men’s soccer season, stating that “Harvard Athletics has zero tolerance for this type of behavior.” Gender stereotypes—promoted by media and the culture we live in—color how we see ourselves and others. In order to change these negative mindsets and prejudices, we need to start with ourselves. Take simple steps by not saying things such as “like a girl” or even other put-downs like “I’m not smart enough.” As I get older, I hope I can help redefine what it means to do anything like a girl because when I have children in the future, I want them to see it as a phrase of empowerment instead of a belittling insult.
Always bought a 60-second spot during the 2015 SuperBowl to run an ad as part of their “Like A Girl” campaign. The campaign, which shows how men, women, boys, and young girls differed in their understanding of “like a girl,” earned critical acclaim for redefining what people thought of the phrase. scene from always’s “like a girl” ad.
→ By TJ Halemano-Reed (‘20) FEATURE
“Stop it before it happens,” says senior Anna Kerr, when asked about awkward public promposals. As junior-senior prom season comes around, many students begin to worry about who to take to prom and how they should ask that special someone.
On the other hand, junior Alyssa Mayeshiro says that students who are confident that their potential date would enjoy a public promposal should throw caution to the wind. But what should you do if you’re surprised by a promposal you not only didn’t expect but would rather say no to? Most students suggest the face-saving let-down response where the promposal is publicly accepted but privately declined later. Junior Kathryn Harada said, “[You] should tell that person in private and in a very nice and gentle way because everybody has feelings, and everybody can get hurt by someone else’s words.” Once the decision has been made to go to prom, students then have to figure out what they are going to wear. Finding the right dress can be like searching for the holy grail because there are many things to be considered, like price, availability, style, and, not the least, school dress code. Traditionally those going as couples need to coordinate what they’re going to wear along with purchasing a matching corsage and boutonniere, or maile lei. Girls also need to consider what hairstyle and makeup to wear. On the other hand, guys need to search for an inexpensive yet formal tuxedo to either rent or purchase for the night.
More than a dress or tuxedo, what really makes or breaks a prom night is often the people you spend the evening with. Many students agree that going to prom “stag” (without a date and just with a group of friends) is just as memorable and exciting. Harada encourages students to go with whoever they’ll have fun with. Dancing the night away with a close group of friends is just as special as slow-dancing with a date. After the prom event, some students make the most of the night by planning after-party events. Seniors Jazerine Nakamura, Alexis Nakabayashi, and their friends are hoping to rent out a party bus after this year’s prom and have a sleepover at a hotel. Nakabayashi said, “We wanted to make the most of our last prom so we figured we might as well go all out for it.” This year, the prom committee (traditionally made up of juniors) surprised the seniors with a group invitation to prom during a joint homeroom. They created mini invitations and stuffed them into balloons which they dropped into the D building courtyard. The invitations also revealed “Cloud Nine” as the prom theme. Prom Committee President Kaycee Nakashima said, “We just wanted to do something different from most proms. It’s not just the theme that’s different...you will see how things are done differently [when prom comes around.]” This year’s junior-senior prom is taking place at the Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel from 5:30 to 9:30 P.M. on March 18. More than 200 students will be attending the event.
A number of HBA seniors that the Eagle Eye spoke to feel that students should make their promposals private, simple, and meaningful. Senior Dakota Gavin, last year’s prom committee president, said, “Don’t ‘promposal’ in public. It creates an awkward and pressurized atmosphere, especially if the person asked had no idea it was coming.”
Senior Emily White encourages students to plan ahead and search for prom dresses and tuxedos early because waiting until the last minute will make everything more stressful than it should be.
Sweaty Palms, Shaky Hands THE RISE OF ANXIETY LEVELS & ANXIETY DISORDERS → By Johnson Lin (‘21)
When faced with a quiz or a test, students often enter the classroom feeling one of these contrasting two emotions: confidence or nervousness. Outside the classroom, these emotions start to blur and most students would just uniformly call their school experience stressful. According to a 2018 Psychology Today article, anxiety has become the top reason college students seek counseling. On the prevalance of anxiety in adolescents (people aged between 13 and 18), the National Institute of Mental Health reports that one-third of American adolescents have had an anxiety disorder during their lifetimes. According to the Mayo Clinic, anxiety disorders are characterized by “feelings of worry, anxiety, or fear that is strong enough to interfere with one’s daily activities.” HBA counselor Tara Gruspe describes it like this: “Anxiety often stems from our desire to avoid pain coupled with our lack of control over certain situations. We don’t want to fail, we don’t want to feel shame, we don’t want to let down others. For example, while driving to a job interview, I might start feeling anxious if there is traffic. I’m feeling anxious because I have lost control of the situation and I fear if I’m late the employer will think less of me. I go on to think if the employer thinks less of me I will not get this job and my life is ruined.” Psychologists make a distinction between everyday anxiety and anxiety disorder. Most people have experienced some form of everyday anxiety, which includes fear of embarrassment, worrying about schoolwork, and social anxiety. However, an anxiety disorder is defined by a constant feeling of trepidation that continuously affects daily life activities. The Eagle Eye conducted a survey of over 110 HBA high school students using a simple questionnaire called a Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item (GAD-7) scale assessment. This assessment is often used by doctors to diagnose generalized anxiety disorders for primary-care patients. A total score of one to four represents mild anxiety, five to
nine represents moderate anxiety, 10 to 14 represents moderately severe anxiety, and 15 to 21 represents severe anxiety. Overall, across all grade levels, all students feel some level of anxiety, averaging at 9.2. The juniors are the most anxious grade, with an average score of 10.72. For most students, while the pressure to do well in school is a significant cause of anxiety, it is not the only one. Gruspe states, “School is certainly a place where students are challenged. It is a place where students make mistakes and experience pain, but perhaps the source of the anxiety comes from the fear of being hurt, the fear of disappointing or the fear of not having a stable life.” A number of students interviewed cite social factors when it comes to the main catalysts for their anxieties. None of them wanted to be named. “Because of my social anxiety,” a student said, “I tend to stay quiet the majority of the time unless we need to talk to partners or something. I’m open to talking to new people, but I’m not going to go out of my way to start a conversation.” Another student described how his anxiety drives his actions: “Your decisions become based on what you feel, whether it be to drop something because you can’t handle the pressure, or have some crazy spike of enthusiasm to push through for some reason.” Those who experience anxiety disorders describe their high school experience as “limited”, with anxiety attacks hampering their ability to live a regular life, especially when it comes to voicing their opinions. Another result of anxiety disorders is panic attacks. One student describes them this way: “Everything is multiplied to that point of losing control of everything around you, there is nothing that you influence.” In order to cope with this, some try to listen to music and ride out the experience. However, in the long run, one student believes that “finding someone to talk to about it” is a more effective solution. Gruspe states that there are many ways to cope with the anxiety, and she suggests beginning with a strong mindset. She also offered some insight from her own personal experience for those suffering from anxiety. When she was in high school, she would deal with periods of anxiety by going on bike rides. “These bike rides were times of reflection, exploration and just enjoying the present. This along with a great church family and my relationship with God helped me through my painful experiences. Knowing who God is and knowing that I am a child of God makes all the difference for me. I still get anxious, but instead of dwelling on my anxious thoughts, I am invited by God to talk through the hard circumstances of life with him and allow him to renew my mind. I am able to be at peace, knowing I am not in control, but God is,” she said. photography by jacob norimoto (‘21)
TIPS FOR HANDLING ANXIETY → By Tara Gruspe, HBA Guidance Counselor
1. Acknowledge that to be human means you will fail, make 4. Talk through your class schedule with your teachers, counselors mistakes and let others down. See mistakes and failures as an opportunity to learn.
2. Reflect on your life and see if there are any activities you can
eliminate in order to add more margin in your life. These may be activities you are no longer interested in or activities that are unhealthy for you.
5. Be vulnerable and let others know your fears and let them help you.
6. Be reminded of the truths in God’s word and talk to the Lord about the things that are weighing heavy on your heart.
3. Work at a steady pace instead of procrastinating until the 7. Seek out a church community. last minute to complete assignments.
(13 – 18 years old) of American adolescents have had an anxiety disorder
Over 110 HBA high school students filled out a Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item (GAD-7) scale assessment in February. Overall, across all grade levels, all students feel some level of anxiety, averaging at 9.2. The juniors are the most anxious grade, with an average score of 10.72.
9th 7.85 10th 9.76 11th 10.72 12th 8.42 Average 9.19
24 20 16 12 8 4 0
Age: 13 - 18
10 – 14 Moderately Severe Anxiety 15 – 21 Severe Anxiety
Percentage of Population
Percentage of Population
0 – 4 Mild Anxiety 5 – 9 Moderate Anxiety
The National Institute of Mental Health reports that one-third of American adolescents have had an anxiety disorder during their lifetime.
24 20 16 12 8 4 0
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) found that more people between the ages of 13 to 18 experience mild to moderate anxiety than people who are 18 years and older. infographic by johnson Lin (‘21).
Whether you’re a freshman or a senior, one of the most challenging aspects of high school is maintaining a balance of academics, athletics, “I sometimes take four to six hour naps when I get home from school. I and a social life, while ensuring a good night’s hate taking naps, but my sleep schedule kind of needs it.” rest. Although the recommended amount of sleep is around eight hours per night, Senior Kylie Chong also takes daytime naps. She said, “I take a nap when I get home from volunteering since middle schoolers are exhausting. I usually many students at HBA average roughly try to interval sleep during exams just so that I can take small breaks in six hours or less of sleep a night.
between cramming for finals. On average, during exam time, I take like three small interval naps each lasting like a hour.” Chong volunteers after school at At HBA, many students have become accustomed to a King Intermediate twice a week and gets home in the late afternoon. general feeling of sleep deprivation while doing their Others such as senior Sydney Settsu are able to run on an average of six hours of best to function throughout the school day. sleep without any need for daily naps. Settsu said, “I used to take naps, but I would end up staying up all night. Taking naps would mess me up the next school day… It’s weird, sometimes I will get three Sophomore Jacob Norimoto says that he usually hours of sleep and feel really energized. sleeps four to five hours a night, but makes it up with daytime naps.
Senior Bryson Gonzalez uses his G period independence to catch up on sleep. photography by jazerine nakamura (‘19)
Late to Bed, Early to Rise ARE WE RESIGNED TO SLEEP DEPRIVATION? → By Jazerine Nakamura (‘19)
However, when I sleep during a full eight hours, I feel irritable and lethargic for the whole day.”
For many students, not having homework means more free time in front of the screen. Sophomore Joy Maehara says that while the reduction of homework has allowed her to get more sleep, the extra free time has led to a bad habit. “Because there is less homework to complete during the night, I’ve started watching too much Netflix or Youtube during all my free time,” Maehara said.
For students who have a hard time falling asleep, senior Marcus Mau shares his nighttime routine: “I would say shutting down everything that requires brain power at least an hour before bed. Don’t log onto YouTube or anything like that but I think putting on some calming music is helpful...but nothing more because that’ll lead to your brain getting distracted. Also your room should be a space that you enjoy. Make it ‘zen’ and calm because if you love your space, your space will love you back. Happy room. Happy Marcus.”
In an effort to reduce students’ homework load (which affects how much sleep they get), HBA’s high and middle schools switched to a double-extended schedule at the end of last school year to give students more free time. While a majority of students report that this has significantly reduced their overall homework load, many students are still not getting more sleep.
For others, sleeplessness is a result of stress or anxiety. Settsu watches ASMR videos—videos that are supposed to evoke a “autonomous sensory meridian response”—to help her go to sleep. “I swear, ASMR videos will change your life if you can’t fall asleep. I never finish a ASMR video because I fall asleep before the video is even finished. It probably isn’t the best idea to rely on them too much, though.” These videos usually feature sounds like pages turning, phone tapping, plastic crinkling, or water being poured into a cup.
DECLUTTERING FOR JOY
→ By Sydney Settsu (‘19)
From binders bursting at the seams to misplaced worksheets, both students and teachers at Hawaii Baptist Academy have experienced disorganization in their lives. Whether it’s due to a never-ending list of responsibilities, distractions, or just plain laziness, clutter and mess have become a common condition in our busy lives. With her book titled The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and her Netflix series called Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, Marie Kondo is becoming an American household name for her innovative decluttering methods. Some may know Kondo from her popular YouTube video about folding clothes. Now, the “KonMari Method’ has people around the world, and even some HBA faculty members, changing their lifestyles. English Department Co-chair Faye Takushi, who read Kondo’s book, said, “I felt joy for about two weeks before chaos closed in once again.” Despite the chaos resurfacing, she added, “I now fold my clothes more neatly.” According to Good Housekeeping, the “KonMari Method” is a minimalist approach broken down into six simple steps. First, commit to organizing. Then, imagine an “ideal lifestyle.” After that step, discard the items that do not “spark joy,” but not before thanking each item
for “serving its purpose.” Next, sort by categories, not location. Kondo specifies the following categories for sorting: clothes, books, paper, こもの (komono or miscellaneous objects), and sentimental items. The most important step, asking “Does this item spark joy?” is Kondo’s signature tip. The intended result is to have a clutter-free and cheerful environment. Teacher Assistant Nicole LaBarre, who is currently decluttering her home, said, “The one thing I hear about over and over is not to keep anything that no longer brings you joy. I am definitely trying to use that in my life now. I will look at things and if it no longer brings me any joy or if I have had it for a long time, it’s time to get rid of it.” There is no doubt that being organized can have positive effects on an individual’s mood. If someone’s environment is messy, the person can feel overwhelmed, stressed, and maybe even dirty. Biology teacher Risha Mishima says that cleaning makes her feel “accomplished.” She added, “I feel as if I achieved something challenging.” Being organized might appear to be a daunting task. For some, it can be difficult to throw “sentimental objects” away. However, with the support of friends and the right tools, according to the “KonMari Method,” anyone can become organized.
Confessions of A Messy Person → By Sydney Settsu
Honestly, I find writing an article about organization very comical.
TAMING THE BINDER
My binder is bursting at the seams, but I’d like to think that I’m getting a good arm workout. It’s come to the point where my binder has become an inside joke among my friends. One friend even threatened to hold a binder cleaning intervention for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully aware that I have a hoarding problem. For some reason, I have a hard time decluttering. I make multiple excuses to not throw something away. However, my binder has reached a point when even I think it needs to be cleaned out. Hopefully, through declutting, I will become a more organized individual. At the very least, I would like to apply this skill from the “KonMari” method into my daily life. 12
MY EXPERIENCE WHILE DECLUTTERING: While I was organizing, I noticed that I had a lot of pieces of scratch paper. I didn’t notice the amount of unnecessary pieces of paper that I had. I decided to keep what was currently relevant to a class. I still have to review papers from the first semester for the AP exams in May. I expected this process to take about 30 minutes,but I barely finished before the bell during an extended period class. I took about 85 minutes.
MY EXPERIENCE ONE WEEK LATER: Keeping my binder clean was probably the most difficult part of the whole experience. I had to file papers into my binder as soon as I got them, or I was never going to do it. My overall mood stayed the same. I did feel less nervous about dropping my binder, which is an improvement in my opinion. I think I’m one of those people who see organization in the chaos. Although organizing my binder didn’t make a significant impact on my mental and emotional well-being, I still believe that decluttering is a good practice. I recommend the “KonMari” method to anyone who wants to become organized but doesn’t know where to start.
It took senior Sydney Settsu 85 minutes to organize her school binder. photography by timothy dixon (‘20)
Jury Still Out on Thursday Z Periods
→ By Lance Tasaka (‘20)
While students are not required to stay for Z periods on Thursdays, school administrators hope that many will use the time to get help from teachers or catch up on work in school. photography by kailey chang (‘20)
This year will be the first full year that HBA’s middle and high school have adopted the double extended bell schedule. The new schedule moves chapels to Mondays and features two pairs of double extended period days for most weeks. Thursdays now have a Z period at the end of the day and the purpose of it is to provide students with self-study or tutoring time with teachers. At the beginning of the year when the Thursday Z period was first introduced, students were required to report to their homerooms for guided study time. Now students are free to study, meet with teachers, or go home. “The goal behind the Thursday Z period in some way is to build in a time when where there is space for teachers and students to meet and interact,” explained vice principal Ryan Frontiera. This time allows for students to catch up on work or go in for tutoring without having the teacher and student stay after 2:45 P.M. Junior Tanner Weeks has been using his Z periods to do his homework and likes having the opportunity to use the computers in the tech lab during this time. He said, “I think [the new Z period] is a good addition to the school schedule because it provides us with more time to do homework and it allows us to focus on the tests on Fridays.”
Senior Jaylynn Choi says that the Z periods are beneficial. When she doesn’t have any extracurriculars, she likes being able to go home early. “I am more efficient getting my homework and studying done when I am at home. On the days that I do have to stay at school, I usually use Z period to get as much work done as possible,” said Choi. For senior Drew Yoshida, who has baseball practice after school, Z periods are when he tries to get his school work done. He said, “Z period is convenient because I have sports after school, so it helps to reduce the workload when I get home.” Currently, the school administration is evaluating the effectiveness of the Z periods thus far. Teachers have been recording the number of students that have used Z periods over the past month for tutoring. So far, according to Frontiera, the data shows that 15 to 20% of the high school student body have used Z periods to meet with teachers. The administrators will also be tracking students’ grades to see if Z period tutoring sessions are helping. “Realistically we are not going to have a perfectly silent period where everyone is studying, but ideally that would be the goal of the Thursday Z period. It will take time [to build] the culture where people value the time and want to use it well,” said Frontiera.
Why Can’t We Just Get Along WHY CONFLICT DRIVES US TO EXTREMES → By Marcus Mau (‘19)
Conflict is something that everyone must deal with, starting from a young age. Our earliest experiences of conflict go back to our toddler years, centered on fights over toys or turn-taking.
While the science behind both the psychology and physiology of “fight” or “flight” is very interesting, most of us are not thinking about our rising heart rates or sweaty palms when in the middle of a fight. Aggressive people will react with a “fight” response, addressing the issue with hostility. Passive people choose “flight” responses, finding ways to avoid addressing problems head-on. These people often claim that everything is “OK” even though they may be deeply offended. Some end up responding in passive aggressive ways, like venting to others and encouraging gossip. Freshman Zadie Young finds herself internalizing things first when in conflict. “I think that I usually contain my feelings since I am a little shy and introverted. Sometimes I may rant...but usually I don’t do anything about it. Yes, I think this is kind of a bad way to handle things but sometimes [I need to be alone] so that I can take a breather,” she said. Senior Kristin Lau, on the other hand, is less hesitant about letting others know if she’s upset with them. “If it’s someone I don’t know, then I tend to give them a small chance first to apologize for what they did or treat me better in the future. If I know that person or if [he or she] has repeatedly done this before, I will not hesitate to
confront them about what they’ve done. [But] I’ll first allow them to elaborate on their intentions and their reasons,” she said. Senior Shanden Adriance sees himself in the “fight” camp when it comes to conflict. He usually “squares up” when conflict arises and believes that allowing an argument or fight to play out is healthy conflict resolution. Junior Cameron Chee opts to treat every situation differently. “Depends on the person,” he said. “Sometimes I square up even though I know I’ll lose. Most times I just forget about it and walk away.” He added that most times, he avoids having to deal with conflict. Aloha Mussel, also a junior, says she tries to deal with conflict directly. “I confront [whoever it is] and ask them what’s wrong,” she said. Mussel notes that many people often become silent and avoid confrontation, and that their responses tend to be extreme; they either become passive aggressive or overly compensate by pretending that everything is fine. Conflict resolution experts believe that a healthy response lies between “fight” and “flight.” Elizabeth Scott, a stress-management coach and writer on Very Well Mind, states that “[i]f you’re constantly criticizing [someone’s] character, or shutting down during arguments rather than working through conflict in a proactive, respectful way, watch out.” Scott gives some tips for conflict resolution, which include: getting in touch with your feelings (knowing what you feel and why); honing your listening skills (effectively listening to another); assertively communicating (being clear and confident when expressing your feelings but not being offensive); seeking a solution (compromising with a good solution which works for both parties); and knowing when to quit (deciding if the relationship is worth continuing.) If history tells us anything, these tips will take a lifetime to master. But putting them into practice will still go long way in building healthy relationships and communities.
Educational consultant and speaker Kendra Cherry, who focuses on helping students learn about and enjoy psychology, observes that humans have been dealing with conflict since the beginning of history. In a web article on Very Well Mind, Kenda details the science behind both the “fight” and “flight” responses that people have when in conflict. She writes, “In response to acute stress, the body’s sympathetic nervous system is activated due to the sudden release of hormones. The sympathetic nervous systems stimulate the adrenal glands triggering the release of catecholamines, which include adrenaline and noradrenaline.” Cherry continues, “This results in an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate. After the threat is gone, it takes between 20 to 60 minutes for the body to return to its pre-arousal levels.”
You’re probably sleeping in class right now or walking slowly to the bathroom so you don’t have to deal with sitting in class thinking that everything being said by Mr. Hahn in English class is useless. But it’s not; paying attention in class is one of the most important skills to develop in middle school. If that sentence made you roll your eyes and say ‘whatever’, there are more tips I’m about to tell you about middle school so I hope you take notes!
Middle school is a pretty rough time for everyone because it’s the transitional period from elementary school to high school. It may feel like a drag, but I hope this letter will help you avoid the mistakes I made.
“...befriend those who want the same in drama, which is no drama at all.”
My first tip for you is don’t be in or start any drama between other people and yourself. And if you hear about drama between other people, avoid it as much as possible. Knowing you, it may seem interesting to get into others people business at first, but drama is an unnecessary stress for everyone involved. I get that drama is pretty interesting and it feels good to be included, but it isn’t worth it. You’re at school to learn and make good relationships with others. In order to stay away from drama, avoid toxic people, don’t seek any attention, and befriend those who want the same in terms of drama, which is no drama at all.
You should have close friends that are always with you no matter what. Middle school and high school will be hard without people to vent to. Also you should do things outside of school with these friends. Doing this will help you build stronger bonds with them and also be able to create new memories. Expectations are hard to live up to when you’re a middle schooler. You’re in a stage that is between elementary school and high school. You’re expected to act like an adult, but are treated like a kid. Learn self-control and think of the consequences before you do anything. Teachers will get on your nerves, but you just have to keep your cool and move on. Playing sports is a good way to stay active and meet new people, while giving your mind a break from school. I got into cross country because a friend told me to just show up to one practice. At first I was very skeptical because I hate running, but I later found out I was pretty good
at it. Getting out of your comfort zone will help you make new friends and give you motivation to succeed in something other than school. And finally, as freshmen year comes around, remember to develop good study habits. Don’t get carried away with the new freedoms that come with high school like not having to have your planners checked, and not being supervised after school. Many kids start to slack off during this time of acclimation and their grades start to dip with this attitude. Developing independence and time management skills will help you throughout your high school career. I wish I wasn’t so caught up in just having fun in freshman year, and I should have focused more on school. So don’t do what I did because you’ll be trying to make up your grades in your sophomore and junior year like I am doing now. It’s okay to have fun but don’t forget the long term things. Sincerely, your future self
photography by michael garces (‘20)
The Social & Emotional Health Issue